Random Internet Freebie & My Current Giveaways!

Limited Supply of free Tide Pods samples from Tide.com.  Limit one sample per household. Says 4-6 weeks to arrive. 
Great way to try them out, go fill out the form, and share with your friends/family! :) 
Enter My Current Giveaways here:

Alphabeasts Review & Giveaway

Want learning to be fun for a little one in your life? Well, with the Alphabeasts from "Alphaland" it can be! With these fun characters learning the alphabet to learning how to spell is fun! I have been trying to teach my son the alphabet in many different ways lately; with things like fun flash cards and the Alphabeasts to help build an all around fun learning experience.  It is great to see brands make fun products that are both fun and educational.

With all 26 letters featured on fun 15" colorful, lovable characters, sure to be a hit with anyone. They look great around the house too!  I think they are so darling, but more importantly so does my son!  We got the letter "B" known as Boogeyfoos, and now my son seems to have the letter B down pact!  He knows words that starts with the letter more than the other letters, and go around pointing out all the letter B's he sees upper and lower case.  All the Alphabeasts are two-sided, one capital letter, and the other lower case letter.  They all have different personalities with unique names.  He has taken his new pal everywhere possible, as he simply calls him his "letter B monster," and I love that they are made with soft, washable material so he has even doubled it as a pillow for him.

Shop for and collect your Alphabeasts here!
Connect with them on facebook.
Check out their animation video.

See how fun?  I had fun spelling "GIVE-AWAY" with these fun little beasts, imagine how fun in person. ;)

One reader can win an Alphabeast of their own!
Winner gets to choose one letter from the following:
Enter using the Rafflecopter below. :)

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY - Van's Natural Foods with Wheat/Gluten Free options

One could only imagine how I felt when I found out my son was allergic to so many things, unless of course you can relate...  A million thoughts racing through my mind, thinking how horrible, and impossible it all seemed.  I lost countless nights awake night after night researching all that I can find to help us.  Overtime I have learned to accept and live with it, as well as highlight what I can find to be positive living with food allergies.  The feeling of joy and excitement never changes when we find something we can all eat as a family, whether it is something I found in the store or something new we have created.  I can't put into words the excitement I felt when I saw Van's Natural Foods Wheat/Gluten Free line of products, and when we tried it..well, I can still feel the excitement with every bite today!    

served w coconut ice cream, maple syrup &
bananas..ate it before I got to take final pic!
Initially I really didn't know if my son will ever have Waffles, or even French Toast Sticks in the morning like any other child.  I have learned that lots are possible even with many restrictions.  Food allergic toddler and family with no allergies, we all love Van's Natural Foods products.  

Many varieties of Waffles are offered, among them the Wheat/Gluten Free line flavors include All Natural, Blueberry, Apple Cinnamon, Buckwheat, Flax, and even cute small waffles; Minis All Natural.  An example of why we love them, on top of being delicious, the ingredients that most everyone can love and enjoy for the All Natural Wheat/Gluten Free Waffles are:
I love simple and natural! :)  They should be "PROUD."
We have tried the Wheat/Gluten Free Cinnamon French Toast Sticks, which are also great!  My son had his first "bread and butter" with these!  :)  You can have it in so many ways, just like the waffles, we have had it for breakfast with fruits on the side, with dairy free butter, with powdered sugar, with ice cream on the side as a dessert..so many delicious ways!  They are a great on-the-go snack too, I toast them, sprinkle some powdered sugar, and it is an instant sweet treat later on!    
It is a guarantee that you will always find frozen Van's Natural Foods waffles and french toast sticks in our fridge, unless you catch us in between stocking up ;)  Even though my primary reason for loving this product line is because my son can have them, it is very much because they are all natural, and truly delicious for anyone as well, total win win!  I don't have to worry about serving these to anyone in thought that they might not like it because it is wheat/gluten free, dairy, and egg free.  It totally has been tested, and everyone seems to really like them.  

