Posted by: suzan | August 25, 2014

WORLD FOODS – Products Worth Reviewing

WORLD FOODS IMAGE

Some days I’m really at a lost as to what to cook for dinner. With me being a vegetarian, it’s much easier for me to whip up a delicious salad or stir-fry than it is to plan a great meal for my husband and son who are not vegetarians. So at times I rely on pre-made sauces and marinades. Nothing wrong with some help now and then right? Especially when you do a majority of the cooking and you have to come up with something that everyone will like to eat.

So when I was offered to review WorldFoods (http://www.worldfoods.com.my/wf/index.php) as a Moms Meet Ambassador I was excited to try this new Asian fusion food company. I’m not much on heavy sauces as I used to think they overpower the actual dish, but I was willing to give WorldFoods Asian sauces a try. Ranging from Thai to China to India, WorldFoods sauces and marinades contain all of the essential ingredients you’d find in traditional Asian and Pan Asian cooking.
Ingredients such as Chili peppers, Garlic, Ginger, Cumin, Turmeric, and Cinnamon make up a unique and delicious blend of sauces that make your mouth water and your taste buds thanking you later. If I had to make these sauces from scratch I’d probably wouldn’t do a professional job with them and that’s why companies such as WorldFoods take out the guessing game for us.

 

 

20140814_190630_resized

WorldFoods is an internationally known company originated in 1998 and made up of professionals in the food industry. With their extensive line of Asian fusion sauces and marinades, you could probably try all of their products and never finish with the expanse of dishes you could come up with. WorldFoods has 51 types of Asian dipping sauces, pastes, noodle sauces, stir-fry, cooking sauces, marinades, chutneys and salad dressings available worldwide. I was very fortunate to have tried their most popular ones: Thai Yellow Curry, Thai Coconut Galangal, Fried Rice Nasi Goreng, and Thai Green Curry Paste. My first experiment was with the Fried Rice Nasi Goreng having tried that dish a long time ago at a restaurant. The recipe called for chicken and shrimp however so instead I included sweet onions, eggs, and diced green onions to make it a vegetarian dish. The fried rice was spicy enough for a unique flavor and it wasn’t overpowering or too pungent. Next time I may add shrimp to it for my family and see how they like it.

I then tried the Thai Green Curry Paste as I love curry and can find so many uses for its intricate blend. Curry is really a fusion of spices and the Thai Green Curry Paste wasn’t too spicy but just enough to give it a good bite. It was easy to pour it over rice and mixed with some vegetables and protein and you’ve got an authentic Thai dish. One of the reasons I like WorldFoods is that there are so many varieties to choose from. Asian cooking can be difficult and time consuming, but it’s because of the complicated blend of flavors that make them so popular and delicious.

WORLD FOODS SAUCES

WorldFoods uses only natural ingredients and ingredients authentic to it’s nation. There are no artificial ingredients or preservatives. And you’ll find some well-know ingredients such as ginger and garlic and others like galangal that make up a delicious and nutritional meal. So if you love Asian food and cooking, then you might enjoy WorldFoods. With so many varieties and flavors to choose from, you’ll find something to use that can simplify your meals or become a unique treat for your family and taste buds. WorldFoods can be found at most natural grocery stores as well as certain major supermarkets. For store locations, please click here: http://www.worldfoods.com.my/wf/where_to_buy/index.php.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

Posted by: suzan | August 16, 2014

Storm Siren – A BookLook Book Review

STORM SIREN COVER There is just something magical about picking up a hardbound book, flipping the pages and touching their gritty texture and feeling the weight of words transfer into vivid imagery inside your head. Books transcend time and place and when you pick up a really good book, you become involved in the author’s world and in essence, the hero or heroine’s world as well. As a BookLook blogger, I was given a great opportunity to review an advanced reader’s copy of Storm Siren written by Mary Weber. As an avid fan of fantasy and science fiction literature, the moment I saw the cover to Storm Siren it instantly drew my interest. I may have mentioned before but covers on a book can really make or break a deal. It is the first step in engaging a reader and a possible fan. But all those pretty images are just images until you dive into the book and decide for yourself whether the book truly belongs on your bookshelf, or in your Kindle library, or…you get the idea.

