Staying Healthy With Healthy Choice

October 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Mom Central, Product Reviews, Uncategorized

When it comes to eating and making healthier choices for myself, it isn’t always an easy task. As a mother to twins, I often find myself waiting till the much later in the evening to eat. I know that this isn’t the best practice, but there are days when I just don’t have time to make something that I even feel like eating.

I recently had the chance to try out Healthy Choice steaming entrées. I rarely buy frozen food meals in the store,because they never really taste all that great to me. And the word “healthy” on a label is something I am easily deterred from buying. I have found that many frozen dinners are overdone with a ton of sauce or flavoring and there isn’t anything really there other than a few poor quality pieces of meat. I was hesitant because many meals that are frozen just don’t taste the same as a good home cooked meal.

About Steaming Entrees from Healthy Choice

Steam up the fresh taste of these new entrées, which include bigger, more vibrant ingredients in a lunch-sized portion. Steaming locks in freshness and unlocks the delicious flavors of quality ingredients, so you can taste and see the difference. Forget poking or stirring; our new steaming technology cooks your meal thoroughly in one easy step.

I tried the Roasted Chicken V and it was pretty good. I could definitely taste the cilantro in it and it had plenty of veggies and rice. It was a little on the spicy side for me, but that isn’t a negative thing if you love a little heat in your meals. Healthy Choice offers up 8 Steaming entrees and you can surely find something to satisfy your taste buds and keeping low in calories. Even though frozen meals don’t appeal to me, I can see me picking up a few of these to have on hand in the freezer, when I am tired and cooking something is the last thing on my mind.

Be sure to visit and “like” the Healthy Choice brand Facebook page so you can learn more about Healthy Choice and other great info to help keep you Healthy!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Healthy Choice and received samples of their new steaming entrées to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Banquet Fruit Pies

August 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog Tours, Product Reviews

I am a sucker for pie especially when it is fresh out of the oven and when someone else makes it for me.  Pie has to be one of those comfort foods that tastes good out of the fridge or warm.

I love to roll up my sleeves and make a fresh pie, but sometimes I just crave a slice of pie that doesn’t require me going through all the steps to make one.  Recently, I was given the opportunity to try Banquets new fruit pies, and I was excited, because who doesn’t love pie?  Banquet has been making  meals for more than 50 years, and now they are introducing new single-serving fruit pies.  Each Banquet fruit pie has a half serving of real fruit inside a flaky pastry shell that you can enjoy hot from the oven or microwave. The pies come in three delicious flavors: apple, peach, and cherry berry for a great low price.

I   popped one of the cherry berry pies in the oven because I like a crust that is more brown and a little crunchy, but you have the option of making them in your microwave. Then after pulling the pie out, I topped that baby with some whip cream and grabbed my fork. The crust was nice and flaky and the filling was pretty good and had just the right amount of sweetness and tart mixed together. Banquet’s new fruit pies are perfect if you have that late night sweet craving or if you want to treat the kids. And the fact that they only cost around a dollar makes it an even sweeter deal. I will definitely have a few of these on hand in the freezer from some late night indulgence and fun treats for the kids.

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

Fruits Of My Labor Literally!

August 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, General

So this is what I have been up to and I am not finished yet.  I guess I got myself on a fruit picking and jam making kick.  Although I am not a huge jam person myself, I do enjoy it on my morning toast on occasion.  I actually enjoy being outdoors and doing the picking and making something from it, but it is rare that I eat most of it, and just like giving it away.  The experience is much more fun!

Raspberries are fun to pick.  I was a little intimidated by all the bees but they really just leave you alone and go about their bee business.  I was expecting much bigger berries, but you have to remind yourself these aren’t fertilizer/miracle grow injected store bought berries.   The season wasn’t quite in full swing, but I loved going out to pick my own!

Then there were peaches, peaches and more peaches!   Ever try a peach that is actually ripe, right off the tree?  You are missing something if you haven’t!  The juice from the peach just runs down your arm.  We all had a bit of a belly ache after our picking but the peaches were beautiful!

Here is some of my finished product.  I am getting good at this stuff!

Now this weekend there are blueberries to be picked and rumor has it that there are more raspberries!  I have a whole house to clean and polish for guests next weekend, a 4yr old birthday party to plan.  Do you think I can get it all in?  If you don’t see me I’m lost in a blueberry field somewhere!  I could open my own general store by now!

Breyers Smooth And Dreamy Ice Cream Bars *review and giveaway*

July 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog Tours, Product Reviews

Who doesn’t love ice cream in the Summer time or just about any time for that matter.  For us moms, I am sure we break out a pint of of favorite ice cream when the day hasn’t gone so well and it makes all your trouble melt away.  July is National Ice Cream month and to help celebrate, I had the chance to try Breyers Smooth and Dreamy Ice cream bars. 

I am always looking for a chocolate fix and I almost always like my chocolate cold.  Ice cream seems to be my latest craving and the more chocolate the better.  Breyers, has a new selection of ice cream bars that will satisfy those chocolate craving that come up in the heat of the Summer.  I tried the Triple Chocolate Chip Bars and I thought I died and went to heaven.   They have just the right amount of chocolate goodness with a hint of crunch from the mini chocolate chips and the chocolate shell coating.  Nothing was left out and it is the perfect combination.  Not only that, Breyers Smooth and Dreamy Bars have no artificial flavors or colors, 160 calories or less and 4-6g of fat per serving!  What can be better than felling like you are indulging without the guilt?  After trying them, I shoved the box into the back of the freezer to keep them well hidden, so I don’t have to share.  I will definitely be keeping a private stash in my freezer.  I can’t wait to try all of the different flavors.

To help me celebrate my love for chocolate, and for the sake of chocolate in general, Mom Central and Breyers is letting me giveaway some Breyers Smooth And Dreamy to five lucky readers!   You definitely want to get in on this one, and who can pass up free ice cream????

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Breyers and received products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Here’s What You Gotta Do

Tell me why you would like to try Breyers Smooth And Dreamy Bars, Or share a childhood memory about ice cream.

Additional Entries

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Contest Starts July 30 and Ends August 2o, 2010

Good Luck!!!!

Winners are drawn at random, if winner does not respond within 24 hours the prize is forfeited

Contest open to US residents only.

Eggo Real Fruit Pizzas Making Morning Routine A Snap *giveaway*

July 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Contests, Product Reviews

When morning time rolls around, I find myself wanting to roll right back over and stay asleep, but my two four year olds have different plans.  I usually wake up to the words “mommy it’s time to get up!”   I pry my eyes open to find two pairs of little eyes staring back at me.

We have a clear routine in the mornings and I have carefully designed an organized path to begin our day.  While I try and wake myself up we begin in the bathroom, since it’s on our way.  With twins, and with most kids in general, they fight over what belongs to who, so I try and avoid this like the plague, so my brain can wake up enough to tell my feet how to walk properly.

Being organized makes things a lot easier and everyone has a clear direction in the morning.

Assigned colors:  This is great for us, so there are no mix ups and there is great peace and harmony (well sort of…a girl can dream), each of my boys has a color.   We head to the bathroom and they know that the red and blue  toothbrushes are theirs and they know what color they should have.  This is a great way to set out clothes for the boys too, because then they know whose clothes are theirs for the day.  They have outfits for the day in their red and blue bin.

We head to the kitchen, and this is where we start the day.

Make the basics ahead: Cups are filled the night before, each one has their color so they know which one to grab from the fridge. This makes it easy, and it really helps them have that sense of independence that most toddlers and kids want.  They know to sit quietly on the couch, and my husband and I set the tv the night before to their favorite channel so they know to hit the big button and watch while I make breakfast (this keeps me sane…almost).  No one ever agrees on the same food choice, but sometimes I get lucky.

Breakfast usually isn’t elaborate in our house with the exception of Sundays where I make a big breakfast.  The boys typically choose a poptart, cereal with or without milk, a waffle,  fruit or something relatively quick.  Breakfast, is just one of those meals where you are trying to head out the door for the day, so you have time constraints. I can usually tell when the boys get bored with food choices, so I am almost always in the lookout for some things to change it up.

Recently, I was chosen to be and EggoAM mom and we got the chance to try Eggo’s  Real Fruit pizzas.  We are already huge fans of Eggo waffles, so the chance to try their fruit pizza was a no brainer.  I surprised the boys by asking them if they wanted a special pizza for breakfast. and they were really excited.  At first they asked if the “pizza guy” was going to bring it, but I had to explain that the Fed Ex guy brought it in a special package.  Either way, they were excited to try pizza for breakfast.

