Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Schwan's Healthy Meals Review

With the excitement of a new year upon us, there’s no time like now to feed your family some fresh, delicious foods to start out 2013.  

Make it easy to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions with a range of comforting and healthy meals such as the Unbreaded Chicken Breast Filets and Mini Beef Pot Roast and sizzling Chicken Marinara & Tortellini and Southwest Fiesta skillet meals. To accompany the meal, add fresh veggies such as Broccoli Florets or a Mediterranean Vegetable Blend, and finish off with guilt-free LiveSmart Ice Cream Sandwiches or Wild Berry Frozen Yogurt.  For a filling and healthy meal this January, Schwan’s has your whole family covered!

My thoughts-Doesn't it all look yummy, well I put them to test with my family.  We sampled two items-
I followed the instructions which were very easy to follow.  With a family waiting for me to cook dinner, I cook something that will not take forever as they are hungry by the time I get home.  So these two items were perfect for us.  They cooked in no time.  It was perfectly portioned for our family of 5.  Everyone enjoyed the food.  It had a great taste.  The Mediterranean Vegetable Blend comes in a easy to re-close bag in case you want to cook some of the bag and save the rest.

For more information, please visit

***Disclosure-Samples provided to review.  My family has taste tested these items and they are Independentmami approved.  All opinions expressed are our own, honest opinions based on our experience.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I am so excited to hear this...

Here’s a sneak peek at Walt Disney Studios’ OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL commercial which is set to air during this Sunday’s game. 

Be sure to check out the witch and all her power as she takes over the homepage immediately following the commercial on game day. 

Additionally, check out the new character posters!

***Disclosure-No compensation was received.  Informational post only.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ford #NAIAS Digital Summit

I was one of 150 bloggers invited to attend the 2013 Ford #NAIAS Digital Summit in Detroit, Michigan. 

Detroit, the Motor City!! 

I was able to see Ford's newest vehicles.  I learned what Ford has been up to when it comes to fuel efficiency, sustainability around the world, quality, and their new technology programs. 
J Mays, Group Vice President, Design, and Chief Creative Officer, Ford Motor Company ; Cyril Duval, artist, and Geremy Jasper and Georgie Greville, founding members of LEGS Media/ MILK at the Henry Ford for a panel discussion.

We were able to go on a Ford vehicle drive experience at the Dearborn Development Center (DDC).  Ford vehicles were lined up and ready for us to drive. 
Not only did we learn about the Inflatable Seat Belts and Driver Wellness program but also about the VIRTTEX Driving Simulator.  We then headed to have a wonderful lunch experience at The Eagle Tavern in Greenfield Village. 

Our tour continued to TechShop Detroit where John Ellis who is the Global Technologist and Head of Ford Developer program talked to us about how Ford is giving you and me an opportunity to develop our own apps.  SYNC Applink is license-free and royalty-free.  For more information go to 

Next on the agenda-Sustainability. The Ford Sustainability Panel included John Viera, Andrew Winston, Matthew Banks. 
And I saved the best for last, North American International Auto Show.  First we headed for a press conference with the one and only Bill Ford.
 Introducing the New Global Commercial Van Lineup and the 2014-Ford Atlas (what a BEAST)
Then we headed to the Auto Show...
This was the best Auto Show I have ever been to by far.  I got to see unveiling of the new 2014 models, concept cars, and even my dream car.  I learned so much about Ford.  Thanks to them for this awesome opportunity and experience.

***Disclosure-I was invited to attend the 2013 FORD NAIAS Digital Summit. These are my own experiences I am sharing with you, any and all opinions are my own, honest opinions.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Quorn Chik'n Nuggets and Chik'n Patties Review

Are you trying to clean your eating?  Have you found different options?  Are they working for you?

You know I have allergies to several food items.  And finding food I can actually is getting harder and harder because I feel deprived.  I have to make one thing for me and a different dish for my family, no FAIR.

