Health & Fitness · Uncategorized

Kombucha Krazed

Kombucha, have you heard of it? If not, thats okay but you may want to take serious notes because this drink is packed with some serious healthy punch for your body.  Today I am talking about everything you need to know about this popular drink that is hitting shelves everywhere at stores near you.

Kombucha is actually tea, typically black but occasionally green or other varieties, that has been mixed with a type of sugar that has gone through an intense fermentation process. After going through the fermentation process komucha becomes carbonated and takes on added health benefits.  Kombucha becomes infused with what is known as “SCOBY” aka some probiotics.  SCOBY stands for Symbotic Colony Of Bacteria & Yeast.

With me so far? Good! So a few things you need to know before you crack open a bottle.  This drink has a VERY vinegary smell.  When I first too a whiff, I wasn’t sure I could actually drink the beverage.  If you can get past the smell, there is the another obstacle to overcome: the SCOBY actually appears as little particles floating around in your drink.  Although not overly large or textured, you still have something floating in it.  I kind of compare it to apple cider vinegar with the bragg.  It’s tough, but once you overcome these two obstacles you really will fall enjoy it.

Komucha is available from many brands currently in supermarkets around the country.  I personally have been fond of the brand, Synergy.  It has a variety of flavors available and I have fallen in love with Gingerberry and Trilogy. No, it wasn’t love at first taste BUT after my second bottle I was actually craving this drink first thing in the morning.  Some may consider it an acquired taste, but with time I think it could grow on you.

Why Drink Kombucha?

At this point, I haven’t described the most pleasant experience to make you want to go buy a bottle but keep reading you will see why.

As I mentioned before, kombucha provides probiotics for your body which assists with overall gut health.  Studies and research show that good bacteria is essential for your gut, which is where most illnesses originate.  This good bacteria supports the immune system by overcoming the bad bacteria found with in the gut.  Since the bacteria found in kombucha is loaded with antioxidants, it can assist with a variety of illnesses by reducing inflammation found within the body.  Additionally, studies are linking kombucha to aiding with cardiovascular health and management of diabetes.

I personally started drinking this after my GI suggested I incorporate more probiotics into my diet.  To be honest, I am AWFUL at remembering to take pills and I wanted something that could be found naturally within foods or drinks.  After research I landed on Kombucha.  I have been drinking this first thing in the morning, for no particular reason did I choose first thing, for the past month.  Overall, I have been pleased with the results and have seen improvements with my issues.

Where can I find it?

Komboucha is hitting shelves everywhere from the local grocery stores to Target.  Prices vary depending on brand and bottle size.  An average 16 oz bottle will cost between $3-$5.  However, Fresh Thyme often offers them for a buy one get one free sale and Target offers one massive bottle for $7.  Not bad considering you only need to drink 8oz per day.

If you’re looking to up your gut health and fuel your body with good bacteria, give this trendy drink a whirl.  It costs the same as your favorite drink at the local coffee shop, but provides actual health benefits instead of just a caffeine rush. Loaded with probiotics and vitamins, its a great supplement to add to your daily routine.

Have you tried it already?? What are your thoughts???

Recipes · Uncategorized

Snackin So Good

Snack time can be a delightful time or a vicious cycle of “what haven’t see had in a while?”. I try my best to keep from falling into a rut, but as a working mom I don’t always succeed. However, I try not to beat myself up over it because kids have had fruit snacks and crackers with peanut butter for a snack for decades and it hasn’t hurt anyone yet. I mean, at least I purchase the dye-free fruit snacks-right??

This past week I did my best to get our nutrition back on track.  By actually planning out meals and going to the grocery store(s) I was able to have a stocked kitchen, which in turn made snack time a total breeze.  It didn’t hurt that I had a bonus day off this week, so I was able to really channel into our healthy eating lifestyle.  Below are two extremely simple recipes, using items you more than likely already have just laying around OR items that are fairly inexpensive to add to your grocery list.  I hope you enjoy these snacks as much as we did.  When a 2.5 year old gives her stamp of approval, you know you did something right!

Banana Boats:

Take your favorite fruits and turn them into a dessert-esque treat!

