The Mommyhood Life

Food

Filling in the Nutritional Gap During the School Year! #NatureMadeAtTarget

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
With school back in session, I am back to worrying about the kid’s getting all the vitamins they need throughout the day.  They are eating breakfast and lunch at school, which only leaves me preparing and watching how much is eaten at one meal a day.  Knowing that Aidan is already a very picky eater and that the medication he is on for his autism usually leaves him with little to no interest in food, I worry that he isn’t getting much nutrition from his diet.

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Eating Healthier On The Go with McDonald’s New Chicken Sausage! #Giveaway

The busiest time of day for us is usually in the morning, 7 days a week we are hustling and bustling in the am.  With the school and work rush all week, Saturdays started early with dance classes and sports games, then church on Sunday, we only get to sleep in and lounge around on holidays.  
Plus because I love my bed, I rarely plan out enough time for breakfast in the middle the busyness.  This means breakfast is likely on the go, especially on the weekends.  
With my resolution to try to live a healthier lifestyle this year, my on the go breakfast has been tricky.  I want to find something filling and delicious, without spending all my calories for the day.
Before the new year, my go-to breakfast was always a sausage biscuit.  I used to eat these for breakfast every weekend with my Nana growing up, and they are still a favorite for me.  However with the 190 calories and 18 grams of fat in the sausage patty alone, I tried (not so successfully) to make better choices.
You know how hard it is to give up a food you love, so it just wasn’t happening, and I was feeling guilty each weekend.
That was until last week when McDonald’s sent me information about their new chicken sausage!  I’ll admit I was skeptical at first, this was the breakfast that had me out of bed before 10 o’clock as a teenager to make it to the old breakfast cut off.  Teenagers today will never know the feeling of missing that cut off by 2 minutes, but man it is great to be able to order a Sausage McMuffin whenever I want.
  However I need to make healthier choices and hoped McDonald’s was working their typical magic when providing a sausage patty with only 80 calories and 5 grams of fat.
They did it, oh my Yummyness!  
I had all three kids at Children’s Hospital for appointments last week.  We left home when the sun was coming up and spent 5 hours rushing from doctor to doctor.  Once we got out of medical mayhem, I couldn’t wait to try a the new chicken sausage.  It tasted exactly like the sausage I was eating all these years that had more than triple the grams of fat.
The chicken sausage also passed the kids taste test!  After 5 hours of whining, I got to sit down in a booth of quietness, with happy and full kids.
McDonald’s began serving the chicken sausage on January 18th at restaurants in New England and Albany, NY (excluding Fairfield County, CT) and is an option for all breakfast sandwiches and platters.
Ready to try the Deliciousness?
Enter to win a $25 Arch Card and 4 Coupons for Free Chicken Sausage Samples.
Giveaway Ends: February 3, 2016
Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post, as always all opinions are 100% my own.

Cheeky Monkey ~ The Perfect First Peanut Food for Babies!

I participated in this event on behalf of Wendy’s Bloggers for Cheeky Monkey. I received Cheeky Monkey products to facilitate my review.
Like all moms, I am always on the hunt for healthy snacks that my kids will enjoy.  Nutritious and yummy snacks can be hard to find especially ones that are convenient and easy to eat on the go with our busy schedules.
  I was intrigued when I was invited to try Cheeky Monkey Peanut Butter Puffs last month at Big City Moms “Biggest Baby Shower” in Boston.  I had never heard of these delicious peanut butter puffs and was excited to taste them and to learn more about the interesting health and nut allergy information that goes along with them.

My first thought when tasting Cheeky Monkey was, these taste great!  The texture reminded me of a cheese curl and the taste was similar to peanut butter toast, which happens to be a favorite in my home.  So Cheeky Monkey definitely passed my taste test, and the individual packages make them an easy snack on the go, solving my busy mommy problem.

Best of all Cheeky Monkey is a healthy and nutritious snack!
100% Organic and Non GMO
Gluten-Free
No added sugar
Not fried
Contains plant based protein and healthy fats

Knowing all this along with the taste my kids love, has made Cheeky Monkey a go-to snack in my home. 

