Healthy Living with BioGaia Probiotics

"What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?" George Elliot

Yes, I was fortunate enough that Mountain Man brought home this sweet nothing/everything :) note. However, you know me and I love great quotes. And I love George Elliot. Even more, I love the colossal feeling of joy at sharing life with you and making your life less difficult any time I can. This video I am sharing does just that.

As a Media Mom I am passionate about companies like Everidis Health Sciences. And as a Mom, Carolina Mama, I am excited about healthy living and what BioGaia probiotics can do for my children. You can find BioGaia at your Pharmacy available behind the pharmacy counter, at your Pediatrician's office or online at Everidis Health Sciences. For a sample, follow Everidis on Facebook and request your own.

What healthy living ideas would you like to share this Wednesday? As before, thanks for joining us.
*As the video states, this is a BSM Media client. The opinion and enthusiasm is my own. This post is published at "Works For Me Wednesday!"


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Look Who Sponsored Our Spring Refrigerator Makeover

With the arrival of spring, our family is deciding to not only get the spring cleaning done around the house, but to tweak the diet up a notch as well. My husband and I are always striving to have a healthy, well balanced diet. Along with everything else in life, however, it does need to be brushed up on occasion. Read on, Giveaway at end of post! :)

It really is incredible the difference in how you feel on a daily basis when you eat a nutritious, healthy, well balanced diet along with exercise. They really do go hand-in-hand. There are some awesome products in place to help with the diet transition.

My family was given an opportunity for a refrigerator turnover this week by ICBINB. As you can see, it was time for the weekly grocery run. You can see the middle row by the Brita is the carb shelf... pitas, bagels, tortillas.... No comments please on the lovely mega-jar of "light" mind you, Mayonnaise. Bobby Flay would be so proud! Seriously, that was a result of my fine Triples Coupon Days at Harris Teeters! And my ode to my Southern roots - think: pimento cheese sandwich, tuna salad, egg salad... that list goes on. Hey, I said "light" mayo y'all! (Just don't remind me of this post when I tweet out that I can't figure out why my weigh in is flat. :) So this now...


It's time. This time, however, the goal was to get a lot more fruits, vegetables and other healthier items for the week. We did replace our white flour tortillas with whole wheat ones. Also, reduced fat cheese slices are tasty and healthier.

The I Can't Believe It's Not Butter products are one incredible example of this. I just learned that there is canola oil and Omega 3 in the tub of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!! For those of you who do not like salmon (which we love), this is great news!

We have been fans of theirs for some time now. The ICBINB butter spray is absolutely phenomenal. It really rocks on popcorn, for those of us who love extra butter on that snack. Now we can enjoy it without the guilt!


Yes, the Tigers helped reload the Refrigerator Makeover with me in about ten minutes flat before dinner! So do notice the content not so much the not-so-perfect stacking, etc. :)

It was awesome getting some ICBINB, to go with our asparagus and broccoli. A trick we have been using for a while is to use the spray on bread. (We try to go with wheat when possible). Part of our healthy kick has been to have lots of beans around. They can be used for a variety of chilies and things in the crock pot. We look forward to hosting our friends on Easter to a healthier cooked meal thanks to ICBINB.

Mountain Man has always said, "Everything in moderation."
His theory behind this is to not completely give up some of the unhealthier choices we crave, but to sparingly eat that kind of food. This trick also helps us not to crave the junk as much. Health, diet and exercises are very important to us, and it is wonderful that there are a lot of different ways today to help balance this crucial part of our everyday lives.

* Giveaway: One lucky Winner receives a "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" Kitchen Gift Set prize! to help jump-start your healthy living! It includes:
· Crate & Barrel white porcelain serving platter
· Rubber spatula
· I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter reusable grocery bag
*I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter recipes and information
*Coupon for a free tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
*Stainless steel “not butter” spreader

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter is sponsoring this giveaway and will provided a gift set to one lucky winner (open to U.S. residents only).

1) Tweet the contest;
2) Facebook a link to your friends and fans;
3) Post

** Re-enter each time you do one of these steps! And Good Luck to winning! It's so great!

Thank you "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" for sponsoring our Refrigerator Makeover and the Giveaway! Thank you for encouraging wellness and healthy living for everyone. The enthusiasm here is my own, we love ICBINB and healthy living!

And you? What's holding you back? Here's a recipe just for fun from ICBINB!

