Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Truth About Expiration Dates.

So while visiting my southern IL family for my friend's baby shower, I decided to make "mom" some breakfast, thinking I was going to make some eggs and pancakes for her since she has housed me during my visit. While I was prepping the pancake batter, I asked her one simple question: "Mom, are the eggs in the fridge still good?" to which she responded "I think so? Oh you girls and your expiration dates!"

Whaaaaaaaaaaa? That statement led me to check every item that I had eaten already and whatever I had started to use to prep the breakfast. Turns out the eggs expired in July, the butter was good for the rest of this month and the oil that she put in my pan expired March 16....of 2007.

Now I can understand how food can sit in a cabinet for awhile and while you don't have a reason to use it you don't want to waste it so it just becomes a feature in your fridge or cabinet but whoa! What's even crazier is after I tell my friend what Mom said she goes on to tell that her father-in-law cleaned out his pantry and brought over food for her and the family- one of the items being a jar of cherries....that expired in 1988. Apparently he thought they were still good because they were not opened. (For all those wandering, she threw them away.)

All of this got me a-thinkin: when does food really expire? Of course there are "expires by"  and "sell by" dates but when is the real "throw-this-in-the-garbage-immediately!" date?

Here is what I found as per
  • Milk. Usually fine until a week after the "Sell By" date.
  • Eggs. OK for 3-5 weeks after you bring them home (assuming you bought them before the "sell by" date). VanLandingham says double-grade As will go down a grade in a week but still be perfectly edible.
  • Poultry and seafood. Cook or freeze this within a day or two.
  • Beef and pork. Cook or freeze within three to five days.
  • Canned goods. Highly acidic foods like tomato sauce can keep 18 months or more. Low-acid foods like canned green beans are probably risk-free for up to five years. "You do not want to put cans in a hot place like a crawl space or garage," Peggy VanLaanen, EdD, RD, a professor of food and nutrition at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, tells WebMD. She suggests keeping canned and dry food at 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in a dry, dark place. Humidity can be a factor in speeded-up deterioration. The FDA notes that taste, aroma, and appearance of food can change rapidly if the air conditioning fails in a home or warehouse. Obviously, cans bulging with bacteria growth should be discarded, no matter what the expiration date!
One great source to answer questions about expiration dates and shelf life is the website If you are curious how long food really last after the expiration date you can just visit the home page, type in the food that you are pondering about and not only will they cover any food that is relative to what you are asking but then you get a breakdown of how long the food will last in the fridge or in the freezer and tips how to make it last longer. Pretty cool huh?
StillTasty also helps to answer questions such as these:
All really good questions, especially for us moms who want to make sure that we don't make our children sick. I must say that after finding these sites I do feel a lot better about being so particular and picky!
*See mom, even though eggs might last for about a month you still gotta check the dates!*

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Glidden Got the Job Done!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Glidden. All opinions are 100% mine.

After moving into our new apartment earlier this year, there are still so many projects that I still have yet to undertake and it's already the end of September! Between buying new furniture, installing new french doors and finally mounting the TV it's almost as if we've just moved in.

As an Interior Design graduate one of the things that I love most about designing a space is making an impact by one of the easiest solutions: painting! So much can be done just by adding color to a wall or to a room. Of course there are many different paint selections out there like Benjamin Moore and Bear but I must say that the one that I found to be the best so far has been Glidden.

Over the last few months I have spoken with a few moms regarding design for kids rooms and I have written a few blogs on great design tips on how to make a great modern room for boys and girls. Since doing so I have decided to paint my own sons room. I chose to do a few different hues of Glidden's blue and green and not only was I was able to make my selections using their paint samples that are available at Home Depot (I love Home Depot, if I could I'd marry it and be Mrs. Home Depot) but the samples dried much faster than other brands that I've used before.

