Category - Food & Beverage

Make Dinner Easy for You, Yummy for Them, and Healthy for Your Family

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

 

Now that school and extracurricular activities have begun, I often find myself at a loss for dinners. I either forget to put ingredients into my slow cooker, don’t have the right ingredients for my dishes, or end up only having a few minutes to fix something quick.

While my girls are pretty good about being thankful for the food they have they’re still kids, there are times when they don’t love what I’ve put on their plate.

I don’t know about you but some nights I really wish I had it together, so I’m always on the lookout for tips and recipes to make my weeknight dinners easy for me, tasty for them, and healthy for our family.

 

Tips to get your kids to LOVE Dinner MommyB

 

Green Giant Frozen Steamers to the rescue! Green Giant is kicking off the, “Fresh Take on What to Make” campaign in partnership with celebrity chef and TV host Gina Neely, Celebrity Chef and TV Host from “Down Home with the Neelys”.

This program offers expert tips and recipes to make back-to-school, weeknight dinners easier on parents. Gina developed 5 tips for conquering hectic weeknight dinners while making meals that are nutritious and delicious, including “one-pot wonders,” grocery list must-haves and her favorite ways to get kids involved in the kitchen.

In a Green Giant Frozen Survey, they found that more than a third of parents surveyed admitted to forgetting about, or even purposely cutting out, vegetables when crunched for time at the end of the day, leaving them out of meals an average of twice a week. This is despite four-out-of-five (83%) parents agreeing no dinner is complete without a vegetable.

Whether you’re like us and usually get a few veggies in but could always use more or end up missing out on the veggies, you won’t want to miss Gina’s ideas like Quick ‘n Easy Chicken Pot Pies and more. You can get more recipes and chat live with Gina and other parents just like us by joining tomorrow’s Google Hangout.

If you can use some ideas and inspiration come join me – Green Giant and Gina Neely are hosting a Google+ hangout tomorrow, Tuesday, September 23 at 8pm ET. Head here: http://bit.ly/1pkEbnY to RSVP and join me, can’t wait to hear your questions, and suggestions.

 

Green Giant Google Hangout

 

Comment here letting me know if you RSVPed and I can expect to see you! Also visit greengiant.com/easymeals for more meal ideas if you miss us.

 

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Green Giant, a brand that our family already loves and trusts and uses. We know the importance of healthy eating and want our friends to get their daily dose of vegetables as well. All opinions and thoughts in this post are my own, yours may vary.

Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy

For those of you who don’t know I have a shellfish allergy. I didn’t know I was allergic until I had a pretty severe reaction after eating shrimp at a hibachi grill {twice}. I say twice because the first time we thought it was the oil the grill used, but later found out that the culprit was indeed shellfish.

To be fair, I probably should have known this a little sooner, I have only eaten shrimp in my life once before (when I was in high school) but every time I would peel shrimp to cook for my husband my hands would itch and turn a little red.

For a while I was very cautious of dining out, especially when it came to seafood restaurants, because, well hellloooo. I know sometimes when I ask for my dish a little different at restaurants I’ve had to send them back and eating shellfish contaminated food isn’t something I’ve been willing to risk.

Luckily, Bonefish Grill takes shellfish and other allergies VERY seriously. **Please be sure to tell your waiter if you have allergies before you order.

Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy MommyB

 

Your table is “flagged” to ensure that your dishes are safe for you to eat. The staff was very respectful of my allergy and helpful to suggest dishes. Our waiter, who was amazingly friendly, also told us that the pesto dipping oil for the table bread is made from pumpkin seeds rather than pine nuts due to the increase in diners with tree nut allergies. In my opinion, that is very thoughtful of a restaurant to make that concession.

Not only was our wait staff excellent regarding my allergies and recommendations, but the food during this visit was delicious.

If I can give you some recommendations:

Start with the Fresh Watermelon Martini because it’s light and sweet and a great drink that won’t make you feel full.

Next, if you’re in the sharing mood, the Wagyu Beef & Ginger Potstickers are delicious. The sauce and crispy onions help finish off a yummy bite. Kristen from The Playful Mom and I may or may not have devoured these.

For my entree I ordered the NEW 13 oz Rib Eye steak, I HIGHLY suggest the white truffle butter. This steak melted in my mouth, it was cooked to perfection and the truffle butter completed the savory flavor. My sides were equally amazing as I could barely put my fork down for the mushroom ravioli.

Of course we had to try out the desserts, I opted for the creme brulee and Kristin tried the NEW S’mores Flatbread which is all the rage. I actually wish I had swiped some from her when she wasn’t looking. Though in all honest the creme brulee was very creamy and the fresh berries topped this dish off nicely.

I did not have any issues with allergic reactions, our food was outstanding, service was polite and prompt, and my dinner date was pretty fun too.

Bonefish Grill Review MommyB
Even though I can’t eat shellfish, I encourage you to check out some of the great NEW Bonefish Grill menu items as well as their standard favorites: bonefishgrill.com/menu

 

Do you have any food allergies??

Have you been to a Bonefish Grill? Tried any NEW menu items? What are your favorite dishes?

 

 

I received a complimentary meal in order to give you opinions about my experience. This is not a paid post and all opinions are my own honest thoughts as usual. Your opinions and experiences may vary.

From First Bell to Recess – Back to School Must Haves 2014 – Giveaway

School’s in session {at least for most of the country}. Some are getting into the groove of their schedules and others have just started. Whether or not you’ve had kiddos in school this school year for weeks or minutes my comprehensive list from First Bell to Recess – Back to School Must Haves will have at least one amazing thing you’ll want/need/love/like.

From First Bell to Recess Back to School Must Haves MommyB

 

Don’t miss the first bell!

1st Period: Technology

Kidecals will make any technology or computer class come to life. If your child has a school laptop or computer at home, these fun “sticker” designs go on fast and come off easy. Kids will love the cool styles and parents will love the functionality.

Back to School Must Haves KideCals MommyB

 

Kidecals has keycals, address/phone stickers, labels for food allergies, and more! Order yours from their website: kidecals.com

Snack

Fill your child’s water bottle with confidence this school year. With Nalgene’s leak-proof design your kiddos can choose from lots of designs or customize their own. Nalgene bottles come in so many great styles, sizes, and shapes and best of all no spills, no ruined textbooks, and no tears!

 

Back to School Must Haves Nalgene MommyB

 

Take your pick of great bpafree drink cups by heading over to Nalgene.com or your local retailers.

Want your kiddos to munch on something that’s good for them and they’ll have fun crunching? Lil’ C loves Harvest Snaps and so does her mom {that’s me!}.

Back to School Must Haves Harvest Snaps MommyB

 

Harvest Snaps have a full line of flavors and products that your family may just fall in love with. Harvest Snaps offers a healthier snacking option, without sacrificing taste. We love that they are baked – not fried, high fiber and protein, and are low in sodium and fat.

Head to HarvestSnaps.com to check out flavors and add to your student’s snack.

Looking for a great reusable snack bag?? We heart BooginHead Pack’Ems snack bags. Their designs are fun and they reduce waste.Packemsjpeg

 

These packs features include: BPA, PVC & phthalate free, top-rack dishwasher safe, are environmentally friendly and cost conscious, and come in two sizes in each package.

To find out how you can add Pack’Ems to your child’s snack or lunch head to their website: booginhead.com

2nd Period: Study Hall

Master Lock has been known for years of keeping all your students belongings safe whether they’re in lockers or on a bike chain. Today is no different, only Master Lock’s variety and technology has improved. Check out their digital locks, laptop locks, and other safe spaces.

 

Back to School Must Haves Master Lock MommyB

 

Master Lock is dialing up back-to-school shopping fun for students and parents with a new interactive game, “Master Lock Photo Hunt Challenge.” participants can go to www.MasterLockPhotoHunt.com through September 7 for a chance to win back-to-school security items and create a Master Lock shopping wish list.

Players can add any of the Master Lock products they see while playing the game to their wish list and email it to mom or dad for easy back-to-school shopping. In addition, by sharing the Master Lock Photo Hunt Challenge on Twitter, entrants are able to earn an additional entry per day. One lucky grand prize winner will win a Samsung Smart Media Center Package that includes a 60″ HD 1080p Smart LED HDTV. There are 65 total chances to win, which includes 1 grand prize, 8 weekly prizes, and 56 daily instant win prizes.

3rd Period: Art

Have an art lover in your family, or a student who loves to express themselves through color and fashion? We love the stylish hair accessories and fashion scarves that Urban Halo offers.

 

Back to School Must Haves Urban Halo Fashion MommyB

Urban Halo has choices for little girls to teenagers {and even us moms!}. Whether your child’s style is simple and pretty or fun and funky, there are lots of designs to choose from. Let your child take ownership of their style in a fun way. Take a peek at what Urban Halo has to offer: urbanhalo.com

Lunch

Parents, make sure you pack your child’s lunch with great food and quality lunchbox products. The Skip * Hop Zoo Lunchies from PishPosh Baby are adorable, insulated lunch boxes that are the perfect size for your little one’s lunch needs.

Back to School Must Haves Skip Hop Lunchbox MommyB

 

Lil’ C adores her kitty cat lunchbox because it’s, “so cute” and I love that there is enough room for her small meal, and a mesh pocket for her utensils and napkin. These awesome lunch boxes come in several character styles, check them out here: PishPoshBaby.com   Your kiddos will love you this school year when they find Crofter’s Organic spreads on their sandwiches.

 

Back to School Must Haves Crofter's MommyB

 

Our school, {like many } is a nut-free zone and though Miss A loves peanut butter and jelly we want to keep other children safe we forgo the pb but with 1/3 less sugar and non-gmo verified we love the benefits and taste of Crofter’s Organic products. Miss A is most fond of the Strawberry spread, but we also love the Wild Blueberry too. For other flavors and where to buy check out CroftersOrganic.com

4th period: PE

The cutest shoes of the season from Rack Room Shoes

Back to School Must Haves Rack Room Shoes MommyB

Rack Room Shoes has amazingly cute shoes for students in all grades, and best of all they have amazing prices, a great rewards program, free Ship2Home program, and great return policy. Check out Rack Room Shoes’ latest styles and promotions here: RackRoomShoes.com

Recess

We are lucky enough to work closely with several of these great brands and have a giveaway for one lucky MommyB Knows Best reader. Here’s your chance to enjoy your recess, enter the giveaway to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Any thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. I received no compensation for this post and all giveaway prizes are donated and fulfilled by the brand or company representing them.

Toaster Strudel Celebrates MORE Fruit with Fruit Ninja

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Toaster Strudel

School has just started four our family and we’re waking up bright and early to get ready for Miss A to go to school. Soon Lil C will start school and we’re super excited for both of them, but also realizing more school means less snuggles in the morning. I don’t know about you, but our family could always use more quiet, special time, especially while our girls are still little.

Who wouldn’t want more of this?!?!

 

Need more snuggle time MommyB

 

Toaster Strudel Fruit Ninja Logo Lock UpTo celebrate families getting more good stuff in the mornings, Toaster Strudel now has even MORE delicious fruit in every warm, gooey pastry. If you can’t tell from our photos we also love being silly and having fun too. Toaster Strudel teamed up with the popular Fruit Ninja app to host the first-ever “in real life” spectacle. During this one-of-a-kind event, fans watched as world-renowned swordsman Isao Machii sliced apples, berries and watermelons tossed his way.

 

Check out Isao Machii’s Fruit Ninja Style: 



How cool right?? You can complete a Fruit Ninja in-app mission and be awarded with incentives brought to you by Toaster Strudel. Check out Toaster Strudel’s Facebook page for more information on more fruit, app missions, and ways to add more to your mornings {maybe even some extra snuggles!}.

What do you wish your family had more of in the mornings??

 

 

This is a sponsored post, any opinions or thoughts expressed in this post are my own. Your opinions may vary.

10 Things I Heart about Summer

Have you been soaking in the summer? The girls, DaddyB, and I have been enjoying our summer moments although Miss A returns to school in less than a month. Crazy right!??! Here are 10 Things I Heart about Summer:

10 Things I Heart about Summer MommyB

 

1. Ooey Gooey yummy S’mores – though we have yet to enjoy one of these summer staples we’ve had fun checking out recipes online, and talking about how each member of our family likes their marshmallows cooked. (I’m a golden brown gal.)

2. on the flipside we also like Healthy Snacks like CVS/pharmacy’s new Gold Emblem Abound line. They have yummy raw almonds that our whole family enjoys, Fruit & Nut Fiber Trail Mix and more and best of all they’re free of artificial preservatives and flavors. I’m also loving Bear Naked bars that I recently found in Target, so yummy and all-natural ingredients.

Things I love about Summer MommyB

 

3. We love visiting Local Museums and Attractions year-round, but especially in the summer because there are some pretty cool new exhibits. Discovery Place has Alien Worlds & Androids and, Sea Life Charlotte-Concord has their new Serpents of the Seas exhibit, both are included in the price of admission.

