McKinney Mommas: November 2012 Google+

Friday, November 30, 2012

Archipelago Botanicals - Pomegranate Gift Ideas for the Holidays!

I may not have peace and quiet in this house, but it's the small things that refresh me these days.

Archipelago Botanicals has honed in on a fantastically scented line of pomegranate products that I'm totally lovin' on right now!

 Just in time for closing out National Pomegranate Month!

Right now, I have this Pomegranate Body Lotion, sitting by my kitchen sink to moisturize and wake me up after I wash my hands. With a toddler and infant, that's like 20 times a day! This lotion with natural extracts of pomegranate and chamomile fights free radicals and leaves my hands smooth. Did I mention the scent is amazing?

If you're in the mood for a candle that will fill our house (and soul) with a peaceful and calming scent, check out the Paramour Candle from the  Excursion Three Wick Soy Candle line.  A blend of Pomegranate, Papaya and Mango, this candle is sweet without being too fruity or perfume-ey (is that a word?). Approximately 40 burning hours!

Going to a holiday party? At $19.50, this candle is a perfect hostess gift for the holidays!

If you want to kick it up a notch, this Pomegranate Citrus Diffuser is by far a winner in my book. I keep forgetting that I put it on my shelf in the living room, but when I'm walking Baby O. around in circles in the living room, I'm met with a burst of refreshing fragrance that honestly puts a smile on my face.

Like I said, it's the small things that refresh me these days.


Win one of the Archipelago products featured in this blog post! 
(3 Winners)
Entry deadline: December 14, 2012 11:59pm
  • Pomegranate Citrus Diffuser - $35 value
  • Excursion Three Wick Soy Candle - Pomegranate, Papaya, Mango Candle - $19 value
  • Pomegranate Body Lotion - $25 value

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Great Hostess Gift - Twin Pomegranates Sparkling Pomegranate Wine!

Holy mouth full of pomegranate seeds, Batman! 

I grew up with a pomegranate tree in my front yard.  We'd typically get only 3-4 pomegranates a year, it was a very special occasion and thus the pomegranate holds a very special place in my heart

Twin Pomegranates carries 100% pomegranate wine that is made from California's finest pomegranates picked and juiced at their optimum ripeness!

I had never tried pomegranate wine until this week. I can honestly say, it's like no other wine experience I've had before.
"Sweetie" Semi-Sweet Pomegranate Wine, is an exciting change from your typical grape wine.  Made with 100% fermented pomegranate juice, this wine tastes like....well.....POMEGRANATE arils (seeds) with a hint of cranberry

It's not as sugary sweet as I assumed it would be, which is good because I'm not too hip on super sweet wines. A nice balance of earthy and acidic flavor, with a slightly sweet finish makes for a great chilled treat. 

Now, on Thanksgiving morning I popped open a bottle of this Twin Pomegranates - Pomegranate Sparkling Wine and poured a splash of orange juice and had myself a tasty Pomegranate Mimosa

Woah, I have to warn you - the color isn't pretty (red and orange make brown) but my hubby and I loved this non-traditional twist on a classic brunch cocktail! 

Why do I feel healthy, when drinking this pomegranate wine?  This sparkling version still tastes much like biting into a pomegranate - seeds, juice and all!

I think any of the Twin Pomegrantes Wine varieties would be a perfect hostess gift! Plus, it'll be a great conversation starter at your next holiday party, as most people haven't tried a pomegranate wine! 

 Show 'em Some Love

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Parenting Solo? Casting Call for Single Mothers!

Casting Call - 

Calling all single mothers! Having a baby on your own, or thinking about starting the process? Maybe just taking steps like freezing your eggs?

You could be featured on a new TV documentary series about women who are single mothers by choice. 

  • Age: 25-40
  • Fierce and Fabulous?
  • Proud to be parenting solo?

Next Step: Email your story and 2 recent photos and preferred contact information to:

For more information, go to:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kid Friendly Restaurants in the Dallas Area - Guest Post

It is easy for parents to succumb to cabin fever while raising children. Unfortunately, it is difficult to take them out if they are loud, and twice as hard to eat with them somewhere if they are picky. Here are some rules of engagement when eating out with little ones that can help to save a headache for you, the staff, and other customers.

  • Bring plenty of distractions for younger children (1-4 years old) to keep them entertained while between waiting for food.
  • Pack their favorite snacks in case they end up not liking the restaurants food.
  • Go to a family friendly restaurant. As family-friendly goes, a good kids menu is important but a tolerant atmosphere is more important. The best restaurants are often boisterous enough to absorb most of the extra vocals coming from your young one. Below are some of the best kid friendly restaurants in the Dallas area.

To be perfectly honest, the quality of food and service here is usually subpar at its best. The food is hit and miss with average burgers and sandwiches and main entrees that are a gamble for the price, which is quite high. Definitely make a reservation if you have kids, or risk waiting in line for the better part of an hour.

All of these faults aside, kids absolutely love this restaurant. The atmosphere is totally geared towards children from about the ages of 2-10 and if you haven’t been to a Rainforest Café before be prepared for an… experience. The entire place is designed to look like a jungle with large, animatronic animals, fish tanks, mist, lightning, and even rain that all come together every 20 minutes or so in a loud show. There is plenty of stimuli to keep your kids entertained, even if you have to suffer through a mediocre dining experience.

This might be one of my favorite places to bring the family or a large group. Babe’s is centered around a family dining experience and all of their locations around North Texas certainly deliver. The menu is surprisingly simple, and all you have to do is pick your choice of meat (surprise; their chicken is fantastic) and you get an endless source of sides. The kids menu features miniature versions of entrees from the adult menu so they can feel like they’re really eating with the grown-ups. You even get to dance along to the Hokey Pokey with the wait staff, or just sit back and enjoy.

Another great family style restaurant, but as the name suggests, this one offers Italian cuisine. This is not a quiet, tucked away restaurant, but rather a bustling experience that excels at hosting large parties and families. Loud children are easily drowned out by the hustle and the chatter, and the food is pretty good as well. On Wednesday’s, kids eat for free, but menu items are only around $5.00 for kids as is.

Any restaurant can be kid friendly as long as your kids are restaurant friendly. These types of restaurants in Dallas are great places to “teethe” your kids on as they learn proper manners for dining out.

Happy Eating!

Guest Post written by: Sophia Hobbs works with Dalworth Rug Cleaning, a Dallas based textile cleaning company. The business was founded in 1976 and has evolved through the years to provide comprehensive cleaning services such as Oriental rug cleaning, preservation, repairs, wrapping, and storage.

V8 Hits My Spot - V8 Original with a Hint of Lime

Thanksgiving makes me think of holiday weekends.

Holiday Weekends make me think of brunch.

Brunch makes me think of a Bloody Mary.

And a good ol' Bloody Mary makes me think of V8

 V8 just came out with two NEW twists to their original 100% vegetable juice. 

  • V8 Original with a Hint of Black Pepper
  •  V8 Original with a Hint of Lime

I couldn't say "no" when I was asked to try them out!

V8 Original with a Hint of Black Pepper

V8 Original with a Hint of Black Pepper, is probably for the more faint of heart when it comes to spice level. However, If the Spicy Hot version is too spicy for you, then this Hint of Black Pepper is probably just right. Personally, I'm a hot momma, and like some major kick to my V8, so I'd prefer Spicy Hot!

With two full servings of vegetables in just one 8oz serving, I think I'm gonna drink my veggies from now on! 

V8 with a Hint of Lime, chillin' in my fridge

Now, this V8 Original with a Hint of Lime, makes me want to sing a happy little song! The splash of lime juice, cuts the thickness of the traditional V8 juice and gives it a fresh and light, garden taste.  In fact, I used to squeeze a little fresh lime juice into my V8, and now it's already done for me.

Yum. This is my new favorite V8 juice by far! 

If you want to try these NEW varieties out, print out a coupon HERE!

And if your kiddos aren't too keen on 100% Vegetable Juice try the new V8 V-Fusion Juice Drink Boxes.  The kids will grab for them, with the cute dinosaur cartoons on the box, and moms will be happy there is a (1) combined serving of fruits and vegetables in each box!

