February 19, 2017

26 Valentine’s Day Crafts and Activities for Kids

With Valentine’s Day being the loveliest day of the year, its the perfect opportunity for children to express their creativity and learn the joy of giving to others.  Using simple objects that can be found in your home, you and your children can create arts & crafts and fun gifts to share on V-Day (or anytime during the year).

Check out the following list of some easy (and inexpensive) Valentine’s Day crafts, games and activities to make with kids:

Easy and Creative Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids
mamiofmultiples.com/easy-and-creative-valentines-day-crafts-for-kids

Suncatcher Tissue Valentines Day Heart
makobiscribe.com/easy-valentines-day-craft-for-kids-tissue-paper-heart-suncatcher

Valentines Day Tree Paper Craft
housingaforest.com/valentines-day-tree-paper-craft

Fizzing Heart Art
thepinterestedparent.com/2016/12/fizzing-heart-art

Shake it Up Hearts
sunnydayfamily.com/2016/01/shake-up-hearts.html

Yarn Wrapped Hearts
thepinterestedparent.com/2016/01/yarn-wrapped-hearts

Paper Plate Wreath
happyhooligans.ca/paper-plate-valentines-wreath-preschoolers

Love Birds Bird Feeders
wineandglue.com/2012/02/love-birds-valentines-day-bird-feeders.html

Rainbow Heart Catchers
firefliesandmudpies.com/2015/01/06/rainbow-heart-suncatchers

Valentines Love Shacks
themamasgirls.com/love-shacks

Paper Plate Sewing Heart Craft
iheartcraftythings.com/paper-plate-heart-sewing-craft.html

Valentine Word Search
lilluna.com/valentines-day-word-search-print

Silly Heart Puppets
creativefamilyfun.net/2012/01/silly-heart-puppets.html

Valentines Day Counting Game
mominspiredlife.com/roll-color-valentines-day-counting-game

Valentines Day Sensory Bottle
sugaraunts.com/2016/01/valentines-day-sensory-bottle.html

Valentines Slime
littlebinsforlittlehands.com/valentines-slime-sensory-play-science-activity

Lego Valentines Day Activities
lemonlimeadventures.com/must-try-lego-valentines-day-activities

Valentines Alphabet Scavenger Hunt
mominspiredlife.com/valentines-day-alphabet-scavenger-hunt

Cupid’s Arrow Toss
playgroundparkbench.com/valentines-day-game-cupids-arrow-toss

Heart Glitter Jar for Valentines Day
fun-a-day.com/heart-glitter-jar-valentines-day

Valentines Day Printable Pack
besttoys4toddlers.com/free-valentines-day-printable-pack-preschoolers

Crayon Project
chefmessy.com/2009/02/happy-valentines-for-crayon-out-loud.html

Crystal Hearts Valentines Day Science Experiment
littlebinsforlittlehands.com/crystal-hearts-valentines-science-experiment

Heart Bingo
teachmama.com/valentines-day-heart-bingo

Valentines Day Playdough
learning4kids.net/2011/12/08/valentines-day-play-dough-recipe

Heart Printable
balancingmotherhood.com/valentines-day-inspirational-heart-project/?pp=0

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Understanding Milk {+ 6 Months of Free Milk Giveaway}

What do you think of when you think about milk?

Healthy? Nutritious? A needed source of calcium? All the delicious foods and dishes that can be created with milk and dairy products – ice cream, cheese, etc.?

 

Are you fan of almond, soy, or rice “milk”? Do you think you can’t consume milk or dairy based products because you are lactose intolerant?

As a wife and mother of 4 boys, I feel that sometimes there is a lot of confusing messages about milk and dairy products.  How often do you see a recipe that substitutes milk (or a dairy product) with a “healthier” choice like almond, soy or rice “milk”?  I will frequently be sent information about how commercially-produced cow’s milk alternatives made from soy, coconut, rice, potato, oat, almond, hazelnut, cashew, hemp, flax, sunflower, and even macadamia can be more health-giving or equivalent to the nutritious properties of cow’s milk.  I recently attended a community function where baked goods were being sold.  One of the homemade items were being marketed from the viewpoint that since the baked good was made with almond milk (instead of cow’s milk) it was a better and nourishing option.

Enjoying Ice Cream with the Family

Is cow’s milk ultimately the best choice or a milk drink? To help you make the best choice for your family, it is important to note the nutritional differences so you can decide which is best for you.  The following information are provided by Florida Dairy Farmers (& Leche De Florida – FDF’s Spanish language website):

What Are Milk Imitators?

Milk imitators such as almond and soy contain 10 or more added ingredients including salt and even added sugar. Milk imitators are fortified and designed to try to match the nutritional profile of cow’s milk. They are usually more expensive and often have long lists of added ingredients. In effect, milk imitators are not technically milk and are not naturally a nutritional equivalent to cow’s milk.  Milk imitators use fortification to mimic milk’s nutrient profile and there is no standard of identity across brands. Milk must conform to a federal standard of identity so you can be assured you are getting the same nutrient profile with every eight-ounce serving.

 

Milk alternatives are poor natural sources of calcium, so they must be fortified to be calcium-rich. Few foods provide such a concentrated source of calcium as milk and milk products. Depending on the brand, alternative beverage companies use different methods to fortify their products, and there is no federal standard of the nutrient profile of the product. Read the label carefully and be on the lookout for a long list of unfamiliar ingredients.  A beverage-maker’s claim that its drink has “twice the calcium” of milk doesn’t mean you’ll benefit from it. When considering nondairy beverages, it’s important to keep in mind that their fortification does not guarantee that they are nutritionally equivalent to milk. This is because the bioavailability of calcium forms and sources varies. While soy beverages are considered part of the “Milk Group,” they do not naturally contain all of the nutrients found in cow’s milk and require fortification to mimic its nutrient package. Plus, with food costs going up across the board, soy beverages tend to be more expensive than cow’s milk.

What If You Are Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance does not mean dairy avoidance. First, it’s important to understand whether you are sensitive, self-diagnosed or medically diagnosed. The vast majority of Americans actually fall under the first two categories. It can be confusing, but your dairy diet doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you’re considering a milk imitator because you think you might be lactose intolerant, consider lactose-free dairy products. They provide the same nutritional benefits found in traditional dairy foods, except the lactose (milk sugar) is already broken down for you. You can still enjoy dairy daily since many milks, yogurts and cheeses, such as cheddar and Swiss, do not contain lactose, but still provide those essential nutrients. Check out the labels, consider incorporating small portions of dairy into your diet and talk to your doctor or registered dietitian.

Why Milk Is Important

Milk from cows is commonly referred to as “nature’s most perfect food.” Few foods deliver dairy’s unique combination of nutrients in such an affordable, appealing and readily available way.  Sometimes milk is overshadowed because consumers are bombarded with so many beverage choices. However, many nutrition experts and health professional organizations – including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Medical Association – have  long recognized the importance of three daily servings of dairy foods as part of a healthy, nutrient-rich diet. Americans currently consume about two servings of dairy per day, on average. Adding just one more serving of dairy can help fill some of America’s nutrient gaps, and eating more low-fat dairy foods has been shown to reduce the risk for high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers.

Milk contributes more calcium, vitamin D and potassium, three nutrients considered lacking in American diets, than any other food. Drinking milk substitutes can lead to gaps in calcium and other nutrients such as protein, phosphorous and B vitamins. Ounce for ounce, milk is by far the best source of calcium for the money. Research shows that ounce for ounce, cow’s milk is one of the best sources of calcium for your money. An eight-ounce glass of milk provides eight times more naturally occurring protein than a glass of almond beverage. In fact, milk imitators contain little or no high quality protein. To obtain the amount of calcium absorbed from one cup of milk, an individual would have to consume eight cups of spinach, nearly five cups of red beans or 2 1/4 cups of broccoli. Vegan sources of calcium may be less bioavailable, making it more difficult for vegans to meet calcium recommendations.

Milk from cows is the most naturally wholesome, nutritious drink out there, with numerous health benefits. Milk-drinkers tend to have better overall quality diets and without it, it’s much more difficult to get the adequate level of nutrients you need.  As the nation turns its attention to reducing calories, dairy foods account for just 10 percent of the calories in the American diet. A single glass of milk delivers a powerful package of nine essential nutrients, which is difficult to find in other foods. At just 25 cents per serving, milk is also the economical choice, offering more nutrients per penny than almost any other beverage option.

Cow’s milk is pure and simple, and that means no antibiotics too. In addition, milk provides the same great nutrient package every time, no matter which brand you choose. Milk imitators use fortification to mimic milk’s nutrient profile and there is no standard of identity across brands. Milk must conform to a federal standard of identity so you can be assured you are getting the same nutrient profile with every eight-ounce serving.

Now that you understand more about milk and dairy consumption…who doesn’t want more milk?! 🙂 Thanks to Florida Dairy Farmers & Leche De Florida, we are giving away 6 MONTHS OF FREE MILK ($150 Value)!  Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information, visit lechedeflorida.com or floridamilk.com

Facebook: facebook.com/LecheDeFlorida
@LecheDeFlorida

Facebook: facebook.com/FloridaMilk
@FloridaMilk

Disclosure: As a Florida Dairy Farmers Ambassador, this is sponsored content.  Any opinions stated here are our own.

Get Help for Bad Mornings at RaceTrac

It was another typical morning in 2008…

At the time, I had 3 children – an 11 year old son and 6 month old twin baby boys.  I had recently stopped working outside of the home full-time and was trying to get accumulated to being at home full-time for the first time. Though my thoughts were also in the infancy stages of working from home as a “mompreneur”, I was basically in survival mode caring for my oldest and 2 crawling babies at the same time.

On that particular morning, I woke up a later than usual.  I am what is typically called a “morning person” and like to rise earlier than others so I can get things ready for the day.  My normal sleep cycle has me feeling sleepy by 8:30 or 9:00 PM since I was a young girl but motherhood is 24 hours a day.  I was falling sleep most days out of sheer exhaustion late in the evening.  When I woke up late that morning, everything I forgot to do the night before started to hit me like a ton of bricks.

