Baked Potato Sliders {yummy}

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Do you love potatoes? I love potatoes! You know who doesn’t? My hips and tights;)  This really sucks…because EVERYTHING is better with a baked potato! Ok…ummm maybe it’s just me;)

I wanted a way that I could have yummy baked potatoes without ruining all my hard work at Zumba! Hmmm how about baked potatoes in bite sized pieces?!?!

Baked Potato Sliders

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What you’ll need:

3-4 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes (this was more than enough for my family of 5)
1/4 C. Olive Oil
Black Pepper (to taste…I like a ton)
Salt (taste…I do very little)
1/2 C. Grated Cheese (I like the Mexican blend)
4-6 slices of crispy bacon (you can use prepackaged real bacon as well)

Extra Toppings:

Sour Cream
Chives

Prep:
Pre Heat Oven to 450*
Mix olive oil, black pepper, salt in a bowl
Slice Potatoes in thin slices (1/4 inch-ish)

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Cook Bacon until crispy (be sure to dab all the grease off the bacon)
After the bacon has cooled coarsly chop

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Let’s get started!!
Place sliced potatoes in the bowl of olive oil, pepper and salt. Make sure all the slices a generously covered in the mixture.

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Place slices on a cookie sheet (be sure not to overlap)

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Allow them to cook in the oven for about 12 minutes
Flip after 12min and sprinkle the already cooked side with grated cheese (don’t worry about making a mess all over the cookie sheet!)
Put back in the oven for 10 minutes
After removing from the oven carefully place all slices on a cooling rack

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Then add a pinch of bacon to each potato slice (don’t wait until they have cooled or the bacon will fall off:(

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Serve either warm or room temp, they will good either way!

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There are many different way I like to serve these:

Baked Potato Style: Top with chives and a dolip of sour cream

BLT Potatoes: chopped tomatoes and chopped avocado

Dippin Style: served with a bowl of Homemade Avocado Ranch

Avocado Ranch:
1c. Ranch
1 large ripe avocado

You can either purée this together or chop the avocado and add chunks to the ranch (my kids like it both ways)

The Veggie Style: Omit the bacon and add sautéed portabella mushrooms and sautéed onions or chopped chives

As you can see the possibilities are endless!

These are great served as a side for anything from sandwiches to Grilled Steak!

I really hope you enjoy these as well!!

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Good night, Little Pumpkin {Review & Giveaway}

This post is sponsored by Thomas Nelson. All opinions are 100% my own. See my full disclosure policy.

TNM

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Back of the Book:

 
“I’m not tired, Mama.”
 
With so many games still to play at the fall festival, Milo can’t possibly go to bed yet!
All decked out in his roly-poly pumpkin costume. Milo pleads,
“Just a little longer?” -four little words that moms and dads everywhere know so very well.
But with each game played, Milo’s eyes get just a little heavier.
Bright, happy illustrations follow Milo’s fun as he grows sleepier and sleepier.
And when Mom and Dad find him asleep in the hay-bale maze, there’s only one thing left to say . . .
Good Night, Little Pumpkin!

 Good Night, Little Pumpkin is a precious little board book that is perfect for those crisp fall evenings.

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The nights are getting very chilly and we’ve broken out the fleece jammies! Other then hot cocoa before bed my kids favorite thing in the entire world is when the entire family cuddles up a reads a book before bed! Good Night, Little Pumpkin is a perfect book for such an occasion!
IMG_4634Good Night, Little pumpkin follows the little pumpkin Milo along with his friends and family as they attend the local fall festival. Mama knows that Milo is getting sleepy but Milo insists he in not tired because he is just too excited to play all the games at the festival. Milo wants to play and do every last thing…even though he is exhausted…will he make it the whole night?!
Have you ever taken your little ones to an evening event or festival? If so, you will relate to Milo’s plea of “just one more”.
My kids absolutely loved this book! It is full of fun activities, fun pictures and cute characters! The first time we read Good Night, Little Pumpkin the twins wanted me to read it over and over! It will defiantly be a hit in our house throughout the fall season!This adorable little book would be a perfect addition to any homes bookshelf! You will love the colorful and engaging illustrations as well as the sturdiness of the book! This will for sure turn into a family favorite to share with little ones for years to come!

WIN IT!

