Thursday, December 13, 2012

Disney on Ice Presents Rockin' Ever After (Giveaway!)

Christmas time in the Philadelphia area means...

Disney On Ice time! 

Every year, right after Christmas, the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia is taken over by Disney On Ice. This year Disney On Ice presents Rockin' Ever After, which will run from Thursday, December 27th - Sunday, January 6th. 

Click and use password "MOM" for $15 tickets!!!!

I'm giving away a 4-pack of ticket vouchers to see the show. The vouchers can be exchanged for tickets at the Wells Fargo Center Box Office for any weekday performance Monday - Friday, excluding Friday evenings.

Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win! Share this post on Facebook for an additional entry

Ends Thursday, December 20th at noon. Winner to be announced Thursday night and notified by email. Winner has 24 hours to claim their prize or prize will be forfeited. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Let it foam, let it foam, let it foam...

'Tis the season...

Dial Anitbacterial Foaming Hand Wash has released a line of fun, holiday themed bottles to help you spread the cheer...not the germs! Their antibacterial foaming formula kills 99.99% of germs, more than any other liquid hand soap. It's gentle enough to protect your entire family, even the smallest of elves. Dial Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash smells great, works great and adds just one more festive touch to your home.

Dial sent me a few bottles of their Holiday Foaming Hand Soap so I could try them out and review them and I'm sharing the love...leave a comment on this post to be entered to win a bottle of your very own!

Comments close Thursday, December 13th at 11:59PM. Winner to be chosen and announced on Friday, December 14th. Winner has 48 hours to respond to email or they forfeit their prize.

Be sure to LIKE DIAL on Facebook! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

And the winner is....

Congratulations to Heather Grey, the lucky winner of the Carrie Underwood ticket giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who entered, to the good folks at the Wells Fargo Center for providing me with tickets and to my buddy Daniel for choosing the winner! :) 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Carrie Underwood at Wells Fargo Center 11/28 *Super Last Minute Giveaway*

Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away Tour" (with special guest Hunter Hayes) is taking over the Wells Fargo Center in just TWO DAYS, Wednesday, November 28th!

It's not too late to get your tickets from Comcast Tix.

And speaking of tickets.........I have a 4-pack to giveaway!!!!!!

Simply leave a comment on this post to be entered to win. Winner will be chosen at random and will be announced tomorrow (11/27) at 1PM. Please be sure to include your email so that I can contact you if you're the lucky winner.

(Winning tickets can be picked up at the Will Call window at the Wells Fargo Center.) 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gutzy's Cool for Back To School

Gutzy Gear is one of the hottest new trends for back to school! Haven't heard of it? Gutzy Gear is a cool way for kids to express themselves by customizing their backpacks! Gutzy Straps secure around the straps of a child's backpack with velcro, Gutzy patches then go on the Gutzy Straps. There are currently 56 Gutzies in a series, with new patches being added constantly, including licensed characters such as Spiderman, SpongeBob, The Avengers, Sonic and Monster High. You can never have too many Gutzies...they're so much fun to collect and trade!

Gutzy Gear is available online and now at nationwide retailers such as Toys R' Us, Walmart, K-mart and Office Depot. 

Thanks to the good folks at Gutzy Gear, we were able to share the Gutzy love with 15 of our friends at our Back To School Bash Playdate today. The kids were so excited!

Be sure to LIKE Gutzy Gear on Facebook!

**In full disclosure, we were sent Gutzy Gear Straps and Patches in exchange for our honest review....and honestly, they're awesome!**

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Creativity for Kids Playdate

We host a playdate in our backyard every Wednesday with each gathering having a different theme. Our theme today was Creativity for Kids. The wonderful folks at Faber-Castell's Creativity for Kids sent us two huge boxes chock full of fun craft kits for our girls to use for our playdate.

We had kits to make Fashion Headbands, Fashion Bracelets, Stuck-On Fashion Totes and Pop-Art Necklaces.

