Care4Today Mobile Health Manager

This is a sponsored post about the new Care4Today Mobile Health Manager.  Opinions are my own.

I take a medication that requires dosage three separate times per day.  To be honest, I’m not the best at remembering.  Or I wasn’t.  I have added reminders to my Google Calendar but it’s annoying and I feel like I’m advertising that HEY I HAVE TO TAKE MY MEDICINE whenever alerts go off.  Which is cool, I’m not ashamed of things, but it’s not exactly discreet.  That’s what intrigued me about the Care4Today Mobile Health Manger app.  I can manage my medicine scheduling discreetly.It sounded like a great option for me.


But then I looked into the app more, and attended a webinar on it, and I realized that this app can be so much more than a way for ME to keep track of MY dosage and schedule.  For parents with children away at school or camp, they can help remind their kids to be taking their medicine.


For those of us with loved ones who are older and needing medication more and more frequently, it’s a way we can stay up to date and know what medications our loved ones are on, when they need to take it, and when they may need a refill.  I know for us, with my dad living with Alzheimer’s Disease, he’s in a facility with a wing that is for folks with Alz.  But even with that, especially for my sister who has power of attorney, knowing what medications he’s taking and when he needs to take them, be seen for a new prescription, when some may expire, or when it’s time to change a dose- that’s all information that would make life a lot simpler for my sister and the rest of us- but can also save us time, expense and keep dad on his medications that he really needs to function as best he can at this stage of the disease. It’s hard to keep multiple family members up to date, and with an app like this, a few clicks and updated information can be sent to family, physicians and/or caregivers alike.


For families where a child splits time between two households, it’s also a way to ensure that everyone is on the same page and has all of the medical information necessary for just in case.  It’s never a bad thing for both parents to have all of the medical information up to date.


With the age of food allergies (and drugs, insects, etc.) has come a huge number of folks who need to carry an Epi-Pen at all times.  These are great but they all have expiration dates.  Being able to keep track in an app where you can set reminders for expiration dates  and requesting refill prescriptions can be a huge benefit to families who have Epi-Pens.  I’m not sure I know of any families who have an epi who don’t have at least 2 in their possession- it would be so easy to mix up an expiration date, and while it might be fine a few days past expiration dates, epis are used in an emergency situation which could so easily be life threatening– giving families one more way to manage their care and keep up to date with things is a great tool.  I can only imagine that if my child was away at summer camp or college and I realized their epi was expiring, the panic I’d feel. With an app like Care4Today, I could be alerted to the pending expiration and get in touch with the physician and my child or their caregiver to get a current Epi-Pen without having a lag.  Peace of mind.


Approximately 50 percent of patients with chronic illnesses do not take their medications as prescribed, a serious problem that can cause delayed recovery, disease relapse and hospitalization. In today’s fast-paced world, people often overlook taking medications at the right time every day. There are many reasons people don’t take their medications, but the most commonly cited reason is they simply forget.

With Care4Today™ Mobile Health Manager 2.0, consumers can set up reminders for any kind of prescription or over-the-counter medication, nutritional supplement or any other activity. The platform uses secure, two-way messaging on mobile phones, and each reminder message prompts a response that is recorded in the user’s adherence report. Users can view reports summarizing adherence and share the information with their healthcare provider or caretaker.

With Care4Family, you can add photos for each of your loved ones.  You can add your own image of the medication so you – or your loved one- knows what it looks like.  If it isn’t already in the Care4Today database, it’s just a few quick steps to add your own image. This makes things really clear and easy to find if something happens and someone needs information quickly.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve needed medical information and realized it was at home- and I’m just me.  Being able to manage all of this- and even have my husband send me reminders to refill my meds BEFORE I get down to 1 pill left is going to hopefully keep me on track with my meds.

Who would you want to use this app with/for?

Six Quick Weekend Getaways (Sans Kids)

I have to preface this post by admitting that my husband and I have been married almost 10 years (next week) and we’ve never been away just the 2 of us.  We’ve never actually been away from our kids for a night.  No weekend getaways for us (yet)It’s kind of sad, really. Not that we don’t love our kids but the idea of having a night or two just my husband and me to reconnect and enjoy one another’s company without tripping over a Lego or doll sounds like heaven!!

Going on family vacations can be a great time for everyone there. But every so often, it doesn’t hurt to hand your kids off to your parents or a babysitter and go for a romantic get away with your significant other. And with modern transportation opportunities, traveling for a quick weekend is easier than ever. Here is a list of six quick weekend getaways that you can take while leaving your children at home.

Six Quick Weekend Getaways (1)F

Sunny Isles, Florida

If South Beach in Miami is a bit too wild for you now that you’ve had children, than Sunny Isles is a great place for those on the east coast to visit for a long weekend. Sunny Isles is the perfect place for middle-aged people who are looking for a relaxing and romantic vacation with their significant other. You can find plenty of great restaurants, a few classy bars and also plenty of historical monuments. Or if you just want to relax on the beach with your feet in the sand, there are miles of oceans to do so.

Santa Barbara, California

If Sunny Isles is too far for you, than Santa Barbara is a great location for those living on the west coast and needing to get away for a few days. Santa Barbara is known for its beautiful weather year round and for its Spanish influence throughout the entire city. Santa Barbara also offers great opportunities for the outdoor couple who enjoy to surf, swim, scuba dive or snorkel.

Aspen, Colorado

Beach vacations are perfect during the summer, but there is something to be said about a beautiful winter getaway as well. Aspen is that perfect location for those looking to get away to a beautiful winter wonderland. Aspen can be a bit too upscale for families traveling with children, so if you are childless for the weekend, it’s the perfect time to experience this unique Colorado town. For those who love skiing, there are plenty of slopes to do so. Or if you just want to read a good book next to a fire, you’re sure to have plenty of lodging opportunities for that as well.

Chickasaw Country, Oklahoma

Chickasaw Country is a hidden gem that many couples don’t consider when looking for a quick vacation. After all, it doesn’t have the glamorous appeal at first like some of the other names on this list. However, because people underestimate Chickasaw, it makes it a perfect vacation spot for couples who have the weekend to themselves. Chickasaw offers casinos, golf, spas and more, all in a calm and relaxing atmosphere with much to do and see. It’s a hub for Native American cultural sites and history and there are plenty of activity options that are perfect as an individual or as a pair when going to Chickasaw Country.

New York City

The Big Apple is certainly an option for those living in the northeast. The great part about visiting New York City is that you have countless options for food, shopping and entertainment within reach. Whether you stay in Manhattan or just outside of the major boroughs, you can easily take public transportation to get into the heart of the city. With numerous landmarks and famous places to see, New York offers a bevy of options for couples.

Las Vegas, Nevada

It may have been a while since your last trip to Las Vegas, but don’t count it out as a place where singles mingle. Instead, Vegas specializes in couple vacations that are perfect without the kids. The best part about Vegas is that it is perfect place to spend a few days, before you get warn out of all the wildness that the city has to offer. You’ll be happy to be home with your kids, but you won’t soon forget the time that you had in Sin City.

Just because you have children doesn’t mean that you can’t travel with your significant other. Instead, ask your parents to babysit for the weekend and head to one of the places on this list. You’ll be sure to have a great time and enjoy the break from your kids.

DIY Glow in the Dark Skeleton Halloween Shirt

  Disclosure: This DIY skeleton Halloween shirt post was sponsored by Hub Network through their partnership with Circle of Moms. While I was compensated to write a post about Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash Costume Contest, all opinions are my own.


What you need to make the DIY Glow in the Dark Skeleton Halloween Shirt:

Glow in the Dark Duck Tape (sheets or rolls of tape)

Black shirt (Short or long sleeved)


Here’s where the internet learns just how little drawing talent I have!

I would gladly have used the sheets of glow in the dark duck tape but wasn’t able to find them locally in time to get this done. I like to let the kids wear their Halloween stuff for at least the full month before Halloween-otherwise, they wear it once and that’s it!  If you do the sheets, use  utililty or craft knife to cut the bones out. 

I kind of traced the outline of a skeleton I found online and traced it piece by piece onto the glow in the dark duck tape. Made things easier for me since I’m not an artiste, to say the least! I think it would take a lot less time to just freehand.

I got this done while hanging out watching a movie with my husband- one kiddo has a fun new Halloween shirt, and now I can easily make more for the other 2 kids!  I’m thinking we may do some accessorizing like a “tie” for a boy skeleton and a hair bow for a girl skeleton.  We have a lot of duck tape around.