Well remember I told you about quorn... (The main constituent of Quorn™, Mycoprotein, is a naturally occurring, high quality, healthy form of protein. they have products for the entire family to share.  Superbowl weekend is coming up, what are you going to serve...I have a great suggestion that has been put to my families test.
Chik'n Nuggets
 Chik'n Patties
These are meatless and soy free.  Made with natural ingredients.

My thoughts-So after a long day at work, I really did not want to cook.  I pulled these out of the freezer.  I popped them in the oven.  20 mins or less, they are done.  Ready for my family of 5 eat!  We ate this up and it was good.  No-one even missed that there was no meat.  Great portions too!

***Disclosure-Sample product received.  Quorn has been taste-tested by my family and is Independentmami approved.  These and all opinions expressed are our very own honest opinions from our own experience.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fitness Friday-Running Shoes

So before I became very involved with running, I always looked at running as an athlete sport only for those in shape.  i.e. not me!!  So when the thought of me running was brought up, I laughed.  Really hard.  But when I did it I felt great!  Accomplished.

Then I started to love it.  I ran as much as I could.  I started slow, small mileage, and many days of rest in between.  But soon I found out that running like any sport will need to be done with the proper shoes.  If you do not have the proper shoes you will not be ready.  I found out fast that I needed real running shoes in order to keep up with as much running as I was doing.  So what do to:

Every runner should go to a shoe store where they can be fitted for the correct running shoes for them.  Why?

Because if you are wearing the wrong shoes, you can-

-get black toe nails
-nails break and crack
-blisters all over feet
-make you want to stop running from all of the above and you could hurt yourself...

I suffered from blistered right at the beginning.  I tried switching shoes.  My feet would get numb while running.  My toe nails would hurt alot.  I needed to get some kind of relief if I was going to continue...

I went to a store that actually has a treadmill with a camera attached to it.  You run with your current shoes and they watch you.  They showed me the video of my running.  I actually do not run correctly and need shoes that help correct that.  Also, I was running in the wrong size shoe.  I was normally a size 6.5 but when they measured my feet, they suggested a 7.5.  See when you run, especially long distances your feet swell.  They need room to expand.  Running shoes are not like everyday shoes but that is what I was treating them like.  They selected different shoes for me to try and I ran around the store and on the treadmill.  They showed me the difference and the video said it all.  I bought those shoes and I have no complaints now.  Other than, I wish I was  Also,

Shoes wear out, so replace your shoes often if you are consistently running in them.

Your feet are your tools for running.  The shoes are protection they need to work properly.  Your feet will thank you.  Take care of your feet, they are yours for life!

TechShop Detroit #NAIAS

Are you creative?  Do you like to DIY?  I love creating things.  I would like to learn how to do more with my hands.  I may not have created anything, not yet but maybe one day I could.  TechShop is an awesome place for those that have ideas or don't.  It is a playground.  We need one here in Houston..hint, hint...
I had an awesome time to sandblast glass 
 how to make a pewter mold...(which I was scared to play with hot pewter)
You can bring your car and work on it yourself...they have a lift, tools, etc..(my brother would love this, he is a mechanic)
You can sketch, write, scribble, etc..your ideas on these big boards that are all around the walls. 
I learned how to attached this lights to a battery..I had too much fun making a star design. (creativeness in progress)
Ford and TechShop, Inc. have come together in a collaborative effort to open a brand new TechShop location in the Detroit area. We welcome all innovators, from backyard tinkerers to software engineers, to use our resources and bring an idea to life or invent the next big thing in automotive technology.

TechShop is a community based workshop and prototyping studio on a mission to democratize access to the tools of innovation. This brand new location is packed with cutting-edge tools, equipment, and computers loaded with design software featuring the Autodesk Design Suite. Most importantly, TechShop offers space to make, and the support and camaraderie of a community of makers.  (source:

***Disclosure-I was invited to attend the 2013 FORD NAIAS Digital Summit.  These are my own experiences I am sharing with you, any and all opinions are my own, honest opinions.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

$5 Dr Seuss Products at Kohl's

Did you know that yesterday was January 23 - National Reading Day?  Reading is a big part of our life.  I loved reading when I was a little girl.  All the adventures I went on through those books I read, made me a big dreamer.  And those dream have kept me going and succeeding in life at all my achievements.  That is why we make reading a big part of our lives and with our kids.

