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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Adventures with Zaya!



If you follow me on Twitter, then you already know that I freelance write for the Anaheim Visitors and Convention Bureau. Anaheim is the most popular vacation destination in Orange County, and the site is a terrific resource to visitors to the OC.

The visitors bureau is creating a family webisode series, where they will show Orange County through the eyes of an energetic little boy named Zaya.

Keep an eye of Zaya's adventures on YouTube! Isn't he cute?

We've got school spirit


My kids are almost half way through their first year at a Charter School. I have never seen my kids have as much school spirit as they have gotten since starting at OPA. My kids love their new school so much.


Last week the school hosted its first pep rally. My kids had never been to pep rally before, and they walked away even more pumped up to start learning at school the next day. Children stayed after school, got dressed in school colors and cheered for the school they all love so much! It is so awesome to see children celebrate learning in such a powerful way.


Do your kids have school spirit? How do they like to celebrate learning?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cooking with Kids: Pizza Calzones


Kids love pizza! Kids love pizza even more when they make it themselves.

I saw a fun way to make pizza calzones on Pinterest, and attempted to make it with my own unique twist. Instead of buying crescent rolls, I just purchased the pre-made pizza dough at Trader Joes.

I rolled out the pizza dough and cut it into triangles. Next I added all our toppings & rolled it up. Just as simple as that!

I also tried a different version where I cut the dough into rectangles and then folded it over. This would work perfect for vegetable calzones!

I baked the calzones on a cookie sheet for 8 minutes at 400 degrees! I served it with a salad & dinner was on the table in less than 15 minutes!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kale and Butternut Squash Casserole


Cooking Light is my favorite magazine. I have been reading it for years collecting all my favorite magazines. What I love about the recipes in Cooking Light magazine, is that they are all kid friendly. I have never made a recipe from one of their magazines that my kids did not devour.

I recently made this delicious - I mean extremely delicious recipe - however it was a lot of work to make. I always judge the complication of a recipe depending on how many pots, pans or cookie sheets it takes to make a recipe. This recipe was a #5 on my scale of complication, because it filled-up my sink with a ton of dishes. Although, it took a lot of kitchen tools - I can not wait to make it again! Here is the recipe (along with my personal changes that I made along the way.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 4 Tbl. of olive oil
  • 1 Package of piccolini mini ziti
  • 1 large busshell of organic kale
  • 1/2 package of bacon
  • 1 large onion
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 1 cup of creme fraiche (see my recipe here - make the night before)
  • 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese (shredded)

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Combine the chopped squash w/ oil and then bake on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes. While that is cooking boil your pasta - add the kale to the pasta for the last two minutes of boiling.
  3. Cook bacon in a pan and then crumble. Remove bacon and then add onion. Cook onion for about 5 minutes before adding some salt and garlic. Cook for an additional minute.
  4. Boil 1 3/4 cup broth in a saucepan. 
  5. In a cup mix 1/4 cup of broth & flour in a bowl with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the boiling broth & cook until it thickens. Then remove from heat and add the creme fraiche.
  6. Combine everything into a 13x9 baking dish - top with Parmesan - bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Making Homemade Suncatchers


Crayon melting was one of my favorite activities to do when I was a teacher. It is simple, fun and educational for young children. Children learn about cause and effect when they watch the crayon melt on the paper when heat is added.


Before doing the activity with young children, it is important to talk to your children about safety. Advise the children that the plate is hot, and never leave the children unattended.



  1. Cover a hot plate or electric grill with foil.
  2. Warm the hot plate - not too hot - just warm
  3. Place a piece of wax paper over the foil
  4. Allow your children to color on the piece of wax paper
  5. After the crayon rubbings dry, cut into shapes and hang in a window

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, January 23, 2012

Giveaway Monday: RoseArt Color Blanks


There is nothing my kids love better than doing crafts. After our visit to the RoseArt headquarters, my kids have been in full craft mode. One product that my children fell in LOVE with from RoseArt is the RoseArt Color Blanks. 

They made some Color Blanks at the headquarters and brought some extra kits home. My children spent an entire day decorating their Color Blanks, yet the fun did not stop with the art project. Tyler has been playing with his Color Blanks everyday. The kids have brought them to the pool to use as pool toys, used them to play dolls and dramatic play.

Color Blanks allow children to let their imaginations go wild while designing a Color Blanks. The Color Blank kit comes with a blank Color Blank along with some markers. Children let their imagination loose while decorating a Color Blank exactly how they envision it in their minds.



We are so excited to be able to offer a Color Blank kit and set of markers as a giveaway to one of our readers.

To enter just leave a comment below!

For extra entries: (please leave a comment for each additional entry)


  1. "Like" Glitterful Felt Stories on Facebook
  2. Follow Glitterful Felt Stories on Twitter
  3. Follow our blog via Google friend connect (right hand corner of blog)
  4. Tweet about the giveaway using handles @GlitterfulFelt

Giveaway will be open until January 30th 2012 at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be chosen via random.org and is open to residents worldwide. Winner has three days to respond to my email before another winner will be chosen. We were provided with a sample color blank kit from RoseArt. All our photos, thoughts and opinions are of our own.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Keeping my energy while keeping fit

Ella and I doing beach Yoga

Since hitting my mid thirties my body has begun to change. My body was always curvy no matter how healthy I eat. I love my body and all my curves, but as I have been getting older my curves have been becoming a little too voluptuous for me.

I have been working hard to keep my body toned by working out at least 3x a week. I not only eat healthy, but also exercise as part of living a healthy lifestyle. The only problem that I have been facing is the lack of energy I have after exercising. I have been dragging all day after a 60 minute cardio workout in the morning.



I had been researching adding a new supplement into my diet to help me with my workouts, when I learned about Herbalife. I had no clue what Herbalife was about until I scheduled an appointment with one of their consultants. I learned that Herbalife was popular for their weight management tools, but also has a product perfect for athletic nutrition.

The process of finding a consultant was easy. I went to the Herbalife website, put in my information, and within 24 hours, a local consultant contacted me. The consultant talked with me about the products I needed and then scheduled an in-home consultation.

He came to the house and talked to me about the company, helped with a composition analysis and a wellness evaluation. He was extremely helpful and extremely informative.

We were able to target a product that would help in giving me the extra nutrition needed to get me through my workouts, and continue to help provide me energy to keep up with the kids all day. He customized the products that would help with my exercise workout routine.


I purchased the Prolong 24 product that will help me to sustain performance with dual-source carbohydrates and electrolytes. The product has 850mg of electrolytes to help support proper muscle function.



I also purchased the Restore 24 product to help me with my inflammation. I have a lot of old sport injuries from playing Volleyball in High School and College. As I am getting older, I have been noticing swelling related to the locations of these old injuries. It will help to support my immune function so that I do not get sick if my body gets too fatigued.

After meeting with my consultant and ordered my products, they were personally delivered to my door from my consultant the next day. What an incredible service - I know!

I look forward to using the new Herbalife 24 athletic nutrition supplements this week along with my workouts. I can not wait to see how it makes me feel after ripping it in the gym!

My consultant was fabulous and I would highly recommend him! Feel free to contact him with any questions about the Herbalife 24 product.

btnevill@gmail.com


I was compensated for this post as part of a social shopper insights study with Collective Bias. All my photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mason Jar Garden Lanterns


The one the best things that Pinterest has done for me as a Mom, is that it has inspired me to be creative again. I used to always make crafts daily with the kids, and somehow I lost that along the way. I have been making cute outdoor crafts in hopes for creating a magical garden this Spring. The family and I spend most of our time in the Spring in the garden, and I want to transform it into an outdoor living area instead of just a patio.


Ella and I made these cute garden lanterns and hung them all around the yard. I originally planned to put traditional candles in them, but then I was worried about catching trees on fire - so we switched to the flame-less candles. They came out adorable! They give the garden a romantic glow in the evening that is just spectacular!

Go be creative - have fun!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Look who got bangs!

After I got my hair done today, Ms. Ella asked to get her bangs cut.

Bangs or no bangs - Isn't she cute!

Disney: Review of Kinect Disneyland Adventures


I have loved the magic of Disneyland since I was a little kid. With the new Kinect Disneyland game, I am able to enjoy a little bit of the magic at home with my children. There is no competing with this game, and everyone is a winner. My favorite part of the game is that one of my children can leave the game to go play trucks, and the other children can keep playing along with me without the game ending. It has become a fun game that we have been enjoying playing together as a family on the weekends.




I received the Kinect Disneyland Adventures game to review. All my photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Old Fashioned Fun: Fortune Tellers


Do you remember doing fortune tellers in elementary school? Although times have changed, children still love classic games like story tellers. My older son loves making creations out of paper, and he had a blast making this fun fortune teller out of this months issue of Family Fun magazine.





We were given a complimentary issue of Family Fun magazine. All our thoughts and opinions are of our own.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to use a Epi-Pen


When your children's Epi-Pen expires, it is an excellent opportunity to have them practice self-injecting. A large piece of soft fruit like an Orange makes a terrific practice surface, because it is similar to skin. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kick start learning with Team Umizoomi


I recently wrote about how I was getting the new Team Umizoomi math kit for my preschooler. It just came within less than a week, and Tyler has been busy having fun learning!


The kit has been making learning fun for Tyler. All the activities are age-appropriate and colorful. The kit came in a cute container complete with pencils and erasers. The kit came with a shapes workbook, activity book, story book and math mission cards. It has been the first learning activities that Tyler has shown excitement about doing. He worked with me on the shapes workbook and is already 1/2 through completing it!


You can purchase the kit online for your children, or for a great gift!

I was compensated for this post as part of a social shopper insights study with Collective Bias. All my photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Making Lunchtime fun with Sunbutter Lunch Houses


I made these cute little houses for the kids lunches today, and they loved it! Making food fun, always ensures they walk away from the table with a full tummy. I got the cute idea from my favorite magazine Family Fun that I have been subscribing to for a couple of years. The magazine is always full of fun crafts and activities getting me excited about doing fun things with my kids.

How to make these fun little sandwiches for your kids:

Ingredients:

  • Bread
  • Sunbutter or Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Cheerios
  • Frosted mini wheats

We were provided with a sample copy of the magazine to have fun with. All our thoughts and opinions are of our own.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Giveaway Monday: Polka Dot Party Adora Doll


My daughter Ella has fallen in love with Adora Dolls. I first gave Ella her first Adora doll after my trip to San Diego for Blogher. Since then, she has fallen in love with the detail and realistic characteristics of the dolls. Ella and her best friend Julia love playing with Ella's Adora dolls every weekend. They have tea parties, change their clothes and play Mommy.


We have fallen in love with the dolls so much that my best friend Jackie and I filmed all the Amazon videos showing all the details of these adorable dolls. These dolls feel just like a real baby with a baby fresh scent, hand applied eye lashes and hand painted faces.

My best friend Jackie filming with an Adora Baby doll
After filming all the Amazon videos, Ella was invited to do a photo shoot with the dolls. That was when she got her polka dot party doll, that she just adores. 
She brought two of her girlfriends with her to take pictures with the new line of Adora dolls. The new line of dolls have more details and are even cuter than ever. All of the clothes are so detailed, that they look like something I would purchase for a real baby at an upscale boutique.


We are so excited to be able to offer a Polka Dot Party doll ($90 value) as a giveaway to one of our readers. 

Leave a comment below with what you like about Adora dolls.

For extra entries: (please leave a comment for each additional entry)
  1. "Like" Adora dolls on Facebook
  2. Follow Adora dolls on Twitter
  3. "Like" Glitterful Felt Stories on Facebook
  4. Follow Glitterful Felt Stories on Twitter
  5. Tweet a shout-out about the giveaway using the handles @Glitterfulfelt & @adoradolls
Giveaway will be open until January 23rd 2012 at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be chosen via random.org and is open to residents worldwide. Winner has three days to respond to my email before another winner will be chosen. We were provided an adora doll as part of payment for Ella's photo shoot. We were not provided with compensation or products for hosting this giveaway.

