Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving Thanks and Giving Back this Thanksgiving

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.


Can you believe that Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday?! While I've been busy planning what I'm going to cook for Thanksgiving Dinner to feed my family and my kids, it's also very apparent to me that 1 in 4 children in South Florida are going without food (according to Feeding South Florida). Every child deserves to live #SimplyHealthy. I cannot imagine my babies going without food, and it is heartbreaking to know that so many children in our community are. Which is why, with the help of #CollectiveBias and Sam's Club, our family decided to help those in need.

My boys and I took a trip to Sam's Club in Coral Springs, Florida with my mom in tow. We purchased a some non-perishable food items that we thought would be perfect to donate to Feeding South Florida, so that they can give them to people in need in our South Florida community.



Even though my children are young, I explained to them that we were buying food to give to little kids who needed help. My 2 year old, Little J, did sort-of catch on to the concept, and was excited to "buy food for the kids" (as he told me!)

It truly warmed my heart to be able to teach my children the importance of helping in their community at such a young age.



Suggested in the article "Volunteering: A gift to yourself" in the November/December 2014 issue of Sam's Club's Magazine, Healthy Living Made Simple, were ways to make volunteering a family affair. Specifically included were great ideas on how to get children involved in giving back to their community. Check out the article to see how you can also give back in your community.

You can also download a convenient iPhone or iPad Healthy Living Made Simple app to have great information and articles right at your fingertips! 

Sam's Club Healthy Living Made Simple App Screen Shot


We brought our Sam's Club purchases to the Feeding South Florida warehouse. 
The food donations weighed in at nearly 100 pounds! 



Our donations being weighed on the scale inside of the Feeding South Florida warehouse.


It felt great to be able to give back to our community and involve our entire family in the process. 

I hope that you have a beautiful Thanksgiving and holiday season with your family, too.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Fresh Meal Plan - Meal Delivery Review

I was provided with 3 days of meals from Fresh Meal Plan in exchange for this review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

As a mom of two little kids, it's sometimes hard to keep my diet on track. Trying to cook well-balanced meals while also rushing from place-to-place, different play dates and activities, and just trying to run my household doesn't always allow for me to be in the kitchen prepping meals. 

Eating healthy is very important to me, as I lost 95 pounds in the 9 months after Baby L was born last September. Especially now, during the upcoming holiday season, it's very easy and tempting to fall off track. 

Recently I had the pleasure of trying out Fresh Meal Plan. If you haven't heard of it, it's an awesome Florida meal plan delivery service that drops off freshly prepared, healthy, heavenly food right to your front door! It's the perfect way for anyone to stay healthy without depriving yourself of flavor and nutrients.


My Fresh Meal Plan meals were dropped off right at my front door around midnight. I excitedly unpacked the food-safe containers (you can heat them in the oven up to 250 degrees!) out of the blue stay-fresh bags, and took inventory of my food.

I wanted to eat all of it on the spot. The food was still warm from being freshly prepared. I loaded it all into my fridge, but kept one thing out...

I decided on having a Pineapple Jerk Chicken Salad...at midnight. How could I resist?!
It was really good! The dressing was very tasty, and the salad definitely hit the spot! As I went to bed, I was dreaming of what order I would eat the rest of the food.


In the morning I decided on Cannoli Stuffed Pancakes. It was so delicious. The pancakes, cannoli filling, turkey sausage, and a strawberry on the side...so, so good.

Sounds sinful, right? But it's not! It's all nutritionally balanced and designed to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Each paleo meal was between 325-425 calories and packed with protein, fibrous vegetables, and essential fats.


Fresh Meal Plan has a variety of meal plans to fit different lifestyles including: Traditional, Paleo, and Vegetarian. They also have the option to build your own meal plan, which is amazing. You can also have fresh juices and delectable desserts delivered with your meals...is your mouth watering yet??

It gets better. Fresh Meal Plan has a database of over 5,000 meals, which means you will rarely have a repeat meal. Some of my other meals were: Cajun Ham Omelet, Coconut Chicken with green beans and cauliflower, Bison Bacon Burger, Chicken Tetrazzini, and so many more! You can check out some of Fresh Meal Plan's amazing sample menus here.

With a price point of under $8 per meal, that includes high-quality foods such as: free range chicken, wild fish, grass-fed bison, and other natural meats, it's pretty much a mom's dream come true. There's no way I could ever cook such delicious and diverse meals so inexpensively...and still have a life outside of the kitchen!



In my opinion, Fresh Meal Plan is a win! Totally worth it, and delicious. Perfect, really.

