McKinney Mommas: October 2012 Google+

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Honest Tea - Fair Trade Certified and Honestly Refreshing!

I am honestly sad that this is the last day of October. 

No, not because Halloween will be over. It's because it's the end of McKinney Mommas' Fair Trade Forever promotion month!

I had an excellent time, researching and finding out more about Fair Trade and was inspired by how many companies I found that have committed themselves to operate with Fair Trade Certified ingredients and practices.

However, I hope that this won't be the last month I feature Fair Trade companies, as this is a movement that I'd like to be able to promote all year long!

* * *

Speaking of all year long, here's a product that you won't mind drinking from Summer to Fall, Winter to Spring and back again................

Honest Tea.

I have to be honest, I've been drinking Honest Tea for 8+ years now, but this is the first chance I have had to publicly announce my love affair with the product.

I first found this refreshingly delicious and thirst quenching iced tea when I was living on the east coast, in Connecticut.  Some of the cute little mom and pop shops where I'd grab lunch downtown started carrying Honest Tea.  

I am pretty sure that my first bottle was the Peach Oo-la-long. which I tried after being turned on to Oolong at a local tea workshop. I've never had a huge sweet tooth, so Honest Tea provided the perfect amount of natural tea flavor and only slightly sweet, which I loved.

Whenever I'd go out to lunch with my co-workers I'd chat up Honest Tea, and made believers out of quite a few of them!

Recently, Honest Tea transitioned all their Green, black, oolong, and white teas over to Fair Trade Certified™,which makes me want to support them even more.

If that's not enough.............

Now, how does that make you feel? Honest Tea's fair trade practices help to fund this school for children in a region that probably wouldn't otherwise have a school available for the children of these workers.

Now, that's what I like to see in a business mission these days. Honest Tea, you have outdone yourselves

Show 'em Some Love

Check out all the delicious flavors of Honest Tea at a store near you!

Do you have a Honest Tea tasting experience to share with me?

Sibu Beauty - Sea Buckthorn Berry Exfoliating Scrub made with Fair Trade Ingredients [Review & Giveaway]

What do......

Buckthorn Berry,

Omega 7,

and Apricot all have in common?

They are all components in the Exfoliating Scrub at Sibu Beauty, made with ingredients purchased from fair trade harvesting practices.  

Sea Buckthorn Exfoliating Scrub
  • Deep cleans pores
  • Gently removes dead, dull skin surface cells
  • Removes excessive oil from clogged pores
  • Leaves skin touchably soft
  • Gentle enough for all skin types
  • 3.3 fl. oz.
  • 100% natural
Now, I know all about berries. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, even gooseberries (one of my favorites), but I had never heard of a sea buckhorn berry before being intruded to Sibu Beauty products. 

The sea buckthorn berry, grown high in the mountains of the Tibetan Himalayas boasts a significant concentration of Omega 7 fatty acids - which has been known to increase collagen production and support healthy skin, hair and nail growth. 

More and more beauty products are coming out with an Omega 3 here, or an Omega 6 there, but the sea buckthorn berry, which is the key component of all Sibu Beauty products, packs a walloping dose of Omega 3, 6, 9 and 7.  

Why Buy? 
  • This superfruit is backed by 130+ scientific studies showing success with improving skin tone, texture, and digestion 
  •  The sea buckthorn berry is recognized often Dr. Oz and other health experts
  • 100% natural, USDA certified organic
  • Contains no preservatives, gluten, dairy or wheat and is paraben-free
  • Recently awarded the Safe Cosmetics Certification by PETA
  • Sibu's sea buckthorn berries are sourced through fair trade agreements with local harvesters in Tibet 

Sibu Beauty has a number of face care products, as well as dietary supplements that work from the inside out. 
 Check out their full line of products HERE.

Show 'em Some Love
 (1) Exfoliating Scrub with Sea Buckthorn Berry - a $19.95 value
  •   Complete Rafflecopter Entry Form below to win
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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

FREE bag of Nestle Candy w/ purchase of (4) Tombstone Pizzas (ends 10/31)

Looking for some tasty Fall Recipes?

(and some free candy?)

Find some tasty Fall recipes above....and print your coupon before HALLOWEEN ends to get a FREE bag of Nestle Candy, when you buy (4) Tombstone Pizzas.

* You can find the coupon in the Halloween section of the page...hurry this offer ends after Halloween *

Sponsored by: lunchbox

Applesauce & Spiced Cider Muffins + Homemade Halloween Decorations in one morning!

 Good Morning, Tuesday!

