Friday, February 28, 2014

Wondering What to Make for Dinner Tonight? In Less Than 15 Minutes Make Turkey Spinach Pasta Sauce w/ Spaghetti For Everyone to Enjoy! #NewTraDish

Disclosure:  As part of the Ragú® #NewTraDish challenge, I will be compensated for my time in creating two unique recipes.  However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.

Ragú® has the Authentic Italian taste American family’s love and a variety of great tasting, quick and easy to make family favorite recipes. 

One of my passions beyond writing and my blog is cooking.  I love getting in the kitchen and trying out new recipes, recreating family favorites, or turning recipes I have seen in magazines or online into more healthy versions for my family.  But, when you have two young children like I do, your time is limited, and being in the kitchen by yourself is nearly impossible.  While I love cooking with the girls and seeing the get excited about cooking and baking, I also would love "me time" to experiment and play around with different flavors and ingredients.  So, when I was recently asked to take two popular  Ragú® recipes using their Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce and create my own version or a new spin on the recipe, I jumped at the opportunity, as it would be give me an excuse to have to get in the kitchen...and have some fun.

Out of the recipes available, I ended up choosing Mama's Easy Awesome Meat Sauce and the Upside-Down Deep Dish Pizza to put my own spin on.  Our challenge was to .  We were told we could turn the recipe we chose into a finger food instead, make it a sandwich, give it a Mexican or Asian or Southern flare, or create a new, totally unique presentation (e.g. Cheese Steak Sandwiches turns in to Cheese Steak Pizza or No Boiling Lasagna turns in to individual No Boiling Lasagna dishes in muffin tins, etc.).  Knowing that I have many mommy followers with young children, who also find it hard to get into the kitchen especially come dinner time to whip up a healthy hearty meal, I wanted to make fun recipes that were not only delicious, but most importantly quick and easy to make.

I come from an Italian background, and grew up having 2-3 pasta meals a week, usually Wednesday and Sundays (at my Nana's).  When visiting my grandmother who was from Italy, she would make everything from scratch, from the homemade pasta sauce to the pasta and even mozzarella balls.  Oh how I loved Sunday dinners, as you could really taste the different flavors of the foods, and knew that everything was homemade.  While my mom knew how to make homemade pasta sauce, oftentimes she would find herself pressed for time and would reach for a jar of spaghetti sauce in the pantry.  To add flavor to the sauce, she would add the sauce to ground hamburger and leftover veggies diced up like carrots, peppers, etc.  Just by adding these additional ingredients she would be able to take a simple jar of pasta sauce and turn it into a flavorful sauce, that could pass for homemade.

When I moved out on my own, I would oftentimes find myself stealing my mom's recipes and making a quick and easy pasta sauce with add-ins to serve with spaghetti, when friends came to visit.  Loving to experiment, I would replace the ground hamburger with ground chicken, ground chicken and even sweet and spicy sausage.  I would add things like kale, spinach, swiss card and other leafy greens to the sauce, to give it new flavor.  Now, years later, I still continue to serve up my revamped pasta sauces using Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce as the base.  


Each jar of Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce is made with 11 juicy tomatoes making it its richest, thickest recipe.

After years of experimenting, my husband has fallen in love with my ground turkey and spinach pasta sauce, and always asks me to make it.  I don't say "No," as the girls, who are picky eaters can't get enough of this pasta sauce, and have no idea that it contains spinach.  :-)

If you find yourself in a bind without a meal planned for dinner one of these nights, why not try out my Turkey Spinach Pasta Sauce served over boxed or refrigerated pasta?  For less than $10, you can buy all the ingredients, including a fresh loaf of bread, and have a delicious tasting homemade pasta dinner, the whole family will enjoy...including the picky eaters in your house. And, shh, don't tell them that the green stuff is spinach.  My girls think that they are fresh herbs. :-)

Here is my spin on Mama's Easy Awesome Meat Sauce from Ragú®.

Turkey Spinach Pasta Sauce


1/2 lb. ground turkey cooked up and drained
2 1/2 cups fresh spinach, washed
1 tsp. dried Italian Seasoning
1 box of pasta of your choice

1.  Cook up ground turkey in large stock pot (if sticks in pan, add 1/2 tsp. of oil to prevent sticking).  Once cooked through, drain and return ground turkey to pan.  
2.  Add 2 1/2 cups fresh spinach and jar of Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce to pot.  Stir to combine and bring to boil.  

3.  Once sauce begins to boil, reduce heat to low and cover with lid.  Continue to cook until spinach begins to wilt.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until all spinach is wilted.  

4.  Serve prepared sauce over pasta of your choice.  Sprinkle with ground Pecorino or Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Want more recipe ideas using Ragú Pasta Sauce?  Then, visit for additional quick, easy and delicious recipe ideas.  

Stay tuned next week when I will be sharing my spaghetti pizza recipe that will your children asking for seconds, and for you to make again! :-)  

--Enter the Ragú Better and Better Sweepstakes For a Chance to Win a Trip to Venice--

Head on over to to enter the Ragú Better and Better Sweepstakes for a chance to win great Authentic Italian themed prizes and a grand prize trip to Venice for a family of four.  Good luck!

Sweepstakes Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older. Ends 5/6/14. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, alternate method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit Void where prohibited.

Disclosure:  As part of the Ragú® #NewTraDish challenge, I will be compensated for my time in creating two unique recipes.  However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Challenge 1 of the 2014 Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect -- Your 2014 Resolutions #BlogForward

Disclosure: I was selected to participate in the 2014 Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect. Although I have entered the program and received complimentary product and ZonePerfect promotional items, I are free to comment about ZonePerfect in a positive, neutral or negative fashion.  All views I share are mine and mine alone.

This past December I was contacted by the folks at ZonePerfect to see if I wanted to participate in their 2014 Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect.  Over the course of 2014 I would be given three resolution-themed challenges, where I would be asked to write up blog posts sharing my new resolutions and how I am working to stick to them in 2014.  Throughout the program, ZonePerfect would send along inspirational content for me to share with readers, as well as help me stay on track with my 2014 New Year Resolutions.  In addition to content, I would also be send samples of ZonePerfect products to try.  I love a challenge, and thought that this would be a fun program to participate. Last year, through monthly blog posts, I shared how I was successfully losing the excess baby weight I had been carrying around from the girls births in 2010 and 2011, which was one of my 2013 New year's Resolutions.  And, when the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31st, I made my new resolutions for 2014.  

What were your new year's resolutions?  Have you been successful thus far in keeping them.  I have found that if I choose 3-5 top resolutions that they are easier to work at keeping throughout the year.  My resolutions were 2014 included:

1) Turning off mobile devices from 5PM - 9PM, so that I can spend more time with family and be disconnected from all the social media pages, game sites, etc. that I find myself looking at the phone for.  My husband even made the same resolution, as he found himself sitting down after dinner playing with his cell phone, while the girls used their iPads.  

2)  Continue to maintain the weight loss, and maybe lose 5-10 more pounds in the new year. This will be achieved by maintaining an exercise schedule, reaching for healthy on-the-go snacks like ZonePerfect bars when I find myself getting hungry or craving sweets, and drinking plenty of water. 


3)  Cut back on the number of times we dine out, so that we can have homemade meals around the table.  I found that when we ate out, our food selection was limited to fast foods which were greasy and unhealthy in excess, and my weight loss/maintaining weight goals were thrown out the window, and I would have to work extra hard the following week to exercise and burn the calories and fat.

4)  Sign up for one family activity on the weekends, and complete.  Last year, my husband and I found ourselves getting burned out from being up most nights with the girls, that when the weekend came, either we would stay home, or I would take Savannah to a reading class, crafting event at the local craft store, or shopping.  We weren't using our time on the weekends to bond and spend it together being protective.  

5)  A personal resolution I made for myself was to make a point to do 1 thing for myself daily, and to take at least 30 minutes for "me time" to recharge my batteries.  Spending an entire day, 7 days a week with two active toddlers can really wear you out.  I found myself going through the motions and not taking time for me to regroup and recharge.  So, for 2014, I told my husband that after dinner, he would spend time with the girls while I either took a long shower, went upstairs to watch television, read a book or just sit quietly.  But, that I needed "me time" while he spent quality time with the girls.

