Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dessert Flavored Teas from California Tea House



Chocolate Chai, Lemon Meringue Pie, Tiramisu and Vanilla Creme. Sound like calorie laden desserts? Guess again. These are the latest and tastiest teas from California Tea House and they come at a perfect time when us dietiers are trying to steer clear of the holiday calorie traps yet still want a sweet treat. 


I tried these teas during a week when I especially needed some comfort. The holiday stress (shopping, bills, carpooling) was really taking a toll on my body. Sitting down with a steaming cup of tea was a blissful experience and knowing that I could enjoy all the intense flavors of my favorite desserts for almost non exisistant calorie counts, was awesome. 

Want to try these teas, and other from California Tea House at a discounted price? Use the code  MAMARESCUE10 at checkout for a 10 percent discount. These are perfect stocking stuffers! 





Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Muppet Mania at the El Capitan!


If you haven't seen The Muppets yet, or plan to see it again, do yourself a favor and see it at the Historic El Capitan in Hollywood! Before every show, you'll be treated to a holiday sing along (and jingle-bell along) featuring none other than Kermit and Miss Piggy themselves. Seriously - they're right there on the stage and watching the kids nearly jump out of their seats at the site of these famous felt puppets is enough enjoyment in itself. At the end of the sing a long - it snows! That's all I'll say for now. You'll have to experience the magic yourself.

And if that wasn't enough, then the movie starts. All your favorite muppets are back in an all new movie with all new adventures. New muppets are introduced and the cameos come fast and furious. You'll love trying to keep track of all the celebs that pop up along the way.

Pay a bit extra and after the movie you'll get a ticket to the Most Sensational Muppet Party at the next door Disney Soda Fountain where you'll be served bite sized sandwiches fit for the biggest (and littlest) muppet fans. Test your luck at muppet trivia and decorate your own muppet cupcake. Learn what a What Not Is, and how muppeteers master the art of making these little guys come to life.

Tickets are on sale through the El Capitan box office or by phone. Check online for a full list of showtimes

Monday, November 28, 2011

Just for Teens Work Out Class at Cardio Barre

I know a lot of my mom friends are looking for something to do with their tweens during the long holiday break, so check out the new class at Cardio Barre Beverly Hills designed especially for 14 year olds and up. Go ahead and take the class with your teen, and you'll get the benefit of a great work out and some quality mom and me time. The classes are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 pm and are one hour long. 




Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vampire Cupcakes in Honor of Breaking Dawn Part 1


I can't help it. I love the Twilight series. I read all the books. I might have even re-read some of them. And, I can't deny that I am excited to see the next installment of the movie series, Breaking Dawn, in theaters this Friday.

If you're going to see the movie this weekend, consider these delicious vampire themed cupcakes as a pre-movie snack. The recipe is easy. Here's what you'll need.

One package of vanilla cake mix
Vanilla or cream cheese frosting
One can of cherry pie filling
Toothpicks
Cupcake tins

Make 12 dozen cupcakes as directed on the back of the cake mix box. Once cooled, frost as usual. Dunk a toothpick into the cherry pie filling and poke two holes into the top of each cupcake. Drag the toothpick along the top of cupcake for each hole, so it resembles vampire bite marks.

Serve the cupcakes with a small side of the cherry filling for dunking.

And there you have it. Super yummy and super easy.

*Photo courtesy of BakingBites.com

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Duggars - When Is Enough, Enough?

I wrote this blog about a year ago for Momlogic.com, and my feelings remain the same. Yours?

You know those dramatic double takes that people do in the movies? Well, I may have actually done one when I was in the grocery store last week and saw a headline announcing that the Duggars are open to -- and considering -- having yet another child.

The whole thing is making me ask, "When is enough ... enough?" And I'm sure I'm not the only one.


Let me first say, hats off to Michelle Duggar. She's an incredible woman, and most people couldn't do half of what she does in one day. I know I can't.


But consider this: The Duggars' nineteenth baby, Josie, was born prematurely and spent weeks in the hospital before she was able to go home and join her eighteen brothers and sisters. On top of that, she had a perforated bowel and digestive problems that threatened her life. At that point, most of America thought the Duggars would call it quits on their baby-making days. Not so.


Both parents are in their mid-to-late 40s. When Josie is 20, they will be in their late 60s. Sad to think, but they probably won't live to see many of their grandchildren, or be fit enough to wrestle around with their kids on the playground without some serious aches and pains. Is it even possible to attend emotionally to that many kids and give them the attention that each one needs as a unique individual? Most of us have trouble doing so with just one or two kids.

Image what it's like with nineteen ... or twenty.


And what about the social implications? "People think we are overpopulating the world," said Jim Bob in a recent issue of People Magazine. "We are following our convictions." Point well taken, Jim Bob, but is it fair to the children -- and to your wife, who stands to have another bout of preeclampsia and risk having a fatal stroke? What would you do as a single father of 20?


Yes, the Duggars might "want" to have more kids, but what will the quality of life be like for that twentieth child? Help me out here, moms. What do you think about the fact that the Duggars are openly trying for baby number 20?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Nightmare Before Christmas in 4D



It's just not Halloween without the Nightmare Before Christmas, the 1993 cult classic lovingly and magnificently directed by none other than Tim Burton.* And, if you live in the Los Angeles area, you're in luck, because the movie is showing at the historic El Capitan Theater for a limited engagement in (wait for it) 4D. Yes, 4D. Aside from the brilliance of Disney 3D, there is the added elements of lights, fog, snow and more that makes you feel like you are really part of the movie.

The story follows Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. Bored of doing the same thing year after year, he discovers the wonders of Christmas and enlists the help of his ghouls and goblins to recreate this holiday which is so new, and strangely exciting, to him.

If you've never been to the El Capitan before, that is a treat in and of itself. Right across from the hopping Hollywood and Highland Center, its a piece of old Hollywood. Pick up your tickets from an old fashioned ticket booth. Inside, you are greeted by a beautiful art deco lobby. The stage area follows a similar motif and is always decked out to match the theme of that month's movie.

