Tag Archives: family

Creating a German Oktoberfest Breakfast #worldmarket

World Market OktoberfestI’ve been shopping at Cost Plus World Market since the early ‘80s. In fact, I consider it one of my “must go to” places for everyday staples like Torani Sugar Free Syrups, spices and tea. It’s also the place we go to get stocking stuffers every Christmas. So when I was asked to shop World Market to write about a fall foodie theme, I jumped at the chance!

Shopping at Cost Plus World Market

With the kids off from school, I made it a family outing since we had to drive an hour to the Mall of Georgia. I had hoped that Nathan (12) and Lucie (9) would help me figure out a theme for my post. Instead, they had a great time showing me all the cool things they found from Star Trek Pez to a giant Tootsie Pop!

kids at world marketWhile the kids were off shooting at each other with pop guns and finding where the bathrooms were, I enjoyed looking at all the cool things I could buy from gluten free Quinoa Pasta to bacon flavored Torani Syrup! However, my mind was on breakfast – coffee, jam, Nutella, and Heinz Beans for English “beans on toast.”

world-market-items

Then I saw the Bavarian display and my theme was set for a German Oktoberfest Breakfast!

oktoberfest

German Oktoberfest Breakfast

For most people, fall means football, Halloween and pumpkins. But if you’re a beer fan, you probably think Oktoberfest, since that’s when we celebrate it here in the States. (In Germany, Oktoberfest is in September.)

My husband, Paul, lived in Berlin, Germany for six months during graduate school and I had a chance to visit him there. We traveled to Munich for Oktoberfest where we sat in large “tents” (actually huge airplane hanger sized buildings), drank beer, ate big bread pretzels, and listened to German oompah bands play drinking songs as well as polka versions of John Denver songs. It was crazy and a lot of fun.

Paul also brought home a new family tradition from Berlin – the German breakfast. Unlike us Americans who love eggs, bacon and pancakes on the weekend, Germans have fruit, cheese, bread, sliced cured meats, sausages, and stuff you can’t get here (like spreadable pork fat) for their Sunday breakfasts.

With the help of World Market I created a German style Oktoberfest Breakfast at home. I was surprised how easy it was to do since so many of the items I usually would get fresh at the store were available at World Market in a shelf stable form. (Great to keep in your pantry for last minute entertaining, too!)

I bought:

German breakfast

I served our German style breakfast goodies from World Market with hard boiled eggs, toast (since we didn’t have any German bread) and sliced pears. Paul had coffee and the kids and I had juice.

It was a wonderful fall day here in Athens, GA. So my family and I enjoyed our German Oktoberfest Breakfast outside while we listened to German oompah music. Well, except for having to swat yellow jackets who, I guess, like German breakfasts, too!

Sunday breakfast outside

HGTV Passport to Style Sweepstakes

HGTV and Cost Plus World Market are partnering on the HGTV Passport to Style Sweepstakes. The Grand Prize package includes a $10,000 World Market shopping spree and design consultation with an HGTV Designer. There will also be three runner up prize winners that will each receive a $1,000 World Market gift card! The HGTV Sweepstakes runs from September 22, 2012 until October 26, 2012.

You can enter online at worldmarketsweepstakes.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/worldmarket/app_315124871876517. Also, if you share the sweepstakes with five of your friends via Facebook share or email, you can receive five additional bonus entries! Users can also enter daily for more chances to win. Good luck!

Connect with Cost Plus World Market

You can connect with Cost Plus World Market on Twitter @WorldMarket, on Facebook, on Google+, on Pinterest and on Instagram.

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Disclosure: This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™. All opinions and experiences are my own.

An update from the orthodontist’s office #InvisalignMAB

An update from the orthodontist's office #InvisalignMAB at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Preparing for the inevitable: getting your period at school #kotexmom

school girlsIn my Kotex Mom posts, I’ve written about having The Talk about periods and puberty with your daughter and to share sites like kotex.com/tween with her. I’ve also mentioned how important it is to be prepared for getting those first periods by having supplies in the house like U by Kotex pads and liners.

But what happens if your daughter gets her period at school?

Have a chat with the school.  Ask the health clerk or nurse, your child’s teacher or the school counselor how they handle girls getting periods at school. I’m sure they’re used to it at the middle school, but how prepared is your daughter’s elementary school. Do they stock pads in the nurse’s office? If girls don’t have lockers, can they keep pads with their teacher or in the nurse’s office?

