Halloween Handwriting Free Printable

With a 6 year old and a 4 year old we are constantly working on handwriting.  Some days are easier than others and they are excited to practice.  Other days, not so much.  This fun Halloween themed printable helps make it fun again.  I’m sharing it here with you, download it for free!

Halloween Handwriting Fun Printable


Play with Your Food: Hershey’s Ready to Eat Pudding

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

Hershey's Ready To Eat Pudding

I think most families can relate: weekdays are rough.  Between school pickup, after school activities, homework, dinner and dessert, plus bedtime routines.  Whew.  I’m tired just typing it.  Living it can be exhausting.Easy Treat

We all have our go to dinner recipes for those busy nights but what about dessert?  On those especially busy days, I like to treat my kiddos and Hershey’s Ready to Eat Pudding is the perfect high quality snack.  Plus, we’ve come up with a quick game that makes it that much more special.

Play with your food! Dessert Game

We play a little game of Tic Tac Toe before devouring our desserts.  It’s a fun day to wind down, engage and just be silly.  We use our favorite flavors, Chocolate and S’mores, mark each flavor with an X or O and begin.  When the end result is a cup of Hershey’s Ready to Eat Pudding, everyone wins.Hershey's Pudding

The Sept/Oct issue of ALL YOU Magazine has a fantastic coupon for these yummy snacks, too!  Since it’s something I’d buy anyway, why not save a bit, right?!

Hershey's Pudding Coupon


After School Program in Phoenix (and surrounding): Art and Sol Performing Arts

My son, K,  has always loved sports.  At the ripe old age of 4 he started team sports and has been non-stop ever since.  We’ve always allowed him to decide which sport he’d like to try or if he want’s to continue with a team.  It’s great to keep him well rounded and find what he really likes to do, plus what’s the point if I have to force him kicking and screaming to practice every week, right?


K is now in 1st grade and brings home flyers for after school and extra curricular programs in Phoenix regularly.  Usually I look, see if he’s interested and then go from there.  This season, though, we’d already discussed him returning to flag football and his undefeated team (while football was on hiatus he played basketball, his favorite so far, I think).  Recently, he came barreling out of his classroom talking a mile a minuted about Alice and Wonderland.  He saw I was confused and explained “Mom, it’s in my backpack!”.  I found a flier for Art and Sol Performing Arts and the upcoming show was Alice in Wonderland Jr.  It was making sense now.After school activity in Phoenix

As a kid I did community theater and watched my dad from backstage (or the light box!), too.  Our oldest (my stepdaughter) has showed some desire to act a couple years back but, although we encouraged her, upon entering her teen years, she’s not as interested anymore.  I was a bit surprised K was interested in this.  We discussed what it meant to do a show on stage.  K as always been a bit shy, so I figured once we discussed it and he realized what it entailed, he’d change his mind.  He did not.  We talked about it for a few days.  I did some research on Art and Sol and was convinced it be perfect for a young child; everyone gets a part!  The price was reasonable once I broke it down; he program lasted a while and per week is comparable to pretty much every after school activity we’ve seen.  But I still wanted to be sure he WANTED to do it.  When he made the final decision, my heart filled with joy and pride.

Audition Workshop for Kids

K will be participating in Alice and Wonderland Jr with Art and Sol Performing Arts in January.  His auditions are this week and he has been practicing regularly after attending the audition workshop.  He has decided to audition with  Jingle Bells, Batman Smells and I giggle each time he does his very own choreography which includes a ‘laying egg’ move…

As his mama, I am so excited for his journey in self discovery, confidence and lasting memories.

There are three locations (with different practice times!) around the Phoenix, AZ area and there are still a few spots left!  Make sure to like Art and Sol Performing Arts on Facebook, too.

If your child has every seemed interested in acting, performing, singing, dancing or maybe would benefit from building confidence, friendships and lasting memories (what kid wouldn’t?); consider checking out Art and Sol (they have workshops, open houses or bring your child to a performance!).

Leftover Burgers into Cheeseburger Nachos

Hosting parties and gathering is something I love to do.  I love getting people together for birthdays, anniversaries, a football game or, most recently, a baby shower!  My newest niece was actually born today and I am currently sitting in the library across from the hospital waiting for the “OK” text to pack it up and visit her (and her parents, too, I guess….who are we kidding, I want to hold that baby!).

A few weeks ago, I hosted a baby sprinkle to celebrate.  If you follow me on any sort of social media platform, you already know this (if you DON’T follow me, you should.  I’m fun).  What you don’t know, if that I pulled a typical ‘me’ move and got way too much food.  I’d rather have leftovers than not have enough, right? So we were left with about 20 extra cheeseburgers, cooked and ready to eat.  We noshed on leftovers for a while but there’s only so many cheeseburgers a person can eat.  So we started coming up with inventive ways to finish them off.  I’d like to introduce you to the Cheeseburger Nacho.

