Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Freschetta - Rally for Real Pizza

Who wants pizza?

In my house, the answer to that question will always be a resounding "ME!" from every nook and cranny in every direction.  I swear my kids and husband could eat pizza every day for the rest of their lives and be happy.  However, I would like them to choose healthier options.  That is why we are reducing the frequency with which we go out to eat for Lent.  No more fast food meals between after school activities and errands.  No more splurging on our favorite fried appetizers and desserts.  We are going to eat better for 40(+) days and see if it sticks.

Not eating out means that we have to plan better as well as purchase and prepare more home-cooked meals.  While most of the meals I have on the schedule are meals "from scratch", we do have some days where a quick and easy meal might be all we can fit in together.  These are the times when a pizza would be perfect!  Add in a fresh salad and fruit and it is a meal that I am happy to serve my family (and they are happy to eat).

Because of our Lenten plan, I was so excited to see that Freschetta believes that frozen pizza shouldn’t simply taste better. It should be better!  I couldn't agree more.  My kids and husband aren't huge frozen pizza fans because many brands taste frozen, preserved, and not very fresh.  "Freschetta® frozen pizzas are made with top-quality ingredients and taste-tested recipes, just to make sure your pizza will always deliver Fresch® flavor."  It really is a difference that my family can taste.

In order to promote their fresher frozen pizza, Freschetta is holding a "Rally for Real Pizza" where you have the chance to win some of the best frozen pizza my family has ever tried.  Here are the details:
Date - February 27, 2012 - March 30, 2012
What - Rally for Real Pizza
Where - From the comfort of your own home
Details -

The makers of FRESCHETTA® products are asking fans to take a stand for FRESCH® pizza! Fans will be able to submit a photo to a Rally Mosaic on our Facebook Fan Page for a chance to win FRESCHETTA® pizza. Each week, they will select 100 winners to receive 5 FRESCHETTA® pizzas. On March 30, they will select 10 winners who will receive a year supply of FRESCHETTA® pizza.
 Sounds good to me!  So, head on over to for your chance to win!

Disclosure:  I occasionally receive compensation in the form of products for posts. However, the opinions I share are solely my own.

Wordless Wednesday - Weird Winter Weather

Would you ever guess that these were taken only one day apart?  What an odd winter we've had this year!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A (Late) Valentine's Day Wrap Up

February has absolutely flown by for us, even with an extra day!  While I realize that Valentine's Day was two weeks ago, I hadn't found time to share all the fun projects we were working on with you before now.  So, this post will be short, but jam packed with some of the projects that we really enjoyed.  Maybe you can use some of them next year with your munchkins.  :o)

Hearty Hot Dogs -

Who knew that hot dogs could inspire the thought of love?  I sure didn't, until I saw this fun food project that we did with Peanut's class.

With a hot dog cut on the diagonal, a triangular piece of cheese, and a fun party toothpick (found at a local party store, but if you plan better than I did you can pick them up for less at Oriental Trading), we were able to make hot dogs into Cupid's arrow hearts. How fun!

For those of you that don't like hot dogs (my kids refuse to eat them . . . not that that is a bad thing), you can also use soft pretzel sticks for the same effect. I found some plain sticks without cheese or anything inside by Hanover Foods in the frozen food department at WalMart. They were only $1.79 for 16 of them.

As for Valentines, we made them again. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough rose stems for the Hershey's Kiss roses to have Peanut make any extra, so I don't have a picture. (We were not as prepared as we usually are for Valentine's Day due to my extended bout with pneumonia.) However, they did turn out cute. The local florist actually had rose stems for candy roses, so it was an easy project. Two Kisses were stacked bottom to bottom, covered in cellophane, and attached to the stem with some pretty red ribbon. Cute!

Pumpkin saw the iPod Valentines on the FamilyFun website and decided that those would be her project. They also turned out great!

This one is missing an ear bud. I suspect that Doc may have gotten into it before I was able to take the picture. Either way, you get the idea. We didn't cover our peanut butter cups with foil because Pumpkin preferred that they were red. Also, she wanted to use colorful yarn rather than white. On the back, she attached a label that had a picture of a guitar and said, "You rock!". While some of the kids in her Kindergarten class didn't know what these were, they were a hit with the adults that received them, and Pumpkin LOVED them (which is the most important thing of all!).

