Nov 18, 2014

Recipe: Mexican Hot Chocolate #ChexPartyMix #platefullcoop #ad

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op

It's that time of year again-- The holiday season has already kicked off for many people. This means a lot of parties, gatherings and celebrations. Of course, a party is not complete unless you have the right food and drinks. One great item that is a classic crowd-pleaser is Chex Party Mix. I have made different varieties over the years and Chex keeps coming up with new recipes. I tried out the Mexican hot chocolate variety last week and it screams holiday flavor. 
Like most Chex mix recipes, this one only took 15 minutes from start to finish, minus cooling time. 
What you need: 
2 cups Vanilla Chex™ cereal
2 cups Chocolate Chex™ cereal
2 cups Cinnamon Chex™ cereal
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup flaked coconut (optional)
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

  1. In large microwaveable bowl, measure cereal. Set aside
  2. In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, heat butter and chocolate chips on High 1 minute or until almost melted; stir and microwave another 30 seconds or until mixture can be stirred smooth; stir in condensed milk, heat 30 seconds or until boiling; stir in cinnamon. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated. 
  3. Microwave on High about 3 minutes, stirring every minute, until mixture is glazed. Stir in coconut and marshmallows. Pour onto waxed-paper lined pan to cool.
Method Note: Always read labels to make sure each recipe ingredient is gluten free. Products and ingredient sources can change.
Serving Suggestions/Menu: Not a coconut lover? Leave it out-you'll still have a terrific blend of Mexican Hot Chocolate.

I left the coconut out because my kids don't like it. 
We all loved this variety of Chex mix. It has the warmth of cinnamon spice with a rich chocolate bit. The marshmallows are an added bonus. The only modifications I made was I used a lower temperature and less time for heating since my microwave tends to set things on fire. I think this would make a great gift to pass out the friends, neighbors, teachers or to take to a party or potluck. I can see this in cute cellophane bags tied with festive ribbon. It's very economical and one batch makes quite a bit.

Be on the lookout for in-store savings and digital coupons on the website from Publix.

In-Store Savings
Chex Cereal on BOGO from 11/20 – 11/26*, no coupon required for savings, available at Publix. *Dates might vary in certain markets.
Printable Coupons

Visit to clip and print your coupons. Available while supplies last.
Save $1 when you buy 2 Chex cereals
Check out for more recipes and gift ideas.

Nov 17, 2014

Suave® Professionals Body Care- Perfect for moms on a budget! #SuaveSpaSecrets

Suave has been known for many years as a brand that offers great quality beauty products at a very low price. I have used their shampoos, conditioners, body washes and lotion over the years. I recently got to try their latest body care items from the Professionals line. I received samples of the Moroccan Infusion with Moroccan Argan Oil body lotion, body wash and dry oil spray as well as the Natural Infusion body wash with Awapuhi Ginger and Honeysuckle.
I have been religiously using the Moroccan Infusion items for over a month now and it has become my favorite line of body care products. I absolutely love how moisturizing the products are to my dry skin. My husband has tried out the lotion and loves it. I like to mix the body lotion and the dry oil spray for extra softness. My skin stays so hydrated that when I get in the shower, I can still feel the moisture on my legs and body. This amazes me since the products absorb so well and don't make my skin feel sticky or greasy.

I loved the products so much that I decided to buy the matching shampoo and conditioner to try. It has been the perfect thing to winterize my hair. I'm really impressed with the Suave Professionals line of products and both of my daughters are big fans as well. They both find that the Professionals line works even better than some of the bigger, more expensive salon brands. I highly recommend these products and encourage you to try them. You won't be disappointed. You can purchase Suave Professionals Body Care products at most retailers at price points between $3.49-$5.99. Follow Suave on Twitter and Facebook for product promotions and updates.

Also, check out the DIY beauty "recipes" below. They would make great economical gifts this holiday season.

I received complimentary items in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% mine as always.

Aging and Changing, Being 41

I recently turned 41 (gulp). It seems so strange actually writing that number as my age. I really don't feel that old. I don't even know how 41 is supposed to feel. I know one thing though; I'm surely not 20 or 30 anymore. Many things have changed and I have had to take steps to adapt. I went to the doctor earlier this year for a full physical. It had been a few years since I last had one. I admit, I was very nervous. So nervous in fact that my blood pressure registered a lot higher than normal. I have a terrible family history of heath ailments. What if I find out I am diabetic? What if I have high cholesterol? What if I do end up with high blood pressure? I was really afraid. I knew I had to suck it up and get checked out thoroughly.

It only took a couple days to get the first set of lab results back. I felt like I couldn't breathe when I saw the doctor's office phone number show up on my phone. My heart raced and I had to take a deep breath. My doctor informed me that I had a vitamin D deficiency. I am not surprised by that because it is very common for brown-skinned people to have that issue. For whatever reason, our skin does not absorb vitamin D from the sun like a fair-skinned person would. I was prescribed a once a week, 2 month supplement to boost my levels. I noticed that after 4 weeks of taking the supplement I felt different. I had higher than normal energy levels, my nails were stronger and my hair seemed to be growing overnight. Besides the vitamin D deficiency, the doctor informed me my hormone levels that control my thyroid were abnormal. She asked me if I had been experiencing any of the symptoms like rapid heartbeat, weight fluctuations, sweating, and several other things. I told her no and insisted that the test wasn't accurate. I think she sensed my denial and was kind enough to entertain me. She ordered that I retake labs in 30 days. I took time to research hypothyroidism in depth. I had a light bulb go off in my head. Thyroid issues are hereditary. Almost every woman on my mother's side of the family has been diagnosed and is being treated by medication. I also realized that what I thought was extreme anxiety I have been experiencing for about a year or so was actually heart palpitations. I called up my doctor and she was very polite in not saying, "I told you so". She assured me that being put on medication wasn't the end of the world and it would help my situation.

