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    Around Columbus,  Featured,  For Wives,  Reviews & Giveaways

    How To Save Money and Time, The Easy Way

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    This post is sponsored by CurrentC via Blog Meets Brand. All opinions are my own.

    Have you been running around town like a crazy person this season? I know I’m not the only one who has said “Yes” to attending too many holiday events. Although I usually enjoy the time I spend at these special events and the fab people that attend, exhaustion kicks in and I find myself wanting more time for myself and family.

    Since I usually overbook myself, I typically do holiday shopping (or any shopping besides for groceries) online. This year I have braved the crowds and have done some shopping at large retailers. Surprisingly, it has not been too bad. I haven’t had to endure long lines due to stores being short staffed or stores having a low inventory on the items I am looking for, which is a holiday shopper’s dream, right!?

    Saving Time

    Speaking of dreams, we have been in need of new bedding for a while now. My desire for more time for rest–good rest–led me to make a trip to Sears to find the perfect set of new sheets. I thought maybe if I get new bedding, the rest that I do get, will be more enjoyable and beneficial. We made it a family trip to the store, but when we arrived I realized both of our daughters had fallen asleep, which meant I needed to make my shopping trip as quick as possible. Luckily, I was able to easily find exactly what I wanted. Checking out was just as quick because prior to heading to the store I connected my checking account to the CurrentC app. Doing so allowed me to whip out my phone and easily scan a QR code to complete the transaction. Using the app had me back in my car with my husband and girls in just a few minutes.

    How to Save Money and Time, The Easy Way | MommyWifeLife

    Convenience at the Pump

    The best thing happened on our way home from the mall! We stopped at Exxon Mobil for a quick fill up and before ever exiting the car, we initiated payment via CurrentC. After getting the desired amount of gas the transaction was completed through the app all while sitting in the car. Talk about convenience! Stopping at a gas station during the winter months in Columbus can be daring. Cold winds bite every part of you the second you step out of the car. It’s not unbearable, but it sure is inconvenient to be outside of the warmth of the car longer than you have to be.

    How to Save Money and Time, The Easy Way | MommyWifeLife

    In a previous post I shared how to use CurrentC, which is a free mobile app that is a mobile wallet, currently in beta and available only in Columbus, Ohio. Users can use the in-app location finder to see what retailers near them accept payment through CurrentC. Folks outside of Columbus should keep an eye out for the national roll out of the app. (You can read my post on how it all works here.) 

    I love the concept of the app because it takes the place of carrying several loyalty cards, clipping coupons and checking/credit cards and gift cards. App users can use their checking account to via the app at any merchant that accepts payment through CurrentC. Anything that can save time and money is worth using.

    How to Save Money and Time, The Easy Way | MommyWifeLife

     

    How to Save Your Money and Time, The Easy Way | MommyWifeLife

     What could you use more of, money or time?

  • Featured,  Parenting,  Reviews & Giveaways

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for A Minions Movie Night

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MinionsAtTarget #CollectiveBias

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minions Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    Family time in our home almost always includes snacks, blankets on the floor and a kid-friendly film or show. Spending that time together helps us to unplug from the world and connect and build memories with each other. My preschoolers are fans of Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 and have viewed both countless times. One of the reasons they love the films is the inclusion of the little yellow guys, better known as minions. Minions are funny, have their own language and unpredictable, which is why kids everywhere are fans. On December 8, the Minions movie will be available for everyone to have in their home. Target is making sure families have the opportunity to get the Minions movie and then some. When you pre-order the Blu-Ray/DVD Metal Pak Deluxe Edition of the Minions movie online, you will also receive a $5 gift card. Your copy from Target will include 40 minutes of exclusive content! Whether choosing to get the movie shipped to your home on the release day or picking it up at the customer service desk, this option offers great convenience for us busy folks.

