The Mommyhood Life – Travel, Crafts, Food, and Florida Family Fun

Month: August 2015

My Favorite Back to School Quick Breakfast Items + Easy DIY Box Tops Holder! #BTFE

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Back to school is here, that can mean chaos filled mornings if we don’t plan ahead and prepare!  I know that if I try to wing a morning it ends up starting with hitting the snooze button one to many times and ends with three kids missing the bus because we couldn’t find a shoe.  So I try to plan out as much as I can for the week on Sunday afternoons and make sure everything is ready to go for the morning on school nights.

One morning chore that could easily take up too much time is our breakfast routine.  However I keep a few tried and true items well stocked in the cupboard so that we can have breakfast go smoothly every morning.
Cereal is an obvious must, I try to keep a good selection of cereals in the cabinets at all times.  They are an easy weekday breakfast go too, plus my kids and I love it for an afternoon or late night snack!
Cinnamon Buns are the perfect mid week treat when we need a break from cereal.  Oh my yummyness, the kids smell these in the oven and I don’t have to worry about getting them moving and down to the table.  Plus they are a cinch to make, open them up and throw them in the oven for 10 minutes, wa la a perfect hot breakfast.
Cereal and Cinnamon Buns are my two typical morning breakfasts, plus I always keep Go-gurt well stocked in the fridge to pair with the staples, or to grab as they are running out the door.  My kids love Go-gurt and could eat an entire box in ten minutes if I let them.  I also add some fresh fruit to keep some balance in there meal.  Bananas and clementines are our go-to’s because there easy but we also love strawberries and watermelon with our cinnamon buns.
Another great perk of these staples is that I’m earning money for my kids school while we eat our normal breakfast!  I always make sure I choose Box Tops branded cereal, cinnamon bun dough, yogurt, and other groceries.
Box Tops are worth $0.10 a piece for your child’s school, that seems pretty awesome to me considering these are all products that are in my grocery cart anyways.  Plus its one of the largest school earnings loyalty programs in America with over 80,000 k-8 schools participating,  So I feel as though I am putting my money into a trusted program.  Best of all the schools get to use Box Tops cash to buy whatever they need, this is imperative considering each school has its own individual needs and budget! 
So how do I organize all these little pieces of cardboard between school collections?  With a cute little carrier made out of an index card holder and washi tape.
Supplies:
2 rolls of washi tape
Index card holder
Remove any separators from inside the holder.  Then begin wrapping the plastic holder with washi tape.
Add as much or as little as you want.  I like to cover the bottom and then leave most of the top empty because I love the bright coral color of this case.
That’s it! So simple and easy to toss in Lilly’s backpack on Box Tops collection day.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Back to School Fundraising with Bonus Box Tops #BTFE

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.
It’s that time of year again, the kids are heading back to school and mom’s are breathing a sigh of relief, at least I am.  The pool days and late nights are coming to an end and the scheduled days with mom’s quiet coffee time will be back.
With the start of school upon us, it’s time to start thinking about meal planning and school fundraising.  Both of which need to be ready to go, life gets crazy without a great plan for meals and we all know those fundraising packets come home as soon as school starts.
For me personally, along with many moms I know, we dread the catalog fundraisers that usually come home as soon as the kids start school.  I mean really who needs a forty dollar bin of popcorn or roll of wrapping paper that I could easily pick up at the dollar store.  Yes I know this makes me a horrible mom right?  I should support my children’s school, yes I know.  However I will not do it by buying overpriced crap.  I do however LOVE saving our Box Tops!  I buy the stuff I need too, the kids favorite cereals and snacks.  Then cut off the Box Tops, throw them in a plastic bin, and then once a month divide them up between the kids and send them off o school.  Simple as that, and I have raised money for the school.
Box Tops are worth $0.10 a piece for your child’s school, that seems pretty awesome to me considering these are all products that are in my grocery cart anyways.  Plus its one of the largest school earnings loyalty programs in America with over 80,000 k-8 schools participating,  So I feel as though I am putting my money into a trusted program.  Best of all the schools get to use Box Tops cash to buy whatever they need, this is imperative considering each school has its own individual needs and budget.  Letting schools choose where the funding goes is important to me.  This way if one school wants to fund a field trip and another needs money for a computer lab, both schools win.  
I know that Anthony’s school has been working on raising enough money for a new playground.  In combination with school events and city support, Box Tops have been a great asset towards securing the funds.  I am excited to learn about Box Tops bonus products, when stocking up for school morning cereal and biscuits I made sure to grab the boxes that offer 5 Box Tops a piece!  That’s some great cash for my local schools!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Lets Take Steps Toward a Cancer Free World! Join me at the 2015 Boston Marathon #JimmyFundWalk

