Try Something New to Eat- The Cactus Pear

My family and I have gotten into the habit and interest in trying a new fruit or vegetable every week in the past few months.  The latest fruit we have tried is the cactus pear.  My son was the one drawn to it, and wanted to give it a try.
We are not one to shy away from trying a new fruit by it's appearance as you know from my Durian post, the stranger the fruit looks the more we're interested.  I have never tried the cactus pear, nor have I seen it in stores before so we bought two to try.
 I cut it open to reveal a soft bright inside with many hard little black seeds. 
The outside peel came off real easy once both sides were cut as you can see above.  The seeds weren't one that I could bite into even if I wanted to eat it, but the red flesh was delicious.  Similar to a watermelon but even more "fine" in the sense that it simply melts away in your mouth.  It wasn't an easy fruit to eat since the seeds are all over the fruit, but one that you could definitely squeeze the juice out of easily to drink.  The taste was sweet and refreshing, if it wasn't for the many hard seeds I'd say it would become my favorite fruit but the seeds were overwhelming to eat.  My husband, my son, and even my baby girl tried it, and liked it.  I don't know the facts about this fruit but I did read that it may aid in treating diabetes and high cholesterol, love learning about new food and it's possible benefits. Unlike the Durian, I recommend giving the cactus pear a try if you ever see it in stores. 

Hot Legs Hair Removal Products from Duane Reade #Cool2LookHot #cbias #shop

The things you become thankful for as a mom.  My first born is five years old, and my second already nine months and yet I'm still lucky if I get any time to myself.  Our case is different from others as we don't even have family that could watch the kids for us.  I'm okay with having no time to myself most of the time, but then there are days I just wish I could take a shower long enough to shave my legs properly.  What's worse is when I do have/make the time for this to happen I get to enjoy my smooth legs for just the day.  I don't know what it is that the hair on my head won't grow and get thick enough but it seems the opposite for my legs.  I realized I had to do something different to keep my legs smoother and hairless longer.  I tried Hot Legs products that I purchased at Duane Reade.
I researched on their website before my trip as I like to do these days and learned they had many different products I could choose from.  I ended up getting the Hot Legs Peel-Off for Sensitive Skin, a microwave formula that didn't require any strips and said was good for short hair.  I figured in order to find what worked for me, I'd have to try more than one product so I also purchased the Total Body Hair Removal Cream.  All these products said salon quality, easy to use and affordable- I had to try it.  Loved that they are available at Duane Reade, since the selection there is always great and love having it be a one stop shop where the whole family can grab something we need.  I will be going back try the other products like the after wax oil.  We are also excited to see our local Duane Reade getting a total renovation, it already looks transformed.
Peel Off for Sensitive Skin Microwavable Formula
Total Body Hair Removal Cream
Although it seemed to take more time to use these then to shave, my legs stayed smoother longer with both products.  I was so nervous to try the Hot Legs Peel-Off microwavable formula, but after convincing myself to give it a try once everyone was asleep - I liked it.  Because it works similar to waxing, my legs stayed smoother than the Total Body Hair Removal Cream for me.  I was happy to find that the hair removal cream didn't smell as bad as others I have tried in the past, and also didn't irritate my skin as other creams have.      
Screenshot off of Bare for Men website
Nothing beats having no hair, well except on your head, I always want hair on my head.  Anyway..not having to worry about shaving my legs for an extra hour, an extra day or two is pure joy when you are a busy mom.  Shower and bathe like a man.  Man!  Men have it too easy sometimes, well that's a whole other topic to tackle...  But while I am mentioning men there's also hair removal strips for men from Bare for Men for those that need to "get the monkey" of their back, I happened to catch a glimpse while I was at Duane Reade.

With products from Hot Legs I could still feel pretty and girly even when I don't have all the time in the world to give myself a spa treatment of sorts since I have to rush out since usually my son is sitting by the bathroom door asking me a hundred different things that just can't wait, and even when my husband is at the door with a screaming baby in his arms.  There are days when I wish to have time to myself, but then there are days I'm thankful for all the time I have with my family.  Sometimes it's just as simple as a hair removal product that will give me a little bit more of that valuable time..oh and allow me to have  smooth legs for a longer amount of time too. 

An Easy Cabbage Carrots and Avocados Salad!

I received item/s for the purpose of this post, no other compensation was provided.  Giveaway is sponsored.  All opinions are a 100% of my own.

To be a mom, and a wife..full time is so exhausting sometimes.  Exhausting to always find things to do, things to try, and the daily task of what to cook.  We work hard on trying new foods when we can, and I work extra hard always looking for ideas on new dishes to create for my family to eat.  All that experimenting that I do can be hard on our wallet as well, and we have to be budget conscious all the time being that my husband is the only one working at the moment.
One of the easiest ways to save money is learning to make many different dishes with the same ingredients.  I have been experimenting with cabbage and carrots, since not only is it good for you but it's one of those vegetables that can be placed into just about everything.  Oh and of course you can find both for under five dollars at any grocery store.  I recently made a cabbage, carrot and avocado salad that was super easy to make but also was a hit with the whole family.  Avocados are a true favorite that I always have in my kitchen.  I used to carry one around in my purse to feed my son when he was younger, and although my daughter doesn't seem to like it as much - it remains to be a staple in our kitchen. 

