Orbit For Kids Keeps Them Brushing When They Can’t

July 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Mom Central, Product Reviews

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Orbit for Kids. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

gumpack-red

I am a mom to boys, and let’s face it, boys tend to get messy, and refuse to get clean.  When it comes to brushing their teeth and getting ready for bed it is like I am wrestling a bull in a china shop.  For the longest time when I would brush their teeth, they would whine through the whole process, saying things like, “it hurts, it tickles, toothpaste tastes bad.”   I have come oh so close to practically sitting on them.  If you are a parent, I am sure you are well aware that there will be many more battles to fight, and can appreciate anything that might make things easier.

A great way to help protect your kiddos teeth between brushing is to chew gum!  Not only does it clean their mouths of food debris and stimulate saliva flow, which helps to protect teeth by reducing plaque acids and strengthen teeth, they are usually pretty willing to participate.  New Orbit for Kids sugarfree gum gives parents an easy and fun way to help protect kids’ teeth between brushing.   Orbit has come out with two kid-friendly sugarfree flavors, Original Bubblegum and Strawberry Banana (yummy!)  In fact, Orbit for Kids gum has been awarded the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Since I need all the help I can get, we decided to give new Orbit for kids, a try.  We had Strawberry Banana, and I personally thought it was really tasty and definitely a flavor that my kids enjoyed.  The flavor lasted with enough intensity that you could chew for a good long while without losing the taste.  Brushing should always be a part of your child’s daily routine, but you can always give them a head start with Orbit chewing gum for kids, and it tastes good so they think they are getting a treat!  Check out what one of my little guys thought about Orbit for Kids.

 

 

Boys and Girls Clubs Helping Kids Go Back To School

August 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog Tours, Product Reviews

It’s back to school for most, including my boys first year of kindergarten. I was the one who was hesitant about sending them off simply because my babies are growing up. Before they started school, I was overwhelmed with all the details of getting them ready to go. There are so many things to consider, like clothes on their backs, backpacks, supply lists, filling out registration forms, getting them caught up on vaccines, and just preparing for a change in their schedules.

Sometimes though, there are often families who struggle with providing the basic supplies for school, and often show up without the supplies that they need. A neighbor of mine who is a teacher, mentioned that she is always buying pencils because the kids have none. The Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) has been around for a hundred years providing kids with a safe place to be, offering fun activities ,life skills and a sense of self confidence, in order to help them do well in school and out. They offer a myriad of programs designed to give young people what they need.

Who are The Boys and Girls Clubs of America?

Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe place to learn and grow – all while having fun. It is the place where great futures are started each and every day.

In every community, boys and girls are left to find their own recreation and companionship in the streets. An increasing number of children are at home with no adult care or supervision. Young people need to know that someone cares about them.

Boys & Girls Clubs offer that and more. Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.

Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe place to learn and grow – all while having fun. It is the place where great futures are started each and every day.

Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide and Disney have paired up, and are making preparations for back to school by launching the Tools for Back to School initiative. Their priority is to make sure students, especially the ones who need it most, have the supplies that they need, and the guidance to succeed. Also, the BGCA website features many educational resources and content, offering numerous ways for Moms and Dads to engage and support the organization.

Also, if you do a little shopping in August at JCPenney, you can join jcp cares and your purchases can benefit The Boys and Girls Club by “rounding up your purchase”  We all want  our children to succeed, be provided for and be able to grow up happy and well provided for.  I believe in giving every child the chance to do this regardless of their circumstances.  The BGCA is doing just that, by giving kids the head start that they need throughout their childhood.

 

 

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Boys and Girls Club. I received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Pure Leaf Tea Makes Summer Entertaining A Breeze

July 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog Tours, Product Reviews

We just got a new patio put on this Summer so we could enjoy our great backyard and have a few people over.  I love Summer because it is the perfect time for entertaining friends and family, the kids are outside playing and it sort of brings people together.

After the patio was done, I was very excited to have a small get together with some of our friends, to show off the new patio and get the chance to do some outdoor entertaining.  Before, we had nowhere to be other than the grass, so this was great.  Along with the new patio, I was looking for some fun drink recipes that I could try to share with some of our guests.  I wanted to create some family friendly beverages that everyone could enjoy.  Some of my favorite drinks in the Summer include lemonade and ice tea, but I wanted to do something different.  What if I could incorporate one of these classic Summer beverages into a new drink with a twist?

