Tuesday, April 22, 2014

French’s Crunch Time Entrees: Quick Restaurant-Style Meals You Can Make for Your Family! (GIVEAWAY)

I’ve never been shy about confessing that I really don’t enjoy cooking and meal-planning. Anything that makes my life easier when it comes to feeding my family will most likely be a big hit with me. That’s why I was excited to hear about new French’s Crunch Time Entrees! Each pouch contains a packet of crunchy coating and a packet of sauce. There are four different flavors: General Tso’s, Buffalo (made with Frank’s RedHot), Sweet & Sour, and Chipotle BBQ.

As you can see from our photos below, they were so easy to make. We cut up chicken (you can also use beef, pork or seafood), dipped it in egg, rolled it in the crunchy coating and flour, and baked it at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

We also made a pot of rice in our rice cooker. Then we put the chicken on the rice and poured the sauce on top!

This meal was a huge hit with our whole family! We tried the General Tso’s and Sweet & Sour flavors, which were both delicious. (I’m a huge fan of Sweet & Sour especially.) We just added a salad, and we had an easy and delectable meal. And each French’s Crunch Time Entrée has a suggested retail price of only $3.49! Even with the additional cost of the meat/seafood, that’s way less expensive than you’ll spend at a restaurant.

For more information, recipes and coupons, visit www.frenchs.com and www.facebook.com/frenchs.


One lucky winner will receive two flavors of French's Crunch Time Entrees! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

Little Passports 12-Month Subscription Giveaway + Melissa and Doug Toys

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Great news! You can win a 12-month subscription to one of the best learning tools for your children, Little Passports. Enter now and you could have your own subscription by the end of the month as well as some of the hottest toys on the market from Melissa and Doug! This prize is valued at $250, but let's be serious ... you cannot put a price on your child learning fun facts about the world we live in! Little Passports allows your child to develop knowledge on all kinds of different historical figures, eras, locations and traditions, turning them into true citizens of the world. And YES ... it is super fun! The deadline to sign up to win this prize is April 25, 2014. If you miss out on this weeks opportunity, don't fret. There is one more week of giveaways to enter. Use the link below:


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Winners for the Week of April 13, 2014

Spring into Cash Event: $250 Visa Gift Card

Congratulations to the winners: Heather M. and Jeanna J.!

Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism Book Blast: $75 Amazon Gift Card

Congratulations to the winner: Kimberly M.!

Alpha and Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games (DVD)

Congratulations to the winner: Dennise B.!

ScriptureArt Tote and Wristlet ($90 ARV)

Congratulations to the winner: Jasmine P.!

Unquenchable Book Tour: Silver and Onyx Bracelet

Congratulations to the winner: Gina B.!

The Tenor, by Peter Danish (eBook)

Congratulations to the winner: Brooke F.!

Master Lock Laptop Lock and Document Storage Box

Congratulations to the winner: Lauren Olivia W.!

Personalized Plush Teddy Bear or Bunny from Teddy Bears Personalized

Congratulations to the winner: Rochelle H.!

RIO 2 Carnival Party Pack Complete Figure Set & Activity Set ($34.95 ARV)

Congratulations to the winner: Alona Y.!

Raining Romance Books Giveaway Hop: 3 Amish Romances by Bestselling Authors

Congratulations to the winner: Lynn B.!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: A New Inspirational Hallmark Series Premieres on Easter!

I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about this new series airing on the Hallmark Channel! Signed, Sealed, Delivered premieres on Easter Sunday, April 20th at 8:00 PM, and is executive produced by Martha Williamson, who also produced the highly popular series, Touched by an Angel.

About the show:
Two trusted brands of family entertainment, Hallmark Channel and Martha Williamson, have joined forces for this new original series, slated to run for 10 consecutive weeks. Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a wonderful combination of romance, comedy and drama that follows the lives of four postal workers who transform themselves into a nontraditional team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail. Their missions take them out of the office into an unpredictable world where letters from the past can change lives when they arrive late but somehow on time. Signed, Sealed, Delivered stars Eric Mabius (Ugly Betty), Kristin Booth (The Kennedys), Crystal Lowe (Smallville) and Geoff Gustafson (Primeval: New World). Special guest stars announced to date include Valerie Harper, Della Reese, Valerie Bertinelli and Marilu Henner, who will portray supervisors in a revolving role featuring television icons.

