About Allison

Allison Alexander is the founder and owner of A Mom Knows Best.

Married to the man who had her at hello and mother to the daughter she loved long before she met, Allison is a busy mom trying to juggle motherhood, career, & family. Her mornings are filled with all things "mom," but on most evenings she can be found on the television screen as the evening news anchor in Providence, RI. Before coming to New England, Allison worked as a television News Anchor/Host in Cleveland, Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. Prior to that, she worked as a teacher and in Public Relations for the Fiesta Bowl. Phew!

As an Emmy award winning journalist, Allison has interviewed famous politicians and athletes and covered major breaking news stories, the country's largest natural disasters, political debates & entertainment. While interviewing celebrities at awards shows on the red carpet in Hollywood and Nashville is certainly a career highlight, it's often meeting and sharing the stories of "everyday people" that gives her the most satisfaction. You might also catch Allison on the big screen. A few years ago she appeared in the movie Tell Tale with Josh Lucas, where she played, wait for it— a news anchor. You can also catch a glimpse—or two—of her, as an extra, in the new show "Body of Proof."

Allison is very involved in charitable organizations as a volunteer, MC and a spokesperson and has worked closely with the American Diabetes Association, The Matty Fund for Epilepsy, the American Cancer Society, Purple Strides for Pancreatic Cancer, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Women's Center of RI, Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, and the United Way, just to name a few! She has also hosted telethons for St. Jude, Stand Up to Cancer and the MDA.

When not working, Allison loves to travel and wishes she had the time—and money—to do more of it. Her family once spent 3 months camping in an RV around Australia!
Allison is a classic example of how motherhood changes everything (just ask her husband). After 12 years of marriage, he witnessed her go from state to state chasing her television career to room to room chasing her toddler and loving every minute of it.

Thankfully, she's able to do both!

At A Mom Knows Best, Allison shares valuable beauty & style tips she's learned from the pros, during her 15 years in front of the camera, and teaches moms-on-the-go how to put their best face forward in a flash!

With her vast experience working with companies, being an emcee, and speaking to women's groups & schools, Allison also helps other moms who want to start Vlogging feel more comfortable on camera.

Contact Allison

Posts By Allison:

The Skinny on FullBars


I first tried a FullBar about 18 months ago.  I was anchoring the evening shows in Providence.  I had gotten really busy and didn’t have time to eat and I was starving.  I’m almost always in a good mood, unless I’m hungry or tired.  Those in my inner circle know this about me.  So, whenever I would start getting testy (rare, I promise) my boss would give me food.  This was actually pretty genius on his part…and kind, too!

FullBar promises to do a lot that, frankly, I’m not really interested in.  From its website, “fullbar, being inspired by weight-loss surgery, uses the same fullness principles of surgery to fill your stomach with less food. This causes you to feel full and satisfied on smaller amounts of food, resulting in consuming less calories and helping you lose weight.” I’m not trying to lose weight, so I’m not really concerned with all that stuff (now, if FullBars could make my body look like Brooke Burke’s, I’d buy them by the case!)

Here’s the deal.  I like fast, easy, food–that’s good for me–and that I can eat on the run.  I’m a busy mom and sometimes I forget or don’t have time to sit down to a full meal.  I need something that is going to give me enough energy until I get a chance to have a real meal and get rid of that pit in my stomach.  I’m a fan of Luna bars, Fiber One bars and FullBars.  They all pass the taste test (but taste very different).   I think Fullbars taste like a mix of rice krispy treat & rice cake. My 22 mos. old daughter loved them and kept asking for a bite.  Could I lose weight with FullBars? Not sure. But if you are looking for a snack and a healthier alternative to a lot of other stuff you could nosh on, you might want to give FullBars a try!

HappiTaps, for the Tech-loving toddler!


HappiTapsBear

Warning!! Introducing your child to HappiTaps may mean you’ll be seeing a lot less of your Iphone. On the flip side, it’s sure to provide lots of giggles, heartwarming moments, and some uninterrupted “mommy time.”  HappiTapps pairs up technology with teddy for a winning combo!

