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Monday, October 5, 2015

Three Ideas to Brighten Someone's Day

It is Monday.

The weather is getting colder. Less sunshine. Less Vitamin D. Less time spent outdoors. More colds. More grumpiness.

Let's not get stuck in this depressing cycle. There are many positive things you can do each day to help brighten up your own day and someone else's, as well. I am sharing a few of my favorite tips with you today. Cheer up!

1. Write a handwritten letter. Give a few genuine compliments, write about how much that person means to you, or share a special memory that will make them smile. Something so simple can mean so much. And it will probably only take you one minute to do this. Easy peasy!

2. Random Acts of Kindness. Do we only give gifts when we feel others deserve them? It can get easy to fall into that habit. What about giving a gift today for no reason at all? One fantastic gift idea is a beautiful plant that will not only brighten their day today, it will brighten their day for many weeks, months, and maybe even years.

I recently received a vibrant Grateful Red Hydrangea from Nature Hills. Isn't it beautiful? I kept it inside for a few days to brighten up my kitchen table, but then I planted it outside in a spot I can see every day. It will grow 3-4 ft high and will not wither like a vase of picked flowers, so you can continue to enjoy this gift that keeps on giving. It will provide you or your friend with armfuls of flowers for your vases all season. (extra tip: it is half off right now on the Nature Hills website) Every time you/they see it, they will remember your thoughtfulness and love and feel that special feeling all over again.

3. Make a special treat! My husband knows there is hardly anything I love better than when he makes me treats. Chocolate treats, to be exact. What is that old saying? The way to a man (or woman's) heart is through their stomach. Hmmmm...sometimes that can be true.

Here are a few of my favorite homemade healthier treats:

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies - paleo, gluten free, dairy free, yum!
Chewy Cinnamon or Chocolate Brownies - paleo, gluten free, dairy free, delicious!
Award-winning Chocolate No Bake Cookies - gluten free, dairy free, melt-in-your-mouth 

Make a difference in someone's day today, and I guarantee that you will feel better as well!

Friday, October 2, 2015

2015 Fall Food Finds

I received products to review. No other compensation was given. All thoughts are my own.

Want to know what is fresh and exciting for food this fall season? Check out some of my favorite new products that are available now!

Looking for a healthy, gluten free snack that is packed with protein and fiber? The Gluten Free Bites are a favorite snack in our home, and they have three new flavors: PB and J, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Hazelnut. Not only are these delicious, but they are made with all-natural and organic ingredients, certified gluten-free, vegan, Kosher, Non-GMO Project Verified, and each variety of bites is also low in sodium, made with low glycemic natural sweeteners, and completely free of fillers, additives, wheat, soy, cholesterol, trans fat, casein and dairy.

I was a bit concerned about the Virginia peanuts that are a main ingredient, since many of these variety of peanuts contain a mold called aflotoxin. I asked Elliott Rader, co-founder of The GFB, about this concern of mine and he shared that they source their peanuts from Virginia simply because they found a great supplier of high quality peanuts there. In terms of Aflatoxin testing, their CofA's show that, while there is no specific line item for Alfatoxins, the peanuts are tested for mold and the results are always <10 .="" p="">
Need an energy boost but concerned about unhealthy energy drinks? Try the new Voke Tab, a portable, chewable, healthy energy tab. These are great for before/during a workout, mid day when you need an extra boost, or when you are on the go and don't have time to stop for coffee or an energy drink.

Made with organic guarana berry, organic acerola cherry, and green tea leaf caffeine. They are only 2 calories per tab and contain 100% daily vitamin C.

Another great energy boost is tea! I am loving the new Life Basics Organic Teas, which are 100% organic, 100% Bee friendly, non-GMO, and are based on traditional tea blends from around the world.
Not only are these super pure and great for you, they taste delicious! They have seven different flavors, all very uniquely refreshing. The big news for Life Basics Organics is that they just launched their crowdfunding campaign on September 21st and are getting in grocery stores nationally! This is super exciting because they are the real deal in reinventing the world's wisest health drinks, and I hope to see them in a store nearby very soon! You will love them!

What if you could have chocolate and espresso in one tasty bite? Il Morso is the world's first "real food" espresso edible that gives you the same kick from your morning espresso - in just one delicious chocolate bite.

Why is Il Morso so great? Il Morso is made with just 3-5 ingredients, including organic espresso beans, cocoa butter, and cane sugar. Each is 100% organic, fair, and farm traceable. It's made from simple whole foods, not harsh chemical extracts. With each bite, you can actually see the measured dose of caffeine you are taking in - giving you more control of your body and how you use caffeine for energy. I love this, because I am a nursing mother, and I do not want to take in too much caffeine, but a little boost is fantastic! Il Morso comes in 4 decadent flavors: Americano, Mocha, Coffee and Cream, and Matcha Green Tea. Each is delicious - I just know you will love these as much as I do!

There’s over 130 million people across the USA who have to deal with multiple food allergies on a daily basis. And when it comes to snacking, their options become quite limited. Freedom Foods, the world-class Australian based leader in allergen-free foods for over 20 years, is excited to introduce a variety of allergen-free new oat bars to their well-established cereal brand.

These are new to the US, and I think you will appreciate that their oat bars are free from gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, egg, soy and sesame. They are more nutritious than what’s on the market with higher dietary fiber, and lower sugar and sodium content. Possessing natural colors, flavors and whole grains, there are no GMO ingredients and every batch, made in an allergen-free facility, is tested every time. Super important for those who have to carefully watch what they eat.

NAIRN'S is a UK health-food institution that's about to blow up here in the US. They also make oat-based, gluten-free and glutton-free bars, biscuits, crackers and cookies. While my kids and I mostly stay away from grains, my husband loves an oaty treat once in awhile. I love that Nairns uses high quality oats grown in the Scottish Borders where the climate is perfect to grow their whole grain oats without insecticides and other ickies. Their ingredient lists are super short, because they keep things as simple and natural as possible.
My hubby gave them a thumbs up, and I give them a thumbs up for keeping their ingredients simple and pure.
I have been a fan of kombucha for years. I even began making my own for awhile. If you are new to Kombucha or do not have time to make your own, I highly recommend GTs Kombucha. They are grateful for being able to share kombucha for two decades and to celebrate and thank their supporters, they are introducing a new, limited-edition, raw, organic kombucha flavor called Sharing Gratitude in a beautiful screen printed bottle. With delicious, fresh-pressed, root-based vegetable juices turmeric, carrot and ginger, the flavor is a symbol of the company staying true to its roots. In addition, they are making a donation for every bottle sold.

I love this flavor - it combines the best of so many ingredients, and the taste is perfect - not too spicy, sweet or sour. Just perfect!

We are celebrating with them, and we are giving away several bottles of GTs Kombucha special edition, Sharing Gratitude, to (1) lucky reader!

Enter to win below!

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Have You Tried Argan Oil?

I received products to try out. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are my own.

Argan oil? Sounds familiar...I will give you a hint - you can eat it, but most people use it for a very high quality product on their skin or hair. It is a plant oil made from the kernels of the argan tree from Morocco. People have used it not only as a personal care product, but as a heart-healthy oil to eat with bread or drizzle on dinner for many years.

As with most things, quality is key. I have been using the Somaluxe argan oil from Lady Soma, because I love their high standards! Lady Soma selects every raw ingredient that goes into their products. They require organic certification for their products which contain organic ingredients and never use genetically modified produce/grains. I love that their ingredients are grown bio-dynamically and organically, or ethically wild-harvested. Lady Soma products do not include any chemical ingredients as identified by the Green Guide or chemicals listed as hazardous by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics or the European Union Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC).

I love using argan oil for both my hair and my skin. For hair, it adds moisture, shine and frizz control. I use just a tiny bit, like I have shown below. I rub it into my hands a bit and spread through the ends of my damp hair. It is a non-greasy, alcohol free formula that quickly absorbs and nourishes. I love how soft and manageable it makes my hair. I noticed a difference right away. This is the only conditioner I use for my hair, and I only need to apply it every couple days or so. 

Oh, and did I mention it smells amazing?! With several essential oils added into the formula, it is both calming and energizing. You will love it!
You can also try it on your skin. When applying to areas of the face, focus on target areas such as under and around the eyes and neck. It has great anti-aging benefits, and it definitely makes your skin feel soft and moisturized.

If you love their argan oil, you may also want to check out some of the other Lady Soma products, such as their Somaluxe Redness Repair, a calming treatment for sensitive skin that enhances complexion and adds gentle moisture. Not only can you use it for rosacea, sunburn, and skin treatments, but you can also use this for allergies.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sustainable Stylish Sunglasses

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

How many pairs of plastic sunglasses end up in our landfills? I don’t actually have a number for you, but judging by how many sunglasses most people go through in a lifetime, I am guessing it is a lot!

What is the alternative?

How about sustainably sourced and repurposed men’s and women’s sunglasses and RX eyewear?
Woodzee is a company that offers just such products! And now, they are going one step further and offering their first Woodzee collection that is made in America, thanks to their collaboration with Maker’s Mark.

They are going against the grain of overseas production with an American-made line of wood sunglasses produced in collaboration with Maker’s Mark, the name in small-batch bourbon whisky. Maker’s Mark barrels are recycled by Woodzee to create unique, hand-charred sunglasses. Wow! What a pair of sunglasses! Take a look.

As the proud owner of a pair of Woodzee sunglasses, I know the quality and care that goes into each pair. Not only are they durable and well-made, they are also unique and earth-friendly. I am very proud of Woodzee for crafting these right here in America. The entire production of these collaborative sunglasses is completed in California, where Woodzee designs, manufactures and ships the finished product. With a factory in the company’s hometown of Chico, Woodzee is able to ensure high standards, fair wages and exceptional manufacturing. These sunglasses are made with nontoxic materials from sustainably sourced American woods, yielding an overall better product. Taking production to the next level, this line of sunglasses also introduces science into the equation with patent-pending IsoShokTM technology and high-quality polycarbonate lenses.

"It's not just made in the United States, it's made better," Luke Winter, Founder.

If you want a pair of sunglasses that combine style and nature, you will love Woodzee sunglasses. I know I sure do!

Woodzee’s Maker’s Mark sunglasses are available at There is one style available of the Makers Mark line, with more styles debuting in the New Year. Size options are small/medium or medium/large. Make sure to check out their other lines, as well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tabata 13 - Fully Body Fat Blaster - No Equipment Needed

It's our favorite day of the week again! Why? Well, because we are crazy about Tabata, and we give away FREE Tabata workouts right here. Yep, it's your lucky day! (If you haven't learned about why Tabata is one of the workouts I recommend most as a certified personal trainer, read all about it here.)

Today, we are going to work your entire body - yes, head to toes! I call this workout Full Body Fat Blaster, because it is going to burn mega fat and your whole body had better be on fire by the time you are done. And you do not need any equipment, so you can do it anywhere! 20 minutes, anywhere. No excuses! Have fun getting ripped and burning fat!

Work hard during each 20 second burst and enjoy the rests in between. Make sure you are giving it 100% to see the best results! Do this workout 3 times this week, every other day, and then I will give you a new workout soon to keep your body guessing and the fat flying off!

Tabata 13 - Full Body Fat Blaster - No Equipment Needed!

This is an interval workout that consists of hard work for 20 seconds and then 10 seconds of rest directly following that. You repeat that pattern for 8 sets. That is one round. You can choose to do as many or as few rounds as you would like. This workout contains 5 rounds. Do as many as you can and challenge yourself to finish them all!

Round 1 -  Bear Crawls- 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest - 8 X

I love these! This total body burner is going to get your metabolism revving right from the get-go! Get down on hands and feet, knees hovering right over the floor. Crawl forward lifting opposite hand and foot. Crawl forward about four times before you crawl backwards. 

Round 2 -  Narrow Lunge Jumps - 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest - 8 X

Start in a lunge position, with feet closer than a normal lunge, with back knee right behind front heel. Lunge down, reaching toward floor, bending both knees into a 90 degree angle. Jump up and reach above you. Land back in the lunge position you started in. *To make it easier, take out the jump and just lunge and stand.

Round 3 -  Pushup and Reach - 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest - 8 X

  Start in a plank position, with hands directly under shoulder. You can start on your knees for an easier version. Bend elbows to come into a pushup. As you push yourself back up to plank, reach one arm forward straight ahead of you. Keep hips flat facing the floor.

Round 4 -  Side Plank and Leg Swing - 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest - 8 X

Talk about core power! This move is fantastic for your entire core and more! Start in a side plank position, on your hand and same side knee. Keep your hips lifted and abdominals tight, kick the top leg out straight ahead of you. Bring it back to start and repeat. 

Round 5 -  Squat Jump Over the River - 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest - 8 X

Start in a squat position, putting the weight in the middle and back of your feet. Jump up and over the imaginary river (or put a weight or any other object you have laying around down on the ground). *To make it easier, stay up higher in the squat without touching the ground each time you squat.

That is it! Rock this workout, and you are going to feel amazing! Remember, do this 3 non-consecutive days a week to get in awesome shape and join me next time for another great Tabata workout!
*Feel free to ask any questions. Also, please remember to consult your doctor before beginning exercise. I am obviously not responsible for any injuries or accidents that happen during or after this workout. Be safe and be healthy!*

Friday, September 11, 2015

Tips for Harvesting Your Garden

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

After the hard work you have put into your garden this summer, it is time to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your labor! What I love most is being able to take just a few steps down my deck to pick fresh produce to add to all our meals. It is the MOST fresh, delicious and healthy part of our meals. 

Here are some of my favorite tips and gardening ideas:
Now, let me share a few of my new, favorite products to make harvesting your garden even more enjoyable!

  • Having trouble digging to find your potatoes or other under-the-ground produce? We have spent many hours trying to find our potatoes in our garden or even growing in our compost pile, and it is much easier with a sturdy digging fork. If you do not have one yet, I would recommend the one we have, the Joseph Bentley Stainless Steel Digging Fork. Not only is it helpful for harvesting your garden, it is also the perfect tool for turning over your soil (yes, we prepare our garden soil all by hand - no tiller for us!), aerating your flower beds, or just breaking up clumps of dirt. Trust me, you need a super sturdy fork, and this one is just that! It has stainless steel tines that will last forever! It also has an extra-long steel shaft joined to a wooden handle made of solid ash. The grip of the handle helps you do your gardening with just a little more ease. Highly recommend getting yourself a quality digging fork like this one if you do any sort of gardening. Look for it at and

  •  See those pesky, sharp edges on my squash plants? If you find yourself with little prickers or cuts from your cucumbers, squash, thorny weeds, or rosebushes, then make sure you have some protective gardening gloves. These Jackson and Perkins Rose Gloves are one of my favorite garden products. They provide all the protection you will need, since they climb all the way up your forearm. Plus, they feature a lightweight, synthetic leather padded palm and reinforced fingertips, so those thorns will not sink through the glove material, like many others I have tried. When the gloves get dirty, they can be machine washed on a gentle cycle and line dried. Find them in two sizes—medium and large from
  • What if your garden is already almost done being harvested? Do you have to wait for fresh food until next year? No!! Check out your local farmers market, find a local farmer near you that you can buy direct from, or try growing some food in your home during those cold winter months. We love growing herbs year round in small pots throughout our home. And this year, we are going to try to grow sprouts right on our kitchen counter. Organic sprouts can be easily grown on your kitchen counter, and they are low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with nutrition. Alfalfa sprouts are one of the most popular sprouts due to their ability to be added to salads, sandwiches and many other dishes. They have a sweet, fresh taste—and alfalfa sprouts are an excellent source of vitamins including vitamins A, D, E, and K. Mung bean sprouts, which have been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years, have a crisp nutty flavor that can be stir-fried or eaten raw in salads. Today, “bean sprouts” are virtually synonymous with mung bean sprouts, and the popularity of this nutritious sprout continues to grow. They are a good source of protein, fiber and vitamins. We are using Sungarden Sprouts, which offers Alfalfa and Mung bean seeds for sprouting, plus Broccoli, Clover, Wheat, Spicy Mix, Crispy Mix and Bean Mix… most available organically! All seeds are thoroughly tested to be free of human or plant based pathogens. Sungarden tests its seeds for good germination and prints the results on every package. I love these! They are another great way to get your veggies into your diet and teach your kids about healthy eating and growing their own food. Find these varieties from

What are your tips for harvesting your garden? Favorite recipes with fresh veggies? 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fun Warner Bros. Videos and Giveaway

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

I think I have told you before - my oldest son is in the superhero phase. He loves all things Superman, Spiderman, Batman...I think you get the idea. 

They have so many fun superhero toys and products to fuel children's imaginations. Now you can even create your ultimate super hero with a fun name, look, powers and more! Check it out: . Also check out some of the amazing new videos from Warner Bros, including favorites such as Scooby Doo and Batman Unlimited . There will be many more updates over the next year, so don't forget to subscribe to their channels!

DCKids Channel:

WBKids Channel:

Here is the super fun Batman Unlimited video:

If that is not enough fun, check out this awesome giveaway for an amazingly fun toy gift basket!

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