$200 Visa Gift Card Giveaway….Smuckers!

This is a sponsored post from BlogHer and Smuckers.

Contest is now over. Congratulations to Shelley Mitchel entry #334 who was chosen by  I have the best memories of bringing my lunch to school because my mom would go out of her way to put special touches inside.  Whether it was a sweet note on my napkin or my favorite treat tucked inside, I will always have fond memories of sitting down to eat my lunch at school.

Now that my boys are in school I try to make their lunches special too.  We make a special trip to the grocery store each week to pick out their favorite healthy treats to put inside their lunch boxes.  There is nothing like being excited to pop open those lunch boxes when the bell rings.  Both of my boys love to draw and create artwork so I will sometimes draw silly pictures to tuck inside their lunches so they can laugh at what a horrible artist Mom is!  On special occasions, I LOVE popping in during lunch to eat with the boys and their friends.  They know when I come eat lunch with them that I usually bring some homemade cookies with me to share :)  I hope that these little things will create memories for my boys just like my mom did for me :)

Create a Kidvitation!

Home can be a busy place with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. That’s why it’s important to set time aside to spend with your kids. Use Smuckers® Kidvitations to invite your kids to share a moment with you over a perfect PB&J. Check it out. >

Enter to win a $200 Visa Gift Card from Smuckers!  Here’s how to enter:

1.  Leave a comment here on Picky Palate telling us….What is something special you do for your kids lunch or what is something special your mom did for your school lunch? See Official Rule Page HERE.

See the other 9 bloggers stories and enter to win their giveaways HERE on the BlogHer Round Up Page.

Visit the Smucker’s Website

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“Family Time, Happy Time”

This is a sponsored post from BlogHer and McDonald’s.

Contest is now over.  Congrats to entry # 77, Angel Jacklyn who was chosen by as the winner. Thanks to all who participated!

I loved taking a sneak peek inside the McDonald’s Brand and company during the McDonald’s Family Time Getaway in Oak Brook, IL.  The McDonald’s representatives could not have been more accommodating and genuine. McDonald’s invited our entire family on this event, what a treat!

We started our McDonald’s experience with lunch at a local McDonald’s Restaurant then spoke to the company’s top executives.  This was one of the highlights of the trip for me.  The women of McDonald’s were beautiful, smart and completely down to earth.  They told us their history with McDonald’s and the things they love about their job.  It was really priceless to hear from these women.

Another highlight of this trip was a tour of the Oak Lawn Ronald McDonald House.  What an amazing organization.  The House is beautiful and helps so many people in need.  I think the whole room was brought to tears listening to the presentation.  I feel lucky to have been a part of it all.

One of my kids’ favorite activities was the “Taste and Tour Quality at McDonald’s:  A Family Sensory Experience and Look Behind the Counter.”  We talked with the quality control team and tasted some yummy breakfast items such as the Egg McMuffin, Apple Dippers and the McGriddle.  My kids were in hog heaven as the servers brought out all of these different items from the McDonald’s Breakfast Menu.

Another discussion that I enjoyed was, “Your Food:  From Farm to Restaurant.  This discussion was about how we as parents can feel good about the food our family eats at McDonald’s.  We talked to the Chicken Doctor who explained that McDonald’s uses only the white meat of quality chicken and also to the McDonald’s Nutritionist who showed us how we can mix and match menu items to equal 600 calories or less.  This was a great discussion.

McDonald’s Executive Chef Dan led a discussion about how McDonald’s menu items go from concept to restaurant.  It was amazing to learn how long the process is to actually get a new recipe on the menu.  There are extensive tests that are done throughout the country.  I loved getting a first taste of the fruit smoothies that are coming out soon and their newest menu item in testing…Fruit and Maple Oatmeal.  It was INCREDIBLE.  I would order it any day of the week!

The kids had a ball cooking with McDonald’s Chef Dan.  They got their very own Chef Hat, apron and had a chance to roll up their sleeves and make their own fruit kebabs and fruit smoothies.  This was a real treat.  Chef Dan and the other Chefs could not have been more kind.

McDonald’s truly went above and beyond for this event. The entire family loved it.  I feel lucky to have been a part to learn more about this incredible brand.


Be sure to enter the Family Time Happy Time Sweepstake for some fun prizes valued at $100.

One Winner will Win:

  • A Smile Tote Bag
  • $25 AMC Gift Card
  • $20 McDonald’s Gift Card
  • Fleece Blanket
  • McDonald’s Frisbee
  • McDonald’s French Fry Playing Cards
  • Monopoly Junior Board Game
  • Organic Lip Balm
  • McDonald’s Vintage Character T-Shirt
  • McDonald’s Stainless Tumbler
  • McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Set

To enter, leave a comment here on Picky Palate telling us… What is your favorite thing to do as a family?  Vacation, sports, reading books, cooking…anything, we want to hear it.

Eligible entrants can do up to two of the following options:

a)      Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b)      Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c)      Blog about this promotion and leave  the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d)     Follow one of the links at and provide your email address and your response to the sweepstakes prompt

See Official Sweepstakes Rules HERE

Come see the other Blogger Reviews on the BlogHer Round Up HERE.

Please leave any questions you might have about the trip or McDonald’s here as well.  Thanks!!

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Real Women of Philadelphia Cook-off!

With over 5000 home cooks who submitted cooking videos of recipes using Philadelphia Cream Cheese, today is the day where 16 finalists will compete in a “Real Women of Philadelphia Cook-off” in Savannah Georgia hosted by Paula Deen!  This all takes place live at 8pm EST tonight where 4 of these women will win $25,000 and get to contribute to a cookbook with their favorite Philadelphia Cream Cheese Recipes. I can’t wait to see who the winners are!!  Be sure to visit The Real Women Of Philadelphia Website for additional behind the scenes footage and an opportunity to talk about the even with other members!

The finalists got a surprise visit from Paula Deen, check out these adorable Pictures :)

Here is a live feed of the event…Good Luck Ladies!!

Watch live streaming video from rwoplive at

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Real Women of Philadelphia Cook Off Event

Hi everyone.  It has been so exciting following the Real Women of Philadelphia Cook-off.  16 female finalists have been chosen to compete in a cook-off in Savannah Georgia Wednesday June 30th where 4 of them will win $25,000 and get to contribute to a cook-book with their favorite Philadelphia Cream Cheese Recipes!  The 4 categories are side dish, appetizer, main dish and dessert.

I used to compete in cooking contests so I know how excited these 16 women must be.  I am especially rooting for my friend Amanda Heaston of Gourmet Mom on the Go, who is competing in the Side Dish category.  I am so proud of her and will be crossing my fingers for her!! For heaven sakes it would be a dream just to meet Paula Deen!  Her recipe is Asparagus and Parmesan Creamy Pastry.  Definitely check out her recipe and video and root her on with me as she competes for $25,000!!

Be sure to visit The Real Women of Philadelphia Website and check out all 16 finalists that will be competing.  This is going to be so much fun to see who wins!  I’ll have a live stream of the even coming up next Wednesday, so stay tuned and we’ll watch who wins together!!

Good luck ladies, give Paula a big hug from all of us!!

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