Mar 30, 2012

Pillsbury Ready to Bake! Prize Pack Giveaway

Who loves home-baked cookies? *raises hand* I do! My family appreciates the scent of freshly baked cookies and of course eating them! Pillsbury Ready to Bake! Shape Cookies are ready to enjoy in 8-10 minutes and can be found at your local grocer. It is a convenient way to give your family the home-baked taste they love in the easiest way possible! Right now in time for Easter, you can find your family’s favorite Disney characters including Lightning McQueen from Cars and Minnie Mouse. We bought the Cars version and they came out so cute! The fact that 2 dozen cookies were all eaten within about 36 hours might be a good indication that they were yummy. 


I have one Pillsbury Ready to Bake! Prize pack to give away to one lucky Momfiles reader. The prize pack includes:
~A VIP coupon to purchase a package of Pillsbury Ready to Bake! Shape Cookies 
~Cookie Jar 
~Cookie Spatula 
~Oven Mitt  

Enter in the Rafflecopter widget:

Mar 29, 2012

New fish, Happy kid and the Pet Store Mafia

For William's 4th birthday we purchased him an aquarium. He has a slight obsession with fish so we figured it would be a great thing for him to have. We kept it simple and went with a 10 gallon tank but opted to get the better filtration and lighting system. When we purchased everything to set the tank up, the customer service people at the pet store were very knowledgeable and willing to answer questions and give advice. We always had an aquarium for the girls when they were younger and had great success with it. As a matter of fact, the fish would sometimes get so big that we would have to donate them to the classrooms at the school. We went ahead and started off with all of what we needed to set the tank up and get the water ready to add fish. Back in the day we added fish within 24 hours. Nowadays they recommend 3 weeks! 3 weeks?? Try telling that to a 4 year old!
How happy does he look? 
We went yesterday to purchase some fish and boy was William excited. He made up his own song about going to the pet store to buy some fish. Too funny! We decided on a few glofish in cool, neon colors, a couple "Mickey Mouse"platys and a couple fancy tetras. When I asked the person in that area for help in purchasing the fish he immediately had that "look" on his face. This is how the interrogation... um conversation went...

Fish guy: Do you have your tank set up?
Me: Yes.
FG: Are you sure it is done properly?
Me: Yes
FG: How many fish do you want?
Me: 6
FG: What size is your tank? (At this point he is in my face looking at me like he is a prosecutor or something)
Me: 10 gallons
FG: Hmm, okay. But remember the rules... 1 inch of fish per gallon. Then he stares at me all scary.
Me: Uh, okay

If you could have seen his body language and heard his tone you would have been afraid of even breathing the wrong way. Like the husband says, they are like undercover PETA representatives or something! DANG! I mean come on, they are just fish. If I choose to buy 50 of them then I should be allowed to do so.


In the end, our boy is completely happy and enjoying his new pets. He is so curious and asks a lot questions about his fish. We look forward to adding some more fun friends as time goes on. We might have to rethink where to buy them from so we don't feel like we might catch a beat-down from the pet store mafia! :)
Shelly, Mom Files

COOL WHIP "What you add makes it" campaign update

Some of you might remember reading a post last month about my trip to New York City for a photo shoot for a campaign with COOL WHIP. This campaign is based on the notion that “what you add makes it.” As a mom, the little things you do, like adding a dollop of COOL WHIP to an otherwise simple cake or pie, turns ordinary into extra special. I am so happy that I was chosen for this campaign just for that reason! Everyone that knows me personally or through my online social networks know that this is all me. I really love the fact that COOL WHIP is doing a campaign using real moms. I'd say that is extra special!

I wanted to share the latest updates with you. If you go to the COOL WHIP Facebook page and click on the "Real Moms" tab you might see a familiar face or two.


I can't even describe what I felt like when I saw this. My family is thrilled and are looking forward to the ad launch in magazines due to hit newsstands in May for June issues. I will be featured in Every Day with Rachael Ray, Food Network, Cooking Light and Parenting Magazine School Years. To say I am excited is truly an understatement! Here is what my actual ad looks like:
You all have to check out one of the featured recipes for Strawberry Pie. It is so simple and does not require a whole lot of ingredients. This is a very impressive dessert and you will have your family and friends raving about it!



Strawberry Pie

Prep Time: 25 min. plus refrigerating | Total Time: 3 hours 25 min. (incl. refrigerating) | Makes: 8 servings.

