HelloFresh Helps Spice Things Up in the Kitchen

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The Motherhood recently had the opportunity to work with HelloFresh, a meal delivery service that brings chef- and nutritionist-designed recipes and fresh, pre-measured ingredients to your doorstep each week.

We asked five stellar influencers to put the service to the test and create summertime meals that minimize time in the kitchen (each meal takes about 30 minutes to make) and maximize time spent socializing. Read on for highlights from their experiences.

Want to give HelloFresh a try? Enter promo code 40MTH at checkout or click on this link to get 40 percent off of your first delivery (new customers only; promotion ends 9/30/2015). Happy cooking!

Ashley, Surf and Sunshine: “I can’t think of anything better than a juicy pan-seared steak with a Spanish-inspired potato salad. The salad consists of crispy potatoes, briny olives, and crisp green beans. P.S. This was my family’s *favorite* dish. Luckily, HelloFresh sends their recipes on sturdy card stock so I can keep them to make again later.”

Ashley SNSAshley with Surf and Sunshine recommends pairing the Seared Steak and Crispy Potato Salad with Tomatoes, Green Beans, and Shallot Pan-Sauce meal with a medium red like Merlot or a medium-weight Australian Shiraz.

Kristin, Our Ordinary Life: “The one thing my husband enjoys is spending time in the kitchen. His cooking skills have gotten much better and he’s quite the chef. That’s why we find ourselves spending time making and preparing meals together. We recently had the chance to try out HelloFresh, a unique meal service that sends you everything you need to make three delicious meals right at home. Right away I liked that the HelloFresh meals were packed full of flavor and quite unique. Many of the dishes are ones I wouldn’t try myself so it was nice to get to explore new flavors.”

Kristin OOLKristin with Our Ordinary Life tried the Garlic Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa Verde and Spiced Honey-Butter Corn, and called the corn the “highlight” of the meal. 

Mariah, The Simple Parent: “As you know, when it comes to the kitchen, I love cooking and entertaining. But, I need it to be easy. So I have to admit that when I first opened up my HelloFresh recipes and got out all of the ingredients, I was a bit overwhelmed. I wasn’t sure I had the kitchen skills to make the amazing food that was promised in the recipe book. But, HelloFresh took me through each step and I’m pretty sure my family thought that I had gotten food from a restaurant! Nope, just Chef Mom! I had to admit that I was pretty proud.”

Mariah TSPThe Simple Parent’s Mariah whipped up Coconut & Macadamia-Crusted Tilapia with Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro-Lime Forbidden Rice.

Maureen, Wisconsin Mommy: “One of the things I love best about the HelloFresh meals is that they are all made from whole ingredients. There is no ‘adding the mix’ or anything like that. Any sauces or extras (like the awesome tomatillo and avocado salsa I made) are made from the ingredients in the box. The ingredients are all fresher than what you would even find in your local grocery store – must be because HelloFresh supports local businesses whenever possible.”

Maureen WM Maureen with Wisconsin Mommy shares her Instagram-worthy Peruvian Shrimp Ceviche Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Avocado (recipe here).

Melissa, Serendipity and Spice: “I love that there’s no searching for ingredients because they have EVERYTHING there [in the box]! If the recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, then there is a tiny bottle of balsamic vinegar in your baggie. If the recipe needs honey, then there’s a tiny jar of honey in the bag. HelloFresh makes sure that you have every ingredient and just the right amount so there’s no waste.”

 Melissa SNSMelissa with Serendipity and Spice recruited her little one to help stir up some delicious meals, including the Warm Spinach & Spicy Chorizo Salad with Blistered Tomatoes and Feta-Crusted Corn on the Cob.

If your appetite is whetted, remember that you can visit HelloFresh and enter promo code 40MTH at checkout or click on this link to get 40 percent off of your first delivery (new customers only; promotion ends 9/30/2015). Enjoy!

Featured image source: HelloFresh 

Blogger Spotlight Series: Lori, A Day in Motherhood

Second Chances Girl

When asked how she would use social media if she could make a difference in just one way, Lori said she would “make every mother feel like she had a friend who supports her, especially on her hardest day.”

And that’s just one of the many reasons we love Lori, who blogs at A Day in Motherhood, and we know you will too! Read on to learn what advice she gives new bloggers, how she likes to spend her summer and her dream dinner party guest. Give Lori a shout out at @LoMargie.

 

 

A Day in Motherhood

Check out the most recent blogger spotlights from The Motherhood here.

Blogust 2015 is Here!

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The Motherhood is excited to announce that Blogust 2015 kicks off today!

Blogust is a month-long social media relay involving more than 50 of North America’s most beloved online writers, photo and video bloggers and Shot@Life Champions. Also joining this year are Anne Geddes, one of the world’s most well-known photographers, and actress Jo Frost (SupernannyFamily Matters, Extreme Parental Guidance).

For the month of August, two to three bloggers will post each weekday. For every “like”, comment and social media share their posts receive during the month, Project Perpetual will donate one vaccine to a child around the world (up to 50,000 vaccines).

The Motherhood has had the great privilege of working with the UN Foundation and Shot@Life on Blogust every year since its inception in 2012.

To kick off #Blogust, the Shot@Life team will be hosting a Twitter party on August 3 (today!) from 1-2 p.m. ET. We would love to see you there – every tweet with #Blogust or @ShotAtLife during this hour equals one vaccine for a child around the world.

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Please visit Shot@Life every day to find the latest Blogust posts – and be sure to comment on, like and share them. Your actions matter. Together we will help 50,000 kids receive the vaccines they need the most.

Super Cute Crispy Treats: New Cookbook Sneak Peek

We have a guest post on the blog today, authored by Ashley Whipple over at Cute As A Fox. We’re so excited for her recent success in publishing a wonderful cookbook – congratulations and take it away, Ashley!

I am so thrilled to be posting on The Motherhood blog. The Motherhood is the very first blogger network I joined back in 2011. In fact, it was The Motherhood that helped ignite my love for food art, which set me on the path to publishing my first cookbook, Super Cute Crispy Treats. The book releases today, 7/28/15, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by sharing here on The Motherhood blog.

Super Cute Crispy Treats

As a mother and a food, craft, and party blogger, the amount of pressure I put on myself to throw the perfect birthday party can be intense. Frankly, it’s also excessive. I know that when my Type A takes over, I get stressed and sometimes the true purpose of the party is lost. Shouldn’t it be about celebrating and making lasting family memories? I have found the best way to tame the perfectionist mom-beast is to get the kids involved in all aspects of the party. Today I want to share my top 3 tips for planning a party with the kids, and not for the kids.

  1. Theme: Let them pick the theme. Give the kids some ownership right from the get-go. I think you’ll be surprised by how many fun details you can imagine for almost any theme. I once heard of someone throwing a Green Bay Packers My Little Pony party for their little girl. It was what she wanted and they made it work. Whether or not you let them have full control or rein it in a little is up to you. Half the fun is in planning the details.
  2. Decorations: Let the kids make the decorations. It may not end up looking like it came out of a magazine, but your kids are going to be so excited to show off the streamers they hung or the wall decorations they made. It’s also a great way to spend time together and make memories while you are making the decorations. You don’t have to leave all the decorations to the kids, either. Put them in charge of one area and you can take care of the rest.
  3. Food: I’m starting to feel like a broken record, but let the kids help with the food too. The food is my favorite part of a party. I am not a cake decorator, though. That’s one of the many reasons I wrote Super Cute Crispy Treats. It’s full of great treats ideas that would be perfect to make with the kids.

Let me show you what I mean. I’m sharing with you one of the 100 recipes in Super Cute Crispy Treats, Birthday Hat Treats. These are great for the kids to help make and they can definitely decorate them. These treats are so easy to customize to any party theme, just change up the treat colors and the decorations.

Birthday Hat Treats

Excerpted from Super Cute Crispy Treats by Ashley Whipple

Yield: 20 to 24 treats

Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level: Intermediate

3 tbsp margarine
1 10-ounce (280 g) bag mini marshmallows
6 cups (150 g) crisp rice cereal
8 ounces (225 g) white almond bark or candy melts
Sanding sugar, optional
24 Sixlets or gumballs
Jumbo quins

1 Melt margarine over low heat in a 5-quart or larger saucepan. Add marshmallows, and stir. Let marshmallows melt completely, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Pour in crisp rice cereal and stir until completely incorporated.

2 Coat your hands and a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Take some cereal mixture and form a cone shape approximately 2 inches (5 cm) high. Repeat until all of mixture has been used. Let cones cool completely.

3 Using a microwave-safe dish, heat almond bark in microwave in 30-second increments until completely melted, stirring between each heating. (I recommend using High power level for first heating and switching to 50 percent power for subsequent heatings.) Dip the bottom of a birthday hat in almond bark and gently shake off any excess. Immediately dip bottom of hat into sanding sugar (if using) to create a colorful rim. Place on a greased baking sheet until set. Repeat for all hats.

4 Press a candy ball on the top of each hat, using melted almond bark to adhere ball to treat. Add polka dots to hats by affixing jumbo quins with almond bark. Let almond bark harden. Store in an airtight container on countertop and serve within 24 hours.

BirthdayHatTreats

The Birthday Hat Treats are just one of 100 no-bake crispy treats that can be found in Super Cute Crispy Treats. Today’s the big launch day so you can head over and order your copy now. Thanks so much to The Motherhood for having me on the blog today!

Ashley Fox Whipple is the creator of the blog Cute As a Fox. Her recipe and craft creations have been featured on Parade, Rice Krispies Facebook page, Michaels.com, Food Gawker, Craft Gawker, Tastespotting, Edible Crafts on Craft Gossip, as well as many blogs.

Ashley lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and two children. You can find her standing under the nearest air conditioning vent sipping a Diet Coke.

Case Study: The Motherhood & the March of Dimes Reach 75 Million through imbornto Influencer Program

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Between April and June 2015, the March of Dimes engaged The Motherhood to raise awareness of imbornto® – the March of Dimes’ national cause marketing campaign that raises money for the organization’s vital research and programs that improve the lives of babies and families everywhere.

The Motherhood identified and engaged a team of 39 top social media moms – representing the number of weeks of a healthy full-term pregnancy – and 12 influential social media ​dads to become​ imbornto ambassadors for ​the three-month program. 

The campaign kicked off with a virtual briefing hosted by the March of Dimes and The Motherhood. The social media ambassadors heard directly from a March of Dimes senior executive about the organization’s history, the imbornto campaign and its partners, and ways to get involved. After the virtual presentation, the bloggers asked questions and shared their excitement for the program.

Following the briefing, The Motherhood hosted monthly Twitter parties for three months timed to the campaign’s launch, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. imbornto partners participated in the Twitter parties and shared information on their specially designed product offerings, all benefitting the March of Dimes.

In April and May, 20 mom influencers held intimate in-home gatherings to spread the word about the cause and the imbornto sponsor partnerships. At the events, friends and family received gift baskets from imbornto partners.

During the three-month blog tour, bloggers published information about the imbornto campaign, their role as #imbornto ambassadors, their in-home parties, partner promotions and the March of Dimes’ work. Campaign ambassadors also shared #ThrowbackThursday/#TBT photos on Thursdays throughout the campaign, celebrating what they and their own children were born to do.

In total, the program involved 51 bloggers, 20 in-home parties, three Twitter parties and a three-month blog and social media tour that garnered nearly 75 million blog and social media impressions.

 

Featured image source: Kayla, Kayla Aimee

How Balanced Are Your Meals?

JenniferMBTT

Did you know that the average American meets the U.S. Dietary Guidelines only seven days out of the entire year?* It’s a shocking statistic, and one that the Balance Your Plate initiative is hoping to change.

As part of that initiative, The Motherhood recently worked with California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) and a team of amazing moms to share simple, convenient ways to make nutritious, balanced meals using CPK frozen pizzas (yes, pizzas!).

Read on for their recipes, timesaving strategies and tips on incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into their meals!

AmyAmy, Grinning Cheek to Cheek

  • Amy with Grinning Cheek to Cheek paired her CPK Crispy Thin Crust Margherita with a friend’s Greek Barley Salad and raw sweet bell peppers.
  • A tip from Crystal, Simply Being Mommy: “Always check the serving size on the back of the box to ensure you are putting the proper portion size on your plate. A good rule of thumb is to fill half of your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables.”

AnneAnne, Upstate Ramblings

  • Anne with Upstate Ramblings whipped up a delicious Strawberry-Cranberry Salad to accompany her family’s CPK Crispy Thin Crust White pizza.
  • If your kids aren’t salad eaters, Jen at The Suburban Mom suggested including fruits and veggies they’ll happily eat. In her girls’ case, that’s tomatoes and peas!
  • Mariah, The Simple Parent, shared her easy tip for serving veggies to her kids without doing double the prep: “I throw together a quick salad for the adults and then I break out cut-up fruit and veggies for the kids! It’s easy and delicious! They love dipping so sometimes I had a bit of a dipping sauce and they are ready to eat!”
  • Brett from This Mama Loves shared her Raspberry Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing, which she drizzled on her salad of spinach, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries and walnuts.
  • Enza with Enza’s Bargains shared a fun idea of having an indoor picnic, where her family enjoyed pizza, salad, and some dried cranberries on the side!
  • Cherise with Mom and More showed how she fills half of her plate with fresh veggies to balance the two slices of CPK Hand-Tossed pizza.
  • Nicole with Mom Always Finds Out tried the BBQ Chopped Salad recipe from the back of her CPK Crispy Thin Crust BBQ Recipe Chicken box (you can find the salad recipe here, too: www.cpkfrozen.com).
  • If you’ve ever wondered if frozen is as good as fresh, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier, shared this information: “As freezing is nature’s ‘pause’ button, vegetables that are picked at their peak of freshness retain the nutrients that are often lost by the time fresh produce is consumed. Many frozen options are also lower in sodium, saturated fat and calories than quick-service meals and national chain restaurants.”

JenniferMBTTJennifer, My Boys and Their Toys

  • Jennifer, My Boys and Their Toys, shared a rainbow-colored fruit salad and helpful budget tips: “Plan ahead and write it down. Stick to your list when shopping. Reuse ingredients throughout the week to eliminate waste. Balance your plate with produce in season, and stock up on frozen produce as well.”

JenniferMomSpottedJennifer, MomSpotted

  • Jennifer with MomSpotted paired her CPK Crispy Thin Crust Margherita pizza with a gorgeous salad using fresh produce picked from her garden!
  • If you’re looking for balanced meal inspiration, head over to Life with Lisa, who shared some helpful meal plans like those from the Balance Your Plate site.
  • Did you know CPK has a line of gluten-free flavors? Mickey with A Helicopter Mom tried the gluten-free CPK Crispy Thin Crust Margherita, and shared an easy formula for pairing frozen with fresh for a balanced meal.

KendaKenda, Remaking June Cleaver

  • Kenda, Remaking June Cleaver, shared her recipe for Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette.
  • Ever had a frantic moment when you commit to making dinner for someone and it slips your mind that day? Mary with Giving Up on Perfect can relate! Read how CPK Frozen Pizza and a quick salad came to the rescue for her.
  • Mellisa, Mom Luck, paired her CPK Crispy Thin Crust Signature Pepperoni with a side salad and shares helpful tips on balancing her family’s plates.

*According to the NPD Group National Eating Trends Database

Summer of Social Media Trends: Live Video, Search & Explore and Project Lightning News

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While summer is a time for relaxation and vacations, new social media trends continue to crop up, and activity isn’t slowing down! In fact, people share 22 percent more frequently during the summer than in any other season. It has been a big summer in the social media world. Read about latest updates and trends in The Motherhood’s Social Media Round-Up below!

Meerkat’s cameo feature is bringing new ways to unite brands and influencers through real-time video. This feature allows a user to invite watchers to take over his or her live stream for up to 60 seconds, then notify his or her Twitter followers and Facebook friends about the cameo.

Meerkat Cameo

Source: The Next Web

This has huge potential to get influencers and their followers involved in real-time conversations with brands, and provides a new interactive alternative to Twitter parties.

Did you know that 63 percent of Facebook and Twitter users turn to social media to stay current on live events and hot-button issues, outside those related to friends and family? That number is sure to grow with Twitter’s fresh news feature, Project Lightning (name subject to change). The new service will allow anyone (Twitter users or not) to view a feed of tweets, images and videos about live events as they happen, curated by employees with “newsroom experience.”

project lightning

Source: BuzzFeed

Project Lightning will unlock never-before-reached potential for brands, too. Users will potentially be able to follow events without following other users, allowing brand tweets to be blended into several timelines and, more importantly, reach those who aren’t Twitter users.

Instagram is changing the way people use the app by allowing users to step out of their bubble and into trending topics and places. In late June, Instagram rolled out features including a new Search & Explore feature, which makes finding interesting and trending photos from all over the world easier.

“The new Explore now surfaces trends as they emerge in real-time, connecting you to events and conversations both near you and around the globe,” the company wrote on its blog.

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Source: Fast Company

Brands can capitalize on these new features, and the massive (100 percent) organic reach and high engagement of Instagram by getting involved with the latest trends.

Which of these features do you think are here to stay? Let us know in the comments!

The Motherhood Recognizes Nelson Mandela International Day — #MandelaDay

In honor of Nelson Mandela International Day tomorrow, July 18, we hope you’ll enjoy the below pictures and moving quotes The Motherhood Co-founder Cooper Munroe collected last month while visiting Mandela’s hometown of Soweto, a section of Johannesburg in South Africa.

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“Let your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

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“It always seems impossible until it is done.” – Nelson Mandela

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“Tread softly, breathe peacefully, laugh hysterically.” – Nelson Mandela

“Don’t judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela

Share your favorite Nelson Mandela quote today using the hashtag #MandelaDay! 

Dr Pepper Snapple Let’s Play: Bringing Playgrounds to Communities

Let's Play Build Day in Camden. Photo credit: Kristin Wilkinson, Keenly Kristin.

Let’s Play Build Day in Camden. Photo credit: Kristin Wilkinson, Keenly Kristin

With the invention of computers, video games and smartphones, the world has become a different place. The lure of screen time has changed the way kids play and decreased the amount of physical activity in their daily routines. Research shows that rather than playing outside, kids spend an average of seven hours each day on “entertainment media” (such as TV, computers and phones).

A Solution: Dr Pepper Snapple Let’s Play

The Motherhood is proud to be working with Dr Pepper Snapple Group on its Let’s Play initiative to provide kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority. Most recently, we’ve worked with bloggers to help publicize the program and build playgrounds in underserved communities in Camden, N.J., and Dallas, Texas.

Building Playgrounds

At Let’s Play Build Day in Camden on June 25, Kristin of Keenly Kristin was on hand to witness the excitement and positive energy of the Camden Children’s Garden construction zone. In a blog post she wrote afterward, she noted it would be the only playground in the city of Camden:

“No playground in Camden. Nowhere for kids to go, nowhere for them to engage in the most basic of childhood activities — play. KaBOOM! and Dr Pepper Snapple Group wanted to change that for the community, but especially for the kids. It would mean a lot, Gladis Zambrana said. ‘It means ‘the community’…it means the community cares. It means you’re wanted. It means ‘it’s mine.’ That’s what this means.’”

Kristin shared updates on the playground build in real time via social media that day, too:

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In Dallas, Jamie of Roubinek Reality did the same at La Academia de Estrellas. She reported in her blog post about Build Day, “Many of the students’ families at La Academia de Estrellas are of low socio-economic status, but they are an active and collaborative bunch who pull together to bring their children unique opportunities that provide a holistic education. That was proven in the sheer number of volunteers they had to help with the playground build day. Volunteers came from all over, including Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Walmart, school employees, and the surrounding community.”

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Dallas playground before and after

La Academia de Estrellas Playground Build Day – before and after. Photo credits: Jamie Roubinek of Roubinek Reality.

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Maintaining Momentum

The Motherhood will be working with bloggers in Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Little Rock, Ark., to build playgrounds in those areas through the rest of the year. Keep an eye out for blog and social media posts around this important Let’s Play initiative from Maureen of Wisconsin Mommy, Yolanda of Sassy Mama in LA and Heather of Heather’s Dish to follow the campaign and learn more.

July’s Twitter Parties

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We hope you’re enjoying your summer so far! Check out the details below for exciting Twitter parties you can add to your fun summer activities this month!

#SummerIsSocial

Tuesday, July 14 at 2 p.m.

Summer means it’s time for potlucks, pool parties and BBQs! It’s finally time to get outside with family and friends to share experiences, and of course, delicious meals together.

HelloFresh is a meal delivery service that delivers great chef- and nutritionist-designed recipes and fresh, pre-measured ingredients to your doorstep each week. Each of the meals is ready in about 30 minutes, so they’re perfect for weeknights and hectic summer schedules.

HelloFresh’s seasonal menus reflect the social nature of summer with ingredients that can be thrown on the grill, doubled to feed a potluck crowd, eaten with your fingers or easily held in your hands so you can spend more time catching up with friends and less time doing dishes.

Join this hour-long #SummerIsSocial Twitter party, where we’ll chat about getting social with great food, family and friends! We can’t wait to hear your favorite outdoor dining, grilling and cooking tips!

We’ll be giving away five prizes to randomly selected individuals who answer questions tweeted from @TMCHatHost correctly. Each prize includes a free week of HelloFresh deliveries (valued between $59 and $129, depending on box type and size). Prizes limited to U.S. participants only.

#TheStorkOTC

Thursday, July 16 at 1 p.m. ET

This month marks our third installment of #TheStorkOTC twitter chat series! Join us as we discuss how The Stork OTC is an affordable, at-home conception device that could assist LGBT couples in starting a family. During this 30-minute chat, you’ll also have a chance to win one of three $25 gift cards by answering some trivia questions.

For more information on The Stork OTC, please visit their website. This content is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician.

Starting a Family

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