If your daughter has cramps or feels ill, can she lie down? What about getting a pain reliever – or does she need a note from her doctor or you? Is there enough time between classes for girls to change their pads?

What about privacy? No girl wants to announce to her class or in a crowded nurse’s office that she got her period or is having cramps. Do the teachers and staff have a “code word” or way to handle this?

Back when I was a tweenager and teen, we brought pads from home in our purses (no backpacks then) and we didn’t need permission to take a Midol. Our nurse’s office had private areas and you had time to use the toilet whenever you wanted. Times have changed.

Prepare your daughter. Most kids have a backpack these days. How about stocking a small makeup bag, like the one below, with pads? Special pads for tweens like the ones made by U by Kotex are small but super absorbent, so you don’t need to carry more than a few for a day away from home. If she’s worried about having an accident, pack a pair of panties in a small ziplock baggie, which she can put at the bottom of her backpack or in her makeup bag. That way she can change and bring home the stained garment.

Even if your daughter isn’t close to approaching puberty, having a small bag for band-aids, a hairbrush, ponytail holder, and a mirror is a great way to get used to carrying this stuff around. Before you know it, she’ll not only be carrying pads but makeup, too!

backpack
Teach your daughter the warning signs. Everyone is different, so it may be hard know what warning signs to look for when you’re getting your period. For some girls, they may break out a day or two before. Or there may be some light cramping or feeling moody. Some girls may experience breast tenderness. The U of Kotex website has a terrific article about this, First Period: What You Might Expect.

Even so, sometimes your period doesn’t announce itself. I remember being in my high school’s dark room printing out some photographs. All of a sudden I experienced knife-like cramps “down there” and had to run to the bathroom with my purse to take care of things. Not fun at all.

How are you helping your daughter prepare for getting her period at school?

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Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Preparing to have a talkable moment with your child #KotexMoms

mother and daughter

Recently I cohosted a couple of online parenting webinars with Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions. Amy pointed out that kids crave attention from their parents, which is why they act out when they’re not getting it. Kids are just dying get that special attention from mom or dad, even tweens and teens. You can use this to your advantage when planning to have any important talk – like The Talk about periods and puberty – with your daughter. After all, what kid wouldn’t want some one-on-one time with mom?

Here are some fun ways to break the ice when having The Talk:

  • Play video games. Then head to the kitchen for grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Chat over your meal or between gaming sessions.
  • Cook together. Have a chat while baking cupcakes or cookies.
  • Get out of the house. Go out for a meal or snack. Pick a place or time when the entire fifth grade isn’t at DQ grabbing a cone.
  • Go for a drive. Turn off the radio and eliminate other distractions like phones and iPads.
  • Go shopping at the mall. Or have a mani/pedi session at the local salon. Stop at the food court for some smoothies and a chat.
  • Go for a hike or go camping. This is my husband’s way of having deep and meaningful discussions with the kids.
  • Do a craft. Turn off the TV and play some quiet music in the background while you bead, scrapbook, paint or knit. Keeping your hands busy while you chat makes things less stressful.
  • Watch a movie. I have great discussiona with my kids about important topics from racism to death after watching movies that touched on those things. Most coming-of-age movie deal with first romances, so many may not be appropriate. However, 16 Candles is a good one in so many ways – it’s funny, sweet, and a great slice of ‘80s pop culture. Also, the brother discusses with his dad that the sister who’s getting married is having her period – and the dad commenting that he’s glad that he’s learning about that in school. It’s not much, but it could help. (Note: watch it on TV, which is edited to eliminate f-bombs, nudity and other things you may not want your child to see. The movie’s a lot raunchier than you may remember.)

Kotex Tween also has some great tips on how to have The Talk with your daughter, too.

What are your favorite ways to spend one-on-one time with your daughter?

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Want to know how to “Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling?” #invisalignMAB

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The family trip to the orthodontist #invisalignMAB

The family trip to the orthodontist #invisalignMAB at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Keeping it fresh and healthy on the road

road trip

Do you find eating healthy on road trips to be challenging? So many of us do, whether we’re wanting to eat fresh food or trying to work around food sensitivities and allergies. Here are some tips based on how my family and I eat healthy on road trips:

