Friday, June 29, 2018

Summer Vacay

I can't believe it.  It is the day we have all been waiting for.  SUMMER VACATION.
I don't know about you but my kids have been on the summer train since about the beginning of June.  We even started doing summer stuff earlier in the month just because we have had such nice weather. Now with school officially out and sports officially over we have every single day to do what we want.  I thought it would be really fun for the kids to make a summer bucket list.  It is something I've wanted to do with them for a while but they were always so young.  Now we have a list a mile long.. most I don't know if we can even get to but we are going to try.

I had the idea of creating a summer kick off party for the kids on their last day of school.  I loaded up a bucket with squirt guns and water balloons and we had a great celebration on the last day.  

We have a summer beach bag of sorts that is always packed.  I usually carry a set of dry clothes for each kid because you never know when you will make a pit stop at the lake for a quick dip.  I also keep bug spray and sun screen.  

Also, easy to grab yogurt pouches are a favorite for us as well.  Easy cooler snacks.  

It is always so hard to know what is best for your kids when dealing with chemicals but one really great product that we swear by is badger sunscreen.  I always keep it with me and if you know me, I despise putting on sun tan lotion.  I just hate the way it usually makes my hands feel after but this is so smooth.  It does not have that greasy feeling and bonus! my kids don't mind me lathering them up.  Win Win.

We are always putting on sunscreen.  We live on the water so its really important for us to make sure our kids are covered.  We also ski a lot during the winter months and I have even used it on the slopes.  

One of the reasons I love Badger is that it is a B Corp Certified product.  If you would like to learn more about that you can see my post here.

I have even used this in a pinch when I didn't have diaper cream in my bag.  Love easy clean products  for my kiddos.

If you are in need of ideas for summer sit down with your kids and create a summer bucket list... 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Easy Options for Baby & Kids

I feel like the first few months of having MaryEl flew by.  Before I even realize it she will be ready for food. Unlike with Evan and Ryan, I plan on making the majority of her baby food but I also know the reality of it all and I’ll need some more convenient and less time-consuming options.  In between schooling, football, baseball, gymnastics, swimming and I can't even remember what else.....


Feeding my family healthy organic food is really important to me.  I have implemented a clean eating lifestyle when I first became pregnant with Evan.  I know that I can't always make the best decision but when it comes to on the go quick snacks having a company that I can rely on is key.  A company that I trust will do the right thing when creating baby and kid snacks.  I wanted to find some companies that had the same mindset I do regarding organic foods and I was so excited to find two that I plan on buying for my little family.  As always, my tried and true favorite.... 

Stonyfield’s YoBaby Yogurt and Once Upon a Farm are two brands really great brands and I I LOVE their missions. I already was a huge fan of Stonyfield’s ingredients and I use them a lot while baking & making smoothies.  Once Upon a Farm is a great choice for when you are super busy and running out the door.  It is so easy for Ryan to grab himself when he is wanting a snack.  I don't have to worry about reading all the labels.  They are keeping it as close to natural as possible.  They never add sugars, preservatives or ingredients you can’t pronounce in their food.  How cool is that!

Stonyfield also just came out with a new flavor -Banana/Mango Yobaby Yogurt which now contains the probiotic culture BB12. In addition to live active cultures, Stretococcus Thermophilus, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidus, Lactobacillus Casei, and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, their yogurt now contains the probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis lactis BB-12 that has been shown to have a digestive health benefit. Stonyfield has also started using PLA cups -- The cups are made from plants!

Say what exactly?

Eco-Products offers cups, lids, cutlery, straws and containers made from a biopolymer called PLA (polylactic acid). We use Ingeo™ brand PLA. Ingeo™ is made from starchy plants like corn, grown right here in the U.S. Starch from corn kernels is processed into a biopolymer that looks, acts, and performs like petroleum-based plastics.

photos credited

I love being able to add this yogurt to our smoothies.  

This smoothie is one of my family's favorites.  It is yummy as a breakfast option and also as a dessert.  

Thank you to Stonyfield and Once Upon a Farm for Sponsoring this Post.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Beauty Chef

As you read every word in this post you will learn the secret to getting skin that glows from within.

Glowing skin starts in your gut.

Now I know that doesn’t sound very sexy – but it’s true.

Impaired gut flora can be the root cause behind skin conditions such as acne, eczema, rosacea and dermatitis.

If you are suffering from one of these conditions (or you’re just sick of having dull, lifeless skin) adding a well formulated probiotic supplement can be a skin-changer. 

The Beauty Chef Glow Powder is quickly becoming a cult favourite product. After hearing a tonne of good reviews I purchased the Glow Powder & Collagen Elixir, and was gifted the Antioxidant Elixir at a later date.

I could list all the product specifics in this blog post but what you really want to know is if these products will actually do anything or will they be like the 17 other supplements you have sitting on your kitchen bench top that haven’t done squat for you.

If you are interested in all the specifications – you can find them on The Beauty Chef website. To save you some time: basically these products are packed with probiotics, antioxidants and all the superfoods you could care for. They are designed to improve your gut health.
Taste & Texture

The Collagen Elixir is my favourite out of the three. I only drink water so this feels like a treat. I am like a kid at Christmas skipping to kitchen to have my Collagen Elixir every morning. It tastes delicious, just like a sugar-free raspberry cordial.

The Glow Powder tastes like berries and was pleasant but a little lumpy in water – maybe I could have mixed it better. I loved putting this in my berry smoothies for an extra bit of flavour and because I am clearly too lazy to mix it properly in water.

*Update – The new ADVANCED GLOW powder does not have the lumpy issue and still tastes delicious.

I didn’t like the flavour of the Antioxidant Elixir half as much as the Collagen Elixir. It had a slight fizziness and reminded me of kombucha.

Did they work?

I found the effects of the three to be the same. Here is what I noticed:

An improvement in my digestion – things just run more smoothly.

Less bloating.

My skin glows. It looks so hydrated and healthy now.
A natural energy boost.

I tried taking probiotic tablets in the past but I always forgot to take them. Probiotics need to consumed within about a month of opening so my old pill ones would go out of date before I could finish them. I love that The Beauty Chef products taste so nice that I never forget to take them. Also, I never noticed a difference to my skin from taking probiotics in pill form.

As someone who is moderately frugal, the Glow Powder and Collagen Elixir seemed like a bit of a splurge at first, but then I got thinking. I was previously spending over $200 a month on takeaway meals and dining out. When I compared the price of the Glow Power and Collagen to the money I was spending on foods that were hurting my gut health – they started to look like a bargain. So I quit getting a few takeaway meals a week to cover the costs and not only did I get my healthier looking skin, I also lost a few kilograms just by cooking more meals at home.
The more I learn about gut health, the more convinced I become that well formulated supplements like these from The Beauty Chef are worth investing in. Having suffered with bad skin for years, the confidence these products have given me is priceless.

To conclude

I continue to buy the Glow Powder and Collagen Elixir because they make me feel good, help my digestion and make my usually dull and acne prone skin radiant.

Friday, January 19, 2018

12 Ways To Be a Happier Mom

Growing up being a mom was something I looked forward to more than anything else. I couldn’t wait for the day to have kids of my own. There are days I feel on cloud nine where everything seems like rainbows and butterflies and parenting couldn’t be easier, then there are days and weeks where I wonder if I am being a good enough mom. I had one of those rough days last week where I was completely drained. I had a couple crazy days, my house was a mess, I had barely slept, the boys were whining over everything and I just broke down. – I need a couple hours to myself.

I use to set aside time every hitch to have a little me time and the last couple weeks just got so chaotic I didn’t do it and honestly it affected me as a parent. I don’t claim to know it all, trust me half the time I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’ve realized when I stick to these basic habits my life as a mom runs so much smoother!

GET ENOUGH SLEEP – Seriously I can’t stress this enough, get those zzz’s! When I don’t get a full night sleep my fuse is so short. Obviously that kind of sleep can’t happen all the time – but a full 7-8 hours leaves you refreshed.

HAVE YOU TIME – You need time to yourself! My favorite is getting facials. I also love going shopping (an obvious one 🙂 but when I go by myself I actually get to try on the clothes and I’m not racing through the aisles trying to get it done as quick as I can. 

DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF – If your feeling down or stressed about your parenting, don’t go on social media and compare yourself to other moms or families that seem to have it all together. Remember social media is such a small glimpse of people’s lives! Instead look through pictures of happy moments with your own family.

LEARN TO LAUGH – Chaos comes with kids – and the more you embrace and learn to laugh at the imperfections the more relaxed you will be.

GET READY FOR THE DAY – Don’t get me wrong I lovvvvve sweats, but I always notice a difference in my demeanor when I get ready for the day. You don’t have to be in 5 inch heels and full on make up. Take a shower, or do your hair, something that puts a little effort into getting ready for the day.

WAKE UP EARLY – I love waking up early! I am typically up around 6-6:30 every morning. The mornings are my time to get stuff done before the kiddos wake up and also enjoy a little quiet time.

 BE GRATEFUL – Every night (well we try to do it every night but sometimes we forget) We say what our favorite part of the day was. I think it’s so important to think about the things you are grateful for. When you focus on the positive it brings more positive things to your life.

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE – We try and get out of the house for something every day.  Even if it is a quick trip to the store for dinner materials. 

ENCOURAGE OTHER MOMS – Being a mom is definitely hard. Encourage other moms and friends you have that may be going through a hard week and let them know what you admire about their parenting, offer to take their kids for a couple hours, or just let them know they are doing a good job. It’s always nice to have the reassurance from your friends and family when you are having those tough days.

LET IT GO – Whether it’s picking up the house, or finishing those emails for work, sometimes you just need to let it go. There are days everything doesn’t get done and it’s ok. (if it has to get done you can always wake up early and do it in the morning 🙂

HAVE DATE NIGHT – I think this was one of the pieces of advice I heard over and over again before we got married, but we still find it so hard to do.  This is one that I am working on.

LISTEN TO THEM LAUGH – Nothing in the world makes me happier then listening to the kids laugh. Make it your goal everyday to get at least one deep uncontrollable laugh out of them. There really is no greater joy!

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