gallamore west

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blogger Birthdays Giveaway!!

It's a special day today! We're celebrating blogger birthdays this week with The Cards We Drew and we've rounded up a great group of bloggers and vendors to throw the ultimate birthday bash and party like it's YOUR birthday! We're giving away over $950 worth of prizes for three lucky winner (U.S. residents only--sorry). You can enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below, but first check out the great prizes and bloggers involved and please be sure to read the fine print!

abbey logo
Each blogger picked their own gift card to here's what's up for grabs!!
Someday Crafts $15 Chilis Gift Card / The Cards We Drew $15 Home Goods Gift Card / Sweet Tea and Saving Grace $15 Hobby Lobby Gift Card / A Girl and a Glue Gun $15 Home Depot Gift Card / Made to be a Momma $15 Amazon Gift Card / Cupcake Diaries $15 Olive Garden Gift Card / Glued to my Crafts $15 Lowe's Gift Card / Kleinworth and Co. $15 Target Gift Card / Frenchie Wraps $15 JoAnn's Gift Card / Simply Designing $15 Amazon Gift Card / Carissa Miss $15 Amazon Gift Card / Food Folks and Fun $15 Target Gift Card / Occasionally Crafty $15 Amazon Gift Card / Maybe I Will $15 iTunes Gift Card / Over the Big Moon $15 Pick Your Plum Gift Card / Yesterday on Tuesday $15 Amazon Gift Card / Housewife Eclectic $15 Amazon Gift Card / Our Thrifty Ideas $15 Pick Your Plum Gift Card / Gingersnap Crafts $15 JoAnn's Gift Card / Pretty Providence $15 Target Gift Card / Crafting in the Rain $15 Panera Gift Card / Sister's Suitcase Blog $15 Target Gift Card / DimplePrints $15 Lowe's Gift Card / That's What Che Said $15 Home Depot Gift Card / Twin Dragonfly Designs $15 Amazon Gift Card / Happiness is Homemade $15 Amazon Gift Card / The Baker Upstairs $15 World Market Gift Card / Blooming Homestead $15 Target Gift Card / Splendid Designs $15 Michaels Gift Card / Reasons to Skip the Housework $15 Target Gift Card / Giggles Galore $15 Michaels Gift Card / Raegun Ramblings $15 Amazon Gift Card / View from the Fridge $15 Chipotle Gift Card / Flats to Flip Flops $15 Old Navy Gift Card / Cooking with Crystal $15 Hobby Lobby Gift Card / Home. Made. Interest $15 Home Depot Gift Card / 100 Directions $15 Amazon Gift Card / 733 Blog $15 JoAnn's Gift Card / Endlessly Inspired $15 Home Goods Gift Card / Here Comes the Sun $15 Target Gift Card / Bloom Designs $15 Michaels Gift Card / Strawberry Mommycakes $15 Pottery Barn Gift Card / Handmade in the Heartland $15 Amazon Gift Card / Wait til Your Father Gets Home $15 Amazon Gift Card / Mabey She Made It $15 Amazon Gift Card / Play Party Pin $15 Amazon Gift Card / Poofy Cheeks $15 Target Gift Card / Bombshell Bling $15 iTunes Gift Card / C.R.A.F.T. $15 Home Depot Gift Card / Gallamore West $15 Target Gift Card

AND on top of all those gift cards we have the following vendors participating...
wink and winn
$100 Credit to Design Your Own Handbag at Wink and Winn
$50 Credit to StitchFix where you can get your own personal stylist sending clothes to your door!
Winner One: $645 worth of Gift Cards + $50 StitchFix Credit
Winner Two: $60 worth of Gift Cards + $100 Credit to Wink and Winn
Winner Three: $45 worth of Gift Cards + $25 to Pick Your Plum + Jamberry Nail Decals

