Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jazz Things Up With Rosarita

We're a family that takes our nachos very seriously; there's something about the combination of tortilla chips, cheese, fresh jalapenos, beef (or chicken!), and refried beans that gets a mouth watering. In fact, I blame nachos for the 15 extra pounds that have been lingering around my waistline for the last decade or so! My husband has turned gourmet nacho making into a science and he's always insisted on the Rosarita brand of refried beans in his nacho concoctions. His nachos are sublime, so I've never questioned his wisdom.

Recently, we had the opportunity to try a new Rosarita product: their salsa line. Knowing how tasty their refried beans are, I was keen to test the three flavors offered, but the big afficionado on authentic Mexican-style cuisine in our home (afore-mentioned nacho-loving hubby), was delighted to be the salsa taste tester. He pronounced the Mild Salsa Mexicana "very pleasant"and he loved the zing of the Medium Salsa Verde. (I had to curb his 'sampling' of this one because I plan to use it in a chicken dish for our New Year's Day lunch.) His favorite is the Hot Salsa Taquera - his first choice for eating with tortilla chips. I most enjoyed the Salsa Mexicana; it really does have a classic taste - not too zippy for those with a lower tolerance in this area, but still plenty of flavor.

Rosarita salsa is not just for use with Mexican dishes, kick things up a notch at the dinner table by adding any of the three sauces as a topping or ingredient to standard fare.

*The new Rosarita Salsa line is currently available in the west and southwest U.S. in four cities - LA, Dallas, Phoenix, and Denver - at select Walmart and grocery stores.

"I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Rosarita and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Chance for Dreams to Come True

When I hear about a program designed to empower young women, I am always anxious to spread the word! Read on because I'd like to tell you about an incredible opportunity for aspiring women photographers. The world-famous photographer and award-winning celebrity, Me Ra Koh, has created the SOAR! Scholarship; a great program with the potential to empower and enlighten young women nationwide.

Me Ra has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, VH1's Fabulous Weddings and Martha Stewart TV shows. Her SOAR! Scholarship breathes hope and encouragement into people around the nation. The scholarship allows three women to have their photography dreams come true by helping them build their own photography business - wow!

The three winners will receive camera equipment from SONY, as well as software from Adobe, ShootQ, and SHOWIT. SmugMug, a photo sharing site, will design websites and blogs for the winners, while these women will also receive mentoring from Me Ra and other industry leaders on launching a successful photography business.

In the 12 months following the announcement of the winners, each woman will document her journey through photos, blog posts, videos, etc. All of these wonderful tools and advice provide three deserving women the opportunity to pursue and achieve their photography dreams!

Each SOAR! Scholarship applicant must complete a brief online application, which requires personal & family information, a summary of what makes photography your passion and your time and travel commitments. Applicants must also submit a two-minute video explaining why they are worthy of receiving the SOAR! Scholarship. The entire application process proves fast and easy, and all information can be found within the SOAR! Scholarship website, http://www.soarwithmera.com/

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of the SOAR! Scholarship and Me Ra Koh Photography.
In addition, I received an Amazon gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Monday, December 14, 2009

"X the TXT: Thumbs Up to the Safest Holiday Ever"

Each time I find myself fretting about my toddler's safety in a world filled with dangerous things, my thoughts always turn to what waits for me when she hits her teenage years. Friends with kids who have already started their teens smile knowingly and tell me that the years preceding adolescence are "the easy ones".

I remember with a shudder what a defiant teen I was; I couldn't wait for the freedom that set of car keys brought me and, once I was behind the wheel, I had an amazing amount of confidence for the tiny amount of driving experience I possessed. Yup, I now know for certain that I have a Guardian Angel who didn't get a moment's rest during my teens! I pray, pray, pray that my daughter uses better judgment and pays more heed to her parents admonitions than I ever did . . .

When I plunked myself behind the wheel and confidently hit the road all those years ago, cell phones didn't exist. Now they're an integral part of daily life, and while we may wonder how we ever functioned without them, they also bring problems with their convenience. They've made our roads more dangerous because they're used so recklessly - especially by young, newly-minted drivers. Studies by The Allstate Foundation have shown that teens are particularly susceptible to dangerous distractions while driving, especially from the use of their cell phones.

These days, more and more teenagers own up to using their cell phones to text while driving. According to The Allstate Foundation, two thirds of teens admit to texting and instant messaging while behind the wheel! Yet nearly 81% of teens rate parents as their number one driving influencers.

Knowing this, how can we as Moms not take steps to ensure we set a good example and make safe driving a priority? Especially when recent research by Virginia Tech's Transportation Institute reveals that texting while driving can increase the risk of an accident by 23 times.

Parents have a tremendous ability to influence the driving habits of their teens, making it all the more important to sit down early on with them to discuss safe driving behavior - and to lead by example.

Allstate's "X the TXT: Thumbs Up to the Safest Holiday Ever" campaign challenges teens and parents alike to make the pledge not to text and drive. By joining the cause at www.causes.com/thumbsup, you're pledging to put your cell phone down behind the wheel.

For each person who takes the pledge, Allstate will donate $1 to the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) – a collaborative network of national organizations and federal agencies that serve youth and focus on youth safety and health – for safe teen driving programs.

As part of the campaign, a 30-city "X the TXT" tour kicks off this holiday season during which teens and their families can add their thumbprints to a pledge banner as a public commitment not to text and drive. I encourage you to visit the “X the TXT” to learn about the 30-city tour and to download the family pledge.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of The Allstate Foundation. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Perfect Party Fare With Minimal Fuss

The party season is here! We were out carousing at a toddler dance recital last, we'll be partying up a storm at a 1st birthday bash/early Christmas party tonight, and we begin our round of home entertaining for the festive season in earnest next week. With the various invitations we've extended, running the gamut from informal to polish-the-silverware formal, planning the party fare can be overwhelming. I don't want to spend hours in the kitchen, only to feel worn out when my guest arrive, so I'm delighted to learn about Nancy's Appetizers.

Nancy's® Frozen Appetizers & Desserts will help you to serve delightful party food for any occasion. They're simple to prepare, and because they look as lovely as they taste delicious, your guests are sure to be pleased. These bite-sized appetizers and desserts are sure to tempt and satisfy any guests' appetite. From cheese soufflés, to mushroom turnovers, crab cakes, petite quiches, and pastry tarts, the Nancy's line serves up a delectable spread that has something for everyone. With the price-point of $4 to $13 per package, they can fit easily with your entertaining budget.

Sound like a tasty plan for your entertaining? Leave a topic-related comment before noon on December 18th, and you could be the lucky reader to win a coupon for a FREE box of any 12 count Nancy's Appetizers!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Nancy’s Appetizers and received 2 coupons to facilitate my review and giveaway and a $20 thank-you gift certificate.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mom Central Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaways!

Yes! It is that time of the year - time for Mom Central's Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaways! Click on over to Mom Central each week, during the month of December, for your chance to enter to win one - or all - of the wonderful gift ideas Mom Central reviewed for the Holiday Gift Guide!
"I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central. Mom Central entered my name in a random drawing to win a gift to thank me for taking the time to participate."

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Memorable Thanksgiving Meal For All

Here we are, just days from Thanksgiving and it feels like we've only just stepped out of summer. Its hard to believe the holiday season is already here, but it is all the same and there are meals to be planned, mountains of delicious food to be eaten, belts to be loosened, you know how it goes. We are planning our Thanksgiving meal with enthusiasm; there will be no calorie counting in this house come Thursday! (Who am I kidding? There is never calorie counting in this house . . .)

We'll have the usual favorites: my husband's signature spinach and cream cheese dish, candied yams, green beans with toasted almonds, a mountain of 'smashed' potato, as my daughter likes to call it, homemade gravy, stuffing (you can never have too much of this), cranberry sauce, pecan pie, pumpkin pie and, hopefully, the most succulent, tasty turkey we have ever cooked!

I also plan on going the extra mile this year and making my famous 'from scratch' pumpkin soup, complete with toasted pumpkin seeds. It is a glorious soup, inexpensive to prepare and always a crowd-pleaser. Problem is, I don't make it too often because it is labor-intensive to say the least. Indeed, hacking my way through a couple of pumpkins to make a giant batch of this soup is a time-consuming, strenous - and messy - business, but the end result is well worth it.

With food prices on the rise, all of this feast preparation can can challenge even the most budget-savvy moms. This November, Walmart wants to make sure all Americans have the opportunity to create lasting memories with their families by offering a Thanksgiving Meal for Eight for as low as $20, featuring all of the fixings for an unforgettable Thanksgiving meal. The meal includes one 12-pound Grade-A turkey, three cans of vegetables, three boxes of stuffing mix, one 5-pound bag of red potatoes, two cans of cranberry sauce, one package of dinner rolls, and a pumpkin roll cake for dessert. And for those less confident in the kitchen, Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian has created tasty twists on traditional holiday dishes using the ingredients found in the Thanksgiving basket.

Visit the Walmart Holiday Meals website to learn more about the Thanksgiving Dinner for Eight for as low as $20 and find some great recipes from the Food Network’s Melissa d’Arabians.

What are some of your own favorite memories or money-saving tips for the holiday season? Leave a comment and let me know. I'll be giving away a $30 Walmart gift card to two lucky readers!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Walmart. In addition, I received a Walmart gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate and two to offer as a giveaway.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Christmas Giveaway 2009 at 5 Minutes For Mom

Christmas is just around the corner - yikes! Luckily, 5 Minutes For Mom is here for us with lots of prizes up for grabs, as well as their Under The Tree 2009 program, and heaps of neat shopping ideas for this holiday season. Click over and join the fun!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Text for a Cause in Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and, on September 9, Electrolux and Kelly Ripa kicked off a unique “Text-a-Thon for a Cause” to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF). Ovarian cancer affects thousands of women each year and it is essential that we raise awareness about this disease.

"Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women. The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease. It is an insidious disease that can strike without warning or cause.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms. In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region. However, when ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%." - http://www.ocrf.org/

To help the OCRF fund research and promote early detection of Ovarian cancer, moms can donate $5 to the cause by texting “KELLY” to 85944 from their mobile phones (standard text messaging rates apply) – or by logging on to http://www.kelly-confidential.com/.

Also, each day you log on to the web site, you are entered for a chance to win a luxury frontload washer and dryer from Electrolux in Turquoise Sky, the color of ovarian cancer awareness. There's more: Mom Central is also giving away an Electrolux washer and dryer in Turquoise Sky! Click over and enter for your chance to win your very own set!

During September, visitors to Kelly Confidential can also help spread awareness for this important cause by sending a virtual T-shirt to a friend. For every virtual T-shirt sent, Electrolux will donate $1 to the OCRF.

You can also purchase a limited edition T-shirt designed by Ripa; Electrolux will donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these T-shirts to OCRF. You can purchase these limited edition T-shirts online at http://www.kelly-confidential.com/. Electrolux will also donate $200 to OCRF for every Turquoise Sky washer and dryer pair purchased.

Visit www.kelly-confidential.com to hear Kelly's video message on Ovarian cancer awareness.

"I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Electrolux and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Disney On Ice is Sure toThrill The Whole Family!

We live in a place where summer is the dominant season and our glimpse of winter each year is all too short. I've always thought it must be fun to take part in all the winter activities that go along with colder weather. My sweet Pudding Pie must be of the same mind because she is forever asking if I'll take her skating or on a sleigh ride. I'm not sure where she picked this up, but it's pretty cute and some day I will take her skating and/or on a sleigh ride!

For now though, I am planning to seize the chance to travel to a neighboring city later this fall so that we can catch the excitement of Disney On Ice! Pudding Pie will get to see skating like she has never envisioned it and, if her response to a trip to the circus is anything to go on, Disney On Ice is going to blow her away!

Feld Entertainment's Disney On Ice live spectaculars feature iconic Disney stories, characters, music, and world-class skating; providing families with a unique entertainment experience to which they can look forward to this fall and winter.

Pudding Pie will get to experience her favorite Disney characters live, right before her eyes! And, with spectacular ice shows featuring the magical Disney characters: such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Cinderella and Tinker Bell to favorites from Disney's Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, and the new film, The Princess and The Frog; I know there is a performance to delight our whole family — young and not-so-young! I feel sure this will be a family treat to remember and treasure.

The exciting news is that Mom Central is extending the following special family offers; look for the box marked "MC Promotion" when purchasing tickets:

Offer #1: Get 4 tickets for just $44 by entering the code "MOM" at select ticketing channels. Offer good on all weekday performances, which includes all weekday evening and Friday matinee performances; minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each.
Offer #2: All weekend performance tickets will be $4
off the original price
Offer #3: Get the best Front Row and VIP seats available – We have reserved seats in the Front Row and VIP sections just for you! No discounts available on these seats. Use the code MOM.

*Not valid on Front Row or VIP seats or in combination with other offers including opening night offers. Other fees may apply.

The above offers are good in the following cities:

St. Louis: September 3-6, 2009
Chicago: September 8-13, 2009
Sunrise: September 17-20, 2009
Dayton/Cincinnati: September 17-27, 2009
Miami: September 23-27, 2009
Auburn Hills: September 30 – October 4, 2009
Charlotte: October 8-11, 2009
Philadelphia: October 14-18, 2009
Atlanta: October 14-18, 2009
Oakland/San Jose: October 14-25, 2009
Fairfax: October 21-25, 2009
Sacramento: October 28 – November 1, 2009
Baltimore: October 28 – November 1, 2009
Uniondale: November 10-15, 2009
Houston: November 11-15, 2009
NYC: November 17-22, 2009
East Rutherford: November 24-29, 2009
Denver/Broomfield: December 3-13, 2009 *available for purchase on 9/12/09
St. Paul: December 9-13, 2009
Los Angeles: December 17-20, 2009
Toronto: December 18-27, 2009
Anaheim: December 22-27, 2009
Philadelphia: December 23 – January 3, 2010 *available for purchase on 10/12/09
Boston: December 26-29, 2009 *available for purchase on 9/3/09
Ontario: December 30 – January 3, 2010
Cleveland: January 8 -18, 2009 *available for presale on 10/2/09

Shows coming this fall and winter:

Disney On Ice presents Celebrations! It's one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends! Enjoy a winter wonderland with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains, a Very Merry Unbirthday Party, a Royal Ball with the Disney Princesses and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivals from around the globe.

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy: Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy. Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney/Pixar's CARS race across the ice. Dive into The Little Mermaid's enchanting undersea kingdom and experience the 'Circle of Life' with The Lion King. Then enter the mystical world of Pixie Hollow with Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies as they reveal the magic that lies within! From wheels to waves, Pride Lands to pixie dust, your family's favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy with dazzling skating, special effects and beloved characters certain to create a lifetime of memories.

Special Bonus! Come see a Disney princess and a dazzling display of gorgeous gowns at the Disney Princess Pre-Show starting one hour before show time! Complimentary to all ticket holders.

Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic: Join the celebration as 65 of Disney's unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic! You'll be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and all the Disney Princesses. Be thrilled by exciting moments from The Lion King; Mulan; and Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Toy Story films; in a skating spectacular filled with magical Disney moments you'll remember forever as Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic!

Disney On Ice presents Princess Classics: Dreams really do come true! Disney On Ice is proud to bring you a dazzling tale of hope, heart, heroism and hilarity as Disney On Ice presents Princess Classics. This stunning spectacle is an awe-inspiring and fun-filled journey to the magical lands of Disney's classic fairy tales. Travel to a kingdom under the sea, an enchanted palace in France, an Arabian castle and more! Enter the fantasy worlds of your favorite Disney princesses – Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Mulan and Snow White – as they bring magic to your city in this royal skating extravaganza.

To learn more about Disney On Ice shows touring the country this year and to find shows in your area, visit the Disney On Ice site. And don't forget to use the special discount code when purchasing tickets online!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Feld Entertainment. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Timeless Magic of the Circus - Fun for Every Age

Pudding Pie is hitting the age when taking her to kid-friendly events is so much fun. Lately, we've taken her to some local music shows, we took her to see the fabulous Dora The Explorer, we've made several pilgrimages to Sea World and, for next month, we have tickets lined up for the Biscuit Brothers and Little Mermaid - fun, fun, fun!

By far our favorite outing was just a couple of weeks ago, when we took Pudding Pie to the circus. Feld Entertainment's Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey® was in town with their Over The Top show, and it was awesome! Pudding Pie was riveted for the duration of the approximately two-and-a-half hour performance. She applauded every chance she got and I snapped innumerable photos of the rapt expression she wore throughout the show. She still talks about the circus in awed tones and we've promised her we'll be back next year!

She loved the Asian elephants, was amazed by the tigers, and fascinated by the clowns. Before the circus began, we were already being entertained by the The live All Access Pre-Show, which began an hour before show time. The Pre-Show gives kids a chance to interact with performers, try on costumes, and get up close and personal at The Greatest Show On Earth - it's free for all ticketholders and not to be missed. Our seats were directly in front of an elephant who was painting a picture by holding his paintbrush in his trunk - Pudding Pie was fascinated!

I'm delighted to say that Feld Entertainment has created savings offers available by using customer codes for the Mom Central community. Mom Central has the following special family offers for the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey® circus: look for the box marked "MC Promotion" when purchasing tickets:
Offer #1: Get 4 tickets for just $44 by entering the code "MOM" at select ticketing channels. Offer good on all weekday performances, which includes all weekday evening and Friday matinee performances; minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each.
Offer #2: All weekend performance tickets will be $4 off the original price.
Offer #3: Get the best Circus Celebrity, Front Row and VIP seats available – We have reserved seats in these sections just for you! Enter the code MOM. No discounts available on these sections.* Not valid on Circus CelebritySM, Front Row or VIP seats and may not be combined with other offers including special Opening Night pricing. Other fees may apply.

The above offers are good in the following cities:
Denver: September 30 – October 11, 2009
Boston: October 14-18, 2009
St. Louis: October 15-18, 2009
Cleveland: October 21-26, 2009
Rosemont/Chicago: November 5 – 29, 2009 *available for purchase on Sept. 8. 2009
Auburn Hills: November 18-22, 2009
Charlotte: January 27-31, 2010 *available for purchase on Sept. 12, 2009
Atlanta: February 12-21, 2010 *available for purchase on Sept. 12, 2009
Cincinnati: March 10-14, 2010 *available for purchase on Sept. 21, 2009
Dayton: April 29 – May 2, 2010 *available for purchase on Sept. 21, 2009

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey® shows coming this fall & winter:
Over The Top: an all-new live entertainment extravaganza featuring a tug of war between Ringmaster Chuck Wagner and clown eccentric Tom Dougherty over a magical top hat that controls the circus. When the Ringmaster dons the hat he conjures stupendous spectacles for his circus, like the stunt riding Royal Cossack Cavalry while the clown uses the hat to summon whimsical acts for his circus, such as a cavalry of goats riding on ponies in a Barnyard Bonanza. They continue to top one another until the Ringmaster and clown realize that the magic of the circus is not in the hat but in the hearts of everyone.

ZING ZANG ZOOM®: A thrill-filled, mind-blowing circus spectacular where family fun is no illusion. Magical Zingmaster Alex and his assistant, the alluring Levitytia, lead audiences through a kaleidoscope of color and imagery revealing extraordinary worlds of fantasy, flight and phenomena that celebrates the uplifting spirit of the circus and wards off a cynical Mr. Gravity and his team of "heavies" who try to bring everyone down. Fun-filled magic merges with traditional circus arts to create a world of infinite possibilities where apprentice illusionists levitate their parents with a wave of a wand, and audience spirits keep rising as the high flying circus is (literally) turned upside down.

To learn more about Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey® shows touring the country this year and to find shows in your area, visit the
Ringling site. And don't forget to use the special discount code when purchasing tickets online!

*Please note that these offers are also valid for Disney On Ice shows in select cities - visit http://www.disney.go.com/disneyonice/to find a show near you.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Feld Entertainment. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Making Low-Carb Living a Little Easier

Life is busy these days, too busy. The days are blurring into weeks and the weeks into months. Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner and I'm still coming to terms with summer being over. It feels like everything needs to be done on the run and, while I have quick and healthy meal planning for Pudding Pie down to an art, I never seem to have the time or the inclination to do the same for myself. I should be positively waif-like with all the running around that we do, but I am not. Instead, I am twenty pounds over my ideal weight - and I am sporting the dreaded 'muffin top'!

I long to shed my unwanted pounds, so I'm thrilled about the Cuisine line from Atkins. They have launched two new fiber-filled, low in sugar products to help make cooking and baking easy.The new All Purpose Baking Mix and Penne Pasta fit perfectly into a low-carb lifestyle and, when you try them with one of Atkins' cool recipes like Penne with Fresh Tomatoes, Lemon and Feta or Rich Chocolate Brownies, you won't have to temper your enjoyment with the usual guilt about indulging.

To celebrate the launch of these new products, Atkins has announced an online recipe contest where you can share your own recipe featuring the All Purpose Baking Mix or Penne Pasta and win great prizes. I'm working on a delicious, yet low-carb pancake recipe myself. Think strawberries . . .
Recipes can be submitted to atkins.com by September 30, 2009.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Atkins and received samples to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Monday, August 31, 2009

Delicious and Nutritious Combos for Kids

Every weekday morning there is a frenzy of activity in our home as we ready themselves and our sleepy little Pudding Pie for the day. Clothes have to be picked out and rejected several times over; teeth must be brushed; hair must be detangled and combed; breakfast must be made and then coaxed into a small but strong-willed little person, and the biggest task of the morning must also be tackled: preparing Pudding Pie's daily fare. Each weekday morning I make and pack a morning snack, a lunch, an afternoon snack and an early supper for
Pudding Pie. And each weekday morning I wrack my brain for new and fun ways to deliver Pudding Pie her daily servings of protein, carbs, calcium and everything else she needs to keep on growing at the fantastic rate that she is!

I cannot pretend that the weekday morning frenzy is my favorite time of day, but life has become much easier on these mornings and I have Oscar Mayer's new Lunchables Lunch Combinations to thank. The Lunchables Lunch Combinations are tasty and nutritious - just what I strive for each morning - and they require zero preparation! I can send Pudding Pie off with instant well-rounded meals and she loves them! Actually, she thinks her Lunchables packs are special treats and she happily devours them - I am delighted because I know she's getting what she needs, it's a win-win situation!

The new line of Oscar Mayer Lunchables Lunch Combinations includes spring water and other firsts for Oscar Meyer, including sub sandwiches and applesauce. The product line also offers the following enhancements: turkey made with 100% turkey breast, bread made with whole grain, Kraft 2% cheddar, and dessert like Chewy Chips Ahoy! Cookies and Mini Nilla Wafers.

The six new varieties include: Turkey + Cheddar Sub Sandwich, Ham + American Sub Sandwich, Turkey + Cheddar Cracker Combos, Ham +American Cracker Combos, Deep Dish Cheese Pizza and Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza. Both the Turkey + Cheddar Sub Sandwich and Deep Dish Cheese Pizza meet the Kraft Foods Sensible Solution criteria for nutritional value.

Lunchables Lunch Combinations are available at all major grocery stores.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central on behalf of Oscar Mayer Lunchables and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Yummy Way to Keep Hunger at Bay

I recently had the chance to sample one of the new Special K™ weight-management Protein Shakes and I have to say it was a deliciously creamy way to stave off those late afternoon hunger pangs. Featuring not only great taste, but also 10 grams of protein and five grams of fiber, it was a far better alternative to my usual candy bar from the vending machine.

The shakes come in three flavors: Milk Chocolate, Strawberry and French Vanilla. I haven't tried the latter two, but I can vouch for the Milk Chocolate flavor - very yummy! The shake comes in a recloseable plastic bottle, making it easy to grab and go.

