Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ten Must-Watch TV Shows

I'll admit it, I'm addicted to TV. When I was in college my friends and I watched all 10 seasons of Friends between the hours of midnight and 6:00AM, sometimes broken up by Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich runs. I still can't turn off a rerun of Friends or get through one without laughing my head off. When I'm running a lot, I tend to be a binge TV watcher. I'll buy a season of a new show on DVD and watch the first episode or two while I run and then finish the rest of the season over the next few days. I know I have a problem so I've stopped buying full seasons of shows and just stuck to watching live TV and reruns. While my DVR is full of everything from The Originals to Chicago Fire, here are my ten must-watch shows each week.

10 must-watch TV shows right now, love all of these #TV #ad

#1 - The Good Wife - My husband is a lawyer so we watch a lot of law shows but The Good Wife is one of my favorites. Great stories each week, great characters, and I'm still a sucker for Kerry because of Gilmore Girls.

#2 - Revenge - When I first saw previews for Revenge I thought it looked like an adult version of Gossip Girl and decided I didn't need to watch. Then my boss (a man) told me that he watched it and loved it. I bought season 1 on Black Friday clearance and have been hooked ever since. It's a little bit darker than say Parenthood but the twists and turns are just great as long as you can get past the whole revenge theme of the show.

#3 - The Voice - I love reality competition shows. I watched every season of American Idol until last year when I just couldn't stand it anymore. I also watch America's Got Talent, X Factor, and So You Think You Can Dance but The Voice is easily the best if you're just going to watch one. The blind auditions might be some of my favorite TV of all time, and I love the banter between coaches.

#4 - Grey's Anatomy - This is one of the shows that I binge watched while I trained for a half-marathon a couple of years ago. I love medical dramas (ER!) and Grey's has had some of the most impactful and suspenseful episodes ever between the hospital shooting, plane crash, and Denny episodes. This song gets me every time.

#5 - Parenthood - If I had to pick one show to watch every week it would be Parenthood. There is just something so inspiring about seeing a family that is so close to each other and that loves each other. While so many shows are about families falling apart and other terrible things, I love that Parenthood puts an emphasis on family and family relationships. Not to mention my siblings and I all have sweatshirts with our Parenthood names on them (I'm Julia) because we're pretty much like an offscreen Braverman Family. I am going to be so sad if it gets canceled.

#6 - Suits - I'm not really sure what it is about Suits but it's fantastic. The characters are great, the law cases (another law show!) are great, and the banter between everyone is great. I honestly like most USA shows but Suits is my favorite. Another law show I love is Franklin and Bash, hope that comes back soon.

#7 - New Girl - I've always loved Zooey Deschanel so I was hooked on New Girl as soon as it aired. It's one of those shows like Friends that you know the characters' personalities so well that everything just seems funnier than it actually is.

#8 - Nashville - I'm a sucker for any sort of show with a music theme and I loved Hayden in Heroes so Nashville is right up my alley with all of its drama and great country music. I really think that I might like this version of Ho Hey as much as the original.

#9 - Amazing Race - Well this one just makes sense for a girl who loves her games and loves to travel. Watching people travel across the world competing in crazy challenges is just awesome.

#10 - Modern Family - Best comedy on TV. If you watch it, you don't need an explanation.

Since my family gets sick of listening to me talk about TV, I'm so excited to have found Beamly, a social network where TV fans and stars can come together and talk about their favorite shows. Just last night, I live chatted with tons of other Voice stars as we watched the show live and predicted who would be a part of #TeamUsher. You can follow me to see what I think of your favorite shows and join in on the discussions yourself. It's definitely a more fun way to watch TV, especially if you're watching it alone like I normally do since baby is in bed and my hubby is working. Love Parenthood? Come join me in the Parenthood room to talk about what's going to happen with Joel and Julia and if Sarah and Hank are finally going to get together.

And if you somehow don't like any of the shows on my list, don't worry. Beamly has tons of rooms you can join from old shows like Friends to all the brand new ones and there is bound to be someone to talk to. There is also a great app that's been downloaded over 10 million times to make it easy to see information about your favorite shows right from your phone. If you need me, I'll be over on Beamly catching up on what I missed in the last few hours. You can learn more about Beamly, the content and social network for today here.

