Wednesday, December 31, 2014

AZ529: Saving for College

My grandfather never got to finish school.
He had to drop out during elementary school to help earn money for his family;
that's just the way things were back then.

He worked so hard his whole life but wanted his children to have more.
He wanted them to go to college.
Being a rancher/farmer doesn't bring in heaps of money, but it taught his children the value of work.
Grandpa Nolen actually sold 2/3 of his ranch to pay for his children's college education.
Seven out of his eight children are college graduates.

Things are much easier today but the value of an education is just as important.
But where do you start? is the place.

The Arizona Family College Savings Program (529 Plan) is a Section 529 College Savings Plan sponsored by the State of Arizona through the Arizona Commission for Post-secondary Education. The 529 Plan is designed to help families meet the rising costs of a higher education. The Program offers an easy, flexible, and tax-advantaged way to save for college.

You can start now to invest in your child's future by downloading a planner here
You can even help others reach their educational goals through tax-deductible contributions.
Why not start off the new year with the gift of saving?

The fruits of a good education are felt for generations.
Learn how you can give the gift of education and receive valuable tax breaks at

post signature

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bread Machine Bread Bowls

Every year I make these bread bowls on Christmas Eve for my family.
It's tradition.
 They're so delicious with their crusted outer shell and soft, warm insides.
 We fill them with White Chicken Chili, another Christmas Eve tradition.
Here's how we make our traditional bread bowls:
Only a few ingredients are needed, most of which you probably have on hand. 
 This is how each step looks:
Despite the number of steps, they really are quite simple.
 I hope your family loves them as much as mine.
post signature

Friday, December 26, 2014

Countdown2Xmas: Set 4 Review

Here's a review of Set 4, the final grouping in our Countdown to Christmas online advent calendar!

Day 19:
Today Annie, from MontgomeryFest, brings us
Free printable gift tags to brighten up your presents and make your holidays a little sweeter.

DAY 20:
Tricia from The Good Mama has
Need a recipe for your Christmas cookie tray? These are easy to make and come out perfectly every time!

DAY 21:
Breanna from Faith 'N' Coffee shares her recipe for
Every year our family puts Christmas Cocoa in a pot and sits down to write letters to Santa.
DAY 22:
 Ashley from Taylors4You brings us a recipe AND free printable for
Add a little magic to your Christmas with reindeer food for your kids to make.
DAY 23:
Alexis Krystina shares her family's traditional
A great way to enjoy some nice family time before Christmas is with this Christmas Eve box filled with goodies that the whole family will love!
DAY 24:
A delicious recipe from Cream N' Crumpets called
I have many fond memories of Christmas Eves and mornings eating these rolls.
Thanks for following along on our countdown!

post signature

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Must-See Movies for 2015

I love going to the movies!
I like taking a break from reality to relax at the theater.
It's our go-to date night!
Here's what we're looking forward to seeing in 2015:
If you'd like to watch the trailer, click on the name of the movie under its photo.
Not all of them have full trailers yet (or even official ads and ratings)
but I'll update this post as they become available. 
In the Heart of the Sea - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Insurgent - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Mall Cop 2

 The Water Diviner - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The Avengers: Age of Ultron - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Jurassic World
Minions - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Ant-Man - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The Fantastic Four (no trailer yet)
The Scorch Trials - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Hotel Transylvania 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The Peanuts Movie
Mockingjay: Part 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Star Wars: The Force Awakens - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Shaun the Sheep
We're already looking forward to 2016's blockbusters:
Batman Vs. Superman, Captain America: Civil War, Avatar 2, X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool . . .
AAAAA! So excited!
Which 2015 movie release are you most excited about?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Countdown2Xmas: Set 3 Review

Here's a review of Set 3 of our Countdown to Christmas online advent calendar!

Day 13:
Life according to Lina shares her favorite Christmas tradition today.
Start this fun personalized ornament tradition with your kids while they're young- they'll be able to have their own collection by the time they're ready to move out!

Day 14:
Miranda at Love Life Simplified shares an idea today.
A Christmas issue that we have every year is about buying our children more toys and gifts they don't need. Come check out our solution to this problem.
DAY 15:
Jen Street is kicking off Week 3 with
Holiday Crafting for Kids 
Christmas time is all about spending times with loved ones and creating memories. Holiday crafting with friends satisfies both of those! 
DAY 16:
Christine from Choosy Kids shares
Choosy's Holiday Tale
Kid-inspired character, Choosy prepares for a healthy holiday season with friends, family, and fun traditions! Video version included!

DAY 17:
T.J. from Sugar Blossoms is taking your family on
A Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt
Print it out, grab some friends, and hit the road!

DAY 18:
Burlap and Babies shares an adorable and simple craft.
DIY Burlap Christmas Trees
Add some holiday cheer with these trees that anyone can make!

Be sure to follow along on Whimsicle
for new posts every day until Christmas!
You can also follow along on Intagram, Twitter or Facebook and join in with the hashtag #Countdown2Xmas
post signature

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Tradition: Light Display Photo Scavenger Hunt

It's that time of year again: the tradition-rich holidays!
One of our absolute favorites is A Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt.
Grab your cameras or cell phones, invite a couple other families, print out a list for each car, split up into separate neighborhoods, set a timer for 30 minutes and GO!
Find as many items on the list as you can, take a picture of each one and meet back up with the other families/teams to compare your findings and enjoy some creamy cocoa and pumpkin cookies.
This is a game our entire family enjoys! I love seeing what the other "teams" find.
There are always "The Perfect Picture" ones:
And then there are these:
 That's Rudolph. I promise!
This is what happens when your overly-competitive husband won't slow down for you to take pictures. =)

Find more holiday fun at Whisicle's Countdown to Christmas! You can also follow along on Intagram, Twitter or Facebook and join in with the hashtag #Countdown2Xmas

What's YOUR favorite holiday tradition?
post signature

Monday, December 15, 2014

Countdown2Xmas: Set 2 Review

 Here's a review of Week 2 of our Countdown to Christmas online advent calendar!

DAY 7:
This week's final post from casa de la Cargill looks AMAZING
This sweet and tangy bread pudding can be made the night before. It is perfect for Christmas morning or any holiday brunch. The longer it sits before baking the better it gets!
Day 8:
This day's post is brought to you by Holly at As Cute as a Bug's Ear.
Gifts in a jar for the holidays, hostess gifts, and teacher appreciation days. Five easy to make recipes that look as good as they taste!

Day 9:
Mindy from Mindy Alyse Celebrations takes the lead today.
(Including FREE Printables)
Inspiration to throw an amazing Holiday Cookie Exchange Party! Including FREE Party Printables.

Day 10:
Shambray brings a little something for your littles.
The BEST last minute Christmas craft to do with you toddlers and kids! Just 3 items that you already have at home to put together this fun craft. It will teach your kids shapes matching & recognition as well as motor skills.

Day 11:
Today's tasty post is from Heather at My Life Well Loved.
These paleo, healthy cookies are so delicious your family won't even know that they're good for them! These all natural cookies are delicious and simple so they make the perfect Christmas treat!

Day 12:
We're getting crafty today with Anne of Under the 'Brella.
Fun, Quick and Easy sign to make to add to your Christmas mantel. You can then add your own special touches to the word you choose or the embellishments you add to the letters.
Be sure to follow along on Whimsicle for new posts every day until Christmas
post signature