  • banana
  • blackberries/blueberries (or strawberries)
  • peanut butter
  • granola
  • mini chocolate chips
  • caramel/honey/ or chocolate sauce (I made my chocolate sauce using Cacao Powder and coconut oil)

Directions:

Cut banana in half.  Lightly spread 1 teaspoon of peanut butter on the side of the banana that is face up.  Place berries on banana.  Sprinkle with granola and chocolate chips.  Quickly glaze in sauce of your choice.  We served ours with yogurt on the side with additional fruit. Enjoy!

I told you it was really going to be THAT easy. 🙂

Avocado Bruschetta

This dish is the perfect twist on a typical bruschetta. All of the flavors work together to create a delicious Italian snack, appetizer, or light lunch.

  • 2 pieces of bread (of your choice)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 cup cubed chicken (cooked)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • sprinkle of mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly toast bread in toaster to speed process up OR you can place the toast in the oven when it is preheated and toast bread in oven for 10 minutes.

Cut the tomato into 1/4″ slivers, then cut in half.  Slice avocado in half. Take avocado and spread across bread, one side only.  Place the bread avocado side up on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle mozzarella on top of avocado and place chicken as desired on bread.  Top with tomatoes and lightly drizzle olive oil on top.

Place toast in oven for 4 minutes, checking to see if the cheese has melted.  Once cheese has melted, broil for 1-2 minutes so the bread can become a little crispy.  Remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar as desired.

Hope you enjoy these quick and easy recipes that can add a little variety to your everyday snacking.  Let me know if you try it! Do you have a similar recipe or favorite snack? I would LOVE to hear them.

Uncategorized

“Mask” Me About Masks…

Facial masks are everywhere these days and rightfully so. At home facial masks can be used for a variety of reasons including: removing impurities from the skin, hydration, and help with the overall appearance of your skin. However, not all masks are created equal. Today I am talking about a new find of mine and why I fell in love with this facial mask. My new love is: Dermacare Facial 5 Amazonian Clay & Charcoal Mask.

What is it? This is clay and charcoal mask that is made free of harsh chemicals and parabens. The line of products is also cruelty free and vegan, so far it’s earning an A rating in my book. Bonus: it’s made right here in the USA.

Why charcoal? Let’s be clear, this is different than the charcoal you’re using to bbq your dinner. Activated charcoal has been heated and broken down into a fine, black powder. This powder works to trap and pull toxins away. Activated charcoal is able to hold up to 200 times it’s weight, meaning it can pull some serious dirt from those pores. your face is exposed to millions. You may not realize it, but your face is exposed to millions of toxins daily. So, this mask is a great way to get those pores feeling and looking clean.

Mask: This mask initially feels like a thick gel. You apply a thin layer on your face (avoiding eyebrows, eyes, and hairline). Then, the magic happens. You allow the mask to dry for 10-15 minutes. During this time you can feel it start to tighten/harden. After the mask has dried, slowly start to peel the mask off. Initially I thought it was going to be a nightmare to pull it off. However, I was pleasantly surprised because the mask literally came off in large sections. Somehow this crazy gel hardened and turned into a tissue paper thin mask that I was peeling away.

Results: As I was peeling the mask off I could actually see the dirt sticking to areas of the mask. My skin felt refreshed and extremely clean. After a single use, I was hooked. A

I firmly recommend this product from this up and coming brand. It’s a reasonable price-point and does its job, very well. During my first use, I targeted my entire face. For my second application I applied it strictly to problem areas. Each time I had phenomenal results and my skin looked visibly brighter.

To check out this amazing brand, click here.

Uncategorized

Sunday Success

Sunday’s used to be for relaxing and lounging, now it’s meal prep day. Although I despise meal prepping while I’m actually doing it, it really pays off during the busy work week. When I actually prep, I save an hour each night. The weeks I don’t, I’m running around like a mad woman at night trying to squeeze it all in typically yelling because I feel rushed. Those are the worst nights because I put the kiddos down at reflect on how I was yelling about things that were actually MY fault.

So, this week I am determined to get back on track. I’ve chopped, cooked, and prepped as much as possible today while the kids were napping/playing together.

Thanks to all the hard work my refrigerator currently looks like this:

There is no better feeling than seeing those containers in the refrigerator. To pack our lunches we literally each grab one and go. So yes, taking my time on a Sunday is more than worth it when it sets me up for a better morning and evening routine during the week. The best part is, I can spend time actually enjoying my family after a crazy work week. There’s nothing better than that. 💗

What do you do to prepare for the week? Any successful tips?

Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day Party Finds

Last night I had the privilege of strolling through Target, solo. An exciting trip out for me because I can actually take my time looking at things. However, extremely dangerous for my bank account. As usual the $1 area pulled me in for the sucker that I am. Let’s start by realizing not everything in that area is $1. It ranges from $1-$5, so that gets a little tricky when you’re throwing things in the cart like candy at a parade. Last night though, I found some amazing Valentine’s items for my kiddos at home and for the kiddos at school.

$1 Felt Envelopes

How precious are these?!? Nothing like saying Happy Valentine’s Day to a two year old than with the worlds largest card. She will be obsessed with putting all of her little toys in here. I don’t know if you have kid that’s obsessed with tiny toys like mini trolls and shopkins, but if they are this is the perfect hiding place for them.

Heart Shaped Notebooks:

My little artist absolutely loves to draw in notebooks. She’s going to love this heart-shaped one. So, so simple yet so much fun for her.

Pre-made Valentines

As a teacher, it really doesn’t get better than this. These Valentine’s come with super cute phrases and adorable erasers to match. I literally just have to write my name and call it good. Best part, student receive a card and a practical eraser ((instead of candy)) for a total of $3.

Heart Bubbles & Necklaces

What little kiddo isn’t a fan of bubbles?!? These are the perfect size and they can be worn as a necklace. Splurged and purchased the heart shaped necklace beads as well.

I was able to find all these goodies and spend a total of $12. My little bears are totally ready for the party at daycare next week and I didn’t break the bank. What did you purchase for Valentine’s Day this year for the parties?? Drop a comment below.

Heart-Shaped Gummies

Target’s brand, Market Pantry has made heart-shaped gummies for Valentine’s Day. A pack of 30 only costs $6. That’s a steal.

P.S. The adorable letter-board in the picture was also from Targets dollar deal section. I believe it was $5, but worth every penny. So trendy and so chic.

Kids Corner · Uncategorized

Diaper Money

Another quick sale at Target this week on baby items. When you spend $100 on miscellaneous baby products, you receive a $20 Target gift card to spend in the future. This includes diapers, formula, food, breastfeeding supplies, bottles, etc. Be sure to check cartwheel and coupons because they can be applied to your purchase as well.

When you checkout be sure to hit the $100 mark pretax. Next, scan the $20 gift card coupon BEFORE any other coupons. After you have earned your $20 gift card, scan all other coupons to lower the price. This includes any formula vouchers you may have as well. So really, you can spend less than $100 and receive that gift card. After my formula vouchers, I spent only $85 to receive the gift card.

Who doesn’t love free money?? The $20 gift card can be used on any purchase in the future at Target. Happy Shopping!

Beauty · Uncategorized

Monday Must-Haves

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a MAJOR shopping addiction. I just love how clothes look, fit, and can make me feel more confident on any given day. Here’s a few of my current favorites! Just ordered some of these for myself and cannot wait to strut my stuff.

Tiered Bell Sleeve Dress

From Nordstrom by B.P. I’m totally obsessed and it’s only $49!

Lush Tunic Top

I’ve literally been obsessed with the Lush tunics forever. I wore one on my bachelorette party weekend back in 2013 and they haven’t failed me yet. Loving this springtime colors available. Currently $28 from Nordstrom.

Embroidered Flower Detail Sweatshirt

How cute are the sleeves?!? Loving this feminine touch on the sweatshirt. Perfect for jeans and weekends in my opinion. $35!

Striped Peplum Bell Sleeve Top

Another great top that can be worn to work or with jeans. Love the details on the sleeves and the mixed fabrics. Another steal at only $59.

Lucky Brand Stella Skinny

Light-washed Lucky jeans, perfect for springtime. They have a frayed hemline and ripped detailing though the legs. Verrry cute. Plus, lucky jeans currently has a special where you buy a pair and purchase a pair for 50% off.

Let me know if you’ve found anything that you’re just in love with too. Like I said, I can NEVER get enough of clothes. Happy Shopping!

P.S. If you haven’t yet: