Monday, October 31, 2011

Packit Lunch Boxes

This post brought to you by PackIt. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you find that the ice packs in your husband or child's lunch box seem to disappear?  Or do they just not seem to last long enough?

Now there is a lunch box that lasts up to five times as long as the average ice gel pack. With PackIt lunch boxes, instead of having to keep track of an extra piece of lunch box to school or work. The lunch box IS your gel cooler! 

AdvertisementThe pack it folds up to fit easily in your freezer! But its big enough to hold a lunch that will keep you and your loved ones full. 

 

Soft coolers like this are great for bringing to school or to lunch because not only can kids have whats leftover from lunch for a snack after school. They can fold up the box and fit it easily into a backpack, that way they don't have to carry a backpack as well as a lunchbox at the same time! 

Picture 17

 

The PackIt lunch boxes is having a special sale right now of buy one get one free for only  $19.95!

At that rate why not buy a few extra for bringing to the beach or ballpark this summer? Even using these to carry some cookies or candy to grandma's house in the winter so it won't melt in a warm car. 

The uses for these bags are endless but starting with them being great for school and work lunches!

Such a great idea for a lunch box, and it was created by a group of single moms!  

 

Let me know in the comments what you would use a pack-it for! Why would it beat a regular lunch box?

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

300 Best Potato Recipes!

Potatoes.

When my mother was a child, my Nana took her too the doctor fearing that she had an unhealthy dislike for mashed potatoes. Surly her daughter would  have some sort of problem without eating them. But my  Nana didn't have to worry, the doctor told her my mother would be fine, and that she should just feed her pasta....

I'm Irish, so I'm pretty sure its a DNA thing.  

So when I'm offered a book with The 300 Best Potato Recipes compiled by Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh, I could hardly contain myself (hello that means I only have to figure out 65 other recipes for the whole year)

I love potatoes, they are healthy, there are so many different kinds and since reading this book I have learned more information about potatoes then I even knew that there was! 

First I learned about all the different kinds of potatoes! And yes there are LOTS of types of potatoes out there! 

The collection of Potato Soup recipes were a great way to great the chilly winter. Thinking about trying the

  • Creamy Potato and Four Onion Soup
  • Potato and Leek Soup


Can't wait to try out a few of these appetizers with my local mother's group
  • Spiced Potato Ribbons
  • Sweet Potato-Crusted Shrimp (okay dinner tomorrow)
  • Sweet Potato Hush Puppies

These light meals are great lunches to bring to work
  • Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream
  • Herb and Garlic Roasted Mini Potatoes with Penne (two starches hallelujah)
  • Pan Haggerty (Irish roots run deep)
Side dishes are classic for potatoes, and these dishes bring no disappointments. Its easy to return to the same old 'mashed' or 'baked' varieties. These bring a whole new life to your meal. These are wonderful ways to bring some different flavors to a basic roast chicken and veggies! Why not add some pizzazz to your meal with your sides! And keep the meat healthy and simple!

  • Pommes Boulanerie
  • Souffle Wafer Potatoes
  • Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Apple Crisp Topping

What about main dishes? Yes you can cook potatoes with a few other ingredients and have a hearty filling meal that the entire family enjoys!

  • Lamb Shoulder with Potatoes and Tomatoes
  • Crisp Potato-Wrapped Halibut (I tried something similar at a fancy Italian Restaurant once)
  • Cottage Pie for Mac
  • Short Ribs of Beef with Soaked Spuds
Lastly I'm going to leave you with desserts, yes even potato desserts. I've always believed that potatoes were an amazing food and this book makes me smile every-time I open it!
  • Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Sweet Potato Ice Cream!
  • Dark Chocolate and Orange Potato Cheesecake
  • Spice and Maple Sweet Potato Cookies (wow them at Thanksgiving)
This book will answer all of your potato questions and give you ideas that are new and exciting for everyday. Its inspired me to try growing a hundred pounds of potatoes in a wine barrel like these people here

I wonder how many of these recipes I can make with a hundred pounds??

Get your own copy and eat potatoes everyday!



I received a free copy of The 300 Best Potato Recipes for this review, all opinions are 100% mine. I did not receive any cash payment for this review.


Lisa Loeb Silly Sing Alongs

Do you remember Lisa Loeb?

Okay so at first I didn't remember who she was either, but then I Googled her an I was brought back to high school and singing 'stay' into my mirror.

Fast forward ten years, and here we are in the present, the memory of Lisa Loeb is a distant one. 

Till we were sent 'The Disappointing Pancake' Its wonderful! Not only is it a kids book, it comes with a CD as well as choreography and activities to do with each song!

As a parent who isn't always up to date with the latest hand games or what the kids are doing at daycare. The Disappointing Pancake is a fun book for everyone.

I love the idea of bringing this book to a birthday party or get together for some new silliness! 

If you didn't like Lisa Loeb in the past, don't let that hold you back. This book, will have all entertained!

I received a free copy of The Disappointing Pancake for this review, all opinions are 100% mine. I did not receive any cash payment for this review.

Bamboo Bottles!

Its not often that I get a product and EVERYBODY asks me about it.
Maybe its the green attitude of the area.
Maybe its that this product is just plain cool.

Lets face it, buying water in a plastic bottle is wasteful. I'm not going to be a hater, I know its convenient and easy. But when its only 50 cents for a gallon at Whole Foods, its a bit pointless to spend 1.99 on a  liter bottle.

So when I was first approached by the Bamboo Bottle Company, it was an easy choice for me to agree to share it with you readers


This is the most innovative reusable water bottle that I have yet used, sustainable, reusable and safe!

