BruCrew Top Ten

Another month has come and gone.  One of my favorite posts each month is where I just share the random with you.  Today I have few things that we have been doing this summer, and a few recipes from around the web that I can’t wait to try.  Hopefully your summer has been exciting and relaxing so far.

1.  We spent Father’s Day at the park playing Frisbee Golf.  I am so thankful for a husband that is a wonderful father to our three kiddos.  He is almost always patient with them and takes time to teach them life lessons when it it applies to day to day life.    There are days I know we all irritate the fire out of him, but he keeps loving us with his whole heart.  I love that wonderful and Godly character he demonstrate ever single day!!

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2.  Half price drinks at Sonic are one of our favorite family outings during the summer.

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3.  Frappes are another fun family outing.  The lady this day looked at me odd when I ordered the kid’s drinks.  She made sure to point out to me that there was indeed coffee in those drinks.  Yup, I know and I’m totally ok with it.  It hasn’t stunted their growth yet.  In fact 2 out of the 3 are already taller than me.  It is bad that I want the youngest to stay my size?  ;-)

Coffee Date

4.  Oh, my goodness!  The S’mores Jif Whips is amazing!  So far it has only been eaten by the spoonfuls.  Don’t judge!

Jif Whips S'mores collage

5.  And because of these spoonfuls of sugar, I need to get back on the exercise and supplement train.    I was doing really good up until the kids got out of school.  Then vacation happened and somewhere along the way, I kind of stopped working out and eating healthy.  I will be back at it in the morning with my Chocolate Mocha Shake and MNS Packs.

I also really like taking the Advocare Thermoplus…it gives a little boost each day to get your metabolism going.  My sugar loving body definitely needs that kick in the pants!

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6.  I have a slight thing for accessories.  Our mall recently had a Charming Charlie’s open in it.  I have been avoiding it at all costs because I tend to go crazy in there.  I finally went in and found some of the cutest necklaces to layer together. Also, I realized that my current color crush is pink/coral because everything I bought was that shade.

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7.  This Stuffed French Bread from Holly at Life in the Lofthouse needs to go on my dinner menu.  Easy and delicious…just the way I like dinner to be!

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8.  Lately we have been making sandwiches almost every day.  I am dying over this Turkey & White Cheddar with Onions and Grape Grilled Cheese from Foodie Crush!  It’s another must make!

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9. Woah!  This Chocolate Mousse Cake from Diethood looks totally awesomesauce.  I would go figure out how to fix an air conditioner just to have a slice of this bad boy!

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10.  Date lunches are the best!  I love that my guy puts up with me shoving a camera in his face all the time.   This week he is serving in Haiti with a missions team from our church.  Keep him and the team in your prayers as they help out the missionaries there.

Matthew 5:16  “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  Don’t be afraid to do what’s right even when no one else is.  Someone somewhere is always watching.  We are always impacting the people that we come in contact with by our actions and attitudes.  Even our children can be part of our mission field.  There are days I have the worst attitude, and I can usually trace it back to making wrong decisions when I started out the day.    Let’s let that light from our Savior fill our hearts and lives every day!!!  I am excited to work on that this week.

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Make sure you stop back in this week for Banana Split Week on the blog.  I have quite a few delicious and fun treats to share with you!!!!  It’s definitely going to be drool worthy around here!

 

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Family Fun at Walt Disney World

A few weeks ago we were able to spend a week in Orlando visiting the Disney World parks.  As we talked about our vacation before we planned it, we realized this could be the last time we come with our kids.  They are starting to hit that age where Disney isn’t as magical as when they were younger.  Yes, I am just as horrified as you are!  That means they are getting older, and we are getting older.  Neither of which I am happy about!

Now don’t get me wrong.  They still enjoyed getting away and doing the rides.  There was just no character meeting or autographs this time.  Sad face that we only saw Mickey and Minnie from a distance.  Our kids were way more into getting in line for Space Mountain and Mt. Everest than wasting time on a person in a costume.  I get it…but it still is sad in some ways.

Now I hope you are ready for photo over load.  I tried really hard to narrow it down to my favorites.  This year I really didn’t take as many pictures of the attractions as I have in previous years.  It was nice to not be snapping behind the scenes the whole trip.  Although if you ask my family, they would say I bugged them with my camera and phone.  Oh, well!  That’s a mom’s right!

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We spent our first day wandering Animal Kingdom.  Great tip for this park is to get there first thing and go right to the safari.  We have been there before, but I have never seen this many animals out.  They are being fed in the morning, so more animals were visible.

There were probably 6-7 giraffes walking around as our truck passed through.  Those are some incredible animals.  Can you believe they have just as many bones in their neck as we do?  And did you know zebras are black with white stripes?  Just a few fun tidbits I remembered from our adventure.  I have to admit the giraffes and zebras were my absolute favorite animals we saw.

animals collage

We came, we saw, we conquered Mt. Everest…again.  This is such a fun ride and totally worth the time in line.

Although I have to say, if you wait and hit the ride at the very end of the day, you can get on it like 5 times in a row.  Or at least that’s what my hubby and daughter say.  One of the perks of getting older…rides too many times in a row start to make you feel sick.

I also use that excuse on rides that involve water.  Call me crazy, but I am not very fond of the water rides.  I’m the boring one that waits in line with everyone and then crosses over and waits at the end for them.  Yes, I’m not that fun.  I’ve heard it before, and I’m ok with it.

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Everest Selfies

On to the Magic Kingdom!  Selfies with the castle were a must.  As much as I wanted to stop someone to take a group photo with my big camera, my hubby wouldn’t let me bug someone.  His reasoning…they paid money to be here, so we can’t waste their time with a camera.  So instead I made my family take a few different shots with the castle.  They humored me!

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One huge tip on getting a shot with the castle with everyone else around you doing the same thing is to head to the sides.  Everyone stops in the street right in front of the castle, so you will end up with a photo that includes lots of strangers all around and behind you.  If you look at the set of photos below, you can see what I’m talking about.

The first two pictures are in front of the castle with lots of people all around us.  It is definitely a closer angle, so you have to decide what you like.

Castle collage

The next picture was taken a little farther into the park and to the side of the castle.  There are still people in the background, but not quite as many.

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Merry go rounds, Disney treats, Space Mountain, and a magical fireworks show completed our day.  There were tons more rides and shows that we did, but I had my camera away and just enjoyed the fun with my family.

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Now to my hubby’s favorite part of the trip.  When we were planning this trip, he was firm on getting there before May ended.   Hollywood Studios has Star Wars weekends every weekend in May.

I may have searched every store in the park just to find this particular Star Wars shirt.  I had seen a lady wearing it the day before, and I really wanted it.  And I even had the opportunity to tell another lady where to find it!  LOL!

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One fun thing that have for the kids on these weekends is a Jedi Training Camp.  It is limited so you have to get there as soon as the park opens and get in line and signed up for one of these sessions.

Our youngest was able to participate in this fun event.  They had Jedi robes to wear and were taught a few moves using their lightsabers.  Then each “youngling” was able to fight either Darth Vader or Darth Maul.  It was pretty fun to watch.

Jedi training

Our youngest was finally tall enough to ride the Rockin Roller Coaster.  Every other year that we have been there, he was too short.  He was definitely excited to be able to ride with everyone this year.

Rockin Roller Coasterstar wars weekend

The best part of the day was the fireworks show.  It was set to all the Star Wars music, and it was amazing!!!  It was probably one of the best fireworks shows we have seen at Disney!

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We added an extra package to our tickets this year.  They offer a Water Park Fun and More package where you can enjoy extra passes to the Disney water parks, Disney miniature golf and Disney Quest for a very reasonable price.  If you are going to be there for a longer amount of time, this is really an affordable way to enjoy these extra places.

One day we went to Blizzard Beach and spent all day at the water park.  There is absolutely no way you can walk around with a camera, so these are the only pictures I have from our day.

I have to admit it was fun to relax and not have a phone or camera at all times.  Although the photographer in me was cringing a little because I do love capturing those moments.  Especially moments where every single one of us went down Summit Plummet.  This is one of the tallest, steepest body slides around.  12 stories almost straight down.  Talk about freak out moment when you are sitting at the top and the cast member says so go ahead!  They have a photographer at the bottom taking photos, so I definitely need to get on Disney’s website and see those.  They might be worth buying just for the faces I’m sure we all made coming down.

blizzard beach

We also used our extra fun passes at Disney Quest.  Our video game loving kiddos had a blast there.  In fact we went twice during the week.

