A Yummy #TasteAndBelieve Challenge!

I participated in a In-Home Party Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Any reason to get together with friends is a good reason, am I right? When that reason involves the words “salted caramel” and “brownie,” I’m all in. Girlfriends and chocolate go hand-in-hand perfectly.

I got together with a few friends from my bible study this week to treat them to some decadent sweet and salty indulgences…but I had a little surprise for them! I had sampled one (or a few!) of these little bites of heaven before our little get-together and I couldn’t wait for them to give them a try AND let them guess just which company was behind their yumminess! See what I did with that twist there?!

Besides my favorite pairing of salted caramel and chocolate, I love adding fruit to the mix when chocolate is involved, so I set out a cute little tray of the brownie bliss treats and strawberries and made sure all signs of packaging were out of sight.

WW Close Up Treats

These treats are not only yummy, they are also adorable and look great on a platter, don’t you think?! They wouldn’t last long though!

WW Grabbing Treat

As we chit-chatted, everybody grabbed their sweets and took their first bite…and nobody could stop there because YUM. My favorite part was watching everyone try to figure out the company of origin for the brownies – it was a good excuse to take just one more bite…or many!

WW Answer

After all the guesses were submitted, I finally revealed that these yummy salted caramel brownie bliss treats were made by…

WW Reveal

Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods! Surprise! I wish I could have passed them off as my own creations, but it was fun to reveal that each treat was just 90 calories and 2 points for Weight Watchers PointsPlus!

WW Reveal 2

Did you know there is a whole Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods line? It includes yummy treats such as Triple Chocolate Brownie Bliss, Mint Chocolate Brownie Bliss, Peanut Butter Brownie Bliss, Chocolate Crème Cake, Lemon Crème Cake, Red Velvet Crème Cake, Carrot Crème Cake, Chocolate Brownie, Coffee Cake, and Cookies! WOWZERS.

WW Me with Treat

If you’ve been wanting to give one of these treats a try, NOW is the time because you can be a part of the Tasting is Believing Challenge! Until May 31, 2015, buy any Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods product, try it, and if you don’t love it, get your money back! Find these treats at your local store for a suggested retail price of just $3.29 per box!

The #TasteAndBelieve Challenge has me convinced! Which of these Weight Watchers Sweet Baked Goods will you try as part of this yummy challenge?!

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That Special Thing About My Mom {One of Many}

This post is part of a Mother’s Day partnership with Shari’s Berries. I received free product, but was not compensated in any other way for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

This past Mother’s Day weekend, my parents agreed to have the boys at their house while The Hubby and I went to run a race. If you know my mom, this wouldn’t surprise you in the least.

IMG_6481

My mom has always been the woman who welcomes people in, and of course, she gladly welcomes her grandchildren any time. We are so blessed by their willingness to watch the boys and the ways they make the weekend fun for them.

It was in the original Mother’s Day plans for us to come back from our race and to indulge in some beautiful, yummy treats from Shari’s Berries with Mom. They asked me to pick out some wonderful gifts for my mom that we could all share. But on Saturday, Mom came down with a stomach bug and ended up being quarantined in the basement while Dad tried to corral the crazy that is our boys.

By the time, we arrived on Mother’s Day, Mom was feeling a little better and the Shari’s Berries treats had arrived, but you know how it is with the stomach bug – decadent treats (and taking pictures with them) were not a good fit for the day. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve been sick like that, the last thing I want is for people to be around. But Mom always makes the best of every situation and we were welcomed in as if she had been healthy all weekend. This is what makes her my wonderful mom. She’s not just a good hostess, but also never makes anyone feel like an inconvenience, even in the most inconvenient circumstances.

Shari's Berries Treat Box

Later in the day on Sunday, we opened up the Shari’s Berries treats – because Mom insisted – and enjoyed the scrumptious gourmet chocolate covered strawberries. Fruit and chocolate are always a good combination, but Shari’s Berries takes it up a notch with delicious toppings and lovely presentation!

