Rockin Mama™ Motherhood, Giveaways and Product Reviews Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:59:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rockin Mama™ 32 32 111966601 5 Healthy Movie Night Recipes – Giveaway Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:00:08 +0000 Last week, my daughter and I were negotiating, as 9-year-olds do. Her request? A movie night with mom…and only mom. She warmed this mama’s heart, who knows all too well that the time is short, and very soon, she’ll be asking me to shuttle her and friends to the movies. I did not have the heart to ask her what I would do with her brother while we watched our chick flicks! This week, I’m heading to PMA Fresh Summit Conference and Expo with DelFrescoPure to share the latest from the brand including their certified pesticide-free strawberries and the latest in Hydroponic Growing. Plus, I’ve teamed up with OC Mom Blog to offer two people an AWESOME #FamilyFunNight giveaway!


DelFrescoPure Growing


Knowing where our family’s food comes from and how it is grown is important to me. I’ve spoken to local farmers, spent an extensive amount of time with the California Farm Water Coalition, and even visited a number of farms across Northern and Southern California in an effort to understand and raise awareness surrounding farming and agriculture.

DelFrescoPure is located in Ontario and specializes in greenhouse growing techniques passed down from their family tree for more than 60 years. The company’s innovation and technology make them a leader in hydroponics and the greenhouse industry.


PMA Fresh Summit Conference and Expo

More than 1,000 companies converge to showcase the latest products, services, and innovations at PMA Fresh Summit Conference and Expo. And during The Fresh Ideas Showcase, you’ll see some of the hottest new products on the market.

During the summit, I’ll be learning all about DelFrescoPure’s Living Cube, Hydroponics, and Yes!Berries, the first certified pesticide-free strawberries in North America.

Spirit Riding Free Movie Night

Healthy Family Movie Night Recipes

We are kicking off PMA Fresh Summit Conference and Expo with some healthy Family Movie Night Recipes, thanks to DelFrescoPure.

Heirloom Tomato and Provolone Toasts

Heirloom Tomato and Provolone Toasts

My kids love pizza, and our game night menu typically includes some variety that has been picked up or delivered. This recipe multigrain bread, heirloom tomatoes, and microgreens for a healthier take on pizza!

Eggplant Fries

Eggplant Fries

I have a little girl who has a serious love for french fries. Unfortunately, they are loaded with sodium and fat. These eggplant fries are baked as opposed to fried, while still offering that crunch that kids enjoy.

Hummus and Vegetable Cucumber Boats

Hummus and Vegetable Cucumber Boats

If you struggle to get your kids to eat vegetables, try these adorable vegetable boats. Portable and kid-friendly, they are perfect for snacking on during your favorite movie.

Strawberry Milkshake

Strawberry Milkshake

A “special drink” and a treat are typically movie night requests from my kids. This recipe features DelFrescoPure’s pesticide-free strawberries and no added sugar (apart from that contained in the ice cream).

Chocolate Strawberry Kabob

Chocolate Strawberry Kabobs

Speaking of treats, these Kabobs are super easy to make and kids love the combination of fresh strawberries and chocolate.

Family Fun Night Giveaway

#FamilyFunNight Giveaway

Enter to win a prize pack from DelFrescoPure® containing 5 board/card games and $150 gift card worth approximately $250 total.   

How to Enter

You may enter the sweepstakes in two ways: (1). uploading a photo to Instagram or twitter sharing what your family would do with a night off, share and tag the photo using #FamilyFunNight and follow Shelby Barone (@OCMomBlog) or Caryn Bailey (@RockinMama) and DelFrescoPure (@delfrescopure) on Twitter & Instagram; or (2). mailing a submission containing your name, address and telephone number to: ATTN: Del Fresco Sweepstakes, 1478 Seacliff Drive, Kingsville, Ontario, N9Y 2M2.

Mailed Submissions will be dated as submissions on the date they are received and will be discarded if received after the Sweepstakes End Date.   

No purchase is necessary to enter.  One entry per participant for the entire Sweepstakes Period.

