Friday, October 24, 2014

Encourage Your Family to Eat More Veggies with Birds Eye and Melissa d’Arabian! {#ILikeVeggies}


My kids just eat TOO MANY vegetables, how can I get them to stop? Said no parent, ever.

In a perfect world, broccoli would taste like chocolate and kids would beg for just a little more cauliflower with dinner... but alas, that's not the case. Instead, parents from coast to coast spend meal after meal trying all sorts of methods of encouraging, pleading, hiding and more in order to get their offspring to consume their veggies.

In fact, did you know that 9 out of 10 people in the United States do not get the proper amount of vegetables (according to The State Of The Plate report)? That means that it is far more than just kids that need the extra reminder to eat up!

While my kids are actually pretty good veggie eaters, I'm still loving that Birds Eye has helped make the whole process easier by partnering with Melissa d'Arabian, celebrity chef, mom of four, and host of FoodNetwork.com's web series The Picky Eaters Project, to make a difference and help moms with the dinnertime dilemma!

Melissa d'Arabian

Everyone knows it can be tough to get a balanced meal on the table every day and Birds Eye frozen vegetables help by providing nutritious, tasty veggies that kids love. Together, Birds Eye and Melissa are combining their expertise in getting children to eat more veggies while promoting the Step Up To The Plate project.

Step Up To The Plate is Birds Eye's long-term commitment to reshaping kids' veggie perceptions and getting children to like veggies for life and I'm all for it! I have long made vegetables an integral part of our meals and, combined with modeling how much I love them, my girls have nearly always accepted vegetables without whining or complaining.

In fact, when I was browsing Melissa's videos (she's got a great collection of recipes and suggestions), I found that I was already partaking in most of the tips that she listed:
  • Introduce new foods slowly, pairing them on the table with familiar flavors.
  • Mix up the vegetable types that you serve and the flavors in your recipes.
  • Look for alternative vegetable occasions, including breakfast. Veggies aren't just for dinner!
  • Get picky eaters excited to eat healthier foods by by involving them in the meal preparation.
  • Fresh or frozen, it is important to incorporate veggies into every meal.
I often let my kids pick the Birds Eye vegetables that they would like from the store as well as which ones they want with dinner and that has never failed to make them excited to chow down!

Birds Eye vegetables
I love the time-saving easy convenience of the Steamfresh line!

You've really got to check out the full collection of videos, but I especially love this one and the way that Melissa not only gives great tips but that her recipe for Pan-Sauteed Orange Chicken with Broccoli looks quick, easy and delicious!


I also really like Melissa's video on incorporating veggies in with breakfast (whether breakfast is in the morning or your family is having breakfast for dinner), as that is the meal in which we typically have the least vegetables (if any).

I'm now on a mission to get these two more excited about having any one of the delicious Birds Eye veggies mixed in with our breakfast dishes!

Birds Eye Steamfresh

In the meantime, we've not only been including vegetables in our usual recipes and sides, but we've been trying out some of Birds Eye's suggestions as well. I let my girls be in charge of selecting which of their recipes they wanted to have for dinner and, sure enough, they were happy to dig right in to their Veggie Stuffed Pizza Pockets!

Veggie Stuffed Pizza Pockets

These handy little pockets are filled with veggies and cheese (and can be dipped in marinara, which we found was just the right accompaniment) and my kids had a blast helping with the mixing, stuffing and folding.

Even though we initially weren't sure how the flavor combination of these would turn out, they really are extremely tasty!

Pizza Pocket recipe

With so many vegetable blends offered year round at affordable prices, Birds Eye makes it easy for parents everywhere to make veggies more commonplace on their table. They have something for every taste bud... plus more!

Be sure to head over to BirdsEye.com to find out more about their tasty products, browse their large selection of recipes, see how to fill half the plate with veggies in fun and simple ways and much more. You can also connect with Birds Eye on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to continue the conversation even further.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Aflac Sports Safety Tips and the Ultimate College Football Experience Sweepstakes {#AflacSweeps}


While my kids seem to have received many of my husband's good qualities (e.g. intelligence and caring) as well as a few genes of mine that I was happy to pass on (e.g. good teeth and an inner drive to never give up), I'm still trying to figure out where their lack of coordination came from.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting either one to compete in the Olympics or make a career out of their favorite sport, but is it too much to ask that they not hurt themselves by walking into the wall? Or falling off of the couch? Or tripping on air?

Therefore, as much as I love encouraging my kids and enrolling them in all sorts of classes, activities and sports so that they have the chance to discover where their passions may be, it's nearly impossible for me to not constantly worry about their safety. I'm telling you, the possibilities when it comes to the injuries or illnesses that they might end up with are endless!

Fortunately, there are companies like Aflac that understand the stress that parents like me experience. Through their Sports Safety Tips, Accident Insurance Policy and more, they make it easier to relax and know that no matter what, they will be there to help keep families from getting sidelined all season long.

Aflac logo

Is there anyone unfamiliar with Aflac? This Fortune 500 company provides individual and group voluntary insurance products that help deliver protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For nearly six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress.

Therefore, when it comes to putting parents' minds at ease, Aflac knows that accidents happen and wants to make sure that families everywhere are covered with supplemental insurance to help ease the financial stress. Without health insurance, the average cost to treat a broken leg is over $10,000, so now imagine the cost of a serious back injury!

On the other hand, supplemental insurance can help cover all sorts of expenses that may not be fully covered by major medical insurance, such as broken teeth, concussions, emergency room visits and lacerations.

Of course I don't want to think of either of my children getting hurt in these or any other manner, but combining their natural clumsiness with the inherent dangers that occur in any sport or activity and it just makes sense to be prepared!

kids soccer
Little Sister B, soccer star.

Along with offering voluntary insurance plans to help provide peace of mind and cash benefits, Aflac's Sports Safety Tips for football are important lessons for all ages and all sports.

To help children learn how to keep things as safe as possible, pass along these great tips:

Wear your gear! Even though some equipment may look optional, it is important to wear all necessary pads and safety gear each time you play.

Follow the rules. In the heat of the moment it is easy to forget, but there is a reason why there are actions that are illegal - they can be very dangerous to the player and their opponents.

Listen to your body. If at any point you feel pain or discomfort while playing, notify your coach and get out of the game. While sitting on the sidelines is one of the most difficult situations a player can face, pushing through injuries increases the severity and keeps you out of action longer.

Follow the doctor's orders. Always listen to your doctor's suggestions and advice on when you can return to any activities following an injury and what you can do to stay fit and rehab the injury in the meantime.

girls soccer
Is that an elbow being thrown? I'm not sure that's legal!

Speaking of Aflac and their love of sports, they are currently running a season-long football campaign – which includes the Aflac Duck's new commercial as well as a partnership with the Heisman Trophy – that you're going to want to enter: the Ultimate College Football Experience Sweepstakes!

If you are the ultimate college football fan then this #AflacSweeps is for you! Three lucky fans will win a trip for two (including round trip airfare, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and a $500 prepaid debit card), a pair of tickets to one of three college football games in November, a chance to meet Desmond Howard and more. Winners will be announced Oct 28th, Nov 4th and Nov 11th, so be sure to enter once every 24 hours on Facebook (for bonus entries, share on Twitter)*!

Desmond Howard Aflac Duck
Desmond Howard and the Aflac Duck!

Ready to find out more about Aflac and everything that they have to offer? Head over to Aflac.com and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

How do you help your children stay safe while involved in sports and activities?


*CONSUMER NOTICE: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Open to legal permanent residents of 50 U.S. states and DC, 21 or older, who have Internet access and valid email address prior to 08/28/14. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds and prize descriptions, click here: https://www.facebook.com/aflacduck/app_143103275748075. This sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Twitter. For a winner's list (after 11/10/14), visit the Ultimate College Football Experience tab of this page or mail request to Aflac "Ultimate College Football Experience" (Specify Winner List), Media Relations, 1932 Wynnton Road, Columbus, GA 31999. Sponsor: American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Join Believe in Heroes to Raise Funds and Awareness for Wounded Warrior Project {#BelieveInHeroes}

Wounded Warrior Project logo
I'm participating in the 2014 Believe in Heroes® blogger campaign and received compensation as part of the program.

There will always be opposing viewpoints on the issues that face our country. Democrat vs republican, pro-life vs pro-choice, right to carry vs gun control... the list goes on and on.

However, no matter which side you stand on when discussing whether or not we should be sending troops to war, there is no denying that those Americans that do serve our country are true heroes. The sacrifices that they and their families make each and every day are incomparable, from the time spent away to the possibility of experiencing life-altering injuries.

Similarly, most veterans and their families are faced with a variety of challenges once they return to civilian life, including both physical injuries as well as those you cannot see, like post-traumatic stress disorder. Don't we owe it to these incredible men and women to show our support?

The answer is yes and right now it is even easier for all of us thanks to Believe in Heroes raising funds and awareness for Wounded Warrior Project.

support your heroes

A national cause marketing campaign, Believe in Heroes brings grocery retailers, trusted brands and shoppers together to raise funds for Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization founded in 2004 whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors and serve injured service members for their lifetime.

Believe in Heroes was established in 2010 and, now in its 5th consecutive year of raising funds, the campaign has generated $16 million for Wounded Warrior Project. That money has helped enable the expansion of its critical veteran programs that now directly serve more than 40,000 injured service members.

So, how can you get involved? Through three easy ways!

First, you can do your part while taking on the common household task of grocery shopping! Simply visit Believe in Heroes and head to their coupon portal, where you'll be able to download over $25 in savings (coupons are available through 11.30.14, or while supplies last) on brands you'll already be stocking up on during your next shopping trip.

We're talking brands including SunnyD, Brawny, Campbells, Purina, GERBER, Duracell, Jimmy Dean and more, so why wouldn't you want to grab a coupon or two (or 20)?

Coupon

Second, purchase your own Believe in Heroes merchandise in stores or online so that you can show your support to those around you. From a license plate frame to a ballpoint pen to an apron set (and many more), there is a piece of gear that would make a wonderful gift for the family and friends in your life.

Third, share social media posts supporting Believe in Heroes and Wounded Warrior Project! Use the hashtag #BelieveInHeroes and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, while encouraging your friends to do the same.

What are you waiting for? Find out more information on the Believe in Heroes campaign, how/where to shop, what great money-saving coupons are waiting for you and more by visiting WoundedWarriorProject.org.

If you need a little inspiration, while you're there take the time read many of the incredible Warrior Stories to see what heroic soldiers you might be helping by taking part in this campaign. It's time we all made a difference!

Believe in Heroes campaign

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#LetsTalkBums with Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths {Get This Coupon!}

 Cottonelle logo
This post is sponsored by Cottonelle but all thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Last spring my family took an amazing European vacation and getting to see my kids' faces as they experienced places like France, Italy and Spain was pretty incredible. Plus, along with seeing the sights, tasting the foods and immersing ourselves in the cultures, the whole trip was educational on a multitude of levels.

But while there was nothing awkward about teaching my kids a few words in French or discussing the history of the Roman Colosseum, I did have to overcome my desire to squirm when, time and time again, I had to answer curious questions about this particular aspect of our Barcelona apartment:

bidet

Even after we sorted out the expected Look! There are two toilets in our bathroom! confusion, the questions about the purpose, utilization and usefulness of a bidet just seemed to blow their minds. Do we really need to continue to have conversations about bathroom routines and poop and having a clean bum while I'm on vacation?

What's more, once we had finally finished discussing the intricacies of the bidet and the way it was designed for the ultimate in clean and freshness, we returned back to the good old U.S. of A, where our bathroom doesn't include anything of the sort. What's a kid (and her parents) to do?

Enter the Cottonelle Care Routine!

Cottonelle Care Routine

It's all about the combination of Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths and Cottonelle Clean Care Toilet Paper and the way that together they make up the unbeatable wet+dry system. We use wet wipes on babies and the Europeans have their bidets, so doesn't it make sense that the rest of us should be utilizing Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths to have the cleanest bums possible, too?

Here's the deal. We already know that Cottonelle Clean Care Toilet Paper is strong and effective and provides a tuggable, huggable softness. However, pairing it with Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths results in the ultimate in clean!

These Cleansing Cloths feature SafeFlush Technology, so they not only offer you a confident clean but also start to break down immediately after flushing. They are sewer- and septic-safe, alcohol-free, come in a convenient OneTouch dispensing tub and are great for the entire family!

Cottonelle LetsTalkBums

Isn't it time you joined those of us feeling totally fresh, clean and confident with the wet+dry system? Unless you're moving to Europe or remodeling your bathroom anytime soon, it's time to equip your home with Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths and Cottonelle Clean Care Toilet Paper!

But, wait! Why not save a little money at the same time? Visit the Cottonelle website today to download a $1.50 off coupon so that you can keep your wallet a little fuller while you experience the awesomeness of Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths for yourself!

Cottonelle coupon

Have you tried Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths? What do you think of the wet+dry system?