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Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Most Delicious Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

It's November 1st! Can you believe it? Have you bought your turkey yet? Do you also have ham on Thanksgiving? We have both ham and turkey. And, like I said, I tend to panic...and, in my panic, I forget things. 

This year, I am on it! I will not forget the whole cloves in my ham. [It's a sore subject for my ham loving husband, even one year later.] I will not buy pre-made pumpkin pie. I will make a double batch of green bean casserole, even if I am the only one who eats it. [The older I get, the more I appreciate leftovers.]

In an effort to help me prepare for Turkey Day, I scoured Pinterest for the yummiest side dishes for your Thanksgiving meal. Or, maybe you don't live near family, these yummy side dishes will be perfect for your Friendsgiving. 

Green Bean Casserole was yucky looking to me, when I was a kid. Now, I can't get enough. I double batch it, y'all! And eat leftovers for dayzzz.

My husband's Aunt Debby makes an amazing cream corn something every year. I've never asked for her recipe...maybe, because I'm too busy shoving it in my mouth. LOL In my search, I came across this recipe and it looks pretty similar.

This roll recipe had me at honey butter. Is there a combination more delicious? Well, there's green bean casserole, but I digress.

Mashed potatoes are quite possibly the easiest of all side dishes. But, if done improperly, they can also be the most boring. Will you look at all of that BUTTAH on top of these mashed potatoes?!?! I say, YES, PLEASE!

Here's yet another Thanksgiving side dish, that I turned my nose up to, as a kid. I certainly wonder what younger me was thinking...who the heck doesn't like marshmallow?!?! Now that I'm older and wiser *snicker*, I will gobble this up, and go back for seconds!

Since the day I married my husband and became a wife, I've been on the search for a creamy, cheesy, yummy macaroni and cheese. My sister-in-law makes a good mac 'n cheese, but she's tight-lipped on her recipe. So, to the Pinterest boards I went. And, I think I've found us a good one!

What is your most favorite side dishes for Thanksgiving? Tell me your favorite recipes in the comments, or share it with me on Pinterest.

If you're looking for a few Last Minute Thanksgiving Craft Ideas for Kids, I got you! If you make one [or two] of them, tag me. I'm @jonahbonah on all social media. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

7 Beautifully Decorated Halloween Mantels

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With the first day of October right around the corner, you can officially pull the halloween decorations out of the attic without friends and family looking at you like you're crazy. Truth be told, I would've already decorated my house...halloween is one of my most favorite holidays. But, kids. And school. And responsibilities.

When thinking of what I'd like to do with this year's mantel decorations, of course I turned to Pinterest. I figured if I was looking maybe some of you are, too. Here are seven of my most favorite on the web.

7 Beautifully Decorated Halloween Mantels
Stripes and polkadots, oh my! This super cute mantel from landeeseelandeedo is perfection.

7 Beautifully Decorated Halloween Mantels
This mantel from Apartment Therapy is simple, yet spooky cute!

7 Beautifully Decorated Halloween Mantels
I love the unexpected pops of non-traditional colors to Halloween in this mantel from Make & Do Studio

7 Beautifully Decorated Halloween Mantels
Are you a fan of Hocus Pocus? This glam halloween mantel from Hey Let's Make Stuff is just magical!

7 Beautifully Decorated Halloween Mantels
WOW! This mantel from thedecoratedhouse would be beautiful naked, but all dressed up for halloween, it's even more stunning.

7 Beautifully Decorated Halloween Mantels
Looking for something more cute than creepy? Lay Baby Lay came up with the cutest ideas!

7 Beautifully Decorated Halloween Mantels
Give me all the rainbows! This mantel, on Domino, might be my favorite mantel thus far. SO. Much. Color.

Which of these is your favorite? Have you already started decorating for halloween?? Show me your mantel!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Never Miss Another Magical Memory with #ANKERLOVE

Disclaimer: I was compensated by ANKER for this post. However, all opinions are my own. 