Beamly is THE 24 X 7 social and content network for TV and TV fans. Join me today in TV conversations and get the latest juice and gossip about your favorite shows!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Beamly. The opinions and text are all mine.

What's on your must-watch TV list? 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pajama Party Games and Ideas

Today continues birthday party week and today I'm sharing my favorite part of any party - the games. While I was planning K's Pajama Time party I came up with all sorts of fun pajama party game ideas. These would also work great for a sleepover or any other breakfast or morning party. And don't forget to encourage the kids to wear pajamas!

Love all of these ideas for a fun pajama party or family pajama night from #parties #pajamas #games

Since most of K's friends are under the age of two, we didn't actually get to play most of these games but next time we have a pajama party, they will definitely be on the list.

Piñata Pillow Fight (any age) 
Everyone loves a piñata and everyone loves pillow fights so try combining the two and having people use a pillow instead of a stick to hit the piñata. It's also a great way to let kids have a "pillow fight" without actually hitting each other.

Bedtime Relay Races (any age) 
Split your group into two (or more depending on the number of people) teams. Have each team stand at the end of the room and have a bucket of supplies for each team at the other end. When you say go, have one person from each team run to the other end of the room and complete one of the tasks in the bucket that go along with bedtime (e.g., brush your teeth while humming Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or dump out a bucket of toys and put them all back in). Once the first player finishes their task, they run back to their team and the next person on their team runs to the bucket. The first team to complete all of the tasks wins.

Stuff the Pillow Game (best for older kids or teens) 
Have all of the kids sit in a circle. In another room, stuff a well-known item (book, shoe, bottle of water, etc.) inside of pillowcase. Pass the pillowcase around the room and have each kid write down what they think is inside. Continue for a set number of rounds and whoever has the most correct at the end wins a prize.

Story Time (best for younger kids) 
Who doesn't love going to the library for story time? Pick out one or two of your kid's favorite bedtime stories, setup a circle with pillows and blankets, and read to the kids. This would be great as a settling down before opening presents activity or right before parents come to pick up kids.

Fort Building (all ages) 
Bring down all sorts of pillows and blankets and let the kids use their imaginations and build a fort to play in using the pillows, blankets, and chairs/tables in a room.

Decorate Pajama Shaped Cookies (2+ years old) 
Bake sugar cookies and cut out in the shape of pajamas, beds, or something else sleep related. Let the kids decorate their own cookies with colored icing like their own pajamas and see how creative they can get.

Decorate or Paint Pillowcases (best for older kids) 
Buy cheap white pillowcases for each of the party guests and let them decorate them however they want using paint, markers, stamps, etc. This can also double as a great party favor to let them take home rather than giving out small junk.

Pillowcase Races (best for older kids) 
Buy a couple of pillowcases that you don't mind getting dirty. Split your group into smaller teams that will compete in a pillowcase relay race. When you say go, tell the first person on each team that they have to hop in the pillowcase (like a potato sack) to a line on the other side of the yard or room and back. Once they get back, they will pass the pillowcase to the next person on their team who will hop away. The first team that has everyone finish wins a prize.

You might also enjoy these other party game ideas.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Easy DIY Birthday Wreath

This weekend we celebrated K's first birthday with a Pajama Time themed birthday party. All this week I'll be sharing fun DIY projects I created for his party leading up to the big party reveal at the end of the week. Let's start this party with an easy DIY birthday wreath.

Easy DIY birthday wreath using duct tape and foam shapes

I made this wreath to match K's Pajama Time party but you could easily adapt this to match any birthday party theme just by switching out the Scotch Brand tape and shapes. The best part about this wreath is that it literally took me 10 minutes to make, and it's a great way to get your guests in the party mood before they even walk through the door.