Check out this video sneak peek:

I’ve got my TiVo set to record this series. I hope you’ll join me in watching Signed, Sealed, Delivered with your family!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (April 19, 2014)

It's the Passover / Easter edition of the Super Saturday Giveaway Linky! For those of you celebrating either holiday, I hope you had (or will have) an enjoyable time with family and friends. In your downtime, don't forget to enter some of the giveaways listed in my right sidebar and in the linky below. If you have giveaways on your blog or website, please share them with us in the linky and tell your Twitter and Facebook friends to visit this page. Rejoice!

Little House on the Prairie: Remastered for DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital! Giveaway for Seasons 1 and 2 DVDs ~ a $60 Value!

One of my absolutely favorite book and TV series as a child was Little House on the Prairie. The books were penned by Laura Ingalls Wilder and chronicled her family’s real-life adventures on the American frontier in the latter part of the 19th century. Although the TV series didn’t always follow the books to a T, I still loved the show about the Ingalls family. I was the same age as my twins when the show first aired in 1974, so I felt like I grew up with the characters as I watched them on my television screen for the next nine seasons. (In fact, Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls on the show, is the same age as me!)

Therefore, I was excited to hear that a new generation of kids will be able to enjoy Little House on the Prairie because the TV series is being restored with hi-def picture and sound quality for Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download. Season One was released on March 25th, and Season Two will be out on May 6th. My kids and I have started watching Season One together, and we are enjoying it so much! The series begins with the pilot movie, which shows how the Ingalls family leaves their home and extended family in the woods to travel west in a covered wagon. We meet Mr. Edwards in the pilot, but the rest of the well-known townspeople (the Olesons, Doc Baker, Miss Beadle, Reverend Alden, etc.) are introduced in the regular shows of Season One.

Check out this video preview of Season One:

The Little House on the Prairie television series received 17 Emmy nominations, 3 Golden Globe nominations, and 2 People’s Choice Awards! It was a family favorite not only at our house, but with all of our friends. Each episode was the perfect combination of drama and comedy, highlighting both the tragedies and the joys of life on the frontier. From blizzards and drought to schoolyard squabbles, financial difficulties, and fun with family and friends, Little House on the Prairie demonstrates family values while being highly entertaining. Whether you want to recapture your youthful memories of the show or discover a heart-warming series anew, you’ll definitely want to pick up the Little House on the Prairie series on Blu-ray or DVD!


One lucky winner will receive BOTH DVDs from Lionsgate Home Entertainment:
  • Little House on the Prairie – Season One Deluxe Remastered Edition
  • Little House on the Prairie – Season Two Deluxe Remastered Edition
This is a $60 value! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, May 4, 2014.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DVD Giveaway: Birds of Paradise ~ Sky-High Adventure Exclusively at Walmart!

About Birds of Paradise:
When Jack, an ordinary sparrow with dreams of becoming an extraordinary bird, is accidentally covered in colorful paint, he is thrilled about his new exotic appearance and believes that he’ll now be able to impress Aurora, a beautiful canary who has recently escaped from her indoor cage. But when Aurora’s mean owner, Mr. Potter, finds her, Jack must enlist the help of his best friends -- Vinnie, the loyal pigeon, and Skeeter, the hyper hummingbird, as well as Rosie, the caring bat, and the wise Old Buzzard -- in order to free her. Along the way, Jack and Aurora learn that it’s not what you look like on the outside, but who you are on the inside that truly counts.

My boys and I watched Birds of Paradise together and really enjoyed it! It has plenty of action to keep kids’ attention and a valuable lesson about loving yourself just the way you are! Awarded the DOVE seal of approval, this family-friendly adventure features the voices of a talented cast including Drake Bell (TV’s “Drake & Josh"), Ashley Tisdale (TV’s “High School Musical”), Ken Jeong (Despicable Me 2), Jane Lynch (TV’s “Glee”), Jon Lovitz (The Benchwarmers) and Keith David (Free Birds).

Watch the Trailer:

Download the Birds of Paradise Activity Sheet:

The Birds of Paradise DVD will be available exclusively at Walmart for the suggested retail price of $19.98. The film will also be available from Redbox and on Digital HD, Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View.


One lucky winner will receive Birds of Paradise on DVD! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

Garden Lites Veggie Muffins: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Kosher, High-Fiber, Low-Calorie … and Absolutely Delicious!

It seems like everyone I work with has a special diet -- one person eats gluten-free, another’s vegetarian, and a third is on a low-fat diet. Needless to say, when we get lunch together, it’s tough to find foods that please everyone! Fortunately, I’ve got a great option to bring in for breakfast: Garden Lites Veggie Muffins! Their first ingredient is a vegetable, and they’re all gluten-free, vegetarian, low in calories, high in fiber, and Kosher Parve. These two-ounce muffins are just the right size for a small breakfast or snack. They’re kept in the freezer until you’re ready to thaw them at room temperature or warm them in the microwave.

Garden Lites Veggie Muffins are available in the following flavors:

Veggie Blueberry Oat Muffins
Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Veggie Muffins
Zucchini Chocolate Veggie Muffins
Carrot Berry Veggie Muffins
Golden Corn Veggie Muffins

I’ve had the opportunity to sample every flavor, and they are excellent! My kids couldn’t even tell that the Zucchini Chocolate Veggie Muffins contained zucchini because they had such a wonderful chocolate taste. My favorites are the Carrot Berry and Veggie Blueberry Oat Muffins. The Golden Corn Veggie Muffins actually have big pieces of sweet corn in them. All of the muffins are moist and flavorful.

You can find Garden Lites Veggie Muffins in the freezer section at Target, Publix, Foodtown, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Stop & Shop, Costco, Fresh Market, Martindales, and more! For a full list of retailers, visit www.garden-lites.com. Follow Garden Lites on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Book Review: "Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids," by Dr. Laura Markham

Have you ever lost your temper with your children and started yelling at them? Chances are, you haven’t been satisfied with the result. As Dr. Laura Markham notes in her new book, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, “Kids respond better if we don’t yell. Yelling escalates a difficult situation, turning it from a squall into a storm.” So, how can you stop yelling and start connecting with your kids?

Dr. Markham says it is entirely possible to stop yelling and still set healthy limits with your children. Fortunately, she provides workable solutions, not just theories, for helping parents to respond peacefully when their children anger or frustrate them. It’s a matter of learning “three big ideas”: Regulating Yourself; Fostering Connection; and Coaching, Not Controlling. And Dr. Markham takes you lovingly through each process so that you’ll have the confidence to respond to your children in a way that “creates a better parent-child relationship, which produces better-behaved children.”

If you’re tired of feeling out of control, of the endless battles with your kids, and of feeling like a bad parent because you let your children push your buttons, I suggest you read Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. Dr. Markham’s strategies are entirely do-able and have helped many families become happier and more loving.

This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

Little Passports Passover Stories and Facebook Giveaway

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Did you know the Jewish holiday of Passover began last night, April 14th, at sunset and continues until the night of April 22nd? This important holiday commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people in Ancient Egypt. If you have a minute, check out the post on the Little Passports Blog where a Little Passports employee details one of her favorite childhood memories of the Seder during the first night of Passover. Do you have any fun family traditions you'd like to share with us?

Little Passports is also hosting their own Facebook giveaway this week! Use this link below to sign up to win a 1 year Little Passports subscription and a 1 year NatureBox subscription. (That is almost $400 worth of goodies!) The deadline to sign up to win this prize is April 18th. If you miss out on this week's opportunity, don't fret... There are 2 more weeks of giveaways to enter.


SampleSource.com: For People Who Love Free Samples and Trying Different Products!

Have you ever thought about purchasing a product, but were afraid you’d waste your money if you found you didn’t like it? Now there’s a solution to that problem: SampleSource.com! Through this service, you can “test drive” name brand products at no cost, enabling you to make smarter shopping decisions!

