Monday, April 27, 2015

Groupon is the One Stop Shop for Mother's Day

May has to be one of my favorite months of the year because it's my birthday, but also Mother's Day!  You're welcome for the reminder... Mother's Day is May 10th!  It's right around the corner.  I have to admit that I am spoiled rotten.  My hubby always find a way to bless me for raising his crazy kids.  One year he set up a day for just me [every mom's dream right?].  Got my nails done, lunch, shopping.  Another year, while we were living in Europe he surprised me with a weekend getaway to Brussels, Belgium.  Waffles and chocolate in a beautiful city, it couldn't get any better!  I always feel so special on Mother's Day.  I get the honor of raising these little munchkins and spoiled with gifts.

This year, I'm going to make it easy on him and make a wish list on Groupon because they seriously have anything and everything.  Groupon is a global leader of local commerce.  You can buy anything, anytime, anywhere for a great deal.  You can even enjoy vacations with Groupon Getaways or find products like clothes and furniture on Groupon Goods.  

This year, Groupon created the ultimate Groupon’s Mother’s Day Gift Shop!  It has something for everyone, the perfect gift for every kind of mom.  A day at the salon getting pampered for the mom who wants to get away.  An awesome time skydiving, cruising, night of painting, or a workout for the mom who wants to experience her gift.  There are deals for the foodie mom to all the best restaurants and desserts.  There something tangible like home goods or jewelry for the mom who loves to shop.  You can even get that special mom a membership to Sam's Club from groupon!  Who knew.  

I'm the kind of person who loves a little bit of everything.  Here's what's on my wish list: 

While I was looking for me I also found a few things for my mom, my grandma, my mommy friends, mother in law.  Oh my word, there is something for everyone!  They had so many cute things in the jewelry section I ended up getting a pair of earrings for myself.  

If you are looking for a more traditional gift like flowers and sweets they have plenty to choose from!  If you are hopeless at deciding what the best gift is, you can always opt for a gift card and let that special mom in your life choose for herself.  

Every mom deserves a special treat on Mother's Day and Groupon is the way to make it both easy for the giver and pleasing for the receiver.  Be sure to check out the Mother’s Day $0 Deal for 1 Year's Worth of Spa Days on Groupon available on the site when you win an awesome product or experience!  If you head over between April 27-28th you could receive up to 20% off up to 3 Local Deals, 3 Goods Items, and 3 Getaway Flash Deals using the Promo Code "SALE3".
So make it easy on yourself and your hubby this year and make a wish list of what you would like for Mother's Day and check out Groupon's Mother’s Day Campaign.  While you're there go ahead and shop for the special mom's in your life!

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Groupon for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The New Char-Broil Kettleman Grill

There is nothing I love more than spring! It's one of my favorite seasons even if it means my allergies are going crazy. Why? Because the flowers are blooming, the neighbors come out, the kiddos are playing outside, perfect 70 degree days, and GRILLING! Grilling season has officially begun.
Growing up my dad always grilled on a Char-Broil charcoal grill. Steaks, and crab legs most weekends. There is nothing like that charcoal taste to bring me back to my childhood. While the shape is familiar, the new Char-Broil Kettleman Grill is no ordinary! It is loaded with tons of features to better control every aspect of the cooking process.
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The new Char-Broil Kettleman Grill has a super sized cool touch damper on the grills lid to make heat management easy. Vents around the body of the kettle allow for air to flow from all sides. The porcelain coated grate allows the nostalgic charcoal flavor through while the flames keep away from the food. What is great is that wood chips can be thrown on the grate and small foods like veggies will never fall into the fire.


The Kettleman also has a porcelain-coated ashtray that is tight against the grill making cleanup and maintenance simpler than ever! The heavy steel legs add stability and easy mobility while the bottom shelf doubles as a holder for the cooking grate or other accessories. The lid is hinged so that it never has to touch the ground during the grilling experience. Charcoal grills have come a long way since I was a kid, this Char-Broil Kettleman is loaded!

What an awesome Father's Day gift this would be for a dad or grandpa! It can be purchased at Lowe's for $129 or online at www.charbroil.com. You just can't beat that charcoal taste or that awesome price! It's the perfect grill for your favorite recipe. For us, that would be chicken and couscous.
I like to keep it simple... marinate the chicken overnight or for at least 4 hours. Mushrooms rubbed in olive oil, sprinkled with pepper and salt.

Throw it on the fire and while the hubby is out there with the crazy kids I'm inside making garlic lemon couscous topped with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.

In no time you have one of our favorite grilled meals! It's simple but yes it tastes as good as it looks!!

And if you like to meal prep this is a winner! I got a phone call from the hubby at lunchtime saying how awesome lunch was.

