Archive for November, 2010

Real Mom Review: Whole Foods Classic Thanksgiving

November 30, 2010

I’m pretty sure my food is just now settling from last Thursday. How was your Thanksgiving? Our was literally the least stressful meal we have ever enjoyed. How is that possible? Two words: Whole Foods.

Our family had the opportunity to try Whole Foods’ Classic Thanksgiving dinner over the holiday, courtesy of Whole Foods! Yes, I am the luckiest East Sac Mom ever. So here’s what we got to sample: the roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing and pumpkin pie. I’m not ashamed to say we heated up the stuffing and ate some a day early because it looked that good. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

The pre-roasted turkey went into the oven (in the tin Whole Foods conveniently provided) and two hours later was ready to eat. That alone will make me order the Classic Thanksgiving from Whole Foods next year. No prepping, no digging for giblets in the cavity, no touching raw meat. No chance of screwing up the seasoning. I did have to carve the bird (there’s only so much I could expect Whole Foods to do for me) and it sliced easily and the meat was so moist!

 

 

I didn’t think “plain old mashed potatoes” could stand up when compared to the amazing stuffing we had already devoured. I was wrong. I don’t know what is in them but they were so incredibly flavorful and we could have almost eaten them without gravy. Um, almost. We might have if the gravy hadn’t been delicious enough to eat on its own. It was a little on the salty side, but isn’t gravy supposed to be? Lets get to dessert… wait, are you thinking I skipped over the cranberry sauce? Nope. I ate it for dessert. I make no apologies. I may or may not have eaten more (a lot more) than my share. Everyone else was happy to forgo cranberry sauce for Whole Foods’ pumpkin pie. I did steal a bite… or two… and then some more for breakfast the next day. Very smooth, deliciously pumpkiny (that’s a word, right?) and spicy but not too spicy.

 

I saved the best for last. The Classic Thanksgiving serves 8-10 and is under $100. I don’t think they could have made the meal any more worth it. The food was delicious, the preparation was minimal, and the whole experience was incredibly easy. I picked up the Classic Thanksgiving and it was all in a neatly packaged box and included clear instructions how to prepare everything (because apparently they know me that well). Whole Foods just does everything well. Start to finish, from customer service to excellent food, I had nothing but a positive experience.

So, start considering taking this route for your Christmas meal! There are so many prepared foods options and you can tailor your menu to your own tastes. HERE are some menu ideas and click HERE if you want to order your own meal! Why wait for Christmas?  Whole Foods’ prepared foods are amazing on any night. So there you have it. It’s no secret I heart Whole Foods. You should too!

Whole Foods is located at 4315 Arden Way and for more information click HERE or call 916.488.2800.

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Downtown Holiday Ice Rink

November 29, 2010

(Image found HERE)

This post is long overdue. Has everyone already visited the Downtown Holiday Ice Rink? This might just be the motivation I’ve needed to get my family out there. Here are the deets:

WHERE: St. Rose of Lima Park, 7th and K Streets

WHEN: Sunday through Thursday 12-8PM, Friday and Saturday 10AM–10PM (click HERE for special holiday hours) until January 17, 2011.

COST: General admission is $8 for a 1-hour 45 min skating session and $2 for skate rentals. Skating session start at every even hour. Kids 4 and younger skate *FREE*. Tuesday nights from 4-8PM is buy-one-get-one-free admission. Thursdays you can dress in costume according to the theme and skate for *FREE*.

PARKING: Parking validation is available at the Westfield Downtown Plaza. Garage entrances are located at 5th & J streets and 4th & L streets. Limited street parking is also available in proximity to the rink.

Not an avid ice skater? Lessons are also available! Click HERE for the schedule of lessons provided at the Downtown Holiday Ice Rink.

For more information click HERE. You can also follow the Downtown Partnership’s blog HERE.

We’ll see you there!

Do Something Good Tuesday

November 23, 2010

Today’s “Do Something Good” activity isn’t necessarily local, but it is quick and easy and is something everyone reading this post can do.

GiveBack.org was the creation of Steven Paletta through Oprah’s Big Give and is an easy way for people to organize, track, and maximize their charitable giving.

Here’s how it works: Create your own “foundation”. Pick a charity. Donate. It takes all of 5 minutes. You can use the same foundation to donate to any number of charities and at the end of the year you’ll get one statement for your taxes. Plain and simple: If a charity is registered as a non-profit with the IRS, then you can donate to it via GiveBack.org. 100% of the donation goes to the charity.

Sign up right now and get $5 automatically placed in your foundation account. You can add to that $5 or donate it immediately.

GiveBack.org also makes it easy to set aside money for charitable giving. Every time you shop through one of their merchant partners, a percentage of your purchase goes directly into your “foundation” account. And then you can donate that money to the charity or organization of your choice. Target is one the partners! So if you do your normal, everyday Target shopping through GiveBack.org, you’ll be raising money for your favorite charities without even changing your budget.