In the past, my choice has always been stainless steel, one cup for my hot beverages in the morning and one bottle for my water. But its a pain carrying around two cups, not to mention lugging them both into school and both out. 

The bottle is glass on the inside, with a bamboo cover that slips over it to make it easy to clean! 

This bottle has gotten me so many compliments, and I have used it every day since I got it.  

BPA free,  so its great for daily use and you can even let your kids drink out if it! 

I love the glass because it doesn't hold the flavor that sometimes I feel that Stainless Steel will sometimes keep the flavor of coffee long after I have cleaned out my bottle

The bottles retail for just $25, and are available on the Bamboo Bottle Co website as well as local retailers which can be found here 

I received a free Bamboo Bottle for this review, all opinions are 100% mine. I did not receive any cash payment for this review.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Jeopardy


Content by Kyle Lowe

Sometimes, while we’re eating dinner in front of the TV (uh, not that we do that all the time or anything), my husband and I will watch Jeopardy. This is a really bad idea, for a multitude of reasons. Reason one—my husband and I are fiercely competitive. And by 'fiercely competitive,' I mean that a game of Jenga is likely to turn into a full-on divorce discussion. It is bad. Our friends won’t come over for Game Night anymore, and I don’t blame them. Reason two—Jeopardy makes me feel really, really dumb. Alex Trebeck doesn’t help matters any. He’s so smug. Yeah, Alex, it is really difficult to know the correct answer when you are holding a card with the correct answer on it. Sorry, I digress. Anyway. Back to Jeopardy making me feel dumb. Have you seen the week where they will showcase college students? And you assume the questions will be easier? I can’t answer half of them. The other day I was checking out the Guide on my expertsatellite.com and I saw that the Jeopardy that week was a High School edition. Finally! I most definitely know more than kids in high school! Right? No. Friends, it was ugly. I mean really ugly. I had a good handle on most of the $100-$200 questions. Once we got past that, I felt like I lacked basic brain fuction. I’ve since banned Jeopardy in my house. I feel dumb enough as it is.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


NEW ORGANIC CEREAL REPORT EXPOSES BEAR NAKED AND OTHER BIG BRANDS FOR UNETHICAL MARKETING OF ORGANIC & “NATURAL”

GrandyOats is Highlighted as an Organic Integrity Leader

Brownfield, Maine (October 25, 2011) – A shocking new report by the Cornucopia Institute, entitled Cereal Crimes: How “Natural” Claims Deceive Consumers and Undermine the Organic Label, exposes Bear Naked, Barbara's, Back to Nature, Annie's Homegrown and many other popular cereal brands that intentionally blur the lines between organic and natural. To most consumers, petrochemical solvents, toxic pesticides, sewage sludge, genetically engineered ingredients and fumigants are never considered “natural.” Yet many cereal companies use these ingredients and routinely label their foods as “natural.”

“Support for healthy organic food and sustainable farming is at the core of our mission at GrandyOats,” says Aaron Anker, Chief Granola Officer. “We are shocked at the extent to which many cereal companies are misleading consumers with false and distorted ‘natural’ claims.” Anker also noted that not only does this unscrupulous behavior hurt the integrity of the entire organic foods movement, it creates an unfair playing field for upstanding organic brands recognized as such in the report, including GrandyOats. Below are examples in the report, for more visit: http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/10/natural-vs-organic-cereal/.

  • Most companies do not share detailed standards for “natural” foods with the public. Kashi® and Bear Naked®, for example, both owned by Kellogg Company, would likely be uncomfortable sharing with their customers that their “natural” foods may contain hexane-extracted and genetically engineered soy ingredients. On August 31, 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Kellogg/Kashi® for allegedly misleading consumers with its “natural” claims.

  • Some companies that started out organic, and built consumer loyalty as organic brands, have switched to non-organic “natural” ingredients and labeling. Peace Cereal® is an example of “bait-and switch.” In 2008, Peace Cereal®, switched from organic to cheaper conventional ingredients, without lowering its prices accordingly.

  • A Boston-area Whole Foods store carried 18 brands of packaged granola in the spring of 2011. While one would expect that the least expensive granola products would be conventional and the most expensive would be organic, that was not the case. The least expensive is the Whole Foods private label (365 Organic) organic granola, at $0.26 per ounce.

  • GrandyOats, a relatively small, 100% organic, independent company in Maine, offers its organic granola at lower prices than agribusiness giant Kellogg Company’s Bear Naked® conventional granola.

  • After extensive testing, numerous “natural” products were indeed contaminated with high levels of GE ingredients, sometimes as high as 100%, such as: Kashi® GoLean®, Mother’s® Bumpers®, Nutritious Living® Hi-Lo®, and General Mills Kix®.
This is only part of a report, for the full report please visit http://cornucopia.org/cereal-scorecard/docs/Cornucopia_Cereal_Report.pdf

This report was compiled by The Cornucopia Institue

Find the Cheapest Prices on Toys!

Its almost time for Christmas Shopping
(sorry)

And since I tend to stay in the Christmas spirit till ohh about December, I have decided this year to get all my Christmas shopping out of the way early this year! 

For the most part I try to shop local but I have to say that because in past years I have been disappointed with a few local toy stores and their return policies on toys with slight tears in the boxes,and because Toys-R-Us is hardly what I consider local... I have decided to do a portion of it online.

Shopping online however can be time consuming and frustrating especially if you are looking for the best deals, nothing sucks worse then finding a better deal a few minutes after you already purchased the item!

