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 souffl├ęs, 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."