Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#ReliefIsHere Vick's DayQuil and NyQuil Severe Combo Packs Get You Through Cold & Flu Season

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G.

Every year, during the holidays, Grace and I tend to get sick.  We visit family, someone sneezes, and that's it!  We're sick for the rest of the holiday season.  It never fails.

I knew when Grace started school this year that she would start bringing home all sorts of germs and sicknesses, I just wasn't aware that it would be so often!  So far, she and the rest of our household have been sick enough times for her to miss 6 days of school from September through February.  Add in the weekends and holiday breaks that we've been feeling under the weather and that's a lot of sick days!  In a conversation with a friend, we determined that sharing germs is the main lesson taught to our 5 and 6 year olds in Kindergarten!

Thanks to SheSpeaks along with P&G, we are ready for the next bout of colds & flu with a Vick's DayQuil Severe and NyQuil Severe combo pack!

I don't know about you, but when I am sick, I like to be snuggled on the couch with pillows and blankets with a fire going in the fireplace along with a bunch of other necessities to make me more comfortable while recovering:

  • hot tea
  • pulp-free orange juice with lots of ice
  • old movies
  • books/magazines 
  • snow cones for a scratchy throat
  • Vick's VapoRub
  • tissues
  • of course, chicken soup and lots of rest
The lots of rest portion of that list isn't always realistic, but luckily, Grace can be somewhat sympathetic to mommy feeling yucky.  Especially, if she had just recently dealt with a bug herself. Often, she will snuggle with me or play quietly in her room while I have control of the TV for once! 

In addition to my home remedy list above, Joe and I have always made sure to keep our medicine basket well-stocked with DayQuil and NyQuil products.  Joe prefers the liquid form while I always opted for the gel tabs.  So, I was excited to be given the opportunity to try this new maximum strength version.

Vick's NyQuil Severe and DayQuil Severe are available in both liquid and caplet form and are available in a convenient combo pack containing both the non-drowsy and night time relief dosages for temporary relief of common cold and flu symptoms:

  • Nasal Congestion
  • Sinus Congestion and pressure
  • Cough due to minor throat and bronchial irritation
  • Minor aches and pains
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Reduces swelling of nasal passages
  • Temporarily restores freer breathing through the nose
  • Promotes nasal and/or sinus drainage 
Since Vick's NyQuil/DayQuil Severe Cold and Flu Combo Packs are available at Walmart (both online at and in the store), it's easy to stock up on all that you need to get you through the rest of the cold and flu season!  

Follow along via social media to learn more about Vick's NyQuil/DayQuil Severe Cold and Flu: 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon

Chicken Corn Chowder is one of our favorite soups.  One that I make several times a year, but usually a different recipe each time.  This is at the top of my list at the moment.  The flavors are wonderful and the recipe is so easy to prepare using the slow cooker.  I threw this together in the morning and let it cook while I did the rest of my chores around the house that day.  It was great not having to figure out dinner by the time I was finished my other tasks!

Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon
     Adapted from: Damn Delicious

  • 1-2 lbs red potatoes, diced 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced 
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 16 oz. frozen corn
  • 3 Tbs. flour 
  • 1 tsp. Thyme 
  • 1 tsp. Oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper 
  • 6 cups chicken broth 
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 slices thick bacon, cooked and crumbled 
  • 1 cup chicken, cooked and diced
To prepare: 
  • Place the potatoes,onion and bell pepper in the crock pot.  
  • Stir in the flour. 
  • Pour in the frozen corn and combine well.  
  • Add seasonings and chicken broth.  
  • Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours.  
  • Stir in the heavy cream, chicken and bacon.  Allow to cook for another 15-20 minutes or until heated through.  
Yum!  So, so good!  This soup really hit the spot after a busy day!  We'll definitely be having this a few more times this winter!  Can't beat easy and delicious!  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Don't Forget the Duracell ~ Make Your Holiday a Success! #PowerTheHolildays

*This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks and Duracell.

Every year, while I shop for and then wrap all of our holiday gifts not only for Grace but for our many nieces and nephews, it's Joe's job to keep track of the batteries we need for any of the many toys we are gifting for Christmas.

Nothing can ruin a Christmas morning more than having a new toy to play with, but no batteries to power it up!  So we are always prepared with a large stock of batteries in assorted sizes to go with each gift.  I even pack some extras in my purse when we visit, just in case another gift giver forgets to include batteries with their gifts!

