Parmesan Sage Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sauce

Parmesan Sage Gnocchi in Browned Butter SauceYou guys know how much I love kitchen short cuts, especially ones that can help you make amazing delicious and seemingly upscale dishes without too much effort.  Well, today I’m going to share another of those kitchen short cuts with you and a recipe for my Parmesan Sage Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sauce!

Potato GnocchiSimply Potatoes®  products are your fast track to casseroles, hash dishes and so much more.  Even my Parmesan Sage Gnocchi starts with Simply Potatoes.  Their products are simply made with always fresh, never frozen potatoes.  They go from farm, to fridge, to fork.  Check out all the varieties available here.

Simply PotatoesMy gnocchi recipe starts with the Traditional Mashed Potatoes.  Add an egg and flour, and you have a basic gnocchi dough.  Grated Parmesan cheese and chopped sage add the unique flavor that make these gnocchi special.

How To Make GnocchiMaking gnocchi is not hard, you guys!  It’s actually pretty quick and easy.  It’s really just a matter of mixing a few ingredients to create a dough, rolling it into a “snake” shape and cutting little pillow-like puffs.  You can use the prongs of a fork to roll grooves onto the sides for extra “sauce space” and visual texture.  Get the details on the rest of the recipe below.

Parmesan Sage Gnocchi in Browned Butter SauceWhere Can You Find Them?

You can find Simply Potatoes in grocery stores everywhere!  Look in the refrigerated section.  What are some ideas you might have for how to incorporate Simply Potatoes products into a recipe of your own?

Parmesan Sage Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sauce

Parmesan Sage Gnocchi in Browned Butter Sauce

Ingredients

    For the Gnocchi:
  • 1 package Simply Potatoes® Traditional Mashed Potatoes
  • 2-3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Sage
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup Butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2-3 Fresh Sage Leaves

Instructions

    For the Gnocchi:
  1. Combine the Simply Potatoes® Traditional Mashed Potatoes, Parmesan cheese, sage and egg in a bowl. Mix Well.
  2. Add in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the mixture reaches a dough like consistency.
  3. The dough should not be sticky, nor dry and crumbling.
  4. Take sections of the dough and roll into "snake-like" tubular logs, about 1/2 inch in diameter.
  5. Cut into 1 inch pieces.
  6. Roll sides of each piece of dough against the prongs of a fork for texture.
  7. Drop the gnocchi into salted, boiling water for 4-5 minutes.
  8. They should float to the top when they are cooked through.
  9. Drain and set aside.
  10. For the Sauce:
  11. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  12. Add the sage leaves.
  13. Stir constantly until the butter browns.
  14. Remove the sage leaves.
  15. Remove from heat.
  16. To Finish:
  17. Add cooked gnocchi to the butter mixture while the pan is still hot.
  18. Toss quickly to coat.
  19. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon.
  20. Garnish with additional chopped sage and Parmesan cheese, if desired.
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Tween Girl Gift Guide

What does every tween girl want?  I can’t answer that question, but I know someone who can: my tweenage daughter.  With the help of an almost 11 year old expert, I’ve compiled eleven super fun, super cool gift options in my Tween Girl Gift Guide.

Here are our Tween Girl Gift Guide picks –

Tween Girl Gift GuideUnicorn Tape Dispenser  //  Pusheen Plushie  //  Wonder  // Cat Cell Phone Holder

Fuji Instax Mini  //  Wall Hanging Photo Frame  //  Wreck This Journal

Pusheen Slippers  //  Colored Pencils  //  Bath Bombs  // Brush Tip Markers

If you were to make your own Tween Girl Gift Guide, what would be on it?  Drop us a line in the comments or on Facebook and share what you’re buying for the tween girls in your life this holiday season?

Posted in Life in General | 4 Comments

Thai Shrimp Noodle Salad

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.

Thai-Shrimp-Noodle-Salad-10

A few weeks ago, I told you all about how I grew up eating No Yolks noodles in my grandma’s chicken noodles.  My love of No Yolks is no joke and today I’m delivering on the recipe I promised you!  Think past home-style noodle recipes and live outside of the box.  Versatility and No Yolks go hand in hand!  Soups (like Miso and French Onion), creative dishes like Sriracha Cheesy Noodles or Noodles with Kale and Walnut Pesto are just the tip of the iceberg!

My amazing recipe for you: Thai Shrimp Noodle Salad.  It’s quick, flavorful and can feed a crowd.  You don’t have a crowd to feed?  That’s ok!  Believe it or not, the leftovers are awesome too!  “But don’t the noodles get soggy?”  Nope!  If you aren’t familiar with the brand, No Yolks are the things dreams are made of.  First, they are high quality noodles that come out smooth, firm and fluffy and furthermore, they stay that way!