So for Kids Games this year I'm trying out Comparison Shopper,  the site has everything from Melissa and Doug toys to Stuffed animals, to action figures!

Simply click on the toy that you're looking at and then see prices for the toy! It even lets you know which sites charge shipping and handling, which sites have return policies and more information that you want to know, without having to open up six separate tabs in your browser!

So save time, money, and frustrations by giving Comparison Shopper a try!


This is a paid advertisemsent  for Comparison Shopper. All opinions are 100% mine 

Holiday Cookies like a Pro!


Do you see those cookies?
I know what you're thinking, you're thinking that I spent a bunch of my hard earned money on some fancy bakery cookies.

Well if you think that you would be incorrect (sorry I got ya)

In The Biscuiteers Book of Iced cookies you'll learn how to not only decorate beautiful cookies, but how to bake them and make icing that actually dries hard! 

I have been trying for years to make cookies that were worthy of going on a plate for display, and now I've finally figured out how to do it! I was so happy with the way these cookies turned out and not only do they look beautiful but they taste amazing!

The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Cookies also features some delicous cookies to roll, cut and decorate.  Most of them quite creative and types of cookies I had never thought of, I had no idea that people decorated cookies besides sugar and gingerbread!

I made the Almond cookies, which are made with almond meal. They were surprisingly easy to roll out and cut. The dough didn't seem to stick as much! I will note that I did get some amazing tips from the authors Harriet Hastings and Sarah Moore, the book has chapters on preparing, and rolling out dough as well as chapters on how to prepare the perfect royal icing!

The rest of the book is amazing ideas for cookies to make, as well as templates so that you can make them yourself! Then follow the step-by-step icing instructions to create cookies that are fit to be sent for gifts or just out on display! 

If you want to impress the family, or just yourself grab this book and you'll be icing perfect cookies in no time!

I received a free copy of  The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Cookies for this review. I did not receive any cash payments for my review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Classic song turned children's book

If you're a fan of Bob Dylan (or just music in general) You have no doubt heard his song Blowin' In the Wind. 

Now the words to the song come to life in a beautifully illustrated children's book. 

The book Blowin' In the Wind  was illustrated by Jon J Muth. 

Jon brings the story to life the way in the way that he though about it as a child. Follow a paper airplane through the story, as a child Jon imagined that the 'answer' was written on this airplane, blowing in the wind. 

The illustrations are whimsical, and the book is timeless. It even comes with a copy of Bob Dylan's original recording of Blowin' In the Wind which everyone in the family has enjoyed listening too.

This book also makes a great coffee table book. I have been leaving it out on the coffee table and everyone seems to really enjoy Jon J Muth's depiction of the song!

The book is wonderful, and Annabella has loved looking at all the pictures and following along to the cd. I'm glad to be able to introduce her to such a wonderful artist at such a young age!

Bake Sale Success

Does the thought of baking for a bake sale seem a bit intimidating? Do you just not have the time or the creativity to produce much more the chocolate chip or snicker doodles? 

Well now there is a way to impress them all!

"The Ultimate Cake Mix Cookie Book' by the Camilla V . Saulsbury, who also happens to be the winner of The Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Showdown is a collection of over 375 cookie recipes made with good old cake mix!

I'll admit that at first I was a bit weary about this book, I thought that it would be repetitive. But as usual with cookie books I was amazed at all the options I had! Not only were there your basic drop cookies but Rolled cookies and even filled cookies, many sounding good enough to be found in a fancy bakery!

Here are a few examples
Bittersweet Chocolate Blackout Cookies
Pineapple Softies
Fresh Raspberry Blondies
Maple Pecan Gooey Bars
Cranberry Streusel Bars
Mocha-Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies!

The best part about all these cookies is that they are so simple to make. You don't have to worry about weighing the perfect amount of flour because its already weighed for you!  All that's necessary is a few extra ingredients and steps and that box of devils food cake is now a delicious batch of cookies!

The next thing I worried about as I looked at the recipes, was how I was going to make all these without using a hydrogenated cake mix? I had steered away from them in the past because they are almost always high-fructose or hydrogenated.

That was till I looked in the baking section of my local Whole Foods!  They had a whole array of cake mixes and just my luck they were on sale!! I bought up a few boxes because I have a feeling that in the next few weeks I'll be cooking up more batches of these cookies! With so may to try I could make a cookie every day of the year and still not finish the book.. 

I received a free copy of The Ultimate Cake Mix Cookie Book for this review. I did not receive any cash payments for this review. All opinions are 100% mine.



Real Mom's LOVE to eat!

Are you a foodie mom? 

Do you think that grocery shopping is just about the best thing ever? 

Does the local Italian Restaurant see you often for appetizers and a glass of Chianti when you get out of work early?



Well then let me introduce you to the book  'Real Mom's Love to Eat'  Its a practical approcach to learning how to gradually eat whole foods, and get into a healthier diet rather then forcing yourself to stick to harsh diets that just don't fit into your lifestyle, or diets where the food is just plain awful!

The book has a plan for healthy eating, that allows you to learn about food and how it effects your body.  It helps you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable maner rather then just being another fad diet where we max out on protein or eliminate carbohydrates (I mean seriously how long can someone go without a baguette?

You can also sign up to be a food affairiate where you'll have the opportunity to tell other people about this wonderful book,  and a chance to win great prizes! 

For more information about 'Real Moms Love to Eat' you can visit the website at 

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Beth Aldrich - Real Moms Love to Eat blogging program, for a chance to get 3,000 My SocialMoms Rewards points. For more information on how you can participate,click here

. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What's Your Sodium Style?

