Sunday, January 29, 2012

bertolli Soupmeals

I think most parents know the challenges of making a good and healthy dinner on a weeknight.  When asked to take this Make a weeknight dinner special challenge, sponsored by Bertolli Meal Soups, I was up for it.  We were only given one hour preparation time, which is about the most we have to prepare our families a meal, but this time making it a little more special than frozen nuggets and mac and cheese.

I have used Bertolli sauces and olive oil before but have never tried their frozen meals.
I was thrilled to find these soups come in 4 different flavors, Chicken Minestrone, Roasted Chicken and Rotini Pasta, Tomato Florentine and Tortellini with Chicken, and Tuscan-Style Beef and Vegetable.  If you have not noticed the theme these are all robust and hearty for a busy day.

The package suggests it only serves 2 people, so I am a little worried about how I will feed my family on this little amount.  Since my husband usually gets home late, I fed the kids something and made a special place setting just for us.  My theme, european backpacking.  If you went abroad you know what I am talking about, all you bought for meals was usually a bottle of wine, some cheese and bread.  If you were lucky you bought something else of substance.

Bring back memories

The next challenge was making this meal special, more than opening a frozen meal option and throwing into the microwave.  

Fortunately for me my family loves soups so I had a feeling this would help keeping everyone happy.  I had no idea January was National Soup Month.  I guess that makes sense with the cold weather.  I know I have cooked several soups this month.  Obviously this was by far the easiest!!

So how did I make this night special:

 I toasted some bakery style bread for croutons.  First rubbed with olive oil and a cut garlic clove. In the oven at 350 until golden brown.   Then sprinkled with parmesan cheese and toast another minute.  If you don't want to use the oven, just toast a few slices in the toaster.  Once out spread it with butter and rub them with a cut piece of garlic.  Surprising what a great and quick garlic bread taste you get.  

With only an hour to prepare, I had my daughter and her friend find a recipe using boxed cake mix.  They discovered Chocolate Chip Cookie cake. (I will post about this later)  To make these even faster you could make cupcakes, they cook in half the time.  Once the hour buzzer ended for food preparation, the cake was cooling and we were eating our soups.

Since I was making it for my husband and I,  my daughter and I used some French themed placemats and napkins, added a tray of the bread and cut up fruits and cheese.
Added some candlesticks and a bottle of wine.  This says special on the weeknight, even the weekend in our house!

Just plate the soup and add the crouton on top with a little extra cheese if you wish.

REVIEW OF SOUP: My husband and I were both impressed with the soup. This was not like a canned soup with overcooked veggies and pasta, but was just as easy.  All you do is add 1 cup of water to the frozen mixture and bring to a boil.  Worried about the sodium I added about 1 1/2/2 cups of water and it was still delicious.   

 It is pretty true to its serving size, my husband and I both had a large bowl and my husband went back for a little extra and my son snuck a smaller bowl.  

Right out of bad

You could probably extend it to feed a family of four by adding some more chicken stock and a can of beans but don't mess with it too much.

Thanks Bortelli for giving me an excuse to dress up my table and enjoy some quiet time with my husband.  Sometimes we feel we have to made an extravagant meal to impress, but a hearty soup and some bread, fruit and cheeses will do the trick!

Wanted to add there was a $1 off coupon in todays Sunday coupon section.  Grab it and give it a try.
These soups can be found in the Frozen section at your grocers to find a retailer near you, check out Bertolli's Website.  You can also find more about Bertolli and these Meal soups and other products on Facebook and Twitter.

I was fully compensated by Bertolli to participate in the Weeknight Meal Special Challenge but all the opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Children Advil $1 off Coupons (4 for one lucky winner)

Children's Advil Mission via @MySmiley360 

When my 5 year old came down with a fever and later Pnuemonia, I grabbed the Children's Advil.  He acted as if he was not sick and his fever was down for several hours.  

Children’s Advil® and Infants’ Advil®: Provides up to 8 hours of fever relief with just one dose!

Children’s Advil® is the #1 Selling Children’s Fever Brand.** Nothing reduces a fever faster* or keeps it down longer than Children’s Advil®. You can feel confident knowing that Children’s Advil® is both safe and effective when used as directed.

    Infants’ Advil® Concentrated Drops:
  • Ages 6-23 months 
  • Reduces fever, relieves minor aches and pains due to the common cold, flu, headaches, and toothaches
    Children’s Advil® Suspension Liquid:
  • Ages 2-11 years 
  • Fever reducer, relives minor aches and pains due to the common cold, flu, sore throat, headaches, and toothaches
Purchase additional Infants’ Advil® or Children’s Advil® at your local retail store. 
  • Click here for complete drug facts, uses, warnings, dosing chart and active ingredients. 
  • 'Like' Children’s Advil® on Facebook
  • For more information visit

Want to win 4 $1 off coupons for Advil so you can try it, just comment below and you can win!!  Ends on Sunday 1/29 5pm EST.