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And of course no trip to Downtown Disney is complete until you have done selfies with a sea monster photo bombing you.  Yes, we were that crazy couple taking a billion and one photos in a row making faces the time.

Lego Sea MonsterDragon Photo Bomb

It was definitely a fun week hanging out as a family.  Lots of fun and on the go adventure every day.  Now to plan a relaxing beach vacation where all we do is nothing :-)  Maybe next summer!

BruCrew Top Ten

Is anyone else shocked by the fact that May has come and gone already?  I seriously feel like the month just started.   The last month of school always ends up being so busy, making the month go by in a blur.

I thought I would recap some of the activities and fun finds that happened in May for my Top Ten post.

 

1.  My hubby and I celebrated our 16 year anniversary this month with dinner out to Olive Garden and a coffee date at Starbucks.  We both posted pictures of us as youngsters on our FB pages that day, and we had a blast reading all the funny comments that were left.  Some of our favorites were:

“John Stamos?”   “Oh, my 90210!”   “What boy band were you in?” “Hello 21 Jump Street”   “Wasn’t he the one who sang Ice, Ice Baby?”

Yup, I married a total hottie in 1998 :-)  I love this boy so much, and I am so thankful that he loves me no matter what.  And, boy am I glad I decided to give up the straightened bang look.  LOL!

Dating collage

2.  For Mother’s Day we went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, and did a little bit of shopping at the mall while we waited for a table.  Apparently quite a few other families wanted to take their mom’s out to eat there too…it was hopping!

I am so thankful for three awesome kids.  There are some days I feel like I am still learning this parenting thing, and then other days where they get along and listen…and I wonder what happened.  But through it all I am blessed to be mom to these kiddos!

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 3.  I spent a few days in Miami, FL for the BlogHer Food conference.   Blogging has put me into contact with some of the most awesome friends.  I love that the blogging community is so friendly and helpful.  It is just like a big family.  So, it was awesome to spend 4 days hanging out with everyone.

Honestly, most of my favorite times were chatting with other bloggers throughout the days.  It is actually more helpful to sit and chat “blog stuff” with other people who totally get it.

And I also got to speak in the very last session of the conference.  Talk about being nervous…I was so worried that my voice was going to crack, that I would get all teary eyed, and that I wouldn’t be able to think on my feet with everyone staring at me.  Thank goodness none of that actually happened.

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4.  Have you heard of Produce for Kids?  I am excited to find local stores that are participating in this campaign that benefits the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Produce for Kids is an organization that helps educate families on the importance of eating fresh produce and on how to create nutritious meals together.  35 grocery stores and suppliers are partnering with Produce for Kids to make donations based on how much produce is purchased in these stores.  Everyone can definitely use more fresh veggies and fruit in their life.

Meijer stores nationwide are joining in the Get Healthy, Give Hope campaign.  Please consider buying all your fresh produce at your local Meijer store to help their donation.  I know our family will definitely be loading up our cart with produce there this summer.

Connect more with Produce for Kids:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Meijer produce

 5.  Summer time is when we go through Kool-Aid by the gallons, so I was excited to find another fun use for those packets.  How fun are these Kool-Aid Meringue Cookies from Smart School House.

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6.  I am loving this awesome looking Homemade Blue Raspberry Slushie recipe from Love from the Oven.

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7.  Our family loves to find fun places to eat.  This Triple XXX restaurant has awesome burgers, root beer, and fries.  And it was featured on Diners, Drive In’s, and Dives…gotta love a “famous” eatery right in your home town.

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8.  Oh, my word!!!  These White Chocolate Ritz Fluffernutter Bars from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.  I die!!!!! I must have a pan of these…and eat every single one!!!

White Chocolate Ritz Fluffernutter Bars

9.  Right now I am obsessed with flatbreads.  This Cilantro Lime Chicken Flatbread from The Wicked Noodle is totally calling my name.   This needs to be dinner very, very soon!

