Momma Told Me

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Modernize Your Laundry Room With LG's TwinWash System At Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free
Growing up my family was what I'd consider early adopters in the home appliance and technology field. My father was hand building home PCs before I was even born, we had each new generation of home gaming system at my father's insistence, we'd make a monthly trip to the DAK store to invest in the greatest new kitchen gadget, and our living room television likely put off more heat than our actual central heating system.

So, when big names such as LG began breaking out into the home appliance scene a few years ago it was no surprise my father messaged me excited to show off his new LG fridge. I'll admit, I wasn't sure what to expect from a refrigerator bearing the same branding logo as my first cell phone, but I was blown away by all of the modern features seamlessly integrated through smart technology choices. I've since become less intimidated by technology in the home appliance space, and more-so envious.
As I build my dream home wish list, and work through upgrading our own home appliances one by one, the LG TwinWash system definitely caught my eye the last time I was wandering Best Buy's showroom. Not only do the LG TwinWash systems have top OR front loading washers paired with the choice of gas or electric dryers, their thoughtful innovation of a Sidekick Pedestal washer means I can be even more fluid in my day to day laundry needs. That blanket the potty-training puppy loves and had an accident on? It no longer has to wait for the next load of laundry, or be hand washed. Having a Sidekick washer means I can tackle small loads on the spot without the time, hassle, or waste of running a full load.

But the LG TwinWash system also tackles the BIG jobs, like bedding and Winter clothes, thanks to the full capacity wash system that can also run simultaneously with the Sidekick. Being about to choose between the two, or run both, really helps fuel the energy efficiency of these models, and the sleek interface design is just a cherry on top with the LG brand name.

Of course if you're looking for the full laundry room overhaul you'll definitely want to consider adding on the Styler Steam Clothing Care System, which helps keep your more delicate clothes looking their best, even when pressed (pun intended) on time.
Now through April 25th, 2018 when you shop for an LG TwinWash system at Best Buy you'll not only get amazing specialty service on the floor in store you'll save up to $500 off. Last year we brought our kitchen into the modern age- our laundry room is definitely on track to receive an overhaul with smart LG laundry solutions like the TwinWash system. I spend a legit chunk of my life hand cleaning small loads and delicate pieces the Pedestal Washer could easily tackle for me- so I can get back to the important things, like living life to it's fullest and making more dirty laundry memories!

Cat-Toe Shoes + The Importance Of Compromise In A Cat-Human Slave Relationship

Even when I make cat-toe flats and provide her with a real grass indoor lounge.
Momma Told Me: Compromise is key to any healthy relationship.

There comes a point in every cat-human slave relationship that you find yourself simply falling into a slump.  Wake up, feed cat. Scoop litter box. Pet cat. Slowly back away as cat makes it known they're done with you. Open window for cat. Pick up cat toys. Feed cat dinner. Scoop cat box. Attempt to pet cat again. Ignore rude feline slang and remind yourself they still love you. Go to bed. Wake up to cat on face. Do it all again.

It's no-one's fault, really. Light any long-term relationship it's bound to have it's ups and downs. But, unless your cat's making $1000's of dollars selling cereal on Instagram (yes, that's a thing) you might want to remind yourself who exactly wears the pants. Literally. Unless your cat is some sort of special pants wearing cat, in which case you're simply out of luck.
For a while, last year, Truffles and I had settled into an Eb and flow that was teetering on the edge of complacency. Our relationship was dull. I wanted nice, pretty, things, and all she wanted to do was lay around in the (dirty) sliding window track all day. She couldn't even be bothered to pull back the blinds before she smushed herself against the glass and drifted off for her afternoon naps. Neither of us seemed unhappy, but neither of us seemed particularly happy either.
So I decided to make some changes.

No long would I settle for our relationship consisting of little more than a routine. For example, if she wasn't going to get up off the floor and go buy her own groceries then she was at the very least going to help with the shopping decisions. There was some grumbling about 'angles' making her look fat, and data usage, but I at last got her to agree to Face Time on the phone during my visit to PetSmart. It turns out, much like the importance of good toilet paper to humans, cats have a lot to say about the litter they use.
Fresh Step at PetSmart
Truffles wanted a lower dust formula litter, while I wanted extreme clumping action that would make my human-slave duties much more tolerable each day. We'd been using Fresh Step cat litter for years, but never paid much attention to the new varieties and innovations with the brand. I guess you can just chalk it up too our slump. So, together, we decided to make the switch to a new lower dust Fresh Step with the Power of Febreze formula litter. Our compromise skills, however,were later put to the true test when I rolled past the PetSmart aisle with the toy mice. Turns out Truffles got some new toys, and I got a new pair of shoes.Preparing to make DIY kitty-toe flats.
Of course a plain pair of flats didn't quite make Truffles' fashion approval- they needed a but more pizazz. So I grabbed some painter's tape, a drop cloth, and acrylic paints and sat down to jazz up my new kicks a little.

