Friday, 27 June 2014

Fruit for Thought!

This yellow apple
Tastes much like a banana
I prefer mangoes!
@Copyright -LB. 2014

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Watch your child blossom as they learn with K5 Learning!

I recently had a chance to try out K5 Learning, which is a reading and math program designed to help with education throughout the ages, starting from about Kindergarten to 5th Grade.

The site allows you to sign on as the parent and creates a secondary set of log in information so that the children who learn through it are able to log themselves in and out to work on their latest endeavor.
My daughter is very smart for her age and, while the need to log in and out on her own was not necessary, it was still fun to look over the site with her and to get a feel of whether what they offer would be a good fit for her and, it was, but I think it might be something she could grow with and grow into. 

My 10 year old step son has Aspergers and this is a great tool in aiding him with learning outside of school without any added pressures or commitment and in a home-friendly environment
The site is easy to navigate and allows you to take on a short trial to see if it would be something for you! If it is, GREAT! If not, you can sign off without any obligations.

You are able to get a free assessment of your children's ability and the free trial by visiting their main page. I personally enjoy the interaction, but for now the lessons are a little too advanced for my 3 year old to do on her own, but suit my 10 year old step son very well. 

If you have ever thought of giving online learning a go, then I would definitely start with K5 Learning to test the waters and see where it goes from there! It might surprise you! 


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Sweetleaf Review and Giveaway!

Disclaimer: Original reviewer received these items in exchange for an honest review and was not required to post a positive review. These are honest opinions. Your experience may differ. 
Review and Giveaway

Hosted By: Cait's Beauty Blog
My husband and I both enjoy using water enhancers. Especially in the summer time. They are also a lot less detrimental for you most of the time, compared to consuming soda. I was really excited to try out Sweetleaf products, because they are made with Stevia! I was sent quite a few flavors to try, as well as two packs of Sweetleaf's stevia packets.

I loved the packets of the sweetener. This was great in drinks! I also tried it on berries. These are REALLY sweet. one little packet is the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of sugar. They contain Zero- calories, carbs and glycemic index. Have no artificial ingredients, and no bitterness or aftertaste that you get with a lot of sweeteners. I would use these over regular sugar any day. The Sweetdrops I was sent, were awesome. I was sent 6 different flavors to try: Cola, Vanilla Creme, Peppermint, Berry, Lemon Drop and Valencia Orange. They come in more than 20 different flavors; something for everyone! My absolute favorite was the Peppermint! Or it was so good in Iced Tea! My husband however thought the Berry was the best. The Vanilla creme was probably a close second favorite of mine, I tried it in a coffee type drink.

YUM! These again have Zero carbs, calories or glycemic index! I have tried a lot of water enhancers, and I really liked this one the most. a few drops and you have perfectly flavored water, or tea, or whatever you want. With the others, it seems like I have to add half of the bottle to make it taste good at all. The Sweetdrops Cola can be added to Sparkling water, to make a great tasting alternative to soda! Sweetleaf has offered my readers a Giveaway! Both of these products were winners in my book! Visit their website! Like Them on Facebook! Follow Them on Twitter! Follow Them on Pinterest! Follow Them on Instagram!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Mom's Gone Bronson is not responsible for this review or prize fulfillment, thank you! 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Sid the Science Kid DVD Review and Giveaway! Ends 7/7/14

*Disclosure: Products were received by the reviewer in exchange for sharing their honest opinion.

Sid the Science Kid: Now That’s Using Your Brain

Pimsleur's Spanish Course, Look-See!!

For the last few weeks I have had the chance to try out a Pimsleur's Spanish course and I have thoroughly enjoyed it and honestly learned something new!

The language course comes in a set of CD's and retails for $115.00, but I had the chance to try it for free and so jumped on it with no expectations and an open mind.

Now, just a few weeks later, I am able to say a few words and phrases in Spanish and with persistent learning, with a unit per day for consistency, I do feel as though my ability to both understand and speak the Spanish language has come along leaps and bounds.

I already had some basic background knowledge of Spanish but could never hold a conversation correctly but now I certainly feel a though a basic conversation is perfectly achievable and I can certainly understand a conversation a lot better than I could before.

If you are new to Spanish, then the first in the series of Spanish courses from Pimsleur is a great place to start and it will not throw you in the deep end!

Pimsluur also have other language courses available, both on CD and downloadable to keep you on your toes and learning on the go!

I definitely plan to stick with this course and work on my pronunciation and hopefully enter into some real-life conversations with the Spanish-speaking community around me!

Why not check out Pimsleur's Spanish on Amazon, today!


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Quick meal idea: Utilize those noodles!

Quick tip of the day: Utilize cheaper packets of soft noodles (fresh, soft or dry) to make a meal that doesn't consist of JUST the noodles! Round out your plate a little with vegetables, sides and whatever you please!

Here is a plate with soft noodles, mixed vegetables, a side of baked, breaded squash and some guacamole with a little tabouli salad. Seems like a strange mix but a little of everything on a plate makes life a little less boring - it also gives the kids a little choice, color and flavor!

What will you mix with yours, today!?

Saturday, 21 June 2014

$100 Hapari Giftcard Giveaway + Review!

Original review and opinions supplied by Freelance Lady!

Swimsuit season is finally here, and for some of you, it means buying that teeny bikini you've been eyeing at the mall. For me, however, it means finding a swimsuit that is capable of supporting the "girls" up top, and covering my tummy. I mean, let's face it. After two kids, my body simply isn't what it used to be.

* Blogger received a free product from Hapari in exchange for a review.

Usually, swimsuit shopping is a drag for me, but when I saw Hapari's options, including swim skirts, board shorts, cover-ups, sarongs, and even underwire options, I was actually pretty excited to shop for swimwear. And for me, that is serious business. Oh, and did I mention that they also have swimwear for children?

After an hour or so of going through their super cute swimwear, I finally decided on the Black Plus-Size Tummy Tuk Swim Bottom, the Black Rainbow Plus-Size Sport Tankini Top, and a pair of White Plus-Size Cover Up Board Shorts.

The reason I decided on these three pieces of swimwear was because the Tummy Tuk bottoms would allow me to hide that "belly pooch" that many of us mamas have, and I felt that the tankini, since it was black, would help smooth out my mid-section. The board shorts are simply for cover-up after swimming. They could, might I add, be used to swim in, as they're made from quick-drying fabric.

I placed my order on Tuesday, June 17, and the order arrived on Thursday, June 19, so shipping was incredibly fast. The items were packaged individually, and everything was in great shape.

Upon closer inspection of the suits, I noticed that the detail was quite intricate. The floral Hapari logo was beautifully stitched into the Tummy Tuk swim bottoms and the Cover-Up Board Shorts. There were also small plastic buttons on the board shorts, which, I thought, was a nice added touch.

The tankini top had beautiful, bold, white floral designs, and rainbow-colored diagonal stripes, which turned an otherwise solid black swimsuit into a colorful, vibrant tankini top. On the back, the words "Hapari" were sewn into the fabric.

I've always loved the little details, especially when those details are functional. Remember how I mentioned that when searching for a swimsuit, I need something to "support the girls" (girls meaning breasts, for those of you who don't know)? Well, Hapari has supportive detail down to an art.

Above, you can take note of the built-in bra on the tankini top. You can also see that there is a touch of padding (not too much, might I add), which absolutely helps to add shape your breasts. And as if that weren't enough...

...the pads are actually stitched right into the top! No more worrying about pads slipping around and giving awkward shape to your breasts. Based on the detail of the stitching, these bad boys aren't going anywhere!

The moment of truth was when I tried this swimsuit on. From what I had already seen, I have to admit, I was a bit frightened that it was all too good to be true. Fortunately, that was not the case, and the swimsuit was a perfect fit, and for once in a long time, I actually felt sexy while in swimwear.


What I loved the most is that there were no stand out rolls or bulges, which have always seemed to accompany every other swimsuit I've purchased. The top itself was very flattering, and helped contained my "extra meat." My boobs weren't hanging out or bobbling all about which any top-heavy woman can appreciate.

The Tummy Tuk bottoms actually surprised me! Usually, swim bottoms require constant pulling and tugging in order to keep them in place, but not these! Walking, lying out in the sun, and running away from my son who was armed with the hose were no match for these swim bottoms! Not only did they do what they were designed to do (hide that tummy), they also lifted my behind, or lack thereof, quite nicely (hopefully these squats start paying off soon).

The board shorts were exactly what I'd hoped they'd be. They were enough to cover up, while also looking enough like regular shorts to be able to walk over to a store after swimming, while not feeling awkward. Seriously. Because who has time to get their regular clothes back on just to buy a bottle of water--especially after a long day of swimming?

