Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ella: A Cinderella Tale

Dreams can come true, isn't this what all fairytales have taught us?  I recently was given a copy of Ella by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee to review.   Jessilyn said she wrote this book for women of all ages but it is really meant for the busy mom who wants something sweet, uplifting and meaningful to read.

The Book
Reserved yet resilient, Ella Blakeley lives with her cruel stepmother and stepsisters, without hope of escape—until the day Prince Kenton announces a ball that changes everything. Even without mice, magic, or fairy godmothers, Ella might discover a life that’s better than she ever dreamed. This intricately woven twist on Cinderella is an enchanting book you won’t be able to put down.

My review 
The story of Cinderella has been told many times, in Ella author Jessalyn Stewart Peaslee gives her spin on the famous tale.

As I read the story I kept thinking of Ever After and the character and strength that the "Cinderella" character has in that movie. I liked that the story was in the first person and getting insights into Ella's thoughts and history. 

I love the twists and changes the author took with the original story, it just felt so right yet kept to the heart of the Cinderella story. It felt like a refreshing retell of this classic story.

I definitely recommend this book.

Here is a little trailer that was created for the book
Ella Trailer with Voiceover from Blaine Stewart on Vimeo.
Head over to Amazon to purchase your own copy.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ten Things to Smile About This Month

I am kind of freaking out that November is almost over as that means Christmas is almost here and the year is almost over!  Time goes way too fast. It is the last Tuesday of the month though, so that means it is 10 Things to Smile About time.

Grab button for Emmy-Mom

<div class="Emmy-Mom" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;">
<a href="" rel="nofollow">
<img src="" alt="Emmy Mom" width="200" height="200" />

There is a lot of time left this month- so feel free to come back when the month is officially over and add your link, as I know my list would have a lot of Turkey and yummy food added to it if I posted a week later.

10 Things to Smile About in November

1. This time of the year, even though it is crazy and very busy there are so many fun things that happen you can't help but love it.

2. My kids both receiving citizenship and the highest academic awards
Mother-and-daughter-school award
Plus the fact it is almost this girl's birthday!!
3. Getting to go to a taping of the Ellen Show (and the 2000th episode) with my sister and nieces.
Ellen Show

4. Boot weather!
My bold new outfit

5. Yummy food

6. Lots of great photo shoots this month and even managing to get the pictures to the clients before we left town for Thanksgiving!
Girls and Newborn brother

7. Going to a home BYU football game.  I have gone to many games since graduating but it has been a while since I have been able to attend a home game; it was so cold but so fun!
BYU football Game

8.  My kids getting to spend time with their cousins.
Cousins playing in fall leaves

9. The fact that it might snow this week-- obviously I am not in California right now (in Utah for Thanksgiving)  and as much of a wimp that I am, the thought of watching it snow does kind of excite me-- shhh don't tell!

10.  Though it hasn't happened yet, a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with lots of family.

What made you smile this month?  Again- don't forget linky will be open for two weeks, so plenty of time to come back and join in.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Best of the Blogosphere Link Up: Week 46

Great to see you again at the Best of the Blogosphere Linky Party! We're kicking off another week by featuring our favorite posts from last week. Thanks for joining us! 
My favorite post from last week is from Life Anchored- she has a great tutorial on how to make those fun Marquee Light Signs all by yourself-- and it is an actually very doable process too! 
As always, we feature your favorites from the past week. It's fun to see the posts that you love because we all get great ideas for our content. Thanks for reading these posts this week!
Make your own Christmas Hoop Art- Easy to follow tutorial included
Christmas Hoop Art- 24 Cottonwood Lane

Hug A Brat Today
Hug a Brat Today- Skinny and Simple

Homemade Yellow Cupcakes with Milk- Sunshine and a Summer Breeze

Turkey and Hummus Club Sandwich- A Sprinkle of This and That 
If you've been featured, grab our button. 
Those posts were awesome! Come meet us before linking up!
Best of the Blogosphere Hosts
Party Rules:
        • Follow your hosts! Take a moment and give us some love! Follow us on social media so we can promote you!
        • Link up your best post of the week. Be sure to add the link for a specific post, not your homepage. And, please link up only one post.
        • Please link up family friendly posts- nothing political or religious. Also, please do not link up posts to promote giveaways, link parties or shops. Guess what? You can link up a sponsored post if you feel it's your best post of the week. We're cool with that.
        • By linking up with the Best of the Blogosphere Linky Party, you are giving permission to us to feature your post with a link back to you- either as a weekly winner or our own personal favorite post
        • Take the time to visit a few blogs and vote for your favorite post of the week.
        • Tweet about us #bestoftheblogosphere
        • Follow the Best of the Blogosphere Linky Party board!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Vegetables

How do you get kids to eat vegetables?  No one wants to be constantly battling with their kids, so try these tried and true tips to help get your kids to eat their vegetables.

1. Let Your Kids Cook
    Sometimes as a parent it feels easier to just do it yourself, but kids love being involved being part of things.  Let them help with meal preparation, if they are there and involved helping make the food, when you bring it to the table they aren't going to say 'ewe what is that' as it is something they made so they won't want to criticize their own food.

2. Grow Your Own
    Not only does this guarantee that you will have fresh, pesticide free vegetables, but when the kids are involved planting the food, watching it grow, caring for it they take ownership in it and will be much more willing to eat the vegetable they planted.

3.  Try, try again
   Did you know it takes an average of seven times of trying something to develop a taste for it.  So keep presenting it, keep serving it at meals and keep encouraging your kids to try it, even just a few bites.

4. Present it First
   The kids begging for a snack while dinner is being made, have a plate full of fresh vegetables for them to snack on.  When it comes time to eat, serve the vegetables first and then bring the main dish over, helping ensure they don't fill up on everything but the vegetables. 

5. Eat a Variety
  Let's admit it, as adults we don't like everything (brussels sprouts anyone), so why do we expect our kids to like everything?  It is okay if they don't want to eat every vegetable out there.  With vegetables there are often so many ways to eat them too, my oldest loves cooked broccoli, but will not eat raw, for some kids it will be the other way around  Keep trying different varieties and favors.

I love the new vegetable flavors from Birds Eye, the Birds Eye Flavor Full Ranch Broccoli was a huge hit with my kids, as my kids all love Ranch.

Birds Eye® Flavor Full helps turn your family into veggie lovers by transforming vegetables with bold, unexpected flavors. With eight varieties and easy preparation, it's now easy to serve your family vegetables every day of the week.  The unique and delicious flavors include Buffalo Cauliflower, Ranch Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Potatoes, Teriyaki Broccoli, Barbecue Sweet Corn, Sweet Chili Carrots, Wasabi Peas and Fiesta Lime Corn.
They are so easy to make too, just throw the whole bag in the microwave and cook, that's it.

Birds Eye even has potatoes, we recently tried the Birds Eye Flavor Full Sour Cream and Onion Potatoes.

I love that I can make a main course, like some fish fillets, throw in some of the Birds Eye Vegetables and Potatoes, some fresh fruit and boom- I have a full meal.   It is perfect for those busy soccer nights.

Hurry and grab your $1.00 off coupon to try one of the new Birds Eye Vegetables, click here to find a store near you that sells them,  and make sure to check out all the new flavors.

How do you get your kids to eat their vegetables? 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Five: A feast, a Star and Packing

Happy Friday!  Can you believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away?  I think I am in denial of it, this time of year just goes so fast.

Grab button for Emmy-Mom

<div class="Emmy-Mom" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;">
<a href="" rel="nofollow">
<img src="" alt="Emmy Mom" width="200" height="200" />

5 Thoughts

1. Alex and Ryder had their last regular season soccer games; it was the last for Ryder until Spring, but Alex is still going, just not games every weekend for a little while.  Ryder's team went out with a bang and won 6-0, I think they have barely scored that many goals all season!  Alex's team also won 2-0, it was a good soccer weekend.

2. Ryder's class had a Thanksgiving feast and performance yesterday.  They sang a bunch of cute songs and then got to eat, they had a full Thanksgiving meal.. though it was actually chicken not turkey, but they didn't care.

3. At my kids school they take what is called a STAR test to see what reading level they are at.  They usually take it a few times each year.  Lucas, who is in 5th grade recently retook it and he reads at an 11.2 grade level!  So yes he reads as well as some Juniors in HighSchool!  I know he is a good reader, but it floored me that he got this high.

4. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving break; my kids get the entire week off.  I am not looking forward to freezing as we are going to be spending it in Utah, it has snowed there already several times!  I am such a wimp now.

5. Speaking of trips, did I ever tell you how much I hate packing.. especially trying to pack while also finishing editing 5 photo sessions, and helping out in my kids classrooms and just everything else that comes with life.  Wish me luck.

5 Pictures

Picking clothes for photo shoot
Picking clothes for a family picture is hard!
Newborn Photo Shoot
One of my newborns from the week-- please go like my Instagram page
Funny Teeth
Scary teeth!
At Thanksgiving Feast
Me and Ryder at this Thanksgiving day performance- we are in the "hallway" of the school

What is your Friday 5?