Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Spice Up Your Holiday Hair with Alberto VO5 + Win a Hair Essentials Kit for 2015 #Giveaway

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

"New Year, New Shine! Have a radiant start to the new year by repairing and strengthening your hair with VO5 Salon Series products like the Total Recovery Hair Mask and Anti-Frizz and Shine Styling Cream!"

Are you heading out to a New Year’s bash tonight or welcoming in a the new year with brunch or a party this upcoming weekend? Why not try out a new hairstyle  to welcome in the new year and make you feel extra special as you hit the town, or just say "hello" to family and friends.

Alberto VO5 is here to help your hair look its best! The iconic hair care brand, conveniently available at your local drugstore, keeps hair healthy and beautiful without breaking the bank so you can buy that must-have holiday party dress, or even a few new pieces to add to your spring 2015 wardrobe.

If you are like me and can never think of stylish up-dos to do with your hair when you are heading out for a date night, to a party, or even hosting family and friends, why not give these easy to do hairstyles that you can achieve with some of your favorite Alberto VO5 products. 

-       Looking for a vintage style that’s not hard to pull off? Try a classic 60’s Bardot ponytail. To achieve this elegant look simply comb and tease hair at the crown before pulling back. Finish with VO5’s Perfect Hold Styling Hairspray and your hair will stay perfect all night.

-       Want an effortlessly chic look that Blake Lively would envy? Loose curls are the way to go! Before curling, prep hair with VO5 Salon Series Anti-Frizz & Shine for frizz free waves. Finish with VO5’s Perfect Hold Styling Hairspray to set the curls for a night of dancing.

-       Love braids and a classic bun? Why not combine them with VO5’s braided Top Knot. To detangle your hair, use VO5’s Simply Stunning Leave-In Conditioner. Grab your hairbrush and pull it back into a high ponytail and braid. Once braided wrap it around itself and pin it. Spray with VO5’s Salon Series Perfect Non-Aerosol Hairspray for a firm hold.

 I can't wait to see photos your share of these or other hairstyles you come up with for ringing in the 2015 or even for an upcoming date night, wedding or night out on the town in the new year.



I am excited to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a fun Alberto VO5 hair essentials kit that features  popular VO5 products that will have your blah hair looking amazing! To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Ring in the New Year with These Great Books from Simon and Schuster for Kids (Book Reviews)

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

Looking for some fun new books to share with your child at bedtime or anytime you want a little extra snuggle time with them in 2015?  Check  out these new and upcoming releases from Simon and Schuster that will surely delight both kids and adults and become instant favorites that will be read over and over again.

Mike and the Vikings
(Also available in ebook format)
Illustrated by: Style Guide
For Ages: 2 - 5
Simon Spotlight
14 pages
ISBN 9781481417730
November 2014


"Mike the Knight is excited when the Vikings storm into town in this sturdy shaped board book with foil on the cover! 

The Vikings are visiting Glendragon. These lovable, fearless, rough-and-tumble explorers have been known to cause a bit of chaos whenever they come to town. It’s up to Mike the Knight to keep them out of trouble! This sturdy shaped board book with foil on the cover is perfect for Mike the Knight’s youngest fans!"

My Thoughts:
Both of my girls love the animated series, Mike the Knight, which airs daily on Nick Jr.  And, now we have quite the collection of both board and paperback featuring their favorite characters, Mike the Knight and his little sister Evie and his dragon friends, Squirt and Sparkle.  While this board book only features Mike the Knight, it was enjoyed by both of my girls, who continue to ask for this book at bedtime, as well as pick up and flip through on their own during the daytime.

This book introduces us to the Vikings, who always seem to get into trouble when they visit Glendragon.  When they com to town, it is up to Mike the Knight to make sure they stay out of trouble.  He learns that the Vikings are not really trouble makers, and that all they want to do is play.  But, they need to be given things like musical instruments to play music, snowballs for juggling, tarlets to satisfy a sweet tooth, etc.  The story itself is straightforward and will keep even the youngest of listeners engaged.  And, the bright, colorful illustrations bring the story to life, and make little ones feel as if they are watching their favorite animated series...just in storybook format.  

My girls love this recent Mike the Knight book and can't wait to add more from this series to their growing Mike the Knight collection in 2015.  And, at only $5.99 for this book, you can't go wrong, as this book would also make for a great book to add to the diaper bag or leave in the car for the kids to enjoy while on the go.

The Biggest Kiss

Illustrated by: Judi Abbot
Little Simon
28 pages
ISBN 9781481417518
December 2014 


"There’s a kiss here for everyone in this warm and cozy Classic Board Book edition of The Biggest Kiss

Do worms kiss underground, with the soil all around?
Do fish kiss like this—splosh, splash, splish?

Everyone needs kisses, so what could be better than a book that’s full of them? With darling animals on every page and irresistible text that begs to be read aloud, parents and grandparents will love sharing this collection of affection with the youngest of readers."

My Thoughts:

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, this is a cute book to share with little ones to show all the different ways we all kiss.  The pages of this sturdy board book show adorable animals kissing and showing affection.  Kids will be saying, "oh, how cute" and have you flip back the pages so that they can look again at the cute animals.  My girls loved this book, and especially loved the extra kisses they got as we read each page of this quick read (only 28 pages).  From big kisses to small kisses and everything in between, this book is perfect to teach little ones new words, opposites and more.  I have been using this book with Savannah for word and letter recognition and it keeps her attention and has her smiling, as I cover her head to foot in kisses. :-)

Pick Me Up, Mama!
(Also available in e-book format)

Illustrated by: Robin Luebs
For Ages: 3 - 5
Little Simor
34 pages
ISBN 9781481416337
December 2014


"A spirited homage to the ups and downs of toddlerhood, Pick Me Up, Mama! is now available for the first time as a board book—perfect for story time! 

Whether she’s up or down, whirling or twirling, dressing or bathing, snacking or snoozing, the busy raccoon in this story enjoys each moment of the day. But like many toddlers, she can’t decide if she’d rather explore on her own or climb back into her mama’s arms. Thank goodness Mama Raccoon loves to snuggle! With a lively, rhyming text and lush illustrations, this story is just right for the scores of little ones who waver between wanting to be carried by a grown-up and yearning to toddle about on their own two feet."

My Thoughts:

I was happy to finally see this book arrive in board book format, as it has been a favorite of my family's and some of my friends, who own the hardcover book.  I originally picked this book up to share with Savannah, but with two little ones, it has seen better days -- hence the need for a board book for little hands to rough house with and still keep intact.

Savannah loved this book when she was in the toddler stage, and now Bella, who just turned 3 loves it.  Like the synopsis above shares, this book is for little ones who are toddlers that are teetering between being a "big kid" and wanting to cuddle up in their mama's arms.  While it is nice to see my girls growing up, I still love to cuddle up with them, and like feeling like they need me to protect them.  I personally love this cute story about a baby raccoon and her desire to explore and grow up, but also realizing she still wants to be close to her mom.   I read this book at bedtime with Bella, who snuggles up close to me, and reminds me that she loves and needs me. :-)

Little ones will love this rhyming book and the illustrations will keep them engaged and having them point out different things like blowing leaves, fish on the girls' dress, butterflies flying around, etc.  I highly recommend this book for parents with toddlers, who are in the "in between" stage, and want to roam one minute and be picked up the next. 

You Are Special, Daniel Tiger!

Adapted by: Angela C. Santomero 
Illustrated by: Jason Fruchter
For Ages: 3 - 7
Simon Spotlight
26 page
ISBN 9781481419154
December 2014


"Daniel Tiger and his friends show off their special talents at school in this deluxe storybook with a padded cover and soft flocking! 

Daniel’s school is putting on a show, and everyone is performing their special talents: Daniel sings, Katerina dances, Prince Wednesday does magic tricks, and Miss Elaina puts on a puppet show. But what makes O the Owl special? Daniel helps O realize that he is special in his own way: “I like you just the way you are.”

My Thoughts:

For a little while, both of my girls stopped watching Daniel Tiger.  But, after receiving this book to review, Bella has started to watch it again, when Savannah is at preschool.  I love to snuggle up on the couch and watch this fun animated PBS Kids series, which airs each morning, and is based on the classic Mr. Roger's Neighborhood series.  

Like the Mike the Knight books, my girls have a nice little collection of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood books to read, and they have been getting good use recently since Bella has become a fan again. And, now, she and Savannah will sit together and flip through the pages, pointing out their favorite characters, as they make up their own stories based on the illustrations, or try to recall the stories after having them read to them each night at bedtime.

In this new hardcover book with cloth cover, Daniel and his friends are having a talent show at show, where they each have to take to the stage and show off a personal skill or talent.  Everyone except for O the Owl seem to know what they want to do.  But, Owl is nervous as he can't think of something that he is good at.  Leave it to Daniel to come to his friend's aid and help him find what he is good at, and remind him that he is special just the way he is, and that he and all his friends and family love Owl no matter what. 

I was a fan of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood growing up and love this new series, which is great for toddlers and preschoolers, and teachers wonderful lessons that will help little ones navigate their feelings and growing up.  This is another book I highly recommend picking up and sharing with your kids, especially if they are fans of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.

Katy Duck and the Secret Valentine

(Part of Ready-to-Reads)
Illustrated by: Henry Cole
For Ages: 4 - 6
Simon Spotlight
24 pages
ISBN 9781442498099
December 2014


"Katy Duck has a secret admirer in this Level 1 Ready-to-Read story for beginning readers.

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
I’m glad to have
a friend like you!
Guess who?

“Tra-la-la. Guess who?”
said Katy Duck.
“Who could my
secret valentine be?”

When Katy Duck receives a secret valentine filled with sparkly stars, she wonders who it could be from! With a little help from her friend Ralph, Katy makes the perfect card for her secret valentine...and discovers who it is!

With sweet text from bestselling author Alyssa Satin Capucilli and bright, friendly illustrations from Henry Cole this Valentine’s Day-themed Level 1 Ready-to-Read story is sure to become a favorite for beginning readers."

My Thoughts:

I have been working with Savannah in starting to teach her to read, as she prepares to enter Kindergarten in the fall.  I find "Ready to Read, Level 1" books like this one to be a great help in teaching her sight words and letter recognition.  With the words being oversized and the text short in length, she is more apt to try and sound out the words and stick to trying to read this book.  And, with a cute duck like Katy, you can't help but smile and want to read about her secret admirer. :-)

When i am not using this as a learn to read book with Savannah, I love reading this book to the girls at bedtime and talking to the girls about Valentine's Day and hearing them describe the types of Valentine's Day cards they would love to make.  This book is perfect for beginner readers, as well as a book to share with little ones to get them excited about Valentine's Day. Soon we will be reading this book and then I will follow up with craft time, where the girls can make their own cards to give to friends and family for Valentine's Day.

Square Cat ABC

Illustrated by: Elizabeth Schoonmaker
For Ages: 4 - 8
32 pages
ISBN 9781442498952
December 2014


"Enjoy the alphabet with this charming tale about a curious mouse and the delightful Eula from Square Cat, which School Library Journal said was “perfect for storytime or sharing one-on-one.” 

Each letter of the alphabet tells the story of an adorable mouse who discovers Eula, a hip-yet-square cat, in her garden. Mouse wants a taste of his favorite vegetable, spinach, but our four-sided feline hates the green leafy stuff. Enter the threatening, pointed quills of a porcupine, and Mouse is ready to run! One letter leads to another and by the story’s end, Mouse and Porcupine are pals—and Eula might even try a taste of zesty spinach."

My Thoughts:

Out of all the books we were recently sent from Simon and Schuster to review, I have to say that this one is by far my girls' favorite, and has been read countless time. Savannah loves this book as she is learning letters and how to write them in school, while Bella wants to be just like her big sister and loves to trace the oversized letters on each page.

Every letter of the alphabet is included in this cute story about a cute little mouse who happens upon a porcupine, a square cat and a garden filed with tasty veggies.  All mouse wants to do is taste his favorite vegetable -- spinach. But, over the course of the story and interactions with Eula, the square cat and porcupine an unlikely friendship is made and spinach, which is not usually a favorite vegetables, especially for kids, is tried and liked by the hip square cat.  Kids will be smiling and giggling as you read through this easy to understand and flowing story.  Just be prepared to stop and let them trace the letters with their fingers and teach them the letter sounds as you flip through the pages of this book.  They will enjoy a cute story, while also learning the letters of the alphabet, in a fun way!

I Love Mom

Illustrated by: Judi Abbot
For Ages: 4 - 8
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
32 pages
ISBN 9781481428088
December 2014


"Show Mom how much you care with this delightful display of parent appreciation from the creators of The Perfect Hug and The Biggest Kiss, which School Library Journal called “a wonderful cuddle-up-and-read choice.” 

Some smiles are sun smiles
run for miles smiles

but no one’s smile is wider, brighter,
than my mom’s smile.

This charming picture book is a celebration of moms everywhere!"

My Thoughts:

This book is perfect for Valentine's day or read anytime you want to cuddle up with your kids and get in a few extra kisses.  From the same author who brought you "The Biggest Kiss" which I shared a review of above, this hardcover book shared with little ones all the things that their mommy does better.  From baking to cleaning up and playing games to even smiling, little ones will be able to share all the things they love about you as a mom in this cute book.  Both of my girls love having me read this book to them and will stop me and tell me "see, I love you because of this" or will say "You are great Mom." 

Kids will love this easy to understand book with cute illustrations, while moms will be reminded through the hectic days about all the ways their kids appreciate and love them. :-) Even if you having an off day or are just burnt out by the end of the night, this book will put a smile on your face and having you receive extra hugs and kisses from your kids, who will remind you that you are a great mom!

These are just a handful of recent additions to the Simon and Schuster collection of books for kids of all ages.  Here are some recent and upcoming book releases that my girls and I are looking forward to picking up and enjoying together...

Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Hugs From Mickey

Barbie: From the Heart

Dora the Explorer: Sing with Dora!

My Favorite Purse

Zen and Bodhi's Snowy Day

Brownie & Pearl Go for a Spin

Balancing Act

Rosie's Walk

To learn more about the above Simon and Schuster titles, as well as check out their other book offerings for children of all ages new in 2015, visit  

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

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Disclosure: I was given a promo code to try out this app for free from the vendor.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

iPhone Screenshot 1

"Nickelodeon gets crafty with the launch of a new creative app, Paw Patrol Draw & Play, inspired by the net’s number-one preschool series, PAW Patrol. Available now, the artistic app gives kids an outlet to use their imagination as they draw, paint and color with their favorite rescue pups-Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma, Skye and the newest pup Everest, as well as their tech-savvy leader Ryder.
iPhone Screenshot 2

PAW Patrol Draw & Play has an array of spectacular features including easy to use drawing, coloring and painting tools and a set of magical effects that combine to make interactive artwork.  

iPhone Screenshot 4

It also features animated stickers, magic wands, spinning splatter-tops, bouncing balls and surprise blocks for more art fun. 

iPhone Screenshot 3 

The PAW Patrol Draw & Play app not only gives kids an easy way to display their artistic creations, but also a simple way to share them via the device gallery.

