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My Suprising Secret Weapon for Kitchen Success….

“If You Don’t Like My Cooking, Lower Your Standards.” – Unknown… For most of my adult life, I lived alone. And preparing meals for one doesn’t exactly lead to gourmet cooking skills, know what I mean? Add in that I was a vegetarian for 5 years {so I didn’t learn to cook meat until a couple years ago, and am still learning} – and that I have pretty simple tastes, and you get a chick with solid basic cooking skills, but nothing especially impressive. Flash forward…. 3 years ago, within a 2 month time frame, I found out I was pregnant, extended family moved in with me, my boyfriend moved in, pets moved in – and I was suddenly managing an extremely full house! Since I was in charge of most of the cooking, I had to give myself a crash course in cooking for a crowd 101. Well, I’m proud to say that I’ve learned a LOT in the past couple of years. And can I tell you my best secret for success in the kitchen? It’s not cookbooks or classes, it’s not marinades or sauces…..

retro aprons from flirty aprons

Fun Retro Aprons are my Secret Weapon

Nope – my secret weapon to kitchen success is a super cute apron and accessories. Sound silly? Hear me out… Think of how clothes or uniforms totally change your mindset. A pretty cocktail dress can totally boost your confidence. Putting on your business suit puts you in a take charge mood. Heck, just getting up and fully dressed – and out of the “Frump Mom” look of pony tail and sweats can help you get more motivated to tackle your day, am I right? Well for me, throwing on a super pretty, retro styled apron makes me feel more at home in the kitchen. A bit of a domestic goddess even. I’m a big fan of making everyday challenges a little more fun by using cool products and gear – so things like zebra print cleaning gloves, polka dot pot holders, and aprons with ruffles and bows make me enjoy chores around the house a lot more. Try it – you’ll see what I mean.

flirty aprons sugar and spice

Retro Aprons and accessories from Flirty Aprons

I have several styles and accessories from Flirty Apron… I’ve bought gear from other sites too, but these are always my favorite. I buy TONS of gifts here too – my girlfriends love ’em. This one above is my all-time fave – it’s called the Marilyn Sugar n’ Spice, and there’s a matching little girls size too. Love it, right? It’s pretty enough that when we’re throwing parties {which is like, all the time…} I can wear this even after guests arrive. It looks trendy over a cute black party dress – and ensures that when I take it off and scoot on out of the kitchen, my dress isn’t a mess. {Do I sound sooooo 1950’s? Maybe a little. But I do kind of enjoy the whole homemaking thing…} If you want to check these out too, there is an uh-MAY-zing deal right now I wanted to share… One of the best buys I’ve seen on Flirty Apron in a long time:

$30 of Aprons, Kitchen Gloves and More at FlirtyAprons.com for Only $15!

All you have to do to snag these sweet savings is to head to Spotted Fox, a new favorite site of mine. Take 1 minute to log in,  click “Today’s Deal” – then scroll down the side a bit to find the Flirty Aprons deal. Once you purchase it {and hurry – it ends in 4 days!} – you’ll get a coupon code to use on their site. And – if you’re joining as a new member from this special Sunshine and Sippy Cups referral link, you’ll get a bonus $5 in credit too! Easy peasy – and you’re getting half off. You can even use this on any sale items on their site too. Awesomesauce.

A little bit about Flirty Aprons…

First off, let me tell you this from my own experience – these aprons rock. I’ve had one of mine for over a year, and wear it a TON. It’s been through so much wash and wear, but honestly you can’t tell at all. These have great details, are well made, and are sturdy enough that you don’t have to worry about spilling on them. Because that would kind of defeat the point, right? Lol.

  • Flirty Aprons has been featured on dozens of publications and TV programs including Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, Daytime, The Bonnie Hunt Show, Best Desserts and many more!
  • So many colors and prints to choose including mint, red and chocolate, cherry, zebra, florals and more.
  • 30-day money back guarantee on all purchases.
  • Over 50 different apron styles to choose from, and all orders ship in one business day.

