Apr 29, 2012

My thoughts on Instagram

I remember when everyone was getting the iPhone and started using Instagram. I wanted to upgrade just to have the fun photo filters as well as my own page to share them. The thing is that I love my DROID 3 and would be too nervous to go all touchscreen. My phone has the best of both worlds with a huge touchscreen and a 5 row pull-out keyboard. I'm old school and as my friend Tanyetta would say, I love buttons! When Instagram became available on Android phones I was so excited! Finally, I could use the cool features and not have to change phones. I honestly did not understand how to use it at first and I think it was causing my phone to malfunction. I believe I have it under control now and have figured out how to use to for the most part. Knowing me, I am still doing something wrong :)

Fun at the playground. 
I don't have thousands of photos like some people do but I expect my Instagram photo account will grow. If you care to follow me you can find me under the name momfiles. I would love to follow you back! I am really enjoying looking at my friends both in real life and online share fun parts of their day through photos.

Shelly, Mom Files

Apr 27, 2012

A typical Guyanese breakfast

I often times get a lot of questions about my Guyanese heritage. So many want to know what language is spoken in Guyana, what types of food is eaten and what some customs might be. Although I was born in Guyana, I left when I was 3. My parents did bring me and my siblings up with a lot of Guyanese culture. I wanted to show you what a typical breakfast in a Guyanese household might looks like.

This dish is what we would call "Channa and boiled egg". It is very simple and is nothing more than heavily seasoned chick peas/garbanzo beans and a boiled egg. I make it by starting off with some sliced onion, scallion and tomato. I saute my veggies in a splash of oil for a few and add one can of chick peas with the liquid. I season with Spanish style seasonings, Creole seasoning, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin and hot pepper sauce. I cook it until it gets tender. I serve it with fresh, sliced scallion on top and a boiled egg cut in half. Simple, filling and flavorful. I made this dish today because I had a taste for it. 

I will periodically share recipes and interesting facts from my culture. If there is anything you are curious about please leave me a comment or you can always email me. Have a great weekend! :)

Shelly, Mom Files

Apr 23, 2012

Old school JELL-O treat

I wanted to share one of my most favorite desserts that is so easy to make and only requires 3 ingredients. Some of you might remember this classic JELL-O treat from back in the day...


What you need:
3 cups of boiling water
1 6 ounce box of JELL-O (any flavor)
1 small container of COOL WHIP

How to make it:
Add boiling water to JELL-O and stir until dissolved. Stir in COOL WHIP until completely mixed in. Pour into glasses or cups (I like using little "crystal cut" plastic cups) I recommend using a measuring cup with a spout to pour even amounts in your glasses/cups. Chill until firm at least 4 hours.

Enjoy!

Have you ever tried this recipe before? My favorites are the raspberry and pineapple flavors. These are so good during the warm weather months! Let me know if you try it.
Shelly, Mom Files

Apr 20, 2012

Looking back

I came across this photo today and it made me smile. This was taken before Will turned 2.


Shelly, Mom Files

I See Me! Contest

I wanted to share this with you guys...

I See Me! is having a contest. They will choose TWO (2) GRAND PRIZE Winners! (open to US residents only) Winner 1 will receive a girls wooden bookcase and 10 I See Me! personalized storybooks and Winner 2 a boys wooden bookcase and 10 I See Me! personalized storybooks. Each grand prize is valued at approximately $500 retail value. 10 runners up will receive an I See Me! gift certificate valued at $32.95 plus standard shipping (good for 1 storybook). The Promotion begins on April 17, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on May 17, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Go enter here


Shelly, Mom Files

Apr 17, 2012

Can you lose weight without trying?

Last year around this time, I was going through something I never imagined I would have to deal with... my weight. For most of my life I have been very underweight. As a child I was so underweight that I was teased and ridiculed about it. It was very hard and I spent many nights crying myself to sleep feeling a lot of shame and pain.  Nobody knows how much I longed to gain weight. Fast forward to after having William... I weighed what would be called a healthy weight. I was the average for my height and weight for the first time in my life (without being pregnant). Then it came to a point that I was at the top of that average weight. It started to freak me out because my wedding rings no longer fit and all of my clothes were too small. I figured that maybe it was my time. I finally gained the weight I desired my entire life.

