Mindy

Mindy is a first-time Mom living in Maine. She recently left her full-time Paralegal job of more than 10 years to become a Stay-at-Home Mom. She loves cooking & baking, classic rock, sunshine and spending time with her daughter.

Oct 242014
 

This post is part of s sponsored campaign with SheSpeaks and DripDrop.

I’m 21 weeks pregnant with my second child, and we just found out yesterday that we are having a boy!  We are so excited to add a little boy to our family! 

I had a checkup with my midwife yesterday, and we ran through all of the normal pregnancy questions.  One of the questions she asked me was how my water intake has been.  I hesitated, and then said “Well, I could be doing better.”  Truth is, I really do need to increase my water intake. 

One of the reasons I don’t drink as much water as I should, is, well, it’s just boring!  Plain water is boring!  I’m avoiding soda and juices because they are high in sugar, and I have been limiting myself to only 1 cup of coffee per day.  Water is pretty much the only thing that I do drink, but I just get so tired of it that I don’t drink as much of it as I should. 

It really doesn’t surprise me that dehydration affects 75% of Americans, including children.  We all get so busy with our lives that we just forget to drink enough water.  It’s really important to stay hydrated, though, so we have to start drinking more water!

I’ve now found a great way to add some flavor to my water, and hopefully give me some extra motivation to drink more.  DripDrop is a flavored hydration powder that you mix with water.  Not only does it add great flavor to your water, but it also hydrates 34% better than water alone.  It also contains 2-3 times more electrolytes than sports drinks, and also contains 50% less sugar than sports drinks.  DripDrop is also great for treating and preventing dehydration resulting from vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating.

DripDrop lemon

DripDrop comes in Lemon or Berry Flavors.  We were provided with a sample of the lemon, and Kayleigh made a bit of a sour face after drinking it the first time, but she did go back for more!  I tried it myself, and I really prefer the taste of it when the water is ice cold, as opposed to just room temperature. 

Kayleigh drinking DripDrop lemon

DripDrop’s powder packs are super small, so they are easy for you to carry in your purse, gym bag, diaper bag, etc. for a quick boost of hydration any time you want.

DripDrop Lemon

You can pick up your own box of DripDrop at your nearest Walgreens, CVS, or online at Amazon. Each box contains 8 individual packets of powder which can be used at home or on the go to help your family stay hydrated.  You can save $2.00 on your purchase here.

Don’t forget to connect with DripDrop on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!


 Posted by at 1:08 pm
Oct 222014
 

I was compensated for this post by Global Influence, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.

I’m a stay-at-home Mom to my very busy 17 month old daughter, and I’m also 21 weeks pregnant with my second child.  Between cleaning up after my daughter, and the pure exhaustion that pregnancy itself causes, I don’t really have a lot of time or energy to keep up with a full daily beauty routine.  I’m lucky if I can squeeze in a quick shower most days!

Since we don’t leave the house very often, I pretty much live in my yoga pants all day, and don’t bother putting on any makeup.  When 4:30 in the afternoon rolls around, however, I get excited because I know John is about to come home from work soon.  I like to look a bit more refreshed and like less of a slob when he gets home from work (gotta keep that spark alive, right??), so I quickly do a few things that improve my appearance and help me feel better about myself.  It’s what I call my 10 Minute Beauty Routine

10 Minute Beauty Routine for Busy Stay at Home Moms

  • First, I comb out my hair and if necessary, pass the hair straightener through it a couple of times to tame any out of control pieces of hair. 
  • Next, I wet a washcloth with hot water and lay it over my face for a few seconds.  This helps to unclog my pores and make me feel refreshed.  I quickly rub some moisturizer into my skin, put on mascara, a bit of blush on my cheeks, and my favorite lipstick.  While I don’t really have time to do full makeup, I think these 3 items really help my face to look brighter and they make me feel better about myself. 
  • Next, I wash my feet with a hot wash cloth.  I’ve been stepping in crumbs left on the floor by Kayleigh all day, so they’re not really feeling so clean. 
  • I slap on another layer of deodorant, brush my teeth and spray some of my favorite perfume. 
  • Finally, I throw on a new pair of clothes, and I’m done!  It’s amazing how much better I feel after this quick 10 Minute Beauty Routine, and it really is so easy to fit this into my day.

On the days when I actually do get a chance to shower (don’t worry, I do aim to shower at least every other day, even if I have to do it at night while Kayleigh is asleep), I use Suave products.  Not only do they make me look and feel great, but I can buy them at Walmart for a great price!  Paying reasonable prices for products I love is one more thing that keeps this stay at home Mom feeling good!

