Pepper Roasting Rack: Perfect Gift for the Man in your Life

I am always searching for a great gift for my husband. He isn’t hard to buy for but I want to make sure I get him something he can use often. My husband loves to grill so any grilling gadgets area always a hit with him! So when Cave Tools asked me if I’d like to review one of their products I jumped at the opportunity!  In our home garden we grow banana peppers, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers. Our family LOVES roasted jalapenos so this seemed like the perfect grilling tool to try.

I started by cutting the tops off my jalapenos and de-seeding them with the corer tool included with the rack. I added cream cheese and wrapped the jalapeno with a strip of bacon. Once I was done I set the wrapped jalapeno peppers in the Stainless Steel Pepper Roasting Rack.  We had planned to use our grill to roast these but our grill decided it wanted to have an off day but we were already set on eating roasted peppers so we improvised! We set the oven to low broil, put the Stainless Steel Pepper Roaster on a backing sheet and cooked them for about 15 minutes.

It was great that we were able to use this grill tool in our oven because as we all know sometimes life throws us curve balls and we have to improvise. This tool was so easy to use. Since then we have roasted peppers on our grill using the Pepper Roasting Rack and it was just as easy to use and also easy to clean. If you have a person in your life that loves to grill I would add this to their gifts this Christmas! The best part is that Cave Tools is offering a 15% off code for my readers! Just use code: ROASTPEPPER15 . OR if you have Prime you can order it through Amazon for free one-day shipping! I don’t know about you all but I can’t pass up a great deal on a great item!

I received this product in return for a blog post sharing my honest review. All reviews stated here are completely genuine and 100% my own!

DIY Upcycled Doll Table

DIY Upcycled Doll Table

DIY Upcycled Doll Table from Chick-fil-A soup containers!

My family LOVES Chick-fil-A! When I say love I mean we probably eat there once a week. We all have our favorites and then we have our seasonal favorites! I absolutely love eating the Chicken Tortilla Soup from Chick-fil-A at this time of year. It is so rich in flavor and I like the spice it has! 

Chick-fil-A Soup

We were challenged to use our Chick-fil-A soup containers to upcycle. My kids and I threw around many ideas as to how we wanted to upcycle these containers. The winner was my daughters idea to use the containers as a table for her dolls! She has several 18″ dolls that she enjoys playing with daily. Santa even brought her a Jeep and travel trailer for Christmas. She has some furniture for her dolls but she didn’t have a table for them to enjoy their own tasty treats. 


We were able to make this table with a few easy steps! First we cut off the corners of two bowls and a lid. Then we glued the two open sides of the bowls together with hot glue. Next we glued the lid on the base of one of the bowls to make a table top. Last we spray painted it teal to give it a pop of color. Let it dry for a couple hours and presto chango the dolls have a great little table to enjoy their afternoon snack!

Upcycled Doll Table

Enhance The Romance

Romantic Diffuser Blends

I don’t know about anyone else but I am always looking for ways to enhance the romance in my marriage (this is especially true after having four kids). I thought I’d share some of my husband and I’s favorite diffuser blends that help set the mood with their romantic aroma!

What are your favorite blends to diffuse to give a romantic scent?

Make sure you check out the special offers Young Living has going on this month!

Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar Display

It’s that time of year again!~CHRISTMAS TIME!~ I love everything about Christmas. I also love to have so many traditions with my children. I wasn’t sure if I was going to do an Advent Calendar this year but my children convinced me it is a tradition we can not stop for many years to come (or ever in their eyes)! I’m happy to continue the tradition and was more pleased to hear so many memories they have surrounding our past years advent calendar!


Before I share the calendar of events we will be doing this year I wanted to share my new advent calendar display. I picked up an Advent Garland Kit from Hobby Lobby. It came with the twine, mini clothes pins, and numbers. **If you’d like to make this you could easily use construction paper or craft paper to cut squares or circles and place sticker numbers on the front side, leave blank on the back. The dollar store carries mini clothes pins and twine or string.** I wrote each days advent on the back of the corresponding number. (I wrote #1’s advent on the #1 card this year rather than counting down from 25 to 1).


I knew I wanted a frame to tie the string and display the cards. While at an antique store a couple weeks ago I came across some old window frames. The glass was broken out, it was painted green already and it was the perfect size for my new Advent Calendar Display!

Christmas Countdown 2014

I washed it, added some branches, berries and ribbon I had from a past Christmas display. What do you think? I absolutely love it! Honestly any picture frame or frame would work for this display and still look beautiful. It would also look great to string it on your mantel. So get creative and have fun with this inexpensive but beautiful display!

December 2014 Advent Calendar

Here is our 2014 Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar!!

*The Excel Spreadsheet has links to the activities we are doing. Just click on any italic words for links to that project or activity!*

I shared lots of alternate ideas in the Notes section at the bottom of the calendar. You could easily swap out things that your family isn’t able or wanting to do with other fun festive ideas. If you need more ideas you can see my Advent Calendar from last year AND follow my Christmas Board on Pinterest! 

Merry Christmas!

My 2014 Resolutions & Goals

goals and resolutionsYes I make resolutions. Some times I am great at keeping them all year, sometimes I stray here and there, and sometimes they don’t last long but I like putting them into place to make myself more aware of the person I know I can be. I also like to set some short term goals to help me keep my resolutions. I thought I’d share them here so that maybe you all could keep me accountable all year too!

2014 Personal Resolutions:

  • Be more authentic**
  • Be more genuine**
  • Spend more quality time with my family**
  • Stay active and keep fit
  • Let things go quicker and don’t over react
  • Stress LESS!
  • Run a Rock N Roll Marathon relay with a friend
  • Travel more/Take more vacations
  • Read at least one book a month
  • Start taking college courses
  • Take time out of each day for my husband
  • Show my husband more appreciation
  • Divorce my iphone **SEE the first three things I listed here and info below.

Goals for first 3 months of 2014:

  • Loose 4lbs
  • Run at least once a week
  • Spend no more than 1 cumulative hour checking my phone, facebook, instagram, etc, each day
  • Spend more time playing with my kids
  • Go on one date night a month 

So to expand a little, really the only reason I listed being authentic and genuine in my resolutions is because I think in this social media led age I find myself wrapped up in it. I often sit idle on my phone staring at the screen when I could be engaging more with those people around me. I also find myself comparing things I see on social media to my own life. I am who I am! I need to embrace and live that! Not what I think others might like more of me or who they might like more. I also want to look back on these years my kids are young and remember all that was going on, not because I posted it on FB or Instagram but because I lived it…every single moment of it!

Goals for this blog for 2014:

  • Post at least once a week but not at the expense of family time.
  • Write more
  • Share more
  • Just be myself
  • Find myself/voice
  • Find my niche
  • Blog redesign

In short this blog is taking a back seat to my every day life, family and friends. I have been to a few blogging conferences now and the biggest lesson I learned is that you have to have a heavy social media presence as a successful blogger. If I have a heavy social media presence I can make this blog become less of a hobby and more of a business but that, for me right now, is at the expense of my time with family. If you refer back to my personal resolutions and goals you will see that is something I am working on this year, therefore being on social media more just isn’t realistic for me at this time in my life. Maybe later on the down the road but not this year! 


Do you make goals or resolutions in the new year?

If so, what are they?


Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Merry ChristmasI’ve been on a bit of a winter break and will most likely not publish any new posts until after the New Year so I wanted to take a minute to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Throwing a Snowman Soup Party!

Snowman Soup Party

Back in 2006 I found a group for stay at home moms in my area. (I joined the group which became a huge part of my life and how I met most of my friends.) One of the first events I attended was called “Snowman Soup Party” hosted at the then presidents home. I was VERY curious as were all the other moms to what “snowman soup” was. We lived in NW New Mexico so we did get snow but we hadn’t had any recently so I wasn’t sure how this soup was going to taste.

I showed up and low and behold my friend had a huge pot of Hot Cocoa on her stove! Then next to the stove was an assortment of fixings to put your “Snowman Soup” together. This event became a tradition within our group and our home! Now each year during the month of December I hold a Snowman Soup Party!

Here are a few ideas for you to try for your own Snowman Soup Party!

Items needed:

  • Hot Cocoa
  • Hot Water 
  • Candy Canes (his scarf)
  • Mini Marshmallows (snow men)
  • Hersey Kisses or Bells (top hat)
  • M&M’s (buttons)
  • Mugs
  • Friends & Family!

Optional items:

  • Snowman coloring pages (I used THESE found at Crazy Adventures in Parenting)
  • Cotton Balls
  • Glue
  • White Construction Paper
  • Crayons

This year each child was able to color some snow man pages. Make a craft snowman (like this one from There’s Just One Mommy) with cotton balls and construction paper. While listening to ‘Frosty the Snowman’ in the back ground. Sometimes we sing “Once there was a Snowman” and other silly snowman songs we find online.

snowman soup

Every year I do this and every year I am so happy with the outcome. This fun little tradition has helped bring in lots of new friends to my house to try a new activity and my children enjoy it immensely so I don’t foresee us stopping this tradition any time soon! 

So the question is… How do you like your snowman soup??

Check out other fun things to do this winter with my Advent Calendar!

Hanging Lights on Brick…now SUPER easy!

Hanging lightsLast weekend my mom and I spent a couple hours putting lights in our bushes and trees. We wanted some lights on the house but it is a brick home so we weren’t sure how to go about hanging them. Lets just say our first attempt at using some ‘light hanging’ things I bought years ago was a bust despite working on it for over an hour (and using lots of double sided tape). Yesterday the lights all came tumbling down. So last night I went to Google to see if there was a solution out there for our light hanging problem.

It turns out there is! It took some searching but the solution is HOT GLUE! Yep it’s that simple!

Squirt some glue onto the brick, place either the string or the base of the bulb in the glue, hold for a second and move along until the entire strand of lights is on your brick! It took me maybe 15 minutes to hang a strand of lights by myself compared to the 1+ hours it took before with two of us SOOO I opted to hang a second strand while I was at it!

Easy light hanging

Then when you want to take the lights down you simply gently pull the strand at each spot of glue, then scrap the glue off your brick. No damage done to your brick or your lights!

 Now why didn’t I think of that in the first place?! At least I’m sharing this great idea with all of you so you can get it right the first time!j

Have you thrown a Snow Man Soup Party? If not you need to!

Easy $3 Advent Calendar (Free printable too!)

Easy $3 Advent

I found this cute Snowman countdown to Christmas in the Target dollar isle for $3. I knew it would be perfect for our Christmas Advent Calendar. I created a word document using fun holiday themed fonts found for free online. I printed the document, cut the papers into daily strips, folded each day, then placed it into the appropriate day slot for the countdown. It’s now ready to go!!

(FYI: The 1st is actually put in the 25 spot because we are counting down but my pdf is listed by the date.)

We live in San Antonio so I searched and asked friends for some of the holiday festivities around the area. Then I planned my other advent days around those events. I tried to choose activities that are free or almost free AND could easily be put together!

Some of the local events I found are:
Boerne Lights Celebration (Dec. 6th & 7th)
San Antonio Children’s Museum Gingerbread Men (Dec. 7th) (There is a groupon for this attraction right now!!)
Tamales at Pearl Brewery (Dec. 7th)
Winterfest Helotes (Dec. 7th)
Drive through Live Nativity (Dec. 7th & 8th)
Helotes Lighting of the Trees and Parade (Dec. 13th & 14th)
McKenna Children’s Museum Gingerbread Houses Event and other fun all month long! …(There is a groupon for this attraction right now!)
Devine Acres Farm pick your fresh tree and breakfast with Santa! (Now till Dec. 21st)
Santa’s Ranch (all month)
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration (all month)
Caroling and Lights on the Riverwalk (all month)
Windcrest Neighborhood Annual Light Up Contest (all month)

Other Fun Activities I included on our advent are:
Snowman Soup from Homemade Cravings
Kissing Reindeer Hunt from Teach Mama
Christmas Tree Tic Tac Toe from BlackDog
Reindeer Thumbprint Family from Meet the Dubiens
Christmas Trivia Game (we plan to play at dinner) from Lil’ Luna
Snowman Breakfast (we will do this for dinner or dessert) from Hoosier Homemade
Christmas TV Specials from My Life and Kids

Follow my Pinterest boards for more ideas:
Gifts great for finding the perfect gift to make your children’s teacher, grandparents and more!
Christmas for everything from decorations to activities.
Desserts for great recipes for candy, cookies and other holiday desserts!

For anyone living in the area here is a FREE PRINTABLE San Antonio Advent Calendar.

San Antonio AdventSimple, fun, and the kids (read ME) will really enjoy the daily advent adventure!


Things to do in NOVEMBER around San Antonio!!

thankful for fall

Kassie with Coupons and Freebies in TX  and The Life of the Bucks graciously put together a list of activities going on around San Antonio in November to share with my readers!!

Fall is here in San Antonio and I wanted to give you a list of things you can do with your family this November.  All of them are family friendly places or events you can attend.  Some are outside of the San Antonio city but they are really close so I included them as events.

Veteran’s Day Parade November 9th ROTC Competition 8AM in Alamo Plaza, Wreath Ceremony in front of the Alamo at 10:30am with the parade to follow at 12PM.

Also on November 9th the Hondo airfield will have WWII era bombers and a reenactment of the candy bomber dropping parachutes of candy to kids!!

Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 29th in Alamo Plaza. Entertainment begins at 3pm; Lighting Ceremony begins at 6pm. Celebrate the official start to the holiday season with the 29th Annual H.E.B. Tree Lighting Ceremony. Live musical entertainment.   Then in the evening Holiday River parade which starts at 7PM but you want to get there early.

South Texas Corn Maize open till December 1st, this one is in Honda

Wurstfest – November 1st till November 10th this one is in New Braunfels

Rampage Hockey Games- They have family nights and many other great deals so much sure you  check out a game this season.

Check out the new exhibit at the Witte Museum.  It is about CSI: The Experience themed.  Also admission is free on Tuesday from 3 to 8 p.m.

Check out Seaworld San Antonio Christmas celebration – Wintery Wonderland from Nov 23rd till Dec 31st

Brand new event called Meatopia Texas on November 2nd and 3rd at the Pearl Brewery, you won’t want to miss it.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas – Holiday in the Park November 29th- Jan 1st.

Go check out the BookCeller at the central library and find some amazing fall books for under $1.00 a piece!

Host a solider in your home trainee in your house for Thanksgiving.  To get more information on it call 210-671-5453 and tell them it is about Operation Homecooking.

If you are looking for a place to eat on Thanksgiving – Lubys and Golden Corral are open.

Thanks again Kassie!! If you haven’t already you need to go read her blogs to see all the other great stuff she is posting! She recently shared this list with all the places kids eat free in San Antonio!