My Writer’s Roots at Erin’s Place

I’m not here today.

I’m at Erin Margolin’s place sharing a bit about my writer’s roots in my guest post, all it takes is a spark!


1. The activity or skill of marking coherent words on paper and composing text.
2. The activity or occupation of composing text for publication: “she made a decent living from writing”.

With that definition I am a writer. You are a writer. We are all writers to some extent, right? Of course some are better than others and then there are those who rise above all others and are simply amazing.

Want to read more? Head over here!

Comments are off today and I’d love it if you’d leave some love at Erin’s place.

A Family Village Giveaway!

Here at With Just a Bit of Magic we are excited to collaborate with AFamilyVillage to celebrate YOU or your Mom. We have teamed up with our closest 26 friends to bring you a fun cash giveaway! 

A family village giveaway

One lucky winner will win $250 to be deposited directly into their PayPal account!! Awesome right?

This giveaway is sponsored by 25 incredible businesses and blogs – and you will love getting the chance to check them out.

To enter, you are REQUIRED to simply follow each of the steps using the Rafflecopter form below! Also, go check out the fabulous business owners and bloggers involved in this event.

Giveaway starts 4/22 at 12:01 am EST and ends 5/13/12 at 12:01am EST. Good Luck!

We Love our Readers, You deserve to win $250!

The cash giveaway is open to all worldwide (paid in US dollars) and will be paid directly into your PayPal account.

This giveaway is brought to you by:




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Wordful Wednesday ~ Bubble Fun!

Recently the kids and I had the opportunity to check out some fun new stuff from Imperial Toys and I am pretty thankful that the weather was warm enough for us to head outside and try them all out because making them wait until closer to summer would have drove me nuts!

You see all the toys were bubble blowers and water balloon launchers! What kid can resist those (not mine!)? The only thing that we didn’t check out were the glow in the dark bubbles because it was to cold & rainy in the evenings to go outside. Of course those are the ones that they wanted to play with most of all.

Andrew figured it out

Andrew figured it out!

It didn’t take long for Andrew to figure out how to make the bubble blower work! He loved it. I’ll be honest…. I did too because it made some huge bubbles that would float all over the place forever!


She liked it too!

The lure of the sun, warm breeze, and the bubble blower even brought Natalie outside with the rest of us. It was one of those rare moments that I really do cherish since she usually hangs out with her artwork & music.

When the kids broke out the water balloons it was all over! They showed Andrew how to fill one up and then throw it…. it took one balloon before he was soaked.

Lauren launching a balloon

You see that picture… that one right above? That’s Lauren with the water balloon launcher and that thing can really send a balloon flying!

balloon flying

They all had a ton of fun with everything and we all can’t wait for a warm evening so we can get out and try those glow in the dark bubbles! Those have to be awesome!

Check out the Imperial Toys website and Facebook page for more information on some of their cool toys for summer fun!

This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. All the thoughts, fun, and pictures are my own.


Monday Menu ~ Meatballs with Mac & Cheese


Welcome back to Monday!! Now, don’t get me wrong I still feel that Monday should be part of the weekend, but since I can’t change the way the world seems to run the next best thing would be to fake being be happy about it.

Lately, I’ve been on a hamburger kick for some reason… mostly in search of the best hamburger that a restaurant has to offer. I try to make burger but it seems that everyone can make a burger better than me so this week I made meatballs instead. I know… I know… they’re almost the same as a burger, but it’s just not the same.

These meatballs are based on the recipe for meatloaf that I made a couple of weeks ago from the Pioneer Woman but with a few changes to make it even better after a phone call I had with my sister. We call each other to plot out what we can make for dinner or what kind of unique recipe we can create. It’s a fun game really… that and pondering all the great meals we’d make if we were closer that our families won’t eat.


Follow the directions that the Pioneer Woman has for meatloaf in her recipe, leaving out the parmesan cheese. But before mixing it all together there are a few special ingredients that you need to add in…..

baconBacon! why… everything is better with bacon!

cheeseShredded cheddar cheese!

Add these two amazing items in and you have bacon cheeseburger meatballs! Now roll it into a meatball shape, get your hands a bit wet with cold water to help keep the meat from sticking to your hands helps.


In a large skillet brown the meatballs in batches so you don’t over crowd them.

Browning Meatballs

When you have all of the meatballs browned finish them off in the oven for about 20 – 30 minutes depending on how big they are.

While the meatballs are in the oven start the mac & cheese. Now you can use your favorite recipe or you can check out mine… Okay… it’s not really mine. But it is my go to recipe  and I’m always adding this or that, changing it up for something different. For this meal I left out the broccoli and chicken and used 3 different kinds of cheddar cheese. YUM! Creamy…. smooth… perfect… that is how I would describe this mac & cheese.

mac & cheese

Now the meatballs I served with the sauce that the Pioneer’s Woman recipe uses to top the meatloaf, veggies, and of course the mac & cheese. And the best part…. the family loved it all!

Do you take a recipe and change it up? What is one of your favorite go to recipes?

I am One of Millions ~ Improving the lives of kids

This week my daughter and I wrapped up our Simple Service Project that I wrote about last week and delivered them to the school! And let me tell you how much fun it was and how excited my daughter was to drop them off!

When we first started the project I explained it to her and why we were doing it and she was immediately on board with it and couldn’t wait to get to Walmart and start shopping for our Winter Care Kits.

One of millions

Somehow we made it through Walmart in an hour but it took a few trips round and round the store…. but that was because we brought the busy toddler with us and there isn’t a seat belt in the world that can keep that kid contained! However, he did find the Energizer flashlight entertaining enough to let us finish our shopping.

Andrew & the Energizer flashlight

When we shopped what I kept in mind was that no matter what season it is here in Michigan the possibility of losing power is pretty high when there are storms…. wind, rain, ice, and snow can all make it dangerous.

Some of the items that we purchased were meant to keep a child safe & warm during a time without power.

  • Blankets
  • Energizer Weather Ready flashlight with LED lights
  • Extra batteries
  • Handy Wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bottled water
  • Granola bars

energizer weather ready flashlight

We made it through the store and I couldn’t believe how much money we saved! I had expected to have spent a lot more money but with everything that we bought for our Care Kits plus some extra things we needed at home I was surprised that it was all under $100!

ready for purchase

We live in a small community and we don’t have a homeless shelter but I do know that there are kids who are in need of some help and because of that we decided that the best way to help those kids is to donate our care kits to the school that my daughter goes to. Lauren was pretty excited as we made our way into the school!

Lauren at school

The office secretary was almost as excited as her when we explained what we were doing and why. I even when on to explain about the Champions for Kids website and all of the projects that they’re part of and then the mission;

Champions for Kids works to mobilize MILLIONS of people by providing training and resources to improve the lives of children in communities across America and beyond. Our goal is to mobilize 20 Million people by 2020.

My hope is that they will check out the website and see what kind of projects that they can work on with the kids there at school. There is so much that the school, the teachers, and students together could do when they put their minds to it.

What about you? Have you checked out the website? Will you be One of Millions?

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, but all opinions are my own.

~ #CBias  ~ #EnergizerCFK ~ #ChampionsForKids ~

iPhone Photo Phun

Visiting Friends & Things to Come

Looking for me today? I’m not here because I’m off visiting a friend! I’m over at the Drama Mama’s place talking about writing so come visit me there and leave your thoughts!

The Scoop on Poop

I’m checking out a great program too! Be on the look out for a review in the near future!

K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I’ve been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.

Champions for Kids Mission

Winter in Michigan can be pretty harsh sometimes with the snow, the cold wind, and the unpredictable temperatures. Even if it’s a mild winter the temps range from the 20’s to the 40’s and this can be dangerous for anyone who is out in the cold, especially kids.

With the weather here can also lead to dangerous road conditions and I know first hand that ending up in the ditch is something that can happen faster than you expect. But that isn’t the only thing that can lead to danger for kids…. power being shut off due to non-payment or ice storms or lack of a permanent home.

I am working with Collective Bias and Champions for Kids who provide training and resources to improve the lives of children in communities across America. I live in a small town and we don’t see a lot of the homelessness that you see in larger cities, but that is not to say that it doesn’t happen here. I know that it does and that is why I want to help kids stay safe and warm this winter.

There are kids who are living with friends or other family members because their families have lost their homes. True, they have a place to stay but they are still homeless.

Did You Know?
•    Over 9 million children suffer from non-fatal injuries each year, and accidents are the leading cause of death for children. Additionally, dangerous weather events cause hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year.
•    70% of power outages in the U.S. are weather related. Numerous power failures are caused by natural weather phenomena such as lightening, rain, snow, ice, wind, and even dust.
•    The Center of Disease Control recommends having a kit ready in preparation for any emergency that may arise. They recommend the kit include food, water, flash light, extra batteries, medications, first aid kit, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents, and other necessities.

Ways YOU Can Help!

