Thursday, February 22, 2018

Make Pizza Night a Success with Rustic Crusts

At the end of the day after taking care of a 3 year old, I don't always have a lot of energy to cook dinner.  On the those nights where my husband works late and I'm exhausted, we look for something quick and easy to make.  My favorite meals are those that pack a lot of taste but don't require a lot of fuss.



Rustic Crusts are here to make your pizza night delicious and fun.  The ready-made crusts are made using traditional, old world baking methods.  They use wonderful all natural ingredients with select herbs and spices, no GMOs, or artificial ingredients.  With unbleached whole grain flours, no trans fats and no added sugar, they are healthy for the whole family to enjoy.  Add your favorite toppings like pepperoni with peppers, or sausage with onion for a crowd-pleasing meal.  Go ahead and get creative too! Don't forget tons of cheese for a pizza night you won't soon forget!

My whole family loves pizza and we eat it on a regular basis.  Scarlett loves regular cheese pizza and will happily gobble it up whenever it's served to her.  Although it's fun to order pizza from takeout or a restaurant, there's nothing like creating your own pizza yourself! I could eat pizza every night if given the opportunity.  If you turn down pizza loaded with flavorful sauce and cheesy goodness, there may be something wrong with you!


Pizza night in my family is usually once a week, but I wish it was daily. Rustic Crusts offers pizza kits featuring 12" crusts with pizza sauce that are large and definitely will make your belly happy.  With crust flavors like crispy Italian, sea salt and basil, and cheesy herb, how can you go wrong? I know the cheesy herb and crispy Italian is right up my alley! 

Since we had 3 crusts, my mom and I shared one while my dad and husband had their own.  I had the crispy Italian with Mozzarella cheese and sausage.  My mom had roasted red peppers on her half.  My dad had Monterrey Jack cheese, sausage, and roasted red peppers on the seasalt and basil crust.  My husband had onions, roasted red peppers, Monterrey Jack cheese, and olives on the cheddar and herb crust.  Each pizza cooked perfectly in just 10 minutes.  When that oven timer rang, my belly was happy!




I've had pre-made crusts before that taste very artificial and lack flavor. Rustic Crusts really surprised me with how fantastic the crusts were.  My sausage and cheese pizza was absolutely delicious. The crust was thick, airy, and flavorful.  It truly tasted like something that was freshly baked at a pizzeria! I was shocked.  There were equal amounts of sausage and cheese in each bite and it was pure perfection.  The sauce had a nice flavor and I really loved it.  Scarlett enjoyed a few bites of sausage and roasted red peppers 

My dad and husband enjoyed their pizza's as well.  They wanted to switch up the Mozzarella cheese for something different and opted for Monterrey Jack.  Both people said it was surprising how delicious the pizza's were for something that was pre-made.  They ate the whole pizza each so it's safe to say that they thought it tasted good! 

I can't wait to have a Rustic Crust pizza night again in the near future.  I think I'll do pepperoni and sausage this time.  I'm so looking forward to it!

If you're looking for a delicious way to ramp up pizza night, Rustic Crusts would love to be the star of the show.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Rustic Crusts for providing me with pizza kits in order to facilitate this review.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

What's on My Travel Bucket List

I've been fortunate enough to have done my fair share of traveling in my time.  I've been up and down the east coast and have visited the Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, and plenty of Caribbean islands.

Since Scarlett's been born, we've curtailed the traveling since it's not as feasible anymore.  In her short 3 year old life, she's been to North Carolina, Florida, Cape Cod, NYC, and several other places.  I'd love to travel with her more as she gets older to see and experience what this world has to offer.

In my lifetime these are the top places I'd like to see:

England:

I've wanted to visit London for as long as I can remember.  Who can resist english accents? I know I can't.  The shopping, tourist attractions, scenery, and plenty of fish and chips have always drew me in.  

Italy:

One word, Italian food.  I'm a huge Italian food lover and would be in pasta heaven if I were to ever visit.  The gorgeous countryside combined with plenty of Prosecco would be a dream.

France:

I know a lot of people who have been to France, but I can't say I have.  The high fashion there ranks high in my book.  I'm all for pain au chocolate any time of day.

Switzerland:

The beautiful swiss mountains combined with endless swiss chocolate, what more could you want?

