Thursday, August 25, 2011

Home-Made Spaghetti Sauce

We're not much of tomato eaters in this house. Every so often my husband will eat a sliced tomato on a sandwich but that's about as far as it goes. I recently saw a recipe for home made tomato sauce on OurKidsMom and wanted to try my hand at making my own sauce! This recipe is crazy good and thick so it actually sticks to your pasta! My toddler finished her plate and even asked for seconds which isn't usual! :) 

And for a simpler way to skin these bad boys, a trick that wasn't quite new to me.. Get a pot of water to a rapid boil and drop in your tomatoes. Let simmer for about 45 seconds and then remove and set aside to cool off. Pinch off the ends and give a slight squeeze. Voila!! They pop right out of their skin.
Recipe is credit of ( We skipped the meat & mushrooms!)
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (skip for vegetarian)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/3 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
  1. Brown beef over medium heat. Drain off fat. (again… skip this step for vegetarian. We did and it was fantastic!)
  2. In a large pot, combine beef, salt, sugar, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and mushrooms. Simmer at a low heat setting for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Serve sauce over spaghetti.

YUM! :) 

Friday, August 12, 2011

snackTAXI review and giveaway

My husband takes a lunch to school/work most days and for a while he was bringing Tupperware containers and forgetting them in the car (Yea,Gross!) So he started taking disposable baggies and not only was that getting expensive, but c'mon..we quit using disposables to save our money (Err.. TRY to save money, but have you seen how cute cloth diapers are?!) and also to save our precious planet ;) So, why not ditch the sposie baggies too?

As most of you know, I recently co-hosted a Big Latch On event with Mother Earth Baby here in Syracuse! I contacted Erin at snackTAXI who was more than generous in sending me 3 sets for the event and this blog of mine! How sweet is she?! 

For review I was sent a Sandwich Sack which measures 7.5"W x 6"H and a Snack Sack  which measures 6"W x 4.5"H. These are huge compared to some snack/sandwich bags. I was able to fit TWO sandwiches into on sandwich sack and about 15 ounces (that's almost the entire container of peanuts) into the snack sack & still easily close the high quality velcro tab!

 My almost 2 year old loves these! She really likes the bright colors and that they are easy enough for her to open and close independently! When we're not using them for snacks and PB&J she puts small toys, cell phones, keys and hair bows in them!  I love that these will pay for themselves in just a couple of months! Ranging in price from 6.95 for a snack sack and 9.00 for a sandwich sack. They not only come in kiddie prints but they are great for working adults who don't want to borrow their child's snack sack covered in abc's&123's! 

These "Food movers" do travel very well! snackTAXI fits perfectly in our diaper bag & we have yet to have any kind of yucky mess! 

snackTAXI was created back in 2003 when all three of her children started school..that's over 500 packed lunches each year! Something needed to be done to stop the Ziploc from going to landfill and that is when the home-based business began! 
  • All materials are lead, phthalate and BPA free!
  • Hand wash or Machine wash (with unscented detergent) "As with anything that gets washed, they will last longer with hand washing and air drying, but they are quite durable any way you wash them!"
Other products by snackTAXI include... 


The rules are easy! 
Be a GFC follower, US Residents only, pleas & 18years or older!

Visit snackTAXI, and let me know which print(s) are your favorite!

Extra Extra:
(+1) - "Like" snackTAXI on Facebook.
(+1) - "Like" MMR on Facebook.
(+3) - Subscribe to my blog via e-mail.
(+5) - Blog about this giveaway! Please include a link to the giveaway...and a link to your blog!
(+1) - Tweet about this giveaway. This can be done 2x daily! Please include a link to your tweet!
(+1) - Share this giveaway on Facebook this can be done 2x daily! Please include a link to your post!
(+1) - Enter any of my other giveaways. One entry per giveaway.
(+1) - +1 this blog post! (it's just below the post next to the comment button!)

Giveaway will end 8/26 at 11:59 pm est. Goodluck!! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Instead Softcup Menstrual cup! Review & Giveaway!

 I gave birth to my first child, a baby girl on November 7th 2009 & did not regain a menstrual cycle until she turned 18 months old! I had decided I did not miss the annoying part of removing a tampon which when your flow was not heavy enough, the tampon would scratch and cause a drying feeling as I pulled it out, I was tired of the odor tampons leave with you, leaks and worrying about forgetting the tampon and getting TSS. I wanted to try to go the reusable cup route but it was incredibly difficult to get the hang of the first couple of tries. Knowing we had a beach day planned I wanted to make sure I had something I knew I could do right and that would be reliable. I stopped at the local drug store and grabbed a box of Softcups! 

I actually never had the opportunity to try these for my period (before baby.) However, paired up with some Pre~seed we used Softcup to help conceive our Daughter. Like I've mentioned before, we have some sort of fertility problem. It's not been solved yet but something is clearly wrong. After becoming a seasoned TTCer on Fertility Friend I had seen numerous posts about putting the two together to use as a fertility aid! Two weeks following a miscarriage on my 21st birthday, January 24 2009...we made our first and only attempt at pairing the two & two weeks later I was extremely surprised to find out it worked. There's no medical proof that is what worked but I KNOW that's what did it! (Seriously, have you guys considered teaming up and selling a fertility aid package?! hint hint! )  

** EDIT! Thank you to Elisabeth for noticing my ramble and not mentioning the HOW TO part of using this as a fertility aid. We simply inserted it just after intercourse before any fluids could escape! Sorry for the TMI but if you're trying desperately to conceive..usually you've heard it all. I actually squeezed about 2 pea sized amounts of pre-seed into the cup right before inserting it. 

ALSO, I did not note that the easiest, mess free way to remove the softcup, although definitely not necessary, would be in the evening during a shower. However, it can be done easily without a mess without taking a shower! 

More recently I've started using Softcup for my actual period & I must say these beat the stuffing out of tampons! They go in extremely easy where as the reusable ones take some getting used to and if you're in a rush and don't have time to spend learning the technique, this is your best bet! They also come out super easy and don't make you run to your husband telling him you think it's never going to come out..(that totally didn't happen to me!) Another pro, you can actually have clean intimate time with your partner when wearing the softcup, unlike tampons or reusable cups due to the size! I cannot say enough about this menstrual cup & wish more women were as open to trying them.

 If only there were something that might encourage you to try a giveaway or something! Well, it's a good thing you've stuck around to read this because now is your chance to win a pack! The softcup company was generous enough to not only donate TWO CASES of softcups for our Syracuse, NY Big Latch On event..they are also going to give THREE of my readers a package of softcups! Nicee, huh? 

Buy Some!

Win Some!
Mandatory entry- Must be a public GFC follower (right sidebar!) & Must "Like" Softcup Facebook page & thank them for the giveaway at Modern Mama Reviews!

Extra Extra! 
Follow this blog by email *in the right sidebar* - 2 extra entries
"Like" MMR on facebook
Post this giveaway on your personal facebook wall, share permalink- 2x/day 1 entry each
Share this giveaway on a message board and share the link- 2 entries
Tweet this giveaway up to 2x/day- 1 entry each

Winners will be chosen via on 8/23 at 11:59pm! Goodluck!! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Baby Bond Review & Giveaway!

I'm not typically a Mama who worries about covering up when nursing in public. In fact most of the time when I'm attempting to cover up, I expose more of myself than I would have if I had just pulled my shirt out of the way and fed my Daughter! 

I recently got to try out the BabyBond Nursing Sash! I so wish I had one of these a long time ago! My Daughter, Layla is now 21 months old and although I consider myself to be somewhat of a pro at getting her on and off without exposing much of anything, sometimes I find the need to use a little extra something, like when we're at dinner with certain family members who tend to look at me like I just started doing a strip-tease or something! 

I was sent the BabyBond Couture 

The Couture is a one size sash that comes in 5 colors! My daughter isn't a huge fan of covers draped over her face unless it's only purpose is to block the sun from her eyes! So this is a godsend for beating the heat or just being able to make some eye contact without fighting the cover!
Although it did take a little more practice to get used to than placing a simple cover around my neck, this is an amazing creation and I truly do love it! You simply place the sash over your preferred shoulder, wrap around your waist, slip through the loop to tighten & then separate the layers to nurse your baby, (or toddler!)
* it just so happens that this time the sun was in her eyes when we took the picture* Whoooops! ;)
This can also be used as a belly band so you can lift your shirt without exposing your belly & back! 
I'll add a photo of that this evening!

Here is a quick demo video from their website! 

The Original! 

This comes in 4 different sizes and 3 colors! 
"BabyBond Original™ is worn like a sash, functioning like a nursing top. Nurse from the top of your shirt. Separate the layers of fabric to achieve latch on. Double panel keeps breast covered above & below. Belly & back remain covered with your own shirt. Built-in 9 x 12″ double layer terry velour burp cloth. Stores in matching pouch."

The Flex

Also, 4 sizes & 3 colors!
"BabyBond Flex™ is worn like a sash, functioning like a nursing top. Nurse from the top of your shirt. Separate the layers of fabric to achieve latch on. Double panel keeps breast covered above & below. Belly & back remain covered with your own shirt. Removable 9 x 12″ double layer terry velour burp cloth. Able to attach any cloth or wear without cloth attached. Stores in matching pouch."

BabyBond covers mom, not her baby.
Privacy without isolation.
After all, dining is social.
Nurse. Converse. Bond

Buy it!

Interested in trying the Baby Bond? Baby Bond has a discount code for you to use.  If you enter Modern at the time of purchase you get a discount of  25% off! Sweeet!  
Purchase Here!


Baby Bond wants to share the love and offer one of you guys your choice of Original,Couture or Flex in your choice of color! *depending on availability*

To Enter follow these simple rules! 

Mandatory Entries: 
Must be a Google Friend Connect follower of Modern Mama Reviews 
Must "Like" BabyBond on Facebook and Thank them for the Giveaway at MMR
Go to the website and tell me which style & color you would choose if you won!
* These three must be left as one comment, like this*
"I'm a GFC Follower! I liked & thanked Babybond and I would choose..."

Extra Extra!
"Like" Modern Mama Reviews on Facebook- 1 extra entry
Follow Modern Mama by email (Right side bar!) 2 extra entries
Make a purchase at babybond and leave your order number! -10 extra entries
* 25% off using code Modern
Share this giveaway on your personal facebook wall!  Leave a new comment with permalink in as your entry. *up to 4 entries a day*
Tweet this giveaway! Include permalink in comment! *up to 4 entries a day!
Blog about this giveaway for 3 additional entries!

Contest will end August 19th at 11:59 pm!
Winner chosen via!