Saturday, April 17, 2010

Free Potty Training DVD

I am soooo glad my children are potty trained. We had a little book that had a button you pushed and it sounded like a toilet flushing. Quite comical actually.

I was searching the net and found this FREE DVD from Huggies for potty training
success, wish I would have had something like this!
So here it is for you! 


Friday, April 16, 2010

Travel, Leisure, Entertainment network

I need a vacation, a REAL vacation, not Disney or Sea World, something relaxing for me. I haven't had one since I was pregnant with my oldest who is now 5. It's been entirely too long.  I need to get away but because of our business we can't until Fall. That's good because it'll give me plenty of time to find a good deal since we now have a family of 4. 

I came across a travel,leisure,entertainment network for Discount Vacationing and Leisure activities. It's like face book for travel. Very cool, there are groups you can join and you have a personal page where you can upload music or videos.
When you join, look me up. My name on there is Time4mommy!
disclosure - brought to you by all opinions are 100% my own 

Go-Gurt Simplify your life Prize pack & coupons!

New Simply… Go-Gurt is made from simple ingredients moms look for and contains no high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors or flavors. Each convenient portable yogurt tube contains a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Simply stated, Simply… Go-Gurt is a good-for-you, low fat yogurt snack that you can feel good about giving to your kids.

New Simply… Go-Gurt is available in two kid-friendly flavors, Strawberry and Mixed Berry.

We tried the Strawberry Go-gurts and they were YUMMY!
Very portable too.

Here is a Coupon for $1 off!

Simply… Go-Gurt, prize pack, information and additional prize pack to give away were all given to me from Yoplait through MyBlogSpark for my honest opinion.

Yoplait is allowing me to give a Taking Time for Mommy Reader a “Simplify Your Life” prize pack that includes a pocket Etch a Sketch, weekly planner and a seat back organizer.

Want to win? Mandatory Entry Please be a follower via GFC, twitter, facebook, OR subscribe to Taking Time for Mommy's newsletter and share a simple truth about parenting.

Extra Entry - Follow Taking Time for Mommy on Twitter HERE
Extra Entry - Follow Taking Time for Mommy on FaceBook HERE
Extra Entry - Follow Taking Time for Mommy on Google Friend Connect
Extra Entry - Follow my other blog Mommy Reads too Much on Google Friend Connect
5 Extra Entries - Signing up for our weekly Newsletter (form to the right)
3 Extra Entries -Fan our writer Tawdra Kandle on Associated Content and comment on one of her articles Here
2 Extra Entries - Comment on any non-giveaway post on either Taking time for Mommy or Mommy Reads Too Much

Giveaway will end on May 2nd at 11:59pm. The winners will be chosen by and s 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.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tax Day Survival Tips & Free Coffee!

Get your Free Sample of Dunkin Donuts' New flavor Dunkin' Turbo
With the tax-filing deadline approaching, don’t panic if you haven’t completed your return. Here are some Tax Day Survival tips to help you avoid stress and enjoy a “delicious” return.

1. Set aside some quality tax time. Brew a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts® coffee at home, find the materials you need to prepare your taxes, and retire to a quiet spot to get started. You can complete your return manually on paper, with Free File, or commercial software. If you use a tax professional, make sure to gather all your materials before sitting down with him or her.

2. Consider an extension. If, for any reason, you can’t file your income tax return on time, simply request a filing extension by April 15th. This gives you six more months to complete your return and avoid late filing penalties. Use Form 4868, which you can get at But you still must pay now what tax you’ll owe to avoid late payment penalties.

3. Check out new tax breaks for certain 2009 purchases. If you bought a home, you may qualify for a tax credit. If you bought a new car, you may be able to deduct the sales tax. Find details about these new breaks at

4. File electronically. To get your tax refund as quickly as possible, file your income tax return electronically and request that the refund be deposited directly in your account. You can have the deposit split among two or three accounts, including bank accounts, IRAs, health savings accounts, Coverdell education savings accounts, and a TreasuryDirect® account for I bond purchases.

5. Adjust your tax withholding or estimated taxes. Is it bad to be owed a tax refund? It’s nice to have the extra cash now, but getting a refund means you’ve really made an interest-free loan to Uncle Sam. A better strategy is to adjust your tax withholding or estimated taxes for this year so you pay an amount that is closer to the amount of tax owed; this gives you the use of your own money throughout the year.

