Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Start Your Day Right with New Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Cereals {Review}

Honey Bunches of Oats logo
If there is a family out there with school-aged children that manages to have calm, smooth, happy weekday mornings, I bow down to your greatness (and am also secretly shaking my fist at you in jealousy).

Why is it that no matter how much time we start out with and how much we have prepared the night before, the last five minutes before heading out the door always end up a disorganized, rushed mess? How is it possible that there is always more hair to brush, papers to sign, and homework to pack up?

Fortunately, even though I never know what state of mind my family will be in by the time we get started on our day, I do know that I can count on each of us having had a good breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day, right? That's why I love knowing that we can always turn to the taste and nutrition that we all know and love from our favorite cereals, Honey Bunches of Oats!

Honey Bunches of Oats

What started back with the original Honey Bunches of Oats, the collection of flavors has grown to now include 19 different varieties such as Strawberry, Vanilla Bunches, Cinnamon Bunches, Pecan Bunches, Fruit Blends in Peach Raspberry and Banana Blueberry, Morning Energy flavors, and more.

No matter what your preferences, there is a box that is sure to provide the crispy flakes and tasty, crunchy granola clusters with just a touch of honey that the whole family will enjoy! After all, who can resist the delicious crunch that comes along with so many whole grains?

So, as already-big fans of this cereal in our house, we were excited to hear that yet another new twist had joined the Honey Bunches of Oats lineup to take the number of whole grains to an entirely new level: Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain with Vanilla Bunches and Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Honey Crunch!

HBO Whole Grain

Starting the day off right begins with eating a breakfast rich in whole grains and these new Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain cereals make that a snap (and a tasty one, at that)!

Both of the two delectable varieties are packed with ⅔ of your day's whole grain (33 grams), 4 grams of fiber, and 12 essential vitamins and minerals, all while staying heart healthy (0g trans fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol per serving) and deliciously wholesome.

But let's be honest. As much as the nutritional information is important to me, all parents know that there's only one thing that our kids care about when it comes to introducing a new cereal to the breakfast table: how does it taste? It was time to put these whole grains to the test!

Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain

While I initially wondered if either of my kids would be interesting in swapping out our traditional Honey Bunches of Oats for the new varieties, all hesitation was completely dismissed once they both dug right in and kept on eating!

The Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain with Vanilla Bunches has just enough of a hint of vanilla to go along with the crunchy flakes...

Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Vanilla Bunches

...and the Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Honey Crunch has the added sweetness from the honey that makes it satisfying without at all being overwhelming or too much. This one has ended up being our new favorite!

Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Honey Crunch

In short, both of these new whole grain varieties stay true to the Honey Bunches of Oats taste that we already know and love but with all sorts of increased nutrients such as iron and folic acid and the ability to start our day with so many whole grains right in one bowl!

new honey bunches of oats

Even though Honey Bunches of Oats was already a staple in our household, I'm happy knowing that my kids have welcomed yet another good-for-you cereal into the rotation. I love knowing that I'm sending them off to school having eaten a filling breakfast and that their bellies are full of so many whole grains and protein!

When it comes to starting off the day in a healthy, delicious way, Honey Bunches of Oats has always been the first box that we reach for in the cupboard. Now that they have given us the ability to extend our breakfast love even further with Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain (as well as their many other great new varieties), we can have a different flavor every day of the week if we want to — if you haven't picked up one of their many new boxes, try one today!

Find out more about the nutrition and varieties of Honey Bunches of Oats available by visiting HoneyBunchesOfOats.com and connecting with them on Twitter and Facebook.

Other than the breakfast package of goodies that I was sent by Honey Bunches of Oats, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of these products.

Monday, January 26, 2015

"Be Yourself, Together" with a Target Wedding Registry! {#TargetWedding}

For many of us, January signifies the end of another busy holiday season and the start of a new year. Whether we are looking ahead towards starting a new job, welcoming an addition to the family, embarking on travels or simply continuing on with life, 2015 is here to stay.

However, for many couples who celebrated the holidays and New Year's Eve with the added joy, love and amazement of an engagement, this year is all about wedding planning! Dates, venues, vows, invitations, dresses, cakes, decorations... there is so much that goes into ensuring that the big day is as memorable and dream-filled as possible!

But adding unique touches to the wedding day itself isn't the only way that couples can let both of their personalities shine. Your friends and family want to help start you off on your new life together, and there's no better way to let them do just that than by heading to your nearest Target to browse, sign up and fill your Target Wedding Registry!

Target wedding registry

From home decor to games and electronics to items for entertaining (and everything in between), Target's wedding registry allows users to add anything from the store or Target.com to their wishlist. The possibilities are endless so why not start your new life together with all of the everyday essentials, necessities, splurges and things you'll both really use and love?