Leftover Hamburger Recipe

Ingredients (these are really very flexible):

4 leftover burgers (already cooked) chopped

1 bag of tortilla chips

2 cups shredded cheese

1/2 cup pickles chopped

1/2 onion chopped

1 tomato diced

1/2 cup lettuce shredded

Other toppings such as jalapenos, olives, ketsup/mustard or sour cream are optional (and delicious)!


Line a baking sheet with tin foil and dump out the chips.  Spread them out evenly in one layer.  Sprinkle chopped up hamburgers over top of the chips and follow that with the shredded cheese and onions.  Save the pickles, tomato and lettuce to top the nachos later.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for approximately 10 minutes.  Remember, everything is already cooked.  Baking is simply to heat everything up (cook the onions just a bit) and melt the cheese.

Leftover Burgers into Nachos

Top the nachos with the last three ingredients and serve warm!  This will remind you of a burger but won’t make you sick after eating burgers for days…


Save the Undies, Save Summer! #UnderWarrior

I still remember the day I leaked through my pants in junior high.  It might be something everyone else eventually forgot, but it has stayed with me.  It is still cringe-worthy when I think about it.  I know I’m not the only one, it’s happened to many of us.  Just because it happened to me almost 10 years ago doesn’t mean the new generation has to have these mortifying memories!


Now that Jelly Bean is old enough and in 8th grade, I want to ensure she NEVER goes through that. Which is why she uses CleanWear® Ultra Thin Pads with 3D Capture Core U plus Xpress DRI* by Kotex.  Save the undies (and in my case, even the pants…) and become an #UnderWarrior.


The 3D Capture Core creates a pad that’s different from any other out there because it’s got a one-of-a-kind center that locks away wetness to help stop leaks.  You can grab your FREE SAMPLE and Save The Undies, too!

Halloween Granola Ghost Treats

Halloween is such a fun time of year.  My whole family gets into the spirit with themed costumes and fun Halloween snacks.

These are not only fun; they are super easy, too!  My kids got a kick out of them and these would be great in a lunch box, after school or during family movie night!

Halloween Ghost Granola Treats


2 granola bars

1oz white chocolate

Chocolate Chips (3 per ghost)

Halloween Snack

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave and stir.  Using a knife or popsicle stick, spread the white chocolate over the granola bars.  Be sure to cover the sides of the granola bar (but don’t worry about the back).  Set the granola bars aside and, using a knife, cut off the top part of two chocolate chips (if you have mini chocolate chips this isn’t necessary; just use mini ones as is).  You are creating the eyes of the ghost using the small pieces and the mouth is the last chocolate chip.  Let the white chocolate set and harden.  I like to pop them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.

Ghost Granola Halloween Treat

Easy, right??  And, f they are anything like mine, your kids will really get a kick out of these!

5 Ingredient Fudge-y Brownies

Easy desserts are where it’s at.  I love baking but with a house full of kids (and a husband, too) I prefer easy treats to whip up quick.

Super Simple Brownie Recipe

These brownies are the perfect comfort dessert and the kids agree!  Only 5 ingredients makes this perfect to finish off the day with some chocolately goodness.

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 18 min

Serving Size: 9×9 Pan

Easy Brownie Recipe


¾ cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup oil

½ cup coco powder

2 eggs


Preheat oven to 350.

5 Ingredient Brownies

First, in a medium size bowl, whisk dry ingredients together until well incorporated. Beat eggs and oil together in a small bowl.  Dump oil and egg mixture into the dry ingredients and which until well blended.

Chewy Brownies

In a greased 9×9 baking pan, pour batter and place in preheated oven.

Easy Brownies

Bake for approx 18 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.  An optional topping is powdered sugar for an extra sweet treat.

Easy Chewy Brownies

AT&T New Store Concept And Giveaway

I am an AT&T Phoenix Mom and received a complimentary product in exchange and to help facilitate this post and giveaway.  As always, my opinions are 100% my own- I am truly impressed with this company!

If you follow along on Instagram, you noticed that recently I was invited to attend the grand opening of a new AT&T store concept.  The new concept allows for customers to explore and interact with technology.

Grand Opening in Phoenix, AZ

At these new stores, customers can check out solutions, devices and accessories across three unique “zones” – the Connected Experience Zone, the Community Zone, and the Explore Zone.

  • Connected Experience Zone: “lifestyle vignettes” show how products can be used every day. It highlights music, home security, entertainment and more.
  • Community Zone: visitors can shop and play at interactive “community tables.” It displays apps, accessories and devices so customers can see how they can work together.
  • Explore Zone: “explore walls” show a variety of AT&T’s devices and accessories next to digital monitors explaining how they work.

