Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: BBQ Chicken Pizza with Pineapple

We all have those nights where we just don't feel like cooking. Of course, dining out or getting take-out isn't always an option. The solution, pizza. Because technically it isn't cooking. It's baking. 

This BBQ Chicken Pizza with Pineapple is super easy to make & packs a whole lot of flavor! 

•Start out with your favorite crust, whether it's store bought or homemade. (This is my go to recipe for pizza dough.)
•Place your dough in a preheated oven for 3-4 min. while you blend some cooked & shredded chicken with your favorite BBQ sauce. 
•Next step, top your slightly cooked dough with a bit of extra BBQ sauce, BBQ chicken, thinly sliced onions & green bell peppers (if you'd like), pineapple rings, shredded mozzarella cheese, ground black pepper, dried parsley & a smidge of dried cilantro (or fresh if you have it). 
•Bake your pizza according to directions or until the cheese is melted & just beginning to brown a bit. 

  Just remember to let it cool down a bit before you bite into it. It'll be hard, but if you wait it will be so worth it. (As in you won't burn your taste buds & you'll actually be able to taste how delicious it is.)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Simple Sunday: That Moment

That moment when you have to rush your child to the ER. Sorry the picture is blurry, but this is Paige, waiting in the hallway for her CAT scan on Friday night. She actually wanted me to take a picture of her IV to show her friend (I'm pretty sure that was the morphine talking). 

She was playing on the front porch with her brother, sister & a friend on Friday night, when she tripped & caught an empty aquarium that was sitting against the front part of the porch. She came in & said she tripped & hurt herself, but she looked fine. Within moments, you could tell that she was in pain. She landed on her right side, at the bottom of her rib cage. We thought she may have cracked or broken a rib, so we rushed off to the ER. On the way there, she was in so much pain that she couldn't control her breathing & she actually passed out a few times. Thank goodness it was only for a few seconds at a time, but still. At that point, I really got worried. 

When we finally made it into triage, her blood pressure was 140/80. That's high even for me! They managed to get her back in a room pretty quickly after that & everything moved at a decent pace. The doctor came in, examined her & then did an ultrasound. She had landed directly on her liver. But while her ribs were fine, that didn't mean that her softer bones didn't cause any damage inside. Fortunately, the ultrasound didn't show anything alarming, but she had severe pain & even pain in her stomach. Morphine was ordered, an anti-nausea medicine was ordered & she was able to drink a bit of Gatorade before she was sent off for a CAT scan to check for any internal injuries. She also had a full bloodwork done & had given a urine sample.

Fortunately again, everything came back fine. Her blood pressure had come down a bit before they administered the morphine & by the time we were able to leave (about 90 min. later), it was right were it should have been. Although she's a bit sore & asks for some ibuprofen every now & then, Paige is fine. But this will be another one of those moments that stick with me forever! 

Well Beginnings Diapers & Wipes

**Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC. or the manufacturer of the product.

We just got out of the diaper scene when I happened to receive a package of Well Beginnings diapers & wipes. I was going to give them to a friend of mine to try on her little one since they were the right size, but then the unthinkable happened. We ran out of pull-ups! Eeek! I was about to trek out to Walmart, just to pick up some more since that was the closest store to us that was still open. But then I remembered that I still had the Well Beginnings that Moms Meet had sent me. Talk about a lifesaver! And an impressive one at that!

  Well Beginnings is Walgreens' exclusive baby care brand & has a full line of products. 

The first thing I noticed was how adorable the elephant character was. The second thing I noticed was that these diapers seemed to have a perfect fit with their soft stretchable waist & side panels. And I'm pretty sure they did, because somehow, we avoided one heck of a stinky blowout in the morning. But thanks to the inner liner with natural botanicals, aloe & vitamin E, my daughter's bum wasn't agitated at all. 

Ok, so after we made it to the store the next morning to get our pull-ups, I swung by my friends house to give her the diapers (I selfishly kept the wipes for myself). She called me the next day to tell me that she loved me! She had been having an awful time trying to find a new brand of diapers for her son to wear since he suddenly developed allergies a couple months ago. Usually after a diaper or two, she can tell if they're going to work out or not. She used 5 before she called me & didn't have any indication of an issue yet. She was over the moon that they were truly hypoallergenic. Plus she was happy that she wasn't going to go broke buying them. (A package retails for $8.99 & a box retails for $18.49.)

I usually tend to buy the sensitive wipes when I buy them just because they're a close match to my homemade version. But I usually loathe the packaging that they come in. More often than not, you end up fighting with a single wipe to get it out of the package. So what happens next? That wipe calls for backup & before you know it, you'd got about a quarter of the package in your hand. So of course you have to stuff them all back in, making them a pain to get out until you finally get to were the wipes like you again. I don't know about you, but that drives me absolutely insane. I'll have you know, that my sanity was not compromised during the use of these wipes.

So aside from actually being able to get the wipes out of the package, they're pretty fantastic themselves too. They're made with Tri-Form, a unique 3-layer fabric that consists of two quilted soft outer layers for gentle cleansing & a strong inner layer to prevent tearing. They're also dermatologist approved, hypoallergenic & alcohol free. Basically what it comes down to, is that you only need one wipe (very rarely it's a 2-3 wipe job) & they won't irritate little bums. 

And although I didn't willingly share these wipes with my friend, I did tell her about them & she stopped to pick some up herself. Yep, she loves me...I mean the wipes, she loves them too. 

Keep up with the latest from Walgreens on Facebook, Twitter & Google+.

Moms Meet is an online resource that empowers moms to come together in an informal setting and talk about the latest on raising healthy families and living green. Moms Meet offers exciting opportunities for Mom Ambassadors and their groups to sample the latest healthy, green products. Sign up today!


Gluten Free Goodness with ginnybakes

**Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC. or the manufacturer of the product.

Lately I have been trying to incorporate more gluten free foods into my daily diet. It's not a necessity, just a conscious choice. I realized some time ago that I feel less run down after indulging in a gluten free goodie. So when the kind folks at Moms Meet sent me a mini treasure trove of products from ginnybakes, I was over the moon ecstatic! You see, ginnybakes creates organic, gluten-free, non-GMO treats that are delicious & nutritious. 

These ginnybars were my absolute favorite! But then again, I'm a sucker for fruit & nut bars as it is, so it came as no surprise. Although if I had to pick a favorite flavor, Karma, Love & Apricots would win. It had the perfect blend of salty, sweet, crunchy & chewy. And apricots of course! (These are definitely getting ordered in the future.)

Then there came cookies. I'll admit, I really didn't think these were going to be very good. I'm not sure why, I just didn't. But oh-em-geeee! They were amazing! Before I knew it, the kids & I stood around a package of the Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bliss & completely devoured them in less than 5 minutes. These were by far, the best chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that never came from my recipe book, that I ever tasted! 

The kids are all in a cookie coma state of heaven!

The kids were super excited when they saw the bags of mini cookies. And I have to admit that I was too, since they always feel special when they get anything "mini". I asked them how they were & I got a few muffled "good" responses amongst the chewing. Which says a lot actually. Especially since I got to enjoy a few minutes of silence (if you don't count the chewing noises that is). 

It took me a minute to realize that these were baking mixes. Baking mixes?! Most companies don't generally offer baking mixes of their goodies so I was uber excited. Especially since they just take a few ingredients (preferably organic) to make.

Ginnybakes also has a brownie & muffin mix (not pictured) available. The brownies were a hit! Not only were they delicious, but they smelled amazing while they were baking. And I know it's a big no-no because of the egg, but the batter was my favorite part. Hey now, someone had to lick the spoon! (Right?)

All in all, I have to say that I was incredibly impressed with ginnybakes. Not just because I loved everything, but because my family did too. And it definitely helped me show them that you can eat healthy & still indulge.


Keep up with the latest from ginnybakes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & Google+.

