MADE IN NATURE

Oh, the joys of parenting. And Back to School. Some may dread going back to school while others relish at the new challenges. While we’re almost a couple months into the school year, parents still have to think what to pack in their kids school lunches on a daily basis. I know for me it can be a challenge at times because my son wants hot lunches at school and I cringe at what is offered there. Knowing of course that most schools don’t offer organic food choices on a daily menu, I feel better when I pack him a lunch. But what to pack though every day can be quite daunting.

Aside from the usual sandwiches, it can be really hard to pack lunches that are nutritious while still delicious enough for your child to eat. Because we all have school lunches that come back inevitably with some leftovers. So this year I decided to jazz up my son’s lunches a bit. Instead of fresh fruit, I would pack him some bite-sized dried fruit as a side snack or dessert. Generally dried fruit can be a bit hard to chew or too big in size but when I cut it up in little pieces, they are quite fun to eat. And dried fruit contains the same amount of nutrition as their fresher versions if not a bit more. Plus they have a different texture and quality to them that makes them very unique.

MADE IN NATURE SUPER BERRY FUSION

When I tried Made in Nature ( http://www.madeinnature.com/)a few years ago I was intrigued to find a company that makes all natural and organically grown dried fruits. There are no added sugars or preservatives as you may find with other brands and their dried fruits are simply just delicious and wholesome. All of Made in Nature dried fruits are certified organic as well as Non-GMO Verified and are harvested immediately and dried to ensure the absolute freshest flavor. I really enjoy their Organic and Unsulfured Dried Apricots and the Organic Super Berry Fusion Blend. Their dried fruits are naturally sweet and moist so they are an excellent healthy and delicious snack.

Made in Nature currently carries an extensive lineup of organic dried fruits including Organic Banana Slices, Organic Seedless Raisins, Organic Cranberries, Organic Figs, Organic Apples, and many more. They also carry Single Serve Fruit Fusions which I absolutely love because they are a blend of dried fruits, seeds and berries along with a few other yummy ingredients. Made in Nature also makes Organic Ancient Grain Fusion which are ancient whole grains mixed with fruits, vegetables, and spices and delicious as a side dish or a main dish with some of your own added protein. And recently they added Organic Frozen Pizzas which are a great choice for vegetarians.

Curiosity Advertising- MIN Package Shots

Made in Nature can be found in most natural grocery stores as well as major supermarkets that carry organic and natural products. The dried fruits are extremely moist and easy to eat and can be enjoyed as is or mixed in with some of your favorite recipes. I like to make trail mixes as well as cut them up and sprinkle them in cereal. Personally, I think dried fruit offers the same nutrition as fresh fruits but in a more convenient and fun way of enjoying them. And because they are smaller in size after being dried, you can eat a lot more of them. They make great snacks for any age because Made in Nature’s dried fruits do not have added sugar, so you just get the natural sweet goodness that fruits already provide. So if you’re wondering what to pack for your kids’ school lunch or what to offer as an afterschool snack, consider dried fruits for a change.

Fore more information about Made in Nature, please visit their website: http://www.madeinnature.com.

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 | October 20, 2014

Kupp – Products Worth Reviewing

KUPP

Little kids love to help out in the home simply because they want to feel like a “big” kid. But because they are still relatively too young to handle many things, sometimes you just have to give them their own to take care of. When I heard of Kupp, a reusable glass cup designed specifically for children I was extremely intrigued. One does not generally associate glass with kids but in the case of Kupp, they have made it ingeniously possible to do so. Armed with a BPA-free silicone sleeve wrapped around a lead and cadmium free glass cup, Kupp is designed to fit the needs and desires of kids who want the responsibility of using glass drinking cups but without the hazards. The glass cups are beautifully designed and easy to handle and wash. I love the soft handles and the firm base. The only thing you have to be careful on is making sure to clean inside the silicone well enough to prevent embedded dirt.

KUPP IN GREEN

Kupp (http://www.thekupp.com/)was inspired by kids and designed by moms. With their ingenious invention of teaching kids the responsibility of owning their own glass cups kids can have fun drinking from their glass cups while learning the importance of maintaining them. We all know that kids can be careless with their belongings, but the BPA free silicone wrapped around their cups can help prevent breakage from falling or banging against something. Glass cups can be expensive and hard to clean up if broken so the plastic sleeve is a really great way of keeping them safe. And Kupp comes in four colors: Blue, Lime Green, Orange, and Red so children can choose their own colors or you might even pick up a few so they can switch up the colors now and then.

