Pfizer Pediatric Products Review & Giveaway

The Pfizer Pediatric Platform products, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

I’m baaa-ack! I wanted to make sure to share with everyone this review of Pfizer Pediatric products and offer a giveaway to get you and your family through allergy & cold/flu season.

Pfizer Products

Yes, it’s that lovely time of year when allergy season overlaps with cold & flu season, reeking havoc on homes and school absenteeism everywhere. Yes, I am speaking from experience.

Health report from Weather Channel_Fotor

My son has a lot of allergies, along with asthma, so I often check the pollen levels in my area. The above picture comes from my Weather Channel app, and it’s updated daily. As you can see, the other day pollen was very high, and also cold & flu is still widespread. My son’s pediatrician said that due to the crazy weather, mild winter, etc. that we have been experiencing in our area, they are seeing an overlap in allergy symptoms and cold/flu. Fun times, I tell ya. The increasing pollen caused my son to have a flare up of nasal allergies, which resulted in an ear infection, along with an asthma flare-up.

Pfizer at Target

Thankfully, I have a well stocked medicine cabinet to help when symptoms occur. Children’s Advil®,(which is ibuprofen) is my go-to for fever & pain. I definitely like to keep it on hand for those middle of the night earaches (and my son also gets migraines, so I use it for that as well. I know…poor kid!) There’s also Infants’ Advil® White Grape,  that comes with a syringe for easy dosing for children 6-23 months. My oldest daughter just had to use the Children’s Robitussin® Cough & Chest Congestion this week for her cough & chest congestion. The daytime formula does not cause drowsiness, so she could take it before school, and even though she’s 15, let’s face it, children’s products taste better! (It’s for everyone age 6 and older) The above shown value pack comes with a daytime & nighttime formula. We haven’t had to use the Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough yet, but I am definitely keeping it handy. When you have 3 kids, you never know what is going to pop up…and usually spread through the house!

So if Sick just got real.™ (check out their Facebook page too) at your house, go to Target or Target.com for your pediatric products. 

Giveaway

On to the giveaway! Since I want you to be fully prepared for whatever comes your way this allergy/cold/flu season, Pfizer will send one Makin’ it Mo’Betta reader a prize pack with the above Pfizer Pediatric Products. All you need to do is complete one or more of the following from the Rafflecopter form (delivery to US residents only).

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Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookie Bars & GIVEAWAY!

I was provided with a Krusteaz Holiday gift pack to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

My Christmas baking list is quite long (shortbread, gingerbread, fudge, sausage balls, and so much more!) & I have been in a cookie baking frenzy. Well, I was. Until my 7 year old had a terrible asthma flare up that has been going on for weeks now. Several doctor visits, multiple medications, and let’s not forget – NO SCHOOL. I have three kids, and one of them is not in school with only a couple more weeks till Christmas! Do you see where I’m going with this?

Cookie gifts

BUT, there is one thing I do not need to panic over, and that’s the holiday treats. With the help of Krusteaz Cookie Mixes, we can have all the fun Christmas cookies, without all the time & effort on my part. Not to mention, I don’t have to stress over gift giving. I have a few options to share that will help you if you are short on time this holiday season as well. And seriously, is there ever enough time?!

Oatmeal Scotchie Food gift

Food gifts do not always have to be prepared ahead of time. Many people have lots of goodies on hand during the holidays, so packaging up mixes that can be easily prepared later is a fun gift. You can mix up a homemade cookie mix, or you can save yourself some time and package up a Krusteaz mix. Just place in a mason jar (because everything looks cute in a mason jar) add a bow and some instructions on how to bake! I added red, green & chocolate chips to the above jar of mix. You could also layer the chips in the jar with the mix. (Provided you don’t start layering, then knock the jar over so that they get mixed up. Not that I would know about that. *ahem*)

You can also add some Hot Chocolate Mix, because we all know hot chocolate goes great with cookies!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

On the other hand, baking up treats to take to a friend, neighbor, teacher, etc. is always fun too. Save yourself some time with shortcuts, like using Krusteaz Shortbread Mix to make these yummy Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookie Bars!

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shortbread bars

The pan size will determine the thickness of the crust. I used an 8 x 11. You could also add nuts. I added just a few to one end, since my son is allergic.

Christmas Food Gifts

Package your treats in a food safe container, lined with festive tissue paper and a cute tag! My tags & tissue paper came from Zazzle.com, and the little tree clips and plastic container came from Target.

Krusteaz & I would like to help decrease your holiday stress level as well! We have a huge cookie prize pack to giveaway! It includes:

Krusteaz

  • Two boxes of the following mixes: Shortbread, Gingerbread, Snickerdoodle, Butter Vanilla Sugar and Oatmeal Scotchie
  • Some fun holiday baking items like an apron, tote bag, cookie cutters, frosting decorating pen and a mason jar (for gifting and storage!)
  • Holiday cookie recipe ideas for inspiration

Please enter via the rafflecopter form. This giveaway ends soon so that we can (hopefully!) get the winner their cookie prize pack before Christmas (No guarantee on that.) Open to US residents, 18 years or older.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed Contessa, The Dedicated House, Skip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife

Copycat Sausage McGriddle Casserole & Krusteaz GIVEAWAY {#ad}

I received a gift pack from Krusteaz to facilitate this post. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are my own.

This post is full of good things: breakfast food; an easy, kid-approved recipe; and a giveaway! My love for breakfast food is pretty well documented here on the blog. As is my love for casseroles, and breakfast for dinner…which makes an appearance pretty regularly around here. That’s why I am happy to partner with Krusteaz to celebrate National Breakfast Month, and give you some ideas to incorporate Breakfast Night at your house. How about tonight?!

My kids love pancakes. I love sausage and eggs. Since my oldest daughter’s favorite fast food breakfast item is the Sausage McGriddle (from Mickey D’s), this recipe was born. It could be called Breakfast Lasagna because of the layers, or Pancake Casserole, but whatever you call it, give it a try. It’s easy, it’s yummy, it’s filling and it’s just…fun. A little twist on dinner that brings everyone together at the table. Or, you know, you could serve it for breakfast too!

I made my pancakes with Krusteaz pancake mix ahead of time and stuck them in the fridge to make the prep for this even easier.

I was surprised how tasty it was when all layered and baked together.

Sausage, Egg and Cheese Pancake Casserole

12-15 pancakes (depends on size)
8 eggs
1 lb sausage (maple sausage, turkey sausage, or favorite)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
maple syrup (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a large skillet, cook sausage on medium high heat until done, crumbling/breaking into pieces as it cooks. Reduce heat to medium.
  • In a bowl, scramble eggs, season with salt and pepper. Add to skillet with sausage. Stir eggs in with sausage and cook until eggs are set.
  • Add pancakes in a single layer to bottom of baking dish. Make sure pancakes are touching or slightly overlapping. I used 5 pancakes for this.
  • Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over pancakes.
  • Add 1/2 the sausage/egg mixture to the pan.
  • Top with additional 1/4 cup cheese.
  • Drizzle with syrup, if desired. (Using the maple sausage and/or using maple syrup gives this a more authentic McGriddle flavor. Could also add syrup to pancake mix when preparing.)
  • Repeat layers, starting with pancakes.
  • Top with final layer of pancakes.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is melted.
Slice and serve!
So many Krusteaz products to help make breakfast easy!

Giveaway details:

One prize pack (not pictured) will be awarded to a Makin’ it Mo’Betta reader. It will include:
  • One box of Buttermilk Pancake Mix
  • One box of Belgian Waffle Mix
  • One box of Blueberry Pancake Mix 
  • One Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix 
  • A pancake pen (for pancake art!)
  • A spatula and 
  • A coupon for FREE product
Enter via the Rafflecopter form!

