Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Crayola Color Wonder products

I love Crayola's Color Wonder products.  When my son was recovering from surgery a few months ago, he relied on several Color Wonder products to keep him entertained during the 6 weeks he was not allowed to be up running around freely.  Now, as we begin our first year in home schooling, I have a need to keep my 3 year old busy during times that the school children and I need some quiet uniterrupted time.  Its a tough job!  I think Crayola could help, though!

I've entered to win a fantastic Crayola prize pack at Blessings Abound and you can too by using the link.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Flavorful low sodium family meals

I try to keep our menu really healthy.  I enjoy creating tasty meals for my family and am always trying new recipes.  One thing we all need to be conscience of is the sodium content of our food.  have you ever looked at labels on things like prepared frozen meals?  Its really amazing.  I have seen some of the "TV Dinner" type meals that have actually had over 80% of your RDA of sodium in them!  And you know those meals are not huge portions in any way!  80%!  If you use ingredients like condensed soups and those dry onion soup mixes....add up the total sodium in those recipes.  You might be amazed at how much it all adds up to! 

So how can you help reduce your sodium intake?  The first easy way is to taste first.  So many people have a habit of grabbing the salt shaker and shaking on salt before they even taste their food.   Sometime when you are at a restaurant watch people around you when they get their food.  You will probably see a lot of people doing just that...salting without tasting!  I would be willing to guess any food you get at a restuarant is not going to need salt.  The sodium content is probably pretty high when it arrives at your table!   

Next, when you cook eliminate the salt in recipes all together.  I very very rarely use salt in cooking.  Its not missed at all.  There are some things that pretty typically going to need some salt...like potatoes.  But even then I add very little and taste.  Rarely do I need whats called for in a recipe. 

When making things that need some spicing up, try something other than salt.  Mrs Dash makes seasoning blends that will make you forget the salt shaker all together!  How about some Mrs Dash on potatoes?  French fries with a dash of Mrs Dash!  And think skip deep frying altogether and make broiled potatoe slices and shake on the Mrs. Dash...a double win!

Buy ingredients labeled "no sodium added" or "low sodium".  From crackers to soups and broths, canned tomatoes to pickles, there are so many products these days available in "low sodium" options.  Most of the time you can use these salt-less choices and still not have to add any salt to your recipe.  Make sure when you use things like canned beans you rinse them in water before adding to your recipe.  This will help to remove some of that sodium. 

Consider making your own ingredients that tend to be high sodium when bought.  Broths are a great example.  Buying chicken parts and cooking them up with some herbs and spices takes a bit of time but is not hard at all.  You can get a great big quantity that will be so much lower in sodium than store bought broth.  Freeze what you don't need to use later.  Making other things like barbecue sauce is pretty simple too.

The new trend in frozen vegtalbes is to have them all seasoned in a bag that you just microwave steam and then serve.  Handy?  maybe.  But the sodium content is probably pretty bad..and we won't even go into the calories and fat in some of those sauces they can be in!  So make sure when you purchase frozen vegtables they are nothing more than simply vegtables!

Did you know that Mrs Dash comes in 15  flavors?  I didn't know they had such a big variety.  Doing most of my grocery shopping in pretty small towns you get used to having a low selection of items.  I am definately going to be looking for some of the Mrs Dash varieties I saw online, however. 

Mrs Dash has a new Citrus lime variety.  that would be all you need to add to some Boneless chicken breasts and it would be so easy, delicious and quick!

They have an extra spicy variety.  The weather is turning cold.  How about some Chili??  Use low sodium bean and rinse them.  Buy low sodium tomato ingredients.  Use no salt and at the end add that extra spicy Mrs Dash to taste.  If you have children skip adding it to the pot and season your bowl individually leaving it out of the little ones portions.

Have you ever made Refried beans without the refry in a crock pot?  I love doing them this way! 
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 9 cups water
  • Mrs Dash (try the extra spicy or the Southwest Chipolte!) to taste
  1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
  2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.Add Mrs Dash to taste.
If you find your veggies a bit boring, try putting a bit of zip into them with Mrs Dash.  Green beans would be great with the Italian medley blend.  Broccoli yummy with lemon pepper blend.  Corn could use some garlic herb.

Get creative!  not only will your food taste great, you will be providing your family with wonderfully healthy meals!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mrs. Dash and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the Smart Trike Deluxe at my Organized Chaos

Don't you just love finding kids products that are so smart and practical that they can be used for years instead of months?  As I read about the Smart Trike Deluxe I was impressed by how you can use this ride on toy for years...from the time your baby is young to well over 2 years.  Not many baby or toddler products can make that claim!  Check out the giveaway for one at My Organized Chaos.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Enter now for Day 9 of Bumblewee's great giveaway~ Entries don't carry forward so if you entered yesterday don't forget to enter today.  click here to enter.
  • A Free Nursing Top every day for 30 days!
  • Enter and receive a 50% off coupon to BumbleWee Nursing Wear's sweepstakes items.
  • Get your friends to tell us that you recommended them to our contest for extra daily entries.
Every day is a new contest so come back daily for more chances to win.
Contest closes Sept 15, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

day 5 of Bumblewee's giveaway

Did you enter for today's prize?  Its day 5!  Wonder who today's winner will be?  Maybe you or maybe me!!!

Enter here

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

50% off nursing clothing

So you probably know about Bumblewee's great nursing top giveaway (30 days and 30 tops given away).  But what you may not realize is that each time you enter you get a coupon code for 50% off a select list of clothing items.  So, even if you don't win this giveaway, you still win!

You can check it out here

wordless Wednesday...camping souvenir

A couple weeks ago we went camping.  Hours after we arrived Brennan recived this

Notice the arm.

When we got home from our trip he got his real cast which had to go up to his armpit.  He has to be monitored to make sure the bones are going to line back up without surgery.  So far it looks good.  Monday he has another appointment at his doctor and they will make the final decision then.  If all is ok he May get a shorter cast too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Its day 4 did you enter?

Are you entering BumbleWee's giveaway for a nursing top each and everyday?  Yes, they will give away a top each day for 30 days!  You can enter here

Monday, August 16, 2010

nursing moms...check out this sweeps!


Bumbleweenursing is givingll away a nursing top a day for 30 days!  The sweeps started on August 15 so you still have nearly a month to enter. 

They have a fantastic line of nursing clothing that is very fashionable and functional. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mbretts tote/diaper bag

One thing I hate is disorganization.  If things are unorganized I even have trouble sleeping as it stays so heavy on my mind.  One area of disorganization that has driven me  crazy for years was my diaper bags.  The problem with most diapers bags is that they are basically just big pouches.  People tend to carry lots of small items in their diaper bags...pacificers, little tubes of diaper rash cream, lip gloss, cell phone, keys etc.  When you put little items like that in a big deep bag, they disappear.  It never fails you are in line at the store and you hear your phone ringing and you're digging, digging, searching, searching, taking things out, dropping things in search of that little cell phone lost somewhere under diapers and sippy cups and spare change of baby pants. 

My Mbretts tote bag has so totally changed that!  The interior is divided into several compartments.  It keeps everything in its place, ready to be found when needed.

This is a bit more than what I carry on a normal average trip from the house but wanted to show how much this tote holds, without overcrowding, and still being able to pull out anything I need without searching or removing half my bag contents to find it.

A water bottle, a sippy cup, a large wallet, keys, sunglasses, a pack of tissues, 2 different rash creams, a container of baby wipes, a changing pad, a good size baby blanket, a bib, a spare dress, 2 cloth diapers and a cloth diaper cover.

And organized:  water bottle and sippy get the outside compartments (although I normally use one for my sunglasses, cellphone and keys and one for a rolled up baby blanket), one compartment get the rash creams, tissue, bib.  One compartment gets my wallet, keys, cellphone, and makeup pouch.  One compartment gets the spare dress, 2 diapers, cover, changing pad, blanket. 

This is Mbretts small tote!  Although its roomy, you definately don't feel like you are carrying a suitcase.  Its very compact.  I can only imagine what their large tote would hold.  I would love the opportunity to find out! 

This is a photo of what my typical bag packed looks like:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday......bonnet

Everytime I make a bonnet I swear its the cutest ever

This one is no exception

Her new dress I made is pretty

But that new bonnet....


A Living Doll!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Miliana in the paper

We went to the State fair on Monday.  Miliana eating her ear of corn caught the attention of a reporter. 

 Here is the link