What You Need:
1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)
3/4 cup boiling water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
1/2 cup ice cubes
1-1/2 cups strawberries, halved
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup milk
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Make It:
POUR milk into medium bowl. Add 1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Instant Pudding. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.) Spread onto bottom of crust. Add boiling water to gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add ice; stir until melted. Let stand 5 min. or until slightly thickened. Meanwhile, arrange strawberries in single layer in center of pie. Cover with gelatin. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Serve topped with COOL WHIP.

If you try this recipe (or other featured recipes from the Facebook page) please let me know! I would really appreciate your feedback.

Be sure to stay connected on FacebookPinterest and Twitter for great recipe ideas using COOL WHIP.

I am working in partnership with the COOL WHIP brand and I am receiving compensation for my participation in this campaign. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own.


Shelly, Mom Files

Mar 27, 2012

Char Crust® Dry Rub Review & Giveaway

I received 4 boxes of Char Crust Dry Rub Seasoning in 4 varieties (Roasted Garlic Peppercorn, Ginger Teriyaki, Amazin' Cajun and All American Barbecue) to try out. Since I am a big at-home cook I was very eager to try it out. I decided to go with the All American Barbecue flavor. I really did not know what to expect. I am the type of cook that has an arsenal of seasonings. I literally use about 10-12 items for one dish. I figured I would grab some chicken and see what happens...

I opened the box and it contained a packet of the dry rub seasoning. I poured some onto a plate and pressed my boneless, skinless chicken thighs into the rub and coated them all over. There was a tiny part of me screaming to add some of my own flavors but I quickly shut myself up *ahem*

I had my trusty cast iron griddle heated up and coated the surface with some Canola oil. I added my chicken and let it sizzle for a few minutes. When I flipped them over a tiny bit of panic came over me because I thought I might have burned them! Turns out they were "charred" brown.. very brown! 

I transferred my chicken to a smaller cast iron skillet after browning them and popped them into the oven to be sure they cooked all the way through. I heated the oven to about 400 and cooked them for about 10 minutes. 



Now came the moment of truth. Tasting it. Oh my googlie goo it was so juicy and tender!! The flavor was a perfect blend of 'sweet heat'. I was so surprised and pleased with it and was I ever so happy that I opted to not add anything else. It has a great kick that I noticed intensified when it was reheated. Next time I cook the chicken like that I want some big, fluffy whole wheat rolls and some fresh crunchy veggies to make some sandwiches. I am already planning what types of dishes I will make with the remaining varieties. The great part for a busy mom like me? It was so fast and easy! It was interesting too that these rubs are one of the very few certified Kosher rubs and are low sodium. I was so happy to find out that one of the local butcher shoppes located about 5 minutes from my home carries Char Crust dry rubs! You can see if there are any locations near you here. You can also purchase them directly from the website


*****************************
I am so thrilled to be able to host a giveaway for 4 boxes of Char Crust Dry Rub Seasonings for one lucky Momfiles reader to win! 

**To enter (mandatory) just leave a comment telling me which Char Crust variety you want to try. 

For extra entries (leave a separate comment per entry method):
~ "like" Char Crust and Momfiles on Facebook
~ Write on the Momfiles Facebook wall letting me know you entered
~ Follow Momfiles on Twitter 
~ Tweet about this giveaway (once daily) 
Win 4 boxes of #CharCrust Dry Rub @momfiles and make your meats extra juicy! http://tinyurl.com/cprkzgk #food #giveaway
~ Subscribe to Momfiles via email
~ Follow Momfiles on Pinterest 

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on April 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST. One winner will be chosen at random. Please leave an email address in your comment if you do not have a Blogger profile. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck! 
I received free products for review purposes and all thoughts/opinions are 100% mine as always.
Shelly, Mom Files

Mommy anxiety, do you have it?

For weeks now I have been starting posts and then hitting "backspace" and deleting everything I wrote. Anxiety takes over and I walk away from the computer. Is what I am about to write going to offend anyone? Is it interesting or thought provoking? Countless thoughts go through my head and I have to sit down and take a few deep breaths. I start thinking about everything... Am I doing enough with training William to become more independent? Am I giving the girls enough of myself to help them be better women? Am I a good enough wife? What do I cook today? Why have I stopped using coupons? I don't call people often enough. Why am I avoiding certain things? The grass needs to be cut and the house needs repairs. Why on earth am I feeling like backspacing this whole post? Where is all this stupid anxiety coming from anyway? Please pardon how poorly and very randomly written this post is. Maybe I just think too much! My brain needs a vacation :)

Do you suffer from anxiety? What tips can you share?


