(Giveaway!) Happy, Healthy Heinz: Organic Ketchup from the Best!

Thanks to Heinz for providing products and a fun experience for my family. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. 

My interest in “greening” my home really started 6 years ago when my oldest was born. It has been a work in progress, and to be honest, one of the last things to get my attention has been food. I just assumed that it would be too hard and too expensive to offer my family organic choices. The hard part really isn’t true, especially over the last few years as organic options have started popping up on my every aisle of even conventional grocery stores, but the expensive part is (mostly). But the more I learn about the importance of organic food to our diet, the more I am convinced that the extra expense is definitely worth it.

But ketchup has been a sticking point for me. I have tried at least 3 different organic ketchup brands and they have all been, well, not nearly as good as Heinz. Heinz has been the measuring stick because it is, in my personal opinion, the best ketchup on the market.

And then I learned about this amaing product:

heinz organic ketchup 1

I had no idea that Heinz had an organic ketchup! All I needed to do was give it a proper taste test to see if my ketchup woes had ended. So thanks to Heinz, we put on a little back porch barbecue to give this ketchup a chance to perform.

While our organic hot dogs, okra and onions were cooking, we did some tomato seed planting in a cute little container bag meant for tomatoes.

heinz 2

This was a great way to talk more with the girls about where our food comes from and what the difference is between organic and non-organic produce. We already have a small herb garden that the girls take care of, and they take immense pride in knowing that their herbs are in a dish I have prepared. In fact, they are more likely to eat it! :-)

heinz 3

So by getting our kids connected to the growing process and by encouraging an appreciation of how good food reaches our table. we hope we are instilling core values that they will carry with them throughout their lives.

We grilled okra for the first time (just thread them on skewers) and also grilled up an onion, both of which came from our CSA basket this week.

Heinz 5

And then we were ready to put Heinz Organic Ketchup to the test! I love putting a slice of avocado on my hot dogs. It’s a healthy alternative to mayo but still gives you that nice, creamy texture. Definitely try it!

heinz 6

It was good. It was actually SO good that I grabbed the bottle of ketchup to start reading the ingredients, because I was convinced that High Fructose Corn Syrup had to be lurking in the ingredient list in order to produce such a spot-on “Heinz” taste. But look for yourself!

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Heinz has a 26 ounce container of their organic ketchup, which is a family-friendly size. They have the same size now availabile for their Simply Heinz Ketchup, which doesn’t contain organic products, but it does contain real sugar and a streamlined ingredient list. You can also find Heinz No Salt Tomato Ketchup and Heinz Reduced Sugar Ketchup. I am so impressed with the line of products this company has created for the conscious consumer!

Win it!: One lucky Stuff Parents Need reader will win three VIP Heinz Tomato Ketchup coupons (for 3 free bottles!). You can select the right Heinz Ketchup for your family, or even try them all!

Be sure to enter my other current giveaways, found on the right sidebar of the blog.

Heinz Ketchup

How I’m Maximizing My Savings Online for Back-to-School Shopping

Thanks to ShopAtHome.com and Belk for partnering with me on today’s post about back-to-school deals. All thoughts, opinions, and total lack of creative skills are my own. Affiliate links included. 

Yesterday I had to go shopping for clothing for an upcoming trip. I only shopped inside a store because I didn’t have enough time to order stuff online. I spent an hour scouring racks and trying on a dozen things in the fitting room. I did walk away with the items I needed (a new skirt and 2 new pairs of shoes) but it absolutely WORE ME OUT.

Additionally, when I got to the register I realized that I didn’t have any coupons to help shave something off the bill. This is hardly ever a problem when I shop online because I can often find additional savings opportunities through ShopAtHome.com. Shopathome.com back-to-school

Most everyone still has at least a week before school starts back, and most of us have 3-4 more weeks, so let’s take advantage of the current time lead and get that back-to-school shopping done online!

Right now, Belk (a department store largely in the South, but available for everyone to shop with thanks to the internet!) is having some terrific sales, and ShoptAtHome.com has DOUBLED their cash back offer. By clicking through the Belk link on ShopAtHome.com you are eligible to save 12% on your order, and that’s in addition to any coupons you might be using (currently ShopatHome.com has 23 coupon coupon offers for Belk).

Let me demonstrate how to rock what ShopAtHome.com and Belk have going on right now:

First head to the Belk page on ShopAtHome.com.

Then look through the coupons. Right now I’m seeing one for $10 off a $50 order. I’m going to click this link to get my savings code, and then I’m taken to the Belk site. Right now I’m looking for a few adorable pieces for my youngest, who is starting preschool in a few weeks. I’m a fan of Rare Editions and Bonnie Jean, because both lines tend to have whimsical, colorful prints and patterns that remind me a bit of Matilda Jane. But thanks to the Belk sale and the ShopatHome.com discounts, I won’t be paying Matilda Jane prices! :-)

This 2-piece set is already marked down 40% and is currently priced at $30. Into my cart it goes!

Belk shopping 2

And this owl outfit? Yes, please! It’s also on sale right now for $30, also 40% off.

belk shopping 3

Now given the ridiculously cute factor of these outfits, $60 isn’t too terribly bad, but I definitely want to do better. So I’m going to use that $10 off coupon code I found at ShopatHome.com to bring my total down to $50. Then I’m going to check out and pay the total, but here’s where the perks of ShopatHome come back into play: after checking out, I know that I am going to be credited back 12% of my purchase through ShopatHome. So I’m going to see $6 of that payment come back to me, and all I had to do to earn it was use ShopatHome.com. By using this site, what would have cost me $60 actually only cost me $44. And FYI if you like these brands…I saw quite a bit on the site that was 75% off! 

And on top of all that awesome, ShopatHome.com also has the ShopGold program, which I think of as a loyalty program. Each store you shop at through the website is worth a certain amount of ShopGold coins. Coins that you earn by shopping can be redeemed for gift cards down the road. It takes a while to earn enough to get a gift card, but I see this as icing on the cake and a really great way that ShopAtHome.com is thanking their members for remembering to shop with them. More savings on top of all of the other savings is a pretty nice thank you! :-)

ShopatHome.com sends checks out monthly, once you reach a minimum of $20 in your account. With the great cash back offers they have on hand, it won’t be too hard to earn that amount, friends. If you haven’t signed up for ShopAtHome.com, what are you waiting for? It’s completely free to join and is designed to save you as much time and money as possible.

 

 

Easy Taco Soup Recipe to Switch Up Your Taco Tuesdays

This shop for an easy taco soup recipe has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CampbellSavings #CollectiveBias 

Ever since my girls first saw the LEGO movie some time last year, they have asked me to start doing “Taco Tuesday” dinners (if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s actually quite good, and Taco Tuesday is a key component of the plot!). What parent wouldn’t want to jump on board with a weekly ritual that makes meal planning easy?

Only here’s the thing: one of my quirks is that I don’t like to repeat my meals often. And by often I mean that once every 6 months is sort of pushing it. Yes, it’s every bit as annoying as it sounds. And it means that this mama is trying new recipes pretty much all the time.

But I’m totally up for the challenge of incorporating Taco Tuesdays into our weekly routine. With school being back in session in just a few weeks (ACK!) we can use as much streamlining as possible. We can also use meal ideas that are easy on the wallet. Yesterday I printed some great coupons for various Campbell’s products, including Swanson’s Broth and PACE because you need those two ingredients if you want to make this bowl of awesomeness:

taco soup 1

That’s right! We’re rockin’ Taco Tuesday with a taco soup this week! It’s beautiful, it’s flavorful, it’s budget-friendly, and most importantly, it’s EASY!

walmart aisles

You can find your key supplies at your nearest Walmart. I found PACE in the Hispanic foods section and Swanson’s at the start of the soup section. I personally went for the mild PACE so as not to risk it being to spicy for my girls, but you could also grab medium or even hot depending on your family’s preference. I also grabbed the Swanson organic broth as we opt for organic offerings as much as possible.

So let’s get this easy taco soup on the dinner table for your next Taco Tuesday! Here’s what you need:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • (1) 15 oz jar PACE Picante Sauce
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 cups Swanson Chicken Broth
  • (1) 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • (1) 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

For garnish:

  • fresh cilantro
  • grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese
  • green onions
  • sliced avocado
  • tortilla chips (go for the scoop ones!)

