Sunday, January 25, 2015

Winter Staycation With Pop Secret & Pillow Forts #PopSecretForts

Disclosure:  Today’s post is sponsored by Pop Secret, by my love for their popcorn is all my own!


When we are in the heart of winter, we have to get a little creative with the boredom busters. We aren't big fans of the cold, so we don't travel around much this time of year. On the weekends we pretend we are having a staycation and stay wrapped in blankets and jammies. We try to come up with fun themes to pass the time. Movie night, game night and craft night have been some recent favorites. This weekend, we decided to have a camping night! We rounded up all of the spare blankets and pillows to build a pillow fort, then grabbed some Pop Secret popcorn for delicious camp snacking.

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Pop Secret has been a family favorite for many years. We love the Homestyle popcorn because it pops up light and fluffy, and with just a hint of butter and salt, it is so perfect for the mix ins we like to use to turn a delicious snack into something just a bit more decadent. This weekend we whipped up some Jackson Pollock popcorn for our camping adventures.

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Our Jackson Pollock popcorn is a scrumptious mix of popcorn drizzled with caramel, and white and dark chocolate. Combined with the touch of salt and butter already on the kernels, it's a taste explosion on your tongue!

Ingredients

2 bags Pop Secret popcorn
½ cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp baking soda
½ white chocolate
½ dark chocolate

Directions

Pop popcorn according to package directions. Once popped, pour into a large bowl. Remove any unpopped kernels.

In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once mixture is boiling, stop stirring, but continue to boil on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. This will create your caramel mixture. Pour the caramel over popcorn in the bowl. Using 2 spoons, toss the popcorn to coat with the caramel mixture. Spread popcorn/caramel mixture evenly over 2 cookie sheets.

Using double broilers, or 2 glass bowls placed over simmering water, melt chocolates. Using a spoon, drizzle chocolates over the caramel popcorn mixture.

Allow 1 hour for chocolate to cool and harden on popcorn. Once cooled and set, break into small pieces and serve.


The girls had a blast getting their Jackson Pollock on, making a delicious mess all over the popcorn.

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 While our popcorn was setting, we set up camp. Building a pillow fort was something I loved do to as a kid, so getting to build one with my daughters was not only great for bonding, it took me back to the days of my childhood when I would spend hours carefully constructing my own pillow fort. Using dining room chairs as our base, we draped over all of our spare blankets, filled it with pillows, and named it Camp Kernel.

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Allison immediately settled in with a stash of books and some tasty Pop Secret!

Get in on the action yourself! Pop Secret is your perfect snack companion on trips into the uncharted reaches of your imagination.

Go to the Pop Secret Facebook Page to download printable Pop Secret Pillow Fort Flags and get a valuable $1 coupon for Pop Secret Popcorn!  

Pop Secret knows that fun, like popcorn, is better when it’s shared. Send Pop Secret your Pop Secret pillow fort stories and pictures on Facebook. You can upload them right to the Pop Secret timeline and tag them #PopSecretForts. They might just share a little something back!

Did you enjoy making pillow forts when you were a kid? Do your kids build their own pillow forts now too?



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Homemade Trail Mix Bars

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.  

Like many people, I like to snack. I try to keep fruits and veggies within eyesight so I reach for those first, but some days I just want something sweet. Since I don't normally keep candies or prepackaged treats on hand, I usually have to make something from scratch. That means flipping through my recipe box until something strikes my fancy. Lately though, I have been turning to Golden Blossom Honey to meet most of my recipe needs. Last month I came across their Trail Mix Bars recipe and thought it would be a great one, not only to satisfy my sweet tooth, but it would be perfect to pack in my husband and daughter's lunches as well. They are now a family favorite, so we have made these bars several times since then. My youngest daughter thinks they are a real treat because she says they taste just like an oatmeal cookie.


trail mix bars

Made with oats, dried cranberries, raisins, almonds and mini chocolate chips, they have everything I need to satisfy my sweet tooth craving, and give me a needed boost of energy in the afternoons! I'd say that's the perfect snack right there!

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°

Lightly grease a 9x15 inch pan.

Combine the first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add vanilla, butter, honey and brown sugar. Beat with an electric mixer. Batter will be very heavy. Using a wooden spoon stir in remaining ingredients until well combined.

Press dough into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Cut into bars and cool completely before removing them from pan.


You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.

If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey! 
What kind of fruits would you use to mix into your trail mix bars?


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wordless Wednesday ~ Puppy Love

dachshund puppy

I get a jonesing for a new puppy every time I see this little guy!


Get Healthy & Glowing Skin With OZ Naturals!

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Policy tab for more information.

One of my guilty pleasures is beauty products. I could spend all day dabbling in cosmetics, creams and lotions. Sometimes I find a brand that I love, that I just can't get enough of, and sometimes I wonder what I wasted my money on. My newest beauty obsession comes from OZ Naturals. Last week I talked about a few of their face serums I have been trying. I honestly can't get enough of them! So when OZ Naturals asked if I would like to try a few more of their products, I happily said YES! 


I was sent a bottle of OZ Naturals Retinol Serum.

oz naturals retinol

Oz Naturals Retinol Serum contains clinical strength 2.5% retinol, and is the only retinol product that contains astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is proven to minimize hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, and greatly improves tone and texture. It is formulated with ingredients proven to be extremely effective in anti-aging and skin correcting, guaranteed!

The serum does come in a 1 ounce tinted glass bottle. The serum itself comes out orange in color. I was worried it was going to leave behind an orange tint on my skin, but it dried clear.


It absorbs into the skin quickly, so you aren't waiting around for it to dry for long periods so you can continue with your skin care routine. It leaves my face feeling soft, healthy and glowing! Use OZ Naturals retinol after your toner, but before moisturizing.

I feel good about using this retinol because it is:

• 72% Organic
• Does not contain alcohol, parabens, or sulfates
• Safe for all skin types
• Made in the USA
• Not tested on animals

OZ Naturals Retinol is currently available on Amazon for $24.99.

In addition to the retinol, I was sent a bottle of OZ Naturals Moisturizer.

oz naturals moisturizer


OZ Naturals Body Moisturizer is a rich souffle of aloe vera, green tea, shea butter, and Vitamin B 5 to soften rough spots and heal dry skin. The olive and jojoba oil nourishes skin, leaving it hydrated and silky soft.

The body moisturizer has a nice consistency. Not thin, but not too thick where it takes forever to rub in and dry. It is unscented, so it is a great product to use on those days you want to wear perfume. It blends easily into the skin, leaving it feeling silky soft and hydrated. It is light weight and non greasy. Just like the other OZ Naturals, what I love about the body moisturizer:

• Organic Ingredients
• Does not contain alcohol, parabens, or sulfates
• Safe for all skin types
• Made in the USA
• Not tested on animals
• Can be used on dry skin faces

At first I was a little taken back on the price point. At $26.49 it is a little more than I pay for body moisturizer. However, after considering the size of the tube (8 ounces), and the fact that I put this moisturizer on in the morning and it seems to last most of the day, not needing a reapplication until later in the evening, it is definitely reasonably priced. Topped off that it is made with organic ingredients and no harsh chemicals, you definitely get what you pay for here! OZ Naturals Body Moisturizer is also available on Amazon.




If you would like to learn more about OZ Naturals, you can visit their website. Additionally, stay up to date on new products and promotions by following them on Facebook and Twitter.

What are some of the benefits you look for in body and facial moisturizers?



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hot Chocolate Lovers Rejoice For Tootsie Roll Flavored Hot Cocoa! #TootsieRollHotCocoa


*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Policy tab for more information.


Oh, Happy Day! I recently found out that some of my all time favorite candies are now featured in hot cocoa form and I have been jumping for joy ever since. If you have a sweet tooth like me, and a single pod brewer, you are going to jump for joy too over new Tootsie Roll Hot Cocoa K-Cups!

Tootsie Roll K-Cups



Available in 6 flavors:

Tootsie Roll
Junior Mints
Charleston Chew Chocolate Nougat
Charleston Chew Vanilla
Charleston Chew Strawberry
Sugar Daddy

The kids and I couldn't wait to tear into them, so when the shipment came we had a little hot cocoa tasting party. I have always made my hot cocoa with milk, so I was a little concerned the cocoas were going to taste a little watery if made in the Keurig. So, how did they taste?

Tootsie Roll- Out of all of the 6 that we tried, I only had a slight watery tasting issue with the Tootsie Roll flavored pod, but it was still pretty good. I did end up opening up the pod and dumped some of the remnants into my mug to add a boost of flavor. I don't know if you are supposed to do that or not, but will say it gave it more of the Tootsie Roll flavor I was hoping for when I did it that way.

The Sugar Babies and Junior Mint cocoas tasted exactly like their candy counterparts, with Junior Mints being my favorite. While the other pods only smelled like normal hot cocoa as they were brewing, the Junior Mints had an amazing peppermint aroma during brewing. The Sugar Babies had the signature caramel flavor you know and love them for, and when combined with a cocoa flavor, it's plain scrumptious!

The Charleston Chew flavors were all fun to drink too. You can definitely taste the difference in the strawberry, vanilla and chocolate varieties. My kids loved all 3, but the Chocolatey Nougat won out as their favorite among all the flavors that we tested that day.

Tootsie Roll Hot Cocoa

Most of us grew up loving the Tootsie Roll brand of candies, so to me, it was a real treat getting to savor them in a whole new way! And getting to share them with my girls made me feel like a kid again, letting me reminisce about the good old days of dirty knees and penny candy. 

If you are a fan of these classic candies, you are going to want to try the cocoa for yourself! You can pick up a 40 count sampler Tootsie Roll Hot Cocoa Pack on Amazon now! Please note that these are NOT compatible with Keurig 2.0 machines.

WIN IT! 

Candy K Cups


One lucky Theresa's Mixed Nuts reader is going to win a 40 count sampler box of Tootsie Roll hot cocoa. You will receive samples of all 6 flavors. Giveaway is open to U.S., 18+. NO PO Boxes will be accepted. The giveaway will run through 2/2/15. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email or a new winner will be selected.

**All entries are verified. Please make sure you are following all task guidelines you claim entries for. Failure to do so will result in your entries being removed from the form. 


 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Outstanding Oatmeal For National Oatmeal Month

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.  

January is National Oatmeal month, and I am taking full advantage because there is nothing that I love more on a cold winter morning than to fill my belly with a warm and nutritious breakfast. I'll be honest here- I am NOT a morning person, so I tend stick with quick and easy breakfast solutions most days. I've been known to rip open some of those instant oatmeal packets on occasion, but really, they aren't that tasty and aren't very filling. On the weekend I will put a little more effort into breakfast prep though, and that's where I totally LOVE diving into a scrumptious bowl of Outstanding Oatmeal from Golden Blossom Honey.

Oatmeal Recipe


Packed with oats, apples, raisins and walnuts, it is definitely not lacking in flavor. The flavor beats those instant packets any day of the week! It is so filling, I don't worry about getting to lunch with a rumbling tummy! 

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned oats, cooked according to package directions

Apple Mixture:
1 cup apple juice
2 apples, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping:
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 1/2 Tablespoons GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt

Directions

Apple Mixture:
Combine above ingredients and stir into hot oatmeal. Cover and warm over low heat 5 minutes until apples are soft. Meanwhile prepare topping.

Topping:
Toss walnuts with honey until coated.

To serve:
Spoon oatmeal into 4 bowls. Top with honey-coated nuts and yogurt.

Serves 4.



You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.

If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!

What are your favorite oatmeal mix-ins?


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