Shari's Berries

Mom was able to enjoy a treat from the Mrs. Fields box that was a little less rich – the cinnamon sugar cookies were soft and perfect for a stomach not quite ready for chocolate decadence! There was also toffee fudge in that box that I hope she’s been able to enjoy by now because YUM!

Shari's Berries Both Boxes

I wanted to share pictures with you today that captured the welcoming, loving spirit of my mom on that Mother’s Day, but instead my words will have to do. I’m not sure any words or pictures could accurately capture what makes her the mom I love so much. Just know that there has never been a person who was not welcomed with open arms in her presence and her home, even at the most inopportune times. Like when you’ve had the stomach bug and three crazy boys in your house on Mother’s Day weekend.

I love you, Mom. Thanks for being who you are – an amazing example of unconditional love, making the best of every situation.

What makes your mom so special? How did you celebrate her this weekend?

 

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Sensible Portions Puffs: Snacks for the Whole Family!

This is a sponsored post from Hain Celestials. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are 100% my own.

I know I’m not the only mom who has kiddos CONSTANTLY asking for things to eat, right?! I’m always on the look out for better-for-you snacks to feed the whole family when they need to munch on something. The boys have found a new favorite in Sensible Portions Puffs from Hain Celestials!

Puffs

Made with organic corn and no fillers, Sensible Portions Puffs are baked and deliciously seasoned bite-size poppable treats for the entire family to enjoy! Sensible Portions Puffs are made with the belief that an after-school snack, or a movie-watching treat, can be fun and delicious while also being a better-for-you, smarter snacking option.

Puffs Eating

The boys take after me and like something a little salty for an afternoon snack along with some fruit or string cheese. I don’t want them to fill up on junk, especially with dinner right around the corner. Sensible Portions Puffs satisfy that salty craving with their four yummy flavors: Veggie, Cheddar, Tomato Basil, and Sour Cream & Onion.

Puffs Boys

The boys loved all four flavors, but the Cheddar were definitely a favorite! The Hubby enjoyed all of the flavors as well, while I had a strong preference for the Veggie Puffs! These really are the perfect thing to snack on – low-calorie and without any nasty fillers! You can grab your own at WalMart stores for just $2.88 a bag!

I want your family to be able to give Sensible Portions Puffs a try, so we’re giving one of you four bags – one of each flavor! To enter, just tell me about your favorite better-for-you snacks for your family! For an extra entry, tweet this and come back to leave a separate comment telling me you did:

Tweet: Enter to win 4 bags of #SensiblePortionsPuffs from @homewiththeboys! http://ctt.ec/3dJF1+ #giveaway

Leave your comments by Monday, May 11th at 8PM CST to be entered!

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The Day We Became We & 11 Years Later

This post is part of the “Love is Everyday” campaign and contest with Personal Creations.

I’m not going to lie. As I’m typing this, I’m watching another sappy Hallmark Channel Valentine’s Day movie. I’m a sucker for a happily-ever-after story and they wrap theirs up quite nicely in two hours.

But I have to laugh because every single one of these movies ends right after the couple finally gets together. And in my experience, the happily-ever-after hasn’t even had a chance to develop at that point.

The Day We Became

I’ve been thinking about the day we became husband and wife over eleven and a half years ago. We were young, we were in love, we were all starry-eyed. It was an absolutely gorgeous day in every way: high in the low seventies, blue sky, perfectly deep pink gerbera daisies, bridesmaids in periwinkle, a sparkling tiara in my up-do, and my handsome man singing to me in his tux. The day we became Mr. and Mrs. was one of the happiest days of my life.

Wedding pic

Except that I think the days just get better and we are more of a WE now then we were on May 31, 2003.

Many marriages dissolve over the years because the couple “drifted apart.” We’ve worked hard to not let any drifting happen, but it wasn’t any sweeping romantic gestures that got us to where we are today.