Kupp really is a great way to teach children about responsibilities that are suited for their ages. The theory behind Kupp is “to stop the use of plastic cups in the home and instead use drinking glasses for kids. This will eliminate exposure to toxic chemicals found in plastic. Second, the color connection helps teach children responsibility. Your child will take pride in their own BPA free, cool kids cup and be excited to drink out of and reuse their blue, orange, red or green Kupp.”

KUPP ALL PACK

Currently Kupp can be purchased online at: http://www.thekupp.com/. Each cup is a 6oz. cup that can be used over and over again. They are dishwasher safe and are free of harmful chemicals found in other cups for children. As a Moms Meet Ambassador I was given the wonderful opportunity to try and review Kupp with my son. He was excited of course because he finally gets to use a glass cup that is made just for him. And I don’t have to worry much about him knocking down his glass or leaving it on the edge of the table. Although we have yet to take off the sleeve around the cup, I found that washing it in the dishwasher or with a scrub brush worked best in getting inside the sleeve.

For more info about Kupp, please visit their website: http://www.thekupp.com.

 

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 | October 17, 2014

Imagination Movers Concert!

 

IMAGINATION MOVERS CONCERT

Have your kids ever bugged you about attending a live concert with their favorite musical bands? While some concerts may not be suitable for little kids, there is one band that we have loved throughout the years, and you could probably guess that it’s The Imagination Movers. It seems The Imagination Movers rarely come to the West Coast  but when we found out that they were performing their ONLY California performance of the year I jumped like a mad flea. To benefit the arts and music programs at WISH Charter and Goethe International Charter Elementary schools of Westchester /Playa Del Rey in Los Angeles, The Movers are putting on their one and only show of the year at Redondo Beach, California on Friday, October 24.

Here is a full description of their Redondo Beach, CA. performance:

IMAGINATION MOVERS LIVE IN LOS ANGELES! The Mover’s October 24, 2014 “School Rocks” fundraiser show at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center has been opened to the public! Come out and experience the Mover’s legendary live show while also helping raise funds for the arts programs at WISH and Goethe International charter schools. It’s an opportunity to see a fantastic live rock concert AND help enrich the arts for local schools. How cool is that? Answer: Way cool!

Visit Brown Paper Tickets by clicking the link below. The concert will be held at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/850571

If you’re big fans of The Imagination Movers this is your only chance to see them this year. The tickets benefit the programs and the prices are fairly decent. And if you’ve been to one of their concerts in the past, you know that The Movers are energetic and fun and their concerts are great for everyone of all ages. So purchase your tickets and have a ton of fun while helping to benefit the arts and music program.

 

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 | October 17, 2014

Moms Meet Whole Foods Healthy Kids Tour

WHOLE FOODS IMAGE

Some of the best things about living in California are access to fresh California grown food, an abundance of organic and natural grocery stores, and meeting people who are as passionate about healthy living as I am. As a Moms Meet Ambassador I am honored and pleased to be able to meet many brands and people who are of sound mind. One of the fun things we did a few weekends ago was visit Whole Foods Market for a Healthy Kids Tour. We already shop at Whole Foods on occasion but it was fascinating to learn about some new aspects of the company that I never knew before.

As my son and I entered the cool atmosphere of Whole Foods Market, our eyes couldn’t help but roam the entire building and smile with excitement. Shopping at Whole Foods Market is always an interesting experience. With their rows and rows of organic and natural products and their aesthetically pleasing cafes and fresh beverage bars, the popular store is indeed a feast for the eyes and the palette. Although some products may be more expensive than necessary, if you know what to look for and how to shop there, you would come out with an abundance of healthy products and a few dollars saved.

 

WHOLEFOODSTOUR

Our store coordinator, Candice was a delight to work with. With her cheery smile she led all of us around the store pointing out key features unique to the Whole Foods Market franchise. Certain things I already knew about such as the freshly baked bread sliced to order but if you like cheese, there is also an option to have the clerks cut them into different sizes for you. They also sell remnant cheese in bins that are smaller and less expensive. I was surprised at all the “secret” requests you could make at Whole Foods Market as they benefit the customers with this unique customer oriented services. Other services tailored to your shopping experience would be meat cut to the size and texture you want, an organic juice bar made to order, and pour-your-own honey. Honey can be quite expensive so I really appreciate this feature at Whole Foods.