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ASUS MeMO Pad 7 LTE Review & GIVEAWAY {$168 value} #ad

This post was sponsored by ASUS and Walmart. All opinions are mine.

For anyone following my little corner of the blog world, you have probably noticed that I have gotten nowhere fast on my ‘dot.com’ endeavor. Let’s just say moving a blog that has been around over 5 years is no easy task! In the meantime, I’ve got bidness to attend to! I have a fantastic giveaway for y’all, and I just couldn’t wait any longer to tell you about it.

If you have kids (or grandkids, or friends and neighbors with kids), I’m sure you know that school is BACK IN SESSION! I think all parents have mixed feelings about this. We are elated to get the kids back-to-school and in their routines again, but it’s also back to hectic mornings, constant chauffeuring, school lunches and the ever dreaded…HOMEWORK. Well, I have something that will definitely help with the homework, and can help us moms (or anyone!) too. There is an app for just about everything these days, and definitely some that help with scheduling, time management, grocery shopping, (or catching up on our favorite TV shows while sitting and waiting for kids to finish practice). That’s where my review of the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 LTE® comes in!
It has lots of cool built in features, and tons of available apps through the Google Play Store. Since Chrome is my browser of choice, I love that it’s already pre-loaded and ready to go on the tablet. You can use it to conveniently check email, watch videos, take videos and pictures, read books, play music, browse Pinterest and more! One of my favorite things…SuperNote! You can use it to take quick notes on the go, and you don’t have to worry with typing it in like I do on my phone or my other other tablet…you can write notes with your finger! It’s easy, and much faster for me. Yep, my other tablet (possibly named after a fruit) is not as cool as I once thought. Here are some specifics for the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 LTE®:
  • 7” HD tablet with dual front facing speakers and 178-degree wide viewing angle, perfect for watching movies, playing games etc. 
  • Dual cameras: 5MP rear / 2MP front
  • Quad-Core Intel® Atom™ processor 1.3 GHz, gives it the performance to stand out in the 7-inch tablet market. AT&T; 4G LTE network provides speed and reliability at your fingertips
  • Scratch-resistant glass with anti-fingerprint coating
  • 16GB internal storage w/ up 64GB MicroSD Card Support
  • Usage time: up to 10.5 hours Perfect for kids and teenagers
I like the size of the tablet, not too bulky, but big enough that I can easily see it!
As you can see, it’s smaller than a standard composition notebook (approx 7″ x 4″). Another great thing about the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 LTE® is that it is much more affordable than other tablets with similar features, and, once your pre-paid time runs out, you have the option of adding it to your existing AT&T; plan (if you have one) or what I like, you can purchase additional pre-paid calling plans at Walmart, so you are always in control of how much you are spending. (The tablet also has WiFi capability.) Learn more by watching this video:
So what do you think? If you are interested in trying the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 LTE® or considering giving it as a gift (Christmas is right around the corner!), you can purchase it at Walmart for $168 AND you can enter my GIVEAWAY!
That’s right, I am giving away one ASUS MeMO Pad 7 LTE® to a Makin’ it Mo’Betta reader! All you need to do is complete one or more entries via the rafflecopter form below.
 
NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND NECESSARY, A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. The Giveaway starts on 9.13.15 and ends on 9.20.15. Open only to legal residents of the 50 U.S./D.C. and 18 years or older as of time of entry. Residents of P.R. are ineligible. Void in P.R. and where prohibited.

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Breakfast Casserole ‘Muffins’ & VISA Giftcard Giveaway! {#sponsored}

I was provided coupons and a gift card to purchase ingredients for this post by Nature’s Harvest® to facilitate my review of Nature’s Harvest® Bread. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Where has the summer gone?! I’ve already heard of some kids going back to school, and my own go back in a couple of weeks. I really don’t feel like we’ve had much of a break! However, with school being out, I have really been off my normal routine, and with that, meal planning has gone out the window. I’m very ready to get back to planning healthier, balanced meals. This will mean planning for super busy mornings, lunch boxes, and meals in hurry due to various sports practices.  