In short, don't be a Halloween grinch! Get in the spirit, and go out and see this today! While later shows might be crowded, they offer some great matinee options as well. Spend a bit extra for a VIP ticket and get a souvenir bucket full of popcorn and your choice of soda, without waiting in line.

After the show, check out an all new display of Nightmare Before Christmas props and collectibles. You can even check out a new XBOX game based on the movie.
Tickets are available online and in person. The show runs now through October 31st.

*If you have not had a chance to catch LACMA's Tim Burton Exhibit, featuring pieces, sketches and more from all of his work, you still have a few days. The exhibit is open through October 31. Best to order your tickets online, because it's been selling out each day!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My New Beauty Find – Ciel at the SLS Hotel


I recently had the opportunity to take part in a Mommy Blogger event at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. They’re right near the Beverly Center. I’ve passed it a million times, but never had the chance to drop in.
The setting is totally Los Angeles – posh, perfect and totally chic. Loved it. But immediately it looked like something that I just could not fit into the budget – that is until they showed me their new flash service menu for their spa, Ciel. It was amazing. Each service is under $40 and all of them take just 30 minutes. Choose from a facial, mini massage, manicure or pedicure. Check back and the menu changes so you can sample all of their signature services from month to month. For a small price you can live it up and experience the Ceil spa and all it has to offer. It’s a great escape and fits perfectly into your everyday busy schedule.
I chose the mini facial for my flash treatment and was not disappointed. While only 30 minutes, I came out feeling refreshed and my skin was glowing. They even gave me a luxurious hand and arm massage while my clay mask was working its magic. Loved the products a ton, and will probably end up buying the lavish vitamin K serum they used on my face to reduce redness. It really worked. Pores be gone!
Would also recommend Ciel for a quick girlie get a way. Sometimes, you don’t have to have a marathon brunch to catch up with your girlies. Just quick mani, pedi and glass of champagne is all you need.   
The SLS Hotel is located at  465 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Cardio Barre Challenge SUCCESS



Harder than it looks...trust me. Ballerinas are bad asses.

So, my two-month Cardio Barre challenge has come to an end, and what do I have to show for it? A lot ladies. A lot. I lost pounds and a lot of inches. I didn’t even have to stand on the scale or take a tape measure to my body to know that it had changed. I felt it and people were noticing. I even had to buy new pants. If that’s not proof, I don’t know what is. When I finally did get the tape measure and scale out, the proof was definitely there. Am I going to talk numbers? No. It’s not about that right now. All I know is that I feel amazing. It’s been a complete attitude changer for me. I feel strong physically and mentally. I have more energy than I’ve had in a while.
For those of you who don’t know, I went to Cardio Barre classes for two months straight, for at least three days a week. In addition, I ate better and worked to take the time for myself that I needed.
Could you do it too? Of course! I realized too that anything you do in a group setting helps add to your success. The Cardio Barre ladies were like my posse.  If I didn’t show up for a class, they wanted to know why. When they saw me working hard, they said so. When they saw me slacking of, they said so! I was able to commiserate with other ladies right before class about how tired we were and how we didn’t want to sweat. And then right after the class talk the same ladies about how glad we were that we did it. 
Committing and starting an exercise routine is hard. But once you get into the groove it’s hard to stop. Is this specific challenge over? Yes. But, will I stop taking these classes? NO WAY! I can’t. I’m addicted. I never thought I’d say that about exercise.

Monday, September 19, 2011

WINNER ANNOUNCED! $50 Visa Gift Card from Dannon's Dan-o-nino!

And our winner is Tabathia! Thank you so much to all who entered. 
More great content and contests to come from Mama to the Rescue. 



[THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSE] Getting my kid to eat is like getting a cat to take a bath. It's hard. He's all over the place and just too busy to be bothered. When he eats, I have to make it count.  So, when I was given the chance to check out a new product from Dannon Yogurt called Dan-o-nino, I went for it.

Dan-o-nio is simply yogurt. No fillers. No additives. No weird colors. Just nutritious stuff that tastes good. But, where Dan-o-nino packs its punch is that it has 2 times the calcium of leading kids' yogurts, 2 times the amount of calcium in regular milk, plus vitamin D and lots of protein. Talk about making your snack count! I tried both the regular yogurt (available in four flavor varieties) and the yogurt smoothie (available in two flavor varieties). Both were eaten without a fuss. And both times he asked for more. That is a HUGE deal! Great tasting. I know, I had some. The cute little dinosaur on the front is a plus because my boy LOVES dinos. We saved the brightly colored cups after use, as suggested on their site, and planted a few seeds. They are sitting in our window sill right now. Science experiment! Check out their site for more fun games and ideas.

Want to try Dan-o-nino for yourself and buy some other healthful foods while you're at it? Enter to win a $50 VISA gift card by replying to this post below. Just tell me how you get your kid to eat well during the day, and you could win! Let's get this discussion going!

Contest starts NOW and ends September 28, 2011 11:59 PM PST.

NOTE: This post is sponsored by BabyCenter in conjunction with the BabyCenter Blog Network. All prizes and compensation are provided by BabyCenter and Dan-o-nino.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Halloween Is COMING!

Halloween is quickly approaching. We even had some candy corn last weekend. This is by far our favorite time of the year. So, here's a little taste of it for those of you who love it too.




Thursday, September 1, 2011

UPDATE to My UPDATE: Down a Pant Size!!


Hi Fellow Cardio Barre Challengers!

Just a super quick note to let you know that after a month, I am down an entire pant size!! Woo hoo! I am offiicially starting week two, and am now taking some advanced classes!

More SOON!
Christina

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

UPDATE: My Cardio Barre Workout Challenge

Feeling flexible, fantastic, and feisty! Ready for more classes!


