Tag Archives: Pinterest

A Pirate Pizza Party: Luke’s 4th birthday

On Saturday, we had 24 family and friends over to celebrate Luke’s 4th birthday.


Laura’s dog Sadie was into the pirate theme too. .  .


He wanted it to be a pirate party. And really wanted everyone to have swords, eye patches, and compasses. And a huge thank you to my sister, Laura, for making this cute sign!


And a pirate ship cake with a pirate and a shark. Smile 


Since the weather was going to be so beautiful – sunny and 72 – on Saturday, I decided to have some fun with activities in the backyard. And thank goodness for Pinterest for giving me some fun kid activity ideas.

I made a station with baking soda + vinegar colored with food coloring. When the vinegar hits the baking soda, it fizzes. This one was a huge hit with the kids.



It was fun for Aunt Jenny too..  .


They also had fun with sword fights. . .



and walking “the plank”


party fun.  ..


Aunt Laura did pirate tattoos.



Grandma Mary got in on the sword fights. . .


And Luke pouted for a few minutes that it wasn’t time yet to open his presents. . . #beingfourishard


I also made “moon sand” = mixed cornstarch and hair gel. And added black and pinto beans for “rocks”. Add in some dollar store toys = fun for hours.


Scott and his family. . .


Finally. . . time for presents.


And then the best game of all. . . Laura and I filled up balloons with little toys and candy from the dollar store and then the kids got to pop the balloons to get the treats out. Oh man, they had a blast and it was hilarious!











Such a fun day. We are so thankful to have so many friends and family that love Luke and came to celebrate with us!


Filed under Luke, Recap

Meal Inspiration via Pinterest–recent winners

I don’t know about you, but I have a TON of recipes on my Pinterest board and honestly, I get a little overwhelmed when I try to meal plan because they all look SO good. #pinterestproblems

Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried some new recipes and come away with some winners. . . and I thought I’d share them with you. Smile 

Pasta with Butternut Sauce, Spicy Sausage and Baby Spinach | Skinnytaste:

Pasta with Butternut Squash, spicy sausage and baby spinach.

This was SO good! I was concerned that the squash wouldn’t provide enough of a “sauce” for the pasta, but it was thick, rich and delicious. Perfect with Jennie-O spicy turkey sausage. Also, it made a ton of food. So, we had lunches for work for a few days = winning!

French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatloaf - caramelized onions and cheese turn this traditional recipe into the ultimate comfort food | cupcakesandkalechips.com | gluten free:  

French onion meatloaf

This one took a bit longer than I would usually spend on a weeknight meal but it was a perfect Sunday night dinner. I didn’t make the sauce, but I thought the onions and cheese middle was amazing. Leftovers were great too. 

Taco Spaghetti Skillet: A Pot-Sized Pasta recipe with the flavor of tacos made in one pan using ground beef, zesty tomatoes and spaghetti, topped with sour cream:

Taco spaghetti skillet

I swapped out the spaghetti for some penne pasta and traded the sour cream for avocado. This one was a whole family dinner winner. It wasn’t too spicy, so Luke ate it up but it had great flavor with the taco seasoning and rotel so the adults loved it too. 

Honey Balsamic Chicken Breasts and Veggies - All cooked on one single pan. Easy peasy with zero clean up, and packed with so much flavor. Done and done.:

One pan honey balsamic chicken + roasted potatoes

This one gets the award for easiest to make. I prepped the chicken in the marinade the night before and diced potatoes. Then, my husband put it all in the oven 30 minutes before I got home from work. The chicken had great flavor and I don’t think you can get any easier than one pan clean up! Smile 

Your turn. . . any recipe winners lately? Links please!


Filed under Recap, Recipes

Pinterest: Crafts Edition

So, I have a problem.

And it’s called Pinterest.

I’ve been spending way too much time, pinning way to many things.

Lately, it’s been crafts. . . .

How adorable is this?

Bath Bomb Easy Birthday Gifts - A super easy gift to make and give! #birthdaygiftidea #bathdiy

And this would look so good in my kitchen!

DIY Kitchen Tablet Holder---  So much less expensive than the Pottery Barn one...yep onto the to do list - luv it

Adorable for my next party. . .

DIY Chalkboard Tray!  Perfect for summer parties!  So doing this!

And love this. . . luscious and easy.

Coconut Body Butter Recipe ~ A Gift In A Jar

And how cute would these be for storage?

make your own storage bins (coordinate fabric to match room)

Now, I just have to convince one of my sisters to do these projects with me. . . Jenny. . . Laura.. . who’s in? Smile

Linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday.


Filed under crafts, Recap

Super easy DIY Christmas ideas

I had to share this list of DIY Christmas ideas from Pinterest for anyone looking for a last minute Christmas idea!!

Such a cute idea. And who doesn’t love Rudolph and Eos?


For the grandparents from the grandkids. I didn’t know thumbprints could be so adorable.

thumb prints!

Just adorable. And way too crafty for me. Winking smile

Santa Handprint Homemade Wrapping Paper: Making your own wrapping paper with just paint and a few handprints!

For the man in your life, make these cute beer reindeer.

Didn't know Guinness could be so cute!!

Peppermint candy cane sugar scrub {looks totally easy and adorable!}

Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

And for your Secret Santa – isn’t this adorable?

We Whisk you a Merry Kissmas!

And lol for this one. Winking smile

Snowman Poop

Do you have any good last minute Christmas ideas??

Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!


Filed under crafts

Crockpot Pinterest Meals

If you are anything like me, you have your favorite meals that you make again and again, but you are always looking for that new family favorite. And I tend to look at Pinterest for inspiration. With the weather cooling down and life not getting any less crazy. .. I am always looking for a new crockpot favorite. Triple bonus points if it is super easy.

Here are a few from my crockpot Pinterest page that I am super excited to try out this fall. . .

Crockpot shredded beef enchiladas

Crock Pot Shredded Beef Enchiladas are absolutely succulent! Skip the restaurant and make these mouthwatering enchiladas at home. | iowagirleats.com

Grilled pineapple pork sandwiches

Grilled Pineapple Pork Sandwiches - juicy shredded slow cooker pork with golden brown pineapple pieces. SO good! | pinchofyum.com

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken - Damn Delicious

Crockpot Thai peanut chicken

Crockpot Thai Peanut Chicken @Matt Valk Chuah Trendy Trainer

Crockpot beef carnitas tacos

Crock Pot Beef Carnitas Tacos from www.eatliverun.com

Chicken cacciatore

Cacciatore  1 of 1 3

How to make your own Rotisserie chicken

How To Make Your Own Rotisserie Chicken{No Rotisserie Required}

Do you have any family favorite crockpot recipes??


Filed under Recap, Recipes

24DC Eats {clean eating}

Looking for some new clean-eating meal ideas? Whether you are doing an AdvoCare challenge, just love clean eating or you want to eat better, here are some things I’ve been eating (or am planning on making) during my most recent AdvoCare 24 day challenge. ..

Of course, these favorites from my 10 day challenge eats. . .

plus –>

Slow cooker curried pineapple chicken

Recipes by Ryann: Slow Cooker Curried Pineapple Chicken

Chicken avocado soup

Chicken Avocado Soup

Clean eating Thai chicken stir fry

Clean Eating Thai Chicken Stir Fry

Spaghetti squash pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai from Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Pesto chicken spaghetti squash bake

Pesto Chicken Paleo Spaghetti (5)

Mustard balsamic baked chicken with roasted vegetables

Mustard Balsamic Baked Chicken with Roasted Vegetables - using boneless skinless chicken breasts and omitting potatoes (or swapping for sweet potatoes)

Taco lettuce wraps

Taco lettuce wraps

Chia seed pudding

Chia Seed Pudding Recipe- 4 ingredients, just mix and refrigerate. So easy and HEALTHY

Vegan banana ice cream

Only 4 ingredients: almond milk, frozen bananas, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Are you drooling yet? That’s what I love about clean-eating. . . it’s delicious. Smile

Have you made any amazing recipes lately??

Linking up with Peas & Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!!

And finally, the winner of the Rese Activewear giveaway is lucky #4 – Joyce! Congratulations!!


Filed under advocare, Recap, Recipes


Like you, I am all about making things easier. . . and I thought I would share some #easy tips I use on a regular basis, and hopefully they can make your life just a bit easier! And share the #easy love –> do you have any tips??

**Super easy homemade tartar sauce. Mix together miracle whip with sweet pickle relish and a little bit of yellow mustard. Much better than store bought!

I learned this one from Laura during one of our cookie paloozas.

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**Getting brown sugar out of the bag and measured for cookie without getting it everywhere.  . . Just stick the measuring cup into the bag. You can use the top of the bag to pack the brown sugar in. Super easy, no mess!


**Pinterest boards –> make a “Tried It” board. . . a place for those recipes/crafts/projects that worked and you would do again.

ScreenHunter_38 May. 12 08.17

So, if you are looking to try something new, you don’t have your board cluttered with stuff you have already tried. And if you are looking for something that you already did and want to do again, there is just one place to check out.

**Love cheesecake?


Want a super easy dessert that takes literally 5 minutes to mix up? So, this is a spin on the classic Philadelphia cheesecake recipe, but fits into a 9 inch pre-made graham cracker crust. If you follow the original recipe – you end up with enough for 2+ crusts.

9- inch pre-made graham cracker crust
2 pkgs cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 t vanilla

Mix all together, pour into crust. Bake at 325 degrees for about 45-50 minutes. Chill in fridge for at least an hour and enjoy!

**Next, the easiest raspberry sauce. Perfect for that cheesecake. Just take raspberry jam and microwave for about 15 seconds until slightly liquid. Pour over cheesecake. Enjoy. Smile See, told you it was super easy!

Do you have any super #easy tricks to share?


Filed under Recap, Recipes



No tricks for Halloween – just an awesome treat for you guys!!

dog-ghosts source

Laura found this awesome recipe on Pinterest and brought it for us to make during our weekend of fun.

I am not joking when I say that this is one of the best things we made that weekend. Crunchy on the bottom with luscious caramel and the hint of chocolate –> perfection! These were the first things gone in our house. We unfortunately only made a 8×8 pan and had to share them between both houses. . . Laura and I have already made them again and again – in a 9×13 pan! And it is on my list to make them again SOON! The recipe has amounts for a 8×8 pan, but I would recommend doubling it and making a 9×13 pan – you won’t be disappointed!

32 caramel squares, unwrapped
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1. Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat.


2. Stir until completely smooth; set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda.

4. Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan.


5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

6. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust.


7. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips.

8. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel.


9. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.


10. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.

11. Enjoy!!!

*A quick few minutes in the fridge will help them cool off. They shouldn’t be served cold, but all of that molten caramel takes a long time to cool down. They should be stored and served at room temperature. ***IMHO – I think they tasted great right out of our freezer!
**To make a 9×13″ version, simply double the amounts.



Filed under dessert, Laura, Recipes

Weekend Update: 9/8/13

Our weekend started like most do, playing with the hand mixer –> wait, that’s not how your weekend started? Which one of us is not normal?  Don’t answer that. . .


Then, we made a weekend batch of Chia Peanut Butter Power Bars. So YUM.


And we went for a VERY hot and humid run. –> that is my “whoa, it’s hot out face”. . .


And we played with our hand mixer more while eating grapes. . .


And then this happened. . .


Don’t worry, recipe is coming your way on Thursday!!

