Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chicken Curry with Cous Cous Recipe - Guest Post

OK. So I don't know about you, but easy meals are my favorite to make. Duh, right?  With everything we have going on lately, cous cous with chicken seems like the perfect delicious meal without a huge hassle. I honestly had no idea how easy cous cous was. Jen makes it pretty much fool-proof. Who knew it was so easy?! Jen also posts tons of fun crafts and projects, that one day I swear I'm going to try.

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Hey ya'll! My name is Jen and I blog over at Beebee Belly. As a fellow Milspouse, I understand PCS season and so I told Alejandra while she was in the middle of her move that I would write a guest post for her and I decided to share one of our favorite (and easiest) recipes. It's for Chicken Curry with Cous Cous.

Never made cous cous? It's the easiest thing in the world. Boil the water, add the grain, cover, wait 5 minutes. Done. Seriously. No stirring, no nothing. I'd say no measuring but you have to measure out the water.


The chicken is almost as easy.


You take chicken (any kind, I buy boneless, skinless chicken thighs and keep them on hand) and place however many you want in a pan. I didn't even defrost it. Pour some chicken broth into the pan and the cover the chicken with curry powder. I used a lot because we love curry but you can use as much or as little as you'd like.


Bake it at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Once it's done, place over cous cous and enjoy. Seriously. An easy-peasy meal that is totally delicious. I'm all about easy meals. And since I have a picky 2-year-old, I'm all about family-friendly meals too and since my toddler eats this meal too, I call it a huge success.




Anyway, I hope you enjoy this meal and if you like it, come visit me over at Beebee Belly for some more family-friendly and delicious foods.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Baby!

It's hard to believe that my biggest babe turned three today! She has grown into such a smart and beautiful little girl. Sometimes I really wonder if she's actually turning 13. She's got sass and attitude along with some sassy comments, but a tiny little heart of gold!


We didn't have a big celebration today, but we did make sure to make the birthday girl feel extra special. When we returned from the cruise this morning Hubs and I took V shopping to get a new dress and some fun stuff at Claire's. We got a cute little dress for pictures from Gymboree, and then let let her pick a couple lip balms and little accessories. The girl has style!


In the afternoon we went to JCPenney to have her birthday portraits taken. They never have enough people working, and it always turns into such a drawn out hassle, but I love having the same style of photos done year after year on everyone's birthday. This time around they turned out great. She was cooperative and we were done with the photo part probably in about 10 or 15 minutes.

When we got back to my parent's house, my dad surprised us with a whole bunch of huge balloons and a pretty little Pandora bracelet for the birthday girl.


For dinner the entire family went to the Cheesecake Factory. Nom noms! By then, both girls were pretty tired, but we still had a nice time.  The waiters brought out a scoop of ice cream with a candle in it and sung happy birthday. V loved the attention!


The plan for tomorrow is to head out to my dad's boat club to do more of a celebration type thing with cake and all that. V loves being out there and fishing and swimming. I hope it's another day that she totally loves.



My Yaky, Mommy loves you big big!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

10 Fun Facts About Florida - Guest Post

Since I'm away in the Western Caribbean, some of my lovely blog friends have volunteered to help keep the blog updated with guest posts. Obi is a fellow Floridian, and graciously typed up some great facts about Florida, while I'm away from the state.

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Hey Bloggers! I am Obi and I blog over here at Eloquent Rambles. Check me out if you can :) Mrs. Munchkins and the Military is on a cruise...lucky her and she has given me my first opportunity to be a guest blogger! Wahoo and Thank you! I hope you enjoy!

Ahhh, sunshine, beaches, football, oranges...yes, I am talking about the state of Florida! I love Florida. I was born and basically raised in Florida. The military always moved us, but somehow we always ended up back in Florida. I have lived in Fort Lauderdale, FL. (place of birth), Orlando, FL., Jacksonville, FL. (my love currently lives in this great city), Tallahassee, FL. (for college), and Pensacola, FL. Here are 10 fun facts about Florida. What are some fun facts about your state? If you are from Florida, what is your favorite fun fact?

Source
1. Florida is known as the Sunshine State!
2. The capital of Florida is Tallahassee (Go NOLES!!...had so sneak it in here) NOT Miami folks (LOL!)
3. Gatorade was made/developed at the Univ. of Florida (that was for you Gator Fans ;) !)
4. St. Augustine city in Florida is the oldest European settlement in North America
5. Florida is the 4th most populous state in the USA
6. Florida has over 800 miles of beaches.
7. Juan Ponce De Leon was the person who discovered Florida and named it too in 1513.
8. To get to Space...you would leave from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
9. The largest lake in Florida is Lake Okeechobee
10. Super Cool fact here --->There is a bed & breakfast, WildLife on Easy Street, on the outskirts of Tampa that allows you to cuddle with an endangered cat of your choice for just a $100 donation to the refuge. You can choose baby bobcats, cougars, and leopards...if that is your thing!

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Oh.. And GO GATORS!

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Meal Planning Monday - Week 9

Hello from sunny Cozumel! We've made it to week nine of meal planning. Lucky for me, there is next to no cooking on my part. Until Saturday Hubs and I will be enjoying gourmet food on our cruise. Although I won't be cooking, I wanted to share inspiration and dinner ideas for everyone else. These are my choices based off of the daily cruise menus.

Source


Week 8 Menu:
Monday: Petite Filet Mignon with vine ripe tomatoes and mozzarella
Tuesday: Braised Lamb Shank with spinach, mushrooms and fresh bacon
Wednesday: Tender Roasted Prime Rib with arugula, mint and vegetable salad
Thursday: Penne Siciliana with cream of brocoli
Friday: Braised Short Rib with french onion soup and black bean soup
Saturday: BBQ Chicken and Hotdogs
Sunday: Orange Chicken with fried rice



Please join the link up this week!


Hop rules:
1. Follow your hosts. Alejandra at Munchkins and the Military and Lisa at Sorority Life to Army Wife.
2. Link up your weekly meal plan or favorite recipe.
3. Check out a few other blogs!

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Vodka Soak Gummies

Now, this is my first time doing this, and we haven't tasted them yet, but I'm fairly confident that I've discovered a relatively fool-proof way to get some extra alcohol on board our cruise this week. You're not allowed to take actual bottles of liquor, but no one said anything about gummy bears.. If you've ever been on a cruise, and even if you haven't, you may know that the prices of drinks are a tad outrageous!  I'm hoping that by taking vodka soaked gummies with us, we'll be able to get an extra free kick while on the boat.


You'll need:
  • A Glass Jar or Bowl (not plastic!)
  • Gummy Bears
  • Vodka

Directions:
  1. Clean and dry out your jar well.
  2. Fill the jar about halfway with gummy bears/worms/whatever. They'll expand a bit, so don't fill it up too much.
  3. Pour in vodka to completely cover the gummies. Shake it up a bit to make sure the vodka is really in there.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least three days. You can pour out any extra vodka.
  5. Keep refrigerated and enjoy!


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Here We Go!

Hubs and I are on an upper deck, slowly sailing away from Miami with the breeze blowing over us. I'm so excited for our vacation to finally start, but I miss my babies already!



I hope to be able to find some free wifi at our ports. If you aren't already, follow me on Instagram from some awesome pics of the Western Caribbean.



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Friday, April 19, 2013

Ready to Cruise!

It's go time! Hubs and I are set for our cruise tomorrow! I'm so excited! This vacation is very much needed. We still haven't had a moment away from the kids since he got home from deployment.


I went to Zales today to have my ring repaired. One of the diamonds fell out when I had it cleaned yesterday, and I didn't notice until we were miles away. The lady said it'd be ready Monday. I'm glad that I'll be able to have it fixed and back before we move.

