Parenting Healthy

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tips on Grilling for a crowd on a budget

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AHugeSale #CollectiveBias

With the summer well under way and the weather looking like it may stay a bit-at least here in the Pacific NW- grilling is a great way to get groups together and eat while visiting. Grilling outdoors keeps crowds out of the kitchen and also allows the adults to keep a closer eye on the kids who love to run and be outside. If you have ever hosted a BBQ at your home or park the costs can add up fast if you get too carried away. All summer long my husbands company does BBQ's at each stores location nationwide for their commercial accounts and he organizes them for his region. They cook a large amount of food in a short time span and it is always a hit and goes flawlessly. We also love to BBQ at home for family and friends. Now is a great time to offer tips on grilling for a large crowd on a budget with Albertsons Banner stores Anniversary sale. You can save huge on great grilling foods like Pepsi, chicken breast and more!

Go Potluck

The best way to save while hosting a BBQ is to make it a potluck meal. Asking everyone to bring salads, chips and fruit will save you time and money. When I host a potluck I always provide the main coarse or meat as the host should and I also offer to provide beverages so that I know I have a good balance of adult and kid beverages for everyone to stay hydrated. To have others be responsible for making salads and cutting fruit will allow you more time to prepare the main coarse.

Prepare your food the day before

There is no worse feeling than realizing you are missing ingredients for a meal shortly before guests arrive. This typically means sending someone to the closest store for you to overpay for an item because you need it fast and the gas station is closer and carries the ingredient you need. Prices on certain foods like spices and dairy can vary within several dollars each depending on what store you head to. Having a plan and a grocery list, checking coupons and grocery specials like the Safeway, Albertsons, Vons and other Banner stores Anniversary sale will lead you to the best deals.

Easy meal planning

While shopping my local Safeway store's Anniversary sale, I was able to score chicken breast at $1.79/lb. Time to stock up! This was great because one of the easiest BBQ meals you can make ahead of time is taking the chicken breast and sprinkling a bit of seasoning salt on them and fill a gallon ziploc bag with as many chicken breasts as will fit, pour in some Italian dressing, seal the bag and put in the fridge. By the time you grab these bags of chicken out the next day, they are well marinated and ready to throw on the grill. The flavor and juices that come off these marinated chicken breasts are delicious. 

My Safeway store also had Pepsi 24 packs on sale for only $5.88 each when you buy 2! That gives you 4 dozen cans of Poop which is plenty for a crowd for under $12. If you want variety, you can also score deals like Gatorade for $3.99 and 8 pack when you buy 5. That's 40 bottles for under $20.

Because the Anniversary sale at these Albertsons Banner stores are full of deals, you can even pick up your Italian salad dressing for the chicken marinade at a deal. Kraft dressings are part of the Buy 5 Save 5 deals in this sale. You can also throw some bags of chips out as an appetizer for low cost as I found chip specials as low as $1.99 on popular brands! 

You do not have to go overboard when grilling for guests. Get everyone to bring a dish, shop the sales, prepare for the meal ahead of time and you you will have a better chance of staying on track within a reasonable budget! The Albertsons Banner stores Anniversary Sale deals are happening now through August 4, 2015! Stock up on that chicken and soda now! 

Shop the HUGE Anniversary sale and stock up on your favorite brands 7/29-8/11. What will you stock up on?

MakerStudio Gears for budding Engineers

This is a promotional post. Opinions are my own

Do you have a budding engineer? IN a way, I think all children have the engineering passion. You see it in their play and the types of toys they love most. From building blocks to navigating challenging video games. The best play is play with an older sibling or parent and MakerStudio offers building sets you can assemble with your kids. These sets are built by Engineers. 

We have the Gears set from MakerStudio. In Gears we have the components needed to make either a race car, cable car, 3-wheeler or motorcycle. Not only do you build your vehicle, you also are given challenges. Some of these challenges can be experimenting with friction, torque or propulsion. Once you master these, you can get creative and build your own design.

You choose the materials you need to make the vehicle come to life. From boxed goods to cans, these will serve as the body of your creation. It truly feels like you engineered the creation all on your own. 

Find this and other sets at

Baking with a healthier sugar option called Lite&Sweet

This is a promotional post. Opinions are my own

Are you still using sugar? Baking is a favorite activity enjoyed by almost every household in the world. Those delicious treats have a long list of ingredients adding up to high calories and carbs. You put all that effort into baking and then feel guilty eating all the calories when done. From the vanilla you choose to the sugar can start cutting those calorie and carb counts instead of adding to the overall count.

If you are still baking with original granulated sugar, you are adding up to 16 calories per tsp and we all know most recipes requires multiple teaspoons. You are also adding about 4.2 grams of carbs per teaspoon. What does this look like for an average chocolate chip cookie recipe? The average amount of granulated sugar needed for the recipe is 3/4 cup or more. That is 36 teaspoons or 576 calories just in sugar added to those cookies. The human body can only tolerate 12-15 grams of sugar before it converts it to fat and you can get there with just a cookie or two using regular sugar. Not to mention that leaves you with an added 400 grams of carbs or more.

