Saturday, December 8, 2018

Give Thanks Date Night In Box

I've been trying to work on my gratitude lately, no matter what the circumstance.  So when this box arrived I loved that it was going to help me practice more gratitude during date night too!  I absolutely love getting Date Night In Boxes!  It's such a special night for Dallin and I to enjoy each others company in the comfort of our own home.

Included in this box:  Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, caramel dip, cards, 2 spiced cider drink mixes, sugar packets, dry erase marker, pencil, salt, imitation vanilla, Thank you for... notepad and sign.  As I first opened the box I noticed how packed it was.  I love that Date Night in Boxes doesn't skimp on the quality and quantity for their boxes.  

As we started our date night we read they story of Tripp Halstead an adorable little boy that had a tree limb fall and land on his head while at daycare, that lead to a traumatic brain injury.  He fought for his life for 5 1/2 years, and passed away last March.  They included the Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar book for us to donate to a child that would love the book and hopefully put a smile on their face in honor of Tripp. This made us realize that even though we have our challenges and trials, there are always things to be grateful for!  I love that Tripp's parents, Bill and Stacy, build each other up and keep each other strong.  That's what really matters in this life is love and relationships.  We are still brainstorming on the little kid we can give it to!

Next was Caramel Apple Cider Floats.  Yum!! We love getting in the kitchen and making things together.  They turned out great too! While we enjoyed our caramel apple cider floats we played Gratitude Slam.  We played the general way and loved thinking of new words together.  We love games and this one was the perfect addition to our night.  After we pulled out the notepad provided and started writing things we were thankful for in each other.  I'm always grateful for Dallin, but this helped me put it into words and let me share it with him!  It's so easy to think of great things about others in your head but it's so much better when you can share how you feel with others and show your gratitude!  To keep the gratitude ball rolling we are going to keep up the display stand in our room and keep the dry erase marker close by so we can write down what we are grateful for in one another every day!  

I love that this box helped us keep the gratitude alive even after the Thanksgiving season.  It's easy to get wrapped up in gifts, decorations and to do lists but this date night helped us refocus on what really matters and I'm so grateful for that.

If you'd like to find out more information about Date Night In Boxes you can go HERE!

I did receive this box for free, but all opinions are my own.  
I'm grateful and excited to share products I love with you!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Grayson's Blessing

My family loves to party! Really, they love to plan, decorate, and throw parties!  And I absolutely love it.  It is a little intimidating now because I'm starting to throw my own parties and I feel like theirs quite a high bar to compete with, but I'll keep learning and trying in the party planning ways.  

My oldest sister had a sweet baby boy this summer and he was blessed a few months ago.  Grayson is one of the sweetest little babies!  I'm so glad he's in our family and that I'm his aunt.  Brittany had Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner.  

Lot's of treats, and pictures of cutie pie Grayson everywhere!

My favorite part were the pies!  She had Marie Callenders pies and they were so delicious!  She also gave little packaged hand pies for favors.  

The day was as perfect as little baby Grayson!

Hope you enjoyed a little party inspiration!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Fall In Love Date Night In Box

Another month means another Date Night In box!  This month the theme is Fall In Love, including all the staples of the fall season.

Let's do a little unboxing shall we!  I just have to note all the many details in Date Night In boxes or I'll forget them.  Date nights are so easy with this box.  They don't provide just one date night it could be SO many more with the ideas and topics they share.  

Included in this box:  candle making kit, Tree of Life activity, SuperSeedz snack, Fall in Love Bunco, How have you fallen for me?-conversation starters, and many different ways to continue your date night.

Dallin and I loved the chance to make our own candle.  I was looking forward to it ever since I opened the box and could smell those amazing AromaBeads wax melts.  It was so easy make our own!  We discovered that a fork is the perfect way to keep the wick right where you want it, until it's set enough to go in the fridge.

While the candle was setting up we decided to play Fall In Love Bunco.  I've never played Bunco before so I was so excited to get started.  It was easy to learn and we were playing in no time.  This version of Bunco was extra fun because you had to say something that made you fall in love with one another every time you got Bunco.  It made me realize how perceptive Dallin is and the different things he noticed and still notices about me.  

Cheesy side note-but this is why we do date night!! Whether it's a date night in or a date night out it's to reconnect and remember why we fell in love with each other.  It's to make each other a priority and show the other just how important they are!  I'm grateful for Date Night In boxes to give me and Dallin an opportunity to do that and keep it up in our own home too!

