Friday, October 28, 2011

Libby's Fruits & Vegetables Recipe Review & Giveaway

Fall has arrived and the temperatures are cooler. (Thank God, after the hot North Carolina summer we've had.)  What better way to warm up that chill in your house by turning on the oven and doing some baking?  Fall is a great season for baking just about anything, and recently I was asked to try out some new recipes featuring Libby's Fruits and Vegetables.  These Carrot Cake Bites are the perfect tiny treat for your family this fall:

These tasty little muffins are made with whole wheat flour, as well as being lower in sugar and fat than many other recipes out there.  My kids love them, which speaks volumes since they ususally just throw whatever I make for them on the floor.  And the recipe is fun and simple enough that my 4-year old was thrilled to be able to help!

Recipe here:

Carrot Cake Bites
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • ¾ c whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ c fat-free milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 14.5 oz. can Libby’s Sliced Carrots, drained, rinsed and masked with a fork
1. Coat two mini-muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together oil, sugar, milk and eggs.
4. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and stir just until combined.
5. Gently stir in carrots.
6. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into each cup of mini muffin pans. Bake for 10-12 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Repeat with remainder of batter.

If desired, stir together a simple icing of 1 tablespoon orange juice, ½ teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup powdered sugar.

Libby's has a great recipe database that can be found here:  They also have all kinds of great tips for keeping your family close during this season, shopping on a budget, and nutritious information.

Now for the exciting part... Libby's has put together a great prize pack to ship out to one of my faithful readers.  The lucky winner will receive a whole bunch of Libby's products, a set of Kitchenaid Mixing Bowls, a Mini Muffin Pan, and a set of trendy Rachel Ray Spoonulas.

To be entered for this giveaway just leave me a comment on this post telling me your favorite Fall recipe to bake with your kids.  My usual giveaway rules apply... as in the more you read and become involved in my blog the more entries you can earn...
  • Become a follower of Thou Shall Not Whine (3 extra entries!) *Just click the little "follow" button on the right-hand sidebar, then leave me 3 additional comments stating, "follower #1, follower #2, etc."
  • Follow my blog on Facebook (2 extra entries) *click on the networked blog button on the right-hand sidebar, then leave 2 additional comments stating that you did!*
  • Grab my button and display it on your blog (2 extra entries!)
  • Mention this giveaway on your blog with a link back to it. (2 extra entries!)
  • Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post. (leave an additional comment here to count as your entry!)
This giveaway starts now and will conclude on Friday, November 5th, at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be selected via and contacted via email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen.
*Disclosure:* I was provided a promotional package featuring Libby's products free of charge for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Smart Snacking: I'm Nuts About Nuts *Santé Nuts Review & Promo Code*

Who doesn't like a good nut?  And I'm not talking about the 'crazy friend of a friend' kind that gives us all plenty to gossip about.  I'm talking about a good, old fashioned, crunchy, delicious nut.  Pecans, Walnuts, Almonds, etc.  Gotta love 'em, right?  Unless, of course, you're one of the unfortunates who's allergic.  But I'm not, so let's keep going.
Recently I was sent a beautifully packaged box of Santé Nuts with 4 delicious varieties of nuts to sample and share my opinion of on my blog.  Now, I'm a sucker for nice packaging, and this one was no exception.  I loved the way I opened the neat display case to find each bag of nuts tucked away in it's own little nook.  I also thought the colors of the bags were pretty.  OK, ok, enough about the packaging... (sorry, got carried away there for a sec!)  let's get on to what I thought of the nuts.

Sampler Pack

I was tempted to immediately open each bag and indulge in all 4 flavors.  I didn't.  In fact, one bag is still in-tact, as I have special plans for that one!  The first one I tried, and my favorite thus far is the Candied Pecans.  These were so deliciously sweet, without compromising any of the crunch or authentic Pecan flavor that I love so much.  Oh, and did I mention that these were ENORMOUS and not a single one was broken?  Genius, in my opinion.  Perfect for a sweet treat at the end of the day, or basically anytime.

Candied Pecans
A few days later I tried the Garlic Almonds.  I love the crunch of Almonds, and these are roasted and seasoned to make for a great snack.  My husband had to get in on this one, as they had a good amount of kick to them.  He polished off the bag in no time during a Sunday Afternoon Football Marathon.  I could totally see myself sprinkling these over a salad with a cool cucumber ranch dressing.  Course I didn't get to try this, since he polished off the bag.  Guess I'll have to order some!

Garlic Almonds
2 other flavors that were sent to me are the Candied Walnuts, which I were a hit as I served during a family gathering, and the Roasted Salted Pecans. Those are the ones I'm saving to use in my world-famous Sticky Buns that make their appearance but once a year on Christmas morning.

So, are ya'll ready to get your nuts on?  Well I've got a deal for you...  Santé Nuts has been gracious enough to offer my readers 25% off their entire purchase from now until December 16th, 2011.  Their prices are reasonable, and using this coupon code makes for a great deal!  Here's your code: 2011-Blog-059

Disclaimer: Santé provided free samples of their nuts for this post. My participation is voluntary and my opinions, as always, are my own.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I love making stuff.  Crafts, clothes for my kids, recipes, pretty much anything.  Even framing a picture and hanging it on the wall gives me that same sense of accomplishment.  The problem with loving to make things is that I feel like I hardly ever have the time to do so.  And let me tell you, not having the time to channel my inner creative goddess can be super frustrating... Between taking care of my kids, working part time, keeping my house kind of clean, getting dinner on the table, tutoring a neighborhood kid twice a week, and everything else I try to juggle, I'm usually exhausted at the end of the day and just have zero energy to do anything other than play on the computer or watch TV. (or both, usually simultaneously.)  Although I always have a project I'd like to create, I rarely have it in me at the end of the day to go digging through closets for supplies and start much of anything.

Today was a special day for more than one reason.  First of all, my husband's parents arrived for a 4 day visit with us and the kids.  These visits are always jam-packed with tons of hugs, kisses, songs, stories, playtime, and fun.  While our time together always passes to quickly, somehow the memories we create keep us connected until next time.  So while our beloved Nana and Pop-Pop quickly became the main attraction for the day, I cashed in on the opportunity to actually accomplish something in the daylight hours!

I saw this adorable idea at a friend's house when I went to my sewing group last week.  On my way out the door and back to my car I peeked under the sheet to find out how she made it.  And after a few DIY tutorials that I came up with after googling "tomato cage ghosts," I was ready to give it a try.  I did not take pictures of my process, because although I blog about crafts that I make this is not a crafting blog, and I simply can't be bothered to drop what I'm doing to try to get some great quality images taken at a strategic angle in awesome lighting with a canvas backdrop.  If you want a tutorial, I recommend this one from Lowes Home Improvement Store.  And then just Google it.  You'll figure it out in no time, I promise.

I did go outside after dark though so I could share how cute my new Halloween decorations are:

The best part is that these can be used year after year, and the total cost was probably about 13 bucks.  (would have been cheaper if I had thought about going to the thrift store for the sheets up until now!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mommy, Will You Paint My Nails?

Having children of both genders is so much fun.  We really get the full spectrum as far as things that our kids are into, and have a full range of both "boy" & "girl" toys in our house.  I've never discouraged my son from playing with dolls, kitchen sets, or putting on tutus and princess costume jewelry at playtime.  Furthermore, it does not phase me when my daughters play with trucks, dig in dirt, or run around with a football in the backyard.  Like most modern parents, I am unconcerned with pushing my children into traditional gender roles.  They are who they are, they like what they like, and I love them for being themselves.  I most especially love the fact that I am raising girls who see nothing wrong with digging in dirt with their brother, only to come inside to tend to their baby dolls or put on a plastic tiara.

Now that my children are attending school I've become even more aware of the fact that not all parents will feel the way that I do about certain things.  While I have no problem letting my male child play with "girl" toys, wearing nail polish in public is where I draw the line.  Or maybe just wearing nail polish in general. (it hasn't actually come up yet in my house.)  A boy in my son's class recently came to school with his fingernails painted.  It formulated a lot of questions from Joey, but did not prompt him to want his nails painted too.  Quite the opposite, actually.

Then while I was reading a celebrity gossip magazine at the (gasp!) gym, I saw this:

3-year old Zuma, son of Gavin Rossdale & Gwen Stefani, having a pedicure in his Captain America Superhearo costume.  I don't know why this annoyed me so much.  Normally I like seeing pictures of celebs & their kids.  You know, going to the grocery store, wiping boogers, pushing them on swings, all that regular old mom stuff.  It adds an element of normalcy to a world that is so not normal.  But this?  Not so much.  I mean seriously, did little Zuma (what is up with that name anyway?) wake up on the morning of his 3rd birthday and declare that he wanted to go get his toenails painted?  Maybe.  And if that were my kid I'd be like, "Uh... I don't think so.  Let's go get donuts instead!"  But I just seriously doubt that this kid wanting to go to the nail salon was his own idea.

I'm trying not to be hyper-critical here.  I understand that we all want our kids to feel free to be who they are.  But teaching your son that having his nails painted is socially acceptable is sending the wrong message in my opinion.  I get it that the kid might think it's all innocent fun.  It is innocent fun.  To them.  And probably to the parents too.  But not to the rest of the world.  We live in a cruel, cruel world.  Kids get bullied in grades as low as Kindergarten.  People (especially kids) will find anything to make fun of, and a little boy with his nails painted creates the perfect avenue for that kind of ridicule.  We as parents have a job to protect our children from harm.  That includes both physical and emotional harm.  And setting the stage for your kid to get made fun of is putting them at risk for emotional harm in my opinion.

As my kids get older I will not be able to control every little thing they do.  Eventually if Joey wants to wear nail polish to school there will be very little I can do about it.  And should my son grow up to be a boy that wants to wear nail polish I will love him just as much as if he doesn't.  Once he has the capacity to understand that not everyone will approve, and some will be quite vocal about their disapproval, I will allow him to make his own decision regarding his fingernails.  But while he's still young and impressionable, innocent, and completely unaware of how cruel this life can be... boys getting their nails painted... that's where I draw the line.


Related Posts with Thumbnails