I decided to pop one in the oven for a crisper crust, but you can toss one in the microwave if you are in a hurry.  In the 5-7 minutes while it was cooking, you can smell the hint of cinnamon which made my kitchen smell like I was Martha Stewart., and both the boys had to check on it’s progress.

I was a little skeptical about yogurt on a pizza that you heat in the oven or microwave, because I am used to yogurt being cold, but to my surprise it had a really great flavor and the boys loved it too.  It seemed to have just the right amount of everything, and I loved the combination of a slightly tangy flavor, with the crunch of the crust.  One thing I did notice was that the crust seemed a little flatter than whats on the picture, so I expected something a little more doughy, but I liked the thinner crust.  Both of the boys seemed full and satisfied with just half a pizza.  As you can see, it was a big hit! I stole the strawberry one for myself!

Eggo’s Real Fruit Pizzas are a great way to compliment your morning routine and keep you on task.   Need to figure out a hassle free way through morning chaos? Check out The Motherhood Eggo Mornings Circle where you’ll find me and other Eggo AM Moms  sharing ways to make mornings run like a well oiled machine.

” I was provided with items for review purposes by Eggo and TheMotherhood and was compensated for my time in writing this post and running this giveaway. The opinions I have expressed, however, are strictly that of my own.”

Want to give Eggo Real Fruit Pizzas A Try?  What morning routines get you going in the morning?

You can win: A set of Eggo Real Fruit Pizzas to try out for yourself – 5 winners (1 set each).

Here’s What Ya Gotta Do!

Mandatory Entry Requirement

1. Leave a comment (and a valid e-mail address) here and share your best tips for a smooth, organized, hassle free morning

Motherhood will also be creating Eggo’s Best Tips for a hassle free morning by choosing the best user-generated tips submitted.  One of those lucky submissions will be selected for a GRAND PRIZE including samples of Eggo Real Fruit Pizzas  and a set of Kellogg’s mugs.  So Get Busy!

Additional Entries

Follow me on twitter

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At the close of the contest 5 winners will be chosen via

Limit one (1) Giveaway entry per person for entire giveaway. Entrants for the giveaways may not
participate with multiple e-mail addresses. Any entrant who attempts to enter with multiple e-mail
addresses, under multiple identities, or uses any other device will be disqualified from participation in the
promotion, and all entries submitted by that entrant will be void.
ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia who are 18
years of age or older at time of entry. Employees of TheMotherhood (“Sponsor”), its affiliates,
subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies and their immediate family members and/or those living
in the same household of each are not eligible to participate.
WINNERS: Giveaway winners will be randomly selected using on August 5 by the brand
ambassadors, and the Sponsor will ensure there are no duplicate winners across all 20 brand
ambassadors’ blogs. The Sponsor’s decisions are final. Winners will be notified by e-mail. In the event
the Sponsor is unable to contact the winner within 48 hours of first notification, prize will be forfeited and
an alternate winner selected. Each winner must supply a valid mailing address and P.O. Boxes are
prohibited. All prizes will be sent directly to each winner.

This promotion has not been sponsored by, endorsed by, nor is affiliated with the Kellogg Company

Winner has 24 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

Contest Ends 11pm July 27th

Good Luck!!!

You can read the official rules here

Disclosure: I am being compensated by Kellogg and TheMotherhood for my participation in this campaign. The opinions are my own

Hunts Ketchup Gets Down To The Basics

July 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog Tours, Mom Central, Product Reviews

We are huge ketchup fans in this house.   Both of my boys always ask for everything with dip (meaning ketchup).  They dip their french fries, chicken nuggets, and fish sticks, so we find ourselves going through bottles of the stuff on a regular basis.  I always try to read the labels, and often times you cannot pronounce what is in your food.

We were sent a bottle of Hunt’s Tomato Ketchup to try, which boasts no high fructose corn syrup.  As a Mom, you are always trying to make healthy and conscious food decisions for your family without compromising the taste.  High fructose corn syrup is something I try to avoid because it isn’t really a  natural sugar in our diet.  Hunt’s ketchup now features five simple ingredients. Hunt’s reformulated recipe includes no high fructose corn syrup, and no artificial ingredients or preservatives and we all loved the taste.  It tasted just as good without all the extra fake fluff in our food (as I call it).

And to celebrate Moms and the choices they have to make for their family,  starting July 2nd, Moms have a chance to win a family vacation (up to $5,000) through a photo contest. To enter, go to, submit a photo of you and your family achieving a “simple victory” and you could win that summer vacation you’ve been longing for.

Having basic and simple ingredients in our foods, doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the taste.  I am seeing more and more foods offered in local grocery stores that are getting back to basic ingredients, and I like having those choices for my family!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Hunt’s and received a ketchup sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Barilla Share The Table

July 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog Tours, Mom Central, Product Reviews

Many families today are extremely busy, with having kids in sports, working. and schedules that are hard to line up.  Dinner isn’t the same these days, and is often eaten by everyone in the family at different times.  I know that we have a hard time sitting down to one meal together as a family through the week, with my husband working varying hours through the week.  We have made it a point to make dinner a meal that we could eat together, and catch up on how everyone’s day was.

Barilla has started a “Share the Table”  program to help families make the most out of their dinnertime together. Barilla has a Share the Table website,  that offers  recipes from chefs like Mario Batali and tips on how families can make meal times more meaningful in bringing families together.

To help families get started sharing the table, Barilla now offers “Pasta Friday Sweepstakes” with weekly winners of pasta and pasta sauce giveaways and has created the “Mealtime Moments Contest,” which gives families who commit to making a better mealtime experience,  the opportunity to share  stories and win select prizes throughout the summer. For everyone that becomes a fan of meaningful meals at, Barilla will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels Association of America, helping seniors get the nutritious meals, that they often don’t get.

To help our family “Share The Table,”  we were sent a wonderful package full of all the things we needed to create a meal for the family.  We all love pasta in this house so it was easy to create something that we all loved.    Our favorite Barilla pasta is the Penne, and I mix it up with Barilla’s Garden Vegetable Sauce, hamburger, mushrooms, and sweet italian sausage.  It is rare that we have leftovers, and the whole family enjoys it.  There are so many great meals that you can create with pasta and Barilla makes it easy.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Barilla and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review..”

John Morrell Allergen Free Meats

June 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Product Reviews

Allergies are big deal here in my house.  I have always suffered the occasional sniffles and sneezes that come along with allergy seasons, and as a child had a milk allergy.  Since having the boys, I have always been concerned that they might acquire some of my husband’s allergy problems.  As babies, I was always a little on edge when trying new foods, because you just never know when a food allergy would pop up.

There are a whole host of food allergies that run in my family.  I actually have an Aunt that is severely allergic to beef.  They aren’t certain if it is an allergy to the hormones that are used to treat the cattle or not, or if it is something else.  Often times when you read a food label, there are a myriad of food preservatives or other ingredients that could potentially trigger a food allergy  in them, so having foods available that offer an allergen free alternative is always nice and choices may not be as limited.  Plus, when you read that some foods my not actually have nuts in them, but have been processed in places that do use nuts, it makes you even more concerned and more limited on the foods you can buy if your child or family has food allergies.

We recently were given the opportunity to try John Morrell Allergen Free Meat.  John Morrell makes their brand hotdogs, smoked sausages, and bologna now 100% “worry-free”.  This means that they are free from allergens of milk, nuts, egg, soy, wheat, gluten, and MSG!   They even went a step further by making their hot dogs, smoked sausages and bologna in a completely allergen-free facility.   We tried their hotdogs on a weekend trip to the lake and grilled out.  They were a big hit and I didn’t notice any taste difference, and I could be happy knowing that I was avoiding some of the potential things that could possibly trigger a  food allergy.  It is also nice when you have people that have allergies to foods, that you can have them over and not feel like you have to exclude them from your meal, or make separate a separate food choice. 

If you or your family has food allergies, John Morrell Allergen Free Meats may be a great choice for you and your family to enjoy without the worry.  If you or your family would like to give John Morrell Allergen Free Meats a try you can visit their facebook page and get a $1 off coupon towards your purchase! 

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Centralon behalf of John Morrell and received a free coupon for John Morrell products to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

General Mills And Costco Team Up With Sunny Day Snacks

June 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Contests, Product Reviews

Now that we are in the Summer months, our family tends to spend a lot of time playing and doing activities outside.  It seems like my two are always wanting something to snack on and I usually like to offer them a healthier selection of foods.  It also seems like it is harder to keep the pantry stocked with healthy snacks with two growing little boys in the house.

One of our favorite places to go to stock up, happens to be Costco.  I can get a lot of foods that are perfect for snacking an in larger quantities that stretch a little further on a tight budget.  Now available at Club Stores, are Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Barsand Simply Fruit Roll-Ups!  Both of my boys love granola bars (nola bars as they call them) and Fruit Roll-Ups are almost always a favorite.  They are perfect to shove in the beach bag, in your purse, or just to sit in the shade and dangle your feet from the porch swing and enjoy a little snack.

*Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars are a delightful, 100% natural, combination of tastes and textures you’ll love. Now, you can get 25% more of the whole almonds, peanuts, raisins and cranberries in every bar! With no artificial flavors or colors and only 140 calories, Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars also contain 8g of whole grain per serving.

* Simply Fruit Roll-Ups are a better-for-you treat that kids love! Simply Fruit Roll-Ups are an excellent source of Vitamin C and are available in a convenient variety pack of Strawberry and Wildberry flavors. Every delicious roll is made with 90% real fruit and fruit juice and packs a full serving of fruit. Even more exciting? They’ re gluten-free and contain only 50 calories per roll.

I love that we are able to buy foods that the kids love in bigger sized packages, because not only do I save money buying in bulk, it limits the numerous trips to the grocery stores. If there is anything that I hate is having to run out more often than I need to! We love Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars and Simply Fruit Roll-Ups and will definitely be keeping our pantry stocked with these great treats on our trips to our local Costco.

**To help facilitate my review, Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars, Simply Fruit Roll-Ups and a $25 Costco card  were all provided from General Mills through MyBlogSpark.  The opinions I have expressed are strictly that of my  own**

To celebrate Summer and just because we love you. General Mills and My Blog Spark would like to offer one lucky reader the chance to win your own stock of Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars and Simply Fruit Roll-Ups and a $25 Costco card to keep plenty of treats on hand for your little whipper snappers this Summer!

Here’s What You Gotta Do!

Leave me a little ole comment telling me why you want to win. And anything else you want to tell me.

Additional Entriest

Tweet about this fab giveaway *tweet tweet*

Follow Me On Twitter (only because I am adorable and lovable of course)

Bloggity Blog about this giveaway and leave the link (pretty please)

Thats All Ya Gotta Do!

Contest Starts June 24, 2010 and Ends  July 8, 2010

Good Luck!!

**Winner Must respond within 48 hours otherwise the prize is forfeited**

Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice Healthier Choice Without Compromising Taste

June 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog Tours, Food & Recipes, Product Reviews

As a Mom, it is always a challenge to come up with things to feed your family.  It is even harder to come up with creative ways to slip healthy dinner choices into your family’s diet, especially if you have picky eaters.  One of my boys will eat just about anything, but my other, you have to convince him that the food you put in front of him is good.  Making subtle changes with healthier variations is what I found to be easiest when attempting to put something good for us on our plates.

I will be the first to admit that I tend to skip over the healthier version of a favorite food because it has been burned into my mind that it just won’t taste as good or taste the same, but I am usually willing to try it, if you put it in front of me..  My husband is a very anti-healthy anything, and if the label even mentions whole grain foods or whole wheat anything, he won’t touch the stuff.

I was recently given the opportunity to try Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised.  We use a lot of white rice with various dishes in the house, so I figured that making a switch would be a good idea in the long run.  We were able to try a few different varieties Natural Whole Grain Brown, with the traditional cook time (40 minutes), plus Fast & Natural Instant Brown Rice and Boil-In-Bag Whole Grain Brown Rice (both ready in 10 minutes).  I am a big fan of the boil in bag rice but we tried the Fast & Natural Instant Brown Rice.  I was serving a pork dish with a sauce that I dumped over the rice, but because rice is so versatile you can incorporate it into many dishes.

The rice definitely has a distinct taste, and you can taste the whole grain, but everyone seemed to really like it, and I can see switching to use it in place of just using white rice, although I don’t think I will give it up completely.  Uncle Ben’s also has some really  great recipes to try using their Whole Grain Brown Rice, such as: Chicken & Brown Rice Sloppy Joes (this is next on our list to try); Tex Mex Rice with Shrimp, Corn and Lime; Chicken, Apple and Walnut Brown Rice Salad; and Mediterranean Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. This makes it really easy to incorporate healthier choices and please even the pickiest palate.

All in all, we really liked Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Brown Rice and will be keeping it as a staple in our pantry.  I can’t wait to try their Sloppy Joe Recipe!

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

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