Fargo017

Eleven years of holding hands through uncertainty. Experiencing life and death together. Changing sheets and changing diapers. Moving from apartment to house to new city and onward. Watching movies and watching children grow and watching time fly by…together. Eleven years of growing stronger and closer together day by day.

I’ll go ahead with the cheesy line because it’s absolutely true: I love this man of mine more today than the day we got married. I am so thankful for the day he and I became we, but I’m infinitely more grateful for what our love looks like today.

The two-hour love stories we watch for entertainment are light-hearted and fun, but I will always take our eleven years of love unfolding with many more years to follow as my happily-ever-after.

The lovely “The Day We Became &” canvas pictured above is just one of the beautiful personalized gifts available from Personal Creations. I received ours as part of this campaign and we are thrilled with it! Take a look around for a special gift to celebrate you and your honey!

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Huggies + Target Subscription Service!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for Huggies and Target. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I have my last kiddo in diapers right now. Do you hear the angels singing?! I do. And it’s a glorious thought that we will be done with diapers for good in six months at the most. This is one stage I will not be sad to see go!

But while we are still using diapers, we always get them at Target because, well, I love Target. And last week, I picked up some new diapers and wipes to try in my very favorite store!

Huggies Target

Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers with the SureFit design are meant to keep your little one leak-free for up to 12 hours! And the flexible waistband keeps the diaper in place even when your toddler is all over the place! Trust me on this one…

Huggies Jump Huggies Muscles Huggies Pushup

He really wanted to show me how he could do a pushup. Also, it is really hard to get an in-focus picture of a 2 1/2 year old who never. stops. moving. The end.

My little guy loves the Mickey Mouse + Friends design, and I love how not bulky the diaper is, even when wet!

Huggies Diaper

We’re both also loving the Huggies Natural Care Wipes. We stick to gentle or fragrance/dye-free items whenever possible, so the Natural Care Wipes are right in line with that we need! They are super soft and gentle, even when cleaning up the biggest of messes! Plus, the containers are super cute – that matters, right?!

We may be almost done with diapers, but we are definitely NOT almost done with wipes! I think I will keep a container of these baby wipes in the car for the rest of my life because they are so handy for every kind of mess, including the kind I make when eating. Yep, messy eater right here.

Now I have some sad related news: Remember how I told you last week we will be moving next summer? The town we are moving to does NOT have a Target. {cue sad violin music}

I’m totally not ready for this deprivation, but Target is launching a new subscription program for automatic shipments of diapers, wipes, formula and other household essentials! You just shop for the items you need, set up a schedule for delivery, and get big savings – 5% off + free shipping + an extra 5% off if you use your RedCard! You can change your subscription items and schedule at any time!

The nearest Target once we move will be an hour away, which isn’t too bad, but I could save the gas money and schedule for things like diapers, wipes, toilet paper, etc. to just show up at my house! I LOVE THAT!

Ok, after that bad news, I need to throw in one more piece of good news: I have a Huggies coupon for you to use at Target! Just click here to claim your Huggies coupon from TargetSaving money on necessities is always good news, right?!

Where are you in the diaper journey: just starting, right in the middle, or almost done like me?

Do you think you’ll use the subscription service from Target?

 

Check out more from Huggies on their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter!

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Singing the Word of God!

I received this CD to review. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

My love for Seeds Family Worship goes on and on and on…

From the moment I first heard a Seeds Family Worship CD five years ago, I was hooked. Seven albums later, I have almost every song memorized and every album just gets better and better. I’m kind of partial to Seeds of Courage, that first album we ever owned, but The Word of God, the newest release from Seeds, has me totally smitten.

I guess I’m assuming you know about Seeds Family Worship, but for those of you who are just hearing about them, they are a music-based ministry that creates modern, relevant word-for-word Scripture songs for families!