Easy DIY birthday wreath using duct tape and foam shapes

Make Your Own Wreath


  • Styrofoam ring
  • Scotch Brand or Duck Brand Duct Tape 
  • Foam Shapes
  • Baking Twine
  • Clothespin
  • Photograph 


Step 1 - Tape all the way around your styrofoam ring with the Duct Tape.
Step 2 - Peel the backing off the foam shapes and stick onto the Duct Tape around the ring. 

Easy DIY birthday wreath using duct tape and foam shapes

Step 3 - Hot glue a piece of baking twine across the top section of the ring.

Easy DIY birthday wreath using duct tape and foam shapes

Step 4 - Using a clothespin, hang a photo of your birthday guest from the baking twine. 

Easy DIY birthday wreath using duct tape and foam shapes

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta from Love, Pasta, and a Tool Belt

Hi Everyone! I am so happy to be back here again to share with you a delicious recipe for Chicken and Broccoli Pasta. As you can tell from my blog name, Love, Pasta and a Tool Belt, I love pasta. It's a bit of a staple in our house. I've been trying to not make as much pasta lately because my husband prefers more meat based meals but sometimes you just can't resist a good pasta dish and this one was both simple and delicious.

  Chicken and broccoli pasta makes a quick and delicious weeknight dinner

Broccoli is my favorite vegetable so combining pasta and my favorite vegetable makes me quite happy. This dish was cheesy, creamy and yummy. It's also so easy to make. I don't know about you but some days I just don't feel like cooking. This is the perfect meal for when you don't feel like or don't have time to cook. With this meal you get a delicious home cooked meal in a hurry.

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • 12 oz. box of pasta
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Frozen broccoli
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese 
  1. Dice up chicken and cook in a skillet with olive oil until cooked through
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions
  3. Add broccoli to cook with pasta according to package directions
  4. Drain broccoli and pasta
  5. Mix together broccoli, pasta and cream of chicken soup in a skillet or large pot
  6. Top pasta with the parmesan cheese and then broil until cheese is melted

  Chicken and broccoli pasta makes a quick and delicious weeknight dinner 

I love how easy this meal is to make and the fact that you don't even have to bake it. Just broil it to melt the cheese. I never would have thought of it. So tell me, do you have a favorite pasta dish? I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite but if I had to it would be my Spaghetti Amore. It's been a favorite of mine since I was a kid and I make it all the time. This Chicken and Broccoli Pasta will be making it on the regular rotation around here for sure. 

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Adapted from: Gal on a Mission 

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Weekend re-Treat Link Party #62

Images shown are from last week's link party.

Welcome to this week's Weekend re-Treat Link Party! I'm up to my ears in party planning for K's birthday party this week but still managed to get a few new posts written. In case you missed it, here's what I've been up to this week.


Brittany's Favorites

3-Cheese Breakfast Casserole from Butter, with a side of Bread

Britni's Favorites

40 DIY Spring Easter Wreaths by The Jenny Evolution

Shannon's Favorites

DIY Union Jack Trunk by Frugal Mom Eh
Another repurposed Grandfather clock by Beckwith's Treasures

Shauna's Favorites

Spiced Up Paint Caddy by The Palette Muse
Healthy Easter Treat by We Made That

Your Favorites - Most clicked

Lasagna in a bun by Simply Savvy recipes
Simple Fruit Dip by Love, Pasta and a Tool Belt


Each week we are featuring a new blogger to help introduce you to the different bloggers that link up with us! We choose bloggers that we personally love and think you will too so make sure to stop by, check them out, and say hi while you’re there!

This week's featured blogger is Karyn, the incredible blogger behind Pint Sized Baker and Dieter's Downfall. Karyn loves to bake, spend time with her family, and give away her yummy treats to friends. We just wish we lived closer so she could give them away to us. Karyn has something for everyone including cake pop Thursday, to die for fudge, and gluten free recipes

Party Time!

Now on to the party! Remember the only rule is to make sure your links are family friendly and we highly encourage you to click on a couple of links to check out all of the awesome ideas people share. I'll be sharing my favorites on my social media pages all weekend long so make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and Pinterest to see all the great ideas other people have posted.

TBBR small

Mommy On Demand
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