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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

First Week of Preschool Dannon® Danimals® #FuelTheirAdventures

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FuelTheirAdventures #CollectiveBias 

preschool, smoothie, dannon, danimals #ad

It's finally here (sniff, sniff). 

She's off to school for the first time and we're trying to figure out who is going to have a harder time with it.

Yeah, I think we all already know the answer to that

The day before school started, we had lots of errands to run in preparation and were happy to have these cute little Dannon® Danimals® Smoothies with us as a great snack on-the-go! 

Come follow me today on our adventures before I fall in a sobbing heap on the floor school starts for my munchkin:

walmart, dannon, danimals, smoothie, shop

First Stop? Groceries!

We all piled out of the car at our local Walmart, for some organic fruit for snacking and Dannon® Danimals® Smoothies.  My girls were super excited to go on a mini"treasure hunt" to find these silly looking little characters, all dressed up in their sports gear in the Packaged Deli aisle. 

After checking out the package, I saw that Dannon is running a promotion called Fuel Up To Play 60 where if you find a "Golden Bongo" hidden in specially marked packages, your school wins a Field Day with NFL Pros, a $5k grant and more!  

Now, I'm not sure how much these NFL Pros would want to attend a "field day" with a bunch of my daughter's bumbling preschool classmates, but hey a golden ticket for anything is worth looking for!  

(if you must know...we didn't find a "Golden Bongo" boo-hoo. We'll have to try again!)

Panaderia Mana, mexican bakery, concha, smoothie, danimals

Next Stop? The Bakery! 
Okay, since I'm in a bit of a sentimental mood about "Big Sister H." going off to school, I let them strong-arm me into taking them to our local Panaderia Mana (Mexican bakery) where they picked out a pastry for breakfast.

I figured, since Dannon® Danimals® Strawberry Kiwi Smoothies are made with low-fat milk, don't contain any artificial flavors or colors and don't have that nasty high fructose corn syrup they'd be a good addition to our extra special breakfast treat!

mexican bakery, pan dulce, mckinneymommas

Nom, nom, nom. 

Sorry, I just couldn't leave out this awesome shot of "Baby O." making her best Bongo impression - that's the Danimals mascot, if you hadn't figured out who "Bongo" is yet.

Okay, truth?  She wasn't trying to make any impression, that's just how dedicated she is to her craft of eating mexican pastries.  That's my girl! 

library, children's literature

Third Stop? The Library

The girls love to read stories with daddy at night before bed, and with me during the day, and when they wake up, and when they sit on the potty, get it.  

So, we typically make at least one weekly trip to the library to stock up on all the best reading material.

Mostly, the girls just fight over who gets to pull open the book drop door and place the books inside, where they magically appear back on the shelves the next week. 

storytime, library storytime, craft, mckinneymommas

Next Stop? Story & Craft Time

Our trip to the library happened to run right into a preschool story and craft time in the Children's Library area - BONUS! 

The girls got to listen to a story about a misbehaving dog, sing some silly songs, throw some scarves around, socialize with other kiddos and do a cute doggy craft.

I don't think you're supposed to have snacks or drinks in the library, but they were getting hungry again.  Shhh, so I had them sit carefully and share a smoothie. I won't say whether or not I had the remaining one. Oh wait. I did.

home, bongo, danimals, smoothie, dannon

Final Stop? Home

Now, if we're being honest, we did have one other stop before home.


But, really I don't think you want to see the mess my one-year old can make of rice and beans all over the entire mexican restaurant. Or, maybe you do. I'll just move on.

When we got home, as if the entire day of errands wasn't enough, the girls wanted to "make something with momma" - so I figured something simple and fun and quick - because it was naptime for "The Bookend".

popsicles, dannon, danimals, popsicle molds, easy popsicle recipe

Yeah, summer is over folks, but in this house popsicles live on throughout the year!

I let the girls pick their fruit - raspberries - and pour their smoothies into popsicle molds for a fun, fruity, refreshing treat that included some Vitamin D and Calcium. 

popsicle, raspberry, danimals, dannon, summertime girls

After a few hours in the freezer, the girls had a frozen treat that they totally loved. Plus, they always enjoy a treat even more when they made it themselves!

Can't get any easier than this, can it?

only the good stuff, danimals, dannon, mckinneymommas

Thanks for joining me and the girls on our Dannon® Danimals® fueled adventures today! 

Looking for inspiration for your own kiddos on how Dannon® Danimals® can #FuelTheirAdventure?  Visit them here!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

America's Farm-To-Fork Capital in Legends of Wine - Sept 17

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, however I may receive complimentary tickets to a future event hosted by this organization for review purposes. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and not influenced by the company stated. 

sacramento, farm to fork capital

Some kind of alien structure?

The building blocks of new genetic code?

Expensive bubblewrap? 

No. That's a bunch of very happy people, staring into the bottom of their empty wine glasses from Sacramento's Farm-to-Fork Legends of Wine event last year.

Sound depressing? Not so, because Legends of Wine is back, and ready to make a believer out of you!

- Legends of Wine - 

  • Set against the backdrop of the west steps of our beautiful California State Capitol.

  • Thursday, September 17th, 2015 from 6:00-8:30pm.

  • Enjoy a variety of award-winning wines from the local region, paired with some delicious artisan cheese and other homegrown bites!

  • Two of Sacramento's internationally recognized culinary powerhouses, Darrell Corti and David Berkley have selected the varietals that will be offered for sampling. 

Will you join me?

wine glass, red wine, wine festival sacramento

Come celebrate with me at the 2015 Legends of Wine at America's Farm-To-Fork Capital - Sacramento, CA 

Get your tickets for Legends of Wine for $59 a person here! 


Friday, August 28, 2015

Free Emergency Contact Cards - Katrina 10yr Anniversary

This post is part of my commitment to be a good human in conjunction with Mom Bloggers For Social Good. I received no compensation for this post. Just a whole lot of feel good for spreading the word about an important issue like this.
Tomorrow will mark the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Ten years ago, over 5,000 children were reported missing from their parents due to the disaster, and it took over 7 months to reunite the last of the children to their families.

One mother, affected by the disaster, who was separated from her toddler now is spreading the word - encouraging all families to have their children #getready and carry emergency contact cards in case of a disaster like this in the future.

Hear this mother's incredible journey here: 

Now, don't you think a simple thing like creating an emergency plan and contact cards are a small thing you can do with your family that could make a huge difference in being reunited?

If you are interested in getting started, click on the graphic below to create your own cards and preparedness plan.

It's so much easier to spend some time NOW to prepare for the unexpected, rather than wait until it's too late to take action.

Wouldn't you rather know that you've done all you can to help secure an emergency plan for your family, instead of leaving it up to luck and chance. 

I'm going to go create my emergency contact cards now. 

Won't you join me?

Friday, August 21, 2015

String Cheese FTW! Back To School Favorites #HorizonBTS

This post was sponsored by Horizon, however all opinions are 100% my own and not influenced by the company described.


She's getting this excited about string cheese?

No, this photo wasn't staged. I just got out my camera and got ready to snap when introducing my 4 year old to Horizon Organic Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks.

What a wackadoodle!

As the end of summer is coming near. Umm, very near. We're starting to get excited about my oldest daughter's first adventure into preschool.

I'm having a hard time thinking about her being away from us for a few hours a day, but it's a great opportunity for her to socialize and start figuring out what school is all about.

In preparation for her academic adventures, I've been trying to experiment with different snack foods that I know she'll eat while she's away at school, so my mind will be at ease that she's at the very least having some wholesome food while away from home. 

All three of my girls asked for more Horizon Organic Mozzarella Sticks today on the back patio, so I'm sure if I pack them for school, they'll be enjoyed.

Also, the Horizon Cheddar Snack Crackers were a hit Okay, my girls also liked them too, but I think they're my favorite evening snack now! 

To find more snacks that your kids might like from Horizon, check out:  Horizon Snacks here!

Yes, we've been practicing spelling and the alphabet to help "Big Sister H." feel confident entering preschool - so figured HORIZON was a good word to start with.

She had fun finding all the letters from our set of wooden blocks and helped me put together some of her favorite words while munching on some of her new favorite snacks for school! 

Horizon has lots of snacks and treats that are sure to be a hit with your back-to-school kiddos like, chocolate milk, fruit snacks with DHA, and good ol' mac n cheese! 

So, if you want to stay in the loop on new and tasty snacks for your kids (and you):

Check out Horizon Brand on:

What are some of your household's favorite Back To School snacks?

This conversation is sponsored by Horizon. The opinions and text are all mine.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Plan To Get Lean and Toned With EAS #PowerInProtein

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are, however 100% mine alone. #PowerInProtein #CollectiveBias 

At the beginning of the year I made the choice to sign up for my first fitness event, ever.

It wasn't an easy choice.

I hadn't been to the gym since my college years, and even then it was sporadic.

One back injury, and three babies later, I couldn't seem to find time to focus on my own health and needed a kickstart to get healthier.

mud run, protein shake

So, I registered for a local women-focused mud run and began to train.

The mud run website had lots of great resources for doing your own training and strength building at home, but with three tiny tots jumping all over me, I decided to join a local gym, Get Fit Davis that provided childcare.

I started taking a high-intensity cardio class twice a week, cutting down on carbs, replacing one meal with a homemade protein shake, and drinking AdvantEdge CarbControl Ready-to-Drink protein shake to rebuild muscle after my workouts.

protein shake, mckinneymommas

I absolutely despise artificial flavors and sweeteners, but the EAS AdvantEdge CarbControl shake, in Rich Dark Chocolate flavor honestly worked out great for me.

It was super smooth and not fake tasting. I would pack one in a little insulated lunch box, so it would be cold and ready when I got back to the car from my workout at the gym.

I like variety, so was happy to find the CarbControl shake is available in the following flavors:
  • Strawberry Cream
  • Rich Dark Chocolate
  • French Vanilla
  • Chocolate Fudge
  • Cafe Caramel

protein shake, mckinneymommas, #cbias

See how gross and sweaty I am?

For some reason, genetics I guess, I turn 50 shades of red during my workouts!

I quickly realized that your body needs lots of protein after exercise - to rebuild muscle - and when you don't get it, your body gets really sore. With the kids always on the go, we don't always get home for lunch right away and found out I needed a protein boost to help recover from my workouts.

AdvantEdge CarbControl Protein Shake was a perfectly easy way to get my protein without having to stop at some greasy fast-food joint or drive all the way home to help my body recover from exercise.

#cbias, kale, protein shake
We typically eat pretty healthy in our home for dinner, but sometimes fall short during breakfast and lunch.

So, I started to make my own breakfast shakes with lots of protein, veggies, fruit and chia seeds in the morning with my Tribest Blender.

Also, I've added in even more greens for lunch and dinner, like this Massaged Kale Salad, which the entire family loved! 

Something is seriously working for me, since I was able to clock 6 miles at the gym (photo above) on the elliptical machine in just under an hour! Whereas working as hard as I could at the start of this journey, I could barely do 2 miles.

Walmart, #pharmacy, #cbias

If you want to supplement your protein intake, like I am currently doing. You can find EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control shakes and bars at Walmart in the Pharmacy area - under the Diet and Nutrition Bars Section.

For under $1.50 per shake, the price is really pretty good if you're using this as a way to keep your carb intake in check, and increase your protein.

I really don't believe in traditional dieting - as I've seen too many trends that don't work and diets that aren't good for the body long-term.

 I've made it my mission rather, to simply get healthier and build muscle. 

I have lost about 6lbs so far while increasing exercise and cutting down on carbs.

I have noticed a huge difference in my leg & back strength and have noticed friends and family saying how they thought my legs and arms were more defined than they remembered.

Hey! I'll take it.

McKinneyMommas, #cbias, fitness

This is me.

I am stronger than I was 5 months ago.

I am not skinny.

I have three beautiful baby girls to run around after. 

I am getting stronger. 

I am the best me I can be. 

This is me, and I'm okay with that.

If you want to explore your ability to get healthier, leaner and fit, go find the right EAS products for you here at Walmart!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

How I Learned To #OwnYourStrong Mudderella NorCal 2015

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Mudderella. I received complimentary admission to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
mud run, mckinneymommas, yolo mamas, mudderella norcal

Can I just say, 

#1. I've never done any sort of formal run.

#2. Never lifted more than a 5lb weight.

#3. Didn't own a sports bra. 

#4. Nor done anything remotely "athletic" since I was 14 years old!

I'm not fit.  I've been pregnant or breastfeeding for the past 4 years non-stop, and have three beautiful little girls to prove it

But see that picture above?  That's me. Me in a muddy pit, crawling my way through a Mudderella obstacle called "down to the wire" - slippery, sliding, trying to avoid the electric charged wires above me....okay...that last part is my imagination getting away from me.

This was, 

one of the most challenging, exciting, powerful moments in my life.

Wheels In Motion, mud run, mckinneymommas

Mudderella NorCal 2015 was a great motivator for me to get my butt into the gym and try to get stronger after spending the past 4 years taking care of babies and making excuses not to to take care of myself.

The second, or most important reason I wanted to get fit or stronger was that during my last pregnancy, after a trip to the ER not being able to walk, I was diagnosed with #Spondylolisthesis - a fracture in my spine  and resulting slippage, from competitive gymnastics when I was younger. 

I worked with a physical therapist for 6 months while pregnant, but then lack of funds meant saying good-bye to my trainer. Now, a year after having "the bookend" baby, I had started to feel the back pain again and needed a motivator to strengthen my core, but could never seem to get going on my own.

I have three, VERY crazy, insane active girls, and unless I'm core-strong my back starts acting up, and by the end of the day I can't walk without major pain.  

When I heard about Mudderella, an all-day athletic event designed by women, for women to challenge strength, balance, endurance and agility in a team environment - I thought, this could be the thing.

I'm not a runner, and before this event I hadn't run more than a few yards to catch my toddler before running into the street

A traditional race, was not gonna happen in my book, so the idea that mud could be an equalizer and obstacles could keep me excited and interested spoke to me. A mud run, it was!

I decided I was in. I'm gonna do this.

For me. 

For my girls.

So, then, how to begin to prepare for #Mudderella2015?

That's right.

Step #1. Move
Step #2. Move more...
Step #3. well, you get it right?

The Mudderella site has a pretty cool training program posted that totally eliminates the need to get "formal training" with exercises and videos that you can do at home. 

Personally, I did end up joining a gym, since I have no babysitter to watch my kids and anytime my butt hits the floor to do sit-ups, all three of my kids just sit on me and I get nothing done....except for some pretty fun wrestling and laughing sessions.

I found a gym, Get Fit Davis that has a pretty great childcare area and some really great exercise classes - one in particular - H.E.A.T. lead by Kendall Lou Schmidt which totally kicked my ass, made me sweat more than I have in my life, pushed me to the limit, was fun and challenged me to get moving and prepare for the run.

I don't know if it's genetic, or I really was that out of shape (yup, that's prolly it) that my face turns all kinds of gorgeous shades of red when I exercise. The photos above are all after my classes at the gym. 





mud run, tough tatas, athleta, mckinneymommas, norcal

So, to start, I had 5 people on my Yolo Mamas team to take on Mudderella NorCal 2015.

As of the morning before the mud run, I was prepared to run alone, since my team members had dropped like flies for multiple (valid) reasons.  

I could have taken this as a cue to bow out, honestly I was scared.  I had never clocked more than 2 miles on the elliptical at the gym or even ran a mile straight without stopping.

