Thursday, March 26, 2015

Let's Get REAL Weekly Link Up is LIVE!

Let's Get Real Linky Party
Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Healthy Farmers Market Crispy Kale Chips


After my many years of struggling with my weight loss goals, I have finally learned one thing....deprivation is detrimental. My unhealthy eating and dieting comes directly from my mother. As a teenager we would regularly go on the "Tuna Fish Diet", "The Soup Diet", or even do an hour of aerobics followed by a large baked potato SMOTHERED in cheese and sour cream....something wasn't working. If these "diets" and methods were the key to losing weight then we would both certainly be skinny. Don't get me wrong we would occasionally see some success and would lose 5-10 pounds only to pack them back on and repeat the process. I carried these yo-yo diets throughout my twenties until I finally figured out what the major problem was....I was depriving myself INSTEAD of building healthy eating habits.

I had to find recipes that were easy, tasted great, and were family friendly.. These crispy kale chips fit the bill and I hope you enjoy this easy recipe! To see how to make these in just 20 minutes, click HERE

Monday, March 23, 2015

Homemade Organic Chocolate Mocha Body Scrub

Recently, I found a jar of amazing chocolate body scrub-it smelled so good that I thought I could eat it. Then I flipped over the jar and found the ingredient list. After reading,  I found that not only should I NOT eat it....I really shouldn't even be putting it on my skin! It was filled with chemicals that I couldn't even pronounce and I didn't recognize anything that resembled REAL Chocolate.

So, I did what any good "organic" lifestyle blogger does..I went home and made my OWN! It was WAY cheaper and so much better for my skin. It is entirely edible AND you can switch it up to incorporate Essential oils like peppermint!

Click HERE to get the Recipe!

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Lets Get REAL Weekly Link Party is LIVE!

Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

8 Confessions of a Mommy Blogger

I am finally doing it, I am writing down some of the secrets that I had hoped would NEVER get out. To me, reading mommy blogs can be EXTREMELY intimidating. Everyone makes the perfect meal, has a perfect fitness schedule, eats only healthy foods, has well polished kids, and NEVER has a hair out of place. I am brave enough to tell you that those "observations" are not correct. Life as a mommy blogger is filled with tons of UPS and TONS of OOPS!

My blog is always on my mind. Every new product that I see, every recipe I hear about, and every trend that hits the market is something that I always feel that I need to BLOG about! Are we all obsessed..maybe, but we bloggers definitely will all tell you that part. Our blog is an obsession and a passion but we do have our secrets....until now.

Here are 8 Confessions of This Mommy Blogger!


This is an acceptable outfit!
No more PHOTOS!
1) My kids are NOT ALWAYS PHOTO READY! Scratch that, they are rarely photo ready! Their hair is usually a mess, their clothes don't always match and they are not always excited to have their photo taken... enter Exhibit 1 & 2!


2) Not all recipes "work"! I have tried and failed at more recipes than I have shared. It's all in a days work and even the failures are tons of fun to try! The kids make EVERY recipe with me so how can I call them failures?

Everything she makes is perfect!

3) Of course, I want to make a few extra bucks blogging! I started this blog because I was on a mission to make my family more organic and this was a great way to hold my family accountable to new habits while sharing and saving my newly created personal recipes. From there, it grew into a passion that I hope will one day allow me to be a "blogging only" mama with my whole days filled with recipes, crafts, and fun with the kiddos.  So be kind and check out the affiliate links if you ever see something you need :)

Background mess anyone?
4) My kitchen "mess" is typically CROPPED out of a photo! Have you ever seen the counter of a blogger photo and though, "geesh, my kitchen is always a mess..,how did she keep it so clean?" ? Well, the truth here is that she maybe didn't. There could be a HUGE mess right outside of the picture that you are seeing. I don't keep mine clean either! The handy dandy crop tool makes every mess go away! Look closely in the background..my pencil, paper, and a mess! That would never show up on a recipe post!