Giddy with excitement at receiving my hardbound Storm Siren, I told my family to leave me alone for a few hours while I enjoyed this fascinating book. From the synopsis alone, I had a feeling that I would be drawn into this new world and become immersed into the drama of intrigue, suspense, and the paranormal. And I was right. The first sentence of the book captivated me and I couldn’t put it down from then on. Storm Siren is a book about triumph, hardships, and discovery. But through all the intricate weaving of storytelling, there is a tender love story between all the fighting, misconceptions, and drama.

I really liked the heroine, Nym and the story is told in the first person so it was easy to follow along. Nym was brave, tempestuous, yet held an abundance of control and dignity throughout the book. She was young and passionate and didn’t always make the right choices but through the heart of it all, she believed in doing the right things. Then there was Eogan, the warrior charged to train Nym to fight for the kingdom in which she is also a slave. I liked that Eogan burned for her just as she burned for him and the dialogue between those two was so much fun to read! It was like watching first love being discovered and blossomed. And then the ending, the abrupt ending which had me going, “oh no! What happened to Eogan?” But fear not, the author’s second installment of Storm Siren will continue next June 2015. I hope I will get a chance to review that book as well.

I’d say this book is best for ages 16 and above. Although there isn’t anything too explicit in the book, the writing style is a bit mature and definitely not situated in a teenage world although the characters in the book seem quite young. But it was an easy read for me as the author transitioned smoothly and had very little grammatical errors. And the author’s usage of Faelon’s language was quite ingenious. It reminded me of Lord of the Rings where they had their own languages. Mary Weber is definitely a very good storyteller and her writing draws you in the moment you read her words. I like discovering new authors and will keep an eye on this one. If you’re interested in paranormal abilities set in a world of fantasy and war, you’ll definitely enjoy reading Storm Siren by Mary Weber. Storm Siren is set to be released on August 19, 2014.

Thomas Nelson Book’s summary of Storm Siren:

“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth—meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

Editor’s Disclosure: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions made on this book are entirely my own and has not been influenced in any way. I have not received monetary compensation for reviewing this book other than receiving a copy of it. I may reveal spoilers from time to time but I will always preface it so you can skip that part or read them for the sheer fun of it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Posted by: suzan | August 13, 2014

The Perfect World

While I was pregnant I told myself that I would be the perfect mom: teaching my son how to become a good man, baking and bringing all the goodies for his school’s fundraisers, and essentially all the things that moms should instinctively know what to do. Well, when my son was born and I held his tiny, adorable body in my arms, all of my previous conventions flew out the hospital window with one big bubbly burp.

As I peered into his big, dark eyes and watched him furrow his eyebrows with worry, I thought to myself – hey little one, don’t be so troubled. I am the one who needs to worry about you growing up. But my son was always a worrier and a studier. He studied everyone and everything around him. He studied why leaves moved with the wind. He studied why some cars had four wheels and some had six wheels. He studied with that constant crease in between his eyes and people often wondered why he had that expression. I told them it was because he was a worrier. And then people would look at me funny wondering how I could raise my child to be so anxious all of the time. Well, my son wasn’t neurotic he was simply intune to all the things around him – something that I wished adults would be more conscious of.

As he grew older however, his brows furrowed less and he was more open and free. He is such a happy and funny kid, never letting things bother him too much for too long. I wondered to myself what happened to my little worrier and then I realized that hey, it’s probably better this way. It would’ve been much more difficult to get him out of that mindset than to teach him to be more carefree.

Being a first time mom is never easy. Heck, being a mom isn’t easy. But I suppose through experience and trials and error, we all learn through pitfalls and triumphs that parenting is a dirty job and yet a beautiful enigma. There may be hundreds of books on parenting and even thousands more advice from family and friends. But in the end, we as the parent should learn from our own mistakes and essentially from what our own children teaches us. We don’t live in a perfect world and although I wondered if I could have kept my newborn safe enclosed in an adamantium-made box while I carted him around everywhere I went, I realized through baby steps that it’s okay to let him breathe a little outside of his comfort zone and in essence allow myself to take a new breath as well.