We started with the Stuck-On Fashion Totes. They were a huge hit and great for all ages and ability levels. Each girl was able to decorate a super cute pink and white zebra striped tote bag with peel and press stickers.

The Fashion Headbands and Bracelets were a lot of fun. Each kit came complete with everything we needed to design and make our own unique accessories, including scissors, glue and an assortment of ribbons, rhinestones, flowers, feathers and more.

 Nana and Isabelle making a headband...

Our friend Nellie showing off the bracelet she made.

The Pop-Art Necklaces were really simple, all the girls loved them...and so did the boys. We started with a plastic bottle cap, the kids could choose a sticker to place inside of it or color their own, pop in a plastic dome, then string it on a cord and add some beads. 

Making Pop-Art Necklaces...

Both the Moms and the kids were thrilled with our experience with Creativity for Kids crafts. We loved that the kids were able to use their creativity to make their own unique pieces, we loved that the kits included absolutely everything we needed to complete our projects and we were impressed with the quality of all the products. Thumbs up all the way around!

Check out the website to view all of the products Creativity for Kids has to offer, you can also sign up for the Creativity Club. It's free to join, you'll receive activity downloads and special promotions. 

Be sure to like Creativity for Kids on Facebook too!  

Some of our Creativity for Kids Girls...

**In full disclosure: We were sent these craft kits in order for us to host a playdate and share our experience here. No monetary exchange took place. All opinions expressed are my own. We had an awesome time and the kits were so much fun!**

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Balsamic Chicken & Onions

I took out a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts to thaw this morning, around came dinner time and I still had no idea what I was doing with it. I've mentioned my love of balsamic vinegar before, here's yet another delicious recipe using it: Balsamic Chicken & Onions!

Here's what you need:

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (In hindsight, I feel like 1/4 cup each of oil and balsamic might have been enough.)

Salt and pepper, to taste (I used course ground sea salt and fresh ground black pepper)

(1) onion, sliced

Here's what you do:

1) Preheat oven to 400. Wash chicken, pat dry. Remove excess fat and funk. Season with salt and pepper as to your liking. Place chicken in a gallon size plastic bag.

2) Pour oil and vinegar into bag. Seal bag. Shake like crazy to mix and coat. Use tongs to remove chicken from bag, place chicken in a baking dish.

3) Scatter onion slices on top of chicken. Pour oil/vinegar mixture over top of chicken.

4) Bake for 20-60 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken.

Doesn't it look yumbly?

Pour a little extra juice on each piece of chicken as you serve it. :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fun & Functional - Make Yourself Some New Magnets from your Craft Stash

We need some crafting up in here! This is a quick and easy project that you can do even if you think there's no crafty blood running through your veins.

I have a huge collection of assorted crafty crap includes a bunch of old, gaudy costume jewelry and buttons. I have big, cool plans for them, but have never gotten around to making them a reality. While I had the glue gun out for something else, I decided to turn some of them into fun and functional magnets for the fridge.

You'll need:
  • Old and preferably fairly ugly costume jewelry, big buttons or really anything lying around you'd like to make into a magnet
  • A hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Magnets 

Simply squirt a little hot glue onto your magnet-to-be and stick a magnet in the glue.

See that? You ARE crafty!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Missed me, missed me, now you gotta' kiss me!

You did miss me, right? 

It's been two months to the date since my last post. It's been a busy, busy, busy 8 weeks. I knew I'd be fairly absent from my little slice of the world wide web this summer, but I had planned to post AT LEAST once a week. As you can see, that didn't happen. We've been busy learning about birds and bugs and science and so many other fun things. There's just a few short weeks of summer left and so many things left on the Summer 2012 Bucket List that we haven't been able to cross off yet. 

Are you ready to ship your kids back off to school? Or are you crazy like me and wish you could keep them at home forever? I hope your summer's been eventful, happy and healthy so far. xx


Monday, June 4, 2012

let it burn

there's just so much
that goes unsaid
so many words

i wish you could understand
feel them with your fingers
maybe then i could
wrap my mind around them
and force them through
my pursed lips
and your deaf ears

so many
i've cried so hard
my flesh burns
and my bones ache
and the thought of another
another year
is enough to
drive me mad

some days are so dark
i have to wonder
if my eyes are even open
if they ever will be
if they ever were...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Super Simple Burger Recipes

Memorial Day Weekend is this weekend. It's the kick off to the summer here at the Jersey Shore! And with summer comes barbeques! There's nothing better than a hot, juicy burger fresh off the grill! Unless you're a vegetarian...then I guess there is something better.

At any rate, here are (2) super simple recipes for making easy, delicious burgers!

Your Signature Burger 

My longest and most favorite burger recipe of all time.

Original Ranch Burgers 

The most recent new burger recipe I've tried, it's quickly become a favorite.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mayonnaise Murdered Chicken

This morning I pulled a pack of thin cut, boneless, skinless chicken breast out of the freezer and popped it into the fridge with no plan as to what I was going to do with it. As of 4:30 this afternoon I still had no idea. I dug around in the back of the fridge, looking for inspiration and found a half empty jar of mayonnaise. Beings that I really needed another jar to collect change in anyway, I decided this mayonnaise was destined to be a part of dinner. Right next to the mayonnaise was a container of Parmesan cheese that at first glace I thought was empty, but low and behold, about a 1/2 a cup of cheese remained. Yep, I knew I had to use up that Parmesan too.

And so, Mayonnaise Murdered Chicken was born. And it was good. Really good.

Here's what you need:

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Parmesan cheese
Garlic powder
Dried Parsley (only because the mix looked dumb without a little color, totally not necessary)
Bread crumbs ( I used Italian style Panko. I love, love, love Panko! If you're not familiar with it, it's a Japanese bread crumb that's big and crunchy. When I first started using it, they had just one kind at the grocery store. Now several brands make it in several varieties and you see it on Menus in many restaurants. Try it, you'll love it. I seldom use traditional bread crumbs anymore.)

Here's what you do:

1. Defunk your chicken breasts, rinse and pat dry. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise (I scraped what was left out of the jar, it was about a cup full), Parmesan cheese (about a 1/2 a cup), garlic powder (1 teaspoon) and parsley (a few pinches), mix well. Place bread crumbs in another bowl. Line a cookie sheet with foil and preheat your oven to 400.

2. It's Mayonnaise Murdered Chicken because you smother the chicken in the mayonnaise mix. Stick each piece in the bowl and cover it completely. Then cover it in bread crumbs and slap it down on the cookie sheet.

It'll look something like this. Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. I served it with scalloped potatoes and broccoli. Delish. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sun Tip Tuesday: Water Resistance (and a giveaway!)

I love being a Coppertone Water Mom! You can read about it here.

Every Tuesday, I'm sharing a "Sun Tip" to help you help your families stay protected from the sun.

Be sure that you choose a sunscreen that is water resistant. Due to new FDA regulations manufacturer's can no longer claim a sunscreen is "waterproof", but water resistant, and the bottle must clearly state how long it will remain water resistant once applied. Of course, it's always a good idea to reapply your sunscreen after you've been swimming or have toweled off.

I have a bottle of New Coppertone Wet n' Clear Sunscreen Continuous Spray with your name on it! Simply leave a comment on this post to be entered to win. It sprays clear on wet skin, has a broad spectrum SPF of 45+ and it water resistant up to 80 minutes.

Contest ends next Tuesday, May 29th at noon EST.

Don't forget about the Little Miss Coppertone Contest...and be sure like Coppertone on Facebook as well!!!

"As a member of the Coppertone® Water MOMS group, I receive product samples and promotional items to share and use as I see fit.  No monetary compensation has taken place and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience." 

Monday, May 21, 2012

True Love

O.M.G. I am in love. Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai with Blueberry. You won't be sorry.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Honey Bunches of Oats - Make Your Day Bunches Better!

Honey Bunches of Oats is not only one of America's favorite cereals...but one of my personal favorites as well. You can't go wrong with a cereal that is not only delicious, but also nutritious - and now, Honey Bunches of Oats is better than ever! They've added more crunchy granola bunches to each box (you know the bunches have always been the best part)!

Honey Bunches of Oats tastes so good that it's easy to forget why it's good for you too:

  • 10 grams of whole grain (wheat, oat, corn and rice) per serving
  • Just 6 grams of sugar per serving (Honey Nut Cheerios has 9 grams!)
  • Heart Healthy! 0g Trans Fat, 0g Saturated Fat, 0mg Cholesterol    
With 10 varieties of Honey Bunches of Oats, you'll never get bored:
  • Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted
  • ...with Almonds
  • ...with Real Strawberries
  • ...with Cinnamon Bunches
  • ...with Pecan Bunches
  • ...with Vanilla Bunches
  • ...Raisin Medley
  • ...Fruit Blends with Peaches and Raspberries
  • ...Fruit Blends with Bananas and Blueberries
  • ...Honey Roasted Just Bunches!
 What's your favorite Honey Bunches of Oats flavor? Mine is a toss up between the classic Honey Roasted and Pecan Bunches.

I'm thrilled to be able to offer you the opportunity to score a FREE box of any Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal!

There's 3 ways to enter:
You can choose just one way to enter, but I'd love if you did all 3...and you'll be entered to win 3x!
 Please be sure to include your email address so I can get in touch with you if you're the winner. You'll win a coupon for a FREE (up to $4.49) 13 oz. or larger box of any Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal.

Winner will be selected at random and announced on Tuesday, May 29th at noon est.

**In full disclosure, I received a box of Honey Bunches of Oats - Honey Roasted from Post Cereal in exchange for a post about their delicious cereal. My participation in voluntary and, as always, my opinions are my own.**

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cape May County Moms *Mom's Night Out* TONIGHT

In addition to writing here at Pass The Prozac, I also write for Cape May County Moms, a local site for local moms by local moms. If you're a Cape May County Mom yourself, you should check out our page and like us on Facebook.

We're having a Mom's Night Out at Kidz Creations in Ocean City (811 Asbury Ave.) TONIGHT, May 18th at 7PM and we'd love for you to join us!

Kidz Creations is a walk-in arts and crafts studio and store for kids. Tonight, however, there's no kids allowed! :) Just us Moms! We'll be getting our craft on and painting wine glasses!

There will also be some wine for drinking, some snacks for nibbling, swag bags and raffle prizes!

This is a super small event, tickets are available online only and will not be sold at the door!

You can get all the details as well as the link to purchase your ticket here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

enough. is. enough.

"What a draaaag it is", croons Mick Jagger, "getting oooold..."

It's been in my head for a week. You see, today is my birthday. My 29th birthday. There's something about 29 that sounds so much older than 28 and not just because it's another year closer (okay, just one year away) to the big 3-0. 26 didn't feel so bad. 27 felt really bad. 28 was okay. 29 feels bad. Really bad. Maybe it's an odd number thing?

I don't dare post my distaste for 29 as a Facebook status. Everyone over the age of 29 will immediately jump down my throat with their unwanted comments. As silly as it may sound, to be depressed over turning 29, it's the way I feel and I'm entitled to it. So there. 

Most women have a problem with aging for two reasons. The first is sagging breasts, jiggly underarms or that hair you discover on a fluke. That hair you can't believe was as long as it was and growing on your face. You know that hair. 

The second reason is the mile high pile of expectations that teeters on the tops of our shoulders. We tell ourselves, "By this point in time in my life, I should have done, this, this and this. Oh and that." Been married, gotten pregnant, been promoted, bought a house, been to Aruba, insert your unmet expectation of yourself here. 

It's unmet expectations that are making 29 hard for me.

The thought of them is destroying my happiness. My own self-worth. My contentment. My self-respect.

Maybe I need to let go of some of those expectations. Maybe I need to work harder towards some of them. Maybe I need to meet myself in the middle. 

We get but "one wild and precious life" (Mary Oliver). I want mine to be full. I want it to be rewarding. I want it to be enough. I want to feel like I'm enough. 

My whole life I've never felt like I was. I wasn't the son my father wanted, I couldn't make my Mom happy when she was sad, I couldn't grasp the concept of long division and so many other things. I never felt smart enough, or strong enough, or good enough, the way I was.

I thought I'd be the girl to grow up and change the world. As it turns out, I can't even change myself. Or the way I think. Or how I react.

I think my life will really start if I can just believe that I'm enough. When I know it for sure, deep down in my bones, in my belly, in my heart - when I know that I AM ENOUGH - then maybe I can embrace the passing years, let go, be unafraid - maybe then I can celebrate myself.

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shepherd's Pie (Made Easy)

Shepherd's Pie is one of my favorite dishes to make when I've got ground beef that I don't know what to do with (it's also one of my oldest son's favorite dinners). It's super easy to throw together and you probably have everything you need already on hand. My Irish ancestors are probably rolling over in their graves, but here's my recipe for Shepherd's Pie Made Easy...

Here's what you need:

1 1/2 - 2 lbs. of lean ground beef
1 onion (white or yellow), diced
1 can of beef broth (which is about a cup and a half)
2-3 tablespoons of minced garlic (from a jar of course, who has time to mince garlic themselves?)
1 bag of frozen peas, carrots & corn (about 2 cups)
1 box instant mashed potatoes (this is the main reason my ancestors are ashamed)
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg

Here's what you do:

1. Cook ground beef (seasoned with salt & pepper) in a skillet over medium-high heat. Just before the meat is fully browned, add onions and garlic and continue to cook until the meat is done. If you're not using lean ground beef or if you are and there's still excess grease, drain the meat, onion and garlic mixture before continuing. Return ground beef, onions and garlic to skillet and add beef broth. 1 can of beef broth is about 1 1/2 cups. If you're using 2 lbs. of meat, you'll want to use the whole can. If you're using less meat, you'll want to use less broth. Some of it will cook off, but not much. You want enough broth so that the meat is wet, but not drowning. Something like this:

2. After you've added the beef broth, add frozen vegetables. Bring to a boil. It looks a little prettier after you add the veggies. :)

You can use whatever frozen vegetables you have. Traditionally it's peas, corn and carrots. I use a mixed vegetable medley that includes those as well as green beans. Transfer meat mixture from skillet to a 13 x 9 baking dish. I use a slotted spoon so as to not have too much broth. Spread evenly in pan. You can add a little extra juice (broth) if you feel like it needs it.

3. Next prepare the instant mashed potatoes as per the directions on the box. I use these:

You'll need both pouches. These loaded mashed potatoes give your Shepherd's Pie a little extra flavor kick. When the potatoes are finished, let them sit for 5 minutes to help them stiffen up a bit. Then add an egg, beaten, to them and stir well. The egg will help stiffen the potatoes while it bakes.

Spread the mashed potatoes in the baking dish on top of the ground beef. I use a fork to make a design of sorts so it looks nicer than just mashed potatoes plopped on top of meat. Break 2 tablespoons of butter into tiny chunks and sprinkle sporadically on top.

4. Place baking dish in the oven, preheated to 400 degrees, for 30-35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

The finished product:

No need for a side, your meat, starch and vegetables are all in one.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sun Tip Tuesday: 15 Before

We've all done it. You've been sitting at the park, in the backyard or anywhere outdoors for half an hour and suddenly it occurs to you that the kids need sunscreen on. The time to apply sunscreen is BEFORE you're going to be exposed to the sun, 15 minutes before to be exact.

Check back next Tuesday for another Sun Tip and a chance to win a little somethin'- somethin'! :)

Miss last weeks tip? Here it is.

"As a member of the Coppertone® Water MOMS group, I receive product samples and promotional items to share and use as I see fit.  No monetary compensation has taken place and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience." 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Little Miss Coppertone Contest

Did you give birth to the next Little Miss Coppertone? Your little girl could be featured in a print and ad. and sent on an amazing vacation with her family! Like Coppertone on Facebook and get all the details here. All you have to do to enter is submit a photo of your little girl, ages 2 - 8.

No purchase necessary. The deadline to submit is 6/22/12.

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a gift card in exchange for this post.  No monetary exchange took place.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Papa, papa...PAPARAZZI!!! (Accessories for just $5.50!)

My long-time friend, Kaleena, has started a new business venture that I'm excited to share with you. Kaleena has signed up as a Paparazzi Jewelry & Accessories Independent Consultant. Paparazzi is a line of fun, trendy, stylish and amazingly affordable jewelry and accessories that are each priced at just $5.50.

You can join Kaleena's Facebook Group here and like her Facebook Fan page here to get a look at some of the line. If you're local, I'm having a Paparazzi Open House Party on Saturday, May 26th from 12:30 - 3:30, feel free to stop on by!

If you're interesting in attending my party, having a party of your own or learning more about the opportunity to join Paparazzi, please leave a comment (be sure to include your email, which will remain private) and I'll put you in touch in with Kaleena. 

Necklaces, necklace and earring sets, bracelets, earrings, rings, name it, Paparazzi has it! In season, in style...and all for just $5.50 (including tax)!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Homemade Oven-Fried Pertater Chips

Really, really yummy and really, really easy to make, I give you Homemade Oven-Fried Pertater Chips....

Here's what you need:

(4) Baking (Russet) Potatoes, washed, peeled and sliced as thin as you can get them
1/2 stick of butter, melted
Course salt to taste

Here's what you do:

1. Wash potatoes.  Peel potatoes. Slice potatoes as thin as you can. A mandoline would be realy helpful for this. I don't have one. Pat the potatoes dry between paper towels. Butter a cookie sheet (this is in addition to the 1/2 stick) or use non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the cookie sheet. With 4 decent sized potatoes you'll probably have enough for two batches.

2. Brush the potatoes with melted butter. Bake them in a preheated oven at 500 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle them with course salt (I use sea salt).



They're not exactly real potato chips hence the "pertater", but they're definitely just as addicting!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Purex Promotions

 I'm proud to be a Purex Insider! 

Besides the fact that their products rock, my favorite thing about Purex is how appreciative they are of their loyal consumers. One of the ways they show it is through awesome contests and promotions like these, be sure to enter for your chance to win!!!

 Purex Hawaiian Tropical Splash Giveaway - The Grand Prize is a 3-night stay on the beautiful beachfront hotel – Outrigger Reef on the Beach, in Waikiki. The Grand Prize winner will also receive a 2 year supply of Tropical Splash Purex Crystals!  There will also be 500 2nd place winners that each receive a coupon for a free bottle of Purex Crystals!

25 Bottles of Purex Crystals for 25 Days Sweepstakes -  25 winners are being chosen every single day (until May 29th) and are each receiving a coupon for a free bottle of Purex Crystals!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How To Not Raise A Big, Spoiled Rotten Brat

How To Not Raise A Big, Spoiled Rotten Brat
(Or Die Trying Not To)

No one likes saying no to their kids. We want our kids to be happy, we want them to have what they want, we want to give them the very best. But being a "Yes Mom" can backfire on you. Big time. Little spoiled rotten people grow up to be big spoiled rotten people and we know this because we all know adults who have a sense of entitlement and are not self-sufficient. Instead of raising a child who is confident, successful, compassionate and hard-working, you'll end up with one of "those people" who only remain on your facebook friends list because of their ridiculous, unintentionally hilarious status updates. 

 My little "brats"

Here are some tips on how to not raise a big, spoiled rotten brat...or die trying not to...

1. Just Say NO!

Always giving your child what they want or giving into what they want, gives your child a really poor image about life...that you always get what you want, no matter what, just because it's what you want. Unfortunately, we all know that's not the case. Your child isn't learning what it is to be disappointed or how to handle that feeling and if you think about disappointment (and the way you respond to it) is a huge part of life. When you do say no, mean it and don't cave. Giving into tantrums happens to us all once in a while. When it happens routinely you're teaching your child that all they need to do is cry and whine to get what they want. If that were true I'd have everything my heart desires as I'm really good at making a lot of noise. 

2. Reward The Right Way

Many parents think they are rewarding their children when what they're really doing in bribing them (don't get me wrong--bribery does have a role in parenting--but certainly not on a daily basis!). If you say, "If you do this, I will give you this.", that's not a reward system, that's bribery. A reward should be something special for something good that was done that didn't require prompting, prodding and promising. 

3. Newton's 3rd Law: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

Kids don't realize that everything they do, good or bad, has a consequence and that what they do, good or bad, effects other people. Set clear rules for your child regarding the behavior you expect them to exhibit and have consequences when they don't meet your expectations. There has to be discipline. Try to always reinforce good behavior with praise. It's easy to focus on the negative. Sometimes kids will choose negative attention over no attention at all. Emphasize the positive!

4. All kids, even as young as 2, are capable of, and should be expected to do, chores. Teach your child that we all have responsibilities in life and that each member of the family needs to contribute to taking care of the house and each other. Praise your child for a job well done. It will make them feel good and it will make them feel important...and in the end, that's what everyone wants, to feel important. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Coppertone Water Mom's Sun Tip Tuesday: Broad Spectrum

I'm really excited to be a Coppertone Water Mom!

Part of my job as a Coppertone Water Mom is to help other Moms learn to safely embrace the sun and understand the importance of sun care protection. I'll be sharing a weekly "sun tip" every here on my blog every Tuesday.

This week's Sun Tip is...

Choosing the best sunscreen for your family is a little more involved than simply grabbing the least expensive option on the shelf. New FDA rules mandate that manufacturer's must state whether a sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays (many don't, fyi). You want a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 50 and one that is labeled "broad spectrum", meaning it protects against both types of rays.

"As a member of the Coppertone® Water MOMS group, I receive product samples and promotional items to share and use as I see fit.  No monetary compensation has taken place and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience." 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sites I Heart

I'm often asked about what sites I recommend for this or that. Here's a list, in no particular order, of sites I love. Sites I find fun, useful and informative as a mama.

*I love learning of great sites, if you have a site you love that you think I'd love too, please leave a comment and share it with my readers and I.*

Family Fun

Fact Monster

Baby Center  

Bible Gateway

National Geographic Kids

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

The Idea Box

American Sign Language 

Moms Club

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tuity Fruity Bananas

We struggle with breakfast at our house. The boys want toast every. single. day. I'm about to have a "Mommy Moment" with you, that moment where you bare your farfromperfect mommy soul to another mother, a mother you know (or at least hope) will understand.

There have been days, several of them if I'm being honest, where I've sent Sean off to school with as many as 6 pieces of toast in his belly. That's so much bread. Too, too much bread. Plus bread at lunch most days and almost always a starch with dinner. Somethings got to give with the damn toast.

My kids are hard to feed. In the morning anyway.

They both despise eggs, which throws a lot of traditional breakfast options out the window. Sean has always hated eggs. Sine the first time I tried to feed him scrambled eggs when he was just a little guy. He won't even eat homemade french toast because he knows the bread is dipped in egg. Daniel previously LOVED eggs, like really loved them...which was super exciting given that my first born wanted nothing to do with them. About a year ago, he suddenly decided he would no longer eat eggs under any circumstances. And that's been that.

Pancakes, waffles, french toast and anything else that would require the accompaniment of syrup is out on school days as we get our baths/showers in the evening before bed and my kids require soaking and scrubbing after consuming syrup.

They eat cereal, but only dry cereal in a bowl - no milk - and they only eat specific parts of different cereal. Only the marshmallows in Lucky Charms, only the certain colored squares in a box of Chex.

You get the idea. It's rough.

I've been trying to come up with new and healthier breakfast options for them and this one has been a big hit. 

It makes a great breakfast or after-school snack. It's fast, it's fun, it's nutritious and it's so easy that your kids can do it themselves.

Step 1: Pour cereal (we've been working with a big bag of imitation Fruity Pebbles) into a small plastic bag and seal. Let your child use their hands to crush up the cereal. Pour contents of bag onto a plate or in a bowl.

You can use any type of cereal you like.

Step 2: Have your child peel a banana and use a butter knife to cut it up into chunks. Dip banana chunks into cereal and get your breakfast on. You have the goodness and nutrition of a banana and the hint of sugary cereal deliciousness.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My Taco Noodle Casserole Recipe

Yesterday I shared my recipe for how to make your own taco seasoning. I use taco seasoning in my kitchen quite often and for way more than just plain old tacos. This recipe is one of my favorite uses for taco seasoning, it's a family favorite for sure.


Here's what you need:

1 package of egg noodles
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup milk
2-3 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning OR1 packet taco seasoning mix
Shredded Mexican cheese blend
Corn chips (like Tostito's), crushed up

Here's what you do:

1) Cook noodles to al dente, whatever the package says, usually 7 or 8 minutes. Drain, dump in large bowl.

2) While you're waiting for the water to boil, season ground beef with salt and pepper and brown, add onion a few minutes before beef is done. Drain excess grease, return to frying pan.

3) Add taco seasoning, tomato sauce and milk to ground beef and onion, stir, bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.

4) Pour meat mixture into bowl with noodles and mix it all up. Pour a layer of noodles/meat into a casserole dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, spread evenly, top with cheese. Spread remaining noodles/meat into casserole and top with more cheese. You can never have enough cheese, right? Right.

5) Put crushed up corn chips all over the top and bake uncovered for 20 -30 minutes at 350.

Serve with salad or corn. You can use additional taco seasoning to give it a stronger taco flavor. I use a little less than I might otherwise like so doesn't have too much bite for the kids. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tomorrow's Cinco De Mayo! - Make Your Own: Taco Seasoning

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo and White Moms all over America will be making tacos for dinner because tacos are the only Mexican food we know how to make.

It doesn't get much easier than browning ground meat in a pan, draining the grease from the pan, opening a packet of taco seasoning mix, sprinkling it on the meat, adding water and heating it up. 

What's in that taco seasoning mix? It's just spices and herbs, right? Wrong. Here is the list of ingredients from a packet of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix:

Chili Pepper
Onion Powder
*Monosodium Glutamate
Corn Starch
Yellow Corn Flour 
Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
*Silicone Dioxide (anticaking agent)
**Natural Flavor
*Ethoxyquin (preservative)

*=Say what?
**=Can you be more specific? 

Are you ready to make your own taco seasoning and never spend $1.00 on one of those sodium stocked, preservative filled packets again?

Here's what you need (and you probably already have all of it in your kitchen):

4 Tablespoons Chili Powder
2 Tablespoons Cumin
2 Tablespoons Paprika
2 TBS. Garlic Powder
1 TBS. Onion Powder
2 TBS. Dried Minced Onions
1/2 TBS. Cayenne (red) Pepper
1 teaspoon Oregano or Cilantro
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt 

Here's what you do:

Dump all ingredients into a jar. Put lid on jar. Shake vigorously. Voila, homemade taco seasoning mix. Store in an airtight container (I use an empty spice bottle). Add 2-3 tablespoons of seasoning per 1 pound of ground meat and 3/4 cup of water.