Colorful Bow Tie Pork - Delicious!

Standing by my side as I monitored the skillet and put the finishing touches on dinner, Joey grinned and then took off sprinting through the house.  I found out later that he had rushed to Dan to let him know that dinner smelled "So good!!"  I'd love to take the credit - but the Smithfield® Peppercorn & Garlic Pork was the reason for his excitement.

I do love seeing him get so excited about dinner!  He's so funny.  But I was also excited about this meal.  I found a fun and colorful recipe for Colorful Bow Tie Pork on that helped to brighten our weekly meal plan.  I love planning our family meal time - but admittedly, we can get into a routine of having the same meals week after week.  This was a nice addition to our list of favorites.  It was also a quick and easy meal to prepare.  Prep time was only about 15 minutes and was ready to serve at around 20 minutes. 

We typically enjoy any meal that includes pasta but I often have a difficult time including vegetables in with our pasta dishes.  I also never think to use pork with our pasta - so this was a nice change! 

Colorful Bow Tie Pork


  • 1 Smithfield® Peppercorn Seasoned Boneless Sirloin Roast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2½ cups chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1½ cups sliced carrots
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 12 oz. bow tie pasta, cooked
Hop on over to for the complete recipe with directions - I'm sure you'll love it!

Food Lion offers an array of tips and recipes for meal planning.  Definitely check out the Colorful Bow Tie Pork and let me know what you think.  What other Food Lion recipes will you be trying this week? 

*Though this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

Tire Maintenance & $50 Giveaway with Sears Auto Center!

"This is a sponsored post, I am a Sears blogger, though all opinions are my own."

Though I love vehicles - driving them,admiring them, talking about them - there is a lot of information that I simply don't know. I thought I knew about tire maintenance, until a recent trip to Sears Auto Center. There's an entire world around tires, how to care for them and how to choose them. Since I do a lot of traveling - I'm extremely grateful for finally having all of this explained to me.

I'm loving being a part of the #SACRoadWarriors teams and getting to spend time with the crew at my local Sears Auto Center. They have been amazing and on my first trip walked me through their Vehicle Intake process and the necessities of tire maintenance. When you bring your vehicle to Sears Auto Center, they will perform a Courtesy Inspection - courtesy means it's free! During the Courtesy Inspection they will check things such as belts and hoses, fluids, filters, tire wear and tear amongst other things.

Now, here is where I learned that tire maintenance is far more extensive than most of us know.  Tires are such a critical part of your vehicle and maintaining them properly is a must.  I knew that I should check the air pressure in my tires and have them rotated (about every 5,000 miles) and that they should generally look as if they are in good condition.

Signs of an impending blowout can include:

  • Bulges in the tire
  • Cracking in the sidewall of the tire
  • Low/no tread. Tread is lower than 2/32 of an inch deep.
  • Incorrect tire pressure
Did you know that where you live can play a large role in how you maintain your tires?  Here, in Indiana, the weather is cold, them warm, then oh so humid - this does a number on your tires and can cause pressure to fluctuate.

There are many other things to check when maintaining your tires. I never knew there was a difference in the tires between my sedan and my mini-van. They need different size tires for different purposes.  Every tire that is produced, has an intended purpose.  It's made for a specific type of vehicle and conditions.  Your vehicle's manual will let you know what size of tire it requires.  The tires will have its size printed on its sidewall.  The Sear's Tire Size Decoded information is very helpful in finding out if you have the right tires!  On a side note, I did know that large trucks needed different tires than my sedan - so, I guess I wasn't completely in the dark.   

 Here in Indiana, winter is on its way.  This means that you need to check the tread on your tire and perhaps even buy winter tires.  Did you that it's possible to buy your snow tires too early and wear the tread down too fast that way?  See, so much to know!

All-season tires are built to handle a variety of weather conditions, everything from dry roads to wet roads and light snow. However, the rubber with which all-season tires are made is not intended to withstand extreme cold. All-season tires can harden in low temperatures, lessening the traction between your tires and the road.

Winter tires, on the other hand, use special rubber compounds that stay pliable in the cold to give them better grip and improved braking capabilities, even in extreme conditions. Also called snow tires, winter tires are built specifically to perform in winter conditions like severe cold, ice, slush and snow. They use siping, a series of slits in the tread, to increase the number of edges that make contact with the ground. Greater tread depth allows for flexing and helps channel snow and slush across the tire’s surface, away from the contact patch.


Sears Auto Center has provided me with a $50 Gift Card to giveaway! This gift card can be used at Sears or Sears Auto Center.

How to Enter: Simply leave a comment below about something you learned from this post or one of the links to all of the wonderful information Sears Auto Center offers.

Winner will be notified by e-mail. So, I must have a way of finding your e-mail address or please provide it below. If I can not contact you, another winner will be chosen.

Buy vitamins at Walgreens and help support Vitamin Angels!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Walgreens via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Walgreens.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm very serious about making sure that my family takes their vitamins! It can be impossible to ensure that your body is getting all the necessary vitamins from diet alone - so, vitamins are on our household staples checklist.

I always spend time finding the best deal on vitamins.  BOGO vitamin deals always catch my attention - quickly.  Currently, all Walgreens brand vitamins (and supplements) are buy one get one free - so we've stocked up! The kids were ecstatic last month to get the gummy vitamins Walgreens offers.  I've also made sure that we have plenty of Vitamin C as well multivitamins for Dan and myself.

When shopping for vitamins, you might find it useful to know that you can help a child in need with every vitamins or supplements purchase at Walgreens. Millions of children around the world are suffering from ‘hidden hunger’, a lack of micronutrients that can lead to disease and even death. In fact, 45% of all childhood deaths are attributable to under-nutrition. Walgreens is giving a portion of all vitamin retail sales to Vitamin Angels to help 100 million children in the U.S. and abroad get the vitamins they need to live well.

I love that our purchase helped to support Vitamin Angels.  Walgreens is partnering with Vitamin Angels - which means that with every purchase of vitamins at Walgreens, Walgreens will make a donation to Vitamin Angels! They'll make this donation regardless which brand of vitamin you purchase!

By 2017, Walgreens and Vitamin Angels aim to reach 100 million children and mothers in over 40 countries worldwide. Specifically, children under five, pregnant women and new mothers gain access to life changing vitamins and minerals.

Everything is awesome! #LegoKidsfest

I can not believe how much fun we had at LEGO® KidsFest in Indianapolis! Yes, Joey loves LEGOs and could design and build for days on end. But, I wondered how LEGO® KidsFest was any different than playing with LEGO® bricks at home or at a friend's house? I guess I wasn't as hip to this amazing LEGO® world as my seven year-old son.

When we walked into the convention center and were immediately met a life-size Emmet (from Lego Movie) made entirely of LEGO® bricks - then I understood. It was almost unreal to see something so large made of LEGO® bricks. Savannah and Joey were in complete amazement as we walked from one creation to the next. I think I was most impressed with the giant Green Hulk and from Lightning McQueen from Cars. Oh, and Lord Business from Lego Movie was also surreal. He was about three times taller than I am!

After we ooh'ed and aaah'ed at the masterpieces that greet you at the door - Joey spent twenty minutes playing in the over-whemingly large pile of LEGO® bricks. It was difficult to pull him away from all that fun. After we convinced him there were many more activities he would enjoy we finally had the chance to wander between the different sections.

LEGO® KidsFest Activities

Some activities are subject to change.
  • LEGO Model Gallery: dozens of life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks
  • LEGO Master Builders: live demonstrations and activities from the crew who get paid to play
  • Race Ramps: build a custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
  • LEGO Chima: choose a tribe and test battling skills with the whole family
  • LEGO Star Wars: build and display a Star Wars model
  • Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.
  • LEGO DUPLO: younger visitors can explore imagination through building
  • LEGO Retail: purchase LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest tour goods
  • Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
  • Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
  • LEGO Friends: build for the five empowered friends from Heartlake City
  • LEGO Mindstorms: build and program robots and snakes
  • LEGO Ninjago: spin the way to being a Spinjitzu member
  • LEGO City: using the imagination to create buildings and vehicles to the urban diorama

Every activity we chose ended with the kids receiving a small packet of LEGO® bricks. They were ecstatic to walk away with new additions to their collection. Joey has spent most of today playing with his LEGO® Legends of CHIMA Spider Crawler.

If your kiddo loves LEGO® and you have the chance to attend a LEGO® KidsFest - I recommend going and grabbing your tickets early. Tickets are limited and do not last long! You'll have a fun time and learn a lot about LEGO® that you never knew existed!

Did you know?

  • More than 400 billion LEGO® bricks have been produced since 1949.
  • The LEGO® minifigure represents the world's largest population of people! More than four billion minifigures have been produced in the last 30 years. This is almost 12 times the population of the United States!
  • LEGO® minifigures are out of this world, literally. The two Mars Rovers have an image of the LEGO® minifigure etched into their front grill.
  • Approximately seven LEGO® sets are sold each second.
  • There are about 62 LEGO® bricks for every one of the world's six billion inhabitants.
  • Laid end to end, the number of LEGO® bricks sold in a year would reach more than five times around the world.
  • There are 915 million ways to combine six eight-stud LEGO® bricks.
  • Children around the world spend five billion hours a year playing with LEGO® bricks.
  • With a production of about 306 million tires produced a year, the LEGO® group is the largest producer of tires in the world.
  • LEGO® is the contraction of two Danish words, "leg godt" which means "play well".
  • There are about 62 LEGO® bricks for every one of the world's six billion inhabitants.
  • 19 billion LEGO® elements are produced every year. 2.16 million LEGO® elements are molded every hour, or 36,000 per minute.

Writing Prompts - November 2014

November 2014 Writing Prompts on Bloggy Moms!

Saturday November 1, 2014: What you believe

Sunday November 2, 2014: I do, actually.

Monday November 3, 2014: It's going to be a tough...

Tuesday November 4, 2014: Just keep driving until I got to...

Wednesday November 5, 2014: It's dangerous work...

Thursday November 6, 2014: There are a lot of things I haven't done.

Friday November 7, 2014: I'm going to go back and...

Saturday November 8, 2014: What kind of line is that?

Sunday November 9, 2014: It was lightning fast.

Monday November 10, 2014: Enough. It's over.

Tuesday November 11, 2014: There are some days I just...

Wednesday November 12, 2014: So, what are you going to do?

Thursday November 13, 2014: I decided to join you...

Friday November 14, 2014: I have contained the situation.

Saturday November 15, 2014: It was just, one of those things.

Sunday November 16, 2014: Would you mind, putting...

Monday November 17, 2014: They'll be waiting for us...

Tuesday November 18, 2014: It's all conjecture...

Wednesday November 19, 2014: No, seriously. I saw it on the news.

Thursday November 20, 2014: Let's talk about this later.

Friday November 21, 2014: It's just another day.

Saturday November 22, 2014: I was wondering how you would feel.

Sunday November 23, 2014: I hate getting tickets

Monday November 24, 2014: We know. Everything.

Tuesday November 25, 2014: Once you arrived, what happened?

Wednesday November 26, 2014: No, not about you specifically.

Thursday November 27, 2014: This is getting really twisted.

Friday November 28, 2014: Want to tell me where you're going?

Saturday November 29, 2014: You said that already.

Sunday November 30, 2014: I'm not handing you that...

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