With so many meals eaten on the go, or prepared in a hurry, it’s easy to opt for convenience foods. However, I still want our nutritional needs met. For example, did you know it is recommended that adults eat 48 grams or more of whole grains daily and children ages 4-13 eat a minimum of 40-48 grams per day? (You can read more about whole grains and guidelines here and here.) Many of us are not getting enough, which is why Nature’s Harvest® bread has launched the “Whole Grain Challenge”. The challenge is to encourage moms and families to incorporate 48 grams of whole grains into their diets every day. You can find educational content on the Nature’s Harvest® website and Facebook page to help stay on track and participants can take the whole grain pledge on the Nature’s Harvest® Facebook page and automatically be entered into a weekly sweepstakes, but hurry, it ends August 10th.

Nature’s Harvest® bread has at least 8 grams of whole grains per serving, no artificial flavors or colors, and no high fructose corn syrup. That gives them an A+ in my book!
These portable Breakfast Casserole ‘Muffins’ incorporate whole grains, protein rich eggs and cheese and best of all, they are portion controlled, easy to eat on the go, re-heat beautifully (I actually prefer them re-heated the next day!) and I imagine they could even be frozen…but mine have not lasted long enough to find out! They are also a great way to use up leftovers or fresh veggies from the garden, the recipe can be modified to whatever your family likes – add pepper and onions, use ham, sausage, mushrooms, vary the cheeses and spices, get creative!

Breakfast Casserole – To Go!

3-5 slices whole grain bread (enough to fill your muffin tins almost to the top) I used Nature’s Harvest® Butter Top Made with Whole Grain White Bread
1/4-1/2 cup bacon pieces (or meat of choice; I used this)
1 cup shredded cheese 
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sage (optional)
1/2 teaspoon basil (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  • Tear or cut bread into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in prepared muffin tin, filling 3/4ths full.
  • Sprinkle bacon pieces over bread, top with cheese.
  • In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk and spices. Carefully pour into muffin tins, dividing equally. (I just eyeballed this!)
  • Bake for 15-20 mins, or until eggs are set and cooked through.
Recipe adapted from Thriving Home and Makin’ it Mo’Betta
 
These make a handy breakfast, lunch or dinner. I served mine for ‘brinner’ with grits, then reheated the leftovers in the microwave for breakfast with a side of fruit. As I stated earlier, I actually preferred them reheated, which is a rarity, but definitely puts these in my keeper file! 
GIVEAWAY:
Now, how many of you would like to win a $25 VISA Gift Card and a coupon for free Nature’s Harvest® bread? To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway has a quick turnaround so go ahead and enter!
 

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Gourmet Gift Baskets Review & GIVEAWAY! #sponsored

I received a complimentary gift basket to facilitate my review. An additional basket will be provided by the company to the winner of the giveaway. No other compensation was received. All opinions are that of Makin’ it Mo’Betta.

I just LOVE a gift basket. I like to give them, and I like to receive them. It’s just something about having several themed items in a basket that is fun. The only hard part, other than buying everything to go in it, is getting it all arranged in the basket so it looks nice and is secure. If you don’t have that kind of time, but are still looking for a thoughtful, good quality gift basket for a friend or loved one…I have the answer! GourmetGiftBaskets.com! Did I mention FOOD baskets are my most favorite? No surprise there I’m sure.

I had the opportunity to review this little BBQ Gift Basket, just in time for grilling season! The box itself came with a message from the president of the company, and the basket was packed very securely so it would not get damaged during shipping. Each gift basket comes with a card inside that you can add your personal message to the recipient. The basket, shown above left, is securely wrapped in plastic, so contents can not spill out or shift during shipping, and topped with a bow. It is a gift afterall!

