My Favorite Fall Delight From Trader Joe’s!

I’m a true coffee drinker, but I’m head over hills in love with this Chai Tea from Trader Joe’s! It has become my favorite fall delight. You can drink it warm or cold and all you do is add hot water. I drink mine with warm milk and it is delicious! For a fraction of the cost of a Gingerbread or Pumpkin Latte of only $3.99 you can drink to your hearts content without burning a hole in your pocket!

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Back to School Kiddo Tags 40% Off!

Order Kiddo Tags by August 31st and receive 40% off your entire purchase! Use the Coupon Code SAVEBIG when you check out. 

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I am floored every time I look at the lost and found at my daughter’s school. Every item you can imagine is in those bins! Jumpers, skirts, shoes, bookbags, pencil cases, sweatshirts, the only thing I haven’t seen is underwear (thank goodness!). Just think how many uniforms could be returned if only they were labeled! A couple years ago I discovered Kiddo Tags.

Kiddo tags provides you with labels for all your items and they even have medical and allergy tags as well. They give you plenty of tags to last, matter of fact I’m still using the tags from my original order. Kids can choose the design they like which makes it fun for them too!

Many of your kids may have started school, but there’s still time to eliminate the lost and found from your future! Save 40% and order today!!

My Favorite Products for August!

I’m always on the lookout for new products! Here are a few of my favorite products this month. I love love love the Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo and Conditioner (only $3.99 each). It’s light, has a yummy smell and leaves your hair feeling super clean and silky. While your letting the conditioner soak in indulge your body with the Citrus Body Wash with Vitamin C ($3.99) (you’ll never want to leave the shower). Then scrub that dead skin with Shea Sugar Scrub from Tree Hut. Delish!

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Keep Your Kids Healthy! #ChobaniKids Project Wants to Help!

  Participate in the #ChobaniKids project!

We’ve all heard the grim statistics telling us how unhealthy our children have become. Blame it on technology, too much television, or just plain old junk food but it is a serious matter. Chobani Greek Yogurt cares about kids getting proper nutrition and developing a healthy lifestyle and as a mom I appreciate that Chobani cares about what they put on the shelves and in my kid’s tummy. So I was super excited to participate in their #ChobaniKids project. My daughter has the tendency to be picky eater so throughout the years I’ve discovered ways to incorporate healthy eating into her daily diet. So when I had to share my tips  on how I make eating healthy a little more enticing to my daughter and how we’ve try to adopt a healthier lifestyle it was my pleasure. Take a look at how I get my kid to ingest the good stuff!

Pick Your Food! Kids love the farm and what’s more fun than picking your own food? My daughter and I make several trips to the farm to pick strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and even vegetables. Most of the time we eat them just as they are because they’re so flavorful and delicious! You can also freeze them and use them for smoothies, pies, or a nice cool snack.

 

Make it fun. Kids have a great imagination so feed it…with some healthy creative snacks. After school snacks can be quick , easy and fun. I’ve made smiley faces with spinach smiles, apple cars with grape wheels, and tangerines with celery stalks that look like pumpkins. If it looks appealing the more likely they are to gobble it up!

Pack Their Lunch with Delicious Treats. Lunch is a struggle! Nothing drives me crazier than when a lunch bag returns home full of uneaten food, which is a total waste of money. Through trial and error I’ve come up with some staples that I know will be eaten. Lunch includes turkey spinach rolls (rolled up turkey and spinach in a tortilla), a granola bar, a couple of fruits like grapes or mandarin oranges, some crackers, and yogurt. I recently tried Chobani Greek Yogurt for Kids  and it was a total hit! So many yogurts are filled with preservatives and sugar, what I love about Chobani is that they use only natural ingredients, it’s gluten-free, its vegetarian friendly, its made from cow’s milk! and is delicious! Their portions are perfect for lunches and they come in simple twist caps and tubes that make it simple and neat to eat! There is also yogurt for tots. Check out Chobani to learn more about their products, try their recipes and sign up for their newsletter.