I used an awesome avocado slicer from Good Cook to make it even easier for me.  I've cut open many avocados but as accidents do happen, I've cut my finger open cutting an avocado in the past so this is a tool that I love.  It's a perfect size that fits in the kitchen drawers, one that I can take to go, yes I do take things like this to go since I cook on the go for my son with food allergies all the time.  It has been a great addition to our kitchen, great nonslip grip and great bright color. 

Hope you like the very simple cabbage, carrot and avocado salad as much as we do.  It's great on the side of your main dish or toss in a few more ingredients to make it a light tasty lunch.

Cut the cabbage in thin slices
Grate the carrot
Sprinkle salt and pepper
A tablespoon or two of vinegar
A pinch of sugar
-Mix it all
Top with sliced avocados

No exact measurements as it depends on how much you're in the mood for, just eyeball it!  It's hard to fail making this delicious salad.  You can "cream" the avocados and completely mix in as well.

Enjoy on the side of your main dish, or toss in some protein and enjoy as your main dish! ;)
Use code LoveAvocado to get 25% off your order of Produce Tools on Good Cook website. 

Enjoy Life Foods Decadent Bars - The Perfect Back to School Snack

*I received samples for the purpose of review, all opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided.
Unless you are new here, you know that my son has severe multiple food allergies.  Sadly food allergies are more common these days, almost everyone knows someone with a food allergy.  Which is more the reason to learn more about it, even if you don't have food allergies yourself.  When you send your child off to school this year, consider sending an allergy friendly snack - to help keep other kids with food allergies safe while away from home.  If you are worried about finding a snack that is allergy friendly that tastes good whether you are someone with food allergies or someone with a friend that has allergies, give Enjoy Life Foods Decadent Bars.
I'll start with what matters most when talking about food; the taste.  Enjoy Life Foods Decadent Bars taste good!  You don't have to be someone looking to eat gluten free, or allergy friendly to enjoy these bars.  They come in 4 different varieties; S'Mores, Chocolate Sunbutter, Cinnamon Bun, and Cherry Cobbler.  I could honestly say I was pleasantly surprised by them all.  They were all full of flavor, yet none overwhelming.  Anyone without food allergies or with a gluten free diet will love husband and I do.  Unfortunately my son can't have them because of millet, but if he could I know he would love these.

These bars are free of the eight common allergens and are gluten free!  They are delicious, and the perfect treat for you and to send off in your child's lunch box.  I've seen other snacks that say "school safe" because they are peanut free, but the only food allergies out there are not just peanuts.  As a snack to take to school, these bars will keep your children happy, and other children in school that might have food allergies safe..and in the end keeping you happy.

Learn more about these bars and more products Enjoy Life Foods has that are all free from the eight common allergens and gluten free.  All the ones I have tasted have been great tasting, so do give these a try.    

Back to School Shopping at Duane Reade #DuaneReade #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.
Shopping at our local #DuaneReade #cbias
My baby boy is five.  He just turned five about a week ago and it's almost time to start our real "school" sessions at home.  For those of you don't know yet, I will be homeschooling my son this year, mainly because of his severe multiple food allergies.  I'm nervous and excited about this new stage in our life.  With back to school talk, and sales happening everywhere, we thought a great time for a trip to Duane Reade for school supplies.  This past weekend we learned about Operation Backpack, learned that we could donate school supplies to children and leave it in a drop box conveniently located at Duane Reade stores throughout New York City.  It was a great opportunity to get prepared ourselves and help someone else at the same time.

Great section for our back to school needs...
We got the essentials we needed to start our school year right and purchased some to donate as well.  Unfortunately our local Duane Reade didn't have an Operation Backpack drop box but my son and I plan to make another trip just to drop off a backpack for a child.  He was excited about giving supplies to another child, and asked if we were going to meet them - when I told him "no" he asked if he could draw a picture and write a letter for the child.  I think it seems like a sweet idea, and might think of including that in our donation backpack with school supplies.  Another plus, I think if there's writing, drawing, creativity, and learning could be considered homeschooling too!
Our little cart before it filled up to the top...
We ended up getting allot more than planned with our trip to Duane Reade, but then again that is a common thing.  Although there was no drop off box, we were excited to find that our local #DuaneReade was getting renovated, some changes were already made and some still happening.  We purchased construction paper, paint, markers, pencils, composition notebook, eraser, a binder, a whole puncher, and some more paper for drawing on.  I think I got all that we needed for his grade level.  We will be visiting another Duane Reade store to purchase a backpack to place some of the extra supplies we purchased to donate. 
Drop off locations...
Visit to learn more about Operation Backpack, and find out where your nearest drop off box is.  I suggest calling the location ahead of time to make sure.  Another option is to find your nearest Duane Reade online or using their app and give them a call to ask as well.  I love shopping at Duane Reade, I can always count on them for having so much that we need, it's a convenient one stop shop where I can get so much.  Personally I may not be completely ready, and may never be as homeschooling is something completely new to me but I'm glad I got our back to school supplies at Duane Reade.  Also learned of a great opportunity to give back as well.  So grateful for these opportunities to give back, all these organizations make giving back convenient and fun.  Have you done your back to school shopping yet?