GATHER your friends, family, and co-workers to help children stay safe and be prepared by putting together Care Kits for kids! Include items like band-aids, hand wipes, tissues, flashlights, extra batteries, and bottled water.

LEARN about the safety and health needs of children in your community by asking a teacher, social worker, or other community representative to speak to your group.

GIVE the Care Kits to a school, religious organization, shelter, or other community organization that helps children in your community.

REPORT back to us at so that we can celebrate your participation! How many people participated in the Energizer Light Up A Life project and became Champions for Kids? We want to know that you were part our vision of mobilizing 20 Million people by 2020 to become Champions for Kids!

This week I will be creating 2 care kits with my kids that we can donate to a local shelter for women and children and one of the local elementary schools. I’m looking forward to shopping with my youngest daughter this week because I know that she will really get into this because she is always open to helping out those who need it.

So what goes in a care kit? Well, some of the items that we’re going to be getting are band-aids, hand wipes, tissues, flashlights, Energizer batteries, energy bars and bottled water. You could put in just about anything that you wanted to help keep a child safe and warm this winter… mittens, warm blankets, or even a gift card to provide a warm meal.

One of millions

I am one of millions…. will you be one too?

There is a lot that you can do to help…. create your own care kit and donate it to your local school, church, or homeless shelter. Give a child something to keep them warm and safe. Check out the Champions for Kids site for ideas for a simple care kit.


This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, but all opinions are my own.

~ #CBias  ~ #EnergizerCFK ~ #ChampionsForKids ~

S.H.I.T. ~ So Happy It’s Thursday!!

So I’m doing something different than I planned. You see I was going to do the great prompt that Mama Kat has this week and then remembered that my great friend Rusti has a link up, So Happy It’s Thursday, and figured that I’d play along with this week because I for one am pretty happy that it’s Thursday!

It’s been a long week and I’ve spent almost every evening chasing a toddler who thinks the house is his play ground or jungle gym. Falling and getting hurt is very common around here. Between that, homework, a job, and everything in between I’m glad that we’re closer to the weekend. So I thought that I’d list a few reasons why I’m happy!

  • This week Thursday is my Friday!
  • On Friday I’m going on a field trip with my youngest daughter, Lauren.
  • Saturday is my birthday!! And this is my last birthday in my 30’s. After this I quit aging and am forever young.
  • Saturday we’re celebrating Natalie’s (middle daughter) 12th birthday by having 5 of her friends over for dinner, going to see The Lion King 3D, and then they’re all staying the night. You’re jealous aren’t you?
  • I am really close to talking my husband into going to Blissdom this year!
  • I finally finished the first draft of my business plan.
  • We are one day closer to the official first day of fall!! And fall is my favorite time of year!
  • Thursday is the day before payday.

Are you happy that it’s Thursday? Tell me why! Better yet link up!


Heelys!! A fun way to get around!

First of all I have to say that when I first saw Heely’s many years ago I thought that they were a crazy idea! But my kids were fully intrigued by them and my middle daughter ended up getting a pair for Christmas. She LOVED them! She wore them all the time with and without the wheels!

When I was given the opportunity to review Heely’s I was pretty excited because I knew that my youngest daughter had been asking for them for a while. She loves trying new things too so this was the perfect opportunity!

So, let me say this… she can’t use them with the wheels in them. She tried and tried and kept tripping all over the place and now… she’s afraid to try again. Which is sad because I think that once she gets the hang of it we’ll never get them off of her feet! I think that we’ll need to watch some of the videos that they have again so she can get the hang of it.

She loves the shoes though! Why… well she’s a girly girl and these shoes are the epitome of all that’s girly! They’re pink, purple, and sparkly! Check these out!

Sparkly Heelys

When they came in the mail she was beyond excited about them! It’s funny because she wears her old ones more than these because she doesn’t want to get them dirty! I’ve finally talked her into wearing them more often.

There are a few type of Heely’s. The HX2 shoes have two sets of wheels which are great for younger kids… this makes it a little easier and safer for your little ones who really want to try them out. Then there are the original Heely’s which have the one wheel in the heel and then there’s the Nano which is the first ever inline footboard!

Proud of  her Heely's!  Heely's

This is about the most activity I was able to get her to do with them! Between not wanting to get them dirty & not being able to ‘skate’ really well with them she isn’t making full use of them…. yet!

I think that these shoes can be a lot of fun for kids of all ages and are a great way to get your kids up and moving. These would make a great gift for the upcoming holiday season too!! And no…. it’s not to early to start shopping!

I was provided a pair of Heely’s for this review. All views and opinions are my own and are not influenced by anyone or anything.