Snacking on the go with Jif

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

October through the end of December definitely feels like the busiest time of year for my family. Not only are the holidays busy, but we've got school, indoor soccer, scouts, and all other kinds of activities. I've learned that keeping the kids happy while we are on the go means I need to have snacks at the ready.

We have a 25-30 minute commute each way to school and I have learned that I have some very grouchy kids if I don't have a convenient, portable snack at the ready. Our other snacking emergencies usually occur at soccer practice or games. The kids are in different age groups so they have practices and games at different times. It totally wreaks havoc on our normal dinner routine. There's nothing worse than a hungry and tired little soccer player.



A few weeks ago, I was sent some Jif To Go Dippers to try out with my family. They have been a big hit with us! If you haven't seen them yet, they are a small cup of Jif that are packaged with pretzels so you can dip on the go. Jif To Go Dippers come in Creamy Peanut Butter with Pretzels or Chocolate Silk Peanut Butter Spread with Pretzels.


My son thought that the Chocolate Silk was his favorite while my husband preferred the classic Creamy Peanut Butter. I liked them both, but you can't get any more perfect than chocolate and peanut butter!



My son would eat a PBJ sandwich for breakfast, lunch, and dinner given the chance. So I'm not really surprised that he loved them. I just really loved how convenient and portable they were. I can easily throw a few in my purse and I don't have to worry about the pretzels getting crushed or something puncturing the cup of peanut butter. I also appreciate that the packaging was easy to open. I could send this off to school and feel confident that my son could open it on his own.


If you want some more info on Jif To Go Dippers, you can check out Jif on their website, Facebook, or Twitter.


Ashley

Crafting for a Cause: Creation Celebration with Fiskars

This post could alternatively be called, The Great Flood of 2014. If you aren't familiar with Arizona weather, in late summer we have our monsoon season. A rise in humidity causes winds, really severe dust storms, and heavy rains. The heavy rains can cause flooding because the ground is so dry and the water just runs off the top instead of soaking in. Flooding in the desert sounds crazy, but it does happen. This year we have seen unusually bad storms and lots of flooding. On September 8, 2014, Phoenix saw the wettest day in recorded history. They had to shut down schools, highways were flooded, and the mayor declared a state of Emergency. 
Our elementary school made the news because of the flood damage they received. Lower left is a major interstate that had cars under water. 

Build an Adventure with Boy Scouts of America

Today's post is dedicated to my father, Kim Bennett, who passed away very unexpectedly on October 1, 2014. He was an active Boy Scout in his youth, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He supported the Boy Scouts of America his whole life and was so excited when he finally had a grandson that was old enough to participate in Cub Scouts as well.

We've been dealing with some heavy stuff at my house with the passing of my father. I want to thank the Motherhood and the Boy Scouts of America for allowing me to write this sponsored post late and giving me the opportunity to tell you about why my family loves Boy Scouts so much.

JIF To Go Dippers - #GetGoing Photo Contest

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating. 

If you could pack up tomorrow and go on a trip, where would you go? If I got to pick on my own, I would choose Alaska. Living my whole life in Arizona, I have always dreamed of living in Alaska. Now that I'm an adult I understand a little better that snow causes it's own set of issues, but I just love Alaska. My husband and I went for our honeymoon and I would love to go back!
Canoeing to a glacier in Alaska!

If I asked the kids, I think they would say San Diego. That's pretty much the only place we have gone as a family and they love it there! They are always asking when we are going back.
Feeding Lorikeets at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

JIF To Go wants to help make some of those travel adventures come true! JIF is so excited about their new To Go Dippers that they are hosting a photo contest to see how you #GetGoing. After all, the JIF To Go Dippers, makes it so easy to take a snack on the go. One lucky person will win $1000 to help fund their next big adventure.


It's very easy to enter and lots of different ways too! You can post an Instagram photo with #GetGoing and tag @JifBrand. There is a facebook app, where you can upload a picture too. You can also tweet a picture with #GetGoing and tag @Jif. If you would prefer to skip all those, you can just upload a picture directly on the JIF website !
The contest runs through October 1, 2014 so hurry and get your photo entry in! You can see all the details and contest rules here: buff.ly/WT8bQR

JIF To Go Dippers come in  Creamy Peanut Butter with Pretzels and Chocolate Silk with Pretzels. Which flavor are you most excited to try?


Ashley

Rumbi Island Grill - Kids Eat Free

My little family has been unbelievably busy the month of September. Between school, homework, Cub Scouts, two kids on two different soccer teams, we are just going, going, going. That's just the kids schedule! As a Rumbi Mom Blogger, we did get a chance to go and try out Rumbi Island Grill as a family.



Just as the name suggests, Rumbi Island Grill serves lots of island fare in the perfect tropical dining room that you feel like you're on an island getaway. We really enjoyed our meal and the decor and atmosphere really added to the whole experience.


As a mom, my favorite part of the visit is that Rumbi Island Grill is having a Kids Eat Free promotion the whole month of September. That's right, with the purchase of a regular entree, your child can get a free kids meal. Even after the promotion is over, every Monday and Tuesday is Kids Eat Free night. My kids both really loved their choices. My picky eater stuck with his macaroni and cheese, and he was very happy. My daughter picked the cheeseburger and she loved it! The portion was very generous for a kids meal too. She ended up sharing her french fries. As a side note, I was so happy that the bun were sesame seed free. She's got a sesame allergy, and it is so nice to not have to do anything special to her food!


I got the Luau Pork Plate with Rumbi rice. It was so good! Let me start by telling you that Rumbi rice is a coconut rice with red beans. It was tasty!  I actually ordered the Luau Pork Plate to be a little tricky. You see, my little picky eater gets it from his Dad, who can also be a picky eater. The hubs ordered a plain hamburger, but I knew he would love the pork plate. I let him try mine and he was totally hooked. Next time he's getting a rice bowl with the pork and Rumbi rice.



I love sweet potato fries and so we also got an order of Rumbi fries, which is half sweet potato and half regular french fries. That was my kids first chance to try sweet potato fries and they loved them!



Before you go to Rumbi Island Grill, make sure you head over to their website and sign up for Club Rumbi. They will immediately email you a $5 off $15 purchase coupon. Woohoo! I entered my birthday when I signed up and I just got an email for a free birthday dessert. Yay! I'm excited to go and redeem my coupon. The coupon expires on my birthday, but you have like 2 weeks beforehand to get your dessert.


They also have a deal where you can buy a Rumbi tumbler for $4.99 and get a coupon for $5 off your next visit. That pretty much pays for itself. Then each time you bring your tumbler in, you can get a refill for just $.99. Pretty sweet deal!


Currently you can visit Rumbi Island Grill in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. I hope they expand over time, as everyone needs some Rumbi Island Grill in their lives. You can see the locations, menu, fundraising info, daily special and more on their website.
I am so excited to go back and use my birthday coupon. The Molten Chocolate Cake looks delicious!

Disclaimer: As a Rumbi Mom Blogger, I received a gift card to try out Rumbi Island grill and share our experience. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Ashley

Tips for Picking the Perfect Pumpkin

Fall is almost here! It is truly my favorite time of the year. One of our favorite family activities is to attend a pumpkin patch. We're lucky that most of the farms around here really go all out for Fall. They have corn mazes, train rides, inflatables, petting zoos, plus the pumpkin patch and farm stand.

In years past we have gone out to Tolmachoff Farms and we will be headed back there this year too! Tolmachoff Farms is a four generation family owned and operated farm that is now in the middle of Phoenix. You can check out the Tolmachoff Farms website for more details about visiting the farm plus a 10% off produce coupon.  Here are a few of the fun things we did last time we visited.



 Once you get to the pumpkin patch, it's time to pick the perfect pumpkin. Here's some tips for picking a great pumpkin.


  • You can test a pumpkin for ripeness by pressing it with a thumbnail. A ripe pumpkin will have a hard shell that doesn't scratch easily. Only try this on the bottom of the pumpkin. You don't want to mar a bunch of pumpkins. 
  • Check for splits or soft spots. You want to pick a new pumpkin if you find either.
  • Holes in pumpkins mean insect activity, so skip those ones too. 
  • Don't carry the pumpkin by the stem. It might break off and the stem adds so much character. 
  • Pumpkins that are still green in spots may not ripen further. Unless you like the green look, move on.
  • It may be useful to bring a wagon. Pumpkins can be heavy!



What does your perfect pumpkin look like? Tall and skinny or short and round?

Disclaimer: Tolmachoff Farms and USFamilyGuide.com provided admission to the pumpkin patch for my family. 


Ashley

Pumpkin Pie Tamales

I get a lot recipe and story ideas sent to my inbox and most of the time they will get deleted without a second thought. However, a while back a got a recipe for pumpkin pie tamales. I was super intrigued. I love tamales and I love pumpkin pie. I have never had a sweet tamale before. I just couldn't seem to get this recipe out of my head, so I'm sharing it with you today. I thought some of you might find it just as interesting as I do.