Combat FORO with ReadyRefresh by Nestlé

Disclosure: Thank you ReadyRefresh℠ by Nestlé ® for sponsoring this blog post. All opinions are my own.

If you’re anywhere in the Midwest – or maybe just about anywhere in the U.S. these days – you’d know that it has been hot, hot, HOT lately. Temps have reached the high 90’s near me, with the heat index topping over 110 degrees for the last week or so. So hot, it’s almost unbearable to step outside. I’m used to being out and about with the family most weekends, but lately I don’t even like venturing out to my own backyard! And that’s just for me – there’s also the kids and baby twins to think about! YOU try telling a 5-year-old that he can’t go outside and play on his slip ‘n slide to cool off! Not an easy task by a longshot.

Slip N Slide

My son pretty much won’t let up. It feels like 110 degrees outside…of course he wants to go out and enjoy the weather in the water! And while I’m all for him getting out and being active, it’s also very important to me that he stays hydrated. For that matter, my whole family needs to stay hydrated too. That’s a lot of people in my house. Seven, to be exact. To make sure that we kept hydrated both at home and on the go, I found myself frequently purchasing bottled water. All the time. I ended up spending way too much time restocking at the grocery store, or buying at my local bulk warehouse store. Buying in bulk kept my shopping trips infrequent, but those cases are so stinkin’ heavy, and big box stores are energy-sapping (and cash-sapping) circuses.

Did you know that in 2014 bottled water volume sales in US supermarkets surpassed that of carbonated soft drinks, showing a shift of preference towards bottled water as opposed to beverages with added sugars? Refreshment is a business that’s changing dramatically as consumers think differently about how they keep their households and offices hydrated, refreshed and healthy. I know I don’t purchase soft drinks or carbonated beverages for my family. My five-year-old has yet to try soda! I always keep him hydrated with water. Only. I’ve been using ReadyRefresh to simply click & quenchSM !


ReadyRefreshSM by Nestlé® is a customizable beverage delivery service that provides your family with a variety of leading bottled water brands like Ice Mountain, Nestlé Pure Life, Perrier, and San Pellegrino. What an easy way to bring a little more health into your home. Whether you choose the easy access of a water dispenser or the flexibility of small on-the-go sizes, when you choose ReadyRefreshSM by Nestlé®, you’re setting a good example by encouraging everyone in your home to drink more water.

John Gress/Feature Photo Service for Nestle Water

The website is so easy to navigate, too. You pick your product, quantity, and delivery frequency.

ReadyRefresh Order

So easy to order! Now all you have to do is never run out. You’ve heard of the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), right? Well, you might be suffering from the Fear of Running Out (FORO)—that nagging feeling you get when you’re running low on everyday essentials like toilet paper, diapers, or pet food. When it comes to FORO of bottled water, you can keep your healthy hydration on track and put your distress to rest—ReadyRefresh to the rescue! With customizable deliveries of thirst-quenching water–from sparkling to still, in the brands you love most–you’ll never experience FORO for bottled water again.

In a recent FORO survey, more than half of all surveyed (52%) experience FORO at least once a week. 69% of those surveyed experience feelings such as stress, anxiety and worry when household items start to run low. And 69% of survey respondents run low on everyday household items at least once a week. This happens to me all the time, too (hello, toilet paper!) and at least now I never have to worry about my drinking water running out!

So now that you know all about FORO, and how to combat it with ReadyRefresh. To learn more, visit and use the hashtag  #NoMoreFORO on social media.

So tell me, when’s the last time you’ve experienced FORO?

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Stock-Up for a Road Trip at Jewel-Osco #AHugeSale

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AHugeSale #CollectiveBias #JewelOsco

Heading our for a road trip can be a hectic time. You’ve got to make sure you have your itinerary ready, you’ve packed everything you need, and, most importantly, you’ve got the car loaded with all of your favorite snacks. My family takes road trips fairly often, and there’s always a tantrum when a favorite snack is forgotten.