The Sweepstakes is open only to legal permanent residents of: Canada, the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia (excluding, without limitation, Quebec, Puerto Rico, other U.S. territories and possessions, and where prohibited by law), who are 18 years of age or older or the age of majority in their place of residence.  Additional exclusions in Official Rules. 

How to Win

Two (2) winners will be selected at random by a drawing to be held on Oct 29th 2019, for a total of two (2) winners during the Sweepstakes Period.  One winner will be announced on Shelby Barone (@OCMoms) Social Media and the other will be announced on Caryn Baileys (@RockinMoms) All entries received during the Sweepstakes Period will remain eligible to win any drawing that occurs after the date of submission.   Winner is subject to eligibility requirements in official rules. 

Your odds of winning vary depending on the number of entries received.

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Farming in California – What it Takes To Feed a Nation Sat, 12 Oct 2019 19:00:06 +0000 The sun is setting over the Coachella Valley, and the desert warmth has long been replaced with the region’s evening chill. It is almost winter in Southern California, and in any other region of the country, it is unlikely that farmer Jeff Percy would be pulling fresh, ready-to-eat artichokes from the farm (peak season traditionally runs March through May). The business of agriculture is complex, and those who delve into it quickly realize that only the steadfast survive. My latest venture brought me back to the Imperial and Coachella Valley regions in Southern California, in partnership with California Farm Water Coalition. What I learned about the delicate balance between economics, conservation, and agriculture gave me a greater appreciation for the food we often take for granted.

Farmer Jeff Percy

Fresh Brussels Sprouts

Farming in California

It isn’t uncommon for us to frequent our local grocery store at least once or twice in any given week. We are a family that is passionate about fresh, clean, healthy eating, so produce comprises a significant portion of our grocery bill. I don’t even give it a second thought as I fill our cart with fresh broccoli, locally-grown tomatoes, California strawberries, and spinach. “Local” and “seasonal” are popular buzz words, and yet, without California’s vital agricultural industry, we would not have access to the amazing, diverse produce grown right here.

Broccoli Field


My perception of California has often been skewed by the drought and unseasonably warm temperatures we face deep into the Fall season. But interestingly enough, the soil in these valleys is pristine…perfect for growing an expansive array of diverse crops. In these regions, the dry summers and wet winters provide the perfect Mediterranean climate for crops to flourish.

Brussels Sprouts Fields

Fresh Broccoli

The Imperial and Coachella Valleys, along with other key regions in California, are home to more than 78,000 farms. These farms grow more than 400 crops, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dairy, and 14 of those crops can only be grown in California. As a state that supplies up to 50% of the nation’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts, one begins to understand the gravity of the drought and the challenges farmers face when balancing efficiency with productivity.

Farm Water

The Colorado River, The Salton Sea, and a Growing Environmental Concern

It all comes down to water. And without it, the produce we enjoy simply cannot grow. The combination of California’s premium soil, the region’s mediterranean climate, and proximity to the Colorado River make for pristine growing conditions. But the demand is high, as this vital natural resource supplies water for domestic, industrial, and agricultural usage. Coupled with the growing environmental concerns attributed to the Salton Sea, and you begin to understand that this delicate ecosystem is in turmoil.

Over one hundred years ago, the Salton Sea was created as a byproduct of a surplus of rainwater and snow melt from the Colorado River. The dams set up to contain the water in the Colorado River were overwhelmed, thereby forming what is now known as the Salton Sea. Located below sea level, on the San Andreas Fault, it is now the largest lake in California. But this body of water is more than just a congregating place for birds and other wildlife. The Salton Sea tempers the climate in the area, specifically during the winter.

Before the Salton Sea dried up, farmers in the area during the 1930s began to refill the sea with agricultural run-off, and today, this is the lake’s main source of water. The state’s worsening drought has resulted in evaporation and subsequent diminishing water levels. Thus, the salinity of the Salton Sea is increasing, posing a potential environmental crisis. Farmers challenged with responsible water usage can no longer feed the Salton Sea, and thus the dilemma grows as the lake continues to dry up.

How to Pick an Artichoke


What it Takes to be a Farmer

Albert Keck

It only took spending 5 minutes with Albert Keck, farmer and president of Hadley Farms, to glean a sense of his passion. Breaking into the agricultural industry at this point is nearly impossible, and most of the farmers in the region were born into it. In fact, more than 95% of California’s farms are family-owned. Land is highly coveted, and coupled with the fact that most crops take years to grow and realize maturity, you can understand why many do not make it. One date tree alone takes 5 years to grow and up to 12 years to see mature fruit. Combine that with the seasonal cycle of production, and it becomes evident that it takes dedication, commitment, expertise, and patience to be a farmer.



Farmers wear many hats, not the least of which includes understanding economics, supply and demand, conservation, and the intricacies of each crop grown. Add in the unpredictables like weather and damage from pests, and you begin to get a sense of how fragile this industry can be.

Imperial Valley Farm


Responsibility and Water Usage

Farmers are bound by the legalities of responsible water usage according to state laws. The water used by farmers is measured, and waste is monitored to protect our state’s vital resource. Because water is so scarce in the region, farmers are always looking at new ways to grow crops responsibly.

Irrigation is the standard of agricultural water usage in this region. The use of various types of irrigation ensure that water is used conservatively, and any water that has run off the field is recycled. Like nearly every aspect of farming, there is a “science” to irrigation. Farmers are forward thinking, and even before a crop is planted, they are considering how to prepare the soil for each crop grown, which in turn affects irrigation.

Food grows where water flows, but how that water is used is carefully thought out. Everything from weather, moisture in the soil, the slope of the field, and the nature of the crop determine when and how farmers will irrigate.

Jack Brothers

The Future of Farming

Packing Lettuce

One of our stops brought us to Lawrence Cox Ranches in Brawley, where we caught a glimpse of a crew harvesting and packing lettuce in the field where the crop was grown. This lettuce was scheduled to be distributed to Wendy’s chains across the country, which brought everything full circle for me in that moment.

Harvesting Lettuce

Just a few months before, farms in the region were still packing crops offsite, which demonstrates the dynamic shifts that occur regularly in this industry. Every step…every middle man that is eliminated is a means to cut costs in an industry that is constantly evolving. In less than 10 years, farmers will cool crops in the field, eliminating yet another step and cutting further costs.

Date Palm Trees

Packing Dates

Some farms, like Hadley Fruit Orchards, grow, pack, and ship all of their crops in-house. This affords the company longevity when it comes to employment, as opposed to other farms who hire their crews out seasonally.

Lettuce Harvest

The demand for innovation in agriculture persists, and everything from solar-powered equipment to GPS-controlled tractors have the potential to increase productivity and conservation. And while the farmers we met have had to adapt, I can still feel their passion, confirmation that the reasons they took on such an endeavor still exist.

Farm Tour


Against the backdrop of the Coachella Valley, fields persist as far as the eye can see. A lone farmer pulls freshly-picked brussels sprouts off the stalk as he shares the challenges he faces. And yet he persists. Each sprout is perfect and I would expect nothing less from this man. His sense of satisfaction is duly earned.

Imperial Valley

Shortly after, we boarded the private jet that would take us across the mountains back to civility…and reality. As many times as I have visited the region, I’m still struck by how vastly different the weather and terrain are. In this desert oasis, unbeknownst to many, generations of farmers are working the fields, against the forces of nature and bureaucracy to feed a nation.

Images: Rockin’ Mama

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Your Comprehensive Guide to Visiting Knott’s Scary Farm Fri, 11 Oct 2019 14:00:52 +0000 It’s the spookiest time of the year, and in honor of Fall season, I have the inside on Knott’s Scary Farm, the longest running Halloween event in the world.  Admittedly, I don’t typically like to be “scared,” but Knott’s Scary Farm is all in good fun and there are plenty of activities to keep you ghoulishly entertained this Fall season.

