Monday, March 23, 2015

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cupcakes #snacktalk #ad #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #snacktalk #CollectiveBias
It's that time of year when everyone is celebrating the big basketball event and looking for a fun snack to take to a game day party. These Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cupcakes, made with REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups and REESE'S Pieces are a fun and unique treat to serve friends---party day or not! When you're pressed for time, here's a simple way of making game time extra special. Since they're done in stages, you can do a little at a time and finish up just before time to serve.

A couple weeks ago, a few of the kids and I shopped Walmart for some REESE'S candy for the recipe. They thought it was pretty awesome that mom was doing a recipe that needed two kinds of candy---but were a little put out with me that I wouldn't tell them what it was. 

These ice cream cupcakes really have no cake at all---just ice cream, candy, and whipped topping. Your guests will be surprised by the peanut butter cup at the bottom---just like my kids were when I served them after dinner tonight!

The ingredient list includes a container of chocolate ice cream, whipped topping, Hershey's chocolate syrup, REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups, and REESE'S Pieces.

Start off by placing one peanut butter cup inside each of 12 cupcake liners inside a muffin tin. It's best to use a foil liner with a parchment insert so nothing leaks through when you add the softened ice cream. Tip: if you'll be serving these to young kids, use a butter knife to cut the peanut butter cups into a few pieces inside the liners. It will make it easier for them to eat the freezer-hardened candy.

Next place a scoop of softened ice cream inside each liner and spread it around with the back of a spoon. Your ice cream should be soft enough that some can run down in between the peanut butter cup and the liner. Don't worry about making it pretty...you'll do pretty later. Place the tin in the freezer and let it harden for at least an hour.

After the ice cream has hardened at least an hour, pipe the whipped topping onto the tops of the cupcakes and freeze again for at least an hour.

Once you are ready to serve, sprinkle the tops with chopped REESE'S Pieces and drizzle on some Hershey's syrup. Serve these to be eaten with a spoon, straight from the liner. Delicious!

Look at these handsome dudes! I went in their room this afternoon to see if they wanted to help me with photos and they were all dressed up. Apparently, they wanted to surprise me by dressing nicely for dinner. So sweet! I felt badly that I ruined their surprise---but not badly enough to give them their cupcakes early. They only got to stand here and model this one for a minute before it went back into the freezer for dessert time!

Do you have a great idea for a game day snack? Check out the REESE'S Snack Talk Challenge and enter to win a chance to be nationally recognized on CBS and Walmart.com. Enter to win at reesessnacktalk.com and visit your local Walmart to find a display with all the REESE'S products you'll need to make your excellent basketball game day recipe. Be sure to share your recipe on Twitter and Instagram using hashtags #SnackTalk and #ChallengeEntry.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cupcakes

12 REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped
4-5 cups chocolate ice cream, softened
12 oz. whipped topping
1 cup REESE'S Pieces, chopped
1 cup Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

Place one peanut butter cup in each of 12 parchment-lined foil cupcake liners and set inside a muffin tin. Place one scoop of chocolate ice cream into each liner and smooth down with the back of a spoon. Freeze at least one hour. Remove from freezer and pipe whipped topping on top of each cupcake. Freeze at least one more hour. Remove from freezer and sprinkle with chopped REESE'S Pieces. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and serve with a spoon.

Don't forget to enter your great REESE'S recipes into the REESE'S Snack Talk Challenge and, if you like my recipe, please pin it to share with your friends!

A Little Much-Deserved Pampering with Softsoap Fresh & Glow #FreshAndGlow #ad #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FreshAndGlow #CollectiveBias
It's been cold and rainy long enough and today I'm celebrating the fresh, glowing sunshine by taking photos outside by my newly-bloomed shrub. After today, we're supposed to have rain for a couple days and then more cold---even snow! Does the cold weather make your skin dry and itchy? It sure does for me. That's why I'm really excited about trying out these new body washes from Softsoap

One of my favorite things to spoil myself and give myself a little pick-me-up has always been to buy a gift bag of skin care products, a bath pouf, cozy socks, and a new book. (Ok, so there's usually some chocolate thrown in there too...) I've done it since high school and it's always so comforting to relax with all my fun, new things and enjoy an evening of pampering. 

