5 Kitchen Gadgets I Could Live Without {But I Don't Want To!}

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5 Kitchen Gadgets I Could Live Without {But I Don't Want To!}
While cooking dinner the other day, I was thinking about how many modern conveniences I enjoy when it comes to my kitchen appliances and gadgets.  I like cooking and baking, but sometimes I wonder if I'd like it as much if I had to put as much work into it.  There are definitely a handful of items that I use frequently that are totally worth the splurge (big or small).
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New Years Resolutions Check Up

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New Years Resolutions Check Up
Can you believe we are already three months into the new year?  Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Easter have all come and gone.  Spring is here.  Time seems to go by more quickly every year and sometimes I just want to yell for it to STOP !  Do you feel the same?

At the end of last year, I shared some of the goals I had set for myself for this coming year.  Then, at the beginning of the year, I gave some tips for improving success in reaching those goals.  Now that we are 3 months into the new year, I wanted to do a little check up on how those goals are going for me.  Maybe it will help you reflect on your own goals as well.
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Guest Post: Smart Credit University: How to Create a Monthly Budget

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I'm so excited to introduce the guest poster for today's blog post!  Kevin and I met almost 9 years ago, when we lived in the same apartment complex while I was going to college at BYU.  We didn't interact too much until I started dating one of his best friends.  Even after that relationship ended, Kevin and I still stayed friends and have kept in touch over the years since graduating, getting married and starting our families.  Kevin is truly one of the most honest and genuine people I know.  You can count on him to follow through and he really cares about people.

When Kevin contacted me about doing a blog post for Sunshine and Munchkins, I was thrilled because I love having people share their knowledge on subjects they are passionate about.  Today, Kevin is sharing some tips for how to create a monthly budget.  Check it out below!
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On Vacation

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Hello everyone!  There will not be a regular blog post today, as I am taking a little break off to enjoy some time with my family.  (I'm enjoying both the 'sunshine' and 'munchkins' part of my blog name. *wink*)  But not to worry.  I've got a great guest post coming up on Friday that you'll want to be sure and check out!  Have a wonderful day!
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A Personal Lesson on Forgiveness

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Maybe it was the time change.  Maybe it was the lack of sleep.  Maybe I hadn't had enough to eat.  Whatever it was, I was having a bad day.  Everything my kids did annoyed me to no end.  My patience was practically nonexistent.  I was trying to make some muffins to go with dinner, while simultaneously trying to prevent my son from climbing onto the counter again, when I felt a whack on my behind.  Something in me snapped and I turned around and yelled at my daughter, "Go to time out!"  She immediately started crying as she ran to time out and I kept angrily measuring ingredients into my mixing bowl.
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How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}

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How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}--the easy, fast and no-mess way to distress wood.
Every once in a while you find the perfect little piece for your house.  It's not necessarily big or fancy, but it's just what you've been looking for.  I was browsing through the store the other day and found just a piece: a small, wall-mountable coat rack.  I knew the second I saw it where I wanted it to go: on the wall behind our front door so people would have somewhere to put their coats and jackets.  The only problem: it was the wrong color.  A brownish-gray and the metal hooks were almost the same color.  Kind of blah.  But color is a fairly easy thing to change, especially when you're dealing with smaller pieces. So I bought it and brought it home for a little DIY action.
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Spring/Easter Mantle Inspiration

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Spring/Easter Mantle Inspiration--some fun ideas for decorating around the home in the springtime/Easter time that won't break the bank.
So I've had my spring/Easter "mantle" up for a couple of weeks, but I've added a couple of pieces to it that I love and I didn't want to show it to you until I was happy with how it looks.  You'll notice I put "mantle" in quotes because I don't actually have a real mantle to decorate.  Instead, we have a "credenza" which is basically a narrow table with storage cabinets.  But I couldn't very well title this post "Spring/Easter Credenza Inspiration".  So mantle it is.  And I hope you'll forgive me if you think the title is misleading and look at all the cute things I have to show you instead. *wink*
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One Pot Chicken Noodle Pasta

