Waterless Treasure Bay

The weather has been down right freezing, winds from the north are cold but they also push the bay water out into the gulf. I get so excited the few times of year when this happens, with the water receded and all the treasures in the bay are exposed, you can walk really far out on the sands that normally are feet below the surface. But as I learned this morning, don't wear your favorite suede boots to do this, the sand is soft and there's many spots where you sink fast into black mud. Lesson learned, wear old shoes you don't mind loosing and walking barefoot home.

A few days before this, we had thought it was a large tortoise out in the bay, turns out it was a giant piling sticking out, yep definitely not a tortoise.

1234. . .the places we go

And off we go. Mornings are crazy enough around here, 4 kids and 3 different schools, trying to get everything that needs to get done before getting out the door is impossible and breakfast is just one of those thing that either gets boring or we simply run out of time. Plenti Oatmeal Meets Greek Yogurt is a quick and yummy part of breakfast that all my kids enjoy straight from the fridge on the way to school, add a piece of fruit and a bottle of water and I know they'll be able to keep going till lunch.

Then NEW Plenti Oatmeal Meets Greek Yogurt is something you should try! 

It's taking the oatmeal game to a new level by mixing the texture and goodness of oatmeal with the creamy awesomeness of Greek yogurt. 

There is lots to love about Plenti Oatmeal Meets Greek Yogurt with
6 delicious flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Maple Brown Sugar, Peach, Blueberry, Strawberry, and Vanilla.

Each cup has 16 grams of whole grain and has 11 grams of protein, I love that! (even if the kids don't understand why).

Try it for yourself today! Print a coupon good for $.35 off 1 cup of Plenti Plentiful Greek Yogurt!

Today’s post is sponsored by Plenti Oatmeal Meets Greek Yogurt , but my love for their product is all my own!

Breaded Avocado Vegetarian Tacos & Giveaway!

What’s more festive during the game than a football-themed Taco Bar? Everyone in our house loves celebrating Game Day with friends and all the fun food that goes with it. We decide to came up with a new recipe to share using Old El Paso dinner kit and Avocados from Mexico.
When I lived in Florida during my college years, my yard had 2 avocado trees, a winter and summer variety, I loved having avocados all year round but I wish I knew all the fun things to do with them then and think back to how many were wasted from my lack of culinary skills.

Old El Paso Dinner kits come with all you need to make delicious meals for the whole family
Hard & Soft Dinner Kit
Hard and Soft Taco Kits keep everyone happy. Each kit contains deliciously crunchy corn Tacos AND tasty soft tortillas, plus Taco Seasoning Mix and Taco Sauce so you can create a Mexican fiesta with ease. Just add meat and your favorite toppings.
Try these delicious flour Tortillas made especially for Tacos and Fajitas. Simply wrap around your favorite ingredients.
Taco Shells are deliciously crunchy corn shells ready to fill with your favorite meats, cheese, fresh toppings, and taco sauce for a Mexican fiesta!
Stand ‘n Stuff
Create super tacos with Old El Paso™ crunchy Super Stuffer™ Taco Shells, ready to hold a super amount.

Avocados from Mexico are fresh, delicious, authentic, and available year-round.

Fun facts: avocados are so popular at parties and festivities that people across the United States enjoy more than 1.3 billion pounds of avocados per year.
 Did you know? If you made guacamole from all of the avocados sold for Big Game XLVII parties, you could fill the entire stadium 12 feet high!

Breaded Avocado Vegetarian Taco Recipe:

2 Avocados slices
2 eggs beaten 
1 cup crumbled cheese crackers (bread crumbs can be used)
1 1/2 cups flour
(comes with taco seasoning, mild taco sauce and soft tacos)
fresh lettuce

Place the beaten eggs, flour and crumbled crackers into 3 separate bowls to dip the sliced avocados in for breading.

Now dip avocado slices first into the egg, then flour, then cracker crumbs. After you coat all the avocado slices add the taco seasoning to the flour and roll the slices back into the seasoned flour, place coated avocado on a greased or well oil pan to bake at 375 degrees for 12-17 minutes or until the crust is crispy and golden brown.

After the breaded avocados are baked, place them on a soft taco shell top with fresh lettuce and then top with mild taco sauce from the Old El Paso Dinner Kit, roll and serve.

Exclusive savings at Publix help with all the ingredients you need like Old El Paso and Avocados from Mexico. 

$1 off when you purchase 3 Old El Paso item through an online coupon HERE (available all January)

Publix BOGO offer on Old El Paso Dinner Kits (2/4/16 - 2/10/16) 

Publix offer for 25% off components such as seasoning, beans, etc.

Giveaway Details:

 $10 giveaway for Ramblings From Utopia readers, just simply leave a comment below on your favorite recipe or Game Day party idea.

Please note: The winner is chosen randomly and will receive winnings via PayPal.

Earn eBox Tops with Winn Dixie and $15 Giveaway!!

 We'll probably all have clipped hundreds of tiny box top rewards by the time our kids graduate school. Now Winn Dixie offers an eBox Tops program, where Winn Dixie shoppers can earn extra cash for their school by registering for the Box Tops program at www.winndixie.com/boxtops, adding eBoxTops offers to your account and purchasing select General Mills products you can receive five box tops for the purchase of two participating products. Earning extra cash for their school through eBoxTops, available at Winn Dixie simply register for the Box Tops program and start earning cash for your schools.

Another way to earn the five eBoxTops is when they buy two of the participating products: Go-Gurt, Nature Valley Bars, Totino’s Pizza Rolls, General Mills Fruit Snacks, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, Select General Mills Cereal, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls or Grands! Biscuits. These offers are valid through January 31, 2016. New offers are live on the site each month.

Be sure to share the cause with your school’s PTA, neighbors, friends, family, coworkers and readers, just think about how much cash your school can raise with eBoxTops, in addition to the clip Box Tops on each product you purchase!

My local Winn Dixie had all the eBox Tops labeled throughout the store, making it super easy to choose the current participating products.

$15 Giveaway!

 Comment on this post about how excited you are about the Winn Dixie eBox Tops or who you’re fundraising for with Box Tops and you'll be entered to win $15 with General Mills, winner of the Ramblings From Utopia giveaway is chosen at random and paid via PayPal  

Be sure to visit Winn Dixie each month as new offers are rolled out!

Thank you General Mills for providing the gift card to purchase product, for the giveaway!

DIY: Easy tension rod paper towel holder

Winter's setting in here, well we might not get snow but the cold is enough to want to stay home by the fireplace. Stocking up supplies keeps me from having to bundle up and head out in this in the cold weather, except for the occasional Mardi Gras parade, we're always hungry for moon pies. 

Dollar General,  is right around the corner and with their new Digital Coupons I can stock up on month's worth of SCOTT® paper product.
I was surprised at how long SCOTT® bath tissue lasts in our household, haven't had to restock since before the holidays. 
But with all the art projects and bunnies we I made sure to grabbed another Scotts Bonus Pack of paper towel, which proved handy over the weekend  when the kids flooded their bathroom. Don't ask, but all I can say is we need a professional plumber.

I found a simple solution to a on the spot no tools needed paper towel holder... a tension rod! Just find a place you'd want paper towels, a drawer, under the cabinet, book shelf, where ever, then measure the span of where you decided, buy the appropriate length tension rod and install. I choose to place ours in the kids bathroom, easy to access for bathroom clean up and the rod is enough to hold two rolls or a roll and a bath towel. This can be done with bath tissue too!

If you haven't used Dollar General DG Digital Coupons, it's really simple to start. First go and sign up for Dollar General’s Digital Coupon on their site, it's easy and can be done in a few quick steps below:

To redeem Digital Coupons:
1. Sign up at  Create account and load which coupons you would like to use
3. Visit your local Dollar General to redeem coupons at checkout. Find a Dollar General near you by using the store locator 

Here's some of the great Scott products you can find at Dollar General:
Bonus Packs: Find 3 special SCOTT® Bonus Packs in-store through the end of February 2016.
• SCOTT® 1000 Bath Tissue, 16 pack (2 Free Rolls)
• SCOTT® Choose-A-Sheet Paper Towels, Mega Roll 6 Pack (Bonus 15% Sheets)
• SCOTT® Extra Soft Bath Tissue, Double Roll 16 pack (2 Free Rolls)

 SCOTT® bonus packs in-store for a limited time, use the store locator to find their nearest location for the SCOTT bonus pack deal TODAY!

Thank you to SCOTT® and Dollar General for sponsoring today’s post and helping me find savings on all of my paper product needs!

Calming days ahead

 The holiday chaos is over! Well at least until for a few days until the Mardi Gras madness starts here. We all need a little stress and anxiety relief this time of year, one of my New Year’s resolutions or should I saw only resolution I made was to take a back seat to the stress and relax more often, take a walk, ride my bike and watch the sunset over the bay. I try and see it as often as I can, it really helps to add the needed calmness to my week. 
The sunsets are always amazing, with their seemingly endless hues painted across the sky, so peaceful and it makes me smile even more when I see a flock of pelicans fly across the setting sun, just like they did this evening.
Most of us feel our jobs can get a bit hectic, especially when added to  managing the kids, the house and for me a huge roof repair on our house just after the holidays.

