Cranberry Orange Cornbread

I was challenged to come up with a Thanksgiving friendly recipe using Fleischmann's Simply Homemade Cornbread Baking Mix. Challenge accepted! You might remember that earlier this year I shared my recipe for Sweet Cornbread Cake using the Simply Homemade Cornbread mix. I think the cornbread cake would be a great Thanksgiving side, but I really wanted to come up with a recipe that reminded me of holiday flavors. I know some people do a cornbread stuffing, but I wanted to go a different direction. Cranberries were the first thing I thought of when I thought about Thanksgiving flavors. One of my favorite flavor combinations is cranberry and orange and so, may I present, Cranberry Orange Cornbread. 

Giving Presents with a Purpose

Have you already started your holiday shopping for this year? I most definitely have. I get as much joy from finding the perfect gift for someone, as I do when I receive a gift. Today, I am sharing a great gift idea that not only will the recipient love, it also gives back.

World Vision asked me if I would like to help spread the word about their Holiday Gift Guide. Of course, I said yes! They even sent me a gift to try out and are offering a giveaway. I'm so excited about the giveaway, so make sure you stick around to the end of the post for that.

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

I'm pretty sure pumpkin mania will be here at least through Thanksgiving. Pumpkin doesn't have to be limited to just desserts and lattes though. You can cook up some yummy savory pumpkin dishes too.
Here is a really simple recipe for Pumpkin Pasta Sauce. This pumpkin sauce is an easy recipe that can often be mistaken for something much more gourmet.  It's a great way to use that small amount of pumpkin that you have leftover.

Littlest Pet Shop Puppy Party

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Littlest Pet Shop. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

My 6 year old loves Littlest Pet Shop toys and the Littlest Pet Shop TV series on Discovery Family Channel. We don't currently have cable but she loves that she can see the first 2 seasons on Netflix. When I say she loves them, that means it's on repeat a lot! She was super excited to host a viewing party and play date for the Littlest Pet Shop Sweetest Pets DVD. Everything was all planned and then the morning of the party, little miss woke up with a 101.5 fever. Boo! Our viewing party of 5 ended up turning into a couch party of 2. She looked like this most of the day, poor dear. I will say that it was a life saver having a new DVD for her to watch though. That at least kept her entertained when she wasn't sleeping.

We're going to have to reschedule the play date, but I already had all the food and favors ready and set-up so I thought I would show those to you anyway. The Littlest Pet Shop is full of animals of all kinds, but my daughter is partial to puppies and kitties so leaned more towards a puppy party.

White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Cups

Are you tired of all things pumpkin yet? I know that I'm not. I would eat pumpkin everything pretty much all year round.

Today I'm sharing a recipe for some White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Cups. Switch out the pumpkin for a peanut butter filling and you have your very own peanut butter cups too!

Snacking on the go with Jif

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

October through the end of December definitely feels like the busiest time of year for my family. Not only are the holidays busy, but we've got school, indoor soccer, scouts, and all other kinds of activities. I've learned that keeping the kids happy while we are on the go means I need to have snacks at the ready.

We have a 25-30 minute commute each way to school and I have learned that I have some very grouchy kids if I don't have a convenient, portable snack at the ready. Our other snacking emergencies usually occur at soccer practice or games. The kids are in different age groups so they have practices and games at different times. It totally wreaks havoc on our normal dinner routine. There's nothing worse than a hungry and tired little soccer player.

A few weeks ago, I was sent some Jif To Go Dippers to try out with my family. They have been a big hit with us! If you haven't seen them yet, they are a small cup of Jif that are packaged with pretzels so you can dip on the go. Jif To Go Dippers come in Creamy Peanut Butter with Pretzels or Chocolate Silk Peanut Butter Spread with Pretzels.

My son thought that the Chocolate Silk was his favorite while my husband preferred the classic Creamy Peanut Butter. I liked them both, but you can't get any more perfect than chocolate and peanut butter!

My son would eat a PBJ sandwich for breakfast, lunch, and dinner given the chance. So I'm not really surprised that he loved them. I just really loved how convenient and portable they were. I can easily throw a few in my purse and I don't have to worry about the pretzels getting crushed or something puncturing the cup of peanut butter. I also appreciate that the packaging was easy to open. I could send this off to school and feel confident that my son could open it on his own.

If you want some more info on Jif To Go Dippers, you can check out Jif on their website, Facebook, or Twitter.


Crafting for a Cause: Creation Celebration with Fiskars

This post could alternatively be called, The Great Flood of 2014. If you aren't familiar with Arizona weather, in late summer we have our monsoon season. A rise in humidity causes winds, really severe dust storms, and heavy rains. The heavy rains can cause flooding because the ground is so dry and the water just runs off the top instead of soaking in. Flooding in the desert sounds crazy, but it does happen. This year we have seen unusually bad storms and lots of flooding. On September 8, 2014, Phoenix saw the wettest day in recorded history. They had to shut down schools, highways were flooded, and the mayor declared a state of Emergency. 
Our elementary school made the news because of the flood damage they received. Lower left is a major interstate that had cars under water.