Saturday, January 31, 2015

Go Back To School and Save Money with CampusBookRentals!

If you have been following my blog for any amount of time, you probably already know what a huge fan I am of CampusBookRentals. They are one of my very favorite companies, and they are dedicated to saving college students money and also giving back and helping others, which makes them a really great company to support.

In case you weren't sure exactly what they do, CampusBookRentals provides college students an inexpensive option when it comes to renting textbooks instead of buying them. As most of you know, the price of buying college textbooks is outrageous, so saving a little bit can really help a student. With CampusBookRentals, students are able to save between 40-90% off of regular retail prices. They also provide free shipping both ways, flexible renting periods, and you can even highlight in the books if you need to. CampusBookRentals also donates a portion of every textbook rental to Operation Smile, which is such a wonderful charity!

CampusBookRentals is a great company whose focus really is helping people, whether it be broke college kids who need help affording books, or kids all over the world through Operation Smile. This is a company that I am proud to support, and I love the work that they do. I am also wholeheartedly a fan of renting textbooks, since I know firsthand just how expensive those textbooks can be. To learn more about how renting textbooks works with CampusBookRentals, watch the helpful video below!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Get Ready For Game Day With #Naturally Fresh and Crispy Ranch Chicken Fingers!

Disclosure: This post is part of the blogger program by Naturally Fresh® and The Motherhood, who compensated me for my time and the development of this recipe. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

It's hard to believe that it's almost Super Bowl time! Now, I don't really care much (anything) about football, but I do care about good food and good friends! So, when we got the chance to try out some Naturally Fresh salad dressings for Super Bowl recipes, I was so excited! Naturally Fresh is a line of high-quality, homemade-tasting salad dressings and dips with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and they are delicious! Available in four varieties, Classic Ranch, Lite Ranch, Blue Cheese and Lite Bleu Cheese, Naturally Fresh Salad Dressings and Dips can be found at your local Kroger or Publix, check out the Naturally Fresh Mobile App to find a store near you. It was so easy to find Naturally Fresh dressings at our local Kroger store, and they were even on a fabulous Buy One, Get One Free sale the day we visited! What's not to love about that!? 

We got to spend some time trying out Naturally Fresh dressings in our home, and had a great time coming up with some fabulous recipes! Our very favorite recipe we came up with, however, was one the whole family loved! Our Crispy Ranch Chicken Fingers were a huge hit with the whole family, and the kids especially loved them! This is a super easy recipe to prepare, and is great for a quick weeknight dinner, or perfect for a super bowl snack when you serve them up with some buffalo sauce for dipping! We also had tons of leftover chicken, and it was perfect to use the next day as a topping for baked spaghetti, it turned out kind of like a Chicken Parm bake, and it was delicious! As you can see, Naturally Fresh dressings are so versatile, and you can really use them for anything! Here's how to make some of your own! 

Crispy Ranch Chicken Tenders

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
1 bottle Naturally Fresh Ranch Salad Dressing
1 cup Panko or your favorite bread crumb
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt 
1 teaspoon black pepper
cooking spray 
your favorite dipping sauces

Marinate chicken tenders in ranch dressing overnight. When ready to prepare, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, seasoned salt, black pepper in a small bowl, and pour onto deep plate for dipping. Remove chicken from ranch dressing, and dip into bread crumb mixture. Place chicken on sprayed baking sheet. Add an additional sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if desired, and lightly spray chicken with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Introducing the Master Lock “Safety Through Every Life Season” #MasterLockProtects Twitter sweepstakes/donation opportunity!!!!

 This post has been sponsored by Global Influence. All opinions are my own.

I guess you could say safety and security have always been at the top of my mind. I mean, I AM the Flip Out Mama. I stress over everything, even the littlest things that no one else would even consider worrying about. It's sort of crazy, but I have become accustomed to my crazy worrying ways. So much so, that when I have nothing to stress about, I worry about why I'm not worrying! I mean, look at those beautiful boys, I worry every second of every day about taking care of them.

One company that really understands people like me is the American Red Cross. The Red Cross does so much for so many people, and they are always there when bad things happen. That's why it's so great that Master Lock is now teaming up with The American Red Cross for the Master Lock “Safety Through Every Life Season” #MasterLockProtects Twitter sweepstakes/donation opportunity. Sound interesting? Here's more info:

Master Lock, the world’s largest manufacturer of padlocks,  announced its continued focus on helping consumers stay safe with a yearlong campaign dedicated to safety through every life stage and season. To kick off the campaign, Master Lock will ask consumers via Twitter to share the time in their life when safety and security has been most top of mind. For every tweet posted with the hashtag #MasterLockProtects a $1 donation will be made to the American Red Cross up to $10,000. The campaign will continue throughout the year with a series of safety tips and advice for every life stage and season.   

“Each new life stage and season brings new adventures, excitement and memories. It also brings new safety and security considerations. From childhood, to marriage, homeownership, retirement and beyond, Master Lock is there to help protect consumers as their security needs evolve with these memorable life events,” said Rebecca Smith, vice president, marketing for Master Lock. “Through this campaign, Master Lock will show its dedication to providing a full range of reliable, easy-to-use products as well as resources consumers need to keep themselves, loved ones and valuables safe throughout the year and their lives.”

When in your life has safety and security been most top of mind? Through January 31, participants who tweet their reply to this question using #MasterLockProtects will generate a $1 donation to the American Red Cross and will be entered for the chance to win one of 20 prize bundles. Each winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card and various Master Lock products to help keep consumers safe through different life stages and seasons. 

Master Lock will donate an initial $10,000 to the American Red Cross and will donate up to an additional $10,000 based on consumer participation in the sweepstakes for a total of $20,000 in donations – just one way the company hopes to keep consumers safe and secure through all life stages and seasons. Master Lock’s donation will support the urgent needs of the American Red Cross mission, whether it is responding to a disaster, collecting lifesaving blood, teaching skills to save a life, or assisting military members and their families during emergencies. This marks the second Twitter sweepstakes that Master Lock has hosted to benefit the American Red Cross. In 2014, Master Lock donated more than $15,000 to the organization. 

 Doesn't that sound awesome?!? Don't forget to join us for the #MasterLockCares Twitter Party on Tuesday, January 27 at 8 PM ET with @Resourcefulmom. RSVP: 

Hope that you will join us as we talk about safety and security, and our own experiences with the American Red Cross. Don't forget to tweet your answer using #MasterLockProtects to help the Red Cross and potentially win one of 20 prize bundles that include a $100 Visa Gift Card!! Good luck!

5 Ways To Mend Your Family Budget

With the current economic instability and high rate of unemployment, living on a limited budget can be very straining for many families. While you may face some hardships while trying to give your family a decent living, there are ways to pay all your expenses and still get the necessities you may need. Setting financial goals, creating a budget and developing smart financial habits are the key starting points to make things work on a limited budget. Here are tips for creating a family budget.

Evaluate your expenses

Write down all your monthly expenses, including costs of food, utility bills, medical bills, rent, mortgage, car payments and insurance. Compare the expenses with the total income of the family. Make sure the expenses do not exceed the total income. If there is no enough income, then deal with top priority bills first such as loan payments, utilities and food.

Cut back on unnecessary expenses

Look at the services that your house subscribes to. Cut back on unnecessary entertainment packages you may have. For instance, cut back on subscriptions to extra movie channels until you can afford to upgrade. Instead of subscribing to phone services, choose no-contract cell phone plans to reduce these expenses. If you need internet for school work or business, find cheaper Internet services.

Create a menu

Creating a weekly menu of the meals that your family plans to have can help reduce your food expenses. Determine what kind of foods your family enjoy eating. Browse sale ads and sites to find where you can purchase the best price food and ingredients needed to create those meals. Remove unnecessary food items from your grocery list. There is no realistic argument to justify including costly processed junk foods in your diet. Instead of buying soda or manufactured juice, learn to make your own. Not buying such items will not only keep your food costs down but will also improve your overall health.

Use coupons

Keep your eyes out for coupons to reduce your costs. But be careful not to fall into the temptation of buying items simply because you have coupons. This is a bad idea unless you really need the item in question and like it. Savvy coupon shoppers can make significant savings on the entire shopping cart by investing their time in collating and using coupons. Check out for more details and you will not be disappointed.

Buy in bulk

Buying items in bulk is much cheaper than a smaller package of the same thing. So whether you are planning to buy groceries, detergents or any other household item that you use frequently, go for bulk. Create space for the items in your house and buy large containers and scoops to keep the food items insect, light and humidity safe. A little initial investment in storage containers can save substantial money in the long term.

These tips will help you create a more pocket-friendly budget for your family. Remember to save so that you can easily take care of any financial emergency and, if possible, always try to have multiple streams of income.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On Starting Over.

It's really funny how life works out, isn't it? Just when you get to the point that you think you know how the rest of your life is going to play out, it all changes, turns upside down and leaves you wondering just what could possibly happen next. After ten years and two kids together, my husband and I are getting a divorce. We have been separated for about six months now, and that in and of itself has been a learning experience. It's really hard to learn how to be independent again. It's really hard to know what to do, just in general. I'm learning that I'm not nearly as sure about my life as I thought I was, and I am sort of trying to pick up the pieces again. One thing I am not very good at is "winging it", and that is all I am doing these days, so that makes for a pretty interesting time. I really don't know where things are going for me in the future, and its really weird to be completely starting over when you are nearing 30.

Despite all the bad parts, as cheesy as it sounds, I am finding myself again. I think that I kind of forgot who I was for awhile there, and my head truly feels clear for the first time in a long time. I am remembering who I am, who I was, who I still can be, and that's a pretty good feeling. I'm laughing harder than I have in years, and that is the best feeling ever. It's all really weird and really strange to me at this point, but I am working on it. I am rambling, but I still am having a hard time getting my thoughts together and putting them into words. Hopefully that will change soon and I will be able to get back to my normal blogging self. Wish me luck you guys! :)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Check Out A Great New Blog!

Hey everybody! It's been awhile huh??? Things have been super crazy and my life has been completely turned upside down in the past few months (more on that later!). But, I'm back and I want to introduce y'all to a brand new blogger who also happens to be one of my best friends! There are not too many daddy bloggers out there, and definitely not many dad bloggers out there who are keeping it real, so I know that he's gonna do great! He's an incredibly funny guy, and I know y'all are going to love his blog! If you don't believe me, check out this hilarious video:! You are gonna laugh your ass off :)
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