We take for granted so many things.  And, before you know it, you blink and things are changing, your kids are growing up, etc.  Since my cancer diagnose I have made a point to cherish each day as a gift and to make a point to spend as much quality time with my family as I can.  But, like most of you, our crazy schedules oftentimes leave us asking for more time in the day to spend with family, complete additional work or personal tasks, or time to breath.  So, when it comes to making and keeping resolutions, we usually give up when we start to see ourselves struggling to achieve the goals we set for ourselves, or reword our goals so that they are easier to achieve.  I will not lie, the above resolutions have  been a struggle to keep.  And, some days I find myself wanting to reach for junk food when I am in rush, skipped meals due to running around, or are just feeling burnt out.  And, when it comes to having the family disconnect from all mobile devices, I see even the girls struggling with this, as they get hooked on all the games, apps, videos, etc. available at their fingertips.

But, thanks to this Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect, I am working extra hard to achieve the resolutions I have set for myself and my family in 2014.  If you are finding yourself struggling with keeping your resolutions no matter what they are...weight loss, eating healthy, spending more time with family, etc., here are some great helpful hits shared by the folks at ZonePerfect that are helping my family and I keep our resolutions.


I printed the above information and have them taped to the refrigerator and my office cork board, so that when I find myself wanting to reach for an unhealthy snack, want to skip exercising, or get too involved with my work when I should be spending quality time with the girls, I can look at these useful tips, and remind myself what is really important to me, and get back on track. 

In addition to sharing my 2014 resolutions, I was also asked as part of the 2014 Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect to write a letter to my future self encouraging me to get back on track or celebrating my progress.  If you have ever tried to write a letter, especially to yourself, then you know how hard it is.  I took up journaling when I was undergoing cancer treatment in 2008, and found writing down my thoughts to be therapeutic, and really help me beat my cancer, especially on days I felt like giving up.  A fellow patient shared a letter she had written to herself that she planned to read when she reached her 5 years out of treatment milestone.  This would be the time that doctors would say she was in remission.  At first I thought this was silly, but after reading her personal note to herself, I found myself writing my own letter, which I shared with my family last July, when I reached my 5 yr. out of cancer milestone and told I was cancer free and in remission.  So, when the folks at ZonePerfect asked me to write a letter to myself, I knew that while it would be difficult to write, this letter would help me when I found myself wanting to give up on my resolutions.  I could pull this letter out on those days and find inspiration through my words to get back up and continue on.  If I was able to beat cancer and lose the weight last year, I could achieve my 2014 resolutions.  Here is the letter I have in my office drawer, that I wrote to myself about keeping my resolutions.

Hi Robin,

Well if you are reading this letter, then you are probably finding yourself struggling to keep your resolutions...probably your weight loss goals.  Don't reach for that bag of chips you have stashed in the pantry, or for a soda.  Instead, fill your body with plenty of water, a healthy snack like fruit or even a ZonePerfect bar, and find a quiet space (if you can) to take a few minutes to breath and regroup.  You have come so far since the clock striked midnight on 12/31/13, and you are well on your way to achieving your 2014 resolutions.  Just remember how great you felt last New Year's Eve when you went out to dinner with your husband, followed by dancing, all while wearing that beautiful cocktail dress you had picked out in your pre-baby size.  You felt like a million bucks, and had an amazing time.  Well, this great feeling can be had again when you see your resolutions through to the end of 2014.  

Not only will you be proud of yourself for your accomplishments, but your family will reap the benefits too...more quality time spent together, healthy eating habits, not having to buy clothes in a larger size just to feel comfortable, etc.  Remember life is precious and we are all living on borrowed time.  So, don't waste it by filling up on junk food, adding inches to your waist which may cause additional health conditions, missing out on quality time with girls while they are still young, or not taking time for yourself to regroup and recharge your batteries. 

