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Show Thanks and Give Back This Holiday Season

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplyHealthy#CollectiveBias

giving back

There are many things I have to be thankful for this holiday season. For one, I am extremely thankful for my family. Thankful that they are happy, healthy and most of all that we are together. I know many families aren’t as fortunate as mine so this Thanksgiving I have decided to give back and hopefully show my thanks by putting a smile on another families face this Thanksgiving. We have many families in need in our community. Times are tough and a lot of people are out of a job which means they don’t have the extra money to spend on a big Thanksgiving dinner. So with the help of my kids we headed out to our local Sam’s Club to grab some food items that will help bring a hot and plentiful meal to one needy family.

Sam's Club

Sam’s Club is a great option for families because you can buy in bulk which means you get more and spend less. Both of those sound good to me. During our recent shopping trip to Sam’s we were able to find almost everything we needed for our Thanksgiving basket. Turkey, Green Beans, Potatoes, and a few more goodies that every family should have for Thanksgiving.

buy in bulk at Sam's Club

My kids helped put the Thanksgiving basket together for the family we were donating it too. They were so excited to be able to allow someone else to have a great Thanksgiving meal just like were are going to have. As a mom it’s really important to show my kids that we should all give back and be kind to others. I think allowing them to be apart of the giving process really helps.

help a needy family

If you want to help a family in need and you’re not sure where to find one, it’s to hard. Call your local shelter or food bank and ask how you can help. You can also call one of the local schools and see if there is a way you can donate to a family in need. We found our family by asking our friends and family if they knew of a family that could use a little extra help this Thanksgiving. You would be surprised how many people really need your help. Even if you donate a large can of Green Beans or a bag of potatoes, a little bit goes a long way. Sam’s Club is a great place to get these food items because you can stretch your money and get even more.

I also encourage you to check out and download the Healthy Living Made Simple App which is available for the iPhone and iPad. The Sam’s Club Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine and app offers some great articles on ways you can give back and also tips on how to stay healthy this holiday season. Both the Sam’s Club Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine and app are both free and easy to use so be sure to check those out today.

How does your family show Thanks and Give Back During the holidays? 

Free Printable Santa Letters For Kids

Christmas is a little more than a month away and if your kids are anything like mine they have already started to count down the days. We normally wait until after Thanksgiving to write our letters to Santa and this year I thought it would be a fun idea to make these letters a littler more festive so I created a few free Printable Santa Letters to help your kids write their letters to Santa.

I made a few variations so please feel free to use which ever one’s you like. When your child is done writing their letter these will be great keepsakes to show them when they are a little bit older. These Printable Santa Letters are easy to print you just click on the photo and another window will open. There you will hit print on your computer and you will have yourself an adorable letter to Santa.

printable santa letter


printable santa letter


printable Santa letter


printable santa letters for kids


These were really easy to make so if you have a special request for a letter let me know and I will do my best to add it to the list.

Top 5 Fun Holiday Photo Ideas

*This post is sponsored by Global Influence.
We are only about two months away from Christmas day which means there are lot’s of important things to mark off my list. One of the first things is getting my Christmas cards ordered and mailed off. It would be easy and totally fine to go the traditional route and just buy a pack of cards from the store. But I love for my cards to be more personal and that’s why the past few years we have made and sent Holiday Photo Cards to our family and friends. If you are looking for a little inspiration here are 10 Fun Holiday Photo Ideas that you can do on your own.
1. The more Christmas Lights the Merrier
Christmas lights can be such a fun background for your photo. You can have your kids or family standing in front of the Christmas tree or outside in the snow with the lights in the background.
2. Smooches
Kisses are always a fun picture idea especially if you are newlyweds. This is also cute if you have little ones.
3. Do a family selfie laying down on the ground.
This is one of my favorite family poses because you can do the picture yourself.
4. Don’t forget about the pets.
Our pets are such a big part of our lives so it’s only right that we include them in our holiday photos. You can do this with all pets, dogs, cats, birds, fish,etc. You can even include your pets with your family in a pose.
5. Close-ups
Nothing is cuter than looking into the eyes of an innocent child. This photo is especially cute for those Baby’s First Christmas cards.
What are some Fun Holiday Card Photo Ideas that you might have. I’d love to hear them
This post was inspired by Paper Culture known for their eco-friendly unique Christmas Cards, Holiday Cards and Personalized Gifts.

15 DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is the time of year when you can be just about anything you want to be. Whether it’s a creepy goblin, beautiful princess or a furry creature the only thing between you and the perfect costume is a little bit of imagination. However if you’re anything like me that inspiration doesn’t come easy and that’s why I look to sites like pinterest for help in those DIY Halloween Costume Ideas.

DIY Halloween Costume Ideas
Here is the links to all of the individual sites that give you instructions on how to re-create these costumes. Please feel free to click on one of them or all!

