Wordless Wednesday

April 27, 2011 by  
Filed under General, Wordless Wednesday

I was talking to my husband on the phone.  I was standing in front of the window when I look down to see this on my evergreen bush.  My husband says “Go grab it to show the boys!”  Uhhhhhh I think not!  Go grab it?  Me?  Me, snake and go grab do not go together!   This was a safe bet, a picture from the other side of the window!

Frigidaire Encourages You To Go Green

April 26, 2011 by  
Filed under General

When I look at my boys, I think about their future. With that and the ever changing environment, I hope that they will have all the luxuries of a much greener planet and a place where people are making an effort to conserve energy.

The U.S Department of Energy and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency has named Frigidaire ENERGY STAR Partner of the year in appliances.  This award recognizes Frigidaire for increasing their selection of environmentally- conscious ENERGY STAR appliances and helping to educate consumers about the ENERGY STAR program.  Did you know though, that a Frigidaire refrigerator uses half the energy than it did 16 years ago?

In celebration of these achievements and April being Earth Month, Frigidaire is encouraging all of us to live a greener lifestyle by being aware and making informed decisions about  appliances and, things like conserving water, taking public transportation to save on gas and fuel and planting a wonderful home garden.  It is about using less and putting more back into our Earth for our children and grandchildren.  By taking these small steps, we can make our planet a better and more efficient place to live.

Our favorite thing to do is plant a home herb and vegetable garden.  The vegetables we grow taste so much better than what we get in the store.  Not only that, we compost things back into the soil to provide continued nutrients to the soil and we waste nothing.  This is a rewarding venture for you and your family and a great way to save money.  This is a great activity to do with young children and they get great satisfaction out of eating the things they grow from the garden.

The Start Of Our Garden

This Year we are growing broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, peas, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and onions, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, parsley, sage and basil

For Earth Month, Frigidaire encourages you to take the Eco-Friendly Options Poll on their facebook page and enter for a chance to win.  Frigidaire will be giving away a different eco-friendly appliance.  Grab the family and do something for the planet whether you plant a tree, plant a garden or shop for more efficient appliances, you are making  better choices for the future.

 

Frigidaire sent me a gift card to help me take steps towards greener living.  We were able to get the things we needed to share our garden with you.  All ideas are that of my own

Twix Coconut

April 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Product Reviews

Chocolate has always been a weakness of mine.  I have some favorites when it comes to candy bars. Twix bars have always been a long standing favorite for me, that goes back to my childhood.  I have always loved the combination of a crisp cookie, caramel and chocolate.  I almost always eat them with a tall glass of ice cold milk.

I was recently offered the opportunity to give Twix Limited Edition Coconut a try, and see if I liked this new added twist to an old favorite.  When I think of coconut or smell it, I think of sun tan oil, and pina coladas and the beach.  It makes me think of an island escape to the tropics.

I am not a huge coconut fan, but I do however enjoy it in a candy bar from time to time.  Would this be love at first bite?   I grabbed my obligatory glass of milk, and was very excited to try one of my favorites.  It has the same chocolate, cookie, and caramel and the slight hint of coconut.  The taste was yummy, but I noticed that there is no actual coconut, but only the taste of it.   I was a little disappointed , but the flavor was still pretty good.  I think a thin layer of coconut would have added some interest and great texture. Will this be my absolute favorite?  Probably not. But, if you are coconut lover, this might be something fun for you to try.

If you love chocolate, caramel and coconut, this would be a great way to tame your craving with that awesome Twix combination.  I can’t think of a better way to take a time out.  Get this Limited Edition Twix while you can, because you might blink and they will be gone.  Grab a cold drink, Twix Coconut and plan your island escape (even if it’s only in your backyard).

 

 

Twix sent me a fun gift pack with samples to try.  The opinions expressed here are that of my own.

 

The Best Weight Loss Plan

April 25, 2011 by  
Filed under General

I have figured out the secret to great weight loss!  There are so many diets out there and so many books, that I figured I couldn’t possibly come up with a miracle weight loss plan and be so successful. Want to know what it is?  Have something go wrong with your teeth!

I have a confession, and it involves the dentist.  I am one of “those people” that has a great fear of going to the dentist.  After having some really negative experiences back in my teen years, I avoided it like the plague when I was old enough to make my own decisions about going.  I stayed away for years, because I was totally freaked out.  Gradually I started having teeth that bothered me, sometimes intense pain, but I refused to go.  I k new it was just going to get worse if I didn’t just bite the bullet and go.

