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Palm Tree Wafers

Palm Tree Wafers

These palm tree wafers will have you longing for summer!

It's spring but can you believe that I'm already thinking of summer. For the past month those of us living in Colorado Springs have been experience fairly warm weather. I'm talking weather 70° and up, weather that makes you think that spring was always here and it's time for summer. While I'm not big on summer, because to be honest, I don't particularly like the heat, I will take summer over spring and winter any day. I swear that spring just hates me. Spring brings with it allergies and the sniffles. My eyes turn red and I'm constantly sneezing and wishing that it will all just disappear. With summer, I'm perfectly fine and dreaming of palm trees and the beach. I mean what's better than the beach in the summer. Just look at how beautiful it looks in California? Now I know what Olaf means when he dreams of summer. Summer is just awesome!

This summer we'll be in Orlando, where it's practically summer all year round. OK I'm judging you Floridians when you cry about it being 50° and freezing. That is beach weather for me! We'll be hitting up the theme parks and doing what we do best when we're on family vacation, retail therapy, aka shopping. This summer I plan to not only face my fears and ride a few roller coasters, but I'll also be getting in-front of the camera more, instead of always being behind it. I want to commemorate my trip with the family and have a few memories that they can look back on when saying "mom was super cool". Anyway, enough of me rambling on. Let's get into what you came here to read about, our palm tree wafers. If me talking about summer didn't do it for you, then these palm tree wafers will.

Palm Tree Wafers

Ingredients/Supplies Needed:

Chocolate Voortman wafers
Light green chocolate melts
Brown M&M's
Green sugar sprinkles
Parchment paper
Decorating bag


1. Lay your chocolate wafers onto a piece of parchment paper.

2. In a microwave safe bowl, heat your chocolate melts on 50% power for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

3. Pour your melted chocolate into a decorating bag and cut a small tip off the end.

4. Use your decorating bag to dab a small amount of chocolate under the top of the wafer and press it back onto the parchment paper.

5. Using your decorating bag draw the outline of the palm leaves onto the palm tree and then fill them fill with the chocolate.

6. While the chocolate is still soft, top off with Sprinkles and a few brown M&M's.

7. Let your chocolate harden before you carefully take them off the parchment paper

Can you believe how easy these were to make. Well you know me, I never do anything that takes up too much time, after all when you're a mom, you really don't have the time to spend slaving in the kitchen doing anything too difficult. Get the kids involved and have them dreaming about summer as well.

What are your plans for the summer?

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Annmarie John
How to Keep Your Dogs Healthy and Active - #NaturesRecipe

How to Keep Your Dogs Healthy and Active - #NaturesRecipe

My dogs are my family. I think I have said it hundreds of time before. They are my family and just like my kids, I want nothing but the best for them. Having a pet is a big responsibility and it's not just vet visits and groomer fees, it's also about the food that they eat. I have always fed my dogs high quality food, one of them being Natures Recipe. So when I found out that Nature's Recipe can now be found at Walmart, I was really excited and couldn't wait to share the news with you. I shop at Walmart constantly for myself so being able to buy my own home supplies as well as my dog's food is an easy way to "kill two birds with one stone" as they say.

I used to purchase Nature's Recipe for both my cocker spaniels, Bentley and Ella, at a dedicated pet specialty store, after it was recommended to me by one of the employees. I was looking for a different brand of food because they were both tired of the one that they were currently eating. I decided to give it a try after reading the ingredients and they ended up loving it. However, my pet store isn't as close as my Walmart. Knowing that Nature’s Recipe is now at Walmart makes it very convenient for me, and I'm pretty sure that it will be for most of you pet lovers as well.

Nature's Recipe contains no corn or wheat and is made with high-quality protein for both my dogs. There are no artificial flavors or preservatives and they also contain no poultry by-product meal. Their recipes are made with ingredients from nature to provide exactly what your dog needs to feel like his most vibrant self, each and every day. Just ask Bentley and Ella, who just love it. You can find them licking their lips after every meal. Nature's Recipe is definitely one high quality dog feed that I feel comfortable giving my pets because I know that the ingredients are good for them.

Today I also want to share with you three easy ways you can keep your dog healthy and active.

1. High quality dog food and treats:- Going into your pet store can be overwhelming. There are so many dog foods to choose from. However, you want to feed your dog a high quality dog food and dog treats. Look at the ingredients on the package and make sure that meat is the #1 ingredient. Make sure there are no by-products listed on the ingredients. Nature's Recipe always features meat as the #1 ingredient in their dry recipes making them a high source of protein for your fur baby.

