Queso con Carne (without Velveeta!)

Disclosure:  My friend Tori created this recipe by using a variation of the this Creamy Mexican Dip recipe.  They are both brilliant and have made my world a little brighter today because of this recipe.  :)

Queso con Carne without Velveeta!

Queso, cheese dip, whatever you may call it, it's a delicious thing.  I have had it multiple times throughout my life and it certainly is a wonderful thing.  However, most recipes call for a shelf stable processed cheese called Velveeta.  Now, Velveeta is wonderful and rich and creamy, but you gotta wonder exactly what they put in that stuff….it can't really be good for us, you know?  (sidenote:  You can make healthy homemade "Velveeta," but I haven't tried it yet.)  So when my friend Tori posted that she had found this recipe and thus made her own Queso con Carne….I had to try it.  And wow.  Just wow.  It's like a fiesta in your mouth!  Hubby said it tasted like it was from a five star Mexican restaurant and he was right!  It is simply delicious.  You can make it with or without beef, make some with beef and some without, add different variations of spices and salsa, save some queso in the fridge to serve over broccoli the next day, make mac & cheese…whatever your Mexican food loving heart desires!  So…here's the recipe!  It really is a lot easier than it seems.  I know it seems overwhelming, but you got this!  And you'll be so pleased after it's made, I promise!

Ingredients for beef:

  • 1/2 lb ground beef (more if your heart desires)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup (more or less) of your favorite homemade or jarred salsa

Instructions:

  1. Put meat in a pan over medium high heat.
  2. Season meat with salt, chili powder, cumin seeds, and garlic powder.
  3. Brown beef.
  4. After the meat is browned, pour salsa into the meat and cook until the liquid is cooked away for the most part.
  5. Set meat aside.

​(sidenote:  This right here is a delicious way to make homemade taco meat.  The boys tried it and really loved it.  I omitted the chili powder and didn't add too much salsa and it was the perfect flavor without spiciness for them.)

Ingredients for Queso:

  • 2 egg yolks (I separate the yolks from the whites, rinse them of white and dry the yolk. Then, I tear the membrane and drain the yolk into a glass. This keeps the membrane out of the queso so there is no weird egg textures in there.)
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder OR organic cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp cream or milk
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 8 oz shredded cheese (4 oz sharp cheddar and 4 oz cheddar jack is recommended)
  • 1/2 cup (or more) salsa (as mild or as spicy as you like!)
  • 8 oz cream cheese (here's a recipe for homemade cream cheese!)

​Directions for Queso:

  1. Mix egg yolks, arrowroot powder OR cornstarch, and cream OR milk together until the powder is fully incorporated into the yolks and thinned a bit by the milk/cream.  Mix until lumps are gone.
  2. To this mixture, add 2 cups of milk.
  3. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken.  (Tori's notes:  After 7-10ish minutes, it should be thick, like white gravy. You know. REAL white gravy. Not that milky stuff some folks call gravy.)
  4. After it thickens, 1/2 cup (or more) of salsa and stir until well mixed.
  5. Then, add 8oz of your preferred cheese blend, shredded, and stir.
  6. Add 8 oz of cream cheese and stir all together until everything is melty and delicious. (do not let it come to a full boil or it will curdle and separate.)
  7. At this point, if it is not thick enough, add another 1/2-1T arrowroot or cornstarch. Dip out a little queso into a cup and mix it into the queso first before mixing it into the pot. This prevents the locked up, starchy balls that don't mix well. Add and cook until thick.
  8. Add in beef mixture.
  9. Eat and enjoy best real food queso con carne in. the. WORLD!

Calling All Costco Moms and Dads! Stock Up On Huggies Plus Diapers and Wipes! (free sample, too!)

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.  I am happy to be participating in the Huggies Costco Ambassador program.

Our family recently became Costco members for the first time and our whole family just loves it.  They have everything!  Clothes, books, frozen foods, organic foods, fresh foods, cheese, toilet paper, batteries, hot dogs, ice cream..whatever you need!  And in addition, Costco also offers great deals on just about everything, including baby supplies.  I love to go stock up on all of the essentials, like disposable diapers and wipes for those long summer trips.  Did you know that Huggies Plus products are available only at Costco?  

Costco Huggies sample

Costco's exclusive Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus diapers are extra absorbent for day or night, have the Leak Lock® guaranteed protection, Snug Fit waistband, and Grip Tabs for a secure fit.  We love them for Baby Brother, who is on the go allllll of the time now and is also heavy wetter.  They're very dependable for naps and travel.  Leaky diapers can ruin a night or an outfit, so we definitely rely on Huggies for no leaks.

At Costco, you'll also find Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes.  These wipes are thick and durable and are the simplest wipes formula Huggies has to offer, which is nice for Baby Brother's delicate skin.  The special pack at Costco comes with two kinds of refillable dispensers plus 1160 refill wipes to keep Baby clean at home or when you're out and about.  One of the dispensers is the NEW Huggies® Clutch ‘n’ Clean pouch, which comes in every pack of Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes.  You will find the perfect dispenser for your needs at Costco in these handy, time saving, money saving big packs.

Costco has us covered…we can stock up on absorbent disposable diapers and natural wipes so they'll be there when we need them.  We can rely on Huggies Plus diapers and natural wipes to get us through the messiest of situations and keep Baby Brother free of leaks.  I highly recommend stopping in your local Costco and grabbing a few packs of Huggies Plus diapers and wipes.  They stack great, last a long time, and are even great for baby gifts and showers.    

Make sure to follow @Huggies on Twitter to learn more!

**Costco Members** – Click HERE to register for a FREE sample of the Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes. Hurry and register now, there will be a limited number of samples each day starting today, July 21 through July 26, 2014 so try back tomorrow if you aren’t able get a sample today! You must be a Costco member to get a sample and limit 1 sample per household. 

Chocolate Cheesecake Fruit Dip made with Probiotic Rich Lifeway Kefir

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

Chocolate Cheesecake Fruit Dip

If there is one thing our family loves, it is yogurt.  I remember shopping the yogurt section of the grocery store, looking for something new and delicious, when I saw a bottle of blueberry Lifeway Kefir.  I had never heard of kefir before, but I read all of the health benefits on the back of the bottle and decided to give it a try.  After I got home and unloaded the groceries, I gave it a try and it was oh so good.  That was almost two years ago, and I have been hooked on kefir ever since.  It has been especially great for me to get a quick, mess free, protein rich snack in a hurry….no spoon required!  You don't know how truly important that is until you have an infant demanding your time and energy.  We are expected to feed them and care for them at any moment of the day or night, but good luck finding enough time to feed yourself healthy food and get all of the protein and nutrients your body requires to feed them!  Kefir has been a great solution to this problem for me!

If you're not the adventurous food type and you want to know what kefir is before trying it…just think of it as a sweet and tangy yogurt drink, the "Champagne of Dairy."  Kefir originated in Eastern Europe over 2,000 years ago.  It contains 12 live and active probiotic cultures that help support the digestive and immune systems.  It is high in calcium and protein, as you would guess, and such a delicious way to keep your body healthy!

Hubby and I love to indulge in cheesecake, so I created a delicious Chocolate Cheesecake Fruit Dip, made with Lifeway Kefir.  So it has the satisfying cheescake flavor with all of the goodness that kefir provides!

Chocolate Cheesecake Fruit Dip

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp Madagascar Vanilla Lifeway Kefir Cultured Milk Smoothie
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp coconut sugar (can be substituted with your favorite sugar)
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Mix kefir and cream cheese together in a mixer until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add in sugar and cocoa powder and mix well.
  3. Serve with your favorite fruit, graham crackers, etc.

Lifeway Kefir makes a great Chocolate Cheesecake Fruit Dip!

I have found that any recipe that calls for milk, buttermilk, or yogurt, kefir can be substituted instead.  Keep in mind that when you cook kefir, the probiotic benefits are lost, but Lifeway Kefir is still gluten and GMO free, 99% lactose free, and never contains artificial sweeteners, which makes it a healthier option for my family.  We have made banana muffins with kefir, and also this delicious Garlic Chicken with Fettuccine & Kefir Sauce:

Garlic Chicken With Fettuccine & Kefir Sauce

Ingredients for Garlic Chicken:

  • two chicken breasts
  • garlic powder
  • grapeseed oil
  • salt

Directions for Garlic Chicken:

  1. Set oven to 400º.
  2. Place chicken breasts in a glass dish.
  3. Drizzle grapeseed oil on chicken breasts.
  4. Sprinkle salt and garlic powder, as much or as little as you like, over the chicken breasts.
  5. Cook for about an hour, until the house is filled with the smell of yummy garlic and the center is no longer pink.

Ingredients for Fettuccine and Kefir Sauce:

  • one package of fettuccine
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 purple onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 cup of Plain Lifeway Kefir Cultured Lowfat Milk Smoothie
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch (optional, for thickening)

Directions for Fettuccine and Kefir Sauce:

  1. Cook fettuccine according to package instructions.
  2. Sauté purple onions in butter until they are cooked and clear.
  3. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Add plain kefir, cream, salt, and pepper.
  5. Stir continually on medium heat until sauce thickens.
  6. Sprinkle corn starch and stir in if your sauce is not thick enough for your liking.
  7. Serve sliced chicken and kefir sauce over fettuccine noodles and enjoy!

​If you'd like to try kefir or stock up for your favorite recipe, sign up for money saving coupons at the Lifeway Kefir website!  

How do you enjoy kefir?  If you have not tried it, do you have any delicious recipes in mind to try it in?

Baby Brother is Enjoying the Summer with Kushies

This post was brought to you by Kushies.  All opinions are mine.

Being the third child is hard.  Scoff if you will, but I was the third child and my older brothers might see it differently, but being the baby has it's challenges!  The constant noise, physical battles, living up to older siblings' reputations, and having to wear hand-me-downs is what we babies of the family have to suffer through!  Okay, okay, so it wasn't that bad.  And, I was a the first born girl so I did get new clothes.  But Baby Brother is the third boy and while he does not care what he wears, it is nice to have some new things from time to time….especially cloth diapers!

Throughout our cloth diapering journey, I have continued to hear great things about Kushies.  Their diapers are adorable, but for whatever reason, I never tried them, until now.  We tried the Kushies Ultra Lite "All in One" diaper, in White Crazy Circles.  The outer shell is lightweight and waterproof.  It has a hook and loop closure system, which usually I am not a fan of, but Kushies makes it work  because of the positioning and length of tabs:

Kushies all in one diaper

This diaper is less than $20, which makes it easy on a family's budget.  It features six layers of 100% cotton flannel with a super absorbent soaker layer inside.  And the best part is….this diaper contains a patented built-in flap that can be folded up for boys or down for girls for extra absorbency.  The infant diaper fits babies 10-22 pounds and sells for  only $14.49.  The toddler version is $17.49 and fits from 22-45 lbs.

Kushies all in one cloth diaper

I had no clue that Kushies offered WAY more than just cloth diapers, too.  If cloth diapering isn't your thing (or even if it is,) you should visit the Kushies website to see all the wonderful things going on!  Baby Brother loves this Little Lizard Romper by Blue Banana.  It is soft and super adorable.

Blue Banana RomperAnd don't forget the perfect summer accessory…sunglasses!  These Kushies blue sunglasses are fit him well and keep his eyes protected from UVA and UVB rays.  The lenses are scratch resistant and the arms are flexible and virtually unbreakable.  And it's true that my children have big heads, (95 percentile, y'all!) but these sunglasses even fit D, who is three.  They are less than $6 and fit for quite a while, so I will be looking to Kushies for more sunglasses in the near future.

Kushies sunglasses

Find out more about Kushies and see all the great things they have to offer for your baby.  Follow Kushies on Twitter and Facebook, too, to stay up to date about new products and sales!  Check their products out on Amazon, too.

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The Reward System That Has Helped Our Kids’ Behavior This Summer!

Around the middle of May, I began to get concerned about the boys' behavior.  I was looking at a summer with all three kids after the Captain ended his year in half day pre-k.  He is 5 1/2 and definitely acting like a 5 year old boy who has been surrounded by other 5 year old boys for months!  Thankfully no bad words have come up, but the potty talk and laughing incessantly at "poop" and other words were common, and he was teaching D, who is 3 1/2, just how hilarious they are.  There was also the disobeying, defiance, and being mean to each other that was driving me crazy.  Something had to be done.

Daddy is gone a lot during the summer because he is a youth minister.  Camps, trips, and other work engagements keep him busy and so I knew I had to do something to stop the negative behavior and get us all working together so we could have a great summer.  I began to think of what I should do…and then I remembered something that works brilliantly with all kids:  rewarding positive behavior.

When I was a teacher, I tried many things – treats, treasure box, encouraging words, and more.  But the one thing that got the best response from my class was when I gave them a sticker for any outstanding positive behaviors.  Soon, the whole class was trying to earn a sticker with their positive behavior that, while the negative behaviors didn't go away completely, they definitely decreased!  I saw this same phenomenon a couple of years ago when the Captain brought home a "Shine God's Light" sticker chart from VBS.  He was supposed to earn stickers by doing positive things for others, like praying for them, giving them something nice, or just doing something thoughtful for another person.  He was so excited about this chart, but for a (then) 3 year old, there were a LOT of spaces to fill.  You can't tell from this picture, but this was about half full:

Shine God's Light!

It took him about two years to fill up this chart, but when he did, we rewarded him with something he wanted:  a new basketball.  He didn't know he was working towards a basketball, but when the chart was full, he happened to want a basketball, so that's what we gave to him for his positive behavior.  I always prefer to get the kids something as a reward, not "just because," so I go that route whenever possible.  $15 for something he wanted, to reward him for two years of doing great things.  Pretty good deal, if you ask me!

So back to our current situation.  We needed to do something!  I was pretty much done with sticker charts, but I remembered that we had some aquarium stones and of course, lots of different sized jars!  I worked with the boys to make up a list of ways they could earn stones and informed them that they would be working TOGETHER to accomplish one goal.  Here are the four ways we came up with to "Shine God's Light" and earn a stone for the jar:

Ways to Shine God's Light

 They had to come up with what they wanted to work towards together, and when the jar was full, they would both get to enjoy the reward.  This has helped with the competitiveness and while it is sometimes hard to agree on something they both want, they really do work together!  The first goal they wanted to work for was to get the "Frozen" DVD.  Once I handed out the first stone, they were on a roll.  Their behavior really changed almost instantaneously.  Now, of course, they're still humans and we all make mistakes.  I just focused on correcting their negative behaviors but really rewarding their positive behaviors.  The boys were telling each other to "please move" and "thank you!"  They were obeying the first time (this one is the hardest and will continue to be the hardest because no one really likes to stop what we are doing and do something someone asks of us.)  It took about three weeks for the boys to fill the jar and when they did, we went out and bought the "Frozen" DVD the same day.  

reward jar

When that goal was met, the boys talked together about what they wanted to do next.  Another movie?  no.  A toy?  no.  They had been asking to do something special as a family, particularly asking to go to iT'Z, which is like a nicer, more pleasant experience than Chuck E. Cheese's and has a rock climbing wall, bowling, and more.  I'm not a huge fan of either place, but hey, if they want to work for a trip to go there, I'll be happy to reward their positive behavior.  So, I told them that the little short jar wouldn't really work because a trip to iT'Z is more expensive than a DVD.  I took a taller jar out of the cabinet and showed them and they agreed that they could work towards filling up that jar and earn the trip they had been wanting.  

(This also is a great way to delay an allowance in our house.  The Captain, especially, gets money and it burns a hole in his pocket.  He will waste it on anything and everything he sees if he doesn't have some guidance.  The stones in the jar have some "value" to them, but they're not monetary.  They can see that the jar for the DVD was shorter than the jar for the trip to iT'Z, so they can grasp the concept that some things cost more than others, but there is no handing out money.  There is no "you do this chore, I pay you $$."  An allowance will come in the future, but for now, this is a great intro to an allowance.  It's a reward for good behavior, not payment for a task.

This was our "Shine God's Light" jar a few days ago:

The positive behavior reward system that really and truly worked for our kids and really made them think and be aware of their actions.

Rewarding positive behaviors definitely takes effort on my part, and it's not fail proof, for sure.  They still act up and are still naughty at times, but their behavior is light years better than it was just two months ago.

Rules for earning a stone:

1.  You can't ask for a stone.  example:  "I cleaned my room, can I get a stone?"

2.  You can't get a stone for yourself.  Our cup of stones sits on top of the fridge so they aren't tempted.  (This is when the noise of a stone in a glass jars comes in handy….Mommy hears all!)

3.  You can suggest that your brother gets a stone if you see him doing something good.

4.  We can't take stones out.  I have been guilty of threatening them with this on bad days, but it's just not a good idea.  They earned them and they shouldn't be taken out.  Discipline and rewards for positive behavior should be two separate things.

5.  Stones aren't used for bribes or making deals.  No "clean your room and I'll give you a stone!"  Nope, it's "Wow!  You cleaned your room the first time I asked without complaining, thank you, you get a stone!"  Likewise, they can't say "Hey Mom, I'll pick up my toys if you give me a stone."  Scheming doesn't work for stones!

6.  All stones are of equal value.  Share a bite of your cookie with your brother?  One stone.  Spend an hour working with Mommy in the garden to keep her company?  One stone.  Get a diaper for Mommy because you knew she needed help, even though she didn't ask?  One stone.  Simple!

Some people will argue with this whole idea and say that kids should do what parents tell them "just because."  I've heard people say that kids should mind their parents all of the time and if they don't, they (get a spanking, get time out, etc.)  I DO believe that negative behaviors need consequences, but I'm telling you….kids aren't born with the ability to obey and need to be taught.  I prefer to teach them in a positive way because it gets better results.  Sure we discipline when needed, but for us, an appropriate mix of the two works really well.

This is a great way to help the kids learn about how others feel.  The boys have both gotten stones for helping other people and not even doing it just to get a stone.  Once they got used to helping others, it becomes more natural.  

If you want to go beyond showing your kids how to "Shine God's Light," and teach your kids about God's love, check out "Simple Ways to Bring Jesus into Your Child's Daily Routine."

 

 

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Visit with a Doctor – Day or Night – Without Leaving Your Home with the Doctor On Demand App {Target Giveaway, too!}

This post was brought to you by Doctor On Demand.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Doctor on Demand logoBaby Brother is our third child, but yet, we still find oursevles questioning whether or not we need to take him to the doctor when he is sick.  I remember as first time parents with the Captain, everything was a huge question mark.  Fever?  What did the doctor say about how high is too high and for what age?  How many poops is he supposed to have in one day?  What is this rash?  Is this normal?  On and on and on and on…..we were a bit over concerned, first time parents, I'm sure, but there were times when we should have taken him in to see the doctor, too.  Had we taken him or D in every time we thought we might need to, we would be swimming in medical bills.  How cool would it have been to have a doctor to call, day or night, when we had a question or needed some medical advice?

Well…finally this exists!  Doctor On Demand is an app available on iTunes and Google Play that connects you to a US licensed, board certified physician ANY TIME, day or night.  No need to wait until the doctor's office opens, then wait on hold for an appointment, and then drag your sick kid(s) to a germy waiting room when you don't need to.  Doctor On Demand is only $40 (the cost of many copays and much cheaper than what we pay for a sick visit!)  All doctors have years of experience, are highly educated, and background checked.  You get to video or voice chat for up to 15 minutes.  

When should you call Doctor On Demand?  Use DOD for:

  • a cold, cough, flu, or allergies
  • rashes
  • pink eye
  • asthma
  • bladder infections
  • pediatric questions
  • most cases that are not life threatening
  • prescription refills
  • referral to a specialist

When you should NOT use Doctor On Demand:

  • ANY problem that IS life threatening
  • chest pain/pressure
  • seizures
  • serious head, neck, or back injury
  • broken bones

 

Doctor on Demand

We were given the opportunity to try Doctor On Demand and I'm glad we did.  Baby Brother has had eczema for a long time, but the other night, his flare up was BAD.  His face was bright red, he had raised spots on his arm, and it was almost bedtime.  I entered his symptoms and was quickly connected with a doctor.  (I am not sharing his name for privacy reasons.)  

Doctor on Demand app

I showed him Baby Brother's eczema and he quickly said it was just eczema and said to continue with what his pediatrician had recommended, but that he would call in a prescription for a different medicine to see if that would help.  I got the phone number for our pharmacy, and he told me some other tips like limit the number of baths and stay away from scented stuff.  He also said to follow up with our pediatrician if it hadn't cleared up in a few days.

Doctor on Demand

I was very impressed with our experience and will be calling Doctor On Demand again if the need arises.  It is such a simple, money saving way to get the professional medical advice I need without having to spend money and time driving to the doctor.  

Doctor on Demand

Find out more at the Doctor On Demand website, Facebook, and Twitter.

AND for your first Doctor On Demand call, use code "LW14" to save $10!

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We would like to celebrate the fact that you can now talk to a board certified doctor (on demand!) from the comfort of your own home, thanks to the Doctor On Demand app…. with a great giveaway.

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The $200 Target Gift Card Giveaway will end on July 22nd. It is open to US residents, 18+ only. Please use the Giveaway Tools Form below to enter! Good Luck!

Disclosures: The participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway is open to US residents, age 18+ only. The giveaway will close at 11:59PM EST on 7/22/14. One winner will be selected randomly from all eligible entries. If you have any questions about this giveaway or would like to inquire about group events like this, please contact the Blogging Mamas Network at bloggingmamas.blog@gmail.com.

19 Fresh, Unique Summer Fruit and Vegetable Recipes

This summer fruit and vegetable recipe collection was brought to you by Foodie.com.  All opinions are mine.

19 Fresh, Unique Summer Fruit and Vegetable Recipes

I LOVE visiting the grocery store, Farmer's market, or even our very own garden during the summer because of the plethora of delicious fruits and vegetables!  I have made a collection of 19 Fresh, Unique Summer Fruit and Vegetable Recipes on Foodie for you to enjoy.  

Check out 19 Fresh Summer Fruit and Vegetable Recipes

by Gena at Foodie.com

What is your favorite thing to eat during the Summer?

Use Your Smart Phone to Take, Track, and Monitor Your Whole Family’s Temperatures with the Kinsa Smart Thermometer

This smart thermometer post was brought to you by Kinsa.  All opinions are mine.

kinsa Smart Thermometer

I have struggled with finding the perfect thermometer since we first had the Captain.  We have tried every kind of thermometer there is and have been disappointed with every single one besides the cheap one they gave to us in the hospital when he was born.  The only complaint I had with that one was that it took foreeeever!  It was accurate, but waiting and keeping a baby still was absolutely torture on all of us.  Well, I am happy to report that we have finally found the perfect solution, and it's a smart thermometer!

The Kinsa smart thermometer is MORE than just a thermometer.  It's easy to set up with the black connector that comes with the Kinsa and a quick app download.  Soon you're good to go and ready to start taking and tracking the temperatures of everyone in your family.  You can create a profile for every family member and save data so you will know what's a normal temperature, symptoms, if someone is getting sick, etc.  And when you show up to the doctor, you can give accurate temperatures and times instead of just guessing like we have been known to do.  (oops!)  No more "he felt warm when he woke up and I think his temperature was 101, but I can't really remember…"  All the readouts are right there and you can access it with just a few taps.

Something else I love about the Kinsa is that you can use just the thermometer inserted into the smart phone OR make it longer with the cord.  

kinsa Smart Thermometer

The thermometer can be used orally, under the arm, or rectally, just like any other thermometer, and the Kinsa app specifically asks which method you are using.  

The Kinsa app is smart, also, because it has an interactive screen to keep toddlers engaged while they are having their temperature taken.  The fun bubbles calm your child and the numbers are large enough for them to see.  

photo 1 (3)

We tested the Kinsa smart thermometer and app one night when D had a fever.  It was quick, painless, and even exciting for him to have his temperature taken on Mommy's iPhone.  After it read his temperature at 100.3°, it asked if he had any symptoms.  The graphics were fun for him to look at and answer if he felt any certain way.  

photo 2 (2)

A few great things about the Kinsa:

  • gives you a fast and accurate temperature reading
  • free app for iOS and Android
  • meets ASTM standards for professional accuracy
  • use orally, under the arm, or rectally
  • displays in °F or °C
  • flexible design for comfort
  • water resistant for safe cleaning
  • optional extension cord
  • perfect for travel because it's compact and you will have your phone with you anyway!

