Journey to Appleville — Children’s Book Review

Journey to Appleville

** I received a copy of this book for free for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Journey to Apple is a multicultural children’s book written by Veronica Appleton. It’s a sweet book about six kids of different backgrounds, each with their own goals. If they can get to Appleville, perhaps the Appleville Fairy can help them overcome their fears to reach their goals. Journey to Appleville My girls really seemed to enjoy the book. It’s a noble first work from Appleton. I applaud her for including children of different races and abilities. Journey to Appleville Journey to Appleville Journey to Appleville

Journey to Appleville is currently available on the following online bookstores: Amazon, Powell’s Bookstore, Hudson Books, Barnes & Noble, Target and iTunes.

You can find Veronica Appleton on Twitter at @VeronicaSAppleton.

www.applevillebooks.com

Crazy 8 Sale On Now!

Gluten-free Morning Glory Muffins

Cassava Flour

I received a package of Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour for free for review purposes, but all opinions here are my own.

Whenever I have a couple of too ripe bananas lying around, I make muffins. Today was such a day. And I figured it was a great time to try out this Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour. It’s made from 100% yuca root and is gluten-free, grain-free and nut-free.Cassava Flour

I based my Morning Glory recipe loosely on this one. I almost never follow a recipe exactly. I used a chopped Honeycrisp apple, left out the coconut, two ripe bananas, olive oil and sour cream in place of coconut oil, and a few other minor alterations. I also sprinkled a little sugar (yes, real sugar) on top of each muffin before baking to make a sweet, crispy top for each muffin.Morning Glory Muffins

I tried one with a generous pat of butter hot from the oven. Delicious! I can’t even tell that it was made with a flour substitute. And my taste tester approved!princess

You can learn more about Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour at their website.

How to Avoid GMOs When You Shop

Meggan Spicer has a new ebook out: $5 Family Fun that includes 50 frugal, hospital
fabulous ways for a family of four to have fun together on five dollars or less. Projects are broken into two categories: holiday/seasonal and general fun. Each idea can be modified for families of three, viagra
five, pharm or however big your clan is. The key is to utilize dollar store finds, free local services, generic brands, common household items, and starter kit items (common items that will be used in multiple projects).

Meggan asked me to share my favorite activity from the ebook with you, and I picked the Take A Hike Trail Mix. Trail MixTrail Mix – $5
No cooking required—just throw your favorite combination of trail mix ingredients ($1 each) from the dollar store together to make a personalized tasty trail mix. Scour the aisles to find what suits your tastes, but here are some options that I found:
* Pretzels
* M&Ms®
* Raisins
* Peanuts or mixed nuts
* Dried cranberries
* Chocolate chips
* Dried banana chips
* Popcorn
* Mini marshmallows
* Shredded coconut
* Goldfish®

Grab some water from home before you go. If you don’t like the taste of your city’s tap water, reduce your trail mix ingredients to four and use the extra dollar to buy bottled water from the dollar store.

I bet your little hikers will exclaim your praises when you whip out this trail mix from your backpack!
Kids enjoying the hike
Kids enjoying the hike

 

You can find Meggan online…
Blog: http://www.megganspicer.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/megganspicer Instagram: @megganspicer
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/megganspicer

Meggan Spicer has a new ebook out: $5 Family Fun that includes 50 frugal, view fabulous ways for a family of four to have fun together on five dollars or less. Projects are broken into two categories: holiday/seasonal and general fun. Each idea can be modified for families of three, women’s health
five, or however big your clan is. The key is to utilize dollar store finds, free local services, generic brands, common household items, and starter kit items (common items that will be used in multiple projects).

Meggan asked me to share my favorite activity from the ebook with you, and I picked the Take A Hike Trail Mix. Trail MixTrail Mix – $5
No cooking required—just throw your favorite combination of trail mix ingredients ($1 each) from the dollar store together to make a personalized tasty trail mix. Scour the aisles to find what suits your tastes, but here are some options that I found:
* Pretzels
* M&Ms®
* Raisins
* Peanuts or mixed nuts
* Dried cranberries
* Chocolate chips
* Dried banana chips
* Popcorn
* Mini marshmallows
* Shredded coconut
* Goldfish®

Grab some water from home before you go. If you don’t like the taste of your city’s tap water, reduce your trail mix ingredients to four and use the extra dollar to buy bottled water from the dollar store.

I bet your little hikers will exclaim your praises when you whip out this trail mix from your backpack!
Kids enjoying the hike
Kids enjoying the hike

 

You can find Meggan online…
Blog: http://www.megganspicer.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/megganspicer Instagram: @megganspicer
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/megganspicer

Gymboree Sale On Now!
Meggan Spicer has a new ebook out: $5 Family Fun that includes 50 frugal, sale fabulous ways for a family of four to have fun together on five dollars or less. Projects are broken into two categories: holiday/seasonal and general fun. Each idea can be modified for families of three, abortion
five, or however big your clan is. The key is to utilize dollar store finds, free local services, generic brands, common household items, and starter kit items (common items that will be used in multiple projects).

Meggan asked me to share my favorite activity from the ebook with you, and I picked the Take A Hike Trail Mix. Trail MixTrail Mix – $5
No cooking required—just throw your favorite combination of trail mix ingredients ($1 each) from the dollar store together to make a personalized tasty trail mix. Scour the aisles to find what suits your tastes, but here are some options that I found:
* Pretzels
* M&Ms®
* Raisins
* Peanuts or mixed nuts
* Dried cranberries
* Chocolate chips
* Dried banana chips
* Popcorn
* Mini marshmallows
* Shredded coconut
* Goldfish®

Grab some water from home before you go. If you don’t like the taste of your city’s tap water, reduce your trail mix ingredients to four and use the extra dollar to buy bottled water from the dollar store.

I bet your little hikers will exclaim your praises when you whip out this trail mix from your backpack!
Kids enjoying the hike
Kids enjoying the hike

 

You can find Meggan online…
Blog: http://www.megganspicer.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/megganspicer Instagram: @megganspicer
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/megganspicer

Gymboree Sale On Now!
Meggan Spicer has a new ebook out: $5 Family Fun that includes 50 frugal, illness
fabulous ways for a family of four to have fun together on five dollars or less. Projects are broken into two categories: holiday/seasonal and general fun. Each idea can be modified for families of three, five, or however big your clan is. The key is to utilize dollar store finds, free local services, generic brands, common household items, and starter kit items (common items that will be used in multiple projects).

Meggan asked me to share my favorite activity from the ebook with you, and I picked the Take A Hike Trail Mix. Trail MixTrail Mix – $5
No cooking required—just throw your favorite combination of trail mix ingredients ($1 each) from the dollar store together to make a personalized tasty trail mix. Scour the aisles to find what suits your tastes, but here are some options that I found:
* Pretzels
* M&Ms®
* Raisins
* Peanuts or mixed nuts
* Dried cranberries
* Chocolate chips
* Dried banana chips
* Popcorn
* Mini marshmallows
* Shredded coconut
* Goldfish®

Grab some water from home before you go. If you don’t like the taste of your city’s tap water, reduce your trail mix ingredients to four and use the extra dollar to buy bottled water from the dollar store.

I bet your little hikers will exclaim your praises when you whip out this trail mix from your backpack!
Kids enjoying the hike
Kids enjoying the hike

 

You can find Meggan online…
Blog: http://www.megganspicer.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/megganspicer
Instagram: @megganspicer
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/megganspicer

Gymboree Sale On Now!
Meggan Spicer has a new ebook out: $5 Family Fun that includes 50 frugal, epilepsy
fabulous ways for a family of four to have fun together on five dollars or less. Projects are broken into two categories: holiday/seasonal and general fun. Each idea can be modified for families of three, ophthalmologist
five, or however big your clan is. The key is to utilize dollar store finds, free local services, generic brands, common household items, and starter kit items (common items that will be used in multiple projects).

Meggan asked me to share my favorite activity from the ebook with you, and I picked the Take A Hike Trail Mix. Trail MixTrail Mix – $5
No cooking required—just throw your favorite combination of trail mix ingredients ($1 each) from the dollar store together to make a personalized tasty trail mix. Scour the aisles to find what suits your tastes, but here are some options that I found:
* Pretzels
* M&Ms®
* Raisins
* Peanuts or mixed nuts
* Dried cranberries
* Chocolate chips
* Dried banana chips
* Popcorn
* Mini marshmallows
* Shredded coconut
* Goldfish®

Grab some water from home before you go. If you don’t like the taste of your city’s tap water, reduce your trail mix ingredients to four and use the extra dollar to buy bottled water from the dollar store.

I bet your little hikers will exclaim your praises when you whip out this trail mix from your backpack!
Kids enjoying the hike
Kids enjoying the hike

 

You can find Meggan online…
Blog: http://www.megganspicer.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/megganspicer
Instagram: @megganspicer
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/megganspicer

Gymboree Sale On Now!

Visit SmartLifebites.com and Discover
Healthy Eating, pill
Fitness, store Family, Travel and Educational Information

Fairfield, NJ – August 2, 2016 – Crispy Green®, makers of freeze-dried Crispy Fruit snacks, is proud to introduce a new website SmartLifebites.com – a site that is powered by Crispy Green and focused on providing useful information and practical tips for living a healthier life. The mission of the site is to share sensible, healthy lifestyle information and ideas to help visitors maximize each day – one smart lifebite at a time.

SmartLifebites.com is the brainchild of Crispy Green’s CEO and founder Angela Liu, who has a passion for living life to the fullest and helping others to do the same. As a scientist-turned-entrepreneur, Angela has been a lifetime learner and explorer. She believes that knowledge and education help people make better decisions that can lead to a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life. Her passion has inspired the Smart Lifebites concept, which evolved into SmartLifebites.com.

The information on SmartLifebites.com is provided by professional writers and editors in the healthy lifestyle space, with content coming from a variety of sources including nutrition, fitness, family, food, travel and educational bloggers. The goal is for this site to become a destination of smart, fun and digestible “bites” of information about healthy living, so that visitors can “snack” on Smart Lifebites any time of the day, with a variety of “flavors” to suit their needs.

Providing an element of entertainment, SmartLifebites.com is introducing its official tour guide Chris B. Green and his sidekick Chirp, who will help navigate your online experience. This adorable character duo keeps the site fun for all who visit – they’re even working on some special surprises for kids (but you’ll have to visit the website to find out).

To celebrate the launch of this new website, visitors will have a chance to win a premium Chris B. Green and Chirp lunch bag simply by signing up for the e-newsletter. One lunch bag will be given away every day from today through August 31. Crispy Green is also throwing in a six-pack of Crispy Fruit snacks with each lunch bag given away. This is an excellent back-to-school promotion for kids or anyone who can use a quality lunch bag.
 

  • Made Of 80 Gram Non-Woven, Coated Water-Resistant Polypropylene
  • Size 7″ W x 10″ H x 4″ D (Folded: 7″ W x 5″ H)
  • Front Top Pocket
  • Web Carrying Handle
  • ID Holder
  • Foil Laminated PE Foam Insulation
 Lunch bag final          Mango 6-pack
About SmartLifebites.com
SmartLifebites.com™ is an interactive online gathering of ideas and information, providing knowledge to living a healthier lifestyle. Content will focus on nutrition, fitness, family, travel, education and wellness, presented in a fun, social format for easy sharing. SmartLifebites.com is powered by Crispy Green®, makers of freeze-dried Crispy Fruit Snacks.About Crispy Green
Crispy Green Inc. (crispygreen.com) is the maker of Crispy Green® Crispy Fruit (freeze-dried fruit) snacks. Crispy Fruit is a delicious, convenient way to add more fruit to your daily diet. The company was founded in August 2004 with a vision to be the leading provider of high quality, natural food products desired by everyone who wants to live a healthy and better life. Crispy Green was introduced in the United States in 2005. Since then, the company has been consistently providing high quality freeze-dried fruit snacks and adding new flavors to its Crispy Fruit line to meet market demands.

Visit SmartLifebites.com and Discover
Healthy Eating, recipe Fitness, Family, Travel and Educational Information

Fairfield, NJ – August 2, 2016 – Crispy Green®, makers of freeze-dried Crispy Fruit snacks, is proud to introduce a new website SmartLifebites.com – a site that is powered by Crispy Green and focused on providing useful information and practical tips for living a healthier life. The mission of the site is to share sensible, healthy lifestyle information and ideas to help visitors maximize each day – one smart lifebite at a time.

SmartLifebites.com is the brainchild of Crispy Green’s CEO and founder Angela Liu, who has a passion for living life to the fullest and helping others to do the same. As a scientist-turned-entrepreneur, Angela has been a lifetime learner and explorer. She believes that knowledge and education help people make better decisions that can lead to a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life. Her passion has inspired the Smart Lifebites concept, which evolved into SmartLifebites.com.

The information on SmartLifebites.com is provided by professional writers and editors in the healthy lifestyle space, with content coming from a variety of sources including nutrition, fitness, family, food, travel and educational bloggers. The goal is for this site to become a destination of smart, fun and digestible “bites” of information about healthy living, so that visitors can “snack” on Smart Lifebites any time of the day, with a variety of “flavors” to suit their needs.

Providing an element of entertainment, SmartLifebites.com is introducing its official tour guide Chris B. Green and his sidekick Chirp, who will help navigate your online experience. This adorable character duo keeps the site fun for all who visit – they’re even working on some special surprises for kids (but you’ll have to visit the website to find out).

To celebrate the launch of this new website, visitors will have a chance to win a premium Chris B. Green and Chirp lunch bag simply by signing up for the e-newsletter. One lunch bag will be given away every day from today through August 31. Crispy Green is also throwing in a six-pack of Crispy Fruit snacks with each lunch bag given away. This is an excellent back-to-school promotion for kids or anyone who can use a quality lunch bag.
 

  • Made Of 80 Gram Non-Woven, Coated Water-Resistant Polypropylene
  • Size 7″ W x 10″ H x 4″ D (Folded: 7″ W x 5″ H)
  • Front Top Pocket
  • Web Carrying Handle
  • ID Holder
  • Foil Laminated PE Foam Insulation
 Lunch bag final          Mango 6-pack
About SmartLifebites.com
SmartLifebites.com™ is an interactive online gathering of ideas and information, providing knowledge to living a healthier lifestyle. Content will focus on nutrition, fitness, family, travel, education and wellness, presented in a fun, social format for easy sharing. SmartLifebites.com is powered by Crispy Green®, makers of freeze-dried Crispy Fruit Snacks.

About Crispy Green
Crispy Green Inc. (crispygreen.com) is the maker of Crispy Green® Crispy Fruit (freeze-dried fruit) snacks. Crispy Fruit is a delicious, convenient way to add more fruit to your daily diet. The company was founded in August 2004 with a vision to be the leading provider of high quality, natural food products desired by everyone who wants to live a healthy and better life. Crispy Green was introduced in the United States in 2005. Since then, the company has been consistently providing high quality freeze-dried fruit snacks and adding new flavors to its Crispy Fruit line to meet market demands.

Visit SmartLifebites.com and Discover
Healthy Eating, drugs
Fitness, Family, Travel and Educational Information

Fairfield, NJ – August 2, 2016 – Crispy Green®, makers of freeze-dried Crispy Fruit snacks, is proud to introduce a new website SmartLifebites.com – a site that is powered by Crispy Green and focused on providing useful information and practical tips for living a healthier life. The mission of the site is to share sensible, healthy lifestyle information and ideas to help visitors maximize each day – one smart lifebite at a time.

SmartLifebites.com is the brainchild of Crispy Green’s CEO and founder Angela Liu, who has a passion for living life to the fullest and helping others to do the same. As a scientist-turned-entrepreneur, Angela has been a lifetime learner and explorer. She believes that knowledge and education help people make better decisions that can lead to a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life. Her passion has inspired the Smart Lifebites concept, which evolved into SmartLifebites.com.

The information on SmartLifebites.com is provided by professional writers and editors in the healthy lifestyle space, with content coming from a variety of sources including nutrition, fitness, family, food, travel and educational bloggers. The goal is for this site to become a destination of smart, fun and digestible “bites” of information about healthy living, so that visitors can “snack” on Smart Lifebites any time of the day, with a variety of “flavors” to suit their needs.

Providing an element of entertainment, SmartLifebites.com is introducing its official tour guide Chris B. Green and his sidekick Chirp, who will help navigate your online experience. This adorable character duo keeps the site fun for all who visit – they’re even working on some special surprises for kids (but you’ll have to visit the website to find out).

To celebrate the launch of this new website, visitors will have a chance to win a premium Chris B. Green and Chirp lunch bag simply by signing up for the e-newsletter. One lunch bag will be given away every day from today through August 31. Crispy Green is also throwing in a six-pack of Crispy Fruit snacks with each lunch bag given away. This is an excellent back-to-school promotion for kids or anyone who can use a quality lunch bag.
 

  • Made Of 80 Gram Non-Woven, Coated Water-Resistant Polypropylene
  • Size 7″ W x 10″ H x 4″ D (Folded: 7″ W x 5″ H)
  • Front Top Pocket
  • Web Carrying Handle
  • ID Holder
  • Foil Laminated PE Foam Insulation
 Lunch bag final          Mango 6-pack
About SmartLifebites.com
SmartLifebites.com™ is an interactive online gathering of ideas and information, providing knowledge to living a healthier lifestyle. Content will focus on nutrition, fitness, family, travel, education and wellness, presented in a fun, social format for easy sharing. SmartLifebites.com is powered by Crispy Green®, makers of freeze-dried Crispy Fruit Snacks.About Crispy Green
Crispy Green Inc. (crispygreen.com) is the maker of Crispy Green® Crispy Fruit (freeze-dried fruit) snacks. Crispy Fruit is a delicious, convenient way to add more fruit to your daily diet. The company was founded in August 2004 with a vision to be the leading provider of high quality, natural food products desired by everyone who wants to live a healthy and better life. Crispy Green was introduced in the United States in 2005. Since then, the company has been consistently providing high quality freeze-dried fruit snacks and adding new flavors to its Crispy Fruit line to meet market demands.

*Blog post provided by Paul Krupin, ampoule Publicist for Melissa Diane Smith.

On Friday, pilule July 29th, patient
President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that allows food companies and producers to use QR codes, 1-800 numbers, or on-package text or symbols to label food products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Nearly 300 consumer, health, farmer, and environmental organizations and food companies representing hundreds of thousands of Americans urged President Obama to veto the bill because it does not provide the mandatory, on-package text labeling that nine out of ten Americans want and that citizens from 64 other countries already have.

Melissa Diane Smith, health journalist, holistic nutrition expert, and the author of Going Against GMOs: The Fast-Growing Movement to Avoid Unnatural Genetically Modified “Foods” to Take Back Our Food and Health, offers insights on the controversial issues surrounding GMOs, the new law, and how people can learn to avoid GMOs when they shop.

What are GMOs and why are they important?

GMOs are genetically modified organisms, also known as genetically modified foods. GMOs look the same as foods grown naturally, but they are created in a laboratory and very different on the inside: They’re most often genetically engineered to be herbicide tolerant or to produce their own internal insecticide. GMOs were introduced in 1996 and are widely used in our food supply now, but most people don’t know they’ve been eating them because GMOs haven’t been labeled.

The FDA has not conducted safety studies on GM foods. Instead, it leaves determining their safety up to the companies that make them. Animal research points to the potential for significant health risks from eating GM foods, and there are environmental, farmer’s rights, and food security concerns associated with them as well. More than three dozen countries in the world have banned the cultivation of GM crops. Concerns about the risks posed by GMOs have created a growing movement of people in this country who want to avoid eating them.

Will the new law make it easier for consumers who want to avoid GMOs when they shop?

You would think so, but for the most part, no, it won’t. The goal of the act was to establish a uniform national standard for disclosure of GM food ingredients, but the law doesn’t accomplish that goal. There are so many problems and loopholes with the law that it has often been called the Denying Americans the Right to Know (or DARK) Act. The law replaces clearly worded state laws with what the Center for Food Safety calls “a vague multi-year bureaucratic process specifically designed to provide less transparency to consumers.”

The law overturns Vermont’s recently enacted GMO labeling law that required on-package labeling with the words “partially produced with genetic engineering.” Many national companies, such as Campbell Soup, Mars, PepsiCo, Nestle, and General Mills, were already starting to label their products nationwide to comply with the Vermont law. But the new law overrides Vermont’s law and other state laws, and gives companies other disclosure options they can use that aren’t instantly understood by consumers.

If a company decides to label a product with a QR (Quick Response) code that is only readable with a smart phone, people who don’t have a smart phone won’t be able to scan products to get the information about GMOs they want. According to Pew Research Center, only 50% of people with low incomes in the U.S. own a smartphone; only 52% of rural Americans own a smartphone; and only 27% of seniors own a smartphone. Even those who do own smartphones are not guaranteed consistent access to the Internet. Consumer groups and activists such as Rev. Jesse Jackson have spoken out about how the law discriminates against low-income, rural, minority, and elderly populations.

Is there any way that GMOs can be avoided easily? What are the most common foods that contain GMOs?

It’s not easy to do at first, but, yes, GMOs can be identified and avoided even without mandatory labeling. In fact, a growing movement of people have been doing that the past several years, and many companies now realize that selling and voluntarily labeling products that don’t contain GMOs boosts sales of those products and gives those companies a competitive edge. So, labeling has gradually been occurring on a voluntary basis because of increased consumer demand.

To avoid GMOs, shoppers need to learn that there are 11 primary at-risk GM foods commonly found in grocery stores, and they can remember those foods as 3 Cs, 2 Ss, 2 As, 2 Ps, a Y and a Z. Those foods are:

  • Corn (as in corn oil, cornmeal, cornstarch, corn syrup, hominy, polenta, and other corn-based ingredients)
  • Canola (as in canola oil)
  • Cottonseed (as in cottonseed oil)
  • Sugar Beets (as in “sugar” in an ingredient, which is almost certainly a combination of sugar from both sugar cane and GM sugar beets)
  • Soybeans (as in soybean oil, soy protein, soy lecithin, soy milk, tofu, and other soy-based ingredients)
  • Alfalfa, which is fed to livestock
  • Apple, which will be arriving in some stores this year
  • Papaya (from Hawaii and China)
  • Potatoes, which were sold in 10 states last year and will be sold in a larger number this year
  • Yellow Squash and Zucchini

Consumers can avoid the genetically modified foods entirely or choose those foods only when they are labeled USDA Organic or Non-GMO Project Verified. Avoiding processed convenience foods goes a long way in helping you avoid the most common GMOs.

What’s the difference between USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified foods?

Products that carry the Non-GMO Project Verified label are independently verified to be in compliance with North America’s only third party standard for GMO avoidance, including testing of at-risk ingredients.

Products that have the USDA Organic seal cannot contain any GMO ingredients. They also must be produced without irradiation, sewage sludge, antibiotics, growth hormones, and synthetic chemical fertilizers.  However, some GM crops such as corn can spread through wind drift and contaminate organic crops, and organic certification does not require testing for GMOs. So, for the most protection against GMOs, choose products with both the Non-GMO Project Verified label and the USDA Organic label—or just avoid foods made with the 11 direct sources of GMOs.

What else is important to know about how to avoid GMOs?

In addition to the direct sources of GMOs, there are also indirect sources of GMOs that can be avoided.  Conventional meat, eggs, and dairy products are often raised on feed that contains GMOs.  The best way to avoid these is to switch to eating organically raised beef and chicken, wild-caught fish, and organic eggs.  Look for meat clearly labeled as organic, and preferably organic and 100% grass-fed. Or look for fish, poultry, eggs, and meat labeled as Non-GMO Project Verified.

“Shopping non-GMO requires some effort and learning,” Ms. Smith says. “GMOs are everywhere—people will be surprised and amazed to find out that they are in virtually all stores and all restaurants, and have made it into most of the foods that most of us eat.  It does take time to change longstanding habits, but the more we avoid GMOs, the better we get at it, and the more second nature it becomes. If you want to avoid GMOs, don’t hesitate to start somewhere—even if it’s just eating one non-GMO or organic meal a day.”

Going Against GMOs

Going Against GMOs: The Fast-Growing Movement to Avoid Unnatural Genetically Modified “Foods” to Take Back Our Food and Health

Melissa Diane Smith

List $18.95
Paperback 358 pages
ISBN# 978-0-9908152-0-4
Originally published September 2014

Available in bookstores nationwide and online.

For more information, visit www.GoingAgainstGMOs.com

 

Community Coffee

Yesterday, approved a sweet friend messaged me privately to tell me that my posts (political posts on Facebook specifically) were polarizing and that it is “making it hard to listen to anything else you are saying.”

I responded that I would take the comments under consideration because I definitely don’t want to water down my message of anti-racism. (Side note: I’m not using the term “racial unity” anymore. Unity, diagnosis unfortunately, abortion still can hide underlying racism.)

But after sleeping on these comments overnight, I am calling BULLSHIT. (Sorry for the strong language, but I can’t think of a better term at the time.) I will not be silent. When I see injustice and racism, I will speak up. When I see people justifying a candidate who proves over and over again that he is a misogynistic, xenophobic, racist narcissist, I am going to call you out.

This is what the Republican Party has come to:

US Rep. Steve King preaches literal white supremacy on national television

Scott Baio ducks question about tweet calling Clinton a ‘c*nt’: ‘It’s just a picture’

RNC forced to close online convention chat after anti-Semites turn it into a Jew-bashing hatefest

Here Are 10 Examples Of Donald Trump Being Racist

Politifact has fact-checked Trump 180+ times. 75% of those statements turned out to be Mostly False, False, or Pants on Fire. So tell me again who is a liar? (Hillary Clinton gets 51% True or Mostly True on Politifact. FYI.)

I admit that Hilary Clinton has a likeability issue. I really think it’s because she’s a smart, determined woman — and people hate that. But she’s experienced, level-headed, and is for the betterment of the United States. Trump is only for the betterment of Trump.

So if you don’t like what I post, hide me, unfriend me, whatever. I don’t care. Honestly. This isn’t 8th grade. This is LIFE and DEATH. My husband and children are black. They have been threatened. They get followed at the store. They don’t get invited to parties that white kids get invited to. Things are assumed about them just because of the color of their skin. They wonder if they will make it home alive each day. Let that sink in a minute.

I’m done worrying if I offend YOUR WHITE PRIVILEGE. Too bad. Until you walk a day in my shoes, the shoes of my husband or children, just hush with the whining.

And THINK. Really think for yourself. Not what you heard on Fox News or conservative radio. Not what your Southern Baptist preacher says either. (I know — I went there.) PRAY that your eyes will be opened to the truth.

“But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:11)

I received free samples of Community Coffee for review purposes, sale but all opinions here are my own.

Iced coffee is a summer must!

Community Coffee Company recently launched its first-ever “Iced K-Cup” in Mocha Vanilla. You’re going to want to try it…especially when you see this video recipe for Brown Sugar Cinnamon Iced Coffee.

I just tried the Iced K-Cup for the first time recently. It was so delicious and really easy to make. First you brew a Community Coffee Iced K-Cup in your Keurig. Community Coffee

Then add milk or cream and whatever sweetener you like. Community Coffee

Finally, just pour that over a large cup of ice. Community Coffee

“Whether you’re an iced coffee lover, K-Cup® enthusiast or simply someone who enjoys trying new blends, we think our Mocha Vanilla Iced Coffee will become your go-to beverage when the weather gets hot,” said Scott Eckert, Vice President of Marketing, Community Coffee Company.

Available in 12-count, single-serve K-Cup® pods, Community® Mocha Vanilla Iced coffee just hit shelves this past May, giving consumers an easy and convenient way to make iced coffee throughout the summer months. The new flavor does not contain cream or sugar so coffee lovers can customize their drink based on personal preference.

To learn more and to purchase online, visit CommunityCoffee.com.

They make tea too!

For non-coffee drinkers, Community® tea is a crisp and captivating blend of orange pekoe and pekoe cut black teas from around the world – it’s always clear, bright, and never bitter.

 

About Community Coffee Company
Now in its 97th year, Community Coffee Company houses the largest family-owned and operated retail coffee brand in America, and four generations of the Saurage family have operated the company since its inception. Founded in 1919, Community Coffee Company is an importer, roaster and distributor of the highest-quality premium coffees and teas, using only 100% Arabica coffee beans. For additional information, visit CommunityCoffee.com or find the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Graduation & Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Disclosure: I received free products for review purposes, pfizer but all opinions here are my own.

I meant to post these gift ideas in May, help but a crazy-busy life took over with birthdays and prom and graduation, so here it is. Better late than never.

Kennedy graduated from high school last month, and we had an ice cream sundae party that afternoon following the graduation ceremony. It was fun and low-key and delicious. ice cream sundae bar

Since Kennedy will certainly need ALL THE THINGS for her dorm room in August, I just got her an inexpensive but thoughtful gift for now — a book called Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mother Would Give If She Thought You Were Listening by Becky Blades. I adore this little book and wish I had a copy all to myself. It’s a good reminder for me — even though I graduated high school 30 years ago. Do Your Laundry bookIt’s full of small nuggets of advice like PLAN A TRIP TO PARIS. Do Your Laundry bookMy world expanded leaps and bounds by traveling early in life. My hope for Kennedy is that she doesn’t let fear or friends or anything else keep her from seeing all the world has to offer. And Paris is a must! I mean, hello, crepes.

Do Your Laundry bookAnd to help avoid the freshman 15, FIND A HEALTHY FOOD YOU LIKE. I have to admit, Kennedy has really expanded her palate since we met just over 3 years ago. She now knows how to cook a few items including scrambled eggs and homemade waffles, and she will eat most of the vegetables that I serve — even if there is a bit of grumbling at times.

The perfect gift for the new high school or college graduate, Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone is wise counsel for women of all ages, including:

Keep at least one stuffed animal.

Don’t trust the size on the clothing tag. Always try on before you buy.

A bad attitude makes your butt look big.

Life will not grade you, but it will test you.

With warmth, wit, and a hint of motherly sass, Blades blends short essays and her celebrated mixed-media art with advice on everything from love, life, money, friendship, etiquette, fashion—and yes, laundry. So order a copy for the graduating ladies in your life.

FATHER’S DAY

Next on the gift-giving calendar is Father’s Day. Instead of the same ole boring gifts for dad this Father’s Day, how about make him laugh and look cool instead with a fun t-shirt? Father's Day t-shirt Father's Day t-shirtThese t-shirts are by Load Failure are perfect to show off any dad bod.

Load Failure features: 

  • Shorter sleeves unlike those big boxy shirts
  • Super soft fabric
  • Body conscious fit
  • Affordably priced at $19.99
  • Women’s and children’s T-shirts coming soon

Founder Parth Sharma has a background in fashion and he also loves to see smiling dads all around the world. He knew it was time to turn funny shirts into fashion statements that anyone would be able to wear with pride. It’s one thing to be the life of the party, it’s another thing to look good while doing it. Parth takes pride in his brand that captures both humor and fashion.

Additional styles available at www.loadfailure.com.

You’ll see Anthony sporting his Mr. Awesome t-shirt very soon.

 

 

Zucchini Hummus Wraps: #HummusMadeEasy

This post is sponsored by Arkansas Women Bloggers to promote Bush’s Hummus Made Easy. I received free product to sample for this review and am being compensated for my time. However, this all photos and ideas on this blog are my own.Hummus Made Easy

Hello May! It’s a busy month ahead with Kennedy’s high school graduation, summer plans to make for the kiddos, and several birthdays (including my own!). And with the warmer weather, I am in need of some fresh menu ideas for my family. My go-to soups and slower cooker dishes are too heavy for the hot Arkansas summer, so this month I’m going to try out some all-new-to-me recipes. Hopefully you will like them too.

Hummus Made EasyMy first recipe to share is Zucchini Hummus Wraps. I made the wraps for the first time today, and it was so fresh and delicious. The basis of this recipe is Bush’s Classic Hummus Made Easy and a can of Bush’s Garbanzo Beans. To make the hummus, you just rinse and drain the garbanzo beans and combine with the packet of Hummus Made Easy. You can do this in a blender, a food processor, or using an immersion blender like I did today.Hummus Made Easy

Zucchini Hummus Wraps (makes 2)

Ingredients
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 slices cheese (your choice)
  • 2 large tortillas (flour or gluten-free, your choice)
  • 4 tablespoons Bush’s Hummus Made Easy
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Remove the ends from the zucchini and Hummus Made Easyslice length wise into strips. Toss sliced zucchini in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place sliced zucchini in hot skillet and let cook for 3 minutes, turn and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Set zucchini aside.Hummus Made Easy
  5. Place the tortillas one at a time in the hot skillet for approximately one minute, or just until a little crispy.
  6. Remove tortillas from skillet and assemble wraps: 2 tablespoons of hummus, one slice of cheese, zucchini slices, ½ cup baby spinach.
  7. Wrap tightly and enjoy immediately.

Recipe adapted from Maebells blog.

Hummus Made Easy

I even impressed myself with this recipe! I can’t wait to see what other recipes I can make using this yummy hummus.

You can find this Bush’s Hummus Made Easy at Walmart on the canned beans aisle. Hummus Made EasyBush’s Classic Hummus Made Easy (the one I used for this recipe) is a perfect blend of olive oil, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. There are two other flavors available: Bush’s Southwest Black Bean Hummus Made Easy and Bush’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Made Easy. I can’t wait to try them all!

Check out www.hummusmadeeasy.com for more information and up-to-date recipe inspirations. And stay tuned to my blog and social media this month for more recipes from me.

Come on, May! I’m ready for you.

What I have in common with Beyonce?

I was given free samples of this product for review purposes, story but all opinions are my own.

What do Beyoncé, Miranda Kerr, Elton John, The Pope, President Obama, Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Kelly Ripa, Janet Jackson and Ray Kurzweil all have in common? They’ve all gone on the record to say that they drink alkaline water! Many athletes and celebrities are attracted to the benefits of an alkaline diet as balanced body pH supposedly results in greater energy, more restful sleep, improved digestion and fewer colds according to some medical authorities.

alkaline_water-charter-kangen-water4

Alkaline88, www.alkaline88.com, favored by Brande Roderick and Tim Tebow, achieves its 8.8 pH level through a state-of-the-art, completely chemical-free scientific process. They sent me several bottles of their water to try out for myself. Alkaline88 is really clean tasting, even though it contains Himalayan pinksalt which has 88 minerals and trace elements including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron.

IMG_5086

But is alkaline water better for us? The jury on that one is still out. However, if it’s something you want to try out, you can buy Alkaline88 on Amazon. It gets great reviews on there (4 out of 5 stars). Athletes really seem to like it. It’s too early to tell whether I see any improvements or not, but it does taste really good.

Alkaline88 comes in several sizes: 3 liter, 1 gallon, 700ml and 1 liter bottles. It can be found nationally at stores like Albertson’s, Safeway, 7-Eleven, Fry’s and Whole Foods Markets.

Big Surprise: I’m a White Girl

Header photo by Niguel Valley Photography.

23 Pairs of Chromosomes. One Unique You. Get your DNA story at 23andMe.com.

Maya got her 23andMe results back in late January, but there was a delay in getting my results back for some reason. It finally arrived today, and guess what? I’m about as white as they come. I was hoping for a little diversity or some interesting surprise, but it’s not to be. I’m 99.6% European.

My ancestry:
  • British & Irish 68.1%
  • Broadly Northwestern European 18.7%
  • French & German 6.9%
  • Scandinavian 4.1%
  • Broadly European 1.0%
  • Broadly Southern European 0.8%
  • Broadly South Asian 0.2%
  • Broadly Sub-Saharan African 0.1%
  • Broadly East Asian & Native American < 0.1%
Compare that to Maya’s diverse ancestry:
  • West African 60.4%
  • Southern European 11.1% (mostly Spain/Portugal)
  • Northwestern European 9.9%
  • Broadly European 4.0%
  • Native American 3.1%
  • Broadly Sub-Saharan African 3.1%
  • Central & South African 2.6%
  • Chinese 1.8%
  • Ashkenazi Jew 1.0%

So I guess the rumors of Native American blood in my family are false.

Learn more about your ancestry and family history through your DNA. Get your genetic reports now at 23andMe.com.

Of the 36 Carrier Status Reports, I didn’t have any variants that could be passed to my biological children (not that I have any, but still good to know). On the wellness reports, I found out that I am likely to consume more caffeine (duh!), likely not to flush when I drink alcohol, likely not lactose intolerant, and that I’m likely a sprinter/power muscle type.

I don’t have any close DNA relatives that are on 23andme, but I do have lots of 3rd cousins and beyond that were discovered.

This was a fun and interesting experience. Not sure I gleaned as much interesting info as Maya did with her report, but I’m still glad I did it.

Lil Beanies Tasting Party

FTC disclosure: This post is sponsored by McDonald’s of Central Arkansas. I am one of their brand ambassadors, ed but all opinions are my own.

The other night, Anthony was asked to play piano at an event so the kids and I were on our own for dinner. I had worked all day and still needed to go to the grocery store, so I decided to treat the girls to dinner out. When I mentioned the idea of “breakfast for dinner”, in unison the three oldest proclaimed in sounds of delight and agreement, so we loaded up the car and drove a few blocks away to our neighborhood McDonald’s. To be honest here, I had been fantasizing about the new McDonald’s All Day Breakfast menu for a few days. Their All Day Breakfast TV commercial is pure food porn. OMG — give me all the pancakes and butter and syrup now!

Ordering with my crew can be kind of a hot mess, so I sent Kennedy (the oldest) to find a table and get a high chair for Quinn (the youngest) while Madison, Maya and I placed the order and filled our drink cups with ice and water. (We are a water-drinking family.) All Day Breakfast

I ordered just about one of everything, plus an extra order of pancakes because sharing those can be hard. Here is what we ordered:

  • Two orders of hotcakes (McDonald’s terminology for pancakes)
  • One bacon, egg & cheese biscuit
  • One fruit ‘n yogurt parfait
  • One sausage burrito
  • One fruit & maple oatmeal
  • One hash browns
  • One chocolate milk (because Maya rebels against the water drinking thing)

I figured that would get us started at least.All Day Breakfast

One interesting factoid: McDonald’s has a different All Day Breakfast menu depending on where you live in the U.S. The “deep South” has the biscuit menu and everywhere else has the McMuffin menu.All Day Breakfast map

ALSO… starting March 28th McGriddles will be added to the All Day Breakfast menu at McDonald’s!!!

It wasn’t soon after we sat down that my four usually-loud-talking girls were quiet and stuffing their faces with the McDonald’s breakfast goodness that laid before them. I personally had the sausage burrito (my favorite of their breakfast items) and stole a few bites of Maya’s pancakes until her protests started attracting stares from nearby diners.All Day Breakfast Everyone was happy with their “breakfast for dinner” selection. Kennedy and Maya each had the pancakes. Madison had the bacon, egg & cheese biscuit.All Day Breakfast Baby Quinn had the hash browns and some of her sister’s pancakes too. All Day BreakfastWe ended up taking the yogurt parfait and oatmeal home and someone ate them the next morning.All Day Breakfast

Our neighborhood McDonald’s has recently closed for renovations. I can’t wait to see what they do with the place! Hopefully they will put in a big, fun playground for the kiddos. It opens back up in June.

What is your favorite breakfast item at McDonald’s?All Day Breakfast

 

I was hired by The Women Bloggers to participate in this campaign led by Kendal King Group on behalf of Nestle, salve but all opinions are my own.

Quinn just turned 18 months old. This is a really fun age, cheapest
and she continues to amaze me. She has a few words in her vocabulary like “baby” and “thank you.” She is learning to feed herself with a spoon. She can follow simple instructions. And she is always up for a dance party. However she also has very specific tastes in foods and is steadfast in her resolve NOT to eat certain things. I didn’t have this problem with Maya. Maya was always an adventuresome eater and still will choose cherry tomatoes over candy. But my little Quinn is a different story.Lil BeaniesI was so happy when I was introduced to the new Gerber Lil’ Beanies baked snacks. Not only does Quinn LOVE them, they are good for her too. They are made with navy beans and rice flour. Each serving has 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber, plus they don’t contain any yucky GMOs, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. They are ideal of toddlers and self-feeders. Bonus is that they are less messy than many snack options.Lil Beanies

This morning, Quinn and I hosted a Lil’ Beanies tasting party to spread the word with our friends about this new toddler snack. As you can see from the photos, the Lil’ Beanies were a big hit with all the kiddos.Lil BeaniesLil Beanies

Lil’ Beanies hit store shelves at Walmart starting THIS WEEK. They have two flavors: white cheddar & broccoli and original/sea salt, and sell for about $1.86 per canister. You can follow along with the product launch on social media using the hashtags #GerberLilBeanies and #GrowingUpGerber.

IMG_6474All these taste testers enthusiastically approve!