Monday, January 28, 2013

Lean Cuisine Salad Additions #BYOL

Monday, January 28, 2013
Fresh, frozen aisle, healthy lunch, Lean Cuisine, Salad Additions, Walmart
As some of you know, I started my weight-loss journey in October. I have lost ALMOST 20 pounds so far!!!  I am SO excited about that!! I have not eliminated anything from my diet, I am just smarter about the foods I eat. I eat a LOT more fruits and veggies now and watch my portions carefully. 

One of my FAVORITE things to have for a healthy lunch is a giant salad. I started off making them myself. I would toss in a few pieces of chicken or ham, lots of veggies and a low fat salad dressing. Then, around November (it may have been early December), I discovered the Lean Cuisine Salad Additions.

Oh! My! Gosh!

My boring salad days were so OVER!  I am not even kidding you! They came out with four varieties, Bistro Chicken, Asian, Cranberry Chicken and a Southwest. I actually first learned about them from my friend Lyndsey on Instagram, she also LOVES them. 

I have tried all four varieties but prefer the Asian and Cranberry Chicken over the others. I don't know what it is that is in the Bistro Chicken or Southwest, I am thinking it is one of the spices, but it does NOT agree with my tummy. But, my tummy is pretty sensitive to begin with. 
Fresh, frozen aisle, healthy lunch, Lean Cuisine, Salad Additions, Walmart
The Salad Additions are on Rollback right now at my Walmart for just $2.50, there is a coupon for $0.75/1. That makes them a steal at just $1.75 each! The kit includes everything you need, except the fresh lettuce, to make an amazing salad. You can find them in the frozen aisle with all the other yummy Lean Cuisine meals.

I decided to do a taste test. I already knew the Lean Cuisine salads were great, my mission was to get the same ingredients and try to make the salad myself. First, Barley. I could not find barley anywhere in my local Walmart. So, I purchased chopped Walnuts instead. Second, Crunchy Sesame Crackers. Yeah, could not find those either. Third, Yellow Carrots. Ummm.....do I even need to say it?  HA!
Fresh, frozen aisle, healthy lunch, Lean Cuisine, Salad Additions, Walmart
So, here is my version...
Fresh, frozen aisle, healthy lunch, Lean Cuisine, Salad Additions, Walmart
and here is the Lean Cuisine version....
Fresh, frozen aisle, healthy lunch, Lean Cuisine, Salad Additions, Walmart
While my version tasted great, it was not as good as the Lean Cuisine version. Plus, it cost a TON more to purchase everything individually than to just pick up a Lean Cuisine Salad Additions. Then, there is the whole convenience issue. You don't have to wash and chop ingredients for 10 minutes, you just pop them in the microwave and you are set in under 3 minutes!

The one and ONLY thing that I don't really care for is the veggies being hot. Inside your kit are 3 pouches, one is the dressing, one is the crunchy bits (they are different for each kit) and the other are the veggies/chicken. It is just a total texture issue for me, they taste absolutely fine. I now let my veggie/chicken pouch cool for a bit longer before putting my salad together. It really is no big deal. If you are STARVING and just can not wait for them to cool down, the heat will NOT make your lettuce soggy.....if you were wondering.  :)

I know I have had a lot of friends that have been on the fence about trying these. Well, it's time to hop off that fence and go pick up a few!  You will not regret the decision!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and NESTLE #CBias #SocialFabric All opinions are my own!

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Making the Switch with Jennie-O

Monday, January 14, 2013
Champions for Kids, CFK, #cbias
Eeek!  I am SO excited to be starting my year off with Champions for Kids! For those of you that are new, Champions for Kids is a GREAT organization that teams up with great brands, to mobilize millions in making a difference in the lives of kids. Each month they pair up with a brand for a Simple Service Project.

This month, CFK is teaming up with Jennie-O and encouraging you to 'Give Breakfast a Wake-Up Call!'  Breakfast is THE most important meal of the day. For us, on school days, it is a mad rush to get out the door. Mads likes to eat breakfast, with her friends, at school most days.  Some days, she likes to have breakfast at home.
Champions for Kids, CFK, #cbias
Mads is at the age now that she can start cooking a few things on her own. This weekend I made a HUGE batch of Jennie-O Turkey Sausage (more on why in just a bit). I saved a few cups of sausage and put it in a baggie in the fridge. A few months ago I taught Mads how easy it was to make an omelet in the microwave. I was a bit nervous to let her do it on her own so we just left it at me showing her how to do it.  This weekend though, I let her have at it!

She LOVED being able to pull out the already cooked sausage from the fridge, pour the eggs into a mug, stir and pop it into the microwave....all by herself. In less than 2 minutes her healthy, warm, and yummy breakfast is ready! She is already planning out her next omelet creation and I need to run to the store for more Jennie-O Sausage!  It is REALLY good!
Champions for Kids, CFK, #cbias
CFK and #JennieO4Kids are encouraging you to teach children and parents the benefits of a healthy breakfast, with a low-fat protein like Jennie-O bacon or sausage, and how it can help children focus and stay alert in class. The girls and I decided the best place for us to do that would be at church. We purchased a bag of oranges and quartered each orange. I made sausage patties, scrambled eggs with sausage (the kids LOVED the eggs and BEGGED me to make more for next week....), biscuits and we picked up some 100% Orange Juice. I am not kidding, the kids devoured the eggs and the sausage! lol I loved knowing that their little bellies were full and hopefully it helped them stay focused during their lesson.
Champions for Kids, CFK, #cbias
Learn More
To learn more about Champions for Kids, visit their website, find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
To learn more about Jennie-O, visit their website, find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!
Champions for Kids, CFK, #cbias
I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Jennie-O #cbias #SocialFabric All opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Making my House into a Home

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
A few things you should know...

