Want a Visit from the Fairy Hobmother?

Here's a picture of the Fairy Hobmother I grabbed from his twitter account.
 So many interesting happenings on the internet these days!  The latest, most interesting..I got a visit from a fairy.  The Fairy Hobmother it goes by, it wants to "spread light and joy" across the blogosphere! 
The Fairy Hobmother has promised to sprinkle some of it's fairy dust on my blog and send me a $50 Amazon voucher if I just share this link
http://www.appliancesonline.co.uk/ with you all. 

Also there's an opportunity for you to be seen by this fairy, all you have to do is comment below and he might visit you with it's special fairy dust! ;)  

Van's New Gluten Free Snacks and Cereal - #Review

*I received item/s for the purpose of review, all opinions are a 100% my own. No other compensation was provided.

Over the past few years I have become very health conscious, not sure if it's just a part of getting older or the fact that being connected online has a great influence. I'm happy to see everyday information being shared about good food and what we should be eating more or less of. With that thought in mind I'm happy to share with you the latest foods I've tried. I'm already fan of Van's foods as you may know already from a previous post when I reviewed their wheat free and gluten free waffles and french toast sticks ,and now a delicious review of the latest Van's gluten free snacks and cereal.
First up their new cereals, I got to try the Honey Nut Crunch gluten free cereal with ingredients "they're proud of" and you'll love. The kind of ingredients I love; simple ones I can list. It has quickly become a favorite cereal for me, it's great for snacking on alone as well. It has the perfect amount of sweet, and has the perfect crunch. I love how it doesn't stick to my teeth as I crunch and how it doesn't get soggy too fast.
Van’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Blend (Oat, Brown Rice, Millet, Quinoa and Amaranth Flours), Cane Sugar, Oat Fiber, Inulin, Invert Cane Sugar, Salt, Honey, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavors, Natural Mixed Tocopherols for Freshness.
With 19g of nutrient-rich whole grains and 5g of fiber per serving you'll feel good knowing you're giving your body whole goodness, good for you and good tasting. I'm no longer not eating breakfast since I've found a cereal I really like.
Who doesn't like snack bars right? Well check out Van's Natural Foods new snack bars. I'm usually really disappointed after reading the ingredients list of so many snack bars that say "good for you" and totally contradict that statement by having so much junk. Well, I'm happy to report Van's Chocolate Chip chewy baked whole grain snack bars aren't one of them. Another huge plus, they are so good. A 150 calorie snack bar, compared to many other snack options are full of goodness, you get 10g of whole grain and 4 grams of fiber in each bar. Just take a look at the ingredients below.
Gluten Free Whole Oats, Brown Rice Syrup, Invert Cane Sugar, Fig Paste (Fig Paste, Fig Concentrate), Chocolate Chips (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Non-GMO Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Almond Butter, Flax Seeds, Inulin, Baking Soda, Vanilla Extract, Non-GMO Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Sea Salt.
I found it to be like a sweet treat, and not your typical "good for you healthy snack bar," if you know what I mean but clearly better all around.  
Also a new addition to Van's Natural Foods, gluten free crackers, I got to try "Say Cheese" flavor. I love them. I describe them as the healthy version of most cheese crackers out there. I snacked on them, I dipped them in yogurt, I used it to scoop up some mashed avocados, and along side soup. Anyway you have it, 30 pieces equals to a full serving and is 16g of nutrient rich gluten free whole grain deliciousness.
Van’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Blend (Oats, Brown Rice Flour, Millet, Quinoa and Amaranth), Non-GMO Expeller Pressed Canola and/or Sunflower Oil, Potato Starch, Rice Flour, Cheddar Cheese (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Whey, Brown Sugar, Salt, Buttermilk, Yeast Extract, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Lecithin, Spices, Beta Carotene and Annatto Extract (for color), Natural Flavors, Citric Acid.

What made me want to try it? It's gluten free and full of the good stuff! Brown rice flour, millet, quinoa, amaranth, and oats are repeated ingredients in these products, I believe they are the grains we should be having daily. I'm sharing these with you, and hope you give it a try too. It is much better for you than the other much popular snacks and cereals out there.

And of course it's important to note..it does taste good!

