Theresa's Mixed Nuts

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Why My Teen Rocks! #YoplaitGoBig

My teen daughter just started her senior year of high school, and I find myself constantly wondering where the time went. I am simply amazed at what an awesome kid she is, and admire her gung-ho approach to life. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed just looking at her daily schedule and can't believe how much she can accomplish in just one day. That girl is going to conquer the world some day. I was recently challenged by Yoplait Go Big to write an open letter to my daughter telling her how amazing she is, and I want to it with all of you today because she really is one of a kind! And, you know, because of mommy bragging rights and all that jazz.

Dear Mariah,

You know what? You are a pretty incredible teen! From the day you were born, you have been a constant joy in our lives. You have so many strengths, and the world is a better place because you are in it. You never cease to amaze us, so we want to share just a few things that we admire about you:

Your Adventurous Nature

You are always up for a challenge. Whether it's riding roller coasters, hiking through the mountains, or kayaking, you hardly ever turn down the chance to explore new things and experience new adventures.

Your Love of Family

You are a fabulous big sister! Even though there is a 5 year age gap between you and Allison, you have always treated her as an equal. I love that she can turn to you for advice and I know you will guide her in the right direction. You are always ready to step up to the plate and help her with her homework because, let's face it, mom and dad stink at math.

Your Work Ethic

Not only are you at the top of your class, all while taking advanced placement classes, you still find the time to volunteer and hold down a part time job. Seriously, how do you do it all? You can certainly run circles around us with all that you accomplish in a day, and we are so excited to see your future achievements! We love you and are so proud of the person you have become!

Mom and Dad


Tweens and Teens have a hunger for life, and new Yoplait Go Big is there to help fuel amazing things they do and to help them power through their day. The large grip and rip pouches are filled with delicious fruit yogurt that's bursting with flavor, and Mariah loves snacking on them with her lunch, as an after school snack, during homework, hanging out with her little sister, or any chance she can get!

Yoplait Go Big

Yoplait Go Big

Go Big is a great snack for tweens and teens because it contains:

• No artificial colors
• No high fructose corn syrup
• Contains real fruit
• Good source of calcium
• Gluten free
• Kosher dairy

Each multi-pack box contains 8 Go Big pouches, in two different flavor varieties: Strawberry/Mixed Berry and Peach Mango/Cherry. You can find them in the dairy case at most major retailers, except for Publix. We found ours at Martin's Supermarkets and Walmart.

Do you have a teen that you think is pretty amazing too? Go Big wants to spotlight their amazingness! For a chance to win the spotlight for your teen, head over to the Go Big Facebook Page and share how your teen inspires you. Go Big will select 3 teens with incredible stories and give them a platform to show the world! Nominees must be between 13-17 at the time of nomination. More information and contest rules can be found directly on the Go Big Facebook page.

How does your teen Go Big in their everyday life?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fall Breakfast: Warm Pears with Yogurt & Granola

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.

What is it about fall that makes food taste so darn good? I always mourn the end of summer, but all of the warm, delicious fall foods quickly squash (pun intended) that sadness. I'm usually big on dinner and dessert comfort foods in the autumn, but occasionally I treat myself in the morning to a hot cup of tea or cider and a warm muffin after I take the girls to school. Sometimes I'll go hog wild and actually break out a pan and cook myself something hot in the mornings too. It's not often that happens when I am only cooking for myself, but it is good to treat yourself every once in a while. 

Pears are starting to go on sale at the market now, and I thought since I found a 5 minute breakfast idea for Warm Pears with Yogurt and Granola on Golden Blossom Honey, I was going to kick off fall with a home cooked breakfast earlier this week. 

warm bartlett pears

Simple to make and packed with flavor, a girl could spoil herself starting off each day with a recipe like this. I did use the new Golden Blossom Raw Honey for an extra punch of nutrition to the recipe. If you want to add a little more fall pizazz, sprinkle a little cinnamon over the tops. Nom! 

1 tablespoon butter
4 Bartlett pears
1 cup plain yogurt
8 tablespoons of your favorite granola


warm bartlett pears

You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.

If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!

How do you treat yourself in the fall?


Monday, September 19, 2016

Next Stop: Canada's Wonderland

Continuing on with our Canadian vacation, as a family of theme park lovers, we HAD to stop at Canada's Wonderland. Sister park to our all time favorite theme park, Cedar Point, we were curious how the two would compare.

Canada's Wonderland

To get it knocked out of the way, first thing we decided to do was hit up one of their two main roller coasters, Leviathan. While it was a super fun ride, comparable to Cedar Point's Gatekeeper, it left Jason and I feeling a bit disappointed. After riding much bigger and thrilling coasters at Cedar Point, we figured if this was all they had to offer in way of coasters, we were done riding for the day. We decided to get the girls fast passes so they could ride all they wanted while we explored the rest of the park. If you want a fast pass, get it right when you first come in. We only found one kiosk selling them with one worker running two super long lines. We waited almost 30 minutes just to get them. I felt I needed a fast pass just to buy a fast pass. It was utterly ridiculous how long it took to get one.

They did have a wooden coaster and a few other rides like Cedar Point's Windseeker and Max Air (Psyclone), so the girls were thrilled to ride some old favorites.

Thankfully, the other attractions did make up for what they were lacking in rides. It was a bit hot the day we were visiting, so we found some relief in the theater where we were able to catch a free acrobatics show.

Canada's Wonderland Theater

 Additionally, they have another acrobatics and water show outside during different times of the day.

Another thing we found a little disappointing was their souvenirs. We stopped in every gift shop and it seemed they were hawking crummy superhero junk. We collect magnets from all of our adventures and not a single shop there had one that said Canada's Wonderland. Actually, they didn't have much in the way of souvenirs with their name on it. Just stupid comic book character items. For a company that's affiliated with The Peanuts characters, they didn't even offer much in that department either. Feeling a bit bummed, we left empty handed with no souvenir to take home. We did stop at one of their many eateries and drowned our sorrows in a delicious funnel cake, which perked our spirits back up.

Since they are part of the Cedar Fair family, The Peanuts theme is peppered throughout the park, just like at Cedar Point. We found their Planet Snoopy very comparable to Cedar Point's Camp Snoopy, but Canada's Wonderland won it for me when I saw they had a Great Pumpkin Patch ride!

Planet Snoopy Canada's Wonderland

Peanuts Gang Canada's Wonderland

The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

The Great Pumpkin Ride Canada's Wonderland

Seriously, for any Charlie Brown fan and Halloween junkie like me, this attraction is the bee's knees!

You can meet and greet with your favorite Peanuts characters in Planet Snoopy, per their designated time slots, or you can meet with Snoopy several times a day at the front of the park after he is finished conducting his water symphony.

Snoopy's Symphony Canada's Wonderland

The waterfall behind snoopy is where they put on a dive show. It's quite exciting to watch a team of divers jump off the edge into the water below! It's also a beautiful spot to stop for family photos as well.

Canada's Wonderland

If you are a theme park lover and are traveling through Canada, I'd recommend a stop. However, if you spent every summer at Cedar Point when you were growing up, you will find the park lacking where rides are concerned. There really is no comparison. Cedar Point blows Canada's Wonderland right out of the water. However, it was a nice way to spend the day, and the girls did get in their theme park fix before summer's end, so it wasn't a total bust.

Do you prefer rides or shows when visiting theme parks?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Taste of Fall with Autumn Wild Rice Salad

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.

Cool breezes, shorter days, chilly nights. Autumn is definitely on the horizon. Instead of loading up on fresh berries and other tasty fruits from the farmer's market, it's time to switch over to fall veggies. I really love making comfort foods when autumn rolls around. Squash, broccoli, potatoes... I don't think there are many fall foods that I don't like. They are so good in soups and stews, and also to eat as a stand alone side dish. Speaking of side dishes, I was perusing Golden Blossom Honey for some new fall favorite recipes and came across this Autumn Wild Rice Salad. After scrolling through the ingredient list, I knew it was going to quickly become a fall favorite.

There's such an explosion of fall favorite flavors wrapped up into this simple dish, you won't be sorry if you add it to your meal plan soon. Here's my tip for getting the most out of this dish. Make the salad several hours in advance and let the flavors marry together. Leaving it in the fridge overnight really yields the best flavor results. 

1 cup wild rice
1 cup celery, chopped
1 red apple, cored and diced, no need to peel
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup scallions, minced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.

If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!

 What are some of your favorite fall fruits and veggies?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday ~ CN Tower


We bought a Toronto City Pass voucher and the CN Tower was included in the tourist stops. It took us about an hour and a half to get to the top, but the girls enjoyed seeing Toronto from a birds eye view and laying on the glass floor, so the wait was worth it. The tower was really poorly lit, so don't plan to get good photos with a camera phone. I was kicking myself for not bringing my good camera because the views were spectacular. A storm was blowing in as soon as we got to the top and it was really pretty watching it fall down on the city below us. I'm glad it was included in the City Pass, otherwise we probably would have skipped this attraction. It's definitely a fun touristy thing to do in Toronto!

Do you like to view the city from skyscrapers or do you prefer to keep your feet on the ground?

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Have the Smart Talk with Your Child #TheSmartTalk #CG

It's not a surprise that we are living in an ever increasing connected world. When I was a child, connecting to my friends meant hopping on my bike and hoping someone would answer the door when I got there, picking up the phone and getting frustrated by the busy tone, or mailing a letter and waiting a week for a response. Nowadays, we connect with others at the speed of light, with just a touch of a button. As useful and cool as that is, as a mom I know that there are also dangers lurking in the digital world, just waiting to pounce on my children.

When we got Allison a smartphone for her 12th birthday, the phone also came with a strict set of rules. Who she could call and text, what social media channels she could use, and I was not only going to be friended on or following her accounts, but I was to have the passwords as well. We sat down and had a lengthy online safety talk, and thankfully, we haven't had many issues yet. For parents of tweens and teens, setting digital boundaries is a great way to ensure their safety in the online world. LifeLock is helping parents get the conversation started with their easy to use The Smart Talk tool.

The Smart Talk is a free online tool designed by The National PTA and LifeLock to help families set ground rules for technology use and have open, ongoing conversations about online safety and responsibility. With how quickly the digital world is moving, a child's safety and well-being can be compromised by their online behavior, and today's kids need to learn the rules of the road when it comes to navigating life online. Many parents can become overwhelmed or confused by the technology talk because they aren't even sure what topics to cover. The Smart Talk tool guides parents and children in an interactive experience, helping them explore and engage in conversation about online safety and privacy, screen time, apps and downloads, texting and calling, and social media respect.

Even though I went over my expectations of digital use with her last year, I feel it's always a good idea to revisit and update our policies every so often. I just sat down with Allison and we went through The Smart Talk together, discussing how she could manage her online time better, how she could be a little safer, and also letting her know that she can always come to us if she sees something online that makes her feel uncomfortable or experiences cyber-bullying. As we navigated through The Smart Talk tool, we were able to check off boxes on issues most important to us, striking up compromises that were agreeable to both parties. When we were finished, The Smart Talk tool organized everything into a handy little contract that we were able to print off and sign, that way we both fully understand and agree to the rules of her digital use.

As kids age and technology evolves, The Smart Talk can be revisited to help keep conversation flowing and digital policies updated. Empower your children to be smart and responsible digital citizens by visiting The Smart Talk to create your own contract today.

What are some key rules you use to ensure that your child is being responsible in the digital world?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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