Be sure to Check out our current coupons for Children's Advil® Products.

If you are not already a member you can join HERE.

Questions or comments regarding any Advil® products call toll free 1-800-88ADVIL or1-800-882-3845 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST or ask your pharmacist, doctor or health care professional. 
*Based on reducing fever below 100 degrees F **Among OTC Brands based on 52 weeks ending 10/2/11 †Among leading OTC pain relievers/fever reducers 
In the spirit of full disclosure, provided samples of Infants’ Advil® or Children’s Advil® for me and my family to try. No payment was given and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coming Soon FInding NEMO in 3D

I am a Disney Movie fan I will admit, have been since I was a child.  I am bummed most of my movies are in VHS, yes I said it VHS, and our machine recently broke.

Fortunately for me and my kid of course, most of the classics have come back in either DVD or Blu-ray (do not own one of those).

Coming Sept. 1, 2012 in 3D this family G rated classic, Finding NEMO,  will be a family movie worth waiting for.  I know my children were too young to see this at the movie theatre the first time so look forward to it this time.

I remember thinking what wonderful graphics this movie had and to watch the underwater scenes in 3D will be amazing.

Here is the trailer  available in different forms, for the newly released movie

for the IPAD

Monday, January 23, 2012

Don't let your New Year's Resolutions Fade already

Don't put that resolution in the trash already, if you have a 24 Hour Fitness near you can can get a 7 day pass for free.

Maybe another goal of yours is to make healthy and economical meals for your family.

Join Food on the Table
Food on the Table is an easy meal planning service that is based on sales at local grocery stores. With Food On The Table, users will be able to: find thousands of easy, healthy recipes, save money by knowing the items that are on sale, and simplify your shopping experience with a well organized grocery list.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kids Clothing Swap

I have never heard of thredUP before but think this could be a real cool and inexpensive way to get clothes and money for your used items.

The thredUP community - where moms swap kids clothes and toys. It’s easier than ever to hand-down outgrown children’s items and earn cashback. Use FREE USPS boxes or Concierge bags to de-clutter without leaving the house. Earn up to $10 for each great box you sell and up to $20 for each bag you stuff and return to us. Pick new boxes that start at just $9 and come full of great kids stuff. The average thredUP box has more than 15 items. It’s the best kids clothing deal anywhere
How does it work?
  • Gather all the books your child no longer reads, and list them by the boxful on thredUP.
  • Sign-up for free and thredUP will send you complimentary empty USPS boxes (if you don’t want to wait, go grab them for free at your local post office).
  • When another mom picks your box of books, thredUP lets you know. thredUP generates the shipping label and scheduldes home pick-up, so you can send books without leaving the house.
It’s even easier than Goodwill and you’ll send your family’s once loved books directly to another child who wants them.

Love to know if any of you have ever tried this and what you think.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Valentine's Gift Idea

A great and cheap valentine's day gift for a parent or grandparent.  For a limited time, get one FREE customized Mug for Valentine’s Day! A great gift on its own or filled with sweet treats for Valentine’s Day, a personalized ceramic mug will brighten up anyone’s day! Choose a design that fits your mood and add text to make it unique. The mug is free, just pay shipping and processing.  

Not into Valentines day they have many other designs to choose from! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

$1 Coupon Yoplait Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Need to start eating better in the new year.  Now we are talking, a healthy but flavorful combo, Chocolate Banana,  I am sure the kids will drink two.   Even better, trying to save money this year, Blogspark is offering a coupon to get your resolutions started.

You can visit to download a printable *coupon for $1.00 off one package of Yoplait® Frozen Smoothies.

*This coupon offer is not valid in the following states: including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee.

I received this information and the coupon offer from Yoplait through MyBlogSpark.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's cold outside...heat things up inside with these Valentines products

This is a over age 18 and over post, so just check over your shoulders you never know what little eye might be lurking.  This is not the normal content of this blog but we all need to branch out a little bit.

No matter if you are a SAHM or a WAHM or a working mom you are tired at the end of the day.  The last thing you are thinking about after a long day of working, cooking, cleaning, wiping noses and bums is to get intimate with your husband. 

Plan a date at home to make a nice meal together, watch a movie or run a warm bath with the Chemistry bubble Bath Set after the children are asleep.  Make sure all electronics are turned off and you can really tune in with each other.  Think about getting dressed up and taking off those yoga pants for one night.