The Hubby and I were both music majors and, to be honest, a lot of Christian music written for kids or families is just…annoying. There. I said it. This is NOT the case with Seeds. Seeds Family Worship music is catchy, well-written and produced, enjoyable for the WHOLE family, even picky music lovers! Even the albums we’ve had for five years still get played all the time.

Word of God CD Blog

The Word of God, also known as Volume 8, may have my favorite melodies and music out of all Seeds’ albums. I’m a HUGE fan of track #1 {the title track} based on Hebrews 4:12! “Your Life is Hidden” features Matthew West, who has made an appearance on past Seeds CDs. I super duper love the music and message of track #4, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” based on Philippians 2:9-11. “Genuine” is based on one of my favorite chapters of the Bible, Romans 12. And I love everything about the song “Act Like Men,” based on 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. I want to keep this one on repeat for my boys!

Whether you’re just hearing about Seeds today or you have Seeds albums already in your home, I just know you and your family will adore The Word of God!

And right now, you can get 15% off any Seeds Family Worship CDs in their store when you use the code homewiththeboys at checkout! Oh, did I mention that every CD you buy actually comes with TWO identical CDs? One for you and one for a friend! Another thing I just LOVE about Seeds!

Do you own any Seeds Family Worship albums? Favorite songs?

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Pen + Paper

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

As much as I love this online world – the writing, the connections, the inspiration – I’m still a pen + paper girl. I love to write – as in handwrite on paper. Beautiful journals and colorful pens make me smile. I enjoy writing in a real life planner. I love digital and I love paper. Yes, you can do both.

I’ve posted some pictures on Instagram from my morning quiet time and had people ask about the journals and pens I’m using, so why not write a post about it, right?!

Here are my current favorites in the pen + paper categories…

Pen + Paper Favorites

Paper

The Day Designer by Whitney English – I’m going to try to not be overdramatic, but this planner has CHANGED MY LIFE. I’m great at dreaming up big ideas and making long-term plans, but I get stuck in the day-to-day details. I need major help planning out my days and tackling to-do lists. The Day Designer has seriously revolutionized the way I think about my days and the efficiency with which I tackle all the different responsibilities in my life! I probably need to do a whole post on the Day Designer alone, but I just needed to tell you how much I adore it.

Prayer Journal by Val Marie Paper – Prayer is immensely important to me, but I have a hard time remembering all the prayer requests I want to pray. Val’s beautiful journal is laid out perfectly to jot down prayers for all the important people and areas in my life. I carry it with me in my purse at all times so I can pray or write down a prayer at a moment’s notice. I love that it is organized by month and includes sections for prayers for our world, nation, loved ones, friends, and personal requests, as well as Scriptures to pray and a place to record answered prayers!

Abide Journal by Naptime Diaries – Our Bible study went through this bible study/journal over the summer and we all just adored it. It is an invitation to rest in Him and Jessi included Scripture and devotions right alongside space to process your own needs to really abide in the Lord. If your life feels hurried, stressful, or disconnected, I highly recommend the Abide Journal to help bring you closer to Him.

She Reads Truth study packs – I want them all. There is just something about having a beautiful journal to write your Bible study notes in and She Reads Truth had done this SO well. The artwork is always gorgeous, the study sections for each day help me focus on the passage and write through my thoughts, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. I’m particularly excited about the Hospitality study starting October 27th!

Journals from DaySpring – I can’t even count how many DaySpring journals, but there are full ones all over my house. DaySpring has journals of all sizes and designs – literally something for everyone, including the guys! The All of Me journal is awesome for recording spiritual and physical health, and I always carry a spiral journal of some kind with me to take notes at church!

Anything Moleskine – I was late to the game on Moleskine, but I’m a full believer now. I’ve used the little ones to count my blessings or record exercise. I’ve used something a little bigger as a prayer journal or a doodle book. They just feel special, you know?! I even used one to make a “restaurant passport” book for The Hubby so we could remember all the great places to eat in our city and check them off as we go! We haven’t kept up on it so well, but it looks cute!

Pen

Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens – Great variety of colors, don’t bleed through the pages of any of the paper products listed above, and I love how smoothly they write!

Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Pens – Oh my word. Where have these been all my lives?! Pens, available in many colors, that can be erased just with friction by using the rubber end of the pen! I use these ALL the time in my Day Designer in case I need to rearrange plans.

Sharpie Stainless Steel Fine Point Black Ink Pen – This pen feels amazing to hold in my hand and I love how it writes. And it looks super fancy, which is always fun! The Hubby also loves this pen. For the record, he had one first, so I’m just copying him.

Yes, I just wrote over 700 words about PENS AND PAPER. My love is deep, friends. And I hope you found some new loves to try!

What are your favorite pen + paper products?

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What It Looks Like to Run Wild

I received the products mentioned in this post for review. I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I might be a dreamer, but I also tend to play it safe. I worry about getting things “wrong” or stirring things up. I shy away from activities or dreams that might complicate my life. I go through seasons of pushing and challenging myself, only to fall back in to safe mode where things are more comfortable.

I’ve seen this cycle play out in my training as a runner. When I sign up for a race and have a goal in mind, I am willing to push myself and get a little crazy in the hopes of achieving the desired result. But once the race is over, I slip back to my comfort zone, sometimes even missing workout days and other days just barely making it through with very little effort.

I know this pattern in life and running is not God’s plan for me. The “safe” zone is not where my growth happens or where my faith becomes greater. This almost always happens in the messy places that make me a little uncomfortable. It happens when I do what God recently spoke to me:

Run wild, Erin.

Run Wild 1

He speaks to me a lot while I’m running and in running metaphors, but these words are more about my everyday living than my workouts. I first heard them in a song by For King and Country

There’s no time left to waste
Yeah, you can make your great escape
We’re made to RUN WILD

The song is from the album of the same name, Run Wild Live Free Love Strong, and all of it is moving me to a place of messy forward motion. I may not be the most tidy person at home, but I’ve tried to keep my journey with God nice and neat. This “tidy” faith is more frustrating than freeing. Taking on this call from God to run wild after Him is scary but full to the brim with freedom.

Run Wild 2

I’ve noticed that my tendency towards safety has kept me from encouraging wild faith and trust in God in my family. I use the words “careful” and “nice” a lot. My boys are naturally wild in their behavior, but I have done nothing to show them how God can use their wild spirits to change the world for Him.

Run Wild 4

I need the words RUN WILD before me every day as a reminder. I’ve started chasing some wild dreams and loosened my grip on the small, tidy faith I once held so tightly. Most days feel a little out my control, but I know I my life is completely in His hands. He made me to run wild. He made my guys to run wild. I’m moving out of the safe zone and running wildly with the purpose of changing this world to the glory of His name.

Run wild
Live free
Love strong
You and me

Those words I need in front of my face? There’s no better way to have them on display in my home than with the new Letterpress Blocks from DaySpring! The fun thing with these blocks is the the “Build Your Own Word” site where you can drag and drop letters and symbols before you decide what to buy! Seriously, I spent so much time playing with the mixing and matching of letters and fonts, as well as designing different words and phrases! The actual blocks work well sitting on a ledge or hanging on a wall – however you want to use them keep those important words in view!

Run Wild Giveaway

Thanks to my dear friends at DaySpring, I have a $50 coupon code to use towards a Letterpress Blocks order to giveaway today! Just leave a comment below by Friday, October 17th at 9 p.m. CST telling me the word or phrase you would make with the Letterpress Blocks!

What would your Letterpress Blocks word or phrase be?

 

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Foreverly + Fitness Tanks!

Want a glimpse at the super fancy place I work out every day?!

Foreverly Space

Yep. My living room. That’s it! Sometimes I’m on the treadmill downstairs, but with the 21 Day Fix, I’ve been in my living room working out with Autumn and her gang on the TV for the past 19 days. So since my workout space isn’t that exciting, how about that awesome fitness tank I’m wearing?!

Foreverly Fitness

That’s what this post is really all about because some friends of mine have launched a brand new shop called Foreverly! I asked them to explain a little more about what makes Foreverly so unique…

Foreverly is a new site featuring fabulous boutique and handmade items at up to 80% off. We love fashion, and we love to feel beautiful. We think every woman should be able to feel that way…and afford it! So we’re constantly searching for the best deals on the best items to make you feel more beautiful about you, your family, and your home. Each sale lasts for three days, and then it’s gone… “forever”!

Foreverly was conceived out of a passion for fashion and beauty while tethered to a deep commitment to help others. Alone, we’re all “just one person”, and it can be hard to see how a little can make any difference at all. But small choices can truly make a huge difference in the life of someone else. We at Foreverly feel that if we can make a way for people to give, doing something they already do, buying things they already want or need, maybe together we could change the world…if only for a handful of people. Yet those changed lives make a difference for the next generation, and the next, and so the money spent on our site doesn’t stop with a necklace or a shirt, but it could go on…forever. So Foreverly will be giving back 15% of our profits to charities that help with initiatives like clean water, human trafficking prevention, and microfinance. Each month, Foreverly will donate to a specific charity, and feature them on our site and social media throughout the month. We’re excited to be working with some really incredible organizations!

Now back to that cute tank! It’s the “Clothed in Dignity” tank and it is only $16 on Foreverly for the next two days! I love the verse printed on it and the bright color, and it has been very comfortable to wear for workouts!

Foreverly Tank

Foreverly is a fun way to get great fashion deals and have your money make a difference! Foreverly gives a portion of each sale to charities such as Charity Water! I love that the way we spend our money can affect change for those in need!

Since Foreverly is just launching, we’re having a fun giveaway to celebrate! Included is this great giveaway are…

Foreverly Giveaway Collage

A $25 Visa card to spend at DaySpring
Spring Pillow Cover – The Vintage Home Collection
PURE Advanced Soy Wax Candle in Stress Relief –  PUREbyKatyClayton
I know the plans Necklace by 
MERCYiNK 
Glitter Sport Headband in Zebra Print – Niezel’s Nook

The four items in this giveaway are either available on Foreverly right now or will be tomorrow! Just enter below to win your very own prize pack! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received this tank to review. I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own!

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Freeset + Micah 6:8

Ten years ago, I couldn’t even tell you where the book of Micah was in the Bible. Today, a verse from that Old Testament book is one of the most important in my life and it is being plastered around my home and in my heart.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. ~Micah 6:8

Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God. Yes, this is what I want for myself and my family. It’s not a hard verse to remember, but visual reminders are always good to spur us on to action. That’s why I love my newest bag from Freeset, the amazing organization rescuing women from slavery in India and giving them jobs with which they can love and support their families!

Freeset Bag Only

This is the Territory bag from Freeset with the words, “Act Love Walk” in the print. It has become my laptop + travel bag because it holds everything so well!

Freeset Bag Open

My laptop fits in its sleeve in the back section, while I can put a steno notepad and my favorite magazines, plus a few other odds + ends, in the front section! The front flap closes with large velcro strips.

Freest Bag Back
And on the back side is a zippered pocket for anything you might want to keep separate and secure!

Freeset bag Full

We use Freeset bags for EVERYTHING, so I’m glad to have this Territory bag for my own personal use now! It fits all my needs for a computer bag with room to spare, it shares a message close to my heart, AND it supports the beautiful women rescued in India, now working jobs they love!

Freeset has TONS of bags of all shapes, sizes, and uses. Check out their whole line, especially leading up to Mother’s Day! The jute gift bags are so cute!

Do you own a Freeset bag yet? Which style is your favorite?

 

I received this bag to review from Freeset. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own.

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