Holiday Shopping with Canon!

Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras to capture your holiday memories. The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of the best-selling DSLRs. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression.
•      Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video
•      Continuous autofocus while taking HD video
•      Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.
•      The 3″ vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

 

All the photos you see on my blog, at least the vast majority of them, are taken with a Canon Rebel XS. I’m a huge Canon fan, I think they are easy to use and learn! These cameras, Canon in general, are great gifts for families, teenagers or young adults who are interested in trying out some more professional photography or for anyone really interested in dabbling in photography. The picture quality, even if you choose to stick with the automatic setting, is awesome… I really can’t say anything bad about these cameras!

The one major difference I notice just from looking at this particular camera (the Canon Rebel EOS T5i) is that it has the screen that pops out AND you can take videos. That’s a really neat feature! Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more. (*offer valid 12/7-12/20). 

Do you love twitter parties? Best Buy is hosting a Canon Twitter Party on Thursday December 18th at 7pm CST. Feel free to join this party for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards and other great prizes. Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy.

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Hello 2014!

Hi! It’s been a while, right?! I really missed blogging, but I’m thankful that I made the decision to take a few weeks to enjoy the holiday season and my sweet babies! It’s been a crazy month for us… lots of big changes! My last few posts were about Bubby turning ONE… still can’t believe that!

01 jan

 

J celebrated his 27th birthday, we did so by going to see this really awesome light show in town. Boogie was a little grumpy during it (she was hungry and we were heading to dinner after the show) but she LOVED the 12 Days of Christmas lights they had on display. We did lots of Christmas and winter themed crafts of course, built a gingerbread house, made lots and lots of cookies (which we shared with all of J’s staff at work) and thoroughly enjoyed spending time together this season. Boogie is finally at the age where she REALLY gets Christmas and Santa and Baby Jesus’s birthday, so it was a lot of fun this year. She also knew that once Christmas came that her birthday was next, so that was very exciting for her as well.

02 feb

After Christmas we took Boog to see Frozen, this was her first time to the movie theater… she LOVED it. She was a little frightened at first with how loud it was, but once she sat down, started enjoying her juice and popcorn, she was set. The movie was GREAT, if you haven’t taken your kids, do so! It’s a wonderful movie! After that she wanted to have a Frozen birthday party (thank goodness I hadn’t already purchased Sofia party supplies, haha!) so we stocked up at Walmart and Target with snowflake and winter themed decor (I will post about this more thoroughly another day!). My big girl is THREE…. AH! I can’t believe it!

03 mar

 

So, birthdays were celebrated, Christmas was celebrated…. AND we are buying a house 😀  I cannot begin to explain to you how excited we are. We have completed the inspection and the appraisal, working on completing paperwork at the bank, and we are set to close at the end of January! This will be our FIRST house, we have always rented, so this is just INCREDIBLE!

04 apr

 

I’ve always been disappointed that we weren’t able to buy a house prior to having children… but now that I have children, I’m thankful that we weren’t able too until now. I’m sure the house we would have purchased years ago would be drastically different from what we have chosen now. And I imagine I would not have been focused on what would work for a family, but what would have worked for ME. This house is incredible, I can’t wait to share pictures of it once we get settled!

05 may

So that’s about it for the past month, these coming few months are going to be super busy… so I’m hoping to have a few guest posts pop up here and there while we pack, move and get settled into our new home. If you’re interested, there’s a contact button at the top of this page, just click that and shoot me a message with your info and I will get back to you with more information!

06 jun

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, be looking for more updates, guest posts and hopefully some giveaways in the near future! Until then…. here are some more pictures of my babies from this past year!

07 jul

 

08 aug

 

09 sept

 

10 oct

 

11 nov

 

12 dec

 

 

 

Winter Bucket List Freebie!!!

I posted a Fall Bucket List created by Tracee Smith Designs a couple of months ago… but can you believe Fall is almost over?! So here is a new bucket list for you! Enjoy!

(Click on the picture to gain access to the download)

winterblucketlist-watermark

December Photo Challenge – Instagram

Are you on instagram?!?! How about participating in a photo challenge with me!? Save this photo onto your phone, upload it to your instagram, follow me (@mustardseedmommy) and use the hashtag‪ #‎msmphotochallenge‬ ! Every day you will post a new photo and include that hashtag! Thanks to Tracee Smith Designs for designing our graphic for this challenge!

Click the photo to go directly to my photo challenge post on Instagram!

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Pumpkin Puree How To

Let me just start this by saying… if I was able to do this, anyone can do this. When I married J I couldn’t cook or bake ANYTHING. I was awful. I burnt NOODLES. Yep. Noodles. However, I have improved, just ask J! There are a lot of wonderful bakery items and meals I can make that are great! I’ve even found a new love for baking that I never though I would have! So, this will be 1 of 3 posts about pumpkin. This post is obviously about how to make a pumpkin puree, the next two will be on roasted pumpkin seeds and my version of a pumpkin pie!

I can’t lie to you about this though, those darn pie pumpkins are almost impossible to cut into. It took me an HOUR to just cut the tops of the pumpkins off and slice them in half. Yikes! You CAN do this though! And once you do it, you’ll never want to use canned pumpkin again. You can TASTE the difference. This is pure, unaltered pumpkin. No additives, no alterations. Just. Pumpkin. You can bake pumpkin pies, make pumpkin pancakes, put it in cookies, breads…. and more! I love fall 🙂

So…. onto the tutorial!

How to Make Pumpkin Puree with @mustardsdmommy

You can find pie pumpkins at most grocery stores, we mainly shop at a store called Ingle’s Grocery and they just so happened to have pie pumpkins for .98/lb today! So I grabbed two and thought we would try to make a homemade pie today. First step? The pumpkin puree!

01

My first thought was, “Oh, this is easy peasy! Just need to cut the top off, cut them in half and bake… no problem!” Then I tried to cut through one. Right. Easy peasy my butt. I do not recommend the knife I have pictured above, I ended up using a large serrated knife and a fondue fork (yes, really) to get these suckers open. I seriously stabbed the pumpkin with the fondue fork, plunged it all the way through and rocked it around a bit until the pumpkin started cracking. Then I used the serrated knife to finish cracking and cutting it around until I go the top of the pumpkins removed. That was HARD work. Seriously took me about 45 minutes!

02

After finally accomplishing that, it was time to cut the pumpkins in half (from top to bottom). Great. I was super excited about that. This wasn’t quite as difficult as the first step, I took the serrated knife and cut each side individually with a rocking motion until I got to the bottom, then I was able to just crack the bottom apart.

03

After that I was GOING to cut them in half again for a shorter baking time… but I said FORGET IT. My arms were killing me at this point, and Boogie and Miss V were done watching me act like a fool trying to cut them apart in the first place…. so moving on!  This next part is the fun part! You get to scoop all the goop out! I scooped it out and put it in a colander (don’t throw those seeds away!). I used a large metal spoon to scoop everything out.

04

I actually ended up flipping those over so that they were facing down in the pan. I didn’t add anything extra like olive oil or water to steam it or anything… because like I said, this is just pure pumpkin! Put those in the oven for about 45 minutes at 350F. We have a wall oven, so it took about 30 minutes for it to cook for me. You want the meat of the pumpkin to be super tender. The skin will darken (you may see some brown) and be crisp and hard.

07

I flipped one over so you could see how AWESOME that yummy pumpkin looks on the inside! At this point I started getting pretty darn excited about that pumpkin pie I had planned! I let these cool for about 30 minutes (which in our house means, I let them cool until Bubby was done nursing and the girls had a chance to go on a potty break!) Once they were cool enough to handle, I transferred them to my cutting board and used a fork to pull the yummy pumpkin goodness from the hard skin.

08

I transferred the pumpkin meat into a medium sized bowl and mashed with a fork until everything was the consistency of mashed potatoes. I was surprised by this, my mom had warned me the night before that the last time she had attempted this it was super watery and didn’t turn out right. But the consistency of these pumpkins was fantastic! Once that was finished I used my hand mixer to puree the pumpkin. I tried using our mini Kitchen Aid processor, but it just wasn’t pureeing the pumpkin like I wanted. So, the hand mixer on high worked GREAT!

How to Make Pumpkin Puree with @mustardsdmommy

And that’s it! You can freeze this in ziploc bags (I had about 1 1/2 cups excess after measuring it out for my pie, so that’s what I did!). I’m pretty sure you can can this as well, but I wouldn’t know the first thing about that! My mom has been doing all the canning for us around here! (Thanks mom!)

Tomorrow I will post my recipe for the Roasted Pumpkin Seeds… they were delicious! So keep an eye out for that and for the pumpkin pie recipe! You won’t want to miss that!