Showing posts with label Sponsored Posts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sponsored Posts. Show all posts

Triple Berry Ice Cream Topping Recipe





This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and ProYo, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #ProYoHighProteinIceCream http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Lately, I have been on the hunt for a dessert that will hit the spot for my picky pregnancy tastebuds.

As most of you know, the first trimester has left me exhausted during most days over the last couple months.  Combine pregnancy fatigue with four energetic kids, and I am really valuing a little quiet during nap time lately.  I've been avoiding the to-do list, keeping my laptop closed, and taking that time to refresh during the day.  It's really helped me to recoup and be ready to handle the pre-dinner chaos!  I either take a nap, or I settle on the couch with a book or the remote...and ideally I want some sweet treat that I can enjoy every now and then all by my lonesome!

During some of my pregnancies I craved anything sweet, and it didn't even matter what it was.  But this time around heavy, overly fatty desserts just sound gross.  But at the same time, my sweet tooth is demanding to be satisfied!  It's a real conundrum.



However, I recently discovered ProYo Low Fat High Protein Ice Cream!  This is a type of ice cream that uses less fat and a high protein content in it's formulation, so I had to give it a try.  





I picked up a few different flavors at King Soopers, and I wanted some sort fruit sauce to top it with that would also be less sweet than traditional ice cream toppings...so I came up with this triple-berry ice cream topping recipe to enjoy with my ProYo Low Fat High Protein Ice Cream!  I'm really happy with how the sauce, and my dessert, turned out - I didn't douse the fruit in sugar, so the berries kept that slightly tart taste, which is perfect on top of sweet ice cream.



Triple Berry Ice Cream Topping

1 1/2 c. of blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries (frozen)
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. cranberry juice

1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, until fruit is thawed and sugar is melted.

2. Mash berries up until desired chunkiness is reached for your sauce.

3. Increase to medium heat and let mixture reach a rolling boil.  Boil for five minutes.  

4.  Remove from heat and pour into glass container.  Refrigerate until cool, and serve over your favorite ice cream!  




The topping should keep for one week in the refrigerator, and this recipe produces about 3/4 c. of topping.  I would double the recipe if you intend to share with guests (hint: ProYo Low Fat High Protein Ice Cream is also soy-free and gluten-free, which is really useful to keep in mind when I'm entertaining since some of my friends have food sensitivities).

I tried this triple-berry topping over the Vanilla Bean flavor, and I thought the flavors mixed together well (I also think it would be good on top of the Coconut flavor)!  ProYo Low Fat High Protein Ice Cream uses a sugar and xylitol blend, so despite having a lower sugar content, it tastes just as sweet and delicious as normal ice cream.  I thought this made the tart berry topping a perfect counter.  The next flavor I'm going to try...Dark Chocolate Toffee!  Yum.




If you'd like to try ProYo Low Fat High Protein Ice Cream, ProYo has a great coupon right now for buy one 14 oz. container, get one free - available now through 7/7, while supplies last!  ProYo High Protein Low Fat Ice Creams are available nationwide at Kroger and other Banner stores. You can find a store that carries it by using this store locator!

What is your favorite ice cream topping?  
Maybe I'll get some ideas for another homemade topping recipe in the future!








Five Tips For Keeping A Clean Car With Kids


Don’t you sometimes wish as a mom that you could just keep your car clean?  What is it about carting around kids that gets the car so messy?  And if you are like me, it’s hard to find the time (or motivation) to do a full wash and wax, getting out the bucket and hose and big vacuum for a deep clean of the car. 

However, ever since we got our new car in December, I’ve been determined to keep it looking spiffy.





Isn’t it pretty?  This, my friends, is the newest vehicle I have ever owned.

Derek always teases me about my inability to keep a car clean with the kids, but I am happy to report that I have been doing a pretty good job with our new van!  I’ve come up with a few tips for keeping a car clean, on the inside and out, even as a busy mom with four (soon to be five) kids to drive around.

Don’t leave unnecessary items in the car.

This should be obvious, but if you are a mom of young kids you probably know that they tend to sneak toys, sippy cups, and books into the car without your noticing.  I like to do a quick sweep of the car every time we get home.  It’s much easier to bring in a few things each time than it is to let it go and have to haul out a trash bag to empty out the car later!

Minimize food eaten in the car (or be picky about the kinds of foods).

Some people don’t let their kids eat in the car, which is probably the only surefire way to avoid crumbs.  We are not those people.  We live in a rural area, so we spend a lot of time in our car, and my kids are hungry all the time (I don’t think my children are the only ones).  So instead of restricting all food consumption when in the vehicle, I just try to be aware of what kinds of foods I let them eat.  Small crackers (like goldfish) cause less mess than big crackers that you have to bite into to eat (graham).  Sandwiches and chicken nuggets are pretty clean-car-friendly.  Above all we avoid sticky substances and condiments in the car, because those will get ground into the carpet and take a lot more effort to clean.

Buy a handheld vacuum.

I used to drag our big floor vacuum out to the car each time I wanted to clean it - no wonder it happened so rarely!  My grandma gave us a handheld vacuum last year, and it has changed my car-cleaning life.  As I mentioned above, I don’t restrict all eating in the car, so there are often a fair amount of crumbs on the floor.  The handheld vacuum lets me do a quick cleaning job when the crumbs just get to be too much, and it works really well.

Keep a trash bag handy on the go.

Somehow we end up having a pile of trash in our car every time we go somewhere.  I’ve learned to keep a trash bag tucked into the back of the seats, so when we produce trash from food wrappers, etc, I can just gather them all up right there and through them away in the nearest trash can.  It’s less for me to do when I come home, and makes it nicer to ride around in the car all afternoon when there is no visible trash.

Find easy and convenient cleaning supplies for the outside of your car.

One thing I’ve realized is that the inside of a car can look great, but if the outside of the car looks like you’ve been four-wheeling it doesn’t really matter what the inside looks like.  I’m married to a man who really appreciates a well-washed car, and his appreciation has rubbed off on me.  However…we just don’t usually have that much time for a full bucket-and-sponge wash.  I was thrilled when I found out that the car can still look clean on the outside without all that effort.

I had used Armor All wipes previously for the interior of my car, and loved how convenient they were.  I was excited when I saw that Armor All had created wipes and tire sponges that bring that same convenience to cleaning the exterior of our cars.

The Armor All Ultra Shine Wash Wipes are pre-moistened and treated so all you need to remove grime is the wipes!  Then the Ultra Shine Wax Wipes can be used to add a protective layer once you get all the dirt off.  The Ultra Shine Tire And Trim Shine Sponges are especially convenient and are really the icing on the cake to make your car look freshly washed, without having to go through all the hassle of a bucket and hose!  











The bonus is that these wipes are perfect for handing to your kids as well - then they can be involved in keeping the car cleaned too!  And yes, I cleaned the car in my dress!  This was by car the easiest, least messy way that I've ever cleaned the outside of the car.

These wipes are so easy to use and the 3-step system covers every area of the exterior of your car.  I found all three products at Walmart in the automotive section, and I really recommend trying all three!  I even have a coupon for you - $2 off an one of the Armor All Ultra Shine Wipes line, while supplies last!  

I am so happy to have these on hand so I can quickly give the car some extra shine when it needs it.  Derek won’t be able to tease me anymore about how dirty the car gets, because these wipes will let me keep it cleaner with so much less effort!

How do you keep your car clean, especially with young kids?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Armor All, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #LessTimeMoreShine http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV




One Way To Spoil The Man In Your Life This Christmas


(Note: This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®  & Armor All but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #ArmorAllGiftPack  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsst)


I've been realizing lately that I need to show my gratitude for my husband a little bit more.

There are so many things that Derek does for our family.  He works hard to provide for us, which allows me to stay home with our kids.  He gets up with the kids every Saturday morning and feeds them breakfast while I sleep in.  He spends time reading a book to the kids every night.  He is a good man, a man who is committed to his family, and a man who stays.

That's not something that should be taken for granted in a world like ours, where those last three things are not easy to find.

I've been trying to think of little things I can do for Derek to let him know that I've been thinking about him.  It doesn't have to be anything big, but just small things to show him that I see him, that I see what he does for our family every day, and that I know that he's a catch.  I want to spoil him a bit more with everyday luxuries.

I know many of you are married to good men too - and even if you aren't married I would hope for you that you have a dad, brother, or other man in your life who is there when you need them.  Can I encourage you to expend a little effort to let them know that you see what they do every day and are thankful for them?  It's an especially fun time of year to think of fun surprises with Christmas right around the corner!

And that leads my to a little suggestion, if you aren't sure where to start spoiling the man in your life...start with his car!


I happen to be married to someone who is really into cars in general, but even if your guy is not, I think everyone appreciates riding around in a sparkling, beautifully detailed car.  Derek has actually asked me in the past for car cleaning supplies because he like the process of detailing his car and showing it off afterward.  I was excited to find the Armor All Car Care Gift Pack to give to him - I was sure he would love it!

You can find the Armor All Car Care Gift Pack in the automotive center at Walmart (that's where I got mine - and I've even got a coupon for you! Take advantage of the $3 off digital coupon offer for the Armor All Car Care Gift Pack from Walmart, while supplies last!



The kit is a complete car-cleaning kit, at a really great value.  When I gave the Armor All Gift Pack to Derek, he opened it up and was so impressed with all the products that come with it!  We were excited to try them out on his car - and he gave me a little run down on how to properly detail a car using the products in this gift pack.



So now, I pass the knowledge on to you, in case you want to take it up a notch and also surprise your man by cleaning his car for him (I didn't go that far, because Derek actually enjoys cleaning the car himself, and he is better at it than me!).  What better way to spoil the men in your life with an everyday treat like a sparkling clean car?




Step One: Remove any clutter or trash from the car.

This probably goes without saying, but I'm trying to be thorough.


Step Two:  Wipe down the interior glass with Armor All Glass Wipes.

These glass wipes are a no-streak, no-residue formula, which is fantastic.



Step Three: Wipe down the dashboard, upholstery, steering wheel, etc, with the Armor All Cleaning Wipes.

Can I just say how convenient these are too?  I'm pretty sure Derek is going to keep these in the car for touch-ups as things get dirty on the go!




Step Four: Apply Armor All Original Protectant to dashboard, steering wheel, etc.

This keeps vinyl, rubber, and plastic surfaces shiny and clean and helps prevent cracking, discoloration, or premature aging!  It's the finishing touch.



Step Five: Vacuum the floor and seats.

Derek does this after cleaning the dash so he can vacuum up any dust or crumbs that might fall on the floor.


Step Six: Wash the exterior of the car with the Armor All Wash and Wax.

This stuff washes and waxes in one step, and the Armor All Car Care Gift Pack even includes a sponge and microfiber cloth that are easy on the surface of your car, so you don't even have to worry about buying those seperately!  This product helps protect the surface of your car and keeps it shiny. Derek tells me the waxing helps dirt and water not stick as much too, which is especially useful for keeping the car shinier in the winter, with all the snow and mud.




Step Seven: Focus on the tires.

This Gift Pack comes with two tire products - the Quicksilver Wheel And Tire Cleaner, and Extreme Tire Shine Spray (which keeps your tires that rich black).  I was very impressed with these products.  I watched Derek clean the wheel with it, and it made it look practically brand new!


(I just noticed that Derek didn't use the microfiber cloth for the tires - I think he didn't want to ruin his brand-new cloth yet!  Our tires were pretty filthy.)


Tip: The bucket included with the Armor All Car Care Gift Pack is perfect to fill with warm water for washing the exterior, especially in the winter when hoses aren't an option! Then you can store the products back in the bucket when you are done!




Derek has tried a few different car detailing products over the years, and he is really impressed with the Armor All Car Care Gift Pack and how well all the products worked!  It was almost a little mini-date for us to clean his car together, but if you are trying to surprise your guy and clean his car yourself, the Armor All Car Care Gift Pack has everything you need in one bucket!  If your guy is like mine and likes to do the cleaning himself, this pack would make an excellent gift too!  I'm keeping it in mind for my dad and brother, because this would make a great gift for them too.

The bottom line is that our guys deserve to know that they are loved and appreciated, at Christmas and all through the year.  The Armor All Car Care Gift Pack is just one idea for something we could use to surprise them and let them know that they are better-than-ordinary and irreplaceable to us.




Have you ever cleaned your man's car for him? Do do other little things to show your husband (or father, brother, significant other) that you appreciate them?  

I'm trying to get better at doing something special for Derek on a more regular basis, so share your ideas below!







How To Take Better Pictures Of Your Family This Christmas (+ A Black Friday Deal!)


(Note: Affiliate links used in this post.)


When Wyatt was one year old, I bought a DSLR camera.  I really didn't know what I was doing at the time, I just knew that I wanted to take better pictures of my son.  I wanted to capture the details of his babyhood in a way that my point-and-shoot camera just wasn't letting me.

I have never regretted that decision to buy a "big camera", and after a lot of trial and error I finally figured out how to use it!  My favorite time of year to take pictures is finally here - Christmas time!  I just love all the sparkles and colors and festivities this time of year - the "December" picture folder on my computer is always a little more full than the others.

Unfortunately December is also a difficult time to get good pictures, between the freezing cold weather that may make it hard to go outside, less daylight, a flurry of festivities, and kiddos that just won't sit still.  I've got a few ideas for how you can get some pretty adorable pictures even amidst the Christmas hustle and bustle, but point #1 is what you need first if you are going to get those Christmas-y pictures you might envision.



1. Know your camera.

The thing about owning a DSLR is that it really is no better than a point-and-shoot camera unless you learn how to get off auto.  Do you want that beautiful background blur in your Christmas photos? Do you want to capture the Christmas lights twinkling in the dark? Do you just not want the flurry of present-opening to result in a bunch of blurred photos? Then you need to know how to use your DSLR camera.

I bought my DSLR already knowing it was going to take a lot of trial and error to figure out how to manipulate the settings to get the pictures I wanted, but I am really excited to share a resource with you that I really think will help you figure it out faster!

Erin from Digital Photography For Moms has launched a photography course called Guided365.  It is a monthly subscription course, and each day of the month you will get an email that explains a different photography concept and gives you a prompt to practice your skills. This isn't a list of photo ideas, these prompts focus on techniques that will help you to learn your camera, learn how to get the perfect focus, find the best light, and so many other things!  

Erin was sweet enough to let me try out the course, and I've worked through the first couple weeks so far.  It really is excellent.  She starts out slowly to help beginners get off "auto", but I think people with intermediate skills (like me) can also get a lot out of even the beginning lessons and really hone their technique.  Even with just the first couple weeks, which I thought would mostly be review, I was reminded of a couple of bad habits I had fallen into with my photography.  

I am so looking forward to working through more of the course, and I hope you check it out!  And Black Friday Deal Alert: If you sign up before December 2nd for the year 2017, you will get 50% off your first month subscription!  Use the code "Confidence" at checkout!  You any cancel or pause your subscription anytime you need to as well, but if you are wanting to learn more about how to use your DSLR, this is the most thorough resource I've found so far!



2. Be aware of the light and plan accordingly.

December is the month of the year with the least light, and low light situations are the trickiest when trying to get good photos.  This is when it is really important to know how to use your camera (see the first point), because that will help you know how to pick the right settings to get a good picture...but I'm not going to lie, that doesn't always guarantee those low-light pictures are going to turn out exactly right.  So my advice?  Plan your picture-taking around daylight hours.

What I mean by that is to try to do as many of those photo-op activities as you can during the day.  We usually set up our Christmas tree in the morning or early afternoon because I know we'll get good light from the windows (for you smarties out there - we decorated our tree in two stages this year, at night and in the morning, so I have both day and night pictures in this post! This was kind of an unusual year).  I don't try to take Christmas jammie pictures at night - I gather them up in the morning while the light is good.  You can't do this with everything you might want to photograph, but when you can, try to think about the light.



3. Think about the details.

Try to notice the little details you want to capture during the Christmas season.  Some of my favorite Christmas time pictures are of little things, like my son's little hands wrapped around a hot chocolate mug, my daughter's face when she is concentrating on decorating a Christmas cookie perfectly, my littlest baby on the floor surrounded by ornaments, or the way my two-year-old sticks out his tongue while hanging an ornament (see above).

Think about your favorite moments from Christmas last year, including all the little details that made it cozy, magical, or special.  Then I recommend mentally planning how you might be able to capture those details this year in photos - and that way, when the opportunity presents itself, you'll be ready!

On a similar note, don't just take the posed pictures - keep your camera nearby and take the spontaneous photos of those precious little details or moments in time.  Let your family interact as normal, but keep your photographer eye ready.



4. Fake It.

I'm about to tell you my dirty little secret of taking pictures of my family.  You don't have to take magical, perfect shots right when the action happens.  You can fake it.

Sometimes in the rush and hurry of Christmas festivities, I may miss my chance to get a picture that I really wanted to take of the kids.  So what do I do?  We stage a little reenactment.  The kids are used to me by now and think it's fun to see the pictures of themselves, so it's usually not too hard to get them to do something again later so I can take a picture.  We took a few tree-decorating pictures this way this year because I wasn't around to take them the first time.  I don't know about you, but my kids don't need any cajoling to put more ornaments on the tree.


Is this inauthentic?  I don't view it that way because we actually did do these activities in real life, and we enjoyed the activities.  Having pictures is wonderful, but sometimes it's important to be in-the-moment with my kids instead of worrying about getting a good picture.  This is how I accomplish that and still get whatever shot I wanted.  And that leads to my last tip...



5. Remember that it doesn't have to turn out exactly like you envisioned.

I almost always go into a Christmas activity thinking about which photos I want to get and when, but I rarely get the exact photo I was envisioning in my head - but sometimes the photo I end up with ends up being even better.  It may not be technically perfect, but it's my family, in that moment.  It's us.  Everything doesn't always go as planned, complications (or catastrophes) arise, and I think the mark of starting to become a good photographer for your own family is being able to roll with it.  

It doesn't have to look perfect.  The point is to be fully there, in these moments with your family, and learn how to capture the moments that you can while being flexible enough to let the rest go.  Enjoy your family. Enjoy this Christmas with them.  Don't make it all about the photo, make it about the memory.



If you are fairly new to your DSLR, or if you have yet to venture out of auto or program mode, don't forget to check out Guided365 and learn how to get the most out of your camera!  It will definitely be worth your time!

Do you have a DSLR?  Do you shoot in manual or auto?  For my fellow mom-photographers, what tips would you add?









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