Back to Bunco!  We loved it and definitely got in to it towards the end when we were almost tied!  It's such a fun and easy game and I'm sure we'll be playing again!  We also loved snacking on our SuperSeedz.  We didn't have to worry about shells, allergies or a snack packed with sugar; these pumpkin seeds are nutritious and delicious! 

That wraps up another Date Night In box and I know many more to come.  I am already planning on doing the Tree of Life activity and making the Cheddar & Thyme Biscuit Pot Pie recipe that was included in the box sometime this week.  

If you'd like more information on Date Night In Boxes go HERE!

I did receive this box for free for reviewing purposes, 
I'm grateful and excited to share products I love with you!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Pumpkin Spice Donut Cake

So wishing I had a piece of this Pumpkin Spice Donut cake right about now.  The most perfect pumpkin pie like cake layers filled with the most dreamy cream cheese frosting, oh and don't forget the cinnamon chip drip or the dusting of cinnamon sugar for good measure.  And we couldn't resist making a batch of cinnamon sugar pumpkin donuts to decorate the top too.  If you make this cake I promise you won't regret it!

Dallin had a Fall Bake Off at work a few weeks ago and he was determined to make a cake!  I wanted to try a new cake (I always do!) so we decided to double it so we could have our own to decorate.

There's just something about fresh baked goods that are just so refreshing and beautiful to me.

We made some pumpkin cinnamon sugar donuts to decorate on the top and they were so tasty.  We liked them even better over the next few days because the butter and cinnamon/sugar mix really blended with the donut.

So many of Dallin's coworkers said that he didn't decorate the cake, and that his wife did. :) Well here's proof.  Dallin can decorate a cake with the best of them.  He even helped ME smooth out my sides.  Now how romantic is that!?

Ever since we took a few cake classes together it's been a competition in the kitchen with cakes.  So we'd love to hear who's you think is better! haha!

Dallin went for the classic look with a pile of donuts on top.

While I went with a more decorated look with all the bells and whistles. 

I actually seriously loved the cinnamon sugar dusting on the bottom.  It gave the frosting a sweet crunch that I totally loved!

Here's some pieces that we were giving away, still a little frozen but SO delicious!

Here's the recipes we used to make this magic happen:

Pumpkin Cake-Baking with Blondie Check her highlights on IG for the recipe.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened 

2 sticks butter, softened

5-6 C. powdered sugar, sifted

4 tsp. vanilla

Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla.  

Cinnamon Chip Drip

1 C. cinnamon chips

1/4 C. heavy cream

Combinen chips and heavy cream in a bowl and microwave for 30 second increments until smooth.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts-Baking with Blondie recipe found HERE

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Watch Your Words!

Young Women September-Commandments
How do the things I say affect me and those around me?

I have a new calling and I am so excited about it!  I'm a Mia Maids Advisor!  This has been one of my dream callings ever since I looked up to my own leaders when I was a teen and in Young Women's.  

The first lesson I gave was all about words!  Words we read.  Words we hear.  Words we write.  Words we speak, and words we think.  I hung papers on the board of each of these statements.  I asked the girls what each one means and what are some things we do of each.  For example words we read could include books, emails, magazines, and words we hear are music, tv, movies and so on.  I wanted to focus on words we speak and think because I think they really effect all of the others!

We read Ephesians 4:29-32 and discussed how that related to the 5 phrases on the board.  I told the girls to keep these phrases in mind throughout the lesson and think about their own words and what they could change. 

Our language can either uplift and encourage or hurt and offend.  Our words have a powerful effect on others.  The things we say can be offensive to God and others if we use profanity, gossip, crude language, or insults.  How we speak can also affect our ability to receive guidance from the Holy Ghost.

We watched the video Bullying-Stop It.  It honestly almost had me in tears.  How often are we to say or do something without thinking, that could hurt someone else.  

I then shared a story that was shared in General Conference a couple of sessions ago.  It went as follows-Recently, as three-year-old Alyssa watched a movie with her siblings, she remarked with a puzzled expression, “Mom, that chicken is weird!”  Her mother looked at the screen and responded with a  smile, “Honey, that is a peacock.”  Like that unknowing three-year-old, we sometimes look at others with an incomplete or inaccurate understanding.  We may focus on the differences and perceived flaws in those around us whereas our Heavenly Father sees His children, created in His eternal image, with magnificent and glorious potential.

I shared an example of a youth in our ward bullying another youth and another youth stepped in and told them to stop it and that they were bullying.  I was so proud of that youth that stood up for the person that was being bullied and how they put the bully in their place.  I shared this experience because I wanted to bring to their attention that this is happening, it could even be happening to their friends or by their friends.  

Elder Holland said, “It goes without saying that negative speaking so often flows from negative thinking, including negative thinking about ourselves.  We see our own faults, we speak-or at least think-critically of ourselves, and before long that is how we see everyone and everything.  No sunshine, no roses, no promise of hope or happiness.  Before long we and everybody around us are miserable… Our words like our deeds should be filled with faith, hope and charity.”

This is a topic that everyone needs to hear.  No matter their age, position in life, trials, or circumstances.  Words have so much power!  They can either build up or tear down.  We can all remember a time when someones words have brought us sadness, we can also probably remember a time when someones words have made us feel hope or happiness.  We must choose to have words full of positivity and love.  

One of my favorite quotes is from Plato, "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."  It's true!  We each have our own problems and trials.  Its so easy to be nice and kind, let's do that instead!  

President Thomas S. Monson said, “In a hundred small ways, all of you wear the mantle of charity.  …Rather than being judgement or critical of one another, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow traveler in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her or his best to deal with the challenges which come her or his way, and may we strive to do our best to help out.”

I challenged the girls to find some ways that they can fill their words with faith, hope and charity in all the words they use in their life-whether they are words they think, hear write, read or speak! 

For the handout I adapted this adorable handout idea from Little LDS Ideas, to include the last sentence that reads 'I'll be sure every word is full of faith, hope and charity each day.' To better go along with our lesson.  It's a lovely poem to remind the girls that as they put on their chapstick they can remember to watch their words and the things they say.  I included the very best Lip Smackers to each poem and for good measure I also gave a little treat-Watermelon Sour Patch candies, you could use Sour Patch Kids but I loved how the watermelon went with my color scheme for this lesson.  Attached with another little warning 'Words can be sour or they can be sweet.  Make sure your words are soft and sweet, in case you have to eat them!'

If you'd like the printables for both handouts shown find them HERE!

If you'd like the posters I made to hang on the board you can find them HERE!

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions are as always my own! 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Painted with Love Date Night In Box

This months Date Night In Box hit a little too close to home.  haha!  We have been deep into painting our front room which consists of our family room and kitchen so it's quite a big project.  So once we received this box in the mail I actually laughed.  More painting?! I thought for sure we'd be masters once we got around to date night.  

Included in this box were all the essential paint night supplies and a few fun extras.  This box included:  a candle, two canvases, acrylic paints, brush set, paper plate, cloth napkin, small cup, 2 suckers, and glue.  My box was missing the small cup but we had a few on hand, but the 2 suckers were completely destroyed during transit.  

I've always wanted to go to a little paint shop and have a paint night with Dallin, but I loved being in the comfort of our own home even more!  It was perfect timing to have some alone time and destress.  Even with Olivia crashing the date-as usual!

While Dallin was getting Olivia ready for bed I set out all of our supplies.  I'm still so amazed with Date Night In Box and their attention to detail.  It makes it so easy to have a date night in so easy any time you have an hour or so at home.  

Enter Olivia.  She would not nap so she stayed around for our whole date night.  She was so funny, she'd laugh and it was like she was laughing at my painting.  

There were two different options on how to go about painting, one including glue and the other was following a tutorial from Painting Parties.  We decided to follow the tutorial and it was so fun!  It felt like we were in one of those little paint shops learning from an instructor.  

Dallin was so good at this.  His laid back, relaxed demeanor really showed through with how amazing his painting turned out and how patient he was with it.  I loved seeing this side to Dallin that I haven't seen before.  

Even though I felt like I totally messed up with a lot of my painting, 
it still turned out pretty great.  That's the great thing about art.  
You are never wrong with how you did it, it's just a different take on it! 

Dallin loved the crystal sucker included in the box too!  I'm all for treats-day or night!

So heres our final product.  Which one do you like more!? 

Included in the Date Night In Box was the Date Night Pamphlet full of other ideas for date night.  It includes an optional menu for your date, activities, games and even show recommendations that go along with the theme of the box.  We finished our date night by taking the Colors of Love Quiz in the back of the pamphlet.  It was so interesting to see what it meant by the different colors that we chose. And how different we were from one another.  

I'm loving these Date Night In Boxes and I'm hoping you are too!  If you'd like to find out more about them you can go HERE!

I did receive this box for free for reviewing purposes, 
I'm grateful and excited to share products I love with you!