Pure Leaf Iced Tea by Lipton offered me some really great recipe ideas to try incorporating tea into adult beverages and even smoothies and even using it to prepare pork chops!  Naturally, I was intrigued because all I have ever done with tea is add ice, and sugar and drink it, so I was excited to try doing something new with it.  I was really surprised to see how versatile tea can be.

Since, the weather here has been insanely hot, I chose to make Pure Leaf’s Fruit-Tea Smoothie to cool everyone off.  I had freshly picked frozen strawberries on hand and I thought this would be a great way to use them. The recipe included sweetened or unsweetened Pure Leaf Tea, vanilla ice cream, low fat, or I chose to put the good full fat stuff in mine, frozen strawberries and sugar (recipe to follow).  These turned out really fabulous and tasted awesome, and everyone really enjoyed them, including the kids.  Everyone was shocked when I handed out the recipe to them to find that there was tea in their smoothie.

FRUIT-TEA SMOOTHIES

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

16 ounces Pure Leaf Iced Tea with Lemon or Pure Leaf Unsweetened Iced Tea, chilled

2 cups frozen strawberries

1 cup fat free vanilla ice cream

1 tablespoon sugar

In blender, process all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately in tall glasses and garnish, if desired, with fresh strawberries.

 

 

Pure Leaf Tea also teamed up with Gail Simmons judge on Bravo’s Top Chef to come up with some great recipes like Peach Ginger Fizz.

(See Recipe Below)

 

 

 

Lipton tea has been around as long as I can remember. I can remember the tea bag hanging out of my hot cup on days when my mom had me home sick from school nursing my sore throats. But, besides, having great tea , Pure Leaf has put a great deal of thought into their packaging. I love companies who make a genuine effort to create something that tastes good, but goes that extra mile to improve things about them and to make their product better in not just one aspect but all aspects. Take a look at what they are doing!

Why did Pure Leaf change its packaging?

• Pure Leaf is dedicated to the environment and wanted to make a change that would positively impact the world we live in.
• PET plastic is 100% recyclable.
• The innovative packaging is more consumer-friendly for on-the-go and out-of-home occasions compared to the previous glass bottles.
• The new square bottles are lightweight and provide a high pallet efficiency, which equates to more bottles, lighter loads and less fuel used in transport.

What is PET?
• PET is the type of plastic labeled with the #1 code on or near the bottom of bottles and containers and is commonly used to package soft drinks, water, juice and many other products.
• PET plastic is 100% recyclable.
o Source: http://www.napcor.com/PET/whatispet.html

Why the change from round to square bottles?
• The new square bottles (vs. round) fit together in a condensed way, creating high pallet efficiency, which equates to more bottles, lighter loads and less fuel used in transport.

Will you still offer glass bottles in addition to the plastic?
• No.

In what size bottles is Pure Leaf offered?
• 18.5-oz. and multi-serve 59-oz.

What does it mean to be Rainforest Alliance Certified?
• Rainforest Alliance certification is built on the three pillars of sustainability: environmental protection, social equity and economic viability.
o Source: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/agriculture/certification
• Recently, in recognition of our commitment to sustainability, several of our tea estates, including our Kericho, Kenya plantation, have earned Rainforest Alliance certification.
• This certification is available exclusively to farms that meet or exceed the rigorous standards for sustainability that are necessary to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification.
• We are very proud to source our tea leaves from these farms and to be able to use the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal on Pure Leaf.
o Source: http://www.liptonpureleaf.com/ra_certified/

Summer is a great way to enjoy Pure Leaf Tea, and enjoy entertaining your friends and family. Pure Leaf Iced Tea is great straight form the bottle, but now that I know you can use tea in other things, I can’t wait to experiment!  You can check out the Pure Leaf facebook page for some really great recipes!

 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Lipton Pure Leaf. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating”

 

Ore Ida Grillers

July 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog Tours, Product Reviews

Grilling is one of my favorite things to do during the Summer months.  The kids are usually actively playing outside and I like being able to be outdoors with them.  Grilling for me as a mom is much faster and pleasant than being inside with a hot oven, heating up the house.  I love the taste of grilled hamburgers, vegetable and potatoes, and anything that I can prepare on the barbeque pit.

I am always on the lookout for things that I can prepare as a whole meal on the grill, so everything is sort of ready at once. Ore Ida Grillers is a great new product introduced by Ore Ida, a well known name in my household.  Ore Ida already has  really great frozen potatoes like tater tots, french fries and hash browns.  I love potatoes on the grill, but I always have to wrap them up in foil to keep them from burning to black hockey pucks before I can get everything ready.  I was able to give the new Ore Ida Grillers a try over the weekend and I love them.  Firstly, I can just put them directly on the grill, which makes preparation easy from package to grill to table in about fifteen minutes.  We chose a meal of a fresh garden salad, hamburgers and Ore Ida Grillers.  Cooking them is easy as can be, you flip them over once or twice during the fifteen minutes and then they are ready to go.

We had the chance to try the Grillers Golden Thick Cut Potatoes as well as a package of the Grillers Seasoned Thick Cut Potatoes and my personal favorite were the seasoned Grillers.  They went perfect with the meal and at first I thought the potatoes might be too hard after cooking but they were the perfect amount of crispy outside and soft on the inside.  I took one of them and put it on my hamburger and it was a really yummy addition!  The best part, is that they are easy to prepare, there is no cutting and peeling of potatoes, getting them sealed in a foil packet and then wondering if your potatoes are cooked enough.  I don’t know how many times I have burnt my self on foil packets of potatoes trying to peek inside to see if they are done on the grill.

As a mom, Ore Ida Grillers will be something I have on hand in my freezer from now on.  It makes for a great side dish to whatever you may be grilling and they are super simple to make!  Ore Ida Grillers can be purchased at grocery stores and places such as Target, Walmart, and Sam’s Club.  You can also check out the Ore Ida facebook page and let everyone know how much you like Ore Ida products.

 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Ore-Ida. I received coupons to purchase products to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating”

3M Mobile Projector Review

July 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Mom Central, Product Reviews

Movie night in our house is always a perfect opportunity to get the family together and enjoy time with one another.  I was driving in my car a few weeks ago and I was telling my husband that I actually missed going to a drive in movie.  I can remember as a kid when we would all pile in the car with a cooler full of snacks, and blankets, and spending the evening at the drive in.

What if there was a perfect way to bring back those memories in your own front yard or have your own big screen right in your own home?  The 3M Mobile Projector brings the big screen to you in a tiny package.  3M’s Mobile Projector allows you to turn your mobile devices like an iPad, or iPhone into a big screen theater. Set up is pretty easy right out of the box, and you are ready to make some movie memories.

Video quality on the 3M Mobile Projector is pretty darn impressive.  You can plug in any portable speakers and have instant sound.  I had a little trouble with the sound being a little too low, I am not sure if this is a product of the device itself, or something that needed adjusting on my end.  Overall, though, it sounds really good.  Our first experience we watched a documentary on sharks and the ocean.  The boys and I had so much fun with it, we all curled up in bed and watched the show on the ceiling!  We had a movie night set for our front yard, but we had a storm blow through here and knocked out power, so we didn’t get the opportunity to have our drive in movie with the neighborhood kids. The 3M Mobile Projector has 2 hours of battery life per charge (or runs continuously on AC power).  If you don’t have an iPad or a mobile device you can easily get a cable specifically sold by 3M to hook up to your laptop.

 

The screen size is ample and projects a screen size of up to 80” diagonally.  You can put the projector on a table top and it has a small flip out tab to elevate it, but I found it easier to use a tripod since it has a standard tripod mount and it keeps the screen from moving.

3M Mobile Projector Features

  • Up to 2 hours of battery life per charge (or runs continuously on AC power)
  • Projects a screen size of up to 80” diagonally
  • 32 lumens brightness
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Audio out for external speakers or headphones
  • Native resolution: 800 x 600 SVGA
  • Supported resolutions: VGA 640 x 480‚ SVGA 800 x 600‚ XGA 1024 x 768‚ WXGA 1280×768 and 1440 x 900 @ 60 Hz‚ SXGA 1280 x 960 @ 60 Hz
    MAC: 640×480 @ 67Hz‚ 832×624 @ 75Hz‚ 1152×870 @ 75Hz
  • No lamps to replace; uses long-lasting LED technology (up to 20‚000 hours)
  • Flip stand (built-in image height adjustment)
  • Standard tripod mount