Never Miss Another Magical Memory

I'm a picture taker. One might say, having 7,893 photos on your camera roll is too many. I say, NO WAY! One can never have too many photos. A mom, especially, can never have too many photos. Add to that being a Disney-loving mom, fugetaboutit!

With my crazy lady, mamarazzi, picture taking self, I tend to often have a low battery. Or, worse yet, a DEAD iPhone.

When I took my kids to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party this month, I knew I didn't want to be parked in front of an electric outlet when my phone was low on battery. I mean, Magic Kingdom does have that fabulous area in front of Rapunzel's Tower, that has multiple USB charging ports; but who wants to be tied down while your family is enjoying the park?

Anker Moments

Enter ANKER. My new ANKER PowerCore+ 13400 allows me to recharge my iPhone when the battery begins to get low. One of my favorite features is, there are TWO charging ports. So, myself AND another member of my family can charge our devices at the same time! That's HUGELY important in a family of seven.

Elena of Avalor

Without my new ANKER portable charger, I would've missed this shot of McKinley and Elena of Avalor.

Frozen Anna and Mae

Without my new ANKER portable charger, I would've missed this shot of Mae and her most favorite princess of all time, Anna.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

These memories, of course, will always be in my memory. But, thanks to ANKER, I have photos. Photos never fade. 

ANKER products are available at Walmart and/or You can find a full line-up of portable chargers, car chargers, home chargers, and more. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

DIY Disney Autograph Book

We're leaving for Walt Disney World in three days. THREE DAYS!! Some days I think I'm more excited than the kids. I can.not.wait!

DIY Disney Autograph Book

One souvenir that was always a favorite when I was a kid was an autograph book. I can remember getting one each time my mom and I would go to Disney World. Standing in line with my book and pen in hand waiting to meet the characters was THE BEST! {of course, the rides were great, too!} I figured I would pass that tradition along to my kids. But, being the crafty gal that I am, I needed a DIY version of the autograph book. And, it needed to be personalized. Because, well, you know, everything is cuter when it's adorned with your name!

DIY Disney Autograph Book

The first page has our family name and the date.

DIY Disney Autograph Book

There's a section for each theme park we'll be visiting on this trip. {I also included a couple of pages with the resort name, just in case there's a character sighting there.}

DIY Disney Autograph Book

The back cover has Mickey's famous saying, "See ya real soon!"

DIY Disney Autograph Book

Since McKinley is a girly-girl, I added bunches of ribbon to hers. Just as I suspected, she LOVES it!

DIY Disney Autograph Book

DIY Disney Autograph Book

These were really simple to make. An added bonus, there's enough extra pages inside that the kids can later add pictures of themselves with the characters that signed their books!

With a little knowledge in Microsoft Word and having a printing shop nearby, you can make these, too!

Here's how:

1. Create your pages in Microsoft Word or similar program. I downloaded Waltograph and Brady Bunch fonts for my words. {The Mickey heads were added later with a black Sharpie pen. The Mickey and Minnie stickers were purchased at Michael's Crafts.}

2. Email your pages to your local print shop to be printed. Be sure to send them as a PDF file. I made the mistake of not doing that the first time and the font was way off.

3. Cut your pages to size. I learned after asking the gal to trim my pages to 5x7 inches that EACH cut is $1.10. Cutting each sheet was going to cost $4.40. For real. So, I made sure to bring my own cutter to the shop and used the great big table they had available and cut my own pages to size.

4. Laminate your front and back cover sheets. {This is something that the print shop will also do. It's like a one-stop-shop!} I think laminating the covers are going to make this keepsake something they can actually keep. :o)

5. Have your book spiral bound. OfficeMax also does binding. Ask if your shop does this.

Total cost of each of my books was under $10. Maybe the same cost as the one you can purchase at the park gift shops...but, way cuter!

This idea was adapted from Dixie Delights.

