Sandwich lovers rejoice!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boar's Head for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I LOVE sandwiches. Really truly love them. While I have been on a eating healthier kick, I have really had to cut down on sandwiches because of the bread and because of the high amount of sodium you normally find in deli meats and cheeses. When I was offered the opportunity to sample Boar's Head lower sodium deli meats and cheeses, I jumped at the chance!

Here's my dream sandwich I created with Boar's Head lower sodium products. It is a turkey breast, provolone, and lettuce sandwich on a cheese bagel. The bagel was a splurge, but oh so delicious!

I headed to my closest grocery store and was pleased to see they had at least 5 of the Boar's Head lower sodium products. There are over 20 products in the line, so they really do have a wide variety. I purchased the 47% lower sodium oven roasted turkey breast and the 42% lower sodium provolone. I lucked out because my deli, offers sandwiches pre-made in the deli case. On of their pre-made sandwiches featured the lower sodium ham, so I threw that in the cart too.

They were all delicious! I should note that normally I buy pre-packaged lunch meat in the refridgerated case. The Boar's Head products were amazing. The turkey breast tasted like a turkey I cooked at home and sliced up. The package turkey tasted like turkey, but not as fresh or genuine as this. I might be converted to only shopping from the deli-case from now on. Especially knowing that I can fulfill my sandwich craving, and cut down on my salt intake.

At the Boar's Head website you can see all of the nutritional information for their products. I compared the lower sodium turkey breast, so the regular turkey breast slices I keep on hand and discovered that the Boar's Head turkey had 120mg less sodium. You can't beat that, especially when it tastes so much better. The ham and provolone were equally delicious.

My Mother-in-law has some heart health issues and she is supposed to be very careful with her salt intake. I can't wait to tell her about this Boar's head line of lower sodium deli meats and cheeses. Maybe she will be able to work these into her diet sometimes. I know she misses a good sandwich.

Are you a sandwich lover? What does your ultimate sandiwch look like?

 

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Art Party: Rainbow Food

Today I am showing you the food from the color party. This party was gender neutral so I was careful to avoid using the term rainbow. However, I did make an effort to make sure every color of the rainbow was present in all the food!

Dessert Table:

To give the dessert table some extra pizzazz I took some paint cans and had them spilling plastic tablecloths over the table. I served rainbow goldfish, some rainbow sugar straw from the Dollar Tree,  Rice Krispies treats that I drizzled rainbow color chocolate over the top, and colorful Jello popcorn(not pictured). All of the other food, I'll show in more detail below.



Cake

I saw the most perfect colorful cake at Makoodle and I knew I wanted the same thing. I asked my friend and cake artist to recreate it and she did a marvelous job. My favorite part is the paint drips down the outside.  Everyone was awed and amazed when we cut into it. For portioning, we cut the pieces in half, so each guest got 3 of the colors. Even the thinnest slices, 6 layers was just too much cake!

Jello Push-pops

These push-pops were fairly straightforward. I made one color of jello at a time, and slowly layered them in the push-pops. These were another big hit with the kids especially!


Rainbow Fruit Kebabs

Even though it was December, I lucked out on the produce sales and was able to make these kebabs without spending a fortune. I used raspberries, clementines, pineapple, green grapes, blueberries, and blackberries to represent all the colors in the rainbow! Thankfully my mom was willing to skewer all of these for me, the morning of the party.


We held the party between breakfast and lunch, so we didn't need to serve a whole meal. I think we ended up with the right amount of food and snacks. I did also make a cheese dip, which I will have to share the recipe soon! It was so good, I never even got to get a bite of it much less snap a picture.

Please head on over and check the main party activity, the Color Fight!


I'll have one or two more posts about some of the other party activities we did, so stay tuned!
Ashley

Children's Miracle Network and White Cloud

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of White Cloud for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Are you familiar with the White Cloud brand? Well it is a brand of facial and toilet tissue carried at Walmart stores. White Cloud has teamed up with The Children's Miracle Network to help sick children as well as a chance for you to win too.

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White Cloud is is letting children design some very special tissue boxes. They picked 10 designs drawn by children at one of the 168 participating Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the public will vote for their favorite. The top three designs will be turned into real tissue boxes that will be sold in Walmart stores starting in May. The most exciting aspect is that the winning hospitals will receive a generous donation from White Cloud.

Before I go on about how you can vote for your favorite, I want to stop and tell you why this is so important to me personally. Just before Christmas a friend of mine found out that her oldest, 6 year old, son has Leukemia. She received the diagnosis 2 days after her fourth child was born. I can't even imagine how overwhelming this whole situation must be. It has been such a blessing for me to get the opportunity to serve their family in anyway I can, as well as witness how our community has come together to serve them. He is currently in treatmen at a Chilren's Miracle Network Hospital. Sick kids and their families need all the help they can get, and I am so happy that White Cloud is giving to these hospitals.

To vote for your favorite design, you can head over to the Voting App on Facebook. It is a very easy process, but good luck picking out a favorite design! I choose the Hope design. I loved the message and the design.

Now I'll tell you about how you can win too. Throughout the voting period, there will be three drawings for $25 Walmart gift cards. At the end of the voting period, three grand prize winners will be selected to win a one-year supply of White Cloud products. It's a win for everybody.

Please take a minute to vote for one of these designs. Even if you aren't interesting in winning anything for yourself, it will mean a lot of the kids who have winning designs. Remember the winning designs will be available for purchase at Walmart in May. Find a store near you!

 

Abbreviated rules: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The Children’s Miracle Network Contest and Sweepstakes are sponsored by Kruger Products (USA), Inc. The Contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, between the ages of 4 and 14, who are eligible patients at one of the 168 participating Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The entry period for the Contest begins on November 29, 2012 and ends on December 28, 2012. The Voter Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, 18 years of age or older. The Voter Sweepstakes begin at 6:00 p.m.ET on January 3, 2013 and end at 11:59 p.m. ET on January 30, 2013. For official rules, visit http://mywhitecloud.com/tissue…

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Throw your own color fight

Here we are over two weeks into 2013, and I still feel like I'm trying to settle into the new year. Way back when, I showed you the invitations for my children's color party. Well I had a big crazy idea to have a color powder fight. I am so excited to tell you that it was so much fun! You don't have to take my word for it, look at the joy on those girls faces.


I have been seeing things like Color Runs and the festival of Holi become more and more popular in recent years. I thought it would be so much fun to throw a color fight of my own. Thankfully my husband is always up for my crazy ideas! After a lot of googling, I realized there aren't that many resources out there for doing this, so hopefully this will be helpful for anyone else looking to do the same thing.

First I'll tell you how to make the powder, then I'll take about the actual fight.

Color Powder Recipe

Supplies:

1 lb Non-toxic Tempera Paint Powder -  I liked the Colorations brand the best. Hobby Lobby carries one brand, but that is the only store that I found that had the powder in the store.
1 lb Corn Starch - Walmart has 1 lb of corn starch for $0.97
Food processor

Directions

  1.  Add 1 pound of Tempera Paint powder to the food processor.
  2. Pour about 1/3 of the corn  starch into the food processor and pulse until well combined. 
  3. Add the next 1/3 of the corn starch and process again.
  4. Add the remainder of the corn starch and process until completely combined.
  5. Repeat with as many different tempera colors as you want.

Making the color powder is actually pretty simple, but there are some things to keep in mind:
  • You can buy color powder imported from India, however it has been known to have harmful ingredients such as lead! Buyer beware. I opted to make my own for this very reason. 
  • Hobby Lobby carries tempera paint powder in the store, but it did not blend as well as the Colorations brand. The Hobby Lobby brand was "Rich Art Dust free powder paint" I was never able to get a homogenous mixture with the Rich Art. 
  • A friend was generous enough to give me her old food processor in case it ruined mine. Good news, it didn't ruin it at all. I was able to get it clean and I would 100%  feel comfortable using it with food again.
  • I wouldn't classify this as an 'inexpensive' thing to undertake. It is cheaper to make your own, than buy it, but I still spent some money putting the whole thing together.

Planning the actual fight:

I decided to get all the party guests(parents) on board with this unorthodox activity, I would purchase white shirts for all the kids participating. Adults were welcome and encouraged to participate, but they were on their own for clothes. I scoured tons of Goodwills on 50% off days to get white, long sleeve shirts, in the correct sizes for cheap. Here's a before shot of most of the kids.

 You will notice the goggles in picture. We put in the invitation to either bring swim goggles or buy some protective eye-wear from Dollar Tree. Sunglasses would probably work just fine too. Kids are not happy campers with stuff in their eyes, so goggles were a really good idea!

We tried all kinds of methods for dispensing the powder. I envisioned everyone being chased around with powder, so I was looking for an effective delivery method. The two things that worked the best was drilling one whole in the top of the colorations paint bottle. It worked like a perfect squeeze bottle. Walmart also sells squeeze bottles for about $1 each. The other most popular method, was picking up a fistful and throwing it. You can see the paint bottle in the photo below.


We tried these awesome squirters from Dollar Tree(See photo below). They worked well but the kids couldn't refill them fast enough. After a while they started to get jammed up a bit too. If this was an adult activity only, I might revisit the water squirters.

We set all the paint powder out in Take-out containers and Cool Whip tubs. Free and easy, and it worked great. We made a perimeter of the tubs so everyone could run freely in the inside of the circle to play and get dirty.

 Before we let the kids go crazy, we gave them some simple rules.
1. Stay in the designated color fight area.
2. Only color people who are actively participating in the fight.
3. Don't throw color in someone's face, purposefully. It still happened, but at least they weren't trying.
After that, everyone just had a blast!

We stopped and took an 'after' picture. Technically though, it was a 'during' shot because the kids went out for more fun after this.

We even got a fun family picture out of it. I was really tempted to use it in our Christmas card.

Clean up

We told people to bring a change of clothes or a towel to sit on for the car ride home. When we got home we beat the clothes out and washed them right away. Everyone but my daughters clothes came 100% clean. She got some water on her sleeves at the park, which then dried. That seemed to set the color in on just her sleeves.
I would still advise wearing clothes you are okay getting stained, but there is a good chance it will come out.

This was the one big party activity, but of course we had lots of fun things going on. More posts to come on the rest of the party!

Ashley

Phoenix Events: Peking Acrobats

I have a great event for my phoenix area readers. The show is this Friday night, so get your tickets soon!
The Peking Acrobats are coming to Phoenix, Friday, January 18, 2013 at Comerica Theatre at 8pm.



Since their Western debut in 1986, THE PEKING ACROBATS® have redefined audience perceptions of Chinese acrobatics. They perform daring maneuvers atop a precarious pagoda of chairs; they are experts at trick-cycling, precision tumbling, somersaulting, and gymnastics. They defy gravity with amazing displays of contortion, flexibility, and control. They push the envelope of human possibility with astonishing juggling dexterity and incredible balancing feats, showcasing tremendous skill and ability. They are masters of agility and grace. Often accompanied by live musicians skillfully playing traditional Chinese instruments and high-tech special effects that coalesce with the music and awe-inspiring feats to create an exuberant entertainment event featuring all the excitement and festive pageantry of a Chinese Carnival!
Tickets are now on sale at http://concerts.livenation.com/event/1900491B6BB11A4A?artistid=804165&majorcatid=10002&minorcatid=32, the box office or call 800.745.3000.

THE PEKING ACROBATS have been featured on numerous television shows and celebrity-studded TV Specials including NICKELODEON'S UNFABULOUS, ELLEN'S REALLY BIG SHOW (TV Special with host, Ellen DeGeneres), THE WAYNE BRADY SHOW, THAT'S INCREDIBLE, ABC'S WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS as well as NBC's RING IN THE NEW YEAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL. THE PEKING ACROBATS are on the cutting edge of technology, having appeared on HDNET TV'S IN FOCUS SERIES. Since Summer 2011, they have appeared regularly in 3D on NBC/Comcast's new 3D Channel! THE PEKING ACROBATS are excited and honored to have been selected by HDNet and NBC/Comcast to be among the first performing ensembles of their kind to participate in such innovative technologies as the high definition and 3D television formats. These appearances reaffirm THE PEKING ACROBATS commitment to bringing their unique and ancient art form and tradition into the 21st Century!


Ashley

Fashion forward with tights and leggings

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of No nonsense for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

One of my goals for 2013 is to get out from behind the computer screen more often and spend time networking with other bloggers. I already have two events lined up this year and I am really excited for it. The only problem is that the standard bloggers uniform is yoga pants and an oversized t-shirt. So I am looking forward to sprucing up my wardrobe a bit.

No nonsense tights and leggings are a perfect and affordable way to add some fun to your closet. No nonsense is available at food and drug stores as well as mass retailers. They should be very easy to find. They come in all kinds of fun colors, perfect for adding that bright pop of color. If you are more conservative like me, they have black too. I created a fun outfit that I would love to wear using the No nonsense Great Shapes Cotton Shaping Leggings in black. They are right on trend and include shaping, which is pretty much a requirement for me.

I couldn't decide on the bracelets or the ring so I put them both on there. I don't know that I would wear both at the same time though. Seems a bit much to me. Of course that purse is actually a camera bag. A must have for any blogging event!

No nonsense has recently teamed up with the fashion expert Jill Martin. If you aren't familar with her, she is an Emmy Award-winning TV personality and co-author of the New York Times bestselling style guide “I Have Nothing to Wear!” I love that a really accessible brand like No nonsense is really stepping it up in the fashion department so they can be right on trend. You don't have to spend a million bucks to look like a million bucks!

Here's a great video by Jill with some great fashion tips!

 

You can get more info by following No nonsense on Facebook or follow their twitter account @benononsense.

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Fitbit Zip Giveaway

Happy New Year!! I have fallen off the healthy eating wagon a bit over the holidays and I am really excited to get back to work in 2013. That is why I thought it would be really fun to join up in giving away a Fitbit zip wireless activity trackerFitBit Zip Giveaway

Welcome to the New Year's Resolution FitBit Zip giveaway hosted by Freckleberry Finds and Slap Dash Mom! I've teamed up with some other fab bloggers to bring you a giveaway that'll get you moving! One lucky winner will take home a Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker AND a bonus prize: a Beach Body DVD set consisting of Hip Hop Abs and Brazil Butt Lift. You'll be ripped in no time! Giveaway event ends at 11:59 PM ET on January 22. Open to the US.
There are lots of ways to enter so, good luck!
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Ashley