Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Dec 29, 2012

BarkBox Holiday 2012 Review #KloutPerks

I have been a member of Klout for more than a year and have received a lot of great Klout Perks along the way. The most recent Perk I got came from BarkBox. BarkBox is a service similar to the ones we are used to for humans where you get a box shipped each month with new products inside to try out. I thought it was so cool that there is a fun box made just for dogs. The service works like this:
1. Choose a dog size. They have products for dogs of all sizes.
2. Choose a plan. They offer monthly, 3-month or 6-month plans that include free shipping and you can cancel at anytime.
3. Get BarkBox. Boxes are shipped on the 15th of each month.


Inside my December 2012 BarkBox shipment was: Bocce's Bakery treats, Simply Fido organic plush toy, Fresh Dog Oatmeal Shampoo and a box of Puppy Cake mix. My initial thoughts when I looked through the contents was, "Wow, these are some high-end, quality goodies just for my dog child". I won't lie, I had no idea that there was such a thing as organic dog toys or that a dog shampoo could smell so good that it makes me want to use it! We gave Milo his BarkBox for Christmas and just like any "kid", he was drawn to the toy first. He is very protective if his new Simply Fido holiday moose toy that he naps on it! The quality of it is as good as toys made for children and it squeaks too. I am sure it will last him a long time.

He tasted the Bocce's Bakery "Holiday Feast" treats and loved them. The treats are made of all natural foods like chicken, pumpkin, cranberries and cinnamon. You can even smell how natural the ingredients are. Truly a gourmet treat for your pup. We will be making the Puppy Cake (wheat-free red velvet cake mix with frosting) in January for Milo's 10th birthday and will share with the neighbor's dogs. How fancy is that?  As soon as the weather clears up and we see at least 4 continuous days of sunshine, we will bathe Milo with the Fresh Dog Oatmeal Shampoo. I read online how people tried it on their own hair! The almond scent is amazing and I can't wait to test it out on Milo.

I really think that BarkBox is a great service not only for your own dog, but also is a great gift idea for any dog lover. It's perfect for the person or dog that has everything! You can find out more at BarkBox.com and I forgot to mention that they give 10% of proceeds to a local shelter. Thank you Klout and BarkBox for the awesome Perk!
Shelly, Mom Files
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Dec 20, 2012

I remember hating when people would tell me I looked so young

I can remember my teenage years so well. I was always the smallest of my peers weighing no more than 92 pounds in my senior year. It bothered me that no matter how much I would eat, I still looked scrawny. Even worse than being so small was the fact that adults often thought I was 12. That used to make me so angry to the point of tears. I remember when everyone thought my younger sister was older than me. Talk about devastation!

I was 20 when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I remember the stares I received from people and often heard them say "babies having babies". I was married and old enough to have a child, yet people still assumed I was 14. I hated looking so young. When would anyone take me seriously? For years after, folks would ask if my daughters were my younger sisters or if I was the babysitter. I was always the "young mom" at the girls' elementary and middle school. I felt so left out. Years later I come to find out that a lot of those moms were very close to my age and some were even younger!



Fast forward to the present... I am 39 years old and I thoroughly enjoy when nobody believes that I have three kids and the fact that two of them are teens! I have to tell other moms I know that are going through the same thing how much they will appreciate being "too youthful looking" when they get older. So now my 18 year old daughter is going through the same thing I did. Most people think she is 14 and gets mistaken as the younger sister to her little sister. I keep telling her that it is a good thing to look so young. She hates it. In due time she will learn.  
Shelly, Mom Files
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Dec 19, 2012

Purex Baby detergent (Review & Giveaway) and the Purex Oh Baby! Sweepstakes

Did you know that Purex makes a detergent that is made for baby clothes? I wish it was around when my last child was a baby. I remember buying brands made for baby clothes and freaking out over the insane cost!

Purex Baby detergent is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested and formulated to be extra gentle on your little one’s sensitive skin. Purex Baby detergent leaves your baby’s clothes smelling fresh and clean, and won’t harm the flame resistance of sleepwear.
Although my kids are no longer babies, my oldest daughter has highly sensitive skin and Purex Baby has been perfect for her. She does not have any reactions to it and we all love the subtle scent it leaves behind. I know that I will be giving this product to new parents as a shower gift instead of the brands that cost triple the amount. You can find Purex Baby detergent at many retailers nationwide.

Right now you can enter the Purex Oh Baby! Sweepstakes filled with great prizes. Three grand prize winners will each receive $500 plus 250 additional winners get FREE Purex Baby detergent.

Giveaway: 3 lucky Momfiles readers will win a coupon good for one FREE bottle of Purex Baby detergent. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on December 28, 2012. Three winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

I received products samples for review purposes and was supplied with FREE product coupons to give away. All thoughts/opinions are always my own.
Shelly, Mom Files
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Dec 10, 2012

PERDUE® OVEN READY Chicken Review #gotitfree

I have been cooking since I was at least 12. With so many years of practice under my belt, I have tried many techniques for cooking particular foods and once I find what works, I stick with it. I make a fabulous toasted chicken that comes out perfect every time. When I got the offer to try out the PERDUE® OVEN READY Chicken I was curious. The things that drew me in to want to try it was that it was from a well-known brand and their chickens are raised cage-free, without any hormones or steroids. I am very particular about what chicken I feed my family.
As a BzzAgent, I received a coupon to try out any variety of the Perdue Oven Ready products for free. I went with the whole seasoned roaster since I am not a big chicken breast fan. It was $10.99 and I thought it was a bit expensive. When I picked up the bag I realized that it was very heavy. I opened the outer packaging and inside was a heavy plastic cooking bag that contained the fully seasoned chicken inside. You have no idea how scared I was. I am not used to every using preseasoned chicken (or anything food for that matter) and the fact that it was packed in a bag that was made for cooking meant  that I couldn't sneak my own touches inside. All I had to do was cut a once inch slit over the breast area and put it in my preheated oven for the recommended cooking time. 
The roasted chicken aroma was nice but how was it going to taste? I pulled my chicken out of the oven and cut open the bag. Inside was a gorgeously browned bird full of natural juices. I reserved the drippings to make homemade gravy to go with my side dishes as well as on top of the chicken in the event it was dry. To my surprise and delight, the chicken was super moist and tasty. There was enough seasoning and quite honestly, it tasted like how I would season a whole chicken.
As always, the true test is to see what my family thinks. My husband commented several times and said, "now, that's some good chicken!" He said it tasted like I seasoned it my way and it was extra moist. He even got excited over the thought of the leftover breast sliced up for sandwiches. Usually whenever I cook a whole chicken, we end up wasting it and throwing that last of it away. Not this time!

My overall opinion of this product is that I am very impressed and happy with it. Although it is a lot more than I would pay for a whole chicken, it is worth it. I had to think about when you buy a whole bird, you have to trim it up, remove the giblets, wash it, dry it, season it and quite frankly handle the actual chicken. With Perdue Oven Ready Chicken, you don't have to go through all of that. It's as easy as 1. open 2. cook 3. serve! I think it is a perfect choice for when you are expecting house guests and it's even good enough for your holiday dinner! PERDUE® OVEN READY products are available in-- Whole Seasoned Roasters, Whole Seasoned Roaster Bone-In Breasts and Boneless Chicken Roasts. They retail for about $10.99-$11.99.

