Back to School with the Magic of Chia + Giveaway

There’s still some time before school starts for us, and I haven’t done much to prepare yet.  Food is always my first priority though, as I’m a firm believer that a healthy diet is a lot more important than a new shirt or the ridiculously specific school supplies we’re expected to get.  Food is more fun anyway!

While I still don’t have the soft pencil case my son needs (a hard case would apparently mean the end of the world), I am ready for the things that really count:  breakfast, lunch snacks, and after-school snacks.  Every parent knows how hectic school mornings are, but having a plan ahead of time can make things go more smoothly.  Part of my plan is to have some healthy food options that don’t require much (or any) time to prep, so that even on those extra crazy days, the kids don’t end up with junk food.

Mamma ChiaWe’ve mentioned Mamma Chia before, and we actually handed them out for Halloween last year.  We’re all big fans of their Chia Squeeze Pouches and Vitality Beverages because they have some great flavors, and the squishy, jello-like texture is so much fun.  They’re super convenient, so we have them for snacks year round, and the fruity deliciousness makes for a refreshing and satisfying snack.

The Magic of Chia

Sure, it tastes good, but what’s the big deal about Mamma Chia?  Let me tell you.  Chia seeds are pretty cool.  Those tiny, nutty, crunchy guys are chock-full of goodness, like protein, fiber, and lots of vitamins and minerals.  They also happen to be very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and as someone who doesn’t eat fish, I know how hard that is to come by.  A small serving packs a big punch, which makes chia one of my favorite ways to give our diets a bit of a nutritional boost.

Mamma Chia Squeeze Pouches for a Healthy On-the-Go Snack

We’ve stocked up on Mamma Chia Squeeze Pouches, and they’re going to come in handy when I need a no-prep lunch snack or an on-the-go, after-school treat, but this year, Mamma Chia is going to make breakfast time easier too. Brand new to my family, and a welcome addition, is the Mamma Chia Vitality Granola.

Mamma Chia Wild Blueberry Granola

I can already tell that this one is going to be a lifesaver on mornings when I just don’t have time to cook.  (I’ll admit, that’s a lot of mornings during the school year.)  I don’t know why I haven’t considered chia for breakfast before, but what better way to start the day than with a healthy serving of protein, whole grains, and omega-3s?  My daughter’s favorite is the Wild Blueberry, and it’s also available in Vanilla Almond, Cinnamon Pecan, and Honey and Oats.

Whichever Mamma Chia product you go with, you can rest assured that you’re getting only the best ingredients.  On top of the amazing nutritional profile of the chia seed, all of the Mamma Chia products are organic, and like their packaging says, organic is non-gmo!  (They’re also vegan and gluten-free, for those of you who were wondering.)

Mamma Chia products can be purchased online at MammaChia.com or use their store locator to find a store near you.

Thanks to the generous people at Mamma Chia, you guys have a chance to win a Mamma Chia Prize Pack!  Enter via the Giveaway Tools form below.  Giveaway is open to US residents who are 18 and older.  Ends 9/15/17.  Good luck!

Mamma Chia Giveaway [Read more…]


Tips for Getting the Best Deal When You’re Car Shopping

This is a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own.

I recently bought a new car, and while it’s one of the most exciting purchases to make, it’s also one of the most stressful. There are just so many things to consider. Are you making the best car choice? Are you paying a fair price? Are you working with the right dealer?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when faced with a huge purchase and endless questions, but there are a few things you can do to make the process much easier.

Research

This is my first tip to anyone who is planning to start shopping for a car. Whether you’re in the market for a brand new model or looking for something with a few miles under its belt, the best thing you can do is sit down at the computer and do some research.

cars-com-pic

Cars.com is a website I encourage everyone to look at, because they have everything you need to make an informed decision. Many people aren’t aware, but they feature a Videos & Reviews section that offers great information on just about any car you can think of. They provide news, reviews, videos, information about awards, allow you to do multi-car comparisons (I love this), and show you helpful tips for first time buyers. It really is a great resource!

Having this kind of comprehensive information is crucial when you begin shopping. Not only will it help you choose the best car for your needs, but will also ensure that you get a fair price. Being able to show a car dealer that you’re educated and informed will help you in the end.

