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Monday, January 31, 2011

#31days Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow challenge vlog 3

Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow #31days challenge Jan 31st

As I do every week, I headed to Walmart to get my Lean Cuisine for my #31days Challenge with Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow. There was a lot less this week for some reason. At the beginning of January there were 5 or even 6 doors full of it and now it's down to 2. There was a 'chest' of them by the meats, which I've never seen before and I wondered if they would stay cold enough in there.

This wasn't an easy week for me. I did not eat very well and gained a pound back. HOWEVER, today I am going to try P90X so I'll either lose some weight doing that this week or die trying! (I'm scared...) I'll let you know how it goes.
Hubby and I were talking about foods for Super Bowl Sunday this morning and all I could think of was 'how many calories?' But we were able to come up with some good compromises. For nachos I'm going to use ground turkey, lettuce, salsa, tomatoes, light cheese. For the 'chips' I'm going to buy some corn tortillas and chop them up into triangles like tortilla chips and then bake them in the oven until they're crispy.
For the 'Chicken wings' I'm going to buy some chicken breast and cut them up into nugget sized portions. Instead of cooking them in a sauce I will have a dipping sauce, likely Frank's Red Hot Chili Dipping sauce (to die for!) for me and my youngest son and Frank's Red Hot sauce for everyone else. I'll let you know how it all turns out next week.

Take a look at my whrrl to see what I found at Walmart this week when I went shopping for my Lean Cuisine. #31days



 More check-ins at Walmart Supercenter #827
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I was compensated by Collective Bias for this blog post but all the opinions are my own.

DiGiorno Pizza for the big game #digiornogt

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You see those 3 DiGiorno Cheese Stuffed Crust pizzas? There is not even one piece left for a snack later. My family finished them off and still looked for more because they were just so darn good.
We went to Walmart yesterday looking for something to have while we watched the ProBowl and decided on DiGiorno.There were so many different kinds, flavors and varieties it was crazy. Let me tell you this, if you are looking for a pizza that is, in the opinion of my family, BETTER than take-out/delivery pizza, get DiGiorno. Now they even have pizzas that come with a side of cookies or wings. (I couldn't believe my eyes!)
They cooked nicely and quickly. No thinking at all. I cut them in 8 and my family of 6 demolished them. It was something to see, let me tell you!
I can honestly say that DiGiorno is, without a doubt, my favorite frozen pizza. Especially the rising crust varieties. They are just tooooo good.

Check out my shopping trip whrrl below to see how many different kinds of DiGiorno I found.
#digiornogt


More check-ins at Walmart Supercenter #827
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I was compensated for my shopping trip and blog post by Collective Bias but all the photos and opinions are completely my own.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Frank's Sweet n Red Hot Pot Roast #FranksRedHot

Frank's Sweet n Red hot pot roast 1

A couple of months ago I was challenged by Collective Bias and Frank's Red Hot Sauce to create a Frank's Red Hot Sauce recipe. I 'winged' it and came up with this Frank's Sweet n Red Hot Pot Roast. My son said this was the best pork roast he'd ever had, so I decided to enter it the Frank's RedHot Recipe Contest.

I made a video about it  and here is the recipe:

1 medium thawed pork roast (about 5 lbs)
2 onions chopped
4 sweet bell peppers (orange, yellow, red)
2 bottles (12 oz) of Frank's Sweet Chili Sauce

Put it all in a Slow Cooker (pork roast first) and cook on high for 4-5 hours.
Serve over rice.

It is super simple to make and tastes unbelievable! #FranksRedHot

Frank's Sweet n Red hot pot roast

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chico vs Natalie Portman

I'm not sure why, but I was reading my Entertainment Weekly magazine and my dog, Chico started barking at me like crazy. I looked at the back of the page and there was a picture of Natalie Portman with big eyes looking at him. I laughed so hard and of course, I had to annoy him with it a bit before putting it away.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

#31days Challenge with Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow: Day 27

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This is my new favorite, hands down, well, besides the spring rolls that is. I finally got around to trying the Market Creations versions of Lean Cuisine and I bought the Shanghai Style Shrimp and there was only one problem with it, there wasn't enough.

I have joined, as you may already know, with 10 other women to try to make our lives a better place to be in #31days, with the help of Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow. Unfortunately I have been sick for better part of it. Just when I think I'm getting better one day, the next day I feel bad again. I am (I think) getting better though and even though I have, up to date, lost 7 pounds, I can only wonder how much better the weight loss would be if I was actually doing some kind of physical activity. Today, I am going to go for a walk though. It is going to be almost 70F here today so I'm going to get out of the house and go for a walk. It might be a slower than usual walk, but it will still be a walk. Something is better than nothing, right?

My son asked me the other day if, when this challenge is complete, will I still buy the Lean Cuisine dinners and the Skinny Cow desserts. You bet I will. The Skinny Cow ice creams are awesome...no other word does it justice. As far as the Lean Cuisine meals go, there are so many different kinds and styles of meals that it's impossible to get bored with what you're eating. So yes, I will be purchasing both of the brands when this challenge is over.

My boys got P90X a few days ago and my son, who is 19, is convinced I need to try it. Yes, he is trying to send me to an early grave. He comes out totally soaked and 'spent' after he does it and he's in great shape, so can you imagine if I attempted it? Oh my goodness, I'm not sure I'm ready for that. Someday maybe.


** I have been compensated by Collective Bias for this post but all the words and opinions are completely my own.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Kibbles 'n Bits Bistro Meals: My dogs review it

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As you can see, the dogs were waiting in line to get some of the new Kibbles 'n Bits Bistro Meals that I bought on the weekend at Walmart. It was not in the normal dog food aisle but in its own special display, which was close to the shoes area in my store. I got this big bag (19 lbs) for just under $12, not bad huh?
When I got home I left it up to my son to open the bag and give some to the dogs. I had to laugh because he was as interested in it as the dogs were, almost. He picked a piece out of the bag and said 'dude, mom, it's like there's treats in the food. Look, it's soft and like their treats. They are gonna loooove this." He was right. They sure did love it.
As you can tell by the picture above my male dog, Chico, had first dibs and the ladies waited in line behind him. (It's a good thing they all get along and have a hierarchy or there may be fights!) They really did love it though, maybe it was those 'treat-like' pieces my son talked about.
You should check it at Walmart. It's new. It's inexpensive. Most of all, your dogs will love it.
Check out my shopping trip below for more details:


More check-ins at Walmart Supercenter #827
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I was compensated for this blogpost and shopping trip but all opinions are mine, and my dogs.
#ilovemydog #ILoveMyDog #Walmart

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nanny McPhee Returns: My Review

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Before I begin my review of Nanny McPhee Returns, let me say a couple of things. This is not a movie I would have ever rented on my own, but was asked to review it by Collective Bias (who compensated me for this review, but the review is solely my own, in my own words). My youngest child is an 11 year old boy so he was not interested in seeing it. I have a 20 year old daughter, 19 and 16 year old sons and a husband who all wanted nothing to do with watching this movie with me. So, fine. Here I was, on Saturday night watching a stupid kids movie, right? Beeeeep...wrong answer. If I had to honestly describe this movie in one word I say DELIGHTFUL!

A mother, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal is out of her mind, nearly, with her kids trying to run a farm on their own after the father is shipped off to war. A father, they have not heard from in quite some time, I think at least 3 months. While Isabel (Gyllenhaal) is trying to work and keep the farm running she has to be on the lookout for her brother in law, who co-owns the property with her husband. He is a gambling man who has gambled away the farm and has to make good on his bet or 'pay the price' to two women sent collect any way they can.
While all this is going on two children, who live in the city, come for a visit to their aunt Isabel's. They are the typical snotty, spoiled, rich city kids who are in for a huge culture shock on the farm, where this is just a lot of poop, pig poop.
Fortunately, in all the chaos a horribly ugly woman named Nanny McPhee (played by Emma Thompson) shows up on the doorstep of the farm. "When you don't want me, but you need me, I will be here. When you want me, but don't need me, I will be gone" is her motto. She says she needs to teach the children 5 lessons. As she teaches these lessons her appearance changes.

  • Lesson #1: To stop fighting - Upper wart disappears.
  • Lesson #2: To share - Lower wart disappears.
  • Lesson #3: To work together - Unibrow disappears
  • Lesson #4: To be brave - Hair goes from gray to brown.
  • Lesson #5: To have faith - Snaggle tooth disappears.

The lessons are taught with flying and synchronized swimming pigs, elephants, bombs and more. My 11 year old son, who was playing Warcraft on the computer, was watching the movie with one eye and by the time the movie was half way done, he was sitting on the couch, next to me, watching it and laughing along with me.
I could go into detail and practically tell you exactly, and I mean exactly what happened because it was such an entertaining movie but you need to go and watch it yourself and be as entertained.

I only have one complaint. The father, who is played by Ewan McGregor did not appear in the movie as much as I wanted. But that's totally me because I looooove Ewan McGregor.

Nanny McPhee was a total surprise to me and also taught me a lesson. I need to try something new every now and then and get a movie that I would never think I would like. I might like it, but then again, if it's as good as this movie I'll take my chances.

I also whrrl'd about my shopping trip, take a look below....

More check-ins at Murphy USA
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I was compensated for my review by Collective Bias but the opinions and words are completely my own. #CouchCritics #familymeals #MurphyUSA

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Progresso Souper You giveaway

progresso

To be honest with you, when I was approached about having a Progresso soup giveaway on my blog my first thought was...well, duh! I love Progresso soup, plain and simple. If open my cupboard right now you'd likely find at least a dozen cans of their Light soups just sitting there, waiting to be chosen for the next lunch. My favorite are the chicken based soups, without a doubt.
This is what I had for lunch the other day....
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Here is some info I got from MyBlogSpark  about Progresso:

Available in 40 delicious flavors with 100 calories or less, Progresso® Soup can help curb your hunger, making it easier for you to stick to your weight management plan all year long. With hearty ingredients like pasta, beans, corn and rice, and flavor-packed vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, and peppers, Progresso Soup varieties with 100 calories or less offer a good source of fiber and a full serving of vegetables.

To help kick off a new outlook on the New Year, Progresso is excited to announce the return of the "Souper You™ Debut" contest! From January 3rd through March 16th, you and your readers can visit Progresso on Facebook to enter for the chance to win a full makeover in New York City.

Three grand prize winners will be awarded a trip for two to New York City from May 20th-22nd. The prize includes roundtrip airfare, a two-night stay in an NYC hotel, a full makeover, a guided wardrobe shopping spree with a personal consultation at a New York City department store, and $1,000 in spending money.

To enter, you’ll need to do the following:
  • Go to Progresso on Facebook to learn more and enter the contest
  • Submit your essay (200 characters or less) telling Progresso why you love their soups that contain 100 calories or less, and why you deserve a chance to win a trip to NYC for a full fashion overhaul
  • In addition, please submit a photo of yourself that visually reinforces the theme of your essay
Once the 10 finalists are announced, you can visit Progresso on Facebook from March 30th through April 13th to vote for your favorite.

Visit the Facebook page to download a coupon for $1.00 off four (4) cans of Progresso Soup and to check out makeover videos provided by MyStyle.com and the Style Network. Be sure to also "Follow" Progresso on Twitter to keep up with the latest news from Progresso. 


Sound pretty cool, don't you think?

To enter to win your own gift pack all you have to do is the following:
1. 'Like' Progresso on Facebook and make comment letting me know.
2. Subscribe to my daily update emails (I usually don't have a daily update, but at least a few times a week)
3. Tell me what your favorite Progresso soup is.
4. Tweet about this giveaway, linking back to this post and using the hashtags #myblospark @Progresso

Leave a comment after you do each thing and then wait to win. You can enter as many times as you like. Just come back here and let me know.

This giveaway will run from now until Jan 31st at 11:59pm CST.
The product, prize pack, information, online coupon and giveaway were all provided by Progresso through MyBlogSpark

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

#31days Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow Challenge Week 2 finals

What a week last week was, only continuing on this week. Yeah, I know weeks have a habit of doing that but when you're sick like I've been it makes them soooo long. My son was home from school for 2 days last week and by the end of the second day I felt it coming on, but his 'ick' only lasted 2 days so I wasn't worried. I should know better by now. Today, Tuesday the 18th, makes a full week of my on the couch, watching tv, coughing, blowing my nose, aching and so on. Late yesterday though I was treated with something new....pink eye!! Yay! I swear, I just start to feel better and I get kicked back. So that is why you are getting blog post today instead of a vlog.

I don't know about you but when I'm sick I like comfort food. I had toast or eggs for breakfast, chicken soup for lunch and for dinner I had a Lean Cuisine dinner. There were even a couple of days when I had soup and a Lean Cuisine entree for lunch (when I was starting to feel a bit better and just craved something more than soup). I don't normally weigh myself when I'm sick so I really have no idea if I lose or gain weight but this week, with the help of Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow I was able to lose 3 lbs, bringing my 2 week total to 6 lbs. I was shocked! Happily shocked!

So, I will continue my recovery, hoping I get over it soon so I can get out and walk. But to walk you have to be able to breath without coughing your head off so let's hope the coughing subsides soon too. And thanks to Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow I can rest a bit easier knowing I'm not going to go off my healthier way of living, just because I'm sick.

Take a look at the whrrl below to see my daughter do my shopping for me this week.

More check-ins at Walmart Supercenter #827
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Monday, January 17, 2011

The Social Network: My review

In 2003 I had just moved to Texas and looked forward to a new life with my new hubby. What I did with my life only changed a few lives: mine, my kids and some friends. What Mark Zuckerberg did in 2003 changed the way we all communicate.

I had heard a lot about the movie 'The Social Network' and was very interested in seeing it, since October 2010 when I first came out in theaters. So, I sat, with my juice and my popcorn on a rainy day waiting to be wowed. I mean, after so much hype I surely wouldn't be let down, would I? Hmm, I'll let you know.

The movie opens up with 'Mark' (played skillfully by Jesse Eisenberg) and his girlfriend at a bar and he is so 'not getting it' it's not even funny. I call my son socially awkward, I'm not sure what to call this. He seemed cold to his girlfriend, almost like he was doing her a favor by being with her and she ended it, right there. He was drunk. He was hurt. So what would any guy do? He went home and blogged about it on Wordpress. Then into his head, after talking with his friend Eduardo (Andrew Garfield) and getting an algorithm from him, decides to make a comparison site. A website that compared girls from different schools to each other. He called it FaceMash. It took off like wildfire and had so many hits that night it shut down the Harvard computer system. He ended up being put on 6 months academic probation for breaking into the Harvard system and the systems of other schools but that wasn't enough to stop him.

Some other guys in Harvard, named Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer) heard about what he had done and decided to pitch their idea of inner school website called 'Harvard Connection. He agreed but instead of doing it with the other guys he decided to take it in another direction and run with it. He gold Eduardo about a project he was going to create called 'thefacebook' but he needed some money to get it started. Eduardo was the money man after that first installment of $1000.

I'm not going to tell you the whole movie because you really should watch it for yourself.

Another great performance was given by Justin Timberlake as Shawn Parker, the founder and creator of Napster. He comes in and takes over the part of Mark's financial adviser, which makes Eduardo understandably 'mad as hell'.

This movie is based on 2 separate, but simultaneous law suits and did not have any input from Mark Zuckerberg himself.

How did I feel after watching the movie? Honestly? I felt a bit sorry for Mark. Here he was, with brilliant ideas and a brilliant mind to make billions of dollars with Facebook, but he can't talk to women, he doesn't understand 'normal' people nor does he try to. He did come off as a bit mean at times and even a bit clueless when it came to the feelings of others. And because he had a brilliant idea people immediately found a way to get their chunk of it, which he did end up having to pay.

The movie was very enlightening. I mean, I go on Facebook every day and don't think twice about it. I just go on and leave my status update, post my pictures, talk to friends and then move on to my next task. It was quite interesting to see how it all came about. From a night when Mark Zuckerberg was mad and drunk and felt scorned, now the rest of the world, over 500 million people around the world, have Facebook.

I highly recommend this movie. It's definitely worth the 3 Golden Globe awards it received at this year's ceremony, including 'Film of the Year'. Let's see what the Academy Awards bring it. I know I'll be cheering for it.


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I was compensated for this review by Collective Bias but the opinions and review are my own.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Skinny Cow coupon #31days

I found a $1 coupon for Skinny Cow Truffle bars. Good timing, seeing how I'm doing the #31days challenge with Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow. Think I'll use it this weekend (if I can ever get out of this bed and the 'ick' that has taken over my body!). Skinny Cow coupon

The Skinny Cow - French Vanilla Truffle Bars

Monday, January 10, 2011

#31days Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow Challenge Vlog 2

How did I do this week? Did I lose any weight? Did I get any exercise in? Watch this to find out.



I am being compensated for my blog post by #leancuisine #theskinnycow and #walmart but the opinions are my own. @leancuisine @theskinnycow @walmart

Friday, January 7, 2011

Coming up to the first weekend on the #31Days Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow Challenge

Look what I found.........
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It's been a while since I've put these on and used them, but this week, so far, they've taken me 6 miles. Yeah, I got a blister the first day because I didn't put socks on (duh!) but I put them on the very next day and went out again. My son says I need to set up a goal/reward system for myself. I think a new pair of running shoes should be my first reward.

I don't know if I've lost any weight yet, not going to weigh myself until either Sunday or Monday morning, which will be a week since starting on the #31Days challenge with Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow ice cream. So far I've enjoyed eating a Lean Cuisine meal for at least one meal a day.

This is what my freezer looks like right now....
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It's hard for me to pick a favorite so far but anything with tomatoes wins so far. My goal is to try at least one of every kind before this challenge is over.

My family is getting into the swing of things too. So far they've enjoyed the healthy snacks, including fruit and granola bars, I've been bringing in. Apples are the new mainstay for a snack or 'treat' after school and my husband's even taking V8 fusion juice to work instead of soda, which for me, is a HUGE victory.

I even bought a case of water, which is something I DO NOT do. I took out the bottles and labeled them L1, L2, L3, and L4 to make sure I drink enough water every day. That's a tough one for me because I don't drink a lot of water. I've been doing it though.
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I've chewing gum, drinking water, walking, doing workout dvd's, eating Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow ice cream every now and then. Let's hope the scale shows a positive effect for me when I do weigh in in a couple of days.
#leancuisine #skinnycow @walmart @leancuisine @skinnycow #31Days

Monday, January 3, 2011

#31Days Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow Challenge

#31Days Challenge with Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow

Before: Me in summer of 2010

I'm not exactly sure how it happened. When I was losing weight two years ago I was very precise about everything I did. Everything was planned out, every day. From food/calorie intake to how much I was planning on working out that day to knowing what day of the week (yes, I said DAY) I was going to take off and do nothing. I lost 60 lbs being precise. It was easy. I remember saying, "why didn't I just do this years ago? I can't believe how easy it's been for me". I was fitting into size 14 jeans (a nightmare to some of you, a dream come true for me) and I had found my long absent collar bones. Then the wall showed up, in the form of 'the Holiday Season'. I decided to just take it off and get back to work right after the holidays. Well, that was two years ago. It is after the holidays, again. So, even though I'm two years, and 70 lbs late, I'm getting back to work NOW!

Thanks to Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow, I'm hoping to get a good kick start. I went to Walmart yesterday and was very surprised to see how many different kinds of meals they had there. I had never looked for Skinny Cow ice cream before either so was surprised to see the different varieties of that as well. I picked up a few of each for myself to get going.

My family is a very unhealthy one. Half of us are overweight. Of course, the younger boys (19, 16, 11) are all thin and in good shape...heck, just because they're young males. My daughter, who is 20, me (I'm 42) and my husband (who is also 42) are all in bad physical shape. My husband is the worst though, being over 400 lbs (gasp!) and a 2 shot a day diabetic. He's always been large but it's gotten out of control. After much talk, yelling, crying and talking again he finally agreed that he also needed to do something so we decided, as a family to get healthy. His goal, right now, is to lose 100 lbs. That is also my goal right now. I'm hoping that by the time we both reach our goals we'll want to go farther and lose more. My daughter, well, she can get away with losing only (only...lol) about 40 lbs and she'll be good. It's a large undertaking, I know, but if we all pull together and agree, as a family, to do this, nothing can stop us.

I will be logging my nutritional information and fitness goals at SparkPeople.com (my user name is jchllm). Sometimes, actually most of the time, just marking things down and having them in front of us, makes us think differently about what we're doing and it's not mindless anymore.

I will be blogging, making videos which I will post here, whrrls, facebook posts, tweets and so on. I will hashtag everything with #31Days so check that out if you want to keep up. Right now I have a whrrl planned for later today, or tomorrow, and a video planned for the same time frame so be sure to check back.

So, here we go. A New Year. A new challenge. A new beginning.
Yesterday my husband and I walked a mile, without stopping and without smoking (he smokes). Today I am going to do a video and likely go for a walk as well. I have Biggest Loser DVD's (6 I think) and they helped me last time so I'll get Bob and Jillian yelling at me too (yikes!).

I have not posted my weight, etc here, but if you are interested you can go to my SparkPeople info.I will be making daily posts of some kind to come back and take a look.

Make sure you check out what the other 11 Lean bloggers are doing during the challenge period:
  1. Zippy Sandler http://www.champagneliving.net/
  2. Nicole Brady http://www.sahmreviews.com/
  3. Wendy Hammond http://www.thelocalcook.com
  4. Naomi Shapiro http://superdumbsupervillain.blogspot.com/
  5. Tara Altier http://thismilitarymama.com/
  6. Shelby & Steve Barone http://www.feltstories.com/
  7. Elizabeth Ferree http://www.homemom3.com
  8. Brandi Jeter http://www.mamaknowsitall.com/
  9. Mel Lockuff http://www.mamabzz.com/
  10. Ellen Christian http:/www.confessionsofanoverworkedmom.blogspot.com/
I started a weight loss blog a while back and I will likely put this post on there as well. It is http://etxsaverandloser.blogspot.com 

I am being compensated by Lean Cuisine, Skinny Cow and Collective Bias for this but the opinions and words are solely my own.