Hopefully I can give my passport a workout in the coming years.  What cities are you on your bucket list? 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Spending Time With Your Children is Priceless

When I look at an album of baby pictures of Scarlett, it feels like yesterday, but so long ago at the same time.  Like the saying says, the days are long but the years are short.  Scarlett is now 3 years old and growing and changing at a rapid pace.


It doesn't feel like that long ago that I was playing peek-a-boo with her and making her laugh hysterically.  Sometimes it boggles my mind how my tiny 8 lb baby girl grew so fast into an active and opinionated 3 year old! 

I'm fortunate enough that I've been a stay-at-home-mom since day one.  It's been my greatest pleasure to see all of Scarlett's firsts and some of her firsts in present day I'd like to forget! That's for another day though.  Since Scarlett only goes to school three days a week, it's up to me to fill the other two days a week with activities to keep her busy and entertained.  Since I have so many hours with her, I like to get out of the house occasionally to break up the day.  We visit friends, go out to lunch, go shopping or just visit a kid's museum.  Scarlett is always up for a grocery store visit too and requests that we go there daily!

If we do go out, I always enjoy spending as much time as possible with my cutie.  We talk in the car and I get to hear all of her silly antics and questions, and of course we love singing along to the radio too.  It's so important to just talk! Of course sometimes it's fun to pay for an outing like the movies, but being together doesn't always have to be expensive or cost anything!  

In the warmer months of the year, take your child to the playground or the park which costs nothing.  Scarlett loves the swings at the park and she is all smiles when I push her. When we're home, you can find me coloring in a coloring book with Scarlett or doing a puzzle with her.  She loves to build castles or towers with her magnatiles and her finished product is always wildly creative.  Play-doh is also on our daily to-do list and Scarlett uses her imagination to make pretend cookies and pizza.  When I'm feeling like I'm all out of ideas for fun, we turn on some music and just have a dance party.

I think children remember the time spent with their parents one-on-one the most beyond anything else.  It would make me so happy for my daughter to grow up and remember all of the precious time we spent together.  Time passes so fast and children are only young once. Make sure to be together as much as possible!






Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Garden Lite's Superfood Veggie Cakes Will Make You Say Yum!

Like most adults, I don't eat veggies as much as I should.  Scarlett devours vegetables like candy on a daily basis and I wish I had her enthusiasm for them.  It's not that I dislike them, it's just I don't eat them as much as I should weekly.   Some of my favorite vegetables are raw peppers, cucumbers, broccoli and peas.  Broccoli is fabulous when it's roasted which is my ideal method of cooking it.  I think everyone needs a push to eat greens when given the opportunity.



Garden Lites's mission is to transform freshly picked veggies into surprisingly delicious foods. The brand line up includes souffles, baked, muffins and appetizers. You'll be pleased to know that veggies are always the first ingredient of each product.  Each and every Garden Lites product is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, non-GMO and Good House Keeping Nutritionist approved!

If you're interested in incorporating more vegetables in your diet, the Superfood Veggie Cakes would be a wonderful choice.  Normally in my book vegetables and cake don't go hand in hand, but trust me it's not what it sounds like.  These small round yummies are 100 calories each and jam-packed with kale, broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower and brown rice.  They can be made in the toaster oven, oven or microwave to delight your belly. Having a veggie cake as an afternoon snack paired with some almonds or even a cheese stick would be a great way to tide yourself over until dinner.


Scarlett is hands down the vegetable champion in this household.  Her love for peas, broccoli and cucumbers knows no bounds.  It's surprising to me how much she adores her veggies since my friends struggle to get their children to eat them.  I should consider myself lucky, I guess! Scarlett has been known to eat an entire can of peas in one sitting and can consume a raw red bell pepper in minutes!

If your child isn't like mine and doesn't have a natural affinity for veggies, the Superfood Veggie cakes would be a great for them to get many veggies at one meal.  Sometimes children don't like having one vegetable alone like broccoli on their plate and consider it "yucky." With the veggie cakes, they look like a small cake which may intrigue children.  The cake doesn't taste like a plate of vegetables, but the taste is masked by the eggs and brown rice.  I really enjoyed the veggie cake and thought it was delicious!


