Guest Post- Finding Your Community of Moms

I was honored when Amber at Grace Filled Life of Mom and Wife asked me to write a guest post for her blog! She has written some beautiful posts about motherhood, faith, and family. I hope you’ll read my post and also take some time to read hers!

You can find Amber on Facebook,  Twitter, and WordPress!

Finding Your Community of Moms

Finding Your Community of Moms- Champagne and Cheerios

Money-Making Apps

Apps I’ve personally used and made money with!

Money-Making Apps- Champagne and Cheerios

I don’t know about you, but I love saving money. I get a weird sort of high when I know I’ve scored an awesome deal. Most of the times those great deals are found in a physical store, sometimes online. And then there are my apps. I use apps to save money while shopping and to make a little extra cash on the side. While the dollar amounts I earn each time are small, they can add up very quickly! Between all my apps I’ve made $100 in a year just using my smartphone!

Below I’ve listed my favorite money-saving and money-making apps. All of them are free, legit, and available in both the Apple App Store and te Google Play Store.  Check them out!

Rebate Apps
The premise of the rebate apps is simple but powerful- buy groceries, get rebates. I buy my groceries as normal, then look through the apps to see if there are any rebates available for the items I purchased. I scan the barcode on the items and then take a picture of my receipt. Done!

Ibotta
Checkout 51
Snap by Groupon

 

Receipt Scanning Apps
These apps give you points (to redeem for gift cards) or cash (PayPal) for taking pictures of your receipts. It’s fast and easy, especially if you scan each receipt into each app every time.

Find&Save (use my code YD5W for a sign-up bonus)
Receipt Hog (Use my code troh7606 for a sign-up bonus)
Receipt Pal

 

Money-Saving Apps
These apps help me find the best deals both in-store and online!

Key Ring– This app stores all my discount and membership card barcodes for easy access and savings/points every time I shop. It’s so much easier to use this app than to flip through all of my cards each time, especially since I have about 75 of them! I added my husband to my account so that he can use the same cards when he is out and about, too, which racks up even more points and saves even more money!

Snip Snap Coupon App– This app is a  great place to find coupons. Users take pictures of their coupons and upload them to the app for everyone to use. I’ve had great luck with this app and find myself using it more on the fly than in a premeditated sort of way. Example- I’m at Pier 1 and check to see if there are any Pier 1 coupons on the site. If there are, I add it to my coupons, show it to the cashier, it’s scanned, cha-ching!

CartwheelTarget has a special place in my heart. I love shopping there, and if the Target in my city sold groceries I don’t think I’d have to shop anywhere else, honestly. This app has revolutionize how I save money at Target. Offers are displayed in the app, I add them to by list, and have the cashier scan my barcode at check out. I also make sure to scan each item’s tag before I checkout to make sure I’m not missing an extra discount. Combined with my RedCard debit card, coupons, and sales I save hundreds of dollars at Target this way!

 

Two Unusual Teething Solutions That Never Fail!

While there’s nothing wrong with frozen teething rings, they just don’t always seem to do the trick. My daughter would maybe chew on them for a minute or two, but then drop them and walk away, still in pain from her growing teeth.

Two Teething Solitions That Never Fail-  Champagne and Cheerios
The two teething solutions that I will share with you today are not the typical ones that everyone shares when you express your teething woes. However, I can guarantee that they will work, that you can feel good about using them, and that your child will get immediate relief! I know all this because I’ve used them myself on a weekly, if not almost daily, basis.

The The first method I’ll share with you is one that my daughter particularly enjoyed when she was younger. Now that she’s a little bit older, this one doesn’t seem to help as much, but it can do the trick in a pinch.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the old frozen washcloth trick, but have you heard of soaking that same washcloth and tea instead of water? That’s right! Instead of soaking my washcloth in plain old water, I soak 4-5 of them in organic chamomile tea. I then fold the washcloths into quarters, just my preference, and place them in the freezer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. I make a bunch at one time so I don’t waste the tea and so that I have some on hand whenever I need one. The coldness of the washcloth helps bring down the inflammation of her sore gums and the chamomile tea soothes.

I was skeptical at first, but when I gave my daughter the first chamomile washcloth she chewed on it until it was slightly thawed and wet and then started sucking the tea out. She felt so much better and when back to playing instead of fussing about her teeth!