I really do recommend you give these a try, confident you'll love it, if you don't have any dietary restrictions try their other varieties, including English Muffins, Muffin Crowns, Pancakes, as well as French Toast Sticks and Waffles.  If you have a friend/family member that has restrictions surprise them with the ones they can have, they'd love you for it! :)  I always say this, because I personally think it would be nice.  Oh and we don't just have these for breakfast, when food is good, they are good anytime here. ;)  Find out more about Van's Natural Foods, and where you can purchase them here.

Now enter to win FIVE vouchers for free boxes of Van's products using the Rafflecopter below, just follow the easy step by step instructions.  Good luck!     

Glowberry Bears and ABCs Bundle Pack REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

Does your little one fall asleep on his/her own?  My little boy always needs me by him to fall asleep, I have just gotten him used to it.  He will always jump out of bed and avoid falling asleep until everyone is doing  the same.  He always has different excuses and one of them being he is afraid of the dark.  The Glowberry Bear from the The Brainy Company Store  has helped us, and brought hanging out in bed talking a bit in the dark so sweet.

His little tummy lights up to help kids who are afraid of the dark.  With a click on his tummy, and both hands, he talks, giggles, and his tummy lights up.  In the night I always turn him off with a switch on his back (nigh-time mode), because he does talk loud for in bed just like my son, but the light up feature stays active.  The light up tummy stays on for three minutes and shuts off automatically.  It requires three AA batteries that come with the purchase.  He has two modes where he has a bear-to-child mode, and if you get the Glowberry Bears™- Summer Lightly as well as the blue bear they have a bear-to-bear mode.  He says a few fun sentences my son loves hearing during the day.  My son has recently been loving stuffed animals, and wanting a pet.  He loved "Twinkleton" (the blue Glowberry's name) right away when he first saw him.        

During the day I find him going into the closet to see the bears tummy light up, it is a sweet little bear.  I think it is a great children's product, and my son agrees.  He has been sleeping with the bear all week since we first received it.  You can see a great video from the site that shows you all about the cute bears here.  

The Brainy Company Store has a great selection of fun educational items, like DVDs, flash cards, books, and more.  The Brainy Baby® ABCs Bundle Pack has been great to us so far.  My son is three, he sings the alphabet song and knows a few letters but doesn't seem to have it all down pact yet, so I have been trying to teach him trying something new everyday.  I love this bundle, it comes with a 45-minute DVD, 16-page board book and a 36-piece flashcard set, a great set to help your little one the alphabet.    
Check out all the great items including toys, tees, great gift selections and more that they offer here

Enter to win a Glowberry Bear. (one winner)
Enter to win a  Brainy Baby® ABCs Bundle Pack. (one winner)
Enter using the Rafflecopter below, and you will be entered to win BOTH.  It's TWO giveaways one way to enter. :)  

When Reality Confronts You

This weekend was a busy one, we were invited to a birthday party as well as two baby showers.  It wasn't the traditional baby shower were only women are invited, it was for everyone and it didn't take place in the afternoon, one was actually in the evening.  It was all fun, the birthday party we went to was a Yo Gabba Gabba theme, and it was great.  The baby showers, well new babies are worth every celebration and the energy is always great.  So at what point was I confronted by reality?  Allergies!  A new kind we were unfamiliar with, and that part was not fun...

On Sunday we had a birthday party in the afternoon, and a baby shower in the evening.  I prepared his food for the whole day along with snacks, and treats before we left, as well as making sure he ate a good breakfast just in case he doesn't eat enough while we were out.  Both were at someones home, and both places we have visited many times.  When we got to the birthday party, it didn't take long for my son to start scratching his head nonstop, I concluded that it might be because he was hot, and I still don't know why that was, as it really seemed to be bothering him.  But that still wasn't the problem.  One of the guests brought their little dog to the party, again no problem I thought, as we have spent hours with that dog before where my son would play with him the whole time.  He was running around playing, sitting in a circle playing "hot potato" and little by little he was uncomfortable.  He started to sneeze, his nose got stuffy, he started to rub his eyes nonstop.  One eye was all swollen, as the other was well on its way, and they were both tearing up.  It was so sad to see him suffer like that, he is a kid after all so he seemed bothered, even having hard time breathing because of his stuffy nose, but he wanted to continue playing.  Once I noticed all this, we had to leave right away.  Not sure if it was the dog, or something else in the air but I had to get him out of there.

Later on, about an hour later to be exact we went to the baby shower.  By this time he was already looking better, and breathing better altogether.  I was so relieved to see him improve.  Then again, about an hour at our friends house, he had the same symptoms.  His eyes just had it, it was so sad to not be able to help him, and once again we left early.  We left, he was a little better again after some time in the car, and completely better by the time we were home.  We have been to their house and have spent a very long time their before as well.  They had a dog, but they always do.

It is not that common for my son to have some sort of allergic or asthmatic reaction when we are home or out places.  I'm a full time mom, and I make sure he isn't in a situation that could harm him all the time.  After a while I start to fool myself, and don't feel that life is so difficult living with food allergies and asthma..etc.  I let him do just about anything he wants as long as it won't harm him.  I let him eat sweets, because if he can have it, he can have it!  I try so hard and give all I can to make sure he doesn't grow up feeling left out, and I know so far so good.

Many people give me the impression that they judge me, they judge me for being overbearing.  I come off as a mom that obsesses or is overly dramatic.  But it is times like this weekend that brings reality right upfront.  It is real, it is very real.  I will be by his side as long as I financially can 24/7 if I need to, if that's what it takes to keep him safe.  Scariest part was that somehow no one could see how his eyes were red and swelling all around, they heard his sneezes but maybe thought he was sick with a cold.  I fear the day I send him off to school, if I do.  I fear the day I have to have someone watch him, hopefully all will work out.

I don't know what caused him to have an allergic reaction like that, but it was new to us, not sure if it was the dogs or something else in the air...  I know when we go to my dads house he starts to wheeze half an hour there, because my dad smokes.  My thought is, it lingers on his clothes or the surroundings, even though he doesn't smoke inside.  Not everyone notices as the symptoms start to show as the kids run around, I'm the one that notices that he isn't breathing right.  I'm not saying anyone else should, just that how scary it would be if I wasn't around him.  Times like this weekend and days when he gets hives, or anything of the sort, reality confronts me.  So now there is food allergies, asthma, allergies from what is in the air; all with different symptoms that also overlap...  ::sigh::  All I can say is I will try my best, give everyday my all, and take it day to day!  

Mold and Mold Allergies

My son has many many allergies; food allergies, allergies to dogs & cats, some signs of environmental allergies and so much more as well as dealing with asthma...  He is also allergic to mold, we found out a few months ago when we did some testing because we wanted to find out the triggers to his asthma symptoms.  Unfortunately we have had our run in with mold here and there in our shower stall, in my sons bath toys when he was much younger (water squirting ones), and must always be on top of the matter to avoid incidents.  I have learned that there are different kinds of mold and almost all homes have mold.

None of our run ins you can notice right away or even after a while, only apparent after further investigating.  I looked everywhere there might be mold build up due to finding out one of the causes of my sons asthma symptoms may be coming from mold somewhere.  Mold can also cause hives on top of asthma like symptoms.  The symptoms are a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, inflammation of the nasal passages, all of which are similar to other allergic reactions.

My son does get sudden asthma attacks or mysterious hives sometimes and although we often never find out what exactly caused it, I like to try to eliminate all the causes.  When it comes to mold, I take every day simple ways to keep mold from growing in our home as it pretty much can grow anywhere.  They can grow on anything and all it needs is moisture; water or food.  When we take showers or baths I always have a window open a little bit, ventilation fan on and the door open as well.  After taking a shower we open the windows wide (usually in colder seasons) so the humidity clears.  All around the house, I check that the radiator isn't leaking, and the mop isn't left wet.  I make sure the sponge in the kitchen sink is all squeezed out of water.

Make sure kids bath toys are drained and left to dry properly; I don't buy the toys that squirt water as there's always water left inside and mold does grow inside.  Clean all around your home, scrub  and dry all surfaces of your bathroom, a very common area for mold because of high humidity levels.  Do check ups and thorough cleaning often.  If you have a small mold build up, properly clean it away, if the area seems big then get professional help.  Mold and mildew can be found on window sills, refrigerator seals, under the sink, air registers, entryways, and where ever it can grow.  Constant cleaning and proper maintenance is suggested.  Be aware if using strong cleaning products at home although effective can be dangerous if you have asthma or allergies.  The new Tilex® lineup is said to be formulated to attack mold and mildew and cancel the mold show in your bathroom.  If you choose to use Tilex products make sure anyone in your home that is sensitive to mold/chemicals is out of the room/home.  I do suggest putting a mask on when dealing with harsh chemicals for anyone, and if you see a large amount of mold, I think always best to get professional help.

Tilex® is celebrating their new line up that is made to "Cancel the Mold Show in Your Bathroom" with a sweepstakes with many prizes like a chance to win one of three 40" flat screen TVs, or one of ten Netflix subscriptions.  You can enter on the Tilex Facebook page, where you will be able to share the sweepstakes with friends for an additional entry.  Entries must be submitted by 3/16/12.  Click here to enter and for more info.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Tilex blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Fun Crafting with Kids #RecipesForFun

As a stay at home mom I am always trying different activities with my son, and always looking for more fun ideas to keep us busy.  He is three so almost anything is fun for him as long as we do it together, but not everything is easy, and sometimes if it isn't easy for a toddler to do, then the fun can get lost.  Important factor for them is that they are actively participating and contributing to the project.  I recently made a fun "toy carrier" with my son with an old gallon water jug.  It was fun and really easy to make.  Was a great way to reuse an item.
You will need:
-A gallon jug
-Construction paper (if you don't have colored paper, you can make more fun by having child paint or color shapes onto white before gluing on)

Cut circles, triangles, squares, any shape really...
Let child help count, sort out colors, shapes
and place glue on each...

Glue on all the shapes, child can help as it is very easy
and enjoy the finished product!
Your little one will be racing to put all his toys in there, you know all those little toys that end up in the sink, under your foot as you accidentally trip over them at night, and the ones that always end up on the bed..yeah those toys!  It doesn't have to be a permanent place for those toys but sure is a fun way to reuse an old gallon jug, and your child will be so proud to have helped make it.

If you are like me and always looking for new fun ways to have fun with the little ones in your life, you will love the new Clorox Clean-Up Recipes For Fun Website.  With categories like Wacky Science, Arts and Crafts, Kiddie Cooking or Creative Cooking you will never be out of fun ideas for projects with your little ones.     

Also to celebrate their new site Clorox has launched the Ultimate Mess Party sweepstakes.  Just by registering or entering a recipe you are signing up for a chance to win $10,000 towards an Ultimate Mess Party, plus their are chances to win instantly.  If you decide to share in the recipes for fun, you'll get a coupon for $1.00 off Clorox® Clean-Up® instantly, and will receive 10 extra grand prize entries for sharing a recipe.  If that doesn't sound great already,  Clorox Clean-Up is instantly awarding free Clorox® Clean-Up® coupons and $100 gift cards from a variety of favorite retailers to lucky users for just viewing recipes. Prizes are awarded randomly, so hope you guys have lots of luck! :)

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on this program, click here and see the Terms link

How to Clean a Microwave #allnatural #cleaning #mom #green

For so many reasons, including my sons allergies and asthma I am starting to use more natural ways to clean around the house.  In a previous post you can see an example of the panic caused because my son had a reaction to a cleaning product.
One neat way I've been cleaning the microwave is with a lemon, water and a towel.  It is all natural, inexpensive, and will not only clean but remove any smell you may have left lingering from food.  Sometimes we will heat up food in the microwave that isn't allergy friendly like the popcorn from a previous post and the smell stays in their, and leaves an uneasy feeling if I wanted to use it for my sons food.  This has been the most easiest, most effective way yet!
Slices of lemon in water in microwave safe cup...

Having Late Night Pizza Our Way-Allergy Friendly

little heart shaped ham
-made another w star shapes too :)
Last night right around bedtime, when my son was already in his PJ's running around buying time not to sleep, when he decided to tell me he was hungry and really wanted pizza. He has had pizza probably about a handful of times, and apparently it's been so long he doesn't remember. I showed him pictures, but all he could remember was how he can never have pizza while out because of his food allergies. I even slightly mentioned it here in a post last year (the pictured pizza was made with King Arthur Flour GF Pizza Crust Mix). My first answer was "absolutely not baby, it is time to sleep," but he kept insisting in a sweet way... He kept begging saying "Please please please you're the best mom in the whole wide wouwd," I still said no at this point but then he said he dreamt about having pizza and his dreams didn't come true. That broke my heart, and thought "where does he get this stuff?" And the final point when I gave in was when he ran off to get a piece of paper and told me the "note" said "make warm yummy not allergy pizza." was really a blank piece of paper.

I reasoned with myself;
It is late, he needs to sleep.
It's late but he probably won't sleep soon because of the late nap he took.
It is Saturday...
Is he hungry? I don't want him going to bed hungry.
I don't want him to go to sleep "dreaming" about pizza that he thinks he's never had.

So you see, I gave in, I made him my own version of pizza last night. I took all that I had and crossed my fingers hoping it would turn out good. I had King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour that you heard about in a previous post and can enter to win by the way, which worked so well!! I mixed it with all that I could think of that might work well and egg replacer, xanthum gum, and a pinch of salt. With my experience with wheat free gluten free flours it is near impossible, plain difficult to knead, but I was surprisingly able to with this new mix.  I made it on the pan, so as I said it is my own fast version of "pizza."  Again I stress a version of pizza, as it has no wheat, no cheese, not your everyday "pizza."

Main goal was to make something that tasted good and looked like pizza to hold him up for the night, and really to make my son happy.  He was ecstatic, he hugged me after every bite as he sat there holding it in excitement.  He knows it is different and doesn't have stretchy white stuff (cheese) or that it wasn't ordered from a pizzeria, all that he is familiar with, but he was happy.  I was in tears from the excitement he showed me towards something so simple as that.  And so that's why I do what I do, and always will, he is my world! :) My little boy, I will try my very best to make sure he is never left out.  Even I will never understand how it is to grow up not being able to eat food everyone eats, and having to consider so much that everyone eats and enjoys as basically poisonous.  Here are some pics I managed to take in my late night "cooking adventure," as my little boy calls it.  Oh and he also said that I made him pizza that is "not allergy to him" with "mommy love magic"...               ~❤~❤~❤~    He is so right!!    ~❤~❤~❤~
loved working w this flour!
made pizza shaped dough..kinda!

pan made!
I don't have a specific recipe to share, as I literally made it without measuring anything or keeping record of any of it.  But if you ever have any questions, and if I can help, I will.  Just let me know. :)

My son is allergic to wheat, rye, oat, millet, onion, garlic, dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut, tilapia fish, tuna, salmon, shellfish, sweet potato, string beans... 
..more info

My Son Started Wheezing...

My son and I were doing some laundry, as he helped me as he always does.  I was also cleaning up as I always do... :/  I was in the kitchen, decided to surprise my little guy with a sweet treat (marshmallow candy) it said "may contain milk" but I have given him that brand candy before so I gave him a little piece. Of course always aware of the risks of eating almost anything pre-packaged with multiple food allergies.  One bite after another, he ate one whole piece right away, and right after starting coughing a bit..right away!  And quickly his little smile turned upside down.

I freaked out, and asked him if he was feeling alright, he told me "NO..this is not good, I think my throat is burning."  So I pretended like I was calm telling him "everything is going to be okay," over and over again.  Right away I noticed he was wheezing, so first I gave him Benadryl, then grabbed his asthma pump, pumped in some Albuterol.  Watched him closely (this is all in like 2 minutes), dressed him, dressed myself.  I didn't see any hives, he wasn't coughing anymore, nothing I could see that was wrong other than still wheezing.  I asked him again how he was feeling, he replied "not good, this is not good, we need the doctor," and held his throat.  He seemed very serious.  I picked up the phone to call "911" about five times in five minutes.  It was decision making time; trust your very worried little toddler, trust my instinct/what I see, call 911, and/or give him the EpiPen shot..I met it all in the middle.

I decided I'd head outside, since in those very long five minutes he was back to talking loud and outgoing again.  I had my phone in hand with "911" already keyed in just in case I needed to, grabbed my bag that has everything we need.  A minute outside, he was all better, his wheezing went away because of the meds I had given him, and if he was having an allergic reaction that went away too because of the Benadryl, I thought.  So we just took a little walk, picked up a refill for some of his prescriptions.  About a half an hour outside he was already drowsy, and soon fell asleep.

As I continued walking outside thinking to myself, I realized that it wasn't the candy after all, if it was milk he had consumed it would have been really bad, hence the panic!  I realized it was the cleaning wipes I was using when he was standing by me taking his first few bites of candy.  That caused him to have an asthma attack, and he described suddenly not being able to breathe right as his "throat burning".  Either way, I'm glad I took all the precautions I could besides administrating the EpiPen shot.  I would have if I saw hives, or any other signs of an allergic reaction, not to say that wheezing isn't one, but I watched him second by second very closely.  Just glad nothing went horribly wrong.  This is just the reality of living with food allergies, sometimes you never know how your day might end up because of an innocent bite.   Most cases that someone had a life threatening reaction is because they ate a food that they thought they were OK with.  This is also the case of living with asthma..I see :/.  Happy this is the only story I have to tell.

And as for those wipes, never using them again! *(they were Lyson disinfecting wipes-lemon lime blossom scent)

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: King Arthur Flour - Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix & Multi-Purpose Flour

When it was confirmed that my son had such a long list of food allergies.  I went so many nights without sleep trying to find out what alternatives I had.  My son can't have so many foods, including wheat, rye, oats, millet, eggs, dairy so many ingredients usually needed for baking.

I was happy to find great brands out there that help make baking possible, even with food allergies.  One of the brands I have added to my list is King Arthur Flour  Gluten Free line of products.  The first item I tried was their Gluten Free Pizza Crust mix, it came out great, it was my first time making a pizza crust, texture was hard to deal with at first since I was only used to handling wheat flour before, but it came out great.  Since then I have bought it again, and enjoy being able to make my son pizza.  It is hard to explain how thankful I am for brands make products for people with special diets.

Recently I learned more about them other than when I just saw them in the store shelves.  They have  Baking Banter blog as well as over 2,000 free recipes online, including gluten free recipes.  Starting this month they have a regular gluten free blogger writing regularly.  They have a Baking Hotline, where you can call in and get advice and answers to questions you may have, how helpful is that?

What makes me trust their Gluten Free Mixes/Flours is because they are manufactured in a gluten free dedicated facility, what made me buy it at first was what I read "free of all 8 common allergies" right on the box.  That's little statement is like finding gold when I'm in a grocery store.  They have a great variety of flours for everyone that doesn't have food allergies as well.  They are well known for their flours, and commitment to quality, their fans are loyal and swear by the results in using King Arthur Flours.

Their newest product that came out this year is the Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix, and I got to bake a fun cake with it this week.  After going back and forth trying to decide between cupcakes or a cake, we ended up making a cake.  We added some natural food coloring, by the suggestion of my tot to make it fun.  White cream, and chocolate cream frosting, came out great.  My son wouldn't stop eating the cake batter, which is a great sign of great flavor.  We also tried the Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour for the first time, I used it to coat food for frying, even light pan frying. It works great, and that I was very pleased with! :)

So my end opinion, I liked the Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix very much, but since we didn't follow the complete directions on the box, like add four eggs, it came out a bit rubbery.  I used egg replacer in place as I do when I need to, but it wasn't as amazing as it would have came out..I'm sure with eggs.  If you can't have gluten or wheat but can have eggs, I more than recommend this and all their products, I'm sure it would be amazing.  Would I use this mix again?  I would, I would love to try adding xantham gum and playing around with the amount of egg replacer to see how it comes out.  Greatest part, I could call the baking hotline, and someone probably could help me out with suggestions.  All the gluten free mixes will continue to be a part of our diet, and I look forward to experimenting to get the best out of them too.  As for the Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour I'm excited to have added it to flours we can use, and looking forward to baking with it as well.

Follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Google+
You can also sign up for special offers on their  e-newsletter (including an opt-in monthly gluten-free baking newsletter)

You can start ordering your favortie products by clicking shop, but in the meantime if you would like a chance to try them yourself, you can enter to WIN both the Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix and the Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour here.  Wait for the Rafflecopter below to load, and follow the easy step by step to get all your entries in.  :)

I received the items to review, all opinions are a 100% my own. 

Wordless Wednesday - Expensive Art On Our Wall

How much do you think this painting cost us?
Oh and my favorite..what do you see?

*truth is, it's a painting by my 3 year old I framed*

Amazon GC Giveaway WINNER & Current Giveaways

Random draw (entry #79)
Danielle said 
"I learned that scientists estimate that as many as 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies! I didnt realize that there were so many people suffering from that!" 

I thank everyone that entered and took time to learn something new about food allergies.  This was not a sponsored giveaway, it was simply to spread food allergy awareness.  It was great to read everyones entries, means allot as a mom to a boy with multiple food allergies.  Thank you!

Check out current live giveaways:

Popcorn Balls & Ice Cream Topper with Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn #Cbias #PepsiVsCoke

For me personally, the Superbowl is an excuse to get together with friends and family have fun and eat our favorite foods.  This year, my husband went to hang out with the guys at a friends house, and my girlfriends came over with their kids.  When I think Superbowl, I think the game(duh!), friends, fun and FOOD! :)  This year is extra special because well.. GO GIANTS, so excited they won, I secretly would have been happy with any team winning, they are all incredibly talented and passionate.  But because of NY..well.. YAY GIANTS!  

Since it was just us ladies, and little ones we kept it simple.  Initially wanting to order pizza, we ended up eating homemade delicious vegetable filled dinner, and had some fun snacks.  As for drinks, Pepsi is our voted favorite among friends when it comes to #PepsiVsCoke, yay #TeamPepsi!  Water for the kids :)  Chips, dip, pretzels sticks, ice cream..and POPcorn is a must!  We have two favorite brands of popcorn, one is ConAgra Foods Orville Redenbacher's microwavable popcorn, I feel it has less kernels left after popping than other brands, and great flavor.

We all chipped in drinks and food for our little get together, but it wasn't many of us.  I wanted to make something different this year, so my son and I went on a little shopping trip to Duane Reade few days before the Superbowl to buy a few things we needed, you can see our photo story HERE on google +.  I made sweet popcorn balls, and an ice cream topper using Orville Redenbacher's popcorn, everyone loved it.

To make them yourself, you will need:

  • 2 of Orville Redenbacher's Microwavable Popcorn (flavor I chose Movie Theater Butter)
  • 1 1/4 cup of Water
  • 1 1/2 cups of Sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Brown Rice Syrup OR Corn Syrup (I used brown rice syrup)
  • 1tsp of White Vinegar
  • 1/2tsp of Salt
  • 1tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 little 1oz Boxes of Raisins (or any other additives; seeds, nuts, dried fruits..etc)
Follow easy directions.

Once both bags are popped like this, set aside 1bowl each,
mix in raisins, nuts, seeds, whatever you want. :) 

Mix in water, sugar, syrups, vinegar, & salt

Boil medium to high heat, add Vanilla Extract.

Once boiled for about 15min (until thickened) scoop half of liquid pour over one bowl of popcorn & mix.
Wrap tight in plastic wrap and freeze (Use later as an ice cream topper)

Let the other half of liquid come back to boil, add 1/2 cup of sugar. Boil
medium to high heat until really thick (another~10min).  Mix with other
bowl of popcorn, grease hands lightly; make balls.
Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve. 
These came out really sweet, if you add nuts or seeds it can be crunchy, add extra salty ingredients to make a sweet & salty popcorn balls.  Play around with it however you please, but I think it's a guaranteed hit!  I made 8 balls with one bag of popcorn.  I served the other bag of popcorn that came with our box of Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn, to pop up fresh when everyone was here.

Use the ice cream topper with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream.  The balls can be served as is, or with ice cream too!  :)  It ends up being a really sweet treat, so have one ball at a time, and you can always tweak the recipe a bit to your liking. 
My new favorite way to enjoy ice cream! SO good!! :)

*This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are mine :D #CBias