Friends – my camping world has been rocked forever. No more run-of-the-mill crumbly cracker S’mores for this foodie. Take a look at the ooey gooey goodness above and meet the new and improved S’More. The S’MOreo!
I seriously crave these now. This new creation got a big ole thumbs up from everyone in our family. Shhh … we may have had them for breakfast our last day camping at Snow Canyon.
Want to modernize this classic, favorite camping treat? Here’s what you need:
Roast your marshmallow to a golden brown. Open up a double stuf Oreo and add the melted chocolate. Sandwich in the perfect marshmallow and voila – campfire dessert perfection! I dare you to eat only one.
It’s Spring cleaning season at the Parker house and boy oh boy do we need it! Ready to open the windows and let in the fresh air and sunshine. Today I am sharing something that I would absolutely LOVE to have in my home – a steam machine! Ever since I saw one on my local news show, it’s been on my wish list. Hint, hint for Mother’s day, honey. My readers are in luck because I am giving one way – read on to see how you can win!
HomeRightoffers a full line of power painting, automotive and home care products to help you get your project done right. Whether you are removing wallpaper from your walls or wanting to clean and sterilize your floors, they have a product for you.
I want you all to have a clean home one that you can be proud to host parties and barbecues in this Summer. That is why I have teamed up with Brittanie from Simplistically Living to offer you a chance to win your very own HomeRight SteamMachine like the one pictured above!
The HomeRight SteamMachine is the absolute fastest and easiest way to remove wallpaper, plus its chemical free! Simply use the steam plate to apply steam and peel the paper away. Get the most out of this multi-purpose steamer by using the attachments to disinfect and clean floors, stovetops, ovens, bathrooms and grills. The SteamMachine leaves behind no chemical residue and kills 99% of all germs and bacteria. Plus it features:
Two wheels for easy mobility while working
Handle for easy carrying
User-controlled trigger to deliver steam to any surface
Continuous Steam Lock
205° F at Steam Nozzle
45 PSI at Steam Nozzle
40 minutes of steam time
8 foot hose, reach high or low on your surfaces
8 foot electrical cord for extended reach on projects
2 Year Warranty
One lucky winner will win a HomeRight SteamMachine courtesy of HomeRight. This is a $99 value!
Entering is simple! Use the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway is open to United States Residents 18+ years of age. Giveaway ends April 27th! Good Luck!
You don’t have to look far to find a real-life hero.
That is what stood out to me while speaking with Marcus Menti, one of the eight LDS missionaries who miraculously fled the Liberian civil war in 1990 and whose story is told in the new movie Freetown. I attended a pre-screening of the movie and had the privilege of speaking with Menti as well as the makers of the movie.
The film details the missionaries’ 370 mile treacherous trek across Liberia to the safety of the mission home in Freetown. Accompanied by their driver, a member of the local branch presidency, the eight men set out in a Toyota Corolla with the odds stacked against them including being pursued by rebel fighters. From the joy and vibrancy of the opening baptism scene to the heart-stopping and soul-searching moments in a line-up confronted by rebels, this film reminds us that there is a time to laugh, a time to weep, and a time to speak (Ecclesiastes 3:4).
When director Garrett Batty (Saratov Approach) and producer Adam Abel (Saints and Soldiers) set out to film Freetown, they also faced the process of locating the original eight missionaries – a task that could be compared to finding a needle in a haystack. Several of the missionaries were found in Canada and Africa, but they were still looking for Menti at the completion of the film.
Unbeknownst to them, Marcus Menti was living in Utah. He contacted them after hearing about a movie preview for Freetown appearing prior to Meet the Mormons. Menti attended many of the screenings of the movie and brought an added perspective and personal touch at the question and answer sessions held after. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear from the original missionaries and actors from the film at the premiere on April 6th – tickets available here.
Photo Courtesy of Freetown
Often the most life-changing stories are discovered in the least likely places. From letters in archives to the big screen, Freetown brings to light the story of these missionaries as well as the history of the Liberian civil war.
Batty and Abel were thrilled to connect with Menti whose story the movie is based on. The movie came about after Batty was inspired by an lds.org article detailing the missionaries struggles and triumphs (read more here) and he set out to further research the story in the LDS Church’s archives. There he discovered letters the missionaries had written to their mission president describing their heaven-aided experiences during the civil war.
