Archives for December 2014

How To Save Money ($1300!) in 2015

How nice would it be to save money this new year? Believe it or not, you can save over $1300 and it can be done for $50 or less a week! This simple chart shows you how to save money in 2015. You can use the money for Christmas, a nest egg, or maybe even a family vacation fund.

You may have seen variations of this chart before showing how to save money. Instead of starting by saving just a dollar a week, I flipped it and started by saving $52 the first week, and decreasing the amount from there. The reason that this works better for me is because as the holidays approach, it is harder for me to find $50 a week to put away. If it works better for you the other way, you can simply start at the bottom of the chart and work up to $52 a week.

How To Save Money in 2015
If it's hard for you to save money, this simple idea for how to save money will help! By saving $50 or less a week, you'll save over $1300 a year!

Simple, right? And if you know you won’t have the cash, you can just make a note on your calendar each week to transfer money from your checking to savings. That works best for me.

I’m always looking for simple ideas for how to save money. If you have any to share, I’d love to hear them! And for more ideas on how to save money, check out my board Savin’ Money Honey on Pinterest.

Mommy of a Monster’s Best of 2014: My Favorite Posts Of The Year

I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years now and this is one post I’ve done every year since 2010. It’s a wrap up of the year with a list of my favorite posts of the year. It gives me a chance to go back through all my posts and find not only favorites, but also gives me a chance to see what I like to blog about  and what I want to blog more (or less) about.

Here are links to my favorites from the past years:

Mommy of a Monster’s Best of 2013: My Favorite Posts Of The Year

Mommy of a Monster’s Best of 2012: My Favorite Posts Of The Year

Mommy of a Monster’s Best of 2011: My Favorite Posts Of The Year

Mommy of a Monster’s Best Of 2010: My Favorite Posts Of The Year

And now on to my favorite posts of 2014!

January

Italian Sausage & White Bean Dip Yep, it’s a recipe, but it’s a good recipe that I get asked to make all the time. I get asked for the recipe all the time too!

Crazy Things I Did While Trying to Get Knocked Up I originally wrote this post for Scary Mommy, and then kept it here instead. I can’t believe I did some of these things!

February

Time Flies (It Really Does) I can’t believe how fast the girls grew up and that they are in kindergarten already.

One of My Favorite Sounds: Waves Listening to waves ranks right up there with listening to my kids laugh and hearing them say I love you.

March

Lila’s Lesson: How To Apologize the Right Way Our kids teach us things every day. And Lila taught me something very important.

April

My Next Tattoo: And I Am Happy Those 4 words have a very special meaning to me.

May

Why 4 Year Olds ROCK And so do 5, 6, a d 7 year olds.

June

Wordless Wednesday: What Happens When You Get Away Without The Kids The picture says it all.

July 

Our Palm Desert Vacation It’s cold right now! This post makes me excited to go back to Palm Desert next summer.

August 

Happy 5th Birthday Lila and Mia!

Happy 7th Birthday Ethan!

Because I love writing these posts on their birthdays every year!

September

Sorry Y’All Talking about depression and mental illness is very important. 

A Love Note to Ethan Like I said, the kids teach me something everyday.

The Last Time They grow up so, so fast.

Get Your Recipe Featured On Mommy of a Monster! I love sharing recipes, and I opened up my doors to let you all share yours here, too. The offer still stands!

October 

Why We Love “Love You When You Whine”  It’s a great reminder after a rough day. Like today.

Big News! I’m Part of the 2014 Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project!  Me. In Scary Mommy’s book. Need I say more?

November 

Guess what? I don’t have one for the month. It was a rough month, and I guess my writing showed it.

December

Freeze Frame Because being able to stop time would be so nice sometimes.

And that’s a wrap, people! 2014 was a much better year than 2013, and I’m hoping 2015 is even better.

What were your favorite posts for 2014?

Ultimate Breakfast Recipe Ideas: From Casseroles to Muffins to Mimosas

I am a big fan of breakfast…especially casseroles and muffins. You’ll find lots of those kinds of recipes here. So if you are looking for quick and easy (some you can even make in advance!) breakfast recipe ideas, you’ve come to the right place!

Most of these breakfast recipe ideas can be served for either breakfast or brunch, and the egg based recipes are super versatile – feel free to change the meats and veggies to suit your family’s tastes.

Breakfast Recipe Ideas: From Casseroles to Muffins

If you are looking for breakfast recipe ideas, I have several of them here. From casseroles to muffins to mimosas, many of these versatile recipes can be made in advance!

Breakfast Pizza Cups

If you are looking for breakfast recipe ideas, I have several of them here. From casseroles to muffins to mimosas, many of these versatile recipes can be made in advance!

The kids think it’s fun to have pizza for breakfast!

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

If you are looking for breakfast recipe ideas, I have several of them here. From casseroles to muffins to mimosas, many of these versatile recipes can be made in advance!

This one is always a crowd pleaser and can be made ahead of time.

Egg Cups

If you are looking for breakfast recipe ideas, I have several of them here. From casseroles to muffins to mimosas, many of these versatile recipes can be made in advance!

I make these and freeze them. Pop them in the microwave for an on-the-go breakfast!

How To Cook Perfect Sausage and Bacon

If you are looking for breakfast recipe ideas, I have several of them here. From casseroles to muffins to mimosas, many of these versatile recipes can be made in advance!

After reading this, you’ll never cook sausage and bacon any other way!

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

If you are looking for breakfast recipe ideas, I have several of them here. From casseroles to muffins to mimosas, many of these versatile recipes can be made in advance!

These will fill you up and keep you full. I have been meaning to throw some other fruit in (maybe apple?) just to switch it up.

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

If you are looking for breakfast recipe ideas, I have several of them here. From casseroles to muffins to mimosas, many of these versatile recipes can be made in advance!

This is one of my top three favorite recipes EVER! And the kids love them as much as I do.

Ham and Swiss Rolls

If you are looking for breakfast recipe ideas, I have several of them here. From casseroles to muffins to mimosas, many of these versatile recipes can be made in advance!

I love this recipe because it’s a good brunch recipe that feeds a lot of people and can be kept warm in a crock pot.

And every good breakfast or brunch needs a mimosa! Here are some breakfast recipe ideas for mimosas…with a twist.

Cranberry Mimosa

If you are looking for breakfast recipe ideas, I have several of them here. From casseroles to muffins to mimosas, many of these versatile recipes can be made in advance!

I get asked for this Cranberry Mimosa recipe every time I make it!

Amaretto Mimosa

If you are looking for breakfast recipe ideas, I have several of them here. From casseroles to muffins to mimosas, many of these versatile recipes can be made in advance!

If you are looking to add some oomph to a regular mimosa, this Amaretto Mimosa does just that.

Coffee Cake – This isn’t my recipe, but it’s a regular in our house. Jason requests it!

And if you are looking for more breakfast recipe ideas, you’ll find them on my board Breakfast on Pinterest.

What are some of your family’s favorite breakfast recipe ideas? Do you prefer hot or cold? I know a lot of people aren’t big breakfast fans, so I’m curious what recipes you do crave if you attend a brunch.

Mommy of a Monster’s Holiday Roundup From Christmas’ Past

I realize that Christmas is almost over, but I still thought it would be fun to share all-things-Christmas here on Mommy of a Monster! So I’ve come up with a Mommy of a Monster holiday round up…there’s some good stuff here!

Looking for ideas, traditions, and recipes? Here's of Mommy of a Monster's holiday roundup from Christmas' past, and there's something for everybody!

Mommy of a Monster’s Holiday Roundup From Christmas’ Past

Looking for ideas, traditions, and recipes? Here's of Mommy of a Monster's holiday roundup from Christmas' past, and there's something for everybody!

There are only a few days left, but I have ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas schedule, so set your DVRs!

elfwarning11

By this point, if your kids are anything like my kids, they are probably no longer listening to “Santa is watching!” and “I’m telling the elf that you’re being naughty!” And that’s where this Elf warning for naughty kids comes in handy.

Looking for ideas, traditions, and recipes? Here's of Mommy of a Monster's holiday roundup from Christmas' past, and there's something for everybody!

Done with Elf on the Shelf? Next year, consider Roaming Reindeer.

Looking for ideas, traditions, and recipes? Here's of Mommy of a Monster's holiday roundup from Christmas' past, and there's something for everybody!

Whether you are religious or not, The Sparkle Box book delivers a message about the importance of giving this holiday season, and my kids love it almost as much as I do. I cry (happy tears) every time that we read it.

Looking for ideas, traditions, and recipes? Here's of Mommy of a Monster's holiday roundup from Christmas' past, and there's something for everybody!

There are SO many ways to get in touch with Santa during the holiday season…and the majority of these are free!

Looking for ideas, traditions, and recipes? Here's of Mommy of a Monster's holiday roundup from Christmas' past, and there's something for everybody!

Do you know the story behind the Christmas Pickle? Do you have a Christmas Pickle?

Looking for ideas, traditions, and recipes? Here's of Mommy of a Monster's holiday roundup from Christmas' past, and there's something for everybody!

Need some sweet treat and dessert ideas? I’ve got lots of them here.

Looking for ideas, traditions, and recipes? Here's of Mommy of a Monster's holiday roundup from Christmas' past, and there's something for everybody!

Now here are some cleaning tips that will help get you ready for the big day…especially if you don’t have time to clean!

Looking for ideas, traditions, and recipes? Here's of Mommy of a Monster's holiday roundup from Christmas' past, and there's something for everybody!

Safety is always a number one priority (obviously,) but do you realize that the National Fire Protection Association reports most home fires and CO poisonings occur during the winter? Besides heating appliances, seasonal activities such as increased cooking, using candles and decorating Christmas trees all add to the risk. So I’ve got some holiday safety tips to keep you, your family, home, and guests all safe.

Looking for ideas, traditions, and recipes? Here's of Mommy of a Monster's holiday roundup from Christmas' past, and there's something for everybody!

We are getting down to the wire this holiday season, and sometimes all you need is a good laugh with a glass of wine. And Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays e-book (only $2.99!) fits the bill perfectly. Did I mention I have a recipe in the book?

Looking for more all-things-Christmas? I’ve got lots of Christmas recipes, traditions, and ideas here, as well as my All Things Christmas board on Pinterest.

Share your favorite things about Christmas! I love hearing how others celebrate the season.

Kick Off Your Holiday Baking Like A Cake Boss!

Disclaimer:  I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Cake Boss. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating. All opinions expressed are my own.

I love to make desserts and sweet treats, and while I can throw anything into a pan or make cookies, decorating said treats is not something I’m good at. But one of my favorite bakers, my niece Nikki is really good at it and loves to do it! I was given the opportunity to try out some cake decorating supplies and other goodies by the Cake Boss at Michaels, and I jumped at the opportunity!

If you love to bake, then check out the Cake Boss baking and decorating line at Michaels. You'll find Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware. Too much fun!

I hosted a fun home cake decorating party using Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware that you can find at Michaels. I baked the cakes and cupcakes before hand, so everything would be ready for us to start decorating! The kids were here, along with my nieces and sister. We were all excited to try the variety of products they sent to us, especially the fondant, which none of us had used before.

If you love to bake, then check out the Cake Boss baking and decorating line at Michaels. You'll find Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware. Too much fun!

We started out by letting the kids use Cake Boss frosting and sprinkles to decorate cupcakes. One of my favorite Cake Boss products that we tried out was definitely the Cake Mix itself.

If you love to bake, then check out the Cake Boss baking and decorating line at Michaels. You'll find Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware. Too much fun!

Cake Boss’ Wanna Piece of This? cake mix is A-MAZ-ING. Seriously, I’m still thinking about how I want more of it! It contains the Cake Boss’ “secret” ingredient (a pouch of custard crème) that really make the cake velvety and moist. I could eat the cake all by itself, it’s that good! It’s rich, flavorful, and so moist. It’s easy to make, and you can find cake mixes in six flavors: Va Va Velvet, Chocolate Trifecta, It’s Your Party, Primo Yellow, Decadent Devil’s Food and Divine White. It’s a bit pricey for a cake mix, however I will definitely purchase more for special occasions.

If you love to bake, then check out the Cake Boss baking and decorating line at Michaels. You'll find Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware. Too much fun!

The kids of course loved all of the different sprinkles they were able to use to decorate their cupcakes with. We love the bold, bright colors that deliver a pretty pop to cupcakes and other baked goods (or hot chocolate…they actually put them in their hot chocolate too!)

If you love to bake, then check out the Cake Boss baking and decorating line at Michaels. You'll find Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware. Too much fun!

I also had fun playing with all of the different tips in the Cake Boss Decorating Tip Set. It was fun to see what all of the different shapes looked like, and after I figured out how to work with the tips, I got pretty good at making different designs. The plate above was my testing plate, before I got good at using the tips. There are 24 different tips and it also includes a flower tip and coupler, all in a convenient plastic storage case.

If you love to bake, then check out the Cake Boss baking and decorating line at Michaels. You'll find Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware. Too much fun!

But by far, we all had the most fun with the fondants and fondant tools. The Cake Boss Decorating Tools Fondant Ribbon Cutter is made from sturdy, durable plastic, and its simple to use: just slip the wheels and spacers together to make multiple strips of decorative fondant, gum paste, pastry or even cookie dough strips. It includes four full sets of wheels for cutting ribbon, straight, small and large fluted strips, along with two sets of spacers and locking rings, all in a handy tin box.

If you love to bake, then check out the Cake Boss baking and decorating line at Michaels. You'll find Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware. Too much fun!

It was also fun to play with the fondant smoother. We quickly realized it’s an essential piece of equipment when rolling or embossing fondant. The smoother’s edges are rounded to create even results without leaving marks, and it’s wide and long enough to use  across top surfaces and around cake sides.

If you love to bake, then check out the Cake Boss baking and decorating line at Michaels. You'll find Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware. Too much fun!

Nikki especially loved the Cake Boss Decorating Turntable. The rubberized ring around the turntable surface helps to hold layers in place as they’re frosted and the non-skid base helps to keep the entire turntable from moving around. There’s also a switch that locks the turntable surface in place when necessary during the decorating of cakes, pies and even cupcakes. “I Love Frosting” design right in the center of the turntable so it’s cute enough to use as a cake stand!

If you love to bake, then check out the Cake Boss baking and decorating line at Michaels. You'll find Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware. Too much fun!

Nikki did a fantastic job on her first fondant cake. I was both impressed and proud of her! She can’t wait to keep experimenting, and even plans to make her brother’s birthday cake next month!

It was such a fun way to spend the morning! There are so many tools we are still excited to try out. If you’d like to check out the Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware, you can find it all at Michaels.

If you love to bake, then check out the Cake Boss baking and decorating line at Michaels. You'll find Cake Boss mixes, frostings, and bakeware. Too much fun!