Melissa Kaylene: May 2014

Saturday, May 31, 2014

15 Frozen Desserts on a Stick


 Hey everyone! How is your weekend going so far? Last night we took the kids down to our city park where they are holding a Friday nights event every Friday through Labor Day. The restaurants have specials, there's a cruise in, music in the park, and it's just a fun gathering where kids play in the park and games of basketball and eat ice cream cones and cotton candy. I love small towns.

Afterwards Anika's best friend stayed the night and then this morning we had a t-ball and softball games back to back. Wayne left to work for a few hours and I've been puttering around the house... getting excited for summer. All of the neighbors are working in their yards and we even had an ice cream truck drive by, playing the nostalgic music down the road.

One of the best things about summer is the summer food. BBQ's, salads, cold beverages and sweet treats are some of my favorite things. Last month on Foodie I shared 12 Scrumptious Salad Recipes, and the month before that I shared 16 Sunday Dinner Ideas to Serve. This month I'm sharing 15 Frozen Desserts on a Stick - 15 recipes that I've collected to try this summer. From Popsicles to ice cream bars, these all look simplify delicious for hot summer days!

15 frozen desserts on a stick #foodie #foodiebyglam @Melissakaylene

The best part with frozen desserts on a stick is the sheer combination of flavors you can create! The sky's the limits. I know personally I get stuck in a Popsicle rut - eating the same strawberry, orange and lime ones. Even though I love those flavors, I'd like to try and make a bigger variety to have on hand!

What are your favorite frozen treats in the summertime?

~Melissa
Compensation was provided by Foodie via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Foodie”

Friday, May 30, 2014

Easy Kitchen Update: How to Paint Cabinet Knobs


Easy Kitchen Update: How to Pain Cabinet Knobs with Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint

 I am now in countdown mode for the last day of school and summer to officially begin! Noah’s preschool graduation (his participation) was so cute last night (I’ll share pictures soon!) and then the girls will officially be on break June 11th!


The past week I've been making a list of all of the little DIY projects that I want to get finished up this summer – and let me tell you, the list of getting pretty long. I may just have to share it with you one of these days. A lot of the projects are outdoor stuff, but I have lots of inside updating I’d like to do as well.

I've noticed that many of the indoor updates that I want to finish are pretty time consuming (like flooring, room painting, etc.) except one: updating the kitchen cabinet knobs. We have a small house, but are lucky to have an open kitchen with many cabinets and drawers – 32 to be exact. We also live in a 1990’s home that has yet to be updated, and I was painfully reminded that every time I looked at my brassy gold kitchen knobs. I have nothing against the color gold, in fact I like it, but this yellow-y shiny golden hue is just hideous in my opinion.

Easy Kitchen Update: How to Pain Cabinet Knobs with Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint
Easy Kitchen Update: How to Pain Cabinet Knobs with Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint

hadn't bought any new ones because I’m still sitting out on a limb trying to figure out what I want to do with the kitchen. I pretty much would like to change everything someday – the counter tops, re-stain the cabinets, paint, etc. I like the red kitchen idea, but I also know that it makes the kitchen pretty dark and gloomy in the winter, so I've been mulling over painting it a light color, and also don’t care for the oak stain on the cabinets either, so I think that would have to change after I painted. Anyways, I didn't want to shell out $3-$10 per kitchen knob until I knew what I was going to do, but in the meantime these knobs had to change. I decided to paint them a different shade that blended in better for now, so I bought a can of  Rust-Oleum ® Universal® Spray Paint and went to work.

Easy Kitchen Update: How to Pain Cabinet Knobs with Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint
Easy Kitchen Update: How to Pain Cabinet Knobs with Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint
Easy Kitchen Update: How to Pain Cabinet Knobs with Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint

It was so easy to do – the hardest part was just waiting for them to dry!

How to Paint Kitchen Knobs

1.    Remove all of the knobs from the cabinets and clean + dry them.

2.    Next, using course sandpaper, rough the surface of the knobs up (this will help the new paint stay longer)

3.    Go outdoors or in a ventilated area and place all of the knobs in an upright position on scrap cardboard and paint them using the Rust-Oleum ® Universal® Spray Paint  (be sure to follow the directions located on the side of the can.)

4.    Let them dry to touch (approx. 1hr) then turn the knobs over and paint the opposite side.

5.    Let them dry overnight and then place them back on the cupboards!

Easy Kitchen Update: How to Pain Cabinet Knobs with Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint
Easy Kitchen Update: How to Pain Cabinet Knobs with Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint
Easy Kitchen Update: How to Pain Cabinet Knobs with Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint
Easy Kitchen Update: How to Pain Cabinet Knobs with Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint
Easy Kitchen Update: How to Pain Cabinet Knobs with Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum ® Universal® Spray Paints offer a variety of on-trend colors and unique finishes, and boast the first-of-its-kind 360 degree any-angle delivery system that allows DIYers to tackle those hard to reach areas, even upside down.


~Melissa
“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Rust-Oleum® via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Rust-Oleum®.”

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #70

Hi everyone! Is it seriously Thursday already? I think the Monday holiday has really thrown me off this week! Today is Noah's last day of preschool, so tonight we will be going to his graduation (well, his participation) and it just doesn't seem like he should be four years old already! Time really does fly.

Tomorrow I'll share a fun project that I've been working on in lieu of the upcoming summer weather, but today I'd love to see what you've been working on or creating! 

This link up to to share anything and everything that inspires you. 

           ~Melissa
Create.Simplify.Inspire. #70


Willamette Valley Wonder Woman

<a href="http://www.willamettevalleywonderwoman.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss203/anikalene/Untitled-2.jpg" alt="Willamette Valley Wonder Woman" width="250" height="250" /></a>

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Staying on Top of Finances

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.

I've always had a love/hate relationship with money. I grew up in a household where were blessed to have the things that we needed, but went without a lot of the things that we wanted, so whenever I got my hands on a little cash (mostly for my birthday) well, let's just say the money was spent before it actually touched my hands!

Fast forward a few years and I was rearing and ready to begin earning my own money – so much so that I convinced the managers at my local McDonald's to hire me prior to my 16th birthday – and two weeks after I turned sweet 16 I had my driver's license, an old 1983 Honda that could take me down the road, and a job.

For a brief period of time in my life I had the freedom to purchase whatever I wanted to, and the only responsibilities I had were my car insurance, gas, and maintenance on my old reliable.

But as those of you who follow along know – that period of time didn't last long as I became a mom at an early age. Suddenly I had a huge responsibility and I had the slightest idea on how to manage my money or plan for my future. It was something that had never even crossed my mind, and it was pretty scary for me.
So I began with a little ritual that I still do today – I wrote it all out. What I needed, what I wanted, and how much I had. I then sat and calculated how many hours I had to work – and soon realized that I needed to be earning more per hour to achieve the life I wanted for Anika and myself. At that time I really had no clue on what my next step would be, or how I'd really get there –

But I never gave up on myself.

Luckily for me I married a money-smart man who has taught me a great deal over the past 10 years. We aren't very wealthy by society's standards, but we definitely aren't lacking in things we need – and are lucky to have enough wiggle room in our budget to do things that we want.
Here are three things I do every month to help keep myself on track:
  1. Make and update a budget. I learned from experience long time ago that if I didn't have my bills written down somewhere, I'd probably forget to pay something. I don't use anything really fancy, just a printed spreadsheet that has all of our bills to pay every month, and I just fill in the numbers. Having a visual helps keep me on track.
  2. Plan something fun every month. Between all of the bills and things that the kids need and want, sometimes I feel guilty not giving them everything they ask for – but I do make sure we always had the money to do something fun together as a family. They might not appreciate it now, but I'm sure when they look back that epic bowling night or trip to the beach will be much more memorable than another toy or goodie.
  3. Dream. Dreaming about things that I want to do and places that I'd love to go help keep me motivated in my work – and helps me stick to budget. Sometimes I'll look up vacations online just for fun, or browse on Pinterest for new house updating ideas.
There is also many different ways online to help point you in the right financial direction for you. SunTrust offers online banking and loan options, as well a great tools and planning section to help point you in the right direction.

I know that everyone's idea of financial well-being is different, and even though I'm not exactly where I'd like to be, I'm not complaining because I know the most important thing is to enjoy the journey and plan for the future.


~Melissa
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well being. They help you get organized, make a plan, and stay on track so you can get and stay in control of your finances. When you are confident about about your money, you can save for your goals and splurge knowingly on what matters most to you.
To get started visit suntrust.com/getorganized.
Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Live your finite life.


So many times I am reminded of how fragile and precious life is. It's a gift, blessing, and so often its cut short before we even get a chance to do the things we wanted to do,


or live the life we dreamed.

In the blink of an eye someone can be gone forever.

When we were younger we all wished to grow up, live our lives, not have to be a kid anymore.

And then we grow up and we long to go back to our days of  youth.

It goes so fast.



I wish we could go back and tell ourselves as youth to enjoy the moment. Don't worry about responsibilities; adult problems, just live, because you never know.


And then I wish we could all find a place of happiness where we are in life now. Most of us will never have everything we want, but to learn to be content with what you have and

Life is finite.
Live it.
Breathe it.
Don't let it pass you by




~Melissa

Monday, May 26, 2014

#ad Easy Grilled Chicken BBQ Pizza

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.#ad #TysonMovieTicket #shop

I can’t believe the Memorial weekend is already nearly over. Anika had such a fun time yesterday at the Seattle Mariners game with our family friends (even though they lost), and the rest of us have enjoyed a much needed low – key couple of days at home.

#ad #tysonMovieTicket #Shop

With things so busy lately, I've been finding myself hurrying to get meals of the table, some night even more so than others. I have also been trying to get the girls to help me with dinner preparation more often since they are getting older. Last night Emma helped me make scalloped potatoes and a few days ago Anika helped me make one of our family’s favorites – grilled chicken BBQ pizza. We use premade bread dough for the crust and Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken for the meat – it tastes great and really cuts down on the prep time. You can find them at Walmart; the larger bags are in the frozen chicken section and there are also smaller bags in the refrigerated meat section.

#ad #TysonMovieTicket #shop

Right now on specialty marked bags there is also a #TysonMovieTicket promotion going on where you can receive 2 FREE movie ticketsto the movie Blended when you buy two bags! If you haven’t seen the trailers yet, it stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, so it’s sure to be a fun one to check out!

Anika’s getting old enough that I think she would love to go see a “big kid” funny movie with me on a mother/daughter date night. With the hustle and bustle of our lives right now, I sometimes have a hard time remembering to spend time with each of the kids individually – and I know how important it is to do so.

#ad #TysonMovieTicket #shop

Plus, I think it would be a great reward for Anika helping me out with dinner. I certainly would trade and make dinner one night in exchange for a movie night any day!

#ad #TysonMovieTicket #shop

This recipe literally takes 30 minutes or less from start to finish!

Grill Chicken BBQ Pizza

Ingredients

1 package of frozen or refrigerated bread or pizza dough
6 oz of Tyson Grilled and Ready diced oven roasted chicken breasts
½ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (or a blend of what you like)
¼ cup diced pineapple
Finely sliced red onions (optional)

  •   Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough out until it fits onto a 12” pizza pan. (You can use a cookie sheet and make a rectangle pizza if you don’t have a pizza pan.)
  • Spread BBQ sauce evenly on dough. Sprinkle ½ cup of the shredded cheese on the dough, then add chicken, pineapple, onions, and then top it with the remainder of the cheese.
  •   Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Slice and enjoy! Makes approximately 8 slices of pizza. 
#ad #TysonMovieTicket #shop
#ad #TysonMovieTicket #shop
#ad #TysonMovieTicket #shop

Thanks #CollectiveBias for another amazing opportunity to share my recipes and a glimpse of our life with you!


~Melissa

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mint Green for Spring


Today I had a much needed lazy day. I don't know if it's just me or not, but it seems to be the days when I finally slow down that I realize how tired I am, and I feel so much more exhausted trying to relax! This weekend though we don't have any plans really, other than working a little at home and such - besides Anika. My little lady is a lucky girl because one of my friend's ended up with an extra ticket to the Seattle Mariners game Sunday and she invited her to ride up with their whole family. Needless to say Anika hasn't slept well the past two nights because she is so excited! I'm so happy she gets to have this experience.

About this dress - I bought it a couple months ago on a whim from some little store in the mall because I just fell in love with the mint green color. I'm also loving the maxi dress + jean jacket look and it's so comfortable as well.

PS. Love that little tree in the background? Haha! It's been in the pot forever, and just recently broke the pot and began toppling over. We need to dig it up and either replant it or get rid of it... just one more little thing on my to-do list. ;)

~Melissa

Friday, May 23, 2014

TWIX® BITES Pirate Birthday Party

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. #EatMoreBites
#eatmorebites #collectivebias #shop

 Last weekend we had Noah's birthday party at the McMinnville Aquatic Center. Naturally since we were playing in the water - and it's our schools mascot - we added a little pirate theme to the party and made it extra fun with TWIX® Bites.

It's always slightly more challenging hosting a birthday party at a venue - set up time is really non existent, and while the kids are playing you find yourself rushing to clean everything back up. There are a few upsides though - it is short and sweet, meaning you don't have to entertain people for a long period of  time at your house, plus you don't have to clean your entire house either. ;)

#eatmorebites #collectivebias #shop

Like I mentioned, in addition to a pirate theme, had a chocolate loving theme - with TWIX® Bites, and we went all out! The cake, cookies, ice cream, even goody bags were filled with the TWIX® Bites for everyone to feast on! I think I pretty much bought the whole supply of them off of Walmart's shelf last week! They are found right in the candy aisle, plus there is also a coupon on Social Twist for a $1.00 off two 2.83 oz or larger bags or $3.00 off of two 6 oz or larger bags.