Giveaway Details and Fine Print: Giveaway begins 8/27 and ends 9/5 at 11:59 p.m.. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter and winning entries verified. If winning entry is not complete, prize will be voided and another winner will be chosen. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize before a new winner is chosen. Gift cards are chosen by each individual blogger and are mailed out separately to the winner in increments of $15 per blogger. Winner may not choose what gift cards they receive as that is predetermined by the bloggers in advance. Winner will have to provide a valid mailing address and email address, which will be kept confidential, in order to claim their prizes from all parties involved. All individual blogs are responsible for fulfilling their own respective prizes and will have the gift card in the mail or through email to you within one week of verification of winning. Gift Cards are sent out in $15 increments. The Cards We Drew, nor any other blog, is not held liable for unfulfilled prizes from other bloggers and/or vendors involved with this giveaway and all associated with this giveaway are hereby not held liable for any issues with the winnings. Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram and not in ANY way involved with this giveaway and are hereby released of any responsibility or liability. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Kids, Healthy Lunches

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Del Monte, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DelMonteBTS
Call me crazy, but I love having my boys home for a looooong summer.  Sending them Back to School fills me with nerves and excitement, and while my boys are away at school all day, I want them to know that I'm thinking of them, that I love them, and that I can't wait for them to come home.  Seriously.  I miss them like crazy.
One way that I can show love to my boys while they are away for the school day is to pack them a healthy lunch that will keep them full and focused.  We are a High Fructose Corn Syrup-free home, so I pack healthy lunches while still trying to have our boys lunches "fit in" with the crowd.
I try to make packing lunches easy to prep, healthy to eat, and fun to look at (because that makes it exciting to eat, even though it's healthy, right?)

Here are 5 easy things I do to make school lunches healthy and fun.

1- I buy BPA-free reusable containers from Walmart that fit perfectly into my boys lunch boxes.  It saves on having to use so many toss-away plastic bags, and it helps keep their lunches from getting smashed.  Here's what they look like...
2- My boys like peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, so I make them fresh every morning and cut them into fun shapes.  Or even just little squares with the crust cut off because they're easier for little hands to pick up and eat this way.  Even though these look like ordinary PB & J, I make sure to buy all of my ingredients without High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Plus I use natural organic peanut butter and organic jelly.
3- Pack in the fruit any way I can!  Usually my boys complain that they don't have enough time to eat a whole apple or other whole fruit, but they always have time for a quick pouch of Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers.  With 1 1/2 servings of fruit per container, these squeezable pouches are a great way for kids to get their daily fruit servings in while at school.
4- Quick to grab "side dishes" of pretzels and baby carrots {or crackers and grapes, or celery and peanut butter} are great alternatives to a bag of greasy chips and cookies. 
5- Cute containers!  When I put food for the boys in fun little containers like these {cupcake liners, little baking cups, little drinking cups, etc.} the boys gobble it all up.  Kids like "kid-size" packaging, but that doesn't mean that I have to buy into buying "kid" food that is generally made with poor ingredients.
Ahhh, I'm sending my boys Back to School next week and they are SO excited to meet their new teachers, and reconnect with friends.  And I'm so happy to see them growing and developing their own personalities and their own wings to fly with... but I'll miss them!  I printed out this photo of them that I took on the last day of school in June with a fun border at Walmart last week for FREE to hang on the fridge.  And when I picked up my FREE photo, it came with a coupon for $1 off 2 Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers... a win-win for me! 
Right now until September 13th in select Walmart Super Centers and while supplies last, you can print your own photo of your kids for FREE and get your $1 off 2 packages of either Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers or Del Monte Fruit Cups too!  Just bring in your phone with the picture you would like printed, or send your picture to Walmart to get printed as a 5x7 with a Back to School border.  When you pick up your picture, you should see the Del Monte coupon enclosed. 
For more information about Del Monte, visit their website here.  Happy Back to School Time!  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Paper Towel Butterflies

Thank you to Viva for sponsoring today's craft with my kids!

We have gorgeous butterflies in our backyard right now.  It's so fun to watch them flutter around.  We really aren't sure which plants they're attracted to and we aren't sure how long they'll last, but we do know that seeing those real butterflies make the little guys happy so we decided to do a Paper Towel Butterfly Craft to hang in the sun room windows today.

We bought Viva Vantage paper towels at Walmart because they are more durable than other brands and they s-t-r-e-t-c-h!  We needed strong paper towel because these little hands are pretty strong and would tear right through thinner paper towels.

Here's how we made our Paper Towel Butterflies.

Supplies needed:

Food coloring
Small bowls
Small spoons
Goggly eyes

It's okay that the yellow colored water spilled because those paper towels soaked up that mess and many more during this craft :) 

Viva Vantage paper towels can be torn off in different sizes, which I love because I don't always need a big paper towel and I really don't like to waste them.  For these butterflies, we used the smallest section that you can tear off at the perforation.  

The boys gently used either a small spoon or a paper straw to drop their colors onto the paper towel.

Allow the colors to dry. Scrunch up the middle of the paper towel and clip using a clothespin.  Attach goggly eyes and embellishments, then tie on a piece of twine to hang your beautiful butterflies.

SO easy, fun, and adorable!  xoxo 

5 Tips to Get Your Kids to School On Time with Homemade Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake Recipe!

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

Whether your kids are back in school already, or whether you're savoring those last few lazy days of summer {that's us!}, if you're a parent then you know how difficult it can be to get out the door and to school on time.  With 4 little ones, believe me I know all about that struggle!  I'm totally proud of our boys ZERO tardies last year though, so today I'm sharing my 5 Tips to Get Your Kids to School On Time EVERY DAY with you.  And if you're just here for this delicious Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake recipe, scroll down to find it in this post. 

#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

Here's how we get to school on time every day...

1) Organize Your Space.  
Have a designated place for backpacks, lunch bags, homework, important school papers, and SHOES.  We seemed to have it all down to a science last year except for the shoes.  We were scrambling around searching for shoes too often.  This year, each boy now has their own wooden crate just below their backpack hook.  Every night BEFORE BED their shoes have to be in their crate.  It really does make for smoother mornings.  Each boy has their backpack hanging on a hook on the wall next to the door we walk out of each morning.  Every night before bed, all homework and papers returning to school are in the backpack= NO scrambling for papers in the morning.

#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

2)  Plan Clothing Choices The Night Before
Our two older boys pick out their own clothes to wear to school, and I still choose outfits for our younger two.  Regardless of that though, I make sure that we all have something clean and ready to wear the night before.  Just a quick peek in the older boys' drawers & closets to make sure they have something available to choose from the next morning helps us avoid the "I don't have anything to wear!" issue in the morning.  Yes, that can happen even in a house full of boys.

#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

3)  Have An Organized Lunch Drawer.
#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

This "Lunch Drawer" helps me out so much in the mornings because it holds everything that I need to pack lunches in the morning {besides the food} all in one place.  I used to scramble around in different drawers and cupboards for all of these things until one day I decided to organize the drawer like this, and it helped our mornings go much smoother.

4)  Make a Morning To-Do List for Kids to Follow.

#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

I made these quick lists for our boys to follow during the school year last year.  It was amazing to me how something SO simple made such a big difference in how quickly they got ready.  They just went down the list and were ready in record time day after day.

5)  Eat a Healthy Breakfast... and make it easy with a Make Ahead recipe.

#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

I love a good "Make Ahead" recipe like my Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake because I can make it the night before, it's homemade so I know exactly what ingredients are in it, and my kids love that I make them special breakfast treats occasionally.  It also saves us time in the morning because everyone loves it and gobbles it down so quickly!  I especially love it because after we've brought the big boys to school, I get to come home and enjoy a second slice of it :) 

I make my Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake with Bigelow Tea because it's the best!  You can find it in the Coffee/Tea aisle at Walmart.  See how fun it is shopping with my boys during summer break?! 

#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

Bigelow is a 100% American owned company and it's tea plantation in Charlestown, SC is the nation's largest operating tea garden.  Guests are invited to the Charlestown Tea Plantation for weddings, tours, and more.  Sounds SO dreamy to me... I would LOVE to visit it.  It's a tea-riffic way to experience historic Southern culture and a living piece of American history!  Another reason I love buying Bigelow Tea at Walmart is because they support our troops.  Almost 4 million bags of tea have been sent to our overseas troops as part of Bigelow's Tea for Troops program

#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake Recipe

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk made with lemon
(squeeze 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon into a 1/2 measuring cup, fill the rest of the measuring cup with milk, wait 5 minutes before adding to recipe)
4 tablespoons lemon rind, divided
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons freshly brewed Bigelow Green Tea with Lemon, divided
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Make your "buttermilk" with milk & lemon- set aside (as described above). Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly mixed.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Alternately add in buttermilk and flour to butter/sugar/eggs until combined.  Fold in 2 tablespoons fresh lemon rind and stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.  Pour into greased bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, and top of cake bounces back when lightly touched.  Invert and cool on a wire rack.  

Stir together powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon Bigelow Green Tea with Lemon, and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.  Gently brush cake with 2 tablespoons of Bigelow Green Tea with Lemon, then drizzle glaze over the top letting it drip down the sides.

Combine 1 tablespoon sugar with remaining lemon rind until combined well.  Sprinkle over your Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake.  

#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

Store cake in a cool, dry place.  Best if eaten within a day or two, and SO good if heated in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  Enjoy! xoxo 

For more great recipes and tips using Bigelow Tea, visit the Pinterest Board here:

And to learn more about Bigelow Tea, visit them 
online/ Facebook/ Twitter

It does take a little bit of time to organize ourselves in the evenings, but I promise that it is well worth it for smoother, less stressful school mornings for myself and for my boys.  What tips do you have to get out the door to school on time?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe Made 4 Different Ways!

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wet-Nap but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #showusyourmess

Summer is in full-swing here for another month and we love finding creative, fun things to do at home that don't cost a lot of money.  One of our favorite summer fun things to do is make homemade ice cream.  The boys love helping me come up with new ideas of what kind to make, and their favorite part is eating their latest creation, of course!  Today I'm showing you how easy it is to make 4 different ice cream flavors with one basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe, and how easy cleaning up your kids is with Wet-Nap.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 milk 
(I use 1% to cut down on the amount of fat, but the higher fat % you use, the thicker your ice cream will be)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Mix-ins (whatever you choose!  We used full-size candy bars... Butterfinger, Kit Kat, and Reese's)

Measure out all of your ingredients. Fact: Homemade ice cream tastes better when your ingredients are measured out in your Pyrex & Corelle bowls handed down from your mom.  Add the sugar into the milk and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour the heavy cream, milk/sugar, and vanilla extract into your ice cream maker.  

Then just turn it on and let it do its magic (for about 30 minutes or so).  I got this ice cream maker for my birthday last summer and we LOVE it!  

While your ice cream is churning, prep your mix-ins.  I chopped up a huge Reese's candy bar, a huge Butterfinger candy bar, and a huge Kit-Kat bar.  All of these were giant sized bars that I bought at Walmart in the candy aisle.  We had never seen candy bars that big, so the boys were excited to try them.

Once the ice cream was creamy and had thickened up enough, I scooped it into four freezer-safe containers that have lids.  Then we added in the candy bars to 3 of 4 containers (we left one plain vanilla for our vanilla loving baby).  

After adding in our candy bars, we labeled each container with washi tape and put them in the freezer.  You'll need to freeze them for at least 2 hours.

Once your ice cream has thickened up more in the freezer, take it out and enjoy.  Each of our boys loved picking out their own special flavor.  We always go outside to eat ice cream because these boys are MESSY! 

This Wet-Nap container has been my lifesaver this summer because they are so soft that the boys actually love to clean their own hands with them.

Wet-Nap is often located in the napkin aisle at Walmart, but sometimes near the pharmacy also.  They're a great deal at Walmart because of their everyday low prices, but grab your coupon here for an even better deal and pick some up while supplies last to keep on hand to keep your kids hands clean too.  They are so soft, are made with moisturizing aloe, and each wipe is strong enough to clean up even the stickiest of ice cream messes... really, we know all about sticky messes here!


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