SampleSource.com is available for U.S. and Canadian consumers. They gather literally hundreds of thousands of name-brand product samples for home, body and life, and offer the samples that people are specifically interested in trying at no charge. There is:
  • no membership
  • no subscription service
  • no postage or handling
  • no requirement to rate or review samples in order to receive more
It’s just a fun way to try new products to help you determine what you like for you and your family!

Here is how it works:

- Sign up on the website to receive an alert email when product samples are available. (There are several large distributions a year.)
- Answer a short survey to help SampleSource.com identify what products you are interested in trying. (You won’t be offered cat food, for instance, if you only have a dog.)
- When the email arrives announcing samples are available, log in and click on as many or as few samples as you’d like. There’s no limit. (Major brands like Colgate, Quaker, Glade, Jergens, Tetley, Hersheys, Tresemme, Snuggle, Chick, Tide, John Frieda and Armor All have participated in the past.)
- Watch for your box of samples in the mail.
- In a few weeks you’ll get an offer to fill out a survey on the products and offer ratings for other SampleSource.com users. It’s completely voluntary. This is a great way to share what you think with other consumers and even the manufacturer.

SampleSource.com sent me a box with sample-sized versions of Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield Mouthwash; Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothpaste; a $1 Coupon for Any Colgate Toothpaste; and Tums Freshers Antacids. Not only are these products great for sampling, but they’re great for travel, too! I can put the sample-sized oral-care products in my luggage, and I tucked the Tums into my purse. If you love to try different products (and get mail!), sign up for SampleSource.com’s free service!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fun and Yummy Easter Ideas and Recipes from Nestlé!

Everyone loves Nestlé candy throughout the year, but it is especially popular at Easter because it can be used to plan egg/candy hunts, fill Easter baskets, and serve up delicious Easter recipes! Here are some products and ideas from Nestlé to make your Easter egg-stra special!

NEW! Hard2Find Egg Hunt Outdoor Kit
Each egg is shaped and colored to look like objects in nature, from rocks and bark to grass and flowers! They’re pre-filled with NERDS, SweeTARTS and Laffy Taffy, making them perfect for your outdoor egg hunt!

NEW! Hard2Find Egg Hunt Indoor Kit
Each egg includes a hanging string, suction cups, adhesive stickers and glow-in-the-dark eggs so you can surprise the kids by hiding eggs in some crazy places!

NEW! SweeTARTS Gummies & Jelly Beans Pouches
Sold exclusively at Costco, these tart and tangy SweeTARTS come in chewy gummies and jelly bean form!

WONKA Laffy Taffy Jelly Beans
These brightly colored banana, cherry, grape and apple jelly beans are perfect for egg hunts and Easter baskets!

Nestlé Butterfinger Bunny and Crunch Bunny
Made of solid milk chocolate with Butterfinger pieces or crisped rice Nestlé Crunch pieces, they’re sure to please your little candy-bar fans!

NERDS Bumpy Jelly Beans
With a crispy shell and chewy jelly bean center, these jelly beans come in your favorite NERDS flavors: orange, apple, cherry, grape and lemon!

These are just a few of the awesome Easter products from Nestlé. Pick them up at the store not only for Easter hunts and baskets, but also for making some delicious recipes like those below:

Easter Brownie Cupcakes

• 1 package (19.5 ounces) chocolate brownie mix
• 36 NESTLÉ BUTTERFINGER or CRUNCH NestEggs, divided
• 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
• 2 drops green food coloring

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

UNWRAP and chop 12 Nestlé NestEggs.

PREPARE brownie mix according to package directions. Stir in chopped Nestlé NestEggs. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.

BAKE for 16 to 18 minutes or until edges are slightly firm and centers just begin to sink. Cool in muffin pans for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Spoon a dollop of cream cheese mixture over tops of brownie cupcakes; smooth top.

COMBINE coconut and food coloring in medium bowl; stir with fork to combine. Sprinkle coconut over cream cheese frosting. Top each with 1 unwrapped Nestlé NestEgg.

Coconut Cookie Nests

• 2 large egg whites
• 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 4 colors of food coloring (optional)
• 12 NESTLÉ CRUNCH or BUTTERFINGER NestEggs, unwrapped

PREHEAT oven to 325° F. Lightly grease and flour baking sheet.