I jumped and awoke my 11 year old son, who was minutes from missing the school bus.  I didn’t have his lunch ready and there was going to be barely any time for him to eat breakfast before the bus arrived.  As I was shoving money in his hands so he could eat breakfast and lunch at school, I heard shrieks of delight and giggles in the twins’ room.  I ran upstairs to find that the twins were already awake and seemed to have been up for a little while because their laundry was on the floor.  Although, they were 6 months old and they couldn’t stand straight without assistance, they somehow managed to spill the clean laundry (that I had forgotten to put away in their drawers the night before) from on top of the changing station that was connected to their cribs.  I still to this day don’t know how they did it but there was the former pile of folded clothes now seemingly strewn across the floor along with a strong odor of two dirty diapers coming from their little tushies.

As I hear my son opening the door and saying goodbye because the school bus was arriving, I remembered his field trip form and money was due that day and the form and money was stuffed inside my purse on the kitchen table.  As I jumped over the laundry on the floor – holding my breath to not smell the pungent odor from the twins’ dirty diapers – I hurriedly grabbed two heavy babies in each arm and began to race downstairs to see if I could catch my oldest before he made it to the bus stop.  In the process of rushing down the stairs, I didn’t notice one of the twins’ toy rattle near the end of the steps.  I stepped on it, lost some of my footing and felt my foot turn out from under me.  Thankfully, I was able to balance myself up against the corner of the wall and managed to place the twins safely on the couch before actually falling down myself.

As I sat on the floor a little dazed about what had just happened, I began to rub my throbbing ankle.  I looked up and saw the twins were looking at each other and then looking at me.  They looked totally bewildered – like they knew things were not working out this morning.  It seemed as if they were communicating with their facial expressions. In the midst of the haze (and internally laughing at myself), I grabbed my cell phone to take a quick picture to capture the funny (and somewhat disastrous) moment.  The pictures below are the faces they were making (and what I think they were thinking at that time).

 

We’ve all been there. Parenthood is not for the faint of heart. You go into each morning thinking you are going to conquer the day like Braveheart but end up most nights feeling like Sleepy from the Seven Dwarfs. From waking up late, missing the bus, to stepping in a puddle, sitting in endless traffic or falling down – bad mornings happen, and can sometimes leave us feeling frustrated, grumpy or down in the dumps.

Thankfully, there is some help for everyone for all weary parents and people. RaceTrac wants to give its guests good food that brings joy to their day – especially if it hasn’t started off on the right foot. While everything around you may feel like it’s falling apart, RaceTrac wants to be that bright spot in your day that goes right no matter what with good eats and smiling store team members! From six blends of fresh brewed coffee and fresh donuts delivered daily to classic roller grill items and delicious breakfast sandwiches, RaceTrac has something to make any bad morning better. Whatever the morning brings, you can count on RaceTrac to be there and cheer you up with whatever gets you going!

During that time in my life we were living in the Washington D.C. area but we now reside in Central Florida and we have 2 RaceTrac locations within 5 minutes from our home.  Our RaceTrac locations have many food and beverage choices.  From breakfast items to hot foods, everything is conveniently located so its easy to run in and get what we need.  Now as a mom of 4 boys, small business owner, content creator, caregiver helper to my parents, etc., my schedule can vary daily.  I like the various choices that are available at RaceTrac because the different options can suit my changing needs.

RaceTrac knows that sometimes you just need #WhateverGetsYouGoing in the morning – whether you crave a large coffee or a large Coca-­Cola.  People are re-­thinking breakfast and grabbing the things that get them going – that’s everything from hot dogs and sodas to egg sandwiches and coffee. There is no judging what you eat for breakfast at RaceTrac – just get #WhateverGetsYouGoing in the morning.

Mornings can be hard (especially #WorstMorningEver mornings) so check out what RaceTrac has to offer to get you ready for your day at RaceTrac.com or your nearest RaceTrac location.

P.S. If you are having a bad morning, RaceTrac has a great offer in January: buy a breakfast sandwich, get any size coffee for $0.50.

For more information, visit RaceTrac.com
Facebook: facebook.com/RaceTrac
Twitter: @RaceTrac
Instagram: instagram.com/racetrac

Disclosure: This is sponsored content on behalf of RaceTrac’s #WhateverGetsYouGoing program.  All opinions stated here are our own.

Family Holiday Traditions

There is something magical when a baby is experiencing the holiday season for the first time.  When a baby celebrates their First Thanksgiving, First Christmas, First New Year’s Eve, etc., it’s not only a celebration for them, but also for the entire family.  Having a baby be part of the season’s festivities brings a lot of joy and laughter.  Watching a baby’s eyes light up and looking upon their wondrous smiling curiosity as they see the twinkling lights from a Christmas tree is a very precious moment.  Everything seems to be truly brighter and happier with a baby and the overwhelming feeling of warmth and love expands throughout the holidays.

baby's first christmas

The holiday season provide many memorable moments for a family to enjoy together like seeing Christmas lights, visiting Santa, playing in the snow, making holiday cookies and watching holiday movies.  When babies are walking around and on the move, you want them to be able to touch, feel, hug and embrace all the holiday moments.

As a mom, I  want my baby to freely move so he can interact with all the holiday happenings right along with his older siblings.  Babies need to feel comfortable to move and play and its why I trust Huggies Little Movers Diapers. All my children have used Huggies diapers and it’s important to me, especially during the holidays, that my baby can feel secure and protected to explore his surroundings.  Huggies Little Movers Diapers have double grip strips that help keep the diaper securely on his bottom. As part of the recent Huggies Parents Council event, I learned that Huggies works with actual clothing design experts to ensure each diaper is shaped to comfortably fit baby. Plus, they have a leak lock system that provides 12 hours of protection to help prevent leaks.  As a mom, I really appreciate the kind of care, consideration and work that goes into creating a Huggies Little Movers Diaper.  It makes me feel confident to take the baby everywhere we want to enjoy the holiday season together as a family.

Having moved to Florida a few years ago, my children don’t really understand blustery winter weather like I did during my childhood in New York.  The twins were toddlers when we moved from the Washington D.C. metro area. but they were able to experience their first snowfall before we left.  They were so amazed at the light sprinkle of white falling from the sky.  I loved seeing them run and trying to catch the snow on their faces.

Living in a warmer climate means we must be intentional about our holiday moments for my family.  It can be very easy to forget it’s the holiday time when people are walking in shorts and heading to the beach. 🙂 With having my (elderly) parents living up the street, I want my children to spend as much time with them so they can have long lasting memories of their time with them.  Remember in the holiday classic film, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) kept wanting to create a traditional “old-fashioned” Christmas for his family?  Our family tries to create many of those holiday traditions during the winter, despite the sunny warm temperatures we have now.  Some of our favorite family holiday activities are to ride Christmas trains, visit Santa villages, bake cookies and make traditional Latin American holiday food.

Whatever your family traditions are for the holiday season, be sure to take time out to simply enjoy the experience together!

Huggies® believes deeply in the Power of Hugs. The simple, loving act is proven to support babies’ emotional and physiological well-being. Huggies® diapers and wipes are inspired by a parent’s hug, – to nurture baby with care, cradle baby in comfort and surround baby in protection. Learn more at Huggies.com. #HuggiesCouncil

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Easy Bread Pudding (Budin De Pan)

Print Recipe
Easy Budin De Pan (Bread Pudding)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Take your raisins and soak them in four cups of hot water until they plump up, about 30 minutes. Alternatively, raisins can be soaked overnight in rum or whiskey. (If soaking overnight, the raisins don't have to be soaked in water).
  2. Use an electric mixer to beat the white sugar, brown sugar, and the eggs until creamy. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Beat until frothy.
  3. Add the melted butter, whole milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and beat until well blended.
  4. Lightly butter a 9” x 13” pan. Arrange the bread cubes in the pan, scatter the plumped raisins among the bread, and slowly pour in the milk mixture
  5. Bake in the oven for about one hour. You can tell its is done when the entire top puffs up and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Recipe Notes
  • If you don't like raisins, you don't have to add them. Proceed with the instructions - just omit the raisins.
    Also, you can use prunes or dates instead of raisins.
  • You can use bread that is more than a 1 day-old for the recipe as well (2 - 5 days old).
Share this Recipe

Easy Bread Pudding Recipe {Budin De Pan}

Who doesn’t love desserts and sweets during the holidays? We have partnered with Florida Dairy Farmers and Leche De Florida (FDF’s Spanish language website) as a Florida Dairy Farmers Holiday Ambassador. Leche De Florida and Florida Milk have a very sweet offer going on right now. Go to their Facebook pages (or website) for the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies. Stay tuned for the first recipe and enter to win a KitchenAid mixer and $250 VISA gift card to help you make all of these delicious cookie recipes!

Find recipes and more information on the Florida Milk website: HERE

¡Por fin llegaron nuestros 12 Días de Las Galletas y Leche Para la Navidad! ¡Manténgase atenta a la primera receta e ingrese para ganar una batidora KitchenAid y una tarjeta de regalo VISA de $ 250 para ayudarle a hacer todas estas deliciosas recetas  de galletas!  Leche De Florida website: HERE

 

In celebration with the holiday season, I wanted to share an easy holiday dessert recipe – Budin De Pan (Bread Pudding).  Its a family-favorite because my mother often makes this dessert during the holiday season (and throughout the year).  I was thankful for her help in the Facebook Live video below showcasing step-by-step instructions and her expert tips.

 

Step-By-Step Video Instructions

Easy Bread Pudding Recipe (Budin De Pan)
Download, Print or Share Recipe Page

Print Recipe
Easy Budin De Pan (Bread Pudding)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Take your raisins and soak them in four cups of hot water until they plump up, about 30 minutes. Alternatively, raisins can be soaked overnight in rum or whiskey. (If soaking overnight, the raisins don't have to be soaked in water).
  2. Use an electric mixer to beat the white sugar, brown sugar, and the eggs until creamy. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Beat until frothy.
  3. Add the melted butter, whole milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and beat until well blended.
  4. Lightly butter a 9” x 13” pan. Arrange the bread cubes in the pan, scatter the plumped raisins among the bread, and slowly pour in the milk mixture
  5. Bake in the oven for about one hour. You can tell its is done when the entire top puffs up and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Recipe Notes
  • If you don't like raisins, you don't have to add them. Proceed with the instructions - just omit the raisins.
    Also, you can use prunes or dates instead of raisins.
  • You can use bread that is more than a 1 day-old for the recipe as well (2 - 5 days old).
Share this Recipe

For more information, visit lechedeflorida.com or floridamilk.com

Facebook: facebook.com/LecheDeFlorida
@LecheDeFlorida

Facebook: facebook.com/FloridaMilk
@FloridaMilk

Merry Christmas
Feliz Navidad
Happy Holidays

Get Your Morning Going with RaceTrac

As a wife, mom of 4 boys, small business owner, content creator, caregiver helper to my parents, etc., my days are quite busy. Any schedule for day requires all-day energy, stamina and strength to help fuel the daily to-do list.   Being a mother for my entire adult life, and having 4 boys ranging from college-aged to baby, their lives are a powerful and motivating force behind everything I do.

Mami of Multiples Boys

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and is essential for improving concentration, productivity, healthier body weight, lowering cholesterol and providing energy.  Even with many breakfast choices, mornings tend to be so rushed with everyone trying to get out the door on time.  Taking time to eat breakfast is imperative for adults and children alike and efficiently managing the morning routine (while still making time to have breakfast) is crucial to the energy needed for the day.

RaceTrac #WhateverGetsYouGoing

RaceTrac understands the morning needs of on-the-go families. They know that its guests want more than just traditional breakfast items in the morning.  People are re-­thinking breakfast and grabbing the things that get them going – that’s everything from hot dogs and sodas to egg sandwiches and coffee. RaceTrac wants guests to know that it
has #WhateverGetsYouGoing in the morning.

racetrac-whatevergetsyougoing-morning-approved

I’m pleased to partner with RaceTrac to help families get ready for their day.  From six blends of fresh brewed coffee and fresh donuts delivered daily to classic roller grill items, RaceTrac has something to help anyone start their morning off right.

racetrac-whatevergetsyougoing

Not everyone’s morning is the same – so their breakfast doesn’t have to be the same either. RaceTrac has a wide variety of food and beverage options to help guests get their mornings going.

Roller Grill
Hot dogs for breakfast? Yes, that’s a thing. RaceTrac sales data shows that Nathan’s Famous 100 percent all-­‐beef hot dogs are its top-­‐selling food item from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. In addition to hot dogs, RaceTrac offers a variety of items on its roller grill, including taquitos, chicken roller bites, tamales and fun limited time offers such as the bacon cheddar hot dog or pork egg roll.

morningism-coffee

Coffee
RaceTrac’s coffee bar features up to six blends of fresh brewed coffee, including 100 percent Hazelnut, Regular, Columbian, Decaf and Dark Roast. Guests can customize their own “Crazy Good Coffee” by selecting their favorite coffee blend and pairing that with their favorite creamers, sweeteners and toppings like whipped cream, allowing them to be their own barista.

Swirl World
Sometimes you need to cool down before the day heats up. Swirl World is RaceTrac’s line of frozen treats, including frozen yogurt, ice cream and Italian ice, which have swirling capabilities so you can build your own flavor combinations. The toppings bar offers up to 41 toppings for guests to further customize their frozen treat just how they like it. Guests also have the choice of cup, sugar cone or waffle cone.

Fresh Foods
RaceTrac offers fresh, high-­‐quality items, including whole and cut fruit, sandwiches, wraps and salads that are delivered fresh to its stores every day.

morningism-breakfast-in-bread

Grab-­and-­Go (Item availability varies by location)
RaceTrac has you covered in the morning. RaceTrac has a selection of breakfast sandwiches to fit any palette that are made in house daily, ready for you to grab and go.

RaceTrac offers four sandwiches for our grab-­and-­go guests: the Ham, Egg & Cheese Croissant, the Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit, the Chicken Biscuit and the Sausage Biscuit.

Sandwiches are made in house with hand-­‐selected, high-­‐quality ingredients including real buttermilk biscuits, flaky croissants, Jimmy Dean sausage patties and Tyson chicken breasts.

RaceTrac has taken a “component” approach to creating this offer in our stores by bringing all ingredients in individually and cooking them as separate ingredients. The store team builds the sandwiches and wraps them in the store based on a guest’s order.

If you want a healthy option and don’t want to sacrifice taste, the Omelet Wrap is back for a limited time starting in January. Stuffed with eggs, ham, sautéed peppers and cheese, the wrap is the perfect drive-­and-dine option for busy guests.

Made to Order
A select number of stores offer a new customizable made-to-order experience. This means you can create sandwiches, pizzas and specialty beverages made just the way you like it.

RaceTrac has made-to-order pizza available all day. You can grab a piece or go and customize your own 7-­‐inch pizza, selecting from toppings like mushrooms, black olives, onions, jalapenos, bacon,  sausage  and pepperoni.

RaceTrac also offers specialty beverages customized and made to order for guests:
RaceTrac milkshakes are made with real, hand-­‐scooped ice cream, milk and different fruits and candies. Flavors are Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Salted Caramel Truffle, Cookies & Crème and Frozen Lemonade.

Smoothies are made with Dannon yogurt and topped with real fruit like strawberries, bananas, oranges and apples.

Espresso-based beverages include lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, espresso shots and hot chocolate. These are offered iced or hot and are customizable with different flavor shots, like hazelnut and vanilla.

RaceTrac’s customizable made to order experience is available at the following stores:

RT 461 Mansell
1545 Mansell Rd, Milton, GA 30009

RT 74 Jefferson
5350 Floyd Rd SW, Mableton, GA 30126

RT 78 Macland
3840 Stone Mountain Hwy, Snellville, GA 30039

RT 182 Sunnyside
4200 N Expy, Hampton, GA 30228

RT 140 Oakdale
1461 Veterans Memorial Hwy SE, Mableton, GA 30126

RT 147 Hames
155 Hames Rd, Woodstock, GA 30188

RT 126 Fruitville
5600 Fruitville Rd; Sarasota, Florida 34232

RT 200 Pirates Cove
5410 14th ST W; Bradenton, FL 34207

Where my family and I reside in Central Florida, we have 2 RaceTrac locations within 5 minutes from our home – the newest being at the end of our nearest stoplight.

RaceTrac Clermont, Florida

Our RaceTrac locations have many food and beverage choices.  From breakfast items to hot foods, everything is conveniently located so its easy to run in and get what we need.  The newest location even has a Swirl World with toppings bar, which is one of my kids favorite treats (and is perfect anytime with Florida’s hot and sunny days).

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Whatever your breakfast routine or favorite foods are to get you going, RaceTrac believes breakfast should be whatever you want it to be! Check out what RaceTrac has to offer to get you ready for your day at RaceTrac.com or your nearest RaceTrac location.

For more information, visit RaceTrac.com
Facebook: facebook.com/RaceTrac
Twitter: @RaceTrac
Instagram: instagram.com/racetrac

Disclosure: This is sponsored content on behalf of RaceTrac’s #WhateverGetsYouGoing program.  All opinions stated here are our own.

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2016 Holiday Gift Guide {Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids, Women, Men and Home}

Mami of Multiples and Mami Innovative Media
are Pleased to Present the 2016 Holiday Gift Guide!


As with previous guides, the 2016 Holiday Gift Guide feature gift suggestions from reputable brands to major retailers, i.e., Disney, Camp Chef, Feltman Bros., Hasbro, GourmetGiftBaskets.com, Little Tikes, Orlando Science Center, Playskool, Target and many more.
The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide showcases gift ideas for kids, women, men and the home. Products featured will receive high and sustained visibility throughout the holiday season and new year on Mami of Multiples, Mami Innovative Media and through press distribution.
The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide can be download, shared or viewed as a flipbook via the following link: http://bit.ly/MOMHolidayGifts2016.  A portion of all products received will be donated to reputable military and family charities.
Joscelyn Ramos Campbell is an award-winning blogger, digital influencer, on-air spokesperson and columnist.  She is the founder behind Mami of Multiples, one of the nation’s recognized and award-winning parenting and lifestyle sites owned by a Latina American Mom.  Joscelyn has been featured on numerous television and media outlets including CBS, NBC, NBC Latino, FOX, Univision, Telemundo, Huffington Post, CNBC to name a few. She is considered one of the top Latino social media stars and influential Hispanic American bloggers.
The “super-connected power mom” was named by LATINA Magazine as one of as one of the Best Latina Bloggers To Follow and Must Know and one of The 10 Best Latina Mom Bloggers on the Web. Joscelyn was selected in a joint venture by Disney and LATINA Magazine to be a Parenting and Family Columnist for LATINA Magazine.
As a ‘mompreneur’, she is owner of Mami Innovative Media, an acclaimed communications and digital marketing agency providing services to brands, corporations, individuals, non-profits and small businesses.
View or Share the 2016 Holiday Gift Guide
by Clicking the Link: http://bit.ly/MOMHolidayGifts2016
Merry Christmas
Feliz Navidad
Happy Holidays

Learning and Supporting Huggies Life-Changing Initiatives for Families

Children are one of the greatest joys of a life.  Being a mother for my entire adult life, and having 4 boys ranging from college-aged to baby, their lives are a powerful and motivating force behind everything I do.

Mami of Multiples Boys

A key factor in the creation of Mami of Multiples was to connect and share with other moms and parents.  It’s a joy to provide tips and resources for families that have also genuinely benefited my own family.  Huggies is one of those resources for my family.  I have always placed my trust with Huggies because from diapers to wipes they have been a valuable resource for me.  Every diaper the Huggies brand makes is inspired by a parent’s hugs and are made to nurture baby with care, cradle baby in comfort and surround baby in protection.  All of my children have used (and the baby is currently using) Huggies products because not only have they provided key baby care for so many years, but they have been tested with everyday usage by my children.

As a part of the Huggies Parents Council, I attended an event in Chicago recently to learn more about the brand’s No Baby Unhugged program.

Huggies Parents Council Roundtable

What is No Baby Unhugged?

No Baby Unhugged is Huggies vision to ensure all babies get the hugs they need by helping parents understand and embrace the Power of Hugs through the brand’s Diapers and Wipes, new Hugging Programs in Hospitals and continued product Donations across the country.  I was considered a high-risk pregnancy when I was expecting the twins because it was a multiples birth.

Mami of Multiples Twins

As a high-risk pregnancy, I learned a lot about the NICU program at my local hospital through my doctor and birthing classes.  I was able to have several visits at my local hospital’s NICU and ask questions of the NICU staff.  With the noise of life-supportive machines whirling away in the background, tiny babies were inside giant incubators protecting them from airborne germs and other diseases their little bodies could not fight off at the time.  Parents and close family members were often seen exhaustedly sleeping on uncomfortable hospital chairs or wearing head-to-toe scrubs just to be able to put one gloved protected hand inside the incubator to stroke their delicate baby’s hand.  It was a scenario that often broke my heart and I often wondered how the parents could manage their other daily responsibilities (work, caring for other children and home, etc.) while trying to comfort their preemie baby.

The truth is that despite parents’ best efforts, they can’t always be physically present with their preemie baby.  For those parents whose baby needs to stay in the NICU for an extended period, hospitals regularly develop volunteer hugging or cuddling programs.  As parents, we know how incredible the power of a hug can be for both parent and child.  The first hug with a new life occurs and is preciously indescribable.  Nothing can compare with holding and hugging your child for the very first time.  Hugs can help keep a baby’s heart beating at a normal and constant rate, improve sleep, support healthy weight gain and lead to an improved parent-baby relationship, according to a recent Huggies study titled The Power of Human Touch for Babies.

Knowing the importance of hugs, Huggies will help give babies the hugs they need, even when moms and dads can’t be there to give them, by funding hugging programs in U.S. hospitals and partnerships with healthcare professionals.

Huggies No Baby Unhugged Program

The Joy of Giving to Those in Need

Huggies first No Baby Unhugged grant has been given to the number six, nationally-ranked Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.  As part of the trip, we visited Lurie Children’s Hospital to see the wonderful features they have for children and their families.

Huggies Parents Council

When you spend days, weeks and months at the hospital with a sick child, it can be a soul crushing experience.  Lurie Children’s Hospital has done a wonderful job in creating a colorful and vibrant atmosphere for all their patients and their families.  Through their community partners, there is comfort (and much-need distraction) throughout the hospital, like spacious suites for families to stay in while helping to care for their ill child, activity centers for kids to play and meet special guests, an interactive fire truck, live aquarium – even each floor in the elevator is a different animal (so kids can easily remember different hospital floors) and buttons throughout the elevator shares animal facts and makes fun noises.

We toured Lurie’s expansive NICU floor and witnessed first-hand the dedication and loving care of the staff and volunteers.  The sheer joy and love for the pre-term and ill children in the NICU was very evident when we met one of the “hugging volunteers”.  All the volunteers are trained to work with the special needs of the babies in the NICU.  The volunteer we spoke with had been a volunteer for many years and expressed how much being able to embrace, hold and help care for the preemies had positively impacted not only the babies life, but her own as well. It was sheer joy and compassion that radiated from her as she talked about experiences.  The Huggies No Baby Unhugged hugging programs are so vital to the health of the child – every baby needs to be hugged, embraced and cared for from birth, always.  A No Baby Unhugged hugging program like the one at Lurie Children’s Hospital is helping to fill a real need with those babies that truly need it the most.

Hospitals across the nation should have hugging programs available for their patients and their families. For every person who signs up to become a Huggies Member, Huggies will donate $5 to support volunteer hugging program grants for hospitals. If you’re interested, go to Huggies.com and click on “Sign in or join Huggies” to get started.  The grant money will be used for items like volunteer training and recruitment, hugging chairs, educational materials and more.

The Care for Preemies

It was truly an eye-opening experience to learn about the preemie diaper inspection process.  Every year, 90,000 babies are born prematurely, too early to be hugged. Some of these preemies are so fragile and delicate, that the only thing that touches their skin is a diaper. Huggies believes in the power of hugs for all newborn babies.  In partnership with NICU nurses, Huggies has created specially-designed diapers and wipes to help the pre-term infants born in the U.S. each year.

DID YOU KNOW? Each Huggies preemie diapers box is hand-inspected (in a sterilized room) and personalized with a sticker? We learned about the extra care required of checking that each diaper is safe for the extremely delicate skin of a preemie baby.  Each diaper must be meticulously inspected to be free from holes, cuts, dirt spots, etc.  Everything is thoroughly reviewed right down to the exact folding of the diaper to the correct size and placement of the flaps.  Diapers must be perfect to be placed on the fragile skin of a pre-term baby.

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The Next Steps for Babies

As babies get older they want to explore, move, touch, feel, play and experience the world around them with all their senses.  Joshua is walking everywhere independently and movement and play are an essential part of the day for a growing baby.  As a mom, I know that Joshua can freely move with Huggies Little Movers Diapers. Babies need to feel comfortable to play and move.  Huggies Little Movers Diapers have double grip strips for a secure fit. Rolling, crawling and walking babies seem like they are always on the go and they can be incredibly fast.  It was great to learn that Huggies works with actual design experts to ensure each diaper is uniquely shaped to comfortably fit baby and the leak lock system provides 12 hours of protection to help prevent leaks.

Once your little one is showing signs of potty-training readiness, the Pull-Ups® website (Pull-Ups.com) is a tremendous resource for parents and children.  When potty-training my older boys, I learned that the journey will begin when the child is ready and comfortable – and it can be at different ages and stages of development. Every child is different, and that’s why Pull-Ups developed the Potty Partnership: a potty training method that brings your child into the process as a true partner, tailored to his or her unique personality and how they learn. The Pull-Ups Potty Partnership begins the first time your child puts on a pair of Pull-Ups Training Pants, symbolizing your promise to work together to navigate your potty training journey together as a team.  Based on research and observation of personality types in young children, Pull-Ups® along with a child development expert, Dr. Heather Wittenberg, developed five potty training personalities: the Puppy, the Owl, the Bear Cub, the Turtle and the Squirrel.  To help guide you and your child through the ups and downs of the potty training journey, Pull-Ups has tips, tools, games and advice tailored to your child’s potty personality on their website.

How You Can Help

DID YOU KNOW? 1 in 3 parents in the U.S. suffer from diaper needthe struggle to provide clean diapers for a baby.

Diaper need is a critical issue affecting neighborhoods across the U.S.  Often parents must cut back on utilities or child care to provide diapers. For those on government assistance, the financial gap is even greater.  An average monthly supply of diapers costs approximately $80. The only federal assistance program that can be used for diapers is TANF, but TANF has to cover many other expenses, including heat, electric and water bills, rent, clothing, transportation, and other basic needs. Little, if any money, is available to purchase enough diapers to keep a baby clean, dry, and healthy.

Huggies has been giving hugs in the form of more than 200 million diapers and wipes over the past six years to help babies in need. Huggies helped establish the National Diaper Bank Network in 2011 which it continues to support, helping it grow from 20 banks to 320.

If you want to help, you can…

  • Volunteer at a local bank. (Find a list of local diaper banks at nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org/members).

  • Host a diaper drive with your friends or playgroup.

  • Donate diapers to your local diaper bank.

  • Donate your Huggies Rewards points to babies in need. Download the new Huggies Rewards app and find more information at Huggies.com.

Being part of the Huggies Parents Council has not only strengthened my support of their essential baby care products – but more importantly – made me personally invested in supporting their family-focused initiatives.  With quality products, Huggies is helping to reach all families through hugs and real-life support.  I’m pleased to be part of the Huggies Parents Council and stand alongside their life-changing programs to support families.

Huggies Parents Council Roundtable

Huggies® believes deeply in the Power of Hugs. The simple, loving act is proven to support babies’ emotional and physiological well-being. Huggies® diapers and wipes are inspired by a parent’s hug, – to nurture baby with care, cradle baby in comfort and surround baby in protection. Learn more at Huggies.com, #HuggiesCouncil

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Puré de Yuca con Queso Alpine Cheddar

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Puré de Yuca con Queso Alpine Cheddar
Recipe Provided By Leche De Florida (Florida Dairy Farmers)
Instructions
  1. Coloque la yuca y el ajo en una olla con agua hasta que tape la yuca. Lleve a ebullición a fuego alto. Baje el fuego a medio y cuando la yuca comience a ablandarse, agregue sal al gusto. Cocine hasta que la yuca esté bien suave. Alrededor de 20 – 30 minutos dependiendo si es congelada o fresca.
  2. Escurre y reserve una taza del agua de la cocción. Pase la yuca y el ajo por el prensa papas o aplástalos con un tenedor. Vuelva a poner la yuca en la olla, agregue 1/2 taza del agua que has reservado, ¾ taza de la leche y la mantequilla, revolviendo bien a fuego muy suave. Añada sal y pimienta gusto. Finalmente incorpore el queso, revolviendo con cuchara de madera hasta que esté homogéneo. Pruebe el puré y asegure que la sazón está a su gusto. Si fuera necesario, puede agregar un poco más del agua en que cocinaste la yuca o leche.
  3. Sirva el puré rociado con las hojitas de tomillo o tope con queso parmesano y hornee por 20 minutos a 350 y después decore con el tomillo.
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