Sammy Makes Six
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Salmon & Veggie Foil Packs

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

September is National Cholesterol Awareness month, and as caretaker of my mom, high cholesterol is something we struggle with every single day. My mom is now 83 years old, but she still loves to eat the way she did when she was much younger, much more active, and less sick. As her caretaker, it can be hard to ensure that she's still eating foods than she can enjoy, while making sure that she's keeping her cholesterol levels down. A clinical study showed Mazola® Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see

One thing she hasn't had to give up, though, is her favorite corn oil. This is the corn oil that I grew up seeing in our kitchen. It's the corn oil that helped her make all of her amazing dishes throughout the years, and now Mazola Corn Oil also helps her keep her cholesterol levels down. Mazola Corn Oil is an all-purpose, cholesterol free cooking oil that is a smart heart-healthy* choice for your family. *See for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health.

Today, I'm sharing one of the dishes that she enjoys the most, Butter Garlic Salmon with a side of buttery mashed potatoes, with three tweaks that make it lighter and better-for-her. I will skip using all butter in the recipe and instead use Mazola Corn Oil. I will replace the mashed potatoes with veggies and will also replace salt with garlic, pepper and parsley.

It's hard to imagine a grownup of my mom's age not enjoying veggies, but it's actually true. My mom spent her life eating meat and potatoes but very rarely included vegetables or salads in her meals. So now that she is older, getting her to enjoy them has been like teaching a kid to eat veggies. But in this recipe, the veggies are as much a star as the salmon, and I find that she eats her entire portion with very little complaint.

Salmon & Veggie Foil Packs
(serves 2)

2 salmon filets (6-8 ounces)
1 yellow squash sliced
1 zucchini sliced
1 bunch asparagus chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tbsp Mazola Corn Oil


1. Season (with pepper) both sides of the salmon and place it in the middle of a square of aluminum foil.

2. Add squash, zucchini slices, asparagus and chopped parsley around the salmon, keeping things in the center of the foil.

3. Drizzle corn oil, which I've had sitting with the minced garlic in a little bowl, over the fish and veggies.

4. Fold the edges of each packet and place into preheated oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

5. Carefully open packets and serve hot - you can top with a little bit more fresh parsley if so desired.

Not only is this recipe on the easier side to make, all you really have to do is chop your veggies. It's also cholesterol-free and better for my mom. Mazola Corn Oil has more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than other cooking oils – four times more than extra virgin olive oil and one and a half times more than canola oil.

Plus, it's really delicious and a nice way to celebrate such a beautiful piece of salmon. The simplicity of the ingredients just lets all of its delicious flavor shine through.

When dealing with my mom's growing health issues: heart disease, high cholesterol, etc., it's been hard to get her to make those much needed changes to her diet. But I like that Mazola Corn Oil is such an easy swap for things like butter or lard (which she loved to cook with). Plus, it has such a variety of uses including baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up a marinades and dressings.

This National Cholesterol Awareness month and every other month of the year, Mazola is our partner in the kitchen. How about you, what better-for-you changes have you made in the kitchen?

5 Must-Haves for the Busy Woman

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

It's officially the first week of summer vacation and while most people might think that a moms job gets easier in the summer, they are actually pretty off the mark. If your life is like mine, summer can be even more hectic than when the kids are in school - because you still have all your daily responsibilites, and also a houseful of kids that need watching and entertaining. So how do I keep it together even when my to-do-list looks longer than the hours in the day? 

I plan ahead, I make sure that I have my essentials with me at all times and I self-care at the end of those really tough days when everything aches, especially my back. 

5 Must-Have's For The Busy Woman

A bag that can hold it all: The first thing that any busy woman needs, whether you're a mom or not, is a great tote bag with enough space to hold your life in. I love bags with plenty of pockets, space for my laptop, phone, reading tablet and with a great design. 

Who says tote bags have to be ugly? These days it's so easy to find a tote bag that fits your personal style. I loved this black canvas tote from the minute I laid eyes on it and especially like that no matter what I stuff into it, it still looks cool.

A mobile office: Being able to take my office with me has always been one of the perks of working from home. As long as I have my laptop, camera and phone with me, I can work from almost anywhere, including and especially my car, where I spend most of my time. 

A daily makeup edit: I've always found that one of the things that makes the biggest difference in how I feel on any given day is if I had time to put myself together, and because there are days that I am out the door super early, I do not always have time to apply makeup. On those days I grab my to-go cosmetics bag that contains all the products I need for a quick 10-minute face. 

That way I can put my face on while I have a few minutes in the car and feel a million times more confident than I did with a bare face. Not saying you need a full face of makeup to feel confident, sometimes all I do is mascara and a red lip, and even those two things alone make a world of difference. 

Comfy shoes: You will never catch me in a pair of heels these days, I gave up heels after a lifetime of working in heels while killing my feet and back, but I will step out in wedges on those days that call for a meeting or something more than my normal routine. And on those days I will always tuck my comfiest pair of shoes in my bag to change into as soon as I can. 

Sunbeam® Renue® Contoured Back Heating Pad: A new addition to my tote bag but one that has become an immediate must-have is this new Sunbeam® Renue® Heating Pad - which you can purchase at Walmart. If you suffer from back pain then you know how painful and hard it is to deal with it, especially when you're constantly on the go. For most women, there is no such thing as a day off. 

I've spent a lot of my working life on my feet and in high heeled shoes, and for the past 9 years I've spent a lot of time sitting in a desk chair and car without much movement throughout the day, making back pain a real thing for me. That's why I now carry my Sunbeam® Renue® Heating Pad with me because I can pop it on if I stop by my moms during the day, or in a pinch I can even use it in my car since I do have an outlet. 

The Sunbeam® Renue® Contoured Back Heating Pad provides targeted heat therapy that is clinically proven to relieve pain associated with muscle tension and stress. The pad’s contoured design is shaped specifically to fit the #1 area of pain for heating pad users, the lower back. The integrated waist strap helps keep the pad in place for hands-free, high-level heat therapy.

Sunbeam® Renue® Contoured Back Heating Pad Features:
  • Additional Extender Waist Strap attached, stretches up to 85 inches
  • 4 heat settings—low to high-level heat plus 2 hour auto-shut off.
  • Entire pad is machine washable for easy care.
  • Soft, Micromink fabric for added comfort.

Thirty minutes (or longer) at the end of the day with this heating pad on my back and I feel like a brand new woman. It's been such a great day to aliviate back pain without having to take extra pain relievers.  

I'm too busy to let back pain hold me back from living my life and getting things done, I am super stoked for the addition of the Sunbeam® Renue® Contoured Back Heating Pad in my life. With my tote bag, mobile office and heating pad in-hand, I am ready for whatever summer may bring. #NewellHomeRefresh

Spending Quality Time with Each of Our Pets

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PONEVisibleDifferences #PurinaONEPets #Purina28DayChallenge #CollectiveBias

A few months ago we took the Purina ONE® 28-Day Challenge and today I want to share an update on Aqua, who has continued on with Purina ONE® food. I also want to share a few tips for spending quality time with your cat when you have a multi-pet household.

Purina ONE® 28-Day Challenge 
See visible differences in just 28 days–like strong teeth, vibrant energy, sparkling eyes, a radiant coat, and more. Shop for Purina ONE® foods at your local Walmart. 

During the 28 days of the challenge we monitored Aqua and really saw some of those visible differences come through. The renewed love of mealtime, vibrant energy and healthy coat and bright eyes were definite standout changes in him. Since then he's only become more energetic and playful while loving mealtime even more than ever.

Aqua is one of three cats and because the other two are females and more assertive, he's always been a bit of a loner and isn't big on being held or even very playful. But in recent months we have discovered that he becomes friendlier when it's almost mealtime. That's when we take advantage of some one-on-one time with him.

Spending Quality Time with Each of Our Pets

Use mealtime as a time to spend extra time with your pet individually - which isn't easy when you have multiple pets and a busy life, but we try to do this a few times a week with each cat.  

Set up the meal station with the bowl and food but instead of serving them right away, it's time for a good brushing and cuddle session. Even if your cat isn't super friendly or into being cuddled, the idea that food will follow and is close by, tends to give them a little push.  

This is also a good time just sit with each of your pets and let them get comfortable with the idea of hanging out with you on their own. You could bring out one of their favorite toys and play with them or you could simply sit and watch them play.  

