Use Your Noodle – No Yolks

This post was sponsored by No Yolks as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

No Yolk Egg White Noodles
One food I will always remember from my childhood is chicken noodles.  No, not chicken noodle soup (although, that’s delicious too!)  My grandma makes these super yummy chicken noodles.  It’s really nothing more than seasoned and cooked on-the-bone chicken breasts that is shredded and mixed with a little broth, then stirred into No Yolks Extra Broad noodles.   She would make a huge pot of them and we would have leftovers for days.  I was never sad about the leftovers though, as they were even better the next day!

One thing I’ve never forgotten about No Yolks Extra Broad noodles is how their texture holds up.  That’s why leftovers were never disappointing.  There was no mush, not then and not now.  No Yolks Noodles always cook up firm, smooth and fluffy and they stay that way too!

With our busy lives, I often aim to make our meals large enough to have leftovers.  If we aren’t taking them for lunch, we’re eating them for dinner the next night.  I never have to worry about my dishes tasting different or having an add texture.  And I don’t just use No Yolks Noodles in casserole or stroganoff dishes.  They are great in soups (Miso, French Onion, Chicken Noodle), noodle salads (I’m sharing a great one with you about a week) and more (Sriracha Cheesy Noodles and Noodles with Kale and Walnut Pesto)!

No Yolks Broad Noodles
If you’re not familiar with the No Yolks brand, let me tell you a little about them.  No Yolks noodles are a healthy egg noodle alternative.  They are made from egg whites (no cholesterol) and are low in fat and sodium.  No matter what you’re making, No Yolks has the right cut noodle for you: Broad, Extra Broad, Fine, Kluski, Dumplings, and now Stir-Fry.

You can pick up No Yolks noodles at your favorite grocery store and save $0.50 while doing it!  Click here to grab the coupon.  But, before you head to the store, be sure to take a few minutes and enter an awesome giveaway for one of five (5) $100 gift cards.  Hurry, as the contest ends November 15th, 2017.

I-C will randomly select 5 winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes.

No Yolks® Sweepstakes

As mentioned above, I’ll be sharing a new recipe with you in about a week for a new, unique twist on a dish you wouldn’t normally associate with egg noodles, so be sure to Like us on Facebook so you don’t miss it!

And while you’re connecting, you can also connect with No Yolks at the following places:

No Yolks Website

No Yolks Facebook

No Yolks Instagram

No Yolks Pinterest

How are you using your noodle with No Yolks?  Do you have a favorite recipe that wouldn’t be complete without No Yolks?  Share it with us on Facebook or here in the comments.

Posted in Food, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Halloween Kitty Wreath

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MeowMixatMeijer #CollectiveBias

Black Cat Halloween Wreath

Just over a year ago, we added a tiny little black ball of fur to our household.  Evie was quite the opposite of our first, Reese.  She was quiet, skittish and she hid from us for a whole week.  If it was a dark, tight space, there was a good chance she’d be hiding there.  Behind the couch was a favorite.  We would go looking for her, only to find a glowing set of green eyes.

After she got used to us, her real personality started to show.  She was curious, she was a busy-body, and she was all about playtime.  It wasn’t long before we started referring to her by nicknames… Ninja Kitty, Halloween Kitty and Mini-Panther.

Black Cat and Camera
She is always under foot.  Always.  My first trip to the bathroom in the morning?  She’s there.  She’s usually hanging out in the windows over the tub.  When I do laundry, she’s hanging out at my feet.  When we work in the garage, she stands guard by the door.  When Reese tries to nap, she’s bugging her to play.

Evie is my active ball of fur, and Reese is my dust bunny.

Black Cat in a Window
Our kitties are our babies and we treat them just like we treat each other.  Though we didn’t bring them home at the same time, both were wards of the Humane Society.  Neither started out with the finer things in life, so when we have the opportunity to treat them, we do!

