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Monday, December 5, 2016

Amazon Prime Photos' new features - Win a $500 gift card

Is it just me or do you take gorgeous pictures of special moments and then can't remember where they are when you want to print or share them with family and friends?

No worries! Technology always comes through. Now Amazon has launched an all-new Prime Photos experience with Family Vault. Now, Prime members can share their benefit of unlimited photo storage with up to five family members or friends at no additional cost. Prime Photos is free for Prime members and makes it easy for family members to safely store and share all their favorite photos.
Additional new features include: Image Search, People view and Places view. And Prime members can now order photo prints, cards, photo books, and calendars directly from their Prime Photos account. Download the new Prime Photos app here: www.tinyurl.com/PrimePhotos



I love that you can now order photo prints, cards, photo books, and calendars directly from your Prime Photos account, and it is available on computers, iOS and Android phones, and tablets. How easy is that? Free up space on your phone and try it out.


Once you have downloaded the app, enter this awesome giveaway. You can win the 1st prize of a $500 Amazon gift card, or one of five $100 Amazon gift card 2nd prize! 

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Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!
Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Healthy, Natural Stocking Stuffers

At our home, we have a stocking for each of our kids, and the night before Christmas, everyone gets to open their stocking and get a few small treats. The kids really look forward to this, and honestly, so do I. 

I like to gift them a dark chocolate almond bar (can you tell they don't eat sweets often), activity books, stickers, and now this year, I am gifting my daughters with some Piggy Paint

What is Piggy Paint? It's about the safest nail polish possible. Their non-toxic, water-based formula is virtually odorless, cruelty-free, vegan, and safe for pregnancy. It is free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, biphenyl A, ethyl acetate and acetone… and made in the USA!

As you may know, most nail polishes are extremely unsafe, especially for little ones. Do you want to wear something on your finger nails that can eat a hold through plastic? Not me! In fact, I haven't worn nail polish since I was pregnant with my first child. 

But, now there are safe nail polishes for you and your children. If you want the adult version of Piggy Paint, make sure to try their SOPHI brand.


My girls and I are going to have fun doing our nails safely so that our piggies look gorgeous for church on Christmas morning.

If you want to join us, check out this promo code: PP122016 for 15% off at piggypaint.com or sophinailpolish.com. This code expires December 19th, 2016.

More FUN! We are giving away (1) Piggy Paint POP of Pixie Gift Set ($22.50 value) to (1) very lucky winner!
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Thanks to Piggy Paint and SOPHI for sending products to review. No other compensation was given.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

What is REALLY in Your Thanksgiving Turkey?

Have you ever taken a closer look at your Thanksgiving turkey? What is really in that giant bird?
  • Do you know where it is grown? 
  • Is it allowed to live as a turkey should live - humanely, raised to it's naturally intended weight?
  • Is it given antibiotics, growth stimulants or hormones? (hint, hint - why do you think your turkey is so gigantic?)
  • What is it fed?
  • Is it pumped full of artificial ingredients, preservatives, MSG or other additives?
When looking at conventional turkeys grown and sold as cheaply as possible, you will find some scary stuff. For example, Butterball LLC, which sells about 12 million whole turkeys for Thanksgiving, injects its frozen whole turkeys with a solution to "keep the turkey moist and help prevent it from drying out during cooking, and for flavor," according to the company. Additives include salt, natural flavors, modified food starch and sodium phosphates. Food Babe also has a great article about the dangers lurking in the average turkey.

Ummmm...no thanks.

I prefer to eat an old-fashioned turkey. And yes, you can still find them.

Check out one of the last small, family-owned turkey grower-processors in the United States,  the Diestel Family Turkey Ranch. Their ranching style, family-farming secrets, and strict sustainable standards consistently produce a better, tender and juicier turkey with real, old-fashioned flavor. Sustainably raising turkeys for four generations, all of  Diestel’s birds are:
  • Slow grown; raised almost 2x as long and given 3x as much space as conventional birds 
  • Raised to their naturally intended weight giving the turkeys exceptional taste and texture
  • No gluten, casein, carrageenan, phosphates, MSG, artificial ingredients or preservatives 
  • No antibiotics, growth stimulants, or hormones
  • 100% vegetarian diet, enhanced with vitamins and minerals, milled and mixed daily on the ranch
  • GAP rated; Diestel’s pasture raised birds received GAP’s highest 5+ rating 
Diestel generously sent me one of their organic turkeys, and I am beyond thrilled to serve it to my family. They shipped it to my front door, and it was such a convenient and easy process. You can also find them at Whole Foods and right on the Diestel online store.

