Quick & Easy Meals! Stubb’s All Natural Bar-B-Q Sauce & Chili Fixins #HotHolidayGifts


Note: I was provided Stubb's All Natural Bar-B-Q Sauce and Chili Fixins™ to facilitate this review. All opinions are based on my personal experience.

To me, there is nothing better than the smell of dinner simmering in a slow cooker. It is also one of the most rewarding experiences to that growing appetite at the end of the day!

Admittedly, this is my first experience with the Austin based, Stubb’s brand.  I am so jealous of Melissa, from Home on Deranged, who lives nearby to the actual restaurant!  She was already familiar with his culinary genius! The original restaurant, was a beacon for famous blues musicians. That history of live music, cold beer and legendary BBQ continues today in the Austin location.

What a true legend and inspiration, the founder C.B. Stubblefield was,  I encourage you to read the AMAZING story behind Stubb’s!

Stubbs Bar-B-QLuckily, I can find some Stubb’s products in my local grocery store and they are also available for purchase on Amazon.

Stubb’s full line now contains 7 sauces, 5 marinades, 2 injectable marinades, 5 rubs, 4 cookin’ sauces, a moppin’ sauce and a wing sauce!

First we sampled the Stubb’s  Original All Natural Bar B-Q Sauce (18 oz). Gluten-Free. With its tomato, vinegar, molasses, spices and brown sugar- the sauce offered just enough heat AND sweet for me. My husband who it typically a KC BBQ style fan, was equally impressed with the texture and taste!

Stubb's Chile VerdeNext, we moved to the Stubb’s Hatch Chile Verde Cookin’ Sauce (12 oz) pack contains cooking sauce, spice rub and finishing pack. It was recently selected 2014 Gourmet retailer Editor’s pick!

I followed the recipe on the back, using chicken and added the following toppings- cheese, avacado, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, onion, red peppers and served on tortilla.  I went the slow cooker method.  Though directions supplied offered a skillet alternative recipe and substitute recipes were available on-line using pork or beef!  Lot’s of options!

So was it good?  Incredible.  This was my favorite, and I was glad to have leftovers for the next day!

Stubb's Chili Fixins cooking sauceFinally, we tried the Stubb’s Chili Fixin Cooking Sauce.  Again, I opted for the slow cooker method over skillet and this time used beef.  I added cheese, tomatoes, beans, onion and green pepper.

Ooh it was flavorful with slow, gentle smokiness!  I am a fan. This was my hubby’s favorite! We will definitely purchase again!

*****All of Stubb’s products are certified gluten free, contain no artificial flavors, colors or high fructose corn syrup. Between 10 and 70 calories  and only 1 gram or less of fat per serving****

Look for Stubb’s products locally at Kroger, Walmart, Safeway & select Whole Foods!

Stubbs Hatch Chili Sauce

Make sure to follow Stubb’s on Facebook and Twitter

Enter to Win a Stubb’s Prize Pack part of our 2014 #HOTHolidayGifts Guide!

Holiday Gift Guide

One lucky reader 18+, located in US will win the following:

(4) coupons for FREE Stubb’s products, t-shirt and a tote bag!


My mom style; undefined #parenthood #Truetales

In case you missed it!  My co-host Melissa, from Home on Deranged and I, changed the format of The True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches.  Yes it is still on Thursday. Yes it is still funny, sad and always honest. However, we ended the girl vs. boys format and now it is potpourri style parenting series…We just didn’t want to encourage stereotypes and honestly, we just didn’t find much difference…well except for the underwear. True Tales

This week, I decided to ponder the parenthood battle of the infamous mommy style.

Like as in clothes?  No.

As in parenthood.  Did I learn something new? Every day.

Looking back at this month, I experienced anxiety, joy, sadness and pride- in various situations.  The only concrete message.  Who I don’t want to be.

I had a eye-opening experience at a child’s birthday party, was surprisingly asked what a virgin was, saw sheer joy emanate from child, was amazed by the self reliance of my toddler and was let down by a fellow mom that I greatly respect.  It was a circle that ended in a revelation.

Am I a helicopter mom?  Should I try to be a tiger mom?  Mommy styleDid you know there is a book on how French moms parent at specifically in regards to dinner time?  I have read Toddler 411, How to unspoil your child fast and Superbaby. I am surrounded by strong, beautiful mothers on-line and in real life.

I fully admit, I get some things terribly  wrong.

In example; The birthday party.  

My son has talked endlessly about his friend at school and was invited to his birthday.  His first non-relative party. He was elated.  It fell during his nap time, but he is four so naps are not always a must.  Just remember Hayden is not a good night sleeper.  I must tell you, I was eager to meet my child’s best friend and his parents.

He was one of 5 or 6 boys and it was obviously the least confident and aggressive in group. I was the only parent who stayed during the party ( I had never met the parent).  Hayden obsessively asked to play with LEGOS. True Tales Mom Style(Legos were mentioned on the invite and we know he has a slight obsession).  He cried, he tattled and he at times he verbalized to me he felt left out.  After he sobbed, because another child was pretty rude and ignored him when he asked to play.  I quickly hugged him and actually told him to shake it off and move on or we would leave.

In retrospect, I still do not know how I should have handled his emotions, except I should have done it privately.  My response served no real lesson and probably looked REALLY bad to the hosting mom.  Hayden asks everyday to play with this child, and I am not sure his mother was impressed with OUR behavior.

Sometimes I get it very right.

At the library sat a mom, who was hard at work on something.  Next to her, a sleeping baby in a car seat and (running around like she consumed 3 espressos) a six year old girl.  The girl very badly wanted Hayden to play with her.  She whisked him over to the children’s area and I sat by in earshot observing Henry.  This little girl was dancing, tumbling, singing and trying to get Hayden to do the same. Every now and again, her mom would say, without looking up, “make sure you are behaving!”

I heard Hayden tell her several times he couldn’t do this or that or jump on the furniture.  Then he suggested, “Let’s read”.

I was proud of my son and after a short while, I politely excused us and left.  It wasn’t for me to reprimand another person’s child.  In the car, I expressed how glad I was that he behaved well.  I felt sad for the other child, she obviously needed time to burn off that energy and it wasn’t her fault the location chosen was not appropriate.

Sometimes I have NO clue.

Hayden asked me, what a virgin was.  Several times, he wasn’t letting this go.  He mistook the word “version” in a previous reply and zeroed in on that word.  I maturely helped my son sound out the correct word. Then I immediately, pulled my husband in to a separate room and laughed very quietly.

The day I actually have to explain virgin, WAY WAY WAY in the future. I will tell him this story, to buy me the time, to figure out what exactly say.

Then there are the moments where I wonder

A facebook post from a respected community member, acquaintance and fellow stay-at-mom read  “Mom Bloggers needed to get over themselves” and much more.   Several other moms, I know in real life began to chime in about how “(mom bloggers) think they are so perfect” and we needed to “get real”.  I can’t lie, it hurt. I am a proud mommy blogger. I can only hope she visits my blog, because I would welcome her with my sloppy crafts and recipes that aren’t always pinterest perfect.

In response, I left a friendly comment, but in the morning plenty of other bloggers had been more direct in their response. It wasn’t my place to pimp my blog in her post and it’s not my style.

I am a real mom.  I don’t fit a “mom style” or mold or category.

I am emotional, I make mistakes.  I worry excessively, that I am messing up. Sometimes I watch with wonder or stare temporarily dumbfounded. I laugh. I cry and I learn as I go. Sometimes, I hover too much. Sometimes I need to be more structured. Sometimes, I should have let it go.

Is there a particular right way to parent? Every generation, culture (even some mothers) thinks they have the perfect method.  I change with the situation, the day and often, I might handle a situation based on my individual child.

True Tales style

I am never one any one style, but I am always present and open to learn.

Thank you for checking out The True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches series! We appreciate your visit and enjoy your commentary!


Best Stress-free Holiday Tips! Charmin #TweetfromtheSeat #MC #sponsored

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Charmin. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

The holidays, such a lovely time of year!  Everyone is happy and cheerful, right?  Well yes, but it can also be stressful.  Stress Free HolidaysAs a mom, with two small children I know first hand how crazy it can be to prepare for the gatherings that we all attend or host!  So I wanted to share my best practices for preparation!

My Tips for a Stress-free Holiday!

#1 Budget

I am not a fiscally minded individual, by nature.  Luckily, my husband is!  We determine and set aside, our holiday budget in advance.  (Make sure to always account for some small unforeseen events!)

For this we account for:

  • gifts
  • decorations
  • travel expenses
  • household (food and supplies)

#2 Plan Agenda

This is my specialty,  I spend some time planning menus and finding my favorite recipes! This year, Thanksgiving dinner was at my sister’s house and we divided up the meals for 18 people. Sometimes it is impossible to do it all yourself- so ask for help or share the responsibility! This way it is actually, the more the merrier!

4 year-old Hayden loves to help with baking, so I try to include him as much as possible! Not only does that provide lots of quality time and learning opportunities, PLUS it gives mom some assistance in the kitchen!

I also decide in advance, what ingredients and goods would be on my list, so I can minimize trips to the store. Who wants to run to the store last minute?  Not me!

When brand matters, I make sure I have my coupons ready Charmin (1)and then pair them up with store deals! I found a great deal on Charmin Ultra Soft and Charmin Ultra Strong and made sure to stock up!  This helps alleviate expenses with our budget! Yeah!

Our Christmas dinner will be a smaller fare, but I now already have some of my key necessities!

#3 Organize and de-clutter!

Starting early November, I will “clean sweep” my house! It is a BIG job, but allowing plenty of time, makes the job easier!  What this means for my house is storing, packing and sorting and any spring/summer goods into labeled totes and preparing closets and room with wall/winter essentials.

We donate a lot of items that have lost luster & wonder in our home, but may still have use for others- especially important around the holidays.

By starting with a de-cluttered space, it is amazing how everyday surface cleaning seems easier- especially with little my “tornadoes” and family to arrive!

#4 Try to Relax

My recipes are chosen, my home stocked and organized! I am ready to enjoy the family and the blessings around!

Well, sort of relax….

Even with all of the hoopla of the holiday season and visitors to arrive my mom moments continue! Henry is on the edge of potty training! Yikes! Hayden potty trained in two days with the help of jelly beans.  Henry is REALLY excited to flush toilet paper! Seriously.  Henry…oh that child is the one to watch carefully!

Luckily, Charmin Ultra Soft and Ultra Strong are both clog-free and septic safe!

Charmin Tweet from the seatDesigned, so you can actually use up to 4X less!  Helping me once again with both, saving budget and time saved with preparing my agenda!

Charmin  is also  endorsed by Roto-Rooter! As you may recall, we got to know Roto-Rooter Roto Rootera few months back when they helped with our sewer line in an emergency! No offense to these fine professionals but I REALLY don’t want to have to make an emergency call during our Christmas gathering!

Join in the conversation & learn more about the partnership with Roto-Rooter by looking for the hashtag #TweetfromtheSeat on Twitter

Find your favorite Charmin products at → http://www.charmin.com/ or by visiting the Charmin Facebook page!

View my last tip in the YouTube video testimonial below!

I am so glad you visited!  Please share your best practices for a stress-free holiday! I  always appreciate your advice too!

Now Presenting…. The Educents Holiday Gift Guide! #sponsored

*Note I am proudly sharing this sponsored information with you. Links may be present in post.

Why Educents?

I have personally been a fan of Educents for a long time! So when the opportunity to share the educational based products and learning tools selected especially for the holiday gift guide presented itself, I was happy to do so! I know that even playtime can be a valuable opportunity for children to learn!

The experts at Educents make selecting the right tools for learning easy for parents and educators!

Educents Holiday Gift Guide

❄ Happy Holidays! ❄

The Educents team is excited to share their favorite deals and products with you this holiday season. Each staff member chose their favorite deal for the holidays and included it in this handy guide. Check out the deals, including free apps, art & craft supplies, personalized books, LEGO sets, martial arts online and so much more. They have something for everyone!


Who is Educents?

Educents is an online marketplace for affordable educational products, providing daily deals to students, parents and educators by working with established educational suppliers. Find out more…about Educents

Sealed by Santa! Personalized packages from Santa to your child! #HOTHolidayGifts #ad

T’is the Season

Last year Hayden received a personalized video from Santa and he STILL talks about it! It made a huge impression on my little man!

This year, Melissa from Home on Deranged received this personalized package for her girls and for purposes of review! GREAT NEWS!  It is a featured giveaway in our #HOTHolidayGifts Guide!

“There’s nothing more exciting to a young child than the idea of Santa Claus. And it’s even more exciting when Santa knows what they want and whether they’ve been included on the “Nice” list. With Sealed by Santa, you can light up their eyes in delight.”-Melissa

Sealed by Santa Deluxe Pack letter


Packages from Santa for your childFrom personalized letters to Santa videos and phone recordings, Sealed by Santa has all the bases covered. From a baby’s first Christmas to teens that “know all about Santa,” these letters keep the magic and mystery alive for the children in your home.

With a variety of packages available in a range of prices, you can make sure your child receives a letter with a personal touch. The personalized letters come on old parchment paper with crisp edges and are signed by the Jolly Old Elf himself. Themes include Christian, baby, teen and general, along with artwork of Santa, snow, stockings and holiday scenes.

As you add in your child’s name, hometown, some of their accomplishments over the year, and three wish items for Santa to bring, the letter comes to life. You can preview it online to make sure it’s exactly how you want it designed.

Santa Deluxe Pack!

We were fortunate enough to get the Santa Deluxe Pack, which includes the Sealed by Santa letter, with Santa’s wax seal to ensure its authenticity. The letters also come with two videos from Santa Claus – one received right away, and one arriving on Christmas Eve. What a great bedtime gift!

There’s also the special phone call from Santa, a 2014 Nice List Certificate and an autographed picture of Santa! The certificates are definitely going to be framed for our girls, so they can remind themselves how proud they felt to be named to the Nice List! To add to the cuteness, the Nice List certificate is signed by Santa and Rudolph, in his famous hoofprint!

Sealed by Santa

All letters come with reindeer food for the kids to sprinkle on Christmas Eve. Our girls are very concerned about the well-being of Santa’s reindeer, so they will be greatly relieved to know we have an extra special treat for his team.

The Santa Deluxe Pack also includes a letter from Mrs. Claus, which includes her top secret recipe for special Christmas cookies. It’s nice to have a little insider information when you’re making those holiday treats!

Learn More
Sealed by Santa was created in 2006 by a mother of two young daughters, in hopes of adding to the holiday spirit and putting smiles on kids’ faces every year. Their product lineup includes the Santa letter, ornament pack, Nice List certificates, Evidence Kit (I believe!), cocoa pack and Santa’s magical key. Find all of them on the Sealed by Santa website, or find them on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

And now for the Sealed by Santa giveaway!

For The Noise of boys readers age 18+in the U.S., enter this giveaway of one Santa Deluxe Pack, which includes the personalized Santa letter, two videos, one phone call, Nice List Certificate, reindeer food, autographed picture of Santa, and a letter from Mrs. Claus!

Enter the Giveaway Tools entry below & get ready to give your child the merriest holiday yet!


The noise of boys is so pleased to share this Sealed By Santa giveaway as part of the #2014HOTHolidayGifts guide!

Hot Holiday Gift Guide with Home on Deranged and The Noise of Boys #2014HotHolidayGifts @homeonderange @thenoiseofboys