Monday, January 30, 2012

My Tips For Cooking Healthy Meals With Kids

I am a member of SocialMoms and in honor of the Ben’s Beginner’s contest, they have teamed up with Uncle Ben’s for this fun new blogging program. They have asked me to help spread the word about the Ben’s Beginners contest and to share my tips for cooking healthy meals with kids with you. You may read more about that request here.

I have a 7 year old daughter and a 12 year old son so I know how important a warm, healthy and tasty meal is for them. While my son is not a picky eater, my daughter is quickly becoming one. While saying this and recognizing where we are headed on the eating track, I have tried to think of a few ways to get her more involved in her choices of healthy foods. I feel that if she has some choices in the foods that she eats and buys then she will be more willing to eat them.

Now I will list what I have come up with and please feel free to add any suggestions that you have may have in a comment on my blog.

1. Let your child practice their spelling and penmanship skills on your grocery list. My 7 year old loves to help me in any way that she can. She enjoys writing down my grocery list and she is always happy to add to it whenever I need her too. We keep the ongoing list on the fridge and there is a pencil nearby. She feels so big when we go grocery shopping because we are using her list to shop by.

2. Let your child help you pick out the best fruits and veggies at the store. My kids enjoy going grocery shopping with me. Usually they are a big help when it comes to choosing the prettiest fruits and veggies that are available. I will let them know which variety they can choose from and I will let them know how many they can pick. The rest is up to them. I find that if they help pick the fruits and veggies then they will be more willing to eat them once we get them home.

3. I let my children wash the fruits and veggies once we get home. They get to see how their fruits and veggies are cleaned and stored once we bring them here. This way, the items are clean and ready to eat and the kids know where they are stored. I would much rather my children grab an apple, orange, banana or carrot over a cookie.

4. I let my children help plan our daily menu. Since my children are aware of what we buy at the store and they know what groceries we have on hand, it makes it easier for them to help me plan a meal. I will usually choose the main entree or meat and I will let them plan the sides, drinks, and maybe a small dessert. By them choosing these items I am assured that they will at least eat a portions of their meal.

5. My children can practice their reading and measuring skills in the kitchen while they help me to cook dinner. I will let my daughter read the recipe out loud and my son will follow the measuring instructions and add the ingredients to our dish. I am always in the kitchen with them and this is a fun way for us to practice as a team and work together. This is also a great way for them to learn with out it seeming like school work. For us, this is a win win situation: They are learning, we are spending quality time together, and dinner is being prepared at the same time!

If you have a child who enjoys helping you in the kitchen then you may be interested in the Ben’s Beginner’s contest. Uncle Ben’s has launched a national contest called Ben’s Beginners and they are looking for parents with children ages 5-12 to submit a 2-3 minute video of you cooking a rice-based dish with your children. The lucky winner of this contest will win $20,000 and a $50,000 grant towards a makeover for their child’s school cafeteria. In addition to this great prize, they will have a chance to appear on The Rachael Ray show! For more info on the contest, please check out Ben’s Beginners on Facebook!

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Esurance Insures Safe Drivers

I am a member of socialmoms and they have teamed up with Esurance for this fun and informative blogging program. You may read more about that request here.

I am a mom who is always on the go. I drive my children to school and pick them up daily. I also take them to sporting events and we often travel to the stores that are 30 miles away from home a few times a week. I am a very cautious driver and do my best to avoid accidents, especially when my children are with me in the car. This is why I have found the information from Esurance so important and I have decided to help pass it on to you.

I am happy to have found out that Esurance, an Allstate Insurance, has a blog that has driving tips for moms who want to drive safely. On the esuranceblog you will find some of the following tips that maybe you can put in place while you are driving too.

1. Buckle up: My children are 7 and 12 years old now and they have never ridden in a car with me, with out a seat belt on. It is best to always buckle your seat belt before you even start your car engine. For me this is a habit and I also make sure that my passengers are buckled up too.

I remember that when I was a child seat belts were an option and sometimes they weren't even installed in a car. Well now it's 2012 and we don't have any excuses to not buckle up. It's the law, at least in Texas. The last few cars that I have owned even have a little seat belt light on the dashboard and an annoying bell will ding continuously if a seat belt isn't buckled correctly. So let's all buckle up for safety and avoid any unnecessary traffic tickets.

2. Drive the speed limit: I am cautious when I drive and I try to obey all speed limit signs. I watch for flashing lights that may signal that either a school zone or work area is ahead. If I happen to be driving with my GPS, I will pay attention to it also. Not only does my GPS give me driving directions but it will tell me the speed limit that I am traveling and it will notify me of the speed limit in the area that I am traveling in. If I happen to go over the speed limit, my speed on there will turn red and flash, signaling me to slow down.

3. Take caution to the weather while you are driving: If you are driving in less than desirable conditions, you will want to slow down and watch the roads. If it is raining and the roads are wet then I always turn off my cruise control. I don't want to hydroplane and cause an accident. I also find that my stress level also reduces as I reduce my speed in bad weather. I seem to turn off the radio and stay more alert to the road conditions.

4. Take a defensive driving class: Not only will be learn the most up to date driving safety techniques but you may also get a discount on your car insurance after you complete the course. You may be able to find a local defensive driving class in your town or online. A few hours taking this class, could save you and your loved ones their life.

5. Be sure to keep your distance from other cars at safe range: I find that if I am following too close to another car they may stop or turn suddenly and I am left with very little time to react. I like to leave several car lengths in distance between me and them so that I can avoid an accident.

You may check out the esurance blog if you find these tips helpful. Esurance is also on facebook. Here you can get a quick auto insurance quote for free. You may also read about the experiences that others have with Esurance also. I am told that you will find both good and negative customer responses on their facebook page. Even negative feedback will be left on the page as long as it is compliance with the page’s Wall Etiquette, contributes to the conversation and provides Esurance with an opportunity to learn how to improve their products and service.

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Money Saving Coupon Alert

I am a member of myblogspark and they have asked me to share a money saving coupon with you. Go here to download a printable *coupon for $1.10 off when you buy THREE of any size/variety of Refrigerated Pillsbury® Grands!® Biscuits, Crescent Dinner Rolls, Ready To Bake! Cookies, Sweet Rolls OR Grands!® Sweet Rolls.

Be sure to visit Pillsbury.com to find convenient, delicious recipes too.

Disclosure: I have received this information and the coupon offer from Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark. No compensation was exchanged.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Purex + Jockey = Giveaway CLOSED

I am a Purex Insiders member and they have partnered up with Jockey® for this exciting opportunity. I have had the chance to sample both Jockey's innovative women’s activewear and Purex Crystals Tropical Splash at the same time. One of my readers who enters the giveaway through the rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post will be able to sample these two goodies also. Yay!
My favorite part about Purex Crystals are that they smell great, leave my clothes feeling soft, and they are made of 92% natural crystals. These 92% natural crystals infuse a long-lasting freshness into the fabric fibers of my clothing without harming the garments. I can rest assured that even my activewear, like Jockey®’s sports bras, are still able to do their job without the active wear’s moisture wicking ability being harmed. I also love that Purex Crystals work to create a continuous long-lasting freshness that eliminates the body odor that can get embedded in workout clothing.

I have received one Jockey Sports bra and one full-sized bottle of Purex Crystals in the Tropical Splash scent so that I may put this theory to the test. I will say that the Jockey Sports bra is made of great quality and that I would have loved to been able to wear it for this review; however, the sizes do run small and mine didn't fit. With this being said, I am still amazed by the Purex Crystals. I enjoy the Tropical Splash scent and my clothes and bedding appreciate it too! My favorite thing to wash with the Purex Crystals is my son's gym wear. Not only do they smell better after using the crystals but I am assured that the moisture wicking elements of his clothing isn't harmed during the washing process.

If you would like to try Jockey please go here for a 20% off discount coupon.

Giveaway Time: One of my readers who enters this giveaway through the rafflecopter form below will receive one Jockey Sports bra and one full-sized bottle of Purex Crystals in the Tropical Splash scent so that they may put this theory to the test also.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I have received one Jockey Sports bra and one full-sized bottle of Purex Crystals in the Tropical Splash scent so that I may complete an honest review of the product. No other compensation was exchanged.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Top Healthy Snacking Tips

I am a member of socialmoms and this time they have teamed up with Snyder’s of Hanover for this fun new blogging program. They have asked me to share my healthy snaking tips and a delicious recipe that includes pretzels as an ingredient with you so this should be fun!




For me, the New Year always brings resolutions with it. I always strive to be healthy and to exercise but I really do focus on those aspects of life especially at the beginning of a New Year. I am a mom and I am responsible for my whole families eating, not just mine. I try to provide healthy snacks and lunch box fillers for my children while yet still being creative so that they don't get bored with their food options. One of the ways that I do this is to make what we like to call hodge podge mix.

Hodge Podge Mix:

1/4 of a cup of small dried fruit (raisins, blue berries, or cranberries)
1/4 of a cup of cocoa flavored almonds
1/4 of a cup of marshmallows
1 cup of pretzels (Snyder’s of Hanover are our favorites)

You simply add these items together in a small bowl and mix them together. You may give or take on the serving size but the outcome should be the same. This is a fun snack that your children might enjoy too. Not only does this little recipe provide a healthy sweet and salty snack but it does so without a lot of fat!

When it comes to eating healthy, I find that my children enjoy a wide variety of foods and they generally don't complain about what is being served as long as they have some choice in the matter. My children are 7 and 11 and I usually ask them if they would like a hot or cold drink when they come in from school. This allows me to provide them a choice and I don't have to ask them for a specific drink that they want. I like that I can decide what actually goes into their cup. Today they both choose hot drink and I made them a nice hot cocoa with warmed skim milk and they enjoyed it.

I also might ask my children if they would like a sweet or salty snack with their drink. If they choose salty, then they usually get low fat air popped popcorn or a hodge podge mix. If they choose sweet then they will usually get fresh fruit topped with a low fat yogurt or peanut butter. I also like to serve fresh fruits and vegetables paired up with a low fat dip for afternoon snack times and these fair well in lunch boxes too as long as you throw an ice pack in with them.

While I like to snack, I try to do so in moderation. I am aware of the calorie content as well as health benefit from the foods that I choose for both me and my family. A few healthy items that we use to make healthy snacking fun may include: fresh fruits, fresh cut veggies, low fat cheeses, low fat dips, air popped popcorn, pretzels, dry cereals, dried fruit and tree nuts.

I would love any comments on how you include healthy snacks in to your daily routine.

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Snyder’s of Hanover blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

$1.00 off Yoplait Chocolate Banana Smoothie Coupon

I am a member of myblogspark and they have teamed up with Yoplait for this money saving opportunity.

You may click here to download a printable *coupon for $1.00 off one package of Yoplait® Frozen Smoothies. *This coupon offer is not valid in the following states: including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee.

Disclosure: I have received this information and the coupon offer from Yoplait through MyBlogSpark. No compensation was exchanged.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Walgreens and Prescription Savings

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am a member of SocialSpark and they have teamed up with Walgreens for this informative blogging event.  I am a Walgreens customer and I know that many of my readers are too so I thought that this information could be useful to some of you.  Also, please continue to read this post if you are military and use Tricare as this information may be helpful to you as well.    

Do you currently get your prescriptions filled at Walgreens?  If so, you may be in for a big change if you use Walgreens and Express Scripts for your prescription needs.  Walgreens knew that their contract was up with Express Scripts on December the 31st, 2011.  They had been working hard to come to an agreement for a new contract and the companies failed to reach a happy medium.  The result in this is that Walgreens is no longer a part of Express Scripts' pharmacy provider network as of January the 1st, 2012.  If you are a patient of the Express Scripts' pharmacy provider network, you  may find  yourself trying to find a new pharmacist and may even have to drive further to a pharmacy who can fill the prescriptions that you need.  To find out if you are effected by this change, please check the back of your prescription insurance card.  If it says Express Scripts on there, you may ask your Walgreens pharmacist if you are directly effected and how they can help you through this change. 

If you are effected by this change, Walgreens is trying to help you by offering you a special discount on their Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens annual membership.  During the month of January, an annual family membership is only $10 and an individual membership is only $5.  The Walgreens Prescription Savings Club Membership offers you savings on over 8,000 brand name and generic medications.   

For more information on these changes you may visit Walgreens at http://www.walgreens.com/pharmacy/psc/psc_overview_page.jsp.   You may also find Walgreens on Twitter and Walgreens on Facebook.

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post written by me for Walgreens through Socialspark.  The opinions are my own. 

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Progresso Souper You Contest And A Giveaway CLOSED

I am a member of myblogspark and they have teamed up with Progresso for this great review and giveaway opportunity. For sharing this information with you I have received a prize pack that contains: 5 varieties of Progresso Soup and 1 copy of “The Biggest Loser” Workout DVD. One of my readers who enters this giveaway through the rafflecopter form below will receive a similar prize pack that contains: 2 VIP Coupons for Progresso Soup and 1 copy of “The Biggest Loser” Workout DVD. Yay!


Have you made any New Year resolutions this year that involve healthy eating or fitness? If so, you may be interested in the Progresso Souper You Contest. You may enter by submitting your photo at www.SouperYou.com and telling Progresso why you deserve a makeover and what you love about their soup. This will give you the chance to win an incredible makeover experience in Hollywood this Spring. You need to have your entry in no later than February the 22nd and you may check back on March the 12th for the announcement of the top ten finalists. Once the top 10 finalists are announced, you may vote for your favorite finalist until March 25th. Three lucky winners will win an ultimate makeover experience in Hollywood. This makeover experience includes a trip for 2 to Los Angeles, California where the winner will receive a head-to-toe makeover that includes hair and makeup plus a guided shopping spree with a $1,000 fashion retailer gift card, $1,000 spending money and 2 tickets to this season’s live finale of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. How great is that!

I have made commitments to myself to get healthier this year. I have a plan that involves small, low calorie meals during the day. I am excited to have found Progresso Soup for this reason. I love that Progresso offers 40 delicious soups with 100 calories or less per serving. With the many varieties that Progresso Soup offers, I will be able to stay on track and not get bored of the same daily meals. Progresso soup taste great to me and it fills me up so that I am not left feeling hungry or deprived. Progresso soups are packed with hearty ingredients like pasta, beans, rice, meat and vegetables. These foods satisfy my taste buds and make me feel good about including it in my meal choices. Progresso will help me stick to my eating plan so that I can make lifestyle changes along the way.

If you would like a coupon for Progresso please go to http://bit.ly/ProgressoCoup to download a printable coupon for $1.25 off the purchase of four (4) cans of Progresso Soup. Don't forget to tune into The Biggest Loser on NBC Tuesdays at 8/7c.


Giveaway Time: One of my readers who enters this giveaway through the rafflecopter form below will receive a prize pack that contains: 2 VIP Coupons for Progresso Soup and 1 copy of “The Biggest Loser” Workout DVD.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclosure: The Progresso® Souper You® prize pack, information, coupon, and giveaway have been provided by Progresso through MyBlogSpark.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Introducing: NEW Purex Triple Action UltraPacks (Giveaway) CLOSED

I love being a Purex Insiders member because we get to introduce new products to our readers. Today I am sharing the news of the NEW Purex Triple Action UltraPacks with everyone.


I am excited to let you in on the secret that Purex has simplified laundry yet again. They have combined their great triple action laundry detergent with double cleaning power and put them in a handy little pre-dosed liquid detergent pack. These pre-measured packs are easy to carry home from the store and they are convenient to use too. I love that there are no more heavy jugs to lift and no more messy measuring to do either. With the NEW Purex Triple Action UltraPacks you are still assured to get triple action performance in every load of laundry that you do.

I can appreciate that the laundry detergent packets are easy to use. You toss one into your washing machine, add the dirty laundry and then fill your machine with water. The pre-dosed liquid detergent pack will dissolve quickly on its own even in cold water. The best part is that this new pack contains a low sudsing formula that will rinse clean during the washing cycles. No irritating residue should be left behind.


While I have received a sample product to try, these won't be released to the market until February 2012. They will be available in Mountain Breeze and Free & Clear. For review purposes, I have received a 10.8 fluid ounce package of the NEW Purex Triple Action UltraPacks in the Mountain Breeze scent. I love the way that this Purex Laundry Detergent works and it leaves my clothes smelling fresh all day long. I can also appreciate that you can get an amazing 18 loads of laundry out of this small and light weight package. My favorite part is that the NEW Purex Triple Action UltraPacks is safe for all machines including HE, so that means that we all pay the same low price for our laundry detergent. To sum it up nicely I would say that the NEW Purex Triple Action UltraPacks liquid laundry detergent leaves my clothes smelling nice, looking bright and it is budget friendly.

Giveaway Time: One of my readers who enters this giveaway though the rafflecopter form below will be able to try the NEW Purex Triple Action UltraPacks too. Good Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: Purex has provide me with a free sample of their UltraPacks laundry detergent so that I could write an honest review of their product. All of the opinions are mine. No other compensation was exchanged.

Alpha Hydrox Skin Care Review


I am a member of tomoson and they have teamed up with Alpha Hydrox Skin Care for this great review opportunity. I have received two of their most popular products so that I can deliver an honest review of how their products work for me.


I am 40 years old and now is the time for me to start using anti aging skin care products. I have started to notice a few fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes and mouth and I am not liking what I see. I am going to fight the signs of aging with full force and I am going to use Alpha Hydrox to help me. I have been using their foaming face wash and enhanced lotion 10% Glycolic AHA for the past week and I am loving my results.

I use my Alpha Hydrox foaming face wash in the shower each morning. I can appreciate that it is safe for all skin types, soap free, fragrance free, pH balanced and oil free. The foaming face wash gently cleanses my skin while still maintaining the proper moisture level of my skin. I enjoy the rich foaming lather of the foaming face wash. The foaming action assures me that all of the impurities and environmental pollutants (including eye makeup) are removed from my skin and that no residue is left as I wash it away. The Alpha Hydrox foaming face wash leaves my skin feeling soft, fresh, smooth and hydrated.

After my shower, I apply the enhanced lotion to my face and neck. As this lotion gently exfoliates the dead skin cells from my skin it also renews moisture and refines the texture and elasticity of my skin as it improves my skin tone. I can feel my skin being restored back to its healthy, youthful appearance of my younger years.


Since the Alpha Hydrox skin care line works on all skin types and all ages, I didn't have to worry about which formula to choose. I love that the products contain alpha hydroxy acids which exfoliate my skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as I use it. It also evens out my skin tone and texture while unclogging my pores. As amazing as it sounds, the Alpha Hydrox skin care line is affordable and it yet it still contains the highest percentage of AHA's available without a prescription.

Although I am not offering a giveaway attached to this review, you may still enter a great giveaway on facebook through the Alpha Hydrox skin care facebook link. All readers that "Like" the Alpha Hydrox skin care page on facebook by midnight (MST) on January 31, 2012, can be entered to win a $500 cash prize. (Dang, blog reviewers are not eligible to win the $500 cash) This January promotion is in partnership with the Denver Radio Station KOSI 101.5 and it is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook. You may also find Alpha Hydrox skin care on twitter at @alphahydrox.

I have found a special on the Alpha Hydrox products for you in case you would like to try them out too. Right now on their website they are offering a special buy 2 get 1 free on select products.

Disclosure: I have received 2 free products from Alpha Hydrox Skin Care for review purposes. The opinions are my own. No other compensation was exchanged.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Just Eyewear Review and Giveaway CLOSED


I am a member of tomoson and they have teamed up with Just Eyewear for this great review and giveaway opportunity. I have received a $50 credit to Just Eyewear so that I could choose a new pair of prescription glasses for this review. One of my readers will also receive the chance to try out Just Eyewear and they get to order a pair of prescription glasses valued at $50 or less from them too. Yay!


I have worn glasses since I was in first grade. Through the years, I have visited many places that sell prescription glasses and I find that normally prices are very high for a new pair of glasses. I also find that I get overwhelmed at the many different frames to choose from in the store. I have often felt pressured to look at the more expensive, name brand, frames when someone is trying to sell me glasses face to face. This is why I am happy to have found Just Eyewear. With Just Eyewear, you can shop in the comfort and privacy of your own home. You may see the prices up front and not have to worry about offending a sales person if you don't like their recommendations.

I love the convenience of shopping online, and choosing my new frames at Just Eyewear was quick, easy, and no sales pressure was involved. I appreciate that Just Eyewear has over 900 different styles to choose from. They have styles that include big plastic frames, flex titanium frames, progressive lenses, and even transitions. They also offer frames with non prescription lenses. So if you just want a stylish pair of glasses to change up your look then you can have that at Just Eyewear. I like that Just Eyewear is affordable and that they use top notch quality products. The best part is that they are made in the United States. As an added bonus with each order you get free scratch coating, free UV coating, a free hard case to store your glasses in, and a free microfiber cloth to clean your lenses with. Just Eyewear even offers the 100% money back guarantee. If for any reason you are not happy with your order, they will give you a 100% refund with no questions asked.

Giveaway Time: One of my readers who enters this giveaway through the rafflecopter form below will be able to choose any pair of glasses in the Just Eyewear catalog up to $50 in value. Sponsored by Tomoson.com


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I have received a pair of prescription glasses from Just Eyewear so that I may complete an honest review of their product. The opinions are my own. No other compensation was exchanged.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Grand Pop To The Rescue Has His First Giveaway

A good friend of mine has started a new blog: Grand Pop To The Rescue and I would love for you to help me welcome him to the blogging world. He has his very first giveaway up and it sure could use some comments and entry love. Please stop by and enter it if you would like to try Tyler's Coffee. Good Luck!