Category Archives: Living

Progresso Souper You Review and Giveaway [Closed]

At the start of every new year, most of the women I know and connect with regularly openly talk about how their New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and/or to eat healthier. These are some great resolutions, especially the eating healthy one because while losing weight is a perk for a great deal of women, I whole-heartedly believe that crash dieting and the diet industry as a whole is a multi-billion dollar business for a reason, so if you do truly want to lose weight, it should be for purely health reasons, which is why eating healthy and choosing foods that will nourish you instead of just fill you is really important.

Now that we are more than a month into the new year, (by the way, can you believe that? I know I can’t!) a lot of women have been reporting on their progress with their New Year’s resolutions and if they have been able to stick to what they had planned before January 1st. I have noticed that a lot of women are increasingly strong-willed this year in the commitments they have made to themselves, nearly everyone I’ve checked up on who I had read on their blogs had made a New Year’s resolution has been sticking to it pretty phenomenally. So, for those of you who made the resolution to eat healthier and who are still on the fast-track to healthy eating, I have something really great to share with you!

I am a big, big, big fan of soup. I have been not-so blessed in the teeth department, having been diagnosed with Periodontal Disease and rapid tooth decay a few years ago after my wisdom teeth had started to push their way in. Because I am a professional blogger and also a freelance writer and web designer and developer who works from home, I have a very modest monthly income. I can pretty much cover my expenses month-to-month and that’s about it. That, coupled with the fact that I also live with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and major depressive disorder, (which I have blogged about here before,) makes it impossible for me to hold a job outside of the home, it isn’t a possibility for me to go out and get a part time job to help pay dental bills. Needless to say, this causes me a great deal of excruciating physical pain where for days at a time, I am unable to open my mouth wide enough to get most foods in it. That is when soup saves my life and the sanity I would not have after getting insanely frustrated with how big bite-sized food is.

Progresso Souper You Progresso has always been a great source of delicious and nutritious soup and they have made it even healthier than before by offering an entire product line of light soups that are all 100 calories or less! It is officially super easy to get a great and satisfying meal in your belly and help manage your weight at the same time. To celebrate their line of light soups, Progresso has launched the Souper You Debut–a contest where you can enter for the chance to win a full makeover in New York City!

To enter the Progresso Souper You Debut contest, all you have to do is go to www.Progresso.com/SouperYou and submit an essay (200 characters or less) telling Progresso why you love Progresso Light or 100 calorie soups and why you would like a full makeover. You will also need to submit a photo of yourself that visually reinforces the theme of your essay. Three grand prize winners will be awarded a trip for two to New York City from May 21st-23rd and includes roundtrip airfare, a two-night stay in a NYC hotel, a full makeover, a $1000 wardrobe shopping spree and personal consultation at a New York department store. Pretty fabulous if you ask me!

Review & Giveaway

To get the good word out about new Progresso Light and 100 calorie soups, I had the opportunity to try them out for myself and thanks to Progresso and MyBlogSpark, received 15 cans of Progresso Light and 100 calorie soups in a variety of different flavors, along with a Progresso soup mug and a digital jump rope that keeps track of jumps and calories burned to help you start working out more, in addition to utilizing soup to help manage your weight.

Progresso soup

The variety of soups I received is absolutely insane; I was completely blown away by the amount of different flavors offered and there is definitely something for everyone’s specific tastes. My partner, who usually despises soup and will not eat it regardless of what you bribe him with, loved the Italian-Style Meatball with Penne and I cannot get enough of the Chicken and Dumpling. I love, love, love the Progresso soup mug and now refuse to eat my soup out of anything else. It has a great little thumb indentation at the top of the handle to make carrying it from the kitchen to my computer desk very comfortable.

Giveaway

Progresso Light prize pack
Enter for a chance to win this Progresso Prize Pack!

Because Progresso is awesome like that and MyBlogSpark is always all about extending the opportunity to try awesome products to others, we have the opportunity to give one lucky Woman Tribune reader 2 cans of Progresso Light soup, a Progresso soup mug and a digital jump rope.

Required Entry

Visit ProgressoSoup.com and leave a comment on this post telling us what flavor of Progresso Light soup you would love to try.

Extra Entries

Leave a separate comment for each additional entry.

  • Leave a comment on this post telling us what steps you take to manage your weight.
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  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post and information about the Progresso Souper You Debut contest. (This entry is worth two entries, so leave two separate comments with the link to your blog post.)
  • Tweet about this giveaway. Feel free to use the following tweet or write your own. (This can be done once a day, leave a link to your tweet in your comment.)