iPhone Screenshot 5

• Easy to use interface with 8 different brushes for drawing and painting
• 22 Animated Stickers
• Splatter Tops, Magic Wands and Surprise Blocks to create amazing effects in your pictures
• eCards
• Picture ideas to help jump-start your child's imagination
• Animated Tutorials
• Airplay
• Parental Controls

For more pup fun, fans can purchase the PAW Patrol Pup Pack featuring two paw-some apps – PAW Patrol Rescue Run and PAW Patrol Draw & Play.
The PAW Patrol Draw & Play app is the net’s latest offering of curriculum-driven preschool apps. Nick has launched more than 20 preschool apps including the newly released Nick Jr. App, which is currently the number-one free Kids and Education app, as well as top-performing titles like PAW Patrol Rescue Run (problem-solving and social skills), Wallykazam! Letter and Word Magic (literacy),Bubble Guppies Animal School Day (science), and the award-winning Nick Jr. Draw and Play (creativity and imagination)."


My Thoughts:

Savannah is a huge Paw Patrol fan.  How big?  There is not a day that goes by that she is not wearing a Paw Patrol t-shirt or toting around one of her favorite pups from the show. And, come Christmas, I have a feeling Santa will be bringing her more Paw Patrol toys, as this is all she asked for.  :-)  

When Savannah is not playing with her toys or acting out scenes from the show with Bella, she loves to play with the Paw Patrol apps on our iPad, with this new app being her favorite so far.  I don't know about you, but whenever my girls are using the iPad, they always seem to seek out coloring or doodling apps.  Knowing this, I knew that Savannah would love this new Paw Patrol, which released last week.  And, that she did!  Within the first few minutes of playing, she had gone through the different features of this app, and was creating fun colorful pictures of her favorite pups, some of which she turned into e-cards and had me to send to Nana and Papa. 

I like it when apps are easy for little ones to grasp and learn how to navigate around, and this is one that I didn't have to stop and show her how to use it.  The interface is similar to other painting apps, where you choose the brush size and paint color and then move throughout the picture filling in the lines.  But, what made this a really fun app that keeps Savannah wanting to play with over and over, is the animated sticker feature.  She loves seeing her pictures come to life. And, the use of the magic wand to add more life to her pictures is also a fun feature.

Savannah is not only having fun creating pictures of her favorite Paw Patrol pups, but she is also letting her imagination run wild with the different ways she utilizes the magic wand and the placement of the animated stickers, to create one of a kind pictures.  This app received 2 thumbs up from Savannah, and I know other fans of Paw Patrol will say the same, once they play with this highly entertaining Draw & Play app.  And, at only $3.99, you can't go wrong for the price, especially if you are looking to add a few new apps to your iPad or mobile device to keep the kids busy during upcoming holiday travel or family gatherings.  

To learn more about this app, or to purchase it now, visit

About PAW Patrol
PAW Patrol stars a pack of heroic rescue pups-Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma, Skye and the newest pup Everest-who are led by a tech-savvy boy named Ryder.  Together they work hard to show the people of Adventure Bay that “no job is too big, no pup is too small!” In partnership with Spin Master Entertainment, the series features a curriculum that focuses on citizenship, social skills and problem-solving. PAW Patrol is the number-one preschool series on Nickelodeon and airs weekdays at 12 p.m. (ET/PT).
About Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon, now in its 35th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in almost 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 19 consecutive years.  Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B). 

Disclosure: I was given a promo code to try out this app for free from the vendor.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cosco Launches New Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat Line - Available Now at Walmart for ONLY $46!