This post brought to you by Sunkist S’alternative. All opinions are 100% mine.

Sunkist S'alternativ#3C3C25.doc

Take the  Sunkist Sodium Quiz and find out if you could do with a bit less salt in your life. Salt is hidden in places that you least expect it, but with a careful eye to labels and smart choices, its easy to lower the amount of salt that you put in your body!

 Sunkist S’alternative is derived from lemons, and is used in place of salt to flavor your dishes. Its a sodium-free alternative that uses the flavor of fresh squeezed lemons to make your food taste great, lower sodium intake and increase potassium intake!

Lemons add great flavor to food, I use them all the time, but it can become a bit time consuming to be squeezing lemons for added flaovr into most of my dishes. its wonderful to have something that I can keep on the counter to add a quick bit of flavor to my dishes.  

Sunkist S'alternativ#3C3C25.docYou can take the Sunkist Sodium Quiz and see  if you're up on your sodium knowledge then you can visit the Sunkist S’alternative website to see how else to lower the Sodium that you and your familiy is eating these days! 

sunkist

Here are some great tips that I learned form Sunkist

Avoid Turkey Rolls or Pre-cooked poultry and deli meats which contain higher sodium content then fresh cooked

  • Check the sodium levels of your drinking water with the local Health Department! If you or someone if your famliy is on a Sodium restricted diet; do not drink the water if it has been treated with a water-softening agent (I had no idea about this one, good tip!)

 

Check out this great recipe for Paella! Made with Sunkist Lemons!

 

Lemon Seafood Paella

  • 1-32 oz can low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1lb of firm, fresh, pieces of whitefish such as tilapia, bass, halibut and swoardfish, cut int o16-21 pieces
  • 1lb or 16-21 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
  • 1lb or 16-21 medium sized clams, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 Sunkist lemons, zest and juice
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups minced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crused red pepper
  • 3 cups uncooked short-grain rices such as Valencian, Arborio, or Calrose
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1-8oz jar of sliced, roasted red peppers

Instructions (makes 8 servings)

  • To prepare broth, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat
  • To prepare paella, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces to pan and saute 1 minute. Remover fish from pan, reserve and keep warm. Add onion to pan and saute 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic and crusehd red pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Stir in broth bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes stirring frequently,
  • Stir in the peas and red pepper slices. Add mussels and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open. Discard any unopened shells. Stir in the reserved fish and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and check for seasoning. Cocer with a towel and let stand 5 minutes before stirring

 

 

  •  

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Cupping

Got my first cupping session today, it was way cool! 

Don't know how long the whole 'attacked by a giant squid' look lasts for but I have to admit I'm kind of digging it

Monday, October 17, 2011

Great Deal from GloCrazy!

If you weren't around for my post on the GloCrazy Distance Doodler then you really must check it out!

Its a revolutionary new toy that lets your kids (or you) create glowing creations over and over again on special paper that you can hang on the wall, or anywhere you feel like it!

This would be an awesome idea for a haunted house, creepy wall that writes on itself! Since you can stand up to ten feet away with the GloCrazy wand you'll be spooking the guests all night!

This weekend GloCrazy has a great offer going on, if you purchase the GloCrazy distance doodler from Wal-mart, Toys-R-Us, or another local retailer, they will send you a FREE Glow Glove!  The kit comes with everything you need to get started, so you'll be able to have hours of fun and then when you get your Glow Glove, introduce more fun ways to enjoy glowing!!



Head on over to you're local retailer  this weekend to grab yourself this deal, its only good for October 22 and 23 of 2011 so don't miss it! You can grab the form for the free glove
here



If you need more info about GloCrazy check out my post or head on over to the website at 



Saturday, October 15, 2011

150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes

  I just started massage therapy school in September, and to say that I've been getting behind on work and my house is a bit of an understatement.

My slow cooker was something that was rarely used around here, aside from pulled pork and beef stew, there wasn't too much I knew how to create in the slow cooker. I had thought that slow cooker meals for the most part.... boring

Well that was until I received the 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes not only has it given my once dusty slow cooker a new outlook on life. But it has saved me hours of valuable time in the kitchen and provided for some delicious meals in the process.

Here's how I do it, I pick a  few recipes in the book, hopefully with a few of the same veggies so I don't have to go to the store too often. I pick a recipe the night before school and then fill up my slow cooker with the ingredients, stick it in the refrigerator and then in the morning wake up, put the slow cooker bowl back into the heater, and turn it on.

By the time I'm home from school in the afternoon, my home smells like whatever amazing ingredients I've used and I have a home cooked meal made with fresh ingredients that I can feed to my daughter! And only a few dishes to clean up!

So I know that you are fishing for some sample recipes that I've tried out so lets indulge:

  • Chicken 'n' Dumplings
  • Short Ribs Braised in Spicy Black Bean Sauce
  • Spanish Style Fish Stew
  • Slow Cooked Polenta
  • Crunchy Almond Creme Caramel (made with potatoes)
So there are a few of the recipes that I tried, no complaints with any!

For just 24.95 this book is hard to pass up!

I recievd a free copy of "150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes" for this review. All opinions are 100% mine. I did not receive any cash payments for this review. 

Keep your kid Curious!

If you have a child like mine, than animals are big in your household. We love cats, monkeys, horses, donkey's pretty anything that isn't human.

When I opened up Curious Critters by David Fitzsimmons, bella-boo's reaction was expected.


