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Category : Style

This post is sponsored by St. Martin’s Press. All anecdotes and opinions are our own.

Finding the right career — the first time

I worked for a while after getting my Bachelor’s degree, trying on ideas for what to do next. I took a couple GRE exams, sent scores to schools down the street and across the country, tried on the idea of different programs of study. I knew changing careers couldn’t happen every time I got bored. My brain touched lightly again doctoral programs and finally scaled back to a Master’s degree and teaching certification program. When I finally hung bulletin boards in my first classroom, I thought I’d found the right fit. I could see my future as a teacher: in the classroom, maybe later as part of a curriculum team, bringing my (future) children to school events.

making life changes

Making plans, changing plans

Years spun through my fingers, and by the time I was pregnant with my second child, my first still in diapers but quickly dropping her nap, that blueprint didn’t seem to make sense. Long days of teaching and grading, coupled with childcare expenses and an aching desire to spend more time with my young children, began the emotional and practical decision-making process. Eventually, my husband and I decided I would stay home with the kids, with the idea of reevaluating the decision when our youngest started school.

changing careers

Life revisions change relationships

I expected my schedule to change, my priorities to change, my wardrobe to change, but I hadn’t anticipated the changes in my relationships. Through no fault of his — in fact, we’ve had countless conversations to the contrary — I found myself thinking of our household money as my husband’s. I felt like I had less of a say in our finances, less of a voice, without a tangible paycheck. Friendships shifted in dynamic. I was suddenly on the opposite side of a Red Rover game, each side firmly holding onto the hands of the people to whom they related most closely. Suddenly, no one asked questions about me anymore — all conversations centered around the kids or my husband’s career.

changing careers

Finding a new layer to my blueprint

Something that has always been a part of my life became a prominent hobby and slowly shifted into a way to make a little bit of money and to shape a new future career direction. Writing — chronicling our lives and crafting fictional ones — became something I sketched into plans. I held my breath and called myself a writer. Eventually I started to believe it, though with my kids not in school full time, many of my plans have always been in the hazy land of “the future.”

changing careers

Additional changes in the plan

As my kids and I begin the last summer before they’re both in school full time — my little one goes to full-day kindergarten in the fall — I find myself shifting my plans yet again. My hours are opening up a little, yet their lives are getting busier, too. The way I thought their elementary school years would look seems to be an idealized version of the actuality of juggling their lives with a new career.

Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky came across my desk at the perfect time. Two women, a mother and daughter home design team, are forced to change their visions for their careers, through no fault of their own — and the changes are compounded by the ones in their personal lives.

book recommendations
About Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky

Some women are born with an instinct for knowing how things work—and what to do when they break.

Caroline MacAfee is a skilled carpenter, her daughter Jamie, a talented architect. Together they are the faces of Gut It!, a home renovation series on local public television. Caroline takes pride in her work, and in the way she connects with the show’s audience.  But when she is told the network wants her daughter to replace her as host-the day after Caroline’s fifty-sixth birthday-she is devastated. The fallout couldn’t come at a worse time.

For Jamie, life changes overnight when, soon after learning of the host shift, her father and his new wife die in a car accident that orphans their two-year-old son. Accustomed to organization and planning, she is now grappling with a toddler who misses his parents, a fiancé who doesn’t want the child, a staggering new attraction, and a work challenge that, if botched, could undermine the future of both MacAfee Homes and Gut It!

For Caroline, hosting Gut It! is part of her identity. Facing its loss, she feels betrayed by her daughter and old in the eyes of the world. Her ex-husband’s death thrusts her into the role of caregiver to his aging father. And then there’s Dean, a long-time friend, whose efforts to seduce her awaken desires that have been dormant for so long that she feels foreign to herself.

Who am I? Both women ask, as the blueprints they’ve built their lives around suddenly need revising. While loyalties shift, decisions hover, and new relationships tempt, their challenge comes not only in remaking themselves, but in rebuilding their relationship with each other.

