[Ad] Simple Back To School Meals

[Ad] This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ReimagineYourRoutine #CollectiveBias

Wasn't it just yesterday that summer started and the kiddos were free for the summer? How is it that autumn is almost here again and they're already heading back to the classroom?

I'm really not sure where this year went, and thankfully my own kiddo isn't heading to school this year (can she please always stay little? Someone get me a time machine!) but I'm here to help you out with some amazing recipes for you moms to cook up real quick for dinner on school nights! C'mon, I know those fast and easy meals are some of your favorites since they take minimal time and energy, and kids love them! Especially these!
While grocery shopping at Walmart the other day I grabbed a couple different TysonⓇ products and threw them into the cart (I found the chicken in the frozen section and the lunchmeat in the lunchmeat section near the deli). Things have been crazy busy around our home lately and sometimes as a busy mom I need quick and easy, yet nutritious meal solutions for my little family. Two different dinner options, one that older kids and adults prefer, and then another that is perfect for everyone, and smaller children love it as much as adults! Tyson® Grilled & ReadyⓇ Chicken, Hillshire Farm® Farm Classics® Lunchmeats and Pesto that's nut free so your kid can take the leftovers to lunch the next day if they want and not have to worry about food allergies of their own or for their friends. These recipes are simple, convenient meal solutions and are sure winners!



Italian Sub Buns

Mozzarella Ball (for slicing)

Fresh Tomato (for slicing)


1 cup fresh Basil

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

Okay, let’s get the pesto ready first... Throw some basil, parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt and pepper, garlic and your olive oil into a blender and blend until you have a nice consistency and it's well blended. (*hint: it's usually easier to blend half of the basil, then add the next half once the first half is well blended). It's easy and so tasty on these sandwiches and on pasta too!

Next, heat up however many pieces of Tyson® Grilled & ReadyⓇ Chicken you want (just follow the directions on the back of the bag). While the chicken is heating up, slice your mozzarella ball and tomato and set aside. Once your chicken is thoroughly heated, put your chicken in a sub bun, top with pesto, add some tomato and mozzarella slices and enjoy! So Simple and delicious! This is one of our favorite meals!


Hillshire Farm® Farm Classics® Lunchmeats - Honey Roasted Turkey Breast

Hawaiian sub buns

Swiss Cheese Slices

Dijon Mustard

1 stick Real Butter

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F, now peel apart your Hawaiian sub buns in two, I like to try and keep all of the tops and bottoms attached until after they're done baking. Spread Dijon mustard on the inside of the bottom layer of Hawaiian sub buns. Next, layer your Swiss cheese and Hillshire Farm® Farm Classics® Lunchmeats on the bottom Hawaiian sub buns layer. Cover the inside of the top layer of Hawaiian sub buns with Dijon mustard and lay on top of the lunchmeat and cheese. Cover the top with aluminum foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The cheese will be nice and gooey when you take it out of the oven, be careful not to burn yourself and take a stick of butter and spread along the top to soften the Hawaiian sub buns. Next, slice them into sliders or small subs and enjoy! This meal is always a hit with everyone who tries it!

The thing is, we all know that back to school can be stressful, but with Tyson Foods, back to school is actually a breeze. You can save money and have convenient freezer items to stock up on. Delicious, effortless protein packed breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks, all with little effort. Mom (and Dad) don't have to feel guilty about what they're serving their kiddos when they're in a hurry. During the busy back to school season (and all year round) you can count on Tyson Foods to offer protein packed and convenient foods for the whole family.

Which TysonⓇ product is a go-to in your home for your family? Which recipe are you most excited to try?


The Best Housewarming Gift Basket List

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MegaPrepped #CollectiveBias

Ahhh moving... It's one of those occasions that calls for something special. And something special calls for a cute housewarming gift basket, especially when it's for family! Thankfully, it's not us moving this time (packing all those boxes again can wait a couple more years lol), but my lovely stepdaughters Kristi and Tiffani! Housewarming gift baskets are perfect for so many occasions and really for everyone: The young adult headed off to college, the couple or single mother moving into their own home, newlyweds,  new homeowners, and those who have just brought a new baby home. My particular house warming gift care basket is for, as I mentioned before, my stepdaughters Kristi and Tiffani: Kristi is a young single mother buying her first home so this is perfect for her, filled with some of the necessities that really bring a home together in the first few weeks after moving in, and since Tiff is heading back to college soon, but also moving in with her sister, it's perfect for her too!
We were at Walmart yesterday (as it seems we always are lol), and I came up with the idea of a housewarming gift basket, and decided to grab some of my favorite home essentials to throw in there. I spied the new Quilted Northern® Ultra Soft & Strong® with Cleanstretch (9 Mega Rolls) when we were strolling down the toilet paper/paper towel aisle and grabbed that first thing, because, let's be honest... I don't know anyone who doesn't use that stuff lol. Toilet paper is a life staple for sure.
But in addition to toilet paper, what are some thing that go well in a housewarming gift basket? Here's a list below of some of my favorite things to include in gift baskets and are all things that I personally would enjoy receiving, so you know they're good! Lol.
• Soy Candles
• Natural Dish Soap
• Kitchen Sponges
• Kitchen Hand Towel
• Cookies (in a cute reusable mason jar)
• Basket or Crate (can be reused for storage)
• Sparkling Lemonade
• Wine
• Small Batch Coffee Grounds or Beans
• Homemade Pie
• Fresh Flowers
• Natural Household Cleaners
• Fair Trade Chocolate
• Farm Fresh Organic Eggs
• A Gift Card
• One Pot Pasta Meal
• Paper Towels
• Organic Spices
• Magazines or A Cook Book
• Potted Live Herbs (these are perfect for the kitchen window sill)
• Flavored Olive Oil
• Fresh Made Bread
• Locally Made Cheese
• A Throw Blanket
• Artisan Hand Soap
• Wooden Spoons
• Fresh Produce (from your garden or the farmer's market)
I love this Quilted Northern® Ultra Soft & Strong® toilet paper especially because it's so soft, I also love that it's a Mega roll! It is a 4X bigger roll (*than Quilted Northern® regular toilet paper rolls) so you don't have to worry as often about refilling the roll! And with the 9 mega rolls package (like we purchased), the Quilted Northern® Ultra Soft & Strong® with Cleanstretch mega pack offers the opportunity to keep the home and bathroom fully stocked and organized at all times so you don't have to worry about running out, last minute get-togethers or sudden guests! You'll always be ready for whatever life throws your way!
In addition to the Quilted Northern® Ultra Soft & Strong® toilet paper, the other things I grabbed to add to the housewarming gift basket (or crate) for my stepdaughters are sparkling lemonade, cookies in a mason jar, fresh flowers, my favorite natural dish soap, kitchen sponges and a hand towel that matches Kristi's wine themed kitchen decor, a soy candle, fresh flowers... Oh! And a cute little chalkboard!
Do you know someone who is moving soon or is starting a new chapter in their life? The best way to celebrate is by giving them a housewarming gift or care basket! I'd definitely recommend the Quilted Northern® Ultra Soft & Strong® toilet paper first off. What else from the list would you include in your basket? Sound off in the comments below and let me know! :)



Our Favorite Chicken & Waffles

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EggoBTSTarget #CollectiveBias
It's no secret that kids love coloring. Crayons and children go together like peas and carrots, donuts and coffee and cookies and milk. It's an age old fact. But coloring sometimes requires great energy when they're creating that masterpiece to hang on the fridge or send to grandparents. And energy requires protein! So that's where chicken and waffles comes in! Bet ya didn't see that one coming lol. But let's be serious here for a minute.
Do you know any child who doesn't love chicken tenders? I can almost guarantee that your answer will be "no". Because children love chicken. A toddler says they don't want to eat something so you tell them it's chicken, and most of the time they will eat it lol. And kids also love waffles! I know my daughter does, and if I'm correct, most parents do as well (I know I do).

Let's face it... waffles are pretty awesome! They're easy to eat and a super fast and convenient meal option for sure. And Eggo is the brand we know, love and trust in our home! We like to eat Eggo waffles regular, and we also like to get creative with them (aka chicken and waffles). If you're in a rush with the busy-busy-busy-go-go-go and hustle and bustle of the back to school season, you can count on Eggo to be there for you, and Crayola too! Your kid can get creative and be a kid in between soccer practice and shuffling off to class, or after homework while you make these delicious chicken and waffles for the family! With Crayola and Eggo partnering together, you can fuel not only their bodies, but their minds as well! Oh! And you can get some super fun savings too! Right now at all stores, if you purchase 3 participating Eggo products with Crayola packaging you get $5 off of Crayola products! Just make sure you grab them before they fly off the shelves and before September 30th when this pretty cool promotion ends. But don't worry, there will be more info coming so look for it in the Target Circular Ad during the first week of September. Another great thing is that this promotion is valid in all stores, so no one misses out! Yay!
Okay, so before I forget, let me share my chicken and waffles recipe here real quick. It's fairly simple and the results are truthfully mouthwatering.
Maple Syrup
Chicken tenders
Corn oil
2 cups Flour + 1/2 teaspoon Salt + 1 teaspoon Pepper
3 Eggs (+ 1/2 cup Milk optional)
Fill a skillet with about 3/4 inch corn oil and heat up. In a separate bowl, combine eggs and milk and whisk together (I combine the eggs and milk in a dish like I would if I was making scrambled eggs). In another bowl, combine your flour, salt, pepper and mix together thoroughly with a fork. Once your oil is hot, take your chicken tenders and bathe them in the egg and milk wash, once covered, then lay them in the dish with the flour mix. Cover them with the flour mixture and then drop them gently into the hot oil. Let them cook until they start to brown on one side and then flip them. I cook them until they're browned nicely and usually break one open to make sure it's done inside too before we eat them and before turning off the stove. The cooking times will vary depending on the temperature of your stove and oil so make sure they're done before you turn your oil off. I lay them to cool on a plate covered in a few layers of paper towels to rid the excess oil and so they'll cool off fast and easily. Make yourself some Eggo waffles as the chicken is cooling off and once they're done throw some chicken on top and cover in maple syrup. So much yum!

We found our Eggo waffles in the frozen section while strolling through Target and noticed the $5 off Crayola products promotion going on, and as a parent of a toddler, we just couldn't pass that up. I mean, does anyone even know how many crayons a child goes through until they reach adulthood? That's why I also decided to grab some crayons in the back to school section at Target. I chose the twist up crayons, we've been wanting to try them for awhile and I'm hoping they keep her from breaking her crayons so easily, and since they don't have paper around them like traditional Crayola crayons, it'll also keep me from finding tiny bits of Crayola paper wrapping all over our home haha. We also downloaded this super cute (and FREE) activity coloring book from Crayola on Target's website (click here to find out how to download it for your kiddo).
Eggo products are quick, easy and delicious and are perfect for everything from breakfast, to lunch, to dinner, to an after school snack! I also love how stocking up on Eggo waffles helps prepare for the busy school year ahead, and stocking up saves on last minute grocery runs later on. Eggo can make meals fun! What kid doesn't love switching things up and having breakfast for dinner one night a week? I'm all about making life fun for little ones... and also encouraging kids! Encouraging them that they can let their creative side loose with Crayola, encourage them to try something new and unexpected (like chicken and waffles for example).

How will you use Eggo and Crayola to fuel your child's mind and body? What creative ways can you think of to make Eggo waffles? What is your child's favorite thing to draw using Crayola crayons? Don't forget to download the free activity booklet (found here), and most importantly... Have FUN! :)


One Pot Beef & Mushroom Stroganoff

Stroganoff is one of my favorite foods, it's so hearty and pretty much the ultimate comfort food and perfect for a rainy day. I would get so excited whenever my Mom would make it when I was growing up, and now I get excited when I make it for my family. I love it, my hubby loves it, and even Bella loves it! Filled with so many wholesome, fresh and delicious ingredients, this recipe is sure to make your tummy and your family's tummies happy. You can always cut the recipe in half if you want less, but since we love stroganoff leftovers I tend to always make a big pot of it. Also, I know 8 bouillon cubes sounds like a lot, but since my recipe doesn't call for any salt I basically just add one bullion cube per every cup of water. Not too salty, not too bland, just right, and it gives it that extra burst of beefy flavor. Another reason I love this recipe is because it's a one pot meal! Yep, you basically just throw everything in one big pot and save yourself from having to wash so many dishes! What's your favorite comfort food? Let me know if you try it!
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 package baby bella mushrooms (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
8 cups water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (minced)
8 beef bouillon
1 lb. egg noodles
1 16 oz. container sour cream
Coat the bottom of your stock pot with olive oil, add ground beef. Once it starts to brown, add sliced mushrooms and chopped garlic cloves. Add onion powder, black pepper and minced rosemary. Cook thoroughly. Next, add 8 cups of water to your stock pot and also your 8 beef bouillon. Once the water starts to boil, add in your egg noodles. Once egg noodles are done it should thicken up a little, add your sour cream and cook another 5 minutes. Aaaaaand... You're done! Enjoy!



Sweet Dreams with VTech

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VTechBaby #CollectiveBias
As most of you all know, we recently re-done Bella's room into her very own "big girl" bedroom! It was so much fun and it turned out so adorable... But the thing is...

She's co-slept since the day she was born. A bit accidently, we became co-sleepers. But she's finally reached that age, where though I do miss sleeping with her, I'm also ready to have my own bed and bedroom back lol. And the VTech Safe&Sound VM343 Pan & Tilt Full-color Video Monitor comes in handy when I get that urge to bring her back to our bed. I can check on her without her ever even knowing, not wake her up and ease my mama nerves to see that she's alright and just right in the next room when I wake up in the middle of the night.
It's been so helpful already as we are trying to transition her into sleeping in her own bed by herself, and it has so many amazing features: The VTech Safe&Sound VM343 Pan & Tilt Full-color Video Monitor features a high resolution 4.3 inch color LCD screen, pan tilt and zoom (which is the coolest feature ever), full motion video, auto infrared night vision, a talk back intercom, vibrating sound alert on the parent unit, temperature sensor (I seriously love this), volume control with 9 level sound indicator, sound and motion activation mode. Literally so many amazing things about this VTech Pan & Tilt Digital Video Monitor! It's available at a variety of retailers across the country including Walmart, Target, Babies R Us, Amazon.com and of course VTechphones.com!

We chose not to mount it on the wall for the time being and keep it sitting on her dresser. With the pan, tilt and zoom capabilities we can get such a great view of her room and whatever she is doing. The VM343 does come with a wall mount bracket though and we'll probably mount it on the wall when Baby #2 comes along, since there will not only be Bella in the room, but new baby as well. :)

Which also brings me to another factor, whether you have a big home, small home or enjoy sitting on the deck or porch while baby is napping: this VTech Pan & Tilt Digital Video Monitor is perfect for you. It comes with a standard 1,000 feet range, and if you want to keep an eye on kiddos in multiple rooms, it is expandable up to 4 cameras! How awesome is that?! With multiple viewing options on the parent unit, you can easily single view, split screen view or use the patrol mode to keep a close watch on your precious little bundles of joy.

The two way talk back is so perfect for soothing that little one with a song if they wake up in the night, or if you need to tell your toddler "don't touch that" for the millionth time haha. Or you could always talk your husband through a really stinky diaper change when you're busy making dinner lol. The VM343 also comes outfitted with DECT 6.0 digital technology to keep the  connection between the parent unit and the video monitor static free, AND ensures that no outsiders are eavesdropping on your little one’s adorable coos and babble. VTech sure knows the way to a parent's heart. This VTech Pan & Tilt Digital Video Monitor is pretty wonderful.

With the VTech Pan & Tilt Digital Video Monitor you can always have eyes and ears on your littles and scanning their room has never been easier than with the remote pan, tilt and zoom (you guys, 2x zoom!) from the parent unit. The full color video equipped 4.3 inch LCD screen provides the most vivid image of your child(ren) for a parent's peace of mind. Oh! And the night vision is pretty cool I have to admit.

The parent unit also features a rechargeable battery with a low-battery alert (I usually like to keep ours plugged in by our bed), but I'll also definitely be carrying this around the home too in the future.

Bella is such an independent little tot, and now she can play in her room and have some quiet time by herself without me having to go in and check in her to see what she's up to. I can just switch on the parent unit of the VTech Safe&Sound VM343 Pan & Tilt Full-color Video Monitor and see that she's reading or playing with her toys. And I just love that I can peek in on her sleeping without the risk of waking her up. she's growing up way too fast and this way I can get a few more peeks at her being little while she still is.

Is your child sleeping on their own yet? If your kiddos are older, what are some great tips for getting them to sleep on their own? What feature do you love most about this VTech video monitor? Tell me in the comments below!