That night of indulgence is tonight! This last week has been unimaginably crazy! In fact, the week actually started out with something wonderful that was also meant to be a pampering evening---my first monthly book club. Seven friends and I met at my home for a dinner and book discussion night. Here's a photo of the little centerpiece I put together for our dinner table. It was a wonderful night---and boy, am I glad I had it---because the week just got crazy after that! Between sickness in the kids and myself, a homeschool co-op day, ballet recitals and performance, and some unanticipated medical issues, I am wiped out and ready to relax!

I found these two Softsoap Fresh & Glow body washes at Walmart. You can find them in the soap and body wash aisle, as well as on special end caps near the hair and skin care sections.

I'm really excited about both types. This one is the exfoliating fruit polish. It uses 100% real fruit extracts from apricot seeds, orange, and kiwi to bring you smooth and glowing skin. I love using exfoliating products because they really help get rid of the dry flakiness that makes my skin look dull. It makes me feel cleaner when my skin is soft and smooth and the fruity smell is refreshing.

This is the hydrating shower cream and it also contains 100% real extracts of milk protein, almond, and coconut. This body wash, formulated to give you soft and radiant skin, is like the comfort food of skin care products. The smell of this one reminds me of the suntan lotion my mom wore when I was little. I can totally see myself using this before snuggling into bed with my book for the night. 

Wow, now that I've written all that out, I'm even more excited to spend a comfortable evening on myself! This is goona be great! What do you do to pamper yourself after a rough day? Let me know in the comments below.

RO*TEL Coupon for Walmart #JustAddRotel #ad #cbias

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

Check out this great savings on RO*TEL at Walmart! I use RO*TEL in lots of our meals---in fact, I've used it twice this week, both in Irish Stew and in Taco Soup. When we moved to the South, I quickly realized RO*TEL was a staple in many dishes---I mean, who can resist RO*TEL cheese dip? Yum!

Are you creating a snacking spread for the Big Tournament? Looking for ways to flavor game day and save money at the same time? #JustAddRotel is the perfect way to spice up your favorite recipes. From guacamole to pot roast sliders, adding a can of RO*TEL makes a traditional game day recipe into something extraordinary. When you click this link http://cbi.as/4wqx, you can print a Walmart coupon to buy 3 cans of RO*TEL and get 1 can free!

Hurry! This coupon expires on April 6th and is only available while supplies last!

Be sure to look for RO*TEL in either the pasta or Hispanic food aisle in Walmart!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

5 Tips for Healthy Skin in Your 30s #HeartYourSkin #ad #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HeartYourSkin #CollectiveBias
 I've always taken skin care for granted. My teens and twenties were spent thinking that I'm young and don't need to worry about it. The truth is, that had I taken better care of my skin in my 20s, I wouldn't be regretting my ignorance in my 30s! There are lots of things we can do to give ourselves healthier skin, but here are five basic tips for healthy skin that are easy for most anyone. 

In addition to the other ideas I'm sharing here, I'm especially looking forward to incorporating products from the NO-AD line. NO-AD skin care products are multi-function beauty products that have a great  blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and SPF 15 broad spectrum protection to help achieve beautiful skin. They protect skin over the entire body---not just the face---and help prevent photoaging (sun damage to the skin). 

The NO-AD Anti-Aging Body Moisturizers are new products located in the skin care section at Walmart. Make sure to check this store list and then pick up a coupon here for $2.00 off any one  NO-AD Anti-Aging Body Moisturizer Pump Lotion or Spray Lotion. You'll only be able to grab the coupons if you have a local store carrying the product.

One thing that really helps my skin take on a healthy glow is by eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Jamie has just started juicing and I am thinking about joining him. What a great way to get a good dose of all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and more that our bodies need for beautiful, healthy skin.