After some quality time together, now it's time for chow-time and Purina ONE® Tender Selects with Real Salmon, we buy the 7lb bag but there is a larger size available if you want more bang for your buck.

With real salmon as the #1 ingredient in this cat food, you can bet that Aqua loves nothing more than to hear the food hitting his bowl. This is where you can really see one of the major changes in him since taking the Purina ONE® 28-Day Challenge - the renewed excitement around mealtime!

The purposeful nutrition in every bag of Purina ONE® helps support healthy energy in cats. We've definitely seen Aquas vitality level enhanced since making the switch. It's always nice to see them become playful and energized, instead of watching them sleep all day.

Digestibility was a really important aspect when switching over, and so far we've not had any issues with his tummy. Purina ONE® dry formulas are highly digestible and promote high nutrient absorption, so more nutrition goes to work inside your cat.

Sparkling eyes, healthy skin, and radiant coat! We've continued to see them all and overall we are very glad that we took the Purina ONE® 28-Day Challenge when we did. As a multi-pet parent, I enjoy knowing that I am giving them the best that I can, while still staying on budget and being able to shop at my local Walmart which is only two blocks away. 

I encourage you to take the challenge with your pets too, see below for a great deal to take advantage of while doing so. 

Give your pet the high-quality ingredients that help them reach their lifelong potential! With Purina ONE®, you could see visible differences in just 28 days–like strong teeth, vibrant energy, sparkling eyes, and a radiant coat. Make the switch today and save $3 on Purina ONE® when you register for the 28-Day Challenge at What differences will you see? Visit your local Walmart to redeem your offer and realize your pet’s potential. 

Save $3 on one (1) 2.8-lb. or larger bag of Purina ONE® SmartBlend® dry dog food, any variety, or 2.8-lb. or larger bag of Purina ONE® dry cat food, any variety. Limit one per individual, household or e-mail address. While supplies last.

5 Steps to a More Energetic & Happier You

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

Nothing ruins a beautiful day more than the discomfort that comes with being irregular, which is something that I have struggled with as far back as I can remember.  The bloating, the lack of energy, that feeling of always being full and being almost scared to eat because of the discomfort that you know it will bring. Suffering from irregularity is difficult and it can take such a toll on our everyday lives. 

Today I am going to share five things that have really made a difference in how I feel every single day, highlighting Metamucil Pro Blend available only at Walmart, which you can shop for by clicking the photo above.   

Metamucil has been a part of my life ever since I was in my late teens, this is the product that my mom purchased to not just help me with my digestive issues, but for herself too. She used Metamucil for its many benefits, which include:

  • CONTROL YOUR APPETITE. The natural psyllium fiber in Metamucil helps curb your appetite so you feel less hungry between meals*
  • PROMOTE HEART HEALTH. Taking Metamucil every day helps you maintain healthy blood sugar levels* and helps lower cholesterol
  • 100% NATURAL PSYLLIUM FIBER. Metamucil is the only leading brand that contains naturally sourced psyllium fiber^ that helps promote digestive health and regularity*
  • FEEL WHAT LIGHTER FEELS LIKE. Metamucil traps and removes the waste that weighs you down so you feel lighter and less sluggish*

These days I incorporate Metamucil Premium Blend into my days by ensuring it's one of the first things I enjoy each morning. 

Incorporate Metamucil Premium Blend Into Your Day (NEW and ONLY at Walmart)

Metamucil Premium Blend has NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS OR COLORS. Metamucil Premium Blend is sweetened with plant-based Stevia and contains natural flavors and colors, which makes taking it as part of my daily routine even easier. Whether I make myself a breakfast smoothie with Metamucil Premium Blend as part of the recipe or just enjoy it an an 8oz glass of water, I like knowing that it is sweetened with plant-based stevia and made with natural flavors and colors. 

I don't miss taking my Metamucil Premium Blend, even if it's on-the-go. As with any dietary supplement, please remember to take Metamucil Premium Blend as directed. 


Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day and sets your entire day to a much better start. For years, I lived on coffee only in the mornings and not only is that super unhealthy, I was jittery and angry by the middle of the day and completely out of energy. 

