TGIF: Toes Go In First! Nature’s Sleep Slipper Review & Giveaway

After a long day of being on my feet – commuting, at work and errands/activities with the kidlets – I love to come home and kick off my shoes and slip my tired and worn out tootsies into a comfy pair of slippers.  It’s actually the first thing I do when I enter the house, even before I take off my jacket or put down my purse.  I have my slippers waiting for me on a shoe tray right by the front door entrance.

Finding a comfy pair of slippers though isn’t as easy as it sounds, because I’m pretty picky.  Most slippers look cute and fashionable, but either there isn’t enough cushioning or their construction is pretty flimsy.   It’s even a long-running joke in my family that when in doubt about what to buy me — for my birthday, Mother’s Day or Christmas —  they should get me slippers because I’m always on search for that “perfect” pair.

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All Good April

Since The Hubs and I started living the pescatarian lifestyle earlier this year, we’ve been experimenting with of new foods. I’ve learned all about vegetarian meat AKA mock meats — foods make to look like various meats, but made from soy, gluten, eggs, veggies or a combo of those ingredients — and that kale is the new spinach! Most recently I learned about the many health benefits of coconut oil and flax seeds to a persons daily diet, courtesy of a care package from Carrington Farms for #AllGoodApril month.

THM_CarringtonFarms_AllGoodApril_1My Carrington Farms “All Good April” care package included Liquid Coconut Cooking Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil tub & Organic Milled Flax Seeds

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When Are the Stories of My Children No Longer Mine to Tell?

Creating and maintaining The Harried Mom takes a lot of work. I started this blog a few years ago as a creative outlet for myself, to share my stories about everyday parenting – the good, the bad and even those forehead slap moments that we all experience with our families. Over time the site has evolved to also include family meal ideas/recipes, DIY kid crafts, reviews and fun activity/outing suggestions to do with kids. In the next week or so, I’ll even be debuting a new look to the blog!!

THM_WhenAreStoriesNoLongerMine_1The Harried Mom truly is a labor of love.  See, my #1 job is being a mom & wife ILR to two kidlets and a husband I just adore. After that, I’m a mom who works away of the home (because every mom is a working mom, my job just happens to take me out of the home) in a fab career.  This blog is what I do “after-hours,” at home once the kidlets have gone off to dreamland, The Hubs fed and laundry is done (well, sometimes!). It does take a lot of time, effort and lots of understanding from my family & friends, but I really enjoy doing it so it’s worth it.

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Plank Grilling: 75 Recipes for Infusing Foods with Flavor Using Wood Planks – Cookbook Review, Recipe & Giveaway

My favorite cooking appliance isn’t in my kitchen, it’s right outside, literally. It’s my gas grill! I love cooking meals on the grill and use it all year-long — in rain or shine, snow or sleet, as long as there is a clear path leading to the gill, I cook on it. It wasn’t until a few years ago though that I started to plank grill. Grilling with a plant is a lot like using a pan, except the plank has the ability to produce smoke. This method is great because it provides a stable surface to grill your food on while at the same time infusing it tons of flavor. It’s also healthier than traditional grilling, as dishes remain juicier and require less added fat and salt for flavor. THM_PlankGrillingCookbookReview_1So when Plank Grilling: 75 Recipes for Infusing Foods with Flavor Using Wood Planks by Dina Guillen showed up at the house, I was excited. Up until that point I’d just been pulling plank grilling recipes off the internet, not realizing there were whole cookbooks devoted to this cooking method. Plank Grilling – 75 Recipes for Infusing Foods with Flavor Using Wood Planks is the perfect cookbook for a grill plank beginner or even an intermediate planker like myself. Continue reading

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Sing Into Spring – Disney Music Sets Giveaway

disclaimerMusic is one of the essential components of life.  From the moment we are born, we have an ingrained appreciation for music.  Just think of how music is used to soothe and stabilize vital signs of babies in hospital nurseries!   Music means something different to every individual and can have a strong influence on our emotions.  There’s music that makes us feel happy, sad and even somewhere in-between depending upon a song’s melody, harmony and rhythm.

THM_SingIntoSpringDisneyMusic_FrozenTHM_SingIntoSpringDisneySinging songs with my kidlets always puts me in a good mood.  Disney’s Frozen soundtrack is currently #1 on our music hit parade.  Every morning for the past week my four-year-old daughter comes down to breakfast and asks The Hubs to put it on and turn it up, LOUD!   While I’m getting ready for work I hear her singing all the songs.  I’m amazed at how she knows all the lyrics and just love how she injects her own vitality and personality into the songs with her vocal inflections.

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I’m Leaving (And Returning) On A Jet Plane…

My father worked for the same company for 41 years and in his entire professional career he never was sent out-of-town on a business trip.  In fact, he never spent even one night away from home when I was growing up.  I on the other hand have been working for 20+ years  and I can’t even begin to tell you how many business trips I’ve been on.

TravelingmomI love my career in public relations and its given me the tremendous opportunity to travel and see many places, both large and small in this world.  It’s due in large part to my many business trips that I can brag and say that I’ve visited all the contiguous 48 United States (I’ve also been to Hawaii on my honeymoon, so I’ve been to 49 states,  all I need is to cross Alaska off my list). Continue reading

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Eggs-Tra Special Kid Craft – Onion Skin Dyed Easter Eggs

For most of my childhood coloring eggs, wearing fancy hats and chocolate bunnies were an integral part to my family’s annual celebration of Easter.  I’ve been carrying on the tradition with my own kidlets, but I’ve officially had it with those Easter egg coloring/dye kits.  They’re so messy and my eggs never turn out as vibrant, fancy or pretty as the ones  featured on the kit’s packaging.

So when I read in our church bulletin a few weeks back that a woman from our parish was going to host a workshop demonstrating how to dye eggs with onion skins, I was intrigued. I had never heard of this technique before, but from what I could find out it looks like its roots are in the Greek culture. As you seem, the results are beautiful and unique looking Easter eggs!

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A Journaling Journey – Rustico Leather Travelers Set Review

disclaimerJournaling is currently a big thing in my house.  Not to be confused with a diary which recounts one’s daily activities, journaling encompasses lots of things — from recording feelings and experiences, to collecting slips of important papers and photos to jotting down poems, sayings and sketches.  I like to think of journaling as sort of an analog version of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or even blogging!

THM_Journaling_RusticoReview1My kidlet’s journals, I have no idea what’s inside, I didn’t look

Both of my kidlets have their own journals and there are lots of times that they suddenly dash off to their rooms to scribble down whatever it is they put in there.  See, I’m not quite sure what’s in there because whatever they put in their journal is totally private and unless they want to share it with me – this mom doesn’t peek!

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There’s A Reason It’s Called “The Greatest Show On Earth” – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus LEGENDS Review

My daughter and I had a great time at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus LEGENDS performance opening night at the IZOD Center in northern New Jersey.  There’s a reason it’s called “The Greatest Show On Earth” and that’s because year after year this circus does not disappoint!  The show is filled with thrills, chills and laughs and jam-packed with elephants, tigers, horses, amazing acrobatic troupes, daredevils and, of course, clowns.

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Meatless Meals – Veggie Quiche

Most weeknights The Hubs and I don’t get home until after 6:30 pm from work.   Once we do get home we try to spend as much time as possible hanging out with the kidlets before they go to bed.  That means we play board games, build LEGOs, play with Super Heroes/Disney Princesses, read books or if it’s Wednesday night, give the kidlets baths!  By the time 8 pm rolls around the kidlets are safely snuggled into bed and The Hubs and I are starving!  But who wants to start cooking a meal at 8 pm to eat at 9 pm and then go to bed not too long after?  Not this gal – so lately I’ve been making extra meals/dishes on Sundays that we can just re-heat during the week.

THM_MeatlessMeals_VeggieQuiche3My Veggie Quiche – made quick & easy!

One of my current favorites is making quiche.  This might be a little rudimentary, but I have had people ask me what it is — a quiche is an open-faced pastry crust with a savory filling thickened with eggs. I like quiches because they are so versatile. You can fill them with just about anything you have in the fridge — cheese, meat, seafood or vegetables — and you can serve it either hot or cold.   They are the perfect meal to make in advance, store in either the fridge or freezer and pop out when needed.

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