Meow Mix for DinnerNew Meow Mix Simple Servings is our go-to for a delicious, no-mess treat!  The are easy to open, single servings of delicious wet cat food (look at those chunks of meat and veggies!) in a convenient, mess-free cup.  Who doesn’t love gravy?  Meow Mix Simple Servings is available at Meijer in these flavors:

      • Tuna & Salmon (2pk)
      • Seafood Variety (12pk)
      • Seafood Variety (24pk)
      • Whitefish (2pk)
      • Chicken & Turkey (2pk)
      • Tuna & Whitefish (2pk)

Chicken & Turkey is a fan favorite in our house.  I love that I can pop the top, feed my kitties the delicious gravy-filled flavors they love and toss the cup.  There’s no leftovers and no mess.

If you’re a Meijer mPerks member (and you should be!), there is a 30% off mPerks offer running from 10/08/17 – 11/04/17.

Cat Crafting

For Halloween, I’m honoring my special Halloween Kitty with her very own wreath!

As you can see, both Reese and Evie like to be involved in all aspects of my life, including crafting!  Reese is more cautious about everything and Evie, well, she just jumps right in.  No instructions necessary for Evie!  A quick treat is the perfect distraction for a busy-body kitty.

Black Cat Halloween Wreath SuppliesTo make your own wreath, you’ll need a few supplies:

Wire wreath form (this one is 24″)

Decorative Mesh (3 standard size rolls for this size wreath)

A Cat-centric center piece

Hot Glue or wire for securing everything

Make A Halloween WreathStart with one color of mesh.  This should be your primary color.  Secure the end of the roll to the form with wire or hot glue.  Pull loops through each section of the wreath, one loop in each section.  Resist the urge to “fluff”.  Things will look sparse at first, but that’s ok.  Secure the end with wire.

Grab your second color of decorative mesh and repeat the same steps.  You should use your secondary color next.  The third color with be your accent color.  Pull loops of it through anywhere there’s an open spot.

Decorative Mesh WreathOnce you’ve pulled through all of your looks and secured all of your ends, you can start “fluffing” out the loops by pulling on the sides of each mesh loop to spread out the mesh.  Once fluffed, I’d suggest hanging your wreath to determine what area will be the top and what will be the bottom.  Then, you can decide the best spot to secure your Halloween kitty’s likeness.

Black Cat Halloween Wreath How ToBecause my kitty was solid black and very light, I ended up securing mine with a little black thread.  It was easier to hide than the lighter colored wire I had on hand, so use your own judgement as to what supply works best for you.  When you’re all done, your wreath is ready to hang!

Meow Mix Simple Servings at MeijerYou can pick up Meow Mix Simple Servings at your local Meijer.  Don’t forget to score the mPerks deal for 30% off!  You can also connect with Meow Mix Simple Servings at the following sites:

Do any of you have your own Halloween Kitty?  Are you honoring their likeness in any of your Halloween decorations?

Posted in Crafts, Reviews | Leave a comment

Is Your Car Ready For Extreme Winter Weather?

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Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it’s advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #WeatherProven #CollectiveBias

Get Your Car Ready For Extreme Winter Weather
Growing up in the South, winter was really a pretty mixed bag.  It might be 75 degrees one day and sleeting the next.  We had the occasional ice storm, especially in late winter/early spring, but none of that prepared me for winter in Michigan.  It’s cold here, bone chilling cold, all winter.  The winds are wicked, the roads stay wet with something or another almost the whole time (or at least that’s how it feels) and the skies are gray and gloomy.

We’ve been here through 1-1/2 winters now and I’ve already learned a lot.  It may only be October, but winter comes on fast.  I have a 50 mile commute each way, so it is extremely important for me and my car to be “winter ready“.  Here’s a checklist of how you can make sure your car is winter ready too!  Click on the image to download the printable PDF.

Prepare Your Car For Winter
Checking your fluid levels is pretty easy.  You just need to know where to look.  For your wiper fluid, you can usually visibly see the level and simply add more accordingly.  If you’ve recently had an oil change, it’s still a good idea to check your oil level and coloration.  It should be clear with no visible debris.  If you’re more than halfway to your next oil change, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just go ahead and change your oil.  Nobody wants to deal with an oil change in the middle of winter.