Monday, September 10, 2018

10 Games Kids Can Play On A Road Trip

This post contains affiliate links. What does this mean? When you click through the links and make a purchase, I get a small commission. 

games for kids on a road trip

With the Summer season upon us, and the start of traditional traveling months to begin, I thought I would bring you some hope. After all, road trips are fun. Well, they can be. As soon as "Are we there yet?" and "Can we stop? I have to go to the bathroom." is asked for the one millionth time, you're F I N I S H E D. I've learned over the years the best way to cure the whiney children is to play a game, or three.

Good news! I have TEN great games your kids can play while you're cruisin' down the highway.

1. Telephone - You remember this one! It doesn't matter what generation you were born in, you played Telephone at one point in your life. Your child whispers a story or a sequence of words to someone else in the car. The person he whispered it to then whispers the same story, as close to what he heard as possible. Then, on to the next person. By the time the story gets to the last person it's rarely the original thought and it brings laughter.

2. Twenty Questions - One person secretly thinks of either an object, place or animal. The other people in the car take turns asking yes-or-no questions, like "Is it red?" or "Have we ever been there before?" After the players have asked twenty questions, each player gets a chance to guess at what it could be.

3. The Alphabet Game - One person chooses the righthand side of the road, and someone else choose the lefthand side. The players take turns finding letters in the alphabet, either on street signs or license plates. The idea is to point out all the letters of the alphabet in order, from A to Z. The first person to Z wins.

4. The Theme Song Game - One person hums the tune to a favorite TV show, and everyone tries to name the show as fast as possible. The first person to guess correctly hums the next song.
Mom and Dad, you could play this game with songs from years past. What about the first song you ever danced to? Or, "your song" from when you were dating? This game could be fun for ALL!

5. Restaurant Race - Each player chooses a restaurant, such as Burger King, McDonalds, Panera Bread, etc. Players earn points by spotting their restaurant off the road, on a billboard, on exit markers, on Food/Fuel signs, or by hearing it mentioned on the radio. Impose a time limit -- say, 20 minutes -- and then add up the points.

6. Memory Test - The first person says "A is for ___" filling in the blank with any word beginning with the letter A, such as "apple." The second person comes up with a word for the letter B, such as "baseball," but must also repeat the A word: "A is for apple, B is for baseball." Continue through the alphabet, each person taking several turns and reciting more and more letters and words. By the time you reach the letter Z, that player will recite the entire alphabet and its corresponding words. However, if you're playing with younger kids you may want to choose an earlier letter than Z to be the final one.

7. "I'm Going on a Picnic" Game - Super similar to the Memory Test, but you say, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm going to bring apples." The next person would say something like, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm going to bring apples and bananas." Next person would say, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm going to bring apples, bananas, and cupcakes." You get the idea. You'd go back and forth until you are bringing something to the picnic from every letter of the alphabet.

8. Secret Place Race - You'll need an old school map for this one. But, that could be lots of fun. (You can often find a map at rest stops or visitor stations.) One person looks at a road map and finds a small town, river, or trail. That person tells everyone in the car the place he has chosen. A second player has 60 seconds to look at the map and try to find the secret place.

9. The Animal Game - One person names an animal, then each person in order has to name another animal (no repeating!) that starts with the last letter of the previous animal named. There are no winners or losers in this game. With older children, try the game with TV shows, or geographical categories, such as cities or countries.

10. The State License Plate Game - This game we play on every road trip! Until recently, I thought I made this game up. :) At the start of your journey, grab a pencil and a piece of paper. As you're traveling down the road, pay close attention the license plates of passers by. Every plate has a different state. Write down each one, until you've found all 50 states. Can you find them all? There's a wonderful game board made by Melissa & Doug for this game. (Find it by clicking HERE) Apparently I wasn't as creative in making this game up as I thought.

Here are a few more games that I found for you on Amazon.
50 Road Trip Games
Travel Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Spot It! On The Road
Mad Libs on the Road
Backseat Bingo Playing Cards

Now, as you prepare for your next road trip, you don't have to dread the hours of "Are we there yet?"

What are your favorite games to play, when you travel? Tell me in the comments!

