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    Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics: Vegan and Vegetarian Supplements Review + Coupon Code

    March 21st, 2017

    Disclosure. I received product through Moms Meet Ambassador program to review and test items. I am by no means a health professional and am not telling you to take this. This is simply my review of my experience. Please read about product on your own and receive advice from a medical professional if need be.

    I am always on the lookout for a new probiotic to take in order to keep my gut health in check. SO far, I have not been consistent with any brand but I was glad to test another supplement, like Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics,  to see how it affected my overall health. See, this comes in perfect timing since I have been incorporating a more clean eating lifestyle. I knew I would get better results from taking these supplements at this time.

    supplements

    Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics

    One of the things I learned about Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics is that it is known as the world’s most premium probiotic, as claimed on the their site. Why do we need probiotics do you ask? It helps with digestive support in addition to strengthening the immune system. Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are considered to be a superior probiotic aiding in nutrient absorption. Unlike most other probiotic products, Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are not cultured or grown in a laboratory. Ingredients such as mountain spring water, fruits, and vegetables are fermented for three years with 12 distinctive probiotic strains.

    Prebiotics is then encapsulated along with the probiotics that have grown together over the three-year period which creates an end to the fermentation process called postbiotics. This allows the supplements to deliver viable probiotics that encourage your body’s innate ability to grow its own friendly bacteria thus improving digestion and boosting the immune system.

    Supplements I received

    Usually when I sign up for programs through Moms Meet, I am not quite sure what the brand will send. Sometimes it is detailed and other times there are additional surprises in the package. In this instance I received the following:

    • Dr. Ohhira’s Essential Living Oils: This is a great alternative for those who are VEGAN. It is a vegan alternative to fish oil that contains eight natural plant and seed oils that are cold-pressed, extracted, and prepared to provide plant-based essential healthy fats. Contains the following oils: Rice bran oil, Borage seed oil, Sunflower seed oil, Avocado oil, Perilla seed oil, Flax seed oil, Japanese tea seed oil, Olive oil, The oils are cold-pressed and stable at room temperature.
    • Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis PLUS fuses antioxidants with immune-supporting components that support immune health, digestive function, and antioxidant support. Supplements contain Brazilian green propolis, flax oil Omega-3, prebiotic and probiotic support, and antioxidants vitamin E and astaxanthin. This vegetarian certified supplement supports joint comfort, immune support, healthy nervous system function, cardiovascular wellness, and overall digestive health.

    • Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic Kampuku Beauty Bar nourishes skin by maintaining appropriate surface dermal pH and the appearance and integrity of collagen fibers. The beauty bar promotes healthy skin cell rejuvenation, hydrates and replenishes the skin, and supports the skin’s healthy barrier function. With 14 natural plant extracts, Kampuku provides chemical-free moisturizing, probiotic support, and natural deodorant benefits. This gentle but effective beauty bar is suitable for daily use on all skin types, especially very sensitive skin.

    What I thought

    I took these supplements for more than 3 weeks and I truly felt energized. Between the essential oils and the Propolis Plus, I started my morning with each of these and I felt like I was hormonal balanced. I truly know when I am not feeling so balanced with lack of sleep, inappropriate eating and stress, but I really tried to keep everything balanced by eating well, sleeping more and keeping calm. I like having the option of a supplement that really keeps me in check.

    As far as the beauty bar goes, I believe I would need a little more time to see skin cell rejuvenation. I love the fact that it provides chemical-free moisturizing and that my skin did not feel so dry after washing. I look forward continuing to use it the next several weeks when it is gone.

    Want to try?

    These products are definitely high on the price point but for the quality of product I would say you are getting a deal. Here is what you can get through Moms Meet:

    20% off the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of DrOhhira‘s Probiotics 

    • Original Formula (30ct) SRP $35.95, after discount: $29.00, a savings of $6.95
    • Original Formula (60ct) SRP $59.95, after discount: $47.96, a savings of $11.99
    • Receive a FREE Kampuku Beauty Bar – ($12.05 Value).
    • FREE (First Class Mail) Shipping.
    • Use Promo Code at checkout: momj2017

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    Bottle Room Lamb and Beer Communal Dinner {Review}

    March 14th, 2017

    Bottle Room is located in Downingtown, PA adjacent to their other business called Station Taproom. New to the scene is their communal dinner that brings together people alongside great food. Bottle Room offers an incredible array of local and international beer but not only that they are a chic beer bar where you can meet your friends or even MOM friends for a pint and a snack of unique small plates and appetizers. This place will not disappoint! Even though I was treated to a delicious meal, this does not sway my opinion or review.