Plus there is no added sugar, artificial flavors or sweeteners! 

"Big Sister H" tries the V-Fusion Fruit Punch

She likes it!

For more info, check out

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. The products used to facilitate this review were given to me free of cost by the company for evaluation.  However, all opinions are 100% my own and I am not under any obligation to write a positive review.


Monday, November 26, 2012

WubbaNub is a Win from Coppin's Hallmark Store! Plus FREE Shipping Code TODAY only!

I thought I had tried it all. Baby O. won't take a pacifier. Or will she?

In a last ditch effort to give Baby O. something (besides myself) to pacifier her and help her self soothe I decided to check out the WubbaNub.
Coppin's Hallmark Store is one of the largest Hallmark retailers online and has a great selection of Hallmark gifts and cards.   

Why does that matter?  Well, they also have the WubbaNub!

You've heard of these little guys, right?  The little soothie binkies with the stuffed animal at the end?

Keep reading to find out how to WIN your own Wubba Nub or Hallmark Gift below!

She chews......................................

She wrestles.................................................

.............................................she scores !!!

Baby O. loves her WubbaNub!  I love that this little guy doubles as both a pacifier and a toy. She likes to hold the monkey's little arms and chew on those too!

When she's in the crib, the monkey helps to hold the pacifier in place so I don't have to sit there for an hour with my finger in the pacifier.

WubbaNub pals come in many animal varieties: monkey, giraffe, elephant, lamb, and puppy just to name a few.

Coppin's Hallmark Store is also a hot spot for DaVinci Beads if you're looking for a special gift for a mother, sister or friend this holiday.
Check out their full selection of DaVinci Beads HERE!

And TODAY only, use coupon code: CYBER12 to get FREE SHIPPING on your entire purchase at Choppin's Hallmark Store! 

Show 'em Some Love

Prize: Coppin's Hallmark Prize Package 
Entry deadline: December 14, 2012

Winner's choice of (1) of the following Coppin's Hallmark Gifts:
  • Wubba Nub (up to $15)
  • Willow Tree Figurine (up to $20)
  • Jim Shore Figurine  (up to $25)
  • 3 DaVinci Beads + Toggle Bracelet
  • Hand Warming Mug
  • A Game (up to $15)

a Rafflecopter giveaway *Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. The products used to facilitate this review were given to me free of cost by the company for evaluation.  However, all opinions are 100% my own and I am not under any obligation to write a positive review.

Baby Got Back? Baby Boot Camp of McKinney, Fairview and Prosper, Texas

Feeling like all the pumpkin pie, stuffing and turkey is weighing you down from the Thanksgiving Weekend?
I found a great way for local mommas to burn off those calories and make connections with other mommas in the area. 

Baby Boot Camp of McKinney, Fairview and Prosper is an innovative stroller-fitness program that helps moms regain or enhance pre-pregnancy fitness levels and meet the physical challenges of parenting by emphasizing strength training in a supportive environment.
Baby Boot Camp's most popular class, STROLLFIT, is a 60-minute class. STROLLFIT classes cater to all fitness levels: pregnant moms, new moms recovering from pregnancy and conditioned moms with one or two stroller-aged children. Cardio drills, strength training exercises and stretching increases overall fitness, and the ab assault at the end of class means you get a total body workout!

Exercise modifications can be made for prenatal clients, particularly after the first trimester, new moms who are six to 16 weeks postpartum and active moms who are ready for an additional challenge. 
Baby Boot Camp meets on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays at Towne Lake Park in McKinney.  


Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Tea Time at McAlister's Deli

Love the Iced Tea from McAlister's Deli?
Who doesn't

Photo courtesy of

For just $7.99, you can now get a McAlister’s Deli Tea Tumbler, and as an added bonus be entitled to 99 cent refills any time you bring it back in to McAlister's Deli.  
Just in time for holiday gifting! While you're at it, if you purchase a $25 gift card, which is great for a stocking stuffer, YOU get a $5 gift card for yourself PLUS a McAlister's Deli exclusive ornament. 
Find participating locations here:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to all my McKinney Mommas (and poppas too)

I just wanted to take a moment, to wish you and your family a very happy holiday.