There is no limit to how many vouchers you can purchase – but you can only use ONE voucher per purchase at Flirty Aprons. That means that this could be an uh-MAY-zing way to start stocking up on super affordable holiday gifts. Buy an apron to go with a plate of homemade cookies, and you’ve got a super sweet gift for your favorite neighbors. Add an apron to a gift basket with a fun cookbook like Hostess with the Mostess: A Galaxy of Retro Recipes or Vintage Cocktails: Retro Recipes for the Home Mixologist – and a few super cute kitchen gadgets like these faves of mine: Animal House Monkey Peeler, Head Chefs Spatula Man, or Ninjabread Men Cookie Cutters – and you’ve got a perfect gift for just about any woman in your life. {It’s ok if they’re not usually a cooking or kitchen-lovin’ type. I’m telling ya, fun stuff like this motivates anyone to have more fun with meals.} Or you could even send an apron and a spa gift card to your best girlfriend – so she can enjoy her days more inside AND outside of the house. Love it.

Friend don’t let friends pay full price – share this sweet deal too!


 

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Mystery Kitchen Box Giveaway!

I’ve partnered with Stephanie from Savvy Saving With Stephanie for an awesome Giveaway. And to make things a little more fun & exciting,  we’re doing a MYSTERY KITCHEN BOX GIVEAWAY! Because everyone loves surprises, right?

Mystery Kitchen Box

One LUCKY Entrant Will Win:

One big Box Full of Kitchen Items, with a  Retail Value at $80 Or More!! To enter, finish all Entries in Rafflecopter today or bookmark this and come back later to finish. You don’t HAVE to do them all – But remember, the more entries you complete the more possibilities you have to win! {And, feelin’ lucky? Enter to win all the other awesome prizes I’m giving away this month too – listed in my sidebar!}

Rules and Details:

Giveaway is open to US Residents only. Starts May 11th and End May 19th.Winners entry will be validated, if it wasn’t completed properly they’ll be disqualified and redrawn on Rafflecopter, so please play fair. Winner will be contact through Facebook within 24 hours of giveaway ending and winner will be posted on my Facebook page the day following the giveaway.

Have fun & Good luck!

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KitchenAid Artisan Mixer Giveaway!

The pvc fittings company Commercial Industrial Supply is giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Mixer!

(prize details)

 

a Commercial Industrial Supply giveaway powered by Rafflecopter

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“Oh Internet” – A Love Song #humor

My Drunk Kitchen

Hannah from My Drunk Kitchen is THE. FUNNIEST. PERSON. Seriously – She totally cracks me up. I found her videos of cooking while intoxicated last summer, and have been hooked ever since. {You might remember her from the holiday Gingerbread video I posted around Christmas time} She is just totally charming….

Anti-SOPA Song

She says that this song started as an anti-SOPA song – {remember that totally sleazy bill from a month ago?} – But then turned into a love song devoted to the beauty that is our internet. I figured with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to share this video. I mean heck – I could write a love song to the internets too…. I spend more time there than with my own friends and family, and would be lost with out it.

Oh Internet, how I love thee, let me count the ways…..

Ok, so maybe I can’t write my own song. Not today at least. My creativity level is on low – I’ve got a sick little guy, a crabby as all heck toddler, and a ridiculous messy house. You’ll have to settle for Hannah’s version in the video above – But if you’ve got a great love poem to the internet, leave me a comment below. My favorite will get a $5 Amazon gift card……

Find My Drunk Kitchen on Facebook, and watch more great videos on her YouTube channel.

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Red Velvet Cake Balls – Plus Freebie for Duncan Hines Bakers Club Members!

Recipe for Red Velvet Bake Pops

Get Free Baking Goodies from Duncan Hines!

These pretty little yummies are a recipe from Duncan Hines – Red Velvet Cake Balls. I’m super excited to try these out later this week – Not only are they gorgeous, but they’re super easy to make. All you need is a Red Velvet Cake Mix, frosting, and candy melts. The recipe is available to anyone who is a Duncan Hines Bakers Club Member, which you definitely want to join today – They announced on Facebook that they’re going to be sending out something cool to members later this week! After you join, you can get this full recipe here –

Red Velvet Cake Balls Recipe

The Bakers Club site is filled with great recipes and cool free tools – you’ll love it. And, if you’re like me and always looking for more ways to simplify life, you definitely want to pick up the Bake Pops set! You get a full kit totally free with each set you buy – getting you double the value. And they make it so super easy to make fun Bake Pops or Cake Balls, and they come out perfect every time. It’s like, one of my favorite inventions ever.

How do you make Bake Pops?

Do you use the kit? Or do you make them by hand? My attempts at making them by hand always ended in disaster, so the Bake Pops kit is my perfect solution to creating impressive desserts. Stop by on Facebook and share pictures of YOUR best cake balls or pops – I love to see my fans creativity!

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Meal Planning in 4 Easy Steps

Using Grocery Coupons

Do you need to save money on groceries?

Hahahahaha – That’s like saying, “Do you need a little more sleep?” or, “Would you like the kids to get along a little more often?” For most families, the food budget is one of the only things left to cut, and it’s often one of the biggest places that we over spend. The problem is, we’re often too busy to figure out exactly HOW to save money on groceries.

How to Cut Costs

Meal Planning + Savings Match-Ups = Food on the Table! Seriously, this site is awesomesauce. It is totally simple to use. It’s free to join. It will save you loads of time, and money. And your family might even eat healthier, since you’ll be cooking more ‘real’ meals at home! It makes meal planning very quick and simple – you no longer need to save all of those weekly sale inserts. Food on the Table matches your meals directly to the best savings at your own personal local grocery store!

Open a free Meal Planning account on Food on the Table today!

Here’s how it Works

  1. Set up your meal plan for the week – Food on the Table lets you add the local grocery stores you shop at most. Then, when you log in, it’ll let you see which meats are on sale this week, so you can quickly click your choices.
  2. Get Recipes – Next, input your own recipes, use previous recipes you’ve added, or check out their huge selection. Pick and click to add your favorites – easy peasy!
  3. Savings at your grocery store – Food on the Table will now build you a grocery list, auto-filled with the ingredients that you need, based on your recipes for the week. Scan it quickly – see something you already have? Uncheck it. Have extra basics you want to add? Type ’em in! Then it will show you how much you’re saving when it matches your needed ingredients to sales at your favorite store!
  4. Printable Grocery List – Finally, it loads up a super cool printable grocery list of everything you need for that weeks meals! Even COOLER – you can send that list to your email, or as a text message, so that you have it whenever, or wherever, you need it! You could even email it your husband at work, so he can shop on his way home. Score!

Meal Planning is one of the most helpful tips I can share with you – I’m still working on getting into a groove, and am always looking for great new tips, sites, and apps to help me stay organized and on top of things. This is one of my very favorites that I’ve found – and I know it will help your family too! Plus – It’s free! What do you have to lose – Check it out today!

For more BIG savings at the grocery store – make sure to check out my coupon resource page – How to Get Coupons: 11 Ways to Get Coupons Today. There are also more tips on matching your coupons to store sales, and info about another meal planning service that I use too. Check it out!

Check out more ways to creatively stretch your budget

These are some of my favorite books and tools to save time and money in kitchen – Smart solutions for busy moms like us. If you have a favorite tip to make meal time simpler, cheaper, and more efficient – please share your wisdom in the comments below. I love hearing from you smart ladies!

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How to Keep Your Fridge Clean and Organized

The kitchen is the one of busiest rooms in the house – which means it can also be the toughest to keep clean. And one of the biggest challenges in the kitchen during the holidays is the refrigerator – Between holiday baking, parties, and leftovers – that fridge is probably pretty overflowing! And since for many families food plays a pretty central role in celebrating the season, you definitely want your fridge to be ready – so you can keep your food fresh, your leftovers organized, and find everything else you need in a hurry. Watch this great video for a few tips…

Busy Mom Solution: Tips for your Fridge!

This video shares some great basic tips {can’t see the video? Watch it on YouTube} – and here are a few more of my favorites:

  • Get into a habit of cleaning the fridge each week before grocery shopping – that’s when it’s the emptiest, making it easiest to clean out! {I love those canisters of kitchen wipes – makes clean-up easy peasy!}
  • Speaking of clean-up: A few easy tips can help keep the mess to a minimum – Line your drawers with paper towels, to make it easy to clean them out each week. Always remember to wipe off bottles and containers before putting them back on the shelf. And always wipe up a spill when it happens – if you let it set, it’ll be twice as much work when you come back to it!
  • Use storage containers to hold similar items. Just like you keep all of the veggies together in the crisper drawer, or store all of your condiments on the same shelf, you can use clear storage containers to hold kids juice pouches, yogurts, string cheese, etc. This keeps things neat and tidy, and super easy to find!
  • Label those leftovers!! This is extra important at this busy time of year. We use a roll of white tape and a marker – When I’m cleaning up after a party, I put a strip of tape on each container, and write the date on it. Then everyone knows at a glance what’s still safe to eat.
  • Keep your fridge fresh! With the fridge getting such a workout during the holidays, it can be a challenge keeping it fresh – but you don’t want your guests reaching into a stinky fridge when they are grabbing drinks! That brings us to my next Busy Mom Solution Product – The Oransi Ionic Fridge Air Purifier! Keep reading to learn more, and get a chance to win your own…

Oransi Ionic Fridge Air Purifier

The Oransi Ionic Fridge Air Purifier!

Why do you totally need one of these? Well, it gets rid of odors and bacteria to keep your refrigerator smelling fresh, and your food even fresher! It’s super affordable, fits easily into even the most crowded fridge, and is just plain cool. Read more…

Top 5 Reasons I LOVE the Oransi in my fridge!

  1. It’s super easy to use. Even my mom, who still can’t figure out that darn VCR, figured out how to put batteries in this gadget and get it turned on and working.
  2. It’s affordable – there are no filters to replace, and it runs on two AA batteries that only need to be changed a few times a year.
  3. It works great! I live in a full house, with a bunch of extended family. So, I have two men, and two boys ages 5 and 8, in addition to myself, Abby, and my mother. Boys are messy and stinky – it’s a true fact. And they do NOT clean out the fridge. Ever. There is a totally noticeable difference in the freshness of the fridge now that I’m using the Oransi purifier – and that impresses me. A lot.
  4. It’s smart! It’s super high-tech – read this, “Patented Piezo-electric technology allows for a high negative ion output to freshen your refrigerator without the harmful side effects of ozone that is found in standard ionizers.” – Sounds cool, right?
  5. It’s got a great design! I love the look of this little gadget – very clean and modern, and totally fits into my super crowded fridge easily. Love it. When people see it, they ask “What is THAT?” – in an impressed and inquisitive type of voice, because they think it’s cool.

Overview…

A totally affordable gadget that is easy to use, works great, keeps my fridge and food fresh, and makes people think I’m just a little bit cooler when they see it in use? Awesome, right?

  • You can learn more about the Fridge Air Purifier, and all of the other cool Oransi products on their website.
  • Purchase the Oransi Ionic Fridge Air Purifier today on sale! Save $10 off the regular price – Get it for only $29.99 plus FREE shipping!

Win One for Your Kitchen!!

Use the easy peasy Rafflecopter Form to enter to WIN your own Oransi Fridge Purifier – and make sure to come back each day for the daily BONUS entries!! Good luck!!

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