gallamore west

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

5 Tips for Camping with Kids

As a mom of four busy little boys, I'm always looking for fun, creative, and inexpensive ways to keep our little ones active.  Whether you have boys or girls, this post is linked to TONS of great ideas to help Moms survive Summer because I'm part of the Summer Survival Series for Moms hosted by The Joys of Boys.

I'm excited to share with you 5 tips that help me survive camping with four boys, and guess what... not only do I survive it, I actually love it!

1) Plan, plan, plan ahead.  I start prepping for an upcoming camping trip far in advance.  I pick up items for camping as I see them and keep a little box going so that when it comes time to really get ready to go camping, I'm already ahead of the game with all of those fun little "extra" things.  For example, I picked up a bunch of fun things for our 4th of July camping trip from the dollar section at Target way back in late April- red, white and blue glow sticks, paper gingham basket liners, galvanized tins for storing plasticware, etc.
2) Plan something fun to do while camping.  This is kind of new to me because I always thought that camping was the fun thing we would be doing while we're camping, you know?  But on our most recent camping trip, I bought glow sticks, bubbles, and planned a cute little nature hunt for the kids.  It was a hit!  The glow sticks and bubbles were under $3 for enough for 7 kids (we went camping with friends), and the nature hunt was a free printable from The Creative Homemaker.

3)  Cook your 1st meal at home & bring it with you.  I used to think this was cheating, but then I did it once and it was amazing.  It really helps cut down on the stress of that first night when you're trying to set up your campsite to have dinner already taken care of.  Here are a few of my favorite make-ahead dinners to bring camping.

4) S'mores!  Seriously, they are sticky and messy but your kids will love them so it's worth it for the memories.  I love to mix it up and make mine like this...

5)  Baby Wipes and LOTS of them!  We go through a lot of baby wipes while camping.  I use them to clean everything- the vinyl tablecloth, the kids, and everything else within a 100 feet radius of our campsite.

So grab your tent and with some smart planning ahead, you can not only survive a camping trip with your little ones, but you can actually enjoy it!

Check out all of these fun Summer Survival Posts!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Easy & Amazing Buttercream Frosting

Looking for an amazing and easy buttercream frosting recipe?  This one is perfect- I get asked for this recipe ALL the time!  It's creamy, sweet, and looks awesome when piped onto cupcakes.  Also, it's super easy to make so you can wow your friends and family with this one at your next party.


2 sticks UNSALTED butter, almost room temp
4 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Cream butter on high in stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  SLOWLY add in the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, until mixed.  Stop to scrape down sides of bowl often.  Add in the vanilla.  SLOWLY add in one tablespoon of milk at a time until your frosting reaches desired consistency.  Let it mix in high for 3-4 minutes until your frosting is light and whipped looking.  

I use Wilton plastic disposable piping bags and a Wilton 1A tip (both available at Michaels or Walmart) to pipe my frosting onto my cupcakes.  Sweet, simple, and always a hit at our parties... enjoy!! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

5 Favorite Camping Recipes!

I love getting away to our favorite little cabins with my family.  I love the quiet, the break from day to day life, reconnecting with each other, seeing wild animals... 

Bonding with our little guys... 

And of course, camping food.  And of course I don't really camp... I glamp.  I love to add a few little details- a few little decorations, comfy things from home, and special food to make our trips memorable.  Here are a few of my favorite recipes from past camping trips...

{perfect for making ahead and bringing for your first night of your camping trip} 

Have a great week! xoxo 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Easy Iced Summer Low Calorie Drinks

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. I am also participating in a contest as an additional aspect of this campaign.

Summer is my favorite!  The boys and I are out and about having all kinds of fun.  Seriously, with all of the fun stuff we did last week, I can't even believe that they have only been on summer break for one week.  If there is one thing that I can already see myself spending too much time and money on though, it is getting fun summer drinks to keep me energized to keep up with our four fun little guys!  Why not save those dollars for something else, and make our own fun drinks at home?  So with my Keurig and so many delicious Brew Over Ice K-cups, that's exactly what I'll be doing from now on!  Here are a couple of fun drinks I came up with for you to enjoy too using the best K-cups flavors... 

 I decided to put together a quick little "Summer Brewing Station" on our buffet table so that my K-cups, Keurig, plastic mason jars, and cute straws are all ready for me whenever I want a fun drink.

#brewoverice #brewitup #collectivebias #shop

I love having cute straws out and ready to be used every day, not just for a party.

#brewoverice #brewitup #collectivebias #shop

And these plastic mason jars I picked up at Walmart while I was getting my Vitamin Burst K-cups are the perfect size for my Brew Over Ice drinks that I brew on either the small size setting (6 oz) or the medium size setting (8 oz) for the best tasting drink- not too sweet, not too watery.  

#brewoverice #brewitup #collectivebias #shop

Fruity summer drinks are so fun and I love getting my daily dose of vitamins in so Keurig K-cups Vitamin Burst drinks are the perfect summer drink for me.  They come in Acai Berry and Strawberry Pomegranate. 

#brewoverice #brewitup #collectivebias #shop

And our boys like being able to have their own cup of freshly brewed lemonade over ice too!

#brewoverice #brewitup #collectivebias #shop

I love fresh fruit so I added in fresh strawberries and squeezed in half of a fresh lime to my Strawberry Pomegranate drink.

#brewoverice #brewitup #collectivebias #shop

And I added in fresh blackberries to my Acai Berry drink.

#brewoverice #brewitup #collectivebias #shop

Both drinks were fruity, sweet, and refreshing.  I really had a hard time deciding which one is my favorite.

#brewoverice #brewitup #collectivebias #shop

Next time you're at Walmart, grab yourself some K-Cups.  They're on a special display on an end-cap right now.

#brewoverice #brewitup #collectivebias #shop

And start your own Brew Over Ice station at home.  You'll save time and money compared to buying fancy drinks at coffee shops or juice bars, and with the Vitamin Burst cups, you'll give yourself a burst of energy to get through those summer fun days with the kiddos home from school! 

Want to learn more about how awesome Keurig is?  Like how they have their own K-cup recycling program?  Check them out online here.  

#brewoverice #brewitup #collectivebias #shop 

Monday, June 23, 2014

5 Essential Items for a Fun in the Sun 14-Day Slimdown!

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Slimfast, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #14daystoslim

 It's finally summer, my favorite season of the year!  My husband and I are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary in early July and it's my birthday in July too.  Plus with the boys out of school and pool party invitations piling up on the refrigerator, there are just so many reasons that I love summer.  With all of these fun celebrations coming up, the cameras are sure to be clicking and my attire for the next couple of months will basically consist of sundresses, flip flops, and swim suits.  Yikes, right?!  But I'm not stressing because I have a simple five essential items to keep me on track for a SLIM summer of fun in the sun.

First, how can I not want to slim down for my upcoming birthday when Slimfast has delicious new meal replacement bars that actually look and taste like birthday cake?!

Seriously, these are cute right?!  But more than cute, they satisfy my sweet tooth while curbing my appetite.  And if you replace 2 meals a day for the next 14 days with these new delicious 180 calorie vanilla birthday cake flavored Slimfast meal replacement bars, you could lose up to 6 pounds... in just 2 weeks!  Your third meal should be a 500 calorie meal, plus two 100 calorie snacks per day.  My goal is to lose 5 pounds by my birthday, so this 14 Day Slimdown is the perfect solution for my summer slim-down goals!

Slimming down for summer while eating something that looks like a candy-coated cookie and tastes like vanilla birthday cake?!  SOLD!

Keeping myself hydrated is also key to slimming down this summer.

I aim to drink 100 ounces of water a day.  I know, that's a crazy amount right?  But I feel amazing when I do it, or get close to it.  Plus it helps me stay focused on not eating out of boredom because I just grab my water instead of food.  If 100 ounces is too much, aim for half of your own body weight in ounces of water intake per day.  So just for an example- if you weigh 150 pounds, aim to drink 75 ounces of water a day.  I promise, your body will thank you for it.

My other three essential items are not necessarily about slimming down, but I feel better and want to take the best care of myself that I possibly can when I'm not too tired, rundown, or sunburned so I NEVER leave my house in the summer without my straw hat, my sunglasses, and sunscreen {SPF 2 million, or 75 which is pretty the same}.  After having a scary skin cancer removed 4 years ago, I'm extra careful in the sun so keeping myself protected while slimming down for summer celebrations is essential to me. 

Anyone up for doing a 14 Day Slimdown with me?  
It's fun, easy, and delicious!  

Want to learn more about Slimfast? Visit them online:

#14daystoslim #pmedia #ad 


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