Safe travels!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

5 Frightfully Cute Ideas To BOO Your Neighbors


In 2009, we were told by the US Army to report to Fort Campbell, KY. We arrived to Gandy Court in July of that year, and quickly made friends with our new neighbors. What we weren't prepared for was the fun, annual traditions that would come from living there for three years. The first of many was getting BOO'ed by our neighbors. Have you ever been BOO'ed?? 

We were sitting at the table enjoying dinner, and we had a knock at the door. When we opened the door, no one was there. But, on our front porch was a basket full of FUN Halloween goodies! Every year that we were there, we were BOO'ed by our neighbors. And, we joined in and began BOO'ing our neighbors, too. 

What keeps one house from being BOO'ed more than once? When you get a spooky, but FUN package on your doorstep, you put a sign on your door. This way the fun can spread throughout the neighborhood, and no one gets BOO'ed twice. Fun, right?!?

I've gathered a few FRIGHTFULLY cute ideas for you. These will give you some helpful tips on what to put in your BOO basket.  But, you can put whatever you'd like in it. Make it fun. Gear it towards the family you're BOO'ing. 

This idea from Eighteen25 is genius! I never thought to add a balloon to your basket, so the unsuspecting recipients see it when they look out the peephole. BOO!

This BOO basket is geared towards the kids in the neighboring family. Grab some stickers, a juice cup, and some silly straws, and you're all set!

The idea of a cone-shaped "basket" is unique. You could hang this on the door for the neighbor to come home to after work. Sometimes people need a nice surprise after a hard days work.

If you don't have a basket, you can use a colored paper bag. Add some scrap paper, buttons for eyes and draw on a few details. The cutest, spookiest BOO gift of all!

Are you crafty? Grab some scrapbooking paper, ruffled ribbon, make a small sign for the front, and you've got yourself the cutest BOO basket on the block!

Have you ever been BOO'ed? Do you BOO your neighbors? Tell me in the comments what you like to put in the baskets you give. What's been the most favorite item(s) you've been given in your BOO basket?

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Cyber Bullying and Our Teenagers - Growing Up Digital

This is a simple, yet profoundly needed message in today's society. I'm talking about cyber bullying. I'm dealing with this myself, as we speak. Kids can be mean. Cruel, even. They claw their way to the center of their social circle, at the expense of someone else's feelings. It's hard, as parents, to know ALL of our kids friends (or enemies) and ALL that's going on in their little lives. But, friends, it's SO important to be all up in their business!!! ALL. UP. IN. IT!

I've gone to bat for my kids, when I feared for their safety, a few times. I don't bother to get involved in their silly arguments, I do want them to learn how to deal with some stuff on their own. But, you better believe, as soon as some mouthy kid starts telling my kid what they're going to "do" to them, I intervene. I've seen it more times than I ever should have in the last few years.

Growing up, I didn't have social media. I didn't have a computer. I didn't even get a cell phone until I turned 18 and bought it myself. There weren't mean kids hiding behind their devices calling me ugly names. If someone wanted to bully me, they would either talk about me behind my back, prank call my house, or follow me home from the bus stop. All of which happened to me. Because kids are mean. But, those opportunities weren't as prevalent as the opportunities that our children are facing in today's very digital social society.

Something else that comes to mind when speaking about bullying, or cyber bullying, is our kids fear of "snitching." Another reason to be all up in their business is they will likely NOT TELL YOU what's going on, in fear of being a snitch. I've heard it come out of my boys mouths numerous times over the years, something I didn't hear as a kid, "snitches get stitches." What? I get it. The mouthy kid doesn't want to get in trouble for his ugly, mean-hearted attitude. But, kids being fearful to speak up? No, ma'am.

I'm not telling you to be your kids best friend. We all know better than that. But, be their advocate. Have a presence and relationship with their school and its administrators. Stand up for them. Fight for their right to feel safe in school (and out of school). Love them unconditionally. Do NOT tolerate bullying!

Have you dealt with bullying or cyber bullying with your children? What school grade(s) were they in? How did you handle it? I'm genuinely curious. After all, I still have many years of parenting school-aged kids ahead of me.