Sunny with a Chance of Sprinkles

Pirates and Pirate Ships and Captain Hook -- Oh My!

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That's exactly what Miss Alea said when she received opened her Jake and the Neverland Pirates LEGO® DUPLO® set from Disney Junior! She always knows how to make me giggle. We had so much fun putting our LEGO® DUPLO® set together. As soon as it arrived of course, because when fun packages like this arrive you can't just leave them sitting around for too long!

I'm usually one to go by the book and follow the directions, so I followed the instructions on the booklet that came with the set. Alea, however, likes to do her own thing and decided to make it her own. She and fun taking apart all of mommy's hard work and adding her own spin on things. Are your kids that way, too?

That's the fun part though! You can completely customize your pirate ship any way you'd like-- that's the fun part about LEGO®s right?

I think Alea's favorite feature of this entire set is the fact that the rocket launches cannons! Typically you would aim them at Captain Hook and knock him down, but if you're Alea you'd rather direct them at your mom when she's least expecting it. The laughter never stops! And it's especially funny to watch mom fall over when said cannon hits her. Yep, that gave her quite the laugh as you can see!

Have you seen the previews yet for Disney Junior's Jake and the Neverland Pirates in the Battle of the Book? Alea saw it on TV the other morning and immediately declared that we would be watching it with popcorn and chocolate milk in hand. (Chocolate milk is something she only gets on special occasions, and boy did she deem this as a special occasion!) Obviously! If you or kiddos haven't seen it yet, grab them and see what all the excitement's about in this 30 second preview:

Don't forget to tune in to the Disney Channel for a special Disney Junior Family Night Special Event with Jake and the Neverland Pirates in Battle of the Book! This episode airs Sunday October 26th at 6pm EST/5pm CST! And don't just watch, play long! You and your little one can build along using your own LEGO® DUPLO® sets at home and be part of Jake's Epic Battle Build! You can even share photos of your kids and their Epic Battle Build on Facebook for the chance to win some exciting prizes!

You better believe we'll be tuning in on Sunday night with our overflowing bowl of popcorn and glasses of chocolate milk in hand! We hope you'll join us as well. There's plenty of popcorn and chocolate milk to go around!

Now which photo should I use to enter the Epic Battle Build contest?
Who's your favorite Jake and the Neverland Pirates character?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Disney Junior.

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Mason Jar Salted Caramel Coffee Mug Cake Gift

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TastetheSeason #CollectiveBias

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening! Okay, okay maybe it's a little early for Christmas carols, but it's certainly not too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts. Sure, we still have two weeks until Halloween, but I already have a few people crossed off my Christmas shopping list and am well on my way to crossing a few others off. It's all about pacing yourself and giving yourself enough time to budget out Christmas so you don't feel completely broke come December, right? That's how I feel!

Some of my favorite gifts to give during the holiday season are ones that I've made myself. A couple years ago I made snowman mason jars with the dry ingredients for Oatmeal Raison Spice Cookies. (Why did I never blog about them?) Not only were they cute, but the recipe you could make with them was absolutely delicious! This year I wanted to do something similar and thought it would be fun to use some of the extra twine, burlap and lace from our wedding to decorate the mason jars.

I'm really loving how they turned out!

Mason Jar Salted Caramel Coffee Cake Gift


001. Chocolate or Vanilla flavored cake mix
002. Angel food cake mix
003. Kraft Caramels
004. Bakers Coconut
005. Maxwell House Coffee
006. Course sea salt

Wet Ingredients Needed:

001. Water
002. Cool Whip

Makes 6 single-serving mug cakes.

Layer the ingredients listed above in a mason jar and cover the top with burlap and keep burlap in place with twine. I used the leftovers from our wedding and absolutely love how they turned out-- plus it was free!

Recipe to Include:

001. Mix the flavored cake mix with the angel food cake mix until thoroughly combined.
002. Scoop 3 tablespoons of mixture into a coffee mug.
003. Add 2 tablespoon of brewed coffee.
004. Add 1 tablespoon of water.
005. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of coconut.
006. Whisk the mixture together with a fork.
007. Place 4-5 caramels in the middle of the mixture.
008. Microwave on high for 1 minute and 15 seconds.
009. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

This would be the perfect gift for neighbors, teachers and for friends that you work with, don't you think? I can't wait to make a big ol' batch and share them with friends and family this holiday season.

If you need more inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website. They have recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What's not to love? If you're looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out! And buying all of your ingredients at Walmart, like I did, will definitely save you a buck or two!

What's your favorite homemade gift to give during the holiday season?

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How to Be A Princess with Princess Costumes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DisneyBeauties #CollectiveBias

Just yesterday I planned a special surprise for Miss Alea. I have two days off every week and on those days off, I try and make them a little special for her since our time is more limited now that I work full-time. I decided to surprise her with a couple fun new princess toys and Sleeping Beauty on DVD! I'm sure you can just imagine the look of surprise when she laid eyes on her new movie, tea set and her Snow White costume.

We had a blast! We immediately set up a little tea party with her mini Disney Princesses and put on her new Sleeping Beauty movie. We also spent a little time talking about what makes a princess a princess and boy will you giggle when you hear her responses! Kids say the funniest things sometimes!

How to be a Princess According to Alea:

001. "All princesses drink tea. They don't like coffee." Obviously I was offended by this one. While tea is fantastic and all, I'm a coffee drinker through and through and I felt like my 4 year old was taking a dig at me. Okay, I get it kid. I'm not a princess.

002. "Princesses always wear underwear." Let me explain this one. As we were putting on her Snow White dress she thought she was going to get away with going commando. I gave her my best mom look and "are you kidding me" face and she promptly said the quote above as she pulled 'em on up.

003. "Princesses always wear shoes when they go outside to go for walks in the forest." With little woodland creatures I presume?

004. "They always curtsey!" This is her favorite... of course. Because who doesn't like to curtsey?

005. "A princess always acts like themselves." And I think that means my job as a parent is done! I'm going to go grab a tissue, because that one made me tear right up!

There you have it. A princess drinks tea, always wears underwear, wears shoes when they go for walks in the forest, they curtsey and they always act like themselves! That's easy enough, right?

If you're looking for some toys fit for a princess for Christmas or any old Tuesday, I suggest you check out the Disney aisle at Walmart. They have all kinds of fun goodies and Alea was completely in awe of their selection. As was I!

How do you act like a princess?
Have you gotten the new Sleeping Beauty DVD yet?

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