The BBQ Basket comes with the above items. Here is a description of each per the website:
 
If they can’t get enough of the sweet, savory, tangy, smoky goodness that is all things barbeque, you’ve just found the perfect gift. This impressive gift basket is comprised of the best grilling products, like authentic fiery sauces and deliciously zesty rubs, supplying them with everything they need to make their favorite food better than ever. 


Ingredients: 
• Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce by Stonewall Kitchen – 11 oz. – A spicy dipping sauce made from sun-ripened chilis and garlic.
• Roasted & Salted Peanuts by J&R; Gourmet – 2 oz. – Better than any ballpark peanuts you’ve ever tasted, roasted and salted to perfection.
• Chichester Snack Mix by Merrimack Valley Snack Company – 2 oz. – A delightful snack mix comprised of crunchy pretzel nuggets, cheddar cheese crackers, and premium nuts.
• Spicy Peri Peri & Lemon Veggie Roaster by Urban Accents – 1 oz. – A spicy blend of chili pepper, lemon peel and garlic flavor.
• Touch O’Heat BBQ Sauce by Rufus Teague – 16 oz. – All natural and gluten free, this BBQ sauce is what barbeque is supposed to taste like. 
• Beef & Burger Rub by Urban Accents – 1.5 oz. – Use for grilling or roasting to bring out all the juicy flavors in whatever meat you choose.

I can go ahead and tell you, the Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce by Stonewall Kitchen….I’m in love!! It’s so good! I’ve used it as a marinade for pork, as well as a dipping sauce for my Baked Egg Rolls. My family also enjoyed the Touch O’Heat BBQ Sauce on grilled boneless pork ribs the other night. I can’t wait to try out the rubs as well.

Would you like to try the BBQ Gift Basket? Or give it to the BBQ’er in your life? It would make a great summer birthday gift, a couple’s wedding gift, a housewarming gift…the list goes on! Just complete the rafflecopter form below to enter.

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Monte Cristo Waffle Sandwiches for #BreakfastNight {#GIVEAWAY, #sponsored}

Did you know that September is National Breakfast Month? It’s pretty well documented on the blog here that I love breakfast food, and that we do breakfast for dinner. A lot. We aren’t the only ones… In a national survey, Krusteaz found that nine out of ten (91 percent) Americans say they eat breakfast for dinner, with 56 percent doing so once a month or more. For families with children in the house, the trend is even more prevalent as 67 percent say they have breakfast for dinner once a month or more. With that in mind, Krusteaz has declared Wednesdays as  “Breakfast Night“. It totally works for me!

With all the sports activities my kids have going on right now, dinner needs to be pretty quick and easy. That’s one of the reasons why I love doing “breakfast suppers”. When I can find shortcuts, like using Krusteaz pancake and waffle mixes, well I’m all over that too. Last Wednesday we made pancakes and Belgian waffles using Krusteaz mixes. Two kids ate pancakes, while Number One and I had these Monte Cristo Waffle Sandwiches. I made mine into a Monte Cristo – which is basically combining everything fabulous into one sandwich…it’s a French Toast/Belgian Waffle/Cheesy/Meaty/Sweet and Savory combo.

Monte Cristo Waffle Sandwich

2 servings
*Prepared waffles (My waffles were about 8 inches, so I used two and cut them in half; if you are using small 4 inch waffles, then you will need 4 of them)
4 slices Swiss cheese
1/4 pound thin sliced ham
1/4 pound thin sliced turkey
6 slices cooked bacon
cranberry sauce (the canned kind works great for this…can also use fruit preserves instead)
Dijon mustard (optional)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Pam cooking spray or butter

*We made waffles with Krusteaz Belgian Waffle Mix

  • Heat a griddle, panini press or George Foreman (this is what I used).
  • Combine eggs, milk and cinnamon (if using) in a large, shallow bowl.
  • Dip one waffle (or one half) into egg mixture, flipping to coat each side.
  • Place waffle on greased or sprayed griddle and top with 2 slices of cheese, 1/2 the ham and turkey, 3 slices of bacon, and top with thin slices of cranberry sauce or a tablespoon of jam/preserves and desired amount of mustard (if using).
  • Dip second waffle (or half) into egg mixture, coat both sides, and place on top of meat/cheese.
  • Close top if using a panini press or George Foreman and let cook until top is lightly browned and crisp. If using skillet or griddle, cook one side until browned and set, then flip to cook other side.
  • Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Recipe Source: Makin’ it Mo’Betta and Foodie Crush

Looking for other quick and easy breakfast night options?