I have moved and painted more times than Lady Gaga has outfits (yes that many) but this is my first time painting and having my son around. With him running around the house and not having availability to a babysitter I was worried about fumes and also him getting into the room and adding little design of his own into the wet paint.  Because the testers are so small I was not only able to keep it out of his reach but the containers also have a small brush included in the can, so there was no mess after I was done. What mom doesn't love convenience?

Once the room is complete I'll be sure to post the finished project for all to see (unless my boyfriend does it, then I'd have to get a professional to redo the room.)

Visit Glidden today to get inspired for your next projet!

Visit my sponsor: Glidden

Caution: Whiney blog about baby ahead!

You know, I remember the good old days when my son was an infant. He hardly cried, he never fussed. He just sat in his chair and absorbed the world through is big chocolately brown eyes. Oh how the world has changed since he has become mobile and has developed communication skills.

My son is still amazing in many degrees: he is terribly brilliant and can mimic Disney movie scenes, he loves (trying) to play the piano, he is a dancoholic and is by far the best human with 10 inch arm hug giver I've ever known. With that being said: he's driving me crazy!

Where my son went from being a sweet little baby he is now a loud momma's boy toddler. He wakes up everyday at 2:30am expecting to be cuddled, he demands his milk at 8am, and then expects to be held every fifteen minutes. Where did this kid come from? What happened to my sweet lil independent baby who I could leave in the stroller for an hour or so (attended of course) while mommy shopped for shoes?

This wasn't in the "You're a Single Mother Now and Everything Will Be Fine" manual. This should be in the "What to Do When Your Child Goes Nuts" book. What's a girl to do?? Maybe a little bit more of this:

Thanks for listening, Happy Saturday.

Go My Way Down to Ramblers Way!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Ramblers Way. All opinions are 100% mine.

Summer is now over and the brisk fall weather is just around the corner. Time to pack away the shorts and t-shirts and break out the comfy sweaters and long socks. Now the issue is those great sweaters that you had in the attic (or under the bed if you don't have an attic like me) have been eaten by moths, are too tight or are more itchy than you remember.

One of the things I love about long sleeved shirts in the fall is how comfy and cozy they are, until I pulled out my old wool one. Great. Now not only will I have hot, itchy arms but my son is going to run from me when I try to pick him up. It made me look into what wool clothing are out there that is actually comfortable and fashionable.

That is when I came upon Ramblers Way. Not only are their shirts light and soft, but they are sustainable! Not only would you be buying a quality item, but you'd be helping the environment at the same time. All in one wool shirt.

If I could invest $200 in quality clothing I would rather purchase one of their comfy camisoles ($55), one of the cross-neck long sleeved shirts ($85) and a pair of their hipster briefs ($50) instead of buying one hot and itchy sweater. The best part is I'd still have change left over for a hot chocolate!...and if there is one thing I love more than quality's hot chocolate.

It's it about time you rambled about Ramblers Way? Visit their site and see check out their women's apparel and also discover how beneficial the company is to the environment. You are surely bound to be as impressed as I am!

Visit my sponsor: American Comfortwear

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Memory Lane Has Huge Speedbumps

So over the last few days I have been reminiscing all the great R&B artists and songs from late 1990's to early 2000 like Mya, 112, Kelis, SWV and it has been great! Many songs were sung (badly) and danced too that brought back all the good memories.

It was bound to happen when the question arose "What ever happened to those guys?" Of course in some cases we could easily reflect on the VH1's Where Are They Now segments- one of the best ones to date is of Ronald Devoe of ell Biv Devoe and his current employment as a real-estate agent. The best was parading the flier which announced he was the "'New Edition' to the team." Ouch. Oh look...I even found the ad!

The first artist I looked up was the group 112 to see what they have been up to. While Wikipedia had noted that all of the members had tried to have solo careers of their own, that they were unsuccessful and that as early as the beginning of this year they had joined forces again and were planning on releasing a new album! ...then I saw that Slim had opted out of the reunion and since there has been no word on the new album or what is taking place. Booo!