The veggie cake would be a perfect side dish for a toddler meal as well as an adult meal too.  If you're watching your weight and want to have a dinner that has a lower fat and calorie content, why not pair a piece of salmon with a veggie cake and fruit? Since the cakes are so versatile they can be paired with practically anything you serve them with for lunch or dinner.

I love the fact that the cakes combine so many veggies at once, it really helps you to get your vegetable serving in for the day too. It's safe to say that Garden Lite's Super Veggie Cakes are a hit in my household! Why not try them today?

Find where to purchase Garden Lites Superfood Veggie Cakes at a location near you!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Garden Lites Muffins for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Treat Your Belly to a Garden Lites Muffin!

On occasion, I like to have a muffin for breakfast with some fruit instead of cereal or oatmeal.  A blueberry or chocolate muffin definitely pleases my belly and is a tasty way to start the day.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a healthy alternative to a calorie ridden muffin whenever the mood strikes?



Garden Lites's mission is to transform freshly picked veggies into surprisingly delicious foods.  The brand line up includes souffles, baked, muffins, and appetizers and veggies are always the first ingredient of each.  You'll be pleased to know that each Garden Lites product is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, non-GMO and Good House Keeping Nutritionist approved! Sink your teeth into such muffin flavors as chocolate, banana chocolate chip, or even blueberry oat.  



The frozen muffins pack a low sugar and calorie content and make a perfect breakfast paired with a smoothie or an equally as tasty after-school snack.  You can defrost the muffins at room temperature for 4 hours and enjoy the tiny treats on a road or plane trip too.


Since I'm a chocolate lover through and through, I opted to try the chocolate muffin first which is made with zucchini and carrots.  Isn't it fantastic how you can enjoy something decadent that's made with healthy ingredients at the same time? In just 35 seconds in the microwave, your belly will be having a guilt free 120 calorie treat that won't wreck your diet.

I wasn't exactly sure how a muffin packed with veggies would taste, but I knew that I was curious to try.  If you're envisioning the Garden Lites muffins tasting like cardboard, you're very wrong.  The chocolate muffin was very moist and soft and looked like an ordinary mini muffin.  I couldn't believe how much it tasted like any other bakery or grocery store muffin! There was no trace of any vegetable taste at all.  The chocolate taste was light, not overly sweet or rich.  Honestly, it's enough to curb anyone's sweet tooth though.



Scarlett was a big fan of the chocolate muffin and demanded her own muffin when I offered her a bite.  After she finished the muffin her face was a complete mess and she declared "I'm so happy!" It's easy to see why, those tasty little treats appeal to both children and adults.  I'm lucky that she is a huge veggie lover so getting her to eat nutritious veggies is not a struggle.  If your children don't love vegetables, this is an easy way to get them to eat something nutritious that is also tasty.  Sometimes parenting is about being sneaky in order to do what's best for your tiny tot.


Chocolate and banana is a classic combination and I was pleased to see that that was also one of the Garden Lites muffin flavors.  The soft yet scrumptious muffin packed a wonderful banana to chocolate ratio and each bite was just pure deliciousness! This would go great with a side fruit salad or even some eggs and coffee.

If you're looking for a break from the sweet stuff, the blueberry oat muffin is the pick for you.  This muffin has the perfect balance of oats and blueberries and is a great way to start your day.  Make sure to pair this with some Greek yogurt for a breakfast that will truly satisfy.

If you're looking to give your morning a boost of taste and flavor, it's time to introduce your belly and your freezer to Garden Lites Muffins!

Find where to purchase Garden Lites muffins at a location near you!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Garden Lites Muffins for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Talkspace Offers Great Home Therapy

Let's face it, not everyone has the ability or funds to see a therapist. It's great to have someone you can talk to once or twice a week, but it's just not possible for every person out there. Unfortunately, leaving your mental problems to fester without getting some type of help can be a disaster. You might find that it ruins your lifestyle, sleeping patterns, relationships and career. If you need a better way to get in touch with a true professional, you need an app like Talkspace to help out.



Talkspace was designed to bring therapy into the home. It allows you to message a therapist, get your problems off of your chest and get viable advice from someone who cares and is experienced in the mental health field. Plus, Talkspace is a lot cheaper than traditional methods. You won't be spending hundreds of dollars per session just to see someone. Instead, you're paying per week at a relatively inexpensive rate. It allows just about anyone and everyone to make use of therapy without funds or a hectic schedule getting involved.



Talkspace is also idea for people who are unable to keep regular therapist appointments. You might have a severe anxiety problem that prevents you from leaving the house when you need or want. You might also have a mobility issue that makes it difficult to get to and from different appointments. You might just be someone who is too busy to go and see a therapist, and Talkspace allows you to do the talking from the comfort of home. Because Talkspace is available around the clock, you get to get in touch with your therapist both day and night whenever you need a listening ear or some solid advice on how to handle a specific situation at the moment.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Valentine's Day is Just Days Away!

Not everyone is into celebrating Valentine's Day, but if you are what are your plans for it? 



Scarlett's school is having a morning celebration for it and I'll be bringing in some treats for it.  She's also picked out some PJ Masks (her favorite TV show) Valentine's cards for the kids in her class so we'll get those ready this weekend.  I'm glad her school allows sugary treats for celebrations because apple slices aren't exciting for Valentine's Day but cupcakes are!

I aways like to give Scarlett something fun for each occasion so I went to the dollar store and got her a cute Valentine's Day mailbox and inside I put a stuffed animal, stickers, and a tiny bag of Hershey's kisses.  For just a few bucks, this will make her very happy.  The dollar store has a ton of Valentine's Day decorations and candy if you're not looking to break the bank but want to decorate for it.

I bought my husband Jay a card and some candy for the love-filled event.  I'm sure I'll also go out and get him something else because I love to give gifts.  Of course I'll cook a nice meal that night as well.  

Hope everyone has an enjoyable Valentine's Day filled with lots of chocolate!


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

We're Moving!

My husband and I are currently in the process of listing our home for sale!

We currently live in a 1,500 square foot townhouse that is getting smaller by the day.  When we first moved in, it felt so large! I was four months pregnant and we had a lot less than we have now.  Our upstairs loft was empty but has since been transformed into a playroom that would make Toys R Us proud.  The lack of storage and closet space seems to make things more frustrating.  



Scarlett is older now and I know would really enjoy a true suburban home with a driveway and a fenced-in backyard to play in.  On the flip side, I would love a bigger home that we can really spread out in.  We're working with a great realtor who I hope can help us find the home of our dreams!

The process is moving very fast and I'm sure we'll be packing boxes before we know it.  It is an exciting time but bittersweet at the same time.  Scarlett was born in this house and it's the only house she's ever known.  We have a lot of memories here and it will be strange to leave! We haven't explained to her what's going on since she's so young.  We will eventually have to fill her in and see what her thoughts are when we go to see houses that interest us.

I've already started the decluttering process which can be incredibly time consuming.  Anything to make the packing easier is welcomed by me!

Wish us luck, we may be in our new house in a matter of weeks!


Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Stay-At-Home-Mom's Idea of a Day Off

I've now been a stay at home mom for over three years.  In those three years, my world went from diaper changes, crying, and constant bottles to solid foods, walking, and talking.  In between, I was my child's advocate and first teacher in life.  Now at 3 years old, Scarlett is her own person and has many opinions on the A-Z's of daily life.


Scarlett goes to school three days a week for three hours per day. It's nice to have the 9 hours a week to myself to relax and do what I want for the 180 minutes each day.  I'll either prep dinner, do some light cleaning or just sit back on the couch and enjoy doing nothing.  My days do heavily revolve around taking care of my tiny tot so whenever I can get a spare moment for myself, I like to take advantage.

Earlier tonight I was thinking about what I would do if I had the entire day to myself.   I've never had that much time away from Scarlett and I would surely miss her a lot!  Let's say for example my husband took her to my mother in law's house for the day.  It would be strange to not have her around, but I think I would take full advantage since it would be a rare treat.  

This is an idea of how I'd want my day to go:

In the morning I would wake up at whatever time I felt like it.  I'd make myself some eggs and toast for breakfast while browsing Facebook uninterrupted.  After that, I'd probably do some cleaning and vacuuming to keep my home in order.  If a load of laundry needed to be thrown in, I'd probably do that too.

Next, I'd take a shower and get ready for the day.  I would go to the nail salon and get a manicure and pedicure and then get some lunch after.  I would call in to check on Scarlett and my husband Jay to see what they're up to.  After that, I'd probably head to Target or Walmart and do some shopping and of course pick up a toy or a snack Scarlett likes because I'd be missing her.  

