Pin to Win a Year’s Supply of Tombstone Pizza

My little brother and his family will arrive this weekend for a short annual visit and I’ve already bought a bunch of Tombstone pizzas and Nestle Drumsticks for a get together this weekend.  To grab some summer fun and help you celebrate summer, we are throwing a Pinterest Party! Come join in, Pin and Repin and you could win a year’s supply of Tombstone Pizza!

Here are the details:

Join the #GrabSummerFun Pinterest Party from June 15, 2012 – July 2, 2012. We are giving away a year’s worth of Tombstone Pizza!

Party Rules

  1. Sign into your Pinterest account or if you do not have a Pinterest account, visit Pinterest.com to request an invitation to register for a free account. There may be a waiting period in between when you request membership and when you are issued an invitation.
  2. Create a #GrabSummerFun board on your Pinterest page. The title of your board must contain #GrabSummerFun.
  3. “Pin” five (5) summer fun and party ideas (Party Decor, 4th of July Fun and Treats, Summer Fun, etc.) on the #GrabSummerFun Pinterest Board, and tag each “pin” with hashtag “#GrabSummerFun” in the description.
  4. Grab one image from our #GrabSummerFun Pinterest Board of Tombstone Pizza or Drumstick Ice Cream and Pin it to yours with the hashtag.
  5. Come back and submit your name, email address and your #GrabSummerFun Pinterest Board link to bit.ly/grabsummerfunp (the linky on the party host’s RSVP post).

Disclosure – I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ #CBias #SocialFabric #GrabSummerFun. All writings and opinions are 100% mine. Please see my Disclaimer/ Privacy Policy for more information.

 

No Bake Birds Nest Cookies With #EqualSucralose

The flowers are blooming in my yard and I’m SO ready for an early spring this year!  The weather has me thinking about spring time treats so I decided to try out a fun variation on my mom’s No Bake Cookie recipe.  I’ve got five young kids and they only have two speeds – stop and go – so we purposely don’t let them have too much sugar.  They do deserve to get treats though so I was thrilled to give them these high fiber, no sugar cookies!

All you need are a few simple ingredients and you can use regular white sugar, but I wanted to try out the Equal Sucralose and it worked out great!  I shopped for the Equal and other ingredients at the Walmart Store #1222 in Pensacola, Florida and I’m so excited about the easy to use canister that I bought a few more of them for some friends and family members that I know could use a little less sugar in their diets.  For example, my brother-in-law has diabetes AND a sweet tooth so I’m mailing him some to try.  My mom is having knee replacement surgery next month and her doctor encouraged her to lose a few pounds first, but like me she won’t go a day without some sort of baked goodies.  I’m also going to share with my mother-in-law and a few of my friends.  Check out the Equal website to see where you can get some.

I had never cooked with sucralose before and I was a little surprised at how light these canisters are, but inside each canister there is the equivalent of five pounds of sugar!  Equal Sucralose measures out cup for cup like regular sugar and is super easy to use in the canister.  The Equal canisters were $5.48 each, which is cheaper than the competing Splenda product at $5.98 per bag, and I really prefer the canister to a zip type bag because there is no mess and it’s very easy to scoop from.

No Bake Birds Nest Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These simple No Bake Cookies made into birds nest are perfect for spring time treats!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Equal Sucralose (or white sugar)
  • ½ cup stick margarine
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups quick oatmeal
  • ½ cup nuts (optional)
  • ½ cup coconut (optional)
  • ¼ cup green coconut (use a drop or two of food coloring)
Instructions
  1. Mix Equal Sucralose, stick margarine, milk and cocoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  3. Cool slightly then add 3 cups quick oatmeal, ½ cup coconut and ½ cup nuts (if desired).
  4. Mix well and drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.
  5. Use your fingers to make indentations in the top of the cookies to form a "birds nest", sprinkle the tops with green coconut and press into the cookies.
  6. Place two jelly beans on the top of each cookie, press into the "nest" before they've cooled completely, or you can use a small dab of frosting to keep them in place.

Disclosure – This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.  #CBias #EqualSucralose

 

Part 2 – Keeping Children Safe In Winter

I’m so thrilled to be participating in the Energizer Champions for Kids SIMPLE Service Project and I wanted to report back on the completion of this mission!  We chose to create a winter emergency survival kit to deliver to our local Ronald McDonald house for this project.  Our family has a history of childhood medical issues that originally introduced us to the Ronald McDonald house years ago when my quadruplets were born so we’re always happy to find ways that we can give back to other children in need.

Since we live in the south we don’t have to worry too much about winter weather hazards like snow and freezing cold, but we do experience tornadoes and power outages from storms, plus we’ll have to start worrying about hurricane season pretty soon, so we wanted to make sure we included things in our survival kit that would cover all of these emergencies.  We shopped at our local WalMart and purchased the following items for our kit.

Our survival kit package included:

  • Energizer LED Safety Light with alert whistle and emergency checklist
  • Energizer emergency crank radio with flashlight
  • Energizer rechargeable LED light
  • Wet Ones antibacterial wipes
  • Energizer batteries
  • 2 Cases of bottled water

We also picked up this cute red collapsible fabric storage cube to store everything.  The kids were super happy to deliver this package to the Ronald McDonald house and were just so sorry to have missed Ronald by only a few minutes – you can tell from these footprints on the sidewalk out front that he had just been there!

We will continue to look for other great volunteer projects like this one, and I’d like to encourage you to visit Champions For Kids to learn more about doing a SIMPLE Service Project in your community and help to meet the goal of mobilizing 20 million people by 2020.

Part 1 – Keeping Children Safe During Winter

Disclosure – This post has been compensated as a part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, however all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks so much to #EnergizerCFK and #CBias!

 

Keeping Children Safe During Winter

According to the Centers for Disease Control accidents are the leading cause of death for children and over nine million children suffer from non-fatal injuries each year.  In addition, dangerous weather causes hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries each year.  Champions for Kids is mobilizing millions through SIMPLE service projects and they’ve partnered with Energizer for the Light Up A Life campaign and I’m proud to be participating with a SIMPLE service project of my own – make a winter emergency kit and deliver it to the Ronald McDonald House.

We live in south Alabama but the nearest regional children’s hospital is in Florida, which is where I gave birth to quadruplets six years ago.  The babies had to stay in NICU for a month after they were born so we were offered a room at the Ronald McDonald House next door to the hospital.  There were so many other babies in NICU, way too many kids in the children’s ward, and lots of other people in need of that room so we decided to stay with family members who didn’t live too far away.  When the babies were three months old our two identical boys both had to have surgery for pyloric stenosis so were back at the hospital over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

These experiences have really shown us how important it is that we protect the health and safety of children everywhere and we believe that it’s important to give back whenever possible.  The kids enjoy doing things like delivering gifts to the children’s ward at Christmas and they’re thrilled to be helping plan a winter emergency kit for the Ronald McDonald House.  While we don’t typically experience snow, ice or other similar hazardous winter weather here in the south, we do experience other weather hazards like tornadoes, flash flooding and hurricane season will be here before we know it so we plan to shop this week for items like:

  • Bandages
  • Bottled Water
  • Hand Wipes
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Weather Radio

Then we’ll get our package bundled up in some sort of a storage container and deliver it to the Ronald McDonald House.  Can you think of a deserving shelter, school, religious organization or other organization near you that could use a winter emergency kit?  Please visit Champions For Kids to learn more about doing a SIMPLE Service Project in your community and help to meet the goal of mobilizing 20 million people by 2020.

Disclosure – This post has been compensated as a part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.  Thanks so much to #EnergizerCFK and #CBias!

 

Bringing Our New Puppy Home #ILoveMyK9 #CBias

I’m super excited to introduce you all to Snoopy, the newest member of our family!  Because you know we really needed one more mouth to feed and another reason to clean the carpet 😉 

A week or so ago I told you guys how we lost our two Labrador Retrievers and we had decided to go to the local shelter and get a puppy for the kids for Christmas.  I’m so happy that we went to the animal shelter because Snoopy is the sweetest, most grateful dog. 

The kids are already in love with her and are doing a great job helping to take care of her.  They make sure she has plenty of food and they’re trying very hard to keep the floor picked up so she won’t chew on things she isn’t supposed to chew on.

We had a blast shopping for treats and toys for her and posted about all the great deals we got on the Milk-Bone®Milo’s Kitchen and Pup-Peroni snacks.  We’ve been using the snacks to help train her and all the chew toys to keep her occupied.  Although I’m sure ‘Santa’ will be bringing a few other gifts for the kids, I believe they’ve already received their favorite gift of the year!

Disclosure – This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, however all thoughts and opinions are completely my own. #CBias

 

Shopping For Our New Puppy #ILoveMyK9 #CBias

We live out in the middle of the woods and our nearest neighbor is six miles away, but we get to “town” often and we really love the peace and quiet and being close to nature.  Unfortunately, during hunting season our meandering dirt road often looks more like an Interstate on the weekends.  We don’t really mind people coming out to our neck of the woods to hunt, but we do worry about people shooting too close to the house because we have five small children who love to play in the yard.