Find out how Chobani is keeping kids healthy at #ChobaniKids Project

Find out how Chobani is keeping kids healthy at #ChobaniKids Project

Keep Healthy Snacks Visible and In Reach. You know that old saying out of sight out of mind? I believe it rings true especially with healthy snacks. Healthy snacks are eaten if they are available and easy to reach. Keep the chips up high and the granola down low so they can grab the first thing their eye catches. I  keep a bowl of fruit on our dining room table for easy access. If you are picking up the kids after school or a practice have some non-perishable items on hand like granola or nuts on hand.

Grow Your Food. Another way I get my daughter excited about food and especially trying something new is to grow your own veggies and herbs. We’ve grown a few things like strawberries, peppers and tomatoes and it was a great bonding experience not to mention it was tasty. Get your kids outdoors and grow some food not only is it healthy, it is a teachable moment and a fun activity for the summer.

Our first attempt at a growing our food was humble

Our first attempt at a growing our food was humble

Prepare in Advance. I don’t have to write about how busy we are, right? Anytime you can prepare in  advance my suggestion is do it and get the kids involved. After you go grocery shopping make it a habit to clean all your fruits and veggies, dice and slice them, and put them in containers or snack size baggies that you can keep in a compartment in your fridge. Let the kids wash them and divide them up, this will be fun for them and you can give a quick lesson on the importance of eating healthy.

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Visit Farmer’s Markets. One of my favorite past times is simply to go to farmer’s markets. I love the smells, the different produce, the scurry of people and just the overall vibe. This is a great place to bring the kids for a weekly grocery trip. The more they learn about healthy food, are around it, and participate in picking it the more likely they are to eat it at home. The vendors are usually more than willing to share information and answer questions about their produce. Plus, it is just so fun!

Incorporate Veggies and Fruits in Every Meal. Habits happen from repetition, so every day we eat a fruit or veggie with every meal, often times we eat two veggies with dinner. For a typical breakfast we may have smoothies made with fruit, a side of strawberries and honey, whole wheat bread with peanut butter, or oatmeal with bananas and blueberries along with our multivitamin.

Eating healthy isn’t the only component of a healthy lifestyle. Fitness is key and getting kids up and out of the door isn’t the easiest feat with so much technology at their fingertips. My daughter is in ballet and she’s always moving, but I also plan hikes, we’ve done a 5k, we’ve done yoga, gone paddle boating, and when the weather is warm take walks after dinner. I know it is hard to get motivated after a long day, but just a walk around the neighborhood gets the blood pumping and not to mention some pretty great conversations can happen on those walks!

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Teaching our kids about a healthy lifestyle starts with us and the little choices we make every day that turn out to be the choices that matter most for our kids future. How do you keep your kids on the healthy track? Participate in the #ChobaniKids project and share your tips!

* All opinions in this article are my own and I have not been paid to promote any products. 

 

Support Kefa Cafe in Silver Spring! A Neighbor Gem Needs Your Help!

A neighborhood treasure needs your support!

A neighborhood treasure needs your support!

If you live in Silver Spring, then you probably have stopped by Kefa Cafe and had a delicious cup of coffee or treat served by the gracious barristas, Lene and Abeba. I have a special place in my heart for this wonderful Cafe that is a huge part of the Silver Spring, MD community. The owners have embraced Silver Spring and supported the arts by allowing artists to showcase their art, I should know I’ve had a reading for a monologue I wrote at Kefa and most recently was able to display my greeting cards.

I was so happy to hear that Kefa Cafe was awarded a contract to run the Coffee Shop in the new Silver Spring Library, slated to open this summer! What great news for our community!  What you may not know is that Lene and Abeba need to raise $50,000 in just 30 days in order to build out their space in the Library.

If you can, please support Lene and Abeba in their exciting new endeavor at www.gofundme.com/kefacafe.  If you’re so inclined, check it out — Kefa Cafe truly is a community treasure.  As one donor on the site stated: “Lene and Abe, thank you for all you do to build community.  Happy to be able to help you expand your blend of community and coffee that makes downtown Silver Spring so special.”  Thanks! We need to support our locally owned stores and no one is more deserving than Kefa Cafe! Please take a moment and donate whatever you can at www.gofundme.com/kefacafe and enjoy their coffee when you take a break at our new local library!!

 

Visit Kefa Cafe on Facebook and keep up to date on all the cool happenings!

My Trader Joe’s Pick of the Week …Cowboy Caviar Salsa

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I love  love love this salsa! It is a perfect mixture of  of black beans, corn, onions, red bell peppers,  a blend of chipotle peppers and adobo sauce. It has a great southwestern taste that I can’t get enough of. I have put it on top of my tacos, I’ve made nachos with turkey meat and topped it with this salsa and a mix of cheeses and Trader Joe’s Tortilla Chips and it is one of my favorite quick dishes. For only $2.49 it is a steal!

My Trader Joe’s Choice of the Week! Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix!

During Christmas I really try to bake the majority of cookies, cakes and anything else from scratch. Mainly because I think it tastes better and Anya really enjoys adding all the ingredients together. But, I do like having a quick delicious go to alternative that can taste homemade without all the homemade work, especially if I end up having unexpected guest or I just need to save time. I found this Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix at Trader Joes and decided to try it out. It is really good! You mix 4 ingredients… the mixture, 1 egg, water and vegetable oil and mix it by hand, then pour it into a pan. I baked it for about 35 minutes. It came out moist and flavorful! It is a little spicy like most gingerbread cakes or cookies so Anya probably won’t eat this as much, but it is perfect for friends with a cup of coffee and good conversation!

An easy inexpensive way to bake a gingerbread loaf!

An easy inexpensive way to bake a gingerbread loaf!

So good!

So good!

Christmas Pick That Looks Good Enough To Eat But Is Soap! Old Town Suds is Delicious!

If you’re searching for a Christmas present that looks good enough to eat, but is actually a yummy decadent soap that is made with organic ingredients than you absolutely should look no further than Old Town Suds. I personally know the creator of these fabulous soaps, Steffanie who started this business in 2011 after doing research on how chemicals in cleaning products can adversely affect the body and she had  good reason to do so after undergoing brain surgery for Chiari Malformation. I can’t begin to tell you how proud of her I am for totally being the rock star she is by turning this trial into something as positive as Old Town Suds! She sells cleaning products, soaps, lip balm, hair products and a few other goodies. She also has classes on soap making. Visit her site at Old Town Suds to see all of the wonderful products she offers. Also watch her Video and learn more about Steffanie and Old Town Suds!

Check out the Holiday Collection!

Check out the Holiday Collection!

 

Pumpkin Pie Soap! Seriously, I want to eat this!

Pumpkin Pie Soap! Seriously, I want to eat this!

Visit her this weekend at The Sphinx Club for The Junior League of Washington for their Annual Holiday Vendor Shops. For tickets go to http://www.jlw.org/?nd=ticket_list&fundraiser_id=30 and for additional information see the flier below and check outhttps://www.facebook.com/events/1448252742108173/. — at The Sphinx Club.

Trader Joe’s Pick of the Week! Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies! So Good!

I try to make my cookies homemade, just because I think they taste betters. But, when I don’t feel like baking these Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chunky Chip Cookies ($3.49) are fast and really delicious!There are 16 in a pack and you just throw them in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, serve them with some milk and your kids will be smiling ear to ear! These are great for unexpected company or play dates. Tomorrow I’m taking them on a field trip  for Anya’s class and I know they are will love them!

$3.49 but they taste better than any package cookie dough I've had!

$3.49 but they taste better than any package cookie dough I’ve had!

So Delicious! They won't last long!

So Delicious! They won’t last long!

Sweet Christmas Gift Pick From The Southern Wedding Shop

Christmas is only a few weeks away! I can’t believe it! Although I’m not really ready to jump into Christmas yet. I have my eyes open for budget friendly sweet gifts. If you have a friend or relative that likes to record their recipes these are the Perfect gift for them! The Citrus Floral Recipe Cards from The Southern Wedding Shop are just as darling as they can be! The best part is they are $12.00!

Aren't they adorable?

Aren’t they adorable?

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