Family * Travel * Food

How LISTERINE has helped make oral care easier for my family #MC #sponsored

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”
You might recall a post I did last week about my family's struggles when it comes to oral care and how LISTERINE products can help. I wanted to follow-up with some thoughts since using the products for a couple weeks now. First of all, I am most impressed with my six year old son. Ever since he tried the SMART RINSE, he has become more interested in taking care of his teeth and mouth. He gives no trouble in the morning and night to brush and rinse. As a matter of fact, he reminds me that he needs to rinse. I think the fact that it is so easy and to dispense, makes it an enjoyable experience for him. He feels like such a big boy pouring his rinse into a cup and being able to swish and spit without swallowing. He also makes it a point to smile and show off his pearly whites. This makes me so happy since he doesn't always brush properly to remove all of the extras that might be lingering in his mouth. The LISTERINE SMART RINSE gives added peace of mind. And I just love fresh kisses at bedtime. If you have a little one, I really do recommend this product.
I am really loving the LISTERINE® HEALTHYWHITE GENTLE Sodium Fluoride Anticavity Mouthrinse and the Gentle Gum Care Dental Floss. I like that I can enjoy the benefits of having a clean and fresh mouth, with added whitening, but without the burn of some mouth rinses. I have noticed the whitening more with using it twice a day. I will have to check my local wholesale club to see if I can buy it in a bulk size. I'm also really pleased with the Gentle Gum Care Dental Floss since it is really super gentle on my aging gums.

We plan to continue using LISTERINE oral care products to help keep our mouths healthy. Be sure to check out the LISTERINE website to find retailers of where to buy products. Check out their YouTube page as well.

Does your family sometimes struggle with keeping up good oral care habits? Do you have a favorite LISTERINE oral care product? Feel free to leave any tips or advice in the comments.

LISTERINE Healthy Oral Care for the entire family #sponsored #MC

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

We are so busy these days with school, sports, activities, work—the list goes on! One thing I have to make the extra effort with is making sure my family takes good care of their teeth and gums. It is especially hard with a very busy six year old boy. I think he is the biggest challenge of all. It’s hard enough to get him to brush properly, so when you factor in flossing and rinsing, I am almost ready to give up. My son has been using a fun new toothbrush that has a light-up timer to ensure that he brushes for a full two minutes. It has really helped and I feel like I don’t have to monitor the time anymore. He still has quite a bit of spacing between his teeth, so the only place he really needs flossing is in the back. Oh my, it’s so hard to get him to cooperate with that! Luckily, I received some oral care samples from LISTERINE® to help us out.

Did you know that they make dental floss for sensitive gums? LISTERINE® Gentle Gum Care Dental Floss offers gentle cleaning for sensitive gums and is perfect for my son since I have to assist with flossing. I don’t have to be afraid that I will tear into his gums. The floss has a cushioned feel to it.

Another area we have trouble with is having a mouth wash that he can handle. I really love the LISTERINE® SMART RINSE® featuring the Avengers on the bottle. Since my son is on a Superhero kick, this was perfect! It’s very easy to dispense and he likes the taste of it. It’s not too strong for his sensitive little mouth and he says his mouth feels fresh. He still has to swish the rinse twice since he can’t handle the entire amount at one time. His mouth is still pretty small. I’m really pleased to have products that work well for him. I hope he will continue his healthy oral care habits and eventually be a lot more independent.

Another product that my husband and I absolutely love is the LISTERINE® HEALTHYWHITE GENTLE Sodium Fluoride Anticavity Mouthrinse. I am not a big fan of overly strong, mediciney tasting mouth rinse. Not only is this rinse mild, it also freshens with a lasting effect. Being coffee drinkers, the whitening formula is perfect for us. After just a few uses, we have both seen a difference in our smile. We plan to continue using LISTERINE oral care products to help keep our mouths healthy. Be sure to check out the LISTERINE website to find retailers of where to buy products. Check out their YouTube page as well.

Does your family sometimes struggle with keeping up good oral care habits? Do you have a favorite LISTERINE oral care product? Feel free to leave any tips or advice in the comments.

Keep Momming

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Shire. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

The relationship that exists between mothers and daughters is unlike any other. It has many unique moments, memories, and yes, even challenges along the way. The relationship dynamic can be even trickier when your daughter is in those tween-age years. What can be even more difficult is when some people dismiss certain behaviors as “typical tween girl behavior” when those behaviors can be symptoms of something more serious. Research suggests that girls are more likely than boys to report having mostly inattentive Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Since inattentive symptoms can be less noticeable than hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, it is important that moms know what to look for.

I’m proud to be joining forces with Shire, CHADD and Holly Robinson Peete to announce the launch of keep momming, a new public service initiative geared towards the moms of tween girls to raise awareness of ADHD.

The campaign is anchored within a new digital hub,, where you’ll find tips, tools and other go-to resources for moms, including a checklist to help recognize the symptoms of ADHD – inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity – and then encourages moms to talk to their daughter’s doctor. The keep momming initiative can help moms learn about ADHD and provide ideas on how to spark a conversation and stay connected with their tween.

Don’t miss Holly’s message about the keep momming initiative, and be sure to check out the website at

Own the mantel with the help of #TopoftheMantel #sponsored

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Cardstore. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

I usually send out Christmas cards by the first week of December and this year, I am SO behind! Time hasn't been my friend since school started. Luckily, Cardstore is here to save me and the many procrastinators of the world. Did you know that you can create your custom cards with personalized pictures, messages, and signature and Cardstore will print, stamp and send the cards for you? –This takes the stress out of doing it all this holiday season. This year I plan to own the mantel! See how you can create your own cards at Cardstore.

#sponsored Get your dishes sparkling with Cascade Platinum Pacs and enter their #MyPlatinum Instagram contest

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I want to share a confession with you all. I sometimes get so exhausted from a full day of being a stay-at-home mom and homemaker that I leave dishes in the sink overnight or even forget to turn the dishwasher on. It happens and I usually end up regretting it! I can't stand dealing with all of the stuck-on mess the next day. I received a bag of the new Cascade Platinum Pacs to try out and the first thing that stood out to me was that it was their "Ultimate clean for dishes" and required no pre-rinse, fights grease and can even power through stuck-on food particles.
I am one of those moms that rinses the heck out of everything before putting them into the dishwasher. I decided to be a rebel and put crusty, dirty dishes in the washer for maybe the first time in my life! I even dared putting my plastic storage containers with a greasy film in as well.
I popped one of the fresh smelling pacs into my dishwasher and fired it up. I had no real expectations. It seems like most brands claim to do the same as the Cascade Platinum Pacs and I always end up with a film on my dishes. This time was very different. My dishes came out absolutely sparkling and gleaming! From each pot, pan, plate, glass and flatware... all of them came out beautiful!
You see this pot? It has stuck-on rice on the bottom and it is also 18 years old. Look how shiny and clean it is! I usually have to hand wash and scrub my stainless steel pots and pans. Cascade Platinum did the trick! I couldn't be happier! My previous dishwasher detergent will be getting the boot now that I have upgraded to Cascade Platinum.  

These days, so many of us love to snap photos of our delicious dishes we have prepared to share across our social networks. Since we eat with our eyes first, presentation is everything! With that in mind, Top Chef judge and editor of Food & Wine magazine, Gail Simmons, has partnered with Cascade to discuss why presentation is just as important as preparation. Check out this quick video from Gail sharing some plating tips. You can also access more videos and information on the Cascade Facebook page

Right now, Cascade is having a  "My Platinum" Instagram contest to show off your sparkling dishes and glasses. 
To enter, check out the Cascade Platinum page and here is some info: 
Show Us YOUR Sparkle & Win!
So show us how sparkly Cascade® makes all YOUR pots, pans, plates, glassware and silverware!
Enter† Cascade's #MyPlatinum Instagram Contest for a chance to win a KitchenAid® Kitchen Makeover and a 1-year supply of Cascade®! Weekly entries have a chance to win a KitchenAid® Dishwasher and six-month supply of Cascade® too!
Besides being a member of Instagram, be sure to use the hashtag #MyPlatinum and tag @MyCascade to be eligible to win! 
Cascade will pick 2 weekly winners each week and one final grand prize winner. You might just be one of the lucky ones! Good luck. 
Shelly, Mom Files

Classic Cheesecake Recipe and Food Lion's Holiday Bake-Off Recipe Contest

It's my favorite time of year. The holiday baking season is here! Every year I bake my favorite cheesecake that the family loves. I found this recipe online many years ago and I promise, it is fool-proof. I have shared this recipe with a lot of family members and friends and they all love it and found that it was very easy to make. The thing I love about this recipe is you can totally make it your own. You could add cocoa powder to part of the cheesecake batter to swirl it in and make it fancy. Instead of vanilla extract you could use almond or lemon. You can serve it with fruit or plain (just the way I like it!).
Classic Cheesecake
2 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened*
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 Keebler® Ready Crust® Graham 2 Extra Servings Pie Crust (you can use a store brand or make your own)
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese on medium speed of electric mixer until fluffy. Add 2/3 cup sugar, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. 2. Place crust on baking sheet. Spread cream cheese mixture in crust. Bake on baking sheet at 350°F about 30 minutes or until center is almost set. 3. In small bowl combine sour cream, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Carefully spread over cheesecake. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. 4. Garnish as desired. Store in refrigerator. *NOTE: Soften cream cheese in microwave at high for 15 to 20 seconds.

Right now, Food Lion is hosting a Holiday Bake-Off recipe contest on their Facebook page. You can enter the contest by sharing a recipe in any of the four categories: appetizer, entree  side dish or dessert. 12 grand prize winners will receive a $500 Food Lion gift card. The Food Lion Bake-Off contest kicks off 11/7 and will end 11/28. Hurry up and enter! You never know, your recipe can be a $500 winner!

What is your favorite recipe that you make for Thanksgiving?

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Food Lion. I received a promotional item to facilitate my shopping experience and review.
Shelly, Mom Files

Food Lion $25,000 Kitchen Makeover

Food Lion is launching a sweepstakes to win a $25,000 kitchen makeover! The sweepstakes is open to residents in both North and South Carolina and runs from 8/15 – 9/12. There will be a Grand Prize, a 1st & 2nd place prize, as well as multiple Food Lion gift card giveaways.

~ Grand Prize: $25k Home Makeover Package
~ 1st Place: $10k in cash
~ 2nd Place: Free Groceries for a Year
~ 100 weekly $20 Food Lion gift cards (400 total)

This made me think of all the things I could do if I won the big makeover for my kitchen. $25,000 is a lot and even the 10k in cash is not too shabby.  My kitchen is very small so I could see trying to expand it just a bit. Of course my ancient cabinets and counter tops would have to go! I would even volunteer to be on the demolition team! I can just see the dark cherry wood cabinets with pewter fixtures and brand new charcoal gray granite counter tops. I would stick with a traditional double sink and a swanky new faucet with matching fixtures. So after all that is done I would go for all new appliances. I don't have to have the fanciest ones but I would LOVE a convection oven with a flat top range. Okay I admit, I entered the sweepstakes. It took me all of one minute. I would love love love to win!
Go check it out for yourself and you can get additional entries through "checking in" on Foursquare and Facebook and purchasing My Essentials brand products. Be sure to stay connected to Food Lion on Facebook and Twitter.

What would you want to make over in your kitchen if you won?

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Food Lion. I received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.
Shelly, Mom Files

Food Lion Ambassador Shopping Trip & $50 GC Giveaway

Hey guys! If you live in an area with a Food Lion grocery store, you might have noticed some changes in some of the stores. They have been updated, making the store look brighter, more inviting and very organized. The shelves are well stocked with a lot of the great name brands you use as well as the Food Lion brand of items including the "My Essentials" line. I received a very generous $150 gift card through Mom Central as a Food Lion Ambassador and got to see how far I could stretch it. I was totally up for the challenge! I made my list and headed to a brand new store that recently opened in my area.
I will say that the first thing I noticed was the gorgeous produce department filled with such beautiful, fresh fruit and vegetables. I pleased with the prices and quality. I did grab some essentials as well as a few extras for some special meals. The prices on the organic items were very fair.  I went up and down each and every aisle and compared prices on both name brands and the store brand. I found that some staple items I buy were a lot cheaper such as sugar, iced tea bags, flour and a lot of the non-grocery, household items. Now the make it or break it part of any store for me is the meat, poultry and seafood department. I was really happy with the prices, especially on beef. I don't buy beef often because it is usually way too expensive. I was so happy to be able to buy enough protein items for almost 2 weeks without feeling like I was going to have to take out a loan to pay for my groceries.

Something that really got me excited is the selection of ethnic food products that they carried. I use certain types of seasonings are very hard to find in my city and I found them there! Not only did they have more than I would ever want, the prices were SO LOW! *happy dance* My overall shopping experience at Food Lion was a wonderful one. I was treated well and felt like everything was very easy to find and I did not feel like the store was cluttered. I also was able to walk out with a very full cart load of groceries and household items and still have a small balance left in my gift card!
Here are some of the great items I received in my Food Lion Ambassador Kit. 
I love the wooden recipe card box that came with a nice set of recipe cards. I asked my teenage daughters to pick something they wanted me to make and surprise, surprise... they picked something sweet. They chose the "World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies" recipe. I did ask after all!
I purchased almost all of the ingredients in the store brand with the exception of maybe 3 things I already had at home.
I have made many chocolate chip cookies in my lifetime and I have my usual go-to recipe that I have used for years. I decided to try out the Food Lion recipe. I won't lie, I was a bit nervous because I have never made any baked goods with store brand items. Oh my gosh, they came out AMAZING! They were a bit flatter looking than what I am used to but the taste... I can compare it to a local bakery that sells their chocolate chip cookies for $1.29 each! They had a great chew and crispiness at the same time and were not too sweet. I separated the dough and added pecans to one half since the girls like them with just chocolate chips. I absolutely must share this recipe!

What you will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 11.5 ounce bag of chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used 1/2)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees or according to how your oven bakes.
2. Mix flour, salt and baking soda together; set aside
3. Beat butter for 1 minute or until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in.
4. Reduce speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three portions, mixing until each addition is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
5. I then chilled the dough for it to firm up and formed them into balls. I baked them on a cookie sheet for about 11 minutes and transferred them to cooling racks.

Apparently my family thought the cookies were an appetizer for dinner! Speaking of dinner....
I made this for dinner the same day I baked the cookies. I bought some fresh rib-eye steaks that I pan seared in my cast iron pan, sauteed mushrooms & onions, homemade garlic mashed red potatoes and some sauteed zuchinni & squash topped with Parmesan cheese. This meal fed my family for only $24. Not bad and you won't be able to get that price at any restaurant!

Giveaway: One lucky Momfiles reader will win a $50 Food Lion gift card. Believe me, you will get a lot with that amount! a Rafflecopter giveaway  

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and winner is only eligible to win one gift card per campaign. Giveaway will end on August 8, 2012. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email. You must complete mandatory entry in order to qualify for extra entries. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central for Food Lion. I received a gift card and product kit to facilitate my review.
Shelly, Mom Files

Pedigree Ambassador dog food trial {update}

Hey there, I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about our dog Milo participating in Pedigree Ambassador dog food trial. I wanted to share a few updates about his progress so far. I am so thankful that we have had a very smooth transition from his old food. He seems to be enjoying his Pedigree small breed formula a whole lot. I even decided to take a handful of his old food and a handful of the Pedigree to see what he would do. He sniffed his old food from one hand and then sniffed his new food in the other. Milo snuck a couple morsels from the Pedigree hand! I was surprised and did not think he would know the difference!
Milo loves to catch some rays!
I haven't noticed any changes thus far regarding his coat or his dental health as yet. Thankfully he has not been sick and has had his usual potty routine. That makes me happy since I was worried about him having digestion issues that sometimes comes along with a change in food. All in all, he is doing very well with the Pedigree small breed and I will be posting again with any new updates. If you are thinking about switching food for your dog I would recommend you give Pedigree a try. Here's a coupon to help save a few bucks. Did you know Pedigree was on Facebook and Twitter? Be sure to follow them for great tips and advice for keeping your dogs healthy and happy.

I wrote this review while participating in an Ambassador campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Pedigree and received dog food to facilitate my reviews and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.
Shelly, Mom Files
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