Archive for the ‘Contest’ Category

Over the 9 months, my husband and I have been working to make our diets a little healtheir. Mostly this is because we have a young daughter and we want to be healthy for her, but also because we want to model a healthy lifestyle for her. So here are 10 ways we’ve come up with making our food healthier.

1. Use whole wheat or low carb pasta. I’m particularly a fan of Dreamfields brand pasta – it’s low carb, but you’d NEVER know it to taste it! It’s lower on the glycemic index, making it great for people on a low carb diet. You can barely taste the difference between it and “regular” pasta.

2. Try frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. Many kinds of frozen yogurt are creamy, and still come in fun flavors like cookies & cream or Moose Tracks (YUM!!!). It’s lower in sugar and fat, making it a great alternative.

3. Use corn flake crumbs instead of bread crumbs. You’ll barely taste the difference, but they’re lower in calories than most bread crumbs.

4. Use brown rice or long grain rice. Again, this is lower on the glycemic index, making it a better choice for people who enjoy a low carb lifestyle. Brown rice is flavorful, and makes a great add in for stuffed peppers, fajitas and so on.

5. Use ground turkey in place of ground meat. The two are interchangeable, so you can pretty much use them however you want. Turkey is lower in fat, but is still full of a meaty flavor. It’s a great alternative in meatloaf or soups and chilis.

6. Use applesauce in place of oil in cake mixes. The flavor is almost identical, but don’t use any sort of flavored applesauce, or you WILL skew the flavor of your cake!

7. Eat whole grain foods whenever possible. You’ll find them to be more filling, so you’ll eat less. Plus, whole grains are a better source of fiber and protein.

8. Eat Romaine lettuce instead of Iceberg lettuce. Romaine has a higher amount of fiber, B vitamins and folate. It also contains more calcium, potassium and trace minerals–and it has seven times the vitamin C and 18 times the vitamin A.

9. Add two cloves of garlic to soups, sauces, stir fries and stews. Garlic is great for heart health, and help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.

10. Opt for organic whenever possible. This can definitely be a problem for those trying to live within a tight budget, but it’s definitely something worth exploring. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in every two people tested positive for one or more of up to 116 chemicals that were coming from food. However, if that doesn’t fit in with your finances, be sure to wash all your fruits and veggies thoroughly.

I wanted to include a widget on the sidebar of this post, but unfortunately, it wasn’t working in my blog, so I couldn’t share it with you. I hope these tips help you get on your way to having a healthier diet. I know they’ve definitely helped me! Happy eating!

DISCLAIMER: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and WeightWatchers SmartOnes blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


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With back to school shopping getting under way around the country, parents are now looking for great ways to save money. Here are some ideas to help you save a bit of cash.

1. Shop in your house first. Look through your closets, cabinets, junk drawers and anywhere else you can think of to see what you already have. You may not need a new pack of pencils if you’ve got 10 that are still usable. You may find a calculator, making it so that you don’t have to buy one. While these items may not seem expensive, they can definitely add up quickly, especially when shopping for more than one child. Let kids decorate old binders with stickers or photos to jazz them up. Instead of buying book covers, use paper shopping bags that kids can write on and decorate themselves.

2. Coupons, coupons, coupons. Kind of self explanatory, you’re going to save extra when using coupons. You’ll save even more if you can pair them up with sale prices at stores.

3. Shop for clothes after school starts. You’ll get a good vibe at what’s going to be the fashion trend, and prices will be coming down as new things start coming out for the next season.

4. Stick to the class list. Many teachers say that they are amazed at the number of students that come in with things they probably won’t use. If your kid is going to need it, it will be on the class list.

5. Decide how much you can spend, and stick with it. Don’t be afraid to let your kids know that there is a limit on anything they might want for school, and anything above and beyond either needs to wait, isn’t needed, or will have to come out of their piggy bank.

6. Pounce on the “loss leader” items at stores. You know the ones, the 10 cent spiral notebooks or the 25 cent box of Crayola crayons? But don’t go overboard. If you find out that the pens are on sale this week, buy the pens. If filler paper is on sale next week, wait until then to get it!

7. Separate wants from needs. That pencil sharpener that lights up may look really cool, but it’s going to be a distraction in class. The $1 three pack of sharpeners will do the same job without getting the child in trouble.

8. Buy basics in bulk. If there is a great sale on notebooks at the store, stock up. Your kid will probably need a few over the course of the school year.

9. Buy quality when necessary. If you buy that cheap backpack, it may break during the school year. If you replace it with another cheap one, it may break again. If this keeps up, you’re going to wind up spending more money on cheap backpacks than you will on one quality one that will last for four, or even eight, years. Leaky pens may cost more than that if you have to replace your son or daughters school uniform or clothes because you can’t get it out.

10. Invest in fun, reusable lunch-ware. Reusable water bottles and lunch boxes are better for the environment, and will save you money in the long run. It’s cheaper to buy juice in a bottle than to buy single serve juice boxes or pouches. It’s easy to find BPA-free plastics now, so spend the money ahead of time, and you’ll get a return on your investment at the end.

I hope these help you save a little bit of money while planning your back to school shopping trips. Share your favorite tips in the comments section!

DISCLAIMER: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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An amazing opportunity for children with disabilities, CVS Caremark All Kids Can baseball camp is a once in a lifetime experience for kids to follow their dreams and play baseball at Fenway Park! The camps are currently trying to find teams made up of kids who have a disability to take part in one of nine FREE CAMPS being offered this season at Fenway. What an experience for these young players!

Parents and coaches can nominate their own teams, but if their team has previously participated, they are encouraged to nominate a different team.  Included in the camps are: Hitting tips and on-field batting practice, a walk around the Warning Track, and a VIP tour of Fenway Park.  Please note, transportation and lodging are not provided, so parents of the players will have to plan accordingly. Check out the All Kids Can website for all the dates and details on how to get involved. Give a child the chance of a lifetime!

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Win a Cricut from 24/7 Moms!

I don’t typically blog about contests, especially ones that I am not involved in, but I thought this one was too great to not share!

24/7 Moms is giving away a Cricut! The Cricut Expression is a home cutting system that makes intricate cuts for scrapbooks, home decor, banners, signs and other creative projects. It is slightly larger than the original Cricut, and features two new cutting mats measuring 12″ x 12″ and 12″ x 24″, allowing users to cut characters from 0.25″ up to an impressive 23.5.” The Cricut Expressionmachine also accepts the entire line of existing Cricut cartridges, each of which contains the artwork equivalent of thousands of traditional single-shape metal dies.

Additional features include:

  • Mix and match creative features in the same cut
  • Use the entire library of existing Cricut cartridges
  • Cut portrait or landscape
  • Mat sizes 12″ x 12″ or 12″ x 24″
  • No computer necessary
  • Change settings such as language and units of measure
  • New LCD screen that shows exactly what you’re typing for your next cut
If you want to enter to win a Cricut for your very own, visit the 24/7 Moms blog post about it!

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