Secondly, I think there's no better way to cleanse the body of harmful toxins that dull and age our skin than by drinking lots of water. Sometimes I like to infuse lemons, strawberries, cucumbers, and more into my ice water to make it more tasty and to make sure I drink lots!

The third basic healthy skin tip is to get enough sleep. Why am I showing books here? Well, because they can either help or hurt your sleeping patterns. If you're like me and like to spend all your free time with your nose in a novel, you might need to set yourself some limits on nighttime reading so you can get adequate sleep. On the other hand, if you have a difficult time falling asleep, a book (especially a boring one---if such a thing exists) can make those eyelids heavy and help you nod off.

A fourth step to take is to find a good moisturizer and apply it daily. The NO-AD skin care line can help give you a bright, healthy glow and at its super affordable price, you can use it every day. There are two formulas: Prevent & Brighten and Prevent & Repair. Both come in either a 6.5 oz spray lotion or a 12 oz pump lotion.

Finally, I can not emphasize enough the importance of wearing something with an SPF daily. Sun damage can occur even on cloudy days so it's good to just get in the habit of wearing an SPF lotion every day. These NO-AD products also have an SPF of 15, so I feel very comfortable wearing them on my sunburn-prone skin. 

What are some things you do to take care of your skin? I'd love to read your tips in the comments below! For more info, visit No-Ad on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sweet Onion Pot Roast ~ A Simple Slow Cooker Recipe & Campbell's Coupon #WeekNightHero #Ad #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WeekNightHero #CollectiveBias
When our family first moved to Arkansas last year, I started a new tradition of making a Sunday dinner in the slow cooker to enjoy after church---and a cake to enjoy after that. The cake tradition didn't stick around very long---but the dinner one has. One of our favorite Sunday dinners is slow cooker pot roast. In fact, we love it so much that it's become a weeknight favorite, as well. 

I've always loved my method of preparing this roast. With only four ingredients, it comes together quickly and is cost-effective for our large family. However, last week I discovered Campbell's Soups for Easy Cooking---and now my easy recipe has become even easier. By making the switch from my usual Cream of Mushroom soup and onion soup mix combo to the new Sweet Onion flavor of Campbell's Soups for Easy Cooking, I'm saving money, as well as an extra step.

Campbell's Soups for Easy Cooking are found at Walmart near all the soup I normally purchase. There are four varieties: Savory Portobello Mushroom, Creamy Herb & Garlic with Chicken Stock, Sweet Onion, and Mexican Style Tomato. These come in sealed, 14.5 oz. cartons, rather than cans. Here's a $.75 coupon you can use to try them out.

I love it that I could reinvent my regular pot roast recipe and save a step by incorporating the Sweet Onion soup instead of my normal can of cream soup and packet of soup mix. The roast had the same savory flavor we love and the meal came together quicker than normal. This is a meal that you can prepare for the slow cooker in less than 10 minutes and let cook all day for a hearty and delicious home-cooked dinner in the evening.

After I sprayed the crock with oil, I set the roast in the bottom and arranged sliced onions all over the top. Then I poured in two cartons of Sweet Onion.

The soup is similar to the cream soup texture that I'm used to and has the same savory onion flavor that I got when I mixed the cream soup with the onion soup mix. 

 After cooking it on low for 8-10 hours, I was greeted with a beautiful roast topped with deliciously flavored onions. I like to serve the gravy from the pot over potatoes, along with a vegetable side and slice of bread. 
For our family, I usually make two roasts so there will be leftovers and lots of gravy. I can freeze the leftovers and serve them over rice the following week for a second quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Sweet Onion Pot Roast
3-4 lb. beef chuck roast
1 large onion
2 containers Sweet Onion Campbell's Soups for Easy Cooking

Spray a large slow cooker crock with oil and place the meat inside. Slice the onion and arrange on top. Pour both containers of soup on top of the onions. Cook on low 8-10 hours or on high 4-5 hours. 

