A Family, Beauty, Health and Lifestyle Blog
Freshpet, the first and only maker of fresh, all natural food for pets, wants you to give the gift of irresistible, delicious treats to your pets. This holiday, stuff your pet’s stocking with the wholesome, yummy snacks for pets that are sure to be their favorite gift of the year! Whether your pet woofs or purrs, Freshpet offers freshly prepared treats and meals for your dog and cat, always using only fresh, natural ingredients. Just be sure to refrigerate!
Some of the Freshpet® Treats available for your dog and cat include:
Freshpet® Dog Joy® Turkey Bacon - Dog Joy® Treats
Smoked to perfection, these all natural turkey bacon treats are an absolute favorite of pups everywhere. Made in the USA.
Available in 3oz and 6oz re-sealable pouches
Freshpet® Dog Joy® Treats For Dogs
100% all natural and fresh from the fridge, Dog Jog Treats for Dogs are made with juicy, slow grilled real chicken. Made in the USA. Available in 8 oz. re-sealable pouch.
My dog, Banner is crazy about these yummy treats!
Freshpet Select Tender Chicken Recipe
Spread some holiday cheer with your BFF, with Freshpet® Select Tender Chicken Recipe. Made with fresh ingredients such as tender chicken and vegetables, this roll will be a Holiday treat for your pet! Available in 1 lb. rolls.
Freshpet® Select Chicken & Pumpkin Recipe
Give your cat a treat to enjoy with Freshpet Select fresh chicken & pumpkin recipe, made with garden vegetables in gravy.
Available in 4.5 oz. cups.
Freshpet® Select Tender Chicken & Beef Recipe
Your cat will purr with gratitude when you give him Freshpet Select tender chicken & beef recipe, made with fresh garden vegetables in gravy. Available in 4.5 oz. cups.
Freshpet® Select Chicken & Ocean Whitefish Recipe
Share the taste your cat adores this holiday season with Freshpet® Select Chicken & Recipe Whitefish Recipe, made with garden vegetables in gravy. Available in 4.5 oz. cups.
I found FreshPet in my local grocery store!
Freshpet has a single-minded mission – to improve the lives of dogs and cats everywhere through the power of fresh, natural food. Packed with vitamins and proteins, Freshpet foods offer fresh meats, poultry and vegetables farmed locally. The Freshpet Kitchens then thoughtfully prepare these natural ingredients and everyday essentials, cooking them in small batches at lower temperatures to preserve key nutrients. That way, your pet gets the best. Freshpet refrigerated foods and treats are kept cool from the moment they are made until they arrive at Freshpet refrigerators in your local store.
Freshpet foods are available in select mass, grocery, and pet specialty retailers across the US and Canada. From the care Freshpet takes to source their ingredients and make their food, to the moment it reaches your home, Freshpet’s integrity, transparency and social responsibility are the way they like to run their business. To learn more, visit www.freshpet.com
If you still have holiday shopping to do, why not cross a few gifts off your list by getting your loved ones something special from GourmetGiftBaskets.com! There is something for EVERYONE on your list! GourmetGiftBaskets.com is a family-owned, NH-based company celebrating its 15th birthday now. Below are a few new items they’re offering, plus a few classics. To see the hundreds of gifts they have on display, click here
Top 10 HOT ITEMS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON 2017 (ALL $69.99 and UNDER)
- BRAND NEW: Pineapple Dried Fruit Platter,$49.99: How gorgeous is this gift? And healthy, too! Thirty ounces of top-of-the-line dried fruit is beautifully arranged on a pineapple-shaped bamboo cutting board. The dried fruit includes pineapple, cherries, plums, apricots, dates, plums, kiwi, pitted prunes and apple rings. In the 1700's, the pineapple was the ultimate symbol of hospitality. This modern version of the pineapple gift is sure to evoke similar feelings of warmth, community and camaraderie. Great hostess gift, too!