The point of this Healthy Kids Tour sponsored by Moms Meet and Whole Foods Market is to enlighten parents and friends on the aspect of healthy living. Through healthier food choices, we can all achieve a healthier lifestyle. At Whole Foods Market, they offer an abundance of fresh produce, meat, bread, dairy, and bakery to satisfy the gourmet as well as virgin organics. Although Whole Foods is a bit farther from where we live, I do like to shop with my son there as we usually pick up a quick and healthy snack at their cafe or a freshly-pressed juice at their juice bar. There is also a kids snack zone at customer service where there is always a healthy snack for your kiddos to enjoy while shopping around the store with you.

20140913_130739_resized_1

If you’re interested in learning more about living a healthier lifestyle, please visit the Moms Meet website: http://www.greenmomsmeet.com/ as well as Whole Foods Market: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/.

 

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 | October 13, 2014

Happy, Healthy Halloween

MINI HALLOWEEN CARVING - Copy

It’s no doubt that Halloween is one of our most favorite holidays of the year. Is it a holiday or a celebration? Either way, it is the best time of the year to go wild with your imagination or stick to something easy and uncomplicated. Regardless of whether you celebrate this fun holiday, one important rule to remember is to be safe! But here we’re also going to talk about how to “green” your Halloween this year and hopefully keep the tradition in your household every year after.

Halloween has always been a fun tradition for me while growing up. Realistically we all know that it derived from an older tradition that dated back hundreds of years ago but in this day and age, Halloween has become one of the most fun celebrations in the world. Some people plan months ahead on decorations, parties, and of course the costumes. But with so many possible haphazards out there, we have to be extra diligent during this much loved holiday. Safety for our children and other children are the top priority of course, but what about safety for our environment? Let’s talk about how to green our Halloween this year with the following guidelines:

***DIY Costumes or Costume Swap – First think of what you want to be for Halloween. Then find things you have in the house already. If not, then be sure to buy materials that are easily recyclable or reusable.  Making your own costumes can run from very easy to professionally done. Think of old bedsheets that you don’t want to throw out but don’t want to use either. You can make creative costumes with those or even a simple ghost costume would work. Costume Swapping is also becoming quite the trend. Start off locally with your friends and family. Organize a neighborhood swap. There is sure to be a costume a friend has that would fit your child.

***Organic Candy – If you must hand out candy this year for Halloween, try buying organic candy. They are made without any artificial ingredients and most are packaged in recyclable packaging. However, organic candy may still contain an abundant amount of sugar so be sure to watch out for the sugar content.

***Green Costumes – Many costumes that are sold in stores are made with some type of plastic. Not all plastics as you know, are safe. PVC, a type of plastic that contains phthalates  among other compounds have been found to be unsafe for prolonged contacts. So if you must buy store bought costumes made from plastic, check the labels to see what type of materials are used and if possible skip that costume. If you must buy something with potentially toxic plastics, air it out in an open room or outdoors for a few days to dissipate the fumes.

***Pumpkins and Decorations – We all love some kind of decorations for Halloween. Be it a fresh pumpkin or a plastic one, my advice is to buy the fresh ones. While plastic decorations may seem like you’re saving money and resources, it still takes millions of dollars and emission fuels to produce these types of plastic Halloween decorations. However if you still kept yours from last year, by all means reuse them or trade them with a friend or neighbor to freshen up your decorations. I personally feel bad for all the pumpkin farms that sell a whole yard full of pumpkins because really – who’s going to buy up all of those pumpkins anyway?

***Halloween Treats – Who can resist opening up that delightful package of M&M’s filled with colorful chocolate candy? Well, in our household we try to resist them mainly because of the type of ingredients used in those eye-candy. Thousands of pounds of candies are sold each Halloween and many end up in our trashcans or into our tummies which results in some uncharacteristically bad behavior. This year why not just serve one bar of sweets instead of a handful. Or hand out quarters or a roll of pennies. Remember that with anything you don’t use or give out on Halloween, they inevitably end up in the trash and that’s both wasteful and unnecessary.

***Halloween Parties – Whether you’re having a party at home or a party at your kid’s school, there are bound to be a lot of different views on what to serve, what to do, and what are allowed or not allowed. Remember that if you’re having a party at home, keep them safe with non-toxic toys, games, and food. Give out treats as suggested above. Play games that aren’t wasted later one. And make home made food and treats when possible.

***Recycling Halloween – We know that Halloween comes every year. So as we put away our decorations and costumes, let’s also remember to recycle responsibly. Use the pumpkin seeds in your pumpkins by baking them for a delicious and nutritious treat. Compost your pumpkins. Donate your costumes if at all possible or save them for next year’s costume swap. And if you have leftover candy, save the health of your children by either donating them to your workplace or turning them into valuable things at stores that offer a trade-in.

Remember that Halloween  can be both safe and fun for children and adults. As long as you plan ahead and consciously decide on making it a green Halloween this year it will be fairly easy.

Have a Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

VEGETABLES - Copy

I learned how to cook mostly from my mom who is an excellent cook. She won many cooking awards in the past and has taught me some of those winning recipes. But it was both my parents who taught me how to shop for certain grocery items for a certain recipe. I learned from them the different kinds of root vegetables and what seasons the harvest will most likely produce. I learned that not all apples taste the same nor do they yield the same results when cooked. And I learned among many other things, that buying the right produce at the peak of the season is the secret to a successful and delicious recipe.

Many years ago, before the USDA regulated the use of the term “organic” for any product, most of the food found in grocery stores were either from locally-grown farms or were mass manufactured products that were genetically-modified for faster production.  Local farmers who didn’t spray their crop with chemical pesticides were lucky enough to have their products sold at supermarkets without having to compete with the bigger companies. Only problem was, produce that came from locally-grown farms were extremely expensive and hard to find. And most of the time, you’d have to get them right when they’re being delivered or they were sold out or couldn’t stay fresh because there were no chemical preservations used.

But farmers markets have been around for a long time, and I remembered going to the local farmers markets with my mom and helping her pick out the freshest produce available. It was there that I also learned about what real and fresh produce were all about and I could instantly taste the difference between produce that were ripened in the store and produce ripened on the tree.

My parents also grow their own vegetables and fruits and they don’t use any kind of toxic chemicals on the produce or in the ground. It was quite convenient for us to go to the backyard and snip off some green beans or pluck some apples and pears for that night’s dinner. For me, homegrown fruits and vegetables seemed like the perfect answer to eating healthier. But as years went by, and people became more aware of the importance of eating better, organic and pesticide-free products started showing up more readily in supermarkets.

However, organic and locally-grown produce can still be moderately expensive, depending on where you shop. And where you buy your produce and dry goods is crucial in how much you’ll end up spending on organic food. If you want to start buying more organic food or just starting out, your best choices in organic produce are the natural food stores or farmers markets. However, if you don’t have any of those nearby, then here are some tips in buying organic at supermarkets.

 

OSAecoeats (1)

Supermarkets back in the day rarely carried organic and all-natural food and products and if they did, it was very limited and very expensive. Nowadays, whenever I visit my local supermarket, I can see most of them dedicating a certain section called “natural” and “organic” where only natural and organic products are sold. Cheers for them for thinking more abou their health conscious customers. So how do you choose where to shop for the best value and the best selection of organic and natural products? Well, you can start by looking at the ads produced by the store you regularly shop at. Most every market will have their own store circular either mailed to you, online, or available in their stores. If you want the best prices and selections in organic produce, then take a look at their ads. Decide which organic produce you need for that day or week and compare between the different markets. You’ll probably find them competitively priced nowadays but that’s good news for us since we want to save a ton of money when we’re buying all or mostly organic products. After you’ve made your list of what organic produce you want to buy, then list the other organic or all-natural products such as dry goods, snacks, drinks, etc. Once again, look at your stores circular and find out if the product you want is listed or on sale. If they aren’t listed, go online and you’ll most likely find a “secret” ad that is available only online. Very tricky of these markets, but they’re also hoping you’d buy their groceries online as well.

The next step in saving even more money on organic and natural products is using coupons. Where do you find coupons for organic and natural products, you say? Well, most likely you’ll find them from the companies direct websites. Many of them offer coupons for their products if you sign up for their newsletter or simply just visiting their website.  Otherwise, you can always give them a call or send them an email requesting some coupons. Organic and natural product companies love hearing from people who want to buy their products so most of them are more than willing to send you coupons. If you use their coupons, then you’ll most likely end up buying more, right?

There are also several stores(smaller natural grocery stores and mass supermarkets) that offer store coupons instead of manufacture coupons and most of them will allow you to “stack” coupons – which means even more money saved! These stores include Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Henry’s Farmers Market, Mother’s Market, and even certain supermarkets that carry a wide selection of organic and natural products. The bottom line is that these markets, whether small or big, want to try to appeal to a wide array of customers and since organic and natural products are becoming more popular, they want to lure their customers into their stores with money-saving opportunities. With the economy the way it is right now, it’s a win-win situation for the farmers and manufacturers, the markets, and the consumers.

Buying organic and natural products and food takes some practice because you can always go to the most convenient store nearby, but you may not be getting  the best price. Of course, if you have to drive 20 miles just to get organic grapes for 10 cents cheaper, then it’s probably not worth the gas money unless you’re planning on buying other things. Get to know your local supermarkets as well as the natural food stores and soon enough you’ll know where to get the freshest produce at the best price.

The key is to know what you’re buying, why you’re buying it, and then have fun shopping for them! When you buy organic and natural products, your body will thank you and your planet will reap the benefits as well. By eating organic produce as much as possible, you’re ensuring that your body doesn’t contain toxic chemicals that can store  inside your system for a long time and those with fragile immune systems (for whatever reasons) or young children especially need to eat more organic foods. Organic products also help the environment in that the farms and manufacturers uses sustainable methods to help improve the conditions of  the environment and in long-term health, the less toxic chemicals in your body, the better.

EcoEatsLettuce (2)

If you’re interested in joining a revolutionary journey to a healthier lifestyle, check out NBC’s Green is Universal One Small Act Eco Eats Challenge. There are many challenges and goals you can join and they are all fairly easy. Anything from how to buy organic produce from the EWG’s Dirty Dozen guide: https://onesmallact.practicallygreen.com/acts/400, to choosing a healthier on the go meal: https://onesmallact.practicallygreen.com/acts/624, and to composting kitchen waste: https://onesmallact.practicallygreen.com/acts/427. We all can achieve something for the better no matter how small the task. Only we can make our bodies and planet healthier. Only we can make that choice for us.

From September 2- October 17, NBC’s Green is Universal One Small Act is also hosting a sweepstakes when you join the “Eco Eats” challenge . To join, visit their free green-living tool, One Small Act. Everyone who signs-up and tackles at least one action by October 17th will be entered to win one of five 6-month subscriptions to NatureBox. No Purchase Necessary. Must be US resident and 18+. Read official rules here.

Disclaimer: In exchange for participating in the challenge and writing this post, I was given a gift package from Green is Universal. All opinions here are still my own.

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 | October 1, 2014

Livin’ the Vegetarian Life – My Eco Eats Challenge

VEGGIE GARDEN

When I was around nine or ten years old I witnessed a cruel injustice to a stray dog close to my home. I saved him from a heartless dog catcher, took the dog home to give him some water and food, and helped him find a new home. But it was staring into those dark, murky depths of his big, black eyes that a turning point happened for me. Watching the cruelty of the animal being beaten and dragged to the dog truck had somehow given me a distaste for animal meat from then on. When I went back inside the house to tell my mom what had happened, she looked at me with a strange smile and then aptly dumped the hot dog she was going to serve me for lunch.

I have to be grateful for such an understanding mom. She has always been a kindhearted and sweet person and when she saw unabashed tears streaming down my face that day, she knew she had to make a decision – allow a young girl to make a compassionate decision that could forever change her life, or laugh it off as some silly girlhood whim.

There are many reasons why someone would become a vegetarian or a vegan. But for a child to become one, the choice can be magnanimous. Children do not inherently know if they should or should not eat. They eat whatever their parents give them; meat eaters will feed their children meat, vegetarians will feed their children non-meat. It’s pretty simple, but choosing to become a vegetarian is not an easy path and there can be many obstacles in the way once you decide to become one.

But do you think kids should automatically become vegetarians? That’s a tricky question and it depends solely on the household and how they view food as a whole and whether being a vegetarian is a health choice or a humanitarian one. My nephew chose to become a vegetarian when he was around seven years old. Yes, that’s pretty young but he always had a compassionate nature and he had told his parents that he didn’t want to harm animals so the natural path he took would evidently involve becoming a vegetarian. His parents suffice to say also became vegetarians soon after, wanting to follow the benevolent endeavors of their son.

I became a vegetarian when it wasn’t a “trend”, when people looked at me like I was crazy or from another planet. Eating an all plant-based diet wasn’t very hip or cool but little did people know that revolutionary changes in how Americans eat would later become the new standard. There are more and more vegetarian and vegan restaurants popping up, food companies solely devote their entire line to vegetarians, and even magazines are written for those who are non-meat eaters. Vegetarians were no longer looked at funny and mainstream restaurants even dedicated a section on their menus for “vegetarians”.

