Friday, May 23, 2014

Taking a Break

As I'm sure you've realized- it's been a bit quiet around here.  After going back to work last fall, I just found that I didn't have the time, energy, or passion to continue blogging as much as I would like here.  Teaching is just all consuming and I've been spending much more of my "free" time pursuing my two small businesses-  working with Rodan+Fields Dermatologists and my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  If you ever need some great teaching resources or amazing skin care definitely contact me. ;)  I still hope to occasionally post a yummy recipe or fun craft I'm working on when I can, but the reviews and giveaways will be very scarce.  Thanks for supporting me during my blogging adventure.
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dark Chocolate Flourless Cupcakes {Gluten Free}

Oh my gosh! These are just about the BEST cupcakes that I have ever tasted and by far the best I have ever made from scratch! If you're a chocolate lover you will adore these! They are rich and moist and oh so delicious. I know you probably think I'm going on a little too much about a cupcake, but seriously, these are insanely good!  Can't wait to hear how you love them too!

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

1 c. butter, softened

2 cups white sugar
1 ½ c. Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
6 eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp. oil
2 tsp. gluten free vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare 18 cupcake liners
2. Combine all ingredients and mix until well blended. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack and cool.
4. You can also bake as a cake in two 8 inch spring form pans.

Butter Cream frosting

1 c. butter, softened
4 c. confectioners sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. gluten free vanilla extract
3 oz. heavy whipping cream

1. Cream butter until fluffy. Add confectioner’s sugar and continue creaming until well blended.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream and blend on low speed until moistened. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.

Just a little note: I add the whipping cream as I combine the confectioner’s sugar. But, that is not the way the original recipe says to do it.  Also, I find that in my oven they usually cook a little longer than 25 minutes and once they sit out the middle sinks in.  I just cover that up with frosting!
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Under the Rainbow Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the [2nd annual] Under the Rainbow Giveaway Hop Event, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network.

I recently became an Independent Consultant for Rodan+Fields Dermatologists and I couldn't be more excited about this new business venture!  If you've never heard of Rodan + Fields before, I'm sure you've heard of Proactiv, right?  Well, Rodan + Fields is an awesome skin care company started by the same doctors that created Proactiv, Dr. Katie Rodan and  Dr. Kathy Fields.  

Rodan + Fields was formerly the #1 selling clinical skincare brand selling in high end retail stores like Nordstrom, but the doctors wanted to extend their vision of bringing dermatology based skincare solutions to everyone.  To support this vision, Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields have teamed up with Independent Consultants like me around the country to market these prestigious products.  What makes this business unlike others, is the fact that we aren't based on "parties" to drive our customer base.  This is great since, as a mom and teacher, I honestly just don't have time for that.  I just think of myself as a brand ambassador simply telling everyone about a business and products that I love and truly works. I am able to work my business in a the pockets of time I have here and there and still be successful.  The company truly believes in their products and offers a 60 day money back guarantee on all products for customers and consultants too! 

Rodan + Fields has 4 main skin care regimens (as described on the R+F site):

REDEFINE is a comprehensive skincare regimen that layers cosmetic ingredients and proven peptide technology to help defend against and reduce the visible signs of aging for noticeably firmer, smoother, flawless-looking skin. The REDEFINE Regimen features four full-size products: Daily Cleansing Mask, Pore Minimizing Toner, Triple Defense Treatment SPF 30, and Overnight Restorative Cream.

REVERSE- Clean the slate and see a brighter future for your skin. Exposure to the sun and the environment can leave you with less-than-youthful skin. Erase the appearance of premature aging, including brown spots, dullness and discoloration with REVERSE. REVERSE Regimen exfoliates, visibly brightens and defends against sun exposure for a long-term solution for a radiant complexion. The REVERSE Regimen features four full-size products: Deep Exfoliating Wash, Intensive Brightening Toner, Dual Active Brightening Complex, and Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Sunscreen

SOOTHE is clinically proven to reduce redness and irritation in as little as 5 minutes, it shields against the biological and environmental aggressors that can trigger inflammation, helps fortify skin’s natural moisture barrier, calms visible redness, and reduces irritation so that you can take comfort in having a healthy-looking complexion every day. Calm the flush-blush reaction of a hyper-sensitive complexion.  The SOOTHE Regimen features 4 full-size products: Gentle Cream Wash, Sensitive Skin Treatment, Moisture Replenishing Cream, and Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30. 

UNBLEMISH is clinically proven to combat the entire acne cycle, this sophisticated regimen helps unclog pores, clears breakouts and calms your complexion to keep pimples, blackheads and post-acne marks from making an unwelcome appearance on your face—and in your life.  Since many acne sufferers have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), the remnant red/brown marks following a healed blemish, we offer UNBLEMISH Spot Fading Toner. However, if you are one of the lucky few who does not experience PIH, use our UNBLEMISH Clarifying Toner as an alternative.  The UNBLEMISH Regimen features 4 full-size products: Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash, Spot Fading Toner OR Clarifying Toner, Dual Intensive Acne Treatment and Oil Control Lotion SPF 20.

They also offer some wonderful additional products in the ESSENTIALS and ENHANCEMENTS lines. 

R+F also offers two AH-MAZE-ING tools to help you get your best skin ever-

the AMP MD

and the Macro Exfoliator!

Interested in the business?  I'm looking to expand my team in ALL parts of the country and this could be the perfect opportunity for you to change your life!  I'd love to share my story with you and tell you more.  Sign up to receive my newsletter and tell me you want to know more about the business!

Today, I'm giving away a REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream!
REDEFINE  Multi-Function Eye Cream combines powerful peptides to minimize the appearance of crow’s-feet, helps reduce the appearance of both puffiness and dark under eye circles while special optical diffusers noticeably brighten the eye area. Ophthalmologist tested, this formula is ideal for maintaining the delicate skin around the eyes.  Personally, I LOVE this eye cream and have seen great results using this with my REDEFINE regimen!  

Giveaway ends 3/17 at 11:59 p.m. Open to US only.

Who doesn't love finding gold under the rainbow? I've joined with a group of bloggers who will be offering great prizes for you, just waiting to be found under the rainbow! So, hop along to all in the giveaway hop linky below to find your gold! While you're hopping, don't forget to enter to win the Grand Prize! Someone will find gold in the form of a $200 Gift Certificate to The Vintage Pearl!

Disclaimer: I am a Independent Consultant for Rodan+Fields Dermatologists.  The information shared represents my own honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences from using R+F Products.  Results, of course, vary.  The information I give in this post is not medical advice and should not take the place of the advice of your own doctor or dermatologist.  All links are to my personal Rodan+Fields business website. 

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Under the Rainbow participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Whatever Goes Giveaway Hop! Win a potty system from The First Years!

Welcome to the "Whatever Goes" Giveaway Hop hosted by Mommy's Favorite Things and Mama's Baby Cupcakes

This hop is an open theme so whatever the blogger wants to showcase goes!! After visiting my giveaway, make sure you use the linky below to take a look at the other bloggers and see what they have to offer! Each blog has a minimum prize package of $25 per winner.

I'm giving away The First Years Cars Mission Potty System or a Disney Princess Magical Sparkle Potty System.  
Find my whole review here.

The Disney Potty Systems by The First Years makes toilet training easier and less intimidating for your toddler. The fun Cars 2 design and engine sounds encourage your toddler to use the potty as his or her first toilet. The potty seat has a soft cushion for your child's comfort and high pee shield. Potty seat also detaches to fit the family toilet. The lift-out pot makes for easy emptying and cleaning. This 3-in-1 potty system works as a stand-alone potty, a trainer seat for your toilet, and the sturdy base converts to a handy step stool. 

You can connect with The First Years on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
They are available at Babies R Us and on

Giveaway is open to U.S. only and end at 11:59 p.m. on 2/24/14. 

Each household is only eligible to win 3 TOMY products, via blog reviews and giveaways, each calendar year. Only one entrant per household per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
DISCLOSURE Mama's Baby Cupcakes, Mommy's Favorite Things and the "Whatever Goes" participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.
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Friday, February 7, 2014

Ready for potty training with The First Years Cars Potty System!

Well, from all the stories I’ve heard, I am not looking forward to the upcoming potty training days with my little guy. I’ve heard some terrifying stories (especially about potty training boys), so when The First Years contacted me about reviewing The Disney Cars Racing Mission Potty System I jumped at the chance to try to make this easier in any way possible. 

 When our potty first arrived I set it in our family room (still in the box) and my son was immediately running up to it to investigate. He found the engine sounds button immediately and proceeded to push it over and over again while laughing. I think I can safely say that feature was a hit! If you have a little one that is into Cars I think they’ll love the theme and 3-D graphics on this potty, the sculpted detail wheels and the fun Cars design on the lid! I’m hoping it will seriously encourage potty usage! 

Once you get your Cars Potty System out of the box you’ll see it comes in 4 parts: the base, the pot, and the removable training seat and cushion.  The sound feature is screwed into the base and all you have to do to assemble it is unscrew it and then screw it in the removable training seat so your little one can easier access the VROOM button.

The potty system is super useful because of it’s 3-in-1 design. The first stage is the sturdy potty chair. The cushion of the chair is really soft and well, cushiony.  The is designed perfectly for boys too! The pot comes out easily enough so it can be cleaned quickly.

Then, once your little one is ready to move on your potty base becomes a step stool to reach the big potty and the removable training seat fits right on the big family toilet.   The fit is really secure so there is no need to worry about it slipping off at any inopportune moment!

After you little once masters that your step stool can be used to reaching the sink for the all important hand washing!  It's even light enough for your little one to move it by themselves if they need to.

I definitely think this potty will be perfect when we start potty training soon! 

You can connect with The First Years on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Come back on February 10th to enter for the chance to win your own The First Years Cars or Princess Potty System!
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Friday, January 31, 2014

Valentine's Celebrations with Oriental Trading Company!

 I love shopping at Oriental Trading Company !  It really is my go-to place for FUN inspiration!  If you're a regular reader you know that I've written about them before (1st Birthday, Christmas) and today I wanted to tell you all a little bit about what Oriental Trading Company has to offer you for Valentine's Day.  They have so much awesome and affordable Valentine's Day related products!  They have everything you could possibly need to celebrate the holiday- decorations, crafts, candy, toys, party supplies, and of course, valentines. I regularly shop at Oriental Trading Company for so many different things that I use at school and at home!

Oriental Trading Company is the nation's largest direct merchant of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties, and a leading provider of school supplies and affordable home décor and gift ware.  They serve tons of customers through colorful catalogs and the Internet and offer more than 40,000 products to meet the needs of all kinds of businesses, not-for-profit organizations, individuals, schools, churches and teachers.

Oriental Trading Company sent me several items for review to use with my students this Valentine's Day.  Even though, nowadays, there is little time in the classroom for crafts, we still do get to do a little celebration for Valentine's Day (although it does help that it's on a Friday this year).  One of the main thing that my kiddos need for Valentine's Day is a place to put all of their valentines to each other.  I chose the Owl Valentine Box Card Holder Craft Kit for my students to make this year.  I just couldn't pass up how cute these are!  

One thing I love about crafts from the Oriental Trading Company is that each one come individually pre-packaged with all of the pieces, which makes it super easy to prepare for each student.  Plus, a lot of their foam crafts come with self adhesive pieces.  So much easier than that messy Elmer's glue!  Only the wings needs to be glued separately.  Hot glue or even those glue dots would work really easily to stick those one.


Each owl craft came with a sturdy bag for collecting valentines that measures approx. 6" x 2 1/2" x 8 1/2".  I know my kiddos are going to love making these to collect all of their valentines this year!

 I also got some fun Valentine's Day owl and monster pencils to pass out as treats and these super cute valentine bear sucker covers to cuten up even more treats!

Last, but not least, I received these Valentine Monster Sticker Scenes.

These are seriously fun and adorable!  They are the size of a regular sheet of paper (8.5x11).  These packs come with 3 sheets of four different monster design backgrounds and 12 sticker sheets so the kiddos can design their own monsters.  The stickers are even repositionable and acid free.  I am positive my students are absolutely going to adore having fun designing with these!  You can see my example below. :)

Hope you got a few fun Valentine's Day ideas!  

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

TBT: Cream Cheese Lemon Bars

**This post originally appeared on My Life According to Pinterest on 1/1/12**

My grandma used to make these amazing lemon meringue and key lime pies when I was younger, so I grew up loving lemon and lime flavors.  These cream cheese lemon bars are yummy and easy to make.  They turned out well, but next time I add more lemon zest because I like lemon and limey things to be nice and tart.  You can always add more or less zest depending on how tart you like your citrus desserts.  I adapted this recipe from Jam Hands.


1 lemon cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg

1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
2 eggs
8 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
3  3/4 cup powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice from 1/2 a lemon

1.   Preheat oven to 350-f degrees.

2. For the crust, mix together the dry cake mix, butter, and 1 egg.  
Mix well. The mixture will be somewhat thick. 
Press into a greased 9×13 baking pan and set aside.

3. For the filling, beat cream cheese until smooth. 
Add the vanilla extract, eggs, melted butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. 

4.   Mix together well and add powdered sugar. 
Mix until the powdered sugar is fully incorporated.

5. Spread filling over crust.

6.  Bake for 38-42 minutes, until lightly brown and 
when gently shaken the center will only slightly jiggle.

7. Cool and cut into small bars. 
(I cooled mine in the fridge for a little bit before I cut them.)  

8.  Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Erin Condren Designs Giveaway #MamasNewLook

Mama's Got a New Look 

We just rang in 2014 and with a New Year comes the chance to develop a new YOU! 
Welcome to the [2nd Annual] Mama's Got a New Look Giveaway Hop Event. The Blogging Mamas Network, along with co-hosts Mama's Baby Cupcakes, So Easy Being Green, and Viva Veltoro want to give the special, deserving Mamas a chance at a New Look for the New Year!

This Event will run from January 15-29 and each blogger in the hop has a great prize, worth at least $25, to help you achieve that new look!

I am so excited to be giving away a $25 gift code to Erin Condren Designs at!

 If you've never visited Erin Condren Designs than you are seriously missing out.  Ring in the new year and get personalized, stylized, and organized!  Erin Condren Designs offers everything from  invitations, address labels, gift labels, custom business cards, life planners, lesson plan books and even acrylic designs and they can all be customizable to fit YOU! Her designs are so amazing and colorful- I mean just visiting the website cheers me up! 

Here's a little sample of what you can find there:

I recently saw a review of her life planner on another blog and I was so smitten.  I knew I had to have one for the new year!   After a long time narrowing down the decision I decided to order the 2014 Classic Life Planner in Fleur Feliz- Rainbow.  I personalized my planner with my name at the bottom and I love how it turned out! 

The 2014 Life Planner is loaded with tons of special extras you will love!
  • Cover is heavy duty laminated for protection from everyday wear and tear
  • Fun inspirational quotes throughout the planner to keep you going each day
  • Monthly tabs are also laminated for extra durability
  • Two page monthly spreads
  • To-do lists and goals space for every week and month
  • The weekly spread pages are divided into morning, day, and night to help keep you extra organized
  • There's even a meal/exercise/lists/etc. section for highlighting daily notes & activities. 
  • 20 pages of lined and designer blank pages for notes in the back 
  • 2 pages to keep important numbers and contacts 
  • 240 colorful stickers to help you highlight and keep track of birthdays, appointments, and special events 
  • Pockets and a zip lock pocket with 12 extra gift labels

Check out my full review of my Life Planner here.  I'm totally in love with my new planner!
Anything from Erin Condren would make such an excellent gift!
I'm already thinking of what to order my sister for her next birthday.
And I may be thinking about what to order for my next birthday too!  

You can connect with Erin Condren on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
 Visit their website to shop for yourself!  You can even earn $10 off of your first order here- just create an account!

One lucky person is going to win a $25 gift code for anything they like from Erin Condren Designs.
Enter using the Giveaway Tools below.  Giveaway ends on 1/29 at 11:59 p.m.  Good Luck!

This wonderful Grand Prize has two packages up for grabs!

The first prize pack, Fashion Mama, features a whole Gel Nail Kit from Couture Gel Nail Polish, a $100 Gift Code to the online jewelry retailer The Vintage Pearl, and a crocheted Infinity Scarf in winner's choice of color from Treasured by Holly.

Our second prize pack, New Mama, features a breastfeeding camisole from Undercover Mama, a Chewbeads "Jane" necklace in winner's choice of color, winner's choice of fabric for a diapers/wipes carrying case from The Diaper Clutch, Bamboobies set of Multi Pack Pads, and winner's choice of item shown from Loving Moments by Leading Lady and their Maternity to Nursing line.
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Nuby IcyBite Fruit Teether Review

As Little Guy gets older the teething doesn't get better!  In fact, I think it's getting much much worse.  Little Guy was a late teether, so I feel like he'll being getting teeth forever!  He's currently working on tooth number 8 (at 15 months), so Nuby's Icy Bite Fruit Teether is coming in more than handy!

From Nuby: The IcyBite™ teether/soother by Nûby™ provides a cool textured surface for baby to bite and teethe on during teething periods. The cool resilient surface soothes and stimulates sore gums safely. Engineered with raised offset surfaces that assist in the eruption of teeth by gently massaging infant’s gums. Colorful shapes are easy for baby to hold and sized for maximum effectiveness as a teether and soother. All Nûby™ products are made of safe, durable materials and exceed all government safety regulations and standards including Toy Safety Standard ASTM F963.

Little Guy really liked this teether.  He was interested in it as soon as I took it out of the fridge.  The shape makes it easy to grab and I love the bright colors- it really makes it easy to find in the fridge and where ever it eventually  gets left around the house.  The top to this orange fruit teether is removable and the orange is covered in little nubs to help massage his poor gums.  It also contains nontoxic purIce gel that allows the teether to stay cooler longer than water filled teethers.  I love that you keep this teether in the fridge and not the freezer because that means that Little Guy can actually hold this in his mouth without his hands getting too cold.  But, don't worry, this teether definitely gets cold enough to provide some great teething pain relief for your little one!  

The Nuby IcyBite Fruit Teether comes in 4 cute and colorful designs: Orange, Pineapple, Apple, and Strawberry.
Photo from

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