November 30, 2012

Holiday Safety Tip events-


--Safety Series Touches Nearly 2 Million Kids and Families Nationwide--

During the month of December local holiday events in Seattle, Portland, Orlando, Little Rock and Albany. These events will be offering  interactive entertainment and safety-themed games to remind kids and families how to make Safety Smart decisions for the holidays with simple steps to help keep your family safe during the holidays! 

Here are the event times and places so mark your calenders! 

  • December 1 (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) - Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade at East Rivermarket Pavillion with Radio Disney 99.5FM Little Rock
  • December 1 (4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) - Kirkland Tree Lighting with Radio Disney AM 1250 Seattle
  • December 1 (6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) - Beaverton Tree Lighting in City of Beaverton with Radio Disney AM 1640 Portland
  • December 2 (11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) – The Annual Troy Victorian Stroll in Downtown Troy with Radio Disney AM 1460 Albany
  • December 8 (6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) – Now Snowing Nightly in Celebration Town Center with Radio Disney AM 990 Orlando
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November 29, 2012

Oh the power of the green! - Spinach

Remember growing up with the cartoon Popeye The Sailor Man? He popped a can of spinach and eats it?  First off, spinach in a can? Not happening. I don't know even as a kid that was not something I would have done, make me strong or not, that didn't look too appetizing. Fresh Spinach though, now that I can do! 
Facts about Spinach

 Spinach is a mood boosting green most people look over. There is an abundance of B vitamins which aid in the production of serotonin, which is produced by the brain and helps you feel calm and relaxed.  If you have a deficiency you’re not making enough serotonin and you may have mood problems.  Tryptophan is another nutrient that helps produce serotonin and it’s also found in spinach.

 Another very important vitamin found in Spinach – folate-, which again is critical for your mood! About 2 cups of spinach gives you half of the recommended folate, which if you’re lacking could be the cause for some depression. Zinc also has been found to help mood swings, and fatigue. Didn’t think one vegetable could hold so much mood power did you? Well keep reading, there’s more!

Manganese- spinach is a great source of this, which helps protect against mood, disorders even PMS as well as depression. Another fact-Spinach really is brain food, manganese helps with your brain function overall. Another mineral found in spinach is selenium, which also aids greatly in brain function.
Magnesium, that lovely vitamin that keeps you from being tired and worn out helps improve your mood is found in this powerful green. Have insomnia? Spinach can help.

Simple green leaf-  powerful impact on your overall health. It packs a punch and it’s easy to add to most meals. I add about three cups to beans when I make it, or toss it into sandwiches for the kids. I sneak it into sautéed corn and slip it into sloppy Joes. Eat it raw or steam it, it’s up to you but add it into your diet and see how it could start boosting your overall mood and health.

 It may look small, but it’s benefits are huge. 

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November 28, 2012

Holiday Shipping Guide

Busy Holiday Season the last thing you want to deal with is trouble with shipping items gifts and care packages out to loved ones or friends. Use these dates to get the package out on time with less hassle!

For delivery by Friday, Dec, 21st

For delivery by Saturday, Dec. 22nd
  • Thursday, Dec. 20th: Ship UPS 2nd Day Air and select Saturday Delivery
  • Friday, Dec. 21st: Ship UPS Next Day Air and select Saturday Delivery

For delivery by Monday, Dec. 24th 
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Wordless Wednesday

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November 23, 2012

Disney Junior News!


Monday, November 26 – Thursday, November 29:

All-New Episodes of "Jake and the Never Land Pirates"
(Daily at 10:30 a.m., ET/PT on Disney Channel and 5:30 p.m., ET/PT on Disney Junior)
·        Monday, November 26 – Jake and crew prepare for a Thanksgiving-styled Never Land Feast and search for the legendary Golden Goblet in a new episode featuring favorite recurring celebrity guest stars Sharon Osbourne(Mama Hook) and Josh Duhamel (Captain Flynn).

New Short-Form Series "Jake's Never Land Pirate School" Debuts
(Daily at 10:55 a.m., ET/PT on Disney Channel and 5:55 p.m., ET/PT on Disney Junior)
·        Series follows Jake as he teaches young viewers at home a variety of pirate skills. 

Friday, November 30:

Marathon of the new "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" and "Jake's Never Land Pirate School" episodes(10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., ET/PT on Disney Channel and 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., ET/PT on Disney Junior)

Friday, December 7:

New winter-themed episode of "Jake and the Never Land Pirates"
(10:30 a.m., ET/PT on Disney Channel)
·        Jake and crew help Percy and his penguin colony find Never Land's legendary paradise where it remains winter all year round. Rhys Darby ("Flight of the Conchords") guest stars as Percy the Penguin.