Both kids up before 7am, made some homemade muffins and got an art project all done...before 8am! Whew.
My freshly baked muffins this morning, warm and delicious
I opened my fridge this morning and saw some applesauce my kiddo wasn't eating, so figured I'd see what else I could do with it. 

I looked up "applesauce muffins" on and found this recipe for Cranberry Applesauce Muffins.  I added a few of my own touches, some ground clove, a touch of ginger, and the batter seemed pretty dry so I threw in some apple cider to moisten it up a bit!


McKinney Mommas Applesauce & Spiced Cider Muffins

  • 1 c applesauce
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c apple cider
  • 2 & 1/4 cups flour (divided)
  • 1/2 c brown sugar (divided)
  • 1/4 c white sugar 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon (divided)
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp butter (cold)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a muffin pan, or use paper liners.
  2. Mix together applesauce, oil, egg and apple cider in a bowl. In another large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1/4 c brown sugar & 1/4 c white sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Fold in egg mixture until just moistened (don't over mix). Fold in cranberries. Spoon into muffin tins, about 2/3 full.
  3. To make Streusel topping: In a small bowl combine remaining 1/4 c. flour, 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Cut butter into small pieces and combine into flour mixture until small lumps form. Sprinkle Streusel mixture on top of each muffin.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25  minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Yahoo! Daddy got to take a hot muffin breakfast to go, and my little peanut chomped hers right down too! 

* * * 

Next up, some homemade decorations for Halloween!

My window sportin' some cool handmade spiderwebs

I found this Spiderweb Halloween craft on, and did mine in black and white, then hung them in a row with fishing wire. 

Halloween decorations, done and done! All ready for the little goons to ring my doorbell tomorrow.

I'm not gonna lie, on these mornings I feel like SUPERMOM!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bloglovin Listing

Just checking out a new website - Bloglovin'

Have any of you heard about it?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Green Mountain Coffee's Flavorful Fair Trade Blends! Plus $2 coupon

Did you know that Green Mountain Coffee now has Fair Trade Certified Coffee K-Cups in a variety of blends and flavors? 
  • Sumatran Reserve
  • Wild Mountain Blueberry
  • Colombian Fair Trade Select
  • Vermont Country Blend
  • ....and many more delicious varieties!  

For me, Green Mountain Coffee, has always been a nice, reliable choice of coffee for many occasions. The fact that the company is now offering Fair Trade Certified options, will make me an even more loyal customer.

I like knowing that purchasing my daily cup of coffee from Green Mountain Coffee, results in coffee farmers in Colombia and Sumatra being given a fair wage for their work.  Which means they are better able to take care of their families, and contribute to developing the economics of their community!

Fair Trade Sample Pack received from bzzagent and Green Mountain Coffee
My current favorite is their Sumatran Reserve.  Using Fair Trade Organic ingredients, this coffee packs an extra bold punch of flavor that makes for a fantastic glass of iced coffee, which I like to sweeten with Agave syrup since it's still hot here in Texas.  

On those rare days that the weather actually dips below 60, I'll take my Sumatran Reserve piping hot on the back porch, please and thank you! 

* * * 

Photo from:
To bring awareness to Fair Trade Month, Green Mountain Coffee sent musicians Grace Potter and Michael Franti to witness Fair Trade farming practices in Sumatra and Columbia - you can watch behind-the-scenes clips from their visit at

Don't forget to check out Grace Potter and Michael Franti's live concert stream at Green Mountain Coffee's Facebook page HERE

  • Next scheduled LIVE concert stream - Nov 5th @ 9pm!

Offer expires 1/31/2012

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I am a BzzAgent and 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.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Have a Healthy Cavity Free Halloween with SparX Sugar Free Candy & America's Tooth Fairy [GIVEAWAY]

 America's Tooth Fairy wants McKinney Mommas readers to all to have a Happy Halloween, and more importantly one FREE of cavities!

Follow these Tips from the ToothFairy for a Healthier Halloween!
  • Feed your child prior to Halloween festivities or trick or treat activities to avoid snacking.
  • Rather than have the holiday focus around eating a bunch of sugar-laden sweets, center it around an activity such as going to a local pumpkin patch or holding a family pumpkin-carving contest.
  • Dress up as the Toothfairy and give out multi-colored toothbrushes instead of candy this year.
  • For a healthy smile year round, remember to brush, and floss your teeth twice a day and visit your dentist once every six months! For children ages 6 and up, use a fluoride rinse.
  • Hand out sugar-free candy to trick-or-treaters. You are still giving them a sweet treat, but without the cavities!
Speaking of sugar-free candy, want a chance to WIN SPARX HALLOWEEN CANDY - SWEETENED WITH 100% XYLITOL?


A 30 Pack of SparX All-Natural Halloween Candy!

 Deadline to enter: October 31, 2012 at 11:59pm
 To Enter:
  1. Visit and check out Trick or Treat for America's Tooth Fairy and leave a blog comment below with something you learned there.
BONUS Entries (3):
  1. Sign up for a FREE America's Tooth Fairy Kids Club - and your child will receive personalized letters from the Tooth Fairy & get quarterly newsletters with fun activities that help promote good dental hygiene.
  2. LIKE America's Tooth Fairy on FACEBOOK
  3. FOLLOW America's Tooth Fairy on TWITTER

NOTE: This virtual campaign encourages positive oral health habits and helps rescue vulnerable children from the pain associated with rampant dental disease. All public donations go directly to helping at-risk children.

To learn more visit:

Autumn at the Arboretum in Dallas by Sophia Hobbs

Autumn at the Arboretum in Dallas - Guest Post

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.

Last week I had the pleasure of taking the kids to the Dallas Arboretum which has undergone a seasonal change, diving into a fall medley of warm orange and red colors. If you have not been to the Dallas Arboretum, or have only gone in the spring when everything is in bloom, consider going now. Not only is there a fairytale like expanse in the form of a pumpkin village, but the world renowned glass sculptor, Chihuly, is being featured as well. His incredible hand-blown pieces accent, and are accented by, the flora which make for an immersive experience.

A Fall Fiesta
The Arboretum transforms itself every year from late September to late November. This year the autumn showcase ends on November 21st so there is still plenty of time to get out and enjoy the venue. Pumpkin Village is fittingly themed to Cinderella and other classic stories tied in with pumpkins, and Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage is even on display. Besides the main attractions that happen every day, the Dallas Arboretum has weekday and weekend events like live music on weekends, kids’ activities on Mondays and Tuesdays, and more. For more information check out the Autumn at the Arboretum site here

Dale Chihuly innovative glass work is shown all over the world in art galleries and prolific sites. For a limited time, his beautiful artwork has been displayed within the Dallas Arboretum and if you haven’t seen it yet it is definitely worth the trip. The designers have done a fantastic job pairing the elaborate glass sculptures with the natural plants and grounds of the arboretum. Blue wisps rise out of serene pools, yellow spires shoot up from long grass, simple yet elegant balls rest among low lying flowers, glass plants nestle amongst the natural foliage, and more abstract pieces stand out on their own accord. My personal favorite was the towering bright yellow spire, or the giant blue ball that looks somewhat like a sea urchin. The Chihuly exhibit ends on November 5th, so be sure to get out there and see it for yourself while you still can.

Admission fees for the Dallas Arboretum are generally fifteen dollars for adults, and nine dollars for kids, but a special is running right now and you get five dollars off of your ticket prices from 1-5PM until November 5th (when Chihuly ends). My favorite thing to do at the Dallas Arboretum is to pack a fun picnic lunch and go with the whole family to enjoy a day outside. There are plenty of concerts held there and eateries to try if you do not want to pack your own lunch. 

* Thank you to Sophia Hobbs for writing this guest post for McKinney Mommas blog. *

Friday, October 26, 2012

Easy & Classy Duck Marsala - My Entry for Maple Leaf Farms "Struck Your Duck" Contest

The holidays are around the corner, so I like to start thinking about classy dishes that I can make in under 30 minutes!

Yes, it can be done.

Check out my entry for Maple Leaf Farms "Strut Your Duck" Video Recipe Contest!

Please no heckling.....or quacking - and keep in mind this is my first EVER video contest entry, so I'm sure I have a few rough edges that could me smoothed out in time!


My Duck Marsala Recipe

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fair & Square Imports - Fair Trade Comes to Downtown McKinney, Texas

Speaking of Fair Trade.....

I was so excited to hear this month, that the very first Fair Trade retail store to open in the North Dallas area is in my very own town of McKinney, Texas!

It's about time.

McKinney?......North Dallas? Fair & Square Imports!

Located in the beautiful and serene downtown McKinney square, Fair & Square Imports carries products such as home decor, jewelry, coffee, gifts and all of them made from Fair Trade practices.

Their mission?

"Fair & Square Imports is dedicated to helping eradicate poverty through purchasing only from small-scale artisans, co-ops, non-profits, and farmers throughout the developing regions of the world. By making their handicrafts and goods available to new markets like McKinney, it helps create economic opportunity so these artisans and farmers can support their families and themselves."

Some Of My Favorites

Printed Fabric Lanterns

Winter Animal Hats from Equador - 25 animals to choose from!