A 5-mile athletic event was a HUGE obstacle to me, lots of reasons to say "not this time" - but I didn't. I promised myself I'd at least attempt this goal and fate smiled on me.

mudderella norcal, #ownyourstrong, mckinneymommas
We designed our own "Yolo Mamas" shirts for this mud run at

When my buddy heard that I was prepared to run alone, she put aside all her physical issues (umm, she was newly pregnant) to run with me. She wouldn't take "no" for an answer. 

So we did it. 


...and here is our journey at #Mudderella2015, in photos, because really...I've talked enough:

#OwnYourSTrong, mudderellaNorCal, mckinneymommas
...and we're off to a running start...can you find me?

dirty downward dog, mud obstacle, mud run, mckinneymommas, yolo mamas
needed some good core strength for this one, planking over a muddy trench...

tough tatas, #athleta, mckinneymommas, #OwnYourStrong, mud run mom
tough tatas was a piece of cake!

#OwnYourStrong, mudderellanorcal, mckinneymommas, aint no mountain high
here's where we really get muddy...and strangers touch your butt to help push you over the slippery mud hills! 

#OwnYourStrong, vallejo, #NorCal, mud run, moms
Almost done...still smiling and not half as muddy as we should be! 

vallejo, wheels in motion, mckinneymommas, yolomamas, #OwnYourSTrong
i may, or may no have exaggerated a tiny bit on the toughness of this challenge

#OwnYourStrong, hat trick, vallejo
super high, super steep, and we have no idea what's waiting on the other side...

hat trick, muddy slide, mckinneymommas, #OwnYourSTrong
i'm not afraid of heights, but this was super steep and super fast, right into a pool of muddy water = awesome! 

#OwnYourSTrong, mckinneymommas, yolo mamas
What the heck did I just do? Crossed the frackin' finish line in a 5 mile mud run, that's what! 

mudderella norcal, yolo mamas, #ownYourStrong
the official finisher photo! team #YoloMamas did it!
#ownyourstrong, mckinneymommas
the actual reason why I signed up for this...1 free beer at the end of 5 miles!
Mudderella NorCal2015, mckinneymommas, yolo mamas
feeling super #OwnYourStrong at the end of #MudderellaNorCal 2015!
#MudderellaNorCal, mckinneymommas, yolo mamas
Dirty Shoes?

Tank Top ready to retire?

Incredibly proud of myself in doing something I never thought possible?
my 3 girls came to surprise me at the end of the run...the look on their faces when they saw their mama accomplish something this big and new was priceless.
Want more photos of the Mudderella NorCal event? Check out my Facebook Album here.

Now, You're probably like "hey, is Mudderella coming to my town"? 

List of Mudderella Events:

-        Toronto – July 11, 2015 – Kitchener, ON Canada
-        Capital Region – July 25, 2015 – Clarksburg, MD
-        Colorado – August 22, 2015 – Snowmass Village, CO
-        Pittsburgh – September 12, 2015 – Slippery Rock, PA
-        Whistler – September 26, 2015 – Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler, BC Canada
-        New England – October 3, 2015 – Thompson, CT

If you don't see a scheduled run close to where you live, Mudderella is adding new cities along the way, so check out for all the latest info. 

Or, if you're the visual type, check out a video here all about Mudderella and sign up for your adventure to #OwnYourStrong today.

I can with my whole (muddy) heart promise you..........YOU WON'T REGRET IT!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kids In Need Foundation & Duck Tape $5,000 #cupcake4DuckTape

The Kids In Need Foundation, a not-for-profit agency, providing free school supplies to kids nationwide -who otherwise could not afford them - is celebrating their 20th birthday.  

To celebrate, the foundation is teaming up with Duck Tape to give you a chance to #WIN, that is! 

Feeling creative lately? 

Put that crazy energy to SWEET use and enter to win $5,000 by submitting an original #cupcake4DuckTape themed design for an upcoming "LIMITED EDITION" Duck Tape print!


Get more info and how to enter at:

*Disclosure: I could receive a gift basket with Duck Tape supplies as a thank you for posting about this contest. However, all opinions are 100% my own.