    I have shared several times on the blog about my love (almost addiction) to shopping at Target. It’s both a blessing and a curse to live 4-5 minutes minutes away from the store. I’m pretty sure I know at least 3/4 of the regular team members.

    You and I both know one can get practically anything from Target, which is why I love visiting. I’m a one-stop-shop type of shopper, especially when I am preparing for a party or family night. I can always count on them to have most of the items I need for a great event, which is why I headed there to get all my supplies for a minions movie night.

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    What’s a movie night without snacks? Although I don’t consider myself the most crafty mom on the block, I thought it would be fun to create a snack that was inspired by our lovable animated minion pals.

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    Stove-popped popcorn is one of my favorite snacks, so snacking on some is a must when I’m watching a movie with the family. Since we are in high anticipation of the Minions movie, I thought it would be a treat to have minion inspired popcorn balls for the kids to enjoy.

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    Getting a decent looking minion face on the popcorn balls was a little tricky and took some creativity. I knew, however, whatever I came up with, the girls would love simply because it was a minion. If you’re game for things to get a little messy, get the kids involved so they can make their own minion popcorn ball!

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    MINION INSPIRED POPCORN BALLS
    Yields 12
    Write a review
    Print
    STOVE-POPPED POPCORN
    1. 2 tablespoons coconut oil (you can use vegetable or canola oil if desired)
    2. 1 cup Market Pantry popcorn kernels
    POPCORN BALL MIXTURE
    1. 2 cups sugar
    2. 1 1/3 cups water
    3. 1/2 cup Market Pantry light corn syrup
    4. 1 teaspoon white vinegar
    5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
    6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ITEMS NEEDED FOR DECORATING
    1. black licorice (package of standard size and the nib size)
    2. large marshmallows
    3. gray/silver decorating food gel
    4. blue cupcake wrappers
    INSTRUCTIONS
    1. POPCORN: In a large pot and on medium-high, melt coconut oil. Oil should cover the bottom of the pan. Once melted, add popcorn kernels. Continuously gently move the pot to ensure kernels are evenly heated. Once a kernel pops, cover pot with lid and continue to move the pot around until the majority of kernels have popped. Set aside in bowl.
    2. POPCORN BALL MIXTURE: Combine sugar, water, light corn syrup, vinegar and salt in a saucepan. Cook on high heat until mixture boils for 4-5 minutes or reaches 255 degrees fahrenheit. Stir in vanilla.
    3. POPCORN BALLS: Pour popcorn out on a cookie sheet and pour syrup mixture over the popcorn, coating every piece. Allow the popcorn to cool. Place cupcake wrappers in cupcake pan and set aside. Grease hands with coconut oil and form popcorn into balls. Place balls into the cupcake wrappers. Lightly cover and cool in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to speed up the firming process.
    4. MAKE MINIONS: Cut marshmallows in half or thirds, depending on the desired eye size. Cut licorice (standard size) in half long ways and trim an inch off to form headband for googles. Cut licorice (nibs size) to form eyes and stick them onto the sticky side of the cut marshmallow. Add headband to the popcorn ball, followed by the eyes. To finish the goggles, outline the eyes with gray or silver decorating gel. To add hair, cut licorice into small pieces.
    NOTES
    1. The popcorn balls should be sticky enough to act as glue. If more “glue” is needed, use the decorating gel.
    By Teri Watters

    If you’re excited about the Minions movie, pre-order your copy of the Minions movie at Target.com! If you’re looking for other licensed Minions items for your movie night, you can find tons at your local Target. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook to stay in the know!

    What are your favorite movie night snacks and recipes?

     Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls | MommyWifeLife

  • Featured,  Home Education,  Parenting,  Reviews & Giveaways

    A Homeschooler’s $50 and Under Holiday Gift Guide

    A Homeschooler's $50 And Under Holiday Gift Guide

    This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure here. Some products were received for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

    What should be on a homeschooler’s Christmas list? I’ve discovered these great items and put them together in this homeschooler’s holiday gift guide so you too can discover and share these items with your little learners, creating fun-filled days of learning.

    A Homeschooler’s $50 And Under Holiday Gift Guide

    Delta Character Chairs 

    A Homeschooler's $50 And Under Holiday Gift Guide | MommyWifeLife

    If you’re raising avid readers, then great books and a cozy corner is a must! If your child doesn’t get excited about diving into a book, add their favorite characters to the mix. Delta offers both club and upholstered chairs with characters that kiddos love and sized perfectly for children ages 1-5 years old. Their club chairs ($29.99 at Target.com) are available in CarsFrozenMinnie Mouse and Ninja Turtles. The upholstered chairs, like the one pictured above, (currently $47.99 at Target.com) are available in Frozen and Paw Patrol. You can grab yours at Target.com. If you’re looking for the Paw Patrol style you’ll have to order online and choose store pickup at your local Target store.

    I received the Delta Chair as part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts program.

    Mama May I Story Starters

    A Homeschooler's $50 And Under Holiday Gift Guide

    The Mama May I Story Starters kit ($25.00 at Educents.com) inspires children of all ages to use their imagination and create awesome stories. Get your learners enthused about creative writing and storytelling with this classic tool. Each Story Starters kit comes in a tin box which includes:

    • 4 Six-sided topic wooden dice
    • Moleskin notebook for writing a story
    • Pen
    • Symbol key
    • Play instructions and suggestions

    This kit would make a great stocking stuffer and can last for years to come. Want ideas on how to play? Check out my full review of the item.

    Highlights Puzzle Buzz Club

    A Homeschooler's $50 and Under Holiday Gift Guide | MommyWifeLife

    Puzzle lovers, like my children, could sit for long amounts of time with Highlight’s Puzzle Buzz Club (Regularly $5.95 per book, plus $2.98 S+H). This club is kids ages 4-7 and includes:

    • 2 new books every four weeks
    • 32 pages of fun for quiet time or for sharing with friends
    • Mazes, word games, codes and more activities
    • 3 sticker puzzles in each book

    Highlights is currently running a great promotion for you to get the first two books free! Click the link below to take advantage of the deal.
    Receive 2 FREE books + a free tote with every Puzzle Buzz purchase at Highlights.com

    Highlights Top Secret Adventures Club

    A Homeschooler's $50 and Under Holiday Gift Guide | MommyWIfeLifeYep, another Highlights Item has made my list. I grew up with Highlights and their brand has been consistently providing great resources and fun to children for years. The Highlights Top Secret Adventures Club is for cool kids ages 7 and up who are curious and, of course, adventurous. Readers can “travel the world” through each book which includes:

    • Mission Assignment Letter
    • 32-page Puzzle Books
    • Villain Cards
    • Fact-filled Country Guidebooks
    • Case File storage Portfolio
    • FREE World Map and Passport with Visa Stickers
    • FREE Mission Tag and Spy Ring

    The Top Secret Adventures Club books are regularly $13.95 per kit every four weeks, plus shipping for $2.95. There’s a special going on to receive a kit for FREE plus 99¢ for shipping.

    Melissa & Doug Tabletop Puppet Theater

    A Homeschooler's Holiday Gift Guide | MommyWifeLife

    Turning cardboard boxes into cars, boats, and puppet theaters for puppet shows excites my daughters more than a lot of things. Like most children, they love using their imaginations AND putting on shows. If you’re kiddo does too, Melissa & Doug have the perfect tabletop theater ($49.99 on Melissa & Doug) to allow your kids’ imaginations run wild. If you’re familiar with Melissa & Doug then you know you can count on their toys to be made of top quality materials that last.

    Petz Beach Nintendo 3DS Game

    A Homeschooler's $50 And Under Holiday Gift Guide | MommyWifeLife

    After long days of learning, kids can wind down by playing their Nintendo 3DS. Animal lovers will love the Petz Beach by UBISOFT ($11.46 on Amazon.com) where they can explore sandy beaches while learning about a couple dozen breeds of dogs, several breeds of cats, plants and insects.

    What’s on your Christmas list for your classroom?

  • Featured,  Home Education,  Reviews & Giveaways

    Creative Writing With Mama May I Story Starters

    Creative Writing with Mama May I Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

     This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure here.

    Getting a three year old and four year old to sit down to practice writing is hit and miss. Sometimes writing time ends up as doodling time or arts and crafts. Getting a three year old and four year old to use their imagination, however, is no challenge at all. The girls and I recently had a little fun with a new learning tool that sparks creativity in writing and story-telling, Mama May I Story Starters.

    Mama May i Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

    Mama May I Story Starters

    The Mama May I Story Starters kit inspires children of all ages to use their imagination and create awesome stories. The kit comes in a tin box which includes:

    • 4 six-sided topic wooden dice
    • a Moleskin notebook for writing a story
    • a pen
    • symbol key
    • play instructions and suggestions

    Mama May i Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

    How We Used the Story Starters

    Mama May I includes several suggestions on how to use the Story Starters. However you choose to use them will most likely result in building skills such as improv, public speaking, problem-solving, greater vocabulary and imaginative thinking.

    Mama May i Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

    I intended to use the kit by rolling the dice and having my daughters share a story aloud while I wrote it all down; however, with preschoolers you often have to go with the flow and allow them to lead the learning time. We rolled the dice and landed on the images representing a party, a boy, the sun, and signs. As I prepared to write, my oldest daughter said she wanted to draw the story. It took me zero seconds to realize that was a brilliant idea. So, we got out our drawing supplies and created a story through art about a boy’s birthday party that started out with lots of sunshine and turned into a snowy party. The activity was a great way to spend 30 minutes of our morning together and added some cute art to our cork board.

    Mama May i Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

    Creative Writing With Mama May i Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

    Other Ways to Use the Story Starters

    In a Classroom: Divide students into groups. Have each group roll dice to see what prompts they will use to create a story.  Have each group write their stories and share with the class.

    While Traveling: Road trips without activities for little ones can be challenging. Roll the Story Starters dice and have each person in the car share a story that includes each object or idea that the roll decided.

    Family Time: Create your own bedtime story with the Story Starters. Your family will never hear the same bedtime story twice. Take turns and allow both the parents and kids to share stories.

    What’s great about this resource is it can be used for many years. The quality of the hand-stamped images on each die, topic suggestions and tin box makes the Mama May I Story Starters capable of encouraging creative writing from preschool years all the way to high school.

    You can find this Mama May I resource and MANY others at Educents.com.

    Other Writing Tools on Educents

    Writing Poetry With Children– Step-by-step directions lead students through writing couplets, cinquains, haikus, and limericks.

    The Essential Homeschool Writing Tool– Kids of all ages follow WriteWell’s self-directed instructions to compose a full essay.

    Cursive Writing Hero Worksheets– Meet the Educents Heroes! They’re here to help your child learn cursive upper and lower alphabet letters with 53 pages of FREE writing worksheets!

    I received this product for review purposes. All thoughts expressed are 100% my own.

    What are your favorite writing resources for children?

  • Featured,  Home Education,  Parenting,  Reviews & Giveaways

    2015 Mom’s Guide To All Things Holiday: Multicultural Books For Young Avid Readers

    2015 Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | Multicultural Books for Young Avid Readers

    According to the CCBC, in 2014 over 5,000 children’s books were published. Only 13% of those books were about people of color and of that 13%, only 17% were written by authors of color. These statistics say two things: 1. There’s a need for authors of color and 2. There’s a huge need for multicultural books. So when I discover a new multicultural children’s book or new authors of color I am eager to share it with my family and friends. This year I was introduced to a few new multicultural children’s authors, books and programs that are just as excited about providing children with literature that is both entertaining and a reflection of themselves.

    Multicultural Books By Multicultural Authors & Products to Add to Your Young Reader’s Holiday List

    Beautiful Beautiful Me by Ashley Sirah Hinton

    Every shade and ethnicity is represented in this multicultural book. Children are encouraged to be accepting of themselves and others, seeing all skin as beautiful. You can see the gorgeous illustrations inside the book here.

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

     

    Curiously Coiled by Fila Antwine

    Naturally curly hair is being embraced by more people and cultures than ever. If you have little curlies in your home, this book is great for helping them to appreciate and love their curls. It may even cause you to want curls too! Learn more about Curiously Coiled here.

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

     

    I Am Amazing/You Are Amazing by Ty Allan Jackson

    A little encouragement goes a long way, whether your an adult or child. Pictures of real children and words that empower youngsters can be found on every page of I Am Amazing/You Are Amazing. This work by Ty Allan Jackson is also two books in one! Click here for all the details.

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

     

    When I Close My Eyes by Ty Allan Jackson

    Great illustrations are key to grabbing the attention of young readers and When I Close My Eyes has them. If your kiddo enjoys using their imagination and is a big dreamer, they will love this picture book. Take a peek inside the book.

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

     

    Bee Me Bookshelf, Created by Nina Candia

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

    I discovered Bee Me Bookshelf on Instagram. They are on my list of black businesses to support which is why I’m including them in this gift guide. Bee Me Bookshelf is a monthly subscription where children receive age appropriate books. They currently offer subscription packages for two groups, ages 0-3 and ages 4-8. The mission of this company is simple. They are “.. committed to providing access to important books that reflect our diverse world, and a robust curriculum to help children think through and understand the words they are reading.” Visit their website to find out how you can subscribe.

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

     

    This post is a part of the 2015 Mom’s Guide to All Things Holiday Blogger Collaboration. Scroll down to see what fellow bloggers are talking about this week!

    Monday: Gift Guide & Shopping Tips

    Kat of Type 4 Naturals

    Danielle of Mamademics

    Tuesday: Holiday Family Activities & Traditions

    Toya of Mrs. Toya Carter

    Cynthia of Mrs. Wright Writes

    Jennifer of  Baby Making Machine

    Wednesday: Holiday DIY and/or Home Decor

    Sheena of Sophistishe

    Bee of Bee So Simple

    Erin of Live Pretty on a Penny

    Britney Britney Dearest

    Thursday: Holiday Recipe

    Shanna of Ms. Naturally Random

    Arnitris of Blessed Be the Tie

    La Dale of Johanna’s Mama

    Friday: Holiday Fashion

    Tamara of Simply T Nicole

    Diedre Anthony of Are Those Your Kids

  • Featured,  For The Home,  Reviews & Giveaways

    Strengthen Your Husband | ESV Men’s Devotional Bible {Review & Giveaway}

    Strengthen Your Husband | ESV Men's Devotional Bible Review

    In recent news we have seen nothing but turmoil and evil acts. Violence and immoral activity is happening world-wide; however I know that what the world needs in order to eliminate the hate and cruelty is men. We don’t need just any group of men, but men who are strong physically, mentally and spiritually. The most important characteristic of the type of man needed to bring change to the world is being a lover of God. Women can help make this happen

    Women are no doubt world changers, however, I want us to think of the ways you can strengthen our husbands so he can be the lover of God and world changer that he’s been called to be. When I want my husband to make a change or to come to a realization of anything, I tend to talk. By talk I mean repeatedly reminding him, in an attempt to drill it into his mind. This is the tendency of most women. Face it, we like to talk. I’ve heard that women speak about 20,000 words per day compared to a man’s 7,000. (Those numbers make me want to count my words to see if it’s true.) Needless to say, women are just wired to talk and express themselves. Since men are of fewer words, the amount of words they want to hear are probably even smaller, which is why the words that we choose to speak to our mates should be meaningful.

    Strengthen Your Husband

    Be An Encourager

    When those “I told you so” moments come up, fight the urge to rub it in his face. And when he makes a bad decision, beating him up about it will do nothing but kill his spirit. Stop and find the good and encourage him in a way you would want to be encouraged. Let him know you have his back, help him fix the problem if he’s open to it and remind him of his strengths.

    Depend on the Holy Spirit

    Everything isn’t worth talking about. Most things are better off being given to God. Allow Him to work on your behalf by speaking to your husband Himself. By being quiet you are giving your husband the opportunity to hear from the One that matters most.

    Give Him Resources

    An understanding of who he is will cause the most growth in his character and spirituality. Give him books, music, and a Bible that reinforces the messages of strength he needs most.

    ESV (English Standard Version) Men’s Devotional Bible

    ESV Men's Devotional Bible | MommyWifeLife

    I have read many versions of the Bible. I grew up reading out of the King James version and it wasn’t until recent years that I began exploring other versions. The English Standard Version is easy to read and understand, which makes me want to continue reading passages. This beautifully bound Crossway publication was specifically designed for me and includes features that will facilitate a true understanding of God’s word.

    Features of the Crossway ESV Men’s Devotional Bible
    include:

    • 365 Devotions
    • Book Introductions
    • 14 Articles
    • Dictionary of Key Terms
    • Ribbon Marker
    • Smyth-Sewn Binding
    • Lifetime Guarantee

    ESV Men's Devotional Bible | MommyWifeLife

    A strong man will build his faith and trust on The Rock, will raise up a family of Believers who exhibit God’s love to all. God’s love is the answer to all the issues we have in this world. We simply need people to receive that revelation.

    Purchase a Copy

    ESV Men’s Devotional Bible

    Find out more about Crossway

    Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

    ESV Men’s Devotional Bible
    Giveaway (Now Closed)

    Winner–Shekea M.

    This men’s devotional Bible makes a perfect gift for the man in your life, whether your spouse or son. You have a chance to win a copy by following these simple guidelines:

    1. Leave a comment below sharing who you would give this Bible to.
    2. For an extra entry, VISIT and LIKE the MommyWifeLife Facebook page. Return to this post and comment LIKED. If you are already a fan of the page, let me know in a separate comment stating, “Already a fan”.
    3. Giveaway ends November 27 at 9pm. Winner will be randomly chosen and notified through MommyWifeLife social media accounts, as well as a reply to their comment. Be sure to follow the blog on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

    Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. This post includes affiliate links.

     Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

  • Featured,  For The Home

    Loaded Bacon Ranch Potatoes |Savvy Sassy Moms Holiday Blog Hop Holiday Appetizers & Side Dishes

    Savvy Sassy Moms Holiday Blog Hop: Holiday Appetizers & Side Dishes

    Besides spending time with my family, eating during the holiday season is my favorite activity. I mean, who doesn’t like to walk into a home bursting with the aroma of comfort food and desserts? If you’re headed to a holiday party, don’t show up empty handed. Holiday parties (or any party for that matter) are a drag without great food. When food at an event is lackluster, I can easily become hangry (hungry+angry). Bacon Ranch Potatoes is a great holiday appetizer or side dish for your next party.

    Bacon Ranch Potatoes Recipe

    I’m a meet and potatoes kind of girl, so this simple recipe is one of my new favorites! I recently made it for my daughter’s fourth birthday party and our party guests devoured them. If you have 35 minutes, you have plenty of time to cook up this dish.

    Loaded Bacon Ranch Potatoes | MommyWifeLife

    Some of my favorite items are included in this dish–potatoes, cheese, bacon, and ranch. I honestly can’t say I have ever met anyone who didn’t like these foods, probably because they are found in many comfort food dishes.