Friday, December 7:

New winter-themed episode of "Doc McStuffins"
(10:00 a.m., ET/PT on Disney Channel)
·        Doc teaches Chilly and the rest of the toys about the importance of staying warm when playing outside in the snow and China Anne McClain, who performs the theme song for "Doc McStuffins" and stars on Disney Channel's hit series "A.N.T Farm," guest stars.

Saturday, December 1:

New short-form series "Capture Your Story with Me Ra Koh" joins the Disney Junior Night Light block presented nightly on the 24-hour channel, Disney Junior.
(9:25 p.m., ET/PT)
"Capture Your Story with Me Ra Koh," features award-winning child and family photographer and best-selling author Me Ra Koh sharing simple tips and tricks for taking professional-quality photographs.

Sunday, December 16

New short-form series "DADS" joins the Disney Junior Night Light block presented nightly on the 24-hour channel, Disney Junior.
(9:25 p.m., ET/PT)
"DADS," presents a glimpse into the lives of stay-at-home dads

Also premiering in December on the Disney Junior Night Light block are new installments of:

·        "That's Fresh," a short-form cooking show hosted by chef Helen Cavallo who shares simple, healthy recipe ideas for kids and families.
·        "DJ Tales," featuring cleverly costumed finger puppets acting out kids' versions of classic fairytales and storybook favorites, including "Little Red Riding Hood," "Rumpelstiltskin" and "Sleeping Beauty."
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November 20, 2012

2 Days left to donate to No Kid Hungry

The goal for raising $300,000 is just two days away!
For every $46 you donate, we can connect a child with up to 220 meals throughout the year — meals like school breakfast and summer lunches that they would otherwise miss.

Childhood hunger in America is a silent epidemic that robs children of the opportunity to grow up healthy. The good news is that we know how to stop it.

The No Kid Hungry campaign works to build on successful programs like school breakfast and summer meals so that our nation’s hungry children can get the food they need where they live, learn and play.

Every dollar counts, so if you can donate today head on over to the No Kid Hungry Donation form and fill out what is needed. Give what you can and make sure there is No Kid Hungry this Thanksgiving! Thank you for your help to support our kids and this campaign!

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November 19, 2012

Food Safety tips on Turkey !

Keep these tips in mind for a safe and healthy Thanksgiving this year! With the big day just days away it's important to follow those food safety rules cause let's face it, no one wants a room full of sick dinner guests!

I think the number one myth I always here is the "Stuff the Turkey before hand one" Big No- No!
   - Harmful bacteria can multiply in the stuffing and cause food poisoning when a stuffed bird is refrigerated. The ingredients for the stuffing, wet and dry, can be prepared and refrigerated separately the night before to save your time but do not stuff the bird! Stuff the bird just before you put the turkey into the oven. For safety, check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing, the thickest part of the breast and the stuffing. All should be 165 °F
    Myth: Thawing on the counter is quick and easy.

Fact: Thawing on the counter may be faster than thawing in the refrigerator, but it’s unsafe for turkey or any meat or poultry product. There are three safe ways to thaw a turkey— in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave oven. It will take 24 hours for every 5 pounds of weight to thaw in the refrigerator. To thaw in cold water, submerge the bird in its original wrapper in cold water changing the water every 30 minutes. It will take about 30 minutes per pound to thaw this way. Microwave thawing is the third safe option. Make sure the oven is large enough for the bird and follow the microwave instruction manual. Cook the bird immediately if thawed in a microwave or in cold water.
When there is not enough time to thaw frozen foods, or you're simply in a hurry, it is safe to cook a turkey from the frozen state. The cooking will take approximately 50% longer than the recommended time for fully thawed or fresh turkey. Make sure that the turkey reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer in three places: in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

   Myth: A turkey is done when it is golden brown and the juices run clear or the thigh wiggles loose
Fact:   Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness or safety. A whole turkey is safely cooked when it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. The temperature should be checked in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. If you have stuffing that should reach 165F

The most important thing I have said over and over again is Check the Temp of that meat/food before you serve it. I would rather serve late to my guests then serve a meal that could potentially harm them. So remember the facts, check that thermometer, thaw correctly and if you ever run into a problem, check out the  Check out USDA’s site for more common turkey tips to keep your family safe and healthy this Thanksgiving!”

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November 18, 2012

Rain Blues

Week of Thanksgiving and it's raining here in California. While normally I'd be out busy in the garden, cleaning it up and tending winter greens. I am stuck inside.
 I am unable to even tend my garden while I am still injured. Bums me out but what can I do? Time will heal, next year's garden will soon be ready for me to mess with. I've already started planning it. Crazy right? Well there's not much else to do when you're confined to being still so I have planned it with vengeance!

My plans so far start with seedling trays just to get an idea of how much will be planted. Looks messy (pic from phone) but it's a good start!

Hopefully when I can finally walk, I will be able to be planting like the wild planter I am! 

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November 16, 2012

Bob Evans Helps with Thanksgiving- Interview with Chef Eisel

This was really fun for me! The Chef for Bob Evan Farms, took my holiday baking and cooking questions and answered them for an interview!
 Chef Eisel offered me some tips and tricks to spice up and add some flare to the good old traditional comfort foods we normally have at the table. While I love the traditional sides during the holidays most of you know I really enjoy changing things up now and again (ok all the time!) 

My questions were based on my families traditional sides, carrots, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and even the correct way to "prepare" the turkey as we all hear more than enough ways to do it. It was possibly the one question I really looked forward to hearing, because hey, he's a Chef! I wanted the secrets of his master plans to cook. I also asked an easy way to bring in some yummy home grown greens to the holiday dinner table,I loved the tips he gave and plan on using them throughout the holiday season!

Take a look at Chef Eisel answering my questions and sharing his tips for some new twists to simple yet lovable sides. 

Want some more tips to help you through this holiday season? Check out the website Bob Evans for some recipes and great new tips you can use throughout the season.

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November 15, 2012

The Heart of Christmas Giveaway

The Heart of Christmas is also a tremendous Christmas film that many families will add to their favorite holiday movie collections. It teaches valuable lessons about life, faith and community and features popular singer/songwriter Matthew West, whose title song received Emmy® nomination.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Based on a true story that gained national attention, the film "The Heart Of Christmas"  tells the story of Austin and Julie Locke parents of young Dax who's life is turned upside down when he has been diagnosed with cancer.  
With courage, determination and faith Austin and Julie decide to give their son one very last Christmas. 
The community pulls together after learning about what is going on and an overpowering amount of care and support come together. It's a wonderful story to show what happens when people unite and help others. 
I encourage any family who is looking for a great movie to share with their kids The Heart Of Christmas. It's truly a great one to add to your movie list this season (or any season for that matter) 

I'm happy to share with my readers a chance to win a copy of "The Heart Of Christmas" on DVD ! (3) Winners will be able to win a copy as well, so the more you enter, the better chance you have to win!! Enter the Rafflecopter below! 

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November 11, 2012

Broken bones, freak outs and friends that support!

If any of you have noticed, I have been MIA in  the blog world for about a week, even before then as well. The last two months or so I have apparently been walking around on a stress fracture , and last week I went out with a bang and added a broken bone to that fracture! Not to put things mildly I threw caution to the wind and ignored it, pushed pain aside, - yes, no joke- and went on with my day until I couldn't handle the pain anymore. Not smart let me tell you, but I have a high threshold of pain so honestly I shrugged it right off.
 Being told I had not just a fracture but a break, a major one at that, it was shocking. Utterly still shocking.
I literally laughed, stared at the trauma team as they started to tell me to sign papers for surgery and waited for the joke- A clown or something to pop out and say "Got You!"
It was, of course not a joke, but it took me probably an hour, a good hour to finally let it sink in before I pretty much started to freak out. After all I not only walked on that stress fracture a month or longer, but had managed to limp and get things done for 21 hours after breaking a bone. It left me baffled as well as shocked into my own very fast spiraling "freak out" to say the least. Things happened in a little time warp effect, people moved fast around me, though my world went super slow. I lost hours, conversations and just couldn't believe what was happening. My worry wasn't with me it was for my kids, who would help them, take care of them, my husband how he would be able to deal with it and work and all. A lot thrown at me in very little time!

  Emergency surgery was several hours later, day is still very fuzzy with those happy drugs running through me that day. It’s scary how you lose time, even more scary to be alone when it’s happening. My husband was left with no choice but to handle the four kids on his own! (which has never happened before, I think he was freaking out more than me at that point) He did amazing though, and the kids may have drove him crazy but he handled the most stressful traumatic thing this family has been hit with with great patience!

Here are my kids visiting me the next day

Surgery was as I was told a little over 3 hours and I stayed in the hospital for several days of course, finally came home just the other day. Very hard to adjust. I will not be able to walk for about 3 months (at the least) for someone so active, so busy and always doing something, being told strictly to rest is hard to hear. It’s a daily struggle already, just not something I’m used to in any way. Only been a week and I am very frustrated with the situation. Healing of course takes time, which I now seem to have plenty off (time goes too slow in these situations) and patience. Patience I have, but apparently not with this “resting” part of things.
 The kids, though happy to have me back just do not seem to get the whole picture of Mom being hurt. It will be a struggle and a daily adjustment for everyone, but I am very happy just to be in one piece and home with family again. A new adventure to add to my life I said, and yes even with a smile. You cannot deal with things with a negative outlook in anyway, so this is my new start of a new adventure and ther will be plenty to work through over the coming months. I'm ready for it!


 Huge shout out to my friend over at Something Like Life, Mellissa, my very dear friend who kept me from losing my mind this past week since it all started and keeping my family back east informed of what was going on. Thank you for being there as well as being such a great supporting friend day to day!

A wonderful group of loving dear friends, Angie, Laura, Tina, Melissa, Alyssa, Kelli, Miranda, Danielle, Kelly & Carissa and Mellissa, you are the best and love you all, thank you all so much for being there for me. You guys are my rock and I am truly honored to know each one of you the last several years. Bless you all for all the constant support, friendship and just for being you. You truly mean the world to me!

 My Family back East - all of you (so many to list!) that are always there for support- Thank you for your prayers & the constant support! I miss you all as well *hugs* 

To my other blogging buddies, and FB family to boot, my neighbors, friends and local parents at my kids schools you all rock and I have cried several times this week for all the support you have thrown my way! Thank you so very much, you have made coming home easier and have offered so much of your time already to help us out.
 To my Surgeon, of course -> Thanks for fixing my bones up nicely! To the wonderful humorous staff of the hospital who kept popping in and out of my room to keep me company, major thanks and no offense hope not to see the insides of the trauma wing again!
To my new Physical Trainer(s) awesome ladies, and to a great new friend who out of the blue brought me soup a day after meeting me this week THANKS!
 Last but not least, Thanks to my husband, for being there and not losing your mind during the last week! I wouldn't have made it this far without you, your support or care. You have been amazing as always  :) Thank you!
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November 10, 2012

Late Tomatoes- Garden Update

The garden has been neglected for a full week, which I will tell you about in another post entirely. Luckily though with rain,  and some warm weather it has thrived enough without me being busy keeping up with it. I still have many tomatoes coming in which is great!

 Squash even beans and the last of the peas will be finished this week. My winter garden on the other hand took a hard hit, as I have been out of “commission” for a week and in the hospital I wasn't able to care and keep critters out of it. I lost half my harvest, but still have plenty to work with. With warm weather still pretty much every other day as well I can and may still get a good handle on starting some new greens. Who knows , stranger things have happened!

I have tons of broccoli as well! Makes me so happy to look at it! It’s just reaching up in all it’s green glory I cannot wait to taste it soon enough! I'll take a picture later for next week :)

Anything happening in your neck of the woods?
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JumpStart’s new interactive Madagascar fun!

Jumpstart is loved in this house!
 Three out of my four kids use Jumpstart, but my youngest just loves to watch it. they all enjoy the spacious area of play which keeps them all entertained. The new interactive Madagascar area is a hit with all of us.

The kids can take their Jumpee (the person they are in the game around to the areas the same as the movie.  Traveingl from the Central Park Zoo in New York City , all the way to Venice , Italy and through other parts of Europe . All of your kids’ favorite characters are there too! They’ll see Alex, Melman, Gloria, Marty and the Penguins .

Check out this video that takes you around the new fun ares!

The best  features that I love as a parent about Jumpstart are it's safety , ease of use, and the target age group. While some areas are more challenging for older kids, there's places for all the kids. They can roam, enjoy and or play games. Jumpstart also changes with the seasons, and it has a nice surprise for the kids birthday, besides new games, new areas it's always coming up with new ways to keep it new. 
 There are no pop up ads, nothing they can accidentally click on and take them to other websites. I can leave the kids be and they can learn and have fun all at once. If you haven't already checked out Jumpstart I encourage you to do so! The kids will enjoy and you can trust the site!. We have used it for two years now! 
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November 8, 2012

Limited Edition Friends prize pack Giveaway!

 This giveaway is full of fun, Mash up clip countdown will unlock a new clip each week! Come back to view each new clip until the countdown is finished! 

Each week a new clip will be unlocked. Let your readers know so they come back week after week to check them out!

Take a fun Quiz and find out which Friends character you are most alike! This would be fun to share with friends to and have them join in on the fun!

Would you like a Limited Edition Friends prize pack with two over sized cappuccino mugs and a picture frame ? Now is your chance! 

Enter the giveaway for your chance to win a Limited Edition Friends prize pack, you must me 18 or older to enter. The prize will be sent via Fedex or UPS, no P.O. Boxes please!

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