    Win 2 cans of Progresso Light soup, soup mug and digital jump rope from @WomanTribune: http://tinyurl.com/yf24hmk #giveaway

This giveaway ends Wednesday, February 10th at 11:59 p.m. ET. This giveaway is open to all U.S. residents over the age of 18 at the time of entry. The winner will be chosen via random.org and contacted by email; they then have 48 hours (2 days) to respond to that email or another winner will be chosen.

Full Contest Disclaimer

Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to spread the word about Progresso’s Souper You Debut and new line of Light and 100 calorie soups from Progresso and MyBlogSpark. For this post, I received the factual information, 15 cans of Progresso Light and 100 calorie soup, a Progresso soup mug and digital jump rope from Progresso and MyBlogSpark. They have also provided me with the opportunity to give away a coupon for two cans of Progresso soup, soup mug and digital jump rope to one lucky Woman Tribune reader. All opinions throughout this post are 100% mine.

Walmart’s Christmas Dinner for 8 and New Year’s Eve Dinner for 10 on the Cheap–Giveaway! (Closed)

This giveaway is now closed.

Walmart has put together an awesome site to help you through getting through the holidays in one piece without breaking your budget. The cost of food has continued to rise throughout the past few months and with the holidays right around the corner, you can be sure that people are spending more than they can really afford to put together their holiday feasts. Luckily, Walmart has put together a shopping list that will let you get everything you need for your Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners for a jaw-dropping price.

Co-star of the Food Network’s new series, Chefs vs. City, Chef Aarón Sánchez has created a spin on traditional holiday meals for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, including Ham with Mango Jalapeno Glaze, Chipotle Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean & Mushroom Picadillo, Coquito Egg Nog, Blue Cheese Stuffed Rolls and Dulce de Leche Sauce for Pumpkin Pie; these recipes are sure to create memorable holiday memories for you and your family. Be sure to check out Walmart’s Holiday Meals website for recipes from Chef Aarón Sánchez and more ideas for holiday entertaining.

Walmart’s Christmas Dinner for 8 for as Low as $30

Walmart Christmas dinner Your Christmas feast for 8 for as low as $30 at Walmart starts with key, family-favorite ingredients, including:

  • One 10-pound spiral cut half-ham
  • Three 8-ounce cans Del Monte green beans
  • One 10-pound bag of russet potatoes
  • One 12-count package of Sara Lee dinner rolls
  • One 10 inch pumpkin pie

This is an incredible amount of food to buy for as low as just $30, especially since that is less than $4 per person; less than you’ll pay for most fast food!

Walmart’s New Year’s Eve Dinner for 10 for as Low as $40

Walmart New Year's Eve dinner Your New Year’s Ever feast for 10 for as low at $40 at Walmart starts with these festive and delicious ingredients, including:

  • Shrimp tray (5 servings)
  • Vegetable tray (10 servings)
  • Hillshire Farms little smokies (8 servings)
  • Pillsbury crescent rolls (6 servings)
  • Land O’ Lakes egg nog (8 servings)
  • Red velvet cake

The holidays are such a great time for spending time and making new memories with your family; it is also a great time to reflect on memories you hold dear from past years or even when you were a child and that in itself costs nothing! But because the holidays have warped into such a consumer-ridden holiday, this year more and more families are looking for ways to save money without sacrificing the quality of the meals they are feeding their families.

My biggest money-saving tip for this holiday season would definitely be to shop with coupons, the holidays are a great time to spot some really awesome deals in your newspaper or weekly coupon magazines because a lot of companies are hoping you’re shopping closer to the holidays to get what you need for the big day. So look for coupons and shop on sale! Also, be sure to find out if your local grocery store has a store card because I’ve found that if you consistently use your grocery store card, you will accumulate so many points, but there are also a lot of deals going on company-to-company that you don’t know about. Every time I go shopping and use my grocery card, I find out I save between $15 and $20 a trip and every little bit you save helps a ton!

Giveaway

Walmart gift card Thanks to Mom Central, we have the opportunity to pass on the Walmart holiday meals love to two lucky people who will win a $30 Walmart gift card.

Required Entry

Leave a comment on this post sharing one of your favorite holiday money-saving tips!

Extra Entries

Leave a separate comment for each additional entry.

  • Leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite holiday memory or tradition is.
  • Subscribe to Woman Tribune
  • Follow @WomanTribune on Twitter
  • “Like” Woman Tribune on Facebook
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post and to Walmart’s Holiday Meals website. (This entry is worth two entries, so leave two separate comments with the link to your blog post.)
  • Vote for Woman Tribune in the Appletiser Blog Awards. (You must register first, so this entry is worth two entries, so leave two separate comments.)
  • Tweet about this giveaway. Feel free to use the following tweet or write your own. (This can be done once a day, leave a link to your tweet in your comment.)

    Share your favorite holiday money-saving tip & win a $30 Walmart gift card from @WomanTribune! http://tinyurl.com/ykc4ml2 Ends 12/22

This giveaway ends Tuesday, December 22nd at 11:59 p.m. ET. This giveaway is open to all residents worldwide over the age of 18 at the time of entry. The winner will be chosen via random.org and contacted by email; they then have 48 hours (2 days) to respond to that email or another winner will be chosen.

Full Contest Disclaimer

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Walmart. In addition, I received a Walmart gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate and two to offer as a giveaway.

Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta Makes Eating Healthy Easy!

Ronzoni Smart Taste

It is very difficult to get kids to eat most healthy food. Sure, you can make it and place it in front of them, but there is definitely a universal kid’s yum factor chart to take into consideration and more often than not, your healthy and balanced meal you’ve just prepared isn’t even going to rank. Most kids are insanely picky eaters; my stepdaughters live in the land of McDonald’s and whenever they are with us, we hear about how awesome McDonald’s is. I have the very strong belief that McDonald’s was created by a group of people who stayed up at night thinking about how to make the lives of parents of young children as hard as possible. Sure, it’s convenient and also unhealthy and they not only made incredibly unhealthy foods fun, but some of their establishments exude fun and excitement because they had to go and put an entire playground in the place.

So when you get your family together at the table for dinner, it has become a feat unto itself to prepare something that everyone will eat, or at least take a few bites of before they tell you there’s no way they’re eating it.

Ronzoni Smart Taste line Pasta a big dinner staple in my house. Firstly, it’s cheap, which is a must when you live in the economic climate that so many of us do. Secondly, it’s delicious–pair it with some of your family’s favorite sauces and you’ve got a meal that will start to be requested. But pasta isn’t always healthy; a great deal of traditional white pastas are not packed with nutritional value. Ronzoni Smart Taste, however, is the smart and healthy way to eat pasta with an entire line of different pastas that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters in your family.

Check out this insanely cute video Ronzoni Smart Taste put together to show just how far some moms will go to get their kids to eat healthy:

I had the opportunity to try Ronzoni Smart Taste spaghetti, thanks to Mom Central and as far as I could tell, I couldn’t taste a difference between their pasta and other traditional white pastas, which was actually a good thing because it went over very well! Plus, it’s the same taste your children are used to but Ronzoni Smart Taste pastas are packed with more fiber and calcium and they’re cholesterol-free, making it a great and healthy dinner choice!

If you’re sick of boring pastas and don’t know what to do with it to make it an exciting meal, check out the Ronzoni Smart Taste Meal Center, full of great recipes to try next time you’re having a pasta night!

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Ronzoni Pasta and received a sample of Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta to facilitate my review and a $20 thank-you gift certificate.

Waking Up with San Marco Coffee

San Marco Coffee For the past week or so, every day, I have woken up and have immediately made my way from my bedroom, downstairs to my kitchen to make coffee. Now, this is not very much unlike every other day of my adult (as well as my teenage) life, but the one big difference is that for the past week, as soon as I opened my eyes, instead of thinking “Oh my goodness, need coffee right now!” I have thought “Oh my goodness, need banana nut cream coffee right now!” I have tried a lot of coffee from a myriad of different brands and companies; I have tried medium and dark roasted coffee, the cheap stuff on sale as well as the premium coffees you spend an arm and a leg on, but this coffee is different. It is incredible quality with a taste that will blow your taste buds away; even better, it is inexpensive, especially considering the quality and the taste of the coffee you’re getting.

San Marco Coffee From the first moment I opened up the 1lb bag of banana nut cream coffee from San Marco Coffee, I was pretty amazed at the quality of their product. Even before I opened the bag, I could smell the sweet scent of bananas and the coffee grounds felt a lot softer than the grounds of coffee I usually drink. As soon as the coffee begins brewing, I immediately smelled bananas and through its process, the scent got stronger and I could smell it in my living room. It is a scent I look forward to every morning when I wake up–as well as in the afternoon; what can I say, I drink a lot of coffee. In fact, if there was a way to make a scratch-and-sniff embeddable sticker or something for this article, the scent of San Marco Coffee’s banana nut cream coffee would be the first scent I would share with you all.

The taste of this banana nut cream coffee, however, is even better than the smell; if you can believe it. My partner, who usually cannot stand to drink more than a very small cup of coffee because he hates the taste of coffee and would very much prefer it to taste like donuts instead, loved San Marco’s Coffee and even asked me when we were going to order more; especially when I mentioned that they have Snicker flavored coffee.

San Marco Coffee also has decaffeinated coffee for those of you who can’t handle caffeine and they also have international coffees, espresso, as well as international teas! I cannot recommend San Marco Coffee enough; I will definitely be getting my flavored coffees through them because they have the most extensive supply I have ever come across! And if you’re interested in coffee or tea, also be sure to follow San Marco Coffee on Twitter and hear about new additions to their stock and new flavored coffees to try out!

Free Betty Crocker Cookies, Bars & Cakes Magazine!

Betty Crocker Cookies Bars and Cakes So within the past few months, I have become a complete and utter Betty Crocker fanatic. You may have noticed this if you’ve been checking out our Recipes section, as I have shared the Betty Crocker email newsletter love with all of you a few times! Betty Crocker has some of the most innovative, out of the box, and just plain fun (not to mention easy!) recipes ever! Which is why I was so ecstatic when I received an email a few days ago with a link to the new Betty Crocker Cookies, Bars and Cakes Nxtbook!

What’s a Nxtbook? Super awesome technological magic that allows magazines to be seen as they were intended to be seen in print, just on your computer screen! Cool, right?

Betty Crocker’s entire Cookies, Bars and Cakes issue is out in Nxtbook. It is full of the most requested recipes (over 70 in all,) and within just a few minutes of browsing this issue of Betty Crocker, your mouth will be watering for these desserts! I already have over 10 picked out that I need to pick up the ingredients for so I can (attempt to) bake.

Check out Betty Crocker’s Cookies, Bars and Cakes issue!

Sweeten Up Your Valentine’s Day with Chocolate Body Paint

chocolate body paint No matter what your plans are for this upcoming Valentine’s Day you can always make it a little sweeter and your sweetheart will be glad you did. This delicious chocolate body paint will have your honey clawing the bedsheets as you lick it off.

You will need:

  • 17.05oz high quality dark chocolate (semi-sweet or bittersweet) chopped
  • 13.5oz cream
  • 1/2 bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 1 chili pepper, finely chopped
  • double shot espresso

1. Divide cream into 3 indivdual pans.

2. Add mint into 1 pan, chili into the second pan and espresso into the third pan.

3. Slowly warm each pan to a near simmer and remove from heat allowing flavor to infuse for 15 minutes.

4. Place dark chocolate in a small bowl and set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir this constantly until chocolate melts.

5. Remove pan from heat.

6. Divide chocolate into 3 small pots.

7. Return pans of cream to heat and once hot, strain each pan of cream into 1 chocolate pot, creating 3 separate flavored chocolate body paints.

Get a soft paintbrush and let your imagination take over!

Donate or Recycle Your Old Mattress

What did you do with your last mattress after you bought a new one? Haul it out to the trash and let the garbage truck take it away to a landfill? If you’re like most people, then you did and when most people are throwing away their mattresses, landfills are filling up with everyone’s dirty mattresses. About 20 million mattresses are thrown away every year just in the United States and for every 10,000 people that either donate or recycle their mattresses, it would save eight feed of landfill space–An entire American football field.

In some places, throwing out your mattress is illegal requiring people to donate their mattresses where recyclers can separate the fiber, foam, steel, and wood for remanufacturing and can make new mattresses.

There are a few options for you if you’re looking to get rid of a mattress. You can either donate it to either a crisis center, halfway house, Craig’s List or Freecycle. Make sure you clean your mattress before donating it! For instructions on how to properly clean a mattress, check out Instructables.

To recycle your old mattress, go to Earth 911, type in “mattress” in the start recycling “what do you have?” field and your zip code in the “where are you?” field for a recycling drop off sight near you.

Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks? The Truth is Out!

Dunkin Donuts Starbucks Which do you prefer, Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks coffee? Well, if you’re like 54.2% of frequent (or obsessive) coffee drinkers, you would be shouting from the rooftops about just how much you love Dunkin’ Donuts. I mean, come on, there is absolutely nothing bad to say about Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (their flat bread sandwiches, however, well yes, there are a lot of negative things you can say about those) it’s insanely affordable and downright delicious and according to that 54.2% of frequent coffee drinkers, it’s better than Starbucks, not to mention more than half the price of what a Starbucks coffee costs.

An independent taste test was conducted by A&G Research Inc., under the counsel of claims test advisor Al Ossip, of coffee drinkers across ten major US markets last May and June. The US markets included Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and Starbucks’ own home of Seattle. The taste test included 476 adults, all of which had consumed regular, brewed coffee within the past week.

A&G Research served each of the participants fresh packaged coffee in the most popular flavor purchased in each brand’s stores, Dunkin Donuts Original Blend and Starbucks House Blend. The coffee was brewed using the exact equipment recommended by each brand and was served black.

The independent taste test results clearly showed where each coffee brand stood when it came to consumers because among all participants, 54.2% preferred Dunkin’ Donuts coffee compared to just 39.3% who said they preferred Starbucks and 6.3% expressed no preference.

Dunkin Donuts was founded in 1950 and with a little under 60 years in the coffee-making business, this taste test has proven that no other coffee chain, sofas, music and ambiance included, can be matched by Dunkin’ Donuts, which is proven with the fact that nearly 1.5 billion cups of coffee are sold each and every single year by Dunkin Donuts.

Above all, this taste test has proven that America really does run on Dunkin.

Dunkin Beat Starbucks

Visit Dunkin’ Beat Starbucks to see how Dunkin’ Donuts unmistakably delicious coffee is made and also for hot deals going on at Dunkin’ stores near you!

Top 10 Produce You Should Buy Organic

USDA organic Ideally, everyone would be eating the freshest and safest foods possible–Everyone would be eating 100% organically, however, budgets are tight and a great deal of people simply cannot afford to purchase a great deal of organic foods. That’s completely understandable, I can’t afford to eat all organically, but it is important to make sure you’re purchasing some organic foods, mainly produce.

Produce, as many may know, contains a great deal of pesticides if not grown organically and more than 80% of the most common pesticides are potentially carcinogenic, meaning that they contain an agent directly involved in the promotion of cancer or in the increase of its propagation. Scary, right? I know! Luckily, the Environmental Working Group has put together a downloadable wallet guide containing the worst and best produce, in terms of pesticide levels.

For your immediate attention, here is a list of the top 10 produce you should most definitely be buying organic, every time.

1. Peaches – pesticide load: 100
2. Apples – pesticide load: 96
3. Bell Peppers – pesticide load: 86
4. Celery – pesticide load: 85
5. Nectarines – pesticide load: 84
6. Strawberries – pesticide load: 83
7. Cherries – pesticide load: 75
8. Lettuce – pesticide load: 69
9. Grapes (imported) – pesticide load: 68
10. Pears – pesticide load: 65

But can’t you just wash or peel your produce to get rid of pesticides?

While you may think that washing or peeling your produce can effectively remove pesticides from your food, the truth is that while these tactics may reduce levels of some pesticides, it does not eliminate them. The best option is to eat a varied diet, wash all produce, and choose organic when possible to reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Get in the Mood for Fall with Pumpkin Butter

pumpkin butter The chilly nights and mornings are here and with that, we’re noticing the climate change as it becomes Fall here. Fall is my favorite season; the leaves change and everything is just beautiful and I tend to get in the mood for fall a lot sooner than I should. I’m already thinking of pumpkins, pumpkin patches, and children trick or treating. It’s just a beautiful time and the weather is perfect. So while I’ve been ready for fall since August, it is finally time to really get in that spirit and it’s time to mix things up a little bit and get your taste buds in the mood too!

Here is a fabulous recipe for pumpkin butter; perhaps a recipe to save for after Halloween and you have all of those extra pumpkins laying around. Don’t throw them away, use them in your cooking!

You will need:

  • 2 pounds peeled, seeded, and diced sugar pie pumpkin (substitute canned if needed)
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt

1. In a stainless steel pot, combine pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, and salt; bring to a simmer. (If using fresh pumpkin, stir until it’s tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.)

2. Continue simmering until the mixture starts to thicken, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender; blend until smooth. Return mixture to pot and heat for 10 minutes on low until it reaches desired thickness. Remove, cool, and serve.

And that’s it! You can do a few things with this butter and probably a lot more if you start to think out of the box a little. Of course it can be used on top of breads and toast and also on top of bagels, muffins or even in muffins or in between layers of a vanilla cake; just cut the pastry in half, layer pumpkin butter on the bottom and put the top back on! Have fun!