Yummy Gluten-Free Giveaway: Canyon Bakehouse

canyon bakehouse breads

Even though I’ve been gluten-free for almost a year and a half now, I am still continually challenged to find great GF products. Now that Jonah is gluten-free AND dairy-free, that challenge has gotten even more…challenging! So when Canyon Bakehouse asked if Jonah and I would like to try their gluten-free dairy-free breads, I may have responded IN ALL CAPS because I WAS SO EXCITED!!

The Canyon Bakehouse box o’goodies arrived and I tore into it…I tried the 7-grain bread and Jonah tried the Cinnamon Raisin bread (I don’t like raisins, so I picked them out – but he LOVES them.) They were both totally delicious and SOFT. Canyon Bakehouse is definitely Jonah’s favorite bread of all the kinds we’ve tried so far. He always wants seconds!

I was also really, really, excited that Canyon Bakehouse included a loaf of their Rosemary-Thyme Focaccia bread in the package. I hadn’t had any sort of specialty bread in a LONG time and it was a REAL treat. (I also LOVE Rosemary, so yay!) It is so, soooo, sooo soft and delicious. Definitely the softest, tastiest GF bread I’ve ever had. I LOVED it. Mmmmm I wish I had some more RIGHT NOW! I was sad to see that loaf go (well, not too sad, because it was in my BELLY!) I am definitely going to need more of this.

rosemarythymefoccacia

SERIOUSLY SO GOOD!

I have to give these breads two enthusiastic thumbs up! And I am super-happy that I get to GIVE AWAY a box of Canyon Bakehouse goods to one lucky winner! All you need to do to enter is head over to their website and look around, then leave a comment below telling me which variety you’d like to try.

Contest ends Wednesday April 30 at 6 pm EST. GOOD LUCK!! And thanks Canyon Bakehouse!

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Shoppin’ it up at my happy place: CVS

This Shoppin’ It Up series is sponsored by CVS Extra Care. The content is 100% originally my own, as is my big love for all things CVS.

Mommin it up and CVS ExtraCare

A quick stroll through the archives of this blog will show that I love coupons and drugstore deals – I mean, you guys have seen my post pictures of my deals about a million times – and it’ll show you that my first savings love? Is CVS. You guys know that about me, but do you know about how I found CVS? Perhaps not – and I’d love to tell you.

Six-and-a-half years ago I walked into a CVS with a few coupons and a sketchy plan. I had read about their ExtraCare program on a blog and I was looking to see if I could put it to work for my family’s budget. That night, with a four-year-old and a one-year-old,  headed into cold and flu season, I was looking for a great deal on some children’s Tylenol. And that night, I found that deal, and so much more. I found ExtraCare, ExtraCare Bucks, great customer service, and a place to get what my family needed at a price that I could afford and that actually put money back into my shopping budget. To say that first experience was life-changing for me may seem dramatic, but it is absolutely, 100% accurate. That night CVS became a part of my life, and soon it became more than just a shopping destination: it became my happy place.

jenny CVS shopping

Let me tell you about my favorite day of the week: it’s Sunday. We often go to church Saturday night, so Sunday morning I spend some good time with my coffee, my newspaper ads, and my coupons. I see what’s on sale, consider what we need, and I make a plan for my weekly shopping. It is a very zen time for me. I’m not an expert at a lot of things, but I am good at coupons, and so I get geeked out excited about my weekly Sunday shopping trip. And the first stop on my Sunday Funday? Is always CVS.

On Sunday afternoons, my husband keeps the kids at home while I head out on my own, free as a bird, for an hour or so of “me time” – at the store. I know, I really know how to party right? But it IS a fun time for me. Right before I leave home, I check the CVS app on my phone to see if I have any ExtraCare Bucks that I can send to my ExtraCare card before I shop -it’s such a cool feature! And eco-friendly too – who needs paper?

CVS app 1

I sent that baby to my card, yo.

CVS app 2

I walk through the doors of my local CVS and it’s like the “Cheers” theme song starts playing – sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name – and they know mine. The manager always asks me if I need help finding anything and I always say “No thanks, I’m good.” and he always replies back, “I know you are, but I have to ask!” And he never fails. When I hit the door, my first stop is the wonderful Magic Coupon Machine (I believe the technical name is the “ExtraCare Coupon Center”).

cvs coupon machine edit

I scan my ExtraCare card at this machine and cross my fingers that some fabulous coupons will pop out! These CVS coupons are awesome because you can combine them with manufacturer’s coupons to save on brand names, and there are often also coupons for CVS brand items, which I love.

cvs coupon machine 3

(I totally scored Sunday!)

You know I am using this one!!!!

You know I am using this one!!!!