As a writer and advocate of healthier living for children, I learned from an early age to live healthier and to do all that was possible to provide a safer world for my son. As years went on, my own downfalls forced me to deviate away from my early life lessons, but then I woke up from those self-deprecating paths and went back to advocating for my own health. I strived to be a better mom by teaching my son about eating healthy, buying healthier products, and giving back to Earth what she has given us. It may not always be easy to teach those basic life lessons to him, but even now as we grocery shop, he reminds me to buy organically.

Now that my son is no longer that fragile little newborn, I can see things clearer through his eyes. He may not understand what GMO means or why fossil fuels released into the atmosphere is driving our planet into global warming. But through incessant teaching on my part and showing him that helping our own bodies also helps our planet, he is becoming quite the little advocate himself. He recycles, he reminds me to bring my reusable bags, and he turns off lights when he leaves the room. I truly could not be more proud.

The perfect world may exist one day, perhaps far into the future. But for right now, I am growing as a parent along with my growing son. Together we have triumphed and fallen, gave up on little fights, and learned to pick our battles. But in the essence of it all, my son is perfect in his own way, with or without those furrowed brows. Now, as I glance at my reflection in the mirror I too see the creased lines in my forehead from years of constant worrying. But that’s okay – because it’s my job to worry about my son, not the other way around.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

Posted by: suzan | August 6, 2014

ginnybakes – Products Worth Reviewing

GINNY BAKES

When I was going on a gluten-free or “gluten-less” program, I needed to know why it was important to reduce the intake of gluten type foods. On a personal level, eating less foods made with gluten made me feel lighter and I wasn’t prone to being so tired most of the time. I can just imagine how it would affect those who are completely gluten intolerant as it can be a very uncomfortable feeling. So when I was offered to try ginnybakes (www.ginnybakes.com) and review on my blog, I was very curious to how their gluten-free baked goods would taste.

I was sent their entire line of baked goods which ranged from chocolate chip cookies to their gluten-free baking mixes. I was quite surprised that ginnybakes had such an extensive lineup of products made with high quality ingredients and entirely without any traditional wheat flour. As a big fan of baked sweets, their cookies were actually quite delicious. My son’s favorite was their Butter Crisp cookies which I have to admit I liked as well even for a major chocolate lover as me. The Butter Crisp Love cookies as they are called were rich in buttery flavor, had a delicate crunch to them, and small enough in size where you could indulge in a few pieces. They are made with organic brown rice flour as the main ingredient and if we hadn’t known they were gluten-free cookies, we would not have tasted the difference. Their Chocolate Chip Love cookies were full of yummy organic dark chocolate chips and also had a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth crunch and it really was a toss-up as to which flavor was the best. But we tried them all just to give them a fair representation.

20140725_234833_resized_1

Ginnybakes baked goods are all made with organic ingredients, are gluten-free, non-GMO, and kosher. They believe that high quality and great tasting food should come together as one. As a family owned and operated company, Ginny Simon, the owner and founder of ginnybakes, wanted to bring delicious and all-natural baked sweets to those who live on a gluten-free lifestyle of just want something different than the traditional cookies you’d find in supermarkets. Their complete line of gourmet baked sweets are carefully formulated and tested for taste and can be found at most natural grocery stores and major supermarkets.

GINNYBARS

As a Moms Meet Ambassador I was very happy to have received ginnybakes to try and review. It has been hard trying to find really great tasting gluten-free products that doesn’t compromise taste and integrity. Most of the other gluten-free products were either really bland or dry in texture. With ginnybakes, their cookies were moist and crunchy and their ginnybars were moist and not too sweet and full of nuts and seeds. I’m not accustomed to having a lot of nuts in my snack bars but in the ginnybars they were blended into tiny pieces so you don’t get a mouthful of nuts and seeds. I have yet to try their baking mixes but I’m pretty sure they will turn out just as unique as their ready made baked goods. Judging by the gorgeous packaging alone they conjure up delicate homemade cookies ready to be enjoyed with a tall glass of frosty milk or a hot cup of green tea. And indeed the photos of the products actually represent how they look inside.

