Archives for April 2013

Easy Cajun Jambalaya Recipe

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Earlier this month, I received a free voucher for Johnsonville Premium Fully Cooked Dinner Sausages from BzzAgent, and I knew right away what flavor I wanted to try.  They have 5 different varieties, but I am an Andouille fanatic, so that’s what I headed straight for when we got to Kroger.

When I got home, I logged on to AllRecipes.com, one of my favorite sites for cooking inspiration.  Well, you know, besides Pinterest of course! 😉  I found an easy jambalaya recipe that I could start with, but of course I modified it along the way to suit my family’s tastes.

easy cajun jambalaya recipe

Easy Cajun Jambalaya

Ingredients:

1 Tbs olive oil

1 lb Johnsonville Premium Andouille sausage, diced

Girls helping in the kitchen

They like to help in the kitchen, can you tell? 🙂

2 10 oz cans of chicken breast meat, drained

2 onions, diced

2 green bell peppers, diced

3 ribs of celery, diced

1/4 cup minced garlic

1 Tbs onion powder

1 Tbs Cajun seasoning

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy!)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

4 cups of uncooked rice

12 cups of chicken broth (I used water and bouillon cubes)

6 bay leaves

1 1/2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Texas Pete hot sauce

Easy cajun jambalaya recipe

Directions:

1.  Heat oil in a stock pot over medium high heat.

2.  Saute sausage for five minutes until browned.

3.  Add in chicken, onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic.

4.  Season with Cajun seasoning, cayenne, onion powder, salt and pepper.

5.  Mix well and cook until onions start to soften.

6.  Add in rice, chicken broth, and bay leaves.

7.  Bring to a boil, then simmer while covered for 20-25 minutes.

8.  Mix in Worcestershire and hot sauce.

9.  Remove bay leaves and serve.

Printer friendly version of this Easy Cajun Jambalaya recipe

easy cajun jambalaya recipe

This isn’t a traditional version, but it sure is tasty!  Have you tried to make jambalaya at home before?

I received a voucher for free product from Johnsonville and BzzAgent but this recipe and all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Graco’s FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Stroller — A Sporty Look for Everyday Use

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



I was uber-excited to recently receive a complimentary Graco FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Stroller, and provided me with the opportunity to meet up with other moms to discuss and learn more about this new and fabulous jogging stroller.

Grace Event FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Stroller

That’s me: the sixth mama from the left.  Thanks Redhead Baby Mama for sharing this picture!

 

First, I must point out that, prior to getting the Graco FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Stroller, I was using a 4 year old travel system stroller.  We’d used that beloved stroller for four solid years, and although it was still in great shape, time was starting to take its toll on it.

SO, when the new one arrived, hubs promptly set out to assemble it.  (I would’ve taken pictures, but I was busy corralling and entertaining the kiddos, while he worked on it in the driveway.  And trust me, I wasn’t about to ask him to *also* take pictures as well.)  In any case, he came back in within a relatively short time, proudly boasting of its complete assemble.  There were no additional tools required, parts just snapped or slid in place.  Or so he told me.  😉

Y’all, I was immediately impressed.  I have two main criteria for a stroller: cup holders (yes, plural!), and plenty of storage space.  This stroller had both.  And then some!  Not only did it fit my bulky diaper bag, but left me with space to throw on an extra bag or two — handy for when I zip in to a store for a quick run.  And cup holders?  Yeah, the kid gets two, and the adults get two.  The child’s snack tray can be  completely removed for easy cleaning.  Simply put: I’m sold.

Graco FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Stroller CUP HOLDERS

But it doesn’t stop there: The icing on the cake was the deluxe parent’s tray with a 2-way smartphone holder, and a deep well of covered storage underneath it.

Graco FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Stroller parent console features

And does this stroller fold fast!  With the pull of a handle, it folds up from the seam of the seat, and presto!  It’s called a “fast action fold” for a reason.  It’s automatically locked in place, kickstand holding it upright, for easy maneuverability.  And I’ve even seen quite a few folks fold it up with a child in their arms.  I will caution, however, that the kickstand doesn’t always seem to stay put, and can interfere with the folding up process.  So, make sure you have it pushed out of the way when folding.  Also, during our discussion, we made the unscientific discovery that it folds best when you’re standing on the side opposite of the locking handle.