However the taste and convenience are not what makes Cheeky Monkey so unique. Cheeky Monkey was created to be the prefect “first peanut food” for babies.  
I remember years ago, being advised to stay away from peanuts when my children were infants.  However doctors are learning more and more about nut allergies and now studies are showing that 6 grams a week of peanut protein can reduce the risk of developing a peanut allergy.

Now that we are learning that early introduction to peanuts can reduce the risk of developing a peanut allergy, we need to find the safest food option for introducing peanuts into or babies diets.  Cheeky Monkey has done this by creating an snack that is easy to hold for self feeding and also melts in the mouth for safe eating.

Learn more about introducing peanut foods early on Cheeky Monkey’s website.  Also connect with them on Facebook.

Ready to try Cheeky Monkey?
Enter to win a great prize pack!
Giveaway:
Giveaway Ends:  January 25th, 2016

Prize Pack Includes:
12 full-size bags of Cheeky Monkey
1 Cheeky Monkey t-shirt
1 Cheeky Monkey onesie
1 Cheeky Monkey mug
One winner per household, email address, or home address. If you have won this prize on another blog you are ineligible to win again. Winners must have a U.S.-based address to receive their prize.

Easy and Delicious Peppermint Hot Chocolate Recipe from the Hood Cream Free E-Cookbook! #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.
The holiday season is my favorite time of year as a mommy.  As soon as November 1st is upon us, we put away our apple cider and start enjoying hot chocolate as often as possible.
This year is unlike most, with each day this week being in the high sixties.  Usually living in New England means that by November we have already pulled out our winter coats and snow boots, and on most years we have already had at least one snow storm.  So as you can imagine, a great hot chocolate recipe is a must!

For me there is nothing better than sipping on hot chocolate with the kids while decorating, wrapping Christmas gifts, and watching movies at night.
We are thrilled to have this easy and delicious new hot chocolate recipe thanks to the free Hood Cream eCookbook!
The Peppermint Hot Chocolate is a must try!
Ingredients:
1 cup Hood Light Cream
1/2 cup Hood Heavy Cream
3 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp peppermint extract
Directions:
Bring the Hood Light Cream, Hood Heavy Cream and sugar to a boil.
Remove the cream mixture from heat and whisk in the dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt until chocolate is fully dissolved.
Add the peppermint extract last, then pour into cups and enjoy!

Serves 2-3 
This recipe was super easy to make, it only took about 10 minutes, so I loved it.
It tasted amazing and was perfectly sweet so the kids loved it more!
I have always been a fan of Hood Cream, It was what my Nana kept stocked in her fridge so the brand loyalty goes through generations in my family.  Now, knowing that it is also the brand choice of top restaurant chef’s, makes me feel like a better cooker every time I reach for it.
Now my recipe collection including Hood Cream has grown thanks to the Hood Cream E-Cookbook that launched on September 28th!  I am obsessed with all the delicious recipes it includes using Hood Cream by renowned Chef Chris Coombs!
The Hood Cream E-Cookbook is free and available for download here,  Make sure you head over and take advantage of this great opportunity to learn how to make more than 25 mouth watering recipes! 

Make Your Favorite Football Fan’s Day by Serving Klondike Ice Cream Bars!

This post was sponsored by Klondike as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.
Klondike bars have always been a sweet indulgence in my house.  The combination of smooth ice cream and the crisp chocolate cover satisfies my sweet tooth every time.  I usually hide the box in the back of the freezer so that my kids don’t devour them in one day.  Then I get to secretly snack on them while my kids are in bed after a long day to melt the stress away.

However once I learned about all the flavors Klondike brand offers, I thought about how these would make a perfect party snack!  Mess free and no cooking involved, that sounds like a pretty amazing option, right?  Everyone loves ice cream and serving these easy to eat treats would surely be a hit!  With Klondike’s 12 varieties of chocolate coated ice cream stick-less bars,  I took the leap and served them up last Sunday and I was right!  Everyone loved them!  Anthony’s face when I pulled out the tray of Klondike deliciousness during the game was priceless!
The varieties available include the new Cookie Dough Swirl, as well as Caramel Pretzel, Heath, REESE’S, Mint Chocolate Chip, Krunch, OREO, Dark Chocolate, Rocky Road, Double Chocolate, Neapolitan, and Original.
For our Sunday football funday we stocked up on Rocky Road bars along with Mint Fudge Cookie, Fudge Krunch, and Cookies & Cream Klondike® Kandy Bars as our special dessert.  They worked out perfectly,  everyone was excited to get an ice cream bar, and I was excited that I got to enjoy the game with my family because I wasn’t stuck in the kitchen baking all day!
This was our first time trying the Klondike® Kandy Bars and the kids thought these were fun and delicious.  An ice cream bar packed with candy bar goodness, this was a dream come true for my ice cream loving munchkins!  I was also excited that each package now comes with two more bars for a total of 6 bars!  Which means I got to feed more hungry football fans at a great price.
These will definitely be a new staple at our parties.  Great taste, no cooking or clean up, they’re a busy mom’s party solution.  Plus the kids are already asking if I bought more for next Sunday yet!  Don’t tell them but I have them hidden in the back of the freezer to get me through this stressful week.
 Ready to try all the new flavors or Klondike Bars?

Learn more about Klondike here:

Eating Brookside Chocolate in the Dark ~ A Fruit & Nut Bars Tasting Experience!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Hershey Company for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
Over the weekend I took Anthony into Boston to see some of the Head of the Charles River Regatta festivities.  While walking through all the excitement we had the opportunity to visit Brookside Chocolate’s “mini dark room” to taste test some yummy Fruit & Nut Bars while wearing a blindfold.

As we walked up to the pop up dark room I was impressed with how elegantly the experience was set up.  From the roped off red carpet waiting area, to the candle top tablescape.  This made for a very unique experience.
Once inside we were given our blindfolds and asked to try the new Brookside chocolate Fruit & Nut snack Bars.
Our server was energetic and kept the event fun while asking us to try to guess what flavors of fruit and nuts were inside each bar.
There are three unique flavored bars.
Cranberry with Blackberry Flavor, Cherry with Pomegranate Flavor and Blueberry with Acai Flavor.  All three flavors have the perfect mixture of crunchy, chewy, sweetness.  I love how the sweetness of the fruit flavored centers and the chocolate bottom layer are mixed perfectly with the rolled oats and roasted almonds.
Besides the flavor, what makes Brookside’s newest product so great?  It’s a snack that I can grab while maintaining my healthy diet.  Each bar is made with whole ingredients including almonds, fruit, rolled oats, pumpkin seeds and of course dark chocolate! The snack bars are also cholesterol free, low in sodium, have no artificial ingredients.  As well as being a great source of fiber and vitamins.  This makes them a perfect go to snack in a busy mom’s life.
4 count packs can be found in the snack bar isle at select retailers and the retail price is just $4.99.

Visit Sponsors Site

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie! Getting Ready for The Peanuts Movie #PeanutsMovie

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons Safeway. The opinions and text are all mine.
I have a new reason to celebrate!  The Peanuts Movie is coming out on November 6th!  Snoopy and Charlie Brown are two of my all time favorite characters and I can’t wait to share that with my children with this new movie.
I have started getting into The Peanuts Movie spirit with some yummy peanut recipes, and shopping at Shaws which is a member of the Albertson Safeway Family that is the exclusive grocery partner of The Peanuts Movie.
One of my kids favorites peanut recipes is my No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie.  It’s a quick and easy dessert that I can have ready in minutes.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie


Ingredients:
Cookies
Peanut Butter
Chocolate Pudding Cups
Pretzels
Whip Cream Topping
Chocolate Syrup
Peanut Butter Syrup
Sprinkles


Line the bottom of a pie pan with cookies.

Next spread a layer of peanut butter.
On top of the peanut butter spread on a layer of the chocolate pudding cups. 
Next add a salty layer with pretzels.
Then the top layer being whipped cream.
Now to make the pie pretty, I drizzle chocolate and peanut butter syrup all over the top.
Since it’s Halloween season, I like to make it a bit more festive and add some holiday sprinkles to the top.
That’s it!  Finished in minutes.  You can serve it right away or put it in the fridge for later.  The pie gets better with time, the longer it sits and the cookies absorb the chocolate and peanut butter the more tasty it becomes.
Make sure you head over to Shaws to stock up on all your The Peanuts Movie necessities!  
While supplies last if you buy 3 items from participating brands, you will receive a Peanuts branded trick-o-treating bag!
Plus head over to and enter to win this awesome Charlie Brown Sweepstakes!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons Safeway. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Gooey Halloween Cereal Bars ~ The Perfect Sweet Treat! #SpooktacularSnacks

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpooktacularSnacks #CollectiveBias #Ad
It’s almost Halloween and that means everyone’s favorite Halloween cereal is back!  General Mills Count Chocula®, Boo Berry® and Franken Berry® is back in stores with a fun twist, Target’s exclusive packaging has a cool build-able castle on the back of the boxes.  This had my kids jumping with excitement over the perfect combination of a yummy treat and a fun activity.
Once we got home from our shopping trip, the kids were ansy to start building their castle.  This meant I needed to pull out the cereal bags from the three boxes.  So there was no better time to whip up some Gooey Halloween Cereal Treats!
These are incredible simple to make and the perfect sweet treat to celebrate the Halloween season.  Here is my recipe:

Gooey Cereal Treats
prep time: 30 minutes + a couple hours of letting treats set
makes 12 large bars

Ingredients:
6 cups of cereal
4 tbs Butter
10oz bag of mini marshmellows
Melting chocolate or chocolate chips in choice of color
Holiday sprinkles
Melt butter in a large sauce pan on low heat.  Add marshmellows and stir continuously so that the marshmallow doesn’t get stuck to the pan.
Once the marshmallows are fully melted, stir in the 6 cups of cereal and mix everything together.  Mix until all the cereal is coated with gooey marshmallow.
Remove from heat and spread the mixture over a tray or pan.
Add sprinkles as desired over top of mixture, then set aside for a couple hours while marshmallow hardens.
Once the treats are set, cut them into bars.  You can make them any size you’d like.
Next dip the bottoms in chocolate.  For Halloween I chose orange melting chocolate.  Once they are all dipped, place them in the fridge for a couple minutes to harden the chocolate.
Once the bottom chocolate layer is hardened, turn them over and drizzle chocolate over the tops of the treats.  You can also add more sprinkles to make them extra festive.
Place the treats back in the fridge for a couple more minutes so that all the chocolate is hardened.
That’s it, your Halloween sweet treats are ready to be devoured!
Before we sat down to enjoy these yummy treats, we had fun making our Halloween castle.
On the back of each of the Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Franken Berry cereal boxes from Target have the pieces to the castle.
Once you’ve collected all three boxes, cut out all the pieces of the castle.
Next fold both sides of the Count Chocula piece along the solid lines, and cut the marked slits at the bottom and top of the castle piece.
Once the Count Chocula piece is set up, next take the Franken Berry castle side pieces and cut the marked slits.  Then attach them to each side of the Count Chocula center piece.  Tape the top of the pieces together for added strength.
The last piece of the castle is on the Boo-Berry box.  Insert the castle’s tower into the slits on the top of the center piece.
After the castle is build, you can put together the characters and accessories to add to the fun.
You can also pull out your craft supplies and add your own personal touch to the castle.  We sprayed ours down with glitter spray because Lilly says “every castle needs some sparkle”!  Not sure Dracula would agree, but Lilly loves our new spooky castle.

Halloween is a fun time to put a festive twist on everyday recipes.  What’s your favorite Spooktacular treat?
 Find other great recipes and snacks here!

