4 Signs That Your Child May Need Eyeglasses

Thursday, January 31, 2013
A few weeks ago Emma came home from school with horrible, debilitating headaches off-and-on for about 2 weeks. At first I thought it was an isolated incident. But when it continued to happen, I became suspicious of a larger problem. I immediately questioned what she was eating, but since I pack her lunch every day, I knew it was nothing in her food.

I decided to plot the headache days to see they followed some sort of pattern. Nothing. As I sat at my computer working away, it occurred to me that she may need eyeglasses. There was just no other logical explanation.

So, I immediately called our optometrist and made an appointment for Emma to have a complete exam.

Sometimes the signs that your child may need eyeglasses are subtle, and sometimes they are glaring. In either case, they are there. You just need to know where to look.

Here are 3 telltale signs that your child may need eyeglasses:

  • Frequent headaches - Most children do not suffer from frequent headaches. During a normal school day, children who have vision issues are likely to be straining their eyes for much of the day. This eye strain can lead to headaches, and they can be painful for little ones.
  • Lack of interest in homework and/or in reading - If children are having difficulty seeing clearly and correctly, it affects their desire to do schoolwork and to read. My daughter is an avid reader who lost interest in reading when she was having difficulty seeing the words on a printed page.
  • Frequent squinting or holding objects close to face to see them clearly - Squinting isn't normal for anyone much less for children. It's often the squinting that causes the headaches.
  • Clumsiness and poor depth perception - When children cannot see clearly, they misjudge distance and the space in front of them. They often miss steps on stairs or trip over items that are clearly in front of them.
After a trip to our eye car provider, we were informed that Emma would most definitely benefit from glasses.

She had a ton of fun trying on the many styles, but in the end she settled on this pair.

Her final fitting...like a glove!

Once she began wearing them, the headaches were gone and her desire to read was back!

Do you have a child who wears eyeglasses? If so, what were the telltale signs that he/she may have had a vision problem?

Let guardNOW Security Guards Protect Your Home. Your Family. Your Assets

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Three and half years ago, my family was the victim of a home invasion and burglary. It happened in the middle of the day in broad daylight. We were out for the day, just a few miles from our home. I came home to find belongings scattered all over the floor. Dresser drawers pulled open and thrown on the floor in our bedrooms. The house had been ransacked.

The burglary rocked us to our cores. We felt violated. Invaded. Three years later I am still trying to shake those feelings.

A burglary leaves you questioning a lot of things. Why me and not my neighbor (not that I'd wish it on anyone)? Was it random or completely planned? What if we had been home?

But mainly, we questioned our safety. Was our home safe? Was our neighborhood safe? Would we be targets again? How could we prevent a potential, future burglary from occurring again?

We immediately looked into installing a home security system. We contacted just about every security company out there. Representatives came to our home and explained their services. But none of the companies truly stood out. Our home had just been robbed. We were looking for a company to "wow" us, but not one of them did.

And then we learned of guardNOW. guardNOW provides a wide range of security services for both business and residential customers. guardNOW specializes in security and event management services

guardNOW has a focus on its customers and understands how important security is for its customers. guardNOW offers protection before a crime is committed. guardNOW security guards are available to patrol your home when you cannot be there. Whether you are on vacation for a week or out of town for a few hours, guardNOW are the eyes on your home when you can't be there.

Having a party or big shindig? How about hiring a few security guards to keep an eye on your house and belongings as guests are mingling and milling around? It may sound ridiculous, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Especially if you will have guests at your home who aren't close friends or family. The security guards are there to protect you and your assets. Your safety is their top priority. guardNOW provides security guards at a moment's notice. If you decide at the last moment that your party event could use a few guards, call guardNOW to reserve your guards. All are professionally trained.

Do you frequently sell items via Craigslisst? Are you worried whenever a buyer comes to your home to complete the transaction? Call guardNOW to arrange to have a security guard at your home for the transaction to occur. No job is too big or too small for guardNOW.

Get started using guardNOW

Book an appointment online or give guardNOW a call at 877-482-7366. Guards can be at your location when ever you need them, in any outfit that is available on the site, in our clean guardNOW vehicles, and 15 minutes early.
guardNOW will discuss your security needs and safety concerns or you can type them in the details section during the order process.
All prices are explained clearly and upfront with no hidden fees.
Click here for a list of frequently asked questions that potential guardNOW customer ask.
See for yourself. Visit guardNOW's Web site for more information and to see the full line of offerings.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Menu Plan Monday ~ 1.28.13

Monday, January 28, 2013
After having a few days off from cooking, I have renewed inspiration for menu planning and cooking dinner.

Monday - Meatball sandwiches and sweet potato fries (the Hubs cooked up a big ol' pot of meatballs and sauce yesterday).

Tuesday - Escarole and white bean soup, side salad, crusty bread for dipping.

Wednesday - Stuffed green peppers

Thursday - Cherry tomato spaghetti and an arugula salad

Friday - Take out (Emma has a 5th grade swimming party at 7). I'll grab pizza or Chinese food prior to her party.

Saturday - Cavatelli with broccoli (my own recipe)

Sunday - GAME DAY! Menu to follow in a separate post, but it looks like chili will be the main event!

For more meal time inspiration, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday. To see all of my menu plan posts, click here.

Shop Online at Personal Creations for the Perfect Valentine's Day Gifts

Friday, January 25, 2013
The Hubs and I stopped celebrating Valentine's Day once we had children. I mean, seriously, isn't every day Valentine's Day?? ;-)

I do like to buy the girls a little gift bag with some goodies such as lip gloss, a few pieces of candy, a $15 gift card, etc. And I like to have something that they can give to the Hubs...a little gift that says "We love you".

This year I turned to Personal Creations to find the perfect gift for the Hubs from the girls. I wanted it to be "personalized" without necessarily being personalized. Do you get that? I was surprised by the number of really cute gifts that didn't have to be personalized but were still very personal and special.

The Personal Creations Web site is organized by occasion and type of person for whom you are shopping. I like that Personal Creations had highlighted Valentine's Day bestsellers on the landing page as well. That was especially helpful for me since I was shopping for Valentine's Day gifts.

I clicked on "Valentine's Day" in the banner and chose "For Him". I immediately saw one gift that I thought would be perfect for the Hubs.

I loved this photo collage. I usually try to put together a collage of my own, but the We Heart Daddy collage was too cute to pass up.

I allowed the girls to choose one more gift. It was their choice, and I knew they'd go for something cutesy! They picked this personalized sweetheart pillow. The Hubs calls the girls his "little spenders'. They thought it would be hysterical to put that on the pillow, and so we did!! I think he'll get a kick out of it.

How cute is that? The girls love it and are so excited to give it to him for Valentine's Day.

What did I think of Personal Creations overall?

The site is organized in a way that finding products is very simple and straightforward. Personal Creations organizes its products based on occasion as well as person for whom you are shopping. This type of organization makes finding products easy and fast.

I can only speak to the selection of Valentine's Day gifts since I wasn't searching for any other type of gift. The selection was plentiful and included both gifts that could be purchased as is and gifts that could be personalized. There were many sentimental gifts, and the gifts were available for family members, friends, or significant others in your life.

The prices are very reasonable. The photo collage is $29.99 and the pillow ranges from $17.99 to $19.99 depending on the color you choose. For less than $50, I bought 2 personal and special gifts that will become sentimental treasures.

I am always concerned with quality when ordering online. Not being able to touch and feel a product will always leave you questioning the quality. I was worried that the pillow my be cheap and flimsy. I was hoping that the photo collage would be a quality frame. I was pleasantly surprised when my shipment arrived and both products met my high expectations. The frame was sturdy and the matte was made from heavy stock paper.

I would definitely order from Personal Creations again and would encourage you to take a look at it for an upcoming special occasion.  If you see something you like, be sure to check out these coupon codes. You can apply them to your purchase. http://www.personalcreations.com/coupon-codes.aspx

Disclosure: I received a $65 credit to shop at Personal Creations. All opinions are my own.