Instructions

1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook ground turkey and onion together until browned. Drain out fat if necessary.

easy taco soup recipe meat

2. Add frozen corn and PACE to the meat mixture.

easy taco soup recipe PACE

3. Time to add the Swanson broth!

easy taco recipe broth

4. Add in the beans and all the spices, give it a good stir, and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as it starts boiling, move the heat down to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with shredded cheese, a slice of avocado, sprinkle with green onions, and if desired, add fresh cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.

easy taco soup recipe bowl

I love this recipe because you can do your prep work ahead. I gathered all of my spices together earlier in the day, and you could even cook your meat and onions ahead of time and just stick them in the fridge. The main component of this dish is getting everything into a pot and just letting it simmer. You can have this soup going while you help the kids with homework and not feel stressed about how to get both things accomplished. This is even a great recipe to let little chefs help out with, too.

Coupon Offer

Now’s a great time to be thinking about quick and easy weeknight meals, and why not save money on those planned meals? Campell’s has big savings on seven great products that can help you get in and out of the kitchen fast.

  • Pace® Picante Sauce – Save $1 on any Two (2) jars of Pace® Picante Sauce or Salsa.
  • Swanson® Chicken Broth – Save $0.50 on any TWO (2) cartons of Swanson® broth (26oz. or larger).
  • Prego® Italian Sauces – Save $1 on any TWO (2) Prego® Italian sauces.
  • SpaghettiOs® – Save $0.40 on any THREE (3) Campbell’s® SpaghettiOs® pastas.

Be sure to print your coupons before your next Walmart trip! I’d love to hear if you see any coupons that will help you pull together an easy weeknight meal!

(Giveaway!) Art Lessons for Kids at Home: Home Art Studio

Complimentary products provided for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.

Can I share with you one of the things that has made me the most uncomfortable as a parent? It’s art.

I know….many of you are going to think that’s completely ridiculous. With all the things out there to be petrified of as a parent, I’m going to get all nervous about art?!

But I have a feeling that somewhere out there, there are people reading this who are giving me a, “Me, too!” Somewhere along the way, and early on in my life, I decided that I wasn’t any good at art, and so I quit challenging myself and I pretty much avoided art if at all humanly possible. This is why people see art I have created with my girls and instantly assume that it was the 5-year-old who made it. Not kidding. 

See?!

Creepy craft time! 😆 #artishardforme #notcrafty

A photo posted by Tiffany (@stuffparentsneed) on

Here’s the deal, though: I REALLY don’t want my kids to develop the same fear I have of art, and I know that part of how I will keep that from happening is by making art a part of our daily lives. I have created an art space in our home which has been WONDERFUL because it keeps our materials easy to access. We have been doing art much more frequently since making that shift, so I highly recommend keeping your art suplies visible. Even with these changes, though, I still get very overwhelmed as I look through Pinterest for fun new art ideas. I’m never quite sure what is age appropriate or if the instructions are detailed enough for me to follow (8 times out of 10 they aren’t!). art curriculum 1 And this is where the Home Art Studio comes in. I absolutely LOVE this program, you guys! Each DVD is designed to provide art curriculum for the school year (perhaps roughly 1 new lesson every 2 weeks).  Ms. Volin serves as your art teacher and walks you through the steps to make your art. Since you are watching a DVD, it is easy to pause or even rewind if you need to see a step again. art curriculum 2 Darah and I have been working through the Kindergarten DVD this summer as a way to help increase her confidence and her art skills. And yeah, as a way to increase mine, too. That’s right, friends: I’m working my way through kindergarten art. And no, it’s not too easy for me. The lessons are challenging to Darah, as well, but they are certainly doable, especially with an adult on hand to help explain things. This wouldn’t be the kind of thing you’d sit your 6-year-old in front of and then leave the room while it played. art curriculum 3 You, as the parent, also get lesson plans for each activity (they come on the DVD) so that you can know which supplies you need ahead of time and you can prepare the space for the lesson. Speaking of supplies, you can also buy everything you need for each year’s curriculum through the website, or you can simply pick and choose which items you might need based on your current art supply inventory. It is really nice having exactly what the art teacher in the video is using for her projects on hand, and I didn’t have to head to the dreaded craft supply store to try to figure it out myself. So I highly recommend that if you get one these DVDs you at least look over the supply list and see what you might want to buy. The prices are reasonable. :-) art curriculum 4 My time spent with Darah working on these art lessons has been absolutely precious to me. We’ve really bonded over our lessons! I’m there to encourage her when she gets frustrated and she truly beams with pride when she steps back and realizes that she finished a project. We have art hanging up all over the house now! Darah has even taken to hanging up the art I made in my room, which totally makes me smile. She wants me to be proud of my work, too! :-) I am planning on buying the first grade Home Art Studio DVD once we are finished with the Kindergarten set. This is some truly fantastic material, whether you are homeschooling or simply seeking some enrichment opportunities. It is doing wonders for my daughter, and it’s doing wonders for me, too. First grade art, here I come! 😉

Win it! One VERY lucky Stuff Parents Need reader will win the entire Home Art Studion curriculum collection (DVDs for K-5, which is a $180 value!). You can work your way through them with your kids or grandkids, and then pass them on to someone else to enjoy. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving!

Be sure to enter my other current giveaways, found on the sidebar of the blog.

Home Art Studio

When the Days are Long: The Tough Side of the First Few Months with Baby

As I type this my little sister, who became a mom for the first time in May, is headed to the pediatrician’s office with her baby in the hopes of figuring out why her little one has started crying. A LOT. As in, if she’s awake, she’s fussing or crying.

When I spoke with her a few days ago, I could hear the strain in my sister’s voice. She’s tired. Actually, she’s WAY past tired. She’s worried, too. And she’s upset because this is a puzzle she can’t seem to figure out. All the tricks she has learned over the past 11 weeks just aren’t working, anymore. She’s racking her brain, and all while listening to one of the scientifically-proven most disturbing sounds to an adult human ear: the sound of a baby crying.

darah baby 1

Y’all, I’ll be the first to tell you just how short the years are; my babies are SO big now and don’t fit in my arms. Just looking at the picture of my Darah above nearly slays me. But what my sister is going through right now is the epitome of the other half of that saying: “the days are LONG.”

layah baby 3
Layah’s first Christmas. She started the day at 2:45 am, you know, just for fun…

I’m packing a little care kit for my sister and my niece. I’m including a journal where she can keep some of her favorite baby photos (including the good moments AND the not-so-good moments!), and I’m also including some Colief Infant Digestive Aid, as I have a feeling that colic is the culprit for baby Taralynn’s crying.

colief

Colic affects nearly 1 in 5 babies, which totals over a million each year here in the United States. The cause? For many, it’s a temporary lactose intolerance (TLI), and lactose is found both in breast milk and in formula. By adding Colief Infant Digestive Aid directly to baby’s milk, digestion is made easier, as this product is designed to break down most of the lactose. Studies have found a reduction in excessive crying by up to 40% when TLI was present and Colief Infant Digestive Aid was subsequently added to milk.

Are you a new mom with a baby who is experiencing colic? You may want to check out these great video testimonials from other moms who have been there. Or do you know a new mom going through this tough situation? Colief Instant Digestive Aid might be one of the best baby gifts you would possibly give, and it’s available at Walgreens or online.

#ColiefMOMents Giveaway

Right now you can enter to win some really great prizes through the #ColiefMOMents Giveaway. There will be weekly winners of great Colief products, and there are also some BIG prizes ($500 Walgreens gift cards and a designer diaper bag!). To enter you simply need to submit photo that captures a memorable moment with your baby. Somebody’s going to win, and if you enter, that somebody could be you!

Colief® Infant Digestive Aid is a gluten-free dietary supplement for the reduction of colic-associated crying resulting from temporary lactose intolerance (TLI) in infants. Colief Infant Digestive Aid may help reduce the crying time associated with colic by breaking down the lactose in breast milk or infant formula, making it easier for infants to digest. To learn more, visit us.colief.com or LIKE the brand on Facebook.

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. All opinions, text and experiences are my own. Colief Infant Digestive Aid is a dietary supplement to provide relief due to colic-associated crying from temporary lactose intolerance (TLI). These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.