Friday, December 28, 2012

eMeals -Meal Planning Made Simple

Meal planning can be such a hassle.I can't tell you how many times we have ordered a pizza or eaten out because I didn't have something planned for dinner. I received something in my email that I thought might help me or any of you who have had the same issues.

eMeals, the online leader in meal planning, offers weekly meal plans that offer families a way to save money on their grocery bill. 

eMeals offers over 50 delicious meal plans and corresponding grocery lists every week based on food style preferences, family size and the current sales at selected grocery stores.  Dinner menu plans include classic family meals, low-fat, portion control, low-carb, gluten-free, vegetarian, clean eating, paleo, and the natural and organic plan. For more information, please visit

Now,if you are like me and always seem to be in need of a few new recipe ideas,this could be very helpful. Having the meal idea,grocery list and sales all ready for me in the same place would make me that much more likely to actually make a new meal. This would save me time searching for recipes,writing lists and searching  ads for the best prices. All I would need to do was check the kitchen for the things I already have and go.

Not only would this make life just a little more simple,but it could help me save a little too.I tend to impulse buy or overspend eating out when I could make meals for a few days if I bought smart. Having this already written out for me would mean I would have less of those grab-and-go days.

Who knows,I may even drop a few pounds if I follow more of these home cooked plans instead of so many greasy,calorie laden fast food items I am used to.

*I will receive a trial membership to eMeals as compensation for sharing this post.No other payment was received and all opinions are my own.

My Family Christmas

The first of our gatherings this year was held at our home and consisted of my sisters,mother and grandmother.My middle sister had to work but her boyfriend brought her children so we could still visit with them.

 I mentioned before that I was ordering the dinner,or at least the biggest portion of it.I ended up making a turkey and stuffing,cookies,a Butterfinger cake and pasta salad too. the meal turned out pretty well considering we were all running behind that day. I was still icing cookies when guests started to arrive,my grandmother forgot the deviled eggs and stuffed celery at her house and my sisters family was about an hour late..ugh,what a day.

When we finally settled down to eat, we had 5 of the 6 grandchildren sitting at my kitchen nook.The baby was eating with his daddy in the living room,but they were all there anyway. The older kids love being able to eat whatever they want. Normally they don't have as much freedom,but during the holidays it is always an "eat whatever you want" theme.

We exchanged gifts in a flurry of chaos,so I didn't get too many pictures of that.I did manage to snap a few here and there,but not nearly what I wanted. the older kids got gift cards and money this year so they only had a few gifts to open. The younger ones had a blast ripping through theirs and enjoyed playing with their toys after.

Even with the delays and issues,we all love getting together and spending time as a family.I am really close to my niece and nephews and love being able to see them whenever I can.

Demolish the New Year with SWAT Fuel

With only a few days left before a new year begins,now is the time to get in gear and get things done. From taking down the holiday decorations to preparing for spring,we all have something on our to-do list. The big question is,how long will it stay there?

I tend to be a slow starter. I have good intentions,and usually a well-written plan,but when it comes to actually getting going,I procrastinate like a champ. One of the biggest reasons for me is energy. When I have something that I have to do right away,like getting the kids off to school or paying bills, I have no problem.Once those things are done for the day,however,it seems so much easier to just relax and do nothing than to get started on that list of chores.

I was recently introduced to a product called SWAT Fuel that is supposed to help with this. Designed by Dan Olesnicky M.D.,a SWAT team physician and police officer in Palm Springs, SWAT Fuel is a line of products geared at helping you be all that you can. Designed to meet the needs of military,law enforcement,firefighters and anyone else with the Warrior spirit,these products were born out of a need for a better way to fuel the body.

These specially formulated nutraceuticals are intended to do just that. From the 40 caliber High Speed Multivitamin to the 9mm Thermogenic Fat Burn Formula,even the name says tough. These supplements are formulated to keep you on the move and help you reach your goals by working harder,faster and stronger than before.

In addition to working with each user to meet their goals, SWAT Fuel is an American product. Not only are the products made in the US,but ten percent of profits go to charities benefiting Medical Research,Law Enforcement,EMS,the Military and more. What a great way to give back to others while working towards a better you!

This is not your everyday vitamin. If you are just looking for a dose of calcium or  a little pick-me-up,this is probably not for you. However,if you are looking for supplements to get ripped, fuel your body and help you reach your fitness goals, then visit the site to find out more.