Check Car Fluids

A visual inspection of your brakes and tires is a must.  You don’t want either letting you down during the winter.  A major part of the “winter ready” equation for me is having the right tires.  That’s why I trust Goodyear® Assurance® WeatherReady™ tires to get me home.  They aren’t Goodyear’s first all-weather tire, but they are currently their best.  I just had a new set installed last week at Sam’s Club.  I ordered my tires online, scheduled my install appointment once they came in, and shopped while my tires were installed 5 days later. Sam’s Club has a great offer on Goodyear tires too!  GET $80 OFF INSTANTLY* ON A SET OF FOUR GOODYEAR® TIRES.

If you learn nothing else about your car, learn how to change a tire.  Trust me on this.  You do not want to have to sit and wait on a tow truck to come help you in the middle of the Winter, or any other season for that matter.  But, knowing how to change a tire won’t do you any good if you don’t have a properly inflated spare tire and all the necessary tools.  You should make sure that your tools, like your jack, are in working order too.  And speaking of tools, don’t forget your window scraper, snow brush, and jumper cables.

Most people don’t think about this, but you should thoroughly wash and then wax your car before heading into the winter season.  It will help protect your vehicle from salt and other chemicals used to treat winter roads.

Roadside Emergency Essentials
Now that you car is prepared, are you?  Do you have everything you need to survive being stranded in winter weather?  Click on the image above to grab a printable PDF of items you should have on hand in case of a roadside winter emergency.

Winter Roadside Emergency Kit

Are you ready for a new set of Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tires?  Before you visit Sam’s Club, you’ll need to know your tire size.  There are several ways to find your tire size:

  1. Check the sidewall of your existing tires.
  2. Check the sticker located on the driver’s side door jamb of your car
  3. Check your owner’s manual
  4. Use the Sam’s Club Tire Selector Tool

**This tire only fits certain vehicles.

Find Tire Size

The skies might be clear on my way to work, but the roads may be snow covered before I leave to head home.  Rain, sleet, snow or shine, I need to feel confident that I’m going to get there, and get there safely.  Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tires can tackle ALL of the extreme weather conditions Mother Nature has to offer.  Visit Sam’s Club or SamsClub.com to get your new tires today.

Where will you go now that you are winter ready?

Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tires at Sam's Club
*Save $80 off the displayed retail price. Excludes medium commercial truck tires. Not to be combined with any other offer. Offer can be changed, modified or cancelled at any time. No rain checks. See a Sam’s Club® Tire & Battery Center Associate for eligible tires, details, terms and conditions.

 

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Posted in Life in General, Reviews | 8 Comments

Love, Hope & Pizza

Hungry Howies Love Hope Pizza

This is a pink pizza box.  So what?  It’s October and there’s pink everywhere.  Maybe you notice it, maybe you don’t.  I notice it and I always will.  I see the pink everywhere because of my grandma.  She was a crank old lady, but she loved us.  She was afraid of no one and no thing, but breast cancer still wrecked her.

This my grandma.  Based on my age in this photo, I’d guess this was sometime in late 1981.  She was mama to 5, grandma to many.  She was lucky enough to meet her great granddaughter too.  Her last few years were rough.  When I say that breast cancer wrecked her, that’s not an exaggeration.  Her mind, her body.  It all gave up on her.

She’s not the only person I’ve watched breast cancer eat away at.  That’s why I do all of the things women should do to be vigilant against the disease.  Despite all of that, I am still at risk.  So is my mom.  So is my sister.  My daughter and my niece too.  We are all at risk.  One day, I hope for there to be a sure fire way to beat it, diagnose it earlier or prevent it all together.

Love Hope PizzaThat’s why I support social projects to support breast cancer funding, like #LoveHopePizza at Hungry Howie’s.  Hungry Howie’s is donating to cancer research, giving everyone who buys pizza the chance to donate and is encouraging everyone to share their “warrior for the cause” stories.  Visit Hungry Howie’s on Instagram for more information on the project and to learn how sharing your story could win you free pizza for a year.

Join me and Hungry Howie’s in sharing your “warrior” story!  How has breast cancer had an impact on your life?  What do you do to support the cause?

Posted in Life in General | 1 Comment

Movie Review: Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the SexesI wasn’t alive in 1973, but I’ve heard stories.  People didn’t watch TV the way we do today, but despite that, nearly 90 million people tuned in one day in 1973 to watch what was dubbed The Battle of the Sexes.  Like many great real-life stories, the Battle of the Sexes has made its way to the big screen!  I was invited to get an early sneak peek last week.

Battle of the SexesThrough much of history, women have been expected to be seen and not heard.  Women were second class citizens and should be happy to get whatever attention was given, positive, negative or otherwise.  Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) wasn’t having it.  After finding out just how little women were being financially rewarded in the world of tennis when compared to their male counterparts, she set out to make women heard.

King lead the support for for the first professional women’s tennis tour.  Meanwhile, former men’s tennis champion and self-described tennis hustler, Bobby Riggs, was looking to profit off some of the controversy going on within the sport.  The two ultimately ended up playing in a $100,000 exhibition match, The Battle of the Sexes.

Battle of the Sexes 7First things first, I think casting did a phenomenal job on Bobby Riggs.  The personality, the look, both were spot on with Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs.  Just take a look at the photo above.  And Emma Stone, she was perfect too.  She plays the outspoken female role so well! (Easy A, The Help)  You’ll see other familiar faces too… Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, and Elisabeth Shue just to name a few.

Battle of the SexesFrom the outside, this movie looks like it’s all about a tennis match, but it’s not.  It’s about personal demons, sexuality and where the world was on both of those in the 1970s .  Both King and Riggs are fighting internal battles, and those battles that have taken over their lives.  Bobby’s gambling addiction is ruining his marriage, while Billie Jean’s marriage has it’s own issues.  This movie is about struggles.  Personal struggles and the struggles of women who just want to be treated as equals.

It’s not all serious though.  There are plenty of light and witty moments!  Gladys (Sarah Silverman) is everything a sassy, outspoken woman wants to be.  Bobby is, for lack of a better term, completely full of himself.  And you can’t forget the rest of the women’s team.  Each brings their own special personality to the movie.

Battle of the SexesDon’t worry men.  Battle of the Sexes isn’t all full of man-hating.  My husband actually found it to be quite humorous and a little scary too.  I think he may have seen one or two too many reflections of his wife in some of the characters.  I won’t deny some of the similarities.  I don’t look near as good in a tennis shirt though.

My only gripe – I wish the movie had gone on to show more of Billie Jean and Bobby’s lives after the match.  I’ve done a fair amount of reading on Wikipedia about both Billie Jean and Bobby and I feel like there is so much more there!  Still, I was really happy with the movie and will very likely watch it again.

All in all, this movie is a win.  It’s a great date night movie, or even girl’s night movie, so don’t miss it!  Battle of the Sexes hit theaters last night, September 29th.

**Photos are by Melinda Sue Gordon. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

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Technology vs. Nature: Why Outdoor Activities Are Essential for Kids

Technology Vs Nature

It’s hardly possible not to notice how different the childhood of modern kids is compared to the one of those who were growing up without the Internet, iPads, and social networks. Back in the past, kids used to spend hours of their time outdoors playing with other kids. Playground and backyard and beach were the locations of choice for virtually any child. Such activities as playing with a ball, hiking, cycling, and simply running around were making up the biggest part of kids’ daily routine. Not even to mention how hard it was to convince a kid to go back home for a launch. Gone are the days of all this. In today’s highly digitalized world, childhood is no longer about outdoor activities.

Ironically, today it’s harder to convince kids to actually go outside and have fun in the fresh air than do the opposite. Modern kids are so addicted to devices and gadgets that it gives them hard times understanding the simple happiness of playing outside. In fact, one of the recent surveys revealed that children between eight and 18 spend as much as 7 hours 38 minutes on screen. What’s even more alarming is that 85 percent of moms confirm that they use gadgets to keep their kids occupied so they can get on with their own activities. In light of this, it comes as no surprise why emotional intelligence as well as mental health of modern kids are not as good as it could be.

The good news is that the status quo can be and should be challenged. And one of the best ways to do so is to encourage kids to try interesting outdoor activities they’ve never participated in before. Need some ideas? Feel free to use one of those listed below.

Make Them Try Gardening

One of the greatest ways to encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors is to let them start their own garden (or participate in taking care of yours). The advantages of gardening for kids are numerous. First of all, this way your kids will get interested in nature and planting. Second of all, your kids will surely have fun playing with dirt, planting tiny seeds, and watching their efforts turn into plants over the course of time. Not even to mention that gardening requires regular efforts, which means your kids will spend more time with nature on a regular basis.

Establish a Hiking Tradition

Hiking is yet another idea that can make your kids spend more time outdoors (and less time on screen). Apart from boasting numerous health benefits, hiking is also a great way to spend more time with family in the open air. Make such activities regular and chances are good that one day your kids will understand all the perks of outdoor activities.

Make Them Responsible for Walking a Dog

It’s no longer a breaking news that kids that grow up with pets tend to be healthier and happier than those who grow up without four-legged friends. For the majority of parents, this mere fact appears to be enough to make a decision about adopting a pet. If you need an extra reason, here it is: adopting a dog will make your kid ditch the gadgets and spend more time outdoors.

Girl Playing With DogHost Outdoor Parties for Their Friends

This little trick will make your kids forget about gadgets at least for a couple of hours. Invite your kid’s friends for a backyard party at your home, think of some interesting active games you loved to participate in when you were a kid, prepare some delicious food (ice cream and cookies do the job just well) all kids love and enjoy the results – little to no attention given to gadgets.

As you see, encouraging your kids to spend more time outdoors is not as hard as it may seem at first glance. All it takes to make a child forget about gadgets is to provide interesting alternatives to video games or social networks. Try it and chances are good you’ll be glad that you did.

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Hilary Smith has writing in her blood and communications on her brain. This yoga enthusiast appreciates a daily workout and loves keeping time with two children. A mother by day and writer by night, Hillary keeps abreast of the latest tech apps as she focuses in on the field of digital parenting.

 

 

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Exploring Michigan – Belle Isle

It’s been 18 months since we arrived in Michigan.  I’ve been hearing about Belle Isle since we got here (it’s an island sitting off the coat of Detroit in the Detroit River) but we haven’t made it down to visit before now.

Detroit River Belle Isle CanadaAfter those first few snowy months, we spent most of our time trying to get settled into our new house.  Outside of work, we frequented Home Depot, Menards, Walmart, Meijer and Kroger.  We didn’t do much else.  Before we knew it, Winter was here again.  Winter is hibernation season.  People go to work, people go home, and (unless you’re into snowmobiling or bowling) you stay inside.  By the time March rolled around, we were stir crazy.  We packed up and drove through the snow to spend the weekend in Traverse City, we’ve been to St Louis, Indianapolis, a tiny town in Ohio (Xenia), North Carolina and now we’re settling back into Michigan.

Our trip to Belle Isle wasn’t very well planned.  That’s usually how our trips are though.  We got up Saturday morning with every intention of driving into Canada and exploring how our neighbors to the North (technically, since we cross at the Ambassador bridge, they are our neighbors to the South) live.  We found a great little bar (The Barrel House) and had lunch on the patio.  The Seared Ahi Tuna Salad, while simple, was delicious!  It was dressed with a super light vinaigrette and it really was a perfect light lunch.

Seared Ahi Tuna SaladAfter finishing lunch, we had planned to hit up Ceasar’s Windsor.  The main road through the area we were in was closed, so we did some weaving around and made our way back over to the riverfront.  After driving toward Ceasar’s, I caught sight of Belle Isle and mentioned how we still hadn’t visited.  We quickly decided that we would abandon our original plan, saving the casino for colder weather.

I’m a little bummed that I only had my phone to take pictures.  There were so many beautiful things on Belle Isle to photograph!  The first photo in this post is from Belle Isle, looking at the Canadian shoreline across the Detroit River.  We saw one huge cargo ship, several larger private boats and a slew of smaller craft.  It was clear that people were out to enjoy the sunshine.

Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse Belle IsleWe found a spot to park and walked our way up to the Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse.  It’s constructed of Georgian marble and absolutely gorgeous.  Based on the condition of most of the island, beautiful but abandoned, I didn’t expect to see the lighthouse working, but it was!  If you read my post on Traverse City, you might remember that I have a thing for lighthouses.  They are one of my favorite parts of the beaches back in North Carolina and I miss them terribly.  There’s tons of carved detail that I just couldn’t get a good picture of with my trusty iPhone, but I do plan to visit again with my “big” camera.

Blue Heron Lagoon Belle IsleThis little puddle is Blue Heron Lagoon, one of many smaller bodies of water on Belle Isle.  The island itself is just over 900 acres, and these little guys are scattered around.  I saw canoes at one of the other little lagoons and wanted to go explore, but my husband wasn’t feeling that adventurous.  Something about me flipping him out and the water being cold…

We didn’t get to Belle Isle until around 3 pm, so we didn’t have as much time to explore as I would’ve liked.  We did get to hit up the Nature Center, but missed the deer feeding (bummer!).  We stopped and checked out a few of the abandoned buildings, drove by the abandoned zoo made it through the parking lot of the aquarium (it closed at 4 pm – noted for next time).  There is also a driving range, a gorgeous fountain (I’ll grab a photo next time), soccer fields, playgrounds, fishing areas, stable buildings (which are currently undergoing restoration) and immense amounts of open space.

Belle Isle is amazingly gorgeous (so much that it was no surprise we saw a bridal photo shoot happening) and is definitely a spot we will visit again.  If you live in/near Michigan, have you visited Belle Isle?

Posted in Life in General, Travel | 1 Comment

Scents, Cents and Sense

Suave Body Wash Wild Cherry Blossom

My husband says I’m weird.  In his mind, I have an odd attachment to smells.  I don’t find this attachment odd at all, in fact I believe it to be a far more common occurrence than he realizes.  The slightly peculiar smell of my daughter’s “lovie” (she’s 10) that just won’t come out, not matter how many times it’s been run through the wash.  The smell of car fluids (oil, grease, brake clean – my father is a mechanic).  Coffee, even if I’m not drinking it.  These are all scents that give me a sense of peace any time they pass by my nose.

Our minds attach scents to moments in our lives, good, bad or indifferent.  No matter if you like fruity, floral or clean scents, Suave Body Wash has the perfect scent (or scents) for you.

Suave Body Wash
When I’m in the shower, starting my day before the sun comes up, I think about my game plan for the day.  What will I take care of as soon as I walk into my office?  Do I have any meetings scheduled?  I want to start my day on a positive and productive note, and the amazing scents Suave Body Wash offers do just that!  Using Suave Body Wash makes sense too… or is it cents?  You can find a large variety of available scents, at a great price, at your local Walmart.

Suave wants to help you find your perfect scent!  My perfect scent is Tropical Coconut.  As you can see, it’s already in my scent rotation.  Suave has a scent for every occasion and every time of day, so stock your bathroom and be prepared for all of life’s scent-worthy moments (hint: every moment is a scent-worthy moment!)

My Perfect Body Wash

After you take the quiz, you’ll be able to grab a promo code for $0.75 off your Suave Body Wash purchase using Ibotta.

Suave Body Wash Milk and Honey SplashWhen I’m in the shower and I grab my Suave Body Wash, I know that I’m getting a great clean, a great value and a great scent that will be with me all day.  Sometimes I use my perfect scent (Tropical Coconut) and sometimes I change it up with something like Wild Cherry Blossom.  Milk & Honey Splash and Sweet Pea & Violet are date night favorites, but the truth is that you can’t go wrong with any of the Suave Body Wash scents.  They all make perfect sense!

What’s your prefect scent?  Click HERE to take the quiz and score yourself a $0.75 promo code through Ibotta.

Posted in Beauty & Fashion, Reviews | 2 Comments

Busy Summer, Easy Snacking – Yoplait Mix-Ins

This post is sponsored by Yoplait, but all opinions shared are my own.  Happy snacking! #CreamyCrunchyYoplait #YoplaitMixIns #ad

Yoplait Mix-Ins Mix It Up
Summer may not be over yet, but it certainly feels like it’s flown by!  We’ve been all over the place, from Michigan to North Carolina, St. Louis and back again.  We’ve added to our family (a hedgehog named Louie), we’ve camped, we’ve been to the beach, we’ve been to museums, zoos and aquariums.  We’ve done all the things.  We’ve also worked, a lot.  Of all the different venues, activities and time zones, the one constant… someone is always hungry!

On The Go With Yoplait Mix-Ins
We are admittedly not the best planners.  We don’t always know exactly where we’re going when we leave the house, or even how long we’ll be there.  One thing we never do is leave without snacks.  Have cooler, will travel.  You could call that our summer slogan!  We always have water, fruits and veggies and most often Yoplait Mix-Ins (available at Walmart).  Yoplait Mix-Ins come in a variety of flavors, making them an “easy to please everyone” snack time solution.

Swimming in Lake Michigan
One of our favorite stops this summer was Lake Michigan.  We were still trying to get moved into our house last summer and didn’t get out to enjoy as many of Michigan’s hot spots as we would’ve like to.  One of the first requests I heard this summer was “beach!”.  My son’s plan for the day was swim, play in the sand and eat Yoplait Mix-Ins Mint Chocolate Delight.  Rinse and repeat.

Be Free with Yoplait Mix-Ins
My daughter, much like her mama, is a sucker for the Salted Caramel Pretzel flavor.  It’s the perfect late night snack, whether you’re enjoying it on your couch or by a camp fire.  It’s covers the sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy cravings.  All of the Yoplait Mix-In flavors, available at your local Walmart, are delicious and truly portable.

Camp Fire
When we weren’t snuggled up around a camp fire or off frolicking in the surf, I was huddled up in my office and the kids were off at summer camp.  Several times a week, both enjoyed Yoplait Mix-Ins as a part of their lunch.  We kept several flavors in the fridge, allowing each kiddo to chose whichever flavor tickled their fancy. I practically have to drag them away from the yogurt aisle at Walmart every time we go shopping.

Yoplait Mix-Ins at Work
My colleagues are no stranger to Yoplait Mix-Ins.  They’ve been seeing Cherry Chocolate Almond and Key Lime Crunch in the break room fridge for a while.  Long after summer ends, I’ll still be mixing it up with Yoplait Mix-Ins.

Snacking on Yoplait Mix-Ins Coconut Chocolate
On the beach, on the couch or in the office, Yoplait Mix-Ins are the perfect portable snack!  There are six great flavors to choose from:

Very Berry Crisp // Mint Chocolate Delight // Salted Caramel Pretzel //Key Lime Crunch // Coconut Chocolate Almond // Cherry Chocolate Almond

All of these delicious flavors are available at Walmart in the yogurt section.  Check them out, then tell me where you’ll mix it up this summer.

Posted in Life in General, Reviews | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Bringing Home A Hedgehog – A Basic Shopping List

 

Hey there! Just a heads up that this post contains affiliate links. What does that mean? By shopping this post, you help feed my Netflix binges, my Amazon shopping habits and my new found need for everything hedgehog. Everything you buy is the same price as if you found it yourself. Questions? Just ask!

Hedgehog Supplies Guide
We’ve been proud hedgehog owners for three weeks now.  Yes, only three weeks and here I am, writing an “essentials” list!  Craziness, right?  Maybe or maybe not.  Bringing a hedgehog into our family wasn’t a decision made quickly or lightly.  Tons and tons of research went into our decision (ok, my husband would say this was my decision) to bring home a hedgie.

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First, hedgehogs are climbers and this is important to take into consideration when buying a habitat.  One thing I learned in my research is that many people don’t buy traditional pet habitats at all, but actually use Sterilite totes!  Hedgies need a lot of floor space (as compared to similar sized pets), so you can’t just grab any old tote.  You want something large, like the tote below.  In this particular case, you can get a much better deal on a tote at Walmart, Target or Meijer than on Amazon.  And your tote needs to be clear, not colored, so your hedgehog can see outside of his space.

Sterilite Tote (Clear 116 Qt) –

Hedgehogs are very temperature sensitive, so it is extremely important to have a good heat set up.  Hedgies need a maintained temperature of 72-80 degrees.  A heat set up should consist of a reflector dome, a ceramic heat emitter bulb (CHE), a thermostat, and a thermometer.  The CHE bulb and dome create the heat, the thermostat controls when the heat is on and the thermometer allows you to monitor the temperature.  A cold hedgie could attempt hibernation, which can be fatal.

Zilla Temperature Controller (Thermostat)

Zilla Reflector Dome –

Zoo Med Digital Thermometer

BYB Ceramic Heat Emitter Buld (CHE)

Poop Boots.  It’s a phrase hedgehog owners are familiar with.  Our little guys/gals tend to get messy from time to time, and you need a super soft brush for cleaning.  A toothbrush fits the bill perfectly.

Colgate Extra Soft Toothbrush

Depending on your hedgie’s preferences, you’ll either need 1 bowl (food) and a water bottle or two bowls (food and water).  We tried a bottle with my guy, but he wasn’t having it.  He prefers the refreshing ability to dip his toes in while he drinks.  Whatever makes you happy, little guy!

Kaytee Stoneware Bowl

Changes in weight are important indicators of health, and hedgies are weighed in grams.  Most people (at least in the US) don’t have a gram scale just lying around.  This model is easy to use and inexpensive.

Etekcity Digital Gram Scale

There are tons of options for “hides” out there, and no matter which hide you choose, it is important to give your hedgie somewhere to escape to.  I like this one because it’s plastic (read: can be easily cleaned) and it’s inexpensive.

Kaytee Igloo Hideout

Snuggle sacks are great for shorter trips, but when you’re going to be in the car for a while or you’re traveling solo, a pet carrier is a must!  I love this one because it doesn’t allow for climbing like the kind with side/front swing doors and the clear door on the top allows me to peek in at my little guy without disturbing him.

Favorite Top Load Portable Small Pet Carrier

Lots of hedgie owners let their little potatoes run around the house, uncontained.  However, we have cats and that makes free-ranging a bad idea.  We grab this super inexpensive playpen for floor time in the living room and outside in the yard.  It lets Louie have a little freedom, but keeps him contained too.

Prevue Pet Playpen

Last, but not least, you need a wheel.  I’m not recommending a wheel yet, as I am still deciding how I feel about the wheel I purchased.  What I can say is that a smooth wheel is best and you should thoroughly research wheels, including appropriate size, before buying one.  A wheel is a super important purchase, as most hedgehogs run several miles per night.

If you thought the most expensive part of getting a hedgehog would be paying for the hedgehog…surprise!  That being said, it’s all worth it!  My spikey little lap cactus brightens my mood every evening.  We even fall asleep on the couch together sometimes.  I’ll have more on Louie, other hedgehog related topics (like fleece bedding patterns), and hedgie themed shopping soon.

If you’re a hedgie owner and think of something you think I should add to the list, let me know.  In the meantime, I’ll be over here… snuggling with my cactus.

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