Mom Knows Best

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Serve Delicious Frozen Yogurt to Your Guests at Parties or Dinner

 If you are having a special family dinner or fun party, then it is important to serve a tasty dessert that everyone will enjoy. The healthiest frozen yogurt is available from a specialty retailer who offers an assortment of flavors. You might be looking for yogurt that is made without sugar or that is low in fat, and this type of dessert is difficult to find in a local supermarket. Fortunately, it is possible to find frozen yogurt at an online store that can ship the product to your home in large or single-serving containers. 

Enjoy a Variety of Frozen Yogurt Flavors Throughout the Year

 Many individuals prefer eating frozen yogurt because it has active cultures that can improve their digestion and prevent intestinal discomfort. By providing your guests a delicious bowl of flavored frozen yogurt, you are helping them to maintain their overall health. Frozen yogurt is made in a variety of flavors, including:

• Peach
• Coconut 
• Banana
• Chocolate mint
• French vanilla
• Chocolate macadamia
• Southern praline
• Peanut butter
• Cheesecake 
• Strawberry

 During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, you might want to enjoy additional flavors such as apple pie, candy cane or holly mint. 

Add Toppings to Your Frozen Yogurt Dessert

In addition to serving delicious frozen yogurt, you can provide toppings for your relatives and friends. Great toppings to have for frozen yogurt include:

• Crushed walnuts and pecans
• White or dark chocolate syrup
• Whipped cream
• Sliced or chopped fresh fruit
• Small candies 
• Melted caramel or butterscotch
• Sliced almonds
• Crushed chocolate chip cookies

You can also serve any flavor of frozen yogurt on top of a slice of pie or cake. 

Frozen Yogurt Is Available In No Sugar or Low-fat Flavors 

 Frozen yogurt has a more intense flavor than ice cream, and if you or your guests have never had this dessert before, then it will become a favorite. When you or your guests have dietary restrictions, it is easy to find the best flavors of frozen yogurt that don’t contain fat or sugar. If you are having a special meal for the holidays, then it is a good idea to have a selection of different flavors and styles of yogurt for guests who are diabetics or anyone on a low-fat diet. When you are lactose intolerant, it is easier to digest frozen yogurt because it has active cultures

Holiday Gift Guide For Kids

The holidays are quickly approaching and it is time to think of presents for the kids.

  I like to buy unique yet fun gifts for my boys for Christmas. When I buy a toy for them I research the item as I want to make sure the toy will provide hours of fun for them. I want to be able to help parents buy fun unique toys this holiday season. So I teamed up with several companies who have sent me some toys. My boys will help me review these toys so you can have some ideas for presents this holiday season. I will update this post as we receive new toys.

                                                     Check out this 3D light!

The 3DLIGHTFX  is a cool 3D Deco Light that comes in many different styles. My boys received the Thor Hammer but these lights also are available in comic book, superhero, Disney Princess, sports, cars and more. My boys love how the light comes out of the wall. These LED lights are battery operated and cool to the touch so you can place them anywhere in the room. The light is easy to attach to the wall. The light comes with a sticker that makes it look like there is a crack in the wall. The light adds a special touch to the room during the day and at night when it gives a soft glow to the room making it a perfect night light. Once you see all the selection of these 3D lights you will have a hard time deciding which one to buy.

Product: 3DLIGHTFX
Website (URL):
Category: unique items
3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights are the perfect gift this holiday season.

• They have a full range of comic book, superhero, Disney Princess, sports and car lights that look as though they are popping right out of the wall

• Battery operated

• Cool to the touch LED light and cordless

• Easy to install and comes with a crack sticker for the wall

• Looks cool off and looks cool on.

.Your kids will love having these in their rooms and they're also the perfect editions to a den, family room, man's cave or office!

•Available at Target stores and 

Price Per Unit: $29.99
Purchase Link  

                                                 Check out this cool watch!

This Watchitude  watch is so fun and colorful. Those are cute cupcakes that you see on the slap band style watch. This company makes fun watches for kids in lots of fun patterns like pizza, sports, animals, and lots more. These funky watches have no buckles as they slap onto the wrist. They are so bright and colorful and kids will want to own several of them. I chose the cupcake watch for me as they boys already have a watch. My boys now want one and are drooling over the different designs. I am thinking these watches will be perfect in their Christmas stocking. You have to visit the website to see all the designs that these watches come in. Even the boxes are fun!

Product: Watchitude
Website (URL):  

Category: stocking stuffers
Collect ‘em all- Watchitude offers tons of funky designs and limited edition collectibles

• Durable materials- Zinc Alloy case with glass crystal and quartz movement

• Water resistant- Splash proof, withstands rain, sweat, and splashing

• Excellent quality- Slap band, super thick material, comfortable feel

• New Patent Pending Technology- Brilliant photographic quality printing and durable glossy finish

• Non-toxic- SGS Certified safe for kids and 100% lead-free

• Beautiful Unique Colorful Textured Gift Box- Great for birthdays, holiday gifts, milestones and other special occasions

• Easy setup- Instructions to set the time, and a 1 year, replaceable standard watch battery

Price Per Unit: $21.99
Purchase Link  

One company that sent us toys is Geo Space. They sent us a couple of active toys that can be used indoors or outside. I love their unique toys as they encourage kids to be active. Their toys are geared for kids ages 5 and up. My younger boys and my teen enjoyed the two toys that they sent to us. My boys loved shooting the rockets and they went very far. The Ski Skooter was hard to use on the grass but did work on the snow. When winter comes the Ski Skooter will be fun with the snow.

Product: Pump Rocket Air Archer
Website (URL):
Category: Toys
Description: The new AIR ARCHER, with its flexible, bow-like arm, dramatically increases the power of the PUMP ROCKET® launcher. You won’t believe how fast and far these foam rockets will travel. To operate, simply pull back the launcher piston, stretching the elastic bow string attached to the ends of the bow. When it’s fully drawn back, let go and…WHOOOSH!!!, the rocket goes screaming off into space at near Mach speeds. Okay, maybe a little slower than that, but still impressively fast. Kids will be amazed.
Price Per Unit: $25.99
Purchase Link  

  Product: Ski Skooter
Website (URL):
Category: Toys
Description: The amazing SKI SKOOTER from Geospace opens up new worlds of exploration for young riders -- snow for one, but also grassy hills and even sand dunes! The Skooter works on flat terrain as well as hills...just leave one foot on the board and push with the other, using the handle for balance and directional control. In dry, deep snow, Ski Skooter acts like a snowshoe, allowing riders to float on the surface.
Price Per Unit: $49.99
Purchase Link

  The second company that sent us a toy was Plasmarttoys. My boys already have several fun toys from this company. My boys own a PlasmaCar and a KickFlipper. These are toys that they play with weekly if not daily, so we were excited to try out their FunSlides Carpet Skates. The skates were easy to put on and my boys had a blast sliding on the carpet. My boys did circles around the dining room table and upstairs throughout the bedrooms. I liked that they did not damage the carpet and that the skates also fit my feet so I was able to join in on the fun. These skates will be great for when it is too cold to play outside so my boys can burn off that extra energy.

  Product: Fun Slides Carpet Skates
Website (URL):
Category: Toys
Description: FunSlides Carpet Skates started a whole new indoor toy and game trend. Like sliding in socks on a hardwood floor. FunSlides Carpet Skates give you that fun-powered glide on carpet! Woooosh!¿..Strap 'em on and away you go.! This pair comes in sleek silver color. They work on any type of carpet and they are carpet friendly. They're great for active play, family fun and active sports. One size fits all. FunSlides Carpet Skates have won the following awards: The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval; Dr. toy 10 Best Active Products Winner; Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products Winner; Creative Child Magazine - Creative Toy Awards Seal of Excellence; Major FUN Award.
Price Per Unit: $19.99
Purchase Link

  My boys are crazy about Legos. They really don't need another Lego set as they have plenty of Legos. The Lego Christmas Ornaments Book helped my boys discover new things to build with their Legos. My boys love the detailed step by step instructions that included colorful pictures. I loved that the instructions also included not only the type of bricks needed but how many. This book is perfect to keep the kids busy during the holiday season. My boys want to make all the ornaments in the book by Christmas so they can decorate the tree with Legos.

