Back to School Recipe for the Whole Familia with Smart & Final

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChooseSmart #CollectiveBias

Trying to make life easier for myself is a personal daily goal of mine. It's sounds selfish when I say it that way, but let's be honest, being the Mom and Wife requires a lot of hard work. Yes, I love being the Mom and Wife, but why not try to make things as easy as possible, for myself? To me, that means picking out clothes for the entire week on Sunday, leaving backpacks by the front door so we don't forget them, and meal prepping as many meals as possible ahead of time. Prep day is always pretty busy, but I always start at the market.

Smart & Final is rebranding and if you check out thecommercial, you will see that they aim to highlight the company's heritage and remind everyone that they serve as both a warehouse & market so everyone in the neighborhood can have a one stop shopping experience. I love being able to pick up everything on my list and then some. On this day I was really happy to see an inclusion of a new Organic brand, Sun Harvest. Sun Harvest items range from organic items to products that are all-natural with no hormones added, to natural cleaning products that are earth-friendly and biodegradable.

Today I'm sharing my whole family lunch recipe. Yup, I used the same few Sun Harvest ingredients to create a make ahead lunch for me, my husband and the kids. Now that the kids are heading back to school, I have got to get back on track with eating healthier and because I make his lunch, my husband does too. Keep reading to see how I got my entire family to eat Kale!

 For this recipe you will need:

Sun Harvest Organic Chicken Breast (cooked and sliced)

Sun Harvest Organic Buttermilk Ranch Dressing


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Parmesean Cheese

Wheat tortillas

Wheat bread

and any other lunch items you might have on hand.

For my Husband's lunch I made a

Kale-Chicken-Ranch Wrap

 Here's what you do:

Step 1: Brown the Sun Harvest organic chicken in a pan with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper to taste. The chicken will cook through in about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Step 2: While the chicken cooks, wash and chop the Kale then add 3-4 tablespoons of Sun Harvest organic buttermilk ranch dressing and sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of Parmesean cheese, toss to dress.

Step 3: Once the chicken is cooked, remove from pan and slice into pieces.

Step 4: Flatten out a wheat tortilla and place a heaping amount of Kale mix down the center and add chicken.

Step 5: Wrap like a burrito, slice in half and place it in an airtight container in the fridge.

 For my lunch, I made a mason jar Kale-Chicken-Ranch salad

It really is very simple.

Step 1: Pour about 2 tablespoons of Sun Harvest organic buttermilk ranch dressing on the bottom of the mason jar.

Step 2: Add about 2 cups of Kale. I think the Kale is pretty strong and can withstand being near the dressing.

Step 3: Add chopped chicken and Parmesean cheese and close with the lid.

Refrigerate overnight and when it's time for lunch mix it or shake it up and enjoy.

 I have to brag that I got my kids to eat Kale, for my kids lunch I made them a Kale-Chicken-Ranch Salad Sandwich.

For this recipe all you need to do is mix the Kale, Sun Harvest organic buttermilk ranch dressing, parmesean cheese and diced chicken all together and then put it in a sandwich. I used wheat bread and cut it into triangles. As you can see below, if you place them just right and add a slightly split string cheese, you get a lovely butterfly that my kids excitedly ate. To round out their lunch, I added some Sun Harvest organic baby carrots and First Street pretzel thins.

Could it get any easier than this? I will be making our lunches like this as often as possible and I am just so glad that I don't hear any complaints. Oh, I added some chips to my husband's lunch. His wraps are good and hearty with the Kale, but let's be honest, the man needs a little bit more lunch than that.

Feel free to Pin these to Pinterest for lunch inspiration. And for my California peeps, did you know that  Smart & Final offers Instacart? When you sign up online you'll get free delivery AND Smart & Final is providing you a $5 off coupon! Enter SMART5 to get $5 off at checkout. You'll shop online and enjoy your groceries being delivered to you!

If you LOVE Sweepstakes, I got one for you!

Sun Harvest Sweepstakes.

Show us your favorite Sun Harvest item on Twitter and Instagram with #SFSunHarvestSweeps for your chance to win! You could win a $100 SmartCash card, 20 winners will be chosen. Contest runs August 26 - September 1

FYI: Smart & Final is scheduled to open 16 additional Smart & Final Extra! stores including three store conversions throughout the year, is one near you? Make sure to follow Smart & Final on FacebookTwitter and online for more contests, deals and recipes!

I'd love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comment section below! 

Fun Back to School Lunch Recipe #ChooseSmart

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChooseSmart

I am exhausted! Our first day is behind us now and I am just trying to readjust back into school mode. My favorite part of back to school this year is packing lunches for my daughter and coming up with fun, different


to keep it exciting for her (and me). It is no secret that I love to find a good deal and for this shopping trip I went to

Smart & Final

to stock up on groceries. I am so glad to say my daughter has been trying new foods this past summer and one recipe she loved was this pasta salad.

For this recipe I bought First Street ingredients from Smart & Final and saved tons of money on great quality.

You will need:

First Street Macaroni & Cheese Dinner (1 box)

First Street Italian Dressing (2 TSP or to flavor)

First Street Colby Jack Cheese (1 slice lengthwise)

and Broccoli (1/2 cup)

Step 1: 

Boil a pot of water to prepare for the Macaroni & Cheese. 

Once the Macaroni is tender, remove a cup of Macaroni and set aside. 

You can continue following the instructions on the box to make the rest of the Macaroni & Cheese. 

Step 2: 

Slice the Colby Jack cheese lengthwise and either cube or use a small cookie cutter for fun shapes.

Step 3:

Chop the broccoli to desired size

Step 4:

Toss all ingredients together with 2 tsp of Italian dressing. 

Step 5: 

Add the pasta salad to your child's lunch box and refrigerate. Ta-da!

I love this recipe because I get to sneak in some vegetables into her lunch without her protesting.

Technically, you can put the dressing separate from the salad and have your child mix it in at lunch time, but for me, this salad is the best the next day after the dressing has saturated into the pasta and broccoli over night. 

How delicious does this lunch look? What a lucky kid! Yogurt, Apple slices, a few Vanilla cookies and a marshmallow bear (that I cut with a cookie cutter) and a delicious Italian pasta salad! 

I love First Street ingredients at Smart & Final. When you are on a budget like me, you can get much more fresh groceries at a better price and with the savings you make at the grocery store it helps make it easier to put in the extra effort for fun lunches. 

Just a few fresh First Street ingredients from Smart & Final and you have a delicious lunch! 

Oh and in case this hasn't crossed your mind yet, you know that you can double the portions and have the same lunch for you, your other kiddos and the husband. Just an idea! 

Oh and in case you were wondering what I did with the leftover First Street Macaroni & Cheese, I just added it to another lunch! I also made a wrap with wheat tortillas, lunch meat and First Street String Cheese that I picked up at Smart & Final and sliced it into 3 portions for a lunch side along with chopped apples and a Juicy Juice wrapped in a happy note from Mom. 

I save so much money on the grocery bill when I do my shopping at Smart & Final and their prices on their First Street products are just undeniable, you can also find other fun recipes on the

Smart & Final Social Circular

You can also follow them on




to get the latest on their promotions and deals. Right now Smart & Final has a Back to School sweepstakes going on their Facebook!

Go check it out!

What's the most fun recipe you've added to your child's lunch lately?

Quick Easter Recipe #ChooseSmart

This recipe for an Easy Easter Breakfast is a part of a Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #Shop hosted by the social shopper media company Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. 
All opinions and photos are my own. 

Easter is just around the corner and I don't know about your house, but mine can get a little hectic on holiday mornings. We are always rushing to get ready and out the door on time for church, family's houses, or the park for the big family Easter picnic. 
I guess it goes without saying, and if you are a mom I know you get it, I am always in a rush. I like to make things as simple as possible. So when I do my shopping I like to go to Smart & Final for good quality ingredients at a great value. This week I checked out the brand new Smart & Final at Midtown Crossing on Pico in Los Angeles. If you are near the area, you have got to stop in and check it out. It's so clean, bright, organized and stocked!  #ChooseSmart
I had so much fun shopping for these ingredients in this store. I like when I can find quality ingredients like First Street products at great price, this makes me and my husbands wallet happy. 

Okay, now let me share with you this super easy, but special Easter breakfast. These Cheesy Egg-Tater muffins and Berry Delicious waffles can all be prepped in 20 minutes and on the table in another 20 minutes. (Clean up time is additional, I suggest you just leave it until the morning.) 

Cheesy Egg-Tater Muffins
6-10 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
2 slices of Ham Steak chopped to bite size
First Street frozen Tater treats
First Street Shredded Cheddar and Mozzarella
*Really, you can add anything your hungry heart desires. This particular recipe is fail-proof for my kids, but personally, I would add diced tomatoes and some spinach to mine. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. First crack eggs into a medium mixing bowl and add milk. Now, whip this up until it's good and fluffy! I like to add a little pepper and garlic salt add this point for some extra flavor. 
2. Pour egg/milk mixture into individual muffin molds about 2/3 full. 
3. Sprinkle the chopped ham steak into the molds. 
4. Place one First Street Tater Treat into each muffin mold. 
5. Top with First Street shredded cheese.
Bake for 13 minutes at 350 degrees. 

and yes.. waffles! 

Berry Delicious Waffles
First Street Non-Stick Baking Spray
Pancake/Waffle Mix (additional ingredients may apply)
Whipped Creme
First Street Mixed Berries

1. Spray your waffle maker with First Street Non-Stick baking Spray.
2. Mix up your favorite Waffle batter and get to waffle making. (Every one has a different batter and iron, so times may vary)
3. Add First Street Mixed Berries to a small pot on low-medium heat. Do not add water, but if you feel like being naughty, go ahead and add some sugar. 
4. Plate your waffles, top with whipped creme, and add warm berries.
*Of course, you can just use syrup... or go crazy and add yogurt and granola, or fresh fruit! (Smart & Final has a great produce section) 

So what do you think ? Will you try my fail proof Easy Easter Breakfast? What will you add to make it your own? And, you know if you need some more recipes using First Street or other Smart & Final brands, you can check them out on Twitter or Facebook. They are good to follow for tips and deals. 

$30 or under meals from Smart & Final

The holidays are such a crazy time for our family, what could be better than a 30 minute meal? With the cold weather and the days so much shorter, I try to make quick, warm meals for my family of 6 on a budget. Yup, my household consists of 4 adults and 2 children (my husband and I, my daughters, and my parents). It seems like everyone is getting home at different times or busy doing different things, so the one way to maintain some normalcy in my household is to have a nice warm dinner ready for us all to sit down and eat. The fact that this meal is quick and delicious is just a bonus, the best part is that the ingredients cost $30 or less if you #ChooseSmart. 
 I like to do my grocery shopping at Smart & Final for my one stop shopping for all ingredients, from fresh produce to meats. Smart & Final has both warehouse size and regular size items without paying a club fee and the trouble of going to a big warehouse. Smart & Final really is ideal for all of your holiday shopping! Make sure to check out Smart& Final on Twitter and Facebook.

Read on for my 30 Minute Homemade Lasagna (for under $30)
3 lb First Street Ground Meat (I used ground Turkey)
45 oz. First Street Traditional Pasta Sauce
2 lb bag First Street Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese
1 box First Street Lasagna Noodles
32 oz First Street Sour Cream
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Start a large pot of water to boil. Season (I use garlic salt and pepper) and begin browning your meat. 
2. Once the meat is brown add the pasta sauce and lower the heat and add the lasagna noodles to the boiling water. The noodles take about 5-7 minutes to cook to al dente. 
3. Remove the noodles from the boiling water and let them sit on a paper towel to get rid of excess water.
4. Time to begin layering. In a casserole dish, start laying out your first layer of noodles next to each other, slightly overlapping. 
Then spoon the meat sauce onto the noodles and spread out along the noodles. 
Next, drop spoonfuls of sour cream on top of the meat sauce, and spread out. 
Last, add enough handfuls of First Street Shredded Cheddar Jack cheese to cover. 
Repeat layers until your casserole is about to overflow.

5.Bake until all the cheese is melted on the top (about 10 minutes).
6. Serve it up and ENJOY!

This recipe is easy enough for those days you need to whip something up or when you need to bring something delicious to a pot luck or party. Let me know if you follow my recipe or add your own spins to it. Thanks for reading!