You can connect with Perdue on Facebook and Twitter for tips and product updates.
Shelly, Mom Files
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Dec 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday | Lemon tree update


My dwarf Meyer lemon tree is still alive and look at the ginormous lemon on it! I brought it on before the first frost and it has been sitting in my office, by the window. It has lost all of its leaves except for three and I will be picking my fresh lemon this week. Just had to share!
Shelly, Mom Files
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Dec 4, 2012

My kid could have been a character on Drake & Josh

Do any of you remember the show Drake & Josh? My daughters always enjoyed that show (any maybe I did too) and they compare their sweet little brother William to the little sister, played by Miranda Cosgrove (Megan). You see, the sweet boy in the photo can melt your heart by just one smile.  He can wrap just about anyone around his little finger. He is smart, charismatic and sneaky. He is goood.
Around myself and his dad, William is the good little son... or at least that's how he portrays himself. When he gets around his sisters, he bosses them around and does all the typical, pestering things that little brothers do. As soon as one of the girls try to reprimand him, he runs up to me and tells me (sad face and all) how badly his sisters are treating him and how they need to be in trouble. You should see how pathetic he behaves when he does this. When I go and ask the girls what happened they say he did {insert offense here} and William innocently tries to defend himself. He will plead with me that he didn't do anything and then turn around and make faces at his sisters. He thinks he is so slick too! Funny thing is as I type this post, he is standing at the doorway of my office telling me "My girls are boddering me, they're being bad". I tell ya, boys are a whole different species!!

Shelly, Mom Files
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Nov 27, 2012

COVERGIRL Blastflipstick Review #gotitfree

When I got the email that I would be receiving a few of the new COVERGIRL Blastflipsticks for review, I was so thrilled. Besides my love of all things food and cleaning products, I LOVE cosmetics! I received 3 COVERGIRL Blastflipsticks blendable lip duos in "Minx", "Stunner" and "Perky". Although all the colors were very pretty, I was really afraid they wouldn't be as pretty on me. Some of them were a bit different from my day-to-day usual colors. The only way to find out was to try them out.


I gravitated towards the Minx duo because the chocolate and bronze were calling my name! I love dark colors, especially during the colder months. I usually wear lip balm before any lip color so I started with that. I then applied the chocolate color and loved it. I flipped it over to the goldy/bronze side and swiped a little over the chocolate color. It was gorgeous! I really do prefer the look of matte lip color over creamy and I was impressed by how long it lasted. I really like the fact that you can blend the colors or wear them alone. This gives a more unique and customized look.

Since then, I have tried the other colors and really was surprised how well the lighter and brighter tones looked on me. Unfortunately both teens stole 2 of my Blastflipsticks so it looks like I will have to go buy some more. I look forward to trying the red and gold shaded called "Tease". Thankfully I received a bunch of $2 off coupons in my kit. Now I just need to see which stores have them. So far the 2 places I have checked were completely out of them! Oh, before I forget... I am still using the COVERGIRL & Olay foundation and powder and it has been wonderful! I love how smooth and moisturized my skin has been as well as the light coverage it provides.

You can stay connected with COVERGIRL on the web and Facebook for products updates and savings.

As a BzzAgent, I receive free product samples for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are always my own. 
Shelly, Mom Files
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Fisher-Price Moments of Joy Sweepstakes | $100 gift card giveaway

How many of you have those special little moments captured on your phone or camera of your little ones that are just too cute to keep to yourself? Of course, we all do! I am happy to introduce a new sharing site that is from a name we all know very well, Fisher-Price has launched their Moments of Joy site and wants you to join in on the fun.
Fisher-Price Moments of Joy is a place designed for parents, grandparents and anyone who loves the little ones and wants to share those precious moments in photographs or video. It is so easy to use and you can log in with your Facebook or Instagram account. All you do is choose a photo and add a title and caption. You can see what the finished product looks like here. How cute is that? I have uploaded over a dozen photos and really enjoy looking at all the cute ones other people have added. There is even a "love" button which I have utilized a lot! You can leave photo comments and even share photos on Facebook, Twitter or by email. It's almost like a social media site for the under 5 crowd!

This is one of the sweet photos I uploaded to the Moments of Joy site of a one-year-old William and his birthday smash cake. Look at those yummy cheeks and arms!