Needless to say, I'm very impressed with the quality, design, and functionality of this swimsuit from Hapari. It's honestly the best swimsuit that I've ever had. With that said, I would recommend this brand to anyone and everyone looking cute, durable, supportive, high-quality swimwear.

Here is your chance to WIN!!

I've partnered with this amazing brand to bring you, my awesome readers, a giveaway for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Hapari! The winner will be chosen by July 13, 2014 and will be notified by July 15, 2014. Winner must claim their prize within 48 hours, otherwise, a new winner will be selected. Please read all of the terms of the giveaway!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below! Good luck!

* I received a free product from Hapari in exchange for a review.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Mom's Gone Bronson is not responsible for the comments or opinions or prize offered in this blog post. Opinions and photos belong to Freelance Lady, who was provided with products in exchange for her honest opinion. Your views may differ! Thank you!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Great Gifts for Grads at Best Buy!

Do you have a grad that is always on the go, a social butterfly or always looking for the next big thing to share with friends and family from wherever they may be? Are they a networking, technologically savvy grad, dependent on the latest gadgets and devices to keep up with the day to day and the world around them? If so, then Best Buy has some great gifts that your grad is going to adore!

For someone like me, a writer, who is always online, can't turn away from the next new thing and who is constantly sharing media, I would be lost without  my camera, my cell phone and my laptop and I would be thrilled to recieve a $50 iTunes gift card to top up my play list to keep me entertained, while on the go, too! 

Something like the $50 iTunes gift card is a great way to allow your grad to select their own content and download to their hearts content, which is even better if you're not quite sure what they need or what if they already have a long list of tech devices and gadgets at their disposal! 

You might also want to consider an iPhone 5s if they need an upgrade - a great way to keep in touch in more ways than one,  and I am sure your grad would not turn one down!

Alternatively, you could surprise your grad with a Lenovo Yoga 2 13" Touch-Screen Laptop, which is something I wouldn't mind for myself! With the latest in touch-screen technology and on the go convenience and connectivity, your tech-savvy grad can work and play on the go with this sleek machine!

Best Buy hosts some of the latest and greatest, up-to-the-moment gifts and gadgets. way more than I could cover in one article! BUT, here is a list of some of the fabulous gifts suited to your networker of a grad, who loves to keep in touch and in the know, on the go:

SONOS Play:1 Wireless Speaker for Streaming Music
SanDisk Connect 32GB USB 2.0 Wireless Flash Drive
Google Chromecast
iTunes Gift Card $50
Jawbone MINI Jambox Wireless Speaker
mophie space pack External Battery Case
Surface 2 64GB AT&T 4G LTE
Surface Keyboard Cover
Samsung S-View Flip Cover for Note 3
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB External USB Portable Hard Drive
Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Dual-Band Wireless-AC Router
Speck CandyShell Cell Phone Case

If these aren't enough, then Best Buy has so much more for your grad AND you! For less than $50, in fact, you could find your grad the following with ease:

Roku Streaming HDMI Stick
Nose & Ear Trimmer
Oster Blender
Mr. Cofee 12-Cup Coffeemaker
My Blend Blender
Shark Lightweight Iron
BISSELL Cordless 2-in-1 Handheld/Stick Vacuum
SOL REPUBLIC JAX Earbud Headphones
Case-Mate Glam Case for iPhone
Insignia Case for Samsung Galaxy S5
Otterbox Symmetry Case for iPhone 5/5s & Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung S-View Flip Cover for Galaxy S5
Speck Case for HTC One (M8)
Modal case for iPhone 5/5s
Modal Bluetooth Speaker
Thule Gauntlet Laptop Sleeve
Incase City Laptop Sleeve
Incase Neoprene Laptop Sleeve

Why not take a look HERE and see what other goodies Best Buy has to offer your grad, this year! There really is something for everyone and you never know what you might find for yourself, too!

Happy Shopping! 

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!

All personal opinions are my own and your views may differ.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Sizzle & Smoke: The Ultimate Guide to Grilling for Diabetes, Pre-diabetes and Heart Health from Chef Steve Petusevsky!

You don't have to be diabetic to enjoy a diabetic cuisine - and you don't have to suffer bland food as a diabetic or to maintain heart health and wellness in general, either!

Chef Steve Petusevsky has launched a fabulous cook-book called Sizzle & Smoke, which is chock-full of grilling recipies catered towards diabetics, those with pre-diabetes and for heart health!

With recipes like Avocado Lime Salsa, Grilled Clams with Garlic Better, Southern Style Vegetable Casserole and Grilled Angel Food Cake with Melted Berries, who could resist!

With easy to follow recipes, Chef Steve walks you through step-by-step with advice and tricks of the trade, while delivering a huge dose of hearty flavor into every one of your soon-to-be meals!

I personally love to cook from scratch and am always looking for new and exciting recipes and my personal favorite in this particular book is, in fact, the Southern Style Vegetable Cassarole, which I mentioned earlier! It is classic and simple yet it looks divine and tastes great!

I like to cook healthy and look towards recipes like these that cater for those who need to watch their diabetes or what they eat in general and it tastes so good that you probably wouldn't realise that these recipes were better for you than some of those others we might eat on a daily basis!

Why not pick up Chef Steve Petusevsky's Sizzle & Smoke at Amazon or by visiting your local book-store or having a look online! There is something for everyone and I am very excited to try out more of these recipes for myself!

In the mean time, you could WIN one of 2 copies of Sizzle & Smoke by entering via the rafflecopter, below! Giveaway is open to U.S residents and there will be 2 winners, each receiving 1 book!

Giveaway Rules: Giveaway ends 7/3/214. Neither Mom's Gone Bronson nor any participating blogger is personally responsible for prize fulfillment. No entries are at all mandatory, do as little or as many as you please! Winners chosen at random via rafflecopter and notified within 24 hours of giveaway end. Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize and, if unclaimed, a new winner will be selected via the same process until a confirmed winner is announced - please use a genuine email address to sign up as this is how we will contact you if you win! We do not share or distribute your email address or personal information with any 3rd party. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in order to give my frank, honest thoughts. I was in no way monetarily compensated for my views. Your views may differ from mine. Thank you! 

LBL - Don't Be Embarrassed! Be Confident and in Control, with Poise!

Light bladder leakage, also known as LBL, is more common that perhaps people realise, yet we don't like to talk about it and it hasremained quite taboo asthough it is something to be ashamed or embarrassed about - but it is not!

There are many reasons why you may experience LBL and it is worth talking it over with your doctor to check that things are functioning as they should "down there" but once you know where you stand, and before, Poise is here to help!

With several pantie liners and pads in various lengths and thicknesses, Poise look a lot like a pad you might use monthly but hold moisture in a way that is more convenient for LBL instead.

Poise keeps you dry and fresh through a leaky sneeze or something a little heavier and they offer the kind of security that you need on a day out or gathering with friends, without leaving you to worry about that "uh-oh" moment when you either had to go and didn't quite make it or a little leak caught you by surprise - again, it happens more than you think and you are not alone!

LBL can affect anybody, and is thought to affect up to 45% of American women! For an in depth look at the causes of LBL you can take a look here, Many causes of light bladder leakage are treatable or manageable when seen and diagnosed by a Dr and so it is always best to consult with a medical professional to find out what is really going on with your body so that you might get help that you might have been too embarrassed to seek out - don't be affraid to talk to your physician! They have seen it all and they want to help!

Poise is there for you in the mean while and whether you need a slim, small, discreet liner or a fuller pad that is also discreet, comfortable and absorbant for day to day use so that you don't have to worry about that awkward moment!

After having 3 children, I can honestly say that I have had moments where I could have used Poise on hand, but luckily, 9 months after having my 3rd birth, things are getting back to normal "down there" somewhat and things are definitely looking up with pelvic floor excercises, which you can do any time and anywhere without even batting an eyelid! I highly recommend them!

What are we so affraid of!? Lets get the coversation started and why not look to Poise!?

I received a sample of Poise from Crowdtap in order to talk about them and to see for myself how pads like these have advanced. I was not in any way compensated for my thoughts or views on them and I did not receive any other product/s for my time. My opinions are honest, open and my own. Your views may differ. Thank you.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Super-Quick Curd Tarts! Yum!

Here is a super-quick sweet-treat for you to pop out this summer - Curd Tarts!

All you have to do is get a box of pie crust mix OR mix up a pie crust of your own and roll it out. Cut out circles to form little mini pies in a 12 cup cake pan and then spoon in the curd of your choice! We love to use lime curd or banana curd but lemon curd and any other kind of curd works just as well!

Pop the tars in the oven and bake until the pie crust is ready!

Take them out, set them down to cool - do not remove them from the baking pan until they are fully cooled or else they may fall apart!

Slowly pop them out of the baking tray and onto a serving plate or platter and away you go! Curd Tarts for everyone!


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Newman's Own Organics Review and Giveaway! Ends 6/19

I have been revisiting with Newman's Own Organics again over the last couple of weeks and I always get incredibly excited when I bring their products to you as they are truly some of the tastiest Organic foodstuffs that I have had the pleasure to try!

They never seem to do any wrong and I can honestly say that i love everything - I know, you want to hear a fault but I absolutely have none to give and they are just top notch at what they do!

I tried the raisins, prunes and berry mix and my children warmed to these right off the bat! The cookies were a total no-brainer and even the husband, who isn't a huge sweets fan didn't turn them down!

Newman's Own Organics has a little of everything from pretzels to chocolate, mints to olive oil and tea - they even have coffee, cookies, hermits and more! There are so many different goodies to choose from that you would be out their site for days trying to decide which to pick up, but inevitably you are likely to have to pick up a few to satisfy your curiosity in this brand!

The Newman-O's, which are a cheeky little sandwich cookie, came in the wheat-free and dairy-free variety and went just as good with milk as any other cookie I have had in the past or will again in the future! They are soft and delicious and so moorish that you are going to want to race the rest of the family to them before they are all gone!

I tried to keep everyone at bay for the pretzels, chocolate and even the sour licorice that we tried but it was like a feeding frenzy - no one wanted to back down and each got a little claim on a slice of Newman's Own Organics goodness!

I have tried these several times, now and every time they just get better - why not head on over to their website HERE and check them out for yourselves!?

Alternatively, head on down to the bottom of this post for a chance to win some Newman's Own Organics for yourself in a featured giveaway!

What are you waiting for!?

Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was given products to try in order for my honest opinion. I was not otherwise compensated for this review. Mom's Gone Bronson is not responsible for this giveaway or prize fulfillment. Thank you.  

Ology - Cleaners and Home Care Look-See!

I was sent over some Ology products to try out recently in exchange for my honest review and to share with my mom friends. I had never heard of them before so it was a first for me!

Ology pledge to make a healthy, happy home and can be found at Walgreens and provide everyday household products free of chemicals and from renewable sources from toilet tissue to household cleaners, laundry detergent and dish soup, to name a few!

I had a chance to experience the 2x laundry liquid, the tree-free paper towels and the all purpose cleaner.

I had no problems with any of the products and the liquid detergent actually brought the clothes up nice and didn't irritate the skin of even the most sensitive of our children, which is a real bonus and just what I look for when choosing a detergent - gentle, yet tough and works like a charm.

I used the all purpose cleaner to clean down my sides and to clean out my refrigerator, which was a complete disaster zone and was a long-time coming! I sprayed it down and washed it out from top to bottom and implemented the paper towels to clean off any residue inside and on kitchen surfaces. The paper towels have also taken pride and place on the kitchen counter for the past few days and everyone has been using them without complaint and hasn't even questioned their source, which is actually sustainable bamboo, which means no tree-felling and a good, rich, quickly renewable source.

I usually use washable cloth or towels instead of paper towels but if I had to buy a paper towel on a regular basis for our home then I would definitely chose something like this from Ology as it is strong, last a long time and does make the task at hand easy and convenient. I still would choose the cloth option in my home, personally for the foreseeable future, though and that is just my personal go-to and what works best for our home.

The cleaner, which is not tested on animals, contains no dye or ammonia does just as good a job as harsher, regular cleaners that I have used in the past and I am happy with the results. It didn't take any extra effort to clean, no extra time and
no messing around. The price is comparable to other leading cleaners and it is definitely worth thinking about making a switch in my personal opinion.

The entire range is available at your local Walgreens and will cost from a couple of dollars and up! Well worth the investment and a positive step in the right direction for our environment.

Disclaimer: I was given products to try in order to give my honest opinion, I was not otherwise compensated for this blog post and your views may well differ from my own. Thank you! 

Butterflies Make Everything Fabulous!

I moved to PA 5 years ago and have a love-hate relationship with it, but on days like today when I am sitting out in my garden, in the middle of the city and an Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) comes to sit with me for a while, it makes my day!

My daughter loves butterflies and so this was a real treat that I was able to show her it up close and that I had my camera on hand and so only had to hold it for a couple of minutes and then it was gone!

She was very big and very pretty and allowed for an educational moment with my daughter and then off she flew! Gone.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Egg'd Up Breakfast Biscuits with Paprika and Herbs!

Here is a really quick breakfast buffet idea if you want to make something look a little special without having to put out a lot of effort!

Egg'd Up! Breakfast Biscuits with Paprika and Herbs!

You will need:
  • A box of buiscuit mix, made as per box instructions.
  • Eggs - enough to cover each biscuit
  • Paprika
  • Herbs and/or spices of your choice

So, how is it done?

Simply whip up your biscuit mix, whether it be boxed or home made, and pop your biscuits in your oven to bake.

While you biscuits are baking, fry up some eggs - the amount of eggs you will need will depend on how many people you intend to feed, which will be the same for the biscuits, so, tally up the amount you'll need before you start and cook up those eggs while the biscuits are coming together in the oven.

When the biscuits are done, cut them open and spread with a little butter of your choice and then place an egg on top if you are using big biscuits OR half an egg if you have smaller biscuits - you can even quarter eggs and do mini biscuit treats, which is what we have here and it makes for a great pick-your-own breakfast platter.

On top of your eggs you can sprinkle a little paprika and herbs of your choice - if you don't like paprika, use lemon pepper, salt, chili, whatever you fancy! You can even serve them plain and let the table add their own herbs and spices to taste!

That's it! Simply place that plate on the table and the the household go to town! They'll be a surefire hit and they are SUPER quick and easy to churn out! If you really want to go the extra mile, you could also serve some with other goodies like bacon or sausage or even a sweet treat with jelly and/or cream! Why not give it a go, today!


Friday, 6 June 2014

Get Outside! Summer is Here!!

I am personally glad that summer is finally here! I thought it might never come, what with the long winter and the freezing cold and then the ridiculous out-of-nowhere hail storm we had last week that damaged several cars! 

I won't miss it, winter - that season that reminds me of the annoying relative that you never want to visit, but who shows up anyway, often unannounced and then just doesn't bother to leave until THEY are good and ready! 

I am very much looking forward to sitting outside and getting my lily-white, pale skin at least out of the vampire and into the almost-white! 

Time to get those kids out of school and into the yard for happy, safe fun - let them catch worms, get dirty and enjoy play! Don't worry about the latest tech gadgets, just go get some air and imagination! You too! It is good for the soul! 

We rarely set foot in the house once that sun is out and so, summer, here we go! 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Mint-X Trash Bags - Repel Rodents and Racoons with a Fresh Minty Scent!

Check out these trash bags! They are Mint-X trash bags, which are made to repel rodents with a naturally infused scent of mint, which is safe to handle and safe to have around pets!

With the infusion of mint, Mint-X bags are said to repel even racoons, which is a help if you have a problem with them getting into your refuse!

Personally have a cat problem in my yard and the bag does not seem to have been able to completely keep those away, they are curious, but they do seem less insistent on trying to get into my trash now, too, which is an added bonus as I didn't expect them to have any affect on them at all!

The smell of the mint is very strong and when used over a few days, without swapping out a bag here or there, the scent builds up and really does eminate through the trash and cover up stinky oudors, which means that not only are you trying to keep away any potential pests but you are masking some nasty smells, too - this is particularly useful inour household with any diapers etc.

These bags whip out of the box in one, smooth go, are easy to shake out to full size and holds a substantial amount of waste without overflowing or fear of ripping with too much of a load - the drawstring on the top is perfect for less of a mess and less touching of the whole bag and is simple to lift out of your trash can and deposit into a larger outside bin or to place curbside, where by you should have less problems with pests trying to chew through them while you wait for the trash collector!

Personally, we place all of our indoor bags out into big bins that are not easily penetrated by racoons, but I have not had any issues with anything chewing through my bag on my bag porch since I have been using these, like I have had happen in the past!

I am going to bring you an update on our success with these over the next few weeks - but so far, so good, one week in!!

Not overpowering, safe to have in the home with kids and pets and they are durable! The minty scent is not for everyone, it could be a little overpowering, but actually I quite enjoy having that minty air than the smell of trash, especially at this time of year when the sun warms up the trash cans and makes the air a little less desireable! They get a thumbs up in my book!

Disclaimer: I was provided with these bags in order to use and test them out in my own home. I was not otherwise monetarily compensated and my views are my own. Your views may differ. Thank you! 

Pot-Luck, No Measure, Bean and Greens Veggie Burgers!

Here is yet another simple [yet tasty] way to make a meal that doesn't skimp on nutrients and looks great! 

This is a good way to add a vegetarian option to your menu and is great for all members of the family! You can also throw these on the grill so they work for all ocassions and taste great even when cold if you wanted to take a  few along to a picnic etc...very versatile! 

Bean and Greens Veggie Burgers! 

You will need:
  • Black eyed peas or beans of your choice - washed, cooked, soft and let cool. 
  • Green beans - cooked, cooled. 
  • Bread crumbs of your choice to suit your taste! - I like japanese style bread crumbs. 
  • Salt, pepper and seasonings that you like! 
  • Sweet, leafy greans of your choice! 
  • TBS mayonaise or nayonaise
  • Tortilla wraps or burger buns, whatever you prefer!

First of all, you will notice that I haven't given you exact measurements! This is mostly because I don't like to measure anything too much and go by sight, experience and personal preference and I think this is a great way for you to take these recipe ideas and make them your own - so! I have given you the basics and the idea and you go with the flow and see what happens! It is fun and easy and you get what you want, not what I want! Win, win! 

What you are going to do is take your cooked beans or peas - I like to use black eyed peas - about a cup full to start off and add to those about half a cup of green beans, which are cooked and cooled. To that, add a cup of breadcrumbs, to start - you may need more but add as you go along to get the consistency you like! Add in some salt, pepper, seasonings of your preference, to taste! Lemon pepper or paprika work well and it really is up to you! Add in some minced onions or oregano perhaps, whatever takes your fancy! You may also add a tablespoon (TBS) of mayonaise or nayonaise to help bring it all together - if you prefer to use an egg, then add an egg for glue instead, but I do not use eggs in my cooking very often!

Now that all of your ingredients are in a bowl, get in there with your hands and smoosh it up and bring it all together! Don't be scared of getting dirty and don't worry about being too rough! Get all the goods together and they will start to feel more substantial - a little more plyable as a whole and you will be able to start to gauge whether you want to add more beans or breadcrumbs for a thicker "burger".

Once you have a texture you are happy with, pick up a handfull of the mix and simply shape it into a burger shape! Pat it around the edges and see how you like it! If it is too wet it is going to fall apart when you cook it and so you will now want to add more breadcrums to soak up a little moisure! HOWEVER! If there are too many breadcrumbs, the mix may get a little dry and fall apart, too, so in this case, add a little more green beans, beans, peas or mayonaise/nayonaise to keep them a little moist.

When you are satisfied with the way your "burger" looks you can place them on a plate and put them in the fridge, covered with a little wrap [or in a tupperware container] until you are ready to use them! They cook very well once left to settle a bit and all you need to do to cook them is a very shallow, low-heat fry or grill. Keep your eye on them, let them take a little time to cook all the way through but don't leave them so long that they burn. All cookers, ranges, tops and grills will vary so watch them as you go and find the time that suits you! I like to cook mine in a little sunflower oil or glaze them with butter and oven-bake, instead.

The good thing about these patties is that everything you are using is already cooked by the time you get to warm them again in their "burger" form and so you have no fear or raw ingredients if you are not using eggs. If you DO add an egg then make sure you cook these thoroughlly once formed into patties, before serving, to avoid any kind of problems!

Serve these up on a tortilla wrap with a handfull of sweet greens, spinach, lettuce or whatever you fancy and even add on a little sauce or mayonaise/nayonaise (we love it in our house, I know!) and eat on its own or with a side of salad, veggies, cous cous or whatever you fancy! Maybe even a big bowl of fries!! I put some tabouli salad with ours this time around, which is what you can see in my left-overs tub, which sets you up for a snack or sides for the next ocassion.

It really is that simple - no fuss, no mess, and any ingredients you have left over can go cold into the fridge to form more later or to throw into a salad a I mentioned before! Never throw anything out unless you really have too - too much food goes to waste when it really doesn't have to - you wouldn't throw a $5 bill in the trash and so why throw away a meal that is waiting to happen? No more!

Cooking doesn't always have to be stressful, so go with the flow - let me know if you try these and how you bring your own together and flavors, texture, tips etc - I would love to see more!!

These are a big hit with all of our family from the baby to the "old man" and everybody always asks for more! Sure sign of a winner in our house!


Monday, 2 June 2014

Adventures in Pre-Prepared Meal Add-Ins: Fast-Fixin' Homestyle Meatballs!

As part of our series dedicated at incorporating boxed and ready packed meals, add-ons and staples to our meals; Here is a quick and easy way to put a dinner together [for a large family] on a budget, without having to skip on the taste and nutrition!

I have this bag of Fast-Fixin' Homestyle Meatballs, which cost $1.99 at my local discount store, but will retail a little more in regular stores. There were 5 of us to feed this particular night and there were about a half bag used for this meal with about 6 meatballs each! Pretty generous!

I used a large box of spinach linguine, 2 cups of sweet greens and a few cups of sauce - to taste, however you like it!

Just cook up these meatballs in 45-75 seconds in the microwave or 10 minutes in the oven, which is my preferred method. Boil the water and cook up your linguine or pasta of choice to coincide with the time the meatballs take to cook! Cook up your greens separate and your sauce separate - this will allow wiggle room for picky eaters and you can mix and match quantities per plate per person with ease!

Pile on your pasta of choice, add your cooked meatballs, sprinkle with greens, cover in sauce - voila! A complete meal and in under 15 minutes to feed the whole family!

The cost breakdown for me, personally was:
  1. Spinach linguine nests: .75 cents per large box - 1 box needed, only. 
  2. Meatballs, pre-cooked, $1.99, of which I only had to use half the bag so $1.00. 
  3. Sweet greens, from frozen at 89 cents per large bag. Just a couple of cup fulls needed, so about 50 cents max, probably less!
  4. Sauce was actually 25 cents for the entire jar in the bargain basket at the discount store, but will cost about $2 in a regular grocery outlet. 

My personal cost for this entire meal, feeding 5, was approximately: $2.50. That is the entire meal for the whole family. Baring in mind I shop at the local discount store, it is still not expensive to buy the necessities in your local store. You can easily make this meal, for the same amount of people, for under $5 if you shop around - and I often do!

If you like this meal idea, I would love to see how you make something similar and how you like to jazz it up with extra seasonings and flavors or sides! I love to add lemon pepper or pasta toppings with herbs and spice!


Disclaimer: I am not an expert, just a mother. I am not being compensated for my opinions in this post and have not received any products for my time. All opinion are my own and your views may differ. Thank you!

Boxed Meal Adventures: Banquet Homestyle Bakes Chicken, Mashed Potatoes & Biscuits!

 I shop a lot at a local bargain store, which has ridiculously low prices on products and where you can actually get some great deals if you dig deep enough and I do find a lot of foods that I would never usually think of buying and pick them up because the price is worth the try!

Last week I picked up this Banquet Homestyle Bakes Chicken, Mashed Potatoes & Biscuits boxed meal, which is supposed to feed 5 and so thought: "why not!?" and popped it into my cart! For $1.50 it was a good deal.

While I do love to cook from scratch, I am not at all against using a boxed meal or some kind of help if you want it and the key is to find some healthy balance of the two or working it out and I thought this particular choice would pair well with a full salad or vegetable sides.

It was really easy to put together and everything needed to bring it to fruition really was in the box. Just layer as directed and mix up the biscuits to place on top - the chicken sauce comes in a can and is included so everything is there. You throw it all in your dish in under 5 minutes and then put in the oven to bake until the biscuits on top are nice and golden.

I wasn't really sure how it would look when done as it looked a lot less before those biscuits fluffed up in the oven but actually, the whole dish came out very nice for something that took 5 minutes to put together from a box!

2 or 3 of the biscuits were enough to serve a person with the potatoes and sauce underneath and it was easy to work the meal around our family as the younger children needed less and the older had extra if they wanted it, which he did - which is a miracle as he is our picky eater, so that says a LOT for this meal.

I honestly can say that I would pick this up again if I see it at the store in the future, especially at $1.50! If you were shopping in a regular store then this might set you back about $3.50 at major retailers and that is still a great price for an easy dinner option when you might be on the go or just do not feel like putting out the effort on a busy or lazy evening!

Everyone in the house ate this without hesitation and so therefore it gets a big thumbs up!

Got a  boxed or ready prepared meal you love and want to share with me? I would love to hear from you and give it a try! Email me your favorites HERE with the subject "Boxed and Ready Meals" and I might feature you on our blog!!


Disclaimer: I was not in any way compensated for this post, all opinions are my own and your views may differ.