In partnership with Tommy Nelson I’m giving a copy of this adorable and fun book to one lucky reader!

Enter Below!

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*Giveaway will run from 9/25/14 –10/2/14  A winner will be selected 10/3/14 – contacted via email 10/4/14 *U.S Residents

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Man Stuff by Josh Turner {Review & Giveaway}

This post is sponsored by Thomas Nelson. All opinions are 100% my own. See my full disclosure policy.

TNM

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{Chances are if your country music fan than the name Josh Turner means something to you}

My husband is the most amazing man that I know! He is supportive, loving and kind. We have been through more in our 13 year marriage then many who have spent a life time together. He is my other half and my partner always forever. I couldn’t have been more thrilled to share this wonderful book with him! It’s very rare that I get to review a book for guys!

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My husband and I both have been huge Josh Turner fan for many many years so the opportunity to get this book was awesome!

His new book Man Stuff: a devotional on faith, family, and fatherhood has quickly become one of my husbands favorite reads!

Here are some of my hubby’s thoughts!
Man Stuff is VERY Uplifting and encouraging. From the very first page it was extremely thought-provoking and convicting. I love that it challenges men to have integrity and to strive to be men of Faith!

This is great little book that consists of short stories told and recalled by Josh Turner over various stages of his life. Along with each story there is a corresponding Bible verse which I really like. Josh Turner talk about a number of things including fatherhood, cherishing your wife as well as relating to your wife, balancing family and a demanding career. I could completely identify with everything he talked about! He also includes stories about people who have influenced his life including his grandparents and his dad. I love the way he shares who he really is and talks about his love for fishing and hunting, his relationship with his and the importance of praying for his three young sons. Proving that he is a normal guy who loves his wife and kids and most importantly God! 

The short devotionals are very easy-to-read they are only one or two pages and as I mentioned above very thought-provoking! The forward by Jace Robertson of Duck Dynasty it great too!

Buy it!

WIN IT!

In partnership with Tommy Nelson I’m giving a copy of this wonderful book to one lucky reader!

Enter Below!

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 Rafflecopter Giveaway

*Giveaway will run from 9/26/14 –10/3/14  A winner will be selected 10/3/14 – contacted via email 10/4/14 *U.S Residents

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God Is Always Good {Review & Giveaway}

This post is sponsored by Thomas Nelson. All opinions are 100% my own. See my full disclosure policy.

TNM

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On the back Cover:

You can always trust God. Bad things may happen.
But God always loves you, and He is always good.
God created this world and filled it with wonder and goodness. But sadly,
bad things happen sometimes too. Friends move away, and storm winds blow.
There are bullies, sickness, sadness, even death. But God Is Always Good
 will help you see that God is bigger than any badness.
With soft, tender words and scriptures, God Is Always Good offers
reassurance and comfort. Sweet animal characters fill the pages, gently
illustrating how God never leaves us. He is present in every smile, every hug,
every helping hand. Because no matter what happens in this world . . .

God is Always Good!

 

IMG_4638In God is Always Good little bunny asks his mama all kinds of questions like:  “Mommy what is God like?”  “Does God make bad things happen?”  and “Where is God when bad happen?” Follow along my mama answers the inquisitive little bunnys questions. In God is Always Good does such a wonderful job answering some of the really tough questions like when Little Bunny’s mama how sad he is when someone dies and she told him “God made Heaven wonderful”  This book couldn’t have come at better time for my family. Over the last few months we have dealt with disappointment and heart ache and supported friend going through heart ache, from family deaths to terminal diagnosis. My oldest son is only 9, but in his young life has had two cousins in Heaven {they both died as infants, neither to SIDS}. As Elias gets older he has more and more questions, he remembers his cousin Olivia’s funeral. As you can imagine it’s very difficult to have answers to these questions. This little book gently covers a lot of the questions he asks about the deaths of his cousins. I think it has really comforted him when he is feeling sad. {The twins were born 3 years after Olivia died so they don’t really ask questions}

There is a page about change as well. I loved this, my kids do not like change…It’s scary, it’s different, it’s not always happy and fun, but it is apart of life. God is Always Good works so hard to instill safety and comfort in the arms of the Lord!

Inside the book each page shoes little bunny asking his mama question and her sweet and gentle response. Along with beautiful illustrations, each page has an applicable Bible verse on it!

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I love the question “Is there anything God can’t do?” Mama bunny answers in such a wonderful way “Well, there are a couple things he can’t do. He can’t tell a lie and you can’t break a promise” I just love that. As I read that my kids had such big smiles on their faces. They felt safe knowing that “God keeps every promise he makes” ! This pages corresponding Bible verse was perfection

“What He says He will do, he does. What He promises, He keeps.”

Numbers 23:19

Not only does this book answer some really hard questions but it also brings comfort to even the littlest listener!

The book ends with John 3:16 and “God is always good!”

If you have children that have or are dealing with death of a family member, friend or pet, anxiety or stress over change or is dealing with bullies, I would HIGHLY recommend this book for your family.

WIN IT!

In partnership with Tommy Nelson I’m giving a copy of this Sweet book to one lucky reader!

Enter Below!

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 Rafflecopter Giveaway

*Giveaway will run from 9/25/14 –10/2/14  A winner will be selected 10/3/14 – contacted via email 10/4/14 *U.S Residents

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Homeschool in the Woods: 20th Century in America Lap Pak {review and GIVEAWAY!!}

I was provided with this Lap Pak from Homeschool in the Woods in exchange for my honest review and thoughts. See my full disclosure policy.

HomeSchoolintheWoods-LOGOHi guys! I am beyond excited to share Homeschool in the Woods: 20th Century in America Lap Pak with you today! Today is all about the 20th Century in America this Pak is perfect for grades 3-8 but fear not if you have younger kiddos! Homeschool in the Woods also has Benjamin Franklin and Knights for grade K-2!

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Ok so you might be thinking “What is a Lap Pak?” Lap Paks are basically a themed lapbooks! The 20th Century in America Pak covers a boarder range subject yet still remaining with the theme of the “20th Century”!

I have loved Homeschool in the Woods and how all their curriculum is hands-on, which is a MUST with my kiddos!  and they are BEAUTIFUL!! This is our first Lap Pak and let me tell you it  is beautifully put together and presented in a way that is extremely fun and engaging for my fourth-grader as well as my kindergartners! I’m all about curriculum that all the kids can do!

The 20th Century in America Lap Pak has been the perfect addition to the American History unit we started our school year with!

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These Lap Pak comes in either a download version or a CD version

With The 20th century in America Lap Pak you get:

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Reading Text Directions

Text Assignments & Project Directions

Printable Booklet in two different sizes – 5.5″ x 8.5″ BOOKLET FORMAT & 8.5″ x 11″ FULL-SIZE BINDER FORMAT

22 Different Printable Projects including:

  • World Wars
  • Other conflicts
  • Political Events
  • Movements that made a mark in history
  • Modern Missionaries
  • Disasters
  • The Stock Market Crash of 1929
  • Science & Invention in the 20th Century
  • Medical Advances
  • The Space Race
  • Art Movements of the Modern Era
  • Accomplishments in Architecture
  • 20th Century Authors and their Literature
  • Music of the Century
  • Transportation in America
  • News & Media of the 20th Century
  • Sports Figures who made their mark in History
  • People of interest
  • Diner Menu “Dining through the decades”
  • Fashion through the decades
  • Slang Terminology
  • Timeline of the 20th Century

Why I LOVE Lap Paks:

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  • They required very little prep from me…really all I have to do is print out what we are working on! {I like to print out as I go, but you could easily print out the Lap Pak in its entirety}
  • It is a work at what ever pace works for that particular day! Some days we will cover 2 or 3 sections and the next day only 1.
  • It is a great study to use when the whole family is sick and you NEED low key but the kids want fun…Trust me two days after getting our Lap Pak the kids all got sick {thank God for my Thieves and RC essential oils they saved us!}
  • It comes with EVERYTHING! No hidden ‘oh well you also need….’ The Lap Pak activities, are mostly coloring, cutting and gluing. Like I mentioned above there is a booklet included to help walk you through each study section and activity. I have found that this perfect to read while the kids are doing their activities!

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This Lap Pak has been awesome! My oldest son LOVES history especially American History and Wars {just like his Dad!} As we were reading in the very first section “World Wars” it opened up many doors of discussion. We were able to talk a lot about my grandpas service and how he helped liberate an island in the South Pacific under Gen. MacArthur during WWII and how he is a Hero whether he believes it or not. When we read the section about

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Vietnam we talked about my Uncle and his service {Screamin Eagles 101st Airborne} How he joined VERY young and the horrible things he went through and saw {he came home early with a significant land mine injury – his best friend died because of that land mine} My son knows that his Great Grandpa and Great Uncle are Heros!

IMG_4599During the Cold War section the Berlin Wall is discussed. This prompted a more in-depth study of the Berlin Wall from it rising in 1961 until 1989 when families and friend who were separated were able to reunite once again. This was extra special an emotional for me. My oldest brother was stationed in Germany in 1989 and I will NEVER forget the famous words from former President Reagan “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Then the phone call from my brother telling us that people were crossing. I was younger than my oldest son is now but I will never forget what it felt like to watch the footage of the wall getting jumped over and chiseled away! I’m thrilled with the 20th Century Pak and how it prompted so many conversations. Thank you Homeschool in the Woods!

Get it HERE!

WIN IT!

I’m so excited to be partnering with Homeschool in the Woods for an AWESOME giveaway! The winner will get to pick their favorite downloadable Lap Pak! {choose from 20th Century (grades 3-8), Knights or Benjamin Franklin (both – grades K-2)

Enter Below!

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 Rafflecopter Giveaway

*Giveaway will run from 9/24/14 –10/1/14  A winner will be selected 10/2/14 – contacted via email 10/3/14 *U.S Residents

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Special Thank You to Homeschool in the Woods for providing me with this wonderful 20th Century Lap Pak!!

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Soleus Fit GPS Watch {Review}

This post is sponsored by Soleus Running. All opinions are 100% my own. See my full disclosure policy.

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“Simple and easy to use, the Soleus GPS FIT will allow runners to accurately track their Speed, Pace, and Distance. Auto lap splits at every mile and the “always on” night light mode helps for late night (or early morning) runs and training.” 

bothWriters have their favorite place to write, coffee drinkers have their favorite drink, cooks have their favorite recipe and hikers have their trial and me? Well, I have my favorite fitness gadget!

When it comes to running or hiking there are things that I’m just never without: my Running or hiking shoes, a bottle of water and I never EVER leave home without my Soleus GPS Fit watch!

I was beyond excited when I was recently given a Soleus GPS Fit watch to try out from Soleus Running! Awesome right?!

To be honest with you I have wanted a GPS watch for really long time but I wasn’t sure where to start or what brand…I was kind of at a loss.

When it comes to Soleus I am EXTREMELY impressed!

They have a number of different GPS watches ranging from $99 to $299!

So why do I love my GPS fit watch? And why do you need one?  First of all, the features alone will make you fall in love!

Check out the features that the Soleus GPS Fit watch has:

  • GPS
  • Distance
  • Peace and Speed
  • Data Upload
  • Sport Ventilated Strap
  • Calories Burned
  • Large Digits
  • Coronagraph
  • Data Storage
  • World Time
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • EL Backlight
  • 30M Water Resistant

On top of all the awesome feature printed on the back plate of all the Soleua Fit GPS watches “a journey of 26.2 miles begins with a single step” Now that’s pretty cool!

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My Thoughts:

From the moment I took my watch out of its box, I knew I was in love with this watch! Yes, I know it sounds silly to be in love with this watch, but seriously, this is what I have needed for so many months, something to help me keep track of my distance, my speed, AND my calories… honestly it really has been nice to know time it is too!!

My watch it was delivered at around noon on a Thursday, by 6 PM we had already hit the trail once and we’re heading back for a second time! Before getting my Soleus GPS Fit I relied on a app…that wasn’t always reliable especially on the deep wood trails my hubby and I love so much. Plus I ALWAYS had to find a place to carry my phone…which I didn’t like very much!

We even had a fun finding that first day: For over year we have gone on the same trail at least 4 to 5 times a week and although there is a sign that tells us how far the trail take you round trip, my husband and I both had speculation that it was off. Well, guess what??! We discovered that it was in fact off and we were getting far more mileage than we thought! YAY!

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As someone who doesn’t wear a watch or bracelets, I so surprised that I barely even know when I have this watch on! Although it is fairly large faced, it is extremely light and comfortable! The watchband is a rubbery texture which I really like because I like wearing my watch up a little bit above my wrist and the watch band helps it stay in place! It not like other rubbery watch bands that I have had in the past that get itchy after a while…hence the not wearing watches.

The GPS:

Since receiving my Soleus GPS Fit it seems like no matter where we are, trail, shopping or running I get stopped by at least one person asking about my watch {I’m sure people are noticing the pretty bright blue} One of the main questions I get  asked is “how easy it is to find a GPS signal” Evidently, this is a issue for a lot of people.

Here is my response to that question while using my Soleus GPS Fit!

After the initial set up of the watch I stepped outside and search for a GPS signal and I think it took maybe 90 seconds to find one! That seems to be pretty average for me other than our trails that are very deep in the woods trails. We usually start searching for a GPS signal before we get to the parking lot and by the time we are ready to hit the trail we have a GPS signal!

There has been a time or two when it’s taken three or four minutes to find a GPS signal but please keep in mind my husband and I are avid trail runners and we go in any weather! One such time it was totally completely overcast and a downpour!! I am very impressed with how quickly and easily the Soleus GPS Fit watch gets a GPS signal!

The watch is really easy to use and set up!

I’m sure you noticed in the very first picture that there are two Soleus watches, my blue one and a black one! Well, my husband also has a Soleus GPS watch {GPS Pulse + HRM} His watch has some different features, so in October I am going to have a review on that watch is well!

Another awesome perk of Soleus is the software download so that you can transfer all your runs {hikes, rides act} to your computer!

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BIG ol’ GIANT Thank you to Soleus Running for providing us with this amazing GPS Watches!!

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I’m a FitFluential Ambassador!

I have some really awesome and big news!! I have been selected as a FitFluential Ambassador and I’m SO excited!

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Fitfluential Ambassadors are like minded fitness enthusiasts and influencers!

If you’re not familiar with FitFluential then let me tell you a little bit about it.

FitFluential Is…

FitFluential is the perfect combination of fitness and influence.  We understand that fitness has many different definitions. It can mean walking, jogging or running. It can mean working out at the gym or to a fitness DVD at home. It can mean competing in bodybuilding and figure, or marathons and Triathalons. It can be Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, or Kickboxing, MMA and CrossFit. A fitness approach to food can be vegetarian, Paleo, Flexitarian, Pescetarian, High-Carb, Lo-Carb, Clean, High-Protein, Lo-Fat, Lo-Cal, Raw, or Vegan. It can mean any combination of the above and there is a new approach almost every week.

Basically Fitfluential and its Ambassadors are all about balance delivering a positive messages of health and wellness through four primary areas: Eat, Sleep, Move, Enjoy. “By focusing on these four components of a healthy LIFE, we promote balance

Sounds pretty fantastic right?

How did this awesomeness happen?

After getting some encouragement from some of my fitness blogging buddies I decided to apply to be a FitFluential  Ambassador. Honestly as I filled out the application I kind of laughed at myself thinking ” there is no way I am influential enough to be a part of this amazing network”  but I decided to still throw my name in the hat! After talking to a few of the above mentioned friends I learned that it can take months to hear if you have been selected or not. Imagine my surprise when I received an email telling me that I WAS selected in just a few short weeks! What!? Really! I think I read the email about 30 times! WOW! The fact that I am considered influential enough to be a part of this amazing network is mind blowing, shocking and a little overwhelming {in a good way!} I mean, some my most favorite bloggers {Like the always lovely and encouraging Nicole from one of my all time fave websites Pumps & Iron} are Fitfluential Ambassadors. Guys, I can’t even begin to tell you the excitement that I have!

What am I most looking forward to as a FitFluential Ambassador?

  • Encouraging and supporting as many women {and men} as possible to join with me, as WE reach our fitness and health goals!
  • Being included in this amazing group and I get to share my voice!
  • To see what opportunities that this opens up for me and my blog!
  • To Connect with other FitFluential  Ambassadors!

There is a ton more about FitFluetial and my ambassadorship coming soon…I just couldn’t wait another second longer and wanted to share! Keep an eye out for #FitFluential on all my social medias very soon!!

Stay connected with me and all things FitFluential!

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