Suave is encouraging families to live better every day by offering products for the whole family at a great value at Walmart.  The Walmart Suave Hub is filled with beauty tips, product promotions, and more.  Head on over to your local Walmart to pick up your favorite Suave products, or check out the Walmart Suave Hub today!

suave hub

What beauty tips do you have for busy Moms?

 

 

 Posted by at 12:48 pm
Oct 162014
 

I have been on a slow cooker kick for the past couple of weeks.  Pretty much every night, I have made something for dinner in my slow cooker.  It’s so easy to throw a bunch of ingredients in while Kayleigh naps in the morning, and then by the time John gets home from work, we have an amazing meal waiting for us, with very little clean up!  I also get to sit here and smell whatever’s cooking all day, which is pretty awesome I must say.

Today, I made stuffed peppers in the slow cooker.  This was actually the very first time I have ever had stuffed peppers.  Can you believe that?!  And, wow, have I ever been missing out!  This recipe is definitely going in the vault for future reference!  Just look at all that beautiful stuffing…mmmm!

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

Here’s how you make these delicious slow cooker stuffed peppers:

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

This recipe was inspired by The Recipe Critic.

INGREDIENTS

6 Large Bell Peppers (I like to use an assortment of colors)
1 pound 90% lean ground beef
½ cup onion, diced very finely (unless you like chunky onions in your meal – I don’t)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup instant white rice
1 cup beef stock
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1½ cup shredded Sharp White Cheddar cheese, divided
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup water

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small pot, bring beef stock to a boil.  Turn stove burner off, add instant rice to beef stock, cover and set aside.
  2. Cut off the top of each pepper, pull out any remaining stem and scrape out the seeds and membranes.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, rice, diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, 1 cup of Shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Stuff each pepper with ground beef mixture.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of water into bottom of slow cooker and place peppers on top.
  6. Cook peppers on low for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours, until peppers are tender and ground beef is cooked through.
  7. About 15 minutes before peppers are done, sprinkle remaining shredded cheese on top to melt.

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

This recipe was featured on The Weekend Potluck. Link up your recipes and join the fun!

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.

 Posted by at 8:45 pm
Oct 152014
 

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TruMoo. All opinions are 100% mine.

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When I was a kid, orange creamsicles were always one of my favorite treats.  That delicious orange flavor paired with a creamy vanilla center was just too good to resist.

When I saw that TruMoo had come out with a limited edition Orange Scream flavor for Halloween, I couldn’t resist picking up a jug.  Of course, I had to try it as soon as I got it home, too, and it really does taste just like a creamsicle! 

TruMoo Orange Scream

On top of being delicious, every glass of TruMoo starts with fresh, pure milk from your trusted dairy, which means it contains 8 essential nutrients. Each flavored milk is sweetened with just enough sugar and doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial growth hormones, or HFCS.  How great is that?!

While I could just drink this milk straight out of the jug, I thought I’d have a little fun with it, and use it to create a yummy dessert.  My first thought was to make a pudding out of the Orange Scream milk, but I wanted to dress that up even more.  A poke cake would be just the perfect thing!

Orange Scream Poke Cake

Poke cakes are really easy to make, and they come out super moist and delicious.  I made this poke cake earlier today, and it’s already half gone!  Here’s what you’ll need to make it: 4 cups of TruMoo Orange Scream milk, 2 3.4 oz boxes of instant vanilla pudding mix, 1 box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients listed on box to make), 1 small container of Cool Whip, and 1 orange.

Orange Scream Poke Cake Ingredients

To make this Orange Scream Poke Cake, simply bake a yellow cake mix according to the instructions on the box.  Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven.  Then, using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake.  Make sure you poke them all the way down to the bottom of the pan. 

Orange Scream Poke Cake Instructions

Next, make the pudding by combining 4 cups of Orange Scream milk with 2 boxes of instant vanilla pudding.  Let the pudding sit for just a couple of minutes until it sets up, then pour it all over the cake, making sure to fill the holes up with the pudding. 

TruMoo Orange Scream Pudding

Spread the pudding evenly over the surface of the cake.  Refrigerate the cake until cooled.

Orange Poke Cake Instructions

Once the cake has cooled down, spread Cool Whip evenly over the top. 

Orange Scream Poke Cake Instructions

Garnish with grated orange zest, and enjoy!

Orange Scream Poke Cake

Follow TruMoo on Facebook, Pinterest and visit their website for more delicious TruMoo Halloween recipes!

What will you make with TruMoo’s limited edition Orange Scream milk?

Visit Sponsor's Site

 Posted by at 10:19 am
Oct 142014
 

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

DCIM104GOPRO

Christmas is right around the corner.  How did that happen??  I feel like summer flew by so fast, and now I’ve got Christmas shopping on the brain.  I’ve got some great gift ideas lined up for the special people in my life, and I’m (not so) secretly hoping someone will get me a new camera. 

I’ve been using the camera on my phone to take photos for a while now, but I’d really like to have an actual camera, that I can do so much more with.  The camera on my phone is very limited, and the photos come out really grainy when I try to enlarge them a lot of times.  I want a camera that I can take photos of Kayleigh with, and of our family adventures and all the beautiful places we visit.  I don’t just want any old camera, though.  I want a camera that will take AWESOME photos, no matter what we are doing.  We enjoy the beauty of Maine quite often throughout the year, and I’d love to capture all of those special moments on camera.

Best Buy is unveiling a new line of action cameras, just in time for holiday shopping, and I’d love to get my hands on one of these.  Check these beauties out for yourself… 

GoPro HERO4 Black: the most advanced GoPro ever, featuring improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates1, HERO4 Black takes award‐winning GoPro performance to a whole new level.GoPro Hero4 BlackGoPro HERO4 Silver: the first-ever GoPro to feature a built-in touch display. Controlling The camera, playing back footage and adjusting settings is ultra-convenient—just view, tap and swipe the screen. With 1080p60 and 720p120 video, and 12MP photos at a staggering 30 frames per second, HERO4 Silver combines powerful, pro-quality capture with the convenience of a touch display.

GoPro Hero4 SilverGoPro HERO: Featuring high‐quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video, and 5MP photos up to 5 fps, HERO captures the same immersive footage that’s made GoPro one of the best-selling cameras in the world.  It also has a 12x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates!GoPro Hero

Aren’t you just dying to get one now??  I know I am!   

Best Buy is the home of the latest cameras and camcorders, including the full line of new GoPro cameras, plus a broad assortment of accessories.  You’ve got to have some cool accessories to go with your cameras, right?!  

GoPro cameras make perfect holiday gifts for everyone, from kids and teens, to gadget gurus, and I totally want one!!  GoPro’s new line of cameras allow you to beautifully and authentically capture and share the experiences that bring purpose, adventure, and joy to your life.  

Imagine being able to capture special moments like this:

Hero lifestyle 3Just look at the amazing quality of these photos.  They are so crisp and clear and vibrant, and they really make you feel like you are there.  Now, that’s the way I want to capture all of my wonderful memories.  Don’t you?!

DCIM106GOPRO

Learn more at www.bestbuy.com/GoPro or visit your local Best Buy to check out the latest cameras in person.  You may just find me there drooling over them.

 Posted by at 11:06 am
Oct 092014
 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Purina®. All opinions are 100% mine.

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I’ve had pets in my life for as long as I remember, whether it was my childhood dog, Bo, or one of the many cats I have taken in and cared for throughout my lifetime.

John and I currently have two cats, Maggie and Pablo. Even though they can be troublemakers once in a while, they bring us love and joy every single day. Pablo loves to lay on top of our feet. I think that is his way of “protecting” us, and Maggie, well, she loves to climb on our laps and knead our legs to death. They are both very loving and affectionate.

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Did you know that pets have proven to increase health and happiness while promoting socialization, patience and motivation? It makes complete sense if you think about it. I’ve read many stories about hospitals and nursing homes that have resident dogs or cats to help cheer up patients. Pets are wonderful companions. They give their love without ever asking for anything in return, they don’t judge, and they make for great cuddle buddies!

Pets bring so much to our daily lives, the least we can do as pet owners is return a small piece of the favor. Sam’s Club wants to help increase the health of every member and their pets!

Purina® and Sam’s Club have teamed up to host the Paws 4 Life Pledge. Purina® prides itself on producing healthy, nutritious pet food products, providing all the nutrients your pets need. John and I have always fed Purina® to our two cats. They love the food, and are happy and healthy! Sam’s Club is a great place to purchase your Purina® cat food! As a Sam’s Club member, we save a lot of money on gas and groceries throughout the year, and I love being able to buy the things I love in bulk!

You can go online and take the pledge to live a healthier lifestyle, and give your pet one too! After all, a happy pet is a healthy pet!

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Will you take the Paws4Life Pledge with me?

Visit Sponsor's Site

 Posted by at 2:00 pm
Oct 092014
 

Fall-Fashionsta-2014-250

Welcome to the Fall Fashionista Giveaway Event!  The Fall Fashionista Giveaway Event is hosted by The Chief Blonde at Still Blonde After All These Years and Katy from  ModlyChic.  All Fashion! Only FASHION event! Largest Fashion Giveaway event on the internet with $26,000+ in prizes, 100+ participating blogs and 3/4 million entries. Each individual blog has a minimum of $125 prize!

GRAND PRIZE

The  FALL Fashionista Events Grand Prize is $500 PayPal (worldwide where allowed by law).  For every giveaway in the Fall Fashionista Event that you enter, you gain one entry toward the Fall Fashionista Grand Prize. 1 Grand Prize winner will receive $500 PayPal cash. 1 first prize winner will receive $300 gift certificate to Midnight Velvet Clothing. Isn’t that stunning?

Fall Fashionista

MY PRIZE

I’m giving away a fabulous prize package, valued at $129.00!!  This prize package includes:

  • Color Trend Gray Flare Hat ($38.00).  This hat has a 22″ circumference and 80% polyester/20% rayon. 
  • Color Trend White Floral Polka Dot Linen Infinity Scarf ($60.00).  This scarf is 24″ W x 68″ circumference and is 100% linen.  Dry clean only.
  • RosenBlue Black & White Quilted Tote ($31.00).  This tote is 10″ W x 10.5″ H x 3.5″ D.  It has an 8″ drop, zip closure, two zip and one slip interior pockets, one zip exterior pocket, and is made from polyester.

Fall Fashionista Prize Package

To enter to win this great prize package, simply complete as many entries as you wish using the Giveaway Tools application below.  This giveaway is open to US residents only, and will run from October 9, 2014 through 11:59PM EST on October 17, 2014.  Good luck!!

Don’t forget to hop on over to the other giveaways to enter to win even more fabulous fashion prizes!!

 

LEGAL Stuff: 18 years of age or older to enter. US Only!  Read Instructions carefully because rules vary from contest to contest. Make sure to provide a correct email address so we can reach you if you win. You have 48 hours to respond once contacted. Still Blonde after all these YEARS, Modly Chic, Fall Fashionista Events Giveaway or the Fall Fashionista Events Giveaway bloggers are not responsible for sponsors/bloggers that do not fulfill their prizes or for any product failure or harm caused thereby.In most cases, shipping of prizes is the responsibility of the the sponsors who will be sending prizes to you directly. Your prize should arrive within 30 days, let us know if it doesn’t and we will TRY TO HELP OUT! The writer of this giveaway received a sample for this review. Compensation was not provided. Opinions expressed are the blog’s own. This Giveaway is not affiliated with, associated with or promoted by Facebook. Happy Entering!

 Posted by at 12:01 am
Oct 022014
 

My toddler is a picky eater and I’m worried that she is not getting enough nutrients. That’s why I was thrilled to try out Enfagrow as part of this sponsored post program.

Anyone who has ever tried to feed a toddler knows just how picky they can be. Often times, they have a very limited selection of foods that they will actually eat (do macaroni & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and chicken nuggets ring a bell??), and sometimes when you try to feed them something they have enjoyed several times in the past, they all of a sudden don’t want anything to do with it. Huh??

Is your toddler getting enough nutrients

Because toddlers are such picky eaters, it’s very hard to make sure they are getting the proper nutrition that they need for their growing bodies. Take a look at your floor after you feed your toddler. How much of their food did they actually eat, and how much ended up wasted on the floor? It’s a constant struggle isn’t it?

Kayleigh has always been a little peanut. She has weighed in the 5th percentile at ALL of her doctor appointments. At her one-year check up, she weighed just under 18 pounds. As a Mom, that concerns me a bit. I know that it’s still in the normal range, and her doctor and I keep a close eye on her weight, but I really just want to make sure that she is getting all of the nutrients she needs.

DHA is one important nutrient that is particularly hard to get from the foods toddlers typically eat. On average, toddlers are only getting about 25% of the brain-nourishing DHA many experts recommend. Let’s think about that for a minute. Only 25%! That’s not very much! I think it’s important for us parents to take action and work to close this nutritional gap, don’t you?!

Enfagrow

Luckily, there are convenient products like Enfagrow Toddler on the market that help make it easy to ensure your child is getting DHA in their diet every day. Did you know that Enfagrow makes a line of toddler drinks that have DHA? They are nutritionally tailored just for toddlers, ages one to three years old, and are designed to complement a toddler’s regular diet.

EnfagrowEnfagrow doesn’t just stop at DHA, though. Enfagrow also has other important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and iron for healthy growth, as well as a prebiotics blend designed to help support digestive health. All it takes is just 2 servings a day. I think that’s definitely doable!

I breastfed Kayleigh for the first 3 months of her life, but in the end, it just didn’t work out for us. Luckily, Enfamil was there for us. I switched her over to Enfamil formula, and she had a very easy transition to it, without any problems at all. I remember getting really excited when I switched from Enfamil Newborn to Enfamil Infant. My little baby was growing up so fast! Now, I am excited to continue supporting her nutrition with Enfagrow. It is a brand I trust completely and would recommend to any parent.

Enfagrow

Enfagrow is sold in a powder or convenient ready-to-drink boxes. To learn more about the benefits of DHA in your toddler’s diet, you can visit: http://bit.ly/V8JSy3.

GIVEAWAY*

One lucky reader will win an Enfagrow gift package that will include the following:

  • One Toddler Transitions Can (21oz.)
  • One Toddler Next Step Natural Milk Flavor Can (24oz.)

To enter for a chance to win, simply leave a comment below telling me what you love about Enfagrow, or why you want your toddler to try it.  This giveaway will be open from 12:00am EST 9/30/14 to 10/11/14, and is open to US residents only.  Good luck!!

Do you ever worry that your picky toddler isn’t getting the proper nutrition?

I received compensation and free Enfagrow products for this post.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES AND D.C. 18 YEARS AND OLDER ARE WHO ALREADY HAVE INTERNET ACCESS AND VALID E-MAIL ADDRESSES ARE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Promotion begins 9/30/2014 at 12:00 AM PST and ends at 11:59 PM PST on 10/11/2014. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Official Rules, eligibility, prize descriptions and odds disclosure are available at http://www.thesitsgirls.com/sweepstakes-official-rules/. Sponsor: Mead Johnson & Company, LLC, 2400 West Lloyd Expressway, Evansville, IN 47721.

I received compensation and free Enfagrow for this post. Enfagrow would be happy to help you with your question. Please contact them at 1-800-BABY-123

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 Posted by at 8:50 pm
Oct 012014
 

 

John and I took Kayleigh apple picking at a local orchard a couple of weeks ago.  She had an absolute blast picking apples, while John held her high up inside of the trees.  It was so cute watching her cup both of her tiny hands around whatever apple happened to catch her eye, and then proceed to pull and tug as hard as she could until it came loose.  She had also just learned to say “apple” a few days before our visit to the apple orchard, so of course we heard that word come out of her mouth about 1,000 times while we were there.

Since our visit to the apple orchard, she has become quite obsessed with apples.  She begs me for at least one apple each day, and as soon as she sees me pull one from the bag, her eyes light up with excitement.   She has a mouth full of teeth now, and it’s quite amusing to watch her try to bite into an apple.  Most of the time I will cut it up into bite-sized pieces for her, but some times she likes to try to eat them like a big girl. 

Our big bag of apples is almost gone already, due to her obsession with them, so I decided to sneak a few to bake up a sweet treat before they were completely gone! 

I had this idea to take my favorite Thumbprint Cookie recipe from Better Homes and Gardens and combine it with an apple pie filling and lots and lots of cinnamon sugar mixture to create Apple Pie Snickerdoodle Bars. The thumbprint cookie base and topping is so light and buttery and just melts in your mouth, and blends so well with the tasty apple pie filling. It’s a match made in heaven!

Apple Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

Here’s how you make this yummy treat!

1.  Make a double batch of the Thumbprint Cookie recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.

2.  Spread 2/3 of the Thumbprint Cookie mixture into the bottom of an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.  

3.  Make the cinnamon sugar mixture by combining 1/4 cup of sugar with 4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

4.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the thumbprint cookie layer. 

5.  Make the Apple Pie Filling as follows:

Apple Pie Filling

Ingredients:

3 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1.5 tbsp. flour

Directions:

Combine flour, sugars and spices in a small bowl, set aside.  In a large bowl, toss apples slices with lemon juice.  Add sugar mixture and toss well to coat apples completely.

6.  Pour your apple pie mixture on top of the thumbprint cookie base.

7.  Drop small pieces of the remaining thumbprint cookie dough evenly over the top of the apple pie mixture.

8.  Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture on top.

9.  Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until cookie dough is baked.

10.  Allow bars to cool and cut into squares. 

Enjoy!!

What is your favorite apple recipe?