    Loaded Bacon Ranch Potatoes | MommyWifeLife

    I’m not a pro when it comes to cutting potatoes; luckily, the taste isn’t effected. Cook these babies, toss ranch on them and they are halfway to being a party in your mouth.

    Loaded Bacon Ranch Potatoes | MommyWifeLife

    Throw the dish in the oven and in half an hour you have a delicious dish that will keep your guests in the kitchen.

    loaded_bacon_ranch_potatoes__finished_mommywifelife

     

    LOADED BACON RANCH POTATOES
    Serves 6
    Write a review
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    Prep Time
    5 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Total Time
    35 min
    INGREDIENTS
    1. 1 lb red potatoes
    2. 1/4 cup ranch dressing
    3. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    4. 1/2 cup bacon* pieces
    5. 1/2 bunch green onion
    INSTRUCTIONS
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare bacon by cutting it in small pieces and cooking them in a small skillet. Drain and set aside. Wash red potatoes and cut into bite size pieces and leave skin on. Place in large pot and boil for 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and place in large bowl. Toss and coat potatoes with ranch. Place potatoes in baking dish, making sure they are evenly placed in the pan. Cover potatoes with cheese and 3/4 of the bacon (leave some for topping later) Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle bacon and green onion on top. Serve warm.
    NOTES
    1. *I used turkey bacon.
    By Teri Watters

    Share Your Holiday Appetizers & Side Dishes Recipes in the Savvy Sassy Moms Holiday Blog Hop!

     

    Savvy Sassy Moms Holiday Blog Hop: Holiday Appetizers & Side Dishes

    Week 1 Hostesses:

    Teri of MommyWifeLife

    Desiree of The Funny Mom Blog

    Amy Gene of O’Leary Love

    Rebecca of Mainley Mama

    Elizabeth of Chasin’ Mason

    Savvy Sassy Moms

    How to Participate

    • Link up your favorite holiday appetizer or side dish by putting the URL and name of their blog post into the InLinkz widget below.

    • Visit 3-5 other blogs in the Holiday Blog Hop and leave a comment on their posts.

    • Share this Holiday Blog Hop with your friends and readers on social media using the #SavvySassyHoliday hashtag.

    • Head to Savvy Sassy Moms next week to link up for Week 2 which is all about Sweet Treats!

  • Featured,  For Wives

    Tips To Survive the Holidays With In-Laws

    How to Survive Holidays with In-Laws

    Everyone has different experiences with the families they marry into. Some have real-life horror stories when it comes to in-laws and others have great experiences, making it easy to love their new family. I can’t say I have experienced awful in-laws, but I know what it’s like to have to get used to a new family, especially during the holidays. When my husband and I got married we decided we would alternate Thanksgivings with our families. Every other year we alternate between being with my family in Indiana or here in Columbus with my husband’s family. This decision wasn’t difficult because we both enjoy being with our families, but boy did I miss (and still miss) being with my family on holidays. Getting used to new people, traditions and ways can be exciting and interesting, and for some, uncomfortable.

    In recent months I have had conversations with people who are newly weds or who are soon to be married. In every conversation the topic of in-laws came up. So, for those who are apprehensive about spending the upcoming holidays with in-laws, here are tips to consider.

    4 Tips, Plus a Bonus, on How to Survive Holidays with In-Laws

    Tip #1: Be Yourself

    What do they/will they think of me? Am I too loud am I too nice? Stop questioning who you are. You don’t have to pretend to be anyone or anything that you aren’t. There’s no need to conform to be accepted. Your in-laws should love you for who you are. If they don’t, that is a their problem and they will have to get use to you being you.

    Tip #2: Be Genuine & Honest

    Along with being yourself, be honest. You’re allowed to express yourself and voice your opinion even if it isn’t the opinion of the majority. Genuinely engage with the family. You may not become best friends with with every member of the family (which is ok), but allowing genuine relationships to develop should be your goal. You are family and should find a way to connect.

     Tip #3 Bite Your Tongue

    Just like your blood relatives, in-laws can sometimes say something to you or about you that rubs you the wrong way. Although it’s ok to peacefully defend yourself, some things are simply not worth the fight. Sometimes sharing your opinion isn’t appropriate or necessary, so be wise when responding or giving your two cents.

    Tip # 4: They Aren’t YOUR Family

    I know, in tip #2 I told you that your in-laws are your family, but hear me out on this tip. The best advice I have received in regards to adjusting to having in-laws is, “Everyone’s family is different.” This helped me to understand that it’s ok that your in-laws have traditions you’re not used to and that everyone doesn’t have to think the same way. You and your spouse don’t always see things the same way, why?  Because people’s life experiences make them who they are, you will always run into people who aren’t exactly like you. At the end of the day, do your best to accept others for who they are.

    BONUS TIP

    You don’t necessarily like everyone you have ever come across. You aren’t obligated to like everyone and everyone isn’t obligated to like you; however, being cordial hasn’t ever hurt anyone.

    How to Survive Holidays with In-Laws

    If you’re brave enough to answer, how has your experience been spending holidays with in-laws?

  • Featured,  Home Education,  Reviews & Giveaways

    Let God’s Big WORLD Teach Your Children About Their World

    Let God's Big WORLD Teach Children About Their World

    This post is sponsored by Educents. All thoughts are 100% my own.

    As a parent and homeschooler, I want to make sure my children receive a well-rounded education that includes an array of topics. I have no problem admitting that I don’t know it all and that I look for great resources such as books, professionals, videos and some media to help educate my kiddos.

    Supplemental materials are essential and discovering God’s Big WORLD, one of three publications from WORLD News Group, offered a breath of fresh air to our usual lettersnumbers, and phonics learning routine. God’s Big WORLD is a magazine that offers a glimpse into God’s creation for children in grades pre-kindergarten-1st. Issues are full of colorful pictures and photography sparking, children’s interest about subjects that probably would not cross the average parent/teacher’s mind, but provide valuable bits of knowledge.

    Our first look at the God’s Big WORLD magazine included:

    • Learning about trees and how to tell their age
    • Reading and reciting a scripture related to trees
    • Taking a closer look at cicadas, which led to us looking up videos to hear their sounds
    • Discussing what instruments have strings
    • Taking a look at the world map and identifying continents
    • Completing a worksheet to work on sequences

    God's Big WORLD Magazine is great for supplemental learning. | MommyWifeLife

    God's Big WORLD Magazine is great for supplemental learning. | MommyWifeLife

    My preschool age daughters were totally engaged by all the cool topics and ready to continue with lesson number two. Thankfully, God’s Big WORLD has a website and app that allows learning to continue, even when mom or dad aren’t instructing so the girls had a chance to watch a few videos on the website.

    God's Big WORLD Magazine is great for supplemental learning. | MommyWifeLife

    What I Love About The Magazines

    • Pictures of real people, objects and places are on every page
    • Current world events and culture are shared
    • Children can learn fun facts about the world around them
    • The magazine is organized by lesson, which allows parents and children to have a structured experience (if they desire) while exploring the issue
    • Scripture and inspiration is woven throughout the publications without a cheesy presentation
    • Several teaching subjects (i.e. math, reading, geography, etc) are included in each issue
    • An easy and great way to share God’s creation and word with your family

    WORLD News Group also publishes WORLDkids (suggested for children in grades 2nd-5th) and WORLDteen (suggested for children in grades 6th-9th). Each magazine offers age-appropriate content, as well as interactive websites that include additional content and learning through videos and quizzes. They also have apps that are free to download on mobile devices.

    Let God's Big WORLD Teach Children About Their World

    You can learn more about all WORLD News Group publications, how to subscribe to the magazine that best fits your child’s age, including God’s Big WORLD here.