A Truffula Tree

At school, my kiddos are celebrating Dr. Seuss all week long, and I've really gotten into the celebration too.  I spent much of the day today finding Dr. Seuss foods to pack in their lunches for the rest of the week.   From Yertle Turtle bread to a Pink Ink Yink Drink, the girls will be eating things in a way they never have before.  I promise I'll share all of the the fun foods I've found with you later in the week.  However, this post isn't about what I did, but what my girls were able to make with only minimal help!   I just love the way these Truffula Tree bookmarks turned out!  (The lighting is really bad on these pictures, so I do apologize in advance.)

From the finger knitted trunk to the non-traditional (Can you actually call anything Dr. Seuss traditional though? As the king of creative, I think he'd approve of our modification) multi-color tufts at the tops of the trees, these bookmarks are the handiwork of my Peanut and Pumpkin. The idea for this project came from  I had actually never heard of schooltube before running across this video demonstration for these fun bookmarks.   It just looked so easy that I knew we had to try it.  So, while Peanut (7) was at an after school event, Pumpkin (6) and I got to work.  In the hour that we were waiting, she was able to make 3 of these bookmarks.  The finger knitting did take a little while for her to master.  The first time she tried, she kept dropping the loop.  However, once she got the hang of it, she flew through the 4 feet of yarn in no time flat. 

The greatest thing about this project, was the fact that most of the time we were working on it, we were also able to talk about other things.  Pumpkin shared information about her day at school, her swim class, and what she was looking forward to later in the week.  We talked about numbers and measurement and if her foot was actually a foot.  :o)  It was a great opportunity to spend some quality time together without the distractions of TV, a beckoning iPod, a ringing phone, dinner to prepare, etc.  Any project that gives me quality time with my love bugs is an AMAZING one!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sit Back, Relax, and Laugh in The Clorox Lounge

Don’t wipe your boogies on the couch!  What makes you think it is a good idea to lick the handle of the shopping cart?

Those are just a couple of the many things I have found myself saying that I never thought I would.  At least once a week I tell my children something, then chuckle to myself, amused to hear such craziness coming out of my mouth.  Were it not for the fact that my sister has children about the same age as mine, I would wonder if there was something wrong my kids.  Fortunately, I have been talking to her on the phone when I’ve heard something equally strange, disturbing or hilarious come out of her mouth. 

As parents, I think we long for that sense of camaraderie.   We want to know that we’re not alone in the trenches of parenthood.  We need to know that our kids aren’t the only ones licking shopping carts, putting carrots in their noses, and wearing their underwear on their heads to play pirate. 

As parents, we want to hear other people’s stories, successes and failures.  They make us laugh, give us hope, and make us realize we aren’t alone.  We really like to share our own stories as well.   When we have a great success we want to brag.  When we experience failure, we want to know that we’ll get through it.   Sharing is a great way to get ideas.  It provides us with a mental manual for child rearing (since my kids didn’t come with a physical one).  Sometimes the method you never thought you’d use for potty training (sleep training, 2-wheel bike riding, eating veggies, etc.) turns out to be the one that works.    I remember when my friend told me that she left her daughter naked for the day to potty train her.  I thought she was CRAZY!  Guess what worked for both of my girls?  Yep, naked potty training for one day and both girls were pretty much trained and accident free from then on. 

While there are lots of sites out there dedicated to parenting, advice, and creating connections among parents, The Clorox Lounge is a new one that is dedicated to the humor in parenting.  

About The Clorox Lounge:

The Clorox Family of Toilet Products’ on-going Ode to the Commode campaign, recognizing the toilet’s vital role in our routine, continues with the launch of The Clorox Lounge, a community hub designed to be mom’s gotta go place for comedy, which launched on January 26, 2012. Hosted by comedian, actress and mom Sherri Shepherd, the site found at features hilarious anecdotes, fun contests, exciting give-a-ways, coupons and just the right amount of comic relief.