- BRAND NEW: A Must-Have For The Football-Loving Dad: NFL-Themed Popcorn Tins, $59.99:Tailgate in your family room with these attractive, branded tins reflecting the passion behind several top teams. Currently, GourmetGiftBaskets.com has very colorful, three-gallon tins for fans of nine different teams: New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints. Some of the most popular flavors for men are included in each tin -- Kettle Corn, Cheesy Cheddar and Caramel Popcorn.
- BRAND NEW: Perfect for Baseball Fans! MLB Popcorn Tins, $59.99: Tins emblazoned with team-specific images are available for fans of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and the St. Louis Cardinals. Kettle Corn, Cheesy Cheddar and Caramel Popcorn are the featured flavors in these tins, as well.
- WANT SOMETHING REALLY CHRISTMASY? You can’t go wrong with this beautiful (and new) Christmas Classic,$69.99 or the Good Tidings Holiday Gift Basket,$59.99.
- BEER AFICIONADOS REJOICE: This Beer Bucket is the perfect collection of brews for you! Fall Seasonal Beer Bucket,$69.99.
- WANT SOMETHING THAT’ S CELEBRATORY BUT NOT RELIGIOUS? Say "Hello" to the Winter Wonderland Gift Basket,$59.99.
Top Foodie Gifts Under $50 -- Some are INDULGENT, Others are QUITE HEALTHY
- For People Who Just Love Baked Goods Like Cookies & Brownies -- Check these affordable gifts out! Let It Snow Cookie Box, $29.99, and its confectionery "cousin" the Let It Snow Brownie Gift Box, $29.99.
- Desserts Reincarnated As Popcorn -- Holiday Gourmet Popcorn Sampler, $34.99 -- This is a true WOW gift for the popcorn aficionado and the dessert lover on your list. It features handcrafted, fresh popcorn reflecting many past and modern holiday cookies and desserts. Flavors include: Gingerbread Spice, Dark Chocolate Peppermint, Eggnog, Cinnamon Bun, Anise Cookie, Dark Chocolate Orange, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Caramel, and Milk Chocolate Drizzle.
- Holiday Dinner Popcorn Sampler, $34.99 -- Imagine 10 different gourmet popcorn flavors in a box designed to reflect everything on the table at a traditional, homemade holiday dinner: Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Herb Roasted Vegetables, Buttered Corn on the Cob, Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, and Strawberry Cheesecake. How cool would this be as a housewarming gift over the holidays?
- SUPER Healthy Holiday Offering -- Christmas Fruit Gift Basket, $39.99: If you have a friend or loved one who's dedicated to fitness and healthy eating above all else, this is a thoughtful and very budget-friendly gift. Wonderful orchard fruit picked at the height of freshness (plus a couple of fruity candies) make up this wonderful, refreshing Christmas basket. Also, this beauty is a favorite among women who want their men to be much healthier -- even at the holidays.
- Taste of Elegance Gift Tower,$39.99
- Christmas Ornaments Popcorn Tin, 2 Gal., $44.99
- Taste of Christmas -$44.99
- Let It Snow Snack Tin,$49.99
Enter to win! One winner will receive a GourmetGiftBasket.com gift basket of their choice up to a $70 value.
How? It's easy! Just fill out the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Coffee Lovers
There aren’t many things out there that people love as ubiquitously as coffee. This year, the inventor of pour-over coffee and the two-part filtration that is used for all modern drip coffee, has released an all new version of their invention, the Melitta Signature Series Pour-Over.
