Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (sort of)

Where are the kids?!?!
Matt and I were laughing so hard when we saw these pics of the kids displaying their Christmas gifts.

Monday, December 28, 2009

YouBar Giveaway WINNER!

Congratulations to
comment # 37
Please email within 48 hours to receive your Gift Certificate!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

YouBar Review and Giveaway!

*Design your own custom energy bar perfectly tailored to your personal taste and nutritional needs. Our Build-a-Bar page allows you to design anything from High protein low carb energy bars to gluten free protein bars. Each customized nutrition bar is handmade and Guaranteed Delicious. Build your own custom protein bar today! *
I was given the opportunity to sample several of YouBar products:
YouBar Breakfast Bar- What's not to love about this bar?!?! It was delicious. The Breakfast Bar combines coffee, cocoa and cinnamon for a mouth watering way to wake up. The Breakfast Bar gives you a convenient, delicious order of cholesterol-free egg whites, fruit and coffee.
YouTrailMix- Chocolate Peanut: Had lots of yumminess.. dark chocolate covered raisins, raisins, oat cereal, peanuts and more
YouTrailMix- Almond Drops: Good stuff here... chocolate candies, oat bran sesame sticks, organic figs, almonds and pistachio nuts!! What a great combo if ya ask me!!
YouShake-Blended Bliss: combines organic strawberries, organic bananas and organic vanilla for a mouth watering shake.
Vanilla Dream: My favorite shakes are always vanilla..and this shake was fantastic! It gives you a wonderfully creamy vanilla shake that combines the benefits of soy protein with pure organic vanilla extract.
Joel from You Bar was kind enough to offer my blog readers 5% off an order. Just use this coupon code at checkout: HLABLOG
That's not all though....One lucky reader will win a gift certificate to use on the YouBar site!
It's easy to enter, the hard part will be deciding what to order! Don't forget to check out the YouCookie products too!!

· MAIN RULE (this must be followed or no other entries will count!) Log onto the YouBar website and tell me 3 ingredients you would include in your YouBar
· 1 extra entry- subscribe to my RSS feed (or let me know that you already have) in a separate comment.
· 2 extra entries-Sign up to follow my blog.
· 2 extra entries- Write a post in your blog linking to my blog
· 2 extra entries- Write a post in your blog linking to the
· 1 extra entry-Follow me on Twitter.
· 1 extra entry-Tweet about this giveaway (be sure to include the link in your comment so I can check!)

……. Please be sure to separate your entries in the comment box.*
This giveaway will run through 11:59pm of December 27th and the winner will be announced by the afternoon of December 28th. The winner will be chosen by using from all valid entries and will be contacted via email. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me before they forfeit their prize. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pedometers and Kids!

My daughter was recently given a pedometer as a gift. After learning what it was for she was very excited to try it out. The first day she put in almost 5000 steps! Not bad for a 5 year old...or so I thought! ( personally, I think it's GREAT!) I looked up a few sites on the Internet about kids and pedometers.

*Studies showed that for 6–12 year olds, girls needed 12,000 steps/day and boys needed 15,000 steps/day to stay in a healthy Body Mass Index - BMI. The study reviewed research of almost 2000 children in the USA, Australia, and Sweden. The study was published in the June, 2004 "Preventative Medicine" by Catrine Tudor-Locke Ph.D. and associates.* click here for full article.

I know Amara is 5 so the study does not necessarily included her, but still! It took her quite a few trips up and down the steps with 10 jumping jacks thrown in each time to get over 5,000 steps! This was with her being active in the morning, at school playing inside and out and also being active at home. Whew!

A study put out by the same Catrine mentioned above came out with this pedometer walking guide:

Classification of pedometer-determined physical activity in healthy adults:

1) Under 5000 steps/day may be used as a "sedentary lifestyle index"

2) 5,000-7,499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered "low active."

3) 7,500-9,999 likely includes some exercise or walking (and/or a job that requires more walking) and might be considered "somewhat active."

4) 10,000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as "active".

5) Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as "highly active".

I think that giving a pedometer to a little person is a great idea. They can see the numbers immediately ( although you might get a little annoyed when your child asks you every 3 minutes how many steps now!?!? ). Giving them goals to reach is a fun way get their bodies moving. Amara really liked it when I suggested doing jumping jacks when she reached the top of the stairs. She decided to do them when she reached the bottom as well. I caught her doing them the next day as well without my suggestion. Her new goal is 6000 steps! I have no doubt she will make it either.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Element Bar Review

*Our made-to-order energy bars are chock full of tasty, whole ingredients and nothing you can't pronounce. Guaranteed to put fuel in your tank and keep you smiling.*

I was lucky enough to be sent the great tasting Crispy Cranberry Element Bar from Jonathan Miller; President of the company. This bar was fantastic! With ingredients that include organic apricots, peanut butter, sea salt and cranberries-- how could you go wrong?!?! The bar was moist and delicious!

*All-Natural, The Way You Like It
At Element Bars, we invite you to pick and choose the elements (or ingredients) that you want (or don't want) in your nutrition bar. We want to make nutrition personal again by letting you customize your bars to your liking. We are also committed to using unprocessed or minimally processed elements for your bars, in order to retain the maximal nutrition for you.
I love what this company stands for in terms of healthy living and using such great high quality ingredients. You can build your own bars using anything you want or you can choose one of Element Bars custom made bars and you can even make changes to those!
The steps are easy to follow and you even get a nutrition label that updates as you add ingredients. Such a cool thing to watch: look here
I am looking forward to creating my own bars in the near future. I have so many ideas going on in my head as I type!
Take a look around the site and start building your custom bar today!

I highly recommend this product!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stevia Extract In the Raw Review and Giveaway WINNER

Arla is the winner! ( comment #27)

Please contact me to receive your prize~


Monday, December 7, 2009

Stevia Extract In the Raw Review and Giveaway

*Stevia Extract In The Raw gets its delicious, natural sweetness from Rebiana (aka Reb-A) — an extract from the Stevia plant. This extract is the sweetest part of the plant and has recently been isolated to provide pure sweetening power without the licorice-like aftertaste that many of our predecessors exhibited. All you get is the sweet flavor without any calories. Unlike some of our competitors, Stevia Extract In The Raw does not use additional sweeteners such as erythritol (Truvia™) and isomaltulose and erythritol (PureVia™) to mask the natural sweetness of Reb-A Stevia Extract. The high purity level of our product eliminates any of the licorice-like aftertaste associated with less pure Stevia products currently in the market.

I love Stevia Extract In The Raw! I love the fact that it has zero calories and sweetens anything I want just as well ( if not better) than cane sugar. I really love this brand because it does not have an aftertaste as other stevia's do. I am a big tea drinker. I love the taste of a good flavored herbal tea, but must admit that I need it to be sweet. I have the biggest sweet tooth known to man-kind. I probably would not have 3-4 cups of tea a day if I did not use stevia. I would not be able to justify using a tablespoon of sugar up to four times a day! So glad I came across Stevia Extract In The Raw. It's sweeter than cane sugar so keep that in mind when adding it to your coffee or tea. I like mine extra sweet so this is not a problem for me. There is also a very handy chart on the website for further guidance.
A big THANK YOU to Keith; VP form Stevia Extract In The Raw for sharing this awesome product with me and and with you too!
For your chance to win a box of 50 packets of Stevia Extract In The Raw please follow these simple rules. The first rule must be followed in order to win!!

  • Tell me how you would use Stevia Extract In The Raw in your lifestyle.
For more chances to win:
  • Follow my Blog or tell me that you already do.

  • Subscribe to my RSS feed/ or let me know that you already are.

  • Go to Stevia Extract In The Raw website and choose a recipe you would like to try using the product.

  • Follow me on Twitter (sidebar access)

  • Tweet about this giveaway ( 1x/day)

  • Blog about this giveaway linking my blog and Stevia Extract In The Raw website and link back

**You have quite a few chances! This giveaway will run through 11:59pm of Dec. 14th and the winner will be announced by the afternoon of Dec. 15th. The winner will be chosen by using from all valid entries and will be contacted via email. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me before they forfeit their prize. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Good luck!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

News You Can Use....Raisins for energy

High energy gels are very popular as pre-exercise energy boosters. The products are high in simple carbs, convenient and fit easily in a gym bag or pocket. They are also expensive! I use them when I run and they range from $1.29- $1.59 depending on the brand or any sales. This can add up quickly when I start running higher mileage and need more fuel. A San Diego State University study showed that raisins had the same effect as an energy gel for increasing blood sugar and preventing fatigue during endurance exercise.
No difference between the comparison of the gels and raisins existed in the performance test, blood sugar, insulin, lactate or blood fats. Raisins are an inexpensive pre-exercise carbohydrate source and work as well as commercial gel-packs.
I have yet to try this out, but i might! I am so used to doing what I do ( gels and sport beans) that I am not sure I am ready to let go of my already formed habits.
I thought it was an interesting study nonetheless!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (kind of)

I I have been slacking on my pictures as of late. I need to get on the ball. So I snapped these pictures this morning of the kids as they ate breakfast.