Hubs also insisted that I get myself a new pair of earrings. It's been a while since I've worn them, since I always lose them. My new ones are gorgeous though! I hope I don't lose these, but they're white sapphire, so it wouldn't be as tragic as if they were actually diamonds.

I also went to Victoria's Secret to pick up a new bathing suit and a bunch of new undies. I can't wait to wear my new bathing suit! The bottom is similar to the one in the picture, but with less coverage, and ruffles.

I also went this afternoon to get my nails done with my sister. I haven't had my nails done since my wedding, and they look fabulous!! I really need to maintain them better in the future. Just something as simple as having earrings in and my nails done makes me feel like a totally new person!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wine, Wine and More Wine

These past few days have seen a ton of drinking between Hubs and I. We've been good and stuck to wine, but unfortunately the headache after a wine drunk is the worst!

Yesterday we drive about half an hour from where my mother-in-law lives to do a tour of the Lakeridge Winery in Clermont,FL. I've been to wineries and vineyards before, but this was my absolute favorite, because of the amazing tour. The free wine at the end of the tour didn't hurt either.

The tour started with a short video detailing the history and the family behind the winery. I poked Hubs and told him that we needed to invest in five acres for grapes of our own. If not for business purposes, then definitely to keep up with our habit. From there we got to view the giant metal cylinders where the wine sits. We then headed outside where we were shown the vineyards as well as some of the machinery used for the grapes. For the last part of the tour we went back inside to see the machine where the wine is bottled and labeled. Unfortunately the tour we took was too late, so the line wasn't running.


Following the tour we got to do a complimentary tasting. I think I may have learned the most during this part. There was a sheet provided with each glass with information about each wine that we were tasting. We drank the wines from driest to sweetest. Our group of three all agreed that the first red wine was our favorite. Hubs and I ended up buying three bottles of that plus a fourth bottle of pink champagne to take on the cruise. Lakeridge offers a variety of discounts when you buy four or more bottles and there's an additional 10% military discount. The cashier recognized Hubster's USAA card and asked for the mil id.

The night before that we did some wining as well. I was really excited to go to Eola Wine Company.

Our group was sorely disappointed by the service at Eola. The waitresses were slow and not very friendly. Three of us did a flight, which was made up of two-ounce servings of four different wine. Three of my four were delicious. There was one from South Africa that was awful though!

We ended the night at an Italian restaurant called Prato. Although it was just a regular restaurant with a good wine menu, we had a great time. The menu was all in Italian, but the waitress did a fantastic job of translating and suggesting the perfect wines for us. Hubs and I tried beef carpaccio for the first time, which was amazing!! We stayed there until they closed and then headed home.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Staying Positive!

I had something different in mind for today. After yesterday's events in Boston, I even wrote a rant about protecting my babies and how scary it is to be raising them in today's world.

But in an effort to not put myself in a grouch mood, and avoid that for all of you, I will just share a fantastic giveaway with you all.

Raising Reagan is one of my favorite blogs, and I absolutely just love Lanaya and Reagan! I was lucky enough to win some add space on Lanaya's blog last week, which also gave me the opportunity to participate in this fantastic giveaway, and give you the chance to win ad space, among a bunch of other goodies.

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Monday, April 15, 2013

Meal Planning Monday - Week 8

Good morning! Welcome to week 8 of meal planning. This past week was extremely busy for us with finalizing our move. The weekend was spent cleaning and painting like crazy. I came into this move with an "I love moving" attitude which has since turned into an "I hate moving" view. I can't wait to do this again in 6 months..

The entire weekend, and most of the week was spent eating out. We didn't have the time or resources at home to cook for ourselves. Getting out of the house was a chance to step away from the craziness, which we jumped at. I hope to get on track with our eating this week.

Our cruise starts Saturday, which means no cooking for me. For the cruise days this week as well as next, I'll be sharing my menu selections from the formal dinning room.



Week 8 Menu:
Monday: Baked Spaghetti with meat sauce
Tuesday: Popcorn chicken with Mac & cheese
Wednesday: Vegetable Lasagna
Thursday: Chicken Marsala
Friday: Grilled Baby Back Ribs (dad is making this one) with baked beans
Saturday: Chicken รก la Grecque with cream of sun ripened tomatoes
Sunday: Roasted Prime Rib with stuffed white mushrooms and maybe some spicy alligator fritters
Cruise menu for Sunday

Please join the link up this week!


Hop rules:
1. Follow your hosts. Alejandra at Munchkins and the Military and Lisa at Sorority Life to Army Wife.
2. Link up your weekly meal plan or favorite recipe.
3. Check out a few other blogs!





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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

Something exciting happened the other day! I received a tweet from Dara that I had won a contest over at Not In Jersey. Good thing she tweeted me too, or else I would have never known.

Remember back in the day when Facebook was brand new, and you had to be a college student to use it? Yeah, well my college email address is still the one hooked to my Facebook. However, I can't access it, since I never set up security questions. Since Rafflecopter logs you in via Facebook, I can't even imagine how many giveaways I've possibly won, yet had no clue. I'm trying to change my Facebook email now, except I must have used my personal email to create a fake account to creep on people, and it's giving me issues.

In addition to winning a contest myself, I'd also like to announce that Jamie from Handling With Grace, has won the Happy Family Organic Superfood giveaway that I was hosting on my blog.


Jamie is also one of the hosts of the Wednesday Walkabout, so please check that out and link up if you have a chance today.

Have a great day everyone! I'm slowly becoming more organized, and vacation is so close, I can almost taste the salt water. 

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Out of Time

Ok. Seriously. How do some of you do it? How do you keep up with a busy life, and maintain fabulous blogs? Am I really that unorganized? I've had so much on my mind lately, that I didn't even have a chance to put together a meal plan for the week. We've had either left overs or Papa John's for dinner for the past few nights. I'm sick of pizza.

For those of you that use printables to keep track of your life, do you actually use them? I've considered printing out some pretty pages for a while now, but I feel like they'd get used for a week or two max. I've seen great ones, and I think some of the bright pretty colors, might help me focus. I guess bringing my organizer in from the car might help as well.

I've made it a goal to try and start fresh when we finally get to Fort Leonard Wood. Being more organized and outgoing are at the top of my list. There are just about three weeks left until we arrive at our new home, just enough time to form some new and better habits.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Meal Planning Monday - Week 6.5

I failed at meal planning for this week. I spent so much time last week preparing for the movers to come this week, that food didn't even cross my mind. I still haven't really even thought about what we'll be eating this week. I know the next two days will mostly be leftovers, and after that, I'll be combining what's left in the fridge and pantry.

The packers left about an hour ago. They were relatively quick. Now we have boxes scattered around the house, and it seems like it's a bigger mess than when we started. There are SO MANY nails that need to come out of the wall!

I didn't realize how much stuff we were actually taking ourselves. Last night we had to switch our trailer reservation for a larger one. That will probably be the biggest pain, but if we're making money off of it, I guess I can deal.

Please join the link-up and come back next week to check out my seventh week of meal plans.





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Friday, April 5, 2013

Crunch Time!

Ugh. Typing that title made me want a bowl of Cap'n Crunch. Yum! I'll have to settle for some Honey Bunches of Oats for now.

I was in a bit of a funk yesterday. Thankfully I was able to go to the spa when Hubster got home from work, and that took care of it. Just a little while away from the kids does the trick every time! I love my babies, but being with them 24/7 starts to wear on all of us. It doesn't help that V has been extra defiant lately either.

The pedicure and treatment yesterday were fantastic, but the lady massacred my nails! I was texting and emailing the entire time, so I didn't notice until it was too late, and she literally cut my toe nails all the way back. I have dumb baby nails now. I hope there's enough time between now and the cruise for them to grow back and have them done again. But this time at an Asian place.


Anyway.. On to the important part, and the whole reason I'm posting to begin with. We're down to the final days, before the packers and movers come to get our stuff. When hubs gets home from work this evening, it's on like Donkey Kong. Since we're only going to be at this new duty station for six months, we'll be living as simply as possible. We'll use this weekend to set aside everything that we'll be taking with us.

Even though we're having another sunless wet day, I'm determined not to let the weather get me in a crappy mood. I've already started by throwing out all of the old papers and other random stuff in the kitchen. My Scentsy wax has been placed in a large plastic bin to take with us. I don't want to chance it melting in the moving truck. After I finish up in the kitchen, I'll get started on the huge pile of laundry that needs to be washed and put away.

A bunch of my old FRG stuff

I better get back to work. Hopefully everyone else is having better weather! Enjoy your weekends!

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gloomy Day

Merp. I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. It could have to do with the fact that V was in our bed before the sun was up and kicked me off of my side. As much as I hate posting twice in one day, I didn't want to leave the blog with two review posts back to back.

Many things have been bothering me lately. I won't go into a ton of details in this particular post, but maybe in the future. I'm not in the mood to argue today. Basically, the huge issue that gay marriage has become, all of these law enforcing people being killed lately, and the fact that the Soldier who was killed in Afghanistan last week was at the same very small base that my husband was at months ago.

The weather in Southern Georgia is kinda blah, which makes my mood even worse which doesn't lend me to getting anything done around the house. I've got to start throwing stuff away though! Today I'm probably going to start with all of my old useless FRG papers. There's a large cabinet in our kitchen that is used solely for storing all of the paperwork I've accumulated and my binders and such, and its stuffed.


A guy from the moving company came by yesterday to see what we had and if they'd need any special packing supplies. He was so nice and professional. He brought an iPad and camera for pictures, and even brought a measuring tape to measure our furniture. Complete 180 from the people that moved us out of Miami. I have faith that I won't end up with a ton of broken and stolen stuff this time.

I'm loving my Kitchen Aid so far. The only issue is that it makes a bit of a weird noise when on the low settings. I checked out YouTube, and it seems like it might be an easy repair. I definitely don't think that the girl that I bought it from only used it "once or twice" though.

It's been a slow process, but I'm managing to clear out the fridge and pantry of old food. For lunch today the girls are having some fish sticks and mozzarella sticks that have been frozen for ever. There is some meat that probably needs to be tossed, but other than that, I'm happy to say that I've got a pretty good plan for using everything up.

Nap time is slowly creeping up. I hope that I'm able to nap too and maybe wake up on the right side of the bed this time. At least tomorrow is Friday. (:

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Olay Fresh Effects Review

I say it all the time; I love Influenster. I've been fortunate enough to receive several VoxBoxes from them. What's a VoxBox you ask? A VoxBox is a box of goodies and (normally) full-sized samples sent to you from Influenster for you to reviewand spread the word about. Most recently, I received the SweetHeart VoxBox which had four great products inside. My favorite product in the box ended up being the Olay® Fresh Effects {Va-Va-Vivid!} Powered Contour Cleansing System.


What I noticed about the Fresh Effects Cleaning System, was its size and shape. The Va-Va-Vivid Powered Contour Cleaning System is essentially the size of my palm, but it packs quite the punch. You can really feel the gentle vibrations getting deep into your skin to clean all the yuckies out.


The shapde of the brush, is also different from any other facial cleaner I've ever seen. Most cleaning systems use a circular head, and Olay decided to go with a triangle. I have to admit that the triangle is the way to go. It fits up perfectly to the sides of your nose, and it's easy to maneuver around your eyes to avoid being blinded by soap. The cleaning head is made of a soft rubbery material, that is firm but delicate. 


The face soap that was included in the package was pretty unique also. It's this really cool metallic silver color. Just a little cleanser and a little water was required to get a good latter. Between the vibrations and you moving the cleanser around your face, you're able to work up a good lather pretty quickly.


One of the great (well, maybe not great for Olay) things about this system is that if you don't like the soap, you can use one of your liking. I found the provided soap to be slightly drying. Olay has other soaps available that might be a better option for you. Shine, Shine, Go Away might work really well for you if you have oily skin though.

Overall, this would be a product that I would recommend. It's in the $12 price range, which makes it affordable for almost everyone. Unlike other systems, you don't have to buy replacement heads or pads. It takes one AAA battery, which is included in the package. It took me a minute to figure out, but to replace the battery just twist the bottom and it will pop out of the top.

I received this item complimentary from Influenster for review purposes.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Family Organic Superfoods [Review + Giveaway]

I don't know about other moms, but for my kids it's nearly impossible to get them to snack on something in the healthy category. Obviously I'm not feeding my kids total crap, but I know there are better options than Goldfish, Cheez-Its, and fruit gummies. Enter Happy Family Organic Superfoods. An organic family food brand packed with premium ingredients and health benefits.


I was lucky enough to be contacted by Happy Family to do a review and giveaway of their products. One of their Happy Mamas came by my house to deliver coupons to get myself some free products. Happy Mamas are community representatives who are available to answer your questions and educate through samples and classes. There are currently some availabilities for military moms and dads to become representatives at their installations.


When it came time for us to travel to New York, I knew that some of the Happy Tot fruit and veggie pouches would be perfect! The girls love snack pouches, and they're convenient to just toss in a diaper bag with no refrigeration required.  They don't contain any artificial flavors or preservatives, which in my book, makes them even more kid friendly. Each girl got a Happy Tot pouch. Apple and butternut squash for Veronica and strawberry, kiwi, beet, pear for Adri. V wasn't a fan of the squash, so we switched pouches, and everyone was happy. In defense of the squash, I tried it and it wasn't bad at all. She's just picky. Each pouch has a significant amount of Vitamin C, which I see as a plus to avoid picking up yucky germs when out and about.


The girls were both HUGE fans of the Happy Munchies and Happy Yogi snacks. I will definitely be purchasing these again. I got them Munchie puffs, since they've always loved puffs. These puffs were a lot like Cheeto Puffs in taste and texture, minus the crazy furniture-staining orange stuff. Hub and I both tried them and we were fans. The great thing about the puffs is that they're made with whole grain corn, and organic cheese with carrot, and they contain significantly less sodium than other toddler cheese snacks. These Munchie puffs also contain choline, which helps with healthy brain development.



Happy Yogis are yogurt melts which are made with organic fruit and yogurt. They melt easily in your mouth, which makes them baby friendly also. Thankfully, Adri didn't drool them out all over the place like she has in the past. I think it's safe to say that she loved these too.




Happy Family products aren't just for kids either! I was able to try an adult "Treat", and it was quite the treat! The Caramel Apple Treat packaging says that it's "a guilt-free dessert", and it is just that. You get a half cup of fruit per 100 calorie pouch. Totally a win-win! What adult doesn't love eating from a squeeze pouch anyway?!

    Happy Family brand products are available at DECA Commissaries, Whole Foods Market, Super Target, and other major grocers. You can use the store locator to find the retailer closest to you with Happy Family products.

    Even if you don't win the giveaway, I would suggest purchasing one or two products to try. They aren't expensive at all, and I couldn't think of anything better snack for a child than one that is both mouthwatering and nutritious. Happy Family makes products for babies and children of all ages.

    And now for the giveaway! The contest will run for a week and end at midnight on April 10. Contest is open to US only. Happy Family will be sending the winner coupons for free products of the following items:
    • (1) Happy Yogis
    • (1) Happy Tot Meal Bowls
    • (1) Happy Tot Plus
    • (1) Happy Tot
    • (1) Happy Munchies

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    I was provided this product in exchange for my honest opinion.

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