I think I came to a point when I started to break down after trying on swimwear and finding that I was no longer in Junior's sizes. Last year at this time, I became very interested in reading about health and nutrition. Although I have heard it before, I read an article about drinking diet sodas and my favorite Crystal Light. I found out how they trick your body and make you crave bad foods. I have always been a sweets freak and junk food addict since childhood.  Could this be true? I used to drink about 2-3 packets of Crystal Light everyday especially during the Summer months and exclusively purchased diet soft drinks. I figured zero calories made sense. I couldn't have been more WRONG! I stopped all of the diet beverages and replaced them with water and indulged in the occasional soda. As a matter of fact, I switched from using margarine and butter spreads to real butter. I noticed almost right away that I slowed down tremendously on eating sweets and junk food. I wasn't having as many cravings to eat bad stuff.  It's as if I was changing my naughty ways. I started to find that my pants were fitting less snug. I had to start wearing a belt with my jeans and even had to tighten it on occasion. So one year later I am finally able to put on my wedding rings and I can wear things that were too small very easily. As a matter of fact, I can't wear most of the clothing I have since they are too big. I need to buy all new stuff. I stepped on the scale at the gym last week and could not believe it. I don't weigh much more than my teenagers!  My advice to you if you are trying to lose weight is to kick the diet drinks!
Shelly, Mom Files

Apr 14, 2012

8th Continent Soymilk Review & Giveaway

**Contest Closed** Winners are kimmiesb, Krystel S, Kimberly, Maryann D and Dealsfan32. Congratulations to you all!

Hey guys! I wanted to share my review of 8th Continent Soymilk. I have always heard about the great health benefits of soy and thought I would check it out for myself. The girl in me just loves the fun prints on the cartons. Who wouldn't want to drink something that came in such a happy container? I was really amazed by the very long shelf-life, refrigerated of course. I picked up the Original variety to try out. I confess, I am not a big milk drinker so I have to drink mine out of a wine glass :) You know what? It was very delicious! I prefer the taste over traditional cow's milk. 8th Continent Soymilk comes in 8 varieties ~Original, Light and Fat-free versions including Chocolate and Vanilla. My husband wants me to buy the Light Vanilla so he can use them for his protein shakes.
I was checking out the website and I did not realize you can substitute 8th Continent Soymilk in almost all your recipes. They have some really nice recipes from all different categories. It's a great choice for those that are lactose-intolerant or live a gluten-free lifestyle. You can learn more about the health benefits of 8th Continent Soymilk here. Be sure to stay connected with 8th Continent Soymilk on Facebook and Twitter.

The great folks from 8th Continent have provided me with coupons for FREE product to give away to you guys! 5 winners will get 2 coupons each. Enter in the Rafflecopter widget below. Make sure to do the mandatory entry first in order for your extra entries to count.

Apr 13, 2012

Spring cleaning with Stanley Steemer {$100 Gift Certificate Giveaway}

**Contest over** Winner is Pascha. Congratulations!
It is Springtime and there is an abundance of dust and allergens floating around in the air as well as lodged in our carpets, ducts, floors and fabrics. This is a great time to do some deep cleaning and Stanley Steemer is a phone call away. Did you know they do more than just clean carpet? Stanley Steemer’s expertise extends to hardwood, tile, air ducts, water damage restoration, and more! I have made a service appointment for next month to have our air ducts cleaned out. It has not been done in a few years, so it is really time! I have used Stanley Steemer in the past and the difference is always astonishing after having your carpet cleaned.

Check out the video below from fellow blogger Corine of Complicated Mama



We will be replacing the carpeting in our home soon and plan to make sure we have Stanley Steemer in twice a year to get the 'ick' out! Stanley Steemer’s proprietary equipment and cleaning processes remove more than 98% of dry soil from floors With over 70 branches and 220 franchise locations in 48 states, Stanley Steemer services 95% of the country. You can find Stanley Steemer on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

I am really excited that Stanley Steemer (through MyBlogSpark) is providing a $100 gift certificate for one lucky Momfiles reader to win. How fantastic is that!?

Enter below in the Rafflecopter widget. Be sure to complete the mandatory entry in order for your extra entries to count!

Apr 11, 2012

How to jazz up store-bought desserts with COOL WHIP

I love to bake as often as possible since my family really enjoys home-baked goodies. There are some weeks that get a bit too hectic with carpool, activities, doctor appointments and errands. I sometimes have to rely on store-bought desserts for my family. I wanted to share some very easy ways that you can add a little something to ordinary store-bought items to make them extra special with COOL WHIP.

I started off with some chocolate brownie cookies and a sour cream angel food cake that I purchased on sale.

I took the angel food cake and sliced it up. I added some sliced strawberries that were tossed with a little bit of powdered sugar to enhance the sweetness and topped it off with a dollop of COOL WHIP. Pretty easy huh? It took me no time at all and I am reconsidering the amount of time I spend baking! This is a great idea for entertaining. Less time in the kitchen means more time with your guests.


Next up I took the chocolate brownie cookies and made a cool and minty treat. I put a small scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream on top of the cookie. I then added a dollop of COOL WHIP and sprinkled some brownie cookie crumbs on top. How cute it that?! My kids loved it and felt like they were eating a fancy dessert. The have already asked to have this dessert again but instead with vanilla ice cream, COOL WHIP and colored sprinkles.


You don't have to stress out about a dessert when you can take something so simple like a store-bought cake or pie and add a dollop of COOL WHIP along with your own special touches. I would love for you to share any ideas you have on how you can make store-bought desserts extra special. 

Be sure to stay connected on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for great recipe ideas using COOL WHIP. If you haven't already seen the behind-the-scenes footage from the COOL WHIP ad photo shoot, you can check them out here

I am working in partnership with the COOL WHIP brand and I am receiving compensation for my participation in this campaign. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own.

Shelly, Mom Files

Apr 10, 2012

Happiness


Isn't William the cutest fisherman? He is so content when he is out back with his daddy fishing. Look at the concentration face! They did catch some small fish. Of course I make them throw them back in the water. Mean momma! :)



Shelly, Mom Files

Apr 9, 2012

Meyer Lemon tree update one year later

I just had to share the latest update on my dwarf Meyer lemon tree that I planted last year. Thankfully it is thriving!! I was so afraid since over the winter months most of the leaves fell off and it looked kind of pathetic. I waited until the temperatures stayed above 55 degrees before taking it back outside. I added some more premium potting soil on top and fertilized it. After a few weeks and several rain showers later, I have a full bush that stands about 2 feet tall and it has actual blooms on it!
Do you see the little pink blooms? The tree is loaded with them! I will keep my fingers crossed that we will get some actual lemons this year. I am so excited and will be sure to post another update in a couple months. Hmm, I might have a little green hidden under my purple thumb after all!
I have been thinking about possibly planting a dwarf key lime tree. I guess I better see what happens with this one first and them go from there :)
Shelly, Mom Files

Apr 6, 2012

My latest Pinterest find

I love Pinterest. I can sit on the computer all day and Pin all sorts of things. A lot of times I Pin "wish list" items. On occasion I find things that I actually make or try. My favorite one recently was this recycled watering can. I was just nagging... informing my husband last week that I really needed a watering can for all of my plants I have on my deck and inside the house. I was thrilled to find this DIY idea that took no thought and cost nothing!
There are my office houseplants. Now watering them is so much easier.
I took a milk jug and rinsed it out thoroughly. I pierced holes in the cap with a corn holder. Since they have 2 sharp points, it made the process fast and easy. The result is a FREE watering can that may not be pretty but is environmentally friendly and does the trick. I have one in a half gallon size for my indoor plants and one in a gallon size for the outdoor plants.

What things have you found on Pinterest lately that you have tried or plan to try?
Shelly, Mom Files

Apr 4, 2012

Is my what nasty?

The other day my son was doing something that really annoys me to no end that I think every member of the male species does... touching his 'man parts'. I told him I thought it was nasty what he was doing and he responds "Is your penis nasty too?". I told him that girls don't have a penis and that our private parts were different. I realized that we have not had the conversation yet about the differences between boys and girls. Being the active, typical boy William is he just sort of moved on to the next thing. My husband heard our brief conversation and starts to laugh at me. He says that maybe it was better I explain that to him since I might handle it better. MEN!
Shelly, Mom Files

Apr 3, 2012

Children's Claritin® Mom Crew

Hey guys! I wanted to let you all know that I am a Children's Claritin® Mom Crew Member. All of my kids are seasonal allergy sufferers and we depend on Claritin®to get us through the super high pollen days. I love that it does not make you sleepy and lasts all day with just one pill. Although our middle child gets allergy shots, she still has those sniffly and sneezy days especially at this time of year. She has to take Claritin® daily to get her through. I remember growing up as a child sneezing the entire way to the bus stop. Back in that time the only allergy medication my mom gave me made me want to sleep for days! Thank goodness for non-drowsy Claritin® today, raising my own kids. It is so convenient to have the option of liquid or chewables.


Here are some great Spring Allergy Tips:

It's not surprising that in the season notorious for allergies, we have the most tips to share! Beginning as early as February, invisible pollens from hardwood deciduous trees are big troublemakers for many allergy sufferers. But there's no reason to be miserable. These tips can help you minimize your exposure to allergens, and be prepared as possible for the pollen storm that's on the horizon.

~Start taking Claritin® allergy products as soon as symptoms start. Having medication on hand will help you prepare for allergy symptoms. 

~Know your nemesis- When you understand what triggers your allergy symptoms, you can make an extra effort to avoid them. For example, grass pollen levels rise when grass is disturbed, so if that's one of your triggers, wear a mask when mowing or avoid mowing altogether. 

~Beat the clock- Peak pollen production can occur in early morning, so try to plan outside activities at other times of the day. 

~Check the forecast- Avoid going outdoors when pollen counts are high. Also, heavy rains wash pollen from the air, making post-shower outings more comfortable. Beware of dry, windy days when pollen can be particularly intense. (Get the pollen counts and weather forecast for your area and sign up for the Claritin® Allergy Forecast.)

Stay connected with Claritin on Facebook and I will also post information from time to time about helping to manage your children's allergies with Claritin®. You can also print out a coupon here

Disclosure: As a member of the Children’s Claritin® Mom Crew, I receive product samples and promotional items to share and use as I see fit. No monetary compensation has taken place and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience.


Shelly, Mom Files
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