Thai-Shrimp-Noodle-Salad

Recipe Inspiration:

No Yolks is a healthy egg noodle alternative for all of your creatively amazing dishes.  Because they are made from egg whites, they have no cholesterol and are low in fat and sodium!  Check out the video below showing Pecorino and Black Pepper Noodles for another example of how you can incorporate these versatile noodles into your dinnertime routine.  Available in Broad, Extra Broad, Fine, Kluski, Dumplings, and now Stir-Fry, there is a perfect noodle for you, no matter what dish you create.

No Yolks noodles are easy to incorporate into everyday meals.  Simply toss them with some grilled or steamed veggies, use seasoned noodles as a bed for your favorite protein or mix in a blend of your favorite cheeses for a tasty side.

Grab the recipe for Thai Shrimp Noodle Salad below.  Also check out this site for more inspiration.

Thai-Shrimp-Noodle-Salad

Don’t those noodles look incredibly light and fluffy?  If you want an easy side, these are perfect.  First thing, boil up some No Yolks in water or a little broth.  Next, toss them with nothing more than a little butter, salt and pepper.  They are simply perfect!  From casseroles to pasta salads to soups are more, you can’t go wrong with No Yolks.

Get social with No Yolks!

In addition to staying up to date on company news, you’ll be the first to know about new products, recipes, offers and more!  You will find them on the social media sites listed below:

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.

Thai Shrimp Noodle Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 12 Servings

Thai Shrimp Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 package No Yolks Broad Noodles
  • 24 oz medium cooked shrimp
  • 6 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 3 small seedless cucumbers, julienned
  • 2 large bell peppers, red and orange, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Dressing:
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot chile sauce
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the cooled noodles, shrimp, veggies, and cilantro. Add the dressing ingredients to a blender and pulse until smooth, adding more coconut milk as needed until desired thickness is reached. Pour dressing over the noodle salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
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Get Organized for Fall

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

Are you looking to get organized during this busy time of year? Are you looking to have everything in place and ready before the fall festivities kick in? Do you have plans to get your meals prepped and planned before the holidays? Are you looking for a way to preserve your traditional recipes or create a budget for your seasonal shopping? If you need a little extra help getting your fall plans finished, check out this great deal at Walmart on the Scotch™ Thermal Laminator.

The Scotch™ Thermal Laminator is on rollback during the months of October to December for only $17.88! Laminators are typically priced at $19.97 so this is the time to buy!

I know how important it is to save money when you’re getting organized for the fall, so be sure to check out this great deal at Walmart!

Posted in Crafts, For the Home | 1 Comment

Mongolian Pulled Pork Tacos

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Conagra Brands.  All opinions are mine alone.  #RecipesThatCrock #SeasonalSolutions #CollectiveBias

Mongolian-Pulled-Pork-Tacos-Collage-5One of the perks of our move to Michigan has been getting to enjoy all four seasons.  Back in North Carolina, Spring and Fall were luxuries only offered in small doses.  As the cooler temperatures set in, I’m getting more and more excited about all of the amazing meals I can make using my crock pot, like my Mongolian Pulled Pork Tacos!

I often work long hours.  When those are added to my roughly 3 hour a day commute, the last thing I want to do when I get home is stand in front of the stove.  That’s what makes my crock pot so amazing!  I am always on the lookout for ways to put it to use.  One of the things I’ve learned through may hours in the kitchen (and probably even more hours on Pinterest) is that crock pots are for so much more than soups and stews!

Mongolian-Pulled-Pork-Tacos-3

What’s Cooking?

Did you know that 77% of consumers eat Chinese food, but only 25% make it at home?  Why?  It’s viewed as being too complicated to make.  Trust me, Chinese-inspired meals don’t have to be complicated.  Products like P.F. Chang’s® Home Menu Sauces and Hunt’s® Tomatoes make it simple!  The sauces are versatile – not only are they great for stir fry, but they can also be used as dips, marinade and in the crock pot too!  You can tell that these sauces were developed with really unique ingredients.  Their premium, distinct flavors do all the heavy lifting for you!  And, Hunt’s® Tomatoes, those are a pantry staple for me.  I use them constantly!  They can be used in virtually anything from appetizers to your main course.

Kale-Apple-Slaw-1My recipe for Mongolian Pulled Pork Tacos is a modern twist on Mongolian BBQ.  In this recipe I use simple, flavorful ingredients like P.F. Chang’s® Home Menu Mongolian Style BBQ Sauce and Hunt’s® Petite Diced Tomatoes to help me accomplish my dinner goals.   Paired with fresh fruit and vegetables, I have a dish that is rich in flavor and texture without spending all day in the kitchen.

