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Friday, October 31, 2014

My Kids Won’t Be Eating Candy...

Cara was provided product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% her own.

Today, my kids will not be consuming candy. Shocker, right?

Here is something even more shocking: As of 2012, more than one-third of children (ages 7-11) and adolescents (12-19) were overweight or obese. If this trend continues, our kids are going to actually be shaped like pumpkins. And with that there comes very real health implications.

Instead of consuming a bunch of artificial colors, flavors, GMOs, and sugar, how about replacing that with something healthier. These are our children, after all. They deserve healthier.

Today, my kids will be eating one of their favorite treats - freeze dried fruit. Crispy Green has the perfect assortment of freeze dried fruit that is sweet and healthy, and because my children dont get dried fruit that often, it is a special treat for them.

These sweet, succulent, light and crispy snacks are less than 55 calories a bag, making for a healthy and delicious holiday snack for all! I love the convenient size,which makes them super easy for bringing along while traveling or for passing out on Halloween. In addition to the newest flavor, Crispy Fruit Tangerine, you can choose from any one the following flavors: apple, pear, mango, pineapple, banana, and cantaloupe. They are all delicious and are a great treat in winter when many of these fruits aren't available fresh.
Family-Shot-smlowres


















 

Since these are Non-GMO verified, full of natural fruit fiber and nutrients, with no additives or preservatives, they are a great choice for you and your whole family. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Multi-Purpose Cream of Coco Soap

I was provided product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% her own.

I am always on the lookout for new shampoo and soap products that are super pure, work very well, and made from only the best ingredients. I have recently found a new, unique soap - Cream of Coco soap.

Thanks to Wisdom Natural Brands, this soap is now available to all of us. They recently made the decision to re-release this sustainable, eco-friendly Cream of Coco soap.

The hand-cut soap is made from an edible nut from Mbocaya trees - only grown in Paraguay, and then combined with three other simple ingredients. While still maintaining an earth-friendly option, Cream of Coco soap provides a sensational, refreshing cleansing experience.

This soap provides lots of benefits to skin and hair. Besides using it to shampoo your hair (like I do), you can bathe or achieve a very close, clean shave with it. It softens and revitalizes skin, leaving both body and hair “squeaky clean,” improving sheen, softness and manageability. You can also use it for hand washing delicate fabrics cleaner, whiter and brighter.

Cream of Coco lathers up really easily and it always leaves my hair feeling cleaner, with no buildup. When you are using it for the first time, wash and rinse several times. The result is vibrantly clean, soft and manageable hair that will make you a big fan, like I am.

Check it out! It may be the answer you have been looking for!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Enjoy the Holidays With Kefir

I was provided product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

With all the food you will be consuming this holiday season, it is important to remember to eat plenty of healthy food for digestion. One of my favorite foods for digestion is kefir.

What is kefir?

Kefir is a cultured probiotic beverage similar in taste and texture to drinkable yogurt, and made from milk fermented with kefir cultures. Originating over 2000 years ago in the Caucasus Mountains-where many people live well over 100 years - kefir has been associated with a long list of health benefits.

One of those benefits is keeping your digestive system healthy. Remember, your intestinal tract is your largest immune system fighting organ, making it one powerful force for our health and the fight against illness. With over 400 species of bacteria living inside our intestines, it is very important that we keep the levels of good and bad bacteria in balance.That is what kefir does!

Lifeway Foods, leaders in probiotic and nutritious foods, has some great new flavors for the upcoming holiday season. Their holiday kefir, rich in flavors of Cranberry, Pumpkin Pie, and Egg Nog are filled with ProBiotics and contain only 150 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving. 
These three flavors are very delicious! Besides the yummy taste, they are rich in calcium, loaded with protein, and contain lots of live and active probiotic cultures. They use only milk that comes from grass-fed cows that are not treated with any artificial hormones, and are GMO free! That is really important to me!

Enjoy kefir with your favorite smoothies, over fresh fruit, or just drink it plain - that is how we prefer it. Everyone in our house is a big fan, and it seems they are always asking for more kefir. Enjoy this delicious way to keep your digestive system healthy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Treats That Do Not Trick!

Cara was provided product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% her own.

I don't know about you, but one thing that scares me about Halloween is all the junk food, sugar, and chemical ingredients that are consumed by everyone, especially small children!

According to estimates by the U.S Census Bureau, the average American consumes almost 26 pounds of candy each year, a large percentage of it around Halloween. Now that is frightening to think about!


It's okay to splurge a little, once in awhile, on treats we wouldn't normally include in our healthy diets. But, there is no reason to splurge on artificially colored, artificially flavored, GMO-laden candy and junk food that can barely be called food.

So, what do we do?

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a candy bar that is organic, has no artificial ingredients, no hydrogenated oil, and is non-GMO. Say hello to Legit Organics!

 They offer delicious takes on your old favorite candy bars. 

- Shot Caller Candy Bar -- A decadent combination of rich milk chocolate, soft caramel, organic roasted peanuts and airy nougat.These are just as tasty as Snickers, but contain none of the yuck. All organic. Totally delicious.

- Word. Candy Bar -- Truly divine salted caramel and pillowy malted nougat covered in creamy milk chocolate.Who likes Milky Way? If you do, this is the candy bar for you. Again, it tastes fabulous, but it is a clean candy bar, with no crap added.
These two candy bars are my new go-to when I want a treat. As you continue to work on replacing all the fake, artificially loaded products in your home with healthier choices, these are a must-have! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Organic African Shea Butter



Colder air = drier skin. Those harsh fall/winter winds and temperatures can really take a toll on the outer protection of our bodies. I am already seeing a little evidence of that in my children’s sensitive skin.

The thing is, most people reach for the nicest smelling lotion that promises to be gentle, but in actuality, it really is not gentle and those smells are actually not great for your body. I choose to only apply products to our skin that are so safe I could eat them if I wanted.

One of the products I love is shea butter, and the product we have been using lately is Key West Organic Raw Unrefined African Shea Butter. Why do I love their product? Here are a few reasons...
  • Most companies label their raw shea butter organic but are not certified organic, which means there is no guarantee that it does not contain harmful chemicals. The only way to ensure it is chemical free is by proper certification and Key West is definitely certified organic.
  • Their shea butter is sourced responsibly by local women’s co-ops in Africa to ensure fair wages and ethical treatment of the local African women that harvest it. Some companies will take advantage of these women by offering unfair compensation when sourcing, but you can rest easy with Key West.
  • I love their high quality! Their shea butter is processed by hand using water extraction and screened for impurities, resulting in the highest quality grade A shea butter.
Plus, it is packaged in a BPA free and FDA compliant container to ensure that no harmful chemicals are leeched into the shea butter from the plastic container.

Raw Unrefined USDA Organic African Shea Butter
Remember, shea butter is in more of a solid-like state, so you just grab a little dab, warm it up in your hand and rub it all over. It absolutely makes your skin feel like silk. I love it! If you are looking for a fantastic moisturizer that you know is pure, this is a great choice that I highly recommend.

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.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Holiday Handmade Gift Ideas and Vanilla Body Scrub Recipe

I received product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

When it comes to holiday gifting, it truly is the thought that counts. My most precious gifts are ones that came with a lot of thought and love. What could be more thoughtful than a handmade gift? Not only are they meaningful, but they often cost less money than store-bought gifts. Win, win, right?

Whether you are trying to simplify your holiday gift giving, find a gift for that hard-to-shop-for person, let a teacher know how much she is appreciated, or surprise a coworker, DIY gifts are the perfect way to show how much you care.

I want to share some ideas on ways to make your DIY gifts even more extra-special:

• Package homemade biscotti, cookies, or even body products in vintage tins or jars. A beautiful container is an additional gift that the recipient can keep long after the handmade gift is gone.
• Instead of using traditional wrapping paper or gift bags, wrap boxes in craft paper and decorate with pens and markers. Wrap jars and bottles in fabric, burlap, or a pretty kitchen towel and secure it with colorful striped baker’s twine.
• Attach a Christmas ornament to the outside of the package in lieu of a traditional gift tag. Ornaments can be treasured for years to come.
• Include a hand-written note or card with the recipe for your gift – it is the gift that keeps on giving!

I also want to share a great recipe for Vanilla Body Scrub from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, which is the perfect gift for friends, sisters, daughters, or anyone who deserves a bit of pampering this holiday season. Fragrant Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar gently exfoliates while olive oil moisturizes, leaving skin feeling soft, smooth and rejuvenated.



Vanilla Body Scrub
  • 1 cup Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar   
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 or 2 drops of an essential oil such as lavender, eucalyptus, etc.

Decorative, waterproof container
Mix ingredients together in a bowl.
Spoon into a decorative, waterproof container.
Wrap in decorative paper.

Instructions for use: Apply a small amount to damp skin while in shower or bath. Gently scrub skin with a soft washcloth. Rinse thoroughly.



To help you with all your holiday baking, we are giving away (1)
Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract to (1) lucky winner! Enter to win below.


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Department of Sweet Diversions

Cara received product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% her own.

I love how Fall is a time of harvest. So much hard work has gone into planting, taking care, and now the picking of gardens and fields. We finally get to reap the benefits of our hard work. If you do not have your own garden or fields, there are always local farmers markets and companies that share their locally sourced goods.

I was just recently introduced to a great company just like this. Department of Sweet Diversions, a boutique jam company, features seasonal ingredients locally sourced from Farmer’s Markets within a 12-mile radius of their commercial kitchen. Jam-maker Virginie Strub’s cooking process is classic, while her flavors have a delectably modern twist. She makes a small-batch-made apple butter that is sweetened with agave instead of sugar, combined with a special blend of spices, and topped with a dash of Brandy for good measure. Yum! Apple butter...
 
 
I love their huge variety of homemade jams. I tried out their Rule of Plum, which is made with cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, ginger, cloves, and of course, plums! It is deliciously flavorful, as you can imagine. It is the perfect jam for fall, with its comforting spices and flavor combinations.


 Check out all their jams and enjoy the harvests of fall!