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10.  Every month I have fun creating and sharing recipes with you.  Here are four of my favorites from May 2014.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls
Java Twix Oatmeal Bars
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake
Chocolate Mocha Chip Banana Bread

May top recipe picks

 

Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend with your families!!!

BruCrew Top Ten

It has been too long since I shared a little bit of random with you guys.

I have missed doing my Top Ten posts, so they are making a come back.  They will probably only show up once a month or so, so don’t get too attached.  Today I am sharing some Easter pics, family fun, and some awesome blog finds.

BruCrew Top Ten

 1.  HE IS RISEN!  Hallelujah!  We had a wonderful Easter service on Sunday celebrating our risen Lord.  Easter is a wonderful time of celebrating the hope that we have in Christ.  He overcame death with life.  All our hope is in HIM.  He has taken all the pain and hatred and given us a new life in Him.  “Because He lives I can face tomorrow.  All fear is gone because I know he holds the future.”  What a wonderful message of hope that we can cling to each and every day.  Our God loves us so much!!!

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2.  Family matchy matchy outfits and pictures are a must.   Easter is the one day out of the year that I insist on matchy cuteness!   This years outfits all started with my gray polkadot dress with orange belt.   The day before Easter we hit up JC Penney and found something for everyone that coordinated.   Gotta love trying to do a group photo with a tripod.  It isn’t the easiest to accomplish.  But at least we documented the matchy day right?

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3.  My family loves photo shoots so much.  Ha!  Not only do we have to do a family shot, we also do individual photos.   I like to call these “school” pictures too.

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 4.  Every year my kids ask if I am going to make these giant peanut butter eggs.  It’s officially tradition to have them in their baskets now.  I love that they can’t wait to bite into them!

pb easter eggs

5.  Date days with my girlie are still going strong.  Recently we had fun making treats to send to our little nieces and nephews, followed by coffee and shopping at the mall.   Quality time and gifts definitely seem to be her love language.

date day

I love finding new bloggers to read.  Here are a few that I have recently been following!

6.  Hello, dinner!  How delicious do these Enchilada Nachos from Megan of The Housewife in Training Files look?

Enchilada Nachos

7.  I just recently discovered Julia’s blog Vikalinka and I love every thing she posts.  Doesn’t her Berry Tart scream spring to you?  I am totally all into fresh berries right now!

Berry Tart
8.  I seriously want to run to the store for a case of jars and paint.  How fun are these Spring Inspired Striped Jars from The Crafted Sparrow?

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9.  It has been way too long since my last donut baking spree.  Carla from Chocolate Moosey shared these Vanilla Bean Doughnuts, and now I am craving a kitchen date with my donut pan.

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 10.  All my baking combined with summer coming at me quickly has made me step up my A game at the gym again.  I took a small break from cross fit, but now shorts and dresses have me motivated to keep at it.

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Anyone have big plans for the weekend?  Ours involves a pizza/movie night, an Awana Grand Prix race, 2 soccer games, cleaning the house, and life group.  Never a dull moment around here :-)

Have a wonderful weekend with your family.

10 Fun Things About Carnival Cruises

Last month we took our family on a Carnival cruise.  February was the perfect month to go this year with all the snow and cold weather we experienced.  My husband and I booked this cruise about 6 months ago, but we didn’t tell our kids.  It was a long six months, and we almost spilled the beans so many times.  But the end surprise was so much fun to share with them.  We actually waited until the morning that we were leaving to tell them.  We woke them up early for a “family” meeting where we let them know they weren’t going to school because of our trip.  The look on their faces was priceless.  We have never seen them get ready so quickly on a school morning :-)

I wanted to find a fun way to share some of the pictures I took that week with you, so today I am putting them into our top 10 things we enjoyed the most about Carnival cruising.

10 Fun Things About Carnival Cruises

1.  Carnival Cruises are affordable.  Vacations with 5 people tend to get pricey when you start figuring in lodging, food, travel expenses, clothing, and so many more things.  We love that a cruise includes most of those expenses in one flat fee.  You do still have your travel expenses getting there and buying whatever clothes you may need, but the cruise itself is very doable.

If you book one of the older ships, you can also have 5 people in one cabin.  Yes, that is tight, but totally doable as well.  Even with our kids getting older, we still had plenty of room. The only thing you need a cabin for on a cruise is sleeping and showering.  Why spend more money on a bigger cabin that you are not going to be in?   [Read more...]

Camera Giveaway

Today I am excited to share this fun giveaway with you.  You have a chance to win a camera for yourself and a friend.  How fun is that?!?!

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Okay get ready! We’ve teamed up with some fabulous sites to be able to offer a 2 camera giveaway!

ONE FOR YOU AND ONE FOR A FRIEND

Just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Capture those sweet smiles or get some beautiful pictures of the beautiful goodies you make!

We’ve made it super easy to enter here.

Share this giveaway on FB for more entries.

Thank you to the sites participating and offering the awesome giveaway.

Good luck.

Our fingers and toes are crossed for you:)

Giveaway ends on February 12, 2014 at midnight MST.

REFINE

Our last year has been one of many changes and adjustments.  We followed God’s leading in our lives and went into full time ministry.  It truly amazes me to look back on the last year and see how God provided for our family.  Were there times I doubted His provision?  Yes, I am human after all.  I like security.  I like knowing what is going to happen and when it is going to happen.  I also like knowing there is money in our account to pay those bills that do not stop coming in, even when you change jobs and take a large pay cut.

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But that is where trust comes in.  I had to completely trust God for those things I could not control.  I had to trust my husband in his choices for our family.  It’s a hard but easy choice to make.  My head knows that God will keep us safe and provided for…sometimes it takes my heart longer.  My human nature does not like to be out of my comfort zone.   [Read more...]

Merry Christmas from the BruCrew Family


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I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

Make sure you take time this holiday season to enjoy your family and to eat those cookies, but most importantly remember to celebrate our Savior’s birth.  God sent his Son to be born a child who would become our King.  That sure does make the presents and the busyness of our lives seem unimportant.  I can’t wait to unplug for a little bit and to enjoy my family as we celebrate CHRISTmas.  May your heart be lifted in praise for the wonderful gift  of Jesus and the joy that He brings into our lives.

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Luke 2:14
…a Saviour is born who is Christ the Lord.  Glory to God in the highest,and on earth, peace, good will toward men.

My Favorite Things Giveaway

My Favorite Things Giveaway | Inside BruCrew Life

It’s that time of year when you start to look for the perfect gift item for friends and family members.  Today I am so excited to share this fun giveaway with you.  I am partnering with an awesome group of blog friends this year.  We have all gathered some of our favorite things into a gift basket, and YOU have the chance to win those items.  I had a blast putting together the things that I use all the time just for you.

Not only is this giveaway a fantastic way to drum up gift ideas for anyone and everyone on your list this year, it is a great Wish List Idea Generator for yourself as well. Every single giveaway basket is chock full of fabulous, tried-and-true, favorites and gift ideas. Even if it’s a treat, it’s always fun to give to a friend with a note that says, “Enjoy one of my favorites” for Christmas, birthdays, or just because.

To enter-

  • Check out the gift collage below
  • Scroll to the bottom to see the details for MY favorite things giveaway
  • Enter to win my gift basket at the giveaway below
  • HOP to all of the other sites to enter to win their gifts!
  • Look around and enjoy the sites of thecreative bloggers–they will not disappoint!
  • *Note- if you receive an error message, click to the blog’s home page

 

 

[Read more...]

BruCrew Top Ten

Are you ready for the weekend?

We actually do not have anything planned for the weekend…yet.  I’m thinking maybe a drive to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch sounds like fun.  The problem is that my kids have reached the age of thinking those things are not very cool.  So maybe we can go for a hike later tomorrow afternoon.

Tonight my youngest is having some friends spend the night.  4 ten year old boys all night long…please send chocolate (for me, not them)!!! This could get nuts!

Are you ready for some fun finds?  Here are my top 10 from the past few weeks.  I love sharing my instagrams and the yummy things I have pinned or tried.  Hopefully you will see something new that you just have to go find :-)

 

1.  My daughter and I went with a group of ladies and girls from our church to the Secret Keeper Girl Crazy Hair Tour and saw One Girl Nation.  Love the message that they are promoting that everyone is made unique, and that we need to embrace not being normal.  I want my girlie to know that inner beauty, modesty, and purity are more important than being popular and fitting in.

Crazy Hair Collage

2.  My mind was blown when I saw Bake Your Day’s Peanuts & Candy Corn Reese’s Pieces Rice Krispie Treats!  Reese’s and candy corn…oh yeah!!!!

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3.   The weather has cooled off so much lately.  Time to pull those Crock Pots out for meals this fall.  Have you seen these Crock Pot Seasoning Mixes?  They are perfect for adding the perfect flavor to your meals.  We tried the Chili one the other night and loved it.  Right now you can enter your favorite slow cooker meal on Crock Pot Seasoning Mixes Facebook page for a chance to win free groceries.

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4.  I have a thing for weeds in the fall.    I know they are just weeds, but seriously how pretty are these!!!

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5.  It’s been too long since I have made donuts.  I can’t get these Maple Glazed Doughnuts from A Pumpkin and a Princess out of my mind.  Yum!!!

Maple-Glazed-Apple-Doughnuts-Recipe

6.  Best thing to happen to my coffee this month…Dark Chocolate Fudge creamer.  It’s the bomb!!!

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7.  There is just something so cute about a decorated cupcake!  The Cookbook Queen completely knocked these Oreo Spider Cupcakes out of the Halloween ballpark!  I never thought I would say this, but how cute is this spider?!?!

Oreo Spider Cupcakes
8.  Need more candy to create those cute edible crafts and cupcakes?  Check out SweetWorks!  They have such a great assortment of candies and chocolates to choose from.  I am looking forward to playing with the big box of goodies they sent me.

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9.  Craving sweet and salty?  This Pretzel Toffee from Jen’s Favorite Cookies looks like it would definitely conquer those cravings!  Man, I wish I had some right now!!!

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10.  I picked up some bags of Pumpkin Kisses and Candy Corn M&M’s while out shopping.  Guess what I will be doing this weekend?

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Stay up to date on all the BruCrew baking here:

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Have a wonderful weekend enjoying your family and this beautiful fall weather.

*BruCrew Life was sent some product samples to try out.  No other compensation was given.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Tomato Avocado Egg Sandwich and BruCrew Top Ten

Happy Friday the 13th!  I think our freak hot weather week from earlier has left…hopefully for good.  Bring on the cool weather so we can wear sweatshirts and have bonfires without sweating.

Today’s Top 10 is slightly different.  I have a fun product and recipe to share with you for the #1 spot.  I didn’t think you would mind :-)

Tomato Avocado Egg Sandwich - the traditional egg sandwich gets a twist from tomato, avocado, and cheese  http://www.insidebrucrewlife.com
1.  I had an opportunity a few months ago to see this Sandwich Maker from Hamilton Beach in action at the BlogHer conference.   It is such a fun little appliance, and I knew my family would love making breakfast with it.  I was so excited when they contacted me about reviewing one in my home.  When my husband saw the sandwich maker, he wasn’t that impressed, and he didn’t think it would work.  Guess who uses this machine almost every single day now???  That’s right…he had to take back all those things he said.  He loves how easily this cooks an egg and toasts your muffin at the same time.  Seriously it gets used every day!

I love that this appliance is small enough to keep on the counter without taking up much space.  With someone in the family using it every day, I didn’t want to put it away.  But it is also small enough that it wouldn’t take up much room in a cabinet either.   [Read more...]

Warrior Dash 2013

mud 1

Last weekend my husband and my oldest son and I joined some friends and ran the Warrior Dash in a town near ours.

Yes, I’m crazy :-)

Seriously I am such a girlie girl.   I love cute clothes and accessories.  I don’t leave my house without make up or real clothes on.  No pajama pants or yoga pants leave my house unless I’m going to the gym.  Now obviously there have been a few instances, but I can really only think of one or two where I did go in a store that way.  So running a mud run is quite a stretch for me.  But it actually isn’t the first one I have done.

Two years ago my husband and I did and finished a Tough Mudder.  13 miles of running through the mud and water in 50* weather.  Now that was crazy!!!   [Read more...]