Right now, Fisher-Price is having a sweepstakes that will run from November 27- December 20 that you will be automatically entered in just for uploading a photo or video. The Fisher-Price Moments of Joy Sweepstakes will include five weekly winners selected at random to receive a $100 gift card each, and one grand prize winner selected at random to win up to $1,000 of Fisher-Price toys! I know you have those candid, sweet, silly moments to share right now! To be eligible, you must be the age of majority in your state of residence and a legal resident of the U.S. or the District of Columbia.  You can review the Official Rules for the sweepstakes to learn the other requirements for entry by visiting here.   
To help celebrate the launch of the Moments of Joy site, one very lucky Momfiles reader will win a $100 gift card!! How exciting is that?! Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on December 14, 2012. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Be sure to follow giveaway rules in Rafflecopter. Good luck!

I received compensation to spread the word about Fisher-Price Moments of Joy. All thoughts/opinions are my own, as always.
Shelly, Mom Files


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Nov 23, 2012

Palmolive Fresh Infusions Review

I received a box of the new Palmolive Fresh Infusions dish liquid from Influenster to review. If you aren't signed up with Influenster, you are missing out on great freebies to test out! You don't even have to be a blogger (although I'm sure it helps). I was so excited about the new dish liquids to try out since I am such a cleaning queen. I received all 3 scents-- Lime Basil, Lemon Thyme and Ginger White Tea. So far I used the entire Ginger White Tea and I am half way through the Lemon Thyme. I love the fragrances. They make me think I am using something from a boutique! I really like the tall, slender bottles. They dispense the perfect amount of cleanser without wasting it.
The cleaning power was everything I would expect from Palmolive. Right now only Walmart and Target carry them so if you want to try it out, check for them there. I think the one thing that makes me like this product the most is the fancy look. I have had a few guests over and they all commented about how pretty my dish liquid was. If you have to be stuck in the kitchen cleaning, it might as well look nice and smell pretty! I think any of these would be great in a housewarming gift basket along with pretty kitchen gloves, dish towels and scrubbers.
Shelly, Mom Files
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Nov 20, 2012

Dark and Lovely Beautiful Beginnings product line for girls (Giveaway) 4 Winners

Does your daughter have hard to manage hair? I know when my daughters were younger, it was a big struggle getting a comb through their super thick, curly hair. They would get so aggravated every time we had to wash/condition it and I can remember the countless tears! A great option for little girls with hard to manage curls is the Beautiful Beginnings line of hair-care products from Dark and Lovely. The relaxer kits come in two formulas: No-Mistake® Smooth Relaxer
No Mistake® Nourishing No-Lye Crème Relaxer and the No-Mistake® Curl Softener. Whether you want to straighten your daughter's hair or just loosen the curls a bit, Beautiful Beginnings might be just what you need! The full line of maintenance products include: shampoo, deep conditioner, detangler, conditioning oil moisturizer and curl cream. The whole product line is infused with coconut oil and Shea butter to help moisturize and protect your daughter's delicate hair.

I am so pleased that the folks from Dark and Lovely are offering up 4 complete sets of products including the relaxer kit and all maintenance products for 4 lucky Momfiles readers to win! Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on November 29, 2012. Four winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Be sure to follow giveaway rules in Rafflecopter. Good luck!

Dark and Lovely provided me with a FREE products to review and all thoughts/opinions are 100% my own.

Shelly, Mom Files
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Nov 19, 2012

Make this Thanksgiving Mishap-free with Walmart winner


Our Walmart Thanksgiving gift card giveaway had ended and we have a winner. Congratulations to Thomas Murphy! His tip was "prepare as much food as possible ahead of time" 

Thanks to everyone for entering and sharing your Thanksgiving tips! I know I enjoyed reading them all. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Shelly, Mom Files
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Nov 15, 2012

10 Tips to help winterize your car for the busy holiday travel season

The holiday travel season is upon us, and so too is winter driving season. Is your car winterized? This is especially important if you are hitting the road with a high mileage vehicle. Just this week, AAA* projected that 43.6 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, of which ninety percent will drive to Thanksgiving destinations and 7% will fly. Furthermore, according to a recent AutoMD.com survey,** there is an aging fleet of cars on the streets, with the primary vehicle for 60% of respondents having over 100,000 miles. This all adds up to a lot of older metal on the road this holiday season. Fortunately, most cars on the roads today, even the high-mileage ones, have been built to last longer and withstand the test of time – and weather – with the proper care, of course.

AutoMD.com encourages all drivers to take some time to put their rides through their ten point winter travel vehicle checklist before making those Holiday road trips, so they don't end up stranded on a chilly roadside.


1. Check the antifreeze (coolant). The engine cooling system should be filled with a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water to prevent freezing and boiling over. Antifreeze testers are available at your local auto parts store to test the mixture. To keep the cooling system operating at peak performance, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for changing the antifreeze (flush and fill). In addition to changing the antifreeze, pressure testing the cooling system on an older vehicle may expose a minor leak before it becomes a major problem. Most repair shops charge a minimal fee for pressure testing, and some shops will do it for free.

2. Change the engine oil. Be especially meticulous about changing your car’s fluids and filters during the winter months. Your car’s older engine will thank you for it! Remember to change the oil and oil filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Use the recommended oil viscosity range for winter. 5W-30 motor oil flows quicker in cold weather than 20W-50. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend 5W-30 oil for year round protection.

3. Check the tires. Keep your vehicle riding smoothly and safely by maintaining your tires! Remember, there’s a very good chance a third set of tires is needed if your vehicle has reached the 80 to 90,000 mile mark. Tires that are unevenly worn or out of balance can cause a car to pull or shake when driven, potentially damaging other components. Remember to rotate and balance your tires every other oil change; regularly check for uneven wear and try to keep them clean. Tires should be properly inflated, and the tread depth should be at least 4/32”. Using snow tires can improve traction over all-season tires.

4. Check the battery. Cold temperatures can reduce the battery’s power. If the battery is older than four years, it may be time to replace it. Check the battery tray and hold down brackets for corrosion - a common problem on older vehicles.

5. Check the belts and hoses. If your vehicle has a timing belt, it’s very important to replace it at the recommended interval (60,000 miles or more). Cold weather can reduce the life expectancy of belts and hoses, so make sure yours are in good shape before getting on the road. A stretched timing belt affects engine performance, and a broken belt can leave you stranded. If you have an interference engine, a broken belt will also cause engine damage!

6. Check the wipers and wiper fluid. Replace wipers that are old or worn, and (to prevent freezing) use windshield washer fluid instead of water. Just like the elderly, an aging vehicle needs clean glasses to see!

7. Check the emergency kit. Make sure your kit is well stocked and add an ice scraper, tire chains, jumper cables, and warm clothes for winter weather emergencies. Remember to include a candle and matches, as well as some bottled water and energy bars. You can use a candle for light and warmth inside the vehicle if you get stranded.

8. Check 4WD operation if equipped. Since you may not have used 4 Wheel Drive (4WD) all year, or in several years, make sure the 4WD is activated (review your manual on “how to activate”) when you switch it on. Using 4WD improves traction in slippery conditions.

9. Change your driving habits. Cars that are driven easy last longer. To prevent component wear and possible damage in very cold temperatures, warm up your car by driving it slowly to start. This will help the engine, transmission and other drive line components warm up with less stress. Avoid fast driving in general, hitting curbs, off-roading, and trailer towing as these can put unnecessary strain on your vehicle. Slow down and increase your following distance when driving in harsh weather. All vehicles lose traction in rain, snow and ice.

10. Wash and wax your car. It is a good idea to get a good car wash and wax before heading out onto winter roads to protect your paint from road salt. And be sure to wash your car as soon as you return home, to remove any lingering road salt. As your vehicle ages, the paint/finish becomes more vulnerable to the elements, which could lead to rust etc. so, if you can, keep your vehicle in the garage to protect it or consider a cover if you don’t have a garage.



I wish you all safe travels this holiday season!
Shelly, Mom Files
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Nov 13, 2012

Have you tried the new Cool Whip Frosting yet? #coolwhip

Did you know that Cool Whip now makes frosting? I was thrilled when I first heard about it on the Facebook page and couldn't wait to try it! Lucky for me, my friends from Kraft Foods sent some in all three flavors-- Chocolate, Vanilla and Cream Cheese.
So far, we have tried the cream cheese variety on triple chocolate cupcakes, with sprinkles. We all loved it! It had a nice cream cheese flavor and had that amazing "whipped" texture you can only get from Cool Whip. 
Next up, vanilla on red velvet cupcakes. I know you are thinking, "why didn't you use the cream cheese on the red velvet and the vanilla on the chocolate?" Eh, I figured why not! We all preferred the vanilla flavor over the cream cheese and have yet to try the chocolate. I anticipate that will be very soon since there are two teenage girls that reside in our home bugging me half to death requesting we try it asap!
I am thinking about making a white cake with the chocolate variety and possibly a carrot cake for the cream cheese flavor. If you love Cool Whip, you will really love the new frosting! It is so easy to use and it is delicious!

Have you tried the new Cool Whip Frosting yet?
Shelly, Mom Files
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Nov 11, 2012

Printcopia Canvas Print Review & Giveaway

**CLOSED** 
 Winner is Lynsie!

I recently ordered a canvas print courtesy of Printcopia. It was my first time using them so I did not know what to expect during the ordering process.  My first step was to figure out what photo I wanted to use for my canvas print. I decided to go with my ad shot I did for Cool Whip earlier this year. I figured it would be a great piece to have as a memory that I can hang in my office. I have to say that when I first went into the Printcopia site, I was very impressed with the gorgeous layout. It is pleasing to the eye and not too busy. I was surprised to see that besides the option of uploading an image from your computer, you could also upload from Instagram or Facebook. Living in a social media world, I know most of us have a ton of photos in those places! From start to finish the ordering process took about 3 minutes. The only reason it even took that long was because I wanted to double and triple check that I was doing it correctly. I received my order confirmation email and soon after a message from the print department to make sure that everything was done to my specifications. Their customer service is fast and very efficient! Once everything was approved, my order was being printed. The shipping time was fast and came packaged carefully to ensure my print could not be damaged. Here is the final product:
I love it! The colors are so rich and true to the original ad print. I did not realize that it was going to be mounted onto a frame with a hook. It was ready to hang! Printcopia has impressed me and offers a wide range of print products perfect for your business or personal use. They also offer things like banners and cheap signs. If you are in search of high-quality prints, I recommend Printcopia.

How would you like to win your very own 11x14 canvas print from Printcopia? (One winner) Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on November 20, 2012. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Be sure to follow giveaway rules in Rafflecopter. Good luck!

Printcopia provided me with a FREE item to review and all thoughts/opinions are 100% my own. 
Shelly, Mom Files
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Nov 9, 2012

Can you make a full meal in just 20 minutes? YES, you can!

Do you ever feel like you want to give your family a good home-cooked meal but time is not your friend? Although I cook at least 6 times a week, there are days I am scrambling around trying to figure out what I can cook in a short amount of time. I then remember my go-to, quick fix meal... stewed salmon, green beans and rice. In the time it takes your rice to cook you can have the entire meal cooked and ready to serve.
All you need to make this meal is a can of salmon, a can of stewed tomatoes (or you can use fresh), some sliced onion, garlic and herbs of your choice, a few squeezes of fresh lemon or lime juice, frozen or fresh green beans and any rice you like. All I do is put my rice on to cook first. I then slice up my onion, garlic and herbs and throw them in my pan with a little bit of oil. I then put my can of tomatoes in and a few squeezes of ketchup, lemon juice and some dry seasonings.  While that is cooking a bit, I put my green beans on. In goes my salmon into the tomatoes and I simmer it for a bit and add extra seasonings if needed. By the time the timer for the rice goes off, the entire meal is done. This meal costs me about $8 and my family loves it.

Do you have a favorite go-to meal that is quick and easy?
Shelly, Mom Files
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Nov 8, 2012

Classic Cheesecake Recipe and Food Lion's Holiday Bake-Off Recipe Contest

It's my favorite time of year. The holiday baking season is here! Every year I bake my favorite cheesecake that the family loves. I found this recipe online many years ago and I promise, it is fool-proof. I have shared this recipe with a lot of family members and friends and they all love it and found that it was very easy to make. The thing I love about this recipe is you can totally make it your own. You could add cocoa powder to part of the cheesecake batter to swirl it in and make it fancy. Instead of vanilla extract you could use almond or lemon. You can serve it with fruit or plain (just the way I like it!).
Classic Cheesecake
Ingredients
2 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened*
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 Keebler® Ready Crust® Graham 2 Extra Servings Pie Crust (you can use a store brand or make your own)
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
1. In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese on medium speed of electric mixer until fluffy. Add 2/3 cup sugar, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. 2. Place crust on baking sheet. Spread cream cheese mixture in crust. Bake on baking sheet at 350°F about 30 minutes or until center is almost set. 3. In small bowl combine sour cream, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Carefully spread over cheesecake. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. 4. Garnish as desired. Store in refrigerator. *NOTE: Soften cream cheese in microwave at high for 15 to 20 seconds.

Right now, Food Lion is hosting a Holiday Bake-Off recipe contest on their Facebook page. You can enter the contest by sharing a recipe in any of the four categories: appetizer, entree  side dish or dessert. 12 grand prize winners will receive a $500 Food Lion gift card. The Food Lion Bake-Off contest kicks off 11/7 and will end 11/28. Hurry up and enter! You never know, your recipe can be a $500 winner!

What is your favorite recipe that you make for Thanksgiving?

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Food Lion. I received a promotional item to facilitate my shopping experience and review.
Shelly, Mom Files
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Nov 7, 2012

Make this Thanksgiving Mishap-free with Walmart {$50 GC Giveaway}

**CLOSED**

The winner is Thomas Murphy! Congratulations and thanks to everyone for entering and sharing your Thanksgiving tips! 

Now that we have the month of October behind us, we can now look forward to Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday and I almost always host a big dinner for family and friends. Along with the excitement of family time and good food, we sometimes run into mishaps here and there. It seems like no matter how much you plan, make lists or think you have it all together, something goes wrong! I decided to share some of my personal tips to help make your Thanksgiving a bit more Mishap-free.

  • Plan ahead! Make a detailed list of your menu in advance so you can have a thorough grocery list made. This way, you can start shopping over the course of a few weeks and stock up on non-perishable items. 
  • Don't be a hero. We all want to make the best meals made from scratch but sometimes shortcuts are your best friend! Pick up some cake mix and make it your own. Make your icing from scratch and use a piping bag to make it pretty. Semi-homemade is not bad! 
  • Make sure to pick up some seasonal candles and room fragrance sprays. It makes the atmosphere more festive and relaxed.
  • Practice a new dish or dessert a few weeks ahead in a smaller amount to see if you like it. I have made things before that failed miserably and there was no do-over.
  • Every year I have cooked all my side dishes the day before and packed them up in the refrigerator for the next day. This makes the day of Thanksgiving so much more relaxed and all I have to do is roast my turkey and put my pies in the oven. 
  • I love serving dinner on China plates but I have learned that you can buy "fancy" paper plates and disposable utensils and cups that you don't have to wash afterwards! Also be sure to have enough plastic storage bags and aluminum foil for leftovers. 
  • Keep wine on hand! I don't think I have to explain that one!
Thanksgiving is all about time with the ones you love and should not be stressful.You can find some great tips and advice at the Thanksgiving Mishaps website to help get you through the holiday. Check out this video from Chef Richard:

 

I am so pleased that Walmart is providing a $50 gift card for one very lucky Momfiles reader to win. With Walmart's low prices and big selection, you can get a whole lot! Enter below...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on November 18, 2012. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Be sure to follow giveaway rules in Rafflecopter. Good luck!

