March 31, 2012

Tropicana Pure Premium 100% Pure Florida Orange Juice and Sweepstakes

There are many concerns today about our food supply. You might remember when there was a problem with some things that were produced in China that killed some dogs. Also there have been a variety of outbreaks of food poisoning. For many reasons I purchase food grown in the USA. It makes me feel safer with the protections the USDA puts on the food. Given the depressed economy, it is important to support business in the US whenever possible.

My family loves orange juice. We love to eat either bacon and eggs or waffles with an ice cold glass of orange juice. It is a great way to start the day. Each 59oz container of Tropicana Pure Premium® has 16 fresh-picked Florida oranges squeezed into it and an 8oz glass gives you 100% vitamin C to help you maintain a healthy immune system.

Did you know that Tropicana Pure Premium is 100% Pure Florida Orange Juice? It is the single largest buyer of Florida fruit, purchasing approximately 11.6 billion oranges from Florida each year. They use groves in 22 different Florida counties, primarily in central and southern Florida. Oranges have been grown in Florida since the 1560s, approximately 147 years before any other U.S. state. Tropicana’s roots in Florida go back a long way with some of its current grower relationships dating back to the 1960s.
Because of the different microclimates and soil types the fruit reaches peak maturity at different times. Tropicana can harvest ripe fruit throughout the entire growing season.
I learned that there are two major orange types in Tropicana Pure Premium - Valencia and Hamlin. Valencias typically have more intense color and flavor, while Hamlins can be sweeter. Many Florida growers sample oranges by cutting them into a cup shape, allowing for drinking juice directly from the fruit.

I wanted to tell you about a great sweepstakes. You can enter the Tropicana sweepstakes for a chance to win 100 Florida prizes, including one-year-supplies of Tropicana (in the form of twelve 59 oz Tropicana Pure Premium containers) and a trip to Florida to visit an orange grove. Ninety-nine winners will get a one-year supply of orange juice in the form of twelve coupons for (12) 59 oz Tropicana Pure Premium® containers. One winner will get a trip to a Florida orange grove and invite three (3) guests for: Round-trip airfare for four (4) to Florida, three (3) night stay at a Florida hotel.The winner will have an exclusive experience at experience at a Florida orange grove. For official rules and regulations, visit the “sweeps” tab on Tropicana’s Facebook page at

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Tropicana blogging program, to earn My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.

March 18, 2012

Home Organization

Do you have trouble with organization?  As the years pass, you might find yourself becoming a pack rat.  What are you going to do with all the stuff you have accumulated?  Perhaps it’s time to weed out the unnecessary items and organize your home.

Home organization is a step-by-step process.  It will take more than a day or even a week to get everything to a manageable level, but once you do staying organized is an easier task.  If you have a family, enlist their help.  They can pitch in and learn a thing or two about controlling clutter in their life. 

1. Start with the high traffic areas.  The living room and kitchen are usually the two most used rooms in the house.  Everything gets dropped on a counter or the couch in these two places.  Concentrate on getting everything set up the way that you like it before moving on to another room.

2. Use storage containers.  Over the years, the style of storage containers has upgraded to be pretty as well as functional.  Instead of storing containers in stacks in the garage, purchase ones that match your d├ęcor in each room and integrate them so that no one would even notice they were being used for storage.

3. Divide items into categories.  You can use heavy duty trash bags for this part.  Everything that you find can go into a pile: KEEP, THROW AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and RELOCATE.  Items that will stay in that room are to keep.  Things that you don’t need or are broken can be thrown away.  Clothes or furniture still in great condition can be donated and scheduled for pickup by the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Anything that definitely belongs in another room can be labeled for relocation when you get to that room.

4. Remove everything from drawers and cabinets.  This is a time-consuming process but it is easier to start with an empty space and fill it instead of simply pushing things around.  If you line things up on the counter, someone else can help by putting the items in some type of order.