So for those who are on a gluten-free lifestyle or want to try something different, give ginnybakes a try. There are a great assortment of organic baked goods including Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bliss, Chocolate Chip Love, Butter Crisp Love, Coconut Oatmeal Bliss, ginnybakes Crumbles, ginnybars, ginnybakes mixes, and a few other delicious varieties.

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

Posted by: suzan | August 4, 2014

Aveda – Products Worth Reviewing

 

AVEDA NEW LOGO

Those of you who appreciate a really good beauty product company probably already have a few of their items in your house. Aveda (www.aveda.com), a company dedicated to providing naturally sourced and healthy ingredients designed to provide the benefits you need, is one of the rarest companies out there that have products actually proven to work.

As an Aveda Insider, I was given the wonderful opportunity to try their Color Conserve line – a unique hair color protecting system that is designed to prevent color fading. For those who color their hair, whether it’s to cover grey or it’s to try out a new color, you’ll know how frustrating it can be when your color starts to fade quicker than it should. Certain factors can shorten the duration of your color such as being out in the sun a lot, using too much shampoo and not using the right kind of shampoo, and the quality of your hair dye. With Aveda’s Color Conserve line, there are four products you could use to protect and preserve your hair color: Color Conserve Shampoo, Color Conserve Conditioner, Color Conserve Daily Color Protect, and Color Conserve Strengthening Treatment. I really like using the Strengthening treatment as my hair is fairly long and having to brush it often, I feel as if my hair falls out more than it should. Although my hair is already pretty strong, the strengthening formula has prevented less breakage and definitely made my hair smoother and shinier. I know it sounds strange, but I take hair care very seriously mainly because I wear it long so it should always look smooth and shiny. I saw results to stronger hair in about 1 week and that’s using their entire Color Conserve line.

AVEDA COLOR CONSERVE

Aveda makes not only hair care, but skin care for women and men, body care, perfume, and makeup. Their belief is that natural beauty care should come from pure flowers and plants using nature as the foundation to healthier hair and skin. They have been in the natural beauty care business for almost 40 years and their products can be found in their salons and spas, as well as their own brick and mortar stores throughout the US. I love the fact that when you enter one of their stores, you are instantly greeted with a cup of their healing tea and an expert Aveda specialist ready to help you with whatever you need. I am almost always instantly transformed from a hectic mom and business woman to a calm and relaxed mom and business woman. The fragrances that greet you when you go into their salons and stores are so pleasant and inviting you probably don’t want to leave. And when you are in their stores, try out their products, get a massage, and sip some tea; the environment of their stores and salons are really calming.

AVEDA COLOR CONSERVE STRENGTHENING TREATMENT

Aveda’s beliefs are to provide their consumers with healthier products as well as maintaining the integrity of the planet. They use recycled packaging, responsible sourcing of ingredients, and focus on educating the public on preserving the beauty of our planet. Each of their products contain up to 90% of naturally derived ingredients, made mostly from essential oils of plants and flowers, and none of their products are manufactured with parabens, phthalates and sodium lauryl sulfate. You wouldn’t want those toxic ingredients in your body, so why would you want them on your skin?

I’ve been using Aveda skincare and hair products for many years now and I have definitely seen positive results after using their products. All of their products are targeted for a specific need whether it’s preventing color fading, reducing stress, smoothing out wrinkles, prevent shave burns, or thickening thin hair, there are many varieties in their products to suit most everyone’s needs. If you’re interested in trying out Aveda for yourself, visit their website for more info on their products and the services they offer.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

 

Posted by: suzan | July 30, 2014

Prelude for a Lord – A BookLook Book Review

BOOKLOOK BLOGGER PRELUDE

My love for reading started at a fairly young age, most likely around the time I first learned how to read. I read everything from books to magazines to newspapers to comic books. There really was no limit to what I would read nor did I set a standard on what to read. As I’m trying to teach my son the joys and benefits of reading, I too have picked up several books to read at once. Although it’s probably not a very sensible practice as intertwining stories can happen, I’ve decided to dedicate my sole reading time to Prelude for a Lord as a book blogger for the BookLook Bloggers program.