"you got me my ANIMAL book mommy?!"

While I haven't actually got a chance to read the book to her yet, she has read it to me about four times a day, The pictures in the book are beautiful, big and true to life.

Now I did get a chance to look through the book myself and I think that if Bella-boo could get over the pictures, I think she would really like meeting all these animals. The Ohio Crayfish has a bit of an attitude, while the Eastern Screech Owl is a bit sleepy from hunting all night.

This group of eccentric critters will get you're little one excited about animals  (that is if they aren't already)  While teaching them their habits and other facts.

And for those mamas who aren't too fond of creepy crawlies and flying rodents. Don't fear they're trapped on the pages of this book and they even look kind of cute.

This book will entertain kids for a long time, its a book they can grow with.

To find more about Curious Critters be sure to check out the website at
http://www.curious-critters.com/

 I received a free copy of "Curious Critters" for this review. All opinions are  100% mine I did not receive any cash payments for this review.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Get your baby to sleep... and a giveaway.

Sleep can be a hectic time, while it should be a time to relax and calm down so our babies can calm down and sleep, it can so often turn into a fight where everyone is overtired and stressed out. 

I struggled for a long time with putting my little one to sleep, I think our biggest problem was a lack of bedtime routine. I know, that everybody says that, but it doesn't have to be a complicated, bath, book, song, type thing.

 As a mother in school; most nights I don't have the time to do all of that, I need to study, cook diner, and clean. I don't need to add cleaning a bathroom full of water to that list! 

So my best tip for getting a baby to sleep is picking something simple! That you really have time to do each night, for us its just reading a book, we have a select few books that are relatively short, calm, and repetative so that Annabella can get involved in reading them. Its important that they be nice calm books rather then books about monsters or silly animals. This tends to make them silly, so I try to avoid books like that. The classic Goodnight Moon is always a good choice. My mother bought Annabella a book called I Love You More by Liza Baker, and we read that almost every night. Its a nice way for both of us to go to sleep.

If you have child who has a cold, you might face some serious sleep troubles. Especially if you're child is still nursing. It can be very difficult for them to breath and eat at the same time, and sometimes this can get frustrating for a little one. 

Maty's Baby Chest rub is an all natural chest rub designed to clear up congestion in infants as young as 3 months old! 



With Eucalyptus, Menthol and Chamomile it not only clears it calms. Its Menthol and Petroleum free!  A great choice for those nights and days when the nasal aspirator just isn't cutting it.

You can find Maty's at these retailers.

Or you could win one!

Maty's is offering one Mommypant's reader a sample of their all natural Baby Chest Rub! 

To Win!

then
Share your best tip to get baby to sleep in the comments below!! Be sure to leave you're email address if it isn't linked to you're google reader picture!

Winner will be chosen on October 31 2011 at random!


Also be sure to 'like' Maty's on Facebook to enter the 'Sleep like a baby' photo contest for a chance to win the entire line of Maty's products plus  35% off your next purchase or one of 2 other prizes! For official rules and prize eligibility check out the Maty's Facebook Page

I received a free sample of Maty's Baby-Chest Rub for this review, all opinions are my own. I did not receive any cash payments for this review


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Every Man Jack

If you are lucky enough to have a hard working man in your life, you no doubt are familiar with the 'essence' that sometimes can surround them after a hard day's work.

In the past I would buy him Old Spice, I mean, it smells like a grandpa, its cheap.. and lets be honest it works on even the strongest sti---errr 'essence'

But the ingredients are less then acceptable on conventional aftershaves and colognes for men. It seems (or at least to me anyways) that if men care about how they smell, for the most part they have to forego body washes and shave creams that are also good for the environment unless they want to spend a fortune (and we don't)

I was more then excited to receive a sample of Every Man Jack to try out with my daughter's father. I finally don't have to feel guilty that he's the only person in the family without a natural beauty regime.

First of all let me talk about the scents, soo manly..

They smell the way a man should smell, take the cedar-wood scent for example, its so deep and herbal, with hints of rosemary and sage. I LOVE this smell, I have been caught a few times nose to the bottle of body wash.. ahh

I like how the body bars are designed to also to massage while you scrub. 

The body wash also went over better then expected, I bought a long handled scrub brush and I must say that the Daddy in the house has been scrubbing away and taking much longer in the shower then normal, and smelling Oh so good.

There is even a men's face lotion, which I still haven't really gotten Daddy to use daily, I think the concept is a bit new for him, but I tried out the lotion and really liked it, it was light so it didn't seem like it would clog pores (which can lead to bumps)

There is even a 15 SPF lip balm designed for men.

If you have decided to green you're husband's routine, Every Man Jack is the way to go, not only is it good for everybody involved but its AFFORDABLE! Prices range from $6-$8 and you can find it at Target, While Foods,  Bed Bath and Beyond and other retailers, check out this page
 for more places to get Every Man Jack


I received a selection of Every Man Jack products for this review, all opinions are 100% mine I did not receive any cash payment for this review.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I won!

I just won an AMAZING prize from Sonoma Bento, check out her blog at
for  some awesome bento lunches!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sante Nuts

Lots of brands claim to be the 'best', but its rare that I find a nut that blows the others out of the water. A nut is (for the most part) a nut, and since I tend to stick to organic, and natural brands. I find that I don't usually find one that is mind-blowingly better then another....all that has changed

After one bite of the Sante Roasted Salted Pecans, I was hooked. I actually said; out loud "Wow" they were that good. Not only were they crunchy, they tasted fresh, like someone had just grabbed them out of the oven, and handed me the bag.

Curious if others would have the same reaction I brought the Candied Walnuts to class with me the next day (I sure wasn't going to bring the candied pecans with me I was saving those for last) I wasn't surprised when my classmates had the same 'Wow' reaction! They were super curious "where did you get them?" "how much" I directed them to the Sante Nuts website, so they could get some!

I tried the Garlic Almonds with Annabella's dad, the flavor was a surprise, sweet and spicy at the same time! Great to serve at a football game.

Last I tried the Candied Pecans... alone. As I had assumed after the other flavors, they were pretty much the best nuts ever. They evoked memories of candied nuts that my grandfather made and sent home with my father in the winter. I'm hooked!

The nuts were developed by Sara Tidar in her kitchen, with techniques learned from her Grandmother, Sarah has come up with an amazing product, I bet her grandmother is proud!

Also you'll find a bunch of great recipe for the nuts here!

To try them for yourself (and I highly suggest that you do) Prices range from $4.99 to $5.29 for a 4 oz bag.


Don't forget to enter the Coupon to receive 25% off your order! 
(Good through December 16, 2011)

Coupon

2011-Blog-021

Just enter that code during checkout!

I received a free sample of Sante Nuts for this review. All opinions are 100% mine. I did not receive any cash payments for this review.

much more then "One Sweet Cookie"

Fall is here! Which means that we need some sweet stuff to go with all that warm cider and hot chocolate that's in our mugs. 

"One Sweet Cookie" is a  collection of recipes amazing New York chefs including Lidia Bastianich, Jaques Torres and Mario Batali! It was compiled by Tracey Zabar a jewelry designer and author. The photographs of the cookies by Ellen Silverman are elegant and make you want to try every one you see.

© Ellen Silverman.
This book has some delicious recipes! Including (as you can see from the cover) a recipe for Whoopie Pies!  I haven't made them yet, because I haven't had the time with school, and these cookies take a bit more time then I've had available. 

But I did try the 'Cowboy Cookies' from Mario Batali, and I think they may be my new favorite cookie.

I also made the Almond Kipferl a recipe from Kurt Gutenbrunner.  They were very simple to make and I had all of the ingredients in my house! 

Look at them;

They're made with ground almonds so they have a really nice taste and crunch to them!

My other taste tester agreed

This is a great book to prepare for cookie swaps and Christmas parties! You'll impress them with Lemon Poppy Seed Linzers and Pumpkin Maple Walnut Cookies. With a book like this you'll be able to share (or not share) some of the best cookie recipes in New York with your family. 

I can't wait to send a tin of these to school with Annabella for her teachers, they'll love a change from the usual sugar cookies!

The book retails for $30

© One Sweet Cookie: Celebrated Chefs Share Favorite Recipes by Tracey Zabar,
Rizzoli New York, 2011.


I received a free copy of  "One Sweet Cookie" for this review, all opinions are 100% mine. I did not receive any cash payment for this review






Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sweet tights to liven up your outfit!

Winter is here, that means its time for tights again. While some women dread this time of year, I find myself looking forward to this time of year. I like fun tights, and I love thick tights with sweater dresses and boots, its cozy and it looks adorable!

If you haven't yet heard of Sculptz tights, you're about to.  Its a line of Silkies tights that are made with shape panels to help get you looking you're best under that dress! Not only are they high quality tights with adorable prints, but they have special shaping panels that help to get you're body looking great under that dress! Designed to slim you're hips and thighs, lift your rear and flatten your tummy these make tights a must have.

The first thing I noticed about the tights were how thick they were, I come from a time when runs in your stockings were cool (at least I thought they were.... they really were never cool)  But the Silkies tights were nice and thick, they were made very well and actually stayed without a run for my ENTIRE day! This was pretty much impossible for me till these tights came along. 

The other great feature of the tights was the tummy panel, I love wearing figure hugging dresses, because I'm pretty thin, but even my skinny belly can get a bit of a 'pot' as we like to call it. And there is nothing more unflattering then having a bulge in the front of you're skin tight dress....

I loved the designs of the tights too.  I was sent two pairs of the tights the Paisley Shaping Tights

Go to the site for a close up, these tights are SO detailed! I loved wearing them not only because they called attention to my legs......who doesn't love that, but also because when I was bored.... I could enjoy the psychedelic paisley on my legs......

I was also sent the Animal-Print shaping tights, just in time for Halloween! Although I've broken them out twice already, in case you haven't noticed, animal print is HUGE this year! Its being worn by almost every celebrity, and it looks great on everyone. If you're not brave enough to go all out leopard or zebra, these tights are a FANTASTIC way to bring the animal trend to the everyday wardrobe.

I think that these tights are brilliant, they almost remind me of a fishnet but smaller holes (go to the site so that you can get a super closeup of them) They would be fantastic to wear to the office or out to diner.


The Animal-Print and the Paisley Tights retail for just $15 a pair!

Silkies offers some great tights other then these two styles, the Cashmere Tights would be a perfect addition to a fall wardrobe, warm and cozy. They're only $35 a pair! They also have footless, and toe-less tights for those of us who like to let our toes peek.

Head on over to Silkies and check out all the great styles, designs and deals they have to offer!


I received two free pairs of Sculptz by Silkies tights for this review. All opinions are  100% mine. I did not receive any cash payments for this review.

Giveaway! Tommee Tippee Breast Pump!!

Do you or someone you know need a breast pump?

Well I'm giving away a Tommee Tippee Breast Pump System

I got it from a post that a I wrote but since I don't see myself using it in the next few years, I'm offering it to one of you lovely Mommypants readers!

Check out the kit here at

The Kit includes:
1 manual  breast pump
1 spare valve
1 5oz feeding bottle with slow flow nipple and protection lid
2 protection pods (put them on top of the bottle to store milk)
 6 breast pads
1 steri-box, (to sterilize equipment) that doubles as a carry case!

The whole system retails for $46.99 at Babies R Us!

Its BPA free so you can be sure you're little one is safe!

To Enter

1. Just leave a comment with you're name and email address (unless your address is already attached to you're icon)

I'll pick a winner on November 1st 2011. 


Hill's Healthy Mobility Challenge!

This post brought to you by Hills Pet Nutrition. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you have a beloved old dog in your life who is feeling stiff lately? Wouldn't you love to see him feeling a bit better, and closer to his usual self?

Then I call your attention to the Hill's Healthy Mobility Challenge. You're chance to be one of 30 people who will win a years worth of Free Pet food! Now that's a good deal!

Visit the Hills Healthy Mobility Challenge website 

All you have to do is register and you'll automatically be entered to win a year's worth of Free Pet food.  And you'll get $30 in coupon offers for Hill's Products! There is no purchase necessary to win so its worth registering! Hills' has some great dog foods so they're worth giving a try, especially with the deals that the coupons are offering!

While you're there check out Hill's Pet Nutrition and find out about Hill's Pet foods and why they're a great choice for your animals.

Check out the video gallery on the contest page to see stories of how Hill's has helped other pets get their mobility back! Then after you've tried Hill's pet food visit the site and upload a video of how you're dog has improved! You'll feel great knowing that other owners have had great results with their pets!

So head over and grab those $30 in Hill's Healthy Mobility Coupon offers, and let your dog give them a try!

For more information about Hill's Pet Food check them out  on Hill's Pet Nutrition on Facebook

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, October 7, 2011

Good Morning face care!

When I wake up in the morning I need something refreshing.

I wash my face and then use toner, the new "Jason C-Effects Pure Natural toner" is a great way to start to day. Smelling like fresh oranges, and cleaning out pores, its skin care and a wake up call packed in one.

The Jason Line actually comes highly recommended to me, I was told about it about two years ago by a esthetician at a spa that I went to. The esthetician told me that I needed more then just soap and water to clean my face.  That my face needed more balance then just soap could provide. She told me that the Jason line was a great line, and that the Vitamin C was really good for problem skin, and getting rid of excess skin cells.

I've also recently learned (thanks to my informational sheet from Jason) that Esther-C (which is in the Jason Toner) is an antioxidant that stimulates collegen production!! (less wrinkles)

I'll be honest I hadn't really ever tried it, even though she had told me that the line was inexpensive, I had figured how inexpensive could a line recommended by an esthetician at a high end spa really be?

When I was sent the Jason Toner I was excited to give it a try, the same esthetician had told me that toner was pretty much the most important thing (next to cleanser and moisturizer) that we put on our faces. Toner really helps to balance the PH of our faces, helping our faces not react to changes in heat, weather, hormones ect.

I tried it and hey, I like it!

First I love that its a spray toner, I feel like much less toner gets wasted when its designed this way,

Next, I love how it feels and smells so early in the morning.

Price you're all wondering? Just $9.95 for 6oz! That's a lot of toner, and as I said with a spray top you waste MUCH less toner then with one where you pour it out.

To try Jason C-Effects Pure Natural Super-C Toner for yourself, check out the Jason website at
www.jason-natural.com


I received a free bottle of Jason C-Effects Toner for this Review. All opinions are 100% mine. I did not receive any cash payment for this review.


A secret to smooth legs

Shaving.... its not just a task its a battle. 

If you're like me, then shaving you're legs can sometimes end up looking more like a fight with a pissed off cat. Blood... that NEVER stops coming.

A secret I picked up in high school was to use hair conditioner for my legs. Well that was in the days when my hair conditioner cost $99 now that I care a bit more about ingredients I'm not about lather my legs up with the stuff.

So I have gone the last ....mumblemumble..... years accepting that I am most likely going to cut my legs when I shave.

That was till I was introduced to Aubry Organics 'Creme de la Shave" now it may sound (and smell) like a fancy pastry that you pick up on you're way out of Grand Central Station, but this conditioner-like shave cream that you can put on in the shower and then shave away for smooth legs!

 The thing about using this cream is that it makes you're legs smooth so the razor can glide on them, rather then just shaving with soap and water, which doesn't seem to work as well (for me anyways!) Also, its moisturizing! If you're going to show off those legs,  have them in the best shape possible!

I love that the cream is organic, I try to use organic products in all areas of my life so I'm always on the look out for good organic body products.

Another great factor about the cream? Its only $5.49  at health food stores nationwide. Much better on the wallet then using my conditioner! 

It comes in three scents

Toasted Almond (I got this one and I love it!)
Orange Cream
Raspberry Honey

You can call 1-800-237-4270 or visit the Aubery Organics website at 
www.aubrey-organics.com to get more information!

 I received a free tube of Aubrey Organics Creme de la shave for this review, all opinions are 100% mine. I did not receive any cash payment for this review.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes!

Do you have a rice cooker?

Do you want an excuse to buy a rice cooker?

Okay besides just a sweet gadget for purchase, a rice cooker is a go to for healthy meals. Someone even told my sister recently "You don't have a rice cooker? You can't be a vegetarian without a rice cooker!"

