Stop Pinning and Pledge!! ($1000 towards a new grill!)

Summertime means long days at the pool, going barefoot, and grilling with friends!

Now I would love to say we have family, friends, and neighbors over practically every weekend to gather around the grill. But the truth is we haven’t had a sole over yet! Now I could run off a list of excuses. We had a t-ball game, birthday party, etc. and we are just too tired. Or I could blame it on the empty propane tank. But come on, those are quick fixes. Want to know the honest to goodness truth? This is really difficult for me to admit but, I am a recovering perfectionist and since being introduced to Pinterest I have relapsed.  See, in my mind in order to have a gathering in our backyard now it needs to look like this….

Source: http://www.thesweetestoccasion.com/2010/10/a-pretty-backyard-bridal-shower/
Source: http://www.thesweetestoccasion.com/2010/10/a-pretty-backyard-bridal-shower/

Ridiculous right!? Basically I need to try really hard to make it look like I didn’t try at all. Wait. Did that make sense!? I do believe my ‘crazy’ is officially showing, lol! See it is taking me some time to find the perfect chairs to sand, paint, and distress…or, basically make them look old again. And for some strange reason my husband is not onboard with us searching antique stores for the perfect sofa to sit in the backyard. Apparently you can have a cookout without a couch!?

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Source…http://pinterest.com/pin/100134791686707059/

Thankfully with the help of my hubby and Heinz I have come to the realization that waiting for perfection is a waste of time and I have taken the pledge!  What pledge you ask?  

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Heinz Ketchup, encourages families to gather around the grill to celebrate good food, good company and good weather this summer. And get this, it doesn’t matter what your backyard, table, or chairs look like…just have fun!  And the best part…by pledging before July 15th, you’ll also be entered into a sweepstake to win a new grill!! Click here to pledge and be entered into the sweepstakes.

Will you stop the pinning insanity and take the pledge today?  It is okay if you aren’t ready to stop pinning (just admitting you have a problem is the first step) I understand, but you can still pledge!  How many gatherings will you pledge?

Earn Money for Local Schools at Meijer and Pinterest Contest!

Meijer and Produce for Kids are teaming up to host the second annual Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign. Now through September 29th, local shoppers can contribute to this cause and support your local schools by adding produce to their Meijer shopping lists. During the campaign, participating fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers will make a donation based on consumption of their fresh produce items to DonorsChoose.org, which will support local classroom projects.

 

Shoppers/Moms, be on the lookout for the Produce for Kids display unit, featuring characters from popular Sprout shows, LazyTown™ and Noodle and Doodle, in the produce section of your local Meijer store. The more items you add to your shopping lists, the more local classrooms will benefit! My kiddos had a wonderful time selecting produce to place in our cart today.

 

Meijer is also featuring the Ideal Meals™ program from Produce for Kids in the produce department. Ideal Meals cards provide 12 quick, easy, and healthy chef-created/dietitian-approved complete meal solutions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts. I let each of my kiddos select one Ideal Meals card.  The toddler took her time selecting the perfect card.

Then it was off to see the fish…

 

Also, Produce for Kids just launched a fun and exciting contest on Pinterest. Be sure to check it out! The full Pinterest contest rules can be found here: http://www.produceforkids.com/sweepstakes/fall2012/family/index.html

I put the following recipe on my grocery list from Ideal Meals….

Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagna

Serves 8

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 5 hours

Ingredients:

·   2 Tbsp. olive oil

·   2 cups mushrooms, chopped

·   1 cup green bell pepper, seeded, chopped

·   1 large onion, finely chopped

·   3 cups spinach, loosely packed, chopped

·   1 lb. 2% cottage cheese

·   2 cups (plus ½ cup) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

·   ¼ tsp. salt

·   26 oz. jarred low sodium pasta sauce

·   2 large zucchini, sliced, ¼-inch thick rounds

·   8 oz. no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles

 

Directions:

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add mushrooms, peppers, onions and spinach. Cook 5 minutes, or until water evaporates. Season with salt and pepper. 2. In mixing bowl, mix cottage cheese, 2 cups mozzarella cheese and salt. Divide into 2 portions. 3. Grease slow cooker. Cover bottom with ⅓ of sauce and assemble as follows: single layer noodles, ⅓ of cooked vegetables, single layer zucchini, 1 portion of cottage cheese mixture, single layer of noodles. Repeat layering once in same order. Add layer of remaining sauce, cooked vegetables and zucchini. 4. Sprinkle ½ cup mozzarella cheese on top. 5. Cook on low for 5 hours or until noodles and zucchini are tender.

 

Nutrition Information:

Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagna: Calories 490, Fat 16.32g, Protein 31.17g, Carbohydrate 50.81g, Fiber 4.64g, Cholesterol 51mg, Sodium 379mg, Calcium 614mg, Vitamin A 2696 IU, Vitamin C 39.07mg, Iron 2.88mg