Car Shopping Tips

Shop Around

I also highly encourage everyone to shop around. Yes, car manufacturers have suggested sticker prices, but what you pay in the end will vary by dealer; some businesses will be more inclined to move a car for one reason or another. Maybe they have too much in their inventory, maybe there’s a promotion, maybe there’s some other incentive they’ll never discuss with you – but one thing is for sure: there are plenty of dealers out there, and ultimately one of them will offer you a better deal than the others.

One easy way to shop around for the best price is to check out Cars.com’s search feature. There are a number of ways to search all cars for sale: you can narrow by price, make, model, new or used, distance from you, and more. Knowing exactly who has the car you want will give you some leverage as you start shopping.

Car Shopping Tips

Take Your Time

A last word of advice: take your time. Once you make the decision to buy a car, it’s easy to let excitement get in the way and rush to a decision you might regret. By taking your time, doing your research, and shopping around, you can make sure that you go into the process totally armed and ready to get the best bang for your buck. Some extra hours of thinking and researching can save you a huge amount of money, so make sure to slow down and be methodical.

Have you recently purchased a new car? Let us know some tips that helped you make your purchase!


It’s Never Been Easier to Get Kids to Eat their Veggies

I received this product for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions.  Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

My kids are amazing eaters.  Really.  They eat fruits and nuts as snacks, and they always finish their vegetables at mealtimes.  I started early and put a lot of energy into making this happen, and I think the results speak for themselves.

If we stayed home all the time, we’d be set.  As relaxing and welcoming as that sounds, it’s never going to happen.  We always seem to have some place to go, and that’s when we get into trouble.  There isn’t always time to prepare fresh fruit to go or measure out nuts, and restaurant vegetables are often less than appetizing–if they’re offered to kids at all.  Do we just skip the healthy stuff when that happens?  No way.

Veggie Gos Fruit and Veggie Snacks

For those moments, I’ve come to depend on prepared snacks that help fill in nutritional gaps.  The hard part is finding something with good ingredients that still appeals to the kids’ taste buds, but I’ve been able to find a few options that work really well.  The latest addition to our grab-n-go snack shelf are Veggie Gos, and they’re just the kind of thing I’m looking for.

Veggie Gos were created by Lisa and John McHugh, two people who believe in real food.  It’s what they eat, it’s what they grow, and they want to help other people find real food options too.  They’ve lived and worked on organic farms throughout Europe and turned their experience and passion into a line of good-for-you snacks.

Veggie Gos are organic, gluten-free, and don’t have any added sugar.  All the yummy flavor comes from the natural sweetness of the real foods used to make them. The best part is that each Veggie Gos snack provides one whole serving of fruits and vegetables.  They’re the only brand that can say that!  This is definitely a treat you can feel good about serving your little ones, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eat them myself.

Veggie Gos Strips and Bites

They come in strips and bites, and both are convenient snacking options that you can keep in your purse or throw in a lunch bag.  I have a little cooler that we take with us on outings, and I like to stash a few in there just in case.

Veggie Gos Snacks are Perfect for Back to School Lunches or When You're On the Go

With simple, healthy ingredients, these are a no brainer, but Lisa and John really went above and beyond when they came up with their flavors.  The combinations are as interesting as they are delicious, and my kids love every single one.

Strips:

  • Berry, Apple, and Spinach
  • Sweet Potato, Apple, and Spices
  • Beet, Apple, and Cinnamon
  • Carrot, Apple, and Ginger
  • Tropical Fruit and Kale

Bites:

  • Strawberry, Chia, and Beets
  • Orange, Cocoa Nibs, and Carrots
  • Berry, Rice Crisps, and Greens

Veggie Gos Organic Snacks

My son’s favorite is the Carrot, Apple, and Ginger Strip, while my daughter goes nuts for the Berry, Rice Crisps, and Greens Bites, but they will both devour any and all of these snacks.  They ask for Veggie Gos by name, and I’m happy to oblige.  By keeping Veggie Gos on hand, I can be sure they get their fruits and veggies even when we’re on-the-go.

Veggie-Gos Fruit & Veggie Snacks are available at most Whole Foods Markets, Sprouts Farmers Markets, Amazon, and VeggieGos.com.  Try their store locator to find a store close to you.

 


Organic, Age-Defying Sunscreen + Save 20% with Our Coupon Code!

I received this product for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Summer is winding down, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack away the sunscreen. We have a lot of sunny days ahead of us yet, and September happens to be my favorite month to be outdoors. It’s the perfect time for hiking and biking, and that is exactly how I intend to fill my weekends.

We don’t want all of that outdoor fun to result in skin damage, however, so we cover up as best we can and rely on sunscreen to pick up the slack.  As a family of four, we go through a lot of sunscreen in all of its forms: lotions, sprays, sticks, etc.  One thing they all have in common is the quality of their ingredients and a good EWG rating.  My latest find is the Sport SPF 50 Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray.

COOLA Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray

I’ve mentioned before that the EWG doesn’t recommended sprays because they can be accidentally inhaled and require some effort to get even coverage.  Still, you can’t deny their convenience, and I know some people who won’t bother with anything else.  Yes, even I use them.  The highest rating the EWG gives to any sunscreen spray is a 3, and the COOLA Sunscreen Sprays (free of parabens, PABA, and phthalates) also hold that honor.

My favorite thing about COOLA Sunscreen Spray is that it contains more than 70% certified organic ingredients.  I choose organic for our food, and I want that for my skincare too.  And just like the Farm to Table food movement, COOLA sources ingredients locally to support the community and reduce their impact on the environment.  They call it Farm to Face.  So cute.

There are more reasons to love their ingredients too.  COOLA Sunscreen Spray is packed full of antioxidants to keep your skin nourished and hydrated.  Strawberry Fruit Extract is rich in Vitamin C to protect your skin from environmental damage.  Aloe Vera Extract has anti-inflammatory and cell-renewing properties and hydrates and heals the skin.  Algae Extract encourages skin firmness and tone.  Cucumber Extract also has anti-inflammatory properties and soothes the skin.

You get all of that with broad spectrum SPF 50 sun protection that is water resistant for 80 minutes.  It feels very light on the skin once it’s applied, and I feel like the continuous spray gives us pretty even coverage without having to spread it on with our hands.  COOLA is just what we need for our hiking and biking trips, and it’s also perfect for our remaining visits to the spray parks.

COOLA Sunscreen Spray

My daughter has a hard time spraying it herself, so I have to help her apply it, but she absolutely loves the Guava Mango scent!  It really does smell amazing, and I love that it’s all natural.  One whiff and you’ll be hooked.

COOLA Suncare

COOLA offers many other eco-conscious sun protection products for the whole family that are just as fabulous as the spray.  From lips to baby, COOLA is there to care for your family’s skin with luxurious, natural options that will let you enjoy your time in the sun.  My favorite is the SPF 30 Makeup Setting Spray!

COOLA Makeup Setting Spray

COOLA products can be purchased at Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, and CoolaSuncare.com. Try their locator to find a store near you.
From now through September 30, 2017, you can save 20% off your purchase at CoolaSuncare.com with coupon code Comeau20!

 


Should You See Halle Berry’s Movie Kidnap?

Earlier this month, my husband and I enjoyed a rare, kid-free date night.  We had a heavenly dinner at Massoni (you must try their pizza if you’re in the area), and for the first time in a long while, we saw a non-animated movie in a theater.  That movie was Kidnap–you know, the one with Halle Berry.  I hadn’t originally planned to post about Kidnap, but I’ve been noticing that a lot of reviewers have less than wonderful things to say about it, and I thought I’d add my opinion to the pool.

Kidnap Movie Poster

Let me start by conceding that this movie is no Gone with the Wind.  Is it a brilliantly-written screen play?  Not exactly.  Does it have a plot hole or two?  Yep.  It’s not trying to be a classic like GWTW, and to be honest, I don’t need it to be.  Sometimes, I just want something that will engage me and take me away from my own responsibilities for a few minutes, and Kidnap fits the bill.

Kidnap Movie [Read more…]