    communal dinner

    Bottle Room – Cozy Beer Bar for locals

    After almost a whole week running a household solo while my husband was on a work trip, I finally had a chance to come up for air. While I fell guilty leaving my husband with the kids after barely a day at home, I decided it was definitely required and needed for me to take a break. Let me just take a moment to say that I am spoiled by my husband because he really does know how to take care of the girls so that mommy can go out for some fun.

    communal dinner

    I learned earlier in the week that the Bottle Room in Downingtown, PA was holding their first ticketed dinner centered around locally farmed and raised lamb and beer. Who wouldn’t want to come?? Compared to their other business, Station Taproom, Bottle Room seats fewer people and so the event was only open to 16 people.

    communal dinner

    When I arrived, There were three sections for seating and my name place was secured with three other guests. If you have never experienced communal eating, you must at one point do it because it is the most rewarding time.

    communal Dinner

    1st Course – Lamb Tartare

    Each group had a cozy area with printed menus used as place setting cards. I had the pleasure of sitting by Jes, a funny and entertaining young woman who brought her father and grandmother to enjoy the fabulous dinner. I loved the fact that she knew her beer since she works for a beer distributor. It worked well for me because I was able to ask her questions throughout the dinner.

    The excitement was felt everywhere with anticipation since every course was to highlight lamb, meat that I hardly eat. Chef Tim came to each of our tables and described each dish before we started, which was such a highlight of the evening. There is nothing more personal than the creator of your dishes coming out to share his passion.

    Communal Dinner

    Lamb tartare was our first course which consisted of lamb loin that were cut into small cubes that had been mixed with capers, mint, and shallot. Each dish was served with a single egg yolk with a side of crostini. The finishing touches ended with a sprinkle of sea salt that created a savory explosion with each bite. I would not normally eat anything raw, but the dish intrigued me so much that I ended up enjoying each and every bite.

    This dish was paired with Tripel Karmeliet, a golden Belgium beer with an alcohol by volume of 8.4%. Truth be told, I knew nothing of this beer but I thought it was an amazing pairing because I could taste a bit of lemon after each bite of the lamb tartare. Thanks to Wiki, I read the beer profile and definitely could taste the vanilla and banana flavors,  but it was not off-putting. Before I left for the evening, I made sure I bought a bottle to go because it was so tasty.

    communal dinner

    2nd Course – Spinach Salad

    Before you read past this course, the title should have included Lamb Bacon. Our second course consisted of baby spinach with a generous mixing of pecans, sliced apples, thinly sliced radish, blue cheese and drizzled with a bourbon vinaigrette. Did I forget to mention LAMB BACON? Our table agreed that the bacon was nicely cured with hints of cinnamon. I learned from Chef Tim after the meal that the lamb bacon takes less time to cure than regular bacon. All I wanted to know was when I could join the chef backstage to witness his delicious creations.

    Communal Dinner

    The salad was paired with a Reissdorf Kolsch, a Pilsener beer that is bright yellow and light in flavor. While I think it paired well with the salad, it was not one of my favorite beers. I consider myself an IPA lover but thanks the evening I was able to discover other beers that won over my palate.

    Communal Dinner

     3rd Course – Stout Braised Lamb Shank

    By the third course, we were all certainly relaxed, thanks the lovely environment and company. Before we knew it, the room was filled with incredible aroma of braised meat. You could hear each guest gasp as each plate was served. A hot Stout-Braised Lamb Shank was served with served with a root vegetable puree and au jus. The aroma was intoxicating, but even more so after the first bite. I have never tasted such tender meat that literally fell off the bone. Chef Tim had seared the meat the day before and then started braising the lamb shank 4 hours before the event.

    Not only do I think this course was the highlight of the evening, but the 2012 Chimay Grand Reserve was also a perfect pairing. The Belgium ale is dark brown with a 9% alcohol by volume with rich flavors that consisted of spices and fruits with a hint of caramel. It definitely complex in flavor but it was a most exceptional pairing with the lamb shank.

    communal dinner

    4th course – Ice Cream Cake

    You might be wondering how much more we could enjoy after the feast we had already experienced but I want to make sure you know that the evening was spaced so perfectly. The chef did inform us that we would be taking a pause before dessert so that we could take a break to move around the bar or even chat with other guests.

    communal dinner

    Before dessert arrived we received our next beer that was paired with it. I love the fact that we had a local beer since there are many breweries in Philly and in its surrounding suburbs. Levante Brewing is actually 20 minutes from where I live but one of the breweries that I have not had a chance to experience. Their Bullitt Train Imperial Vanilla Stout was creamy and robust with definite vanilla flavors. My husband is the stout lover at home but after having this one, I was convinced that I should have it for dessert more often.

    communal dinner

    The five-layered ice cream cake consisted of alternating layers of mint chocolate chip ice cream, brownie crust, and vanilla cream frosting. I loved Chef Tim’s description and reasoning for using fresh peppermint leaves instead of peppermint extract because once I took a bite of the cake I knew why. The fresh flavors of mint in the cake heightened with each bite. The experience was subtle and elegant and a perfect pairing with the brownie crust. Dessert was such an exquisite finish to the evening and one that I wanted to enjoy even longer into the evening.