The second method that I’ll share with you is one that my daughter really loves and that always works! Two words: frozen yogurt. No, not the kind with all the toppings that you get at the mall! I freeze tubes of organic yogurt, Cut them in half, and give one to my daughter as a snack, especially when she’s teething.

This is our absolute favorite way to help our daughter cope with teething. She loves the snack and the coldness, I love that the yogurt has nutrition that she needs and enjoy it. It’s a win for everyone!

 

Two Unusual Teething Solutions That Never Fail- Champagne and Cheerios

A face full of yogurt makes for a happy baby!

 

 

(Disclaimer: Please do not give yogurt, especially frozen yogurt, to babies who are not yet eating solids {or anything besides breast milk and/or formula}. The World Health Organization recommends that babies no younger than six months of age eat solid foods. Please check with your pediatrician if you have any concerns or are unsure about dairy allergies or any allergies to the fruits that might be in the yogurt you choose.)


Here are some pictures to illustrate how I prepare the frozen yogurt:

1. Buy your favorite yogurt. Stonyfield is our go-to brand.

Two Unusual Teething Solutions That Never Fail- Champagne and Cheerios
2. Freeze the yogurt tubes.

Two Unusual Teething Solutions That Never Fail- Champagne and Cheerios

3. Cut each tube in half. (A whole tube is a little too much yogurt for my daughter, and it gets way too messy as the yogurt thaws!)

Two Unusual Teething Solutions That Never Fail- Champagne and Cheerios

4. Store the yogurt in a freezer-safe bag and serve very cold.

Two Unusual Teething Solutions That Never Fail- Champagne and Cheerios
So there you have it! My two favorite, no fail teething solutions!

What are your favorite solutions? Share below!

To the Weary Mom This Christmas Eve,

 To the Weary Mom on Christmas Eve 

It’s Christmas Eve and I feel weary. Do you feel weary, momma? As moms the burden often falls on us to make Christmas special for our family, our children, and even our friends. Is it really supposed to be that way, though? I take joy in providing wonderful Christmas experiences and memories for my daughter, but sometimes I get so wrapped up in the decorating, the buying, the wrapping, and the traveling that I forget to take time for silent nights and even a little rocking around the Christmas tree. (Do you see what I did there?) 

I don’t have all the answers, and I’ll never do it all correctly, but let me encourage you on this Christmas  Eve, Mommy- take time to dance and sing with those babies, they’ll never be this small again. Eat a cookie, marvel at Christmas lights, and capture those precious memories- they’re so fleeting. 

Merry Christmas! I hope that the time spent with your family brings you closer to each other and to Christ, whose birth we celebrate! 

-Brittany

A Tip on Cooking with Fresh Garlic

 A Tip on Cooking with Garlic- Champagne and Cheerios 
Here’s a great tip for when you’re working with fresh garlic cloves- see that stem looking thing on the left? If you remove it and chop and cook what remains your garlic will taste smooth and creamy and won’t have that almost spicy bite that is sometimes associated with garlic.
Follow these easy steps! 
1) Crush garlic clove with the flat part of your knife using the palm of your hand. Make sure to keep those fingers up and out of the way! 

 A Tip on Cooking with Garlic- Champagne and Cheerios 
2) Remove any of the papery casing and the center green piece. (Sometimes it’s large, and sometimes it’s small; but it’s always there!) 

 A Tip on Cooking with Garlic- Champagne and Cheerios 
 A Tip on Cooking with Garlic- Champagne and Cheerios 
3) Chop away and use in your favorite dishes! 

Did you try it? How did your dish turn out? 

How I Stopped Using Paper Towels

How I Stopped Using Paper Towels- Champagne and Cheerios

Today I’ll start with a few math problems:

19.98 x 3 = 59.94

19.99 x 4 = 79.96

Those are the best case scenarios of what I was paying for paper towels in a year. The first one is Sam’s Club. Not working in the cost of a standard membership, on average I was buying 3 packages of 25 paper towels a year. Assuming I paid the regular price for them I spent $59.94 for a year’s worth of paper towels.

Now let’s say you don’t have a Sam’s membership and instead you go to Target where the “value sized” package of the same paper towels I would buy at Sam’s has 20 rolls and costs $19.99 a piece. In this case you would buy 4 packages a year (this is just an example!) making your yearly budget for paper towels about $79.96. WOAH! I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot more things I’d like to spend almost $80 on besides paper towels; so I did something about it!

