February 28, 2012

Udi’s Gluten Free Product Review

I was recently sent a box of Udi's products for review. I was so excited because there were many delicious looking products in the box. I don't think my kids ever looked in the box. :) In case you had not heard of them previously, Udi’s Gluten Free Foods is the #1 gluten free baked goods brand. They revolutionized the category when it introduced the first gluten-free bread that tastes and looks like “real” bread.

Gluten is a found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species (ex: barley and rye). Between 0.5 and 1.0 percent of people in the United States are sensitive to gluten due to Celiac disease, and many other people are sensitive to gluten. Because of that many people are on gluten free
diets. Can you imagine not being able to eat bread or muffins? Perish the thought!
My favorite were the blueberry muffins. They had a wonderful blueberry taste and were just the right texture. I really could not tell that they were gluten free. Definitely the blueberry muffins are one to try even if you are not on a gluten free diet.
I was also sent these 2 different types of their granola: Gluten Free Cranberry Granola and Gluten Free Au Naturel Granola. They were made with certified gluten free oats. Both of the granola mixes were tasty. It was crunchy with just the right amount of sweetness.

is available at Kroger, Publix, Whole Foods, and other stores including 150 WalMarts. Walmart will carry 5 of Udi’s best-selling products (soft white bread, soft whole grain bread, plain bagels, chocolate chip cookies, and pizza crust) in the bakery department. To find Udi's products at a store near you, you can use their Store Locator.

I received the products as noted for review. My opinions are my own. I did not receive any compensation for this post.

February 23, 2012

Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun

Can you believe it is already the end of February?  Where does the time go?  Next month will be Spring Break, then before long it will be summer.   My kids love days off school, but then they complain “I’m bored!”   Sometimes I struggle with ideas to keep them busy and not sitting in front of the television.

I wanted to tell you about a fun site called Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun.   They have many cute ideas for fun in the following categories:   Wacky Science, Arts and Crafts, Kiddie Cooking, and Creative Cooking. There are many ideas I want to try.

These are some of the Recipes for Fun I saw:

Wacky Science:  Volcanic Eruption, Bouncing Eggs, Bending Straws, and Disappearing Ink.
Have fun and learn about science at the same time.

Arts and Crafts:   Awesome Play Dough, Homemade Cards, Candy Necklace, and Pinecone Birdfeeders.
Let them express their artistic sides!

Kiddie Cooking:   Crescent Dogs, Going bananas, Easy Tortilla Pizza, and Kids Trail Mix.
Foods kids will love to make and eat!

Creative Cooking:   Egg in a Hole, Crystal String, No Bake Cookies, and Quick Peach Cobbler. Mostly Mom Made treats for kids. (mmm…..)

I remember making No Bake Cookies the first time in Home Ec class. Do they even teach that in schools anymore? My kids haven’t had a Home Ec class yet, but they are learning about ionic bonds! At school they didn’t learn how to sew on a button or cook an egg, but they can multiply fractions. But I digress….
I have a very easy recipe that kids love:

Pigs in a Blanket
Wrap hot dogs or Vienna sausages in Pillsbury roll dough and bake as listed on the dough package.
I told you it was easy!

Also Clorox is having an Ultimate Mess Party Sweepstakes. You can sign up for a chance to win $10,000 toward an Ultimate Mess Party. You could win just by registering or sharing a recipe. You can get a coupon for $1.00 off Clorox® Clean-Up®. If you share a recipe you will receive 10 extra grand prize entries. Also, you have a chance to win instantly everyday. You could instantly win a FREE Clorox® Clean-Up® coupon or a $100 gift card by just viewing recipes. “NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older. Ends 3/27/12.”

Check out all the fun ideas and enter the sweepstakes on Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun. Now my kids won’t have a reason to complain about how “bored’ they are.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on this program, click here and see the Terms link.

February 20, 2012

Progresso Souper You Contest and Giveaway

My New Year's resolution was to lose 20 pounds. I haven't been working on it much, but I really want to lose the 20 pounds. I was given the opportunity to try Progresso Soup. The soups are really tasty and low calorie to get me working on my weight loss goals.

They have 40 delicious soups with 100 calories or less per serving. Progresso soups are packed with hearty ingredients like pasta, beans, rice, meat and vegetables that suit your taste buds and make you feel good about including it in your meal choices.

I wanted to let you know about this great contest to win a makeover.

Progresso® is excited to announce the return of their Souper You® Contest giving you the chance to win an incredible makeover! By telling Progresso why you deserve a makeover and what you love about their soup, you could have the chance to win an ultimate makeover experience in Hollywood this Spring! That sounds wonderful!

You could win:
an ultimate makeover experience in Hollywood; this includes a trip for 2 to Los Angeles, California where the winner will receive a head-to-toe makeover including hair and makeup, guided shopping spree with a $1,000 fashion retailer gift card, $1,000 spending money and 2 tickets to this season´s live finale of NBC´s The Biggest Loser

To enter visit http://www.souperyou.com/ and submit your photo with a brief essay about why you love Progresso soups and why you deserve a makeover, by no later than February 22nd.Fans can check back on March 12th for the announcement of the top ten finalists, and to vote for their favorite finalist until March 25th .Also, tune into The Biggest Loser on NBC Tuesdays at 8/7c.

Progresso and MyBlogSpark have given me the opportunity to host a giveaway.
The winner´s Progresso "Souper You" prize pack will contain:
(2) VIP Coupons for Progresso Soup
(1) copy of "The Biggest Loser" Workout DVD

February 19, 2012

How to Build Communication Bridges with Your Teen

Raising a child doesn’t come with a book of instructions. If it did, the task would be much easier. Facing the teenage years with your son or daughter is not something most parents look forward to. This article will help you take the experience one day at a time and learn how to bridge the communication gap.

As your child goes from toddler to youngster to tween to teenager, something in what you say gets lost in translation. They can give you that blank stare as if the words that are coming out of your mouth sound like the unseen teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons. "Wha, wha, wha, wha, wha"

It’s not easy to improve the communication bridges with a teen but it’s important to try to get through as these years and the choices they make now will have a vital impact on their future.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Watch your body language. How you move says a lot about you. When a person is tired, they tend to slump. When angered, your jaw muscles tighten and your eyes narrow into slits. Believe it or not, teenagers are good at interpreting body language. Yours will betray you when you are talking to them. Keep it open and honest. Avoid sitting with your arms crossed, eyes looking away from them or squirming in your seat.

2. Make eye contact. When you don’t look at the person you are talking to it says that you are either hiding something or you are not at all interested in what they have to say. Your teenager will shut down emotionally when they suspect that you are not “tuned in” to them. Sit comfortably and give your teen undivided attention with consistent eye contact. It lets them know that you care.

3. Keep your emotions in check. Remember back to when you were a teenager. Some of the things you said to your parents were aimed at freaking them out. Teenagers will push your buttons if they can. Don’t go overboard and get upset. Their target is the situations they know make you mad. Instead, take a deep breath and ignore the taunt. Do the opposite of what they expect because really, they want you to see through their ploy and find out the real problem.

4. Ask them about their day. This technique works with spouses also. Even if your teen only grunts or says the obligatory, “It was okay,” ask anyway. Your show of caring will go a long way to convince them that you are interested in the things that they do and how they feel.

5. Be honest with them. If you don’t understand the situation they are talking about then say so. Kids know when you are being insincere. Discuss the situation until you get an idea of where they are coming from. Your teen won’t mind explaining as long as they know you are listening.

6. Allow them their privacy. This one is tricky and since you know your child better than anyone else, you can draw the line. Teens value their time alone. While the policy in your home may be that there are no locks on the doors, always show respect by knocking before entering. If they don’t want to be pressed about a situation in school, wait until they are ready (if it’s not urgent) and then talk about it.

Parenting a teenager takes a tough skin, a willingness to be vulnerable and lots of love. You will make mistakes but whatever you do, don’t ever stop talking.

February 18, 2012

Zenni Optical Buy 2 Pairs Get 1 Free

Zenni Optical is running a great promotion. Buy 2 pairs get the 3rd pair free! Can you believe you can get $6.95 prescription eyeglasses? The regular prices are very good, but now this deal can't be beat!

All glasses include the following for FREE!:
Anti-scratch Coating
Full UV Protection
Protective Case
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
Thin and Light 1.57 Index Single Vision Lens

They have many cute, affordable eyeglasses. They have full rim, half rim, even rimless frame eyeglasses. You can get most any eyeglasses including those with bifocal or progressive lenses. They can be tinted to suit your style for only $4.95. I really like these:

They have a unique way to virtually "try on" the glasses before you buy using their Zenni Frame Fit™. It was easy to upload my photo and see how I looked in different pairs of glasses. You can compare up to four frames at once with the Zenni Frame Fit™ compare tool.

My picture was not centered, but you get the idea. :)

Check out this great deal at Zenni Optical.
You can also connect with them on social media.
Follow Zenni Optical on Facebook
Follow Zenni Optical on twitter

This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own.

February 8, 2012

Cooking with Kids and Uncle Ben

Like most mothers, I am always looking for ways to get my kids to eat healthier. They would go to McD's every day if I let them. I know it is important for the family to eat meals together. Luckily, none of us have any food allergies. My kids are just picky eaters. I was asked to share my tips for cooking healthy meals with kids.

Well, that was easier said than done. My kids won't eat casseroles, but that can be a great way to get some veggies in their diets. The 2 veggies I can get them to eat are green beans and corn. I found out recently that studies show that when you begin preparing your meal with rice, you end up with a meal that's better for you. That is great because we love rice.

Letting the children help with meal preparation makes it more likely they will eat the meal. They can measure items, stir the bowl, toss the salad, etc. Some families have a "One Spoon Rule" where they have to at least try one spoonful of everything that is served. I wish I would have done that when my kids were younger. Do you have any tips about how to get kids to eat healthier? I need more ideas.

I wanted to tell you about a contest by Uncle Ben. "We all have busy schedules, and families are constantly challenged to find enough quality time to spend together. Uncle Ben’s is encouraging families to get in the kitchen to cook and eat together to connect, one meal at a time. As a strong supporter of healthy eating and family togetherness, Uncle Ben’s is also helping parents establish healthy beginnings in their children’s lives."

Uncle Ben’s has launched an exciting national contest called Ben’s Beginners! By entering the contest, you could win $20,000, along with a $50,000 grant towards a cafeteria makeover for your child’s school!!! Also, you will have a chance to appear on The Rachael Ray show! Do you have children ages 5-12? To enter you need to submit a 2-3 minute video of you cooking a rice-based dish with your children. For more info on the contest, please check out Ben’s Beginners on Facebook.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

February 3, 2012

Swagbucks Collector's Bills

Swagbucks is releasing a new set of Collector's Bills just in time for Valentine's Day - 5 romantic reminders worth different amounts of reward points. Collect them all and get 14 Bonus Swag Bucks to use towards your free stuff! The bills come out at midnight PT on Monday and will be available only through Search until 11:59pm PT on Valentine's Day. Good luck!

February 2, 2012

February 1, 2012

Tips for Potty Training Boys

Do you think boys are harder to potty train? That is the theory. My nephew, who is 2 years and 4 months, doesn't have any interest in the potty yet.

I saw a good post on Social Moms that I wanted to share about potty training boys. There are many good tips.

Ten Tips for Potty Training Boys