November 22, 2014

What's Your Favorite Cookware During the Holidays? #ad

This post was written on behalf of Market Street. All opinion are my own - as always. 

We focus so much on the food of the holidays, but without the right ingredients and tools we wouldn't have any of that food. Think back to when your mom or your grandmother cooked Thanksgiving dinner when you were a child . . . was there a certain cooking or serving dish that was always a part of the process? Maybe that's the one item that you want to make sure gets handed down to you.

In our house, my mom had a cast iron skillet that she used for special things like cornbread. I believe it might have been my grandmother's originally. To this day, I still have a fascination with cast iron skillets of all sizes and shapes.

Throughout the last several months, I have been using my Lodge Cookware and it is quickly becoming my favorite set of cooking ware. Not only does it cook evenly and clean up easily, it's also really pretty with no extra effort. I can leave the sides in the dishes they were cooked in and they simply add to the ambiance. (And they eliminate one more dish I would have to clean.)

Here are just some of the ways we have found to use our Lodge Cookware:

The Roaster - lasagna, chicken spaghetti, green bean casserole, mixing bath salts,

The Round Casserole (pictured) - chili, soup, stew, spaghetti, camping (will cause your dish to not be so pretty, but still durable enough to work),

The Ramekin - individual servings of soup, queso or hot sauce to dip, as a cereal bowl in a pinch

And remember between now and January 27th, you can earn these Lodge items for FREE from Market Street as a reward for making your regular, every day purchases. 

Sign up for the Market Street Rewards Program and start a new family tradition this holiday season!

November 21, 2014

Holidays Here We Come . . . #HoneyBakedHoliday #ad

Oh, no . . . so sorry to leave ya'll hanging. Guess you can tell once Halloween hit in this household, it has been a heck of a crazy ride and it's only getting busier from here on out. I can NOT believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away.

I do have to tell you one of the things that makes me feel better about the crazy way the holidays are rushing towards me is because I have a little secret to help out next week. Are you ready for it? Honey Baked Ham! I know, I know, it's turkey season - but they have turkeys too! And all the sides to go with them. You can even get pies there. Seriously, it's the best way to enjoy your holiday instead of stressing. 

Just listen to this description:
Slow-roasted and smoked, every Honey Baked Ham is glazed by hand with the signature, sweet crunchy glaze and has the one-of-a-kind taste that everyone looks forward to . . . the moist, tender Turkey Breast [is also] coated with the same sweet, crunchy glaze as Honey Baked's signature Ham
Now tell me your mouth isn't watering?? And there's a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You won't get that from anyone else on their Thanksgiving dishes.

So, I will be having a HoneyBaked Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving and a HoneyBaked Ham for Christmas with some amazing sides and desserts. Headed over to the location at Preston and Park today in fact, and then I'm going to fix these bad boys up in my gorgeous Lodge Cookware from Market Street!

And YOU have the chance to win a $500 gift card to get your own delicious HoneyBaked items for the holidays. You can enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

From now until 1/11/15 you can enter to win a $25,000 HoneyBaked Kitchen Makeover when you buy a Ham and Turkey Breast bundle.

Check out this amazing limited time coupon for $8.00 off any Bone-in Ham and Turkey Breast or Boneless Ham and Turkey Breast from HoneyBaked Ham to help you make your holiday dinner easy and delicious!

(This offer is valid only at the following locations: Rolling Meadows, Orland Park, Villa Park, Morton Grove, Naperville, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Mesquite, Hurst, Lewisville, Houston, Austin, Spring, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, Indianapolis, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, Roseville, Birmingham, Troy, West Bloomfield, Livonia, Flint, Dearborn Heights, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Ann Arbor, Canton Township, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsburg, Monroeville, San Antonio, Bellevue, and Lynnwood. For store addresses click here.)

October 23, 2014

Early Christmas Gift Guide #4: Lodge Cookware from #MarketStreetTX

I can't tell you how excited I was to hear that Market Street was going to be offering Lodge Cookware as a part of their rewards program. (If you're not familiar, Lodge is one of the oldest makers of Cookware here in the States. They've been making quality products since 1896.) For so long I have been wanting to get a true Dutch Oven but the cost just wasn't something I could ever justify. But with the Market Street rewards program you can earn the products just by shopping at your favorite store. 

There are two different kinds of cookware available from Market Street through this promotion . . .


2 Ramekins
Oval Roaster (Blue or Red)
Rectangular Roaster (White, Blue or Red)

Note that the rectangular roasters are all slightly different in size and reward e-stickers.

Dutch Oven (White, Blue or Red)

Please note the red is a bit larger than the white and blue dutch ovens and therefore requires a few additional rewards e-stickers.

In order to accrue the rewards e-stickers for these items, you have to spend $10 in one transaction to get your first e-sticker, then you will get an additional e-sticker for every $10 you spend after that on the same ticket. The e-stickers will continue to be added to your account from now through January 6, 2015 which means you'll be able to keep adding to your rewards through all of the busy holiday grocery shopping. While you stop earning additional e-stickers on the 6th, you will still be able to redeem them until the 20th of January.

Keeping up with how many e-stickers you have is quite easy. The total is listed on your receipt or you can use the MarketStreet app or the kiosks in the store to look it up.

If you don't have a market Street rewards account, you will want to sign up for one right now before you spend another dollar that you aren't getting credit for - Sign Up Now.

These would also make an incredible gift for the cooks in your life. And if you can earn them instead of pay for them how great would that be? It's all in the planning. Get started now.

You'll be seeing my Lodge Cookware more in future posts when I start cooking holiday recipes with it. I'd love to know what you plan on making with yours!

As a Market Street blogger I have an ongoing relationship with Market Street and post about them in return for perks and financial compensation.

October 19, 2014

Early Christmas Gift Guide #3: Dream Team Pets

Any of you still struggle with little ones who just plain get up WAY too early? We went camping this weekend and the kids were awake and "talking" at the top of their lungs long before the sun came up. I've tried lots of things to help, but I just heard about a new option that I'm excited to try out - Dream Team Pets.

Dream Team Pets are not just a bedtime toy - it's an innovative sleep aid for children that helps end the battle of trying to keep your child in bed. Developed with the help of a pediatrician, Dream Team Pets bedtime routine empowers kids. They reward their Pet with stickers and a certificate when they both stay in bed and get a good night's sleep. If the wake up from a nightmare, there are no hard feelings because the responsibility is on their Pet, but when they successfully sleep in their own bed, the kids feel a sense of accomplishment as they reward their Dream Team Pet

What makes this unique is that the kids think they are training their Pet, but really they are sleep training themselves! 

Right now, MelissaStuff Readers receive 30% Off Dream Team Pets with Promo Code: USFGUIDE

October 13, 2014

Basics of Essential Oils - What's All the Fuss About?

If you're like me, you've heard people talking about oils and you've wondered what the fuss is all about. Is this the latest trend? Just another flash in the pan that will disappear? Let's talk about it. 
First of all, oils have been used for centuries to help with various ailments. They're much more tried and true than the medicinal remedies we are more familiar with. They're all natural and easy on your body . . . and in my opinion, they smell great. These were all contributing factors in my decision to learn more about oils.
The Premium Kit is the basic set that Young Living offers. It's a great option because you get 10 of the basic oils as well as a diffuser to help your entire household benefit from the oils. (Oils noted with a * should be diluted.)
1. Peppermint* – the two main uses are to alleviate headaches and digestive problems. 
Just smelling peppermint can help get rid of your headache. If that's not sufficient you can dilute a little peppermint in water and then dip your finger in the water and then touch the roof of your mouth. You can also add it to the water you're drinking or rub it on the back of your neck. 
When your stomach is bothering you, you can rub the peppermint oil right over the area that is bothering you and then also put some on your wrists. When you're sick enough to have to lay down, you can also put some on the bottom of your feet.
An additional perk of peppermint is the smell that can be used to cover unpleasant odors, as well.
2. Pan-Away – Alleviates inflammation and pain.  Rub it on sore muscles or an injury . . . even bumps and bruises. It's also helpful on growing pains.
I work out with CrossFit and sometimes I hurt so badly I end up walking like a little old lady. Pan Away can help with that!
3. Purification – Perfect for insect bites. Just put it directly on the affected area. We live in the country and our boys are always having insect issues so this is a huge help to us. You can even mix Purification and Peppermint (8 drops each) in a spray bottle with water to use as an insect repellant as well.
This oil can also be used to neutralize odors.  You can use the diffuser to help resolve any kind of smell issues in your home.
4. Valor – A very special oil that helps you when you're just not feeling yourself. It helps you keep yourself grounded and functioning correctly. In stressful, unsettling situations, this oil can really be of assistance. It's also been noted to be good for neck, spine and back issues. 
5. Lemon – Disinfectant, sanitizer, cleaning agent.  This is a pure, concentrated version of lemon oil. You can add about 20 drops of this to a small spray bottle of water and use it to clean your house. It will smell amazing and be naturally clean with no extra chemicals.
6. Frankincense – Mood balancer, soothes fussy children, reduces inflammation. This is considered a holy oil around the world which makes sense as to why it was brought to Christ as a gift. It is expensive so you want to use it judiciously or dilute it to help stretch it as far as possible.
It can also be used to help skin breakouts. Mix it with jojoba oil (and even add some lavender) and apply directly to the face. 
7.  Thieves – Protectant, disinfectant, cleaning agent.  This was the first oil I ever tried and it may be my favorite.  It helps prevent sickness and comes in a variety of products through Young Living as well.  Not only does it have these amazing properties, but the smell is awesome - kind of a fall, spiced cider kind of smell. 
8. Peace and Calming – Great for my boys but works for anyone who has gotten worked up, anxious or is just generally tightly wound . . . they might tell you that's a good description of me!
9. Lavender** – Good for so many things. Aches and pains, acne, burns, relaxation. We have a good friend who has a son that has a very difficult time unwinding to go to sleep. She has used lavender successfully with him - after applying the oil and a little weighted pressure on his tummy, he is out in seconds flat!
A great way to apply oils like lavender is to purchase unscented lotion. Add a drop or two of lavender or other essential oil to the lotion and then apply as normal.
10. Joy – this is a bonus oil that you get in the Premium Kit.  I love this oil.  It’s refreshing and uplifting.  I like to rub it right over my heart when I am struggling with finding joy.  It and Valor make a nice perfume too.

You don't ever have to sell anything, and you only have to purchase $50 each year to maintain your wholesale status and keep your discount. Make sure you keep it set to Wholesale, and I would recommend the Premium Kit for your first purchase.