#eatmorebites #collectivebias #shop

Cookies are always a favorite treat with the kids (and adults!). In fact, I kept the snacks really simple this time since the party time was 2-4 pm and the kids were swimming for an hour of that time. We had mini peanut butter and jam sandwiches, potato chips, apples with caramel dip, squeezable yogurts and veggies with ranch. Everything was kid-friendly!

#eatmorebites #collectivebias #shop

The cookies were super delicious, very easy to make, and just one more way to #EatMoreBites.

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chopped TWIX® Bites

In a large bowl mix sugar and cream until blended. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Mix in the flour and baking soda, then add chopped TWIX®. Roll dough and wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate until firm - about an hour. Slice the cookies approx. 1/4" thick and place on a cookie sheet. Bake the cookies at 375 degrees for approximately 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cookies cool for 1 minute on the sheet and then transfer to a wire rack. 


I've also begun pre-scooping ice cream prior to when the party starts. It saves time and you can jazz it up a bit with other treats like the TWIX Bites I used. I chopped them up and mixed them in two scoops of old fashioned vanilla ice cream for our guests.


The biggest feat which I (attempted to) accomplish was a one of a kind cake for Noah. It's kind of turned into a challenge for me every birthday now. I used to just purchase a cake because it freed up a lot of time, but since when we have a party outside of our house I enjoy the challenge of creating something for the kids, like Anika's flower cupcakes or Emma's princess cake. No they don't look as good, but it's homemade cake and created with love by my two unprofessional hands, plus, I've learned as long as there's lots of goodies on it (like TWIX® Bites!) the kids don't care how it looks!

So I attempted to make a pirate ship. It's not perfect - I got frustrated, but it kind of resembles a pirate...something. I think by the look in this boy's face it proves it's worth the effort.

video


All in all we had a fun little party that Noah won't be forgetting about anytime soon. After our feast on treats he opened his presents while his friends patiently waited and then they were all off to swim for an hour! We had our party on a Sunday, and the Aquatic center is normally closed with the exception of party rentals, so we had both pools to ourselves - the kids loved it!


Thanks #CollectiveBias for helping make this pirate party even more memorable!

~Melissa

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Bridal Shower in the Making with MY M&M's

“I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Millennial Central for MY M&M'S. I received product samples to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation.”

I'm pretty excited you guys - one of my best friends is getting married this summer! I absolutely love weddings… or any excuse to celebrate for that matter! She's been living with her fiancĂ© for quite some time now, so they are just planning on a casual country wedding and no bridal party, but none the less I'm happy to help her plan it.

I was almost more excited though when I found out that I was chosen to participate in the MY M&M's Ambassador program, because I love the originality that MY M&M's can give you! It’s a custom online printing solution for personalizing an event or occasion. The collection has 25 different colors, 20 of which are available to add custom images or messages.

So, since my friend is having a casual wedding, I decided that I really want to host a fun little bridal shower for her. Honestly I've never had or even attended a bridal shower before! Bachelorette parties yes, but how fun would an afternoon bridal shower be with appetizers, games and presents, and perhaps a mimosa or two along with custom M&M's for favors? Since she is a country girl she wants a pink camouflage themed shower, but knowing me I'll jazz up the country theme just a bit and use the pink camouflage colors to create decorations as well as favors for the guests.


I’ve ordered a bulk bag of MY M&M's in light pink, white and dark pink to resemble the pink camouflage that she likes and I have also added some cute sayings and photos to them! I think they will be perfect gifts to give her guests at the bridal shower. They should arrive in a week or so and I’ll be posting shortly after how I’m going to package them!

Have you ever hosted a bridal shower? Any tips for me? J

~Melissa 

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #69

Hi everyone! I'm sharing this about 10 hours late today because, well, let's just say I'll be glad when this week is over! From kidney stones, to a car collision (no one was hurt), to arguing with our bank, and all of the everyday stuff in between, I'm beat! I am normally up until midnight or one am working on here, but the past two nights I can't keep my eyes open past eleven - and before then I'm not doing much work because my brain is just exhausted. 

I am working on a couple posts today though, and tomorrow I'll have all of the photos and recap of Noah's 4th birthday party to share! We went to the aquatic center last Sunday and he had so much fun.

So tell me, how is your week going? Accomplished anything you'd like to share?

This link up to to share anything and everything that inspires you, or that you've created. 

           ~Melissa
 
Create.Simplify.Inspire. #69


Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
  
<a href="http://www.willamettevalleywonderwoman.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss203/anikalene/Untitled-2.jpg" alt="Willamette Valley Wonder Woman" width="250" height="250" /></a>