gallamore west

Monday, March 2, 2015

Big Hero 6 Party!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigHero6Release #CollectiveBias



My boys and I were SO excited to have friends over for a Big Hero 6 Release Party this past weekend.  We had not seen Big Hero 6 when it was in the theaters so we rushed right out and bought it the day it was released last week on February 24th.  Between Tuesday when we bought it and Friday when their friends came over, I think we watched it like 10 times.  It is such a great movie for parents and kids alike.


Once I had watched the movie on Tuesday I got busy working on lots of fun things for our Big Hero 6 Release Party! There are so many awesome Big Hero 6 toys and other merchandise available at Walmart.com, so before the party I let our boys choose some of their favorite toys and I planned the food we served at the party based on those toys names.  


For our Big Hero 6 Release Party, our guests were greeted by a DIY Baymax balloon on the mailbox and this wreath on the front door.  I made the Director's Sign using Picmonkey and a painted popsicle stick.  The wreath originally appeared at this party, then again at Halloween.  I love repurposing this Black & White Chevron wreath.



Once our guests came inside, they came over to a big table I had set up for DIY Baymax shirts.  They were so fun and easy to make.  I just bought plain white t-shirts and ironed on a Baymax face that I made a stencil from using freezer paper.  I'll share a tutorial for them soon. The boys painted these shirts right away when they arrived so that they would be dry after the movie for a group picture. It was so easy to do that even our youngest party-goers could make their own shirt.


After decorating their DIY Baymax shirts, the boys ate dinner.  I used the names from some of the Big Hero 6 characters to come up with the food we served.  We also served pizza and "Get Ready to Melt Your Face" Chicken Wings. 



Once they were done eating dinner, they took their Baymax popcorn and Baymax water bottles in to the family room to watch Big Hero 6.  


There are so many funny parts of this movie, and so many lovable characters.  The story line grabs your attention, keeps you entertained, makes you laugh, and tugs at your heartstrings... a perfect winning combination for a movie night party.  We had 11 boys total ranging in age from 2 to 10, and they all sat and watched the movie! 

After Big Hero 6 ended, the boys all put on their DIY Baymax shirts and gathered for a group picture.  I love how they posed themselves for this picture!


Then they all went into the sunroom where I had desserts- Honey Lemon's Cupcakes and White Chocolate Dipped Baymax Berries.  


I also had blank quote bubbles for the boys to write down their favorite quote from the movie.  

It was so cute to see which line they liked from the movie.  


They cut out their quote bubbles and hung them up above the big, life-sized Baymax I made out of vinyl tablecloths. 


It was truly my favorite party I've hosted.  Our boys have such fun, nice, hilarious friends and I loved how much our two little guys were right there included in all of the fun.  All of the boys brought home their DIY Baymax shirt, a Baymax balloon, and a Baymax Marshmallow Pop.



Big Hero 6 is an amazing movie!  We've now watched it a bunch more times since Friday night.  And when you purchase your movie at Walmart like I did, for a limited time you can scan your receipt with Walmart's Savings Catcher App to download the movie onto any device then check your email and you'll be able to watch Big Hero 6 on any device!  I also shopped at Walmart for all of my party decorations, supplies for the DIY Baymax shirt, and all of the food we served at the party. 


The movie in this Exclusive Gift Set, which includes a DVD and a Blu-Ray of Big Hero 6, along with the Science of Big Hero 6 and downloadable to-go version are available at Walmart in the New Release end-cap.  My local Walmart even had Big Hero 6 balloons to help guide you to the movie!



Have you seen Big Hero 6 yet?  If so, what's your favorite line from the movie?  If not, pop some popcorn and get ready for a new family favorite movie! 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Four Easy Things To Do At Night To Make The Next Morning Easier!

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


My mornings are crazy busy, and I'm guessing that it's the same for many of you.  I love starting my day off with a hot cup of coffee, breakfast, and a clean kitchen that's always stocked with foaming soap.  It's those little details that make me happy and get my day started right.  And even though I have four boys to get ready and out the door, and our mornings usually run smoothly, and our boys have ZERO tardy days this school year!  The school year is well over halfway over, so while nothing is perfect here I do think we must be doing something right with our morning routines.  My secret?  I do these FOUR EASY THINGS AT NIGHT TO MAKE THE NEXT MORNING EASIER.  

1) I prep our coffee maker the night before. I add fresh coffee and fill the water so that it's just one simple push of a button in the morning and the coffee is made.  This takes less than 5 minutes to do at night and makes a world of difference the next morning.

2) I finish loading the dishes in the dishwasher and set it to run during the night.  Since I empty it every morning and load the dishes as we use them throughout the day, this only takes a couple of minutes.  Waking up to a clean kitchen sink is priceless for a smooth morning.  And I love to dress up my kitchen sink with Softsoap Liquid Foaming Hand Soap. They're new, come in three amazing scents, and have the appearance of much pricier "fancy" soaps.  I love keeping this New Softsoap Kitchen Citrus Burst Liquid Foaming Hand Soap next to the kitchen sink.


3) I make my husband's lunch and put it in the refrigerator.  He used to eat out A LOT, and that was horrible for our budget and for his health.  So now I pack him a lunch to go every night and we save hundreds of dollars a month with this simple change.  This takes less than 5 minutes, and it's a great way to use up any extra food from dinner time! 

4) Once I'm done making sure the kitchen is ready for the next morning, I head to the bathroom where I do the same.  I wipe down the bathroom sink and fixtures with an antibacterial wipe.  This takes about 1 minute and helps me have a smoother morning.  And in my bathrooms, I love to keep Softsoap Liquid Foaming Hand Soap in Jasmine and White Cotton, or Whipped Cocoa Butter. 


These soaps smell AMAZING!  They are so fragrant and make my hands so smooth.  The packaging on all three of these new soaps is pretty to look at and reminds me of much more expensive soaps at a fraction of the price.   


 Softsoap Liquid Foaming Hand Soap is totally affordable and available at Wal-Mart.  Many locations have a special stand-alone display for these new Softsoaps, but my location had them in the hand soap section.


That's it-  my FOUR EASY THINGS AT NIGHT TO MAKE THE NEXT MORNING EASIER.  It truly does help my mornings to spend this short amount of time prepping for the next day the night before.  And I love having my Softsoap Liquid Foaming Hand Soaps to keep my hands smooth and smelling amazing.  Do you have a nighttime routine to help make your mornings run smoother?  Let me know what you do!  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Neopolitan Parfait with Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt

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


If you love ice cream, then you will LOVE this!  It's new Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt by Müller®!  I was so excited to try this yogurt and it definitely does not disappoint.  It tastes like ice cream, but without all the calories that comes with ice cream so it's a better for you option that will still satisfy that sweet tooth.  Sometimes in my busy mom life, I just need a break so I'll grab a bowl of ice cream and head to a quiet corner in our house.  Now I can have my "Me Time" guilt free with Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt because it's the perfect combination of an indulgent treat and nutrition.  



Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt comes in four delicious, decadent flavors: Raspberry Chocolate Chip, Strawberries and Cream, Vanilla Bean, and Mint Chocolate Chip.  They're all delicious and extra creamy, and they're perfect for an on-the-go snack or even breakfast.  Breakfast that tastes like ice cream... awesome, right? 


The Strawberries and Cream is my favorite.  But I love chocolate and vanilla too so I made this adorable Neopolitan Parfait to combine my love of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate all in one.


I used one container of Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt in Strawberries and Cream, one container of Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt in Vanilla, and store bought chocolate granola. I started with a small handful of granola on the bottom of my mason jar, then added two heaping scoops of the strawberry yogurt, then another small handful of the granola followed by two heaping scoops of the vanilla yogurt.  


I did two layers of each flavor yogurt with the chocolate granola between each layer.  I ended with a final layer of chocolate granola on top. 


The end result was adorable and so delicious!  It would even be so cute packaged up in a basket along with a magazine or a scented candle to deliver to a friend who could really use a special "Me Time" break too.    


Have you tried Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt yet?  Be sure to check out other Müller yogurt varieties now available on Rollback at Walmart for $.88.  My local Walmart had a demo of Müller yogurt varieties that I loved getting to sample.


 Love Muller? Visit www.Mullerquaker.com to sign up for their mailing list and receive the latest news and offers. As a thank you, you'll also get a coupon to use toward your next purchase!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Appetizers for Dinner: Fun, Easy Dinner Recipes!

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

There is pretty much nothing I love more than eating (besides my cute family of course) so sometimes I really just cannot decide what to have for dinner because I WANT.IT.ALL.  Do you ever feel that way when you go out to dinner, like you just can't decide?  Since we have four little ones and going out to dinner is pretty much the craziest thing to do, I love to make special dinners at home.  So last night for Valentine's Day I made an "Italian Appetizer Dinner" where I put together three different dishes with La Romanella products from Smart & Final.  It was great because we could all enjoy a little of everything.  It was a hit- everything was delicious, we all ended satisfied, and we all got to choose what we wanted to eat for dinner!


I shopped at Smart & Final for all of our ingredients.  If you have a Smart & Final local to you, you really must check it out.  I LOVE Smart & Final!  It truly is a smaller, faster warehouse store because you can buy many items in bulk for low prices, but it's a lot smaller than your typical warehouse store and it's so affordable.  The selection of La Romanella Italian items is amazing. 



La Romanella products at Smart & Final are such delicious Italian food items to bring home for dinner so I picked up some meatballs, basil pesto, garlic cheese bread, fusilli pasta, marinara sauce, and parmesan cheese.  While at Smart & Final I also picked up some cherry tomatoes, pepperocinis and small wooden skewers.  Everything I needed for an Italian Appetizer Dinner at one store... thank you, Smart & Final!  What I love about serving a dinner like this is that everything is that the adults love it all, and the kids get to choose something (or a few things) that they like also.  

I made three different dishes- Pesto Meatball Sliders on Garlic Cheese Bread, Fusilli Pasta with Marinara Sauce and Garlic Cheese Bread topped with La Romanella Grated Parmesan Cheese, and Cheese Tortolleni Skewers with Pepperocinis and Cherry Tomatoes.  It might sound like it's a lot of work to make three different dishes for dinner, but with La Romanella products from Smart & Final, it was so easy, delicious, and everyone really loved it! 

For the meatball sliders I just heated La Romanella meatballs, baked the La Romanella Garlic Cheese Bread, then topped it with the La Romanella Basil Pesto Sauce.  


They were mighty little sliders so I used a mini wooden skewer to keep them all together until serving.



The Cheese Tortolleni Skewers were my favorite because they combined delicious La Romanella Cheese Tortelleni with spicy pepperocinis and cherry tomatoes.  


They were light and delicious, but still filling.


And lastly, a kid favorite... Fusulli noodles (aka twisty noodles, which is what our kids call them) with a  mild, delicious La Romanella sauce, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and a little garlic cheese bread sliced into a mini breadstick.  


The boys asked for seconds... then thirds... it was a hit to say the least!  


La Romanella products at Smart & Final are absolutely delicious, and a great way to bring home quality Italian food at a fraction of the price in comparison to eating out.  Plus, right now between February 18th and March 3rd, any La Romanella product purchase at Smart & Final can win you a trip to Hawaii.  How awesome is that?!  Visit this link for details. 


Have you ever made an Appetizer Dinner?  If you never have, you should try it.  It's a super fun way to turn an everyday dinner into something special.  


 




Thursday, February 12, 2015

Taxes done easy with TurboTax

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and TurboTax, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TurboTaxACA http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Call me crazy, but tax time is usually one of my favorite times of the year.  WHAT?!?  I can't say it's always been that way- we used to set up an appointment to meet with a tax preparer and pay them to do our taxes for us.  Then one year we decided to bite the bullet and try to do our taxes on our own with TurboTax.  That was well over 5 years ago and we've never looked back.  I actually LOVE doing our taxes with TurboTax because it is so affordable, easy, and we get our refund quickly every year.  Plus, I admit... it makes me feel smart because math and accounting is SO not my thing!  Honestly, if I can file our taxes with TurboTax, I'm convinced that pretty much anyone can.  TurboTax walks you step by step through everything and is there for you to help if you have any questions.  Plus, it's so easy that I even file our taxes with a toddler on my lap! 


This year things have changed because of the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obama Care" and that may have some people worried because it sounds scary, right?  Taxes and healthcare and new requirements... when I first learned this, I wanted to go hide under a rock.  But seriously, TurboTax makes that easy too.  If you have healthcare coverage through your employer (or your spouse's employer) it is just a simple check of a box and you're done with the new requirement.


This coming weekend is important- if you do not have health insurance, you have until February 15th to purchase your insurance to avoid paying a penalty on your taxes.  Again, if you already have coverage through your employer or your spouse's employer, you're already covered.  This weekend is also important because if you file your taxes with TurboTax using the 1040A/EZ version by February 16th, your Federal AND State refund can be filed for free!  Since we always use TurboTax to file our taxes, being able to file both our Federal AND State taxes for free is a huge incentive to get our taxes done early so we can sit back and wait for our refund.  Plus, I always love how easy it is to track our refund because I am not the most patient person out there. Especially when waiting for a big refund coming our way! 


If you're insured through your employer, here's a helpful video from TurboTax on the new requirements for you: 

If you're a Marketplace Insured Filer, here's a video from TurboTax for you:

And if you're uninsured, here's an important video from TurboTax for you:

Now... where to take a vacation with these cuties when our refund arrives?!  


Do you file with TurboTax too?  If not, give it a try.  You may be surprised at how easy it is, and then you can pat yourself on the back when you're done for being so smart ;) 

Want more info on TurboTax and the new Healthcare reporting requirements on your taxes?  Visit TurboTax online and watch TurboTax's Healthcare website for all the answers you need to complete your taxes confidently online with TurboTax.

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