Sunday, October 11, 2015

Merry Monday Link Up #75

Welcome to the Merry Monday Link Party #75

Guess, who's lucky to be a co host on Merry Monday Link Party ? Yours truly! So yes..I am happy and excited!

Just a quick invite for fellow bloggers out there. Join the Bloggers Social Media Support Group ( Facebook group). The goal of this group is to help bloggers build the engagement on our blogs and social media profiles. It is not a secret tip that one of the most successful ways for you to grow as a blogger is to network with other bloggers.

To JOIN , Click here.  or send me an email so I can send an invite through your email.  To read more about this group, Read here.


  • Halloween Spooktacular Link Party. Have a Halloween craft, DIY project, costume tutorial, fun party recipe? Share it on the 2015 Halloween Spooktacular Link Party! Open until October 29th.
  Halloween Spooktacular Link Party
  • Party Theme Features (not everyone will be featured) -
    • Halloween or caramel recipes. Share on October 11th to be featured on October 18th.
    • More Fall side dishes & desserts. Share on October 18th to be featured on October 25th party.
    • Share fall desserts on the October 25 party to be featured on the Nov 1st party.
  • THREE new guest host for the next two weeks! You'll be seen on 14 blogs!

  Merry Monday Link Party

Meet the hosts of Merry MondayMerry Monday Hosts

Welcome our Co-Host

Meet Quinn from Dad Whats 4 Dinner, one of our new Co-Host for the next two weeks.
Dad Whats 4 Dinner 

Hi Ladies and maybe a few gents. I'm Quinn from Dad Whats 4 Dinner. Thanks to all the MM hosts for allowing me (a dad) the chance to co-host Merry Monday. I am the father of 3 kids (16,13,11) and have a wonderful wife of almost 24 years. Live in Ohio where I love to cook, grill, create and bake. I'm not afraid to try my hand at any recipe. My blog is geared to the everyday busy family, Mom or Dad doing the cooking, who strive to put good food on the table on a daily basis. I try to make the ordinary extraordinary using simple ingredients and keep it as healthy as possible.
Meet Cristina from A Bountiful Love, our second co-host for the next two weeks!
A Bountiful Love

I'm a stay at home mom of two girls, happily married for 7 yrs. I love to cook and bake but despise washing dishes, I blog about budget friendly meals , I love sharing ways to be smart and frugal. I also share educational resources and tools because I am a huge advocate of literacy and educating young home..where it should always start. When I'm not busy chasing and goofing with the girls, you can always find me busy in the kitchen.

Meet Tracy from The Conservative Mommy, our third host for the next two weeks!
The Conservative Mommy

The conservative mommy has her master of social work with a career working with substance using adolescents, behavioral concerns in children, attachment parenting, and training of professionals. After almost a decade of counseling children and families, she is now a mommy! The conservative mommy wants to talk to you about all things mommy; from instilling values in your little one to making tough parenting decisions to setting an example in your everyday living! Join the conservative mommy daily at


Merry Monday Link Party Most Popular 75
Skeleton House Halloween Countdown @Little Miss Celebrations (PIN IT)


MM Features 75 1
MM Features 75 2
MM Features 75 3


Need some Halloween inspiration? Check out these fabulous posts from last week's party.
Halloween Features

Follow our Merry Monday Link Party Board and find the best of the party!


Help grow this party by displaying this button on your sidebar or party page!

My Pinterventures

If you were featured, grab a STAR button and place it on your blog!

My Pinterventures

[Tweet "Link up to the #MerryMonday party @pinterventures"]

Party Rules - Please read!


Party Rules New Edited (2)


Let's get the Merry Monday party started!


Thursday, October 8, 2015

9 Pantry Staples That You Can Make At Home

There are tons of ways to be frugal. One of the areas we can always cut back on is our budget for grocery. Making your own pantry staples is probably the first smart move you can do. There's so many staples that you can make at home. These 9 pantry staples are my must haves, I always have it in my pantry. I made a freebie too! A pretty pantry label for you, download it and print it and adhere to your nice jars or containers. Don't forget to store the staples in an air tight container.

I also love cooking my own beans at home, it is very economical of course , free of any preservatives and sodium ( if you choose not to cook the beans with salt). Since the beans are freezer friendly,  there's also a free label printable for the beans. You can always use a good old marker to label the freezer bags but it just does not work for me, it just fades on me.


I would love to connect with you! 

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Meat Rub

1/8 cup black pepper
1 tsp onion flakes 
2 tsp salt                                         
1/4 cup paprika                                           
1/4 cup brown sugar        
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper ( optional)

Mix all the ingredients in an air tight container. Use with BBQ recipes , pulled pork and pork chop recipes.


1 tbsp Chili Powder 
1/4 tsp garlic powder         
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika      
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt          
1/4 tsp crushed pepper

Mix all of the spices together in an airtight container.
** Add 2-3 tablespoons of the seasoning per pound of meat.
** For taco meat, cook until browned and then add the taco seasoning.
add a couple of tablespoons of water to the meat as well.
Let simmer for 5 minutes or so.

Try the homemade taco seasoning with these recipes :
Slow Cooker Tostada
Mexican Pizza
Lentil Tacos
Taco Bites
Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
Pan Fried Bean and Cheese Burritos


2 cups Whole wheat flour (can use white flour if don't have whole wheat)
8 cups white flour
1/2 cups baking Powder
1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp salt
2 cups shortening
3 cups old fashioned quick oat oatmeal

Mix all ingredients together ( using a pastry cutter). Store in air tight container. Can store for up to 6 months. This recipe can also be cut in half for smaller batches)

***  For Pancakes: ( they freeze well too)
2 Cups mix
1 c. Milk
2 eggs

Mix and drop onto prepared skillet.

*** For Waffles
2 C. mix
1 1/3 cups milk
1 egg
2 TBSP oil

Mix and place in prepared waffle iron until done.

*** For Biscuits
2 1/4 cups mix
2/3 cup milk

Mix and drop on greased cookie sheet. bake 450 degrees for 10-12 mins or until golden borwn
Buttermilk biscuits:
2 C. mix
3/4 cup buttermilk


2/3 cups mayo ( Ive used Greek yogurt in the past)
2 small cloves of garlic
1/2 cup buttermilk                                  
1 tsp dried dill ( or fresh dill)
1/2 cup sour cream                                   
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley                                  
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients and store in air tight container. Can store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


White or whole wheat bread
FLAVORING : can use salt , herbs, Parmesan cheese , pepper, Italian Seasoning , garlic.

 Mix the cubed bread and chosen flavoring in the food processor. Grind the bread into fine or coarse depending on your preference. Store in airtight container in the fridge. They freeze well too.

2 tbsp onion powder or dried onion
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp celery seed

** This makes a batch of sloppy joe ( 1 packet).

Mix all the ingredients and store in air tight container.

To make  sloppy joes : . Add 1 cup ketchup, 1 tbsp.Worcestershire Sauce 1/2 cup water, and the seasoning mix to browned ( and drained) ground beef.  Add more ketchup or some water, until it reaches the desired consistency. Simmer for about 10 minutes.


2/3 cup dried, minced onion
3 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix all the ingredients and store in airtight container. 1 packet = 4 tbsp.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1 stick butter, softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Measure flour into a container. Add sugar on top, then baking powder, then salt.   

***To make the cake
Place softened butter into your mixer and mix on medium for 1-2 minutes. Add your dry ingredients and let it incorporate. Add milk, oil, vanilla and eggs and mix  for about one minute.
Pour batter into prepare pans. Bake at 350. 20-25 minutes.

There's also a few blank labels, so you can use it on other jars.


Wash / pick through the beans you wanted to cook. Put the beans in the slow cooker , cover with just enough water to cover the beans by about 3 inches. Beans absorbs a whole lot of water , so you may want to add water halfway through the cooking process. Cook on low for about 6-8 hrs. Do not over cook as you may want to cook it again with some recipes that you will use it on.

They are freezer friendly ,  pick a day of cooking your beans and freeze them for later use. This will save you money as well. A package of beans cost about .98 cents to $1.79  and it yields about 6-8 cups as compared to a can of beans ( store bought) that yields about 1 1/2 cups.

I usually measure up 2 cups of beans  and put them in a freezer zipper bags.

Check these recipes that use yummy and healthy beans : Recipes on a Budget

Here's your FREE FREEZER BEANS LABELS , print and use a clear packing tape to adhere onto the Ziploc bags.

Shared with:
Home Matters Linky Party @ Life with Lorelai
Free Fun Friday @ Devastate Bordedom
Awesome Fridays @ Reviews, Chews and How To's
 Home Matters Linky Party @ Life with Lorelai
 Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Unifix Cubes Activities plus Free Printables

Teach basic math skills for your Pre K to K kids using Unifix Cubes. For those who are not familiar with Unifix Cubes , these are colorful cubes that interlock together and come apart easy.  What's great about these cubes is that a 2 yr old can easily put it together and separate. There are a handful of activities that you can do with the Unifix Cubes. You can teach basic math skills such as counting, sorting , addition, subtraction , patterns and more.

