Sep 22, 2014

The 5-hour ENERGY® Yummification Contest winners are in!


The 5-hour ENERGY® Yummification Contest winners are in and you can view the winning videos here. I'm excited about the third place winner because he is out of Lugoff, SC which is about 25 minutes away from where I live. Way to go to all of the winners!

First Place ($50,000 prize): “Pomelimelade” by Tim Merlau, Los Angeles, CA

This winning submission mixes a Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY® shot with limeade, and then takes us on a musical journey through all that can be accomplished over several hours (spoiler alert:  it’s a lot).

“Pomelimelade”
§  1 glass Limeade
§  1 shot of Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY®

Second Place ($30,000 prize): “Ramalamadingdong” by Mark Golembeski, Los Angeles, CA

The second place video helps us turn that 2:30 feeling frown upside down by mixing a 5-hour ENERGY® shot with lemonade.  This video has it all: a clown, a puppy, a guy in a tutu, and much more.

“Ramalamadingdong”
§  1 glass Lemonade
§  1 shot of Berry 5-hour ENERGY®

Third Place ($10,000 prize): “Arnold Power” by Zac Sheorn, Lugoff, SC

The third place winner reminds us that you don’t have to be good at sports, but mixing a Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY® shot with decaffeinated iced tea helps keep you refreshed while practicing.  And practicing.

“Arnold Power”
§  1 glass Decaf Iced Tea
§  1 shot of Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY®

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Hi Everyone! I made a dish this weekend that was purely experimental and it turned out so good that I just had to share it with you. I get so tired of making the same old things over and over again and craved something completely different from the usual. I was shopping in Kroger the other night with my hubby and we were looking at their Private Selection brand of products that were on sale. They currently have a bonus sale where you can save $4.00 by purchasing 4 items. He was looking at a couple of the simmering sauces. I had that "look" on my face since I am the Queen of homemade. Is this man really looking at an Indian inspired sauce from a jar? He insisted we give it a try, so I reluctantly agreed. The price was really good so I figured I didn't have too much to lose.
The directions on the jar called for ingredients like bell peppers and onions. I decided to do things my own way. I used one pound of chicken tenders and cut them into 1-inch pieces. I then very lightly seasoned (no salt) the chicken with my staple spices. Next, I heated about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of vegetable oil in my skillet. I lightly dusted the chicken with some plain flour and added chicken to pan. I let it get nice and golden brown and then added some sliced red onion. After sauteeing onion for about 2 minutes, I poured my jar of sauce over chicken and onion and held my breath.

I let the chicken simmer for about 5-6 minutes and finished it off with some fresh cilantro. I served the chicken tikka masala over jasmine rice and the entire family (even little William) LOVED this dish. It had the most amazing balance of flavors. You could taste a hint of sweetness, a slight tang and a good pinch of spice. We didn't find it too spicy at all. I really can't believe how delicious this dish came out. It tasted like it came from a really good Indian restaurant. What's so great about this dish is that it really only took about 20 minutes to make. This would be perfect for a busy work/school week dinner. Just add a side salad and even some naan.

If you live near a Kroger, you must try out their Private Selection brand of gourmet products. We have already tried so many items and have never been disappointed. We are big fans of their Greek yogurt, artisan breads, preserves and fruit spreads, pasta, frozen pizza and more! You can also go here to see if any other stores may carry the brand as well. I did a search for some out of state zip codes and some different store names I'm not familiar with came up. Their $4 off 4 sale at Kroger is still on, so I plan to go pick up some more items this week. Let me know if you try this out. Have a great week!

Sep 21, 2014

Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide from AutoMD.com

October is National Car Care Month and the experts at AutoMD.com have car safety in mind, especially for teenagers, who are at a significantly higher risk of
being in accidents and even fatal crashes according to the NHTSA. [1]  To this
end,  AutoMD.com offers a downloadable Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide.

The Guide includes:

- A Vehicle Diagram to help you identify key components of your car.
- A Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Vehicle Maintenance Checklist to keep your car
running its best.
- Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Vehicle Repair Instructions to help you perform
basic maintenance and repair of your car.
- Car Maintenance and Repair Tips & Tricks you probably didn't know but
should.
- Car Repair Safety Information to keep you safe while you're performing
a repair.
- Roadside Safety Tips while you're out on the road.
- A Car Maintenance Quiz to earn your Certificate of Commitment upon
successful completion.

The full guide can be downloaded here: http://www.automd.com/teen/.

Below are six key maintenance tips for teens (and adults!) from the Teen Driver
Car Maintenance and Repair Guide.

1. Know your car's maintenance intervals and keep up with service

Each vehicle has a maintenance schedule, outlined in your owner's manual. Be
sure you read and understand the schedule. Items that require regular
maintenance include the car's fluids, tires, brakes, and oil and filter changes,
too. Oil and air filter changes are particularly important to keep the engine
running efficiently and make great beginning DIY auto repair projects. Get an
experienced adult to help the first few times, and follow these how-to guides
for help:

How to Change Your Oil: http://www.automd.com/101/how-to-change-engine-oil-and-filter/

How to Replace an Air Filter: http://www.automd.com/11/how-to-replace-an-air-filter/

Did You Know? These days experts say that you only need to change your oil every 5,000 miles. A good rule of thumb is this – if a vehicle is older than a 2002
model year, it should probably get an oil change every 3,000 miles. If it's
newer than a 2002 model, it's fine to change the oil every 5,000 miles.

2. Take care of your tires – make sure they can get you to school, work,
etc.

Tire maintenance is particularly important for safe and fuel-efficient driving,
so, take good care of them! Keep your tires properly inflated, and watch for
tire wear. Driving on underinflated tires can shorten the life of your tires,
increase tire wear and lead to significant tire damage from heat, potholes and
other road hazards. Plus, keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure can
improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. Consult your owner's manual or tire
sticker on the door jamb for manufacturer-recommended tire pressure settings.
And, look at your tires for wear and tear every time you stop for gas.

Did You Know? You can check for tire wear and tear by using a penny. Hold a
penny at the base between your thumb and forefinger so that you can see the top
of President Lincoln's head and the words "In God We Trust." Place the top of
Lincoln's head into one of the grooves in your tire tread. If any part of
Lincoln's head is covered, you have a legal and safe amount of tire tread left
and your tires probably don't need to be replaced. However, if there is any
space above Lincoln's head, or if you can see any part of the words "In God We
Trust," it's time for new tires. Click here for more tire care tips:
http://www.automd.com/about-automd/press/01-25-2011/

3. Don't ignore dashboard warning lights

Dashboard warning lights serve as notification that something may be wrong with your car, and include the Check Engine Light, Oil Light, Temperature Light, Brake Light, and more. When warning lights come on, pay attention to them! Read the owner's manual so you know what each of the warning lights mean and how you should respond.

Did You Know? If your Check Engine light is blinking while you're driving, you
should pull over immediately. The Check Engine light can signal any number of
system failures, from a fuel vapor leak caused by a loose gas cap to poor
acceleration caused by a faulty MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor. If the light comes
on and stays on without flashing – yet the car seems to be running smoothly –
chances are your car can be examined by a mechanic after you get home, or when you can get to one. On the other hand, if the Check Engine light is blinking
while you're driving, pull over or get to a mechanic right away. A blinking
check engine light usually indicates a severe misfire that could damage your
car's engine.

4. Don't let your car run too low, or out of gas

You know it's important to fuel your body with food for optimal performance at
school and play, and it is equally important to fuel your car appropriately,
which means not letting your car run too low on gas. Most of today's vehicles
have fuel-injected engines that rely on in-tank electric pumps that use gas to
cool and lubricate its components. Driving your fuel injected engine frequently
on fumes could cause hundreds of dollars in repairs, and leave you stranded on
the side of the road, which is always a dangerous place to be. A good rule of
thumb – keep the fuel level above a quarter tank to keep your car running well,
and to avoid running out of gas!

Did You Know? You don't need to use the highest grade of gasoline for your car's engine to perform its best. The variation in quality between different grades of gasoline today is very small, so don't waste your money by filling up with
premium gasoline unless your car "requires" it (if this exact wording is stated
in your owner's manual).

5. Steer clear – take care of your windshield

The windshield is like the eye of your car. Therefore, it is critical to keep it
clean and clear for safe driving. Some parts of the country are, or will be,
experiencing their first rainfalls after months of being dry. You don't want to
discover that your windshield wiper blades don't work during the first rainfall
when you need them most. Wiper blades that have cracks, skip, streak or leave
spots or smears should be replaced. You should also check spray nozzles for
proper aim. If the nozzles are clogged, clean them with a needle. Use windshield
washer fluid in the tank to prevent corrosion and remove stubborn dirt, grime
and insects from your windshield. Whether it rains or not, you should try to use
your spray nozzles and wiper blades every few weeks to keep them functioning
properly.

Click here for guide on How to Replace Wiper Blades: http://www.automd.com/94/how-to-replace-windshield-wiper-blades/

Did You Know? Carrying a squeegee with a scrubber in your car or trunk is a good idea. It can help remove splattered bugs, and maximize visibility.

6. Teen life moves fast, but your car doesn't have to. Slow down – avoid
speeding

Perhaps one of the best ways to keep your car well maintained, and keep you safe on the road, is to avoid speeding! It may seem fun to drive fast, or you might
simply be in a hurry (late for school, maybe?), but speeding is incredibly
dangerous, and bad for your car. In fact, driving slower puts less demand on
your car's engine and transmission, and also helps to reduce the amount of gas
you use in the process. Avoid all driving habits that put stress and strain on
your vehicle, such as fast driving, hitting curbs, and off-roading. It is also a
good idea to slow down and increase your following distance when driving in
harsh weather, as vehicles can lose traction in rain, snow and ice.

Did You Know? Speeding is so dangerous because it reduces your reaction time to avoid a potential collision. According to one website[2], among serious crashes involving teen driver error, 1 in 5 crashes occurred due to speeding. Remember that speeding is reckless driving.

Take back dinnertime with Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers #PlatefullCoOp #paid

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.
Ever since school started back and sports have been in full swing, along with PTO meetings, Open House at multiple schools, college prep meetings and everything else in between, dinnertime can be stressful! I feel like I get stuck making the same go-to meals all the time. It get old! 
I was thankful to get to try Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers to help make dinner planning a little easier. Each package contains vegetables, unique sauces and some with rice or pasta. All you need is a microwave and you are on your way to making mealtime a lot easier. My family really loves the Cheesy Rice & Broccoli variety as a side dish to chicken or beef. I just add a little cracked black pepper and garlic powder for some extra zip and we have a delicious and easy side dish made with no fuss. I grabbed a few bags of them from Publix a couple days ago while they were BOGO. I'm looking forward to trying out some new varieties. 
You can really transform your every day meals with Green Giant Steamers. Take pasta night for example. Instead of just having red sauce and noodles simply add in our Valley Fresh Steamers Market Blend Vegetables and you’ll have our Spaghetti Veggie Bolognese! A completely new take on a family favorite, just by adding one new ingredient!
You can find out more about Green Giant products on their website and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for products updates and promotions. 

Sep 18, 2014

Family Tailgating with Bojangles' (Reveiw & Giveaway) #TailgateEverythingPromo

Fall is all about football and tailgating. Whether you attend games in person or watch it on TV, food is a big part of it. We catch most games at home and I do my best to have good game food prepared. Sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking or even cleaning for that matter. Good thing there’s the Bojangles’ family meal that is perfect for our at-home tailgating. You can choose the 8 or 12 piece depending on the size of your party and it comes with everything you need to make your tailgate gathering easier and tastier. You can choose from their classic fixin's as they call them here in the south. They even include your choice of their Legendary Iced Tea or Lemonade as well as cups, plates and napkins.

I say YES to not messing up pots, pans, dishes or standing in front of a hot grill. For a limited time, you can order their yummy football shaped BoBerry biscuits. It works as the perfect dessert! I can see ordering a couple dozen to take into the workplace or school to share with friends. I was able to add a 6-pack of them onto my 8-piece box for an additional $1.99.
My family LOVES Bojangles' chicken and biscuits. On occasion when I take a break from cooking, it's not unusual for us to grab a family meal from there. It is also our road trip stop for breakfast.

Here are a few facts you might not know about Bojangles' chicken, biscuits or tea:
  • Bojangles’ biscuits are made from scratch using fat-free buttermilk and always served warm and fresh, no more than 20 minutes after coming out of the oven. Bojangles’-certified biscuit-makers use the same recipe today that was perfected by Bojangles’ founders in 1977.
  • Bojangles’ delicious bone-in fried chicken is shipped fresh daily, marinated for 12 hours, then hand-dipped and breaded.
  • Bojangles’ Legendary Iced Tea is made the old-fashioned way – it’s freshly steeped tea that’s brewed every day.  
Bojangles’ is also holding an Instagram contest offering the chance to win a Bojangles’ Tailgate Prize Pack every week, which includes a set of cornhole boards, $100 Bojangles’ gift card and two Bojangles’ tailgating chairs. Details are on www.TailgateEverything.com – simply share a photo of friends or family tailgating with Bojangles’ on Instagram using #TailgateEverythingPromo for a chance to win!

Giveaway: I have $20 in Bojangles' gift cards to give away to one lucky Mom Files reader. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on September 30, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Mom files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes.

Disclosure: I received gift cards from Bojangles' to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own as always.

Sep 15, 2014

Three New Kid Favorites from Yoplait! #platefullcoop #spon

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.
Yoplait Kids yogurt has been a staple in my refrigerator ever since my now adult daughters were my son's age. Yogurt is a great breakfast option, lunch box snack or an after school snack. My son William was thrilled to see that Yoplait now has the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on their packaging.
He loves snacking on his Yoplait yogurt as an after school snack while he catches a quick episode of the TMNT on TV.

Make breakfast, lunch and snack time awesome with new Hello Kitty, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Minion yogurt from Yoplait! Here’s a recipe to make a delicious and nutritious treat for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan in your house:

Mutagen Ooze Sippers

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Start to Finish: 15 Minutes

1 package Yoplait Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle strawberry and cotton candy yogurt
1/2 - 1 cup club soda
Blue and green gel food coloring
Multi-colored straws, for serving

Remove foil covers from yogurt cups. Add a few drops of gel food coloring to each yogurt cup, making some green and some blue. Mix until desired colors are reached.
Add 1-2 tablespoons club soda to each cup and stir carefully to combine.
Place a straw in each cup and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
With no high fructose corn syrup and natural colors and flavors, both you and your little ones will love these new Yoplait yogurts!

And be sure to check out and share other great Yoplait-inspired recipes here.


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