After I get my coupons, I stroll around the store and check the items off my list, pausing to look at what else is on sale, crunching numbers on the calculator on my phone, and of course checking for any sweet clearance deals. Just to make sure I don’t miss anything, I often quickly pull up my CVS app on my phone and check out the myWeeklyAd feature (which you can also get online). It shows me sales on the items I buy the most, which is so helpful! Here’s a screen shot of my personalized myWeeklyAd this week…Mountain Dew and makeup. Could CVS possibly know me any better???? I think not!!

MyWeeklyAd

 After I’m su-uu-re I’ve got everything I came for,  it’s time for me to check out, and I grab all my carefully-organized coupons from my purse along with any ExtraCare Bucks I have to spend – you get these for buying certain items and then you can spend them like cash on your next purchase.

These babies are basicall cash. Treat them well!

These babies are basically cash. Treat them well!

 

What I LOVE about ExtraCare Bucks is that you can spend them right away, while you’re right there in the store if you want to. Using your ExtraCare bucks with coupons can REALLY add up to big savings! I always enjoy looking at the bottom of my receipt to see how much I’ve saved.  It makes me a wee bit giddy sometimes!

CVS savings 2

This was a particularly good trip!

And you know what else is great about saving money and getting things we need and want (yes, I DID need those three new mascaras I got last week…right?)? It’s that when I leave that store with that giddy, happy, “I got a good deal” feeling – I take that feeling right back into my home with me. When I get home from a CVS run, I’m a happy girl. A happy wife, a happy mama, headed back home refreshed and cheerful to her family – and with a bag or two full of items that meet our household needs.

That feeling? Is why I’ve been shoppin’ it up at CVS for over six years, and while I will be for years to come.

What’s your favorite thing about CVS shopping?

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Every Nerd Needs a Mentor

Joshua speech meet

Speech Meet Nerd just like his Mama. Sniff Sniff!

There is a recently-viral video of Wil Wheaton telling a girl who asked him a questions (I think he was on a panel at ComicCon) about what to do when someone called her a nerd. And Wil does a fabulous job telling her how to handle it and how to be confident in her own awesomeness.

But. I have to admit that I was a little perplexed about the whole thing because in my family? Being a nerd is cool. Nerd is not a dirty word, and we are ALL Geek Chic. Perhaps you’ll recall that we start our kids on the path to nerdery very young in this gene pool. We encourage and even expect that our children will be bona fide members (dare we say leaders?? One can only hope!) of the Nerd Herd.

In our family, amongst us adult and among all the nieces and nephews and cousins, we have band nerds, drama nerds, math nerds, science nerds, Star Wars nerds, sports nerds (yes there is such a thing) and we even have a WORLD CHAMPION RUBIK’S CUBE NERD – BOOM! Jealous?

When it comes to my own children, Joshua is embarking on the path to becoming a NEW kind of nerd in our family – a video game nerd. Joshua is pretty much obsessed with the WiiU – he loves Disney Infinity, LEGO Marvel, and a whole bunch of other games – those are the only two I can really deal with hearing about at this point.

My husband enjoys video games, but he is not a Certified Video Game Nerd, so although he’s been able to guide Joshua up to a certain point, our baby son is currently surpassing his dad’s capacity for video game nerdiness.

Luckily for us, though, Joshua has found an Ultimate Video Game (and comic book and a whole lot of other nerdy things) Nerd Mentor – our friend Corey. Although Corey is not a member of our family, he is a great guy and a certified Non-Creep.

joshuacorey

Joshua and Corey at Corey’s wedding. One reason I don’t worry about Joshua becoming a Video Game Nerd is because Corey is a HUGE ONE and yet he still landed a hot wife at the age of 27, which isn’t too bad.

Recently, Joshua had a question about his fave game for Nintendo WiiU – LEGO Marvel – and Corey is a huge Marvel nerd so of course he owns this game even though LEGOs are for children (ooh, come on LEGO nerds, don’t let me get away with that!), so he MADE A VIDEO of him playing the game to show Joshua how to open up a certain feature. So then Joshua made him a video back showing him how he had followed Corey’s advice…and because he is so cute and loves Corey so much, he asked for another video, and because Corey is a nice guy and excellent Nerd Mentor who works from home and has time to make videos of himself playing a video game because a 10-year-old asked him to, he sent one right back…and so on, and so forth. I think they are on like the 5th video now. Here’s one of Joshua’s; you don’t have to watch the whole thing to know that a) my son is well on his way to becoming a HUGE Video Game Nerd and b) Corey is a very patient Nerd Mentor who clearly has his eye on training Joshua up in the Way of the Nerd.

I’m very thankful for Corey’s friendship to Joshua (he married our babysitter Krisha so since she can’t be our sitter anymore, it’s nice that he’s at least contributing to our son’s nerdery) but I also really like to make fun of him for being such a giant nerd (and I quote: “When I found out Joss Whedon was going to direct the Avengers, my heart exploded.”) so this situation is a TOTAL win-win for me! Especially since Bobby records and sends Joshua’s videos for him so I don’t have to mess with THAT inconvenience. Whew!

Nerd Alert, people! My baby’s on his way!

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