Fast forward to now…a cleaning and a few fillings later and my totally awesome dentist, Dr. K… I am now faced with my first ever root canal  EEK!  The tooth in question was giving me trouble before I got brave and went to see her.  It had an old filling, so she took it out and redid it.  After about a week I was in worse pain than before, so I was back in the office.  She took the filling out and put in stuff I call silly putty, and sent me  home with pain meds and steroids in hope it was just inflammation. No such luck.

Well that didn’t work, so she referred me to the endodontist for a possible root canal.  I was a little upset that I had to go to another new place, but the tooth is a tricky one to do a root canal on.  I am a little worried since so far when numb I have been able to fill more than I would like on that tooth, and that is with nitrous oxide and loopy drugs on board.

Back to my point.  If you need a sure fire weight loss plan that you would be able to stick to.  Get yourself a bad tooth, that won’t allow you to eat.  You are guaranteed to follow a strict no food diet because you won’t be able to chew!  I am down seven pounds in just a week.  I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone, but it obviously works when you cannot bite on anything whatsoever without climbing the walls with pain.

Wish me luck at my appointment….I will need it (big baby that I am).

 

 

Wordless Wednesday

April 20, 2011 by  
Filed under General, Wordless Wednesday

She’s in there somewhere!

Health Benefits Of Tomatoes #HuntsHealth My Famous Chili

April 19, 2011 by  
Filed under General, Uncategorized

We all have intentions of making healthier eating choices for ourselves and our families.  As soon as my boys could eat, I was trying to introduce fresh fruits and vegetables, to hopefully avoid finicky eaters and encourage them to actually ask for or want the healthier foods.

We recently started gearing up for the growing season.  Once we get warmer weather, I am outside turning over the garden and getting ready for vegetables.  This year we are planting a whole host of wonderful things from fresh herbs, lettuce, broccoli, peas and green beans and our favorite tomatoes!  There isn’t anything like a tomato that is fresh from the garden and my boys will hand pick them and eat them whole if I let them.

We use a lot of tomatoes in our house, and canned tomatoes are a definite staple in our pantry.  One of my favorite dishes to make for family and friends is my famous chili recipe.  Often times people associate it with colder weather, but my kids ask for it often, and my dad when he comes to visit.  Tomatoes give a wonderful taste and can liven up many dishes, but even with that aside, there are definite health benefits to consuming tomatoes.  A recent article by The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine outlines the emerging health benefits of tomatoes.  Tomatoes, are known to contain lycopene and other key nutrients that can potentially lower our risk of certain cancers and heart disease.  My Dad suffers from heart disease, and I have a good friend with cancer, so I owe it to my family to try and make these healthier choices for them and make things that they love.

By following these simple 2010 Dietary Guidlines and dreaming up some tasty tomato dishes, you can give your family the gift of good food and health.  One of my best loved recipes is my chili.  It’s not only easy to make, but I love to make it for my dad and include healthy things like fresh vegetables and with chili you can sort of throw in just about anything and it tastes good.  Chili can be a versatile and healthy dish, and it makes it easy to include the “good for you” stuff.  In fact,canned tomatoes like Hunts offer the body more lycopene because during the cooking process it breaks down the cell wall of the tomato. I have also been known to thrown in sweet potatoes, and carrots before.  It is fun to experiment and tomato dishes like these, bring out great flavor in vegetables, pasta and meats and enables you to get the added lycopene that our bodies need.

 

 

My Chili (For My Family)

1lb of lean ground beef or ground turkey

2 gloves of chopped fresh garlic

1 medium onion diced or 2 if you like them (I don’t hold back)

1 or 2 bell peppers diced, I like to use red, yellow and orange (gives great color)

1 15 oz can of Hunts Tomato Sauce

2 cans of Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with or without garlic

2  cans of Dark or Light Red Kidney Beans

3 Bay Leaves (I take them out after cooking)

1 tsp of Crushed Basil

2-3 TBS of Chili Powder (or more if you are brave)

Low Fat Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Oyster Crackers

In a  stock pot, Brown Ground Beef  or Turkey Drain off Fat toss in garlic, onion and peppers and cook just until tender, Drain and rinse kidney beans, add all other ingredients to the pot except for cheese and crackers, this comes later!  Simmer chili on low to medium for 30-45 min (remove the bay leaves) and enjoy! Get a heaping bowl, top with your favorite low fat cheese and sprinkle on a few crackers and you have a tasty meal!

This is a really yummy recipe and very low in fat and it takes very little time to prepare. You can certainly make double and triple batches to freeze.  I know busy moms like me, can appreciate a good recipe that is freezer friendly!  It makes the nights you don’t feel like cooking so much easier too.  Tomatoes, can be a  great start to making healthier choices for you and the special people in your life.  What is your favorite tomato recipe?

 

This post was part of a project in association with Hunt’s and The Motherhood. I was compensated for my time. Opinions and ideas expressed are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

At The Playground

April 14, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Yesterday, was a beautiful day, so we took the boys to get dinner and we brought it to the park for a little picnic of sorts. My husband and I were sitting on a bench talking about various things. We have been trying to teach the boys that it isn’t nice to interrupt mommy and daddy when we are trying to talk. So far it only works about none of the time, but they are only 4, so I figure this may get better.

So one of my boys comes up to us on the playground and we are talking.

We say to him “just a minute mommy and daddy are talking.”

Lil Man: “I don’t want you to talk, you need to be bugged right now.”

All we could do was laugh. How do you not laugh at that? LOL Apparently it is his rightful duty to “bug us.”

Wordless Wednesday

April 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, General, Wordless Wednesday

Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbt!!!!!!!!

(totally random capture on the Wild Africa Trek at Disney)

When Good Goes To Worse

April 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Family news, General

I have been missing in action here on my blog because I think our family has acquired some of the worst kung foo goo (what I call illness), that we have ever gotten to date as a family.

It all started with our blissful excitement about our recent trip to Disney World and the Disney Social Media Moms conference, which I have lots to report, yet haven’t been able to crawl out of my bed long enough to think about writing.  Things were going great whilst in Florida and the weather was unbelievably beautiful and perfect.   About five days into our trip, it happened and it almost always happens after our trips to Disney.  One of the boys said his throat hurt.   My husband and I just looked at each other and said the inevitable “uh oh.”

We swore this time would be different, armed with every kind of hand sanitizer from portable stuff on our keys, wipes in our backpacks, and quite possibly a  full out stock in the stuff.  We were vigilant about keeping the boys from over touching hand rails, and I even went as far as wiping off handles on the rides.  This failed miserably as everyone had this cough, what I call the “Disney” cough.  It seemed like every third kid, had this wretched cough.  I am far from a germ-a-phobe, but this place scares me in terms of my kids getting sick!   One of my sons has asthma so a respiratory infection throws him into serious problems if we aren’t right on top of things.   Luckily, we had his nebulizer, and emergency steroids, otherwise we would have been grounded in Florida at some foreign hospital and no cars.  So kid number one is out for the count and kid number two (asthmatic), is quickly heading downhill, and then throw me in the mix.  We all were feeling miserable the last two days of our trip.  We all had fevers, sneezes, aches and we slept all day in our hotel room.  We were able to barely make it home.

The following morning, I woke up feeling like I couldn’t move, and managed to drive myself to urgent care, where I discovered I had a fever of 102.5 (I felt bad, but didn’t realize I was this HOT!).  They told me they were going to test for the flu, and this is where it dawned on me that I didn’t get the flu shot.  So they rammed this swab up my nose and in 15 min, people come into the lil room wearing masks and handing me a prescription for an anti viral and cough medicine.  Influenza B, which isn’t the type we get vaccinated for, everyone at home was doing better but still had the flu, just not as bad as me (GREAT!) because they all had the vaccine.  Five days later, I was back at the doctor, with possible pneumonia and sinus infection (apparently secondary infections are common).  So now I am horse pills, the boys appear to be improving, when the first one that got sick starts throwing up and crying about his throat, the other is running fevers again and tests positive for the flu (duh!),  they send me home say watch him, if he gets worse come back in.   Both kids are miserable, I am finally getting better on my horse pills, and now waking ever 1 hr with crying puking children, and fevers that won’t quit.  The asthmatic gets better for 3 days and suddenly wakes up screaming about his throat and has a new fever kill me now!

So Monday, I say enough is enough, and threaten to my husband that I refuse to leave the doctor until they fix my children.  Turns out, the first kiddo has a double ear infection and strep throat, my asthmatic has strep throat now as well.  So now we are all stocked with antibiotics and a new found hope that we will soon improve (about 3 weeks after this all started).  Disney is magical, but I may hesitate on my next visit, either that, or I will have to dress us in space suits.

So my bloggy friends, this is where I have been, under the covers, baking next to both of my really hot children and praying that this will all be over soon.  I am expecting to be running at full recovery mode very soon!