My new favorite toy

Fitbit ChargeFor my birthday, I asked for, and received a Fitbit Charge. I just thought it would be something to help me get some more steps in, and maybe see how I sleep. 

Boy was I wrong. This has revolutionized my life. I’m like in love with this little device. Here’s why:

My iphone is synced with the Fitbit and when someone calls me, the Fitbit Charge vibrates. For someone who can never remember to turn their phone back on after turning it off at night, this is HUGE! No more missed calls. And, if I’m in a meeting, I can look down at my wrist and instantly see if I’m getting a call I need to take, or one I can let go to voicemail. 

The Fitbit Charge does much more than this. I actually really like the app interface, although I don’t use all of the features. In time, I expect I will. The only thing I don’t like about this is the quality of the plastic on the screen. I’ve always had to buy expensive watches as I flail my arms when I walk, which means cheap watches always had scratches and/or cracks. After just a few months wearing my Fitbit, it looks like it’s been through a war zone. 

My next quest is to find an upgrade (without buying an Apple watch) that will show me my text messages. I don’t want to see my emails. But I would love to see my texts. Anyone know if there’s one out there that does that?

By the way, I received no compensation from Fitbit for my post. I just thought this was the most fantastic bonus feature of any electronic purchase I’ve made in years, and wanted to share the knowledge with my readers. 

Be my friend in the Fitbit community here.

This tricky thing called being a Mom

magic johnsonLate last week, while having a “cough” discussion with my 13 year old daughter, I realized I was slowly becoming my Mom. And, in this instance, I was mortified. Our discussion focused around her choices when it came to school work. It then moved onto to career choices. She said something along the lines of, “Mom, nothing I decided to do/be when I grow up is going to be good enough.”

Silence. Sobering silence. She rendered me speechless which is a rare thing. All weekend long, this conversation kept on creeping back into the front of my thoughts. What am I doing? Continue reading

Make afternoon snacks delicious and rich in protein.

I don’t know about you, but this summer has gone by waaaay too quickly. It doesn’t help that the district we live in changed the school calendar for the upcoming school year, and consequently shaved two weeks off of this summer. With camps, summer school classes for my over achiever, and just some good old fashioned summer fun, we’ve been running non-stop since the beginning of June. 

My kids are both carb junkies. While the occasional carb is okay, tucking into a whole box of crackers or a bag of chips isn’t a good snack habit for them to get into. So I have to watch what I buy, and where I place it in our fridge and pantry area. What’s up front, is what will get eaten first. I’ve been trying to be more thoughtful (and sneaky) in my choices as I would prefer that they leaned towards more high protein things. 

Shamrock FarmsEnter Shamrock Farms and their single serve milk varieties – regular, strawberry and chocolate flavored. I normally don’t buy chocolate or strawberry milk for my kids as we try very hard to not be a HFCS house, so learning that Shamrock Farms uses real sugar earns them a gold star frm me! Not only are they an easy size to keep in the front of the fridge, but Shamrock Farms takes healthy snacks (and meals) to heart on their website. They have some really cute, and fun, ideas for pairing a healthy snack with a carton of their protein rich milk. 

Since Shamrock Farms is now available at Walmart, and I’ve been a frequent visitor to my local store trying to check everything off the back-to-school lists, my kids and I decided we should give some of the recipes for snacks a try. 

Over the course of the past week, we made three different snacks. I talked to them about having them available after school, and they were excited to hear we could make these again, and try some of the other ideas/recipes that Shamrock Farms suggests as well. 

IMG_4762First we put together Fruit Kabobs. I’m a lazy fruit kabob person–I purchase the already mixed fruit packets which can be found in the refrigerator section in the fruit and vegetable department at Walmart. This way, I know I can purchase a nice variety for my kids without breaking the bank and worrying about wasted food. This one we followed the recipe loosely as you can do this with any/all fruit. You can find kabob sticks in the garden department at Walmart, and you can get a large bag of them for 88 cents (or at least that’s the price in Cincinnati). 

Fruit KabobsMy kids loved putting their kabobs together, and they then loved eating them. This one is definitely something that can easily be made by them after school without any assistance from me. A win win for us all!

Banana RollsNext we tried making Banana Rolls. This one was also easy to make and easy to eat and perfect with a carton of Shamrock Farms milk. Although the kids could assemble this one on their own, toasting it in a skillet was something that I needed to supervise. But, we found that we could make these ahead, put them in the refrigerator, and they were just as yummy the next day. 

Healthy SmoresOur final experiment was with making Healthy S’mores. My two are apple cutting pros, so with just a little instruction help from me, they were able to do this one on their own. I think it would be very simple for them to recreate on their own. And let’s face it- what’s not to love about apples and peanut butter? adding the granola is pure crunch genius (hope this snack isn’t just for kids!)

I’m really looking forward to this coming school year. And it’s not just because I can kick my kids to the curb to catch the bus. It’s because with the help of Shamrock Farms, as a family, we have a better plan for after school snacks. Since my kids get home hours before dinner, knowing we’ve discussed, purchased, and have in place both healthy, wise and fun choices is a great feeling. They don’t know any different – a snack is a snack is a snack, but I do. Creating good habits that will last a lifetime is important.

Next time you’re at Walmart, be sure to look for Shamrock Farms milk in the dairy section. Currently in Cincinnati, you can find them at the Red Bank and the Eastgate stores. And be double sure to enter their back-to-school sweepstakes to have a chance to win up to $5,000 in gift cards. I know how expensive back-to-school shopping can be, so in my opinion, this is just amazing for them to do this for their customers. Also grab the coupon on their website for $1.00 off four on-the-go milks.

Disclosure: Shamrock Farms is sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed though are mine.