Graco FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Stroller fast fold

Which leads me to a clever way to keep track of older children: have them hold the locking mechanism when you’re out and about.  It serves as a good visual for them, it keeps them out of the way while you’re steering, but close enough to keep them in your sight and protection.  I call it the “second kid handle”.

Graco FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Stroller "second kid handle"

The functionality  of this jogging stroller is visible all over.  The lockable front swivel wheel offers an easy transition from strolling to jogging.  While parents hit the streets for a jog, baby can stay comfortable with a padded, multi-position reclining seat, convertible 3 or 5-point harness and large air-filled rubber tires for a smooth ride on any surface, as well as even reflectors for low-light visibility for evening or early morning use.

FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Stroller
And, as with all baby products, it’s important for them to work with your existing products, or other products with that line.  Graco’s Click Connect technology allows for a one-step secure infant car seat to stroller connection — this stroller accepts all Graco Click Connect™ Infant Car Seats through a secure one-step attachment.  Just look for a car seat with the “Click Connect™” label on it, and you’re good to go.  CAUTION: do NOT use the stroller as a jogger when you’ve got a car seat attached to it.  It’s not designed to keep the baby safe that way.

All in all, I am very pleased with my new stroller.  While it does tend to take up space in my van, it’s not a big deal for me because we keep the backseat down, and because I use it everywhere!  In fact, the day after it arrived, I had to take my 4-year-old daughter to the doctor, which meant my son got to tag along.  My daughter was too pooped to even walk, so I scooped her up and carried her in one arm, and maneuvered my son in the stroller with one hand.  That front wheel made it super-easy to turn and steer — truly, it was a god send to have a new stroller on that particular day!  Not only do I really enjoy this stroller, but my husband does as well.  That it doesn’t really take up any more space than our previous stroller made it an easily welcomed addition to our baby gear.

Graco’s NEW FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Stroller is the ultimate crossover stroller, combining all the comfort and convenience features of a traditional stroller (FastAction Fold and Click Connect Technology) with performance and maneuverability of an all-terrain jogger. As an added bonus, Graco’s innovative one-second, one-hand FastAction™ fold automatically locks & is self-standing.  This post is sponsored by the Graco.

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

WIN $120 Amazon gift card {Mother’s Day giveaway}

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Mother's Day Amazon gift card giveaway

I am super-excited to be hosting this Mother’s Day giveaway!  With the distinct pleasure of working alongside a dozen other fantastic bloggers, we are thrilled to be giving away a $120 Amazon gift card!  Yep, that’s right $120 — this will be the Mother of all giveaways!  (…yeah, I know….  but I had to say it….)

mother's day giveaway Amazon gift card

An Amazon giftcard will make the perfect Mother’s Day gift for any mother (or heck, for yourself!) — just imagine all the possibilities $120 can get you on Amazon!  And with perks from Amazon Prime and Amazon Mom, it’s a gift you could easily stretch out!

To enter for your chance to win, simply fill out the form below.  Make sure you leave a comment on the blog, in order to qualify.

Good luck, y’all!!

P.S.  Check out this GREAT Living Social deal for 3 hours of house cleaning — good through the end of April!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

$59 for 3 Hours of House Cleaning in Atlanta

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



house cleaning in Atlanta

 

Want an early Mother’s Day gift for yourself?  Or for someone special in your life?  How about a 3 hour house cleaning session, for just $59!  Check out this AWESOME deal through Living Social — they’ll come clean anywhere within a 20 mile radius to the Chamblee (30341) area.  Deal runs through the end of April — promotional value good through August 2, 2013.  Hurry and grab this deal for house cleaning in Atlanta while it’s still here!

house cleaning in Atlanta

Also, don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a $120 Amazon gift card, just in time for Mother’s Day!!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Life with a Toddler {Wordless Wednesday}

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And this is precisely why we have to examine the contents within EVERY time we throw something away….

Life with a toddler
Ah, yes, life with a toddler certainly keeps you on your toes! Happy (wordless) Wednesday, y’all! 🙂

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

[Video] Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe – Healthy and Easy!

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



One thing I love about summer time is all of the fun cookouts and get togethers with family and friends.  The kids’ birthdays start in May and run through September, so we are always having some sort of celebration around here!  As I’ve been working to change my eating habits (and mindset), I’ve been playing around with different recipes that I love to make for parties, and tweaking them to make them healthier.  One of my favorite party dips is a hot bubbly Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip, but it’s no secret that it’s not too healthy!  When BzzAgent sent me some of Green Giant’s new veggie chips to try out a few days ago, they included a Zesty Cheddar flavor and I figured it would be the perfect chip to try out with a healthier chicken dip.  They’ve already got a nice cheesy taste, so I knew I could use that flavor in place of the normal cheddar cheese overload in the traditional recipe.  Check out my healthy twist on Buffalo Chicken Dip below, and let me know what you think!

Buffalo Chicken Dip - Healthy and easy!

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients:

2 cups of chopped chicken (I use canned)

2 cups Greek yogurt

1 pack of ranch dressing mix (3 Tbs)

3 Tbs hot sauce

3 Tbs green onion

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

3/4 tsp pepper

Diced tomatoes and green onion for garnish (optional)

Buffalo Chicken Dip - Healthy and easy!

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients, making sure to mix well.

2. Top with tomatoes and green onions.

3. Serve with chips or veggie sticks.

It’s that easy!

Buffalo Chicken Dip - Healthy and easy!

This healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip would also make a delicious chicken salad or spread.  Just use 1 cup of yogurt instead of two, and you may want to use a little less hot sauce (unless you like a like of spice).  Much better for you than a salad made with mayo for sure!

Buffalo Chicken Dip - Healthy and easy!

What’s your favorite healthy party dip recipe?  Share below!

BzzAgent did send my family some Green Giant chips to try out, but I was not compensated for this post.  The chips just happened to work perfectly with my dip recipe!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Step 2 – Inflatable Princess Playhouse on Clearance!

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Got a little girl in your life? Why not indulge in this super-cute Step 2 inflatable playhouse? As an inflatable, it makes it easier to store (think: toy rotation), and the colors are just perfect for the princess to reside (or play) in!

Best of all? It ships for just 99¢!  (Did you know all products from Step 2 ship for just under $2.20?)

Step2 - inflatable princess playhouse

Step 2 Infatable Princess Playhouse

Inflatable fun for active minds and bodies alike! Made in China.Features an opening sid… [More]

Price: 27.99

P.S. This super-cute toddler swing is still available for under $20, and ships for FREE! The red color makes it perfect for a boy or a girl, which means you can easily pass it on to younger siblings, cousins, or resale when yours have outgrown it!

Step 2 toddler swing

Step 2 Toddler Swing

An easy loading and comfortable swing seat for children ages 9 to 36 months. Made in US… [More]

Price: 19.99
Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Hair Donation – Letting It All Go!

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Locks of Love logo - hair donation

I recently hinted on Facebook that I participated in a Locks of Love haircut.  Hair donation is an easy way to give back big time.  Your hair can go to someone in much greater need, while also “lifting” you of the extra weight — figuratively and literally.

For the last two or three years, I’ve really slacked on getting my hair cut.  So I decided to just grow it out long enough to donate when I *do* get it cut.  I did so last year (on Super Bowl Sunday 2012), about six weeks after my son was born, so I had a rich, long head of hair to donate.  This year -after growing it out for 14 months- it wasn’t as long (or lush), but it was a good 10 inches that I don’t miss, but will make a world of difference for someone else.

Hair donations typically benefit children with medical conditions resulting in hair loss.

There are other organizations that accept hair donations, including Pantene Beautiful Lengths and Wigs for Kids.

If you’re looking to donate and live in the Atlanta area, I suggest waiting for May 20, when there will be a hair donation event in Alpharetta.  You can learn more here.  Thanks, Alpharetta Macaroni Kid for letting me know about this one!

hair donation - Locks of Love

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep – book review

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**I am participating in a book review campaign with One2One Network for Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep. I received this book from Harper Collins for the purposes of reviewing it, and have not received compensation.  All opinions stated are my own.**

 Sleeping Baby

Sleep.  For parents with little ones, it’s an enigmatic concept that seems forever out of our grasp, particularly in those first few months.  Yet, some parents and their young children struggle with sleep issues for years to come, seeing little to no relief in sight.  With lack of sleep comes countless consequences for the entire family:  it plays an important role in our ability to concentrate, as well as aids in metabolic processes as well — just to name a few.  For new mothers, sleep deprivation can also contribute to postpartum depression.

With parenthood comes a whole new outlook on sleep.  You want your children to sleep.  More importantly, YOU want a good night’s sleep!  And yet, it’s a concept that seems so firmly *just* outside your reach!