Yes, organic, sustainably raised turkeys are more expensive. But I expect that to be the case. The great thing is - Thanksgiving is a special occasion. I am happy to splurge a bit once a year on a quality, healthy turkey that is going to nourish my family.

What do you think? Have you thought twice about what is really in your Thanksgiving turkey?

Thanks to Diestel for providing a turkey for me to try out with my family. No other compensation was given, and this is all my opinion.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Go Macro Thrive Bars Giveaway

I know that while they are not a better choice than a home cooked meal, sometimes snack bars are a necessity. But not every snack bar is created equal. Some of made in huge factories with cheap ingredients that drive your blood sugar up and leave you feeling less than satisfied. I will NEVER recommend any bar like that on this site. No way.

Because I care about health. I care about my family's health. I care about your health. I care about our country's health. I care about our planet.

With that in mind, let me share a snack bar from GoMacro that I love. As a long time fan of Go Macro bars, I am happy to share with you their new Thrive bars they recently sent me. Thrive are made up of a superfood ancient grain blend, are all less than 200 calories and provide plant-based protein, essential fatty acids, and prebiotic fiber to fuel your body and mind.

 
It matters that GoMacro is a family-run natural food company with roots in organic farming and dedicated to making the best tasting food with the highest quality ingredients. Everything they make is 100% vegan, USDA certified organic, certified non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and made from mostly raw ingredients. They believe that everything we put in our bodies should have a beneficial impact. So do I!

These Thrive bars are delicious. My favorite is the Blueberry Lavender. I wasn't sure what that would taste like, but the lavender compliments the blueberry perfectly. I also love the health punch that the Ginger Lemon bar packs. These are perfect for afternoon snacks for my kiddos or an after-workout snack for me.

For (1) lucky winner, we are giving away (1) variety box of delicious Thrive bars! 
Enter below. Find GoMacro on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to GoMacro for sending bars for review. No other compensation was given.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Orange Essential Oil Recipes and Giveaway

Who loves essential oils? ME, ME, ME!!!

If you are new to essential oils or just curious about why and how I have used them for over 8 years, make sure you check out these great posts too:

- What to know about essential oils

- What is aromatherapy?

- How and why to use essential oils

- The Swiss army knife of essential oils

- 4 Essential oil must-haves for your home

Today, I get to share with you one of my favorite uplifting essential oils - ORANGE!

Who doesn't love the smell while peeling an orange? Do you know what that smell is? That is the oil of the orange skin! Now you understand why I love orange essential oil so much.

The smell is so refreshing, uplifting and energizing. Here are my favorite ways to use it:
  • inhale it as a great way to start your day
  • put one drop of lavender and one drop of orange in my diffuser necklace or diffuser for a wonderful way to encourage positive emotions
  • add a drop or two to my body wash for a wonderful energizing shower
  • put a drop on a cloth to remove sticky or gunky stuff 
  • add it to homemade playdough to keep your kiddos smiling
  • add 10 drops or so to a glass spray bottle with distilled water and spray in closets or linens for a wonderful fresh smell  
  • add a drop or two to wool dryer balls and throw in the dryer for fresh clean clothes
  • add a drop to my Thieves toothpaste for bright, shining teeth

Here are some recipes you will love trying out.

Energizing Sugar Scrub 

Ready to make your skin super soft?

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar (I especially love coconut sugar)
1/2 cup coconut oil
8-15 drops of your favorite Young Living essential oil (try orange and lavender, or orange and white angelica for a great stress relieving blend)

Directions:
Mix sugar and coconut oil together in a bowl.
Add coconut oil gradually until you get the consistency you like.
Add desired amount of essential oils. (Slowly add in essential oils. Remember you can always add more if it’s not as strong as you’d like)

Happy Roller

I love my Happy Roller!