One fun thing you can do which I didn’t get to try because I have an iPad 1, was that you can project your favorite apps on the wall too, it would have been really fun to play Angry Birds in big screen mode.  Overall, I love the 3M Mobile Projector, the resolution is great for such a small device, it is easy to set up out of the box, and it is great if you have young children to create a fun family movie night.  There are so many versatile ways to use this projector.  I can imagine it would be a great tool in classrooms for presentations, and the device could easily fit in your purse or bag.  I can’t wait to have our make up movie day at the drive in, complete with blankets, snacks, and lots of smiles! The 3M Mobile Projector brought back so many fun memories for me, and I love just doing something different as a family.  I love it!

If you want to learn more about the 3M Mobile Projector, you can check out the 3M  facebook page or follow their twitter stream!

 

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of 3M and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

 

 

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Nonni’s Biscotti Bites

May 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Product Reviews

I have never tried biscotti,probably because I rarely drink tea and never drink coffee.  But I have always wondered what it tasted like, and always contemplated buying it when I passed by it in local cafes or at the grocery store.  I had a an Aunt who always used to dip shortbread in her coffee, and I can remember as a kid grabbing a glass of milk and following suit.

I was recently given an opportunity to try out Nonni’s Biscotti Bites and even though I don’t drink coffee or tea, I couldn’t think of anything more perfect to dunk in my cold glass of milk.  So I took the challenge to have my own “Biscotti Moment.”  My favorite mommy time comes after the boys go to bed and the house is quiet.  I put on a favorite show or a good movie and grab a glass of milk and cookies.  Nonni’s Biscotti bites were a welcomed change to my favorite night time snack and I loved them!  They are just as perfect for dipping in a cold glass of milk.

Biscotti are gourmet dunking cookies, pronounced <bis-­?coat-­?tee> in Italy, but more commonly pronounced <bis-­?cot-­?tee> in America. The name Biscotti was derived from ‘bis’ meaning twice in Italian and ‘cotto’ meaning baked and it was first created in the fourteenth century in the Tuscany region of Italy. Biscotti is made with real eggs, butter and gourmet bittersweet chocolate which gives it that delicately sweet taste and nice light crunch.

My favorite of the three flavors, almond dark chocolate, caramel milk chocolate, and classic almond, had to be the caramel milk chocolate.  In fact, the bag didn’t last very long because between me and the boys they were gone in a day!  It had these slightly chewy bits of caramel imbedded in the biscotti and one side dipped in a layer of milk chocolate.  It sure cured my craving for for something slightly crispy and chewy like a chocolate chip cookie and they are perfect for dipping.

About Nonni’s Biscotti Bites

Created just for your craving, it is a unique eating experience crafted with all natural ingredients making them rich in flavor, light and crunchy in texture, and delicately
sweet.

Biscotti has been an Italian tradition for generations and now you can enjoy delicately sweet mini biscotti; baked with quality, each biscotti is the perfect size for snacking or sharing.

Delicious, all natural, special occasion treat in an everyday snacking size

Snack bag packaging makes it easier to share and wrap back up for another biscotti break

Excellent complement to enhance a favorite coffee beverage, enjoying with a glass of wine, perfect
for a cold glass of milk or eating by itself.
Comes in a variety of flavors

Almond dark Chocolate is a classic almond biscotti dipped in gourmet dark chocolate; a modern tradition combining the delicate flavors of biscotti with the
rich taste of the finest chocolate.

Caramel Milk Chocolate is light, filled with sweet creamy caramel and dipped in gourmet milk
chocolate; an indulgent combination that is irresistible.
Classic Almond is crisp and crunchy, with the sweet flavor of almonds and just a hint of anise.
This classic bite-­?size creation is rich in Tuscan tradition and is an excellent complement to a cup
of coffee, espresso, or wine.

Do you like Biscotti? What is your favorite treat, or ways in which you pamper yourself? Nonni’s Biscotti wants to offer you the chance to win a trip for two to Hollywood. You can also upload a photo of your Biscotti Moment to have a chance to win the weekly prize of a Nonni’s Biscotti Gift Basket. You can learn more about the Biscotti Moment Sweepstakes on the Nonni’s Biscotti Facebook page.

