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This is a compensated post for Global Influence. All opinions are my own.

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As women who have grown up in the face of insecurity, ill-conceived standards of beauty and a world dominated socially and economically by men, it’s up to us to change the way future generations of girls see themselves.

 

Walmart and Dove are partnering together to ask women everywhere, “Who do you #FeelBeautifulFor?” as part of the Dove Self Esteem Project. I thought about who I feel beautiful for – and I can’t really name just one person or a few people. So I choose everyone. Every day I live in a world in which I find my well-referenced, intelligent arguments met with condescending statements like “You’re attractive, but a bit misguided.” (I can almost feel people patting my pretty little head when they say that.) I make no bones about using my brain, speaking my mind, and living on facts instead of fear.

It is so challenging to be a girl who dares in this world. If we show our intelligence or bravery, it’s because we can’t get a date. It seems that everything we do, no matter what, comes down to judgments on our physical appearance. As someone who was strolled as an infant in an ERA rally by her mother, I find it very disturbing. But I also admire those who are working hard to change things, and I’m glad to be one of those people who is working toward that goal.

You can visit the Dove Beauty Page at Walmart to get information on how Dove has worked on self-esteem building projects for 14 million girls. You can also see what other women are saying about their own beauty legacy. I highly recommend watching the short film, “Legacy,” which brought tears to my eyes. It shows how a girl’s self-esteem starts with the legacy passed on by the women in her lives. It is extremely powerful even in two minutes.

The Dove Beauty Page also has deals on Dove products!

You can also enter to win one of eight $25 SpaWeek Gift Cards right here:

Beauty Legacy – Resourceful Mommy Network

Meanwhile, check the hashtag #FeelBeautifulFor on your social media channels, and use the hashtag yourself to enter the conversation and share your thoughts.

Who do you #FeelBeautifulFor? What do you want your beauty legacy to be? Please share in the comments!

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Low-fat pumpkin muffins with Musselman’s!

I was given product by Musselman’s for this post. 

Oh, ’tis the season for lots and lots of good food that is so tempting to kids and adults alike – good thing Musselman’s is on hand! Now, I’d heard about switching out the oil for apple sauce in baking recipes, but 1) I’d never tried it, and 2) I thought you could only substitute a portion of the oil. Guess what – you can swap out all the oil in a recipe for muffins, cakes, and even brownies for Musselman’s apple sauce and you will STILL get a tasty item that is still just as moist and tastes amazing!

Since it’s fall, I decided just to get a standard Pumpkin muffin mix and swap out the oil for unsweetened Musselman’s apple sauce.

ingredients

It’s very easy to mix, even though the consistency of the apple sauce is different. And once you have the batter ready, it looks just like the kind to which you’re accustomed.

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This is a muffin tin that has definitely been loved! I remember my mom using this when I was just a kid.

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I was so amazed that these muffins were SO TASTY when they came out of the oven! My mom really loved them – which I think is great, since she is diabetic, is on dialysis, and needs to have healthier options that are easier for the body to process. Applesauce is also just a great thing to have around, especially at snacktime for diabetics, as it doesn’t have much of an impact on blood sugar levels and is also extremely filling.

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These muffins are great – whether for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or to put in your kid’s lunchbox. You can also add muffins, or even swap the egg for milled flax.

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Think about all the fat that has been replaced with the goodness of apple sauce! I substituted 1/3 cup of oil! Wow!

Need some more great ideas? Check the Musselman’s Apple Sauce Swap page for a guide and recipes for making the swap this season!

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I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for CRYSTAL LIGHT. I received a gift card to purchase CRYSTAL LIGHT products to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

My enjoyment of CRYSTAL LIGHT can now be rewarded with Miranda Lambert goodies through their Platinum Points reward program!

So, y’all remember how Miranda Lambert and I became totes bffs for like five seconds on the CRYSTAL LIGHT Miranda Lambert Platinum tour,  right?

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Well, now those memories can live on! Here’s how it works: Purchase CRYSTAL LIGHT at Walmart. Keep your receipt!  Sign up at Platinum Points (use the promo code mirandaic to start off with 30 points), submit a receipt with qualifying Crystal Light products, and earn points to eventually redeem for Miranda Lambert stuff.Even by redeeming your first CRYSTAL LIGHT item, you get 100 points – and that’s enough for a Miranda Lambert song download!

Did you know the Strawberry Lemonade CRYSTAL LIGHT liquid is Miranda Lambert's favorite flavor?

Did you know the Strawberry Lemonade CRYSTAL LIGHT liquid is Miranda Lambert’s favorite flavor?

Here is a partial list of participating products. It looks like most CRYSTAL LIGHT products qualify for the program, with the exception of SodaStream syrups.

  • CRYSTAL LIGHT Sugar Free On The Go – 100 Points
  • CRYSTAL LIGHT On The Go Multipacks – 100 Points
  • CRYSTAL LIGHT Canisters – 100 Points CRYSTAL LIGHT Liquid – 100 Points

I found the easiest way to submit a receipt was through my mobile device. Open the Platinum Points website in your mobile browser, log in to your account, and you’ll immediately see an app-like page with a menu for the list of products, rewards, and a way to snap a photo. Screenshot_2014-10-29-13-38-05 You can snap, upload (it usually takes a couple of minutes), and your receipt will be verified to see that you purchased qualifying items. You will receive an email with a link to check on your reward status. Screenshot_2014-10-29-13-38-11 After the verification process is complete, your points will be added to your account! You can save up for a Miranda Lambert CD,  a tumbler, even a signed guitar if you earn 8,000 points! I would love to see the person who purchases 80 CRYSTAL LIGHT products to win this one!

I will say a couple of things: The site is difficult to navigate on a desktop, so I again encourage just using the mobile version. You can also invite your friends via Facebook, and for each friend who signs up, you get 25 points! So go, get your drink on, enjoy and earn. Have a good one!

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nightmareonelmstreetrun

nightmareonelmstreetrunGet ready to run for your lives – the second annual Nightmare On Elm Street Run will be held in Downtown Rogers Nov. 1, 2014!

Activities will begin at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Frisco Park Stage on Second Street in Downtown Rogers.

Runners will be darting past zombies during the Zombie 5K at 4:30 p.m. All runners will be “alive” at the beginning of the race. If you make it to the finish line without being touched by a zombie and becoming one of the Running Dead, you get a prize!

All 5K runners will receive a goody bag and t-shirt if signed up by the race day; additional shirts can be purchased at the event.

Now, if you want to play it safe, there is a one-mile fun run at 4 p.m. Also, there will be zombie makeovers between 1:30-4:30 p.m.

And wear your costumes! Because there will be a costume contest! Prizes will be awarded for best runner costume and best team!

You can register and get info on prices here. Proceeds from the run will go to benefit the Rogers Optimist Club.

Since 1979, Optimists have been serving the youth of Rogers, AR. The Optimist Club of Rogers is a member of Optimist International www.optimist.org. The club conducts service projects for the kids in our community, such as an essay and oratorical contest, an annual fishing derby, and Respect for Law Day. The club also donates to other youth organizations like American Legion Baseball, Crossroads School, Nothing in Return, and Shop with a Cop. The club provides scholarships to a graduating senior from each high school and also sponsors the Player of the Week and Player of the Month at each middle school and high school.

Be sure to visit and like Nightmare On Elm Street Run on Facebook for updates!

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Here’s your comprehensive source for where to get information on Alli out of stock! I have covered a previous Alli shortage in 2012. I will keep you updated as I get news on Alli’s availability.

10/30/14 UPDATE: With Alli being off the shelves since the spring, I’m seeing a lot of consumer concern on social media and in the comments here. I’m continuing to follow the @myalli account on Twitter, and this is the latest according to a tweet sent on October 10:

As far as I have seen on Twitter, Alli has been very responsive to consumer concerns, replying to questions, giving out their phone number to receive complaints, etc. Remember I am not working for Alli, I don’t get squat for this other than the opportunity to provide a public service.

A couple of months ago someone on Twitter contacted me and likened this recall to the recall resulting from the Chicago Tylenol Murders in 1982. As Alli told me on Twitter, “Every tampering situation is different.” This is true. It’s unfair to compare Tylenol’s recall, which ended in a month, to this Alli recall for many reasons:

  • The 1982 tampering of Tylenol was contained in the Chicago area, whereas the tampered bottles of Alli were sold online and distributed across the country.
  • Alli is a much more expensive product to manufacture than Tylenol.
  • The Tylenol murders and recall happened in 1982. A lot has changed since then, in tampering laws and FDA regulations.

The biggest concern here should not be how quickly Alli can return to the shelves, but whether or not GSK is putting a safe product back on the shelves. This involves completely reformulating the drug to have more tamper-proof features, as well as redesigning the packaging. All conspiracy theories I have seen have been unfounded; GSK anticipates no increase in the price of Alli, and in order to correct this tampering situation, the company is already losing out on a lot of consumer dollars. I do not think a drug company wants to deprive consumers of one of its most popular OTC products.

So, what can you do while you wait? You can go to the doctor and get a prescription for Xenical. It contains the same active ingredient as Alli, but it is twice the strength. Before beginning any diet or exercise program, it is crucial to consult a physician, so at this point, this is the safest route to go.

6/17/14 UPDATE: I asked @myalli on Twitter if they were currently working on changing packaging to curb additional product tampering. This was their response:

There is still no estimate as to when Alli will be available. Currently, the only way to obtain Orlistat (the generic name for Alli) is to visit your physician and have it prescribed to you. Keep in mind prescription Orlistat has double the strength of Alli. Readers have informed me that, after being prescribed the drug by a physician, they have been able to get Orlistat at discounted prices from Canadian Pharmacies. You WILL have to visit a physician and get a prescription to order this product. Check the comments section for suggestions from other consumers, or add your own.

4/29/14 UPDATE: This is the origin of the recall as reported by The News Journal (Delaware Online): “GSK received calls from consumers in seven states about alli bottles that contained capsules and tablets that were not in fact alli, GSK said. Some bottles inside the outer carton were missing labels and had temper-evident seals that were not authentic, the firm said. The products were purchased in retail stores.”
@MyAlli reached out to me via Twitter and said if you think you have a product that is not authentic, please call GSK directly at (800) 671-2554. You can also call the number for any consumer concerns.
@MyAlli has reported on twitter that they “don’t have an estimated time period as to when alli will return.” Also, the website http://www.myalli.com has a 503 Service Unavailable Error right now. Hopefully this just means the site is down for maintenance. I have tweeted @MyAlli to ask them why the site is down. I’ll keep you posted as I get more news.
4/3/14 UPDATE: Citing product tampering, there is a voluntary recall of Alli products on the market. During this time, do NOT purchase anything called “Alli,” as counterfeiters have been known to take advantage of Alli’s 2012 ingredient shortage that caused a delay in product manufacturing. If you are purchasing Alli, make sure it is from a reputable retailer and NOT from an auction site or independent seller.

Glaxo SmithKline, the manufacturer of Alli in the U.S., issued this press release on 3/27/14: 

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare is voluntarily recalling all alli® weight loss products from U.S. and Puerto Rico retailers as the company believes that some packages of the product were tampered with and may contain product that is not authentic alli®. GSK is conducting an investigation and is working with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on this retailer level recall.

GSK received inquiries from consumers in seven states about bottles of alli® that contained tablets and capsules that were not alli®. A range of tablets and capsules of various shapes and colors were reported to be found inside bottles. Additionally, some bottles inside the outer carton were missing labels and had tamper-evident seals that were not authentic. These tampered products were purchased in retail stores.

“Safety is our first priority and we are asking retailers and pharmacies to remove all alli®from their shelves immediately,” said Colin Mackenzie, President Consumer Healthcare North America. “We have posted a Consumer Alert on our website, www.myalli.com, and issued a News Release with information and photographs to help consumers determine if their alli® is authentic.”

alli® is a turquoise blue capsule with a dark blue band imprinted with the text “60 Orlistat”. It is packaged in a labeled bottle that has an inner foil seal imprinted with the words: “Sealed for Your Protection.” Consumers should confirm any alli® in their possession matches this description. Pictures of the product are available on our website: www.myalli.com.

Consumers who have product they are unsure or concerned about should not use it. Instead, they should call GSK promptly at 800-671-2554, and a representative will provide further instructions. If they have consumed questionable product, they should also contact their healthcare providers.

“We are committed to finding out what happened and to doing everything possible to prevent future issues with alli®,” said Mackenzie. “We regret any inconvenience caused by this retailer recall.”

I will keep you posted if anything changes. Alli reached out to me during the 2012 shortage and I plan to reach out to them in hopes that they’ll share news on the recall with me.

6/19/12 UPDATE: This was posted by Alli on its official Facebook page this morning: “Great news, we are excited to share that alli has shipped to store warehouses! We apologize for any inconvenience this supply issue has caused and you can rest assured that alli product is on its way back to your local retailer’s shelf. Our locator tool will be available soon to help you find alli in stores near you – so we can once again fight fat together.” The drug will not be reformulated and again, there was no recall. I will update this page as soon as Alli is available to purchase online. 

6/6 UPDATE: I’ve gotten reports that Alli is planning to make shipments to all retailers by the end of the month. 

5/13 UPDATE: Alli has NOT been Recalled. Read below for why you can’t find it. The Food and Drug Administration keeps a list of all product recalls in the U.S., and Alli is not in their database. For information on all FDA recalls, visit the searchable FDA Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts Database.

5/7 UPDATE: Alli is reporting on its Facebook page that they expect the drug to return in late June. Details below. 

4/4 UPDATE:  Alli contacted me on Twitter and said they expect the product to return to shelves in June 2012. Details below.

3/15: UPDATE with response from Alli, and 4/1 UPDATE with an alert on past and potential counterfeit sales. Details are in bold below.

If you use the over-the-counter drug Alli as part of your diet, exercise and weight-loss plan, you may have recognized that the drug has been missing from store shelves and online retailers for the past few weeks.

Why has it gone missing from the shelves? Simple – ingredient shortage.

Drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline issued the following statement on the Alli web site’s Buy Alli section:

GSK, the manufacturer of alli, is experiencing a supply shortage of the active ingredient used in alli. The alli team is working diligently to resolve the issue and apologize for any inconvenience this supply shortage may cause our consumers. Consumers should continue to adhere to the recommended diet and physical activity routine, which are the cornerstone of any weight loss program, and continue using alli once it is available.

FYI: The “active ingredient” in Alli is Orlistat, which is also the active ingredient in Prescription weight-loss drug Xenical. The Xenical manufacturer Roche issued this statement on its Club New You web site:

Our Florence Manufacturing Plant in the United States manufactures certain ingredients used in the products of Roche, including XENICAL® (orlistat). Just lately the Plant has encountered manufacturing problems, causing deficiencies in the supply of our products, including XENICAL®.   This will lead to shortage of supply of this product.

Drugstore.com lists the product as unavailable at this time, after estimating an April 16 availability date.I initially posted the April date upon Drugstore’s estimate.Alli contacted me on Twitter and said the company cannot confirm an April 16 shipping date:

@bellesouth – Thanks for spreading this info! However, we can’t verify Apr. 16 as a shipping date. Pls call with questions: 1-800-671-2554 

Alli also told me they’d let me know as soon as the drug was available. No word on the availability of Xenical, but it is safe to assume that these products will both be available as soon as the Orlistat ordeal is taken care of.

Meanwhile, diet and exercise still work, and consult with your physician before beginning any weight-loss or exercise program. (Update 4/1: Please be careful before purchasing Alli through auction sites or independent-seller Marketplaces. GSK has had trouble with the sale of counterfeit Alli in the past, so beware of scam artists taking advantage of the shortage.)

Update 4/4: Alli contacted me again on Twitter with this message:

@bellesouth – We thought you may be interested, alli should be returning to shelves in June. More info on FB:http://www.facebook.com/myalli

Update 5/7: alli is notifying customers on its Facebook page that the drug is expected to return in late June. Here’s what they’re telling customers on Facebook:

unfortunately GSK, the manufacturer of alli, is experiencing a supply shortage of the active ingredient used in alli. The team has been working diligently to resolve the issue, and alli capsules are expected to be back in stores by the end of June. We apologize for the inconvenience this shortage may have caused you. During this time, we recommend you continue to follow your myalli plan to help you stay on track. If you have any further concerns please call us: 1-800-671-2554, M-F 9am – 4:30pm ET.

I have read a lot of ‘conspiracies’ from those who think GSK is doing this on purpose, but other pharmaceutical companies across the world, including those that sell the drug as prescription Xenical, are experiencing the same shortage. Again, diet and exercise still work.

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