DIY Elsa Costume:
Thomas the Train:
Mother Nature:

halloween costumes-for girls
Bee Costume:
Bomber Airplane Costume for Kids:

My Little Mermaid Costume:
Buzz Lightyear Costume:
Dr. Suess Cat In The Hat:
Dr. Suess Thing One & Two:
Paper Doll Costume:

medusa costume
Dr. Who Tardis Costume:
Punny Halloween Costume Ideas:
Harry Potter’s Moaning Mrytle:
The Weeping Woman La Llorona:

So there you have it! All of these costumes are easy to make and many of them are also budget friendly. You can use the instructions on these DIY Halloween Costumes or you can use the inspiration to come up with your own costume idea.

Create Stand-Out Easter Baskets and Egg Hunts With Nestle

 I received products in exchange for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping and the weather is finally starting to warm up. These three things can only mean one thing. Spring is here!

Nestle Easter Basket #NestleUSA #Easter

Nestle has lot’s of delicious and fun goodies to help you with all of your Easter festivities. Just recently they revealed their newest assortment of springtime treats available nationwide to help parents create the perfect Easter baskets and treats. Here are just few of there delicious treats.

Wonka Egg Fillers:
We have our annual Easter egg hunt each year at my aunts house. All of the parents bring a bag full of plastic eggs filled with treats and prizes. This year filling the eggs will be a piece of cake. The Wonka Fillers include classic flavors such as Spree, SweeTARTS, Bottle Caps, Gobstoppers all together in one convenient bag.

Butterfinger NestEggs and Crunch NestEggs:
We got a bag of these last year and my kids loved them. They are just the right size for little fingers and they shape of a golden egg gives this candy an extra special festive feel.

SweeTARTS Gummies & Jelly Bean Pouches:
Your favorite tart and tangy SweeTARTS signature flavors in chewy gummies and jelly bean form. Great as a basket filler.

Wonka Laffy Taffy Jelly Beans:
No boring jelly bean flavors here! These bold yellow, green purple and red packaging features Laffy Taffy’s signature flavors: banana, cherry, grape, and apple in bright colors and jelly bean form. They are the perfect treat for egg hunts and Easter snacking around the house.

Hard2Find Egg Hunt Outdoor Kit:
We received a package of these last year and they were great. You can’t get more convenient than having a package of filled plastic Easter Eggs ready to go. Please these are great for the older kids because they are more of a challenge to find.

easter basket filled with Nestle Candy

It’s always fun to create my kids Easter baskets each year, especially when I can add their favorite candy. You can find all of these Nestle products plus many more in your local retailer.

What’s your favorite kind of Easter Candy?

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Chocolate and Cherries. I can’t think of a better combination. One of my favorite treats to make for my family is chocolate covered cherries and each time I make them they don’t last long. Recently I came across a recipe for Chocolate covered cherry cookies  and since my family loves this candy so much I knew I had to give them a try. They turned out better than I could have imagined.

cherry cookies

Here’s what you need:
1/2 Cup Salted Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 Cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 Cups of Flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 10 ounce jar of maraschino cherries
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2.Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and mix into the egg mixture. Stir until smooth. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls about the size of a walnut (larger if desired). Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press center of each ball with thumb.

3.Drain cherries and reserve juice. Place a cherry in center of each cookie.

4.In a saucepan, heat the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips until chips are melted. Watch carefully so the chocolate doesn’t burn.

5.Stir in 4 teaspoons of cherry juice. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of mixture over each cherry and spread to cover cherry. (More cherry juice may be added if needed.

5.Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

cherry cookie recipe

This cookie is delicious! Try it out and let me know what you think.

Easy and Inexpensive Valentine’s Day Candy Bar Bouquet

I have a confession to make. I am not much of a crafter. However whenever I get an idea I try my best to make it come to life. Last week I was grabbing a few things from the grocery store and noticed a really cute candy bar bouquet. I thought to myself, what a great gift idea but then I looked at the price. $40 BUCKS! Don’t get me wrong the bouquet was really cute but for 6 candy bars $40 seemed a little expensive so I decided to try and re-create my own.

valentines day gift ideasI headed to my local dollar store and picked up everything I needed for around $8. This included a small glass vase, several candy bars, (which ever you like the most), sticks for the candy bars, tissue paper and small wrapped candy for inside the vase.

valentines day candy bouquet

First thing you need to do is fill the vase up about half way with the small wrapped candies. Then place some a piece of the tissue paper on top of this letting it spill over the sides.

candy bar bouquet

Next take the sticks, I used some cute sticks with hearts on top, and tape it to the back of the candy bar. Place these sticks with the candy bar attached inside the tissue paper that’s in the vase. Arrange these candy bars however you like. Remember this is an easy craft so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

candy bar bouquetFill in the gaps with more tissue paper and decorations if you want to make it a little more full. I had a great time making this bouquet because it was so easy and saved me over $30!

What’s your favorite candy bar?

Dyson Black Friday Sales

I have had my Dyson DC41 Animal complete for several weeks now and I have never been more happier with a vacuum. If I would have known how much I would love my Dyson I would have gotten one a long time ago. For those of you wanting to get  a Dyson of your own now is your chance. For Black Friday Dyson is offering 25% off Dyson technology Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday! This sale will include their  bladeless fans and heaters, uprights and cordless machines. In some cases, that’s up to $160 off – big savings for top-of-the-line technology.

dyson dc41

Below is a selection of the latest Dyson technology that will be included.

  • DC44 Animal: Dyson’s latest cordless vacuum cleaner, engineered for nimble, high performance cleaning.
  • AM05: Dyson Hot + Cool: our bladeless fan heater that provides the fastest whole room heating in winter, and high velocity cooling air in the summer.
  • DC41 Animal: Dyson’s most powerful upright vacuum cleaner that has twice the suction of any other vacuum.

These are some amazing sales so be sure to take advantage of them if your in the market for a Dyson.

Last Minute Costume Idea: Be La Llorona From Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights #HHN23

Halloween is just a couple of days away and some of you may still searching for the perfect costume. If so, then your in luck because I have a great costume that comes directly from Universal’s Orlando Halloween Horror Nights! This year transform into the very scary, yet beautiful veiled La Llorona . Michael Burnett, Makeup Designer for Universal Orlando Entertainment Art & Design, shares his tips for how you can create this look at home. To learn more about the back story of La Llorona you can visit Universal Orlando online.

Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

What you Need to Make the Veiled La Llorona:
Plastic mask
Black elastic
Craft foam
Window screen or sheer black fabric
Hot glue gun
Cotton balls
Liquid latex or eyelash adhesive
Makeup sponges
Disposable brushes
Disposable cups
Popsicle stick (for stirring)
Clear corn syrup
Black food coloring
Halloween makeup palette

Universal Orlando Resort, HHN 23 La Llorona Make-Up Look

Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

1. Cut the plastic mask so that it aligns with the hair line. Cut off the lower portion of the mask just below the nose. Attach the elastic to the mask to securely fasten the mask to the face.

2. Cut two oversized, eye-like shapes from the craft foam and sand the edges so they are rounded. Use the hot glue gun to attach the foam pieces to the mask. Cut small circles of window screen or sheer black fabric and use a glue gun to fasten to the back of the mask to create the blacked-out eyes illusion.

Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

3. Unravel cotton balls. Use the liquid latex or eyelash adhesive to apply the deconstructed cotton balls to the mask. Apply more latex on top of the cotton and press it down to the mask to create a “skin.” Let the latex dry or use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.

4. Put the mask on and secure it in place with the elastic. Apply cotton and latex around the edges to blend it in. Use a hairdryer on the cool setting to set the latex. Be careful to avoid getting any latex in your hair or clothes.

Universal Orlando Resort, HHN 23 La Llorona Make-Up Look

Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando Resort, HHN 23 La Llorona Make-Up Look

Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

5. Use a sponge and/or brush to apply the makeup to the mask. Carefully apply a skintone color on the mask and blend it into the skin. Use darker colors to shadow the eyes, cheeks and nose. Use black makeup to outline the black tears of La Llorona.

6. Mix a small amount of clear corn syrup with black food coloring to create black tears. Apply the mixture beneath bottom eyelashes and and let it run down the face to create streaks of black tears.

Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

To complete this look wear an old, worn white dress and veil, and scare away! You can find items like this at Goodwill or your local thrift shop.

Halloween Guessing Game #Hershey’sHalloween

This post is SPONSORED by Global Influence with PRODUCT provided by Hershey’s

During the month of October, leading up to Halloween, we are BUSY! Between my two kids we have at least 5 parties that we have to attend and most of these parties I have to come up with a game for the kids to play. I actually really enjoying coming up with fun games for the kids and each year I try something a little different. This year I decided that I would do something a little simpler with a Halloween Guessing Game that includes everyone’s favorite Hershey’s candy.

halloween games, halloween candy guessing games, halloween

The best part about this game is that you can make it as simple or difficult as you like. Since most of the kids attending the parties I will be taking this game to are under 10, I made it more towards the easy side. Most of the items that I used can be found at the Dollar Store like the glass vase, plastic eyeballs, ribbon and plastic bugs and skeletons. You can find the Hershey’s Candy in candy isle at your local Walmart, Kmart, or other major retailer.

halloween candy, halloween games, party games

To make this game, simply add as much candy as you can get inside the glass vase. As you add the candy be sure to add extra fun things for kids like the bugs, eyeballs and skeleton toys. This not only makes the jar look fun but it mixes things up. After you add all your candy and counted them, write the number on the bottom of the jar so that you don’t forget. You can add extra décor to the jar like a ribbon and even a giant plastic spider like I did.

halloween games, halloween, fall parties

This game is so much fun because all your guests can participate! You have them look at the jar and try to guess how many pieces of Hershey’s candy is inside. The person who comes the closest wins the candy jar. You can also use this jar as a decoration until the party starts, I actually have mine sitting on a table in my living room and it looks great. Every time my kids go by I see them trying to guess how much candy is inside!

So what’s your favorite Hershey’s Candy?