***All opinions on my blog are my own and may not be the same as anyone else..that's why they are mine. This is a sponsored post and I will receive a monetary payment for sharing it with my readers. No other compensation was received and my opinions are not influenced by any form of compensation.

Christmas with the In-laws

Our family has too much going on for the holidays and that always means multiple gatherings and events that we have to participate in.We have members on one side who don't like members on another so we have one for my family and one with my husbands.

This year,as always,we went to my in-laws to exchange gifts and have dinner. I made a cookie plate to take and we grabbed a delicious Edwards Pecan Pie to take too. My mother and father-in-law made a nice ham,potatoes with beef and ham gravy,macaroni and cheese,sweet potatoes,rolls,vegetables and chocolate cake.

The food was good,though a little sweet and everyone got their fill by the end of the day.We had a good time and a nice visit with the kids.

 The kids were excited to open presents,so we did that after eating. The girls received new Lalaloopsy dolls,make-up and craft kits and more.

The boys received books,Batman and Captain America Lego sets,Beyblades and an outdoor ball throwing set.

The darling husband  lucked out with a new light for his truck that has a radio and alarm,a work light with mount and an air compressor. I received a Farberware pan set and beads for the Pandora bracelet

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Butterfinger Cake Recipe

I have had several people ask me about the Butterfinger Cake I always mention in my posts,so I thought I would share it with you.The recipe is simple and you can adjust it to your liking.

You will need

One pudding in the mix cake mix in your favorite chocolate variety (I use chocolate fudge)
One container Cool Whip (any variety is fine but works best with original)
One jar caramel topping (found by the jelly section or the ice cream) I use Hersheys
3 full size or 8-10 snack size Butterfinger candy bars
13x9 inch pan

1.Transfer cake to serving tray or leave in pan if you slice it directly from there when you eat it.You will not want to move it after the next step.

2.Warm the caramel topping, either put the jar in a bowl of hot water,or put in the microwave for a few seconds.You want it to be pourable,but not overly runny.Remove jar,open and stir well.

3,Insert  a skewer or small paring knife into the center of cake.Insert straight down to bottom of pan/dish and pull slightly to the side.Pour a small amount of caramel into the slit until the caramel  reaches the top of the cake.Repeat the process all over the cake .You will want to space out your inserts all over the cake to allow the caramel to soak into as much of the cake as possible.I usually end up with about 20 small slits filled with caramel.this should take about half  the caramel at first.Allow cake to sit for about 15 minutes and pour more caramel into the same slits again.You should have small holes filled with caramel at this point.Use the remaining caramel to pour along the outer edge of pan/cake so that it drizzles down the sides.Put in fridge for about 10 minutes to set.

Spread Cool Whip to taste across top of cake.I like to use the whole tub to give a nice layer,but you can adjust this to your liking if you don't care for too much .Sprinkle the crushed Butterfinger over the Cool Whip Layer to cover entire cake.Slice and serve.

I love this cake.It is inexpensive to make for a BBQ or picnic and easy too.You can vary your cake in many ways by using a different topping-Heath Snickers,and Reeses are good,or you can use chocolate Cool Whip.Try using peanut butter topping instead of caramel with Reeses instead of Butterfinger,or Butterscotch topping and Snickers.Mix it up,any way you go it is a great dessert.My step daughter even asked for this for her birthday next year-well a layered version with white cake instead of chocolate.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Coupons For The Apocalypse

Just thought I would share some deals from my inbox again.Stock up while you can!!

Fighting Zombies all day can be a real headache:
You're gonna want something to do on those long cold nights:
Don't forget the kiddos, they're our only hope at repopulating the earth:
When your husband is out slaying the walking dead, he needs to smell good:
I hear blood stains are hard to get out of clothes:
And you certainly need to wash off the Zombie guts before dinner:
Snacks. Snacks. And More Snacks. Fighting Zombies is hard work!
Keep the putrid smell of Zombies out of your house (or what's left of it):
Fido and Fluffy can defend the homestead while you're scavenging for food:
Leaves and berries can be bland, sweeten them:
If you take to the seas to escape the Zombie herd, you'll need this: 
Doesn't this stuff last forever?
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate:
Where else are you going to store the food you scavenge?!
You do have one of those camp coffee makers right?
And last but not least, you gotta look and smell good in the new world!