Week End Wrap Up

November 19, 2010

Happy Friday! I know the holidays have officially begun when I don’t even have time to write a Week End Wrap Up post. I apologize for my slacking, East Sac parents. At any rate, what are you and your families doing this weekend? We are getting a Christmas tree! I know, I know, it may be too early, but you’ve got to do it when you can. Here are some suggestions for your weekend…

Have you been to the holiday ice rink yet? That is next on our list. Enjoy your weekend and feel free to send us your reviews, pictures or ideas for more *FREE* family friendly fun in East Sacramento.

We’ll see you there!

Do Something Good Tuesday

November 9, 2010

Even though we don’t hear about the middle east in the news every day anymore, it is still important to remember that there are a lot of our soldiers still over there who will be spending the holidays away from their loved ones. In the midst of all your Christmas shopping and list-making, why not take some time to create care packages for a troops overseas?

Step 1: Choose an organization through which to send the care package and gather supplies.

Step 2: Package it up and don’t forget to include a personal note (even a drawing from your child!) I personally like THESE awesome stocking mailers. How fun would that be to get in the mail? Boxes and mailers are also available for *FREE* through the USPS.

Step 3: Get your care package in the mail by November 26 to ensure delivery by December 25.

Is sending a care package not feasible? You can easily send an email to the troops, or let your kids send one, by clicking HERE. An easy way to do something good today!

17th Annual Run to Feed the Hungry

November 8, 2010

WHAT: 10K timed run, 5K timed run, and 5K fun run/walk

WHEN: Thanksgiving morning – Thursday, November 25, 2010— rain or shine!

WHERE: The race starts just west of the entrance to the Sacramento State campus and runs through East Sacramento.

FEES: Adults: $35 Children (15 & under): $20 (includes a t-shirt)

This will be my toddler’s second Run to Feed the Hungry race and my third! This is such a great way to start off Thanksgiving, thinking of others in need. Support the Sacramento Food Bank, enjoy the company of family, friends and neighbors, and get some physical activity in before you spend the rest of the day eating.

To register, click HERE and for more information click HERE or call 916.313.7635.

We’ll see you there!

November Programs at the McKinley Library

November 4, 2010

TODAY 3:30-4:30 – Teens can learn to make adorable little creatures out of wool. Make ’em, swap ’em, give them as gifts. The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, November 18 3:30-4:30 – Your school-aged kids can immortalize the beauty of fallen leaves in projects such as greeting cards, gift tags, wrapping paper, and art projects. Celebrate the autumn season and get a jump-start on the holidays with these lovely keepsakes.

Support our local library and get the kids out of the house– it’s a win-win. Best of all? The programs are *FREE*.

The McKinley Library is located at 601 Alhambra Boulevard and for more information click HERE or call 916.264.2700.

We’ll see you there!

Halloween Candy Buy Back

November 3, 2010

Raise your hand if you still have more Halloween candy around the house than you know what to do with. (Now visualize that my hand is high up in the air.) Two local dentists are participating in the Halloween Buy Back program where they will actually buy your left over Halloween candy from you for $1 a pound and send it to troops over seas. How awesome is that?! You get to do something good, reduce the amount of sugar getting into your kids’ systems, and avoid the inevitable snacking that we all do (you know, after initially picking out all the good candy from the loot).

The two participating dentists in our area are…

Gary Krupa
2628 El Camino Avenue Suite C-10
Sacramento, CA 95821
916.481.4242

Jayson A. Chalmers
3315 Alta Arden Expressway Suite B
Sacramento, CA 95825
916.483.8182

For more information click HERE.

We’ll see you there!

Do Something Good Tuesday

November 2, 2010

How many pairs of shoes would you guess are in your closet? How many pairs have you not worn in the last year? I hesitate to answer those questions, and I am not even one of those people who necessarily has a shoe addiction collection. Don’t even get me started on how quickly my kiddo grows out of shoes either. As soon as I buy them and get them on his feet it seems like they are too small. If those scenarios sound at all familiar, Soles4Soules can offer some solutions– and you can make a difference all at the same time.

Soles4Souls is a shoe charity that recycles shoes for people in need. The picture above is of Haitian children receiving shoes from the organization, all thanks to generous donors.

Unfortunately, there are no participating drop off locations in East Sacramento, but you can still ship your donations directly to Soles4Soules. Are you a business owner? Or know someone who is? Why not get involved by volunteering to be a donation location for Soles4Soules? Click HERE for more information. Schools, clubs, organizations or churches can sign up to accept donations as well.

Donating shoes isn’t the only way to get involved. For a minimum (tax-deductible) donation of $10, you can give in honor of someone else. They will receive a gift announcement card indicating that you have made a donation in their name. Anyone else thinking that would make awesome Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers???

For more information about Soles4Souls, click HERE or call 866.521.SHOE.