During the winter months, we use a lot of AA batteries.  Between marathon bowling tournaments on the Wii and lots of family movie nights, we always need to be prepared with new batteries!  In fact, while normally our battery stash is kept in the garage, along with a smaller stash in a kitchen drawer, I always have a smaller pack of Duracell AA batteries handy in the same basket we use to hold our remote controls!  That way we don't have to go searching for the right size in the middle of our bowling match or when snuggled on the sofa watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel!

Right about now, I'm done with hitting the stores for my shopping.  It's too cold outside and the parking lots are crazy!  I'd rather sit by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa, with a Christmas movie on the TV and my laptop on my lap and shop online!  Now, that's my kind of shopping!  I'll be adding some batteries to my next online Walmart purchase!

Here are some shopping links to make it easy for you:

Our thermostat also takes a AA battery, so at the start of the winter season, Joe always replaces last year's battery with a new one.  Always with Duracell batteries!  We also use Duracell Batteries in our smoke detectors, flash lights and in one of my cameras.

Here are some handy links:

So, don't forget to check your gifts and get the batteries you need to go along with them!  While you're at it, grab an extra pack or two just in case!  Power the Holidays with Duracell!


VTech Learning Cartridges Review and Giveaway

Disclosure:  The VTech product, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by VTech.  All opinions are honest and my own.

After completing the review that I shared here for the VTech InnoTab 3S Plus Learning Tablet, I was contacted by the nice people at VTech to try out the compatible Learning Cartridges with the opportunity to share a set with a lucky giveaway winner here on the blog!

Knowing how much we love VTech products in our home, I had a hunch that our readers would love the chance to win a set of cartridges as well!

Until reviewing the InnoTab, Grace was very limited in her use of electronics.  Occasionally, she'd use our phones to play a game, but aside from that and some Wii Bowling the concept of video games and tablets is pretty new to her.  So, I love that VTech has games appropriately geared to her age and learning level.

Since Grace has started school in August, I have seen how much she is enjoying learning new things. How excited she is to come home and tell me about what she learned that day.  I've also noticed that she lacks the desire to learn at home.  I've been told more than once that "homework is boring!"  Yep, already, homework is a nightmare in our house!

With the VTech InnoTab and the Learning Cartridges, she is able to learn when she thinks she's just having fun playing a game!

Before I get to the giveaway portion of this blog post, let me share some information with you about the VTech Learning Cartridges:

  • With the VTech Learning Cartridges, parents can extend the play value of their VTech toys.  Purchasing the Learning Cartridges will allow the tablet to grow more with your child's abilities. 
  • A range of education cartridges are available, offering age-appropriate games, e-Books and more.  These allow kids to learn key subjects such as math, reading and science in steady stages.  
  • Interactive e-Books teach reading and vocabulary, while creative activities and camera fun help to get your kids using their imaginations. 
  • Children can learn as they play with their favorite characters from Winnie the Pooh, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters University and more! 
  •  The cartridges are compatible with all current InnoTab models and will also work with new models that will be released later this year, including the InnoTab MAX, which is VTech's fastest Wi-Fi tablet yet and it's first to feature Android learning content.   
We had the chance to try out three VTech Learning Cartridges as shown in the photo above.  

InnoTab My First Nursery Rhymes Learning Cartridge 
(Ages 12-36 months, MSRP: $24.99) 

  • Join Cody and Cora on a musical adventure in My First Nursery Rhymes for VTech's InnoTab Learning Tablets!  Listen to nursery rhyme songs, play mini learning games, watch playful animations and learn baby sign language. 
  • This InnoTab Learning Cartridge includes 25 popular nursery rhymes, mini games, introduces five baby sign language signs and allows you to customize parent settings.  
  • In lullaby mode, you can set the timer for 15 minutes and play a loop of 5 sleepytime songs to soothe your child to sleep.  You can also customize characters and create and avatar that interacts within the songs.  

***Our thoughts:  Although this is for younger kids, Grace still wanted to give this cartridge a try.  She enjoyed hearing the the nursery rhymes and applauded after each one and sang a long during a few.  The games didn't hold her attention for very long, but I can see this being a hit with Grace's one-year old cousin when she comes to visit!  I love that parents can set the timer and play a loop of songs!  Why just use that timer for bedtime???  Those 15 minutes of music can be a lifesaver when a busy mom needs to distract her little one in the supermarket, car ride, or even so mom can start dinner or run to the bathroom!  

InnoTab Disney Winnie the Pooh Learning Cartridge
(Ages 12-36 months, MSRP: $24.99) 

  • Winnie the Pooh is always hungry for honey in Winnie the Pooh for VTech's InnoTab Learning Tablets.  Help him find his honeypot and learn shapes, colors, opposites and more along the way.  Includes fun songs and baby sign language with Roo and Piglet!  
  • This InnoTab Learning Cartridge features and e-Book about Pooh and his great day bouncing with Tigger and friends, four sing-along songs with familiar melodies about Winnie the Pooh and friends, and a Music Box plays four sing-along songs in a loop for up to 30 minutes.  

***Our thoughts:  Again, Grace is older than the recommended group for this cartridge, but who can resist Winnie the Pooh?  I know he's always been a favorite in our house!  Grace enjoyed watching Pooh and his friends get ready for a party picnic and listening to the sing-along songs.  Again, this will be a great hit with my niece when she comes to visit!  

InnoTab Classic Stories Learning Cartridge 
(Ages 3-6, MSRP $24.99) 

  • In Classic Stories for VTech's InnoTab Learning Tablets, children can read three classic stories:  The Frog Prince, Pinocchio and The Three Little Pigs, each with three different reading levels.  
  • This InnoTab Learning Cartridge includes three learning games which introduce writing, rhyming, phonics, reading comprehension and more.  

***Our thoughts:  This was the favorite of the three cartridges as the recommended age group is more appropriate for Grace.  So far, her favorite game on this cartridge is "Help the Princess"  She is still on level 1 and it seems to be really easy for her, but showing that she knows the answers is really helping build her confidence.  Grace's penmanship skills can use some work, so my favorite game is "Writing with Pinocchio" where kids can use a "pencil" to practice writing their letters.

Now that you've learned a bit about the VTech Learning Cartridges, are you ready to enter for your chance to win a gift pack of your own VTech Learning Cartridges?  Of course you are!!!

Entering is easy using the rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway rules:  US residents only, please.  Giveaway winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond with mailing information so that our sponsor may ship your prize.

Disclosure:  The VTech product, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by VTech.  All opinions are honest and my own.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ginger Snap Pumpkin Smoothie

At our house, we LOVE Autumn!  Bulky sweaters, brisk days, and the sound of leaves crunching under our feet as we walk.  Of course, me being a foodie and all, I love all of the yummy fall flavors!

I'm sure most of you have been hitting your neighborhood coffee shops for your fall drink fix, but I'm not a coffee drinker.  When Joe brought home some pumpkin pie flavored yogurt the other day, I knew I just had to turn that into a smoothie!  The result?  This creamy smoothie is  perfect for breakfast or lunch or even as an alternative  to pumpkin pie for dessert!

Ginger Snap Pumpkin Smoothie 


  • 4 oz. container of pumpkin pie yogurt (discard the "pie crust" crumbles)
  • 1/4 cup Plain, fat free Greek Yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup skim milk 
  • 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup crushed ginger snap cookies + additional for garnish
  • 5 ice cubes
To prepare:  
  • Combine ingredients in blender pitcher and blend until smooth and creamy.  
  • Pour into glass.  
  • Garnish with crushed ginger snap cookies. 
  • Add a straw and enjoy!  
  • I crushed about five smaller sized ginger snaps before making my smoothie.  I still had some crushed cookies left after preparing my smoothie.  
  • I crushed the cookies using the same method that I used when I crushed the Whoppers Candy for my Whopper of a Smoothie!  Alternately, you could probably just toss the whole cookies into the blender with the other ingredients.  
I made this smoothie for myself for breakfast over the weekend and LOVED it!  I was having a difficult time concentrating on taking photos of the finished product because I really just wanted to devour it right away!  While I sipped this for breakfast, I realized that if I had this instead of pie for dessert, I'd be totally satisfied and not feel as if I was depriving myself of dessert!  In fact, I'd even splurge and allow myself a dollop of whipped cream on a special occasion!  

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