Pancake and Sausage Muffins


Easy Oven Pancakes – mix up your favorite pancake mix and pour into a baking pan and bake….no standing and flipping!

For the GIVEAWAY, Krusteaz would like to help you make Breakfast Night a tradition in your house too! They have agreed to provide one Makin’ it Mo’Betta reader with:
  • Buttermilk Pancake Mix (1)
  • Blueberry Pancake Mix (1) 
  • Belgian Waffle Mix (1) 
  • Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix (1) 
  • Krusteaz coupons for free product.  
Entering is simple via the Rafflecopter form below. {US Residents only}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Krusteaz provided me with the above pictured products and coupons (not pictured) so I could host my own ‘Breakfast Night’. All opinions and love of breakfast food are my own.

Banfield Pet Hospital, My Fur Baby & a #GIVEAWAY {#sponsored}

Disclosure – I was provided with Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plan® and ProHeart® 6, by Banfield Pet Hospital, which has also provided the information and giveaway. The dog and opinions expressed are my own 😉

Even though I primarily talk about food and my kids, every once in a while I share stuff about my fur babies as well. Today I wanted to share with you my most spoiled rotten little dog…

Talk about a mess. This dog is completely spoiled and an absolute lap dog. Unless his Rottweiler personality takes over….then he is ferocious (so he thinks). He is part of our family and we love his little demanding self dearly. That’s why his health is very important, and heartworm prevention is at the top of that list.
That’s where Banfield Pet Hospital comes in. If you have pets, you know vet visits can get pretty expensive; especially if you have one like Currituck here, who at 6 months old had to have emergency surgery due to an intestinal blockage because he eats EVERYTHING. (Story for another day!) Banfield is the only pet hospital that I’ve come across that has an Optimum Wellness Plan®. With their plans, office visits are FREE and I was shocked (and pleased) at everything that is included under the plans. Many include annual heartworm testing  which can be administered during a routine office visit. (Go here –Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plan® to learn more about the plans offered.) Plans can be customized based on the needs of the individual pet, and combine physical exams, routinely recommended vaccinations and screenings, unlimited free office visits, service discounts and more into one affordable veterinary care package.
Banfield believes in preventive veterinary care as the best way to improve the quality and longevity of a pet’s life by reducing the risk of developing serious, costly and sometimes fatal diseases (such as heartworm disease). I can’t say that my dog sings the praises of Banfield as much as I do. He has a lot of anxiety when at the vet (or when anything disrupts his regular routine!)
But I have to say the veterinarian and her technician did a great job at making him as comfortable as possible. He absolutely hates getting his nails trimmed, to the point that I don’t even attempt it at home anymore. They snuggled him in a blanket and worked together to get the job done. Even when he acted like he was going to take someone’s hand off!
His ‘pedicure’. (That’s how it was listed on the receipt! Made me laugh.)
This was one of the best parts of the entire visit. Not that he had a shot, but the fact that the ONE shot provides SIX MONTHS of heartworm prevention! It’s called ProHeart® 6 and is an injectable heartworm preventive that can be prescribed to healthy dogs over the age of 6 months and delivers six months of protection in a single dose. I LOVE this because now I don’t have to think about it for SIX months! 
 
Having to remember to give the dogs their other heartworm pill every month was a source of stress for me, because it was just one more (very important!) thing I had to keep up with. ProHeart® 6 can protect dogs from dangerous heartworm disease by preventing immature worms from maturing into adults that cause damage in the pet’s heart. Treatment of heartworm disease is difficult and painful for the dog, as well as expensive for the pet owner. (Just remember that before a pet can start on heartworm preventive, he/she needs to be tested to make sure they are free of adult heartworms, this is done through a quick, simple blood test.) If interested, here is a video on How to Protect Your Pet From Heartworm Disease
**If you are interested in trying ProHeart® 6, here is a link to a coupon for $10 off a 6-month injectable heartworm preventive. Also, if you would like to request an Banfield Pet Hospital appointment online, go here
 
GIVEAWAY time!
Banfield Pet Hospital has agreed to provide one giveaway winner with a free office visit at their nearest Banfield Pet Hospital for their dog to receive a free heartworm test and free 6-months of Proheart® 6. (You and your dog just need to be a U.S. resident and have a physical mailing address, no P.O. boxes). That would save you a good chunk of cash that you can spend on something else. Like chew toys. Or dog food. Or sweaters 🙂
 
Just enter via the rafflecopter form! 
One last thing – 
Banfield will donate $1 per reader comment (up to 100 comments) to Banfield Charitable Trust (once the giveaway has concluded). Banfield Charitable Trust is a donor-supported non-profit whose mission it is to preserve the human animal bond by keeping pets with their families who love them. Each year, BCT helps 100,000 struggling families through seven programs ranging from life-saving emergency care to assistance with pet food or other urgent pet care needs. 

Back to School with Balance Bar – #GIVEAWAY {#sponsored}

My kids went back to school today. Mind. Blown. This has been the fastest summer EVER. I just can’t believe school is back in session, sports have started back up and before you know, BAM, it’ll be Christmas. Let the panic attack begin. Just kidding, no time to panic. It’s time to meal plan, break out the crock pot, makes lists, and get super-mom organized…and lucky for us, Balance Bar is trying to help with that!

Balance Bar, along with parenting expert and Mom blogger Jenny Ingram, from Jenny on the Spot, have some awesome suggestions for surviving ‘back to school’. 
For example: 
·         Keep Smart Snacks within Reach. Back to school isn’t only exhausting for kids. Moms and dads get worn down too so smart snacking is important. Pack a supply of nutritious snacks to have in your purse for when you’re running errands or going from school to practice. ItzyRitzy’s reusable snack bags are perfect for keeping your on-the-go snacks organized and always handy. Fill them with grapes, almonds, carrot sticks and Balance bare bars for a healthy snack sure to satisfy both busy moms and kids until dinner!
·         The (digital) calendar is key.To make sure no one misses an activity, homework deadline or playdate, color code each kid in your calendar so you know exactly who is doing what and where and when. The Cozi app – is free and great for organizing your upcoming activities and goes everywhere you do since it’s on your phone.  
·         Pack bags within your bag.  If you’re like me, you have a huge bag. It’s great for storing lots of things, but it can be hard to find anything if you’re not organized. Keeping a mini bag that holds chapstick, hand sanitizer and other items frequently used items in a brightly colored small bag that stands out can help with that. The ItzyRitzy’s reusable snack bag can even double as an organizational bag that’s stylish too!
·         Miniature First Aid Kits. It’s helpful to have some first-aid basics in your bag for everyday incidents that are bound to happen. Jenny’s homemade first aid kit includes Band-aids, Neosporin, Kleenex and wipes, and says the wipes are much more effective than napkins at cleaning up whatever messes my kids have.
·         Be prepared for homework. With after-school activities, keep homework supplies in your car and bag so your children can do their work while you’re waiting for soccer/volleyball/etc practice. Keep rulers, pencils, pencil sharpeners, scissors, calculators and a clip board in the car to make sure you’re prepped for any homework assignments.
·         Label everything. With 3 kids, and all the supplies and gear that come with them, labeling is important. Mabels Labels are great for lunchboxes, backpacks, jackets, shoes, sporting equipment and anything else. It also helps avoid lost items in the school coat closet.
·         Pack healthy school lunches efficiently.  Trying to accommodate everyone’s lunch needs is hard. Jenny suggests making their sandwiches and then let them choose 3 snacks for themselves. In your pantry, have mom-approved snacks (like Mixed Berry Balance bar bars) in three drawers and every kid is allowed to choose 1 item from each drawer to add to their lunch.
·         Transitioning summer bedtimes.  Late nights are not going to work once school starts, so gradually transition kids’ sleep schedules. 4-5 days before school starts, move their bedtimes up 10-30 minutes. It’s a slow process but really helps to ensure they’re rested and ready for the first day. Since school has already begun for my kids, it’s important to stick to a nighttime routine and consistent bedtime. I know my kids are going to be worn out by the end of the week!
The Back to School Survival Kit contains these Balance Bare bars. They are made with fruits and nuts, are non-GMO, and Gluten/soy/dairy free. The best part…they taste good! The Sea Salt Caramel Nut tastes almost like a candy bar. It’s my favorite, followed closely by the Sweet and Spicy Nut. I love the hint of spiciness in with the sweet, and it’s a unique flavor idea. However, I also like the Mixed Berry Nut. I’ve been throwing them in my gym bag for after a workout, my daughter has had them as a snack before volleyball, and they are great for curbing my late afternoon ‘Iwanttoeateverything’ phase that hits me around 3:00pm.
The GIVEAWAY consists of your very own Back to School Survival Kit. (The one pictured above is missing a couple of bars. We got hungry before I could take pictures!) The kit contains – 

To win, just enter via the rafflecopter form. Shipping only available to US addresses.

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I received the above pictured kit to facilitate this post. Both kits and information are provided by Balance Bar. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed regarding product are my own.

Easy Pumpkin Beer Bread, National Bratwurst Day & a GIVEAWAY {#sponsored}

So you may be asking yourself what in the world do Pumpkin Beer Bread and National Bratwurst Day have in common? Well, the answer would be this…

This mix plus your favorite beer (or other carbonated beverage) can make a delicious bread AND it can be used to make Beer Brats in a Blanket, which would be a fabulous way to celebrate National Bratwurst Day, which is TODAY! Y’all know how I love my food holidays 🙂
Beer, brats, cheese…sounds like a pretty good way to celebrate to me. However, did you know that the Fall seasonal beers are already in stores?! (As are Halloween decorations!) As much as I am bummed about my favorite season coming to an end, I have to admit the Fall beers, and the thought of pumpkin recipes got me a little excited. Excited enough that I just had to make Pumpkin Spiced Beer Bread!
It was so easy, and my house smelled amazing. I just added pumpkin beer, some spices and cinnamon chips to the Krusteaz Beer Bread mix and voila…a preview of Fall heaven. Buttered.
Awesome x 10

Pumpkin Spiced Beer Bread

1 package Krusteaz Beer Bread mix
12 oz. Pumpkin Beer (or carbonated beverage of choice)
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon dried orange peel (optional, could also use fresh orange zest)
1/4 cup cinnamon chips
2 tablespoons melted butter
raw sugar (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Stir together bread mix, spices and beer until just combined.
  • Fold in cinnamon chips.
  • Spread in a sprayed loaf pan (see Krusteaz box for size options and baking times).
  • Top with melted butter and sprinkle with raw sugar (if desired).
  • Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean. For my dish, it was about 45 minutes.
Now, onto the GIVEAWAY! The lovely folks at Krusteaz are offering one reader the following prize pack-
One box of Krusteaz Beer Bread mix and Three FREE product coupons (and they have a lot of products to choose from!) US residents only please. Enter via the rafflecopter form.

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I received the prize pack pictured above, no other compensation was received. Prizes are provided by Krusteaz. All opinions are my own.