There are no right or wrong reasons on whether you should become a vegetarian. It’s a personal choice and no one should bully you into it or laugh at you should you choose to become one. It may be a health choice, a reason to try something new, or simply the thought of eating animals is gruesome. Whatever the reasons, it never hurts to try it. There are many companies out there dedicated in helping you become a vegetarian and in staying one. And if you need one simple reason – consider that it’s a lot less expensive to become a vegetarian than it is to put meat on your table every day. You an even grow your own organic garden so you know what you’re eating. And in the long run, it’ll make you a bit healthier too.

If you’re looking for ways to live a greener life, then try the NBC Green is Universal Eco Eats Challenge which runs from September 29 through October 17. There are many actions to try whether you’re just starting out or have been doing this for a long time. Actions include: Eat a vegetarian meal – http://bit.ly/ZYqpTg, Buy organic eggs – http://bit.ly/1rqiU1F, Fill up your reusable water bottle – http://bit.ly/1CtLGSI, an many many more actions that are fun and educational.  NBC Green is Universal’s One Small Act website is also hosting a sweepstakes. Read below for more info:

From September 2- October 17, NBC’s Green is Universal One Small Act is also hosting a sweepstakes when you join the “Eco Eats” challenge . To join, visit their free green-living tool, One Small Act. Everyone who signs-up and tackles at least one action by October 17th will be entered to win one of five 6-month subscriptions to NatureBox. No Purchase Necessary. Must be US resident and 18+. Read official rules here.

Disclaimer: In exchange for participating in the challenge and writing this post, I was given a gift package from Green is Universal. All opinions here are still my own.

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

*Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Living.

Posted by: suzan | September 30, 2014

One Small Act/NBC Green Is Universal – Eco Eats Challenge

EcoEatsLettuce (2)

If there ever is a time to challenge yourself to do something good for the planet and for your body, now is it. We live in a world where truth can be twisted and facts can be tampered with. But the universal truth we all believe in is that we can trust ourselves to do what is right for us. Whether it’s changing your eating habits to consume less meat or bicycling to work when possible, every small step, every small change can be for the better. It never hurts to try something that can be better for you and if you’ve at least fallen down once, then you know the triumph of overcoming your own fears.

This month starting from September 29 through October 17, the Green is Universal initiative is challenging people around the world to do something for the planet. Through their One Small Act (https://onesmallact.practicallygreen.com/)online visual tool, people across the world can participate in this current challenge with goals that can be both fun and easily met. The Eco Eats Challenge itself hosts many actions you can take to participate in this worldwide event. Such actions include: Eat a Vegetarian Meal (https://onesmallact.practicallygreen.com/acts/125), Eat a healthy organic or natural snack (https://onesmallact.practicallygreen.com/acts/80), Skip meat for one meal this week (https://onesmallact.practicallygreen.com/acts/1277), Participate in the “Grocery Shopping Challenge”(https://onesmallact.practicallygreen.com/acts/1545), Buy organic fruits and vegetables from the Dirty Dozen (https://onesmallact.practicallygreen.com/acts/400), Choose a healthier option for a meal on the go (https://onesmallact.practicallygreen.com/acts/624), and many more. All can be found on the One Small Act’s Eco Challenge website: https://onesmallact.practicallygreen.com/. But perhaps one of the funnest things about the Eco Eats Challenge is that they are all easy to accomplish and many of you probably already do one or several of those actions. There are also wonderful information regarding each challenge so if you’re just starting out, they’ll help you along the way.

OSAecoeats (1)

When Kermit the Frog once said, “it’s not easy being green”, he didn’t know he had started a revolutionary path towards helping the environment. Being “green” is relatively easier nowadays with so many media coverage and companies out there educating people on the importance of this topic. It could be just a simple step like recycling that can eventually lead to bigger efforts. And the rewards of doing something better for your planet leads to doing something good for yourself. I strongly believe that a cleaner planet means a cleaner body. And to do so, let’s start by eating better and healthier. Take each bite into consideration. Shop with care. And don’t be wasteful.

From September 2- October 17, NBC’s Green is Universal One Small Act is also hosting a sweepstakes when you join the “Eco Eats” challenge . To join, visit their free green-living tool, One Small Act. Everyone who signs-up and tackles at least one action by October 17th will be entered to win one of five 6-month subscriptions to NatureBox. No Purchase Necessary. Must be US resident and 18+. Read official rules here.

