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Our Favorite Afternoon Snack + Printable Valentines!

Thank you to Cuties for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions written are mine alone.  #100daysofsunshine 

I don't know about the rest of you, but the afternoon munchies hit hard in our home. It's that time in the late afternoon when we've already had lunch and it isn't quite time for dinner, but Oaklyn and I just really need a snack that satisfies. The absolute perfect snack solution that won't spoil our dinner is Cuties! They are perfectly kid-sized and adult-sized!



Oaklyn is in a "I can do it myself" phase where she wants to be independent and do everything she's able to, on her own. There are definitely times when it's helpful, and others when it proves to be more difficult than beneficial. You know, like the times she wants to help make cookies and somehow flour ends up all over the floor... sigh. Luckily, Cuties are easy to peel and her little hands love being able to unwrap them. Not only are they easy to peel, but they are also easy to eat! Foods that involve a spoon, or any utensil for that matter, create quite the eating challenge for my little 2 year old. Cuties are sweet and seedless making them the perfect kid-friendly snack. Lucky for all of us, it is Cuties season and they are back in-store, ripe, and ready to eat!



Not only do Cuties make the perfect snack for your little ones, but they also make a for a great activity to pass some time! We love sitting outside in the sunshine and peeling several of them together. Oaklyn would honestly rather peel a Cutie than play with half her toys, ha! The other fun activity you can do with your kids and Cuties, is make Valentines! I personally don't think my child needs an ounce more of sugar on Valentine's Day, so I'm guessing other moms must feel the same way. For that reason, I think passing out Cuties make the perfect Valentines! Have your child help place a Cutie in a bag, let them choose some special festive ribbon, and then attach the Valentine card that I made! All you need to do is download the printable here and then print! I personally selected the option on my printer of 4 images per page but you can do one large Valentine, or even smaller with 8 images! Whatever you fancy ;) Have your child sign their name on the back, hole punch it, then attach to the ribbon. Now you have a festive Valentine for your child to give to all of their friends!



February 16th is "Random Acts of Kindness Day" and to coincide with it, Cuties created their 100 Days of Sunshine Campaign! This campaign is meant to inspire others to spread sunshine within their communities and families. True happiness can be felt when you lose yourself in serving others and Cuties wants everyone to feel that joy and love. We will be taking our Cuties Valentines to local service men and women this year!




So, whether you need a snack on the go, a Valentine for your kid to bring to school, a snack in between meals, a tasty gift to bring to a friend or neighbor, or a side for a meal, Cuties are the perfect healthy and tasty option!
Does your family love Cuties as much as we do? Head over to buy a bag today!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Save Some Money On Your Favorite Baby Products With Parents Choice

This post is sponsored by Walmart. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone. #ad #walmartbaby


When I had Oaklyn, I only used the expensive brands of pretty much everything baby related because I thought they must be better if they cost more.
I wish I would have known what I know now, because we would've saved ourselves a whole lot more money!
I remember the first time I swayed away from a few of those pricey brands... I was sure it wouldn't go over well.
Like I had said earlier, if it costs more it must be better... right??
WRONG!
One brand that I tried was Parents Choice and I was SO happy that I was able to still get some of the best quality at a fraction of the price!
It felt so refreshing to know that I would be saving money for our family while still getting exceptional products for my little baby.
By using the Parents Choice brand, I realized I had more money to use in other areas of our lives such as going out for date nights, doing activities as a family, and getting a mid day treat with my little one!
Parents Choice is a line with over 275 different products from bedding to diapers, and wipes to baby snacks. 
Parents choice is new and improved and I can assure you, it is as good - if not better - than those top brands you've been using.



A few of my favorite Parents Choice products come from their line of bedding.
I love options, and they have plenty!
The line includes receiving blankets, crib sheets, changing pads, baby blankets, and nursery sets that are all made with super soft materials and come in trendy patterns!
My sweet little Oaklyn had a problem almost right from the start with wetting through her diapers at night.
We tried all different types of diapers and nothing seemed to help the situation. 
With that being said, I needed to have several different crib sheets on hand at all times to ensure she always had a clean one when the others were being washed. 
All items in the Parents Choice line are priced at $40 or less with majority being priced at less than $13!!
That meant I could easily stock up on sheets without a worry.
I was able to find several different styles that matched or complimented her nursery.
I loved that there were so many options between nine coordinating colors so I could mix and match to create a customized look for my baby. 
Now that I'm on my second baby with plans to have more, I'll definitely be shopping the Parents Choice brand more often! 
I also love the receiving blankets for tummy time. 
They are soft and lightweight which are perfect for her to lay on, roll on, or use in the carseat. 
I chose a neutral pattern and color scheme to match any outfit.