To find out more information about Fresh Meal Plan, or to sign up for your own Fresh Meal Plan delivery, please visit their website. It's the least expensive, fastest-growing meal plan in Florida. There's no long-term commitments, hidden charges, or bag fees. You just sign up and get your food delivered...and eat it! :)

Fresh Meal Plan truly is "Healthy Eating, Made Easy".

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Crowd Pleasin' Comfort Casserole



Last night I had no idea what to make for dinner. I had a bunch of food in the house, but nothing that was ready to make into a meal. Or so I thought...

I decided to make an experimental casserole with random stuff...and it turned out really delish! 

The stamp of approval was when my husband ate half of the tray when he came home from work. He told me it was great comfort food after a long day at work. Extra Good Wife Points for me, yay ;)

It's cheesy, creamy, filled with flavor, green veggies and protein. What more could you ask for? Whip this up for the holidays, and you're sure to please your guests!

Ingredients needed:

- 1 box/pound of noodles (I used Ronzoni Cavatappi)
- 1 package of ground turkey meat (I used Jenny-O Extra Lean)
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup broccoli
-1 medium onion, diced
-1 cup mayonnaise
- 16oz shredded cheddar cheese
-grated Parmesan cheese (enough to cover casserole)
-olive oil 
-seasonings (black pepper, garlic salt, cayenne pepper - to taste)

Here's how ya do it:

**Preheat oven to 350**

1. In a large pot cook noodles according to the package directions on stove top. Drain and set aside.

2. In another pot (or the microwave, totally up to you), steam the broccoli, and set aside.

3. While the noodles and broccoli are cooking, drizzle olive oil in a large frying pan, and cook together the ground turkey meat and onion. Add some black pepper, a pinch of garlic salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper to taste.


3. When the turkey and onions are nearly done cooking, add in the spinach and mix in until it's fully cooked, too.

4. In a large bowl, combine the turkey/onion/spinach mixture with the noodles and broccoli. Mix in your mayonnaise and 8oz of shredded cheddar cheese (save the other 8oz for the top of the casserole.)

5. Spread the mixed food into a large, greased casserole pan. 

6. Sprinkle on one layer of grated parmesan cheese. Then, sprinkle the remaining 8oz of shredded cheddar cheese on top.


7. Pop the finished dish into the hot oven for 10 minutes. Carefully remove and serve the heavenly ooey-gooey-ness to your guests...try not to eat it all first :)

Enjoy!



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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Father and Son Style featuring Under Armour Sunglasses

We received sunglasses from Under Armour in order to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

Sunglasses are Little J's favorite accessory right now. The South Florida sun gets very bright, and his eyes seem to be extra sensitive to the brightness. So, I was very excited to be able to give him a brand new pair of Under Armour Youth Ace Sunglasses!  

He loves them! They fit his face perfectly, and protect his little eyes from the super strong sun.

Even better, he is so happy that they match his Daddy's Under Armour Alloy Sunglasses...and Daddy is happy that he doesn't have to have Little J "borrow" another pair of his sunglasses since he now has his own personal pair :)





This Under Armour sunglasses set would most certainly make an amazing Father and Son holiday gift for the stylish guys in your life.

Little J's sunglasses are also featured in the Tot Style section of my 2014 Toddler Holiday Gift Guide!


Stop by to see all great gift ideas we have for you for this holiday season. 

You can check out and stay up-to-date with Under Armour at: their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

The 2014 Ultimate Toddler Holiday Gift Guide - Christmas and Hanukkah Gift Ideas for Kids



This gift guide contains affiliate links to help you find the products mentioned. 


The holiday season is once again upon us, my friends! Seriously, I can't even believe it. Target had holiday stuff out before Halloween was even over, so I had fair warning...but wow, the year went fast! Even though I keep saying that the kids do NOT need any more toys or gifts, here are some awesome Christmas, Hanukkah, (insert holiday name here) ideas for toddlers.

The guide is separated into categories for easier reference.

I hope you and your family have a very happy and healthy holiday season :)




TECH TOYS:
I kind of want one of each of these for myself! 


MUSIC:
Music is truly one of the best gifts you can give to your child!

Super Gigantic Keyboard Playmat

VTech KidiBeats Drum Set

Junior Band Set of 3 Musical Instruments 

BIG TIME FUN:
Big stuff that's sure to please the littlest on your list.




COMFY & COZY:

Disney Frozen Anna and Elsa Slumber Bag

Planes Flip Open Sofa
- my boys LOVE their flip-open sofas. They're one of the most used items in our house!




PRETEND PLAY:

BOOKS:



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