Here are other dates you may not know existed?

  • March 1 - National Read Across America Day
  • March 2 - Dr. Seuss’ Birthday
  • March 7 - World Book Day
  • April 12 - National D.E.A.R. Day
  • April 14 - National Donate a Book Day
  • April 14 – 20 - National Library Week

  •  Kohl’s Cares Cause Merchandise for Kids

    ·         The Cat in The Hat and Cat in the Hat plushJoin Dick and Sally as they embark on an unexpected adventure with a giant cat wearing a hat, transforming a rainy day into a fun-filled afternoon. 

    ·         Horton Hears a Who! and Horton plush: Children adore the story of loveable Horton, an elephant who hears a cry for help from a tiny speck of dust and does his best to protect the tiny creatures who live on it from those who see them as insignificant.

    ·         Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book and Sleeps plush: The perfect bed time story that is sure to help everyone wind down from the hustle and bustle of the day – including the grown-ups!

    ·         Dr. Seuss’s ABC book and Alligator plush: A quick and colorful way to learn the alphabet with Dr. Seuss and his colorful friends.

    ·         ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - Happy Birthday to You!: Everyone loves their birthday and with Dr. Seuss’s joyous tale, readers will see firsthand the thrill of celebrating a birthday as it is done in Katroo.

    ·         ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - Dr. Seuss’s ABC book’s Rhino plush: Fun to snuggle and huggle this adorable Rhino plush, kiddos will have a new friend to read with.

    Kohl’s Cares Cause Merchandise for Grown-Ups

    ·         Good Housekeeping Light & Healthy Cooking and Good Housekeeping Drop 5 Lbs: Spring into Healthy Eating with two great books! Following the treats and sweets from the holiday season, testing out new recipes from Good Housekeeping Light & Healthy Cooking and getting diet and healthy eating tips from Good Housekeeping Drop 5 Lbs is the perfect way to stay true to New Year resolutions.

    ·         Dr. Seuss All Occasion Note Cards: As a thank you note or just to connect with a friend or loved one, these delightful all occasion note cards are sure to bring smiles to the faces of recipients with their colorful and quirky illustrations. 

    In addition to the merchandise program, Kohl's Caresâ features a scholarship program, which recognizes more than 2,200 young volunteers each year with scholarships and prizes; the Associates in Action program, which encourages associate volunteerism and has donated more than $61 to youth-focused nonprofit organizations to date; and fundraising gift cards for schools and youth-serving nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit

    ***Disclosure-Sample products received to review.  Any and all opinions stated are my own, honest opinions.

    WikiLeaks Drama "The Fifth Estate" Coming Soon

    Hot off the press news....

    Drama Will Open in Theaters November 15, 2013
    Participant Media Joins Project

    LOS ANGELES, CA (January 23, 2013) - Principal photography has begun on the WikiLeaks drama “The Fifth Estate,” it was announced today by DreamWorks Studios.  The film about the controversial website stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange and Daniel Brühl as Daniel Domscheit-Berg, as well as Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Peter Capaldi, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander and Carice van Houten.

    “The Fifth Estate” will open in U.S. theaters on November 15, 2013 and be distributed domestically by Disney’s Touchstone label.  Distribution internationally will be split among Disney, DreamWorks partner Reliance, and deals made through the studio’s partnership with Mister Smith Entertainment. 

    Following Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Brühl), an early supporter and eventual colleague of Julian Assange (Cumberbatch), “The Fifth Estate” traces the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks.  The website’s overnight success brought instant fame to its principal architects and transformed the flow of information to news media and the world at large.

    ***disclosure-No compensation was received.  Informational post only.

    Eagle Tavern @ Greenfield Village #NAIAS back in time
    Built in Clinton, Michigan, in 1831 as a stagecoach stop for weary travelers, Eagle Tavern still exudes the warmth and camaraderie of the era today. Stop by for an unforgettable, authentic sit-down meal presented on a living stage by costumed servers who bring the 19th century to life.  (source:
     This place is awesome.  Look at this building, how beautiful.  I love the structure.  It is not only beautiful on the outside but check out the inside.
     Growing up I loved watching Little House on the Prairie.  I would have liked to grow up in those simple times.  My favorite character was Laura Ingalls.  And coming here to Eagle Tavern I got to do just that.  I felt like I was there back in this time.  Only thing missing was my own dress and hair piece to wear.
    I would have loved to play dress up.  I wonder how I would look with all that clothes
    I liked the family style feast that was served by the ladies and gentlemen.  And the skit was really cute.
    I like travelling to places like this.  If ever in the area, I recommend visiting Greenfield Village and dining at Eagle Tavern.  The food was awesome!!!  The Ginger cake was mmm..mmmm... good!!

    I already told my husband we have to come back here.  He needs to experience Eagle Tavern!

    ***Disclosure-I was invited to attend the 2013 FORD NAIAS Digital Summit.  These are my own experiences I am sharing with you, any and all opinions are my own, honest opinions.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    Ford Driver Wellness #NAIAS

    When you think about car accidents, what do you always think caused the problems?  The car or the driver?  Safety over the years has been tested over and over on the vehicles but what about the driver.  Have we tested the driver?  Have we watched or observed their moves?  Their behavior?  What if we did, and what if we could?  What if this helped save a life?

    Ford is working on a test program now to answer these questions.  The Driver Wellness program is still in the test phase but would be an awesome tool to have in the vehicles to prevent accidents from happening.

    What is the Driver Wellness program?  The Driver Wellness program monitors the driver.
    There are sensors in the vehicle that help monitor different variables every time you step behind the wheel as the driver.

    Imagine if your car could save your life or the life of other by this data collected.  The driver does not have to do any extra work, everything is right in front of them.  The car would simply turn off or be turned off, it the situation called for it to.  Changes in variables could trigger the vehicle to know there is something wrong with the driver, and shut off process would begin.  This would be helpful for a person having a seizure, stroke, or heart attack.  My friend had a seizure behind the wheel a couple of years ago.  His vehicle crashed into an 18 wheeler trailer.  He ended up in a coma for several days.  We did not think he was going to make it.  But he did.  He survived but doesn't remember what happened.  Luckily no-one else was injured.

    I can't wait to see where this program goes, and hopefully become available for our use to help save lives.

    Disclosure-I was invited to attend the 2013 FORD NAIAS Digital Summit.  These are my own experiences I am sharing with you, any and all opinions are my own, honest opinions.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    Ford Inflatable Seat Belts #NAIAS

    Have you heard of inflatable seat belts?  I had not heard of them either and yes, they do exist.

    • Ford introduced the auto industry’s first-ever production inflatable seat belts, which are designed to provide additional protection for rear seat occupants, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to head, chest and neck injuries
    • Ford’s inflatable rear seat belts debuted on the 2011 Ford Explorer
    • Ford’s inflatable rear seat belts spread crash forces over five times more area of the body than conventional seat belts; this helps reduce pressure on the chest and helps control head and neck motion for rear seat passengers

    So not only will your family be protected by them wearing a seat belt but now they will have the protection of their own air bag.  The air bag opens like a regular air bag would and protects the area from the shoulder down to the waist.  In an impact, the head would hit the air bag in the seat belt.

    Check out this demonstration:

    Accident-(This is me acting as if I was in an accident for visual
    I like the extra protection.  The inflatable seat belts have been tested with car seats and boosters, and are safe to use.  It was not uncomfortable.  In an accident, who is really going to be caring about comfort, right? Safety is the key.

    ***Disclosure-I was invited to attend the 2013 FORD NAIAS Digital Summit.  These are my own experiences I am sharing with you, any and all opinions are my own, honest opinions.