Now, even on my busiest morning I make time for a quick breakfast. It can be something as easy as a yogurt parfait that I can enjoy on the morning commute. Something as that very enjoyable and light parfait will keep me going until midday without feeling the need to find the nearest fast food joint and will make my morning so much more pleasant. Plus eating regular meals is another way to encourage your body to stay regular. 

Amp Your Water Intake

I talk about the challenges of drinking water a lot, and that's because it is still a challenge for me. Even now as I am mom to a 12 year old whose preferred drink of choice is water and while having a fridge full of water, I have such a hard time getting the recommended amount down each day. 

But drinking water is so good for you, in so many ways! Not only does drinking water help you stay regular but it's so good for your skin, especially someone with dry, dehydrated skin like my own.The benefits of drinking water are so great that it's the first step I suggest taking to anyone who just wants to feel better overall.  

Incorporate Activity Into Your Day

I am not a huge fan of gyms of harsh physical exercise, it's just not something that fits into my lifestyle nor something that I enjoy. However, I do love getting out with the family at least a few times a week for a bit of activity together. We can go to the park and take a brisk walk around a few times as we chat about our days, or we will go to the pier and enjoy a beautiful sundown and we walk along the length of it a few times. 

Getting active as a family is for me the best way to get active, and I love these evenings so much. And because I took my glass of Metamucil each morning, I know I won't be suffering any emergencies or discomfort to ruin our outing. 

Take Time To Wind Down

We tend to forget how much our busy lives affect our well-being, including our digestion. The everyday quick lunches or skipping of meals and junk eating can take such a toll on our overall wellness. It's no wonder that there are days that our digestive systems go completely bonkers.

Taking time each day to wind down and relax is another small step that makes such a large impact on our everyday lives. Even if and especially if you're having "one of those days", I highly suggest taking some downtime. You will see what a difference even something as small as a 15-minute break can make. 

Feeling sluggish, uncomfortable and completely out of sorts with my own body is not something I have to deal with these days, not know that I know that I can incorporate steps into my day that help me battle digestive issues. 

I invite you to participate in the 2 week Metamucil Challenge, so that you too can experience that feeling of a lighter, more energy filled self. 

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Movie Night

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

Today we're sharing our love for the animated movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and showing you how easy it is to whip up the perfect snack, inspired by the movie, for a family movie night at home. Shop the post by clicking the photo above which will take you directly to the products.

After watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in theatre, we've all been super excited for the release of the DVD and Blu-ray, especially the kiddos. We found out it was releasing on 3/19 and made plans to pick it up immediately at Walmart so the kids could have their long-awaited movie night.

Luckily, Walmart is a one-stop shop and while we were there picking up our copy of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse DVD and Blu-ray, we decided to pick up a few goodies to create a snack for the kids to enjoy during the movie night.

To moms who believe everything is better when the family is together, Honey Bunches of Oats® is ideal for bringing your bunch together because it has the wholesome nutrition you want and the yummy honey taste they love. Honey Bunches of Oats® with Strawberry features large pieces of strawberries that add so much flavor to an already delicious cereal.

Honeycomb® is a modern-day classic cereal and now is perfect for snacking. Honeycomb® reminds me of my childhood and I want to create similar memories with my daughter and grandkids. Plus cereal is such an easy way to go when looking to create a quick snack or just looking to enjoy a quick meal. Who doesn't love a quick bowl of cereal with the kids right before bed?

This is our take on a quick and yummy Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse inspired snack featuring Honey Bunches of Oats®, a super-easy snack that you can prepare in mere minutes.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Trail Mix

2 cups Honey Bunches of Oats® with Strawberry
1/2 cup of red and blue gummies
1/2 cup of granola

Just mix and serve!

If you haven't watched Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with the family, I highly recommend picking it up. Our entire family loved it and the kids want to watch it over and over again now that they have their own copy, including in Digital so they can watch on their devices too.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask. Spider-Man into the Spider-verse won the Academy Award for best animated feature.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is such a great movie, the kids had a blast putting together their own snack and then sitting down to enjoy the movie.

It's easy to have a family Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Movie Night by making a quick trip to Walmart for the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse DVD and Blu-ray, Honey Bunches of Oats® with Strawberry and Honeycomb® cereals!