Four Delicious Ways to Enjoy a Ritz Cracker

By Holly Sosa


If you’re a mom, crackers are probably a staple in your home. I know for me, my pantry is always stocked with a few boxes of my kiddos favorite RITZ Crackers. They’re delicious all on their own, but we have loads of fun dreaming up different ways to top them off before enjoying them together. Never one to shy from a challenge, I created four to share with you in hopes to inspire your next event or family snack time.

Unicorn RITZ

Inspired by the recent #unicorntoast trend on Instagram, I took to creating colored cream cheese using fruits in a variety of colors. For red, I used strawberry jam mixed with cream cheese. For orange, apricots. For yellow, pineapple. And for purple, blueberries. This one is so easy and a great way for smaller kiddos to have fun helping you in the kitchen while learning colors.

Strawberry Cheesecake RITZ

Enjoy miniature versions of your favorite dessert by topping your RITZ Crackers with a dollop of cream cheese and top it all off with some strawberry pie filling.

Jalapeño Popper Toppers

Enjoy zesty flavor by combining cream cheese with shredded Mexican cheese and top ping it off with a thin slice of jalapeño pepper.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Popper RITZ

Take the classic Jalapeño Popper Topper one step further by wrapping it up in a slice of bacon and baking it until crispy. You’ll never eat one without the crispy addition of a RITZitz Ccracker after you try it this way.

Using RITZ Crackers and cream cheese, both sweet and savory toppers are easy to pull together and can help me with all of my entertaining needs. Save $1 on cream cheese (8 oz. or larger, selected varieties) when you buy 2 (two) boxes of RITZ Crackers (10.3 oz. or larger, selected varieties) at your local Albertson’s Companies store and you can recreate any of today’s recipes shared here or dream up your own!

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Four Delicious Ways to Eat a RITZ

Ingredients

    Unicorn RITZ
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • strawberry jam or pie fillings in flavors of choice (one tablespoon of each)
  • Strawberry Cheesecake RITZ
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can strawberry pie filling
  • Jalapeno Popper Toppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper RITZ
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 8 slices bacon

Instructions

    Unicorn RITZ
  1. Divide cream cheese into four small bowls.
  2. Add strawberry jam (or pie filling of choice) to bowls. Add a different flavor for each bowl.
  3. Combine well.
  4. Top RITZ Cracker & enjoy!
  5. Strawberry Cheesecake RITZ
  6. Spread softened cream cheese over RITZ.
  7. Top with spoonful of strawberry pie filling.
  8. Enjoy!
  9. Jalapeno Popper Topper
  10. Combine cream cheese with cheddar cheese.
  11. Spread over RITZ Cracker.
  12. Finish off with a slice of jalapeno.
  13. Enjoy!
  14. Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper RITZ
  15. Combine cream cheese with cheddar cheese and spread over RITZ Crackers.
  16. Top with a slice of jalapeno.
  17. Wrap a slice of bacon all the way around.
  18. Place on baking pan.
  19. Repeat until desire amount of RITZ Crackers achieved.
  20. Bake at 400F for 5-10 minutes or until bacon is crispy.
  21. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying!
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Find additional recipes and Ritz topper inspiration here.

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

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Strawberry Shortcake Bars

By Holly Sosa

Living in Southern California, spring brings with it baskets full of strawberries. And once the sweet berries are ripe enough, my kiddos devour them by the bowls full. From strawberry jam to a simple bowl of berries diced up over oatmeal, my family enjoys all the strawberry has to offer. When Bob’s Red Mill asked me to share one of my favorite springtime recipes in partnership with them, I knew I’d feature these deliciously sweet berries. One of our favorite desserts are my Strawberry Shortcake Bars and I make quite the spectacle out of them by refusing to whip them up in any other months than April or May. After all, that’s peak strawberry season and as far as I’m concerned that’s when the best strawberries are harvested. See how serious we Californians take our sweet fruit?

To make these delicious bars, I start off with a full cup of butter, a dash of vanilla, and some sugar.

