Many of my readers know that RockStarHubby truly works rockstar hours leaving me to entertain the kiddos at night. Most nights, it’s off to bed so mommy can catch up or relax, but the weekends are a different story. The twins are usually down for the night around 6:30pm, which leaves me to spend a good deal of time with the bigger kids. We like to make dinner, a healthy snack and watch the latest flick on pay-per-view, or if it’s a movie I know they love, I’ll buy it for us to watch together.
This past week was Spring Break, and we had an awesome Stay-cation down on the Las Vegas Strip. While there, the newly release movie, “We Bought A Zoo,” was playing on the movie channel. Since RockStarHubby and I had an event almost every night, I didn’t get to watch the movie with the kids. They loved it, so when I was asked as a member of Collective Bias to buy the movie and watch it with my kids, it was a total win/win!
My oldest son loves to come with me to the store, especially Wal-Mart. I think it’s because there just happens to be an In-n-Out Burger right around the corner, but let’s just say it’s because he likes to spend time with me. So, out of the four kids, I grabbed him and off we went. I especially enjoy these “Shoppertunities” because it means I get to grab a few items needed from the store. Since we were at the hotel all week, we were in need of some supplies. Not to mention, Easter was on Sunday, and the bunny had not yet got her baskets together.
Since it was a Thursday night, my husband would be at work, and I was ready for a home cooked meal. Our go-to meal is spaghetti. Usually, I will steam a variety of veggies, puree them and add them to the sauce to hide them from my kids. It had been a long week, and I was looking for an easy way out. Instead, I looked for the healthiest option Wal-Mart would carry for tomato sauce in a jar. To my surprise, I found the Rao’s brand Marinara sauce. I have only seen this product in a few select places, and it was $2.00 cheaper at Wal-mart! I prefer this brand because the ingredients are literally tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onions, salt, pepper, basil and oregano…very simple, all natural. While my son was playing a game on my phone, I threw in some Easter Bunny treats. We moved into the healthy snack aisle and grabbed some Orville Redenbacker popcorn kernels. My kids love for me to make popcorn on movie night. It has become a tradition in our house. I was also asked to create a healthy snack using Del Monte fruit cups. I chose the Mandarin Oranges and also the Pears because it had less ingredients than the low-sugar ones. I am a big label reader, and if there are too many ingredients or ones I can’t pronounce, it doesn’t make it into my cart. (Minus the Easter Candy, of course!)
After we loaded up on dinner and snacks supplies, we headed over to the movie section where we were able to find the DVD, “We Bought a Zoo.” It was pretty easy to find, as it was in it’s own POS display. Collective Bias also suggested we purchase a product from the Del Monte line of pet food as there was a $4.00 coupon available to save on the movie. Easy enough, with a dog, a hamster, 2 turtles, 2 beta-fish and 3 salt water fish, we pretty much have our own little zoo going on. I noticed a product line called Milo’s Kitchen, an all natural brand for dogs with a large selection of food and treats. Since my pup has a sensitive stomach, I was afraid to switch him right away to a new brand of food, so I grabbed some pepperoni looking treats. Another score- since the brand was being introduced to Wal-Mart, there was a $2.00 Save Now coupon attached to the treats!
Once home, I prepared the spaghetti for the kids, including the twins. We all ate the Barilla brand with fortified with Omega3 and whole wheat flour, topped with Rao’s Marinara Sauce, some fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese. While we were eating, I put the Del Monte fruit cups in the freezer. After dinner, I made us a batch of popcorn using coconut oil in our big cast iron pot, the old-fashioned way. Once popped, I throw in some organic butter and sea salt for taste. Sometimes, the kids want kettle corn, so I will toss it with agave syrup, butter and salt.
Now for the yummy part! My kids love smoothies and milkshakes. I thought I’d mix it up a little using the Del Monte fruit cups, along with some all natural sorbet and the Clear American brand soda, also found at Wal-Mart. We popped a full, frozen Del Monte fruit cup into the blender, added some sorbet and the Clear Soda, and it was a frothy concoction, much like an Orange Julius (if you remember those!). Our favorite blends were the following:
Lemon, Lime, Orange Del Monte Fruit Cup Smoothie
- Del Monte Mandarin Orange Fruit Cup (frozen)
- Lime flavored Clear American soda
- Lemon Zest sorbet (any brand)
- Del Monte Diced Pears Fruit Cup (frozen)
- Pineapple Coconut Clear American soda
- Coconut Sorbet (any brand)