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One Pot Chicken Noodle Pasta--only uses one pot and done in 20 minutes!
When my husband and I were first married, we went out to Buffalo, NY, where he sold security systems for the summer.  As a new wife, I was determined to make good, balanced meals for him, ready when he came home at the end of the day.  If you know anything about summer sales, you know that the time when your day ends is varied.  On average, my husband didn't get home until at least 6 (if he was lucky) and sometimes as late as 10 (not so lucky).  As much as I wanted to provide a good, hot meal for him, I realized that trying to plan a time to have dinner ready each night was pointless and it was better to have something that was easy to reheat that still tasted good.  I made some winning dishes and some that were not so great.  This dish actually started out as a casserole, but has evolved into an easy one-pot dish that takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.  There are some dishes that I come back to time and again when I'm doing my meal planning and this is one of them: one pot chicken noodle pasta.
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The Easter Story: Easter Egg Activity

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The Easter Story: Easter Egg Activity--a beautiful and simple way to tell the Easter story.  This will be a tradition your family will love for years to come.
I feel like this year has been kind of a weird year when it comes to holidays.  First, we had two holidays in a row in February, with Valentine's Day and then President's Day the day after that.  This month, we have St. Patrick's Day and then 10 days later is Easter.  It doesn't leave much time to enjoy the holidays when they are all smooshed together like that.

BUT...I really like to at least try and enjoy each holiday for what it is before moving on to the next one.  That's why I was so excited to find an Easter activity that was given to me by a friend in college.  I've kept it for the last 10 years or so because I really wanted to do it with my kids, but the oldest is just getting old enough to understand that holidays generally have more meaning than just getting little gifts and candy.

Easter is easily one of my favorite holidays.  I love what and who it celebrates and I love that it comes in the springtime.  My hope is that through this activity, my daughter (and eventually my son) will be able to learn the reason we celebrate this holiday, especially since it is so central to our faith.
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60+ St. Patrick's Day Activities and Coloring Pages

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60+ St. Patrick's Day Activities and Coloring Pages--lots of kid crafts and coloring pages to keep little hands happy.
I think St. Patrick's Day is such a fun holiday!  There are so many activities that make it enjoyable, especially for kids.  My daughter hasn't quite decided if she likes leprechauns or not though... Oh well!  I hope you enjoy this fun round up I've got for you today.  There are activities and coloring pages galore.  So take a peek and see what you like!  (Click on the link below the picture to be taken to the page.)
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$25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Winner

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Thank you so much to everyone who entered to win the $25 Amazon gift card!  It was so fun to do my first giveaway and there will be many more to come as time goes on.  I announced the winner this morning on my Facebook page, but if you didn't see who won, I'm posting it here too!


Congrats Dana!  I hope you enjoy your gift card and whatever you decide to buy with it!


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Women at the Well (Relief Society Birthday Dinner Activity)

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Women at the Well (Relief Society Birthday Dinner Activity)
Each year, we have a Relief Society activity geared to celebrate the founding of the Relief Society.  (For those of you who might not know, the Relief Society is a women's organization within my church that serves the ladies within our local vicinity.)  As I was thinking about themes for the night, the story of the woman at the well came to my mind (John 4:5-14) and I felt that the message could be applied to us.  I presented the idea to my committee and they all agreed that it was a good theme and message to share with the sisters in our ward. We recently held our activity and everything turned out so well that I wanted to share it with others who might be looking for a theme for their own ward's Relief Society birthday dinner.
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10 Reasons Why My Plan To Go To Bed Early Fails

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It's been a long few weeks for me.  I've had a number of responsibilities all cross paths and it's been tiring.  Exhausting even.  At the end of the day, all I really want to do is go to sleep.  But for some reason, my head never seems to hit the pillow until at least 11pm.  And as I lay there drifting off to sleep, I tell myself "tomorrow will be different".  But it's not.  I get drawn into the same traps every night.  So I started thinking: why do I keep failing at this whole 'going to bed early' thing?  Here are just a few reasons I came up with:
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Teaching Your Preschooler Time

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Kadie: "Mom, what's for lunch?"
Me: "It's not lunch time, it's breakfast."

Kadie: "Mom, last year I went to Aunt Dani's house."
Me: "Sweetheart, we were there yesterday."

Kadie: "Mom, what's today?"
Me: "It's (insert day of the week)."
Kadie: "Does that mean it's splash pad day?"

If you've ever tried to help a young child understand how many days it is until a certain event or activity, you've probably been met with confusion and frustration that it's not happening right now.  This is because small children live in the present and they have a hard time thinking abstractly.   Time is a very abstract and intangible concept, which is why it is difficult to grasp until they get closer to age 6 or 7 and their brain starts to develop in a way that they are able to begin to understand things such as time.
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