Disclaimer: In exchange for participating in the challenge and writing this post, I was given a gift package from Green is Universal. All opinions here are still my own.

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 | September 25, 2014

The Imagination Movers – Pledge Music Campaign


imagination movers (with shadow) -1

Music. One of the most important things you can include in your child’s life. It soothes their souls, brighten their worlds, and enliven their minds. Music is the branch that takes us to higher grounds and possible futures and children especially need to learn about the importance of music. As adults, we tend to forget how important that could be simply because we are so wrapped up in our own busy lives. But even when we were growing up, we still learned to love music, whether it was taught in schools or listening to the car’s radio while running errands with mom.

As a long time fan of The Imagination Movers (http://imaginationmovers.com/)I think one of the very first musical lessons I gave my son was with their CD. If you’ve ever heard of The Imagination Movers you probably already know that their music is dedicated to kids and to the joys of singing, dancing, and well, imagination. Aptly named for their band , The Imagination Movers brings music that delights children and adults all over the world and has become one of our favorite all time bands and celebrities.

The Imagination Movers began as a grassroots band of four friends who loved music as much as their own children. They wrote songs primarily for children in their hometown of New Orleans, using their melodies and words to bring joy and enlightenment to people all over the world. Later, their endeavors paid off and the Disney Jr. Channel picked up this rambunctious group of friends to star in their own television series named after their own band – The Imagination Movers. The TV series was a big hit, generating millions of fans and viewers who knew very little about the Movers prior to their show. With their TV series and concert performances in the US and Canada, The Imagination Movers soon became a common household name.

 

P1040492

But after their show abruptly ended on Disney (as with most good shows on TV nowadays), The Movers still performed their energetic concerts for their fans. As a fan myself, I saw less of them in the public eye and even with several of their CD’s and music videos at home, I longed to see them on television again, and so did my son. And then when I heard that they were starting a new album, my heart leapt. The big surprise however was that since The Imagination Movers were no longer part of a traditional music label they had to promote their new album on their own.

Promoting their new album isn’t really a problem for The Movers since their fans already know and love them. But it’s widening their fan base to more people around the world that can be daunting. With this purpose in mind, The Imagination Movers got involved with Pledge Music which is a campaign that allows people to participate in the process through personal funding. With control over what fans want to interact with, people can purchase their CD, DVD, tshirts, concert passes, and even a chance to have the entire gang play at your house. You can get more info about their Pledge Music campaign here: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/imaginationmovers.

I was pretty fortunate to have met the Imagination Movers a couple of years ago at one of their concerts. They were exactly how I envisioned them to be in person – friendly, energetic, and wholesome. Each of the guys bring something different to the table with each of their personality shining through. You can clearly see that they love what they do as you feel it through their melodies and their lyrics. Their songs are original and yet speaks to the whole and you get a sense that they are secretly relaying messages to you in their music. In the words of Scott Durbin describing one of their new songs, Three-Legged Dog, “the song in particular carries some special meanings…On one hand it’s inspired by one of Smitty’s dogs (who has since gone on to Doggy heaven) but eventually it took on a deeper meaning about inclusion and striving to succeed regardless of the obstacles.” And that’s exactly how we feel about The Imagination Movers – their music transcends the normal and enlightens our hearts and mind.

IMAGINATION MOVERS ALBUM

In an impromptu interview with Scott Durbin (who had shorn his long gorgeous locks to wear a proud mohawk), Scott wanted to let his loyal fans know of the reasons behind their new album and why they were going through Pledge Music:

For our 9th album, we wanted to return to a ‘grassroots’ sensibility. Since we no longer were part of a traditional label (in the past we we’ve been with Disney Records and Razor&Tie), we wanted our fans in essence to become our label. In turn, doing the PledgeMusic campaign allowed us to involve our fans in a unique and creative way. By helping fund the project, fans (or Mover Nation) get to participate in the process – for example coming up with names for the album and voting on their favorite – and we offered access to the Movers like never before through exclusive items, downloads and experiences. Moreover, by helping us, they also raised money for NDSS. From early on, there was a conscious decision to create an altruistic aspect to our project and having been national partners for the Buddy Walk program through NDSS, we knew exactly who and how we wanted to hold them into the experience. 

