Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chocolate and Peppermint... Times Two! {Giveaway}

What is it about winter that makes me want to chow down on everything sweet.  Seriously, you guys, when the weather is nice and sunny I can happily go weeks without a sweet treat but when it gets cold and rainy sweet treats sound heavenly!  Do any of you have that problem?

This winter my heart's desire is all the chocolate and peppermint.  All the chocolate and peppermint.  With Thanksgiving coming up I thought it would be the best idea in the world to bring...  You guessed it... Chocolate peppermint desserts!  Thanks to WinCo (best grocery store of ALL TIME!) and their coupons I came up with some awesome treats to bring with me.

Lucky you, I'm sharing the recipes!  <3

Such Yummy Chocolate Peppermint Muddy Buddies #WinCoCheer #ad


5 cups Rice Chex cereal
10 ounces *melting* chocolate (I used vanilla almond bark and dark chocolate)
1 cup crushed candy canes
1 cup powdered sugar


1.  Melt chocolate according to package directions.  In a large bowl fold Chex cereal and chocolate together.  Fold in crushed candy canes.

2.  Pour powdered sugar into a gallon sized ziplock bag.  Add the Chex cereal mix to the bag, seal the bag, and shake everything together.

3.  Enjoy!

This is amazing Chocolate Whiskey Devil's Food Cake #WinCoCheer #ad



1 box Betty Crocker Devil's Food cake mix
1 3.9-oz box instant chocolate pudding mix
4 Eggs
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
1/2 cup Whiskey


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


1/2 cup crushed candy canes


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Combine all the cake ingredients and beat with an electric beater.

3.  Pour cake batter evenly into two greased 9 inch cake pans.

4.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

5.  Let cakes stand for 30 minutes.

6.  While cake is standing, combine frosting ingredients and beat with an electric beater for approximately 3 minutes or until peaks appear when you lift the beater.

7.  Once cake is cooled place one of the cakes onto a serving plate.  Top that cake with a thick layer of whipped cream.  Top the whipped cream with the second cake and top that with the rest of the whipped cream.  Sprinkle crushed candy canes on the top of the cake.

8.  Enjoy!


Winco is offering each of you the opportunity to win a $100 gift card to the store!  I know I would LOVE to win so if you don't enter that would be great - more opportunity for ME to win.  ;-)  Even if you don't enter to win (why WOULDN'T you?!?!?), you could still get a few coupons to make some sweet treats for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Train Up a Child

Train up a child the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

Before getting into this post I need to acknowledge fully that Proverbs are not promises!  Proverbs are observations of repeated phenomena, not a promise.  The author of Proverbs makes observations of consistent behaviors and outcomes, not stating a fact.  We live in a world where bad things go on and sin is present and, because of that, Godly norms do not always happen - even if we "do everything right."

Ok, sidebar over.  Since Proverbs commends parents to raise up their children well in order for their children to follow down that path Nate and I work hard to be teaching Caleb healthy behavior even at his very young age.  Beyond the everyday safety things, at this point Nate and I focus primarily on faith and family.

We know that eventually Caleb will have to decide for himself what he believes about his own faith and relationship with God.  We pray that he decides to believe the way we do but we absolutely will not force our faith on him.

It's so important to be teaching our kids good values from day one!  #Parenting #Children #BillionDinners #ad

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1.  Bible reading

Not only do we show Caleb that we read our Bibles and talk about theology in front of him (and will include him in those discussions one he's able to talk), we also make sure we're reading the Bible to him.  It's HARD to find a good, gospel centered Children's Bible.  Nate and I feel strongly that we do not want Caleb to grow up with a moralistic religion.  Too many Children's Bibles either focus solely on Biblical stories or focus on the stories and morals.  The Jesus Storybook Bible is not like that, though.  It's our absolute favorite Children's Bible.  Every story is brought back to Jesus and the gospel!  It's AMAZING and will teach Caleb about the Grace of Jesus from a very young age.

2.  Prayer

Caleb can't talk yet but we still include him in prayer time.  Before meals we make sure he sees us praying (even though he's already chowing down on his food - fussy baby won't wait).  As he gets older we'll make sure he joins in on prayer time and doesn't chow down while we're praying but, for now, we call it good.  I also make sure to sing a little prayer with him as I rock him before bedtime.  We have a special prayer song all about the love of God and trusting Him.  When he starts understanding what we're singing I pray that he embraces it and does learn to trust in the love of God.


1.  Time Together

Nate and I are intentional about spending quality time as a family.  We want Caleb to learn that family time is fun!  We wrestle with him, "talk" to him, play with him, and include him in pretty much everything we do.  It's important to us that Caleb loves family time and wants to spend time with us.  Our motto is "Kelloggs are best friends."

