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Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow {GLUTEN FREE}

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I’m excited to be participating in an old fashioned blog link up of holiday sweets and savory treats! You’ll be drooling by the time you click around to all the delicious sounding links, and not only that, you’ll have some great new recipes in your collection to share with family and friends!

First up is this gluten free Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow recipe that my 19yo came up with. My entire family devoured this in no time flat!

Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow {GLUTEN FREE}

Gluten FREE Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow Recipe

  • 1 box rice Chex
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2-1 bag powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp cinnamon

1. Melt butter & white chocolate.

2. Pour over cereal and mix.

3. Put 1/2 bag powdered sugar and cinnamon to taste in a separate tupperware and shake to mix.

4. Add cereal and shake to coat.

5. Use more powdered sugar if necessary.

Holiday Sweets

Now, enjoy browsing the rest of the delicious recipes in the link up!

Holiday Sweets

Nutter Butter Snowman Cookies from Mom’s Tool Box

Cherry Snowball Christmas Cookies from I’m an Organizing Junkie

Chocolate Chunk Toasted Pecan Oatmeal Cookies from Life Your Way

Chocolate Peanut Brittle from The Happy Housewife

Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Trifle from Mom Endeavors

Double Chocolate Candy Bar Pretzel Bark from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Easy Black Currant Scones from Good Cheap Eats

Frozen Inspired Vanilla Raspberry Bites from Bargain Briana

Gumdrops from Hoosier Homemade

Microwave Caramel Corn from Ashley Pichea

Old Fashioned Christmas Cookies from Mommy Hates Cooking

Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow from Smockity Frocks

Sugar Cookies for Dummies from Happy Little Homemaker

The World’s Easiest Christmas Candy Ever from Money Saving Mom

savory treats

Savory Treats

Bacon and Spinach Frittata Bites from Life as MOM

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus from Jo-Lynne Shane

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts from The Finer Things in Life

Black Bean and Avocado Salad from Kitchen Stewardship

Cheesy Pesto Crescent Bites from Andrea Dekker

Easy Cheesy Vidalia Onion Dip from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Homemade Sausage Balls {Gluten FREE} from The Humbled Homemaker

Kale Spinach Bites from For the Love Of

Spiced Nuts from Modern Mrs. Darcy

Toasted Pecans from My Blessed Life

Trio of Cream Cheese Appetizers from Eat at Home Cooks

White Cheddar Cranberry Bites from Parenting Miracles

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Developing Your Child’s Natural Gifts

developing child's natural talents

This is a pencil drawing my 19yo daughter did of her sister, my 4yo, Peyton.

A pencil drawing.

Honestly, I’m in awe of the gift she possesses! It isn’t something she inherited from me. It isn’t something I taught her. It isn’t something she learned from a curriculum.

It is something that was allowed to develop through hours and hours of practice and the freedom to do that whenever the inspiration struck. Whether that was 9:30 in the morning or 2:30 in the afternoon didn’t matter. Since we homeschool, studies could be postponed or rescheduled in order to focus on developing her natural gifts.

Whether your child is creative, artistic, inventive, gifted at writing, mechanically inclined, or otherwise talented, be sure to give them plenty of unstructured time and the materials they need to experiment with and develop that natural gift God has given them.

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The Time a Snake Interrupted Our Photo Shoot

A while back my daughter asked me to do a photo shoot while her friend, Carlie, was over.

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So, I put on my “Pretend I’m a Photographer” hat and directed them to do stuff like hang onto trees and walk serenely down the driveway.

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And everything was going merrily along until I saw something wriggling in the corner of the view finder.

snake

So I instinctively did what any loving mother would do. I screamed like a little girl and high tailed it out of there, leaving the girls bewildered until they turned around and did the same thing.

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Then I regained my composure and snapped a picture, like a good blogger.

Have you ever encountered a snake, up close and personal?

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A Modern Day Parable

footprints

Once there was a mother of, let’s say, 8 children.

This mother was a very busy lady, with very active children. Even though she was aware that she should keep her eyes on the end goal, the big picture, she often inadvertently, and to the detriment of her family, found herself focused on short term goals. This tendency played out in a very tangible way one blustery, winter day.

A soccer game had concluded on a bitterly cold, windy November evening. With her children following along dutifully behind, bundled up in coats, hats, and gloves, the mother trudged through one empty soccer field after another toward the large parking complex.

She kept her head down, only looking up occasionally, to keep the wind from whipping in her face. Finally, her feet left the soggy sod and reached crunchy gravel of the parking lot. She looked up to find the big white maxi van, usually easily spotted amongst normal size vehicles.

The van was nowhere.

She looked one way. She looked the other.

Finally she saw the problem. While walking with her head down, she had veered so far off course that she was now 2 parking lots away from her intended destination. Because of her mistake, she had to walk just as far to correct her path as she did when she started the journey back at the benches.

She groaned and altered her course. She strengthened her resolve. This time she kept her eyes up and faced the wind head on. This time she reached her destination and did not waver right or left.

Does this story sound familiar to you?