  • Bring a cooler. I know you’ve packed the family automobile with everything from toys to clothes, but you must make room to bring a cooler or two. You may want to have a larger cooler in the trunk or back of the minivan or truck along with a smaller insulated bag that will fit up front or underneath the kids’ feet in the backseat. Ask around and see if a friend or relative has a cooler that plugs into the lighter, too.
  • Ice packs or ice? Bring both! If you’re staying overnight at a hotel, many have mini-fridges to freeze your ice packs overnight. You can also ask for ice packs to be placed into the hotel kitchen’s freezer by one of the staff members. If neither are available, you can always pick up some ice at truck stop or supermarket. Bring some zip lock bags to put the ice in so you can easily store the ice in several coolers. It also makes getting rid of the melted ice much easier.
  • Bring healthy snacks that don’t require refrigeration. Nuts, dried fruit, jerky, fresh fruit like apples, snack bars, individual baggies of cereal, pretzels, etc. travel well without refrigeration. You can also store a box or two of fruit juice, water or shelf-stable milk boxes in the trunk – just fill the cooler with them when needed!
  • Bring the kitchen with you. If you’re up to it, you can also bring a loaf of bread, mustard and deli meat and make sandwiches along the way. Don’t forget to bring a roll of paper towels and a knife to spread the mustard and cut the sandwiches! Baggies and garbage bags will come in handy, too.
  • Buy healthy snacks along the way. The variety of healthy food at truck stops and gas stations is improving all the time. You can find fresh food such as small containers of low fat milk, cottage cheese, cheese sticks, hard boiled eggs, sandwiches on whole wheat bread, fruit juices, etc. Leave the kids in the car (with an adult, of course) so you’re not tempted to buy them treats like candy and ice cream.
  • Get it fresh from the farm. If you’re driving through a rural area, keep an eye out for fruit and vegetable stands. Also, before you leave, go online to find farmer’s markets and pick your own fruit farms in the areas you’re traveling through. Kids love to pick their own berries and visit farmer’s markets. Plus, both are a great way to spend an hour or two outside of the car getting some physical activity in before hitting the road again.
  • Map it! A GPS or smart phone can help you find healthier restaurant choices. Stopping at a supermarket for some fresh sandwich fixings or healthy deli choices is an inexpensive, DIY option, too.

Ben and Justin’s Freshpedition journey across America

So why am I sharing tips about bringing fresh food with you on road trips? Well, besides the fact that bringing fresh food with you on the road is easy, healthy and helps save you money, it’s all part of introducing you to GE’s Freshpedition video series. It’s five very entertaining online episodes where Chef Ben Sargent and Engineer Justin Berger hook up a new GE French door refrigerator to a generator in the back of a truck and drive 2000 miles in 10 days to surprise Wildlife Biologist Ron Thompson with fresh food. (You can learn about the cast here.)

Take a look for yourself:

I hope the Freshpedition video series will inspire you to find your own fresh food from farms and dairies along the way! Now if I can only figure out how to bring one of those GE refrigerators with me on my next road trip!

Freshpedition Sweepstakes

FreshpeditionGE is continuing this same passion for fresh food with the Freshpedition Sweepstakes. This sweepstakes uses Pinterest, which means you can actually pin for a chance to win all new GE kitchen appliances. 

But wait, there’s even more to win!

You can also enter each day of the sweepstakes for a chance to win a $100 VISA® Prepaid Card. Entering for this prize is fun as you’re asked to pin your favorite fresh foods or your own recipes. Also, these pins when hashtagged with your state (e.g. #GEfreshTX) become part of a “Best of Fresh” map featuring freshness from around the country. Explore the map here.

For official rules and to enter visit here.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by GE via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of GE.

How to make The Talk less stressful #KotexMom

mother-daughter-2

Now that girls are reaching puberty earlier, moms (and dads) realize that they have to have “The Talk” about periods and puberty with their daughters before they reach middle school. So how do you talk to your daughter without intimidating her with the information? And how do you tell her without becoming a nervous wreck?

Here are some tips should make having The Talk a little less stressful:

  • Don’t reinvent the wheel: Do you have friends with teenage or college age daughters? Ask them how they had The Talk with their daughters! I’m sure your friends can give you some valuable insight and strategies.
  • Enlist an ally or two: If you’re nervous about talking to your daughter about puberty and body changes, ask her favorite “cool aunt,” godmother or older female cousin to help out. Maybe they can join you in the discussion or be the designated go-to person if your daughter feels awkward coming to you with questions. Some girls feel more comfortable chatting about personal matters with dad, so don’t be afraid to ask him to help out, too!
  • Go to the experts: There are many wonderful books out there that explain puberty, body changes and periods. Our family’s favorite is What’s Happening to Me?  (There’s a boy’s version, which my son enjoys, too.) Other good ones friends have mentioned are The Care and Keeping of You and My Body, My Self for Girls. These are books that you and your daughter can look at together, or she can read them on her own.
  • Get the facts online: Hello Period from U of Kotex is a terrific website for your daughter to explore on her own to get advice from other girls about periods and products.
  • Start slowly and make it part of your normal day: If you’re at the grocery or drugstore, maybe it’s a good time to discuss body odor or hairy legs when you wander down the personal care product aisle together. Ask your daughter if she’d like to pick out a stick of deodorant or some body wash to keep in her bathroom. Or show her the brand of  leg shavers you like to use. Make purchasing hygiene products as normal as picking up milk or toothpaste.