N.J.'s Flying Fish Brewing Co. Unveils Beer To Benefit Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Thursday, January 24, 2013
Not only is Flying Fish Brewing Co. environmentally conscious, but they are socially conscious too. The NJ-based sustainable micro-brewery will release a hybrid-wheat pale ale early next month, and all proceeds will benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm that devastated a large portion of the New Jersey coast as well as inland areas in October 2012.

Gene Muller, Flying Fish's founder says, “Every single aspect of this beer, from the man-hours spent brewing it to the hops used to season it to the kegs that will contain it, has been donated so every cent brought in goes to Superstorm Sandy victims.” 

Flying Fish Brewing Co., with locations in Cherry Hill and Somerdale, will release a new beer early February 2013 called "FU Sandy". Officially, FU stands for Forever Unloved, but unofficially, those of us who live at the Jersey shore are well aware of the the intended sentiment. 
Flying Fish anticipates producing about 100 kegs of beer to generate around $50,000 that will go directly to charity. Flying Fish has chosen to use social media as a means to choose the charity that will received the money that "FU Sandy" generates. Followers of their Facebook and Twitter accounts will be able to nominate and vote for a charity through those channels. So, hop (no pun intended) on over there and like them on Facebook and Twitter for your chance to vote.

The beer will only be available on draught in restaurants and pubs the New Jersey and Philadelphia regions. It’s a hybrid wheat-pale ale that’s “hopped with experimental hop ADHA 483, donated by the American Dwarf Hop Association, which has never been used in a beer before this one.” Sounds yummy! I can't wait to try it.

Flying Fish has recently relocated to a larger facility that the company calls “a showcase for recycling, reuse and conservation.” This new facility is equipped with 463 solar panels on the roof to supply much of their electricity needs. Flying Fish intends to send their spent barley to a local farm for animal feed as well as employ an aggressive recycling program and many other sustainable practices.

I'll drink to that!

Please drink responsibly.

What I'm Crushing on this Week: Winter Essentials

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Baby, it's cold outside! And the ultra-dry air is making my skin flaky and totally unattractive. Yuck! It only makes sense that this week, I am loving all things that protect me from winter's harsh effects.

1) EOS Lip Balm, $4
My daughters got me hooked on these cute little, dome-shaped lip balms. They are available in a variety of flavors and are 100% natural and 95% organic. My favorites are the "sweet mint" and "tangerine" flavors. They make your lips super smooth and moisturized.
e.o.s lip balm, $3.50

2) Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil Gel, $4.25
I've written about this product before. It quenches dry skin like no other product out there. According to Johnson & Johnson's Web site, the product locks in 10 times more moisture on wet skin than an ordinary lotion can on dry skin. The baby oil gel is applied to wet skin upon getting out of the bath or shower. You can almost feel it seeping into your pores and drenching your skin with moisture.

Tip: Apply to your skin after you've stepped out of your shower and onto your bathmat. Otherwise, it can make the surface of your bathtub or shower slippery.
Johnson's Baby Oil Gel, $4.25
3. Texting Gloves, $5/pair
It is just too darn cold to take off your gloves to use your smartphone. And since using the smartphone is a must, you need texting gloves. Get yourself an inexpensive pair at Amazon.com:

4. Hunter rain boots and liners
Last fall I bought a pair of Hunter boots. I didn't get much use out of them during our mild winter last year. I did have a chance to wear them occasionally in the rainy spring. This week, they've been practically stuck to my feet. With snow on the ground and temperatures below 20 degrees F., these boots and liners have certainly come in handy! Boots: $125. Liners: $35.99 (on sale now!) Available at Zappos.

5. Kiehl's Aromatic Blends: Orange Flower & Lychee - Hand & Body Lotion, $21
My hands take a beating in the winter. I am constantly washing them to avoid the transfer of germs. All that washing completely dries out my hands. I love this Kiehls hand lotion. It smells divine. It's thick enough to provide great coverage, but it's not too thick that it feels pasty.
What are you crushing on this week? Let me know in the comments so that I can be sure to check it out!

Meal Plan Monday ~ 1.21.13

Monday, January 21, 2013
This is a short week since I'll be away this weekend. I am going to Pennsylvania to see Rick Springfield in concert with some childhood friends. Woot!! While there, I'll be visiting my sister and brother-in-law as well.