AT&T New Store Concept Phx, AZ

When I walked into the store with some blogger friends I immediately noticed how inviting this new store concept is.  It truly is gorgeous.  There are zones and touching is encouraged!  The explore wall is where I spent most of my time…I’m in the market for a new phone and the best way to decide is to get online, play with apps and take photos with the potential phones.  At the explore wall you are not only allowed to do all of the above, and more, you are encouraged.  I appreciate being able touch without feeling intimidated and the staff is friendly and extremely knowledgeable.

DirectTV Promo

DIRECTV is now a part of AT&T and customers can take advantage of a new promotion of $500 credit per line for switching to AT&T’s wireless service. For a limited time, DIRECTV TV customers who switch their wireless lines to AT&T will receive a $300 bill credit for each line they port in when they buy a smartphone on AT&T Next for that line. Plus, customers who also trade in an eligible smartphone will get an additional trade-in credit or promotion card for $200. More info: http://soc.att.com/1Wcri3h

 AT&T also recently announced it will deliver the first-ever nationwide package of TV and wireless services all from a single provider on one bill, with special discounts. The offer includes HD and DVR service for up to four TV receivers, unlimited talk and text for four wireless lines, and 15GB of shareable wireless data – all for $200 per month, an annual savings of $600 or more in the first 12 months.


The new store (at the corner of Tatum and Cactus) is open and one of three new concept stores in the valley (there is one in Goodyear and one slated to open at the Tempe Marketplace this fall).

Have you been to a new concept store?  Even if you aren’t in the market, like I am, I recommend stopping in to one and check it out!

AT&T has generously provided an ASUS MEMO Pad 7 LTE to giveaway to one of you!  Enter below and check out some of my blogger friends’ giveaways, as well!

AT&T Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shaping Up To Be A Mom-Kate Spade Portable Battery

Songs Kate Sang- ASUS MeMO Pad

Pink Cake Plate- LG G Flex 2

Around My Family Table-LG G Pad F 8.0

Phoenix Mom Blog- LG G Flex 2

Life as Leels- FitBit Charge HR

5 Tips for Planning a Baby Shower (or Sprinkle) Stress Free

LLandLoL worked with Kneaders Scottsdale, NothingBuntCakes Scottsdale and Oriental Trading to facilitate this post.  Some items where provided free of charge but as always, my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

How to plan a baby shower or baby sprinkle

I love planning and hosting parties, so much so, that when my sister in law was pregnant with baby number 3 and wasn’t sure about having a baby shower, I convinced her she needed to let me do SOMETHING.  Yes, yes, I know all about etiquette and 2nd and 3rd babies….but my kids and I had just finished looking through  photographs of their baby shower/sprinkle and their excitement of seeing who was there and them growing in my belly made me feel we needed to do something to celebrate my new nieces upcoming arrival.


My sister in law agreed and I started planning a casual baby ‘sprinkle’.  A sprinkle is meant for the second, third or even fourth baby.  Instead of showering new parents with gifts, we sprinkle them with love (and some gifts, too) and celebrate the newest addition to the family.  Just because it isn’t their first doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate, right?!

I am a mom to boys (and my teenage stepdaughter would never consider herself ‘girly’, but her love of makeup and boys has me internally rolling my eyes when she says that).  So the thought of throwing a party for a girl was exciting.  If you know me or you’ve been around LLandLoL for a while, you know I love a theme.  For this party, I threw the traditional idea of a theme out and focused on the theme PINK.  All shades of pink.  I figured it’s make it easy and less expensive to decorate; which brings me to some other tips for planning and hosting a baby shower (or sprinkle) on a budget and stress free.


Baby Shower Decor on a Budget

1. Look before you theme.

If the mother-to-be doesn’t have a specific theme in mind take a look at Pinterest for some inspiration.  Before settling on a theme, check out local or online party stores like Oriental Trading to see if there are any particular themes that are budget friendly (ie on sale!).  I scored many of the decor from Oriental Trading and the different shades of pink hanging fan decorations were at a huge discount.

Pink Rosette Cake

2. Plan Early

It’s always a tip I give for people on a budget.  If you plan in advance you can save money (or at least not pay a ton all at once) by utilizing local deals and sale and checking out one of my favorites; Groupon.  A couple of months before the party, I started scoping out Groupon (who am I kidding, I am always checking out Groupon for great local deals) and saw an amazing deal on a cake from a local bakery.  It also happen to be a time that Groupon was offering a % off local deals (they do this pretty regularly lately!).  I snatched up the Groupon at a fabulous price and quickly ordered, to be sure there was availability on the date of the party.  It was easy and very budget friendly.  Plus, the cake was a HUGE hit.