Luckily we’ve never had a problem in the six years that we’ve been here, other than occasionally having to let people know that they’re on private property and they need to move on down the road or join a nearby hunting club.   Until this year when tragedy struck and hunters killed our two beautiful Labrador Retrievers a couple of weeks ago.  They were outdoor dogs who had the run of our property and loved swimming in the creek between us and a neighboring property. 

We loved our dogs very much and the kids have just been devastated so we’ve been going back and forth over whether or not to get a new dog because we just couldn’t bear it if something like this happened again.  Finally, we decided that we should go to our local animal shelter and get a puppy for the kids for Christmas.  This time we want a smaller dog that will stay indoors and we’re very unprepared for that so we’ve been having a good time with the shopping and planning for the new dog’s arrival!

Last weekend hubby and I dropped off the kids at grandma’s house then set out to do some shopping.  We had made a list of the things we would need for a new puppy then I checked the coupon database and found some awesome B1G1 free coupons for Milk-Bone® dog treats that I was able to print from their website.  We stopped for dinner first at our favorite restaurant then headed over to WalMart to do some serious shopping.

We’ve always bought treats for our dogs but I’ve never really spent that much time in the pet department and I was actually pretty amazed at the selection they had available!  Who knew there were so many different varieties and brands of dog treats?  If the B1G1 coupon deal wasn’t great enough, some of the Milk-Bone® snacks had peelies on them good for $2 off any package of Milo’s Kitchen or Pup-Peroni so I bought three boxes with peelies, got two boxes of Milk-Bone® Healthy Essentials for free, plus I got $6 off three packages of treats!  There will also be a Milk-Bone® coupon in this weekend’s newspaper.  I did have a bit of a problem at checkout when they didn’t want to take my B1G1 coupons, but I simply finished checking out then carried my copy of the WalMart coupon policy over to customer service and we were able to straighten it out.

I’ll keep you informed on the new puppy and show you some pictures real soon in an upcoming post!

Disclosure – This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, however all thoughts and opinions are completely my own. #CBias

 

Member’s Mark 4X Probiotics Review – Part 2

Last week I wrote about how I’ve had lactose intolerance issues all my life so I jumped at the chance to review Member’s Mark 4X Probiotics to see what, if anything, the supplement could do for me.  I had a great time shopping for the pills at Sam’s Club, especially once I calculated that the Member’s Mark 4X Probiotics cost less than half per pill at 34 cents each than the Align brand which cost 81 cents per pill. 

Because the supplement contains Bifidobacterium lactis, but not the lactase enzyme (Aspergillus oryzae) that I’m used to taking when I eat dairy foods I decided that I’d better keep taking the lactase pills when I have the pizza, ice cream and cheesy garlic bread that are requirements in my diet 😉  because the pain is intense when I don’t and I really didn’t want to chance spending hours huddled in the fetal position.

I noticed a difference within the first three days of taking the probiotics and I’m sure this is too much information, but I have never been so regular in my life!  Somehow I managed to run out of my regular lactase pills last Friday and even though I was leery of doing any dairy without them, things were going so well with the Member’s Mark 4X Probiotics that I gambled a little and I’ve been amazed that I made it through the weekend without any issues even though I had two huge bowls of ice cream (on different days!), pizza one night and a bowl of cereal for breakfast one day.  In the past I would never have survived that without taking lactase pills with each of those things but I sailed right through with just the one probiotics pill each day!  I’m completely sold on the probiotics supplement and I’ll definitely be taking it daily from here on out.  My only disappointment is that I didn’t know about it sooner!

Visit DigestiveHealthFor.me if you’d like more information on probiotics, and head to your local Sam’s Club to pick up a box of Member’s Mark 4X Probiotics for yourself!

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, however all thoughts and comments are completely my own.

 

Member’s Mark 4X Probiotics Review – Part 1

All my life I’ve had an issue with milk and dairy products, but I didn’t realize that I was lactose intolerant until college.  Pizza, ice cream and cheese are some of my favorite things in the world but within an hour or two of eating them I’d start to feel really sick and I’d get bloated and crampy.  That made dating a little nerve wracking because I never wanted to eat out anywhere and chance getting sick.  Luckily once I’d figured out the problem I found that I could take lactase enzyme pills with a meal to keep from getting bloated and feeling icky.

Fast forward a couple of decades (I’ve had a couple anniversaries of my 39th birthday) and in between babies I’ve had some problems with endometriosis.  I’ve had a couple of surgeries and they’ve removed most of the adhesions, but they couldn’t get everything out of the bowel area.  That doesn’t bother me normally, but if I ever have dairy products and forget to take a pill then the pain comes on suddenly and is so intense that I’ve literally spent hours huddled up on the couch waiting for the pain to pass.

Given my history I’m a firm believer that probiotics are essential for good digestive health.  There are several different brands of yogurt out with probiotics added and I like them, but I just can’t eat yogurt every day and I’m not really a fan of eating more dairy products just to get my probiotics.

I was recently offered the opportunity to do a review of the Member’s Mark 4X Probiotic supplement available at Sam’s Club and I jumped at the chance to see how it works for me.  I’ve only taken it for a couple of days and although I’m liking it so far I’m going to wait until I’ve been taking it for a couple of weeks to give you my final verdict.  In the meanwhile I wanted to share about my shopping trip and some other information that I learned.

At first I was a little annoyed that I had to buy a twinpack in order to test the supplement, but then I started comparing prices and the differences between the Member’s Mark brand and the competing Align brand.  The Member’s Mark brand was $28.88 for a twinpack or 84 pills, enough to last for three months, which equates to 34 cents per pill.  The Align supplement on the other hand was $39.48 for one box of 49 pills, enough for seven weeks at 81 cents per pill.  That makes the Sam’s Club brand less than half price which made me very happy!

But how do the two brands compare in other ways?  It turns out that not only can the Member’s Mark 4X Probiotic supplement compete with Align, it actually beats it hands down by including four different strains of probiotics while Align only has one, and it contains 2 1/2 times the amount of the one strain that you do get with Align.

I’m so excited to be trying out the Member’s Mark 4X Probiotic supplement for my digestive health that my husband has swiped the other box from me and he’s trying it out too!  I can’t wait to get back with you guys on the results in a couple weeks.  If any of you have stories or info you’d like to share I’d love to hear from you!

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, however all thoughts and comments are completely my own.

 

Shopping for Cheap Gas and Better Gas Mileage

In a previous post I wrote about 7 ways to save money at the gas pump and I’d like to add two more to the list!  My motto is ‘the more I can save on the things I need, the more I can spend on things I want’.  You know, like retirement and the kids college fund – so I’m constantly looking for the best prices and savings strategies since pennies add up into dollars really quickly.

Because I can get a whopping 10 cents off per gallon at Murphy USA when I pay with my Walmart credit card (or 5 cents/gal with other cards including Walmart gift cards in most areas) I usually try to plan my route so that I can swing by a Murphy station when I need to fill up.

I recently learned about Additech, a fuel additive that guarantees it will increase your gas mileage by up to 10% and is available at the pump at most Murphy USA gas stations.  There is an option on the display screen at the pump that allows you to choose whether you want Additech dispensed with your fuel, and you can select a small ($1.99), medium ($4.99) or large ($7.99) dose of the additive.  I selected the medium and it was super fast and easy since I was able to pay at the pump and it was dispensed by blending with the fuel while pumping the gas.

Fuel additives work by helping to reduce deposits in your vehicle’s fuel system that can make your engine run rough and reduce your gas mileage.  Cleaning out the deposits that build up over time improves your car’s performance and increases your gas mileage, in addition to reducing harmful emissions.

For a limited time when you buy Additech at a Murphy USA station you will also receive a free Red Strike energy drink.  I’m usually a little leery of energy drinks because I don’t do caffeine and if I ever ingest any I get a little jittery, but with five young kids I’m always in need of more energy.  I pored over the label and the main ‘energy’ ingredients are Taurine and B vitamins so I gave it a shot and I actually liked it very much.  It tasted a little like Sprite with a fruity tang to it and it definitely increased my energy level, but thankfully without any jitters.  Because the large 16 oz can said it contained two servings I only drank half on the first day, saved the rest for the next day and was thrilled to get two days of extra energy out of the one drink.

For more information check out Additech on Twitter or Facebook, Red Strike on Twitter or Facebook, and Murphy USA on Twitter or Facebook

Disclosure – This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Our Constitution Day Project

We enjoy doing lots of after school craft activities with the kids and this week we chose a project in honor of Constitution Day, officially celebrated today to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Before the kids got home I shopped for the supplies then got our folding craft table set up and ready to go.  To prepare I went to an educational website about the U.S. Constitution and printed some coloring pages for the kids to do, as well as some actual photographs of the pages of the constitution that we could glue to our display.  The kids had a great time coloring these pages:

We used the coloring pages as talking points to discuss why we need rules and laws and how we choose the people who are in charge of creating and upholding the laws in this country.

Next, we let the kids cut out the pictures of the Constitution pages and they used Elmer’s washable school glue sticks to stick them in place on the tri-fold display board.

I really like the disappearing purple glue sticks that we used because the kids can see at a glance where they’ve placed the glue and whether they have enough on the paper before sticking their masterpieces on the board.  They were all so proud of their individual artwork that they insisted on signing them before we were finished and couldn’t wait to pose with the final project!

Disclosure – This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer’s #gluenglitter #collectivebias, however all thoughts and opinions are  my own.