Miles has his bowl of oatmeal and grapes. Notice his raincoat bib as my older brother calls it! He was in a good mood this morning (whew). Amara was trying to keep her eyes wide for when the flash went off. Ha! I think it was a trick she learned while watching America's Next Top Model- although she can't watch it anymore!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Sharing Feast

Amara had her Thanksgiving Sharing Feast yesterday in kindergarten. The kids were instructed to bring a snack plate to school to share with the class. They made pilgrim hats, finger puppets and place mats to celebrate. She had been excited all last week about this celebration.
During her Halloween Celebration back in October she really indulged on all of the goodies offered. She admitted to having 2 cookies, 2 cupcakes and lots of candy and juice. I asked her if she thought she maybe had too much junk food and her response was " well what did you expect? It's a celebration!!" Oh, well excuse me 5 year old. I mean she did have a point! I just know that we limit the junk in our house and I hate to think of her not having any self control when the decision is all hers. That's the image I had in my head. I left it alone. The next morning her stomach was not in the best shape. She guessed right away the reason for this...The Halloween Celebration was to blame! She actually mentioned she knew why her tummy was not feeling so well. I am glad she figured it out on her own.
So anyway this brings us back to yesterday's feast. I do my grocery shopping on Sunday and of course I forgot to purchase her snack to pass. I had to go back later that night. I let Amara pick the snack. I totally expected her to say cookies or something of that nature ( and I was going to obey!) To my surprise she asked for TLC Kashi Crackers to pass. Umm...ok...Yay! I was very happy that she choose a healthy snack all on her own without me suggesting it. She was actually excited to be sharing a healthy snack with her friends and teacher. She mentioned that she heard the other kids discussing the kinds of cookies and candy they were bringing in and thought that a healthy treat needed to be added.

After school she was eager to tell me what she had at her feast. She had 1 cupcake, 1 cookie, Kashi crackers, popcorn with no butter ( she was quick to point out that this was healthier than the kind with butter), and cheese cubes. Not too bad if I do say so myself. Very proud of her and of myself (I guess) for not making it an issue before the feast! I guess she actually does pay attention to her parents! Good to know....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pillsbury Simply Cookies Review

Yum! I love baked goods! I was out shopping the other day and came across these pre made cookies from Pillsbury. I bought the Chocolate Chip package. They were on sale for $1.99 I think normally $2.50 for 12 cookies.
Pillsbury® simply...™ Cookies
Made with just the simple, wholesome ingredients you and your family know and love. This peanut butter cookie dough is made just like you would make at home: same ingredients, same process, and same joy in every bite. Simply pop in the oven and enjoy!

*0g trans fat
no high fructose corn syrup
no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

We use the same ingredients you use! Some of the wholesome ingredients in simply...™ cookies include:
wheat flour
brown sugar
baking powder
pure vanilla extract
all natural semisweet chocolate chips
peanut butter
skim milk

I am not saying that these cookies are healthy by any stretch of the imagination! BUT..if you want to indulge in some good cookies every now and then I would for sure get these. There is not as much "bad stuff" in them as Pillsbury or the other brands pre mixed cookies. I am not a cookie expert, but I did not see a difference at all in the cookies pre made with the "bad stuff"

They also make a Peanut Butter kind that I will be getting next. I love cookies!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Halloween candy, and other holidays filled with goodies...

I know Halloween is over and done with, but I was curious.

How do you all give out candy? How much a day do you allow? Are you more lenient during the holidays when it comes to junk food?

My kids get up to 2 pieces a day. Usually one, after dinner if they forget to ask about it after lunch!
I find myself being more relaxed during this time...with them and myself!

Naughty behavior gets them NONE!!

Just curious.......

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (kind of)

Amara is a true outdoors girl!

Strike a soon as the camera comes out...she is ON!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

More TV talk......

I came across this in my daughter's newsletter that is distributed once a week. I think I need to try this out.

If you want to limit your child's TV time, try this idea:
Every week give him seven slips of paper. Each is good for an hour of TV. Remind him to plan ahead. For example, if he wants to watch a movie that is 2 hours long on Saturday, he'll nee to save an extra ticket during the week.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Season of Giving.. 365 days a year!

After reading my friend Krys's blog today Musings From Mom School, it got me to thinking about ways to teach my kids about giving to others in need; especially around the holidays. Although I would like to make it a life-long lesson..not just a holiday one.

There are a lot of Spend/Save/Give banks on the market for kids. It's a great teaching and learning tool to get them to understand that whole concept.

After they have accumulated money it's time to figure out who to give it to.

Here are some great charities that you might consider.

Operation Smile:

It gives to children in developing countries with cleft lips.

$240 funds one surgery

First Book:

Gives age appropriate books to preschools in low income neighborhoods

$2 buys one book

Give Kids the World:

Provides terminally ill kids with and families a cost-free week long vacation.

$25 provides a welcome package

There are many many others out there..all you have to do is look!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (sort of)

They grow up so FAST!! Amara and Miles as newborns.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Educational TV for kids

My kids pediatrician says not to watch TV or play the computer for over 2 hours a day for my kids. I would like to say that I wish I abated by these rules all the time, but I don't. I admit it. We have gotten a lot better especially since Amara's Doc asks her how much TV she watches! She tells the truth! I try to do 1 half hour program in the morning and then the kids eat breakfast and I turn the radio/TV ( not videos) on while they eat and then it's still on afterwards.

The same goes for lunch time and dinner. Now that Amara is in school and Miles naps during that time, the TV is rarely on for that 3 hours.

It's after school that I am dealing with. The kids get one 30 minute show when Amara gets home and then I try to turn it off. I say try because it's usually around dinner time then and I am in the kitchen and they both want attention. Coloring gets old and Amara can sometimes have enough of her little brother! It's not everyday that I give in to the idiot box, but on some days it just seems unavoidable!

I came across an article in Children's Health Magazine called
"Grading the TV Teachers".

The Top picks were:

Sesame Street

Beakman's World

Between the Lions

3-2-1 Penguins!


The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

Fetch! with Ruffman, and Teen Kids News

What to avoid:

Curious George

The Replacements

That's So Raven

The kids don't watch any of these shows except for Sesame Street! I have only heard of a few of the others.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Herbal Cleanse: Day 6-10

I have not been posting about this because there is nothing really new to say!
It has been going really well. I forgot to weigh in for the past few days so I will do that tomorrow morning. I also start a 14 day metabolic nutrition system tomorrow as well.I might as well fess up. I am now a distributor for a sports nutrition company and I am using their products so I can at least know what the heck I am talking about..and to know if I still want to sell them! So far so good.
If you want to know more..just email me at: OnTheSpotHealth@gmail.comThe 10 days was pretty painless. The 5 lbs weight loss "stuck".

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

How to make your own hand sanitizer

I saw this in a blog that I frequent : Prissy Green for LOTS of green things and giveaways too!
I have not made it yet, but plan on getting the ingredients soon so I can.


Staying safe this halloween- the flu and H1N1

With all the the flu and specifically H1N1 scare in our community there are many concerns on how to still have fun while staying safe and healthy this Halloween.

A few tips I heard on my local morning news station:

Clean the kids hands with sanitizer in between every few houses.

DON'T let kids share Halloween masks for any reason.

Don't share candy.

Wear gloves while handing out candy.

If at a party..provide utensils for serving snacks (ex: salad tongs for chips/pretzels etc.)

I thought these were some good easy tips and just wanted to share.


Happy Halloween

Herbal Cleanse: Day 3, 4, 5

Things have been going really really well with this.
Since starting I am down 5 lbs. Though that was not my ultimate goal..I will take it!
I only have 5 more days to go and then I will move onto the next phase...Metabolic Nutrition System. Sounds scary!
Not really!! I am excited to try it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Herbal Cleanse: Day 2

The herbal cleanse is going well. I like it so far and really do have enough energy to get through the day. I was mostly worried about that. I have heard horror stories about the lack of foods during a cleanse and some are a lot longer than 10 days. I can't imagine. The fiber drink is growing on me too. It's not that bad. Really........
I checked and I am "down" a little over a pound from yesterday morning. So I guess that's a good thing although it's not the main reason for me to be on it- I'm not going to lie, it's definitely a bonus. 8 more days left..let's see if I can make it!

Monday, October 26, 2009

10 Day Herbal Cleanse: Day 1

I started my 10 day herbal cleanse today. So far so good. I was a bit scared to do it, but I am sure I will be just fine!
The purpose of a cleanse is to prepare your body for continued healthy eating and lifestyle. People might choose to do a cleanse before they start a new eating plan or diet.
This herbal claims to thoroughly cleanse your kidneys, liver, intestinal system and colon. The cleanse provides anti-inflammatory effects that reduces aches and pains.
I had to drink the fiber drink this morning which was interesting. It was kind of like drinking not so strong creamy orange juice with the pulp with a bit of roughage. I am not sure if you can imagine that, but it was not terribly gross. It was not something I would crave, but whatever. I can do it.
I still eat food which is a good thing. I have heard of cleanses that you barely eat. I do not feel hungry either. I have had lots of raw veggies and I will have some more fruit for a snack later tonight. Upped my water intake as well. The things I am doing now will just lead me to continue with good habits; that's the plan anyway!
So far so good......

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Honey Don't Cough!

I have had an annoying cough for a few days/nights. I am not sure if it's allergies or a cold or what. It might just be the change of the seasons getting the best of me-who knows.
But I do know that for 3 nights in a row I have taken Honey Don't Cough and I have not coughed myself awake since! So happy about that. This product is just not for kids, it's for adults as well. You have to take 2 packets, but I would rather eat this then some nasty tasting, weird ingredient, over the counter medicine.
This product is getting more and more recognition in more stores. So take a look and see if your store carries it. If they don't, ask them to!
This is GREAT for kids too. My kids love it and it WORKS!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Busy day,grocery shopping and lunch time!

My kids and i were in a major hurry on Tuesday. I usually do my grocery shopping on Sunday. Alone. With coffee. I like to take my time. Well I was busy running a marathon and the last thing on my mind was grocery shopping on Sunday night or even anytime on Monday for that matter!
This brings us to Tuesday. The kids and I went to the gym and at the last minute I decided to chance it go to the grocery store. The problem was that Amara still had to eat lunch before going to school.
We ran home so I could throw her lunch together and raced to the store.
She and Miles shared a rather large baggie of grapes from isle 1-5. This was her appetizer! I also packed her a sippy cup with a lid. I was not sure she would drink out of it because it was not a "big girl cup", but she thought it was kind of fun. Whew--crisis averted!
Isle 6-8 was a few breakfast cookies. I am not sure why they are called breakfast cookies, but they are made with oats, whole wheat flour, almonds and cranberries and taste really good. She and Miles just call them cookies. They had fun figuring out the animal shapes since most of these were broken.
After that she finished her water and we were in line with about 15 minutes to go before she had to be at school ( which was 3 minutes from the grocery store!) I had the cashier ring up the 2 kids Clif bars that I bought so they could munch on them while in line. Miles was a chocolate mess! Amara was actually FULL from her grocery store lunch!
I am glad I decided to do this instead of cop out and go to the drive thru as I almost did!
Sometimes it's not the most conventional thing, but as busy parents we have to do what works!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (kind of)

The kids and I had some fun at a few parks this past weekend!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Autumn Leaves Giveaway EVENT

Head on over to Musings from Mom School and look at her incredible giveaways!!
There are lots to choose from. I am sure you will find something you want to win. I am sure you will find LOTS of things you will want to win!! There are 11 different giveaways--it ends on Oct. 18th

Fun contest...Please vote for my cuties!

Vote for my kids in The Cutest Baby Contest..please!

They are #1 and #2

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Being sick bites.

I have a cold! I thought it was allergies at first and then when my 24 allergy meds "wore off" within 10 hours I knew it was not the case. Phooey! Head cold type symptoms. Running nose, sneezing with minimal coughing. I am kind of glad I have this now and not later. I am running a marathon in 2 weeks so it's nice to get this cold stuff over with!
I am drinking loads and loads of tea just because it makes me feel warm ( I am FREEZING). I am also a hand washing fool so I can keep these germs to myself and not share them with the rest of the family.
I can say that I have had worse colds so I should thank my lucky stars for this one is just a minor setback. I just wish as a mostly stay at home mom I was able to take a vacation day so I could sleep in and stay in bed all day while watching mindless TV!! Is that too much to ask?!? :)