My #McDTour Experience

 This is a sponsored post, in collaboration with McDonalds & the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. All opinions are my own. 

_CH_2068Last week I asked y’all if you knew that McDonald’s was (is) one of the largest purchasers of apples in the restaurant industry. Well, they are.  I didn’t know that. That’s one of the reasons I accepted the invitation to go on the #McDTour. I wanted to learn more about the food they make, since I am one of their customers (Filet-o-Fish & Smoothies!)

If you missed my post last week, I told you that in 2012, McDonald’s purchased 90 million pounds of raw apples-and that they’ve actually sold 1.1 billion packages of apple slices since March 2012. Mind blowing, right?! Wait, it gets better.

There have been 530 million individual packages of apple slices served with a children’s meal between Aug. 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013. WOW! I was excited about visiting the Chiquita/Fresh Express Processing Plant, where the apples arrive from the farm and are then prepared for shipment to McDonald’s. I had no idea the magnitude of the operation, until I saw it for myself. We boarded the bus early in the morning, headed to the processing plant. While on the bus, I got to watch a few McDonald’s owners interacting with each other and other members of the media. They were very gracious & sincere, and so enthusiastic about their products. It was refreshing to be around such upbeat & positive folks. _CH_2175

Once we arrived at the plant, we were briefed about the safety measures the plant follows and told what steps needed to be taken before we could step foot onto the processing floor. (They had hardhats for us & everything!) 

_CH_2205 We were broken up into groups and then led to the room where they keep all the gloves, boots, coats and all the gear we’d need before continuing on. Once we were suited up, we washed our hands and then put on gloves and arm gloves, smocks, hairnets, bump caps, & ear plugs. The men had to put on beard nets…hair nets for the beard. Getting our boots sanitized was the last step in the process._MG_0581 When we stepped foot onto the processing floor, I was amazed! First, it’s extremely cold in there, right around 33*-34*. The machines are very loud, we wore our earplugs the entire time. The room was huge and reminded me of a hospital room, because it was spotless- pristine! The machines were cranking out apples… lots & lots of apples! _MG_0662 We were showed the entire process, from unloading them off the truck – to when they get bagged- it was fascinating! _CH_2275_MG_0672_MG_0642_CH_2298Seeing how much care goes into the preparation of the apples that are shipped to McDonald’s really was eye-opening. Watching the apples being unloaded from the trucks, straight from the farm, was reassuring. I knew it was ‘real’ food, contrary to what others may think.  I also appreciate McDonald’s decision to provide more nutrition-minded choices to their customers. 

Knowing how my food is prepared is very important to me, I was impressed with the way Chiquita/Fresh Express runs their operation. I’m glad I had the chance to see the whole process, from beginning to end-with my own eyes. Prior to this visit, I had no idea that I was eating Chiquita apples in my McDonald’s Salads… I grew up eating Chiquita bananas & buy them for my family. Seeing that Chiquita logo was comforting. 

After the tour, we were treated to a delicious lunch, made entirely of McDonald’s ingredients by a couple of terrific Chefs … but that’s a post for another time! Stay tuned…

_CH_2362McDonalds-Kicks-Off-Summer-With-New-McCafe-Smoothie-and-Shake

We Must Talk About Domestic Violence! #PurplePurse

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions are my own. 

 

PrintSince the release of the Ray Rice video, more people are discussing domestic violence. As someone who’s been involved in abusive relationships, I’m encouraged by the dialogue and know it needs to continue. Domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women in their lifetime, that’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined.

Not all the abuse is physical, financial abuse happens in 98% of all cases of domestic violence and it’s one of the most powerful ways an abuser uses to keep his victim trapped. If the victim has no money, or her credit has been ruined-she can’t rent an apartment. She cant do or buy anything- she’s stuck. Feeling like there’s no way out is a hopeless feeling. 

The Allstate Foundation is trying to help. Since 2005, the Allstate Foundation has invested more than $40 million across the country to help victims of domestic violence. They’re investing more than half a million dollars in the Purple Purse Challenge. The more donations each nonprofit receives, the more it can compete for Allstate Foundation incentive funding. Go to PurplePurse.com from now until Oct. 3 to join the Challenge and help a nonprofit near you.BydSGK5IUAENXGp

Actress Kerry Washington has been named the campaign ambassador, and she’s designed a limited-edition purple purse to help raise awareness. The Allstate Foundation is making Purple Purse Charms available for women to hang on their purse’s to show their support. You may pick up a Purple Purse Charm for yourself at any Allstate agency.

FullSizeRender The good news is you can help with or without a purse charm. Please help support the Purple Purse Challenge by visiting and donating

If you know someone that’s being abused, or if you yourself are being abused, please get help! Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (or have someone call it for you!) at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). There is a way out-there are people willing to help you. 