Here are some tips on packing some snacks for your next family road trip:

1.) Keep it simple and easy. Any snacks you take should be just as appetizing as they are portable and transport-resistant. Snacks like salsa or dip would probably be impractical to take in the car. Granola bars, trail mix and crackers are great road trip-ready snacks to take on the road.

2.) Balance out the junk food. You don’t have to skip the junk food completely –  a vacation is the perfect time to splurge – but try to incorporate more than just candy and junk. So limit the sugar and try some fruit and veggies to keep yourself well-nourished.

3.) Stay hydrated. Be sure to take plenty of water and Gatorade to keep hydrated. Water and Gatorade will keep you hydrated and are better for you than other sugar-filled drinks you’d pick up at a gas station.


Beginning 7/29 through 8/11, Jewel-Osco is having a huge Anniversary Sale. Lots of great items to be purchased! I actually stocked up for my upcoming road trip at Jewel-Osco and picked up some fruit, Pepsi, Gatorade, and my family’s favorite – Doritos! We’ll be in the car for awhile, so I probably should’ve picked up two bags!


You don’t want to miss out on the savings during the Jewel-Osco Anniversary Sale. Pop in today and save on everything your family loves, from snacks and drinks to cookout classics and more.


Jewel-Osco is having a huge Anniversary Sale, but you can be sure to check out what great deals are available at Albertsons, Safeway, or Amigos too!

Albertsons Anniversary_ Promotional Post Graphic_V1

Jewel-Osco is my go-to grocer. Shop the HUGE Anniversary sale and stock up on your favorite brands 7/29-8/11. I’d love to hear how your family will stock up!


Feeding Hungry Kiddos at Denny’s #DennysDiners

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Denny’s. I am a #DennysDiners Ambassador, however, I was not asked to provide a particular point of view, and all opinions are 100% my own.


Denny’s is one of my go-to restaurants with the kids. Close to home, yummy food, and totally affordable! But more than just being affordable, did you know that kids also eat FREE at Denny’s? That’s right, at participating locations, Kids Eat Free! Awesome, right? How does it work? For each adult entrée priced at $2.50 or more, you’ll receive a free kids meal for one child aged 10 and under. The offer is available on Tuesdays at participating locations from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and menu items and prices may vary. It’s a great way to feed the family for less.

When I visit Denny’s with the kids recently, my son was able to eat free…WOOT! He has a few favorites and some of our favorite kids items include the chicken nuggets, chocolate chip pancakes, french toast and pizza. All delicious, and all free on Tuesday nights!


On a recent visit, my son ordered the chicken nuggets and loved them with a side of goldfish crackers. We love eating at Denny’s – it’s a great opportunity to chat over a meal, without me running around the kitchen preparing everything. Plus, getting both of my kids together is always a highlight for me. It’s a challenge to get them in the same room sometimes so I cherish every time that I do. We talked, we laughed, and I actually caught my son playing with his food a bit here. Dinos say “RAWR”! Lol


So get on out to visit your local Denny’s with the kids on Tuesday nights for a free kids meal. Both you – and your wallet – will love the deal! Have you visited a Denny’s Diner lately? What’s your favorite item on the menu?

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Denny’s Diners Partners with the Fantastic Four! #DennysDiners

Is your family looking forward to the new Fantastic Four movie as much as mine is? Set to open nationwide on August 4th, and starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Michael B. Jordan, this movie promises to be a blockbuster this summer. What better way to get pumped for the new movie than with a delicious meal inspired by the movie?

Denny’s Diners is pleased to partner with this sure-to-be hit by offering a Slamtastic Four as part of their new menu, featuring a selection of iconic Denny’s dishes inspired by Marvel’s first family of superheroes. Available now, the new menu explodes with dishes such as the sizzling Human Torch Skillet, The Thing Burger and the Invisible Woman Slam®. Fans of the movie will love the new offerings.

FSM Inside Spread

The Invisible Woman Slam looks like it’s going to be my favorite. Blueberry pancakes, topped with fresh strawberries and bananas, served with eggs, bacon, and hash browns – yum, yum yum! The perfect breakfast for me – I love pancakes topped with fruit any day of the week.

Invisible Woman Slam

The Dr. Doom Lava Cake is sure to be a hit with my kids. And who am I kidding? I totally want to try it too! It looks like the best chocolate overload, doesn’t it? Chocolate topped with chocolate ice cream – you can’t go wrong!

Dr Doom Lava Cake

What’s more,to celebrate the highly anticipated movie, Denny’s is offering one lucky Fantastic Four fan a trip for two to the movie premiere on Aug. 4. Now, through July 19, fans may visit to enter for a chance to win the trip of a lifetime. Don’t wait – enter today!

dennys homepage layout_Page_1

If you could have a super power, like the characters in Fantastic Four, what would you choose to have? I’m thinking invisibility would be my choice – what about you?

Three Cheese Breakfast Quesadillas #BuddigTasteChallenge

Breakfast is probably the one meal of the day that  I don’t eat like I should. When I’m in a rush, I grab my coffee and I’m out the door. I’m usually running late, so if I’m going to make breakfast, you better believe it’s going to be a quick one. These Three Cheese Breakfast Quesadillas are my go-to in the mornings when I need to make something super-quick. Then, after I make that breakfast, I’m gonna enter it in the Buddig Taste Challenge…because Buddig, of course! Buddig really helps me take this recipe to the next level with their ham. You’ve got to try it – it’s so good!

Cheese Breakfast Quesadillas2

    • Prep: 5 min
    • Cook: 2-3 min each
    • 8 flour tortillas
    • 8 hard-boiled eggs, diced
    • 2 (2 oz) pkg Buddig Original Ham, chopped
    • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
    • 1 cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco
    • Optional: Sliced jalapeños, chopped cilantro


  • Heat a non-stick electric skillet to med-high heat. Combine diced eggs and chopped Buddig ham in a medium bowl.
  • Place 1 tortilla on skillet and top with a small handful of each of the three cheeses. Spoon a generous portion of the egg and ham mixture over the cheese and top with another small handful of each of the three cheeses.
  • Top with another flour tortilla and use spatula to flatten. When the bottom tortilla begins to turn a golden brown color, flip the entire quesadilla over. Flattening with the spatula also helps hold everything together when you flip over.
  • Continue cooking until the other side is also golden brown, about 1 minute.
  • Remove to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Top with chopped cilantro and sliced jalapenos.


Breakfast Quesadillas
This is seriously one of my family’s favorite recipes – my preschooler even loves them! I could even use your vote. I am one of 9 bloggers that were selected to participate in the Buddig Taste Challenge and would love your vote if you like my recipe. If chosen as the winner, I could win a $1,000 Visa gift card and a chance to meet the Buddig family. Fingers Crossed!

SO PLEASE VOTE for my Three Cheese Breakfast Quesadillas! Voting ends May 31st and every 25th voter will receive a $1.00 coupon for Buddig products.

Simplified Mornings with Nestlé Carnation Breakfast Essentials #50YearsofBreakfast #CollectiveBias

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions, and yummy breakfast stories, are mine alone. #50YearsofBreakfast #CollectiveBias

Weekday mornings are a zoo at my house. I’m sure most mothers can relate, but trying to send a teen and a preschooler off to school, feed and let out the dogs, AND get myself ready for work is almost impossible most days. We’re usually frantic…and we’re usually late. If you spend any time at my house in the morning, you’ll likely hear ALL of these, and all in the same day.

“GET UP! We’re already late!”

“Did you brush your teeth?”

“Where is your other shoe?”

“Just GET in the car!”

Which gets me thinking – this really isn’t much different from when I was growing up. My mom tried her best, but it seemed like we were forever behind. It probably doesn’t help, but as kids my siblings and I were all night owls. We loved going to bed late, and had such a hard time getting p in the morning. Much like my own kids I guess (as I type this, my 4-year-old didn’t fall asleep until 10:15pm…and he has school in the morning).

One thing that was constant throughout our busy mornings was breakfast. My mother instilled in us the importance of breakfast early on. She always told us that a good breakfast fuels you up and gets you ready for the day. She said that if we ate breakfast everyday, we’d have more energy, do better in school, and eat healthier throughout the day. I remember having breakfast all the time and on-the-go breakfasts (for obvious reasons) were the norm. One of our favorites as kids remains one of my kids’ favorites and we always have some on-hand in the pantry…Nestlé Carnation Breakfast Essentials.


Easily found at your local Walmart, Nestlé Carnation Breakfast Essentials, while being delicious and super-nutritious, are also really affordable. Located in the breakfast aisle, Nestlé Carnation Breakfast Essentials is only $5.87 for 14 servings!


I love serving Nestlé Carnation Breakfast Essentials to my family because I can rest assured that I am feeding my kids a nutritious breakfast. Each serving offers 2x the protein of an egg, 2x the calcium of yogurt, 2x the vitamin D of an 8 fl. oz. glass of milk, and 2x the vitamin C of a 4 fl. oz. glass of orange juice. Knowing this, why would I not have my kids drink this for breakfast?!?! Oh, and in case you’re wondering, it tastes great too and my 4-year-old loves it!


Right now, Carnation has an awesome promotion going on:

    1. Buy any 2 Carnation Breakfast Essentials products.
    2. Get a clear photo of your entire receipt and then text with keyword BREAKFAST to 811811 for submission instructions or email it to or upload your receipt.
    3. You will receive a code back once the receipt has been verified that you can share with your friends and family for a free breakfast! (up to a $7.99 value). Participants can enter by texting a number, emailing, or uploading a photo of the receipt to the website.


So easy to get a free breakfast! What’s your family’s favorite on-the-go breakfast?

Connect with Nestlé Carnation Breakfast Essentials on Facebook!

Try These Delicious Mango Recipes #MakeItMango

My son is always my helper in the kitchen. He loves mixing ingredients and helping me cook or bake. I love how he’s so young, yet already so interested in working in the kitchen. If he keeps this up, he could be a great chef one day – or at the very least, an awesome husband!


Last week my son and I had the opportunity to spend some time with the folks from the National Mango Board at The Chopping Block in Chicago and we learned so much about my son’s favorite fruit, and we even made a few delicious mango recipes to eat!

We learned that mangos are one of the most popular fruits IN THE WORLD,and a mango tree can grow as tall as 100 feet! We also learned how to properly cut a mango – something I have struggled with for years. In fact, it has hindered me from buying mangos often because I just didn’t know what to do with them. My son followed directions really well on how to cut a mango. Yes, I let him handle a butter knife for a few minutes – he did great!


From there, we made a few delicious mango recipes to enjoy. We started off with Mango and Banana Smoothies. So good!


Had yummy Cinco de Mango Quesadillas with a  Classic Mango Salsa. I didn’t think we would enjoy sweet mangos inside a quesadilla but I was so wrong. It was delicious!


And for dessert we made Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Mango Pops. This, of course, was my son’s favorite!

Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Mango Pops 4_Revised

So yummy!


What creative ways have you used mango?

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Denny’s Partners with Dreamworks Animation on New Kid’s Menu #DennysDiners

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Denny’s. I am a #DennysDiners Ambassador, however, I was not asked to provide a particular point of view, and all opinions are 100% my own.

I am so excited that I can finally announce that I am a Denny’s Diners Ambassador for 2015. What this means is that I will hear about exciting news on Denny’s and can share them with you. This partnership comes at a great time because, honestly, it’s been a really long time since I’ve stepped foot in a Denny’s restaurant. Circa 2000 in Miami Beach after a very, very late night, to be exact. But I digress.


Needless-to-say, it was about time I tried Denny’s again. Not only because Denny’s is America’s iconic family diner, but especially considering Denny’s new partnership with DreamWorks Animation, and the fact that I have a Madagascar-, thus Penguins-obsessed 4-year-old. (He received the new Penguins movie in his Easter basket and asks to watch it every single day.)

DreamWorks_Kids_Menu_Page 1

Kicking off with Penguins of Madagascar, Puss In Boots and Turbo FAST, in addition to many popular characters such as Shrek appearing throughout the year, the colorful characters adorn Denny’s kids menu in a variety of interactive, themed puzzles and games to enjoy during mealtime. And anyone who knows my son knows that he can be a bit loud at times, especially when he’s bored, and I’m happy to report that the new DreamWorks Animation kid’s menus at Denny’s kept him occupied throughout our entire wait. Thank you, Denny’s!

Denny's Kids Menu

Kids can also color the DreamWorks characters featured on the Denny’s kids menu then use the DreamWorks COLOR app to bring their drawings to life. The characters literally jump off the menu in 3D! So cool!!!


As a mom, I was happy to see all the options Denny’s offers to kids. Lot’s of fresh fruit and veggies but, when given the option (my mistake) kids will hardly ever choose those. We dined at Denny’s for dinner – ONLY $3.49 for kids – and my son inevitably chose the Goldfish crackers. I was more than happy to add a bowl of grapes for just $0.89.

DreamWorks_Kids_Menu_Page 2

There are 5 lunch/dinner options for kids including my son’s favorite, chicken nuggets!

Kids Chicken Nuggets

So take this opportunity to visit your local Denny’s with the kids and reacquaint yourself with all they have to offer. They will love it!

Tell me, when’s the last time you visited a Denny’s.

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Cleaning Up Chocolate Milkshake Messes is a Breeze with Bounty with Dawn #BountyatWalmart

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Bounty. I was not asked to provide a particular point of view, and all opinions (and that big mess) are 100% mine.

For me, cleaning the kitchen is my least favorite chore. The crumbs, the counter spills, the nasty sink, sweeping, mopping…AAAGGGHHH! The thought of doing it, alone, makes me want to take a nap. Of course, it’s a necessary evil – no one wants a disgusting kitchen – I just wish there was a way to make it easier. A little less daunting.

Lately, the weather started warming up in the Chicago area and my family was craving some ice cream. Milkshakes have always been our favorite and a chocolate shake sounded so good. However, we all know how messy a chocolate shake can get. This scene look familiar to anyone?


Yeah, not exactly something you want to clean up after a long day. Don’t get me wrong – the milkshakes were totally worth it, but the mess was just a headache. Take a closer look at the counter. Yuk!


Luckily I was given some Bounty with Dawn to try, to help with the clean-up.

Bounty Logo

Bounty with Dawn is a specially designed 2-in-1 product that combines an ultra-durable Bounty paper towel with grease-fighting power of Dawn dish soap. When activated by water, Bounty with Dawn stands up to tough messes like grease and dried food residue, similar to a dishcloth.


I was a little hesitant to try Bounty with Dawn at first because I was afraid that my countertops would be a sudsy mess, like it would with a dishcloth. Thankfully, it wasn’t and my countertops were left spic and span!

Bounty with Dawn is the thickest, strongest Bounty available on the market and can even be reused—simply rinse and wring the grease out to keep tackling any mess with just one sheet!

So tell me, would you give Bounty with Dawn a try?

Here’s my easy Chocolate Milkshake recipe: Mix 3 scoops of chocolate ice cream, 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter, and 3/4 cup milk in a blender. Pour the mix into your favorite cup. Top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

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2-Minute Mango Salsa Makes a Delicious Snack #makemangosalsa

Disclosure: This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Del Monte, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #makemangosalsa

If you’re living in America…and alive…you probably already know what February 2nd is. SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!!! Most people (men especially) will be huddled around the television to watch the big game. Me? I’m not too much of a fan, but I will admit to watching a few games with my husband this year – and have heard him talk so much about the game that I feel like I’ve been an honorary fan this year. While I might not be much of a professional football fan, there is one thing that I do love come game time – the FOOD!


I love heading out somewhere to watch the game, because at least then I don’t have to spend the time cooking anything. If I am at home I like to make dishes that are of course delicious, but more importantly I make food that is quick and easy! If you are anything like me, you are going to love this quick, easy, delicious and dare I say – healthy – game day snack.

Book of Life DVD

First, of course, I have to get the little man settled beforehand and a movie usually holds his attention long enough for me to get a few things done. Lately that movie has been a fairly new one, The Book of Life. We have a digital copy, but the DVD comes out January 27 so make sure you head to your local Walmart and grab a copy.


Now I can get to work – for all of 2 minutes! This mango salsa is one of my favorites. Served with tortilla chips, this colorful, fruity dish is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Here’s what you’ll need for the 2-Minute Mango Salsa:



  • 1 (15 oz) can Del Monte Diced Mangos, drained
  • 1 Jar Chunky Salsa – (I used a 17.6 oz jar of Goya’s Mild Pico de Gallo Salsa)
  • Fresh cilantro and onion, finely chopped
  • Fresh lime juice, to taste


All you have to do is combine all ingredients and enjoy with some tortilla chips!


Select Walmart stores will be hosting a 2-Minute Mango Salsa sampling event from January 22 – January 25th. Check ahead to see if the sampling will be at a store near you.

Have fun, eat salsa, and ENJOY the game!!!

Hanging Out with Ingrid Hoffman, Food Network, and JCPenney at Ravinia #EatDrinkRock

I’ve been to a lot of concerts in my day, but never have I had more fun (and ate more FOOD) than at a recent concert at Ravinia in Highland Park, IL.  A few weeks ago, the Food Network hosted a fabulous event at Ravinia, the oldest outdoor music festival in the U.S., dubbed Food Network in Concert, sponsored by JCPenney.

Ravinia Gates

I ate, drank, and jammed throughout the day – and had a blast!

JCPenney had an amazing lounge area at the event, featuring lots of their products and furniture.  Did you know that JCPenney sold furniture?  Yeah, me either.  Mind. Blown.

Ravinia JCPenny

Totally gorgeous, right?  Just about everything you see below can be purchased at

Ravinia JCPenny Lounge

I was lucky to be able to tour the Greatest Hits section where 50 chefs and 100+ wineries served up their greatest hits – including Columbian-born Ingrid Hoffman!  So amazing and gracious was Ingrid that she agreed to meet me and autograph a copy of her new book, Latin D’Lite!

Ingrid Hoffman and Me

Fun fact: Ingrid’s first book, Simply Delicioso, was the first cookbook I purchased in 2009 when I started dating my Puerto Rican husband.  I has hopeless in the kitchen, and wanted to learn how to make some Latin dishes.  I’m pretty sure my first attempt at empanadas started with Ingrid Hoffman.

I was so inspired by my encounter with Ingrid Hoffman, that I made one of her delicious soups from her book, Latin D’Lite, for my family this weekend.  Soup, just about any kind, is my go-to meal to cook on a chilly weekend, and this weekend certainly delivered that.  Ingrid’s book promises delicious Latin recipes with a healthy twist.  There are so many yummy soups in Ingrid’s book that are perfect for a chilly day – 18 to be exact! – that it was so hard to choose just one, but we settled on the Mexican Corn Soup – with the healthier option, of course.

Ingrid Hoffman_Mexican Corn Soup

This corn and tomato-based soup is “Simplemente Delicioso” topped with some cilantro, queso fresco, tortilla chips, and crumbled bacon (because, c’mon, what isn’t good topped with BACON?!?!)  So easy to make, done in about 30 minutes, and my family raved about this soup.  It’s already on request for next week!

You must check out Ingrid Hoffman’s line, Simplemente Delicioso at JCPenney!

simplemente delicioso

Who doesn’t want to add a little color to their kitchen?!?!


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