27Jul

Date Night On a Budget

This post is sponsored by Pop Secret. This post s are my own.ate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The secret to Perfect Popcorn...

During the winter months, we LOVE to have family movie night. We’ll all gather around on the chair, couch, or sometimes spread out on the floor with blankets, pop some popcorn, and watch a great family-friendly movie.

In the summer, however, it’s a different story. Bedtime gets pushed back from 8:30 to 9:00 while our boys are enjoying the longer days. They love to be outside. Summer is not a time to be inside watching a movie at our house.

So, lately, family movie night has kind of turned into a budget date night for mom and dad. Seriously…who doesn’t have a couple bucks for a box of popcorn?? (Please forgive my ridiculously bad “selfie” skills!)

pop secret2

After the boys go to bed, we’ve taken to watching a Little House on the Prairie episode, and enjoying a bowl of popcorn. It’s even more fun to have our popcorn date since Ma and Pa Ingalls so often enjoy popcorn in bed together :)

Of course, they had to work a bit harder to get their popcorn!

We mostly stick to the microwaveable kind. Easy peasy. Except…

Burned Popcorn Rant

1. The Smell!!! If you’ve ever been in a small, closed up office when someone burned a bag of popcorn, you know what I’m talking about. Burned popcorn is one of the worst smells…and it can hang around for days!

2. The Taste!!! It’s only fitting that something that smells that bad would also taste bad. But, seriously…it is BAD! And sometimes a few burned ones sneak their way right into the bowl along with the perfect ones, and that is NO fun…yuck!

The Perfect Pop App from Pop Secret

So, there really is an app for everything now! Pop Secret has created this awesome app to help you put an end to burned popcorn! This neat app will entertain you with fun facts, and give you a little sneak preview of your popping corn. Here are a few screen shots of when we used it.  The kiddos especially enjoyed it :)

popsecret

Check out the video for more info

All you need for the Pop Secret app is an iPhone 5+ and IOS 7+…and a bag of Pop Secret popcorn, of course!

Everyone can relate to the frustration of burning popcorn, so Pop Secret decided to solve the problem once and for all, so you can spend more time enjoying movies and less time worrying about burned popcorn!

With your iPhone 5+ on iOS 7+, download Perfect Pop (“Perfect Popcorn”) for free on the App Store.

1. Put a bag of Pop Secret in the microwave and enter suggested cooking time from the packaging. Note: Perfect Pop is optimized for the deliciousness of Pop Secret popcorn only.

2. Turn up the volume on your iPhone. Point the phone’s speaker towards the microwave and keep within 3 feet.

3. Start the microwave, and then start the app.

No more relying on the popcorn button or guessing how many seconds in between pops. Pop Secret is serious about perfect popcorn, so the less you have to worry about, the more time you can spend enjoying movie night with your friends & family. Perfect Pop listens to the pops, waiting for the precise moment to let you know when your popcorn is perfect.

 Pop secret free app button

Apple is not affiliated with and does not endorse, sponsor, or support this third party app.

24Jul

Why You Need Jumper Cables (& How To Use Them–with printable)

Great little tutorial with a free printable. Never forget the proper way to jump a car.

This is not my typical post. I linked to an article yesterday on my facebook page, with a bunch of “car hacks.”  One of those great ideas was a printable tag with instructions to keep with your jumper cables in your car. A reader alerted me to the fact that it wasn’t working, so I decided to create one for you all.

But first…

You do have a set of jumper cables in your car, don’t you? If not, you should–it’s a $10 investment that I think every vehicle owner should make. A dead battery can happen to anyone, especially if you have children who might accidentally leave something on. Ahem. Because we adults would never do that, right???

You’ll be more likely to get help with your dead battery

When my husband and I first married, I had this car that was kind of on it’s last leg, and there were several issues that contributed to my having a dead battery a LOT during those months. The first time it happened, I was in the next county over, 30 minutes away. My hubby was at work, and fighting a forest fire, so there was no way he could come and help me. While a ridiculous number of cars just drove right past me sitting there in broad daylight with my hood up right in the middle of town, one person did stop to offer assistance. She was ready and willing to help me, but did not have a set of jumper cables in her car.

And neither did I.

I sat there that day for 4 hours. Until my hubby could finally come and help me. I was frustrated at the lack of offers to help that I received, but I was even more frustrated with myself, knowing that I could have started my car and drove off after the first half hour if I’d only had some jumper cables with me.

My husband and I went to the store and got some that very day.

Don’t think it can’t happen to you, even if your car is in great shape. There is a first time for everything, and there is always the possibility of leaving an inside light on, kids turning things on, etc.

You can help someone else

Even if you never do have a dead batter–lucky you!–you can possibly help someone else. Like the kind woman who stopped to offer assistance to me that day, I have also been in a position where I could have blessed someone if I’d only had a set of jumper cables with me. Hubby and I have had the opportunity to jump start other vehicles a few times.

How to Jump a Car

One word of caution–it is very important that you hook the cables up properly! Which is why I created this printable that you can print out and keep with the booster cables in your car. Full disclosure–the other one (the one with the broken link that I referred to above) was much cuter than mine! But, hopefully this will serve it’s purpose.

Get your instant download.

How to Jump a Car {printable tag}

 

Do you have booster/jumper cables in your car?

Have you ever been stranded with a dead battery?

23Jul

Thriving Thursday 7/24

Don’t miss my great list of nearly 40 free books for kindle that you can get right now…all from the best publishers and authors in Christian fiction, so definitely check that out.

What have you been up to this week?

There were so many FANTASTIC posts linked up last week and I can’t wait to see what you ladies have to share this week :)

Thriving Thursdays Link Up!!!

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives. It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ. Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord. Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.

I am so blessed by the posts you all share! I really look forward to seeing all of the encouragement shared here each week. Keep it coming! Sometimes I highlight posts here, and I also pin my favorites to the Thriving Thursdays Pinterest Board.

17Jul

Summer Fun with Cold Stone Creamery!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cold Stone Creamery. All opinions are 100% mine.

On Saturday, we took our boys to the park, where they did a lot of stuff that looked like this:

After all that running and jumping outside in the hot sun, what better way to cool off than with some delicious Cold Stone Creamery Creations™?! The boys had actually never been there before, so they were very excited. Ice cream is kind of a big deal in this house.

Here is my 4-year old showing off his shark Creation™…while still wearing his sunglasses. Yep, that’s our boy :)

Both boys got that same thing, except my 6 year old got his shark gummies mixed in. Here they are enjoying their ice cream…leave it to mom to get a shot with full mouths and blue ice cream lips :)

I, on the other hand, go straight for the chocolate! This is the new Summertime Creation™, OREO® Double Chocolate, which includes chocolate ice cream mixed with OREO® pieces, fudge, and whipped cream:

The whole family had a great time enjoying our ice cream. They were very reasonably priced. The boys each had a small create-your-own, while Hubby and I each had a “Gotta Have It” sized Creation™. However, we were able to use a BOGO free coupon which you can get, too, when you join the My Cold Stone Club. They will also send out additional BOGO free coupons for special occasions like birthdays, etc.

Here is our attempt at a “selfie” of the family…

And, hubby and me :)

Also, I just found out that July 20 is National Ice Cream Day. So, if you’re a person who needs a reason to eat ice cream (we’re not! lol), then there you have it…and Cold Stone Creamery is the perfect place to celebrate! They use high quality ingredients and their ice cream is made fresh daily at all locations. And, you get to watch them mix your ice cream Creations on their frozen granite stone.

For more info, Follow Cold Stone on Twitter.

I asked for flavor recommendations on facebook and got a bunch, so I know a lot of you are already Cold Stone fans!

Which new Summertime Creation™ would you like to try?

Visit Sponsor's Site

16Jul

Thriving Thursday 7/17

Yesterday, the #boymom hashtag came under fire, so I shared some of my thoughts about what I mean (and don’t mean!) when I say that I’m a boy mom.

Earlier in the week, I shared some thoughts about how we can respond when life feels like a struggle…along with a free 8 x 10 printable of a verse that has been empowering to me lately.

When Life is a Struggle

 

I also shared about a little science experiment we did–Will an Egg Float? A fun experiment to learn about the dead sea and water density.

Dead Sea Experiment

 

 

Finally, I shared my favorite gifts under $10 from Dayspring’s huge customer appreciation sale! (everything is 25% off with code THANKS25 even clearance!)

Dayspring Apron

 

Whew! It was a busy week here at the blog!

Don’t miss my great list of nearly 40 free books for kindle that you can get right now…all from the best publishers and authors in Christian fiction, so definitely check that out.

What have you been up to this week?

There were so many FANTASTIC posts linked up last week and I can’t wait to see what you ladies have to share this week :)

Thriving Thursdays Link Up!!!

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives. It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ. Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord. Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.

I am so blessed by the posts you all share! I really look forward to seeing all of the encouragement shared here each week. Keep it coming! Sometimes I highlight posts here, and I also pin my favorites to the Thriving Thursdays Pinterest Board.

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