WHISK egg whites until frothy in medium bowl. Stir in coconut, sugar, flour, vanilla extract and salt until well blended. Divide coconut mixture into 4 bowls. Add 1 to 2 drops different color food coloring to each bowl; mix until colors are dispersed evenly. Drop by tablespoonfuls into 12 mounds 1 1/2 inches apart. Press centers in slightly to form nests.

BAKE for 20 to 22 minutes or until set and lightly golden brown. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes; transfer nests to wire rack to cool completely. Place 1 Nestlé NestEgg in each nest before serving.

Chocolate Chip Easter Baskets

• 1 package (16.5 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Dough
• 1 cup prepared white frosting
• Green food coloring
• 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
• WONKA® SweeTARTS® or SPREE® Jelly Beans
• Thin-string licorice, various colors, cut into 3-inch pieces for basket handles (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 24 mini-muffin cups. Place one square of cookie dough into each cup.

BAKE for 14 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pans to wire rack. If licorice handles are to be added, with tip of wooden pick, make two holes opposite each other on top edge of cup. Make sure holes are the same size as the width of the licorice. This is best done when cups are very warm. Cool cups completely in pans on wire rack. With tip of butter knife, remove cookie cups from muffin pans. Arrange on serving platter.

COMBINE frosting and a few drops of food coloring in small bowl, adding additional food coloring until desired shade is reached.

DISSOLVE a few drops of food coloring in 1/4 teaspoon water in small, resealable food storage plastic bag. Add coconut. Seal bag and shake to evenly coat coconut.

SPOON a small amount of frosting onto the top of each cup. Add a pinch of tinted coconut. Top grass with SweeTarts Jelly Beans. Insert ends of licorice into small holes in cups for handles.

Your family’s Easter will be totally amazing this year with Nestlé’s yummy seasonal candy and the fun recipes above. Happy Easter!

Clarence, a New Original Animated Series, Premieres Monday, April 14, on Cartoon Network!

My 10-year-old boys recently had the opportunity to view the first two episodes of Clarence, the newest original animated comedy series from Cartoon Network, which premieres Monday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. (ET, PT). Clarence is an optimistic, spirited, lovable boy who sees the best in all things and wants to try everything -- because everything is amazing! Celebrate the best of childhood -- epic dirt fights, awkward crushes, trampoline combat, sleepover pranks and secret tree forts -- all through the eyes of Clarence.

Clarence's novel perspective transforms nearly any situation, however mundane, into the best day ever. No matter what happens, good or bad, nothing brings Clarence down. Clarence shares his adventures with his remarkable group of friends and family. His two best friends include the scrappy Sumo and cautious Jeff. Keeping Clarence contained is the responsibility of his sassy and patient mom Mary and her laid-back boyfriend Chad. Set in Aberdale, a charming small town, Clarence's stories are inspired by the triumphs and tragedies of childhood -- although, in Clarence's hands, these stories always veer off the main road, if not off the map entirely!

So, what did my boys think of Clarence? When asked to describe the show, they told me it was “funny” and “awesome”! Whenever I stepped into the other room, I kept hearing them break out into wild laughter! I think that Clarence is going to become their new “must-watch” show. I hope you and your kids will check it out on Cartoon Network!

Winners for the Week of April 6, 2014

Sweet Series Book Tour: Sweet Oblivion (Book 1; Paperback)

Congratulations to the winner: Stephanie G.!

Prejudice Meets Pride Cover Reveal: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

Congratulations to the winner: Kimberly M.!

The Boxcar Baby Book Blast: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

Congratulations to the winner: Ramon R.!

Avalon: Web of Magic Book Blast: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

Congratulations to the winner: Chelsea H.!

Fool for Books Giveaway Hop: Chicken Soup for the Soul Book

Congratulations to the winner: Nicole L.!

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Variety Gift Bucket ($36.99 RV)

Congratulations to the winner: Lilia K.!

Crown of Ice Cover Reveal: $10 Amazon Gift Card & eBook

Congratulations to the winner: Rosey M.!

Against the Wild (DVD)

Congratulations to the winner: Janice C.!