Feel the burn! Yep, that's what I'm feeling - every time I go to my class. My instructor says a few choice sayings:

"Pain is weakness leaving the body," and "If you're muscles are shaking, it's working," and "Pain is your body changing. Fight through the burn."

Never thought of it that way. Truly. So, these little extra words bring big confidence to my workouts. Still striving to go to three to four classes a day. Eating healthfully on WW still, but slacked a little on my week long vacation. Didn't feel too guilty since I was still getting my work outs in. Not at class, but on my own.

Five pounds lighter. My endurance is totally up. Just went to Sequoia National Park and hiked several miles. A-okay and was not as sore as the rest of my family the next day. Also did some swimming and diving! Feeling just a bit more confident in my bathing suit! :) And, I'm totally more flexible. With every class, I can reach just a little bit more.

More soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My 60 Day Work Out Challenge with Cardio Barre

Repeat 100 times!
  

So, something hit me last week, after finishing my set of classes at Cardio Barre Beverly Hills - exercise is good.  After finishing just one week of classes, I had more energy, felt better and looked better.  I had a little bounce in my step, and I was enjoying how I felt. People were noticing. 

And so now, I'm embarking on a 60 day work out challenge! And, I want you to join me! It doesn't matter what you do, just get up and get active for at least 60 minutes a day, four times a week.  And, we'll check in with each other after each ten day increment.

My personal goal is to attend Cardio Barre classes 3-4 times a week, and supplement with walking at home. In addition, I am also following the Weight Watchers points program.

So, who's with me? Let's get moving! Share your goals below.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

5 Reasons to Visit the Cars 2 Experience

The Fiedlers are besties with Mr. McQueen. It's true.
Cars. Cars. Cars. My son is obsessed. We've probably watched the first movie a hundred times. He literally carries around a backpack filled with his Hot Wheels brand Cars toys - Mater, Lightning, Sally, Sarge, and more. So, when Cars 2 hit the movie theaters, we were beyond excited. We were seriously desperate for some more Cars material to quote and talk about.

And, when I found out that the El Capitan in Hollywood was not only showing Cars 2 in Disney 3D but they were also opening a whole new attraction called, The Cars Experience, we were besides ourselves. Yep, even me. I could not wait to go. Uh, neither could the kid.

Last week, we all had the chance to go down and check it for ourselves. It was like a mini Disneyland - every detail from the movie was right in from of us, and we could not help but feel a a part of it all. So, without further ado, here are the top five reasons you MUST go.


Meet the REAL cars characters - Meet life-sized Mater, Lightning McQueen, Finn McMissle and more. Judging by the excitement on my son's face, this might have been worth the price of the experience. He REALLY thought they were real and he talked to them like real people. It brought tears to my eyes. SO cute.

Cars Lego Mania - Build your own lego car and test its speed and strength in a series of crazy, multicolored tracks. Ours did not do so well, but it was fun to see it "explode" into a million pieces on the way down. This was my son's favorite attraction. He spent a looooooong time perfecting the perfect car.

Paint and Go Wild - Paint and color an actual car and scenes from the movie. There are also a ton of car themed arts and crafts. SO much fun!

Get Into the Movie - Thanks to Kodak, you can become a part of the actual movie. See the picture above. You can choose from three different scenes and then download a high res version at home. FREE.

Great Deal - The entire Cars 2 Experience is included with the price of the movie, and when you think about it, this is an amazing deal for the family. Nothing in the Cars Experience costs anything (except for food and stuff in the amazing gift shop)! So, feel free to try all of the attractions again and again and again. Lightning would want you to.

For more information and a complete schedule of show times, visit the El Capitan Theater website.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hooked on Cardio Barre

If you know anything about me, it's that I hate going to the gym. While I hate it, I still do it, because exercise is important. But, I find the gym boring, tedious, and there's no real motivation to get moving. Especially at an ungodly hour in the AM. This is why I fell in love with Cardio Barre - a unique, high energy/no impact exercise class that combines barre work and light weights with continual fat burning motion. 

So, how did I get here? I was recently invited to take a week long set of classes at the Cardio Barre Beverly Hills. I was hesitant at first because I am not used to taking group exercise classes, and the thought of having everyone see just how uncoordinated I am, was frightening. But, I accepted, and attended my first class on a Monday. There were a ton of classes to choose from at all hours of the day.

I was greeted by smiling faces who were genuinely excited for me to try out my first class. The instructors were awesome, and were totally encouraging and helped even me - the most uncoordinated person alive - feel at easy with the exercise routine. And, before I knew it, I was sweating like a mad woman, and enjoying the intense burn of the work out.  It felt so empowering to be pushing my body to those limits. It's high energy for sure, but ends with a nice cool down set to soft music. That was a really nice touch.

But the best part by far, was that with every class they offer free babysitting services. FREE. Basically, this leaves NO excuse for us moms. The play room is completely full with everything and anything you little one would want to play with, plus an endless supply of DVDs. And, if you have a smaller child (even an infant) they can handle that as well. 

Will I be going back? Yep! I'm challenging myself to a two month challenge. No less than three classes a week. I'll be checking back in to let you know how it goes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Top Five Carmageddon Deals and Savers

For all of you that are actually going to try and brave the freeways  this weekend - I feel sorry for you! As for those who are planning on staying in town - bravo! There are some amazing deals and savings going on this weekend at local eateries, hotels and more. So, without further ado, here's a round up of the top five best deals around. Check 'em out. Just sit back, relax and enjoy one of your first traveless weekends in a long time - well at least until the second stage of construction begins and we're faced with Carmageddon 2 next year.....