Are you ready to make your own weekend meal on a weeknight schedule? Try reinventing one of your family favorites using Campbell's Soups for Easy Cooking. I'd love to hear about which ones you'll try out! To make it even easier, don't forget to use your $.75 coupon. Coupon launches on 3/13 and is valid for one month.

For more info, visit Campbell's on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Saving Money for England with Walmart Family Mobile #MarchIntoSavings #Ad #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MarchIntoSavings #CollectiveBias
In September 2013, I took a most amazing trip to England. I toured lots of Austenish sites and visited the beautiful cities of Bath, Winchester, and London. This fall, I'm going back and taking Lynzie with me. As you can imagine, this is going to be one spendy vacation. One of the ways I'm saving for it is by cutting costs in our family budget. Lucky for me, Walmart is all about the green this St. Patrick's Day with a great solution to a problem I inadvertently created with all my cost-cutting!

I cancelled our cell phone plans a few months ago, saving us over $200 each month. However, we were then faced with a dilemma. Jamie commutes to work each day and also works on-call shifts periodically. Communication during these times is very difficult without a mobile phone. He also used his phone for keeping track of important meetings and contacts and has been struggling to find a new organizational system that feels comfortable to him.

When I found out about the Walmart Family Mobile plan, I knew it was the perfect solution for us. 
Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/aafid or your local Walmart for current pricing.

I chose the Alcatel Evolve 2, on rollback for $39.83 (was $59.88). In addition to the phone, I needed this $25.00 starter kit---located right next to the phones.

It's easy to get started using your phone. Once you've chosen your phone, make sure to grab a starter kit for each line of service. Then, either take the phone and starter kit to the counter to activate in-store, or purchase and bring home to activate on-line or by phone.

The Walmart Family Mobile service plan costs $29.88 per month for the first line with discounts for additional lines on the same plan. You get unlimited talk, text & data, including up to 500MB of 4G LTE data.

Jamie is thrilled with our new phone and I'm glad we can solve our problem at a price that is manageable. Now, back to planning for England. I wonder if he's got anything great in the garage I can sell...?

Cool Ranch Avocado Lime Dip for Tacos and Taquitos #DelimexFiesta #ad #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DelimexFiesta #CollectiveBias
It's basketball season and warm weather has arrived just in time! Our family is having a great time getting together with friends to shoot hoops and enjoy delicious snacks and fellowship. One of our favorite snacks is the taquitos and rolled tacos from Delimex. They cook up quick and taste great---especially with the Cool Ranch Avocado Lime Dip I mixed up this week. It was the first time we'd tried the dip with our favorite Mexican lunch food and it became an instant favorite.

This dip has just the right amount of zesty and tangy and goes excellent with the many frozen products Delimex offers, like taquitos, rolled tacos, and tamales. In addition, the dip is really nutritious---especially when made with homemade ranch dressing.

The kids love to have taquitos and rolled tacos for lunch and they're great for a game day snack table. We're keeping them in mind for the next birthday party as several of the kids have mentioned having a Mexican Fiesta for their birthday celebration.
We found our Delimex products at Walmart in a center aisle freezer case. We chose Chicken Taquitos and Beef & Cheddar Rolled Tacos. 

Make sure to grab a coupon for $1 off on any TWO (2) Delimex® Frozen Taquito products (Excluding Fruit Taquito Products) at Walmart.  (Coupon valid through 4/7/2015)

My Cool Ranch Avocado Lime Dip comes together in minutes and features a handful of fresh, nutritious ingredients. I like to use homemade ranch dressing so I know what's in it.

To remove the insides of the avocado with less mess, I cut off one end and run a spoon around the inside to dig out the flesh.

I like to use this fine grater to zest my limes---it's great for chocolate too! (But not in the dip...yuck.)

To chop up the parsley, I lay it on a cutting board and whack it quickly with a knife. Slow slicing makes a mess everywhere but a quick "tv chef" whacking does the job nicely.