My Biscotti Moment

 

 

“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Nonni’s Biscotti and received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

VTech Multitasking Phone System

May 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Mom Central, Product Reviews

There are some days when I don’t get to even sit down, till after the boys are in bed.  Along with being a mom, comes this weird phenomenon when you have kids, it is the one where if you sit everyone is right there needing something, but if you are busy doing the laundry, everyone seems to leave me alone for a few minutes anyway.  I call my laundry time, my phone time, when I can call my mom and talk while I fold, but holding the phone isn’t always feasible.  I also, like to call my husband when I am outside watching the boys, so a hands free option is always welcomed, so I can do several things at once.

Vtech has the perfect solution. I was given te opportunity to try out  the Vtech LS6475-3 cordless phone set and answering system.

Here’s what you get in the box and all very easy to set up.

  • An answering machine and phone base unit with AC power adapter.
  • A charging cradle with AC power adapter.
  • 2 DECT cordless phone handsets
  • 1 DECT headset with ear hook and ear bud
  • 1 head band for use with the headset
  • Phone cable, manuals, two battery packs (one for each phone)
  • 3 additional ear buds and two ear hooks.

The phones themselves feel solid and well put together,  they are not heavy and I love the sleek silver that accents the handsets and is the primary color of the base.  You can see from the pictures that the phones and the base/charging units look very nice.  To me, if a phone has to sit there on my counter or wall, it needs to look decent.

The handsets were partially charged when I got them out of the box, but I decided to fully charge them for my review.  Setting up the base was very simple, the phone cord into a phone jack, plug the ac adapter into any outlet, and voila, you’re ready to go.   One thing you’ll notice right away is that Vtech added a little “lip” on the cradle for the handsets so that when you put the phone in the cradle, you know for sure it’s in there correctly to charge.  That’s a nice touch.

One of the things that makes this phone set unique is the included headset.  The headset is very versatile, it can be worn on the ear (kind of like a blutooth cell phone ear piece), but it also comes with a head band so you can wear it using the over the head band.  You also get additional ear buds, and various different size ear hooks so you can be sure you can fit it on your ear properly.  This is a great feature if you are running around the house getting things done, yet you have phone calls to make.  The headset is well built and I was able to wear it comfortably on my ear.  More importantly, the sound on the headset is excellent, and the range is absolutely great.  I was able to wear the headset and walk outside my house over to the neighbors house while talking on the phone without any static or noise!

There is a button on the headset to answer an incoming call (which works well), but there is no way to make a call with the headset.  You have to first make a call using one of the cordless hand sets, and then you can continue the call on your handset.  If you want to be able to make calls using the headset, this unit is not for you.  One of the things I really liked about it though, is the way you connect it to the base when charging.  It has a magnetic connector that makes it super easy to put the headset on the base to charge it.  It clicks into place snugly – no worries about having the headset laying around somewhere and not being able to find it.

The two handsets come with a very clear and easily readable blue backlight, including the key pad.  No fumbling around in the dark trying to see the keys when you’re trying to call at night.  The contrast on the displays is good so the text is easily readable.  This phone set uses DECT 6.0 technology, which means it won’t interfere with your home wireless network for your PC or other wireless devices.  I tested both handsets in different areas of my house, in my yard, and even across the street — the sound remained crystal clear, the range on these phones is remarkable.  Vtech calls it “HD Audio”, and it definitely delivers.  Both handsets have speakerphones built in, just push the speakerphone button and you can use the handset as a speakerphone.  The speaker produces clear sound and the mic seemed to work well.

Another feature I really like on this phone set is “voice announce”.  The base unit as well as the two handsets announce the name and number (based on caller ID info) of the person calling using a robotic sounding voice.  The digital voice is sometimes funny in how it pronounces names, but it’s very handy to be able to tell who’s calling without having to be near any phone.  This has to be one of my most favorite features in the Vtech phones.  It is so nice, not to have to go running for a telemarketing call or for someone I don’t know.

The phone handsets also have a handy “push to talk” feature.  Just click a button and your phone becomes a two way radio with other handsets.  The set I got only has two handsets, but you can easily expand your set by adding more handsets.

The fully digital answering system works as expected, it allows you to record up to 14 minutes of messages.  The messages are recorded clearly and can be played back from any handset so you don’t have to go to the base answering machine to hear the messages.

All manufacturers claim wonderful talk times for their phones, but actual results are often less than spectacular.  Both cordless phones worked for more than a week without having to be recharged, with at least a few hours of active use.  Basically, battery time on your phones should not be an issue.  The headset lasted even longer than the cordless handsets on a single charge.

 

Final verdict:

The Vtech LS6475-3 generally retails for about $80.  At that price point, it’s really an excellent set.  It does everything you’d expect, and more.  It looks nice, feels well built, and can easily be set up in your home.   The headset is a feature you generally won’t find on other phone sets in the same price category.

Pros include the large feature set, cool headset with multiple configurations, voice announce, DECT technology, push to talk, and nice speakerphones.  The headset simply rocks, it’s very handy to be able to talk on the phone while keeping both hands available to do other stuff.

The only cons to this set are the lack of bluetooth (cell phone) integration and the inability to initiate a phone call using the headset.

A great way to stay up to date on all of Vtech’s latest technology you can visit Vtech’s Facebook Page, or follow along the Vtech Twitter Stream!

 

“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of VTech and received a product sample to facilitate my review.”

Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Product Reviews

I will admit, we aren’t big recyclers in our house.  It isn’t because I don’t think recycling is great, it is because I have no one were to put all the trash for recycling where it isn’t unsightly.  If I had a place to put all the stuff that I could easily get out to the curb in the recycler, than it would make my effort to recycle something I am more willing to do.

The Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler fits the bill.  It is a great way to hide the unsightly empty containers and bottle for recycling, it easily attaches to your cabinet door where you can hide it neatly inside.  The handle allows you just to take it outside and dump.  The five gallon lined leak proof, canvas bag holds up to 36 12 ounce cans or even milk jugs.  If the bag gets a little yucky, you can just toss it in the washing machine.  And to top it off the bag and all the packaging is made from recyclable materials.

What I love about the Rubbermaid Recycler, is that it is easy to install, and makes me more apt to take the time to recycle.  It keeps the trash im saving for the week, off my counters, and out of sight.  I like that I can tuck it all neatly away inside the cabinet.  It makes it easy to want to recycle, and I can keep things looking organized throughout the week.

Rubbermaid offers some great tips on recycling too!

Tips from the Rubbermaid Site

• Recycling does require a degree of attention to detail on the part of the recycler. And cleanliness does count—rinsing your cans makes them easier to process, which keeps costs down (and also effectively neutralizes the smell factor in your kitchen).

• DO recycle: steel cans, aluminum cans, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, plastic beverage bottles, milk jugs, glass bottles and jars, cereal boxes, other clean and dry cardboard boxes. Probably NOT recyclable: plastic grocery bags, Styrofoam, light bulbs, food-soiled paper, wax paper, ceramics. (Check with your municipality or county for specifics, resources and guidelines.)

• Hazards: Household hazardous wastes like paint cans, motor oil, anti-freeze, car batteries and pesticides typically need to be disposed of separately. (Check online or with your municipality for resources and guidelines.)

• Hardware: Items such as computers, cell phones and even eyewear can be recycled or repurposed. Look online for local organizations that accept them (a host of retail stores across the country, for example, collect cell phones for donation or recycling).

• Food scraps: certain food waste can go into a composter (which could be located under the kitchen sink) and the results can be used later to help fertilize your garden soil. With other food products, choose a covered Rubbermaid Step-on Waste Can with its innovative easy-to-use step-on mechanism. (For composting dos and don’ts as well as a better understanding of composting in general, see compostingcouncil.org.)

The Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler retails for $14.99. You could easily put one or two in your kitchen and make recycling a a snap and is a great way to get the family involved in recycling. My boys love to help me fill and empty the Hidden Recycler.

 

 

**The Rubbermaid Recycler, was sent to me for review, the opinions expressed here are that of my own**

The McCormick Look Book

April 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog Tours, Featured, Product Reviews

I am always on the look out for new recipes to try. I especially like changing up some of the standing recipes that we have in our house. I am addicted to flipping through recipes online and I love having the internet as a resource to create new things for my family.

McCormick has been a long standing name in my kitchen. Over half of my spice selection contains McCormick, my baking cabinet has vanilla, various flavored extracts, cinnamon, and nutmeg all with the classic red McCormick lid and name. McCormick also has a great resource online called the Look Book that has some really great recipes using some of McCormick’s great spices and extracts. I went looking around at all their great Spring Recipes to try and the photos all had me drooling on my keyboard.

 

They have a little bit of everything from breakfast to dessert. We were sent some of McCormick’s great products to make one of the recipes shown in the Look Book. Although, I saved about 10 of the recipes to make for a later date, I chose one of the healthier recipes available, the Very Vanilla Fruit Salad, since I am on a weight loss mission.  Fruit salad, is one of my favorite things to make during the Summer and when fruits become in season.  The McCormick Look book offered a new twist on our family favorite by adding vanilla and powdered sugar to your fruit salad.  I usually just toss with some fruit saver and serve it, so the vanilla was a unique twist.  This particular recipe was easy to throw together, and the vanilla gave the fruit a really nice subtle taste difference. The boys and I ate the whole fruit salad in a sitting and I will definitely be making this again in the near future.

Ours turned out lovely, and I love all the vibrant colors of the fruit and the subtle vanilla taste.

All the the recipes in the McCormick Look Book offered easy variations on products that we already use in our home.  I like that I can pin recipes, print them and save them for a later date.  Another great thing about the McCormick Look Book is that they offer images of all the recipes available, which is the first thing I look for when making something new.  The Vanilla Rich Chip Cake, will be next on on my list to celebrate when I lose my first ten pounds.  Check out McCormick’s Look Book, there are some great recipe ideas.

 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for McCormick. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating”

 

College Advantage Put Your Tax Return To Good Use

April 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Product Reviews

It is tax time, which means everyone is in a time crunch to get their taxes done and out the door by the April 15th deadline.  If you are anything like me, you look forward to getting some sort of refund.  Most families have already earmarked what the money is for, whether it is home improvements, to pay off debt, or just to put a little money back in the bank.   With a little extra money in your pockets you feel a little richer and can set aside money for more important things.  What about college?

College advantage has a great way to put money aside for your child’s education.   Getting started is super simple and families can enroll by going online at www.collegeadvantage.com. In just a mere ten minutes, you are already taking a step in in the right direction to ensure your child’s or children’s future. You can invest as little as $25 to get started you can make contributions through payroll deduction or electronic funds transfers throughout the year. Future participants can enroll online, download enrollment materials or request enrollment materials by calling 1-800-AFFORD-IT.

When you look at College Advantage you may be noticing that is says the “Ohio College Advantage 529 savings plan” but CollegeAdvantage funds can be used at any college not just Ohio and any university nationwide to pay for tuition, fees, room and board and other eligible expenses.  CollegeAdvantage offers nationwide enrollment, so you don’t have to be an Ohio resident to participate in Ohio’s College Advantage 529 Savings Plan.   This makes it to where anyone can get a child ready for the future, whether you are a parent, a doting grandparent, or you wish to give someone a gift, it is a win win situation for everyone and a gift you can feel good about giving.

Recently, College Advantage welcomed Paul Paeglis as the new Executive Director. Paul brings more than 20 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry, with skills in finance, risk management, operations, strategic planning and relationship management. Most recently, he served for more than 10 years as Chief Financial Officer of Tax Related Products at JPMorgan Chase. With  children of his own, Paul is passionate about the mission to provide high-quality savings programs to help families prepare financially, he understands what this means to families and the financial challenges that saving for college entails.

Now is a great time to start a College Advantage Savings Plan!

Currently, Ohio Tuition Trust Authority is encouraging families invest using their tax return dollars. From March 18 through June 1, 2012 Tuition Trust will provide a $25 account bonus to any new  College Advantage direct account with a $500 or more initial contribution. Existing account holders who make a onetime contribution of $3,000 to an account between March 1 and April 30, 2012 will receive a $50 bonus. This is a great added bonus and who couldn’t use free money towards college?

So if you are wondering what to spend your tax refund on, or you want to give a thoughtful gift to a child in your life, College Advantage is a great way to do that!  They may not jump for joy at a gift that isn’t tangible right now, but will appreciate the gift of education later when it matters the most.  More information can be found about College Advantage’s latest promotions and SAVINGS by visiting www.collegeadvantage.com and entering promo code SAVINGS or by visiting the OTTA Promotions tab at Facebook.com/CollegeAdvantage.

 

 

 

 

**I was compensated for this post all opinions expressed here are that of my own**

 

 

 

 

 

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