gallamore west

Monday, April 13, 2015

DIY Backyard Hopscotch & Apple Sauce!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Tree Top, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TreeTopInc #raisinggoodapples

Spring is in the air and we're getting outside and doing some fun projects around here at Gallamore West!  This past weekend we had a great time making a fun little DIY Hopscotch in the backyard.  We are fortunate enough to just walk out of our back gate to our boys' school so we walk on this little pathway every day... what better way to start and end the school day than a brightly colored, fun little hopscotch, right?

This DIY Backyard Hopscotch Project cost less than $10 total.  The clay landscaping squares are $1 each and I had all of the paints leftover from another project.  It was a really warm, sunny afternoon so the squares dried quickly and by the time we were done cleaning off the paintbrush, our boys were already hopping around on it.

And yes, his shoes are too big AND on the wrong feet :) 

To keep our kiddos happy and interested in painting in the warm sun, I did what every smart mama does... I FED THEM!  Since we were painting and I didn't want messy snacks or anything that would get too sticky or melty, I gave my boys the perfect snack for our backyard DIY Hopscotch Project: Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches.  

Tree Top Apple Sacue Pouches come in all kinds of delicious flavors like Tropical, Strawberry Apple, Mango Apple, Mixed Berry, Cinnamon Apple and Original.  Tree Top Apple Sauce pouches are a great way to get kids to increase their fruit intake and they're made with simple, wholesome ingredients.

Plus, they taste great and our kids love them!  

We had such a fun time making our DIY Backyard Hopscotch along with our Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches!  What I love most about this project is that the kids actually helped to paint it.  It's not done 100% perfectly, but it gives it character and I love that.  Having kids help with projects is important and helps us raise some "Good Apples" here at Gallamore West!

Looking for an easy, fun, inexpensive Backyard Garden Project for you and your kids to do together this Spring?  Make a DIY Backyard Hopscotch together and enjoy Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches for a healthy snack!  We picked up our Tree Top Apple Sauce pouches at our local Albertson's Grocery Store. 

In effort to bring awareness to “Raising Good Apples”, Tree Top is partnering with the National Gardening Association’s to help educate kids on gardening. For every box of Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches purchased through 5/31 Tree Top will donate $1 to help to help build and grow youth gardens. And to encourage you to get out and have some gardening fun with your kids, Tree Top is giving away a Kid's Gardening Pack to one of you!  It will consist of “My Gardening Journal”, Red Tubrug pail, Kids gardening gloves, Watering can, Soft touch hand tool set, Favorite Five Sprouting seeds, and Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches. Giveaway is open from April 13th to April 20th and you can enter to win using the Rafflecopter below. 

Good luck! xoxo
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 12, 2015

3 Great Ways to Teach Kids About Earth Day!

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

In the last few years we've taken a major shift in our home towards cleaner living, and teaching our kids ways to help take care of our planet is super important to us.  With Earth Day coming up this month, here are 3 Great Ways to Teach Kids About Earth Day.

1) Search out books that are great bedtime stories, but also have an important lesson to teach.  One of my favorite books that teach kids about the importance of taking care of Earth's natural resources is The Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry.

2) Take care of your family by looking for more natural personal care items.  We love Tom's of Maine products in our home.  

Back at Christmas,all of our boys even got a tube of Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry Toothpaste in their stocking!  

I love Tom's of Maine toothpastes for kids because they don't have any artificial colors, flavors,, fragrances or preservatives.  And Tom's of Maine Apricot antiperspirant is fabulous because it's one of the only antiperspirants on the market that don't contain aluminum.  Keeping those chemicals out of our bodies is so important to living a cleaner life. Right now at Walmart, you can save $1.00 off of any Tom's of Maine product with this coupon.

Tom's of Maine oral care and personal care products are found in the Toothpaste & Deodorant sections at Walmart.

3) Although we try very hard to eliminate processed foods and we now have a High Fructose Corn Syrup free home (about 99% of the time) sometimes a fun treat is a great way to talk about a special day, or to celebrate a special occasion.  To celebrate Earth Day this month, we love to make our traditional Dirt Pie!  It's totally easy to make and it's always a hit on Earth Day.

Chocolate Pudding Dirt Pie 

1 frozen pie crust
1 package of Chocolate Pudding, Instant 
3 cups cold milk
15 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
 Gummy Worm candies

Bake pie shell according to package instructions and set aside to cool.  Make chocolate pudding according to package instructions and pour into cooled pie shell.  Sprinkle on the crushed cookies and gently press them into the pie.  Add in the gummy worms, covering some of them partway with the cookie crumbs.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. 

What are some ways that you teach your kids about Earth Day?  

I'm taking my little guys on a trip to our local Recycling Center tomorrow- can't wait!  And I'll be back here tomorrow with a super fun backyard project for Earth Day too! xoxo

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Phase 3 of Budget Kitchen Makeover: Smart Tiles Backsplash!

We've been working on giving our kitchen a Budget Makeover for a couple of months now, and I'm SO excited to show you Phase 3 of our Budget Kitchen Makeover, Smart Tiles Backsplash!!

Have you heard of Smart Tiles?  I happened to run across this company and their amazing "tiles" while researching for tile backsplash.  At a fraction of the time and energy it would take to install glass tiles, Smart Tiles instantly caught my attention.  So I did what I always do when I'm researching a product, I dive into the reviews and read LOTS of reviews.  Smart Tiles has so many great reviews so I knew I found a winner of a product.  And now I know why the reviews are so amazing... because Smart Tiles ARE simply amazing!

Unlike traditional tile backsplash that requires a tile cutter, messy grout, and a lot of time and talent to install, Smart Tiles are SO easy to install.  In fact, you can easily "install" your tiles in an afternoon.  It took me about 2 hours to put up all of the Smart Tiles for this wall, with two little boys awake and a school pick-up in there too!  Smart Tiles do not require any special tools- just a good pair of scissors or an Xacto knife and a cutting board- because they are an adhesive peel and stick sheet of backsplash that looks just like glass tiles!  

We recently painted our kitchen countertops (yes, painted!) in Phase 1 of our Budget Kitchen Makeover 

And we painted our oak cabinets white in Phase 2 of our Budget Kitchen Makeover.  

I was SO excited to be done with Phase 2 (the longest, most difficult part of the kitchen so far) and move onto Phase 3 because I knew I would love the ease of Smart Tiles and the drastic change in minimal time.  And I was right!  Smart Tiles were simple to install, and they improved the look of our kitchen drastically.  We chose Murano Metallik for our kitchen.  It is a mix of black, shiny silver metallic, and white tiles.  And it's gorgeous! 

 I really could go on and on my love for Smart Tiles for days here.  If you're looking for an amazing backsplash product that doesn't require you to either hire someone to install, or the time and energy it would take to install a glass tile backsplash and deal with messy grout, you MUST check out Smart Tiles.  Plus, if you decide to change your backsplash down the road (or maybe if you're a renter) you can easily remove Smart Tiles by heating them with a blowdryer.  And they won't ruin your wall like tile and grout would if you decided to pull that stuff down! I'm already looking around my house trying to figure out where I can put more Smart Tiles!  You can purchase Smart Tiles online at their website, or find them locally at your neighborhood Home Depot or Lowes. 

I'm in love with our Budget Kitchen Makeover, especially this phase 3, and can't wait to show you Phase 4 soon- our hardware, finishing touches, and COST BREAKDOWN of the entire Budget Kitchen Makeover.  Just a little flashback for you, here's what our kitchen started out like.

And here is a little sneak peek at what it looks like now.

 I knoooooow, right?!?!  

If you're thinking about doing a budget kitchen makeover, I think you'll be amazed and hopefully inspired when you see our final numbers!  xoxo 

Disclosure: I was provided with the Smart Tiles for this project at no charge, but I only endorse products I believe in 100%.  Smart Tiles are fabulous!  For more detailed disclosure information, please see my Disclosure

Monday, March 30, 2015

Salted Caramel Rice Krispies Bites with M&Ms

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

I love making fun desserts for my family, but sometimes it's nice to make a dessert for the adults and one of our favorite easy desserts is fancied up Rice Krispies Treats.  Recently I bought the prepackaged Rice Krispies Treats and then came up with this fun snack, Salted Caramel Rice Krispies Bites with M&Ms. 

Here's all of the ingredients I used to make these cute little treats.

Using a small metal cookie cutter, I cut out my Rice Krispies Treats.  

The butterflies were adorable, but in the end I ended up going just with a round circle cutter.  Then I simply added on a few delicious toppings- about a teaspoon of caramel sauce, crushed plain M&Ms, and a sprinkling of pink Himalyan Sea Salt. In just I minutes had these adorable Salted Caramel Rice Krispies Bites with M&Ms! I love salted caramel desserts- the mixture of sweet and salty is my favorite, so this is a special "Mom Time" dessert.

It would be cute to crush all of the M&Ms together for a rainbow look on each treat, but I decided that I wanted a solid color M&M on each one.

Hands off, little guy... these Salted Caramel Rice Krispies Bites with M&Ms are all mine! 

Looking to make a fun, easy, sweet treat for a little afternoon pick me up, or a special Mom Time? Check out some amazing treats made from Rice Krispies Treats here, and while you're there, enter to win an amazing prize package with a  $250 gift card and more!  The contest goes from 3/24/15 until 5/3/15.

And when you're ready to make your own Krispy Kreation, pick up your Rice Krispies Treats at Walmart like I did.  I found mine between the syrups and the granola bars in the cereal aisle.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Breakfast Cereal Party & Fruity Cherrios Bars Recipe

My boys and I had such a great time having an Easy Kids Breakfast Party!  And it was extra fun because remember the good ol' days when you got so excited because your cereal came with a surprise inside?   Those days are back!  

General Mills and Skylanders have teamed up to offer an exclusive Skystones game free with your favorite boxes of cereal.  Hidden inside specially marked Big G cereals, fans will find Skystones cards playable on the game board found on the back of the cereal box.

The Skystones game was clearly a hit with our boys! 

To set up our Easy Kids Breakfast Party with Skylanders and General Mills Cereals, we set up our hutch with everything our guests would need for a cereal and milk party.  

Lots of bright colored cereal bowls...

Spoons, and the milk poured into a glass container.

And Skylanders Skystones from inside the cereal boxes to play at the party!  It's a great little game because it  fosters family fun and fuels development through imaginative and cognitive play.

Our little guys loved being able to help "decorate" with their Skylanders characters from their Skylanders Wii game! 

We also baked a delicious coffee cake so that we could use these fun Skylanders cake decorating pieces! 

And we made Fruity Cheerios Bars too!  Here's the recipe:

4 cups mini marshmallows
4 tablespoons butter

Mlet mini marshmallows and butter in a large pan over medium low heat, stirring continuously.  Once melted, remove from heat and stir in Cheerios.  Stir quickly until combined.  Pour into a greased 9x13 glass pan, and flatten using a rubber spatula.  Cool, then slice and serve! 

It was so much fun having a Breakfast Party, and especially the fun treat of being able to find a surprise in the cereal box AND get to play a fun game with the Skylanders Skystones on the back of the cereal box itself!  Look for more special offers and free prizes inside boxes of General Mills cereals throughout the year.

Have a great weekend, friends!  Our boys start two weeks of Spring Break in less than an hour and I am sooooo excited!!  xoxo 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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