Archive for January 2016

The Ultimate Valentine's Round Up!

January 29, 2016
Love is in the air! Valentine's Day is around the corner and the Social Fabric Community has put together the Ultimate Valentine's Day Round-Up to help you prepare for the season of love. From tutorials to crafts to delicious recipes, we have something for everyone. We dare you not to fall in love with these ideas!






Craft/DIY/Tutorial 

Friendly Valentine Candy Jar - Creative Ramblings 
Valentine Felt Envelopes - Good Morning Loretta 
Valentine's Day Candy Filled Mason Jar - Savvy Saving Couple
Valentine's Day Love Bug Craft - Maryland Momma's Rambles
Last-Minute Quick, Cute Cut-Out Cards - Our Daily Craft 
DIY Heart Shaped Massage Bars - Thriftanista in the City
Valentine Memo Chalkboard - Southern Couture 
Valentine's Day Chalkboard Decoration - Pretty in Pigment 
Flower Vase Craft - Polka Dotted Blue Jay 
No-Sew Ribbon Embellished Cocktail Napkins - Atta Girl Says
Macaroni Art Lace Hearts - ABCs and Garden Peas 
Cupid's Arrow Valentine's Day Favors - Home. Made. Interest.
Hand Lettered Valentine Notecards - One Artsy Mama 
Instagram Magnetic Bookmarks - Happy Go Lucky Blog 
Birdseed Heart Valentines - Made with Happy 
Valentine's Day Burlap Wreath - The Farm Girl Gabs 
Cute Flower Valentines for Kids - Love, Jaime 
DIY Valentine Flower Corsage - Suburban Wife, City Life 
DIY Valentine's Snowglobes - Woods of Bell Trees 
Valentine Envelope Chair Backers - 2Paws Designs 
Reversible Valentine's Day/St. Patrick's Day Banner - Fearlessly Creative Mammas 
Mini Bubblegum Machine Valentines - Bubbly Nature Creations
DIY Button Heart Picture Collage - Our Piece of Earth 
Kids' Valentine's Day Gift with FREE Printable - A Cowboy's Life
Easy Mesh and Ribbon Valentine's Day Wreath - My Pinterventures 
Snickerdoodle Sugar Scrub Recipe - Sunny Sweet Days 
Valentine's Day Verse on Burlap - Life with Captain Fussybuckets
12 Days of Romance Scavenger Hunt - The Mama Zone 
Candy Kiss Ring - So TIPical Me 
Valentine's Day Hand Print Craft - As Cute as a Bug's Ear 
How to Make a Valentine's Day Ribbon Banner - Aprons and Stilletos 
Date Night with a Romantic Treasure Hunt - The TipToe Fairy
Chalkboard Gift Box - Organized Island 
Easy Valentines Felt Pillow Cover - Creative Southern Home 
Polar Fleece Ruffle Heart Wreath - Joy's Life 
Making A Valentine's Day Rag Wreath with Fabric Scraps - Third Stop on the Right 
Washi Tape Bubble Valentines - Moneywise Moms 
Homemade Candles in 5 Easy Steps - Lemon Peony 
DIY Felt Ornaments for Valentine's Day - 3 Little Greenwoods
Butterfly Valentine's Day Craft - Sarah in the Suburbs 
Epsom Salt DIY Valentine Candles - A Day in the Motherhood 
I "DOVE" You Printable with Candy - Newlywed Survival
Rainbow Heart PomPom Garland - Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Wishes 
Valentine's Day Printed Burlap Subway - Occasionally Crafty 
Pom Pom Cupcakes Valentine Craft - Cute as a Fox 
Valentine's Wooden Door Hanger - We Got the Funk 
Hearts Aplenty: Valentine's Day DIY Decor - Woman in Real Life
Love Letters Simple Valentine's Day Craft - Craving Some Creativity 
Valentine's Day Coffee Cup Sleeve - Craving Cynchronicity 
How to Make a Great Loves Print - My Sweet Sanity 
Cross Stitch Heart Pillow - Cutesy Crafts 
Free Valentine's Day Cards Kids Can Make - Happy and Blessed Home 

Recipe 
Valentine Cupcakes - Home Maid Simple 
Valentine's Day Cakes - Charleston Crafted 
Red Velvet Pudding Cups - Mostly Homemade Mom 
Blood Orange Panna Cotta - Mooshu Jenne 
Candy Cane Chocolate Hearts - Drugstore Divas 
Cranberry Bliss Bars - Swanky Recipes 
Valentine Rice Crispy Treats - Midwestern Moms 
Chocolate Valentine Sandies - Cindy's Recipes and Writings
M&M’s® Red Velvet Brownies - Julie is Coco and Cocoa 
Nutella Filled Conversation Hearts - A Million Moments
Conversation Hearts Martini - JVKOM Chronicles 
Valentine's Day S'mores Dip - Our Mini Family 
M&M’s® Red Velvet Blondies - The NYC Talon 
Valentine's Day Cheesecake Brownies - West of the Loop 
Red Velvet Cheesecakes - Houseful of Nicholes 
Chocolate Kiss Valentine's Day Cookies - Moscato Mom
Chocolate and Candy Valentine Popcorn - Made by a Princess 
Easy Valentine's Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies - Janine Huldie 
Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe - Scrappy Geek 
Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry Sauce - Graceful Order 
Love Dipped Wafers - Sparkles to Sprinkles 
Valentine's Day Bento Lunch - Diana Rambles 
"Blackened" Seafood Medley for a Low-Calorie Valentine's Dinner - Broken TeePee 
Sweet Salty Fudge - Foody Schmoody Blog 
Valentine's Day Covered Pretzels - Texas Type A Mom 
Valentine's Popcorn - Mommy's Bundle 
The Easiest Valentine's Day Fudge Recipe - Young at Heart Mommy 
Valentine's Day Butter Cookies - Ilona's Passion 
Valentine's Day Blondies - Saving You Dinero 
Super Healthy Pomegranate-Cranberry-Almond Smoothie - Easy Cooking with Molly 
Brownie Cut-outs - Tramplingrose 
Puppy Valentine's Day Cookies - Staying Close to Home 
Valentine OREO Brownie Bar Recipe - As Mom Sees It Strawberry-Vanilla Ice Cream Pie - Johanny's Kitchen 
Strawberry Filled Chocolate Cake - Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
Chocolate Raspberry Truffles - Food Lovin Family 
Honey Bee My Valentine Cakes - I Don't Have Time for That 
Red Velvet Valentine's Day Parfaits - Living a Sunshine Life
Homemade Strawberry Syrup - Day by Day in Our World
Cranberry Hootycreek Cookies - Momma DJane 
Red Velvet Donuts - Frugal Family Tree 
Strawberry Mocha Granola - Strength & Sunshine 
Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - Tales of a Ranting Ginger 
Chocolate Shot Glasses - The Bewitchin' Kitchen 
Chocolate Pretzel Kisses - Just 2 Sisters 
Valentine's Candy Bark - Life with the Crust cut off 
Chocolate Kiss Shooter! - Housewives of Frederick County 
Super Simple Valentine's Day Candy Hearts - My Real Food Family 
Easy Strawberry Crinkle Cookies - Meatloaf & Melodrama 
3 Ingredient Strawberry Brownies - Fun Things to Do in Central Mass 
Nutella Baked Brie - Basil and Bubbly 
Easy Cupid Crinkles - Creative Southern Home 
Valentine's Day Edible Tic Tac Toe Game - A Frugal Friend
Valentine's Day Ombre Sweet Treat - Tastefully Frugal 

Party 

How to Throw a Budget Friendly Valentine's Day Party - Amber Nicole Blogs 
Valentine's Day Party for Tweens - Soiree Event Design 
Love is in the Air Valentine Table - Not Just a Mommy 
Valentine's Day Tea Party - The Peanuts Gang 