Moms Meet is an online resource that empowers moms to come together in an informal setting and talk about the latest on raising healthy families and living green. Moms Meet offers exciting opportunities for Mom Ambassadors and their groups to sample the latest healthy, green products. Sign up today!

National Waffle Day with Van's Natural Foods & a Giveaway!

Thank you to Van's Natural Foods for sponsoring this post. 

Hey. Hey, you. Yea, you. Do you know what today is?

Photo credit: 365 Days Festival

Waffles are like pancakes, but with abs, or syrup traps, depending on how you look at it. Either way, they're slightly better. But while you won't find me slaving away over a hot waffle iron very often (we don't get along), you will find me hanging around the toaster waiting for my waffles to pop up. Especially if they're my favoritest waffles ever! 

These Gluten Free Blueberry Waffles from Van's Natural Foods are amazing (just like everything else they offer)! They're made with whole grain brown rice flour & sweetened with fruit juice so you don't feel awful after devouring a whole stack of them. Unless you happen to use an entire small jug of pure maple syrup too, but that's a different story. 

View this photo on Instagram!

Of course you do still need at least a bit of that pure maple syrup. And some fresh blueberries. And some banana slices. And a fork. And a quiet place where no one can find you stuffing your face with delicious waffles. Okay, so the last one is optional, but if you have a family like mine, I highly suggest it. 

One lucky winner will receive coupons from Van's Natural Foods!

The giveaway will conclude on at 12:00 a.m. est on Friday 8/29/14. Winners will be announced via rafflecopter & in a separate blog post which will be published no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday 8/29/14. Winners will also be notified via email & announced on the Smith and Blessings facebook page. Winners will have 24 hours to submit shipping information, which will then be passed on to Van's Natural Foods for distribution of product. If 24 hours has lapsed, a new winner will be picked & then will also have 24 hours to submit their information. Smith and Blessings is not responsible for prize shipment.
 *Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep up with the latest from Van's Natural Foods on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Valentia Even Glow Serum

**Disclaimer: I have received products to try from Valentia Skin Care via BrandBacker & am simply sharing my personal opinion which may vary from yours. I was not compensated for this review.

I turn 33 in less than 2 months, although I don't look anywhere near my age. But I know that isn't going to last forever, so I've decided to take a proactive approach to aging. So when I had the opportunity to try Valentia Even Glow Serum (with 20% Vitamin C), I just couldn't pass it up!

This antioxidant treatment helps to neutralize the free radicals that your skin comes in contact with on a daily basis leaving you absolutely radiant.

Of course the main ingredient is vitamin C, which helps to reduce the effects of sun exposure (sunburn & sun spots), along with redness & wrinkles. But this serum also contains a small handful of other essential ingredients that help to support & even enhance the effects of vitamin C. 

•Organic Rosehip Seed Oil & Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil - These oils help skin hydration & lock in moisture.

•Resistem (Plant Stem Cells) - This will help your skin regenerate faster while protecting it from environmental stressors. 

•Botanical Hyaluronic Acid - This activates collagen production for a fresher, younger, firmer & brighter complexion. 

•Green Tea Extract - The catechins in green tea are a potent antioxidant which also contribute to the overall anti-inflammatory & anti-irritant benefits.

I have to say that I've only been using this for a week, but I can already see a difference. I've noticed that I have fewer fine lines near my eyes & I have an even radiant glow (it reminds me of that awesome pregnancy glow - minus the extra 60lbs). Plus I love the scent! It's citrus-y (it is vitamin C after all) but with just a tinge of green tea. Which is probably why I favor to apply this serum in the morning (nothing says wake up like an invigorating scent, right?) 

And this serum absorbs faster than anything else I have ever tried! HUGE bonus points for being a time saver since I haven't needed to use an extra moisturizer the past few days. I can't wait to see the results after a few more weeks!

Valentia Even Glow Serum is available on Amazon at a great price (if you ask me anyways). Plus it is available for Prime shipping.