Sparkling Sangria, a Patriotic 4th of July Cocktail #BeGlorious

sparkling sangria8

My holiday lovin’ heart can hardly wait for 4th of July this weekend! I’ve already got big plans that involve copious amounts of this sparkling sangria. Because wine, you guys. You. Have. Me. At. Wine. And when you load up sparkling wine with fresh summer fruits, you call it sangria and use it to entertain and impress your guests and husband.

A good sangria starts with quality wine. It makes a world of difference. I trust and love Gloria Ferrer Wine, a gold medal (400!) wine with 50 90+ scores in the last five years. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards is Carneros’ original sparkling wine house, owned and founded by the Ferrer family of Spain. Named for José Ferrer’s wife, Gloria, (best husband ever!) the winery opened in 1986 in the breezy, now-famous region in southernmost Sonoma County. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards was the fulfillment of a longtime family dream: to make world-class méthode champenoise sparkling wines in an exceptional New World terroir. José and Gloria are darling people with true dedication for what they do.

gloria ferrer winery1

gloria ferrer winery2

gloria ferrer winery3

Now that you’ve read all about Gloria Ferrer wines, I’m certain you’ll grab your own bottle for this recipe, as I’ve done. You start with two whole bottles of Gloria Ferrer Brut.

sparkling sangria6

Add in about half a bottle (two liter) of lemon lime pop.

sparkling sangria2

And now for the fruit! Since 4th of July is coming up, and I’m going for a patriotic sparkling sangria, I’m using blueberries and strawberries. Tip: frozen blueberries help keep your wine cool. 

sparkling sangria3

Give the pitcher a good stir to incorporate everything together. You can enjoy this immediately or chill and serve when your guests arrive. If blueberries and strawberries aren’t your favorite, you can substitute for just about any fresh fruit you can find. Grab a melon baller and whip up a melon sangria with cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon for a summer treat. Or try a berry version with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. When you start with a quality wine, you can experiment with most any fruit to create the best sangria recipes you’ve ever had.

sparkling sangria7
sparkling sangria5

sparkling sangria4

sparkling sangria9

sparkling sangria10

Now that you’ve got your own bottle (or five!) of Gloria Ferrer, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it using the #BeGloriousContest and #Glorious4th tags and share it on Instagram or Twitter for your chance to win a Cheers to Independence prize package. Follow this link for contest rules and all the details.

gloria ferrer winery4

What fruit do you like in your sangria? Let’s talk sweet wines and fruit in the comments below.

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

4 Instant Breakfast Ideas to Jump Start Your Morning

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #50YearsofBreakfast #CollectiveBias

instant breakfast ideas4

Since beginning my journey to a healthier me this year, I’ve learned just how important having breakfast every morning is. In the past, breakfast was often a meal I skipped, instead just whipping up something quickly for the kids and then dashing to complete my morning tasks: feed the baby, change the baby’s soiled sheets (every darn morning!), make the beds, pack lunches, and get everyone in the car for school. It was easier for me to skip breakfast, I didn’t have time to make myself anything since I was always tending to the needs of my little people. Things have changed a little since those breakfast skipping days as I saw some real results when I made myself eat a nutritious breakfast in the mornings.

When I started making breakfast a priority, I saw changes in my metabolism, energy, and attitude. I didn’t realize just how important it was to being successful for my weight loss and health, but the benefits were clear. My only problem was time. I came up with several instant breakfast solutions that made sure I had no excuse to not eat every morning. Since implementing these simple and easy to prep meals, I never forget my breakfast and I don’t have to sacrifice my morning tasks to get the essential nutrition my body needs.

1. Berry and fruit bowls: Berries are one of my favorite snacks, so they were usually on my shopping list anyway. However, I never had the time in the mornings to clean and cut them. I started cleaning and cutting strawberries and raspberries as soon as I came home from the grocery store and putting them in a large bowl, mixing them together. In the morning, I just pull out the bowl, put some in a smaller bowl and enjoy!

2. Hard boiled eggs: I love eggs in the morning, but scrambling them up between getting the kids ready by myself was never a real option for me. I found a good way to get my egg fix was to hard boil a half dozen or so eggs on Sunday, that way I’d have a hard boiled egg waiting for me in the fridge to quickly peel and eat before jetting out the door to get the kids to school.

3. Freezer burritos: Making breakfast burritos ahead of time and wrapping them up for the freezer is one of my favorite instant breakfast indulgences. Add whatever you like inside each burrito, for me it’s scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and lots of hot sauce. Wrap them up in saran wrap and then again in tinfoil and pull them out for a quick breakfast that you can heat up in the microwave.

4. Nestlé Carnation Breakfast Essentials: My more frequently used instant breakfast solution is a cold morning drink made with Nestlé Carnation Breakfast Essentials Powder. Chocolate for breakfast? I’ll take any excuse to enjoy a tasty glass of chocolate milk! It’s fast, simply mix one packet with one cup of cold non-fat milk, and enjoy. Plus, each prepared serving includes 21 vitamins and minerals and 13 grams of protein to keep you fueled throughout the morning.

instant breakfast ideas1

instant breakfast ideas2

instant breakfast ideas3

Check out the promotion: buy any 2 Carnation Breakfast Essentials products, snap a clear photo of your entire receipt and then text with keyword BREAKFAST to 811811 for submission instructions. You can also email it to or upload your receipt here. You will receive a code back once the receipt has been verified that you can share with your friends and family for a free breakfast! (up to a $7.99 value). Participants can enter by texting a number, emailing, or uploading a photo of the receipt to the website.

instant breakfast ideas5

I’ve shared some of my instant breakfast solutions with you, now tell me, what are some easy and quick ways you ensure you’re getting a nutritious breakfast each morning?

carnation at walmart

Taste the Rainbow Skittles Punch

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

skittles punch3

I live in a house where Evelyn and I are outnumbered. Boys rule in the Sosa home and it’s ever more apparent when it comes to talk of sports; basketball being a favorite between my son and step-son, Collin and Aiden. Never one to pass up a good theme (can we all just agree that I’m theme-crazy at this point?), for the upcoming madness of basketball finals, I created a colorful punch featuring fruity Skittles and lemon-lime pop that my kids slurped down in a frenzy.

The brainstorm for this punch all started when I discovered the palate of rainbow candy Skittles in Sam’s Club in a giant 54 ounce bag. Am I the only one who gets sucked into the Sam’s Club snack aisle vortex only to come out $100 poorer? Am I also the only one who ends up ripping open a bag of said Skittles to appease a very vocal, very angry toddler before we actually make it to the checkout line? It’s only madness, if you don’t have Skittles.

This Taste the Rainbow Skittles Punch recipe is simple, tasty, and fun to look at! It’s also easily customized to your team’s favorite colors if you’d prefer to show your team pride. I just went with a classic Skittles rainbow, singing the chant I learned from one of Evelyn’s TV shows all the while. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, don’t forget there’s purple too.

To create this recipe for your Tourney events, you’ll start by pouring some fruit punch into an ice tray. Then you’ll add Skittles, separating them by color. Freeze then until the cubes are solid.

skittles punch1

skittles punch2

Once your cubes are frozen through, pop them out and place them in a big bowl or individual cups. Add some lemon-lime pop and enjoy!

skittles punch6

skittles punch4

skittles punch5

skittles punch7


This is such a fun punch to make for any party, but I especially love how easy it is to make it personal to your team or event. Skittles offers literally a rainbow of colors to choose from to make your beverage truly shine.

Be sure to check out Skittles on Facebook for additional recipes, ideas, and more.

skittles punch sams club3

V8 Protein Shakes & Bars

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveV8Protein #CollectiveBias

Thanksgiving break is over, the boys are back in school, & I still have holiday shopping to finish on top of my usual responsibilities. I feel like I am almost never home these days. Which doesn’t bode well for my eating habits. #Lovev8Protein #CollectiveBias

I’ve developed a few tips & tricks that help me to stay on track over the holiday season…& well, even into everyday life! I thought I’d share what has worked for me in hopes it may help those of you who also struggle to stay on track.

1. Meal plan: For me, I plan out our entire month, but it can be as simple as planning the week. If you know what you’ll be making all week, you’ll make healthier choices. Take 15 minutes to sit down & plan out breakfasts, lunches, dinners, & snacks. Do your grocery shopping based off your meal plans & you will definitely have an easier time staying on track.

2. Schedule your daily activity: Write it down in your planner when you want to get some physical activity in. Whether it be a 20 minute walk in the morning or a 90 minute session at the gym, scheduling it in your life will make you more apt to actually do it.

3. Before leaving the house, grab a V8 Protein Shake & Bar: For me, one of the hardest parts about staying on track is all the temptation when I’m out of the house. It’s just so easy to grab a combo meal at the drive thru. But if I drink down a V8 Protein Shake & toss one of their delicious protein bars in my purse before I leave, I feel satisfied throughout the afternoon. Having the bar in my purse makes it easy to avoid the drive thru; especially when I know I have a scrumptious treat waiting for me in my purse with healthy ingredients like milk, soy, brown rice, quinoa, & veggies. Plus, they use sweeteners from honey & brown rice syrup.

I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it’s been for me to keep these bars & shakes handy. Jacob even takes them to work to keep him feeling satisfied throughout his shift. The bars are like a good for you treat! So yummy! And the shakes too, but I looooveee me some chocolate! Ha!