These letters were written at the encouragement of a senior missionary, Walter Stewart, then serving in Freetown. As the missionaries recovered from their long journey and bouts of malaria, Stewart urged them to write down their experiences. As a result, we now have this real-life story of modern-day miracles.
Speaking with Menti, a theme from Freetown becomes quite clear – keep moving forward. This theme is close to my heart and the pulse of this blog. As we learn what keeps others moving forward, often we find the strength and inspiration needed to keep moving forward in our own lives. Underlying Menti’s soft-spoken voice and humility, I sensed a deep current of faith and conviction of his beliefs.
Photo Courtesy of Freetown
When I asked Menti what he hoped that people would gain from the movie and the sharing of his experiences, he responded,
“The spirit is the same. It doesn’t matter whether you are a member in Africa or a member in the United States, whether you are a Relief Society visiting teacher or missionary. You are where you are for a reason. Whatever station you are in, keep creating opportunities to keep pressing forward.”
As we further talked, the intense emotions brought to the surface from revisiting the events in the movie were apparent, but even more visible was a strong desire for the message of the movie to be shared. Both Menti and those who made the movie hope that movie goers will recognize the role God plays in the crossroads of their lives.
Photo Courtesy of Freetown
Freetown continues Batty and Abel’s history of films promoting faith over fear.
“We hope people will see the relevancy of eight missionaries in Africa in their own life. The obstacles they face are different, but the approach can be similar. You have to keep moving forward,” said Abel.
Throughout the movie, the missionaries sought divine help as they surmounted what seemed like an impossible task. From pot holes to perilous rebel check points, the missionaries attributed their safety to God and the help of Saints and good people along the way.
Photo Courtesy of Freetown
Freetown was filmed on location in Ghana with many of the main characters and all of the extras being from Ghana. Read more about the world-wide premiere that took place there in this Deseret News article. Batty and Abel were able to take an inflatable movie screen and sound system to the remote villages where they filmed to provide the extras with what turned out to be the first film experience for many people .
Photo Courtesy of Freetown
Get tickets here to Monday night’s premiere at Megaplex 17 at Jordan Commons. Freetown will open in theaters across the country on April 8 including in Los Angeles and Times Square. Tickets are available right now nationwide here.
“It’s an inspiration and a gift,” said film distributor, Brandon Purdie, “It’s made for everybody.”
To hear more about the movie, check out this podcast interview of Garrett Batty and screenwriter Melissa Larson by Radio Gold Productions
As a counselor for my ward’s Primary (read more about the LDS church and the Primary program for children at these links), I’ve been pondering how to help our children prepare and get the most out of General Conference. General Conference is a twice a year event when we get to hear from our church leaders. I grew up loving to listen to General Conference and I want to pass that on to my own children and the children I teach.
The answer came to me as I was reading The Friend magazine for this month. This beautiful girl and her mother had the best idea. Read about it below:
Photo from LDS.org
My seven year old will love drawing her own hearts during sessions, but I know my three year old will do better if I print out hearts for him to color in. I decided to make a printable for the little ones like my son. You can click on the picture to print or click on this link. I think this will be a great way to keep them engaged while also learning to recognize their feelings during General Conference.
For this activity/treat. we matched the picture of the apostle on the TV to the prophet on their snack. We watched the youtube video on this post to help us get to know more about the apostles beforehand so we would recognize them better.
This year, I wanted my children to focus more on the words, but I’m not quite ready for the mantel of candy jars for all the different key words. Instead, I am going to have a tray with Easter eggs filled with treats. There will be an Easter egg for each apostle. Each time that apostle testifies of Jesus Christ, they can have a treat from their Easter egg. Pretty sure the kids will sneak extra treats, but I hope it encourages them to listen closely for mentions of the Savior. You can cut out the apostle pictures from the friend or print them from lds.org. I laminated mine so that I can use them every year.
For more General Conference Activities and ideas. Check out these posts.
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What are your families favorite General Conference traditions?
I received the Hop To The Music pack as a member of the Entertainment New Media Network. No further compensation was received and all opinions are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links.
