BruCrew Top Ten

Hello, hello!!!  So I would say that it was because I was so incredibly busy this summer, so that’s why Top Ten took a break for a while.  Yeah, let’s go with that and not the fact that I’m lazy and just didn’t do it.  LOL! Perks of being your own boss…you get to make the rules.  Gotta love that!  Anyway, I’m back today to share a few of my favorites from the past 2 months.

 

1.  Last month my hubby and I went with a few other couples/friends on our church staff retreat.  It was a nice time to just get away and relax and get to know each other more.  We spent the few days praying for our church family, biking, eating, and exploring Lake Geneva.

One of the days we biked into town, then Jeremy and I decided to find a few bakeries.  Bike and dessert crawl…does biking to 2 different bakeries count as a crawl?  We actually found another one, but it was closed on that particular day.  Not that I really needed more dessert after downing half of the chocolate pie and lemon tart and then most of the coconut cream.  Jeremy is the dessert light weight in our family…I have to help him out most days in this area.  It’s rough but that’s another job I excel at :-)

biking & desserts collage
2.  The BruCrew does a White Sox game.  My mother in law gets tickets through her work for these crazy awesome up close seats to a few White Sox games a year.  This year the boys and I were able to join them for one of the games.  It is always fun to eat game food and hang out with family.  Too bad the White Sox had probably one of the worst games ever.  Most people left in the 7th inning because they were losing so bad…we listened to the score after we got home.  16-0!  Yup, glad we left early too.

White Sox collage

 3.  First day Back to School photos are a must.  Our kids thought they were getting out of it this year because it was rainy that morning.  But by the time we left it was just misting.  Most days I do not like the giant tree in our front yard (it blocks my light in our windows…food photographer problems), but today it shielded the camera from the mist.  Lucky for the kids it was one of the fastest back to school picture taking sessions.  Maybe one of these years I’ll just take them the weekend before.  Ya know, like a dry run for the first day of school.

Back to School pics collage

4.  Do your kids pack their lunch boxes for school?  Produce for Kids has a new Power Your Lunchbox Pledge that parents can sign up for.  There are lots of lunch box ideas, coupons, and tips on how to pack a healthier lunch.

You can also use the hashtag #PowerYourLunchbox on Instagram or Twitter to show off the healthy lunches you create for your family. There are prizes and features each week. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Bowties and Veggies | Caramel Maple Yogurt Dip
Chicken Veggies Wraps | Fruity Fun Roll Ups

Produce For Kids Collage

 5.  I sure hope my “little” girl will always like dressing like her mama.  The other day she wore a t-shirt and scarf to go run errands with me, and I realized how long it had been since I had pulled out a scarf too.   I pulled out a t-shirt and scarf that day too.  Good thing she is so good natured…she is a good sport for letting me copy her clothing for the day.  Hopefully that never changes!!!

IMG_7263

6.  This summer I became a legal driver again.  Yes, I was driving illegally for oh, about a 1 1/2 years. If you let your license expire for over 6 months, you need to retake the written test.  I stressed out about that one for a good week before I sucked it up and went and took it.  I’m not sure how many I actually missed because I was so excited when the lady told me I passed.  And yes, I did stop outside the BMV for funny pictures.  If you follow my Instagram, you probably already saw the jumping picture :-)

IMG_7226-1

IMG_7239-1

 7.  This summer I had a chance to try Oatworks smoothies.  These fruit smoothies are packed with 100% fruit juice and the power of two bowls of oatmeal. The added fiber keeps you full longer and helps you be energized to get your day started…or to restart your day if you drink one later.   I really liked having one of these as a start to my day.  They were smooth and delicious!  The oats are blended into the fruit juice so well.  You would never know there is oatmeal in the drink.  Smooth and creamy and perfect for grabbing on the go for any busy school morning!

IMG_6883

I love checking out the fun things that my fellow bloggers are making.  Here a few that I found on pinterest that look amazing!!!

8. A giant cookie loaded with peanut butter and chocolate…I am definitely drooling over this Ultimate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake from Baker by Nature.

PB Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

9.  I have a thing for fudge, so when I saw this S’mores Fudge from Spoonful of Flavor, it was calling my name.  Those gooey toasted marshmallows look so good!!!

Fudge_Smores

 10.  Healthy bites of cookie dough…I’ll take about 15 of these  Monster Cookie Dough Energy Bites from Life Made Simple

Monster-Cookie-Dough-Energy-Bites-2

 

Have a wonderful day and make sure you take time to relax this coming weekend.  Our craziness starts today with soccer games every day until Sunday.   Go team BruCrew!!!!  We are looking forward to a quiet day of rest on Sunday afternoon.

 

Stay up to date on all the BruCrew baking here:
FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | GOOGLE+ | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | BLOGLOVIN

 Sign up to receive an email in your inbox for each new recipe:
EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION

 

*BruCrew was sent product from Oatworks, and a gift card compensation from Produce for Kids for mentioning the affiliate links in this post.  All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.

I Am Second

I am second…and liking it.

IMG_5014-2

It’s so easy to have God as #1 on a Sunday, but Monday comes and guess who takes over that position?  I jump in and say my life is numero uno.

We all have things going on in our life.  Family, health, and job issues plague us every single day.  If we let those take over our thought process, God gets pushed out of the way.

God loves each and every one of us with a fierce love.  He wants the best for us, and He is able to do anything for us.  His only request is for us to put Him as the first thing in our lives.

Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of Heaven.  His love endures forever.

us-1

Do you know how hard that is?

I don’t know about you, but I have control issues.  I want to keep my hands in everything.  My head knows the phrase “let go and let God”, but my heart doesn’t always follow.  My kids, my husband, my finances, my job…all these things I try to control by my actions.  One way I have been convicted of this in the past few months has been with this blog.  A year and a half ago my husband left a great paying job to become a full time pastor at our church.  Scary?  Yes.  Exciting?  Yes.  Fearful?  Yes.  Challenged?  Yes.  In my heart I knew I could turn my hobby blog into something more substantial to help out with our finances.  So over the past 1 and a 1/2 years I have put my heart and soul into this “job”.  And I absolutely love it!!!!

There have been so many awesome opportunities, and God has blessed our family in so many ways.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

IMG_5033-1

The problem…

I have slowly pushed God into that second place.  Somedays He was even in fifth place.

Oh, it didn’t start out that way.  I mean to take a step of faith like leaving a good paying job to go into ministry requires a lot of faith and trust in our God.  A faith in our loving God that He will provide.

I didn’t ever doubt that!  But…slowly in a year’s time I started to rely on myself to earn and get those job opportunities.  And those jobs did keep coming.  But I wasn’t happy.

One thing I realized is that I needed to take a step back in blog areas.

One of my biggest traffic days as a blogger is Sunday.  I have always tried to capitalize on that by posting a new recipe Sunday mornings.  My goal was to have this post written by Saturday night, but that goal slowly evaporated.  I am perpetually late to everything, so come Sunday morning I was still trying to finish writing a blog post and trying to get ready for church.

Talk about a conflict of interest!!!!

My heart attitude was wrong, and the focus had become all about me and what I could do.  I wasn’t focused on worship or listening to the Word those days.  All my mind was consumed with was making sure things were shared, so I could see a good page view day.

us-2

It was a very good day when I realized I needed to put God back on that throne of #1.  I knew God was speaking to my heart about NOT posting on Sundays.  So, I changed up my posting schedule. For the past few months Saturday has been my new recipe day.  No, it isn’t as good as posting on a Sunday, but I know that I obeyed the tug in my heart to change things.   I believe that God will honor that.  It might not be how I would choose, but you know what, I’m ok with that.

If you get my email newsletter, it does come out a day late, so hopefully everyone looks at the date and realizes it isn’t a Sunday post.  I know it isn’t something that anyone probably even noticed, but for some reason I felt that familiar tug to share my thought process with you.

Giving God back control has been a game changer for me.  I feel happier!  I know God is able to fulfill my heart desires to provide for my family.  So traffic, shmaffic!!!  I can honestly say I don’t care if it tanks over a Sunday because there is no new recipe.  I Am Second!!!!  And putting God as #1 in my heart and life is how I want to live.

Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

IMG_5083-1

Allowing God to work in our lives can be scary.  But He is able, and He won’t fail.  Sometimes it isn’t how we would do it or how we think it should look, but when we let go, God can do amazing things with us.  Serving God with your whole heart, mind, and soul will bring peace and joy.  Just remember to lean on Him during those times of weakness and ask for His guidance and forgiveness when we mess up.

 Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Philippians 2:13 For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases Him.

iPad Mini or $300 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

 

IPadMiniGiveaway

 

This week my good friend Lindsay from Life, Love, and Sugar is celebrating her 2 year blogiversary.  She invited a few of us to celebrate with her this week with some fun giveaways.  Today you have the chance to win either an iPad mini or a $300 Amazon Gift Card.

With school starting in just a short time, either one of these awesome prizes would come in super handy.  You could use the iPad mini to surf google for interesting school projects (or to read sugar loaded blogs like ours), or you could choose the $300 and do some serious school shopping on Amazon.  Either way if you win, you are going to have some fun.

Make sure you enter below.  And then go visit Lindsay and say Happy Blog Birthday…today she has a pretty sweet looking Dark Chocolate Cake that I wish I had a slice of to celebrate with her :-)

 

 

Better Life Bag Giveaway

Come check out why I have fallen in love with these Better Life Bags.

Better Life Bags Giveaway

A few months ago I came across these adorable bags on Instagram.  I followed them over to the Better Life Bags site and fell in love with the adorable custom bags that you can create there.

But what really touched me was how Rebecca the owner of Better Life Bags started her company.  It all started when she couldn’t find a diaper bag that she liked, so she designed and created her own custom bag.  A picture on FB and the orders from friends started pouring in.

Better Life Bags Giveaway

But it didn’t stop there.  Rebecca wanted to use her business to help others in the communities that God placed them in.  She and her family moved to Detroit, MI in 2010 and began employing women who couldn’t find jobs.  Rebecca hires the women to sew each bag order that comes in.  These women earn respect and a living to provide for their own families.

I love how Rebecca took it upon herself to use the talents that God gave her to help others.  What an amazing mission she has created in Detroit helping others live a better life.

Better Life Bags Giveaway
I was so excited when my first custom bag arrived.  You have the option of choosing a ready made bag or a custom bag on their site.   When you create your own bag you choose different fabric/patterns and leather and hardware color. Each bag is beautiful and expertly made with quality materials.

Better Life Bags Giveaway

I like to carry lots of small bags organizing all the things in my purse, so I knew I wanted a larger bag.  After looking at all of them, I finally decided on the Nicole.  It is large enough for all my bags and a small laptop.  Although I have to admit, I have my eye on the Brynnda next.

Better Life Bags Giveaway
Are you ready to design your own bag?

Rebecca has graciously offered one free customized bag from Better Life Bags up to $100.   Follow the directions below in the Rafflecopter.  You must have a shipping address within the United States to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Inside BruCrew Life was sent a Better Life Bag to review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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!!

IMG_6489

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

IMG_6509

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!

IMG_5851

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.

necklaces

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!

stuffed-french-bread-main-682x1024

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!

FoodieCrush-Turkey-White-Cheddar-Grilled-Cheese

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!

Chocolate-Mousse-Cake-by-Diethood

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.

IMG_6571

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!

 

Stay up to date on all the BruCrew baking here:
FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | GOOGLE+ | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | BLOGLOVIN

 Sign up to receive an email in your inbox for each new recipe:
EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION

 

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!

AK us and tree of lifeAK collage AK river rapids

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.

DSC_0703-1

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!

IMG_6169
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.

DSC_0725-1

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.

merry go roundDisney Treats us and space mountaincastle

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!

HS star wars sightingsDSC_0803-1

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!

DSC_0831-1 HS fireworks
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.

downtown disney

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!

IMG_5875

 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.

blogger food 1 blogger food 3 blogger food 4 blogger food 5

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.

Kool-Aid-Meringue-Cookies

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

Homemade-Slushie-Recipe-at-Love-From-The-Oven1-650x989

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.

IMG_5814

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!

chicken-flatbreads-with-avocado-mango

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!!!

IMG_5647-1

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?

DSC_0999-1

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.

family

 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?

Spring-Inspired-Striped-Jars

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.

Baked-Vanilla-Bean-Doughnuts-2141

 

 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.

wod

 

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?!?!

Untitled-14

 

 

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.

IMG_2573

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


christmas card finish

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.