I am sharing this as a member of Escalate. No compensation was received.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Almost Ready For Christmas

Christmas is only a week away.That means time is quickly counting down to finish those last details before it gets too late. If you are anything like me,you probably still have something to do. I am just about finished with all my shopping,and all the gifts so far are wrapped and under the tree,but I am not finished yet.

I have a few gifts on the way and I am working on the mix jars,coffee spoons and other items I am making.I plan to finish those in the next couple of days so I have plenty of time to make cookies and candy too. I am not able to do as much as normal,so we ordered our dinner from a local deli and will be picking it up on Saturday.I guess I should say one of our dinners,since we will be having several between us.

My family will arrive Saturday morning.My sisters and their families,mom and grandmother will all be coming for a meal,gifts and cookie exchange.I am making several kinds of treats including peppermint bark,gingerbread,sugar and peppermint cookies,a few varieties of dipped spoons for coffee and hot cocoa, a yummy Butterfinger cake and whatever else I throw together by then.

On Sunday we will go to my husbands parents home for their dinner and gifts before coming back here to finish whatever isn't ready for our own Christmas traditions at home. My youngest son will go to his fathers family for their first Christmas together ever,so he is excited for that.He will come home late on Christmas Eve to spend the rest of the time with us.We normally give the kids a gift the night before and the rest on Christmas morning.We don't cook a dinner ourselves because we have so much left from our various gatherings,but we will have a big breakfast and spend time playing with gifts or planning our day.

Somewhere in there we might find time to go see lights or throw in a visit or two that wasn't mentioned.The kids have school parties and events and my daughter has Girl Scout obligations too so it will be busy for us the new few days.

What about you? Are you all ready for the celebrations or just ready for it to be over? What is still on your list to do before the day arrives?

America,What Have We Become

By now,everyone in the country knows about the people who were killed in the school shootings last week.It seems like everywhere you look it is on the news,Internet or radio. We talk about it and mourn for the losses,but do we really stop and think about what this means for us as a country?

What has our world come to? Even if you are one of the people who don't care about the rest of the world,what has happened to our country? When did we become afraid to be human? When did we transform into a place I am no longer so proud to be from?

I remember being a little girl and not worrying about what lurked around the corner. We played with our friends and never worried that one of them might one day snap. Of course there were jokes about this one or that one being a little off their rocker,but the actuality of it happening never even crossed our minds. We didn't know anyone who had mental issues. Our classrooms weren't guarded and their weren't locked doors to keep out the danger.

I remember watching news about war in other countries and thinking how sad it would be to live in fear,but knowing that wasn't how life was for us. We would see something on the news about a missing child or found body and everyone would look around in shock and horror. When they started putting faces on milk containers and showing "Stranger Danger" videos at school, I,this is getting serious. Little did I know,that one day my children would live in a world where they weren't safe anywhere.

I remember reading about Anne Frank in school and wondering how in the world people could be so sick and twisted. Now,you pick up the paper,or log onto Facebook,and see horror after horror splattered across the screen and all I can think is why? Why do children bully and torture one another until one of them decide life is no longer worth living? Why do we insist on hate and anger when it serves no purpose other than to fuel the fire of ignorance that is rapidly taking over our world? Why is our first thought always that we are glad it didn't happen to us?

America used to be a country where you knew your neighbor would lend a hand with repairing a broken window or keeping an eye on the kids while you ran to the store.American children used to run the streets until well after dark and our mothers didn't bite their nails in worry that we wouldn't come running back home for dinner. Americans used to hold their heads high and be proud of what we were,not ashamed of the things that happen right on our doorsteps every day. Being an American used to mean that you pulled together in tough times and stood tall against all odds,not killed one another in the streets and schools and filled our children full of hatred.

I am proud to be from a country where people have choices. I am grateful to those that have,and continue to give and risk their lives for us to be free. I am happy that I was able to grow up in a world that I can look back on and wish for now...but ...

I am saddened to see the world crumbling around me. I am ashamed to watch our lives go from loving and carefree to watchful and wary. I am bothered that we can allow this and not fight to recover something of what we used to be. I am afraid that our children will not finish growing up the way a child should..happy and loving..caring and content... not looking over their shoulders for the next evil that awaits them.

