How to Make Moana Kakamora Coconut Ornaments + Moana In Theaters!

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We got a sneak peek at the new Moana and I have to tell you… it is amazing. My daughter was glued to the screen as the story unraveled. Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why.

The story of Moana goes through the history of her people and the reason why they never leave their island. As Moana takes off on a new adventure, we come to learn more about this missing pieces of her story and watch as she creates a story of her own. 

Throughout her adventures, my daughter’s favorite part in the movie is when Moana and Maui encounter the Kakamora. Seemingly sweet and gentle creatures in the beginning, Moana quickly learns of their fierce, warrior-like side. We’re recreating the Kakamora in these fun ornaments for the holiday season.

If you haven’t bought your tickets already, do so now! Moana is a must see and the story and music will take you away into another world. Visit the official MOANA website here

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How to Make Moana Kakamora Coconut Ornaments

What you’ll need: 

What you do: 

1. Paint a circle around the edge of the wood slice with brown paint leaving the middle wood exposed. 

2. Using the black paint, make two circles for eyes. 

3. With the white paint, make a mouth full of teeth. Outline in black if you’d like. 

4. Add the final touches to the face by adding some designs with red paint.

5. Screw eye screw on top of the ornament and string with ribbon. 

Let dry and hang on the tree to enjoy during the holiday season! 

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Like MOANA on Facebook | Follow MOANA on Twitter | Follow Disney Animation on Instagram

MOANA arrives in theatres everywhere on November 23rd!

DIY Star Wars Rogue One Night Light

This post featuring a DIY Star Wars Rogue One Night Light is brought to you by Kleenex brand via Momtrends.

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In just a few short weeks Rogue One: A Star Wars Story© TM Lucasfilm LTD will be coming to theaters everywhere and I’m pretty sure that my family may be looking forward to that more than Christmas this year. We’re huge Star Wars fans and have been for… well… ever! And it’s not just one or two of us, it’s the whole family. Including Grandpa. My dad may be the biggest Star Wars fan I know and he’s passed that down to his kids and grandkids. So as we wait patiently for the next story to come to life on the big screen, we’re biding our time with fun Star Wars themed crafts. 

In partnership with Lucasfilm LTD, Kleenex brand will launch limited edition boxes featuring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story designs, perfect for Jedis of all ages. They’ll hit store shelves this Fall. Once they do, you too can create your own Kleenex brand ft. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story designs night light. This DIY craft turns a Kleenex box with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story designs into a fun room accessory, simply by removing the tissues, poking small holes in the sides of the box (using a thumbtack) and inserting an electric tea light, creating a “night sky” in a dark room. So easy that my 7 year old son was able to complete this craft on his own! 

This craft, just like the Star Wars movies, brought my family together. Spending quality time together is an easy way to show you care. And we can take this idea outside of the home by showing others we care as well. We can all be heroes by banding together to combat indifference with gestures of care, like sharing a tissues from a Kleenex box featuring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

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DIY Star Wars Rogue One Night Light

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 empty Kleenex box with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story designs
  • 1 thumb tack
  • 1 electric tealight

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What you do: 

1. Grab your Kleenex box and use the thumb tack to poke holes on all sides of the box. 

2. Turn on your tealight and drop into the empty Kleenex box

3. Enjoy the light show! 

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You can find more great kids crafts by checking out my Pinterest boards! And for more fun with Kleenex, check out their boards too here

Do you have a caring moment to share with Kleenex? 

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Kleenex brand via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Kleenex or Momtrends.

Find Kleenex on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram

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Squirt’s Kelp Forest Smoothie Recipe + Finding Dory Now On BluRay/DVD

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Finding Dory picks up shortly after the original Finding Dory. As you can recall Dory suffers from short term memory loss which prevents her from remembering how she become alone in the ocean. Dory suddenly remembers a place from her childhood and sets off to find it with her new adopted family Marlin and Nemo.

Finding Dory Hank

This movie followed the classic sequel formula. It revisited memorable places, interacted with favorite characters, introduced new memorable characters, and added a new environment for the characters to conquer. The movie does a good job of telling an entertaining story and is a solid new adventure. If you enjoyed Finding Nemo you will enjoy this too.

