Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm Berry Passionate!

Summer months provide wonderful opportunities for BBQs, picnics, and gatherings~
there's nothing better than a fun, festive potluck to celebrate graduations, weddings, birthdays, Independence Day, Labor Day, and family reunions!

Strawberry season brings forth glorious visions of succulent, rosy sweetness dripping with sunshine! Why not create a fantastic STRAWBERRY creation to treat your guests?

Visit to find out more information about those luscious berries?
Also drop by to check out great kid-friendly berry joy! This is a great interactive site that parents and kids can enjoy and learn together.

Here are some of my Best Berry Recipes to share - feel free to post your favorite in the comments section. One lucky winning entry drawn at random from recipes/comments received will receive a strawberry scented lotion! Winner will be selected at random from all entries received by Saturday, 7/14/08 12 Midnight EST. Winner will be notified. Good luck and enjoy those BERRIES!


A lovely and light accompaniment for a "ladies lunch" or picnic!

3 lbs. fresh California Strawberries, hulled and quartered
4 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
5 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. fresh mint leaves, chopped fine

Place the strawberries in a large bowl and add remaining ingredients over top. Stir well to incorporate flavors. Marinate for at least 1 hour, stirring well every 20 minutes.

The vinegar, berry juice, and sugar will combine to create a thick syrup. Try them alone or on top of vanilla ice cream. Garnish with a mint sprig!

Summer Tips

Summer is upon us and that means lots of warm weather fun...accompanied by a host of warm weather challenges. That includes the occasional tummy thing...rash...bug bites...sunburn...dehydration...sandy itch...etc.

I've discovered a great resource for ALL SEASON pediatric questions!


It's practical pediatric information for moms from moms that are doctors!

This great website was created by two pediatricians - moms with kids and families - that offer some very relevant and easy to access info!

Five Simple Summer Safety Tips from the MommyDocs

Have a Sun Protection Strategy: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sunscreen with a minimum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15. Look for products that provide "broad spectrum" coverage to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Use this sunscreen routine with your child--daily application 30 minutes before going outside and reapplication every 2 hours (or sooner if swimming, toweling off, or sweating). Creating a routine will establish good habits for the future. In addition, don't forget a wide brim hat, sunglasses with 99-100% UVA/UVB protection, and sun protective clothing.

Keep Pests off Your Little One: In the summer, many insects can bite or sting your child. For pesky mosquitoes and ticks, consider a DEET containing insect repellant. Apply sparingly to exposed skin (avoid backs of hands and around the eyes and mouth) and/or to clothing once a day. As the percentage of DEET goes up, the duration of action increases. To prevent unnecessary exposure, always use the lowest percentage that will last for the planned length of time spent outdoors. Never go above 30% or use on children under 2 months old.

Keep the Pool Cool and Clean: Small yard pools provide a great way for kids to have fun and cool down when the temperature rises, but they can also harbor germs, such as bacteria. To keep the pool free from unwanted "swimmers," after each use disinfect it with bleach by cleaning with a solution of ¾ cup regular bleach to one gallon of water, then rinse well and dry thoroughly. Safety must: Always supervise children regardless of age when they are around any water; whether it's a bucket, a small backyard plastic pool, or the local community pool.

High Heat Means Hydrate: Excessive heat exposure may cause your child to experience a heat-related illness such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. How to prevent this: take breaks in the shade, avoid playing outside during peak sun exposure hours, and drink, drink, drink! Make sure your child is taking in plenty of fluids before he become thirsty.

Rid Rashes and Relieve Itchies: Running through the yard in bare feet, taking a nature walk on a trail, and picnicing in the park are some of the joys of warmer weather. But all of this outdoor activity can expose your child to a host of plants including those which cause poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac. If an allergic reaction occurs, ask the pediatrician about an oral antihistamine and/or a topical skin care product such as a steroid cream or calamine. If the rash is extensive, looks infected, or is not getting better, call your doctor right away. is an educational resource and not a substitute for medical attention. If you suspect a medical problem, consult your medical professional.

Friday, June 27, 2008

WonderFALL Promotion at Beaches Resorts

Well, we're approaching the Independence Day holiday and my thoughts are already turning to the fall season and the possibility of some R&R with the hubby and kids! Summer is a very hectic season for us, so we generally plan a family escape in the fall season instead. This is a great opportunity to explore some new offerings during off-season and save some dollars in this more cost-conscious times....I have recently learned about the WonderFALL promotion being offered by Beaches Resorts. These resort properties were rated as a "Top Ten" family beach resort by Parents Magazine. There are four all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, all featuring fabularous white sand beaches in Turks & Caicos and jamaica. By planning a vacation now and booking for selected dates in September and October, vacationers can realize significant savings for this amazing, all-inclusive resort! You get to enjoy everything these outstanding properties have to offer and SAVE up to 45% off** published rates and get 2 Nights Free** (on stays of 7 nights or more). The fall season will also feature special events and activities - including a special celebration for Grandparents (maybe a nice family reunion is in order this year???)~

Here's a link to explore this outstanding value for your own WonderFALL at Beaches Resorts:

My 9-year old daughter and 16-year old son are absolutely drooling over the kid and teen-friendly amenities. I'm lovin' the idea of warm sand and cool drinks! The Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort and Spa features 5 pools, Pirates Island Waterpark, The French Village, an XBOX 360 Game Garage, speciality restaurants, 12 bars serving unlimited premium drinks, and supervised kids camps. Sesame Street and Crayola have partnered with Beaches to add to the fun and activity value as well...It will be a dream come true for our family - lots of fun and relaxation while top-notch service staff attend to our every need. Wow, just want a frazzled, frantic, and befuddled mom can use by the time fall rolls around!

Traveling with a teen can be something of a challenge to keep them engaged and not focus on electronics or moping! Beaches Resorts has the XBOX 360 Garage (video game center), Pirates Island Water Park, swim-up soda bar, and a teen disco for them to connect and "get their groove on"!

Here's some tips I've gathered for vacation nation:
* Snorkeling activities are available to enjoy local underwater sealife (may wish to bring own equipment to minimize wait times and access). Diving is also available - skills certification will be required.
* Kids Clubs: Bring passport/birth certificate to register child

* Be sure to take advantage of an Orientation Tour to get the scoop on your property and added value opportunties.
* Don't forget to ask for a refrig

Kit Kittredge: American Girl Movie Launch on July 1st

My daughter Kristen is 9 years old and an avid American Girl collector! She has personified what "word of mouth" marketing can accomplish. She received her first doll in Kindergarten and began sharing her love of the dolls and historical aspects of the collection. Friends and family became fascinated by her passion and began exploring the dolls, collectibles, and web site/magazine for themselves. Her bedroom is filled with all-things American Girl. Coconut the pup has been her friend for several years. Kristen has insisted on every birthday party to be themed with American Girl partyware and activities! Every girl in her third grade class has now obtained at least one AG doll. We recently held an American Girl spa party at our home with all the decorations, party ware, and doll/girl spa activities and crafts! Now that the Kit Kittredge movie release is upon us, Kristen has begun the planning for a Girl Scout troop activity for the girls to attend the movie with their dolls! Our family adores the AG concept of reaching for the stars and inside beauty. Their products are first rate and help us to instill important personal qualities in our sweet little girl as she becomes a lovely young lady.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Freebie Hunter Tip

For those of you who enjoy the elusive "Hunt for the Freebie" - here's a great tip:

Check out the neatest little website for Freebies, Coupons, and Contests -

It's a wonderful community of folks interested in sharing info they gather on up-to-the-minute freebie offerings, great coupon deals, bargins, and contests. There is always something new and interested - I joined in late October 2007 and I can't begin to recount the extensive list of goodies that my USPS, UPS, and Fed Ex carriers have delivered to our door! Every day can be like Christmas!

Just The Two of Us!

Seventeen year old son Cameron and nine year old daughter Kristen where both out of the house this weekend for kid-friendly fun....hubby Ken and I enjoyed some adult fun, too! Isn't it great to be able to relax and enjoy your signficant other with a special day together - "just the two of us"??? As the kids grow older, I find that I need to reach back into my memory for what Ken and I enjoyed doing together pre-babies! It's not so easy....I'm making an effort now while the kids are still under foot to focus on our couple-dom since next year Cameron may leave home for college and Kristen is getting to be more of a tween than a grade-schooler every day!

Check It Out!

Visit this website "Where Does Nesquik Take You?" and find out about submitting a fun video on YouTube to Win!:

Show us where a delicious sip of NESQUIK® takes you for a chance to WIN $10,000!
Create a video that shows us your happy place. Judges will select 10 finalists, and then it's your turn to choose. You'll vote for your favorites on YouTube. One (1) Grand Prize Winner will get $10,000 cash to go to their happy place.
Check out our sweet prizes and sign up or log on to your YouTube user account (membership is FREE!) at to enter now!
One (1) Grand Prize Winner - $10,000 cash, a NESQUIK necklace and a one-month supply of NESQUIK® coupons.
Nine (9) First Prize Winners - $250 cash, a NESQUIK necklace and a one-month supply of NESQUIK® coupons.
Forty (40) Second Prize Winners - a NESQUIK necklace and a one-month supply of NESQUIK® coupons.

I'm working up my video skills to submit an entry - Contest rules available on the webiste. Entry deadline is September 5, 2008.

It's so rich...and thick...and chocolate-y!!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008




Thanks to everyone for visiting my Blog and participating in the Alanis Morissette contest.

Visit again often, I'll be running another contest soon and updating the content this week...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Alanis Morissette "Flavors of Entanglement" Contest

Alanis Morissette's new CD "Flavors of Entanglement" was released yesterday -
June 10, 2008 to some great reviews! You can get your copy now at

Big Props to One2One Network for an awesome opportunity to those who visit my blog site:

One lucky comment poster will receive the following prize pack:
A copy of the new Alanis Morissette Flavors of Entanglement CD

Alanis Morissette CD/DVD - The Collection

One Ben & Jerry's Coupon for a FREE PINT of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

What a great opportunity to kick it with some Alanis tunes and yummy B&J with friends!!!!

Just leave a comment on this blog with Alanis Morissette's birthday and your favorite Ben and Jerry's flavor! Please include your email address so winner may be contacted.

Rules to Enter:
Contest runs from June 11, 2008 until Midnight (EST) June 20, 2008.
US Residents Only.
Enter one comment only. Duplicate entries will be discarded.
One winner will be randomly selected from all comment posts received and posted on this blog the following day, June 18, 2008.
Prize package will be sent to the winner by the sponsor.

The Collection link:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Place

Recently, I was tasked as a Nequik Breaker to put some fun in my day. It seems like a simple request, but it has had a major impact on my life! I see that I've grown complacent in my life and continue through the day on auto-pilot rather than being the more curious, adventurous, and fun person I was a few years ago....

We visited a local park for a late morning fun-break. My daughter and I enjoyed special time together laughing on the swings, playing on the playground equipment, and tossing a ball with some other children. It was a freeing experience that my daughter and I took great delight in. We relaxed without an agenda or time frame to control us. It was a joyous time - make some time yourself by kicking back and opening your mind to a fun activity yourself!


Where's does Nesquik take you??? Visit this link to learn more!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sex And The City Movie/Soundtrack Are Amazing

Well, I attended a Sex And The City movie pre-screening and it was amazing! The stars do not disappoint and the plot is wonderful - great for hardcore SATC fans as well as for someone not as obsessed! The soundtrack is available featuring a great variety of new songs and covers of some fun tunes. India.Aire's cover of "The Heart of the Matter" is fresh and dreamy. The inclusion of Run-DMC with Steven Tylers' "Walk This Way" continues to be a favorite of mine. It appears that a second CD may be in the works also (based on the insert included with the CD)?