Next I just so happened to look up Sisqo (who isn't doing much solo) which in turn led me to look up Dru Hill. While I saw that the group had attempted to get back together and put out a new album, one of the members had a last minute change of heart- live...on the radio! Eek!

Watch the video below to see the full reunion and break up of Dru Hill- all which lasts about 5 minutes.

Sometimes it's better not to know.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'd Kiss My Son in Kissimmee

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Kissimmee Tourism. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've been wanting to visit Florida ever since my son was born so that I could not only visit the relatives that live there but also go on a mini vacation. Although summer has just ended I'm already planning out where I'd like to go next year and we might be headed to Kissimmee, Florida! I've always envied the families that take their kids to Disney World and looked like they were having the time of their lives. That could be us! Since typically during the summer my sister comes to visit and be my live in nanny I know for sure that she would want to come along for the ride, which would be even better for me (mommy deserves to have a night of adult fun too!)

Ideally we'd stay in the Super 8 Kissimmee suites which have been well noted for their huge beds and awesome amenities. It would be great to live it up for a few days with a pool in my backyard and complimentary breakfasts!

If I could plan my perfect week vacation it would go like this:
  • Visit the Universal Studios and Disney World (asap!)
  • Take the kids to one of the many water parks and show my son that he can have fun in pools of water
  • What girl doesn't want to go shopping while on vacation? I'd go to one of the outlets for myself and then take my teen sister to the Florida Mall.
  • Visit some of the local shops and stores for authentic and fun souvenirs
  • Visit my family in Florida and tell them what a great time we are having in Kissimmee
  • Try ziplining for the first time (Leito will have to sit that one out)

Have you ever been to Kissimmee? As moms we all need a little vacation even if it means one with the kids tagging along but it can still be an amazing time. Go here and plan out what your dream vacation at Kissimmee would be.

Visit my sponsor: What's Your Kissimmee Story?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Awesome Vintage Eyeglasses!

So if there is one thing that I have a huge infatuation with is sexy eye-wear. Maybe it's because of the great varieties, the craftsmanship or just the fact that I'm blind and was born wearing glasses. When I was 16 I had to get my first pair and of course they broke out the "The Pair You'll Never Forget" box and sure enough I had the UGLIEST pair of red glasses. They took up half of my face, they were thick rimmed and they were bright ugly red. No wonder people who wear glasses always get made fun of!

From that pair forward I swore I would never buy a pair of red frames again! So after many metal, plastic, square and round frames I was forming a love hate relationship with glasses. It was when I could afford to buy my own glasses (an had great insurance) that I went on a search for stylish and fun frames.

 Not only did I find and purchase an amazing pair of frames- but they were red! And they kicked my first frames butt! Since I've come across some of the most amazing and funky pair of frames in all colors and sizes. Frames so sweet even girls with 20/20 vision buy them.

My love for elaborate and fun frames couldn't be expressed better than by the amazing glasses created by fellow mom Teresa who owns Vintage 50's Eyewear.

A little about woman behind the frames:

Hello my name is Teresa. I live with my husband, two kids and three dogs in a small town in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. I am a firm supporter of animal rights. My passions include animal rescue and collecting and selling vintage and antique eye wear. A trait a picked up from my mother.

I have the 1950s eyeglasses. Time of the poodle skirt and roller skates. The psychedelic 1960s hippie. The disco 70S and the oh so cool retro 80s sunglasses inspired by the hair bands and the blue brothers.

Some of Teresa's glasses are the bling-bling of eye-wear being covered in gems, rhinestones and colorful jewels. Teresa takes the 50's cat-eye frames and introduces them to the new millennium with by adding modern style and finesse putting a new meaning to the "hot library teacher." Getting the right frames can not only be an investment of time but also of money as good frames don't come cheap. If you want to invest in new pair of glasses, why not purchase one that is well made and one of a kind

Visit Teresa's shop Vintage 50's Eyewear here and you can follow her on Twitter here. Once you see her other selections you will wonder who wants to wear contacts when you can have glasses like these?

