Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Using What You Have | Reducing Waste

This week as I sat down to make our my meal plan and grocery list I began to realize that we had so much on hand already it seemed silly (and wasteful) to not use those items up first. Last week was a wonky week and most of our meals we had planned did not get made. We also still had fruit on hand, items to make side dishes, and a ton of meat. We had quite a bit of snacks too!

So I decided to base my meal plan for this week on what we had on hand and attempted to come up with meals using those items and decreasing the amount of items I would need to buy. Needless to say I was able to come up with breakfast, lunch and dinner options with only needing to buy a few additional items to complete those meals.

 Instead of wasting what was already in our home, I took a step back and took advantage of everything we had. In the end my grocery bill was greatly reduced and that makes me one happy person! 

So what will we be eating this up coming week.

Breakfast Sandwiches

Steak Quesadilla
Homemade Pizza

***Served with celery & fruit

Homemade fish sticks
Chicken/ Potato/Veggie Dish
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Homemade chicken tenders

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Quick Drawer Organization

Today I decided to tackle a quick organizational project. My top drawer in my 3 drawer unit beside my desk was starting to become extremely cluttered and the current system I had in place was just not working. So, I hit up my local Dollar Tree and for $6 I purchased some drawer organizers. 

I decided on 2 long bins, 2 medium long bins, and 2 square bins. 

I honestly didn't have an exact plan when I started, just a vague idea of what I wanted to do. So this is what the drawer started out looking like. 

I began by taking everything and I mean everything out of the drawer and put them into piles with similiar items. Once I had all my items out, it was time to put the bins into the drawer.

...and now time to put everything back in! This is an overall look of how I organized everything.

 Here is what is now in my drawer. From left to right: The first bin holds all of my adhesives (pop up dots, glue sticks, tape runners, tape runner refills & sticky tape). The next bin holds all of my post it notes. Then a bin for scissors, hole punch, & sharpies). I have a bin dedicated just for my label maker refills (I go through a ton of these haha) and a bin for my packing tape as well. The final bin holds my washi collection. I am also storing my glue gun and glue sticks as well as labels for my planner.

...and that is it! A simple, quick, and budget friendly organizational project. I am so happy with the way it turned out and I think this new system will work much better for my needs. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

10,000 Subscriber Giveaway

I have 10,000 subscribers....what!? It seems to crazy to say that. When I first started on Youtube I never imagined my channel would grow to where it is now. None of it would be possible if it wasn't for all of you guys. So thank you for being such awesome subscribers!

Giveaway will run for 1 week. Winner will be announced on October 9th
You must be 18+ or have parental permission
Giveaway is open internationally


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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Scentsy Giveaway!

Awhile back I was contacted by Ashley, a stay at home mom, who recently became an independent consultant for Scentsy. Ashley was looking to get her business out there and offered to send me a couple items to review and use. Ashley sent me a full size warmer, a plug in warmer, and 3 Scentsy bars. Not only did she send me some wonderful goodies to play with, she is also offering up a giveaway. I can honestly say Ashley has been a pleasure to work with. She answered all my questions that I had and I received a reply quickly.

Watch my video where I share what products I received and my first impression of them!

The products I received are simply wonderful. I am loving the designs she chose for me and I am quite partial to the plug in warmer. I love the daisy print and the fact that it has a switch to turn it on w/o having my lights on is awesome! The Scentsy bars I received smell delicious! I love anything that smells seasonal or like baked goodies. I have really been enjoying the blueberry one!

Ashley currently has a Facebook page as well as a website. You can find her at the links below. 

DISCLAIMER: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my YouTube channel/blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I am interested in and believe will be good for my viewers. 

Now on to the Giveaway! 
Giveaway will run from Sept 24th-29th. Winner will be announced on the 30th
Giveaway only open to those in the USA. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review | Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs

Lately I have been discovering so many new gluten free products by brands that are deciding to jump on the gluten free bandwagon. I actually discovered this product through a catalina coupon that printed during a trip to Giant Eagle. Intrigued I decided to look for the product next time I was in the store. 