Why not try these tasty shakes yourself? You'll find them in the diet and nutrition aisle of your grocery store. And remember to visit http://www.specialkcoupon.com/ to get a $1 off coupon on your purchase!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mom Central's Father's Day Gift Guide

Just in time for Father's Day (this Sunday, June 21), Mom Central has compiled their favorite gifts for Dad in their Father's Day Gift Guide. From DVDs and custom steak brands to a seven-person domed tent, a digital camera and imported beer steins, there is something here for every Dad. Plus, they have organized the gift ideas by price, so there's no reason to break the bank!
Also, each day, Mom Central will post giveaways for Dads. Click over to Mom Central for your chance to win something neat for the special Dad in your life!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Worthy Cause

Here's a cause worth supporting. Look Good. . . .Feel Better is a free, national public service program that helps women cope with the appearance-related changes of cancer treatment through workshops across the country, self-help materials, and other free information. The program is a collaboration of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Inc. and the National Cosmetology Association.

With about one in three American women expected to receive a cancer diagnosis in her lifetime, cancer will likely touch all of our lives in some way, whether through a family member, a friend, or even ourselves. Along with the confusion and fear of a cancer diagnosis comes a number of adjustments, not the least of which, for many women, involves hair loss and other appearance-related changes that result from cancer treatment.

In honor of its 20th anniversary, Look Good…Feel Better is asking women cancer survivors to submit their stories of how the program helped them cope with cancer as a way to inspire others who may currently be undergoing cancer treatment. Entries will be featured on the Women of Hope is Beautiful blog to help educate others. Anyone can visit the site to view entries, make comments and show their support. In August, Look Good…Feel Better will choose five women with the most-compelling stories to receive a trip to New York City for a makeover and a trip to the DreamBall, a black-tie gala and the program's largest annual fundraiser, held each year in New York City.

So spread the word to all women about Look Good…Feel Better and the Women of Hope is Beautiful contest, and encourage them to inspire others by submitting their own stories of hope, determination, and courage.

This post courtesy of Mom Central

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lately I've been paying a lot of visits to a wonderful site called Mamapedia. As a mom, I find I face new parenting challenges daily, and I'm always looking for sound advice from other moms who have been doing this 'mom thing' for longer than I have. I'm constantly seeking advice on so many parenting topics, ranging from choosing to vaccinate - or not, to dealing with tantrums, to help on teaching toddlers to share, to finding the safest car seats, and everything in between! Up till now, it hasn't been easy to find a ready supply of advice. However, now I've found Mamapedia and I can search for answers to a variety of family-related questions and all on one site!

Visit Mamapedia with your most pressing questions and get empathetic and insightful answers from moms around the country. A virtual encyclopedia of Mothers' wisdom, Mamapedia allows you to quickly navigate through thousands of diverse categories to find the thoughtful, sympathetic-and most importantly-helpful answers to all of your questions. Mamapedia brings millions of women together online, both nation-wide and in our own communities, so we can help each other tackle those difficult parenting questions or even just give recommendations on our favorite pediatricians, playgroups, and kid-friendly restaurants.

Check out Mamapedia at mamapedia.com!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

5 Minutes for Mom's Annual Mother's Day Giveaway!

Mothers Day 2009

Exciting news! 5 Minutes for Mom is celebrating motherhood in fine style with their annual Mother’s Day Giveaway. They are offering up some truly fantastic prizes during this two week event, so click over and be sure to join in on the fun!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

100,000 playspaces in 100 days!

KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding and creating play spaces within walking distance for every child, has embarked on a nationwide mission to help communities build playspaces. This proves critical for those many children living in neighborhoods without playgrounds or playspaces, or unable to use existing ones because of rundown conditions or dangerous neighborhoods.

We live in a too small apartment and if it wasn't for the fabulous parks around here, I would have gone off the deep end long ago; I am always eagerly listening in when I hear other moms talking about cool kid spots they've found. There is nothing to match fresh air and a safe, fun area where kids can release their apparently limitless supply of energy.

KaBOOM! believes that play has a purpose and unstructured play in particular helps make children happier, fitter, smarter, more socially adept and creative. So how can we help make this a reality for kids in less fortunate neighborhoods? Mom Central has teamed up with KaBOOM! to help map online 100,000 playspaces in 100 days.

Here's what counts as a playspace: a playground, field, a skate park, roller hockey rink, lake, dog park, community center, basketball court or ice rink - any place where kids can engage in unstructured play for free or a nominal fee.

A playspace listing on KaBOOM! consists of an address or cross street and a description, one photo and one rating. KaBOOM! has made creating this playspace listing easy: either a quick fill-in on their website or even easier - a twitpic from your cellphone.

For every play space entered into the KaBOOM! database on behalf of the Mom Central team, $1 will be donated to Jumpstart, a non-profit that brings at-risk preschool children and caring adults together to improve literacy. It's something to feel doubly good about!

Moreover, we all stand to benefit as all the playspaces with their photos and ratings will be available to us as we go on road trips this spring and summer, to visit relatives, or on vacation. You can go online and find cool places to take your kids to play- near the grandparents, the hotel, or off the highway to break up a long drive.
This Post Courtesy of Mom Central.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Plant A Virtual Flower And Win An Eco-Friendly Electrolux Washer And Dryer!

It's true, I don't have a whole lot of fun doing laundry. I find it a pretty thankless and never-ending task, and I shudder to think of how much water and energy our daily laundry loads consume. I imagine many other moms share these sentiments, so I was pleased to hear that Electrolux and Kelly Ripa have teamed up to take out some of the drollness - and the waste - of doing laundry with their introduction of an eco-friendly front-load washer and dryer in a truly vibrant shade – “Kelly Green.”

The new limited edition shade, an upbeat green designed to pack a visual punch, was inspired by the great outdoors and self-proclaimed eco-Mom Kelly Ripa. Here’s a quote from Kelly herself: “I love green … the color green and the act of living green,” said Ripa. “What better place to make a simple, every day difference than in the laundry room? Kelly Green is a gorgeous shade, and just by using the new Electrolux high-efficiency washer and dryer you can save energy and use less water. How green is that?”

Just in time for Earth day, Electrolux kicks off its virtual flower garden campaign to drive awareness and raise funds for Global Green USA. Starting today, when you go to http://www.electroluxappliances.com/ and plant a virtual flower for a friend, Electrolux will donate $1 to Global Green USA to support their healthy green schools initiatives across America. Everyone who logs on to the site and plants a virtual flower will be automatically entered for a chance to win a new eco-friendly Kelly Green front-load washer and dryer!

In addition, Mom Central will be giving away one eco-friendly “Kelly Green” washer and dryer set to a member of our community! To enter, simply go to http://www.momcentral.com/blogs/win-a-kelly-green-electrolux-washer-a-dryer.html and (1) tell us which flower you planted on the Electrolux site and (2) share your own “laundry tips” for saving time and energy. Mom Central will pick one lucky winner in a random drawing from all entries received!

So, what are you waiting for? Go plant your flowers! You'll not only be helping the Global Green USA initiative, you could also be on your way to owning an eco-friendly new washer and dryer that will seriously jazz up your laundry room!

This Post Courtesy of Mom Central

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Staple For Every Medicine Cabinet - But Keep It Current!

So far this week on the injury front, my daughter has been struggling with a nasty hangnail for several days and today she fell at the park and grazed her knee; I have a paper cut on the side of my forefinger and I have a newly minted scrape across the top of my hand after my temperamental cat took a swipe at me this evening. There always seems to be a reason I need to head for the medicine cabinet and dig out the NEOSPORIN®, as even minor cuts and scrapes can become contaminated with dirt and germs, which may cause infection.

Pre-parenthood, I was awful at staying on top of expiration dates and I had first aid supplies that were years past their usefulness. Once I had Pudding Pie though, I became more diligent (neurotic) and I now stay on top of tossing unused and expired medicines. I encourage you to do the same. It turns out that 40% of homes have an expired topical antibiotic in the medicine cabinet, an important issue as some products may lose their effectiveness once they reach their expiration date.

I recently received a tube of NEOSPORIN® + Pain Relief Ointment and a tube of NEOSPORIN® + Pain Relief Cream, and the newly available NEOSPORIN® NEO TO GO!® First Aid Antiseptic/Pain Relieving Spray. I really like the cream because Pudding Pie strongly dislikes any kind of ointment, and I am very excited about my handy little NEOSPORIN® NEO TO GO!® Spray. It is a wonderfully convenient way to clean and disinfect cuts, and I love that it also offers pain relief. We put it to use for the first time today when Pudding Pie took her tumble at the park, and grazed her knee. Pudding Pie was so fascinated by our fancy first aid gadget, she forgot to fuss about her knee!
This review courtesy of Mom Central and Johnson's

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Helping Teens Learn Financial Responsibility

Pudding Pie has some years to go before she hits her teens or even her tweens, but I have friends who are parents to kids in these age groups, and I am witnessing them struggle with the delicate balance between giving their kids some financial independence while at the same time protecting themselves from getting an unwelcome surprise when they check the balance in their bank accounts.

Today our tweens and teens want, indeed expect, access to plastic. However, things go south quickly when these well-intentioned but inexperienced young adults overspend their set allowances - and this is especially true right now with practically everyone feeling the economic pinch.

To help balance the desire of our kids with the balance in our checking accounts, Discover Card has come up with a truly innovative debit card called Current by Discover Card, designed especially for kids ages 13 to 18. The Current Card helps us teach our kids how to manage spending.

Like car companies that allow you to set the maximum speed limit on your teen's car, Current by Discover Card puts parents in control by letting them set (daily, weekly, monthly) spending limits, block certain merchant categories (like ATMs and liquor stores) and track teen spending online or through email and text message alerts.

Plus, because it's a debit card product, the card stops working when the limit is reached without incurring any additional fees, which protects teens from overspending.

As parents, we have the responsibility to discuss wise spending habits as a family and Discover Card has created an online resource, to help us talk with our kids about managing and spending money, and the importance of setting limits.

The Current by Discover Card provides kids with access to money in the way they want it while still giving parents what they need - independent spending by their kids without debt or incurring hidden fees. No more unwelcome surprises on your credit card statements!

Review courtesy of Mom Central

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Celebrating 50 Years Of No More Tears!

JOHNSON'S® has been a bathtime friend for a long time now - it was there in early childhood when my sisters and I would get loaded into the tub and get sudsed up by mom, then spend ages creating spectacular shampoo 'up-dos' for each other in our tub salon. Today, JOHNSON'S® is still part of daily life, only now I am sudsing up my sweet Pudding Pie and teaching her how to make her own impressive updos. JOHNSON'S® is indeed an old friend; there's something about the smell that transports me back to childhood. I guess for me it will always embody the sweet smell of innocence and when Pudding Pie is just bathed, I can't think of a nicer smell!

Pudding Pie working on her 'updo'.
JOHNSON'S® has introduced two new products to help celebrate its 50th Anniversary and continue the tradition of bathtime fun: JOHNSON'S® HEAD-TO-TOE® Foaming Wash and Johnson's® Baby Bubble Bath & Wash. I was asked to review the products and blog about them on behalf of Mom Central and JOHNSON'S®, and I am thrilled to do so!

Pudding Pie loves the new HEAD-TO-TOE® Foaming Wash from JOHNSON'S®. She thinks the easy and convenient pump-and-foam feature is marvelous. I have to wrestle the bottle away from her because she just keeps pumping out the foam! This specially designed bottle allows moms the flexibility of using only one hand to dispense the product while also providing substantial lather for cleansing. This new, gentle cleansing product contains mild ingredients and the updated JOHNSON'S® NO MORE TEARS® formula that utilizes new science and technology from JOHNSON'S®.

Quick Facts about JOHNSON'S® HEAD-TO-TOE Foaming Wash
· JOHNSON'S® is the #1 choice of hospitals
· Designed to help avoid common skin problems caused by cleansing before they start
· NO MORE TEARS® formula is as gentle as water alone to the skin
· Designed to be gentle enough for newborns
· Soap-free, dye-free, hypoallergenic and allergy- and dermatologist-tested
· Rinses easily
· Suggested Retail Price: $4.89 for 9oz

The Baby Bubble Bath & Wash from JOHNSON'S® has added a new dimension of fun to Pudding Pie's bathtime adventures, and we have created some impressive bubble 'storms'! This product contains an all-new formula combining the NO MORE TEARS® extra gentle baby wash formula with big, bath time bubbles. The new, dermatologist- and pediatrician-tested formula is gentle enough to use everyday and is clinically proven mild for both baby girls and boys.

Quick Facts about JOHNSON'S ® Baby Bubble Bath & Wash
· Contains the NO MORE TEARS® formula, which is as gentle to the eyes as pure water
· Soap-free, dye-free, hypoallergenic and allergy tested Dermatologist and pediatrician tested
· Rinses easily
· Gentle enough to use everyday for both girls and boys
· Suggested Retail Price: $3.99 for 15oz

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Disney Fun For The Whole Family!

These days, it isn't easy to find wholesome entertainment options that will keep everyone in the family happy and hanging onto the edge of their seat. This is why Feld Entertainment's Disney On Ice live touring performances - which feature iconic Disney stories, characters, and music - are so appealing. Audiences are in for a high quality, fun experience that the whole family can enjoy together. And . . . Mom Central has partnered with Disney On Ice to provide a special family ticket package offer!

Interactive Disney On Ice shows feature exciting action, romance, comedy, athletic world-class skating, beloved Disney characters, and favorite Disney songs to which kids can sing and dance along. Their rich colors, costumes, bigger than life atmosphere, music, lighting, choreography and humor all contribute to making the experience one that builds childhood and family memories for years to come.

Mom Central and Disney On Ice are excited to extend the following special family offers:

Offer #1: Get 4 tickets for just $44 by entering the code "MOM" at select ticketing channels*. Offer good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Offer not valid on Gold Circle Seating, Front Row and VIP seating or combinable with other offers. Other restrictions may apply.

Offer #2: A select amount of Front Row and VIP seats have been reserved for you to buy before they go on sale to the public - just enter the code "MOM" when purchasing those seats.

Dates and cities where families can use the national MOM code are as follows:

Disney On Ice presents Mickey and Minnie's Magical Journey
April 15-April 19
Dallas/Ft Worth
Disney On Ice presents Mickey & Minnie's Magical Journey
March 18-March 29
Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy
March 26-April 5
Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy
March 18-March 22
Kansas City
Disney On Ice presents Mickey & Minnie's Magical Journey
April 1-April 5
Disney On Ice presents a Disneyland® Adventure
March 12-March 15
Disney On Ice presents a Disneyland® Adventure
April 9-April 12
Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic
Sept 8-Sept 13

To learn more about Disney On Ice shows touring the country this year, visit http://disney.go.com/disneyonice/ and visit ticketmaster.com to use the 4 tickets for $44 code, MOM.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Greatest Show On Earth Delivers Again

The circus is coming to town - and it could be to a town near you! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, a.k.a 'The Greatest Show On Earth' has come up with some new shows to dazzle and delight fans. ZING ZANG ZOOM features high energy, illusions, music and dancing, and Magical Zingmaster Alex Ramon, will have you gasping in disbelief at the grand illusions that he performs. The interactive family experience merged with traditional circus acts promises to be an unforgettable experience!

If you have magical memories of the circus from your own childhood, you will surely appreciate the importance of passing down these cherished memories and the tradition of experiencing Ringling Bros. as a family, to your children.

And, if you did not get to experience the magic of the circus earlier in your life, check out the two exciting offers below - there has never been a better time to begin the tradition! With the economy affecting many families, the value of a night out at Ringling Bros. is high, as the experience includes the All Access Pre-show, a fun opportunity to meet circus performers and dress up in clown costumes, which happens one hour before each performance.

Offer #1: Get 4 tickets for just $44 by entering the code "MOM" at select ticketing channels**. Offer good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Offer not valid on Circus Celebrity Seating, Front Row and VIP seating or combinable with other offers. Other Restrictions May Apply.

Offer #2: A select amount of Front Row and VIP seats have been reserved for you to buy before they go on sale to the public - just enter the code "MOM" when purchasing those seats.
Dates and cities where families can use the national MOM discount code this spring are as follows:

Newark/East Rutherford/Uniondale/NYC
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
March 5 - April 13
Offer not valid on performances from April 10 - 13 at Madison Square Garden
Washington D.C./ Fairfax, VA/ Baltimore, MD
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
March 18-April 19
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
May 13-May 25
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
June 24-June 28
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
July 15-July 26
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
July 8-August 2
San Francisco
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
August 12-August 23
Dallas/Ft Worth
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
July 29-August 16
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents ZING ZANG ZOOM
August 27-August 30
Kansas City
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® proudly presents Over The Top
September 16-September 20

To see which Ringling Bros. tour is coming to a town near you, visit http://www.ringling.com/, and visit http://www.ticketmaster.com/ to use the 4 tickets for $44 code, MOM.

Spread the MOM code around to your friends and family near these cities. All they need to do to join in on the fun is visit http://www.ringling.com/ and type in their zip code to find the shows and purchase tickets online with the code.

Oh, and that's not all - to help start the family traditions early, the Baby’s First Circus program allows babies to receive a free ticket voucher that can be exchanged for a free ticket to any Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performance, anytime, anywhere. There's no expiration date on this voucher either - what a deal!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pudding Pie is 2!

The Big Day is here - Pudding Pie is officially a toddler! She's had a splendid day so far, but we've kind of made her birthday a week-long celebration. Right now she's riding the wave of an ongoing session of presents, cakes and birthday fun and I think it's all kind of old hat. There's more to come though, the partying has just begun!

I thought I'd make a little note of the things I love about my two-year-old today:
I love the way she tells me she's hungry:"Need food!"
I love the way she snuggles into her towel after a bath and tells me "niceandwarm mommy".
I love the way she sternly scolds our fractious cat, then scurries to me for safety.
I love the way she grabs hold of her doll and tenderly plants a kiss on her forehead.
I love the way she sits riveted while I read her stories.
I love the way she says "Bless You Mommy" every time I sneeze - I sneeze a lot!
I love the way she says "Excuse me!" when she burps.
I love the way she insists on doing everything for herself, even though this doesn't always go as planned.
I love the way she says "That's OK" if she drops/spills/breaks something.
I love the way she believes that Mommy kissing her 'owees' will make them "all better"
I love the way her curls bounce around her face when she walks.
I love the way she thinks getting a haircut is a fun thing to do.
I love the way she grabs hold of my camera and says "Say cheese!"
I love the way she says "Oh Man" instead of Amen when we pray.
I love the way she makes me feel like a Very Important Person just because I'm her Mom!

Happy Birthday Pudding Pie!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Winter Fun for the Entire Family

Some years ago, I went on a ski trip to Switzerland. It was my first time skiing and, while my awkward attempts to learn the sport were probably a little trying for the instructor, they were good fodder for the locals. Eventually though, I did get the hang of things and I had the time of my life. I remember that vacation with fondness; there is nothing to beat the 'happy-tired' feeling you get after a day filled with outdoor fun and adventure.

I've always thought a trip to a ski resort would be a fabulous family winter vacation and, after hearing about Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah, I'm more determined than ever to plan such a getaway.

No matter what type of skiers or snowboarders you have in your family, Park City Mountain Resort has something for all levels. From the tween who wants to spend all day in the terrain park, to the adults who want to ski Jupiter bowl, to the youngest getting on the lift for the very first time, Park City offers family fun and adventure. Prior to taking a trip, families can even print one of the Family Mountain Tours that make it easy for a group with varying ability levels to navigate the mountain together, taking the guess work out of where to go next.

In addition to its industry-leading Kids Signature 5 Program that guarantees no more than five kids in each class, Park City also offers great off-mountain activities. The Alpine coaster, one of only three in the U.S., is a gravity propelled ride, twisting and turning through the mountains on a mile-long track. At Gorgoza Park enjoy lift-served tubing on seven different lanes or mini snowmobile rides around a designated track for kids ages 5 to 12 years old. Best of all, the historic town of Park City has over 100 restaurants and bars located just 35 miles from the Salt Lake City International airport, making getting to Park City easy. The town also once served as the home of the winter Olympics and still has a fantastic bus system to make it easy to get from place to place.

Visit the new "The Adventure" blog where you will find helpful insights from Moms who have visited Park City before on topics from packing, to eating, to planning the perfect family winter vacation. At the blog, readers can enter the drawing for a Family Winter Vacation for four (two adults and two kids, 12 and under) to Park City, Utah, including 3-nights lodging, 4-days of lift tickets and ski/snowboard school for the kids. This one is too good to miss, I'm heading over there to enter myself - you should do the same!

Review courtesy of MomCentral

Saturday, January 17, 2009

This Way to Healthy Choices

The holidays are over, the New Year has begun. No more dragging of feet, it's time to bid adieu to foods that are tasty but not so good for us, and it's time to embrace eating smart and making healthier choices for our families.

The first step to making healthier choices begins in the grocery store. With this in mind, Stop & Shop Supermarket is launching Healthy Ideas, a new on-shelf symbol that helps customers easily identify foods that fit into a healthy lifestyle. To take the guesswork out of making healthy food choices, Stop & Shop has placed the Healthy Ideas symbol on more than 3,000 items and shelf tags throughout its stores. During my grocery shops, I spend a fair amount of time checking out the nutrition information on various products. Now all I need to do is look for a logo - how wonderfully convenient!

The symbol highlights foods that have less fat, saturated fat and sodium. It also helps to ensure that the foods we select include a healthful amount of at least one nutrient, such as fiber, whole grains, calcium and minerals.

The power of Healthy Ideas lies in the strength of its criteria which was developed by a team of registered dietitians and reviewed by an advisory panel of physicians and nutrition experts, including Dr. George Blackburn, associate director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School.

Research played a critical role in the development of the symbol, which uses the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the USDA Food Pyramid (Mypyramid.gov) and the USDA/FDA's definition of healthy as a basis for its foundation. Look out for this new symbol!

Review Courtesy of MomCentral

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless/Word-filled Wednesday

Pudding Pie is on the brink of turning two, next week she will officially leave babyhood in the dust! Yup, my little one is enthusiastically embracing toddlerhood, but her mama keeps casting wistful glances backward to those precious baby days. Don't get me wrong: I'm thrilled for the strides she's taken in the past month, never mind the past year but oh boy, is it ever bitter-sweet.
For more Wordless/Word-filled Wednesday posts, visit 5 Minutes For Mom, Momdot and Angie's Circus.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Making It Easier to Snack Healthy

Every December 31st I resolve to drop the pounds, pick up the weights and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Each year I stick to my resolutions until about mid January and then, like clockwork, I fall off the healthy wagon and revert to old (unhealthy) habits. It's getting old. This year I did not trumpet my resolutions confidently, but instead unofficially resolved to work toward a healthier me. So far, so good. I'll admit it's January 11th and still early days, but I'm hopeful!

My problem has always been my penchant for snacking and what is helping me this time around are the very tasty, yet healthy Kellog's Special K® Crackers I've been munching on. They have only 90 calories and eight grams of whole grain per 17 crackers and they come in two great-tasting flavors, Multi-Grain and Italian Tomato & Herb. Now, each time I'm 'snackish', instead of dipping my hand into the candy bowl, I'm reaching for one of these Kellog's crackers. And guess what? My waistline is beginning to show the effects of my healthier choices! (At least I think so!)

They are also available in individual 90-calorie pouches and these are perfect as healthy and handy snack alternatives for both myself and my daughter when we're on the go. Visit Kellogg's.com to learn more about these healthy and delicious snack alternatives!

Review courtesy of MomCentral.com