My relationship efforts must have been paying off because Truffles immediately joined me, as soon as the box the shoes had arrived in was vacant.
I was excited my cat was taking interest in my hobbies, and immediately began explaining my project to her, but her eyes only offered a glazed expression. Baby steps, I told myself.

I took my painter's tape and blocked off an even section of the toe of each flat and gave it a good layer of black paint. I then carefully peeled back the tape and added two swooshes of 'ears'.
Either the scent of wet acrylic on leather was perking her up, or she'd hit the nip a little earlier in the day but Truffles then looked at me and meowed something I took to mean "Paint me like one of your French cats" and I felt myself immediately inspired. Since I also happen to like asymmetrical designed, I decided to paint one toe as Truffles, the tuxedo cat, and the other a mysterious black kitty.
D.I.Y Kitty-Toe Flats with painter's tape and acrylic paint. Insanely easy, riddiculously adorable!
This project was incredibly simple, and didn't really require any special materials or skills- I've since worn my snazzy new flats about town several times to many compliments. This look sure beats that 'gold toe' trend everyone was buzzing about last Spring! Of course a brand new Fresh Step litter variety wasn't quite equal to my new 'designer' kicks- so Truffles demanded we compromise a little more. A new piece of furniture was in order.
Since I knew how much Truffles longed to lounge in the warm grass on a sunny SoCal day, but so very much feared the sound of a car backfiring, or the bark of a stray dog, or the shadow of a fleeing mouse (she's kind of an agoraphobe, really) I decided to bring the outdoors in. For about $8 at the local hardware store I invested in a sturdy concrete mixing pan that just so happened to be the perfect size for a section of sod.

As it turns out you can walk into most major, and even private, hardware and nursery stores and order a section of fresh sod (grass) to pick up the same day. The smallest size, shown here, cost us $2.59, and is actually doubled onto itself in the tray. You can order your sod with or without the thick dirt base- we prefer with dirt because it just has that great spongy, Earthy, feel. Sod for this purpose is generally intended to be tossed at the end of it's life, rather than watered/maintained, and will stay green and plush for 5-7 days depending on your climate.

***Update: We have had sod beds last up to 10 days before they were starting to brown and dry. We do something like this about once a month as a treat whenever we pass by the sod farm but you can get set up on a delivery or pickup schedule for weekly/bi weekly sod if it's something you desire to do regularly. You can also install a 'living' sod bed much like an indoor plant and keep the grass thriving for months on end.
Make a grass lounge for your indoor cat with a cement mixing pan and a sheet of sod from your local hardware store. (Only $10 for the tray and sod, new sod costs about $2.50 in our area and lasts up to 5 days indoors.)
Now, let me tell you- I could have just had a Lay-Z-Boy recliner dropped off, that's how magical this lounger was for our relationship. What a difference a change of local can do for one's mindset! It was as though Truffles checked into the spa each afternoon and was the kitten I fell in love with all over again each night. After hours of recharging in the afternoon sun my cat would return to me a whole new feline, purring and begging for attention with nudges and cuddles.
Make a grass lounge for your indoor cat with a cement mixing pan and a sheet of sod from your local hardware store. (Only $10 for the tray and sod, new sod costs about $2.50 in our area and lasts up to 5 days indoors.)
We may not be completely out of our rut- After all, I'll always be the human slave, and she'll always be the cat, but things are running just a bit more amicably these days. Let's just say I'm still scooping the litter box, but at least she remembers to put Fresh Step Extreme with the Power of Febreze on the shopping list! Now, tell me, if you may Kitty-Toe Flats what type of cat would you feature on the front? Not a cat person? Tell me about your pet's favorite place to sleep in the house!

What Daughter Says: Happy cat, happy human-slave.

Banana Split Strawberries Recipe

Banana Split Strawberries
Momma Told Me: Taste the season.

When I was a young girl we'd overnight strawberries to my grandparents in Massachusetts. This might seem like a silly thing to do, but I've heard all too well the plight of over-priced, over-ripe, tiny strawberries on the East Coast. See, I grew up quite literally walking past the strawberry fields to school, and my little Southern California town is known as one of the strawberry capitals of the country. We even hold a massive strawberry festival each Spring. A life without fresh, ripe, dippable, bursting with flavor strawberries never occurred to me as I was painting my shirt, fingers, and face with strawberry juice as a child.
Banana Split Strawberries
I've had many tell me that my local strawberries are some of the best they've ever had. I suppose I take it for granted when I can walk to a stand several blocks from my house and pick up a fresh (picked that morning) flat for just $6. And for those not savvy with the market lingo- a flat is many many baskets- 8, to be exact. Yes, I know, you probably pay $5-6 for a pint even in season, if you live in a cold climate state.
So what does all this have to do with anything? Am I just rubbing my beautiful berry fortune in your face? Well, yes, and no. Strawberries simply are a staple here for most of the year. We don't have groves of fresh peaches, and the corn is often lacking, but every Spring and Summer we feast on the most beautiful, delicious, berries. And, with an entire flat on the kitchen counter, I come up with a lot of creative ways to serve and enjoy them.
In the Summer anything frozen is a hit- But I try not to keep ice cream on hand- or it'll get eaten and,  nobody needs that temptation around. Needless to say, my favorite, banana splits, are reserved for ice cream parlors and special occasions. That's where the genius of these banana split strawberries come in- a healthier version of a classic treat in a single portion, bite sized package. They're especially great frozen and thawed at room temperature for 5 minutes, or served fresh at a Summer party.
So this recipe, needless to say, is insanely simple, requires no baking, and can be made in about 30 minutes with some ingredients most people have on hand already. Since I'm watching my sugar, I even found a delicious sugar free pudding mix to use as the base for my pineapple banana filling- and it chills to the most wonderful texture, thanks to the artificial sweeteners.
Of course anybody can core out strawberries and fill them with deliciousness- who am I to judge if you just straight up nozzle some whipped cream in the center and call it done? The sentiment is still there- banana splits IN strawberries. And these pack an adorable punch at that. But I do have to say, the creamy, fluffy, pudding filling is the perfect companion to the crunch of the chocolate dipped shell and the gooey chocolate fudge.
Most recipes that require coring use a melon baller. Well, I don't own one, and most berries are going to be too small for one. I actually used a sturdy teaspoon measuring spoon to carefully carve out the center of my berries. It worked perfectly!  You'll also want to cut just the tip of the strawberries off to help them stand after being dipped. Be careful though, these will be top heavy when filled- when in doubt, cut a little extra off. The filling is thick and shouldn't leak or run through.
Banana Split StrawberriesWho doesn't love a chocolate dipped strawberry? Well, those who don't like strawberries I suppose- but then, you wouldn't be reading this, would you? Prepare your gorgeous strawberry split vessels by dipping them in a thinned chocolate solution. I like to use a little bit of coconut oil, rather than butter, to give my chocolate a quick melting, even consistency. The trick is to get the chocolate just thin enough to begin running down the sides when you place it on your resting tray.
A banana split isn't complete without all the trimmings, so you'll want to dip those chocolate dipped berries in some chopped nuts if you're a fan of the full split experience. Make sure you send your dipped, filled berries to the freezer for about 5 minutes to properly chill and set them before you move on the my favorite part- the hot fudge drizzle.
Banana Split Strawberries
Banana Split Strawberries
Hot fudge, sprinkles, and a cherry on top complete the split experience and make these quite literally a bite of banana split at your fingertips! Every time I see one of these beauties it makes me smile and reminds me of wonderful childhood memories scarfing down a sundae or split in my pajamas on a Friday night. Even better, I can enjoy 1 or 2 in a sitting without feeling all the guilt of a heavy ice cream treat!
Banana Split Strawberries
So that's what I've been nomming on in my kitchen- Is there a seasonal fruit or veggie you have local that you just can't get enough of in the Summer?

What Daughter Says: Strawberries mean Summer in my little hometown- and it just wouldn't be Summer without them!

Banana Split Strawberries
Banana Split Strawberries 
***Click here for a printable Banana Split Strawberries recipe

Grape-Chia Chicken Field of Greens Salad Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Welchs #WelchsChia #CollectiveBias
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
Momma Told Me: If you eat too much of that- you're gonna turn into it!

When I was about 4 or 5 years old my father's parents, who were big into holistic living in the form of acupuncture and herbal supplements, began carrying a large shaker of flaxseed to every meal. Because they lived on the opposite side of the country, and I only saw them fora  few days twice a year, it didn't seem out of place at first. Then, a few years later, the practice my father has laughed off as 'yet another holistic fad' not only had stuck around, but intensified. My grandparents sprinkled flaxseed on everything from their morning toast to an afternoon blended coffee beverage. As you can imagine, at the time, the young girl I was I fancied it a miracle seed, the way they regarded it's presence with such importance.
Chia Smoothie
Of course, now 30 years young myself I know there is no such thing as a magical food, or even magical ingredient. That true smart eating comes from a deliberate, and somewhat complicated balance of dietary composition that changes day to day with our busy lifestyles. This being said, there has been quite a lot of talk over the past couple of years about a group of 'Superfoods' which offer magnified nutritional benefits when incorporated into a well balanced daily diet. As someone who is 1.) notorious for eating like a bird and 2.) has cut most meat out of her diet unintentionally (I just tend to eat chicken or tofu or veggies these days) Chia has been a big part of my own personal Superfood movement.
#WelchsChia Spreads at Ralph's #Welchs (AD)
So you're probably thinking why would I want to put something that traditionally sprouts out of a ceramic head (anyone else remember Chia Pets?) in my food? A serving of Chia seeds may provide up to 20% of your daily dietary protein, while being packed with Omega 3 Fatty acid ALA (but not DHA) and also offer a unique texture twist to just about anything you might sprinkle them on, or put them in. I haven't quite reached the 'carrying a shaker full of Chia Seeds' stage, like my grandparents, but I have been using this ingredient in pretty much anything I can think of- mainly smoothies and atop salads as of lately.

Recently Welch's released their new Chia spreads range of NON-GMO, real sugar, spreads free of preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup. They're jars full of the real Welch's fruit flavor your love, and packed with over 700 chia seeds in every serving. You'll currently find them in the jelly and jam aisle of your favorite major grocery retailers. I found both the Strawberry and Concord Grape varieties at my local Southern California Ralph's. In fact, if you're lucky, for a limited time, you'll find a coupon on select bottles of Welch's Chia Concord Grape Spread at a store near you. It's the perfect reason to pick up a jar and try today's featured recipe!
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
I'm pretty used to using Chia as an ingredient in my day-to-day recipes- but most curious about this Superfood might not know where to begin. Welch's new Chia spreads offer a great way to experience the texture of Chia in a delicious natural fruit spread. I found that Welch’s Chia Concord Grape Fruit Spread is really versatile and easy to work with, thanks to the generous helping of real Chia seeds, which makes it bind beautifully as a baste for some freshly grilled chicken. In fact, I sear off 2 grilled chicken breasts, and baste each side in a thick layer of Welch’s Chia Concord Grape Fruit Spread, then send them directly to the oven on a cast iron skillet to finish reaching temperature.
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
While my chicken finishes cooking I use a few tablespoons of Welch’s Chia Concord Grape Fruit Spread to whip up a light vinaigrette with fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and Omega 3-DHA Canola Oil. The result is a fragrant fruit vinaigrette that tosses into a bowl of fresh greens for the perfect sweet-citrus flavor to bring this delicious salad to life.
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
When your chicken emerges from the oven it'll have a gorgeous cranberry color glaze that reminds me of Thanksgiving turkey. Don't be fooled, there's only a touch of sweetness from Welch’s Chia Concord Grape Fruit Spread's real sugar. In fact, most of the sugars in the spread bake off during the 2nd stage of cooking (in the oven) and this grilled chicken has a wonderful flavor that is light and addictive all at once. 2 large breasts, thinly sliced will provide us with 2-3 generously portioned meals for 2. And that's perfectly fine with me, because I wouldn't mind eating this salad every day of the week.
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
As amazing as the flavors are when combining the Grape-Chia grilled chicken and the Vinaigrette, there are a few other star ingredients I suggest to make a flawless salad. While it might seem logical to put actual grapes in your salad, don't. For an extra layer of texture and natural sweet-tart that will go far to bring out the delicious Welch’s flavor, thinly slice some sticks of Granny Smith Apple and allow them to soak in fresh lemon juice while preparing your ingredients. A slivered red onion will also help to balance the acidity of the plate, while crumbled goat's cheese will bring in a bitter creamy element that I especially love when chia seeds are present. To top it off- candied pecans make this one irresistible salad, great for any season.
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
Be sure to toss your greens in the prepared Grape-Chia Vinaigrette prior to building your plate- a little goes a long way and you really want that powerful vinaigrette flavor to interact with all of your ingredients! Nervous about how the chia seeds might impact your textural culinary experience? Don't be! You'll hardly notice they're there among all the other texture profiles in this dish!
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
As someone who reaches for Chia to incorporate into her meals on a day-to-day basis, Welch’s Chia Concord Grape Fruit Spread is a great way to take the mess out of a thousand tiny seeds and still enjoy the goodness that Chia has to offer. With 700+ seeds per serving, it likely is more than I'd organically put on or into my food in the first place, and it really offers a delicious flavor boost of natural grape that works wonders with smoothies, breakfast bowls, and even grilled chicken! Now, tell me, have you ever tried Chia seeds in a recipe? What might you do with Welch's new Chia spreads?

What Daughter Says: Balance is the biggest key to smart eating. There's no such thing as a magic ingredient, but smart ingredients can help make decisions easier.

Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad with Welch's Chia Concord Grape Vinaigrette- #Welchs #WelchsChia (AD)
Grape-Chia Grilled Chicken Field of Greens Salad