Dallas Mom Blog and Fort Worth Mom Blogger: Trendy Mom Reviews
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Friday, August 17, 2018

Trendy Mom's Back-to-School Guide

The new school year is here! In today's post, I'll share several products that we recommend for a trendy school year. We include our personal favorites that make our lives easier throughout the hectic school year, mainly focusing on items that we use on a daily basis. Let's get started.

Our first recommendation includes trendy Bombas socks for the entire family. As a mom, you'll appreciate that Bombas Toddler socks look good, have a nice gripper design on the bottoms, and are excellent quality. As a Boy Mom, my children stress test everything and I'm glad to report that their Bombas socks have always held up. Plus, every mom needs to know about this bonus - if your child outgrows their Bombas socks within a year of purchase, they have a unique Growth Guarantee:

"If your little one outgrows or wears through his or her Bombas Kids socks within a year of purchase, we’ll send you a new pair the next size up free of charge. Just pay $4.95 shipping total for as many pairs as you want to exchange. We know kids grow fast. And we want Bombas to grow right alongside them."

As you may have guessed, we are a Bombas family.  Not only do I love this brand for my toddler, but I also love it for our entire family.  They have a nice variety of styles and colors. Of course, the biggest reason that I love their socks is that they have lasted for entire school years. My children seem to wear everything out, but their Bombas socks are an exception as they actually hold up to their high energy levels!

The last group of Bombas socks below are extra special to me because I have spent years searching for the perfect no-show socks. Many brands of no-show socks are described as "Fits Sizes 5 to 10" or "One Size". It is a huge range. As someone on the upper side of that size range, I've never found a brand that actually fit comfortably. They have always been too large. I felt like I won the lottery when I tried no-show socks from  Bombas because they actually fit!  I think that the big difference here is that Bombas focuses on quality and realizes that trying to cram every woman into a "Fits Sizes 5 to 10" does not work well.  Instead of one size for everyone, they break their no-show socks into three ranges - large  (4 - 6.5), large (7 - 9), and Large (9.5 - 12.5). As a size 9.5, I wear the large no-show socks and they are amazing! I've tried over a dozen brands of no-show socks and this is the first brand that is actually comfortable for me.  Visit Bombas here.

Next on our list is shoes. I never want to skimp on shoes. I want my children to naturally run, play, and grow!  See Kai Run shoes have been great for my boys. Their shoes are adorable for photos and have a great track record in our family for holding up.  Personally, I also like this brand because they are flexible, lightweight, and are developed with extra room in the toe area. This is important because it gives toes room to wiggle and grip which helps to build the muscles of their feet. They also are designed with wide openings to make them super easy to get on and are approved by the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association). Stock up now while they have a great back-to-school sale here.

In addition to products that children take to school with them, I wanted to feature safety products this year since it's a good idea to remember to review safety issues around your your home. Let me tell you why these safety issues are particularly on my mind. First, my son asked me if he could look at our fire extinguisher. When we were looking at it, we realized that it expired many years ago!  I guess that the years went by and we never thought about the expiration date. It was a wakeup call to order a new fire extinguisher.  I thought that I should share because many of you may have overlooked the fact that fire extinguishers expire too.  Please, check your fire extinguisher's expiration date!  It's very easy to order a new one online. We have the First Alert Home Fire Extinguisher shown below and keep it easily accessible in our kitchen.  This one is particularly nice because it's rechargeable and our local fire station will recharge it when we need it.

After realizing that our fire extinguisher had expired, we reviewed other safet
y issues in our home. We had one smoke detector that went bad in our home and then realized that the builder of our home never put one in our son's bedroom.  When we moved into our home, there was so much going on that we overlooked this detail in our son's bedroom and I feel bad about the critical oversight.  It was an easy fix to install two of the FirstAlert Battery-Operated Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms with Voice and Location. They are battery powered and you don't need an electrician I also like that these alarms feature exclusive voice and location technology by First Alert to detect two threats - smoke or CO -  and even alert users of the specific threats and the location within the home. While this obviously seems like a fantastic idea, what's even more interesting is that studies show that children ages 6 to 10 are awakened more readily by voice. This technology provides an increased level of security for all families, especially those like mine that have young children ages 6 to 10. 

Now that I've featured the safety products that we stocked up on, let me also share some additional tips:

  • The National Fire Protection Association recommends that smoke alarms be installed on every level of the home, including the basement, inside each bedroom and in the main corridors, and carbon monoxide alarms should be installed on each level of the home and in a central location outside each bedroom.
  • Once alarms are installed, be sure to properly maintain them.
  • Test your alarms at least once each month. First Alert alarms are equipped with a test button to make this easy.
  • Replace batteries every six months. A nice reminder is to do this twice a year – at the start and end of Daylight Saving Time. This year we “fall back” on November 4.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years and carbon monoxide alarms every five to ten years.
  • If you can’t remember or don’t know how old the alarm is, it is best to replace the unit completely.
Visit First Alert here.

In addition to safety, we know that shortly after our children return to school, that they may have a rough sports practice or catch germs that make them want to rest.  We love having a hot water bottle from Warm Traditions to help ease their aches and pains on rough days.  Nothing is cozier than Warm Traditions' hot water bottles because they wrap them in soft fabrics.  We even use the Warm Traditions hot water bottles in the winter time to warm their beds as part of their bedtime routine. I think that it's a special touch that they will always remember from their childhood. My husband and I will fill the hot water bottles with hot water and put one under each of their blankets before bedtime to make them extra cozy. Visit Warm Traditions here.

The next topic on my list is skincare. My entire family uses CeraVe skincare products. I've used this brand for several years after my dermatologist recommended it to me.  Let's start with our favorite product - the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. Several years ago, I visited my dermatologist because I felt like I was having a skincare crisis. My skin had always been dry and sensitive, but I was suddenly experiencing acne as an adult. I was sincerely devastated.  In my initial frustration, I turned to harsh products that I hoped would destroy the acne.  However, it seemed like I was just making things worse! My dermatologist suggested that I scale back on the harsh products and try CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.  I gave this facial cleanser a chance and my skin improved in the following weeks. My dermatologist was worth every penny for advising me to try the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser!  Since then, my husband adopted this facial cleanser too.  Of course, when my oldest son started to experience breakouts, I had him try this facial cleanser.  So far, it has worked well for him. We have even recommended it to a few of his friends that use it too.  

There are two other CeraVe products that we use on our dry skin. My favorite moisturizers are some of the newer CeraVe products from their Renewing Line. The CeraVe Renewing Line was developed with dermatologists.  The products contain a special combination of ceramides 1, 6, 6-11 to help restore the skins natural protective barrier and help to visibly smooth fine lines and restore radiance.  There are four products in this line, including two that we use:

  • CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream (SRP of $24.99): We use this product daily because it features SPF30 broad spectrum sun protection which is essential in Texas. In addition the encapsulated retinol releases gradually to help visibly smooth fine lines.
  • CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream (SRP of $18.49): This night cream features a peptide and ceramide complex that seriously hydrates, softens, and renews tired skin.
Visit CeraVe here.

As a Mom and an Engineer, I think that STEM products are important for all of our future tech moguls out there! Even if your child isn't interested in a STEM career, technology is pervasive nowadays, so I think that basic STEM skills are important to everyone. Let me share two that stand out for offering practical functionality, but with special twists that stand out from the crowd.

As a Mom and an Engineer, I love when STEM products are both functional and stylish. The TI-84 Plus CE calculator is a must-have for middle school, high school, and college students. I used a predecessor of this trendy calculator when I was younger and feel like it is a product that transcends generations. However, the TI-84 Plus CE calculator is trendier than ever as it is 30% thinner, incredibly light, offers 6 times the memory of the TI-84 Plus, has an amazing resolution for a calculator, and lasts up to a month on a single charge. This calculator has been evolving for decades and continues to remain at the top when it comes to functionality, including everything needed for Chemistry to Calculus. It even allows student to learn to code.  (I remember coding a little game on mine when I was in 11th grade!)  Of course, it's important to know that this calculator is approved for use during important college entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT.  While this calculator is clearly a foundational tool for students, I also want to add that this trendy calculator comes in stylish colors such as Rose Curve Gold, Measure Mint, and Count on Coral.  When I was a college student, everyone's calculator was blue. I love that TI now offers pops of color, especially since I feel like the new design is so appealing to girls.  Thank goodness for 2018 when Rose Curve Gold finally worked it's way into STEM classrooms around the world!  Visit the TI website here to learn more about the TI-84 Plus CE calculator with all of the foundational functionality that students need, but in colors that reflect their personalities!

As Mom and an Engineer, this next product rocked my world because the clever design made STEM exciting to my son.  BOSEbuild is a fantastic new product line from BOSE that incorporates cutting edge technology with an educational experience to help children to explore the world of sound and hearing while building their own products. Specifically, we love the BOSEbuild Headphones because most schools now require students to bring headphones to school with them. Of course, BOSE is the premier brand for headphones. However, these Bluetooth headphones are actually beyond what you would expect.  Children (ages 8 to 18) build these headphones and even customize them with colored lights and design inserts.  BOSEbuild provides an amazing opportunity for children to not only learn how to build their own headphones, but also provides lessons on sound related concepts such as sound waves, microphones, hearing and sound perception, and healthy listening. I'm impressed with this product because the design team did an amazing job and I'm convinced that they must be perfectionists because every last detail of this product and educational experience is amazing. Visit BOSEbuild here to learn more. 

Younger children will love the Despicable Me Minions and DreamWorks Trolls school supplies from Avery. These lines include many basics for younger children, but with fun twists thanks to the colorful characters. For instance, they offer Fashionable 1" Binders, Big Tab Fashion Dividers, Two Pocket Folders (with 100-sheet capacity), and Glue Stics. The photo below shows samples of some of these trendy school supplies.  Visit here to learn more about the Avery DreamWorks Trolls Collection. Visit here to learn more about the Avery Despicable Me Minions Collection.

Another one of our family traditions is to stock our kitchen with special meals and snacks that work with our busy schedules.  My boys seem to have endless appetites, so stocking our kitchen with healthy meals and snacks at the beginning of the semester makes my life easier and keeps everyone happy. In today's post, I'll invite you into my kitchen to learn about several trendy meal and snack ideas from some of our favorite brands.

The first is Pizzeria Uno's Original '43 Deep Dish Pizzas. These were always a part of my childhood memories, so it's nice that even though we moved away, we are able to order their trendy pizzas online.  (They ship them on dry ice and you may cook them when they arrive or store them in the freezer.) We stock up just before the school year starts and enjoy the first pizza on the first day of school. We then use the others as we celebrate accomplishments during the school year such as a good test grades, winning games, and more.  Visit Uno Pizzeria here to order Pizzeria Uno's Original '43 Deep Dish Pizzas to celebrate the first day of school and other memories throughout the school year.

We also stock up on Farm Rich appetizers and snacks that are made with wholesome ingredients.  My kids work and play hard at school, so I love having Farm Rich appetizers and snacks in our freezer.  As a Boy Mom, it's nice to pour half of a bag of Farm Rich appetizers or snacks onto a cookie sheet and then quickly bake them. Plus, if they have friends over, it's easy to adjust and pour an entire bag onto a cookie sheet to bag. (Many varieties may also be conveniently prepared in the microwave!) It takes such little effort on my end and it makes them so happy.  Farm Rich has a large variety of products, but our favorites are the Mozzarella Sticks, Mozzarella Bites, and Avocado Slices.  Visit Farm Rich and use the Farm Rich store locator to find a location near you.

My children's schools require us to send healthy snacks.  I am not quite sure about their definition of healthy, but my son once overhead a teacher lecture someone's parent for sending an unhealthy snack.  So, let's just say that I never want to push the limit and risk being pulled aside for pushing the limits on snack time. In all seriousness though, I feel like I've been a pro at finding the best snacks for snack time.

My first recommendation is Nearly Naked Popcorn from Popcornopolis. You may have noticed this brand a while back when the giant bags were on sale at Costco.  They also offer cases of individual size bags on the Popcornopolis website here.  In case you were wondering, the bags are generously portioned for "individual size".  A case of 48 individual bags is $29.99+tax and they offer free shipping on your first order here. I have two children, so this covers a full month of snack time for us!

SunRype offers fantastic snacks that are made with 100% pure ingredients. They are vegan, kosher, and made from gluten-free and peanut-free ingredients. I send these to school with my children and also keep them in my purse since they are so convenient.  If you follow regularly, you know that I have a child with food allergies and these SunRype snacks have been a great way to make him feel included in many situations. For instance, he isn't able to have foods from the movie theater concession stand, so we take SunRype Fruit Source Bars and SunRype Fruit to Go Bars to theaters. I am also able to leave a box of them with his teacher so that he has a snack during birthday parties and other events.  I should also add that I have son without food allergies. He loves SunRype snacks too!  They are all fantastic, but our favorite flavors are the SunRype Apple Mango Mangsteen Fruitsource 100% Natural Fruit Bars, SunRype Apple Wildberry Fruit to Go 100% Fruit Strip Snacks, and  SunRype Apple Mango Strawberry Carrot Fruitsource 100% Natural Fruit Bars.  Visit SunRype here.

We love Slammers pouches because they offer healthy snacks that our children love to eat without making a mess. They have delicious varieties that are made with organic fruits and vegetables. They even have varieties that are packed with protein. Slammers pouches are portable and easy to serve frozen, cold, or at room temperature. I love that my boys are happy and that they don't make a mess.  My oldest son is very active, so the varieties with 7 grams of protein help him throughout the day.   These are a staple for us to send to school with them for healthy and low-mess snacking. 

In addition to snacks at school, my children love to snack at home too.  Let me share some trendy Zak Design products that are easy to mix-and-match for use at home and/or school.  The Zak Designs brand is one of my favorites because they are true to their mission of making mealtime fun. My oldest is obsessed with Minions, so he naturally loved the Minion line of products at Zak Designs.  They cover the basics such as plates, bowls, cups, and lunch/snack containers. They even offer fun products to let kids play in the kitchen. For instance, the little Minion baking set below with a rolling pin, cookie cutter, and pastry bag with tips is a great example of how they make mealtime fun!  Making your own food is always fun for kids.

Plus, I need to highlight the unique Minions Zak!Snak Tumbler shown below. It's such a creative solution for after school snacks in the car. It's not only a cup with straw on the bottom, but the top provides an area for snacks.  I've found it to be a low-mess solution for snack/drink combos in the car!  (My husband is keeping his fingers crossed that they will create an adult version and that I'll pack a good drink/snack combo for him too.)

Of course, I have to highlight the Paw Patrol items from Zak Designs!  My youngest is a big fan of Paw Patrol, so these items rocked his world!  I love that zak has such great products and that they have our favorite characters.  Visit Zak Designs here!

Now, let's talk about staying organized and minimizing the items that we lose. A trendy mom hack that you will probably thank me for at some point during this school year is to put a Cube Tracker on everyone's key rings.  I think that we have all had our moments when we were on our way out, but couldn't find our keys. The Cube Tracker offers a trendy solution as you put the tracker on your key ring and then use their app to ping it when your keys are missing.  My husband and I both use it. I timed how long it took us to each install and configure the app and put the Cube Tracker on our key rings. My husband took 4 minutes and I took 5 minutes.  We weren't racing, but that's just how simple it was.  Visit the Cube Tracker website here.  

Finally, label your school supplies with Mabel's Labels.  Their labels are easy to customize online and are quite durable. We've been using them for years, but recently restocked our supply.  We've used them on clothing, lunch containers, shoes, nap mats, and more.  Personally, the investment in labels has been worthwhile for us because other moms have found and returned lost items to us, including items that were mistakenly put in another child's bag or left at the playground. Visit Mabel's Labels here.

Thanks for taking a glimpse into our Back-to-School preparation.  We hope that these products help you to enjoy a trendy new school year too!
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

My Experience with the Dr. Mom Otoscope

In today's post, I want to tell you about the Dr. Mom line of Otoscopes. As a mom of children who have experienced many ear infections, and one who even has tubes in his ears,  I recently had one of those moments where I felt surprised because several other moms told me that they own an otoscope. I had never thought about owning one! I didn't know that this was "a thing." So, I thought that this would be a good post for today since many of you may not have known that these products exist for moms. Even if you are aware of them, you may not realize that they come in a variety of price ranges, so let share some details!

Let me start by sharing some details about the Dr. Mom LED Pocket Otoscope (4th Generation).  I have the pediatric specula tips, but they also sell adult ones. Here is a snippet from the Dr. Mom brand website:
"An otoscope that is built to last a lifetime. It uses a larger OPTICAL quality glass lens that has a scratch resistant coating and 5X magnification. Handle is built from a heavy grade aircraft aluminum metal. We use a heavy duty Gunter brand on/off switch which is the best of the best in switch manufacturing for long term reliability. The amount of light produced for visualization inside the ear and the clarity of vision is second to none on this otoscope. I have been an ER Physician for 25 years and have used many different otoscopes throughout my career. In my honest opinion I can see the tympanic membrane as clear with this otoscope as I can with Welch Allyn models costing much more. We offer a no risk 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee. Give it a try I think you will be very impressed with what you get for not much more money than the cost of a simple Welch Allyn Halogen bulb. Not to mention this otoscope uses an LED module on circuit board with a DC/DC boost converter and voltage regulation and will probably last a lifetime without ever needing a bulb replacement. Even if the LED ever does go out our replacements are only $5 not $25-$30. Batteries will also last and last sometimes up to 6 months to a year being reported by our customers. If you are a medical person and have used otoscopes in the past and have realistic expectations on what you are normally able to see inside the ear you will be especially impressed with this otoscope I guarantee. ******* We did have a problem with the nose cone on our first production of this model otoscope. We sold several thousand of these before we realized there was a problem. If you got one of these models please contact us and we can send you a new metal nose cone which will immediately resolve this issue.Large OPTICAL Quality Scratch Resistant GLASS lens - See the difference a larger optical quality glass lens can make
Proprietary Bright White Full Spectrum LED module with DC-DC Boost converter
5X Magnification plus Insufflation Outlet!
A NOSE Cone that allows for easy on off removal of our standard disposable specula
30 High resolution eardrum photos and detailed use instructions provided via a weblink
Here is a photo of the Dr. Mom Otoscope package after I opened it and inserted the battery.

Now, let me share my personal experience. I don't know what it is about my family, but I had tubes in my ears as a baby after chronic ear infections. My oldest son had tubes in his ears due to ear infections. His ENT recently told us that they should have fallen out by now, but we could wait a few more months. If they don't fall out, then he'll need surgery to remove them. Say, what?? Another surgery with anesthesia? Nooooo! Of course, as a mom, I'm stressed out about this and can't help buy wonder on a daily basis about whether they have fallen out yet. At my son's annual exam at his pediatrician, he told us that the tubes were kinking. I didn't know what that meant, but it meant that was a good thing that they may possibly be working their way out. Now, let's hope, fingers crossed, that they fall out!

As you may have guessed, I am anxious to know if and when these tubes fall out of his ears. I can't keep paying to visit his pediatrician or ENT to ask for sneak peeks while I wait for his ENT appointment in Fall. That's where the Otocscope from Dr. Mom has come in to help this anxious mom! As mentioned above, I have a 4th Generation Dr. Mom LED Pocket Otoscope and a pack of disposable Specula Tips that let me take a peak whenever I want. The clarity is amazing - the tubes are bright blue and are easy to spot. I am now able to monitor his ears and see whether anything is happening with those tubes.  It's pretty cool, right?

I also have a toddler that seems to pick up germs easily.  I also love having a Dr. Mom Otoscope to peak into his ears before we go to his pediatrician.  It helps me to better advocate for my child if I notice something. I really like the examples on the Dr. Mom box (shown below). Of course, I am not a medical professional, so I rely on my pediatrician's professional advice (as should everyone), but, as a mom, I really like being able to peak at my son's ears and use any of my observations to help advocate for him. After all, it's tough since he isn't old enough to talk and tell us how he feels. 

