Platino Juicer + Sorbet Maker #Giveaway 11/26-12/10

Welcome to Our Platino Slow Juicer Plus Sorbet Maker Sweepstakes~

Platino Juicer Icon

Hosted By Tammie's Reviews, Giveaways and More, Queen of Savings, Vegetarian Mamma and Tales of a Southern Mom.

And

Sponsored By Fagor America

We live in an age where everyone is trying to lead healthy lives by watching what they eat and making their food and drink just a little more healthier. You can read Tammie's review of this product by going HERE.

Wholesome Fresh juice from the Platino Plus is an excellent source of vitamins, nutrients and minerals that the body needs. Fresh sorbet from the Platino Plus contains no added sugars or artificial sweeteners.

On To The Sweepstakes~

  • 1 reader will win a Fagor America Platino Slow Juicer Plus Sorbet Maker rv $200

  • This is open to the U.S. only

  • This Sweepstakes will end on 12/10/2014 at 7 p.m.

  • All entries will be verified

  • Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond or another will be chosen. [email protected] is the email it will come from.

  • Must be 18+ to enter

  • Void where prohibited by law

  • Full terms and conditions are the entry form below

Enter Below and Good Luck to you~


Disclosure: Momma Without a Clue is not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to the US 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery nor did I receive compensation. Only 1 prize per household. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.

Swiss Colony #Giveaway - Winner's Choice!

Swiss Colony Giveaway

Sponsor: Swiss Colony
Prize: Winners choice of bakery item up to $75 value
Dates: 11/26-12/10
Open to: US Residents 18+
Enter to win using the widget below. Good luck!
 
 

Your Life After 25 #Giveaway

It's the most wonderful time of the year, a time where we can all go shopping without guilt in the name of "holiday spirit" lol. The number one thing about the holidays in most people's mind is their family EVEN those family members that drive you crazy you enjoy them that much more . If your anything like me you wait until there are AWESOME coupons, discounts and deals... so many holiday savings. We know that there are many last minute shoppers SO hurry over and check out all the savings AND get all those gifts for the family that you love! No need to wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, just check out the coupons and deals on Your Life After 25's coupons & discounts page. NOT only are we spreading the word about all of those amazing deals we are also giving you the chance to Win: Your Life After 25 Holiday Savings and Coupon Giveaway!

Whether you're shopping for a new mom or babies, looking for the right present for the kids or trying to find something for co­worker or in­laws, you're sure to find coupons and deals to help! And the savings isn't just for the holidays, we've all watched or seen those extreme couponers who save TONS of cash on groceries or every day items... you can do the same just start clipping coupons now :)

*Coupons open to USA, coupon codes open to USA/Can*



• 3 Prizes Available; Grand Prize: $100 Amazon e­gift card + $20 The Pocket Sous Chef e- gift
• 2nd Prize: $50 Amazon e­gift card + $20 The Pocket Sous Chef e­gift
• 3rd Prize: $50 Amazon e­gift card + $10 The Pocket Sous Chef e­gift
• Open to US & Canada. • Winners will be chosen at random through Giveaway Tools. • Giveaway ends December 18th at 11:59pm ET. • Winners will be notified via email or Twitter DM. • Mom Powered Media & associated bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. • Each winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. • Must be 18 years or older to enter. • Unlimited Entries • Void where prohibited. • Entering the giveaway means you agree to terms above. • Good Luck!

Holiday 2014 Hair Trend Giveaway

Welcome to Holiday 2014 Hair Trend Giveaway brought to us by Effortless Extensions and Giveaway Monkey



If you are looking for the easiest way to add volume and length instantly to your hair then Weave Hair Extensions from EffortlessExtension is the answer. EffortlessExtensions has been featured in numerous TV Shows and Magazines as the easiest and damage-free Weave Hair Extensions. It's a No-Clip, No-Tape, No-Glue, No Sewn-In Hair Install Hair Extensions - just 1 strand of Clear MonoFilament that sits securely on the crown of the head!

Visit EffertlessExtensions to know more and to see their wide variety of hair style and colors, here. 



