July Daily Goodie Box

July’s Daily Goodie Box is in! Check out what was inside;

Palo Popcorn – Premium Cheddar Cheese
These are similar to crunchy cheese doodles,  really cheesy but healthier. Great addition to little lunch boxes!
Natural Vitality – Natural Calm Anti-Stress Drink
I didn’t know that magnesium was so important and helps to balance out calcium in the body. It can help prevent kidney stones and other calcification issues. Natural Calm has just the right amount to have you feeling relaxed.
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Balla For Men – Tingle Formula Body Powder
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Davidson’s Organics – Coconut Vanilla Dessert Tea
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FlapJacked –  Milk Chocolate Protein Smoothie Mix
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Detox Water – Mangaloe (Mango)
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Watusee Foods – Organic Chickpeatos
Yummy! Very bold flavor,  I could only eat a few at a time, but they’re great and good for you? Win, win!
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Goddess Garden – Natural Mineral Sunscreen Lip Balm
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Honey Stinger – Cran-Apple & Walnut Snack Bar
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Curoxen – First Aid Ointment
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This came in handy when shortly after receiving the box my little man got a boo-boo!
Check out my previous months boxes and make sure to subscribe to get your FREE #Dailygoodiebox next month!
Previous Unboxings;

Daily Goodie Box June Unboxing

One of my new favorite things is getting my free DailyGoodieBox in the mail monthly.  It’s the excitement of not knowing what is going to be in that months box that keeps me on edge!

Even more exciting is getting to share these wonderful goodies with you guys and tell you how to get your own FREE too!

Just head over to dailygoodiebox.com and sign up free.  If the box matches you’re personality/ lifestyle you’ll get one in the mail for the month!

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Another cool extra way to get a box for the month (or two 😊) is to check out their Facebook page and like it to follow and get updates on contests.  You’ll also get to see the fun boxes other people have gotten!

Drum roll please…….. And the June Daily Goodie Box contents are:

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Tiger Balm –  Pain Relieving Ointment
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Prince of Peace – Original Ginger Honey Crystals
This pack of Ginger tea came with 6, yes SIX packs of the tea crystals! I shared them with my coworkers since we are all fans of tea and it was a fun experience trying them.  Be warned,  it is VERY VERY strong of ginger. Not bad,  but I wouldn’t say great.  It was better when i added it to liptpn tea bags than on its own. I hear ginger is amazing for colds though so this is great too have handy.
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Black Forest Organic –  Gummy Bears
To be completely honest,  my kids and husband tore through these before o even got to try them,  so I assume they were good 😁. Hey… they’re gummy bears! (but healthier)..
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I wasn’t really a fan of how thick this was… similar to a milk consistency. It is protein though,  so i guess it’s gotta have some substance to it.   Maybe I was just caught off guard since I opened and chuffed it though lol… The flavor wasn’t bad and I would try it again if i saw it at the store.
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Isn’t this little bottle the cutest? My grandmother always used to warm maple syrup in the microwave for my brother and I when we would sleep over her house. This brought back so many memories and I LOVE everything about it including the bottle.
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VitaBath – Travel Size Body Wash
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BetterThanCoffee – Energy Bars
This was another item I brought to work for a snack but wound up sharing it because everyone was so interested.  I actually really liked it although it was bitter from the dark chocolate. I liked the texture and I feel like it did give me a little boost.  Not everyone was a fan,  but i want more!
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Pure Growth Organic – Snack Mix
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What do you think about the products featured in this box? Let me know your thoughts!
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Check out past month boxes of goodies I’ve gotten:

April

May

French Toast Banana Bread Pudding Recipe

Every now and then I get into the mood to create a new recipe. I like putting new spins on old favorites and since it’s September and the kids are back to school, I have a little bit of time on my hands.

And so came about French Toast inspired Banana bread pudding – that’s a mouthful! Literally 😉

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French Toast Banana Bread Pudding

1/2 loaf of bread toasted in oven at 350°for 15 mins (I used white, French is better)
2 cups milk
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla
1capful of bourbon (optional)
1 banana
1tbs cinnamon
As many chocolate chips as you’d like!
Mix well in a bowl and pour over bread cubes and let soak for 10 minutes.

Bake uncovered at 350° for 30 minutes, then coat top with melted butter, and up the heat to 400° for another 15 minutes or until browned on top.

This tastes like a twist on French toast and is great for breakfast, snack or dessert!

