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Monday
Mar072011

American Express can help parents PASS on financial responsibility

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Make Good Spending Choices

My twins are still young but not too young to start learning about the value of money and responsible spending.

They already know that simply because they WANT something, is not reson enough to GET something...even if it doesn't cost much.

One tool I have discovered that can teach kids how to make good spending choices is the PASS card from American Express. This is a prepaid, reloadable credit card parents can give to their kids. It's a great way to start a conversation about spending versus saving. Parents control the money on the card and there is no risk of overdraft or of a negative impact to a teen's credit (or the parent's).

How PASS from AMEX works

I recently ordered a PASS card for the purposes of this review. It was fairly easy - create an account, link your bank account. Yes, for now you cannot load the card with a credit card - even an AMEX credit card. You must link it to your bank account BUT you decide how much is loaded on there and when it's loaded.

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The PASS card can help you start a discussion with your teen about allowance, contributing to the household chores, getting good grades, and more that can be rewarded using additional funds on the PASS card. Parents might want to test out their teen's budgeting skills and pre-load a semester's worth of money to cover books, lunch, and entertainment money. If the card is empty at the end of the semester, well a discussion an a lesson on budgeting is in order!

What will Teens think of the PASS card?

Well, since I'm not a teen and I don't have teens, I can only guess. BUT...I'd say they would love the packaging.

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AMEX makes the PASS card in a variety of colors and sends it in a very cool reusable box. I would also imagine that any teen is going to appreciate NOT having to ask mom and dad for $20 to go to a movie especially if they have an agreement with their parents already in place.

How do you start the money discussion with your kids? What do you think of giving a teenager a PASS card? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Janine

Disclosure: I received a monetary credit on my PASS card as a thank you for participating in the She Speaks campaign. All opinions expressed here are my own and this post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published.

Wednesday
Mar022011

Applegate Means Yummy Antibiotic-free, MSG-free Meat

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Remember last summer when I bought 1/10th of an organic, grass fed cow? My family is definitely a family of meat eaters and I like to buy meat that has no additives, no antibiotics, and no MSG.

But I can't fit any more meat in my freezer!

Good thing Applegate Farms approached me to review their deli meats and breakfast sausages because not only do the fit the bill, but I can buy them in much smaller quantities.

Here is what we sampled:

Applegate Roasted Chicken Breast
All-Pork Sliced Pepperoni
Classic Pork Breakfast Sausage
Savory Turkey Breakfast Sausage

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All of these contain

  • No antibiotics
  • No added nitrates or nitrites
  • No MSG
  • No artificial colors or flavors


Plus they are gluten-free and the sausages are ready-to-heat.

Here is what the family thought:

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The deli meats are a nice size...not too thick and not too thin. They were less salty thatn other brands of lunchmeat, with great flavor and resealable packaging. I notices the deli meats are available at Trader Joe's too which is convenient and they are priced competitively. The chicken breast was wonderful in sandwiches and salads while the pepperoni was delicious wrapped around a slice of provolone cheese and also homemade pizza.

The breakfast sausages gave the Twofer the big smiles though. I never buy sausage so these were a real treat and delicious. Plus, I can feel good about serving them because Applegate uses humane farming practices and feed the animals a 100% vegetarian diet without antibiotics.

Applegate Farms believes the flavor starts on the farm and I have to say I believe it now too! Twofer Thumbs Up for Applegate deli meats and breakfast sausages.

Janine

Disclosure: I received samples of Applegate deli meats and breakfast sausages at no cost for the purposes of a review. All opinions expresses are my own and this roost was neither approved nor reviewed prior to being published.

Friday
Feb252011

An Old Favorite: Win $25 Gift Card to Dunkin Donuts (Winner update)

3/15/11 UPDATE: Winner is Lynda! Congrats and thanks everyone for entering!

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I'm a New Englander so I love Dunkin Donuts. I crave Dunkin Donuts. I need Dunkin Donuts.

But even I didn't know all that Dunkin offers!

Now, I do and I'm going to share it with you and then give you a chance to win a $25 gift card so you can try it all!

Dunkin Donuts has eggs all day long

Recently I was part of a blogger meet up with Dunkin Donuts where I sampled some of the new egg sandwich offerings including the Big & Toasty (Texas Toast, peppered egg, and Canadian bacon, and cheese) which will come out in March.

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Plus lighter versions of a hot egg sandwich from the DD SMART menu made with eggwhites and served on a multigrain flatbread that have only 280 calories and 9 grams of fat!

Then I found out that Dunkin serves breakfast all day long!

Love that.

Blueberry gives new meaning to the term 'flavored' coffee

I got to try a whole host of fun coffee flavors including blueberry, coconut and toasted almond in addition to caramel, hazelnut and french vanilla. Besides just coffee, Dunkin Donuts has cappuccino and latte too.


Don't forget the donuts
Of course we also sampled donuts. LOTS of donuts

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My favorite was the sour cream donut. It's not necessarily pretty, but it's soft and creamy and soooo good.
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Win $25 Gift Card to Dunkin Donuts

I've got a $25 gift card for one lucky reader to use for coffee, donuts or egg sandwiches at Dunkin Donuts!

Want to win? You have 4 ways to enter (leave a separate comment for each)

1. Leave a comment telling me what you usually get at Dunkin Donuts

2. Subscribe to TwoferMom via email

3. If you are on Twitter post a link to this giveaway " I want to win the $25 Dunkin Donuts gift card from @Twincident http://bit.ly/gJSvYv "

4. Post a link to this giveaway on Facebook "I entered to win the $25 Dunkin Donuts gift card from TwoferMom.com http://bit.ly/gJSvYv "

Giveaway ends Friday March 11 at 11:59pm. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. Winner has 48 hours to respond before I choose another winner.

Good luck!

Janine

Disclosure: I received a $25 gift card to use and one to give away at no cost from Dunkin Donuts. All opinions are my own and this post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published.

Monday
Feb212011

Warm up with Jimmy Dean's D-Lights for Breakfasts 

WINNER update 3/8/11: Congratulations to Carol! Thanks everyone for entering.

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When it's cold out, I definitely prefer a nice warm breakfast. No wonder February is National Hot Breakfast month! I was recently approached to try a sample from the new Jimmy Dean D-Lights products. Here's what I thought and a chance to win your own!

Egg and Cheese Snob

I'm a connoisseur of sorts when it comes to egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. I like my eggs cooked hard (no runny stuff), the cheese just enough and melted but not dripping, and the bread to be a crunchy hard roll (or kaiser roll as some may call it). So I was pleasantly surprised as how much I enjoyed a microwaveable egg & cheese sandwich!

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D-Lights are Easy to Cook and Eat

I purchased two types of Jimmy Dean D-Light breakfast sandwiches and both were very good.
The Canadian Bacon on a Honey Wheat English muffin was very tasty. The egg whites were fluffy, the bacon didn't get rubbery, and the cheese melted perfectly. The Turkey Sausage Muffin was great too with a fluffy egg and tasty sausage that wasn't at all greasy.

I popped them in the microwave had enjoyed a delicious breakfast with 1/3 fewer calories than a regular one. Even The Twofer enjoyed them so this is going to be a nice breakfast option on those days I'm rushing to get out the door.

WIN Three FREE Jimmy Dean D-Lights

I've got 3 coupons for one lucky TwoferMom reader to sample 3 different Jimmy Dean D-Light hot breakfasts!

Here's how to enter:

Visit the Jimmy Dean website and leave a comment telling which D-Light you are most excited to try if you win.

Extra Entries (leave another comment for each and link to the unique URL)

  • Post a link to this giveaway on twitter and include me @twincident
  • Post a link to this giveaway on Facebook
  • Subscribe to TwoferMom via email

Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents 18 and over and ends Friday 3/4/11 at 11:59pm ET. Winner will be chosen randomly from among qualified entries and notified via email (so include your email in the comment form - you don't have to leave it in the actual comment).

What is your favorite hot breakfast in the mornings?

Janine

Disclosure: I received coupons for two free samples of Jimmy Dean D-Lights for my family to sample and 3 coupons to give away to a winner at no cost. All opinions are my own and this post was neither approved nor reviewed prior to being published.

Monday
Feb142011

Review: Hanging with Twitter Friends at Jaleo Tapas Bar in Bethesda

Jaleo Bethesda is a fun and tasty way to gather with friends. Next time, join us!

I still know how to hone in on a great happy hour.

Good thing I didn't have to hone too much recently.

Twitter friends Julia and Greg suggested a Tweetup at Jaleo and thus was formed the Totally Informal DC Tweetup. Somehow this all started around my birthday and some of my other twitter friends Amy, Jessica and Jodi were talking about how I was jipped on my birthday because the power went out and we should get together.

Or maybe I was doing all the talking whining <-- call a spade a spade.

Anyway, my name got tapped for this shindig so I hosted the RSVP on my blog (if you people clicked the ads more I might not have to do that, ahem) and somehow people started refering it as mine.

image via Julia's Yfrog and my fab necklace via @thebeadgirl

For the record, a tweetup is never mine. It's OURS.

I digress.

Jaleo was a gracious host for our Happy Hour Tweetup!

image via Jessica's Yfrog and food via Jaleo YUM!

First of all they gave us $4 tapas and $4 sangria!

Wait, everyone gets that?  Oh.  It's called Jaleo Hour and you can get it too.

Moving on, Chef Paul brought out some spectacular things that I won't even try to pronounce or type but I will kindly Link Here to AMusingFoodie's Blog so you can see all the photos and correct names and bring them to the restaurant so you know what to order.

And seriously - order the endive things, the potatoes with that special sauce, and the fritatta thing which is like a layerd egg and potato thing that's not really a fritatta.

Jaleo Bethesda Celebrates the BIG ten-oh! (10 year anniversary)

For the month of February Jaleo Bethesda is celebrating their 10 year anniversary with a special prix fixe menu of tapas and dessert for just $30! They also have a special cocktail but I never moved beyond the sangria so I can't vouch for it. The sangira though? YUM!

Thanks to everyone else who came!

PunditMom, Delora, CiaoMom, MikeSchaffer (sans his Awesome shirt) and his lovely wife (honey I hope you got enough to eat cause we were plowing through those plates).

I'll be celebrating my 40th birthday all month all year so there is still time to join us!

Janine

Disclosure: all opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for this post or for my visit to Jaleo. We paid our way and sometimes folks, the totally-informal-non-sponsored events rock. Also, I love my Twitter friends. That is all. Move along now. Nothing else to see here

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