EffortlessExtensions is generously giving 2 lucky entrants of this Hair Trend Giveaway a free FEELsoREAL™ Synthetic Effortless Extensions in your choice of color and style. Just complete the rafflecopter entry form below to be in the chance of winning. Giveaway runs from November 24 to December 14, 2014 and is open worldwide! Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is in no way associated with social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Rileyroos - The Cutest Toddler Shoes!


As any woman will tell you, sometimes you just need a cute pair of shoes.  My toddler?  No exception to the rule.  She already owns probably more shoes than I do, and can be found trying them on at any time throughout the day.  That's why I reached out to Rileyroos for a review for this year's Holiday Gift Guide.

Rileyroos are developmentally-friendly shoes for babies and toddlers.  That means that the shoes mimic being barefoot, with a flexible sole that curves around a baby's toes for leverage as they begin crawling.  Better yet, the bottoms provide traction for toddlers to keep them from slipping when they walk (or run) and they aren't bulky or heavy like most.



We received the Savannah in Tangerine for Kaya to try out, and she wouldn't let me take them back off!  The bright color just pops, and the style is so sweet.  They are a classic t-strap with floral petal cutouts - best for spring or summer.  I think they go perfect with a pair of tights for colder weather too, so these are shoes she'll be able to wear year-round (or until her feet grow out of them!


Rileyroos Savannah shoes are:

  • Handcrafted with high quality, durable leather uppers with accent colored stitching
  • Super soft and lightweight
  • Padded leather collars for added comfort
  • Velcro closure for secure fit and easy on and off
  • Flexible and form-fitting leather with accent colored rubber padding
The Savannahs also come in Lily, a white shoe with cream-colored accent stitching.  

These shoes are so soft and flexible and they bend and move with my baby girl's feet.  No more red spots on the tops of her feet from hard, stiff shoes.  The padding inside the collar provides a little bit of ankle support, without being rigid or hurting her.  She loves them, and I do too!

Check out Rileyroos.com for more information, and to buy some for your little one (they have boys shoes too!)

Connect with Rileyroos: Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram




Get in the Holiday Spirit with Six Flags Over Georgia's Holiday In The Park

I am so excited to tell you guys about Six Flag Over Georgia's holiday attraction that I was able to get a sneak preview of last night.  "Holiday in the Park" was the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit, even for someone (like me) who is usually "bah humbug" for the whole Christmas season.  I was invited to a special VIP/Media Event with complementary tickets for the family so I could share with you all just how magical it was.



We're talking more than a million Christmas lights, holiday music, holiday themed rides, Santa, and SNOW!!  Being from Illinios, I'm used to snow on Christmas, but down here we'll only get a little flurry if we're lucky.  Seeing the little guy's face light up when he realized there was snow coming down was so fantastic.  Seriously, look at how happy he is:



Behind him?  That's the 25ft Christmas Tree on Main Street.  As soon as it was dark, they lit it - it was absolutely gorgeous!



Holiday in the Park highlights include:
  • A Main Street Christmas park entrance experience with a light canopy featuring 165,000 lights, more than 15,000 feet of garland, artificial snow, and a huge Christmas tree
  • A magical train ride through 140,000 twinkling lights on the North Pole Express, destined for the North Pole to see Santa Claus where every child can leave their wish-list for the season 

  • Peppermint Plaza, featuring red and white holiday lights and fresh scents of peppermint, special holiday Peppermint Funnel Cakes and the chance to ride the Georgia Scorcher roller coaster
  • A 130-foot high cable-wired lit Christmas tree, special Military tribute, Hometown Holiday’s new live show, two of the park’s most popular rides – Goliath and Dare Devil Dive – and a 15-foot Snow Globe walk-through experience in Retro Christmas USA;
  • A brilliant display of peach-colored lights paying homage to Georgia’s roots as the Peach State in A Georgia Christmas, along with the event’s signature live show, “Because It’s Christmas” in the historic Crystal Pistol Music Hall, Peach-flavored Holiday Pies at Big Mo’s and Monster Mansion

