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Milk for Health in Tanzania ~ #GiveHeifer

Milk for Health in Tanzania ~ #GiveHeifer


This is my 5 year old daughter Madison, who has never known what it's like to be without food or drink. She especially doesn't know what it's like to be without milk, a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Together with Heifer International, we want to share with you how you can help others less fortunate than you are.


Did you know that September 27th is School Milk Day? My kids have been in school since the middle of August,  and I pay a monthly fee for them to enjoy a school lunch which includes a meal and of course school milk. My kids just love milk and if there's no milk in our refrigerator I'd hear about it. They have to have milk for their cereal, milk for snack and what goes well with cookies, milk of course. I have to admit that like many of you who may be reading this post, this is the first I had heard of Heifer’s School Milk Feeding Program, and I wanted to learn more. I went through the photos with Madison sitting next to me and when I arrived at this photo, she started asking questions.

Credit: Heifer International
Madison: Why are they eating paper?
Me: It's not paper, it's milk.
Madison: Why does it look like paper?
Me: Because it's in a bag.
Madison: Why is it in a bag?
Me: Because that's the way they get their milk. They live in Tanzania and are not like you and me, so they don't get their milk in big cartons like we do.
Madison: So are they hungry?
Me: Yes, sometimes they do go hungry, so we need to help them.
Madison: I want to help them. 
Her words, shocked, but did not really surprise me. Madison has always been an empathetic child. My mother used to call her an "old soul". And I began thinking. If a 5 year old would want to help children who are hungry and without the means to help themselves, why can't we adults do the same thing? Personally, I hate knowing that anyone is going hungry, but when that someone is a child it hurts even more. There's a reason that we give our children lunches and snacks, because we know that being hungry does not make for enhanced learning. You cannot concentrate on what you're doing when you're hungry.

Credit: Heifer International
The Heifer School Milk Feeding Program was introduced in July 2017 and their goal is to provide 9,000 students (ages 9 and under) in the Njombe, Iringa, Mbeya, and Songwe regions with a packet of free fresh milk every day Monday - Friday during the school year. They know, just like we do, that proper nutrition is essential to learning and students should be focused on learning instead of their hunger. Just one packet of milk contains at least a quarter of the daily calcium requirement needed for a child, and since the program was introduced, 1,742 students in the Njombe region have received 200ml packets of pasteurized milk and will continue to receive a FREE, daily packet of fresh milk every day Monday - Friday during the school year.

I also love their "cow to classroom" initiative which this video fully describes.


I believe in sustainable farming. Growing up in the Caribbean, my family owned their own chickens so we got eggs daily. We also had sheep and goat and would get milk from our goats. With the Cows to Classroom program, it helps farmers increase their income, reduce poverty and in turn help gets the milk to classrooms. I call that a win-win situation.

Credit: Heifer International
So How Can You Help? 
We spend hundreds of dollars on designer coffee yearly, but did you know that just $75 can provide one student with fresh milk for an entire school year? That's just 40 cents a day! However, you can make a donation of any size. It doesn't matter how big or small, every donation counts.

And as an added bonus:

For every share of this post via social media (Facebook or Twitter), Women Online will donate $1 for each of those shares up to $2,000, to Heifer School's Milk Feeding Program. Just be sure to add #GiveHeifer to your shares.


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Annmarie John
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2 Reasons I Give My Kids Vitamins

2 Reasons I Give My Kids Vitamins


Every parent wants what's best for their child and that includes their health and wellbeing. However, getting them to clean their plates doesn't always happen. Today I share why I give my child a multi-vitamin.


Madison is a happy and healthy little girl, but she's also a finicky eater. If I don't 'force' her to eat at times, she would refuse to eat completely, or her favorite excuse would be "I'm not hungry". I've taken her to see a nutritionist and we've worked out a treatment plan, but one of her recommendations was to give her a multi-vitamin. When it comes to what I put in our bodies, I always try and go as organic as possible. While I would LOVE to grow my own fruits and veggies, and maybe even have my own farm, that's not possible, especially since I have a black thumb. So I was happy when Mom's Meet asked me to give Yummi Bears Organics Complete Multi-Vitamins by Hero Nutritionals a try. Before I go into what I liked and didn't like about Yummi Bears Organics Complete Multi-Vitamins, I want to first share with you, 2 reasons I give my kids vitamins.


1. As a supplement
Vitamins are supposed to be just that... supplements. They are meant to fill nutritional gaps and are not meant to be the end all. For example if your child hates anything that you cook that may give them iron and they have an iron deficiency, giving your child an iron fortified supplement may be just what they need. Since I have a very picky eater, I know that she's not getting all the nutrients that she should be getting, so I give her a multi-vitamin to supplement what she's missing out on.

2. To boost her nutrients
While we're very high in altitude here in Colorado and it seems as though we're extremely close to the sun, we tend to stay indoors as much as we can. Madison while she loves milk, does not drink as much as she should and she also doesn't eat as much veggies either. So while she's not deficient, I give her extra calcium and vitamin D to boost what she already has.

