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.

You Deserve A Little Me Time — Dating Tips for Single Moms Looking for Mr. Right

So you’re on the lookout for love again, and you turn to the mysterious world of online dating. You’ve set up a dazzling profile and are ready to let the dating commence. The only thing that might be an issue are the kids. Some men flee in the opposite direction when kids are part of the equation. Immature?! Yeah, but unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that you might have to deal with as a single mom, so here are a few tips so that you can be a successful single mom and find the love of your life on the online dating scene:

Make Sure You’re Ready

Some single moms rush from one relationship to the next. Don’t do that. Take some time for yourself, instead of charging into the online dating world. Give your wounds time to heal and use this time to learn a little more about yourself. Besides, no date wants to hear you talking about how wonderful your ex was. (wink,wink).

Meet Different People

They don’t ALL have to be tall, dark and handsome, you know! Don’t stick to a certain type. This is about meeting someone new, so be open to people whose lifestyle or personality is different from your ex’s. They could be a diamond in the rough, they might even be able to introduce to you a new interest, or even just a new place to eat or drink. Relationships are as much about experiences as about people.

 Talk More About Yourself On Dates

Some single moms feel guilty about leaving the kids at home while they go out and have a good time. They then go on to sabotage their dates by making their kids the only topic of conversation. There’s nothing to feel bad about. You’ve done the hard work of raising them and are entitled to have some fun. A (good) guy should understand how much the kids mean to you, but if he feels as if he’ll just be competing for your attention, there won’t be a second date. Talk more about yourself and your interests (and don’t forget to ask him about his too!).

 Wait For The Right Person

Okay, so the first date was a success, and so was the second, but don’t shove your date into the car and rush home to introduce him to the kids. Go on more dates, spend more time together, and be sure of your feelings. When you feel that he really is that special person, invite him out to a casual activity with the family, such as a ball game in the park. The kids can then gradually adjust in a relaxed setting to this new person in your life and in theirs.

Dating as a single mom doesn’t have to be an endless quest. Your kids should always be a priority, but just remember that you too have a life. Allow yourself the time to find the right person and when you do, the dating can stop and even more good times will be on the way! 

Good luck!

Prize Candle: It’s Like Cracker Jacks Without The Calories!

I’m a TasteMaker Mom & was provided a product to facilitate this review. No other compensation has been rec’d, & all opinions are mine. 

logo (2)Are you a candle person? I’m a candle person, I love the way they make the house smell. If I’m having a tough day, I can light a scented candle and it always seems to cheer me up & lighten the mood. 

I’d been hearing about Prize Candle for a while, but had never purchased one of their candles. I was eager to try them out for myself.
new-about-us Prize Candles are all natural soy candles, with a prize in every one. The rings in the candles are valued anywhere from $10 all the way up to $5,000! It’s like a box of Cracker Jacks, without the calories! Remember when you were little, and your Mom would buy you a box of Cracker Jacks? I remember & I couldn’t wait to find my prize at the bottom of the box. PC_640x640-4 copy You can re-live those good ole days, except this time, you get a beautiful ring and a fantastic smelling candle. The candles retail for $24.99 and burn for up to 40 hours. I received the Jasmine Neroli candle & it smells delicious…(I also detect a hint of baby powder in it, or maybe that’s just me!)

HOW IT WORKS

When you get your candle, the prize will not be visible, so here’s what you need to do.

1. Light & burn your candle until the prize becomes visible. Enjoy the fragrance… and wait for it! (Confession time, I couldn’t wait- I burned my candle for 5 days straight and finally just dug my prize pack out!)

new-how-it-works-1

 

2. Once the prize pack becomes visible, blow out the candle. When the wax has cooled a bit, use a pair of tweezers to extract the pack. Unwrap your prize.new-how-it-works-2

 

 3. Enter the code included with your prize at PrizeCandle.com for instant appraisal!new-how-it-works-3It’s THAT easy, & quite a bit of fun too. I was so excited to see what I’d get… you wanna see it?! photo 2 (7)photo 3 (4)photo 4 (5)photo 5 (4)photo 2 (8) Isn’t she a beauty? For those wondering, she’s worth $25 … I cant wait to see what I get next time! And guess what? I’m still enjoying my candle. 

If you’re a candle person, like me, I highly recommend Prize Candles…I mean you’re already buying candles, right? Might as well get some bling in return! 

