Collective Bias Archives - A Crafty Spoonful

Finding Me Time with Walmart’s Lowest Price Unlimited Plans

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This #FamilyMobile shop featuring Walmart Best Plans has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.

 

crochet instagram phone cover pattern

Tax time is a huge deal in our home. Since I am self employed I need to figure out all of my expenses, income, write offs, etc on top of what my husband makes and it’s pretty time consuming.  With all the work put into filing our taxes, we do still get a small return back to spend on something fun. And since we’re working on lowering our monthly expenses, that something fun will be the lowest priced unlimited plans at Walmart.

When all’s finally said and done – after we file our taxes and figure out how to lower our monthly expenses – I finally get me time again to do the things I love. That me time is something I desperately need with two small kids at home. Time to enjoy my favorite hobbies without worrying about bills, taxes, and going over our monthly budget.

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Social Fabric is Like a Lasagna Recipe #LuvSoFab14

lasagna recipe social fabric layers

Sometimes it takes a while to find out where you belong. What you want to do when you grow up, who your friends are, how you better yourself on so many different levels. And I think I’ve finally succeeded on figuring these out with the help of Social Fabric and Collective Bias.

Friends, community, support. These are the words that come to mind when I think of Social Fabric and what the SoFab community has done for me.

Now I have the chance to finally meet the SoFab family I’ve come to love in person at SoFabCon’14 in Arkansas this May.  [Read more…]

Explore Under The Sea with Ariel and The Little Mermaid Party Ideas

The best part about Disney movies is the bonding time I get when watching them with my kids. With the upcoming release of The Little Mermaid Collector’s Edition BluRay/DVD on October 1st, I thought I’d treat my daughter to an impromptu Little Mermaid viewing party with her friends after naptime as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®.

The Little Mermaid Party Ideas Instagram #DisneyPrincessPlay #shop

We don’t yet own the DVD but I was able to dust off a VHS tape that my husband brought over from his parents house. And since my daughter had never seen the movie before we figured we should get some toys so she can play along as the movie plays.

While she played a bit with her new The Little Mermaid Story Gift Set I picked up from Walmart I set up the rest of the party around her. You can see more from my adventures at Walmart shopping for this awesome toy here in my The Little Mermaid G+ Album.
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Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids with Jennie-O #JennieO4kids #Cbias

Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids

One thing I am passionate about is trying to instill good eating habits in my children as they grow older. Offering healthy alternatives, choosing the best meals for my children, and overall choosing to educate them on how they can make better choices themselves.

Don’t get me wrong… they’ll probably choose a french fry over veggies any day but give them the choice of an apple and a french fry and it could go 50/50.

And I’m not saying I’m perfect. We do eat out about once a week at either a restaurant or fast food place and the children do consume greasy, fatty foods that are horribly bad for them but oh-so-good. But we do spend the majority of our meals at our dining room table. Together as  family enjoying the food before us.

Most meals are actually prepared together. Because I find importance in getting the kids involved with tasks they can do for their age. Once they start to get involved they become much more interested in the foods they’re eating. And you’d be surprised at how many new things my kids have tried simply because they’ve helped prepare the dish.

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My Favorite Things Spa Party with NIVEA

My Favorite Things Spa Party

As a mother, one thing we often forget to do is pamper ourselves. We spend so much time making sure everyone else is being taken care of that we forget to take a few moments for us.

This weekend I decided to take a few moments for myself. And invite a few friends over to enjoy themselves as well.

One of my favorite types of parties to throw is a My Favorite Things party. Each guest brings their favorite item to share with the others; 5 of the same thing $6 or under in value. Since we’ve already shared our favorite thing, our favorite baby item, and our favorite children’s activity, I thought that we could spin the theme a little differently this time.

A My Favorite Things Spa Party!

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Sparkling Lemonade Iced Tea and Honey Recipe

Sparkling Lemonade Iced Tea & Honey Lipton #FamilyTeaTime

Sparkling Lemonade Iced Tea and Honey

Our family has one passion and that’s tea! Yes, I’m known to have a love of coffee, but my roots have always been with tea. So when I saw these Lipton Tea & Honey iced tea mixes on the shelves of Walmart I knew I wanted to try something new and test them out.

But it wouldn’t be fun to simply mix the Tea & Honey packets with just plain water. No… I wanted to make something that would be tasty and fun for the whole family!

So I started thinking about some of my families favorite flavors and two things immediately emerged… lemons and iced tea! How perfect is this combination? Simple, classic, and refreshing. Instead of simply mixing the iced tea with lemonade, I decided to kick it up a notch and add a little sparkle to the mix.

What I love about this recipe is how versatile it is! With so many Lipton Tea & Honey varieties, there are so many combinations of flavors you can make with this one recipe.

I served this pitcher to my family as a taste test first and then served it at my My Favorite Things Spa party. It was the perfect refreshment for the mamas-to-be who attended and were looking for something fun and bubbly to enjoy.

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Baby Back Ribs with Homemade BBQ Sauce

Ribs with Homemade Barbecue Sauce

There’s one meal that I wish I could cook better. And that’s baby back ribs with bbq sauce. I absolutely love ribs. Love the taste, the mess, and the pile of bones left over at the end. I know, I know… I’m weird. But a good plate of ribs just hits the spot.

And they’re the perfect dish to make for tailgating! So when I was planning my menu for my tailgating party I knew we had to serve ribs. Not only can they be made at home, but they can also be made on the grill and in the crock pot. So many different ways to make one delicious dish!

These ribs are even tastier because of the homemade barbecue sauce I made to go with them. And I have two surprises… my secret ingredient! Total Iron Chef moment here.

We headed out to Smart & Final for our ingredients and I knew I wanted to pick up some flavored preserves. As soon as I saw the First Street apricot pineapple preserves I knew I needed them for my sauce. And it was the best choice I made! While you can use peach, apricot, or even raspberry preserves in this recipe, the combination of the apricot and pineapple gave this sauce an amazing flavor.

You can check out my whole shopping experience by checking out my Smart & Final Tailgating Google + Album.

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Delicious Pumpkin Bars with Cool Whip Frosting

Oh Fall! I’m so happy you’re here again. We could definitely use the cooler weather (if that ever happened) and I’m very excited about the upcoming holidays. But a more important reason why I’m here… is because with Fall comes pumpkins! And canned pumpkin is on the shelves in full force.

That means I get to try a whole new batch of recipes out on my friends, family, and playgroup and this year is no different. I decided to go with a pumpkin bar. But the special ingredient isn’t the pumpkin, it’s the Cool Whip Frosting on top. If you want the perfect pumpkin treat this season you need to try this recipe.

Pumpkin Bars with Cool Whip Frosting

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 pan with butter or cooking spray.

2. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together sugar, pumpkin, oil, and eggs on medium until light and fluffy.

3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.

4. With a spatula, add flour mixture to liquid mixture until just combined. Make sure not to over-mix.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

 
6. Once the pumpkin bars are cooked, transfer to a cooling rack.

7. When completely cooled, cut off top to make an even, flat surface.

8. Cut into squares.

9. Grab the Cool Whip Frosting and start spreading it on.

10. Top each bar with a pecan and serve.

This recipe makes 16 servings.

Note: 
You can easily bake in a 9×13 pan instead for thinner bars to feed a larger crowd. Simply reduce cooking time to 20-25 minutes. Feel free to frost then cut if you feel that frosting each individual bar will take too long. I just hate dealing with crumbs in my frosting.

What do you love to make with pumpkin? 

How to DIY a Smarties Wreath this Halloween

When we get ready for Halloween, decorations in our home are up there with Christmas. We decorate the whole house inside and out to celebrate for the whole month of October. Many of the decorations we use can be carried into November as well with a festive Fall theme but a few we make just for Halloween!

This Smarties Wreath is just that. The perfect celebration of Halloween and the excitement that each child feels as they go from door to door saying, “Trick or Treat!” This wreath is not only festive, it’s easy to make as well! You only need a few simple items to put it together and it takes less than 30 minutes to make!

As an added bonus, it only cost me $5 to make. The $1 Spot at Target has these foam wreaths and the Smarties candies are only $7.99 for a huge bag and I only needed 1/2 the bag to make the wreath. I had the ribbon on hand from the end of season sale last year. And the left over Smarties will be passed out to trick or treaters on Halloween! [Read more…]



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