So now you all know one of my best kept secrets ;)
Okay, so it's really not a secret at all that I'm a total bargain shopper.
I love getting the most bang for my buck!
I also love that I have the option of heading to my local Walmart to shop the Parents Choice brand, or I can stay in my jammies and have everything shipped right to my door!
How else do you save money on baby items??
I'd love to hear!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy



How To Be A Game Winning Hostess





I don't know about the rest of you, but for me, game day just isn't the same without a scrumptious spread.
I love throwing a party for any occasion and game day parties are some of the most fun!
"Football Finger Foods" as we like to call them around here are equally as delicious as they are fun to eat.
I know throwing get togethers may seem intimidating to some at first, but I'm here to offer a few tips and recipes to ensure no hand is left empty when yelling, "touchdown!!!"
When is comes to planning a party, and especially a game day party, good food is an absolute must. 
And when it comes to good food, shopping the best brands is also a must!
I was able to find all of my favorite brands at my local Walmart where they even have the option of grocery pickup to buy you some time!




First Down! (Tyson Sticky Chicken Fingers)
This recipe is sure to win the MVP of the party. Every person who has tried this chicken agrees it is finger-licking good! Not only is it delicious, but it is also so easy to make and will definitely feed a crowd!
Ingredients:

-1/3 of a cup hot sauce
-1 cup of brown sugar
-1/4 cup water



Directions:
  1. Bake Chicken fingers according to directions on package.
  2. While chicken is cooking, prepare your sauce! In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the hot sauce, brown sugar and water. Stir and cook until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand a couple minutes to slightly thicken the sauce.
  3. Place the cooked chicken fingers in a large bowl or pan. Pour the warm sauce over all of the chicken fingers. Use tongs to turn chicken fingers so they get coated entirely with sauce.
  4. Serve the sticky fingers with your favorite dressing! We love them with ranch!


Second Down! (Ham and Cheese Sliders)
These delicious little finger sandwiches are sure to slide right into the end zone and score a touchdown! Seriously, I could eat like 5 of these things! The tangy sauce plus the melty cheese, combined with the warm meat is almost too much! These are a must make!

Ingredients:
-1 package of sweet rolls
-1 package of swiss cheese
-1/3 cup mayo
-2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup butter
-1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp poppy seeds



Directions:
  1. Cut all rolls in half and spread a little mayo onto 1 side of the roll. Place a slice or two of ham and slice of swiss cheese in roll. Replace the top of the rolls and bunch them closely together into a baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together poppy seeds, dijon mustard, melted butter, and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Pour all that sauce goodness over the rolls. Cover them with foil and let it all soak in for about 10 minutes.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for an additional 5ish minutes until tops are slightly browned. Serve once cooled slightly but still warm. 

Third Down! (Loaded Potato Nachos)
These nachos are just like a quarterbacks perfect spiral, the look good and feel good! I love potato anything, I also love any kind of nachos, put 'em together and you get a game winning combo! These mouth watering potato nachos are loaded with crispy bacon and all the best toppings. For some happy fans, these have to be on your list of plays!

Ingredients:
-4 or 5 medium russet potatoes sliced
-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
-1 tbsp seasoning salt
-1/4 cup chopped green onions
-1/4 cup sour cream
-Jalepenos (optional)




Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is preheating, wash your potatoes, thinly slice them, and let sit in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. While potatoes are soaking, chop your cooked bacon and green onions and set aside
  3. Once potatoes are done soaking place a piece of foil on a baking sheet. Spray it with cooking spray and put your potatoes on the sheet. Sprinkle with seasoned salt.
  4. Cook your potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Not fall apart mushy but just tender. Top with your shredded cheese and bacon and place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted. 
  5. Take nachos out of the oven and add your green onions and a swirl of sour cream. (I like to place mine in a ziploc and snip the corner to swirl it onto the nachos)
  6. Serve as soon as they are warm enough to not burn your tongue, ha!


Andddd... Touchdown! (Being the Hostess)
Okay so you have your food all prepped and ready... now what? I'll tell you what... decorate! It doesn't have to be anything fancy but do your best to be festive and get those fans excited! Lay a plastic tablecloth over your table and place some footballs on it. Take your favorite cake stands with varying heights and place your food on them for a pretty and easy way to display all the snacks you made. You could even dust off the foam finger to add to your display and wrap some festive garland on the wall behind the food. Pull out that letterboard and use that too! Decorating doesn't have to expensive or a hassle, just use what you have already and have fun with it! You're sure to be crowned the hostess with the mostess and who knows... you may even get the game ball ;)




So, what are you planning on making for the big game??

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Tasty Tuesday: Fajita Turkey Burgers


Okay, so this recipe doesn't have to be made with turkey... but I've had a recent fascination with ground turkey since it's a little better for you than ground beef and I can buy it in bulk at Costco!
I pretty much replace ground beef with ground turkey in most of my recipes now and hardly even taste a difference!
Fajitas are one of our favorite meals and we LOVED having that same taste on a burger!
Hunter made himself sick he ate so many of these, ha!
It was super easy and super yummy, I call that a win, win!



Ingredients:
-A pound or more of ground turkey (or ground beef... whatever floats your boat)
-1 foil packet of fajita seasoning
-1 tbsp + a few dashes of garlic salt 
-1 tsp + 1/2 tsp chili powder 
-a few dashes salt and pepper 
-cooking spray
-3 tbsp oil of choice 
-2 bell peppers (I chose one red and one orange)
-1/3 of a yellow onion 
-2 tbsp soy sauce 
-a slice of pepper jack or Monterey jack for each burger 
-Hamburger buns
-2 avocados
-1/4 cup sour cream
-a few spoonfuls or your fav salsa

Directions:
-Place uncooked ground turkey or ground beef in a mixing bowl. Add half a packet of fajita seasoning, 1 tbsp garlic salt, 1 tsp chili powder, and a few dashes salt and pepper. Once mixed completely, form meat into burgers and cook in a pan with some cooking spray or on the grill!
-While burgers are cooking, start cutting your bell pepper and onion into strips. Add that to a frying pan with oil and let cook until veggies become soft but not soggy.
-Turn heat to low and add in the remainder of fajita seasoning, 1/2 tsp chili powder, soy sauce, and a few dashes salt & pepper. Let that cook for a couple more minutes.
-When burgers are almost done add slices of pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese and let it melt down.
-Make your guacamole by adding the meat of two avocados to a mixing bowl with sour cream and a few dashes garlic salt. If you wanna get fancy, skip the sour cream and use fresh pico and lime juice. 
-Toast your bun. The add a spoonful of your fav salsa to the bottom bun. Place burger on to of that. Add peppers and onion on top of the burger. On the top bun add a heaping spoonful of guac.


And there ya have it, the fjaita burger!
Now I'm craving one...
I hope you all liked this recipe!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Oh Mary, Did You Know?

Every Christmas season I begin feeling overwhelmed and a bit stressed with all the money spent, gifts we have to buy, and activities I feel we can't miss out on.
It just becomes a lot of work and time for one holiday that's over in a blink!
However, once I start focusing on the real reason we celebrate Christmas, I notice my attitude change and my love for the spirit of Christmas increase.
This holiday is such a special time to reflect on our Savior's life instead of making it feel more like a "Hallmark" holiday. 
The first Christmas I spent as a mother, was the first time I really thought about what it must have been like to be Mary.
Ever since that Christmas, I love reflecting on her life and what an amazing example she is to mothers everywhere.
Like holy cow, can you even imagine being her??
The video I shared below does a great job of really helping us understand her role.
She was the mother of literally the only perfect man on earth.
She was the mother of our Savior, the Son of God.
Like guys, I can't even put my thoughts and feelings into words!
I just can't even imagine.
I feel such an intense amount of love and respect for Mary. 
Ever since that Christmas, "Mary Did You Know" became my favorite Christmas song.
I get the chills every time I listen to it, especially the Pentatonix version!
One of my favorite lines is "This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you."
SO powerful! 
Every Christmas now, I try to really think about Mary in that stable. Not in a hospital bed with an epidural, but in a stable. 
I try to imagine what it must have felt like to hold the Son of God, the one that now holds each of us in our trials and hardships.
I imagine what it must have been like to see him on the cross (cue tears), wondering why this must be. 
I imagine how it must have felt to see crowds bow before him, to see him give sight to a blind man, and to know that he overcame death.
I mean, I feel proud when Oaklyn pees in the potty by herself... I just can't even begin to imagine what she felt. 

Now, when I see a nativity scene, I see a mother holding a brand new baby boy.
I see a mother who was probably scared and had gone through long suffering just to bring him here... but a mother who is brave and faithful.
I see a mother that I aspire to be like.
Every Christmas I think about how I can be more like Mary, a mother who is one of the greatest examples of all time.
Mary was trusted with THE Son of God, and raised him in faith.
I just can't help but ponder the same question, "Mary Did You Know?"