5. Make use of all of your available space.  In the kitchen, for example, appliances or extra containers can be stored on top of the cabinets provided they don’t extend all the way to the ceiling.  That’s extra storage space without benefit of a storage container.  Also use the top of the refrigerator for cereal boxes and breakfast food like boxes of instant oatmeal or grits.  In the bedroom, shoes and winter clothes can go into flat storage bins that slide easily under the bed or the dresser.

6. Label your containers.  Use tape and a permanent marker to identify the contents of your storage containers.  Avoid writing on the actual container in case they are reused and the contents are changed.  Labeling also makes for easy identification if you decide to sell or give away a container of books or something.  You won’t have to open each container to locate them.

Organizing your entire house takes time.  But, once it is done, returning everything you use to its proper place will maintain that same level of organization.  Now I have to get busy following my own advice!

I found that picture being circulated on Facebook, but no author or owner was listed.

March 15, 2012

Del Monte Fresh Produce Great Giveaway

In an effort to motivate people to get healthy by exercising and eating more fruits and vegetables, Del Monte Fresh Produce will give away 500 pairs of sneakers and 10 Nintendo Wii New Super Mario Bros. Pack game consoles and Wii Zumba Fitness during March to Del Monte Fresh Produce Facebook fans.

The "500 Sneaker March Giveaway," hosted on the Del Monte Fresh Produce Facebook page, will randomly award 500 sneakers to Del Monte Facebook fans who enter the contest and ten (10) Wii packages to people who get two (2) of their friends to sign up.

To Win Sneakers:
Step 1: “Like” Del Monte Fresh Produce by visiting www.facebook/delmontefreshproduce

Step 2: Enter sweepstakes and sign the pledge to make at least half your plate fruits and vegetables and exercise more frequently. You will automatically be entered to win one of 500 pairs of sneakers.

To Win the Nintendo Wii New Super Mario Bros. Pack game console and Wii Zumba Fitness

Step 3: Click on the “Sneaker Giveaway” tab then the “Invite Friends” to share news about the giveaway with your friends.

Step 4: Get just two (2) friends to enter the sweepstakes and you will be automatically entered to win the Nintendo Wii New Super Mario Bros. Pack game console and Wii Zumba Fitness

All entrants will be encouraged to sign a pledge to exercise at least three times a week for thirty minutes and, as the USDA recommends, make half their plate fruits and vegetables.

Del Monte Fresh Produce is committed to providing consumers with quality fresh fruits and vegetables, which are key components in leading a healthy lifestyle. The "500 Sneaker March Giveaway" was created as a way to encourage Del Monte Fresh Produce fans to exercise as well.

For more information, please visit:

This was posted to notify you of a great giveaway. I am to receive some coupons for posting this.

March 12, 2012

What Shelter Dog Is Right For You

What Shelter Dog Is Right For You
Guest Post by Rob Toledo

So you have done it. You have made the decision to add a member to your family by adopting a shelter dog. Not only will you gain ‘man’s best friend’, you will also be saving a dog by giving them a loving and caring family. Almost all puppies are as cute as they can be making it tempting to take one home on impulse. It is important to consider the various personalities that dogs are likely to take on and how those personalities will fit in your home.

Dog shelters have a somewhat random selection of breeds making it difficult to find a specific breed on any given day. It is important to consider the variety of aspects of each individual breed. We highly recommend reading up on specific breeds you are interested in, considering dog insurance for to ensure quality veterinary care, and doing several visits to get a good feel for each individual dog’s personality. But with that in mind, here are some tips on selecting the perfect lovable breed to fit your personality.

The Fun Stuff
There are many things to consider when picking the right dog. Here are some fun personality traits and breeds that have them to help you pick your ideal pet from the shelter.

