Disclosure: I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Life as a Mom is wonderful, amazing and I am cognizant of the fact that these years will go by all too quickly, but it's also so so busy. Some days I am lucky to grab a cookie for breakfast between dropping kids off at school and nursing our infant son. I am not complaining, I think parenting is the greatest calling, but there isn't much down time or time to sit and eat a meal (which can contribute to poor digestion).
You can even catch this foodie who loves to cook standing in the kitchen eating store bought (you read that right, processed, not homemade) snacks because real moms don't have time to make healthy snacks everyday, much less sit down and eat them before they are asked to build another paper airplane, clean up another mess, or tend to a waking baby . I was actually asked to build a paper airplane while I was in the shower the other day, LOL. My five year old sat outside the shower waiting for me, paper in hand.
I make a healthy dinner almost every night, but when we are in a busy season like now with sports, end of school year, and parenting an infant, some nights call for pizza or the drive thru. And I am ok with that, I would rather keep my sanity than stress over trying to prepare meals when we just don't have time.
I do care about health though, even and especially in our busy seasons (which is pretty much always). I have four boys to care for so I have to stay at the top of my Mom game. Parenting takes a truckload of energy and add my other responsibilities of running this blog and my graduate courses ...it can take its toll.
I have been gradually adding supplements including probiotics to my routine over the years. NOW is a brand I have trusted for a long time. (I buy the giant bottles of NOW Magnesium Citrate 200 mg,250 Tablets from Amazon). (affiliate link)
About NOW® Women’s Probiotic 20 Billion
NOW Women's Probiotic 20 Billion is really easy to take. One little capsule a day is all you need and it is designed especially for women. Since I am nursing, I appreciate that it may help to support healthy immune function in pregnant and nursing women. I have felt really good lately. Maybe it is due to taking this probiotic along with Now Super Enzymes.
I read recently that because we eat so many processed foods with preservatives our body has a harder time digesting these foods. The idea was that this leads to weight gain through our bodies storing what they can't breakdown. Another article I read said that after age 30, our body's production of enzymes drastically diminishes. Interesting since most of us do gradually put on a few pounds as we age. I also read that taking the digestive enzymes amylase, lipase, protease, and bromelain would help our bodies break down fats, carbs, and proteins. NOW Super Enzymes have all of these plus more.
My kids have been taking the NOW Berry Dophilus Kids for gastrointestinal support.
They love these little berry flavored animal shaped probiotic pills and no one has complained of any tummy aches lately so they must be working:)
Want to win a bottle of NOW Women's Probiotic 20 Billion? Enter here!
And check out NOW’s probiotic chooser tool to help you pick the probiotic or gut health product that best fits your wellness needs.
There's nothing like waiting until the last minute, but for some of us, that's when inspiration hits and our best ideas come alive.
If you are one of those last minute creatives, here are a few ideas I hope will inspire you.
For more delicious recipe ideas, go to the recipes heading at the top of the page and use the drop down menu.
So I haven't posted here in almost two weeks...this time of year is crazy busy which hasn't left much time for anything beyond the basics. Stuff like getting to practices and school on time, remembering to go to important end of school year activities, making sure all 6 family members have something clean to wear each day, maintaining a somewhat clean house during the chaos, starting the garden (we are falling a little behind here already), much less meal plan, grocery shop, and prepare delicious healthy meals. Confession: We ate McDonald's in the car on the way to wrestling one day last week. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do and this Mom was in survival mode. But hey, roast chicken and healthy veggies balances it all out eventually, right?
To be honest, I have been relying a lot more on quick and easy meals lately. Life is busy and as much as I love cooking, I am usually stretched pretty thin to get everything done. That's why I love making a roast chicken. It is so easy and delicious.
My favorite way to prepare it is with salt and pepper, butter, lemon, and fresh herbs. I used sage this time because I already had some on hand. I have made roast chicken with potatoes and with sweet potatoes and hands down the sweet potatoes are the best. In fact they are amazing when baked with a chicken. They are so tender soft and pair perfectly with the chicken. Our kids LOVE carrots so I always put in a lot of carrots. I don't even bother to peel them. I just cut off the ends and set them in the pan around the chicken.
So if you are busy like we are and need some easy dinner ideas give this roast chicken a try. It takes a little while in the oven, but once it's in, you can do something else while is cooks. And wow is it delicious! Any Dads out there need a simple and amazing Mother's Day dinner idea? Here it is. You got this.
And don't forget to save the carcass (I know that's a gross word, but I gotta call it something) for the best homemade chicken noodle soup ever. If you don't want soup in the next couple of days, just freeze the carcass for making soup later.