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Here's a few videos I LOVE!











5 Tips For A First-Time Car Buyer

This post is sponsored by Cars.com. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone. #ad #CarsCom


We bought our first car just over a year and a half ago. It was something I knew was coming later on in the future, but definitely didn't expect to do right then and there. We were driving a car that belonged to Hunter's dad when we first got married. It did what we needed it to and he was happy to let us use it while Hunter was in school. Then, the unexpected happened and he passed away really unexpectedly. As a result, that car was no longer ours. Suddenly we were thrown into purchasing a new car for the first time and saying we were lost, nervous, and confused would be an understatement! So, here's some advice we have to someone purchasing a car for the first time. 

1) Set a Budget! This was key for us. We knew we wanted to stay at or around a certain budget and that helped us stay firm when talking to pushy car salesmen. I can't tell you how many times we walked away from a dealership just because they were trying to get us to go above our budget. We sat down and considered gas, maintenance, insurance, and the car payment and found were able to figure out what we could actually afford. 

2) Do Your Research! After setting a budget, it was time to actually look for a car! Neither of us really knew much about cars and to be honest, we had no clue what we were looking for in a car. Looking on Cars.com is a really great resource for first-time car buyers. It is one of the largest digital automotive platforms with tons of trusted information about all sorts of cars. You are able to research and then find a car that will fit you and your family best!

3) Phone a Friend! We kept trying to do it all on our own until we finally realized it might be best to ask what others thought. I talked to my dad and my husband talked to his brother and we felt a whole lot better after talking to them. They were able to offer insight we didn't think of and let us know what the car buying process is like before we went through it. Talking to someone we respect and love really helped us feel comfortable.

4) Ask a Million Questions! When it comes to this big of a decision, don't be afraid to ask all sorts of questions. There were a few car salesmen that I knew weren't going to give me straight answers and that made it very clear to me that I didn't want to buy a car from them. When I went to Hyundai and put my research to the test, I loved that they gave me clear answers and were very helpful. 

5) Test Drive the Car! So you like the car from the outside, but how do you like actually driving it?? I really liked our car at first glance. We looked at the inside, the outside, and I really honestly liked it. However, it wasn't until Hunter and I both drove it that we realized we really wanted it. It felt smooth, we liked how Oaklyn fit in the back seat, we liked that we were higher up, and it had a clean interior. Looking back, I wish I would've driven that car how I actually do now instead of being extra careful while test driving it ;) But seriously, drive it how you really will be driving it to see if you really like how it feels! 


Alright, those are my top 5 tips for being a first-time car buyer! What are your best tips?

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

A Cozy Christmas

This post is sponsored by Sleepyheads. However, all opinions are mine alone


Today marks only ONE MONTH until Christmas! Can you believe how fast that came?? Maybe it doesn't seem fast for the rest of you, but for me this entire year flew by! We're pretty busy planning our move to San Diego so I've been trying to get things ready for Christmas as fast as possible. One of the first things I thought of is one of my favorite family traditions; matching family jammies for Christmas Eve! Generally, I don't post about our jammies until Christmas Eve but this year I wanted to share the cute and cozy ones I found so you can snag some too! 




I found our jammies at Sleepyheads.com and we love them so much! They had so many options to chose from and they are seriously the comfiest jammies any of us own! Oaklyn thinks it is so fun that she gets to match mommy and daddy and cam looks so adorable in hers! I love this red snowflake collection because they had them in every size we needed! I was so nervous that I wouldn't be able to find identical jammies for all of us this year but was so happy when I saw these! I love that they are footed jammies because I know the girls will be cozy sleeping in them. Hunter and I have the feet on ours as well, except ours zip off! This feature was so perfect for Hunter who is really tall. Hunter and I also have a little hood on ours.


So how does this tradition work? Well every year on Christmas eve I wrap up our jammies as one present. I let Oaklyn open it (now Cambria too!) and then we put them on right away! Then we read a Christmas book and get ready for bed. We wake up Christmas morning in our matching jammies and it just feels so festive and fun! We open our presents in our matching jammies and continue to wear them year round because they are just that cozy! I really love this tradition and plan to continue it until our kids find it embarrassing to match their parents, haha!


Because I love Sleepyheads SO much, I can just guarantee that you all will too! So, I have teamed up with them to giveaway up to 4 pairs of these same jammies! This is a quick giveaway so be sure to enter pronto! Comment here with what your favorite gift of all time was! Then head over to my instagram for more entires!
Giveaway will run for 48 hours!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy