McDonald’s Happy Meals: Calcium, Fruit, and Literacy? (Giveaway)

National Family Literacy Day is Nov. 1 and McDonald’s is inviting families to celebrate the joy of reading with the launch of a new Happy Meal Books promotion. From Nov. 1 – Nov. 14, McDonald’s will offer books in print for Happy Meal customers, providing more than 20 million books to families across the U.S. Throughout the two-week Happy Meal Books offer, families will be able to enjoy four original books featuring McDonald’s Happy Meal characters.

Here is a video the kiddos and I did expressing how we make reading an important part of our family (you totally have my permission to laugh…between the distinct root line of my hair and the kiddos comments this is rather amusing)

Also, as part of the launch of Happy Meal Books, McDonald’s is collaborating with Reading is Fundamental (RIF), the largest children’s literacy non-profit in the U.S., to help more children and their families discover the joy of reading. RIF will distribute 100,000 Happy Meal Books to children who do not have easy access to books.

“Books are essential for inspiring children to explore, dream, and achieve, yet far too many children do not have this basic resource,” said Reading is Fundamental CEO Carol Hampton Rasco. “To change this unfortunate reality, RIF is uniting with McDonald’s, a company that embraces the transformative power of books and is committed to helping families and communities thrive. Together, McDonald’s and RIF can truly help enrich kids’ lives through access to books and by putting the fun back into reading.”


The new books follow a number of enhancements McDonald’s has made to the Happy Meal over in recent years including:

•McDonald’s 2011 “Commitments to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices,” to ensure 100% of McDonald’s national kids’ communications include a nutrition or active lifestyle message.

•Since 2013, the automatic inclusion of apple slices, a smaller kids-sized fry and the choice of a low-fat dairy option like 1% low-fat white milk or fat-free chocolate milk.

•Since 2010, a portion of proceeds from each Happy Meal sold goes to support Ronald McDonald House Charities. 


The four limited-edition books include:

•“The Goat Who Ate Everything” – Tells a story of a goat who has a big appetite and struggles to eat right. But when he does, he feels great and becomes the playful ‘kid’ everyone loves.

•“Deana’s Big Dreams” – Shares how Deana, the world’s smallest dinosaur, grew tall by eating right.

•“Ant, Can’t” – Features Ant, a bite-sized bodybuilder who’s big on encouraging physical fitness through exercise and eating right.

•“Doddi the Dodo Goes to Orlando” – Follows happy-go-lucky bird Doddi who travels the world. She eats right because this dodo is always on the go-go.



Clearly Happy Meals are not what they used. These are not your mommas Happy Meals, haha! Kudos goes out to McDonald’s for listening to the customers’ needs and for teaming up for such a great initiative, thank you!


3 lucky winners will be awarded 2 Happy Meal coupons!!

To enter…..

  1. Like Mom on the go in Holy Toledo Facebook page
  2. Follow McDonald’s on Twitter
  3. Follow @mamaof3onthego on twitter
  4. Once you have completed 1-3 comment to this post stating how you make reading an important part of your family or share your family’s favorite storybook.

Winner to be randomly selected Nov. 5th @ 11:59pm

(Winner’s name will be posted on this blog post, Facebook, and twitter.  Winner will be asked to email their address to  Thank you)

Disclosure: I was given McDonald’s Happy Meal coupons, no other compensation was received, and all opinions expressed are my own.

Wordless Wednesday: Toy Catalogues, Ugh!

What started off as a good intention and small distraction while we waited for school clothes to dry (Have you ever remove the clothing from the washer, placed it in the dryer, and then totally forget to turn on the dryer?) ended up becoming a territorial, argumentative, and overall appalling scene! Why did I think this was a good idea? I will never look at Target the same way again! Lol!

In the beginning there was structure, patience, peace….

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Then the girls got sidetracked by all the pink and sparkles and boy became frustrated….

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The beginning of the end…all order went out the window. They were each told to circle 3 items. I asked how many they circled and the little exclaimed “twenty-three!” while holding up 5!?!  The eldest accused the middle of circling items that she had already circled. While the middle child looked perplexed and proclaimed ” I don’t like clothes!” which clearly had nothing to do with the conversation, but good to know…good to know! Lol!

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Moral of the story…..Mom, always make certain you turn on the dryer!!

What do you do when the toy catalogues arrive at your house? Do you let your kiddos look through them one at a time…and if so, how do you manage crowd control? Do you hide them? Perhaps you use them as kindling for the fire? Do tell!

Jesus in Disguise

On Saturday I had the pleasure of hearing John Wood, author of Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Mission speak.  I read his book earlier in the summer and it was life changing! So when the opportunity for me to hear him in person presented itself I was beyond thrilled. I highlighted the heck out of the book and often find myself going back to it for my morsels of convictions when I find myself falling short or struggling with worldly temptations. I keep it right next to my life manual, the bible.


During his talk he brought up the fact that we all come in contact with difficult people in our lives. Think back over the past month. Did you come in contact with a difficult person, an ornery neighbor, frustrated parent, or a toddler throwing a full on Oscar award winning tantrum? I know I have, on more than one occasion. He then quoted Mother Teresa…..


Each one of them is Jesus in Disguise.  Then he went on to ask, how should you treat those people? You could laugh at them when they throw their tantrums, you could mock them, or ignore them? But they are Jesus in disguise, how would you treat Jesus? Would you treat him kindly, compassionately, with patience and love? I know I would. That was a real ‘aha moment’ for me. I have always considered the poor, sick, and elderly to be Jesus in disguise but my 3 year old? It is brilliant!

When I came home that evening and my 3 year old was throwing an Oscar award winning tantrum I knelt down and looked in her big blue eyes and spoke to her in a calm voice with patience. Granted she didn’t listen the first 3 times. But the 4th time I did not yell or lose my head, I maintained composure and compassion and guess what? She listened. A sense of Grace came over me and I found myself welcoming my next encounter with Jesus in disguise.

But what about those days, weeks, or months when you are plagued with difficult people, tantrums, and constantly giving? Those days you are tempted to just lose it and say what about me?

Remember this….

 “The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” Pope Benedict XVI

99999999999999999999999999Interested in reading more on this topic: Haley Stewart wrote a fabulous article, You were Made for Greatness, Not Comfort

Have you come in contact with a difficult person recently? How did you handle it? Do you have a toddler? Where have you seen Jesus in Disguise?







Lying to your kids

So last week was Little Boo at the Zoo, it is a trick-or-treating event for toddlers and preschoolers at the Toledo Zoo.  I look forward to Little Boo every year. I have been going for the past 6 years and this year was going to be my first with only one kiddo, (boo).  Our little Minnie Mouse had been looking forward to it and couldn’t wait to see all her friends. We made this a playgroup event so we would be seeing our friends, getting candy, and seeing animals…the toddler trifecta!! Haha!

Before we left I had to get a pic…(yes, I am that mom) she is saying candy…you can really tell by how big her eyes are, haha!

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My plan was to get in and out of the zoo within an hour, hour and a half, then attack my list of errands that was a mile long before picking up the older kiddos from school.  So you can imagine my astonishment when we drove up to the parking lot and the line started there! No joke!

What was going through my mind when I saw the line….

If I just abort the mission now and drive away my little Minnie Mouse will be heartbroken and let’s be totally honest, she will drive me insane the rest of the day!

If I stay there is no way I can even make a dent in my errands….I will be lucky if I get out in time to pick up the older kiddos from school.

I am the head organizer for our playgroup and the moms might be in line, or inside already, how am I supposed to find them?


I kind of fibbed to my daughter. I wouldn’t call it a straight out lie because I was not initially trying to be deceitful. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt her. Plans simply had to change. We needed to be flexible with our day. But unfortunately a 3-year-old has no concept of being flexible. So I put it in terms she could understand.  I expressed to her that I had forgotten to get a reservation for this event and I was terribly sorry but I did make a reservation for the gift shop. Boy did her eyes get really big again. See we avoid gift shops at all cost at all times so this was kind of a big deal. So we walked past the LONG line and strolled on into the gift shop that was entirely empty…as if I had made exclusive reservations just for us, haha!

She lost her mind. She loved it! I total her she had $10 to spend as she pleased. So we perused the shop for a few minutes, she likes to know all her options. We even stopped for a quick photo op to commemorate this magnificent day.

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I totally lied to my child! Granted I have a whole slew of reasoning behind it and can totally justify my actions but truth is truth, and the truth is I lied. Which got me thinking, how often do I lie to my children and is it really that bad?

Turns out more often than I had assumed or would like to admit.

  • That same day we had a discussion over the dinner table about the Tooth Fairy.  See our 7 yrs. old only received $2 from the Tooth Fairy while our 6 yrs. old received $3. I suddenly found myself making up an entire fantasy about Tooth Fairies…talk about a lie that snowballed. There was no way I was going to break the news that mom and dad simply got their wires crossed.
  • During that same meal I convinced our 3-year-old to eat her food by expressing that it was Minnie Mouse’s favorite (FYI: If my child claims that carrots and meatloaf are Minnie Mouse’s favorite food just go with it)
  • The next day at breakfast our daughter was crossing her eyes and making funny faces and I told her that if she kept doing it her face would get stuck.
  • I told our 3-year-old not to swallow her gum because it takes years to leave the body…simply in an effort to get her to stop eating gum. (Update: She busted me that afternoon after taking a BM she made certain I notice that the gum came out of her body).
  • At the store the kiddos were distracted and we needed to get going. I explained we need to go now and if they chose to stay that they will want to contact the manager and see if he is hiring.
  • And I am sure you could tell that whole reservation story came too easily. This was not my first Rodeo…I use the reservation concept all the time…movies, toy stores, etc. “We have to make a reservation” is a phrase that commonly escapes my mouth.
  • Santa Claus
  • The Easter Bunny

Turns out I might just be one perpetually lying mother. Are you? When was the last time you lied to your child? Did you do it as motivation? Maybe as a control mechanism? And, is it really that bad? When have you crossed that line…when does the lying become detrimental? Please share.

Warner Bros. Spook-Tacular Movie GIVEAWAY!

What is the best part about Halloween?

The pumpkin carving? The costumes? The free candy? All are amazing, but our favorite by far is Halloween Movie Nights!! Warner Bros. has a line-up of Spook-Tacular Movies to get you in the holiday spirit. From classics like It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown & Scooby-Doo The Goblin King to Adventure Time – Jake the Dad, you can count on a spook-tacular selection that the entire family can enjoy!

And for those older kiddos nothing beats a spooky story! Before you and the kids take the neighborhood by storm, get in the mood by sharing some spooky stories! Download copies of the Spook-Tacular Story Time PDF, fire up the flashlights, and gather in a circle….. this Halloween it’s STORY TIME! Perfect for kids ages 7 to 73!


And to really get you in the holiday spirit….

Which Spooky Family Are You?

QUIZ – Is your family all about the candy and costumes? Or are you pumpkin-carving crazy? Take the quiz to find out which spooky family YOU are! (Click on the image below to get started!)


The Giveaway!!

Enter to win ONE of the following Spook-Tacular DVDs! (Prize will be chosen randomly from the titles below!)



Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Run for your Rife!

• Regular Show – Fright Pack (V4)

• It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition

• Tom and Jerry: Tricks and Treats

• Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween

• Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King

• Tom and Jerry: Halloween Hijinks

• Sesame Street: Elmo Says Boo!

• Adventure Time – Jake the Dad (V5)

To Enter the Giveaway complete each of the following…..

Like Mom on the go in Holy Toledo Facebook page

Follow Warner Bros. Entertainment on twitter

Follow @mamaof3onthego on twitter

Reply with your results from the quiz…what spooky family are you?

Winner to be randomly selected Oct 25th @ 11:59pm

Winner is only eligible to win 1 WB Spook-Tacular Family Movie [CHOSEN AT RANDOM].  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

(Winner’s name will be posted on this blog post, Facebook, and twitter.  Winner will be asked to email their address to  Thank you)

Aamazing Steel-Cut Oatmeal Cookies

My little love bug (our 3 yr. old) is under the weather. Her allergies are flaring up and her body is trying to fight off a bug.  She had to stay home and didn’t get to see her school friends this week. We also had to change our weekend plans so now she will not be seeing a beautiful bride, she is way bummed!  So, in an effort to turn that frown upside down I decided to bake some cookies!

But not any ordinary cookies, I like to get more ‘bang for my buck’ so to speak. So, these cookies though delicious, have a little secret; they are full of healthy antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and could possibly lower bad cholesterol while increasing good, (and the steel-cut oats are lower on the glycemic index…but the frosting kind of negates this point, lol!) What I really like is the fact that they help satiate the children’s appetites so they are not asking for a snack every 15 minutes.  What they like is the yummy pumpkin cinnamon and vanilla frosting that satisfies their sweet tooth.  But the best part, they don’t taste like a healthy cookie. They are moist, not dry! Try them for yourself and let me know what you think….they are the perfect afterschool snack and/or breakfast on the go!

In case you aren’t familiar with flaxseed and chia seeds I have included a few great links to help better explain the health benefits of each.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

The Benefits of Flaxseed

Made with love…..

What make these cookies extra special, they were made with love.  Instead of mommy baking by her lonesome it became a shared experience, one that touched all five senses and will be treasured for always…the aroma, laughter,  the touch of their soft delicate hands as I  guided them while measuring ingredients, and the children’s smiling eyes as they tasted the warm chewy cookies fresh out of the oven.

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2  cups  coach’s ‘steel-cut’ oats  

2 Tablespoons Flaxseed

2Tablespoons Chia Seeds

3/4 cup butter  

1  ½ cup brown sugar  

1  teaspoon baking powder  

1/4 teaspoon baking soda  

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour  

2   eggs  

2  teaspoons vanilla extract  

2  teaspoons cinnamon  

1 cup, sliced dates (or raisins, cranberries, dried fruit)

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(Preheat oven to 375)

1 Place steel-cut oats, flax seeds, and chia seeds in bowl and mix together then pour water over… just enough water to cover all ingredients. Set aside (water soaks up quickly)

2  Cream butter in mixer.

3 Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix

4 Slowly mix in the flour

5 Add steel-cut oats, flaxseed, chia seed mixture and dates (or other dried fruit)

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6 Place by spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

7 Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Then place on cooling rack.

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¼ cup butter

½ cup pumpkin

3 ½ cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons vanilla

2 Tablespoons cinnamon

3-7 Tablespoons Milk


1 Mix butter, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and 3 tablespoons milk

2 Slowly add remaining milk till frosting is the right consistency.

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Do you enjoy baking with your children? Do you have a favorite baked good or recipe you make when your kiddos are feeling blue? Please share.

McDonald’s Mighty Wings Review & Giveaway!!

Fall to me means, sweaters, lattes, crockpot recipes, pumpkin pie, carving jack-o-lanterns, leaves changing colors, jumping in leaves, and FOOTABLL!!

Whether the NFL or college, football is a time for friends, family, and fans to come together.  To gather and cheer, to show their team spirit, and at times even argue over whose team is better. But there is one neutral ground, where Browns and Steeler fans and Ohio State and Michigan fans can come together as one, the food table!!

The food table, where all fans can get their grub on. The dishes on the food table have been passed down from one generation to the nest and over the years only the real tried and true dishes have established a permanent residence there.  The chip and practically any dip, chili, chili dog, anything with the word chili in it, also anything with cheese in it or that is considered a finger food are big winners at the food table. But the NFL of the food table is the chicken wings!

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So when McDonald’s contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing McDonald’s Mighty Wings at our next football gathering I said heck yes! Then I got a little nervous. As stated, the chicken wings are like the NFL of the food table and what if the Might Wings failed? That would reflect badly on me, and I have a title to upholds as “awesome food wife”. Lol!

What are McDonald’s Mighty Wings?

Mighty Wings are tender, meaty, bone-in chicken wings that deliver a bold taste. They are breaded and seasoned with cayenne and chili pepper served in three sizes – 3 pieces, 5 pieces or 10 pieces. Plus, you can for choose from nine sauces to accompany them.

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Game day arrived and while the guys were worried about their teams winning I was more concerned with whether or not the wings would qualify for the food table NFL status.

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Everyone grabbed a wing, and then silence….followed by many comments.

“These are from McDonald’s!?”

“They got a kick to ‘em”.

“I like the variety of sauces…I can get three wings with different sauces instead of the messy Buffalo wings with one.”

“These are great!”

“Breading is good, like the crispiness.”

Well there you have it! I’d say that they qualified.  (Side note: isn’t it funny how guys sum up their experience in four words while women tend to take like 4 sentences…and men do not like to be photographed while women can’t seem to get enough, lol!)

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My thoughts….

They are definitely bold.  They were a little spicy for my liking. But they are perfect for who they were intended for, guys!! And they are beyond perfect for football gatherings. Wives if you are hosting or need to bring something to the next game day gathering or tailgating I highly recommend swinging by McDonalds for some Might Wings! It will save you the time and energy of having to make something, ha-ha! And while you’re there get yourself a coffee drink…girl, you deserve it! Even better, what if you won a McDonald’s gift card and could use that for the wings and coffee?


One lucky reader will win a $10 McDonald’s gift card!

To enter…..

  1. Like Mom on the go in Holy Toledo Facebook page
  2. Follow McDonald’s on Twitter
  3. Follow @mamaof3onthego on twitter
  4. Once you have completed 1-3 comment to this post stating you have done so (please indicate your fb and twitter names/handle) and share what team you root for, NFL or college.

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Winner to be randomly selected Oct 18th @ 11:59pm

(Winner’s name will be posted on this blog post, Facebook, and twitter.  Winner will be asked to email their address to  Thank you)

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

Sunday’s Food for the Soul: The BEST You

Every morning, as I am dropping off my kiddos to school I have a ritual of reminders and one challenge.  When we are a block away from school I recite the following….

I love you. You are a child of the Lord. Challenge for today: Help a friend in need (these change daily but often have the same message…be kind, compassionate, and treat others the way you would like to be treated). Then the best part…

I start off by stating, “And remember, all you have to be today is….” and they all express “the best me I can be”. Then they are off.

That last statement has always been a favorite of mine. How beautiful and magnificent those otherwise simplest words become when placed together. What a perfect message and motto to live by. How marvelous to know that you do not have to live up to anyone’s standards or expectations but your own. And how important it is for children to know that they should not be just like every other child in their school, for each is special, each has unique talents to share, and each can learn so much from the others.


It got me thinking, many adults could use this reminder. Many adults compare themselves to others, to coworkers, other mothers, etc. This can bring about insecurities and uncomfortable feelings of inadequacies. God has given each of us special talents and when all those talents come together it can be a symphony of perfection.  But unfortunately we try so hard to be like others that we lose ourselves. A Symphony cannot exist with all flutes!



We not only compare our accomplishments, skills, and experiences, but we also get superficial with our comparisons. We compare our hair, facial features, body types to others and some suffer gravely because they feel like they do not own up to society’s idea of the perfect body.  What is the saying? “Everyone with curly hairs wants straight; everyone with straight wants curly?” I can’t even bear the thought of a world where we all look the same.  Rock what God has given you, red hair, curly hair, full sized woman, petite woman, etc. be genuine and watch how your self-confidence can soar.



This week’s homework:

When you catch yourself admiring someone else’s talent, looks, skills, and/or accomplishments embrace it for what it is, admire their strengths then stop! Do not compare yourself to them. Do not even take one step down that path of self-destruction. Remember you are an important part of the symphony of life. We need YOUR talent, YOUR skill, YOUR confidence, not another flute.


Have you ever caught yourself comparing yourself to others? Have you ever experienced jealousy, self-pity, or loathing as a consequence of the comparison? How did you stop?

Grace Unplugged Prize Pack Giveaway!

I am super excited for the release of this movie! With all the media hype and conversations surrounding Miley Cyrus the timing of this moving could not be more perfect! This is a movie that all tweens should definitely see!


Sometimes, chasing your dreams leads you right to where you belong!

Having just turned 18, Grace Trey aspires to more than just singing at her church where her father, a former pop star, is the worship leader. So, with the help of Mossy, her dad’s former manager, Grace records a cover version of her dad’s old Top-10 hit, runs off to Los Angeles, and begins to taste the kind of stardom she’s always dreamed about.

Yet with each rung of the ladder she climbs, Grace feels more and more pressure to compromise her values, further straining her relationship with her parents. Will everything she experiences lead her to reject her faith… or rediscover it?

Grace Unplugged opens in theaters October 4 and is “Family Approved” by the Dove Foundation.

The Grace Unplugged Cast: AJ Michalka James Denton Kevin Pollak Michael Welch


Now for some fun…..

Are you ready for a Rockstar Life? Click on the image below and take the quiz to find out!




Official Grace Unplugged Prize Pack to be awarded to one lucky reader!

Grace Unplugged Prize Pack INCLUDES:

• Grace Unplugged Soundtrack CD  –  Songs by TobyMac, AJ Michalka, Chris Tomlin and Shawn McDonald.

• Grace Unplugged: A Novel by Melody Carlson.

•  Own It: The book Discover Your Faith in God by Michael & Hayley DiMarco.

•  Grace Unplugged Exclusive Guitar Pick.

To Enter the Giveaway complete each of the following…..

Like Mom on the go in Holy Toledo Facebook page

Like Grace Unplugged Facebook page

Follow @mamaof3onthego on twitter

Reply with your results from the quiz…Are you Rockstar ready?

Winner to be randomly selected Oct 8th @ 11:59pm

(Winner’s name will be posted on this blog post, Facebook, and twitter.  Winner will be asked to email their address to  Thank you)