Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Taco Bell and the Super Bowl

Once again I was selected to test a product from CrowdTap.  This time I got four bottles of Taco Bell sauces, you know, the same sauces we all sneak into our bags whenever we eat at Taco Bell.  Well, they now come in full size bottles to take home thanks to Kraft!

I was supposed to have a party for the Super Bowl to help share the yum and since my in laws were having a combined Super Bowl and birthday party for my hubby it was perfect.  Perfect until we have been in an area gripped by the Polar Vortex.  My girls had started getting sore throats and fevers so I stayed home with them.  After all part of the party was for my hubby and it is his family.  Don't worry we tried the sauces before he took them to the party. 

Here are the sauces I got to try! 

Since I was with my daughters what better food to try these with than tacos. 
You can never go wrong with tacos.  Note the Salsa Verde sauce is not pictured.  I had a friend that reeeaallly wanted it and so I gave it to her.  (She forgot to take pictures for me of the recipe she used it with).

This is my Ava.  Bless her heart, she's the only hard shell eater in the family.

She chose Taco Bell Mild Sauce.  (See it dripping down her face?)  She liked it and it didn't get too spicy until she was almost finished the taco.  Then again that could also be due to the taco seasoning.

This is my Katherine. My daredevil, the one out to prove you wrong, hard headed.....  I talked her down from the Taco Bell Fire Sauce but she "can totally handle hot sauce.  I ate all those Mighty Wings at McDonalds).  So I sat back and let her have a go.

Note: She doesn't like lettuce on her tacos. She's so weird.
Taco Bell Hot Sauce is still a little out of her league.  (I guess I shouldn't have been laughing while I took the picture). 
As you can see from this picture we are a bunch of light weights and mainly stuck to the mild.  It is true to the flavor pouches at the restaurant. With this in mind I plan on trying it on chicken fajitas next!  We loved it.

---------------------------At the Party-----------------------------------------------

I do not have pictures from the party but they did use more of the hot sauce and my spicy crazed father in law tried the fire on his wings. 

From what I heard they also enjoyed them.  It gave the desired spice without the odd after taste that other brands give you.  My mother in law asked where she could find them.  (they should be popping up in stores all over by now).  I told Justin aka hubby, to let them keep the hot and fire sauces.  Mild got pretty used up in one day so if you have a large family or are getting it for a party you may want to buy two bottles.

Again - I got these items from Crowdtap to give my opinion of.  No other compensation was awarded.  These are all my personal, and families, personal feelings in regards to these sauces. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Inspired by others: Weight Loss

I was just on Pinterest and followed a link about gardening for beginners.  While on the blog that wrote that story something caught my eye.  A badge linking me to another blog, The Curvy Housewife.  She was sharing about starting her weight loss journey over again.  Turns out we both use My Fitness Pal to help monitor what we eat!  Funny thing is that I had just started logging my food again today! 

After reading her blog it was set.  I decided to just be open and post my journey also.  

So the basics :  I am currently at 230 lbs.  Not a very happy thing to have to admit.  I've been here before and lost it until I was at 163.  Then I was down to 153 after having my first daughter.  (A perk of constant morning sickness I suppose).  Even after my second daughter I was still in the 160s.  What happened?  How did this get so out of hand?  

                        My goal is to get back to the 160s.  I know this will take time and that it is more than just losing the weight.  I need to really CHANGE myself.  Change the way I eat, what I eat, and make an effort to be more active.  

Feel free to link any of your blogs if you are going through the same thing or maybe already have been there!

Hopefully this will help me stay accountable and be an encouragement.  

Now I just need to get a scale.  


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hershey's Spread

I was selected through CrowdTap to sample and share a jar of Hershey's Spread.  It is a new product that came out last month and can be found in three flavors.  I was sent the basic spread. 

Now was the time to decide what to use it on.  Luckily I had just the thing!

Who doesn't love Smores?  Plus they are so simple to make even my kids can make them.  It's also amazing to be able to have them in the winter time as we were in the grip of a Polar Vortex.

The Hershey's Spread was incredibly spreadable.  Yes, I know it is called a spread but how many times have we gotten something and it was anything but spreadable?  This went on really smoothly.  So smoothly that it would make a great dip on its own. 

My smore is complete.  Now to taste test it!

The taste was amazing.  When making smores the more traditional way I usually put just a fraction of the chocolate because it seems to make it a little dry tasting.  The spread however was amazing and smooched (the technical term) out the sides just like a traditional smore would.  The chocolate reminded me of the taste of chocolate frosting.  This of course gave me a great idea and I have since used it to dip pretzels.  I also plan on using it as a frosting to put on top of brownies!  Now to wait until strawberries come back in season to try it on them also! 

Disclaimer:  I was given this sample to try and share with others.  That was the only compensation I was given and the thoughts and review is my own.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is officially here!  Sorry I missed after the first week of the countdown but I think we can all agree that this time of year gets hectic. Hopefully you dear readers came up with some wonderful ideas and made great memories with your friends and/or family.

My girls said they loved making and decorating the cookies most of all and both have asked if we can get the stuff to do it again next year.  I actually got the kits through a fundraiser a friends son was doing.  If you are interested they are from Joe Corbis and I believe are crayola sets.  (Yes, you have to buy the dough separately from the decorating kit).

I also remembered the aprons my mother had bought last year for the girls to wear. They were so cute in them.  I hope you enjoy the pictures of our cookie making.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Countdown: Days 4, 5, and 6

Last night while I was making dinner, hubby and the girls put up our Christmas tree.  I admit I was a little sad that he didn't think of waiting so I could be a part of it.  Though by the time he was home I was already starting dinner and knew it needed finished. Besides i don't usually do much but record them.  So far we have it undecorated to see how our cat is going to react to it.  He has already tried chewing it as soon as it was out of the box.  It doesn't help that my mother tells me how her cat has climbed into hers and actually while on the phone with my mom last night the cat made it to the very top.  (She is planning on taking it down).  Let's all pray our cat doesn't get those ideas to try it.

After dinner we also had our towns parade.  It goes through Main Street which is just at the bottom of our hill.  The four of us went down, watched the bands and floats, got candy though not always at the same time.  In typical fashion, even though I tried to get them to go to the bathroom before we left, Katherine really had to go during the parade.   So Justin took her up while Ava and I got candy for her too.  About five minutes after she got back, Ava had to go.  Back up the hill went Daddy and again the daughter still there and I got more candy for the missing sister. 

The girls have also received their Christmas messages from Santa Wednesday. I found the site last year and the girls love it.  You get to personalize and add pictures so he becomes more real.  Plus, it's free!!!   Interested?  Go to .  There are also options to buy other packages but the basic is pretty amazing itself.  If you do make one this year don't worry, they change them up every year so the kids won't catch on. 

We also had a night of hot chocolate and Christmas stories.  Maybe that doesn't sound that exciting but the girls love getting to snuggle in our big bed and read stories together. 

Of course every morning we still go around to find Boyd, our Elf on the Shelf.  I was shocked at how many people do not seem to like him on Facebook.  I guess I understand because they see pictures of the elf doing things he shouldn't be doing - things our children would be in trouble for.  Well, that's just the doing of those people and have nothing to do with the tradition of him.  Ours is a good boy and it's pretty much a game of not so hide and seek.  From my point of view - very worth the money. 

I hope you're having a great time celebrating the Christmas season! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Countdown: Days 2 and 3

Sunday night (day 2) is a busy night.  With school the next day our girls are busy making sure everything they need is in their backpacks and/ or signed.  Then there is the normal routine of dinner and baths.  To countdown to Christmas we kept it simple.  The girls and I got out some red and green construction paper and made a paper chain to go across the large opening/doorway between our living room and "room of requirement". 

It was a simple task but the girls still had a lot of fun doing it.  I'm sure the fact that our cat, Willow, was trying to attack the chain with everything he had helped too.  It also allowed the girls to further help in the decorating of our home.  Up until now I have done most of the decorating myself with them helping with a few ornaments on the tree.  However this is making them proud and to feel more a part of the celebration. 

Today (day 3) we went to visit my in laws and had to go to the market.  We were still able to continue on though as we watched two different Rudolph movies that were on tv at my in laws home.  This allowed not only fun and new movies to be introduced (one about Rudolph and a New Years baby and the other about a toy thief Rudolph helps catch), but also allowed extended family to be a part of our celebration. 

So far the girls are enjoying our special evenings and crafts.  Hopefully you are able to do this with your family also.  Without a ready made list we are able to modify our experiences to fit what may be going on.  That may be the trick to this. I have several more ideas of things to do in my head but haven't written them down to see if I have enough to cover the 24 days.  Feel free to share any ideas you may have also.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The first day of December

I decided this year to add to the excitement of Christmas and do something special each day.  Our Advent calendar is very cute but is just a basic countdown - no surprise treats. Today we started with making ornaments out of a basic salt dough recipe.  (I will post the recipe at the bottom).

Adding Salt

Adding Flour

"This is so gross"

Our Willow was just wondering if he could eat it



Yes, I forgot to take an after picture but I was tired.  The ornaments turned out wonderful.  Now I just need to get some paint and they can finish them.  They really had fun doing this and will always remember it when they look at the ornaments hanging on the tree.

After they cut out the shapes they wanted, I used a straw to put a hole in the top so we could hang them later.  You may also want to flour your table like we did so the dough doesn't stick.

Salt Dough Recipe 
1/2 cup of Salt 
!/2 cup of Flour
1/4 cup of water 

Mix the ingredients in a large bowl until a dough forms.  Press out but not too thin.  Cut using any shapes you'd like.  If hanging, use a straw and punch out a hole.  Put in a 200 degree oven and bake for 3 hours.  Paint and then seal.  

*Due to the large amount of salt and flour, you may want to go to your local Dollar Tree to get them to help the cost*