Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

My boys love toy cars.  They will each get one and race them around the house or outside.  They even get Little Miss in on the action.  It’s pretty fun to watch them and listen to the sound effects and commentary. Toy Sate offers as great selection of fun toy cars, trucks, and other vehicles.  We were recently sent the Road Rippers Hatchback VW.

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This free-wheeling car features custom designed lights and speakers.  When you pop the hatch on the back of the car, it plays 3 different songs with coordinating light displays.  My 4-year-old couldn’t wait to get his hands on it.  thankfully it didn’t take long thanks to the super easy packaging.  I get SO frustrated with how most toys are secured into their boxes.  You practically need an engineering degree to get some toys untangled from their packaging!  The VW only had two plastic discs that simply needed to be rotated to release the car from the cardboard.  It took about 3 seconds.

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I didn’t tell my son much about the car.  I wanted him to discover it’s features on his own so I just gave it to him and told him to have fun.  At first he just rolled it along the floor.  He loved how easily it rolled and told me it was “super fast!”.  Then he lifted the hatch and discovered the neat sounds and lights.

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He thought it was awesome and kept closing and lifting the hatch to hear which song would be played next.  The sounds soon attracted Little Miss and they took turns pushing the car to each other.  K couldn’t wait to show the car to his brothers when they got home from school.

This toy would make a great gift for any little car enthusiast!  The Road Rippers VW requires 2 AA batteries (included) and can be purchased on Amazon or at WalMart, Target, Toys R Us, and Kmart.

 

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Our new house had newer light fixtures when we moved in.  They were nice but just didn’t fit with our more rustic decor.  We looked at new ones but they ran anywhere from $140-$200 and I just couldn’t justify spending that.  So, we decided to make our own.  We were looking around Home Depot and found a wood barrel planter and thought it would be perfect for an entryway light.  Hubby went top Lowes the next day and got the rest of the supplies:

  • lamp cord
  • lamp socket
  • screw eye hooks
  • bronze hanging chain
  • 60 watt vintage Edison light bulb

He used the existing hole in the bottom of the planter barrel to run the lamp socket through.  Then he attached 2 of the hooks to each side of the barrel to attach the chain. He linked the chains together and ran it to when the old fixture was attached.  He screwed the bulb in and wired in the new light to the existing socket.  We were able to re-use the light canopy from the old fixture so that saved us $7. Here’s our new custom light!

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I love it!  It adds a rustic, primitive feel to  the entryway and goes perfectly with our new trim (tutorial on taking white trim back to wood look coming soon!).

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I love the look of the Edison bulb but I will say it puts out less light than a standard bulb.  The cool look is worth it to me though.  It only took hubby about 20 minutes to install the light and we made it for about $50.  I plan to sell the old fixture so it will almost even out :) We were so happy with how it turned out, we bought a window box planter that matches the barrel to make a light fixture to hang above our dining table.  I think we’re going to use mason jars with that one.  Stay tuned to see how that one turns out!

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Unless otherwise stated, no compensation of any form was provided for my Explore Grand Rapids blog posts.  I am a blogger living in the Grand Rapids area and am just exploring with my family.  This series is designed to help others get out and explore grand rapids!  All opinions are always my own.

One thing our family loves is Farmers Markets.  Since moving to the Grand Rapids area, we have made it our goal to seek out a new Farmers Market each weekend.  Recently, we decided to explore Grand Rapids and check out the Rockford, MI Famers Market.

rockford mi farmers market

**Excuse the horrid looks on the boys faces.  They were looking at a huge dog and I caught Jack mid-blink.

Tucked into the heart of downtown Farmers Market, this market offers a dog-friendly market to explore.

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We saw families and others all out with their dogs.  Everyone was very friendly and they all offered to let our kids come and pet their pooches.  The Rockford market was “voted “America’s Favorite Farmers Market” in a 2011 nationwide popularity contest sponsored by the American Farmland Trust. The other 1,700 entrants in the contest didn’t have a chance! Why? They were competing against a farm market that is a poster child for everything “Pure Michigan” and “Pure Rockford”.

We went with pretty high expectations and were a bit disappointed.  It is a really neat Farmer’s Market, but it truly doesn’t offer anything unusual.  Since it was voted #1, we assumed we’d find something different.  That being said, it is still worth a drive to go check it out.  The vendors are friendly and the area is easy to walk through with kids.  In fact, it is a great size for little toddlers, just learning to walk.  When you are done shopping, you can explore the city of Rockford.  It is SI quaint and boasts a variety of local shops and eateries.  We thought the Corner Bar looked like a great place for a family to enjoy.  Our kids want to go back so we can try it out!  My husband and I would like to try Reds on the River for a date night.  We saw many shops, parks and even a place to rent kayaks!  You could definitely schedule a full weekend just to explore the Rockford area.

At the farmer’s market, we picked up a salsa kit from one of the vendors.

rockford mi farmers market

We also got everything we needed for an outdoor dinner; corn on the cob, fresh berries and more.  After getting home, I made the salsa using the salsa kit, the kids shucked the corn, my hubby fired up the grill and I used the berries to make a berry pie.  That night we ate outside and enjoyed all the goodies.

rockford mi farmers market

If you decide to visit Rockford, MI, please comment below with any cool places you found or anyplace you think we need to go explore!

 

Unless otherwise stated, no compensation of any form was provided for my Explore Grand Rapids blog posts.  I am a blogger living in the Grand Rapids area and am just exploring with my family.  This series is designed to help others get out and explore grand rapids!  All opinions are always my own.

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

Sometimes recipes seem to have the wrong name.  This is one of those.  This is not really a traditional quiche…it only calls for 4 eggs!  But it’s not exactly a casserole?  Anyways, it IS delicious!  Benjamin loves this!  He likes to eat it and calls it pie.  He also uses this as dip for sweet potato chips.

Wild Rice and Tomato Quiche Recipe

1 uncooked pie crust

4 eggs (beaten)

6 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1 bar cream cheese (room temperature)

1 can diced tomatoes (or use several fresh, sliced and diced tomatoes

1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 package of your choice of rice ie: Chicken, Wild Rice etc…

Preheat the oven to 375.  Unroll the pie crust and press it into your pie pan.  Poke it all over with a fork.  Cover it with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes (til lightly browned).  Remove and brush with a little bit of the eggs.  Meanwhile cook the rice according to package directions.  While rice is cooking, saute the garlic in the olive oil.  When it is starting to brown, add in the tomatoes.  Let simmer til it thickens, then add in the seasoning, rice and cream cheese.  Keep stirring til cheese is blended and melted.  Remove from heat.  Add in the eggs.  Transfer to the pie pan and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes and then serve.

 

For leftovers, reheat them in the oven!  Also, if you want to eliminate the crust you can.  We use the crustless part and fill burrito shells with them! YUM!

 

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

The assets included within this message were delivered to Mudpies and Tiaras to promote Orkin LLC.  No compensation was received. 

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Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Orkin Fact or Fake School Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

 

The assets included within this message were delivered to Mudpies and Tiaras to promote Orkin LLC.  No compensation was received. 

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen