Thursday, August 30, 2012

If I could Change My Career Path

Wow, Kat’s prompt today seemed pretty easy to start with. I figured I’d just say, I wanna be “this” and that would be simple enough. Nothing is ever “that simple” is it?

If I could just change my career (which right now I just have a job) it would have to be one that I could ‘magically’ do because I hold no degrees.

Right now, as of today, I’d like to work in Social Media.

Yes, I blog, am on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and…and…and…so it seems like it would be a natural fit for me. I’m a conversationalist, social. But I know there’s more to it than that. You have to have the mind of a Marketer. Which, I’m not sure I have.

I have actually been considering this for the company I work for. They aren’t in Social Media at all. In fact, only in the past year or so have they gotten their website running and in the past few months has it really been user friendly.

I talked to my HR person about a week after I came back from BlogHer, started doing some research, got some really good ideas of how I’d like to handle it, etc. I’ve had help and offers of help from some great people on Facebook and Twitter. Not surprising, right?

1978143_sCopyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

I think about where I am now, compared to where I’ve been. When I was younger, the thought of being a veterinarian was wonderful. I could take care of animals and dogs would lick me every day. It was a delightful childhood dream until I realized I needed to excel in science and math. Yep, that dream went to the wayside.

Unfortunately, I had no back up plan. School was never my strong suit. My favorite classes were library assistant, choir, lunch and my free period. Tells you a whole lot there, doesn’t it? lol What we didn’t realize at the time was I had ADD. It wasn’t really diagnosed when I was in high school.

I ended up becoming a stay at home mom. I didn’t realize it was an “ok” thing to do and that it could actually be considered a career/calling. I just knew I loved it. The only down side to this was I didn’t prepare for “what if”. And “what if” happened. I became a single mom, not once, but twice without a career. I did go to Community College, but truly, my degree is worthless. It’s almost 15 yrs old and it was all these basic classes that mean nothing.

11071413_sCopyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Now for some true thinking about a career path. I would’ve loved being a SAHM my whole life. It was what I loved doing. Now, Social Media has gotten hold of me. I love it. I’m the social part of SoMe! I think I might have to get a degree in Marketing, which a friend told me requires calculus!! UGH! But maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to do this thing and really enjoy my career!

If you could change careers what would you be doing tomorrow?

Mama’s Losin’ It

Writing Prompts:

1.) Share something your child taught YOU about parenting. That I can make good choices…sometimes!

2.) What do you remember most about your childhood bedroom? It has posters of horses!

3.) Tell us about something you broke. My daughter’s heart.

4.) If you could change career paths now and be anything you wanted to be…what would you be and why?

5.) Write a post about your third grade teacher. No clue who that was

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reader’s Digest Taste of Home: Best Loved Recipes

Are you ever surprised at the opportunities that pop up in your life? Let me tell you, BlogHer presented me with some of the most amazing chances to meet people I would’ve never met in day to day life.

Reader's Digest Suite

Reader’s Digest offered me the privilege of interviewing the Food Editor from Taste of Home, Karen Berner. For me, this was an opportunity not to be missed! Unfortunately, the day of my interview, I left my messenger bag in our car. I had none of my notes or my business cards…nada. Not a very positive way to start my interview.Readers Digest Taste of Home Food Editor Karen Berner

This was my first opportunity to see the Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes Cookbook and it was massive! I couldn’t believe how many recipes and photos must’ve been chosen to make the book so large!

Taste of Home

When I entered the suite, they had cupcakes that were made from the cookbook for everyone to sample. How can you pass these gorgeous treats up? I certainly didn’t.

Best Loved Recipes

So, I sat down with Karen and began talking about the soon to release (Sept 13, 2012) Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes.

This new cookbook features 20 years worth of recipes and personal stories. As you look through the cookbook you’ll see what year the recipe is from and a quote. You’ll also find quotes in the side bars from those who have tried the recipe!

When asked what her favorite recipe in this 928 page tome was, Karen replied with, "The Cream Orange Coconut Cake.” That had me eyeing the cookbook! lol I know that a food editor can’t actually have one favorite, but that one stuck out to her.Readers Digest Best Loved Recipes

I wasn’t sure how long the process was for choosing the recipes and creating such a comprehensive cookbook Karen said they started about a year ago. The process includes creating each meal and taking photos of it. The pictures will have you salivating!

If you’re interested in submitting a recipe, they’re always taking them. Can you imagine what it’s like to work in their kitchens, trying all the recipes that they choose? I would have to utilize The Digest Diet in conjunction with my job if I worked there!

As I perused the cookbook, I was overwhelmed with all the recipes I wanted to try. Narrowing down the first one was NOT an easy task! I’ll get to that in a bit!Readers Digest Taste of Home

I like that there are nice tips throughout the book. Not sure when to flip a pancake? There’s one appropriately placed with one of the breakfast pancake recipes! I also found the breakdown of categories interesting as well. So many “chapters” I thought were perfect for a cookbook: Celebrations & Holidays, Grand Prize Winners, and Mom Made It Best, as some examples. And under each of those headers are even more specific categories!! Under the Moms Made It Best you can find categories for recipes from Armenia, India and Germany!! I know, you love it, right?

So, I thought it would be apropos for me to try one of the recipes in the book. I can honestly tell you it took me THREE days to finally narrow it down. It wasn’t an easy choice with all the options. I mean, there are 1,485 recipes to choose from!

partly cooked baconBacon-Cheese Topped Chicken

I went with the Bacon-Cheese Topped Chicken. The only thing I can say about this recipe, is that it’s the most tasty chicken I have ever made in my life. It was also juicy unlike the dry chicken we have been used to. I wasn’t actually sure I was going to like the taste because it calls for Dijon mustard and I’m NOT a fan of mustard. Surprisingly, it didn’t taste like mustard at all. It became tangy. And to top it all off, my picky eater, Doodle, at his and said he’d eat it again!

Ready to cook

Taste of Home

Not only has he enjoyed a meal from this cookbook, he’s spent a LOT of time pouring over the recipes! He has made a list of recipes he wants me to make. In fact, he has asked me on a daily basis since last week if I would make Cherry Cheese Blintzes. I haven’t had the ingredients, but I’m going to pick up what I need tomorrow and surprise him by having him help me make them this weekend!

One of the purposes of the Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes is to instill traditions with families and to create new ones. Do you have any recipes that have been handed down through the generations? Are you trying to create new ones with your family?

If you’d like to purchase the Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes online, you can visit TasteofHome.com/blr and follow Taste of Home on Facebook and Twitter.

Karen Berner (@FoodEditor) is the Food Editor at Taste of Home.  Karen has an extensive background in food and wine publishing for both print and digital media, but she actually got her start in the food world first as a Private Chef and then as a Sous Chef for a fine dining restaurant in New England.  Karen holds a degree from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Karen was the Executive Editor for Art Culinaire Magazine and Senior Online Food Editor at Hearst Corporation’s Delish.com and TheDailyGreen.com.   Before joining Taste of Home as Food Editor, Karen was the Food Editor for America’s Test Kitchen’s Cook’s Country magazine. Her great mix of food, editorial and digital experience lends itself well to working with the engaged readers of Taste of Home.

*I have not received any compensation for this post. I received a cookbook at BlogHer for visiting the suite. All opinions expressed are mine and never influenced by the company.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Back to School

Monday was the first day back to school for my boys who are the the big guys on campus as 4th and 8th graders.
First Day of SchoolBack to School Phineas & Ferb The last photo is because I know things are back to “normal”, in that every day when the boys left for school last year, they left the tv on and I constantly found myself listening to it. lol Who can resist Phineas & Ferb? Be sure to visit Full Time Mama as well!

Rubbermaid LunchBlox

RubbermaidToday was the first day of school. My Doodle was up at 6am, an hour before my alarm clock went off. Back to bed time on Sunday went off without a hitch! (wiping sweat from my brow)
So, as with every first of the month we go through the lunch list that they bring home to see what they may or may not eat. It’s kind of a pain in the tush because rarely do they eat the same things. One day one kid eats cold lunch, one day the other does. Then of course there’s the rare day the BOTH eat at school.
RubbermaidThis morning we started off the same way we start every school morning, figuring out what they’re going to take for lunch. Figured out neither boy wanted hot lunch. So, I pulled out the LunchBlox for Doodle.
I also realized the boys hadn’t told me we were out of a several pertinent items like string cheese and yogurt, the two items the boys eat and I don’t. Time to scramble.
LunchBloxThe summer had him eating mostly deli meat and crackers so they went into the Blox. Something I typically forget to send with my boys is a vegetable and the containers were so perfect, something clicked in my brain that sliced cucumber would fit perfectly into one of the smaller ones. He was pretty excited to have it with his lunch!
Rubbermaid LunchBlox
These fit nicely into his lunch box. I was able to fit eve rything into the small cups. Buddy took a pb&j, but since he did his own lunch, he didn’t grab the long, thin sandwich Blox! Hey, I’m not complainin’! The kid is helping me out!image
I found at the store the other day that there are different sets and I plan on getting the one that shows you can take along a salad easily, which would be perfect for me for lunch. I could cut up cubes of ham in one, chopped carrots in another, salad dressing, spinach leaves, and cherry tomatoes!
And some day I hope to have lots of leftovers because right now I cook so little. But when that happens, I love the entree LunchBlox as well! Awesome little containers for those few potatoes I didn’t want to throw away cuz they were so yummy, bacon to warm up over my chicken, etc!

image 
Here’s a bit more about Rubbermaid LunchBlox:
 Modular containers snap together in to save space in your lunch bag

 Kit includes specially designed Blue Ice™ pack that works with LunchBlox containers to keep lunches chilled on the go

 Containers are perfectly portioned for lunch foods commonly carried away from home

 Microwave-, dishwasher- and freezer-safe and BPA-free

 The Sandwich Kit includes a sandwich container sized for regular and specialty breads, two snack containers (perfect for yogurt or nuts) and a snack container (perfect for fruits, vegetables and chips)
The possibilities are endless! Check out this video:


Be sure to follow Rubbermaid on their Social Media sites:
Twitter
Facebook
Adventures in Organization
The LunchBlox Sandwich Kit is currently available for purchase at Rubbermaid.com, Target, Kmart, Kroger, Safeway, Bi-Lo, Winn-Dixie, HEB, other grocery stores and select Wal-Mart stores
The value of the LunchBlox Sandwich Kit as $12.99. This is the suggested retail price. However, prices at retail may vary and are controlled by the retailer.
*I received the product for review. The opinions expressed are my own and never influenced by the company.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Quilted Northern & National Toilet Paper Day Sweepstakes

Before I went to BlogHer this year, I received an email, out of the blue from Quilted Northern® telling me they’d be at the conference and wondering if I’d like to meet with them. Now as I’ve mentioned before about getting personal and connected with people and companies, I was happy to meet with them.

And here, here is where Quilted Northern® stood out from the pack. Being a brand, they asked for my mailing address. I didn’t think twice about it and gave it to them. A week later, a spa package arrived for me! They were already pampering me! ME!

Quilted Northern

So, I got to their booth the first day and immediately was pampered again my having my hands massaged. What a perfect way to start my day! While I was there, I got to meet Anne and Gayatri, the ladies I’d been chatting with. I was so thrilled to actually meet them and not someone I hadn’t chatted with! Really, I think what they’re doing in social media is exactly what’s needed. The people who are doing the talking are the ones showing up!

We chatted for a bit about the company and just life in general. After my hand massage, I was getting ready to leave their booth and Anne pulls out a beautiful plush robe for me. Not only is it the most gorgeous robe I’ve ever laid my hands on, but…BUT, it had my name embroidered on it! I’m still amazed at how personal they made my experience!

Robe

Now, with the upcoming weekend, we have something to look forward to, National Toilet Paper Day. You might laugh that there’s an actual day to celebrate this, but honestly, wouldn’t you celebrate too if you sit back and think of what life would be like withOUT toilet paper? mmmhmmm See what I mean?

Each year, August 26th is the day according to Dickinson College, the first time toilet paper was sold on a roll in 1871.

Quilted Northern® will be celebrating the day on Facebook and Twitter! They’ll be giving away coupons on Facebook and having a sweepstakes on Twitter. They want you to enjoy the day with them so be sure to start following them now to stay ahead of the game and to know keep up with everything toilet paper related!

Quilted Northern Day

For now, head to their Facebook page and get their $1.00 off coupon!

*I have been compensated for this post. All opinions shared are mine and never influenced by the company.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Scotch Expressions Pinterest Contest & 3M Screens for Schools

While I was in NYC I went to a Mom Central party. In fact, it was the first night there. I got off my plane and headed to lower Manhattan. Let me first say, the buffalo burger bites were amazing! Possibly the best finger food I’d ever had. Then again, I hadn’t eaten since that morning and it was now 8pm!
Scotch Tape
One of the brands that was there was Scotch. They had the coolest new line of tapes and dispensers on display. I love how they’re getting artistic with their tapes. No, I didn’t get any pictures taken because I had all my bags packed still and just was too tired.

Now, just in time for school to start (ours starts Monday) 3M and Scotch are having 2 contest. Here are the detatils:
image
Win a cruise for you and a friend in the Scotch Expressions Pinterest Contest

  • Enter through September 14:

    • Follow Pinterest.com/ScotchBrand and pin one photo of an original project you created using Scotch Expressions Tapes and Printed Scotch Shipping Tapes
    • Be sure to use the hashtag #ScotchExpressions in the caption and to email us a link to your pin at ScotchBrand@HunterPR.com
  • Visit the "Scotch Expressions Pinterest Contest" board for how to enter and a link to the official rules

  • For more information:
Support technology in the classroom with 3M Screens for Schools one lucky school has the chance to receive up to $25,000 in new tablets for its classrooms
  • Go to https://screensforschools.3m.com to:

    • Show your support:  Help us reach our goal of donating up to $25,000. We're donating $1 for each person who shows her support and another $1 for every person who shares the message on Facebook
    • Enter your local school: Submit an essay of up to 500 words explaining why the school is in need of new tablets and how they would be used. We're accepting entries through September 12

  • Visit 3MScreens.com for information on 3M Natural View Fingerprint Fading and Anti-Glare Screen Protectors
Be sure to keep up with Scotch around the web at:

*I have not received any compensation for this post. I received the items in the first picture in my swag but it is not in association with this post.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Beach and an Impala

I had a full day, but I could just feel myself being pulled to the beach, even if it was only for a little while. So, I asked my boys if they wanted to go, but only Doodle did. We got to the beach around 5:30 and there wasn’t a soul to be found. It was 81 degrees people and no one was enjoying these dog days of summer.

Doodle and I settled in for a couple of hours of relaxation.
Beach
When we left, I spotted this gorgeous, classic Chevy Impala for only $16K
Impala

Be sure to visit Full Time Mama as well!

Pillsbury Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust #MyBlogSpark

PillsburyArtisan My boys have an affinity for pizza. It’s kind of a staple around our house, especially on the days when I work nights on the weekend.
Pillsbury PizzaA great twist to this is having my boys make their own pizza with the Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust! To make sure they knew how to do it themselves the next time, I got them started the first time.
PillsburyI got a pizza sauce, pepperoni and mixed cheese for toppings. I wish they liked other toppings, but this is what they’ll eat. I might have to get some different meats for next time!
PillsburyThe boys did a great job. They know they can customize their pizza and have fun with their food!
Pillsbury Pizza Crust gift packThe great part of all of this, is I get to giveaway a Pillsbury prize pack to one of my readers! While you're waiting for this giveaway to end be sure to download a printable coupon for $1.25 off one package of New Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain http://bit.ly/PCwWG Enjoy! Be sure to follow Pillsbury on Twitter and Facebook. The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are my own and never influenced by the company.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Diary of a Wimpy Kid #Cbias

In just a few short weeks my boys will be heading back to school. I honestly feel like summer just started for us. It’s not like it used to be when I was a stay at home mom. Now the summers zoom by.
Del Monte Fruit Cups
Next week I plan on taking my boys to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days of Summer. Buddy has read every single book in this series. I know you might think, “yah, so what? My kids have read them all, too.” The thing is, Buddy isn’t a strong reader. He’d rather do just about anything else, aside from chores, than read.

When he actually ASKED for more books in the series I about came unglued with happiness. Buddy was actually excited about each new one that released. Obviously when the first movie released, we went and saw it immediately. DOAWK 2 came out while I was away in NYC.
Del Monte
When we go to the movies, we rarely buy any food at the concession because it’s so blazing expensive. I typically have them eat before we go in so that way they’re good and full! lol Usually it’s a candy bar, but since the boys are getting closer to going back to school, I figured I’d get them in the routine of eating a different kind of snack. Hence the Del Monte Fruit Cups!
doodle and me
This was an easy choice to make. During the summer when the boys are home, I get the huge Del Monte cans of fruit so the boys can eat them over the course of a couple of days. Going back to school, it’s much easier to throw these into their lunch boxes or have them sitting in the cupboard for an after school  healthy snack.
DOAWK drawing
My plan next week is to have them eat a couple of snacks before we head to the movies. I love surprises so I’ll get home to two boys with full bellies, tell them we’re going out for a bit and take them to the movie theater! Yes, they’ll love it and I’ll be a happy camper because I’ll have saved boucoup bucks not getting them snacks there!
Dole Fruit Cups
Now the awesome news is Del Monte DOAWK is having a sweepstakes on Facebook, and yes, I’ve entered to win myself! Also, be sure to follow them on Twitter to keep up with all of their promotions and ideas! An easy way to do that in conjunction with the movie is to follow the #Snacks4WimpyKid
DOAWK Doodle Drawing

Doodle’s drawing of us at the beach
Me: “You know what I like?”
Him: “What?”
Me: “Del Monte cups”

I guess I’ll take the hint and bring some Del Monte fruit cups with us the next time we go to the beach! lol

Do you ever substitute sugary snacks for healthy ones like fruit cups? What suggestions do you have for me to replace ours?
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Del Monte Foods. #Cbias All opinions are always my own and never influenced by the company!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hallmark Suite at BlogHer

Print

Being that this was my first BlogHer, I had NO idea what to expect. Vanessa tried warning me. She was amazing at doing her best to prepare me, but honestly until you’re THERE in the thick of it, you have no clue what’s about to happen to you.

Hallmark Justin BieberThen, you have an afternoon where you can chill out in a beautiful suite like the one we enjoyed with Hallmark. Their suite was beautiful, relaxing and the view, breathtaking.

Hallmark HallmarkI realized at the end of BlogHer, I prefer these small, intimate gatherings over the insanity of big parties. I’m all about getting personal, talking to people…and brands. I don’t want to have to shout over music and other people talking at the top of their lungs. I don’t want to have to wonder if someone is even going to remember me being in the crowd.

So, let’s talk Hallmark!!

Vanessa, Hanan and I were given refreshments to start our time off. We were given a personal tour, yes, just the three of us, with the Hallmark rep! She took us to each station so we could get hands on with their upcoming products…get excited for the holidays people!!

Hallmark Text BandsI was introduced to the new Text Bands (review and giveaway will be coming down the road) Those were sooo cool. I know Doodle will love trying these out with his friends. lol I’ll have to make sure he doesn’t get in trouble at school using them. Neither of my boys have cell phones, so texting with these will have a lot of appeal, especially the Star Wars themed ones!

Ok, personally, I’m sad that my kids are growing up and out of the age bracket for some of the CUTEST products Hallmark has out now. How adorable are these Interactive Story Buddy products?!

Hallmark Interactive BuddyHallmark Bell's Big Move 

And this set getting ready for the Holidays

Hallmark Jingles

Hanan was hysterical trying out the Microphone that turns your voice to sound like an elf. It was awesome!

Hallmark Next we headed into the Master bedroom of the suite and got to check out the Recordable Books. These are perfect for grandparents to read to their grandchildren, parents who travel to read to their kids, or just to have on the bookshelf for the children to enjoy.

Hallmark Recordable Book

Hallmark Recordable Book

And then, one of my favorite items that I came across. So sweet! It’s the Until We Hug Again bear. I love it!!

Hallmark Until We Hug Again Hallmark SuiteOne of the products I forgot to take pictures of are their awesome personalize cards you can make. They have a fantastic selection and I can’t wait to make our for this coming Christmas!!

Thank you Hallmark for a great afternoon!

*I haven’t received any compensation for this post. I received a swag bag while there, but was NOT asked to do anything in return.

 
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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.