Printables 
Easy Valentine's Printables - I am the Maven® 
Printable Valentine's Day Lunch Box Notes and Coupons - Gluesticks Blog 
"I Love You Like" Valentine's Free Printable - C'mon Get Crafty 
4 Free Valentine's Day Coloring Pages - Saving More than Me
Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt Clues - Mom on the Side
Valentine Gift for Kids {Free Printable} - Fun on a Dime 
Crayon Valentines Printable - Mom's Messy Miracles 
Tic Tac Toe XOXO Valentine with Free Printable - Housewife Eclectic 
Valentine's Day Activities for Kids - Simple Living Mama 
2 Free Printable Valentines (Owls) - Altamonte Family 
Love is in the Air Valentine Card - Making of a Mom 
Matchstick Valentine Free Printable - Frenchie 
Valentine's Day Lunch Box Notes & Jokes - Coupons are Great 
I "Wheelie" Like You Car Valentine Printable - Artsy Momma

Round-Up 
Valentine's Day Guide - The Ranting Latina! 
24 Frugal Valentine's Ideas - Real: The Kitchen and Beyond 
7 Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day - Downshifting PRO 
5 Perfect Valentine's Day Gifts for Bloggers - That Chic Mom 
Top 5 Romantic Restaurants to Eat at in East Greenwhich, Rhode Island - Mama Luvs Books 


Other 

War Room Movie Night - A Beautiful Exchange 
Pairing Chocolate with Wine & Spirits - In Good Taste 
Valentine's Day Make-up Tutorial - Glam Hungry Mom 
Valentine's Day Dinner at Home - Natasha Byrd

Can you feel the love tonight with all these great Valentine's Day inspired activities?



Skinny Asian Chicken Thighs

January 27, 2016
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SweetNewYear #CollectiveBias

These super moist, oven baked chicken thighs are coated in a better-for-you sweet sauce flavored with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce - a perfect weeknight meal!




I can't honestly say I made any New Year's Resolutions this year. Mainly because I've been really working hard at eating healthier and being more active daily since a few weeks after Reuben was born, about mid-end of November. So I suppose my "New Year's Resolution" started a bit earlier than January!

I say, "working hard" because for someone, who for the past 9 months just ate whatever didn't make me feel sick, making better choices with food is darn HARD WORK! It is something I have to think about every day and it has come to be something I really want to think about every day. I know that sounds cliche, but really, when you start eating better you start really feeling better, and the cycle continues. Eating better, combined with regular exercise (which, again, is MUCH easier when you're not carrying essentially a bowling ball in front anymore), is really the classic solution for me to reach my fitness goals in 2016.





One of the ways I've tried to do this is to cut as many empty carbs as I can, and reduce my sugar intake as much as possible. Again, REALLY hard work! I'm one of those people that does wonderfully during breakfast and lunch, but then dinner through late night Netflix time, I snack on whatever is in the kitchen. I've noticed that when I do MUCH better when I try to recreate a favorite meal to be healthier, than when I make something completely unfamiliar to us every single night. Let's just say kale did not go over well in this house!

One of our all-time favorite family meals is a baked chicken thigh recipe that is coated in sugary sweet soy-ginger sauce. It tastes a lot like take-out, but along with the fatty chicken meat and the sugar-laden sauce on top of white rice, it's not the best meal for someone trying to eat better! I remade this recipe using my all-time favorite sweetener product, Truvia Spoonable.

It's extremely simple, too - just buy a large pack of bone-in skin-on chicken thighs and lay them in a large baking dish. I can fit about 10 thighs into my 9 x 13 inch dish.





Stir together the sauce ingredients, pour over the chicken, making sure to drizzle sauce over any areas that may have been missed. 





Then, just pop in the oven for an hour. It's really a wonderful better-for-you dinner!



Skinny Asian Chicken Thighs

Ingredients
  • 8-10 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Truvia Spoonable
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional: steamed brown rice & sugar snap peas
Cooking Directions
  1. Lay chicken thighs in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken, being sure to spoon extra sauce over any missed areas.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Serve with steamed brown rice and sugar snap peas with extra sauce drizzled on top.





Honestly, this chicken is one of the most flavorful, moist chicken I've made - the whole family loved it!





Have you used Truvia Spoonable in your kitchen yet? I actually can't make my coffee in the morning the way that I like it best without my Truvia. And that statement should carry some serious weight as my coffee is my beloved in the mornings! I really love how easy it is to use instead of sugar in my recipes. It has such a great flavor. Click here to request a FREE sample sent to your home!





I can always find Truvia Spoonable in the baking aisle of my local Walmart. Be sure to check out even more great recipes here!


What would you try Truvia Spoonable with first? Leave you answer in the comment section below - I'd absolutely LOVE to hear from you!

Big Mac Chip Dip

January 25, 2016
This dip tastes just like that famous cheeseburger - even with special sauce! This is a perfect recipe for any party you have coming up!






Where you in the path of Jonas this weekend? Here in central PA, we officially received about 30 inches of snow at the end of the blizzard last night. I've seen a good amount of snow storms in my 32 years, but I have to say - this was the windiest blizzard I ever remember!

Paul went out with the boys in the middle of it on Saturday to at least try and shovel the sidewalk in front of our house. I think he made it about 5 minutes before he realized the area he had just shoveled was already being covered over by the wind blowing snow right back over the walkway. The boys lasted about 5 minutes and then said they were too cold and came back in.

And then yesterday was the great dig out! I think our neighborhood's snow plow only came through our development once, and unfortunately left about a car's length of snow behind everyone's car. It took Paul about 3 hours to just get to the bumper of our car. Then he tagged me in and it took me another hour and a half to dig out the passenger side of the car. He crawled through to the driver's side and was able to pull the car out. 





The main problem was where to put all this snow! We decided to sacrifice our Jetta and piled the car high with shoveled snow. I don't think that car will be usable until spring, HA! Actually, I'm hoping with the warmer, rainy weather they're calling for tomorrow will melt a good bit of it and let us shovel it out. We can hold out hope!

I'm proud to say I stocked up and we had PLENTY of food to eat during our snow-cation. I whipped up this Big Mac Chip Dip while Paul and the boys were outside, and they were THRILLED to have this to snack on when they came in, famished. It tastes pretty darn close to the real deal - this is a great recipe to have on hand for your Super Bowl party coming up soon!



Big Mac Chip Dip

Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 lbs Velveeta, cubed
  • 1/2 cup real bacon pieces
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Thousand Island dressing
  • tortilla chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Brown ground beef in a deep skillet, drain, and return to pan.
  2. Stir in dried minced onion and Worcestershire sauce and simmer over low heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in cubed Velveeta and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted and smooth.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in bacon pieces and tomatoes.
  5. Transfer to serving bowl and drizzle Thousand Island dressing over top. Serve warm with tortilla chips.




This dip thickens up considerably as it cools, so keep it on low in a Crockpot for parties - it's SO GOOD!





Here are some more of my favorite dips:

Slow Cooker Bacon Horseradish Onion Ring Dip




Skinny Spinach & Artichoke Dip




Best Ever Chip Dip




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Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Pizza

January 21, 2016
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.


Baked box brownie crust topped with sweet peanut butter, chopped mini peanut butter cups, and drizzled with chocolate frosting! The perfect, show-stopping dessert!





The moments I have alone with my oldest kiddo are few and far between these days. There are just too many other boys in this house, boys that are younger and demand much more of my attention. Silas just plain doesn't need my help with nearly as many things anymore! Sniff, sniff.

This time of the year always makes me sentimental with him because his birthday is in February. Cold days, football games on the tv, and watching the news reports for any snow on the forecast. In fact, he came home today announcing that the talk of the day at school was a possible snow storm at the end of this week. Winter is in full swing, that's for sure!





It's so fun to see him grow up and I'm so thankful that I get to be his mom. I'm really interested to see during this year's big football game, if he starts getting into the sports games and excited for his team to win. He's been involved in local kid sports teams here in our town for the past two years, but he is VERY excited for his sports seasons to start. As the oldest in the family, he gets to experience the newest stages of childhood first - and I can't wait to be right there with him!






This Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Pizza was a special dessert he helped me put together with the Big Game Day in mind! Brownie, peanut butter cups, and drizzled chocolate - you can't go wrong with this one!




Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Pizza

Ingredients
  • 1 lb 2.4 oz Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix (plus ingredients called for on box)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Pillsbury Creamy Supreme® Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare brownies according to box directions. Spread into a well-greased 12 inch pizza pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 26 - 28 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat peanut butter, powdered sugar, and milk until smooth and fluffy. Spread over cooled brownies in pan.
  4. Press chopped peanut butter cups and chocolate chips into peanut butter.
  5. In a small bowl, microwave chocolate frosting 15 - 20 seconds. Drizzle over brownies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.





If you're a chocolate peanut butter fanatic, this dessert is for you!




I really love how convenient it was for me to pick up Pillsbury Brownie Mix and Pillsbury Creamy Supreme® frosting on my last grocery trip to Walmart, right in the baking aisle. 





I usually wind up grabbing a few boxes to stock up while I'm there, too! Plus, there's a money-saving ibotta rebate available right now to save some money - score! I absolutely love baking, and any time I can involve my kids in the process, it's so much more fun






How will you #MixUpAMoment with your family this Game Day? Be sure to check back right here at Mostly Homemade Mom in two weeks - I'll be sharing a yummy Valentine's Day brownie treat that you won't want to miss!!


Here are some more of my favorite brownie treats:

Peanut Butter Mousse Brownies




Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies




Chocolate Mousse Brownies




Don't miss another Mostly Homemade Mom recipe! Click here to have recipes delivered by email. Or, you can follow along via FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram, or Google+ - I'd love to connect with you!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.


Red Velvet Pound Cake

January 18, 2016
This post contains my Amazon affiliate link - thanks for supporting my work here at Mostly Homemade Mom!

This gorgeous cake starts with a cake mix - no one would guess! Filled with miniature chocolate chips and topped with homemade cream cheese frosting, this is a great dessert for Valentine's Day or any day!






I've never been a huge fan of red velvet cake, only because it always tasted "sort of" like chocolate. And when I taste chocolate, I want it to really be chocolatey! None of this "kind of" chocolate flavor - I want the real deal!

That was until I tried this version of red velvet cake.

OH MAN.

First of all, yes it uses a red velvet cake mix. I even when the cheap route and picked up a generic version to just see if this would really taste amazing. Oh wow, did it ever! This is a typical, heavy, rich, pound cake with a true chocolate flavor running through the center. The cream cheese frosting is sweet, but perfectly offsets the rich flavor of the cake, in my opinion. My main problem was sticking to my diet when this baby was on the counter!






Which is why I had it wrapped up and in the backseat of my car ready to take to my mom (red velvet is one of her favorites). Which she then proceeded to tell me she had come down with the stomach bug. Sorry, mom. :( Instead, the amazing members of the board at our church had a treat during their meeting after service this Sunday instead! And boy am I glad that thing is out of the house - I have no willpower around a cake of this magnitude, that's for sure!




Red Velvet Pound Cake

Ingredients
  • 15.25 oz package red velvet cake mix, dry
  • 3.4 oz package instant chocolate pudding mix, dry
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat dry cake mix, dry pudding mix, oil, water, sour cream, and eggs until smooth.
  2. Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups miniature chocolate chips. Spread evenly into a well-greased Bundt pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. For frosting, beat together butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar until fluffy. Spread over cooled cake.
  5. Press remaining miniature chocolate chips over top of cake. Store cake covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

*Recipe from Gooseberry Patch Simple Shortcut Recipes Cookbook - which I HIGHLY recommend - it's one of my favorites!* 






If you're looking for a new and special dessert to surprise your family with this Valentine's Day - you've found it! 






Here are some more of my favorite Valentine's Day desserts:


Red Velvet Pudding Cups




Fresh Strawberry Jello Cake




15 Recipes to Celebrate Valentine's Day




Don't miss another Mostly Homemade Mom recipe! Click here to have recipes delivered by email. Or, you can follow along via FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram, or Google+ - I'd love to connect with you!

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