One of my favorite genres is historical romance. I love learning about anything from a different era especially during the Regency period where everything seemed so elegant and extravagant. What a life it must have been to wear lavish gowns and attend glorious social events. Thus, when I chose Prelude for a Lord, I expected just that. Allow me to start off with saying that this book has a beautiful and elegant cover which was what drew my attention in the first place. I think a cover really draws the initial attraction and helps establish the essence of the actual story.

Aside from the charming cover, Prelude for a Lord, written by Camille Elliot is a tale of love, compassion, and triumph. I felt sad for the Heroine, Alethea at times because of the situations she was put in but she felt like a true hero, a bit naive even at 28 years old, and sometimes self-deprecating.

Although it read a bit differently than the other Regency romance books I’ve read in the past, the story still felt like you were thrust into the lavish and sometimes cruel world of Regency, England. The writing was engaging but felt a bit modern at times and I don’t know if that was the style of the author or not, but overall for those who have never read a Regency-period novel, you’ll still find the story delightful. There were many characters in the book so a lot of names to keep track of, but usually in these Regency romance books you’ll find many supporting characters – and some are great while others need not be in there.

I did like the Hero, Lord Bay Dommick as he was quite misunderstood and had a bit of an edge to him. He is a professional violinist and daunted by love. Although he wasn’t as romantic as I had hoped he would be, he was still sweet to Alethea at times. Reading their interactions together is like stepping back in time into their world.

Overall I did enjoy the story and although there was supposed to be bit of a mystery going on, it would have been nice if the author delved more into the workings of a violin and gave more explicit details about the instrument. I don’t know a lot about violins and whenever I read a story that focuses on a specific topic, it would help to have more detailed descriptions of it.

Prelude for a Lord is a gentle read and great for virgin Regency romance novels. Although it’s listed as a Christian romance, there weren’t really anything in the book to sway you otherwise. There were a few mentions of the Bible but not enough where those who are opposed to any kind of religion might find it offensive. Perhaps because it is also a “clean” book without a lot of explicit details on the romance, it is a good book for those who don’t want to read erotica or anything trashy.

Zondervan’s summary of the book, Prelude for a Lord:

An awkward young woman. A haunted young man. A forbidden instrument. Can the love of music bring them together . . . or will it tear them apart? Bath, England—1810 At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician. In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal. But when a thief’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument . . . with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick. Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul. Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . .

 

 

Editor’s Disclosure: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions made on this book are entirely my own and has not been influenced in any way. I have not received monetary compensation for reviewing this book other than receiving a copy of it.

I may reveal spoilers from time to time but I will always preface it so you can skip that part or read them for the sheer fun of it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

VEGETABLES - Copy

From time to time I exchange information and ideas with other bloggers. It’s always fun and gratifying to hear and read what others feel and think when it comes to parenting. Being a parent can be a daunting and unrewarding lifetime job, but when you do your best, you will eventually be rewarded with the results you wish to see.

I had the pleasure of having guest blogger, Deborah Shure (www.nannytax.ca), owner and founder of Nanny Tax write up a wonderful piece in helping your children eat and (hopefully) fall in love with vegetables. Read on to learn about great tips on how to get your kids to eat more produce.

4 Ways To Get Your Kids To Eat More Produce

Some kids love fruits and vegetables, and will eat almost any healthy dish you put in front of them. If that sounds like your child, you are one lucky parent. A large majority of kids are on the opposite end of the spectrum; if it’s not a French fry, then they don’t want it.

Moms and dads with picky eaters can beg and plead with their kids, and still the veggie dish they made with love won’t get eaten. If this sounds like you, and getting your kids to eat healthy is an uphill battle, here are four tips that may actually work with your kids.

Take a trip to the farmers market or a pick your own fruit farm.

Going somewhere new as a family is exciting for kiddos and adults. Plan a trip to the local farmers market or a farm that lets you pick your own produce. Tell the kids they get to meet the farmers that grow the veggies and talk about all of the different fruits and vegetables they might see.

