Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mom's Kitchen Day Out at McDonald's with LiveMom

First, I have to thank Nicole at for posting about this opportunity.  Second, I think McDonald's for having this event.

I think I will do a separate post on the specifics and the notes that I took and I'll just give some of my overall impressions here....

I've never been a huge fan of McD's, we usually go to a certain chicken place....but I thought this would give me an opportunity to look at the healthier options on the menu, especially since I started Weight Watchers recently.  (I should have looked at the nutritional info before picking what I wanted to try....but I didn't do too badly.)

Eddie, Liam and I arrived at the Avery Ranch McDonald's this morning for a fun-filled and educational morning. I learned a lot about the healthy foods on the McDonald's menu.  Also, I learned about the people who run the area stores, their passion for their restaurants and the community they have their stores.  Most of them have been with the company for many years and worked their way up...even grew up working at McDonald's.

The boys were excited to play on the playground and meet Ronald McDonald....they actually didn't really know who he was, but I tried to explain before we arrived.  The organizers had some teachers, coloring pages and lunch for the kids, so they were occupied and involved while I had the opportunity to learn.  It was so nice to not have to worry (too much) about them.

Forgot to take a picture before I tried it!

Everyone that spoke with us had so much enthusiasm for McDonald's and their much so, that I am excited about these better choices that I can make when I take my boys to a fun local place to eat lunch or dinner.  (in fact, I went today & bought a fruit smoothie and fruit & walnut salad for my lunch)

See the awesome Asian Grilled Chicken Salad that I had!  It was so yummy and so big that I had to take it home and finish it later!!

I didn't try the fruit and walnut snack at our event, but did a couple of days was yummy too!!

We learned that these owner/operators within the Austin area give back a lot to their community and their employees.  They are starting forward thinking programs in order to take care of the well-being of their employees.

Here are some healthy options.
Don't know if they will have this
out in the store.
Something so neat to see was the kitchen!  I never worked fast food growing up (I worked retail), so I'm not sure what I expected.  I was impressed at the amount of internal food safety precautions they take.  These food cabinets hold the food on a timer and they throw things out after a set amount of time.  Even the fresh veggies to put on sandwiches are switched out every 2 hours.  McDonald's has changed from when I grew up and there were a ton a burgers waiting under the heat lamps, to where they make them when they are ordered...which means that it won't take any longer if you want to leave something off or add something to your meal.  We were even told that you can get an Egg McMuffin with egg whites and no cheese to make it healthier (they use real eggs for the Egg McMuffin).  When we went into the refrigerated area, they pointed out that everything they have are products that we can buy at the store (ex. lettuce/salads are fresh express).

Overall, I was impressed by McDonald's, the owner/operators and the healthy options offered.  (now, there are a lot of very bad options on the menu, including some high calorie and very high sodium you really should look at the nutritional facts on the back of the paper on the tray or online before you go!!)

(I haven't downloaded the if you are reading this before pictures...please come back to see the pictures later...just wanted to get this online tonight)

It's a wrap! #mcdonaldsaustin @livemom moms kitchen tour... on Twitpic

Monday, June 27, 2011


So, I wish I had the camera with flash this morning!  The boys experienced their first movie on the big screen.  I knew that I wanted to take Eddie to see Cars 2 when it came out, but thought I would have to find a sitter for Liam to take Eddie for him to enjoy.  Then, Judy, who we know from Kindermusik, sent me a message.  She said that one member of her mom's group was reserving a theater to watch Cars 2 with just their moms, kids and some friends.  We just had to buy snack packs for the kids and buy our own tickets.  It was a great way to watch the movie with our little ones and not worry that other people would stare at us if someone did not behave the best!  So, I figured I would bring Liam along!

First, I did not know about the booster thing for the little ones to be able to see and a closer drink holder for them!  Got one for each boy and so they could see over the seats!  They were both in their booster seats with snack pack on lap eating popcorn as the movie started.  It was so cute to see them staring at the huge screen and just eating.  They both had almost the same expression.

Liam did well for the first hour or a little's hard to ask a 2 year old to sit in a chair for a long time, so I was so happy with what I got out of him.  He started getting down, onto my lap, back up on his seat, then finally the last few minutes sitting in the aisle.  Over all, he wasn't horrible!  I would have been so embarrassed if we were there at any other time...but knowing this was a mom's group, even though I did not know all of the ladies, I wasn't too stressed!  Thanks to Judy for thinking of us for this showing!

The boys fell asleep on the ride home, so I didn't get to talk to Eddie about the movie until after he had a very long nap...let's see if he falls asleep tonight...

Anyway, to the actual, I was so surprised at the amount of talk of killing and seeing that some cars were killed.  They used that term.  I wish they would have used a different word....not sure that Eddie picked up on it.  I asked him a couple of times during the movie if he was scared and he answered no...although he had a scared look or a very intent look on his face.  He told me his favorite part was the racing....there was some, but not a ton of that.  I am glad that was his overall impression of the movie.  He remembered the racing over the shooting and killing.  I know there was a fight scene toward the end with a LOT of noise....Liam jumped in my lap.

Overall, I think it was a pretty good movie!  Now Eddie wants a Finn McMissile and Holly, new cars to get...argh!  Glad that most of the original cars were in this movie to....smaller roles but they were there.

Anyway, I know that when it comes out on DVD, we will most certainly be purchasing it.  I might have to send Eddie and Daddy to go see it again in the next few weeks.  I think Daddy will enjoy it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hutto Centennial PARADE

Yes.  I said PARADE.  I am now in charge of organizing a Centennial Parade for the city of Hutto.

First, let me start by saying that I am on the Hutto Historical Preservation Commission.  We formed the 1911 Foundation to raise money for historic preservation projects in the city and to put on the Hutto Centennial Celebration July 15-17.  There are many events scheduled for the weekend including a parade on Saturday morning.

(If you want to see what is going on, go to  There is an ice cream ice cream for first in the park on Friday night.  Saturday, there will be a hot air balloon launch, breakfast at that event, parade across town, then a big festival with crafts, carnival rides, music and a huge concert that evening in Fritz Park.  Tickets are $10 at Sarah's Texas Pantry, $12 online, or $15 at the gate.  Then Sunday there is a community church service.  There end to the plug for the event...although, I reserve the right to post again, especially about the bands at a later date!)

So, here is what happened....I was happy helping everyone else and not being in charge of's hard with a 4 & almost 2 year old and hubby with a very crazy schedule.  I was at a Centennial planning meeting and someone said they had too much on their plate and could not plan the parade.  What did I so, I volunteered to take it on....why?  Torture?  I felt bad I had not done all that much.

Little did I know why this person had given it much to do, she had really done nothing.  I had roughly 2 months to get this done.  OUCH!!

I was given a rather large parade permit packet to fill out and turn in to the city for the permit.  Let me say, I've been doing things for this almost every day...emails, phone calls....Plus, taking care of the boys.  I lost track of days and thought it was was one day and it was actually another....the packet was a day late...argh!  This means that it now has to go in front of the City Council to be approved.  Now I am trying to get approval from city departments, get entries, plan the route, get permission to use certain parking lots and the list goes on....

Needless to say, this is taking over my free time...which is difficult with a 4 and almost 2 year old.  In between all of the emails & phone calls, I'm still trying to go to boot camp M/W/F at 5:30 AM and walk/run on other mornings!  I lost some walking/running time due to sickness over the weekend...but I got 4.25 miles in this week...longest distance so far.

Anyway, back to the parade....we are 12 entries with the possibility of some Model A & T cars (who knows how many right now?).  Still trying to get a band or even part of a band!  We do have the Chick-fil-a cow!!

As I was writing this, I received an email....Spike from the RR Express with be in the parade!!!

It is starting to come together!!!  now I just have to have permission to use a parking lot for staging, get barricades reserved from public works & turn the permit application back in....hoping for tomorrow.  Then to a city council meeting for final approval.  Might be looking for someone to come watch the boys for me depending on which Thursday it is.

I have to finish a letter to be given to the residents along the parade route, then actually go up & down the street and give the letter to all residents.  Thanks to an awesome friend, Kendra, who offered to help me with this!!

Next, to figure out logistics...order of entries...sending out final emails with instructions....publicize the route so people will be there to see the parade....I will figure all that out in July (entries are due by June 30).

If you know of a group or are part of a group who would be interested in participating in the parade...send me an email to & I can send you information.  It's free to enter and a great way to publicize your group!  We are still looking for a band!!  Our theme is Hutto: Past, Present & Future!, but you don't have to be from Hutto to be in the parade!!  We would love to have you!

As a side note:  at some point in the next few weeks, I have to start planning and send out invites for a birthday party for Liam.  I have to figure out when to have it....his birthday is on the 20th and we leave the around the 31 for a trip....argh...very limited time with the centennial....forget about my birthday....I refuse to have it this year! ;)


So, I'm not the best at keeping up with this!  I think I need to set aside a time to write/type.  Need advise from other mommas who blog....when do you blog?  Set time?  when events occur?  I guess it all depends on what is happening!?  It's so hard to find a time for everything!

Also, what do I want to do with my blog??  Brag on my kiddos? inform the public/friends about events?  Blab about mommy stuff?  Tell about bargains I find?  What to do??

Then, I am so new to this technology, I need to figure out how to link this blog to FB, so I don't have to copy and past the URL into a post each time.  It doesn't say what the blog topic is, just the top of my page....maybe someone out there in cyper-land can give me a tutorial!

The main thing....I need to find a FOCUS!!!


I saw a post on FB recently for blogging moms from looking for those available to come to McDonald's on Tuesday, June 28 to try some food.  I sounds like a great experience and a way to get myself back into blogging!!

The event is Mom's Day Out Kitchen Tour!!!

Just got an email about it today.  Ronald McDonald will be there for the kids. Also, registered teachers to play with them and food for them!  Wow!  Now, we will see if Liam will detach himself from me for this...although, with Eddie there, it might be easier!

I get to try some of the healthy menu options, tour the kitchen and hear from some of the owner/operators and their commitment to healthy food options.

There will be a real fruit smoothie tasting ~ looking forward to that! =)

I will certainly be blogging and posting some pictures from that after the event!  So check back on Tuesday night or Wednesday to see what happened!!