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Give a humble onion a star makeover and push it to the center of the plate.

Give a humble onion a star makeover and push it to the center of the plate.

Hollowing an onion is not as hard as one might think, and these stuffed onions make what would otherwise be a plain-Jane casserole into a rock star entree that’s fancy enough for company, but easy enough for family dinners.

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Easy Lentil and Rice Pilaf - microwave OR slow cooker recipe

Easy Lentil and Rice Pilaf – microwave OR slow cooker recipe

I have always loved those rice pilaf mixes that come in a box. The ones with rice and pasta or rice and another grain, that come pre-seasoned. You know the ones! They are easy to make and they go well with lots of foods. Unfortunately, they tend to be really high in sodium, the price

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New slow cooker cookbook takes your crock beyond soups and stews (+ recipes for you to try!)

New slow cooker cookbook takes your crock beyond soups and stews (+ recipes for you to try!)

I have featured my bottom of the line, workhorse 4 quart slow cooker in my photos so often that I have occasionally thought maybe I should get a new one just so you guys would have something new to look at. I kept using it even after the original handle broke off- I just picked

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Please make a Kiva loan today for FREE and share one of Becky's Hugs.

Please make a Kiva loan today for FREE and share one of Becky’s Hugs.

All of us have had special people in our lives whom we lost too soon. Becky was one of those people for me. Valentine’s Day was her birthday, and it would really mean a lot to me if you’d spare a little time for this request from Becky’s Hugs, the organization founded by her family to spread love in her name. It’ll take you about two minutes, and it will make a real difference in the world… so please? It’ll make you feel good!
Free Hugs! In Becky’s Honor Joy Makin’ Mamas

My friends at Becky’s Hugs? would love it if you could commemorate Becky’s birthday today by making a Kiva? loan on their team. And Vita Coco is offering an opportunity for you to get $25 to loan for completing a short, three question survey on their site. (They do request a name and an email address.) So you can help move this project along by donating about 2 minutes of your time.

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Splash Math #Ad

Splash Math #Ad

Splash Math is an award winning math program for kids of ages 5-10 which can be used both at homes and in schools. Splash Math has benefited over 9 million kids and has been used in over 50,000 classrooms. Available on iPads, Android tablets and web, Splash Math works across multiple platforms and devices. Splash

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Free Printable Valentines 2015

Free Printable Valentines 2015

I adore printable valentines because I can print out as many as I need, and no more. What do you do with four unused valentines? I suppose I could save them in a safe place every year, and after five or six years I might have enough for a whole class from the extras from each box, but what would actually happen is that I would never find those at Valentine’s Day. I would find them every December 20th or so and think, “Oh, I should find the others and reunite them and then this year we can finally use these” until well past the time when I ever need them, and sooner or later you’ll have to call Hoarders to come in and dig me out from under a burden of clutter. No, thank you. I will just print the number I need. No fuss.

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Books on First: Outsystem by M D Cooper

Books on First: Outsystem by M D Cooper

      Words cannot describe how excited I am to review this month’s book, but I’m going to try my very best!  I thought I would mix it up a little bit and take a look at a science fiction novel.  I love a good romance to relax with because they are easy to

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LOCAL AUTHOR: White Night by Kathi Haacke Morehead

LOCAL AUTHOR: White Night by Kathi Haacke Morehead

Kathi is a Maryland writer and a mom. White Knight is her first novel, and although it is listed in Contemporary Romance, it has been described as inspirational/spiritual fiction. Some reviewers have reported that White Knight could be a hard read if you are currently going through the loss of a loved one, or that it could help you work through your own feelings. It might not be for you, and it sounds like it’s definitely not one to read in public- but check out the excerpt. See if it’s for you. If it’s not, and you know someone who might like it, pass it on!

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Yoga Pants: the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse

Yoga Pants: the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse

We are nothing without nostalgia, so let us return to the “good old days,” when women had three daily wardrobe changes mandated by etiquette, and we all wore so much polyester they had to add a setting for it to the clothes dryer.

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To everything, there is a season.

To everything, there is a season.

If a poorly thought out, sentimental post is not your bag today, please just scroll on, because my cat died. So carefully polished is out, sentimental is in. Now that I’ve thrown that spoiler out there, Let us hop in the Wayback Machine and go back to the olden days of the 1990s. (Forgive me

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Whiskey Witches Season 1: A Joy Makin' Mamas Review

Whiskey Witches Season 1: A Joy Makin’ Mamas Review

Detective Paige Whiskey comes from a long line of witches. They may not all be the most powerful, but they are outspoken and supportive of their community. She alone has no gifts. She can’t summon fire, can’t read minds. She knows the arcane. She’s studied it. That, along with her connection to the Whiskey Witches, lands her some pretty strange cases.

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Moms Night: DIY Wine & Paint Night

Moms Night: DIY Wine & Paint Night

Does a “wine & paint” night sound like a blast, but the price tag isn’t quite in your budget, or they aren’t offered in your area? Never fear, team up with a few friends and do one yourself, at a family friendly cost and on a family friendly schedule!

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Books on First: 'A Date to Die For' by Bonnie R Paulson

Books on First: ‘A Date to Die For’ by Bonnie R Paulson

A Date to Die for: Complete Experience $2.99 Release Day -A Date to Die for: 5, 6, & 7: Dirty Twist, Check Mate, & Last Chance On Sale $.99!! This month’s book review continues our theme of stories that we can follow while chasing small children.   Because the sad truth is that it’s hard to

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Revisiting the Little House on the Prairie with a new biography

Revisiting the Little House on the Prairie with a new biography

The real life Little House on the Prairie were neighbors with a serial killer. You can LITERALLY find out where the bodies were buried if you read this new biography. (No, I’m not making that up. SHHH! SPOILERS!)

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The most kid friendly museum you have ever seen is here!

The most kid friendly museum you have ever seen is here!

Many outings with my kids have proven that they are the ULTIMATE litmus test for how family friendly an activity is. If it’s not going to hold a kid’s interest or there is some major flaw in the execution of the activity, my kids will be the ones to exploit it and take the whole thing down in (hopefully metaphorical) flames. So when I tell you that this was the MOST child friendly attraction we’ve ever done? That’s serious.

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PBT Author Book Blast GIVEAWAY!

PBT Author Book Blast GIVEAWAY!

Each author is giving something awesome away. Check out the rafflecopter and enter to win. Ends 1/25/15 11:59PM EST. Open INT for digital and US for the wine tool set.

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Whiskey Witches Book Tour

Whiskey Witches Book Tour

If you like short reads with lots of action and suspense, the Whiskey Witches series is for you! My review is coming next month, but if you’re looking for something to read on the road, check these out NOW!

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Personalized DIY Craft Kit Gifts

Personalized DIY Craft Kit Gifts

I love giving kids creative gifts. I even more love giving them open ended creative gifts. A kit that makes a particular item if you follow the instructions is great for introducing new skills or for skill building- but sometimes what they really need is encouragement to take materials and use them in a completely

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Books on First:  The Shadow by Jill Cooper Review

Books on First: The Shadow by Jill Cooper Review

This month I was offered a complementary copy of Jill Cooper’s latest book in her Dream Slayer series to review in exchange for an honest review. The Shadow is a Young Adult urban fantasy featuring vampires, demons and a bullied teenage girl who suddenly discovers that the world’s fate rests in her hands. Ok, I

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You're the greatest, Charlie Brown!

You’re the greatest, Charlie Brown!

My eldest can be Bored IDon’tWanna McBordeypants Ruler of the BoredLandians, and if you say, “Let’s read a book,” he comes around instantly, and Little Brother follows right behind him. (I don’t want to say they take after their mother, but… they take after their mother.) He does have standards, of course- if he doesn’t like the way a book is written or the way the story is going, he won’t hesitate to inform you that there will be No More Reading Of The Hobbit Ever because he just can’t want to be part of this family when we read the Hobbit. (But if there’s a Lego version of it, though, that would be fine… I have no words.)

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Instant Gratification: The Honest Holiday Card Collection

Instant Gratification: The Honest Holiday Card Collection

We are keeping it real this year in our family holiday card. Note that I am gritting my teeth in the photo on the left, and that fifteen minutes into the family card photo taking experience, both of my children are so bored with the idea that they can’t even fake happiness for the season

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The Little Boy Who Lost His Name

The Little Boy Who Lost His Name

Discovering who you are is a great adventure. In the Lost My Name books, your child can embark on a completely personalized tale of kindness and courage, and they’ll never notice how much they are learning along the way. (But you will!)

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Give your kids the universe... in a box!

Give your kids the universe… in a box!

I want my kids to understand that the universe is vast and filled with endless possibilities- but I want to give them that information in installments they can absorb. Compared to interstellar travel, the monthly subscription cost is a bargain, and inside adventure awaits.

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Picture Perfect Holiday: Photo Gifts from Collage.com

Picture Perfect Holiday: Photo Gifts from Collage.com

Have you ever had a picture SO special you wanted to put it everywhere? Yeah, me too. So when Collage.com asked me if they could send over a sample of their photo wrapping paper for a review, I knew exactly what I’d put on it. Who WOULDN’T want to receive a gift with the smiling

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