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Why Old Fashioned Quaker Oatmeal Brings Me Comfort

By on Jul 31, 2013

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We’ve all got our go-to comfort foods. For some of us it’s moist and hearty Thanksgiving stuffing. For others, it might be the first juicy, fresh strawberries of the season. For me, it’s a daily dose of Old Fashioned Quaker Oatmeal, which continues to be a huge part of my breakfast scene.

I can still remember school mornings when I would wolf down a big bowl of oatmeal and chase it with a hard boiled egg. My Mother, who always seemed to be short on time and short on cooking skills, loved Quaker because it was an easy and healthy way to start a busy morning.

Now as a busy mother of 2 little girls, I’m eager to share the comfort of Old Fashioned Quaker Oats! It’s easy to make and easy to customize with dried or fresh fruit or a smidgen of butter and brown sugar. It’s also nutritious and inexpensive. A half of a cup of oats is a whopping 4 grams of fiber and a container of Quaker Oatmeal only costs $4.  I’m feeding a famished family for pennies a day, which is a total win!

Oatmeal Airplane

Now, I’ve gotta be honest here, as a kid, my favorite breakfast morning was Saturday when the scent of scrambled eggs, bacon and biscuits (yum yum), or buttermilk pancakes with real maple syrup (I’m totally salivating), would seep underneath my bedroom door. But who has time for that everyday? Sure you can dash over to the freezer aisle for the instant versions, but when I think about the current battle that we’re losing to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and hyperactive kids, I run for Quaker comfort! Most of today’s quick fix meals, which mercifully afford us Momma Bears an extra hour of sleep, are heavily riddled with artificial dyes and preservatives, heaping mounds of salt and sugar, and a major dose of Mommy guilt!

Is it worth it?

No way! Having an oat-based breakfast is the key to getting your family fueled up and energized for an active day without the hassle…or the guilt. Not a big fan of the old fashioned oats? No problem! Quaker has developed a range of incredibly yummy breakfast treats like the Quaker Soft Baked Bars which are 5 grams of Fiber and loaded with flavor (banana nut bread, anyone?).

So I encourage you Momma Bears to hightail it past the freezer aisle and the boxes of dyed sweetness and grab some Quaker. Thanks to them, we don’t have compromise on giving our families a quick, healthy, and tasty breakfast.

Happy Healthy Baby + Happy Healthy Mommy = Quaker Comfort

Do you find comfort in your breakfast choices?

Please note that I have been compensated by Quaker for my review, but absolutely ALL thoughts and opinions are my own. I thoroughly enjoy Quaker products and appreciate the work that they are doing to provide healthy breakfast options for our families. Did you know that Quaker has also partnered with the Chicago Fire and the Chicago Fire Junior and our bringing kids from around the country to Chicago for an invitational August 9 – 11th? It’s going to be a weekend of soccer, community and fun! 

Click here for more information on Quaker’s line of products.

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My Life As A Cheapskate

By on Jul 25, 2013

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Yesterday, while driving with my niece Makayla, we were stopped at a stoplight and approached by a woman asking for change. I slipped a couple bucks into her cup and she warmly issued a “God Bless You.” Just then Makayla proudly exclaimed that “[she] loves to give to the homeless,” and in just that moment, I was blessed.

I confess that I haven’t always been generous. In fact, it’s a new virtue that I’m consciously striving to adopt. You see, I didn’t grow up with a ton of “stuff,” but I did grow up with parents who readily spent time with my siblings and me. We’d spend our weekends and summer months taking long walks to the beach, Chicago museums, libraries and festivals. We knew we could count on our parents for an abundance of time… but not money.

As a result of our limited financial resources, I rarely witnessed my parents giving anything away. I watched as they squeezed miracles out of their rigid monthly budget, meticulously sowing the seeds of necessity into our young lives…but never excess. At that time they weren’t able to give much, and the ensuing fear of not having enough ensured that in the future, regardless of the circumstance, they would cling to that same mindset.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I too adopted the same guiding principles of sowing “sparingly,” even when I had financial excess. Sure we can hang out for birthday drinks, but I can’t buy drinks (I’m saving for a fancy new coat). I’m so sorry about your broken heart, lets’ talk about it over lunch, (but we’re totally going dutch). Come over to my place for dinner some time (but remember it’s a potluck)! I’d gladly give of my time, but not my treasure… and it was stifling!

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not an advocate of reckless giving. Your family should not go hungry while you treat friends to breakfast, lunch and dinner. But breaking the fear of not having enough comes with believing and acting as if you already have enough. As I’ve watched family, friends and acquaintances freely give, I’ve realized that the talent they freely give the most, is the talent they receive in return. I’ve witnessed the poor get rich (and the rich get richer) and the older (who volunteer their time) look younger. Likewise, I’ve seen the rich get poorer and the young (and self-absorbed) look older. You reap what you sow!

I’m so thankful for that moment with Makayla. During a time when I’m actively teaching my girls the importance of sharing, it reminded me of the importance of living and demonstrating that very same principle of generosity; the only guiding principle that will lead to a life of abundance and overflow.

I’m still a work in progress, but I’ve got a recovery plan. It includes mantras, some cash and an updated calendar of events, and everyday I witness these white-knuckled clenched fists open a little bit further.

Are you practicing generosity? Are you reaping the returns?
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I’m Up, I’m Up, I’M UP

By on Jul 25, 2013

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I’m Up, I’m Up, I’m Up!

That’s what I used to tell my Mom and Stepdad on school mornings. Back then I had to be up by 8:00 a.m. in order to be at school by 9:00 a.m. But, after having already hit the snooze button for 30 minutes, I’d also hit the point of no return. Just a couple minutes past 8:00 a.m. would render me racing to school hungry and late.

I felt like that again today as Phil nudged me to get up for my 4:45 a.m. wake-up call. This getting up early thing is TOUGH! How in the world do people maintain this andfunction throughout the day?

For me, my saving grace has become a $4 white chocolate mocha WITH whipped cream from Starbucks.  And as I sit here with my warm cup of java and computer with the lake spread out before me, I’m feeling pleased with myself for another successful early start…until I see them.

Out of nowhere I start to see one, two and then dozens of hard-bodied (and some soft), strong-willed, human specimens walking, running and cycling their way into becoming better people…and all at this god-forsaken hour! Even the sun is still asleep.

I’m imagining fresh air percolating through their lungs while their red, happy hearts beat fast and furious; and then I look over to my tall cup of java (that’s also infused with white chocolate, syrup…oh yeah…and don’t forget the whipped cream) and I realize that I’ve traded one vice (sleeping in until the girls cry me awake) for another (370 Calories of bittersweet goodness)!

(Gulp) I just took another swig of my energy boost, and I’m thinking that maybe tomorrow I’ll grab my java, then blog, and then go for an invigorating run (to work off those added calories).

(Sigh) OR I can just concentrate on waking up and writing about it! (hee hee)

One thing at a time, right?!?!

Are you trading one vice for another? Have you got a growing list of things to start, stop and change?

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"…why are you afraid?"

By on Jul 23, 2013

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There was a man who went on a boat ride with a bunch of his friends. Unfortunately, the boat was ebbed and flowed right into the heart of a crazy storm and the waves were splashing furiously on the deck. The friends went crazy! They feared they would totally capsize. They thought of their friends and family safe and sound in their respective homes back on shore. They thought about they’re limited skill set to navigate the little boat through such a storm and they felt powerless.

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