Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#Spellbinders Celebra'tions Collection #Giveaway

I am elated to bring you something that I just love to do and a little giveaway too!  


When I found out I was going to review the Spellbinders Celebra'tions Collection by Richard Garay I was elated.  I love scrap booking and papercrafts, so this was right up my alley.

Spellbinders was inspired by Richard Garay and his passion for paper crafts, event hosting and handmade greetings.  Spellbinders offers awesome crafts that are so easy to make and take from diecuts, to rubber stamps to embossing; Spellbinders has it all!

I was sent the Celebra'tions Collection with a couple examples and directions on cards and crafts to make. However, I had a particular event that I wanted to make a special card for and I wanted it to be more personalized.  My plan was to make a beautiful card for the new baby from my pseudo brother that passed away in late February.  They are having a boy and I was so excited to use the Celebra'tions Collection to make a beautiful, personal and colorful card!

The diecuts and pre-stamped items were beautiful and so easy to use.  The package came with everything I needed and made the card making process so easy.  All I had to do was find a little quote for the inside and that was easy!  I think my card turned out perfect!

Richard Garay and the wonderful people at #Spellbinders did not forget about you!  They are offering one of my awesome readers this adorable 15 piece clear polymer stamp set!  All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter below.  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: The Spellbinders brand provided me with a sample of Spellbinders Celebra'tions Collection in exchange for a product review.  However, all the opinions expressed here are my own. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cheesy Hamburger Rice #Recipe

As a mom, I need easy, quick and vegetable hiding recipes.  If you are a mom, you totally get what I mean. So let me present Cheesy Hamburger Rice, it is delicious and you will love it.  PIN THIS NOW!

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The Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 package of Velveeta Cheese Sauce
  • 1 can of diced green chilies (mild is best for kids)
  • 1 can of mushrooms
  • 1.5 cups of steamed rice
  • Spices to taste
  • Additional veggies if you would like that also taste great are shredded carrots, celery, squash and even eggplant!  I try to put at least one of these in each time I cook this. 


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Recipe, Cheesy hamburger rice recipe, #recipe, rice recipe, hamburger rice recipe

  • Step 1: brown the ground beef in a large sauce pan.  I like to add whatever spices my family likes (particularly garlic salt and pepper).  While you are browning the meat, steam your rice.
  • Step 2: Mix in the veggies and chilies into the meat.  Sometimes it helps to add in a bit of olive oil if necessary. Cool them until they are soft and tender. 
  • Step 3: Mix the steamed cooked rice into the meat and veggie mixture. 
  • Step 4: Pour the Velveeta cheese into the meat and rice and mix well.  Season to taste. 
  • Step 5: EAT THIS, Eat all of this because it is the most delicious thing ever!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Favorite 7/18/14

Camilla and I are back to link up our favorites of the week.

Each week we will be featuring one of YOU as our Favorite Feature of the Week!

This weeks Friday Favorite is Nicole over at Confectionalism who shared the most delicious Cherry Cheesecake ice cream recipe ever!  Ok pretty much everything on her site looks amazing.  I would bookmark her now!

Nicole grab you badge and display it proudly!  We are so glad you linked up last week!

Grab our button people!  We are getting famous over here :)


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Colorado Renaissance Festival

So after a long weekend of garage sales and family time, I convinced my poor sick mom to get off the couch and share a day with me at the Colorado Renaissance Festival!  We had a pretty good day too!

Sometimes iPhone pictures don't suck, I am pretty proud of this one!
I had been planning for this day for weeks.  I remember being a kid and my parents taking us to the Renaissance Festival and getting flowers in our hair and watching the jousting.  It was seriously so so so fun. When the opportunity to take my kids to the festival arose, I jumped on it and was hoping that Eyan particularly would see the magic that is Larkspurshire!
So I figure I would hit on a few key points as I have a bunch of friends that are going this summer with little ones.

1. The drive to Larkspurshire was not terrible until about 1/2 mile to the exit, and then traffic was super slow.  A drive that should have only taken about an hour took almost 2, with 1 hour being stuck in traffic waiting to park.  We even left an hour early to get there!  Oh and where they have you park can be confusing to get into if the parking guy is not paying attention to your lane of traffic.  We had to turn around, on a curvy mountain road in my gigantic Denali.  The parking portion once inside the venue was organized and easy and they have shuttles to take you to the front gate (packed full though...so we chose to walk)

2. Tickets are just about $20.00/person and if you can pre-purchase, I would because that line didn't look to exciting, but we were able to walk right up to the gates with our tickets!

3.  Food was fun and pretty darn good too, but be prepared to pay, some food is priced reasonably and some is not.  We had some bagel sandwich things that were DELICIOUS and priced well along with the token turkey leg (slightly overpriced).  They also have free food samples like roasted cinnamon almonds and pickles to try out!

4. They do have rides for the kids all over Larkspurshire.  All of the rides are manually moved by people! Eyan went on a bunch of these and I was amazed at how easy the ride operators made it look.  The rocking horse ladies moved that horse flawlessly!  The rides cost anywhere between $2.00 and I think I saw $6.00 each. You can also ride an elephant, llama and camel, but I am SO against this and Eyan was not happy with me. 

5. Entertainment.  I will say that I was thoroughly entertained all day.  Literally from the moment you walk in everyone is in character and the whimsical music just gets you in a good mood.  As we were walking a violinist bent down and serenaded Emberlynn and then gave her some of the "Kings Gold."  Everyone was very nice and helpful and it was just fantastic.  The shows that we did watch were extremely entertaining (I particularly loved the hypnotist)!  Everyone goes to see the jousting and it was pretty good, a bit short and some of the acting was silly, but overall it delivered and Eyan just thought it was awesome to run at a guy with a stick on a horse.  Bring a blanket to sit on though because the ground was a bit wet.

6. Shopping.  I really enjoyed browsing all that Larkspurshire had to offer.  It was interesting to see that there were so many new permanent buildings and that the tents that used to be there were pretty much non-existent.  Eyan really wanted a toy, so we found a little toy shop called Nostalgia and Whimsy and both kids got to pick out a toy.  Emberlynn of course found a little dolly and Eyan surprisingly found a pirate doll he wanted. (I am not one to choose toys based on gender, if my kid wants a pink bike or a doll, go for it).  I loved this little shop and the shop owner was awesome.  She sews all the dolls and then hand paints the faces on right in front of you.  The dolls are all made to last and are easily washable.  Emmi has been sleeping and carrying hers around everywhere!  I recommend that you stop by this shop if you visit!  Most of the other shops were great as well, but not as exciting for my kids as there were a lot of clothing and jewelry and armory type stores. 

Couple final thoughts to end this.

  • My kids were far too young to really enjoy this and therefore I was more stressed at times then I would have been.  Also some of the language that is naturally thrown around there was a bit ummm...inappropriate (particularly the tomato throwing insult game that is right next to the rocking horse ride...my kid didn't need to here the B word 5 different times).  I get that it is all part of the entertainment, but I think it might be best to wait to take them again until they are old enough to appreciate the history and understand language appropriateness. 
  • Strollers are stupid.  Lots of people had them (me being one) and it was the dumbest idea ever.  You are on the side of a mountain, seemingly walking up jagged streets the entire time, in huge seas of people.  It was more exercise then I had in 5 years and my poor stroller was struggling.  I would recommend a baby carrier or leash to get around. 
  • This will be expensive.  With tickets, food, entertainment (rides) and a souvenir for each child I spent almost $200.00.  Just be prepared.  You can get discounted tickets here!

Overall, we had a nice Sunday in the mountains enjoying all the Colorado Renaissance Festival had to offer.


This post is sponsored.  I was given free tickets for admission in exchange for an honest review.  As always all ideas, thoughts, opinions and pictures are my own and were not swayed by an outside source.

Kulcar Solar Car Cooling System

I was contacted during this past winter to review a "cool" product called Kulcar. It is a solar powered car cooling system designed to keep your car cool during the hot days.  Naturally it was the dead of winter so I opted to wait until our summer time to review it and am excited to show you it!

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Colorado summers can be extremely hot and the temperatures inside our vehicles have edged to almost 130°!  I love the remote start feature on my Denali for this exact reason.  My kids never get into a hot car in the summer (of course I never leave them in them either).  However, our two older vehicles do not have the luxury of remote start so we have resorted to the old fashioned window shades which do an okay job but not great.

When Kulcar offered to let us try their solar car cooler I was pretty elated!  It arrived a couple weeks ago right before our trip and unfortunately I did not have time to test it out then, but when we got home I immediately installed it on Jason's truck.  The installation was easy and the directions were very clearly drawn and explained on the inside of the box.

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Directions for installation
I thought this car cooler would be a lot more difficult to install, but as you can see in the video, I did it by myself with basically one hand and it was a pretty quick installation. 

The Kulcar solar car cooler was installed when the outside temperature was 87° and the inside temperature of the truck was 111°.  I made sure to angle the solar panel towards the sun so that the Kulcar fans were running and left the truck for over an hour.  I was hoping that the car cooler would bring the inside temperature down, but instead it maintained the 111°.  I did however, check our other vehicle that was parked right behind this one and the inside of that little car (same color interior) was 124°.  I was glad to see that in the dead heat of summer the solar car cooler did at least maintain the interior heat and did not allow it to heat up any further.  The next day, the truck never got above 100° and it was 92° outside, so I think that it works best when it is installed in the morning before the day gets super hot.

Overall, my impression of the car cooling system is positive.  The system performed exactly as described, it was quiet, easy to install and maintained the interior temperature well.  I was hoping to see a decrease in the temperature, but after Jason read the directions a bit more, a truck like his would need 2 car cooling systems to actually decrease the interior temperature.  With that information I am confident in this solar cooling system.

For more information on Kulcar, please check them out at the links below!

This is a sponsored post.  I was compensated for this post.  As always all ideas, thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced by any outside sources. 

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