Vegetable beef soup over pasta – made simple with #Ragu #simmeredintradition #ad

Vegetable beef soup over pasta made simple with #Ragu #steepedintradition #ad #giveaway at

Now that winter looms around the corner, it’s starting to feel like soup season. We had a chilly day here in Northeast Tennessee, and the evening temps will continue to be low all week. Knowing that I’d have a busy day tomorrow, and not much more time today, I knew that it was time to make some soup that could be reheated the next day. Since time was tight, we ran into the local drugstore to get the one thing I needed to fill out the recipe — Ragu pasta sauce.  I used this as the base for my vegetable beef soup to give it the right amount of richness without needing to add a can of chopped tomatoes, which tend to be too watery.  My kids don’t like the chunk of tomatoes in canned versions, either.  Ragu’s pasta sauce has a depth of flavor that complements the beef in this soup.  You can serve it with any pasta of your choice.  We like to stir in macaroni, alphabet pasta, and even thin spaghetti. I’ve even been known to stir in a box of uncooked macaroni and cheese!  [Read more…]

Try Krystal Holiday Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Enter to win the #GobblingGiveaways at

All my life, I thought stuffing was equivalent to Stove Top…. never knowing that you could make your own stuffing from a variety of ingredients.  Don’t get me wrong, Stove Top is delicious.  My mother-in-law makes her own stuffing, and it’s quite different from the dish of my youth.  After working with lots of Southern girls, it’s become clear that my stuffing experience was next to nothing.  So when I heard that you can use Krystal menu items as a main ingredient in stuffing, it was worth a click.
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Homemade really means Made at Home – #HolidaySecrets with Marie Callender’s #sponsored

Disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Marie Callender’s. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Marie Callender’s and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.


Scenario 1: Your kids announce that they invited their teacher to come for a home visit.

Scenario 2: Your sister asked you to bring an extra dish to the family dinner….10 minutes before you were planning to leave the house.

Scenario 3:  It’s 8:00 PM and you suddenly remember that you’re supposed to take a dessert to the church luncheon.

We’ve all been there.  It’s the last minute of an already tight time-crunch and you realize that you’re sunk.  Keep a Marie Callender’s dessert in your freezer for a moment such as this.  The delicious goodness of a homemade dessert is there; just add a personal touch to make it completely yours!  Read on to see how I added a special note of flavor to Marie Callender’s pumpkin pie by topping it with a homemade eggnog whipped cream. [Read more…]

Spicy Shelf helped me reclaim shelf space

I received product samples; the opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Now that it’s nearly the end of July, many of us have hosted family gatherings and enjoyed lots of summer barbecues.  It’s quite possible that your cabinets are as messy as mine are!

Enter to win a Spicy Shelf -

Scary, right?!   To my dismay, I have several bottles of the “essentials” such as red pepper flakes, vanilla, and cornstarch because I couldn’t find my opened canister in this messy cabinet. So then I buy a new one, and another….until I have 3 of each. When Spicy Shelf contacted me about doing a review, I wondered if someone had reported my atrocious organizational skills.   Thankfully, the Spicy Shelf arrived fully assembled (remember, I’m not much of a DIY kind of gal).   All I had to do was decide how I wanted to use them, and add the legs if needed!  The set comes in a pack of 2 shelves, plus assorted props to help you stack the shelves or put them side by side.  At first, I didn’t think they would fit side-by-side but then I realized that the shelves were adjustable.  I was able to squeeze the sides together to make them fit next to each other. Bingo!

In the pretty website pictures, they leave the middle space open.  I wasn’t able to do that because I have jillions of  tiny bottles.  Instead, I filled up the middle space with the taller bottles.  Still, this is SO much better than what it looked like before!   I’ll save time (not searching for the garlic salt) and money (not buying more garlic salt because I couldn’t find the first one.)     There are so many uses for this handy tool.  You could use them for organizing nail polish, craft supplies, makeup, or even small accessories.   Would this help you save some time?   Be sure to use this $5.00 Off Promo Code on your order.   SPICE5  – that is a 5 not a S

Is your spice shelf organized, or total chaos? 