Once I was done with Target or Walmart, I'd drive home while thinking about how I miss my husband and daughter and how it's weird to have so much time to myself.  Even though I enjoy the freedom, I still miss them a lot! 

I'd get home and take a care-free nap and wake up well rested.  Once my snooze fest was over, I'd watch some TV while waiting for Jay and Scarlett to get home.  I would feel refreshed and ready to take on being a parent again since I had such a nice amount of time to myself.  I'd give them both a big hug and thank them for the time alone.  

What would you like to do if you had the chance to not be a parent for a day? 


Friday, January 26, 2018

How Does Riding Gear Protect You in Case of A Crash?

You know that riding a bike is dangerous, but it doesn’t really hit you until the first sign of trouble. The first time you take a spill, or a car nearly smashes you into a wall, you realize how important it is to have the right motorcycle protective gear. Just wearing any old equipment isn’t enough; riders need top-of-the-line protection that’s in good condition. 

Starting at the Top

The helmet is the most important part of your safety arsenal. Accidents often end with your head protection taking most of the impact, which is preventing that force from going directly into your head. Helmets are built similarly to a modern car bumper. It consists of a tough outer shell with energy-absorbing inner layers. Helmets should meet DOT standards at the very least, with ECE- and Snell-approved helmets preferred by some. Fit is important, motorcycle helmets for women and men should be snug, but not tight.



Armoring Your Body

The jackets and pants you wear while riding are all that’s between your skin and blood-thirsty asphalt. Your choice is between ultra-durable fabrics and armor or the same stuff they use to make cotton balls. According to the abrasion-measuring Taber test, ballistic nylon and leather are four and 10 times tougher than denim respectively. Recreation riders can wear dedicated biker gear while commuters can easily have normal clothes under an all weather motorcycle jacket and overpants. Armor can consist of rigid plastic or reactive viscoelastic that’s pliable at rest but stiffens at impact.

Protecting Your Legs

The frequency of lower leg and foot injuries speaks to the lack of protective boots among many riders. Even a minor foot injury can leave you hobbling around for weeks. Boots should include features such as tough materials, armor, steel-plating, and internal ankle protection to maximize your chances of avoiding injury.

The Best Place for Riding Gear

For a wide range of protective equipment from manufacturers that include Arai, Fly, and HJC, visit BikeBandit.com. Not only can you find exceptional gear, you get it for the lowest price guaranteed. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Keep Warm With Therapedic International's Silky Plush Warming Blankets

Here in New England, we've had record low temperatures lately.  When it's 2 or 3 degrees outside you don't want to do anything but stay inside and keep warm.  The heat has been raised to a higher degree than we're used to and I've been making a lot of soups, stews, and hot chocolate.  I can't say that winter is my favorite season! It's essential to keep warm and comfortable with bone chilling temps!



Therapedic International offers fabulous bedding products to keep you comfortable and happy.  If your bed is in need of a makeover, they can help with pillows, sheet sets, mattress pads, toppers, and even mattresses for any bed size.  Since we're in the throws of winter, I can't help but be drawn to their heated products to keep you toasty warm.  Everyone can benefit from a heated wrap, silky plush heated throw blankets, and even a heated mattress pad.  These items would certainly make a great gift for yourself or a loved one.

After Scarlett's gone to bed and I'm finished with my housework for the night, there's nothing I enjoy more than laying in bed watching TV.  What can be better than being warm and cozy while watching something entertaining? My comfort factor has been turned up a notch thanks to Therapedic's Silky Plush Warming Blanket.


Just like it's name, this cozy blanket is truly silky and comes in a range of three colors for a twin, queen, full or king sized bed.  You'll honestly question how you never had this oasis of comfort on your bed previously.  I can guarantee you'll be sleeping in heated bliss every night.   The blanket features pre-heat technology that warms your bed quickly and dual zone control for personalized comfort.  Its programmable digital controller sets your desired temp and time that fits your needs most.

I was sent a blanket in a queen size, which fits perfectly on my bed.  We turn down the temps at night upstairs and I seem to always be chilly until I can get under the covers and warm up.  Sometimes my husband is hot when I'm cold and vice versa, so it's really convenient to be able to set the desired temperature we want for both of us.  The heating blanket will keep you warm and also save money on your heating bill if you turn the thermostat down.  It's a win-win!


I love how silky and comfortable the blanket is for cuddling up with at night.  Scarlett and Lynnie enjoy the blanket too and have been cozying up with it.  The warming feature is very nice although on the hottest setting it's not extremely hot.  I do wish it got a little bit hotter, but it only warms, not heats.  The digital controller is easy to use and I like a higher temperature than my husband does.  Simply plug the controller plug into the outlet on each side of the blanket and you're good to go.  Having the ability to have two people have two different temperatures is really fantastic.  You can set the temperature from 1-9, and after 9 is H which is the warmest.  The blanket heats up instantly.


When you're not using it, simply fold it and keep it on the end of your bed to use it whenever the mood strikes.  If you choose to use it on the couch, it would be perfect for a family to cuddle up with while having a movie night.


It's very nice to have this to keep us warm throughout the rest of the winter and beyond.  Surely, I'll look forward to having this blanket to use for many winters to come!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Therapedic International for providing a product sample to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 



5 Reasons You Should Hire Professional Exterminators If Bugs Keep Coming Back




All pests are hard to get rid of, but some are more tenacious than others. If you have tried to exterminate a pest yourself, or have even hired an exterminator only to see the bugs return, it is time to call one of the best pest control companies in the business. Here are five reasons to call Terminix if you are facing re-infestation: 




1. Sometimes You Need a Professional: Some pests are harder to exterminate than others. For instance, bed bugs are known to be particularly resolute. If you are dealing with bed bugs, Terminix can send over the best bed bug exterminator to help you sleep without being bitten. 

2. Not all Pests are the Same: Not all pests will respond the same way to a certain pesticide or extermination method. Terminix professionals tailor their extermination methods depending on the type of insect or animal that has infested your home.

3. Years of Experience: Terminix has been in the pest control business for nearly a century and has been recognized as one of the top pest control companies nationwide. If the bugs have returned, they may need to have special treatments and Terminix professionals know what it will take to make your home permanently bug free. 

4. A Satisfaction Guarantee: Terminix professionals pride themselves in their service. If the bugs return, your Terminix professional will revisit your home free of charge to make sure that the pests are handled.
5. Home Protection: In addition to pest control, Terminix offers a variety of options for protecting your home against future infestation. For instance, Terminix can help insulate your attic and seal crawlspaces to keep new bugs from getting into your home. 



If the bugs keep coming back, it is time to call in the professionals at Terminix and make your home a permanent bug free zone. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Highest Common Expenses in Your Family Budget



While making a budget for your household isn’t exactly the most exciting task in the world, it is something that is necessary for the frugal family. You will certainly notice that there are some things that take up a much bigger percentage of your budget than others, and it is these items that we are going to be discussing in this article. Of course, you can still take steps to reduce these expenses, but the first thing you need to do is to identify where your money is going in the first place.

Housing

Housing is usually the biggest item on any budget. How much you are spending depends on whether you own or rent the place, the type of home that you have, and the neighbourhood in which you live. If you are looking for a new place to live, it is a good idea to create a rudimentary budget before you select your next home. It also helps to work out what you are spending on your housing as a percentage of your overall budget. After all, once you have selected a place to live, there is not much that you can do to affect this other than move.

Food



Obviously, food is one of the necessities of life, and you will spend a lot of your monthly budget on this. However, there is plenty that you can do to reduce your expenditures. For example, if you regularly order takeaway food or eat out at restaurants, this will inevitably push up your expenses very quickly. If you go shopping without a grocery list, it is much easier to overspend than if you write everything down beforehand. Perhaps you could switch to budget food stores or start using more coupons. These are all practical solutions which you can implement.

Vehicles

Unless everything that you need is within walking or cycling distance, it is likely that you will need to spend a lot of your money on transportation costs. As well as the cost of the cars themselves, you also end up paying for insurance, tax, fuel, and maintenance. Your car suddenly breaking down is another potential problem, and you may need to look for quick solutions such as personal loans with bad credit. Making sure that you take good care of your automobile and drive in a sensible way can help to reduce the need for maintenance.

Childcare

If you and your partner are both working, there is no doubt that childcare can end up taking a big bite out of your budget. Of course, there are a range of different options out there, but making sure that your children are well taken care of will be one of your biggest priorities.

So, there you have four of the biggest expenses that your household budget faces on a month by month basis. Get these under control, and you are much more likely to be able to balance everything out well and keep on top of your finances.  

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sandwich Bros Offer Quick and Easy Meals for All #SandwichBrosFan #Ad

*DISCLOSURE* This is a sponsored post with Sandwich Bros and BraVoMark. All opinions are mine.

As a stay-at-home-mom of a 3 year old, I don't always have a lot of time or energy to make dinner every night.  Some nights I make made from scratch meals, while others we have a frozen pizza.  It all depends on how busy my days are.  It's nice to know that there are quick and satisfying meal options to feed my family on the days when cooking is out.



Sandwich Bros offers flatbread pockets filled with your choice of premium proteins like 100% angus beef, all-white meat chicken, all-natural sausage and real Wisconsin cheese.  You'll feel happy knowing that your family is enjoying a meal option that is not only tasty, but good for them too.  There's plenty of choices to make anyone's tummy including sausage and cheese, egg and cheese, egg white and turkey sausage, turkey sausage and cheese, angus cheeseburgers, gyro sliders, and chicken melts.

I like that there are options for breakfast as well as lunch or dinner.  If mornings are chaotic and you're rushing to get the kids off to school, how about giving them a tasty egg white and turkey sausage flatbread pocket?  They'll love it! In just 35-40 seconds, a breakfast packed with the protein your children need can be had.  The combination of low carb and high protein helps your little ones stay full for longer and give their brains the boost it needs.  You can pair the flatbread pocket with fruit for breakfast and veggies for dinner.


My local grocery store didn't have much of a variety of the sandwiches, but seemed to only have the egg and cheese sandwiches.  I do wish I could have tried a chicken melt, but the stars were just not aligned that day.  You can't go wrong with the classic combination of egg and cheese, and it does make breakfast a lot easier in the morning.


Scarlett enjoyed the sandwich paired with some fruit on the side for a quick breakfast before preschool.  Since she's a big egg lover, it's nice to not have to dirty a pan making her eggs and having another clean up job to do.  With the egg and cheese flatbread pocket, you pop it in the microwave and you're good to go in under 1 minute.  I like to serve the sandwich with a side of fruit to give her breakfast a healthy balance.  Scarlett was easily able to hold the sandwich to eat it and loved it! She kept saying yum and yummy.  I think it's safe to say she's a fan of Sandwich Bros.

Sandwich Bros are found at your local Kroger, Sam's, Costco, and more.  Find a store near you here.  Take advantage of the $1 off coupon found here.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Sandwich Bros for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Toddlers Will Say Yum to Quesadillas!

Let's face it, whether you're a working mom or a stay-at-home-mom, both don't have a lot of energy to make dinner at the end of the day.  If it's just one of those days where you're exhausted from a long day and don't even want to think about making anything involved for your toddler, why not focus on a delicious and easy recipe that involves minimal prep work?


One of Scarlett's favorite meals is chicken quesadillas.  I usually put black beans and corn in it along with chicken and shredded Mexican cheese. The best part about quesadillas is that you can use whatever you have on hand to please the tiny tot who'll be devouring it.  Whether you use refried beans, black beans, or even steak or pork, it'll turn out fabulous each and every time.  Don't forget lots of shredded cheese too! I even make them for myself for dinner occasionally.  


Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Put one tortilla in a non-stick pan and fill it with pre-cooked chicken, cheese, black beans, pre-cooked rice, corn, and whatever else your child likes.  I usually use chicken nuggets that I dice and then I top with shredded cheese.  Once you're done filling the bottom tortilla top it with the second tortilla.  

2. Put it in the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up the tortilla and have the cheese melt.

3. Pair the quesadilla with your favorite salsa. Scarlett's obsessed with pineapple salsa and would prefer to drink the bottle if I let her, that's how much she loves it.

I didn't have a ton of ingredients on hand since we're at Grandma's, so we opted for a classic chicken and cheese quesadilla tonight.  Of course Scarlett does not mind that it's not chock full of other ingredients and was happy to dig in regardless.

Let these quesadilla's be a quick go-to when you're feeling unmotivated or lazy in the kitchen.  You can even put veggies in them too, especially if you struggle with your child to eat veggies.  Feel free to make these your own and be as creative as you'd like.