  Product:The Lego Christmas Ornaments Book
Website (URL):
Category: Books
Description: Every year, families deck their trees with strings of popcorn, popsicle sticks, and gingerbread—but why not use LEGO. This holiday season, LEGO fans can build lasting memories by making their own DIY ornaments that the whole family can build and enjoy for years to come. With colorful graphics and detailed instructions, The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book is the perfect gift for do-it-yourselfers and crafters. The 15 designs in the book include holiday classics like a wreath, snowflake, poinsettia, Christmas tree, and gingerbread house; fun stuff like a computer, arcade machine, and cheeseburger; and even simple geometric designs like a bow, barrel, and lantern. As author Chris McVeigh explains, "Whether you're looking for a traditionally-shaped ornament or want to add something fun and quirky to your tree, there's something for everyone in this book!
Price Per Unit: $19.95
Purchase Link

 I love toys that teach my kids. I discovered these cool kits that teach kids how to be an entrepreneur. These fun kits give your children life skills while providing them an activity that allows them to earn some money. When I presented this kit to my younger boys, the younger one got excited about being able to make something and then sell it to earn some money. He could not wait to check out the contents in the kit. We received the Treats To Go kit and it included everything that my boys needed to start a business selling some treats. I liked that the kit had detailed step by step instructions on things like finding customers, taking orders, setting the price, and even recipes. My boys and I chose to make some delicious chocolate covered pretzels. The boys decided that they would sell them to friends at church.

ProductVK Venture kits
Website (URL):          

Category:  Educational Toys
Description: Venture Kits turn little ones into real entrepreneurs through experiential learning and hands-on, screens-off play. Our expanding line of entrepreneur-designed, kid-tested business starter kits teach kids valuable business lessons, cleverly masked in fun. From Lemonade Stands and Babysitting to Online Magazines and E­commerce Stores, kids will become real life entrepreneurs and CEOs, creating real products, offering real services, finding real investors, and earning real profits. Venture Kits' unique step by step guide - our Venture Plan - will give them the confidence and know-how to succeed. Venture Kits. Because the next generation of CEOs is sitting right in our living rooms, probably watching 


Check out these cute headphones for kids. My boys tried out the black and yellow pair and loved how comfortable they were. The also come in a pink "cat" style and a red "Christmas" style.

ProductiClever BoostCare Kids Headphones     
Website (URL):
Category: Entertainment
Description: Colorful Theme Kid Friendly Headsets:Colorful and attractive, batman styled and flexible Makes for a good gift for family/friends kids or buy for your own. Good also for KG/pre-school teachers.
+ Kid-Safe Volume Limiting Technology: built-in volume-limiting circuitry that keeps the sound pressure down to levels recommended as safe for young ears and will not blow their eardrums Sound limited to 85 db. Max (Safe for children). Environment-friendly material, RoHs, EN71,CPSIA,FCC approved
+ Soft Overall Quite Lightweight and Durability: kid-friendly portable headphones is durable enough to withstand a lot of abuse, worry-free for any stretch, twist, crunch. Flat cord won’t get tangled easily
+ Custom Designed Fit for Children: nice cushioned earpads and a cushioned headband,safe and comfortable for the kiddos. Made for children 3 years old and up. (Recommended for kids 3-12)
+ Universal Compatibility: Using a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, work with virtually all smartphones and tablets t
Price Per Unit: $19.99
Purchase Link
Christmas Limited Edition:
Cat Ear Headphones:

  I am so excited to tell you about a new item for a holiday gift. This gift is one that the kids receive for six weeks. It starts out with a letter in the mail that includes a map and a key. Then once a week for six weeks your child will get more fun surprises in the mail, each more exciting than the other. This Treasure Hunt gift was so exciting for my boys to receive. They have only received the first gift and I can't show you pictures of them interacting with the items as I don't want to giveaway the mystery that my boys are trying to solve. My boys would catch on if I took pictures. My boys opened the letter and were excited to know that they have a pirate for a relative- Boggybottom Pittman. Now this pirate goes back many more generations than their genealogy loving grandpa has discovered. My youngest son knew right away that the map had some sort of code on it and asked me to look up secret codes online. Once the boys had their code guide the went to work to solve the message on the old crinkled paper. The only problem was they could not figure out the place in the message that began with a letter V. The older of the two, questioned this mysterious letter at first but now he is trying think of places that start with V with four letters. The boys so want to figure this mystery out to find the treasure box that their key will unlock. I am excited for the next five gifts to arrive along with the treasure box that is loaded with the treasure. This item is great for ages 8 and up.

Website (URL):  

Category: Unique Items
Description: Maps, keys, curses, and sharks. Hidden treasure and scheming pirates. It all starts with a letter from a woman half-way across the world who finds an old key and a note from a long-dead pirate who happens to be your Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather. It’s up to you to find the family fortune, but can you keep it safe from double-crossing pirates? Who’s to know when a pirate’s telling the truth, yaarrr?

Mailing #1: A letter from Flora Smart along with a key and an ancient note from your Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather, a pirate with buried loot. It is up to you to you find - and keep safe - the family fortune. And for any double-crossers out there: beware the Dread Pirate Curse!

Mailing # 2: A copy of the latest edition of the esteemed publication “Shark and Pirate Quarterly”, issue #1268, sent by editor and local historian Nigel P. Silver. Pay close attention to the puzzle page - there could be a message for you.

Mailing # 3: A letter from  the curator of the Royal Museum Archives, a (different) key, a business card with a phone number to call and a copy of a treasure map that may be of interest to you. And by the way, if you have something that, perhaps, belongs in the archives, we would really like to have it back. Could you maybe give us a call and tell us what it is?

Mailing # 4: A note from Nigel P. Silver along with an article from issue #148 of the Shark and Pirate Quarterly proving that Flora Smart and her nephew, who happens to be the curator of the Royal Museum Archives, have an interest in treasure of their own.

Mailing # 5:  A second note from Flora Smart - and she's got your map back from Stumpy Joe.  

Mailing # 6: The police have caught the pirates red-handed and they are sending the treasure back to you, the “rightful owner”. 

Price Per Unit: $74.00
Purchase Link

    Keep checking back as I will be adding more toys as my boys and I have fun with them.

"These opinions are my own and I received the above-mentioned products to facilitate this post."

My Healthy Adventure At ShiftCon Healthy Living Conference


 Last week I was in New Orleans for a wonderful conference. This conference was all about healthy living, green living and more. It was a conference that I really enjoyed and I learned so much. The best part of this event was meeting brands and other bloggers who like me, are passionate about healthy living. All the brands at this conference produced items that are organic and GMO-free. The brands had plenty of samples so we bloggers could taste and try out the products. Even the food served at the meals were organic and GMO-free. I met with so many brands and discovered new products that will help my family and I on our quest to live a healthy lifestyle. I thought that I knew everything about the food and products that my family was using but I discovered that I had plenty to learn.

  The first day of the event started with the sponsor hall with all the great brands. I had a chance to talk with many brands about their products. One of my favorite product was a natural deodorant from Honestly PHresh that smelled like creme brulee and it smelled so good. I also discovered sweeteners from Lakanto made from monk fruit that tasted so good and had no calories.There was plenty of great tasting natural organic, GMO-free products to samples. I also had a chance to try some new beauty products that were all natural and chemical free. After talking with the brands about their products, it was time for a great meal with natural organic food. I loved that the event had plenty of food that was vegetarian. I was able to enjoy my food as there was plenty of choices.

   I started my second day at the event with yoga. I learned that yoga can help me build up the muscles in my weak arms. I had only done yoga once and my poor weak arms had a hard time doing some of the moves. Yoga is not for wimps as I discovered with some of the movements. Thank goodness Boiron had plenty of Arnicare samples on hand to help the muscle aches.

Yoga was followed by a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, eggs, oatmeal, and more. At breakfast, there was a wonderful speaker who talked about organic gardening. The speaker inspired me to grow some herbs that are drought resistant. I live in the desert of New Mexico and it is hard to have a garden here but I learned that thyme and sage are herbs that required very little water to grow. When  spring comes I will be growing these herbs. The rest of my day was filled with learning events and more time with the brands in the sponsor hall. Another brand that I discovered was MegaFood. This company makes supplements out of food, not chemicals, and my favorite at the conference was the Multi & Healthy Bone. This supplement helped me to unwind at the end of the day and fall asleep fast as it contains magnesium. I recently discovered that magnesium is not only great for bone healthy but also good for helping one to relax.

The last day of the event had another yoga session that was harder than the other day as it was HIIT yoga. That was yoga with cardio. I did fine with the cardio part but the yoga part was tough for me. My boys loved the hat that Rebbl gave us after the yoga class along with their wonderful drinks powered by plants.

My last day also had more learning, great speakers, delicious meals, and oysters. This was the first time that I ate oysters and they were quite tasty.

This great conference ended with JP Sears. If you don't know who is, you need to watch some of his videos on YouTube. This guy is a comedian life coach guy who makes videos that poke fun at people who are vegan.  JP Sears had all of us laughing. This is a photo that I got of JP talking with Molly's Sudds. Molly makes this great peppermint scented natural laundry detergent and when she told JP that she wants to work with him, he said something about cleaning and pants and Molly thought it was hysterical.

I had so much fun at the ShiftCon conference and brought home so many good products that I am excited to share with you. Here is a photo of some of the wonderful products that I received. Over the next month or so I will have some wonderful posts that talk about many of these products. I also have some healthy recipes in mind that I will create with some of these products. I will also let you know when the next ShiftCon conference will be and when. I will be making plans to attend the next ShiftCon as this conference was amazing.

  I leave you with my last photo of the conference. I had asked a rep from AstaReal to take my photo and when I looked at it later, I thought it was so funny that the other rep photo bombed me. This company gave me samples of astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant, to take for 30 days. They told me that it would help my endurance with my running and help me to get faster. I am excited to see if it works for me as I want to reach my 8-minute mile goal.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Don't Let The Cold Interfere With Kids Playing Outside

The post is brought to you by Activate by Bloglovin and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
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The leaves are changing colors and the weather is getting colder. When it gets cold outside people tend to stay indoors. Parents think that it is too cold to take the kids outside and then complain about them having way too much energy. Playing outdoors is still ok when the weather gets cold, in fact, playtime outdoors is very beneficial to your child's development year round. So bundle those kids up and get out and play. All their running around will keep them warm. I like to take my boys to the park near our house. We play at the park year round. The other day it was cold outside but the boys and I put on warm coats, hats, and gloves. I did not let the cold stop us from having fun. When the boys are playing at the park, I like to use this time as my exercise time. They play and I do laps around the park. When I am done with my laps, I then join my boys on the swings and slides. Climbing with then is fun too. It is a great way for us to get some healthy exercise and some fresh air. 

 I find that my boys behave better after playing at the park or going for a bike ride. My mood is also so much better after I get my exercise with my boys. I call exercise my happy therapy. Exercise also helps my brain work better too, I tend to do my best think while on a run chasing my boys on their bikes. This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play. The Voice of Play was formed to educate and promote the benefits of children’s free outdoor play and playgrounds. The Voice of Play, an education and advocacy initiative of the non-profit membership association IPEMA (International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association),wants parents to know that physical play has proven social, emotional, and cognitive benefits. I know that a good run lifts up my mood and helps me to think better so a day of having fun at the park will do the same for my boys, even in cold weather. So bundle up the kids and get out and play with them. If you join in, you will stay warmer than sitting on a bench. You too will reap the benefits of play.

 This cold day was making my boys wish for snow so the could make a snowman. We don't get much snow here so when it does snow the boys go outside no matter what the temperature is. I am thinking this winter we might have to drive to the mountains and have fun sledding in the snow. This mountain trip would be a perfect break from the busy holiday season. I will join in the sledding fun as long as there are hot cocoa and cookies afterward. I remember as a kid sledding at the nearby park and how much fun it was. The cold never seemed to bother me either.

What kind of play do your kids enjoy on cold days? Do they love the snow like my boys or do they enjoy playing at the park? 

So go check out the Voice of Play website and learn more about the benefits of play for kids year round. Then bundle up and get outside! 

Connect with IPEMA

Monday, December 5, 2016

101 Unplugged Activities for Kids

Times, they have changed.

Today, it seems the moment a kid has a moment of down-time, the first thing they do is grab a device, or plop down in front of a TV screen. Instead of using imagination and creativity to self-entertain, discover, learn and explore, devices do all of this for us.

Kids no longer have to go outside to learn about plants and nature, they can simply download an app or watch Discovery Channel instead. They don’t need to play Lego, they can log into MineCraft and create imaginary worlds virtually.

According to research, unplugged play is not just fun - it’s also essential for kid’s healthy development. Here are some of the reasons unplugged play is so important:

-       It teaches important social and emotional skills required for success in life.
-       It enhances creativity.
-       Cognitive abilities improve significantly.
-       It opens the doors to discover new, lifelong passions and hobbies.

There are tons of great ways to get kids unplugged and having fun. For parents looking to create a bit more routine around screen time to ensure unplugged play happens on a daily basis, check out the OurPact app.

Using OurPact, parents can remotely manage children’s iOS and Android mobile devices through at-a-touch and scheduled blocking of internet and apps. This means parents can set a daily block to kick in at the same time for ‘Unplugged Play’ (or bedtime and homework!), to hold everyone accountable to this healthy habit.

As for what to do once the devices are blocked and put away?  Here are 101 activities to get your kids away from technology, and exploring their creative side, shared by OurPact!

Vegetarian "Meat" Loaf

My husband is amazed that there is no meat in this vegetarian version of "meat" loaf.

   I made this mushroom vegetarian "meat" loaf a while back and my husband loved it. I loved that he was eating a meatless dinner. My previous version was so delicious but contained a lot of mushrooms which are costly. The 2 pounds of mushrooms cost me $8.00 so I wanted to see if I could substitute lentils for half of the mushrooms to bring the cost of this "meat" loaf down. I am happy to say that the lentils worked and this loaf still tasted like the real thing. I think the secret to this meatless meatloaf tasting so good is the spices and the ketchup. The mushrooms and other ingredients give this loaf the texture of ground beef. So if you are looking for a vegetarian option for meatloaf, you need to make this.

Vegetarian  "Meat" Loaf
                Makes 6-8 servings         
                               4 slices wheat bread, torn into small pieces
                               3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing
                               1 yellow onion, finely chopped
                               1 pounds mushrooms, finely chopped
                            1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
                               1 cup ketchup
                               1 tablespoon minced sage
                               1 tablespoon minced thyme
                               1 tablespoon minced oregano
                               2 garlic cloves, minced
                               1 cup walnuts, coarsely ground in a food processor
                               ½ cup instant oats
                               ½ cup bread crumbs
                               2 tablespoons kosher salt
                               2 tablespoons lemon juice
                               ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
                               2 eggs, lightly beaten


1. Preheat the oven to 375ยบ.
2. In a large fry pan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until lightly caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cooked lentils and cook, stirring often, until any liquid released has evaporated and the mushrooms are lightly caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Add 1/2 cup of the ketchup with the sage, thyme, oregano and garlic, and cook, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot until the garlic and herbs are fragrant about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the bread, walnuts, oats and bread crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly.
4. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the salt, lemon juice, pepper, lemon zest and eggs until well incorporated. Press the mixture into a greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and smooth the top. Brush with the remaining ketchup.
5. Bake the "meat" loaf for 1 hour, then place on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving

Mom knows best