You can do this.  Stop, take a few minutes to breath and remember why you made these resolutions in the first place.  SAY THESE WORDS -- YOU CAN DO IT!


I wonder what the next challenge in the 2014 Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect will be?  Stay tuned.

ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars

Disclosure: I was selected to participate in the 2014 Blog Forward Challenge by ZonePerfect. Although I have entered the program and received complimentary product and ZonePerfect promotional items, I are free to comment about ZonePerfect in a positive, neutral or negative fashion.  All views I share are mine and mine alone.
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Get Your Tickets Now for MAMMA MIA! Playing The Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA -- March 11 - March 13, 2014 -- #Win 2 Tickets Now!

Generously sponsored by Commerce Bank, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’ MAMMA MIA!, the smash hit musical based on the songs of ABBA, returns to The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester for three performances, March 11-13, 2014. Tickets are on sale now.

Seen by over 50 million people around the world, MAMMA MIA!, is celebrating over 5,000 performances in its twelfth smash hit year on Broadway and remains one of Broadway’s top selling musicals. The original West End production of MAMMA MIA! is now in its thirteenth year and has celebrated over 5,000 performances in London and the international tour has visited more than 50 foreign cities and been seen by four million people. The blockbuster feature film adaptation of MAMMA MIA!, produced by Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman, is the most successful movie musical of all time grossing $600 million worldwide.

An independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek island, Donna is about to let go of Sophie, the spirited daughter she’s raised alone. For Sophie’s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends—practical and no-nonsense Rosie and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tanya - from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos. But Sophie has secretly invited three guests of her own.

On a quest to find the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle, she brings back three men from Donna’s past to the Mediterranean paradise they visited 20 years earlier. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love will bloom and old romances will be rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities.

Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs from “Dancing Queen” and “S.O.S.” to “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me,” MAMMA MIA! is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends and new family found.

  *Generously sponsored by Commerce Bank.

Show Dates: March 11 - March 13, 2014
Show Times: All Shows are at 7:30PM
Ticket Pricing:  Full price tickets are $39, $49, $59 and $69, depending on seating location. 10% discount available for members, groups of 10 or more, corporate partners, kids, students and WOO Card holders. 
Please call the box office at 877.571.SHOW (7469) for more information.

Click here to order your tickets online now --

Thanks to the kind folks at the Hanover Theatre, one lucky reader will win 2 FREE tickets to the opening night performance of MAMMA MIA! on March 11th at 7:30PM.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

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Disclosure:  I was provided access to listen to this CD prior to its release from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Multi-Platform Event Celebrating the Music of Disney Junior Includes Fan-Submitted Videos and New Music-Filled Episodes

"DJ Shuffle," the first-ever Disney Junior music compilation album will be released by Walt Disney Records on TUESDAY, MARCH 18. Showcasing the new Disney Junior anthem, "DJ Shuffle," performed by meme master Parry Gripp ("Do You Like Waffles?"), the album also debuts the song "Hoppin' Out With You," a duet performed by Sofia and Clover from the Annie Award-winning series "Sofia the First" and other songs from favorite Disney Junior series. Featured karaoke tracks include "Blue Ribbon Bunny" from "Sofia the First," "Jake and the Never Land Pirates (Swashbucklin' Version)" from "Jake and the Never Land Pirates," "Time For Your Check-Up" from "Doc McStuffins" and "DJ Shuffle."

The "DJ Shuffle" album will become available for pre-order on TUESDAY, FEBURARY 25 on iTunes and Amazon. A multi-platform event celebrating the music of Disney Junior begins TUESDAY, MARCH 11 with the debut of the "DJ Shuffle" music video on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Also beginning March 11, parents/caregivers can submit videos via the Disney Junior Facebook page of their child performing popular songs from hit Disney Junior series. The videos will be highlighted across WATCH Disney Junior and, with some chosen to air on Disney Channel and Disney Junior during a special programming event in April featuring new music-filled episodes and culminating with a family night sing-along. The "DJ Shuffle" on-air programming is sponsored by BAND-AID® Brand of Johnson & Johnson and Blip Toys Disney Princess Palace Pets.