Looks like I'm coming down with a stomach bug, so we'll see how lovely my Thanksgiving turns out to be.....mash the potatoes.......puke........cut the green beans..........puke......set the get the idea.

Despite feeling like crud, I'm still thankful. 
  • Thankful I have two healthy children, even though one was not on my agenda!
  • Thankful I have parents and in-laws that love and support me and my girls
  • Thankful my husband did not leave me when I became the B*#@$ from hell during my pregnancy ;-) 
  • Thankful our family is able to be together on this holiday, and is not separated by war or other heartache
  • Thankful for all the service people that assisted with Hurricane Sandy 
  • Thankful I have this blog to connect with and hopefully encourage other moms and parents like me.
  • Thankful for ................YOU!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday wherever you are, and whether your house is full to the brim today, or it's just you this holiday......I'm sending peace to your home, from mine.  

Shiloh K. aka McKinney Mommas

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Top Toys NOT to Buy Your Kids this Christmas

Top Toys NOT to Buy Your Kids this Christmas!

Every year, parents push over one another to buy the season's hottest toys so that Santa can deliver them on Christmas day. Some previous must haves include Dancing Elmo, the Furby, and the Nintendo Wii. Parents have camped out, pushed through crowds, and paid double in online auctions to snap up one of these coveted toys.

However, there are a few toys on store shelves that likely won't see parents pushing over one another to get. Whether they are creepy, disturbing or outright offensive, here are a few of the top toys NOT to buy your kids this Christmas:

Living Dead Dolls (
Photo courtesy of

The name says it all. These creepy baby dolls feature pale "dead" skin, wide eyes that come in shades of red, white and grey, scars, cuts, gashes, open wounds and other signs of the undead. Some even have mouths that have been sewn shut or gashes that have been stapled together. 
They're more appropriate for Halloween than Christmas, and they're more appropriate for the adult collector than for kids.

Roadkill Stuffed Animals (

Photo courtesy of:

Rabbits and hedgehogs make such soft and cute stuffed animals; it only makes sense that those same animals would make good stuffed toys when their bodies have been flattened and their organs bulging out. Right? 
These totally disturbing toys featured skid marks, bulging red eyes, fabric blood, and stuffed livers and other organs. You can even get one as a door wedge. Just what every child wants to see under their toy Tonka under the tree this year!

Pee & Poo Stuffies (
Photo courtesy of:

Continuing the line of wildly inappropriate stuffed toys are this pair of pee and poo. No, those aren't cheeky names for some cooky characters. These are stuffed toys of a drop of urine and a dollop of feces. Have a friend with a baby? You can even get these characters on a onesie for sizes up to six months.

When you're a new parent, your whole world seems to revolve around pee and poo anyway, so why not have some fun with it? Right? Right?

Pole Dancer Doll (

Photo from:

Beyond offensive, this doll comes with its own personal dance pole and disco ball. While some parents have long criticized Barbie and other dolls for representing an unrealistic and overly sexy image for little girls, this doll overtly sexualizes little girls.

Luckily, the doll doesn't seem to be for sale in the U.S. If, for some reason, you lost your mind and wanted to buy this for your child, you'd have to look for overseas retailers.

Lego Friends (

This new line of Legos is designed just for girls -- you know, since regular Legos were just too boyish. These more "feminine" legos feature pastel colors, lots of hearts and flowers, and cuddly animals like ponies. While the toys aren't dangerous or inappropriate for children, they are offensive in their reinforcement of gender stereotypes. Just stick with the "regular" Legos whether you have a boy or a girl to buy for on your list.

What other toys are on your do NOT buy list this year?  Share your outrageous finds in the comments!

Our guest writer, Kim Willington is a freelance writer and researcher for, where she has recently been researching customer service software. In her spare time, she enjoys antiquing and taking long walks with her retriever, Spencer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Are You a Wonder Woman? Win this Vintage Inspired Wonder Woman Tee!

Calling All Wonder Women!

Here is your chance to win this great Wonder Woman shirt Courtesy of

I love this vintage inspired 100% cotton Wonder Woman Tee Shirt
I know as moms, we don't always feel like Wonder Women. But, I bet if you throw on this tee, you'll feel ready to take on the world!

Enter to Win
Entry Deadline: Dec 7, 2012 11:59pm
Eligibility: US 18+ 

Prize: (1) Women's Wonder Woman Tee Shirt - $23.99 value
Mandatory Entry:
  1. Answer in a blog comment: "Do you feel like a Wonder Woman? Tell me why!"
Optional BONUS entries

2. FOLLOW McKinney Mommas on TWITTER
3. FOLLOW McKinney Mommas on Google +
4. FOLLOW McKinney Mommas on Pinterest 
5. VOTE for McKinney Mommas - choose any on right toolbar
(Top Mommy Blogs, Picket Fence, Fuel my Blog)

Please be sure to add an extra comment for each bonus entry you complete. Also, add your email address in your comment if it's not clearly visible on your Google profile. 

Good Luck!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Beautiful Personalized Holiday Ornaments at Red Envelope

Sadly, none of my relatives live in the same town...or even the same state.

That means lots of online shopping, since these days you can just about break the bank if you purchase at local stores and have to ship everything individually at the post office. is a fantastic resource for those of you (like me) that need to purchase a few of your holiday gifts online this year.

My Picks

President Girl's Tee Shirt

Great pick for your ambitious niece or granddaughter! 

8 Piece Beer Tasting Set

 For the beer lovin' man (or woman) in your life!

Handprint Canvas Kit

Perfect for the grandparents!

Since having my second (and final) baby a few months ago, I wanted to commemorate the occasion by getting a Christmas ornament that represented our new family of four.

Red Envelope had a great selection of personalized Christmas ornaments

Metal Ornament Birds on Two Wires

I loved this bird on a wire design. So went ahead and ordered it with two "adult" birds and two babies (you can choose up to 4).  I had the choice of brushed silver or glossy white background - I'm into silver. 

When the ornament arrived, in a small keepsake red box I think I might have gasped just a little. It was perfect. The brushed silver is quite heavy and seems to be of great quality - no flimsy ornament here. 

This ornament is beautiful, timeless and is here just in time to hang on our Christmas tree.

Sleep Sheep

I was also excited to find that Red Envelope has baby gifts.  They have everything from personalized baby bath robes, to nursery wall art and these cool Sleep Sheep (pictured above)!

Our first daughter used a sound machine, and it finally kicked the bucket, so Baby O. hasn't gotten a new one of her own. Did I mention she doesn't like to sleep?  So, I'm always looking for new ways to calm her.

The Sleep Sheep on the go, is a smaller version with Velcro strap so you can attach it to the stroller or car seat.  There's an auto shut off feature at 23 or 45 minutes and has (4) calming sounds - waves, whales, rain, crickets (I think that's it). 

So far, it's been working quite well, I like the sounds and volume control, plus it came with batteries, so was ready to work right away. 

The only con, is that one of the buttons got stuck a few days after receiving would mix the whale sounds with any other sound you chose. I finally figured out how to get it un-stuck and now it works fine.

Show 'em Some Love

Just for checking out their Facebook page you can get 20% off your order!  

Happy Shopping!

Are You Ready for #GivingTuesday? November 27, 2012

Do you love the holidays? Love shopping? Love the mystery of not knowing what presents await you under the tree?

I'm sure all my McKinney Mommas readers have heard about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Hey, I love a good deal as much as anybody.  

But, have you heard about #GivingTuesday?

Here's a question::

Do you spend as much time looking into where you can volunteer this holiday, as you do hunting down the best Cyber Monday deals online?

Or, planning a map of how many stores you can shop before noon on Black Friday, as you do figuring how you can balance your budget so you can give to your favorite charitable organization this season. 

#GivingTuesday is not a new thing.

It's a call to action, encouraging everyone in America to partner with their neighbor and show that the holidays are not just for shopping and presents - rather it's about joining hands with our community and supporting each other wherever it's needed. 