 

 

I’m Sleeping Like A Baby With REM-Fit #FitFluential

I’m a  FitfFuential Ambassador & have been provided a product(s) in order to facilitate this review. No other form of compensation has been rec’d and all opinions are mine. 

securedownload (1)66With school starting back up, and all the hustle & bustle of life, sleep becomes a precious commodity. A good night’s rest is vital & necessary in order to lead a productive life. Physical fitness is also something that we can’t do without. Keeping our bodies healthy needs to be a top priority. 

When you lead an active lifestyle-hitting up the gym, running, participating in sports-you need to make sure your body has time to recover. In other words, sleep is king! When I was offered the opportunity to review a few REM-Fit products (pillow protectors, mattress protectors and pillow), I jumped on it. Anything that can help me fall asleep & get a good night’s rest is very much appreciated. I’m a light sleeper & often suffer from insomnia.

Let’s begin with a video, to help introduce you to the REM-Fit line. 

   Now that you know a bit more about REM-Fit, I’ll show you what I reviewed. 

First up, the REM-FIT ENERGIZE SMOOTH MATTRESS PROTECTORRemfit_Energize_MP_ImageA_Lphoto 2 (6)Things I like about this mattress protector:

It’s made of TENCEL®, which is

  • Naturally thermo-regulating
  • Naturally prohibits bacteria growth
  • Naturally hypo allergenic
  • Naturally wicks away moisture
  • Great for sensitive skin sufferers
  • Softer than cotton
  • Ideal for an athletic lifestyle

Miracle Membrane®

Protect-A-Bed’s proprietary Miracle Membrane® provides the best protection for your mattress by providing a proven moisture barrier against spills and stains. It also creates the healthiest sleep zone possible by protecting the sleeper from dust mites, allergens and other irritants.

I was impressed with the softness of this protector. As I removed it from the box and put it on my bed, I just wanted to wrap up in it! When I placed my fitted sheet over it- I felt confident that my mattress was in good hands. (Comes with a 10 yr warranty.) I only wish I’d had this mattress protector a few years back…BEFORE my youngest had multiple nose bleeds in my bed. LOL! 

Next up, REM-FIT ENERGIZE SMOOTH PILLOW PROTECTORphoto 3 (3)photo 4 (4)
 This has all the same attributes as the mattress protector. I like that it will protect my pillows from dust mites and other yucky allergens. And once again, great protection from little noses that bleed! Just put it on your pillow, zip it up, then put your own pillowcase over it. (Comes with a 5 yr warranty.) Lastly, I’m going to be talking about my fave REM-Fit product…

REM-FIT REST ADJUSTABLE PILLOW! Remfit_Rest_Adjustable_Pillow_ImageA_Lphoto 1 (6)Remfit_Rest_Adjustable_Pillow_ImageC_LThis pillow has been my best friend for the past 2 weeks! OMG! First, it’s adjustable…you can remove some of the filling if its too fluffy for you. Have you ever seen that before? I hadn’t. 

It is SO comfy, literally like sleeping on a cloud- I LOVE it! My head hits my pillow and I am out… for the entire night…that’s unheard of for me. It also has it’s own protector and is just amazing. I cannot stress to you enough how awesome this pillow is, it will change your life! (Pillow comes with a 5 yr warranty.)

 As if their products weren’t enough,  Protect-A-Bed® launched a new video channel, ‘REM-Fit Life,’ that features health and fitness tips from well-known Chicago-based CrossFit coach and personal trainer Kevin Houston. To view the YouTube ‘REM-Fit Life’ channel, visit www.youtube.com/user/REMFitLife. For more information on the REM-Fit line, visit http://rem-fit.com or like its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/remfit) and Instagram handle @REMFitLife.

Thanks to FitFluential for giving me the opportunity to learn about & try the REM-Fit line. Sweet dreams! 

Arrested For Drinking Arizona Iced Tea?! {Black in America}

This video is over a year old, but it was just recently shown to me, so I’m going to share it with all of you. Let me start off by saying I’m not posting this to bash cops, or law enforcement. There are MANY good cops out there, I know some of them personally. What I want to bring attention to are the ones that aren’t so good, the bad apples, so to speak. The ones that give good cops a bad name. THOSE are the ones that need to be weeded out of the police force- we don’t need or want bad, racist cops patrolling our streets- at least I don’t! This video has some bad language, so please be warned, here it is: 

I’m posting this to show you what happens all to frequently in the Black community. This man was drinking an Arizona Iced Tea! He wasn’t hurting anyone- when he is approached by someone that gets all up in his personal space & demands to know what he’s drinking, demands that he hand it over. If this happened to me-my first thought would be “This guy is crazy!” 

When the man drinking the tea doesn’t hand it over to the security guard(?) cop(?) he is then told he is under arrest for trespassing and resisting arrest. WHAT?! Does anyone else think that is just insane? Is it just me? 

I’m not Black, but I’m in a unique position, since many members of my family are. I’ve seen things with my very own eyes that are just wrong! I’ve been told things by family members that are unbelievable- but true. Did I ever tell you about the time my husband & I were driving cross-country and had been on the road for about 9-10 hours? We were exhausted and decided to stop driving for the night & check into a hotel. Hubby got out & walked in to ask about checking in. A few seconds later, he walked back out & told me they didn’t have any vacancies-all booked up. Really?! The parking lot was pretty empty. I decided to get out and try my luck, because I just had a hunch. I walked in and asked the front desk how much it’d be for one night. The guy proceeded to ask me what type of room I wanted: double beds, queen beds or 1 king bed. WHAT?! My husband had just been told, seconds earlier that they were booked up-no vacancies…now I walk in and I have my choice of rooms?! REALLY?! So, let’s get this right: No vacancies for the Black man, but choice of rooms for the non-Black woman?! 

When people say, “They’re just playing the race card,” I cringe! No, they’re not playing the race card, they’re telling you how it really is, but you refuse to accept it. You’d rather go on thinking it’s the race card, than to consider that maybe there really is something to all of this. Maybe there really are bad, racist cops out there that target Blacks, and partake in racial profiling. 

I’m not here to incite anyone, or to stir things up- I just want to share my thoughts and observations with you. I want you to watch this video, a video you might not otherwise have a chance to see. I want you to ask yourself, what’s going on here? Why did this happen, why did the security guard(?) cop(?) approach the guy in the first place? What was he doing wrong? 

Her’s another video for you, it’s an interview with the man (who happens to be ex Military,) that was arrested & the man that filmed the video.   

I will continue to talk about race relation issues, and I will continue to post videos, as I see fit. I don’t care what color, race, or ethnicity you are- we all deserve to be treated fairly- PERIOD! 

 

Litigation Costs Are Hurting CA Schools #lawsuitabuse

This is a sponsored conversation in collaboration with California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse*. All opinions are mine. 

securedownload (1) lawsuit2
The school year is about to begin, and California ’s students are about to head back into the classroom. While school districts are always stretched tight, one thing that’s really hurting schools is abusive litigation, which is forcing districts to spend money fighting lawsuits instead of educating students. 

That’s the finding of a recent report from California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. The report analyzed the litigation costs to 12 districts for fiscal years 2010-2011 through 2012-2013, and found that the districts combined spent more than $125.6 million on litigation, spending $96.1 million on outside counsel, and $29.4 million on verdicts and settlements. Go ahead & read the report.

The districts involved in the report are Central Unified School District (Fresno), Elk Grove Unified School District, Kern High School District, Long Beach Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, San Bernardino City Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District, San Jose Unified School District, Santa Ana Unified School District, and Stockton Unified School District.

The 12 districts examined in this report account for less than 20% of the total enrollment of California ’s K-12 public school districts. When the other districts are taken into account, who knows how many millions – or billions – of dollars our districts are spending? 

This report makes it clear that California ’s schools are just one more victim of the state’s plaintiffs’ attorneys, some of whom view lawsuits as a means to get rich rather than achieve justice. Because California ’s laws encourage this behavior, our students are paying the price. I don’t know about your child’s school district, but ours is hurting-we need every penny to be spent in the classrooms, not in the courtrooms!  

The $125 million spent in just three years could have been put to better use across the state. That money could have paid the salaries of more teachers, purchased new textbooks, maintained busing programs, or paid for counselors. Instead, we’re dealing with cuts to many of our programs, like music and sports-it’s just not right. 

Californians, we need to make sure, especially as the November ballot approaches, that we know whether our candidates support legal reforms that would put an end to abuse like this. Legislators need to help solve the problem by passing legislation that stops abusive lawsuits, instead of encouraging them.

Our kid’s are counting on us to do the right thing, don’t let them down! 

 

*California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public about the negative effects of lawsuit abuse and challenging those who abuse our legal system for personal gain.