Winter-Friendly Herbs For Your Indoor Garden

easiest herbs for indoor gardens

Winter is a great time to plan an indoor herb garden so you can continue enjoying those fresh aromatic flavors in your meals all season long. The most important thing you need for indoor herb plants to grow in winter is plenty of sunlight. Try to find a spot that will get sun for at least 4 hours every day if possible. When it comes to growing herbs indoors, there are definitely some that are more winter-friendly than others.

Winter-Friendly Herbs To Consider For Your Indoor Garden


Chives

grow chives indoors


Chives are one of the most resilient herbs to grow inside all year long. Plus, they add a wonderful mild onion flavor to winter meals. They need about 4 or more hours of sun, and can do just fine in average room temperatures. Use an all-purpose soil mix for chives, and water when the soil feels dry to touch. The tips of the plant leaves will turn yellow if the soil gets too dry.

Use your fresh grown chives in cream-based soups, omelettes, salads, and as a garnish over cut up broiled potatoes.

Rosemary

how to grow Rosemary


Rosemary is a wonderful herb to have on hand, but it is a bit more challenging to grow indoors than some other herbs. It needs at least 6-8 hours of sun daily - if you have a sunny south or west-facing window, that is a perfect spot for this plant. Another option is to place a lamp with a fluorescent light bulb as close as possible to the plant to supplement the sunlight. Try to leave the lamp on 12-14 hours a day.

Good drainage is important for this plant to thrive. Try using a cactus-potting soil mix, or combine equal parts of all-purpose soil and sharp sand. 

Rosemary actually prefers a little dryness, but be careful to not let the soil dry out completely. Allow the top 2 inches of soil to get dry, then water the plant thoroughly, but do not let the soil become soggy.

Thyme

how to grow thyme


This flavorful herb is delicious in winter stews and chicken dishes. It also needs a sunny spot that gets about 6 hours of sun every day. It also needs sandy soil that drains well. It prefers room temperatures of 60-75 degrees.

If you don’t have enough natural light indoors, you can grow thyme under fluorescent lights like Rosemary plants. Just keep the light on 14 hours a day, about 6 inches above the plant. Make sure your thyme plant is located away from cold windows or heater vents, which could kill the foliage.

When the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, water thoroughly. Make sure the plant container has excellent drainage. Never let your thyme plant sit in water that has collected in the saucer.

Parsley

easy to grow parsley

Parsley is a great plant to add to your indoor herb garden. It is one of the easiest herbs to grow from seeds as well. This light fragrant herb thrives well with plenty of sun average room temperatures. Parsley grows well inside on a kitchen sill where it can get moisture from steam when you are cooking.

Use a good all-purpose soil mix when potting Parsley. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch, probably about twice a week, making sure to not let the soil get soggy. You can also add about a handful of sand to the soil to help with drainage.

Parsley adds a nice flavorful touch to almost any food, especially rice, chicken, fish and roasts.

Some extra tips for indoor herb gardening:


Terra Cotta pots will provide the best drainage for herb plants.

Make sure all containers have drainage holes in them.

Herbs need circulation to thrive. Try putting the pots on a tray with pebbles so air can circulate up through the drainage holes.

What You Need To Know About the Zika Virus



The  Zika Virus epidemic is making headlines everyday it seems. Should we be worried about this disease? Can we catch it from someone else that is infected? Here are the latest Zika facts from the CDC that you should know.

1. The Zika Virus is generally spread by mosquitoes, not by people.


According to the CDC, the Zika virus is spread to people mainly through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. When a non-infected mosquito bites a person who is already infected with the virus, that mosquito will also become infected. So when that mosquito goes on to bite another person, it will spread the disease again.

2. Symptoms of the Zika Virus are usually mild and last from several days to a week.


Common symptoms of Zika include fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain and headache.


3. Unborn babies are most at risk from Zika virus complications.


The virus has been linked to severe brain damage in newborns after nearly 4,000 babies were born in Brazil in the past year with unusually small heads, an incurable condition known as microcephaly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also urging pregnant women and those who are trying to become pregnant to avoid traveling to any regions affected by the virus.


To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found.


4. There is no vaccine for the Zika Virus.


To treat the virus, the CDC recommends that you should:

Get plenty of rest
Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
Take medicines, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain, but do not
take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen


5. The CDC reports that the Zika Virus may possibly be spread through sexual contact ( via semen ) and through blood transfusion.


There has been one report of possible spread of the virus through blood transfusion and one report of possible spread of the  Zika virus through sexual contact.

Learn more about the Zika Virus and Pregnancy at the Centers For Disease and Prevention (CDC).

Dimples, Amazing Hair and a Sweet Smile: Meet Isla, the New 2016 Gerber Baby!


There is a new "Gerber Baby' in town, and she has some serious dimples, amazing hair, and one captivating smile. Meet Isla, the 7-month old cutie that just won Gerber Baby 2015 Photo Search.

Little Isla's photo was picked from more than 170,000 entries sent in to the search. And she has her dad to thank for submitting her winning picture. He explains that he sent the picture of Isla in to the contest after coming across it while scrolling through pictures on his phone back in September.

 “I had been taking photos of the kids that day and snapped Isla in a perfect pose while she was horsing around on the living room couch,” he said. On a whim, he submitted the photo to Gerber.

Isla’s family won a $50,000 cash prize and $1,500 in Gerber’s Childrenswear, and as the “Spokesbaby,” Isla may even star in some upcoming Gerber ads.

Congratulations to Isla, her parents and big sister, Nora!

Easy Valentine's Day Party Snack

Valentine's Day Chex Mix
Photo From Betty Crocker.com

Thanks to Chex Mix and Betty Crocker,  you can whip up this delicious Sweet and Salty party mix for Valentine's Day in a flash. The combination of the cereal mixed with goodies like peanuts, pretzels. popcorn and of course, M&M's, is perfect for munching and sharing with your favorite Valentine!

Sweet and Salty Valentine's Chex Mix


For this treat, you will need 1 cup of the Vanilla Chex Cereal.

Other good stuff:

1 cup mini pretzels
 2 cups lightly salted popped popcorn
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup dark cocoa candy melts ( tip: you can find Wilton's dark cocoa candy melts at Party City)
1/2 cup white candy melts (Party City has these too!)
1/2 cup of M&M's special Valentine's Day milk chocolate candies
1 tablespoon pink and red sprinkles

 To Make the Party Mix:

Spread cereal, mini pretzels, popcorn and peanuts on cookie sheet.
In separate bowls, microwave Candy Melts on Medium (50%) in 1-minute intervals, stirring after each, just until melted.
Use a spoon to drizzle melts over cereal mixture.
Top with candies and sprinkles.
Let stand about 10 minutes or until drizzle is set.
Break the mix into snack-size pieces.
You can store the party mix in airtight container up to 3 days.

Families In The News Today


Families, Food and Celebrity Parents in the News Today:



How One Mom's Words Brightened Another Mom's Day


"From a Mother Who Knows." These 5 words say so much. Especially when they are written in a note that was given from one caring mom to another who was having a 'not-so-good' day.

Lauren Nordberg promised her son pancakes after his dentist appointment, and she made sure to keep that promise. Elliot, her 6-year-old son diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, is sensitive to loud noises and changes in his routine. Unfortunately, on the day Nordberg took her son for the promised pancakes, the restaurant they went to - which happens to be Elliot's favorite - was loud and busier than usual. So busy did not get to sit in their usual spot.

On her Facebook page, Nordberg explains how her son quickly had a meltdown. So to avoid customers' stares, she took Elliot outside while they waited for their food. Elliot's mood improved when they came back in and he ate his pancakes. But when he was done, Elliot went right back into meltdown mode.

Here comes the part that will warm moms' hearts everywhere.

Nordberg quickly asked for her check. The waitress told her that her bill had already been paid for by another customer, and that the customer had left a note on the back of the check for Nordberg.


"I was crying, and the owner of the restaurant was crying too," Nordberg shared with CNN. "When I walk into places with him sometimes it feels like I am walking on pins and needles," she said. "To have someone say, I get it and it's OK ... it's a relief and it was really powerful."

To thank the anonymous mom, Norberg shared a picture of the message on her Facebook page.

Families In The News Today

Families, Food and Celebrity Parents In the News Today


Parents Speak Out a Year After Dad 'Chose' Son With Down Syndrome Over His Wife - The Mighty

Creative Way Mom Saved 4-Year-Old's Life After Car Crash - Yahoo Parenting

18 Clever Storage Solutions You Can DIY For Free - Yahoo

Most of Us are Living Past 100: Here's Why - Yahoo Health

Should Men Have the Right To Ask For Child Support? - Babble

Food in The News


Yes, You Really Can Make Ice Cream Out of Snow - Huffington Post

Britax Car Seats Recalled: Handle Can Break, Crack

car seat recalls
consumer product safety commission

Britax has recalled about 71,000 of their car seats due after a handle on one carrier broke. The recall affects some B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite and B-Safe 35 Travel System models manufactured between Oct. 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015.

The seats were sold between November 14 and January 2016 at stores such as Babies R Us, Target, BuyBuy Baby, Amazon.com and other retailers for $210 to $250.

The company says they have received about 74 reports of cracks developing in and around the carry handle grip on the car seats, including one report of an infant who received a bump on the head when the carrier fell to the ground.

Owners who register with Britax will be sent a kit and tool to reinforce the existing handle. An additional 3,900 seats will also be recalled in Canada.

The complete list of the car seats recalled and their model number can be found at Britax.com. To check your car seat, look for the Britax logo which should be printed on both sides of the seat shell and on the carry handle grip. Model numbers and the date of manufacture (DOM) are printed on a label located at the back of the infant car seat/carrier shell.

Customers can also call Britax at 800-683-2045 from 8:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. ET on Friday, or by email at Britax.Recall@britax.com.

Families In The News Today

Families, Food and Celebrity Parents In the News Today:


Stepmom Breaks Silence on Missing 7-Year - Old: 'I Never Harmed' My Son - Yahoo Parenting

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Recalls 10k Infant Onesies - Yahoo Parenting

'Hunger Games' Star Jena Malone is Pregnant - ET online

Here's How You Can Tell If Your Tap Water is Safe - Yahoo Health

What Science Really Says About Birth Order - SheKnows

Food In The News Today


McDonald's Japan Debuts Chocolate French Fries - NY Daily News

DIY Avocado and Geranium Face Mask

DIY avocado face mask

If your face tends to be dry, it is going to love this soothing avocado and geranium face mask. The fatty acids in the avocado nourishes your dry skin, and infuses it with Vitamins C and E.

Blend in some honey, coconut oil, and skin-firming geranium essential oil, you have an incredibly nourishing face mask that is all natural.

Avocado And Geranium Mask 


It is easy to mix up a small fresh batch of the Avocado and Geranium Mask whenever you want - all you will need are 4 ingredients.

1/4 avocado
1 teaspoon of raw honey
1 teaspoon of warmed melted coconut oil
2 drops of geranium essential oil ( should be easy to find at your local Vitamin store, or you can order on Amazon.)

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Then gently smooth on your face (always best to dampen your skin lightly before putting on a mask).

Sit back, put your feet up and relax about 10 minutes or so.

Rinse your skin well with warm water and apply your favorite moisturizer.

Families In The News Today


Families, Food and Celebrity Parents In the News Today.

Bristol Palin's Little Brother Trig Cradles His Newborn Niece, Sailor Grace:  "He Officially Loves Her." - Yahoo

California Student Dies After Collapsing in Gym Class - Yahoo

Why Stillbirth Numbers Aren't Dropping - Even Though Majority Are Preventable - Yahoo Parenting

8 Genius Hacks To Keep Your Produce From Going Bad - Yahoo Health

2016 Caldecott Award Winners: Some of the Best Books for Your Children



The American Library Association recently announced their picks for the top children's books of 2016, including the Caldecott Medal Award winner, and several honorable Caldecott book choices as well.

Winner of the Caldecott Medal For the Most Distinguished American Picture Book For Children:


Finding Winnie



The story of this cute little black bear is actually a true story that inspired the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh.

"In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war.
Harry Colebourn's real-life great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey--from the fields of Canada to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England...
And finally to the London Zoo, where Winnie made another new friend: a real boy named Christopher Robin."

4 other children's books also received Caldecott Honors:


Trombone Shorty 



Featuring amazing illustrations, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews shares about how he followed his dream of becoming a musician, despite the odds, until he reached international stardom. Trombone Shorty is a celebration of the rich cultural history of New Orleans and the power of music. Also winner of the Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award.


Waiting (A Caldecott Honor and Geisel Honor Book)



An adorable children's picture book by written by Caldecott Medalist and N.Y. Times best-selling author, Kevin Henkes
"Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait! What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?"

Voice Of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer 



Voice of Freedom tells about the remarkable life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a champion of civil rights from the 1950s until her death in 1977. This book is recommended for children in grade 6 and up.

Last Stop On Market Street

Matt De La Pena received many honors for this amazing book, including:

Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal
A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2015
A Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book of 2015

"Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them."

Families In The News Today

Families, Food and Celebrity Moms in the News Today:


Hundreds Continue Search For Two-Year Old Boy Who Disappeared Thursday - Yahoo

The Most Psychologically Damaging Things Parents Say, Revealed- SheKnows

How To Love Your Post-Baby Body - The Bump

The 4 Best Uses For Coconut Oil - Yahoo Health

Kate Hudson, Angelina Jolie, and Jack Black Made 'Kung Fu Panda 3' Premiere an Adorable Family Affair - ET Online

Food In The News Today


5 Minute Creamy Whipped Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip Or Spread - Carlsbad Cravings

10 Brand-New Foods That Will Make Breakfast Even Better in 2016 - POPSUGAR Food

3 Sneaky Meatless Recipes To Warm You Up On Cold Days


If you are trying to get your family to eat more veggies and less or no meat in 2016, you may need to encourage them with some sneaky meatless recipes. Perfect for cold rainy days, these 3 savory dishes should make everyone in your family happy ( even though they might not know they are eating veggies!)

1. Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese.

Picture courtesy of theironyou.com

The current queen of veggies, cauliflower is sneakily substituted for bread in this cheesy recipe. So maybe they will figure out what they are eating is not normal 'bread,' - the warm gooey goodness will win both kids and grown-ups over! Get the recipe at The Iron You.

2. Kid-Friendly Lentil Soup.  




Healthy red lentils help make this a delicious bowl of soup kids love (and is a great source of protein!) Get the recipe at Today's Parent.


3. Sweet Potato Cannelloni.

Picture Courtesy of Martha Stewart.com

From Martha Stewart's Kitchen, this vegetarian meal features pureed sweet potato and diced apples. Topped with Parmesan cheese and toasted walnuts, this meatless meal should warm everyone just right! Get the recipe at Martha Stewart.

Families in the News Today


Families, Food and Celebrity Parents in the News Today


9 Ways to Get Teens Reading - Common Sense Media

10 Things You Need To Know if You Are Adopting in 2016 - Babble

With 5 Simple Words, Mark Zuckerberg Says Everything That Needs To Be Said About Vaccines - POPSUGAR

First Glimpse at All The Tanners - Watch the Full House Teaser Clip - Yahoo

Funniest Parenting Tweets: What Moms and Dads Said on Twitter This Week - Huffington Post

Food in the News Today


5 Vegetable Soup Recipes For The New Year - Yahoo Food

Eggs and Mashed Banana Pancakes

eggs and mashed bananas pancakes

This 2-ingredient pancake recipe sounds too good to be true. Eggs and mashed bananas will equal delicious pancakes in just a minute or two? For all the busy families out there (like, mostly everyone) that grab frozen waffles and pancakes out of the freezer every morning, you must try this recipe.

There are no guarantees you will love these 2 minute homemade pancakes, or even like them. However, trying them just one time is so worth it.

Ready?

Eggs and Mashed Banana Pancakes


Go grab two eggs and 2 bananas.

Mash bananas in a small mixing bowl.

Mix in the 2 eggs. Stir the batter.

Use a teaspoon to drop batter onto lightly greased non-stick skillet.

Let the pancake cook until the edges are dry - about 30 seconds. Flip and repeat for other side.

Remember, this pancake mix has no flour or baking powder in it, so the pancakes will not be fluffy like normal ones. They may actually look more like crepes than flapjacks.

Pour on your favorite syrup, toppings or whatever you like, and bite into the easiest pancakes to make ever.

Families in the News Today


Families, Food and Celebrity Moms in the News Today:

How To Save For Your Kid's College - Fatherly.com

Dad's Hilarious Letter to Child Who Asks For Money - Yahoo Parenting

8 Things People Married For 50 Years Do - Prevention

Kelly Clarkson Returning To American Idol - People

13 Celebrities Who've Had Miscarriages - PopSugar

Move Over Kale, Cauliflower Now Reigns Supreme


Cauliflower is hot right now. So hot in fact, that you may not even find any next you you go shopping. And if you do spot some, be prepared to pay up to $8 a bundle. Yes, cauliflower is the new reigning queen of vegetables. Sorry Kale.

Demand for the low-carb veggie combined with dwindling supplies due to unusually cold weather, have caused cauliflower prices to soar. Many grocery stores are charging $8 a bundle for the coveted white florets. Some produce aisles may not even have cauliflower available to buy.

So why has cauliflower grown so popular recently? 


It is low-carb, versatile and actually makes an excellent replacement for potatoes and rice in recipes. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin C. The Daily Beast reports that In October, right before the shortage was announced, Whole Foods declared that the vegetable was making a “cauliflower comeback,” and touted a number of delicious recipes to prove it. The New York Times released an entire section on cauliflower recipes, which range from Indian-style rice salad to rigatoni.

A vitamin-rich, low-calorie veggie that can behave like a carb, cauliflower is highly touted in the popular Paleo diet, because “it substitutes for rice,” says Paleo blogger Russ Crandall, who runs the Domestic Man website, and says that there is a high demand for cauliflower recipes from readers.

There is hope on the horizon for cauliflower lovers, however. The Produce Alliance has reported that although the Cauliflower situation is slowly improving. Cauliflower fans, hang in there.

Families in the News Today


Families, Food and Celebrity Moms in the News Today:


The One Time Kids Should Not be Saying 'Thank-You' - SheKnows

7 Reasons I Never Spank My Kid - YourTango

Study Shows Only 1 out of 5 Babies Predicted to be Too Big for Natural Delivery Actually Are - Babble

Hilary Duff Jokes 'Son Luca Just Wants to Have Big Muscles.' - People

Chipotle Giving Food Away For Free - Delish

List of The Top 10 Cities With Hotels Having the Most Bedbugs

bedbug treatments

Thanks to pest control company, Orkin, we now know which cities have the most bedbugs. Did we really want to know this?? The list is based on where Orkin did the most bed bug treatments in 2015. The top ten cities are listed below:

1. Chicago

2. Los Angeles

3. Washington, D.C.

4. New York

5. Columbus, Ohio

6. Philadelphia

7. Detroit

8. Cincinnati

9. Richmond-Petersburg, Va.

10. Baltimore

Orkin has kindly provided a list of 50 cities with the most bed bug invasions last year. Want to know if your city made the list? We think you do. Go ahead, check. We'll wait.

Here are a few tips about dealing with bedbugs, should you ever encounter any.


If you stay at a hotel, always check the bed by pulling back the bed sheets and using your phone flashlight to look for the telltale little black & brown spots. Be sure top check up by the headboard -a favorite spot of the little buggers.

If possible, keep suitcases zipped up, and do not leave clothes scattered about the hotel room.

Should you discover that you have been bitten by bedbugs while you slept in your hotel room, put all clothing in a trash bag. As soon as you get home, put the clothing in the dryer for 10 minutes.

Moving to a new apartment? You can check BedBugRegistry.com to find out if bedbug infestations ever occurred at your potentially new address.

If you do find bedbugs in your home, you will probably feel better having professionals come out and treat your home to get rid of the bugs.

A tip for vacuuming when you suspect you have bedbugs:  Throw away the vacuum bag when you are done, or sprinkle about a teaspoon of baby powder or cornstarch on the floor and vacuum it up last. The powder coats the bugs and kills them.

Families In The News Today

Family, Food and Celebrity Moms in the News Today:


Police Offer Breastfeeds Abandoned Baby - Huffington Post

Why Some Kids Have Allergies and Others Don't - Yahoo Parenting

Average Age of First Time Mom Is Higher Than Ever - Yahoo Parenting

Surviving a Winter Pregnancy - The Bump

7 Things You Should Never Touch in a Movie Theater - Yahoo Health

Uber Driver Refuses To Take Mom in Labor To the Hospital - Pop Sugar

Celine Dion's Husband Succumbs to Cancer

Food in the News


How to Make the Perfect Grilled Cheese - Yahoo Food

Doing These 4 Simple Things Might Help You Lose Weight


We are almost midway through January, and February is beckoning. For anyone who made losing weight a goal for 2016, and are thinking you can't do it, hang on. There are 5 really simple things you can incorporate into your daily routines that can help you lose weight. We are talking SIMPLE here.

These little lifestyle hacks come from Thinner in 30: Small Changes That Add Up to Big Weight Loss in Just 30 Days, the new book by former Today Show diet and fitness correspondent Jenna Wolfe. Check them out, chances are you are going to love them.

1. Eat When You Are Mellow.


Okay, this could be a tiny bit challenging. The thing is, eating when we are stressed out and running out the door, for example, is not a good thing. Why, you ask? Wolfe explains in her book that stress shuts down digestion. So try to schedule time to eat when you are relaxed so your body can break down the food you are putting in it more efficiently.

2. Brush After Every Meal. 


 Why, you ask again? Simply put, if your teeth are feeling clean - like minty good clean - it can help deter you from munching mindlessly again too soon. Wolfe recommends using a peppermint toothpaste as peppermint is a natural appetite suppressant. Really, do this. Give it a try for one week and see if it makes a difference in how much you eat.

3. Use Whipped Cream Cheese and Butter. 


Those soft, easy-to-spread butters have less calories than the hard-packed sticks of butter. Same goes for whipped cream cheese.


4. Avoid The 'Ribs'.


When shopping for meat, avoid cuts like Rib-Eye and Rib-steak. Those cuts of meat are generally higher in fat. Buy meats that end in 'loin,' such as tenderloin and sirloin. Another good choice would be meats with 'round' in their name, like round steak.

There you have it. Simple little things that may make a big enough change in your eating styles and help you lose weight!

Get more tips at Dr. Oz The Good Life

Families in the News Today

Family, food and celebrity moms in the news today:


Zulily's Awesome Response to Customer Who Wanted to Return a Winter Coat - Mashable

Hidden Surprises on New Sesame Street Set - Yahoo Parenting

EOS Lip Balm Faces Class Action Lawsuit - Yahoo Health

McDonalds Make-Over: Will It Work? - The Motley Fool

12 Ways To Have a Better Lunch - Yahoo Food

Starbucks Secret Valentine's Day Frappuccino Menu


Forget shopping for cards and teddy bears on Valentine's Day this year. Starbucks secret Valentine's Day menu has been revealed, and rest assured, there will be plenty of pink and chocolaty goodness served up in their new Frappuccinos.

Tony Aguilar, a Tuscon-based Starbucks barista came up with the new Valentine's drinks. Samples were handed out to customers, and immediately the new flavors were a huge success. Aguilar wrote on Redditt about his yummy creations, saying he was "surprised with how popular they became."

The three Valentine's Frappuccinos even have awesome names. However, be sure to know the ingredients in each one when you go to order yours. Remember, they are secret, so baristas may not recognize the names. They will understand what drink you are referring to though when you describe it to them.

Starbucks Secret Valentine Drinks:


The Love Bean Frappucinno


A Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with raspberry syrup pumps topped with raspberry-infused whipped cream and chocolate curls.

Tony Aguilar


The Java Berry Frappuccino


A Java Chip Frappucino topped with raspberry-infused whipped cream.

Tony Aguilar


The Valentine Frappuccino


Strawberry and Creme Frappucino with raspberry syrup pumps, vanilla bean in the middle and blackberry on top, topped with whipped cream.


Tony Aguilar
What more can a girl ask for on Valentine's Day? Thank-you Starbucks.

Families in the News Today


Family, food and celebrity moms in the news today:


Mom Warns of Toy That Landed Her Toddler in the Hospital - Yahoo Parenting

Big Babies and C-Sections: When Baby Weight Predictions Are Wrong - N.Y. Times

The Real Story Behind Children's Best Selling Book, 'Love You Forever,' Just Might Make You Cry - babycenter

12 Printable Lunchbox Notes For Your Valentine - Babble

The Baby Shower Card that 'Cries' Like a Baby For 3 hours - Scary Mommy

6 Toxic Items You Should Never Buy at Dollar Stores

things not to buy at dollar stores

You may want to check your shopping list twice from now on before you head out the door to shop at your favorite neighborhood dollar store. Recent testing by the consumer group, Healthy Stuff, found many dollar store items contain hazardous chemicals associated with cancer, diabetes, learning problems, birth defects, lower IQ, thyroid and kidney disease and asthma.

Over 100 hundred items were purchased at Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only Stores in six U.S. states. Each product was tested for dangerous chemicals such as antimony, arsenic, bromine, chlorine, lead, mercury, and tin.

In addition, products that were found to contain polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC or vinyl) were further tested for the presence of phthalate and non-phthalate plasticizers.

Test Results 


81% of the products tested, or 133 out of the 164, contained at least one toxic chemical at levels above concern.

32% of vinyl products tested (12 of 38) contained levels of phthalates above the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) limit for children’s products.

38% of the products tested (63 of 164) contained the toxic plastic PVC (vinyl).

These are just 6 toxic items you should never buy at dollar stores due to the levels of toxins they contain.


1. Extension Cords. Tests showed the green insulation in these cords contain high levels of chlorine.

2. Silly Straws.  Although cute, these plastic straws contain high levels of DEHP and Tin.

3. Yellow Rubber Ducky Bath Toys.  Again cute. Again, high levels of Chlorine were found in the yellow plastic used to make these rubber toys.

4. Vinyl Floor Coverings. These products tested high in Phthalates and Chlorine.

5. Earrings.  The tests showed extremely high levels of lead in some of the earrings sold at dollar stores.

6. Bathtub Appliques. These are meant to prevent slipping in bathtubs, however some of these items tested showed very high levels of chlorine.

Learn more about other dollar store products tested at healthystuff.org

Families in the News Today


Family, food and celebrity moms in the news today:


Teen Mom Photo Cause Controversy Resulting in Yearbook Ban - Yahoo.com

Is Jennifer Gardner Dating Again? - Yahoo Parenting

The 100 Best Baby Names Right Now - Nameberry

New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Released - Yahoo Health

David Bowie's Death: When a Parent Leaves Kids Behind - Yahoo Parenting

Food in the News:


Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Shake - About Food


4 Sleep-Friendly Snacks To Help You Fall Asleep


Winding down from a long day is not so easy for some of us. Our bodies may be worn out, but our brains are still running 100 miles an hour. Then there are those night-time hunger pains that we try to ignore but just can't. So there we are tossing, turning, and hungry.

The good news is that there are actually some sleep-friendly snacks that may help us get a better night's sleep.

Snacks containing ingredients such as tryptophan, whole grain carbs, calcium, magnesium and certain herbs can relax our busy minds. So if falling asleep is a problem, try eating one of these light snacks about an hour before bedtime to help get a better night's sleep.





Bananas and Almonds.  Munch on these to get a nice mix of tryptophan, healthy carbs and calming magnesium.


Cherries. This fruit is a natural source of melatonin - a relaxing brain chemical.


Whole Wheat Toast and Peanut Butter. Another yummy snack that will provide you with the relaxing combo of tryptophan and complex carbs.



Enjoy a Bowl of Whole-Grain Cereal with Milk. The tryptophan, calcium, and magnesium in milk combined with the cereal’s carbs and magnesium can help make you feel sleepy. Be sure to stay away from sugary cereals.



And the favorite bedtime snack, a cup of herbal tea with a spoonful of honey (another source of tryptophan.)

You can find more sleep-friendly snack ideas at sleep.org.