Here are some great ideas to do with the cubes plus a FREE PRINTABLE.

---> This post contains affiliate links, see full disclosure HERE. 
A Bountiful Love is a participant on Amazon Affiliate Program, when an item is purchased through my links I earn a small advertising fee.

1.  Counting

Use the cubes as a counting manipulative. It teaches the concept of  hands on counting.

You can always use number flash cards too.

2. Patterns

Pattern is a part of basic Math. Every Math workbook has a page or two about making patterns.  For younger kids, start with a very simple color pattern. For older kids, you can teach the number pattern concept.

3. Addition and Subtraction

Teach the concept of adding and subtracting by using flashcards. Use a different cube color for each number being added or subtracted to learn the idea of separate number or quantity.

Click here for the free ADDITION FLASHCARDS.

Free Addition Flashcard printable

Click here for the free SUBTRACTION FLASHCARDS.

Free Subtraction flashcards

4. Place Values

Use the cubes for teaching place values by putting cubes in rows of ten (to represent the tens place). and individual cubes (to represent the ones place). For example,  place 2 sets of tens and 5 ones in front if your child. Ask your child to count the amount in the ones place and then the tens place.  See the cubes below.

Then have them determine the number.

Place Value printable

5. Simple word problems.

Create simple problems that your child can comprehend and use the unifix cubes to solve the simple problem. An example of a simple word problem :

Lexi bought 5 boxes of apples , when she got home she only had 3 boxes of apples. She forgot (blank) boxes in the store! How many boxes did Lexi forget in the store.

6. Fine motor skills for tots at home.

Use the cubes for a simple fine motor activity. The cubes are very easy to pull apart and put together.

7. Color Sorting

The cubes are great for sorting too. I would ask our 3 yr old to sort all the colors and she enjoys it!

Don't forget to pin and share!


Letter of the Week for Preschool

Monday, October 5, 2015

Vegan Black Bean Soup

Economical , healthy and delicious. This vegan black bean soup is thick , full of veggies and will definitely satisfy you. You can always use canned low sodium black beans but if you want a healthier option and a budget friendly meal, use homemade black beans instead.


6 cups Homemade Black Beans ( or 4 15oz can, if using store bought - use less sodium)
4 cups Homemade Vegetable Broth ( can use store bought too)
1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels ( can use 1 15oz canned corn kernels)
1 , (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves. chopped
1 cup , chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of salt to taste. ( can skip)


Heat oil and Saute onions, celery and carrots. After a few minutes , when onions are translucent add in the garlic. Sautes until fragrant.

 Add in chili powder , cumin and pepper. Stir well.

Mix in only 3 cups of black beans. Mix in the vegetable broth and corn as well. Bring to a boil.

Using a blender or a food processor, process the other 3 cups of black beans with the crushed tomatoes.


This will give the soup it's thick consistency. Stir the processed beans and tomatoes into the boiling pot. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

Serve warm.

 Very filling and delicious..

I would love to connect with you!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bloggers Social Media Support

If you are a blogger , I am sure you know that pain. The pain of writing, editing , sharing a blog post..a killer blog post that you think will get shares , pins or re tweets. It is hard especially on Facebook , not all have the budget or are willing to pay just to promote the post.

Here's what I wanted to do for a long time, to create a support group for bloggers. To share our great content, to get notice , to get to know other great bloggers and to support one another.

The goal of this group is to help bloggers build the engagement on our blogs and social media profiles.

For the success of growing our blog and sharing our content , we do have a few and simple rules.

1. There is a scheduled thread everyday. For every thread , there is no limit on links BUT If you post your link , then you MUST participate and RECIPROCATE to other bloggers too. Do not drop a link if you can not reciprocate. 2. For every thread PLEASE , re tweet , share or like , re pin at least 3 or more. It is usually specified. . You do not have to comment, "done". JUST CLICK ON LIKE to specify that you have reciprocated.
2. PLEASE share only wholesome post but pretty much all are welcome -- parenting, motherhood , recipes, DIY's , faith , giveaways , linky parties , educational and books.
3. Please follow all the rules. Anyone not abiding by the rules , will be remove in our group. Nothing personal.
3. Feel free to post on our wall , invite others and follow other bloggers too!

To join the group , send your email address to 
abountifullove(at) gmail(dot)com at  click here and request to join

We also have a Pinterest Collaborative Board , If you want to be a contributor , Follow the board ( I will add you right away or send a message if I missed you) or send me your email address so I can send you an invite . 


I would love to connect with you!