I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
(Photo credit to John Deputy)
If you didn’t get a chance to read my last post about registering for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, there is still time to join this great cause!
This is my first fundraising walk and I am so excited to be a part of a cause the focuses on helping people fight cancer.  Cancer is a blind monster that chooses its victims at random, you can be rich or poor, young or old, come from a prestigious family or be homeless, and the diagnosis can be the same.  My Nana had to bury her child, my aunt, as a result of childhood cancer, my uncle fought liver cancer and needed a transplant, my father fought kidney cancer, and my mother battled breast cancer ten years ago.  Cancer can hit a family and turn it upside down instantly, so let’s join together and take steps towards a cancer free world at the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk!
Register today, it quick and easy plus make sure you use the $5 off registration discount code: Blog
You can choose from four walking routes:
Hopkinton – 26.2 Miles
Wellesley – 13.1 Miles
Boston College – 5 Miles
Dana-Farber – 3 Miles
I’ve chose to walk the 13.1 Mile Wellesley path and have started my morning walks back up in hopes of getting in better shape to push myself through the 13+ miles.
All 4 routes finish at the Copley Square finish area in Boston, where walkers will get to enjoy live music and food.
(Photo credit to John Deputy)
Once you’ve registered and chose which route works best for you, it’s time to start fundraising.  This was the part that scared me at first, I’ve never fund raised before and didn’t know how it would go, but I was happy and shocked at how generous people are when it comes to a meaningful cause that people trust like Jimmy Fund.  Plus there are so many awesome tools available to help you promote your walk and keep track of donations.  I have been sharing my personal Jimmy Fund webpage that is created when you register on Facebook and most of my donations have come from there.  The app that Jimmy Fund offers you to download and keep track of your walk details and fundraising efforts is also a great help.
So take the leap and join me on September 27th!  The money we raise is vital and goes towards the amazing research and patient care happening at Dana-Farber Hospital.

Hood Cream Immersion Dinner at Deuxave with Christopher Coombs #CookWithHood

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Hood Cream. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Hood Cream is a staple in my home and has been for generations.  I can’t remember a time that I opened my Nana’s refrigerator and didn’t see cartons of cream all over the place.  So when I was selected to be a Hood Cream Blogger Ambassador, I was thrilled!  I am excited to learn more about a brand that I have been loyal too and to share all that great info with you!
To kick off this great journey, I got to attend a Hood Immersion Dinner at Deuxave in Boston.  Where owner and executive chef, Christopher Coombs cooked up an amazing 5 course meal.
Everything we sampled was amazing!  I can not wait to recreate these dishes at home.  It is so exciting knowing that an ingredient that I use in my own kitchen is also chosen by restaurant owners who have the best ingredients at their fingertips.
Our first course was Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho.  A light, cold, soup that was full of delicious taste.
 Next came the Spring Carbonara, a delicious pasta dish topped with bright fresh vegetables and a quail’s egg.  I wasn’t to sure about this one when it was placed in front of me, I had never eaten a raw egg before and was definitely apprehensive.  However I took the leap of faith because the gazpacho was so good, and I am so glad I did!  This dish will be one of the first I try to duplicate.
For our third course we tried the Pan Seared Cod with Tomato Clam Nage.  I have never been a big seafood eater, I love crab legs and shrimp cocktail and even some fried scallops during the summer but beyond that I’m clueless.  However now I am determined to learn how to cook seafood because I must recreate this dish.  This cod was my favorite dish, my Nana who always tried to get me to eat seafood, would have fallen off her chair if she saw how quick I devoured this plate!  Nage is a broth that is thickened with cream and it was a perfect combination.  I never thought to combine cream with seafood and now I cant wait to start experimenting.
Next on the menu was Niman Ranch Prime New York Strip with Madeira Cream Sauce.  My husband was a bit jealous when he saw this listed on my menu when I got home.  The steak was delicious and the madeira cream sauce was light and tasty.  It was a perfect combination.
 This was served with both Asparagus Gratin and Potato and Caramelized Onion Gratin.  Another great light and tasty dish.  Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables and who doesnt love potatoes?  So this dish definitely didn’t disappoint.  
I learned that the way to keeping all these great dished from feeling heavy is to make sure you use a high quality cream while cooking so that it will not separate at high heats.  Beyond the taste, this is an important reason to make sure you have Hood in your cooking arsenal.
After these great courses I thought I was full, that was until my sweet tooth got a glimpse of the final course, Peach Melba.  I could smell the fresh fruit from my seat and I loved every bite if this sweet treat.  This is another dish I cant wait to try making, my best friends wedding is coming up and I would love to prepare these for one of our upcoming bridesmaid nights!
What fun would a great dinner be without some great people to enjoy it with?  Not much fun, in my opinion!  Luckily this dinner was full of great food and great people to share it with! 
 Chef Coombs came out to explain each course and then sat and answered questions once the cooking was finished, the awesome people from Hood who coordinated the dinner joined us, and I got to meet a bunch of local bloggers who made this an awesome night out!
Some fun facts I learned about Hood Cream are:
– Hood was originally founded in 1846 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, by Harvey Perley Hood.
Hood is one of the largest branded dairy operators in the United States.
– Chefs across New England depend on Hood Heavy Cream and Whipping Cream in their recipes for its superior performance and quality.

10 Tips to Improve Your Odds of Getting Pregnant!

 Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions are my own
Trying to get pregnant tips

10 Tips for When You’re Trying to Get Pregnant

If you read my post about overcoming infertility, you know my husband and I struggled to conceive our oldest son.  During that year of trying and then subsequently trying again with the twins, I read everything I could get my hands on about trying to get pregnant.  Here are the top 10 tips that I learned about and I believe really have some merit to them.

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