My kids enjoyed the new character Hank the octopus. There was scene in a kids touch pool involving Hank and an ink release that my Daughter thought was funny. She also liked the use of sea shells to that served to guide Dory back home (used as a memory aide for Dory).

Finding Dory Destiny

Squirt’s Kelp Forest Smoothie

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut water
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1 ripe frozen banana
  • 1 pear, cored and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4-6 ice cubes
  • 2 fresh strawberries for garnish

Combine coconut water, baby spinach, frozen banana, pear and cinnamon in blender and process until smooth. 

Add ice cubes, as needed, blend until desired consistency is reached. 

Pour into two glasses and garnish with a fresh strawberry to resemble squirt’s red spots. Kids can help with this. Enjoy immediately! 

Print PDF of recipe here

Finding Dory Hank and Dory

Overall a solid family movie and one that will find a spot in your kids movie rotation. Plus it makes a great stocking stuffer!

Purchase it on Amazon through my affiliate link here: http://amzn.to/2fRdCLs

If you’re considering getting a pet, make sure to do your research! You can get help from this great resource here. And remember, while clown fish who resemble Nemo may be good pets with the proper set up, blue tang fish like Dory should not be purchased as pets

FINDING DORY is now on store shelves everywhere!

25 Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Spiced Citrus Sangria Pitcher

Tis the season for amazing holiday cocktail recipes! Whether you’re celebrating at dinner with family, or having a few friends over for an ornament exchange, these festive drinks are the perfect way to tie everything together. What I love about this list of drinks is that there’s something for everyone! Warm, cold, blended, or on the rocks. You pick your favorite flavors and re-create these delicious drinks. 

Grown Up Hot Chocolate Drink Recipe with peppermint stir sticks

25+ Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Spiced Citrus Sangria – Simmworks Family

Apple Ginger Screwdriver – Simmworks Family

Grown Up Hot Chocolate – Simmworks Family

Golden Pear Champagne Cocktail – A Spectacled Owl

Pink Peppermint Russian – Kleinworth & Co.

Cranberry Ginger Holiday Cocktail – Domestic Superhero

Sparkling Pomegranate Christmas Cocktail – Happy Hour Projects

The Grinch Martini – Happy Hour Projects

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Bad Santa Cocktail – Who Needs a Cape?

Boozy White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha – Who Needs a Cape?

Cranberry Mimosa – Who Needs a Cape?

Crock-Pot Apple Pie Moonshine – Crock-Pot Ladies

Gin & Appletiser – Fuss Free Flavours

Spiced Snowflake Cocktail – 52 Kitchen Adventures

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Santa Hat Martini – Pomegranate Martini – Oh My! Creative

Sparkling Christmas Tree Cocktail – Floating Kitchen

Grapefruit and Sage Champagne Cocktails – Floating Kitchen

Hot Buttered Latte with Kahlua – Major Hoff Takes a Wife

Cranberry Wine & Hibiscus Mint Cocktail – A Worthey Read

Easy Party Cocktail or Holiday Cocktail: The Blitzen – A Worthey Read

Easy Christmas Cocktail: The Santa – A Worthey Read

Christmas Cranberry Cocktail – Simply {Darr}ling

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Spiced Cranberry & Orange Cocktail – Erren’s Kitchen

Lemonade Mint Cheer Holiday Cocktail – A Magical Mess

Glitter Champagne Cocktail – Simply {Darr}ling

Peppermint Dream Holiday Cocktail – Mom’s Endeavors

Jingle Juice Cocktail – The Farm Girl Gabs

Cranberry Honey Blossom Cocktail – Cooking in Stilettos

What are your favorite holiday cocktail recipe flavors? 

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Homemade Turkey Instant Pot Tamales + How To Battle Heartburn

This shop featuring Homemade Turkey Instant Pot Tamales has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ad #MakeHeartburnHistory #CollectiveBias

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With the holidays right around the corner, we’re already planning our Thanksgiving meal. Since my mother in law will be out of town, I’m trying to think outside the box and am considering a few alternate main courses for our Thanksgiving dinner table. And these homemade instant pot tamales totally fit that bill! Paired with some rice, beans, and some bunuelos for dessert, our whole meal could take less than an hour to prep with family and make instead of the full day of cooking it normally takes. 

