Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kraft and Sears in Chicago

 This is not a paid post. The Kraft products pictured below were given to me as a gift. I am receiving no payment for this post. Just passing along some opinions.

 Earlier this week I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago with some of the Blogher team and a hand full of  very fabulous bloggers. We met with Kraft and Sears to discuss our blogs, and how Blogher works in general. It was a lot of fun! I was thrilled to be able to meet Lisa Stone, CEO and Co-Founder of Blogher. Also pictured above are David from Leite's Culinaria, Claire from Life in Chicago and Courtney from CJane Enjoy It. There is really something wonderful about being with fellow bloggers. Let's just say, there was never a lack of conversation! I felt privileged to be among these fine people. They are real veterans in the blogging world (and I am just barely stepping off my front porch) so I felt very blessed to rub elbows with  these talented and knowledgeable folks.

Kraft sent us home with some of their great products. Look at this fun Halloween Mac and Cheese! My boys were loving it for lunch today. I have to admit, I am guilty of buying the generic brand of mac and cheese. You know how it goes, my friends. Every penny counts these days, doesn't it?
However....this Kraft Mac and Cheese puts my cheap no name brand to shame. 
Serious shame. 
It was so much better, I ate a bowl full myself.

After a small bowl of the "Cheesiest" I gave this new Kraft Chipolte Mayo a try. It is a light Mayo with only 40 calories per serving. Wow! It was full of great flavor. Loved it. Loved it.

Here is a sampling of the other things they sent home with me. Zero yourself in on the Mint Oreo Fudge Creams. Oh my. I would definitely be embarrassed if you were to look in my pantry and see just how many of those cookies are left. 
It's down right shameful. 
Lucky thing the Kraft Chipolte Mayo was light.
Thanks Kraft. It will be fun to try more of your great products!

The view from my Hotel window.

What a beautiful city.

Hello Mr. Trump. Please don't fire me.

Who would have thought a little (well, a kind of chubby) gal like myself would be heading off to Chicago to meet with these amazing brands. It was a real honor.
An honor in deed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No Ordinary Family

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and ABC's No Ordinary Family.

This fall ABC has a new show coming out called No Ordinary Family. You can watch a video trailer of the show at the bottom of this post, or like it on facebook

Are we a Super-Hero Type family? Well no. I have to admit….when I was asked to write about my family of 7 being extraordinary, I was at a bit of a loss. Sure, I think we are pretty great!

 But, pretty normal. 

Nothing too extra-ordinary really.  

So, I had to put my thinking cap on.

Really tight.

I thought about the extraordinary things a person might see if they peeked into my kitchen window between the hours of 3:30 and 7:00. They might see things like a teasing-happy teenage son, two daughters in tears (girls can only take so much teasing), two daughters arguing with each other, one twin boy spilling red punch and crackers on the kitchen floor, and another twin boy tracking muddy shoes onto the kitchen floor. All of this while a mother tries to help with homework, make a little dinner, ask kids to practice the piano, pile kids in the car to run to different activities,while she asks “how was your day, and your day, and your day too dear?” 

Someone stealing a look through the window might think…

“Why. In. The. World. Would someone CHOOSE this! The chaos! How can one stand it? Seems extraordinarily crazy to me!”

They would be right. It does seem crazy! It is crazy!

But just you wait now.

It just so happens that the chaos is a small price to pay. Small,indeed. It’s the price I pay for….

A teen son who comes through the door after school saying “Are the twins having a nap? Could I wake them up early so I can wrestle with them?” A daughter who’s willing to look around the school cafeteria and sit by the underdog. Little twin boys who want to cuddle and read stories at any given moment. A young daughter consumed with looking after her dear friend that has Leukemia. A Teen Son who offers to accept his younger sisters punishment.  A bunch of kids dancing around the living room while their Dad plays a fast jig on the piano. A whole slew of kids standing along the sidewalk cheering and clapping while one of their siblings learns to ride a bike.

It’s the love. Plain and simple.

The love of a family is hands down, fabulously, exceptionally, out of this world……extraordinary.

I have a sneaking suspicion that your family is just as extraordinary. I would love to hear some of the sweet things that happen in your “pretty normal” lives. Get your thinking cap on, and leave me a comment. Can’t wait to hear what kind of love is buzzing around your house.  Now don’t go thinking things like “there isn’t any love around here”. Put your thinking cap on tight. Really tight. I think you’ll be surprised what you can come up with.

ABC’s No Ordinary Family hosted a video contest to find the most EXTRADORDINARY family in America and starting September 27th you can help vote for the winner!  Between September 27 and October 1, watch the top 5 video submissions and vote for your favorite.  Click here for details and be sure to vote!