Monday, February 28, 2011

What's for dinner tonight?

If you are anything like me and have a lot of time on your hands today you will be glued to your computer. Why? you ask. You mean you haven't heard?! Well, then, let me fill you in. Today is Swagbucks' third birthday. So what? you say. Well they are throwing a huge bash and are just throwing away tons of swag bucks all day long. Plus they will be finishing off their cryptogram that has been going on all week. They will give you the final letter and instructions on how to solve it for a swagcode that is bound to be worth big bucks! If you aren't a member of swagbucks yet, today is the day to sign up! You get 30SB right away if you sign up (as always), but you will get a bonus 50SB if you enter a special code (available only to new members)! For more info on the "Birthday Swag-a-thon" as I like to call it and info on how to sign up for SwagBucks please check out the latest entry of my other blog Rockin Tips.

So now back to the point. If you are going to be glued to your computer you aren't going to have much time to plan a dinner for the family. That's where this entry will come in handy. I found this recipe through SwagBucks TV videos and thought today would be the perfect day to post it. Enjoy.

Creamy Chicken Florentine

Creamy Chicken Florentine recipe
photo by:

What You Need

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup  halved red pepper strips
1 pkg. (6 oz.) baby spinach leaves
1 tub  (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Savory Garlic Cooking Creme
2 cups hot cooked penne pasta
2 Tbsp.  toasted pine nuts

Make It

COOK chicken and peppers in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 to 6 min. or until chicken is done. Add spinach; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until wilted. Drain all but 1 Tbsp. liquid.
ADD cooking creme; cook and stir 3 min.
STIR in pasta; top with nuts.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Substitute uncooked deveined peeled medium shrimp for the chicken; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until shrimp turn pink. Continue as directed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Smart Shopping Tips That Really Pay Off

Grocery Shopping Tips That Pay
When grocery shopping, it’s amazing how quickly items in your grocery cart can pile up, along with your bill. But if you apply a little know-how to your weekly grocery run, you can save some time and money. And those are two things we could all use more of. Here are some tricks of the trade that’ll pay off on your next trip to the store.

Find Real Sales
Your local grocery store probably has a variety of items on sale at any given time. If you do your research and really get to know the prices in your favorite stores you will get to know what is the real sale and what isn't. And if you find something on sale, buy a lot of it, especially when you have coupons. It may take you a little over your budget, but will add up in the long run. Of course, only buy bulk items that you know you’ll use and have room for. 

Items To Buy In Bulk

  • Baby, flushable, hand sanitizing wipes: Trust me, you can never have too many of these handy little things. They are great for cleaning hands, rear ends, wiping up spills, changing diapers, and more.
  • Cleaning products: Whether or not you buy Lysol wipes or sponges or whatever other spray you know you are always going to need them so why not stock up while they're cheap?
  • Diapers: Speaking of diapers, buying diapers in bulk is always a great idea. There’s nothing worse than running out at 2 a.m. Just make sure you don’t underestimate how quickly babies grow. They are also great for little kids dolls and house training puppies, not to mention older dogs who occasionally have issues.
  • Shampoo, soap, and wash: This is something you will need for years to come that has a long shelf life. A truly great bulk purchase.
  • Other great products to stock up on: toilet paper, paper towels, non-perishable dry foods that don't have an expiration date (oats, plain rice, boxed pasta, tea bags, coffee beans, etc), light bulbs, AA/AAA batteries (smoke detectors and many remote controls use them- just don't buy too many cos they do have expiration dates and will eventually leak), identical dog/cat toys (if your pets are anything like mine they sometimes destroy their favorite toys so have that replacement ready), underwear, bras, socks, plain under shirts, school/office supplies, air fresheners, etc.

Another tip: When it comes to prepackaged bags of produce, buy the heaviest one. They are usually priced per package, so you won’t have to pay for that extra few ounces of food tucked inside.

Save Time
Keep an ongoing grocery list handy. Add items when you think of them, so you’ll be sure to pick up everything you need in one trip. Keep the list in your purse so you can’t forget it. And if there’s a recipe that you want to make, bring it with you. No need to spend valuable time writing down all those ingredients on your list.

Quickly go down every aisle, so do you don’t miss anything and have to go back to that section. This will save you time hunting-and-pecking around for items. And the best time-saving tip: Avoid grocery shopping on Sundays, especially Sunday evenings. It’s their busiest time and will guarantee that you stand in line longer.

Use Coupons Like They Are Going Out Of Style
If you’re not using coupons, you’re throwing money out the window. Take a few minutes each week to clip coupons and print off of the internet and keep them organized in your coupon box. An index/recipe card box works great. Other great options are expandable file folders and binders with sheet protectors and section dividers. It’ll take a little prep time, but will be quite handy once you get to the store. Keep your coupon box in your car, so if you’re running errands, you’ll always have it with you.

Share coupons with your friends, family and neighborhood. You can easily start a sharing program by setting up a coupon basket at your local library, child’s school or doctor’s office, where you can take the coupons you need and add extra ones that you don’t. It’s easy to do and everyone will benefit.

The Payoff
With a little strategy and preparation, you can save big. All you have to do is shop on the right day, bring your list, look for true sales and use your coupons. Eventually you'll have a pantry, garage, and/or laundry room full of supplies and stuff you use everyday if you shop smart. These little things will add up to big savings in time, money, and energy! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Too Much Winter

If you are anything like me, you are getting pretty sick and tired of all this snow and cold weather. This week in my area we're getting warm- I swear it's gonna be a heatwave with temps in the 50's and 60's! Summer here we come! Okay not quite yet, but you get my point. Let's think warmth! I was going through my inbox and found an issue of Healthy Living that focuses on dumping the junk. I'm gonna help you feel the warmth with this article on spring cleaning. Maybe if we get a head start we'll start getting warm weather? Hey it's a thought.

What is clutter? It's anything you own but no longer use, need, or love. It's everything from unread magazines to clothes that don't fit anymore to gifts you received but feel guilty about throwing out. And most of our homes are filled with this stuff!

Here are some simple steps to help you banish the clutter in your life:

1. Ask yourself, "Do I really need this [fill in the blank]?"

Do I use it/read it/wear it/listen to it? Will I ever use it again?" If the answers to these questions are no, it's clutter.

  • Put it in a box.
  • You can donate the items you dispose of to charity, give them away, recycle them, or sell them. Just as long as you get them out of your home as soon as possible — otherwise they'll end up back where they were.

  • Go step-by-step.
  • You can't declutter your entire home in a weekend. Start off small — your desk or underwear drawer, for example — and go on from there. Build your momentum with smaller jobs before you tackle the garage, basement, or attic.

  • Cut yourself some slack.
  • If your heart breaks at the thought of losing something, keep it. But if it's a sweater that you detest, why not lighten your load and get rid of it?
    2. Tackle one "clearing clutter" project.
    Choose an area of your home that needs it — the junk drawer in your kitchen, or your linen closet — and give yourself 30 minutes to do as much as you can. You'll be amazed at how much progress you can make in a short time.

    For more tips, click here.

    Sunday, February 06, 2011

    Super Bowl Schmooper Bowl... Bring on the Puppy Bowl

    What is more American than apple pie or apple pie and ice cream, or sliced white bread? How about football? I am proud to say I am one of the few who can not stand the sport. I barely understand it and could careless about grown men pushing and shoving each other around all over a ball! to me it just sounds pathetic and barbaric. Regardless of my feelings towards it, I must say I do love watching the Super Bowl every year. Well, not exactly. I only tune in to watch the commercials! This year commercials cost over $10,000 a second to air. Sure hope people will be buying these products being pitched! But what's my all\-time favorite thing about Super Bowl Sunday? The Puppy Bowl of course! That's right I said the Puppy Bowl!

    It's probably my favorite time of year, besides Christmas and the first Winter snowfall! If you ask me it's just the cutest show on TV! The Puppy Bowl is an annual television program on Animal Planet that mimics the Super Bowl, using puppies. Shown the same afternoon of the Super Bowl (just hours before pre-game), the show consists of footage of a batch of puppies at play inside a model stadium, with commentary on their actions. The first Puppy Bowl was shown on February 6, 2005. The puppies featured in the Puppy Bowl are from shelters, and the show contains information on how viewers can adopt rescued puppies and help their local shelter. Puppy Bowl is filmed inside a miniature "stadium" that is 19 feet (5.8 m) long by 10 feet (3.0 m) wide. The show focuses on young puppies, and there is a height and weight limit due to the size limitations of the play area. The various cameras used to tape the show generate about 50 hours of footage. Roughly 30 staff are needed to produce the show.

    A veterinarian is on site during the production of Puppy Bowl to ensure animal safety and well-being, and to administer any veterinary medical care which might be needed. Representatives from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as well as the shelters which lend their animals to the production, are also on site as observers to ensure animal welfare standards are maintained. Puppies are given a rest period every 30 minutes, due to the heat from the lights. According to its associate producer, the 2011 production occurred in the New York City area in the fall of 2010 spread over 3 days taking about 12 hours each day, using 47 puppies. The annual Animal Planet event is about more than capitalizing on football's biggest Sunday. "It's really a call to action," Executive Producer Melinda Toporoff told CNN. "We want to raise awareness for shelters everywhere and get more puppies adopted." The Puppy Bowl seems to be doing its part for more than just the network. Since 2004, 250 animals have been adopted through the game!

    The adorable little pups aren't the only stars. This year they had chicken cheerleaders, puppy tailgaters, hamster pilots in the blimp above, puppy cams, and even an adorable Kitty Half-Time Show. But perhaps the most amazing part of the Puppy Bowl is its viewership. It started 7 years ago as a space-filler and now it gets viewed by 8.6 million people, something no one expected, reports CNN.

    Check out the video below for a few highlights of Puppy Bowl VII (this year's game), or check out the game for yourself when it re-airs over the course of the next week on Animal Planet!