​Do you want a Kinsa smart thermometer for your family or someone you know?  Visit Kinsa or Amazon to purchase one for only $24.99.

Kinsa is also giving away one smart thermometer to one Life With Captain Fussybuckets reader.  Just enter in the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Feel Good About the Juice Your Children Drink!

Our boys are huge drinkers. While they love water, they – of course – love juice and beverages with sugar. The Captain is very picky with his juice and many times I have introduced a drink to him and he just turns his nose up and refuses to drink it. I was afraid that would happen when I gave him a Mott’s for Tots juice box, but to my surprise, he L-O-V-E-S it!

I am not one to restrict my kids of the sweet things, but I do have my reservations about a lot of things – candy, sodas, and junk food. I don’t like the feeling of having to feel bad about something like juice. And sometimes there are so many additives and extra sugar in juice that it really does become unhealthy. But I am thrilled with Mott’s for Tots and their juice, which contains 40% less sugar than 100% apple juice*. It also contains vitamins A, C, & E so it provides all the nutrition and goodness of apple juice without sacrificing flavor. Mott’s for Tots was developed with toddlers and preschoolers’ unique nutritional needs in mind.

The Captain really enjoyed his “juice break” while helping me take out the recycling one evening:

Both the Captain and D couldn’t get enough of the Mott’s for Tots fruit punch juice boxes. They are the perfect size for taking on backyard adventures, trips in the car, lunch boxes, soccer games, or even just as a simple, delicious drink with a snack at home. The juice boxes are also great for portion control, so I can regulate how much they have had and help them realize when they have had plenty of juice for the day. Their dentist told them to only have one juice per day and they are good about following his rule. But, you can bet they ask for their “juice of the day” soon after they wake up!

The Mott’s for Tots is also their favorite brand of apple juice. It’s a great treat for them and I’m happy because it has 40% less sugar than 100% apple juice*!

Learn more about Mott’s for Tots on their website, Facebook, and Twitter. Check out all of the delicious, low sugar flavor options available, and feel better about the juice your children are drinking!

*Mott’s Fruit Punch Rush and Wild Grape Surge have 15g sugar and the market average of 100% fruit juices and blends have 25g sugar.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Motts for Tots via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

Summer Fun and Eco Friendly Drinkware for Kids

This eco friendly drinkware for kids post was brought to you by Silikids.  All opinions are mine.

We celebrated the first day of Summer with a trip to the park and splash pad.  The boys had really been looking forward to a family picnic, so we thought it was the perfect time.  I packed some deli meat, cheese, blueberries, and crackers, as well as some juice and water to drink.  We arrived at the park and decided to eat first because we were all hungry.

I have been trying to use as much eco friendly dishes as possible, and our picnic was the perfect time to try out our new drinkware from Silikids.  The boys were excited to drink out of something more "grown up" and "cool."  I was excited that they were drinking from eco friendly glass without BPA and leeching chemicals, that is protected to some degree with a silicon sleeve.

Eco Friendly Drinkware from Silikids

While D is great at drinking out of an open cup, sometimes sippy cups are preferred.  The boys were actually both trying to get to drink out of this 8 oz glass sippy cup because it is colorful and holds 2 oz more than the cups.  
Glass Sippy Cup from Silikids
Silikids Eco Friendly Drinkware
Eco Friendly Drinkware for Kids

Other great aspects of Silikids glassware:

  • silicone grips glass
  • air suction keeps top of sippy cup in place
  • dishwasher safe
  • can be boiled to sterilize
  • easy to hold
  • shock absorption design
  • 2 pack 6 oz. glass cups (in tart or sea colors) sold for $12.95
  • 8 oz. glass sippy cup sold for $12.95
  • replacement glasses only $3 each
  • can be purchased on the Silikids website, Amazon, or find a store near you

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Enjoy your summer and take Silikids anywhere to keep kids hydrated so you can have more of this:

Splash Park Fun

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