Easy Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Carrots
Fresh herbs; These go well with chicken. thyme, rosemary, parsley, tarragon, marjoram, sage
1 lemon, sliced into rings
Fresh ground Salt & pepper
1 lb. carrots, cut off ends, but leave whole
3 to 4 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Prepare chicken, removing packet of organs from the inside cavity. Discard or save for later use. Salt and pepper inside the chicken then put a pat or two of butter inside the cavity along with 2-3 lemon slices and some fresh herbs. Set the chicken into a large dutch oven.
3. Pull back some of the exposed chicken skin over the breast. Salt and pepper then stuff with a couple of pats of butter, lemon slices, and fresh herbs. Place carrots and sweet potatoes around chicken. Then salt everything and salt and pepper the chicken once more.
4. Place covered in the oven and bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 30 minutes until it reaches 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
5. Remove the lid and put under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the skin.
Because I cook it with the lid on, the chicken is really tender and juicy, but won't have much color so I put it under the broiler for a few minutes before serving to brown and crisp the skin.
The first time I made this recipe I bought quinoa in bulk so I did not have directions. I found instructions for making quinoa pronounced "keen wah" and some nutrition information at Joyous Health. Quinoa was new to me then and harder to find, now five years later, quinoa is everywhere.
This is one of our favorite meals. We all love it, especially the kids. It's pretty easy to throw together too since I use canned chicken and frozen broccoli. I have made it with shredded chicken and fresh steamed broccoli, but think it is just as good with canned and frozen ingredients so this is one recipe where I save myself the trouble.
Basically, you make a simple cheese sauce and combine it with cooked quinoa, broccoli, and chicken then mix it all together in a casserole and bake to perfection.
My sweet five year old brought me some wild onions from the yard so I had to garnish the top.
1½ cups quinoa
3 Tbsp. butter
1 sweet onion, diced
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. dry or prepared mustard
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. turmeric
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz. shredded cheese, I like a mix of cheddar and mozzarella
10 oz. bag frozen broccoli
13 oz. can of chicken, drained
This is what uncooked quinoa looks like in a pan with water.
1. To cook the quinoa follow package directions or if you purchased your quinoa in bulk use these directions: 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water. Combine the water and quinoa in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 12 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion in melted butter until it is tender and golden. Stir in the flour, garlic powder, mustard, cayenne, and turmeric. Continue stirring until light golden, a couple of minutes. Slowly stir in the milk. Allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, frozen broccoli, drained canned chicken and cheese sauce.
5. Transfer to a greased casserole. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm.
(My husband likes to dress his with a little hot sauce.)
Adapted from Annie's Eats.
I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.
I read an article recently about the impact our clothing choices have on our world. It was pretty eye opening. I generally knew that some choices were better than others, but I didn't really know why. Honestly, I lived most of my life without even thinking about the environmental impact of my clothing choices. Until recently, it didn't even cross my mind. I read another enlightening article about how clothes are potentially polluting the food supply. Love microfiber fleece? We do too, but the fibers have been found to pollute water and marine life.
Over the last year or two, I've noticed a cultural movement towards being more intentional in how we live and the choices we make. Maybe we should be more intentional concerning our clothing choices too and the impact that those choices have on textile workers, farmers, farmland, and now even the water supply. We should consider our overflowing closets too and make intentional choices based on what we really need and will wear again and again.
Luckily because of companies like PACT Organic it is getting easier to find clothing that is better for both us and the planet. PACT Organic uses organic farming practices that don't pollute the soil or water, while working with organizations that protect the well-being of people who make the clothes.
I was excited to review several pieces of PACT Organic clothing. As you can see they sent several things to try. The packages say super soft for a reason...the clothes really are super soft.
I love black leggings and have worn them for years and my new PACT Organic leggings are both soft and strong. I love that they are thicker than many of the leggings I have worn and stay comfortably in place. No tugging to keep them up. They are also nice and long. I am around 5' 10" and these leggings fit perfectly in both length and size.
My husband tried the boxer briefs. When I asked him how he liked them, he said he loved them and that they were so soft and supportive. This is a lot coming from him because he is really particular. I always tell him he should be in quality control or a food critic.
I LOVE my new PACT Organic light weight hoodie. First the color is the most beautiful blue stripe that goes with so many things. Second it is so soft and cozy. I have worn this sweatshirt many many times in the short time I have owned it.
As I have mentioned before, I am on the tall side and often have trouble finding shirts that have long enough sleeves. My new sweatshirt has wonderfully long sleeves, maybe because it has wrist slits for your thumbs which could come in handy if you are a runner. I haven't used this option, but love the sleeve length and coziness. I think my new PACT Organic hoodie might just be my favorite piece of clothing I have ever owned.
