Outdoor Toddler Fun with the Step2 Naturally Playful Woodland Climber Giveaway

I am very happy with the Step2 Naturally Playful Woodland Climber and think that it is the best outdoor toddler playset for us. It is one piece that for the time being all four of my younger children can play on at the same time and one that is the perfect size for smaller spaces (indoor and out). Even more so, it has true Step2 quality – tough stuff that can stand up to even my rowdy crew.

Step2 Naturally Playful Woodland Climber

This sturdy climber provides fun that stands out by blending in. It features natural colors and realistic textures that look great in any residential setting. Made in USA.

  • 27″(68.6 cm) high platform
  • Chute-like slide and ladder with realistic wood grain
  • Climbing foot holds which lead to 2nd floor on both sides
  • Rotating steering wheel with four seasons design
  • Bottom area can be filled with sand for added fun
  • Maximum weight 240 lbs. (108.9 kg)
  • Minimal adult assembly
  • Intended for family and domestic use only

BUY IT: Purchase the Naturally Playful Woodland Climber online from Step2 and in select stores where Step2 products are sold.


Step2 is sending one Mom to Bed by 8 reader a Naturally Playful Woodland Climber!

[Read more…]


It’s Free Flavor Friday!

Coffee Mate Free Flavor Friday 300x250 Banner


Nestlé Coffee-mate® is offering 40,000 FREE bottles of Nestle Coffee-mate creamers only for ONE DAY! Get your free bottle of Coffee-mate today, March 23, 2012, when you purchase one Nestle Coffee-mate creamer. This is perfect time to stock up on Coffee-mate at your local Walmart! Discover the variety of delicious flavors and choose between liquid creamer or powder creamer. What’s your favorite?


Bobble Bots Moshi Monsters Twitter Party

Bobble Bots Moshi Monsters Twitter Party

Date:                    Wednesday, March 28th

Time:                    8-9 p.m. EST

Location:              #BobbleBots

Host:                     @MomTalkRadio (Maria Bailey, Founder of MomSelect)

Join us for a fun introduction to Bobble Bots Moshi Monsters from Innovation First Labs, the company behind everyone’s favorite critters, HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures. Bobble BotsMoshi Monsters is an all-new buzzing, explorative and collectible line of bobble-head mini robotic pets and playsets based on the world of MoshiMonsters.com. The cute and cuddly, battery-operated Moshlings use patented HEXBUG Nano vibration technology to buzz around their unique configurable 3-D “dollhouse” replicas of the same streets, yards, buildings and houses found online in Moshi Monsters’ Monstro City.

If you’re a lucky winner, these cuties just might be bobblin’ their way to your home! Throughout the party, we’ll be giving away:

  • 5 Bobble Bots Moshi Monsters Starter Sets
    • Features one Moshling, one cobblestone building tile, four brick borders, three grass pieces, one small bush, one mushroom, one rock, and secret codes that unlock new content online at www.moshimonsters.com.
  • 1 GRAND prize of the full Bobble Bots Moshi Monsters world, including the starter set, stores and 10 additional Moshlings


Make sure you enter to win the pre-party prize – another Bobble Bots Moshi Monsters Start Set!

Enter to win by:

–          Clicking HERE to register

–          Tweeting the details of the party from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the day of the event

In addition to the hosts, be sure to follow @BobbleBots, @ResourcefulMom and@MomSelectAmy throughout the party for updates, prize information and contest details.


Hamburger: It’s What’s For Dinner! Article from The Feed Yard Foodie House!

Hamburger: It’s What’s For Dinner In The Feed Yard Foodie House!

I cook with hamburger at least three days a week.  It makes for a great combination because I can make it many different ways and it is priced reasonably.  The added bonus is that my girls love it which reduces the amount of “sit time” in those great padded chairs at the dining room table waiting while my favorite 1stgrader eats her dinner…

My favorite 1st grader eating “Harvest Skillet” (a hamburger casserole with vegetables)…You will notice that her daddy’s plate is already clean!

I want to share with all of you the nutritional break down of the different types of hamburger that you find at the grocery store, as well as some things that cattle producers (like me) are doing to constantly improve on food safety issues related to hamburger.

Hamburger comes in many different varieties in terms of lean content, and can be either primal cut specific (only taken out of one specific type of muscle cut) or lean ratio specific (taken from a blend of muscle cuts and formulated to a certain lean/fat ratio).  The type of hamburger that is one of the 29 Cuts Of Lean Beef endorsed by the American Heart Association is a 95% lean, 5% fat ratio.  A three ounce serving of that contributes about 140 calories and offers the following nutrient profile:

Zinc = 5.8 mg (39% daily value)                                   Niacin= 4.7 mg (23% dv)
Iron= 2.6 mg (14% daily value)                                   Selenium = 19 mcg (27% dv)
Protein= 22.3 grams (46% daily value)                      Total Fat= 5.4 grams (8% dv)
Vitamin B12= 2.1 mcg (35% dv)                   Saturated Fat= 2.4 grams (12% dv)
Vitamin B6= 0.3 mg (15% daily value)                       Cholesterol= 62 mg (21% dv)
Phosphorus= 169 mg (17% daily value)                     Calories = 148 (7% dv)

Hamburger can be made from many different muscle cuts—the three primary ones are the round, the sirloin and the chuck.  It is made from both whole muscle cuts and a blend of whole muscle cuts and trimmings (trimmings are what are left over after some whole muscle cuts have been made into other steaks and roasts).  All hamburger, just like all cuts of beef, is fabricated under the supervision of the USDA and its FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Service) to ensure that the beef is safe for human consumption.

My favorite Middle School student eating another one of our favorites—Meat Loaf made from hamburger and home canned tomatoes!

The safety of the beef that I produce is of paramount importance to me.  It is feeding my children as well as yours!  Cattle producers created a group known as the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo) more than fifteen years ago in order to collaboratively and effectively research and promote food safety issues related to beef.  The group uses scientific advancements to create best management practices for all segments of the beef chain (from the cow/calf rancher– to the feed yard– to the meat packing plant– to the butcher/grocery store or restaurateur…) in order to reduce food borne illnesses.  In other words, they work to make beef SAFE! I had the honor of speaking at the BISFCo Annual Summit a couple of years ago to explain the practices that I employ at my feed yard to do my part in ensuring that beef is safe—it was an amazing experience, and the teamwork and innovation that I saw at the meeting made me proud to be a part of such an amazing group of people.

A group of cattlemen at a Beef Quality Assurance training learning daily best management practices to ensure their animals make safe and healthy beef!

Each year the collective beef industry spends $350 million on testing, safety interventions, and strategies to protect beef from harmful bacteria.  We work hard, at all levels of the beef production chain, to make sure that the hamburger you purchase at the grocery store is safe and healthy.  Each one of you can help us in our quest to continually improve food safety in hamburger by cooking your burger to 160 degrees before feeding it to your family!

Meat Thermometer + Hamburger = A good combination to ensure food safety!

Ironically, the 2012 BIFSCo Annual Summit was last week—the same time that sensational popular media sources inaccurately disparaged a technological advancement which both improves our ability to maximize the amount of beef that can be harvested from each bovine while also improving the safety of the additional beef that is harvested.

This advancement allows a type of beef called Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB)to be garnered.  LFTB is a great source of lean beef that can then be blended into hamburger to increase the lean ratio.  These LFTB come from the trimmings of whole cuts of beef.  They are made from the beef that remains after larger cuts are trimmed down and divided into different steaks and roasts.  This process was the “brain child” of Eldon Roth who owns and operates a small, family owned meat fabrication and distribution company.  Roth (age 65) has dedicated his life to improving food safety through research and innovation.

My favorite gymnast is fueled by hamburger that includes LFTB…Hamburger with LFTB has the same nutritional profile as 90% lean beef (see above table).

Although the process of garnering LFTB has been in place since 2008 and the food safety process employed by Mr. Roth to ensure that harmful bacteria is not present in the meat has been used for more than 20 years in other types of food production, it has resurfaced recently in television shows and popular news media as a few individuals try to create sensational stories through inaccurate depictions.  I am going to take a couple of blog posts to describe Lean Finely Textured Beef so that you all can feel comfortable about the hamburger that you are purchasing.  I am excited to share that Dr. Russell Cross is going to take part as a “guest blogger”.  Dr. Cross, a previous Administrator for USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service, was involved in the approval of this process.  It is my desire to leave NO DOUBT in your minds that Lean Finely Textured Beef are safe and healthy to eat, and put some closure to the sensational term of Pink Slime…

Author ~ Anne Burkholder

Source – http://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/hamburger-its-whats-for-dinner-in-the-feed-yard-foodie-house/

This is part 2 of  series. Please also read http://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/looking-for-good-answers-to-hard-questions/ and http://www.blogher.com/hard-work-trust-and-faith.

For more information and answers to some of your questions, visit http://pinkslimeisamyth.com/, Meat Mythcrushers video on Pink SlimeQuestions and Answers About Pink Smile and Questions and Answers about Ammonium Hydroxide Use in Food Production



Questions & Answers about “pink slime”

Looking For Good Answers To Hard Questions…

This is a picture of little pieces of Lean Finely Textured Beef.

Many thanks to Dr. Cross for sharing his knowledge with us!

Currently, Dr. Cross is a professor at Texas A & M University but he served as the Administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in the early 1990’s at the time that LFTB was approved.  As administrator, Dr. Cross was personally responsible for ensuring that this process was studied in depth to ensure that it made safe and healthy food.  Dr. Cross is not just a scientist; he is a father, a grandfather and a caring individual who has dedicated his life to researching meat and food safety.  For an extensive biography on Dr. Cross, please click here: Dr. Cross’s Biography…

Q and A:

Anne: The words “pink slime” have recently been in the news. Can you please offer your thoughts on the term?

Dr. Cross: Well it’s ridiculous really. But what’s being inaccurately referred to as “pink slime” is actually “lean finely textured beef.” It’s a category of beef products that uses special equipment to separate the lean meat from the fat in the trimmings created when steaks and roasts are cut. This process yields another 10-12 pounds of lean, nutritious beef from every beef animal and it can be added to other ground beef products.

Anne: Why are we suddenly hearing about this now?

Dr. Cross: Folks today are rightfully interested in where their food comes from and what’s in it, but unfortunately, a few people in the public eye have grossly dramatized the process and tried to make it into something it’s not.

For almost two decades, lean finely textured beef has been an acceptable ingredient in ground beef and the ground beef purchased by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for distribution through federal food and nutrition assistance programs, which includes the national school lunch program. In my opinion, this is a great way to make sure as many people as possible have access to high-quality lean protein.

Anne: Can you explain the ammonia process that is used to make lean finely textured beef and why it is important?

Dr. Cross: Though the use of ammonia to make beef safer may sound strange, this process has been sensationalized and falsely communicated by the media—household cleaner is not used to make this product. The process is completely safe. The lean finely textured beef that has been separated from the fat receives a small puff of ammonium hydroxide gas (essentially ammonia and water), which slightly raises the pH level of the product, thereby destroying any bad bacteria. Ammonium hydroxide is a naturally occurring compound found in many foods, our own bodies and the environment. It is used to kill bacteria on many fresh foods, including fruits and vegetables, baked goods and even beer. The ammonia dissipates quickly so that there is no trace of ammonia left in the final product. This process has been used since 1974, when the Food and Drug Administration declared it GRAS or Generally Recognized as Safe, the highest safety attribution the agency can assign.

Anne: The media have suggested the approval of lean beef trimmings was rushed due to a personal agenda; do you think that was the case?

Dr. Cross: As Administrator of USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) in the early 90s, I and my staff evaluated numerous research projects before approving lean finely textured beef as a safe source of high-quality protein. No single person or agenda influenced the process, which took years…it wasn’t a decision that was made overnight. In the end, I actually was the one who approved lean finely textured beef as safe. I wasn’t ordered to do it; I did it because it was the right thing to do and it was scientifically proven safe. I cannot recall any objections from my fellow FSIS staff. In fact, I don’t recall the decision being controversial internally at all.

Anne: Given your experience, do you think we can we trust the FSIS process?

Dr. Cross: The FSIS safety review process was and is an in-depth, science-based process that spans years, many research projects and involves many experts across all levels of the agency—and in this case, the process proved lean beef trimmings are safe. This product has been safely used for many years.

I’ve visited the companies that produce lean finely textured beef and I can tell you that this valuable ingredient comes from some of the most high-tech, efficient and cleanest processing plants in our industry.

Anne: Why is this product so important?

Dr. Cross: Lean finely textured beef helps us meet consumer demand for safe, affordable and nutritious food. All beef is a good or excellent source of 10 essential nutrients including protein, iron, zinc and B-vitamins. I believe we have a responsibility to raise as much safe and nutritious protein with as few natural resources as possible and to make it available to as many people as possible.

Anne: Should lean beef trimmings be allowed in school lunch programs? 

Dr. Cross: There is no reason NOT to have it in the school lunch program—it is a safe, quality and nutritious ingredient and meets government regulations for safety. Our kids deserve access to high-quality lean protein like this, and sometimes for the kids served by the school lunch program, that meal is the only chance they get to fill their stomachs with healthy food.

Anne: Would you feed this to your family? Why do you feel good about it as a consumer?

Dr. Cross:  Listen, I enjoy ground beef. Spaghetti, tacos…but I have to admit the best is a juicy burger. I was part of approving lean finely textured beef for the food supply, I have total confidence in its safety and I continue to enjoy the same great ground beef meals I always have knowing this ingredient is an important part of making those meals I love.

Click here to watch a brief video with Dr. Cross addressing these same issues:


 I would very much like to thank Dr. Cross for taking the time to share with us.  I will conclude my series on hamburger next week.  If anyone has any additional thoughts or questions that you would like for me to address next week, please let me know via the Ask Me section at the top of the home page or write it in the comment section of this post.  If you are looking for additional information on LFTB please consult the following links:

Additional resources:


Meat MythCrusher Video on “Pink Slime”

International Food Information Council Fact Sheet on Ammonia Hydroxide in Food

Questions and Answers on “Pink Slime”

Author ~ Anne Burkholder

Source – http://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/looking-for-good-answers-to-hard-questions/

This is part 1 of  series. Please also read http://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/hamburger-its-whats-for-dinner-in-the-feed-yard-foodie-house/ and http://www.blogher.com/hard-work-trust-and-faith.