Hotel Palomar Los Angeles - The hotel's pivotal location on Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood is ideal for those who need (or want/dare?) to be on the Westside over the weekend or for work on Monday morning.  The ultra-chic yet friendly, comfortable hotel is within 4.05 miles of Santa Monica (to the west) and 4.05 miles of Beverly Hills (to the east). Here's what you get: a 2-day stay deluxe package for $239/night, or Vista Deluxe for $259/night, a clever $40.05 dining credit to enjoy BLVD 16's fabulously fresh, sustainable cuisine, complimentary valet parking ($60 value), $4.05 drink specials, including the Red Light, Green Light, Yellow Light and others, and Concierge Paul Wittenberg (AKA "Captain Carmageddon”) at the ready with insider tips and alternate routes to help you navigate LA on this highly unusual LA weekend. I've stayed here before and it's awesome, and quite the deal. 

Archlight Sherman Oaks - This place has got the best seat in L.A. for this rare opportunity to see the busiest freeway in California EMPTY!  ArcLight Sherman Oaks is offering a special "Carmegeddon Menu" this weekend that includes hummus, spinach and strawberry salad with goat cheese, and a delicious turkey burger. Thirsty? Enjoy their special "405" cocktail and the "traffic jam" martini. 

Palamino Westwood - Check out their 4.05 pizza and sangria deals. Aside from this, the restaurant really has a nice family atmosphere and other great dishes as well. Manga!

Gladstone's - Diners can choose from a select group of menu items priced at $4.05. Awesome for a place that's kinda known for their steep prices.

Body Wellness - Breath in and breath out. Body wellness is offering 1 FREE Yoga or Pilates class.
Make sure to call for appointments though at 310.4531221. This one is bound to fill up.




Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mashups Fruit and Veggie Smoothies Giveaway!

AND THE WINNER IS: LESLIE!! Leslie, please be on the lookout for a message from me, so that we can get your info and send you your prize. 


CONTEST NOW CLOSED



Yes, my first giveaway folks. What are you waiting for - enter!

Fruit. No problem. Veggies. Sometimes a struggle. That sums up my life with a two year old. In come the great people at Revolution Foods who just introduced their new Mashups Fruit and Veggie Smoothies. I was lucky enough to get a few samples before they came on the market, and my son loved the flavors - carroty chop, blueberry blitz, and beetbox berry. Even I liked them. Naturally I had to test try as well.

The best part was that all the ingredients were organic, and the product came in a nifty squeeze pouch, making the whole snack very portable. Perfect for the beach and the park. Also, if you put them in the freezer for a bit, you get a nice slushy treat. Would imagine that this method would be a nice trick for a lunch pale - frozen in the morning and thawed just right by lunch.

Wanna try Mashups yourself? Revolution Foods is giving one of my readers a variety pack of flavors. To enter, just reply below and tell us how you make sure your kids get healthy doses of veggies and fruit into their daily diet. Contest ends Tuesday, June 28, 2011.



Note: Revolution Foods supplied me with sample of Mashups Fruit and Veggie Smoothies to test out, but expected nothing from me in return. My opinions are my own!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Fiedlers Meet Plex, Foofa and Muno!

I know. I know. this is like the fiftieth time I've blogged about Yo Gabba Gabba. But they continue to amaze me. The family and I just got back from an art show, "Here Is My Art," put on by the cast, crew and talent behind YGG. The show featured some really neat, origional art work and props from the set. Needless to say we had a great time and even got to meet some of the characters. My son could not believe it. As far as he is concerned, these guys are REAL.

If you live in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend checking it out at Meltdown Comics on Sunset. The show runs through the 17th, and is definately worth the trip if you are a fan of the show.  Props to the talented and amazing Julia Vickerman for curating the show. Great job! We love ya!

Monday, May 23, 2011

What Stupid A** Thing Will Kids Think of Next?

planking = dumb

Maybe, I'm getting old. Maybe it's because I'm a mom, but I'm totally freaked out by this new fad I just heard about. It's called planking. Basically lying down on stuff like you are a plank. Why is this cool? I have no idea. Some dude in Australian just fell 10 stories to his death, trying to "plank" the rail of his balcony. Want to learn more about planking? Check out their Facebook page. An entire page dedicated to picks of people planking. What a waste of time. Maybe there's something I'm missing here. A deeper meaning? But I highly doubt it.

What is the matter with people? It's time like these I find myself uttering words I thought I'd never utter: "If your friends jumped off the side of a cliff, would you do it too?" I guess the answer is yes for some of us.

Just makes me wonder what the new "craze" will be when Joe is a teen. I only hope that he has half a brain to know, that doing stupid sh*t, doesn't make you cool!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Help I'm Drowning in ...TOYS

box of toysSqueak. Roll. Crash. 
I thought this only happened in movies, but there I was, flying through the air, in my bathrobe, as I tripped and fell, landing squarely on my butt (which thank god has some extra cushion) -- thanks to an oversized Tonka truck that was left by my son right in the middle of the hallway. Did I mention this happened at 6 AM on my bleary-eyed walk to the coffee maker?

Since when did I start living in a Toys "R" Us, rather than a two-bedroom Los Angeles apartment?

We are swimming in toys. It's hard to pinpoint when mass migration of toys to our tiny apartment started. It's as if they multiply when we are asleep. Could this be? Especially on the stuffed animal front. His bunny foo-foo did seem to be getting a little handsy with teddy last night.

Mind you, most of these toys seem to make NOISE, and lots of it. Our friends, sans kids, seem to get us the loudest ones. Thanks, guys. Super funny. Just wait until you have kids. Revenge is sweet. My son has a particularly loud toy which plays kid versions of pop favorites. Just yesterday, I was one "Wide Open Spaces" (by the Dixie Chicks) away from a nervous breakdown. And then there is the infamous Alex the Lion doll from "Madagascar" that screams "Hi, I'm Alex, the Alex," seemingly over and over again. Well, not seemingly, it really is over and over and over again.  I once heard my husband say it in his sleep. Seriously, that's how many times we hear it a day. It's invading his psyche.
And that Elmo that counts to ten and knows his alphabet. What a pretentious jerk.

If anyone needs me, I'll be in my closet hiding from the toys.

Repurposed from Momlogic.com

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Humming Along Just Fine

I've always hated birds. They scare me. I don't like them. They don't like me. So, it's only fitting that I have a kid who really, really likes them - a cruel trick from the gods, meant to soften me up to these feathered foes friends.
I now am the proud owner of a zebra finch (he's small and doesnt threaten me, as long as he's not flapping his wings) and several bird feeders. The latter of which are bringing quite a bit of joy to our house now that spring has arrived. I mean, I hate to say it. I have been a life long bird despiser. Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds is my ultimate nightmare. And once, when I was visiting Mexico City, I was attacked by pigeons. Attacked.
Anyway, my son loves watching the brilliantly colored hummingbirds that flock to our yard around this time of year. I can tolerate hummingbirds. They are like big bees - or so I tell myself. We made a trip to our local big buy store and were able to buy some reasonable priced feeders, but once I saw that the ready made food was more than a gallon of milk, I though there must be a way to make it at home. And, so there was. Check out this cool recipe courtesy of BirdWatching-Bliss.com. And, it makes for a great activity with the kids.
  1. Make sure your feeder is cleaned thoroughly before adding new solution.
  2. Boil 1 cup of water. (Moms only!)
  3. Stir 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar into the 1 cup of heated water.
  4. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  5. Cool, fill your hummingbird feeder, and add a few drops of colorful food coloring to attract the birds.
  6. Any leftover nectar can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
Note that following the 1 to 4 ratio is the best method, as it most closely mocks the nectar found in real flowers.
For added fun, take a few pics of the birds, and create your own nature journal.
*

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

Earth Day is here! But if you're like me, you try to treat everyday like earth day, not only for your family's health, but for future generations as well.

That's why this event is SO awesome - you can do good, get informed and have a little fun at the same time. Here's the low down:

The Great Cloth Diaper Change


Cloth diapers have come a long way in past 10 years, and it’s time to stand up and be noticed. Celebrate Earth Day, by joining the North American and International cloth diaper community on April 23rd, 2011 at 9AM PDT to set the Guinness world record for the most cloth diapers changed simultaneously. 

While this event will be happening in nearly 400 other locations through out the world, there is one happening right here in our own back yard at the Tree House Social Club in Los Angeles. Come and enjoy a high end raffle, food, beverages and an awesome playground for the kids. Check out the event's facebook page for the specifics.
 
You'll be doing something good for you and your kids, and if you still have doubts about the benefits of cloth diapers - check out this article from my fav source BabyCenter.
 

And if all else fails, check out the below statistics from our friends at the Real Diaper Association. The truth is not pretty, but it exists.  Knowledge is power people! 
  • In 1988, over 18 billion diapers were sold and consumed in the United States that year.  Based on our calculations (listed below under "Cost: National Costs"), we estimate that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the U.S.
  • The instructions on a disposable diaper package advice that all fecal matter should be deposited in the toilet before discarding, yet less than one half of one percent of all waste from single-use diapers goes into the sewage system.
  • Over 92% of all single-use diapers end up in a landfill.
  • In 1988, nearly $300 million dollars were spent annually just to discard disposable diapers, whereas cotton diapers are reused 50 to 200 times before being turned into rags.





Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Um, Uh....Yeah...

Lately Joe has been saying "yeah" instead of "yes". It's driving me nuts - because I know he got it from me. Then, today, I read an interesting article on BabyCenter about ums and uhs. Yep. That's what the study was about - using "um" and "uh" while explaining stuff to our kids. Sleeplessness and endless distractions will make you less articulate almost overnight. While I don't think I use these words (?), I might. And if I do, I'm covered. Read more here:

Saying "um" and "uh" to kids may aid learning

 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Art of Manliness Explained

This was one of my most favorite blogs that I wrote for momlogic.com and I'm reposting it, because well, I love it. 

Read it and let me know if you agree about what it means to be a man in today's world.



Could we be in the middle of a "manaissance" -- a time wherein a new kind of "manly dad" is learning how to step up to the plate? Brett McKay, founder of the website The Art of Manliness, thinks so.
His site gets hundreds of thousands of hits each week, yet despite being featured on CNN and garnering a heavy cult following, Brett is incredibly down-to-earth about his mission to inspire dudes to be better men -- and better dads. We sat down with him to talk about how dad's roles have changed in recent years (among other topics). Read on -- then show this to your man!

momlogic: How did the idea for the website come about?

Brett McKay: I was standing in Borders one night looking at men's magazines, and I realized that the topics they covered were exactly the same every month: How to get six-pack abs, how to score lots of women and something about Megan Fox's boobs (or whoever the babe of the moment was). I remember thinking, "Is this all there is to being a modern man?"

And I as looked around at the men my age, a lot of them seemed a little lost and directionless. Some of them had grown up without dads; they didn't have any male mentors, and the examples of men in the media were clueless buffoons or violent meatheads. They didn't know what a man was, and I realized I didn't have a clear idea, either. The art of manliness had stopped being passed down from generation to generation. I thought it was time for my generation to rediscover it. So I decided to start a different kind of men's magazine, one that didn't focus on cars and boobs, but instead had more substance and took seriously the idea of helping men become better, helping them reach their potential and find their way in the world -- while having fun, too!

ml: Why do you think there has been a resurgence of "manliness" recently?

BM: I think a lot of men are just fed up with the low expectations given to them these days. They're tired of being the butt of every commercial or sitcom joke. They're tired of the Maxim/Spike TV versions of masculinity. I also think that a generation of men who grew up without strong father figures is looking for guidance on how to be honorable men. Also, some sociologists argue that every generation ends up [being] like their grandparents' generation in some ways.

ml: How does this new manliness relate to family life?

BM: To me, being manly means being the best husband, father, friend, brother and son you can be. It's all about stepping up to the plate, taking personal responsibility for your life and being a contributing member of society and your family. I believe that a man should be the rock of the family. Not in the stoic "you can't squeeze tears from a stone" way, but by being the anchor of calm during life's storms, stepping up instead of hiding when your wife and kids need you, solving problems, taking care of what needs to be done and showing some leadership.

