Mother's Day with Minted

(Disclosure: In exchange for sharing this with you, I will receive credit for product from Minted.com.)

I first discovered Minted around the time my daughter was born (nearly a year ago now). I was so sad that I hadn't know about their birth announcements!  When I still had a bun in the oven and was ready to buy the entire baby aisle, I posted about ordering prints for the nursery and for the boys' room and how excited I was!  Boy, was I missing out!

Minted has a whole slew of children's art prints, and I'm particularly loving this Anatomy of a Name print and it's available in 6 different colors!

While I'm going to spend the next week drooling over children's prints, I know Mother's Day is coming up fast!  Sunday May 10th, just 8 days after my baby turns one (insert sobbing here) and my middle child turns five!

While I was surfing through Minted's new collection of art prints, I came across the perfect Mother's Day present for my closest and longest friend!

Her family recently adopted an evil adorable Boston Terrier puppy, and this print is just so darn cute!  They also have a Doberman (talk about weird family dynamics), and she already has hanging wall wart for him.  I feel she just has to have this.  Since I'm terrible at keeping presents a secret (or any secrets, for that matter), she has also agreed that she needs this.

However, unlike me, you might not think a Boston Terrier print says Happy Mother's Day! That's okay!  There are tons of other options.  For something a little more traditional, you could buy your mom, grandma, or other mommy gal pal one of the Luminous prints or a Fading Pink Roses photograph!

Minted also has these new map gifts where you can fill in family photos in the shape of your home state (or some other state if you prefer, I guess).  I, however, am super impressed with their nifty foil maps.  Can you say shiny!

On a final note, I might be most excited about their Submit a Design challenges!  If you're not familiar, Minted hosts challenges where artists can submit their work to different categories (such as Happy New Years).  The fans vote and the winning designs are sold on Minted.  Winners get paid between $100 and $1000 and they get 8% commission on prints sold.  As a Vis Comm college student, I'm hoping to dive in on this challenge!

What piece art would be perfect for a deserving mom in your life?
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13 Slow Cooker Recipes

Today I bring you another round up of delicious slow cooker recipes for your feasting pleasure!  I recently posted a round up of 20 soup recipes for your crock pot.  So, if you're looking for soups, hop on over to that post.  Today's post is featuring a few sweets and then pastas and sandwiches!


Crock Pot Cinnamon Rolls by Penny Pincher Jenny
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Casserole by Anne's Entitled Life
Slow Cooker Molten Lava Cake by Money Saving Mom

Pastas & Rice

Crock Pot Baked Ziti by Tammilee Tips
Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles by The Coupon Challenge
Slow Cooker Curried Lentils with Pistachios by Three Different Directions
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese by Snappy Gourmet
Crock Pot Mac & Cheese by Baking Beauty
Slow Cooker Chicken Jambalaya by Savory Experiments

Sandwiches & Wraps

Caramelized Onions for Burgers by Confessions of an Overworked Mom
North Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork by Two Healthy Kitchens
Korean Beef Soft Tacos by Three Different Directions
Healthy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches by Two Healthy Kitchens

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14 Paleo Recipes #Whole30

For April, my family and I are challenging ourselves to do the Whole30 and focus on living a Paleo lifestyle.  If you're not sure what Whole30 or Paleo is and you don't feel like googling it, here's a brief description:

Whole30/Paleo focuses on cutting foods and food groups from your diet that may have negative impacts on your health.  It is inspired by the idea that our Paleolithic ancestors (when humans were mostly nomadic and not settled) who ate solely for nutrition were healthier.  Food groups such as dairy and grains are eliminated.

Now, please don't bash me if I'm not 100% right or if I left out some important details.  I am new to this.  Anyway, the idea of reinventing the way we eat (and I cook!) is a little scary.  So, I've rounded up 14 Paleo/Whole30 friendly recipes to get me (and you!) started.


Chocolate Beet Pancakes by Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Paleo Overnight Breakfast Casserole by Just Us Four
Paleo Egg Cups by Confessions of an Overworked Mom


Easy Paleo Spaghetti by Jenn's Raq
Gluten Free Meatballs by Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Mashed Cauliflower by WholeFoods Market
Wild Mushroom Soup by Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Broccoli Cream Sauce by Primal Palate

Desserts & Snacks

Delicata Squash Brownies by Fearless Dining
11 Paleo Approved Snacks by Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Pear and Cinnamon Muffins by Fearless Dining
Paleo Ice Cream by Three Different Directions
Pumpkin Bars with Coconut Flower by Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Paleo Balls of Fire by Just us Four

Have you tried the Whole30 challenge?  What do you or would you miss most following the Paleo diet?
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20 Slow Cooker Soup Recipes

I am absolutely in love my with my crock pot (or slow cooker, whichever you call it).  Actually, there's barbecue chicken breasts cooking in mine right now!  Some people might argue that soups are only for winter, but I love a good soup, year round!

Plus, soups are pretty low maintenance, regardless, so throw in crock pot friendly soup recipes and you've got a super simple dinner.  So, here's 20 slow cooker soup recipes!
20 Slow Cooker Crock Pot Soup Recipes

Weight Watchers Vegetable Soup by Just 2 Sisters
Beer Chili by Tammilee Tips
Tomato Tortellini Soup by Tammilee Tips
Cheeseburger Soup by Tammilee Tips

Chicken Corn Chowder by the Country Chic Cottage
Spicy Taco Soup by Tammilee Tips
Beer and Cheese Soup by Tammilee Tips
Beef Bacon Chili by Just Us Four

Stuffed Pepper Soup by Tammilee Tips
Vegan Barley Stew by Mama Likes to Cook
3 Ingedient, Gluten Free Chili by Simply Southern Mom

Rich & Hearty Minestrone Soup by Rural Mom

Bone Broth How To by Our Small Hours

Baked Beans by Baking Beauty
White Bean & Chicken Chili by How to Have It All
Beef Barley Soup by How to Have It All

Easy Chicken Tortellini Soup by Happy Deal - Happy Day
Crazy Pineapple Chili by Two Healthy Kitchens
Vegetarian Chili with Bulgur Wheat by Thrifty Jinxy

Italian Wedding Soup by Two Healthy Kitchens

Share with me your favorite thing to make in the crock pot!

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4 Tips to Get Kids to Enjoy Reading

Reading.  We know it's fundamental that children learn how to read.  Children Kindergarten age, and sometimes earlier, are reading or learning to read.  Ready is pushed so hard by schools and parents that it can be very stressful and not fun for children.
Tips to Get Kids to Like Reading
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Reading expands vocabulary, improves speaking, logic, and communication skills and has many more benefits!  Here are 4 tips to get your children loving reading!

1. Read to them.

Some parents start reading to their child in the womb!  Whether or not it's necessary to start that early might be debatable, but it is important to start reading to your baby early on in infancy.  Even the youngest infants will enjoy the sound of your voice as you read to them.

As children grow older they can enjoy the colors, shapes, and pictures.  Eventually children will be able to read themselves, but they will still value you taking the time to read to them.  After they can read on their own, you can do shared reading time and take turns reading to each other!

2. Read what they like.

It's important to recognize that children are more likely to read something that interests them!  If you child is into superheroes, Barbie, bugs, horses, etc. then get them books about their topic of interest.  If you're not sure, try simply asking your child or just buying a variety of books.  You might also consider books with familiar characters or themes.

3. Reward them with reading.

Now while rewarding reading is definitely an option, rewarding with reading is a great way to promote that reading is a fun, positive experience.  For example, allowing older children to stay up 15 minutes past their bed time, if they're reading, is a way to reward children with reading.  Don't assign reading as punishment, as that will only reinforce any ideas your child has that reading is not for fun.

4. Lead by example.

Carve out some time in your busy schedule to lead by example, and read for pleasure.  If this is not something you typically do, try following tip #2 for yourself.

Remember that there are a variety of types of reading materials.  These include magazine, poetry, self help books, how to books, fiction novels, and more.  Find what your kids like.  Find what you like.  And read on!
What are you currently reading or hoping to read?  What does your child enjoy reading?
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