2. Vet Care:- While no one likes visiting the doctor, it's important that you take your family pet to a vet on a regular basis. Find a vet that you can trust and one that your dog feels comfortable with. Routine visits will ensure that problems with your furry friend's health are caught early and can be taken care of ensuring a longer, healthier life.

3. Exercise:- While having a "chunky" dog might look good, it's not good for your dog to be overweight. Having an overweight dog can eventually lead to health problems. Feeding your dogs a balanced diet such as Nature's Recipe, will ensure that they have lots of energy, energy that they need to burn off. Take your dogs for walks and/or runs to the local dog park. If there is no dog park you can take them for a walk around your neighborhood. It's also a form of exercise for you as well.

And last, but not least, love your dogs unconditionally and keep them healthy and active, by feeding them Nature's Recipe, now available at Walmart.

Let's discuss: How do you help keep your dogs healthy and active? 

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Annmarie John
How to Inspire Others

How to Inspire Others

The desire to want to inspire others runs deep within most of us, at one time or another you shared a personal story with someone as a means to help inspire them to rise above their circumstances. Regardless of whom you are and what you do in life, anyone can inspire others. There’s easy ways to inspire others while still living life for what you believe in. Today we will share a few ways to inspire others so that you can spread a bit of positive cheer all over your network.

Be Compassionate
Learning to listen without judgement and find a place within to show your empathy to someone going through a tough time will inspire them to rise above whatever is going on in their life. If someone is venting to you about a scenario and totally frustrated, being compassionate to them in that moment of frustration will inspire them to rise above.

Respond Positively
If you truly want to inspire others then you will have to put a lid on responding with a negative or dramatic solution to someone’s venting. Each of us are human beings who have a right to vent, and sometimes we vent to our loved ones as a means to get them to respond positively to us. When you respond positively to someone in a time of stress, it inspires them to be more positive.

Build People Up
Giving compliments on a regular basis to your network of friends and family can surely inspire them to be better people. Human beings desire to be complimented, to have others notice their good deeds and successful actions. Take time to build people up with your compassionate and positive words. When you build people up on a regular basis, you inspire them to be better and do better in life.

Use Your Emotional Intelligence
Every human being has emotional intelligence, you can use this as a means to feel out how to properly respond to someone and engage with them. Get in touch with your emotional intelligence side as a means to respond to others appropriately and reach out to them in ways that push them to be inspired. This means using compassion, compliments and positive words when appropriate.

Practice Integrity
Speaking the truth at all times rather than spinning the reality of a situation is part of remaining a person with high integrity. When others know you will tell the truth at all times rather than spinning your response or a story out of line, they will be inspired. The truth really does set people free, integrity helps you to remain truthful at all times.

Random Acts of Kindness
Try to complete random acts of kindness every single day. Pay for the person behind you in line or reach out to do something kind for a friend. Each time you practice a random act of kindness you will inspire that person to pay it forward on their own with another person. This inspires others to give back.

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Annmarie John
Why Photo Books Make Great Gifts - #BlurbBooks

Why Photo Books Make Great Gifts - #BlurbBooks

We just recently celebrate a Disney land and sea adventure. While it wasn't our very first Disney land adventure, it was our very first sea. Madison and I have been on numerous trips and I've always managed to get most of it on camera. However, I have very rarely been in-front of the camera, I'm usually the one behind it. Also, once we get home our photos either stay on the memory card, get uploaded to a flash drive or memorialized on my computer. Lately I have been thinking of other ways that I could I could show off my photos so that everyone could see them, and photo memory books came to mind. I have made photo books in the past, quite a few of them actually, and have even given a few as gifts. I was however recently introduced to Blurb, an independent, creative book-making platform. They made it so easy to recreate my memories and best of all I could do it in either print or digital format. I decided that I was going to go with print.

I mean who doesn't love flipping through a good photo book? These slim, lightweight and polished creations turn our memories into professional-looking storybooks. Less bulky, less wasteful and less expensive than creating scrapbooks, photo books are the best way to preserve and share pictures. In a time when our society seems to be adopting a less is more mentality, photo books make much better sentimental gifts than any knick-knack ever could. I was able to upload my photos easily with Blurb’s free desktop publishing software BookWright which made it so simple for me. I think my most difficult decision was actually choosing which size and swatch I wanted. What I received after I placed my order, was a book of such exceptional quality that I decided I was going to keep it for myself.

I however want to share with you a few reasons why photo books make great gifts.

They're versatile. I can’t think of an occasion that a photo book wouldn't make a great gift for! They work for men and women, kids and adults, business owners, pet owners, teachers and clergy members. Photo books can be given for Mother's and Father's days, birthdays, weddings, baby showers, graduations and even as a thank you gift. They are especially great for the person who has everything. When in doubt, give a gift card to an online photo service so that the recipient can even make one in the future!

They're customizable. You can add as many or as few pictures and pages to a photo book as you'd like. You determine whether it's a hard or soft cover, whether it has a dust jacket, and even whether it will be leather bound! You can set the theme, you can choose how many photos go on each page, and you can zoom into each photo to make the subject larger, which is a great feature for older gift recipients who may not see so well. (You can’t do that with printed pictures without paying more for larger size!)

They're simple to create. If you don't have time for all of the above, simply allow the software to auto-populate the design template you chose with the photos you've uploaded.

They're easy to duplicate. Once you save and purchase your project, the hard part is done! If you want to purchase a duplicate, you can do so in the future because the project will always be in your account. If you make a photo book to give to one set of grandparents, for example, as long as you don't add text unique to them to the book, you can print a duplicate to give to the other set of grandparents as well. You get double the results without double the work!

They're environmentally friendly. Printing out copies of pictures, purchasing colorful papers, borders, stamps, stickers and embellishments in order to make a scrapbook is all very wasteful (and expensive). Photo books allow you to print everything on a single page, front and back, and fit multiple photos on each one.

They're portable. Regardless of if they're big or small, photo books are lightweight and fairly slim. This means you can move several from place to place without struggling under the weight of traditional photo albums!

They're fairly inexpensive. Photo books are a fairly inexpensive way to preserve those memories that you want to cherish for the rest of your lives. Much cheaper than a professional photoshoot and today I have an offer for you. Use discount code ANNMARIEJOHN for 25% off* your own photo book at Blurb.

So don't be afraid to get in-front of the camera. Start taking more photos of yourselves and your family and preserve them in a Blurb photo book for generations to come.

What memories will you be adding to your own photo book?

*Offer valid through May 15, 2017(11:59 p.m. local time). Valid only for photo books uploaded to and purchased through your own account. A 25% discount is applied toward your product total with no minimum or maximum order amount. This offer is good for five uses, and cannot be used for digital purchases or combined with volume discounts, custom orders, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.
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Annmarie John
Tips to Start Living in the Present

Tips to Start Living in the Present

If one desires to live in the present moment, then they must become consciously aware of the here and now. To live in the present means to let go of the minute before and the minute that arrives next. One who learns to live in the present moment fully understands that tomorrow is not a guarantee. When you start to think in this way, live gets a lot easier for you to handle and you start to appreciate this moment more than you ever had before.

Go with Your Initial Thoughts – stop fearing what judgement will occur if you go with your initial thoughts and feelings in this moment. You are entitled to fully love or fully hate this one present moment, because remember this moment passes quickly. Your feelings shall change in the blink of an eye. Always go with your initial thoughts as a means to allow your mind to think for itself in each present moment.  You may not always act upon those thoughts, but acknowledge they are there and they are your own.

Notice that You’re Breathing – far too often anxiety or depression will get us so overwhelmed that we neglect this present moment of being alive. Notice that in this moment, right now, as you read this article – you are breathing! When you take a moment to really think about the fact that breathing means you are alive, you will be able to calm your mind and be extremely grateful for this present moment.

Listen to Calming Music – while each of us uses a different genre of music to feel at peace, the simple act of listening to your choice of calming music will naturally guide you towards living in the present. When we listen to calming music our mind is focused on the beat and the words, which in turn allows our mind to relax and live in this one moment. Calming music may actually be one of the best ways to start living in the present moment by allowing you to be at peace within your mind.

Move on from the Past – last, but certainly not least, you will want to forgive the past. Without the forgiveness of our past mistakes, regrets or trauma, we won’t be able to live in the present. Even if you don’t feel like forgiving someone to their face, learn to forgive them within your own soul as a means to be at peace. When you find a way to move on from your past, you will feel ridiculously free and almost naturally start living in the present.

If you are not yet living in the present, then you are living an illusion. One cannot step backwards to yesterday or forward to tomorrow. One who focuses on days that have passed or days that have not arrived are devoting too many thoughts to instances that are unchangeable or have yet to arrive. Try to use some of these tips we shared today as a means to start living in the present moment, we are sure this will help calm anxiety  and allow your mind to feel a bit more lightweight.

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Annmarie John
[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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