Saturday, April 3, 2010

Week 3 of my One of One by Tony Horton Review & Giveaway

Week three of my review of the One on One by Tony Horton work out series.

Bikini season is around the corner and the people from Beach Body gave me the opportunity to review Tony Horton's newest DVD set. He's the guy behind Power 90, P90X, and 10 minute trainer.
Anyway, they are also allowing me to give away a complete 13 disc set to a Taking Time for Mommy reader, a value of $239.40!!

Week 3's review is of the disc Killer Abs -
This is 30 minutes of straight Ab work. If you don't get killer abs from this there is no hope for you. Yes it hurt, yes it burned but since 2 people have recently asked me if I were pregnant (which I AM NOT!!) I had the motivation to finish. I will keep doing this & I will be back to my hot beach body soon and so can you.

Buy One on One HERE

This is closed to comments. To Enter, Head over HERE

Friday, April 2, 2010

Giveaways Galore April 2 - 9th

Here is our Weekly Linky. I won 2 contests last week, how about you? I'm asking other Bloggers to put there Giveaways here for my readers. They will go in Monday's newsletter!

Aging Gracefully

They say with age comes wisdom… and wrinkles. I'll take the wisdom but whoever "they" are can have the wrinkles.

I believe that beauty evolves as we age. I’ve faced the fact that as a 33 yr old woman who has had 2 children, I will never look 20 again. Nor should I want to. That being said, we should still take care of ourselves and age as well as we can. I'm trying.

A few things we can do that will help - Taking in the proper nutrition, getting exercise, and hydrating yourself can erase years off of your body. Not partaking in damaging habits such as smoking or heavily drinking also help. Staying out of the sun or tanning beds and constantly using SPF foundations or lotions will help slow the inevitable facial lines we all get.

Unfortunately these lines are inevitable, they will come. I’m not vain but I do care how I look. I have no problem with plastic surgery as long as you don’t go overboard but that really isn’t the route I want to go, at least now yet, give me another 20 yrs. I want something a little more subtle.

I did find a procedure from a Dermatologist in Los Angeles called Restylane injections. I looked it on WebMD to see what they said. “Restylane is a dermal filler designed to smooth away wrinkles and folds”. It doesn’t paralyze, I mean relax your face like Botox.

Sounds right up my ally! I found more information on Restylane Injections in Los Angeles; they have a lot of articles explaining everything. I’ve definitely added this as an option!

Now if only I can talk hubby into a LA vay-cay.....


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quick, Healthy, Springtime Dishes -- Featuring Herbs!

By Lidia Matticchio Bastianich,
Author of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes

The use of fresh herbs has exploded in the American kitchen today. I recall that as a young apprentice in Italy -- at my great-aunt's apron strings -- for every herb we had in the garden, there seemed to be a pot on the stove to match.

Some herbs were better to cook with while others were better added at the end to a finished dish. For example, rosemary, bay leaves and thyme are mostly used for long cooking where their oils are extracted slowly out of their leaves. Sage, oregano and marjoram need very little cooking time, and herbs such as basil, parsley and mint are great to toss in raw at the end -- just enough to release their refreshing aromas.

If you have small children a wonderful way to introduce them to the enticing aromas of herbs is to gently crush the herbs in your hands and let them smell. I did this with my grandchildren when they were very small and it's a great way to get them excited about the world of herbs and food at an early age.

In fact, once you get your small children excited about herbs, introduce them to your own dishes. Here I'm sharing some of the quickest, and most child-friendly. Enjoy!

Makes 1 ½ cups

* 1 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
* ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
* ½ cup packed mixed fresh sage, thyme, and marjoram leaves
* 4 garlic cloves, peeled
* 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
* Salt

Wash the herb leaves in cool water and dry them thoroughly, preferably in a salad spinner. Combine the herbs and garlic in a blender and blend on low speed, slowly adding the oil while the machine is running, until the pesto is smooth and all the oil is incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator and use as needed. Pesto will keep refrigerated for up to 4 weeks or it may be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure there is a thin film of oil over the pesto to keep its flavor and color bright.

Serves 2 as an appetizer, 1 as a lunch dish
From "Lidia's Family Table" (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004)

* 2 large eggs
* 2 tablespoons milk
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
* 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 1 teaspoon butter
* 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and fresh herbs until just blended together.

Heat the butter and oil in the small frying pan until it just starts to sizzle, then pour in the eggs and turn the heat down very low. Cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes. The eggs will start to puff up and sizzle at the edges. Lift a corner of the frittata with a spatula, and check to see if the bottom has browned in splotches. When it has, flip the frittata over by giving the pan a firm, quick shake up and over toward you so that the egg mass dislodges and flips over in one piece. Or, if that unnerves you, turn the frittata over with a spatula. Cook the second side for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, again checking to see if the bottom has browned to your liking. Serve right away, or let cool to room temperature and cut the frittata in wedges.

Serves 6

Landlocked Umbria does not have a seafood cuisine. But its mountain lakes, rivers, and streams abound in freshwater fish, like the tasty tench. This simple preparation is one I found in Umbria, and it is excellent for fillets of our sweet-water varieties, such as carp or whitefish, or even light ocean-fish fillets like sole.

* 2 pounds whitefish fillets
* ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
* 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* Juice of a large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
* ½ cup white wine
* 6 plump garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
* ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
* Zest of a large lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
* ½ teaspoon dried oregano
* ¼ teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste, chopped fine
* Fresh lemon slices, for serving

Recommended equipment: A 4-quart shallow rectangular baking dish; a heavy-bottomed skillet or saute pan, 12-inch diameter or larger, with a cover.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly salt the fish on both sides, using about ¼ teaspoon salt in all. Pour 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice, white wine, and another ¼ teaspoon salt into the baking dish, and whisk together well. Drop in the garlic cloves, and stir with the dressing. Lay the fillets in the dish, turn and swish them in the dressing so both sides are thoroughly moistened, and arrange them, skin side down, in one layer.

Toss the bread crumbs in a bowl with the lemon zest, parsley, oregano, chopped peperoncino, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and toss the crumbs well until evenly moistened with oil.

Spoon the seasoned bread crumbs on top of the fillets in a light, even layer. Bake, uncovered, until the crumbs are crisp and golden and the fish is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Lift the fish out with a spatula, and set on a warm platter to serve family-style, or on individual plates. Spoon over it the juices left in the baking dish, and serve right away, with lemon slices on the side.

© 2010 Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, authors of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes
Author Bio
Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, coauthor of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipe, is the author of five previous books, four of them accompanied by nationally syndicated public television series. She is the owner of the New York City restaurant Felidia (among others), and she lectures on and demonstrates Italian cooking throughout the country. She lives on Long Island, and can be reached at her Web site,

ABC Ties Review & Giveaway

Closed #10 tracyo congrats!
My husband is very hard to please when it comes to fashion so I took my time browsing through the ties ABC ties and they have a lot of ties to choose from!
I found him the perfect tie that he loved. It got me thinking about gifts for my Father in law, Dad, brothers, Uncles, you see where I going with this...
Father's Day isn't that far away, especially when I can get a great deal now!

This is the tie that my hubby got, the Alexander Fashion Silk Tie and we love it.
They also have some awesome novelty ties!

Buy it!
ABC Ties
They are having a 15% off sale right now
& Free Shipping on all orders!

Win It
ABC Ties is offering a reader of
Taking Time for Mommy a tie of their choice!

Main Entry - Go to ABC ties and pick out which tie you'd like to win.

Entra Entry - Follow ABC Ties on Twitter @ABCNeckties
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2 Extra Entries - Comment on any non-giveaway post on either Taking time for Mommy or Mommy Reads Too Much

Giveaway will end on April 11th at 11:59pm. The winners will be chosen by and announced here as well as emailed. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway open to U.S. & Canadian residents 18+ only.

Disclosure - A product was given for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.I learned about this opportunity from The Product Review Place.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Top 10 List for Hiring a Babysitter & Giveaway!

Hiring a babysitter can be a confusing task. There are so many things to consider as you face the task of selecting someone to care for your children in your absence, and you want to find the perfect fit between the babysitter and your family. Here are some of the most important things for you to consider when selecting a new babysitter for your children.

1. The babysitter should be able to relate easily and bond well with your children while maintaining a clear distinction from them. Babysitters must be able to play with and enjoy your children (which can often be construed by the child as peer-level interaction) while also maintaining discipline. It is easy for a babysitter (and a parent) to feel more comfortable in one role or the other: to be most comfortable being friends with the children, or to be most comfortable supervising the children and redirecting their errant behaviors.

2. The babysitter must be able to relate with your family and administer discipline to your children in a manner that is appropriate and consistent with your family’s boundaries. If you have a prospective babysitter that uses social isolation (sending a child to his/her room, for example) as a method of behavior modification, and you are not comfortable with that method of behavior modification, then the prospective babysitter may not be a good fit for your family.

3. The babysitter should ideally have years of experience, solid references from prior employer-families, a clean background (pursuant to background checks), and completed training on babysitter basics (CPR, first aid, the Heimlich maneuver, basic nutrition and food preparation, and general personal and home hygiene). You can obtain background checks through The babysitter should not represent a risk to your children in any way; thus, in addition to the foregoing, the babysitter should be current on his/her vaccinations.

4. If you need your babysitter to drive, then your babysitter should have a valid driver’s license, a clean (or as close to clean as possible) driving record and a reliable car.

5. The babysitter should be able to develop and carry out fun, creative, and educational experiences for your child.

6. The babysitter should be willing and able to comply with your rules about what constitutes appropriate television viewing, when s/he may use his/her cellular telephone while babysitting, when s/he may use your telephone for his/her own purposes while babysitting, when s/he may have friends over while babysitting, etc.

7. The babysitter should be capable of handling small “crises” on his/her own. You and your babysitter should come to an agreement about what issues may warrant a call to you and what issues the babysitter is authorized to handle on his/her own. Your babysitter should be able to act comfortably within the boundaries you have provided.

8. The babysitter’s expectations regarding terms and conditions of employment should be close to the terms and conditions of employment that you are offering. If you wish to hire a babysitter in a smoking home, a non-smoking prospective babysitter may not be a good fit for your family. Pay rates for babysitters should be discussed up front to ensure that the prospective babysitters are willing to work for the income you offer.

9. The babysitter should not have fears or concerns about the non-negotiable aspects of the job with your family. If you have a cat, and your prospective babysitter is severely allergic to cats, the prospective babysitter may not be a good fit for your family. (Side note: some allergic reactions can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications or other accommodations that may be used by the allergic babysitter.) If the prospective babysitter is unable to work specific hours or days and you need your babysitter to attend to your children on those days or in those hours, then the prospective babysitter may not be a good fit for your family.

10. The babysitter should be a positive, loving influence in your household.

Care4Hire is offering 1 lucky Taking Time for Mommy Reader a Gift Certificate for a free membership ($34.99 retail value) to; gives you 1 month to login and contact caregivers. is an online database for families and caregivers to search babysitters, housekeepers, tutors, elder/companion care, pet sitters and other miscellaneous service. A free preview of available caregivers is available to families. Whether you need a caregiver for a few hours to a few days, you will find it at Once you are a registered member, you will be given immediate access to caregiver through email and phone.

Giveaway will end on April 25th at 11:59pm. The winners will be chosen by and announced here as well as emailed. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway open to U.S. residents 18+ only.

Disclosure - No other compensation was given.

Main Entry - Tell me how much you'd love this service!

Extra Entry - Follow Taking Time for Mommy on Twitter HERE
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5 Extra Entries - Signing up for our weekly Newsletter (form to the right)
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Priorities, Priorities!

True story time: last week, I was sitting at the kitchen table working with my son on his math lesson. One of my daughters called urgently; she was in the powder room, and someone had not replaced the last roll of tissue! I hurried off toward my own bathroom where we store the extras. On my way there, I passed through my bedroom, saw my computer sitting on my desk and was reminded of an email that I needed to send. And just like that, I very nearly veered off to do that, momentarily forgetting both my current mission and my son’s math lesson!

I know I’m not alone. Other women have shared with me their stories. I know I’m not the only one who begins one task and is distracted by another, and then another. . .who among us has not left one room with an arm full of items to return to their rightful places and then finds something else that needs doing in the destination room?

It’s all a mater of priorities, isn’t it? This has been on my mind a great deal lately. Like most women, I juggle many roles in life. I’m a wife and a mommy. I handle our household finances. I do the grocery shopping and the meal planning. I’m in charge of homeschooling, planning and implementing lessons. I handle some of the housework, although I’m blessed to have children who give more than their fair share in that category. I’m also a writer, and the need to get words onto paper can sometimes be overwhelming—not even mentioning my writing commitments. In some seasons of life, I am involved in ministry, although right now is not one of those seasons. Do you also wear so many hats that you sometimes forget which one is on your head at any given time?

How do we choose what is best? That’s a hard question because the answer can shift from moment to moment. On Monday mornings, for example, my top priority usually needs to be school lessons, since that is our most intense day. It’s hard to walk past baskets of clothes that have to be folded and carpets that should be vacuumed on the way to the schoolroom, but I know it must be done. Those things are still important, but they don’t have top billing on Mondays.

I’m working right now on remembering that sometimes play takes priority. Not when all the work is done; if I waited for that, I’d never do it. No, sometimes the most important thing in the world is playing cards with my son, or swimming with the girls, or just hanging out watching a movie with the whole family.

I once had a small calendar that asked a question next to each to-do item: “Is this moving me closer to my goals?” There are plenty of people who would look at some of my choices and shake their collective heads. Homeschooling my kids doesn’t get me farther ahead on the career track. Playing doesn’t make my house sparkle. Writing columns doesn’t (always) pay the bills. But the truth is that each of these things are important—and yes, they are moving me close to my goal of raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted children and getting through it with my sanity intact.

So yes, prioritize your life—make sure you get the important stuff done. Just don’t forget to ask yourself what that important stuff really is.


Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 9 years to almost 21 years. She and her husband of over 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel. She is also a staff writer here at Taking Time for Mommy

Unique Ways to Decorate Your Easter Eggs

No matter how you choose to decorate your Easter eggs it is always a fun experience. However if you are looking to change up your eggs from basic dyed eggs to something really different we have some tips for you. Dyeing Easter eggs does not mean that you are stuck simply dropping your hard-boiled eggs into dye. You can take any number of methods and use them to make your eggs really special. Best of all this can be a great project with your kids or you can invite family and friends over to turn your Easter egg decorating into a party. So if you are getting ready for Easter here are some unique ways to decorate your Easter eggs-

* Layer it on-You can put several rubber bands or stickers on your uncolored egg and then begin dyeing it. After a few dips into color remove some of the rubber bands or stickers and then dye again. The result is a multi-tonal and layered effect with the colored dye.

* Rubber cement your eggs-This technique is similar to using wax or crayons on your hard boiled eggs but is much more simple to do. Just layer on some rubber cement in areas of the egg that you want to not be dyed. When the egg is colored the way you want it to simply peel off the rubber cement for a unique effect.

* Birthday candles and Easter eggs really do mix-You can use the small birthday candles to decorate your eggs. For a fun polka dot effect simply light some multi-colored birthday candles. Once the candles are dripping wax you can use them to make polka dots all over your eggs for a fresh springtime look.

* Marbling your eggs-This is another easy technique that can have your eggs looking spectacular! After mixing your egg dyes simply spray in a generous amount of cooking spray on top of the dye. When you are dying your eggs they will emerge from the color with a beautiful marbled effect.

* Glitter and sprinkle your eggs-This is a no dye method that leaves you with unique Easter eggs. Spray your eggs with adhesive and roll them carefully through the glitter. You can also use cake decorating sprinkles to make your eggs look extra delicious however it is recommended that you use this method for blown out eggs since spray glue is not considered edible.

* Stencil it on-There are also many stencils that can be used to decorate your eggs. Basically the stencil must be small enough to fit up against the egg. You can then use a sponge, small paint brush or marker to decorate your Easter eggs. When you are finished carefully pull away the stencil to reveal your masterpiece.

* Dress your eggs in style-There is no reason to stop with the everyday when it comes to decorating these Easter ovids. You can add feathers, fur and pieces from a boa to dress up your eggs. Simply cut some small pieces that will fit onto the egg. You will need some patience though since gluing on feather and boa pieces can be time-consuming. The result is well worth it however with one of a kind Easter eggs.

* Make your eggs the centerpiece-You can really dress up your eggs with edible paste. Simply combine 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar with 1 cup of water to. You can use the paste as an adhesive to attach edible sugar flowers to your Easter eggs and display them on a dessert buffet. Edible sugar flowers can be purchased from a local bakery or are carried at some craft stores.

Looking for more Easter activities? visit for crafts, coloring pages, recipes, poems, and the opportunity to share your best Easter memories.


Are Growing Pains Real?

Do you have a child that wakes up screaming in the middle of the night? Children under the age of ten often experience a condition know as 'growing pains'. Many people do not believe in this mysterious pain, but many others do believe in it. Growing pains are not a disease and right now there is no evidence to support the fact that some people say their children are experiencing these pains. Do not just brush your child off when they are complaining about them, however. Simply comforting them and doing little things like massaging their legs or putting heat packs on their legs may be all they need to soothe the pain.

By the time children reach their teenage years, the growing pains typically stop. It is important to recognize that not every child will experience this phenomenon. However, sometimes growing pains are evidence of another underlying condition that is quite serious.

What are growing pains?

Growing pains normally reside in the legs and they cause the legs to throb and ache. Some children describe them as cramping in the legs similar to the pain you experience from tight muscles or a 'Charlie horse.' The pain typically happens in both legs and it can be intense, causing the child to wake up crying in the middle of the night. Headaches and abdominal cramping often are part of the pain they experience with the leg pains. The pain occurs in the middle of the night or in the early evening.

How to treat growing pains

Although many people do not believe that growing pains exist, they are very real to children that have a mysterious pain in their legs. Parents can treat this condition by doing the following:

* Exercise. One of the best ways to help relieve the pain in the legs is to encourage exercise. Make sure your children are getting plenty of exercise each day in order to keep the body growing properly. Exercise also helps to get the mind off the pain they may be feeling and the soreness they will experience will come from exercise.

* Massage their legs. Another thing you can do to help relieve the pain in their legs is to start massaging their legs each day before they go to bed. A gentle massage is a great way to reassure them that you are always going to be there for them and you will try to take away their pain.
* Hold them. Sometimes children just need to be held. While they aren't babies anymore, having a little time to cuddle up in your arms is a reassuring way to show them you care.

* Stretching. Another great way to relieve the pain in the legs is to teach your children how to stretch their legs. Stretching helps to keep the muscles limber and loose, allowing them to experience less pain when they are exercising. Make stretching part of your daily routine and encourage your children to stretch with you each morning and each evening before bedtime.

* Warm bath. Laying in a warm bath can relieve muscle pain. Heat is a great way to soothe sore muscles. Use a heating pad if they wake up in the middle of the night with growing pains. Just make sure you turn it off once your child falls asleep.

* Pain relievers. If nothing else seems to work, try using a mild pain reliever. Tylenol is a great pain reliever for muscle pain.

Should you consult a doctor?

If your child has persistent pain and it lasts longer than 24 hours, see a doctor. There may be a serious problem. Always see a doctor if the pain is caused from an injury like a fall on the playground. Swelling, redness, tenderness, limping, and other signs are symptoms of a serious condition and you should seek medical attention.

This article is not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional

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