Now personally I've always been more of a pasta person, as someone who has always had a stomach for Italian cuisine, I've made lots and lots of risotto which is rice,  I haven't really ventured to far into the world of other rices. Don't get me wrong, I'll serve it up as a side with fish, or inside a burrito. I'm a major lover of Zatarains, but as for cooking up a meal with rice as the main dish? I've never quite made it that far.

So when I got 300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes  by Katie Chin I couldn't wait to dive in... with my fork.

The book starts out with information about rice, the different types of rice (and man there are TONS!), types of grains, and types of legumes (did you know you could cook all that in a rice cooker?) It also goes into rice cookers and helps consumers to decide which one is best for them!

Now recipes because I know that's what you've all been waiting for!  First off I'll tell you about the sushi recipes, hoo-rah, we were excited to see those, personally I'm not one for sushi but my daughter's father LOVES it, so I'm glad that I can finally give a hand at it, and maybe I'll be more likely to give it a try if I make it myself!

I was really happy to see some breakfast recipes in there, I like being able to leave something overnight and then eat it in the morning, the "Honey Apple Brown Rice Porridge" made with almond milk sounds like a wholesome vegan breakfast that even meat and dairy eaters can enjoy! (Living in California we know LOTS of vegans)

As for Appetizers I'm into the "Thai Shrimp Cakes with Mango Coconut Sauce", seasoned with lemongrass and ginger, made with jasmine rice I could see myself ordering this off a menu at a Thai Restaurant, but instead I'll just make it at home and have LOTS of leftovers!

After my own heart a soup recipe made with farro! Yum! "Farro Minestrone" is on my list of have to eats this winter!

I could go on and on with fabulous recipes from this book (remember there are 300 of them in here) but instead I'll leave you with this final dessert recipe "Coconut Red Rice Pudding" coconut milk, brown sugar, pistachios.... 

So if you're like me and find yourself forever short of creative recipes! Give this book a read, it retails for $24.95 in the US!

I received a free copy of "300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes" for this review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any cash payment for this review. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oh Goody... look whats come out!

Have you ever gone to brush your hair in the morning and dreaded the feeling of the hard teeth on you're tender head? What about trying to brush you're daughter's hair and she finds it just painful?

You know my grandfather always told me
"You have to suffer to be beautiful"
And alas so has the rest of my family; so I have always dealt with knots, eyebrow waxes, mean looking brushes and the rest....

But brushes.... NO MORE!

From makers of Ouchless elastics (a favorite around here)

Comes  Goody Ouchless Brushes!!

At first I thought 'cool a brush'

Then I used it! Tender headed fear no more, the brush feels like a scalp massage. 
 The bristles,  are flexible so they adjust to your scalp,  they have rounded tips so they don't poke you while you're doing it. 

The brushes are available at Wal-mart and range from $6.49-$8.29 



While you're there grab yourself some other Goody accessories in Primrose Hill Line, they're adorable and I love the fluttery flowers that are attached to clips that can actually hold you're hair back, rather then just looking pretty! I also really like the headbands that I've been using almost every day for my massage classes since I got them. Its nice to have you're hair held back and still have it look nice. 

I have also rediscovered my love for hair clips, oh the joy of my hair being out of my face!

The line has a bunch of hair accessories that range in price from $2.19 to  $6.99  

And yes there are Ouchless elastics in the line, the colors are beautiful... I love them on dark hair


I received a free set of Goody products for this review, all opinions are  100% mine. I did not receive any cash payments for this review.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Neilsen-Massey Vanilla Powder

I'm always excited when I get the option to review a new food product; but when its from a company like Neilsen-Massey, known for the quality of their vanillas and other extracts, I have to admit my heart started to flutter a bit when I heard I was going to get a chance to try their Madagascar Bourban Pure Vanilla Powder.


The Madagascare Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is alcohol free, and it makes a great addition to any baked good. 

I was so impressed by the smell when I opened the container, that I couldn't help but give myself a little pinch to try. WOW talk about vanilla flavor! 

Since then, the powder has gone in just about everything I've made, it started with my daughter's oatmeal in the morning, wanting to give her a change from the usual maple-raisin-almond I usually make her. I added a teaspoon of the vanilla powder to oats, milk, almonds, craisins and a pinch of salt.  Annabella really enjoyed having something different for breakfast (okay maybe not too different from the normal, but I gotta try to get all the food groups in!)

The next obvious step was... my coffee of course! This took my usual morning coffee, and made it different. I have always loved french vanilla coffee, but I don't like to have to buy two different kinds of beans just because I want to change it up. I stirred a bit of the Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder into my mug and had a Vanilla coffee!!

So while drinking my morning coffee, I read through the recipes that the good folks over at Neilsen-Massey provided me (and you) with. 

Of course at this point I wanted to see what this vanilla could do with some baking; after a search through the pantry, I found all the ingredients needed to make the Crisp Vanilla Butter Cookies! While they are easy to make, I did have to wait a couple hours for the dough to chill in the fridge, but worth it. I really liked how the recipe made a large batch of dough. Half of it is still in my freezer, waiting for me to need another sugar fix.

Now I had the vanilla coffee and the vanilla cookies, what else could a girl ask for?


Don't worry I didn't forget the recipe for you!




I can't wait to try out this recipe for Vanilla Apple Pudding


Give the Neilsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder a chance, its a simple and easy way to put new life into you're dishes, or create new ones!

I received a free sample of Neilsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder for this review, all opinions are my own, I did not receive any cash for this review. All opinions are 100% mine, recipes courtesy of Neilsen-Massey Vanilla

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