Easy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe ~ Delicious!

Posted by Jenna | Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's already the end of January and I'm still having a difficult time getting back into the swing of things since the holidays. This isn't so much because it's a new year, but more than anything...because our family has been dealing with the stomach flu over the past couple of weeks. My daughter and I are feeling much better, while my two sons are still fighting some of the symptoms.

Aside from that, it's been bitter cold and freezing rain here for a few days now. Between getting over the stomach flu and the cold weather...only one thing sounded good for supper last night to our family. Can you guess what it was?!

Chicken Noodle Soup! There's just something about warm, delicious chicken noodle soup that seems perfect on a cold day, not to mention a day when you don't feel well. That's when I pulled out the recipe I grew up eating and got to work.

This is a simple recipe, and so delicious! It makes a TON which means lots of leftovers, or some to freeze. We LOVE it and wanted to share it with all of you as well!

What you'll need:
  • A large pot
  • 23  Cups Water
  • 6  T. Chicken Base
  • 2  12-16 oz Reames Noodles (I use 2 16 oz noodles because our family loves them!)
  • 1  lg Carrot (chopped) (or to your liking)
  • 1  Rib of Celery (chopped) (or to your liking)
  • Slow cook 1 Med - Lg Chicken (or buy a rotisserie chicken - this is what we usually do)
  • salt/pepper to taste
1. Put whole chicken in a crock pot for 6–8 hrs on low (Or use a rotisserie chicken bought from the store. That's what I usually do, as it's faster and less prep time).
2. In a large pot add 23 cups water, chicken base (to taste), Reames noodles, carrot and celery and heat on medium.
3. If you cooked the chicken in slow cooker, add broth from crockpot to the soup pot. Strip chicken off of bone and add to the pot. Let simmer and cook.
4. In no time the soup is cooked and ready to eat! ENJOY! 

I'd love to hear your favorite go-to soups during the winter months!

Motion sickness is a problem for both adults and kids alike.  According to an Omnibus Study in June 2011, 34% of households with children ages 2-12, have a child with motion sickness. This is three times the rate for adult motion sickness (10% of households.)  Motion sickness is most prevalent in cars, followed by airplanes and boats. Typical symptoms are nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.

When I read the previous statement, it came as no surprise since motion sickness is something myself and my children deal with on a regular basis. Since I was a young child, I have dealt with motion sickness and having to keep motion sickness medications with me at all times. Both Kaelyn and Kaden struggle with it as well, especially on long car rides. Whether it's a trip by plane, train or car...you can imagine that we have Dramamine with us wherever we go!!

Are you familiar with Dramamine? If so, you know that they are the leading brand of motion sickness relief for adults. But, what's really exciting is that they have expanded their line just in time for the winter travel season to include Dramamine for Kids! Also new to the line is Dramamine Less Drowsy, which offers the same great relief as original, but with less drowsiness.
Over the next couple of months we have a few trips planned. One is by plane and the others are longer road trips by car. That's why I was thrilled to learn that there's now Less Drowsy Dramamine and Kids chewable! I have never had a great solution for helping to keep the kids from getting sick on long car rides, but now I do thanks to Dramamine!

We were sent a Dramamine Travel Bag (great for traveling!) along with the entire line of Dramamine products.
Dramamine for Kids helps to treat symptoms on the spot, relieving nausea, dizziness and vomiting. It also helps to prevent motion sickness before it happens! As a mom who has used Dramamine for years, I trust it, believe it is safe, and feel comfortable taking it myself and giving it to my kids if needed now that there is an options for children!

Dramamine for Kids comes in a safe, precise children’s dose, avoiding the need to cut adult tablets. When I was a child, my mom had to cut the adult tablets and since I didn't know how to swallow a pill at that time, I chewed it. Needless to say, I think having a Dramamine specifically for kids is a fabulous option!! The Dramamine for Kids comes in a safety travel case with 8 chewable tablets that are grape in flavor.

For adults, Dramamine Less Drowsy relieves motion sickness symptoms with less drowsiness for up to 24 hours with only one tablet. This is something I greatly appreciate, as the last thing I want to be on vacation is drowsy and tired. My husband and I take a short trip coming up by plane and Dramamine Less Drowsy will definitely be on my list of things to take! It comes in a handy 8 count travel vial which is easy for me to throw in my purse so I have it wherever we go.

I'm thrilled to have these products for our upcoming travels! If you'd like to learn more about Dramamine for Kids, Dramamine Less Drowsy and other Dramamine products, be sure to visit www.Dramamine.com!

Win It: Dramamine is also offering two very lucky readers each a travel bag and Dramamine products like we received!

**The products for this review and giveaway were provided for free, however all opinions are 100% my own.

Exciting News for A Mom's Balancing Act ~ Meet Erin

Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, January 23, 2013

As many of you may have noticed, things have slowed down a bit around here. My kids are growing so fast and I'm soaking up every moment I get to spend with them. It's hard to believe that my oldest is already in school...and soon the other two will follow. How is that possible?! It hasn't been easy to balance the demands of being a wife, mommy and a blogger over the past 5 years, and as my family continues to grow it only becomes more difficult.  To continue bringing you the same great posts, product reviews and giveaways, I knew that I needed to add a blogger to share fun posts and product reviews with you as well!

That's when Erin came to mind! I met Erin through family and immediately recognized her love for writing. Not only that, but we had something else in common...she enjoys keeping an eye out for high quality baby/children's products that make life a little easier as a busy mom. In search for a blogger and product reviewer...I knew right away she would be the perfect fit here at A Mom's Balancing Act. I'm very excited to welcome her as a blogger here and for you all to get to know her a little better.

Meet Erin
I would like to introduce myself. My name is Erin. I’m twenty-six, I’ve been married to Man Of My Dreams (Jon) for two and a half years now and I have a one year old son, Cameron.
I’m originally from Washington State, but after I graduated college I bought a one-way ticket to the Central Coast of California and I’ve been quite a bit warmer ever since. I live in San Luis Obispo, CA which was named happiest city in America in 2012. Happiest city is quite a lot to live up to, but I will admit that I am pretty happy here.

My husband works full-time and goes to school full-time so we are learning to make the most of the time we do get together. I could say a lot here about why I love him and respect him so much, but I’ll save that for another day.

We can also be a bit of a weird bunch…

My son Cameron is a mover and a shaker. He’s already a rough and tumble boy who hams it up when a camera is pointed in his direction. I love his smile. I stay home with Cam and I watch a three year old boy a couple days a week as well. I wasn’t much of a “kid person” before having one, but now I’m discovering how much fun being a mom can be. Sometimes it’s crazy too, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I love to write. I love adventures. I love being outdoors and breaking a sweat. I feel most alive when I am organized and when I do spontaneous things. I like artsy stuff. I wish I knew how to sew.

I’m passionate about having a great marriage and family life. I believe it is the foundation for all other things.

You could easily describe me as a highly emotional person. I feel everything – the good and the bad. And I think a lot. This is perhaps my greatest strength and deepest pitfall all at the same time.

I’m excited to be here as a guest writer and product reviewer and I hope to get to know you more as well. If you wouldn’t mind, please leave a comment below introducing yourself. I’d love to know who you are and learn a little bit about your family life and why you read this blog.

Thanks for meeting me! I think this is the start to another great adventure…

Ivy Bridge College ~ $1,000 Tuition Discount Giveaway!

Posted by Jenna | Monday, January 21, 2013

I don't know about you, but January is usually a time for me to reflect on the previous year and areas I'd like to improve upon in the coming year. Whether it deals with parenting, exercising more, or something else...I, like many others, have have resolutions that I hope to stick to.

As moms we often put our families first, and their needs ahead of our own making it difficult sometimes to stick to personal goals and resolutions. That's why I love Ivy Bridge College and the fact that they know moms juggle it all. They have designed an online education that caters to busy schedules, making it a great option for moms with resolutions to further their education!

No matter what your academic background may be, Ivy Bridge's unique program allows stay at home or working moms the freedom to pursue an Associate's degree at their own pace, then transfer to one of their partner schools to complete a 4 year degree! Offering support services we busy moms need, such as free success coaching, academic advising, career advising, online classes, tutoring, etc...Ivy Bridge can be a successful tool in helping moms achieve their educational goals.
Another thing I was impressed with when learning more about Ivy Bridge as that an advanced educational with them is about 1/3 of what it can cost to attend other private universities. School can be so expensive these days, so it's great to hear when there is a more affordable option. Love this!

Since becoming a parent, I have not gone back to school but have thought about it to further my education more, especially when my kids are a little bit older. I do have a college degree and am happy to have that. Although I stay home with my kids, I am still able to have the option of substitute teaching or working if I needed to.

If I should ever go back to school to further my education, I will definitely consider Ivy Bridge after learning more about them. They seem like a great option for moms seek a college degree because their focus is on helping them succeed by offering great services, flexible schedules, and the ability to earn an associate's degree in as little as 17 months!

WIN IT: As part of the opportunity to share with you about Ivy Bridge College, I have been given teh chance to offer one VERY lucky A Mom's Balancing Act reader a $1,000 tuition discount on classes at Ivy Bridge College!!

To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment letting me know why you want to go back to school. "To be eligible for the $1,000 discount off tuition at Ivy Bridge College (IBC), the qualifying individuals will need to be degree seeking, enrolled in IBC a minimum of part-time, and new to IBC (specifically, not someone who has already applied to, enrolled in, or requested information from IBC). Classes at Ivy Bridge College Extension are not eligible for the discount. Limit one per person."

*I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Ivy Bridge College. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating and a discount on classes at Ivy Bridge College.”

Fridge Mate ~ A Must-Have Kitchen Storage Solution

Posted by Jenna | Friday, January 18, 2013

As our family grows I feel like my home becomes less and less organized. I would not consider myself a neat freak by any means, but I do like for things to be organized and easy to find. Moving into our home, we were thrilled with all of the closets and places to keep things. The only downside was our small kitchen. There are plenty of cabinets, but overall...I often feel like it still feels very cluttered. The fridge is probably our biggest challenge. With growing kids we find that we are needing more and more food, but how do we fit it all in the refrigerator? As hard as I've tried, it seems there is never enough room...especially with items like cakes, pies and casseroles that can't always be stacked and take up a lot of space. Always on the lookout for ways to stay better organized, we were introduced to a product...the solution I've been looking for!

The Fridge Mate is a kitchen storage product which helps solve a problem everyone has at some point...no room in the fridge! It isn't about Mega Storage, but about making the most of the space you already have. It's there to have an extra spot or two for something when you need it. Just learning that there was a product out there to help me keep my fridge more organized and make room for everything was very intriguing. And, when I saw this picture..I knew I had to try it out!

When the Fridge Mate arrived, I was impressed with the quality right away. It's smaller, but well-made and has held up great to our using it so far. I found it to be very easy to assemble which is something I appreciate. In no time I had it ready for my fridge. I rearranged some things and found that the size fit perfectly on one of my lower shelves...a shelf that two of my kids can reach too.
Since receiving it, I have been using it for several different things and appreciate how easy it is to arrange the shelves in ways that suit my ever-changing needs. We were still celebrating several family Christmas get-togethers when I began using it, and it came in handy for those baked goods and meals that needed a safe place in the fridge where something else won't get stacked on top of them.
We also often cool our kids' meals in the fridge if they're too hot and I love having somewhere to set their plates and bowls (rather than stacking them and having them balance on other things). It has really seemed to save space in the fridge and is something I wish I had had with all of my refrigerators in the past as well! It's a simple and great solution to making space in the fridge and getting things more organized.
I have definitely found that it's useful with having kids especially. I usually stack the things I need to get to on the top shelves and have the items they are often reaching for (fruit, cheeses, snacks, etc) on the bottom where it is easy to reach. We love it and would definitely recommend it to others!

Afterall, there are large platforms making it easy to store around...

..to stack...

..and to simply make better use of the space....all while using just 13" square of shelf space!

The Fridge Mate is going to make its "debut" at the International Housewares Association (IHA) show in Chicago in March! It will be released through Viatek Products, found here Viatekproducts.com. Fore more information about this product in the meantime, you can contact Glenn at gerckert@helpinghandproducts.com.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Is this something you could use in your fridge?!

**I received a product sample to facilitate my review, however all opinions are 100% my own.

Organize Your Purses, Scarves and More: Pursenal Butler Review

Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for ways to become better organized. With three little ones and the demands of daily life...I am still learning to balance it all. In the midst of our busy schedules, I find that our house becomes cluttered rather easily. That's why I try to find ways to make staying organized easier. For instance, the built-in locker/cubbies my hubby made for the kids this past summer. It is the perfect place for their jackets, shoes, school bags, etc. I have been telling him we need something like that for all of our things, especially when it comes to my accessories like scarves and purses!

Just as I began thinking how I could better organize my things, I was introduced to a great new product called the Pursenal Butler.

Pursenal Butler is a chic adjustable purse stand that organizes and holds up to 12 purses/100lbs! It is made out of wrought iron and steel and comes in 5 different colors!

Wow, why didn't I think of something like this?! Having a stylish piece that can sit out in a room (or even in a closet) and organize all of my purses...a must-have for any woman in my opinion! That's why I was thrilled when asked if I'd like to review one.

As I said, it is offered in a variety of great colors including: Brown, Silver, Pink, Black and Antique. Given the decor of our bedroom (which is where I wanted it to be), I decided to go with the Antique white color and am really happy I did!
When the Pursenal Butler arrived, I was really happy with the Antique color. It goes perfectly with our room and the decor in there. I also was immediately impressed with the high quality! Made of wrought iron and steel, it is very durable and something I can tell will hold up well.

I love that it's adjustable so you can have it at a height that works for you. I also appreciate that there are three different "arms" to hold several bags at once. It works great for holding my purses, but is definitely more than just a purse hook! It can easily be used to hang scarves, hats, or just about anything else! It keeps everything very well organized, germ free and off the floors, counters and other work spaces.

Whether I'm using it in the bedroom, mud room, or by the front doorway...at only 6 lbs it's easy to move when I need to.
Having used it, I can see why any home would benefit from having one. Not only that, but businesses too! Places like spas, salons, restaurants, offices and even restrooms would be great places for a Pursenal Butler in my opinion.

The Pursenal Butler has been great for storing, displaying and organizing purses, but it's also been a wonderful way to keep my purses off of the countertop too. Something I knew, but learned more about on the Pursenal Butler website are the following statistics:
  • 5% of purses tested positive for E-coli, Salmonella and bacteria that can cause hepatitis
  • 50% of purses tested positive for fecal contamination and coliform bacteria which indicates the presence of human or animal waste
  • 100% of purses tested positive for some form of germs/bacteria and some purses were saturated with tens of thousands of bacteria
  • Purses are becoming subways for the transfer of micro-organisms and germs from one location to another
I know how important it is to keep germs at bay to keep my family healthy (especially this time of year which is why I love solutions that this that make that easier since I don't have to keep my purses right on our kitchen counter anymore. Not only that, but it's just another reason why this product would be so useful in business settings as well!

I have been very happy with the Pursenal Butler. The quality is fantastic and it makes organizing my handbags and scarves easy! I would definitely recommend checking out their site at PursenalButler.com. Also be sure to connect with them on Facebook.

Buy It: You can purchase the Pursenal Butler for $69.99 at PursenalButler.com

*I was provided the product mentioned to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

Better communication with your kids ~ Guest Post

Posted by Jenna | Tuesday, January 08, 2013

When it comes to raising a family, communication is vital. You want to be able to share everything and talk about any issues that arise so that your relationship gets stronger.

But sometimes, it can be hard to know exactly how to communicate with your kids in an effective manner – they may refuse to talk to you, or it may just be difficult to understand where the other person is coming from. If you want to establish better communication with your kids, there is no magical remedy; however, there are a few things you can do to try and sow the seeds for better communication in your relationship.

Spend time together

Families that play together stay together – isn’t that how the saying goes? Regardless of what it is, the more time your family spends together, the more opportunity there is for your children to connect with you and the more chance they have to share any problems or concerns with you. Spending time with your children is vital to establish a better bond with them and connect with them; take walks together or play in the park together, and watch as the communication floodgates open.

Make it clear that you’re always there to talk to

Sometimes kids want to talk to you, but they’re scared you’re going to punish them or reprimand them for saying something bad. If you feel like your child is holding back information from you, it’s vital to tell them that they won’t be judged and you won’t stop loving them no matter what information they say to you. The more they trust that you will always love them, the easier it will be for them to communicate with you.

Honesty is definitely the best policy

Children hate being treated like children – they hate being told clich├ęs like “you’ll understand when you’re older” or “you’re just a child”. When you say this to your children, you immediately establish a barrier between you and your little one. Treat them like they’re your equal, and try to explain things as well as possible. Regardless of whether you’re moving houses or you are discussing child custody arrangements with your partner, it’s important to be transparent and open with your family. Be as honest as you possibly can be, and you’ll see your relationship grow.

Don’t invade their privacy

Kids – and especially teenagers – are incredibly protective of their own space. If you feel like something is going on, it’s better to let them tell you in their own time as opposed to snooping around their room or reading their diary to try and gain more information. If you’re incredibly worried about them, talk to their teacher or some of their friends, but don’t invade their personal space – they’ll feel like a certain level of trust has been breached, and they’ll be even more reluctant to share with you.

Tara Waters is a writer who is constantly striving to have a better relationship with her children. She loves them to bits and pieces and tries to spend every waking second with them

**This guest post was brought to you by Watts McCray who are family lawyers.

The Febreze Holiday Contest Winner

Posted by Jenna | Thursday, January 03, 2013

Have you 'liked' the Febreze Facebook Page? If so, you may have seen that on December 24th they announced the winner of their holiday contest, making one lucky family's dream come true! Watch Febreze Deliver The Holiday to a dad getting a surprise he'll never forget! It is very sweet! You can watch the video here as well as below. Make sure to visit the Facebook page and leave your response on the post too.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Febreze. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating

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