I definitely believe that marriage is an equal partnership, but too often these days, men who are afraid of coming off as chauvinistic (or are just lazy!) turn the "equal partnership" into the wife having to make all the decisions, all the time. The women I know, all across the feminist/nonfeminist spectrum, want a man to take charge of things sometimes.

In regards to fatherhood, being a "manly dad" means being available to your kids both physically and emotionally. Having dad around is important for both girls and boys, so dads should do the things they know they should but too often don't. Spend time with your kids. Play with them. Talk with them. Read with them. Be the best example you can be. Show your kids that being a good man not only means being strong and brave, but also being nurturing and empathetic.

ml: Amen! In your opinion, why are many of today's women drawn to manly men?

BM: I think biology plays a role; there's that evolutionary desire for a man who can be a capable provider and protector. What women really want is a guy who's emotionally healthy and mature, but also has that confident, take-charge kind of manliness that's truly attractive.

ml: We know that you don't have kids yet, but would like to someday. If you have a son, what will you teach him?
 
BM: If I had a boy, the way I'd instill the art of manliness in him is to read him stories about great men from history, teach him how to do manly stuff and, most importantly, spend quality time with him, modeling good manhood and mentoring him in manliness.

ml: What do you consider to be typical "manly" activities?

BM: Well, there's the typical stuff we think of -- woodworking, hunting, fishing, sports. But I think that a lot of different activities can be manly, so long as a man does them with gusto. Great art, literature and music have been created by manly men. The life of the mind can be manly. Video games and fantasy football? Not manly. Men need to get out and actually play football and a real guitar instead of playing pretend football coach and jamming on a plastic instrument.


Is your man a "manly dad"? Tell us why -- or why not.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rainbow Pancakes

My family spent a wonderful weekend with friends and while we were making pancakes for our large crew Sunday morning, I was reminded of this story.

Originally posted on Momlogic.com April 15, 2010

Mom, baker, blogger ... rabble-rouser? Apparently so.

When Minnesota's Amanda Rettke blogged about the adventurous task of baking rainbow pancakes for her children, the colorful recipe took off and was soon posted around the Web on various cooking sites.

And it's no wonder -- these things are fantastic! But what happened next was a big surprise: Amanda's blog received more than 500,000 hits -- and a ton of negative comments, ranging from "Gross!" to "You shouldn't be allowed to procreate if you're going to feed your kids junk!"
WTF?! Last we checked, this mom Just. Made. Pancakes. Turns out, there is a definite dark side to mommy blogging ... and poor Amanda walked right into the middle of it.

We sat down with Amanda to talk about her life as a mommy blogger ... and whether or not she'll make recipes like the infamous rainbow pancakes ever again!

momlogic: Tell us more about how your pancake blog-entry became so popular.
Amanda Rettke: I made the pancakes in October of 2009, and in February of this year they were featured on Swiss-Miss.com. Then it snowballed, and every food site from Slashfood.com to ohdeedoh.com had the picture up. I even saw them on The Insider!

ml: Can you share some of the good, the bad and the ugly of the comments?
AR: Meanest comments? "Food for people with no self-respect." "This is just GROSS!" "This woman should not be allowed to procreate." Nicest comments? Lots of folks mentioned that they were inspired to make these for their own children. Anytime someone tells me they are inspired, I get all sappy and smiley.

ml: What inspired you to make these pancakes?
AR: I was inspired by my kids! I had just made a rainbow cake for some friends, and the kids were obsessed with it! When they woke up that morning, they kept asking for rainbow cake -- to which I said no. But then I said, "How about pancakes?" The kids asked, "Can they be blue and green and red, Mom?!" [And I said,] "Well ... sure! We can make rainbows!"

ml: What is your response to the rainbow-pancake haters?
AR: At first, I was mortified. I had no idea that pancakes would inspire such mean in people! When folks started talking about what a horrible mom I was, I really started to feel lousy. But then I blogged about it in my series Things Successful Bloggers Do, and the feedback was thoughtful and encouraging and supportive! I started to put things back in perspective and understand that who I was as a parent was not represented in a picture of silly pancakes.

ml: Will the negative feedback discourage you from writing about your baking?
AR: No. I write and bake for a very specific audience, and this is people who love to consume massive amounts of sugar and/or give away massive amounts of sugar. I'm kidding. If anything, the feedback about these pancakes motivated me to be more educated! I want to make sure my kids have the best possible diet and are exposed to the proper ways to maintain a nutritious and healthy lifestyle.

ml: What's funny is, you really limit your kids' sugar to begin with!
AR: Yes, I do! I am big on making sure their "core fuel" is healthy. My husband shot a buffalo, and that has been our main source of meat for about two years. As I am sure you know, buffalo is very lean and healthy, and (since my husband shot it) free from the chemicals, additives and hormones that are in the meat bought at the grocery store.

We also make sure the snacks and extras are as organic as possible. Like ketchup -- my kids love ketchup! But if you don't get it natural or organic, the main ingredient is high-fructose corn syrup. Sugar! Not tomatoes!

For snacks, we do all-natural or organic peanut butter and snack crackers. We also have plum trees in our backyard, so we make our own jelly! My husband is an amazing gardener, so we have a large organic garden that allows us to can veggies and fruits for consumption all year long. I also make them smoothies about five times a week.


Around holidays and birthdays (and anytime they go to Grandma's house), I supplement their diet with probiotics and vitamins. And no, 90 percent of the time they don't eat what I bake. When they are good helpers, though, an occasional mixer spoon does get licked clean.

ml: What's the inspiration for your daily blog, and how does it fit into your daily life as a stay-at-home mom?
AR: My blogs are about baking and being a mommy, so 99 percent of my inspiration comes from loving to eat sweet things and from the experiences as a mom and wife. I live in a small town outside Minneapolis-St. Paul with my husband and three kids and am a stay-at-home mom. I am an avid amateur photographer and baker and love that my kids enjoy hanging out in the kitchen with me!

ml: You're a pretty successful baker, from the looks of it. How many cookies and cakes do you think you baked last year?
AR: Ha! Thank you. I suppose I have made upwards of two thousand cookies this year. I mostly bake for friends and family, but I have also made cookies for church functions, weddings and some Internet orders.

ml: What advice can you give moms who may be receiving negative comments about their blogs, yet really enjoy and believe in what they are writing?
AR: Check the source. If the comment is from an anonymous source just being mean, don't give it too much credibility. If you are writing about your family and your kids, there is no better reliable source than you!

We want to know: What do you think of these pancakes?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Now THAT'S a MESS

"We apologize for our Huggies Little Movers diapers, that really let your little one move." Well, I say if your child causes this much destruction, you have bigger problems on your hands!

Still, super entertaining commercial.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

E.M.V. - Eat MORE Veggies

I've never wanted to be a vegetarian. I'm a meat eater. I can't help it. That's just who I am. A good steak is hard to beat.

But lately, I've been challenging myself to eat more vegetables and find different options for protein and fiber - gotta lead a good example for Joe. The results? Super tasty recipes, clearer skin and added energy.

Cooking nightly dinners can get really boring, but at least with veggies there are thousands of combinations and I'm embarrassed to say, there are some I've never even tried, and now some I can't imagine going without ever again!

For instance. I now love kale. Great in soups, sauteed with garlic, or roasted. And, a new use for cauliflower - steamed, mashed and whipped into a mashed potato like consistency. Oh, and leeks. They're just like GIANT green onions, except milder. Great in salads, soups, and more.

I guess the interest came, when I had to start cooking a lot of vegetarian foods for friends and family. And, once I tried meals sans meat, I realized I wasn't missing much.

Friends, please share some of your fav veggies recipes with this aspiring veggie cook.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What I L.O.V.E. About Being a Mom

My Valentine's Day post from SavvySassyMoms.com where I am a contributing writer. They asked what I loved about being a mom, and this is what I had to say:




I love being a mom because it is the most rewarding thing I have done or will ever do in my lifetime. I’m actually shaping the life of a human being – scary at times, but I’m up for the challenge.  My son is the epitome of the love my husband and I have for each other, and represents a bright future for our family.

I love being a Mom when I can make my son feel happy and secure. Nothing makes me more happy than seeing him with a smile on his face, knowing that my love helped contribute to it.

I love it when my son says I love you. It really sound like I luff you. It’s the two most perfect words ever.

I love the sound of my son running down our long hallway, his little feet pitter-pattering on the hardwood floor and the crinkling noise his diaper make as he runs.

I love watching my son interact with other kids. They seem to have a language all their own. I can see his own unique personality shine. He loves to make others laugh and is quite the comic.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba RULES

I can't express how much I love this show, and how happy I am that Nick Jr. has been running new episodes all this week. It's a great show for kids and adults. Bright colors, fun characters, really cool independent talent like the Band of Horses, Decemberists, Biz Markey, the Shins, and more.  As DJ Lance says, "Listening and dancing to music is AWESOME!"

WATCH VIDEO HERE

Rethinking Time Outs

Repurposed from Momlogic.com December 10, 2010

When the kicking, screaming and other tantrum-y behaviors start, the easy fix is often a threat (or an order) to go to time-out. But according to parenting expert Kimberley Clayton Blaine, author of the new book "The Go-To Mom's Parents' Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children," too many
time-outs may be ineffective at best -- and downright harmful at worst. Blaine says that young children
simply don't understand the concept, and that kids who are subjected to repeated time-outs may develop poor emotional control because they are left alone without support and validation when they need it most.

"The misuse of a time-out is not only punishing but also alienating, and may spark a long-term physiological response," explains Blaine, a licensed family and child therapist and the mother of
two boys. "In a worst-case scenario, they could internalize the emotional pain in order to cope, which can eventually turn into early-childhood depression. Empathy is truly the foundation for effective parenting, and it is also necessary in creating a stronger bond between parent and child. Time-outs are the antithesis of that." Blaine advocates an alternate method that takes into account a child's
developmental limitations and that serves as guidance rather than punishment. For babies 2 and under, Blaine recommends distraction and redirection. At this age, your baby is simply too young to understand the concept of a thinking time; instead, give him a new item of interest or move
him to an exciting location.

For children over 2, she suggests using a "cool-down" or "thinking time" instead. Not only is this method gentle, it keeps the parent by the child's side to help him learn to calm himself down and think through what happened.

Here's how to do it:
Get down at your child's level. Be sure to maintain good eye contact; give a warning and ask if what he is doing is "OK or not OK."

If your child doesn't calm down or stop the unacceptable behavior, then lead him to a "quiet area" or "thinking area." Sit with him and offer assistance and love. Remember, this is not a punishment.

Be aware that time is not important; having your child calm down is. Disregard the "one minute times your child's age" rule. Don't give a 5-year-old five minutes to think; sometimes the older child needs only a minute or two to come up with a better solution.

On the other hand, a  younger child may need to cuddle or sit with you for ten minutes until
he's calm.  As you're sitting there, empathize, validate and reflect what you see.
An understood child is less likely to be fraught.

Once your child is calm, ask him to tell you what's wrong or what's going on. Restate the problem again more clearly if he has difficulty. Ask your child, "What will you do differently next time?" Name the expected behavior if he doesn't know.

Thank your child for helping you come up with a solution. It's important that he hear this positive reinforcement.

Set the expectation for the future by wrapping up with, "If you don't listen next time, what will happen?"

Inform your child that you will take actions to help and that you will not
tolerate unacceptable behavior.

Moms, what do you think about this advice? Are you for or against time-outs?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Can't Wait for Cars 2

Our household is a buzz about Cars 2. I for one can't wait for it to come out, so I can stop watching the first Cars. Talk about an obsession. Joe LOVES it. His heros right now are Dad and Lightening McQueen. The new characters look awesome, and per usual, Disney is bringing on some cool new talent including John Tutturro, Michael Caine and more.



Doggy Dentures

And I thought dogs with wigs were funny. This is a close second. It's a perfect combination.

Bedtime Stories with the Fiedlers

Joe loves reading before bedtime. His father and I are hard pressed to keep our eyes open long enough to get through the first few pages of Green Eggs and Ham. But I can tell you this - I've read some books so many times, I know the words by heart, and probably could "read" them with my eyes closed.

I've been trying to do the math. If Joe is two and a half years old and we've been reading to him since he was at least four months old, the same books night after night, how many times have I read the following sentences? Props to whomever can name the books from which these quotes were taken. We have some interesting picks as you'll see.

"Good night, Hollywood Bowl, where musicians fill the air with song after song. Good night Griffith Observatory. Do you like looking at the stars?"

"Did you ever have the feeling, there's a wasket in your basket ...or a nureau in your bureau?"

"Did I ever tell you that Mrs. McCave had twenty-three sons and she named them all Dave?"

"I ran and found a brickel bush. I hid myself away. I got brickels in my britches but I stayed there anyway."

"Flying is just one thing I can do in my dreams. Anything is possible! I could have an elephant trunk, three heads, lobster claws or a potato body."


I think Dr. Suess will always remain a favorite of mine. His stories are so much more than fiction for children. If you don't know what I'm talking about take the story of the "Zaxs" for example - one of our favorites. If it's not a good example of our current political climate, I don't know what is. His books were pretty controversial at the time. The most controversial, according to the BBC:


"The Butter Battle Book, published in 1984, about the arms race. Taking the place of the US and the USSR are the Yooks and the Zooks, who disagree on whether bread should be eaten butter-side down, or butter-side up. The story ends with a blank page, allowing readers to imagine the result of the rising tensions for themselves. The book remained on the New York Times' bestseller list for six months - for adults. The televised version of the book was shown in the USSR in 1990; Dr Seuss joked that it was after this that the country began falling apart."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Living in the Future

Last week, when we were chatting via Skype with Joe's grandparents, I realized something. Joe is living in the future. Or so it seems. Everything that we imagined the future might be like for us, exists in Joe's world.

He'll never know anything but touch screens. (On a side note, he called my blackberry "broken" because he couldn't make it work by running his dirty little finger across the screen.) Being able to interact with people that are thousands of miles away with the click of a button, will be no problem. He can watch whatever cartoon he wants, when he wants, and fast-forward through the annoying commercials. He'll probably ride a hoverboard in highschool. I know they already have shoes that lace themselves. Seriously. This is getting out of hand.

But what about the things he'll never know about? Here's a list, that makes me feel old just writing it:

  • Micro-fiche: Do they even still use these in libraries? 
  • Dewey Decimal System: See above.
  • Floppy Disks: You know, the big ones that actually flop when you shake them. They are HUGE. Try fitting that into your MAC.
  • Rotary Phones: I'd like to see a junior high student try to dial home with this bad boy. 
  • Laser Disk Players: Remember? The precursor to DVD players. Don't even get me started on VHS.
  • Tape Cassettes: No more mixed tapes for girlfriends. Just ipod mixes. In that regard, no more boomboxes either. Sorry Lloyd Dobler. 
  •  Answering Machines: All we have in voicemail now. Dial in. Get your message. I still have family members (who shall not be named) who talk to my voicemail like it's an answering machine, thinking I can hear them and will run to the phone and pick it up. I save these messages and listen to them over and over. 
What else will out kids never know? Help me out here! I know there's more! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Welcome to Mama to the Rescue


If you're taking the time to read this blog - thank you. Much appreciated, and welcome! I decided to join the masses and given in. This is my blog - Mama to the Rescue. I think it aptly describes my current life as a multifaceted multi-tasking mama.  Here's what I've got goin' on:

WRITING 
Freelancing is my current gig. I received my degree in journalism from Chapman University and I'm just barely (nine years later) getting into it again. After college I went straight into public relations - the antithesis of being a journalist - the dark side. But, I've seen the light again. And the best part? I can do it from home. That way, I get to spend time and be the sole caregiver to my two year old son Joe. Awesome. Build a fort. Write a few paragraphs. Eat lunch outside. Write a few more paragraphs. Shadow puppets. Take a call from my editor - in my pajamas.

Check out my writing here:
FamilyFinds.com
GeekMom.com
Momlogic.com
SavvySassyMoms.com
Pampers.com 

MOM-ING IT UP:
Most of my time is devoted to being a mom to my toddler son. He's the love of my life - second of course to my handsome husband (h.h) Andy (who by the way has an awesome job as a animation producer over at Six Point Harness, but that's a blog for another day). My son consistantly makes me laugh and I wonder where he got his crazy sense of humor and his mischeivious smile. Then I am reminded that he is half me, half his dad, and it all makes sense. He's also a little too smart for his own good and surprises me everyday with what comes out of his mouth and how he interacts with kids his own age and adults. Amazing. We're raising a little person. And sometimes, that's scary.

ARTS AND CRAFTS: 
Big time into pastels and paint right now. I'm trying to teach myself a few skills but I will most likely be taking a class soon - or at least that's the goal. I have a whole drawer full of the best crafting materials and Joe and I dig into it everyday to get things festive for upcoming holidays, or just make things interesting. Hey, a little glitter glue and googly eyes never hurt anything - only made it better. Am I right?

RANDOMNESS: 
I like comparing people to animals
Dogs with wigs are funny
Coffee should be dripped intravenously interchangeable with Diet Coke
I've seen the movie Splice twice and it's wrecked me for good
Once got a jelly bean stuck up my nose at the age of five, trying to eat like an elephant
My two younger brothers are both bigger than me
Jackalopes are funny
I use green first when I open a new box of crayons