Accidental pink hair!
5) Reviewing products is NOT always fun.
99 percent of product reviews go well and the product
works as intended. Being a "green" and "organic" blogger, I get a lot of interesting product review requests and also try many at my own expense. I recently tried a brand of green "superfoods" drink that I could not stand to smell let alone to drink! I also tried an over the counter box of hair color that went EXTREMELY WRONG! Those reviews, of course, did NOT make the blog!

6) I cheat. Okay, I said it...I CHEAT! My family lives a mostly organic lifestyle and we do make most of our foods from scratch but part of making a healthy lifestyle "work" is making it easy to stick to. Sometimes "Easy" means fast and not cooked by mommy! In true confession form, I also miss the gym on occasion and sneak a donut every once in a while. I am human and most of us are! Remember, I said this blog was to hold us accountable..I really meant me. My husband is much better at self control and will power, he lost over 100 pounds! We have, however made real improvements in our health and weight. Always remember that real people write these blogs and take a day off!


Tired of posing with organic pizza!? Too bad!
7) I sometimes embarrass my family with my "blogging". Sometimes my family LOVES my blogging habit. They love when I make a new recipe (especially the sweet ones) and when something comes in for me to try out...they open the box before I do. Then again, there are times, they hang their heads in shame. I guess photo ops in the organic aisle at the grocery store aren't fun? Waiting till momma gets the perfect shot...not happening!

8) Sometimes my posts aren't that interesting but the blogging community would never let me know it! Blogging is probably one of the most supportive communities that I have ever known. I have friends in other states, other countries, even other continents who proudly share my blog more than my own mother does! There is no competition and no jealousy just arms spread open awaiting new bloggers and opportunities to form relationships. My articles and posts are only as good as the next person who shares them and that typically is a blogger. So a HUGE THANK YOU to my  blogger buddies who make blogging more fun!

So, there it is - My list of 8 Confessions of a Mommy Blogger! I hope you enjoyed and can breathe a little easier knowing that no ones life is perfect and that we do have some help in making life look picture perfect even if its not! What are your blogging or life confessions...share!

Farmers Market SPINACH SALAD

If you haven't visited your local farmers' market lately, let me be the first to tell you that you are MISSING OUT! Not only is it a great way to support your neighbors and your community but you truly will find the BEST of produce, baked goods, bath and body products & family fun! You can also save money by shopping at the farmers' market! You are assured the freshest foods so it will stay good LONGER in your fridge or on your shelf.

I have the amazing pleasure of being near the West Chester, Ohio Farmers' market who is able to operate almost year round! In the Winter, it is held in a beautiful-historic barn and when the weather turns nicer...it is outside in the sunshine!
Bad weather doesn't keep us away from fresh and local items!

There is always a great mix of products at my local farmers market and you just never know what you will find that inspires you! This week, I was inspired by the thing I used to HATE as a child - spinach. This spinach was from the "Our Harvest Cooperative"  from the greater Cincinnati, Ohio area who not only grows amazing fruits and veggies but also mixes up some mean culinary concoctions while doing great works all at the same time! They provide foods like salsas, granolas, farm fresh eggs, and more all sustainably grown by local folks! Learn more about them by visiting their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OurHarvestCoop and also by checking out their website www.ourharvest.coop . They also provide amazing produce boxes and as someone who loves produce...I can tell you, their stuff is AMAZING!
 
I normally will never admit that I am wrong (just ask my husband) but when it comes to spinach...I am willing to say it. In all fairness, I think it is mostly because my mother maybe didn't know how to prepare spinach. She usually cooked it - to death- with very little seasoning. It only made an appearance in my home when she was on a diet so its no wonder I hated it! After getting married myself, I decided to branch out and try to master some new foods and none was easier than spinach.

Today, I want to share how easy it is to create a "restaurant" quality spinach salad that will be healthy, quick to make, and most of all - darn good! You can change up this basic recipe with any of your favorite fruits, nuts, and even meats.

First, you have to start with the dressing! When it comes to spinach salads, I always advise going with something sweet and savory like a great balsamic vinaigrette, honey mustard, or this Sweet Onion Dressing. Avoid things like ranch and French-they are pretty heavy and hide all of the flavor of your salad! You can always go and buy your dressing at the grocery but once you make it yourself, you may NEVER go back! This dressing is best if you can make it the night before and let it sit. You had better make enough to last you all week while you are at it because the flavor gets better every day!

Basic Ingredients:
It's just waiting on you!
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
salt
pepper
minced onion
crushed garlic

Put all of these into a cute jar or container and shake. That's it! Place it in the fridge overnight and allow the flavors to marinate.

 
Now that you have made it..you get to play with it! I listed the ingredients that I love but left the seasonings unmeasured...its up to you and what herbs you love. You can even go as simple as just the oil and vinegar and will still have a great dressing.  Once you make it, try playing it up with different oils, vinegars, and add-ins like blackberries!

Here is another recipe for a dressing that goes very well with a spinach salad!  Check out my Sweet Citrus & Onion Dressing!

As for the toppings - it is your salad so dress it however you would like! Some toppings that go well with spinach are: bacon, eggs, chicken, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, onions, and of course nuts. If you want to add cheese, go for a hearty cheese like feta, goat, bleu, or parmesan.

Wait - did I say nuts? Yep...no salad is complete without those sweet glazed nuts! It is the one thing that comes on your restaurant salad that you think there is NO way you can recreate at home...well, just like me, you were wrong! These are super easy to make and cheaper too!

Take any nut you like and use this simple recipe :
2 cups nuts
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar

Seriously, that is ALL! I make these in the microwave by warming the butter and sugar in a microwave safe container. Once you see that the sugar has dissolved - simply stir in the nuts. After they are evenly coated...spread them out and allow them to cool - without eating them (they are hard to resist). Simply toss these on your salad for the perfect finishing touch!

 That's it, you have now created the perfect salad! You can make it for a great lunch or dinner and it wows at parties!


So, what will inspire you this week at the Farmers' Market? Stay tuned to see what inspires me each week at the West Chester, Ohio Farmers Market! You can follow the market on facebook by clicking HERE. The next market day is March 21st in the Mulhauser Barn and then it heads to the outside location right off union center by the library every Saturday from 2-4! The website http://westchesterohiofarmersmarket.org/ has more information and details about dates and vendors!

GO OUT, SHOP LOCAL,  AND GET INSPIRED!


 
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and will continue to follow my site Frugal Fit Family! You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to the minute with my favorite recipes, organic living tips, and DIY green beauty potions!

Friday, March 13, 2015

8 Affordable All Natural & Organic Sunless Tanners

I have to confess, I am in LOVE with a healthy glow! By nature, I am a very pale (eh hem...porcelain) and while some people really love that look, I prefer a natural glow.   In the past, I would do ANYTHING to get and maintain  bronzed skin! I tanned, self-tanned, bronzed, spray-tanned, did 2 at once.... you get the idea! I never went as far as "The Jersey Shore tan" BUT I definitely was a few shades darker than I am now and after changing to a more organic lifestyle, I was afraid that I may have to say goodbye to my glowing skin. You see, as much as I loved my bronzed skin, I wasn't prepared to load up on chemicals to get it nor did I want to lay in a tanning bed 3 times a week.

You may ask why I am even concerned about keeping my tanning routine organic and I can understand why it may sound weird to some people! 2 years ago I made the conscious decision to get my family healthier by paying more attention to the foods that we were putting into our bodies. After doing research and reading labels, I found that I was filling our bodies with TONS of unnecessary chemicals. Once I got our diets corrected, I started looking at my make-up and beauty routine and found that, while I wasn't putting chemicals and toxins in my body....I was slathering them on my skin! Here I was working so hard to eliminate chemicals from going into my body through food only to get them in there by placing them on the largest organ in my body - my skin! Most people view your skin as a barrier but it is actually more of a sponge like conductor! There are actually studies that show the chemicals from our makeup can often be found in newborn babies!

If you don't believe me...try this! Cut a fresh clove of garlic in half and rub it on the bottom of your foot. Give it about 10 minutes and you may start to taste the garlic in your mouth. That is because the garlic was absorbed into your system just like everything in your skincare routine!

So, I made the switch to a completely all-natural and organic beauty routine too! At first, I was terrified of the cost of an organic beauty routine BUT found that not only do I now need less makeup..I also need way less skin care product! I also save money by doing some of the work myself. I make my own body scrubs, moisturizers, even a DIY bronzing spray, etc (Here are some GREEN BEAUTY ON A BUDGET TIPS). My skin feels AMAZING and looks super healthy BUT that wasn't good enough... I still want my GLOW!


Tan VS. Not so much! NO FOUNDATION EITHER LOL
Smells SOOO GOOD!
Anyway, I did some home work and found that I was in luck and there are GREAT SELF TANNERS AVAILABLE that fit both my need for safe all-natural ingredients AND fit into my budget! Here are 8 that I am in love with!

**TIP! To achieve the best results exfoliate before using the self tanning products!  You can use one of the amazing DIY scrub recipes listed HERE or any that you have hanging around. Make sure you stay moisturized after self tanning to prolong your healthy glow!

 #1  Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunless Tanner, 4 Ounce Tube - $10
 I really like the Alba brand and LOVE that they are pretty easy to find locally!
  • Works in just about 3 hours
  • 100% vegetarian and no animal testing
  • No parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or artificial colors


  • #2 True Natural Self Tanner: Anti-Aging Face & Body, Light-Medium Tan 3.4 fl.oz.  - $15
    Again, well reviewed and from a very well respected company!
  • Certified Vegan, USDA Certified Biobased Product, Natural Products Association Certified
  • Zero Chemicals, Zero Harmful Ingredients, Made with Certified Organic Ingredients
  • Streak Free Color
  • Safe for the For Face and Body

  • #3 Nature's Gate Glow Lotion, medium skin tones, 16 Ounce Bottle - $8
    I love Nature's Gate products and use them A LOT! Great price!
    • Color appears in about 1 day after use
    • No artificial colors
    • C'mon - budget friendly!
    #4 Suntegrity 5 in 1 Natural Self Tanner
    I LOVE that this is infused with so many botanical extracts! It smells amazing!
    • Made with Eco-Certified DHA from sugar beets
    • Smells Great - natural coconut scent
    • Packed with botanical extracts (including Goji, Acai, Mangosteen, & Noni), hydrating organic oils, nourishing vitamin E, and youth promoting antioxidants
    • FREE OF: Parabens Petrochemicals Phthalates Silicones Propylene Glycol Mineral Oils Artificial Oils
    #5 Lavera Self Tanning Lotion - $30
    Seriously, this tanner has won more awards than any others that I have seen!
    • This one comes HIGHLY recommended by beauty experts
    • Color in just a few hours
    • Loaded with Organic Macadamia Seed Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Calendula Flower Extract and Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice.
    #6 Norvell Professional Venetian Sunless Mousse 8 Oz - $14
    • 100% vegan, Paraben free, Gluten free
    • Foam for easy to apply, flawless color.
    • Patented blend of Organic Eco-Cert® DHA and bronzers to compliment all skin tones. Found only in Norvell Professional Products.

    #7 ECO Tan - Organic Winter Skin Gradual Tanner + Moisturizer (Face+Body) - $45 (larger size)Winter Skin Acts Not Only As A Nourishing Moisturizer But As A Gradual Tanning Lotion As Well!
    • Hydrating Rose Extract Sooths skin!
    • Beautiful Glow After just a few used!
    • Great ingredients

    #8 Hempz: Touch of Summer Moisturizer for Fair Skin Tones, 8 oz - $19
    • Provides a light touch of color
    • Smells GREAT
    • Well reviewed
    • 100% Pure Organic Hemp Seed Oil

     I hope you have enjoyed this list of All-Natural and Organic Sunless Tanners! If you have a suggestion, I would LOVE to try it! Leave a quick comment and let me know!
     
    ENJOY YOUR HEALTHY & SAFE SUNNY GLOW!

     I would love for you to follow me for more
    organic living tips, healthy recipes, and green beauty DIY!

    The Let's Get Real Bloghop!

    Let's Get Real Friday Party Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    Superfoods that your family needs to be healthy! A guest post!

    I am so honored today to have Cassie Brewer as a Guest Blogger! Cassie is the blogger over at  http://cassiembrewer.weebly.com/ and, In my opinion, one super cool chick!
     
    Please swing over and follow Cassie on twitter HERE! You can read more about Cassie at the end of the post!
     
    Without further delay...Here are the Superfoods Your Family Needs to be Healthy!

    You want all the members of your family to grow healthy and strong, and you also want to maintain your well-being, right? Forget fast food and focus on superfoods. Here are important nutrients found in superfoods that should form part of your family’s diet.

    Click HERE to be one step closer to better health for you family!

    Saturday, March 7, 2015

    MealEnders Signaling Lozenges, Review & Giveaway!

    ** I was provided samples to try and test from MealEnders but was not compensated for my review.

    I have to say, I was pretty jazzed to try these things. I think that I have tried every diet pill, product,
    miracle, and program out there but “signaling lozenges”…those were new to me.  For all of my life I have known that it was my willpower that was my crutch to weight loss. Not only can I not say no to that one extra sweet but I also am a LOVER of food so –if something is good- I will continue to eat until I am beyond stuffed.  These sweet little packages promise to deliver on both of my trouble areas with no drugs nor harmful stimulants so I thought, why not?!

    When I said that my diet failures are all due to my lack of willpower, it actually turns out that I was wrong -there are more factors keeping me from losing weight!  If a diet were simply about 1 thing, we would all be skinny and thin and no one would need “diet supplements”!  It turns out that there are actually behavioral factors, sensory factors, and psychological factors too which keep us from diet success.  We all think that we HAVE to eat at a certain amount of food per day, we think that we need to eat at specific times (even if we are not hungry), and let’s face it – we ALL want to cheat on healthy eating.

    It is actually your brain that tells you to eat or not to eat and not your stomach. Your stomach may send the signal that it’s hungry or full—but it’s your brain that says to stop eating.  This is why we continue to eat to the point where we say we are “beyond stuffed”! It takes a while for our stomach to send the signal and then time for our brain to process and to let us know that we are full. During this process,  we simply continue to eat past full until our brain finally tells us to stop! That’s why these Meal Enders work in a much different way than your typical “diet” product. Most products focus on fighting hunger through the stomach but these fight overeating through your mind and that is totally the help that I need!
     
    The inside is where the magic happens
    These lozenges come in 4 flavors citrus, cinnamon, mocha, and Chocolate Mint.  They have a sweet candy like coating on the outside and then the inside (the magic behind the method)…it’s like something I have never experienced before!  You simply pop one of these guys into your mouth and let the lozenge melt away. At first, you will get the sweetness of the outer coating which helps with your sweet tooth (or am I the only one with that) and then, seconds later,  your mouth will erupt with a tingling sensation. Truth be told, It almost feels like your mouth is going numb – but it’s not. The tingling feeling  will last for about 10-15 minutes and after meals will give you the appropriate time for your “full” signals to reach your brain and tell your hand to “PUT DOWN THE FORK”! 
    These work at the end of a meal, at snack time, when you have the urge to cheat, or just when you need a sweet pick me up! They not only signal to your brain the end of a meal and give you time to process the “full” sensation BUT they give you the time to rethink that cupcake! They work best when they are combined with a healthy diet and exercise.

    You can order these little babies on their website at www.mealenders.com.

    Now that you know a little about them…would you like to win some? You will win 4 packages of
    lozenges – 1 in each flavor!  They will be shipped to you directly from Meal Enders! Hurry up and enter  to win TODAY! a Rafflecopter giveaway
     
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