Baking with Lite&Sweet adds less than 4 calories per teaspoon and 0 carbs. Why are you still using granulated sugar? Is it the cost? Looking at these calorie and carb numbers, does a discounted bag still justify your decision of what sugar to purchase? For me it does not!

Sweet Cornbread

This recipe is super easy and is actually just about adding a few extras to your standard cornbread recipe. If using a box of Jiff or other cornbread recipe, add 1 cup of frozen corn (still frozen) and 1/4 c of melted butter to the recipe but a tad (about 1/4c) less milk. Now it gets sweeter! Just before baking, sprinkle the top with XyloSweet. Bake as directed but on a bottom rack or top will brown too fast.

I am not allowed to make cornbread any other way in my house now and it is so delicious with a bit of crunch on top!

About Lite&Sweet from Xlear

Lite&Sweet uses Xylitol. This is a natural forming sweetener (or sugar alcohol) that is found in fruits and vegetables. It is so natural that your liver produces xylitol daily to aid in metabolism function. It has a 1:1 sweetness ratio to sugar. It looks and tastes just like sugar with less calories.

Are you diabetic? Standard sugar rates 85 on the glycemic index and Lite&Sweet ranks 7! This is because xylitol releases into the bloodstream at a much slower rate. Xylitol cannot be metabolized by bacteria and yeast like standard sugar can. The molecule is too small. This means it is healthier on the gums and teeth. Yes, the xylitol in Lite&Sweet is actually good for you and is even recommended you consume at least some everyday for oral health. If you don't believe me, I encourage you visit Xlear to learn more.

Lite &Sweet and XyloSweet (the non-lite version) sweeteners from Xlear are non-GMO and gluten free. To use for baking you just switch out the granulated sugar with Lite&Sweet or XyloSweet at a 1:1 ratio. Very easy and much healthier too! I use it for baking, coffee and teas. Find these helalhier sweeteners at your local health store like Super Supplements and Whole Foods. There is a store locator on their website or you can buy directly from

Love the benefits of Xylitol you just read? You can find Xylitol in dental & gum products like Spry and sinus health products like Xlear. It really is fascinating to watch their videos and read about how xylitol is so beneficial! The best news of all is that you can soon find the Spry products at most CVS stores and Kroger locations.

Now that you are excited about Xylitol, what did you learn? Did you go watch a video on their site? Did you learn a lot?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Soufeel Charm Jewelry

This is a promotional post. Opinions are my own

When it comes to jewelry, it is the charms that are on the top of a lot of wish lists for women and girls. Charm bracelets came about with options to buy charms that 'tell your story'. I loved these, but could not afford the price tags that came with these bracelets and not to mention, the charms needed to fill the bracelet up. You can't possibly have just one charm when you see the choices that offer you memories and reminders of family and hobbies. I waited for bundle deals and never saw any that also did not cost a fortune. I am so happy to say that I now own a charm bracelet and several charms. Soufeel allowed me to choose a bracelet and some charms. The best part about this set I chose is you can order one similar and this one totaled to under $135-sterling silver bracelet included!

I have charms that represent me as a Mom, Blogger, Coffee Lover and more! It is such a blast to browse the charms and the value you get can't be beat at Soufeel.

Meet my Soufeel charms

This charm is the the Present with Pink Bow. I love the heart shape and pink is my favorite color.

As a Blogger, my camera is my lifeline! I had to get this one as it is a career statement.

This one is the green pear blossom from the Morano Glass collection. These are all a little bit of nature beneath a glass bead.

This is February's charm sign-Aquarius.

This one is probably my favorite choice. I Love Coffee! Enough said!

Instead of having 3 boy charms for our 3 boys, I decided on one that reads Family! This is another favorite charm of mine!

When your jewelry can tell a story and bring you a constant reminder of who you are and who you are surrounded by, it is hard to leave home without it. I am so happy to have this bracelet and it becomes a conversation piece as well where you can tell stories and remind others of the special moments and people in your life.

Soufell has so many choices and such great prices! If you or someone you know is not 'charmed' yet, come over to Soufeel and take a look! Even if you own a charm bracelet of any brand, you'll love the choices at Soufeel and the prices too! There are many ways to save!

Ways to save at

  • Free Ring with orders over $59.00,Free S925 Charm with orders over $79.00 Free Bracelet with orders over $99.00
  • Free shipping on orders over $50 & 365 day exchange/return guarantee
  • Save 5% using promo code Erinn5
All Soufeel charms fit Pandora and Chamilia bracelets and are 925 sterling silver. And the customer can help recommend New Arrivals and Presale products each month!

Three Easy Steps To A Healthier Lifestyle

* this post written by DiscountTrue


Think you can’t afford to eat healthy? Think again! There are easy and affordable ways you can change your eating habits starting today!

Change the way you shop!

The first rule in shopping healthy is to make a grocery list, and don’t deviate from it. If you go into a store with a list of just what you need, you will be less tempted to sporadically buy food that you don’t need. And of course, don’t forget your coupons! Check your local Sunday newspaper for coupons that can save you a bundle at the grocery store. There are also some pretty attractive Overstock.compromos that will let you get e.g. beautiful tableware that will allow you to enjoy your meals in a great atmosphere, making a simple meal into a feast for your eyes and soul.

Did your mom tell you not to go shopping while you’re hungry? She was right! If you’re hungry and looking at food, of course you’re going to want to eat everything in sight! While shopping on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to buy what you want to eat, and not necessarily what you should eat.

Only shop in the outer ring of the grocery store. Fresh food is kept along the walls of grocery store, while packaged and artificial foods are kept in the middle aisles. Sticking to just the edges of the store will ensure that what you’re buying is fresh and natural. If you don’t see what’s in the other aisles, you won’t be tempted to buy it!

Eat this, and not that!

Canned vegetable tend to have very high sodium levels, so instead, but fresh or frozen. With frozen veggies you get the convenience of shelf-life, without the salt. Another benefit of frozen veggies is the coupons! You can almost always find a coupon that can save you quite a bit on frozen vegetables.

Choose whole grains over white flour. Whole grains contain vitamins and antioxidants that white flour does not.

Eat as much “natural” food as possible. A good rule of thumb is that if it doesn’t grow naturally, don’t eat it. Or, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, don’t eat it! High fructose corn syrup, for example, does not grow in nature, and has been linked to obesity and even brain damage.

Stay away from sweetened drinks! It may be tempting to head for the diet sodas, but don’t! Don’t let zero calories fool you; there is nothing healthy about diet sodas. In fact, stay away from all sweetened drinks. Instead, try sweetening water with fruit. Or, try some 100% juice, but be sure to dilute it with water.

Cook your own meals as often as possible.

Eating out is always difficult when keeping a healthy diet. Of course, stay away from ALL fast food, but be careful in restaurants as well. Remember, you don’t know how, or with what ingredients your food is being prepared. Cooking for yourself ensures that you know exactly what you’re eating. Cooking every meal may not be convenient, so try preparing meals ahead of time. You can prepare meals for an entire week and store them in your fridge, this way time isn’t an issue.

Ditching your unhealthy eating habits is not as hard as you might think. Taking these simple steps will make a huge in your general health and well-being.

Designer Headbands by Violet Love

This is a promotional post. Opinions are my own

One of the hottest trends right now in women's and girls fashion is headbands. There are so many brands and varieties,  but if you wear these like me you have the ones you like narrowed way down. One of the criteria when choosing the headband is performance as some slip off your head the way they are sewn and others will stay in place. Next is the design and color. With Violet Love headbands you get a headband that stays in place and has over 15 collections with over 100 headband styles to choose from. 

Violet Love headbands are so lightweight and soft and the way they are sewn keeps them on your head with no slipping. Sure, all headbands can shift but I wore one for the first time running errands and at the end of the day I realized how I forgot I was wearing a headband all day. Have you ever bought a headband that is actually tight and causes a bit of pressure around your head after a while? I have and those go right in the garbage. You'll hardly know you have the Violet Love headband on. No grips inside or uncomfortable tapes and elastic are in the headbands. They are also made in the USA.

I am glad I was given the opportunity to try the Violet Love headbands. They are my new favorite and the designs are great! See them for yourself at

Monday, July 27, 2015

Go Dinosaur hunting with Expedition Dino

This is a promotional post. Opinions are my own

With Jurassic World making an appearance on the big screen this summer, Dino fans old and new are out. My son is 7 and never has been into dinosaurs. Even as a toddler, he would walk around with a car or truck in his hand, but never dinosaurs. As the new Jurassic World was nearing its release, we rented the original Jurassic Park movie and he was hooked! He spent some birthday money of his in May and bought the Jurassic Park trilogy on DVD and watches them all of the time. When the Jurassic World movie released, he went and saw it and loved it! He has actually seen in theaters twice now. The Dino fan in him was born and he loves finding Jurassic World or dinosaur themed toys and games. We have this fun and addicting game from HABA called Expedition Dino.

Expedition Dino is rated for 4 years and older. Our 4 year old neighbor stopped by while we were playing and he did very well after I helped him with round one. The game has a 3D set up where the Dino is hidden among stacks of rocks. You roll a die and move your guide which tells you which tools you get to use on your turn. You may land on hammer, hammer and chisel or magnifying glass. With those tools, you get 3 hits on a rock in the tower. The goal on your turn is to knock ONLY 1 brick down and have it land with a bone facing up. If you get a bone facing up you keep that rock. If you get no bone facing up or knock down more than 1 rock, you have to set aside the rocks and you keep none. The rounds continue until the dino falls over. Whomever has the most rocks in the end wins. 

Let the Dino fan come out in your child as they excavate on their own and collect those precious bones. Learn more at