Mother of Pearls & an Emerald

Just another weblog

Watkins Sales for May April 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 1:13 pm

It’s that time again! I just received the Watkins sales for May. There are so many terrific things on sale this month, don’t miss out! Check out the “Monthly Sales” page above to see all of the products, but here are a few highlights and favorites of mine.

Perhaps the most popular Watkins product of all time, Original Double-Strength Vanilla, is offered at a significantly reduced price of $10.99 for the HUGE trial mark bottle. Stock up now, who know’s if it will be on sale again before the holidays!

With Watkins Rootbeer Extract, available only for a limited time, you can create some fantastic summertime recipes.

Homemade Root Beer/Root Beer Float

Start by making a concentrated root beer syrup:

1-3/4 cups sugar
2-1/4 cups water
2 tbsp Watkins Root Beer Extract

Root Beer Syrup: Combine sugar and water in small saucepan; heat and stir until mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature; add Root Beer Flavor and mix thoroughly. Place in well-sealed container and keep in refrigerator.

To make Root Beer: Place 1/3 cup of the syrup into a glass. Add 5 fl. oz. of club soda or sparkling water. Fill glass with ice. Enjoy!

For a Root Beer Float: Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a mug of root beer!

Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

2/3 cup Original Barbecue Sauce Concentrate
1-1/3 cups ketchup
2 tsp Root Beer Extract
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Allspice

Combine all ingredients; set aside half an hour to let flavors develop. Serve with barbecued ribs or grilled chicken or pork, brushing on during the last 10 minutes and saving the rest for use as a dipping sauce. Makes just over 2 cups.

If you’ve been wanting to try Watkins Grapeseed Oils, now is the time as they are each $.50 off. Also all of Watkins Gourmet Seasoning Blends are $.50 off. Choose from Chili, Fajita, Fish & Seafood, Meatloaf, Pizza & Salsa Seasoning for only $4.59 each. These gourmet herb and spice blends are the easiest way to add fabulous flavor to foods.

Get ready for impromptu summer entertaining by taking a look at all of these great items and more. If you have any questions about individual products, click the “Contact Me” page above! ~Your Watkins Lady


Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter is my absolute favorite Child Nutrition Book April 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 2:15 pm
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So, I was ecstatic to see on Amazon that she is releasing a new book shortly called, Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: Orchestrating and Enjoying the Family Meal. If it’s anything like her previous books, this will be well worth its weight in gold!

Her book, Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, just makes sense. It’s concisely written for us harried Moms in a very logical and encouraging manner. I truly felt empowered after reading it and was armed with some terrific tools to bring to the table so to speak! Her premise is so simple (aren’t most things that work). Feeding is a shared responsibility, not one of standing over the table pleading for “three more bites” or short order cooking like Mel’s Diner. “Parents are responsible for the what, when, and where of feeding”; children are responsible for the how much and whether of eating.” This helps to eliminate the veritable minefield the dinner table can become. Toddlerhood is all about control and this effectively ends those unnecessary battle of wills.

Some great ideas I took away are: serving meals family style and letting kids serve their own portions. In our society now of “Super Size It”, we’ve really lost the concept of portion control, and toddlers/preschoolers have the right instincts about how much they need nutritionally. We need to show more trust in that. She did a study tracking all the various bites & tiny portions kids eat, and averaging them out over say a week or so, they are in general getting the foods they need. The book refreshes for us parents just how small a child’s portion really is.

Overall, this book has helped us to create a much better family meal experience with the Pearls. And, while they’re not always the best eaters and prone go through various phases like all kids, we have much better habits as parents now, as a result of Ellyn Satter’s writing.

Lastly, an interesting parallel to her book was a topic we discussed at Weight Watchers last week. It was about how our new eating styles have affected those around us. Have our family members tried things they wouldn’t otherwise as a result of us? I had to say a resounding yes that the Pearls have been impacted in a good way as I now watch them enjoy hummus with carrots, edamame, and lots of other new foods we’ve been introducing on a regular basis. My hope is that they will grow up with healthy attitudes towards food and be successful in maintaining a healthy weight.


What Motherhood Means To Me – A Photo Contest April 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 2:47 pm

The lovely site, 5 Minutes For Mom, has just begun their Mother’s Day 2008 Giveaway! Over the next two weeks leading up to the big day, they’ll be holding giveaways in celebration of us Moms! To kick off the event, they are holding a Photo Contest for Moms to submit a photo of “What Motherhood Means To Me”. After I got our Canon Rebel XTI (my third baby/Pearl!), I have snapped literally thousands of photos of the Pearls. And with my ever-discerning Mommy goggles, I love them all! But, immediately, I thought of this image, that moved me so much when I first saw it. Technically, it’s not a good photo at all, blown highlights everywhere. But if you were to peer into our crazy household on any given day, you’d see why this one is so precious. Most days, the Pearls spar like warriors and I spend all my energy and sanity breaking up squabbles, handling tears & bruised egos, doling out time outs & then kisses, trying in vain to teach them how important our siblings are in life and to be good to each other. Mostly, it’s still lost on them. But, there are these tender, stolen moments of quiet, shared play every once in awhile that leave me filled with hope & feeling like “it’s all worth it”.


Back to Basics – Weight Watchers Garden Vegetable Soup April 22, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — motherofpearls @ 8:18 pm

I’ve really been floundering lately with Weight Watchers. I’ll make no excuses, (well, really, I have a million if you have the time!) Truthfully, I just haven’t worked the program like I should. Each week, I make a half-hearted attempt to recommit myself to it. I still haven’t figured out what my biggest roadblock is, more than likely the activity points. And I thought chasing two rambunctious preschoolers would alone render me a skinnier mom! You should see me chasing my youngest Pearl (all boy) Oh, and the journaling… My leader hinted that maybe I should think about trying Core. I’m too scared to let go of the Points. And I know while I strive to eat like Core, really, I am not all the way there yet.

One thing that worked well in the beginning and that I need to return to is relying on the basics. One is making the trusty, Zero Point Weight Watchers Garden Vegetable Soup recipe from the very first Getting Started book. It’s a simple recipe that tastes a million times better than any canned soup (sorry, Progresso and your sorry 0 point soups). The recipe freezes well so you can make a huge batch ahead of time.

Weight Watchers Garden Vegetable Soup

2/3 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves
3 cup broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable) or try any of the Watkins wonderful soup bases
1 1/2 cup diced green cabbage
1/2 cup green beans
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. Watkins dried basil
1/4 tsp. Watkins dried oregano
Any other Watkins seasonings to taste!
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup diced zucchini

1. In a large saucepan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, saute carrot, onion, and garlic over low heat until softened, about 5-8 minutes.

2. Add broth, cabbage, beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and salt; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered about 15 minutes or until beans are tender.

3. Stir in zucchini and heat 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Really, this is just a base for any number of additions. You can pretty much toss in any veggie that you have on hand and season it in any way that you’d like. But it’s terrific as is. Hence, less is more. Enjoy. Wish me luck.


Happy Earth Day! Go Green With Watkins!

Filed under: Green Living — motherofpearls @ 7:23 am
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Celebrate Earth Day by going Green with Watkins! By incorporating these simple steps in your daily routine, you can lessen your impact on the environment. At Watkins, we believe it should be easy to preserve Mother Earth while living a sustainable lifestyle.

Dispose of Caustic Cleaning Products!
The average family will spend $600 replacing their cleaning products this year alone. Why not replace them with Watkins Natural Home Care products, they are healthier for loved ones and the planet. And, with families replacing products every single week and using roughly 40 lbs. of cleaning agents a year, you can see how simply replacing harsh cleaners with environmentally friendly products could really make a positive impact on the earth!

Change the Way You Wash your Hands!
Clean up your hands without exposing yourself or family to harsh chemicals. The common ingredient in antibacterial soaps is Triclosan — believed to take the form of Dioxin when it mixes with plain old tap water. Not only that, this harsh chemical has been linked with drug resistant bacteria and weakened immune systems in humans. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control found there is no benefit to using antibacterial hand soaps over the old stand-by — soap and water. Watkins Natural Liquid Hand Soaps clean your hands — naturally — while they refresh your spirit with the scents of Lavender, Aloe & Green Tea, and Lemon. And they are Triclosan free!

Bag it!
Keep a tote bag in your vehicle for daily shopping stops. When you stop to purchase groceries and other goods, make sure you bring your tote in the store with you to carry them home. With over 36 billion plastic sacks being used in the U.S. alone, this one effort could save a lot of ozone depleting chemicals from being released into the atmosphere. If you find yourself without your tote, opt for a paper sack instead – this option has much less impact on the earth. Imagine the impact we all could make if most shoppers took this one simple step!

Laundry Day!
Pick one day of the week to do your laundry. This one simple decision will not only save you money on your utility bill, it will help conserve energy by taking advantage of residual heat from your dryer. You can further your eco-friendly actions by washing your clothes in cold water and use Watkins Lemon Liquid Laundry Concentrate Soap. Because it takes only 1 oz. per load, we are able to reduce the packaging to half the size of a standard 100 oz. bottle — less waste and less impact on the environment! Not only that, it doesn’t contain phosphates, like other laundry detergents, that can’t be removed from water sources with current waste water treatments and end up in fresh water areas.

All great tips from Watkins, what are you doing to celebrate Earth Day today? I’m trying to do all of the above with the exception of Laundry Day. I’m a one load a day girl, but it really makes perfect sense & is a pretty compelling reason to try. Someday. Sorry Mother Earth.


Kids in the Kitchen – Edible Playdough April 21, 2008

Filed under: Fun,Kids in the Kitchen,Recipes — motherofpearls @ 2:07 pm
Tags: ,

I recently came across the coolest book to add to my ever-growing collection, The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions, and found a ton of fun ideas to do with the Pearls. After seeing the John & Kate Plus 8 episode where Kate made the Edible Playdough, I decided, “Hey, if she can do it with 8 kids, I certainly can for my measly two!” Her recipe was slightly different as she used equal parts of Peanut Butter, Dry Milk & Honey. The Kid Concoctions recipe was as follows:

Peanutty Play Dough (Edible)

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
1/2 TBL honey

Combine all in bowl or in Ziploc bag and knead until mixture turns to dough. (Do not reuse or store this dough, however.) Use this dough to create a variety of edible sculptures. Use raisins or other assorted treats to add eyes, mouths and other features to your sculptures! I doubled this recipe for two Pearls.

So just like the show, I didn’t tell the kids that it was edible, but they quickly figured it out! I had to laugh when on the show they remarked, “the kids’ piles kept getting smaller and smaller…” Here’s a review in pictures, you can see how much it was enjoyed. Overall, I’d give it a positive review and we’ll make it again.


Having Trouble Getting Your 6-8 Glasses of Water a Day? April 17, 2008

Filed under: Products — motherofpearls @ 9:47 pm
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We all know the cornerstone of fitness and weight loss depends on drinking adequate water each day.  Weight Watchers recommends 6 glasses a day. Yet often at meetings, members share that this is a challenge, myself included.  Many times, you just want something other than water, especially if you’ve worked hard to kick a pop habit like mine.  But I’ve tried all of the low cal mix-ins & Crystal Light type products and had yet to find even one that I could live with!  Lemon slices cut it some of the time, but let’s face it, I love all things sweet!

So, recently I heard about Propel Fit Water from the makers of Gatorade and was intrigued.  Propel Fit Water is described as “a lightly flavored, low calorie vitamin enhanced water formulated to help hydrate and nourish the active body throughout the day.”  I love the taste of Gatorade, but not the calories, so I couldn’t was excite to try it.  Katie at Propel’s Ad Agency was so kind to send me samples!  She also shared with me the fact that Propel is a terrific choice for Weight Watchers members in meeting our hydration goals. I calculated the flavors that I received to be 0 WW Points per serving as well as per bottle.  Did you know that Vitamin Water, on the other hand, is 3 WW Points? There’s no way I’d waste 3 WW Points on a single beverage on a normal day (not including the occasional margarita or glass of wine of course!)

So, I sampled three flavors, Kiwi Strawberry, Grape and Lemon. Based on my past experiences above, I was completely unprepared for these to be so outstanding! Really! They have a very light, refreshing and true flavor. There was absolutely NO chemical flavor or bitter aftertaste as with my previous experiences. The Grape was my favorite by far. In fact, I just picked up a six-pack of it yesterday. I love Lemonade, so I enjoyed the Lemon a whole bunch! But the Kiwi Strawberry was actually sweeter than I’d prefer, imagine that.  They have a variety of other flavors that I can’t wait to try. They also have a new product line of Invigorating Water, that are “sensibly caffeinated”, because you know, sometimes Sleepy Moms just need the boost.

Now, if my very own product endorsement isn’t enough for you, you can click on the following link to view the new commercial for Propel Fit Water on Youtube. Or you can learn even more at

Once again, thanks Katie, for introducing me to Propel Fit Water. Let’s hope they can help “propel” my weight loss to the next level and over this plateau I’ve been on!