At your destination, encourage your children to learn about the growing process and the names of new produce they may not have seen at your regular grocery store. If your kiddos are like most, they will want to take some of the colorful fruits and vegetables home. A simple trip to one of these places can get your kids excited to eat what they picked by hand, or to try the foods they asked the farmers about.

Let them pick out fruits and veggies at the store.

Going to the grocery store without the kiddos can feel like a vacation for a busy mom. You can get in, get out, and not be nagged at the checkout for those impulse buy items they conveniently put in your face. If your kiddos will not eat produce, you might try making a special trip to the store with them just for fruit and veggies.

If you typically shop solo, buy everything else you need in your normal trip. Make a second trip back at your convenience with your picky eaters. Normally you pick the produce, prepare it, and serve it. If your kids eat their vegetables you are one lucky parent. If they don’t, give them a handheld basket or a kid sized cart and tell them they get to pick out the produce this week. Giving them the choice of what fruits and vegetables you serve may do the trick, and may have them looking forward to eating them.

Buy a kid safe knife and let them help.

If your kiddos help in the kitchen, they may be more willing to eat what you serve. Let them wash fruits and vegetables, and help prepare them for dinner. Many stores sell plastic kid friendly knives that are safer for budding pint-sized chefs. Watch your kids closely and show them how to prepare fruits and vegetables for a family meal. Not only is it a great way to get in some bonding time, but it also increases the odds that your kiddos will eat vegetables at dinner.

When all else fails, sneak it in.

If you’ve tried everything you can think of to get your kids eating more veggies and they still won’t eat them, try sneaking them in. There are lots of ways to hide vegetables in food, and several books filled with kid friendly recipes that will tell you in which dishes to hide which veggies. Head to your local library and pick up a copy of Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food by Jessica Seinfeld or The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals by Missy Chase Lapine.

About the Author:

Deborah Shure is the owner and founder of NannyTax, the premier nanny payroll service in Canada. With over 25 years of combined financial experience, Deborah and her team are the most trusted source of nanny payroll information. When she isn’t busy providing “nanny tax frustration relief,” Deborah is spending time with her 3 kids doing all the things that supermoms do!

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

Posted by: suzan | July 25, 2014

Food Should Taste Good – Products Worth Reviewing

FOOD SHOULD TASTE GOOD

There are times when a crunchy snack calls to order and chips and popcorn just won’t do the trick. So what to do? Well for me and my pantry, I keep an assortment of healthy snacks for just those moments. We don’t always snack but when we do, you’ll usually find something savory in the snack pantry.

Food Should Taste Good (www.foodshouldtastegood.com), aptly named for their snacks make savory and sweet snacks that are packed with healthy ingredients and both subtle and robust flavors. With the belief that real food should also taste delicious, the founder developed Food Should Taste Good, a brand of crunchy and crispy chips and crackers filled with better for you ingredients. We’ve enjoyed Food Should Taste Good for many years now and was delighted when I was sent a box of their newest Brown Rice Crackers. I know, you’re probably thinking, crackers made with brown rice? How bland can that taste? Well surprisingly, their four varieties range from nutty to a sharp so there is a bit of something for everyone. The Peppercorn Blend has a bit of a bite to it although not as spicy as the name would imply. Their Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato & Basil were my two favorites as I loved the slightly tangy flavor that blended well with the vegetable taste. Their fourth flavor is Sea Salt which has a delicate salty taste and a whole lot of crunch.

CRACKERS

All of Food Should Taste Good snacks are made without any genetically modified ingredients and are gluten-free and with a minimal amount of salt. They are high in protein and packed with important omega essential oils and some are certified vegan.

What I liked about their new savory Brown Rice Crackers is that they’re actually quite light in texture. I had expected something thicker and maybe harder but it was more of a delicately crunchy side. I don’t quite like my crackers to be too tough to eat anyway and my son and I really enjoyed the Tomato and Basil flavor. We ate them with hummus as well as with some homemade sandwiches.

 

ROASTED RED PEPPERS

Food Should Taste Good can be found at most natural grocery stores and major supermarkets that carry natural food. With so many varieties to choose from, you’d probably find something you’ll like. Whether it’s their Brown Rice Crackers or their Tortill chips, know that if you’re going to snack, at least snack on something that’s healthier.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

Posted by: suzan | July 18, 2014

Be A Label Reader!

SAMPLE LABEL

Labels. We see it on practically everything in our lives. But how many of us actually read or spare even a glance at them? They are not secretive or mystifying, but for some, reading a label can be as daunting as learning the secrets of the Dalai Lama.

When it comes to buying food, label reading is as essential as washing your hands or drinking water. Because how can we rely on what’s inside that neat packaging on the shelf if we don’t know what we’re putting inside our bodies? Ingredients and nutritional labels were created for the main purpose of letting consumers know what they’re actually buying.  When the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act was enacted over 40 years ago, people became heavily reliant on what companies must lawfully indicate on their packaging. But many of us still wonder if ALL the ingredients are listed on there and whether they are true or not. Just as the USDA’s Organic labeling goes, I expect on good faith that companies out there are actually truthful about what they put in their products because if they were found to be fraudulent, they’d lose not only tons of money, but consumers as well.

I became diligent about reading product labels many years ago and especially when I was pregnant. I remember when shopping with my friends or family they’d sigh deeply as I stand there holding a package in my hands and examining like it’s a rare diamond. But I just as dutifully tell them the main reasons why I must read those labels and the truth is simple: to know what I’m buying. Knowledge is power and can help you make intelligent choices in life.

However, in order to truly know what you’re buying, you have to read the labels carefully. And it’s only after you’ve known the company for a long time would it be practical to gloss over their future products. In a recent article in Better Nutrition magazine, the article stresses that just reading labels and finding out what a product is made of isn’t enough. If you are truly thorough about what you are buying and eating, then you’d have to look at the “other” contents. And that’s the nutritional content listing in order: serving size, calories, daily value guide (fat, sodium, and cholesterol), sugar, vitamins and mineral, and the percentage of daily values. Oftentimes we may just look at the ingredients, but we forget about the nutritional content and it’s those factors that help us determine how much of the actual food product we should eat.

ORGANIC LABELS

Whether you’re reading product labels for health reasons or simply because you’re fed up with all the hidden meanings behind the packaging, the main purpose should be because you want to be in control of what you’re buying. When you’re feeding your family you shouldn’t have to worry what those five syllable ingredients mean on that can of sauce you just purchased. In fact, it makes me shudder just to think there are ingredients out there that are unpronounceable. Of course certain multi-syllable words are indeed nature made, but it can still be a bit frightening. That’s why the number one rule in buying any food product should be: the least amount of ingredients the better. Just as easily as we can make our own spaghetti sauce with some tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings, so should the list of ingredients be on that jar of pasta sauce we see in the stores.

But what does it mean when we see all those vitamins and minerals added into a product? Are they safe and necessary? Well, as more processed foods are predominant in the US, companies started adding vital minerals and vitamins into their products due to the stripping of certain nutrients during the manufacturing process. Sadly, Americans still don’t get enough proper nutrition on a daily basis and rely heavily on packaged goods. While most packaged foods are healthy enough for you, it’s imperative to know what is inside that package and if you should buy it.

NO ANIMAL TESTING

It may take me a bit longer when buying groceries and personal products than most people, but I rely on my label reading proficiency to determine whether I should buy a product or not. And I happily teach my son to do the same. Even my husband, who had never cared about reading labels before we met got in the habit of doing so when he went grocery shopping. I make it a habit to read ingredient labels as well as the product claims on the packaging. If they say less sugar, I’d want to know just how much less it is than the other leading brand. And if they say “natural”, which is a really loose term, I’d want to know how they define the description natural.

It’s up to us the consumers to educate not only ourselves, but the companies out there providing us with the products we need. If we stay true to what we want to provide for our kids, then we must decide if it’s worth it to buy that popsicle made with FD&C Blue or FD&C Red. Not to mention that there are ill side effects in digesting an abundance of artificial ingredients, but they have also been known to cause certain health risks. In the long run, it’s worth the extra five minutes it takes to read the labels and decide for yourself whether you really need that product or not.

So the next time you’re at the grocery store and you’re tempted by that pretty packaging, be sure to turn it around and read the actual nutritional label and ingredients list. Much like a pretty face, once you get to know the inside, that’s when you really decide if it’s worth it.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

Posted by: suzan | July 7, 2014

The Vampire Suckers

OCEAN

As I walked through the cloudy mist my eyes fell upon him. His glowing red eyes, his dreary pallor, and those fangs…

Okay so we’re not really talking about vampires here or even the folklore behind them, but we are going to talk about things and people around us that suck out our life force. Much like vampires, whenever we’re too stressed or have low energy, our life force gets drained and we either get sick or we want to hide from the world. There are many factors in what drains us and it’s important to know how to avoid them and at best how to deal with them and treat them.

Once upon a time I had friends who I thought were true friends. But as time went by and I got to really step back to evaluate what friendship really meant, I realized that those certain so called friends weren’t really friends at all. They were as my college friends would call them, “drinking buddies”, meaning more or less they were only available for a good time. While there’s nothing entirely wrong with having friends just to party or hang out with, you have to really ask yourself would they be there for you when you’re not in the “having fun” mode. Or will they turn on you after they have drained you out of your fun factor.

There are many reasons and facets to why we get tired, or bored, or frustrated. Children particularly are susceptible to those energy draining moods since they’re like sponges – soaking up everything around them. They are unable to control their feelings and emotions and reveal their thoughts like an open book. As parents, we try to teach our kids to live a happy and healthy life and encourage them to have a positive outlook. But what happens when we’re too tired from work or taking care of the kids or dealing with other emotional distress? We must take care of our selves first before we can show our children the true meaning of living life well.

When you feel like parts of you are being drained away, there are several important steps you can take to regain control. In recent articles inside Natural Health and Delicious Living magazines, stress triggers point to mostly things we can not control and would like to control. It could be anything from wanting to be a better parent to losing weight to not having enough money to buy something new and grand. But if we take the first gigantic step back and look at it from an exterior view, we see that most of the things that cause our stress can indeed be controllable. All it takes is that first step whether it’s a baby step or a giant leap, we must acknowledge the change first. Here are examples of what we can do personally for ourselves before we become better parents and teach our children better ways of dealing with stress. Kids get stressed too, although their stress are fairly different from an adult. But stress for children can be detrimental to their health and well-being and if they don’t know how to control it or stop it, it could hurt them into adulthood.

 – Understand what is causing you stress.

- Write a physical list of the things causing your stress and determine if it’s possible to deal with it.

- Write resources on how you can absolve or reduce your stress and act on it. This could be anything from taking a class on the subject, joining a support group, or taking self-healing classes such as Taichi or yoga.

- Seek help from your loved ones; your spouse, your family, your closest friends, etc. Generally people you trust.

- Take a break if possible from the source of your stress. If it’s job related then take a vacation by all means.

- Stay away from negative energy and negative people. This refers to things/people that bring you down rather than lift you up.

- Eat better and nutritionally. Studies have shown that eating the right balance of foods will improve your mood tremendously as well as give your body and brain the powers they need. Include whole foods such as whole grain, organic vegetables and fruits, and reduce the amount of sugar intake.

- Exercise on a regular basis. This should include exercise that isn’t causing more stress on your mind and body. 

- After you write that list of things that are energy draining, start crossing off the things you have tackled already and smile!

- Repeat this mantra, “I am in control of my life”.

- And if it’s absolutely impossible to reduce that one particular stress factor, then you may need to think deeply on whether to end the source of it. If it’s a friend that has been causing you stress and you’ve tried all the possible ways to deal with it, then a break might be in order. Or if it’s a job that has been nothing but painful and upsetting with no positive end results, then you might need to find another job or take a different position. 

However you see it, all the things that have been sucking away your life force can reflect badly on your family life as well. If you have young children, they can particularly pick up on your moods and actions. After all, we alone are in control of our destiny and the paths we choose to take. As parents, it’s important for us to be good role models and to practice all the good things that make this world a better place. So if that life sucker is draining you away, then walk into the Sun and let its purity brighten your day.

 

Editors Note: If you are having serious life-altering stress, it’s best to consult a professional for help.

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 262 other followers

%d bloggers like this: