Flip Flop Giveaway

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Welcome to the Summer Flip Flop Fun Giveaway!

Hosted By: Super Frugal Stephanie

Sponsored By: TableclothsFactory.com

TableclothsFactory.com carries a variety of quality tableclothes, chair covers and more. I am in love with their animal print line its pretty wild!

TableclothsFactory.com has generously sponsored a Branded Flip Flop Giveaway PLUS you will get an item from TableclothsFactory.com as well! We will have 3 winners each getting to choose ONE of three brands of shoes pictured above in their choice of color/size.

Xemie Open Toes Sandals by NINE WEST (Size Options: 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9.5, 10, 10.5 Color Options: Black/Turquoise/White *size availability varies per color) + 20ft x 10ft Authentic Burlap Backdrop (http://www.tableclothsfactory.com/Authe…/bkdp_jute_nat.htm )

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Ava Braided Flip Flops by BEBE (Size Options: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Color Options: Gold/Black/White) + Burlap Runners Medley – Flocking/Stripes/Chevrons/Country Western (http://www.tableclothsfactory.com/Jute-Burlap…/405.htm )

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Keddida Flat Sandal by ALDO (Size Options: 6, 6.5, 7.5, 8.5, 9 Color Options: Clear/Black/Bone) + 60×126” Rectangle Rustic Burlap Tablecloth (http://www.tableclothsfactory.com/…/tab_jute_60126_nat.htm )

aldo

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Now that you have seen all of these AWESOME prizes! Enter for your chance to win below! Good Luck!

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Meal Planning Monday ~ Meatless Alternatives to Backyard Burgers and Dogs

Today’s post is by Casey Lindberg-Coghill of Veggie and Glitter.

Summer is the season of baseball games, beach vacations, and of course, backyard barbecues. Even though sharing a meal with close friends and family on a warm summer evening is something that any of us would enjoy, it can be an incredibly stressful experience for those who have removed meat from their diets.

While most people wouldn’t think twice about tossing a pack of hot dogs or a few hamburgers onto the grill for a quick meal, vegetarians are often left stuffing their faces with baked beans, potato chips, or other unhealthy sides because there simply isn’t anything else available for them to eat.

Vegetarians, there’s no need to starve or stay at home during the dog days of summer. This week’s Meal-Planning Monday consists of cookout-appropriate meals that are big on nutrition and that are easy to whip up on a whim. With just a little bit of forethought, you can indulge in a savory and mouthwatering meal alongside your meat-eating friends at your next summer social gathering.

 

Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers

Photo Credit: Jen of Peas and Crayons

If you’re anything like me, there’s no time that you despise frozen meatless patties more than during the summer months. When I first embraced a meatless diet, I would sneak a little frozen soy disc onto the grill and choke it down while my friends munched on flavorful burgers and hot dogs. I don’t mean to show disdain for frozen veggie burgers, but let’s face it: Any meal begins to taste absolutely terrible when you have it three times a week.

If I’m craving a burger or know that they will be served at a summer party, I now whip up a batch of homemade veggie burgers, which are much more satisfying than any store-bought variety I’ve ever sampled. This particular recipe is one of my favorites because of its unique blend of spices and the fact that it packs tons of protein and essential nutrients.

My meat-loving husband actually begs for these on occasion, so you may find that your non-vegetarian friends will love them as much as you do!

 Savory Corn Tart with Heirloom Tomatoes

Photo Credit: Casey of Veggies and Glitter 

One of my best summer memories involves sitting on the back steps of my childhood home with my sister, husking sweet corn gathered from my great-uncle’s farm. Not much has changed, as one of my favorite things about summer is the increased availability of fresh, local produce, especially sweet corn and tomatoes!

This delicious corn tart, topped with juicy heirloom tomatoes, contains simple ingredients and is a breeze to put together at the last minute and pop in the oven for only 45 minutes. Hearty enough to serve as a main dish for those who don’t eat meat, you could also bring it to a backyard barbecue for friends to enjoy as an accompaniment to whatever they are tossing on the grill.

Grilled Veggie Banh Mi Sandwiches

 Photo Credit: Kiersten of Oh My Veggies

I tasted my first Banh Mi sandwich when I decided to order one on a whim from a vendor at last year’s Southern Ground Music and Food Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. For those who may be unfamiliar with the concept, a Banh Mi sandwich has Vietnamese origins and typically consists of veggies, tofu, or cold cuts soaked in a vinegar-based marinade and served on a baguette.

