Posted by: suzan | June 2, 2016

Chick-fil-A Moms Panel Upcycle Challenge

CHICKFILAMOMS

As a Chick-fil-A mom, I’m honored to have been chosen to be a part of this very unique and fun moms panel this year. Being a Chick-fil-A mom panelist has its rewards but what is even more rewarding is spreading the goodness of Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A is known for their generosity, their high quality food, and for their stewardship to the environment.

I was challenged, among my other fellow panelists to come up with an upcycling project using Chick-fil-A’s salad tray. Although the tray is not entirely biodegradable it can be upcycled to be used many, many times over. Upcycling means making something new out of an old product. In essence, you don’t need to throw away something that can be upcycled.

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I racked my brains trying to come up with some clever ideas and the other mom panelists came up with some awesome ones. Finally my son who loves his Lego said, “Mom, why don’t we make something that has to do with Lego.” And instead of going to the store to buy more materials because we are trying to be more environmentally friendly with this challenge, I looked around the house and his play area for some ideas. I remembered that we still had some Wikki Stix and recalling a project that my son did with a plastic cup before, we decided to Wikki Stix the salad carton into a Lego carton. Let me just say that my son has A LOT of Lego pieces everywhere and it’s always a headache trying to round them up or put them away.

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So, if you’re looking for ideas on what do with those plastic trays that end up in the landfill, look around your house for some ideas and upcycle them!

And just today, Chick-fil-A came out with a new App called Chick-fil-A ONE where you can order directly from the App and the App will remember and track your orders and you can rack up free treats too! Here are the details: https://one.chick-fil-a.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 | May 23, 2016

Organic Gardening For Life

ORGANIC GARDENING

My dad grew up on a farm and learned the trade as a means of necessity. What they grew on their farm was mostly what they ate. He’s always had a green thumb where everything he planted grew and flourished. My siblings and I were pretty lucky growing up in my parents house and our backyard was always abundant with fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables. As I grew older I got to appreciate the scrumptious bounty and I told myself that once I have my own house, I would indeed need to grow my own garden.

Now, as a volunteer at my son’s school I was given the opportunity to run a garden club at his school. With only a handful of experience based on what I learned from my parents, I built an organic garden for the students at his school.  And what a delight it has been learning and teaching at the same time, watching the kids run excitedly to the garden center during the meetings and enjoying the harvest at peak picking times. Just as much as the kids love to pluck off a sweet fresh strawberry, I too love tending to these plants, nurturing them and helping them flourish into something delicious and rewarding.

Gardening doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming. In fact, it can be one of the most relaxing ways of spending time with yourself or with your kids. Teaching your children the wonderful benefits of gardening can help them flourish and learn to appreciate nature and a healthy lifestyle. With the idea of Farm to Table, we can teach our kids that what we grow is what we eat. Similar theory applies to grocery shopping in stores but when you grow your own produce, it is much healthier and the flavor indeed better than the store bought versions!

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Start with an organic garden where it’s healthier for you and for the environment. Organic means not using any type of toxic pesticides or herbicides in your plants and ensuring that the soil is organic as well.

Here are some easy and basic tips to help you start your own organic garden:

Step One:

Decide where you are going to have your organic garden. If you’re a novice, start small whether it’s in a raised garden bed or a few larger-sized planters. Use only organic soil and have proper drainage such as hole on the bottom of the planters and soil that’s a good blend of nutrients. Go to your local nursery and pick up a few bags of organic soil and mix them in the planters thoroughly. If you’re planting directly into the ground, be sure to test your soil as original soil may not have enough nutrients or the proper amount. Amend the soil if necessary.

Step Two:

Choose your plants by deciding first what you want to grow and the purpose of growing them. Do you want an abundant garden of fresh vegetables? Or fresh herbs? Or a mixture of herbs and vegetables? Do you want to grow easy fruits such as strawberries and citrus? Write down what you think you would like to eat on a regular basis and visit the local nursery for seasonal ideas. Make sure that what you grow is actually right for your region. If you’re buying seedling plants from the store, they are most likely ready for your region. If growing from seeds, read the packet to determine if the plants are appropriate for your region and the season. Oftentimes stores will have year-round seeds as it’s most cost effective for them, but can be a headache for the consumer who doesn’t understand the exact growing season. And when buying seedlings or seeds, make sure they are organic.

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Step Three:

Proper fertilization is necessary for a healthy bounty of fresh plants. You can either buy the necessary compost at your local nursery or make your own. For homemade compost, check out this article: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home. Organic compost, the most popular type of fertilizer, enriches the soil, retains moisture and suppresses pests and diseases.

Step Four:

Pest control is probably the most time-consuming process of growing and maintaining a healthy garden. At first when we grew lettuce and cabbage at my son’s garden center, we saw aphids and ants practically taking over the plants. I was so frustrated as I didn’t devote enough time during growing season to properly prevent and get rid of these pesky plant eaters. Later I learned that not only do natural pest controllers such as ladybugs can benefit the garden, but that planting certain types of “companion planting” and “ally planting” can help prevent or reduce pests. Companion planting is planting certain vegetables next to each other. The plants enhance each other’s flavor and growth, and healthy plants are less susceptible to pests. Conversely, there are certain plants that should never be grouped together. For instance if you’re growing beans,  good companions are cucumber, celery, carrot and radish, but never plant beans near garlic or onion or you’ll stunt the beans’ growth.

Ally planting is planting specific herbs or flowers near vegetables to repel or confuse insects. Plant summer savory near your beans to discourage bean beetles. Chives deter aphids on peas, and basil repels flies and mosquitoes on tomatoes, while also improving growth and flavor. Marigolds deter beetles on cucumbers, and mint and sage deter cabbage moth.

Step Five:

Controlling weeds are a necessity in maintaining a good garden. Weeds are a hassle for any type of gardening but you don’t have to let them run your life or your garden’s life. To stop weeds before they start, you can cover the garden’s surface with an organic mulch; not only will it reduce weed-seed germination and suppress weeds trying to emerge, the right mulch can also retain moisture and act as an insulator, keeping the soil cooler in warm weather and warmer in cool weather. Popular organic mulches include hardwood and softwood barks, crushed corncobs, spent hops from local breweries, peat moss and pine needles. You can also pull weeds with your hands but make sure you pull out the entire root.

Step Six:

Now it’s time to enjoy your harvest! Pick your plants at the peak of their ripeness so that you’re getting the freshest, sweetest, and juiciest plants. Once the plants are past their peak, plants can be tougher and drier on the inside. You can still eat them but they won’t taste as fresh. If you’ve grown too much to eat, try giving them to your neighbors or freezing them, canning, or fermenting.

For more info and helpful tips on growing your own organic garden, please visit the Delicious Living website: http://deliciousliving.com/green-living/how-start-your-own-organic-vegetable-garden?cid=nhbc.

Organic Consumers Association: https://www.organicconsumers.org/, Organic Trade Association: https://www.ota.com/

HAPPY GARDENING!

Editor’s note: Parts of this post were taken with permission from Delicious Living magazine. Sources are directly from Delicious Living magazine.

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 | May 22, 2016

Hero Nutritionals Slice of Life B12 Energy

 

HERO NUTRITIONAL LOGO

Are there times when you feel like you’re running around like a mad person doing a million things all at once, and yet wonder what you really accomplished at the end of the day? There are times when I think it would be nice to go back to the good old days when things weren’t too complicated or over emphasized just to make life even more complicated. Then again, I humbly look at my smartphone and all the wonderful things it does for me and realize that no, I can’t really live without the advanced technology either. It is indeed a vicious cycle we live in.

When I’m literally being pulled in all directions my energy gets depleted and I feel like a walking zombie. Maybe it’s getting older and this energy train we’re all riding on needs a few more stops here and there. I know that eating properly and getting enough rest is essential but sometimes I need a little extra help from the vitamins and supplement world.

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I firmly believe in taking necessary vitamins and supplements to fill in the gaps that your body needs on a daily basis. One simply can not eat the proper balance of vitamins and minerals that a healthy body requires. In essence, we can function on the right amount of a proper balance of vitamins and minerals found in food, but even the healthiest person in the world will require some help now and then.

When I spoke with my rep at Hero Nutritionals (http://heronutritionals.com) in regards to finding a good supplement to put the energy back into my life, she suggested that I try their Energy + B12 vitamin which comes in a gummy form. Hero Nutritionals sent me an adorable package consisting of their mascot girl bear, Slice of Life Complete Multi gummy, Slice of Life Energy + B12 gummy, and Slice of Life Omega-3 gummy. Having tried various types of vitamins and supplements I have to say that gummy vitamins are the easiest and most palatable way of eating vitamins. I know my son prefer his vitamins this way and I don’t blame him for it’s kind of like eating gummy candy.

HERO NUTRITIONAL

Hero Nutritional Slice of Life is their “adult” brand in comparison to their children’s Yummi Bears gummy vitamins. After extensive research and experience they believe that supplement in gummy form is more accepting in both adults and children. The Energy + B12 formula includes a complete blend of Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, and Folic Acid to naturally help transform food into energy. It has a slightly sweet flavor comprised of black cherry and cran-rasberry. All of Hero Nutritional vitamins and supplements are free of gluten, yeast, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, salt, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, artificial flavors, artificial colors and artificial preservatives.

I’ve learned and experienced that not everyone needs a daily multi vitamin because every body is different. While some people may need a complete balanced formulation of a multi vitamin, I find that it’s easier on my body when  I take singular vitamins. Most human bodies don’t require a daily multi vitamin as the body will naturally keep what is needed and eliminate the excess, so singular vitamins and supplements help target areas that you may need help with. Because everyone’s body is different and it all depends on how active you are and what you eat, finding the right vitamin and supplement is like finding the right house to buy. You need to do a bit of research and understand exactly what your body needs. Some of us are fine without any vitamins and supplements, but depending on your age and health we all may need a bit of help now and then.

My son and I have been using Hero Nutritional for many years and because they have such a great variety of vitamins and supplements I’ve had the opportunity to try most of their vitamins. If you don’t like taking anything in pill form, the gummies might be a good choice for you and if you’re looking for vitamins for your kids, the gummies are definitely easier for them to take.

Hero Nutritionals produces a wonderful assortment of vitamins and supplements for almost every need. They have an extensive line of children’s vitamins including their Yummi Bears Complete Multi Vitamin, Immunity Health, Vitamin C, Wholefood and Antioxidants, Vitamin D3, Omega 3, and many others. Their adult vitamins are the Slice of Life Complete Multi, Energy + B12, Omega 3 with Chia Seed, Vitamin D3, and many others. Hero Nutritionals can be found in natural grocery stores and most supermarkets in the U.S. If you’re interested in learning more about Hero Nutritional and the vitamin and supplements they offer, please visit their website: http://heronutritionals.com/.

 

Disclaimer: Taking any form of vitamins is a personal decision based on individual health and needs. If you have any questions, please contact the product companies directly and/or consult a health professional. Happymomblogger does not make any health claims other than for herself.

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.

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Posted by: suzan | May 16, 2016

Van’s Ultimate Giveaway

VANS IMAGE

A lot of cool things happen in the month of May but it’s also Celiac Awareness Month. For those who have sensitivity to gluten or gluten related products, Celiac disease can be extremely hard to deal with when it comes to food.

Van’s Foods has an entire line of certified gluten-free products for those who are gluten-intolerant, gluten sensitive, or just want to limit the amount of gluten products in their lives. Their gluten-free products include yummy breakfast items such as cereal snack bars, waffles, cereal, crackers, pasta, and their newest gluten-free granola. Their gluten-free granola are chewy and not too sweet so they’re great in milk, over yogurt, or just as they are. Delicious flavors include Banana Nut, Double Chocolate, Blueberry Walnut, and Cranberry Almond. For their entire lineup of gluten-free food, please visit their website: http://www.vansfoods.com/our-products-all-gluten-free.

And for some inspiration on how to jazz up Van’s Foods gluten-free products take a look at some of the recipes below:

Chocolate Rasberry Frozen Yogurt Bites:

http://www.vansfoods.com/Blog_Detail/id/462/Chocolate_Raspberry_Frozen_Yogurt_Bites

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Cherry Spinach Tart Smoothie Bowl:

http://www.vansfoods.com/Blog_Detail/id/461/Cherry_Spinach_Tart_Smoothie_Bowl

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Van’s Foods is hosting a very spectacular giveaway in May where the grand prize will be:

$100 Visa gift card, Van’s tote, Van’s water bottle, two cute, reusable snack sacks and coupons for free Van’s Foods. The winner will also receive an extra set of swag to give to a friend! 

Van’s Foods giveaway runs on all Van’s social media sites but you can enter directly through my blog. Be sure to enter by clicking on Happymomblogger to be counted as an contest entry. The Van’s giveaway runs from May 13, 2016 to May 29, 2016.

Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/45e72bd419/?

 

Best of Luck!

 

Disclaimer: The Van’s Foods giveaway is not hosted by Happymomblogger. Clicking on the giveaway link provided will take you to Van’s Foods giveaway site. For rules and regulations please contact Van’s Foods.

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 | April 29, 2016

Earth Friendly Products (ECOS) Grand Opening Ceremony

NEW EFP LOGO

It was a beautiful and sunny day on Thursday, April 21 when I drove up to the new corporate facility for Earth Friendly Products. The grand opening of their new facility timed perfectly with Earth Day as dignitaries, business associates, and the media all converged on this auspicious occasion. With the grand opening of its flagship manufacturing facility in Southern California, Earth Friendly Products is known amongst all sustainable business companies for their highest caliber of natural and safe home cleaning products sold throughout the U.S. Because of their all-natural, non-toxic ingredients, EFP has quickly become a favorite in households across the U.S.

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What started as a humble idea to bring non-toxic cleaning products to homes in the U.S. back in 1967, Earth Friendly Products eventually grew to be an international household sensation with manufacturing facilities stretching from coast to coast. From the love of the original founder Van Vlahakis, Earth Friendly Products was created to bring safe, healthy, and environmentally friendly household products to a generation where non-toxic products are vastly rising in the U.S. All of their raw materials are sourced from sustainable plants and locally when possible. Their manufacturing facilities boasts zero waste policies that won them the acclaimed Zero Waste Platinum certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Council (USZWBC). To be certified Zero Waste, a company must divert all end-use material from the landfill or incinerator, while achieving a minimum of 90% diversion. At Earth Friendly Products, they achieved over 95% of this goal which won them the esteemed Platinum award.

Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks family executive team and mayor Mariellen Yarc at Ribbon Cutting

I was extremely appreciative for being invited to Earth Friendly Product’s grand opening at Cypress, California. Not only was the weather beautiful, but the air was clean and fresh, the people attending friendly and excited, and most of all, Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, the President and CEO of EFP and daughter of the original founder, was naturally graceful and kind as always. I had the sincere pleasure of meeting her several years ago and then again this year at the Natural Products Expo.

 

ECOS environmentally friendly cleaning products

At the grand opening ceremony, we were able to tour the entire facility starting from the front lobby to the product development department, to the manufacturing warehouse, and finally to the upstairs corporate offices. We even had the opportunity to see one of the scientists test their raw materials – just like in high school science lab! From the research and development area we had a private tour of how the manufacturing process worked. Inside the zero waste facility employees were busy filling up bottles, labeling packages, and ensuring that all of Earth Friendly Products meet their highest product standards. After all, Kelly frequently tours the entire building to ensure her products are safe and efficient.

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After the grand tour, we were treated to a delicious and healthy gourmet Farm to Table lunch that featured locally grown ingredients. I had the super yummy Chickpea and Carrot Stew with Golden Raisin and Cilantro paired with a Quinoa and Fresh Greens salad. The dining area was outdoors and I was surprised when we walked out to the grounds and saw solar panels flanking their center garden. The solar panels help run the facility and work alongside the company’s ethical belief in sustainability and reducing waste. At the garden, several socially and environmentally responsible businesses set up booths to showcase their products and hand out samples as well. I had a lot of fun picking out a very unique Baby Toes succulent plant to take home to my son.

Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks Speaking Outside Cypress Facility1

The grand opening wrapped up nicely with Kelly and her staff thanking everyone for joining them on their very special day. Guests were given seed papers to plant at home as well as any samples provided by the vendors. Kelly, beautiful and elegant, wanted to stress the importance of sustainability and being socially responsible at a time when people and companies alike must realize that our planet needs our help. She strongly suggests that consumers buy responsibly and encourage businesses to look towards a cleaner and safer future with their products.

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Earth Friendly Products launched their new logo this year with the ECOS logo and all of their products are 100% transparent, safe, and sustainable. Their products are absolutely safe to use around people and pets and if you took a look at their labels and ingredients, you’d find regular household ingredients such as lavender, parsley, vinegar, and potatoes as part of their family of naturally sourced ingredients. All of their products are free from artificial dyes and fragrances, SLS-free, never tested on animals, and plant based with as much locally sourced materials as possible. Their products range from household cleaners to baby care, to pet care and can be found at natural products stores throughout the county as well as most supermarkets. For more information about Earth Friendly Products please visit their website: www.ecos.com, and their social media sites: https://www.facebook.com/ECOSLaundry/, https://twitter.com/efpclean,

https://www.instagram.com/ecoslaundry/, https://www.pinterest.com/ecoslaundryhttps://www.youtube.com/user/EarthFriendlyProduct

Thank you to Kelly and her team at Earth Friendly Products!

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 | April 22, 2016

Earth Day – April 22, 2016

earthday-promo

I’d like to think that every day should be Earth Day. After all, we live in a world where we have mast resources of practically anything we can get our hands on. Yet, as humans living on this planet, we are also destructing our own world and endangering our precious environment.

Earth Day was officially coined in April 1970 by a US Senator as the day to support environmental protection and awareness. Now celebrated across the world, Earth Day can be celebrated with even the smallest of acts. No gesture is too small for every step in helping the environment get healthy and abundant is the right step.

Following are some simple steps taken from New Hope Network (http://deliciousliving.com/green-living/4-ways-pay-it-forward-earth-day?cid=nhbc#slide) on how you can help this Earth Day:

You always recycle. You buy organic. But in honor of Earth Day (April 22), why not up the eco-friendly ante? Here are four fun ways you can show Mother Earth a little love.

  1. Live near a beach or a river? Organize a waterside cleanup day in your community. Offer prizes for the people who collect the most junk.

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  1. Instead of spraying weeds with herbicides, pour boiling water over weeds (just don’t splash the plants you actually want to keep).

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  1. If you’re up for a bigger project, transfer your water-sucking green lawn into a xeriscape, which uses attractive, native dry-loving plants to boost curb appeal.

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  1. Bring along small cotton bags to use in the grocery bulk and produce sections, instead of flimsy plastic bags. (Pictured: Flip & Tumble Produce Bags)

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So this Earth Day, pick up trash around your neighborhood, plant some trees or flowers, recycle responsibly, reuse what you can, turn off electricity when not in use, reduce your water usage, use recyclable water bottles, and pretty much anything you can put your mind to as long as you commit to helping the world become a cleaner and healthier place.

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

Posted by: suzan | April 18, 2016

What If The World Went Vegetarian?

What if every single person on this planet became vegetarian? Would the world be a better place? That is one question I often wonder as I’ve noticed vegetarians and vegans tend to lean towards more compassion and acceptance, because if you break it all down it really means that you are showing compassion to all living beings.

For me, it all started with a dog catcher many years ago who was cruelly trying to capture an adorable stray dog near my parents house. I was around eight or nine years old and still a bit naive about how the world works. After saving the dog from imminent danger from which my mind had surely conjured up, something changed within me and from that day forward I decided I could no longer eat meat.

People used to ask me why I became a vegetarian at such a young age. They thought it was a phase I was going through; a young child’s mind trying out something new. But deep down, deep down I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, to eat an animal who had a life only to unwillingly give it up to be on someone’s plate.

As I was sifting through my emails recently I came across something that caught my eye. And in honor of Earth Month and Earth Day on April 22, I thought it would be nice to share this very interesting and informative video on being a vegetarian and what it takes to eat meat. Hope you enjoy watching it and learn something new as I surely did.

https://youtu.be/ANUoAdXfA60

 

 

Posted by: suzan | April 5, 2016

Dolphin Organics #DOBetterToday Campaign

 

DOBETTERIMAGE

Do you ever feel as if there’s hardly any time to enjoy the little things in life? These things could be something fun like taking a walk through the park or compassionately volunteering for an hour a week. The simplest things could be enjoyed if we take a moment to realize them and actually accomplish them.

This month, the gracious folks at Dolphin Organics challenges all of us to Do Better, to do something that makes us feel good or makes someone else benefit from our actions. Using the hashtag slogan, #DOBetterToday, this challenge encourages everyone to make a change and let others know what you did through social media, word of mouth, virtually any way possible. It’s a positive step in getting everyone to see that any small change, positive and optimistic can encourage others to make similar admirable choices. The staff at Dolphin Organics will be posting their own goals and accomplishments all over social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and they hope lots of people will join them.

To further encourage others to Do Better and share their do better actions, Dolphin Organics is also hosting a giveaway along with the campaign. All you have to do to start is register online: http://dolphinorganics.com/DOBetterToday_a/274.htm. Every time a challenger posts #DOBetterToday and tags Dolphin Organics it’s another entry into the random drawing for some great prizes. The prizes are:

One randomly selected participant will win a “treat yourself” gift basket worth over $250 (it will include a spa certificate, DO products, movie gift certificates and more) 
– One runner up will win a gift basket worth over $125 of Dolphin Organics and DO Naturals products. 
Everyone who provides a mailing address and posts at least 10 times will get a free sample in the mail.
So begin by registering at: http://dolphinorganics.com/DOBetterToday_a/274.htm and then head on over to Dolphin Organics on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and start sharing what Do Better action you did today.

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 | March 28, 2016

National Nutrition Month with Van’s Foods

VEGETABLES - Copy

March marks the month as National Nutrition Month where companies focus on food and activities that help us live a healthier life. But most importantly, living a healthy life starts at home and teaching our children at an early age how clean eating affects our health forever.

Thankfully, I grew up with health conscious parents who believed in growing organic fruits and vegetables and that eating them on a daily basis not only help fight off many illnesses and diseases, but cultivates a natural tendency to eat healthier too. In essence, what we put into our bodies are what our bodies will output. It’s not difficult at all to eat healthier and to choose healthier foods on a daily basis. You just have to realize why eating healthy is important and avoiding harmful food when possible.

Now, temptation in food will always be around us. But to truly enjoy your life as you get older, you have to realize that resisting foods that can evidently and eventually harm us starts with making the right food choices. In order to do so, let’s look at what’s inside our refrigerator and pantry right now and get rid of those foods that are filled with artificial ingredients, too much sugar, and high in saturated fats. Of course many other factors attribute to poor health, but starting off on the right track can lead to a healthier eating habit.

*Six Common Nutrition Pitfalls:

Skipping Breakfast – we’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well research shows that skipping breakfast may wreak havoc on the body’s hunger and appetite cues, possibly resulting in eating even more calories later in the day. To make sure our bodies stay on the right track, breakfast should include whole grains, vegetables and fruit. Anything from whole fruit, no sugar added smoothies to whole grain toast and eggs would be great choices for breakfast.

Not Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables – unfortunately this is all too common in the US household and limiting fresh fruits and vegetables in our meals hinders our bodies from fighting off certain illnesses and diseases. We should strive to eat at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups (preferably whole) fruits daily. Easy ways of doing so would be to just bring along a sweet and delicious apple in your lunch bag or chop up some veggies such as cucumbers, radishes, and cherry tomatoes to make a healthy and fun crudites platter.

The Late Night Snack Attack – we’ve all fallen into this pitfall at one time or another and although sometimes it may be necessary depending on the reason, we should really dive into the many reasons why we snack after regular bedtime. Are you truly bored or just hungry? Read a good book or work on a hobby you’ve set aside for awhile. Eat regular meals throughout the day. Eat smaller meals if eating larger meals make you full during the day and lead to being hungrier late at night. Eat wholesome, whole grain meals that include healthy protein. If you must snack, choose healthier foods such as fruit (although acidic fruits can leave you with an upset stomach), cut up vegetables, or a gluten-free type of bread product for fiber.

Not Enough Sleep – research found that sleeping less compared to well-rested results in low energy and your body feeling like it needs to refuel with food. With less energy, we may be inclined to eat higher-caloric type of foods or order takeout instead of cooking something healthy and delicious at home. To help you sleep better every night, avoid watching television or reading on a personal electronic device close to your bedtime, which may activate your brain instead of help you wind down. Avoid heavy meals, caffeine and alcohol in the evening, which may disrupt sleep. And stick to a schedule, sleeping and rising at the same times daily.

Not Planning Ahead – planning ahead of time is a great strategy and practice for all areas in our lives. When it comes to eating properly, try to make a meal plan that includes plenty of fruits and  vegetables, whole grains, and protein. Making it a weekly meal plan will help you shop better and be creative.

Old Habits Die Hard – we all succumb to convenience and routine in our lives. While some habits are good, eating poorly is one habit we want to eliminate and change. If you follow the steps above and realize why you’re stuck in the unhealthy eating route then you can find a path to become healthier and make healthier life choices forever.

VANS CRACKERS

During National Nutrition Month, Van’s Foods ( http://www.vansfoods.com/)had kindly given me free product coupons to help promote this very important awareness. Van’s Foods makes healthy and delicious breakfast products ranging from frozen waffles and pancakes to wholegrain cereals.But they also make delicious, gluten-free crackers which I picked up a few boxes to try just to see how gluten-free savory snacks would taste compared to their non-gluten-free versions.

VANS SAY CHEESE

The gluten-free crackers I tried were: Gluten-Free Crackers Fire Roasted Veggies and Gluten-Free Crackers Say Cheese! The Fire Roasted Veggies had a wonderful abundance of savory and tanginess while the Say Cheese! was filled with cheesy and buttery flavor. Both were quite different in flavor and taste yet had a good amount of crunch and substance. And although they are savory in flavor, they have very little amounts of sodium so they’re not too salty. Van’s Gluten-Free Crackers are made with their signature blend of whole grains which includes Brown Rice Flour, Oats, Millet, Quinoa, and Amaranth. The Say Cheese! is a great bite-sized variety and the Fire Roasted Veggies would be great for dips.

Although I’m more inclined to whole grain wheat crackers, my favorite out of the two was the Say Cheese! The Fire Roasted Veggies was a bit harder to the bite but pairing them with a dip really brought the crunch factor down. If you are trying to stay away from gluten products, Van’s Food also makes other gluten-free flavors such as Gluten-free Lots of Everything!, Gluten-free Multi Grain Crackers, and Perfect 10 with crackers that are a bit bigger in size than their other ones. Van’s Foods crackers and other products can be found in most natural grocery stores as well as traditional supermarkets.

So no matter how you decide to eat healthier this month, pick something that is easy to start with and go from there. It could be substituting a meal with a hearty vegetable soup and crackers or a bowl of fresh vegetables for a salad. Eating better and properly insures a healthier lifestyle as well as maintaining proper balance in our lives. It’s never too late to start on a healthier habit so change one meal a day and go from there.

 

*Some of these content are taken from the Whole Foods Market blog (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

HENAMEDMEMALALA POSTER

“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.”

Have you ever felt so strongly for something, so profound that you ache with every fiber of your being to make a change? To make a difference in your life and the lives around you? That was the belief for Malala Yousafzai, a young girl from Pakistan who was taught to believe in fairness, kindness, and equality for her people.

Malala, at a very young age was taught by her father to learn more than what her station in life will ever teach her. She saw and experienced injustice living under the tyrannical leadership of the Taliban. But even through constant fear of being captured and punished, Malala triumphed on, believing that girls should and must receive proper education just like their male counterparts. When she was 15 years old, Malala was singled out by the Taliban and shot for advocating education for girls. She survived and the incident only pushed her to work harder, to confirm her belief that what she was fighting for was worth the pain, the hardship, and the dangers.

I was given a copy of the pre-released DVD, He Named Me Malala, from the Director of Waiting for “Superman” and Academy Award Winner An Inconvenient Truth for my honest review. The documentary told the story of Malala starting as a young child learning through the guidance of her father that education for everyone, not just women, is the way to a better life. Through clever animation and real life footage, we got to experience through Malala and her father’s eyes the fear that they faced, the cruelty of trying to live a normal life as a woman in Pakistan, and to teach other girls that they can be more than who they are. I was deeply touched from watching the movie, never truly understanding the hardships these women faced because of their gender and where they lived. It’s a beautiful and poignant movie and will touch people of any age and gender. Don’t be afraid of showing your children this movie as it might teach them about equality and the heavy price of believing something more than what your environment teaches you.

As you watch the documentary, listening to the hauntingly beautiful music, and the creative journalistic story, I hope we can all learn that courage comes through in the darkest nights, that light shines brighter than the sinister enemies that may prevent us from being better. As Malala stated in her UN speech, “One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.”

In 2014, Malala was the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On Monday, February 29, He Named Me Malala will premiere on the National Geographic Channel at 8pm/ET/PT in the US and globally in 171 Countries and 45 languages. Please set your clock so that you and your family can watch this moving, heartwrenching, and inspiring movie and hopefully understand that young girls around the world need to go to school, to get proper education, and to be free of oppression.

As a side note, the Taliban did not believe in proper education for women. According to Malala, she believed that the Taliban was afraid that educating women would lead to change. And change for a tyrant leads to freedom of oppression.

Please visit the Malala Fund: https://www.malala.org/ for donations, purpose, and general information about how to help women of all ages around the world have proper education and the right to be educated.

For more info about Malala and this documentary please check out the following websites:

Movie  clip: https://www.youtube.com/embed/3ghiYve6k68

Website: http://www.henamedmemalalamovie.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeNamedMeMalala

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media

(http://media.thereviewwire.com) for 20th Century Fox. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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

 

 

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