Grilled Salmon with Citrus Salsa

- 2 large navel oranges, peeled, sectioned and coarsely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 2/3 cup sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce*
- 4 salmon fillets (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
- 20 sprays I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® Spray Original

Combine oranges, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and hot pepper sauce in large bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and ground black pepper; set aside.
Spray salmon with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® Spray Original and sprinkle, if desired, with salt and pepper to taste. Grill or broil salmon, turning once, 10 minutes or until salmon is opaque. Serve salsa with salmon.
*Such as Tabasco®.


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One Year Weight Watchers Anniversary

Spring is here and it's also my One Year Weight Watchers Anniversary! Really!

Even training for my first marathon - The Marine Corps. Marathon Washington DC 2006 - didn't keep me training for a year! Of course, we could say a lifetime of jogging and loving to exercise brought me to that moment of running the Marine Corps. Marathon. That is another story. And I am happy to share it again here.

However, not only am I thrilled to be a WW member for an entire year, it's a perfect "Not Me Monday!" post because a year ago, I was all "not me" attending Weight Watchers' meetings. Not me, 'sitting' in a meeting each week. After all, movement sheds the pounds not sitting. :)

Nonetheless, here's my "Not me!" I am happy to report yes, "not me" - a one-year Weight Watchers Member! Not me, and loving it! Who knew I would love all of my member-friends. Can I just tell you I have hands down the best leader on the planet!! She is fun, engaging, and informative! Did I tell you we laugh a pound or two off each week in our meetings. She is hilarious!

A year ago, we had settled in from a big move from Washington, DC where my husband's career was in full-swing. Life was full - still is - there it was constant go. We loved every second.

We were blessed enough to move back to the South as we had planned. We were thrilled to move to my mother's native, North Carolina - South, family, beach, mountains, etc. God blessed us immensely.

Then as the business settled down, I had not paid attention to my usual diet and exercise routines. I was ready to start a weight-loss and management plan. It was key for me to have the management incorporated. I know how to lose weight and I know how to exercise -I needed a plan and a management plan long-term.

That March I joined Weight Watchers. I had one thing in mind, to do whatever it took to lose the weight I had recently found. Let me tell you, it has been a lot of hard work and dedication, however, I have loved every minute of it!

Its been one awesome year! Weight Watchers works! I have been on the "points plan" the entire time. It has been a great journey thus far.

Here are a few things I have learned this WW year:

1) I love meetings! Really I said it. The meetings are really fun and informative. Especially if you have the Best Leader like i do;

2) Points System works for me - let's face it eating "as much as you want of anything" is precisely why I was in WW anyway;

3) Filling Foods are eating as God intended! The filling foods are just that. And they are the healthy foods so usually no points;

4) Exercise is fun! Even more fun when you are back in shape!

5) Tracking your points/eating is a powerful tool;

6) Weight Watchers online is an awesome and exciting way to keep track;

7) WW recipes are healthy and tasty and are real foods;

8) Love the Weight Watchers Novelty Ice Cream! It was a real treat to be sponsored by them this year and we love the treats every month! March featured an amazing Mint Ice Cream Sandwich - 2 point joy!

9) Utilizing my online WW Tools is a fun way to keep it interesting.

10) I'm hooked! Stick with it and you'll be hooked and successful, too.

Bonus: All of these activities translate into a measurable weight loss this year. :) I'm happy to be a WW fan! Are you? What are your favorite things about Weight Watchers? Or what are your healthy living tips?

Cheers! Happy, healthy living.


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Family Easter Traditions

We are so excited about Spring and celebrating Easter. We want to share a couple of our traditions that make this time of year extra exciting for our little people. We love the spiritual focus these have.

First of all we love the Resurrection Eggs by FamilyLife! These colorful eggs are a lot of fun for the children. Our boys still love to crack them open and see what symbol is represented and hear the story and accompanying scripture reading. If you get busy, you can make your own by following this video tutorial on ABC's youtube.

Another tradition that the children love is the Resurrection Cookies. Really! Do you see the theme here - we are excited about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. And even more thrilled for His return to earth. About Easter... the Resurrection Cookies are a great visual of the empty tomb. Ideally, you make these the night before Easter and in the morning voila - the cookies are hollow just as the tomb was empty! Our boys were in wonder of this marvel, just like we are of Christ's love for us and resurrection.

You know our family loves music. And Easter music is exciting! We love many songs. Today, I wanted to share this amazing offering of the "Power of the Cross" by some of our favorite singers, Keith and Kristyn Getty.

As for our Easter Cake - I think I have found the solution to this which-cake-to-make-post,
we are going with the Easter Cross Cake. We thought since the Tigers will get Easter baskets and the wonderful Grandparents have already sent big Chocolate Easter Bunnies, we will make a Easter Cross Cake to enjoy with our guests for Easter Dinner. I found this lovely one online and wanted to share this blog where it was posted:

Actually, I have my own version and design in mind spinning off from the Cross cake. What do you have in mind? How do you celebrate Easter?

*This is published at "Tasty Tuesday!" For more recipes go visit and enjoy!


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Home School Field Trip Tips and Ideas

Today was an awesome North Carolina Spring Field trip day!

Here I want to highlight a few Home School Field Trip Ideas and Tips for Successful Home School Field Trips any time:

1) All field trips are not created equally. This is a good thing. There are actually many great field trip options that do not require RSVPs Reservations Tickets and hours of planning;

2) Go Local for a whole lot of flare - i.e. lots of time at the Field Trip Destination. Often whether it is home school friends, private school or public school friends - there is a lot of talk about the hours driven to said field trip. Of course, travel can be a great part of a field trip. The North Carolina Zoo is definitely worth the trip - often. However, you do not have to drive hours away to find amazing field trip options in most areas;

3) Get creative. Whether it is small town or the big city. There are field trips that will teach valuable lessons.;

4) Keep it fun. We always plan on time spent outdoors if the weather allows like it did today! Let play be a part of the field trip too. (especially if you have driven hours to arrive! :)

5) Take lots of pictures. Document the fun and history! Use these in reports once back to the classroom;

6) Keep a list of Key Words and Facts to utilize for writing and reports once you're back to school; and

7) Remember snacks, SPF and essentials jackets. etc.

Enjoy your students and teach them to enjoy their surroundings and learning about new things or times gone by.

* This is published in the "Works for me Wednesday" listing.


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How To Get Free Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's

Today is a fun and potentially calorie-filled day! I thought I would make it simple for you to indulge in Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's free offerings. That's right!

Starting with my beloved Starbucks...

Get your Coupon and get to Starbucks by 10:30am or while supplies last. Good luck!

Next stop -

Ben & Jerry's ! Yes, Ben & Jerry's is offering their "Free Cone Day!" What a warm Welcome for Spring and faithful customers. With Ben & Jerry's the one thing you will need is ... no not a coupon... patience. Get ready to wait in line while you whittle down your flavor choice! The offer starts at Noon and goes until 8pm.

If you have that lovely Southern charm and feel the need to RSVP - let Ben & Jerry know on their Facebook Fan Page!

Are you going? What are your favorite pastries? Favorite ice cream flavors? Let the fun begin!

*check the store links above for a store near you!

Have fun!


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A Betty Crocker Birthday!

We had the best of times planning the Betty Crocker Birthday Party! Remember "The Birthday Interview!" Thanks Betty Crocker and MyBlogSpark for party supplies like the Flip Video, Betty Crocker Gift Card, Cake Supplies Coupons and party plans. They went swimmingly.

Disney Birthday With Friends

Thanks to Betty Crocker and a new Flip Video Cam, we have had a terrific b-day 1/2 a month of celebrating the Tigers 9th b-day. We had a blast celebrating in Orlando, where the Flip was used for one of the birthday celebrations.

At home, on their actual birthday, another party! And Mom & Dad suprised the Tigers with DESSERT FIRST!!! What can I say, Birthday Cake before Red Robin!

They loved choosing their Cake combinations. In the end, they are setting their own traditions. I have a Vanilla classic cake lover and a Chocolate cake lover. This year they both went with the Chocolate icing. Since this was the finale of a long Birthday Celebration complete with Disney and Mickey and more - the boys had dreams on their minds. Dreams of being Astronauts...

and Dolphin Trainers. So Carolina Mama went with the simplicity factor and well, here are the Cakes we all loved - even the neighbors!

That is always a treat, but especially so on the big day! We always go for 2 separate cakes. That way the boys can go for the individual tigers interests and wishes!! We went ahead and enjoyed them before going to Red Robin, also a birthday favorite. I must say I could get used to the idea of the dessert first. ;)

And wow, how does the time go!! It seems only yesterday the Tigers were infants, toddlers, now young boys on the way to becoming young men. Incredible. Enjoy every moment, big and small.

Thanks again Betty Crocker! You are our tradition!

Because Betty Crocker! is so wonderful - they are offering one of my readers their own Betty Crocker Birthday Cakes party pack.

Giveaways here are simple:

1) Post about it and enter a comment entry below;
2) Tweet about it and enter a comment entry below;
3) Facebook about it and enter a comment entry below.

Good luck! This is very fun for you and your family!

What are your birthday traditions? As a Mom, what is your favorite Cake to make? Are you a Betty Crocker Mom! :) I am!


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Winner and Heaven!

Little House Musical Giveaway winner is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-03-22 02:19:29 UTC

Congratulations! Beth in NC!! Please email me your information and I will get it to Little House and they will send you your lovely gift pack! :)

All the best!

And since it is a Blessed Sunday - love this candid talk by Steven Curtis Chapman talking about Heaven . Enjoy!


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Happy Spring!

My First Spring Photo :)

We made it! What a Winter it was. Can I tell you how much I adore seasons. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter! They are amazing and wonderful each and every one.

Happy Spring! So glad we made it - there for a while we were really wondering as this Winter was a long one. Makes you really appreciate this first lovely Spring day! We're back to our family bike rides which we love. The boys are so much bigger this Spring.

Didn't we just buy them larger bicycles....

This week they ran a 5K - in thirty minutes! Just last Fall - Thanksgiving - we trained for a 1 Mile Fun Run which they ran in 8 minutes. Now a thirty minute 5K. I am thankful for healthy agile growing boys. Yet, I would love to stop the hand of time.

LIke when we were in "It's A Small World" for their birthday last month, I just wanted to lock time right there. And keep the Tigers ... a small world. :) However, I am really excited about this new season as a family and outdoors... so we're off to bike.

And I leave you with this Martha Stewart's inspiration of Spring.

Lovely Pink

Cute Easter Egg Cake

Spring Table

This is the one I am going for - just like my Mom used to make for us. Stay tuned...

Easter Bunny Cake

Happy Spring to you and many blessings as well. What are you doing this first weekend of Spring?


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Little House on the Prairie Musical Raleigh North Carolina and GIVEAWAY

You know we are an Arts loving family.... We were thrilled to be sponsored for the Little House Musical. Thank you Broadway South for the Front Row Seats!! We were spoiled! And the Tigers loved hanging out/over into the Orchestra during the intermission!

Coming to you live from the Performing Arts Center of Raleigh, North Carolina. Just after the amazing and professional "Little House on the Prairie Musical!"

"Restoring our faith in the future by recalling the stories of our past
Little House on the Prairie has remained one of the most popular and beloved celebrations of early Americana since the appearance of Laura Ingalls Wilder¹s popular classic book series 70 years ago. Now the inspirational stories take on a brand new frontier in an uplifting new musical. Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura for 10 years in the much loved television series, continues her legacy by starring as Ma. Families will continue to fall in love with these life affirming stories about the Ingalls' struggles and triumphs through the celebration of the pioneering spirit and the core values on which this country was founded a spirit that resonates within each of us today."
Read more @ "Little House on the Prairie Musical!"

After the show, the Tigers got to get pictures with several of the actresses.

It really brought tears to my eyes to see Melissa Gilbert as "Ma." She was phenomenal. Little House was such a well delivered Musical. The singing talent was top-notch. And the dancing was awesome. The Little House Musical is playing in Raleigh, North Carolina through March 21st.

Enter the Giveaway: The prize pack will include a Little House Musical logo t-shirt (large), a signed poster, a bonnet, a bookmark, and a tin cup. This Giveaway will be open until Sunday, March 21st 10:00pm EST.

Enter to Win by Giving Back - Share this link with all of your friends any of these three ways/ one entry per method of sharing:

1) Blog about the Giveaway with link;
2) Facebook the link; and
3) Twitter the link.

*Please leave your comments below. Thank you Broadway South for Sponsoring us to the "Little House Musical." Incredible!

Are you going to the Little House Musical in Raleigh?! Let us know in comments - along with your entry to win the Gift Pack! All the best!


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The Man of My Dreams - Happy Birthday!

My life has been blessed beyond measure by the Man of my Dreams!

He is all that! And more! He takes me to the Opera - Phantom is our thing!

He is an incredible Father to our Twin Sons!

He teaches Responsibility - in this case, the "Honor System" at the Pumpkin Patch!

He's a leader and raising these Little Men!

He has an alive Faith! We enjoy family time after an awesome Sunday at church together!

He takes time with our sons...

Individual time...!

We love the outdoors - the Mountains, the Beach - to Travel as a family!

We get time together! Just us... sometimes! :)

We love to laugh and have fun!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mountain Man! The Man of My Dreams - I thank God for you every day! :)


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