About a year ago I started using cloth napkins instead of paper towels at meal times. Just doing this reduced the amount of paper towels we went through big time! It brought me down to about 2 big (Sam’s Club) packages a year. I started off with 12 plain white napkins from Target’s Threshold brand. I bought white because I wanted to be able to bleach them if they started getting really stained. After a couple months I bought some really cute patterned napkins to use when guests come over so they don’t have to see my (stained) everyday napkins! Ever since I’ve been buying up cute cloth napkins when I go to garage sales. While it’s fun to have lots of cute napkins, for our family of 2 (+ a baby) 12 seems to work just fine most of the time.

A few weeks ago I decided to jump into this no paper towel thing with both feet- I put the paper towel roll under the sink in a cabinet and in its place I put a basket of these white wash cloths from Target. My husband thought I was crazy. He said, “What are we going to use to wipe up the counter and the floor?” I replied “The washcloths!” He was skeptical, but you know what- it’s been 3 weeks and we don’t miss them at all! I use paper towels for two things now- cleaning the windows and mirrors with Windex and for sopping up grease when I fry food. In three weeks we haven’t even gone through one roll! That’s amazing!!!! The washcloths cost $3.49 for a package of 8. I wash them with clothes or with towels, whatever laundry I happen to be doing that day and 8 seems to be ok. I might go back and get another package just to make sure I don’t run out on days that I’m behind on laundry.

How I Stopped Using Paper Towels- Champagne and Cheerios

And that’s it! That’s how I stopped using paper towels! I love using the cloths- it’s so easy and I can genuinely say that I won’t be going back to using paper towels!

Have you given up paper towels? How are you liking it? For those of you who haven’t, do you think this is something you could do?

The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Jalapeño Cheese Bread Recipe

I will now share with you one of my most requested recipes. That’s really saying something, seeing as how a friend shared this recipe with me about 3 years ago! This is a fantastic appetizer to serve for guests, or just to make for your family when you’re wanting something delicious before dinner. The recipe calls for a specific seasoning made by my friend JoJo at Only Herbs Gourmet Seasonings. While I’ve made this recipe without the seasoning when visiting family, I must say it is significantly better with the seasoning! With Small Business Saturday coming up it’s the perfect time to head over to her website and order some for you and maybe even some for gifts! This seasoning is delicious on anything you can think to put it on!

Jalapeño Cheese Bread

 

Ok, enough talk, time for the recipe!

Prepare the pizza crust according to the instructions on the package. Preheat the oven to the specified temperature. Spread the crust onto a greased baking sheet or stone. Prick the crust all over to prevent bubbles.

Jalapeño Cheese Bread

Sprinkle the crust with Only Herbs Original Seasoning, then sprinkle Mexican Blend cheese all over crust.

Only Herbs Gourmet Seasonings

 

Jalapeno Cheese Bread Add Seasonings

Jalapeno Cheese Bread Add Cheese

Place sliced jalapeños all over crust- as many as you want!

Jalapeno Cheese Bread Add Jalapenos

Top with a little bit more cheese and Only Herbs Original Seasoning.

Jalapeno Cheese Bread More Cheese and Seasoning

Bake for about 12 minutes, slice, and serve hot!

Jalapeno Cheese Bread Baked

Seriously, just look at this! If you’re mouth isn’t watering, go see your doctor!

Jalapeño Cheese Bread

I guarantee this appetizer will be a hit at your next gathering! If you make it, comment below and let me know what you thought of the recipe! Enjoy!

Jalapeño Cheese Bread

Ingredients

1 package of pizza crust mix (any brand)

1-2 cups of Mexican blend cheese (to taste)

2-5 Tbsp. pickled jalapeño slices (to taste)

1-3 tsp Only Herbs Original Blend Seasoning (to taste)

Directions

  1. Prepare the pizza crust according to the instructions on the package. Preheat the oven to the specified temperature.
  2. Spread the crust onto a greased baking sheet or stone. Prick the crust all over to prevent bubbles.
  3. Sprinkle the crust with Only Herbs Original Seasoning, then sprinkle Mexican Blend cheese all over crust.
  4. Place sliced jalapeños all over crust- as many as you want!
  5. Top with a little bit more cheese and Only Herbs Original Seasoning.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes, slice, and serve hot!