Connecting With Our Kids Through Family Time This School Year

Today’s tips for connecting with  kids through family time this school year is a sponsored post written on behalf of Heirloom  Audio Productions.

Connecting With Our Kids Through Family Time This School YearEvery year around this time I share one of my most popular back to school blog post. The last time I shared it, I got comments from so many of you who were worried about sending your kids back to school, especially middle and high school. I’m not going to lie, I felt the same way before too which is what led to writing that post in the first place.

The verses inspire me to be more proactive in my kids school experience. It encourages me to be more intentional about connecting with my kids. It pushes me to be more consistent with reading the Bible together, and encouraging them to read and study the Bible on their own. On top of that, we make family dinner time a priority. We use that time during dinner to talk and listen to powerful stories from the past and present.

Connecting With Our Kids Through Family Time This School Year

Connecting With Our Kids Through Family Time This School YearThis is something I started when I homeschooled my kids and believe it helped build their confidence and faith. Dinner time is a super important time to connect with your kids. It’s the perfect time to talk and to listen to stories about courage, faith and character.

Connecting With Our Kids Through Family Time This School YearThis year, we’re using a brand new series from Heirloom Audio Productions. This series is developed by the former sound designers of Adventures In Odyssey™ and provides that same style of Christian entertainment for families.

When we sit down for dinner to listen to the stories it gives us a chance to talk connect and share what’s going on in each of our lives. As we listen to the stories of the great heroes who relied on their faith to overcome obstacles I think it gives the kids courage. It helps them see that we all struggle with things, but it reinforces that they can trust God will help.

This first semester of school, we’ll be listening to The Dragon And The Raven. To help the kids make the connection, I created a meal that fit with the time in history when the story events occurred. The story is centered around the Vikings, who regularly ate baked bread, stews, potato and carrots. The food was eaten using wooden bowls, spoons and knives. Forks hadn’t been invented at that time so a sharp steak knife acted as both knife and fork. The kids really enjoy when I tie food and family time together.

Connecting With Our Kids Through Family Time This School Year

Connecting With Our Kids Through Family Time This School Year

What I like most about Heirloom Audio Productions is that they are based on historical events of believers who relied on God to overcome obstacles. Another thing is, “unlike images on a television show, it forces my children to use their own imaginations. Television doesn’t give kids a chance to think. It’s designed for them to absorb, while audio stories allow them to do both”.

This is going to be an exciting year of growth and development for our children. It’s up to us to pour in all the good we can. I encourage you to carve out time to do something like this with your kids, snap a picture and send it to me. I always love to see how families are using the ideas I share in their own homes.

If you want to recreate this dish, follow the recipe below.


  • 1lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/2 lb of carrots

  • 4 large potatoes

  • 4 tablespoons of flour

  • 3-4 cups of chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

  • salt and pepper

  • steamed rice

  • bread


1. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large frying pan and turn on medium heat. Cut the chicken into 1 inch chunks and season.

2. Brown the chicken for about 10 minutes per side. While the chicken is cooking, peel and cube the potatoes.  Once the chicken is cooked, add the carrots, potatoes, and flour to the pot. Next, stir in the flour and add the broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low and cover for 10 – 15 minutes.

3. While the stew cooks, make a pot of steamed rice. Serve the stew over rice with baked bread.

Connecting With Our Kids Through Family Time This School Year

Heirloom Audio Productions is offering a special discount of 67% off plus you get an extra audio set to keep or give away. Head over here to learn more.

Let’s continue to conversation in the comment section. I read every comment and interact with you there. I’d love to know how you’ll be intentional about connecting with your kids this school year?

Simple Tips to Extend the Life of Your Vacuum Cleaner

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

Simple Tips to Extend the Life of Your Vacuum CleanerOur floors don’t stay clean for more than twelve hours so everyday is pretty much floor cleaning day. If you are a new mom and think you’re failing at homemaking just because your home isn’t spotless, please know that your value is not tied to how neat your home is.

Our home has two floors with a combination of bare and carpeted floors. My children are 11,13 & 15 and my home still doesn’t stay spotless. Training them to help me keep the house clean has been and ongoing job since they were old enough to walk and it will continue until they move out.

Our floor cleaning is divided mostly between me and my kids with my husband pitching in when he’s not working.

I clean the floors in the rooms where my husband and I spend the most time relaxing. I clean these areas because I want them spotless and my kids rarely do a thorough job of cleaning.

My kids are assigned the common areas and their bedrooms. To clean our floors we use the Eureka Brushroll Clean™ with SuctionSeal®, currently available at Walmart, which cleans both carpeted and bare floors.

My daughter’s bedroom puts the most wear and tear on our vacuum because she thinks her bedroom doubles as a beauty salon for her dolls.

Eureka Brushroll Clean™ with SuctionSeal®If she’s not brushing her dolls hair she’s cutting it and most time that hair gets trapped in the vacuum brushroll.

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Laundry Routine: How to Have Laundry with Long Lasting Scent

My #LongLastingScent laundry routine and shopping trip has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 

Laundry Routine How to Have Laundry with Long Lasting ScentOur laundry routine includes the entire family pitching in and wash clothes as the laundry baskets become full.

We use a separate laundry basket for each type of laundry load. This makes starting a load of laundry so much easier.

Each of my children are assigned a task and are responsible for helping with laundry a few times a week.

  • My oldest son loads the washer.

  • My daughter transfers the clean clothes from the washer to the dryer.

  • My youngest son, transfers the laundry from the dryer to the folding table.

  • Everyone collects their clothes from the folding table.

When we wash clothes we use laundry detergent, fabric softener, in-wash scent boosters and bleach as needed.

[Read more…]

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Bar Peanut Butter Creme Trifle

This #Cookies2Crunch shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

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I was looking for sweet dessert recipes to make my family that would be quick and easy to make.

To make things easy on myself, I sometimes rely on ready made ingredients.

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What I decided to make was  a Peanut Butter Creme trifle using the new “limited time only” Nestle Crunch Girls Scout Bars available at Walmart.

The bars come in Peanut Butter Creme, Thin Mints and Caramel & Coconut.

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The bars I bought (see my shopping trip) came in individually wrapped fun size which I took the liberty of taste testing before making the trifles.

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To make this recipe I used.

  • Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Bars (Thin Mint and Peanut Butter Creme)

  • whipped topping

  • pudding cups (vanilla and chocolate)

  • Fudge striped Shortbread cookies

  • pound cake

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Bar

Peanut Butter Creme and Thin Mint Trifles

1. I crushed about 1/2 the pack of cookies by adding them to a zip lock bag and crushing them into small pieces using a mallet.

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2. I coarsely chopped the pound cake into chunks and the Nestle Crunch bar into small pieces.

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3. For the bottom layer of the trifle I added cookie crumbs. Next I added a layer of pudding, then a layer of cake, then whipped topping and the Nestle Crunch Girl Scout bar crumbles.

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This recipe is too easy for you not to try, but if you want to use the Nestle Crunch Girl Scout bars you’ll need to go grab a few boxes at Walmart before they are gone.

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For even more yummy recipe inspiration Nestle products, check out Flavorful

5 Ways to Save on Time and Healthcare Costs for Health Conscious Woman | Health Care Clinic Atlanta

Cbias Disclosure#shop

 Most of us only have a limited amount of time and money to do everything that needs to be done for our selves and our family.

For most of us that time is split between a variety of obligation including family, household, personal issues, bills and others.

In an effort to be a good steward over my time money I always look for way to combine obligations in an effort to save time and money.

It’s similar to what some of you may do with your cable and telephone bill. By combining them you only have one bill to pay plus you save money for having two services with one company.

The same is true when you use Healthcare Clinic Atlanta or any of the clinics located in most major cities around the country.


Here are 5 Way to Save on Time and Healthcare Cost using the Health Clinic.

1. Walgreens has so many great deals each week for everyday household and personal hygiene items. I shop there every week and save 50% or more on items I need for my family. The fact that I can address my healthcare needs and some household shopping in one location will save me time.

2. The Health Clinic is open 7 days a week and weeknights so I don’t have cancel work, school or other obligations to get medical attention.

The hours work well with my schedule.


3. The Walgreens’ Health Clinic is closer to my home than my physicians office so I’ll save travel time as well.

4. I can easily see where it will cost me less for service by using the Walgreens Health Clinic. For example, the Health Clinic charges $15 less for sports physicals than my children’s primary care physician.


5. I also earn Walgreen’s Balance Reward points for prescriptions and immunizations. Those same points can then be used to help pay for the items I buy from Walgreens’ like food, health, beauty products and more.

20140128-110325.jpgTo learn more about the Walgreens Health Clinics in your area connect on Twitter using the hashtag #CollectiveBias #HealthcareClinic.

The Perfect Homemaker Helper: DYSON DC59 Animal

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

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I love a clean and organized home, but with kids, it’s often impossible to keep things tidy.

I love them to death… but they undo my cleaning efforts on a daily basis.

I’d love to have a”helper” come in once a week to help us clean, but my husband is having none of that.

He’s totally against hiring help unless it runs on batteries or electricity.

He jokes all the time about the “helpers” he’s bought me. Their names are oven, washing machine, and dryer just to name a few.

So, since I’m not getting a living, breathing helper anytime soon I figured why not get another electrically powered one.

Best Buy sent us the Dyson DC59 Animal vacuum cleaner a few weeks ago in exchange for our honest opinion about it.

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The Dyson was so easy to assemble and begin using right away.

My husband wasn’t initially impressed until I told him how we could not only vacuum the carpets in the house, but the ones in the car as well.

He didn’t realize the DC59 can be used as a full sized vacuum and a compact vacuum for smaller areas.

Here are some of the features we like:

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  • Wall mount charging station: It took two screws to attach it to the wall and provides a great place to store the vacuum when not in use. (3.5 hour charging time)


  • Wall mount storage station: I love that the vacuum and all of its attachments can be stored in the charging station. With my current vacuum the attachments are connected to the vacuum and often fall off while vacuuming.

  • Ability to Convert: This vacuum can convert to a long handle wand to capture high ceiling, fan and light fixture dust. It can also convert from a regular floor vacuum to a handheld system great for stairs and cars. It’s like four vacuums in one.

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  • Light weight: For this vacuum to pack so much power it’s very light weight making it so much easier to go from upstairs to downstairs and even outdoors with the vacuum. The Dyson weighs only 4.65 lbs… That’s lighter than a newborn full weight baby. My current vacuum weighs as much as a kindergartener.


  • Cordless: I love the fact that this vacuum is cordless. I don’t foresee us paying the vacuum the inside of our cars anymore now that we have this Dyson.

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  • Dual suction settings: I can choose from regular suction to a stronger suction for those high traffic areas. The Dyson has up to 3 times the suction of any other cordless vacuum. Using the high suction drains the battery faster, but gets the job done in less time. In normal suction mode the Dyson has a 26 minute clean time.

Here are some of the key points.

Key Points:

  • New V6 motor = 50% more power than V2; performs like an upright (350 Watts)
  • 2 Tier, 15 Radial Cyclone technology brought to cordless for the first time
  • Wider Re-engineered brush bar for hard floor and carpet cleaning (approx. 10” vs. 8” on the DC44)
  • Spins at 110,000rpm (5 times faster than a Formula One race car engine)
  • 4-pole magnet that delivers 50% more power than its predecessor, V2
  • 3 times smaller than a conventional vacuum motor
  • Re-engineered nickel, manganese cobalt battery
  • 1.5 times more power than its predecessor (same run time, however – the extra capacity is used to power the V6 motor)
  • Boost mode still available
  • Work in parallel to increase airflow and capture fine dust
  • Improved maneuverability due to a smaller ball at the back
  • Self-tightening mechanism keeps the brush bar stable
  • A new configuration of carbon fiber filaments and nylon bristle tips to remove fine dust and dirt across all floor types
  • Extended neck for greater ease of use
  • Soft-touch trigger is easier to hold (makes for longer clean time – people don’t need to keep it on when moving furniture, etc. – less wasted energy)
  • Handle now more comfortable to hold and Only 4.65 lbs
  • Hygienic one-touch bin emptying, now on both sides (for lefties and righties). One push empties bin, 2nd push detaches bin completely for washing, etc.
  • Pre-motor filter located at the top; now much easier to take out for washing

The Dyson DC59 is an amazingly powerful and versatile vacuum and one that I believe is a good investment for my family.

My husband always tells me that when you go cheap you end up wasting money over the long haul. Therefore, I won’t tell you how I’ve been buying 1-2 cheaper vacuums a year since 2009.

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If you are looking to upgrade your current Dyson or purchase your first Dyson be sure to look for the Dyson DC59 Animal Digital Slim at Best Buy beginning February 1st, 2014.

How To Choose the Perfect Flooring

This is a sponsored on behalf of Flooring America.

How to Choose the Perfect Flooring

We have been without flooring in the lower level living room of our home for about two years now.

It’s just a plain old concrete floor left after pulling up the carpet. We’ve gone back and forth about what to put down but have not found a resolution to fit our budget, DIY abilities and personal taste.

My husband did like the idea of the painted vinyl floor treatment I did in our bathroom but it’s not something we want long term.

Since we are at a standstill but are committed to making a decision in 2014, I decided to get some advice from the folks at Flooring America.


Flooring: The Foundation to Great Room Design

When it comes to room design, it’s often a struggle figuring out where to begin. However, what if we were to say flooring is the most crucial element to any room design?

Flooring is one of the most expensive design elements, and the largest component of any room. Flooring is the foundation from which all rooms can be designed. There a few ways to decide on the style of flooring that’s right for you.

When deciding on flooring for your room remodel, it’s important to ask yourself whether you want your floor to be the focal point of the room, or just a blank canvas for which other design elements will build off. If flooring is the focal point, it’s best to choose a style that truly pops and becomes the star of the room.

Consider interesting tile flooring in varying colors, or a beautiful high gloss hardwood floor. When making flooring a focal point, it’s important to tone down the rest of the room’s décor. Choose neutral colored furniture and wall colors, and let the floor really speak for itself.

If you decide to make flooring just an element of the room, it’s important to get exciting with the rest of the room’s décor. Choose bolder colors and furniture, and let the room’s décor elements speak for themselves.

Flooring has the power to truly bring a room together, so it is important to choose wisely. When deciding on the proper flooring for your remodel, consider these helpful suggestions.

Once we make our final decision and begin installing the flooring I will share a before and after of the results and some tips and tricks we learned as DIY’ers.

“This is a sponsored post written in part by me and Flooring America.  All opinions expressed are my own and I only promote campaigns that support the mission of To learn more about how I choose which companies to partner with please see my disclosure“.