I have lived in my house for nearly 9 years.

In that time I have purchased 2 new pieces as "art".

All other pieces were hand-me-downs or freebies.

My house has never felt like home.

This year, I have made it my mission to turn that around and make my house, into my home!

Two of my FAVORITE stores for home things are Kirkland's and...... Hobby Lobby!  A lot of people think Hobby Lobby and automatically think of fabric, or art supplies. And they are right.......but! They have an AMAZING selection of pieces for your home! Even better? Their prices are AWESOME! Plus, something is always at least 50% off, or there is a great coupon out.

So, a few weeks ago I visited my local HL location and used up some giftcards I received for Christmas. I had already gone in a few weeks prior and had an idea of what I wanted, it was just a matter of deciding which pieces I was getting that week, and which pieces I would add later on.
The first spot that I wanted to make over was above my couch......and my couch itself. The quilt and quilt hanger in the pic were my Granny's, I did not want to get rid of it. I also LOVE all of my Willow Tree figures, I do not want to get rid of those either. So, I just moved them to another wall and hubby helped me fold the quilt a bit better so it looks centered now.  Also, the funky pillow had to go! I actually don't know how that got there, it had to be one of the girls.  So, once that area was cleared I put my new piece up.
I already have plans to add to the area, I found some more pieces last weekend, but for now I love it! I was able to get the print for 50% off! AWESOME! HL also has great pillow covers and inserts near their fabric department, I picked these up for 50% off as well. When I went back last week I also purchased one more cover and another insert that is a brown tweed type. It is really cute and matches my new lamps.
The next area I wanted to make over was behind my door. The space is pretty small, I wish it was big enough for a shelf or small table, but it is not. The other door you see is what goes into our coat closet. It is more of a storage closet and you never know what will fall out when you open it.  So, I got a cute "Welcome" sign and some knobs to use to hang hats, scarves, the dog leash, jackets, etc.
Isn't it a CUTE area now??  I love it and it matches the other piece on the opposite wall.  I think it still needs something extra, I have an idea and hopefully will get the things for it next time I am in Hobby Lobby.

Oh! I almost forgot! I bought new lamps over the weekend! My HL location is trying to make room for new inventory so right now, they have and UNBELIEVABLE home clearance section. I found new lamps for 66% off!  I couldn't believe it! For $24 each I got two big lamps, shades and they both even had light bulbs in them. Score! I would have paid at least that for just the base at Target!
Here is the little lamp we had before in the corner near the couch.....
This is our new lamp!  Aaahhh!!!  I LOVE it! I love that it is much bigger and provides more light.  I also love that I have TWO lamps that MATCH!  I know, everyone has matching lamps right?  No, not right! I didn't....until now!  Now, I need to get a table for the other side of the couch so everything will be even.

So, what do you think so far?  Cute huh?  Be sure to check out Hobby Lobby for your next home project! You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

One last picture.....
Did I mention Hobby Lobby was having AMAZING deals when I went in over the weekend?? All of their Christmas was 80% off, then they had that fabulous home clearance section.....and they have REALLY small carts.  lol

I can't wait to share my completed look for the living room, be sure to stay tuned!

I was NOT compensated in any way for this post by Kirklands, Hobby Lobby, or any brands sold at either store. All opinions are my own.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Part 2 Learning to be Energy-Efficient | GE Light Bulbs | Save Energy

Monday, January 7, 2013
As I told you in November, we switched some of our lights to energy efficient light bulbs thanks to #GELighting. We used an energy saving calculator to help us figure out how much we were saving with our new GE Light Bulbs.
The results??

By switching 3 of our bulbs to GE Energy Efficient Soft White bulbs, 3 bulbs to GE Energy Smart Bright from the Start bulbs and 6 bulbs to GE Energy Smart CFL Spiral bulbs.....we will save....$56.37/year!  That's awesome! That's enough to buy a cute new outfit!  WooHoo!
Over the past 2 months we have also taught our girls to be more energy efficient by making sure ALL of the lights are off when they leave a room, leave the house or go to bed at night. It was not easy at first, they did not understand, but after a few days they got it.
So in the end, which bulb won me over? 
I started out loving the GE CFL bulbs. But, after I few weeks I switched to the GE Energy Efficient Soft White Bulbs and I prefer them. To make sure, after a few weeks, I switched back to the CFL bulbs and....I still prefer the EESW bulbs! It is the perfect lighting for my house, it is warm and inviting and that is exactly what I want in energy efficient lighting. I found the CFL bulbs to be too bright for the look I like.

Now that it is January, the new incandescent light bulb law has been put into place. Have you made the switch to energy efficient bulbs yet? You can find great ideas for lighting your home here!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and GE Lighting #CBias #SocialFabric All opinions are my own.

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