Teaching children about Martin Luther King

Teaching our children about American history is an important focus in our children's educational goals. Since I have been Homeschooling Ella this year, I was excited to teach Ella about Martin Luther King. After spending time talking with Ella about Martin Luther King, she asked if she could hear his speech.



We were able to watch the entire speech together on YouTube, and then talk about how powerful the famous speech was. After listening to the speech, I asked Ella to write down her dreams for the future. It was cute to see all her dreams, but I especially liked #5.


Then she wrote a summary about what Martin Luther King did for our Country. I love how she ended it with, "now we are friends."


Today we honor his courage in working to improve the lives of so many people. I hope that you take a moment today to celebrate the life of this great man.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beauty and the Beast 3D on the big screen!


Last weekend I took my youngest son Tyler to see the newly re-released movie Beauty and the Beast in 3D at the El Capitan in Los Angeles.


I remember watching Beauty and the Beast in the theatre as a young child, and it became one of my favorite Disney movies. After having children, I would watch Beauty and the Beast with them, but it never felt the same as the time I saw it as a child. Then after taking Tyler to see it in the theatre again, I realized why I fell in love with it so much as a child. It was even more magical than I had remembered. The 3D animation made me feel like I was right inside the castle with Belle.

Tyler with his favorite star from the Disney show Ant Farm
Getting to see a movie that I loved watching in the theatre as a child, now with one of my children, was a surreal experience. Getting to watch it at the El Capitan in a theatre surrounded by all my sons favorite Disney channels stars, made it an experience he will remember for a lifetime. It has been a week since seeing the movie, and he is still talking about how remarkable it was.


Beauty and the Beast 3D is available for families to enjoy across the country. It is an experience that I would highly recommend for your children to enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Recipe: Caprese Pizza Recipe


Tomatoes, avocado, and cheese are three of my children's favorite foods. During the summertime, my children are constantly picking and tossing fresh tomatoes into their tummies from the plants in the backyard. I saw a similar recipe on the website Pinterest this past weekend and decided to make it for my children. They loved it so much that there was not a crumb left. They kept calling it "tomato pizzas."

~Enjoy!

Ingredients:

* 2 Large Heirloom tomatoes
* Soft mozzarella cheese
* 2 Large avocados
* 2 Tbl. balsamic vinaigrette

Directions:

*Slice the avocados
*Top with some cheese and avocado
*Drizzle with a couple drops of balsamic vinaigrette

Disney: D23 Insights into Smoke Tree Ranch Roundup


This is a first in-depth glimpse of what’s in store for D23 Members during D23’s three-day Smoke Tree Ranch Roundup event, which is coming up on Jan. 23 through Jan. 25 in Palm Springs.



Smoke Tree Ranch Roundup is just the beginning of an exciting year with D23. The Smoke Tree Ranch Roundup is $825 per person for a party of two, staying in a single cottage. There is an additional cost of $450 for each additional guest in each cottage, up to four people, based on availability. (Single person occupancy, one person in one cottage, is $1,200).

Smoke Tree Ranch has been one of world's top 10 most exclusive vacation destinations. It was also the place that Walt Disney loved to retreat to with his family. Walt taught his daughters how ride horses on the ranch while soaking up the splendor of the desert beauty.

D23 guests will have an exclusive opportunity to see what it was like to vacation at the ranch when Walt Disney would vacation there. There are only a limited amount of tickets available online to purchase.

Local: Unlimited batting practice at Baseball Performance Academy

My son Andrew playing Fall Ball in 2011
Baseball season is starting at the end of this month, and Plum District has the best deal to give your ball player a terrific start. For only $29, players can have an entire month of unlimited batting practice. This is an unbelievable deal considering I normally spend $10 for just 30 minutes of batting practice at my sons normal batting cages. It is a fantastic deal, that I was excited to share.

Let's play ball!

32771 Calle Perfecto, Suite A,
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 276-8011

I was provided with a free deal to review the services at Plum District. This is a smokin' deal and all thoughts and opinions are of my own.
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