About Last Comic Sitting Competition & Sweepstakes:

The Clorox Lounge activities kick-off with Last Comic Sitting Competition and Sweepstakes, starting February 27, 2012. Over the course of eight weeks, 10 of the funniest mom and dad comics will go head-to-head in a stand-up throw-down for the chance to sit on the throne and be crowned the Last Comic Sitting. Each week, they’ll face a new challenge and based on your votes, one will be eliminated. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000. For four weeks, you will have the opportunity to vote and narrow the comics down to the top mom and top dad.

You also have an opportunity to win $10,000 in the Last Comic Sitting Sweepstakes. Simply visit The Clorox Lounge to sign-up and be automatically entered for a chance to win the top prize. You can generate up to two additional entries each day, per day, by logging in and commenting, until April 22, 2012. Fans can also enter for a chance to win cool prize packs. Ten prizes will be given each week, for twelve weeks, until April 22, 2012.

For more information visit: The Clorox Lounge

Disclaimer:  Information for this blog post came from  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox® blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Cheerios just got a little sweeter - Dulce de Leche

First, I just have to say that I LOVE Cheerios.  Multi Grain Cheerios are my favorite! (I still remember the first time I ate them.  We were on an airplane going someplace . . . weird that I don't remember where though.  They were serving breakfast.  Remember when they actually served food on a plane?!  I didn't want the hot food they were serving, so they brought me Multi Grain Cheerios instead.  I had never heard of them, and was actually a bit leery of anything labeled "multi grain" at that time.  I tended to prefer white, bleached, no grain visible foods.  I took a bite and was hooked.  With a touch of sweetness, they were delicious!  I've been buying them ever since.)  Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  We almost always have at least two varieties of Cheerios in our house.  The girls' choice is usually Honey Nut or Frosted (because who doesn't love that?!).  Though Apple Cinnamon and Fruity make frequent appearances as well.   So, when I was contacted by MyBlogSpark to receive and review Dulce de Leche Cheerios I was giddy with anticipation.  I hadn't seen them in stores yet.  In fact, I hadn't even heard of them.   I just knew I'd love them before I even tried them.

When the day finally came that the box with my Cheerios arrived outside my door I was thrilled.  I knew what I'd be having for breakfast the next day - Dulce de Leche Cheerios in my cute little polka dot bowl.  (Actually, to be honest, the bowl is actually much bigger than I expected.  I usually only eat about half that amount of cereal in the morning.)  So, I got the kids packed up and on the bus.  I poured myself a bowl of cereal and milk and I sat down to enjoy it.  I took a bite.  Hmmm?   I wasn't quite sure if I liked it or not.  The flavor was different than I expected.  It was light, but it tasted like something and I couldn't quite put my finger on it.  I took another bite.  It was pretty good.  Not "pure joy" when they hit my tongue, but good.  The more bites I ate, the more I enjoyed it.  I think that it was just not exactly what I was expecting.  The taste is hard to describe.  The strength of the flavor reminds me a bit of flavored coffee.  You can taste a hint of caramel in your caramel coffee, but it doesn't taste like caramel.  It  was a similar experience with this. 

Since my first taste, I've really come to enjoy Dulce de Leche Cheerios.  The box is nearly empty, and I will definitely be purchasing it again in the future.  I've found that I actually prefer eating them dry, as a snack.  If I'm going out to run errands, then I grab a small container, fill it up and munch while driving or between stops.  It fills me up, has a touch of sweetness (which is enough to keep me from grabbing a cookie from the cookie shop in the mall), and is easy to eat on the go. 

Unfortunately, this box has disappeared before I got a chance to try any of the recipes that I was sent.   With my next box, I'm definitely going to try to make the Dulce de Leche Apple Bread (though I think I'll crunch up the Cheerios a bit more than they did in their picture) and Dulce de Leche No Bake Cheesecake.  Which recipes are you excited to try with Dulce de Leche Cheerios?  All you have to do is tell me below for your chance to win a fun prize pack like the one I received!

Here are some of the recipes:
Disclosure: The new Dulce de Leche Cheerios information, product, and prize pack have been provided free of charge by Cheerios and General Mills, through MyBlogSpark.