Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

Our kids really do not like eating cafeteria food.  They would much rather us pack them a lunch and I cannot blame them.  Now that I am working full-time again, I much prefer a packed lunch of my own too.  Packing good and at least somewhat healthy lunches can be challenging, but I have found that having the right tools can make this task easier.  What are the right tools?

1. Lots of storage containers.

We try to use glass containers rather than plastic.  On Sunday afternoons I grab a cutting board and a good knife and peel, slice and dice fruits and veggies for the week.  The glass containers keep them fresh and easy to see in a crowded fridge.

2. Good Knives

In order to have nice sliced fruits and veggies it is important to have a good knife, or knives.  I am no sous chef, but I can tell a difference when I use our good knives.

3. A good lunchbox.

Rove #ad

We recently received 3 new Bento Boxes called Rove. We LOVE them!  They are so versatile and at just $12.99 are very affordable.  They are (top rack) dishwasher safe.  The gel pac is to be placed in the freezer and it serves as an ice pack for the lunch the next day.  The silverware is included and is easily stored in the lid!

Rove #ad

The compartments allow you to be really creative in what you pack.  For Benjamin I packed him some fresh fruit, yogurt, sunflower seeds, salad and a few leftover homemade potatoe wedges.  He loved it and loves using it every day.  I enjoy the lunches I take to work in it as well.  I love bringing lots of mix-ins for a great salad.

What would you pack in your own Rove?

Rove #ad

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

Cliff and I love coffee. We really love coffee.  We love having the ability to make coffee in our home, but we found ourselves with multiple coffee makers and limited counter space. Hamilton Beach reached out to me recently and asked if I’d like to try out their new Hamilton Beach FlexBrew.

#FlexBrew #ad

At the time they contacted me, our current coffee maker had been acting up.  It was perfect timing to try out a new one.  But when I read the description, I got even more excited!  Getting the Hamilton Beach FlewBrew, meant we were going to get rid of our Keurig machine and our old coffee maker and we were going to be able to save counter space!  AND we were going to still be able to brew a pot of coffee, K-cups OR just a single cup of coffee.  How is this possible?  It’s all thanks to the new FlewBrew!

#FlexBrew #ad

The FlewBrew has the capacity to brew up to 12 cups of coffee.  You can see where this is on the left side.  On the right side you can choose to brew just 1-2 cups of coffee OR make a single K-Cup.  One machine.  3 different ways to brew coffee.  And since you can make K-Cups, you can also use this to make your hot tea or hot chocolate.

#FlexBrew #ad

Another great feature to point out, is that the right side holds most any size of mug or travel mug.  You can brew straight into your mug and be good to go.  It also brews into our taller mugs.  We have fallen in love with this new FlexBrew and I truly think you will too!  Want to win one?  Enter below for your chance!

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

Feeding a large family on a budget is challenging.  I have been planning our meals by the month to try and make ours dollars stretch.  There are six of us, one dog and one cat to feed.  The animals are easy to take care of, but trying to plan meals for 6 peoples ages 2-42 is difficult.  I am always on the lookout for ways to save some money AND have an easy family dinner.  One of my go-to solutions is Hamburger Helper.

Hamburger Helper Rebate #ad

Hamburger Helper launched in the 1970’s with the goal of helping families have an easy family dinner and save a dollar too.  Since then they have developed many different meal options for families.  It’s always a good idea for me to have a box of Hamburger Helper in our pantry.   Recently, I discovered that they have a special rebate going on where I can get FREE GROUND BEEF just for buying their products!  I jumped at the chance and picked up 3 boxes of Hamburger Helper and a pound of ground beef.  We made the Cheesy Beef Pasta first.

Hamburger Helper Rebate #ad

To jazz it up a bit, we added some freshly chopped garlic cloves, a tablespoon of parsley and a little bit of diced onion.  Pair this with some fresh fruit and you have an easy family dinner that is guaranteed to make everyone smile!

Does the idea of free ground beef and an easy family dinner appeal to you?  Then read below and get ready to go shopping!  To get a free pound of ground beef; simply buy three boxes of Hamburger Helper (any variety) and one pound of ground beef.  Then visit the rebate page and print off the rebate form.  Fill it out and mail it in.  Easy peasy!

Hamburger Helper Rebate #ad

We already did this and it is a great deal!  Go ahead and check this out and let me know which Hamburger Helper is your favorite!

