Monday, January 30, 2012

Chi Moments

Original Sun Ancon Chi Machine
This past weekend my back was giving me issues, so I pulled out my Chi Machine. Since I don't use it regularly like I should I did 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon.  I have been using the Chi Machine for about 15 years off and on and really should use it more often to maximize the benefits.  Over the years my Chi Machine has given me relief from lower back pain as well as relaxation.When I was younger and dancing I would use the Chi Machine to relax stiff and sore muscles.  I have also found the regular use helps with digestion and after reading more about the machine's benefits I understand that using the machine is actually massaging your abdominal organs. While I was reading my notes to write this post, I found something interesting on their website talking about lymphatic drainage, who knew? Guess I should be using it more often as this is an issue I have had in the past related to my ears, besides the fact 10-20 minutes of quiet relaxation is good for Mom no matter what.
   **This is not a sponsored post, just me sharing my experiences with a useful tool***

Sunday, January 22, 2012

History and Fun Facts about Champagne infographic
Brought To By, Purveyors of Fine Wine and Champagne has a wonderful selection of gifts and Wine Gift Baskets for any occassion. Living in Oregon's wine country people assume I know something about wine. Honestly I wish I knew more. I love when I find websites that can help me with selection. has a great tool to help, Wine Basics is a simple way to find a wine as a gift or for yourself.

***This is a sponsored post, however the written thoughts are that of this blog owner***

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Adding Nutrition to help the community #AbbottCFK #cbias

I am one of Millions

This is the second post talking about the Champions for Kids project sponsored by Abbott Nurtition.  As I mentioned in my previous post I decided to supply 2 local food banks with a bag of PediSure drinks and Zone Perfect bars to add to their supplies. As I have received boxes from both food banks I know how hard it is to supply nutritional balanced food that is not packed with a ton of additives. Due to the nature of the programs, it becomes a situation where you take what is available and pray for the best. 
I really wanted to give back to these 2 organizations to help other families in their struggle to make ends meet. 
Lafayette Community Church offers 2 programs, first twice a week they do a bread giveaway where depending on the availability people are able to get bread and pastry products. This local mission helps on a weekly basis fill the cupboards on people in the community, especially families of young children.   LCC also hosts a twice monthly Food Bank where families receive a box of food stores to help get through the month based on the number in their family. The boxes contain things like cereal, soups, frozen vegetables, local fresh produce donated by farmers or church members with an abundance, eggs, milk, juice, and meat products. Recipients are also given a bread product.  The contents of the box vary depending on what is available, but no matter what the box is there for families to help make it through the month.   LCC food bank and bread bank is located in a historic building in Lafayette and the staff are loving and compassionate toward the community. 

Dayton First Baptist Church also hosts a twice monthly food bank where families in the community can shop through their Food Bank to fill their bags. Through a previous donation Dayton First Baptist Food Bank began having recipients use recycled grocery sacks. I was able to previous donate some grocery sacks and am so happy to see the program moving forward. Families are asked to bring their sacks back each time.  The program is set up like a store where each recipient is led through the room selecting products they can use for their family.  In this fashion nothing in the store room is wasted and if a family has health issues or allergies they can work to help them find items that will meet their needs.  Debbie, the coordinator of the program gets to know the families and welcomes each with open arms. Each family signs in and waits in the church gym area where the kids are allowed to play together, kids from all backgrounds, faiths, and demographics. 
Knowing both these organizations it wasn't hard for me to head to the local Walmart and pick up PediSure, PediSure sidekicks, and Zone Perfect snack bars to give back  to the community.   Cameron and I headed to town and met my Mom who joined us for the shop. I had a couple of internet coupons I printed before we left making it possible to pick up a little more to donated. We easily found the products we were looking for and also picked up a few other items we needed as well. Check out our full shopping trip here. 
It is amazing the difference a couple of days can make. We had sunny skies the day we went shopping and then winter finally decided to arrive in Oregon. We had snowy weather , cold temps, wind, and lots of Oregon rain which put a slight delay on delivering the bags to their respective locations, but I decided I wasn't going to let a little Oregon weather keep me from giving back.  Monday afternoon I delivered a bag full of PediSure, Zone Perfect bars, and a few other items to Lafayette Community Church's Food Bank, as it was a bread bank day I decided not to take photos inside the facility.  
I am arranging an off day to Dayton First Baptist Food Bank but wanted to share them with you  either way. I love this sign as you leave the parking lot at Dayton First Baptist Church. Makes me really think every time I see it, are we treating each day as a day in the Mission Fields. 

I will continue to support both these organizations whenever I can as they have support me and my family through the last few years. 

I am very grateful to Collective Bias and Abbott Nutrition for selecting me to be a part of this  paid social insight study and hope you will consider support Abbott Nutrition as they support the Champions for Kids initiative. 

Follow Champions for Kids on Facebook and Twitter or head over to their website to join in the challenge 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Want to keep it hot and not get burned? #mompact

Do you love your hot drinks?  While my preferred is tea, I live in an area with a lot of coffee shops and I know that people get the disposable wrappers on their coffee.. I love these clothe reversible wrappers for 12 and 20 oz cups. They make great gifts for teachers, friends, daycare providers, Moms (yes , I gave my mom one for Christmas...)
Hot Joe Jackets are made in Oregon which I love! Each Hot Joe Jacket has 2 layers of fabric plus an insulated liner and adjustable Velcro to fit around your hot beverage.  There are several fun designs to select from to match just about any personality.
Hot Joe Jackets are currently part of an awesome Meet the Moms giveaway hosted by MomPact or you can purchase one on the MomPact  website  HotJoeJacket.

***I received Hot Joe Jackets as part of my MomPact Consultant kit to share with my blog readers and at MomPact socials. This article contains affiliate links where I may receive a percentage of sales received via that link****

Meet the Moms with a Mompact Rafflecopter event.

Do you want to be a HippMama too? Here is your chance to win one HippMama Toolbelt and two Hot Joe Jackets from Mompact.  You can read my review of the HippMama Toolbelt 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 9, 2012

They hunger, but we can help be Champions for Kids.

Children in America go hunger and struggle through their days even with the assistance of school programs.
For many parents they often don't even know the help is out there and that they qualify for that help. Here in Oregon there are local Food Banks in most communities and the guidelines for those programs are very simple. It is a very real issue especially in this economy that people struggle and choices are made every day how to spend their hard earned money. All too often food budgets are cut making it hard to keep up with the appetites of that smallest ones. 
I am going to be very honest with you, I have been to the local FoodBanks myself and when my youngest was just an infant we received assistance from the WIC program. I was very grateful at the time for the assistance even though I was nursing my youngest we still needed to keep my oldest feed as well as the help keeping me able to feed my youngest.  Pride and lack of understanding of the program available often keep people from seeking the assistance that can so often make a world of difference, that is why I have chosen to participate in another wonderful program with the Champions For Kids projects. I am filling boxes for Abbott Industries products for 2 local Food Banks that have helped me and may family in the recent past and still do on occasion.  I know even couponing doesn't always get the job done for some families and I want to help when I can. I chose to participate in this program because I know that the products in this program can help give a child an extra boost in their day and can help a parent feel comfortable knowing their child is getting a little extra nutrition. The products are also helpful to the adults. I know as a parent there are days when I need a little extra energy to keep up with my boys and a little kick in the rear or a quick snack can make all the difference. 
Champions for KidsLast month Cameron and I did another Champions for Kids simple service project and it was one of the most rewarding things we have done together. Knowing that even the little bit we were able to do helped someone else felt good, revived my sense of community and the human nature. So, we decided to look into more programs and are happy to be involved in this program .  For January we are giving back to two organizations that are near and dear to us. Dayton First Baptist Church and Lafayette Community Church both have wonderful Food Banks where the staff is friendly and doesn't pass judgement on you no matter what your circumstances are.  Both these churches hold regular twice monthly food giveaways to people in their communities with open arms. They ask for nothing in return and only ask that you reside in the corresponding community. 
abbottlogojpgforSSsite.jpgNow as readers I would ask you to consider in the New Year giving what you can to help your local Food Bank and if you don't know yours, you can check with the county offices and they usually will have a list.  
If you are in my local area and would like to help with the boxes I am creating please feel free to leave a comment here. My goal is to fill 2 boxes with PediSure, Pediasure Sidekicks, and Zone Perfect Bars, and  to donate to the Food Banks before January 24th (a distribution day for both). 

Although this shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias the activity and additional assistance I am able to provide to these to charities is my own choosing. 

Rafflecopter and an Apple iPad2

I am so excited about this!
Enter to win an Apple iPad2 from Rafflecopter.
Just complete the form below.
But do me a favor, mention Cariann McCready  in the first entry as the one who referred you so I have a chance to win a Kindle Fire.
I am not the owner of the giveaway only sharing with my readers.

This giveaway is open for the US and Canadian residents and will close February 9th at 12:01 a.m. EST.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Menu Plan Monday #blogboost

I am actually a day ahead but wanted to share our Menu plan for the week:

Sunday: Souper Sunday (in other words the left over soup in the fridge! Both are home made soups from the past week that everyone liked.)

Monday: Chili Mac (I was able to find Nalley's Chili on sale for $.86 a can so I stocked up last week)
2 cans of chili
1 1/2 cups dry macaroni
1 cup of cheese
chopped onions (optional) 

Cook Macaroni Noodles as directed
drain and rinse
add the 2 cans of chili and return to heat. Heat on medium until Chili is heated thoroughly
serve in bowls topped with cheese and onions.

Tuesday: Salsa Chicken (recipe to follow)
Wednesday:  Meatballs and rice with cream of mushroom soup
Thursday: Tuna Noodle Casserole (Super Simple Supper)

I will share the other recipes through out the week, as well as our new Weekly Menu Board.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Are you a HippMamma? Do you need 3 hands? #mompact #blogboost

If you are a Mom you know the feeling, 'I wish I had 3 hands'
I know there are days when I feel like that.

While I can't offer a third hand, I have found a great solution in The HippMama Toolbelt
As a homeschool Mom I always feel like I am looking for some teaching tool, be it my phone (it is a smart phone), pencils, a sharpener, wipes for noses, my water bottle, note cards, or any other little bit.

The HippMama Toolbelt keeps everything I need close at hand. I didn't feel awkward wearing it. The belt is fully adjustable and wide enough to be comfortable. I have the blue polka dots since I am a Mom of boys, although I think the pink polka dots is nice too.
According to my boys they don't mind me wearing when we go out, and I have even worn it teaching a creative writing class as well as a High School yearbook class in our homeschool co-op.
The belt comes with 5 pockets in varying sizes. All the pockets have Velcro closures at the top and wide Velcro straps to attach to the belt. There is also a handy hook for keys. I have worn this while shopping, homeschooling, and co-op teaching.
The belt retails for $40 and is available online through MomPact as well as from the HippMama website.

HippMAMA - The Tool Belt for Moms
HippMamma can also be found on Twitter or Facebook
HippMamma is one of several Mom Invented products found at MomPact

Per FTC guidelines links within this blog may be afiliate links where I receive a small percentage based on sales of a product. I received the HippMama Toolbelt as part of my consultant kit with MomPact and am offering my review based on my personal experience.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday so I decided to share a This Day in History Post to mix it up a little, I'll add commentary to events I know something about.

I found this one interesting:
On Jan. 3, 1959, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Alaska to the Union as the 49th state.

I share my birthday with some famous people: 
On Jan. 3, 1793, Lucretia Mott, an early proponent of the women's rights movement in America, was born. 
January 3, 1892 J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
January 3, 1956  Mel Gibson, Actor, director
January 3, 1975 Danica McKellar, Actress ("The Wonder Years")

This one is pretty cool as I've supported The March of Dimes for a long time: 
1938: The March of Dimes campaign to fight polio begins

Here is one more, an enlightening one:
1521: Martin Luther is excommunicated from the Catholic Church
 (if only we all had his conviction to stand up for what we believe

On This Day: January 3 -  Check out fun and interesting bits for any day!
As a homeschool Mom I love finding sites like this to help make learning a little more fun.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Private Selection: an option for Appetizers and Frozen Pizza #blogboost #imabzzagent

Are you looking for a classier Frozen Pizza with more flavor? What about some fun appetizers in a hurry?  Private Selection from Kroger stores might just be your go to.  Over the holidays we received coupons to try  Private Selection frozen appetizers, desserts, and pizza. I picked up 2 frozen pizzas and a dessert and appetizer. While the dessert and appetizers were exactly a hit, the pizza seemed to hit the spot. It was a late night and the boys wanted pizza , usually I would make a trip to town and pick up a Take-n-Bake pizza from 1 of 2 places, but this particular night it was too late and I was too tired to drive the 12 miles to town to pick up a pizza. So I pulled out the 2 frozen pizzas and we cooked them up.
I had some preconceived ideas of frozen pizza but this was definitely better than what I expected.  The crust was thin and crispy, the toppings were plenty , and the flavor was pretty good.
The boys liked it as well which surprised me since they expected simple flavors.
I cut the 2 pizzas up so that we each got a piece of each, but this pizza would work well cut smaller for a buffet style party tray.
I also highly recommend watching your local Kroger brand store for sales and CATALINA printed coupons. When I purchased mine, they had a special running if you bought 3 Private Selection frozen packages you received $3.00 off your next purchase (not sure if they still have that deal going or not).

I don't always shop at our Kroger brand store (Fred Meyer) as it isn't totally convenient but I have to say with awesome coupon deals and in store specials you can enjoy quality and not spend over the budget.
If you have a casual party (Football weekends are here for the next month), consider trying some of the Private Selection appetizers , desserts, or ice creams as well as other Private Selection labeled foods.

****I received coupons for samples of Private Selection products as a Bzzagent in exchange for my honest opinion of their product, no other monetary compensation was received****

Looking ahead while looking back #blogboost

Looking ahead while looking back on this year here at the Spot.

I started this blog in late 2010 to move back to blogger and change the focus of my blogging. Over the last 14 months I have grown as a blogger and met some amazing people along this journey. 

I try and share things I enjoy as well as things I hope will help someone out there. I often make a dinner for my family and take pictures of the process, after we are eating dinner I will ask them " is this blogable?" and if they say yes then I will share the recipe.

I love to share crafts, but I tend to craft simple so many crafts never make it to the blog because they are too simple, at least that is my feeling toward them. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time; I really want you to get something from this Spot

I try to balance the posts here, I don’t want to share all paid / sponsored posts, but don’t think I really have enough other content to move away from the paid/ sponsored posts.  I also love sharing Book reviews but haven’t had the time to read / catch up on reading to share them with you.

This month I really want to get caught up on Book Reviews (I have several books I’m reading for reviews), but I also want to share some fun stuff as I participate in the Ultimate Blog Challenge again this year.  The goal is to share 31 posts with you over the next month. I am trying to come up with new and interesting posts to write and improve the content for you the reading and me as the blogger.

Happy New Year to all my readers, here’s to looking ahead and not focusing on the past too much.