Amber Jefferies

Amber Jefferies

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Holidays With Your Pets

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ToPetsWithLove #CollectiveBias
Let's be real. November 1st kicks off the holiday season around here. I'm not one to just skip over Thanksgiving, but I definitely go ahead and begin preparing for Christmas so that I can spread out some of my expenses and don't have to rush around last minute. Plus, a little extra Christmas cheer never hurt anyone! ;) I will share some gift guides throughout the coming weeks, but today I wanted to focus on the little furballs that may not be on your list - but should be!
If you know me, you know that I LOVE my doggies. But with the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season, sometimes they don't get all of the time and attention they deserve. Here are my four favorite ways to include them in my holiday plans!
1. Create a special ornament for them on your tree
I found some really cute kits to make these at my local Kroger! If you can't find any, try searching on Pinterest. There are a ton of great DIY ideas on there!
2. Make them a gift
I always make Vera cute little bows to wear in her hair. Especially during the holidays! Here is how I make them:
1] Start by finding a cute ribbon you love. I find a lot of mine on Etsy.
2] Cut a 17" piece of ribbon. This makes about a 3" bow for me.
3] Fold your ribbon into three sections like I've done below.
4] Sew a piece of thread directly in the middle (about where my thumb is in the picture above) then wrap it around from top to bottom until it is nice and tight. Tie it off and you will be left with the beginning of your bow.
5] If you choose to use an embellishment, now is the time that I super glue in to the center of the bow.
6] Next, I take a 2" piece of a thinner ribbon and glue in on the back. Then I glue the clip onto that ribbon.
Here are some other bows I have made for her. They are so fun and super easy!
3. Include them on your Christmas card
Put your bows to good use and snap a cute picture of your pups for this years Christmas card!
4. Buy them a little something extra
It's as easy as being out grocery shopping at your local Kroger, and snagging them a few goodies in the pet aisle.
Vera is a super picky eater so when I found these Purina Beneful Incredibites wet food cans I really wanted to try them! I like that the chunks are small for smaller dogs. These are also rich in protein and include real ingredients that you can actually see in the food. I grabbed the cans with real chicken, tomatoes, carrots and wild rice and Vera LOVED them. Beggin' strips are a classic that Vera and Cannon both love. They look like bacon and smell like bacon because they're actually made with real bacon! And I threw in a little toy for fun! :)
Purina products are quality products that I truly feel comfortable giving my pups. From wet and dry food to treats, all of your pet's needs can be met in one stop at Kroger.
You can find all of these Purina items in your aisle at Kroger that is labeled "dog and cat food" and "pet care". It is so convenient to grab them while you're out grocery shopping and nice not having to stop at multiple locations and worry about beating the holiday crowds.
To find more inspiring ways to show your pets some extra love during the holiday season, click here!
 Spread holiday love to your furry friends with the help of Purina! Now through the end of November, take advantage  of great savings on your favorite Purina pet products available at Kroger with the link, while supplies last.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

12 Week Bumpdate

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NourishWhatsNext #CollectiveBias
I need to start this post by saying what an absolute blessing it is to be able to carry your own child and how grateful I am to be able to experience this. However, pregnancy has not been my friend. I have felt pretty miserable these first 12 weeks. Everyone keeps telling me it will pass and I'll get all of this energy out of no where... I'm still waiting. I just haven't felt good. But I know this will all be worth it and I already love this baby more than I thought I could love anything. We are so excited! And if nausea and fatigue are what it's going to take for me to have a healthy baby, then bring it on.
Here’s a little rundown of our first 12 weeks!
How far along: 12 weeks!
Due date: March 31! This is actually my father in laws birthday!
Sickness: All. day. long. Most days. Occasionally I get like a 2 day break where I feel fine! I think "yay! the morning sickness is finally gone!" Then the next day I feel like I'm on my death bed. If you've never had morning sickness, think about what your worst hangover feels like, add about 5 more shots of tequila and multiply that times 10. Yeah... it's not fun.
Cravings: With feeling sick, I've really just wanted simple foods. Tortillas, crackers, chicken fingers, soup. Pretty much nothing healthy because healthy food makes me feel sick. See below. I JUST now have reallyyyy started craving milk and orange juice. I can't get enough orange juice.
Aversions: I mostly have aversions to any fruits and vegetables. I've had horrible heartburn so I think most fruit is too acidic and makes me feel bad. And just the thought of putting a vegetable in my mouth makes me feel sick. I'm hoping this changes!
Physical changes: I have the slightest little bump, but it's still small enough that it can be confused with too many breakfast tacos. My chest has also grown a full bra size.
Gender: We don't know yet! We opted out of the blood test because it was going to be $350 IF my insurance decided to cover it. It was going to be $900 if they didn't cover it and I didn't want to risk that! SO we are patiently waiting. I have heard there are clinics in town where you can find out for like $75 but I still can't justify it since we will be finding out in a few weeks anyways. Sooo, check back.
Maternity clothes: Nope, not yet! I'm going to try and buy as few maternity things as possible. It'll be fall/winter for the majority of my bigger months, so I'm hoping to squeeze by in over-sized sweaters.
Sleep: So far, still good. I do wake up around 1am and again around 6am to use the bathroom. Other than that, nothing out of the ordinary.
Best moment this week: Nothing significant this week, except I haven't gotten sick yet today! Our best moment up to this point was back on September 9th when we had our ultrasound appointment. It was our second ultrasound appointment. At the fist, the baby was just a little speck on the screen. We got to see the heartbeat flicker that week. But between that appointment and our last appointment, our baby started actually looking like a baby! It was amazing to see how much they had grown in just a few weeks! While we were looking at the baby, we got to see them go from fetal position, to stretching out all the way flat. It was the CUTEST thing. Also seeing their little legs crossed. So sweet.
[you can see the little crossed legs in the top picture]
Things I miss: Omg sushi! I could also really go for a hot dog right about now.
Movement: None yet! But I can't wait to be able to feel them move! Just for the peace of mind and knowing everything is alright in there!
Some things we've been doing or plan to do to prepare for the baby:
1. Shop early
One of the first things we learned... babies are expensive. You don't think about all of the stuff you're going to need until you're actually going to have a baby of your own. So we want to start shopping early so we can spread out some of our expenses. Another reason we want to shop early is because fall is always SO busy for us. Between football and weddings and hunting, we have very few open weekends in the foreseeable future. So I'd like to start knocking things off of our to-do list pretty quickly. Because by the time fall is over, I'll be almost 7 months pregnant and I don't really see much happening at that point. LOL!
Some of the only things that don't upset my stomach a whole lot have been the Kellogg’s® Special K® cereal and the crackers. They help nourish my next tasks and give me the energy to get things done when I'm not feeling good. Some things on our short-term to-do list are paint the nursery, furnish the nursery and start getting some items together that we don't necessarily want to register for.
2. Walk, walk, walk
Really early on in my pregnancy I had some bleeding and it scared the crap out of us. Everyone makes you think that the first sign of blood during pregnancy is a miscarriage. I literally laid in bed for a full day crying. BUT! I went to my doctor and everything was fine! She said it is actually normal to have bleeding in early pregnancy for many women. Who knew? Anyways, my point to that is early in pregnancy I was basically scared to move for fear that I would start bleeding again. We went to play TopGolf and I had some spotting. I lifted some weights at the gym and I had some spotting. So pretty much I only feel safe walking. We try to go on walks most days, but I just haven't been feeling up to it lately. [morning sickness is the devil] But tomorrow is always a new day, so we always try again tomorrow.
3. Eat better
We didn't eat horrible before I was pregnant, but we definitely have been more conscious of what we eat now. I've been very limited on what I can eat because of the morning sickness. But some things I have been able to actually eat: breads, crackers and soups. One thing I've pretty much been living off of: Kellogg’s® Special K® Cereal, particularly the Fruit and Yogurt kind. I've also really liked the Kellogg’s® Special K® Crackers. Both of these have been really easy on my stomach.
Since I haven't been able to keep much down, I've really turned to the Special K®  products I like for satisfaction and nutrition.
What do you aspire to do in the coming months? What do you need to get done and how do you fuel your inner strength to actually get it done? Check out Special K® products at your local Kroger and find what motivates you to get things crossed off of your list.

You can find these products on the same aisle as the other cereals and crackers.

Enter below for your chance to win a gift certificate to #NourishWhatsNext in your life!
#NourishWhatsNext Special K at Kroger

Monday, August 1, 2016

Easy Wardrobe Solutions

    This blog has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WardrobeSolutions #CollectiveBias
Two of life's greatest struggles... dog hair and being too short. Scotch™Essentials are easy to use and I use them everyday to help with these problems. 
The Scotch™Essentials Adjustable Hem Tape is a life saver for shorties like me! It is great for changing a hem without the commitment. It's good to use on jeans, skirts, dresses, pants and more. There is no ironing or sewing required.
I just got a new pair of jeans and I'm not lying when I say they're about 5 inches too long. I used the adjustable hem tape to hold the hem in place when I rolled them up. The strips are easy to use: just peel of the outer layer, stick where you want to hold the hem, and press firmly so that it stays in place.

The Scotch™Essentials Permanent Hem Bonding Strips are just as great as the adjustable hem tape, but they're... permanent. They work on more than just clothing! Try them on curtains, table runners or pillow cases. You can even use them to preserve old hemlines that have begun to fray.
One product I cannot live without... the Scotch-Brite™ Lint Roller! I love my Cannon boy, but geesh! He sheds like CRAZY. The lint roller helps keep my clothes and furniture lint, fuzz and hair free. 

I found these great products at my local Target in the aisle with the sewing machines and accessories. Stop by and use this coupon to save $1.00 on any Scotch™Essentials product from now through September 2, 2016! See more tips for ways to use your favorite Scotch™Essentials products here!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

3 Summer Recipes + A Giveaway!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KingOfFlavor #CollectiveBias
Summer is the season of outdoor entertaining. You may not always be the hostess, so I wanted to share three easy recipes to take with you on your summer outings! I used the El Yucateco® hot sauces to add unique flavor to each of my dishes.
El Yucateco® is the #1 consumer choice. I can see why with their assortment of fun, flavorful sauces. I especially liked these for on-the-go dishes because the small bottles are easy to take with you. I can carry El Yucateco® in my purse, take it camping, to a friends BBQ or to my favorite restaurant. The options are endless.

Below are 3 dishes that are easy to take to your next picnic, backyard bbq or pool party. It hasn't been easy to get out this summer between the rain and the scorching heat, but we have definitely taken advantage of the few nice days we've had. If you love getting outdoors in the summer, check out this great giveaway from El Yucateco®.
El Yucateco® is giving entrants the chance to win a one-of-a-kind custom designed surfboard, camping packages and MORE!

Chicken Salad
1 Lb Chicken Breast, Shredded
1/2 C Diced Onion
1/3 C Dried Cranberries
1/4 C Chopped Pecans
1/2 C Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 C Diced Celery
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp El Yucateco® Red Chile Habanero Sauce
Mix all ingredients together.

*Add 2 Tbsp of the El Yucateco® Red Chile Habanero sauce to add a little kick to your chicken salad and then serve over crackers. The Red Habanero sauce is a great all-purpose sauce for everything from bloody marys, shrimp cocktail or wings.

Cheeseburger Meatballs
1 Onion, Minced
1 Lb Steak, Diced
8 Oz Bacon, Cooked and Chopped
1 Lb Ground Beef
6 Oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
3 Lg Eggs
1/2 C Bread Crumbs
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp El Yucateco® Black Label ReserveSauce
Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the steak, ground beef, cooled bacon, onions, cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Mix lightly but thoroughly.
Roll the mixture into balls, packing firmly. Roast for 20 minutes, or until firm and cooked through.

*Add 2 Tbsp of the El Yucateco® Black Label Reserve sauce to your meatball mixture to add a smoky flavor. The Black Label Reserve is the newest addition to the El Yucateco® collection and is made from fire roasted habaneros to get the unique, smoky taste. This sauce pairs well with red meats or hearty stews and chili.

Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers
6 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Lb Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined
Chunks of Pineapple
Red Onion, Chopped into Chunks
2 Tbsp El Yucateco® Green Chile Habanero Sauce
Mix the honey, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Add the pineapple, shrimp and onion to the skewers. Brush the sauce over the skewers and grill.

*The El Yucateco® Green Chile Habanero sauce was my favorite. This #1 seller has a tangy flavor that blends well into dips. It pairs best with lighter foods, such as chicken, fish and vegetables. For my shrimp skewers, I added 2 Tbsp to my honey, soy sauce and rice vinegar mixture before brushing it onto the skewers.

El Yucateco® sauces can be found in many stores, but I found mine at HEB. Find them in the aisle with the other hot sauces and condiments.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bringing the Tropics to Your Backyard

This blog has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringTheTropicsHome #CollectiveBias
This is my first summer EVER that I won't be heading to the warm, sandy beaches of somewhere tropical for a summer vacation. So sad! So I figured if I couldn't go there, I would bring the tropics to my backyard. I hosted a tropical themed backyard picnic for my family this past weekend.
I have to preface this blog post by reminding you that I have a 90 pound labrador retriever, Cannon. He's cute. He's super sweet. But he sheds A LOT and the dander does not always leave our house smelling great.
Before guests arrived, I washed all of the picnic blankets in the all® Fresh Tropical Mist™ laundry detergent. Not only did it get rid of the "dog smell" and fight tough stains, but it also left a hint of the aromas of the tropics. It has a fresh, tropical scent that makes you feel like you're on a Caribbean island. Tropical Mist is all®'s newest scent. I actually found mine at Dollar General, but it is available at a number of other retailers.
I thought this detergent was great for preparing for my event, but it was even better for cleaning up afterwards. all® Fresh Tropical Mist™ has trusted stain fighting power that fights tough grass stains, mud stains and food stains. It contains in-wash pre-treaters for great stain removal!

Another plus is that all costs 30% less than the leading brand. I got my detergent for $5!

Here are some tips for hosting your own tropical picnic:

Picnic blanket is a must.
I feel like this is obvious but wanted to throw it in anyways! I used these.
Cute, tropical decor!
I love these pineapple bowls! I also love this tray that we used.

Make sure your guests stay cool.
Soak some small washcloths in lemon water and freeze them. Set them out when your guests arrive to help them stay cool throughout the evening.

Repel the bugs!
We used these lanterns to hold citronella candles to keep bugs away!

Bring the sensory experience of the tropics to life.

Tie the tropical theme into what you choose to serve.
I made these mini pinapple upside-down cakes. They were so easy! I will post the recipe next week!
Overall, this was such a fun way to make our backyard feel like a vacation. [even if it was just for a few hours]
I found this detergent at Dollar General. To find NEW fresh tropical mist in a store near you, visit all®'s website and click Where To Buy!". Use this coupon to save $1 off of your product purchase. See how others are keeping this freshness alive here.
How do you celebrate summer in your home when you can't get away?