New Barber Foods Chicken Cordon Bleu with Vinaigrette Over Rice #SimplySpecialMeals

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplySpecialMeals #CollectiveBias
Weeknights are crazy in my house!  The kids get off the bus at different times, they all have extra curricular activities going on, homework, baths, and unwinding from long school days.  The last thing I want to do is worry about what is for dinner.  Luckily Barber Foods new recipe for stuffed chicken breasts keeps my family happy and me stress free.

These individually wrapped chicken breasts are perfect for a weeknight, or any night, dinner in my house.  With them being individually wrapped, I am able to grab which ever combination my kids want.  The boys love the Cordon Blue, while my husband and I prefer the Broccoli and Cheese.  
We all are enjoying the new recipe, the breading is crispy and the chicken is tasty with the perfect amount of stuffing.  This makes them a staple in my freezer now!
Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken Breasts gives me the perfect main course for dinner and cooks in just 30 minutes.  This isn’t a precooked dinner either, this is a home cooked yummy meal packaged as raw chicken, so we always make sure to cook the stuffed breasts to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  
While our choice of stuffed breast is cooking I have the perfect amount of time to make a tasty side dish to pair them with.
Our go too side dish is usually vinaigrette over rice.  My husband loves rice and eats it almost everyday, so I make a large pan of it on Sunday and reheat it through out the week.  The vinaigrette is a simple side that gets my kids to eat their veggies.
Vinaigrette Recipe

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to flavor
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
1 Cucumber
3 Tomatoes 
1 Onion
1/4 of a head of Cabbage

Chop up all the vegetables.
Mix them in a bowl and add the extra virgin olive oil.  Mix everything to make sure the vegetables are coated well.
Next sprinkle salt over the bowl and mix.  The amount of salt depends on the flavor you desire.  I use about 1 teaspoon.
Pour over rice and pair with your choice of stuffed chicken breast, and you have yourself a delicious dinner that the whole family can enjoy.
Want to save $1.00 off Original Stuffed Chicken Breast? Click here for a coupon! Then head over to the freezer section of your grocery store and pick up Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken Breast for dinner this week!
Now that I’ve shared how Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken Breasts make a great meal, share how you would enjoy them!

Make Lunch Boxes Fun ~ Nutella Kabobs and Caramel Apples! #WishIHadAWetOnes

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wet Ones®. The opinions and text are all mine.
It’s that time of year again!  Time to think up fun and delicious lunch box ideas for our little students.  Nutella Kabobs are one of my kids absolute favorite things to see in their lunchbox.
Grab a three sectioned lunch container and get ready to make something yummy!

 Cut up the apples so that they are a good dipping stick size. and fill one section of your lunch container with apples.
Fill the other side with your favorite caramel dipping sauce.  Caramel dipping sauce doesn’t need to be heated or refrigerated so its a perfect sweet treat for lunch boxes.
Next you’ll want to chop up the fruit you want to go on the Nutella Kabobs.  I chose strawberries because my kids love dipping their strawberries in Nutella at home.  Bananas or grapes would also work great.
Make a couple Nutella sandwiches.  Then cut the crust off and cut the sandwiches into little squares.
Finally the fun part, building the kabobs.  I used cocktail straws because I don’t like the idea of sending my little ones to school with toothpicks or actual kabob sticks.  I have images in my head of a phone call from the principle saying “Aidan poked so and so’s eye out”  I know its unlikely, but its my mommy issue.  The cocktail straws are the perfect length anyways.
Just layer a couple pieces of fruit, then a Nutella sandwich square, and repeat.
Now you have yourself a fun and yummy lunch that will bring a smile to your child’s face.  However you know what keeps a smile on my face?  Getting through school germ free.  So I always turn to America’s #1 hand wipe.
With the kids eating this lunch with their little germ filled hands, I like to pack a Wet Ones Singles in their lunch box.  They are the perfect solution when packing school lunches.  Small and easy to pack, cleans hands, plus is highly effective killing 99.9% of germs.
Best of all their Aloe formula doesn’t dry or irritate my kids sensitive skin.  This is really important in the winter time, when my kids skin is extra dry.  

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

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