My family has taken a lot of vacations over the years, and discovered a lot of places to love. And one of the most fun-filled trips we ever took was to beautiful California. When people think of California, places like Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the Napa Valley wine region tend to spring to mind. But […]
I do not like wasting anything. I’m not obsessively frugal in other ways but seeing food, paper, or anything else wasted is like seeing money being thrown away to me. Money that could pay for a movie night out with my boys or maybe a fun vacation down the road. So I love finding products that understand that feeling and work to find ways for me to waste less.
Recently, Clorox debuted a newly redesigned spray bottle featuring a special Smart Tube® technology that ensures every drop of the cleaner can be used. I know I’m not the only one that tips an almost-empty cleaning bottle back and forth trying to get every bit of the cleaner out and I couldn’t wait to see how the technology works. [Read more…]
Cook, chauffeur, personal shopper, nurse, coach…at some point, all these careers are managed by one very busy individual and to her kids, she’ll always just be known as Mom. Whether you’re a working professional or a stay-at-home parent to your children, chances are good that you’re very, very busy. And of course, with school in full swing and extra-curricular activities starting up, that’s even truer.
So what can a busy mother do to handle the stress of running from one place to another all day? Well, it starts with a reliable vehicle. As tiring as it can be to constantly be on the go, it’s far worse needing to be somewhere and not being able to get there. I should know; I’ve experienced it.
When my oldest son was still a baby, we had a car that sometimes used to sputter and occasionally die completely as we were driving. When it happened one day on a busy city street in the middle of winter, I couldn’t help but panic. We got the car over to the side of the road just as the engine cut out and I sat there in the cold wondering how I was going to get my baby back home. We managed to get the car running and get to our house, but we sold the car shortly thereafter so that we would never have to experience that fear again.
Dodge knows how important a reliable family vehicle is to a family’s well being, and that’s why the company prides itself on providing safe and reliable vehicles for families. But with today’s busy lifestyles, there are other features that moms need too. When I head out the door with my family, I need a vehicle that can hold the entire family, a week’s worth of groceries, a stroller, sports equipment and, of course, my huge “Mom purse.”
The Dodge Grand Caravan claimed to be just such a vehicle and for the next month, you can visit the UrbanMoms Auto Reviews section of the website and hear from two UrbanMoms writers that are going to be putting the Dodge Grand Caravan to the test.
And as if that wasn’t enough, while you’re reading about how the vehicle stands up to the busy lifestyle of today’s mom, you can also enter to win a $250 gas card! If having a reliable vehicle reduces family stress, being able to fill up that vehicle for free is sure to help too! So visit UrbanMoms, read the reviews and enter to win a prize that will have you cruising through the busy school year with a smile!
I try pretty hard to make sure that my boys get plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables, but one of their little quirks is that they both prefer their vegetables raw. Zackary especially won’t touch most veggies after they’ve been cooked and so veggie plates and salads are frequently on our table.
But when serving raw veggies, it’s important to remember that proper food handling and preparation is essential if you want that salad you’re serving your family to be not just healthy, but safe too! The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement is a model program that was created by California farmers to raise the bar for food safety. They want to remind you that you should always follow this checklist when handling your leafy greens:
- Check to make sure the leafy greens are fresh and are refrigerated at the store.
- Chill the greens within two hours of purchasing.
- Clean your hands and all surfaces before handling the greens. Never use detergents to wash the greens. Wash leafy greens under cool running tap water. Package leafy greens labelled “ready-to-eat” “washed” or “triple washed” need not be washed.
- Separate leafy greens from raw meat, poultry, or seafood in your refrigerator and don’t use the same cutting board. Cook or throw away leafy greens that come into their contact.
- Throw Away leafy green that have been sitting in your fridge for a long time.
But a bit of extra effort is worth it when you consider that leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps your body transport calcium. Even better, some specific leafy greens pack even more of a nutritional punch! One cup of chopped kale, for example, is loaded with nutrients and provides more than 100% of your RDI of Vitamins A, C and K! And one and a half cups of Butter lettuce (also called Bibb lettuce) contains just ten calories and provides 2% of your daily calcium! But remember, leafy greens like spinach, kale, cabbage and lettuce are good for more than just salads! The next time you’re looking to liven up your greens a little, why not try one of these tasty recipes?
Butter Lettuce Bundles with Thai Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salad
This versatile recipe can be served as a deconstructed salad in fun individual lettuce bundles, or even as fresh, healthy lettuce wraps your guests can build themselves at a buffet-style party. The creamy taste of butter lettuce is a perfect complement to the Thai vinaigrette. More great recipes can be found at www.safeleafygreens.com.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Makes 6 servings
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper .5 mL
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced 15 mL
- 1 tbsp lemongrass paste 15 mL
- 1 tbsp sugar 15 mL
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil 15 mL
- 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce 45 mL
- 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice 45 mL
- 1large mango peeled and cut into thin strips
- ½ small red onion, sliced very thin
- 1½ cups grape tomato halves 375 mL
- 3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped 45 mL
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped 45 mL
- 1 avocado, peeled and cut into wedges
- 6 butter lettuce leaves
- Combine cayenne pepper, garlic, lemongrass paste, sugar, sunflower oil, fish sauce and lime juice in a serving bowl.
- In a serving bowl, toss together mango, onion, tomatoes and herbs. Gently, mix in avocado. Add in vinaigrette and toss gently to distribute. Spread butter leaves over serving platter and top with mango salad. Serve salad immediately.
