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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Delicious Savory Super Bowl Party Food!

I'm looking forward to making some yummy treats for my family next Sunday. Katie is the only one who really loves football, but the rest of us enjoy all the fun commercials! This year, I'm making a cheesy, corn-y Mexican flavored dip, and my most favorite Buffalo Chicken dip. I'll serve them with carrots, celery and Tostito Scoops. I'll probably add my Easy Peasy BBQ Chicken Pizza to the spread, too.

Cheesy-Mexicorn Dip (serve warm!)

1 8 oz pkg Cream Cheese, softened (you can mix this with a little taco seasoning for more spice)
1 15 or 16-oz Can Refried Beans (I use fat-free)
1/2  (or full) can Hormel No-bean Chili (I like the Turkey No-Bean Chili - if you use 1/2 can, freeze leftover chili in a ziploc bag flat in the freezer for next time!)
1 can Mexicorn or white corn, drained
**optional** chop a handful of black olives coarsely, throw them on top of the corn
1 8-oz pkg Mexican-blend Shredded Cheese

Spread cream cheese in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Spread beans, then the chili, then the corn, (and olives, if you use them) on top of cream cheese. Sprinkle shredded cheese over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes until cheese is melted. SOOOOOOOOOOOO good!  Drizzle ranch dressing over the top, serve with corn or tortilla chips!

Buffalo Chicken Dip (served warm)

1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing
1/2 cup Frank's® RedHot® Buffalo Wing Sauce
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (can use mozzarella, parm, blue, or any other cheese instead)
2 (9.75 ounce) cans Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cream cheese in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with a fork or whisk until it's smooth. Stir in the dressing, hot sauce and shredded cheese, then stir in the chicken. Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbly. Stir before serving.  Serve with carrots, celery, pita or other chips, crackers.

We're gonna be rooting for the Patriots next week ~ Katie really likes them!  How about you ~ which team has your vote? And what delicious foods do you serve on game day?  I'd love to see your favorite recipes, leave me a comment!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Purex/Jockey Giveaway/Review! Hurry ~ ends 1/27!

(This post is being posted much later than I intended - January has proven to be a challenging month for me & my family so far!  Apologies to Purex & Jockey for my tardiness.)

Purex & Jockey have teamed up for a fantastic giveaway that is just perfect for the beginning of the New Year - how many of y'all are resolving to exercise/diet/get-in-shape?  You'll love this giveaway, then!

Jockey's Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra  has some truly innovative features:
  • Moisture wicking properties keep you cool & dry & cool while you work out
  • Convenient key pocket
  • Reflective logo at the back
  • Breathable mesh panels
  • Soft bottom band for comfortable support
The fabric content is 93% polyester, 7% spandex, and the lining is 94% polyester, 6% spandex.

I received one of these bras to wear & review; I was not disappointed by the quality & comfort.  It is very supportive, breathable, and easy to care for! It's also super-comfortable, which is important in work-out wear! 

Purex & Jockey are offering my readers the opportunity to get a 20% off coupon code that is redeemable either online, or at Jockey Outlet stores!  Click the link to get your coupon code for your sports bra or other Jockey product!

Purex also sent me a bottle of their new Tropical Splash Purex Crystals Fabric Softener.  These little crystals are 92% natural and go into your wash at the beginning - which allows lots of time to infuse your clothes with long-lasting, fresh fragrance.   I love that Purex Crystals don't contain oil.  That means they can safely be used on ALL laundry,  including: 
  • Athletic wear - including Jockey's Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra
  • Towels
  • Children's Sleepwear
  • Pretty much everything else!
Did you know that normally you shouldn't use fabric softeners on your performance sports/athletic wear?  Traditional fabric softeners contain oil, and oil content prevents the wicking process in your sportswear.

All that said, now on to the fun stuff - a giveaway!

Purex & Jockey are giving one of my readers the same two items I received:
  • One Jockey Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra (winner chooses from XS (30"), S (32"), M(34" -36"), L (38"-40"), XL (42"-44")
  • One bottle of Tropical Splash Purex Crystals Fabric Softener 
Disclosure: Jockey & Purex provided free samples of of their products so I could review them. No other compensation was received. All of the opinions expressed here are my own.

I'm using Rafflecopter for this contest so you can enter quickly and easily!  Click the "read more" link to enter now!

UPDATE: Congrats to CAROLE ~ she's the winner of my Purex/Jockey prize pack! This is the first time I've had to draw again, as the first winner didn't respond back in time - so sorry, but I have to turn this info in to my sponsors tomorrow, so I had to follow the rules and go to the next drawn winner.  : (

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Using herbs & botanicals around the house

We are getting a preview of a channel called Veria on Dish Network this month, and I'm truly enjoying it!  This morning I watched a great show on there called "What a Relief" that talks about using herbs in your house.  I'm going to post some of these uses not only for you to enjoy, but also as a way that I can easily refer back to them! : )

1.  To keep your closet or drawers moth-free, fill a muslin sachet sized bag with equal parts of dried lavender and dried wormwood.  Store in drawer or closet.  After a few months, refresh by crusing bag gently between hands, replace in closet or drawer.  Wormwood is anti-microbial and a natural insect repellent! 

2.  To treat laundry stains:  resoak stains with hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar...a little goes a long way.   Drying your clothes in the sunshine helps as sunlight is a natural bleach. 

 3.  La Lavenderia Herbal Laundry Detergent:  Brew a handful of lavender & wormwood  stems/flowers/leaves in a large pot of water, then strain.  Add 1 1/2 - 2 cups of this strained herbal water to an empty glass jar or bottle, then add 1/2 cup castile-based liquid soap (like Dr. Bronners unscented, or lavender scented), or you can shave a solid castile soap bar into the bottle.  Add  2 Tbsp baking soda (which acts as a fabric softener, reduces static cling) & 1/8 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, which is also fabric softener.  Use a bit of this mixture in your wash, and it will smell great and be disinfected naturally!  It's non-toxic, safe on skin, and lavender is not only a natural cleanser, it has a calming scent too!  Sweet!

4.  Safe & Natural Insecticide:  boric acid kills ants, or sprinkle it on your carpets to deter fleas.  Wipe ant trails in your home with the following mixture:   Dilute hot sauce in water, add a dash of cinnamon, and a few red pepper flakes.  Then spray across trail, wipe, and watch them leave: it will upset their ability to pick up the scent of their old trail!  Organic, inexpensive and doesn't burn skin!

5.  To clean your toilets, first scrub with brush, flush, then add 1 tsp each of lavender & thyme essential oil to 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide.  Add to the toilet, let sit for an hour or longer before flushing.

6.  For toilets stained with rust or hard water deposits, baking soda or citric acid can be used to scour those stains without ruining the enamel.

For more information on any of these natural recipes, check out!  : )

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Get your free trial membership to BJ's Wholesale Club!!

VocalPoint & BJ's have given me the opportunity share a link for FREE 60 day trial memberships to BJ's Wholesale Club!  BJ's Wholesale Club stores are located in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.  (I really hope you live in a state with a BJ's Wholesale Club so you can get one of these trial memberships!)

Want to learn more about BJ's?

•BJ's Members can save over $500 on groceries a year!*
•BJ's is the only club to accept manufacturers' coupons!  Y'all KNOW I love that!

•BJ's carries top brand names like Pampers®, Similac®, PediaSure®, Safety 1st®,
InSTEP®, Little Tikes®, Eddie Bauer®, Disney®, Gerber® and more!
•BJ's even carries products you can't find anywhere else, like
Pampers® Cruisers® +Ultra Absorbency—extra-absorbent zones help give up
to 12 hours of protection against leaks!

•BJ's has a great selection from the leading brands of hair care, skin care, oral
care, deodorant and vitamins, even some cosmetics.

•Shop any time, anywhere at
•BJ's Wholesale Club stores are only located in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida,
Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia.

*Over $500 per-year savings are compared to supermarket prices in research conducted by Warehouse Club Focus, October 2010.  Savings are based on the per-unit price of a market basket of items. Savings may vary based upon market area and items purchased.

Sounds good, right?  Click here to get your free trial membership!  Feel free to share this link with your friends & family!

Thanks Vocalpoint & BJ's!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Have you talked with your kids about Prescription Drug Abuse?

I've been thinking about over-the-counter and prescription drug abuse lately because there is information about it everywhere, it seems! Just this week, purchasing cold medicine, cough medicine, and allergy medicine I received print outs on my receipts about teen prescription drug abuse, and there are often commercials/PSA ads on tv too.   The government even limits how much allergy medicine I can buy per month because it can be used to get high and also to manufacture illegal drugs.  That makes me crazy come spring & fall when 3 out of 4 of my family are sick and need one pill person per day.  I have to send my husband and a friend who doesn't have allergies to buy Claritin-D so we can have enough medicine to not sniffle/sneeze and feel miserable all day - that is ridiculous!! But it's a necessity because of prescription & over-the-counter drug abuse.

I have talked with my 17 year old about the dangers of drug abuse, and she actually knows kids at her former high school that drink cough syrup to "get buzzed".   When she had pain medicine prescribed last year, she said several teens at her school offered big money for one pill. Seriously?!  Thankfully, she ignored them.  I just can't imagine kids doing that.  It's definitely a different world than the one I grew up in!

It won't be long until we'll need to talk to our 8 year old as well, since I think boys seem to be more reckless and less inclined to think about consequences.  I want him to be aware of the dangers of using medicines not prescribed for him, or using medicines inappropriately. 

I guess it shouldn't be surprising - the evening news regularly reports the latest Hollywood star's rehab admission, or pill mills being raided (that happened right across the street from my husband's office two  months ago - a "pain clinic" was raided after reports of many out of state patients coming & going.)   You can even buy prescription drugs online now, often without a prescription - how crazy is that?!  Here are some pretty disturbing numbers related to prescription drug abuse in America...

Have you talked with your kids about prescription drug abuse?  If so, how old are your kids?  It seems like we have to warn them earlier than ever about the dangers of misusing medicines in order to educate them and help them prepare for the possibility of peer pressure.  That makes me so sad.