But, along with the practicality, ease and convenience, registering at Target can also help unlock a whole world of unexpected experiences together! As couples prepare to embark on their joint life, any and all of the fantastic items from their Target Wedding registry can make it more fun and more meaningful.

And, as much as traveling to exotic destinations and throwing lavish dinner parties are wonderful events, sometimes something more simple like dinner and date-night-in is going to make up the memories that you cherish most.

For instance, registering for a high quality Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware Set and the OXO 17-pc. Culinary Tool and Utensil Set would be the perfect way to ensure that the two of you are prepared to whip up your favorite dinner...

cookware accessories

...or try something new! Why not look up a few recipes online or in your favorite cookbook that neither of you have tried before? You never know when your next attempt will turn into a jackpot dish that you both will love!

And it would be even easier to finish off the meal by registering for an amazing KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer and a BakerEze Nonstick 10-pc. Baker's Basics Set so that it is a snap to whip up all sorts of sweet and savory desserts!

KitchenAid mixer bakeware

Once you've got your luxurious dessert out of the oven, is there any better way to top off date-night-in than by cuddling up together on the couch to eat it while listening to some romantic music or watching a romantic film?

If you've received your SONOS PLAY: 5 Wireless HiFi System from your Target Wedding Registry, then all you need is to pull up your Threshold Bar Cart, Threshold Etched Glass Drinkware Collection and The Complete Book of Mixed Drinks and you're fully prepared for smooth sounds and extended cuddling. Or, to bring the love to the small screen, pop in any movie from the Miramax Romance: 6 Movie Pack and the night is complete!

date night in

Now that we have kids, my husband and I don't have nearly as many date-night-in evenings as we used to, but I love being able to look back at our younger days and relish in the memories that we had cooking and spending time staying home enjoying each other's company (some meals turned out to be a hit and some were a burnt miss)!

No matter what sort of adventures you have planned with your betrothed, be sure to keep a Target Wedding registry in mind so that your family and friends can help you experience life to the fullest.

They make it possible to have an easy and engaging registry experience by providing inspirational starter lists; your guests can shop in-store or online; returns and exchanges are simple; and you even receive a 15% off completion offer so that after your wedding you can pick up any items left on your registry at a discount.

Target registry

If you or someone you know is planning their wedding, be sure to find out more about all of Target's Wedding Registry options by visiting Target.com or visiting your local Target store today!

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Relief is Here for Colds and the Flu with Vicks DayQuil and NyQuil Severe {#ReliefIsHere}

Vicks logo
This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G.

As if life here during winter in the Midwest didn't already have its problems (if I see one more photo on Facebook of you and your kids outside in t-shirts while my family is bundled in 12 layers, I just might unfriend you), this year we're also dealing with yet another harsh season of colds and the flu.

Can't we go one winter without the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declaring a flu epidemic? I'm heartbroken to hear that more than a dozen children have died and, while the current vaccine does provide some protection, all we can really do is try our best to stay healthy and avoid it altogether.

Plus, it pays to be prepared in the event that the flu does make its way into your home. Don't wait until you're up all night coughing, sniffling and feverish, combat the symptoms before they get too serious by heading to Walmart and picking up Vicks NyQuil Severe Cold & Flu and Vicks DayQuil Severe Cold & Flu!

DayQuil NyQuil Severe

If you don't have these high quality, effective products in your medicine cabinet, what are you waiting for? I love that they provide immediate relief and you can almost instantly feel your body getting the boost that it needs to fight off illness. Here is a full list on how they help...

Vicks NyQuil Severe Cold & Flu
  • Maximum symptom-fighting ingredients to relieve your worst cold and flu symptoms.
  • Maximum strength nighttime cold and flu relief, so you can take back your night.
  • The powerful NyQuil relief you trust now with a decongestant.
  • Available in caplets or liquid.
Vicks NyQuil Severe temporarily relieves common cold/flu symptoms including:
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sinus congestion and pressure
  • Cough due to minor throat and bronchial irritation
  • Cough to help you sleep
  • Minor aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose and sneezing
  • Reduces swelling of nasal passages
  • Temporarily restores freer breathing through the nose
  • Promotes nasal and/or sinus drainage
Vicks DayQuil Severe Cold & Flu
  • Maximum symptom-fighting ingredients to relieve your worst cold and flu symptoms.
  • Maximum strength nondrowsy cold and flu relief so you can tackle your to-do list.
  • Available in caplets or liquid.
Vicks DayQuil Severe temporarily relieves common cold/flu symptoms including:
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sinus congestion and pressure
  • Cough due to minor throat and bronchial irritation
  • Minor aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Reduces swelling of nasal passages
  • Temporarily restores freer breathing through the nose
  • Promotes nasal and/or sinus drainage
  • Helps loosen phlegm (mucus) and thin bronchial secretions to rid the bronchial passageways of bothersome mucus and make coughs more productive.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to deal with any of these symptoms during the day or night! Which is why I was more than happy to hop in my car and head to my nearest Walmart (you're already going there for the convenience and savings anyway, right?) to make sure that we are prepared for the remainder of flu season.

NyQuil at Target

I love that DayQuil and NyQuil Severe are both available in caplet or liquid form, so no matter what your medicine-taking preference is, you're covered.

Walmart even made things easier by having a Vicks display full of DayQuil and NyQuil products so that even if your head hurts or your nose is running, you will be able to grab what you need to get back home to bed quickly!

NyQuil DayQuil sale

Experts report that although this year's flu season started a few weeks earlier than usual, they don't expect it to peak until early to mid-February. So don't wait until it is too late and you are short on sleep from coughing or need to make it through your day no matter what sort of congestion is trying to get you down - NyQuil and DayQuil Severe will have you prepared!

ReliefIsHere NyQuil DayQuil

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Spiced Indulgence in Twinings of London Chai Latte and Vanilla Chai Latte K-Cups {Review}

Cross Country Cafe logo
While I have made it no secret that I am completely addicted to coffee, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is the only beverage to ever fill my mug. It's good to have a little bit of variety in your life, right?

In warm weather, I might use my Keurig to brew up a tall glass of lemonade or a tasty flavored ice tea. But when the temperatures drop, I often want to turn to K-cups that will provide warmth and flavor, resulting in a tasty indulgence created at the press of a button (and for far less than it would cost if I was to head to a coffee shop).

Which is why I was excited to hear that Cross Country Cafe had made that even easier and more delicious with the introduction of two new flavors by Twinings of London: Chai Latte and French Vanilla Chai Latte!

Chai-Latte-K-Cups

Taking the steamed milk from a regular latte drink and mixing it with a spiced tea instead of the typical espresso, a Chai Latte ends up being the perfect mix of warmth, soothing, lightly spiced tastiness that tends to please both coffee and tea drinkers alike.

For me, Twinings is the quintessential pro at anything and everything that has to do with tea, so I couldn't wait to try out their Chai Latte varieties right at home!

Twinings Chai Latte K-cups

I'm a fan of just about everything with vanilla, so I opted to try the French Vanilla Chai Latte first and brewed it using the largest setting (as I do with 99% of all of my K-cups).

Keurig chai latte

In less than a minute, the amazing aroma of this drink filled the air and my mug was steaming with a mix of brown sugar, black tea, cinnamon, vanilla, cream, milk and more. The smell is truly divine!

Twinings Vanilla Chai Latte

If you prefer a more bold, deep flavor to your Chai Latte, I would recommend using the medium size brew option on your Keurig... but for me, this was just right!

I am not a spice expert by any means, but I found that Twinings had clearly found just the right blend of all of the flavors in their French Vanilla Chai Latte. I could distinguish the cardamom and cloves from the cinnamon and the addition of the vanilla flavoring (which was not overpowering) added just enough sweetness. Yum!

When I returned to give the traditional Chai Latte a try, I initially thought that I might not enjoy it as much without the vanilla, but was proven wrong from the first sip.

Twinings Chai Latte

I'm not sure that Twinings could have made their Chai Latte any better! Again the spices were blended just right so as none were too strong and again the addition of the milk and cream makes the whole thing creamy and smooth. Whereas I only drink my coffee in the mornings, I haven't found a time of day yet that Twinings' Chai and Vanilla Chai Lattes don't hit the spot!

Added bonus? A single Chai Latte K-cup only contains 50 calories and a French Vanilla Chai Latte has only 60, so I don't at all feel guilty about indulging with either one!

If you're a Chai Latte fan, you'll love that Twinings has made both of these delectable types available in K-cups for even easier brewing. Or, if you haven't tried these before but are a devoted Keurig user, head over to Cross Country Cafe to give them a try!

Or maybe you'd rather WIN some instead? To celebrate the arrival of Twinings Chai and Vanilla Chai Latte K-cups, Cross Country Cafe is giving away four full size boxes of each to one lucky winner! Simply head over to their K-cup giveaway through January 31, 2015 and, with a few clicks, you'll be entered for a chance to have eight boxes of deliciousness on their way to you!

Chai_Latte_giveaway

As a Cross Country Cafe Ambassador, I have been provided with products in exchange for my continued work with their company and affiliate links are included in the above post. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.