MomTalk.com April 18, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Recently in: Newsletter

Green Living: Simple Steps for Busy People


People are finally realizing that the choices they make today directly impact the lives of future generations. Consumers are beginning to make decisions based on whether... Read more

Curb Overeating During Summer Months


The grill is, perhaps, the main reason why many people gain weight during the summer. It's not just the grilled ribs, steaks, hot dogs and burgers, either. It's th... Read more

The Lighter Side of Nature-Inspired Home Decor


If the words "nature-inspired decor" make you think of muted wall hues or overwrought floral fabrics, it's time to rethink your take on this hot design trend. Natu... Read more

More Articles in: Newsletter


Cell Phone Etiquette--Buy the Book, Get Tons of Free Gifts


Did you know that 61% of people in the world have cell phones? They probably have bad manners too (and don't even know it). Is there hope for us? Yes. Michelle Cimino, author of Cell Phone Etiquette, Observations from a Mom has a humorous way to show you how to save face while keeping in touch.
Be prepared because Michelle delivers her message in a funny, no-nonsense yet charming way. How many books could you say you've read that made you laugh out loud...about cell phones no less!
Michelle learned her lessons the hard way - she experienced them first hand. You might be thinking you already know everything there is to know about cell phone manners, but Michelle has a way of reminding us what's best without insulting our intelligence.
But wait--there's more! If you buy Cell Phone Etiquette today, you can select from over $4700 worth of free gifts and bonuses (including one from MomTalk). But that's only if you buy the book today.

What the reviewers say:
Cell Phone Etiquette is a great guide to teach kids the rules for proper cell phone use. Full of common sense principles and entertaining stories, it is a must read for all the teens you know. DR JOE RUBINO, CEO,Center For Personal Reinvention

Cell Phone Etiquette by Michelle Cimino is entertaining, witty and full fo tips on how to use technology to stay connected without sabotaging opportunities to connect fact-to-face. Well worth the read! IVAN MISNER, NY Times Bestselling Author & Founder of BNI and Referral Institute

Michelle's book has been extremely helpful to me as a Mom and also as a journalist. We have called on her time and time again for the morning show...she has terrific take home advice for parents who are sometimes not as up-to-date as we need to be on technology. Natalie Tysdal, KDVR/KWGN Fox 31 Television

... Continue reading Cell Phone Etiquette--Buy the Book, Get Tons of Free Gifts.

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Tips for Get-Up-and-Go Hair!


Hair That Looks and Feels Good in Just 10 Minutes

By Mary Jo McGinnity, Fantastic Sams

If you are like most women, you spend less than 20 minutes on your hair every day. According to a recent survey by Fantastic Sams of Minnesota, approximately 40 percent of Twin Cities' women spend less than 10 minutes on their hair each day and more than 50 percent spent between 10 to 20 minutes.

Fantastic looking hair doesn't have to be a time zapper. Following are some tips and shortcuts to help you transition from messy morning hair to gorgeous daytime hair in just minutes.

Don't wash your hair every day. It will save you precious time and keep your hair healthier if you don't wash your hair every day. When you do wash, you can reduce blow-dry time by investing in a super-absorbent towel and an ionically-charged hair dryer, which will also leave your hair looking smoother. Another simple solution is to just wash or rinse your bangs or the front portion of your hair and let that fresh section speak for the rest of your hair.
Get a professional blow-out. Getting your hair styled professionally can last up to five days depending on the hair type. Stylists are able to pump in volume or blow dry a sleek smooth look that will last you a few days rather than trying to do this yourself everyday and damaging your tresses. Get up and go hair is the quickest and easiest way to speed up your morning hair routine.
Try an up-do style or ponytail. Summer is the perfect time to pull your hair back. From a sleek ponytail (or popular pigtails) to a messy bun to an elegant headband, use your favorite accessory to pull your hair out of your face for an easy and sophisticated look. Side ponytails are also very popular this summer, by bringing all your hair into a ponytail on one side.
Use the right products. Not only can products help to hold your hair in style longer, the right products help to provide volume, smooth hair and add incredible shine while protecting hair from the sun and heat from styling tools. Consult with your stylist about the right products for your hair type and style.
Add texture. Temporary wave treatments, which gradually wash out with 20 shampoos, are a great way to add extra body and ease styling in the summer months. Perfect for a vacation or a special occasion (e.g., wedding, prom, graduation), these treatments add volume and shorten styling time--an important benefit during the busy summer months.
Condition and cut. A good conditioning treatment will keep your mane healthy in the summer and the right hair cut will make it easier to style. Talk to your stylist about the best cut for your hair type and how to keep it looking its best longer.

Mary Jo McGinnity is the regional director of education for Fantastic Sams of Minnesota. With more than 100 salons in Minnesota, Fantastic Sams offers affordable hair care for the entire family including cuts, color and texturizing services.

... Continue reading Tips for Get-Up-and-Go Hair!.

Pan-Broiling Steak: Beef 101


Pan-broiling on the stovetop is especially handy for quick and delicious steak dinners. Simply place the meat directly into a preheated nonstick skillet - that's it, nothing more! Keep the heat setting at medium to guarantee even browning.

The Featured Cut
"The flat iron steak originates from the chuck and is well-marbled and tender - holding its own against premier steaks from the rib and loin - and only surpassed in tenderness by the tenderloin at about half the cost," says Chef Dave Zino, executive director of the Culinary Center for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "Pan-broiling showcases this steak's extraordinary flavor. And it should be noted that the flat iron is an excellent source of protein, providing 21 grams per 3-ounce cooked serving."

Three Easy Steps
Step 1: Heat heavy, nonstick skillet 5 minutes over medium heat.
Step 2: Remove beef from refrigerator and sprinkle with preferred seasonings. Place in preheated skillet without overcrowding. Do not add oil or water and do not cover.
Step 3: Cook flat iron steak (about 8 ounces each) 13 to 15 minutes, turning once. To determine doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side, penetrating the thickest part or center of the steak. Allow 10 to 15 seconds for the thermometer to register the internal temperature. Steaks should be cooked to 145∞F (medium rare) or 160∞F (medium). After cooking, season with salt, as desired.

For more pan-broiling tips and recipes, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

Flat Iron Steak with Balsamic Pepper Sauce
Total Recipe Time: 30 minutes
Makes 4 servings

2 beef shoulder top blade (flat iron) steaks (about 8 ounces each)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef broth

Bring vinegar to a boil in small saucepan; reduce heat to medium. Cook 20 minutes or until vinegar is reduced to 1/4 cup.

Press 1/2 teaspoon pepper evenly onto beef steaks. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook steaks 13 to 15 minutes for medium rare (145∞F) to medium (160∞F) doneness, turning once. Remove to platter; keep warm.

Mix butter and flour in small bowl until smooth. Add reduced vinegar, broth and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper to same skillet. Gradually whisk in butter mixture until smooth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve steaks with sauce.

... Continue reading Pan-Broiling Steak: Beef 101.

Unearth a Summer of Savings at Minnesota Children's Museum!


Save $2 off general admission tickets to one of the Twin Cities' favorite family destinations. Soak up some sun on the Rooftop ArtPark and stay cool while you explore the Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog exhibit.

The return of the Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog™ exhibit has unleashed a summer of fun at the Museum!

Join us daily for Playtime with Clifford™ - a chance for your child to interact with their favorite big red dog in a variety of settings including Story Time and Big Fun! Get an up close look at real therapy dogs just as friendly as Clifford during the Friday morning animal program.

Also, don't miss our newest exhibit, Secrets of Circles. Explore the mysteries of one of the world's most common shapes through hands-on activities like using a computerized version of Etch-a-Sketch® to draw circles or operating a child-friendly lathe.

$2 off offer good redeemable online. Enter code: 130013004

... Continue reading Unearth a Summer of Savings at Minnesota Children's Museum!.

