Tuesday, July 22, 2014

starburst sorbet bars {and a giveaway!}


It is summer and what is one of the best parts about summer?! The BBQs! We always love having BBQs in the summer and spending our evenings with friends. It is fun to cook outside and enjoy the lovely weather. I am always on the lookout for refreshing treats to serve up to my guests that both kids and adults will enjoy and that are also easy! I heard about these new STARBURST™ Brand Sorbet Bars and I had to try them out!


STARBURST™ Brand Sorbet Bars have the taste of a STARBURST™ strawberry fruit chew in a cold and refreshing sorbet bar with only 70 delicious calories! Now what could be bad about that? Nothing! Summer is so hot and this is the perfect treat to cool you off. They are delicious! My whole family really enjoyed them.

I love that they look just like a Starburst candy! 


STARBURST™ Brand Sorbet Bars pack an exhilarating burst of strawberry flavor in a light and delicious sorbet bar that is perfect to enjoy any time. Available in 2.6-ounce 4-Packs and 2.6-ounce singles, STARBURST™ Brand Sorbet Bars are a crowd-pleasing favorite.

If you want to try these bars for yourself then you could be in luck. We are giving away a set of coupons to try them for free! To enter leave a comment with what treats you love most in summer. Giveaway will end on July 27, 2014 at 11:59pm PT. Be sure to follow Starburst on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates! 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Montagne Jeunesse Renew You Sleep Spa Masks {giveaway}


Does anyone else feel like your skin takes a real beating in summer? I sure do. I try to take good care of my skin by washing every morning and night and staying well hydrated. That can get even harder in the summer months because it is really hot and I am on the go so much. I also feel like with all the sweat and sun and applying so much sunscreen all day can really take a toll on my poor skin.

I had the opportunity to try out Montagne Jeunesse Renew You Sleep Spa Mask which is a 100% natural bamboo mask. I was really excited to try the sleep mask because face masks offer a deep-down action that helps nourish, cleanse, remove impurities, keep skin healthy and vibrant as well as adds essential nutrients to your skin. I really need that!! I tried the fruit enzyme mask which let me tell you...smells amazing! Depending on the mask you choose to use, it can help to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores so toning, hydrating and protecting products work more effectively.


First, I washed my face and got my pjs on and climbed in bed to prep for my mask. Then you just apply the mask to your face and lightly smooth it over the contours of your face. Then you just keep it on for 10 minutes. It was a relaxing 10 minutes, and like I said, I loved the smell of the mask and in summer the coolness of it was really refreshing! After 10 minutes you remove the mask and massage the leftover product into your skin. Massaging skin when removing a face mask can also help stimulate blood circulation leaving skin smoother and softer.

OK, so now I am going to show you my before and after pics. This is taking a lot of guts for me since I have NO makeup on in these pics and am showing all my imperfections! But, I really wanted to show you the difference.

Before...



After...


Can you see how much brighter my skin looks? After a long day out with my boys I had some redness and unevenness on my skin at night, but the sleep mask really improved it! By morning it was a lot smoother and brighter. It was so easy to add to my bedtime beauty routine, I loved it!

Do you want to try the Montagne Jeunesse Renew You Sleep Spa Mask for yourself? Enter to win our giveaway for one Renew You Sleep Spa Mask treatment. To enter just leave a comment on this post telling us what is the biggest part of your beauty routine! The giveaway will end on July 20th at 11:59pm PT. 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Extraordinary Kid {make your own video!}



In a few weeks I am going to have a 10 year old! I cannot believe my oldest will be in the double digits. That makes me feel pretty old, but at the same time I am so happy with how much he has learned and grown over the years. It is something extraordinary to watch your kids develop and mature and see who they become.


Of course I think my kid is extraordinary. He is such a great big brother to my two other boys and he is so caring towards others as well. He is also smart, funny, and very responsible. He loves music as much as I do and we always have fun listening to songs and rocking out in the car together. He is the only one of my kids who will shamelessly give me a smooch whenever I ask, and I hope that never changes as he continues to get older! I am so proud of the young man he is becoming and all that he has accomplished so far.

I wanted to celebrate his 10 years with a special video for him on the Stanford Children's health site.  Stanford Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has been the top-ranked children’s hospital in Northern California for over a decade.
It is so fun to look back over the years and remember the great memories we have made so far! You can take a peak at my video here.

What makes your kid extraordinary isn’t just the epic stuff. It’s the little things. The small moments that maybe only you see — and quietly celebrate every day.

Your kid is extraordinary. Show them how much you enjoy every moment together by creating a special video of your own! I know they would love to see and hear the love you have for them and what you think makes them extraordinary. It is a great way to celebrate your kids!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

easy & delicious sugar cookie bars {recipe}


I've been waiting for an event to make these amazing sugar cookie bars for so I could post the recipe since I cannot be trusted with a whole pan of these in my house! My darling niece was baptized this weekend, so I offered to bring a dessert. This dessert. The easiest, most delicious sugar cookie dessert ever. Without all the rolling, cutting, frosting that make regular sugar cookies an ordeal. My mom's to-die-for sugar cookie bars.


After mixing a few ingredients together, you simply spread the dough out in a jelly roll pan and bake them. Then frost the entire pan and cut into squares. How much easier does it get? I added little sour cherry balls to this batch, but they are just as pretty alone with soft pink frosting.


Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe


1 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, almond extract, sugar, and egg until well mixed. Add the flour and baking powder and mix well. Spread in a greased jelly roll pan (or deep cookie sheet). Bake for 16-20 minutes. Do not brown. I usually take mine out at 18 minutes, but oven temps will vary, so begin checking at about 16 minutes. Cool completely, then frost.

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe


2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp. almond extract
5 oz. can evaporated milk

Mix powdered sugar, butter, almond extract, and about half the can of evaporated milk. Add more milk until frosting is desired consistency. Add food coloring and mix until frosting is desired shade.


To make them a little prettier and easier to serve, I put each bar in a cupcake liner. I found these darling liners at Michael's. To make the most of their pretty design, I employed this little trick.

Turn the cupcake cup upside down. Press in the middle to turn it inside out. Then set your cookie bar on top.





 
Pin this recipe now--you will be so glad you did the next time you're asked to bring a dessert to an event! These sugar cookie bars are my go-to dessert for not only a big crowd (they go a long way!), but also when I need to travel. Leave them in the pan and they will still look beautiful when you arrive at your party. Be prepared to share the recipe when you serve them!

Don't miss these other delicious dessert recipes that are perfect for picnics and parties!

Carmelitas

ooey gooey carmelitas recipe

Key Lime Pielets

http://littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com/2014/05/key-lime-pie-lets-recipe.html

 

Strawberry Lemonade Shortcake

http://littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com/2012/03/strawberry-lemonade-shortcake-recipe.html

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

slimfast to swimsuit season



This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Slimfast, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #14daystoslim http://mydisclosur.es/OBsstV

Are you all ready for Summer? I am! I am excited to get out to the beach and have some lazy sun-filled summer days. You just cannot beat Summer in the PNW. It is gorgeous and the weather is perfect. Which means I will be spending a lot of time in my swimsuit. My swimsuit and I are not really the best of friends. I mean, I love it because it means it is time to go to the beach and lounge in the sun, but squeezing myself into it and checking myself out in the mirror is not so fun.

With only about a month or two until I am wearing my swimsuit almost full time, I decided to gear myself up. Enter Slimfast.


You all know that I have three busy boys, which makes me busy! What I love about Slimfast is the convenience. I don't have to add up my calories or cook up a meal. I can just grab and go. And believe me...90% of the time I need to grab and go.


Slimfast came out with a limited edition Piña Colada shake as part of the 14 day Slimdown Challenge. 


The 14 Days to Slim program is a convenient and delicious way to lose up to lose 6 pounds in the first 2 weeks. Hello, swimsuit!

There is a 14 days to Slim Challenge Sweepstakes taking place on Slimfast’s Facebook page May 12, 2014 till May 27, 2014 so make sure you head on over to enter! There will be TWO $5,000 grand prize winners, given a gift card to a specific retailer or a Visa/Amex gift card!! Follow Slimfast on Pinterest for all the latest info!

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Monday, May 5, 2014

keeping your summer treats clean {with WetNap}

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This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and WetNap but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #showusyourmess http://mydisclosur.es/OBsstV

Summer is headed our way and that means some fun treats are too! At least to me it does...
Amongst all of the summer fun that my family indulges in, we also indulge in certain summer treats as a tradition.

In August, we go to my parents' home every year for the county fair and to spend our time at their ranch with hayrides, bonfires, watermelon picking and eating and all sorts of summer fun! Between the dirt and the treats, and three little boys, we can create quite the mess! I always bring my trusty Wet-Nap products along so I don't have to worry about it!


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Thursday, May 1, 2014

key lime pie-lets {recipe}



When I need a delicious, refreshing summer dessert, this key lime pie has become my go-to recipe since my mom shared it with me. I usually make a 9-inch pie with it, but recently I needed something easier to serve for a dessert buffet, so I changed it up and made mini key lime pies, or "pielets." {Cutest name ever, by the way.}

No one would believe me when I told them how easy this recipe is. It's a little scary how easy it is, actually. I can make it anytime I want. .

mini key lime pies on a cake platter

Key Lime Pie Recipe

(Makes 1 - 9 inch pie or about 10 mini pies)


1 - 9 inch pre-made graham cracker pie crust OR about 10 Keebler Ready Crust mini graham pie crusts

3 cups sweetened condensed milk (I used just under 3 - 14 oz. cans)

1/2 cup sour cream (I used fat-free and it tasted just as good as the full fat sour cream! I cannot recommend reduced-fat sour cream--I haven't tried it but the consistency is usually different from full fat or fat-free)

1 Tbsp. grated lime zest

3/4 cup key lime juice

Preheat over to 350 degrees. 

Combine all ingredients and blend well. Spoon filling into pie crust(s). Place pies on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until filling is set. Do not brown. Chill completely in refrigerator. Garnish with whipped cream and a lime slice before serving.

Hints & Tips

When it comes to the key lime juice (don't try using regular lime juice--it won't be tart enough), I prefer to use a bottled juice rather than squeeze a million of those tiny key limes. This Nellie & Joe's brand key lime juice is my fave.

Nellie and Joe's key lime juice and some key limes

I found these mini graham cracker pie crusts in the baking aisle at Walmart. Adorable.

keebler ready crust graham mini pie crusts in package

I used about 1/4 cup pie filling for each mini pie crust.

pouring key lime pie filling into mini crusts

 Place your pies on a baking sheet before putting them in the oven.

key lime pies on a baking sheet


I sliced a lime and made a small cut halfway into the slice so I could twist them and set them on top of the whipped topping.

  mini key lime pies with lime and whip cream garnish


So regular whipped cream is absolutely dreamy on these, but I tried a coconut-flavored whipped cream with these and it was pretty amazing, too!

Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. imitation coconut flavoring

Whip all ingredients in mixer until stiff peaks form. If you don't want to use coconut flavoring, increase vanilla to 1 full teaspoon.

ingredients for coconut whipped cream

To dress up your pielets, try slipping them into a cupcake wrapper, like these cute ones I found at Pick Your Plum.

http://tracking.pickyourplum.com/aff_c?offer_id=2&aff_id=1112

key lime pielet on a cake stand

If you love lime  and coconut like me, don't miss this recipe for Coconut Lime Cupcakes that I served at a Cinco de Mayo party!

coconut lime cupcakes for cinco de mayo

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

martha stewart enamel paints {jewelry}

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I saw this Martha Stewart enamel paint in the jewelry aisle at Michael's the other day and wondered what it was. Then I saw they are featuring it in the January/February 2014 issue of Martha Stewart Living, which you can find on newsstands now. These are a few examples of brass jewelry painted with Martha's new paints. Check out the full article online for more ideas, links to buy the jewelry blanks, and full instructions. These would make fun Valentine's gifts!


Photos by James Ransom. Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living. Copyright © 2014.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

cottonelle clean care routine {with a special offer!}

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This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Cottonelle but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CtnlCareRoutine http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

We fellow moms know that there are so many tips and tricks to parenting and it can be quite an adventure! I love that I have such a community of moms to turn to when I am looking for advice and for the best recommendations of products to help me in raising my kids.

I recently discovered the Cottonelle Clean Care products and I want to share them with you!


Two of my boys have really sensitive skin and had eczema as babies. I am always conscious of ways that I can protect their skin and I love the Cottonelle Clean Care routine. The flushable wipes are so great for protecting their skin since it is wet and not harsh. The Clean Care toilet paper is so great with its touch of soft cotton for them.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

30 crafty valentine's day {tutorials}

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Here's a round-up of 30 of Little Birdie Secrets' favorite Valentine's Day projects, crafts, decor, packaging, recipes, and more! Enjoy!

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superbowl & valentine's chex mix {recipe}

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Sweet Coconut Chex Mix. I'm not gonna lie--you will hate me for sharing this recipe with you. But I must. My sister-in-law made it at Christmastime and I was hooked. That's why it has been affectionately named "Christmas Crack." You will become addicted. No matter how much your brain tells you to stop eating it, your body will tell you to keep eating. And you will obey.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

mimi lou giveaway {winner}

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Thanks to everyone who entered our Mimi Lou Jewelry giveaway! The winner is. . .

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Monday, January 20, 2014

mimi lou jewelry {giveaway & coupon}

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My new year's resolutions to get more sleep and enjoy more time with my family are going splendidly I'm happy to report. It leaves less time for blogging, but hopefully you won't hold it against me.

As a little peace offering, we have a fabulous giveaway for you! I recently purchased some handmade jewelry from a fabulous new Etsy shop called Mimi Lou Jewelry. I loved this dyed turquoise initial charm bracelet and this fun anchor bracelet and had to have them for an upcoming cruise. They'll be perfect for the warm shores of the Caribbean. Miriam, the cute shop owner who has been creating jewelry since kindergarten, is offering our readers a giveaway and a generous coupon code!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MimiLouJewelry
https://www.etsy.com/shop/MimiLouJewelry

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Friday, December 20, 2013

white chocolate peppermint pretzels {and $100 Dollar Tree Gift Card Giveaway!}

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This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Dollar Tree and Blueprint Social. All opinions are my own.

Have you heard about the Dollar Tree Value Seekers Club? It is a club full of crafts, recipes, décor, tips, contests, insider information, frugal fun ideas, and more! I recently signed up on the Dollar Tree website and I love it. There are so many fun project ideas and great inspiration for holiday gift ideas that are very simple and inexpensive to make. Membership is free and the content changes each month so there are always new, great ideas to try. The project sheets can be saved or printed which is perfect so that you can take it to the store as a shopping list and also have the instructions right at your fingertips when you begin your project!

I saw the White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzels Recipe and knew it would make the perfect project to make with my kids and deliver to some of our friends for the holiday season. I am a total sucker for chocolate covered pretzels, so I am sure a few of these treats will stay right at home with me!


This project was so simple and inexpensive to make. My favorite part about the Dollar Tree Value Seekers Club is that you can buy all the supplies or ingredients you need at Dollar Tree, which saves so much money! I know we are all looking to save money at the holidays and find great gifts that we can make without breaking the bank. I picked up all the supplies I needed and got to work with my dipping!

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

freezer pasta sauce and tortellini recipe

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This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Barilla, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #JoytotheTable http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

I know it is the busiest time of year and I try to do anything I can to simply! Today I want to share a great recipe for bulk pasta sauce that you can prepare in advance and freeze, as well as some cheesy tortellini that is super simple and can help you get a meal on the table in no time when life is really hectic.

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