Vinegar, Apple Pie, and Pinterest

apple pie

 This is the story of a beautiful apple pie-the apple pie shown above. Quite possibly one of the tastiest, most wonderful, most beautiful apple pies I have ever seen-and I made it with my hubby! (here’s the om nom nom delish Apple Pie Recipe)

Orchard Apples

The *only* problem with this most delicious pie was that I used “non-baking” apples for it (we had a bunch of juicy ones from the orchard)…..I was unaware why this would be a problem…until the smoke alarm went off. I opened the oven to find that while the pie was perfect and golden there was now a sticky, black, charred boiling mess on the bottom of my oven–gross!!! (fyi-you use baking apples because they aren’t as juicy and won’t spill over like that)

Later that night I attempted to tackle the yuck. I used every caustic cleaner I could find-even some that I had specifically gone out and purchased for the task. I was literally gagging on the fumes and it wasn’t getting clean-not good.

Then I had a stroke of genius and remembered seeing this pin on Pinterest. Here is what the text said:

healthy cleaning

“The best oven cleaner! Cover bottom of oven with baking soda, then pour vinegar so it’s all wet. Let sit around 20 minutes or so then wipe all of it out with damp cloth or sponge. I leave my oven door open too. After drying you may see some white residue, wipe again.” 

vinegar

I’ve been interested in green cleaning lately-as you all know-but hadn’t trusted it to handle any “heavy duty” problems up until now. I figured it was worth a shot so I tried it out. I was shocked when it actually worked!!! Good ol’ fashioned chemical-free cleaning with baking soda and vinegar did what the nasty chemicals couldn’t!

Heinz Cleaning Vinegar

Now you can even buy Heinz Cleaning Vinegar which is specifically designed for cleaning with! Me and hubby recently went shopping to pick some up-I love that when you use healthy cleaning solutions not only are they better for you-they’re also *so* much less expensive!

WalMart Vinegar

There are *so* many different ways to use vinegar for cleaning-my Suzie Homemaker Solutions Board is full of them-but here are some of my favorites!

All Purpose Cleaner from Vinegar and Citrus Peels
101 Uses for Vinegar
Vinegar to Clean Microwaves
 Clean Burnt Pans with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Happy Baking & Green Cleaning!

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and HEINZ #CBias #SocialFabric #HeinzVinegar

Written by Nicole Elliott

Back To School & Box Tops for Education

Amber at Wal*Mart

Can you believe that it’s time for back to school already??!! I mean seriously-where on earth did this summer go?! Several of my friends were posting on Facebook today about their children’s first days of school being today and my brother just wrapped up his summer hire position back west to start up college again in a few weeks.

When I think of back to school in addition to new clothes and school supplies I think of Box Tops for Education. I’m sure you’ve seen, heard, and even clipped a few (or a hundred…..) in your day-they’ve been around since 1996!

Cinnamon Burst Cheerios

I remember cutting them out to bring to my school back when I was in elementary (isn’t great when you look back at the date of something and it actually makes you feel *young* rather than old? Maybe I’m not as old as I’ve felt lately….. 😀 )

Walmart has a great program right now where you can earn additional boxtops by liking Walmart on Facebook!

Fiber One Oats and Peanut Butter

I love that you can earn box tops through buying all the “good stuff”. As you might remember we’re huge Cinnamon Burst Cheerios fans! Even if you don’t have a school to earn for you can still clip box tops and donate them towards a good cause-I was very happy to see a few collection spots at local grocery stores that you can drop your clipped boxtops off into–that’s what I plan on doing with ours! You can follow along with Box Tops for Education on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop and find out about the best ways to earn!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: The Walmart gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by General Mills and Walmart through MyBlogSpark

I Love Football

♥ I love football!♥

Bronco Baby

I’m the only girl I know who screams at the television when I’m watching my teams. I know where I get it from, both my grandpa’s did it, but I’ve yet to meet a girl who does.

It all started when I was a young teenager. My parents were always super supportive of all their children which included going to all sports practices and games, even the ones that were hours away. Since I had two younger brothers this meant that I too had to go along to all the football games and practices. I had two options:

1. I could watch it and hate every minute and be bored

2. I could cheer my brothers on and learn about the game

I chose the latter. The more I cheered and learned I began to like the game, until I grew to absolutely love it! Having a bunch of cute boys play with my brother helped a lot too 😉

Baby Football

I had always thought how lucky my future boyfriends/hubby would be having a woman like me. I mean, who doesn’t love a girl who will watch football with them, and actually understand what’s going on? The ironic thing is that every guy I dated couldn’t have cared less about football. I’m always the one in the relationship to turn the TV on and yell for my teams come Sunday. I’ve “converted” Bob over time and he too has learned to love the game.

I’m super excited that it’s almost time for football again! This season the Broncos are opening up and while I’m totally mourning the loss of Tebow (sniff sniff) I’m excited about having Peyton Manning on the team though!

SNICKERS® Brand NFL Minis

You know it’s football season when you start seeing the treats everywhere!  Today I spotted these great SNICKERS® Brand NFL Minis at Wal-Mart–Football and Chocolate, talk about a win-win for me!

SNICKERS® Brand NFL Minis

Here is a great, fun easy-peasy way to jazz up this bagged candy for opening night!

Mini Footballs

  • Take a platter (a football shaped one would be best!) and cover the outside in SNICKERS® Brand NFL Minis Open several other SNICKERS® Brand NFL Minis and put them in the middle. 
  •  Make homemade Butter Cream Icing 
  • Use a cake decorating kit to put little laces on the opened SNICKERS® Brand NFL Minis (you can pick them up for super cheap in the craft section at Wal*Mart-I love the Wilton kind the best and they include the icing recipe in the kit)  

Ta Da! 

For more fun be follow Snickers on Twitter and Facebook 

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and SNICKERS® Brand NFL Minis #SnickersMinis #CBias #SocialFabric

Bag It Forward this Back to School Season



Don’t let the sweltering days fool you–school is just right around the corner! Although Amber will still be doing preschool with me this year the church that we go to runs a wonderful, if small, Christian school. When I heard about the opportunity to contribute to BagItForward.org by donating a bag (or in our case box!) of quality school supplies they immediately came to mind!


Knowing that the best deals can be found at Wal*Mart me and Amber headed on over. (check out the fun we had along the way in our Google+ Album!) When we got there I wasn’t disappointed–the prices were crazy low– 50 cents for a box of nice quality crayons and $1 for markers? Awesome! I was thrilled that we were able to fill our cart with enough for 4 students, and a few goodies for the teachers, for under $20.



At the display I found information about the Elmers 1st Day App download.  It allows you to take and upload pictures and for each For every photo uploaded, Elmer’s will donate one product to The Kids in Need Foundation(KINF) (up to 200,000 products). If that’s not reason enough for you to download (and I hope it is??!!) X-Acto Desinger Series and Walmart are offering a chance to win a trip for four to Disney World!  Entry form can be found on the 1st Day App site



My little budding artist decided she wanted to help me get the donation all ready so we turned it into a several day long craft! Amber loves to paint so we started off with that!


She refers to Sunday School as “my school” so the entire time she was jabbering about how excited she was to send the “presents” to her “teachers”.  We’re both looking forward to when everyone gets back from their vacations so we can bring it to them!


This was such a fun, easy, and inexpensive project–Amber and I both hope you’ll catch the bug and choose a teacher or student to #BagItForward to as well!

Be sure to follow Elmer’s on Facebook, Elmer’s on Twitter, Bag It Forward on Pinterest to stay up to date on all the best news!


I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and and Elmer’s.  #BagItForward #CBias #SocialFabric

National Camera Day featuring TCBY Frozen Yogurt

Today is National Camera Day!

If you’ve been around awhile you might have noticed that I love taking unique photos. I’m a details person–I love to really *zoom* in on a subject and get to the good stuff! When I found out that I was going to get to feature  TCBY Frozen Yogurt in a Most Creative Photo shoot I couldn’t wait to get started!

Of course, in order to do a photo shoot of any kind, first you need the props! So off we headed to Walmart to pick up our tasty photo stars. Amber was pretty excited–can you tell??!! We picked out her favorite flavor, Strawberry, and decided to try to out a new flavor–English Toffee Crunch. (After all sometimes even newbies need a chance to become famous models!)

After adding a bit of “makeup” it was time for our stars to shine!

{am I considered the meanest mommy ever because I made her sit there and watch me do the yogurt photo shoot??!!}

Our classic star proved to be tried and true. Full of fun, life, color, and flavor-there is something about Strawberry Frozen Yogurt that just can’t be beat (at least in Amber’s mind!)

With our new star, English Toffee Crunch Frozen Yogurt, I opted for a more sophisticated approach. Playing off of the English theme I decided that my Most Creative Photo would involve a china teacup–naturally!

Which photo do you think deserves the title of Most Creative Photo for National Camera Day?

Would you like to get a behind the scenes peek at our shop and photo shoot? Be sure to check out the complete #TCBYGrocery & #CBias Shop Google+ Album.

Want more delicious yogurt-y photo fun? Of course you do! So connect with TCBY on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest

 I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and TCBY #CBias #SocialFabric #TCBYGrocery All photos, models, and yummy opinions are my own