Sunday, June 28, 2015

Kiwi's Next Great Young Chef Contest

I will be entering this awesome contest, one day! As soon as I can figure out how to work this new camcorder, I'm in! (Well, my kids will be.) I have watched a lot of the entries over the years and I am clueless as to how to edit, add music and do al of the fancy things they do but, we are mega foodies and love to cook and bake!

Anyway, from now through July 5, 2015, you and your little ones, have the opportunity to become, Kiwi's Next Great Young Chef! 

This is an annual contest and there are 3 categories to choose from! (Yes! A new category has been added for this year's contest! Cooking Together!)

Ages 4 to 8
Ages 9 to 14 and the new category for this year,
Cooking Together!

All you have to do to enter is check out the sponsors, create a recipe using products from the sponsors and create your video! This years sponsors are 2 yummy brands that we use at home, Bob's Red Mill and Nielsen Massey.

Bob's Red Mill, sells some of the best flours, seeds, granola, cereals, beans, mixes, oats, grains and gluten free products that are available on the market! We use a lot of their products and not only do they sell fabulous products, they are a brand you can trust. As they say, "Whole grains from the heart!" They are very active on social media and you can also find some scrumptious recipe ideas on their site!

Nielsen Massey, has been crafting the world's finest vanillas and flavors since 1907! Their products are enjoyed by restaurant and bakery chefs, manufacturers of premium foods, gourmet food shops and grocers and home consumers looking to enhance their fine cooking and baking.

Once you have your video complete, just upload your video and your recipe here! You have some time to get your video in, through July 5th. Voting will begin on July 31, 2015.

One winner in each category will be chosen and each winner will receive a prize pack from each sponsor, $1000 and a feature in Kiwi Magazine.

You can read the official rules and regulations here. 

Good luck to those who enter and if you aren't entering, please be sure to check back with Kiwi Magazine when the voting begins!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How To Raise An Adult

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 I'm a mom of 4 children, 3 still at home, while 1 is all grown up and on her own with my 2 granddaughters. I hear so many people, nurses, doctors, (Yes, the same doctor who delivered all of my children, delivered my granddaughters as well!), other parents, friends, family, compliment us on the job we did raising our oldest daughter and how wonderful of a mommy she is. Which is nice, but sometimes, I still wonder whether we are doing an ok job or not, with her or our younger 3. It isn't easy to raise children. I certainly don't claim to be an expert and we are always trying to figure out how to be better parents.

It's a very stressful, very rewarding job and personally, I think it's one of the hardest jobs around. I try to steer clear of giving advice to other parents, including our oldest daughter. I will try and share stories that may relate to their stories, or if asked, I will find a way to relate to the issues they are having whether I or my mother had similar issues or if I read something somewhere where they offered suggestions. But, I wouldn't tell other parents what they should or should not be doing. I believe that parenting is up to the parents and we are all learning as we go. That being said, my husband and I have also had our fair share of friends and family and of course, even our own children, making comments about some aspects of our parenting and I can understand that. However, just like when I grew up and became an adult and realized why my mom did certain things and gave me chores I did not agree with as a child and teen, I understood her reasoning and I think my children will also.

 I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I will be using this as reference in the future and passing on to friends and family when they may need to borrow it. Julie Lyythcott-Haims, did a fabulous job articulating why it is so very important to raise your children to become successful adults. No, this doesn't mean a CEO of a company or a millionaire or a celebrity, it means something even more important. A very well rounded individual who has respect, values, morals and can manage and function on their own.

It is surprising to me, how many young adults and even some older adults, can't figure out how to do their own laundry, change a tire, pay a simple utility bill or even write a check. (I know, so many bills are paid electronically, which is another reason I sometimes think so many seem to have forgotten.) It's unrealistic to never help your child understand simple tasks that they will need the second they leave home. (and even before they leave home.) Preparing your children and focusing on life skills, are extremely important and even if they moan and whine, they will thank you in the long run. School has always been a great place for our children to learn, of course. But, do all schools teach your children how to unclog a toilet? Use a mop? Make a dentist appointment? Or make a grocery list and prepare a meal? Sure, some do, some tasks are covered in school. Our school offers a program, (voluntary), where your child can attend a Vo Tech and be introduced to different trades, including, cooking. But, for the rest of school, they stress on math, reading, science, history, handwriting, gym class, etc. Parents can't and shouldn't rely on just your child's teachers, to teach them how to survive. 