If you want, you can enlarge the bones  and add a pair of black pants or leggings and make a full skeleton costume.  It really wouldn’t be much more work!


This is an easy costume idea for the kids who don’t really like to wear a full costume but want to enjoy the fun and festivities!


hub-network-annual-halloween-bashSpeaking of Halloween costumes, the Hub Network is having their first annual Halloween Bash Costume Contest and they want YOU to enter!  This is a FUN promotion- I just spent almost an hour looking at the submissions so far- I just love looking at kids in costumes, don’t you?  So put your creative caps on and get moving- there’s just 19 days left to submit your entry for consideration. Who wouldn’t want a chance to win $25,000?

Costumes must be original, one of a kind.  Nothing store bought. The six costume categories:

1. Spook-tacular

2. Howl-arious

3. Blast from the Past

4. Everyday stuff

5. Animal Kingdom

6. Mad Genius
Entering the Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash Costume Contest gives you the chance to win a  prize valued at $25,000 !


Need a math tutor? Check out Tabtor!

This post about when you need a math tutor is brought to you by our friends at Tabtor.  Opinions are my own.

If you have a child who struggles with math and you think they may need a math tutor, or maybe you want to give them a little boost in math- finding a solution that works with your family schedule and budget isn’t always easy.  We were recently asked to give the new ios app Tabtor a try and share our experience with you.

When you first sign up for Tabtor, you get a free 2 week trial.  For $49.99 a month your child can have access to a personalized tutoring service

Dear Brett,

This is a detailed view of the diagnostic test that (child) attempted.  This test corresponds to concepts covered in 2nd grade.
She scored 24 out of 30 on the test and was able to complete it within the suggested time.
She made a couple of silly errors because she is still getting used to the app.
I have assigned her assignments related to balancing equations and place value concepts.
Please remind her to watch the tutorial video when she is stuck on a problem.
I would recommend that you get her a stylus so that she can workout the problems on the iPad so we can see why she is making errors.
I will contact you to to learn more about (child) so I can personalize her study plan further.
Please email me or call me at 919- MATH4U-5 if you have any questions or ctaboncerns.
We look forward to having (child) as a Tabtor student.
My daughter really loves to be challenged, especially  with math.  That said, she’s still learning some of the content for her age/grade level on Tabtor and it’s great to not just have personalized feedback from the instructor  but also to see where her mistakes may lie when she makes them and ways to improve or fix them.  She’s enjoying being able to use mom’s iPad mini and doing lots of fun and challenging math sheets, but also learning and reinforcing skills that she’ll need to be successful in later grades.  It’s a definite win.
Tabtor is designed to give a personalized experience to each student enrolled regardless of their skill level or ability.  The feedback is based on the worksheets the kids complete and the personal phone calls to go over things are even better.  The feedback does include a video which really reinforces what the instructor says to the kids- and honestly, it’s helped me to get a better grasp of how to help or guide her when she’s unsure of what to do next.  We’ll be continuing our subscription to Tabtor long after our blogging promotion ends, I’m sure.
Now, she and I both “missed” the video the first week. So we didn’t benefit so much. I did remind her to watch for it the next time and she got a lot more from the feedback (so did I).  The personal feedback and interaction is amazing, and it’s great being able to do this on our schedule when it’s convenient for us.  She feels like she’s getting extra electronic time, but really, she’s learning and that’s a win for all of us.
tabtor feedback
tabtor feedback 2
tabtor next worksheets

tabtor math

Tabtor is a revolutionary tutoring service that provides more customization, instant feedback, and more personalization. This makes tutoring fun for the student and efficient, all at a cost and engagement-level parents love!

  • ·         Personalization – Tabtor offers an extremely-personalized learning experience that is often not available in standard K-6 education. The Tabtor solution allows for customized worksheets for each individual student’s needs, as well as a dedicated Tabtor instructor to maximize student engagement.  This includes specific instruction for those who struggle with math and problem solving skills – providing personalized attention in these areas.
  • ·         Convenience – Via an iPad, Tabtor worksheets can be completed in the convenience of the students own home, during downtime at school, in the car, or even at a sporting event among many others.  The Tabtor solution also eliminates the hassle of carrying around heavy practice workbooks, which are also environmentally wasteful.
  • ·         Proof of Learning Analytics – Tabtor allows instantaneous grading feedback and guarantees 24-hour feedback to issues or questions. Providing comprehensive analytics,Tabtor can track every student activity – keystroke, penstroke, eraser, etc., to help teachers and parents understand student performance and potential intervention points. The analytics are so in-depth that they can tell instructors how long it takes a student to complete a problem and can identify key areas of struggle for the students Tabtor currently has 500 active students enrolled and students have shown a 20 percent improvement in just two months.

Sign up for your FREE 2 week trial period HERE!  You’ll get access to the Tabtor experience including a call from a Tabtor instructor to get feedback and guidance during your trial.  Also, if you sign up through my link, you’ll save $10/month off your subscription rate!

tabtor giveaway

One of my readers will win a free 3-month trial of Tabtor, along with a $50 Visa gift card! 


The Tabtor service, information, and additional free trials have been provided by Tabtor.

12 Tremendous Tricks to Trim 20 Minutes off Your Morning

12 Tremendous Tricks to Trim 20 Minutes off Your Morning 

Um, I need more than 12.

I need like…eleventy billion tricks.

I do.

We got into this nice routine, the kids and I, this summer.  As they woke up, one by one they’d climb into our bed and snuggle up to watch some tv with mommy.  They loved it, I loved it.  Having to get up and be out the door in time for school has kind of put the kabosh on that — or rather, it needs to.  We’re still holding on to those minutes of cuddles and end up rush, rush, rushing to get ready for the day.

Instead of, you know, setting my alarm and getting up even earlier, I found a fun infographic from our friends at Suave (via Lunchbox) that gives 12 tricks- not just tricks, TREMENDOUS tricks, to trim 20 minutes off your morning. So I figure, that’s 20 minutes I can snuggle my kids, right?

Plus, even if it wasn’t the snuggles, I really just love bed. I love it.  The pillows. The blankets.  Sleeping.  I hate getting OUT  of my bed.  I’m loathe to do it anytime.  Now you know.  My kids even draw pictures of me sleeping. Exhibit A: (please note, my bed is only pink in my dream world)

my mom loves to sleep


So maybe we ALL need to work on shaving some time off of our slackety slackin’ each morning.

It’s just hard. It’s bed.  Pillows. Blankets.

Now, my kids do love Suave products for their hair- right now, because they have Smurfs on them.  We like to watch old school Smurfs on TV sometimes and they’ve grown to love the little blue friends as much as their mama and daddy. So I’m all good with the suggestions especially the detangler!! My little one has very little hair and it’s stick straight but holy MOLY does she wake up with a rat’s nest each day….and lately, wants to brush it herself.  Never mind that she can’t see nor reach the back of her head….But she won’t resist her beloved Smurfs, especially if big sister is the one to help make her hair pretty.

I like the price of Suave products for my kids- I don’t normally get character versions of products because I find it costs more but with Suave, the kids AND mom end up happy. I suppose when we’re all happy and not crabby at one another….that probably saves even more time in the morning.


Head in-store or online to shop all Suave® products at the best value!

What are YOUR fun and creative ways to save time in the morning? 

Quick and Easy Meal Ideas: Ghost Pizza

This quick and easy meal idea is brought to you by our friends at General Mills. With back to school here and activities starting up, life is hectic for everyone, it seems.  Hectic for us here at the Martin household, moreso than ever before.  I’ve been doing a lot of meal prep and cooking dinner at 1pm on a regular basis.  With activities going after school until 5:30 or 6, I can’t prep dinner when we get home- it’s simply too late. But I still want a balanced meal for my family.  One of my go-to meals is pizza, as it is for many.

With pizza, it’s hard to go wrong.  You can top a pizza crust with just about anything you want- whatever sounds good. So…if we have leftover chicken, taco  meat, or maybe some pepperoni or ham in the fridge, we make it work with what’s there.  Pizza is almost always cooked and ready to serve in under 30 minutes (which is awesome) and that’s why we almost always have a pizza crust or 2 in the fridge.  We usually have a Pillsbury Pizza Crust in the fridge because it’s easy to work with AND all 5 of us like it.


It’s a little early for normal people to be thinking about fun and festive (but quick and easy) meals for Halloween, but we’re not normal, we’re a blogging family!  So naturally, in the middle of September we decided to make Ghost Pizza with our Pillsbury Pizza crust.  It took less than 5 minutes extra to make the fun shapes for the cheese and the kids were so happy to eat their dinner- it was 5 minutes well spent!


4.0 from 1 reviews
Quick and Easy Meal Idea: Ghost Pizza
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fun and festive twist on traditional pizza
Recipe type: Pizza
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 1 Pillsbury Pizza Crust
  • 1 jar Pizza Sauce
  • 8 slices Mozzerella Cheese
  • Ghost Cookie Cutter
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Spread crust onto an ungreased cookie sheet (or pizza stone)
  3. ** For a crispier crust, bake crust 6-7 minutes**
  4. Spread sauce on crust
  5. Using cookie cutter, cut each slice cheese into ghost shape
  6. Place cheese ghosts on pizza in any pattern you'd like.
  7. You can use olives for eyes, or small pepperoni for eyes as well.
  8. If you want, use leftover pieces of cheese to write Boo!
  9. (We always make 2 of these pizzas so pizza #2 got all of the cheese "scraps")
  10. Bake 8-10 minutes with toppings on

 What are YOUR quick and easy meal ideas?

Pillsbury Logo


Pizza crust that’s deliciously easy! Unroll, bake and enjoy in minutes. Pillsbury pizza crust, it’s the perfect canvas for your favorite toppings.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by General Mills via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of General Mills.

And with the blink of an eye, summer is gone #CherishedChildhood

It’s over.  Summer, that is.  We did something new this summer, the kids and I, and had a blast.  We laughed, we played, we swam (a ton) and learned a lot.  We made new friends, visited with old, and have so many new memories. Memories that I will cherish – and hopefully, my kids will too!


We climbed (and lost teeth)


waited out a storm in puddles


swam on a shark


and on a dolphin


played marbles with friends


and painted toenails when her chin got split open and she couldn’t do her swim lessons.

So many memories to cherish and so many more to make…

The folks at Gymboree want you to join them in celebrating and sharing cherished moments in childhood. Gymboree has created an amazing new video to help kick off this campaign and I am thrilled to share it with you. This video is truly touching and must be watched by all parents. So watch and enjoy, then share your favorite cherished childhood moments in the comments! Be sure to use the hashtag #cherishchildhood when commenting or if you share this video with friends! Without further ado, I present to you “Today we’ve got to play!” sponsored by Gymboree:




Press Release: ChromaGen lenses life changing aid for students with reading problems

This post is brought to you by our friends at ChromaGen.  I’m sharing it because I think these lenses could help a lot of children and that’s always a good thing.

30% Of Returning Student Population Suffer From Vision Related Learning Disabilities That Could Be Aided By The Use Of FDA Cleared ChromaGen Lenses


Photo Credit: ChromaGen

Studies show that many students  suffer from vision related learning disabilities such as dyslexia, binocular vision issues and light sensitivity issues.Chromagen has  developed a simple ten-minute screening process that can help identify these students that need further evaluation and fitting with
life-changing ChromaGen lenses.

Kennett Square, PA (Aug. 29, 2013) – Words that move from left to right or up and down, words that are blurry or come in and out of focus or words that appear to float on the page, seeing double words or double sentences, re-reading the same lines – these are a few of the reading difficulties that up to 30 percent of the student population will face as they return to school this month. These symptoms can cause headaches, nausea, and fatigue, loss of concentration and even avoidance of reading all together. Now there is hope with the new, patented and FDA cleared ChromaGen lenses. These lenses are a life-changing aid for people with dyslexia and other reading disorders including  binocular vision and light sensitivity issues.

The ChromaGen lenses were developed by Dr. David Harris, who has concluded after years of studying dyslexia,that the majority of people who have dyslexia see words that appear to be moving on the page in some way.


Photo Credit: Chromagen

“Approximately 90 percent of these people who see words moving will benefit fromChromaGen lenses,” said Harris, who has a PhD in Neurological Implications and Assistance for Reading Disability from Marylebone University in London. “Individuals that useChromaGen lenses will experience instantaneous symptom relief. The patient will see an immediate improvement in reading speed, comprehension and even an improvement in handwriting.”

ChromaGen lenses have also have been shown to be effective in treating binocular vision issues and light sensitivity issues. Binocular vision issues can be described as “how the eyes work together” (or more importantly what happens when they don’t work together) and can have a negative impact on a student’s ability to read effectively.

Light sensitivity issues refer to the eye discomfort, that occurs when viewing repetitive striped patterns such as the printed page. Light sensitivity manifests as eyestrain, headaches, or the illusion of colors, shapes and motion on the printed page or computer monitor.


Photo Credit: ChromaGen

ChromaGen technology is an optical treatment option that employs sixteen different filtered lenses. The lenses modify light’s wavelength as it passes into each eye, which dynamically balances the speed of the information traveling along the neurological pathways to the brain. The result is that people are now seeing words and text that are clear and in focus and enjoy reading free of headaches, nausea and fatigue.

Dr. Edward Huggett, D.O. and Chief Optometric Advisor for ChromaGen Vision, LLC says, “I am prescribing the ChromaGen technology because it provides relief for those patients who have experienced ‘word movement’ while reading for so long that they have lost hope. Now these chronic sufferers have options.”

Huggett, who specializes in the treatment of low vision and binocular vision, is the founder and director of the Low Vision Clinic at St. Luke’s Cataract & Laser Institute in Tarpon Springs, Florida and the Children’s Specialty Vision Clinic in Dunedin, Florida.

ChromaGen lenses are available through a nationwide network of specially trained optometrists or ophthalmologists. Each eye is tested separately to find the best combination of lenses for the patient. The results are instantaneous and the patients will know immediately before leaving the doctor’s office if ChromaGen is an effective solution for them. ChromaGen lenses come with a 100 percent money back guarantee.

Available as eyeglasses, contact lenses and clip-ons, ChromaGen has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are patented. To learn more aboutChromaGen or find a Doctor in your area, visit  For media or news information, visit

Hectic Schedule? Some tips to stay organized #GetFresh

This is a sponsored post about tips to stay organized with a hectic schedule.  I will receive promotional items to thank me for sharing. So we’re back to school.  We’re almost fully started with all activities.  Almost.  Boy Scouts sign up is next week, my Brownies won’t start meeting until October, and preschool soccer is not yet decided on a start date.  Soccer is 1 night and 1 weekend day/week for my 3rd grader…Gymnastics after school one day, dance following that for another kid.  I’m a Sunday School teacher (shared position thankfully) at church, and fall soccer will start soon for my 1st grader (maybe 1 night plus a weekend game, maybe just a weekend game).  This, and we’re remodeling our breezeway, which is kind of like a mudroom.  I know that for many this may not seem like a lot but for us it’s a LOT and it’s hectic.


Here are some tips to stay organized with a hectic schedule- it might help you to keep from feeling overwhelmed like it’s helping me.

1. Have a calendar and use it.  I have a nice big desk calendar I’ve started- each kid has their own COLOR and activities and specials for school and activities are written for them in that color.  Appointments, parties, playdates also.

2. Delegate.  My kids are 8, 6 and 4.  Not so big, but not so little.  They are fully able to chip in and help me to keep this house running smoothly.  One kid opens the curtains each morning, and closes them each night.  The other 2 either feed the dog or the kittens before breakfast and before dinner.  Maybe not a huge thing, but that’s 3 tasks I don’t have to worry about.

3. Shared tasks.  Laundry takes time. It’s something we all have to do.  My littlest one is a really great napkin (we use all cloth)  and kitchen towel folder.  My 6 and 8 year olds are really great at sorting folded laundry into piles for each family member. (They are also able to earn money if they help to put everyone’s laundry away where it belongs).  Often, the kids are upstairs sorting laundry while I’m making dinner.  They are helping, contributing to the family, but they are also helping to keep the sanity level where it needs to be in the house.

4. Plan your meals in advance.  Even better? Cook once, eat twice (or thrice!)

Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t mind cooking, nor do I mind shopping for the food to DO the cooking.  But the planning of the meals to cook and shop for? HATE it.

I do.  Confessions of a meal plan hater.

Except I don’t hate meal planning. Or planners. I just hate having to DO the planning.

I’ve also seen all kinds of meal planning sites and programs but none really ever jumped out at me.  Then I discovered the Fresh20.

Something felt different, and I wanted to know more.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that I love every single recipe. I don’t.  I’m quite frankly too picky to like any full meal plan.  But what I am finding is that even if I don’t like PART of a recipe, almost everything is something I can modify to my family taste or we can simply figure out our own meal for a night or two.

I’m in love.

This is a meal plan that works for my family.  Or rather, with my family. It’s pretty straightforward for preparation and cooking- no fancy skills needed, and I don’t need to hit eleven stores to get all ingredients.


Classic, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Kosher, For One, Lunch and Dairy Free menu plans are all available on the Fresh20.  This is something else that makes this so appealing- we have friends who are Gluten free (and some quite recent, so it’s a big adjustment in their family for meals and shopping.  Having this resource can help them with shopping lists and meal ideas). We also have friends who are dairy free- some due to allergies in their home, but some friends are nursing moms who can’t have dairy right now.  The membership includes all of the menu options, so if you are temporarily dairy free, or have guests coming to visit who are dairy free, meal planning is still easy-peasy.




How to Get Your Kids to Share What’s Good #ShareWhatsGood

I participated in a campaign for Share What’s Good on behalf of Mom Central Consultingfor Welch’s. I received product samples to facilitate my review, a gift code to giveaway, and a promotional item as a thank you for participating. 

My kids are back to school.  That means they are spending hours and hours away from me, and I don’t know a lot of what goes on during their days.  But I WANT them to talk to me, to share what’s good- and even what’s bad. So at dinnertime, I work hard to get information from my mini-Martins.  Which isn’t always easy.  I mean, sometimes, they talk my ear off, or all three talk my ear off, but never actually say much about what happened.  I WANT to hear about their days.


She shared her excitement about her award from school

Something I learned long ago when I was earning my Bachelor’s degree- don’t ask kids yes or no questions.  Don’t ask questions that can be answered with “fine.”

So today, I thought I’d share with you some of MY questions I ask to try to get my kids to talk – even just a little- to share what’s good (and bad) about their days. If your kids are older, you’ll want to adjust your wording for them.  Maybe add a few “like” and LOL’s in there?!

Use these basic question ideas to get information

Who – Who did you sit with at lunch? Who did you play with/swing with/jump rope with at recess? Who said something kind to you?

What – What kind of story did the teacher read this morning?  What did you do in (math) class today? What was the funniest thing that happened this afternoon?

Where- Where did you sit for lunch? Where did you go at recess?

When- When did you feel happy today? When did you do/see/feel/hear something special? When did you laugh today?

Why- Why do you think that math is so much fun?  What is it about art that you like so much? Why did you laugh today


My little one had a really crummy day- some family time at the park and an ice cream (guess what flavor!) turned her frown upside down

This can easily be adjusted for home, camp, sports activities.  Honestly, my husband isn’t a big talker (which is probably good with me the chatterbox for a wife, and 2 little girls who are trying their best to make me look like a quiet girl) and sometimes I feel like I need to ask him some of this to find out about his day!

There are also other times, especially after we’ve done something special,  that we play “My favorite” to share what’s good in our lives.  I will pick a name and say ” What was your favorite thing we did today?”  Sometimes, especially if we’re grumpy or the kids aren’t getting along, we all say three nice things about each other.  We’ll all take turns saying 3 things we like about mommy, daddy, brother, and both of the girls.  Usually by the time we get to the last person, we’re saying silly stuff and everyone is giggling.

Finding ways to share what’s good doesn’t have to be hard, or serious. It’s something important to me because I feel like if my kids are learning to share what’s good with me, they’ll also learn to share what’s bad with me when that happens too.  Sharing life’s little joys can really teach all of us to appreciate so many of the gifts we are given each and every day, you know?


Welch’s believes in the magic of “kitchen table” moments, and has been helping families enjoy them for generations. In the time it takes to drink a glass of juice or share a sandwich, a special moment can happen. That’s why Welch’s has just launched a new movement called “Share what’s good™” It’s all about sharing those special moments that occur each day with family, friends and loved ones – whether it’s at home or on the go. At you’ll find a variety of great content from fun family ideas to delicious recipes. You can share photos of your every-day moments and see how others are doing the same. Just use the hashtag #Sharewhatsgood on Twitter or Instagram and it will show up in the feed. Keep in touch by bookmarking the site – there will always be something fun to learn from Welch’s, or other people in the community.

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How do YOU Share What’s Good in your house?

1 lucky winner will receive a $50 photo gift card towards a popular Online Photo Service where you can share your own moment through Photo Books, Cards & Stationery, Prints, Calendars, Photo Gifts and more!


I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Welch’s. I received product samples to facilitate my review, a gift code to giveaway, and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.