Once it’s all creamed together, I slowly add in my Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour. Their All-Purpose Flour is unbleached, unbromated, enriched baking flour milled from high quality North American wheat. Bob’s Red Mill offers a variety of premium baking flours like Paleo Baking Flour or Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (both of which can be substituted in this recipe), making them ideal for spring baking.

The dough that forms is flaky, but easy to mold. I transfer the dough to a prepared (greased or oiled) baking pan and press it into the bottom of the pan, ensuring it covers the entire surface.

Next I bake it at 350F for thirty minutes; then I remove it and let it cool completely before moving on to the topping.

For the topping, I simply added a brick of room temperature cream cheese to a cup of melted white chocolate chips to my mixer bowl and combined them together.

I spread the delicious topping all over the bottom layer in the pan.

Finally, I cover the whole thing with plenty of strawberries that I had previously washed and chopped up.

These positively delectable Strawberry Shortcake Bars are a whole-family-pleaser. Husband, kiddos, and even mama all enjoy this tasty dessert. It’s simple to whip up the day before a spring barbecue or event and features one of springs best harvests with plenty of juicy strawberries over a bed of moist cake and fluffy topping.

Yum
Strawberry Shortcake Bars

Ingredients

    Bottom Layer:
  • one cup sugar
  • one cup butter, softened
  • one teaspoon vanilla
  • two cups Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
  • Top Layer
  • one brick cream cheese (8 ounces)
  • one cup white chocolate chips, melted
  • two cups washed and diced strawberries

Instructions

    Bottom Layer:
  1. Combine sugar, butter, and vanilla in mixer. Mix on medium speed for about one minute.
  2. Add flour and mix until just combined. Dough will be crumbly.
  3. Press dough into prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool completely before adding topping.
  6. Top Layer
  7. In mixer combine one brick cream cheese with white chocolate until combined.
  8. Spread over top of bottom layer.
  9. Top with strawberries.
  10. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for later.
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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill. Thank you to Bob’s Red Mill for partnering with me. And thank you readers for supporting the brands that support this blog and my family.

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World Vision Global 6K for Water

By Holly Sosa

I was compensated by World Vision for my time in writing this post. All opinions are my own.

World Vision has long been a part of my family. For a little over a year, we’ve sponsored a child with the same ethnicity and age as Collin’s older brother, Liam, who passed away shortly after birth. This connection makes our bond all the more meaningful for our family. We believe in World Vision and their initiatives, which is why when it came time to sign up for the World Vision Global 6K for Water, we were thrilled to join in and bring awareness to the extreme need for clean water to developing countries.

Almost 1,000 children under the age of five (that’s nearly Evelyn’s age – my youngest) die every day from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene. In Ethiopia alone, nearly 40 million people lack clean water sources and an estimated 70 million live without adequate sanitation. Every day, people (mostly women and children who carry the burden of finding and carrying water each day) around the world walk an average of 3.7 miles, or 6 kilometers, in search of water, and the water they do find is often contaminated with life-threatening diseases.

World Vision is dedicated to helping solve this crisis and provides a new person with clean water every 30 seconds as part of their full solution to end poverty. In 2015, World Vision provided access to clean water to 2.3 million people, and the organization’s goal is to provide clean water and sanitation to one new person every 10 seconds by 2020. World Vision provides people with safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education to decrease illnesses, improve health and lessen the burden on women and children.

Safe drinking water, improved sanitation, good hygiene, and good water resource management can lead to a reduction in child mortality, cut transmission of malaria, improve public health, and reduce extreme poverty, which is why World Vision targets these specific issues in their initiatives. Combining water, sanitation and hygiene solutions together can cut preventable child deaths by up to 57 percent, reduce chronic malnutrition by 40 percent, reduce school absenteeism among girls by 50 percent, and obtain an 8:1 economic return in target communities. World Vision believes fiercely that the global water and sanitation crisis can be solved within our lifetime, but it starts with awareness.

Friends, I ask you to share this post with your family and friends. Sign up for the World Vision Global 6K for Water with me and help to bring awareness to these seemingly simplistic problem that can be solved in our lifetimes with help from organizations like World Vision. Let’s talk about these problems and stand behind World Vision with support.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON TEAM WORLD VISION, BE SURE TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITE. YOU CAN ALSO VISIT WORLD VISION ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, OR INSTAGRAM FOR MORE WAYS TO GIVE.

