Small Kitchen Appliance Shopping at Sears

Having moved into a new house during the winter there is so much on my “want to buy” list. I recently learned that Sears was more than just tools and had a great selection of other items like outdoor living furniture and toys so I headed there to check out their selection of small kitchen appliances. I was on the lookout for a waffle maker, indoor grill, and a stand mixer. I was surprised by the large amount of products that Sears had in the department. Here is a small sampling of items available:

With almost all the items on sale during “Sears Days” I had a hard time deciding which item I should buy. After thinking about which appliance I would get the most use out of I chose to purchase the Health Smart Hamilton Beach Indoor/Outdoor Grill. Along with it’s fantastic sale price, I loved that it had room to grill a whole meal for my family at once. It was also much easier than cleaning an outdoor grill since it had removable grates that were dishwasher safe.

To learn more about my experience shopping at Sears view my whrrl story.

(Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias but all thoughts are my own.)

Vitamin Shopping Made Easy At Meijer

I *know* I’m supposed to be taking vitamins daily. It’s been something that has been repeated to me multiple times since I was little- from my Doctors and my parents. But we all know that just because someone tells you something doesn’t mean you are going to do it.

When I think about why I don’t take vitamins it really comes down to me being lazy. Going to the store and looking at labels on vitamin containers trying to figure out which one is best for me doesn’t sound like fun. And supplements? Don’t even get me started on the anxiety that this aisle in the store gives me.

Supplements, supplements, and more supplements.....

So you can imagine when I heard about the Vitamin Finder on Meijer’s website I jumped at the chance to check it out. It was easy to do! I went to Meijer’s website, clicked on pharmacy at the top, clicked on vitamin finder, and then answered a short questionnaire. In less than 5 minutes I had a personalized recommendation guide of what vitamins I should be taking.

Headed to the store with my list I didn’t have to walk up and down the aisle debating between this brand and that brand…  I knew what I wanted, found them on sale (score!), chose vitamins for the rest of my family, and started the rest of my shopping. It was easy to do and if I were just going to the store to find vitamins I would have been out in a matter of minutes (the Easter basket stuff caught my attention this time).

*To learn more about Meijer’s vitamin finder and my experience in store you can view my whrrl story.

(Disclosure: I have been compensated by Collective Bias for my time but all thoughts about Meijer and the vitamin finder are my own.)

Batman!

Does your child love Batman? I recently went to Walmart to go shopping for Batman themed items. Here are my top 5 favorite items I found at the store:

Shake 'N Go Batmobile

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Batman footie pajamas for toddlers

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Batcave

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Batman Lego T-Shirt

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Batman Underoos

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So many great Batman themed items for your little Batman fan! Jake loved playing with his Shake ‘N Go Batman toys!

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Check out my Whrrl story to see what other Batman items Walmart carries.

(Disclosure: I was compensated for this shop by Collective Bias but all opinions are my own.)

Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow Review #31days

One of my goals in 2011 is to work towards a healthier lifestyle. Exercising, eating healthier foods, and drinking less soda and more water are all part of my plan. I recently headed to Walmart to look at some frozen dinner options since I normally eat meals alone.

I bought a variety of Lean Cuisine entrees and snacks and a Skinny Cow dessert. I wanted to share my thoughts on them  in case any of you are looking for quick, delicious tasting foods for yourself.

BBQ-Recipe Chicken Pizza

I normally don’t buy the single serving boxed pizzas because I find that they are normally soggy. This flavor sounded so good so I bought it anyways. I loved that the pizza had plenty of cheese, chicken, and sauce. I made mine in the microwave and found the crust to be cooked just right. The flavor was wonderful also. I would definitely try these pizzas again (maybe the Spinach and Mushroom Pizza- Deep Dish?)

Asiago Cheese Tortelloni

“Asiago cheese and caramelized onion stuffed tortelloni with tomatoes,yellow and green zucchini and yellow carrots in a tomato vodka sauce.” Doesn’t that make your mouth water? This was one of the meals that steams fresh in a microwave and then you take it out, shake the bag, and your meal is ready to eat. I loved the flavor of this entree. I also loved that the vegetables were crunchy.

Spring Rolls

There are three kinds of Spring Rolls but I tried the Fajita-Style Chicken ones and the Garlic Chicken ones. They can be cooked in the microwave or oven. Honestly, I like them baked in the oven best but they taste just as good cooked in the microwave (though just not as crunchy). My favorite of the two was the Fajita-Style Chicken ones. They were so good I had to go back to the store  and get more! They are filling and are great for a snack or as a side (I paired mine with a salad). You can also dip them in something or eat them plain. I tried the Fajita ones with both sour cream and ranch dressing.

Cookies 'N Cream Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches

These Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches were great! I had only tried the Vanilla ones before so I was excited to try the Cookies ‘N Cream flavor. They were delicious! The best part was that they are only 150 calories each!

This is only a small sampling of the meals, snacks, and desserts that Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow offer. View my Whrrl story to find out more about my shopping trip and my opinions on the products I tried.

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I’m wondering, which is your favorite Lean Cuisine product? Let me know which one you think I should try next!

(Disclosure: I was compensated by Collective Bias but all thoughts and opinions on the food are my own.)

Peace of Mind with Pedialyte

A couple of Saturday’s ago I stopped by Walgreens to pick up some Pedialyte to have on hand *just in case* my children got sick again this winter. Afterward, my family and I went to a Christmas party for one of my mom’s groups. We had a great time with all of our friends. There was good food, crafts for the children and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

After the party we went home and later in the evening I started seeing friend’s status updates on Facebook that children who had been at the party were vomiting. My heart dropped.

I was reminded of the Pedialyte I had just bought and put it in the fridge in case I needed to use it. Thankfully, my boys did not end up getting sick this time around but I knew when they did I would have Pedialyte to give them to keep them hydrated.

You can see more in my Whrrl story below:

Find a coupon for $1.50 off Pedialyte here.

Learn more about how Pedialyte Singles in the Tetra packaging helps with dehydration due to cold and flu and download fun activities to keep on hand for those times when your child is at home sick. Please talk to your doctor before using Pedialyte. Pedialyte is to be used under medical supervision. I was selected for this product review by Collective Bias. All opinions are mine and were not influenced by any third party.

(Disclosure: As stated above this is a sponsored post but all thoughts and opinions are my own and the story above is, coincidentally, true!)

Holiday Baking Party

Making Christmas cookies is one of  my favorite things to do during the Holidays. To prepare for hours of baking I ran to Walmart to pick up all of the ingredients I needed. You can view the story of my trip below.

I bought ingredients to make: peanut butter hot cocoa,  sugar cookies, chocolate peanut butter fudge, haystacks, cake mix cookies, and oreo truffles. I also bought some things to keep the little children busy while we were baking.

To start the day off right I made peanut butter hot cocoa using a recipe I got off of the ConAgra Foods website.

Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa

Ingredients:

1 envelope of Swiss Miss cocoa mix

1 tablespoon of Peter Pan peanut butter

Hot water

Can of Reddi Wip

Directions:

1. Put cocoa mix and peanut butter in a mug.

2. Gradually stir hot water into the mix.

(My note: GRADUALLY. Do it to fast and the peanut butter will be chunky at the bottom)

3. Top with Reddi Wip

The peanut butter hot cocoa tasted so yummy. Be sure to add the hot water in GRADUALLY while you stir it. If you add the water in too quickly you will end up with chunks of peanut butter at the bottom- not that I would know anything about that!! :)

First, we made oreo truffles. These are my favorite and so easy!

Oreo Truffles

Oreo truffles ready to go in the fridge

I used this recipe from Allrecipes.com. Walmart was out of Baker’s chocolate so I used almond bark instead and it worked great. My favorite part of this recipe was letting the children smash the cookies (though next time I would double the ziploc bags they were in).

Children smashing the oreo cookies

After the oreo truffles we made haystack cookies, another simple recipe. There are many ways to make these but we used only two ingredients: chow mein noodles and butterscotch chips to make a sweet, crunchy treat.

Haystack Cookies

Ingredients:

Bag of butterscotch chips

2 cups of chow mein noodles

Directions:

1. Pour the butterscotch chips into a bowl and melt them (microwave 15-30 seconds at a time, stirring in between each one)

2. Add in chow mein noodles and stir until noodles are coated well

3. Form into piles or “haystacks”

4. Let cool in the fridge and enjoy :)

Next up was sugar cookies. I didn’t like the recipe we used so I’m looking for another one (have one to share?) The children did enjoy decorating and eating the cookies though.

 

Sugar and Parkay before adding the rest of the ingredients

Preparing the cookies to bake

I took a video of the boys decorating the cookies and eating them. You can find that video on YouTube here.

 

Looks like Jacob enjoyed the cookies! :)

The last thing we made together was cake mix cookies. These tasted delicious but didn’t make as many cookies as I thought the mix would so I would double it next time I made it. Here is the recipe how we made it:

Cake Mix Cookies:

Ingredients:

1 box of cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup of Wesson vegetable oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Add cake mix, eggs, and oil together

3. Drop into balls on a greased cookie sheet (I use PAM)

4. Bake for 7-8 minutes

While we were making the cookies the children painted ornaments to give as gifts. They had fun but boy did they make a mess!

After 5 hours of baking, decorating and painting everyone left and I tried my hand at peanut butter chocolate fudge.It turned out ok but I wouldn’t make it again.


I also made myself a smoothie with my new Hamilton Beach blender. I love this blender! It has a stainless steel base and a glass jar. It also has “wave action” to ensure drinks with no ice chunks. I also love that it has a little pouring spout at the top to keep messes at a minimum! Here is a video of me making my smoothie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c6d6utSr7A) so you guys can see the blender in action :)

(Disclosure: I was compensated by Collective Bias but all thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Shipping with The UPS Store #lovinlogistics

Shipping packages is not on my list of things I like to do with children in tow.

That all changed for me today when I went to The UPS Store.

Yes, there was absolutely no waiting in a long line.

Yes, my packages would ship from Illinois to New York in two days.

Yes, my customer service experience was great.

All that is fantastic but the one thing that as a mom of toddlers I will really remember about The UPS Store….

This little area.

Thank you for making shipping packages easier for this busy mom!

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To read more about my experience today, you can view my Whrrl story.

(Disclosure: I was compensated by Collective Bias for my time but all thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Preparing For Cold and Flu Season With #PedialyteSingles

Last winter my boys were sick almost the whole entire cold & flu season. It was horrible. We had to cancel on playdates and birthday parties and basically spent every day inside.

 

The boys were miserable and so was I.

 

This year I wanted to be prepared for cold & flu season so I planned ahead. I went to Walgreens to purchase Pedialyte which is what my sons’ Pediatrician suggests I give them when they are dehydrated.

In the baby care aisle I found Pedialyte Singles which look like little juice boxes. I knew my toddlers would love drinking out of these since they love anything with a straw. Best of all they came in Apple flavor which is a favorite around here.

If you find your children are dehydrated this winter please contact your Doctor. If your child’s Pediatrician suggests Pedialyte to help with the dehydration you can use Pedialyte’s store locator to find a store near you that sells your favorite Pedialyte product and also visit their website for a special coupon worth $1.50 off.

To learn more about my Pedialyte shopping mission you can view my Whrrl story below.

(Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post and Whrrl story by Collective Bias but all thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Dayspring Back To School With Purpose

If you are buying school supplies for your child make sure to stop by Walmart and check out Dayspring’s line of school supplies. I loved finding school supplies with Christian messages and Bible verses on them at a secular store like Walmart.

Check out my Whrrl story to see what other great Dayspring products you can find at Walmart!

(Disclosure: I was compensated for this shop by Collective Bias and Dayspring.)

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Dayspring has partnered with Adopt-A-Classroom to bring needed school supplies to children and classrooms that couldn’t otherwise afford it. Adopt-A-Classrom increases opportunity for student success by empowering teachers with community partners and funds to purchase resources for the classroom.

This Back to School season, DaySpring is celebrating its’ new Back to School products sold at Walmart and their legacy of bringing hope and encouragement every day, everywhere. DaySpring will donate $5,000 to the Adopt-A-Classroom campaign with your help.

How can you join? It’s simple:

  • Participate in the DaySpring Back to School WithPurpose campaign by creating a blog post about what it means to go Back to School With Purpose with specific rules described here.
  • Dayspring will donate up to $5,000 to Adopt-A-Classroom
  • You can tag as many people as you wish whom you feel live with purpose.
  • The DaySpring Back to School With Purpose campaign will officially begin at 12 AM EST on August 12 and end at 11:59 PM EST on September 08, 2010. Blog posts submitted to us before or after that time period will not be counted for.
  • The blog post link has to be submitted to us here for your participation to be counted.
  • In addition copy and paste the following text in your blog post:

DAYSPRING’S BACK TO SCHOOL WITH PURPOSE BLOG CAMPAIGN RULES:

  • Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
  • Create a blog post or Facebook note about what it means to you to go Back to School WithPurpose and identify others who you feel are Living With Purpose in their lives – you can recognize as many individuals as you want.
  • Link back to person who gave you a DaySpring Award
  • Let each person you are recognizing know you have recognized them.
  • Leave your link at btswithpurpose comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #WithPurpose blog campaign, and more information about Back to School with Purpose with DaySpring there.
  • DaySpring is donating $10 for each blog or Facebook note participating in the Virtual Bag It Forward Donation to Adopt-A-Classroom (up to total of $5,000 for blog posts written by September 08, 2010).
  • Please note that only one blog post per blog url will count towards the donation

New Whrrl Story: Seagate Portable Hard Drive

I’ve posted a new Whrrl story. Check it out:

4th of July Toddler Sized Sundaes

Red, white, and blueberry sundae featuring Hershey's strawberry syrup

I recently worked with Hershey’s (yes, THAT Hershey’s) on their Summer Celebrations Campaign. I was asked to visit Walmart, take a look at their Hershey’s product selection, create a yummy 4th of July themed snack, and then share my experience on Whrrl. Here is my story on how to make a 4th of July toddler sized sundae. Jacob had a great time and I really hope your child will enjoy making these sundaes, too!

(Disclosure: I was compensated for my purchase and time by Collective Bias on behalf of Hershey’s.)