Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Snack Healthy with Grapes from Mexico

I participated in a Blog Blast Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Grapes from Mexico. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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It’s officially back-to-school season, Target shelves have been emptied, parents are rejoicing over the start of the year and kids are dreading the routine. Why can’t summer last FOREVER?

Many families like our own have started thinking about back-to-school snacks that won’t leave kids bored and are tasty and healthy. If your kid(s) are fans of grapes you’ve got to consider purchasing Grapes from Mexico!

  1. FRESH! They are farm picked and sent to the store just one day after they are picked!
  2. NATURAL! They have all natural flavor without  any preservatives.
  3. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY! Their carbon footprint is small and water conservation practices are world class.
  4. HEALTHY! At only 100 calories per serving they will provide a healthy snack without leaving your kids with a sugar high!

Want to hear about how you can win weekly prizes from Grapes from Mexico? The Snack On! Sweepstakes which runs from August 17, 2015 – Sunday, September 27, 2015 gives you the opportunity to win prizes like grocery gift cards, a deluxe picnic basket or bluetooth speaker…a $150 value! All you have to do is head to the Grapes from Mexico Facebook page and completing the entry form. For additional entries be sure to complete the “Snack On” quiz and test your knowledge of healthy snacks! All winners will be selected weekly and notified directly! So…what are you waiting for?! Go enter today!


8 Tips to Motivate Children to Complete Their Chores Around the House


As a kid growing up Saturdays meant one thing. Waking up early and CLEANING! Gosh I hated it, but our house sure got messy with four kids and often a handful of foster kids coming in and out. I know getting us to complete our chores was pretty similar to the pain you feel when you get your teeth pulled. But there is hope! Today Gregg Murset, Founder & CEO of shares his eight tips to get your kids to help out around the house:

  1. Take Advantage of Kid’s Love of Technology. Why threaten to take away a child’s technology when you can use that technology to take advantage of a teachable-moment or drive home a larger message about being responsible? By using an online job chart like, children consistently log in, see their responsibilities that need to be done, register the completion and find out their rewards. Your kids will find themselves motivated by seeing their bank account grow or positive notes from mom and dad.
  1. Let Kids Earn Money to Support A Special Charity They Pick. Help your child find a charity or cause they want to support, and tell them by finishing tasks around the house, the money they earn will go as a donation. The donation could be made once a year, every month or every week, depending on your child, but if they can see how their hard work helps animals, another child or to help find a cure, they will be more engaged.
  1. Parents/Grandparents Match (Double) Any Savings or Donation. Make an agreement with your kids that whatever they earn, you (and even grandma/grandpa) will match the dollar amount to go toward a charity or that new toy they have been wanting.
  1. Connect Helping Around the House with a Special Day or Additional Activity Time. Sometimes all a child wants is some special time with mom and dad, maybe a trip to the zoo, to see a movie or to go out to eat at a favorite restaurant. Have a standing arrangement that every week or month, if assigned tasks are completed properly, you will grant them one wish to do something.
  1. Allow Overtime. Just like mom and dad, give your kids the chance to work overtime to earn more money. Even though some jobs have a clear ending, find other jobs that your children could go above and beyond  if they request. Examples include working in the garden, painting a room, doing advance homework or helping neighbors with their projects.
  1. Go on Strike. If you give your children something to do and they skip out on it, do not do it for them. Even the most stubborn teen will take notice when they run out of clean laundry.
  1. Allow Help. During summer break or on a long weekend give your kids a large project to complete and let them invite friends over to help. While painting the backyard fence or shoveling mulch for the yard might not sound fun to you it could be a blast for a group of kids. Especially if you offer to host a pizza party after the work is done.
  2. Create Trades. Competition runs rampant between siblings so take advantage of it. If one of your kids is assigned a task and he/she doesn’t want to complete it, allow for trades between kids. The child who wants to trade his/her task can give   up the reward tied to that chore to a sibling in exchange for the sibling doing it. If one sibling is willing to put in all the       effort, the others will quickly take notice and want to contribute when they are not getting any of the rewards.

What tips do you have for encouraging your children to complete their chores at home?



Reignited My Strength with Ziploc® Brand Team Tough Mother

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Ziploc® brand. All opinions, as always are my own.


I’m bold. I’m outspoken. I’m a risk taker. I’m resilient. I’m a little loudI’m loud. I’m a TOUGH MOTHER.  

And, I totally crushed the New England Tough Mudder event a few weeks ago at Mount Snow. And by crushed, I mean totally cried like a baby while I dug through mud, froze in an ice bath and got shocked by electrically charged barbed wire. Why haven’t I worked out in a year?! Tough mother? Yes, that is totally me!

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I wasn’t prepared for my strongest personality traits to also be my strongest assets in motherhood. In my opinion, being a tough mother means to persevere through the awful days, celebrate the milestones and fearlessly advocate for my daughter. More than anything, it means to love myself and appreciate the woman I’ve grown to be, including the stretch marks and chipmunk cheeks. I couldn’t be prouder of myself for what I’ve worked through and continue to strive for. That’s what being a tough mother is all about, I think.

Ziploc® brand knows how resilient mothers are and formed Ziploc® brand Team Tough Mother, made up of national and local (me!) influencers, to participate in Tough Mudder events across the country and honor tough mothers everywhere.

I was thrilled to partner with Ziploc® brand  to participate in one of the toughest events around, Tough Mudder, in honor of moms like me, who are taking on a new level of strength. They are partnering with Tough Mudder to celebrate the launch of new Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs which include an added tab that makes them easy to grip and easy to open and make tough mothers’ lives easier.

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Beyond the events, Ziploc® brand also created a fun and inspirational video, available on the Ziploc® brand YouTube channel, celebrating tough mothers’ everyday victories and showing how the obstacle course of life can be overcome with just a little help.

I use Ziploc® brand bags for everything from storing snacks and leftovers to containing the abundance of rainbow looms kept in my daughter’s room*. Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs serve as life-savers during family road trips and are great for storing wet bathing suits! The Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs are available in a variety of sizes, including:

On Saturday, June 6, I participated in a Tough Mudder event; I joined 10,000 eager “Mudders” to tackle the beautiful, yet treacherous, Mount Snow. In my mind, I was just going to jump through fire (why was I excited about this?), crawl through mud and test my resiliency. I played sports throughout high school and totally considered myself TOUGH. I love opportunities to test my strength. But this? It was 10.2 miles of working myself like never before. The pure JOY and EXCITEMENT of crossing the finish line with sweat and mud smeared all over my face, my socks and sneakers nearly unrecognizable and my muscles burning was almost enough to make this grown woman CRY! As a tough mother, I know when I’ve goofed up – like expecting to triumph at the Tough Mudder without conditioning. I also learned, my body is not as capable of bouncing back as it used to be!

Well, I did prepare a bit…just not by exercising! I prepared days in advance by consulting with my sister and brother-in-law about the proper accessories and clothing to wear (they are ultra-marathoners), and I packed snacks and gear in Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs and wrote myself positive notes to keep the enthusiasm flowing. I put notes like, “The Tough Mudder is tough. But, you’re TOUGHER” and “You were built for this,” on my bathroom mirror, nightstand and even on the fridge leading up to the event.

For me, just crossing the finish line and being graced with a finisher shirt and headband was a huge accomplishment. It reminded me that I am strong; I am ferocious; I am tough. In my day-to-day routine of going to work, picking up the kiddo and cooking dinner, I start to run on autopilot. I am so appreciative of this opportunity to get active, try something new and spend time with a great friend as we battled hills of mud under the blazing June sun.

I encourage you to check out the Tough Mudder website to see when the obstacle course extravaganza will be coming to your area. You can sign up to participate in the course, be a spectator or sign children up to compete in a special course. And, Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs are available at every Tough Mudder bag drop. How helpful is this with so much mud everywhere?! Participants can store their gear in these bags during and after each event.

What does a TOUGH MOTHER look like to you?