So, am I the last mom to know about the Dr. Mom Otoscope?  I was blown away a few weeks ago when I learned that several other moms that I know have one! They were actually surprised that I didn't have one.  It's such a cool little invention to keep in my medicine cabinet.   Even better, let me tell you that Dr. Mom offers several variations in different price ranges from approximately $15 to $50.  Here are some links to check them out.  (The first link is the one that I have.)

Disclosure: I have no medical training. Please always consult your child's pediatrician for medical advice when your child may be sick or have an ear infection. However, please feel welcome to take the information that I shared to your pediatrician if you think that any of it is helpful for discussion.

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I'm Preparing My Children to Be Future Tech Moguls with The Learning Journey's Code & Learn! Space Ship

As a Mom and an Engineer, I am over-the-moon that my son is coding with the trendy Code & Learn! Space Ship. Our children are growing up in a world where technology has more and more influence in our lives. This makes computational thinking important. It's never too early to start So, let me share how I am giving my future little tech mogul a head start!

Let's start with the product description from The Learning Journey website for the Code & Learn! Space Ship (Item no.: 201855):

"Introduce children to basic programming and coding with these fun, light up, infrared remote control playmates. In mode one, use the coding card deck and color grid map to challenge your child to find the right path to a destination by entering directional instructions into the remote control. Hit go and they will know they got to the right place when the cockpit of the ship or antennae of the ladybug light up the color of the mat square they land on. If it matches the card they are correct! Mode two allows your child to “drive” the remote control playmate around for freewheeling fun. A great tool for learning sequencing, directions, problem solving and logic. These products align with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) standards. Requires three AA batteries (included) and two AAA batteries (not included).
Ages 5+ years."
Their YouTube video gives a really nice overview here:

This set is an amazing amount of fun. My son understands colors and shapes, so this is a blast for him.  He's not perfect at it yet which is great because that means that he is learning.  It's fun to see him so curious and engaged. I think that the little alien design was genius for younger kids.  It looks adorable and makes fun noises to add to their interests.

Finally, let me add this this toy has provided hours and hours of fun.  That's one of my main criterion for toys - I want them to entertain my children for many hours. This toy achieved this goal! It was fun, educational, and extremely engaging!
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Friday, August 10, 2018

Visit MOOYAH for a Mommy-and-Me Date with Burgers & Shakes Before the School Year Begins

The new school year is just around the corner. Life is often hectic once school starts, so this is a great time to spend extra time together. In today's post, I'll share a fun Mommy-and-Me Date idea -- Burgers & Shakes at MOOYAH!  I'll tell you about MOOYAH Milkshakes that are filled with Peace, Love, & 100% Real Ice Cream. I'll also share some fun conversation topics.

Let's start with the Mommy-and-Me Date concept.  I initially started our Mommy-and-Me Dates as activities where each of my children could pick something fun to do and we would spend one-on-one time together. However, my children are clever and convinced me that they wanted to share their Mommy-and-Me Dates so that they could double their fun.  So, now we have two per week where they each pick something fun and the three of us go.   We always look forward to our special time together.  Sometimes our outings are as simple as a trip to have smoothies and visit the library. Other times, we'll drive into Dallas to visit the Perot Museum.  However, as creatures of habit, one of our favorites is a trip to MOOYAH because we love the food, chalkboard, and opportunity to bond.

MOOYAH is one of the first restaurants that we visited when we moved here several years ago. Our first visit was memorable because the staff introduced us to the menu and told us about the area. I remember that one of the employees even brought a small milkshake over for us as a nice surprise. We somehow felt more at home by finding our local MOOYAH because our visit was such a welcoming experience.  

MOOYAH is perfect for a Mommy-and-Me Date.  I've always thought that the designers of the restaurant must have children because they seem like perfectionists when it comes to catering to families. They have cozy oversized booths and a menu that has something for everyone.  They offer ways to entertain children with a fantastic Moodle Doodle Chalkboard for kids to draw while they wait for their food.  They also have coloring sheets with trendy cow-themed designs.  I'm one of those moms that feels stress about taking my children to restaurants in case their behavior is not perfect, but I truly feel like it's acceptable to bring my children to MOOYAH since the restaurant is so welcoming to them. 

Now, let's talk about food!  My favorite menu item is the Loaded House Salad that comes with Fresh Greens, Avocado, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Fried Onion Strings, and Balsamic Vinaigrette. You may optionally add a burger to this salad which I definitely recommend!

Another mom-friendly sandwich is the Farmer's Favorite which comes with a MorningStar Farms Black Bean Veggie Iceburger, Swiss Cheese, Avocado, Tomatoes, Spicy Ranch Dressing.

My oldest son has always been a fan of their burgers, but recently changed his favorite to the Hamburdog.  This sandwich is unique and memorable! It's absolutely perfect for a Mommy-and-Me Date since I'm sure that it will be a fun memory to later discuss when my son reflects on his childhood. It contains Fresh, Never-Frozen Certified Angus Beef® topped with a Hebrew National® All-Beef Hot Dog, Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, JalapeƱos, Fried Onion Strings, Ketchup, Non-GMO Potato Bun.  (We ordered it without the JalapeƱos since my son is still young and doesn't quite have a love for the extra heat yet.)

My youngest enjoyed a Kids Meal with a Cheeseburger, Applesauce, and Milk.  The funny thing is that I remember when this was my oldest son's favorite meal!

Of course, we all shared fries.  MOOYAH has the best fries.  We order the Sharable size which is more than enough for all of us.

Finally, let's talk about Milkshakes!   MOOYAH is currently celebrating a summer of love with their trendy milkshakes. They use 100% ice cream in their rich and delicious milkshakes that you may have optionally topped with whipped cream and cherries.  (Go for the whipped cream and cherries -- they are only young once and you'll be glad to have the memories!)  

The shakes include:

  • Hershey's Chocolate
  • Vanilla 
  • Cookie Dough
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Oreo
  • Reese's PB Cups
  • Strawberry
Personally, my favorite is the Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake.

My youngest sons love the Reese's PB Cups Milkshake. 

Now that I've told you about the fun atmosphere and food at MOOYAH, let me share some fun conversation topics for your Mommy-and-Me Date:
  • What do you think you will be when you grow up?
  • What do you think your siblings will be when they grow up?
  • What is your favorite memory?
  • How did you change over the past school year?
  • What are things that you like about yourself?
  • What is something that you want to accomplish this school year?
  • What is the best way to encourage you at school?
  • What is your biggest strength?
  • If you could only eat one food forever, what would it be?
  • Write today's date on the MOOYAH Moodle Doodle Chalkboard and draw a picture of us having lunch.
We hope that you enjoy the last week before school begins!  Please feel welcome to use our conversation topics for a fun Mommy-and-Me Date with your children.  If you want to visit a trendy MOOYAH restaurant, click here for their store locator.

Enter for a chance to win!
One lucky reader will win a $50 MOOYAH gift card. Enter using the Rafflecopter below. The winner must have a U.S. shipping address. The winner will have one week to respond to our email. Otherwise, we will select a different winner. Good luck!

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Join Celebrity Chef George Duran on a Quest for the Perfect Cheeseburger Enter the Jarlsberg Sizzling Summer Burger Contest to Win Big

In today's post, I'll tell you about the trendy Jarlsberg Sizzling Summer Burger Contest, share one of their trendy burger recipes, and share my own personal favorite recipe for fries to accompany any of their fabulous burger recipes!

Let's start with the details:

What: Join Celebrity Chef George Duran on a Quest for the Perfect Cheeseburger and Enter for a chance to win in the Jarlsberg Sizzling Summer Burger Contest to Win Big
When: The Contest Runs from Now to August 27th
Where: Prepare one of the Burger Recipes for a meal and then enter from the convenience of your own home - it's that easy-peasy and delicious fun!
Here are the details from their press release that you'll want to know:
"DARIEN, CT (July, 2018) - Jarlsberg® Cheese famous worldwide for its mild, mellow and nutty flavor and ooey gooey meltability, launches a global recipe global contest starring two best friends: burgers and cheese. Cheese fans and all foodies can enter the Jarlsberg Sizzling Summer Burger contest from July 2nd to August 27th at https://www.facebook.com/jarlsberg. Entrants will have the chance to win exclusive Jarlsberg® Grill Kits every week and the grand prize is a Big Green Egg Grill, so that winners can re-create their favorite Jarlsberg® burgers, just in time for Labor Day weekend! 
The program also offers some great new burger ideas from Celebrity Chef George Duran. Duran, the Venezuelan born American chef, is well known for hosting cooking programs on TLC and Food Network and his appearances on numerous TV shows. He has created four distinctly different Jarlsberg® burger recipes, including one vegetarian burger and one burger with grilled pineapple slices in place of burger buns.
Each of Chef Duran’s four burger recipes offer a summer story and their own film: The Marvelous Meltdown (Jarlsberg® Fondue Burger), Melted Maui Madness(Pineapple Bun Jarlsberg® Burger), The Viva La Quinoa (Quinoa and Red Lentil with Jarlsberg®), and The Brooklyn Bacon Bonanza (Bacon Burger Stuffed with Jarlsberg®). The burgers are placed in different settings, and the ambience is quintessentially New York: three of the four burger shorts are filmed in a Williamsburg brownstone, and the fourth on a rooftop in Queens with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. 
“As summer heats up around the world, we wanted to share some creative and luscious ways to enjoy burgers made with Jarlsberg® Cheese,” said Valerie Liu, Marketing Manager. “Chef George Duran elevates burgers in brand new melted and magical creations. You won’t want to stop at just one!”"
Next, let me share my favorite burger recipe from Jarlsberg Cheese:
Recipe: The Marvelous Melt-down – Fondue Burger 
Makes 4 burgers

For the burgers:

  • 1 tbsp. panko-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 lb minced beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1/4 tbsp. black pepper
  • Butter
  • 4 sesame burger buns
  • Lettuce
  • Chopped scallions
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
For the Jarlsberg® fondue sauce:
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 C. of whole milk
  • 1 1/2 C. of grated Jarlsberg® cheese
1. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and heavy cream until absorbed ( about 3 – 4 minutes)2. In a large bowl, mix the beef with the garlic and breadcrumb mixture until combined. Season with salt and pepper and form 4 large burgers. Make a large indentation in the middle of each burger and preheat your grill.3. In the meantime, make the Jarlsberg® cheese fondue sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan and whisking in the flour. Whisk over a medium heat until browned. Slowly whisk in the milk and allow to thicken (about 3 – 4 minutes). Add the grated Jarlsberg® and whisk until smooth. Keep some cheese aside.4. Grill each burger as desired, spread butter inside the buns and toast lightly. Arrange lettuce on the bottom half of the bun, followed by the burger. Then pour fondue sauce on top of the burger. Add the other half of the bun and pour more fondue sauce over the top.5. Garnish with scallions and red pepper flakes.

Now that I've shared my favorite burger recipe from Jarlsberg Cheese, let me share my personal recipe for quick and easy Poutine for busy moms.  This recipe is one of my go-to recipes on busy evenings when I have a long day and was stuck in traffic, but need to feed my family dinner quickly.

Recipe: Mom's Quick & Easy Last Minute Dinner Solution of Poutine with Jarlsberg Cheese 

  • One bag of frozen French fries
  • One jar of gravy
  • 1 package of Jarlsberg® cheese (slices)
1. Prepare the fries according to the instructions on the bag that you bought.

2. Heat the gravy over low heat in a sauce pan until warm, stirring frequently.

3. When the fries and gravy are done, add fries to each plate, generously top with slices of Jarlsberg cheese, and pour gravy over the fries and cheese.

This recipe is the perfect complement to many of the Jarlsberg Cheese Burger recipes! Visit Jarlsberg here.
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