Playfulness - You can have a lot of fun with pets, but some are more playful than others. Here are 3 top playful breeds.
• Labradors
• Golden Retrievers
• Boxer

Fast Learner - Having an intelligent dog can take out a lot of the stress of training a dog. Not to mention, you can teach them all kinds of cool tricks!
• German Shepherd
• Collie
• Toy Poodle

Affection - If you love the cute cuddly dogs, then consider a breed that is known for being friendly and affectionate. Some breeds just typically won’t work as lap dogs.
• Brittany
• Beagle
• Cocker Spaniel

Type of Home
Where you live and what type of home you own or rent will have a big impact on your new best friend. If you are living in an apartment, the types of breeds that will flourish and be happy are very different from those that have access to a back yard. Here are a few tips on picking the right dog for your house.

Apartment - If you live in an apartment, consider adopting a smaller breed of dog that doesn’t typically require as much exercise.
• Basset Hound
• Chihuahua
• English Bulldog

House - Houses with backyards are great for larger dogs and those that need a large open area to run around and explore.
• Bloodhound
• Greyhound
• Pointer

Other pets or family
Some dogs play well with others, some are more reclusive. If you have children, roommates, other pets, or other family living with you, consider what types of breeds will fit best living with all of those people. It might be your puppy, but it will still interact with everyone in the house.

Good with children - If you have children, picking a dog that is child-friendly is important to ensure that you don’t run into any problems. Here are some breeds that play well with children.
• Miniature Schnauzer
• Irish Setter
• Pointer

Friendly with other animals - If you have other pets of any kind, or neighbors and family members with pets, consider breeds that are good at socializing. Here are a few good ones that you can find at a shelter.
• American Foxhound
• Basset Hound
• Cockapoo

Finding the right dog for you can be a challenging process, but adopting from a shelter is one of the best decisions you can make. Don’t get discouraged, there are plenty of lovable dogs that all have a unique personality just waiting for an owner like you.

Rob Toledo is a shelter advocate, urges dog owners consider pet insurance and hopes to one day have at least ten dogs in his family. Marty, the dog in the picture, was one of the shelter dogs who has been placed in an amazing home with three kids who have plenty of time to play with him out in their big yard. =)

March 6, 2012

Crayola "Inside the Crayon Box" Live Facebook Chat

The first "Inside the Crayon Box" live chat is Wednesday, March 7 at 9 p.m. EST. Join Crayola and musician, children´s author and mom, Lisa Loeb for a 45-minute live streaming video chat on the Crayola Facebook Page. Lisa, best-known for her number one hit "Stay (I Missed You)," will share as personal stories, practical advice and ways she brings a little creative play into every day for her daughter. We want to hear from you - participants can ask Lisa questions during the event, too!
Interested in the topics to be covered during the chat?
  • Why Does Creativity Matter? Creativity is not about who´s the best artists or becoming an architect. It´s a way of thinking that encourages kids´ original ideas and develops their confidence.
  • Growing Up Creative. Lisa will share stories about growing up in a home where creativity was encouraged.
  • Simple Tips. Easy Ideas. Like most moms, Lisa juggles a lot. She´ll share simple, easy ways she sparks her daughter´s creativity as part of their daily routine
  • Creativity matters: It´s a skill that all children can learn and when it´s practiced every day, kids become the critical thinkers, problem solvers, and leaders in the classroom, and they´re better prepared for professions of the 21st century.
    Crayola wants every child to be creatively alive, so they´re inviting parents "Inside the Crayon Box," for a special live chat with celebrities and trusted parenting experts that will inspire and spark ideas to expand your child´s creative thinking. If you find yourself looking for new ways to inspire your children to express their ideas and build their creativity, you´ll want to join us to learn and share!

Also, be sure to check out Lisa´s book Lisa Loeb´s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs (Sterling Children´s Books, 2011) available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Sing, laugh, and play with pop Lisa in this fabulous collection of ten of the silliest songs ever. Fun activities, games, and recipes accompany whimsical songs. Take Lisa's Silly Sing-Along with you wherever you go and get the high-spirited good times started. Includes a 10-song CD recorded by Lisa!

This information was provided by Crayola through MyBlogSpark. I did not receive any reimbersement for posting this.

March 5, 2012

Dining on a Dime Recipes and Sale

Homemade Baking Mix Recipes
by Tawra Kellam

Baking Mix
9 cups flour
2/3 cup dry milk
3 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening or 1/2 shortening and 1/2 butter*
Mix flour and other dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Use a mixer on low to cut in the shortening to save time. Store in an airtight container up to 6 months. This recipe uses a 5-pound sack of flour when doubled.
*Refrigerate if using butter.

Baking Mix Pancakes
2 1/4 cups baking mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Mix ingredients until moist. The batter should be lumpy. Cook on a hot greased griddle. Flip when bubbles break on the surface and the edges begin to dry. Makes 15-18 medium pancakes.

Baking Mix Biscuits
2 1/4 cups baking mix
2/3 cup water or milk
Mix lightly until dough forms a ball. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 10-12 times. Roll dough about 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a 2-inch cutter or the rim of a glass dipped in flour. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. For drop biscuits, use 1 cup water and drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Makes one dozen.
*For cheese biscuits, add 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.

Baking Mix Muffins
2 1/4 cup baking mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Mix dry baking mix and sugar. Add egg, water and vegetable oil to dry ingredients. Mix only enough to moisten flour. The batter will be lumpy. Fill greased muffin tins two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
*For an added surprise fill muffin cup halfway and then add a spoonful of jelly. Top with more batter. Add raisins, cinnamon or nuts for gourmet muffins. Makes 12-15 muffins.

Butterfly Ring
2 1/2 cups baking mix
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
Grease a jellyroll sheet and preheat over to 375. Mix first four ingredients until well blended. Dough will be sticky. Knead on a lightly floured surface 18 times. Roll out into an 11x14 inch rectangle. Spread butter on the dough, then the filling on the dough. Serves 12.

2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup nuts (optional)
1/2 cup cherry jelly (raspberry, strawberry or any other jam or jelly will work)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. flour
Add the ingredients to the melted butter. Blend until smooth. If necessary, heat jelly 30 seconds in the microwave if you need to make it smooth. Spread filling onto dough. Roll the dough lengthwise and seal the edges by pinching them together. Form into a circle on the jellyroll pan. Cut 4 to 5 slits in the top to release steam. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool and frost with butter cream frosting.

Breakfast Puffs
2 cups baking mix
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 24 mini muffin cups. Mix baking mix, sugar, nutmeg, margarine, milk and egg. Beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake 10 minutes. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Quickly roll the puffs in melted margarine, then in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Makes 24 puffs.

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips and recipes visit, sign up for the free Living On A Dime Newsletter and learn to save more!

Living On A Dime is having a sale with 50% off of Dining On A Dime and Keeping it Clean! The sale lasts through Monday, March 12. I have been a happy customer, and I love their books, so I became an affiliate. The article and recipes were reprinted with permission.

March 3, 2012

Preparing for Tornados

Our hearts go out to everyone affected in the recent tornado outbreaks. We aren't even in what is the usual "tornado season" which is from March to May here in Indiana. I wanted to review preparation for tornados.
First thing is to Be Aware.
Do you have a weather radio? I have the MIDLAND WR300 Weather Radio. It has worked well for me, and the alarm goes off when severe weather is expected in my area. You could also listen to a local radio station or television channel.

Tornado Watch - means tornadoes are possible. Remain alert, watch the sky, and listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.

Tornado Warning - means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately!

According to you should look for the following danger signs:
•Dark, often greenish sky
•Large hail
•A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
•Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
•If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared take shelter immediately.

The next thing is to Be Prepared.
Have your emergency kit and a family communications plan. You can build your own emergency kit, or get one of the commercially available kits. Know where to go in case of a tornado warning.

The following recommendations are from
If you are in:
A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
•Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
•In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
•Do not open windows.

A vehicle, trailer, or mobile home
•Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

Outside with no shelter
•Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
•Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
•Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
•Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

I hope this info was helpful. I did enclose some affiliate links if you need to purchase some supplies.