McKinney Mommas Google+

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.


 
Seriously?

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 with....err...me. 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. 

Exhausted.

Exhilarated

Tired. 

Stronger. 


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 CustomizedGirl.com


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. 

Together. 

...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?
check.

Tank Top ready to retire?
check.

Incredibly proud of myself in doing something I never thought possible?
check.
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 www.Mudderella.com 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 lots-o-batter...err...money, 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!
 


http://duckbrand.com/kidsinneed
 

GOOD LUCK!


Get more info and how to enter at: http://duckbrand.com/kidsinneed




*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. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

ABC’s of Baby Bee Photo Contest - $5,000 Prize - ends 7/6/15

Disclosure: I received a complimentary product from Bert's Bees as a "thank you" for posting about this contest. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Got a cute baby bee in your hive?

Could you use $5,000 cash this summer and a professional photo shoot of that cute little bumble bee?

Yeah, me too!


Here's a super cute baby photo contest, looking for the Most Buzzed About Baby Bee® sponsored by Burt's Bees.



There are four categories, and you can enter each of them once! 
  •  A is for Asleep. Send in your most precious photo of your little one fast asleep in a sweet slumber.
  •  B is for Beaming. Show us a shot of your baby’s brightest smile.
  •  C is for Cozy. Whether it’s a snapshot of their first yawn or soft story time cuddles, share how your baby gets cozy.  
  • D is for Day. Every parent knows that daytime is playtime, so show us your baby at play.







Ready to enter? 

Log onto www.burtsbees.com/babybeecontest to register and submit a photo of your Baby Bee in one, any of the four categories. Be sure to include a description on why you  think your baby should be the “Most Buzzed About Baby Bee®.” 

Contestants must be three years of age or younger. 

After submitting,  make sure to vote for your favorite, once a day, every day, until July 6, 2015. 

Winners will be announced on or around July 18, 2015.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Chiquita Banana Sing-Off - are you brave enough to enter?

Are you a Top Banana?

I don't have the pipes of an opera singer...so I'm not going to sing for ya, but I sure don't mind pasting my picture onto a silly singing Banana-gram for the chance at $100!

You only have a few days left to enter Chiquita Banana's Sing-Off, as all entries must be received by May 29th, 2015!

Now, if you are brave enough to sing a little tune and dance a little jig, you could win $5,000 - that could buy you...well....a whole HEAP of bananas! 




Since hearing about the Chiquita Sing Off, I shared the lyrics of the Chiquita Banana Song to my two little girls and they have been humming and saying parts of it all week long!  

"......you never keep bananas in the 'frigerator......bananas like to ripen in a certain way.....I'm chiquita banana and I'm here to say...." - heh, heh these girls are awesome.


How did I never know this song until now?!


If you want to help embarrass me, feel free to check out MY Banana-gram submission here!



Then be sure to head over to the Chiquita Sing-Off Page to enter your own!

Note: I was not compensated for this post, however Chiquita did sent a box of bananas on my behalf to our local Food Bank - Yolo Food Bank....aren't they awesome?! All opinions are 100% my own.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Summer Grilling With Jarlsberg Cheese + Win A Grill!

Can you smell that?

It's the barbeque from your neighbor's house!  Or, it was in my neighborhood anyway today.

That smokey smell reminded me that it's almost summer and the grills are starting to come out of hiding.

Honestly, mine needs to go back into hiding...it needs a major overhaul so I've set my mind to try and WIN a grill one since the ol' budget is tight right now.





Starting, May 23rd, 2015 Jarlsberg® Cheese is going to give you (and me) the chance to do just that - WIN A PROFESSIONAL GRILL!

You'll be able to enter once per week, between May 23rd and August 31, 2015 by filling out an easy form on the Facebook/Jarlsberg USA site.

Each week a winner will be randomly chosen and emailed about their prize. 


So, to get you in the mood. Here are some tasty grilled recipes, courtesy of Jarlsberg® Cheese to get you prepped and ready for summer cookouts....and seasoned to win that professional grill (of course).


The Jarlsberger



Ingredients:
4 Jarlsberg® Cheese slices
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 hamburger buns
4 ripe tomato slices
4 pieces lettuce
4-8 red onions slices
 
Instructions:
 1. Mix steak seasoning and Worcestershire sauce to ground beef and make 4 patties
2. Grill the patties until perfection—8 to 10 minutes. During the last couple minutes of grilling, put 1 slice of Jarlsberg on each patty to melt. Assemble your burger with lettuce, tomatoes and onion slices. 
        
Optional: add crispy bacon pieces to ground beef and mix before grilling and/or as topping.  
   

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Jarlsberg® Grilled Fig Pizza




Ingredients:
2 cups Shredded Jarlsberg® Cheese
 1 pound of dough (buy at your local pizzeria)
1 can crushed tomatoes
Olive oil spray
Toppings as desired
Figs – fresh and as many as you desire
Salt, pepper and basil to taste
 
1.       Before you light the grill, spray olive oil over grill, being sure to cover well. Once grill is hot, gently lay the dough, stretched out already, on the grill.
2.        Cook for 3 minutes or until crust starts to brown slightly, then flip.
 
3.       In a separate bowl, mix crushed tomatoes, adding in salt, pepper and fresh basil to taste.
4.       Lay tomato mixture and Jarlsberg® Cheese on top of crust, and scatter some fresh, sliced figs.
5.       Cover for 4-5 minutes, until cheese is melted.
 
Use a large spatula to remove pizza from grill.
 

ENJOY the recipes...and don't forget to come back May 23rd, to enter to win that professional grill! 


I know I won't forget - I can't afford any more embarrassing stares when neighbors peek over my fence at my rusty old grill!