CD Track Listing:

 1. Parry Gripp - DJ Shuffle01:23 
 2. Cast - Sofia The First - Sofia the First Main Title Theme (Featuring Sofia)00:52 
 3. Cast - Sofia The First - Blue Ribbon Bunny (Featuring Clover)02:00 
 4. Cast - Sofia The First - Friendship Is the Formula (Featuring Sofia)02:20 
 5. Cast - Sofia The First - Hoppin' Out With You (Featuring Clover and Sofia)01:41 
 6. The Never Land Pirate Band, Jake, Izzy and Cubby - Jake and the Never Land Pirates - Swashbucklin' Version00:57 
 7. The Never Land Pirate Band - Roll Up the Map02:03 
 8. The Never Land Pirate Band - Bubbly Blue02:32 
 9. The Never Land Pirate Band - Swamp Stomp02:22 
 10. Doc McStuffins, Stuffy, Lambie and Hallie - Time for Your Check Up00:34 
 11. Doc McStuffins, Lambie, Stuffy and Kiko - Ready for Action00:45 
 12. Doc McStuffins, Lambie, Stuffy and Pickles - Picture You00:51 
 13. Doc McStuffins, Lambie, Chilly and Hallie - Stuffy the Great02:08 
 14. They Might Be Giants - Hot Dog!01:42 
 15. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Pluto and Clarabelle - Choo Choo Boogie02:00 
 16. Minnie and The Picture Puzzle Girls - Minnie's Bowtique02:01 
 17. Matt Mahaffey - Henry Hugglemonster Main Title01:02 
 18. Summer - I've Got Pizzazz00:45 
 19. Henry, Summer, Daddo, Cobby and Momma - To Monsterschool00:36 
 20. Summer, Henry and Cobby - The Hugglemonster Way02:14 
 21. Henry, Denzel, Summer, Roarhammer, Gertie and Estelle - Heromonsters Woohoo!01:03 
 22. Sheriff Callie, Peck and Toby - Sheriff Callie's Wild West Theme Song00:47 
 23. Peck, Sheriff Callie, Priscilla, Uncle Bun, Ella, Farmer Stinky, Tio, Mr. Dillo, Toby, Doc Quackers and Town - Picture Perfect01:19 
 24. Sheriff Callie - Amazing Lucky Scarf01:06 
 25. Sheriff Callie, Jay Jay and Farmer Stinky - Ask for Help01:09 
 26. Disney Junior DJ Shuffle Karaoke - DJ Shuffle - Karaoke Instrumental01:23 
 27. Sofia The First Karaoke - Blue Ribbon Bunny - Karaoke Instrumental01:56 
 28. Jake and the Never Land Pirates Karaoke - Jake and the Never Land Pirates - Swashbucklin' Version/Karaoke Instrumental00:57 
 29. Doc McStuffins Karaoke - Time for Your Check Up - Karaoke Instrumental00:32 

On Monday, March will debut the game "DJ Jamboree" where kids can create their own unique versions of popular Disney Junior songs. The site will also feature Disney Junior lyric sheets and music-inspired crafts. 

The on-air programming event debuts on Disney Channel with a new "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" airing Tuesday, April 1 (9:00 a.m. ET/PT), where the Clubhouse gang joins Minnie on the road for a pop song performance. The event also includes a new episode of "Doc McStuffins" guest-starring Broadway star Sutton Foster on Friday, April 4 (9:30 a.m. ET/PT); a musical-inspired episode of "Sheriff Callie's Wild West" premiering Tuesday, April 8 (9:30 a.m., ET/PT); and a song-filled episode of "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" featuring guest stars Sharon Osbourne, Leigh-Allyn Baker and Ariel Winter, who recur as Mama Hook, the Mermaid Queen and Marina the Mermaid respectively, airing on Friday, April 11 (9:30 a.m. ET/PT). All episodes will encore on Disney Junior as part of a family night sing-along event on Friday, April 18(5:00-9:00 p.m., ET/PT).

In 2013, Disney Junior, the daily programming block for kids age 2-7 on Disney Channel, delivered its biggest year on record in the daypart in Total Viewers, Kids 2-5, Girls 2-5 and Women 18-49. In its first year reporting public ratings, 24-hour Disney Junior channel ranked as the #1 preschool-dedicated TV network in Total Day in Total Viewers across target Kids 2-5, Girls 2-5 and Boys 2-5 and Women 18-49, towering over Nick Jr. by double digits and Sprout by triple digits. The channel opened 2014 boasting all-time weekly highs across all target categories: Total Viewers, Kids 2-5, Girls 2-5, Boys 2-5 and Women 18-49.

Disney Junior reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior's series blend Disney's unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills. In the U.S., Disney Junior is a daily programming block on Disney Channel and a 24-hour channel.  There are 33 Disney Junior channels in 24 languages around the world.


I was excited to see this upcoming Disney Jr. CD compilation press release, and after listening to all 29 tracks with the girls last night, I placed my order for a copy of this upcoming CD release, when it becomes available on Tuesday, March 18th.  It was nice to see the variety of songs from all of my girls' favorite shows, including the new Sheriff Callie's Wild West, voiced by Mandy Moore.  What a way to end the night yesterday than with an impromptu dance party in the living with the girls, and watching them sing along to their favorite Disney Jr. shows theme songs and other popular songs from the shows.  

With Easter fast approaching, this CD would make for the perfect basket filler for fans of Disney Junior.  While I have bought one CD so far, I am guessing we will be ordering more, so that we can leave one at Nana and Papa's house, as well as have one in the car for when we start doing day trips when the weather gets nicer. :-)

Click here to pre-order this CD from Amazon for only $10.00, and have in time for Easter, or just to surprise your child -- maybe with an impromptu dance party like we had, or play when you pick the kids up from school, or run your errands for the day. You will love all 29 tracks on this CD, and will be bopping around and singing with the kids, as the theme songs are really catchy...and fun to sing! :-)


Thanks to the folks at Walt Disney Records, three (3) lucky readers will win a copy of Disney Junior: DJ Shuffle, for you to enjoy with your child(ren).  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

Disclosure:  I was provided access to listen to this CD prior to its release from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Start a New Tradition w/ Easter and Lenten Countdown Advent Calendars from Vermont Christmas Co. #Giveaway

Vermont Christmas Company
Easter and Lenten
Countdown Calendars
Now 20% Off!

Easter and Lent Countdown Calendars

A fun and educational way to prepare for Easter! Lenten calendars feature 47 windows to be opened starting on Ash Wednesday (March 5 in 2014). Easter calendars feature a 30 day countdown (to begin March 22 in 2014) leading up to Easter Sunday. 

This past Christmas I shared a review on Vermont Christmas Company's chocolate advent calendars. If you missed my review, click here to read it now --  Vermont Christmas Co. in addition to selling top quality Christmas advent calendars and gifts, also sell countdown calendars for Lenten and Easter.  Their Lenten countdown calendar are currently on sale for only $3.96, with the 47 day countdown starting on March 5.

Today, I wanted to offer two lucky readers a chance to win 2 Easter advent countdown calendars of their choice from Vermont Christmas Co. to share with their child(ren) and have a fun way to countdown to the Easter Bunny's arrival on Easter Sunday.

Just look at the cute Easter themed countdown calendars you can choose from, and that are currently available for only $2.49 - $3.96 each.  

Don't want to wait to see if you win this giveaway?  I don't blame you! :-)  Click here to visit Vermont Christmas Co. and order your Easter and Lenten countdown calendars now, which are currently 20% off -

And, for puzzle lovers, check out this beautiful Easter on the Lawn Shaped Puzzle the folks at Vermont Christmas Co. have available for only $18.95.

This would make for a great family night activity, or gift to give a puzzle lover for Easter. 


Thanks to the kind folks at Vermont Christmas Co., two (2) lucky readers will win two (2) Easter countdown calendars of their choice.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Take Control of Your Health and Monitor Your Blood Pressure at Home -- Review of the Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Wrist Monitor

Disclosure: I was sent a product sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Are you one of the 67 million Americans who suffers from high blood pressure, also known as hypertension?  Hypertension, which affects 1 in every 3 U.S. Adults if left untreated can lead to stroke or even death (4th leading cause of death).  But, this condition, unlike many others can be prevented or even controlled -- if you maintain a healthy lifestyle, take your medication for hypertension as directed by a physician and limit your sodium intake, just to name a few.

What is Blood Pressure?:
Blood pressure is the force of blood on the walls of your blood vessels as blood flows through them. Blood pressure has two numbers, systolic and diastolic, and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Systolic pressure is the force on the blood vessel walls when the heart beats and pumps blood out of the heart. Diastolic pressure is the force that occurs when the heart relaxes in between beats.

Before I became a stay-at-home mom and blogger, I used to be a health educator. One of my roles was to educate patients and the communities about health conditions like hypertension.  I would hold free weekly blood pressure clinics where I had both patients and even workers from the hospital I worked at come down and have their blood pressure monitored.  Half would come for a blood pressure check as they suffered from hypertension, or were border-line hypertensive.  Others had a family history of hypertension or stroke and wanted to help avoid this.  But, for whatever reason they came to see me for a blood pressure check, I would always remind them that they were taking the right step in being pro-active about their health.  And, on the occasion that a person would show signs of an elevated blood pressure reading, after checking it again, I would suggest that they contact their physician to have it checked further.

If you are a smoker, drink large amounts of alcohol, don't exercise frequently or consume a lot of salty  or high sodium foods (including soft drinks), then you may be at risk of developing high blood pressure.  Have you had your blood pressure checked recently?  If not, why not consider scheduling an annual checkup with your physician, or visit your local pharmacy or grocery store and have your blood pressure checked at one of the kiosk machines.  While these machines don't always provide an accurate reading, they will show if you have signs of elevated blood pressure that should be looked at and discussed further with your physician.

My husband, like so many other men, hate going to the doctors.  Even when he is sick, he would rather suck it up and lay around the house popping over the counter pills until he feels better.  So, when I asked him recently what his blood pressure levels were, he had no idea?  And, he couldn't remember the last time he went for a physical.  Thankfully, I was recently sent a Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor with Voice-Guided Operation to review, and put it to good use.  

I still go every three-four months for follow up oncology appointments, so I am having my blood pressure checked frequently.  But, it is nice to have a blood pressure cuff to use at home, for instances when my family who has high blood pressure come to visit and forget to bring their cuffs for daily readings, or to check my husband's blood pressure from time to time.

The Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor was easy to use, and even my husband could figure out how to put on his wrist and take a reading, thanks to the voice guided features. You are alerted when you have the proper positioning on your wrist for a reading, which I love.  Back when I was teaching patients how to take their blood pressures at home with either an upper arm or wrist cuff, many would struggle with how to properly place the blood pressure monitor so that they would get an accurate reading.  If not placed correctly, patients would get crazy high readers, scaring themselves or making them think they had high blood pressure when they didn't.  So, a voice guided feature like this is great for adults of all ages looking to monitor their blood pressure at home for themselves, or at the request of their physician.

Why not be pro-active with your health by monitoring your blood pressure regularly, as well as looking at your overall health and making some healthy lifestyle changes like reducing your consumption of sodium, quitting smoking, exercising more, etc.?  Little things can make the world of difference, especially when it comes to preventing hypertension or even stroke.

The Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series BP5K offers professional level blood pressure monitoring in the comfort of your own home.

CardioTech products offer clinically proven technology and are used by physicians and hospitals around the world.  Backed by a 5 year warranty, the Ozeri CardioTech Blood Pressure Monitor ships with 2 AAA batteries included, a carrying case and user manual.

To learn more about the Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor, or to purchase this blood pressure wrist cuff online from Amazon for only $42.95, click here now.

Once you have your blood pressure cuff, print out this FREE blood pressure tracking card to keep track of your readings.  

And, make a point to bring this tracker card to your next doctor's visit to show your blood pressure readings.  

Disclosure: I was sent a product sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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