Walmart provided me with a gift card and the giveaway, but the thoughts and tips shared in this post are my own.
Shelly, Mom Files
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Nov 5, 2012

My favorite turkey recipe EVER

I wanted to share the recipe for the turkey I cooked last Thanksgiving that was the best we have ever had. I was a bit scared since I am big on a lot of seasoning but I guarantee there was plenty of flavor and the first time ever that we did not throw anything away! I think the beer might of had something to do with it ;) *This is the photo I posted last year.


BEER AND ROSEMARY ROASTED TURKEY

Prep Time: 25 minutes Start to Finish: 4 Hours Makes 12-14 Servings

Ingredients:
• 1 whole turkey (12 to 14 lb), thawed if frozen
• ¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon pepper
• 1 can or bottle (12 oz) dark beer (I recommend Guiness or AmberBock)
• ½ cup cold water
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour

1. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove and discard neck and giblets from turkey. Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Fasten neck skin to back of turkey with skewer. Fold wings across back of turkey so tips are touching. In shallow roasting pan, place turkey, breast side up.
2. In medium microwaveable bowl, stir together butter, mustard, rosemary, salt, pepper, and beer. Microwave uncovered on High 1 to 1½ minutes, stirring after 30 seconds, until well mixed. Brush about 1/3 of mixture evenly over surface of turkey. Fasten drumsticks together with cotton string. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of inside thigh and does not touch bone.
3. Roast uncovered 2½ to 3 hours, brushing with addition beer mixture and pan juices every 30 minutes. Turkey is done when thermometer reads 165 degrees and drumsticks move easily when lifted or twisted. If necessary, cover turkey breast with heavy-duty foil during last 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours of baking to prevent excess browning.
4. Let turkey stand 15 to 20 minutes for easier carving. Remove skewers before slicing.
5. Meanwhile, measure drippings and enough water to make 2 cups. In 2-quart saucepan, heat drippings to boiling. In small cup, stir together cold water and flour until smooth. Stir flour mixture into boiling drippings. Continue stirring 2 to 3 minutes longer or until gravy is thickened and bubbly. You can add your favorite seasonings to taste.

Shelly, Mom Files
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Nov 3, 2012

Kraft Foods Delicious Desserts Pin & Win Sweepstakes #kraftrecipes

Attention all Pinterest and dessert fans:  I wanted to let you all know about the Kraft Foods Delicious Desserts Pin & Win Sweepstakes. There is a total of $2,500 in cash prizes up for grabs. Can you imagine winning a cash prize for pinning desserts? Um, I'm entering myself! The good thing is that you can get some great recipe ideas for the holiday season.

HERE'S HOW TO ENTER SWEEPSTAKES:

1. Go to pinterest.com/kraftrecipes and follow us.
2. In your Pinterest profile, create a new board called Kraft Delicious Desserts Recipes Pin and Win. The board name must include Kraft Dessert Recipes and be categorized under Food & Drink
3. Pin 10 or more of your favorite dessert recipes, from dessert.com OR kraftrecipes.com. Include #kraftrecipes in the description of each pin.
4. Email the URL link of your Kraft Delicious Dessert Recipes Pin and Win board to kraftrecipes-pinterest@kraftapps.com for a chance to win one of ten $200 VISA gift card first prizes OR the grand prize of a $500 VISA gift card.

What dessert would you bring to your holiday festivities? Get Pinning and let us know! All entries must be received between 11/1/12 and 11/21/12. NO Purchase Necessary. Open only to residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 years of age and older. Ends: 11/21/12. For complete details, see the Official Rules here.

I made up my own Pinterest board of desserts and here are a couple that I WILL be making this month:
Lemon-Blueberry Swirl Cake (I want this NOW!)
And White Chocolate Cheesecake (**drool**)

I can't wait to try out these recipes and encourage you to enter the sweepstakes yourself! Good luck! :)
Shelly, Mom Files
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