How I Get FREE Starbucks

photo 1 e1369939343129 How I Get FREE Starbucks

This is a genuine smile on my face y’all. Coffee makes me quite happy. I wouldn’t consider myself to be an expert on coffee, but I can usually tell if it’s a good cup or bad cup. You’d think that I would be one of those who enjoyed their coffee dark and bold.

I’m not.

I enjoy my coffee light and airy. And with lots of cream and sugar (not the real stuff; the Equal in all of its artificial glory). A single cup of heaven! Well, maybe 2 or 3 cups of heaven…

Since moving over here to Pennywise Cook last year, I haven’t shared with you guys the power of Swag Bucks. This is in fact, my secret to getting my free Starbucks gift cards. Starbucks is not the only gift card you can get your hands on when you redeem your Swag Bucks. You can grab a gift card to Target, O’Charley’s, even get CASH through Paypal with your Swag Bucks.

Love to shop at Amazon? Turn your Swag Bucks into FREE purchases at Amazon by redeeming for a gift card.

Let me give you the 411 on how it all works…

What ARE Swagbucks?
Swag Bucks is online community where you earn digital dollars called “Swag Bucks” which you can redeem for all kinds of things including merchandise and gift cards.

What do I have to do to earn these Swag Bucks?

  • Searching– this is by far the easiest way to earn. Simply login to the Swagbucks website and use their search bar to input your inquiry. They’ll give you responses from Google and from Ask.com. So if you use those search engines already, then it won’t be much of a change. During random searches that you perform, you will win Swag Bucks! They will ask you to input a special code from an image to confirm your win. Then they will automatically add them to your account. You can look up at your number and it will blink red.
  • Redeem Coupons– They have a section where you can print off coupons. For every coupon that you redeem at the store, you will earn 10 Swag Bucks. Just keep in mind that it can take up to 8-12 weeks for the Swag Bucks to post to your account.
  • Signing up for Daily Deal Sites– Swag Bucks will give you some for signing up through them for Daily Deal Sites or for making purchases. You must be a new user. The fine print will tell you the requirement to receive Swag Bucks.
  • Daily Poll– You can earn 1 Swag Buck each day for voting in the Daily Poll. Woohoo! 😉 Not much, but every little bit counts.
  • Games– Play games through Swagbucks and they will randomly award you during the games.
  • No Obligation Special Offers (NOSO)– Click through a bunch of offers that you may or may not want to participate in and each day you can earn 1 more Swag Buck for doing so. Once per 24 hour period!
  • Special Offers– These require a purchase usually at some point. Some may be free trials and other may require payment right away. This is guaranteed Swag Bucks.
  • Swag Bucks TV– This one is fairly new. Watch videos to earn Swag Bucks. Videos must actually finish in order to earn and multiple videos are required. There is a progress meter to keep up with your earning progress through videos.
  • Tasks– Perform simple little tasks for Swag Bucks such as giving them questions, finding business reviews and more to earn a little Swagbucks.
  • Trade-In– Trade in old electronics and they will give you Swag Bucks in return. This is a nice way to recycle and to earn something in return.
  • Surveys– Take surveys that you qualify for to earn Swag Bucks. Some earn more than others. Of course, it’s free to do this.
Swidget How I Get FREE Starbucks

On my site, you’ll find my Swidget. Here you’ll easily be able to do a quick search (with the possibility of earning Swag Bucks!) without having to change windows or leave Pennywise Cook.

When I was expecting Britton, I stocked up on diapers by doing the Amazon gift card thing. I got over $50 in diapers for FREE! That same year, I did a lot of my Christmas shopping through Amazon with my Swagbucks. It has really been a blessing.

Fridays are MEGA Swag Bucks Day! That means that you can earn double or even triple the normal amount just by doing what you already do. It’s at random but totally worth trying it out. I always do a few searches just to see how many I can score. So be SURE to get to swaggin’ on Fridays y’all!

Ok, so what are you waiting for? If you aren’t yet signed up with Swag Bucks, then you NEED to do so HERE.


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Summer is a Piece of Cake!

Cookies N Cream Cupcakes Summer is a Piece of Cake!

Welp, Memorial Day has come and gone which means WELCOME SUMMER! Wahoo! I got to sleep in this morning until about, oh, 7:15. That’s good right? The kids slept in, but me? No. I’m still stuck in let’s get going, get your shoes on, eat your breakfast mode. I’m hoping that nonsense will wear off soon. I’ve got to at least work up to sleeping to 8:00, don’t ya think?

My youngest turned 2 this weekend! It’s hard to believe that she is already 2. Her favorite show is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so naturally that became the theme of her party. I had a TON of fun putting it together. Don’t worry, I have a post all about it coming up.

I wanted to share with you my Cookies N Cream Cupcakes. While I didn’t put together a step by step with these, they were really simple. I used Devil’s Food Cake Mix for the cupcakes. Only, I added a sweet surprise. Before baking, I placed a chocolate sandwich cookie in the bottom of each liner and then a dollop of marshmallow cream on top. THEN I plopped cake batter in. So they baked up with a cookie and filling inside!

For the frosting, I made a simple buttercream (no shortening in this one) and added about 1/2 cup of crushed chocolate sandwich cookies to the mix. Then piped it on and voila! These were so incredibly tasty. The cookie inside became soft after a while which I thought I wouldn’t like, but I found them to be even tastier that way.

photo 300x300 Summer is a Piece of Cake!

 

Of course, I had to Mickeytize them for the party. Here’s a sneak peek of the Mickey fun! More on that later…

I think summer is one of the best times to create cool cakes. Not just because most of us have a little more time on our hands, but because the kids can help out! That is, if they can tear themselves away from the TV and video games…

Betty Crocker has got some really cute ideas for summer cakes. And you know that Betty Crocker likes to make things easy for us moms. There are some really cute cake ideas on the Betty Crocker website. I LOVE the Watermelon Cake. I think I’ll be trying that one out this summer. Considering that most of my family doesn’t like really watermelon, maybe they’d like it in cake form? I also find the butterfly cake to be adorable. It looks a little complicated, but Betty Crocker even provides a template for making it. How helpful!

Have you seen the cupcakes made in ice cream cones yet? It’s a popular pin on Pinterest right now. Check out the infographic that Betty Crocker put together about how to easily put those cuties together.

BC2 349x1024 Summer is a Piece of Cake! 

Have you made the ice cream cone cupcakes before? I haven’t yet braved them so I’d love to hear your thoughts!

In The Garden Cupcakes 2 300x201 Summer is a Piece of Cake!

I made these In The Garden Cupcakes last year. They were a blast to make. You can find out how to make them here.

I’m full of inspiration for making cakes this summer now! You can find more summer cake inspiration from Betty Crocker!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Betty Crocker. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.


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Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup 2 Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Today is my daughter’s last day of school. I can already hear the words “I’m booooooored mom”. You’d think that we live in a box without any toys, coloring books, or that all addicting boob tube contraption they call a TV. My goal is to do whatever I possibly can to try and keep those words from seaping out of my kiddo’s mouth.

So we’ll plan playdates, trips to the splash pad, fun at the Y, and anything and everything else that I can come up with to combat bordem.

Dinner sometimes plays second fiddle in the summer around here. The sun is out later and we’re outside enjoying our days which means either mom has to miss out on the fun to cook or mom has to get creative. So creative I’ll get! This recipe is one that I put together in a pinch and is super simple to make.

Who doesn’t like making dinner in the crockpot? Most of the ingredients in this recipe are from cans which also makes for easy prep. This reminds me of a 7 can soup with a little twist. One ingredient that I’ve always kinda been leary of, is canned chicken. I don’t use it that often because, well, it’s called canned chicken. It smells a lot like tuna to me in the can which most of the time turns me off. But every now and then I’ll place it in a recipe that makes the chicken transform with the other flavors. And sometimes it actually tastes great. Hey, don’t knock it ’til ya tried it! If you’re not too keen on the canned chicken idea, use leftover rotisserie chicken or something along those lines if you’d like.

I love the crunch of the crispy tortilla strips on top at the very end. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find some colorful ones like I did!

Chicken Tortilla Soup 1 Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

 It’s your turn: Do your kids get bored during the summer? Or do they enjoy the freedom?

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
 
Recipe Type: Soup, Main Dish, Crockpot
Author: Pennywise Cook

A few cans and seasonings and you’re on your way to a tasty Chicken Tortilla Soup!
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 oz) can vegetable broth- could also use chicken
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (12.5 oz) can chunk chicken breast, drained
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can cream of celery soup
  • 1 (10 oz) can rotel
  • 1 rotel can of water
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 c. tortilla strips for topping
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into crockpot and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
 
Notes

– The first time I made this, I sauted my onion and garlic before placing it in the crockpot. You can do this first if you are going to be cooking your soup for less time. If not, they should soften up enough while cooking.
– If you would rather, you can use chicken broth in place of the vegetable broth
– If you have leftover chicken, you can use that in place of the canned chicken
– Finally, if you prefer, you can use more broth in place of the water in the rotel can. I found it tastes just as good with the water.

 


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Hot Boiled Peanuts: It’s a Southern Thang

Hot Boiled Peanuts 2 Hot Boiled Peanuts: Its a Southern Thang

Sometimes you feel like a nut…

And sometimes you feel like a boiled nut.

My husband and I are doing the Daniel Fast right now. We’re on day 11 of 21 right now. If you’re not familiar with the Daniel Fast, I’ll sum it up by telling you some of the guidelines.

  • No meat, dairy, sugar or artificial sweeteners, leavened bread, or caffeine
  • You can have all vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains
  • No fried foods
  • Only water to drink
  • It’s based on the book of Daniel in the Bible and 2 of his fasting experiences
  • It’s not only physical, but meant to be a spiritual experience

The first time that Daniel did this fast was for 10 days. The second time was for 21 days. We’ve done the 10-day before without issue so we’ve challenged ourselves to try the 21-day. It’s gone really well so far. Considering that my husband is a cheeseburger and french fry kinda guy, it’s VERY surprising how he gets along with this type of fast. Praise God!

And me? What do I do about my sweets you say? Well let’s just say that bananas and raisins are my best friend these days. Remember my Peanut Butter Choco-Banana Ice Cream? I can actually eat that on this fast! But I have to eat it out of a bowl instead of a cone. Darn…

But I digress…

Hot Boiled Peanuts 1 Hot Boiled Peanuts: Its a Southern Thang

We’ve also been eating a lot of nuts lately. Almonds and peanuts mostly. You can get these HUGE, I mean HUGE bags of salted and roasted peanuts (in-shell) at Sam’s Club for around $5. It’s amazing how much peanuts will fill you up while providing you with energy.

If you’re from the south or have visited the south before, you’ve probably heard of folks offering Boiled Peanuts. There are signs just about everywhere once you get into Alabamer (yes, Alabamer) and Misippi (yes, Misippi). No need to pronounce words correctly around here, we’re too busy enjoying our boiled peanuts. I wish I could insert an audio clip of how I say boiled for y’all. Words like coil, boil, toilet all come out of my mouth a little on the Paula Deen side. Oh who am I kidding? It sounds a LOT like Paula Deen says boil. simple smile Hot Boiled Peanuts: Its a Southern Thang

So with all the nuts we’ve been eating, I wanted a little change in the nut department. So I though why not boil them?

Since the Hamptom Farms peanuts that I bought were already salted, I knew I didn’t need to salt them again. And I didn’t want them swimming in a bunch of oil (once again, just imagine a little Paula Deen accent). So I used water!

1 big pot full of water, a huge amount of salted and roasted peanuts, and 5 hours later you have hot boiled peanuts good enough to make you slap yo mama! It honestly didn’t get any easier than that.

And we didn’t even have to make a trip down to Alabamer!

Hot Boiled Peanuts: It’s a Southern Thang
 
Recipe Type: Snack, Appetizer
Author: Pennywise Cook

There is nothing to making hot boiled peanuts just like they make on those road-side stands in the south!
Ingredients
  • Any amount of in-shell roasted and salted peanuts
  • Water- to cover the entire amount of peanuts
Instructions
  1. Place the amount of desired peanuts into a large pot.
  2. Cover with water.
  3. Bring to a boil, then lower the temp to a simmer.
  4. Cover and let simmer for 4-5 hours or until the shells begin to give a little and the peanuts inside are soft.
 
Notes

You can of course get peanuts that aren’t salted already, just be sure to salt your water when boiling them.
Your water will evaporate throughout the boiling process, be sure to continue adding more hot water in order to keep the peanuts covered.

 


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Homemade Strawberry Belgian Waffles

Strawberry Belgian Waffles 1 Homemade Strawberry Belgian Waffles

It is MAY! Where in the wide world of sports did March and April get off to? I remember thinking wow, it’s already March and then BOOM it’s  May. I’m mostly caught off-guard because both of my girl’s birthdays are in May which means that mommy has a lot of work to do. My oldest’s birthday is next week and I decided not to procrastinate this year by asking her cake preference a week before instead of, oh, the night before.

These are Mom Of The Year qualities, you know.

She chose My Little Pony with a Rainbow Dash emphasis. For those of you who don’t know about these girly things, just know that I have a lot on my plate next week.

There’s probably a chance that you’d like to know about those big, fluffy waffles up there. I could tell you many stories about when my mom used to make these for me. Without exaggerating, I probably ate 4 of these in one sitting when I was younger.

I could do the same now, but I try to practice self-control.

Strawberry Belgian Waffles 4 Homemade Strawberry Belgian Waffles

My mom always made them from a box. Do not get me wrong, that is normally the very method that I would use. However, since I do have a tendency to eat a redonkulous amount of them, I wanted to make sure and healthify them up just a bit.

These Homemade Strawberry Belgian Waffles contain no butter, oil, or eggs. You could use soy milk or almond milk in place of the milk and you’d have them dairy free! They aren’t artificially made to taste like strawberries like some boxed mixes might work. They are literally made with fresh strawberries which give them a more natural flavor.

I almost called these Strawberry-Banana Belgian Waffles because I used bananas instead of the oil/butter/egg, but the banana taste didn’t come through as much as I was expecting. Even the strawberry taste didn’t become as potent as I would have liked. But if you’re brave and don’t mind a little sugar, you can add a tsp of sugar to the strawberries before adding them to the batter and I’m sure that it will bring out the strawberry flavor a little more.

Strawberry Belgian Waffles 2 Homemade Strawberry Belgian Waffles

I think my favorite part about Belgian waffles as opposed to regular waffles is the fact that they are super fluffy.

I love fluffy food.

Does that sound weird? I’m sure it does, but I don’t care. I like whipped cream, cotton candy, mousse of all kinds, lighter-than-air angel food cakes. You name it, if it’s an ounce away from losing it’s gravity and joining the angels, then I probably enjoy eating it. The key to eating them, at least in my opinion, is to top them with fresh (or sliced and sweetened) strawberries and then give them a few squirts of Reddi Whip. I’m not sure that I could be in the presence of a Belgian waffle that didn’t contain whipped cream. That’s just the way that I was taught to eat them. I wonder what the Belgians think of me…

My waffle iron makes 2 of these at a time. With the amount of batter that I mixed up, I got 4 total. To help you know how many of these you’ll get out of 1 batch. I’d recommend doubling the recipe if you have a hungry bunch.

Believe me, they won’t eat just one.

Recipe adapted from Vegan Heartland.

Strawberry Belgian Waffles 3 Homemade Strawberry Belgian Waffles

Homemade Strawberry Belgian Waffles
 
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: <span class=”mceItemHidden”><span class=”mceItemHiddenSpellWord”>Pennywise</span> Cook- Adapted from Vegan Heartland</span>

Serves: 4
Strawberries add a summery flavor to sweet and tasty belgian waffles! You’d never know these were healthy. There are only about 150 calories per waffle!
Ingredients
  • 1 c flour (I used about 1/4 c whole wheat)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (I used sugar free)
  • 1/4 c mashed banana (about 1 banana)
  • 3/4 c skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c fresh strawberries, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking powder until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine maple syrup, banana, milk, and vanilla. Mix on low until fluffy.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
  4. Then gently fold in the strawberries.
  5. Cook according to your waffle iron’s directions.
  6. Optional) Top with fresh strawberries and Reddi Whip!
 
Notes

– If you wanted to bump up the nutrition, you could also add some flax to these. I used about a 1/4 c whole wheat flour in mine.

– You can use pretty much any type of milk in place of the dairy milk if you’d like. Even coconut milk. It’s just a matter of your preference!

– These don’t have a strong strawberry taste (what’s in a name anyways?), so if you want to bump that up, add about a tsp of sugar to the strawberries. OR you could add the strawberries in the at the beginning and let them mix in well with the wet ingredients. The flavor would disperse a little more there. (I will be trying this myself)

– Or if you have any other suggestions for these, I’d love to hear! They are a work in progress. simple smile Homemade Strawberry Belgian Waffles

 

Facts (per waffle not including toppings): 147 calories, 40 carbs, 0 grams fat, 5 grams protein, 417 gram sodium, 3 grams sugar.


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