 

10 Things I Hear about Summer Science & Museums MommyB

 

4. Speaking of museums, we’re also loving science projects! My little science lovers and I have been busy making perfume, edible science experiments, playing with dry ice, and checking out STEMpowerkids subscription kits.

 

STEMpowerkids kit Summer MommyB

 

5. With the move we’ve been making a few purchases for our home office, living room and girls schoolroom {aka kids’ office}. One place we’ve almost literally been living at is Ikea (some for item returns and some for purchases). The girls also tried Small Land the last time we went (being overprotective parents we were a little apprehensive, but they had a blast and we were able to zip around the store and get what we needed, super convenient.) During our Ikea trips we also spotted Hobby Lobby which I had seen at other locations but assumed it was a craft store so never wandered in. Let me tell you I love the home decor and the girls found these GINORMOUS flowers that are way cool, we’re considering putting some in their playroom, but don’t tell the girls!!

 

10 Things I heart about Summer Ikea & Hobby Lobby

 

6. Though it hasn’t been as hot as last summer (even though there’s still time here in the Carolinas), it’s been a little muggy here and there so keeping cool is definitely on our things we love about summer and there are lots of ways to keep cool this summer. If you need to replenish electrolytes check out PowerIce (sort of like frozen Gatorade), for the healthy families you will want to grab Ruby Rockets ice pops that are made with veggies and fruits (your kids may need to get used to the different taste, but just like anything that’s healthy they’re a great alternative to the sugars, and dyes in other ice pops. Aside from frozen treats, we also love letting the kids run through the sprinklers, going to the pool, and bringing our Arctic Cove personal cooling misters. We took our manual mister to the 4th of July festivities and I was super impressed with how easy it was to use and how cool it kept our entire family, plus the price on these are awesome!

Cold Treats for Summer MommyB

7. Iced coffee is my favorite in summer, although who are we kidding, I like iced coffee in the winter too. I’m not a huge hot drink drinker are you?? I have heard there are two local places that rock the caffeine flavor (and I have yet to try myself): Cabbarus Creamery has great coffee ice cream and King of Pops has some cool coffee ice pops too.

Iced Coffee Frappe Summer MommyB

8. This one isn’t quite for the entire family but I’m loving the new beauty products that are out this summer, specifically the natural lines. My favorites are  Greenplicity, california naturel, and Soapbox.

Greenplicity has awesome products made from food-grade materials. We love, love, love the citrus cocoa lotion bar (Miss A loves the smell), it’s safe for kids and easy to apply, and the body butter is awesome as well and has lavender scent, great for bedtime.

california naturel is a line inspired by…you guessed it, California; sun, sand, and sea. They have great skin care products, but my favorite is the sunscreen. My only wish is that they would have something without Zinc Oxide since Lil’ C is allergic, but I’ve found it difficult to find especially in natural products.

I love Soapbox products for many reasons, but number one being that they are a brand that gives back. Soapbox is what I would call a one-for-one company like Toms, but they partner with homeless shelters, food pantries, and orphanages and give back soap, water development, vitamins to save lives. Not to mention their products are made in America, 100% recyclable packaging, Paraben free, Sulfate free, Gluten free and the list goes on. I really, truly heart this brand! (I hope you will too.)

9. Friends! People are very important to us and though we’ve moved and don’t get to see certain people as often as we’d like, we still love hanging out and keeping in touch with “old” friends. We also love making new friends, which we are doing quite a bit of with the move and new schools coming up in August. So blessed to have some amazing people in our lives and watch the girls form friendships independently as well.

 

Summer with Friends MommyB

 

10. Going on roadtrips!!! We love to travel, although this year, with the move to our new house we knew we wouldn’t be traveling as much as last Summer with Myrtle Beach, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, going to the beach with my mom and sister, visiting Historic Williamsburg, and the list goes on! We’ve actually been pretty quiet and exploring our own little area, we visited downtown Concord (North Carolina) last weekend and love the little shops and eclectic variety of people there. We also hope to make another trip to Tweetsie Railroad before school starts, but if not before the season ends.

 

There you have it, some of the things I heart about summer! What do you like best about summer? Any favorite memories or traditions? Products that you love? Trips that you’re headed on?? Can’t wait to hear!!!

 

 

This is not a sponsored post, I was not paid by any of the companies or brands listed above however I have received some of the above products to review at my discretion and any opinions given on the products are my own honest thoughts.

Red, White, and Blue(berry) Salad – Guest Recipe

July 4th – a day of fireworks, BBQs, more fireworks, hopefully no trips to the ER because of said fire works, and possibly more BBQs. There will be sides of baked beans, cole slaw, pasta salads, and potato salad. You name it and it will probably be at the BBQ.

For me, though, I always enjoy when someone brings a new dish. Maybe I’m more of the adventurous type, but I get bored with the standbys. That food boredom is what caused me to create this yummy concoction!

Red, White, and Blue(berry) Salad {doesn’t it look delish?!}:

Red White Blueberry Salad 4th of July Recipe MommyB

Here’s how you make it:

Ingredients:

1pt fresh strawberries, chopped
1pt fresh blueberries
2 cups jicama, diced
1/4 cup honey
2 limes, juiced

Directions:

Combine the strawberries, blueberries, and jicama.
Mix the lime juice and honey well, then pour over the mixed salad.
Allow to chill before serving.

**Do not make this several hours in advance. Otherwise, the jicama will be tinted with the juices of the strawberries. You will then have a red, pink, and blue salad!

Now, don’t get too scared when you see jicama (HIK-uh-muh). Yes, I am throwing a root vegetable into a fruit salad. Yes, I do know that is weird. Yes, I questioned whether it would work, as well. But don’t let that scare you off! Jicama is actually used with other fruits and in salads all the time – just not commonly in the States. It is a very crunchy, juicy vegetable (similar to a turnip), but tastes like a combination of apple and pear. So, with the taste and texture combination, it really is a versatile root and works perfectly in this salad.

**If you can not find jicama, or just aren’t feeling super adventurous, you can easily substitute peeled, diced apple. The flavors will be similar, though jicama is more mild.

When added to the blueberries and strawberries, the crunchy jicama gives this dish a fun twist on the typical fruit salad. Toss with a refreshing lime and honey dressing, throw in some delicious cinnamon crisps for scooping, and you have a delicious salad to take to any 4th of July celebration – or you can just grab a spoon and eat it all by yourself. {I won’t tell!}

Cinnamon-Sugar Crisps Recipe:

Ingredients:

6 flour tortillas
1/2 stick melted butter
2 Tbs cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

1) Combine cinnamon and sugar.
2) Place tortillas on cookie sheet, then brush with butter and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon-sugar.
3) Flip tortillas over and repeat step 2.
4) Bake for 10-12 minutes.
5) Let crisps cool, then break into smaller chip-sized portions.

You might even want to save some of those berries and whip up a batch of strawberry swirl cupcakes to take along with the salad. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Give it a try if you’re feeling adventurous, but make sure you watch this video on how to slice jicama. Trust me. My slicing was far more sketchy. I wish I had googled how to slice it first!

 

What are your favorite dishes to make for 4th of July? Are you adventurous or predictable when it comes to making a “dish-to-pass”?

 

Mary BioMary Renee currently lives in Missouri with her husband and 2 year old “little diva”. Southern by birth and gluten-intolerant by a twist of fate, she is determined to work her way through all the comfort foods her momma made and then some, giving each dish a gluten-free twist that’s good enough for a Southern palate.

You can find her creating new dishes at Gluten Free with Southern Charm and dishing on her family at Joy in These Moments.

mumi&bubi Baby Food Solids Starter Kit {Guest Review}

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had lofty goals of what would happen after she was born. She was going to sleep on an organic mattress, with organic bedding, wear only organic cotton clothing, only use cloth diapers, and I was going to make her baby food. But life doesn’t always go as we plan. Instead, I worked with what we could afford and did the best I could.

The one thing that I was successful with was making her baby food.

I would usually just take whatever we were eating, puree the vegetables, and that would be her dinner. Although it seemed overwhelming at times with just one child, that was so easy. As our family grows, I learn more and more about how important it is to be organized and to prep food ahead of time.

By the time baby number 3 joined our family, I had given up on cloth diapers and making my own baby food. I stayed in survival mode. It was just easier to buy the jars. I would buy organic and the jars with the least amount of ingredients, but we were just trying to get everyone fed.

This time I’m prepared.

Buying baby food was convenient, but not cost effective. By making my own baby food, I know exactly what is in the food she is eating. I can make my own blends, and even add the purees to dishes I feed my big kids (shh…don’t tell them). I can start freezing baby now so that when she’s old enough, there won’t be any excuses. I’ll just have to pull out a couple of cubes and thaw them.

The Mumi&Bubi Solids Starter Kit makes it easy to get started.

mum and bubi Solids Starter Kit Trays Review MommyB

 

You can put your mind at ease knowing that the trays are free of BPA, phthalates and other chemicals normally found in other plastics. The trays hold 42 1 ounce portions. Perfect for starting solids. But if your child isn’t old enough for solids yet, you can still use the Mumi&Bubi Solids Starter Kit for freezing breastmilk. You can either use the frozen milk for bottles or save it to thin the puree before freezing.

The trays stack neatly on top of each other and don’t take up much room in the freezer for the amount of food you are freezing at one time. Unlike ice cube trays, it is so easy to pop out the cubes! You simply push down on one side and the cube slides right out.

 

Mumi&Bubi Great Baby Food Solids Starter Kit Review MommyB

 

As if the trays weren’t enough, Mumi&Bubi even have a recipe book and a 6 Week Starting Solids printable Journal available for downloading. Easy.

The Mumi&Bubi Solids Starter Kit makes a great baby shower gift for the expecting mama.

You can check out the Solids Starter Kit here and follow Mumi&Bubi on Facebook.

 

 

Whitney HeadshotWhitney is a stay at home mom to 4 littles. The author of Infertility: a Silent Struggle and a God Who Hears. She also writes to encourage other mamas and to introduce readers to natural living with essential oils at Beauty in the Mess.

 

 

I received product in order to give a hands-on review of the Mumi&Bubi Solids Starter Kit. All opinions expressed in this post are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary. 

5 Fun and Unique Family Eats in Charlotte North Carolina

With the BIG MOVE coming up soon we’ve been dining out a good bit and I’m completely okay with that. It definitely makes for an empty sink and less stressful night.

Luckily we’ve been able to try out a few new family-friendly spots in Charlotte and also enjoy some of our “usual” spots as well. Here’s a quick list of 5 fun and unique family-friendly restaurants in Charlotte, North Carolina:

Top 5 Fun and Unique Family Friendly Restaurants in Charlotte MommyB

 

For the homegrown family:

TRY Earth Fare – If you don’t mind eating in a grocery cafe {which I don’t mind at all!} the Family Dinner Nights at any Charlotte location is ah-mazing! If you head to Earth Fare any Thursday from 4pm-8pm up to 6 kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal, valued at $5.00 or more. This restaurant offers organic, healthy choices for kids meals and just recently added nuggets, and Lil’ C’s favorite pasta salad to their kid’s offerings. Definitely a great place to head for a healthy family meal on a budget. 

 

For the spicy family:

TRY Chuy’s Restaurant – Not all the dishes are spicy, but the decor is guaranteed to brighten up your day. The kids will love the playful design of the restaurant, watching the process of hand-made tortillas, and searching for the “hidden keys” around the restaurant. {We spotted a couple last time we visited}. If your kiddos don’t love Mexican food there are tons of other options on the kids menu that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Don’t forget the drink and food specials for mom and dad!

 

Chuy's Family Friendly Charlotte Restaurant MommyB

 

For the NEW traditional family:

TRY Nan & Byrons – If you want to try something you’ve ordered a million times and have it taste like never before, this is your spot. The cool twist on traditional menu items like their peppadew poppers, beet burger {that’s had rave reviews}, meatloaf, salmon, {I could go on and on} really makes this restaurant stand out. Often places with this vibe don’t offer a kids menu and aren’t super accommodating, but hallelujah, they have a GREAT kids menu with big portions, decent prices AND kids eat free Sunday through Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm. If you’re looking for a new restaurant to try and wanna bring the kiddos {or have to for lack of a babysitter} check it out!

 

Nan & Byron's Family Friendly Charlotte Restaurant MommyB

 

For the culinary family:

TRY Papa Murphy’s – The family that builds a pizza stays together. This cool “take-n-bake” concept features fresh ingredients including in-store made dough and makes your pizza your way right in front of you. The kids will love watching the pizza artists add their favorite toppings and watching it cook at home. The best part is you can order a couple to take home and freeze. They have really cool Mini Murphy kits where the kids can make their own pizzas at home, dessert pizzas, AND a great reading program where they can earn some yummy prizes.

 

Papa Murphy's Family Friendly Restaurant Charlotte MommyB

For the healthy family:

TRY Jason’s Deli – If you’re looking for organic, healthy options, this is the family-friendly restaurant for you. They have so many organic choices for adults and children from soups and sandwiches to their well-known salad bar, kids can choose from over 10 food options as well. Dine in and help yourself to their complimentary extras like mini muffins and soft-serve, low calorie frozen yogurt.

 

What’s your favorite fun or unique restaurant in Charlotte??  

 

The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own, I was not compensated for this post but have received complimentary sample food items from the above restaurant.  

Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Peanut-Free Candy {Guest Review}

My 2 year old daughter has a giant sweet tooth and as much as I try to curb it, sugar still sneaks into her diet. We also have to deal with gluten intolerance and an egg allergy, which can make finding a safe treat difficult.

So, when I had the chance to sample some of the candies from Gimbal’s Fine Candies, I was so excited. Not only are they allergen free (think no gluten, peanuts, egg, etc), but they are also free of high fructose corn syrup! Plus, knowing that they are made with real fruit juice, this momma couldn’t say “no”.

Gimbal’s was nice enough to send us the gourmet jellybeans and the Cherry Lovers to sample. With the gourmet jellybeans, we had fun picking through the jellybeans and guessing each of the 41 flavors. With fun unique flavors like pomegranate, boysenberry, or even baja margarita, Gimbal’s quickly worked their way into being a favorite brand of jellybean. Their website also has 20 recipes for fun new jellybean flavors like Key Lime Pie and Blueberry Muffin.

Gimbal's Fine Candy Jellybeans Review MommyB

The biggest hit in our house, though, was the Cherry Lovers selection we received. With flavors like cherry vanilla, cherry cheesecake (which really tastes like cheesecake!), wild cherry, and cherry kiwi , the cherry lover in your family will definitely be satisfied with the selection. My husband thought he was in candy heaven. So much so, that within four days, my husband had eaten both bags of the Cherry Lovers jellybeans! I’ve already had to order a large container to satisfy his cherry craving.

Gimbal's Fine Candies Jelly Bean Cherry Lovers Review MommyB

 

There are several size choices with Gimbal’s candies, but I received the 13-14oz packages. For $4.29 a bag, we will definitely get some more for an occasional treat.

What is your family’s favorite treat?

If you’re interested in finding out more about Gimbal’s treats whether or not your family has food allergies check their website out: Gimbal’s Fine Candies.

Mary BioMary Renee currently lives in Missouri with her husband and 2 year old “little diva”. Southern by birth and gluten-intolerant by a twist of fate, she is determined to work her way through all the comfort foods her momma made and then some, giving each dish a gluten-free twist that’s good enough for a Southern palate.

You can find her creating new dishes at Gluten Free with Southern Charm and dishing on her family at Joy in These Moments.

 

 

I received review samples that I used for this post. I was not obligated to write about this product nor was I paid to write about this product. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest words. 

10 Things I Heart in Spring

10-Things-I-Heart-Spring

I decided that I would not write about Spring on my blog until it finally felt like Spring here in Charlotte, NC, however today, it’s going to be up in the 80s so I’m not sure if I’m allowed to write this considering the summer-like weather we are having. Then again, how can I not share with you things I’m hearting this Spring?!?!

Disneyland in the Spring MommyB
1. Traveling – Although we’re in the midst of packing for our move in June, we have been traveling a lot this Spring. We had the opportunity to visit Disneyland in California, where the weather was amazing and we had a BLAST! And we just returned from an amazing trip to Georgia where we visited the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola (I’ll have trip reports on both soon!) Where have you traveled this Spring or where are you traveling to?

Build-a-Bear Spring2. New friends – We have been making lots of new friends this Spring! We recently started going to story hour at the church we’ve been attending and making new friends there AND in stuffed friend news, we got a new Spring Build-A-Bear friend who is an ADORABLE Soft & Sweet Lamb ($18) She has fluffy white fur that’s perfect for cuddling. Our little lamb is all dressed up for Spring and tea parties AND at Build-A-Bear you can also add scents so your furry friends smell oh-so-sweet, how cool is that?!?

3. Outside Fun – We are blessed to have a nice, flat, and decent size backyard so lately we’ve been spending a lot of time outside. If it’s nice out I’ll let Miss A do her homework outside and of course lots of chalk, bubbles, running, scooters/bikes, and water table play. How about you??

4. Spring Cleaning – I know this sounds soooo strange, but I really do love organizing and cleaning, even though these days I don’t have quite as much time as I’d like to do either. Luckily, the move gives me a great excuse to do a little bit of both. I’ve been trying out a few new cleaning products including some Method products and Nature’s Kloth.

We try to be a little more eco-friendly here and there and both of these products help. We’ve been using Nature’s Kloth instead of a sponge and replacing the way we clean with paper towels to create less waste. I love that it’s eco-friendly (biodegradable, washable over 300 times, made from cotton and plant fiber, and more) and is great for many uses inside and outside the house. I definitely feel better about cleaning when there isn’t a huge pile of used papertowels in my trash.

5. Healthy Kiddos – I am super thankful for healthy kiddos. Lately we’ve been pretty healthy especially considering that we’ve been flying and traveling a lot. We have a lot of friends who have not been so fortunate this Spring. For those uncomfortable fevers and painful colds and aches we give our girls Children’s Advil. For Lil’ C who does not do well with any sort of pain, this does the trick for us. I love that they have so many flavors (and dye-free versions) too since she doesn’t care for most medicine flavors. Plus, they have some fun activities and tips for parents on how to stay healthy.

Garden Lites Collage

We also love that our girls like healthy foods like Garden Lites. Miss A surprisingly enjoyed these gluten-Free, veggie muffins. They’re high in fiber, and low in fat. Miss A’s favorite flavor was: Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip. They have loads more flavors and come in a box of 4 with an SRP of $3.99.

Lee Fashion Spring Capris

6. Spring Clothes!! – I love a good infinity scarf, especially the beautiful chevron one that one of my friends gave me for my birthday, but I really enjoy wearing comfy Spring clothes. I love wearing adorable maxi and sun dresses because they are so flowy and comfortable.

I am also loving the new Lee Spring collection that features bermuda shorts and capris that are comfortable while being dressy at the same time. If I need to dress up an outfit some of their capris and shorts come with adorable, fashionable belts as well. Here are a few of my other favorites from their collection:

Lee Spring Collection

 

7. Parties – I always love a good get-together and with the girls’ birthdays, holidays and end of school coming for us, Spring is always filled with fun parties and celebrations. We’ll have a small birthday get together for Miss A {since we went to Disneyland the girls aren’t getting their usual HUGE parties}, a class party for the end of the year {here’s an end of the year gift idea}, and loads of friends birthday parties.

Iesodo Video8. Good Message Movies – We were sent a couple of videos from Iesodo (pronounced Ya-Sa-Doe) that retells Bible stories with animated animals, mainly birds. My girls LOVED the videos and have been singing the catchy songs every day since we’ve watched them. We love sharing these videos with our friends because we know the language and content are appropriate for all viewers. Even if you have no religious affiliation, but want your children to learn good values, these videos promote wholesome character traits and morals and is good for children of any age.

9. Pasta Salad – Of course you can eat pasta salad anytime of year, but this is the season pasta salads shine! I really love cold, crisp salads with lots of veggies. What’s your favorite pasta salad recipe?

B girls with Genevive Goings Choo Choo Soul at Disneyland

10. Meeting Amazing People – Not that this is necessarily a Spring thing, but since we went to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we were able to meet some pretty amazing people. One of our favorites though was Genevieve Goings from Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve.

Miss A says her favorite person/character she met the entire stay was Genevieve and we met a lot of people/characters so that says a lot. Of course we fell in love with Genevieve on Disney/Disney Junior with her Choo Choo Soul songs and realized she did more music for Disney as well as a round up of songs from Disney classic movies.

We’re excited to hear that her first Independent Children’s Album for pre-schoolers is called “Do You Know?” and releases June 3, with the first single “My Telephone Number Is” available NOW on iTunes.The album focuses on learning key fundamentals with Genevieve’s unique brand of “Kids Music with Soul.” I got an exclusive preview of the songs on her new album and wow!

My girls love to dance and sing and they get that from their mommy, this is one album you will not be able to contain the dancing. Our favorite songs are: “My Telephone Number Is” {great for helping your child learn your phone number, a MUST}, “Inside Voice” {which is rockin’ and rowdy in the best possible way and teaches kids when and where to use their inside/outside voice} and surprisingly, “Gotta Do My Business” {a potty song with swagger}.

I love when kids music is both appropriate and enjoyable and Genevieve definitely accomplishes that with the album. I can’t wait to buy a copy for our family and give one away on the site along with a few other goodies! In honor of Spring, I’m giving away a $25 Build-A-Bear gift card, 2 copies of Iesodo DVDs (Faith and Love) and once it’s available on June 3rd, a copy of Genevive Goings’ new album.

Enter here to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is not a compensated post, however I did receive samples of some of the above products/brands and chose to tell you about them. All opinions expressed in the post are my own honest thoughts.