3.  Figure out food

Some parties don’t necessarily need a full meal and even though our party time started at a non-meal time, I knew, with this group a pretty full spread would be a expected (and appreciated).  I wavered for a while between ordering meats by the pound from a local BBQ place or putting my husband to work and having him grill up classic hamburgers and hot dogs.  I almost went with ordering the food (with temps reaching 110 here in Phoenix I didn’t want my husband outside grilling all day) but a great deal from Schwans sealed the deal and my poor husband was put to work.  I had him grill the food early on the day of so he wasn’t stuck outside during the party, and kept things warm in tinfoil. The sides and ‘fixings’ were easy, chips, potato salad and beans accompanied the burgers and dogs.  I got the potato salad (and some of the best chicken salad I’ve ever had) at Honeybaked Ham.  The price was comparable to my grocery store and I thought loaded baked potato salad was just a bit nicer than what was in the deli case around the corner.

Mini Pastries from Kneaders

I knew for this party I wanted more than just a cake.  I wanted a dessert table.  I had recently tried Kneaders Scottsdale for the first time and fell in love with the amazing food and especially the pastries.  Kneaders Scottsdale offers catering and platters and I knew mini pastries would be perfect for the dessert table.  I put them on a three tiered serving platter from Oriental Trading and they really looked (and tasted) fantastic.  I may have eaten four tarts….they are my favorite.  Watching the kids eat the eclairs and canolies was adorable.  Such fancy little children we all have.

Nothing Bunt Cake Scottsdale

The dessert table didn’t stop there! Nothing Bunt Cakes Scottsdale is just down the road and I stopped in the adorable shop to pick up some buntinis (mini bunt cakes).  I had heard such great things about this little cakes and I was so excited to include an assortment of flavors on the dessert table.  Adults and kids alike loved these and it was so sweet to see the kids sit there deciding which flavor to choose (I don’t blame them for being indecisive, they all looked so good!).

Cheap Baby Shower Favors

To finish the dessert table off I added lollipops from Oriental Trading (in pink rice thanks to some food coloring) and a plate of good old fashion Oreos.  You can’t go wrong with double stuffed Oreos.  Really, I wasn’t sure how the kids would react to some of these fancier treats so I figured Oreos was ‘safe’.  Little did I know, the kids would not only be interested in the special desserts, they would LOVE them.  Score all around!


4. Take Time

Don’t try to clean and put up decorations all on the day of.  I have attempted that in the past, it always turns out badly.  My kids are older now and I was able to explain to them why the pink decor was going up and tell them my expectations (no touching) the week before the party.  We picked the date of the party to be close to her due date but after school had started up.  This gave me some time to settle into our school routine but also devote some time to cleaning.  I picked a room each day leading up to the party and cleaned- I knew the bedrooms would be full of common area furniture and let it go…I didn’t really clean the bedrooms at all (which is funny because the kids all ended up in our messy master bedroom anyway).  The night before the party, we sent our kiddos off to have a sleep over at GiGi and Pop Pop’s house (thanks!) and moved the furniture and set up the tables.  Avoiding the day-of-rush helped alleviate stress and allowed for me to actually get ready for the party, too (though, I still didn’t have time to dry my hair)!

Girl Baby Shower

5.  Enjoy the moment

You are probably hosting the party because you love the parents and their growing family, right?  So try to enjoy the moment.  I started to worry when 30 minutes after the start time no one had arrived but realized the party would start when it started.  No need to stress.  I took the time to snap photos of my hard work (and cute kids) and did last minute things (like making sure the games were set and ready, that I had the prizes someplace I could get to easily etc).  Guests arrived and we had fun.  Kids played, people ate, photos were taken and games were won.  We celebrated the newest member of the family and showed the growing family some love.  That’s what it is all about.

Preparing for Life’s Uncomfortable Moments with U by Kotex®

Having a teenage girl means I have to not only prepare myself for life’s uncomfy moments and help her avoid them.  Her periods don’t come super regularly so, in order to avoid embarrassing moments, we keep U by Kotex® Lightdays® Liners in her makeup bag (which she carries with her) and I keep some in my purse, too.


She isn’t embarrassed to carry these because of the cool patterns and colors and they are small!  I love them because they are thin yet mighty!  Great for lighter days (or as tampon backup).  Feeling prepared and comfortable with her period helps keep her confident; which is especially important at this age.  I still cringe at my period ‘horror story’ from my teenage years.  I think we’ve all had at least one….right?!  Hopefully, keeping her prepared for those inevitable and uncomfortable moments will shield her from her very own teenage horror story.


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