Earrings and Buttons

lots of earrings + colorful buttons = fun & happy organization  
 My daughter thinks this {fantastic} tip from Peter Walsh (as seen on Rachael Ray show) is the perfect solution to disappearing earrings!

MyMemories Suite Giveaway *over*

Are your scrapbooking supplies taking up space and collecting dust?   
My Memories can help with that!  
"MyMemories Suite Version 4 digital scrapbooking software is a fun and creative way to create scrapbooks, photobooks and more!"

CLOSED.  Winner-- emeraldmaz!!

If you're already a digital scrapbooking enthusiast or just want to get started you can enter to win MyMemories Suite right here!

TWO entries possible--
1 REQUIRED: Visit My Memories and choose a kit you like-- leave a comment about it.
2 Do one of the following and leave a comment for an extra entry: Follow My Memories facebook, My Memories Twitter, subscribe to My Memories blog or join My Memories mailing list (right side of blog, scroll down).
*leave your email in comment if it's not visible on your blogger page

*Giveaway ends March 14th at 10 pm MST*
-winner notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond or new winner will be chosen-

Paper Dolls from Peonies and Poppyseeds

Peonies and Poppyseeds has a free paperdolls printable with 3 cute girls and another one with swimwear for the girls!  Her skeleton paper dolls are also cute!

MyMemories Suite Review

** I've invited my little sister Charlee to join me on Fantastic Find.  This review is written by her.**

I am all for anything homemade. Take, for example, the extra things I do for my 8 month old daughter. Each week I make her diaper wipes as well as baby food from scratch. No jarred stuff around this place. But when it comes to scrapbooking, I make zero extra time to sit down and create beautiful pages of tedious craftiness. Maybe if I had a dedicated room or space for scrapbooking specifically, I might make the time to do it. Though, who seriously has an extra room in their house to dedicate to all things scrapbooking? Even if you do, are you really in there scrapbooking often? I dream of a scrapbooking room, but my life requires more of me. Cooking. Cleaning. For heavens sake, sleeping!

Playing around with the features of My Memories Suite, I realized how much easier it is to digital scrapbook vs. traditional scrapbook. You could lose several minutes per page by searching through your scrapbook supplies to find the exact paper or button you need, but searching for those things in digital format takes much less time. Additionally, with traditional scrapbooking, you have to make sure your page looks just right before gluing everything in place. Using digital scrapbooking software, you have the unique opportunity to play around with different paper and layouts before you ever have to "glue" anything in place.

Both traditional and digital scrapbooking can be very costly. Using My Memories Suite costs money to download to your computer, and if you want to buy more digital paper or embellishments, you need to spend more money still. I find it easier to spend money online, because I don’t have to swipe a card or hand over some cash. If money isn’t an issue, then this is an obvious advantage over running to the scrapbooking store to gather supplies.

After downloading My Memories Suite, I spent a few hours just navigating through different things. It has a small learning curve, but once you know where everything is, you can get a whole book done in a cinch. After spending some more time on the program, I was able to create a template for a photo book and a few pages for a calendar. I loved using the shadow feature for any embellishment I placed on the pages. It makes the pages look more like a traditional scrapbook with 3D elements. As for some of the truly digital features, I didn't find a use for them for my specific projects. You can add music, videos, or links to web pages to the albums if you are truly just going to leave the book or project in digital format. It would be compared to using Microsoft Powerpoint, and you could send the project in an email to friends and family.

So while traditional scrapbooking can take up a lot of space in your house, digital scrapbooking only takes up space on your computer. The way I see it, you will spend more money on traditional scrapbooking unless you plan to the very last page. One drawback I do see for digital scrapbooking is that you don't get the real homemade feel that a traditional scrapbook gives you. In the end, it is all a matter of preference, but for someone like me without extra space and money, digital scrapbooking with My Memories Suite makes a lot of sense.

 *Although I received this product free of charge to review, I have made up my own mind about it!

MyMemories Suite is a software for making scrapbook layouts, videos, photo books, cards, decorations and more! From their site: 'Print directly from the software to your home printer or export and take your project to your favorite printer. MyMemories Suite lets you export your projects as JPG, PNG, PDF or SVG.Come back tomorrow to enter to win MyMemories Suite v4 digital scrapbooking software.

Billy Bones Paper Doll

Print a free Billy Bones paper doll with 4 Halloween costumes--
Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolf-Man, Mummy -- on Education.com!

Free Shaun T. Workout on Dr. Oz

Fitness trainer Shaun T., known for his Insanity workouts, was on Dr. Oz this past February.  He shared his 3 steps to getting your best body back and a short workout. 

Shaun T's Miracle 15-Minute Workout is at the top of my fantastic list-- it really gets my heart pumpin' and forehead sweatin'!  It's important to first watch the exercise demonstration in parts 3 and 4 of the episodeGet movin'!

Mom, What's for Dinner?

Delicious dinners my family has enjoyed:

My husband said "This is good!" more than once and he was even eating it wrapped in a 100% whole wheat tortilla (he prefers white flour anything)! 

 It's great to have some of these in the freezer!  Don't skimp on the cheese.  I like making them with pizza sauce for more flavor.  My husband's favorite filling is garlic and ranch sauce with chicken, green peppers, and mozzarella.

Warm and yummy!  Make a batch of brown rice and freeze in 2 cup portions.  Makes this soup easier to throw together.

Put chicken on bottom.  Cook chicken before making the foil-pack if you want oven time to go quicker (see notes at bottom of recipe).

Yummy YoKids Greek Yogurt (little giveaway)

winner: comment #6 DistractedMommy

Yogurt isn't a staple in our fridge but rather a treat.  My kids had never tried Greek yogurt so when I received free coupons for Stonyfield Organic YoKids Greek lowfat yogurt they were excited!  YoKids Greek yogurt has a thicker consistency than what my kids are used to but no mouth puckering tang like Greek yogurt is known for.  My older kids loved it at first spoonful but my littlest dude wouldn't even swallow one bite (more on that below).  Each 3.75 oz. container has 6 grams of protein and no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners.  It's also made with low-fat organic milk.  I'd call that a delicious and nutritious treat, snack, or side to enjoy whenever!

YoKids Greek lowfat yogurt can be found in many grocery stores including Super Target!

YoKids Greek yogurt dots
I saw a fantastic solution for my finicky toddler on Pinterest that originated from Happy Rabbits blog.  I froze some little chubby hand sized YoKids Greek yogurt dots and he was instantly a fan!  Yummy, yummy to his little tummy!
Yogurt dots are so easy to do:  simply use a spoon to plop little drops onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper, then freeze.  Good to know about 'em too: they freeze super quick and once you get them out to enjoy they melt even quicker.  A simple little snack for home but definitely not on-the-go. 

 * I received free coupons to tempt our taste buds.  My kids and I think this yogurt is fantastic!


I have a little yummy YoKids giveaway!  
One winner will receive 2 coupons for YoKids products and 2 coupons for YoKids Greek!  

** To enter: check out the YoBaby & YoKids product lineup and leave ONE comment telling me what sounds yummy for your kids' tummies!  
(Leave an email in comment if it's not in your blogger profile.)

ends 10/4/12 at 10 p.m. MST
open to U.S. residents only
winner will be notified by email

Owly and Wormy Bright Lights and Starry Nights

Andy Runton's 2nd Owly & Wormy picture book, Bright Lights and Starry Nights!, is available for pre-order on Amazon for $9.61-- publication date 11/12!  Price can change at any time but once you order you're guaranteed the lowest price between your order time and the end of the release date.  If you love Owly as much as we do, have a kid that likes happy picture books, or just love cute and friendly owls, then hurry and pre-order Bright Lights and Starry Nights!

★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★   ★

• Andy Runton's Owly graphic novels are wonderful for kids of all ages!
• See how adorable Owly & Wormy are in an Owly animated short!

*post contains affiliate links

RECIPE: Awesome Oat Bars (with wheat germ)

In early spring I bought a 50 lb. bag of rolled oats.  Whoa (says my husband), that's a lot of oats!  I had been thinking about making granola bars because when I actually buy them they're gone in a flash.  I went on a recipe search for a healthier granola bar with a similar texture to Quaker.  I tried two other recipes before I found a practically perfect recipe on Lauren's Latest that is no-bake and was adapted from Rachael Ray.  After making them once I made some changes because I wanted less sugar and more nutrition so the bar was a great snack choice this summer.  My version makes a 9x13 pan and has wheat germ (nutrition in wheat germ) and peanut butter or almond butter.  I make them most often with fresh peanut butter.  I hope you think they're awesome too!

awesome oat bars

Awesome Oat Bars

4 cups *quick cooking oats
2 cups crispy rice cereal
1/3 cup wheat germ

Mix in large bowl, set aside.

1/3 cup peanut butter (any kind) or almond butter
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey

Combine in small saucepan. Heat on medium until bubbling-- turn to low and stir frequently for two minutes.  Take off heat.  Optional: add 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. vanilla. 
Add saucepan ingredients to bowl and stir, stir, stir. Press mixture into 9x13 pan really, really good.  Let sit for a bit (quicker-- fridge for 30 min. or freezer for 15 min.) and then cut into 20 (or more) awesome oat bars! Store at room temperature in airtight container and eat often!

Download the printer friendly Awesome Oat Bars recipe with variations!  The almond variation is my favorite and my friend shared a cinnamon raisin variation she goes crazy for!

--recipe adapted from Lauren's Latest

• The sweetness and saltiness of the oat bars will depend on type of peanut butter (regular, crunchy, natural, fresh) and if you add salt.

*Make your own quick oats by placing a cup at a time in a regular blender and pulsing 3 or 4 times.  I take blender off base after each pulse and shake it up and down once.  Measure again for recipe.

linked to:
GCC Recipe Swap
Show Off Your Stuff Party
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Tasty Tuesdays

Fizzy's Lunch Lab Review

I had never heard of Fizzy's Lunch Lab until I was sent Fizzy's Lunch Lab: Fresh Foods 101 to review.  It's a PBS KIDS GO! web-only series that educates on nutrition topics with crazy characters and strange, but 'cool', freezer food singers.  Professor Fizzy is Lunch Lab's host and Fast Food Freddy is Fizzy's nemesis.  Freezer Burn band is the 'Rock n' Roll Reinforcement' that sings about the webisodes nutrition lesson. 

Fizzy's Educational Goals:
1. To create a positive change in the current state of childhood nutrition.
2. To encourage daily physical activity and exercise.
3. To promote basic nutrition and proper portion-size, the importance of eating three meals a day (especially a good breakfast), and the value of family meal-time interactions.

source: PBS Parents

I watched most of the DVD with my kids one hot afternoon and even learned a thing or two.  Freddy's voice is annoying to me but my kids didn't seem to be bothered by it.  My 5 star rating: the webisodes are short (two stars), educate with entertainment (another star) and the DVD includes lots of printable nutritious recipes for kids to help make (two stars)! 

This show is aimed at kids age 6-8.  You can purchase Fizzy's Lunch Lab: Fresh Foods 101 at PBS SHOP.

* I was provided with a DVD.  This 5 star review is my own opinion.

National Geographic Kids

We didn't own a National Geographic Kids book until I won a twitter giveaway for a National Geographic Kids Almanac. My daughter carried that almanac around for quite a while and she still likes looking through it.  Now we have a mini National Geographic Kids library and get the magazine too!  We like the beautiful and close-up photographs and the interesting facts about the world around us.

Let your kids get some cool summer knowledge by checking out National Geographic Kids books from your library, following NatGeoKIDS on twitter or spending computer time on the National Geographic Kids website!

*post contains affiliate links

Peep and the Big Wide World Review

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Peep and the Big Wide World--  I love that each episode has science or math for little minds, silly stuff to laugh at and funny characters that keep the attention of little eyes!

I was sent Peep and the Big Wide World DVDs to watch with my kids.  Our favorite episode in Peep and the Big Wide World: Bringing Spring is Stick With Me where "Peep goes in search of his favorite (lost) dandelion seed, and discovers that the world is full of sticky things."  We love to sing and even dance to the catchy theme song.  After each episode they show real kids having fun with the shows concept and it gets my kids' minds thinking of what they can do.

Here are a few more titles that will keep Peep viewers happy!

* I was provided with Peep entertainment and the views expressed are my own.

Free Comic Book Day

My kids, 9 and 5½, are very much into comics and are really excited about this Saturday (5/5/12) -- Free Comic Book Day!!!  Our favorite kid comics are Owly by Andy Runton and Tiny Titans by Art Baltazar.  We hope to discover some more great comics at our participating comic book store.

FCBD is always the first Saturday in May.

Cute Puppet Printables from Spring Time Treats

Spring Time Treats shares her cute stick people puppet printables for free!  Most of the printables are also in b&w if you have a kid that likes to color!  My son will love the Space Robots set. Make the puppets magnetic to play with on a metal cookie sheet. 

Browse Spring Time Treats to see lots of cute stick people and check out her Etsy shop too!