You might even find some enchanting lotions, makeup, books or sex toys at EdenFantasys to get the mood started.  They are offering a free gift with every order and now is the time to think about getting a few things for Valentines Day. 

Here are some cute ideas that won't have your husband think you have a second personality.

Love Notes are a sweet way to remind your husband you love him.  Stick some in his lunch or suitcase if he travels.  He will be rushing home from that trip.

I know you can get too comfortable in your relationship and the romance is gone.  Try 52 weeks of Romance to get ideas to keep the spark in your relationship.

You just may want to add some lingere to your wardrobe, they have quite a selection.

Wishing you and yours a fun night and some time to add some spunk back into your relationship.  It really is not that expensive or can be pretty tame!

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store
 Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store
I was given compensation for this post but all the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Are you a SheSpeaks Member?? $10 coupon just to try this product

Wanted to share this wonderful group of women and opportunity to share your opinions and grab some free stuff too.  I can't do this campaign but maybe you live near a location.  Plus is you can not go to a grocer they are offereing a free $10 coupon.

Welcome to the Peeled Snacks Healthy Swap Program! We can’t wait to hear about how you’re making the swap for Peeled Snacks. We encourage you to invite your friends to join SheSpeaks and see if they can enroll in this program. Just send them this link: and ask them if they live near one of these participating retailers: Acme Fresh Market (OH), D'Agostino's (NYC), Foodtown (NY, NJ, PA), Heinen's (OH), Ingles (NC, TN), King Kullen (NY), Marc's (OH, CT), PriceChopper (NY, PA, CT, MA, VT, NH), ShopRite (NY, NJ, PA, CT, DE, MD). You can see the full list of retailers here.
If you aren't a member of SheSpeaks and you'd like to join this program, click here to join SheSpeaks!

Peeled Snacks’ goal is simple: to make you feel good about snacking. Peeled Snacks wants you to ditch your usual afternoon snack and replace it with Peeled Snacks gently dried, organic fruit. With no added sugar or preservatives and convenient packaging, Peeled Snacks makes it easy to have a yummy, healthy treat anytime.
So...How Does the Program Work?
1. Try ItPeeled Snacks
Use the free coupon in your program kit to get Peeled Snacks at a participating retailer. Click 
here to see the list and find the stores closest to you. Take your healthy snack home and enjoy! Use your coupon soon, it expires on February 28, 2012. 
2. Discuss It
Join the conversation! Share your snack swap with other women in the community and tell us about your experience with Peeled Snacks. You can join in on the 
Peeled Snacks Discussion Board, which can also be found on your homepage.
3. Share It
Pass along the Peeled Snacks coupons with your friends and family. We also encourage you to share the online discount code "SheSpeaks" with your friends, family and online community! 
If you write a blog about your experience with this SheSpeaks program, please email us the blog post link at Make sure you share your coupons and discount code soon, they expire on February 28, 2012.
We look forward to your feedback on these products and we hope you enjoy them! Remember, if you have questions, feel free to email us at

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rafflecopter ipad and kindle giveaway enter here

Help Spread The Love… And Win! :)

Nine months ago, we set out to create an app that makes it super simple to manage the process of running a giveaway on your blog. In 2012, with your continued support, we’re looking forward to making Rafflecopter even awesome-r :)
So if you love Rafflecopter and want to give back, simply help us spread the word! Not enough motivation? Then how about this for an incentive: If you refer the winner, you win a Kindle Fire for yourself. BOOM! Look out – It’s raining prizes!
If you want to embed the widget on your blog for +5 entries, here’s how you’d do it. Just go to this link and follow the instructions:
This giveaway is open for the US and Canadian residents and will close February 9th at 12:01 a.m. EST.
Thanks for sharing the love!!

ENter HEre

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 8, 2012

$100 Amazon Twitter Blast

Attention Bloggers!

If you are looking to grow your Twitter following – sign up for Twitter Blast, hosted by Jen of Makobi Scribe. Last month’s Twitter Blast was a huge success.
What is a Twitter Blast? You the blogger can join for $1 with one account – Twitter. The prize will be provided: $100 Amazon code.

What do you need to do to join? 

  • Post about the event with the button. (Right click save the image)
  • Fill out this form. Sign ups close Jan 14th at 9 AM EST.
  • Post the Rafflecopter on your blog and your Facebook page for the event. You can get it here.
  • Schedule the giveaway post to go live on Jan 15 11:59 PM EST to Feb 1 12:01
  • You can post on every blog you have, one post per twitter account.
  • Jen will email you on the 14th to remind you.
Hosted by: Makobi Scribe
Event Dates: 1/15/12 to 2/1/12
Cost: $1 for one Twitter account
Group Prize or Your Own Prize: Group Prize
Last Day to Sign-Up: 01/13/12