About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl and handsome little boy. She is the main voice behind Embracing Homemaking.

Mini Egg Frittatas

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the happy egg co. for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

When it comes to being healthy, the struggle is real. I’ve been slowly plugging away at getting healthier this year.  It’s no easy task as I’m sure you know.  It’s hard to put mind over ice cream. No matter how much I work out (which is usually less than more) I always feel better when I make healthy meal choices.  What I eat matters more, for me personally, than what I do.  What I eat for breakfast sets the stage for my eating habits throughout the day. I’ve found that I truly feel well fueled for the day when I eat a nutritious protein filled breakfast.  I especially love when I find a way to incorporate vegetables into my morning meal.  The recipe I’m going to share with you today does just that!  It’s an easy, quick, protein filled, veggie toting recipe that will have your kids asking for seconds.  Plus, it’s a great meal to eat in the car if you are like me and have to eat on the run sometimes. Mini Egg Frittatas Mini Egg Frittatas!  Free Range Eggs Oh, and before I share the recipe I have to share that since I’ve started trying to eat healthier and eating more protein in the morning I’ve discovered the best eggs in the world.  That’s my opinion, not their claim! 🙂  I used to buy the cheapest eggs I could find but ever since my grandfather gave me some farm fresh eggs at Christmas I’ve been looking to find some better eggs because there really is a difference!  While researching the difference between caged, cage-free, pasture raised, and free range I’ve learned a lot.  Mainly, that the egg aisle is a confusing place to shop but also that cage-free hens live in a barn and may never see the light of day.  The happy egg co.has free range eggs that come from hens that live on farms and have access to 8 acres where they can run, jump, flap, and play outdoors every day.  Now, I wouldn’t have believed this before Christmas if you had told me but after trying them myself I truly believe that less stressed hens living a more natural life produce better eggs.  The yolks are darker, taste creamier, and my husband even noticed that the shells are a little thicker.  Who knew?  Yes, this is a sponsored post for the happy egg co. but I’ll only work with companies I completely back and the happy egg co. is definitely one of those.  Seriously, the next time you’re at the store, pick up a dozen and see if you don’t think there’s a difference.  They’re delicious!  Now for the recipe… Egg Frittata Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground sausage, cooked
  • 10 the happy co eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Grease a muffin tin and set aside.
  • Cook the ground sausage and drain off any grease.Mini Frittata Recipe
  • Place 1-2 Tablespoons of cooked ground sausage into each muffin cup, and top with a sprinkle of cheese.

The Happy Egg Co Eggs

  • Place all of the eggs in a large bowl and whisk for 2 minutes, incorporating lots of air.

The Happy Egg Company

  • Pour the eggs over the sausage so that they are completely covered in each muffin.

Egg Breakfast

  • Sprinkle on some veggies and place in the oven.

Egg Frittatas

  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until the tops are puffy and golden brown.

Egg Frittatas

  • Cool and serve.

Voila!  It’s that easy. Mug Frittatas Recipe Here’s a quick mug frittata recipe if you’re in a very quick rush! Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions (about 1 small green onion)
  • 2 teaspoons shredded cheddar cheese
  • A little bit of ham (I don’t know how to measure this, 1 heaping tbs?)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • A few turns of the pepper grinder

Directions:

  1. Spray the inside of a mug with a nonstick cooking spray
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs, add the other desired ingredients, and pour into your mug.
  3. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds and then stir the egg mixture. Microwave another 30 seconds and stir again. Microwave a final 45 to 60 seconds longer until eggs are set.

What are your favorite protein filled breakfast favorites?

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DIY Lavender Cloud Dough

I have been compensated by Johnson’s® Baby for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own.

You may remember me mentioning that my son has eating issues and a lot of that stems from sensory problems.  To help combat that we’ve been intentional about creating sensory experiences.  Sometimes it’s shaving cream in the bathtub, other times writing in salt, and on and on it goes.  Our most recent sensory experience was so fun and relaxing that I had to share it with you.

DIY Cloud Dough

This sensory dough is often called cloud dough, moon dough, or moon sand.  I like to call it cloud dough because it feels so soft like a cloud.  Not to mention that it smells heavenly because we use lavender scented baby oil!  So cloud dough it is.  Or maybe heavenly cloud dough.

Flour

My son helped me add the flour.

Recipe:

-Add 6 cups of flour to a large bowl.

-Squeeze in one 6.5 bottle of Johnson & Johnson Lavender Baby Oil Gel

Baby Oil

I recommend removing the whole lid before you squeeze any out.  We learned that squeezing it out quickly is challenging and removing the lid once you have greasy fingers is even more so. 🙂

Squeezing baby oil

I had good help though!

Making Cloud Dough

My son loved to help me make it.  He would pretend the oil was rivers and he watched it run as he built mountains.  What would have taken me a few minutes to stir and whisk ended up being 30 minutes spent with him playing while he mixed.  Even though he didn’t touch it with his hands I still think this was a win.  Maybe it was the calming lavender that made him chilled out enough to play with a bowl and oil for so long.

Cloud Dough and Trucks

After the dough was mixed up it was time to play!  I divided the dough into two small sensory bins, one for each kid.  They were less than $3 each at Walmart, which is also where I picked up the baby gel (which is in the baby section, not the lotion section, you know, just in case you are stuck searching for it like I was ha!).Cloud Dough and Dump Truck

These trucks were only about $5 for a handful of them and my son loves them to pieces!  They worked great scooping and dumping the cloud dough.

Cloud Dough Ice Cream

Together my kids pretended they were making ice cream for customers.

Beauty and the Beast Craft

Of course, my Disney loving daughter brought her favorite princess out to the “beach” to play in the sand.  How to Make Cloud Dough

If you’re looking to try a sensory bin, this is a great and inexpensive one to start with.  All the products can be found at Walmart and any cookie cutters, spoons, and little figurines you have already can be added.

For more creative #JohnsonBeautyHacks visit the Johnson Hacks Pinterest board.

If someone is reporting an adverse event or a product quality complaint, please tell them to call the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) North America Consumer Care Center at 800-361-8068 during normal business hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. After normal business hours, they can report adverse events or product quality complaints through www.jnj.com Contact Us page.

A Happy Life is a Daily Decision – Celebrate it!

Sponsored post by Mirum Shopper. All opinions are my own.

I think a happy marriage, or a happy life, is a daily decision.  A decision to celebrate the little things and not get too wrapped up in the unimportant.  To focus on the good instead of the bad.

To celebrate being alive and healthy.

Flowers from kids

To cherish the weeds given from a loving heart.

Paint Pallets

To enjoy new paint pallets and the opportunity to express yourself.

Shaker Cabinets

To enjoy your newly decorated shelves even if you don’t have the crown molding installed yet.  The shelves are finally like I had envisioned when we ordered the cabinets a half a year ago!

Pyramid of toys

To appreciate your child’s pyramid of toys they erected before falling asleep.

Life isn’t lived from one big celebration to another.  Birthdays and holidays are spread out too far for that!  I’m trying to remind myself to focus on the positive because I truly have a lot to be thankful for!

How do you celebrate things?  In our house we like to celebrate by singing and dancing together….and food.  We love a good meal!

Bertolli Meal

Just this week we celebrated my daughter learning to whistle with this delicious Bertolli Chicken Florentine & Farfalle meal for two.  With salad and bread we spread the meal out and made it work for the three of us.

Bertolli Chicken Florentine & Farfalle

This meal is delicious and only takes 11 minutes to cook!  That’s my kind of meal.  We like to keep the Bertolli Frozen Chicken Florentine and P.F. Chang’s Frozen Beef and Broccoli on hand for such spontaneous celebrations.  They are both delicious and cook in a short amount of time.

Bertolli Skillet Meal

Simply pour, cover, and stir occasionally. Voila!  It’s that easy and incredibly delicious.  My daughter loves it so much that she has declared spinach her new favorite food.

Bertolli Meal for Two

We’re looking forward to celebrating the beginning of potty training soon (and hopefully the end!), my daughter’s first loose tooth, her first field trip, her last day of school, and so many more!  How do you celebrate life?

Italian Proverb

Top Ten Family Friendly Road Trip Songs

This post is brought to you by Reedman Toll Nissan and contains affiliate links.

Family Road Trip Songs

As a family we love singing in the car. LOVE it!  So of course as I’m planning out every detail of our next vacation you can bet that a play list or 12 will be made.  It’s a long, long drive but these traveling tunes will help put us in the mood for a road trip!  I’ve compiled my list of family friendly road trip songs to help you get your motors running! 🙂

10. I’ve Been Everywhere by Johnny Cash

In four verses, 91 places are quickly listed off.  Destinations big and small are listed and it will be fun to cheer when he sings about a place where we’re from, or headed to, or are currently driving through.  You can’t beat the man in black.

9. On The Road Again by Willie Nelson

This is the perfect road trip song!

8. King of the Road by Roger Miller

I can still remember my parents playing this song on road trips when I was a kid.

7. Riding In My Car by Woodie Guthrie

My husband introduced this song to me recently and it’s one I think my kids will love to sing along with!

6. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers

This twin duo will get everyone singing and bobbing their head along with the tune.  The song may be about walking but it’s still an upbeat song about traveling so I had to include it.

5. Ramblin’ Man by The Allman Brothers Band

This song makes being on the road seem more appealing than ever and hopefully it will keep the kids enjoying the trip for a few more miles.

4. Route 66 by Chuck Berry

Bobby Troup wrote this song in 1946 and it has been covered by many but I’m partial to Chuck Berry’s 1961 rendition.  Not only is this a great one to sing a long to but it gives parents a great opportunity to squeeze in a mini history lesson in between songs.

3. Little Deuce Coupe by The Beach Boys

This song pays tribute to the 1932 Ford Model B…or is it Model 18?  Either way, this bouncy hit will have you dreaming of cars and the iconic life by the beach.  All of The Beach Boys songs remind me of road trips because it was a tape that my family played over and over and over again on our trips. The Beach Boys’ songs will always hold a special place in my vacation memories.

 

2. In the Car by Justin Roberts

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Justin Roberts but these last two songs on my list totally deserve their spot.  They’re catchy, singable, and best of all, kid-friendly without being annoying.

1. Do You Wanna Go? by Justin Roberts

Do you wanna go?  What else needs to be said!  Take a listen, it’s a great song!

I’m listing The Wheels on the Bus as an honorable mention.  While it’s a great road trip song for kids, finding a song of it that wasn’t annoying was an impossible task.  Maybe getting an annoying song stuck in your kid’s head probably isn’t the best idea anyway.

What songs are on your family’s road trip playlist?

How to Find Good Deals on Tires

This post is brought to you by Len Stoler Lexus.

Cooper Tires

Having good tires is a must when you own a vehicle. They keep you safe while traveling and tires can affect your gas mileage. It is no lie tires can cost a good amount of money, but I am here to help give you ideas on how to find good deals on tires.

I hope that some of these options might help you in to finding a good deal on tires. Tires truly do play such an important role in driving safety. It is never fun when your tire blows out driving down the road. So make sure your tires are in tip top shape.

Steps to Finding Good Deals on Tires:

Online Deal Sites: If you find a deal site, like Groupons you might be able to score some good savings on tires. They from time to time offer discounted prices on tires, anywhere from 50%-80% off. Sometimes you will have to buy the tires online and others you can get a discounted price for some tires at a local store in your area. It is worth looking at to see if you can find any deals on the tires you need.

Coupons: Every now and again you might find a deal on tires, buy 3 get 1 free, or $10 off a tire. You can search online for deals on tires to see if you can find any. You can search the stores name and coupons on tires, or just search coupons on tires if you don’t mind purchasing tires online. Just make sure if you buy online you watch out for shipping costs. If you have a store near you, you might be able to ship it to the store and pick it up for free.

Buy Used: Buying used tires is a way to save a little money. You can find buy, sale, trade groups on Facebook for your local area where someone might be selling a set. Also make sure to check with your tire dealers around you to see if they have any used tires they are selling. Just make sure they are reputable and you look over the tires when you buy used. Make sure there are no cuts or really worn tread on the tires. Buying used you do take a risk of them not lasting as long as new. But if you don’t have the money for a brand new set this can be an option.

Buy More Tires: I know buying more tires might sound crazy but sometimes buying one tire can be expensive. When you buy say two or more tires you might get a price cut. Check with your local tire dealers to see if they are offering a deal when you buy more than one tire, if the cost per tire will go down.

Buy Locally: Sometimes your local tire dealers can be cheaper then bigger stores online. You don’t have to pay for shipping and handling if you order online. Another note is some stores will put the tires on for free or at a discounted price when you buy the tires through them. So even if the tires are a little more in price, you factor in getting them put on for free, it can be less or equal to what you find online.

Top Road Trip Tips when Traveling With Children

This post is brought to you Len Stoler Porsche.

Tips for Traveling with Kids
It is almost time for vacations to begin and families getting out on the open roads taking road trips! So many wonderful memories come from family vacations, and spending time in the car site seeing all over the globe! Today I wanted to share some of the top road trip tips when traveling with children. These will make your life and theirs a little easier!

Car Sick Travel Bag: You never know when someone will end up getting sick, so I recommended making a car sick travel bag. Include medicines like anti-nausea, anti-diarrhea, gas medicines, something for headaches and so on. Just make sure you pack medicines for any occasion. I also toss in some sacks in case someone does have an upset tummy, you are not left in a bind. You can store it in a gallon bag and tuck in in the trunk or under a seat.

New Movies for Kids: If you have tablets or a portable dvd player, think about doing new movies for the kiddos. You can rent some from a Redbox if you have a dvd player, or download and/or stream from the tablet. Either way this is a great way to keep them occupied for awhile. You can also download fun games on tablets for them to play.

Prevent Boredom: Like above with the new movie idea, you can also think about other activities to keep your children entertained. Try to find new things like car bingo, or go to your local dollar store and find new toys for them. Anything you think your child might enjoy and be entertained for a little bit.
Shower Caddy Basket to Hold Crayons: Pack up some fun coloring or activity books. Then take a little shower caddy basket, that has the suction cups on the back, and stick it to the window. Then when they need a crayon they can reach up in the caddy to get a crayon or pencil. It keeps the crayons from falling into the seat or on the floor.

Pack Snacks: This is a great one to save a little money and to have snacks when your kids get hungry. Take sandwich bags and pack up some of their favorite treats. Like crackers, cookies, licorice, whatever you want. Then create single serve snack bags. When they get hungry let them pick out a snack to enjoy.

Bathroom Breaks: Be prepared to have more pit stops then if you didn’t have kiddos with you. They will need to stretch their feet and go to the bathroom more than adults. So just make sure to allow yourself the time to have those stops and let them burn a little energy off.

How to Create A Money Saving Plan For Buying a New Car

This post is brought to you by Len Stoler Dodge Chrysler Jeep.

Kids in the Car
If you are thinking you might be in the market to buy a new car soon, you might need to create a money saving plan. Buying a new car can be a little pricey with all the extras that go along with your big purchase. So before you head out to go shopping make sure your finances are in order and you know that you can afford the car you want. Now if you have all cash that is great, but if not, buying a car can impact your budget greatly!
Again these are just things for you to keep in mind when you go to buy a new vehicle. It is a big deal to buy a new car, and it can be a little costly. Making sure you still have money left after you make your payments will make your everyday life a little easier, so you don’t feel so strapped.

Time Frame of Buying a Car: You need to make sure to sit down and plan when you want to buy a new car. You may think in a year I will be ready, or even a few months down the road. Regardless you will need to have a down payment most likely for your new vehicle. Some places offer no money down, so you need to consider if you don’t go to a dealership that offers no money down, you might need to put down a thousand or more.

Look at Cars Online: If you have an idea of a vehicle you are wanting, you can look online at dealerships in your area to get an idea of the price range. This will help you to see how much money a vehicle you are really wanting might cost.

Monthly Car Payments: When you get a loan for a vehicle it can vary a lot depending on the price of the vehicle. You could spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to a thousand. They do offer ways to figure what your payment would be online for a vehicle, or your dealership can tell you. This is a great way to get a rough estimate of how much your car payment would be each month. Just make sure you also factor in for insurance each month. Most states require full coverage on a vehicle that has a loan against it.

Car Tags and Insurance: Along with buying a car you have to factor in insurance premiums, and car tags and registering your new vehicle. If you have a type of vehicle you want, say a SUV you can talk to your insurance company and they can give you a rough estimate of what that type of car you want would cost each month. Some styles of vehicles (sports cars, etc) can cost a lot more than others.

This is a great way to ensure you can afford the vehicle you want. Sometimes people forget you have tags and insurance that go along with owning a car. You just need to make sure you have money in your budget and then you can sleep easier at night with your new car.

Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Vehicle

This post is brought to you by Fitzgerald Auto Mall.

Tips for Spring Car Maintenance

Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Vehicle

Winter can be so brutal on your car. Some parts of the country you are faced with snow storms, below-zero temperatures and more. When they put the ice melt down on the streets that can be really harsh on your car, it can cause rust and more.

When spring arrives it is a great time to wash away the winter and freshen up your car! Below you will find some great spring maintenance tips for your car. If you are not able to do any of these car maintenance jobs yourself, take your car to a local mechanic shop and they will do it all for you!

Tips for Spring Maintenance on Your Vehicle

  • – A Good Wash: If you live where you get snow, it is very important to wash your car really well. When they put salt down on the streets it melts the ice but as you drive it gets all over your vehicle. It can cause a lot of damage to your car, so make sure to wash it really well. This includes the undercarriages where that salt if left over time could rust the metal.
  • – Oil and Fluid Check: It is recommended to change your car’s oil every 3,000-5,000 miles. So if you are close to needing an oil change do that and make sure to check your fluids. Sometimes we can forget to check power steering fluid, transmission fluid and so on. If you don’t know how to do this, stop in and let a mechanic do this for you.
    – Check Tires: Make sure to rotate your tires, check the pressure and make sure you have good tire thread. Your car’s tires are so important, it affects how your car rides, handles, and of course safety. It is recommended to rotate your tires every 5,000 miles to keep tread wear even!
    – Brakes: Make sure to have your brakes inspected. Sometimes the pads and rotors can get worn and go out. You need to make sure that you can stop safely and easily in case you need to when driving.
    – Alignment and Suspension: If you ever have been driving and notice that your car pulls to one side or the steering wheel vibrates, you might have a problem. Just driving alone can cause your alignment and suspension to get off, and it is important to make sure it is all where it needs to be. If you live where you have rough roads or pot holes that can be to blame for your car going out of alignment. This check is normally $20-$50 depending on where you live.

Game Day Mac n Cheese Recipe

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson®. All opinions are entirely my own.

As much as I love sweet treats at tailgate parties, savory appetizers are my real jam! This delicious mac n cheese topped with Wright® Brand Bacon is an easy recipe that is sure to please.

Wright brand bacon

Ingredients:
-2 peeled shallots
-3 cloves garlic
-1 teaspoon olive oil
-4 pieces Wright bacon cooked, reserve 1 tablespoon bacon fat
-2 tablespoons flour
-4 cups heavy cream
-1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
-1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
-Salt and freshly ground black pepper
-1 pound cooked penne pasta -1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  While the oven is preheating place the shallots and garlic in a small aluminum foil pouch and drizzle with olive oil.  Allow those to roast for 20 minutes before removing and chopping.  While that is roasting, fry the bacon.  Add the reserved bacon fat with the roasted shallot and garlic over medium heat.  Whisk in the cream and thyme.  Reduce by a third.  Add the cheeses and stir until melted and delicious!  Add a pinch or two of pepper or salt if you like.  Remove from the stove and gently stir in the cooked pasta.  Place in a casserole dish.  Top mac n cheese with panko and chopped bacon.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

I personally love this recipe with the bread crumbs but my daughter isn’t so fond of them so we alternate whether we include them or not.  Either way, it’s delicious!

Best Mac and Cheese

We love Wright® Brand Bacon.  Ever since I’ve tried that brand I haven’t strayed.  It’s so convenient with it’s resealable package and not to mention it is SO good.  Seriously, you have to try it if you haven’t yet.  Right now, add it to your store list and pick up a package or two the next time you’re at Kroger.

Want some more Big Game inspiration?  Try Tyson® Any’tizers® (they’re boneless!) or Ball Park® beef hot dogs.

What savory dishes do you enjoy while tailgating?

Free $10 Olive Garden or Red Lobster Gift Card

This post contains my referral link.

Darden Gift Card

I know I don’t normally post deals of this sort but I love TopCashBack already and this deal is too good to not share.  If you haven’t signed up for TopCashBack yet now is the time to do it!  They have a great deal going on where you can buy a $10 Darden Restaurant Gift Card (think Olive Garden, Longhorn, Red Lobster, Seasons 52) and you’ll get $10 cash back added to your account!  It’s almost like it pays for itself!  Besides, with Valentine’s Day right around the corner who couldn’t use an extra $10 gift card in their wallet?  Here’s how to get in on this amazing deal.

  • Click here to get started
  • Click on the pink “Get Cashback” Button – (If you’re on mobile scroll to the bottom and click “View Desktop Site” to proceed)
  • You’ll be redirected to sign up.
  • After signing up you have to go to your email and click confirmation link.
  • **Important** Come back to this post, then click back here, and click on “Get Cashback” again. You’ll be redirected to the Darden Restaurants website through TopCashBack.
  • Add ONE $10 Darden Restaurant Gift Card to your cart. Just choose the type you prefer (e-gift card or physical card), type ‘$10’ in the amount section, and check out.
  • Pay $10 for your order.
  • Voila!  That’s it!  Within 7 days your account will be credited the $10 Cash Back!  That money will become payable within 21 days and can be added straight to your checking account, Paypal account, or you can be paid in Amazon credit.  If you choose Amazon credit you’ll receive 3% more cash back so your $10 will become a gift card for $10.30.  How cool is that?