Shimmer & Splash - The Sparkling World of Sea Life

*I received this book for the purpose of review.  All opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided. 
Shimmer & Splash - The Sparkling World of Sea Life by Jim Arnosky

What a wonderful book to add to your bookshelf for both children and families to read.  It allowed my 4 year old and I to explore sea life in an informative way, along with tons of images to draw in a young child's attention. 
We have read it over and over again, as he specifically asks to me to read, or explain certain parts.  The author has done a great job in keeping it both fun and educational.  There are pages that have open flaps allowing you to see larger pictures which my son was particularly fond of.
My son has become a huge fan of sea life recently, showing a real interest in learning more about them since the reading of this book.  Often referring back to excerpts we read when he hears about sea life talked about elsewhere.  Just the first day we got the book we read it front to back 4 times, and he learned some fun facts that day.  It isn't just a book with lists of facts, it's a bit of an adventure underwater.  Above you will see how it inspired him to make stingrays with his modeling clay, just one of the under water creatures he has drawn up and crafted with his modeling clay after learning about them in the book.  It challenged him to want to learn measurements, both the beauty and danger of sea life, I would recommend this as a great book to add to your library, we sure are enjoying it. 

Did You Know May is Mediterranean Diet Month?

I received items for the purpose of review.  Information and recipes were provided for this post.  All opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided.
Have you had Mediterranean food before?  I didn't, but recently in news of May being Mediterranean Diet Month, tried some great tasting all natural Karoun Dairies Mediterranean products.  I would have never thought to try it either, but so glad I did.  You all know that I love dairy products as I've shared my love for greek yogurt before, but these have just widened my menu of products I love.  
 If you've ever had home made yogurt before, that's how the yogurts taste like to me.  In Karoun’s Non-Fat Yogurt there are 13 grams of protein per 8-ounce serving, so one cup of non-fat yogurt contains the nutritional value of a glass of milk, a banana, and lean meat all rolled up into one.  The Greek Yogurt with honey was perfectly sweetened, and all natural as all are all the other product pictured above.  Then there was the Grilling Cheese, my husbands favorite.  We pan fried them at my dads, they are delicious.  I truly recommend that you give all of these a try.  Great for any time of day, great as a side on a dish.    
The spreadable Kefir Yogurt Cheese (Labne) have been added to my snack items, and I couldn't be happier with it.  It's a healthier alternative to the more popular cream cheese spread as it has less sodium and fat.  Great to use as a dip, use it in baking, as a topper, and more.  Karoun Dairies is an award-winning natural and lower-fat Mediterranean line of quality cheeses and yogurts are only made from cow's milk free from growth hormones, BGH/rBST, are Real California Milk certified.
A healthy diet is important to all of us, and the Mediterranean Diet's focus on naturally healthy foods such as fresh vegetables, olive oils, citrus and low-fat dairy like the products above is a great reason to try adding a little bit of Mediterranean to your diet. 
Some easy, delicious, all natural recipes you could try:
Karoun Dairies Mediterranean Yogurt Dip:
¾ cup Karoun Dairies non-fat yogurt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped mint
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve with pita chips or fresh vegetables.
Karoun Dairies Labne Vegetable Dip
16 oz. Karoun Dairies Lite-Kefir cheese (labne)
1 medium Persian cucumber
1 medium carrot or red bell pepper
1 T. fresh chopped parsley
1 T. fresh chopped chives
Salt/fresh ground pepper to taste
4 T. extra virgin olive oil
Toasted pita chips
Mix Karoun Dairies Lite-Kefir Cheese (Labne) with olive oil.
Dice cucumber and carrot (or bell pepper).
Mix Karoun Dairies Lite-Kefir Cheese (Labne), diced vegetables, and parsley together. Sprinkle chives on top and serve with toasted pita chips.