**Stay tuned as I will be following up in a couple of weeks with a review AND GIVEAWAY.**

Now that my girls are growing, I am finding that the car seats we bought for them when they were babies no longer fit them, or simply don't work in the new used car we had to upgrade to after my other car went kaput!  I have been dragging my feet when it comes to buying new car seats as I spent what seemed like a fortune on the four car seats we have in our cars now -- that simply are cutting it.  The last thing I want to do is buy another car seat and find that in the next year or two the girls outgrow this one, too -- only to have to buy another and then another.  If only there was a trusted brand that offered not only a compact size car seat that would fit perfectly in the back seat of our car and would provide the room and comfort my girls need.

Then, like a sign, I was sent an email the other day telling me about a new convertible car seat launch from Cosco.  I have to tell you that I was not familiar with the Cosco car seat line.  

"The Scenera NEXT retails for $46 (YES $46!!) at Walmart and is one of the only car seats on the market to fit three car seats across.  The seat is forward and rear facing from 5-40 pounds, has side impact protection and machine washable fabric. 

Cosco Scenera NEXT Car Seat, (Choose your Print)

And it’s already receiving praise from car seat advocates nationwide for its safety and affordability!"

Fun fact – Did you know that Cosco Car Seats are made in America? Cosco’s first priority is family and the company is proud of what its workers do every day to help keep children safe. To coincide with the roll out of the first Scenera NEXT’s, Cosco is launching a personalized letter writing campaign. Over 500 of the first Scenera NEXT’s will feature handwritten notes from a child of one of Cosco’s Columbus, Indiana, employees.

After checking out the Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat, mainly because of the amazing prize of $46, I couldn't believe all the rave reviews of previous car seat releases that I read from parents and caregivers. This made me wonder why I never considered Cosco before. 

Not only was I sent an email sharing about this recent launch, but I was also asked if I wanted to review one of the new Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seats with my girls, and share a giveaway.  I couldn't resist, and jumped at the opportunity.  While I wait for the car seat to arrive to try out, I wanted to make sure you were aware of the new Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seats available from Cosco at the amazing price of only $46, in case you, too, are in need of a new car seat, or need to pick up a spare for the grandparents, babysitter or your spouse's car..  
And, like I said, there will be a giveaway of not only a Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat, but I will also be giving one lucky reader who wins the car seat a $25 Walmart gift card, too!  So, make sure you keep an eye out for my upcoming Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat review and giveaway post coming soon.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Mrs. Claus Wants You to Have a Heart Healthier Holiday and New Year...And is Sharing How She and Santa are Making Lifestyle Changes #IC #Sponsored

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for DSM. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

When you think of healthy eating habits, one of the last people who comes to mind to model their behavior is Santa Claus, right?  I thought the same until I recently watched the following video by none other than the woman in charge at the North Pole, Mrs. Claus herself.

I was shocked when I heard Mrs. Claus talking about heart disease and how many people it really affects.  While I knew it was the #1 cause of death in the US, I didn't know that about 25 % of the population is living with heart disease, or about 80 million Americans.  Twenty-five perfect may seem small, but when you hear 80,000 it becomes scary and makes you really step back and look at how you and your family are living and start to think about ways that you improve your heart health.  Even small changes make the world of just have to be willing to put the time and effort into making these changes and keeping these healthy habits -- not just because it is in your best interest, but also you teach by example, and you need to be a role model to your child(ren).

As families begin gathering for the holidays, you may find yourself talking about health and how some family members are not as healthy as they were in year's past.  You may even be surprised to hear that a relative who you only see at the holidays has suffered a heart attack or has needed to have surgery to treat clogged arteries, etc.  

While you may not want to talk about health or think about making changes to your diet and overall health, the holidays are the best time to start talking, as everyone will be together.  You may find that when you start talking that you have a family history of heart disease, that you may not have known about? 

But, when it comes to talking with family about heart health, where do you start?  Even though Mrs. Clause and Santa Claus are busy getting ready for the busiest night of the year, they have also been busy making changes to their diets and tracking their progress over at  In addition to sharing their progress, Mrs. Claus and Santa have also shared tips from nutrition and heart health experts, that will provide a starting point for your family to talk about and create a health plan that will have living a heart healthy lifestyle in 2015. 

You can help prevent heart disease and the change of a heart attack or even death, but making changes to your diet and lifestyle.  By exercising and eating foods rich in nutrients like omega-3S, vitamin D and E, and Beta-Glucan, as well as taking supplements like fish oil and multivitamins to get all your essential nutrients (that diet alone can't provide), you can reduce your chances of becoming part of the heart disease statistic that Mrs. Claus mentioned in her video above.  

So, as you say goodbye to 2014, why not make 2015 the year of change. Take control of your heart health and ask your family to do the same.  While the holidays may be the only time you get to see family, you want to be able to enjoy and cherish this special time with everyone, for years to come.  I know I do!

You can visit which DSM launched and has been adding updates, informative pieces and more.  From now until December 23rd to read about the Claus' heart health plan, track their progress and gain useful information that will you create your own health plan.  I found the Q&A with Mrs. Claus and heart health experts to be very informative, as was the infographics shared, including one highlighting heart healthy supplements.  

There was also a breakdown of bad-for-you-foods during the holiday season and healthy swaps you can make.  

Looking for simple ways to eat well & sustainably this festive season? DSM shares some tips here:

Sad to say but most of the foods I usually with our holiday table with made it on the bad-for-you-food lists.  I will definitely be swapping these out for healthy ones, as I really want to be proactive when it comes to the heart health of my family.  When visiting, you will also find recipes that you can make, including the one below, I will be making in place of Cesar salad I usually make:

Spinach Berry Salad

By Mayo Clinic Staff


• 4 packed cups torn fresh spinach (spinach is rich in folate, potassium, and fiber—all great for heart health)

• 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries (full of anti-inflammatories, which can reduce risk of heart disease and cancer)
• 1 cup fresh, or frozen, blueberries (full of anti-inflammatories, which can reduce risk of heart disease and cancer)
• 1 small sweet onion, sliced
• 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (among the most antioxidant-rich nuts, they may prevent plaque formation in arteries; they have been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol levels as much as 33 percent)

Salad Dressing

• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or cider vinegar

• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon curry powder (can be omitted)
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper


In a large salad bowl, toss together spinach, strawberries, blueberries, onion and pecans. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine dressing ingredients. Shake well. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information (per Serving)

• Total Carbohydrate: 25g
• Dietary Fiber: 4g
• Sodium: 197mg
• Saturated Fat: 0.5g
• Total Fat: 5g
• Cholesterol: 0mg
• Protein: 4g
• Monounsaturated Fat: 3g
• Calories: 158

Wonder what Santa will be snacking on while he is riding around on his sleigh on Christmas Eve?  Over at, you will on-the-go and on-plan snacks that Mrs. Claus will be packing for him, that you, too, can incorporate into your day to day on the go snacking options.

Maybe next time you think about heart health and healthy eating habits, you will think of Santa Claus.  From what I have been seeing on the tracker  tracker detailing the hearth healthy progress of the Claus family, he and the Mrs. are making the necessary changes to a heart healthy lifestyle, that you can model your life after.

Take full advantage of having family around this holiday season to talk about hearth health and Mrs. Claus's initiative.  Remind family and friends that heart attacks increase over the holidays.  But, that by making changes to your diet, you can reduce your risks.  Yes, it may be hard to say "no" to the dessert table and fattening side dishes, but you have to start sometime.  And, the holidays are the perfect time to start adding more fruits and veggies into your diet, and into meals and snacks you serve up your family. And, don't forget about daily multivitamins and supplements to achieve the essential nutrients you need for a heart healthy diet.  Oh yeah, and Mrs. Claus would love for you to skip the cookies and whole milk for Santa.  Instead, why not leave him a plate of healthy fruit and veggies with a glass of water or low-fat milk.  The reindeer love their veggies...and your heart will, too!

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for DSM. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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