New Year, New Gain: What Will You Gain When You Lose

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Now that reality is settling in, it’s time to reflect and renew.  In 2011, I hope to expand horizons personally and on NKT, but more importantly, I plan to walk the walk.  What I mean by that is, I’ve been covering a lot of healthier food options for kids, but I’m going to work even harder on practicing what I preach. And from that, I hope to gain much more than I lose.


Yep. I hope to gain the confidence and self-control to follow through with healthier choices.  My problem is, I love to cook and bake, and well, I overindulge even when it’s healthy food.  So, self-control is the main goal for me this year.

In line with what I hope to gain this year, I’m excited to put on my reporter’s hat to help cover Special K‘s What Will You Gain When You Lose campaign.  Weight loss is a timely topic for my personal endeavors, as I’m sure it is for many of you.

Read More

Partying with Mattel’s Toy Story 3 Action Links

We’ve been talking a lot about food over here on NKT, but what we haven’t been talking about enough are toys.  Well, that’s because I’m doing things differently this holiday season, which I’ll explain in an upcoming post.

In the meantime, we recently gathered some friends together to indulge in the very cool Toy Story 3 Action Links from Mattel.  As huge fans of Toy Story 3, when I was invited to apply to host an Action Links party via MomSelect’s Mommyparties, I jumped at the chance.


Undoubtedly, Toy Story 3 has been the most talked about movie in our house this year, so naturally, this, too, would have been an exciting party to take on and share all about. So, when the giant box of toys arrived, you can imagine our excitement!

At our Toy Story Action Links party, we invited some of Jack’s fellow TS3 fans, all of whom are in the 3-4 age group.  We played off the TS3 theme and had hot dogs wrapped with Pillsbury Crescents on sticks, veggies, cupcakes and more.  Toy Story Action Links was a great reason to get friends and kids together for a fun afternoon.

I first learned about Action Links at Toy Fair earlier this year.  But because the movie wasn’t out yet and because the toys recreate key scenes from the story, I could only talk so much about this interesting concept.

When we first opened the Action Links sets, my husband and I were reminded of the Rube Goldberg concepts, much like that game, Mousetrap. Remember that?

Action Links embodied that same Rube Goldberg concept, where each interlinking set created a chain reaction, complete with Toy Story 3 figures.

Read More

You Say Tomato, I Say Yum

With the cold weather settling in, dinners at our house are usually hearty and wholesome.  I’m talking meat and potatoes, and sometimes tomatoes and other veggies too.

I know I’ve probably admitted this before, but I’m not a fan of hiding veggies.  While the sneaky route may work for many families, over here, I’m a big believer in doing what you can to expose the good stuff and see where it gets you.  Kids will surprise you.


Tomatoes are an ingredient I’ve found myself including in recipes lately, more often than not.  We all know there are healthy benefits to tomatoes, but specifically, they’re a great source of fiber, Vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene, not to mention they’re said to be good for your heart.

And in the height of sick season, I’ll take all the vitamin C and antioxidants we can get.

Read More

77kids Gives Back with Wish-4-Snow Charity Program

IMG_2072The holidays are in full swing, and it’s certainly the time for giving.  NKT fave, 77kids, is once again in the spotlight for their charitable initiatives.  The retailer announced that they plan to keep their “Do Good” momentum flowing by giving back through a charitable initiative twice a year, once in the summer and once during the holiday season.

The Motherhood invited the kid and I, along with several of my NYC/NJ blogger friends, back to 77kid’s NYC design studios a few weeks ago to discuss their current holiday charity.  The execs from 77kids shared a lot of great details about their holiday line, plus gave us a sneak peek of upcoming lines.  But more importantly, we were on hand to learn about what matters most about the holiday season: giving back.  77kids has kicked off their holiday season with their Wish-4-Snow charity program that benefits children’s hospitals.

A sampling of 77Kids' holiday lineIMG_2044

Want to know why I love working with 77kids?  It’s not just because I genuinely adore their kid’s clothes and their “Do Good” mantra, but also because they enlist bloggers to spread their word.  As Betsy Schumacher, chief merchandising officer of 77kids mentioned, their grassroots approach to marketing involves moms and word of mouth.  And to me, that accounts for a lot; reaching out to the key demographic who makes the buying decisions and involving bloggers in their social media campaigns speaks volumes.  But better yet, this company continues to underscore the importance of charity, and  I like that even more.

For 77kids’ Wish-4-Snow program, there’s a variety of easy ways you can get involved to make a big impact:

In stores

– Customers can donate 77 cents (or more) to benefit their local children’s hospital!

– Customers/kids will receive a snowflake to write their name and wish on, and then they can place the snowflake on the “blizzard wall” in the store for all to see!

– In addition to the snowflake, the customer will get a ‘you done good’ bumper sticker to take with them!



– Visit 77kids’ Wish-4-Snow microsite, featuring a fun “catch the snowflake” game and giving visitors the opportunity to design their own snowflake to help 77kids reach their children’s hospital donation goal!

– Help 77kids reach their goal to make a total of 100,000 snowflakes.

– If that goal is hit, 77kids will make an additional $25,000 donation to the children’s hospitals on top of the customer donations each store collects during the month!

– You can make as many snowflakes as you want – not just one! You’re asked to submit your contact information only after the first snowflake.

– Creating a snowflake makes you eligible to win a $77 gift card from 77kids (one gift card given away daily!) and enters you to win the ultimate grand prize: an awesome block party for you and 77 pals!!

Local benefiting hospitals include:

– Children’s Health and Wellness Center at Danbury Hospital

– Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

– Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

– Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper

– University Hospital (Cherry Hill/Philadelphia)

– Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital (Syracuse)

– WakeMed Children’s Hospital (Raleigh)

– Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (Hartford)

– Children’s Memorial Hospital (Chicago)

So, log on and help 77kids give back by making a snowflake or three!


And because it’s the season for giving, 77kids would like to give one NKT reader a $50 giftcard!  All you have to do is, you guessed it, make a snowflake! Do you know of someone that needs a warm coat or a new outfit?  Nominate them for the giveaway! ‘Tis the season.  After you make your snowflake, just leave a comment below.

Would you like extra entries?

Become a fan of 77kids on Facebook

Tweet about this giveaway and be sure to include @jenrab and @77kids

Become a fan of NKT

Please comment below for all entries.  This will giveaway will end at midnight on December 6, so enter away!  Winner will be chosen via and will be notified via email, so be sure to include a valid email address.  Good luck and have fun!

Full disclosure:  I am being compensated for my participation in this campaign, but as always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Tackling Oil Stains with Wisk

Laundry is a never-ending task for all of us.  Since we’ve been undergoing the longest apartment to house transition ever with our renovations, this Wisk project has been quite timely.

For the last and final installment for my Wisk Beta Blogger project, I went head-to-head with oil stains.  Oil stains go beyond the usual food-based stains like salad dressing and peanut butter.  These sort of stains also include mom-induced stains, namely those that might involve lip gloss, something that I’m more than familiar with.

Check out my video to see how Wisk’s Stain Spectrum technology handled this oil stain.

A big thank you to Wisk for allowing me to be part of the Wisk Beta Blogger program.  As a family that typically sticks with gentler detergents for the kid with sensitive skin, Wisk has taught me that I can tackle those annoying stains on household items like tablecloths and rugs, and even get out greasy stains on a nice blouse.  And of course, thanks to you for following along!

Full disclosure:  I was compensated for my participation in the Wisk Beta Blogger Program.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Thinking Outside the Business Box with PictureIt Postage

When I left my full-time job as an editor two years ago, I did it with the intention of building a freelance writing career to hone my passion.  It was a big step emotionally and financially, but professionally as well.  Most of my freelance ventures are hinged upon my blogging and social media efforts.  For me, like many of my blogging colleagues, it started out with a name that we’re continuing to build a brand around.  For some, it’s more orchestrated than others.  For others, it’s evolved much more organically.

For those who treat their blogs as a business, making connections, building relationships and carving out our own niches seems to be the name of the game in this blogging realm.  Most days, I have no idea what I’m doing; and like writer’s block, it can plague me for a while, and then, I’m inspired by those around me.  Like any small business, it’s all about figuring out what works, and doing it well.

When my friends at The Motherhood asked me to check out PictureIt Postage for business, the timing was so impeccable. Not only have I been plotting out my family’s holiday cards, but I’ve also been brainstorming my business holiday cards.

In the several years that I’ve been blogging so far, this year has most certainly been my most productive.  In the grand scheme of things, it might not mean much, but for me, I couldn’t be happier.  And most of that can be attributed to my blogging friends who have helped or collaborated with me along the way, but also for the pr pros, company executives who have helped me make my job come to fruition.

Picture 13


So what does this have to do with postage you’re wondering?  A lot, actually.  Like many bloggers and editors, I get packages and mail every day; however, it’s rare when I actually get “real” business correspondence.  I’m not talking about a printed information sheet that comes with a product sample.  I’m talking about a genuine, hand-written note from a company.  I’ve always been one for handwritten and personalized correspondence, and this holiday season is no exception.  Who doesn’t love receiving hand written, personalized note in their pile of bills and junk mail?

PictureIt Postage is a cool way to personalize postage: perfect for families seeking a fun way to mail letters, cards and packages, it’s also a great way to mail business letters, cards and other mailings.  I can’t think of a better way to say thank you or send holiday greetings to colleagues and completing the package with a branded logo or a fun graphic to complete the package. I actually have something fun in mind for a few holiday business mailings (I won’t ruin the surprise here, though.)

Read More

Tackling Carbohydrate Stains with Wisk

Just in time for football and tailgating season, we had the chance to test how Wisk did with carbohydrate stains.  Carbohydrate stains include condiments like ketchup that we love to slather on our burgers and dogs.

The kid and I made burgers for this experiment and to see how Wisk could tackle the carbohydrate stain, I let him wipe some ketchup on his white t-shirt.


Check out the vlog to see how Wisk handled the carbohydrate stain.



Not bad, right?  I’ll be honest, I was completely anxious about the ketchup on a white shirt, but seeing is believing.




Full disclosure: I am being compensated for my participation in the Wisk Beta Blogger campaign, but as always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Experimenting with Wisk

It’s time for our next installment of the Wisk Beta Blogger program. This time around, Wisk sent us a kit to conduct an experiment of our own which involved testing out the Stain Spectrum Technology firsthand.


With a lab coat, goggles and beaker in hand, the kid and I did a quick test to see how Wisk would handle a protein stain. Check after the jump to see how our video to see how our experiment went.

Read More

Wisk: Then and Now

Ring around the collar! *gasp*

Remember that catchphrase that the Wisk commercials made popular way back when?  Good times.

Times, how they’ve changed.  Thankfully, we haven’t had too many travesties involving ring around the collar (thank goodness for our dry cleaner.)  Stains, however,  yeah, we have our fair share of those.  While renovating this house, we’ve painted, sanded, shoveled, cleaned and polyurethaned endlessly.  And expectedly, we’ve got the stains to show for it.

Read More