Feb 25, 2015

New at IHOP Criss Croissants-- A must-try!

I had the absolute pleasure of sampling the latest menu item from IHOP. The all-new Criss Croissants. Breakfast lovers the world over have long enjoyed the unique taste and texture of the classic French croissant—that delicate, buttery flaky pastry that practically melts in your mouth.  Now, IHOP restaurants introduces a brand new way to savor that treat—by taking that distinctive dough and baking it in a waffle iron so that you have the luscious taste of a croissant with the distinctive criss-crossing of the waffle iron pattern, and voila!  Criss-Croissants!

Oh boy, these are out of this world! Criss Croissants are available in two irresistible flavors: Strawberry Rhubarb and Blackberry Lemonade. I'm a strawberry gal so I knew that was the one I would want to try first. I won't lie, I anticipated that the cream would be too sweet for my liking. To my surprise, it wasn't at all. It was lightly sweet and the fruit was bursting with a sweet and tangy flavor. It was the perfect combination. I had mine paired with the bacon and egg combo and I ate every last bite. My husband tried it too and enjoyed it as well. We noticed that many people sitting around us were ordering the same thing. I don't blame them :)
Strawberry Rhubarb: A warm waffled croissant filled with perfectly sweetened cream cheese, and crowned with a strawberry rhubarb topping.
Blackberry Lemonade: A warm waffled croissant filled with refreshing lemonade cream and topped with sweet blackberries.
Criss Croissants are available as part of a breakfast combo at participating IHOP restaurants through April 5. If you can make it out to IHOP, you must try Criss Croissants. You won't be disappointed! Be sure to check out IHOP on the web and follow on InstagramFacebook and Twitter for promotions and updates.

I received a gift card to try out the latest menu offering in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own as always. 

Feb 19, 2015

When Should Your Child Get a Smartphone?

It used to be the case that a child's first mobile phone was given to them when they reached the penultimate year of primary school- at this age kids would be more likely to go out and about with their friends more regularly, and it made sense to provide them with a means of contacting their parents. Today though, in the midst of the truly digital age, smartphones are the most popular mobile devices, packing features far more advanced than the mere capability to text and call. Because of these new devices, all manner of questions play through the minds of concerned parents regarding when, why and if they even want to give their children a smartphone.
Image credit
When?
Educational professionals recommend that children shouldn't be given their own smartphones until they are at least between 11 or 13 years of age. This is due to the way that smartphones may impair your child's development; children learn primarily from real-world interactions and experiences, and as such if they are tapping away at a screen, indulging in what many of us would easily categorise as escapism, then they simply aren't going to receive the same bountiful upbringing that they might otherwise receive.

Electronic media can be very beneficial from an educational point of view, especially after the child is over 4 or 5 years old, as it can boost their understanding of their school studies, however having a smartphone 'on tap' before the teenage years is not a good situation.

Guidance
Even if you are the parent of a teenager, you should exercise some control over what your child accesses via their smartphone. Pornography, adult comedy, violent and extreme content; all of these things are easily and readily accessible from any search engine. If kids are able to access online gaming sites like Betway Bingo, which are advertised on television and via the net, then they might end up playing too much, racking up bills they simply can't pay. With all of these potential issues, parents can simply set up parental guidance locks via a number of free apps that can readily be downloaded. This will allow parents to block sites and content that they don't want their children viewing.

Timing
It's also a really good idea to talk to your child about the merits and problems surrounding smartphones. If your child is made aware that a truly screen-centric life isn't the norm and will impair their development, they will understand the need the exercise some constraint in their digital activities. If all else fails, apps are also available that allow you to set limits on how long a child can use the internet for each day.

Feb 17, 2015

How To Get The Very Best Deal For Your Insurance

Here in America, we like to own stuff. That's a very simplistic way of saying that, to a very large degree, we measure our self worth and our accomplishments in life by our ability to provide the necessities of life for our families.

On top of providing the basic needs for ourselves and others, we also like to enjoy plenty of luxury and recreational items. Our possessions are a very large of what makes us what we are. So it's no surprise that we have a strong urge to protect our possessions and maintain them in the highest state of quality.

