Customize Your Own Gorgeous Birth Announcements

Whenever I have a friend or family member send me a breathtaking birth announcement in the mail, it’s something I treasure.  In this digital day and age, we need to remember that moments such as these are special, and ideal to preserve in print! Did you realize it's easy to order a creative, artsy birth announcement?  All you need is the information to include, and maybe an adorable baby photo.  Basic Invite can take it from there, and are skilled at making custom invitations and more. Using their site, you can easily design something that you’ll be proud and excited to send to friends and loved ones.  Their lovely templates and ideas make it simple to craft and order your photo birth announcements. Easy to Create… With Almost Unlimited Colors The Basic Invite website is inspiring and easy to use.  Nearly 200 sample birth announcement designs are available to peruse. Just find a design that you love.  Then you can customize even further with over 180 different color … [Read more...]

How to Grill a Pizza ~ Papa Murphy’s BBQ Chicken

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Papa Murpy's and KC Masterpiece.  All opinions are my own. #SummerAt425  Summertime dinner on a hot, 100 degree day can be a challenge.  Do you really feel like pre-heating that kitchen stove, further adding to your air conditioner's battle?  We recently learned how to grill a pizza, and tried it out on the exciting new flavor of take and bake - Papa Murphy's BBQ Chicken Pizza.  I love this summertime trick! It's easy to do, and keeps the heat outside.  We literally eat pizza once per week, and it's often from Papa Murphy's.  Did you know they are the world's largest fresh take 'n bake pizza brand?  I feel like you can't beat their fresh ingredients, and I love baking it at home so it's optimally steamy and delicious when we eat it.  It typically ends up being our fun Friday Night family tradition.  At the end of our busy week, we are tired and ready to relax at home with an easy-but-quality meal we all enjoy. We've tried most … [Read more...]

Try Your 4 Favorites with Rita’s Italian Ice Flights

Since I'm serving as a Rita's Ice blogger in a town with no Rita's Ice locations, locating one is at the top of our list every time we head to a city.  This summer we visited one of the Denver locations, and were able to try out the refreshing new menu option that solves a big problem for any who are a tad indecisive (like me!) Now you don't have to chose which single flavor of Italian ice to order.  You can choose FOUR flavors.  Behold the genius of new Ice Flights. Rita's Fabulous "Ice Flights" Rita's makes their Italian Ice fresh daily, and the flavors are constantly changing.  You'll always find a handful of tempting ice flavors choose from when you arrive.  Which can make for a difficult decision!   So for any who have a hard time picking just one flavor, guests can now select an Ice Flight of four flavors served in a divided tray.  Let your appetite take flight!   This is such a refreshing treat, which doesn't leave you feeling bogged down … [Read more...]

Why It’s Vital to Know Your Stuff… Plus a Free Home Inventory Tool

Have you or a family friend ever experienced a home fire, or weather catastrophe that left extensive property damage?  It’s an extremely stressful time, and not something I’d wish on anyone. It's not a topic you may think about often.  But it could definitely pay off in the future, if you simply take some time today to think about gathering a home inventory.   Better yet, read on to find out about a free tool you can use to easily do so. Why It’s Vital to Know Your Stuff Our good friends recently went through this with a house fire.  Once the smoke damage was accounted for, their entire home and all its contents were considered a loss.  Fortunately, they had insurance to help them with replacements. Before watching them go through such a sad and stressful experience, I had never thought about it.  Can you imagine attempting to remember each and every one of your belongings, in such a scenario?  Where would you even begin? Having a good home inventory can be a vital step, … [Read more...]

Visit Rita’s Italian Ice in July & Support Alex’s Lemonade Stand

Last month my family had the pleasure of visiting a Rita’s Italian Ice for the first time.  We couldn’t decide on the most delicious item offered.  Is it the decadently creamy frozen custard?  Or the refreshing burst of icy fruit flavor in the smooth Italian Ice? Actually, I think the best thing on the menu is something that combines both:  the Gelati.  :) During the month of July, there’s an additional reason to visit Rita’s Italian Ice. Rita’s Hosts a “Wall Of Hope” Now through July 24th, Rita’s Italian Ice will be fundraising for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF).  This non-profit organization is dedicated to finding a cure for all childhood cancers.  The foundation has already raised more than $75 million, used toward funding over 375 research projects nationally. When you visit your local Rita’s Italian Ice location during the month of July, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase a paper lemon for $1.  Then personalize your lemon, and post it on the … [Read more...]

Backpack Snacks: 5 Budget Friendly Foods that Will Survive a Backpack

It's that time of year again!  Having groceries on hand, and either packing snacks and lunches for your school aged kids, or them attempting to tackle it themselves becomes a daily challenge.  My 5th grader this year is getting better about packing her own food for the school day.  And I love that their teacher allows them to snack in the classroom throughout the day, as long as they aren't disruptive. But I'm frequently at a loss as to what to grab and purchase at the store for backpack snacks and lunches, so thought I'd share these helpful ideas from FoodInsight.  They serve as a nutrition and food safety resource for consumers, health professionals, journalists, educators, government officials, and students. Backpack Snacks 5 Budget friendly foods that will survive a backpack and provide on-the-go nutrition, ensuring kids get the fuel they need without the muss or fuss Trail Mix Trail mix is bite-sized and packed with protein & healthful fats Add a handful of … [Read more...]

Joining the 2015 Subaru Legacy Blogger Program

I recently received an exciting invitation to join the 2015 Subaru Legacy Blogger Program.   They were offering me and my family a loan of an all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy this August, plus a gas card and some fun Subaru swag. Well, driving myself back and forth to work on my 5 minutes commute each day isn't really that exciting.   But alas, the Subaru program coordinator suggested in the email invitation that my family could take the Legacy on a weekend trip.  Now we're talking! I already have a personal connection with Subaru, because I live in Colorado.  Ha!  Inside joke.  It seems like every 3rd car here in Western Colorado is either a Subaru Forester or Outback.  We are big fans of the all-wheel drive thing on our adventures! But seriously, about ten years ago I purchased my first ever brand new vehicle... a 2004 Subaru Forester.  I still love it, it's been a perfect fit for me and my family's lifestyle.  It's getting a little worn around the edges though, and there's … [Read more...]

Coca-Cola’s The Art of Entrepreneurship Event #5by20

Recently I was invited by Coca-Cola to the their headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, to attend The Art of Entrepreneurship Event.  In celebration of #5by20 artisan products now being made available for sale both online and at the World of Coke gift shop, bloggers were hosted for a fun one-day event to meet some of the inspiring women behind it all, and attend the "unveiling" of these beautiful, handcrafted items made from recycled materials.   These gorgeous items are now all available for sale at the Coca-Cola store online.  100% of the proceeds goes back to the artisan. To give you a little background, Coca-Cola's #5by20 initiative is a plan to help 5 million women entrepreneurs by the year 2020.  This includes all kinds of assistance, from business training and guidance to financial help in getting started.  You can watch video clips and/or read some of the fascinating success stories of women who've had their life significantly improved by participating … [Read more...]

This is What Empowerment Really Means

Sandy is 22 years old, and lives in Mexico.  She was raised in poverty, abused and neglected by her parents, and finally raised by her grandmother.  They lived in a landfill community where most people sort garbage all day, every day.  There were very few opportunities in life for her, and very little hope for change. Then Sandy heard about Coca-Cola's 5X20 initiative, and the training being made available locally in her area by an organization called Mitz.  (You can read my account of Judy's inspiring story, founder of Mitz, here: Helps Women Leave Garbage Heap for a Better Life.) The Mitz Foundation offered to give Sandy training and employment creating hand woven bags and other artisan products, made from recycled Coca-Cola labels. One day per week, Mitz taught Sandy a series of 9 lessons on weaving, and how to assemble a bag.  By her own admission, she struggled with it, and the craft did not come easily for her.  "They told me my bags were not such good quality", she … [Read more...]

Einstein Bros. Bagels Coupon for Free Bagel Topper

My family and I have an absolute favorite bagel shop:  Einstein Bros. Bagels.  They have an awesome variety on the menu, and we love it all!  We order the gamut, from frosted sugar cookie for my son, to a egg-spinach-mushroom-and-swiss bagel sandwich for me.  Mmmmm... I can taste it now! Well, now the order decision making process just got even more challenging, with some delicious new options!  Einstein Bros. Bagels just added a new menu item to inject some fun and creativity into how people “top” their bagels – beyond the basic cream cheese and lox: Bagel Toppers. Served open-faced, new Einstein Bros. Bagel Toppers are available in four innovative flavor combinations that are sure to please everyone from the certified chocoholic to the vegetable lover. To find out which Bagel Topper is your match please click here. Spicy Devil: a toasted bagel with Jalapeno Salsa shmear, bacon and sliced jalapenos Nutty Monkey with Nutella: a toasted bagel with Nutella hazelnut chocolate … [Read more...]