The Easter bunny came early to the Parker house and, as you can tell from Lily’s picture, the kids were pretty excited. When a lovely little package from Walt Disney Records arrived on my door step last week, I knew the four latest CDs from Disney Music Emporium would be the first thing I packed for our road trip. Thus these CDs became the first early addition to our Easter baskets!
Growing up, I have so many memories of listening to Disney cassettes in the car with my family on road trips. Love that I now have Into the Woods, Frozen, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Disney Junior DJ Shuffle 2 for our collection! Get your family read to hop into spring with these fun collections! Check out our favorites and be sure to enter to win all four below.
I’ve been ever so patiently waiting for this musical to come out on DVD (March 24 – it’s out NOW!) so Into the Woods was my clear favorite of the four CDs. Perfect to listen to while I waited for the movie to come out! Musicals have had a special place in my heart since my high school drama days. The story telling, the orchestra, the unforgettable lyrics and performances – I love them all. I’ll admit to you that I’ve had Meryl Streep’s voice in my head singing “Greens, greens, nothing but greens” every morning as I’ve made my green smoothie this week.
This ultimate mix tape CD from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy made it to the top of my husband’s list. Personally loved the cover and the role the mix played in the movie as a gift from the main character’s mother on her death bed. Songs that got the thumbs up from the Parkers included Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede, I Want You Back by Jackson 5, and Come and Get Your Love by Redbone. So many memorable hits! My children begged to listen to Hooked on a Feeling on repeat during our road trip and I happily obliged.
7 year old Lily’s Favorite
Pretty safe to say that most little girls would be THRILLED to find a Frozen DVD and soundtrack in their Easter basket. This CD was the first Lily requested (aka begged) to listen to in the car. Frozen had the most sing alongs and we may have belted Let it Go and Do You Wanna Build a Snow Man? a time or two. Adore the vocal talents of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, and Santino Fontana. My new favorite is the quirky Fixer Upper – there are some great one liners in there!
5 year old Cort’s and 3 year old Kyler’s Favorite
My little boys thought that the Disney Junior DJ Shuffle 2 was fun, fun, fun, fun! Everyone in the car couldn’t help but sing along with that line from the first song. This collection of songs from all their favorite Disney Junior shows was definitely a crowd pleaser with the littles. Two by Two and Believe in Your Dreams from Sofia the First were most often requested by Lily for repeats on this CD. The boys giggled every time during the Captain Hook Destroy the Book song from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Definitely a fun CD for your collection and a great listen for the car.
All four CDs can be found at Disney Music Emporium. I am excited to be teaming up with Disney music group and giving one lucky reader all four of these CDs. Cross your fingers and enter to win below!
It’s spring time which means General Conference will be here before we know it. Seventeen LDS Bloggers are joining me to share a few of our favorite things. We are so excited to be giving away over $400 in prizes. It’s been a treat to work with so many talented women to spoil our readers with products that strengthen the family and make our lives a little easier, too.
We as bloggers are so thankful for you – our readers! Thank you for your encouragement, comments, and time that you take out of your busy day to check in with us. We appreciate how you #sharethegood with us and hopefully we can share some with you as well!
Meet the bloggers who are taking part in this giveaway:
Now for the giveaway! If you are anything like me, your wish list for Deseret Book is a mile long! We are excited to send two of you some fun money to spend there. We hope you love the recipes from the Six Sisters as much as we do and that Nicole Carpenter’s 5-minute messages will make family devotional more manageable! From bulking up your food storage with Thrive to the cutest projects by Fizzy Pops – there are so many wonderful prizes. Check them out and ENTER TO WIN below! There are TWO rafflecopters so be sure to enter each one!
Pink Star CTR Necklace and I am a Child of God Pin from Ringmasters. – All three of my children adore their jewelry from Ringmasters. As a mom, I love that the jewelry is a sweet little reminder they can always have with them.
At our house we are a little Disney-obsessed. From the movies to Disney on Ice, there’s always a little bit of Disney happening at our house. Best part – there’s usually a Disney vacation in the works! Right now we are in savings mode – check out the easy and creative ways we save here.
One lucky reader is going to get a Southern California Vacation package much sooner than they had planned – keep reading!
I am so excited to be teaming up with Simplistically Living and Get Away Todayto be giving away a Southern California Vacation Package to one lucky family! This is a $1,500 value!
About our Sponsor:
Get Away Today has helped more than 2 million people enjoy vacations to Disneyland and beyond. Almost like magic, they have become one of the world’s leading providers of Disney vacations, family vacations, discount vacation packages, and adventure vacations. Whether you are looking for a quick weekend getaway or a few weeks away from home, Get Away Today has the perfect destination for you!
Current offers from Get Away Today:
The Disneyland Resort celebrates 60 years with their diamond celebration.
Save up to 30% off rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels
Pay Adult at Kids’ prices on Disneyland park hopper tickets
You can see all the current vacation offers and specials from Get Away Today Here. Get $10 off your vacation package today using the code KEEPMOVING.
Now it’s time for the giveaway! 1 lucky family is going to win a Southern California Vacation Package valued at $1,500!
The prize includes:
3-night hotel stay
2 adult and 2 child 1-day tickets to two theme parks of the winner’s choice! (Think Disneyland, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, and more!)
How to Enter: Enter using the rafflecopter widget below. Open to US Residents only. Must be 18+ years of age to enter. Good Luck!
This last niche of bloggers are some of my favorite to follow on instagram. From the runways of New York Fashion Week to the styles in your hometown, fashion bloggers are the ones to follow for the latest in beauty and style. Today I am sharing with you a few that I follow and a sneak peek into their days as bloggers.
Photo courtesy of TwistMePretty.com
1. I was lucky enough to have this first blogger move right up the street from me in my old neighborhood. We’ve both since moved, but I can tell you that. Abby of Twist Me Pretty is just as fun and fabulous in real life as she is online. As a Project Runway fan, I loved following her time with Tresemme at New York Fashion Week last year. Check these posts to get your own sneak peek behind the scenes at Bryant Park. Besides being a beauty blogger, Abby is also a mother of two – soon to be four with twin baby boys on the way. If you are looking for hair inspiration, this is one fab mama you want to be following on instagram and youtube.
2. Speaking of fabulous hairstyle bloggers, if you aren’t following Mindy of Cute Girls Hairstyles and her twin daughters, Brooklyn and Bailey, you are missing out! I am on their youtube channel and web site several times a week looking for new hairstyles for my daughter Lily. Find out what time Mindy wakes up at to get it all done and take look at a day in her life in this video. If you are looking for a safe and entertaining youtube channel for your teens and tweens to follow, follow this link to Brooklyn and Bailey. Check out their morning and evening routines as well as a tour of the studio room they share with their mom in the videos above and below.
Only a few days left of this series. I’ve learned so much from peeking into a day in the life of a blogger this past week. Do you know one of my favorite fun facts from this series? Several bloggers have their water-proof smart phones with them in the shower- now that’s a way to multi task! I’ve listened to podcasts in the shower before, but haven’t scrolled through my instagram feed yet.
I love that everyone finds routines and tips and tricks that work for them and their busy lives. Today we are looking behind the scenes at lifestyle bloggers. Excited to introduce you to these lovely ladies!
1. Our first blogger is Patti from A Side of Moxie. The moment she described herself as a “an explorer who is continually one step away from getting sucked into another adventure,” I knew that I would love her blog.
Are you ready for the good stuff? I hope you are enjoying the sneak peeks into a Day in the Life of a Blogger. Today I am sharing posts from a few of my favorite bloggers, who also happen to be frugal bloggers.
Photo courtesy of MoneySavingMom.com
1. Crystal from Money Saving Mom is possibly the very first blogger I started following. My initial visit was for her grocery store deals, but I was quickly drawn in by her family and goal-setting posts. If I could choose someone as a motherhood and blogger mentor – she would be high on my list!
Crystal regularly does A Day in the Life posts and you can see them all here. Happy reading – come back and let me know which ones were your favorite!
Photo Courtesy of FunCheaporFree.com
2. This next blogger is a girl to keep tabs on because she is going places! Every time I open an e-mail from Jordan of FunCheaporFree, she is on a new adventure to make frugral fabulous. Trust me, she is worth the subscribe. She’s been featured on TLC’s Extreme Cheapskates (watch it live with her here) and has been interviewed by news outlets worldwide. Her youtube videos are entertaining and informative and she even recently filmed one about her daily routine. Check it out:
Jordan also has a post from a day in her life – pre two more cute kiddos. See why my children are insanely jealous of her basement and how she gets her work done here.