Tuesday - Beef roast (in the slow cooker) with potatoes and carrots

Wednesday - Chicken enchiladas

Thursday - Beef vegetable soup (my own recipe using left over beef from Tuesday)

Friday & Saturday - I'll be in PA.

Sunday - Hubs is on dinner duty.

For more meal planning resources and inspiration, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday. To see all of my meal planning posts, click here.

Fashion Friday: Taking Green Jeans From Day to Night

Friday, January 18, 2013
A few weeks ago, I spent a busy Friday running errands, chauffeuring the kids to and from after-school activities and birthday parties, and Girl Scout meetings. It was a crazy Friday afternoon. The girls had planned to stay overnight at a friend's house, and the Hubs and I had plans for a date night.

When I got home after dropping the girls off at their sleepover, I realized I had little to no time to get ready for dinner. We didn't have reservations, so we weren't tied to getting out of the house at a certain time. But, hey, we are old folks, and after my busy day, I knew I'd fade fast if I were out much later than 11 pm. I didn't have time to shower or to make a major outfit change.

What did I do? Well, I converted my favorite green jeans from day to night. I am living in my green jeans lately. One of the things I love about colored jeans is their versatility. Perfect for a casual day, but easy to dress up for evening.
Green Jeans - From Day to Night

Calypso St. Barth cashmere sweater / Etoile Isabel Marant slim fit shirt / Ponte jacket / MICHAEL Michael Kors michael kors jeans, $230 / Old Navy ballet shoes / ASOS leather pumps / Sandqvist , $125 / 3.1 Phillip Lim 
leather handbag, $495 / FOSSIL sports jewelry / Friis & Company rhinestone necklace, $21

For my daytime look, I had a striped boat neck top, flats and a canvas tote paired with my green jeans. I love to wear navy, gray, white, and black with my green jeans. And I really love a casual striped shirt with them.

For evening, I wore a glittery tank, a black boyfriend blazer, added a long necklace, a snakeskin clutch, and some black, pointed toe heels.

After adding some mascara and a bolder lipstick, and I was ready to go. I just wished I had taken a picture of myself. At the time, I never thought I'd write a post about it. Now I know better...always snap a pic!

For more fashion inspiration and to see what everyone else is wearing, head over to Musings of a Housewife for Fashion Friday!

Wine Wednesday: The Pinot Project

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
When I was diagnosed with rosacea, I was forced to give up drinking red wine regularly. Red wine aggravated my rosacea, causing painful flare-ups. Although I've made a permanent switch to white wine, there are special occasions that call for a nice bottle of red. (And the Hubs loves his reds, so if we are celebrating, we usually go with a nice red).

Over the holidays, we enjoyed several different bottles of red. My favorite, by far, was The Pinot Project, a delicious and affordable Pinot Noir from California.

It's nearly impossible to find an affordable and tasty Pinot Noir. By affordable, I mean under $30/bottle. So, when the Hubs brought this one home, I was skeptical. But once I had my first sip, I was pleasantly surprised.

Going from drinking whites to red can be quite a transition. Reds are much bolder than whites. The Pinot Project, however, was incredibly smooth and delicate. It would make a great summer red, too. The lightweight texture was similar to the heavier whites that I drink, but it wasn't so lightweight that you forget that it's a red. The Pinot Project is definitely a red white and worthy of serious consideration as a formidable Pinot Noir.

You can't go wrong at $13 per bottle for a Pinot. The Pinot Project is an incredible value for the money.

Try it! Let me know if you like it.

{Giveaway} 5 Coupons for Free Stonyfield Farm Organic Milk - 5 Winners!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I'm giving away 5 coupons for free organic milk from Stonyfield Farm to 5 lucky winners!!! 

Stonyfield farmers don't treat their cows with antibiotics or synthetic hormones. Instead, they rely on good nutrition and minimal stress to keep their cows healthy, happy and productive.

Have you ever tried Stonyfield Farm organic milk? Stonyfield Farm Organic Milk is available by the half-gallon and comes in the following varieties:
  • Fat Free
  • 1% Milk Fat
  • 2% Milk Fat
  • Whole Milk
I am giving away 25 coupons for FREE milk. Each coupon is good for up to $5.29 per half gallon. You can save over $25 in milk! The coupons expire on August 31, 2013 and are accepted at mass retailers and grocery stores.

I will choose 5 lucky winners. You must live in the US or Canada and you must be 18 years of age or older to participate. Coupons will be mailed to the winners via USPS. Enter your information below. Five (5) winners will be chosen at the contest's end and notified via email or Facebook. Winners will have 48 hours to respond. If winner fails to respond within given time frame, a new winner will be chosen.

Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tights and Pantyhose Make a Fashion Comeback

Monday, January 14, 2013

This post brought to you by No nonsense. All opinions are 100% mine.

Gone are the days of your grandmother's pantyhose. Today's hose are stylish, chic, and comfortable.

Thanks to No nonsense.
No nonsense makes hose for the modern, fashionable woman who wants to look good while at the office, on the go, or out on the town.
No nonsense has recently teamed up with style expert, Jill Martin who will be the new brand ambassador and face behind the No nonsense brand. Jill Martin is known for her personal style and attention to detail. She brings to No nonsense an eye for sensible and accessible fashion.
When I worked in a corporate environment, there were some hard rules about wearing hose. Many corporate and professional environments have loosened the belt on many of those rules, and women are given more options and flexibility. Many workplaces no longer require women to wear hose.
However, there are still occasions when a hose or tight is needed. I MUST wear them in cold weather. My legs can't take the exposure to the cold. Plus, there are times when a dress or a skirt just screams for a pair of hose, tights, or leggings. This dress is a perfect example of one that requires tights:
No nonsense tights and leggings are the perfect choice for those occasions when a stocking of some sort is needed.
Not only are No nonsense products stylish and fashionable, they are also incredibly affordable. With prices so low, you can afford to change up your outfits with varying colors of tights and textures. With tights starting at just under $10/pair, hose priced at about $18 per pack of 3, and leggings at about $20/pair, you can stock up and be prepared for any occasion where a stocking may be required. You'll never have to run out at the last minute in search of stockings. Plus, you can throw an extra pair in your bag in case of a snag.
Don't have time to shop? No nonsense understands the busy lives of women. We don't have time to go from store to store in search of the perfect pair of hose. No nonsense products are easy to find. They are available at mass retailers and food and drug stores. So, next time you pop in to your local grocery store to pick up milk, you can grab some No nonsense too! I love that kind of convenience!
For more information about No nonsense, to keep up with new product offerings and company happenings, you can follow No nonsense on Facebook, and you can find No nonsense on Twitter at @benononsense.
Still not convinced? Watch this video for more information. You'll love the colorful selection of tights that No nonsense offers. Just look at all the possibilities!

Visit Sponsor's Site


Menu Plan Monday ~ 1.14.13

It's amazing how much smoother my days and weeks go when I have a meal plan in place. Sheesh! Who would've guessed that a little bit of organization would go such a loooong way?

Most weeks I veer off the plan when a new meal idea or recipe comes into my head. Last week, I stuck to my menu plan, but jotted down new recipes for future weeks. Meal time was so much more seamless.

Here's the plan for this week.

MONDAY - Roasted garlic and white bean chili

TUESDAY - Mexican lasagna. This was on last week's meal plan, but I didn't make it because I ended up chaperoning a Girl Scout event for Harper. Instead, the Hubs made this recipe for him and Emma. They loved it!

WEDNESDAY - Meatball Soup (This recipe is from an older Williams-Sonoma cookbook. I couldn't find the recipe online, but here's a link to the cookbook.)

THURSDAY - Mexican pizza (the Hubs' recipe).

FRIDAY - Hubs is on dinner duty. I'll be at a party at a girlfriend's house.

SATURDAY - The Hubs has plans with his cousin, and the girls and I have plans to do some shopping. We'll grab something to eat while we are out and about.

SUNDAY - Quick meatballs and spaghetti (own recipe).