This product can be found in the freezer section at Giant Eagle (I also noticed it at Kroger as well). Both stores had the product listed for $6.99. However, I purchased this item at Giant Eagle using my catalina coupon which was for $2.50 off, so only $4.50 a box. I think it is important to note that the regular corn dogs by this brand were the exact same price at $6.99.

I was quite surprised at just how large this box was. It contains 12 full size corn dogs. Not bad at all for the $6.99 price tag. That is less then 60 cents per corn dog....even less if you consider I used a coupon.

You can cook the corn dogs three different ways: deep fry, microwave, or oven. I chose to go the oven route though I am interested in trying the deep dry method. The instructions say to cook the corn dogs for 18 minutes in a 350 degree oven. I found that 18 minutes was the exact amount of time they needed, which in my opinion is rare. I always feel I need to cook gluten free products longer then recommended.

18 minutes in the oven is just long enough to give the corn dog that nice golden brown color and the inside was cooked thoroughly. I can honestly not say enough good things about this product. They are amazing! 

I definately give this product a 10 out of 10. They tasted exactly like how I remember a corn dog to taste. They were not mushy at all. They were soft but had a nice crisp to them as well and the hotdog they used was great! This is the third type of store bought corn dogs I have tried and by far they are the best taste wise and the cheapest option out there that I know of. I would definately recomment these and will buy them again.

One thing I did want to mention is the production of the product itself. By law, in order for a company to have a gluten free label on their product they are required to test the product and it must be 20ppm or below. This currently is the only regulation required in testing gluten in products. For many though, 20ppm can still be too strong and cause a reaction. Foster Farms, actually tests their product for 10ppm! Which is amazing for those who are a little more sensitive to gluten. Just something to keep in mind, if you are looking for gluten free options that tests for lower traces of gluten! 

I would love to hear if there is a product that you would like me to review next! Let me know in the comments! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review | Tyson Gluten Free Chicken Breast Strips

Awhile back I was walking through the freezer section at the grocery store not really looking for anything in particliar and I stumbled across something pretty neat. Tyson gluten free products! Now growing up as a kid, before I discovered I was gluten intolerant, I lived on Tyson chicken nuggets. They were my favorite thing to eat as a kid. I have fond memories of eating chicken nuggets & macaroni and cheese with my cousin on multiple occasions while visiting each other. So I was quite surprised to see Tyson had created a gluten free version of some of there products: chicken nuggets and chicken breast strips. I decided to give them a try and wanted to share my views on this new product with you. 

I found this product at both my local Walmart & Giant Eagle. At both stores the Tyson gluten free products were $6.99 for a package. 

In case you are interested in the specs for this product,I found them listed on the Tyson website.
Photo @ Tyson website.

Inside the package I found 6 chicken breast strips. I will say I was a bit disappointed at how little you got in a bag. At $7 a bag that is more then a dollar for each piece and some were quite smaller than others. 

In terms of cooking, I chose to go with the oven route. Directions called for cooking your chicken strips in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
I found that at the 20 minute mark they were still pretty soggy and I prefer mine a bit crispy. So back in the oven for another 10 minutes they went. They were in the oven for a total of 30 minutes. I found this helped to crisp up the pieces a bit more but not too much. 

Overall, the taste was pretty decent but nothing spectacular. The breading was a bit more on the soggy side and even with additional time in the oven it did not help with that issue too much. I will say the chicken was very moist and tender and that was a big plus.However, I don't honestly think I would buy these again unless I needed something in a pinch, there are better options out there. I personally love the chicken products by Bell & Evans and find they are of higher quality, though around the same price.

I would rate this product a 3 out of 5.

Have you tried any of the new gluten free products by Tyson? I would love to hear what your opinion on their products are.