Kansas City Steaks for Dads, Grads, and everyone in between

Disclosure: I received the product to review. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Kansas City Steaks - enter to win at #ad

Welcome to the Dads, Grads, & Everyone in Between Giveaway Hop that runs through June 19.  This event is hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network.  We love celebrating the beginning of summer and want to give a shout out to the Dads and Grads out there.  However, in this Hop we’re not leaving anyone out!  Visit all the participating blogs for your chance to win awesome giveaways worth at least $25!

Our sponsor for this event is Kansas City Steaks.  If you are planning to prepare a delicious meal as part of your summer celebration, you’ll want to enter to win this steak dinner!  [Read more…]

Summer kitchens need this tool – and this book!

Disclosure: I received these items to review. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.  The post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links, it will help support self-sponsored giveaways like this one.

Have you heard of the Wonderbag Portable Slow Cooker?

If not, you will! [Read more…]

What to do with leftover chili

How to use up that last bowl of chili -

Determined to limit our household food waste, we’ve been trying to use up the last bits of food in our fridge.  This is not only because of trying to stick to a budget, although it helps in that area too!  We’re also trying to teach our children to be good stewards of our resources, which includes the food we’ve purchased.  This morning we woke up with a minor crisis in the house (my son has a huge splinter lodged in his nailbed) and my husband took him to the ER.  Thankfully my son chose my husband to take him because I’m not sure my mama’s heart could have handled it!!  In the end, the doctor decided to do nothing and let’s see if it grows out. In celebration, I wanted to make something hearty for the boys so they’d have a hot meal when they got home.  There was this lone bowl of leftover chili in the fridge that wasn’t going to polished off, so I decided to make it into something a little more hearty.   [Read more…]

Gorton’s Seafood offers #RealSolutions for this busy mom

Disclosure: I received coupons for review purposes; opinions shared are mine.

Gorton’s Seafood offers Real Solutions for busy moms. Working full-time outside of the home takes up most of my day. When I come home, I have my family to care for as well as anything I’ve brought home from work (papers to grade, lessons to plan, or anything else that needs to be done.) Somehow in the midst of all that, I’ve also got to put dinner on the table. [Read more…]

The perfect ending to December 27

Thanks to strep throat, cold weather, and Christmas exhaustion today was the first day in a long time that my children got to play outside.  The temperature was warm enough that they could make it with a light jacket or hoodie.  My daughter, who was sick for a few days, was prohibited from playing with her new toys just yet.  She wanted to break out the Pogo Stick that Santa brought but I vetoed that, afraid to bring the fever back.  So she settled for sitting in a rocking chair and using her new watercolor paints.  My son attacked the tree with his new lightsaber (complete with Darth Vader voice) and TMNT nunchucks.  The dog ran around with her candy canes from Best Bully Sticks and generally scared the sense out of all the busy squirrels running in our yard. When the sun started to go down and the kids were too cold to stay outside, they came in for some snacks.  I was tickled pink to bring out this little beauty that I’ve been saving for the perfect occasion.

Thank goodness someone thought of this!! [Read more…]

Celery CAN taste good. Who knew?!

My kids and I returned from a trip on Saturday. I hated having our family separated on Thanksgiving; one thing that smoothed it over was getting to enjoy the lovely leftovers that were in the fridge. My sister made a delicious potato casserole that was still waiting for me. Look at the glory of this plate.

Celery CAN taste good.  Who knew?!  Thanks sis!!

There’s probably some kind of blogger rule about taking a picture of food on a paper plate.  It can’t be helped…..You just can’t put on airs and dress up this casserole.  Which, might I add, is one of the finer points of this cuisine. [Read more…]