Kotex Tween also has some great tips on how to have The Talk with your daughter:

  • First, pick the day you’ll have the conversation.
  • Second, start the conversation right. Kotex Tween suggests making time for just the two of you to talk by having at home spa day. If your daughter’s more outgoing, take her out for a meal either alone or with female relatives. It’s all about creating a safe space to talk about growing into a young woman and what that means.
  • Third, be prepared for the questions she may ask. Kotex Tween has an extensive Q&A section here on periods and gives you answers to fit your daughter’s maturity level.
  • Finally, take her shopping for the right products. U by Kotex Tween products feature the same absorbent protection as U by Kotex products, but are smaller than Kotex’s regular pads. They also come in vibrant new colors and patterns that tweens and teens really like. After shopping, find a special place in her bathroom to store her products in. If she shares a bathroom with younger siblings, she may want to keep her pads and other personal care products in her room.

Have you had The Talk with your daughter yet? How did you handle it?

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Have you had the talk? Why I’m a U by Kotex Tween Ambassador #KotexMom

Mother Daughter

Here’s how I learned about getting my period. Back in fourth grade, all the girls were taken to the school cafeteria, where we were shown a movie about getting your period. We also got to take home a little booklet. I read that booklet countless times, so I’m sure my mom knew that I had it. However, we never had “the talk.”

When I did get my period, I told her what happened. My mom congratulated me on being a woman and asked me if I knew where the pads were. But that was about it. We never talked about cramps, hygiene, public hair, using deodorant, leg shaving or any of that other growing up stuff. While I knew she was there if I had a question, I was too shy to ask and tried to figure it out by myself.

That’s why I’ve signed up to be a U by Kotex Tween Ambassador – to help parents and kids prepare for “the talk” in a way that’s natural, informative and loving.

Getting the facts early

Luckily, moms (and dads) have tools like Kotex’s website  to help prepare us to have the talk with our tweens. It’s so important to talk with your kids early because girls are now having their periods as early as eight years of age! Even if your daughter isn’t showing signs of puberty, she may have friends who are and will be curious about it.

That’s why my daughter, Lucie, who is 9, and already knows about puberty and periods thanks to franks discussions with both her parents and reading What’s Happening to Me?, a terrific book about going through puberty from Usborne Books. She’s nowhere near puberty, but has older gal pals from karate, school and camp who are. Lucie’s naturally curious about body changes, but sees them as normal and something to look forward to – except for eyebrow plucking, which she think sounds horrible, go figure.

I’m glad we’ve been matter-of-fact with Lucie and her brother. I hope it’ll save them some of the mortification I felt as a young girl when learning about body changes and periods back then.

Preparing for the talk

The Kotex website is a great source of reference that can help you prepare for your talk with your daughter. It has great tools such as a calendar with facts about puberty, questions your daughter may ask, ways to start the conversation, and more. I especially liked the information on Getting the Facts and Preparing for the Talk

There’s also a  Aimee Teegarden Gets Real Video by Kotex & Nickelodeon ParentsConnect that you should check out. In it she talks about how she and her mom have always had an open line of conversation about everything from Aimee’s career to going through puberty. Aimee also relates a story about a 14-year-old friend getting her first period during a slumber party. Her friend hadn’t had the talk with her mom yet and had to rely on the other girls at the slumber party to help her figure out what to do. Aimee called it “on the job training,” which was kind of ironic yet a little sad, too.

Finally, there’s the U by Kotex website page for tweens and teens for your daughter to browse and find information on periods, products, and puberty. It’s a great website for your daughter to look over on her own, especially if she’s too shy to come out and ask you a question about pads or pubic hair. Or you can look it over together to get the conversation started!

Have you had the talk with your daughter yet?

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Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Why can’t these kids get along? Join me for a FREE webinar about ending sibling squabbles #invisalignMAB

Why can't these kids get along? Join me for a FREE webinar about ending sibling squabbles #invisalignMAB at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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