I wasn't sure if I would get much use out of my new PACT Organic camisole since I am nursing my 7 month old son, but it actually works well as a nursing tank. I wear a nursing tank every single day under my clothing so that my middle doesn't show when I lift my top shirt to nurse. What I like about this tank is that it is supportive enough to stay in place, but stretches enough to make access for nursing. The fabric is really soft, stretchy and supportive all at the same time. It doesn't loose its shape at the end of the day like some tanks do. I have found that if worn with jeans, it tends to ride up at the waist and I end up pulling it down throughout the day, but if worn with yoga type clothes (which I wear a lot), it stays in place. You can see it peaking out from underneath my shirt in the pictures above.
Check out PACT Organic and see all the cozy, comfy styles available. You can save 25% off your order with my discount code, AtHome25. There are some really cute affordably priced casual summer dresses and adorable baby things too. I just ordered some baby things for gifts and was impressed with the ease of ordering and how quickly my order shipped.
To be honest, I am notoriously bad at making pork chops. (Notorious with my own family because I would never make pork chops for company because then they would see how dry I always make them.) In fact, I usually avoid making pork chops because it's no fun to always make them so badly. I ventured back into this scary world of pork chops because I vaguely remembered having made them good once and remembered that I had blogged that recipe many moons ago, as I passed the thin pork chops on sale in the store yesterday. I decided to take the plunge and dove into the blog archives to this buried recipe and am so glad I did.
So here it is revitalized because sometimes you feel like thin buttery perfectly crispy and juicy pork chops.
Since we're talking crispy and juicy chops that crisp right in the butter soaking in it's buttery goodness, what's not to love? These delectable little gems will melt in your mouth with these perfectly paired wine seared baby bella mushrooms.
You can also whip up these amazing chops in no time at all. There's not much to it. Simply cook pork chops in olive oil and butter occasionally flipping them to brown on both sides until done. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder while cooking. Then quickly saute mushrooms in butter and wine and wallah you just made an amazing entree.
Serve with a simple salad and quinoa or rice pilaf and dinner is done.
6 thin pork chops
2 T. to 1/4 C. white wine
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Drizzle olive oil in the pan. Add a pat of butter. Cook pork chops, browning each side. Season chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder while cooking.
2. Set chops aside once done. Add some white wine to the skillet to deglaze scraping up any browned bits. Add sliced mushrooms and a couple of pats of butter (2-3 Tbsp. should do) and saute the mushrooms until desired tenderness.
3. Add chops back to the pan to warm topping them with sauteed mushrooms. You can turn off the heat at this point. They will warm up quickly from the hot skillet. Serve and enjoy.
Have you heard of VitaTops MuffinTops? They are a new discovery for us. Our whole family has an overactive sweet tooth, well almost...my oldest prefers savory over sweet. The rest of us however, would live off of sugar if we could. These VitaTops MuffinTops are a great snacking solution when we are craving something sweet. My oldest would choose something savory over VitaTops, but the younger boys gobble them up.
Depending on the flavor, VitaTops MuffinTops are 100-150 calories, low fat, high in fiber, and made with clean, simple ingredients. We tried Deep Chocolate which are 76% organic and only 100 calories each with 10 grams of fiber. We also tried Protein Banana Chocolate Chip which are only 130 calories each and contain 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
They also come in Wild Blueberry, Superfood CranBran, and Protein Lovers Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip.
VitaTops MuffinTops are easily portable, making them an easy on-the-go healthy snack.
Perfect for taking on outdoor adventures! Our boys love the outdoors so we do lots of exploring and VitaTops MuffinTops are great take-along snacks.
And I know I am not the only Mom out there who gets so busy with the day to day tasks and all that mothering involves that I don't always eat well or much at all. VitaTops MuffinTops are perfect for grabbing a quick guilt-free snack that you can easily eat while handling that never-ending to do list.
We discovered VitaTops MuffinTops in the frozen section of the natural foods aisle of our Kroger store. We tried two flavors, Protein Banana Chocolate Chip and Deep Chocolate.
My favorite flavor is deep chocolate, but I'm kind of a chocoholic. You will have to try them for yourself and decide which is your favorite.
I found my VitaTops MuffinTops at Kroger! You can find yours at your nearest Publix, Kroger, Stop & Shop, Shop-Rite, or Target locations.
Click here to learn more about VitaTops MuffinTops!
We love our new home in Southern Kentucky, but as with any move, there are always people and places to be missed. One of our favorite places we wish we could have packed up and brought with us is a little unassuming Asian restaurant in Champaign, IL called Cravings. The first time we went there, it was just my husband and I on a rare night out and when we tried to order, the young woman working the counter told us not to order what we had selected from the menu. Instead she suggested two other dishes (that weren't even on the menu). One of them being crispy salt and pepper beef. Actually, I'm not sure what the real name of the dish is, but any time we go back to Cravings we always order it. Our favorite girl behind the counter always knows what we want. I wish I could remember her name because she is awesome!
If you ever find yourself in Champaign-Urbana, IL and craving some great Asian food make your way to Wright St. and settle in (if you can find a seat) with a cup of hot tea (free on tap) for a unique, authentic, and delicious dining experience.
Since this is one of our favorite meals, I tried recreating it a year ago for Valentine's Day. We had just moved and I thought it would be fun to create new memories with one of our old favorite meals. Plus, we always have something special on holidays to celebrate with the boys. It was a hit so I made it for Valentines Day again this year.
It's really a simple recipe. I have been making it from some notes I jotted down in a spiral notebook just over a year ago. You can buy beef for stir-fry in your grocery store to save yourself a little time if needed (It is pre-sliced beef). For the best flavor, I would use fresh ground salt and pepper. I use a pink Himalayan salt grinder that can be purchased at the grocery.
You will love this flavorful combination of crispy savory beef with slightly sweet peppers and onions cooked tender crisp. Delicious over a bed of hot rice or alone.
1 lb. steak sliced into 2-3 inch thin strips
1 egg white
Flour for coating meat
Fresh ground salt & pepper
Peanut oil or other frying oil
2 T. butter
1 - 2 green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
Cooked rice for serving
1. Toss meat with egg white, then coat in flour. Put meat out on a large cutting board and generously salt and pepper.
2. In batches, fry the battered meat in hot oil in a deep skillet or wok. Salt and pepper each batch again after frying. Set meat aside. Drain oil from pan.
3. Add 2 T. butter to the pan and stir-fry bell peppers and onions for about 2 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. The vegetables should still have some crispiness.
4. Add the meat back to the pan with the vegetables to warm. Stir to combine.
5. Serve with rice.
This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.
As a busy Mom of four, I want products I can trust to offer good value for our hard earned money. I have been using Luvs for years. Luvs are the official diaper of experienced moms, afterall.
Softer and more absorbent than ever before, with large stretch tabs for easy fastening, ultra-leakage protection and a money-back guarantee (gotta love that!), Luvs Ultra Leakguards with NightLock Plus™ provide the high-quality features babies and parents need for less cost than the premium brands.
Luvs are already a great value, but now you can save even more with this printable coupon for $2 off any one pack of Luvs diapers. Use this coupon at any mass, discount, or grocery stores where Luvs are sold.
This post was sponsored by NUK as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own.
Since I work from home, I am blessed that I can spend each day with my infant son and I am doubly blessed that I have been able to breast feed him. But there are those times when we need to bottle feed...appointments, date nights, that time I was really sick. Actually, he is getting really used to being bottle fed this weekend because I had to have an injection yesterday and I have to wait 48 hours to nurse him. I actually cried at the thought of not being able to nurse him for 48 hours, but it has been fine. Plus my husband has been helping with feedings which has been good bonding for both of them and has given me a break.
We have been using our new NUK Simply Natural Bottles and the transition to bottle feeding has been pretty smooth. The bottle design is closer to a natural breast shape than other bottles we have used in the past giving it a close-to-mom feel which is so important in fostering the feeding bonding which helps shape baby's well-being. I am not completely transitioning to bottle feeding, just when I need to, so I am glad to have bottles that promote a natural transition between breast and bottle.
I love this picture! He's so relaxed. Just chillin and enjoying his bottle. He really does seem to like his new Simply Natural bottles with a nipple design that is modeled after the shape of a real breast. It also moves flexibly to ensure a continuous latch and is made with extra soft silicone so that it feels more realistic.
NUK Simply Natural Bottles have up to nine nipple holes, just like mom’s breast providing a more natural feeding experience. Plus, there are three different flow rates, so the bottle grows with my baby. We found the nipples with six holes are best suited for our five month old and as he grows, he will transition to the nipples with nine holes.
Even the nipple shape is a more natural shape.
My five year old loved helping feed the baby with our new bottles.
He was so excited when the baby grabbed the bottle and fed himself.
We really like our new NUK Simply Natural bottles. I love that they are easy to clean and have a simple air vent instead of lots of tubes and extra pieces to wash. My husband wished that they wear curved so he did not have to recline the baby when feeding him. When I nurse the baby, he is lying next to me so this didn't bother me. I hold the baby in a reclining position when bottle feeding just like I would when nursing. I love the natural feel of these bottles and think they are a great choice for transitioning from breast to bottle feeding or for occasional bottle feeding.
For more information visit NUK Simply Natural.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) Teacher turned work at home Mom, bringing you family friendly, homemade recipes and homemaking tips to simplify your life. Join me on my homemaking and mothering journey.
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