The Creative Princess: July 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back to School Guide 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012
It's that time of year....again.

Time to send our kids back to school.
This is either a joyous time or a sad time.  For me, it is a little of both.  I am sad I won't have my Mads here with me all day but, I am happy I won't have to listen to the CONSTANT bickering.

This time of year also brings on a challenge.  What do we need to start the year off right?

We do our Back to School shopping a bit different.  Mads usually already has everything she needs to start the year with a BANG, as far as clothes.  It stays hot here for a few months after school starts, so her summer clothes get her through for a while.  We do like to purchase one or two new outfits so she feels like this is an exciting time, as she should.

When it comes to supplies, we stick with the list.  It just makes it easier.  Plus, at her school everything is just dumped into community tubs, we don't have to worry about finding THE CUTEST folders.  I do and do not like that method though, but I won't get into that today.  I do like to pricematch to get the lowest price possible.

When it comes to lunches we are a mix.  I let her decide if she wants to take her lunch that day or eat what the school provides.

As for ME, well I usually don't leave my house but to watch her walk home or to take her to dance.  I honestly have never thought about sprucing myself up for BTS.  I mean, aren't PJ's good enough in the drop off line?  HA!

This year I have had the pleasure of using a FUN Back to School Guide (it is such an awesome #momsguide) to help me decide where we will shop and what we will get.

 

This e-Guide talks about four great brands to get you ready for Back to School.

Sears Style ~  Sears Style is great to get Mom ready for BTS.  Who knew there were other options than dropping your kids off in your PJs?  I guess Sears did because they are ROCKIN' the Cool Mom Clothes this year!
Elmer's ~ Elmer's has an AWESOME new 1st Day app.  Capture your favorite BTS memories with this app and for every pic taken Elmer's will donate one item to kids in need!  You know I love that!
Tyson ~  Tyson has come out with a new Ready to Eat line.  I saw them at Walmart yesterday near the Lunchables and thought they would be perfect for a quick snack to split, or to toss in Mads lunch as we are rushing out the door.
Cookie's Kids ~ Cookie's is a new to me site.  Do your kids wear school uniforms?  Oh my goodness does Cookie's have you covered!  AND at GREAT prices!  Seriously, $3.99 for a polo and pants starting at $9.99!  Those are awesome prices!  We don't do uniforms but Cookie's still offers GREAT prices on regular clothes.  Be sure to check them out!

Oh!  One small thing I forgot to mention...not only have I been able to share this AWESOME BTS e-Guide with you, I will also get to shop one of the above brands.  I know which brand it is...would you like to guess?

I will share the brand with you in the next week, so stay tuned!

What do you get most excited about when shopping for back to school?
I think for me, this year, it was finding the CUTE glitter binders and notebooks.  Yeah, those aren't for Mads.....they are for ME!  HAHA!  I have to stay organized somehow!


I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. #CBias #SocialFabric All opinions are my own.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Celebrating National Hammock Day!

Monday, July 23, 2012
Oh! My! Gosh!

As most of you know, one of my VERY favorite places to be is in my backyard, laying in my hammock, listening to my girls giggle as they play.  Sometimes we like to share the hammock together as well.
#Cbias
I was SO excited last week when I learned, 1) there is a National Hammock Day and 2) #TCBYGrocery wanted to help me celebrate!

I think I literally shrieked in excitement!  HA!

So while Mads was at Dance Camp last week, Hubs and MG and I headed to Walmart.
#Cbias
Not only were we celebrating Hammock Day this weekend, we were also getting together with Hubs side of the family at the lake.  Needless to say, we needed to get a LOT of stuff.
National Hammock Day, #Cbias, #TCBYGrocery
We had a GREAT time at the lake and while it was relaxing, it was HOT!  We swam a LOT and enjoyed our time together.

Once we got home, there was nothing more that I wanted to do than put my feet up.  Yeah, I know we just spent the weekend relaxing at the lake but, there is nothing like being home.

As soon as we got home, I headed out to my hammock!
#TCBYGrocery #Cbias
We decided to also grill and celebrate one of my new favorite days!

Since Hubs and I did a lot of the cooking this weekend, we decided to keep it simple.  We grilled chicken and corn, this is one of our staple meals during the summer.
National Hammock Day, #TCBYGrocery, Walmart, #Cbias
After dinner, we brought out the YUMMY TCBY treats we picked up!
Walmart, Backyard BBQ, #Cbias
The girls could not wait to try these!  Mads went strait for the Vanilla Sandwiches while MG HAD to have the Fudge Bar!  I decided on the Fudge Bar and Hubs went for the Sandwich.  We all LOVED these yummy treats and I LOVE that they are low on calories!

We had to eat them fast though, it was still REALLY hot out.

Do you love TCBY as much as I do?  Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter!  You can also find them on Pinterest, you know I love that!

Want even MORE TCBY goodness?  We are having a TWITTER PARTY!  These are always so much fun!  You even have a chance to win some GREAT prizes!

Date: Thursday, July 26, 12-1pm CST
Hashtag: #TCBYGrocery
Topic: YUMMY TCBY Frozen Yogurt
Prizes: (3) $25 and (1) $100 Walmart Gift Cards (WooHoo!!)
RSVP Here (you have to, to win): http://bit.ly/MHV7CO
Custom Tweet Grid (it just makes it easier):  http://cbi.as/vr4a7

Hope to see you there! 
#Cbias, Backyard BBQ, Walmart

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and TCBY #TCBYGrocery #CBias #SocialFabric
All opinions are my own. 

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Life Is Precious

Monday, July 16, 2012
Late last week I was sitting at the computer reading the discussion about Magic Mike.  Yep, the movie.  It has been a pretty heated debate about why or why not people should or should not see it.

Then.

Then I was reminded that it really does not matter.  MM is fake, it is make believe.  Who cares!

I was reminded of something much, MUCH, more precious than some silly movie.

Life.

Life Is Precious.

We never know when our time will come.

We never know if something is going to happen.

We never know.

Last Friday a friend of mine posted that a daughter and cousin of one of her friends went missing.

The girls are 8 and 10 (or 11, reports vary).

Their names are Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook.
Iowa, Missing Girls,
  I ask that you stop, STOP RIGHT NOW!  I don't care where you are, I don't care what you are doing.  Just STOP!  Now, please PRAY for these precious children.  Pray for their safety, for their strength, for the courage that they may need.  Pray for their safe return.  Pray for their parents, family and friends.  Pray for every single person that is helping to find these girls.  PRAY!

I do not know these girls, we actually live states away.  I do know one of their friends and I do know that one of the girls is close to my daughters age.  I have been sick all weekend thinking about what the poor parents must be going through.  I just can't imagine.

If  you are close to the area the girls went missing from, help if you can.  If you are not close, you can still pray, you can pass info on, you can look in your area.  The girls could be anywhere by now and I just pray they are OK.  Let's bring these girls home!


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Monday, July 9, 2012

Cold Brew Coffee vs Hot Brewed Coffee - Iced Caramel Mocha Challenge

Monday, July 9, 2012
#cbias, #redcupshowdown, iced coffee, cold brew coffee
 Last week I had the chance to head to Walmart to get things to make my very own Iced Caramel Mocha for the Seattle's Best #RedCupShowdown.
#Cbias Cbias
I have never tried Seattle's Best Coffee and was really excited to give it a shot.
#Cbias Cbias
 I decided to grab #3, right in the middle.  I figured I could go up or down in strength depending on how I liked this option.

I started out this process wanting to make an Iced Vanilla Bean Coffee, after a fiasco with making homemade ice cream.....I had no vanilla beans left.  I was SO sad.  My next choice was to make an Iced Caramel Mocha.  YUM!

I also wanted to compare Cold Brew vs Hot Brew Coffee.  I have heard Cold Brew is FAR superior when it comes to iced coffee, but I wanted to decide for myself.
To make Cold Brew Coffee, you will need:

1/2 pound Ground Coffee
9 Cups Water
{this will result to about 8 cups of coffee)

Place coffee in container and add water.
Stir to incorporate, place lid on container and place in fridge overnight.
Once coffee has brewed overnight, it is time to remove the grounds.
Place a fine mesh strainer, or coffee filter (or both), over container of choice.
Pour coffee into new container (you will need to skim off top layer of grounds before you pour).  You may have to stop every once in a while to remove spent grounds from strainer.
#RedCupShowdown #Cbias Seattle's Best
I had to first pour into a bowl because the opening on my dispenser was not big enough to fit the strainer.
Once all brewed coffee is in new container, top and place in fridge.  This will keep up to two weeks.
#Cbias #RedCupShowdown Seattle's Best
Super easy, right?  Well, we aren't done just yet!  I still needed to know how my new cold brew coffee stood up to regular hot brew coffee.

I loaded up my Keurig and made a cup of hot coffee.

I then made an Iced Caramel Mocha with both coffee's.

The result.................
#cbias #redcupshowdown Seattle's Best
I prefer the cold brew!

Are you surprised?
The cold brew was not as bitter as regular brew, it was stronger but without the bitterness it was easier to drink.  Next time, I will go with a grade 1 or 2 of Seattle's Best.  I just don't like super strong coffee.

Iced Caramel Mocha
1/2 Cup Seattle's Best Cold Brew Coffee
1/2 Cup Caramel Mocha Creamer {recipe below}
1/2 Cup Ice
Whipped Cream (optional but why would you not add it?)

Place ice in glass.
Pour coffee over ice.
Pour creamer over coffee and stir.
Top with whipped cream and ENJOY!

Caramel Mocha Creamer
1 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 14oz can Half and Half
2 Tbs Chocolate Syrup
4 Tbs Caramel Syrup

Pour sweetened condensed milk into glass jar.
Fill empty sweetened condensed milk can with half and half.  Pour over sweetened condensed milk.
Add chocolate and caramel syrups to milk mixture.
Place lid on jar and shake until well incorporated.
This mixture will keep in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.

#cbias, #redcupshowdown, iced coffee, cold brew coffee
Do you have a coffee recipe you LOVE?  Submit it in the Seattle's Best Red Cup Showdown!  You could win $10,000!!!  That could buy a LOT of coffee!  It is SUPER easy to enter, so go!  Enter today!  If you don't have a coffee recipe to enter, you can still enter for a chance to win a trip to New York!  AWESOME!

While you are entering, be sure to check out Seattle's Best on Twitter and Facebook!


I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Seattle’s Best Coffee #CBias #SocialFabric  All opinions are my own.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What a month!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Here we are, July 3rd....already!  Where did this month go?  

HAHA!  Obviously it JUST started BUT....it has already been a long one.

Before I go any further I want to give a shout out to my oldest of my little brothers.....Blake!
Circa 1980-something...sorry for the blurry-ness
Today is HIS birthday!  WooHoo!!
Our little family


We love you Blakey and hope you have a WONDERFUL day!

Ok, now on to why it has been a LONG month.....already.

So, last week I noticed a hole in one of Mads teeth.  Fantastic.  I made a quick call to the dentist and got an appointment ASAP!  I also made an appointment for MG at the same time just to get her checked out......a lot of money later and.....

She needs a root canal.  Awesome.  Ugh!  But, we aren't real sure they will be able to do one since the tooth is still fairly newish and her being so young the roots may not have closed yet.  The things you learn when calling doctors/dentists.

So instead of a root canal they may do this thing called Calcium Hydroxide Treatments.  Yeah, have no idea what it is or why it is done but, they do it when the roots aren't closed.  BUT, she may just need to get it filled.

All in all...we just aren't sure yet.  I do know when I close my eyes, all I see is.....$$$$$.

So, when do we go in for this treatment, or not, may just be nothing, who knows?

TODAY!

In just a few hours.

Please keep her in your prayers that she will not feel the pain and everything will go smoothly and she recovers just fine.  Everyone keeps telling me it will be OK and she won't feel anything.  People!  I have had root canals done before.....you feel something and that something does NOT feel good!  Add me to your prayers as well, that I will stop freaking out inside.

As for MGs checkup?
MG
Waiting at the dentist
It went great.....sort of.....

She has no cavities!  Which is GREAT!

But....she bit the dentist.

I am not surprised though, if you knew this child (no, really knew her...not just see her every now and then), you would not be surprised either.  She is a little stinker!  But a darn cute stinker!

Oh, see that little spot on her cheek?  Remember the rash and diarrhea (sorry, I know that is SO beyond gross) episode we went through last year?  Well, the rash never went away and we still have no clue what is causing it.

We go to the derm about that next week.

What else am I doing this month?  Well, someone put me in charge of 35 bloggers for a campaign over at Cbias!  I know, who would do that?  Right?!?  I can read your mind!  But, it is FUN and a lot of hard work and...I am LOVING it!  I will tell you more about it in a few days...once I have a second to actually think.

So, for right now...that is my month.  At any given time it can change, and I am sure it will.

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL week and a safe 4th.

Much Love,
Brandi

 


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