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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cedar Plank Grilled Shrimp #wmtmoms

One of my favorite things to do during the summer is grilling. There is something about the smokey taste infused with my meat and vegetables of choice that just makes my mouth water. And of course, the clean up is easy and the house does not get hot from my cooking. Last month I took a trip to Bentonville to visit the Walmart headquarters with my fellow Walmart moms and we were treated to a grilling presentation by Kingsford, Chef Ernest Sevantes and Western.  It was a treat because all of the food that was served was simple to prepare and delicious!



One of the things that I really enjoy when grilling is to use a cedar plank. Cedar planks, especially with fish dishes provide a taste that is delicious. I usually will smoke salmon on cedar planks but during the presentation Chef Ernest smoked shrimp and my immediate thought was “that’s genius!” Shrimp are quick and easy to prepare and on the grill are done in no time at all. I decided to try my hand at marinating shrimp and smoking them on a cedar plank that I found at Walmart in the grilling section.

But I also wanted to add some additional smoke so I purchased the Kingsford Mesquite Match Light charcoal
I was a fan of Kingsford before my trip, so using them was a no brainer. The charcoal catches quickly without needed lighter fluid. I like the simplicity of use without fear of burning myself to a crisp! And for my grill, I used the one that I purchased last year at Walmart for $17.00.


For the shrimp I used locally sourced (and for Atlanta that means from Florida) Key West pink shrimp. I always check the labels on seafood that I purchase to ensure that it is from a local source or from the US. Because Atlanta is landlocked, finding seafood that I trust can be challenging but I have never had an issue when trying to find local seafood at my Walmart.



The rest was simple! I marinated the shrimp in the juice of one lemon and one lime. I added cilantro, salt and pepper and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour. In the meantime, I piled the coals on the grill and let them heat up. I removed my shrimp from the marinade, placed them on the cedar plank and put them on the grill. I let it cook for approximately 7 minutes, watching to make sure they were not overcooked because nobody likes tough shrimp!

And voila! I had grilled shrimp. Quick and easy, a perfect summer meal!


Grilled Shrimp

Ingredients
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1 lemon
1 lime
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
salt
pepper

Method
Juice both the lemon and the lime (I roll them, cut in half and using a twisting motion extract the juice. I use a strainer to catch the seeds).
Place juice in a ziplock bag.
Add chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.
Add Shrimp to marinade and place in refrigerator for an hour of more.
Remove shrimp and place on cedar plank.
Add to grill and cook for approximately 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve!

For more summer grilling recipes check out my fellow Walmart moms:











Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Outdoor entertaining with Walmart! #wmtmoms

One of the things that I enjoy about the summer is the beautiful weather. If I am completely honest, I will say that I only entertain outside when the sun sets. But I have a wonderful outdoor space to do that in.


I am enamored with my patio set from Walmart. I’ve had it for several years but I usually update it annually with new pillows and a new rug. I am so bad about taking up my rug during the winter months and by the time spring and summer roll around it it ruined! Luckily for me, the rugs I like I usually find on clearance or rollout so I spent $50 or less on my rugs! 

And because I like entertaining so much, I found the perfect compliment for my relaxing days enjoying my patio. This Aladin large mason jar dispenser ($7.00) and matching stemless wineglasses($5.00). 


In this instance I decided to make sun tea instead of enjoying the glasses with wine. I simply placed my favorite tea from Teavana in teabags and let the tea steep outside in the sun for four hours. My tea and these glasses, simply can't be beat!

 And in addition to my patio set, I really love listening to music on Xtreme Mac Tango TRX wireless speaker that I purchased from Walmart a few years back. 


The sound is absolutely amazing and although I’m sure technology has progressed since I purchased it, I think it is the best $100 I’ve ever spent (but it is now $89.99 so score for you if you purchase it!). I use my speaker both indoors and outdoors and the sound fills my home. And although it is made specifically for an iPhone, because it is wireless I am able to stream music from my current Windows phone or my computer!


When I visited Walmart headquarters in June, I loved the outdoor furniture. I am however completely satisfied with my current set up. I’ve had it for four years and it is still going strong. It is from Walmart’s Better Homes and Garden line and I can tell you from experience, this line is exceptional. I keep the actual furniture outside all year long, in all of the elements and it is still in prime condition! You may remember that I have a deck 


and I stained it myself with products from Walmart. The deck is off of my bedroom and despite the beauty of the space, I haven’t done anything with it.


For awhile I’ve had my eye on a bed recliner ($298) for my outdoor living space. 


I saw this one on my visit to Bentonville and I fell in love! I love hanging out on my deck at night and this is perfect. Since Atlanta weather is so nice even into the fall, I’m keeping my eye on it for a rollback so I can finally have an area to relax on my deck and enjoy the deck at night. At some point I will also add an umbrella so I can enjoy it during the day too. It is too hot in Atlanta to sit on the deck in the direct sunlight! After talking to the BHG representative in Bentonville, I know that I can assemble it by myself and it is sturdy!

I’ve found that no matter what you are looking for, Walmart has something to meet your needs for outdoor entertaining! I’m looking forward to updating my deck and who knows?  I may even add a rug and some plants to complete the look on my deck!


Walmart Savings Catcher save money no coupons needed

Have you heard about Walmart's new Savings Catcher? I absolutely LOVE it. And as a Walmart mom living in Atlanta (where it is in beta but will be available nationwide August 4, 2014) I was asked to try it and also produce the videos explaining the process. You can check them out below. 




I know not everyone is a fan of video so let me explain Savings Catcher to you. Savings Catcher provides you with an opportunity to save even more money by shopping at Walmart without having to check advertisements and comparison shop at other retailers. Savings Catcher does this for you. Once you make purchases at Walmart, you can either scan your reciept or enter it on the Savings Catcher website. Here is a screenshot of what the dashboard looks like once you log in. 


As you can see, I already have $3.89 on an eGift Card that I can use when I shop at Walmart in the future. I've been saving my money to use it when I want a little something extra. Here are the easy steps: 

  • Go to www.walmart.com/savingscatcher, or the Walmart app.
  • Enter the receipt number located near the bottom of a Walmart receipt.
  • Enter the date of the shopping trip.
  • Savings Catcher looks at the eligible items purchased at Walmart and then compares the price paid to the advertised prices in the weekly print ads of major local retailers.
  • If Savings Catcher finds an advertised price that is lower than what was paid for the same exact item at Walmart, customers will receive a Walmart eGift Card for the difference.


If there are lower advertised competitor prices, within 72 hours you will receive an email that provides you with a link to see your savings. You can redeem your eGiftcard at anytime, I used my first giftcard right at the register from my phone. Simple! 


When you scroll down on the dashboard you can view past receipts and the details as in the photo above. Since I am not a comparison shopped, Walmart Savings Catcher is amazing. I don't have to worry about getting the lowest advertised price! When you do have savings, it lets you know which retailer has a lower advertised price. 

If you have use iOs or android you can download the Walmart app and scan your receipt.  Since I use a Windows phone, I enter my receipts on the website directly but it is so simple I generally do it before I leave the store. 

Walmart Savings Catcher will be available nationwide on August 4th and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND USING IT! Can you tell I'm excited? I've been telling everyone about it! 



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Blogger Bash NYC 2014

Last week I had the opportunity to be a Blogger Bash NYC  Ambassador and I had an absolute blast!  This was the first year for the event and I was pleasantly surprised. The concept was based on the Sweet Suite where bloggers have the opportunity to connect with brands at a one day event. This year it expanded considerably and there were numerous opportunities to meet a plethora of brands, attend parties and enjoy scrumptious food.


The event was held in New York  City at Space 5, an event facility. The transformation of the various rooms was so beautiful, I often felt like I was in an oasis in the heart of the city.

I attended the VIP experience and met Big Ang and Renee of Mob Wives.





It was so much fun especially since I am a big fan of the show. We heard from business owner Lisa of Mz Wallace and were surprisingly gifted with one of their most popular bags, the Joey. 


And in the evening we visited the fabulous Sweet Suite. The highlight for me was the Skylanders Trapforce room with life size characters and stations to play the game.





The evening ended with Angry Birds Stella party, signature drinks and catching up with friends. 
The next morning kicked off with the Batman Gotham 3 breakfast. Good food and gaming stations! More meetings with brands, the bloganthropy awards - my friend Leticha won for her work in Haiti and Anne Geddes speaking to us and signing books gifted to us were highlights of the day.


Early evening we visited the EA Suite and I had a nice makeup touch up courtesy of Cover Girl 

and I absolutely love my Jet Set dress which I wore this week as a short skirt. 




I see a dress in every color for my wardrobe! The evening ended with the Kidsvue party.  I was happy to get a chance to meet WWE Diva Natalya. I watch Total Divas so it was a special treat!


I had a great time at Blogger Bash NYC and you can see all of my pictures from the event on my Instagram.


Disclosure: As an ambassador I was compensated for my coverage of the event. All of the opinions expressed are my own. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Polish


During the summer I really like to have both a pedicure and a manicure. I have the tendency to lean toward bold and bright colors because they match my personality! So it should come as no surprise that I was attracted to the range of 29 colors in the Sally Hansen Triple Shine nail polish collection that is available at Walmart. I was sent a few of colors and they are absolutely beautiful. The colors are available in three categories - iridescent, pop and glitter. Prior to having samples sent to me, I purchased Play Koi, an orange pop color which I love.


The colors in this collection are fun and vibrant. One of the best aspects of this polish is that it is waterproof. It has the exclusive Ultimate Shield which protects from washing, sports and daily wear. I can say that this polish did remain intact for several days with no chips despite my dishwashing and other household duties. One thing I will note is that I think because of the staying power, this polish (in my experience with Play Koi) may stain your natural nail. I highly recommend using a base coat before painting your nails when you use this polish.

I cannot wait to try out more of these awesome colors and play around with accent nails and maybe even some nail art. The Triple Shine polish is available for $4.57 and is available in store and online at Walmart. I think this is a great price because I can mix and match colors and do multiple manicures at a fraction of the cost at a nail salon.





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