Ghost Town Silhouette

Consideration provided by Knott’s Berry Farm. 

Knott’s Scary Farm

For 25 nights leading up to Halloween, Knott’s Berry Farm will undergo a monstrous transformation complete with 9 elaborately themed walk-through mazes and interactive haunted attractions “run” by trained scare masters, 4 endless scare zones, 2 spectacular new live shows, and 1,000 live monsters, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and many more. In anticipation of this highly sought-out event, I’ve put together a guide to visiting Knott’s Scary Farm.

Dark Entities

The Depths

Forsaken Lake

What’s new this year at Knott’s Scary Farm? 

Knott’s Scary Farm will keep you on your toes with terrifying new mazes and attractions including Dark Entities, The Depths, The Hanging, Hacks! Cutting Room Floor, and Conjurers – Magic and Mirth at the Birdcage Theater.

How to avoid the lines at Knott’s Scary Farm

Fright & Fast Lane offers unlimited priority access to all mazes and priority boarding on all Fast Lane rides.  Passes start at $85 and do not include park admission.

Knott’s Scary Farm Tickets and Special Packages

With more options and flexibility this year, you’ll be able to select which ticket option or package is best for you and your family. Single night tickets can be purchased online, in-advance, which will give you the best pricing. Depending on the date, tickets for a single night at Knott’s Scary Farm are priced as low as $44 (season passholders can save up to $5 off this price).  If you find yourself making last-minute plans to attend Knott’s Scary Farm on the day of the event, available tickets are $82 each.

If you think you’ll want to visit Knott’s Scary Farm more than once during the season, I recommend looking into the Knott’s Scary Farm Pass.  This pass will offer you unlimited visits during the event for just $95 (Season passholders save an additional $10).

As you might imagine, Knott’s Scary Farm can get quite busy, particularly as we get closer to Halloween. A combination ticket which includes admission plus Fright & Fast Lane starts at just $120.

Traveling from out-of-town? Looking to make it a frightfully fun weekend getaway? Knott’s is offering the following haunted hotel packages for the season:

  • Bare Bones Packages include a one night stay, Knott’s Scary Farm admission (one per registered guest) for night of arrival, collectible Knott’s Scary Farm Hotel Key Cards, and hotel parking for one vehicle. (rates start at $283)
  • Haunted Dreams Packages include a one night stay, one Scary Farm admission ticket for the night of arrival, early entry into Knott’s Scary Farm, Knott’s Hotel Pre-Scare Dinner on the night of arrival, breakfast buffet voucher for one morning, hotel-exclusive Knott’s Scary Farm T-shirt, collectible Knott’s Scary Farm Hotel Key Cards, and hotel parking for one vehicle.  (rates start at $378)
  • Gruesome Packages include everything in the Haunted Dreams package plus Fright and Fast Lane (rates start at $563)

Boo-fet Dinner

Before you head into Knott’s Scary Farm, fuel up at Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant or Spurs Chophouse.  Each meal features endless servings of entrees and desserts such as Mrs. Knott’s fried chicken, a chef carving station, boysenberry pie, and more. You will also receive a collectible 2018 souvenir bottle with complimentary refills on the event night and $1.00 refills for the remaining 2018 season.  After dinner, enjoy early entry into select areas of Knott’s Scary Farm before it opens to the public. Early entry areas include Paranormal Inc., Trick-or-Treat: Lights Out, plus the all new Dark Entities and The Depths plus exclusive monster photo opps before the park opens to the public. Purchase online before the event for just $31.99 (plus tax) or on the day of the event for $36.99 (plus tax).

Ghost Town Witch

Knott’s Scary Farm Map

Scary Farm Map

Knotts Scary Farm Map

Important things to note before attending Knott’s Scary Farm

  • This event is not recommended for children under the age of 13
  • Costumes are not allowed
  • Buy tickets early since this event always sells out
  • Parking is $22 per vehicle and you can pre-purchase ahead of time online

Knotts Scary Farm

If you are heading to Knott’s Scary Farm, I invite you to follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the hashtag #ScaryFarm if you dare!