Especially in those first few weeks, where newborns ability to sleep for long stretches make quality sleep seem almost laughable, it’s important to be armed with the right tools, and the right information.  Doing a quick Google search for books intended to guide parents of newborns with sleep issues yields an overwhelming response, along with countless mixed messages and conflicting suggestions to help with this most-troubling issue.

Enter: Harvey Karp.  You may recognize the name for The Happiest Baby on the Block and  The Happiest Toddler on the Block.  Now he ‘s created an entire book dedicated to what new parents crave most: a trip to slumberland!  The Happiest Baby: Guide to Great Sleep is now available in paperback, and I recently had the chance to review the book.

Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep - book cover

Here is my disclaimer: for the most part, my kids have been good sleepers.  My daughter (now 4) and my son (15 months) began sleeping “through the night” after around 4-6 weeks.  My son, in fact, is a champ — he LOVES to the land of nod.  If lunch comes too late, he’ll lay his little noggin on his high chair tray and simply declare “night night”.  I digress.  My kids were not without their own unique night-time issues.  Each have had their bouts of rough sleeping, or rough getting-to-sleep patches.

Were I able to draw on the solutions from Guide to Great Sleep, my life may have been a little easier, perhaps a little saner during those rough patches.  What Harvey Karp’s provides is sleep solutions for children, from birth to age five.  In his latest book, Karp tackles:

  • How to train brand new babies to sleep better: Infants can be taught to sleep at least one extra hour from the first weeks of life! Dr. Karp shows how to safely boost baby sleep in just days.
  • What’s the best white noise (and which ones worsen sleep): The right white noise (low pitched and rumbling) is the key to good sleep—even through teething—for all babies. Plus, it even gives parents a more restful sleep.  I found this particularly  helpful with getting my son to sleep well in those first few weeks.
  • Why parents should always wake a sleeping baby: For good sleep, babies must learn how to self-soothe. The best way to teach babies how to fall back to sleep—when they rouse in the middle of the night—is to wake them just as they’re being put into bed.  And I’ll admit, this was a mistake I made with my daughter, but corrected with my son.  She was nursed to sleep every night for about six or seven months, which lead to me being SOLELY tied to getting her back to sleep if she awoke.  Which she did.
  • How to enjoy the benefits – and avoid the risks – of swaddling: Swaddling dramatically improves a new baby’s sleep. Yet, many states are shockingly banning this ancient parenting tool. Smart moms should do it and Dr. Karp will teach them how to do it properly and safely.  With swaddling, I simply have to giggle: my daughter was too wiggly even on day one to be swaddled.  The nurses at the hospital could not pick her jaw off the floor, seeing how quickly my little squirmy-wormy got herself out of that baby burrito.  Yet my son LOVED to be swaddled.  I, in fact, invested in some larger-size swaddlers, to allow him to do so through about six or seven months.  (Remember, my son is the kid who loves to sleep!)  You can read more about his stance on swaddling here, and his reaction to the ban on swaddling in some states here.
  • The importance of powering down: Staring at bright screens at night (TVs, computers, phones) can wreak a toddler and a parent’s sleep.  (Whoops!  When else would I get my blogging done?)
  • Easy “no-cry” tips that end infant and toddler bedtime struggles in just days!

With The Happiest Baby Guide to Sleep, no longer will new parent have to suffer months of sleep deprivation and no longer will babies have to cry themselves to sleep. Backed by compelling science, common sense and decades of experience, Dr. Karp’s landmark guide will revolutionize how millions of children drift off to dreamland.

You can purchase The Happiest Baby Guide to Sleep in paperback or for your Kindle, and also explore Harvey Karp’s other works here — or click no the widget below for further details.

 

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Crackle – Watch Your Ol’ Favorites for Free

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Are you a Seinfeld fanatic? Remember all the wit that was All in the Family? Relive all your favorite TV moments for FREE with Crackle! Also check out the vast selection of movies you can stream. Seriously, if you’re looking for a way to thwart those hefty cable bills, this may be your solution.

I perused through their master list of TV shows and movies, and -while they’re still building their collection- it was like reminiscing through time.  I found shows I’d completely forgotten existed — did YOU know Dana Carvey had his own show?  Yeah, apparently so!  Go take a glance at the list, and see what memories it conjures up for you — I dare ya!  🙂  Check out Crackle today!

crackle

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Atlanta's Frugal Mom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. In other words, if you click through to Amazon from some of the books or products I recommend and make a purchase, I get a small percentage in exchange for your purchase. It's a small way you can support AFM.