FrugalMoms Guide to Kid's Sports Equipment


by Angela Heidt

We all want our kids to be involved in sports activities, as we know that doing so will keep them healthy, happy, and out of trouble. The problem is that all this involvement costs money. Depending on the sport it can run you a few hundred dollars or more every year for the equipment for just one sport, let alone the two or three different activities that most kids want to get into. Even sports that are done through school usually require that you pay for the equipment.

The trick is finding a way to balance your child's sports and your budget. Luckily, there are many ways that you can save money buying sports equipment. If you really want new equipment then the best thing to do is to pick up next year's pads, helmets and footwear at the end of the season when they are on sale. Otherwise, there are many options for picking up second-hand gear:


When it's time to pick up new gear you can find a large variety of new and used sports equipment online. The downside is that due to the size of most sports equipment you may find the shipping costs negate any savings you get. However, if you can find sellers in your area you may be able to arrange to pick up the items instead of paying for shipping.


Many parents can get great deals on sports equipment by combing through local and online classified ads. Since sports seasons tend to be quite short, most equipment is in near new condition and can be picked up for half-price or less. You can even lessen the sting of buying equipment by putting your own items up for sale.

Sports Swaps

Many communities have embraced the concept of sports swaps, where you drop off your sports equipment for sale and pick up whatever you need, at great prices. If you don't live in a larger city that has sports swaps, see if there are any within a few hour drive. The savings will make it worth it.

Friends and Family

Odds are that somewhere within your circle of friends and family members there is a boy or girl who is a bit older than you kids and plays the same sports. See if they are willing to pass on their used sports equipment, for free or cheap.

Consignment Stores

There are many places that will take your used sports equipment and resell it on consignment, or even buy it outright. Likewise these shops are a great place to find bargains on any kind of sports equipment - from soccer to hockey and even a great set of golf clubs.

From sports equipment, bikes and even musical instruments there are many ways that you can get what you need without breaking the bank. With a little luck and some searching your kids can get into the sports and activities that they like, and you can relax knowing that they are staying active.

... Continue reading FrugalMoms Guide to Kid's Sports Equipment.

Welcome a New Member Into Your Family!


This article is presented by Auntie Ruth's Animal Care & Wellness Centers

Millions of pets in search of good homes fill shelters across our country. Old and young, abandonment doesn't discriminate. Now is the time to help save some lives, though. All it takes is a gentle hand and a little patience. The sun is shining outside and you can help bring it into the heart of an animal in need. Here's how...

Summer is here and there is no better time than now to bring a new animal friend into your life. So many truly wonderful cats and dogs can be found through our local rescue groups just waiting for you to fall in love with them. These aren't bad animals; they are the ones who have been forgotten and neglected. Often times young puppies end up in shelters as the result of backyard breeding or "oops" litters, which can easily be avoided by spaying and neutering. Time and again we see middle aged and older dogs who have been abandoned or surrendered by their families for various reasons including health, decreased activity levels, or incontinence issues. Homeless kitties fill shelters and foster homes across the state due to a lack of sterilization and a high frequency of abandonment as well. These are good pets who deserve a second (sometimes a third or fourth) chance at life.

When you weigh the pros and cons of adopting a new pet into your family it seems the pros will almost always win. Animals provide lifelong companionship to their human moms and dads. So many times all these animals want is a warm bed to sleep in and a full tummy, once you've provided that they will give you nothing back but their unconditional love - which usually comes in the form of sloppy kisses and a wagging tail.

One of the best reasons to adopt a pet is for your children. Studies have shown that exposure to animals beginning at a young age can be extremely beneficial to children's mental health. Pets teach children about responsibility and empathy, help to reduce stress, and encourage learning. They provide a safe, trusting friend for kids to talk to and share their feelings with. This can be especially helpful to a child with anxiety or social disorders as it creates the opportunity to practice communication skills without the fear of judgment. Another invaluable benefit of having your children spend time with animals is that they are encouraged to practice and learn nurturing skills. Depending on the age of your child you can assign them tasks ranging anywhere from changing the litter box, walking the dog, filling the water dish, or simply handing out treats for good behavior. Children who are given the chance to care for an animal from a young age gain experience that they will carry with them into adulthood.

Companion animals are not only a fantastic resource for children to develop their social and mental skills; they are good for adults too! Just petting an animal can reduce stress and lower blood pressure. They can also help keep people active through walks, playtime, and other daily activities. Many of these activities can be done by one family member, but they also provide an opportunity for the whole family to get involved which can strengthen the family bond by giving everyone the chance to help out. Taking the dog out for a nightly walk around the neighborhood can open the door for conversation with your kids and also encourages healthy habits rather than just sitting in front of the television.

If you're still on the fence and not quite sure if your family is ready to commit to adopting a new pet there is always the option of fostering. Many of our local rescue groups work as shelter-less entities; which mean that they are always in need of good homes to care for their animals until they are able to find a forever home. Fostering allows you to see how well your family does with a dog or cat while also providing a wonderful service to our community. A foster pet may stay in your home anywhere from days to months, depending on your level of commitment and how quickly they are able to find a home. Rescue groups will work with you to find an animal that fits well into your family dynamic. They provide payment for nearly all the care the pet requires, you are just there to give them a safe, loving environment to thrive in. Below you can find information on several local rescues and how to contact them about both fostering and adoption options.

Whether you are leaning towards adoption or fostering, taking an animal into your home is a lifelong commitment and something that should be carefully considered. Once you have decided that it is right for you the next step is to find the type of pet that suits your family best. When you begin your search for the perfect pet you will see how many sweet souls out there need a helping hand. Here is a list of websites and local non-profit groups with pets just waiting to meet you!

Petfinder - Petfinder is a wonderful resource for finding lots of local animals who are looking for homes. Petfinder includes listings from rescue groups all across the country but can be narrowed down to a local search. You can look for animals based on their breed, age, and size.

MN Humane Society - The MN Humane Society describes themselves as "a statewide education, advocacy, and rescue organization dedicated to protecting the lives and interests of Minnesota's animals." They are the oldest humane society in MN; founded in 1869! This wonderful group works tirelessly to get animals healthy and happy so they may find forever homes.

Animal Ark - As Minnesota's largest no kill animal welfare organization, Animal Ark strives to do as much as they can for all animals and understands that shelter pets are "missing the most important thing in their lives...a home and family of their own." To learn about the animals they help to save as well as all the other community work they do go to their website.

Blue Sky Rescue - Blue skies and green pastures are what every animal deserves and that's what Blue Sky Rescue strives to deliver. Started by one woman and with the help of foster homes, vet clinics, and countless volunteers they have been able to place many loving dogs into great homes just like yours. To learn more about Blue Sky check out their website.

Save-A-Bull Rescue - Save-A-Bull Rescue is a volunteer-based non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing of American Pit Bull Terriers and other Bull breeds. Their mission is to change the poor public image that has been unjustly thrust upon these dogs over the years. To find a special bully breed dog for your home look on their website.

Pet Haven Inc of MN - Pet Haven is a local group that has been around since 1952. They are run by volunteers who work very hard both to find good homes for cats and dogs and also to advocate on behalf of those animals. The group is filled with warm-hearted people who do everything they can to place good animals in good homes.

A Rotta Love Plus - This is another great group that works not only to rescue and re-home animals but also to educate the public on things such as dog safety and responsible ownership. A Rotta Love helps all breeds of dog but focuses their efforts primarily on rottweilers and bully breeds to reinforce the fact that these are good dogs who do not deserve the stigma that has been placed on their breeds.

Other great groups to look for:
Underdog Rescue
Gemini Rottweiler and Pitbull Rescue, Inc.
Retrieve A Golden of Minnesota, Inc.
Carver-Scott Humane Society
Happy Hound Rescue
Minnesota's Unwanted Siberian Husky Rescue
Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue
Red Lake Rosie's Rescue

... Continue reading Welcome a New Member Into Your Family!.