6. Contribute to your retirement fund. The tax year is over but it’s not too late to put money in a regular or Roth IRA for 2009. Assuming you’re eligible, a contribution to a traditional IRA made by April 15th is deductible on your 2009 return. If you opt for a Roth IRA contribution, you can’t deduct it but will build up tax-free income for retirement.

7. Reap eco-credits. If you added insulation, energy-efficient windows, or solar panels to your home, you not only reduced energy costs but also may now qualify for a tax credit. The credit limit for installing solar panels and other alternative energy additions is 30% of cost; for other improvements, there’s a $1,500 cap. The tax credit reduces your tax bill dollar for dollar.

8. The standard deduction isn’t standard anymore. If you don’t itemize, you may be able to bulk up your standard deduction by adding amounts for being a senior, paying property taxes on your home or sales tax on a car purchase, or for suffering a loss in a federal disaster. But you’ll have to complete a new form, Schedule L, to total up your standard deduction.

Barbara Weltman is an attorney, prolific author with such titles as J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes, J.K. Lasser’s 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business, and trusted professional advocate for small businesses and entrepreneurs. She is also the publisher of Idea of the Day® and monthly e-newsletter Big Ideas for Small Business® at and host of Build Your Business radio. Follow her on Twitter at BarbaraWeltman.

© The J.M. Smucker Company.

© 2010. DD IP Holder LLC (as to Dunkin’ Donuts and all other trademarks, logos and trade dress of DD IP Holder LLC) used under license.

How to Outsmart Your Picky Eater

Guest Post
By Missy Chase Lapine
Author of The Sneaky Chef

One day, my youngest daughter had strep throat, and in the time-honored tradition of mothers everywhere, I hid her foul-tasting medicine in some chocolate pudding. As I watched her swallow it without protest, I couldn't help thinking about all the wars I had fought to get my kids to eat a fabulous grilled salmon or delicious carrot soup for dinner. Like other American children, mine had learned to run in horror from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish and legumes. It dawned on me that if I wanted them to grow up healthy and fit, I would have to take this "hiding" idea a step further. If it worked for healthy medicine, I reasoned, why couldn't it work for healthy food? And as I looked at the bigger picture, I knew there had to be a way to rescue dinner hour from being a battlefield, but without giving up on getting my kids to eat nutritiously. As a mother, this was a battle I couldn't afford to lose.

Thus was born The Sneaky Chef. I compiled a list of kids' favorite foods, the ones they would eat without resistance. I then came up with List B -- "superfoods," the world's healthiest ingredients. And finally: How could I hide the items on List B inside List A? How could I conceal the foods they should eat inside the foods they would eat? After trying out hundreds of ideas in my own test kitchen, I came up with the secret: As long as they couldn't see, smell or taste anything too different, they would eat what was placed in front of them without a fight.

Through careful testing, I eventually perfected the art of 13 hiding methods such as pureeing, using foods that hide well, and using visual and taste "decoys" to give food irresistible kid appeal. In the "make-aheads" -- the recipe within a recipe that I worked into almost every dish -- I made sure I used superfoods, which are ingredients that pack the most nutritious punch. Among them are spinach, which contains iron, calcium, folic acid and vitamins A and C; blueberries, which contain antioxidants, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium; cauliflower, which is packed with vitamin C, folate and fiber, and which fights disease and enhances immunity; and sweet potatoes, which stabilize blood sugar levels and contain vitamin B and folates. The basic principle was that if I wanted to eat smart, I had to buy smart, so I kept as many of the superfoods in my kitchen as possible all the time.

The way I looked at this endeavor was that I was a warrior going toe to toe with the food giants, companies that threw millions of dollars into seducing my kids into eating refined sugars and transfats and empty carbs. If they could "package" their products in a way that enticed little ones into craving soda instead of milk, salty snacks, deep-fried vegetables and ultra-sweet junk foods of every conceivable variety, why shouldn't I entice them right back? Except that I would fool my kids, not with the goal of making a profit, but with the intention that they grow up strong and healthy.

Now I had my mission. All the sneaky methods I used in my signature "make-aheads" were designed to present the healthiest ingredients in great tasting, good looking "packaging." I realized that the success of any recipe depends on the kids' willingness to eat it. Any time doubt reared its head, I simply did more homework. Thousands of scientific articles pointed to the benefits of eating better, aside from the obvious point that it makes your body feel better. Add to that fewer illnesses, increased brain power, enhanced qualities of attention, strengthened immunity, better mood, and more energy.

The following make-ahead is an Orange Puree that blends excellently in pizza (and pasta) sauce, to bring a big nutritional boost to meals that usually aren't thought of as health foods.

Orange Puree

1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and rough chopped
3 med-to-large carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks
2-3 tablespoons water

In medium pot, cover carrots and potatoes with cold water. Boil 20 minutes until tender. (Thoroughly cook carrots or they'll leave telltale nuggets -- a gigantic no-no for the Sneaky Chef). Drain vegetables. Puree on high in food processor with two tablespoons water, until completely smooth. Use rest of water to make a smooth puree.

Makes about 2 cups of puree. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze ¼ cup portions in plastic containers.

Power Pizza
My kids have never noticed that I'm sneaking carrots and yams into their sauce! I mix the healthy puree right into the bottled tomato sauce, then I let the kids add the toppings. You can even prepare this pizza ahead of time without cooking it, and then refrigerate for a day or two. Simply bake when you're ready to eat.

Makes 1 large pizza or 4 smaller pizzas:

1 store-bought pizza dough or 4 "Greek style" pocketless pitas (whole wheat preferred)
¾ cup store-bought tomato sauce
¼ cup Orange Puree (see recipe above)
1 to 2 cups low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and preheat a pizza stone or spray a baking sheet with oil.

Stretch pizza dough, or roll out with floured rolling pin on floured surface, to form a pie. Transfer to stone or baking sheet. If using pocketless pitas, place them on the prepared baking sheet. Combine tomato sauce with Orange Puree. Mix well. Spread ½ to 1 cup of the sauce mixture across the large pizza dough (¼ cup for each pita), then top with 1 cup of mozzarella (½ cup per pita). Cover and refrigerate at this point, or bake for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned. Allow to cool a few minutes, then cut into triangles and serve.

© Missy Chase Lapine, all rights reserved.

Missy Chase Lapine is the author of The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals (Running Press, March 2007). She is the former publisher of Eating Well magazine and the founder of a natural baby product line Baby Spa®. Missy is currently on the Culinary Arts faculty of The New School, in New York City, and operates The Sneaky Chef workshops, which is a program of cooking classes and demonstrations that teach families how to eat healthier. She is a contributor to Parenting Magazine,, and, and available to individuals, groups and businesses for private cooking instruction, workshops and personal coaching in The Sneaky Chef methods and recipes. Missy lives with her family in Westchester, New York. For more information visit

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fence Me In!

“You don’t mind driving the kids both ways to soccer practice today, do you?” User Mom said brightly. “I figure since you’re going there anyway. . .”

“I put you down as little Jane’s emergency contact with the school,” Assuming Mom announced to me. “I mean, you’re home all the time. . .”

We’ve all been there, haven’t we—stuck in that uncomfortable place where we’ve said “yes” one time too many. It happens to everyone, regardless of sex, race or creed, but in my humble opinion, we mothers are at a higher risk than other people. After all, we WANT to please people, to be acquiescent and kind. . until we DON’T want to be that way anymore. Until we’re so fed up that we stomp our feet, stick out our lower lips and roar—“NO!!! NO MORE!!!”

Boundaries are beautiful things. This is something I am learning more and more as time goes on. My former MO looked something like this: I would say yes, over and over again. . .I would keep a happy smile on my face at all times and offer to be there for everybody. . for crying out loud, I was the room mother for my oldest daughter’s class for five years running! And then something would happen—the last straw, as it were. And I was finished. I would simply end the relationship or the activity that was causing me such stress and angst.

I’m learning, though, that boundaries enable us to maintain some level of relationship or activity without giving of ourselves to the point of complete draining. It’s not easy; it’s a delicate balancing act. And it involves saying no with a smile on my face. To User Mom, I might have to answer brightly, “Well, yes, I do have to go anyway, but we have plans after practice, so it would probably be better for you to take little Sammy yourself.” For Assuming Mom, I would likely would warn her that I can’t commit to being home if the school nurse has to call. Of course, if I were home, I would be happy to help out.

I struggle with not holding grudges against the people who continue to assume that I’m there to make their lives easier. I work hard to maintain those friendships at the same time that I maintain those boundaries. It’s wonderful when the reward is a true relationship of give and take, where neither party feels exploited or presumptuous.

When you intentionally create and maintain boundaries in your relationships, you’ll be far less likely to experience frustrations that build to the point of explosion. Practice it. Say “no” at least once a week. Say it with a smile and without guilt.

Sometimes being fenced in isn’t half bad.


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 resident writer for Taking Time for Mommy. View more of her Articles HERE



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