Thursday, April 17, 2014

Foodie Friday Featuring Asparagus Sides

I would love it if you took a moment to visit my co-host Diane at Simple Living and Eating

If you're new to Foodie Friday, here's the run down
1. Link up your recipe or any food related post below
2. Browse the linky, visit some new blogs, and share if you feel so inclined. 
3. Please only link up 3 posts. This lets us visit as many of you as possible.
4. By linking up you give me permission to feature your photos on Home Maid Simple (always linking back to you of course!)
5. Each month I send out a newsletter with the most popular links from that month - you may be featured!!  This is a once a month newsletter, no spamming involved. Sign up over there ------>

Happy Almost Easter

We're headed over to my mom's this weekend for our Easter dinner. She's purchased a lamb, which is something I've never had, and she's never cooked herself! It should be a lot of fun. I tried to find lamb last Easter but couldn't find it. So we enjoyed a more simple Jerusalem dinner to remind us of Christ and what He may have eaten. 

This week instead of featuring 1 blogger, I wanted to feature some of your Easter recipes. They were so overwhelming though, I decided to narrow it down to one of my favorite Spring sides - Asparagus! I'm sure you've already got your main dish planned for this Easter, but perhaps are looking for a godo side. I'd suggest giving one of these a try!

from Farm Flavor

Asparagus with Crispy Garlic and Prosciutto
from A Palatable Pastime

from My Carolina Kitchen
This would make more of a meal than a side :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop

Hoppy Easter 2

Welcome to the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop!
This hop is hosted by I am a Reader and Read now Sleep Later. 

I have been so excited for this giveaway my friends because I am bringing you gift certificates for TWO of my favorite things in life - Food, and Book related stuff! Exciting right? We need food to live, but books make living so much better. With spring finally showing up, that usually means a little crazier schedule as we try to catch some sun. Hopefully this giveaway will give you a little time back to enjoy the more important things in life - like family. So enough suspense, let's welcome these sponsors. 

Schwans! I met Myesha (love her name) at a Home and Garden show a month ago. She was so friendly to talk to. I told her the story of how as a kid, one of the most exciting times for us was when the Schwans Man came driving up our driveway (it was a long drive..). Living in the backwoods of NH, we didn't get an ice cream truck, and I believed they were just in stories and movies (until I moved to UT and actually saw one, and bought ice cream from one...). To us, the Schwans Man WAS our ice cream truck. My mom would sit down with him in our living room, look through the catalogue he brought, check out the weeks specials, make an order, and bam - there it was, in his truck all ready for her. 

My older brother, and my baby sister and brother hanging out on the Schwans truck. 

Currently Schwans offers over 350 products flash frozen at the peak of freshness. As a mother myself now, I placed my first Schwans order last week online (oh the days have changed) of Bomb Pop Jr Frozen treats and the LiveSmart Creme Bars, and it arrived Monday night. Of course I couldn't help myself, and while our Schwans man was at the door we went ahead and ordered some raspberry lemonade and pecan pie. It took all of 2 minuted for him to grab those out of his truck and be back at our door. Freshness delivered to me - I could get use to this! Plus Schwans has a reward system now! 5% back online for every order placed. Sweet deal.  
Along with the Giveaway today Myesha has more savings for you when you visit
myesha2 for $5 off a $25 order or $10 off a $50 order. 
myesha15 for $15 off a $75 order

Our next sponsor is one I've been crushing over for awhile. When they said they would love to be part of this giveaway, I was like a giddy school girl. GoneReading is THE place to shop for all your reading accessories and gifts for readers. Not only can you find some pretty awesome products, like Oh these Open Book Platters that you can serve up your Schwans on, but all after tax profits go to fund libraries and reading related charities!  And there you go - my 3rd favorite thing in this world, doing good for others with no expectation back for you. 

FYI - you all should totally follow my Book Stuff board on Pinterest

Now on to the real fun part!
Enter on the rafflecopter below. 
Must be 18+ and live in the US
Giveaway ends April 24th at midnight. Winner will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. 
**As of posting this there seems to be a problem with the GoneReading website. Hopefully it's just my computer, but if not, I'm working on figuring it out**

Now HOP on to the rest of these awesome giveaways!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Healthy You, Healthy Earth #sponsored

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Earth day is coming up April 22nd! It's one of my favorite non-holiday holidays to celebrate. Perhaps because I have fond memories of picking trash up around our neighborhood with my mom, and piling it in our driveway to see how much we collected.

It was one of those days that was just perfect. We had friends over, it was sunny, and we were doing something good for mother Earth. My family was never big on recycling, probably because there wasn't a service to pick it up for us like the trash, but we did do our best to keep the earth clean and healthy.

Find a Recycling solution near you

Learning how to garden has had so much meaning in my life, and something I've been excited to share with my children. My kids LOVE these Go-Paks! of cookies, so I'll periodically buy them as a special treat. The last time we got them, I looked at those empty containers and thought - gosh those would make great window planters!

Aren't they so cute? Last year I let the girls plant some flowers in milk jugs, so this year I let them branch out and pick some herbs if they wanted. I thought it would be a great lesson in sustainability as well.  We've got 1 cup with basil, 1 with spearmint, and 2 with Marigolds. The kids have been checking every morning and after school to see if anything has sprouted yet. Definitely an experience they will always remember.

When you look hard enough, it's actually easy to find ways to recycle, upcycle, and live a more sustainable life. I love visiting the Healthy Essentials Website, because other than savings they've also got so many tips and knowledge on how to live a Healthy Life while also keeping our Earth Healthy. 

Watch this video to see how Johnson & Johnson employees feel about sustainability. I just love this company!

Don't forget to also check out the Healthy Essentials website for some amazing deals on products that are also Earth friendly. 

Are you ready to give back even more this Earth Day? Download the Donate a Photo App from J&J - for every photo you upload in the App J&J will donate $1 to a list of charitable causes.

Share your tips on having a Healthy You and Healthy Earth!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Saving Money with LED Power #LEDSavings #shop

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. #LEDSavings
Saving Money with GE LED Energy Smart bulbs #LEDSavings #shop #cbias

Ever since my brother told me he's moving his family to Belgium this summer, I've been determined to make a trip back East to see them before they go. I've been racking my brain for ways to cut our monthly costs back. I thought I had done everything I could, without starving my family (I promise we eat a nice balanced diet) when I came across LED power

LED Energy Smart bulbs #LEDSavings #shop #cbias

LED lighting has been around for awhile, but they aren't cheap upfront, and it's not something I've seen or noticed in a lot of homes. Since I was unfamiliar with it, I wasn't so sure the initial cost would really save us money. I'm one who won't buy a store membership just to get a little savings - so buying a single LED powered bulb for what I would normally get 2 or more bulbs for wasn't too convincing at first.

That would be like judging a book by it's cover though, so I did some more research into what kind of savings I would get by purchasing the LED light bulb. Check out the types of savings I found - not just for me, but the environment as well!
LED Savings Infographic #LEDSavings #shop #cbias
Infographic sources - GE Energy Consumption calculator

15X Longer than incandescent Bulbs!!! Let's look at that one a little bit closer  - I buy incandescent bulbs for around $3-$5/bulb. One GE LED Energy Smart is on average $10/bulb but can get up to $15 for a regular indoor bulb. To buy one LED I'm spending 3X the money up front. However, if I buy the incandescent, it's going to burn out a lot sooner than the LED - 15x sooner actually. Let's do a quick life cycle cost analysis shall we?

$5x15 = $75
$15x1 = $15

You all see what I did there right? Over the lifetime of 1 LED bulb I'm saving $60 in bulb replacement costs. That would equal to filling up with gas once. Alright, I'm feeling a little more sold on my upfront costs so I bought a couple at my Walmart to try out.

LED lights in Paint and Hardware at Walmart #LEDSavings #shop #cbias

Now what's this about the trees?  You can head over to GE's website and input the number and style of bulb you are replacing in your home and it does a couple calculations for you. I'm a tree lover, and that number just astounded me! I decided to start with just replacing the 4 bulbs I bought, and see what kind of savings I was going to get. 

Energy Savings Calculator #LEDSavings #shop #cbias

With just 4 bulbs replaced I'm lowering our energy bill by $20/year, and reducing the co2 as if I planted over 3 million acres of trees! The savings would cover almost 1 full bill in the summer, leaving me a little extra for our trip back east.

Later I input enough bulbs to replace all the lights in my home which is where the 15 million acres of trees comes from on the infograph above, but my yearly savings also jumped up to just over $80. That's a good winter's energy bill completely eliminated, and in two years will have more than covered the initial cost of all the bulbs. 
LED lights reduce co2 #LEDSavings #shop #cbias

Finally, did you see the savings cost on a typical household energy bill? Pretty impressive. I'd love to lower my yearly costs to only $26! Put that other $238 in my pocket. What I love about this, besides just the monetary savings, is that the LED lights are designed to improve lighting performance, while also eliminating the wasted heat.

Ever turn off a light and try to change the bulb? CFL's get hot quick! While playing around with the LED and CFL's, I found I could leave the LED on longer, and remove it immediately after turning off the light, while the CFL after just a few seconds got way too hot to touch. Disclaimer: please please always do a quick touch to any lightbulb before grabbing hold so you don't burn yourself. The bottoms of the LED lights do get hot. 

LED lights are Thermal Conscious #LEDSavings #shop #cbias
 Look for a new Clarinet lamp tutorial next week!

So remember how I said I wanted to head back east this summer, but I didn't know what else I could cut from our budget? Look what the GE LED Energy Smart lightbulbs just saved me - 
$60 in bulb replacement costs
$80 from my energy bill (but can be up to $238 for the average household)
That gives me an extra $140 to spend on our vacation - we could actually get a nice hotel for that!

What would you do with the savings from a GE LED Energy Smart bulb?

Of course it doesn't end there, because GE would like you to use this COUPON - available through 5/1

For more Savings info, and to keep up with GE Lighting Follow them on

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Foodie Friday Featuring Raia's Recipes

I would love it if you took a moment to visit my co-host Diane at Simple Living and Eating

If you're new to Foodie Friday, here's the run down
1. Link up your recipe or any food related post below
2. Browse the linky, visit some new blogs, and share if you feel so inclined. 
3. Please only link up 3 posts. This lets us visit as many of you as possible.
4. By linking up you give me permission to feature your photos on Home Maid Simple (always linking back to you of course!)
5. Each month I send out a newsletter with the most popular links from that month - you may be featured!!  This is a once a month newsletter, no spamming involved. Sign up over there ------>

My week:
So we've been on Spring Break this week - I thought I would get a lot of housework done and playing with the kids - but boy have I been slacking!  It's just been one of those crazy weeks. It started with my brother coming home from his 2 year LDS mission to Boston on Monday. We met them at the airport Monday night with lots of hugs and excitement. Tuesday I was worn out, so I don't know what I did. Wednesday was Prince L's birthday, so we did a lot of train playing and outside running. Today I'm at my mom's helping her garden. We'll have it all planned out, and maybe a few seeds planted by the time you're reading this. Friday we're doing a family party for Prince L. Saturday is my cousins daughters Baptism, at which I'll be speaking - nervous! And Sunday will be spend with my family at church where my brother will be speaking on his mission experiences. It's really a great week though! Just busy. Hope you're all having a great week too

This weeks Feature is:

When I go to a new blog, one of the first things I love to do is learn more about the blogger. I don't know what it was exactly, but I want to be Raia's friend for life. We're pretty different - I am terrified of a home birth, I don't have any food restrictions, and I actually love to cook (it's the cleanup I hate!) - but I think there was one thing she said that really made me want to be her friend 
"The most import thing about me? I firmly believe Jesus is the Messiah. Coming to this realization was the most amazing thing that ever happened to me."
Me too Raia! Oh and I also have 4 kids - 3 girls and a boy, so we're kind of alike there too ;)

Raia jumps out to me as being upbeat, friendly, and loving to all. When I get that feeling after only a few seconds on a blog, I know I'm going to be sticking around - hopefully we can be friends Raia!  Most of what Raia will post is Gluten, egg, and dairy free, and a lot of it will also have chocolate.  Check out what she shared with us last week, and then remember to connect with Raia and say hi!

I am so in love with smoothies. I don't do them terribly frequently because I hate cleaning the blender, but at least once a week I indulge

Carrot Cake Doughnuts by
Come on, you know you like moms that give into their kids on a Saturday night and make healthy-ish doughnuts for dinner!

Connect with Raia's Recipes
Facebook  *  Twitter  *  Pinterest


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