Fudgy Oreo Brownies

I have a meeting at work and wanted to bring something to munch on and well, make sure it runs smoothly since I’m a facilitator. Nobody has a bad time when their face is full of fudgy brownies… But I wanted to make sure. I decided to add Oreos to this batch because I love oreos and they bake well inside of other baked goods.

I simply used a box mix, the Pillsbury Fudge Brownie mix in family size 13×9. Make per directions and then add a layer to the pan, then oreos, then finish with anther later of batter on top. You can crush them or add them whole, but I prefer them whole so you get the full effect.

Make sure to leave them in until just before done. They continue to cook when first removed and you don’t want hard brownies. I did my 13×9 Pyrex at 350° for 28 minutes.

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Orange Creamsicle Souffle with Nellie’s Free Range Eggs + FREE Egg Giveaway

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to cook. I love trying new recipes and putting my own spin on things.

Have you seen the video’s floating around? You know, the one’s with the amazing desert and entree’s? They make it look so simple, and I cannot help but think “Pinterest Fail” when I see some of the technique’s they do.

One that caught my eye recently is the little souffles made inside of lemons. They are so fancy and decadent, yet so simply put together. I knew I had to try it. Luckily, I had a bag of navel oranges I just purchased, and my Nellie’s Free Range Eggs I got to try, and I wanted to put my own creative spin on it.

Orange Creamsicle Souffle’s. Yes.

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Using the Nellie’s eggs felt so right. The best of the best, inside such a fancy-smancy desert. They look so fresh, and the packaging is awesome as well. It is a cute little plastic on plastic carton that helps protect the eggs inside from getting smooshed. They are natural, free range eggs, not that other crap, so they are a little more pricey (they were $4.49 a dozen at my local grocery store).

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I used 4 fairly large navel oranges for this recipe (pictured above). Here is what you need;

  • 4 Oranges
  • 2 tbs All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (divided 1/4 & 1/4)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs Milk
  • Zest from oranges
  • 3 eggs (separated)

Using Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, divide all 3 eggs into 2 bowls – egg whites in one, egg yolks in the other.

I put the egg whites into the mixing bowl so I can get the meringue started. You have to whisk the egg whites an 1/4 cup of sugar until soft peaks form. I let that run while I started the rest.

I took each orange an cut the bottoms just a bit to make them flat so I can stand them up straight without falling over or rolling around. Then, I cut the tops off, an dug out the insides as neatly as I could (watch you do not poke any holes in the orange peel!) Then I put the pulp inside of small strainer and squeezed out the juices. Feel free to eat all of the yummy left over pulp!

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Now, mix a 1/4 of the juice from the oranges, and the Vanilla extract & milk. Add this to the egg yolk, flour, and remaining 1/4 white sugar. Whisk and then add to a double boiler or in my case, a heat safe bowl over a pot of boiling water. The key is to keep whisking until the egg mixture thickens up real nice. Then, remove it from the heat, and continue to whisk until the mixture cools. It should be nice an smooth without lumps.

Then, when your meringue has soft peaks, fold it slowly  into the cooled egg mixture. The last step is to pour this mixed into your open orange shells a little more then half way. They will rise significantly, so do not overfill!

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the tops have browned a bit. Then top with powdered sugar and serve warm or cooled.

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Enter to WIN 2 Dozen of Nellie’s Free Range Eggs

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To find out where to buy Nellie’s Free Range Eggs in your area, check here;

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Oh, and Happy Egg Month! You didn’t know May was national egg month? Now you do!

*I was given the eggs for free to use in this recipe by Nellie’s Free Range Eggs. All opinions and photos are my own.

If you’re not already familiar, Nellie’s is committed to providing better lives for hens, which means better eggs for you and your family! Coming from the first Certified Humane® farm in the country, Nellie’s girls (aka hens) are never caged and have as much, or as little, access to outside as they want.  Nellie’s also supports a network of small family farms, unlike competitors with massive factory-farm set ups.

Superbowl Sunday- Easy Cheddar Cheese Fondue

Super Bowl Sunday is TOMORROW so how about a crowd pleaser that is easy to make, yet seems super elegant?

Over my birthday weekend my husband and I visited the Melting Pot for the first time and tried fondue. I knew I’ve always had a love for cheese, but REALLY?! I am IN LOVE with fondue. The act of dipping anything you want into freshly warmed melty cheese is just too good to be able to describe with words. What is even better is that I remade it at home several times since then and I am going to tell you how to do the same.

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Now, Here is what I use- feel free to change it to your liking;

  • 8oz Beer – I used O’douls (2 reasons… I was serving it to my children and didn’t know if my fondue pot was hot enough to get the alcohol completely out of it like it does at the Melting pot) & I live in NJ and didn’t want to make a separate run to the liquor store and they sell O’douls at the grocery store here. I’m sure something like a Bud or Coors would make the flavor that much better though, but this worked.
  • 1 1/2 packs of Shredded Cheese – I used packaged sergento shredded cheddar and swiss (2 different packs) but you can shred your own higher quality cheese if you’d like. This is Cheddar fondue we are making, so the cheddar is a must, but you can omit the swiss however as a normally “swiss cheese hater”, I do still suggest you add the swiss into this, it’s just that much more flavorful. The ratio is 1 package Cheddar to 1/2 package swiss.
  • 1 tspoon Flour – It must be All purpose flour however you may use whole wheat. Just add into either the package of cheese and shake until mixed in.
  • Mustard Powder – Not sure everyone has dry mustard powder laying around, but you can omit this if you do not. It does make the flavoring better, but it’s not a total deal breaker if you don’t have it.
  • Garlic– 1 Cloved finely chopped. Fresh is best, but dried will do too.
  • Worcheshire Sauce – Just a few drops.. I like to add a tad more, but that’s just me.
  • Black Pepper – just a few shakes.

MAKE IT;

  1. Add the beer & garlic to the steel pot (or fondue pot, or whatever you’re using). Wait for it to heat up nice.
  2. Add the already floured Shredded cheese in handfuls, one handful at a time mixing after each with a fork in an up and down motion. You’ll see the cheese start melting and at first it’ll look really watery.. that’s OK. after about the 4th handful, you should see it start to thicken and turn into a fondue consistency.
  3. Add the Dry Mustard Powder, about 5 good shakes into it.
  4. Add the Black Pepper & Worcheshire Sauce & Mix it all up.

You’re done! Keep away from direct heat an consume immediately after. It is not good heated up and will start to burn quickly if left over heat too long.

Suggested Dippers;

  • Cubed Apples – YES. Apples. Green are best.
  • Carrots
  • French Bread or any kind of hard bread
  • Cauliflower

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Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Let me know your thoughts!

 

Why I Let My 7 Year Old Buy Our Family’s Food

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I like to pat myself on the back for the fact that I have raised some pretty amazing boys this far. For instance, my stepfather took my 7 year old to Toys R’ Us just before his birthday party to pick out a gift. Whatever gift he wanted to get within the allotted amount of money. He strolled up and down the aisles of his favorite toys and picked out 1 item that was only a small fraction of the money he could spend. What did he do next? He saw an Angry Birds video game and knowing his brother loves Angry Birds, he said “I am going to use the rest of my money to get this game, I think my little brother would love it!”. Yes, he spent 2/3 of his money on his 2 year old brother.

With that being said, you probably have a good understanding of the personality of my boy. He’s very loving, giving, and caring. He wants to do right by others and constantly looks to make others happy, especially his family and friends. He received some money and gift cards at his birthday party and said he wanted to save it for something he really wants instead of splurging at the toy store. So when we went to the Burger King drive through a couple nights later to get family some quick dinner, he said  “Mom, can I buy the food for you guys?”. Initially I said “What?!, No, I don’t want you using your money to buy our food, I buy the dinner”. But when he said “Mom, I really want to use my money so you don’t have to use yours” I just melted and said “OK, I’ll let you buy it if you really want to, thank you”. I made sure he understood that his $50 would now turn to $30.50 after spending the $19.50 to buy our food and that he wouldn’t get that money back, but he said he understood and that is what he wanted to do with his money. He said he had the toys he wanted, and that he would save the rest for something else he wanted in the future.

Of course I let him “buy” our food, and his money really stayed put, well it did come out of his spending money, but it went into his savings. If figured I want to start him off right. And that he was right. He should be able to do what he wants with his money as long as he’s making the right choices. And boy was he making the right choices all on his own. Spending his only money on his family, I couldn’t ask for more. From then on, any time he said “Mom, do I have enough money to get this, I want to buy it” I let him buy it with his own money. He is learning and preparing for the future. I want him to always be the kind person that he is today and do for others as much as he can. Me always doing for him, and not allowing him to have that type of gratitude because I do it because I want to, not because I have to, is not what I want. I am proud that he made this decision for me. My 7 year old will continue to buy his own food, or his families food as much as he wants until his money is gone (into his savings of course) and then if he wants to buy us more, he’ll need to pick up some paid chores.

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I know I’ll make wrong decisions in life, and I know I’ll make parenting mistakes, but this is something I know I did right. And I am proud of my boys and the people they’re growing to be. Both of them.