Are you in on November 27th?

Giving Tuesday!

Click on the above badge for ideas on how you can help your community and participate in #GivingTuesday!

Here are just a few ideas:
  1. Find a place in your community where you can volunteer -
  2. Home Treasure Hunt! Take a look around the house for unused dishes, toys, books, and clothes. Donate to a local charity!
  3. Find a walk, bike ride, or run supporting a cause that means something to your family. Rally your family members, and neighbors to support you. Set a goal and raise it for your cause.

I think that we'll all be able to enjoy the holiday season even more, if we know we've given something back to our community by supporting #GivingTuesday

Tell me what you plan to do between now and November 27th to celebrate and support #GivingTuesday?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thai Green Curry Tofu and Basil, made with Campbell's Skillet Sauces

I have to brag for a minute.  My husband is pretty cool.

Since I got pregnant October of last year, he has stepped in, making most dinners for our family. Yes, he works a full-time job and then comes home and cooks a lovely meal for our family!

I'm spoiled.

I'd like to return the favor once in awhile, but with a 4 month old, and 21 month old it's not easy to get dinner ready by the time he gets home....or sometimes at all!

Campbell's Skillet Sauces are a new product that will help busy moms like me who like to cook, but don't have time for making sauces by scratch, whip up a great dinner in no time flat!

Campbell's Skillet Sauces

  • Creamy Chipotle with Roasted Corn & Black Beans
  • Fire Roasted Tomato with Red Bell Peppers & Chiles
  • Marsala with Mushrooms & Garlic
  • Scampi with White Wine & Garlic  
  • Thai Green Curry with Lemongrass & Basil
  • Toasted Sesame with Garlic & Ginger 
The instructions on the package, are very simple: 

You Will Need:
  • 1 TBSP. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 LB. Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast, cut into strips

1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium -high heat
2. Add chicken and cook until browned
3. Stir in sauce and heat to boil. Reduce to low, cover and cook 5 min or until chicken is cooked through

Serve over rice or pasta. Simple as that!

* * * 
Check out what McKinney Mommas made with Campbell's Skillet Sauces!

Thai Green Curry Tofu with Basil

Ready to wow your family with this simple dish?

I started out with a package of tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes and cooked in 1 Tbsp. of Peanut Oil in a Medium-High skillet until browned, approximately 10 minutes.

* Tip: When you take the tofu out of the package, wrap in a paper towel for a minute and squeeze lightly, to absorb some of the moisture.

I added one zucchini for color. More importantly, it's a good source of fiber and vitamins C and A. Gotta love your veggies, people!

Open pouch and pour Campbell's Thai Green Curry Skillet Sauce into pan.

Added some fresh basil from my garden, for a great fresh flavor. Yum.

Stir and reduce heat to low, bring to a simmer, cook about 2 minutes or until ingredients are hot.  

McKinney Mommas' Thai Green Curry Tofu w/ Basil

We served our Thai Green Curry Tofu with Basil made with Campbell's Skillet Sauces over white rice and sprinkled with some black sesame seeds on top.

I can't believe how easy this was to whip together, and a great change up from all the same flavors we usually cook with! 

Tasting Notes
  • Honestly, we were both surprised that Campbell's came through with a pretty authentic green curry flavor. We both really liked the taste of the Thai Green Curry sauce, and it had a fantastic spicy kick to it! 
  • CAUTION: Probably too spicy for most children. Not for the faint of heart - but that's what's great about curry!

  • The sauce was a bit on the sweet side for our liking.  If it's any consolation, our household typically lowers any sugar content in recipes as we just don't like things very sweet. So, in general others may not agree. 

After this positive experience in the kitchen, cooking with Campbell's Skillet Sauces I can't wait to try the Marsala with Mushrooms & Garlic!

For more information, please visit

Which of the (6) Campbell's Skillet Sauces are you looking forward to trying?

Disclosure:This is a sponsored post. Campbell supplied me with the product so I could post about my experience. However, all opinions are 100% my own, and I am not under any obligation to write a positive review if it is not warranted.