Can't decide what's for dinner? Make it easy on yourself! Visit I'm An Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday to see what everyone else is eating.

To view my Meal Plan Monday posts, click here.

{WINNER} Green Kid Crafts Giveaway

Sunday, January 13, 2013
Congratulations to Lauryn!! She is the lucky winner of the Green Kid Crafts Food Adventures Discovery Box Craft Kit giveaway!

Lauryn, a fellow green mom, blogs at The Vintage Mom. Be sure to stop by and check out her site and let her know that I sent you. She wrote a post last week, which couldn't have been more timely. She offered 9 ways to upcycle a wooden clementine box. I just happened to have a few lying around my house!

Check back soon for another great giveaway!

Fashion Friday: Subtle Ways To Wear Animal Prints

Friday, January 11, 2013
Animal prints have come roaring back onto the fashion scene. Available in a variety of styles, prints, and colors, animal prints are showing up everywhere from scarves to bags to shoes.

But how can you wear the latest fashion trend without looking as if you've just stepped off the Serengeti?

The key to wearing animal prints is subtlety. Animal prints make a bold statement. A little goes a long way here. So tame it down with simplicity.

For a small statement, try a clutch. This zebra print clutch stands out with the black and white without overdoing the outfit.

How To Wear Animal Prints - Clutch

L.K.Bennett cowl neck sweater, $135 / Ted Baker bootcut jeans / H&M high heel boots, $48 / Jane Norman zebra print handbag, $24 / Tory Burch cuff bracelet

Booties are also a subtle way to wear an animal print. Keep the other elements in your outfit simple and solid colored. In this outfit, the booties tie the outfit together.

How To Wear Animal Prints - Booties

0039 ITALY silk top, $105 / Edun neon pants, $1,005 / Duccio Venturi stiletto high heels, $445 / Etienne Aigner , $675 / Fantasy Jewelry Box rhinestone bracelet / American Apparel post earrings

For a quick trip to the farmer's market, throw on a scarf to dress up a casual outfit. This one adds a lot of zing to an otherwise boring outfit.

How To Wear Animal Prints - Scarf

American Vintage cotton short sleeve shirt, $72 / H&M skinny leg jeans, $48 / Tory Burch leather ballerina flat / Canvas tote / David & Young sheer shawl


A neutral colored, animal print flat paired with long shorts and a flowing top can be made dressy or casual depending on your accessories. This bright yellow clutch kicks the outfit up a notch and adds some whimsy.
How To Wear Animal Prints - Flats


Not ready to throw yourself into the lion's den just yet? How about trying a piece of jewelry? With jewelry you can still wear the trend without looking like the animal itself.
Animal Print Jewelry

White pearl earrings / C. Wonder c wonder / Aspinal of London leather bracelet / Betsey Johnson vintage jewelry / Nicholas King , $155 / Folli Follie bangle bracelet / Zebra earrings

What do you think? Are you ready to try the animal print trend?

This week I am linking up with Musings of a Housewife's Fashion Friday carnival. For more fashion inspiration and to see what everyone else is wearing, visit Musings of a Housewife.


My Latest Contribution at Meridian Momtourage: Say Yes To The Pet

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Are you considering adopting a pet? Before you make the decision, be sure to visit Meridian Momtourage and read my post, "Say Yes to the Pet: How to Know When You Are Ready for a Furry Friend".

You can read my full story here.


Wordless Wednesday: Our Black Cat

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
I never thought I'd like a black cat when I allowed the girls to choose the cat that we would adopt back in September. They have no distinguishing markings like a tabby or a Siamese. The girls fell in love with a black kitten immediately, and that was that. She was coming home with us.

Four months later, we are all in love...

Have you ever owned a black cat? Are you superstitious about black cats?

Tuesday's Tasty Treat: Oreo Truffles

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Although quick and easy to make, decadent Oreo Truffles are best reserved for a special occasion. Emma made them for our New Year's Eve celebration. The bite-sized rich, chocolatey truffles were the perfect dessert for ringing in 2013!



1  14.3 oz. package of Oreos (original)
1    8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
1   12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels or 11.5 oz. bag of milk chocolate morsels
1   12 oz. bag white chocolate morsels
2 Sandwich-sized plastic bags


1. In a food processor, pulse the entire package of Oreos until they resemble small crumbs.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the Oreo crumbs and cream cheese together until well blended.

3. Roll into balls about the size of a walnut. Place on a cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap.

4. Chill for at least an hour.

5. In separate bowls, melt both chocolates until smooth.

6. Stick a toothpick into the Oreo balls and place in either one of the melted chocolates. Place the Oreo balls on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.

7. Chill for 30 minutes.

8. In separate sandwich bags, Place remaining melted chocolates.

9. Remove chilled Oreo balls from the refrigerator.

10. Snip a small corner of each sandwich bag. Drizzle melted chocolate over the Oreo balls.

11. Chill for 30 minutes before placing in an air-tight container. Keep refrigerated.

Yields about 30 truffles.


Menu Plan Monday ~ 1.7.13

Monday, January 7, 2013
We are finally getting back into a groove now that the holiday hustle and bustle are over. After having gained a few extra pounds over the holidays, I'll be focusing, again, on healthy and clean eating in this house!

Monday - Easy Chicken and Rice Soup (I have some leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge that I want to use).

Tuesday - Hubs will be away for dinner so I'm taking the kids to Fins, one of their favorite places.

Thursday - Baked chicken cutlets (breaded with panko bread crumbs), roasted tomatoes, Parmesan roasted asparagus.

Friday - Dinner out with the fam.

Saturday - Mexican Lasagna (recipe from the Weelicious cookbook).

Sunday - Skillet Meaty Lasagna (Hubs has been wanting to making this recipe. So, I'm tasking him with dinner.)

Can't decide what's for dinner? Make it easy on yourself! Visit I'm An Organizing Junkie's Meal Plan Monday to see what everyone else is eating.

To view my Meal Plan Monday posts, click here.

What Instagram Privacy Changes Mean For You

Saturday, January 5, 2013
When I first began using Instagram a little over 2 years ago, I fell in love immediately. As I am a pathological taker of pictures, it was just the sort of photography app that I was looking for. I was hooked, sometimes posting up to 25 pictures a week. What did I love most about Instagram? It was everyday people turning ordinary pictures into extraordinary photos.

And then Facebook bought Instagram in April 2012. "OK, I can deal with this.", I said. And the love affair continued. I snapped away, shared, and loved seeing the creative spins others put on everyday pictures.

And then in December it happened. As is typical of Facebook, Instagram made an announcement that its privacy policies would be changing effective January 16, 2013. Not so bad, right? Well, there's more. Much more.

I consulted the "Rights" section in its new "Terms of Use". It reads as follows:

"Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service's Privacy Policy, available here http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/, including but not limited to sections 3 ("Sharing of Your Information"), 4 ("How We Store Your Information"), and 5 ("Your Choices About Your Information"). You can choose who can view your Content and activities, including your photos, as described in the Privacy Policy."

Huh? Oh, that's right. Most of us don't have legal degrees. Let me break it down for you. Instagram does not own your photos. However, if you take a picture using Instagram, Facebook/Instagram have the right to use any and all of your photos as they see fit. Your use of the application hereby gives Facebook the right to sell any of your photos to anyone or any company looking for a cute or fun photo in a Facebook advertisement or elsewhere.
Last November when my family and I went on our annual vacation to a swanky resort on the west coast of Florida, I took tons of pics using Instagram and tagged them with the resort name. Guess what? Instagram can turn around and sell those pictures to the resort for use in their advertorial campaigns. And I don't get a dime. And Instragram is under no legal obligation to inform me that my photo was used.
So, I deleted my Instagram account a week ago. I don't know about you, but I don't need the pictures of my children showing up in the Facebook sidebar. Here's the kicker. Your use of Instagram after January 16 constitutes an agreement between you and Instagram that you accept these terms, that you are OK with their using/selling or possibly not using or selling your photos. No, thanks. I don't want to take my chances.
What options do you have? The only option is to delete your Instagram account by January 15, 2013.. Which, by the way, can be done only from a laptop or desktop computer. You cannot delete your account from your smart phone. If you leave your account up on January 16, Instagram has rights to any/all of your photos.
I'm not going to lie, I am bummed about this. I loved Instagram. I miss Instagram. But I respect my privacy and that of my family. And I respect my integrity. I've taken some pretty cool pictures that I could sell for some money. Maybe not big bucks, but I could get a few bills for some of my pictures. My only choice was to delete my account.
To delete your Instagram account, go to www.instagram.com. Scroll to the bottom  and click "Your Account". Log in using your Instagram credentials. Choose "Delete Your Instagram Account".

Get Organized in 2013 with momAgenda® Planners

Friday, January 4, 2013
Let's not kid ourselves. Busy moms have busy schedules. How often have you quickly scribbled an appointment or a note on a sliver of paper only to lose it? Don't be ashamed to admit that it's happened to you. It has happened to all of us.

After having lost countless slips of paper, placed appointments in various places only to forget where I placed them, I finally invested in a momAgenda® planner, and I've never looked back.

MomAgenda® makes stylish day planners, folios, and accessories for busy moms with hectic schedules. Don't try to manage your crazy schedule alone. Never miss an appointment again. momAgenda® can help you organize your time, your family, your work, and your household. All in one place. And momAgenda products follow an August to August calendar to coincide with your child's school year.

momAgenda® items are available in a variety of models, sizes, and colors depending on your needs.

My personal favorite is the momAgenda Mini-Daily. I've owned one for the past 2 years. I'm a sucker for the animal prints. This year it's available in Leopard. I've owned the Giraffe print as well.

The Desktop Planner is perfect for managing multiple calendars for all the members of your family. Shown in python. What a chic color!

Not a mom? Don't fret! momAgenda® makes planners for every busy and stylish woman.

Manage your busy life with the myAgenda Desktop planner. Never again lose track of appointments, lunch meetings, dinner dates, exercise classes, and social activities. Shown in scarlet.

For those who prefer a mini planner that's easy to pop into your bag, try the myAgenda mini. Shown in graphite.

Any of the above planners can be personalized for a small fee. Add your name or initials to the front of your planner for a customized look. Full details can be found on the web site.

momAgenda® also offers journals, note pads, and sticky notes as well as home organizers. You can also download printables directly from the momAgenda Web site.

Currently, momAgenda is offering a 40% discount on all planners and free shipping on orders over $30. This is a fantastic offer, and you don't want to miss out on the savings.

To view the entire product line and learn more about momAgenda, visit the Web site.

Healthy Eats for the New Year

Thursday, January 3, 2013
So many people I know have vowed to change their diets this year. Sadly, so many of them think it's going to be an uphill battle. For most people, eating fast or junk food is convenient but not necessarily tasty. Healthy eating is actually pretty simple, but it can be an effort at times. Fruits and veggies require rinsing and cutting whereas a bag of chips simply requires the effort of opening a bag.

I dug deep into my POM recipe archives to find recipes that are easy to make using accessible ingredients to share with you in hopes that they will help you meet your goal of healthier eating.

Yogurt, Fruit & Granola Parfait - Perfect for a quick breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Caprese Salad with Avocado - A delicious twist on an Italian classic.

Black Bean, Spinach & Cheese Quesadillas - This vegetarian treat is packed with protein and low in calories.

Spicy Vegetarian Chili - Just the right amount of kick

Quick and Easy Salad - Greens and Beans - A satisfying salad you can pack for work or throw together at home.

Banana Berry Smoothie - This is another great alternative to breakfast or as an after
school snack.

Roasted Tomatoes - This is a fabulous side dish that pairs well with grilled chicken and steak. And...my kiddos love them!

Honey-Soy Broiled Salmon - I love seafood but I don't make it often at home since the Hubs has an aversion to it. One evening when he was traveling, I made this delicious salmon. It's light and incredibly flavorful.

Greek Couscous Salad - This is a house favorite. Even my meat and potatoes lovin' Hubs devours this.

I hope you've found some meal-time inspiration here. If you make one of these recipes and partcularly like it, let me know!