  • A one-of-a-kind stained-glass Nativity Scene in Rejoice! which depicts the reason for the joyous season and the Dahlonega Mine Train which has been at the park since opening day in 1967;
  • The opportunity to warm up by the open fire, ride the classic Georgia Cyclone roller coaster and roast s’mores in S’mores Village;
  • A kaleidoscope of lights choreographed for a brilliant display in the innovative British Arbor;
  • A garland-archway featuring dozens of mistletoes, more than 100,000 lights and chandeliers that make up the most beautiful outdoor holiday ball of all in Georgia in A Merry Mistletoe;
  • And, the iconic topping of the event – the historic 1908 Riverview Carousel at Candlelight Carousel featuring more than 100,000 lights, artificial snow, more than 150 Christmas trees and more than 250 luminary candles for the ultimate family holiday experience.

We really had a blast, and that's with a three year old.  There's something for everyone, and so much fun to be had.  I think we'll be going back a little closer to Christmas to spend an entire day.

This all-new celebration transforms the park into a winter wonderland with dazzling Christmas trees, exclusive holiday shows and many of the park’s most popular rides from November 22 through January 4, 2015 on select days.

Six Flags Over Georgia 2015 Season Passes are now on sale and provide unlimited visits to Holiday in the Park and all of 2015. For a limited time, with the purchase of a Season Pass four-pack or more, guests will receive free admission to both Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags White Water, along with free season parking and visits to any Six Flags Theme Park with every pass. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com/overgeorgia

Find Six Flags Over Georgia on Facebook and Twitter!

Canvas Night Light from Oopsy Daisy {Review}



Well, I'm still having trouble getting the toddlers to sleep in their room (vs. cosleeping with daddy and me) and one of the biggest concerns from the three year old was that "dark is scary."  So when the opportunity to work with Oopsy Daisy for a review came along, I knew exactly what I wanted to get them.


Oopsy Daisy offers "Fine Art for Kids," from canvas and wall art, to growth charts and wall decals... and their adorable lighting.  Almost all of their products can be personalized with your little one's name, and can brighten up any little one's room!  
"All our wall art is manufactured in the United States, and an independent laboratory tests each piece to ensure quality and safety guidelines are met. Our prints are custom made once you order them, which means we can provide some degree of personalization upon request."

Our Cherry Blossom Birdies canvas night light came in a sweet little box that would make a great gift under the tree,  


As you can see from the grubby little paw in the picture, ours didn't stay hidden until Christmas - the little guys were so excited to see their new night light in action!  The print is absolutely gorgeous and is made with a stretched canvas over a wooden frame.  The light-bulb base swivels to make it easier to plug into almost any socket:



What I liked most about this night light is that the switch to turn it off and on is easy for little hands to work.  The three year old made sure to test it out over and over...

This beautiful night light has helped my little ones be less afraid to be in their own room at night.  They love the soft warm glow, and the 1.5 year old points and shows me the "birdies."  It's been a big hit!

To be honest, I'd say it might be a little impractical if you have grabby little hands - I'd say this would be more suited in a bigger kid's room just because of how easy it is to pull out of the wall.  But it is so cute and really brings a sense of style to their room, so we're just working on the "no touch" thing.



To browse around and find the perfect style of art for your little one(s) check out Oopsy Daisy's Website.
Connect with Oopsy Daisy:  Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / YouTube

Lemon-Pepper Chicken with Pineapple and Green Beans


When I was in high school, I took a Foods and Nutrition class - not only for an easy A, but because I've always loved inventing recipes.  It was my junior year, and we had to come up with a stir-fry recipe.  Everyone else was going with the classic onion, carrot, and pea mix - but I've never been one to stay inside the box.

What I created was a combination of pineapple, green beans, lemon pepper, and chicken.  I was so in love with this recipe that I used it almost every time I wanted to impress someone with my cooking. Seriously, the first time my dad was meeting my new boyfriend when I was 19 (whom I swore was my soul mate) I made this amazing spin on stir-fry and the whole atmosphere was happy go-lucky instead of the tension-filled  disaster I was expecting.

If you want to taste some transformed, spicy pineapples, and some delicious juicy chicken - this is definitely a recipe to try.


Ingredients:
boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
one 20oz can of pineapple chunks (or Tidbits), drained
1/2 bag frozen whole green beans
lemon pepper seasoning
salt
soy sauce
rice, cooked

Add the chicken to a large pan or wok on medium high heat.  Season liberally with lemon pepper and stir until cooked through.  Add in pineapple and green beans and add a little more lemon pepper to layer flavor.  I like to add a pinch of salt here too.  When the green beans are fork tender, add in a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce (use your own discretion - add as much or as little as you like!)

Serve over white rice.

Oh, did I mention it takes less than 30 minutes to make?!?



This is one of those great recipes that you can do so much with - it can be served over rice, you can add in some bell peppers for a sweet kick, or you can eat it straight out of the pan (like me!)



Psychology of Spanking {an Infographic}

I've talked a bit about why I don't spank my children and how being spanked as a child affected the adult I became.  I have a hard time seeing a child being swatted for acting up in public, and get a little more than aggravated when a family member tells me that I need to spank my son more.  

First off, my children are my business. People that tell me I'm not disciplining right have no say in how I parent. My kids aren't bad, and I understand the frustration of not being able to communicate effectively makes my son act out a bit more on occasion. Is that a reason to smack him, for trying to show me how he's feeling? I don't believe so.

Honestly - I think spanking is a lazy form of parenting.  You get instant gratification because your child is going to stop whatever behavior they were displaying at that moment - but does it really work long term?  I mean, do you really want your children to live in fear of you striking them again?  Or would you rather teach them empathy and compassion in order to make the right choices?

Granted, I'm not one of those "live and be free" kind of moms. If my kids are misbehaving, there will be consequences. There has to be a balance, and teaching your children right from wrong doesn't have to come in the form of pain.

Just something to think about.

Psychology of Spanking
Source: Online-Psychology-Degrees.org/

What are your thoughts? How do you discipline your children?

Evenflo Triple-Flo Zoo Friends Tumblers

I received the following products in exchange for an honest review.


I have two toddlers.  With that being said, there's just some times that having a sippy cup that doesn't leak is almost imperative.  Like, in the car... or on the couch... Sometimes I'm busy making supper and just don't have the patience to help my eighteen month old drink out of an open-top cup without spilling everywhere.  That's why I'm so happy that Evenflo came out with these Triple-Flo Tumblers.

So what's so special about these sippy cups?  What makes them different from the rest?  These cups feature a silicone insert with three different flow valves to grow with your little one.  There's even a fourth that is a close-off valve - perfect for filling a cup and making sure it isn't going to spill in the diaper bag!


You can see in the photo above that each little section has valves for slow, medium, and fast flows - making it the only sippy cup your kids will need!  I really like the concave lid, that isn't going to stub a little person's nose while they're trying to drink.


I only have one complaint with these cups, and that is the deep areas around the spout and the deep groove around the top make them a little hard to clean.  A nipple brush or a sponge isn't going to be able to reach into there and get all the yucky stuff out.  My solution was to make sure and rinse the lids/insert as soon as the kids were finished with their drink, and then put them in the dishwasher (top rack.)  This kept the gunk from building up (if you deal with sippy cups on a normal basis, you know what I'm talking about!)


All in all though, these are great cups!  They don't leak, no matter how rough your little guy is. They're BPA-free, have an adjustable valve, and are shaped to fit in little hands.  Plus, they're really cute!

To learn more about Evenflo Feeding's Triple-Flo Tumblers, visit their site at evenflofeeding.com.  You can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter!

Battling Momsomnia: Five Tips for the Sleep Deprived Mom



My eighteen-month old had strep throat this past week.  The first night, I just thought it was her molars coming in - so much drool and whining.  The second night, she didn't sleep more than an hour at a time.  The next day, she started running a low-grade fever and a rash broke out from head to toe, so I called the doctor but they couldn't get her in until the next morning.  That night, the third night, she didn't fall asleep until after 2am.  She needed me to pace her around; she wouldnt let me set her down at all.  That was three nights of no sleep, and so by the time she got to the doctor, I was barely recognizable as human, let alone a mom who has it all together.

We've all been there - those days where you're so tired that you look for your phone while you're talking on it, or when you put the keys in the freezer... Being a mom is no easy feat, and when your little ones aren't sleeping, neither are you.  So here are a few tips for making it through the day when you're feeling sleep deprived.

Get some sleep
The most important "cure', if you will, for sleep deprivation is - you guessed it - getting some sleep.  It isn't always about quantity, but quality really counts.  If you can get your mother-in-law to keep the little one(s) over night so you can have some uninterrupted sleep, do it.  Missing sleep is not just a nuisance, it can be dangerous as your judgement is impaired and you just aren't functioning at your highest level.

Get some sunshine
Natural light will help reset your natural circadian rhythms, as well as your tot's.  If your baby is waking up a lot during the night, or having trouble falling asleep, their circadian rhythm may be off balance - leaving you both sleepy and miserable the next morning.

Try some exercise
Did you know that you actually get more energy from a brisk ten-minute walk than when you eat a candy bar? Walking helps pump oxygen-rich blood to your brain, heart, and other muscles - so it's a great pick-me-up for when you're feeling the fatigue.  Still in your pajamas and fighting fussy kids?  Try turning on some music and dancing with them!  Any kind of light cardio will get your heart pumping and help to keep you from being too drowsy!

Short Naps
A short nap can be just what you need to let your brain reset.  If you can get your little one down for a nap during the day, forget the laundry and flop down on the nearest soft surface and give your eyes a rest.  One nap between 10-30 minutes can help give your body that shut-down that it needs to be able to function properly again. Just don't overdo the time, as a long nap can interfere with sleeping at night and can leave you more tired than when you laid down.

Eat a Snack
Low blood sugar can make you feel lethargic and will give you that foggy-brain feeling.  Eating a sugary snack can make it worse - you'll get the sugar buzz for a while, but then your blood sugar will drop back down and make you feel more tired than before.  Eating healthy snacks high in protein will give you the energy boost you need, while maintaining your blood sugar levels.

Be safe - don't drive if you're uber-sleepy.  I hope these tips help, and I'm going to go try a couple of them myself to battle this drowsy no-sleep feeling I've got going on this morning!

Glazed Orange Rose Cake and the Sweet Inspirations Sweepstakes from Dole


A few days ago, a representative from Dole contacted me about sharing this amazing recipe.  She sent me the rose bundt pan from Nordic Ware, along with the recipe and some Dole free product coupons, and I have to tell you - this cake is delicious.

Before I share the recipe though, I wanted to let you all know about Dole's Sweet Inspirations Sweepstakes!  Through December 5, 2014, fans can enter to win an exciting grand prize Hawaiian cruise from Princess Cruises - in honor of their entry into the 2015 Rose Parade.
Celebrating Dole Packaged Foods’ bountiful heritage, fans can enter online at Dole.com/sweetwin for a chance to win the ultimate tropical getaway as well as other prizes, including commemorative T-Shirts, exclusive pins and a unique rose-shaped Bundt Pan from Nordic Ware to be accompanied by a sweet and easy recipe for a Dole Mandarin Orange Glazed Rose Cake.
Dole Packaged Foods is the first contestant in the history of the Tournament of Roses to win the Sweepstakes Trophy four years in a row, and is also the only entrant to win the Sweepstakes Trophy
every year it has entered.  Hoping to continue this winning streak, this year’s entry, titled “Rhythm of Hawaii,” celebrates the inspiring stories of those who preserve Hawaii’s unsurpassed natural beauty, its diverse cultural heritage, its people and its art. The tropical float highlights Dole Packaged Food’s commitment to closer to nature products that are GMO-free, made with 100% BPA free packaging, contain no High Fructose Corn Syrup, and with fruit cups and jars that are packed in 100% juice, not syrup, for fresh taste, texture and nutrition.


So check out Dole.com/sweetwin and enter!

Now for the recipe (which can be found on Dole's website here):


This is a simple and easy cake that uses a boxed cake mix and transforms it into something spectacular.  After mixing the batter up, you pour in a third of it into the pan and then put a layer of Dole Mandarin Oranges, do that one more time, and then top with the last third of batter.


You end up with a rich decadent cake with oranges inside - how yummy does that sound?!