    Communal Dinner

    If you ever get a chance to enjoy a communal dinner, please do it. It is the best experience and reminds me of my trip to Germany before I had kids. We would sit in restaurants where the tables were so close together that all guests would be chatting soon. Not only is it fun to have amazing fresh food but it is also a plus when you have a group of people to share the experience. I loved my time with Jes, Neil and her grandmother. I feel like I have new friends and even ones that love enjoying  great food and drinks.

    If you are local, check out Bottle Room in Downingtown, PA on Instagram and Facebook. Subscribe to their feed so that you can find out when their next ticketed dinner will occur. You do not want to miss it! I certainly cannot wait!

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    Clean Eating with Weight Watchers

    March 8th, 2017

    This is not a sponsored post with Weight Watchers, but simply a post to check in with my readers. My recent journey is simply to help others feel more motivated to jumpstart their health. There are affiliate links within the post.

    Update

    Remember me? I hope you have not forgotten about me. I had to take a step back to really focus on the things that have gone on the back burner. I hope you understand that. While I started this blog as a hobby, the last 2 years it has been more of a part-time job. It has been great but since having three kids, keeping up with everything has been a little more than I expected.

    The Mother load

    This term definitely takes on a new meaning because I feel like I have been taking on so much since I started having kids in 2011. Every mother out there must know and understand that your own life as a mother completely changes and it is not your own anymore. After having my third daughter in 2015, I started feeling like super woman, juggling more that any person could or should really do.

    Everything came to a halt the end of December. Have you ever come to the end of yourself and realized that if you did not make huge changes in your life that everything would become worse? I know I might sound dramatic to some, but I know I had been putting myself last and not eating well. I prayed and asked God what I should do to make these changes so that my life could get back into track.

    weight watchers

    Weight Watchers

    I know I am not the only mother who has sought to get healthy after having kids. It is crazy how many things are out there especially when involved in social media that bombard women what and how our health can get back on track. The problem is that every woman’s situation is different and cannot fit into any certain mold other than one that I have proven to be true.

    After I had my first daughter in 2011, I signed up for Weight Watchers for the FIRST time ever. I decided to sign up for meetings because I was away from home and not even close to family to help or to have as accountability. Within 6 months my husband and I were 30 pounds lighter. It was incredible! Little did I know that after getting to my first goal, that I was pregnant again. I said to myself that I would be able to keep track but my stress levels and my appetite changed and my focus was derailed.

    The Lifestyle for Every Mom

    In between my second and third daughter I just did not care about anything other than keeping life afloat and under control as much as I could. What finally came down was realizing how much I wanted it. Did I really want to bring my eating habits under control? As a food blogger and foodie at heart, there is such thing as self-control, but somehow I had lost it. Apathy and self-loathing set in.

    I do not care what people say, but Weight Watchers works. For me, it works even more so when I go to meetings and hear the personal stories of achievement and weight loss. It works in a way that I know I will be going in and weighing in only ONCE a week and see the progress after tracking what I had eaten the week prior to my weigh-in. So far as of January 1st, this mom of three has lost 16 pounds!

    Clean Eating is the Way

    One thing I definitely have been doing differently than ever is eating as clean as possible. My husband, as always, is as supportive because he also wants to be fit. It is so helpful to have your spouse on board because it makes the cooking so much easier. He cannot complain especially since he is losing weight too!

    Going back to eating clean is important for me to stress to you guys. Last time I did Weight Watchers, I tried cutting corners and eating fat-free and eating diet foods even though I knew that was not the way. The only way is to eat as real and clean as possible which I believe Weight Watchers is all about. We’ve been loving and enjoying our fruits and veggies coupled with lots of protein with complex carbohydrates on occasional meals.

    All the Work Counts

    Meal prepping is essential especially as a mother of three toddler girls under the age of 6. It is a lot of work but it has made me FEEL AMAZING, empowered, and energetic. Taking my health under control has been possible only through prayer from God because without his strength I would not have felt inspired to get my health back. I even have more energy to work out. Using my Weight Watchers app and calculator has helped calculate my recipes but there are digital smart point counters that work real well.