Insuring Your Most Precious Possessions Reliably

Naturally, when it comes to getting insurance for your possessions, your home and health should be at the top of your list of priorities. While your place of employment can no doubt provide excellent health coverage for selected areas, you'll be well advised to seek supplemental coverage for the areas that your job won't cover. This could be anything from short term medical coverage to an all encompassing medical life plan.

In addition, you'll want to make sure that your place of residence is fully covered by the most comprehensive and up to date policy that your budget can afford. Topics such as fire and hurricane insurance are bound to be important areas of coverage, especially if you live in the South Carolina area.

How To Choose The Best Policy For Your Needs

Depending on how much actually needs to be covered, you should be able to form a quick and reliable estimate of the policies you need to be fully safe and insured. In some cases, bundling your policies (taking out several coverage policies with the same insurance company) can save you a great deal of effort, time, and money in the long run.

It's an excellent idea to make an inventory of all your possessions that require insurance. Of course, your home and vehicles will top the list, but there are bound to be other items that need to be on there as well. Bring the list to your agent and talk it over. He or she can help you come to an arrangement that satisfies your requirements without breaking your family budget.

Being adequately insured is the best way to sleep safely at night. If you're ready to enjoy the feeling of having the best insurance in Charleston, contact your local agent today.

Feb 12, 2015

Liberte Mediterranee is truly #YogurtPerfection $15 PayPal giveaway

Thanks to Liberté Méditerranée for sponsoring today's discussion

Have you ever heard of or tried Liberte Mediterranee yogurt before? I was introduced to it from a friend almost two years ago and I have been completely hooked ever since. My friends and family often call me a food snob for good reason, this yogurt is premium perfection that exceeds my standards. I have tried almost all of the flavors except the two newest ones: Caramel and Cappuccino. I have been stalking my local Publix supermarket in hopes they will start to carry them.
In the meantime, my all-time favorite is the coconut flavor. The first time I tried it I had a moment. I closed my eyes and felt like I was eating freshly grated coconut mixed into the creamiest, richest yogurt I ever tasted. It was absolutely divine! It's made with whole milk and has no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. I have converted many yogurt lovers into Liberte Yogurt lovers.
I mostly enjoy my yogurt as is, but on occasion I will add some granola on top for breakfast. Another yummy way to take my Yogurt Perfection to the next level is with one of my favorite Liberte recipes, a fabulous fruit smoothie. I take my favorite fresh and frozen fruits, ice cubes and a container of Liberte Mediterranee and blend it into the most gorgeous (yes, gorgeous) smoothie ever!

Right now you can print a coupon to save 20 cents on a cup of Liberte at Publix. They are almost always on sale 10 for $10 and trust me, if you haven't already tried it, you will buy 10 at a time. You should check out their interactive page that tells you the story behind Liberte-- it's awesome! Just one thing, please don't get mad at me when you get hooked on Liberte. You definitely want to take advantage of the Liberte Publix coupon ;)

To help you stock on Liberte yogurt, one lucky Mom Files reader will win $15 PayPal cash. Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on February 25, 2015. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email to be awarded prize. Good luck! 


Feb 10, 2015

The Tiny House Craze

I don't watch a lot of television, but when I do it is usually something news, food or home related. I flip through channels at night and have recently noticed a common thing; Tiny Houses. I assumed they meant lavish playhouses for kids. No, I was so wrong. Apparently there are many people downsizing their home for a version that is about 10% its size. The average American house size is 2,300 square feet and the tiny house size is roughly 230 square feet. I had to check out some different shows to see what it was all about.
Image credit: Tiny Home Builders
People are getting these homes either custom built or looking one in a specific location and they range from around 100 sq ft- 400 sq feet. You have people buying a house the size of a storage shed! I can't imagine it. Some of the homes are very luxurious on a teeny-tiny level and others very rustic.
Image credit: Tiny House Builders (interior view)
I personally could never do it. I saw one episode of Tiny House Hunters where a family of 6 went from a 3,000 sq ft home down to 400 sq ft. NO. No, no NO! I can't imagine that at all! I understand that people are trying to live mortgage or debt-free, but sheesh. I don't want to have people all in my personal space. It is certainly not something I would ever desire for myself. There's only so much family bonding one can take.

So what about you? Could you live the tiny house lifestyle?
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