Shelly, Mom Files

Mar 21, 2012

William is 4!

Our little guy just had a birthday and he is officially 4 years old! William has hit many milestones in the last year and we are so proud of him.
Some facts about William:

  • He has gotten over his shyness and loves to be around other people! This is great since we are trying to get him prepped for kindergarten next year.  
  • He is a very compassionate boy. If he senses you are in pain he will ask you if you are okay and offer to rub you or kiss it to make it all better. Sweet boy.
  • William shows great discipline. I have to credit having a strong father for that one. It is amazing how well he will listen and pay attention. 
  • I get told all the time what a mature little boy I have. Most people are amazed that he is his age and behaves the way he does. That makes me proud.
  • William wakes up full of joy. He greets you with "good morning" and a lot of times starts the day singing the "good morning song" that his daddy taught him. 
  • William shows how much he retains what you teach him. If you are caught doing something wrong he will be the first one to let you know "That's not a good choice". Trust me, I get told about my bad choices all the time!
  • He loves animals, trucks, robots, all things Disney, fishing, playing outdoors and hanging out with his daddy. Daddy is his favorite person. I have becomes alright with that. Sort of.
  • He is showing so much more independence and I have been working hard on letting him do things for himself. Operation un-spoil the child is progressing well so far. It turns out that he really likes doing things for himself! Again, I credit his father for that. He helps so much with the boy child. 
  • William has become very talkative and asks a lot of questions. I love it! I love helping him learn and understand things. He asks some really good questions too! 
  • William is into Scooby Doo, Phineas & Ferb and programs on Animal Planet/ NatGeo Wild. It is amazing how he really gets into some of these shows. He loves to go down to the man room and watch with his dad. The part I don't like... he puts his hand in the front of his pants like most men do. Gross. Of course his daddy is proud of that! 
Overall William is a vibrant and loving little boy. We are so excited to see all the new things he learns over the next year. We are so proud of him!

Shelly, Mom Files

Mar 19, 2012

My Very Happy Birthday Review & Giveaway

Today is our little William's 4th birthday. Although he does not fully understand birthdays, it has not dulled his excitement! He is at such a fun and curious age. We were so thrilled to receive a personalized board book from I See Me! in the "My Very Happy Birthday" version... right in time for his birthday! William recognizes his name and squealed in excitement when he saw a book that was made just for him.

This sweet book has cute pictures and personal details throughout. The ordering process is so simple. You can take a virtual tour here. William really enjoyed listening to the whole birthday adventure that was all about himself. I love that he can have this sturdy book for many years as a keepsake that he can show his own children. This is such a neat gift idea for your own children, grandkids, family or friends and also for the kid who has everything. Right now you can sign up for the Refer-a-friend program to get $5 off for each customer you refer. There is no limit to how many people you can refer!

I am so thrilled that my friends at I See Me! are offering one lucky Momfiles reader a chance to win a personalized birthday book. Enter below...

*Mandatory- Let us know who you plan to give this book to if you are selected as the winner. What other I See Me! titles do you like? 

For extra entries please leave a separate comment per entry method:
~ Like I See Me! and Momfiles on Facebook
~ Share this giveaway on Facebook 
~ Follow I See Me! and Momfiles on Pinterest
~ Follow I See Me! and Momfiles on Twitter
~ Tweet this giveaway (once daily):

#Win a personalized #book from @ISeeMe_Maia and @momfiles  http://tinyurl.com/732d7nr  #giveaway

~ Follow Momfiles via GFC and leave the name you are following as.
~ Subscribe to Momfiles via email (upper right hand side)

This contest is open to US Residents only and will end on April 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST. Please leave your email address in your comment if you do not have a Blogger profile. One winner will be chosen at random. Failure to follow the rules will disqualify your entries. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

I received a book for review purposes. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own.
Shelly, Mom Files

Mar 15, 2012

Our experience with allergy shots

When my daughter Briahnna was about 7, she started suffering from severe headaches. It went from maybe 2-3 times a week to 24/7 over the course of a few years. We took her to the doctor and he recommended an MRI. It came out fine. He had her go through it again. Two tests later, nothing. He couldn't figure out what was causing it. He then sent us over to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor. She has her first allergy test when she was about 10. Turns out she was suffering from all the elements in the air... dust, pollen, pet dander and everything else. She was put on allergy medication and it started to help. Her headaches stopped and she was feeling normal again. Well that lasted all of about 3-4 months. The ENT tried changing her meds and although it would work for a while, it eventually stopped. There was always the discussion about allergy shots and I was really not sure how I felt about it. I did know that I was really tired of seeing my child suffer like she was. Finally we gave in and started her on the allergy shot. She would go once a week and get check-ups to see how she was progressing every 3 months. Literally within her first 3-4 months there was a drastic change with the headaches. They were getting less and less. Now she has been going for the shots for about 3 years and lives headache free. It was one of the best decisions we could have made. I wish we did is sooner but like I said, I was very skeptical.

Do you or anyone in your family suffer from allergies? Do you get the shot?

Shelly, Mom Files

Mar 14, 2012

Disney has ruined my kid!

You might recall reading a post about our family going to The Magic Kingdom a few months ago. Well apparently little William has not gotten over it. He is obsessed with all things Disney. He is, as I write this post, singing the "Happy Holidays" song that was being performed at one of the parades. He carries around a map of Disney in the house, the car, the store and asks to go to Disney World... several dozen times a day!
Dwayne recorded video of the parades and William watches them repeatedly. It also doesn't help that Disney commercial come on all day long!! When he meets new people he immediately tells them all about the "castle". SMH, I need to hit the lottery quick so we can take this boy back! I really thought he would have been over it by now. I guess the magic is still in him. I won't lie, I want to go back myself! Looks like it will be on the places to visit list in the next couple years.
Shelly, Mom Files

Mar 11, 2012

They insist on growing up

I love my daughters. They are the most outstanding teenagers I have ever known. I don't say that because they are my girls, I say it because it is the truth! They don't act like the average teenager. They push themselves to be the best they can in school, sports and every other area of their life. They carry themselves like young ladies and are a best friend to each other. I am filled with happiness when I listen to some of the conversations they have with each other. My hope is that they always continue to be close and be there for each other.



The girls will be 16 & 18 later this year and Chardie is already looking into college applications. She informed me the other night that although she is a Junior, she has signed up for early application/early acceptance with the college she has dreamed of going to since she was 5. She will find out in November if she gets accepted. *sigh* Although I am so proud and I know that she will get in, I feel like she is half way out the door already. Did I mention that the college is local? She insists that she will always be around because she will still crave her mom's good cooking. Of course I will be there to indulge her! 

Now Brie has turned into this mini grown-up overnight. She stand about 3 inches taller than me and shows no signs of the looking like a little girl. She has really grown up so much not just physically but emotionally. Brie is our very intelligent, lively and colorful child. She keeps us entertained! She is also William's go-to person when he gets into trouble. He will go to Brie and explain what he did and tell her how much trouble he is in (very dramatically) Of course big sister eats it all up and consoles him. She doesn't like seeing him get into trouble but you better believe that if she catches him doing something naughty, she will correct him immediately. 

Little William is going to be 4 later this month. Although I have not missed a single milestone (being a stay-at-home mom) my heart still breaks a little seeing him grow up so fast. I am proud of that little boy though. He has met many milestones in the last year. It's funny, just when you think your kid will never do certain things they surprise you and do it BIG! I am trying to get him prepared for kindergarten. Some days I feel like I am doing a great job but most days I feel like I am not doing enough. That's another post for another day. 

I am just so proud of all my children. They are so inspiring and full of light. I take as much time as I can to watch them, listen to them and take in all the greatness they put out in the world. They are going to do very big things in their lives. I feel so fortunate to have such amazing children! 
Shelly, Mom Files

Mar 8, 2012

You can't beat home cooking | Publix $25 GC giveaway

Like most busy families, meal time can be a challenge when time is limited. Luckily Publix knows that the best meals happen and home and are having their “Best Meals Happen at Home” event to find great savings on some of your favorite products. Be sure to visit BestMealsatHome.com to find fantastic recipes, which can be cooked in 30 minutes or less, and your family is sure to love. After all, who wants to be stuck in the kitchen for hours when that time can be spent with your family!

Take advantage of great savings on some of your favorite participating brands during the “Best Meals Happen at Home” event at Publix from March 8th through March 14th.   As of March 8th, look for in-store for coupons that will be valid through March 28th, 2012.  Visit BestMealsatHome.com to sign up and receive emails with weekly recipes and coupon offers that will help you save up to $200 this year!

I made these yummy lasagna rolls using General Mills Ragu brand pasta sauce.


Giveaway: One lucky Momfiles reader will win a $25 Publix gift card! Enter below in the Rafflecopter widget. 

Mar 6, 2012

LYSOL® No-Touch Kitchen System Review & Giveaway

Contest Closed
Winner# 67- Lisa Congratulations! 

I just love cleaning and household products. I was thrilled to get to test out the new Lysol No-Touch Kitchen System. I am a very active kitchen person so this was right up my alley. I received the starter kit in the fresh and fruity Sparkling Tangerine scent. Other scents are Sunkissed Lemon and Shimmering Berry.
Assembling the system was so simple. It comes with batteries so all you have to do is remove the tab where the battery compartment is and peel the sticker off the bottle of product. Snap product on the top of dispenser and you are ready to go.  The unit dispenses just the right amount of formula automatically and it is wonderful that it is hands-free! When you cook everyday you will find that you don't always want to put your food covered hands on your dish liquid bottle. This is a winner for me!
I tested to see how many glasses and tumblers I could wash with one no-touch "squeeze". I did a total of 13 and I did not think that was half bad! I am a dish liquid over-user so I am hoping this system will keep save me overall. I have washed sink loads of dishes including pots, pans and bake ware with this new product. The formula works wonderfully on breaking up grease and loosening up stuck-on food particles. The Lysol No-Touch Kitchen System was not made just for dish washing. It is also good for cleaning surfaces. Another winner for me since I make a huge mess on my stove daily. It cleans my counter tops, stove top and even cabinets very well and leaves that fresh scent behind. You can also use this product to wash your hands. To say it kills bacteria, it is very gentle on your hands. The best part about that? My husband will and I will get along wonderfully when fishing season comes back (pretty soon too). He just LOVES going out back to the pond to catch his "big" fish and of course ends up catching babies and has to throw them back in the water. This means he has fishy, stinky hands. Of course he generally comes straight into the kitchen to wash his hands. I am thrilled to know that he can get his hand cleaner without touching any bottle! Another winner for me!! So can you guess my overall opinion of the Lysol No-Touch Kitchen System? You are right, it's a winner!

You absolutely have to go check out the Lysol Kitchen System Undercover Challenge for a chance to win a Grand Prize Kitchen Upgrade and also weekly chances to win the Lysol No-Touch System. You should play, it's fun! I totally stink at it though but you better believe I entered for my chance to win the kitchen upgrade *fingers crossed*

So do you want to try the Lysol No-Touch Kitchen System out for yourself? One lucky Momfiles reader will win a starter kit. Enter in the Rafflecopter widget below.

Lemon Cheese Danish Recipe

I was playing around in the kitchen the other day and tried to figure out what I could do with some crescent roll dough I had in my refrigerator. I found cream cheese and fresh lemon. I tried searching for a Danish recipe and couldn't find what I was looking for so I made up my own filling using my favorite cheesecake ingredients. I came up with these cuties. I thought I would share the recipe...

For pastries:
2 tubes of Crescent Roll dough
1 package of cream cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For glaze:
1 tbsp melted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk (more or less according to desired consistency)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to about 350 degrees. With a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and egg until smooth. Add lemon juice, zest and extract. Separate crescent dough at the perforation. Place a heaping teaspoon of cream cheese mixture on top and fold corners over. Place pastries on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for about 16 minutes or until nice and brown. While pastries are baking mix all the glaze ingredients together. It should be thin enough to drizzle over the top. When pastries are completely cook, dip a fork in glaze and drizzle desired amount over the pastries.

That's all. My family loved these so much and I think they would make a great brunch item. They are way better than the store bought Danish pastries. If you try them let me know how you liked them. Enjoy :)

Shelly, Mom Files

Mar 1, 2012

My newest favorite thing

If you know me personally or even through Facebook or Twitter then you know how much I love to cook. You also might know how much I love household gadgets and cookware. My latest addition to my kitchen is my dual-sided cast iron griddle/grill.
My hubby surprised me with it after I might have advertised all over Facebook how badly I wanted one. I squealed when I opened the box! I have already cooked up so many yummy dishes on it and have plans for so many more. One bad thing is that it weighs 16 pounds. It puts a lot of strain on my shoulders from cleaning it. It's worth it though. There is something so special about cooking on cast iron. I am wondering why it took me so long to learn this. I am going to the store either today or tomorrow to purchase a mini pan for cooking eggs and small things. The other evening I cooked up a couple dozen pancakes and my hubby told me they tasted like they came from a pancake restaurant!

Forget shoes and bags, bring on the cookware! Do you own any cast iron cookware? What are your favorite things to make?
Shelly, Mom Files
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