Baked Kale Chips Spiked with Chili Parmesan Garlic Salt
Kale is a super healthy leafy green vegetable. Baking kale into a crunchy, chip-style snack will have you munching through bunch after bunch, guaranteed! Kale bunches vary in size and produce anywhere from 12 to 16 cups (3 to 4 L) of bite-sized kale pieces. This recipe is for 12 cups (3 L) of uncooked kale (serving size reduces when cooked). More great recipes can be found at www.safeleafygreens.com.
Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cooking time: 8 to 12 minutes
Makes 4 to 6 cups (1 to 1.5 L)
1 medium bunch kale, washed and dried
1 tbsp garlic, finely minced 15 mL
½ tsp crushed chili flakes 2 mL
2 to 3tbspolive oil30 to 45 mL
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated 45 mL
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Tear off washed bite-sized kale leaves from hard stems and place in large plastic bag.
- Whisk together garlic, chili flakes and oil. Drizzle oil mixture over kale, hold bag closed and shake to coat kale leaves as evenly as possible. Do this in two batches if needed.
- Lightly spray a sheet pan with oil. Spread each kale leaf out flat on pan. Crowd leaves but do not overlap.
- Bake in oven for 8 to 12 minutes. Kale is done when leaves are dark green and crisp. Do not let kale turnbrown. Transfer kale to a rack to cool and repeat with remaining kale.
- Serve kale in a large bowl. If there are leftovers, store in a sealed container and keep at room temperature for up to a week.
If you want to learn more about what these recipes taste like and enter to win an amazing prize pack worth $275 from the California LGMA, why not visit UrbanMoms and check out the reviews of these mouth-watering recipes to see which one you might want to try? And don’t forget, whether you grow your own lettuce or buy it at the store, proper handling is the best way to make sure that your leafy greens will safely provide your family with essential vitamins and nutrients!
Pets have always been a part of my life, and I’ve featured posts before about our diva of a pet cat, the standoffish Siamese Racer. While she may seem reserved, she is so gentle and affectionate and we have never had to worry about her scratching or biting the boys, even when they get a little too rough.
Needless to say, Racer is a huge part of all our family activities. She comes on every family trip with us and we never celebrate a special occasion without spoiling her with a treat or a new toy too! She’s such an important member of our family and this Family Day, we’ll be making sure that she gets to do some celebrating too, if only with some extra cuddle-time!
We’ve owned dogs in the past and while we don’t have one now, I know we’ll most likely have one in the future! I just want our boys to be old enough to help care for a dog first! I believe every family should have a pet, and so does Purina, which is why the company has recently conducted a poll to see just how important pets are to Canadian families. The Dog Chow Family Poll showed that:
- Three-quarters of Canadian dog owners take their canine companions into account when making decisions about vacations, homes and car purchases
- Over half spend more time with their loved ones because they have a dog and the majority (85%) speak to their dogs like a full-fledged family member
- As a nation many of us (71%) describe the family dog as a playmate, with this number increasing slightly for those with kids (76%)
If you’r thinking about getting a pet, there are some important considerations to make first, though! A professional dog trainer offers these great tips:
- Leaders Not Littermates: Children should take on smaller tasks such as feeding, positive treat training and walking the dog to ensure the family dog understands his position in the pack
- Consistency is Key: And when it comes to timing for feeding, exercise and discipline, getting on the same page as an entire family is a great way to bring everyone together and assign responsibilities.
UrbanMoms and Purina Dog Chow want to help make your Family Day with your pet extra special, so they are giving away an amazing Purina Dog Chow Family Day Prize Pack worth $125! The prize pack contains:
- A luxury dog bed – To provide a plush home for your pet
- Tasty bags of Purina Dog Chow – Provides a complete, healthy meal in every serving for a fun and energetic Family Day
- Dog-inspired picture frame – To display your Family Day memories
So visit UrbanMoms today to enter to win and enjoy a day of fun and relaxation with your loved ones, pets included! After all, no family is really complete without an animal to share the love with!
When it’s time to open Christmas presents, sing carols, attend concerts and play with toys, having a good way to capture all those memories is a must. Unfortunately, photography is not one of my gifts, so I have a hard time understanding what type of camera is best for making sure we can look back on holiday festivities years from now. My husband, on the other hand, is an amazing photographer, though he often comments that with a good camera, his pictures could be even better.
If you, unlike me, have great photography skills but have a desire for a better camera, check out the review of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3X that UrbanMoms blogger Jen from Trend Watch recently posted! Here’s a brief excerpt:
I am my family’s photographer. It’s a role that I take quite seriously because I, more than anyone else, enjoy reviewing the photos that capture our lives together. I’m the one who downloads them onto the computer, spends time editing, selecting favourites for screensavers, prints, photobooks, and gifts.
I take pride in my role and in my skills. I’ve taken photography courses, done extensive research before buying any camera, carry cameras with me wherever we go, and am quick to pull them out and chronicle our days photographically. But I’m always looking to improve my skills, my tools and my end results.
So, when I was asked to review the new Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3X camera, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve spent the last week playing with this beautiful camera and I’m… Click here to read the full review
UrbanMoms and Panasonic want to help you preserve your family’s special moments. UrbanMoms is giving away a Panasonic LUMIX GF3X to one lucky member! Visit UrbanMoms to enter for a chance to win!