 

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

So lets Talk!

Collagen, a very important word that not all women know but almost all women will eventually be concerned with the lack of it as they age. Collagen is a natural occurring protein that makes up about a third of all protein content found in your body and is one of the main things giving your skin strength and structure.  As we age the collagen will break down naturally. BOO!!!

Now before I get into these yummy supplements lets chat about what you can do right now to slow down the break down of the collagen you have left.

SUN SCREEN SUN SCREEN SUN SCREEN!!!!! I once had a lady ask me what I thought was the most important thing she should add to her skin care regiment. With out a doubt I answered with “sunscreen.” “in the winter?” she asked. YES everyone, sunscreen is a year around accessory, never leave home with out it! Your older self will thank you.

Other things you can do….. If you smoke, please for skin sake put it down. Take care of yourself….. This includes your diet. You will be amazed at how much even your complexion will improve with the “cleaning” up of your diet. Chuck those boxed over processed foods out the door.

Well now that we have gotten that out of the way lets talk supplements.

I love this NeoCell product. Beauty Bursts are collagen soft chews, which have type 1 and 3 in them, meaning it focuses on skin rebuilding and on fibrous protein in bone, cartilage, tendons, and other connective tissues. It also has hyaluronic acid great for hydration of your skin as well as vitamin C.

DSC01364 Now while all those are great I really appreciate how this product is free of gluten, soy, palm oil, lactose, and artificial flavors. I like not having to worry about what else has been added to my supplements.

DSC01366e

Now I’m going to rabbit trail for a second….. I have been on a SLOW to slow weight loss journey after having little E.  My goal right now has been to drastically cut down on the amount of sugar I allow in my body. and when I say sugar I include simple cards. So all that to say these do contain 4g of sugar which is more then I would really like however I use them as a treat. So not only am I getting some healthy supplements in my body but it also cures my sugar cravings. YAY!!!!!!

Go check them out at NeoCell. They also have Chocolate Mint flavor! OMG come to mama!! I can’t wait to try that flavor. To purchase head on over to Amazon.

 

Rachelle is a wife, mother, photographer and blogger. She has 3 little girls. Her oldest 2 are home-schooled. Rachelle’s interests are fitness and health, furniture re-purposing and building, DIY decorating, sewing, learning and everything family. Click here to meet Rachelle

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

 

My kids love playing outside and with  all the pretty weather we’ve been having, they stay outside as much as possible.  This is especially nice after a rough patch of heavy snow that left us stuck inside a lot.  The boys and A all love exploring through the yard and playing make believe.  They have been asking for a tent for a while now to build upon their backyard adventures. Pacific Play Tents has been making award-winning tunnels, tents and toys for 25 years.  I was so excited to receive their Ocean Adventures Dome Tent!

P_20150412_181122 (1)

All the pieces came in a great little draw string bag.

P_20150412_181209

We were having absolutely beautiful weather that day so we headed outside to set it up.

P_20150412_181307 (1)

This tent was SO easy to set up thanks to the great color coded poles.  I showed my 7-year-old how to slide the poles into the tent sleeves and he took over.

P_20150412_181656 (1)

P_20150412_181956 (1)

In less than 5 minutes, the tent was all set up and ready for play!  N called Little Miss over and they crawled inside.

P_20150412_182331 (1) P_20150412_182302 (1)

I was really impressed with the size of the tent.  At 6 FT X 5 FT X 49 IN high, it is nice and spacious and can easily hold 4 of the kids at once.  I was even able to get inside with them and play!  The sides of the tent are made of mesh type fabric which allows nice airflow.  The bottom is made of waterproof polyethylene so I don’t have to worry about the kids getting wet from damp ground.  It has a neat tunnel hole/window that the kids really liked.

P_20150412_182102 (1)

The cute ocean graphics on the tent were also a hit with the kids.  It’s so bright and cheery!  They have been having a blast with their new tent!  They play make believe, curl up with books inside it, color in coloring books in it and even brought it inside and ate lunch in it on a rainy day.  They now are planning a night that they can camp out in it!  The Ocean Adventures tent is a great addition to our house and will get a lot of use!

Pacific Play Tents products can be ordered online at www.pacificplaytents.com and are sold at places like Walmart and Target as well as many online sites.

One lucky reader will win a $50 gift card to the Pacific Play Tents website!

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda