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Sep 1, 2015

Sesame Street: Play All Day With Elmo DVD Giveaway {ends 9/23}

I'm so thrilled to be able to offer another great DVD from Sesame Street.  Thank you to Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Sesame Workshop for sponsoring this giveaway.  This page contains affiliate links for  Thank you for your support.

 Elmo is ready to share all his favorite games with your little one as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Sesame Workshop, the non-profit, educational organization whose mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder, release Sesame Street: Play All Day With Elmo on DVD September 8, 2015 for $14.98 SRP. Sesame Street: Play All Day With Elmo includes the full length episode “Simon Says,” bonus content and exciting video segment “Elmo’s World: Games.” The title’s release also aligns with the launch of the new Play All Day Elmo toy from Hasbro.

Spend the afternoon dancing, jumping, and clapping while playing all of Elmo’s favorite games. Preschoolers will join Elmo to play Freeze Dance, Red Light Green Light, Elmo Says, and more. Elmo helps make learning fun with his interactive approach to teaching children his favorite games. Sesame Street: Play All Day With Elmo will have your toddler bouncing up and down with excitement while practicing important executive function skills such as self-control, following directions and paying attention.

“Warner Bros Home Entertainment is thrilled to announce the newest addition to the Sesame Street collection, Sesame Street: Play All Day With Elmo,” said Jeff Brown, WBHE Executive Vice President and GM of Non-Theatrical Franchise Marketing. “Elmo continues to be one of the most loveable preschool characters of all time and we are happy to share yet another exciting title starring America’s favorite furry red monster.”

Now in its 45th season, Sesame Street is the longest-running program in children’s television and the number one top-of-mind preschool show with moms. Sesame Street also has the highest "co-viewing" experience - meaning adults watching with kids - of any preschool show. The series has received more Emmy awards than any other show in television history, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award honoring the 40th year.

Sesame Street: Play All Day With Elmo

Aug 31, 2015

Healthy Back to School Lunch Box Ideas

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger Theresa Walker - BeachBody Coach

Back to school time is upon us again. For us parents, there’s a lot to prepare for and think about. Besides stocking up on supplies and clothing, it’s time to start thinking about how we can help our children get ready to learn for the upcoming year. If you are anything like me, you may be upping the amount of free-time reading your child does each day and practicing times tables, because honestly, we were pretty busy this summer, but it wasn’t doing math. Along with these other things, something that is crucial for each child, is that they are coming to school well rested and ready to learn, as well as being provided with a healthy lunch to get them through the rest of the day.

What kinds of things should you be packing to make sure that what they are eating will help them finish the day with energy, and not hinder it with extra sugars? Brainstorming ideas for healthy lunch box ideas can be overwhelming, especially if you have a picky child like mine. Break it down like this, you want the main entreƩ to be protein-filled (to keep them full), and the two sides to be filled with fiber or healthy fats and definitely low in sugar. They can have a treat once in a while, but keep it something lower than 10g of sugar. Think about how your child acts after they eat certain sugar-filled foods, and then imagine their teacher trying to get them to sit in their seat and pay attention for another 3 hours to a lesson.

On days I pack a pudding or treat for my son, I send him with flavored water, not juice. Each week I also alternate days with juice and water, if Monday is juice, Tuesday is water etc. Juice boxes have as much as 20g of sugar, which is significant. I try not to be a sugar control freak, but I also want my son to be able to sit and focus in school. He can always get a treat once he comes home, where he is free to run around and burn it off!

Here is my list for healthy lunch box ideas. A few are tried and true, but hopefully a couple may be new for you:

Main dish:

  • Kabobs- so many options, my favorite is with tortellini, mozzarella, tomato and colored peppers.  Add cold chicken or turkey for a boost of protein.  
  • Fruit quesadilla wrap, spread a nut butter or sun butter on the wrap and fill with bananas and strawberries or mixed berries, dash of honey if you want.  Use high protein wrap for an extra boost of protein. 
  • Mac & Cheese muffins (recipe on Pinterest) 
  • Taco Salad, last nights left over taco's can turn into a delicious salad
  • Pigs in a blanket with turkey hot dogs 
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Can of seasoned tuna or tuna pouch
  • BLT
  • High fiber wrap with any kind of meat (left over chicken or turkey is great) and cheese. 
  • Pasta salad filled with chicken and veggies 
  • Tuna salad sandwich or tuna pasta salad
  • Salad topped with tuna or chicken and lots of other goodies like sunflower seeds.
  • Veggie wrap, spread cream cheese on wrap, sprinkle some ranch seasoning and add lots of veggies- cucumber, broccoli, carrot, tomato, etc. and roll up. 
  • Yogurt if you are able to keep it decently cold  (but choose one with more protein than sugar).  Add granola or fruit to top.
  • Thermos to keep it warm?  Soup filled with some meat, noodles and veggies.
  • Don’t forget about left overs!  What did you have for dinner last night, will you child eat that chicken drumstick cold, turkey breast or even chicken and cheese quesadilla?
  • Whole grain blueberry pancake or waffles, they are just as yummy cold.  You can also make a “sandwich” with them, and fill with peanut butter or sun butter.
  • Pre-baked Pizza Crescent rolls or crescent rolls filled with ham & cheese
  • Nitrate free deli meat, cheese cubes and crackers (We enjoy Hormel Natural Choice, nitrate and hormone free meat)

Side options, these aren’t too elaborate, as I believe in keeping the food real and simple as much as possible.
  • Any fruit (cut into fun shapes or made into fruit salad)
  • Any veggie (add a dip)
  • Homemade Trail Mix
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt Tube- Chobani now makes some that have 5g of protein
  • High fiber or high protein granola bars (Kind Bars, Lara Bars and Kashi make some great ones.)
  • Sugar free jell-o
  • Cold bean salad- or any type of beans they will eat
  • Tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole
  • Pretzels and cream cheese to dip
  • Apple and nut butter sandwiches (you can also add granola and raisins)
  • Cottage cheese topped with cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado OR fruit
  • High fiber or protein cereal
  • Roasted chick peas
  • Popcorn
  • Pita bread or pita chips and hummus
  • Healthy homemade cookies like banana oatmeal-check out Pinterest for other fun, healthy version of cookies.  
  • Dried fruit or fruit leather
If your child is growing bored with lunches, take them to the store with you. In the last couple of years there has been a surge of new brands coming out with healthy snack treats. Things like Popcorners, Lentil Snaps, Food Should Taste Good and a store like Trader Joes, you can get lost in. Have them help you pick out low sugar juices and new snacks, they’ll be more likely to eat/drink them. And, if you are having a hard time transitioning them to lower sugar foods or lower fat, give it some time. Stay consistent, it takes some time for taste buds get used to the different taste that isn’t as sugary. It doesn’t take long for kids to realize though that the new menu options are here to stay. A great way to know if they will eat it in their lunch is to start serving it at home and once you find something they like most of the time, try it in a lunch!

Don’t forget to occasionally include a short note for your child telling them you love them, good luck on a test or to have a nice day. Every time I did this my son would save the note, I know it made his day. Here’s to a GREAT 2015/2016 school year!

Theresa Walker 
Theresa is a wife and stay at home mother of 2 energetic boys, DJ (8) and Aiden (5). She has a bachelors in Communications and prior to being a mother she worked at Better Investing magazine in advertising and as a Corporate Account Manager. These days she is fortunate enough to spend time with her boys checking out all of the local fun there is to be had. She and her family love to travel. She is also active in a large online mom's group through Facebook that she started called Planet Mom. She enjoys being active and one of her proudest accomplishments was running the Detroit Half Marathon as well as the Romeo to Richmond Half. In her free time you can find her running or biking through Stony Creek. Or curled up on a couch with a good book and her cat in her lap. She recently became a BeachBody Coach, so that she could share her love for health and fitness with others to help them reach their personal goals. You can find her Facebook page at Inspired Health & Fitness. She considers herself a "Fit Foodie" and loves trying new recipes, experimenting and new restaurants around town. She hopes she can share some of her tips for healthy eating and exercise for busy moms and Metro Detroit Mommy Fans

Aug 28, 2015

Meet- Naomi Katherine Wyman: The Newest Member of our Family

Disclosure: My husband works for Ascension Health Ministries which is the parent company to St. John Providence Hospitals.  Additionally, Studio 11.11 Photography provided the images used in this post free of charge for use in this post.

It's been a really long road to the birth of my fourth child.  It's been tough, really tough, so tough that I told everyone that I'm not having any more children.  Pregnancy has not kind to me.

Studio 11.11 Phtography

I posted a while back with our announcement that I was suffering from depression, I had gained back all the weight I had lost two years ago.  Then add to that high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, pregnancy related carpal tunnel syndrome, bloating and swollen limbs and severe fatigue,  I was a HOT MESS!
I'm ready to have baby #4. Photo taken by Chancellor (my hubby).
On Tuesday, July 28th I had my weekly appointment with my doctor to check on the progress of the baby.  My blood pressure had spiked and Dr. Prezzato decided it was time for me to deliver at 38.5 weeks.
Photo taken by hospital staff.
Naomi Katherine Wyman was born (via c-section) on July 29th at 12:50 pm at Providence Hospital in Southfield.  Naomi was six pounds, zero ounces and 19 inches long.

Once Chancellor placed her by my face she immediately tried to nurse (on my nose).  The whole experience was amazing.

Photo taken by hospital staff.
We arrive at the hospital about 10:00 am for the scheduled noon procedure.  We walk up to the maternity wing and introduced ourselves.  All the employees are friendly and helpful. Our information is recorded and we go into the prep/recovery room.  One other mother is in the room with me, so it is very quiet.

I slowly get ready for the procedure, gearing up in the fantastically stylish hospital gown, blood work is taken and my IV is placed in by my nurse Iman.  

Studio 11.11 Phtography
I don't remember much about the stuff that happened before the procedure, lots of questions, "Any known allergies? Are you on any medications?" Blah Blah Blah...

I meet the attending Dr. Moore and the anesthesiologist, Dr. Emily Draper, both friendly and take the time to answer my questions.

I take a moment to explain to Dr. Draper that the only thing I am nervous about is the spinal.  Not just butterflies in my stomach nervous though... really apprehensive as last time the doctor seemed like he didn't really want to be bothered with the delivery of my child. So, I tell her how I was feeling, hoping she would be able to help me remain calm.

Studio 11.11 Phtography
Dr. Prezzato arrives, we talk about the details once more and then we are ready to go.  I am very excited and nervous.  It still doesn't seam real.  Am I really going to have another baby? 

I am wheeled into the OR and prepped for the surgery.  I envision that the spinal goes really well.  I am calm, there is no pain, it is over quickly. The reality is I am a blubbering mess.  My leg is shaking and I am having hard time staying still.  However, Dr. Draper is so patient and kind, and that makes a huge difference.  

Studio 11.11 Phtography
Before I know it,  Dr. Prezzato tells me to look in the mirror so I can see Naomi being born.  Tears roll down my face.  Yes, she is real.  Yes, she is mine.  Yes, she's alive and healthy.  JOY!

The staff take Naomi to weight, measure, poke and prod her as I watch my doctor snip my Fallopian tubes, I'm done having babies.  Such a double edged sword.  I sit here with a newborn baby, and while I fully intend on enjoying every moment with her, it stings that I know this is my last.  I want more children, but I don't ever want to be pregnant again.  (A post for a later time.)

Studio 11.11 Phtography
"Six pounds, zero ounces" they announce.  
Oh wow, she's tiny, I think.
"She scored a nine on the APGAR" Joann Spence tells me (the CRNA). "No one ever gets a nine out of nine."  
They bring Naomi to Chancellor and he places her by my cheek.  I'm so happy to meet her and to touch her.  She's trying to nurse on my nose.  
Time seems to fly by and before I know it the surgery is over and I am wheeled back to the delivery room.  
"Can I get a sip of water?  Maybe some ice?" I ask Iman.
She tells me I need to wait until I could move my toes.  I try to wiggle my toes... the whole bed shakes, "Does that count?"
"No" she laughs.

Studio 11.11 Phtography
I get to hold Naomi for the first time.  I hold her close, I kiss her, I inspect her fingers and toes.  She is perfect.  I place her body against mine, she's rooting, nursing comes naturally for her.  I try to wiggle my toes, no luck. Time passes slowly and quickly all at the same time.

Dr. Prezzato comes in to check on me.  Everything went well, no issues with the surgery.  Already my blood pressure is starting to drop.  I try to wiggle my toes and although I don't feel it, Iman says she saw a bit of movement.  I'm rewarded with a glass of ice.  

"Don't eat them too quickly,"she tells me.  "we don't want your stomach to get upset." 

Studio 11.11 Phtography
Shortly after I move my toes I am able to move my legs and I send Chancellor home to get the girls so they can meet their sister.  I am wheeled off to my hospital room.  Once I am settled in my bed, visitor start to arrive.  Naomi's grandparents come to welcome her to the world.  Chancellor comes back with the girls and our photographer, Laila, is there capturing each precious moment. 

To be continued.......
Studio 11.11 Phtography
A special thank you to: 
Dr. Prezzato and the wonderful staff at Michigan Institute of OB/GYN
Studio 11.11 Phtography

Aug 27, 2015

#LowCarb #NonGMO #SugarFree Amazing No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe

So, it was my birthday last week and for the weeks before all my kids could talk about was my birthday cake.  So, I knew I had to make one for my family but I wanted to be able to eat some, too.

To my surprise, every one of them LOVED this cheesecake and it was absolutely fantastic.

Let's get to non-baking ;)

You will need:

1c of heavy whipping cream
1c of sour cream
1/2c of swerve powdered sugar substitute
1 box of cream cheese
1tbsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of blueberries (adds 8 carbs to the whole cake.  Omit if you don't want the higher carb count)
1.5c of raw pecan halves or almonds/walnuts
1/4c of ghee or butter
4tbsp of almond flour

Sidenote: I am so glad I found swerve!  It's a safe, non-gmo sugar substitute that actually tastes like sugar without the usual bitter aftertaste.  It also doesn't cause any GI-distress.  Even if you're not low-carb, I suggest trying it out!

Here's what to do:

Ground up your nuts and mix with the almond flour and ghee.  Press firmly into a pie dish or spring-form pan and put in refrigerator until crust is hardened.  Meanwhile, prepare the cheesecake.

Pour heavy whipping cream and swerve in a ninja/mixer and blend until you have whipped cream. Then add sour cream, cream cheese and vanilla and mix again. Use a spatula to remove the mix into the pie dish. Leave about 1/4c of mix in the ninja and add the bluberries, blend again.  Rub this mix all over the top of the cheesecake.  Put the completed cake in the fridge for 6 hours.

Cut, serve and indulge in this guilt-free blend of awesome.



Aug 26, 2015

My Accidental Essential Oil Journey- Recipe #4 Face Wash

My Accidental Essential Oil Journey

By: Alexia Mancilla-Jackson - Young Living Essential Oils Independent Distributor

It was a random Wednesday, in December, when I stumbled upon the world of essential oils. I was supposed to be preparing for tomorrow’s lesson, but instead I was procrastinating and I was hoping to find someone who wanted to join me. I went to visit a co-worker and once I entered her room, I smelled something incredible. It smelled like cinnamon, cloves and a little bit of lemon; instantly I was hooked! She was diffusing an oil blend called Thieves…and the rest in history!

Over the next five weeks I will be sharing with you my top five favorite recipes.

{These links will work AFTER date of publication}
1. After Sun Spray 8/5/15
2. Bug Off! Lotion Bar 8/12/15
3. Owie Sticks 8/19/15
4. Face Wash 8/26/15
5. Foot Soak 9/2/15

DIY Face Wash: 

I absolutely love this face wash! It’s super foamy and makes my skin squeaky clean. If I wanted to use a scrub for that day, I’ll add a pinch of raw sugar. This is perfect for my combination skin.

In a glass measuring cup add:
¾ cup Dr. Bronner's unscented baby-mild pure-castile soap
2 tbsp. Vitamin E Oil
1/2 cup Purified water (I used filtered water)

Pour into your dispenser and then add:
15 drops of Young Living Lavender Essential Oil
15 drops of Young Living Frankincense Essential Oil
15 drops of Young Living Tea Tree Essential Oil

And shake! I love this no chemical recipe!

About the author:

Alexia is a mama, a high school special education teacher, and a “mompreneur”. Since she has the summers free, she keeps herself busy by spending time with her husband, Jeremy, their two children, Francesca (3), and Stone (3 mths), maintaining her Etsy site and most recently diving into the world of Young Living Essential Oils. She feels very fortunate to be able to spend a good portion of the summer visiting her family on the west side of the state. One of her proudest accomplishments was completing her Ed. Specialist degree in Special Education Administration at Wayne State University.

These days Alexia is often reading material in which she can learn about Young Living Essential Oils. Her current text book is the 6th Edition Essential Oils Desk Reference, by Life Science Publishing. She continues to learn, so that she can share her love for health and wellness with others. If you have any questions regarding the recipes or Young Living essential oils, visit her online or email:  She hopes she can share more recipes and continue to teach the benefits of Young Living essential oils to friends, family and Metro Detroit Mommy Fans.

Aug 25, 2015

Creating Family Memories: Summer Drive In - Plymouth #giveaway {ends 8/30}

Sponsored Post:
Each year summer quickly arrives and goes.  If you are like me,  most of your childhood memories are from my experiences in the summertime.  Camping, going up north, playing outside in the sun, visiting the beach and Summer Drive-In's. 

The USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth offers a fantastic opportunity to create special memories with your family.  The Drive-In features three large screens that show first-run double features every night now through September 6th!  They also offer a full-service restaurant on site, making this a perfect night out with family and friends.  

The USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth Summer Drive-In is located at 14900 Beck Road in Plymouth, right off of M-14.  The gates open at 7:30pm and the movies start at dusk.  

You can find The USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth Summer Drive-In onlineFacebook | Twitter |Instagram

Enter below for your chance to win four tickets to the The USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth Summer Drive-In: 

Aug 21, 2015

Fitbit Surge Review

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger  Theresa Walker- Beach Body Coach

Sponsored Post: Metro Detroit Mommy was loaned the Fitbit Surge from Verizon in exchange for this promotional post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Your experience may differ.

For the last several weeks I have had a chance to wear the Fitbit Surge, the "ultimate fitness watch".  Since fitness is important to me and I'm also a big fan of tracking devices; I was very excited to get the Fitbit Surge and check out everything that it can do!  Even after this short time frame, I have to admit, I am a bit addicted to counting my steps and "floors" each day, trying to hit a certain goal each day, or beat a previous goal!

Ok, so this watch can do a lot, but it is also very simple to use!  So even if you aren't familiar with Fitbit or any GPS watch, you should have no issues navigating this simple design.   Toggling through the functions is straight forward.  Here are the main functions of the watch:
  • Step Counter
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Calories Burned
  • GPS Tracker
  • Sleep monitor
  • Multi-Sport recorder function (biking, running, hiking, yoga, elliptical, and general workout)
  • Wireless Syncing
 The watch comes with a charging cable that plugs into your computer or device and a wireless sync dongle that also plugs in to a device.  Battery life if you are using it all day, along with once a day to track a 30-60 minute workout, will last you about 4-5 days.  Setting up and charging are easy, just plug into a device and go to and follow the instructions.  It only takes about 10 minutes.  Charging it fully I leave it on over-night.  

Once I had my watch set-up, it was time to test out its functions.  I learned that if you wear it as instructed on your non-dominant wrist, it is pretty accurate with steps taken.  I'd say as with any device, you have a small margin of error, but by checking it occasionally I could ensure it was working the majority of the time as it should be.  There were times I had to adjust the band as I was working out to get my heart rate to register, but that was usually if I was doing something active with my arms like planks or crunches.  I really liked that it has the option to calculate multi-sports, not just running.  The calories burned seemed pretty close to my Garmin monitor.  

The GPS tracker worked very well for me.  It had a faster rate of connecting than my Garmin watch which was nice to be able to start my run sooner.  However, if you are a runner, this watch is missing a few options that Garmin offers such as the ability to break down your pace by mile; Fitbit just gives you an average pace.  So at the end of your run it averages all of your miles/pace to give you one figure vs. breaking down by mile which is significant for most runners.  I also wish it would display while running once you finish each mile, the pace for that particular mile.  If you are not a runner though, this wouldn't be of much concern to you.

The sleep tracker is a neat feature!  Very cool to see the quality of sleep I am getting which can be very important to not only weight loss but health. It displays how long you sleep, how many times you were restless or awake at night.  You can also view your sleep stats by the week to compare.  This information is available through the app, not on the watch itself.   

One of the best features of this watch, is that you can see on your wrist in real time your stats.  You don't need to connect to see your steps, heart rate or calories etc.  Through-out the day the watch also syncs automatically to the app. Very easy and user friendly, worked perfectly each time.  The watch is a bit bulky, but it was comfortable to wear all day long. 

Overall I'd say this is a great watch if you are trying to get healthier and need/want something to track your daily steps and to motivate you to reach goals.  It certainly motivated me and reminded me each day to get in my steps.  It also can be eye-opening to see what your activity level is each day and calories burned, so you can set your own goals and work towards meeting them. 

You can view the specifics on Fitbit Surge here: Fitbit Surge:

Theresa Walker 
Theresa is a wife and stay at home mother of 2 energetic boys, DJ (8) and Aiden (5). She has a bachelors in Communications and prior to being a mother she worked at Better Investing magazine in advertising and as a Corporate Account Manager. These days she is fortunate enough to spend time with her boys checking out all of the local fun there is to be had. She and her family love to travel. She is also active in a large online mom's group through Facebook that she started called 
Planet Mom. She enjoys being active and one of her proudest accomplishments was running the Detroit Half Marathon as well as the Romeo to Richmond Half. In her free time you can find her running or biking through Stony Creek. Or curled up on a couch with a good book and her cat in her lap. She recently became a BeachBody Coach, so that she could share her love for health and fitness with others to help them reach their personal goals. You can find her Facebook page at Inspired Health & Fitness. She considers herself a "Fit Foodie" and loves trying new recipes, experimenting and new restaurants around town. She hopes she can share some of her tips for healthy eating and exercise for busy moms and Metro Detroit Mommy Fans.