A Little Moore Elf Shop Update

elf on the shelf bbn

A Little Moore Elf Shop update tonight! Tomorrow night at 9 EST I will release the last of the new designs for 2015 and a few of the ones that are up right now will be going away. As of right now, the plan is to have custom orders open throughout the month of October. However, the closer we get to Christmas the more orders pour in and when I hit the magic number I will stop taking orders completely. There is a chance I will keep the etsy store open for a bit longer to sell of in stock items but that will just depend on if there are any left.

I love all you crazy elf lovers who want to bring a little extra joy to your little ones and a little less stress for you the night before and I am so thankful that you use the things that I make to accomplish that.

Meet you back here tomorrow night with the new stuff and rumor on the street is that there may be a discount code tomorrow night! But, for now I am back to work and my elf is on #BBN duty! Go Cats!


Join Me for Kindtober

KindtoberOne of my favorite quotes of all time is from Anne of Green Gables. The character Anne Shirley says, “I am so glad I live in a world where there is Octobers.” With fall being my favorite time of the year this quote has always resonated with me. The changing of seasons marks a shift in not only are wardrobes but our calendars. The holidays are right around the corner and this year I want to start them out right and that starts out in my heart.

Yesterday, my husband who is a school administrator came home and told me that he was taking some of our cash that was saved for an upcoming vacation and that he was going to use it to pay off a students lunch account. He saw a child in need and he could have turned his back to it. He could have alerted the parents. He could have passed him onto a system. But, he felt the urge to be more for this child with the student never knowing. I was so proud of him and not for this one action, because this is his heart daily.

This is where the idea for Kindtober started. Every day this month you have the challenge doing something good for someone else with no expectation in return. It doesn’t have to cost money to change someones day. A small gesture can change the course someones reality. Be that change with me this month.

31 days, 31 good deeds. Lets go and be world changers together. Lets make October, Kindtober!

Use the #kindtober on your social media channels to share the the kindness!

Old West Festival and Ticket Giveaway

Old West Festival

Grab your cowboy boots and mosey on over to the eighth annual Old West Festival. The western-themed festival rolls back in town for another season of boot stompin’ family fun on Saturdays and Sundays – September 12 through October 18, 2015. Located at its permanent site, just 15 minutes from I-275, east of Cincinnati, the Old West Festival transports visitors back in time to a historic American era, the Wild West.

Drawing more than 20,000 visitors each fall, the permanent old west town is home to everything you would expect to see in Dodge City circa 1878. Attendees will enjoy historically accurate medicine and saloon shows, can-can dancers, gunfights, jailbreaks, and more. Period re-enactors will also be found walking the streets and performing the roles of cowboys, cowgirls, storeowners, residents, and of course, outlaws.

The Old West Festival will also be abuzz with western music. Attendees can enjoy the sounds of the 1800’s with music from Gunpowder Creek as well as Raison d’Etre, a trio mixing traditional folk songs with a capella swing tunes and Shaker hymns.

Other performers will be ‘round town as well. Magician Jason Jacobs will amaze, bewilder and astonish with his magical flare and the Pickled Brothers will shock with their mind-boggling performances. Trick rider Abigail Petersen will impress audiences with her horsemanship and daring stunts, while visitors to the Long Branch Saloon will enjoy shows by world champion roper Rider Keisner, and folks will no doubt get a “kick” out of Miss Melody Star and her Hurdy Gurdy Dancing Girls.

And what would the old west be without a good ole’ fashioned gunfight? Back by popular demand, four times daily starting at high noon, the Big Irons Rangers return with their gunfight re-enactments and trick shooting. In between shows they, and other period interpreters, will be walking the grounds to meet visitors and pose for photos.

old west festival activities

The Old West Festival is a grand time for the young’ins, too. At 10:15 a.m. daily, the kiddies can get sworn in as town deputies. They can also enjoy old-timey puppet and magic shows, storytelling and sing-a-longs. The youngsters can also participate in historic games, pan for gold, take a ride on the A&A Express train, take a pony ride, and even cross the frontier in a covered wagon.

New this year, children’s wristbands are available for $5 at the gate, and allow children UNLIMITED train rides, panning for gold, Santa Fe Slingshot, Beginniner Bow and Arrow, and Lucky Levi’s Lasso.

Themed weekends add to the experience of the Old West Festival and include Western Film Weekend Sept. 12-13; Romance Weekend Sept. 19-20; America’s Pastime Weekend Sept. 26-27; Steampunk Weekend Oct. 3-4; OctoBEERfest Weekend Oct. 10-11; and Halloween Weekend Oct. 17-18.

To celebrate the opening of another season, the Old West Festival presents Western Film Weekend. Iconic scenes of cowboys riding into the sunset, saloon brawls and gunfights have shaped our idea of the Wild West. Guests will enjoy screenings from classic movies, experience a lively panel discussion and meet the cast and crew from Revelation Trail, a western film shot on the grounds of the Old West Festival.

Tickets to the Old West Festival can be purchased for $12, $6 for children ages 6-12, children 5 and under admitted for free. Parking is free and the festival will be held, rain or shine. Tickets are available at a discounted rate in advance at www.oldwestfestival.com.

About the Old West Festival

The Old West Festival runs Saturdays and Sundays, September 12 to October 18 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and is located at 1449 Greenbush Cobb Rd between Mt. Orab and Williamsburg, Ohio just off St. Rt. 32. For more information, visit www.oldwestfestival.com.

For more information sign up for newsletter for details and deals! Old West Festival Newsletter Sign Up

Want to win a set of 4 tickets for your family? Comment with the words “YeeHaw” and you will be entered in to win a set of 4 tickets which the winner will be drawn on October 2! Good luck, partner!

Disclosure: I was given tickets for my family and I to attend in exchange for this post! Hopefully we will see you there!


Paper Plane Apologies

The past few weeks have been really hard in the parenting department. My oldest is in middle school and the attitude I was preparing myself for her teens years arrived early. 

Just like my relationship with my own mom, I found myself fighting back. I don’t want to have a relationship where we are both trying to get the last word in.

 Today she saw how upset I was over the way she spoke to me and she sent me a paper airplane with an explanation and apology. I just sent one soaring back into her room.

 Just like every other mother daughter relationship, I know that this is just the beginning and not the end. I was convicted in church today about giving her more words of affirmation and boom..argument, sadness and tears. I texted a friend my frustration and then the paper airplane.

 Sometimes prayers are answer with actions. Sometimes with words. But, today I will celebrate a parenting win with a paper airplane. 

The Best Caramel Apple Recipes on Pinterest

The Best Caramel Apple Recipes on Pinterest

The weather is changing my my urge for summer treats has moved on to wanting some of my fall favorites! One of my most mouth watering flavors that comes to mind this time of year is caramel apples. Every year I get visions of apple picking, cider and pies on the brain! I have put together a list of my favorite of the tastiest looking caramel apple recipes for perfect for just about any fall occasion! I have scoured Pinterest to find the best of the best and these are my favorite picks for the best caramel apple recipes on Pinterest! These bloggers have mastered the connection between caramels and apples. Come back and tell me which one makes your mouth water the most!

Mini Caramel Apples from My Litter

Caramel Apple Pie Cookies from Cincy Shopper

Caramel Apple Mini Cheesecakes from Cooking Classy

Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies from Just a Taste

Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Crumble by Fake Ginger

Snickers Caramel Apple Pie by I Heart Naptime

Salted Caramel Apple Bread Pudding from Whats Cooking Love

Caramel Apple Nachos from Hello Giggles

Caramel Apple Dip from Crazy Little Projects

Now, this one blew my mind because I have seen it around Pinterest for years but when I tasted it. Oh my heavens. I don’t see crack as one of the listed ingredients but people make this for a party and people will be WOWED! Plus, if you make if or a party then you won’t eat it all by yourself. I can neither confirm nor deny that I have experienced that. Just trust me…its amazing!

Snickers Caramel Apple Salad by Chef in Training

Rise and Grind

I am on my third cup of coffee this morning. A fourth is probably in my future. Surely the phrase rise and grind totally came from coffee, right? I am working hard on orders and balancing life which is why I say to expect a 3 week turnaound. But, part of why I increased my turnaround time is because this year I have learned about balance.

In the past I would have skipped meals, sleep and family time to complete an order. I won’t do that now. Your orders are important but not at the expense of the things that I place value on. Last year, was such a learning experience for me. A quick rise in success and a dramatic fall in my health and truthfully my sanity. I suppose a month of living on an hour of sleep a night, saltines and Diet Coke would do that to anyone. 

But, in the midst of angry emails were some bright shining people that gave me hope. People I didn’t know rallied for my success, prayed for me. One reader sent me a beautiful note and starbucks gift card. You saw me when I was drowning and you gave me lifelines of encouragement.

Your support kept me going. I was ready to fold from exhaustion and the ones that took time out of their day to encouragement did not go unnoticed. You quite literally changed my life.

You see a few years ago, I left a job that I once loved but I knew my time was done. My passion didn’t lie there anymore and I felt at peace at my decision to move on. But, after that time I prayed daily for a new direction. Something that put a fire in my belly. For almost 3 years I felt an absence of enthusiasm for anything other than my family. But, my gut longed for something that I couldn’t even put my finger on what it was. I adore my family but I knew my purpose was just made for more. But, having a longing and having a vision is different.

A few months ago, God answered my prayer for a passion. He put an idea in my heart that rocked my world. I came alive again. I felt like I had been given new breath when I had spent years gasping for air.

I can’t share all of the details yet because their are legalities and patents in progress. But, y’all….every reader, every order, every pin, every like, every comment, every prayer…you were a part of this. Opening yourself up on social media can be liberating but can lead to feeling overexposed and vulnerable. I have been in both of those places and I can honestly say I don’t regret a second of it. 

God has given me an audience through this place. This blip in the Internet has connected me to a people in my town and across the world and I don’t believe any of these interactions are by accident. Some people have crossed my path for just a moment and others have been long lasting. My heart has been raw and today it feels restored. 

Sharing this isn’t the meant to be vague. But, please know that I value to each of you and recognize each clicks and comment. The Internet can harden a heart and desensitize someone quickly but know that it doesn’t have to. Every order, every click on ad, every commission made from this space is going towards a dream that at times feels too big to grasp.

But, I know that God does not call the equipped. He equips the called!

Every step of the last few years has been painstaking. But, fruit is not sweet without the opportunity to ripen. Friends, I pray that you see your ripening season soon. If you are already there tend to your garden and keep it it healthy. Prune what needs to cut back and enjoy the harvest when it’s ready. Thank you to each of you for planting seeds and tending to me. I felt it. 

So, elf orders continue. But, with each piece know that the orders are not only handmade with care of their are prayed over. They are part of me that seems so silly but your orders are funding a dream and for that I can’t thank you enough

Fall on the Farm at Blooms and Berries


Looking for an awesome, family-friendly Fall experience? Be sure to check out Fall on the Farm at Blooms and Berries. This 61-acre family farm located in Loveland, Ohio, offers a day’s worth of Fall favorites for the whole family. Start by taking a 30-minute hayride through the “I Spy” woods and out to the pumpkin patch. Then, explore the play area’s “sand” box filled with corn, the tractor-tire mountain and the giant 20-foot slide. If you’re up for a challenge, see if you can solve the Great Honey Caper game in the 7-acre corn maze. There’s also a kid’s corn maze that’s perfect for the little ones. Speaking of the kids, they will love the cow train ride, and they will get a chance to meet a bunch of farm animal friends – goats, miniature donkeys, cows, lambs, ducks, chickens, turkeys and bunnies. The piles of pumpkins and stunning mums in a festive setting make Fall on the Farm fun for any age. Don’t forget to pick up a delicious caramel apple and fresh pressed cider. Come build a fun adventure you won’t forget! Dates for Fall on the Farm are September 19 through October 31. Check out Fall On The Farm for more info.


Insider tip: This event is open seven days a week, but if you’re on a budget, you should visit early in the season or on a weekday to save money and skip the crowds.


Another way to save: My readers get $2 OFF any Regular Priced Admission. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Must present coupon at gate.
http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=12178&dealid=2001 @usfg



A Mini Oktoberfest Third Birthday


This week my baby turns three. Not just one of my babies, my baby baby, the last one! I can’t believe how time is flying! But, when you birthday fall more often than not on Labor Day weekend it is hard to get people together! But, my father in law turned 65 last week and we were getting together with the family at the Hofbrauhaus in Newport, KY and I thought albeit unconvtentional I bet we could add her family birthday time there as well!So, my head started spinning (as it often does) and I came up with the theme Avie’s Oktoberfest! Now, my inlaws have a deep appreciation for German culture and are regulars at the restaurant so they had tables reserved for us and because we had communicated in advance they were fine with us bringing in balloons and cake. I asked Avie what her favorite part of the Hofbrauhaus was and she said pretzels so that was the starting point for her outfit and her cake!


Shaping a cake is not always easy with a store bought mix cake and we were on a time crunch and one of my fave ways to save time and frustration is to use the Sara Lee Pound Cake in the frozen section. Extremely cold cake is much easier to shape!


Once you have an idea you can start sculpting. I was a little nervous my cake looked more like a Jack O’ Lantern than a pretzel for a while!


For extra flavor I cut the cake in the middle and added a layer of chocolate icing! It makes the cake to have a filling! I then used a salted caramel icing and white sprinkles to complete the look!


Once at the restaurant we had a great time. The music was festive, the kids enjoyed dancing and even helping play up on stage!


Of course you can’t have a birthday with an Oktoberfest theme without the chicken dance! Thankfully, my middle schooler obliged and wore the hat that her Oma provided!


Should you choose to watch the video, I have no explanation for my sons moves. He did not get that from his mother! Ha!

IMG_4350I know you are thinking biergarten may not be the best place for a kids party but on a Sunday afternoon it was a great and enjoyable place to have a root beer enjoy music and family fun and I would highly recommend it!


A Little Visit From Heaven

This picture of my grandparents has been on a memory board on our wall for years. My Pop has been on my mind a lot lately and I can’t believe it has been close to 4 years since he passed away. But, today Avie pushed her stool up to the pictures and pointed at a few of them then as I am watching her she starts to giggle and wave. Then she said Hi Pop Pop. I am Avonlea Francis Mae. Then she giggled, waved again and said Bye.

He passed before she was born. I can’t say that I have ever pointed him out to her. Much less that she would know his name and pick him out. I can’t shake the feeling that He just came for a quick visit to introduce himself to her! Especially since she said her whole name, which she never does because her middle name Francis is after him! 

One of my first thoughts after I had her was sad because she would never get to meet the man who meant so much to me. But, I take a little comfort today that he took the liberty to introduce himself to her today.

Custom Disney Mouse Ears

Sometimes you have dreams that excite you so much that you have to wake up and make them immediately. We have an upcoming trip to Disney World soon and I combined my love of mouse ears and Peter Pan. I just love how it turned out! 

Even enough to model them for you! 

I couldn’t resist making a pair for the Pixar movie Up. This one was a labor of love because it took forever but I am elated with how it turned out! 

My head is spinning with new ideas for ears!