Every year my mom would make enchiladas for Christmas so why not tamales for Thanksgiving, right? Tamales are the perfect meal to get the whole family involved with. Everyone can help make tamales. Plus you can use a turkey filling for the traditional turkey meal! And when you can make them in the instant pot, it’s even better! Because they cook a lot faster than the stovetop steaming method.  But for those who may suffer from frequent heartburn, this meal may not look so appetizing. 

Heartburn sucks. As someone who’s suffered from heartburn since I was a young teen, I’m very familiar with the symptoms and issues that come with frequent heartburn. Not being able to enjoy my favorite foods because they trigger heartburn would take the joy out of family meals. And as someone who’s grown up eating Mexican food on a regular basis, not having my favorite spicy foods just isn’t going to work! Luckily I have Nexium® 24HR 42ct Tablets* in my medicine cabinet.

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Homemade Turkey Instant Pot Tamales

  • 36 corn husks
  • 3 cups of masa harina
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 8 ounces lard (manteca)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 cups shredded cooked turkey

Soak corn husks for about 1-2 hours in water. Mix 3 cups of masa harina with 2 cups chicken stock and let rest, covered, for 15 minutes.

Combine lard, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed until well whipped, about 1 minute.

Add one-fourth of the masa at a time to the lard, beating between additions until thoroughly incorporated. Add chicken stock and continue beating until dough is light and has a soft and spreadable hummus-like texture. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove tamale dough mixture from the fridge.

Working one at a time, grab a corn husk and place 2-3 tablespoons of tamale dough on larger end of husk and spread into a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of husk. Place a heaping tablespoon of turkey in a line down center of dough. Fold over sides of husk so dough surrounds filling, then fold bottom of husk up and secure closed by tying a thin strip of husk around tamale. Repeat with remaining husks, dough, and turkey.

Fill Instant Pot with 1 cup of water and add steam basket or rack. Rest tamales upright in Instant Pot above the water level. Cover and cook on manual for 20 minutes. Use the quick pressure release method to release pressure in the Instant Pot. Once the silver pin has dropped and it’s safe to open the lid, remove tamales from Instant Pot and let rest until dough firms up, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately with salsa verde or store in refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to four months. Defrost and reheat tamales in Instant Pot using the same timing.

Makes 3 dozen tamales.

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Getting together for the holidays is about the experiences we create with our loved ones. Sharing a meal doesn’t have to mean we stick with our traditional ideas of Thanksgiving dinner. Consider stepping out of the box yourself and trying something new this holiday season! Instead of spending hours in the kitchen while the family is in the living room, cut it down to 30 minutes of cook time and spend that extra time with your friends and family making tamales. 

Don’t want to skip the traditional bird for Thanksgiving? Enjoy these tamales the weekend after Thanksgiving and use up the leftovers! Perhaps host your own friendsgiving and have friends come over to help make them with you. 

And if frequent heartburn hits, don’t let it ruin your holiday! Nexium® 24HR provides protection from frequent heartburn so everyone can enjoy the best flavors of the holidays. Did you know just one pill a day provides all-day, all-night protection from frequent heartburn – no matter what triggers it?* Pretty awesome! 

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You can save now on Nexium® 24HR at Walgreens! Just head over to the aisle with the acid reducers and check out these savings: 

  • November 13, 2016 -National FSI – $5.00 coupon on Nexium 24HR (28 ct. and 42 ct.)
  • November 1 – 30, 2016 – In-Store Walgreens coupon – $2.00 off Nexium 24HR (48 ct.)
  • November 1 – 30, 2016 – Special price in-store – Two Nexium 24HR (28 ct.) for $40.00

*May take 1 to 4 days for full effect. Use as directed.

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What’s your favorite holiday meal? 

Thanksgiving Napkin Ring Placeholders

This shop featuring Thanksgiving napkin ring placeholders has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HandsOnCrafty #CollectiveBias

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While spring may be my favorite season, I love the fall for the way it brings friends and family together in thanksgiving. We celebrate the month of November by sharing what we’re thankful for and spending time around the table together. And every year for Thanksgiving, we head over to my mother in law’s house to share a meal. 

My mother in law loves creating a beautiful table scape and, after making these napkin rings a few years back, I’m in charge of the napkin rings and place holders. And my daughter loves helping out so I always try and find something a. that she can do and b. that’s easy and quick since we usually have to make at least 20 of them. 

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Well this year my mother in law will be heading out to Boston to celebrate with my husband’s brother so we’re still trying to figure out what our plans are. But no matter where we go, we’ll be prepared with these awesome thanksgiving napkin ring placeholders that my daughter and I put together this past weekend. 

She was dying to get started and make them so we got a head start and prepped about 10 of these bad boys (no names yet on half of them). We’ll be ready for whatever house we end up at on Turkey Day.  

Thanksgiving Napkin Ring Placeholders

What you’ll need: 

  • Scotch® Expressions Brown Glitter Tape
  • Scotch® Expressions Green Glitter Tape
  • Scotch® Create Double-sided Tape
  • 1 piece 8.5 x 11″ card stock (solid or patterned color)
  • scissors
  • chalk marker in fall colors
  • fake fall leaves
  • cloth or disposable napkin

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What you do: 

1. Grab the Scotch® Expressions Green Glitter Tape and, with your paper in the portrait position, place a row of green tape about 1/2 inch up from the bottom of the paper. Repeat once more with a second row of green glitter tape directly above the first. 

2. Cut a straight line about 1/2 inch from the top of the second row of green glitter tape. This will be your napkin ring base. Repeat as many times as you need to in order to get the desired amount of napkin rings. 

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3. Grab the leaf and write the name of the person this napkin ring placeholder is for. 

4. Position the Scotch® Expressions Brown Glitter Tape in the middle of the two green tape lines. Place the leaf in the center of the paper and use the brown glitter tape to secure it. Leave a small tail at the end of the brown tape to secure the placeholder around the napkin. 

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5. Wrap the napkin ring around the napkin and secure in place with tail of the brown glitter tape and reinforce with some Scotch® Create Double-sided Tape underneath the overlapping paper. 

Tada! You’re all set! 

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How do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your home? 

I was able to find all of the crafting goodies I needed, including the Scotch® Expressions Glitter Tape, in the craft aisle in Walmart. So easy to find everything in one place! With a perfect combination of versatility, function & fun, Scotch® Expressions Tapes turn everyday projects into simply inspired creations. I love how simple and easy it was to make these Thanksgiving napkin ring placeholders with my daughter and how fun and sparkly they ended up! How awesome is that? 

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Marvel’s Doctor Strange Hits Theaters: A Dad’s Review

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As I waited in the theater for Dr. Strange to begin I heard someone behind me mussing out loud about his Marvel Universe knowledge. He was amped-up enough to shout out to those of us waiting “What was Dr. Strange’s full name?” I inferred two things; this guy was excited and at least one person in the audience knew the story that was about to be presented to us and what we were in for.

Dr. Steven Strange is medical doctor gifted with photographic memory and really steady hands. His specialty is working on the brain and spine. He lives the kind of nice plush life that being a highly sought after Doctor in a specialized field commands. After a major career setback that stops him from practicing medicine he seeks out non traditional healing methods. From here his transformation to a super hero begins and he must defeat a bad guy that once again thinks he is doing right by trying destroy life as we know it.

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Creating A Super Hero

By now you realize that the number of super heroes we have been introduced to has grown considerably. Dr. Strange the movie follows the same pattern of the Ant Man movie, a one off stand alone super hero movie that will tie into the Marvel Movie Universe in some way later. I am very impressed with the way these movies have all dove-tailed together. For a small example, in the city views of New York you can see the Avengers/Stark tower.

So far the new characters have been interesting and intriguing. Dr. Strange is no exception. His character grows and changes from the medical Doctor we are introduced to into the super hero he becomes at the end. I think it is safe to say that he is rather self centered and all about what is best for him and his career. By the end he has opened his eyes and sees that he must act for the greater good. The story is simple enough to follow and some complexity is added with mystery surrounding Dr. Strange’s mentor. This movie contains humor as is now a standard trait in these Marvel movies. It also has all the special effects we are used to seeing. When the credits roll, make sure to watch them for two extra scenes that setup future events.

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Heros and Villians

In the last movie I saw Benedict Cumberbatch in he was the villian, Khan, in Star Trek: Into The Darkness. As an actor he has a very striking persona. A deep voice and he is tall and slender. I find him a bit different. In the part of Dr. Strange he played it well and the characteristics probably help. 

Rachel McAdams character, Dr. Christine Palmer, was there to help setup the Dr. Strange character in the beginning and help out a little bit later. Really any actress could have done the part, but she was fine. 

The villian played by Mads Mikkelsen kept making me think back to his role in James Bond’s Casino Royal for some reason. No complaints with his performance here. 

Finally Dr. Strange’s associate Mordo, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, did a very good job with his role. I think the librarian, “Wong”, steals the scenes he is in.

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Thinking back over the movie that is rated PG-13, I don’t recall many (or any) bad words or excess blood and guts. I think a 10 year old or older would probably be okay to see this movie with parental guidance.

As we approach the holidays and will be enjoying some time off, if you have not already made it a priority to see Dr. Strange, you should pencil it in on your movie list. By the way his full name was “Dr. Steven Vincent Strange.”

Like DOCTOR STRANGE on Facebook | Follow DOCTOR STRANGE on Twitter 

Follow Marvel on Instagram | Visit the official DOCTOR STRANGE website

DOCTOR STRANGE is now playing in theatres everywhere!

Who will you be heading to the movies with to watch Doctor Strange?

Tips On How To Navigate Health Care Plans + $100 Amazon GC Giveaway

This post featuring tips on how to navigate health care plans is sponsored by UnitedHealthcare. 

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Having kids can be expensive. Even from the very beginning. Throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the first year of life, if you haven’t chosen the right health care plan for your growing family, health care costs can skyrocket. That’s why it’s good to know your options when open enrollment comes around so you know what health care plan to choose and how to get the best plan for your family. 

When I was pregnant with my second child we switched over to a completely new health care plan. We had switched over from our old provider and weren’t quite sure what to do. Luckily UnitedHealthcare was there to help us out and show us the ropes. 

Now UnitedHealthcare is here again with a fun way for families to find out what health plan is best for them with two games to play on their website:Are You a Health Plan Pro andWhat’s The Word.

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What’s The Word

Our family’s health is something that’s very important to us but navigating the health care system can seem daunting. Luckily UnitedHealthcare is here to help make those choices a little easier. And they have a fun way of doing it too! 

Right now they’re running two fun activities where you can learn more about the world of health plans AND enter for a chance to win prizes. Pretty cool huh?  These contests both run until November 30th. 

The first activity you can participate in is an interactive crossword puzzle called What’s The Word.  The concept is pretty easy to understand. It’s a terminology game where viewers have to fill in the correct word in the puzzle for the definition that it matches with. 

While you’re doing your crossword puzzle, print out this FREE printable so your kids can play along as well! 
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Are You A Health Plan Pro? 

Done with the crossword and ready for more of a challenge? Then play Are You a Health Plan Pro? and jump into this 4-stage game: 

Stage 1: Answer a few quiz questions about health care (mostly terminology)…if you get an answer wrong, it tells you the right answer so you are learning no matter what.

Stage 2: Play a matching game surrounding the three different types of health care accounts—the FSA, HSA, and HRA. You will be given three different descriptions of the accounts, and will have to drag and drop each account label to the description it matches.

Stage 3: Use United Healthcare’s slide configurator to learn more about premiums versus out-of-pocket ratios. You will be given a family description and their health care needs (family of four / children 8 and 14, occasional need of prescriptions, visits ER once or twice a year, etc.) and must use the sliders to figure out the correlation between the premium and out-of-pocket costs for that specific scenario.

Stage 4: Use United Healthcare’s ranker to organize 8 health care situations from least expensive to most expensive (examples are having a baby, going to urgent care, having a surgery). Once you rank them, it will correct any mistakes you made so you know which item belongs where in the list…it will also tell you how each item affects your out-of-pocket costs.

After you have completed each stage (should take a total of around 5-6 minutes) you will enter your name and email to be entered to win a prize. Then you will receive a score on a scale of 1 to 5 stars for how ready you are to purchase a plan. That way, you know whether you need to do more research or that you feel confident in yourself to purchase the best plan for you and your family.

There are prizes given for both the crossword puzzle and the Health Plan Pro game. There will be a $100 weekly winner chosen and $500 monthly winner chosen for each sweepstake. So on top of learning more about the health plans out there, you can win cash money as well. How awesome is that! Are you ready to play? 

These are two separate sweepstakes and two separate chances to win prizes!

Play Are You A Health Plan Pro by clicking here | Play What’s The Word by clicking here

tips-on-how-to-navigate-health-care-plans-saving-for-the-future

How do you decide on a health care plan? 

Want another chance to win big JUST for checking out these sweepstakes? Enter to win a $100 gift card to Amazon below! 

Open to US only, 18+. Giveaway ends November 30th at 11:59pm PST and a winner will be randomly chosen December 1st and announced right here. 

Are You A Health Plan Pro?

*Important: By completing any entry in our giveaways, you agree to ALL of our giveaway terms and conditions. Comments such as “Thank you for the giveaway” “I want to win” etc will not be counted as the mandatory entry and will be deleted. Please be aware that comments are moderated and may not appear right away. Make sure you use a valid email address so we may notify you if you’ve won! Giveaway winners will receive their prize through email directly from the sponsor. Winner must provide email address to receive this gift card.

Ways to Reduce Stress During The Holidays

This post was developed in partnership with Tom’s of Maine. All opinions are my own.

ways-to-reduce-stress-during-the-holidays-simple-stress-relievers-for-the-holiday-season

The holidays are upon us and the countdown is on to get all the things done before the end of the year. And for some that means a lot of stress all at once. Trying to get everything done, go to every event, and get everything one needs to make a great holiday season. But you don’t have to stress yourself out during the holidays! 

I see my kids watching me, learning how to act and react by observing me. And I want to make sure they know what’s truly important in life. As they’re taking in everything I do, I want them to know that they are why I do everything I do. I also want my girls to know that it’s ok to think about themselves. To take time to care for themselves so they don’t get burnt out. And they’re really starting to pick up on it. 

With these simple tips you can reduce stress during the holidays and enjoy more time with your family and friends. And that’s all that matters, right? 

Ways to Reduce Stress During The Holidays

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1. Exercise. 

One of the first things I try to remember when I feel stress coming on is the last time I took a walk or worked out. I’ve found that I’m a lot less stressed when I burn off the extra tension I have built up. Plus it helps to have something to think about other than the long laundry list of to-do’s. 

2. Meditate. 

I know it sounds silly but taking just 5 minutes out of your day to focus on something positive really helps. Just sit down in a relaxing position, close your eyes, try to clear your head, and repeat a positive affirmation of your choosing. Allow it to help you focus on what you need to get done. 

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3. Eat Better. 

Yes, I know, I know. It’s the holidays and the sweets are everywhere. But overindulging will only drag you down. Make sure not to skip meals either! While you may be busier than usual, keep a good high-protein snack at hand just in case you start to get hungry but aren’t able to get a good meal in. We’re all becoming more conscious of what goes in our body so try to make good eating decisions. 

4. Sleep. 

While it’s tempting to stay up all night checking off every box of your to-do list, sometimes it’s better to just start over in the morning. You’ll be more refreshed and your mind clearer. Consider trying to go to bed just 1/2 an hour earlier than normal and see if your body reacts to the change well. Make sure you’re giving yourself time to decompress at the end of the day before going to sleep. 

5. Be Prepared. 

For me, lists and calendar notifications are my friends during this busy season. I write everything down so I don’t forget it and if I do forget, I’ve already set a reminder on my calendar to pop up and tell me. Another great thing to do during the holiday season is meal plan and meal prep. By having freezer meals on hand, I don’t have to stress about feeding my family. And I always keep a stick of Toms of Maine natural deodorant in case things get… a little stinky… due to all of the running around I’ve been doing. 

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All of these tips have one thing in common: Take care of yourself! 