Crock-Pot-Pulled-Pork-Tacos

Make It:

Who wants to give my Mongolian Pulled Pork Tacos a try?  It only takes a few minutes and a few ingredients to get started.  Grab the full recipe below!  If you love it, don’t forget to share it on Yummly, Pinterest or your other favorite recipe sharing site!

Mongolian Pulled Pork Tacos

Mongolian Pulled Pork Tacos

Ingredients

  • Flour Tortillas or Romaine Lettuce Hearts (low-carb option)
  • For The Pulled Pork
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can Hunt's® Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 (2 lb) Pork Tenderloin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned Carrots
  • 1/2 Granny Smith Apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup P.F. Chang’s® Home Menu Mongolian Style BBQ Sauce
  • For The Kale Apple Slaw
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 Granny Smith Apple, julienned
  • 1/2 cup julienned Carrots
  • 1 cup shredded Kale, stems removed

Instructions

  1. Drain the tomatoes and spread them over the bottom of your crock pot.
  2. Place the pork tenderloin on top of the tomatoes.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Top the pork tenderloin with apples and carrots.
  5. Drizzle with sauce.
  6. Cook over low heat for 6-7 hours, or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
  7. While the pork is cooking, continue on to prepare the slaw.
  8. In a bowl, combine the mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.
  9. Gently fold in the apples, carrots and kale.
  10. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  11. When the pork reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, shred with two forks. It will fall apart quite easily.
  12. Serve the pork in warmed flour tortillas, topped with slaw. Drizzle with additional sauce if desired. For a low-carb option, you may serve the pork and slaw in Romaine lettuce leaves instead of tortillas.
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You can pick up everything you need to make your own Chinese-inspired meal, including P.F. Chang’s® Home Menu Sauces and Hunt’s® Tomatoes, at your local Meijer.  Grab everything else on your shopping list while you’re there too!

Conagra Meals That CrockAre you looking for more #RecipesThatCrock ?  If so, click here for inspiration galore!  What are your favorite recipes/meals to make using your crock pot?  Tell us in the comments or by connecting with us on Facebook.

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How To Raise An Emotionally Intelligent Child

How to Raise an Emotionally Intelligent ChildIt’s 7 o’clock on a Saturday morning as I write this. Somehow, I find myself sandwiched onto a yellow school bus with a high school marching band en route to a competition. As a chaperone, hidden somewhere amidst the hanging garment bags, I am getting a firsthand glimpse of the emotional lives of teenagers. We live in a small district, so as I look down the aisle I notice every clique is represented: jocks, cowboys, preppies, bookworms, of course band geeks, and more.

We have giggling girls, boys talking about video games, antisocial kids focusing on their phones, and one misguided male who is threatening to stick his “plume” in an unmentionable spot. As these kids enjoy the chance to visit over the hum of the engine and tires rumbling down the highway, my mind turns to recent research where experts are finding that grades or academic standings aren’t the best predictors for a person’s ability to thrive or succeed. Surprisingly, the secret to success might just be a person’s emotional intelligence.

In fact, developing a child’s emotional intelligence can have immediate and long term benefits. By teaching children to recognize and understand their feelings, we can improve their educational performance, mental health, and social skills while reducing the presence of behavioral and anxiety problems. Glancing around, I can see these findings at work while observing the children interact on the bus.

Unfortunately, emotional intelligence isn’t always taught in schools or at home. As parents, we must challenge ourselves to teach our sons and daughters about their feelings right along with the three R’s (reading, writing, and arithmetic). After all, it’s the loving thing to do to help set them up for success in life.

For ideas on how to raise an emotionally intelligent child, please scroll through the following 7 tips:

Model healthy emotions and relationships. It’s no secret that our boys and girls learn from our example. However, we need to make sure that we are demonstrating correct methods for handling our emotions, life’s curve balls, and relationships. It is generally a good idea to avoid harsh judgments, yelling, name calling, gossiping, and more in front of children, because they do pick up our vocabulary and beliefs.

Open the lines of communication. Everyday, make it a point to have a conversation with your child. When they are young this isn’t a difficult task. Our youngest sons and daughters eagerly will share anything and everything about their day, but as they age this desire to talk wanes. To keep the dialogue going clear into young adulthood start listening today and avoid lecturing or yelling. Our ultimate goal is to get our children to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, concerns, and feelings with us.

Give emotions a label. To develop emotional intelligence, kids first need to identify and recognize their feelings. This will help children label their emotions and communicate their needs. Teaching kids the correct vocabulary empowers them as individuals, friends, students, partners, and eventually employees or parents.

Teach empathy. Raising emotionally intelligent children often depends on a child’s ability to understand other people’s point of views. This is a life skill that takes time to learn, but empathy has the ability to sustain relationships and form new ones. Start talking about emotions, begin volunteering, and find ways for forming relationships to encourage kids to learn how to see the world from another person’s perspective.

Children Caring For OthersProvide opportunities to help or care for others. When it comes to teaching emotional intelligence, kids need to directly see the impact their actions have on others. Look for ways to volunteer, do kind deeds, or adopt a family pet so children can have plenty of practice to understand emotions.  

Teach a child to read body language. It sounds simple, but many children don’t realize that someone can be smiling, but sad on the inside. Even adults struggle with recognizing emotions at times. Discuss nonverbal cues with a child and when you witness body language talk about what frowns, lack of eye contact, fidgeting hands, closed fists, hunched shoulders, and tense muscles might mean. Body language helps us understand another person’s feelings.  Far too often people mask their true emotions with words or fake smiles.

Use literature as a tool to teach emotional intelligence. Tap into the powerful resources of books, movies, and music to help our kids discover the world of emotions vicariously through the eyes of a character. Find materials that address different perspectives, overcoming adversity, teach social skills, and touch on emotions. This is also a great way to talk about inappropriate and appropriate behaviors.

What tips do you have for raising an emotionally intelligent child?

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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. Mother by day, writer by night, Hillary keeps abreast of the latest tech apps as she focuses on digital parenting.

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Everyday Spending – Big Rewards

Thank you CreditCards.com for sponsoring this post. Visit CreditCards.com today to find the right card for you.

Everyday Spending Big Rewards
Most of us get up in the morning and start our day with a series of everyday tasks.  There are some days that I question at what point I really woke up.  Get dressed, brush teeth, brush hair, wash face, shoes on and out the door.  My movements are so automated that I have certain things I stage the night before to ensure that nothing gets left behind in the morning.  If I work on my “work” laptop at night, I had better put it under under my purse when I finish.  If not, I’ll be 20 miles from home when I realize I never picked it up on my way out the door.  But picking up my purse is an unconscious, everyday thing.

Much like my purse, swiping my credit card at the gas pump, grocery store and everywhere in between has become an automatic action.  Why would it not be?  There is a huge selection of credit cards on the market that can earn you a variety of perks or rewards for buying the things you were going to buy anyway.  Who doesn’t like perks and rewards?  I’ve even started paying things like my cell phone bill with my credit cards.

Sushi
I personally have two rewards credit cards and my husband has two as well. Both of his earn cash back, while I have one that earns cash back and one that earns airline miles. I use my airline rewards card for any travel related expenses we might have (it offers the most “bang for the buck” on travel expenses) and for any expenses I incur as part of running this site. The rest of our spending hits one of the cash back rewards cards we have between the two of us. Things like a meal at our favorite sushi spot earn us cash that we use toward travel, like our trips back home to North Carolina. And all of my blogging expenses earn airline miles toward plane tickets to get us there.

Cousins
Traveling back home to see our family is a priority for us.  That’s our big reward for our everyday spending.  I never realized how much I needed to be close to my family until I wasn’t.  Living 700 miles away has been hard, so taking trips back to visit has become our standard form of “vacation”.  Airline travel is more expensive than it used to be, and with Detroit to Charlotte being a heavily traveled route, individual tickets often run $400 or more.  Every airline mile I earn is one step closer to my family.  Cash back rewards help subsidize hotel expenses (when I’m not invading my sister’s house), food and entertainment.

Being able to earn rewards while shopping for things like cat food, soup and salsa make getting home easier.  You would be amazed just how quickly the rewards add up when you use your rewards credit cards for everyday spending on things like groceries and gas.  If you’re not sure what kind of rewards cards there are available or which one would be best for you, check out CreditCards.com.  CreditCards.com rates and reviews credit cards to provide insightful, useful information to help you compare your options and choose the right card for you.

Cash Rewards Credit Card
The goal over at CreditCards.com is to help everyone seize greater opportunity through smarter spending.  Check out the innovative tools, experiences and advice shared at CreditCards.com and see how they can help you find the right cards and use them the right way—everyday.  How are you using your everyday spending to earn rewards?  Share your thoughts in the comments section or hit us up with your opinions on our Facebook page.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Posted in Life in General, Travel | 6 Comments

Use Your Noodle – No Yolks

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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.

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Posted in Food, Giveaways | 12 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?

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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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