Melitta Bentz was a housewife in Germany looking for a better cup of coffee when she punched holes in a brass pot, lined it with a sheet of her son’s notebook paper, and invented the pour-over method that continues to gain popularity in coffee shops across the world to this day. Many people don’t realize how easy and inexpensive it is to have that same handcrafted experience in their home. With Melitta’s latest release, there are options for all the coffee lovers out there:
- For the clumsy – For the first time, Melitta is offering a pour-over made out of Tritan™ material, making it shatter resistant. Perfect for travelers and people on-the-go, as well as those that are not to be trusted with breakable items. $14.99
- For the traditionalist – The new porcelain versions offer those with classic tastes a variety of matte options as well as the ever-popular gloss white. $19.99
- For the style conscious – The new metallic finished versions offer a modern take on the classic design that bring an added touch of sophistication to any kitchen. $29.99
An egg is an egg is an egg, right? While they all look the same, there is a wide variety in how the hens who produce them are treated, and how the land on which they’re raised is farmed. This holiday season, when eggs are used in everything from souffles to cookies to a straight-up scramble, it is time to consider why choosing the right egg is so important - and why organic matters.
Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs adhere to the USDA Organic standards, and here’s what that guarantees for every Pete and Gerry’s egg:
- Our hens are never caged, and all our barns allow them access to the outdoors. Our animal welfare standards go even farther than the Organic seal requires!
- We never administer antibiotics or hormones to our hens.
- Our hens’ 100% organic feed contains no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or GMOs.
- It’s also free of animal by-products (and the drug residues/pathogens that may be associated with them). No slaughterhouse waste allowed!
- Our farms are inspected at least once a year by a third-party certifier with USDA accreditation.
All Natural, Cage-Free? What do they really mean?
I absolutely adore chickens. I raised my own chickens for 7 years. I had 17 of them and they were always cage-free and were fed an organic diet. I kept my sweet girls very happy and my family always had plenty of delicious organic, cage-free eggs to enjoy daily. Unfortunately, our neighbors did not approve of my cage-free chickens wandering onto their property. In order to put a stop to the constant harassment and complaints of the neighbors, I agreed to relocate my beautiful hens to a nearby cage-free farm rather than deprive them of their free roaming lifestyle. Now I buy Pete & Gerry's Organic Eggs.
This is my sweet hen, Henrietta Jane.
The holidays are upon us now, and that means we will be having family gatherings which will include hearty and healthful breakfasts. Every year, on Christmas morning, my mother always makes a special Christmas breakfast. This year, we will be staying home, and my married children will be coming to my house.
I will be carrying on my mother's tradition of making a delicious family breakfast. Without a doubt, I will be using Pete & Gerry's eggs to make breakfast because I will only use cage-free organic eggs for my loved ones.
This year, I have decided to make a recipe that my mom has always used to make breakfast on Christmas morning as I was growing up. It is a ham and cheese omelette bake recipe. It is delicious!
Ham and Cheese Omelette Bake
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
12 Pete & Gerry's Organic Eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (6 oz)
1 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1cup cubed ham
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In 12-inch ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook bell pepper and onion in oil 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.
2. In large bowl, beat eggs and milk with whisk; stir in salt, pepper and 1 cup of the cheese. Add bacon and ham to pepper and onion mixture in skillet, spreading evenly over bottom of skillet. Pour egg mixture into skillet; top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
3. Bake 32 to 37 minutes or until just set and knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Enter to win! One winner will be chosen to receive two coupons for free cartons of Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs to make a delicious Christmas morning breakfast.
How? It's easy! Just fill out the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!
For more information, please visit: https://peteandgerrys.com
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
Great Tips for Fast and Effective Cleanup after Meals
Would it be great if a savory meal cooked at home did not have to accompany the frustration of doing the dishes afterwards? However, tidying up after a meal is not a big deal if you follow the following steps for a fast and effective remedy from cleanup after your meal. Check these out below:
Make sure you have a clean area to start with:
Sometime before you even start with the cleaning of the dishes, you may witness that the dishwasher or the kitchen sink is already loaded with dirty plates and other crockery from the previous meals. This may double the load of work upon you, which you need to avoid. The best way is to clean up the area before you are preparing for your next meal. Keeping the sink area and the dishwasher clean will make it quicker and easier for you to manage the plates, etc.
Keep cleaning as you are cooking:
Another great way of lightening the load of dishes is by keep cleaning while you are preparing a meal. This may feel like a burden to some and people may even want to leave the work hanging for later. However, delaying it will only frustrate you more as you will see a bigger cluster of dishes waiting for you after the meal. Therefore, a prudent way to avoid it is by cleaning the pots and pans as soon as you are finished cooking in them.
Make sure you have everything ready for the cleaning:
It is even more frustrating to find that the dishwashing soap or the sponge is not present at its place for cleaning afterwards. So, avoid such annoying situations by double-checking that everything stays at its place and is stocked with the required materials beforehand.
Great cooking habits help:
You do not have to be a great chef to achieve this level, but you may still try to learn a few healthy and easy tricks that will leave your kitchen clean most of the times. Some tips such as reusing a utensil for cooking by rinsing it, keeping a bowl to store food scraps and vegetable peels, and using a towel to wipe spills is a great way to clean up the kitchen after preparing a meal.
Be ready for any leftovers:
Many a time leftovers are to be stocked in bowls and cases to be stored in the fridge. However, it gets frustrating when you find out that the fridge is already packed with leftovers from the last meal. Avoid such situations by being ready with extra space in the fridge before preparing a meal. You may want to clear up the space by removing unwanted leftovers so that you can avoid a mess.
Using the various tips for cleaning up after your meal will help you stay stress-free. Such tips help in dealing with the daily chores in the kitchen more efficiently. You can even use your DIY experience to come up with unique methods to deal with such situations.
The mad dash to get all the holiday shopping done has officially started and while it can be overwhelming to get the perfect presents for everyone on your list, the solution comes in the form of gifts courtesy of the Amazon Rainforest. Surya Brasil, the vegan, cruelty free, Brazilian based brand has got you covered with the perfect stocking stuffers:
- Exotic Animals Nail Polishes - Named after exotic animals from around the world and inspired by nature’s vibrant colors, this range features 16 polishes in unique colors that leave your nails feeling beautiful and healthy. The collection also includes a Base Coat, Extra Shine Top Coat and an Oil Dryer to provide a strong foundation, long lasting color and extra protection for your nails
- Vegan Tinted Lip Balms - Providing your lips with a treatment to keep them smooth, soft and hydrated these lip balms moisturize, nourish, restore elasticity and are the perfect middle ground between lip care and lip color. The range comes in 6 unique flavors including Blood Orange, Coconut Nectar, Pink Grapefruit, Pomegranate, Sugared Fig and Vanilla Dragon Fruit.
Disclosure: I received complimentary product in exchange for my honest review.
Game Day! For most people, the purpose of these get-togethers is about the sports on the screen. With my family, it is never really about the game, it is more about the quality time we spend together, and about the food. Yes, the food is always a very important part of my family's game day events. I was asked to bring something to snack on, and I proudly brought an Already Ready HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Tray. It was perfect! I didn't have to do ANY food prep. This tray had it all! (Except pickles! I scooted over the salami, and added those baby dills.)
The tray I brought is the Supreme Party Tray. As you can see in the photo below, it has something for everyone! (except the pickles that I added.) Doesn't it all look delicious?
From the crisp, buttery crackers to the savory plate-pleasing olives, my family's taste buds were treated to a delightful array of satisfying snacking. The crackers, meats and the cheeses were perfectly fresh and tasty. The combination of the spicy pepperjack cheese went amazingly well with the more mellow cheddar jack.
The HORMEL GATHERINGS Party Tray was definitely a hit for my family's game day party! There was something for everyone. Even my four year old nephew was pleased.
This is my oldest son, Jonathan. He loves Hormel's cheesy and crackery goodness!
More pictures of my family on Game Day! (We always gather at my parents home)
My cute parents
My husband, Jon and I
I certainly love my fun-loving family, and I am looking forward to our upcoming holiday gatherings, where delicious food items are a MUST-Have. Can you guess what I will be bringing to our Christmas Eve and New Years Eve celebrations? You guessed it, HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays!
I am looking forward to trying out the Honey Ham and Turkey Party Tray, as well as the Hard Salami and Pepperoni Party Tray.
For more information on HORMEL GATHERINGS®, go to:
GIFTSFORYOUNOW.COM ANNOUNCES NEW HOLIDAY MUST-HAVE GIFTS; UNIQUE ITEMS WITH A PERSONALIZED TOUCH AT AFFORDABLE PRICES
The sleigh bells are already ringing! The holiday season is upon us, and if you are needing a gift idea for someone special, look no further than GiftsForYouNow.
I believe that the bests gifts come from the heart. There's nothing more wonderful than a personalized gift. GiftsForYouNow .com has the perfect new must-have gifts for the holiday season. From customized apparel to personalized picture frames, each product is one-of-a-kind and is sure to exceed your loved ones expectations. Here are the best 2017 holiday gifts for you to consider:
- Personalized Sherpa Blankets - cozy blankets available in a multitude of colors or themes (sports!) Prices start at $49.99.
- Fun Kid Gifts - A chalkboard notebook set or pencil pouch customized with his/her name or even a fun apron or gym bag! Prices as low as $10.
- Pet Presents – Customized food mats, bowls and more for Fido with many under $25.
- Canvas & Wall Décor - Add a personalized touch to your home with custom wall hangings and picture frames with prices starting at $22.
- Holiday Themed Gifts – Great for teachers, family or friends, personalized ornaments, stockings and décor.
- Kitchen & Home Décor - From custom baskets to picture frames, hand towels and glassware, these are great gifts to bring to a party or for the Martha Stewart in your life.
“Everyone loves giving a personalized gift for the holidays, but most tend to think it’s out of their price range and/or it takes too long to order. At GiftsForYouNow.com we make affordable, high-quality items with a personal touch and can deliver them quickly,” said Jim Tuchler, founder of GiftsforYouNow.com.
I absolutely love the idea of personalized gifts. I was given the chance to review a gift from GiftsForYouNow. Since my family is growing lately (I have two new son-in-laws, a daughter-in-law, and a soon-to-be new grand daughter!) I decided to gift myself with this beautiful personalized 'family tree' shown below. This beautiful is work of art is called the Personalized Family Tree Word-Art Canvas.
It is such a treasure to have. It features all of the names of my husband and I, our children, their spouses and even the name of my soon-to-be grand daughter who is due in January. I was able to submit as many names as I wanted to personalize it with. As you can see in the picture, each name is used more than once, but in different font. I think this is done to fill up space, but I think it looks perfect! At the rate that my family seems to be growing, I think that in a few years I should be able to fill up this family tree with each name only written once!
GiftsForYouNow is a family business based in the western Chicago suburbs, providing thoughtful personalized gifts for all occasions to terrific gift-givers year round. Opened in 1999, GiftsForYouNow is a mid-sized business with the goal of helping you add your personal touch to terrific personalized gifts for baby showers and weddings to pets and even memorial items.
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
Three Important Reasons to See Your OB/GYN Regularly
For many women, booking an appointment to see their OB/GYN or gynecologist can be an intimidating experience. As a result, many women don’t get a check-up as often as they should or visit the OB/GYN for the first time when falling pregnant. However, the truth is that visiting the OB/GYN is an important experience for all women, whether or not you are expecting a baby. And, the appointment itself is not as scary as you might think. Here are some of the top reasons to book an appointment with your OB/GYN today.
#1. Overall Physical Health:
You might think that visiting the OB/GYN is only important when you are having a baby, just given birth, or are experiencing issues with your reproductive system or private parts. However, a visit to the OB/GYN is just as important for your overall physical health and many women use their OB/GYN as their primary care physician, too. A physical examination will include obtaining your vital signs, determining your body mass index (BMI) and examining your abdomen and inguinal lymph nodes. In some cases, a pelvic examination may also be carried out. In other words, if there’s anything serious or semi-serious going on physically that you may not have noticed yet, your OB/GYN will be able to spot it and have you treated quickly. Bear in mind that your OB/GYN is also a fully trained doctor – learn more about the role at healthcaresalariesguide.com.
#2. Menstrual Problems:
As women, most of us have dealt with a missed period here and there or a slightly irregular flow; it’s usually nothing to be worried about. However, if you are experiencing any issues with your menstrual cycle or simply want to check that everything is normal, then a visit to your OB/GYN is a must. For example, if you haven’t had your period for a while but aren’t pregnant, or you’re experiencing changes such as periods lasting for longer than usual or a change in the blood flow, then book an appointment with your OB/GYN as soon as possible so that they can check you over and determine whether there are any problems. Menstrual issues can lead to reproductive problems down the line, so it’s always best to get checked over.
#3. Preventing Cancers:
Whilst most people think that the role of the OB/GYN is simply to assist with pregnancy and childbirth and look after women’s reproductive health, they can do far more than that. If like many women, you are concerned about preventing certain cancers such as breast cancer or cervical cancer, then regular visits to your OB/GYN are an absolute must. Not only will they be able to provide you with the best advice to help you prevent getting these cancers in the future, their role also includes performing breast and cervical exams to spot any early signs and treat them as soon as possible. If your family has a history of breast or cervical cancer, then it’s even more important to visit your OB/GYN regularly.
How often do you visit your OB/GYN? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
The Must-Have Items That New Moms Can't Live Without
Becoming a mom is easily one of the most wonderful and scary moments in any woman’s life. There is so much to learn and be aware of, it’s truly a crash-course in parenting right away. With that said, there are a number of items that can help make motherhood a whole lot smoother and simpler on both mom and baby. So if you’re busy making a list of all the items you need before baby arrives, then you’ll want to take a look at these must-have items that new moms simply can’t live without.
This particular item is great in that both moms and dads can use it. A baby carrier allows you to carry your baby around, snuggled close to your body, while allowing your hands to be free. This will allow you to go about tasks, errands, and chores without having to set baby down. There is also the added bonus that babies tend to feel more relaxed and comfortable while being snuggled. It’s a bonding experience for all.
The Mom Crib website has an excellent article on best baby carriers for 2018 and is a must-read before you head out shopping. It discusses the features you want to look for, the weight restrictions, whether the carrier allows for forward and/or rear positioning, and more.
If you plan on nursing your little one, then a nursing pillow is an absolute must. It allows for baby to get into the ideal position to latch, and it makes it comfortable for both you and your little one. You'll find a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors so you will probably want to look at them in person to get an idea of what will work best for you.
Bathing your new little bundle of joy is another bonding experience, but for new parents it can also be extremely stressful. They are so tiny and plopping them in the bathtub just isn't going to work. Instead you can pick up a baby tub that cradles their head and keeps it above water. This allows you to rest baby in the “tub” while washing them.
Bottles and Feeding Accessories
If you plan on bottle feeding your baby, then you’re going to need to stock up on a few bottles and accessories. Keep in mind that you will need to pick a nipple that is right for their age. Newborns need slow-flow nipples so that they don’t get too much liquid at once. As for the accessories, parents tend to love the convenient bottle warmers that warm bottles to the perfect temperature quickly and easily, plus there is cleaning and sterilizing gear you can get.
For new parents it's impossible to imagine just how much gear you'll need to pack and take with you each and every time you step foot outside of the house. This is exactly why a large diaper bag with multiple compartments and pockets is necessary. Look for one that is washable, waterproof, and includes a travel-sized change mat. Some also include insulated pockets which are perfect for carrying food and bottles.
The List Goes On
This is just a small look at some of the must-have gear that every new mom will need in order to make life with a new baby as easy as possible.