During my high school days, my drill team team instructor used to shout through her bull horn from the stands, “IF THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND, YOU WILL ALL FALL IN THE DITCH!!!” when the leader of our 50 member team would carelessly strut past the 50 yard marker, where we were supposed to turn one at a time, one behind the other, and march with precision to center field.

Of course, that meant every single girl would end up in the wrong place, all because the leader missed her mark.

Sometimes we moms are so busy focused on when our toddler will ever pee in the toilet, or our 2nd grader will ever learn to read, or our 9th grader will ever understand exponents, or our high school senior will ever get into college that we forget our real destination.

Sometimes it’s even easy to forget that those milestones aren’t a destination at all. They are simply milestones. Markers on the way to the real goal.

When I’m frustrated by life’s little daily frustrations, backed up plumbing, car trouble, cranky children, it’s so easy to put my head down and try to plow through, just get through that one day, without looking up.

The trouble is those days tend to pile up, end to end. And before we know it, we look up and we are just as far from our destination as if we had never started, with our children following along behind.

As for us, our long term family goal is to be together in eternity. On days, or weeks, or months, when we find we have our heads down and our eyes not focusing on the goal, we readjust and remind ourselves of where we want to be heading.

Are you headed toward your goal, Mama? Your children are following you. What destination are you taking them to?

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Quick Roast Turkey

Quick Roast Turkey Method

Have you ever worked from the early morning hours, into the afternoon, preparing a Thanksgiving dinner only to suffer through dry, tough, turkey? Rest easy, friends. Those days are behind you.

My mother in law found this method of doing Thanksgiving quick roast turkey in her local newspaper a couple of years ago, and it was the best turkey any of us could remember having. It wasn’t like any turkey I had tried before. It was moist and tender and flavorful. I have been doing it this way ever since. In fact, we like it so much that we now have roasted turkey several times a year.

The best part of this method is the 1-2 hour cooking time. That’s right! Only an hour for smaller birds! No more setting your alarm clock to get up in time to get the bird in the oven.

What gives it the moisture that is missing from most of the Thanksgiving turkeys I have had in the past is 2 fold. First, it is soaked overnight in a brine, and second, it is roasted over a pan of water. Those two things in combination with the high heat and short cooking time will produce a bird you will be proud of.

Here you go, girls. I promise you won’t go wrong with this recipe.

Quick Roast Turkey

  1. Soak the bird for 6-8 hours (Overnight is fine.) in an ice chest of water with 2 cups of salt, 1 cup of brown sugar, and plenty of ice. Make sure the bird is submerged.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Rinse turkey and put on a rack in roasting pan.
  4. Stuff turkey with half an onion, some garlic cloves, and half an apple.
  5. Rub outside with butter. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside and out.
  6. Add one inch of water to bottom of pan.
  7. Roast for approximately 1-2 hrs. at 500 degrees (depending on the size of the bird).
  8. Cover turkey lightly with a foil tent if it becomes too brown.
  9. Check water and add more if needed.
  10. Remove when internal temperature reaches 161 degrees or when popper comes up.
  11. Be careful when you take it out. Remember, there is water in the bottom of the pan.

Mmmmmmmm…… I can almost taste it now!

Need a slow cooker? This one is on sale NOW! (affiliate link)

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Trying Out the HTC M8 Harman/Kardon Edition Sprint Phone

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf Influence Central for Sprint. I received sample devices to facilitate this review.

HTC M8 Harman/Kardon

I was so excited to be invited to be a #SprintMom and try out the new HTC M8 Harman/Kardon Edition Sprint phone!

I was able to visit the Sprint store and hear straight from a rep all the cool features of this phone. Here are a few of the things that caught my attention:

  • It turns on with a simple double tap on the screen.
  • When receiving a phone call, you can answer by picking up the phone. No pressing buttons or swiping.
  • All metal parts
  • Screen replacement free, for up to one year
  • Spotify Premium is a standard feature.
  • The phone supports HD music tracks, so the sound is amazing!
  • Beautiful, crystal clear photography
  • FUN, built-in photo editing app

100MEDIA$IMAG0047

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You can colorize, cartoonize, 3D-ize, and lots more fun stuff.

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These are all straight out of the camera!

I was actually sorta bummed that I already have a phone, so I passed this one along to my 17yo son. You see, we have each been holding out, waiting for the other to buy him his own phone.

I kept saying we don’t pay for teens’ phones, and he kept saying he didn’t need a phone. The trouble is we can’t keep in contact with each other when he is out and about, and his friends keep calling me to see if he is available to hang out. So, we have both been waiting for the other to cave.

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And now that I have this brand new, awesome phone to test out, well, it just made sense to let him have it. The good news is that it comes with a $50/month, unlimited data, NO COMMITMENT service plan!

So, he is stoked to have a phone with an amazing sound system, and I am relieved to be able to text him to ask him to bring home milk after the movie. It’s a win/win!

Do your teens have phones? 

Need a stocking stuffer? This is on sale NOW! (affiliate link)

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What's the big deal about Young Living