Have you ever had to shift the blueprint of your life?
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Nova Harley Diaper Bags

 

Meet the Nova Harley Brisbane Diaper Bag

So, I might not have a little baby anymore (I’m holding back tears as I write this), but I still need a good bag that’s roomy and provides organization for my out and about family. And, like most moms, I don’t want to sacrifice style when it comes to diaper bags. I’m obsessed with this Nova Harley Brisbane diaper bag. Not only is it gorgeous, perfect for summer, and made with real premium leather cowhide, but it’s one of the roomiest diaper bags with the most organization I’ve ever seen.

Look Inside: Nova Harley Brisbane Diaper BagFor an afternoon of errands followed by swimming and dinner at Grandma’s house, this is what I need to pack for myself and my two little girls. As you can see, I could fit everything we needed for an entire afternoon and evening out in one bag… and without it looking too stuffed.

Look Inside: Nova Harley Diaper Bag

Take a peek inside

Here’s a glimpse into one side of the interior of a Nova Harley Diaper Bag.  All pockets and pouches are conveniently labeled with pictures from wipes to laundry, you can’t help but stay organized with this bag. There’s even a special spot for Baby’s pacifier so you aren’t digging through your bag to find it!

Inside the Nova Harley Brisbane Diaper Bag

There’s a place for everything and it all fits perfectly in this bag!

Luxury Must-Have: Nova Harley Diaper Bag

 

Nova Harley Brisbane Yellow Diaper Bag

Style and function meet

With my girls, the cross-body shoulder strap in a must. It’s super comfy and keeps my hands free for holding them, a must for every busy mom on the go.

Nova Harley Brisbane Yellow Diaper BagThis bag certainly doesn’t look like a diaper bag, so by removing the shoulder strap I now have the perfect tote for a lunch date with my ladies! Check out other Nova Harley diaper bags, they’re all beautiful and luxurious!

This post was contributed by Lana Karim as part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts Program. You can find her on 22 Crowns

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Brioche Pasquier is the no. 1 brioche bakery in France, established in 1936. They’re known for their authentic, specialized techniques and traditional family recipes.  As they’ve grown in popularity across Europe and now in the U.S., the baking process remains the same — with fresh artisan taste in each bite using natural ingredients. Their bread is created using a longer rising process that not only gives it a delicious and unique — it’s also the most natural way to raise dough and doesn’t require any added sugar!

We love Brioche Pasquier because it’s also free of trans fats, with no preservatives and made with non-GMO ingredients.They’re quickly becoming a favorite in the U.S., with products available in an expanding list of select retailers and local grocers, including Sprouts, Safeway, Super Target and Gelsons. You can search stores on their Facebook page.

Win a year of Brioche bread for your family

Kids love Brioche Pasquier for lunch

Kids love all their products, but the personal-sized Pitch is definitely a favorite! These delicious, individually-packaged brioche rolls are made with chocolate filling, or with chocolate chips, and are sure to satisfy any craving. They’re perfect for on-the-go bites, lunch boxes and mid-day snacks.

Win a Year of Brioche Pasquier

Or, you can win parent of the year by whipping up cool chocolate chip sandwiches using Brioche Pasquier’s Brioche Tressee (sliced brioche loaf) with Nutella and fresh strawberries, or even bananas and peanut butter!

Brioche for Breakfast

Brioche for breakfast

Of course, breakfast is always better with Brioche! Generously sliced Brioche Tressee is the perfect way to raise the bar on Eggs in a Basket, or a breakfast sandwiches. Or, one-up your favorite French Toast recipe with Chocolate Chip Brioche Tressee!

The Brioche Pasquier line includes:
Pain au Lait: Soft, light, sweet milk brioche rolls and slider buns.
Brioche Tressee: A delicious sliced brioche loaf made with butter and eggs; sliced for (French) toast, sandwiches or an anytime treat.
Brioche Tressee Chocolate Chip: A delicious braided brioche loaf filled European chocolate chips, and generously sliced.
Pitch: Individually wrapped and perfect for on-the-go bites, lunch boxes and snacks!

Enter below to win an entire year of brioche

Want to try all of them and see what you think is #BetterWithBrioche?
Giveaway ends 7/5/2015.

Briocheforayear

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Strawberry recipes are summer perfection

13 Summer Strawberry Recipes

Strawberry season means you can pick loads of berries, which is a fun activity even young children can enjoy. After you’ve filled up several flats with berries, you’ll need to figure out what to do with them, and we’re here to help. We’ve rounded up strawberry recipes to help you savor summer berries — from cocktails and appetizers to salads and sweet desserts.

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Strawberry recipes to start your party

Strawberry Shortcake Moonshine from Pink Heels Pink Truck will quickly become your go-to summer cocktail. After some trial and error, she found the perfect recipe to balance the tartness and sweetness naturally found in her favorite summer berry.

My Wife Can Cook offers a simple combination of ingredients for Coconut Rum Strawberry Daiquiris. Frozen cocktails are always a hit during sweltering summer days, and the coconut rum brings a tropical twist to a traditional daiquiri.

Eat Healthy, Eat Simple put together the delicious Super Simple Strawberry Peach Smoothie for an easy way to add some summer fruit to your meals. Whether you’re starting your day with the smoothie or using it as an afternoon snack, you’ll love the way it tastes exactly like summer.

Strawberry Overnight French Toast from Eat, Live, and Play is one of those breakfasts filled with flavor that you sometimes save for holidays or birthdays. Since you can do the prep work the night before, you can add this to your summer vacation rotation for a special start to any brunch.

The Banana Split Stuffed Strawberries from Spend with Pennies would make a tasty dessert, but they’re also an unexpected appetizer for summer parties. These can be prepped in advance, so you can make them the day before a barbecue and pull them out when needed.

Sensational strawberry salads

Blackened Chicken with Strawberry Salad from Paleo Leap combines two summer favorites — grilled chicken and sweet summer strawberries. The entire recipe is paleo-friendly, including the vinaigrette, making it a lovely entree salad for summer dinners.

Healthy Liv put together a Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing you’ll want to make for every lunch this summer. The sweetness of the berries and the dressing balances the salty pecans and feta cheese, providing enough flavor to complete a vegetarian meal.

Sweet desserts burst with strawberries

Grilled Strawberry and Nutella Quesadillas from Garnish With Lemon are a simple treat that seem more complicated than they are. Basically, they’re the perfect way to make your kids — or picnic guests — think you’re a grill master, while delivering a unique dessert.

Healthy Sweet Eats offers the Easy 5-Ingredient Chocolate Chunk Strawberry Frozen Yogurt that’s ideal for hot summer afternoons. While this treat looks decadent, many people will have each of the five ingredients readily available, which means you can make this anytime you’d like!

If you can’t get enough strawberries, then the Fresh Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting is the dessert for you. Read Chop Eat created a cake bursting with berries — the frosting itself looks so delicious you might have to make a double batch just for dipping extra berries!

The Strawberry Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble Bars from Baking the Goods make me wish I had rhubarb growing in my backyard, because I would absolutely whip these up today. Strawberry and rhubarb pair beautifully, and the inclusion of the ginger adds a little snap to the recipe.

Little Broken gives a classic dessert a fun twist with her Strawberry Shortcake Cake. The cake is simple but delicious, and the brightness of the strawberries against the white, whipped topping will look beautiful on your table.

Strawberry Raspberry Yogurt Popsicles from Fine, Fresh & Food satisfy summer popsicle cravings while providing a bit of nutrition. The creamy, frozen treats combine tartness with sweet flavors to create a refreshing, satisfying dessert.

What’s your favorite way to use summer strawberries?
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I love having my nails painted and always feel a little more stylish and put together with them done. What I don’t love is when my polish starts to chip and peel after about a day. It’s completely frustrating and time-consuming when I am constantly having to re-do them.

I’ve tried the gel nails that last 2-3 weeks and while it was great while they were on, getting them off was another story. I hate the soaking and the filing and the peeling and the awful damage they it did to my nails. It left them looking worse off than before I started.

Imagine how pleased I was when I discovered the ability to create custom nail wraps from Make Me Nails using their new app.

Nail Wraps from the Make Me Nails App

These are called nail wraps, but think of it like a sticker for your nails. A sticker that stays on through showering, doing dishes, gardening, bathing kids, swimming, and everything else busy moms do that ruins our nails. One of the best things about these wraps is, when applied correctly, they will stay on for 10-14 days!

I have tried nail wraps previously, but the fun thing about Make Me Nails is that using their app you can literally design your own nail wraps and personalize them in anyway you want. They have a number of patterns and designs you can choose from, or you can upload a picture and create something totally unique and customized.

I chose not to go this route, but you could very well create a set of nail wraps with a picture of you and your kids. Too much? Maybe. But, it could be done.

I ended up taking a picture of one of my favorite dresses and used that pattern to create my nail wraps. I love the pattern, but also the bright colors and thought it would be perfect for summer. Designing unique nail wraps was literally as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Make.Me.Nails.PicAfter selecting a photo you can zoom, crop, and preview just how the nail wraps will look. You can also select a size before placing your order.
How to use the Make Me Nails App

When my nail wraps arrived I was so excited to apply them and was pleasantly surprised by just how easy it was to put them on myself. I loved them so very much that I just kept staring at them and smiling. Remember how when you first got engaged and you couldn’t stop staring at your ring? Yep, that was me, but I couldn’t stop staring at my nails! I also got tons of complements everywhere I went and everyone that noticed them wanted to know how they were done.Make Me Nails Custom Nail WrapsTo learn more about Make Me Nails and their unique nail wraps you can follow them on Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to visit their website to view how-to videos on using the app and applying your unique nail wraps.

This post was contributed by The Magnolia Mamas who are part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scout program.  You can find more at The Magnolia Mamas.

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Great Father’s Day gifts for dads

Father’s Day doesn’t garner the same sort of attention as Mother’s Day, but the fabulous dads in our lives deserve special treatment, too. Gifts for dads don’t have to be expensive — though we’re not saying you shouldn’t splurge if there’s something out there you know he’ll love. We’ve unburied five Father’s Day finds to make your favorite dad feel special.

Personalize his gift by including one of these adorable — and simple — Father’s Day crafts.

great Father's Day gifts

Dad will flip for this perfect Father’s Day gift

Whether he’s an expert on the grill or in the kitchen, this Hand Stamped Spatula will remind him of how much the family loves his meal time contributions (Etsy, $24). The stainless steel spatula can be personalized with up to two lines of text. We adore the play on words suggested with “We flippin’ love you,” but you can add names or another special message for Dad.

great Father's Day gifts

Common sense advice for dads — from a dad

In Raising Children That Other People Like to Be Around, Richard E. Greenberg takes the common sense hanging out in a dad’s brain and heart and creates practical tips for raising kids (Amazon, $15). Greenberg, the father of four children, knows dads — and moms, if we’re being honest — often question their parenting instincts. Are we doing the “right” things for our kids? Greenberg’s tips for helping children develop into people other people actually like draws upon the common sense and instinct he knows dads already have. With Greenberg’s guidance, dads will be able to put that common sense to use and realize they’ve always had the tools to parent their (amazing) kids.

great Father's Day gifts

House projects are more fun with the right tools

There’s always a house project waiting for dad’s expertise, and this sweet Personalized Hammer will make those projects seem a little less like work (Etsy, $18). The hammer can be used for years to come when dad and the kids need to work on something together — or he can preserve it as a keepsake. Personalized tools are a great addition to every tool collection, and there’s something extra special about being reminded of his fab dad status each time he opens the toolbox.

Father's Day gifts

A DIY project dad will love

DIY projects sound Pinterest-y and complicated, but the Texas Chipolte Amber Beer Brewing Kit is the sort of project dads will love to try (Uncommon Goods, $45). The kit comes with the ingredients for a full gallon of Amber brew, or ten 12-ounce bottles. We think the Texas Chipolte Amber will pair beautifully with grilled summer burgers and s’mores. Refills are available, as are other types of beer if he falls in love with brewing after his first attempt.

Father's Day gifts

Let him take the kids golfing — without taking the kids golfing

Even the most devoted dads need some time to themselves, and the golf course is the perfect setting for dads to hang out with each other. He’ll never question which ball is his with these Photo Perfect Personalized Golf Ball Set from Callaway (Personalization Mall, $43). They’re a fun way to give him a break while keeping his mind on the adorable faces waiting to welcome him home.

 

Have you thought about how to spoil the dad in your life this year?
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First impressions… that were wrong!

If I am being completely honest, when this showed up on my doorstep I wasn’t too impressed. To me, it seemed pretty gimmicky. A rotating makeup brush? It just didn’t really excite me. But, once I gave it a try, I was completely impressed, instantly fell in love and  have used it everyday since it came in the mail.

blendSMART Rotating Makeup Brush

Meet the blendSMART Brush

The Doll 10 blendSMART Rotating Foundation Brush is a battery-operated automatic brush that rotates 360-degrees. So essentially, it does the buffing of the foundation into your skin for you. To use it, I would put foundation all over my face with my finger and then go to town buffing away with the brush. It give the most flawless finish! If you are going for the natural air brush look this is for you.

I did go over my face a few times with the brush to make sure everything was nicely buffed and that there are no lines. This brush, in my opinion, works best with thicker foundation, however, I found that you don’t need very much foundation for this brush. The first time I used this brush I looked like a hot mess because I used too much foundation!

The brush itself is a synthetic hair brush and cruelty free. It’s also the softest brush I own — so soft that I just want to rub it all over my face all day! I also used it to blend in my blush and bronzer if I go a little overboard when I apply them. The shape of this brush is so thoughtful — it fits perfectly in your hand, making applying your foundation effortless

I highly, highly recommend this makeup brush, whether you are a makeup addict or not. It’s availble exclusively on QVC for $60, with powder brush and blush brush attachments that you can add for an additional cost.

This post was contributed by Krystal Hansen, who is part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts program. You can find more from Krystal on her blog, Simply Girly.
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Nearly every mom jokes around that shopping is her therapy — that it’s what she does to find happiness after a way-too-long day with her kids or to revive herself after a crazy work week. But, what if we told you that shopping, and more specifically saving when you shop, is scientifically proven to make you happy?

Shop with Plenti, save more, feel happier

How to Save with Plenti

According to Dr. Paul Zak, Founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, when measuring neurochemicals affecting happiness and stress, happiness levels rise and stress levels decrease when shoppers receive a monetary reward while shopping, just like the ones they receive when using Plenti, the new rewards program.

In fact, not only did shoppers feel happy when they received monetary rewards for shopping, but they were actually shown to be happier than if they’d received a chocolate bar instead! According to the study, shoppers who received a modest monetary reward after shopping had elevated oxytocin levels of 67%, compared to a 12% elevated level for shoppers who received chocolate instead.

And, even more importantly, this happiness lasts. Dr. Zak’s study also showed that receiving monetary rewards has a lasting effect on shoppers, with reports of a 20% sustained happiness level one week after receiving the monetary reward.

How you can use Plenti to shop… and be happy!

Does shopping make you happier?

Here’s what you probably want to know… How can you use the Plenti to earn rewards and be happier when you shop?

Start by signing up on the Plenti website. You can join for free and you’ll receive membership rewards immediately, just for joining!

You can also simply download the Plenti app on your smartphone or tablet to sign-up and start earning rewards on the go as you shop. Your Plenti card is accessible on the app — just pull it up when you’re checking out and the retailer will scan the barcode on your phone to add your Plenti points to your account.

Once you have your Plenti rewards card — either via mail if you signed up online or on your phone if you’re using the app — look through their partner retailers and brands to start shopping and earning! Current partners include Macy’s, AT&T, Exxon Mobil, Nationwide Insurance, Rite Aid, Direct Energy, Enterprise and Hulu.

Want to see how we shopped with Plenti? See how we used Plenti to shop for our summer BBQ.

Remember that you can also earn rewards on Plenti when you pay your bills at Plenti partners and then use the rewards to shop. For example, use Plenti the next time you pay your Nationwide bill, and then use the rewards you earned to shop at Rite Aid.

A little extra dose of happiness when we shop? Yes, please.

This was a sponsored post as part of a brand ambassador program for Plenti, operated by American Express.

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Summer appetizers and dessert recipes you’ll adore

13 Delicious BBQ Side Dishes

Once you’ve determined your favorite BBQ recipe, you need to find your perfect picnic side dishes. Whether you’ve volunteered to make an appetizer, bring a salad or wow your friends with an amazing dessert, our picnic dishes roundup is your go-to recipe source for the whole summer.

In case you missed them, we shared our 13 favorite, fabulous barbecue recipes!
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Simple sides for your summer cookout

Stuffed mushrooms can be tweaked to match a variety of menus, and the BBQ Chicken Pepper Jack Stuffed Mushrooms from Life as a Strawberry are the perfect fit for your picnic menu. With only five ingredients, these don’t take long to prep at all, but the flavorful appetizer makes you seem like a gourmet in the kitchen.

Grilled Artichokes are simple, amazing and something special when you pop them on the grill. Haaps and Barley shares her tips for making sure you get them right every time — veggies have never been so in-demand.

Homemade Barbecue Potato Chips are easier to make than you would expect — and a delicious alternative to any barbecue chip you can find in the store. Chocolate Moosey offers both baked and fried versions of the tasty treats, so you can decide on the cooking method that works best for you.

No picnic is complete without baked beans, and Spoonshine will help yours shine with her recipe for Pork Belly Baked Beans. The hearty version of a picnic classic uses crisp pork belly— and you can vary the beans you use to tailor the recipe to your tastes.

Simply Sated offers another alternative to traditional baked beans. Her Apple Brown Sugar Baked Beans are filled with flavor — and bacon — without veering too far from a traditional recipe. Simple to prepare, these special beans will become a barbecue staple this summer.

Summer side salads you’ll love

An Easy Bean Salad is the perfect dish if you need to toss something together at the last minute. Food Fanatic‘s vinaigrette makes this salad special — and you can add feta cheese if you want another layer of flavor at your barbecue.

Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad from Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen combines sweet and savory in a lovely summer salad. The quinoa pumps up the filling factor of the salad, so it can work as a side dish or a complete meal for your vegetarian friends at your summer cookout.

The Orzo Cucumber Salad from Where is My Spoon? is a light — but filling — summer pasta salad that pairs well with anything you’re grilling. Using orzo is a fun twist on traditional pasta salads, and this one pops with summer flavor.

The Wright Family Table brings you a Carmelized Leek, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Potato Salad. While potato salad is definitely a picnic staple, traditional versions with mayonnaise can seem heavy during sweltering days. This version is light and packed with flavor, making it a healthier — and delicious — alternative to your classic recipe.

Picnic desserts to satisfy any sweet tooth

Sugar Apron shares her Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs, and they are going to be a dessert you make over and over again. The light dessert can be prepped ahead of time, which is key in the summer when you find your schedule interrupted by impromptu games outside or trips to the park.

Blackberry Cornmeal Shortcakes from Ashley Marie’s Kitchen take full advantage of mouth-watering summer blackberries.The cornmeal adds a bit of crunch to traditional shortcakes, which takes the simple dessert to a new level of deliciousness.

Glazed Orange Poppy Seed Bars from Sally’s Baking Addiction boast an unbeatable combination of white chocolate and fruit flavor. A cross between a blondie and a cake, these delectable bars will disappear quickly — make a double batch so everyone can try them.

Every summer cookout needs cupcakes, and the Lemon Lime Refresher Cupcakes from Virtually Yours are a refreshing take on a super sweet cupcake. The tartness of the lemon and lime flavors keep these cupcakes from being overly sweet, so they’re an ideal dessert for hot summer days.

Orange Infused Sweet Ricotta Peach Cookies from Mitzy at Home are a little more complicated than your basic chocolate chip cookie, but the end result is definitely worth it. Peaches conjure up the essence of summer, and everyone will want this recipe the first time you bring them to a picnic.

Do you have a favorite barbecue side dish? We’d love to try it!
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Save with the new Plenti rewards program

There’s something so sweet about the start of summer — the weather is getting warmer, but it’s not too hot yet, the bustle of the school year is behind you and your grill is ready for BBQ season. This year, for your summer BBQs and celebrations, use Plenti, a brand-new loyalty program, to help you earn back some of what you spend in points that you can redeem with some of your favorite brands.

How to use Plenti to save money

Here’s how Plenti works: Start by downloading the app onto your phone, by visiting one of their partner locations or by simply enrolling on the Plenti website. It only takes a few minutes before you’re ready to start racking up the rewards points.

The best part about Plenti is that it brings multiple brands together into one program — no more carrying around dozens of reward cards in your wallet or having a keychain full of mini-cards. Just pull up your app or take out your single membership card when you’re making purchases at stores such as RiteAid or Macy’s, when buying your gas at Exxon Mobil or renting a car at Enterprise, or even when you’re paying your AT&T or Nationwide bill.

Shop with Pleni at Rite Aid locations to save

Some rewards are collected simply by making purchases and some rewards are earned by purchasing specific items as you shop. You can see on the Plenti app that there is a special reward for purchasing Banana Boat products at Rite Aid, as well as on signage in the store when you’re shopping. They really make it as easy as possible!

What we might love most of all about Plenti is that not only can you use it to earn points paying bills with their partners, but you can also redeem your rewards at your favorite participating stores! Paying your AT&T bill using Plenti suddenly earns you discounts at Macy’s, for example. Trust us, paying those bills or filling up at Exxon Mobil is going to feel that much better when you’ll be able to redeem them for that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing.

Another cool feature is that with certain partners, your Plenti rewards are even better when you also use your existing customer rewards program or in-store credit card. At Macy’s, for example, you earn extra Macy’s reward points when you use your Plenti card alongside your Macy’s card. Remember that just because Plenti is from the American Express family, doesn’t mean you have to use an American Express credit card to earn rewards — it works with any form of payment you choose, even your other credit or debit cards or cash.. And, signing up for Plenti is free.

Plenti- Receipt

We used Plenti to purchase all of our summer BBQ necessities — from beach towels for aprées sprinkler sessions with the neighborhood kids to BBQ sauces that will be perfect for the grill to copper mugs for cocktails made just for a long evenings enjoying your backyard. Between our purchases at Macy’s and Rite Aid, we earned 700 Plenti points that we can use on our next purchase!

Find these products at Macy’s for your summer BBQs

Throw a summer BBQ

Mikasa Moscow Mule Mug Collection, $30 each
Martha Stewart Collection Biscayne Stripe Cool Beach Towel, $40 each
Martha Stewart Collection Bamboo Paddle Cutting Board, $50
Martha Stewart Collection Enamel on Steel White Colander, $25
Martha Stewart Collection Basket Weave Kitchen Towels, $17 for a set of three
The Cellar Whiteware Lasagna Baker, $43
Martha Stewart Collection Gingham Spatula, $10, available in stores only
Stonewall Kitchen Sauces, $8 each, available in stores only

Be sure to follow Plenti on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates!

This was a sponsored post as part of the ambassador program for Plenti from American Express. All opinions are my own.

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