We Got the FUNK: March 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Win $100 Amazon #Giveaway [Instagram]

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Makobi Scribe is bringing you this Amazon Instagram blast where one lucky reader will win a $100 Amazon gift card. The giveaway is open to everyone and provided by Makobi Scribe. Good Luck! If you are a blogger, you can sign up for this blast here.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How to Create a "Good" Drawer for your Office Space #GIVEEXTRAGETEXTRA #Walmart [AD]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GIVEEXTRAGETEXTRA #Walmart #CollectiveBias

We are 3 days from Spring Break in our building and things are getting tense.  Our spring break is a full 2 weeks overdue compared to previous years, and both students and teachers are getting restless and stressed.  When teachers are stressed, we snack and many times our snacks are not always the best.  So I decided to Give Extra, Get Extra and renovate our "Good" drawer to bring some healthy and sweet options to combat these stressful times.

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It was time to give our shared office space some uplifting love.  We have filing cabinets all around our staff center and each teacher gets 2 drawers with their names on them.  One teacher long ago had the last name of "Good" and his/her name has stayed on our little drawer which has randomly been filled with items to get teachers through the long days (and nights) of teaching. 
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Well, that drawer has been bland and boring and in some cases it has turned into a dumping ground. Morale in teaching is getting lower by the year.  The impending and ever changing legislation as well as just general distrust in teachers keeps lowering it year by year and it is unfortunate that educators that truly have a passion for doing what is right for kids are the ones being beaten down with data driven instruction where students become numbers and not people.  As a teacher, we see the people as people; those precious, amazing kids and all we want is to see them be successful.  So to keep morale up and continue to fuel the teachers in our building to do amazing things, I thought the best thing I could do would be to give the "Good" drawer some attention.

I headed to Walmart to grab some goodies.  I wanted to make sure I had snacks that were healthier options as well as some sweet options.  It can be a bad habit for teachers to snack on unhealthy food options constantly, so by adding in some other healthier options in the good drawer, teachers could have a choice.  Already my colleagues are very appreciative for these options.

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While at Walmart, I grabbed a couple of the new Extra® 35-stick packs, some chocolates, nut mixes, dried cranberries, granola bars, jerky, water infusers and sugar free candies.  I also grabbed a couple little containers to help separate the items in the drawer. 

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There were a few items in the drawer that I left like coffee, and some cold fighting items that teachers always need.  I got to work and put my little containers in the drawer.  These were actually great and I found them on clearance.  I was elated that they all fit so well in the drawer.  The square boxes are about 4 x 4 and the clear plastic box is a shoe size container.  Next, I filled each of the containers with special items.  I wanted to give teachers a good variety of options.

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I found this new Extra® 35-stick gum in Spearmint and Polar Ice® at the register while checking out. I loved the durable recycled packaging that was easily resealable and I also appreciated that there was more gum to share with my colleagues.  These were a must for my "Good" drawer. 

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Next I grabbed some packages of mixed nuts, sugar free hard candies and granola bars.  I picked the mixed nuts because they are something my nutritionist has me snack on for my diabetes.  I also went with sugar free candies for myself as well as another teacher who is diabetic.  The granola bars were a great addition because many times teachers are so busy that lunch is not an option and we need a quick snack.  I thought including those would be a wonderful way for a teacher to get some good nutrition in while on the run. 

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I also put in some mixed chocolates, dried cranberries and beef jerky.  The chocolate, is any stressed teachers go to item.  You can almost always find chocolate in a school building pretty easily.  Secretaries and Administration tend to keep it on hand to help calm people.  There is something about chocolate that is just wonderful and calming.  The dried cranberries are another sweet but healthier option that I felt would be good for those that are trying to avoid the sugars.  To give a boost of protein, I threw in some mini beef jerky's! Truth be told, I am totally chowing these down all the time!