I have been on Synthroid for almost 90 days now and had my labs done a few weeks back to see of the meds are helping. It turns out that my hormone levels are normal and the medication is indeed doing its job. As much as I did not want to be put on any type of medication for the rest of my life, it is what it is. I have my health under control and will be certain to keep up with regular doctor visits to ensure it stays that way. I have advised a few friends who complained of fatigue, anxiety and weight fluctuations to go get lab work done. I have one friend who told me she found out that she too was vitamin D deficient. None of us are getting any younger so it is important to get into the doctor's office at least once a year.

Do you have regular check-ups/physicals with you doctor?

Nov 16, 2014

Check out the #BettyCrockerBakeCenter exclusively at Publix! #paid

Baking season is here and I am doing a happy dance! I absolutely love baking for my family and friends throughout the holiday season. The Betty Crocker Bake Center has everything you need to create delicious goodies.You can find exclusive savings on essential baking mixes and ingredients from brands such as Betty Crocker, Hershey’s and Ziploc® brand containers, available at Publix. Looking for new baking recipes to delight your guests this season? The Bake Center display will feature four exclusive baking recipes as well as coupons; find the Bake Center at your local Publix. I checked mine out last week and I grabbed some recipe cards to try out some of the easy recipes.

I received a Betty Crocker Bake Center baking kit complete with everything I need to whip up some special treats.

I decided to go with some festive sugar cookies topped with a Hershey's Kiss. They were so unbelievably easy to make. All I did was prepare the sugar cookie dough according to the directions on the bag and form little balls that were then rolled in Betty Crocker's festive holiday sprinkles. I baked them on a parchment lined baking sheet at 360 for about 13 minutes and let cool on pan for 2 minutes. I then lightly pressed one Hershey's Kiss in the middle of each cookie. You have to do this while the cookies are still semi-hot in order for the chocolate to melt enough to adhere once completely cooled. Aren't they cute?! They are perfect to pack inside some Ziploc containers for easy gift giving. These treats are sure to please your family and friends. I know we LOVE them!

Save on all your favorite baking products, including:

In-Store Savings

  • FREE Ziploc® brand container with the purchase of any three (3) Betty Crocker™ Baking Mixes, Hershey’s® Kisses/Baking Chips, or Betty Crocker™ Decorating Items. Look for coupon in the Betty Crocker in-store display at your local Publix. Coupon available while supplies last.
  • Betty Crocker Supermoist Cake any flavor on BOGO, available 11/13 – 11/19*
  • Betty Crocker Frosting any flavor 2/$3, available 11/13 – 11/19* *Dates might vary in certain markets.

Printable Coupons

Visit to clip and print your coupons. Available while supplies last.
Save 75¢ when you buy TWO Betty Crocker® Ready to Spread Frosting, Supreme Brownie Mix, Dessert Bar Mix, SuperMoist® Cake Mix.

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op

Nov 14, 2014

Dinners fussy kids are guaranteed to love

Having a fussy eater as a child can be a lot of hard work. But, did you know that the worst thing you can do is let them know that they are a fussy eater? In situations where your child is refusing some food or saying they don’t like something, bite your tongue. Showing them how much you want them to eat something will only give them a power trip and cause more repercussions. Telling them they are a fussy eater will give them an excuse not to eat things, and make them think they have special requirements! Instead, try recipes like these that they won’t be able to refuse:

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s pie is a hearty meal, filled with carbs, protein, and veg. You can alter a recipe as much as you like too, using different meats, veg, and potato to create a different taste. The great thing about this is that it’s perfect for kids who say they don’t like vegetables. You can hide all kinds of veggies in it! 

Homemade Pizza

Homemade pizza is much better than shop bought or takeaway pizza, as you know exactly what’s going into it. You can even swap the bread base for a kind of vegetable, or even meat to make it healthier. Sprinkle over some light cheese (not too much), and press in as many vegetables as you want. One of my favourite recipes!


Wraps are the perfect alternative to a sandwich, and you can even get your child involved by letting them fill them on their own. Simply put all of the ingredients in the middle of the table and tell them to help themselves. This is too much fun for them to refuse! 

Grilled Meatloaf Burgers

Meatloaf can be made with lots of different vegetables too, but you wouldn’t know it as it looks and tastes so nice. You can make it look even more appealing to kids, even kids who say they don’t like meatloaf, by putting it on a bun and calling it a burger. I bet with some healthy homemade relish, they’ll ask for this dish again! 

Crispy Chicken Fingers With Apple Fries

Rather than buying chicken dippers from the shop, make your own crispy fingers out of a healthier breadcrumb alternative. You can even use oats to get that nice crunch! Apple fries are delicious and will add vitamins and nutrients to the meal. If you don’t know where to start, browse the Thermomix forum for tips and advice. You’ll be a pro in no time. 

Cheesy Corkscrew Pasta

Pasta is great for giving kids energy, and cheese makes the meal all the more delicious. Try sprinkling crispy bacon over the top for some crunch. Mix in veg like spinach and peppers, as these will hardly be noticeable to your child. Another perfect weekend treat meal! 

Try these dinners on your kids and see if they dig in any faster than before. Just remember not to make a scene, and hide how much you want them to eat it. They’ll get there in the end!

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