2.  Exercise

Yes, Nate and I could be SO much better at getting exercise in.  That being said, it's also important to us that we go for family walks as often as we can.  We want Caleb to know that it is important to get out in the fresh air and enjoy time being active together.  As he gets older we're sure that HE will be dictating what sorts of activities we do outside whether it's going to the park, playing a sport, or who knows what!  We want him to live a fun, active life!

3.  Family Meals

It's totally important for Nate and me that we spend our meals together.  Family meals are healthy - both for physical health (food wise) and emotional health (conversation wise).  We want Caleb to associate eating with health and togetherness, not with binging or grazing.  Back in mid-October my family took the Billion Dinners Challenge!  I encouraged you all to join us in downloading a super easy app (for iPhones and Androids) and logging on whenever you are eating a family meal - or any meal with more than one person and without technology.  Using this app as an encouragement to actually sit down and have dinners together was wonderful!  I hope those of you that joined in also got a lot out of it!  We are so thankful for this encouragement to be teaching Caleb how important family meals are from such a young age.

I would love to encourage each and every one of you to download and use the Billion Dinners app and start tracking your meals!  If you REALLY want to get wild and crazy I think it would be awesome for you to join in on the 10 in 2 challenge - log 10 family meals in the course of 2 weeks!!!  You'll definitely get so much out of it!  Make sure to use the hashtags #10in2 and #billiondinners and PLEASE tag me - @SusannahKellogg - and Billion Dinners - @DinnerCall.  You could even win $100 of groceries for being a part of the challenge!!!  Doesn't get much better than that!

Your Turn:
What are you doing to raise up your child well?
Will you join take the 10 in 2 challenge with your family?

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

The Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop is a chance for Christian Bloggers to share posts and get to know one another.  This is a place of encouragement and love, a place of community and fellowship.  Link up, visit other bloggers, and celebrate the family of Christ!
Faith and Fellowship Guidelines
1.  Link up a post (not just the link to your blog) from the week that shares what the Lord's been doing in your life or speaking to you.
2.  Put the button on your blog post or blog so that others can hear about this wonderful group of Godly women.
3.  Visit as many blogs as you're able and get to know your sisters in Christ!
Simple Moments Stick
Your Host: Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

This Week's Cohost: Ana from Anawins
Anastasia is the wife of her High School sweetheart and mama to three little ones.  In between the craziness of laundry, meals, and homeschooling she enjoys reading, writing, sewing, crafting, and anything pink! She has the desire to inspire women to pursue holiness in their everyday life and you can find her doing just that over at Anawins.
Last Week's Most Viewed Post:
Faith and Fellowship - Giving

Deeper Life Today
10 Ways to Give Generously Without Breaking the Bank

Susannah's Blog Post Pick:
Faith and Fellowship - Let Go
Ana's Blog Post Pick
Faith and Fellowship - Five Things
No Small Life
If you'd like to cohost in the future, please email Susannah at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Very Last One {Caleb's 12 Month Update}

Twelve Months
You guys, it's the VERY LAST monthly update...  At least the very last one in this format.  (Anyone have good ideas about what to do from here on out?)  Seriously, taking a picture with the bear was awesome and fun but it got HARD!  Amusingly enough, this month's photo shoot was one of the easier ones...  I think Caleb realized he only had to endure it one more time.  ;-)  I honestly cannot believe my little boy is one!  It's so surreal and, let me tell you, this year has gone by FAST!

Weight: 24 lb 6 oz (Up from 23 lb 7 oz at nine months)

Height: 33 inches (Up from 29.75 inches at nine months)

Sleep:  Caleb's still sleeping through the night!  It's amazing and wonderful and fabulous and the best thing ever.  He's still sleeping from about 7-7.  Obviously the time change threw him off some but he was resituated within a week.  #PraiseJesus  Caleb still needs three naps a day (is that normal for one year olds?)  We've gotten to a schedule where he wakes at 7ish, sleeps from 9ish-10ish, sleeps from 12ish-1ish, and then sleeps from 4ish-4:30ish.  I wish he would take two longer naps but this is what he does and at least he's sleeping.

Likes:  Smiling, Waving, Clapping, Chattering, Crawling into  the bathroom, Pulling books off his shelves, Crawling everywhere, Standing up, Walking around holding onto furniture, Someone helping him walk, Driving his car around, Looking at himself in the mirror, Trucks, Eating everything, Being attacked with kisses by mommy and daddy, Wrestling, Playing with his toys, Pulling people hair, Mama's boobs, Daddy, going for walks in his stroller, Bath time in the real tub

Dislikes: Being Tired, Bottles, Being told NO, Daddy leaving the room

  Caleb is still in size 4 diapers and is in mostly 12 and 12-18 month clothes.  He's tall so he's in 18 month pajamas!

  Unlike last month, this month Caleb is learning new tricks again!  He's started clapping and waving!!!  We're super excited about those things!  Caleb is also starting to relate with Nate and me differently.  Nate is definitely Caleb's favorite person in the world.  Whenever Nate leaves a room, leaves the house, or fails to pick Caleb up immediately when he gets home Caleb starts bawling!  I don't mean fussing, I mean tears streaming down his face crying.  Caleb doesn't have that reaction with me but, instead, is much more affectionate with me.  He loves giving me kisses but it HAS to be on the lips!  I'll move my head to have him kiss me on the cheek and he'll get SO frustrated and grab both my cheeks to hold my head still.  His kisses are the best but are also SUPER wide mouth and slobbery so... pretty stinking gross.  I still love them all the way!  Caleb's getting funnier and funnier.  He loves it when we have family mouth-fart noise competitions.  He also thinks it's super funny to kiss his stuffed animals whenever I actually ask for a kiss.  Caleb is just about standing up on his own.  He could do it if he trusted himself but, instead, he slowly lowers himself onto the floor.

0 Month Photo Shoot1 Month Photo Shoot2 Months Photo Shoot3 Months Photo Shoot4 Months Photo Shoot5 Months Photo Shoot6 Month Photo Shoot7 Months Photo Shoot8 Month Photo Shoot9 Month Photo ShootTen Months Photo ShootUse a teddy bear to watch the growth of your baby in the first year! #BabyGrowth #MonthlyUpdate #Baby #TeddyBearTwelve Months
I don't think I can write you another letter after the one I wrote you on your birthday!  I'll cry too much!  Just know that I absolutely adore you and can't even imagine how I could have been content with life before you were a part of it!
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Simply Loving ~ Kelly Lorene Designs {Giveaway}

Disclosure: I received this product in return for a review.  Everything I say in this post is my honest feedback.

Enter to win a wonderful Christmas card designed by the amazing Kelly Lorene! #Giveaway #EntertoWin #Christmas #ChristmasCard

I always say that I'm someone who waits until after Thanksgiving to start celebrating Christmas but, if I'm being honest, I'm really someone who waits until about a week and a half before Thanksgiving and then gives in and starts listening to Christmas songs!  NO decorating happens before Thanksgiving though.  That's something I'm adamant about.

Even though I'm someone who feels the need to give Thanksgiving its due, I still know that it's important to think about Christmas cards before Thanksgiving.  I mean, really, you need to have a picture taken, pick out your card, get them ordered, address them, mail them...  All that takes time. 

Lucky for me, the lovely Kelly has recently opened an Etsy store called Kelly Lorene Designs where she designs a lot of different awesome things - including Christmas cards!  I love her designs and can't wait to show her work off to my friend and family.  Since we get our family pictures taken every year a shot from that photo shoot is perfect to show off on this year's Christmas card.

Isn't it great?

Get an amazing custom Christmas card designed by the amazing Kelly Lorene! #Christmas #ChristmasCard #Shop

Kelly was wonderful to work with.  I picked out the card I wanted and sent her my family picture.  She quickly emailed me back a proof to make sure I liked it and that it printed well.  I was so happy with the way it turned out and Kelly will definitely be on my radar for next year's design!

Get an amazing custom Christmas card designed by the amazing Kelly Lorene! #Christmas #ChristmasCard #Shop

Obviously Kelly's awesome and one thing that makes her even more awesome is that she's giving one of you the opportunity to win a Christmas card of your own!  She'll get it all designed and mail you the file so you can print out as many as you'd like.

Don't worry, though, if you don't win (or even if you do but you want to purchase more) Kelly has a special going on in the month of November.  Use the code "KLDChristmas" to get 25% off your order!

Make sure you check out the other great items for sale at Kelly Lorene Design!

Printable Photo Christmas Ca...

Printable Baby Shower Essent...

Printable Photo Christmas Ca...

Printable Baby Shower Game C...

Printable Birthday Party Inv...

Printable Photo Christmas Ca...

Printable Photo Birth Announ...

Printable Photo Christmas Ca...

These bloggers made this giveaway possible: Trish from Almost Sexy Mommy, Rachel from Sweet Simple Living and Katie from Hot Tea and the Empty Seat

If you would like to take part in a future Simply Loving Giveaway I'd love to have you as a sponsor.  Click here for more information and remember that every spot is always available for a swap!  If you run a business and would like to be featured in a future Simply Loving Giveaway please email me at susannah.kellogg@gmail.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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