America’s Secret Ingredient Contest!!!

The day’s of running to the neighbors house to borrow a cup of sugar or an egg are over!

Did you know that you can substitute Tree Top applesauce in place of eggs in a recipe?  Now of course it would have to make sense in the recipe.  I mean you wouldn’t go and put applesauce in a meat loaf, but let’s say you were making pancakes.  You go to add the eggs when you suddenly realize you’re out.  Don’t worry!  Get out your applesauce and 1/4 cup measuring cup and just substitute the applesauce in the eggs place.  You’re pancakes will be to die for.  My kids especially like them if I add a dash of cinnamon too!Other substitutions you can use that will tremendously cut the fat and calories are:

    • apple juice instead of white sugar


  • applesauce instead of butter



One of my personal favorites is to marinate pork chops in Tree Top apple juice.  You get all the wonderful flavor without all the sodium that bottled marinades give you.  Even my kids ate the pork chops and if you know my daughter, she does not eat ANYTHING unless it is the shape of a nugget.Do you have a secret ingredient that you add to a recipe?  If so, enter the America’s Secret Ingredient Contest!  The contest is going on now and runs until July 26th, so that gives you plenty of time to enter!  Read all the contest rules here.  One grand prize winner in EACH category will win a trip for 2 to New York City to attend the Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Tree Top and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.” 

Summer Safety Tips

Now that schools out for summer (yes that song is now stuck in my head), my kids want to do nothing but play outside.  Whether it’s running around in the backyard on our play structure or at the pool, they literally don’t stop until they are about ready to collapse.  Which makes for great bedtimes!!

However, I can’t help but worry about them when they are outside playing or swimming.  Sure I’m watching them, but the “what if’s” are always in my mind.  Thanks to Underwriters Laboratories, a leading product safety testing company, they have compiled a list of safety tips.  See the tips below about how you can help keep your children safe while playing in the backyard or swimming in the pool.  Stay safe and cool this summer!

Backyard Play-Set Safety Tips


Before installing the Play-Set
    • Make sure your backyard is large enough to cover the play-set you wish to install.


  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions when setting up the play equipment.  Pay close attention that your child’s weight and age fall within the recommendations.



  • Install protective surfacing like rubber tiles, mulch…at least 6 feet in all directions.



Before heading out to play

    • Carefully inspect the playground equipment, paying attention that it is anchored into the ground, S-hooks are closed and bolts are not sticking out.


  • Check for spaces that could trap children.  These spaces should measure less than 3.5inches or more than 9 inches.



  • Always supervise children on play set equipment.



  • Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, pet leashes or cords to play equipment.



  • Watch for potential trip hazards.



  • Do a sandbox check.  Check for debris or sharp objects.  Lids are always the best option so it does not become a litter box to neighborhood cats.




Pool Safety


Pool Safety at Home 
    • Install a fence.  It should be at least four feet high and a self closing, self latching gate that has a locking mechanism that is out of a child’s reach.


  • Cut overhanging tree limbs and remove chairs or ladders from the pool area.  Kids can use these to climb over the fence.



  • Keep grates and drain covers in good repair.



  • Make sure you know infant and child CPR if you own a pool.



Safety Smart while Swimming

    • Use the 10/20 rule.  The 10/20 rule stats that the supervising adult is able to scan the pool every 10 seconds and reach the water within 20 seconds.


  • Always have a rescue device nearby.



  • Flotation devices, toys and inflatable swimming aids are not safety devices.  They can puncture easily.



  • Always drain small kiddie pools with children are done playing.  Infants can drown in just a few inches of water.



  • Have a phone nearby with all emergency numbers handy.



  • Remove all toys when you leave the pool.  Toys attract children to an unattended pool.



Be safe this summer and make sure your children are aware of these safety rules as well.  Don’t let your family become a summer statistic.  Be sure to check out this Wild about Safety video.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Underwriters Laboratories. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Do You Need to Update Your GPS???

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of NAVTEQ. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s that time of year again…Summer Vacation!!!  Whether you are driving your kids from play date to play date or going on a family vacation, chances are great that you will need some sort of directions to get there.  One of the best presents my husband ever bought me was a Garmin GPS for my car.  I use that thing all the time and I know I will be using it a lot this summer taking my son to all his friends houses that I have never been to before (that kid seriously has a better social life than I do)!

One thing I don’t want happening is my GPS hourglass to spin over and over because it is unable to locate where I am telling it I want to go.  This happens because the subdivision or road I am looking for is new…but it basically boils down to one thing.  My maps need to be updated.

But guess what?!?  I have an easy fix for you!  NAVTEQ (, a company whose technology and maps that are in most of the in-car navigation systems or portable GPS device that you use, can save you hours of driving around trying to find your location by offering you a way to update the maps on your GPS (whether it is built into your car or not).  All you need to do is go to their website ( and click on the category that applies to you (in-car GPS or portable GPS) and then you can buy the update for your unit!!  It really is as easy as that!

Visit my sponsor: Making mom's life a little easier

Learn about Business while Cruising the Caribean!!!

How would you like it if I told you that Zenith Training is offering an amazing opportunity right now for you to learn about business while cruising around the Caribbean?  Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?!?

This amazing 7 day cruise around the Caribbean is called Dare to Dream…Dare to be Great and it is what is called edutainment…that is, you’re being educated and entertained all at the same time while living it up in the sun!

You get to enjoy first class cruising while networking and fine tuning your business skills with 150 other like minded people!  On this cruise you will:

  • Learn from life mastery specialists
  • Work with business development trainers
  • Attend personal development sessions
  • Network with other business owners

I know, I know you want to know how much…right?  This is the best part.  Only $127 per day*!!

The $127 per day includes your accommodations, great pools, on-board surfing, ice skating, fitness center, miniature golf, rock climbing, and totally awesome food (and lots of it!!), ALL of your entertainment, the “Dare to Dream…Dare to be Great” seminars and Business Tradeshow, your welcome party, AND the opportunity to wake up to a beautiful new view each and every day!!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t possibly thing of a better learning environment than being surrounded by beautiful water and gorgeous, sandy beaches!!

Please check out for more information (and follow @MLM_Zenith on Twitter), avoid disappointment and reserve today!!

Breastfeeding is YOUR Choice

I am going to say this first…I’m in a mood.  This post will most likely stir up some controversy, but oh well.

A friend of mine on Facebook posted an article from The Feminist Breeder blog.  I have to say, it’s a pretty good article, however what I don’t like about this whole “Breast is Best” debate is the way some make people who choose not to breastfeed feel guilty about that choice.  The great thing about living in America is the fact that we have the RIGHT to make choices that we feel are best for us.  We shouldn’t have others trying to make us feel guilty for our choices.

And the bottom line is, breastfeeding is a choice that women have to make.  A choice that is best for them, not what is best for the popular opinion around them.  I didn’t choose to breastfeed either of my children and that is not something I feel at all guilty about.  I knew that I did not want to put the time and commitment into.  I spent 9 months giving up my body for my child, something I very willingly did, but I knew that after 9 months of puking my brains out (almost quite literally) every day, I was done.  I wanted my body back.  Therefore, I choose not to breastfeed.  You can say that was a very selfish of me.  I can handle that.  My kids are very healthy despite the fact that they never got a drop of breastmilk.

The Feminist Breeder tries to make a connection between breastfeeding and car seats.  She says:

“You know what else saves lives?  Car seats.  So, why aren’t people spitting mad at the NHTSA for saying that?  Why aren’t they leaving thousands of comments on car seat articles saying “But I just couldn’t afford a car seat, why are you trying to make me feel guilty?!?!” Well, maybe it’s because our society will admit that car seats save lives, and we’re willing to give them out free at fire stations and hospitals if we have to because it is that important.”

I really don’t think you can compare car seats to breastfeeding.  Having your child in a car seat is a law.  You can’t leave the hospital unless your child is strapped into a car seat.  Now I know that she is comparing car seats and breastfeeding because she believes breastfeeding saves lives just like car seats saves lives.  And I do agree that in some cases, breastfeeding very much does save lives, but again, breastfeeding is a choice.  If when my children were born, there was a reason (in the NICU for example) I should breastfeed, I obviously would have.  However, for me, my children were born extremely healthy so my choice of formula feeding from the get go was a good choice for me.

Now I do agree with The Feminist Breeder that women who breastfeed need to be given more support.  Just like car seats are given to people who can’t afford them, breast pumps should be given to those that want them, but can’t afford them.  Women who choose to breastfeed shouldn’t be made to feel like they can’t breastfeed in public.  Women who choose to breastfeed should be given time at work to pump if necessary.  I feel that if you want to advocate for something, advocate for those things.  Don’t spend the time and energy on making women who CHOOSE not to breastfeed feel guilty.  Provide the information so people can make the decisions for themselves without the guilt thrown in.

Now I know that this is a very heated topic.  I hope that if you choose to leave a comment, it can be done in a respectful manner and not attacking at anyone else that leaves a comment that may be of a differing opinion than yours.