Feb 21, 2012 Contest
My kids are home with me this week. There’s this weird thing in New York City Public Schools that I did not have growing up in Buffalo, called February break. My kids still have Christmas break in December, and then Spring Break in April, so I think this whole February break thing is overkill. Couldn’t they have a week off when the weather doesn’t stink?
So, indoor projects are always good. We play Kinect, we watch movies, and today, we’ll be cooking a rice dish and videotaping it to enter an amazing Uncle Ben’s contest.
Ben’s Beginners is giving away a huge grand prize: $20,000, an appearance on The Rachael Ray Show, and a $50,000 make-over for the winner’s school cafeteria! I can’t tell you how much that would mean to my kids’ school.
Entering is really easy. It involves making a short video of you and your kid making a rice dish. BUT, here’s the catch: the deadline is in five days. I meant to post about this a few weeks ago and forgot. And, frankly, I don’t know why I’m lessening my chances of winning by sharing this with all of you anyway, except that I really love the people at Uncle Ben’s (they hosted my daughter’s class for a cooking project with Angie Harmon and Chef Cricket Azima last month, and it was a ton of fun).
I strongly suggest that you check out the FAQ page and official rules on the contest facebook page, because it gives some specific guidelines and good tips for making your video.
And now, I’m off to cook with Fiona! We’re still trying to decide what our recipe will be. I wanted to make one of the dishes that we made at the event, Sweet & Sticky Rice Salad. But Fiona absolutely loves chicken and rice soup and is pushing for it. While I’d rather make something I can eat (I’m a vegetarian) I’ll probably let her win this one, since I’ve made the Sweet & Sticky Rice Salad already. Plus, I’m going to make her do most of the work. :-)
Here’s the recipe for the rice salad though, it’s a good one. It keeps for several days and since it’s best served room temp, it’s a great dish to bring to parties and pot-lucks. I leave out the raisins, because I don’t like them, and I only make half – the recipe as written is really big. Enjoy!
Sweet & Sticky Rice Salad
by Cricket Azima
- 1 1/2 cups Uncle Ben’s Rice, uncooked
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
- 1 15.5-oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp dried mint, or to taste
- Salt & pepper to taste
(everything after the rice is a kid-friendly step)
- Cook rice according to package directions and let cool. Place in large bowl
- Add carrots, yellow peppers, red kidney beans, raisins, and peas
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine
- In a separate bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk together
- Pour dressing over rice and gently stir
- Serve chilled or room temperature
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has Compensation Levels of 1, 8, & 17. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.
Jun 12, 2011 Contest
My kids and I got to attend a press conference a few days ago to kick off the Quaker Chewy Superstar Search (and yes, my son gives bunny ears to almost everything when being photographed, even two-dimensional fictional brand representatives). The guest of honor was a young up-and-comer with a promising voice. Nick something? Oh yes, Nick Jonas. My kids got to meet Nick Jonas. I’m not a good enough writer to explain what that meant to them. It would have been like me meeting Mr. Rogers when I was a kid. Or George Clooney now.
Also at the press conference were some very lucky kids from Quaker’s partner in the Superstar Search, Little Kids Rock, a group devoted to providing music education in public schools. Nick Jonas took the stage to speak with Jim Shearer, host of VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown. Jim interviewed Nick and took some questions from the in-studio audience, the audience watching the live stream, and twitter. Then, Nick grabbed his guitar and sang three songs.
I’d never really heard him perform before. Sure, I’d gotten up at 4am one morning to take my kids to a Good Morning America concert with the Jonas Brothers, but that was not exactly an ideal situation (actually, it was a pretty big fail). And I’d also attended a party in Disney World a couple years ago where I think Nick Jonas might have been singing with Demi Lovato, but honestly I don’t remember – I was too busy huddling near one of those big outdoor heaters on an unusually cold and drizzly Florida evening, listening to two tired kids whine. So this was the first time I’d really heard him sing, or even talk, and I was completely impressed.
Nick Jonas appears to be a very thoughtful, well-spoken young man (young man? OMG I sound so OLD!). His voice, especially on the first song, was very pure – he can sing. There are some teen stars who put on a good show, with lots of instruments and other singers backing them up, and dance moves, and lots of other distractions to entertain you. But if you want to know if someone can actually sing, try to see them on a bare stage being accompanied by a single instrument. He had nothing to hide behind, and he didn’t need to.
You can see the entire interview and all three songs in these videos.
After the concert the kids and I were taken to a private area, where we got to meet Nick. He looked tired – I’m sure all of the meet-and-greet stuff gets very repetitive and tiresome – but he was very sweet with my kids, answering their questions and posing for pictures. Jake had a look on his face like he was trying desperately to maintain his coolness, but Fiona didn’t even bother. She was beaming.
Fiona’s a little crushed that she’s a year too young to enter the contest. Jake, on the other hand, is the right age, but isn’t a singer. He plays drums, and tried to convince Nick to change it from a singing contest to a drumming contest, which was a non-starter. So your kids won’t have to compete with my kids for this.
The Quaker Chewy Superstar Search is accepting videos from kids age 8-14, showing off their singing abilities. Four finalists will each win $1,000 and the grand prize winner will get $5,000, a song produced by Nick Jonas, an online music video, and a contract with the Jonas Management Group! Details on how to enter are here.
Plus, if you live near one of the cities where the Quaker mobile recording studio will be making an appearance, and your child is one of the first ninety eligible kids to get there, she’ll get to record a song and take the video home, as well as sample some Quaker snacks, such as the very yummy Quaker cocoa granola bars we were sent home with.
There are upcoming stops in New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, and California. You can get details on the Quaker mobile recording studio here.
Good luck! Maybe in a few years, my kids will be getting out of school early to hear your kid sing.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 1. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.
The following post was commissioned by PictureItPostage.
I have to be honest, I hardly ever send anything through the mail anymore. When I do, it’s usually for a special occasion – an invitation, thank you notes, an announcement, a holiday. And those mailings would be even more special with personalized picture stamps from PictureItPostage. You can put any picture you want (at least anything appropriate for sending through the mail) on a real USPS stamp. Imagine how tickled relatives would be getting their Christmas cards from you with pictures of your kids on the stamp? Or you could send out wedding invitations with engagement pictures on the outside of the envelopes. It doesn’t stop at personal stuff either, you could put a business logo on the stamps as well.
I was given the opportunity to try out the service in order to review it, and it was amazingly quick and easy. From start to finish, the entire set-up and ordering process took about four minutes! You can either do it online in a browser, or you can download software (both PC and Mac). You upload your picture, make simple edits (zoom, center, crop, choose background color, etc.), choose which kind of postage you need, and check out! I can’t wait for my stamps to arrive. I chose a really cute picture of my kids, and I’m going to use my stamps to mail our Christmas cards.
If you want to try PictureItPostage for yourself, you can get a $4 discount off of your order by using the code “MOTHERHOOD” through January 31st, 2011. Just enter it at checkout. With stamp packages starting at just $15.95, this discount can save you a significant percentage off of your order. Plus, everyone who orders from PictureItPostage using the discount code “MOTHERHOOD” between now and December 15th will be entered into a drawing for $500 cash! I bet that would go a long way for holiday shopping. You can see the official contest rules here, as well as some suggestions on how to make your holiday mailings more special.
Check out this amazingly easy service for yourself. You can upload pictures and preview your stamps before deciding if you want to buy or not, so you have nothing to lose. I’ll post my stamps when they get here so you can see how they turned out.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 2. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, and Momtourage, and podcasts with The Blogging Angels.
Jul 10, 2010 Contest
UPDATE: Please note, you have to click on the link to the Invisalign Teen site to enter – I’m not running the contest. Leaving a comment on my site does not enter you into the contest.
Want to win a trip for four to the Teen Choice 2010 Awards from Invisalign Teen? Hurry, you only have until Sunday night to enter! Invisalign Teen is giving away a trip for four to the Teen Choice 2010 awards in Los Angeles. I think my son would probably drop to the floor in a very dramatic fashion if I won this for him, especially since it includes four VIP tickets to a post-show party, plus a couple of Flip cameras for catching all of the action. It only takes a few seconds to enter, but hurry before it’s too late!
While you’re on the site, you should check out Invisalign Teen. I never got to have braces when I was a kid, and I needed them. My kids’ teeth are coming in kind-of crooked so far, and I would love for them to have the straight teeth I don’t have, without having to go through years of trying to keep braces clean and not being able to eat certain foods, and having to go in to the orthodontist for adjustments and broken wires. Invisalign Teen straightens teeth with custom-made aligners that you switch out about every two weeks, and they put gentle pressure on your teeth to move them into alignment. The best part? You can take the trays out to eat!
So hurry and check out the contest (and Invisalign Teen) before 11:59pm EST Sunday night July 11th. You could be your kid’s hero and win a trip to the Teen Choice 2010 Awards!
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 8. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, and Momtourage.
Jan 9, 2009 Contest
I’m a bad vegetarian. I’ve been a vegetarian most of my life, but I really only embraced vegetables somewhat recently. So what does a vegetarian eat if she doesn’t like veggies? Well, this one ate mostly fried mozzarella sticks, pasta, french fries, egg salad, potato chips, and pizza. It’s no wonder that I was 196 pounds after giving birth to my daughter four years ago.
I don’t know why I didn’t eat my veggies for so long. My parents were always very healthy and cooked plenty of vegetables for us, but I think I was just born hating anything that my parents told me I should do. It took me until my twenties to really get over that. But even then, I only wanted veggies prepared for me, in restaurants and salad bars. I didn’t want to do the work.
In the last five years, though, I’ve been having a love affair with vegetables. I love salads, and make really great giant ones with feta and carrots and tomatoes and onions and balsamic vinaigrette. I use a rather expensive pre-washed baby romaine, but it’s totally worth it, because I still don’t like doing the work.
I love cooking broccoli or zucchini with some garlic and dill, or roasting a big squash. I drool over good veggies and look forward to eating them. I eat frozen as often as I eat fresh, and there are some really great frozen veggies out there, with low-calorie sauces. I make the world’s best spinach pizza, with tomatoes and pesto and feta cheese. Baby carrots and ranch are a frequent snack. I eat several different kinds of veggies a day and love finding new recipes.
I have had zero success in transferring this love to my kids.
Each of them went through a phase, around two years of age, where they would eat any vegetable I put in front of them. There was a time when my son lived almost exclusively on broccoli. But as each got older, they decided that vegetables were yucky. They still have their favorites – my son will eat tons of carrots if I saute them with dill, and my daughter will eat bowl after bowl of tomato soup – but they have absolutely no interest in trying anything new at this point and I’m not sure how to handle it. My parents seemed to have done things right. They kept the house stocked with lots of healthy foods, and ate them. But I rebelled by hating healthy food. So I’m not sure what to do with my kids when it comes to veggies. I let them choose which ones they want to eat and prepare them how they like. I eat veggies around them but try not to proselytize. I don’t demonize veggies. You’ll never hear me say that they have to eat their green beans before they can have their dessert (we actually eat dessert before dinner, but that’s a whole other post).
Still, they each only like a couple of veggies, and it’s getting harder to get my daughter to even eat those. So what to do? I’m hoping to get some help from Love Your Veggies. Hidden Valley Ranch started this site, so naturally ranch dressing comes into play. But since I love ranch dressing I won’t hold that against them. The site has some kid friendly recipes and activities centered around veggies. Plus, they’re running a contest right now to send ten moms to Chicago for two days of learning about planting, harvesting, cooking, and eating veggies with kids. The winners get to work with chef Art Smith, and each get $5,000 to donate towards improving or starting a community garden!
To enter, you have to fill out an application and write a bit about why you want to attend the retreat and how you would use the community garden grant. I just entered! I would really love to do this. I love cooking, but often get into a rut when making food, and I know I would get lots of great ideas from going to this event. So good luck to me! But also good luck any of you who enters.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom