Florida Ocean Adventure

The Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center is a hidden gem on the Treasure Coast. Perfect for families and a great learning experience. Read more

Family Getaway Postcard Inn St. Pete Beach

A few weeks ago, our family, along with two other Orlando families,ventured to St. Pete beach on the Gulf Coast to celebrate a little friend's 8th birthday at the Postcard Inn. I was attracted to the aesthetics of this trendy spot since it was transformed from a Travelodge in Read more

Best Play Spots in Paris

It's almost three weeks since we returned from Europe, and I've finally sifted through my photos. I felt like my first post should talk about the fun playgrounds/parks in Paris. What an awesome experience to see the girls jumping right into the mix at playgrounds many miles from their Read more

Hidden Gem: Sand Key Florida

My other half planned a short getaway for our nine year anniversary. I wasn't exactly sure where we were headed, but knew it was somewhere around Clearwater Beach. As we drove over the bridge to Clearwater, I kept expecting a turn off at one of the many beach hotels. To my surprise Read more

Westin Cape Coral Weekend Getaway

Most of you who follow my Instagram or Twitter know that we had a fabulously fun weekend at the Westin in Cape Coral, FL a few weeks ago. The property became a Westin in December of 2013 and underwent a plethora of renovations, which I believe puts it in the best Read more

Meeting Winter - Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Most of the world has seen (or at least heard of) the movie Dolphin Tale. The story highlights the rescue of a wounded dolphin who ends up losing one very important important thing... a tale! The Clearwater Marine Aquarium works hard in the movie to create a prosthetic tail just Read more

Food

#Snacks2Go for Summer Travel & Day Trips

Click for 10 Tasty Travel Snacks

Click for 10 Tasty Travel Snacks #Snacks2Go

As many of you know, when I’m not exploring new places and food with my family, I’m spending my days with Produce for Kids. We work everyday to spread the healthy eating message to families with tips and easy produce packed recipes.

This week we are hosting a Twitter party with Bolthouse Farms and my fabulous friend Estela Schnelle from Weekly Bite to chat about #Snacks2Go for those summer road trips and long pool days. Travel and on the go snacking is always a hurdle in our family so I’m really excited to hear and share tips with others. Click the image to get our recent round-up of snacks!

Join us! You can RSVP here or simply hop on the hashtag #Snacks2Go on Twitter Wednesday evening at 9 pm ET. There will be fun giveaways from Bolthouse and Produce for Kids!

#Snacks2Go Twitter Party June 25 9 pm ET

#Snacks2Go Twitter Party June 25 9 pm ET

Follow our family travel & food adventures live on Instagram and Twitter! 

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Dinner Time = Family Time #MealsTogether

I must start off by saying this is a sponsored post by Tyson. However, I believe strongly in family meal time so all opinions shared in this post are my own.

 

Tyson #MealsTogether

What family dinner looks like in our house

While our family is involved in numerous after school/after work activities, I shoot for the entire brood to sit down at the family dinner table at least three weekdays and on weekends. It’s tough, and I imagine as the girls get older it will get tougher. I try to make sure the family has something yummy and healthy on the table, but also cherish the conversations and laughs we share.

 

Tyson #MealsTogether

Our quick weeknight meal

Tyson is running a #MealsTogether initiative encouraging families to share meal time together. Accompanying the message is a photo contest where all you need to do is upload a photo of what meal time looks like at your house.

 

For our Tyson #MealsTogether entry we used a photo from a quick weeknight meal. I use Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken breast strips, heated  in the oven with sliced zucchini and then accompanied with steamed broccoli and watermelon. It was just me and the girls for dinner so this was the perfect quick and healthy meal before we were off to dance class.

 

Enter the Tyson #MealsTogether photo contest here.  They are giving away weekly prize packs and a grand prize of $1,500!  Our entry is above. Good luck!

 

Tyson #MealsTogether

Tyson #MealsTogether

Follow our family food & travel adventures live on Instagram and Twitter!

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March is National Nutrition Month!

March is National Nutrition Month and a great time to whip your family’s eating habits into shape. Mia and I visited Fox 35 here in Orlando to show off two easy Ideal Meals from Produce for Kids. After I tore Mia away from the American Idol posters, were actually able to go on air.

Take a minute to view our quick segment below and then go to Produce for Kids for more than 90 chef created, dietician approved quick, healthy and yummy meals for your family!

 

Watch the video on FOX 35’s site here or by clicking on the image above.

 

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Kinda Sorta Chicken Tortilla Chili

Over the past year, my kitchen has turned into a test kitchen for multiple recipes that pretty much result from having limited items in my pantry/fridge. It’s a game for me to see what I can create out of what I have. It doesn’t always turn out well, but sometimes it does. I’ve mentioned the amazing Chicken Tortilla Chili I made a few weeks ago to a few friends and have now been asked several times to post the recipe. So, before I forget the recipe… Here you go!

Kinda Sorta Chicken Tortilla Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 medium size tomato
  • 1/4 cup jalapeno peppers (if desired)
  • Tsp. Chili powder
  • Tsp. Garlic salt
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 large chicken breast
  • Tortilla strips

Directions: 

Throw it all in the slow cooker and walk away. Just kidding. Add all ingredients except for the tomato, onion and jalapeno peppers into the slow cooker. Throw the tomato, onion and jalapeno peppers in a chopper or food processor until chopped to almost puree status. Add them to the slow cooker. Place the chicken breast on top. Cook on high for 3 hours and low for 2 hours. Shred chicken and throw tortilla strips on top. Add a dash of sour cream if you are in the mood. This will feed about five people.

Enjoy!

 

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Share Our Strength & First Watch Giveaway

My family consists of multiple breakfast and brunch loving humans. We are definitely familiar with the awesome breakfast and brunch at First Watch. I’m happy to report First Watch will be donating 25 cents to Share Our Strength from every kids meal purchased in hopes of raising $50,000 within the yearlong campaign. (The campaign started this week!) $50,000 would more than double the $42,000 First Watch has raised since 2009. If you haven’t heard of Share Our Strength, they are an organization looking to end childhood hunger by 2015 – enough said. 

Everyone knows healthy eating is a topic near and dear to my heart so I’m also happy to report the restaurant has announced a new, interactive kids’ menu in cooperation with the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program. Kids menu offerings at First Watch are now being recognized for featuring items that meet qualifying nutrition criteria based on leading health organizations’ scientific recommendations, including the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines. Hooray! 

In celebration I have 5, yes 5, First Watch kids cards to give away to readers. Simply leave a comment below letting me know your child’s favorite healthy breakfast or brunch item. Get an extra entry for following The Mamma Mia Blog on Twitter and leaving a comment to let me know.

Giveaway Details: 

  • Offer valid for one meal from the Kids Menu with purchase of an adult entrée
  • Redeemable at any First Watch Restaurant by 12/31/12
  • Open daily 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • To find your local First Watch, visit www.firstwatch.com

Winners will be selected on Wednesday, October 3 at 3 pm. 


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Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

Mia has a book called Samantha’s Silly-icious Sandwiches. Samantha gets sick of having the same boring sandwich in her lunch everyday and decides to create her own unique sandwiches. Her “Silly-icious Sandwiches” turn into a hit at school and a booming business, which she soon hands over for her mom to run. Typical kid.

It’s a cute book, but after reading it I started to think about how boring packed lunches can be. Most parents opt for the PB&J with pre-packaged sides. It’s easy, but might not be the healthiest or most fun.

Over at Produce for Kids, we have a whole slew of packable lunchbox ideas for parents in the online recipe bank.They are easy! I promise.

I visited the Life, Love, Shopping studios here in Orlando a few weeks ago to demonstrate two of my  fave lunches from Produce for Kids. Check it out.

Stay updated with the latest recipes and tips by liking the Produce for Kids Facebook page! 

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Healthy Desserts

As many of you know, I work full-time as pr manager for Produce for Kids. With every new campaign, our chef and RD work together to create new meals. Our Ideal Meals online database is  full of healthy (yet tasty) easy breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner options for busy parents (like myself).

My time with Produce for Kids has completely changed the way I view food and prepare food for my family. I’ve always been a healthy eater, but I have more of a method behind my madness these days.

Check out this clip of Mia and I creating Healthy Snacks on Galtime Orlando. These are just two of our new Ideal Meals healthy desserts!

Look for the Produce for Kids display in select grocery stores nationwide through July and help local children’s hospitals! For my local readers, the Publix campaign runs through June 28.

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Mia on Daily Buzz Healthy Eating Segment!

Mia made her TV debut on The Daily Buzz and BodyCheckList.com talking about one of the fabulous Produce for Kids Ideal Meals. Healthy eating shouldn’t have to be hard and getting kids involved in cooking is key. Watch our segment below.

Cooking Healthy With Kids Featuring Mia!

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Yummy On The Go Lawrys Meal Ideas

As of late, I’ve become a little more adventurous with my cooking. By adventurous I mean stepping away from my “go to” dishes that I’m sure everyone is extremely tired of. Let’s just say if I don’t hear “How many more bites???” it’s a very good day.

When The Motherhood approached me this summer with a chance to really put my “adventurous” cooking into action with Lawrys, I couldn’t say no… Although, I did fear for the other Orlando bloggers who were teamed up with me… Specifically Angie because we were in charge of yes… The Main Dish!

Our team was tasked with coming up with “On The Go” (ie. for busy people like me) dishes – appetizer, side dish and main dish using Lawrys Balsamic Herb Marinade, Lawrys Season Salt Marinade and Lawrys Seasoned Salt. (I’m giving away a package of all three below)

Share the taste of our sweet success below. Hope these “On The Go” dishes make cooking for your family a little easier and tastier.

 Appetizer

Crostini Ingredients

Created by Leigh and Melanie

Crostini with White Bean Spread, Arugula, Prosciutto

Prep & Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  1.  1 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
  2. 1 can cannelini beans (or other white bean, such as Great Northern)
  3. 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1/2 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  5. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  6. Baby arugula (about 1/2 cup)

    Crostini Appetizer

  7. Thinly-sliced prosciutto (about 1/4 pound)

Toast your bread slices on both sides. This can be done in an oven, or by heating skillet over medium high heat. Add bread slices and toast for about 30 seconds per side. Watch closely so they don’t burn. Make the white bean spread. Drain the liquid from the can of beans. Add to a food processor and puree. Add olive oil, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and pepper and process until well blended. Assemble the crostini. Spread about 2 tsp. of the bean spread on each baguette. Top with 3-4 pieces of baby arugula and a small slice of the prosciutto.

Side Dish

Created by Jen and and Jessica

Sauteed Asparagus

Asparagus Side Dish

Prep & Cook Time: 7 minutes  Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  1. Olive oil
  2. Lemon
  3. Asparagus
  4. Lawrys Season Salt
  5. Grated Parmesan

Heat olive oil in pan. Place asparagus in pan and squeeze lemon juice on top. Top with lemon zest and add a few dashes of Lawrys Season Salt. Turn asparagus while cooking until desired tenderness. Remove from pan then sprinkle fresh parmesan cheese, lemon zest and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt on top prior to serving.

Balsamic Pineapple Salmon

Main Dish

Created by Angie and yours truly

Balsamic Pineapple Salmon

Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus marinade)  Cook Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  1. (4) 4 oz. salmon filets
  2. 2 cups pineapple chunks
  3. Lawrys Balsamic Herb Marinade

Marinade salmon in Lawrys Balsamic Herb Marinade (no less than 30 minutes). Cover salmon with pineapples. Bake 30 minutes or until salmon flakes. Enjoy!

How To Win! Leave a comment below letting me know which of these dishes you want to try, and you will be entered to win a pack of Lawrys products – Balsamic Marinade, Season Salt and Season Salt Marinade to try out these dishes.

For an extra entry, Tweet – Win #Lawrys products and get recipe ideas @mammamiafl – and leave a comment letting me know you did.

I’ll select a winner on August 24.

This post is brought to you by The Motherhood and Lawrys, but all these tasty thoughts are my own and those of the Orlando Lawrys team.

 

 

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Perfect Pairing

Summertime for us means cook outs, fun in the sun and hours by the pool with friends. I’m always looking for new ideas, recipes and decor to entertain family and friends, which is why I jumped at the chance to partner with Frito Lay for their #Perfect Pairing summer project.

The girls (ie. my Orlando blogger crew) hosted a Frito Lay #Perfect Pairing get together in Orlando. Oh how I wanted to attend, but my hectic work and travel schedule didn’t agree. Because I couldn’t make the get together I decided to recreate the Orlando get together with my family in Pennsylvania during a weekend there.

One might ask why on earth I’m writing about potato chips when I work for a company focused on healthy eating. For one, we can’t live on just fruits and veggies alone. Two, chips and dip are just part of summer…. Besides the fact that Frito Lay is making their chips with healthier oils and less sodium. Not saying you should give up the yogurt, but one serving of Tostitos tortilla chips has less sodium than a cup of yogurt. So, indulge if you wish.

My PA family loves cheese dip. I scoured the Frito Lay online recipe bank and found the most amazing Roasted Red Pepper Cheesy Dip. It was a hit! A #Perfect Pairing if you will.

Perfect Pairing

Just Two Of My Dip Fans

Summer Cook Out Fun

I missed out on the #Perfect Pairing Orlando get together, but you can read about it on the Unemployed Mom’s blog. There are a ton of yummy dip recipes listed there from the group.

Frito Lay provided The Mamma Mia Blog with chips and ingredients for the recipe. All thoughts and opinions are those of The Mamma Mia Blog.

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