Category Archives: Newsworthy

food-safety-audit

Audit Your Refrigerator for Food Safety

food-safety-auditA big part of keeping your family healthy is making sure the food you have on hand is safe for consumption. Food safety is one of the most overlooked but important keys to overall health. Follow these steps to help keep your kitchen safer for your family members:

  • Check to ensure the temperature of the refrigerator is at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. The freezer should be set to 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • Throw out all food that has expired or is rotten.
  • Keep a pen and removable labels near the refrigerator so your loved one can add a “throw away” date to leftovers. Remind your loved one that leftovers shouldn’t be kept beyond three to four days.
  • In addition to having fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, be sure to stock the freezer and pantry with frozen and canned fruits and vegetables so that your loved one has access to nutritious produce all year round. Remember to check out your local farmer’s market for inexpensive goods.
  • Ensure there are staple foods in the house that fit with the loved one’s dietary needs (i.e. low sodium, diabetes-friendly, heart healthy).
  • Create a staple grocery list for your loved one that they can use on a regular basis.

Source: United Healthcare

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Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Fun Blog App!

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 5th, 2012

journey-2-the-mysterious-islandIn Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson, The Hunger Games) finds a hidden signal that he believes will lead him to his long lost grandfather (Michael Caine, Miss Congeniality). With the help of his new step father (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, The Scorpion King), Sean finds a map and starts his adventure which leads him to Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens, High School Musical) and the island of Atlantis! Sean and his friends battle giant bees, killer lizards, a volcano of gold, and electric eels to escape the lost city and make their way home!

Check out the fun activities in the app below to get psyched up for the release of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island:

  • Activities: Choose Your Own Adventure! Spin the wheel to get your own personalized adventure! Will you brave the wilds of Family Movie Night or map your house and have your own treasure hunt!
  • Quiz: Would You Survive The Mysterious Island!? Are you a Wilderness Warrior or a Timid Trekker? Take the Mysterious Island quiz and find out how you would fare in the outback of Atlantis!

Disclosure: Partners Hub, on behalf of Warner Bros., provided me with the information for this post and free product(s) as a thank you for this post. I was not required to write a positive review. Any expressed opinion is completely my own. View my official disclosure policy.

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Iron Man 3 Begins Production for May 3, 2013 Film Release

The Freebie Spot family is a huge fan of all things Iron Man, so I had to share this news with you! Iron Man 3 is scheduled for its big screen debut on May 3, 2013.

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BURBANK, Calif. (June 4, 2012) – Following in the footsteps of the record-breaking Marvel Studios’ release “Marvel’s The Avengers,” production on the highly anticipated film “Iron Man 3,” directed by Shane Black, has commenced production in Wilmington, North Carolina. The production schedule will also include locations in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, Miami, Florida and China.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, “Iron Man 3” returns Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”) as the iconic Super Hero character Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Gwyneth Paltrow (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,”) as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle (“Iron Man 2”) as James “Rhodey” Rhodes and Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) as Happy Hogan. Set for release in the U.S. on May 3, 2013, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” marks the second feature to be fully owned, marketed and distributed by Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009.

“Iron Man 3” continues the epic, big-screen adventures of the world’s favorite billionaire inventor/Super Hero, Tony Stark aka “Iron Man.” Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing the film. Executive producers on the project include Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard and Dan Mintz.

The creative production team on the film includes two-time Oscar®-winning director of photography John Toll, ASC (“Braveheart,” “Legends of the Fall”), production designer Bill Brzeski (“The Hangover,” “Due Date”), editors Jeffrey Ford, A.C.E. (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Captain America: The First Avenger”) and Peter S. Elliot (“Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer”), and costume designer Louise Frogley (“Quantum of Solace,” “Contagion”).

Marvel Studios most recently produced the critically acclaimed “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which set the all-time, domestic 3-day weekend box office record at $207.4 million. The film, which is currently in release, continues to shatter box office records and is The Walt Disney Studios’ highest-grossing global and domestic release of all time and marks the studios’ fifth film to gross more than $1 billion worldwide.

In the summer of 2011, Marvel successfully launched two new franchises with “Thor,” starring Chris Hemsworth, and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” starring Chris Evans. Both films opened #1 at the box office and have grossed over $800 million worldwide combined. In 2010 “Iron Man 2,” starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson and Mickey Rourke, took the #1 spot in its first weekend with a domestic box office gross of $128.1 million.

In the summer of 2008, Marvel produced the summer blockbuster movies “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk.” “Iron Man,” in which Robert Downey Jr. originally dons the Super Hero’s powerful armor and stars alongside co-stars Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow, was released May 2, 2008, and was an immediate box office success. Garnering the number one position for two weeks in a row, the film brought in over $100 million in its opening weekend. On June 13, 2008, Marvel released “The Incredible Hulk,” marking its second number one opener of that summer.

Disclosure: Disney asked me to post about this promotion. I received no compensation for this post. Any expressed opinion is completely my own. View my official disclosure policy.

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Infographic: Avoid Spending Traps at the Grocery Store

If you’re looking for ways to save money on your grocery bill, start by knowing the ins and outs of grocery store trickery. Don’t spend more money than you need to, and adjust your shopping strategy accordingly with this smart shopping infographic from All You Magazine.

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Disclosure: I receive a commission for All You purchased through the link(s) above.

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An Over-the-Top Experience with Claritin

claritin logoThis Spring, Dancing with the Stars host Brooke Burke-Charvet teamed up with Claritin to create a new short film titled “The Difference is Clear.” The film, which has two versions, depicts an absolutely crazy, over-the top look of a woman’s busy day. She juggles work, life, and family – all while also dealing with allergies.

In the first version, Brooke’s character doesn’t take her allergy medication. Her constant allergy symptoms cause a completely upside-down day where nothing goes right and everything goes wrong. In the second version, she treats her allergies and has an awesomely outrageous day, so much so, that there is no limit to what she can achieve! Check out the video below to see for yourself:

My oldest son suffers from seasonal allergies so I can certainly relate to this over-the-top look at allergies. When he does not take allergy medication, he is groggy, run-down, and just not himself. But with medication, he’s the normal little boy I know and love.

To see behind-the-scenes footage, visit YouTube.com/Claritin. For more information on allergies and Claritin, visit Claritin.com.

Disclosure: I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour conducted by Burst Media on behalf of Claritin®. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, but my opinions are my own.


The Healthified Mom

The Healthified Mom Nominated for Top 25 Foodie Mom Blogs!

The Healthified MomSome of you may not know this but I also run a cooking blog called The Healthified Mom. Recently I was nominated for the Top 25 Foodie Mom Blogs at Circle of Moms. I am so thrilled and feel very honored to be among the list of amazing food bloggers!

But I need your help! In order to get in — and stay in — the top 25, I need your votes. I’m not a “vote for me” kinda gal so this will be the only post on my blog about this. I would really appreciate it if you could head on over and vote for The Healthified Mom. You don’t need to register or anything. Just a simple “thumbs up” to vote is all it takes. And if you’re feeling super friendly, you can vote once per day! Voting ends in 15 days.

So if you like food, recipes, cooking, or Freebie Spot, please take a couple seconds out of your day to vote. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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Top 10 Things to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Guy

For all the ladies – and for fans of the movie This Means War, starring Reese Witherspoon – check out the Top 10 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Perfect Guy printable below (click to enlarge).

And don’t worry, you’ll have the chance to win a copy of This Means War on DVD in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned! :)

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Disclosure: Think Jam, on behalf of Fox, asked me to post about this promotion. I received no compensation for this post. A giveaway will be following soon. Any expressed opinion is completely my own. View my official disclosure policy.

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Get Your #CoronaRita on at Chili’s!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chili’s Grill & Bar for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Chilis logoSome of you may know this from our conversations on the Freebie Spot Facebook page, but I am a margarita girl. I spend a week of insanity with my out of control children, and then reward myself on the weekend with a cool margarita. Every weekend, my family and I head out to a casual restaurant with our friends and their child. We love to enjoy a nice, relaxing meal at a restaurant like Chili’s where we can sit around the table for as long as we want, have awesome conversation, and lots of fun. It is a great way for us to catch up on what has happened during the week and it is also a way for our kids to get to see each other on a frequent basis. it’s a win win situation and I look forward to it each and every weekend!

My favorite item on the Chili’s menu is their Buffalo Chicken Fajitas. Oh – my – goodness. They are the BEST. The buffalo chicken. The blue cheese. The bacon. YUM. Chili’s recently took them off the menu but if you ask for them, they will make them. So ask! Plus, the new CoronaRita at Chili’s would go amazingly well with this spicy dish.

Chili’s CoronaRita Margarita is made with Jose Cuervo Especial Tequila and Coronita. It is a new twist on an old favorite! Everyone loves to go to Chili’s but now there’s even more reason to celebrate – it is almost Cinco de Mayo, and after that – summertime!!! Head on in to Chili’s where you can have a delicious meal to celebrate the season, your loved ones, and make sure you wash it down with a new CoronaRita! Of course, you must be 21 years or older to drink alcoholic beverages and as always, please remember to drink responsibly.

What’s your favorite menu item at Chili’s? Do you think it would pair well with the CoronaRita Margarita?

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how to blog

How to Maintain Momentum in a Startup Business.. and Blogs Too!

This post was written by a friend of mine. It provides extremely useful information for new businesses however this advice can also be applied to bloggers as well. Running a blog is like a business, so read this over, follow her advice, and see where it takes you.

Ok you have your product and you’re making sales, now what?

how to blogJust creating your product alone can be laborious and take a great deal of energy, but creating your product only accounts for 20% of your success as a startup business. The other 80% you can account for marketing and informative decisions to further the growth and longevity of your company.

Customers are talking, are you listening?

When a customer provides feedback on your products or developments make sure you are taking this serious. Not everyone likes a complainer, however be grateful that the customer cared enough about your product to want to help you strive and make improvements. This is time and effort donated for your benefit.

Evolve your product to meet your customer’s needs. Opinions do count and have relevance especially if you begin to see patterns in the feedback that you are receiving. Use customer feedback as a catalyst for new products, ideas, and developments.

Creating a business or creating a habit?

Do you want a one time sale? Or do you want return customers? When you design your product you also want to think about the staging of the customer experience. Can they count on you for answers? Have you established trust and credibility? Does your product meet their needs so that they will continue to use your services or products?

Establish a habit for your customers and be consistent so they know what they can expect from you and your products.

Are you maintaining your goals and vision?

It’s easy to get side tracked and to lose focus on the vision that created your product. If you feel you are off the beaten path that started your success, then take a moment to refocus. Remember that sometimes the most complex situations can have simple solutions. Once you have reestablished your vision communicate this to your team so that everyone is on the same page and headed in a direction that benefits the business as a whole.

Remember momentum isn’t always about how quickly we get from Point A to Point B, instead it is about a steady movement going forward.

World-renowned Personal Development Author Meilena Hauslendale has been providing life guidance and insights for over 11 years. She began her career in writing by publishing self-help articles for various international magazines and support groups.

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Earth Day, Every Day: Five Delicious Ways to Save the Planet

This is a guest post by Tracy Adler. Read her full bio below.

tracy-adlerEvery April 22nd, when Earth Day rolls around once again, we see the public renew its interest in protecting the environment and finding practical solutions for sustainability. There are benefit concerts, clean-up days, and eco-rallies; all dedicated to spreading the word on ways everyone can help preserve our planet’s natural resources. However, one way we can all help is right there in front of us, every day. It’s the food we choose to eat, and how we choose to eat it. Here are five simple, “foodie” ways that you can help make a difference for the earth:

  • Go organic. Yes, it’s more expensive sometimes. But pesticides and industrialized growing methods take a toll on our planet, our community, and even our own health. It’s a good use of your money, and well worth the investment. And the more Americans that demand organic food – as most people in Europe now do – the more competitive the pricing will become.
  • Support local food. This ties into going organic quite nicely, and often makes it more fiscally viable for those with tight budgets. Find the farmer’s markets in your area and make the trip there a weekly, or even family, event. Another great movement gaining steam is CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture). With this, you make an initial deposit, and then you get weekly or monthly delivery or pick-up of fresh veggies and fruits from a local farm all through growing season (typically 6-8 months of the year). In most situations, you will save money, and be eating like a king! And if you don’t have those options available in your community, at least take a second look at the labels on your food at the supermarket before you make your choices. For example, try not buy apples from Washington if you live in New York. It took precious fossil fuel for them to get there, and the local ones are probably also fresher. Going local is a win-win.
  • Package your own. One of the worst things about packaged food is just that – the package! Our landfills and recycling centers are incredibly overburdened, and when we grab a “snack-size” bag of chips because it’s “easier” we are doing the earth a bit of a disservice, and also often spending more money in the process. So when you know you have a family outing ahead, buy the larger package and divvy it up into snack-sizes for the kids. And it doesn’t have to go into environmentally questionable plastic bags either. Eco-conscious companies such as Yum Yum Dishes are now selling snack-size, reusable, earth-friendly ceramic containers with lids. Less trash = better.
  • Eat seasonally. We all get those occasional cravings for out-of-season food, and with most supermarkets offering tropically sourced produce year-round, it’s easy to forget foods even have a season. But again, we’re using a lot of precious energy to transport those more exotic choices. It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”, but next fall, think about making a pumpkin pie instead of a strawberry cobbler. It just makes more sense.
  • Choose vegetarian… at least one day a week. There are tons of fabulous and delicious vegetarian meal choices out there, so make a commitment to trying one out even just once a week. Besides being a healthy idea, even one meat-less meal a week can and will make a difference to the planet. Eating meat is a personal decision, but the environmental effects of industrial ranching as it exists now are well-documented, and as we find better solutions, a once-a-week “bye” on meat helps the situation immensely.

Of course, you probably noticed that the benefit to all of these ideas isn’t just on a global level. You are also helping your community, your family, and yourself by eating fresher and healthier, consuming more sustainably, and supporting local business. And long after Earth Day has passed us by, try to keep in mind that the environmental choices you’re making at the supermarket are way more than just “paper or plastic”. Responsibly choosing what you eat, and how you eat it, is a key decision in working towards a better planet for everyone.

About the Author: A strong advocate in the fight against childhood obesity, Tracy Adler is a former restaurant owner and mother of two. She created Yum Yum Dishes™ to help parents teach their children about correct portion sizes. For more information, visit www.YumYumDishes.com.

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