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Our "Good" drawer has been a huge hit and truly a light in our staff center.  I have already refilled the drawer a couple times and many teachers have been so thankful for the boost in moral they are feeling.  The Give Extra, Get Extra campaign was my inspiration for this good deed and I am very happy to pay it forward to my colleagues.  The new Extra® 35-stick packs are a great way to pay it forward and share a stick with a friend. 

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Does your office space need a little pick me up?  Join in on the fun and #GIVEEXTRAGETEXTRA. It is so rewarding.  Get social and grab more information here!


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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I fell off the wagon #LCHF

A month ago, life got real, as life always does.  Nearly out of debt, finally seeing the end of the tunnel with graduate school and on the downhill slide into summer and boom life.  When life really decides to slap me out of my comfort zone, I eat and I ignore life.

I love food.  I find pleasure in enjoying a nice meal and at the same time I enjoy the convenience of eating out and not having to clean or prep meals.  I am so busy and have this ridiculous drive to do it all and be all things to everyone and although I can feel my breaking point I choose to keep pushing on.  February was a hodge podge of crap.  It was the month of prepping my final research project for grad school, planning birthday parties for my kids, swimming lessons 2x a week, refinancing our home and just being purely overwhelmed and overextended.  However, there was a light at the end of the tunnel...June and MEXICO.

I had also been having huge success with the low carb high fat diet and my diabetic medication combination in losing weight.  However, I was not feeling energetic at all and was very much dragging through the day.  The eating was not the issue.  I was pretty good at staying within my low carb ways and really found foods that I enjoyed enough, plus seeing the 20lb progress was really nice and so were those compliments.

So what happened?  Why did I just stop?  One word...STRESS.

Some things happened with my husbands job which caused some temporary stress at a time that was just not good in our lives.  I thought I was getting to a point where I could breathe and relax and just then I was reminded that you can never just relax.  Combine that with the large amount of crap on my plate and all the sudden I wanted carbs and candy and because the scale was not moving in the wrong direction it was ok.  Oh and plus also, my energy was higher because Starbucks and chocolate, so obviously that made it ok.

The scale has continued to stay in the same place for a month.  AN ENTIRE MONTH.  I was losing 1-5 lbs a week and then I decided that I loved carbs and sugar more than I loved myself and that my current weight of 161 was just fine as long as I kept taking my medication.  Then I just stopped taking that as well because, in my infinite Googled wisdom, by going off diet and overloading my system with carbs I was also making the medication ineffective so in order to ensure the medication would work when I went back on plan, I needed to stop the medication.  I guess at some point I got a doctorate that I never went to school for from Google.

Sometimes the diabetic in me is an idiot.  A self diagnosing idiot.  I am back to being a closet eater and making terrible food choices and eating as a reward.  This has to change.  I have to reset my system and I have to get back on track.  I am not saying that starting tomorrow I will all the sudden just reset the clock, however, I am going to make it a point to eat all the Easter candy that I want this week, to feed the demon and then to get over it and start back a new over spring break next week.  I am already making some better choices this week, but I am going to do it gradually.

161 is a nice number but 150 is even better and my goal is only 11 lbs away.  What's more is that my health deserves more and I need to make better decisions for that reason.  Someday it may not be as easy for me to get back on plan and so now is the time to create good habits and stop self-harming with food.  I am a human not a dog, I cannot reward myself with food...even though I like too. Sometimes in life following our likes is detrimental and in this case it could cost me a lot more than just some tasty meals and lbs.

Diabetes sucks.  It really sucks and it is a misnomer that it can be controlled with diet and exercise alone and that you will be cured.  Diabetics are NEVER cured.  It is a daily battle and I know that I will be on and off plan and that is ok...just not a month off plan ok.  So my goal for this next month is to get back on plan, live the #LCHF life that I know works and to reward myself with good health, not food.

Thanks for your support friends <3 p="">

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Princess Ever After was a Dream Come True

Two weeks ago the most amazing, magical and inspiring day happened.  Our sweet princess turned 3 and to celebrate, the fantastic women with Princess Ever After dreamed up a special day for our little girl. 