What have we become?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Old Navy Sample and Share

Are you a member of Crowdtap? Crowdtap is an online network of everyday people where you get points for giving your opinion. If you are like me,you are probably thinking,oh no,not another survey site. Crowdtap isn't a survey site,you only answer one question at a tie.You can share promotions,join in discussions and apply for sample and share opportunities to earn points too.

Recently,I was chosen to participate in the sample an share for sweaters from Old Navy.When I applied,I didn't know I was going to have surgery so soon,and I wasn't able to go myself. I decided to share the provided coupons with my cousin and grandmother so they could visit instead.

They went to to different stores at different times on different days.Both of them were thrilled with the selections available and were excited to get a new sweater for the winter season. They both said customer service was excellent and they had no issues with selecting their new gear,except for deciding which one to get of course!
                               Hers is just like the one on the coupon.Must be a popular selection!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Surgery Update-Check Out My Screws

As you know I had foot surgery about three weeks ago.It has been terribly boring doing nothing but sitting in bed and I am about to go stir crazy.I have had nothing to do but work on my blog,catch up on email and shop.Okay,I will admit that I didn't get much of the first two done,but I did knock quite a few things off my Christmas list while sitting here.You would think it would be a vacation of sorts not being able to walk.I have to have someone bring me everything and don't have to cook or clean.It was nice for the first few days but now I am over it and just want to be out of this bed!

Anyway the point of this post was to show you my screws.My doctor told me I would have 2 big screws,jokingly he said from Home Depot,but I had no idea how big they really were.I feel a bit like a robot with chunks of metal permanently screwed into my bones.

I go back Friday to have the stitches removed and see how it is doing so wish me luck! Maybe I can finally try to walk without the knee walker I have been stuck on for weeks now!

Have You Ever Ordered Christmas Dinner?

For the past few years,since my step-father died,I have been hosting holiday dinners at my home. I can't say this has always been because I wanted to do all the work,but more often because I was able to do it where others weren't. This year,because of my surgery,I will not be able to stand and cook for hours on end. I talked to my mother and grandmother and we decided it would be better to just order a dinner fully cooked from somewhere.

That said,I have no idea where to actually order the meal. I know the grocery stores here make whole meals,although I am not exactly sure what comes with them. Someone mentioned to me that they also do made to order meals at some restaurants like Bob Evans or Golden Corral,but although I eat at both places,I don't know anything about them when it comes to ordering to go.

I guess I will be calling around for dinner details later today to see what I can find for a nice,but not too expensive,family meal.If any of you have done this before,ideas or suggestions are welcome.We have a Kroger and a Carnival Foods here as well as Walmart.There are also Bob Evans,Ponderosa,Golden Corral and KFC options as far as I am told,although the last wouldn't have turkey or ham like we normally have.

I do have a turkey in the freezer,so I am thinking of ordering a ham with the meal and just baking the turkey ans stuffing myself. What do you think? There may be some other option that I am not aware of,so even if you tried somewhere not mentioned,I would still like to know about it!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Trim Your Tree with Kmart

Tomorrow is December 1st.Can you believe that it is almost Christmas already? It seems like I was  shopping for costumes not that long ago,yet it is already time to start decorating for the Holidays.We have some decorations that go up every year like my singing reindeer and Santa village,but one thing that changes from year to year in our house is the tree.My husband prefers a tree that is all different colors with random ornaments and lights everywhere.I prefer a matching tree with two or three colors and everything coordinating.We couldn't find a way to please us both every time,so we just take turns.One year he gets to do the random chaos and the next we do controlled and pretty.

This year I noticed that we could use some new ornaments for the tree.It seems like some get broken every year and I didn't have all the ones I wanted. I figured this was the perfect chance to try the gift card I received to visit the Kmart Christmas Shop, and I was excited to see what I could find.I have been a fan of Kmart for years,so I am familiar with their prices and products.I love to see what they have for each new season,but for some reason have never really shopped there for Christmas decorations.I guess that is probably because I have to drive a longer distance and never have the time.

I was surprised at the variety of items available in the Kmart Christmas Shop.Not only did they have a ton of ornaments to choose from,but they had a variety of other items too.I noticed some great deals on trees,lights,window clings and more,and they were normal prices too,not just sales or clearance items.

From stockings to tinsel,there are many great items at the Kmart Christmas Shop.Be sure to swing by and see for yourself how many fantastic deals there are!

***I received a gift card as a member of Smiley360,no other compensation was received.All opinions on my blog are my own and may not be the same as anyone else..that's why they are mine.