Monday, May 31, 2010

Uncle Ben's Rice - Delish!

Memorial Day holiday weekend is here - we're planning a family BBQ filled with sights, smells and tastes of summer. I pulled together some favorite recipes that are quick and easy since it's back to work as ususal for me tomorrow. I always include one or two dishes that feature rice since it's a family favorite.

Uncle Ben's has helped me out with an expanding line-up of rice varities and slections. I have always loved Uncle Ben's as a trusted brand - it's great that they are constantly considering today's busy families with their microwave packages as well as the Long Grain White Rice. It looks and tastes like white rice but has all the nutritional benefits of whole grain! We love it - it cooks up perfectly every time: nice and fluffy, without sticking or clumping. I use it for my traditional Miller Family Rice Pudding, rice and vegetable salad (perfect for the summer picnic!), and a new family request, Chicken and Rice in the pressure cooker!

Visit the Uncle Ben's site at:

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Uncle Ben’s and received samples to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SmartMom Solutions Roadshow with Maria Bailey Update

I mentioned previously, that I attended the SmartMom Solutions Roadshow with Maria Bailey in Tampa earlier this month. It was a great 1/2-day event and I was impressed with the organization and great representation. Maria and her team are amazing! Some outstanding products and brands were in attendance.

I was particularly taken by Precious Moment's lovely line of books and accessories for young girls - perfect inspirational messages for my daughter! The Pandigital Photolink One-Touch Scanner is now on the very top of my special, "Mommy Wanna's List"!

I'm providing a list with their links for you to check them out at your convenience. I know I will be revisiting them in the coming weeks...

Designed to bring moms and companies together, the roadshow showcased an array of items, from shampoo to clothes to digital scanners. It was a great opportunity to discover these brands and products:
Zippity Doo's - children's daily-use hair care products that prevent lice (
BioGaia probiotic straws and tablets - safe, effective probiotics that promote healthy tummies (
B-Natal Therapops - sweet relief from morning sickness (
Parigi - popular kid's clothing line (Puma, LRG for Boys, Akademiks, Apple Bottoms)
Pandigital Photolink One-Touch Scanner - scan all your photos in seconds without a computer (
Milson Road - give the perfect gift of "The Daily Portrait" for special occasions (
LikeWear - fun, boutique children's clothes that children love. (
Huggies MomInspired Grant Program - helping inventive moms turn their business ideas into reality (
Precious Moments - childrens coloring books (

Thanks again to Maria Bailey and MomSelect for a wonderful time spend with like-minded bloggy moms!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Freshen Up with Unilever/Dove: Don't Fret the Sweat!

Summer is upon us, and OMG it's HOT!!! The kids are outside running around and working up a sweat - that's great for them physically, but not so fresh for everyone within range afterwards!

My daughter and I have shared our freshening philosophy together, and she's "takin' it to the streets" with her's time to invest in some deodorants...NOW!! She's at the perfect age to instill good grooming and hygiene habits, including the use of shower gel, powder, anti-perspirant deodorant and body mists. I'm not bashful to tell our kids (and occasionally my hubs...) that they're stinky, and better do something about it NOW! Dove Ultimate Go Fresh line is perfect for us - fresh, clean and light! She loves the new "Revive" scent duo of Anti-perspirant Deodorant and Body Mist with a hint of moisturizer. It's a pomegranate and lemon verbena scent, crisp and inspired by nature - it smells heavenly!!!! The Unilever Dove family of products is a brand I trust for my family.

Recently, Unilever released the Tween Confidence Index, which suggests that tween confidence is short-lived but can be safe-guarded by maintaining strong communication between tweens and parents. With this and more resources available at, Unilever hopes to show parents that they can talk to their tweens about how the right deodorant can keep them free from odor, embarrassment and discomfort along the way.

Be sure to visit their site to learn more at:

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Unilever and received the items necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Join Us On - see code provided

Great family friendly social networking site: Use our referral code for free registration: YSMC-0063

We're learning a lot and planning to create our own "spheres"~ we hope you'll join us to connect!

I wrote this review while participating in the Yoursphere Test Drive program by Mom Central on behalf of Yoursphere. I received a free lifetime Gold membership on, Yoursphere t-shirts, and a $50 American Express gift card to facilitate my review.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Playtex Bra Contest Promotion-Fit The Girls!

I have the hardest time finding the "perfect bra"...Do slipping straps, riding up backs, or not enough support have you ready to write a Dear John letter to your old bras? Apply for a Bra Makeover from Playtex! Seven out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra, which can result in an ill fit for the rest of their outfit, back and shoulder pain, as well as bruising and digging.

We know that busy moms don't always have time to update their bras or even check to make sure they are wearing the correct size. That's why we wanted to let you know about this contest from Playtex! Playtex recently launched, a site where women can go to apply for a bra makeover or nominate a friend. If chosen, the winner will be flown to New York to receive a Bra Makeover with style expert Alison Deyette. Deyette is a fashion and trend lifestyle expert who has been featured on Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker and TLC's Ten Years Younger, as well as in print publications including Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, and O Magazine. Apply for your chance to win a Playtex Bra Makeover today. The last day to apply is Friday, May 21st, 2010.

The 10 winners selected for a Bra Makeover will also star in their very own webisode wherein a makeover candidate will receive a fitting with Deyette and walk away with the perfect Playtex products. A new webisode will premier on every two weeks.

By posting this information, I am entered into a contest to win a free bra from Playtex. I did not receive any compensation for this post and thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Real women have real bra problems, Playtex wants you to kiss those bra problems goodbye. Check out for more information.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

P&G Thank You Mom Reunion Contest

I haven't seen my mom in over 15 years....yes, that's FIFTEEN YEARS! She has never seen my 11 year old daughter or seen our son since he was a baby - such a tremendous bridge to cross...she's a good person with some heavy baggage. We've stayed in touch by phone and mail, but it's never as good as being together for a real visit.

We have overcome many obstacles in our lives, and I think the time is ripe for a wonderful reunion - soon. I recently learned about an amazing contest hosted by Proctor & Gamble "Thank You Mom Reunion". I submitted my entry last night, and I'm praying for a miracle to see Mom and tell her in person what a powerful force she has been in my life - even from a distance. Here's the details:

Thank You Mom Reunion Contest

You could win $1,000 and a video camera for a special reunion with your mom or mother-figure!!!

Proctor & Gamble is kicking off the "Thank You Mom Reunions" contest to reunite Moms and their children for milestone family moments they otherwise might have missed.

“Thank You Mom Reunions” will bring together 105 moms with their children, who are unable to do so on their own. (15 per month for a 10 month campaign.)

You are invited to log onto and enter to win a travel voucher to help cover the cost of a special reunion with their mom or mom figure in their life.

How Someone Can Win a Thank You Mom Reunion:

Entrants must submit a 100 word essay describing why they’d like to be united with their mom.

Consumers vote for their favorite entries.

15 winners will be chosen every month through November.

Winners will also receive a portable digital video camera to capture their reunion and are encouraged to share the video on


Monday, May 17, 2010

Yoursphere: Safe Social Networking for Our Tweens/Teens

Our family loves our on-line technology and vibing on the social networking scene. The kids want to explore, but we're hesitate to let them roam freely without supervision. We are now registered at a great social networking site for families. Registration is free - what r u waiting 4??? LOL

Visit their site and explore all the great "spheres" on topics that are totally relevant to our kids' interests including video, games, fashion, animals, music, and more!

If you choose to register for your free account, be sure to use our refrral code: YSMC-0063

We look forward to connecting with you on

I wrote this review while participating in the Yoursphere Test Drive program by Mom Central on behalf of Yoursphere. I received a free lifetime Gold membership on, Yoursphere t-shirts, and a $50 American Express gift card to facilitate my review.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Not Your Momma's Melba Toast

Our family has always loved Old London Melba Toast...a classic taste for contemporary times. It is truly a snack that is far from ordinary. I find them available at local grocery and supercenters in the $3-4 per box range...

A great variety of bold, new flavors of Melba Toast feature
- Spicy Pepper
- Sesame
- Roasted Garlic
- White Cheddar
- Whole Grain
- Sea Salt

Perfect anytime plain - or let your creative juices flow. Wow, snack time and special events really come alive with these delicious crisps and your recipe! Old London's web site has some outstanding recipes for you to try:

I tried the Chocolate Pistachio Crunch and was thrilled with the smoothness and surprising crunch!

Old London Melba Toast is currently sponsoring a fun contest on their website:

“Dance Your Way to Hollywood” will send one lucky winner and a guest to Tinseltown for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, including private dance lessons and tickets to watch the taping of a highly popular television show. The four-day, three-night, all-expenses-paid experience includes air travel and accommodations at a popular Hollywood hotel. Sweepstakes entries accepted March 17 through June 30, 2010.

Register today for your chance to Dance Your Way to Hollywood - I already have:

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Old London Melba Toast and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

SmartMom Solutions Roadshow in Tampa-5/13/10!!

Only one week left until the SmartMom Solutions Roadshow in Tampa! Don't miss out on this great event- RSVP now! All moms are welcome to join!

Save The Date
May 13, 2010
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
The Ramada Tampa Westshore Inn & Conference Center
1200 North Westshore Blvd
Tampa, FL 33607

During this free two-hour event, they'll be showcasing products and brands that are designed with Moms in mind! From an innovative green cleaning device to health and wellness solutions for the whole family, you'll have the opportunity to take part in interactive demonstrations and touch and feel the products for yourself. And since prizes always liven up any party, you'll have the chance to win great items to take home!

Maria Bailey, founder of outstanding WOM Marketing force - MomSelect, will be on hand for the event in our community! I can't wait to meet her...

In addition to hearing from brands across the country, you'll also take away advice and insights from a local mom expert presentation. You can be sure there will be plenty of time left over for my favorite activity- networking and socializing!

The event is open and complimentary to all interested moms - so what are you waiting for?????

To RSVP, please contact Melanie at Can't wait to see you there!

MomSelect sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

U by Kotex Makes A Difference

I know I wrestled with my tween years and maturity, so I'm so excited about U by Kotex for my daughter! She's already starting to ask questions, and we're preparing for the inevitable, and Kotex is "on our side"! It's so important to keep an open, honest dialogue with our children - especially about their body image and self-esteem issues.

U by Kotex is working hard to build confidence in young girls and their health issues. The topic of menstruation can be awkward and uncomfortable, but Kotex is a brand leader and is making use of today's tech savvy young ladies by providing a creative video and social media component to help girls shape and define their maturing bodies in a reassuring and fun manner.

U by Kotex products features fun, bold colors for their feminine protection line of Clearwear Pads, Click Tampons and Barely There Liners. Each provides soft, secure protection that is designed small and "hip".

My daughter and I were just beginning to explore these items so she could put together a "mini-emergency kit" for her backpack at school. She was somewhat mystified by the variety on the store shelves, but also overwhelmed by the sizes and types. The U by Kotex products truly gave her a tremendous relief and they are "cute, colorful and small". My daughter is so very relieved to have found the perfect fit for when her time arrives!

She even had a fun dream after we put together her U by Kotex kit for school that she shared with me - she was recommending this to her friends at during their lunch break - like a real spokesperson. All her girlfriends were so enthusiastic and appreciated the info - Kotex really gets our kids!

Visit to learn more about the U by Kotex line, get some free samples and download a fun Daily Journal IPone or ITouch app that lets you take pictures, add play lists and geo-target your location for each entry. Also check out the funny new commercials, you can check out some of my favorites like this one: You can also visit the U by Kotex website at for a sample kit - just perfect for your daughters' mini-emergency kit like Kristen's!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Kotex and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Changing Room - She Colors My Day Update

Earlier this month, my daughter Kristen and I introduced you the She Colors My Day project- the now worldwide movement which embarks upon a global journey to create for a cure. Inspired by a mother's infinite love, this ever widening circle of caring will benefit Susan G. Komen for a Cure ® and The Entertainment Industry Foundation's Women's Cancer Research Fund. Thank you for your support!

To continue giving back to women everywhere, Cristina has published her first interactive journal, "The Changing Room: A Mother's Journal of Gratitude to Her Little Girl." This interactive journal by Cristina Carlino and YOU captures all those astonishing parenting moments before they fade into the swirl of everyday life. Throughout the book, Cristina shares her personal story and asks questions that inspire you to remember those first precious years of motherhood. This journal is a special place for your memories, drawings and letters. One day it will become a priceless keepsake for your daughter. (For more on The Changing Room, click onto this video link:

Cristina's friend, actress Mariska Hargitay is in love with the book, and she and Cristina have joined forces for her Joyful Heart Foundation, benefiting survivors of rape, incest and abuse. The neat thing is 100% of the net proceeds for The Changing Room will go to Joyful Heart.

Mariska says this about the book:

"This beautiful and rare journal is an expression of the exquisite and tender delight Cristina takes in motherhood. As if by magic, the journal opens doors into the most precious terrain where the miracles of childhood transform into memories large and small. What a gift to be led to this place of wonder, joy and gratitude. And we are so pleased that 100% of the net proceeds from this book are being donated to the Joyful Heart Foundation. Thank you, Cristina!"

To celebrate the season of mothers and the release of The Changing Room, Cristina is hosting a WISHES FOR MY LITTLE GIRL PHOTO CONTEST on her Facebook fan page ( Five winners will receive a free copy of The Changing Room.

To enter Cristina's Wish and Photo Contest, Wishes for My Little Girl, click onto Cristina's Facebook Fan Page, and post your favorite photo of the little girl in your life -- it can be your daughter, a niece, a neighbor, the daughter of a friend. All our little girls need our wishes. Tell us of a big wish you have for this little wondrous person.Winners will be determined by the number of "Likes" they receive from other Cristina Carlino Fans, so invite your friends to Cristina's fan page and vote! Hurry! Contest ends on Monday, May 10th.

MomSelect will also be holding a Twitter discussion on May 10th and we'd love for you to attend. We would like to urge you to chime in, tell your story, and offer support or inspiration. And if you 'create' or are in the process of expressing your voice through art (painting, sketching, singing- anything) please share* your creations with us so we can inspire others to make a difference and color someone's day who is in need. Details to come.