Nothing beats grilling in the spring and summer and Char-Broil Kettleman is the perfect grill for your huge BBQ party or nice simple family dinner. Even if you have a gas grill already it's only $129 so this would make a great second grill because nothing beats that charcoal taste! It brings me back to my childhood every time. You can learn more about the Kettleman grill.
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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Char-Broil for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Chocolate Chip Pizzokie with DREYER'S Frozen Custard

The other day the little lady asked if we could bake some cookies and I raised her a cookie and made it a pizookie.  Pizookies are one of our favorites!  They are ooey, gooey, warm and cold, chocolate yummy goodness.  If you don't know what a pizookie is, it's a cookie pizza out of the oven topped with ice cream and whatever else you want. 

As part of our baking adventure, we headed over to Safeway and grabbed what we needed.  It's right by her school and I love their little Starbucks area.  Sometimes it's just nice to take a seat after or even before shopping.


I can always count on Safeway for great prices and NEW products down every aisle like New DREYER'S Frozen Custard!  We happily swapped our tradition vanilla for this extra thick and extra creamy frozen custard.  She loves her rich and classic Vanilla.  You can also discover what’s new at Safeway!

Here is our Pizookie Recipe
Ingredients:
1/2 cup of butter softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp of vanilla
1/4 tsp of salt
1 cup walnuts [optional]
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
Scoop of DREYER'S Frozen Custard, Old Fashioned Vanilla
The HOW to 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cream together the butter and sugars until smooth.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  She loves bakings.  She's a pro at working our mixer.

3.  Mix together dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients.  The dough will look like this.

4.  I usually refrigerate the dough but she couldn't wait.  Add a really thin layer of dough to the pan. I have these glass baking dishes for the cookies.  Sometimes I'll use a small cake round pan for the hubby and I to share.  There's something about eating the warm cookie out of the pan that makes it so much better.  

5.  Add the nuts and chips.  I like peanut butter and chocolate chips in mine. 

6.  Bake for about 10 minutes in the oven or until the edges are brown. 

7.  Top with the extra thick and creamy DREYER'S Frozen Custard, whip cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, or whatever you love!

It was such a beautiful day out we ate ours outside. I enjoyed every last bite. 

Safeway always has new products on their shelf!  I'm a loving the frozen custard and can't wait to try the other flavors. On our visit we also picked up Kellogg's® Special K® Chewy snack bars.  They're tasty and you can see the oats and 100 calories of bliss.  I love the new breakfast biscuits from Post for when I'm on the go.  It's made with 100% whole grain and more than 55% of your days serving of whole grain.  But my favorite treat of all is the Skinny Cow® Coffee drinks!  So creamy and oh so yummy. 

So the next time you are at Safeway [or Vons, Pavilions, CARRS, Tom Thumb, Randalls] be sure to check out their new products!
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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway, Inc. for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spring Faves with Quite Dainty

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My lovely friend Dannielle from Quite Dainty is keeping me in the blogging world and I'm so thankful she's asked me to collaborate with her for our spring faves!  Remember our favorites from last year? [Make it Cozee & Quite Dainty.]

Just like last year my favorites are all over the place!  I'm loving a little bit of everything.

Since I started my fitness journey, switching from sodas and juices to water has been a huge change. We are now a Camelbak family.  I love the kid ones because I think they are the perfect size!  I call it my grown up sippy cup and it's easy to drink from while I'm working out on the treadmill or dying in the spin class.

The kiddos love it and little man is getting his next.

Since we are talking about working out, ever since I bought my first real pair of workout clothes and shoes I've been hooked.  Just got a new pair of running shorts yesterday.  C9 apparel is on sale at Target and $5 off $25.  Loving the bright color and the attached tight shorts underneath.

We've been snacking on oodles of fruit.  I'm a tropical girl... I love  my pineapple, kiwi, meolons and mangos are close to my heart and soul right now.  Bring me back to being a kid.  It sounds gross but I eat mine with soy sauce.

With all this awesome weather we've been spending tons of time outside.  Loving my new picnic blanket from Pick Your Plum.  It's only ten bucks.  Waterproof on the bottom and soft on top.  Folds up nicely with velcro.  Can't wait to take this to the lake!

Will also be taking our cute jellies!  Ahhh talk about blast from the past.  I loved jellies then and I still love them now.  Definitely a huge fave!

And my last Spring fave is my new mom pack... yup trading in my purse for a back pack because we are going to be doing some traveling.  How cute is this?!  Can't wait to carry this along with me to the farm, big apple, and Cali this spring and summer.

Can you guess what Dannielle's faves are for this spring?  Head over to QUITE DAINTY to find out!

What are some of your Spring faves?



 Until next time.  Toodles!



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Monday, April 13, 2015

Motivation Monday: Overcoming the Fitness Plateau

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As I am running on the treadmill last week, a short clip from one of the gym trainers pops up and he starts talking about overcoming a fitness or workout plateau. One of the things he mentioned was changing it up every four to six weeks.

I couldn't get it out of my head because I just had an amazing four weeks of PIYO and this is usually when the fitness honeymoon ends.  After four weeks, I want to go back to my old ways of eating and make excuses as to why I don't have time to workout.  BUT this time, my desire to live a healthy lifestyle is different.  I want to continue to grow and improve.  I want to keep being active and healthy.

I don't want to back track on all those goals I reached a month and a half ago. It is amazing what you can accomplish when you set measurable and achievable goals! 

1.  Consistently working out 6 days a week.
2.  Cook two healthy dinners a week. 
3.  Make sure to eat a real breakfast EVERY single day.
4.  Have a fruit or veggie snack every single day. 

 Not only is our family eating so much better but I saw a huge physical change in my body.  I've been drinking water like a camel, eating breakfast every morning and don't rely on coffee to get me going. 

So, to avoid that fitness plateau I am setting new goals and changing it up just a teeny tiny bit by adding in a new form of cardio...

1. Train for 5K.  Run 3.1 miles in 30 minutes. 
I really really really want to run a 5K with the hubby.  It's something I've wanted to do since before my knee injury so I am now training for that.  Been trading in my PIYO cardio days for running on the treadmill.  My friend showed me this app, which is great!  Right now I'm running 3.1 miles in 40 minutes but I'm going to keep on working on it!

2. Some form of meal prep each week.
Snack and meal prepping takes time and commitment.  I'm just not great at it but I would really like to be.  Right now, the only thing I have down is prepping our food for when we are gone the entire morning for our gym days.  I would really like to take a day to cut all our fruits and veggie snacks, make breakfast egg muffins, and some lunches/salad instead of doing it when I have a chance.  Reaped the benefits of meal prepping this week thanks to the help of the hubby who grilled oddles of chicken and mushrooms for my yummy lunches or dinners.

My blogging buddy Dannielle at Quite Dainty is also setting out to live a healthier lifestyle and she just shared two awesome post about eating healthy and food.  Her salad jars look amazing.  You can check it out HERE

3.  Continue with PIYO and master the videos.
The great thing about PIYO is that it is for beginners and people who are insanely in shape thanks to modification.  I would really like to get through the workouts without modifications.... doing real push ups, burpees, and holding the poses without surrendering to childs pose. 

So these are my goals for the next four to six weeks!  If you want to join my fitness journey don't be shy to contact my lovely coach Salma.  Thanks to her help and the accountability group I was able to reach my goals and continue to push through. 

I know I've been bombarding the blog with fitness and that's not all that's going on in life!  I guess right now this is what I'm passionate about, but pinky promise the next post will be about something else. 

 Until next time.  Toodles!




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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Dreaming of Summer at the Gulf County, Florida

Summer is right around the corner and vacation is on my mind.  The last time we took a vacation it was in Florida.  We took the little lady to Disney World for her birthday.  I wouldn't exactly call it a "vacation".... tons of people, busy, busy, busy, and exhausting.  The next time we head south it will definitely be to Gulf County!  Don't get me wrong, I love Disney but I also love being outdoors and enjoying nature.  I love smelling the fresh air, going on hikes, camping.  

It's amazing how many things there are to do in the Gulf County.  You can check out the Gulf County Adventure Guide to plan your perfect Florida vacation!  What would I do? 

I would start the morning with the dolphins, watching them early in the morning because some families have mentioned being able to see the dolphins playing from their deck.  The kids would get such a kick out of that!  Then pack our bags and head to the beach.  There are so many different things to do on the beach... from going fishing by Indian Pass, horseback riding, snorkeling, paddle boarding and ending the night watching the sunset.  That is my idea of a vacation!
Kayaking is one of my favorite things to do in the water and that would be a must on my itinerary.  The Dead Lakes are absolutely beautiful surrounded by Cypress and Tupelo trees that stand in the water.  It looks like nothing like we have ever seen before. 
For the hubby we would either have to go bike riding along the trail or add St. Joseph Peninsula State Park to the itinerary because he loves going for hikes.  We could all be on the lookout for the local wild like deer, squirrels, the Great Horn Owl, otters, and bobcats [but only if they are super far away].  
A summer outdoors in nature would definitely be my ideal vacation.  Exploring with the kids, enjoying the ocean water, and enjoying some water sports and physical activity.  I don't think it gets any better than that!  
Check out the Gulf County Adventure Guide or The Gulf County Pinterest Board and plan your own family trip.  
Be sure to also enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card to have an adventure of your own!  Ten lucky winners are picked per week.

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Visit Gulf County for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.