Sammy Makes Six
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Valentine's Day Dinner for Two Made Easy

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Mirum Shopper. All opinions are my own.


When was the last time that you enjoyed date night with your significant other? I can't remember the last time we had one. With life as busy as it is date night gets put on the back burner and it can literally take weeks for us to have an evening free where we can actually plan for an honest to goodness night out. Not good enough when you're trying to maintain a solid relationship.

That's why today I am excited to share an idea that will make that elusive extra time with your partner happen this Valentine's Day, without even having to leave home. We can't all get a night off from kids and responsibilities, but we all have to eat dinner and a great way to get extra time with our partner is to plan a dinner for two. And don't worry - this isn't going to make dinner even harder to plan and cook because we will be preparing the NEW Knorr One Skillet Meals which are so easy to prepare. 

Simply feed the kids first and get them off to bed and you know have the time to cook a great meal together as a couple. Let me show you how easy it is to shop and cook for the few ingredients you will need to enjoy a delicious Lemon Chicken with Barley dinner for two. 



Find Knorr One Skillet Meals at Ralph's by the Knorr Sides products, not by the spices. I picked up a few flavors to try out but immediately knew I wanted to try the Lemon Chicken. The only other ingredients I needed to pick up for the recipe were: chicken breast, carrots and spinach. 

A range of delicious meal starters featuring grains like barley, farro, quinoa & whole couscous. Just add Chicken, Beef or even Shrimp and fresh vegetables to create a satisfying main dish that is full of flavor. Perfectly seasoned with herbs and spices, with no artificial flavors or colors from artificial sources, Knorr helps you turn some wholesome new ingredients into tasty meals you can feel good about eating. Knorr One Skillet Meals contain only responsibly sourced, organic grains and whole wheat couscous.




Save $1.00 on one (1) One Skillet Meal via the general gallery online on Kroger.com. Offer is valid from 2/1-2/28.


My favorite part about these meal starter packets is that it really is easy to create a delicious from-scratch meal, without a lot of grunt work. I am not someone who is great at cooking nor do I love being in the kitchen for hours - I prefer my meals to be quick and easy to make. But Knorr One Skillet Meals deliver a beautiful and declicious recipe that will make you both feel like you slaved at the stove for hours - when all you actually had to do was cut carrots, cube some chicken and put all of the ingredients together in a skillet. 

Now let's get the meal started and done so you can see how easy it is to prepare!


Each packet of Knorr One Skillet Meals has the recipe and instructions clearly described on the packet so there is no guess work. 



As you can see you will need hours to prepare this meal, that's why it's the perfect Valentine's Day dinner idea or date-night-in dinner option. Because it's so easy to prepare and cook one of these meals - you can turn on some music, pour some wine and just enjoy that extra time together as a couple, while Knorr does most of the work for you. 


This is how easy it is to enjoy a delicious dinner for that you made together from scratch. 



Find NEW Knorr One Skillet Meals at Ralph's and take advantage of the Save $1.00 on one (1) One Skillet Meal promotion to save some cash. 

Money Saving Tips For Large Families

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

This week I was thinking back to how different it was when I had my first daughter to when I had my last. Just like most parents I was very much of the mindset that my first child should have it all. Back then I gave little thought to how much I spent on my oldest daughters clothes, shoes, gear, even her diapers. I had one kid so I didn't really stress a budget or think that I should look for better ways to spend my money.

As my family grew from one kid to four I had to change my way of thinking, especially because the budget got tighter with each child. By the time I had Sammy (she is my 5th) I had to learn to be a master of stretching the money as far as I could. Women are actually pretty masterful at the art of budget stretching, and I like to think that I am pretty good at getting the most bang for my hard earned dollar. 

These are just a few of the ways that I, as mom of 5 and grandmother of 6, have learned to save money on the small things so we can enjoy the big things in life. 

DIAPERS

One of the really biggest expenses when it comes to parenting are the diaper years. I had 4 kids back-to-back so no one knows more than I do what it's like to have to spend so much money on diapers. I remember clipping coupons, buying in bulk, and still wishing I could save some more money on each box of my girls premium diapers. 


When Sammy was born I tested Parent’s Choice from Walmart a few times, at first hesitantly because even though I was looking for a better price, I wasn't willing to give up having a good diaper for my baby. Not only did I need the same leak protection that the more expensive brands offered, I needed Sammy, who has always been more of a delicate child, to be comfortable and happy in her diaper. But from the get-go Parent’s Choice Diapers performed up to the task and I never looked back. Parent’s Choice brand diapers got us through her baby years for a fraction of the cost of brand name diapers.

Now you can also find Parent’s Choice Premium Diapers, at select locations, for even more high-quality features:
  • A time-to-change indicator that lets you know when it is time to change your baby's diaper.
  • Soft and stretchy all around the waist with our unique tab-on-tab fastening to perfectly fit your little one, and more.
  • Dermatologically tested, lotion-free and ideal for babies in their first stage.
  • Made with Walmart’s 360 Pro Skin technology and designed with your baby's ultimate comfort and skin care in mind.


While I no longer have to buy diapers for Sammy or even the grandkids, Paren't Choice is still a brand that I go back to pretty often for toddler items. And if there is a new baby in the family, I will always gladly pick up a box of Stage 1's for them along with some Parent’s Choice Baby Wipes.

If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, check out the entire Parent’s Choice range. With a line of more than 275 products, Parent’s Choice has everything you need, from bedding to diapers, wipes and more.


CLOTHES

Hand-me-downs: Clothes is another area where you can find yourself spending big money for kids. One of the pros of having a large family, and I don't just meant siblings, is hand-me-downs. I have 3 grandsons that are close in age (6, 5 and 4) so we've been able to pass  down everything from jackets, backpacks and even shoes that were gently used. 

Right now in fact Julius who is 5 and in Pre-K is actually wearing Sammy's old school sweatshirt, and she is 10. So if you have gender neutral items, you can pass them along to all the kids. Kids grow so fast that a lot of clothes and shoes are still in great condition by the time they grow out of them. 

Shop sales and look for deals: Right now there are so many ways to score a good deal on almost everything you buy. I love shopping online and using cash back sites to earn back a portion of what I spend. I also love to hunt down a promo code and never, ever pay for shipping. 

I also love the convenience of shopping online from the comfort of my bed. FYI: Life is busy so if you can't get to your local Walmart, have Parent’s Choice Premium Diapers shipped to your door for free.



Parenting is expensive and with a family as big as mine you can bet I still spend a lot more than I would like to. But there are so many easy ways to really stretch that cash and save on the smaller things so you can get out there and enjoy the bigger things in life. 

I'd rather save the difference from a box of expensive diapers versus Parent’s Choice Premium Diapers for our next getaway in April. Why would I want to spend more money on something when I can getting the same quality for less?

How To Make the Perfect Icy Beverage

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #MakeIcyMagic #CollectiveBias

As you know our family loves a good road trip and there is no better friend to a road tripper than the gas station market. Getting out of the car after hours on the road to pick up a few snacks and beverages really is one of the best parts about any road trip, especially when you can make your Coca-Cola into the perfect icy drink. 


If you love Coca-Cola brand drinks as much as we do then you're in for a treat because I am going to show you how you can take that regular bottle of Coca-Cola, POWERADE® or Sprite® and turn it into an icy masterpiece by using the Arctic Coke machine inside Chevron Stations. (select locations)


Using the Arctic Coke cooler:

1) Choose the Coca-Cola beverage of your choice
2) Slowly tilt the beverage upside-down, the right side up
3) Place beverage on the platform
4) Press the button and watch the Icy Magic happen 


The Arctic Coke cooler keeps the air just below freezing, keeping each bottle inside at the perfect temperature, so with the simple press of a button you can enjoy an icy version of your favorite Coca-Cola beverage. The neat part is how you can see the transformation from liquid to ice happen before your eyes, we were so excited we had to make a few extra. 


Doesn't this Coca-Cola look absolutely perfect! I swear, it tasted even better than a regular Coca-Cola, the icy pieces of ice making it such a nice treat. Living in Socal we enjoy icy style beverages all the time which means I can come back to Chevron Station to enjoy another Arctic Coke Coca-Cola next time I am passing by. They're so good, I def recommend finding an Arctic Coke in your area and making your own icy beverage.


Find out how the folks over at Coca-Cola made the Arctic Coke Cooler come to life by watching this video. And don't forget to stop by Chevron to make your own icy Coca-Cola!

Christmas 2017




Easy Mac & Cheese for Pizza Night

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #GrabSomeCheer #CollectiveBias

I love making dinner time easy, especially during the holiday season. That's why I always make sure to stock up on family favorites that can make preparing dinner easy for me on those really busy days. I also love taking advantage of a good deal. We go to the movies a few times a month, which can get pricey so when I saw the Fandango deal at Albertsons, I had to scoop it up. Because the products included in the deal are items I already buy for the family, it was easy enough for both my daughter and I to take advantage of it. 


Get $5 towards a movie ticket, with $10 purchase of participating products in one transaction. Shoppers will receive a code on the Catalina receipt and will be directed to the Fandango site to redeem the movie ticket reward. See offer details. Offer End Date: 12/31/17

The holiday themed Coca-Cola™ glass bottles are one of my favorite things about the holidays. I actually love taking these little boxes to friends and family, especially when I can get them for only $3.99!

Gold Peak® Sweet Tea is a favorite of mine that I always have in the fridge. This is my all day drink and pairs well with just about any lunch or dinner. 

Red Baron Pizza is always an easy way to get the family fed. All I have to do to make a complete dinner is fix up a quick side, and voila, dinner is ready. 


One of our favorites on pizza night is a very cheesy Mac & Cheese that includes Cotija Cheese (a very flavorful Mexican cheese) that gives this dish an extra kick of flavor. If you have 30 minutes, you can quickly whip this up and give the fam something warm and hearty to go with their Red Baron Pizza.



Easy Easy Mac & Cheese con Cotija
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups of shredded cheese mix (we used Monterrey Jack & Cotija)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Bring a pot of how water to boil adding salt and pasta
While pasta is cooking add butter to large pan or skillet and melt
Add flour to butter and stir for about 2 minutes
Add milk, salt and pepper to mixture and mix vigorously with wisk
Cook for 5-6 minutes until mixture thickens
Add cheese mixture and again, stir until it's smooth and melted. Remove from heat.
Once pasta is done drain and add to mixture
Pour mixture into a baking safe dish for 20-25 minutes or until browned


Top with Cotija cheese crumbles, a little bit of chopped parsley and if you want an added kick of spice you can also add a sprinkling of chopped serrano chile. We opted out on the chili because of the children. 


This quick meal at home that includes this hearty and warm mac & cheese is the perfect way to enjoy a good meal without having to spend hours at the stove or on cleanup. We can instead enjoy our meal as we watch a holiday movie or catch up on each others day.


I will take a slice of Red Baron Supreme and a nice bowl of that Mac & Cheese!


Dinner is done - time to eat and enjoy time with the family.


It's time to stock up on your Coca-Cola favorites at Albertsons while also grabbing the Fandango deal for your next family night out at the movies.