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August 28, 2014
by Jennifer Hughes
12 Comments

Friday Flash Blog No. 83 {Plus Features}

Friday Flash Blog is a flash mob of blogs, highlighting the best of bloggers from the week. Be sure to check them out (and the ones I’ve featured) as well as link up your own.

Weekly Thought: One of my children finally headed back to school this week. One down. One to go! It seems that parents are either excited for school to begin again or are sad. Which camp do you fall into?

Super yum! Sun Chip Chicken Tenders Recipe by Three Kids and a Fish

We love Sun Chips! Make them into a chicken coating. Super yum! Sun Chip Chicken Tenders Recipe by Three Kids and a Fish

Adorable, cute and fun to make with the kids. Origami Cups DIY Tutorial by Strength and Sunshine

Adorable, cute and fun to make with the kids. Origami Cups DIY Tutorial by Strength and Sunshine

Garlicky Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Yummy Goodness! Recipe from Two Little Cavaliers

Garlicky Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Yummy Goodness! Recipe from Two Little Cavaliers

DIY T-Shirt Tie Dye Tutorial from Craving Some Creativity

DIY T-Shirt Tie Dye Tutorial from Craving Some Creativity

How to Encourage Early Literary from 3 Boys and a Dog

How to Encourage Early Literary from 3 Boys and a Dog

What a fun idea! Turn lost toys into pencil sharpeners! DIY Tutorial from Stella 123

What a fun idea! Turn lost toys into pencil sharpeners! DIY Tutorial from Stella 123

Make your own Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte at home! DIY Recipe on The Jenny Evolution

 

Friday Flash Blog is a Flash Mob of Blogs

Share ALL Your Favorite Posts of the Week

Now Let’s Get This Party Started

Requests to bloggers:

  • Include a link to this sharing party, post my button on your site or add the linky party to your own posting
  • NO selling please
  • Note I pin all featured items onto my boards, which you can find here
  • By linking up, you understand you will receive an invitation to receive notifications of this linky
  • Take a look at some of the other links and comment on them
  • Leave your host a comment! Tell me which highlight was your favorite one

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I follow back all of my friends!

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August 28, 2014
by Jennifer Hughes
1 Comment

Simple Dinner Recipes in Less Than 15 Minutes

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Success® Rice. All opinions are completely my own.

If you’re anything like me, you don’t have a lot of free time to spend in the kitchen getting dinner ready on the weekdays. Most nights, I’m just happy to get something healthy in front of my family that everyone will eat. I’m all about simple dinner recipes!

When Success asked me to try out one of their rice packages, I had to say yes. Rice in a bag that comes out perfectly that the family will like? Sign me up.

But they threw in a twist. Instead of trying out the regular rice, they asked me to make one of my go-to simple dinner recipes with a more exotic rice, like their Success® Jasmine Rice or Success® Basmati Rice. Will the family like it? Challenge accepted.

Turkey Sausage One-Dish Dinner

For this challenge, I decided to make a staple in my house… my turkey sausage one-dish dinner. While I use turkey sausage, you can just as easily use thinly sliced turkey breasts for a lower-fat option.

If you know me, you know that I believe in making things as uncomplicated as possible. Complex recipes are great for chefs but not necessarily realistic for busy moms. You can pull this dinner together in less than 15 minutes. I’m not kidding!

What you’ll need:

  • Package of turkey sausage
  • 6 oz snow peas
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 package Success® Basmati Rice
  • Olive oil or cooking spray

1. Start the water for the Success® Basmati Rice.

2. Either spray your skillet with cooking spray or put in a dash of olive oil to coat the pan. Heat up a skillet to medium high heat.

3. While the skillet is heating, cut up the turkey sausage into 1/4 inch pieces. Toss in the turkey sausage and turn over/stir every couple of minutes.
Turkey Sausage One-Dish Dinner

4. By now your water should be boiling. Put in the Success® Basmati Rice and make per the directions.

Simple Dinner Recipes in Less Than 15 Minutes with Success Rice | The Jenny Evolution

Just boil the water and drop in the bag of rice. It’s that simple.

5. While the turkey sausage is cooking, cut up the bell pepper into large chunks or pieces.

6. By now, the sausage should start getting browned a bit. Put in the snow peas. Stir the dish constantly. Only cook the snow peas for 2 minutes. You want to see the peas turn a darker shade of green but you also want them to stay crispy.

Turkey Sausage One-Dish Meal

The snow peas will quickly change color to a deeper green. Be sure not to overcook them or they will get soggy. You want to keep them crisp.

7. Toss in the bell pepper. Keep stirring for 2 more minutes. The snow peas should still be crispy, as well as the bell pepper.

Simple Turkey Sausage One-Dish Dinner

The bell pepper cooks extremely quickly. If the pepper starts to lose it’s color, stop cooking. Otherwise the pepper will not be crisp.

 

8. In a bowl, place a serving of the Success® Basmati Rice at the bottom. Place the dish from the skillet on top and serve immediately.

Turkey Sausage One-Dish Recipe - Super simple, easy and fast | The Jenny Evolution

A one-dish meal that’s simple and the entire family will love.

The Verdict from the Family

I wasn’t sure if my boys would like the Success® Basmati Rice. I hate to admit it, but I haven’t really exposed them to different types of rice. However, I shouldn’t have worried. After dinner, both my kids told me their favorite part of the meal was the new rice. I can’t make this stuff up, folks!

We definitely have a new rice for the house. Success® Basmati Rice is the only boil-in-bag Basmati rice available. That means no mess, no measuring with fully cooked rice in 10 minutes. It was ridiculously easy to make and super yummy. What’s not to like? The rice looks tiny in the bag, but don’t be fooled. When you cook it, it elongates 3-4 times in length so it comes out long and slender.

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There are four different varieties, including Success®  Whole Grain Brown Rice, Success® White Rice, Success®  Thai Jasmine and the one we tried — Success®  Basmati Rice. It certainly was a success swapping one of our go-to rice dishes with a more aromatic variety. You can learn more about these varieties at Success Rice.

For even more recipe inspiration, like and follow Success Rice’s social pages: http://www.facebook.com/successrice; @Success_Rice; and http://www.pinterest.com/successrice/.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RICE DISH?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Success® Rice.

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August 28, 2014
by Jennifer Hughes
3 Comments

DIY Pool Noodle Lightsaber

Boys will be boys. Which means that no matter what kind of toys they have, they will eventually turn them into swords and lightsabers. Don’t believe me? I once saw my son pretend his plastic dinosaur was a magic sword. It must be in their DNA.

On a trip to the dollar store, we found a full box of pool noodles. Now, we don’t have a pool but when I see pool noodles for just $1, I just can’t help myself. I dumped a bunch into our cart and decided to turn these into pool noodle lightsabers for the boys.

Making pool noodle lightsabers is ridiculously easy and they only takes minutes to make.

DIY Pool Noodle Lightsabers | The Jenny Evolution

DIY Pool Noodle Lightsaber Instructions

Materials you need:

  • Pool noodle (the thinner kind)
  • Black electrical tape
  • Scissors
  • Bread knife (if available)

Step 1: The pool noodle is too long to use as is, so you’ll need to cut it in half. After trying with scissors, I found it a bit difficult. I wanted to be able to slice right through it. So I grabbed our bread knife, which easily sliced through the pool noodle and cut it in half.

In case you’re wondering about the thickness of the pool noodle, choose a thinner kind. It can be tempting to get the monster size by it’s not as easy for kids to grasp and hold on to.

Step 2: Grab your electrical tape. I know some people use duct tape but it’s really difficult to work with. Electric tape cuts easily, sticks well to the pool noodle and is easy to manipulate.

Step 3: Use the bottom 5-6 inches of the pool noodle to create a design. It doesn’t have to be crazy. Just something to create the illusion of a handle.

photo 1

Step 4: Clean off the edges of your “handle.” Run a single piece of electrical tape around the top and bottom of the handle, helping to define it and keep it clean looking.

photo 2

Step 5: Have a lightsaber fight. It’s that easy to do a DIY lightsaber!

photo 3

We have had these lightsabers floating around the house all summer, and the boys absolutely love them. The best part is they can play as rough as they want with the swords and no one gets hurt. Well, unless they pretend to! The force is strong with my little ones.

DIY Pool Noodle Lightsabers Tutorail | The Jenny Evolution

August 28, 2014
by Jennifer Hughes
2 Comments

8 Preschool Fine Motor Activities

Teaching your preschooler her letters and numbers is an important step in getting your child ready for school; however, don’t overlook the important of her fine motor skills. Children need to work on their fine motor skills to get them ready for handwriting.

Every week you can find amazing projects, crafts and activities to do with your kids with the Kids Co-Op, and I’ll be highlighting some of them with a common theme.  This week’s theme is preschool fine motor activities.

8 Fine Motor Activities for Preschool | The Jenny Evolution

Kids Fun- Fine Motor Weaving | JDaniel4′s Mom

Toddler Fine Motor Play: Stacking cereal rings for breakfast | Danya Banya

Number Hunt and Spray | P is for Preschool

Sun Craft Scissor Skills | A Little Pinch of Perfect

Fine Motor Activity with Playdough and Q-Tips | Mess for Less

Five Green and Speckled Frogs Fine Motor Activity | Craftulate

Paper Plate Weaving | Little Fingers Big Art

Fine Motor Activity- Fold and Thread Necklace | JDaniel4′s Mom

The-Weekly-Kids-Co-Op-150px-Button


August 27, 2014
by Jennifer Hughes
0 comments

Save Big Bucks on Diapers with The Luvs Club

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Luvs® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Raising kids can get expensive…. fast. But now there’s one way to save money on something you must have if you have babies. Yep. I’m talking about diapers.

If you shop at Walmart, Luvs® diaper brand #LuvsClubLuvs® has an amazing loyalty program which offers great savings as well as baby-related videos and tips.

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And if saving money doesn’t get you excited, Luvs® is giving the first 2,000 registered members a $5 Walmart e-gift card and a chance to win the grand prize of free diapers for a year! That is $1,000 value!

It took me less than a minute to sign up. It’s that easy!

The drawing for the grand prize of free diapers for a year will be held in April 2015, so hurry up and submit your registered entry now!

Visit Sponsor's Site

August 27, 2014
by Jennifer Hughes
0 comments

Get a Shot, Give a Shot School Immunizations Campaign

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

We are in countdown mode to getting the kids back in school. And if you’re anything like my family, getting a doctor’s appointment to get the kids their school immunizations this time of year is a serious hassle. Who can get an appointment? Walgreens is making it easy for you!

No Appointments Needed for the Healthcare Clinic at Walgreens

Not all Walgreens have a healthcare clinic, so be sure to make sure your local one does. And guess what! You don’t need to make an appointment!

photo

But if you do want to make an appointment, you can easily make on through Walgreens’ app. (Plus, if you download the app, you can save money on other things in the store as well.) Just click

Despite being ridiculously easy, the best part of getting your child their school immunizations at Walgreens is you can help another child! Through its Get a Shot, Give a Shot campaign, for every immunization at Walgreens, the company will help provide a life-saving vaccine to a child in a developing country through the United Nation Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign. Now you can get your child immunized for whooping cough or meningitis at Walgreens and help others as well! Talk about a win-win.

My kids get weekly allergy shots, so they’re quite used to getting shots. But if you’re looking for a great trick to help your kiddos with getting shots, my youngest son always wants me to ice up his arm before the shot. It actually helps numb the area a bit, and I think it helps him feel like he has some control as well.

photo 3 Generally, the clinic is located in the very back of the store, next to the pharmacy. See that big blue band of a sign? Follow it to find the healthcare clinic and pharmacy.

photo 4

Once you get to the healthcare clinic, you can either check in if you’ve made an appointment or add your name to be next in line. After all, walk-ins are welcome.

photo 1

Make going back to school a little easier on yourself. Take advantage of Walgreens’ school immunizations while helping out another child in need! Want to learn more about the #Giveashot campaign? Visit www.walgreens.com/GoBackHealthy.

HOW DO YOUR KIDS DO WITH SHOTS?

August 26, 2014
by Jennifer Hughes
19 Comments

Bonsai! Wordless Wednesday

Bonsai Tree Display at the Chicago Botanic Gardens IMG_8721 IMG_8722 IMG_8723 IMG_8724

The Chicago Botanic Gardens had a wonderful bonsai tree display this summer. It’s quite surprising and impressive what gardeners do with these miniature trees. I can’t even begin to imagine how long it takes for the gardeners to prune and work with these trees to create the shapes we see here.

 

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Please grab my button and add it to your site.
Requests to bloggers:
  • Include a link to this sharing party, post my button on your site or add the linky party to your own posting
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August 26, 2014
by Jennifer Hughes
2 Comments

The Diaper Evolution: Cloth vs Disposable Diapers

Cloth vs disposable diapers — which one is right for you? If you’re trying to decide whether cloth or disposable diapers are right for you, it may help to understand just how disposable diapers became popular.

Cloth Diapers Versus Disposable Diapers: The Diaper Evolution

Baby diapers are most certainly big business in the United States and all other western countries. Disposable diapers are what most people use, and there is a never-ending market for them. Most parents find them much more convenient than cloth diapers. You can clean up easily without having to launder the diaper.  

Disposable diapers were first seen in stores in the 1940s, but they took a while to catch on. They were too expensive for most people and those who could afford them often had servants to do the baby care and laundering so they did not see the benefit. Also, the early disposable diapers were just in one size that did not always fit the baby well, so they leaked worse than cloth diapers.

In the 1950s, when disposable diapers started to be manufactured in different sizes, they became more popular with wealthier families. It was not until the 1970s that the price of disposable diapers (along with many other plastic-based products) dropped to the point where they became affordable for most people. People very quickly found how convenient they were and it was soon considered very old-fashioned and even unhygienic to use cloth diapers.

Disposable diapers have continued to improve every decade, becoming lighter weight, more absorbent and better fitting. Different styled diapers for boys and girls appeared. They were given cute designs, and diapers became more environmentally friendly due to customer demand. There are now several large manufacturers, all claiming to make the best disposable diaper for your baby.

In the late 1990s and 2000s there has been a swing back towards cloth diapers. This has come about for many reasons. One is the increasing interest in the environment. People are concerned at the way our garbage is increasing. However, it’s important to keep in mind the environmental cost of laundering cloth diapers, and the electricity, water and detergent that it requires.

Cloth diapers have changed a lot in the last 50 years. The cotton used these days is treated so that it stays much softer and is easier to wash than it ever used to be. They come in different colors now with cute patterns. Diaper pins have gotten more cute too, and many cloth nappies do not even need them because they fasten with buttons or velcro.

Even with cloth diapers you do have a disposable section which is the liner. This means you do not have to deal with big mess on the diaper itself. Another advantage of cloth diapers is that children who wear them will usually toilet train earlier because they can feel the unpleasantness of being wet in a cloth diaper. On the other hand, a small baby in a cloth diaper is more likely to wake when it is wet for this same reason. Cloth diapers are also less irritating to the skin for most babies, and as many babies these days develop skin problems like eczema, this can be important for parents in their choice of baby diapers.

Truly, there are pros and cons to both disposable and cloth diapers. At the end of the day, it’s important for you to make the right decision for you. But make sure it’s an informed one.

 

August 22, 2014
by Jennifer Hughes
0 comments

Craftsy Giveaway! Win the Perfect Cupcake Set & Class

This post contains affiliate links; however, all opinions are my own.

I am just in love with the website Craftsy. If you haven’t discovered this gem, I highly recommend you check it out. But beyond just my love of Craftsy, I have to tell you about a terrific giveaway from these folks. They’re giving you a chance to win a beautiful baking set plus one of Craftsy’s popular new classes!

2_PerfectCupcakeSet

One lucky winner will get a 55-piece Ateco Stainless-Steel Decorating Set PLUS free enrollment in the new online Craftsy class The Perfect Cupcake! In this online class, you’ll learn how to combine creative cupcake flavors, fillings and frostings with gorgeous decorating for out-of-this-world treats!

The giveaway runs through Aug. 27, 2014 and is open only to residents of the U.S. and Canada are eligible to enter.

ENTER HERE

To Win the Perfect Cupcake Set & Class

3_PerfectCupcakeSet

August 21, 2014
by Jennifer Hughes
16 Comments

Friday Flash Blog No. 82 {Plus Features}

Friday Flash Blog is a flash mob of blogs, highlighting the best of bloggers from the week. Be sure to check them out (and the ones I’ve featured) as well as link up your own.

Weekly Thought: I have loved my time with the kiddos this summer, but I’m also ready for school to begin! One more week home before they head off to school again.

Healthy Taco Pasta? Yes please! Recipe from Pick Any Two

Healthy Taco Pasta? Yes please! Recipe from Pick Any Two

Isn't this homemade basket adorable? DIY Tutorial by Crafty Journal

Isn’t this homemade basket adorable? DIY Tutorial by Crafty Journal

Wow! 20 Crockpot Meals for Under $10. All recipes by Chocolates and Crockpots

Wow! 20 Crockpot Meals for Under $10. All recipes by Chocolates and Crockpots

My kids will love these surprise notes in their lunchboxes! FREE Printable from Designs by Miss Mandee

My kids will love these surprise notes in their lunchboxes! FREE Printable from Designs by Miss Mandee

My boys will LOVE this! Homemade Corn Dog Recipe by Ten at the Table

My boys will LOVE this! Homemade Corn Dog Recipe by Ten at the Table

Homemade Laundry Detergent in under 5 minutes! DIY Tutorial by Jornie.com

Homemade Laundry Detergent in under 5 minutes! DIY Tutorial by Jornie.com

Really I have NO idea how to cook quinoa. Great tutorial from Natural Chow

Really I have NO idea how to cook quinoa. Great tutorial from Natural Chow

Sure-Fire Tips to Make Your Morning Routine For School Run Smoother | The Jenny Evolution Sure-Fire Tips to Make your Routine for School Run Smoother from The Jenny Evolution

 

Friday Flash Blog is a Flash Mob of Blogs

Share ALL Your Favorite Posts of the Week

Now Let’s Get This Party Started

Requests to bloggers:

  • Include a link to this sharing party, post my button on your site or add the linky party to your own posting
  • NO selling please
  • Note I pin all featured items onto my boards, which you can find here
  • By linking up, you understand you will receive an invitation to receive notifications of this linky
  • Take a look at some of the other links and comment on them
  • Leave your host a comment! Tell me which highlight was your favorite one

Please follow your host, The Jenny Evolution, on

Facebook | Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Pinterest | Instagram

I follow back all of my friends!

FlashFlashBlog

Get Notified When Friday Flash Blog Goes Live

CLICK HERE


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