Knott’s Scary Farm is open select dates September 20 – October 31st, 2018.

Scary Farm

Images: Knott’s Scary Farm

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Gift Idea: Sennheiser’s M3 Momentum Wireless headphones Wed, 09 Oct 2019 18:51:08 +0000 It isn’t until you find yourself on a noisy plane on a redeye halfway across the country that you truly appreciate the innovation of noise cancelling headphones. Sennheiser just released their new M3 Momentum Wireless headphones, perfectly timed for the holiday season.


Sennheiser Wireless Headphones

M3 Momentum Wireless Headphones

With superior sound and premium range, the M3 Momentum Wireless Headphones are Sennheiser’s latest innovation in sound tech.

Personalize Your Tech

I am an app girl, so anytime one of my devices offer a free app, I utilize it. Download the Sennheiser Smart Control app to choose from three noise cancellation modes (Max for maximum mode cancellation (i.e. Airplane), Anti Wind optimized for outdoor noise cancellation, and Anti Pressure for softer noise cancellation at home) and a built-in equalizer. And, if you use TILE, never misplace your headphones thanks to their smart locator technology.

Seamless Lifestyle Integration

Most days, I use my wireless headphones to listen to music while I work. Momentum Wireless offers the ability to switch between music and making phone calls with its 3-button interface. You can also adjust the volume and link to voice assistant technology with the touch of a button.

Momentum Wireless Headphones

Automatic Pairing Mode

Set up is intuitive with Sennheiser’s automatic pairing mode, so you can begin listening immediately!

Auto On/Off and Smart Pause

The On/Off and Smart Pause functionality make it easy to open or close the headphones to turn the music on and off. Remove the headphones to pause the music, then slip them back on to get back to your beat!

Superior Comfort

My biggest complaint about headphones in general is that very often, they don’t fit well or are uncomfortable. M3 Momentum Wireless Headphones feature a genuine leather head strap and premium earcups. The matte steel arms are durable and the covers were designed to last, all while offering a sleek, stylish look.

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Headphones

Sennheiser’s New MOMENTUM Wireless headphones are available at Best Buy in Black and Sandy White and retail for $399.98.

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Recipe: Spooky Sparkling Punch Wed, 09 Oct 2019 14:00:05 +0000 Every year, our neighbors’ home underwent a spooky transformation, in anticipation of the guests they’d host for their annual Halloween party. As a child, I remember the fun we had bobbing for apples and gnoshing on Halloween eats. I’m always intrigued by the desserts and the drinks, which manage to take on a particularly creative and festive twist. The punch they made each year was eerily delicious, and since I rarely ever put much thought into drinks, I thought I’d create a kid-friendly drink with a ghoulishly green glow!

Spooky Halloween Drinks

I dreamed up this kid-friendly Halloween recipe last week, which can be made in just a few minutes.

Spooky Drink Ingredients

Spooky Sparkling Punch

  • Lemonade
  • Ocean Spray Sparkling Citrus Drinks
  • Lemon-Lime Sherbert
  • McCormick's Neon Green Food Coloring
  • Gummy worms
  1. Freeze the lemonade in ice trays for several hours (or overnight)
  2. Fill a glass halfway with the sparkling citrus drink
  3. Add one lemonade ice cube
  4. Add 1 drop of food coloring
  5. Add a small dollop of sherbert
  6. Garnish with gummy worms

My kids were so excited about these drinks and we felt like they were the perfect way to get in the mood for Halloween.  One of the stand out features of this drink is the fact that I used a sparkling juice as opposed to a soda.

One important thing to mention is that if you have a child with food allergies, you might consider substituting sorbet for the sherbert.

Halloween is as much about color as it is about creepy, spooky and cooky. For additional recipes merging the Fall colors and flavors that dominate this season, visit McCormick.

 No compensation was received for this post. Products for review and giveaway were supplied by McCormick. 

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