So what is the name of their new album? Drumroll please… LICENSED TO MOVE

Whether you’re a die hard fan or a newbie, your kids will truly be delighted by The Imagination Movers. Their songs are clean and wholesome and many provide messages that help kids get through life. The melodies are perky and upbeat and you can purchase all of their merchandise on their official website: http://imaginationmovers.com. But to get their newest CD/DVD which is set to be released on or around December 1, 2014, you’d have to get bragging rights on their Pledge Music host site: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/imaginationmovers/exclusives. Think of it this way – not only are you helping a worthy cause but you’re also getting some of the best music ever created for kids. Because after all, the foundation to a bright future for children is to allow them to use their own imagination.

For a sneak peak of their new song, Three-Legged Dog, please check it out here:

 

For more information about The Imagination Movers, please visit their website: http://imaginationmovers.com and join their Facebook and Twitter pages: https://www.facebook.com/imaginationmovers and https://twitter.com/imovers

 

 

 

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 | September 22, 2014

Little Me Tea – Back to School Products Worth Reviewing

LITTLE ME TEA

When my son and I go grocery shopping, I try to bypass the snacks and beverage aisles as quickly as possible. But when colorful containers jump out at your children, I can’t help but cringe at all the artificial beverages targeted towards children.
And while it’s no wonder that child obesity is such a major concern in the US, companies still make artificial drinks for children and people still buy them. Sometimes it’s inevitable because kids see their friends drink them, but as parents who want to give their children a healthier life, it is up to us to weed out bad food and bring in the good ones.

When we’re at home, it’s easy to give our kids water, milk, or the occasional all natural juice. But when we’re at parties or even in restaurants, kids just can’t resist that sugary drink or the artificial colored ones. Yes, sugar is the main attraction, but we can just as easily provide them with something made with less sugar or sweetened with natural juices. But have you ever considered giving your children tea? Tea comes in many varieties and degrees of caffeine and antioxidants. While most tea contain great amounts of antioxidants called Catechins, they are found primarily in green tea, and have superb antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. My son drinks diluted green tea now and then and he likes to drink them warm. Green tea is most powerful when it’s hot but most kids have a hard time drinking anything hot. As with most tea, the natural caffeine found in the leaves are not the same as those found in coffee so it is a safe alternative for beverages.

When we discovered Little Me Tea (http://littlemetea.com/) not too long ago at the Healthy Beverages Expo, I was impressed at the taste and quality of their tea-juice blends. Using only the natural beauty of organic tea and organic fruit juices, the melange of flavors is quite exciting. The tea/juice fusions are sweetened only with fruit and vegetable juices so there are no added sugar. For me, it was just sweet enough and when you drink it cold or iced, it’s incredibly refreshing. I like to include their beverages in my son’s lunch box as the tea-juice boxes are a good size for quenching his thirst.

LITTLE ME TEA COMPARISON CHART

Little Me Tea began as a love for their daughter, who after realizing that there weren’t enough healthy beverage choices for kids out there, the proud and innovative parents came up with the concept of blending organic tea with organic fruit juices. Knowing the benefits of tea, the company created a beverage that was both delicious and good for you. And since Little Me Tea are caffeine-free, low in sugar, and non-GMO, their tea-juice blends are an excellent choice for parents who want to find something new to serve their kids. It’s no longer just juice anymore – children’s beverages have evolved into more sophisticated tastes.

LITTLE ME TEA CUPS

Currently Little Me Tea comes in two flavors: Julia’s Tropical Tea which is a delightful blend of organic white tea with organic citrus fruits and Zane’s Grape Tea which is a yummy blend of organic white tea with organic red grapes. Both flavors are infused with a melange of unique and ultra healthy ingredients that both you and your kids will recognize. Two more flavors have also been added to their lineup: Fruit Punch Tea and Berry Tasty Tea and we’re looking forward to trying those out as well! And rest assured that all of Little Me Teas are made with only natural and organic ingredients, have no added sugar, and packaged in BPA-free Tetra Packs which can be readily recycled. The juice boxes are 6.75 ounces and can fit into a regular lunch box for kids. They make excellent thirst quenchers and can also be used as a base for other beverages like smoothies or even frozen for a delightful iced treat.

I like to give my son Little Me Tea as an in-between meals snack or as a special beverage treat for dinner. The juice boxes come with attached straws and are easy to use for little kids. Little Me Teas can be found at most natural grocery stores and currently on their website they are offering coupons to try their tea-juice blends. So if you’re looking for a new and healthier beverage alternative for your kids, you might want to give Little Me Tea a try. If your kids have never tried tea before, don’t worry for these refreshing tea-juice blends have enough of a unique flavor to  satisfy their thirsts.

 

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

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 288 other followers

%d bloggers like this: