Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit Review and Giveaway

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It’s not groundbreaking news that breakfast provides us and our kids with the nutrition and fuel our bodies need.  And we all know that eating oatmeal and other whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet and promote overall good health.  But, busy mornings and finicky kids can make it hard to find the time to make something that is both nutritious and delicious.

Did you know that*…

  • Nearly 60% of U.S. parents of children ages 3-17 admit that their child skips breakfast, with more than half of U.S. Moms wishing their child ate a more nutritious breakfast.
  • 58% of U.S. Moms say they skip breakfast regularly. 46% of Moms who skip breakfast say they do so because they do not have enough time to prepare or eat it.
  • 57% of single adults say the number one reason they skip breakfast is that they don’t have enough time to prepare it.
  • While 71% of U.S. adults agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, 67% of those admit to skipping breakfast.

*Results of 2011 Children’s Nutrition Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for Seneca Farms

During the school year, our family is pretty good about eating breakfast. Oatmeal or cereal during the school week, and heartier breakfasts on the weekends. Come summer time, we start to slack off. I’m not really sure why either. We tend to have lots of doctor and therapy appointments scheduled for the summertime. I schedule the “biggies” for summer to minimize the amount of school absences. We do most of our yearly check in with specialist during this time and most of those specialists are about 2 hours away. That means early mornings and long days. I know Faith and I get cranky if we don’t eat a good breakfast. For Jon, breakfast is even more important since it can set the whole tone of his day blood glucose wise.

This needs to change. We need breakfast every morning.

When I was given the opportunity to review Seneca Farms new Oatmeal and Fruit Cups, of course I agreed!

From Seneca Farms:

“Just launched in April, it is the perfect choice for anyone who has trouble finding time for breakfast in the morning. In less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee, heat the six-ounce microwaveable cup – no milk or water necessary – in the microwave for 45 seconds. Seneca’s Oatmeal & Fruit has no trans fats or cholesterol, and is a great source of Vitamin C.”

When the packages arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to read the ingredient list. Short. Top 3 are water, diced peaches and thick cut oats. Through the top of the cups, large pieces of diced peach and in the apple cup, diced apples are visible.

The first one we tried was the Vanilla Peach. 45 seconds in the microwave and it was ready. We peeled off the top and it smelled just like fresh ripe peaches. The texture was a bit more liquidly than we are used to having our oatmeal, but it worked well with the large chunks of peach. The vanilla was not overpowering but a nice compliment to the peaches.

The Apple Cinnamon was next. Same 45 seconds in the microwave. We peeled the top and were struck by the scent of very sweet fresh apples. This one seemed to have more liquid than the Peach Vanilla. The taste was defiantly spot on. But. The texture was off. It was too “liquid” not enough “oatmeal” for my families tastes. If felt strange. More like chunky applesauce with bits of oatmeal.

Since the Peach Vanilla was such a hit, I thought I would try getting more opinions regarding the Apple Cinnamon. I sent some in to work with my hubby. His directions were to find someone willing to try it and to give me an honest review.

Hubs co-worker Jim was up for it. His emailed review “Apple  & Cinnamon – was too sweet and consistency is odd.  Not quite what was expected for oatmeal.  More along the idea of applesauce with oats added in but not oatmeal.”

The Peach Vanilla is going on our next shopping list. It was a great solution to a busy morning. I think we will be skipping the Apple Cinnamon though. New flavor combinations are launching in the future and I will be trying them. :)

Want to try them for yourself?

One reader will win a 2-pack of each flavor of Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit!

Mandatory Entry

Leave a comment below telling me about your child’s favorite breakfast food

Extra Entries (1 comment per extra entry)

“Like ” Seneca Farms on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SenecaSnacks). Then come back here and tell me you did so.

“Tweet” about this giveaway on twitter including @SenecaFarms and then come back here and leave a separate comment.

Subscribe to Mommy Rambles and let me know you have done so by a comment bellow.

This giveaway is available to US residents only and will end on July 31, 2011 at 11;59 PM EST. Winner will be drawn from all comments by Random.org. Winner will be posted Aug 1, 2011 and they will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.

“This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.”

My John Hancock


SodaStream Review and Giveaway

WINNER

 

 

 

 

As a mom to a type 1 diabetic, I may be a bit more carb conscious than your average mom. A product that recently caught my eye was the SodaStream. This awesome little device lets you make fresh bottles of bubbly soda, tea, tonic and flavored water at a fraction of the price of store bought sodas. And at a fraction of the carbs! Not to mention the amount of room you can save in your pantry or the environmental savings of not tossing away bottles of empty soda. I was recently given the amazing opportunity to try out a SodaStream Jet and a variety of flavors with my family.

The Unpacking

The unpacking of the box was a bit like Christmas. The variety of soda syrups covered almost every taste in our house. The set up instructions were very clear and easy to follow. Even for me. 😉 We used this nifty appliance for approximately two weeks and I have to say, I am hooked. I am not a “fizzy” person. My oldest son loves his extra fizzy. We can make our soda right to our individual fizzy level. It is so simple to use. We recently had a BBQ and a friends 9 year old son made his own soda with just me watching. He thought it was “The coolest thing ever!”.

Here is a visual step-by-step of how to make a fresh soda using the SodaStream.

Taking it outside

The very first thing I wanted to highlight was that this requires no electricity. I’m not sure why, but this surprised the heck out of me! The SodaStream can come along wherever you are. Picnic, tailgating, camping. To start with, you take a SodaStream bottle filled with plain water that has been chilled. We keep several ready to go in the fridge now. We purchased additional bottles. The half-liter bottle is shown. The SodaStream comes with a liter bottle. Next chose your flavor. For this demonstration, my son chose Orange Mango.

Attaching bottle

Take the chilled SodaStream bottle filled with water and attach it to the white dohicky thingamabob and screw it on. Not too tight, but have a good seal.

Bubbling it up

Now the fun part. By simply pushing the button at the top of the SodaStream you magically turn your chilled water into a fizzy, bubbly creation! This is my kids favorite part.

Removing our soda water

Now you tip the bubbly water out of the SodaStream and slowly unscrew it.

We chose Mango Orange for today

Now that you have a bottle of cold fizz water, you get to flavor it up. Or not. Your choice! Jon chose to use the recommended amount of Orange Mango syrup for a half-liter bottle. That is half a capful. At that rate each bottle of syrup will flavor 25 half-liter bottles. That’s 50 servings.

Gently pour your flavor choice into the freshly made soda water.

Now slowly pour your chosen flavor into the bubbly water, cap it and gently roll your bottle around a bit to mix it up. (Full disclosure. Jon did not pour slowly and this one bubbled up all over!)

Gently mixed and ready to enjoy. Less than 2 minutes.

Cleaned up and mixed up. In less than two minutes you have a freshly made bottle of Orange Mango soda at a fraction of the price and quadruple the fun.

I figured the helper should get to help with the drinking part also.

As with all the SodaStream flavors we have tried so far, this one was a hit! My personal favorites are the Green Teas.

Mommy Rambles and SodaStream have partnered together to offer one lucky Mommy Rambles reader their very own Fountain Jet Soda Lover’s Start-up Kit (approximately $100 retail value). It includes the winner’s choice of black/silver, white or red/silver Fountain Jet; CO2 which makes over 100 liters of soda; 1 reusable carbonating bottle; a sample pack of flavors and 3 full-sized flavors of the winner’s choice.

Do you want one? Of course you do! One entry per comment please. :)

Mandatory Entry

Hop on over to SodaStream and tell me in a comment below what color you want your Fountain Jet and what 3 flavors of syrup you want to try. (1 entry per person please)

Extra Entries

“Like” Mommy Rambles on Facebook. (One entry)

“Follow” SodaStream on Twitter. (One entry)

“Share” this contest on Facebook or Twitter. (Up to two entries per day)

This giveaway will end on July 24, 2011 at 11;59 PM EST. Winner will be drawn from all comments by Random.org. Winner will be posted July 25, 2011 and they will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.

Good Luck!

MoJo Soft and Snuggly Blanket

 

 

 

 

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WINNER 

Any blanket that has the words “soft and snuggly” in it’s name has a lot to live up to.

Last December as part of a Klout Perks program I was given the opportunity to receive a MoJo Soft and Snuggly blanket.

Soft? Snuggly? Blanket? December? YES PLEASE!

The blanket was delivered on a really cruddy day. Faith was sick. And not her normal Familial Mediterranean Fever sick, but full on flu. She was feverish, chilled, throwing up, lethargic, crying, miserable. I opened the blanket, glanced at it, then tossed it on the table and went back to snuggling my sick girl. As luck (?) would have it, moments later she threw up again. All over her “blankie”. (For those just joining us, Faith has autism. She gets very attached to her blankets. They are her security object and she likes to be covered most of the time. It helps her feel safe and gives her a place to hide when she is overwhelmed.)

After getting her cleaned (and the couch, and me, and the floor….) I remembered the MoJo Blanket that had just been delivered. I usually don’t use fabric items until after they have been washed at least once but there wasn’t time for that. I sniffed very carefully, there was no funky smell or stiffness so I went ahead and covered her with it right from the package.

Oh my GOSH! The SOFT! I was impressed with the plushness of it. So fluffy and snuggly! But most all new fleece blankets have this feel.

Life, and the flu, continued. The flu made it’s way though the house during a miserable 3 week stretch. Our Mojo blanket quickly became the favorite blanket. In the three week time frame it was washed at least once a day. On one particularly memorable day, it was washed and dried 3 times. I would say it was washed and dried at least 30 times. And it still looked brand new.

We had another just purchased blanket in rotation during this same Flu-a-paloza. It was purchased from a major retailer and felt just as plush and snuggly. At first. After about 10 washes, the other blanket started feeling a bit rough. The snuggly factor was lessening. As more time, and more wash cycles, have passed, the differences between the two blankets has became  more and more obvious.

Since that time, we have put our MoJo blanket through the wringer! It has been washed, drug on the floor, had both red and blue popsicles melted on it, been crushed in a car door, thrown up on, commandeered by the cat, spent time in a hospital…..well, you get the idea. And it still looks and feels brand new.

That, solely in and of itself, makes this blanket a top pick in my opinion. But wait….there is more. MoJo stands for Moms and Jobs. By purchasing this blanket, or any of MoJo’s products, you are helping to support a wonderful cause.

Who We Are: Moms and Jobs, Inc. (MoJo) is a newly formed social venture, headquartered in Boston, whose objective is to address the issues facing mothers who are poverty-stricken. By providing freedom from the strain of daycare costs and a new career path for this underserved demographic, MoJo enables a new start for moms who desperately need it.

Understanding the Problem: The economics of single-parent family mean that single mothers are disproportionately represented among the poor. Among U.S. households headed by single mothers, 33% live below the poverty line, compared to 12% of male-headed families. Overall, women with dependent children comprise two-thirds of the poor population, a phenomenon referred to as the “feminization of poverty.” A major part of the problem is that daycare costs for even one child can consume the majority of a woman’s salary, making it feel difficult to justify returning to the workforce from a personal and financial standpoint.

Creating a Solution: MoJo exists to create sustainable employment opportunities in the apparel manufacturing sector for this underserved demographic, and is utilizing the proceeds from your purchase of a MoJo product to provide better than minimum wage salaries, a chance at a new career path, and more importantly, freedom from the prohibitive daycare costs that keep so many mothers from re-entering the work force and being able to support themselves and the families that need them.

How You Can Help: You can help by shopping our MoJo products, all of which are made by MoJo moms. Proceeds go directly back into the MoJo business, helping to provide jobs for moms who really need them. In addition, social media and word of mouth are critical to our success- so please,“like” us today on facebook, and tell your friends how they can help create jobs at MoJo by purchasing MoJo products.

I am proud to be able to offer my readers a chance to win a MoJo Soft and Snuggly Blanket ($46.00) of their very own. This blanket is being generously provided by MoJo. You know you want one!

Mandatory Entry:

Hop on over to MoJo and tell me which color you would like to have your Snuggly Soft Blanket in if you win. Post your color choice in the comments below.

Extra Entries (1 extra entry per comment!)

“Like” MoJo on Facebook (1 extra entry)

“Like” Mommy Rambles on Facebook (1 extra entry)

Share this giveaway on Facebook (1 extra entry per day)

Tweet about this giveaway (1 extra entry per day)

This giveaway will end on July 11, 2011 at 11;59 PM EST. Winner will be drawn from all comments by Random.org. Winner will be posted July 12, 2011 and they will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.

Good Luck!

 

My Memories Suite

And the winner is #4 – Wife of a Sailor!

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I am scrapbooking failure.

There, I said it.

I have the best of intentions. Really. I do.

But my scrapbook pages always end up looking like a kindergarden art project. I take that back….they look worse than a kindergarden art project.

(Hanging head in craftymom shame)

I figured I would be a perfect test subject to try out digital scrapbooking software. There are a lot of programs out there and I had no idea which one would work for me. (Read: Tech illiterate and impatient) When I was given the opportunity to try out My Memories Suite, I figured I would give it a go.

Downloading to my Mac was very easy with clear step by step instructions and installing it went without a hitch.

I opened up My Memories Suite and did not read any instructions. Yes, you read that right. I dove right in attempting to make a digital scrapbook with reading any how-to’s. Within 10 minutes I was finding my way around within the software without any problems. Several times after I clicked a button, I had to yell to hubs, “Hey! Come check this out! Look what I just did!”

In 15 minutes I had created an entire album.

All milestones are something to celebrate, document and treasure. In special needs families, that is even more true. Milestones are hard won. The birth that didn’t go quite as we expected? The first birthday that we weren’t sure we would be able to celebrate? The first step that was the result of months and months of Physical Therapy? The first taste of a new food after being G-Tube fed only? Starting school? (Sniffle, sniff, I’m starting to tear up. Let’s move on)

MyMemories has generously given me the opportunity to give away a copy of this fun-a-licious software to one of YOU, my lucky readers. ($39.97 value)

Mandatory entry: Cruise on over to MyMemories and take a look at Digital Scrapbook Kits. Come back here and post in the comments below which kit is your favorite.

Extra optional entries: (1 extra entry for each one. Just post in the comments below. One comment per entry)

“Like” MyMemories Suite on Facebook

“Follow” My Memories on Twitter

“Share” this giveaway either by Facebook or Twitter (2 extra entries per day!)

Want to get your hands on this fun and powerful software? You can purchase My Memories Suite  now at MyMemories using a special discount code just for my readers! $10 off code: STMMMS236 (Code is good only for 10 days from today, so hurry!)

Giveaway ends June 27 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be selected via Random.org. I will contact the winner. Winner will then have 48 hours to get back to me or another winner will be chosen. Mommy Rambles was given a copy of this software to try and review.

My First Giveaway! Let’s Get This Cooking – The Pioneer Woman Cooks

You know you want it

UPDATE- I don’t think this is a surprise to anyone considering how many times she entered…LOL

Kathy P, you won!!

Ok, I think I made those hints in my last post way too easy! I’ll be sure to be a bit more vague next time. See, I’m already learning.

This cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, has rapidly become my family’s favorite. We have yet to try a recipe that we did not enjoy. My own personal copy of this cookbook is tattered and splattered. I’m not a neat cook. 😉 I hope the winner will love their copy just as much as I love mine. The nitty-gritty of how to enter is below.

Get busy!

Mandatory Entry: Go take a peek at The Pioneer Woman’s recipes and leave a comment below telling me which recipe you love, or would love to try. (Mine is Chicken Pot Pie!)

Optional Extra Entries: (leave 1 comment per entry)

  • “Like” Mommy Rambles on Facebook —> Mommy Rambles on Facebook (one entry)
  • “Follow” Mommy Rambles on Twitter —-> Mommy Rambles on Twitter (one entry)
  • Tweet the link to this giveaway (Up to 2x per day, one entry per tweet)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook (Once per day, one entry per share)
  • Subscribe via RSS feed to Mommy Rambles (one entry)
  • Subscribe to Mommy Rambles via email (one entry)
  • Blog about this giveaway, including a link back to this page (two entries)
This giveaway ends on June 15th, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. Random.org will be used to determine a winner who will then have 72 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is open to US residents only. The cookbook offered in this giveaway has been purchased by me. In no way have I been compensated for this giveaway.
Good Luck!!!

Happy Dance!

I’m almost afraid to say this out loud, so I’m going to whisper…

(Faith slept all night long. In her own bed.)

For the first time. Ever.

Now, the cat woke me up twice so although * I * did not actually get a full nights sleep, it gives me so much hope for the future.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, I’m going to give you, my new readers, a chance to get an extra entry into my giveaway that starts on Friday.

How? That’s the easy-peasy part.

I’m going to give you a few hints on what I’m giving away, then you guess in the comments what you think it is.

You can guess as many times as you want, but only one guess per comment! You may submit guesses until 6/03/2011, Friday, at 8am PST. If you guess right, you will get one extra entry into the giveaway that kicks off on Friday. One extra entry per person.

Here is your hint:

***It is mostly orange and green, square-ish in shape, and it contains about a billion calories.***

This guessing game starts….NOW