Once all my ingredients are prepared, I mash them all together in a bowl and chill the dip until it's time to enjoy it. So easy---and super yummy!

Cool Ranch Avocado Lime Dip
1 c. ranch dressing
1 avocado, mashed
1 TB. cilantro
1 tsp. lime zest

Mix everything together well and chill until ready to serve.

Ready to try out this great dip with some Delimex snacks? Don't forget the coupon for $1 off on any TWO (2) Delimex® Frozen Taquito products.  Also, check out the further shenanigans of #TaquitoBoy in this short Instagram video. Here's part one, if you missed that last summer.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cherry Coke #FinalFourPack #Ad #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FinalFourPack #CollectiveBias Coca-Cola is a corporate champion of the NCAA®. 
It's NCAA® March Madness time and these basketball fans have a blast hanging out and shooting hoops together. They try to get together at least once a week---this photo is from our homeschool co-op day yesterday. The teens always get a chance to play a little ball and chat before we get started with our classes.

A few days ago, Lynzie and I picked up some Coca Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs available at Walmart. We found a large display near the soda aisle with these great basketball-themed cans. Our local store in Jane, MO has the special Coca-Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs for $1.25 each, so we grabbed two Vanilla Coke (Lynzie's favorite), one Cherry Coke and one Coke Zero. I had a couple of recipe ideas I wanted to use them for, and we thought we'd take a few to share at our homeschool co-op later in the week.

Everything (well almost everything) is better when it's shared, so Michael passed out Cokes to his basketball buddies, Devante and Larenz. What better way to make friends than to hand them a cold drink, right?

The night before, I tried out one of my recipe ideas: Barbeque Pulled Pork. We have this often, but this time I changed it up by using a can of Cherry Coke in the mix. I cooked it all day in the slow cooker and it was so moist and tender when Jamie came home from work. I toasted the homemade buns and added cheese to the sandwiches for a hearty sandwich---just the right thing for a guy who has been working all day. 

In addition to the sandwich, he was super excited to snag to a Vanilla Coke. The good stuff goes fast around here and sometimes Dad is the last to know when there is (or has been) a treat in the house!

This pulled pork is super easy to make. It goes together in minutes in a slow cooker and cooks all day for a perfect dinner or game time meal. It would also be great on smaller slider buns for a basketball game day snack. 

Start with a 3-4 lb. boneless pork loin roast, a package of BBQ pulled pork seasoning mix, a can of Cherry Coke, and a half cup of brown sugar if you like a sweeter sauce. Spray the slow cooker with oil and mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.

Set your roast in the pot---cutting to fit, if needed, and pour the sauce over top. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Then pull it apart with two forks and serve on buns. I "toasted" the insides of my homemade buns by buttering them and cooking them, butter-side-down, in my skillet on the stove top (think grilled cheese sandwich). Then I set a slice of cheddar cheese on the toasted bottom bun and let it warm in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melted a bit. The guys and Lynzie really liked them this way.

Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cherry Coke

3-4 lb. boneless pork loin roast
1.6 oz. pkg. BBQ pulled pork seasoning mix
1 can Cherry Coke
1/2 c. brown sugar (optional)
8 slices cheddar cheese (optional)
8 hamburger buns

Spray the slow cooker with oil and mix the seasoning mix, Cherry Coke, and brown sugar together in a bowl. Set the roast in the pot and cover with the sauce mixture. Cook on low, 8-10 hours. Pull meat apart with two forks and stir well to mix all the sauce in. If desired, toast buns and add cheese before placing a large scoop of pork mixture on each bun. Eat with a knife, fork, and lots of napkins!

Are you excited about NCAA® March Madness? Check out the National Coke Zero Final Four Selfie contest. Just upload a selfie with a Coca-Cola product on the site below, and be entered to win 2016 NCAA® Final Four tickets. Then, go on the site to find your selfie and see all of the others!

For more from Coca-Cola, visit them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. For specifics on Coke Zero, visit them on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Coca Cola #FinalFourPack Walmart Sweepstakes - $1,000 in Prizing
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