Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Indian Food for Dinner! @TandoorChef

Disclosure:  I received coupons for product to facilitate this review.

I haven't eaten much Indian food in my life for the simple reason that I haven't had much opportunity.  I do have a couple recipes I make that use curry, and I love them.  I was eager to try some other Indian foods and Tandoor Chef seemed to be a perfect way for me to experience some different tastes of Indian cuisine at home.

Tandoor Chef is a second-generation family owned and operated compan that is committed to producing restaurant quality, all natural, frozen Indian food.

Tandoor Chef has a wide selection of frozen meals.  My family and I tried the the following entrees:

    Indian Food
  • Chicken Tikka Masala with Cumin-Infused Basmati Rice
  • Chicken Tandoori with Spinach
  • Chicken Curry with Seasoned Basmatic Rice
  • Palak (Saag) Paneer
I really had no idea what I was getting into, except for the curry.  These were very easy to prepare, just put in the microwave for about 4 minutes or the conventional oven for 20-25.  I used the microwave.  We decided to mix and match and make a variety which we all shared.  I was really surprise at how good everything tasted!  I also liked that my kids enjoyed the entrees as well.  They definitely did not taste like frozen entrees and in my opinion, tasted like restaurant quality meals (funny thing is, I thought that before I even read the company info which states that).  

I also love how clean the ingredient list is.  I recognized every single ingredient.  These frozen entrees are made without any preservatives and no artificial colors.  However, those with food allergies need to take heed and read the labels.  Depending upon the meal, some may contain common food allergens.  The Chicken Tikka Masala is one that doesn't list any common food allergens.

So, if you are looking for a quick, tasty meal, be sure to check out Tandoor Chef.  I know I will be keeping a stash of these in my freezer!

Disclosure:  I received coupons for product to facilitate this review.

#Giveaway: 4-Set Books on Motherhood (From Touching to Snarky and Everything in Between) #books

Disclosure: I received copies of these books to facilitate this review.  As always, my honest opinions are shared.

Motherhood is definitely a tough job. Especially if you do it right. It can be the worst job you have ever had (seriously, where else can you literally say that someone crapped on you today) and the most rewarding job you have ever had (smiles and hugs are simply priceless). Mothers everywhere should be rewarded for their efforts in raising up their children.

I am happy to say that for this Mother's Day, I am able to offer four wonderful books for a giveaway.  These books are sure to touch or tickle mothers everywhere.

For the New Mother: Little Blessings by Anne Geddes

A beautiful, new gift book that features the world of award-winning photographer and New York Times bestseller Anne Geddes. Each spread features a unique photograph paired with a thoughtful quote or blessing that highlights the joy, beauty, and wonder that new babies bring to every parent. Through the lens of Anne Geddes, Little Blessings captures the unparalleled relationship between child and caregiver.

What can I say?  Who doesn't love the photography of Anne Geddes?  That alone makes this a beautiful book, but added to it are lovely quotes about motherhood, such as A baby is born with a need for love, and never outgrows it or A soul is healed by being with children.  Simply a beautiful hardbound book that will be treasured by mothers.

For the Inspired Mother: Love Blooms in a Mother’s Heart by Kathy Davis

Love Blooms in a Mother's Heart by Kathy Davis
Whether your mom lives just around the corner or is cherished deep in the memories of your heart, the words of love and wisdom in Love Blooms in a Mother’s Heart by top greeting card designer Kathy Davis will bring you a little closer to your own. Known for her whimsical style and uplifting sentiments of giving and sharing joy, Kathy Davis is a true woman entrepreneur who turned a passion into a business.

Simply sweet and beautiful.  Filled with quotes that will inspire mothers.  Watercolor pictures brighten these pages.  A lovely gift book!

For the Snarky Mother: I’m Dangerous…I’m Not Gonna Lie by Erin Smith

From Erin Smith – a hip, irreverent visual artist with a nationally distributed gift line and a unique, pitch-perfect look – comes I’m Dangerous…I’m Not Gonna Lie - a mash up of art, essays, and laugh-out-loud observations designed to find humor in the everyday mundane. Celebrate the art of living loud with the sassiest, smartest, hottest gift book.   Includes hilarious, make-your-day quotes like:  The super girl cape is in the laundry… you’ll just have to take my word for it,” “As much as I try to be an easygoing, stretch-your-wings-and-fly type, I just can’t stop trying to burst people into flames with my mind.”

If you are the snarky type, this one is for you.  Personally, I like to think motherhood is more than being snarky about everything, but to each her own.  I do like the mixed media art work contained on the pages.

For the Mother Who’s A Kid Again: Big Me, Little You

Create a memory-filled journal with the kid in your life! The Big Me, Little You journal is packed with fun prompts, activities, and crafts that provide you with a way to share and engage with the special kid in your life. Fill it out together or send it back and forth – there’s no limit to the way you can connect and share through words, pictures and lists!

A wonderful book!  I could hardly keep my daughter's hands off this paperback book to write the review.  This is the type of book that can build bonds between kids and mom.  Perfect for little ones, too as long as they can talk and Mom can write.  But also, just as awesome for teens, too!  Kudos!

Anyway, if you would love to win a copy of each of these books, please enter the giveaway below!  Open in the US and Canada!

Disclosure: I received copies of these books to facilitate this review.  As always, my honest opinions are shared.

Friday, April 11, 2014

#Win $50 HoneyBaked Ham Gift Card #HoneyBakedEaster #ad

Disclosure: I received a HoneyBaked gift card to try out products to facilitate this review.

I really like to enjoy the holidays, but being stuck in the kitchen sometimes can make an enjoyable time just so busy that you don't really get to visit with your family/company.  So, I try to find as many shortcuts as I can to make things easier and less stressful for me and my husband (yes--I am lucky--the hubs is a great help in the kitchen).  With Easter approaching, HoneyBaked Ham is perfect for creating an easy, delicious meal that gives you time to spend with your guests.  Whether you just want to order one of their delicious signature Hams or their delicious Turkey Breast (or maybe both), you and your guests will love the sweet, crunchy glaze on either one.  You can also order yummy Heat & Share Sides, such as potatoes au gratin or green bean casserole.

I decided to serve up an early Easter meal with my friends and stopped by the HoneyBaked store in Florence, KY.  I didn't need to order in advance, but I would advise checking with your store, especially if ordering for the holiday.  I picked up a quarter bone in ham.  I am a huge fan of the HoneyBaked Ham ham.  That glaze is awesome.  I also like that it is pre-sliced, making serving super easy for me.  I added a few sides; mac and cheese, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole.  Since my friend offered to bring dessert, I didn't order one, but let me tell you, the cheesecake sampler is divine!  I also was able to order Hawaiian Rolls and a delicious multi-grain bread.

Everything was so simple, just heat, serve and enjoy!  The only effort I had to make was to clean my house before my guests arrived.  And once they arrived, I got to spend more time with the guest than slaving away in the kitchen!

Naturally, the ham, with its glazing, was delicious!

We loved the green bean casserole.  It tastes different from the traditional one my family makes, but is very good!

The kids weren't the only ones to gobble up the mac and cheese!

The sweet potato casserole was the best I have ever had--and I think everyone agreed!

Spending time with the guests instead of the kitchen was fun--especially with three giggly girls!
Who wouldn't want to spend more time with these girls than in the kitchen?

HoneyBaked Ham meal made everything so simple that I even got the table cloth out and some decorations!

Before you go, don't forget to print these awesome coupons for great savings*.
  • $5 off Any Size Half/Whole Ham 
  • $3 off Any Size Quarter Ham
  • $2 off Sliced and Glazed Whole Turkey
  • $1 off Any 2 Frozen Sides
  • $3 off 3 Frozen Sides
*Offers valid only at:Participating Retail Locations: Forestville, Silver Spring, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fields Ertel, Beechmont, Kenwood, Colerain, Florence, Salem, Centerville, Sawmill Road, McNaughten, Louisville, Lexington, Fern Creek, Glendale, Paradise Valley, Superstition, Tolleson, Chandler, Tucson East, Tucson North, Overland Park, Independence, Barry Road, Norristown, Parma, Willoughby, Rocky River, Strongsville, Maple Heights, Canton, Fairlawn, Chapel Hill and Boardman.

And get this, HoneyBaked Ham is hosting a giveaway for 20 people to win a $50 gift card!  Enter using the easy Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Disclosure: I received a HoneyBaked gift card to try out products to facilitate this review.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#Giveaway The Original Loom Boom (For #Loom Bracelets) #Sponsored

Disclosure:  I received a Loom Boom to facilitate this review.  As always, this review contains my honest opinions. 

Have your kids jumped on the loom bracelet bandwagon?  Mine have and it seems like I find bracelets lying all over the house (not to mention little rubber bands).  But I really can't complain because I feel that learning to use the loom and create different bracelets is really good exercise for the brain.

My daughter was very excited to learn that there is now a designated holder to flaunt her bracelets called the Loom Boom.  The Original Loom Bloom is the first-of-its kind product that is made to organize, display and transport all the fantastic loom bracelet creations your kids make.  To celebrate, The Original Loom Boom is sponsoring a great contest in which you can submit your creation for the chance to be deemed "Super Loomer" in the 1st Annual Loomy Awards.  There are four categories:  Best Bracelet, Coolest Charm, Wackiest Wearable and Best Loom Boom.  Three winners will each receive a $250 gift card (that will buy a lot of rubber bands) and the grand prize winner will receive a $500 gift card!  All winners will also receive a special edition of The Original Loom Boom.  Submit photo entries on The Original Loom Boom's Facebook page.  Winners will be announced on a live web award show April 30, 2014.

Initially, I had reservations about The Original Loom Boom.  Not because of the product itself, but I wondered if my kids would actually use it.  I am happy to say they DO!  It is definitely a great way to showcase loom bracelets.  The Original Loom Boom is made of durable plastic and the blue tube attaches to a yellow base.  The blue tube is easily removed to slip bracelets on and off from either end.  This is a perfect way to store and see all your bracelets at one time.  My daughter can also take it with her to friends houses to show off her latest creations.  And I am not finding bracelets all over the house!

If you would like to win one The Original Boom Loom for yourself, enter the easy giveaway below.

Disclosure:  I received a Loom Boom to facilitate this review.  As always, this review contains my honest opinions.  

FREE Books for Kids through Read for My Summer Program

Don't let your kids brains turn to mush this summer.  Instead, enroll them in the Read for My Summer program.  This is sponsored by We Give Books’ is perfect for kids up to age 10.  This free, ten-week program features special books for you and your child to read online from the We Give Books library every week.  Also included are fun interactive tools and activities to make each book come to life. And it is all FREE!  You can sign up now to receive a notification when Read for My Summer kicks off!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Get Smart about Your Money--FREE Financial Webinars this Week

Are you looking for financial freedom? The way to get it is by understanding your finances. Unfortunately, many people just don't understand things from how your credit works and what your credit score means to the steps necessary to take to protect your identity. Fortunately, GreenPath is going to be part of Money Smart Week, from April 5-12, as part of April’s “Financial Literacy Month.”

That means that anyone can have the opportunity to participate in activities and workshops that will focus on financial topics including budgeting, credit and savings. There will be opportunities to attend a free webinars, download a free financial education program, and learn new ways to save money, improve your credit and plan for a better financial future.

Simply log on for more information.

Here is the schedule for the FREE financial webinars. Don't be intimidated--you simply log on and listen. Webinars usually have a box where you can type a question. I am also going to add that webinars are not video-conferencing, meaning you will not be seen.

Monday, April 7 at 7 p.m. ET - What’s On Your Credit Report - Reviewing your credit report is an essential step to financial success. We will discuss ways to track your credit report for free, understanding what is on your report, as well as handling inaccuracies and ways to prevent fraud.

Monday, April 7 at 9 p.m. ET and Wed. April 9 at noon ET - Unlocking the Secret to Your Credit Score - We have seen these numbers before: 720, 680, 550, but what does it all mean? This course is designed to help you gain a better understanding of what makes up your credit score and what you can do to improve it!

Thursday, April 10 at 7 p.m. ET - Protecting Your Identity - From email scams and phishing to credit card skimming and fake preapproval offers, Identity Theft is on the rise! This course will teach you practical tips on ways to avoid becoming a victim, as well as what to do if you suspect someone has stolen your identity. We are partnering with Affinity Group on this webinar.

Friday, April 11 at 10 a.m. ET - Options for Dealing with Debt - Would you like to learn about various debt repayment options? You will also learn about how much debt is too much, communicating with creditors and how to avoid debt problems in the future.

Friday, April 11 at 1 p.m. ET - Money Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make - This course will teach you the 12 common money mistakes people often make in life. We have discovered the common mistakes that can cost people hundreds of thousands of dollars, and we want to teach you how to avoid them.

Download Free Personal Finance E-Course

Consumers can also download GreenPath’s “My Path to Financial Freedom.” This free eight-lesson education program discusses a wide-range of personal financial management topics, compiled by GreenPath experts. Consumers can learn about how to maintain a budget, protect yourself from identity theft, improve one’s credit rating and more.

Log on to to sign-up for the webinars and to download GreenPath’s “My Path to Financial Freedom.”

#Recipe: Chicken Parmesan Poppers Appetizer @RagúSauce #NewTraDish #sponsored

Disclosure:  I received a gift card to help facilitate this post.  As always, this post contains my honest opinions.

Being just a second generation Italian, I know the importance of food when getting together with friends.  Food is more than just the sustenance of life when sharing with friends. It becomes a gesture of love.  I am so blessed to have so many great friends in my life--ones I can really trust.  I have moved around a good bit in my adult life, and where I am now is actually the longest I have lived anywhere since I left home at age 18.

Most recently, my path seemed to cross with on woman for many years before we actually became great friends.  I'd see her occasionally at the library for story time or bump into her at the grocery store.  I'd see her at the Y working out.  She was always so friendly to me, but I was a busy mom with little ones, as was she.  It wasn't till I stopped home schooling and my kids started to school that I would see her at the Y on a regular basis and we began to talk about things other than story time and diapers.  I could immediately tell she was trustworthy.  We began chatting on Facebook instant message in the evening and grew closer and closer.  She is someone that gets me and we both share similar beliefs in regards to motherhood, families, faith and friends.  When I had the opportunity to create a recipe for Ragu, I knew her and her family would be perfect to share it with.  After all, if my recipe was a flop, I was confident she would still love me!  However, I was pretty certain that if I used Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce in the recipe, it was bound to be good.  Especially since each jar of sauce is made with 11 juicy tomatoes, making this sauce the richest, thickest recipe yet.

I decided to take a twist on an old recipe--Chicken Parmesan and change it into an appetizer.  Chicken Parmesan Poppers is what my family named them, since they are easy to just pop into your mouth.  They are so delicious--everyone loved them!

Here is my recipe:

Chicken Parmesan Poppers

1/4 C. Grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to sprinkle on top
3/4 C. plain dry bread crumbs
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 lb. chicken breast tenders cut into bite size pieces
1/2 C. Ragú Old World Style Traditional Sauce

3/4 C. shredded Italian cheese blend
Several basil leaves torn into small pieces

Preheat oven to 375°.  Line two baking sheets with foil and grease with cooking spray.  Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings, and garlic salt in a shallow dish.  Beat egg in a bowl.  Dip chicken in egg, then the crumb mixture, turning to coat.  Arrange on baking sheet and bake 6 minutes.  Spoon a bit of sauce on top of each piece, then add a piece of basil and sprinkle with the Italian cheese blend and grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake 3-4 more minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.  (Thickness of chicken pieces will determine how long to bake.)  Serve hot.  If desired, add on top of a plate of spaghetti with Ragú Old World Style Traditional Sauce for a main entree.
Assembled ingredients

The assembly line:  Dip chicken in egg, then bread crumb mixture.
I even got the hubs involved!

After baking 6 minutes, top with Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce and a basil leaf.
Finished product.  Let me tell you--it has been very hard to get a photo of this because they disappear so quickly!

Chicken Parmesan Poppers Appetizer

  (Notice the photo bomber!)

3ff2358e-94db-11e3-a95e-22000afd2dc7Let me tell you, it is so hard to get a photo of the final product.  I had to make them twice and at that, I had to swat my husband's hand the second time around so I could get a shot off.  This is an awesome recipe!  I would suggest putting them straight on a warming tray as they do tend to cool off quickly if not.  Being cool didn't stop my family and friends from eating them, though.

If you want more easy, delicious authentic Italian recipes, be sure to visit

You may want to enter the Ragú Better and Better Sweepstakes for a chance to win great Authentic Italian themed prizes, including a grand prize trip to Italy for a family of four at!  I know I would LOVE to go back to Italy!

Abbreviated Rules:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older. Ends 5/6/14. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, alternate method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit Void where prohibited.

Disclosure:  I received a gift card to help facilitate this post.  As always, this post contains my honest opinions.

Google Analytics