What ever stress you during the week, Natrol 5-HTP is a drug-free and plant derived alternative way to brighten mood. Natrol is a leading vitamin and supplement manufacturer that strives to empower the everyday woman to take charge and own their health, clinically proven to work more efficiently than other conventional tablets. Natrol hopes to inspire, educate and empower you to take charge of your health. 

Key Benefits of the Natrol 5-HTP Fast Dissolve:
• Helps brighten mood • Helps increase serotonin levels • Drug-free, plant-derived mood enhancement Natrol 5-HTP Fast Dissolve technology has been clinically tested and absorbs up to 66 percent more of the 5-HTP active ingredient compared to other competing tablets 

Here's to a more relaxing New Year ahead!

Visit the Natrol website to download a $5 off coupon your next purchase. 

Down By the Bay

Our life revolves around the bay, whether it's the rain, the sunsets, going night swimming, daydreaming , or take a bike ride, we spend a great deal of time at the bay. It's so peaceful, like having your very own slice or paradise and like my oldest teenager said,"If I have to go outside this is the only kind of outside I like." and as a parent any chance we get to get our kids creative and active is awesome. Hop on our bikes, grab a few yummy Nestle Nesquik  chocolate milk, and we know it's a going to be a good day down by the bay.

I have 4 growing kids, it's eases my mind knowing Nesquik provides the right start
giving them the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need to conquer their day. All with the delicious taste that sparks the belief that anything can happen, as a parent it's important for me to support my kids everyday helping them grow and learn and live out their dreams and what better place to dream than watching the clouds roll over the bay as the kids build their castles in the sand.

Today’s post is sponsored by Nestlé ®, but my family’s love for their Nesquik is all my own!

Vegetarian Mushroom and Quinoa Meatballs, Healthy Eating Recipe

New Year, new weekly recipes. I'm not big on resolutions, but the kids suggested more original recipes. I'm not to surprised, what kid wants to give up goodies and treats? Not mine.

Winter is a time for in-door activities and trying out new takes on old recipes or creating new ones. Ragu added to a meal is a great way to warm up and enjoy time with friends and family and since January is all about new resolutions our recipes are a take on healthy eating in a fun way.

This weeks recipe was homemade vegetarian meatballs, I try for at least 75% of the ingredients to be organic and what I like to call semi-homemade. That helps to keep my recipes to about 30 minutes.

A food processors speeds up the prep time with this recipe, I got one as a gift last year and it works great for recipes that call for finely chopping vegetables or making bread crumbs. But my favorite use is to make pastry and bread dough.

Vegetarian Mushroom and Quinoa Meatballs

10 ounces fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup prepared quinoa

3 ounces of dried bread 
(keep 1 ounces of bread crumbs to the side)

1 egg

8 ounces of canned black beans (drained)

3 ounces of crushed cheese crackers 

1 tsp garlic (fresh or  powder)

1 1/2 tsp oregano (fresh or dried)

Place ingredients into food processor until well blended.
Spoon mixture into a bowl of dried bread crumbs, mix and spoon into balls on sprayed baking sheet. Spray meatballs with oil before baking at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 10 minutes on one side then flip the meatballs and finish baking until crispy on the outside.

Let cool 5 minutes then and add to your pasta and top with fresh mushrooms and your favorite Ragu sauce.

Now that we have our back to healthy eating at least 75% organic, I was so pleased to find Ragu's organic pasta sauce and even better was the taste! There's so many Ragu sauces to choose from, I'm sure you'll find one to fit your taste like we did.

Thank you to Ragu for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to pass on my family traditions.

Cheesy Potato Crescent Roll Pie Recipe and Giveaway!

So happy to have moved back to the south and be able to shop at one of my favorite grocery store again. I use to work at an ice cream shop next to the Publix in Fort Lauderdale during my college years. They always had the best selection of healthy foods (to balance out all the ice cream), during my most recent trip to Publix I grab a few cans of Progresso Light soup with only 100 calories or less per serving, I'm hoping it will help get my back to my pre-holiday clothes again and it turns out the kids can't stop raving over the taste, they've requested more on our next shopping trip. Wish I could bring my good helper Arrow, he was so excited to try out his miniature shopping cart the kids got him over the holidays, and what's cuter than a bunny pushing a shopping cart?

 Last night's Cheesy Potato Crescent Roll Pies, made with Progresso Light soup was so awesome, the kids said I must share the recipe! (Sometimes I think they say that so I can't loose or forget how to make it again).

$15 Giveaway!!!

Progresso is an easy way to get healthy this New Year and to help kick it off I'm hosting a $15 giveaway that's just as easy, simply leave a comment below on how Progresso Light can help them with their New Year’s health resolutions and you're entered!

*Winner must have a Paypal account to receive payment.

January 1st – January 31st: $1 off any 4 cans of all varieties of Progresso Light soup coupon (this is a national online coupon that you can print at home).

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