    I have been sharing all my meals on my Instagram as a source of inspiration. I will be back to posting recipes especially for those interested in the program. It is always great to find a fellow accountability partner that wants to regain control of their health. I am thankful there are tracking programs like Weight Watchers that really DO work and at a pace that is healthy for the body without shocking it.

    Do you know of anyone on Weight Watchers? What is the hardest thing about regaining control?

     

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    Asian Chicken Cabbage Salad + Bento Box

    January 19th, 2017

    This is a sponsored post with Produce for Kids for their #PowerYourLunchbox campaign. Choosing a Bento box for your lunches can be fun for both kids AND adults. This Asian Chicken Cabbage Salad is a healthy and quick recipe to feed your family.

    January Updates

    I have been quite spoiled the last month because I have had my husband at home! Don’t be jealous. I mean, having an extra hand to help with three toddlers truly makes a difference but in general, I love having my husband at home. We were able to put away our Christmas decorations and do a little clean up for the new year. Even with planned organization, it has been challenging to stay healthy.

    Is anyone battling with their kids staying healthy this winter? There is only so much cleaning and disinfecting one can do to stay sane, but feeding your family healthy meals is another. Just because the weather is dreary and health might be on hiatus, it is possible to continue cooking and preparing healthy meals for your families.

    Produce for Kids – Power Your Lunchbox

    I have partnered up with Produce for Kids again this year to stay geared up in their Power Your Lunchbox Pledge As a reminder, the pledge is a back-to-school time initiative that raises funds for Feeding America kids’ programs. From Jan. 4 to Feb. 15, 2017, Produce for Kids is encouraging families nationwide to kick off the new year right by pledging to pack a healthier lunchbox with the Return to School Power Your Lunchbox Pledge campaign. All parents need to do is take the online pledge at PowerYourLunchbox.com to make a $1 donation to Feeding America® children’s programs.

    How easy is that? We all like challenges but what the ones that give back to those in need? Just to give you an idea, In 2016, Produce for Kids had 21,674 families and classrooms pledge to eat a healthier lunchbox, helping to raise 238,414 meals for families in need through Feeding America. Need some ideas? After you read the recipe PLEASE sign up  and make your pledge at PowerYourLunchbox.com.

    Asian Chicken Cabbage Salad + Bento Box

    During the winter seasons we do not usually think about salads but it is still very possible to have them with added warmth and comfort. I always love introducing new foods to my girls and I am blessed by their minimal resistance to trying new things. I have learned that one toddler prefers cultured foods than the other, like cabbage salad. Another prefers noodles over potatoes. Either way, I try to add a little of their likes when creating new dishes especially ones with different flavors.

    I grilled some chicken breasts in a little sesame oil, soy sauce, and pepper along with a little garlic. After it grilled I sprinkled some sesame seed and seaweed topping for adding crunch.  I quickly boiled some buckwheat noodles and drizzled a little sesame oil and soy for added flavor and then added a half an avocado.

    I used a new product that Earthbound came out which consists of salad kits. I used their Asian salad kit that includes chopped green and purple cabbage, cilantro, carrots and some mixings as well. I added about 3 small sliced Pero mini peppers for more color and crunch. I loved using Marie’s Sesame Ginger dressing because it was a nice finish to the meal.

    Options for Salad Recipe

    Even though I share a bento box recipe, I also prepared myself a bowl which is great for any stay-at-home parent. It is a little warm and cold salad that has healthy carbohydrates and the necessary protein and vegetables. The great thing about Bentology’s bento boxes is that they have compartments that can be heated up separately! Thank you to all the sponsors for this amazing campaign that gives to others. See them below and see how I used them in my recipe.

    by Noelle Kelly

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook Time: 5 minutes

    Ingredients (2 bento boxes or 1 bento box a)

      Cabbage Salad

      • 1 bag Earthbound Organic Asian Salad Kit
      • sunflower seeds included
      • crushed wontons included
      • 4 Tablespoons Marie’s Sesame Ginger dressing

      Pasta

      • 3 ounces buckwheat noodles, dried
      • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
      • 1/2 an Avocado from Mexico, diced
      • pinch of sesame seeds and seaweed sheets

      Grilled Chicken

      • 6-ounces chicken
      • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
      • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
      • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
      • 2 Tablespoons water

      additional ingredients

      • 6 Pero Family Farms mini sweet peppers, cored and sliced
      • 1 or 2 small packages Crispy Green Asian Pears
      • 1/2 cup raisins

      Instructions

      Cabbage Salad

      Add the cabbage salad to a large salad bowl and add the seeds and wontons. Add dressing and mix well. If dividing between 2 lunch salads, divide between 2 bowls.

      Pasta

      Prepare pasta according to packaged directions. When finished cooking, drain water and quickly drizzle oil and add seeds and seaweed. Add chopped avocado and mix well.

      Grilled Chicken

      Heat sesame oil in a small skillet on medium heat. In a small bowl season chicken with soy sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add chicken to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes on each side adding water to cook. Remove when internal temperature for chicken reaches 165 F. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes. Slice chicken.

      Assembly for Bentology Bento Box

      1 large compartment for Buckwheat Noodles

      1 large compartment for Cabagge Salad and 3 ounces of chicken

      1 small compartment for 3 sliced mini peppers

      1 small compartment for Crispy Green Freeze-Dried Asian Pear and raisins

      Assembly for Lunch Salad

      Add the cabbage salad to a large salad bowl and add the seeds and wontons. Add dressing and mix well. If dividing between 2 lunch salads, divide between 2 bowls.

      Slice the grilled chicken and divide in half between bowls. Add half the buckwheat noodles to the bowl and half the mini peppers.

      Enjoy the freeze-dried pears and raisins as a treat.

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      Blood Orange and Thyme Cocktails for Valentine’s Day

      January 13th, 2017

       

      Valentine's Day

      Holiday Decorating

      Just when you think you are done with one holiday, another one, like Valentine’s Day,  is just around the corner. I am not one to decorate my home for every holiday but somehow after cleaning, arranging and purging, I want things to look different in certain areas of our home. I am definitely someone who loves to make special and seasonal recipes for holidays.

      My husband repurposed some organ pipes he bought at an antique shop and made shelves for our living room. I have use it to place a nice verse of the month with a nice plant along with some mantel-like décor. I admit that I do not have a talent for decorating but I have been making an effort.

      Valentine's Day

      Planning for Valentine’s Day

      I feel like our weeks are going by so fast that I have to prepare in advance for the holidays especially since the girls are in school. They have so many different special programs and activities during the special holidays that I have to make sure I do not forget details. It is important to plan ahead and well, I have to make a better effort. I know the girls will want to bake and decorate.

      When it comes to a date night, I believe I will want to stay in and celebrate with my husband so planning on a fun meal with be on my to-do list. Make sure to follow my Valentine’s Day Pinterest Board for ideas.

      Blood Orange

      Blood Orange and Thyme Cocktails

      One fruit I really have not experienced and tasted are blood oranges. They are in-season now until May and are the most fascinating fruit! My girls were truly fascinated with the blood part of the orange and loved its name. We cut one for all of us to taste test and loved it! When I try a new food I love learning a little more about its benefits. Blood Oranges have the same antioxidant as blueberries and are high in Vitamin C, which we need during cold season.

      Valentine's Day

      Stirrings recently sent me some products to create my own cocktail and I chose their blood orange martini mix. All their ingredients in their mix are natural so it was fun to come up with a nice cocktail. The color of the mix is deep red and perfect for Valentine’s Day. I used some thyme with the mixer and added some nice spirits for a refreshing cocktail. Hope you like it!

      Where can you get these cocktail mixers? Store Locations: Key Food , Leg Up Farmers Market, Hennings Market or online. Check their social channels for more ideas.

      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stirrings

      Twitter: https://twitter.com/StirringsMixer

      Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stirrings/

      Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/stirringsmixers/

       

      Contest: #StirringsMixologyContest

      Blood Orange and Thyme Cocktail

      by Noelle Kelly

      Prep Time: 10 minutes

      Keywords: beverage blood orange Valentine’s Day winter spring

      Ingredients (serves 2)

        Cocktail

        • 1 1 /3 cups Stirrings Blood Orange Martini Mix
        • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
        • 3 ounces grapefruit rum
        • 3 ounces triple sec
        • splash of lime carbonated soda
        • crushed ice

        Cocktail Décor

        • Stirrings Cosmopolitan Rimmer
        • Blood Orange,sliced
        • Thyme sprigs
        • 2 Martini glasses

        Instructions

        Cocktail

        Nicely chop the thyme and place in a glass with the blood orange mix to steep for a few hours.

        Strain and leave in fridge until ready to use.

        Cocktail Décor

        Use a slice of blood orange line the rim of cocktail glass with juice. Place glass upside down in the cosmopolitan rimmer and rim glass with sugar. Decorate a glass with a slice of blood orange.

        Cocktail prep continues

        In a cocktail shaker, add mix, rum, and triple sec with 2/3 cup ice and shake.

        Strain cocktail into two martini glasses.

        Splash some carbonated lime-flavored soda in each glass.

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