Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A "Day of Bubbles" with Juicy Fruit


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JuicyFruitFunSide #CollectiveBias


Summer is a time to relax, sleep in and enjoy a time when there doesn't *have* to be structure. It's also a time when parents desperately try to find things to keep their kids (and themselves!) entertained. This summer, some of our family moved back into the area and my daughter has been completely overjoyed. She loves spending time with her cousins, which is why I came up with a fun idea for a little summer get-together involving some chewing gum, some bubbles and some milk...


After swim practice one day we decided to head to the store to pick up our supplies for our "Day of Bubbles." We headed to Walmart because we had heard about the new Juicy Fruit gums that had come out and were curious if they would be as amazing as the old Juicy Fruit...


We got two different varieties: The bubble gum and the fruit chews. We ended up using the Bubble Gum for the first event in our day of bubbles...

As you can tell, the girls were psyched and ready to go!


ROUND 1:

Bubble blowing contest! I love their concentration faces. They took this bubble blowing very seriously, as you can tell... I even dragged my older niece into this round because I knew she could take on the younger girls!


My daughter blew the tiniest, most adorable bubbles, while her cousin really mastered the art and blew some pretty huge bubbles!


She ended up winning this round!


ROUND 2:

Soap bubbles! In this round all 4 girls were able to compete... Who doesn't love blowing bubbles? Seriously? My 1-year-old ran around and popped all the bubbles almost as fast as they could blow them!



Even though they were heavily competing, they still love each other very much. I promise

This round was a tough one, as my two oldest nieces were neck and neck... But my *almost* 10-year-old niece ended up winning this round, too! She's got quite the competitive streak in her!



ROUND 3:

The final round was the messiest of all rounds... the milk bubble round. It was super fun to watch, though. My oldest niece decided she would sit this one out, so the other 3 girls gave it their all. My daughter ended up winning this round, since her milk bubbles were enormous, and her milk was gone first.

The "Day of Bubbles" was a huge success and all the girls had a ton of fun! It was a great way to pass some time on a lazy summer afternoon! 


Afterwards, we all celebrated by having a piece of the Juicy Fruit Fruit Chews Strawberry chewing gum and we were all super impressed. So impressed, in fact, that we actually all ended up having 2 pieces... Which is totally fine because there are 40 pieces in each bottle! It might be my new favorite gum... okay, it is my new favorite gum. Plus, the bottle makes it easy for sharing and throwing in your purse when you're done! 

Make sure to check your local Walmart for some fun Juicy Fruit Demos that will be coming your way this summer! 

What's your favorite fun Summer activity to do with the kids?


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thai Chicken Wings


Is your husband completely obsessed with Chicken Wings like my husband is? I love the guy, but seriously, something's not right with him... I don't even bother asking him what he wants for dinner anymore, because I already know what the answer is. Chicken wings.

I love you, dear, sweet, husband... which is why I am on a mission to make every kind of chicken wing imaginable! Now that i've made that clear, I'm just going to sit back and wait for my "Wife of the Year" award to come in the mail.

If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that... food makes people happy! It's there when we need comfort, it's there when we want to celebrate something and it's there when we're visiting with friends we haven't seen in years. Making someone their favorite meal is a great way to show them you care, bringing a neighbor a fresh loaf of homemade bread is a great way to welcome them to the neighborhood, mailing me a couple dozen chocolate chip cookies is a fabulous way to say "hey, you're awesome." Overall, food is just a great way to show appreciation, love and all that other good stuff.

So, basically, what I'm saying here is that... if you have someone in your life that loves chicken wings or thai food... make them these wings. That's it. Plain and simple! I probably should have just started out by saying that...





Thai Chicken Wings:

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds chicken wings
Sauce:
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flake
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
  • Oil for frying
Directions:


In a dutch oven or deep fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees.

Place chicken wings in the oil (about 10 at a time) and cook until golden brown and juices run clear (about 10-12 minutes). Remove and place on paper towels to drain.

While wings are frying, in a food processor, combine all sauce ingredients and pulse until well combined. Place sauce into medium pot and cook over medium heat until bubbly (about 3 minutes).

Toss wings in sauce, until completely coated, place on serving platter and sprinkle with crushed peanuts.

Serve to excited husband (boyfriend, girlfriend, son, daughter, etc.)



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Budget Friendly Meals: BBQ Pork and Macaroni and Cheese Taquitos

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #RollIntoSavings




Now that the temperatures here in California have been over 100 degrees almost every day this week, I have been desperately trying to stay away from my oven. I mean, I love my oven, don't get me wrong, but I just can't possibly imagine cranking it on and allowing it to send my precious cold air away. No, thank you. During the hot months when I'm trying to come up with Summer meals, I'm always looking to create simple dinners that require any cooking source other than my oven. Crockpots are great, stove is fine, and I would probably even consider turning my car into an oven and baking some cookies (like I've seen on Pinterest so many times). 




This past week while I was shopping at Walmart, I noticed that a lot of the Kraft products were on Rollback and were begging to come home with me. 




I'm always looking for great deals so that I can create budget friendly meals as it seems most people are always looking for ways to save money and a lot of people have financial "tight times" around the 1st and 15th of the month.

First I scanned the meat aisle to find something that stood out to me... they had these little, adorable pork roasts for $5 that I knew would be perfect in the crockpot. I grabbed some tortillas, Velveeta shredded cheese, some Velveeta Shells & Cheese, Kraft BBQ Sauce and Kraft Ranch Dressing to complete my delicious little dinner idea...




The first thing I did was throw my cute little pork roast in the crockpot along with a cup of beef broth for flavor! I cooked it on high for about 4 hours and it was perfectly tender and shreddable!


Next, I mixed in a bottle of Kraft Original BBQ sauce! Summer... BBQ sauce... it just works for me! 



Then I threw a box of Velveeta Shells & Cheese into my boiling water and cooked it according to the package directions: 9 minutes, drain, mix in the cheese sauce! Couldn't be easier. Seriously. 



Then, I sprinkled my tortillas with the Velveeta shredded cheese, topped it with 2 tablespoons of the BBQ pork and one heaping tablespoon of the Shells & Cheese. Doesn't that look good enough to eat? It should... since that's exactly what you're supposed to do with it!


Now, roll 'em up! They're kind of fat for taquitos... and that almost makes me love them even more. Nothing wrong with a big, fat taquito, right? I guess it might be considered more of a Flauta and not a taquito... buuuut we'll just ignore that little fact since most people call anything rolled in a tortilla and baked (or fried) a taquito. ;)



Now, I could have baked these... I could have. But then I would be breaking my rule... and we just couldn't have that, could we? Of course not! So, instead, I sprayed my cast iron skillet with a little nonstick spray, cranked the heat up to medium, and browned them on both sides.



Gotta have the ranch dipping sauce! You could even add in a little sour cream, if you're into that sort of thing. 


Bam! BBQ Pork & Mac and Cheese Taquitos! Double Bam! Triple Bam! 


Now, that's lovely. My hubby, daughter and son all gave these 2 enthusiastic thumbs up, with a quick request for more. Well, my son didn't exactly say much, since he's 1, but he did finish his entire plate and didn't try to feed any to the dog! That's how you know he likes it. Much too good for doggies!

This meal is super easy to make and would be easy (and fun!) for kids to put together! It's also a pretty frugal Budget recipe that won't break the bank! Everything ended up costing less than $20! It was actually closer to $15! Yay! 

What's your favorite budget friendly meal to make at home?


--------------------------------------------------

BBQ Pork & Mac and Cheese Taquitos:

Ingredients:
  • 2 pound pork loin roast
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 bottle Kraft Original BBQ Sauce
  • 1 box Velveeta Shells & Cheese
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded Velveeta cheese
  • *Kraft Ranch Dressing for dipping


Directions:

Place pork roast and beef broth in crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove from crockpot, shred and mix in BBQ sauce.

Meanwhile, cook Velveeta Shells & Cheese according to package directions. Drain, mix in cheese sauce and set aside.

Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of shredded Velveeta cheese on a tortilla. Top it with about 2 tablespoons of pork mixture, followed by 1 heaping tablespoon of the shells and cheese. Roll tightly and repeat with remaining tortillas.

In a skillet, over medium heat, spray a little nonstick cooking spray and place a couple taquitos in the center. Once browned, flip and cook until the other side browns, about 1-1/2 - 2 minutes. Repeat until all taquitos are browned.

Cut each taquito in half at an angle, and serve with ranch dressing.

Makes 10 taquitos.




Monday, July 7, 2014

Have a #goodnightsnack and movie night with your family! #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias


One of my favorite things about our family is how much we love creating memories and having fun together. We are a family full of silly, goofy people that love to laugh and have a good time, whether it be outside playing in the yard, inside playing board games or even just watching a movie.



We also have one very important and special thing in common, and that is a love of cereal. When I was pregnant with my son, cereal is one of the things I wanted all. the. time. Morning, noon, night... it didn't matter when, I just wanted my bowl of cereal! My daughter shares my love for cereal and now my son is showing signs of becoming a cereal addict, too. Welcome to the club, son...


Whenever we head out to Walmart we always spend a good amount of time walking down the cereal aisle to see what pops out at us. But, it seems like no matter how long we spend there we usually end up going with our favorites: Frosted Flakes (my favorite!), fruit loops (son's and daughter's favorite!) and apple jacks (husband's favorite!)
It's always good to have a bunch of cereal boxes on hand because one of our new favorite activities as a family is making fun things out of cereal boxes.  We've made mailboxes, jewelry boxes and cars so far and for our next creation we've decided to create a cute little plane that can drop our cereal into our bowl for our Cereal Movie Night! 


The first thing we did was cut out a wing shape from the back of the box all the way to the sides of the box.


We folded them open, then we opened both ends of the cereal box. At one end we cut off the "tab," made a large hole where we could pour out our cereal and taped it. (Make sure to open the bag before taping it!) 


At the other end, we folded one of the flaps into a point and attached a propeller and taped the bottom piece  back into place. So cool!




Our plane delivering the cereal! 

Speaking of Planes, specially marked boxes of Kellogg's cereals have a special Planes Fire & Rescue coupon promotion! There are 5 different coupons on the box for Planes themed items, which is awesome because my son is obsessed with his little bowl that has Dusty from the movie Planes on it. (We are so going to pick some up later this week!) He loves eating his cereal out of it in the morning and he loves carrying it around and collecting his toys in it, too. Dual purpose! My daughter just loves the fact that she's old enough to use to a normal sized bowl which means more cereal for her. I swear she would live off the stuff if we let her. 


Enjoying his favorite night time treat!



Watching movies together and enjoying their last hour before bed.



What's your favorite Kellogg's cereal to snack on?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The 10 Best Cool Summer Treats!


It's Summer! That means it's time to break out the ice cream, slushies and popsicles! Today i'm going to highlight some of my favorite treats that will keep you and your family nice and cool during these warm Summer months! Enjoy!


Samoas Milkshake via Happy Go Lucky Blog

Reese's Brownie Ice Cream Cake via Bakers Royale 

S'mores Fudge Pops via The Recipe Critic

Banana Split Milkshake via This Silly Girl's Life


Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Tacos via Your Home Based Mom


Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream via Life in the Lofthouse

Sparkling Pineapple Slush Punch via Lady Behind the Curtain


Monday, June 30, 2014

Refuel with Snickers Apple Parfaits this Summer!

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #Refuel2Go #CollectiveBias



It seems like this Summer is an especially busy one for us and I'm actually loving it! Now, don't get me wrong, I love relaxing, sleeping in and having nothing to do most of the time... but, there's something fun about having places to go during the Summer when you don't need to!

This year my daughter is taking a couple of art classes and swim lessons. She is pretty much in heaven while she's swimming around in the cool water... her brother and I, however, are busy fighting all the other parents for the tiny bit of shade over in the corner. We usually lose... 


Since we're usually in a hurry, I'm always looking for quick and easy snacks that I can grab and take with us for post-swim refueling. One of our favorites is Snickers 2-go-bars! Whenever we head to Walmart we always pick up a couple to pack up in her swim bag so we I don't fight over who gets it ;) Mommies need refueling too after sitting in the sun for an hour straight, right?? 


We also always pick up a couple of Dr Peppers to throw in, since they are all located right near the cash register! Easy peasy.



 My daughter also discovered Dr Pepper cherry this year and it has changed her whole world. I remember back in middle school and high school I was completely obsessed with it and so was my best friend. We had Dr Peppers with our lunches every single day. Ahhh, memories!


Sometimes, if I have a little extra time and I'm not searching for a missing flip flop, I like to use the Snickers to-go-bars to put together a little parfait.

Vanilla greek yogurt + cut up snickers and apples layered together = winning combination. 

I like to prepare them in little plastic cups so that we can throw them away when we're done refueling ;)


Before you head to Walmart to pick up your snacks, make sure to download this coupon where you can save $1.00 when you purchase 2 SNICKERS 2-to-go and 2 20 oz Dr Pepper bottles! That way you don't have to fight over the last Snickers bar with your kids! Yay!


I've also created a cute little downloadable game for your kids to keep with the "Fuel" theme! White crayons/lighter crayons work best on the black roads! Enjoy!

Plus, if you like entering contests like I do, you can enter the SNICKERS® Dr Pepper Refuel Sweepstakes: Purchase (2) SNICKERS® 2-to-go and (2) 20 oz Dr Pepper bottles, then text or email your receipt to refuel@drvusa.com and be entered for a chance to win 1 of 250 available Walmart gas/gift cards. You can find full instructions here: http://drvsusa.com/refuel/
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