Ingredients:
Glass roller bottle
Carrier oil - I use fractionated coconut oil
20 drops of essential oils - I recommend Joy and Orange for this recipe

Directions:
Start by adding 10 drops of Joy and 10 drops of Orange to a glass roller bottle. Then fill the rest of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil or whatever carrier oil you choose. Roll it around in your hands for a couple seconds before applying. I like to apply it right over my heart or on my wrists.

With all this fun talking about Orange essential oil, I cannot help but want to share some with you!

We are giving away (1) bottle of Young Living Orange essential oil to (1) lucky winner!

Enter below to win! Let me know if I can answer more of your questions or guide you in your essential oil journey. I am here to help! If you would like to be added to a free, educational resource full of people sharing how they use oils, ask to join the Hello Essentials. It is one of my favorite places to go to get ideas about how others are using their oils and what they love about them. Everyone is so positive and helpful. I just love it! (And no, nobody will be trying to sell you anything!) You can tell them that I (Cara Nitz) sent you over.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Monday, September 26, 2016

ButcherBox Delivers to You!

Meat - it's what's for dinner (along with tons of veggies) most nights at our house. We love all types of meat and fish for the great protein and other nutrients they give us. But we don't just eat your average grocery store meat. We prefer to buy the highest quality, organic, grass-fed meat. Why? Because there is a huge difference between factory farmed meat you find at most grocery stores (GMO corn-fed, fed antibiotics and hormones, stuck in tiny pens most of their lives, living in filth) and meat from animals that live the way animals are supposed to live (pastured out in nature eating grass).

For many people these days, this kind of humanely treated, healthier, more delicious meat can be hard to find. I like to buy mine from a local farmer. I also love ButcherBox!

What is ButcherBox? They are a monthly delivery service for All Natural 100% Grass Fed Beef, Organic Chicken and Heritage Breed Pork. For those of you without access to Grass Fed beef or who don’t have the freezer space to store the hundreds of pounds that sometimes come with many grass fed purchases, ButcherBox is an awesome option. Now grass-fed, pastured meat is available to all of us!
Just head to their website and pick out which of their 4 boxes you would like to get started with. Each box comes with 7 - 10 lbs of meat, which is enough for at least 20 individual meals (at a 5 - 8oz portion size).
 We chose the all beef box, and we received some very delicious cuts of meat such as: ground beef, sirloin tips, top sirloins and recipe cards to go along with. I personally have never cooked some of these cuts of meat, so I was extremely grateful for the recipe cards and extra information about each type of meat.
I can't say enough about how easy it was to order through ButcherBox, what quality products we received and what a wonderful opportunity it is to get high quality meats right to your front door. ButcherBox can change the way Americans eat, and I appreciate everything about their mission and products!

Thank you to ButcherBox for their products for review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Are Baby Gates Really Just Baby Gates for Stairs?

This is a sponsored post. All content is 100% my own thoughts and emotions. 

As I am sure you know, I am the mother of four beautiful children. After having my fourth 20 months ago, I realized how much my health had been suffering. Since then, I have been trying to nourish my body and bring it back to optimal health. One of the decisions my husband and I made along the way was that it would not be wise for us to have any more children, or at least not for a long time. Bam. End of an era. No more babies.

This was and is really hard for my mama heart to digest.

Finally I got up the courage to have a garage sale and get rid of all the baby stuff. However, I noticed the other day, I somehow forgot the baby gate - yep, as in baby gates for stairs. I walk past this gate 100 times a day, but somehow I have had no desire to remove it now that all my children can safely walk down stairs. Why is that? Is this baby gate more than just a baby gate for me? Is it a symbol of the end of a decade of baby-loving? Am I in denial that my baby is not a baby anymore?

If I am honest with myself, I would answer 100% yes.

Those precious moments right after birth, the days of snuggling and baby drool, a little head falling asleep against your beating heart, the sweet baby smiles, the firsts - first roll over, first time sitting up, first steps, first high five, these are the things I am desperately trying to hang onto for every precious second.


As my youngest grows up and my oldest grows up even more, I have to accept that we are moving to a new phase of life. And it is okay to shed some tears. It is okay to miss the baby moments. It is even okay to let the baby gate stay up for longer than it is necessary.

If you are struggling to move onward from the baby stage, move into the school age or move into the empty nest stage, it is okay. Give yourself some grace, let the tears flow, feel the emotions that go along with taking steps forward into new territory, and enjoy every moment with your precious family because these are the moments you all will remember forever.