Movie Date Night with Brown Butter Popcorn Brownies | #MovieNight4Less

This #MovieNight4Less shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Cheap at Home Date Night Ideas1i hear it all the time from my friends and readers, that it’s too hard to get out on date nights with their spouses. it’s either that it’s too expensive to go out and also pay a baby-sitter, that it’s too hard to get the house and kids ready so they can go out or that they are just too tired to go out. i get asked all the time for recommendations on where to go for a cheap and fun date night. and although there are options of places to go, there is still the problem of finding a babysitter. it’s important to have date nights to reconnect and feel important to one another. but you don’t have to go out to do this. you can plan ultimate movie date night at home.  

right now, beginning on November 11th through the 24th, Wallmart has a special Movie Night Display with Orville Redenbacher’s popcornM&M’s® and Warner Brothers DVDs & Blu-Rays at a promo price of $5 for DVD and $7.88 for BRD (check this list for a store near you). all the movie titles are intended for an audience over twelve years old, and you can purchase these things as part of your special date night.

so first, feed the kids and put them to bed, and then get the popcorn popping. by picking a great movie, popping some popcorn, having a special treat and some of your favorite beverages, your date night will be extra special, and set apart from your adverage day-to-day television viewing. make sure to fluff up your pillows and get some soft blankets to cuddle up together with.

here are the essentials i purchased for a movie date night at home: Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, M&M’s® and a Warner Brothers DVDs or Blu-rays.

Cheap Date Night Ideas

since i have never seen The Blind Side before, that is the movie we chose, but there are a lot of great choices to pick from like Ghost, Forrest Gump, The Notebook, Green Lantern, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and more!

Warner Brothers Movie Date Night

and then for a special Date Night Treat, i got our favorite drinks, and made Brown Butter Popcorn Brownies. you always want to treat yourselves after a long week, and i thought these would do the trick.

Brown Butter Popcorn Browniesand now for the recipe, Brown Butter Popcorn Brownies are really easy to make. you will need 7 cups of Orville Redenbacher’s Buttered Popcorn, 1 cup of M&M’s®, 5 cups of mini marshmallows, 5 Tablespoons butter and a pan of prepared brownies.

How to Make Popcorn Brownies to start, prepare a pan of brownies from a box mix. you can do 8 x 8″ or 9 x 13″

Unique Brownie Recipenext you will make the brown butter and marshmallow sauce to coat the popcorn. melt 5 tablespoons of butter on the stovetop on medium heat until it darkens in color. next, reduce heat to low and add 5 cups of marshmallows. quickly stir just until melted and combined with butter. remove from heat.

immediately pour over 7 cups of popped popcorn. stir until fully coated.

Easy Marshmallow Popcorn next, add 1 – 2 cups of marshmallows, and 1 cup of M&M’s®. i used both peanut and plain M&M’s®. stir until completely combined.Marshmallow Popcorn Treats pour the marshmallow popcorn mixture over the cooled brownies.

Fun Date Night Dessert

spread mixture evenly over the top of the brownies. let cool.

Popcorn Brownies Recipe once you have let the brownies sit for at least 30 minutes, you can cut and serve them. you will be surprised at the salty and chewy chocolate taste with the crunch M&M’s®. it’s all your favorite movie flavors in one dessert.Brown Butter Popcorn Brownies Recipenow go and enjoy a movie night with your sweetie! 
Stay Home Date Night Ideas

you can find the special priced Warner Bros. DVD & Blu-Rays, Orville Redenbacher Popcorn and M&M’s® on the promo pallet in the movie section of Walmart!

Movie Night pallet

Easy Crockpot Chicken Verde Burritos with Caramelized Onions

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Easy Crockpot Chicken Verde Burritos It's one of the easiest dinners to prepare... and it's seriously so yummy. #crockpot  #chicken #recipewith the holidays arriving, things are about to get hectic. the shopping, the decorating, the school parties, the wrapping, and everything else that goes along with it. it’s the happiest time of the years…and yet it can be the craziest time of the year. the last thing that anyone wants during this busy season is a big mess in the kitchen, and to have to come home from a busy day and make a big dinner. that is why i LOVE the crockpot. and these Crockpot Chicken Verde Burritos with Caramelized Onions are easy to make, and leave practically no mess! everyone in the family loves them, and they are the perfect meal to come home to after a chilly and busy day.

to make this meal, i did my shopping at Smart & Final. i love, love, love, Smart & Final. it is my go to store for party shopping as i have written about before, and it’s also one of my favorite places to shop for food in general. it’s my secret oasis…because it has great items…like family sized food items, fun bulk candy, drinks, unique paper goods, party supplies and a whole lot more. i always find unique food and serving ware items. i really like Smart & Final because it carries warehouse sized items with the feel and convenience of a neighborhood grocery store and there’s NO club fee. it’s one-stop shopping because you can buy everything from fresh produce to bakery items in large and small sizes. Smart & Final has great exclusives lines such as First Street, La Romanella, and Ambiance that are priced at a great value….this makes shopping for big families, parties, camping trips and family barbecues perfect.

i was able to make my entire Crockpot Chicken Verde Burritos with Caramelized Onions dinner by shopping exclusively at Smart & Final. here is my grocery list for the meal: Chicken Breasts, Sour Cream, Salsa Verde, Monterey Jack Cheese, Queso Fresco, Cilantro, Lime, Tomatoes, Avocado, Onion, Tortillas, and Refried Beans.
How to make chicken verdethis is all you need for the first step of making Crockpot Chicken Verde Burritos with Caramelized Onions.Best Chicken Verde Recipewhile you are slicing the onions, turn on the crockpot on high. put a couple of pats of butter into the bottom of the dish and let them melt.Crockpot Chicken Verde Recipeslice half an onion, and place slices into the crockpot.
crockpot onions recipestir the onions around to coat with the melted butter.crockpot carmelized onions recipegenerously salt and pepper the chicken breasts on both sides, and place into the crockpot on top of the onions.Best Crockpot Chicken Pork Verdepour the entire jar of salsa verde verde over the chicken.Best Crockpot Chicken Verde it will look like this.

Easy Chicken Verde Recipenow let it sit!

set crockpot on high if you plan on eating in 3-5 hours. set on low if you will be eating in more than 5 hours.

you can’t get any easier than that. easy crockpot recipeswhen you are ready to eat, you will end up with something like this….fully cooked chicken breast in salsa verde juice. Chicken Pork VerdeDO NOT REMOVE THE JUICES. with two forks, shred the chicken with the juice. it should absorb all the juice while you shred it.Crockpot Chicken Tacosnext add some chopped cilantro and combine. now your chicken verde is ready to eat. you can eat it in tacos, or by itself, or on top of nachos, but i prefer to eats it like this:Cilanto Verde Chicken1first, warm a tortilla on the stovetop. sprinkle shredded jack cheese over the top.Crockpot Chicken Burritoswait for the cheese to melt and tortilla to brown.Best Crockpot Chicken Burritosremove from heat, and pile chicken verde, sour cream, fresh cilantro, and avocados on top.Best Crockpot Chicken Verde Burritoswrap it up buy folding up the end first, and then the sides. you want to keep all the yummy juices in the tortilla. you can also top with more sour cream and crumbled queso fresco.Best Crockpot Chicken Verde Burritos with Cilantro

this is a warm, savory, comforting dish that is not heavy at all. by itself, it is low calorie and low fat. not so much after adding the sour cream and cheese, but you can adjust any of the toppings to fit your liking. it tastes so fresh with the cilantro, and even better with a squeeze of lime. serve it with some pico de gallo and refried beans topped with queso fresco. your family will love this meal, and being so simple to make, it will probably make it into your dinner meal line up. enjoy!

P.S. you can ,ale this exact meal using pork instead of chicken. i like it just as much, and it probably is a little juicier. just prepare it with the same instructions, but make sure to skin the fat off the top of the salsa verde liquid after it is cooked and before you shred it.

Easy Crockpot Chicken Verde Burritos with CilantroEasy Crockpot Chicken Verde Tacos with Lime and Cilantro

4-6 chicken breasts
1 jar salsa verde
1 half of medium onion
1-2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

sour cream
shredded jack cheese
cilantro (optional)
lime (optional)
queso fresco (optional)

set your crockpot to high. place 2-3 pats of butter into the crockpot. let melt while you slice 1/2 an onion into thin rings. place the onion slices into the crockpot and stir to coat in the melted butter.

next, generously salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts. place them into the crockpot on top of the onions. pour the entire jar of salsa verde over the chicken breasts. put the lid on the crockpot. leave crockpot on high if you plan on eating in 3-5 hours. set on low if you will be eating in more than 5 hours.

when you are ready to serve, shred chicken with two forks. do not remove the juice, it will absorb into the shredded chicken. mix in 1/4 cup of shredded cilantro. serve on tortillas topped with melted cheese. top with sour cream, avocado and cilantro. squeeze lime on top for a fresh citrus taste. enjoy!

Easy Crockpot Chicken Verde Burritos It's one of the easiest dinners to prepare... and it's seriously so yummy. #crockpot  #chicken #recipe

and don’t forget you can get everything you need to make this yummy meal at Smart & Final!smart and final ffamily mealsFind more fantastic recipes at the Smart and Final Social Circular 
follow Smart and Final on social media
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#ChooseSmart #CollectiveBias

{ Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are a bazillion times my own. }

The Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train | Giveaway

irvine-park-railroad-christmas-train-holiday-eventit’s my favorite time of year, i just love the holidays. i love doing all the Christmas traditions we have started over the years with my boys. one of our family’s most favorite traditions is going to the Irvine Park Railroad and riding the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train. we have been riding the Christmas train for the last 5 years. it’s a magical experience for everyone, especially for the little ones who love trains and are excited to meet Santa Claus. riding the Christmas Train to the North Pole to visit Santa Claus is really exciting for them. irvine-park-railroad-christmas-traineverybody boards the Christmas Train and a journey to the North Pole, once you arrive, you can purchase hot chocolate, cookies or popcorn while you wait for your turn to see Santa Claus. when it is your turn to meet Santa, get ready to take a photo with him, and give your wish lists to Santa. this is our family photo from last year.

irvine-park-railroad-santa when you arrive back at the Irvine Park Railroad train depot, walk through a wonderland of lighted Christmas Trees, play in a holiday maze, and check out the Christmas house, where you can also purchase holiday treats. plus there are lots of places for photo ops. irvine-park-railroad-christmas you can also enjoy a special story time with Mrs. Claus (no additional charge) or purchase activity tickets to decorate sugar cookies, play carnival games, jump in the bouncy house or get your face painted.


we even took a family #selfie in the Christmas house. it’s always wonderful evening of family fun.

irvine-park-railroad-house if you would like to visit the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train, you must order your ticket ONLINE. it begins running on November 28th through December 23, 2014.

and when you do visit the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train, make sure to tag them in your Facebook, twitter and instagam posts! they love to see your photos. irvine-park-railroad-instagram Giveaway+1 one of my lucky readers will  win a 4-pack of Christmas train tickets, 6 activity tickets, 1 Fun Wheels Rentals Bike rental, 1 Fun Wheel Rentals Paddle Boat rental & a Christmas tree (maximum value of $75.00 plus the Christmas tree stand, does not include flocking, delivery, or other miscellaneous items including wreaths and garland)!  this is almost a $200 prize package. the winner will be chosen at random. please enter below by leaving a comment AND via rafflecopter. contest ends sunday, november 23, 2013 at midnight. good luck!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

{disclaimer: i received complimentary tickets for may family to enjoy the Christmas Train. we would have gone either way….all thoughts and opinions are a bazillion times my own. we love the Christmas Train. }

Holiday Gift Guide for the Minecraft Lover

minecraft-gift-guidei have a bunch of Minecraft fans over here, so my holiday shopping is sure to include some sort of Minecraft apparel and toys. this Holiday Gift Guide for Minecraft Lovers has a bunch of different items i have been thinking about getting them. high on the list is the LEGO mine craft sets and the Monecraft Book set. here is a bit of information about all the items. (some of these link may contain affiliate links)

Minecraft Creeper Youth Hoodie Both my boys have this hoodie, and it’s one of their favorites. it’s lightweight, and great for everyday. you can zip up the hoodie to be transformed into a Creeper, or just wear it like a normal hoodie.

Gameband Minecraft the ALL NEW!!!! Gameband Minecraft™ is the first-ever Minecraft wearable. it lets you take your Worlds with you and play Minecraft anywhere you are, on any computer. it features ultra-fast, long-lasting hardware, and Gameband saves your Worlds and backs them up onto our secure, cloud-based servers. if you lose it, you can contact Gameband and order a replacement with all your data still intact.

Minecraft Sword Belt

LEGO Minecraft when the world of Minecraft combined with the world of LEGO, Minecraft lovers rejoiced. there are many different LEGO Minecraft sets to choose from.

Minecraft Creeper Plush with Sound Effects i don’t know why my boys love it so much, but they love their Minecraft Plushies. now you can sleep with a cuddly Minecraft pal.

Minecraft Cookie Cutter Set

Minecraft Socks 3 Pack most everyone gets socks for the holidays, they might as well be Minecraft themed.

Minecraft Grassy Block Case protect your Minecraft lovers cell phone with a grassy block case.

Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection

Minecraft Creeper Backpackthis is the ultimate backpack for Minecraft lovers. it have 3 zippered compartments and the perfect creeper details.

Jinx Creeper Beanie and complete the look with a Minecraft Creeper Scarf

Minecraft Animal Totem Tee & World of Minecraft Tee i’m always looking for fashionable Minecraft tees for the boys. i am picky, but i think either of these would look cool with a pair of skinny jeans and high-tops.

Minecraft Animal Toy & Figurines there a many different sets of the little Minecraft Figurines, and Minecraft lovers love them all. they are like collectables, and you can’t go wrong getting them for your kiddies.

PIPPIN the Musical comes to Orange County

new-pippin-segerstromlast night i enjoyed a lovely girls night out with my mom. we went to see the musical PIPPIN being performed at the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts from Novemeber 11th through the 23rd. you may have seen PIPPIN on stage in the past, however, this performance of PIPPIN is a captivating new revival like nothing you’ve ever seen!  directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus, it stars Center favorite Lucie Arnaz and John Rubinstein, the Tony-winning actor who starred as the original Pippin. the brand new choreography features the sizzling style of Bob Fosse and breathtaking acrobatics by Les 7 Digits de la Main…a real circus. a PIPPIN for the 21st Century!

the musical PIPPIN tells the story of a young man at a crossroads in his life. he has to decided whether to follow in the footsteps of his father, one of the most powerful men in the land or go out on his own, to find his own “corner of the sky.” it is a play within a play, where the story is told by a traveling group of actors, acrobats and clowns who are called the players. they are directed by the mysterious Leading Player, and just like a circus or vaudeville act, the Players act out the roles of the story and speak directly to the audience.


Pippin, who is the eldest son of emperor Charlemagne and the play’s hero, despite the privilege he enjoys as heir to the throne, find his unfulfilled by what life at court has to offer. near the end of the show after lots of great action and drama, he comes across a widow who has been left with a large estate, which she can hardly manage on her own. meeting Pippin at a low point in his life, she welcomes him into her home with her son Theo. you will have to come to the show to what happens next!Pippin Rachel Bay Jones Kyle Dean Ciara Renee

my mom and i really enjoyed the show. the music is grand, and the costumes are breathtaking. i especially loved the acrobatics and dance numbers. it was definitely a fun evening of wonderful music and talented actors. of course it received a standing ovation.

Segerstrom Center pippin

this show makes for a fabulous date night or girls night. i wouldn’t recommend this show for young children, it is recommended for children 13+ due too mild violence and mature sexual content. be sure to arrive early so you can take pictures and visit the interactive exhibits on the second floor.

wanna go? hurry and get your tickets. this show only plays two weeks at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts

dates & times
Tuesday, November 11-14th • 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 15th • 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 16th • 1:00 p.m.  & 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 18th-21st • 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 22nd • 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 23rd • 1:00 p.m.  & 6:30 p.m.

start at $29 person
purchase at the Box Office, 600 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626
open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily
online: www.scfta.org  •  phone: (714) 556-2787

{disclosure: i received complimentary media tickets to reveiw the show. all thoughts and opinions are my own.}

Yay for Cats | Tiny Whales Tee of Month

tiny-whales-meow-tee-shirtit’s that time again…time to order the November Tiny Whales Tee of the Month. i’ve written so many times before about how much we are enjoying being part of the Tiny Whales Tee of the Month Club. new clothes each month, means new cute photos with my boys. the October tee of the month has been one of our favorites. my boy absolutely LOVE CATS. they are constantly talking about cats, acting like cats and drawing cats. so when the MEOW POWER! shirt showed up in our mail box, there were smiles all around.

here is Vann modeling his new favorite Tiny Whales tee. he is jumping for joy.

this month’s Tiny Whales Tee of the Month Club t-shirts just happen to have a cat theme as well. of course we couldn’t be happier! the more cat stuff the better. check out the cool design below…it happens to be a Tiny Whales favorite, that will soon be put away forever.

so! what is the Tiny Whales Tee Shirt of the Month Club?

it’s where you sign up to receive a new tee shirt each month designed by an artist or artists. sign up by the 15th of the month and receive it at the beginning of the next month. it’s a limited edition, so if you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to get it again.

this month, Tiny Whales is bringing back an old classic! their WILDCATS design….by far one of our very favorites of all time. if you have a major CATTITUDE, you will not want to miss out on this shirt. it is now available in a new colorway, in both a Raglan Sweatshirt and Tee. and they will be offering it in Toddler, Youth and Adult Sizes. you only have until the 15th to pre order before it goes back in the Tiny Whales Vault forever.

the WILDCATS tee of the month will be offered in a tee OR a sweatshirt!  my boys LOVE kitties, so they are particularly excited about this months design.


you can purchase this great tee or sweatshirt separately or by purchasing a Tee Shirt of the Month subscription over at Tiny WhalesBut HURRY fast because TOMORROW, November 15th is your last chance to get the November Tee of the Month.

Share Your Beautiful Smile | Free Printable #ColgateEnamelHealth

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Colgate. I received a product sample for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Smile Quote

i’ve always believed that “A smile is the most beautiful thing you can put on your face.” i try to always make sure that my smile is healthy, by visiting the dentist every year, by brushing regularly and using products that protect and brighten it. having strong enamel is the key to making sure your teeth stay healthy. (the link for the free printable smile quote is at the bottom of this post.)

enamel insulates and is the hard protector of your teeth, is the hardest substance in the human body. it can chip and crack from daily use such as chewing, biting and grinding and tiny bacteria living in our mouths can produce acids which cause it to erode.  enamel is a strong barrier that shields the inside layers of your teeth from the damaging effects of acids and plaque, as well as hot and cold food and drinks. once the enamel is destroyed, your body does not make more enamel to replace it.

so what can you do to protect it? by using products that help replenish your enamel. Colgate® Enamel Health™ is designed specifically for the health of your tooth enamel, as it replenishes and polishes for a strong, healthy smile. there are two toothpastes for you to choose from.


Colgate® Enamel Health™ Whitening, which has a dual action formula that gently whitens and polishes teeth will helping with replenishing calcium. and Colgate® Enamel Health™ Sensitivity Relief which not only helps with replenishing calcium, but help build increasing protection against sensitivity.

walgreens saturdate

Special Event
this weekend on November 15, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., you can attend a Walgreens Saturdate® event featuring Colgate products and learn more about Colgate® Enamel Health™ Toothpaste! the beauty advisors in Walgreens will be there to help you with any questions you have about it.

Hope to see you there!

click here for the free Smile Quote Printable 5 x 7″
click here for the free Smile Quote Printable 8 x 10″

Recycling Robot Craft inspired by Annedroids

Annedroids-amazon-original-seriesthe boys and i were just recently introduced to the Amazon original instant video series, Annedroids. it looked like something my kids would love, even before we watched it, and i was right! the first episode has us hooked. it is such a fun series, that just right for children and tweens. it’s a great wholesome video series that you feel good about letting your children watch….and parents like it too. the kids and i are looking forward to watching the whole series.

so what is Annedroids about?

it’s a live-action adventure series about “Anne,” a young girl scientist, her friends, Nick and Shania, and her android assistants. they journey to make amazing scientific discoveries while undertaking the biggest experiment of them all: growing up. the series spotlights, through trial and error, how science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM) can inspire children to do great things. and the main character “Anne”, was recently named one of TV’s Best Role Models of 2014 by Common Sense media. when she is faced with a problem, she sees only possibilities–no amount of failure ever dampens her spirit. where most people see junk, Anne sees possibility.


Anne and her friends adventures provide many opportunities to showcase the key processes of STEM, which are often not well addressed in children’s television programs. processes such as identifying problems and asking questions, making plans and creating prototypes, experimenting and testing, reflecting and revising are addressed in the series. it is good to see that Anne and her friends learn as much from failure as success, and see the failures as opportunities to try new things.

after watching the first episode of Annedroids where Anne built an Annedroid that was brought to life, Vann and i decided to make an annedroid of our own, out of recyclables found around our house. just as Anne uses things found in her junkyard to create new inventions, we decided to celebrate National Recycling Week by creating our own robot android using recyclables found in our home. as you can see, he was really excited. and i was surprised at how creative he got at putting our android robot together.kids-recycling-robot-craft-annedroidwe gathered empty plastic bottles, cans and recyclables out of our trashcans….what most people would consider junk. we used twine, scissors and a glue gun to put our android together.kids-recycling-craftwe used a large soda litter and a milk carton for our annedroid robot’s body, and a few cups for the head. we strung the arms on with twine.

kids-robot-craft-annedroidbottle caps made great eyes and a nose, and a mouth was drawn on with marker. my little guy was really getting excited seeing his robot come together.recycling-robot-craft-annedroid

here is our finished Annedroid! Vann was very proud of his creation and named his Annedroid, Kayak. recycling-robot-craft-tutorial
you can download the latest episodes of Annedroids on Amazon, and keep up with the latest Annedroids news on…
Twitter | Facebook


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.