Tom’s of Maine harnesses the power of nature for a more naturally effective way to care for yourself and your family. Tom’s of Maine natural deodorant is the best-selling natural deodorant and has been for decades. And it helps me stay smelling great even under stress with it’s clinically proven, 24-hour odor protection using odor-fighting hops and the mineral zinc and only natural fragrances.

Tom’s of Maine is introducing a new deodorant formula with new and improved scents, and as always, is free of aluminum, artificial fragrances and petrochemicals. And I have to tell you – it works! I’ve switched from my deodorant of many years to Tom’s over the past few weeks and I’m impressed with it’s ability to keep up with me. 

Whether at the gym, in a PTG meeting, or while I’m working away at home trying to get everything done, I know Tom’s of Maine deodorant is right for me. And Tom’s of Maine products are right for my family. 

Why am I so focused on staying less stressed and more “in the now” this holiday season? My kids. 

My kids watch everything I do and are already starting to mimic me. So when I head into the bathroom in the morning to put on my deodorant, they want to as well. By switching to a natural, preservative and petrochemical-free deodorant I’m keeping the stink away without putting “bad stuff” on my skin and near my kids. And when my daughter wants to put it on too to be just like me, I don’t have to worry about her sensitive skin.  

How are you de-stressing this holiday season?

Share in the comments below how you destress and be entered to win an assortment of three Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting deodorants!

Open to US only, 18+. Giveaway ends November 7th at 11:59pm PST and a winner will be randomly chosen November 8th and announced right here. 

Want to enter to win more? Click here to enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card, a Tom’s of Maine tote, plus six Tom’s of Maine deodorants: Lavender, Tea Tree, Natural Powder, Unscented, Apricot and Lemongrass!

Thank you and good luck!

*Important: By completing any entry in our giveaways, you agree to ALL of our giveaway terms and conditions. Comments such as “Thank you for the giveaway” “I want to win” etc will not be counted as the mandatory entry and will be deleted. Please be aware that comments are moderated and may not appear right away. Make sure you use a valid email address so we may notify you if you’ve won! Giveaway winners will receive their prize through the mail directly. Winner must provide mailing address to receive these tickets.

Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

This post featuring Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies originally appeared on our site on November 6th, 2012

Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

With Halloween past us, the one thing I needed to do was get rid of all of the leftover Halloween candy. Especially the ones I loved… anything containing chocolate. So we went with a simple plan. We were going to turn our chocolate treasure into new, yummy treats to share with our friends and family.

This year we had not one but two trick-or-treaters and let me tell you that two adorable children in costumes are magnets for the good stuff. Yes, look at our score of yummy chocolate candies! 

So I had to act fast and turn the above into something I could giveaway as a homemade goodie bound to attract attention and hungry mouths no longer wanting holiday candy. Good thing our extended family loves sweets! It took less than 2 days for the whole batch of blondies to be completely demolished. A few crumbs left in their place. And oh were they worth it!

If you’ve never heard of or made blondies before, think of them as the brownies’ distant cousin. Still ooey gooey but without the cocoa. You can basically put just about anything into a blondie. They’re a great catch all for any ingredients you have on hand and want to combine. We stuck with the Snickers, Reeses peanut butter cups, and Baby Ruths for these blondies. The m & ms are earmarked for cookies and the rest will be taken to work by my husband.

If you have any leftover candy in your cupboards or on your countertop you should definitely try to make these delicious bars of gooey goodness. 

Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, almost melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup diced candy bars

Candy Blondies Ingredients

 Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease an 8×8 baking pan. Cut up candy bars.

2. Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy

Candy Blondies sugar and butter

3. Add in the egg and beat until well combined.

4. Add vanilla and salt and mix again.

5. Take bowl off stand mixer. Fold in flour until just combined.

6. Fold in candy bar pieces until just combined.

7. Spread mixture into pan and cook for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

8. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes.

9. Turn onto a wire rack and let cool completely before digging in.

10. Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 16 servings

If you’re like me and cant wait to dig in, grab a small piece from the edge and enjoy it’s yummy gooeyness while everything’s still warm and hasn’t set. You’ll be glad you did. Then enjoy the rest when it’s cooled completely to enjoy the full effect of the melded flavors and crisp edges.

Do you have a great recipe for leftover Halloween candy?

I’d love to hear it!



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