Letting the Happy and Healthy Magazine Guide Our Shopping Trip #DRHappyHealthy #cbias

*I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.
Ever need help with suggestions on what to get at Duane Reade?  Curious of the latest deals?  A break down of the items sold?  I know I do at times, and now I have that with the Happy and Healthy magazine available both online and in store.  In my very recent trip to Duane Reade I let the Happy and Healthy magazine be my guide.  I ended up picking up a few items to try, and learning of products I didn't know or notice before which led me to start a "must buy, must try-next time" list.  Be sure to follow Duane Reade on Twitter and Facebook, another great way to keep up with the latest.
          the Happy and Healthy magazine at Walgreens/Duane Reade stores
loving what Ology is about!
I went through 24 pages online and took a note of what interested me.  I saw so many snack items I've yet to try and with the many "2 for $5 w card" deals I thought a great time to give them a try.  You know I frequent Duane Reade at least once a week, so to realize I had so many Good & Delish snacks I never tried before was an obvious motivator.  Then there was Ology line of products created by Walgreens, which featured laundry detergent, hand wash, dish liquid, tissue paper and so much more for a healthy home.  Ology products have no harmful chemicals, artificial dyes or fragrances..and all around all natural for you and your home.  This is when my "must buy, must try-next" list started, I'm all about all natural goodness for my family and home, that's what Ology seems to be about. 
tempting goodies
ended up using one of the tumblers as a vase, and the other to drink :P
what's left of the snacks :)
Summer items were in, fun toys to items for your next outing.  We picked up Coca-Cola Licensed Tumblers which were 2/$4 with card.  Another item I'm going back for, since my dad wants a pair as well.  We shared all the snacks, and looked through the pages of the Happy and Healthy magazine together.  There were lots of "ooh look at that" so it seems I'm not the only one that overlooks the amount of..uhm..everything at Duane Reade.   
take a look at the Happy and Healthy magazine online now
Even though we visit Duane Reade often, we are always finding new products new to us, but I must admit being able to view some of them on the Healthy and Happy magazine both online and off made our trip go smoother.  I got to do what I love, look throughout aisles without really having to do so, went in knowing what I wanted and knowing what items I wanted to try.  I doubt I'll ever stop walking through every aisle but really loving the Happy and Healthy magazine guide me.  Can't wait to get to my list of "must try, must buy- next time."

Easy Marshmallow Igloo - Rainy Day Fun Indoors

This is my "Wordless Wednesday" post..it's been a while.  It's raining out, we've got the windows open, it's a good thing when you have seasonal allergies...  Anyway, here's on of the things we are doing today...
A paper bowl, cut an arc, place glue all over then proceed with mini marshmallows. 

You can use sunbutter or frosting even, if you want it to be edible.  We were out so we just used glue.
You can also cut a paper cup in half and place on the opening of the "igloo."  Also cover in marshmallows.

*Super easy for kids, not as messy as some other crafting fun.  I just took this, my son is half way done with his igloo.  He said he wants to make little marshmallow people inside, we shall see.  This is a great way to do something fun for cheap, and without needing many items.  This idea can be taken further to decorate a cake, cupcakes and so on.  The same simple way.   

I know it isn't pretty or perfect but my son is making it all by himself. :)

Tummy Ouchy? Get Urgent Rx Upset Stomach Relief To-Go! #cbias

*I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® . and UrgentRX #cbias #SocialFabric
follow Urgent Rx on twitter
I love food, even when it's varieties of food, even more trying new food..get the picture here?  Buffets were my best friend the very few times we went out to eat growing up.  But all those experimenting with different foods can cause an upset stomach sometimes - a very uncomfortable unwanted tummy ache come on.  I remembered from one of the last times I was at Duane Reade that they carry Urgent Rx Upset Stomach Ache Relief To-Go and went for a visit to pick some up to have with me.  Our home is mostly allergy friendly so I do the experimental eating while I'm out so the little packet is perfect on the go.  I'm glad I picked some up when I did because I needed it...
great for inside your purse
The Urgent Rx Upset Stomach Relief is great as it doesn't require any water to take it.  The amount of powdered medicine inside..it doesn't even fill a teaspoon, and has a subtle taste.  I was happy I had picked some up, because the other day I went and had a milkshake while taking a walk, something I haven't had in a very long time because most of my days are dairy free.  Well, it tasted good, but I got tummy cramps right away, or as my son would say "my tummy was ouchy."  I don't know if it was the milkshake or just the fact that it had been a long time since I had it.  I was so happy to whip out my Urgent RX Upset Stomach Ache Relief and take it.  It's medicine that's easy to take, gives relief fast, and doesn't taste bad. Sounds good to me.  It's so convenient to take along with me.  So small and light, fits anywhere.  In your wallet, purse, pocket..anywhere. 
easy to open but not for a young child to get to (of course still keep out of their reach)
The medicine melts in your mouth, it's said that it works faster that way.  Since it's in powder form it enters the bloodstream faster then if it is in capsule or pill form.  The Urgent Rx is also available for Heartburn Relief, Head Ache Relief, Allergy Attack Relief, Upset Stomach Relief, Ache and Pain Relief, and Critical Care Aspirin.  Now that I list all of them, I might need have all them in hand, I've already tried and have Heartburn Relief.
really small and thin.  as small as my 5 month olds little shoe :P
So yeah..what a relief!  The moment when you get that ache in your tummy is not pleasant.  Quite scary depending where you are too..hehe...  But after I took the Urgent Rx Upset Stomach Relief the cramps seemed to disappear fast enough that I even forgot about it when I was walking with the kids the other day.  My husband might need it as he joins me in our food adventures often, and he ventures out of his comfort zone quite a bit as he tries different new foods at my dads.  Whether you love to try different foods or not, everyone gets an ouchy tummy..of course when you least expect it, so these are handy to have with you. 

