by amanda

Family Night with Tony’s Pizza

April 22, 2014 in spon by amanda

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign withPollinate Media Group™ andTony’s Pizza, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #tonyspizzeria

My husband has been deployed for almost two months now – which is crazy because it’s gone by so fast! It’s totally different from our last deployment which seemed to last for 16 years!

I’ve been trying to plan fun weekend activities to keep the kids busy. Things can get really expensive, really quickly when you have three kids so I’ve been on the hunt for free or cheap things to do around here. Things like the going to the park or feeding the ducks or having a movie night at home with some pizza!

We had a movie night last week. After a week of running around like chickens with our heads cut off, it was nice to just sit down and watch a movie. And we had picked up some Tony’s Pizza at Walmart so we didn’t even have to cook dinner!

My kids – like most kids I assume – are obsessed with pizza and ask me to order some at least once a week. But like I mentioned earlier, three boys = needing lots of pizza = $$$.

Tony’s Pizza is a great option for those of us who want pizzeria taste without the pizzeria price. And it really does taste like you just picked it up from your favorite pizza place! We grabbed a pepperoni and a cheese and there was not a single slice left by the end of the night.

Every weekend my kids ask if they can bring all their blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, stuffed animals, etc, etc, etc downstairs to have a sleepover in the living room so they were pretty excited to have pizza, watch a movie, and sleep downstairs together.

Before you head to the store, make sure you print out this coupon to SAVE 75¢ on any TWO (2) TONY’S® multi-serve pizzas (11.04 oz or larger), while supplies last. Make pizza night even more affordable!

You can check out the Tony’s Pizza website to see all their varieties. Follow them on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to learn about new coupons and promotions!

“This movie thing is fun and all but where’s my pizza?” – Penelope, the husky.


by amanda

#CoffeeJourneys (Mr. Coffee Drip Coffee Maker Giveaway!)

April 22, 2014 in spon by amanda

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias, Millstone® Coffee, and Mr. Coffee®.

Have you had your morning coffee yet?

You know I did. First thing every morning – before I even let the dogs out – I press that pretty little button on my coffee maker.

My morning coffee has gotten a lot tastier this week. I picked up a Mr. Coffee® 10-cup Optimal Brew™ Thermal Coffee Maker and a bag of Millstone® Foglifter coffee at Walmart. And I may have picked up an extra of both to give away – so keep reading!

The first time that I ever had a real cup of coffee was the morning of the ACT in my senior year of high school. I went to Waffle House with a bunch of friends before the test and had my first, really large cup of coffee.

I remember nothing about the ACT but I remember that cup of coffee.

I loaded the thing down with sugar and those little tiny cups of creamer. It was the only way I could drink it. And it must have been amazing since it’s the only thing I remember about the ACT!

These days I drink coffee all day long. First thing in the morning, before lunch, after lunch, and late afternoon. I just love it!

How do I take it? Two fake sweeteners and a splash of almond milk, please!

My husband and I both prefer light or medium roasts so the Millstone® Foglifter coffee is perfect for us! I love how it smells when it brews – lighter and brighter than other coffees!

Plus, isn’t the name Foglifter just so fun?

The Mr. Coffee® 10-cup Optimal Brew™ Thermal Coffee Maker has made my life so much easier recently. I like my coffee steaming hot and this guy actually brews it hotter than your average drip coffee maker! It also brews the entire pot (10 cups!) in less than 7 minutes!

I think my favorite feature of the coffee maker, though, is the water filtration system that allows you to keep track of when you need to change the filter. It’s super cool for someone like me who would never be able to remember when to change it. It also has a special cleaning cycle to get rid of calcium deposits.

If you want a chance to win a Mr. Coffee® 10-cup Optimal Brew™ Thermal Coffee Maker and a bag of Millstone® Foglifter coffee, just enter below and feel free to share your #CoffeeJourneys in the comments!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run until April 29, 2014, Rafflecopter will choose the winner, and I will mail the winner’s package our ASAP. US residents only, please.

by amanda

Summer Treats

April 21, 2014 in spon by amanda

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.

With warm weather comes lots of outside activities, cool treats, easy family meals, and… a succulent obsession?

I know, isn’t it weird?

Anyway, last week after I had decided that the weather was going to stay warm permanently, I got it stuck in my head that I needed a planter full of of succulents on my porch. So I went to 6 different stores in 2 days looking for all the necessary supplies – you can see the halfway-finished product on my Instagram. I had to order rocks online but they should be here soon and then I’ll just have to wait for all my little babies to grow and overflow from the whiskey barrel. I’m pretty excited.

But while I was running around looking for all the planting supplies, I ended up stopping at Walmart for dinner supplies! I knew I was going to be busy getting everything planted and then since it was such a warm day, I wanted to take the dogs to the dog park, and I had promised the kids that we’d go for a bike/wagon ride after that. There really was no time for cooking dinner in there but I wanted something healthy with lots of veggies.

