Willamette Valley Wonder Woman

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone and should not be construed as medical advice. #TheMoodStrikes #CollectiveBias
Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes

Hey everyone! Tomorrow is the big day – and we are finally headed home after four nights in Southern Oregon visiting family. Since we've had dinners this week with my family we are just heading over to our friend’s house for a turkey dinner tomorrow. Even though I love the holidays, sometimes I feel like we get so busy that we don’t have enough time for ourselves. Between working, holiday events, dinners, and school events, I’m often left feeling just plain exhausted – and often times us women are so stressed out that we don’t take enough time to enjoy our partners and relationships and don’t feel like we have the freedom to be spontaneous.

Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes
Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes

Moms often feel the stress more than others during the holidays – trying to make things perfect and keeping everyone happy, and then one of the most important things gets left behind – themselves, and I have to admit sometimes I feel that way as well.

So I’m taking the KY Liquibeads Challenge.

Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes

The KY Liquibeads OVULE Inserts provide vaginal moisturization – so they help make intercourse more comfortable. I know it’s a topic that many women are too afraid to talk about, but as a nurse stuff like this doesn't bother me. Moms who are having lots of stress, women experiencing menopause, taking certain medications, or many other reasons including chemotherapy and radiation can cause vaginal dryness which hello – makes spontaneous moments a little more difficult.

Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes

The KY Liquibeads shouldn't be used by women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding, but for the rest of us it just helps moisturize and lubricate- so there’s never a ‘problem’ when a spontaneous moment arises.

There’s 6 Liquibeads that are included in the KY package, and each one is to be used as needed every 3-4 days.

The KY Liquibeads can be found at Walgreens in the family planning department. 

Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes

In addition to the KY Liquibeads, here's a few other ways that you can plan for a successful romantic evening together:

1. Create an ambiance that will relax you. We try to ignore it, but it really does bother us when we look around and have so much stuff that we need to do! Keep bedroom clutter to a minimum and keep your work and children's conversations off limits in there. Keep some night scented candles in there and minimum electronics in the room.

Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes
Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes

2. Serve yourselves something special. Make the evening romantic by fixing up some bites to eat. Perhaps watch a little movie together and indulge on some cheese and crackers or whatever you have in the house. It really doesn't matter what you have, but the simple presentation of plating it will create something that truly is a little tastier and romantic. 

Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes
Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes
Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes

3. Take a hot bath. I know that I always feel more relaxed after a hot bath, and unfortunately most of us don't take enough time our of our day to indulge for 30 minutes to just relax, but it really does help.

4. Massage. Sore and tired muscles seem to be more of the norm for us moms and dads. Try giving each other a massage to relax those aches and pains, or if your partner isn't up to giving massages - splurge and buy a couples massage.

5. Time. I think what I've realized and many people already know, is it's just forcing yourself to take the time to relax so you're less stressed out. It may be tough at first, but sitting there for an hour doing nothing is perfectly acceptable and nothing to feel guilty about.

So, with Christmas fast approaching and a hectic looking schedule for next month, I'm going to take my own advice and really focus a little more time on myself - because I know spending the time taking care yourself ultimately will help allow you the freedom to be spontaneous!

Romantic Ideas and the Freedom To Be Spontaneous #ad #CollectiveBias #TheMoodStrikes

I'll check back in soon about this and give you an update on how well I follow my own ideas!

Have you ever had any troubles because of stress/etc.? For more date night ideas check out my other posts on this topic!




~Melissa

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Life Lately


We've been down in Southern Oregon for a few days now, visiting family before Thanksgiving.  Saturday evening we drove down to my Dad’s house in Canyonville and then Sunday we made a holiday feast there with him and his wife. I broke out the Christmas music and the kids began creating holiday ornaments – and Anika even helped out with the cooking this year and made her very first homemade cherry pie. She was very proud of herself and I think it was the first time she had ever realized the hard work that’s involved with making a lattice pie crust, I think she’ll appreciate them a little bit more from now on. 


Yesterday we drove down to Grants Pass (my hometown) and checked in to a hotel for one night (my kids LOVE swimming in the pool) and celebrated with more festive food for dinner at my Mom’s apartment. The kids broke out their artsy abilities again and made beautiful pictures and more ornaments as we sat and watched funny cartoons.


Today I’m sitting here in the hotel; we have to check out in an hour. We’ll be back over at my Mom’s place and spend one more dinner with her before driving back north to my Dad’s house for one more night, then we will venture home sometime tomorrow. 


 These trips always make me happy and sad. It’s a lot of work and money to travel down to visit everyone, but it’s always worth it in the end and I wish that everyone didn’t live so far away so holiday’s weren’t as complicated.

What are your plans this week?

~Melissa

Friday, November 21, 2014

15 Festive Appetizers

Check out 15 Festive Appetizers
by Melissa Kaylene at Foodie.com

Check out 15 Festive Appetizers
 by Melissa Kaylene at Foodie.com

Happy Friday everyone! I can't believe it's the final weekend before Thanksgiving and the official start of the holiday season! This year has to have flown by faster than any other year I can think of. We will be celebrating Thanksgiving a little early, opting for a family dinner at my Dad's house this Sunday and then at my Mom's house on Monday. They both live 3-4 hours away so we don't travel down to see them very often with the kid's busy school schedules. 

I'll still be doing most of the cooking, and then on Thanksgiving we will be back up at home and have been invited to my friend's house to feast - and I'm planning on bringing a variety of appetizers to snack on, so I've been collecting recipes on Foodie.com. Who doesn't love munching on meats and cheeses? Appetizers are sometimes my favorite thing from a holiday feast! 

15 festive appetizer ideas from #foodie #sp

There are a several staple ones that I make every year, like the bacon wrapped Lil' Smokies and meat and cheese pickle wraps, and of course a big meat and cheese platter, but then I like to find a couple of others to serve as well - I make the stuffed sweet peppers one year and it was a huge hit! Sometimes I feel that everyone is so busy prepping for the 'big' meal that appetizers get a little bit forgotten, and they shouldn't be! I think it's because in some cases they are tiny bites of art pieced together into a pretty presentation.

What are your go-to appetizers to make? Do they differ during the holidays versus the rest of the year? (More festive?) I'd love to hear!

~Melissa
Compensation was provided by Foodie via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Foodie”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Flowers in The Fall

 The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913

Today was a pretty good day without too much running around. I did a little grocery shopping this morning, then my friend Jessica and her son came over for lunch and Noah and her son Gage played for a while while we chatted, then I tackled cleaning out our Expedition - I don't know why it still amazes me just how messy kids are...at least mine. We are heading down to southern Oregon this weekend for a few days to visit my family and have an early Thanksgiving, so I'm trying to get everything ready and packed for our little road trip.

The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913

So I've been meaning to share this for a while, but it's been busy and I just haven't taken the time to upload the photos until now. These were the beautiful flowers I received last month from The Bouqs Co. I don't normally write a lot of reviews on here, but when I was offered a gorgeous bouquet in exchange that I share some pretty pictures with you - um well I couldn't resist! The flowers were delivered to me on October 30th, but with Halloween and all of the parties that week, I didn't get to photographing my pretty display until a week later. Yes, these flowers are taken after a week of sitting on my kitchen table. There's a tad bit of darkening on the tips of the roses, but seriously? I was in love. 

The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913

 The flowers stayed on my table for two weeks before I finally said farewell to them. Two weeks of beauty in my house. I have always loved flowers, loved how delicate and intricate they are, and how they always seem to brighten and freshen up any home. With the short winter days now in full swing and the darkness creeping in by 5:00 pm, I really need something colorful to cheer me up and these definitely did the trick... plus what girl doesn't love flowers delivered - even if you ship them to yourself?? :) 

The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913

 The Bouqs Co. offer a bunch of different gorgeous fresh bouquets for you at a really good price too - they are shipped to you 2-4 days after being cut unlike many other places that send them after 10-14 days.

The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913
The Bouq Co. Flowers : http://the-bouqscom.7eer.net/c/120789/73731/1913

 Looking at this (the BBQ'n Bouquet) makes me want to jump and order another bouquet right now!! Do you keep flowers in your house during the winter?

~Melissa
^This post contains affiliate links. No compensation was received for my review. All opinions are of my own.^ 

Register with The Bouqs Co. & receive 15% Off your next order & FREE SHIPPING! Get your discount code and send gorgeous flowers today. Click here!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop

Two posts in one day? Yep, I've had two cups of coffee, the girls are in school, and Noah is busy playing so I decided to catch up on posting more things that I've been up to lately! After I came home Saturday night (we were home by 9:30) I decided to have a little girl’s movie night, so I hopped into my favorite flannel pajamas and pulled out a few movies that I bought at Walmart last week. They have a huge selection of $5 movies, many of which I haven’t seen yet because, well, I’m a busy lady. J I of course grabbed one of my favorites of all time The Notebook, and a couple of others – The Blindside and Horrible Bosses.  When I purchased the movies I also stocked up on Orville Redenbacher’sPopcorn and M&M's® because what lady doesn't want to snack on those while relaxing on the couch??

Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop

But you know me, sometimes I tend to get a tad creative and find myself coming up with new ideas…and so somehow I thought, ‘Popcorn…popcorn is good….caramel popcorn is better….butterscotch popcorn might be good – oh and with M&M's® mixed in….wait, what about with ice cream….like a popcorn ice cream sandwich??’ – Yes that’s truly how my mind rambles, and anyways Chocolate Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches were born – and they are pretty darn good.

Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop

I made them Friday afternoon, so they were all ready for my movie night on Saturday. If you've never made caramel corn before, it’s seriously one of the simplest things to create. I just altered it a tad bit, and thankfully it turned out! J

Chocolate Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients:

½ stick of butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butterscotch schnapps OR you can use vanilla extract (or another flavor!)
2 bags of Orville Redenbacher’s Salty and Sweet Popcorn
2 boxes of theater sized M&M's®
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

  1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, cream, and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and boil for 4 or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the sides of the pan down.
  3. Meanwhile, pop both bags of popcorn and pour into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Remove the butterscotch sauce off of the heat and stir in butterscotch flavoring. Pour into popcorn bowl and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the M&M's® and then pour mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Spread evenly and transfer to the freezer to cool completely.
  6. When the popcorn is cooled completely, cut into desired size squares and place a scoop of softened vanilla bean ice cream in the center of a bar, topping with another bar. Wrap with parchment paper if desired. 

Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop

 And there you have it! The perfect movie night in treat!! I had some extra butter flavored popcorn so I made a double batch, but held the M&M's® and added ½ pound of cooked diced bacon, then shaped the popcorn mixture into small balls and inserted a toothpick. They had just enough sweet and salty combination to be rather addicting!

Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop
Chocolate M&M's® Butterscotch Popcorn Ice Cream Sandwiches #movienight4less #ad #shop

 After a full night of having a ladies night out, and then a movie night in, I fell asleep pretty happy and relaxed that night! I’m pretty sure I should make at least the movie night more of a routine – as well as making recipe creations. It’s fun to just let loose and try new things!

~Melissa

You can find these fun movie night displays with special movies discounted through the 24th at the locations HERE.!