I found these V8 bars & shakes in the health aisle at Walmart. For the life of me I could not find them in the grocery section with the other protein shakes & breakfast shakes, but breathed a sigh of relief when I found them next to the vitamins. Be sure to check out where you can grab these great products to help you stay on track via the V8 Facebook & Twitter pages. Or you can check out their website!

Do you have any tips for staying on track over the holidays? I’d love to chat success in the comments below!

Creepy Eyeball Ice Cubes

A perfect addition to any Halloween punch recipe, these creepy eyeball ice cubes feature candy gummies that are sure to frighten even the most ghoulish of guests. They are simple to make & can be flavored for any punch recipe you plan to whip up at your spooky event.


  • gummy candy eyeballs (I found these at Target)
  • fruit punch
  • ice cube trays


  1. Fill your ice cube trays with fruit punch.
  2. Add in two to three eyeballs per cube for maximum effect.
  3. Place in freezer & do not remove until ready to serve to your guests.

I love to make these creepy cubes in a fruit punch flavor & serve in a glass of lemon lime pop so that as they melt, they, “bleed,” into my beverage. It just adds an extra Halloween factor to a fun refreshment.
For more recipes like this, be sure to head over & like The Victorville Daily Press on Facebook. I’ll be sharing recipes with them twice weekly with a focus on fun holiday foods that your whole family will love.

9 Terrifying Halloween Punch Recipes

Stun your guests this Halloween when you whip up one of these nine terrifying punch recipes that may look scary, but taste incredible!

Swamp Water by Purple Chocolat Home

Candy Corn Drink from Better Homes & Gardens

Lemon Slime Halloween Punch by Make Bake Celebrate

Orange Creamsicle Halloween Punch by Here Comes the Sun

Trick or Treat Punch from Spend with Pennies

Eyeball Punch from Happiness is Homemade

Zombie Punch from Our Thrifty Ideas

Bubbly Witches Brew from Amee’s Savory Dish

Halloween Pumpkin Punch from Honestly Yum

For more Halloween fun including crafts, recipes, DIYs, & even costume ideas, be sure to follow Our Holly Days via Pinterest.

Follow Our Holly Days’s board Halloween on Pinterest.

Candy Corn Punch

Candy corn & I, we have a relationship. It’s probably my most anticipated Fall treat. Yes, even more anticipated than the PSL (pumpkin spice latte). I love it that much. Naturally, this means come October, I immerse myself in recipes that feature my favorite candy. Today, I’m sharing this fun candy corn punch recipe. While it doesn’t taste like candy corn (it tastes more like fruit punch), it has that classic orange, white, & yellow color combo that pays homage to my beloved candy corn.

For this recipe, it’s made best in a large pitcher, like the one I created over at So Fawned last year. However, I wanted to try it out in smaller, single serving containers this year & had tremendous success without having to adjust the recipe at all. You can do either or with this recipe & have the same results.


  • one packet (4 serving pouch) of lemon jello
  • one cup boiling water
  • two cups mango nectar
  • one (2 liter) orange pop
  • one can whipped cream
  • candy corn (optional)

  1. In a large pitcher, combine jello mix with boiling water & stir until dissolved.
  2. Add the mango nectar & mix gently.
  3. If you’ll be serving your punch in a large pitcher, just transfer to the fridge as is. If you’ll be serving in individual cups like I did here, pour your mixture into several cups (about a third of the way up in each) & then transfer to fridge to allow the jello to start to set.
  4. Before jello is set completely (roughly two hours, do not let it harden completely), pull out your pitcher (or cups).
  5. Using a wooden spoon, gently pour orange pop over the top of the jello layer. You want to be careful & as gentle as possible here so as not to muddle up the two layers. Fill until your pitcher, or each cup, is nearly full.
  6. Add a top layer of whipped cream to your pitcher or each cup. Don’t be shy, we want a layered look here.
  7. Lastly, garnish the whipped cream with a few candy corns.

You can drink your beverage as is if you’re serving it in smaller cups, but if you’re serving it in a pitcher, give it a good stir to mix everything together so you don’t have one guest with a cup full of half hardened jello. Ha!
For more recipes like this, be sure to head over & like The Victorville Daily Press on Facebook. I’ll be sharing recipes with them twice weekly with a focus on fun holiday foods that your whole family will love.

Bloody Shirley Temples

Today, I’m bringing you a bloody, gory, terrifying refreshment that is certain to spook your guests at any Halloween party or even your kids during a spooky family movie night. These Bloody Shirley Temples offer a frightening twist by keeping the grenadine inside a ,”blood-filled,” syringe. Guest can squirt their blood into their non-alcoholic cocktail just before slurping down their Halloween treat.


  • lemon lime soda pop, chilled
  • grenadine
  • clear plastic cups or glasses
  • empty syringes
  • Fill a large glass or a small bowl with the grenadine. Fill each syringe with grenadine until it’s almost full. Set aside. Fill all of your cups with lemon lime soda pop & add one syringe to each cocktail. Serve on a tray or spooky display for your guests to enjoy!
This is a very simple & easy recipe with big impact. It is such a fun way to add a little horror to any Halloween festivity. My family enjoyed them while we watched The Nightmare Before Christmas together for our weekly family movie night.

For more recipes like this, be sure to head over & like The Daily Press on Facebook. I’ll be sharing recipes with them twice weekly with a focus on fun holiday foods that your whole family will love.

Low Calorie Drinks: On The Go Strawberry Lemon Iced Tea

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

As a busy desert dwelling Mama, I’m always trying to find creative (& tasty!) ways to keep myself hydrated. I’ll admit that I’m not great at keeping my water intake at a healthy level, but when I can turn up the flavor a bit, I find that I’m drinking more. This delicious, low calorie drink recipe featuring Crystal Light On The Go Lemon Iced Tea, fresh lemon, & strawberries infuses my water with tons of sweet flavor that keeps me going back for more.

Crystal Light On The Go Lemon Iced Tea
one fresh lemon
stripey straw (optional…sort of)

Fill a large water bottle or large glass about three quarters of the way with water. Add Crystal Light Lemon Iced Tea packet. Set aside. Slice your lemon up into small enough slices to fit inside your water bottle. Also slice up your strawberries into small, bite sized pieces while you’re at it. Next, add your lemons, strawberries, & some ice (if desired) into your water bottle. You an add more water at this point if your bottle/glass isn’t full. For more strawberry flavor, crush up a strawberry with a spoon against the inside of a bowl & mull it inside your water.

This fun little way to jazz up my everyday water keeps me hydrated & when my water is all gone, another batch is a cinch to make. It’s the perfect take along for my weekly walks with a new Mama friend, too! And it’s really easy to take with you on the go to help curb your snack cravings while the temptation is just a drive thru away. Lemon helps speed up your metabolism & curb hunger; so it’s such a perfect addition to your water or tea.

Right now, earn rewards with the Platinum Points Loyalty Program by purchasing Crystal Light products! At the end of the program, they will randomly select one winner. All purchases must be made by December 31, 2014, receipts submissions must be submitted by November 15, 2014, and points redemptions must be submitted by January 15, 2015. See Official Rules for details. You can purchase Crystal Light products, like the one featured here, to earn your Platinum Points at your local Walmart. And you can meet Miranda Lambert while you’re there. The cardboard version of her, that is! Ha! #PlatinumPoints

How do you jazz up your water with Crystal Light? I’d love to hear your refreshing tips & thoughts in the comments below.

Soothing a Cold with Bigelow Tea, A Natural Remedy

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

Sunday morning, I woke up with a sore throat, cloudy head, aches, & pains. As a busy Mom, I just don’t have time to let a cold get me down; so you can imagine my dread as I realized one was on the way. As soon as I got the kids dressed & sat down for breakfast, I started my kettle for some soothing I Love Lemon Bigelow tea. #AmericasTea

My favorite way to soothe a sore throat due to a cold is with warm tea & honey. They tea warms the honey just enough to allow it to coat your throat for some relief from your symptoms. The steam from the tea also soothes congestion & clears the airways. To recreate my recipe (I can’t really take credit for this as I know several people who do this as well), use half a tablespoon of honey for every cup of tea. You can add more or less depending on your flavor preference. Jacob & I both swear by drinking tea when we are experiencing cold, cough, or flu symptoms.

This is why I keep our pantry stocked with Bigelow Teas in a variety of flavors. They are a 100% American made by an American Family; an American Company for the American consumer. Their Charleston Tea Plantation is America’s largest working tea garden. And Bigelow Tea has sent almost four million bags of tea to troops overseas with Bigelow’s Tea for Troops program. Buying from this company not only soothes my cold symptoms, but also makes my heart smile with the work they do for troops & Americans.

Bigelow Tea offers endless options for whatever your preference or dietary restrictions are. From Non-GMO to Kosher to Gluten Free, there is a tea for everyone. Can we also fan girl out over their Pumpkin Spice flavor?!

Thanks to Bigelow Tea that’s easily found at my local Walmart, my Sunday was much more bearable & my symptoms were easily managed with a cup…or four (ha!)…of their comforting tea. This cold, cough, & flu season, consider adding Bigelow Tea to your arsenal to battle the germs.

For additional information on Bigelow, including recipes, gift ideas, & more, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest where several bloggers like myself are sharing their thoughts on this American brand.