We may have also picked up some frozen treats.

The Stouffer’s Skillets are packed with protein and veggies and take about 10 minutes to prepare! I picked up the Garlic Chicken variety – it had big chunks of chicken along with broccoli, carrots and peas!  All the Stouffer’s Skillets are made with no preservatives and the vegetables are flash frozen to ensure that they are perfectly delicious!

The frozen treats we picked up were WONKA™ Peel-A-Pop™ Frozen Dessert Treats in Vanilla Banana and DREYER’S OUTSHINE® Fruit and Veggie Bars in Strawberry Rhubarb.

If you guys have ever visited this area, you know that the sun is HOT at this elevation. You’re outside for 15 minutes and come in with a sunburn. So any time we go on a walk or bike ride, I like to make sure we carry icy water and end the walk with a frozen treat.

Those Outshine bars are by far my favorite. The coconut water ones… quite possibly the best things on earth for someone who’s obsessed with coconut water like I am! My kids really love all of them though.

And the baby, who is obsessed with all things banana, loves the Vanilla Banana Peel-a-Pops.

The weather together with the 3-day weekend really have me looking for to summer and all the fun we’ll be having. I’m excited for more bubble-blowing walks, days at the dog park, and lots more frozen treats!

What are your favorite #SummerGoodies?


by amanda

Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

April 21, 2014 in frozen goodies by amanda

It’s not too early for ice cream, right?

One of my BFFs tweeted me about the new Dairy Queen confetti cake blizzard a few weeks back and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about ice cream since then.

Weirdly enough, I’ve been craving fruity ice cream – and if you know me at all, you know that I am strictly pistachio or Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby when it comes to ice cream. But yeah, lately I’ve been craving the fruity ice creams. Especially strawberry. Especially with an tart base like this one.

I don’t know why sour cream and strawberries work so well together in ice cream but they do. I didn’t even tell my kids that I made this ice cream because I had no intention of sharing. It’s probably my favorite ice cream I’ve ever made.

And btw, sorry for the lack of recipe card on this post! The plug-in I use is having issues so things are going to look a bit weird for awhile. The print and save options should be back soon.

One year ago: Pork with Dijon Marsala Sauce
Two years ago: Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Three years ago: 
Baked Vanilla Doughnuts
Four years ago: Lime and Cardamom Sweet Rolls

Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream


1 cup sugar
9 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
3 tablespoons brown sugar


  1. In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/2 c. of sugar until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, whisk together remaining 1/2 c. sugar, the heavy cream, and the milk. Heat over medium low heat, whisking all the while, until the mixture just reaches a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  3. Slowly pour about 1 cup of the hot cream into the eggs in a thin stream, whisking the eggs vigorously as you do so to keep them from scrambling. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan with rest of cream, still whisking. Heat the custard over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take 7-10 minutes. After it begins to thicken, it will continue to thicken fairly quickly, so remove from heat about 30 seconds to 1 minute after it starts to thicken.
  4. Strain custard through a sieve into a large, clean bowl, pushing through sieve with a spatula. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then whisk in sour cream, vanilla extract, and salt, whisking until smooth. Cover custard tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  5. About 1 hour prior to churning the ice cream, prepare the strawberries: Place the chopped strawberries and the brown sugar in a large frying pan and stir. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow the strawberry juices to release. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until berries are soft, and juices have evaporated enough to become syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in brandy. Transfer berries and syrup to a bowl and freeze for 20-30 minutes, until chilled but not frozen.
  6. Churn the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to directions. When the ice cream has reached a soft serve consistency, turn off the machine and fold in the chilled strawberry mixture so that there are streaks of berries. Freeze to further solidify.


by amanda

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

April 17, 2014 in chicken, slow cooker by amanda

After years of hearing me talk about my weekly Chinese order, I have bad news for you.

I’m over Chinese.

It’s a sad moment because I have been obsessed with our local place’s cashew chicken since my husband’s last deployment.

I keep trying to talk myself back into loving it and actually went to my other Chinese food love, Panda Express (and took a work call while in the drive-thru because I keep things classy) the other day and it was just so blah. 

And now I’ve convinced myself that if I just go to PF Changs, I’ll be back in love with Chinese food and my life will return to normal.

(Normal = being able to acquire bad-for-you food without leaving your house)

I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

This Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken is less like the veggie-filled cashew chicken I love and more like the sweet and sour chicken that my kids love. All three of my boys loved it and argued over leftovers the next day.

It’s a really simple recipe and odds are, you have most of the ingredients on hand. If you are a sweet and sour person when it comes to Chinese food, you’ll probably dig it!

Two years ago: Orange Beef and Broccoli
Three years ago: Baked Seasoned Potato Wedges
Five years ago: Baked Brie

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cashews


  1. Combine flour and pepper in large Ziploc bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with flour mixture.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side.
  3. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  4. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken.
  5. Cook on low 4 - 5 hours. Add cashews and stir. Serve over rice.

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