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…]


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!

 


Go Bananas with Fingerlings Baby Monkeys from WowWee! + Giveaway

Thank you to WowWee for sending us some adorable Fingerlings so we could celebrate #FingerlingsFriday and share it with our readers!

Happy Fingerlings Friday!

No; I don’t mean the potatoes.  I’m talking baby monkeys, folks.  Fingerlings are a brand new toy from WowWee, makers of exceptional tech toys like Robosapien and MiPosaur, and they’re about the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

Fingerlings Baby Monkeys

The line consists of six adorable, interactive pet robots:  Bella, Mia, Sophie, Finn, Boris, and Zoe.  They grip onto your fingers (among other things) and respond to sound, motion, and touch.

Each Fingerling has his/her own personality that comes to life through more than 50 sounds and animations.  They are so unbelievably adorable!  Pet them.  Swing them.  Clap for them.  Blow them kisses.  You’ll be rewarded with sweet and silly monkey sounds and movements.  If you’re lucky, you just might get some baby monkey kisses too.  Or maybe a burp.  These little guys are just full of surprises.

Fingerlings Hanging Upside Down

We especially like to hang them upside down and watch how excited they get.

Fingerlings are small enough to take anywhere, and you can hook them onto almost anything.  Attach them to your backpack, laptop, markers, or if you’re my son, attach them to your belt and take them for a walk with you.

WowWee Fingerlings

Once you let one of these sweet baby monkeys cling to you,  you’re not going to want them to let go.  They’re irresistible.

When you have a Fingerling, you have a fun friend at your fingertips.  These are guaranteed to be a hit with the kids and a hot toy for the holidays.  Don’t wait until then to grab one though.  For every Fingerling Baby Monkey sold during the first week of sales (Aug. 11-18), WowWee will donate $1 to WildAid, a nonprofit wildlife conservation group focused on reducing the demand for wildlife products.

Fingerlings are available in the US starting now!  You can purchase them for just $14.99 each at major retailers like Toys”R”Us, Target.com, and Amazon.com.  It’s a good thing the price is so reasonable.  Play with one Fingerling, and you’re going to want to collect them all.

How would you like to WIN a Fingerlings Baby Monkey?!  Enter via the Giveaway Tools Form below.  Open to US residents who are 18 and older. Ends 8/28/17 at 121:59 PM ET.  Good luck!

Fingerlings Giveaway [Read more…]


Beat the Heat of the Kitchen with Bonefish Grill Summer Specials

Thank you to Bonefish Grill for sponsoring our visit so we could share our experience with our readers.

We’re knee deep in summer, and I have to admit, when it gets hot like this, I literally get out of the kitchen.  Who wants to cook when it’s 90 degrees outside, right?  Also, my birthday recently passed; between that and the heat, it seemed like the perfect time to head over to Bonefish Grill to try out their Summer Duos menu.

Bonefish Grill Summer Duos Menu

They say two is better than one, and when you take a look at Bonefish’s summer menu, it’s hard to argue:

  • Cod Piccata & Lobster Stuffed Shrimp – $19.90
  • Wood Grilled Center-Cut 8 oz. Sirloin & Cold Water Lobster Tail – $19.90
  • Cod Piccata & Cold Water Lobster Tail – $24.90
  • Filet Mignon & Cold Water Lobster Tail – $25.90

If you’re a lobster lover, this is clearly the menu for you, plus you get a second option along with two sides.  I’m partial to their tender and delectable filet mignon, so that one was a no brainer for me.

There are other mouth-watering specials as well, like the Caribbean Style Dayboat Scallops, which are sushi-grade caramelized scallops served with fresh pineapple salsa and vanilla bean rum butter, accompanied by green beans and jasmine rice.

Bonefish Grill Dayboat Scallops

Let’s talk about these scallops.  These were my husband’s pick, and he’s still gushing over how fantastic they were.  To quote him, “They are the best scallops I’ve ever had in my life, and I’m from New England.”  For nearly 17 years now, I’ve been watching him order scallops whenever they’re on a menu, and I’ve never seen him react like that before.  Needless to say, he was impressed and highly recommends them.

Since it was my birthday, I decided to splurge and try one of their fancy cocktails.  Their Sparkling Blue Hawaiian is a delicious as it is pretty. [Read more…]