The glaze is simple to make as well, fresh squeeze juice from an orange and powdered sugar - whisked together and poured on top.  Next time I make this, I will probably just dust powdered sugar over the entire thing, as the glaze was a little sweeter than I personally like, but overall we loved the cake!


Be sure to check out all of the other amazing recipes at Dole.com

Littlest Pet Shop Play Date

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Littlest Pet Shop. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.


Littlest Pet Shop.  I remember playing with them when I was a little kid.  They first came out when I was 4, so they were a big deal for me and my sisters.  I think it's so awesome that they've be "reinvented" so to speak, and now my kids are playing with them!

When I was accepted for this Influencer Activation, I started planning right away.  I knew that I wanted to do an after school play date for my step-daughter and a few of her friends.  We had the party on Thursday, since their teacher usually only assigns twenty minutes of reading for homework - I didn't want to interfere with the other moms' schedules.

We made Fairy Bread and Strawberry Iced Tea since it was the perfect time for an afternoon snack and then the girls put together the Littlest Pet Shop Style Kits that we received.  Unfortunately, the other two little girls' moms weren't comfortable with having pictures of them on my blog (first time we'd met, I fully understand) so I didn't to capture all of the giggles and fun that they all had!


The girls loved the Blythe Bedroom Style Sets!


It comes with all kinds of little accessories and stickers that the girls used to make it completely their own.  It took a little time to put together, but the instructions were easy to follow and had great illustrations telling us exactly what to do.

When they finished playing (or rather, when I let them know that I had a Littlest Pet Shop DVD for them to watch) we regrouped in the living room to hang out with Blythe and the Pets.


The DVD has episodes from the cute animated show on the Discovery Family Channel (formerly the Hub Network) that features Blythe Baxter, a teenage girl who moves to the city.  Her apartment is right above the Littlest Pet Shop, and she soon learns that she can talk to the pets - and they talk back! In "Sweetest Pets," the episodes revolve around the bakery that Blythe works at, Sweet Delights.

Episodes include:
Topped With Buttercream
Trading Places
Sweet (Truck) Ride
What’s In The Batter?
Bakers and Fakers

I think our favorite was "What's in the Batter?" - Blythe's necklace falls off into a bowl of batter and gets baked into a cupcake meant for a birthday party.  Of course, the pets come to the rescue and help her out as best they can.  All of the episodes were cute and the kids really enjoyed watching and snacking again.


Be sure to check out the Littlest Pet Shop website to learn more about their new line of customizable style sets that empower fans to "be who they wanna be," with sets that interconnect letting kids create their own city, their own way.
"Collect and stack the style sets vertically or horizontally to create a unique ‘city skyline,’ then decorate and style the sets with Deco Bits -- unique, small accessories that plug into the environments for a little added glamour – as well as stickers and other decorative pieces.  Fans can also collect and customize 100+ new pets, straight from the entertainment!"

Quick and Easy Deliciously Creamy Spaghetti Sauce

Aside from having the time to actually create a sauce from scratch, my biggest problem with most tomato sauces is that they just don't stick to the noodles.  I mean, you've got sauce and pasta - when you combine them, the sauce should coat the spaghetti and make for a delicious bite.  Alas, that usually isn't the case.

So last night, I decided to experiment.  I was thinking that the best way to have a sauce that sticks to the noodles would be to add a creamy element into the tomato sauce.  I was a little iffy about how a cream would react to the acidity of the tomatoes, so I nixed the idea of actual cream.  It might be fantastic that way, but I didn't want to ruin a whole pot of sauce just in case it wasn't.  Well, what about a ricotta cheese mixed in?  That would make it too heavy, and then the whole thing would probably be kind of gooey.  Gooey textures on top of cooked noodles?  Meh.

I brainstormed for a while and then, lightbulb!  Cream cheese.  It melts very smooth, it adds a rich creamy element without being too heavy, and it would definitely help a sauce coat pasta.  It was time to get into the kitchen!



If you're like me, making a sauce from scratch means a couple of hours that you probably don't have - what with the toddlers running around fighting and trying to "help"... So this is a pantry-friendly, meatless spaghetti sauce that can be made in under 30 minutes!

Start off by finely chopping half an onion and mincing one clove of garlic.  In a saute pan, over medium heat, add in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and let the onions cook until they are almost almost transparent (stirring frequently.)  Then add in the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.









































Once the garlic is lightly browned, add in the juice from a can of diced petite tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Reduce that until it's about half the liquid you started with and add in about half the can of tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now, open a jar of your favorite tomato sauce.  The smoother the better, so I prefer using something like Classico's Tomato and Basil.  Marinara sauces work ok, but will need a lot of playing with spices to find the right flavor, since they tend to be on the sweeter side.  Dump it into a saucepan and turn the heat to a medium-low.  Add in oregano, basil, salt, pepper - basically make the sauce taste how you like your sauce to taste.




































Stir in the reduced sauce from your saute pan, and let the entire thing heat up just until a simmer. Then add in a half of a package of cream cheese, divided into cubes (more surface are= faster melting.)  Stir until the cream cheese is fully incorporated and then add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss with your pasta, and voila!  Deliciousness!



Ingredients
half of a small onion
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 can of petite diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
sea salt and cracked black pepper
jar of favorite tomato sauce
1/2 package of cream cheese


RSV Prevention and World Prematurity Day


I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for MedImmune. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

It's that time of year again, when it seems like every kid has a runny nose and the sniffles, the occasional cough, and all of the other cold symptoms.  No, it isn't the change in the weather making everyone sick - but rather, everyone is staying indoors because it's much cooler outside. Germs are getting passing from one kid to the next, and there's almost a guarantee that even though your kid might not have been sick this morning, they'll probably come home with a snotty nose from school.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV for short, is a common virus that almost every kid experiences at sometime before the age of 2.  In a healthy, full-term baby, or in toddlers, the symptoms are very similar to a cold and may include:
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • mild sore throat
  • fever
That's normal, healthy kids.  But did you know that 1 out of 8 babies born in the United States are born prematurely?  November 17th is World Prematurity Day and so I think it's important to share any information I can to help keep the itty bitties safe and healthy.

Both of my babies were born early - my first at 37 weeks and my second at 36 weeks.  My baby girl only weighed in at 4.8 pounds when they let her come home from the hospital.  That's her, over on the left.  She was so tiny and so fragile!

That's why this really hits home for me - I was always so worried about keeping my babies healthy.  Premature births mean that a baby's lungs aren't fully developed, and what may be a cold-like virus for your healthy little guy could be dangerous to someone that he passes it along to.  





If your baby experiences any of the following symptoms, severe RSV may be the culprit, and you should contact their pediatrician immediately:
  • Persistent cough or wheezing
  • Bluish color around their mouth or fingernails
  • Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
  • Fever (especially if their temperature is over 100.4 rectally in babies under 3 months)
RSV  is the top cause for infant hospitalizations.  About 125,000 babies under a year old are admitted to the hospital each year with RSV and somewhere around 200 will die because of this disease. There's no cure for it.


That's why practicing excellent virus prevention is crucial.  While your little one may not be at risk for complications from RSV, it is highly contagious and is spread through touching, sneezing, and coughing.  The virus can live on skin and other surfaces for hours.  To keep RSV from spreading, all parents should:
  • Make sure everyone washes their hands
  • Keep toys, blankets, sheets, and clothes clean
  • Avoid crowded places, and other young children, during RSV season
  • Never let anyone smoke around your baby
  • Avoid people who are sick or have recently been sick.
Know the facts, and help keep little ones healthy!  For more information, visit www.RSVPrevention.com





12" Strider Sport No-Pedal Bike #Giveaway - #Thankful4Followers



Welcome to the [2nd Annual] Thankful for our Followers Giveaway Hop hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!



YOU are the reason that bloggers like us host giveaways so we've decided it’s time for all of us bloggers to show even more of our appreciation to you… our readers and blog followers. Normally we offer giveaways with entries to help boost our blog and following numbers, but this Hop is all about making it easier on YOU.

Each blogger in this Hop is offering a wonderful prize, worth at least $25 and ALL giveaways have only ONE way to enter! Hop around to them all as we show you how we’re Thankful for YOU!