Archive for August 2013

Arby's Grand Turkey Club & DIY Restaurant Busy Book

August 30, 2013
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Arby's for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It is really rare to take Silas out just me and Paul. We had free tickets to see Planes in3D and then we took him out to Arby's for dinner afterwards. Actually, this was the only time we've ever taken him out without Wesley since the littlest booger was born! He actually did really good at the movie, though about half-way through he was wandering around the back row of the theater. There was only two other people in there so we let him wander and have fun. :)

I made this super simple DIY Restaurant Busy Book for when we got to Arby's and Silas LOVED it! I just took an old DVD case, put some scrapbooking paper and his name inside the cover, and filled it with some sticker books and dry erase markers from the dollar store. Really easy and really practical to keep kids entertained at a restaurant. As a side note, I can't take how cute he is in those 3D glasses ha!

Paul and I were really excited to try Arby's new Grand Turkey Club, but really they had us at "Arby's." Seriously, those curly fries dipped in the horsey sauce... TOTALLY addictive! Sometimes when he's getting home really late from work, he'll stop by the Arby's drive through and order me some curly fries with his "dinner." I honestly haven't had the sandwiches there for a long time. We both ordered the meals and Silas had the adorable kid's meal (really great healthy options for kids, and a toy with no tiny parts to get lost). I was honestly suprised at how much I really loved the Grand Turkey Club - the bacon and the turkey together was just out of this world!

Doesn't that sound delicious?! They also have the Grand Turkey & Ham Club sandwich that has the same as above only with an added layer of ham as well - can't wait to try that one! If you are local to our area, I really recommend our local Ephrata Arby's. If not, click here to Find an Arby’s near you. The entire restaurant was bright and clean, and the workers were above and beyond nice to us and espcially Silas. Probably one of my favorite things about Arby's is the bell at the doors that you ring for good service. Silas loved that part!

What's your favorite thing to order at Arby's? Do you plan on trying the Grand Turkey Club?

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Show & Share Wednesday #52

August 28, 2013

I can't believe it's been a full year of Show & Share Wednesdays! I just want to say a huge thank you to those of you who participate and link up each week, and to the readers who come and are inspired by these fantastic blogs. I have loved getting to "know" all of you and I hope you've had fun, too. Let's get started on another year, shall we? :)

Here are the amazing features from last week:

Sweet & Hot Baked Sesame Chicken - Anyonita Nibbles

Lemon Cake Batter Truffles - Simply Suzanne

Buttermilk Roast Chicken - Vintage Zest

Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Tacos - Your Homebased Mom

Show & Share link party rules:

  • Link up your newest recipe, diy project, kid activity, anything you are proud of and want to share.
  • While I love Etsy shops and giveaways, they are not in the spirit of this party.
  • I reserve the right to remove any link that is not family friendly.
  • Grab a button below to display on your post or provide a text link back either in the post or on your link party page.
  • Some link-ups will be featured on Semi Homemade Mom's Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you follow both. Check back next week to see who got the most clicks!

Grab button for Semi Homemade Mom

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Strawberry Lemonade Slurpee with Kraft & Dollar General!

August 27, 2013
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hold on to summer with this EASY Strawberry Lemonade Slurpee made with Kool-Aid and strawberries - available at Dollar General! Click here to print money saving coupons for your favorite Kraft summertime drinks!

Ok everyone, so you've heard me say this for the past two weeks - I can't wait for fall! Apple cider, pumpkin treats, sweater weather... my favorite time of year by far. Fall just reminds me of being at home with my family with a warm drink in my hand and enjoying the colors outside. Love!

So we're only a few days into the new school year and you know what I want to scream? STOP September, I want to get off!! Those lazy days of summer where we just spur of the moment decide to take a drive to the mall and walk around or go to a playground with the kids (this was the first year we could actually sit and watch them play). Stop by somewhere on the way home and pick up some ice cold smoothies... I already miss summer! Not to mention the fact that all you have to do is just walk outside and summer hits you right in the face - it's still HOT! So now we have the chaos that is fall schedules and school, and none of the fall perks. GAH!

If you want to hold on to summer just a little bit longer with me, you HAVE to make these super easy Strawberry Lemonade Slurpees! These are PERFECT for those super hot, steamy days when you just need to cool off. What a fun after school treat, too!

Strawberry Lemonade Slurpees
makes three servings

1 packet Lemonade Kool-Aid
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups seltzer or club soda
5 large strawberries, stems removed
2 1/2 cups ice

Place all ingredients in blender. Pulse until ice is finely crushed. Serve immediately - don't forget the straw!

Even if you don't have time to whip up a slurpee when you're on the go, splash a little Kool-Aid, Mio, or Crystal Light into your bottle of water, it's a great way to change it up. All of these Kraft drinks can be found at Dollar General, along with Country Time and Capri Sun as well. 

So tell me, what part of summer do you want to hold on to?

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{Out of the Box} Lunchbox Ideas and $300 Back to School Giveaway!

August 26, 2013

So I'm going from last year being home with my kiddos, to this year all four of us going different places and four lunches to pack every day! It's a good thing our kids like what we eat for the most part, because there's no way I'm making four different combinations of lunches. Sure fire way to drive a mama crazy!

I don't know about you, but I get plain sick of sandwiches day after day for lunch. My kids are becoming picky at dinner time, but lunch time seems to be "their meal" so I want to make sure they have enough healthy options in their lunches to pick from to fill them for the rest of the day. 

Before we get to the list, who could use an extra $300 for your back to school shopping? I know I could! I've teamed up with this amazing group of bloggers for a HUGE $300 Target gift card giveaway! It runs today through September 6th so don't wait... :)

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Back to School Giveaway

Ok, and now on to our lunchbox ideas - here's a list of tips and recipes I'm planning on using in our lunches this year to switch up the boring ham & cheese:

Leftover Lunches

These are all great freezeable recipes! For the casseroles, just scoop the leftovers in regular or jumbo muffin tins, freeze 10-30 minutes, then pop them out into labeled ziploc bags. The night before, just stick however many you need in the fridge to defrost - these would require a microwave at school or work when it's time to eat. For the individual serving meals, just flash freeze on a cookie sheet for 10-30 minutes, and do the same as above. Easy!

Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Skillet Tuna Cakes

Ham & Cheddar Ziti

Ranch Pesto Rigatoni Bake

Salsa Meatloaf Bites

Sandwich Alternatives

Lunchmeat and PB&J is a great standby, but they can get old after a while. These fun sandwiches and wraps keep lunchtime exciting! I'm planning on using these Ziploc divided containers and allowing them to assemble the sandwiches at lunch, that way the bread/wrap/waffle/etc. won't get soggy.

Easy Cheesy Pizza Pockets

Honey Dijon Chicken Salad

Copycat BBQ Chicken Snack Wraps

Southwest Chicken Wraps

Stuffed Corn & Black Bean Quesadillas

Souper Soups

Soups are a great way to pack in the nutrition PLUS most of these recipes make a ton! I would recommend freezing these in the muffin tins also - we love soup!

Easy Lasagna Soup

Crockpot Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Crockpot Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Alphabet Soup

Pumpkin & Black Bean Chili

Lunchbox Snacks & Treats

I'm REALLY going to try not to fall into the trap of buying boxes of granola bars and bags of cheez-its - it's so much more affordable (and a lot of times healthier) to make large batches of treats on the weekend and freeze. Again, just defrost in the fridge the night before and you're good to go These Silicone muffin cups keep snacks and treats from spilling into other foods and look really bright and cute in the lunchbox, too!

DIY Microwave Popcorn

Citrus Broccoli Salad

Avocado Hummus

Apple Cinnamon Waffle Parfait

{Back to School} Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Banana Applesauce Crescents

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Banana Bread

So how about you, will you be trying anything new this year to switch up the lunchbox routine? 

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Menu Plan Monday 8/26 - First Day of School!

August 25, 2013

Well, this is it! Tomorrow is Silas' first day of 3 day preschool, Paul's first day back to classes, and my first day back teaching - and I have lunches to pack, coupons to print, and clothes to iron. Among many other little things that add up to about 3 hours worth of work. I'm exhausted already! Here's the meal plan for the week:

Mozzarella Mushroom Burgers

Farmer's Market Spaghetti

Mozzarella, Pesto, & Tomato Grilled Cheese (carry over)

Nacho Roasted Potatoes

Texas Tacos

Crockpot Tortellini Lasagna

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken & Rice

Don't miss another Mostly Homemade Mom recipe! Click here to have recipes delivered by emailCheck out some more great menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday, Stone Gable, and Scraps of Life.