Monkey Pod Wood Table from Thailand

You might be able to find some similar products in the mass retailer stores, but if you have the chance to improve the wellbeing of your global neighbor provide food and clothing for their families, why wouldn't you choose to do so?

Show 'em Some Love

If you live in the North Dallas or Collin County area, please go support Fair Trade locally, by checking out Fair & Square Imports:

McKinney, TX 75069

 * * * When you visit Fair & Square Imports, be sure to mention McKinney Mommas blog article and you will receive a FREE $5.00 Gift Certificate to the store! * * *

Reduce, Reuse & RELAX with FlashPoint Candles {Giveaway & Review}

Want elegant, classy decor that fills your house with warm light, and a calming scent?

Meet FlashPoint Candle.

You can't tell by the photo, but this 9" candle is huge.  It easily could become the focal point on a dining room table or set the scene for your outdoor patio furniture.

The candle itself is a soy blend wax, made in the USA and the containers are one-of-a-kind.  Each bowl is hand-dipped, multiple times in a glaze to create a beautiful crazed (that old time crackling effect) finish.    

FlashPoint Candle sent me one of their lovely selections, Saxon in Leaf Green with a Citrus Blossom scent to try in my home.

Saxon in Leaf (Citrus Blossom)

It's been awhile since I've fallen in love with a candle, both for it's scent AND appearance, but I'm smitten.  I'm a sucker for unique, one-of-a-kind pottery, and this candle delivers.  

The photos above just don't do it justice. An intricate web of colors, cracks and glaze is highlighted each time you light a wick - and the citrus blossom scent is refreshing and sensual.

I'm all about re-purposing, recycling and reusing whenever possible.  This gorgeous candle comes in a beautiful hand-poured ceramic bowl that could be used and reused in so many ways:

* * * 

As a "cooler" to hold your beverages during an outdoor party...

Or, as a floating candle centerpiece... 

I can think of so many uses for the gorgeous bowl after you've enjoyed your candle to the last drop!  So at $45.00 - this is a candle, or gift that keeps on giving!


The FlashPoint Candles come in a plastic covered, and ribbon tied package that is perfect for gift giving.

So, give away!

Speaking of Giveaway...........

Enter to Win 
Prize: (1) Saxon FlashPoint Candle
  • Complete Rafflecopter Entry Form to win!
  • Giveaway ends on November 9, 2012
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 if I feel it is not warranted.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Win a $75 Amazon Gift Code at 777 Dragon!

Enter to win $75 Amazon Gift Codes!

Ends in 4 days!!!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by 777 Dragon, and the company may compensate me for my time in relation to this post.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tucker Hill Pumpkinville! Pumpkins, Photos and Fall Fun in Collin County, TX

You wouldn't know it by looking at the thermostat here in Texas, but Fall is upon us!

So, even though I don't see yellow and orange leaves falling from the trees - during the month of October, I'm on the lookout for pumpkin patches and other places to take my little "pumpkins" to celebrate the Fall season. 

Tucker Hill is a fancy schmancy neighborhood in North McKinney that hosts Pumpkinville, which boasts a sweet little pumpkin patch & fun Fall activities for FREE from October 17 - 31st.

We went for the first time this year, and frolicked through a beautiful Fall setting on the side of a grassy hill (entrance to the neighborhood).  There are tons of photo opportunities - a little shed with rocking chair and beautiful (pretty sure professionally designed) sprays of pumpkins and other fall gourds and the like to take a lovely Fall family photo by.

It's not a REAL pumpkin field, so the pumpkins are not actually growing.  More of a "re-created" pumpkin patch, but there are tons of choices from tiny little pumpkins to huge ones scattered around, making it look very real, along with some old farm equipment that also is great for seasonal photos.

There's a little toddler sized hay maze that my kiddo had fun traversing, as well as a cute pumpkin decorated croquet field and bocce ball.  

At 10:30am we went on a little tractor-pulled hay ride around the neighborhood, which was fun! They have FREE hay rides Friday & Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays, 1:30 to 4 p.m.


                                                  Tucker Hill Pumpkinville
                                          7270 W University Dr
                                            McKinney, TX 75069

To see all the fun activities Tucker Hill has planned to close out the month of October 2012 - You can check out their calendar here: 

Plus, check out my review of Pumpkinville on Yelp for the full story!

Enjoy the Fall Weather with Kiddy City 'N Move Stroller Giveaway!

It's FALL and the weather here in Texas is finally bearable!

That means more walking, fall festivals and parks for us!  

Keep reading to find out how you can win a Kiddy City 'N Move Stroller!

Giveaway Entry Dates: October 22th - November 12th

A high quality, sturdy, and stylish stroller can be hard to come by. Today you don't have to look very far since we're giving one away! The German engineered Kiddy City 'N Move is everything a parent dreams of and now it is available to us in the U.S. 

The Kiddy City 'N Move is a full-feature stroller - not really an 'umbrella' stroller like you're used to. There is a huge canopy that will shield your baby from sun-up to sun-down. An easy one-hand recline button is great for infants and napping toddlers. The storage pocket and undercarriage basket have enough room for all the necessities and a little more. The umbrella fold is easy once you get the hang of it and it's compact. The harness, bumper bar, and adjustable footrest make the seat a very comfy place for baby. 

You can read the full review of the Kiddy City 'n Move Stroller over at Eco-Babyz and see a myriad of detailed photos as well as a 3 year old and 1 year old using it! 

Favorite Features: 
  • Modern, fun colors 
  • Huge, ridiculously generous canopy!
  • One hand recline
  • Self-locks when folding
  • Superior handling
  • Very sturdy, high quality construction
  • Comes with parent cup holder and car seat adapters
  • For kids up to 55 pounds
Purchase: The Kiddy City 'n Move retails for $219.99, but it is so new that it isn't even available to buy just yet! You will find it here on Amazon in the next couple of weeks. You may also check out the list of retailers (which will be updated soon) to see who carries one. 

Win One! Kiddy is blessing one of you with the Kiddy City 'n Move stroller in your choice of color: Phantom, Stone, Jaffa, Hawaii, Lavender, Cranberry, or Walnut (subject to availability).

Special thanks to Eco-Babyz and Our Kids Mom for hosting this giveaway. Huge thanks to the 76 participating bloggers as well! Giveaway ends November 13th at 12:01 am, open to US residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Thank you!

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this publication, nor any samples. Eco-Babyz and Our Kids Mom were sent a sample of the product for review purposes and to write this post/giveaway. Eco-Babyz, Our Kids Mom, and Kiddy City 'n Move Stroller Giveaway Event bloggers are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Make Your Skin and the World a Better Place with ACURE Organics [Review & Giveaway]

Did you  know, October is Fair Trade Awareness Month?

We looked high and low this month for companies that hold themselves to a higher standard of business practice by participating in Fair Trade Certification

One of the amazing companies I found was ACURE Organics - a skincare company that uses only Fair Trade ingredients in their products.

We've been talking about Fair Trade here at McKinney Mommas all month long, but just in case you're new to the game....

What is Fair Trade?

"Fair Trade Certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace." - excerpt from

If you had the choice, wouldn't you pick products whose ingredients come from Fair Trade practices?

You can!

Fair Trade Products by ACURE

Facial Cleansers
 brightening facial scrub sea kelp + chlorella growth factor


facial toner rose + red tea


DAY CREAM: gotu kola stem cell + 1% chlorella growth factor

Skin Care Treatments

eye cream superfruit + chlorella growth factor

As you can see above, ACURE Organics offers a number of options for cleansers, toners, moisturizers and specialized skincare treatments.  Above is just a small sample of the Fair Trade Certified beauty products they carry.  

Keep reading to find out how to WIN ACURE Organics Fair Trade products for yourself!

I had recently run out of my facial moisturizer, so ACURE Organics sent me a sample of their Radical Resurfacing Facial lotion: lemon probiotic + 1% chlorella growth factor to try.

This moisturizer is for all skin types, and is created to even skin tone and guard against photodamage.  

No, not the kind that you get from having a shutter-happy mother-in-law!  Photoaging is skin damage (wrinkles, age/liver spots) that's a result of exposure to UV Rays, silly.  

I LOVE the incredible scent of this moisturizer, and with no synthetic fragrance, my skin is happy as well as my nose! I haven't noticed any breakouts and actually feel like my skin could be getting smoother and more evenly toned.  

I do have that nasty hyperpigmentation or "pregnancy mask" as a result of carrying my dear daughter for 9 months (mostly during the summer) this year.  So, I'm hoping that the brightening nature of the lemon probiotic in this Radical Resurfacing Lotion will kick in soon. 

Why Buy?
  • Vegan
  • Paraben free
  • Cruely free
  • Gluten free
  • Sulfate free
  • No Synthetic Fragrance
  • Specialized Plant Stem Cells + Probiotics + Organic Argan Oil I need to keep going?

Show Some Love 

Enter To Win
  • Winner will receive (1) Radical Resurfacing Facial Lotion - Retail Value $19.99
  • Complete Rafflecopter Entry Form to Win!
  • Giveaway ends: November 5, 2012
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, if I feel is is not deserved.