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I first contacted Sarah with Princess Ever After through their website, which is beautifully designed and easy to use.  Although it was a holiday weekend, she was prompt to respond and very eager to join us for a wonderful day. We decided on a party plan and scheduled the date.  I paid online and that was seamless and the next thing I knew it was two days before party time and Sarah and Maggie (our performers) both emailed us to confirm they would be there and to make sure they were ready to make this day incredibly magical. 

We were on pins and needles waiting for the princess and queen to arrive.  My own little girl had been telling everyone that the princess and queen were coming to her party and she could not wait to meet them. When they arrived (perfectly on time) and walked into the party, my little girl literally dropped everything and RAN to hug them both. Everyone was smiling from ear to ear.  This moment was enough for me. Seeing my daughters eyes light up and literally watch her meet her idols was worth it.  I would do it again in a heartbeat. 
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She hugged them and talked with them and they both brought her a flower which she still carries around.  She then introduced them to her friends and the festivities started.  I had known what the party plan was, but for some reason in all the excitement, I was caught up in the magic.  I forgot everything we had talked about and just watched everything play out.  Each new moment I was just as excited for and happy as the little people at the party.  The enjoyment that each of our guests had and the special moments that were being created were over the top amazing.
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The Snow Queen (Sarah) and Ice Princess (Maggie) were amazing performers.  They did face painting and made special connections with each child at the party.  They focused on the children and really made to sure to stay in character and get down to the children's levels.  They truly enjoyed what they were doing which I believe made this even more amazing.

They both sang songs and Oh My WOW.  Their voices were fantastic.  Literally spot on with the actual movie and singing live with the emotions and excitement and feelings that made everything seem so lifelike.  I know that my daughter and her friends felt like they were in the movie and everyone was singing along and loving every moment.

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The singing was phenomenal, but they did not stop there.  There was story time and puppets and dancing lessons, and a couple games as well as princess etiquette classes and a coronation!  They had special prizes and a crown for the birthday girl and although they ensured that each child was impacted and made to feel special, they were meticulous about ensuring that our little birthday princess was at the center of their focus. 

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They made sure to have pictures with each party guest and in full character they made faces, and really portrayed the amazing princess and fantastic queen to perfection.  They managed to keep a group of rowdy little girls and equally rowdy adults, entertained and enthralled in the magic the entire time, which knowing our crowd is quite a difficult job.  For these phenomenal women it was simple and they did it with ease. 

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When the party started to wind down the Snow Queen and my little girl froze the Ice Princess but with my girls best warmest hugs ever, they unthawed her just in time to sing happy birthday and enjoy some fantastic cake.
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I literally could not have asked for a better gift for my child.  She is still talking about this daily.  She is ready to see her princess and queen again, and she is still on cloud 9.  So am I.  I knew that Sarah and Maggie with Princess Ever After were going to do a great job.  Great however is a huge understatement.  Sarah and Maggie were magnificent and awe-inspiring.  I have recommended them to every person who has asked and now I am recommending them to you.  You need to see them in person.  You need to feel the magic.  You need to see how they transform a party into magical beauty and envelope you into the experience.

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Princess Ever After is a company that has also done amazing charity work around Denver.  They are a company with soul and spirit and one that I am proud to stand behind.  They genuinely love to see the light in a child's eyes and to create the stuff dreams are made of.  Dreams definitely came true on this day.  One little party guest exclaimed that she had "waited her whole life to meet them!"  I agree. A certain huge company based in Florida headed by a mouse is missing out on the magic this company is bringing to Denver...and we are so lucky!  This was better than any trip to those parks and so personal and special.

All I have to tell our friends, readers, followers and family is to BOOK NOW and please make sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course their website.  Show them some love, like them, follow them and interact with them.  They are very active on social media and are a growing force in the Denver area.  They offer a variety of princesses and so many different party options for every single price range.

You will not regret it, it was perfection at every moment and worth every single penny.  Our guests are still raving about the party (kids and adults alike).  It was absolutely the best party I could have every dreamed of, and I am so thankful to Princess Ever After for creating magic and inspiring our party guests. 

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

My Kid Ruined Easter

Easter is one of those holidays that has always been special for me.  Not because of some dumb bunny or the candy, but because of family.  

Great-Grandparents are in the front right. 
Growing up we would do our hair fancy and go to my Great-Grandparents house for church. My Great-Grandma would always make my sister and I matching dresses and then we would go to church, sing hymns and listen to the story of the resurrection.  After the service there would be a modest egg hunt at the church with little candies and then we would head back to Great-Grandma and Grandpa's for a delicious supper and another little egg hunt...with money!  Great-Grandpa would hide eggs with coins in them!  At home we had baskets with only some candy in them and that was it.  It continues to be one of my favorite days to spend with family because of these modest beginnings.

Over time Easter morning has changed and so has our family.  Great-Grandpa passed away and we spent more time with Great-Grandma in a nursing home, still driving her the hour to her old church.  Eventually that drive was too difficult and we would gather the entire family at one of our skating rinks and do HUGE egg hunts and potluck lunches with everyone present.  Eventually Great-Grandma also passed however, we still continue to celebrate Easter together.


It has always been a family day, always a day of Jesus and always relatively modest.  Even as a parent, I tried to keep it to dollar store items and candy, with a small egg hunt (were talking 10 eggs each with jelly beans in them).  I can sew but do not have the time to make the outfits for my kids but I always ensure that they look nice.  We do not attend church services anymore, for various reasons, but still remain strong in our faith.  Normally their baskets, have bubbles, and sidewalk chalk, candy and maybe a little dollar item or two here and there.  Modest, because the reason for this holiday is bigger than a dumb bunny and candy right.


Except that this year I got caught up in the dumb bunny and some candy.  Really freaking caught up and I have been building this up for a year now.  I have taken the holidays to the next level and created entitled, spoiled and rude children who have limited listening skills and did not even think about the repercussions until this morning hit. 


This is what my kids woke up to and my expectations of a perfect Easter went with these dumb baskets and that bunny.  I had told our oldest NOT to go downstairs until everyone was awake.  I told him that if he did and he got into the baskets he would not get an Easter basket.  This Easter was a bit more special because the husband was home for the first time in 5 years.  He would get to see their faces light up with a little basket of goodness.  I was so excited and I made sure to go over the top with basket gifts.  

However, last night, the littlest peanut had nightmares for 2 hours and no one slept...except our oldest son.  He slept and like normal he was up before the sun and ready to start the day.  He came to wake us up after only sleeping about 3 hours and I promptly told him to play in his room until his sister wakes up and then we will all go downstairs together.  He said ok and went back to his room...I drifted back to sleep.  30 minutes later I heard a little patter of feet on the main floor and jumped out of bed to find my little boy so happy with joy that the bunny had brought him all this amazing stuff and the coveted Wii game that he had been desperately wanting. 

I asked him why he came downstairs and didn't listen?  He sort of ignored me and played with the giant orange egg from his basket and showed me the game that he got and had already put away.  I tried telling him that it wasn't ok and made mommy and daddy sad that he got into the basket without waiting for anyone and then he proudly told me that he found ALL the eggs too.  Heart Broken.

I raised this kid, I taught him nothing about listening, nothing about respect, nothing but entitlement and made it worse this year by putting items into an Easter basket that had no place there.  I took everything away from both kids and declared Easter as cancelled.  My kid ruined it...but really I RUINED IT.  I made it a bigger commercial holiday than I should have.  I bought into the dumb bunny and I forgot that the real reason that I love this holiday is family.

So cancelled Easter has been going well.  The kids are not playing with all the crap in those baskets, instead they are playing with old toys.  They are not on a sugar high from that chocolate, instead they ate some cereal and played quietly.  We are still going to be with our family and although there will be an egg hunt, my son is NOT participating.  I believe he does need to learn from this, however, cancelling the family time that we all enjoy is not the way to go.  

Easter sucks a bit this year, but only because I made the choice to build it up into something that it NEVER was meant to be.  Next year, I know we are returning to our roots and modesty...maybe even forgo the baskets all together.  

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Enjoying Family Time with #GrouponCoupons

Spring Break is upon us in a couple weeks and that means that Summer is almost here!  I am entering the stage in the school year as a teacher where I can taste summer, and almost feel like I can breathe. These past two years have been insanity with graduate school, work, the blog, and home.  I am so ready for these breaks and to enjoy more quality family time, but a budget is necessary.  This is where Groupon Coupons come in!


Groupon emails are my happiness lifeline when it comes to saving money.  We have snagged so many amazing deals and love using them to enjoy our stunning city and check out new shops. Groupon Coupons is an extension of Groupon that includes a database of free coupons!  There is over 70,000 coupons from over 9,000 stores which means savings at many of our favorite places.

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In the last year both kids have finally got bikes to ride.  My kids are Disney kids and so obviously the Disney bikes were a necessity.  In fact we pretty much live in a Disney household and I do a lot of shopping for Disney items.  However, I am a mom on a budget and so that is why I use Groupon and shop the Disney Store for deals.  I am even more excited because we are currently planning our next Disney vacation in less than a year and I cannot wait to snag deals to prep for our trip.  More Disney themed family time to come!  I also plan to check out Travelocity for savings on our upcoming vacation. 

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Summers are spent fishing, camping, riding ATV's and enjoying the beautiful Colorado weather and scenery.  Sierra Trading Post has a lot of deals for well, anyone!  However, as an outdoorsy family there are so many options on their site and deals through Groupon, that it is hard not to want to purchase our outdoor clothing and gear through them.  I know we will definitely be checking them out as summer approaches. 

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I like my family to look presentable and my kids to always be dressed nice.  I am that mom that struggles to not clean someone else's child's face when it is messy or fix a kids hair when it is a wreck.  We definitely have our moments but for the most part I do my absolute best to ensure that my family looks great.  I often shop at Carters, Tilly's and Aerie and now with Groupon Coupons I can save even more!

The crafty mom in me also loves that JoAnn's has a Groupon Coupon deals!  I cannot wait to get my craft on and save cash in the process!  I am also excited to check out 6PM and Swarovski for some fun deals!  I already love what I am seeing online and cannot wait to snag some great deals.  Be sure to check out Groupon Coupons for deals you can's miss!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Easter Mantle Makeover!

Sunday is Easter and around here that means decorations are up and we are prepping for another family filled holiday!  Easter always makes me happy because of the bright pastel colors and designs. I put together my awesome Easter Mantle Makeover and am so in love.
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Aside from a couple items, the majority of the decor came from the dollar bins at Target.   Now I did collect these items over the past two years but they have similar items in their bins this year. 

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I really love hanging lights and decor from the stocking hooks.  The dogwood flowers are some of my favorite and I will leave them up all spring.  So pretty.  The bunny lights are too cute and are great to have on at night and the wooden bunny banner adds just the right amount of cuteness to the underside of the mantle. 

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I fell in love with the Happy Easter signs last year at Target and knew those would be making a debut on the mantle.  However then there were the wooden Egg Hunt signs that I absolutely had to have.  I purchased two of these and put on on the mantle and another one with a bunny in our kitchen.  I used an old basket to prop up the sign to give some dimension.

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These sequin bunnies are so cute!  I could leave them out all year.  As the center of the mantle, they are perfect.  I also used the little fence and the ceramic egg.  The ceramic egg is actually a planter. My husbands company send us tulips in this egg when our daughter was born and I have always displayed it since.  I adore it so much!

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I think I am going to buy a couple more of these little egg trees because I am enamored with them. So simple and cute and bring in texture, dimension and height to my little mantle.  

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As the snow continues to pour down on Colorado I am happily enjoying the bright wonderful colors and hopes of a real spring complete with wonderful family time and fluffy animals and new life all over the place! 



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Have you snagged any of the adorable Easter decor from Target? 

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Celebrate Basketball with Easy Recipes and Pfizer #GameforBasketball [ad]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameForBasketball #CollectiveBias This post is not medical advice.

This is the month of basketball and yummy food and fun.  My husband lives for college basketball and all the delicious, spicy, saucy foods that come with that.  He also battles heartburn and acid reflux, so this time of year it is important to help him celebrate basketball with easy recipes and Pfizer products. 

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My husband has long battled heartburn.  When we first started dating nearly 15 years ago I can remember him getting heartburn so bad it would make him physically sick.  Not long after on of his episodes he went to the doctor who told him to use an OTC heartburn medication to help combat his symptoms.  He chose Nexium and has not looked back.  Nexium 24HR is new and comes in a 42ct package.  It is affordable and helps my husband prepare for his favorite meals and side dishes!

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Nexium 24HR, the new #1 selling frequent heartburn brand* (*Based on IRI sales data 52 weeks ending 11/1/15 among OTC brands. May take 1 to 4 days for full effect. Use as directed.)
We are frequent Walmart shoppers so when we need to stock up and prepare for those game parties and food.  We stopped in and grabbed our supply of Nexium 24HR from the stomach and heartburn aisle.  It is easy to find.  My husband likes Nexium 24HR because it is only 1 pill a day that he takes in the morning and then he is prepared all day for any events we may have.

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Heartburn is not the only issue that my husband struggles with.  Often he gets headaches that if not managed can turn into severe migraines.  Noise and excitement and lack of sleep can trigger these and with basketball season in full swing we have to keep our go to pain reliever on hand.  My husband works graveyards and during game time he will forego sleep to watch his teams compete. Advil®PM works best for my husband as he tends to need to sleep off the headache but can struggle to get the sleep he needs when he chooses to mess up his sleep schedule to enjoy his favorite games.

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*Among OTC Brands.  Ask a doctor for use if you have a history of stomach problems such as heartburn.
Nothing is stronger, longer lasting or better on your tough aches and pains than Advil*.  When his headaches begin after a long day of games he takes the recommended dosage and lays down to sleep off the pain and start the next day fresh and pain free.  Advil helps him enjoy moments pain free and he always keeps it on hand to be prepared for any triggers that may happen.

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To help my husband and our friends celebrate basketball season I decided to whip up some easy basketball themed recipes!  One of the easiest go to game recipes is Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wings in the slow cooker!

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These are entirely too easy to make and just three ingredients:
  1. 4 lbs of Chicken Wings
  2. 1 package of Ranch seasoning mix
  3. 2 cups of Buffalo Hot Sauce

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Directions:

  • Simply layer the chicken wings in the crockpot.  I like to put half the wings in then 1 cup of sauce then 1/2 the package of ranch.  
  • Next layer the rest of the wings, ranch and hot sauce.
  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours until chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  • Once cooked, take a baking sheet and lay a piece of oven safe parchment paper on it.  Using tongs place the chicken wings on the baking sheets.
  • Ladle a scoop of sauce from the slow cooker onto each wing.
  • Broil on high for 7-10 minutes until crispy and serve!
The husband and our friends were RAVING about these wings.  They were just the right amount of spice with juicy fall off the bone chicken. 

For an easy snacking side dish, I decided to make a little basketball veggie tray with dill ranch dip.  


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To create the veggie tray, just lay out olives in the lines as you see above.  Then place carrots in between the olives.  The dill ranch dip is all too simple to make and just three ingredients.

  1. 1 small tub of sour cream
  2. 1 package of ranch seasoning
  3. 1 tsp of dill seasoning

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Directions:
  • Place sour cream in a bowl
  • Mix in the package of ranch seasoning with a spoon.
  • Mix in the dill seasoning and sprinkle some on top for garnish as well. 


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Between the food and the Pfizer products the husband is happy and prepared for anything. 

If you need to stock up and prepare too please make sure to grab a coupon for Nexium 24HR and Advil!

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