Now as with all vitamins, please keep out of reach of children because while they may look and taste great, they're not candy.


So what do I like about Yummi Bears Organics Complete Multi-Vitamins?
It's one of the first vitamins that Madison did not mind taking, and the one she actually asks for. As a preschooler it can be difficult for her to take a pill, so having it in a gummy form made it very easy. The flavors were also an added bonus. While she loves strawberry, the orange and pineapple were great too. I also loved that they're organic which was a HUGE plus for me. It's also GMO-free and has nothing artificial. No artificial coloring or flavors. Absolutely nothing!

What didn't I like about Yummi Bears Organics Complete Multi-Vitamins?
The sugar, even though it's organic cane sugar. While Madison loves them, I was not a fan of the sugar that you can actually see on the gummies.

Overall, this is a great way to supplement your child's diet with the vitamins that they may be lacking, and I already plan on buying a new package once it is finished.


Hero Nutritionals Vitamins are available to purchase at: Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Ralphs, Kroger, Smart & Final, GNC,Vitamin Shoppe, Jimbo’s, amazon.com, and costco.com. To find Hero Nutritionals Vitamins in your area, visit: heronutritionals.com/store-locator.com for the full list of locations.

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Annmarie John
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How to Reward Your Child For Losing a Tooth ~ #WalmartSnacks2Go

How to Reward Your Child For Losing a Tooth ~ #WalmartSnacks2Go


All Madison wants for Christmas is her two front teeth. Learn how I reward Madison with TEDDY SOFT BAKED Filled Snacks for her missing tooth.


Madison is now five and while she's grown up before the world's eyes, I still can't believe that she's grown up this much. With growing pains comes tooth loss and Madison has been losing her teeth since the age of four. At first I was concerned because I've never had a child lose a tooth that young before, but I was reassured by her dentist that it was very normal indeed. Apparently, the younger you are when your baby teeth erupts, you run the risk of losing them sooner rather than later. With the loss of her tooth I wanted to reward her with something else besides money. After all while I think it's great to give kids cash for their tooth, she's still at the age where money has no value. She is also of the age where the belief in the tooth fairy is real, which is great, but I wanted other options. So what did I come up with?


Here are 5 easy ways to reward your child's missing tooth.

1. Place a fun snack under their pillow.
Your child has lost their one of their tooth and as long as it's not cavity related and your child loves brushing, then giving them a treat should be no problem at all. Have you noticed that you're given a lollipop at the dentist office after a visit has gone well? One snack that we just love is the mom approved TEDDY SOFT BAKED Filled Snacks. The bear-shaped snacks contains no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors or colors and is made with quality ingredients such as milk, eggs and chocolate. They are also tooth fairy approved.

2. A reward certificate.
There's nothing that says congratulations on a job well done, like a reward certificate. For the child that still believes in the tooth fairy, personalize a Tooth Fairy Certificate with their name and have it signed by the tooth fairy. They'll be so excited and pleased with themselves, all at the same time.


3. Buy a new book
I believe in the power of reading and have even written about the benefits of reading early to your child. There are so many benefits besides the bonding that you'll incur by spending quality time together, but speech and communication skills can be greatly improved upon as well. You will now also have a new book to read at bedtime.

4. Let them choose a favorite meal
Now at this age you don't have to go out to a high end restaurant to celebrate and I personally wouldn't recommend it. However, you can cook their favorite meal and have them join in on the cooking as well. Kids love when they can help, and I've found that they tend to eat more of what they've 'made' with no complaints.

5. Take them to see a movie
Spend some one on one time with your little one at the movies. Madison has been going to the movies since as a toddler, and I shared some tips on taking your toddler to the movies. However, by the time they've lost a tooth, they'll be in Kindergarten so will be more equipped to handle a longer movie. Don't forget to walk with some snacks such as TEDDY SOFT BAKED Filled Snacks, in your bag as you can get hungry while there. They are small enough for little hands and you can save the popcorn money towards buying that new book.


I have to admit that even though these TEDDY BAKED SOFT Filled Snacks are made for kids, they are so good that I even eat them too. My favorite is the vanilla but chocolate is of course a very close second. That's why I keep so many of them on hand. I pack them in Madison's lunch box as a snack for school, and also when we're on the go. Since they're so soft, they're the perfect snack for her with her missing tooth. I pick mine up at Walmart in the cookie/cracker aisle. You should give them a try!


Here's your chance to give them a try, by entering the following giveaway and winning a Walmart gift card.


Nabisco Snacktime Sweepstakes

I-C will randomly select 14 winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes.


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Annmarie John
19 Comments
Spooky Halloween Bouquet

Spooky Halloween Bouquet


I love decorating my entryway table and with Halloween approaching, I've been getting into the Halloween frenzy. I started with my doorway and did a Halloween Witch Wreath and now for my entryway table, there's this Spooky Halloween Bouquet.


There's something to be said about Halloween, it's not just for the kids, and it's not just about the candy. I love decorating my home for the holidays, whether it's with store bought items or items that I've made myself, I like getting into the spirit of the holidays. I also love flowers, I just can't keep them alive. My friends and family would say that I have a black thumb, unlike my parents who could probably grow a vegetable garden in the desert. I love seeing flowers on my entryway table, so when I was at my local dollar store picking up supplies for crafting, I came upon these impressive floral bushes. The black and purple roses were just what I needed for a spooky bouquet and brownie points for the black roses having eyeballs and spiders already attached. I knew exactly what I wanted to make and picked up my supplies. I even surprised myself when it was all finished by how breathtaking it looked. So let's get into how it's all done. This took about 5 minutes from start to finish, but only because I wanted it to look perfect.

Spooky Halloween Bouquet 

Supplies Needed

Halloween Colored Floral Bushes (Purple, Black, Orange)
(if your craft store does not have bushes with eyeballs and spiders already attached, purchase a bag of pingpong eyeballs and fake spiders)
Halloween Branches
Black Marbles
Halloween Scarf
Vase
Skeleton Hands (not shown)


Directions:

Step 1. Start by filling your vase halfway with your black marbles, then wrap your Halloween scarf around the top of the vase. This will hide the stems of your flowers and the fact that the marble isn't at the top.


Step 2. Insert your floral bushes, branches and the skeleton arms into the vase and position them the way you would like them to be.

*If you were not able to find bushes with the eyeballs and spiders attached, you can use a glue gun and attach the eyeballs to the center of your flowers, and the spiders along the leaves.


Place your arrangement wherever your heart desire and display it's spookiness.

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Annmarie John
23 Comments
5 Healthy Snack Options for On-the-Go Moms ~ #StoredBrilliantly

5 Healthy Snack Options for On-the-Go Moms ~ #StoredBrilliantly


When you're go, go, go, you need snacks that are going to keep up with you. Here are 5 healthy snack options for your busy lifestyle.


My life is a constant go, go, go! There are days when I get very little sleep, and it's not because I don't want to sleep, but because there are deadlines that need to be met and I have to get them done. As a mother, sometimes it seems as though my day is never done, and there are never enough hours and minutes in the day. I try and eat as healthy as I can, but there are days when the junk food, meaning chocolate, cookies and chips get in the way. Lately, with me wanting to live a healthier lifestyle for not just me, but for my kids, I have been trying to eat a lot healthier and have been keeping healthier options on hand. So what are a few of my options. Today I want to share 5 with you and how I keep them all fresh and ready to go with the new Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE Salad & Snack Set.


Cereal
Cereal isn't just for kids. Since most cereals are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, and are even high in fiber, these make for not only a yummy snack, but sometimes a flavorful one too. I just love the ones with added nut clusters. However, stay away from the very sugar cereals, you know which ones I'm taking about.

Fruits
Who doesn't love fruits? Toss a few fruits in a bag and you can snack on them all throughout the day. They're my go to whenever I want that bit of sugar, instead of eating candy. There are so many reasons to eat fruits, but you can also get your 2 daily servings of fruit this way by snacking. I personally love snacking on grapes with some added cheese.


Cheese
Speaking of cheese, cheese is also another healthy snack option. You can either do individually wrapped or string cheese. Who said that string cheese was just for kids? It's also a great source of protein and calcium.

Veggies
According to the food chart, you should have a 3 healthy serving of veggies daily. Carrots, broccoli, edamame, tomatoes and celery are just some healthy and safe options for you to eat raw. Together with a yogurt dip and you have a snacking option that is just good for you.


Nuts
Unless you have a nut allergy of course. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts, are generally rich in healthy fats thus allowing you to have that feeling of fullness for much longer, curbing your need to consistently snack between meals. They are also known to boost your good cholesterol, are a healthy servings of minerals and omega-3s, and are best when raw.

How do you keep it all together and fresh? 

I use the new Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE Salad and Snack Set.


The new Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE is the perfect container for ready-to-go meals and snacks. It comes complete with customizable insert trays and dividers, which is perfect for those like me who would prefer to separate their food. It is the all-in-one solution for not only taking lunch on the go but great for snacks too. My favorite feature would have to be the salad container which I use for my veggies. It comes with a mini dressing container which includes a lid. I can place my dip in the container and keep my veggies in their separate compartment when its time to eat.


The new Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE Snack & Salad set is also 100% Leak-Proof Guaranteed*. The airtight latches keeps the container tightly secured with no leaks or messes. The ultra durable Tritan material keeps the container both stain and odor free and clean up is a breeze as it's dishwasher safe. Don't worry, since it's BPA free, you can also microwave and freeze your meals in the containers. They are very portable and I can totally see myself snacking so much more healthier. What about you? 


So you can give the new Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE Snack & Salad set a try for yourself, one lucky winner will have the chance to win a set. Winner will be randomly selected by PromoSimple and will have 48hrs to respond to the winning email. Failure to respond will mean forfeiting your prize and a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!



*Not applicable to internal compartments created by inserts.

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Annmarie John
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