Like most toddlers, my daughter loves to play on my Iphone.  Her favorite thing to do is watch YouTube videos and listen to music.  Recently, she’s been waking up saying, “Bear,” and before bed she says, “Night Night, Bear.”  I’ve never before reviewed an app, but the new Infantino HappiTaps Beary Happi app had so many neat toddler friendly features, I was excited to test it out.  Clearly, it’s a hit with my daughter!

Features:

  • 3D computer animation in conjunction with the iPhone/iPod Touch cutting technology to create a toy that reacts to a child’s life moments
  • Over 150 different expressions to keep kids engaged and learning
    • Tell jokes, share fun facts, tell stories, sing songs, teach educational tidbits
    • Beary Happi also loves to laugh, wink, make faces and of course he eats and sleeps
  • Full of games and activities for engaging play
  • 2 Play modes
    • Toddler Mode – Hides the navigation so toddlers cruise carefree from 1 activity to the next
    • Manual Mode – Let’s kids choose between the 7 games and activities
  • The cover features a lock for the home button to ensure kids stay within the app
  • Age: 18+ months

What exactly are HappiTaps?

HappiTaps are a toy/app hybrid. Infantino/Step 2  created a winning combination, merging kids  fascination with technology and an adorable snuggle buddy to create an interactive companion.  Brilliant, I say!

Beary Happi is the very first HappiTap. Put your Iphone or Ipod inside and download the free app to make him “come to life”.

I’ve already downloaded the HappiTap app and am eager to get my bear case that will wrap around my Iphone.  I know my daughter will go crazy over it!  We are just beginning to learn about all the features as we navigate through the app.  I’m torn because I think this would make the perfect stocking stuffer for her–once the bear arrives–but I’m so excited to see her reaction that I don’t think I can wait until Christmas!  😆  At a retail price of just $19.99 plus free shipping, this makes a great gift for nieces and nephews too!

 

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Infantino HappiTaps and received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.  All opinions  are my own.

 

 

Breakfast Burrito with Skillet Bacon Jam


November 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Allison, Good Eats, Reviews & Giveaways

We make some mean breakfast burritos around my house.  And when we aren’t making breakfast burritos, we make breakfast sandwiches.  They usually consist of a whole grain English muffin, one egg, a piece of bacon, a slice of Vermont cheddar and a dab of hot sauce, sometimes some avocado.  This morning I changed things up a bit because I came across a new product that I’ve been dying to try.  Skillet Bacon Jam.  I wish I could stick a wick in it and light this little container, so the entire house would smell as good as what’s inside this jar.

bacon jam

 

To get this this container of awesomeness, the company says you take a “big bunch of really, really good bacon and render it down…add a bunch of spices, onions, etc. and let it simmer for about 6 hours, give it a quick puree, blast chill it…take a left turn, and end up in pure bacon heaven.”  If you like bacon, you will love this stuff!

It made a great addition to my breakfast tortilla.  Here’s the recipe.

  • One Tortilla Land tortilla (I could never find these on the East Coast, so my MIL would send them to me from Arizona)
  • 2 eggs
  • Cheese (whatever kind you like best)
  • 1/4 avocado
  • hot sauce
  • Spread a little bacon jam on your tortilla, add eggs,  cheese, avocado & hot sauce

If you’re not into breakfast burritos, and you are looking for a little inspiration, check out  Skillet Street Food’s website for some fun recipes using  bacon jam.  Let me know what you think of it! You can also email the company directly at eat@skilletstreetfood.com.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Personalized Picture Puzzles from Piczzle


November 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Allison, Gift Guide, Reviews & Giveaways

puzzle

I love getting–and giving–personalized gifts.  I’m always on the hunt for that unique item that is going to bring a smile to someone’s face each time they look at it.  In this digital age, it’s easier than over to personalize just about anything, but sometimes, the item you receive doesn’t look quite as good as  the item you ordered!  The opposite was true for me when I received my Piczzle photo puzzle.

Prices for a personalized jigsaw puzzle start at less than $20.  You can create puzzles in several different shapes and even add fancy borders & messages. The sizes range from six pieces (great for kids) to 2,000 pieces!  With the holidays coming up, this seems like a perfect gift for that person who has everything.

I have a large family, so to get us all together for a picture is quite a chore.  Last year, we were able to pull it off,  and it’s a moment I treasure.  I knew, immediately, I wanted to capture that moment with a Piczzle puzzle.  It’s a keepsake my family will treasure, and I plan to give it to my parents when we are all in Arizona this Christmas.

Piczzle

Aside from the fact that the puzzle looks even better put together (picture quality), I love that the pieces are strong…not flimsy like you’ll see with some other puzzles.  Since my daughter is constantly cutting teeth and shoving things in her mouth, this is a huge bonus!  😉

Disclaimer: I received the 100 piece puzzle shown above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions–good and bad–are 100% my own.

VTech Connect-to-Cell Phone System (Home Phone Convenience Without the Cost!)


Vtech connect to cell

Maybe I’ve been out of the loop, but I didn’t even know a product existed that allowed you to use your cell phone like a home phone.  My family hasn’t had a landline in four years; we just didn’t think it made sense.  I have to admit, though, sometimes the mad search for my ringing cell phone is frustrating.  By the time I find it, the person has hung up!  My friends and family complain that I’m the hardest person to get a hold of, but it’s impossible to be glued to my cell phone at all times.  Even if it is by my said, I often need two hands to do housework, play with my daughter, or get ready.  So when VTech’s Connect-to-Cell Phone System showed up at my door, I couldn’t wait to try it!  Even my husband (who rarely comments on anything associated with my blog) thought the system was brilliant.  Then again, this was something he could really benefit from since he works from home.

Key features of the VTech DS6421-3 Connect-to-Cell:

  • Push-To-Talk acts as a multiple handset walkie talkie system to instantly communicate with any or all of the handsets within the system.
  • HD Audio provides an extended frequency band allowing for the signal to be reproduced and tuned for a fuller and clearer sound.
  • Make and receive landline and cellular calls – Connects to BLUETOOTH enabled cell phones to make and receive calls with the ease  of a home phone system. Two cell phones can be actively connected to the base. Cell calls can be made or received from either of these two active cell phones. Pair four different cell phones to the base unit.
  • Voice Announce Caller ID audibly announces the name and number of the caller on all of the handsets and base unit. (how cool is that??) No need to find the handset to see who is calling.   Makes screening calls that much easier (love it!)
  • With the touch of a button, the handset speakerphones makes hands-free conversations easy.
  • Expandable up to 12 handsets using only one phone jack.
  • Access your cellular phonebook directory – Download your cellular phonebook directory to this cordless phone system.  Dial a landline or cellular call from the directory for easy access. Stores over 6000 directories from up to four different cell phones. No need to input names and numbers into your cordless phone. (Thank Goodness!)
  • Pair four different cell phones (or headsets) and have two devices actively connected. Cellular calls can be made or received from either of the two active cell phones. Landline service not required, works great for cellular only households.

There are so many more great features, you can check them out for yourself, by going to VTech’s website here.

As the holidays approach, I knew things around the house would be getting even busier–and messier–making all the features of VTech’s phone system that much more appealing.

In a recent holiday survey, Vtech found:

  • 46% of respondents said they would spend more time with family/friends if they had an extra set of hands to get things done (51% of all females); higher with moms at 48%.  37% of respondents said clean the house quicker; 47% of moms
  • 31% of respondents said phone calls ranked the highest as the biggest distractions to getting more done at home during the holidays.  24% of respondents (48% of moms and 40% of dads) said kids needs/events
  • 81% of respondents (92% of parents) ranked a device that could help you multi-task and get more things done  as very/somewhat important

I guess I’m not the only frazzled parent out there who wishes I had more hands!  After trying out VTech’s Connect-to-Cell phone system, I’m thinking it might just be the perfect gift for some of those hard to buy for people on my list this year.

Disclaimer:  I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of VTech and received a product sample to facilitate my review.  As always, all opinions–good and bad–are my own.

 

Our Little Miracle, Born at 24 Weeks


preemie

I will never forget the day we got the call from my sister-in-law, Jill.  She was in the hospital and had just had her baby.  How could that be? She was only 24 weeks pregnant? The terror in her voice was palpable. My husband and I felt helpless.  We were in Cleveland, Ohio, where my husband was going through his own health scare with cancer and my sister-in-law was thousands of miles away in Arizona.  To top it off, it was right around the holidays.  Little John weighed 1 pound 8 ounces, when he was born, and was 12 inches long. He spent 110 days in the NICU before coming home on March 20, 2006. John is a true miracle and an inspiration to all that meet him!  You can read more about his amazing story here (grab the tissue!)

More than half a million American babies are born prematurely each year.  That’s a staggering 1,400 babies born prematurely in the United States every day. Because premature babies immune systems haven’t had time to fully mature, preterm infants are more likely to develop infections.  Preemies have underdeveloped lungs, so they are more susceptible to respiratory problems.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a highly contagious virus which is quite prevalent during the winter months. It is transmitted primarily by hand-to-nose, hand-to-mouth, and hand-to-eye contact. The severity of the symptoms vary depending upon the age of the child and whether he has any chronic medical problems.  RSV can be particularly serious in infants born prematurely and children under the age of two suffering from chronic lung conditions.

For otherwise healthy children, RSV usually amounts to little more than a cold. However, for preemies and other at-risk infants, the health consequences can be much more serious. In the U.S., approximately 125,000 children are hospitalized each year with serious RSV disease and, sadly, some of these children die.

To help protect your baby from RSV, there are simple steps that parents and caregivers can take:

  • Have family members and caregivers wash their hands with warm water and soap before touching the baby
  • Avoid being around the baby if you have a cold or fever
  • Avoid exposing the baby to other children with cold symptoms
  • Keep the baby away from crowded places
  • Never smoke around the baby
  • Talk to your baby’s pediatrician about RSV risks and prevention

Symptoms
Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:

  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
  • Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
  • High fever
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Not eating well

To learn more about RSV please visit www.rsvprotection.com.

As we prepare to celebrate my nephew John’s sixth birthday, I can’t help but think of all the other babies born too soon. November 17th is World Prematurity Day, an important day designed to help raise public awareness about the problem of global prematurity, which affects more than 13 million babies worldwide.

preemie as a child

John (6) with his mom, dad and sister

I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

 

 

Pumpkin Spiced Smoothie (all the taste, none of the guilt!)


A few years ago I stopped buying flavored creamer for my coffee because of all the ingredients.  If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t really want it in my body.  My motto is, “most things, in moderation, are okay .”  That being said, I drink coffee seven days a week, not just on occasion.  I was so excited to learn about Coffee-mate’s new Natural Bliss line, featuring just four ingredients in each of its three flavors.  The Natural Bliss line currently comes in Caramel, Vanilla and Sweet Cream.  I have always been a fan of Coffee-mate, but recently I had only been buying it around the holidays.  With this new line, I can feel good about adding it to each cup of coffee.  I picked up a bottle of the Sweet Cream and it was delish!  Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t also pick up a small bottle of the Peppermint Mocha or Belgian Chocolate Toffee (those yummy flavors Coffee-mate is known for), because we all deserve to indulge a little around the holidays.  😆

pumpkin smoothieThis recipe, courtesy of the Foot Network’s Claire Robinson, should get you in the mood for the holidays.

Pumpkin Spiced Smoothie

 

  • 1-1/2 cups ice
  • 1 (6 oz.)  low fat coffee yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup NEW all-natural Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Sweet Cream

  •  

    Chili-Garlic Roasted Broccoli (You Will Love This!!)


    October 28, 2011 by  
    Filed under Allison, Good Eats

    roasted broccoliI do not like cooked broccoli.  Well, I used to not like it, that is, until my friend made me this.

    O.M.G. I had to share this recipe with you.  Not sure where my fellow TV buddy, Maria Neider, came up with the recipe, but one thing is certain….I can’t get enough!   Here’s what you’ll need:

    1/2 cup of Olive oil

    10-12 cloves of finely chopped garlic

    2 T chili powder

    2 T  McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning

    2 large heads of broccoli cut into thin long spears

    DIRECTIONS:

    Preheat oven to 425. Combine ingredients in large bowl and toss to coat. Spread on baking sheet. Roast broccoli until crisp and slightly brown. 17-20 minutes. HINT: Do NOT Salt and pepper or it will be WAY too salty.

     

    Shaving, Simplified (Review)


    October 24, 2011 by  
    Filed under Allison, Deals, Reviews & Giveaways

    I recently took a trip to Arizona with my daughter (boy, do I love traveling solo with a toddler) and I was thisclose to having to pay extra for luggage that was over the weight limit.  I’m convinced that even a travel-sized can of shaving cream would have tipped the scales in the wrong direction.  Enter the Schick® Intuition.

    Intuition razor

    It’s my new favorite thing, when it comes to packing efficiently and streamlining my morning routine.  The shaving cream and moisturizer are built right in to the razor.  Seriously, what’s more annoying than shaving your legs in the shower and discovering, mid-leg, that you are out of shaving cream!?  With the Intuition razor, the problem is solved!

    To get a $3 off coupon on this razor, head over to their facebook page through the end of October,  and take their quiz to fight out which razor is right for you!

    Liven Up Your Halloween Bash With Spookamole!


    September 30, 2011 by  
    Filed under Allison, Good Eats

    My family adores avocados and we put them on everything.  They’re terrific in breakfast burritos with eggs, cheese & hot sauce, perfect in salads, and oh, so yummy in fish tacos! I’ve been known to make an enormous batch of guacamole and eat the whole thing myself. Avocados from Mexico can be found at your local grocery store year-round, but this is such a great time of year for them. Mexico is the only place in the world where avocado trees naturally bloom four times a year…and there are so many fun and creative ways to use them in recipes, like this spooky guacamole I made for a party.  It was a hit with both the kids and adults.

     

    Here’s what you’ll need for the guacamole:

    6 ripe avocados

    1 tomato

    Juice of one orange

    Juice of one lime

    Juice of one lemon

    2 Tablespoons minced garlic

    One small red onion

    Directions: Mash avocados, chop onion, chop tomato, mix in orange, lemon & lime juice, add garlic & salt & pepper to taste.

    Here’s what you’ll need for bat chips & creepy fingers & spider web :

    Five long carrots

    cream cheese

    raisins

    package of corn tortillas

    sour cream

    olive oil

    fake spider

    cauldron

    bat cookie cutter

     

    Directions & putting it all together: Make bat shaped chips with your cookie cutter.  Lightly cover with olive oil and salt and bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Put the guacamole in the cauldron.  Put a little bit of sour cream in a plastic bag and cut the corner, so the sour cream squirts out and you can draw your web.  Once you’ve done that, place your spider wherever you think it looks best.  Peel all five carrots, then cut a little piece off the tip to put your black “nail”.  Use a little cream cheese as the adhesive and then stick the raisin in place.  Finally, assemble the creepy carrot fingers in your guacamole!

     

    guacamole

    Smookamole

    Now, here’s your chance to put on your creative cap and make some Spookamole for your next Halloween bash.  Avocados from Mexico is running a recipe contest and you have your shot at $1000! Here’s the link to enter.

    Disclosure:  I wrote this review while participating in a Spookamole blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Avocados from Mexico and received avocado items to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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