Tweet and Share To Help Make a Difference! #WorldsLargestBakeSale #cbias

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Kmart and Shop Your Way for Sandra Lee’s World’s Largest Bake Sale. #WorldsLargestBakeSale #cbias #SocialFabric
Earlier this week I attended Sandra Lee's Worlds Largest Bake Sale, an event to support the Food Bank of New York City and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign.  The amazing event sponsored by Kmart and Shop Your Way took place at Grand Central Terminal in the Vanderbilt Hall.  Filled with celebrity faces and appearances all for the cause, hoping to help make a difference.  Did you know that statistics show there are 16 million American children that struggle with hunger today, and that's sadly 1 in 5! 
I was there late evening as I spotted celebrity designer, Ty Pennington on a speaker cheering everyone on.  Speaking for the cause, pointing out the fact that one sweet treat selling for $5 could equal to 50 meals.  As a mom of two it hurts my heart to think of the many children that suffer from hunger, and so I bought way more than I could eat that evening. 
The amount of delicious treats was overwhelming (in a good way!) as I walked around.  I enjoyed trying treats from different vendors all around New York City, all donating the proceeds to the cause.  No cause is greater than the other, but this is definitely an important one.  I was truly moved by the whole event, seeing the many vendors and people volunteering their time and efforts.
Right across the way Hasbro had a cute setup for kids with Easy Bake Ovens with Play-Doh, tons of Furby toys, Transformers and more! 
The best part about #TheWorldsLargestBakeSale is that we can all continue to help throughout the whole month of May, no matter where you are, it takes very little effort.  It's a heartbreaking fact and number, so let's do what we can to help. 

Kmart will donate $1.00 for every Facebook and Twitter share from http://recipefornokidhungry.com as well as Sandra Lee recipe card shares, up to $10,000! 

So please share!  Some great pre-written posts you could use to share with your friends and family.  

"Easy Facebook share = @ShopYourWay $1 No Kid Hungry donation @SaraLee #WorldsLargestBakeSale "

"Create $1 donation for #WorldsLargestBakeSale with @Kmart! Share a @SandraLee recipe card: buff.ly/10OG4Ed"

"Donate $1 by tweeting for #WorldsLargestBakeSale! @Kmart & @ShopYourWay pledge up to 10K! "

Will you share to donate?

Mommy Needs Snack Too - G.H Cretors Popped Corn #Review

*I received sample items for the purpose of review.  All opinions are a 100% my own.

G.H Cretors popped corn is like no other popcorn I've tasted.  It's just perfectly popped and flavored!  Although this was my first time trying them, they've been around for 125 years.  Available in five delicious flavors; Caramel Corn, Cheese Corn, Chicago Mix, Kettle Corn, and Caramel Nut Crunch.  I couldn't pick a favorite, as everytime I tasted a new flavor I loved it as much as the last. 
picture of the Caramel Corn flavor
They are delicious, but most importanty all natural (no GMOs, no gluten) and that's something we all love.  Perfect treat to include in a Mother's Day basket.  I think I might make a basket with G.H. Cretors Popped Corn, fresh fruits, and chocolate as an awesome fruit for my friends mom, who's definitely a mother figure to us.  Easy, affordable, all naturally delicious gift for Mother's Day!