We Got the FUNK: November 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

24 Days of Elf on The Shelf Ideas

I said I would not do it.  I was so creeped out by it.  You know the idea of a sneaky little Elf hiding and being mischievous around my home.  Lying to my kids and playing up this whole idea of coercing them into behaving.  I said I was not about that life.  Then my sweet kids saw those darn Elf's and that was it.  They asked for Elf's, I was suckered in and so now I must commit to this.  It may be a complete flop but to keep myself on track I came up with 24 Days of Elf on the Shelf ideas that are simple, creative and fun. 

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Let's just keep this short and get right too it!
  1. "Donut Worry, Santa Sent Me"-Our Elf's will bring donuts for breakfast with a welcome letter.
  2. Slumber party-Elf's will party it up with some other household toys
  3. Cowboy-Elf's will be riding our daughters toy horse
  4. Frozen Tea Party- Elf's dining with Olaf, Elsa & Anna 
  5. Felt Christmas Tree Lights-Elf's will add lights to our felt play Christmas tree
  6. Nutcracker Attack- Elf's will be held hostage by our nutcrackers
  7. Gingerbread House Attack-Elf's will toilet paper the kids gingerbread house
  8. Snowball fight- Elf's will have a snowball fight with other toys in the house
  9. Dog Food dilemma- Elf's will eat dog food with a funny note
  10. Movie Night- Elf's will watch a movie on the iPad
  11. Picasso- Elf's will paint and sip
  12. Brush Your Teeth- Elf's will deliver new toothbrushes 
  13. Mountain Climbing- Elf's will scale the Christmas Tree
  14. Homework-Elf's will do mini copies of my sons homework
  15. Elf Cruise- Elf's will be buckled up and ready for a cruise in the car
  16. Book a night introduction- Elf's will bring a stack of books wrapped to read each evening 
  17. Book bag campout-Elf's will campout in sons backpack
  18. Laundry Room Fun- Elf's will do some doll laundry
  19. Transformers Visit- Elf's will have a massive party with the transformers
  20. Countdown- Elf's will create a Christmas countdown paper chain
  21. Dr. Elf- Elf's will get a check up from Doc McStuffins
  22. Elf Treats- The Elf's will snack on some candies and bring the kids something tasty
  23. Sledding- Elf's will sled
  24. The Night Before Christmas & Hot Cocoa-Elf's will leave the book and Hot Cocoa with a goodbye letter. 

There you go, there are my ideas.  I am going to post a weekly recap of what we did with pictures and link back to this post.  I am not sure that I will successfully pull this off, but I think most of these are pretty easy to do in just a couple minutes an evening.

So is your family welcoming an Elf? 

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Friday, November 27, 2015

If Thanksgiving was a Contest...

Thanksgiving was bound to be awesome.  It truly always is.  You see our Thanksgivings are not typical.  They start out normal.  Everyone preps a dish and gets dressed in their best.  I was pretty proud of this "daisy chain" hair style that I did on the princess. 


I tried to get a picture of the kids in their Thanksgiving best and this is the best I got. 


My sister and I went shopping the night before to find some cute little tops to wear and some fun new jewelry.  I loved this Lauren Conrad top that I snagged on clearance for $8.00!


We were instructed to dress up because for the first time in nearly 10 years EVERYONE would be at Thanksgiving so we must take a picture.  I brought my DSLR, learned how to use a small tripod I had and set up the most hysterical set up ever.  We propped the camera up inside the house on the tripod.  Opened a window and ran all 35 of us outside in the freezing cold fresh snow to get some fun pictures. 


I had a 10 second timer set, so I had to keep running back and forth to make it in the photo.


Everyone was really great about getting the photos done, even though it was literally freezing.  Even the dogs got in on the photo!


Three photos was our limit.  The littles could only last about 2 minutes. We did great!


My Aunt really wanted a photo with all her nieces, nephews and great nephew and niece (my kids). She had been trying to get this photo for years and finally succeeded.  I am the oldest out of the grandkids and the youngest is just 3 months old!


We sat down at one HUGE table to enjoy our extremely large meal.  We all brought so much food and had an extra turkey cooked just for leftovers.  My family sure can cook!


Our family is unlike most.  We own roller skating rinks...which is where we celebrate holidays.  So as you can see we immediately go to work jamming out, playing hockey dancing, racing on scooters and long boards and just laughing.  It was awesome!


This photo is hysterical.  The sister and I were skating and trying to show off our skates...then my husband threw a hockey ball at me.  It nailed my sister instead and took her out!


We laughed and laughed.  This was a beautiful Thanksgiving and we are truly so blessed to enjoy a wonderful holiday together with everyone.  


Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.  Hope your holiday was just a blessed with good food, family and special memories. 


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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Santa! I Know Him!

I get that Thanksgiving has not even happened yet.  I truly do, but I despise lines with impatient two year olds.  So we have been getting to Bass Pro Shops early every single year to sneak in our Santa visit without the obscene lines and craziness.  So we got dressed up in our Santa best and headed to our local Bass Pro. 


The princess decided that this dress (size 12 months, hahaha) was her pick.  I was really hoping for the green flannel dress but whatever, you cannot argue with her, this turned out cute and even though it was a bit short in the arms the length worked out just fine.


This boy, that hat and his adorable sweater!  Love, love, love!  He did a great job picking out his Santa clothes. 


When it was our turn to see Santa (after waiting a total of 5 minutes), the princess and prince RAN up to the poor guy and jumped up on his lap.  Literally they could not wait to meet the man this year.  It was refreshing considering last year, the princess wanted nothing to do with him. 


Of course this was our "official" santa photo.  I love that Bass Pro Shops does the free photo and activities with Santa.  It really is great and honestly their customer service is beyond fantastic.  Activities, games, rides and Santa at ZERO cost to the consumer.  We love it.


Before we left our little guy had to remind Santa that he wanted a remote control robot.  He was so polite about asking for that robot and told Santa he was going to be the best ever and that he would take care of his robot. 


The princess requested "ELSA", I literally have no clue which Elsa she is referring to, but regardless she was adamant that Elsa is what she wants and also said "Oh Thank You SO MUCH SANTA!"  Cutest thing ever!


We could not leave Bass Pro without riding the carousel.  For some reason this year neither of my children were super excited about this.  Either way they smiled for some photos...and they whined the rest of the ride. 


We survived!  I am sure next year will be a whole mess of chaos, but this year was great!  Hope your holiday season is fully of wonder, beauty, family and funny stories!

Happy Early Thanksgiving!

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Holiday Preparation with Milo's Tea #HolidaysWithMilos #Pmedia #DrinkMilos [AD]



"This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Milo’s Tea, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #HolidaysWithMilos  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

I am getting ridiculously excited for our annual ugly Christmas party with my friends and busy with holiday preparations!  I have found the best sweater, a fantastic set of light up jewelry and am prepping my side dishes and drink options. Our party is just a couple weeks away and although I am not hosting, I still want to bring a drink that is kid friendly, full of fresh ingredients and easy to make and take.

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In my search for a drink option that is fresh, I discovered Milo's Famous Sweet Tea.  I love that Milo's only uses natural ingredients, no preservatives and no additives.  What a perfect option for my holiday drink! What is even better is that at my local Walmart this was on rollback where you can purchase 2 gallons for $5.00 while supplies last!  I chose the Famous Sweet Tea, but Milo's tea is also available sweetened with pure cane sugar, no calorie and unsweet options.

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Once I acquired the ingredients I went to work creating this delicious Pomegranate Citrus Sweet Tea. It is the perfect mix of sweet, sour and fresh punch for the holiday season.  Incredibly quick and easy to make and beautiful to look at.

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Ingredients (Makes about 3 quarts):
  • 1/2 gallon of Milo's Tea
  • 24 oz Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 1 pomegranate (deseeded)

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 Directions:

  1. Pour the pomegranate juice into your juice jug.
  2. Pour Milo's Tea into the juice jug.
  3. Cut the oranges into slices and place into your juice jug.
  4. Deseed your pomegranate and place the seeds in your juice jug.  
  5. Pour, Garnish, Serve & Enjoy!


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The holidays are always busy, but Milo's is making my holiday preparations easier and impressive.  I spent a total of 5 minutes making this and with the great deal I got on Milo's Tea at Walmart, I can easily make about 3 gallons of this Pomegranate Citrus Sweet Tea.  If you are interested in checking out Milo's Famous Sweet Tea, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and their website.

Are you a sweet tea lover?  What is your favorite fresh items to mix in?

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Finding Great Deals for the Explorers in My Life #ad

My family and I are natives of Colorado.  In fact my family has lived in Colorado for well over 100 years.  My husbands family has been here longer.  We are naturally attracted to the outdoors and love to explore our beautiful state.  Essentially you could say that We are All Explorers.  Explorers need quality gear and that is where Sierra Trading Post comes in.

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I chose Sierra Trading Post to highlight because it offers fantastic savings on the best brands.  Sierra Trading Post negotiates the best prices for overstock, closeout and 2nds, and is able to pass those savings onto you.  I personally am a huge fan of savings, but also love brand names.  I like to know that there is a company that stands behind their products when I purchase.  Closeout and overstock items are always first quality and those labels just mean either the company is making design changes or manufactured too many items.  This is a great way to save cash, especially during the holiday season. 2nds may have some minor flaws but they do not affect the fit, performance or longevity of the item. I am always ecstatic to discover new ways to save money and outfit my friends and family.

In my quest to find great deals for my family I scoured Sierra Trading Post looking for just the right gifts.  The husband is in desperate need of lightweight jacket options.  He despises heavy coats and only wears them if it is actually in the negative degrees.  I love this Kilimanjaro plaid hooded flannel jacket that is sherpa-lined.  It has just the right weight to it and the color is great too.  My husband would definitely wear this to shovel snow, ride snowmobiles, camp or go ice fishing.  The man is an avid outdoorsman.


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Another jacket option that I think he would like is the Carhartt Workman Polartec® fleece jacket. This jacket is made for big and tall men and would be great for layering.  Any explorer knows that layers are essential and with a brand like Carhartt you can't go wrong. 


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My sister is a boot loving woman.  At one point I think her shoes had their own room...but then she got married and lovingly made space for that awesome husband of hers.  These EMU Stinger Low Boots would be a perfect gift for her.  Her husband and her spend a lot of time in the mountains at his families property.  They are often hiking, and these boots offer excellent traction but are still stylish and warm.  The price is great too at $89.95!

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My kids are always in need of new gear for our winter adventures.  Both kids outgrew their snow pants last year and I could not forgive myself if I let these Snow Dragons Rock Solid Snow Pants go. The colors are vibrant, which when you are out in the weather exploring, bright colors are a necessity. I love that they are well insulated with built in boot gaiters. 

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Mittens are another accessory that we absolutely need this year.  These DaKine Hornet Mittens will do a great job keeping my little ones hands warm and dry.  I foresee many sledding adventures and snowball fights in our future with these.
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Finally after a days, weeks, and months of exploring, cuddling up in bed with a DownTown Alpine Loft Down Alternative Comforter seems like just the way to unwind, relax and dream about our next adventures. 

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Are you interested in saving some extra cash too?  Come on we are all explorers, so jump on the savings bandwagon.  From now until December 7th, 2015 you can take an extra 15% off plus 1/2 off shipping with the code ASAVENOW5! Clearance items are excluded from the 15% off but you can still save 50% off with shipping.

To help you with some holiday shopping, enter the rafflecopter below for your chance at a $300.00 Amazon gift card (must be 18 yrs and older and a U.S resident)!  Just tell us your favorite item(s) from Sierra Trading Post and why you like it in the comments below!


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Disclosure:  This is a paid advertisement, but I still like a great deal.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Personalized Budget Friendly Welcome Gift #LoveAmericanHome [ad]

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

The major start to the holiday season is just under a week away.  I know that we will be attending and even hosting some wonderful holiday celebrations and I thought it would be nice to have some adult goodie bags for the party that we are hosting.  In the spirit of giving I came up with this fantastic budget friendly Welcome Basket. 

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The holidays are a time for giving.  When people come into my house I want them to feel welcomed and appreciated.  I wanted to do something special that was budget friendly, had items that were useful and also personal.  I ran to our local Walmart and did some wandering around and then it hit me...a festive kitchen utensils basket!  I grabbed some hand towels, colorful utensils, a mixing bowl and just as I was walking up to pay, I strolled down the candle isle.  The American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand completely caught my eye...and my nose!  I love Yankee Candle® but the closest store to my house is about 45 minutes driving.  I was elated to see the American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand collection in my local Walmart and so I snagged a few fragrances for my welcome baskets.  

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I decided to go with the 19" double wick candle in the Warm & Happy Home fragrance.  I loved the cinnamon touch to this candle and I just know that my guests would too.  I also grabbed a couple votive candles in Sunny Sand for a particular friend who would spend every second at the beach if she could.  My last choice was Fresh Apple fragrance beads.  These fragrances are so perfect for holidays. I know that I love to have my house smell divine during the holidays and passing that on as a gift with quality candle products seemed so perfect for my welcome basket gift idea.

Once I had all the items for my gift basket, I went to work, but I wanted to make something to personalize the basket even more.  I grabbed my Silhouette and went to work designing a holiday card that I personally feel turned out so pretty.  I used the lace tri-fold card template and the welcome templates you see below, and color coded them for cutting purposes.  I then cut them out and put them together.  (You can get a quick tutorial of how to do all that here.)

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Once I had each piece cut out, I then used glue runners to assemble the card.  On the inside of each card I wrote a special message to thank my friends who are coming to our party.

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After the card was created, I went to work putting together the basket using the following supplies:

  • Mixing Bowl ($1.50)
  • Paper Shred ($0.99/bag)
  • 2 festive hand towels ($1.00 each)
  • Handmade card (Free if you have paper and supplies!)
  • American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand items (19" candle-$15.00, Votives- $1.50 each, fragrance beads-$3.50)
  • Kitchen utensils (around $1.00 each)

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Directions: 
  • First I placed the paper shred into the mixing bowl. 
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  • Next I rolled up the hand towels and put them together in one side of the back of the bowl.
  • I placed the handmade card in front of those. 
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  • I created a "fan" of utensils in the back of the bowl, by pushing them into the paper shred.
  • I then placed the American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand items on the other side of the bowl.  (For the picture I put all three, but for the individual baskets, I chose candles specific to my friends tastes, so each basket had a different candle option). 

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  • I think I will add my friends favorite candies or even some tiny shooters to the front to give them a bit more depth, but for right now I am just in love with how this turned out and cannot wait to share it with them. 

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The American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand was a fantastic surprise to find at Walmart and what is even better is that you can also order the fantastic fragrances online at the Walmart Assortment Page too!  I made these baskets for between $14.00 and $30.00 and am so excited to share these with my friends. 

So tell me which fragrance would you love to try?


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Double Date Night with Hard Rock & Tommyknocker #ThisIsHardRock [ad]

Thursday was awful in so many ways.  My day just started out wrong.  My son had an accident, my daughter wouldn't sleep, my school day was terrible and overall I had just started the culmination to end a terrible week.  I was already looking forward to a fantastic double date night with our friends Jeremy & Censie from Building Our Story at the Hard Rock Cafe to check out the new Tommyknocker Pairing that they are debuting today!

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Look friends, you get it, you guys work and struggle and try to survive.  A date night is few and far between and when you get a great couple to go out with you go!  Censie and I were super excited when Hard Rock asked us to come hang out for the evening and sample the new menu additions.  We started with the fantastic drinks...I had 3 for me and well, that explains my week. 

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We sipped on "Bohemian Rasp-sody" with vodka and merlot mixed with fresh raspberries and passion fruit.  On my list is was good, strong but good, but more of a sipper for sure.  I dug into "She's my Apple Pie" with Fireball Whiskey and Angry Orchard along with apple & pineapple juices. The whipped cream on top was amazing and the perfect accent to this warm drink.  However, the winner of the night for that sweet tooth of mine was "Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot".  Fireball Whiskey, Rum Chata, Coco Real, Monin Almond, Pineapple Juice and cinnamon had me on lock.  It was just the drink to get my week going in the right direction.  

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Next we were overloaded with the most glorious fry options and dipping sauces. Chili Fries with Chipotle Garlic Ketchup dipping sauce, Parmesan Fries with Garlic Aioli Sauce and Herb and Garlic Fries with Chimichurri Mayo.   These savory artesian fries were a perfect accent to a glorious meal.

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The burgers were up next and obviously Hard Rock knows how to make these rockin.  Let me tell you, they did not disappoint.  We enjoyed the heck out of these amazing options.  First we sampled the Modelo Especial Bacon Cheeseburger.  This had grilled poblano chilis, applewood smoked bacon, angus beef and garlic aioli.  It was good but then enter the local celebrity Chuck Nasty Burger. Did someone say macaroni and cheese with bacon, guacamole and deliciousness on a bun?  I was certain this would be my favorite until...

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...The Bockhouse Burger, cooked with Butt Head Bock Lager is patty melt on sourdough toast with caramelized onions, Monterey jack cheese and bock steak sauce pretty much won my week!  The Butt Head Bock Lager has also won several gold medals at Denver's Great American Beer Festival and I could easily see why.  You have to check this out. 

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We finished our evening with dessert.  The hubby and I went for the rich and delicious Oreo Cheesecake.  It was everything and more.  

Overall our night was great.  Hard Rocks service was impeccable.  I literally have never had service so good and wish I would have remembered cash to tip them accordingly.  They were seriously amazing.  The restaurant was packed full, the bar was hopping, the atmosphere was laid back, relaxed and perfect.  Thank you so much for hosting us.

Please make sure to stop into Hard Rock Cafe in Denver to check out this Tommyknocker pairing and the other deliciousness they have in store for you. 

What are you most eager to try? 

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Disclosure: We received our meals and drinks for free but were not asked to write a post or share on social media.  I did so because it was so darn good and you all should know about this.