Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened at the Clorox Lounge!

One would have thought that Clorox was just a name that was synonymous with a brand of cleaning products that we have all known and loved for so long. Who doesn't know the word Clorox. But quite recently they have been featuring some very funny stuff on a particular website called The Clorox Lounge. Some very funny men and women are featured in comedy to give Clorox fans a great laugh with their "Ode to the Comode" theme. Horay for Clorox! I love comedy, and I was literally in stitches voting every week for my favorite comedian.

At my home in the old days, every brand of bleach was called Clorox even if it was the grocery store brand. Back then my parents were not brand conscious, but as I got to be an adult I realized not every brand worked as effectively as Clorox did. Trust me when I tell you that you do not want to go cheap on the bleach. And speaking of cutting corners, a very funny story happened to me on my journey to learning that sometimes frugality cheapness just does not pay.

My son's 5th birthday was approaching and Spider Man was the "in" thing. Every one was going to see Spider man and Dr. Octopus, so the choice theme for this party was Spider Man. Piece of cake! Spider Man Cake, Spider Man cups and plates, ice cream, and of course good old Spidey himself. I was already  referred by a number of my neighbors to use a particular entertainment company. It was a bit pricey, but  birthdays only come once a year, so I was willing to dole out the extra cash. Here comes my brother telling me about a friend who just started his company." Give him a chance, I heard he's good!"
"Is he really?" I said. Plus he was $100 cheaper, and who would pass up on a chance to save 100 dollars.

Party day arrives, the kids are all present and Spidey appears.
Suddenly there was a SILENCE.
A Short and round character appeared.
All the kids started saying, "Where's Spider Man? Is this Mrs. Spider Man?"
"Mommy does Spider Man have a wife?"
"We want Spider Man!, We want Spider Man!" the kids were shouting repeatedly. My head began to throb. I quickly hustled Spidey out and moved on to balloon animals and face painting.

In retrospect, the party was hilarious, and I did get a refund from my brother but imagine he had the nerve to say to me, "Marguerite, I don't think I should be the one to refund you. I didn't know he was going to send his Grandmomma!"

Looking back at this it was all funny but not back then for me. Anyway, for serious laughs vist The Clorox Lounge. It's hosted by Sherri Shepherd, a person we all know as a serious comedian.Vote for your favorite comedian and also enter to win the Grand Sweepstake Prize for $10000. Winning that kind of money we won't have to be frugal.

Don't forget to "like" Clorox. You are likely to forget once you start laughing.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox® blogging program, to earn My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.” (make sure you link to

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tropicana offers Health, Memories, and a Trip to Florida!

 When I was teenager, I was a stranger in the USA and had just started going to college.
 Living in Brooklyn was a challenge, juggling my studies and finances, but some of my fondest memories were of Tropicana Orange Juice. The other was of Honey Buns. I am not going to tell you what the honey buns did to my hips, but on the healthy side Tropicana Orange Juice always gave me a feeling of home where I grew up in the West Indies.  

 It was a common thing to have orange juice at our breakfast table while growing up. Almost every weekend my Dad would go to the countryside where he grew up and bring home a huge sack of oranges, and then he would sometimes squeeze a huge jug of fresh, sweet orange juice for us kids to drink. I found out later on that those were Valencia Oranges. No wonder Tropicana Oranges always gave me that feeling of comfort and home."Delicious!"  Even though Tropicana Pure Premium is 100% Florida Orange Juice, Valencia Oranges are included to give it that wonderful taste that I can still appreciate today.

Valencia Oranges and Hamlin Oranges are the main types of Oranges used in Tropicana Pure Premium. There are others but "The two major orange types in Tropicana Pure Premium are Valencia and Hamlin. Valencias typically have more intense color and flavor, while Hamlins can be sweeter. They each add unique characteristics to the TPP* blend." as noted on

If you have never tasted fresh Valencia oranges, they are sweet and delicious! Today I don't have to use one of those dinosaur instruments to squeeze my oranges, (By the way do you remember those things? See the picture below.) I just go out and buy a few bottles of Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice. My kids love it as much as I do. I usually buy two 59oz on a weekend but they don't last, so I often find myself buying an extra bottle and hiding it in a secret place. Lol!

What I like about the Tropicana is that they are an established company that has been around for what seems like forever. Not only is Tropicana the largest buyer of Florida oranges, the company also has groves situated all over Florida from way back in the 1960s, using some of the best soil to grow quality oranges.

Tropicana's facebook page has information on what's going on in the world of oranges. What's exciting right now is the Tropicana's Perfect Pick Sweepstakes. It's a lot of fun and you can enter it now. Don't forget to LIKE before you pick oranges.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Tropicana blogging program, to earn My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.” (make sure you

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Papier Mache Pig.

I remember years ago in elementary school learning how to do Papier Mache. This was very exciting for me at this time of my life, so as all good mothers do, I tried to resurrect the past by doing it with my kids. My daughter who is still in elementary school loves playing around in the kitchen, so the paste was the ideal craft since it was an interesting recipe for her to create and play around with. Plus there are so many things that you can make with papier mache, like fruit, animals,  paintings and a myriad of other things. As you well know papier mache is extremely messy, but hey, the messier the better. Plus, cleaning up is always another fun activity to do with your kids. Right?

I always enjoyed making a piggy so this is the way I learned to make it below.

The Papier Mache Pig

Papier Mache Paste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups cold water
3 tablespoons of sugar
a saucepan


White paper towels/newspaper
Acrylic paint and brushe
An empty egg crate
A balloon
A few pink pipe cleaners

Mix1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 2 cups cold water in a bowl. Combine this mixture in a saucepan with 2 cups boiling water and bring it to a boil. Move the saucepan from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar. Let it cool; it will get thick while cooling. When it does, it's ready to use.

Blow up the balloon then spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
Paint the papier mache paste all over the balloon
Put strips paper towel all over the starch - Let dry.
Repeat this procedure for about three times.
When you get the paper completely dried, pop the balloon and take it out.
You now have a balloon covered paper structure, which represents the body of the pig.

Cut out four legs and a nose (snout) using the legs of an egg crate container.
The legs of the egg container looks like a snout but can also be used for the pig's legs also.
The dried covered balloon is the round body of the pig.
Stick the four legs and the snout with glue then cover with strips of papier mache.

After your project dries after 2 days or so, paint the body, the eyes and the nostrils
Use a pipe cleaner for the tail.
Be creative, if you get the idea once and you get the basic shape, there's a lot you can do with your project.

 Don't forget to clean up the work space. My kitchen is always in a big mess after involving my kids with any type of project that involves some kind of cooking. When challenged, Clorox always has good cleaning products. The Clorox Disinfecting Wipes are my favorite. The containers always make a good template for a papier mache vase project.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on this program, click here and see the Terms link.” (make sure you link to

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

TILEX SWEEPSTAKES: "Cancel the Moldshow in Your Bathroom"

 I remember growing up at home as teenagers. There were times when everyone had to do their fair share of chores and responsibilities around the house. With five of siblings, from time to time it revolved to my turn for bathroom cleaning. I shared a bathroom with two brothers, the cat, and a few other occupants that had been around since the beginning of civilization. So with humans, animals,  fungi and bacteria, we all figured out a way to live together; and at least once a week I would have to scrub or evict colonies of mold, bacteria and other mysterious entities, so that we could live under sanitary conditions (or so exclaimed my mother.)

 Now, a couple years into the bathroom cleaning adventures, I use a few strategies of prevention to keep the bathroom environment mold free and my bathroom fresh and constantly clean.

1. We all know that moisture is the main reason for a mold growing in the environment so try to keep the bathroom ventilated every day. Open the bathroom window so that the air can circulate and dry the moisture, and if there are no windows in the bathroom, make sure to keep the ventilation fan on at least a few minutes after showering.

2. Keep a cleaning wash rag or sponge in the bathroom so at night after everyone takes a shower the last person can use a spray bottle with part water, lemon and baking soda to wipe off excess water on the shower tiles. Use this spray formula on the wall before removing the excess water. The walls will dry quickly and mold will cease growing overnight.

3. It is important always to mop and remove excess water from the bathroom floor and especially the corners where water can get trapped sometimes. Remember, less moisture will prevent mold growth.

4. Every now and then, carefully place some scented candles in the bathroom. The scented candles in a bottle are safe. Nothing keeps the moisture out like the good old fashion warmth from the scented candle. Plus it keeps your bathroom smelling fresh and clean.

Remember that once you keep the moisture out, mold is likely to take up residence elsewhere.

The professionals in removing mold Tilex  has introduced it's new mold fighter, Mold Stain & Mildew Stain Remover .  Visit the Tilex "Cancel the Mold Show In Your Bathroom" Sweepstakes on Facebook  and enter to win for  cool prizes such as flat screen TV's and Netflix subscriptions.
Deadline Date:  03/16/2012.

Tilex on facebook.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Tilex blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ben's Beginner's: Have a Heathy Bed of Rice!

Having to spend time in the kitchen everyday can be a pretty challenging experience. In other words, to me it's a big job while to others it's just plain love and fun. My son and daughter, after watching zillions of episodes of cooking shows on the Food Network when they were younger, swear that they want to be chefs. So for their sakes, I have spent a great deal of extra time in the kitchen preparing healthy, tasty, cute and architectural culinary masterpieces. Keeping it healthy is quite a task as there are so many additives and preservatives that may cause allergies or have negative reactions. All in all, it has proven to be very exciting and entertaining. If you are wondering how to avoid any kitchen conflicts, here are my tips for healthy cooking and eating with kids.

1. Start while they are small. Eating habits are learned from very young. Start by cooking and offering healthy options from the very beginning or as early as possible- preferably before they start calling ketchup a vegetable.

2. Set a good example. It's no use trying to get your kids to eat their vegetables if you're having coffee and donuts for breakfast lunch and dinner. If you eat your veggies, it's likely that the kids will do the same.

3.  Take them food shopping. As you choose the items you want from grocery store shelves, make it a habit to point out the labels and discuss which items are good choices. Look at sodium, fiber and sugar content so your kids start making the connection between healthy choices and not so good ones.

4. Provide more fresh fruit, vegetables and multi-grains. Try to eliminate some of your regular canned food choices so that your kids get better quality foods.

5.  Let them help. Allow them to help with meal planning and execution. Get them involved in the preparation so they feel more connected to their meals. When all the fun is done and the mess is made, they will enjoy eating their meals much more since they played a part in the creation.

Now that you've implemented these handy tips, how about a fun contest with great prizes? Uncle Ben's has a new contest that is designed to get parents and kids cooking together and healthier. Check out their Facebook page more details on how to enter. All you have to do is to create a short video of you and your 5-12 year old, cooking a rice based dish. Upload the video on the contest page and wait for the winning email or phone call. You have a chance to win $20,000, plus a spot on the Rachael Ray Show and a school cafeteria makeover for your child's school valued at $50,000. Hurry, contest submission ends 2/26/2012.

Like Uncle Ben

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tips for Safe Winter Driving

I don't know how the weather is in your neck of the woods but here in New York, it's not that great, unless you like the cold and the freezing rain and the slushy ice. Give me summer any day. I'll never forget one January about 15 years ago when my sister and I were driving over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, laughing and talking as we drove merrily along, when suddenly we skidded over an icy patch on the road and our car crashed into some huge yellow sand barrels. Those were the only things that stood between us and a hundred foot drop over the ramp and onto the traffic below. Next thing you know the police and the fire department showed up but fortunately we were unharmed- not even a scratch. So at this time of year, with the situation on the roads being as unpredictable as they are, it's best to follow some basic guide lines to help you navigate the roads and keep you and your family safe during the winter season.

Winterize your car. Check the tires. Make sure they are properly inflated and that the tire threads are good and deep. Make sure your spare is good and think about investing in a new set of tires if you are due a change. Check the fluids and antifreeze. Ensure that the heating system is working. Don't forget the windshield wipers. It may be wise to have a spare set handy. Keep an ice scraper and some work gloves handy too. Also check to see that your jumper cables are in the trunk and that you know how to use them.

Drive slowly; especially in inclement weather. When it's snowy outside and visibility is low, maintain a safe distance, even more than you usually would in good weather, behind the car in front of you in case they skid on some black ice or have to stop suddenly.

Keep your lights turned on even in the daytime when the weather is bad and visibility is poor. This also keeps you visible to the other drivers on the road.

Brake carefully and gently on slippery ice or snow. Keep the wheels of your vehicle rolling and f your brakes threaten to lock up, ease your foot gently off the brakes and slow down so you can shift to a lower gear.

Pull over. If you cannot see properly because of low visibility due to freezing rain or hail or snow, consider pulling over and waiting until the situation improves enough for you to drive. If you are in the city like me, consider leaving the car at home altogether and taking mass transit.

Most importantly, don't forget to buckle up and keep your cellphone charged and ready in case of an emergency.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Healthy Snack Tips & A Pretzel Recipe

I try to eat healthy, exercise regularly but there is one area that seems to be eluding me; snacking! I confess, I'm a sucker for snacks and it doesn't matter whether they're sweet or salty or a combination of both, I love them all! Chips, cookies, chocolates and candy- you name it, I'll eat it! For 2012, though, I've resolved to be more conscientious about my snacking and encourage you to join me if snacks are your Achilles heel, or your kryptonite or just the one habit you can't seem to control. Here are my best tips for healthy snacking.

1. Swap out sugary, high fat treat for fresh fruit or veggies with a low fat dip.
2. Keep just a handful of nuts or low fat granola or trail mix handy for when you get the urge to snack. This will help you to maintain steady blood sugar levels and reduce your cravings.
3. Drink more water to keep you full and to reduce the need for snacking.
4. Reduce snack portions- read labels carefully. You would be surprised at how small the portions are in some of the snacks you eat.
5. Don't deny yourself, just don't overdo it. Buy the 100 calorie packs of your favorite snacks to help you control yourself. Once that tiny bag is done, that's it!

Pretzels are a healthy snack alterative and can be used in many ways for your snacking enjoyment. Here is a cute recipe for you to try:

Chocolate Coated Pretzel Strawberry Pops


Snyder's Dipping Sticks
Chocolate chips- 12 oz

Place chocolate chips in a microwave bowl and microwave on high for about 1 minute. Remove and stir with a rubber spatula. Mix until melted- you can always pop it back in the microwave if chocolate is not completely melted.
Dip one end of the pretzel sticks into the chocolate, twirling it around to completely cover the one half of the pretzel stick
Allow chocolate to dry. Stick a large, ripe but firm strawberry on the plain end of the chocolate covered pretzel stick. You can dip or drizzle more chocolate on the strawberry if you desire. Enjoy!

You can also make Chocolate Covered Pretzel Berry Kabobs using jumbo pretzel sticks and an assortment of berries. Just cover the entire length of the pretzel stick in chocolate, using the same method above and add the berries once the chocolate is dry.

Give it a try and let me know how you like them.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Snyder’s of Hanover blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to