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The World Vision Global 6K for Water

By Holly Sosa

global 6k for water

I was compensated by World Vision for my time in writing this post. All opinions are my own.

This May I’ll be walking in the World Vision Global 6K for Water organized by Team World Vision. As part of the team, we are passionate people who will walk, run, or race to help children get clean drinking water. The Team World Vision’s water projects and initiatives work in harmony with World Vision’s other work in areas of development, such as healthcare, education, food, and economic development. This approach helps to solve the root causes of poverty rather than providing temporary help. On May 6th, Team World Vision members will walk, run, or race a full 6K (3.7 miles) to illustrate the average distance that people in the developing world (often young girls and women) walk for water each day. This walk is often dangerous and the water is typically contaminated with life-threatening diseases. The urgency is real and the need is great, which is why this walk is important. There are four ways you can help now before the race.

Register for the 6K

global 6k for water

To register, a fee of $50 supports these programs and secures your spot in the walk. You’ll also receive a World Vision Global 6K shirt, a race bib with a photo of a child in need of a sponsor, and a race medal. Join a local host site to walk with other Global 6K for Water participants near you.

Become a host site

Work together with your church, school, community center, team, or club to register as a host site (it’s free!) and spread the word. Set a goal of just ten people or even up to one hundred people! World Vision will help and equip you with all of the materials, signage, and race day support to ensure a successful outcome.

Create a virtual team

global 6k for water

Invite your family and friends from across the country to join your team and participate. You can work together, even from far apart! You’ll each be walking or running from your own neighborhoods, but together you can increase your impact.

Do it from home

global 6k for water

Walk or run the Global 6K for Water right at home on your block. You could even do it right from your home gym or on the treadmill at your local gym. Make it a family event and walk together after school with your kiddos (thank to donors, the registration fee for kids 15 and under is only $25).

Team World Vision was founded in 2006 and since then they have helped to raise $30 million for World Vision’s work around the world to support water programs in these developing areas. Walk with me this May and help to get your community involved. Be a part of bringing clean water to children who need it most.

For additional information on Team World Vision, be sure to visit their website. You can also visit World Vision on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for more ways to give.

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The Monroe Kimono

By Holly Sosa

This week, in my LuLaRoe VIP Group, I’m featuring the Monroe Kimono and I couldn’t resist sharing this lovely piece with all of you beauties, too! The Monroe is a kimono with fringe at the bottom and has a boho chic feel to it. It comes in sizes small and large, which fit a wide variety of body types and sizes (I’m a size 16 and can wear both easily). With warmer weather finally here, it’s the perfect addition to a spring/summer wardrobe. In fact, I can’t wait to wear mine as a swimsuit cover up on the beach and at the pool.

Last week, I styled my Monroe with a pair of distressed jeans and a striped tank. Monroe is easy to slip on over any outfit or dress for instant boho chic.

As a desert dweller, I have a deep love for the Monroe because it’s a light cover up that doesn’t add bulk or weight to my looks. It’s light and airy so I stay comfortable while also looking feminine.

This week only, I’ll be offering free shipping on all Monroes in my VIP group. They are $48 each plus tax, but shipping will be free making this the perfect time to snatch one up before the summer weather gets here!

Join my LuLaRoe VIP Group through our Facebook page for weekly giveaways, shopping, style tips, and more.

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Easter Popcorn

By Holly Sosa

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

One of my favorite ways to celebrate coming holidays is by whipping up some festive popcorn that features bright colors and sweet and savory flavors. Inspired by the DOVE® Peanut Butter Eggs and M&M’S® White Chocolate (new and exclusive at Walmart), I put together this pastel, chocolate covered dream of a concoction my kiddos have dubbed Easter Popcorn. It’s a fun treat that pleases the eyes as much as it pleases the tastebuds and feels positively festive to enjoy during this warmer spring weather.

To start, I popped some popcorn fresh over my stove with plenty of flaky salt.

Next I poured it all over a sheet of parchment paper to cool off.

Once it was dry, I melted some pink and purple candies and drizzled both colors all over the popcorn, giving it a nice coating.

While the candy was still wet, I sprinkled over a generous amount of M&M’S® White Chocolate.

I let everything cool down and harden for about an hour before adding a few DOVE® Peanut Butter Eggs to the mix for a chocolate surprise & then scooping up the Easter Popcorn into a few clear Easter eggs, which I also found at Walmart.

These fun Easter Popcorn eggs are a fun way to store the snack for later guests or even for Easter baskets. I love how the colors of the popcorn show through, enticing the recipient!

As a mother of five, Walmart is my Easter destination this spring. With exclusive Mars candy like M&M’S® White Chocolate, the new DOVE® Peanut Butter Eggs (you guys, these are so good!), and Starburst® Jelly Beans Strawberry, all of my basket needs are covered. And when I combine the savings by using Ibotta, it ensures I save money while still giving my kiddos a memorable Easter experience.

For additional Walmart-inspired Easter recipes, crafts, and more, be sure to visit the Walmart website to hunt for your own savings while being inspired from other bloggers like me as our work is featured on the site.

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Black Beans & Rice

By Holly Sosa

This post was sponsored by S&W Beans as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

As the mother of a Latino family, there’s nothing I can whip up faster than Black Beans & Rice when I need a side dish that I know everyone will eat and that I don’t mind them eating since it’s a healthier option. My recipe is simple, but full of flavor thanks to the use of S&W Beans, a few secret ingredients (that will no longer be secret after this, ha!) passed down to me from Jacob’s Abuelita.

I start with a bit of olive oil in my cast iron.

Once my pan is warm, I add about half of a finely diced onion and simmer the onion until it stars to brown.

Then I add in some finely diced garlic and simmer for about a minute before adding in my rice and allowing it to simmer for another couple of minutes.

Next I added in chicken broth. Yes, chicken broth instead of water. Oh, the flavor! You’ll never go back to cooking rice in water again!

I add in some salt, pepper, and some cumin (this is a Latino dish, of course!) before stirring everything together and letting it all come to a biol.

Once it’s boiling, I turn down the heat to low and cover the pot, allowing the steam to do it’s work on the rice. This takes roughly twenty minutes or so.

Lastly, I add in a can of S&W Black Chili Beans. It has just enough extra flavor without overpowering the rice. I don’t even drain them because I love to keep all that flavorful juice in the rice. Besides, if it gets too soupy, putting the lid back on to let the pot simmer just a while longer will thicken it right up. My husband gives me a hard time about not making my beans from scratch (it’s the Puerto Rican in him), but as a busy mom, I’m perfectly fine with taking a shortcut by using these delicious canned beans; especially since S&W saves me time without sacrificing taste.

Now through April, S&W Beans is offering $1 off 2 cans of S&W Beans. Get (and print) your coupon from the S&W Beans website.

S&W Beans has the highest standards in the industry, delivering premium quality for over 120 years, so I can rest easy even though I didn’t make them from scratch (I bet my husband wouldn’t even be able to tell, ha!) . They look great and taste great, plus they offer 50% less sodium and they have organic options.

After adding the beans, I give everything a good stir before serving it up. As a sucker for garnish, I always top this tasty dish with a bit if fresh parsley before setting it down at the table for servings.

You know those dishes that make even better leftovers? That’s this Black Beans & Rice recipe. I look forward to the leftovers almost more than right out of the pot. Those flavors all marry together into a perfect party that my tastebuds enjoy every single time.

For more information on S&W Beans, including all the varieties they carry, be sure to visit the S&W Beans website or visit them on Facebook.

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Probiotics for Kids

By Holly Sosa

This post was sponsored by Align as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

With two picky boys, meals are a constant challenge in my home. I’ve begun to believe that little boys have it built into their DNA to hate vegetables; especially broccoli. Between their disdain for vegetables, school calendars, and karate practices, their digestive balance can easily be disrupted. Thankfully, I can depend on probiotics like new Align Jr. which is formulated for children ages six and up to help them achieve digestive harmony*.

Probiotics are good bacteria that provide a health benefit and are essential for many vital body functions, including healthy digestion. Align is the product of over 10 years of research and uses a natural probiotic strain to support digestive health. Align, the #1 Doctor and Gastroenterologist-recommended probiotic brand‡ now comes in great-tasting chewables for my kiddos. The new Align Jr. is a specially formulated probiotics for kids and comes in a cherry smoothie flavored, easy to chew tablet that my kids take once daily. It contains no artificial sweeteners or artificial colors and is gluten free. The probiotic helps to fortify their digestive systems, keeps them regular, and provides them with an tasty source of good bacteria that their bodies need.

Get $5 off to purchase Align Jr. for your family and see what a difference a more balanced digestive system can make.

I’ve loved implementing Align Jr. into my kiddos lifestyles because it gives me peace of mind when schedules get busy or vegetable whines get too much to handle, ha! It’s been a simple way to support their wellness journey with a single easy step that’s made the change seamless for them and for me. I’ve also stocked up on Align for myself to help regulate me during travel this summer. I’m looking forward to seeing how it will benefit my own digestive health in situations like vacationing, changes in routine, and stress.

ǂ Among gastroenterologists and doctors who recommended a brand of probiotic in an AlphaImpactRx 2016 Survey.

Align partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its great product benefits. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Align believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Align’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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5 Best Baby Shower Gifts

By Holly Sosa

This post is sponsored by Baby Cubby. Thank you to Baby Cubby for partnering with me. And thank you readers for supporting the brands that support this blog and my family.

Baby showers are my favorite. I love showering a new mother with love, (asked for) advice, and gifts. Gifts are my love language (second to food, of course) and when I have the opportunity to share some of my favorite baby gifts, I’m extra excited about it. Now that my littlest has finally outgrown all of her baby items, I’m feeling a little nostalgic (she’s our very last) and kissing the last baby toes I’ll ever have as a mama. But I wanted to share my best baby shower gifts based on our favorites as this season of my life is closing. Baby Cubby is a well curated shop for all your baby needs and they also happen to carry all of my most treasured and favorite baby/toddler items! This round up of gifts features my five favorites that you can find in their store online at BabyCubby.com.

  1. Freshly Picked Crib Moccasins, Sky & Freshly Picked Moccasins, Green Camo
  2. Little Unicorn Single Cotton Swaddle, Yellow Rose & Little Unicorn Single Cotton Swaddle, Star Sailing
  3. Medela Contact Nipple Shields & Multi-pack Bamboobies Nursing Pads
  4. Little Sapling Toys Teether, Donut
  5. Little Unicorn Marindale Backpack Diaper Bag & Timi & Leslie Convertible Collection Rachel Satchel
  6. Lucy Darling All Aboard California: A Landscape Primer Book & Lucy Darling All Aboard National Parks: A Wildlife Primer Book

If you’re a mama-to-be, shopping for a baby shower, or a new mother, Baby Cubby carries products they’ve researched themselves to ensure you’re getting products you’ll love. They also believe that moms are superheroes, which is more than enough reason for me to feel good about shopping there, ha!

For more information on Baby Cubby, be sure to visit their website BabyCubby.com or check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

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Netflix Letter Board

By Holly Sosa

This post is sponsored by Netflix. Thank you to Netflix for partnering with me and thank you readers for supporting the brands that support this blog and my family.

Our little letter board has become quite the star of our home lately. I’ve been getting creative by placing quotes from some of our favorite movies and series on it and trying to get my husband and friends to guess what it’s from. Inspired by my current favorites on Netflix, I thought I’d share five of my favorite movie and TV quotes with you to see if you can guess where they’re from.

Let’s start with an easy one. This one is probably my number one favorite Netflix Original and I’m so stoked for the second season coming this October.

This revival was released this Thanksgiving and I totally fangirled.

Who’s that girrrrrrlllll?

When a friend helps you move a couch up several flights of stairs.

A little Scranton humor.

I have a sneaky suspicion that this letter board will display quotes from our Netflix Originals for many moons. What’s your current Netflix fave? What quote from it would you put on my Netflix letter board?

For the latest from Netflix, including information on all their Originals, be sure to follow Netflix on Facebook.

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