Saturday, April 19, 2014

April is National Financial Literacy Month #Sponsored #MC

“I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central for TCF Bank. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

Did you know that April is National Financial Literacy Month? Well, TCF bank wants you to consider your financial habits and created this quiz to help you determine your financial animal. Click here to take this fun quiz.

I took the quiz and I’m a Coyote. I’m a crafty scavenger, always on the hunt for a bargain. My ideal day is spent digging in the couch cushions for spare change, clipping coupons and scouring the web for promo codes. It can be a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it for the sense of accomplishment I feel after scoring a killer deal. To see what kind of financial animal you here take the quiz by clicking Here.

Well, let me tell you I certainly wasn't always a Coyote. That's for sure. As I entered my late teens I'll admit, I was not very responsible when it came to finances. I was not a good saver, and never really worried about my future. I didn't budget and blew through money. That is until I got my first apartment. Reality hit and I then knew that I couldn't be so carefree with my money. I had bills to pay along with rent. I ended up working two jobs so that I had enough to pay rent and bills and have a little leftover to save and use for the occasional night out. I started to budget, contribute to my 401k, and started to mature financially. 

Now that I am older and am a stay at home mom I am way more frugal with money. I'm not ashamed to clip coupons or shop around for the best deal. I think living on my own at an early age really helped me become more responsible when it comes to finances. 

While I do not bank with TCF, I was impressed by their Financial Learning Center which offer unique technology and videos to simplify complex financial concepts. It's great tool to consider when starting out on your own financial journey. 

To learn more about how you can take control of your financial IQ, visit the TCF Bank Financial Learning Center at and register to take their  interactive financial literacy program.

Or visit

Friday, April 18, 2014

Huggies Pull Ups Ambassador Program #Sponsored #MC #StartPottyTraining

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Pull-Ups. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

It's hard to believe almost three months has now passed since I started blogging about our potty training journey. My little one has come a long way since I first started blogging about the First Flush Program. I'm so proud of him and we've almost got this potty thing down. He is much more vocal when it comes to telling me when he has to use the potty (I had blogged about this in the beginning how he wouldn't tell me when he needed to tinkle) and he is now waking up completely dry after naps and 4 or 5 nights a week he is waking up dry as well.

I loved all the tips and potty training tools from the Big Kid Academy site and my little guy loved the games! I do think that making potty training fun is key. Don't force your child when he isn't ready and don't put to much pressure on him/her to use the potty. Every child develops in their own way. Trust me, it will happen!

Also, be consistent. In the beginning I was always making sure to put my little guy on the potty every hour or two. That is where the Huggies Big Kid Timer came in handy. Now more often than not, my son will let me know when he has to use the potty. But he still enjoys getting a call from his favorite Disney Characters when it comes time to use the potty. Another great game from the Big Kids App.

You can read more about the Big Kid Academy and various training techniques and fun activities like the rewards wheel, potty training charts, big kid timer, and other ways to celebrate big potty milestones by visiting the Big Kid Academy site along with Huggies Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Potty training with the help of Huggies Pull Ups keeps getting better and better. Recently they partnered with The First Years (which are the makers of potty training systems and seats) so when you purchase a new The First Years potty training system, you receive a pack of Huggies Pull Ups to help you along your potty training journey! Sounds like a great deal to me. Check it out!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Creamy White Cheddar and Chipotle Bowtie Pasta

I am really on a big pasta kick lately. Probably not the best kick to be on given my diet so hopefully I get my carb cravings out of my system soon! Since we are all about the spice in our house this Creamy White Cheddar Chipotle Bowtie Pasta really hit the spot! If you are a fan of chipotle peppers, definitely give this dish a try!

Creamy White Cheddar and Chipotle Bowtie Pasta
Serves 6
Cal 298, Carbs 46.3, Fat 7, Fiber 3g, Protein 12

12 oz. Bowtie Pasta, cooked to al dente
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
1.25 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
3 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup reduced fat milk (I used two percent)
1 cup petite diced tomatoes
salt to taste

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat whisk together the milk and cream cheese. Reduce heat to low and slowly stir in the shredded cheese. Once cheese is melted add in the chipotle peppers and tomatoes. Taste and season with salt, if necessary. Pour sauce mixture over bowties and toss to coat. Garnish with cilantro or green onion if desired. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BBQ Chicken Bacon Ranch Calzones

Busy days call for simple meals. I've been running around all day and these calzones were a last minute dinner idea. I didn't meal plan this week so I've been kind of just winging it. I made these calzones with a store bought rotisserie chicken breast and refrigerated pizza dough and let me tell you....they were delish!

BBQ Chicken Bacon Ranch Calzones
Serves 4
WW PP=12
Cal 427, Carbs 55, Fat 12.2, Fiber 1g, Protein 23.5

2 cups chopped chicken breast (I used rotisserie)
1/2 cup bbq sauce (I used Stubbs)
1 tbsp. dry ranch seasoning
1/8 cup reduced fat ranch dressing
1/2 cup crumbled bacon or bacon bits
4 slices reduced fat cheese (I used monterrey jack)
1 refrigerated pizza crust

In a large mixing bowl combine chicken, bacon, ranch seasoning, dressing, and bbq sauce.

Heat oven to 425°F. Lightly spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough; place on cookie sheet. Starting at center, press out dough into a large rectangle; cut into 4 (7x5-inch) rectangles. Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture onto half of each rectangle, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge. Lay one slice of cheese over each. Fold dough in half over filling; press edges firmly with fork to seal. Prick tops with fork.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

This is a delicious and healthy spin on traditional Quesadillas. Chop up your veggies and toss them with fajita marinated chicken tenderloins and let the crock pot do the cooking for you. The only thing left for you to do is assemble the quesadilla and grill it. These were a hit with my husband and I can't wait to make them again soon!

Crock Pot Chicken Fajita Quesadillas
Makes 4 Quesadillas
Cal 309 Carbs 11.5, Fat 10.2, Fiber 8g, Protein 37.5

16 oz. fajita marinated chicken tenderloins
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
8 slices reduced fat pepper jack cheese (or any cheese of your choice)
4 large flour tortillas (I used low carb/high fiber wraps)

Arrange chicken in bottom of crock pot. Top with sliced veggies. Cover and cook on low 4 hours. Remove chicken from crock pot and break apart into pieces.

To assemble quesadillas top half of each tortilla with chicken and two slices of cheese. Fold the tortilla over and press down. Lightly spray tortilla with cooking spray and cook in a large sauce pan (I used my panini press) for about 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream and salsa for dipping. Enjoy!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Four Cheese Baked Spaghetti

Well, so much for the two day warm spell we had. Today it is cold and snowing! What a difference a day makes, that's for sure! Cold weather always puts me in the mood for comfort food and this delicious Four Cheese Baked Spaghetti is just the meal I was looking for. Easy to prepare and it can be made ahead of time so all you need to do when you get home is pop it in the oven. Serve it along side a tossed salad and bread and dinner is served!

Four Cheese Baked Spaghetti
Serves 8
WW PP=10
Cal 428, Carbs 44.6, Fat 12.8, Fiber 8.2g, Protein 29.7

16 oz. spaghetti (I used ronzoni smart taste)
1 lb. lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
1 jar pasta sauce
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook Pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile brown ground beef. Add in the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and pasta sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer five minutes.

While meat is simmering, toss pasta with cottage cheese, parmesan cheese and half of the cheddar and mozzarella and spread into a lightly sprayed 9x13 baking dish. Top with meat sauce and remaining cheeses.

Bake uncovered at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Urbini Hummingbird Lightweight Stroller #MC #Urbini #Sponsored

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Urbini. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and as a thank you for participating.”

When it comes to strollers I am very picky. I'll be the first to admit that I side eye certain brands and I will pay top dollar for a great stroller. I am however always in need of a good back up stroller and I wanted something lightweight, practical, and very functional so when I was picked to review the new Urbini Hummingbird Stoller I jumped at the chance!

If you are like me, you may have not heard of this brand of stroller. Well, let me tell you.... I found it to be one of the best lightweight strollers I have used. I purchased mine in black since I have a little boy and found the color to be the most gender appropriate.

The Hummingbird Stroller is a Ultra-Light stroller weighing under 7lbs and features:

One-hand, self standing fold
Strong, aluminum frame design
Multi-position reclining seat
Swivel armbar
Padded 5-point harness

First, it was as easy as can be to put together. I just unfolded it and snapped the wheels into place and it was ready to go in under five minutes! Easy Peasy! You don't find that often when assembling a stroller.  What I really liked most about the Urbini was how light and compact it was and the one hand self standing hold for easy fold up. This is a fantastic stroller to take with you to the airport for vacations or even road trips when you are looking for a stroller that won't take up a lot of space. Compared to other umbrella strollers I've had in the past, this is hands down the most functional for that very reason. What I liked best about this stroller is the multi position reclining seat which is great if you have a toddler like me who falls asleep in the stroller. Another bonus!

The Urbini Hummingbird Stroller retails at Walmart for around 100 dollars. You can read more about this baby stroller by clicking here.

To read my E-Commerce Review Click Here

Also be sure to visit their Facebook and Twitter Page!
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