Julie Lythcott Haims was a dean of freshman at Stanford University for 10 years and she discusses how over the years, her students came to school, less prepared for adulthood. Which is why she decided to dig in and research and figure out what exactly is going on and she came to the conclusion, that our children are being coddled and their hands are being held a bit to much. Sure, as parents, we worry about our children, but we shouldn't be constantly holding their hands. We should be teaching our kids how to be individuals and make their own decisions and advocate for themselves. Advice is fine but at some point, they should be more independent and be doing their own work and figuring out their own social issues. I couldn't agree more with the author and I'm really impressed with her findings, her advice and her book.

One of my favorite lessons is to not use the word, "we" so much. "We" are not on the soccer team and "We" are not doing a science project or studying for a history test. There does come a time when it is up to our children to make decisions and figure out things on their own. Sure, we can be in the background for them to rely on when needed but if we continue to be over protective and make all of their decisions, they won't learn how to do this on their own in the real world.

 I also love the chapter that focuses on what age groups should be able to do what chores and simple life tasks. I was more than pleased to find that we already do most of what is on her lists! However, there are still some that I never thought about but will be adding immediately to our chore and skill lists. For example: we already have our 11 year old, planing a grocery list, making a menu plan and making dinner one night a week, all by himself. Not only does this help him in the long run for when he goes out on his own, but he actually enjoys this quite a bit! He begs and pleads to be in charge of dinner more then 1 night a week and lately, I've been thinking, I may take him up on his offer :) He also mows the lawn, helps look after his younger siblings and has a list of chores that he sometimes complains about and when his friends are over,t hey say things like, "Wow! I'm glad my mom doesn't make me do things like that!" But, it's all for the best. However, I found some things on the list for instance, age 8 read a recipe and prepare a simple meal and take care of personal hygiene without needing a reminder. These are things we haven't necessarily started with our 8 year old daughter just yet but we have already put the plan into place to get these 2 things off of Julie Lythcott-Haims' list. Actually, I am revising our chore chart and the kid's "time cards" and things we expect and this will be implemented tomorrow.

I would recommend this book for ALL parents, no matter how long you have been a parent or even if you are just expecting your first child. I promise, your children will thank you when they get older and they will be very pleased with themselves and how they were raised to be upstanding, functioning adults and very independent individuals. This book isn't boring, it doesn't read like a "How to" book. Julie adds humor, life experiences and a ton of wisdom as well as covering every aspect you can think of, in, How To Raise An Adult.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

#TeamSnuggle Fresh Spring Flowers Mission

** I received a free box of Snuggle Fresh Spring Flowers scent, in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own. **

I am always trying to find ways to keep everything smell as fresh and sunny as I possibly can. I love springtime air, fresh cut grass, fruity scents, wildflowers and anything that smells super clean.

Snuggle has been a staple in our laundry room for as long as I can remember. I remember seeing the Snuggle bear commercials when I was a kid and I always wanted one of those bears for my bedroom. (One of my younger brothers believed the Snuggle bear really talked and played in laundry!) I don't think I ever had a favorite Snuggle scent, so, I guess I would choose the original scent. They are always long lasting and fresh smelling and I can't think of a scent we didn't like. 

I recently joined the Snuggle community and was accepted for the Fresh Spring Flowers mission. That is one scent I don't usually buy in many cleaning or laundry products, it's usually a bit to strong. So, I stick with everything but. (I go crazy over real fresh flowers though!). 

One thing I found with the Snuggle fabric softener sheets, was that the flower scent was NOT overpowering and actually is rather pleasing. I can deal with these! Especially when, (Now, I don't know if it's just me, but...), they seem to have a little afterscent of original Snuggle. 

These sheets are pretty long lasting. Clothing, towels, sheets, blankets, can sit for a few weeks in a drawer and the scent STILL lingers. We decided since they last so long, maybe a good idea would be to make some pretty sachets for our drawers! I can't sew, lol! and I have so much fun with do it yourself projects so, it's hard to believe but, my husband does the sewing here. I just helped by supplying the patchwork fabrics squares and being the cheering team. Oh and helping to stuff with Snuggle sheets! 

The kids were able to learn how to sew and dad was included in this project so, that was a bonus! We have so many different sizes and some are being used for doll pillows! The neat thing is, they are just as fresh smelling as they were on the day they were made! 

One of my cleaning hacks, has been to use fabric softener sheets for dusting. They work extremely well on electronics and on heating vents, edges of floors, walls and behind hutches and cabinets. These little buggers pick up every speck of dust, polish game consoles nicely and they keep the dust from falling back down. My sons actually brought up the fact that when they opened the bottom of the TV stand, to play some video games, they could still smell the fabric softener sheets! 

I will be buying these again and will be using them for everyday dusting and hoping to get the kids to sew some more gorgeous sachets for the house. Maybe to use as air fresheners!! Besides, they make our bathroom closet, bedroom closets and drawers, smell so lovely, that I actually enjoy opening the dryer and folding laundry!

Have you tried this scent yet? What did you think? 
I would love to know what you thought of the new Fresh Spring Flowers scent! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Best Buy And GoPro Hero = Best Father's Day Gift Idea

** The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free **

GoPro HERO+ LCD Launch at Best Buy

I'm sure you have been slammed with ads all across the internet telling you what to buy for Father's Day, what does dad deserve, what would make him the happiest dad in the universe, blah blah blah. But, if you have a dad (or husband) who is a pretty cool guy, always has his cell phone in his hand and even if he doesn't, you are going to want to check this deal that Best Buy came up with to celebrate the special father in your life! 

The new GoPro camera is perfect for capturing sweet family moments, long summer breaks and every journey that lies ahead. 

One of the niftiest bonuses about the new GoPro Hero is, if you buy this for dad, you can probably use it whenever you like! I can't decide which feature I would enjoy the most? 

Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® connect to the GoPro App for shot preview, total camera control and easy content sharing to Instagram, Facebook, and more.

1080p60 video, 8MP photos and built-in Wi-Fi, plus the convenience of a touch display.

I mean, these shots are just brilliant! I (I mean, my husband) would carry this everywhere! 

 Capture incredible moments and relive them on the spot with the LCD display.

Another reason to stop at Best Buy and to buy the brand new GoPro Hero is of course, the special price and deal they have available through June 20th:

HERO+LCD (Sku 6954009) with free 32GB Extreme Plus memory card (Sku 9387066). Valid 6/14-6/20
·         Free $50 Best Buy Gift Card with purchase of the GoPro HERO4 Silver (Sku 8374096) or GoPro HERO4 Black (Sku 8374078). Valid 6/7-6/20

Best Buy is the destination for the latest cameras and camcorders, including the new GoPro HERO+LCD. The new camera arrives in stores just in time for Father’s Day

Joy Williams Venus Album Review

** I participated in the Joy Williams Venus album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own. **


 This is the first I have heard of Joy Williams, when I received an email about the opportunity to review her album. So, I immediately started checking Google and Youtube and started researching a bit about her and learned about her days with, The Civil Wars and found out about her son, Miles and many other interesting tidbts and realized, she is quite the interesting person!

So, naturally, I was pretty anxious to hear this album and have the chance to help spread the word and write up a review. First, I have to say, I listen to a lot of different music and I tend to stick with heavier stuff. Mostly thrash metal, hardcore, but also freestyle, old school rap and hip hop and a few other genres. One of my most favorite artists of all time, is, PJ Harvey. (Polly Jean Harvey). Which is odd, because it doesn't "fit" any of my other favorite genres. I like to say that I like the best of the best in each and every genre there is. And a lot of those genres seem to be just one artist. Much like, PJ Harvey or even Bjork. From what I've found and listened to of Joy Williams, I believe she also "fits" into this category of artists who don't necessarily "fit" into those little tabs and labels that you find at record stores.

She is indeed, all on her own and I imagine that is what really did it for me and really makes her as seriously appealing as she is. I have been enjoying reading about her life and how she decided to go on her own and create her own album. I also find it intriguing that she is such a gracious, very talented artist but yet, she is a typical mom who has been on a journey to find herself and now she is sharing this with the universe! The best part of Venus, is that we are able to hear about how Joy ended up here, how she became happy just being herself and we are able to envision the paths she took to get here. It's such an enthralling album and a wonderful way to "meet" an artist you knew nothing about or even if you did know a bit about her before.


Now, from what I gather, it seems, (at least from comments on Youtube and other social media.), there are a lot of people trying to compare, Joy Williams and her new music to The Civil Wars. I did listen to a bit from The Civil Wars and I only hope that this album sets her apart enough from The Civil Wars, enough for people to realize who she really is and who she has become.

Joy has a very strong voice, she really rates up there with other phenomenal singers and I am very impressed with her lyrics. Lyrically, this album is a 5 star album. She really did an outstanding job on this album and has made her mark in music history. (At least in my opinion.) I would hope to hear more from her in the near future. Venus, will end up being one of those unforgettable albums and every song is quite intense, very moving and I think we will find that she gains a large amount of new fans, thanks to Venus.

There are 11 tracks on this album and I can't really choose a favorite. I love them all and think most will find the same.

1. Before I Sleep
2. Sweet Love of Mine
3. Woman (Oh Mama)
4. One Day I Will
5. Not Good Enough
6. What a Good Woman Does (I believe if I have to pick a favorite, this is it!!)
7. Until the Levee
8. You Loved Me
9. The Dying Kind
10. Till Forever
11. Welcome Home

I don't mean to compare her to other artists but I can't help but hear PJ Harvey in Joy's music, which doesn't mean that I think she is trying to be like PJ Harvey in any way or that it's a bad thing, because it's completely the opposite. Joy definitely stands out in a crowd. With her raw talent and brilliant mind, very well rounded personality, awesome outlook on life and in everything, she far surpasses many, many, many around her.

Venus will be available on June 29th and available for purchase through Amazon  and iTunes.

You can find, Joy Williams on Youtube,  her website, Facebook,  Twitter,  and on Instagram.

PS!! I probably shouldn't add a review of a person when reviewing their album but, I guess in a sense, that is what an album review is? I think it is, just a little bit. Anyway, I just wanted to add one thing and that is that if you follow, Joy, on her social media networks, she will probably respond to you and that says a lot about an artist to me. I have been sharing my review, also sharing her album info on Twitter and every day, I receive a notification that, The Joy Williams, either favorited or retweeted my Tweet! I feel that this speaks volumes about a person. Especially one who is as busy as she is. There is so much more I could add to this paragraph but, I'll leave it just at that :)

Enter To Win The #HylandsDreamDad Contest

** I received Hyland's products in return for my post and help promoting the #DreamDad contest. **

Hyland's always has the best contests (and the best products too!) and if you enter, you get a coupon for the next time you run to the store to restock your medicine cabinet.

This is just in time for Father's Day and runs through Father's Day, so you want to hurry and enter fast! Plus, you get to vote for your dream dad. I voted for "Funny Dad" although, my kid's dream dad is the perfect mix of all of the choices and well, maybe not so much of the sports dad. That's more where I come in and the gourmet dad. Unless you count mac and cheese as gourmet and well, he does and so do the kids. Oh, but I forgot about grilling season, so, maybe he is more of a gourmet dad. Either way, "Funny Dad" is my top choice and my kids definitely have that! (If you agree with me, please run over and enter and vote for "Funny Dad" too! He's at 28%!)

Wait, I just took notice to "At Home Dad". Hmmmmm now, that could very well be the #HylandsDreamDad! I mean, my husband does help when needed and even though he doesn't do as good of a job as I would. (He doesn't lift things up to dust!), I still appreciate it, tons! I wonder, though, asking for a Dyson for Christmas? That would be like heaven!

Anyway, here are our choices for #HylandsDreamDad:

Funny Dad
At Home Dad
Handy dad
Gourmet Dad
Outdoor Dad
Sports Dad

Enter here to vote and get your coupon!!

Hyland's also has a product listed for each dad. For instance, Funny Dad, has Hylands Leg Cramps PM.  Which is actually the perfect choice for my funny husband. We always have these in our medicine cabinet. All of our dream dads have a corresponding product and you can learn more about each one when you enter.

Now for the prizes!
Hyland's always seems to have the coolest prize packages and of course, the #HylandsDreamDad contest is no exception!

  1. Grand Prize: $200 VISA Gift Card and Hyland's Adult Gift Basket
  2. $50 Target Gift Card, Hyland's Calms Forte and Hyland's Muscle Gel Therapy with Arnica
  3. $50 Target Gift Card, Hyland’s Leg Cramps PM and Hyland’s Bioplasma Sport
  4. Hyland's Leg Cramps, Hyland's Nerve Tonic and Hyland's Headache
  5. Hyland's Bug Bite Ointment, Hyland’s Arnica 30X and Hyland's Indigestion

Click here to read the rules and regulations! 

Good luck and happy Father's day!
Please let us know which #HylandsDreamDad you voted for and don't forget to grab your coupon just for entering!! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Protect The Skin You Are In

It's almost summertime, the days are longer, the weather is nicer, which means, we are outside a lot more. The sun is beating down on us much stronger and our skin is taking a beating, more so then in the fall and winter months.
Of course, sunscreen should be used year round. (That's how I stay ghost white or see through, as my kids say!). A lot of people tend to think that sunscreen or sunblock is only needed when it's warm out or when they are at the beach. Nope! It's needed every time you go outside. So, a safe bet would be to just add it to your morning beauty regimen. It takes just 21 days to form a habit (Yes, that could be a few more days for some but you get my drift.) and this one could end up saving your life.
Sunscreen is just one of our weapons against that scorching, fireball in the sky. But, there are more steps you can take to protect yourself. You also can not rely on just clothing to help stop the sun from causing damage either. But, you can, use a waterproof (if you will be around water of course) sunscreen.
Something that not everybody thinks about, is your scalp and the damage that can happen without protection. Hats are always a great way to keep the sun from getting in but there are also scalp powders out there that can help. You can match these to the color of your hair and they are fairly easy and quick to apply! These scalp sunblock powders are also great for children, newborn on up! It's a powder, so it isn't greasy and they usually come with a self dispensing brush to make the application process much easier.
We all know about wide brimmed hats can help keep the sun from our eyes. Sunglasses also play an important role in keeping your precious peeps safe from almost anything!
If you are taking the kids to the water park for the day or to the beach, chances are, you will be in and out of the water all day. Waterproof sunblocks are essential to water play days but did you know? You can also find Sunscreen Bands from Sunburn Alert! These handy little are bands can be used on your little ones and can be relied upon so that you don't have to worry about whether or not you or your kiddos are still blocking the sun or if it is time to reapply. Sunburn Alert also offers UV stickers if you or your kids prefer these instead of the wristbands.
It may take a little to add some of these ideas into your daily regimen, if you don't already. But, I promise you, it will all be well worth it! Not just protection against skin cancer but if you take the extra few minutes each day, add some sunscreens, whether in the form of your eye creams, moisturizers, primers and compacts, or just regular old sunscreen, you will be saving your skin from aging quicker then it should and helping to battle against age spots!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Super Quick And Easy Spanish Rice #Affordable Organics

** I received free products from Wild Oats in return for my posts, help promoting their #AffordableOrganics Twitter party on June 10, 2015 ast 6pm CST and sharing my recipes. **

Wild Oats sent me a variety of their tasty products so I could make a recipe or 2 and share with my readers. Oh and the most important part!! To help promote their upcoming Twitter party on June 10th at 6pm CST! (Just follow @wildoats and the hashtag #AffordableOrganics to be included and eligible for prizes! There will be 3 $50 gift card winners! More info at the end of this post!)

I received Wild Oats Organic Salsa, Organic Tomato Sauce, several spices, Long Grain Wild Rice, Garbanzo Beans, Sweet Peas and I was to create a recipe using those ingredients. I was trying to think of a way to make a recipe, like, vegetarian chili, wild rice soup, something that I could use all of the ingredients in one. But, I decided to make a couple recipes and after brainstorming and calling a few friends (lol), I decided to make one of my all time favorite dishes instead of the chili, burritos and casseroles.

Not only is Spanish Rice quick, easy to make and throw together for a quick lunch, side dish or even for dinner (just add a few more products to your liking.), kids love it too! We had a sleepover the night before I decided to make Spanish Rice and thought I would try and make this recipe as quick and simple as I could and we enjoyed it for lunch! (Even the pickiest of all, my 5 year old son, had seconds.)

This recipe is super simple, just 5 ingredients and any spices you may want to add. I sometimes use cumin, chili powder, garlic or just salt and pepper. But, I just stuck with an onion, Wild Oats Organic Medium Salsa, chicken stock, olive oil and Wild Oats Organic Long Grain and Wild Rice.

First, I heated a pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and added some chopped onion.

After about 5 minutes, I added the bag of Wild Oats Organic Long Grain and Wild Rice and toasted for about 7 minutes on medium heat. This is very important to Spanish Rice because the rice shouldn't be sticky or pasty. It should be almost translucent and sauteed just right. Don't overdo it because it could end up tasting slightly bitter if you brown it. Be sure to constantly stir so it doesn't get to brown.

If you stir often and scrape the sides, you will have perfectly toasted rice! 

Next, add half of the jar of Wild Oats Organic Medium Salsa (or 1 cup. You can add more or less to your liking.) and add 2 cups of chicken stock.
Stir just enough to mix thoroughly and cover and simmer on low to medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Now, we just wait and get ready for some of the best tasting Spanish Rice ever! You have 20 minutes so, you could catch up on emails, finish some laundry, clean the bathroom, or just take a break for a bit since you were probably already running wild and getting everything done! (That's another reason I love this recipe and others like this one. Easy prep time and cover, simmer, and voila! Crockpots are also my bff!)

Since I was trying to make a few recipes with my Wild Oats ingredients, I used this time to prepare the roasted Garbanzo Beans YUM! (Another super quick and simple recipe and they taste delightful!)

As long as the liquid is gone and everything is mixed up, it's time to eat!!

The other cool thing about this recipe is that the Wild Oats Medium Salsa has the perfect blend of veggies and spices and the right heat. You even have extra to dip your tortilla chips in! (One of my kiddos favorite snack!) 

If you want to learn more about Affordable Organics, please join the Wild Oats Twitter party on Wednesday, June 10th! 6-7pm CST. There will be 3 chances to win a $50 gift card!

Follow these accounts;



 and the hashtag #AffordableOrganics and have fun!

Wild Oats Organic Spanish Rice

1 bag of Wild Oats Long Grain and Wild Rice
2 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of Wild Oats Medium Salsa
1 medium onion
2 tbsp olive oil

(chopped garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and any of your favorite spices will also work.)

Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat.
Add chopped onion and stir until onion is translucent.
Add rice and stir constantly, scraping the sides for between 5 and 7 minutes or until white rice is almost translucent and rice is toasted but not browned.
Add chicken stock and salsa. Stir until mixed thoroughly.
Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is gone.
Enjoy by itself or add meat, serve with any main dish you like!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Need Another Reason To Host A Cookout?

** I received a free product of Johnsonville Grillers, through Crowdtap, in return for my honest review. All statements are my own. **

Yes! I was just about jumping out of my seat when I received an email from Crowdtap that I was accepted for the Johnsonville Grillers Sample and Share! Of course we grill food and burgers and hot dogs are top of our list for summer meals. Plus, I get a night off from cooking dinner since my husband will grill and I just have to worry about getting everything out of the freezer, on plates and maybe set the table. Oh and then, the kids all run outside with their dad while he grills so that is a nice bonus! Free time! Woohoo! So, yeah, you can probably see why this was just like getting a bouquet of flowers delivered!

I know, you're probably sitting there, thinking, "Ok, like, were they good burgers or what?" Yes. I would say so. But, I have to tell you about the grocery store trip first!

I was just out and about running errands, not expecting to see Johnsonville Grillers already, at our local grocery store. We live in a rural area and it seems to take our grocery store a bit longer to get most new products in but, these were highlighted the very same week I was out and just got word I would be trying these out so, I grabbed several boxes.

There was a sale and Johnsonville Grillers are already reasonably priced and they had a display with $1 off 1 box coupons so, I figured I would stock up while I was shopping. Johnsonville offers 5 flavors/types and I grabbed up 2 of each of 3 of those 5. We tried: Cheddar and Bacon, Mushroom and Swiss and Steakhouse Onion. They also have: Original Brat and Cheddar.

As soon as I came home with all of the groceries and our 6 boxes of burgers, of course, everybody was like, "Woohoo! Dad should cook dinner tonight!" (Grill dinner.) Thankfully, he did and we were able to try these much anticipated, flavorful burgers. This is the kid's favorite time of year for many reasons. School is almost out (out for the summer now.) and it's burger, hot dog and roasting marshmellow time.

I'm the only one who will eat a mushroom and swiss burger so, I rarely, very rarely get the chance to have one so this was starting to seem more like a holiday or a vacation then anything! I still wonder now, looking back, if maybe I was to anxious and expecting something that was going to just be so out of this world that I would never change back to any other brand. I don't know exactly what happened but I feel like I was let down. Again, I don't know how much of this was my fault.

I went back to the grocery store the next week and bought out usual brand of cheddar and bacon burgers and we decided to have a taste test grill party. The kids were definitely up for this and another night off from cooking a whole meal on my own, absolutely!!

We had the 2 Cheddar and Bacon brands, our usual and Johnsonville Grillers, Mushroom and Swiss and the yummiest of all, Steakhouse Onion. Now, we did enjoy the Steakhouse Onion quite a bit. Out of all of the flavor varieties we tried by Johnsonville, that is the one we will buy regularly because it does have a good taste to it and it tastes like what it says it is on the box.

The Johnsonville Cheddar and Bacon and Mushroom and Swiss, sort of just tasted the same but they weren't bad tasting, They just didn't seem to be as exceptionally tasty as first thought. I wouldn't rush to the store to buy them and I wouldn't purchase them but I would buy them to have for a gathering with family, neighbors and friends since they are reasonably priced and they are worth the money. I would probably stick with Steakhouse Onion and then offer toppings although, I believe Cheddar and Bacon will be a big hit for some too.

One of the reasons Johnsonville Grillers won't be replacing our regular brand, for now, is because all of the flavors seem to taste similar and have the same "grill like" flavor already wrapped into them. No matter how you cook them, you will have the fresh off of the grill taste, which some will love. However, I think that the "grill like" taste is slightly overpowering and takes away from the other flavors in the burgers.

They do look so tempting and  flavorful it really is a shame that we didn't fall in love with them at first bite. The Johnsonville Grillers also had a bit more grease inside for some reason, then other burgers and maybe that is the "grill like" flavor, all locked up and is to be meant as juicy? I don't know. But, we just weren't fans.

This was my 2nd Johnsonville Mushroom and Swiss burger, as you can see, I did have to add some mushrooms and swiss cheese to make it taste more like a mushroom and swiss burger. I ate one without extra toppings and if it weren't for the fact that I could see the little bits of toppings inside, I would have never known it was a Mushroom and Swiss Griller.

I would recommend the Johnsonville Griller line to people who want something better then a plain old burger for when a lot of company is stopping by. If you are on a budget, these will be perfect! I would also recommend to people who love the grill taste whether they make them inside in a pan or in a George Foreman grill or on the grill. If you are sick of regular, bland burgers but you aren't really into burgers that have cheese dripping off and come extra loaded, then these may be the perfect fit! I didn't expect them to be super duper bursting with cheddar cheese and bacon or anything but I did expect to be able to tell the difference with my eyes closed.

More pros about Johnsonville Grillers: Johnsonville is a trusted, well known brand that has been around for awhile. We do purchase other Johnsville products and we love them a lot. But, they are the Johnsonville sausage products. Although, I am still searching for the Italian sausage slices in a store near me!! Another pro, they are fast and simple to make! Perfect for a quick dinner when your schedule is busy with baseball, soccer, whatever your kids are busy with this summer. and again, these are perfect for the person who wants something just a little more then a plain hamburger or cheeseburger. You may like the locked in grill taste and if you doctor these babies up just right, they may end up being your new favorite!

I would love to hear your thoughts on Johnsonville Grillers. Have you tried them? What do you think? Are you a fan of Johnsonville sausage products like we are? Do you have any suggestions or recipes for the Griller varieties?