I tried this Pinterest trick for a showing . . . and to make the house smell good –>

House smelling weird? Put two caps full of vanilla extract in a coffee cup, then place it in the oven at 300 degrees for one hour. Within twenty minutes the whole house smells like Heaven. It's actually a common realtor trick.

and it worked, the house smelled like fresh baked cookies, but Scott was super disappointed when he realized that I hadn’t made cookies.

And another hot and humid run on Saturday, although this time I left the baby at home. . .


And we went to the Apple Orchard!! This is our favorite place to go. ..


And then I made this –> Cheeseburger casserole. It was delicious. The toppings  of lettuce, tomatoes and pickles made it amazing.


And Wild Harvest sent a little package to help with packing for #HLS13.


And I finally found a cute container for our shells from Marco Island. . . with room to add shells from our upcoming trip to Coco Beach!!


Sunday started with BODYPUMP 87. . .


And then I went out for my long run of the week – 7 miles. . . with Luke in the jogging stroller!! And my big cheese-ball grin is from randomly seeing Melanie on my run. . . Her husband was in town for the wedding fair (for his travel agency business – Travel Made Real) and she tagged along too. It is always a good thing to get a hug in the middle of a long run –> sorry I was such a sweaty mess Mel!! Winking smile 


Sunday afternoon was perfect – dinner cooking in the crockpot (this) and football on the TV. . . well it was almost perfect because the Packers lost, but at least Luke got to practice his touchdown skills. . .


And the rest of the day, we just hung out. . . #perfection #lovemyboys


and this girl too. .


What were you up to this weekend?


Filed under baby, Recap, Recipes, Running, weekend update

#AugustPinterestChallenge Recap

Remember my #AugustPinterestChallenge??

Basically, I challenged myself (and anyone else who wanted to play along) to do/make 8 Pinterest pins over the month of August. Here are my 8 pins..  .

1. Easy Summer Quinoa –> I love quinoa. It’s light but filling and healthy! I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but used it as a jumping off point for a mix of veggies with quinoa for a perfect summer side dish.


2. Potato Chip Chicken Fingers with honey mustard dipping sauce –> I think I overcooked the chicken slightly, so this wasn’t my favorite. I was also super disappointed, that the flavor of the potato chips didn’t come through more. But, it was a super quick and easy weeknight dinner. And that honey mustard dipping sauce was delicious – and made with yogurt!!


3. Dijoin brown sugar marinated steak with roasted potato coins –> I would totally make this again. We ate our steak over salads, and it had a great flavor.


4. Salted caramel blondies –> They didn’t look the prettiest, but they were delicious. I am a sucker for anything with salted caramel. I also cheated and didn’t make my own caramel but used a jar that I had hanging out in my fridge.


5. Peach cobbler scones –> These were yummy. They were kind of a lot of work. Probably took me about an hour to make them. . . I would make them again, but I would double the amount of fruit. They were very bready and I would have liked a better ratio of scone to fruit.


6. Butternut squash gnocchi –> pure deliciousness.


7. Fro Yo bars –> so so so good. I have made 2 batches already and am loving these for my morning summer breakfasts. Quick, easy, and customizable for your favorite ingredients. Check out my version here.


8. And #fail. I didn’t do 8. . .but I thought that 7 was pretty good! Winking smile But I do have 3 pinterest recipes coming up over the next week. . . Cheeseburger casserole, baked popcorn chicken, and slow cooker pineapple glazed chicken. Don’t worry, I’ll report back and let you know how they turn out!!

Overall, it was a pretty good month. . . I tried some new things and used my Pinterest boards!! And I found a few new favorites. Smile 

Did you participate in the #AugustPinterestChallenge? Leave your recap link in the comments section!!

Any recent awesome Pinterest finds to share??

Congratulations to my Spinning with Dara Torres and Koss headphones giveaway winners. . .

ScreenHunter_117 Sep. 04 18.52ScreenHunter_118 Sep. 04 18.52

Please email me at running4cupcakes@gmail.com. If I don’t hear from the winners within 48 hours, I’ll pick someone new!


Filed under Recap, Recipes