Fish McBites Fix and Giveaway!

Picture it….Friday morning and I have accomplished the impossible.  I have dropped off our 1st grader at school, managed to complete all our grocery shopping for the next two weeks, with my little helpers no less. Translation, there were a few hurdles (potty visits, begs for obnoxious foods, visiting the fish aquariums, and cleanup isle 15) but I rocked it! If there was a motherhood grocery shopping Olympics I just won the Gold!  

I packed the groceries into the car and then gave myself a minute to bask in the success of my grocery shopping skills. Then it was on with the remaining errands. Thankfully this winter weather is good for something besides sledding, groceries can sit a few minutes longer in the car so momma can check off a few more items from her ‘to do’ list. I continue on to the gas station, bank, and I was on my way to drop off preschool tuition when I heard a little voice from the back seat say, “I am hungry”.  As I glanced down at the clock I realize that there is clearly not enough time for me to complete my last errands, unload groceries, and then make lunch.  It would be way too late and there wouldn’t be enough time for nap time/quiet time before having to pick up my 1st grader and quiet time keeps momma sane so that was nonnegotiable. The solution? Drive-thru!

I don’t care what anyone has to say, when you are in the throes of a ‘to do’ list with a preschooler and toddler becoming restless in the backseat after just coming off of an intense grocery shopping spree eating in the car quickly becomes an embraceable solution. So I pulled into the nearest McDonald’s promising the kiddos Happy Meals since they were so good while I ran errands. Then I remembered, it is Lent. Shoot! How does a mom back pedal from that promise? While trying to determine how I was going to explain to the children that McDonald’s ran out of Happy Meals and consequently, in lying to my children added Confession to my ‘to do’ list. But as I came around the curb I saw it, it was beautiful, a sign that indicated that Fish McBites are in Happy Meals!

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So the kiddos got to have their Happy Meals with fish McBites and I gave them a try too. To be honest I was pleasantly surprised by the crispy, tender, big flavor taste of the flaky Alaska Pollock bites!  And after further research I also like the fact that the McBites fish, wild-caught Alaska Pollock, like all of McDonald’s fish, is from a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable fishery http://www.msc.org/.

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They were so yummy last Friday that I decided to get them again this Friday.  McBites are this Mom on the go’s go to fish fix for Lent. There is nothing better than after a long week of running kiddos around, laundry, etc. than to get a break from meal prep, cooking, and clean-up, yep McDonald’s does the dishes. Score!  Don’t you deserve a break today (kicking it old school…remember this slogan?)?

Cue the Giveaway…

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Enter to win this awesome Fish McBites prize pack consisting of: Fish McBites branded items including, t-shirt, hat, koozie, and $10 arch card all in a drawstring bag!

To Enter:

  1. Follow Mom on the go in Holy Toledo facebook page (please like from your personal facebook page and not a business, for some reason only the personal pages are counting on facebook now)
  2. Follow Mamaof3onthego on Twitter
  3. Follow McDonald’s on Twitter https://twitter.com/mcdonalds_NWOH
  4. Once you have completed a numbers  1-3 please post a comment indicating you have done so

Winner will be randomly selected Wed. February 27th.

Good luck!

Disclosure: I was given the Fish McBites Prize pack and coupons, no other compensation was received, and all opinions expressed are my own.

Red Lobster: Where Moms Vacation!

At 7:30am every morning like clockwork my 5 yrs. old son asks the same question, “What’s for dinner?” Seriously!?!  And to think I was pretty impressed with the fact that I was able to come up with something for breakfast. Meal planning is exhausting. I added it up the other day and it turns out, between breakfasts, lunches, and dinners I prepare over 950 meals a year, give or take a few.  I am sure many moms are feeling the same exhaustion and pressure. The pressure to prepare healthy meals that the entire family will enjoy and not get stuck in a meal rut is overwhelming.  I am not getting paid enough for this gig! After all I am no Giada, Sara Snow, or Rachel Ray (by the way, that girl is a genius, who else could make money off a garbage bowl?).

So, what’s the solution? Go out to eat, of course! But, the cost to go out to eat can be just as overwhelming. It seems like a family of five practically has to apply for a loan in order to go out to a nice sit-down restaurant.  And if you’re fortunate enough to be approved for that loan the thought of taking 3 young kiddos out to a restaurant is enough to bring even the most prepared mother into a full fledge panic attack.  A mother’s mind floods with all the ‘what ifs’…what if the baby won’t stop crying…what if the toddler pees her pants, or worse, poops!…what if she throws a tantrum…what if your husband’s boss is sitting next to you…then upon witnessing the madness determines your husband clearly can’t oversee a firm if he can’t even control his own family, and fires him right on the spot… all because you wanted to go out to eat! Yep, as ridiculous as these ‘what ifs’ may sound these are the crazy questions and scenarios that run through my mind.

Okay so hypothetically speaking, let’s say you have bypassed the ‘what ifs’ and have been approved for that loan, next challenge, the menu? Why is it every restaurant, no matter what ethnicity assumes you want to feed your child fried chicken strips, French fries, pizza, or grilled imitation cheese sandwich!! Why must they fry everything? Shoot, at one restaurant we went to the children’s menu actually had fried mac & cheese.  Perhaps the restaurants are in cahoots with the pharmaceutical drug manufacturers.  Because at the rate they are frying everything there will be a need for a child’s Lipitor! Why can’t they have healthier options for children?

Pardon me as I step up onto my soap box….

I just want a break! I want someone else to plan, prepare, and cook the meal. I want someone else to serve, clean, and cater to my family’s needs so I can enjoy my meal while it is hot! I want affordable and healthy menu options! And lastly, if possible, maybe someone else could entertain the children. Are all these demands possible? I suppose if my husband took on another wife, but I am not down with the whole sister wives thing (the show is very entertaining this is true, but the lifestyle is not for me). Perhaps there is another option that can meet all these demands that doesn’t involve polygamy? Two words, Red Lobster!

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I vacationed ate there last week and it was A-Mazing!

I was surprised to find that Red Lobster offers so many family friendly and affordable options. In fact, nearly 60% of the dishes on the new menu are under $15 – making Red Lobster a perfect destination for a family dinner out.

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Additional menu highlights include:

•The $7.99 weekday lunch special – Weekdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., certain lunch sandwiches, salads and soups are just $7.99. This offer includes four varieties of lunch entrees – like the new Spicy Shrimp Tacos and Wood-Grilled Burger – three types of salads and a soup & salad combo, all served with Red Lobster’s signature Cheddar Bay Biscuits. (Hello….can we say future mommy and me lunch date?)

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•Also, 5 for $5 ‘til 6 – Guests can enjoy select appetizers for $5 from 3 to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Selections include new menu items like the Sweet Chili Shrimp and Southwest Chicken Pizza, and Spicy Buffalo Chicken Bites, among others. At select locations, $4 wines and $3 beers will also be available (void where prohibited by law).  (Yep…putting that down as a Moms Night Out!! WooHoo!!  And yes, our nights end very early)

•Seasonal specials, like the current 30 shrimp for $11.99 and the upcoming Lobsterfest.  (More like Lentfest…am I right fellow Catholics?)

•As well as lighter menu options (under 500 calories) as part of there LightHouse menu. (For all you Mommas who have been sticking to your New Year’s resolutions)

  • And a kid’s menu that is beyond fish sticks. (Take that Lipitor!!)

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Are you salivating yet? No!! Well then take this……and I got to eat them when they were all warm right out of the oven!

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I ordered the Mahi Mahi with shrimp and Broccoli that wasn’t smothered in salt or butter, it was awesome! I did almost lose the Mahi Mahi to ketchup that my toddler so graciously wanted to share, but I caught it just in time!

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Red Lobster met ALL my demands; even occupied the kiddos with the activities on the kids menu, score! The experience was so relaxing, the food was so delicious, and it was an all-around memorable family outing to which the only word that really does it justice is, vacation! So, think twice before you book your next Carnival Cruise, Red Lobster is definitely the way to go!!

Disclosure: Red Lobster provided me with a gift card to try out their new and improved menu. No additional compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

Looking for a Career that Correlates with Motherhood?

Let’s be totally honest, after you become a mom the entire world seems to change.  You find yourself worrying about and questioning things you never even cared about before. Such as, I wonder if that could fit up a toddler’s nose….is that made of ceramic or plastic…will it bounce or shatter?  Your wardrobe changes too.  You now base your outfit on what will hide spit up more effectively.  And you trade the stilettos for shoes that offer more solid grounding, for those days when you are balancing everything but the kitchen sink! Motherhood forces us to evolve, bend, and reevaluate our priorities, to metamorphose from our former non-mommy selves. So why is it that most moms think they must remain stagnant in their career or go back to school? After all if we can be the CEO of our families we can surely find a way to cultivate the perfect career around our existing talents, skills, and most importantly, our families, right? Yes we can!

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But we could use a little help which is why I was so excited when I was given the opportunity to review Use What you Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms, by Joyce Brewer, an Emmy-award winning TV journalist.  It is, in one word, Brilliant! Joyce does a wonderful job of getting to the point, sharing great examples of other moms’ success, keeping your attention, and even walks you through the process. And no, you do not have to ship your kids to another house in order to complete the book.  It is an easy, effective, captivating, and motivational guide that will have you thinking, why didn’t I do this sooner?

So, before you go back to school, apply for a loan, or start interviewing live-in babysitters you owe it to your pocket-book, your family, and yourself to read Use What you Know: A business Idea Guide for MomsI think you will be pleasantly surprised by the answers you find in the book! I know I was!

Wordless Wednesday: Valentine’s Day Treats

I realize everyone is very busy today with Valentine’s Day preparations, the beginning of Lent, and just the daily grind. So I am keeping the reading to a minimum and I am making this post toddler friendly, translation, lots of pictures!

Preschooler’s Valentine’s Day treats….

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My little helper…

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1st Grader’s Valentine’s Day treats….

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Look who sneaked a cookie…first she stole my heart and now a cookie!

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These are for my Valentines….fruit dipped in chocolate with flax-seed sprinkled on it, yum!

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Can’t forget our 4-legged Valentines….aren’t these the cutest!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Krispy, Peanut Butter, & Chocolate No Bake Treat: Perfect Fat Tuesday Fix!

No matter what you call it, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, in any language it is an excuse to eat all that good crap that is really REALLY bad for you! 

A tradition in my family when I was a child was to indulge in the classic polish Paczki on Fat Tuesday.  I am keeping that traditional alive in our household too, or at least attempting to. The Paczkis I purchased had an unfortunate accident. 

See, I purchased them on Friday with the intent of sharing them with the family on Tuesday.  But, well, there was an accident.  They accidently ended up in my mouth. So, instead of breaking the tragic news to the kiddos I did what any self-respecting momma would do and I hit up my pantry for a replacement treat (Death of the Paczkis by means of mommy’s mouth was not a conversation I was ready for at their young, delicate, ages).

So, after raiding my pantry for what seemed like eternity (I got sidetracked and ended up cleaning it out. I tossed a lot of expired items, wiped down the shelves, etc. If it wasn’t for me eating all those Paczkis my pantry would be an ever-loving mess right now.) I did finally come across enough ingredients to produce the sugar spike in the kiddos systems that would hopefully be comparable to, if not better than, an actual Paczki. Here’s what I found…..

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag large marshmallows
  • 6 cups rice krispies
  • 3 tablespoons of butter

Filling:

  • 1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

Topping:

  • ½ bag chocolate chip morsels melted in double boiler
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter melted

 

And here is what I did with all those ingredients….

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Directions:

In mixer add powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.

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Melt butter on range in large pot. Add bag of Marshmallows and stir continuously until melted. Slowly add cups of krispies cereal to melted marshmallows stirring continuously. Once all ingredients are thoroughly mixed remove from heat.

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Pour half the krispies and marshmallow goodness into a bunt cake pan (THIS IS IMPORTANT: spray pan with cooking spray). Grab the peanut butter mixture and place over the krispies and marshmallow mix. Then place remaining krispies and marshmallow mix over the peanut butter mixture.  Then place in the refrigerator for an hour or freezer for ½ hour.

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Remove bunt from refrigerator or freezer, place upside-down on cake pedestal or plate, remove bunt pan, and voila! Now admire what a wonderful job you did! What an amazing mom you are.

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Final steps! Melt the chocolate chip morels in a double boiler and drizzle over the cake/treat. Melt peanut butter and drizzle over the cake. Grab a napkin and remove the drool from your face. Place treat in refrigerator for a few minutes until the chocolate and peanut butter hardens.

Final step….and this is the most important….pour a cold glass of milk and cut off a slice of this…

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The kiddos were pleasantly surprised by this delicious treat and their blood sugar seemed to spike nicely, similar to a Paczki.  Perhaps next year’s Paczkis will have a similar fate?

What is your go to food/foods for a Fat Tuesday fix?

Moms’ Timeout Show: Valentine’s Day Treats & Crafts

Here are a few more fun Valentine’s Day gift ideas that are 100% fat-free…..

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A few years back I made this fun Lovopoly game for my main man and Valentine, my hubby.  It is so cute because you customize the entire game to your life. The game I made includes where we first met, our children’s birthdays, where we honeymooned, etc. It is such a clever gift that is sure to surprise any Valentine.  Click here to start making one today.

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Here is a fun way to ensure that you and your hubby have set dates for the rest of the year. Click here for more info.

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Customized books are a classic choice for the little Valentine’s in your life. Your kiddos will lose their minds when you start reading these books and they realize they are the main characters! My kiddos simply adore their books, click here to customize one to your little Valentine today!

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Photo books are another great Valentine’s Day gift for all your Valentine’s, young and old. Why not make a special book for your hubby that includes pictures and events that were special for just the two of you? Make a fun book of special events that have happened over the years for your little Valentine’s.  Make your own recipe book for a friend…the possibilities are endless, have fun and get creative. Make a book with photos of all your toddlers favorite things like, mommy, daddy, their toddler bed, favorite stuffed animal, etc. Have fun!

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Trivia:

 At the beginning of the show Alison is mimicking a scene from a movie, name that movie!