While I personally loved the tofu-filled concoction I devoured in Charleston, this vegetarian version is more likely to sound appealing to those who would typically load up their sandwiches with meat, making it a great recipe to share with friends who unexpectedly show up on your doorstep. Because the veggies can be prepared on an outdoor grill, it would also be incredibly easy to serve this dish up as a vegetarian-friendly alternative to burgers or hot dugs at any backyard shindig this summer.

 

Three-Bean Salad with Quinoa

Photo Credit: Whole Foods Market

 A pile of fresh fruit, a leafy salad, or a handful of chips may be enough to get you through a cookout at a friend’s house, but it will leave you feeling starved and protein-deprived by the time you leave for the evening.

The next time you’re invited to a backyard burger party, bring along this chilled salad. Because it’s filled with protein, whole grains, and delicious veggies, you can enjoy it as a main entrée, while your buddies can enjoy it as a side.

To add even more essential nutrients to the dish, try cooking your quinoa in low-sodium vegetable stock instead of water and toss in any extra veggies you may have on hand!

Grilled Veggie Pizza

Photo Credit: Marie of Proud Italian Cook

 This recipe is the ideal solution when you’re in the mood for a weekend grilling party but you’re also having a hankering for pizza. Perfect for using up veggies from the farmer’s market that you may not have used throughout the week, this fresh summer meal takes only a couple of minutes to cook on your backyard grill.

In addition to running her wellness blog Veggies and Glitter, Casey Lindberg-Coghill is a freelance writer based out of Charlotte, NC.  Aside from being  a writer, Casey is also a huge bookworm and fashion enthusiast who has rather  unhealthy obsessions with Justin Timberlake and anything pumpkin-flavored.

$50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway 7/14 – 7/28

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Thank you for joining Your Strong Tower and Giveaway Goddess for this awesome giveaway! One lucky reader will win a $50 Amazon eGift card! Read about our awesome sponsor below and enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post! I am a big fan of the Beachbody workouts myself and am currently doing Shaun T’s Insanity.  I’m really anxious to try PiYo next!  Be sure to share with your friends! Good Luck!

About the Sponsor:

Independent Beachbody Coach Michelle Rodriguez

profile michelle rodriguezHello, I am Michelle! I started Beachbody to be able to get my nutrition back on track due to dealing with a disorder that made me allergic to food. I have been dealing with this for over 4 years and before I started the 21 day challenge, I was on over 7 medications. My body was very malnutritioned.

Since I started this program, I was able to get off the majority of my medication and am feeling way better than I have in over 4 years. I am looking to help any one that has been wanting to make and see major changes to their life! I am here to support them as I am fully aware of all the benefits of Shakeology and am about to start a 3-day Refresh on the 21st of July and then starting a challenge group with PiYo. Please join me and lets work together to achieve our goals!

~Michelle Rodriguez

Giveaway Time!!

Michelle has been generous enough to offer one lucky reader a $50 Amazon Gift card! Simply enter on the Rafflecopter below! The more entries you complete, the better your chances of being chosen as the winner! US Residents only please, ends 7/28! Good Luck!

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Disclaimer: This blogs participation in promoting this giveaway does not make them responsible for prize fulfillment. Prize will be fulfilled by Mom Buzz Media and Xtreme Qpon. Winner has 48 hours to respond to the email or they forefit their prize. US Residents only.

Meal Planning Monday ~ Get Creative with Cauliflower

Today’s post is by Bee Mandelberg of Style Island.
As I get older, eating better and planning out my meals gets more and more important to me. In the old days as a single, social woman I would rely on take-out, a busy dinner social calendar, and a rotation of tuna fish sandwiches, pasta, and soup. Now, however, what I eat and when I eat is has become not only a focus, but a priority. I food shop and eat not for one, but for two now, and I love cooking for us… most nights. But thinking of what to make, and mapping it out can sometimes prove challenging. One of those biggest challenges can be figuring out how to provide variety in your meals. Ground turkey with vegetables is delicious, and boyfriend approved, but not exactly worthy of 5 nights of dinners. But, one of the simplest ways to create that variety is by exploring different ways to cook one food. A spin on an already tried and true success that performs both change and a twist. Case in point? Cauliflower. Not only a healthy option, but a delicious one, and easy to implement into any meal, even five nights worth of them!
Cauliflower Au Gratin
  • 1 head Cauliflower
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp flour
Roast cauliflower in oven at 400 degrees w/ olive oil, black pepper and salt for a few minutes. At same time, make sauce with all the ingredients in a pot and simmer. Pour over done cauliflower and put back in oven for 15 minutes until brown.

 

Cauliflower Potato Salad
This is my personal spin off on one of my favorite recipes from the South Beach Diet. I always have it in my rotation because it’s easy, healthy and delicious!
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt / pepper
  • paprika
Cook cauliflower until soft and put in a bowl. Mix with all the remaining ingredients and then sprinkle with paprika and lemon juice. Refrigerate for a few hours, serve cold.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Cook cauliflower for  8-10 minutes until soft. On pan, cover in 2 tbsp Olive oil, 3 garlic gloves, salt, pepper, and lemon. Cook in oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until crispy.
Cauliflower & Turkey Meatballs
I bought pre-made turkey meatballs from Fresh Direct and cooked them with cauliflowers and tomato sauce for my own take on a hearty dinner.
Bee Mandelberg is a lifestyle blogger and writer at Style Island.
A New York City native, she adores rifling through her mom’s closet for vintage
clothes, pretending to be Parisian and obsessively watching horror movies. You
can find her carrying a Vogue in one hand, and a cappuccino in the
other.

$50 Amazon Giveaway ~ Pinterest Follows

Please follow the Pinterest accounts below, then go back to the main Rafflecopter to claim your entries! Good Luck!

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$50 Amazon Giveaway ~ Facebook Page 3

Please follow the Facebook pages below, then go back to the main Rafflecopter to claim your entries! Good Luck!

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$50 Amazon Giveaway ~ Facebook Page1

Please follow the Facebook pages below, then go back to the main Rafflecopter to claim your entries! Good Luck!

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Transformers: Age of Extinction Giveaway!

We’re continuing with our Summer Blockbuster Giveaway theme, and this time it’s Transformers: Age of Extinction!   Boys especially will love this return of their favorite robots to the big screen: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Grimlock, plus the Dynobots!

Your Strong Tower, Two Classy Chics, and a great group of bloggers have teamed up with TableclothsFactory.com to bring you the Transformers Giveaway!  Win one of three Transformers Age of Extinction toys AND mom gets a great item from Tablecloths Factory to transform their dining room table into something special!  I can remember my little brother and his friends playing with Transformers years ago when they first came out.  Now my nephew is playing with them!  It’s cool to see their lasting appeal to kids.

Our first lucky winner will receive Transformers Age of Extinction Generations Leader Class Optimus Prime Figure and the Chevron Sequin Table Overlay.

Our second winner will score a Transformers Age of Extinction Generations Leader Class Grimlock Figure and a Rectangle Duchess Sequin Tablecloth.

Our third prize winner will receive a Transformers Movie 4 Generations Voyager Class Evasion Mode Optimus Prime Figure and a Fashionista Table Overlay.

TableclothsFactory.com has a vast selection of colorful linens and décor items for all of your late summer and early fall festivities, including family reunions, business conferences, or early fall weddings.   If you need chair covers, tablecloths, runners, sashes or simply table napkins, TableClothsFactory.com has you covered with gorgeous fabrics in a rainbow of colors. And don’t forget, they also carry great party supplies such as favors, balloons, LED lights, and cake stands to fulfill all of your entertaining and decorating needs.

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Giveaway runs from Wednesday July 9th to Monday, July 14th 2014. Contest is open to US residents age 18 and up. (Sorry, prizes cannot be shipped to Hawaii or Alaska.)  Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize, otherwise another winner will be chosen. Your Strong Tower is not responsible for prize shipment.

 

Meal Planning Monday ~ The Dairy Debacle

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

If you’ve been following my Meal Planning Monday blog for any length of time, you know how much I love cheese!  So, you can imagine my dismay when my natural health practitioner told me that I was sensitive to dairy and if I wanted to see real improvement in my allergy symptoms, I need to cut way back on milk products.  (My biggest allergy is mold… and cheese is essentially moldy milk, so this definitely stands to reason.)

I was glad that my health practitioner recommended a gradual replacement of my dairy products with alternatives rather than going cold-turkey.  She had me keep a food diary so we could pinpoint potential problems.  The first week of keeping the food dairy was an eye-opening experience!  I didn’t realize how much dairy I was eating every day: half & half in my coffee, whey protein in my post-workout smoothie, a slice of cheese on my breakfast sandwich, string cheese for a snack, cheese on my taco salad for lunch, cheese on my turkey burger for dinner, and Greek yogurt for my evening snack.  Yes, that is a LOT of dairy on a typical day for me.  So, one by one, I’ve started replacing all of that mucus-producing dairy with other options.

 My coffee is extremely important to me and I like it to taste good!  I normally sweeten it with a little stevia or coconut sugar, add a dash of cinnamon or cocoa powder, and some half-and-half.  I began replace ½ of the half-and-half with vanilla coconut milk until I worked up to all coconut milk.  I also liked the chocolate almond milk as a coffee creamer, but my husband drank most of it because it is that delicious.

Finding a replacement for my protein powder was a little more challenging.  I’m doing Shaun T’s Insanity program right now, and I feel better post-workout if I have a good protein shake.  My stomach is sensitive to artificial sweeteners, so I had to find one that was whey-free and sweetened with stevia.  I finally settled on PlantFusion which is actually a vegan protein powder.  It is slightly grainy, but blended with a frozen banana and berries, it’s very tasty.

I’ll admit, I had a lot of heartache over finding a replacement for my favorite evening snack – Greek yogurt.  It took me a while to warm up to coconut “yogurt” (cultured coconut milk).  I also realized that I don’t HAVE to have yogurt as my final snack of the day.  I could have some berries, nuts, or a little bit of Enjoy Life’s dairy-free dark chocolate chunks.  Or… some of this awesome Cookies ‘n Cream coconut “ice cream”!

Here are some other things I’ve learned during this process of culling out dairy from my diet:

  • I’m not alone in my quest to avoid dairy.  As I’ve talked to friends about it, I was surprised how many others were avoiding  it because of allergies, stomach issues, or a desire to avoid added hormones.
  • Butter doesn’t affect my allergies at all!  Yay for butter!!  The one dairy product I can eat with almost abandon!  (Grass-fed, organic butter is best – which thankfully I can buy that at my co-op).
  • By putting turkey bacon on my egg sandwich – instead of on the side – I don’t miss having the cheese.  Also, using hummus or pesto as a spread on my sandwiches serves as a good replacement for cheese.
  • I feel weird about asking the waiter to “hold the cheese” when ordering in restaurants.
  • I wonder, “Is it possible to OD on coconut products?”  I hope not!

Do you have any food allergies?  If so, what do you do to avoid your triggers?

 

 

Meal Planning Monday ~ 4th of July

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

Summer is my favorite season, and 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays!  What better way to celebrate America’s birthday than with exploding fireworks and great food!  This year my husband and I carry on the tradition of celebrating the 4th of July with our good friends.  Their fireworks show rivals the professional ones put on by the local cities.  So while the guys are bonding over the impending pyrotechnics display, the ladies are in the kitchen “oohing and aahing” over the delicious dishes lining the dinner buffet.  This year, I’m bringing a twist on traditional potato salad, Southwestern Potato Salad.

Whether you are hosting the 4th of July festivities this year, or bringing a dish to someone else’s party, my blogger friends and I have banded together to give you some patriotic dessert inspiration.  No doubt, your friends and family will be “oohing and aahing” over your contribution to America’s birthday celebration!  There’s also a patriotic jewelry craft tutorial for those of you want to add and a red-white-and-blue touch to your outfit.

Strawberry Kool-Aid Pie

 Check out this easy and patriotic pie from Cyndie Norell at Reviewz & Newz! Who wouldn’t love a slice of this great-tasting pie?

 

Patriotic Strawberries

 If you’re short on time, but still want to wow everyone with your 4th of July dessert contribution, whip up a batch of Amy Desrosiers’ Patriotic Strawberries!  With berries being in peak season right now, these are sure to be delicious.

 

Patriotic Star Chocolate Cupcakes

 Another great dessert recipe from Amy Desrosiers’ other website, SizzlingEats.com!  Kids and adults alike will love these All-American cupcakes.

Red, White, & Blue Earrings

Feeling crafty?  Learn how to make these earrings in a jiffy from Rachel Furlong of The Philosopher’s Wife.  A great finishing touch to your 4th of July party outfit!

What are your plans for the 4th of July this year?