 

*Kerry Washington photo credit Allstate Foundation website. 

My Son Has #OldSpice Swagger! {Money Saving Coupon!} #Combos4Success

Disclaimer: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers and Old Spice. All opinions are 100% mine.photo (2)

There was a time when my oldest didn’t really care about his appearance or hygiene…as a preteen, I’d have to remind him to take a shower. All of that changed right around the end of his sophomore year of high school. All of a sudden, he started to pay more attention to his physical appearance. He started combing his hair on a regular basis, showering, and ‘borrowing’ his Dad’s cologne – that’s when I picked up a few Old Spice products for him, so he could have his own stash.

IMG_7765I grew up with the scent of Old Spice in my home, but let me tell you- Old Spice has changed! There are hip new scents and so many products, this isn’t your Daddy’s Old Spice! The brand recently conducted a poll of 18-35 year old men to find out about some of their favorite manly combinations. Favorite combination of food if you were stranded on a deserted island? Best combo to fix something? Here’s the results:

OldSpice_Infographic_FINALI see some great combos on here: football & wings, hot dogs & mustard…my son would add root beer and vanilla ice cream! If you ask me, the best combo for my son is Old Spice Body Wash, Shampoo & Deodorant! (I’m sure the Mom’s out there will agree; there’s nothing worse than teen boy funk!) Old Spice deodorant, body wash & 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner combo results in amazing, manly freshness from head to toe! That’s music to both my ears & nose! 

Have you seen the newest Old Spice commercials on TV? I like how they’re always pushing the envelope of creativity, here’s the latest one:  How funny is that? Old Spice smells so good, even a Mandroid is irresistible when using it! You can find more hilarious Old Spice videos on their Youtube channel.

If you’d like your son to smell fresh from head to toe, I’ve got coupons to share with you, every little bit helps, right?! Just click on the photo below for your coupons. (Ya’ll know I’m thrifty!

OldSpice_SMS1 (1)You can also follow Old Spice on TwitterFacebook & Instagram.

What age was your son when he started caring about his appearance?! 

 

#VoicesForOurSons – What I Want My Sons To Look For In A Girl

10609453_10203975896905276_4344559451564002366_n As the Mother of Sons, I know a lot is expected of them. As the Mother of Sons of Color, I know that they will have to do even more than their White counterparts to succeed in life. My job as their mother, is to teach them all I can and share my life experiences with them, in hopes that they will learn from them and make smart decisions.

When it comes to girls and relationships, I’m very protective of my boys. I don’t want girls taking advantage of my boys. At the same time, I don’t want my sons taking advantage of girls either, it goes both ways. 

I try to teach by example, instead of preaching to them. I try to model behaviors that I’d like them to seek out in a girl/woman. I carry myself a certain way, with dignity. I don’t curse, I’ve just never liked hearing females cursing like sailors… it just isn’t ladylike, imo. 

My children have never seen me drunk, because I don’t drink. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with drinking responsibly, but for me, alcohol just isn’t my thing. My kids know you can have fun without drinking. Whether they will continue in my footsteps and refrain from alcohol, I don’t know. I just hope they steer clear of the ‘party girls’.

I’m not materialistic. Sure I like nice things, but I’m not breaking the bank to get all the latest fashion trends or jewels or whatever may be hot at the moment. I’ve shown my boys how to live frugally and save your money. 

I don’t ‘run the streets’- I think this one goes without saying. I’ve never been one to hang out at the bars (why would I if I don’t drink?), or party every weekend. I don’t use drugs, not even recreationally. I have morals and pretty high standards. 

I treat others as I’d like to be treated. I’m respectful to everyone I meet. I’m polite, I still say ‘please’ & ‘thank you’. I’m honest, sometimes to a fault. I’m fiercely loyal and will have your back to the very end. 

Anytime I see or hear my oldest doing or saying something questionable, I call him out on it… even if he’s just joking around. I want him to know, without a shadow of a doubt, what is right & what is wrong. He knows that girls are to be respected, period! 

As Mothers, we are the first (and probably the most important) example to our sons of what a woman should be. I hope that by doing so, my sons will be choosy about the girls they let into their lives. My sons are treasures and this Momma doesn’t want their hearts to be broken. 

* We are mothers. We are mothers of sons. We are the mothers of sons of color. We are their voices. Let’s share, encourage and support one another. Voices For Our Sons #VFOS Join our next twitter chat! 

10492091_10204220179212181_4824397245852907627_n

You can connect with all of us on our  blogs:

 

Fuel A Better Future With California Milk! Mother Knows Best…


Growing up, my mother always stressed the importance of a good education. My mother grew up in poverty, and was raised by her abuela (grandmother). In middle school, she had two dresses to wear to school …that’s it. She once told me how she would go home & wash the dress she’d been wearing that day in the sink, then hang it up to dry. Needless to say, my mother’s family could not afford to send her to college. 

At an early age, I understood that with a college education, I could achieve great things. Mi Mama made sure that my homework was done each and every day. She was always the Room Mother and volunteering in the PTA. I can remember getting in trouble for talking too much in class back in first grade…my mom marched up to school and had a conference with my teacher…the expression on her face is one I’ll never forget. She was giving me ‘the look’.

My mother believed a successful school day began with a hearty breakfast. She would make me a hot breakfast every morning before school. I NEVER ate cereal on a school day, even if I wanted to, mom wouldn’t allow it! Instead I dined on eggs and toast, pancakes, french toast, chorizo tacos, and arroz con leche… to name a few.photo-480

I always washed it all down with the same drink every time: MILK! My mom knew that milk was good for my bones, in fact three glasses of milk per day can considerably reduce the risk of bone diseases and fractures. Ask me how many bones I broke as a child, go ahead, ask me. My answer? None, Zero, Nada! I still LOVE milk and I drink it each and every day, several times a day. I have NEVER broken a bone in my body… coincidence? I think not! IMG_8931

Milk is also good for your hair, skin, teeth, & muscles. It helps you get to sleep at night and can even help manage PMS symptoms. You can learn more about the benefits of milk on the California Milk page. 

Now that I’m the Mom, I’m passing on my mother’s wisdom to my children. I’m thankful that my mom cared so much about me, and that she instilled a love of learning in me. Now Toma Tu Leche! (Drink Your Milk!)  

IMG_8934 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

I’m Going On A #McDTour!

This is a sponsored post, in collaboration with McDonalds & the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. All opinions are my own. 

McDonalds-Kicks-Off-Summer-With-New-McCafe-Smoothie-and-ShakeDid you know McDonald’s is one of the largest purchasers of apples in the restaurant industry? I didn’t. In 2012, they purchased 90 million pounds of raw apples. (90 MILLION!) They’ve actually sold 1.1 billion packages of apple slices since March 2012. That’s a lot of apples. 

There have been 530 million individual packages of apple slices served with a children’s meal between Aug. 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013.

I’ve been invited to tour a facility that processes some of the apples McDonald’s serves their customers. Tomorrow, I will see firsthand, what goes on in the processing plant and share my findings with all of you. 

Some of you may be asking yourselves why I’d want to go on this tour. The answer is simple: I want to know where the food I eat comes from. I want to see how it’s taken care of before it gets to me. I do eat McDonald’s food, not every day, but yes, I eat it. I’m a fan of their wraps & their smoothies. 

photo-89 I also enjoy their Mocha Frappes, especially when it’s hot out. I eat their food, so it will be nice to see where that food comes from. This is a chance for me to see, with my own eyes, exactly how some of their food goes from farm to plate. It’s also a chance for me to ask them some questions-and get some answers. 

SONY DSCAfter my tour, I’ll be posting pics and any & all info I learned. Stay tuned for more!  

$100 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway {Child Passenger Safety Week}

Disclosure: I am sharing this post on behalf of Bloggin’ Mamas. I was not compensated for this post and am not responsible for prize fulfillment. For questions concerning prize fulfillment, please contact Bloggin’ Mamas directly.

Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children age 1 to 13 in the USA? The fatality rate could be reduced by about half if the correct child safety seats were always used.

#TheRightSeat

Bloggin’ Mamas is supporting the Ad Council and The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by sharing the word about Child Passenger Safety Week this week (September 14-20).

One of the goals of Child Passenger Safety Week is to encourage parents and caregivers to visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat to determine if their child is in the right seat for his or her age and size and to locate a car seat check event in their area. Additionally, parents and caregivers should be sure to register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so as to be informed in the event of a recall.

Safety seats, if used correctly, dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury to children. However, research shows that three out of every four car seats are not used correctly, meaning the child is not in the correct car seat for their age, height and weight, or the car seat is not installed correctly. In 2012, over one third (37%) of children killed in car crashes were not in car seats or wearing seat belts.

Resources

o Installation Resources: If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be in danger. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightFit.htm

o Free Car Seat Checks: During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be more than 600 events in 45 states across the country, where certified child passenger safety technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge. Locate a car seat check event here: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm?

Car Seat Safety Tips:

  • Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they sit in your car will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age.
  • Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.
  • Before putting your child in a car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works.
  • All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then booster. These seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
  • Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, and fits in your vehicle correctly. The information here can help you choose the right seat for your child. Keep in mind that:

o Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.

o Children ages 1-3 should be kept rear-facing as long as possible.

o Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

Be certain you’ve installed your car seat correctly by having it checked at an inspection station or by a certified child passenger safety technician. Bring the Car Seat Instructions AND the Vehicle Owner’s Manual with you to a seat check appointment!

Check out this Infograph to help you check if you have #TheRightSeat and join @NHTSAgov on 9/17/14 from 3p-4p EST for a Twitter Chat where you can ask questions you might have about your car seat.

Free blogger signup

And to make sure you have #TheRightSeat, Bloggin’ Mamas is giving away a $100 Amazon giftcard so you can buy one!

Giveaway begins September 17th, 2014 at 12:01 am and ends October 1st, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST. Open to US residents age 18 and older. Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. See Rafflecopter widget below for full terms & conditions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I am sharing this post on behalf of Bloggin’ Mamas. I was not compensated for this post and am not responsible for prize fulfillment. For questions concerning prize fulfillment, please contact Bloggin’ Mamas directly.

 

Rio 2 Twitter Party! {$250 in Prizes!} and Discount Code for Movie!

Sponsored

#CelebrateRio2 Twitter Party 9-18-14 at 9pm EST. RSVP: http://bit.ly/celebraterio2

Join Bloggin Mamas & @RioMovie as we host the #CelebrateRio2 Twitter Party on Thursday, 9/18/14 9p EST!

The International Day of Peace is right around the corner (9/21) and Rio 2 wants to bring awareness to conservation and celebrating life with family and friends from different cultures, as a means to promote peace around the world. Join Bloggin’ Mamas and Rio 2 as we chat about the movie, our favorite characters, and the important messages that the movie portrays.

Date: Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Time: 9:00-10:00pm EST / 6:00-7:00pm PST

Hashtag: #CelebrateRio2

Presented by: @Riomovie, @BlogginMamas & @AlliedHispanic

Moderators: English- @HeLoEnterprises Spanish- @BBabushka

Co-hosts: @EnzasBargains, @MamasMission, @MommyPowers, @TarynP, @MamiDoesItAll

Prizes:

During the Twitter Party there will be a chance to win one of the following prizes by answering various Rio Trivia. Winners will be selected at random from all eligible entries.

Grand Prize

1- $100 Amex Giftcard

First Prize

2- $50 Amex Giftcard

Prizes

2- $25 AMEX Giftcard

RSVP Prize

1- Surprise Rio 2 Giftpack

Eligible: US Residents age 18 and over

RSVP: http://bit.ly/celebraterio2

Buy Rio 2:

Purchase Rio 2 in Digital HD with a special discount on Amazon Instant Video! Click the below link and input code: 7WPRQ8A2 and Watch along with us as we tweet!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LTMI2GW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00LTMI2GW&linkCode=as2&tag=foxhe419-20&linkId=EFOMWYQWVSSPJKP2

Disclosure: I am being compensated as a co-host of this Twitter Party through Bloggin’ Mamas and its advertisers.

Get Covered America #TakeCareChat 9-3-14 at 1pm EST

I am sharing the following PSA on behalf OF Bloggin’ Mamas, who is working with Element Associates, the Ad Council and Get Covered America to raise awareness about the Health Insurance Marketplace and the financial assistance available.

#GetCovered #TakeCareChat September 3rd, 2014 at 1pm EST

More than half OF ALL uninsured Americans can GET covered FOR UNDER $100 a month. AND 4 IN 5 people, who have already signed up, got help paying FOR their insurance. The uninsured are exposed TO significant financial risk FROM medical issues, accidents OR emergencies. Even young AND healthy individuals are at-risk. One trip TO the emergency room FOR a broken arm OR a bad ear infection could cost thousands OF dollars.

OPEN enrollment IS set TO begin again IN the fall, but special enrollment IS ongoing. AS WITH other elements OF the health care law, many OF those eligible FOR coverage don’t understand all the details.

While the Health Insurance Marketplaces don’t open until November 15th, certain “qualifying life events” (like getting married, having a baby, adopting a child, moving, losing your current health insurance, losing insurance when you turn 26 if you were covered under a parent’s healthcare plan, losing insurance after graduation if you were covered under your college’s healthcare plan, and more) could allow you to get covered now.

Many people are unaware of their health plan options, so we are hosting a Twitter Chat on September 3 from 1-2pm Eastern using #TakeCareChat to learn more about Get Covered America and your options under the ACA. This chat will be held in English and Spanish. For more info and resources, please refer to the Get Covered America website: http://www.getcoveredamerica.org

Here’s an interactive Q&A session about “qualifying life EVENTS” AND healthcare enrollment led BY Annette Raveneau, the National Latino Press Secretary FOR Enroll America’s “GET Covered America” campaign:

 

Disclosure: I am participating IN this Bloggin’ Mamas Social Good Campaign and sharing a pre-written PSA in support of sharing information to the public that will help them make informed decisions. Any opinions expressed are my own and not that of Bloggin’ Mamas, Element Associates, the Ad Council OR GET Covered America. I was NOT compensated BY the Ad Council OR GET Covered America FOR this post.