Girls Can Make BBQ Memorial

Time for the last holiday of the summer: Memorial Day and what better of a way to send off summer than with the last major bar-b-que! My boyfriend usually the one who prepares and cooks the meat but since he's gone this weekend it is up to me to take the tongs by the reins. My biggest hurdle is figuring how to cook the meat perfectly.

Having already written this blog, there is great information about the different types of grills and BBQ tricks and after scouring the net for BBQ tips (because yes, that is how really people BBQ - off the web) I came across this article from Associate Content giving great insight on how to prep and cook meats and veggies simple enough for girls of all BBQ stages!

When cooking fish on the grill, brush olive oil onto the fish or directly onto the grill to prevent sticking.Where possible, cook fish that has skin on it. Cook the fish skin side up for the first 1-2 minutes, to grab the smoke lines of the grill for the sake of aesthetics and then flip it over to cook the rest of the fish skin side down.

 That way, if you do have a sticking problem, the skin will stick to the grill, but the edible goodness will come up on your spatula. One more tip with fish: If the piece of fish you are cooking is less that one inch thick, consider starting the grilling process when the fish is partially frozen.

Ribs are a no brainer on the grill, but to be fair, the best barbecue ribs require some time in the oven. 40 minutes in the oven with a little bit of water at 350 degrees is enough to thoroughly cook the meat, keeping it juicy and sealing in the flavor before transferring the ribs to a preheated hot grill for barbecue sauce and the burned edges that make good ribs into great ribs.

For great veggies on the grill, the following tips should help: Cook well soaked corn on the cob still in the husk. Tin foil is your best friend for locking in flavors and moisture when cooking other sorts of veggies. Use the heat rather than the actual grill process unless cooking with a hearty vegetable such as asparagus spears, or yams.
One of the most common grilling mistakes is putting the barbecue sauce on too early. When it goes on too early, you end up wasting all of your sauce. Good grillers know that the you wait until the last couple of minutes of cooking to add barbecue sauce. The reason? If you put it on too early, the sauce all slides off into the drip tray instead of adhering to the meat. Let your meat cook thoroughly and then brush on your barbecue sauce when there is just enough time to heat it up before removing your yummy goodness from the grill.

When cooking chicken on the grill, ideally you will have a two rack grill at your disposal. Regardless of that, though, the secrets to successful juicy, chicken that pulls in all of the smoky flavor of the grill are patience and water. Patience comes from knowing to cook chicken on a medium flame rather than high. Fill a small oven safe dish with enough water to last through the entire cooking process, and close the lid of your grill during cooking. As the water comes to a boil, it will create enough steam to satiate the heat's greed for moisture, and your chicken will stay juicy and full of flavor.

And try these recipes!


Baked Brie with Rosemary, Almond & Cherries
Serves 4-6
2 T chopped fresh rosemary
2 T chopped slivered almonds

2 T honey
1 brie cheese round

8 fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
crackers (of your choice) Preheat oven to 400F. In a small bowl, combine rosemary and almonds. With a pastry brush (or knife), coat the sides of the brie with honey and dip into rosemary-almond mixture, pressing. Place brie on a sheet pan. Brush the top with honey and sprinkle with the remaining herb mixture. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove brie from oven and top with chopped cherries. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes until brie is soft when cut. Serve with crackers.


Prize Winning Baby Back Ribs


  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 pounds baby back pork ribs
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce


  1. Preheat grill for high heat.
  2. In a small jar, combine cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Close the lid, and shake to mix.
  3. Trim the membrane sheath from the back of each rack. Run a small, sharp knife between the membrane and each rib, and snip off the membrane as much as possible. Sprinkle as much of the rub onto both sides of the ribs as desired. To prevent the ribs from becoming too dark and spicy, do not thoroughly rub the spices into the ribs. Store the unused portion of the spice mix for future use.
  4. Place aluminum foil on lower rack to capture drippings and prevent flare-ups. Lightly oil grate, and lay ribs on top rack of grill. Reduce heat to low, close lid, and leave undisturbed for 1 hour. Do not lift lid at all.
  5. Brush ribs with barbecue sauce, and grill an additional 5 minutes. Serve ribs as whole rack, or cut between each rib bone and pile individually on a platter. 

Death by Chocolate


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 2/3 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 6 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered toffee bars, frozen and crushed


  1. In a 9x13 in pan, bake cake according to package directions. Cool and crumble. Make pudding, according to package directions, with milk.
  2. In a large trifle or other glass serving bowl, place half of the crumbled cake. Pour half of the coffee over the cake, and spread half of the pudding over that. Top with half of the whipped topping, sprinkled with half the crumbled candy bars. Repeat layers in the same order. Refrigerate until serving.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Awesome Totes for Moms by Robilena

One of my favorite websites is Etsy for the amazing selection of independent artists, seamstresses and craft makers. One of my favorite finds is Robilena which is a selection of handmade totes.

Here is little insight about the gal behind the seams, Robin:

I started sewing when I was in elementary school, then didn't sew for many years.  About two years ago, I started making tote bags, trying out different patterns, and combining and adapting them as I went along.  I was having so much fun making the bags, that I decided to start up my Etsy page.  I get most of my fabric at a wonderful independent fabric store in Santa Cruz, California.  It is the same store where I took sewing lessons when I was a kid.

I love playing with fabric pairings and most of my bags have at least 2 and usually 3 or 4 different fabrics.  My preferred fabric to work with is 100% cotton, lightweight fabric, which makes the bags totally washable.  I want these bags to last, so I make sure to have not exposed raw edges on the fabric. 

One reasons I think moms will love them: durability!
All the seams are either hidden on the reversible bags, or on the unlined/non-reversible bags, the seams are all finished so that there are no raw edges.  The handles are very securely sewn on as well, so the bags can hold a fair amount of weight without any worries. They are also a great size for kids to have their own personal bags.

And what woman doesn't love variety? Between the attractive patterns, various sizes and some pieces being reversible, moms have the option to choose which bag fits their need best.

The smaller bags are the perfect size to use as a casual purse, the medium bags are great for the grocery store (which is a very green idea!) and the larger sizes are great as overnight bags, or carry-ons.

To top it all off the prices are very reasonable. With some bags averaging out at $30 why buy a mass produced bag at Target when you can have your own custom made bag with love in every stitch and manage not to break the bank!

To check out and purchase other awesome bags visit Robin's Etsy shop at!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Update: I Punched the Sh&t Out of Her! Hooray!!

So in regards to the blog I wrote about the stupid Punch Buggy game that my sister has decided to play all summer and has been winning, it finally happened. While we were out I saw a bright yellow VW Bug and was so excited that she didn't notice it that I could hardly get the words out!

But...when I did....she received a punch that has only been seen in movies. A punch so legendary the production of Beetles has come to a halt to simply preserve the right arms of all teenagers that just so happen to be in my path if one goes by.

Crazy....I actually feel so much better! That game can be such a stress reliever. Go fig.

A Poem That's Too True!

Whilst talking with another mom about Moms in the City she shared with me one of her favorite poems which I thought was so great that I'd share it with you ladies as well!


A Single Parent's Prayer
Lord, grant me
Time enough
to do all the chores, join in the games, help with the lessons, and say the night prayers, and still have a few moments left over for me.
Energy enough
to be bread-baker and breadwinner, knee-patcher and peacemaker, ballplayer and bill juggler.
Hands enough
to wipe away the tears, to reach out when I'm needed, to hug and to hold, to tickle and touch.
Heart enough
to share and to care, to listen and to understand, and to make a loving home for my family.
Author Unknown