8.28.2014

Natural Baby Care with Well Beginnings from Walgreens


 I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinon on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product. 
I have always been very picky about the products I use on my son - and not just things like bath soap, but diapers, wipes, and even over-the-counter medicines. I like knowing that everything that goes onto or into my son is as natural as possible. As a Moms Meet blogger, loved getting to try the new Well Beginnings line from Walgreens because I can get everything I need to take care of my son in an all natural form.
The entire Well BeginningsTM product line is exclusive to Walgreens, your friendly neighborhood drugstore known for its health and wellness expertise.
  • Well BeginningsTM Size 4 Jumbo Diapers (31 count) offer a soft stretchable waist and side panels that wrap your baby in softness, offering leakage protection for day and night. The amazingly soft inner liner features natural botanicals, vitamin E, and aloe to soothe your baby’s bottom.
  • These quality baby diapers are available in Newborn to Size 6 and are 100% satisfaction guaranteed.
  • Well BeginningsTM Newborn, Size 1 and Size 2 diapers have a wetness indicator feature and turn blue when wet.
  • Well BeginningsTM is all made in the U.S.A. and is made up of high- quality products at a great value.
  • The retail price for Well BeginningsTM Size 4 Jumbo Diapers (31 count) is $8.99. 

The Well Beginnings diapers are awesome. I love that even though they're a store brand, they still have a cute design on them. They're very soft and with no weird smells like some disposable diapers have. We haven't had any problems with leaking or blowouts with these diapers and the absorb a lot. The fit on them is also great. My son is a pretty big kid, probably close to 38 lbs, but he fits comfortably in the size 5's. I also really like the sensitive wipes. They're nice and thick and don't rip easily. They feel soft on my son's bottom and wipe up a good amount. They're soft enough that I feel comfortable using them to wipe his face and hands too.
  • These wipes are made with Tri-Form, a unique 3-layer fabric, specially designed with 2 quilted cottony soft outer layers for superior and gentle cleansing for your baby’s delicate skin.
  • The inner layer is strong and thick to prevent tearing or stretching, keeping your hands clean.
  • The wipes are hypoallergenic, alcohol-free, dermatologist-approved, and made in the U.S.A.
  • The retail price for Well BeginningsTM Sensitive Wipes (72 count) is $2.39. 

The Baby Wash is also really great. I like that it has a light scent and suds up really well. We've even used it in place of bubble bath a few times. It makes his skin soft and clean without stripping it of moisture. 
  • Our baby wash, made right here in the U.S.A., is designed for use on your baby’s entire body. The rich lather effectively cleanses your baby’s hair and skin without the fear of tears.
  • Unlike baby soaps, this baby wash cleans without drying because it’s 100% soap-free, dye-free and pH-balanced. In fact, it is milder than baby soap.
  • The tear-free formula is clinically tested hypoallergenic and is dermatologist- and allergy-tested as well as paraben- and phthalate-free.
  • The retail price for Well BeginningsTM Baby Wash is $2.99. 

They even make an Oral Electrolyte solution that is dye-free. I hate using some other brands because they have dyes in them and that's just not something I feel comfortable giving my son. With school just starting I know we'll be battling some sickness and I'm glad all I need to do is run to Walgreens to get this to help him feel better.

With so many great all natural products, Well Beginnings has you covered. Once my son starts potty training I know we'll be using their training pants as well. From body wash to diapers, look no further than your local Walgreens to cover all of your natural baby care needs.

Connect: You can connect with Walgreens and their Well Beginnings line on their website, Facebook, and/or @Walgreens on Twitter.

8.14.2014

Picking the Right Wine for Summertime

So as some of you may or may not know, once upon a time I was a Masters student at the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management. I also love wine. Put these two together and we get this great guest post about picking wine for the summer. Enjoy!
Five Seasonal Suggestions from Rosen College of Hospitality Management Wine Education Program Instructor David Black 

Hot summer weather calls for wines that are light, unoaked, refreshing and full of flavor. Each of the four white wines I've chosen should be served at refrigerator temperature (45 to 55 degrees F). The lone red wine from Chianti’s Sangiovese grape should be served after spending about 30 minutes in the refrigerator. All of these wines are readily available in most retail outlets for prices that average less that $20 per bottle.

1.       2012 Kim Crawford Chardonnay Unoaked (South Island, New Zealand) 
As the label reads, this Chardonnay is completely unoaked, which means it was aged in a non-oak barrel. That difference insures that the wine retains a crisp acidity and a lovely apple-like freshness.

2.       2012 Honig Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley, California) 
It can be argued that Honig Winery makes perhaps the Napa Valley’s finest, unoaked and most refreshing white wine from 100-percent Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

3.       2013 Castello Banfi Pinot Grigio “San Angelo” (Tuscany, Italy) 
There are innumerable Pinot Grigios on most retail wine seller's shelves, but this single-vineyard wine from Banfi’s Tuscan estate is my hands down favorite thanks to its rich, full flavor and lively, savory finish.

4.       2013 La Spinetta Moscato d’Asti (Piedmont, Italy) 
Piedmont’s La Spinetta Estate is one of Italy’s premier wineries. Their rendition of the increasingly popular Moscato d’Asti represents everything that is enjoyable from the ancient Moscato grape: very aromatic, slightly `        bubbly (frizzante), low in alcohol and absolutely delicious.

5.       2012 Di Majo Norante Sangiovese (Molise, Italy)
This 100-percent unoaked beauty from Italy’s Molise province is the only red in this group. It is light on the palate, full of flavor, pure in its Sangiovese red fruits and, like all the whites listed above, it is best when served quite cool.

For Best Results:

  • Serve these wines in a glass that tapers toward the rim. This will allow you to fully capture the unique aroma of each one.
  • Fill your glass about a third full and twirl the wine inside the glass to release its bouquet.
  • Before swallowing, let the wine linger in your mouth to coat your palate. This will allow the wine to impart its best qualities.
  • None of these great value wines need to be decanted. It is acceptable to to pour them right from the bottle into a glass where they will quickly breathe as you begin to enjoy them.

Dr. David Black has served as an instructor and lecturer at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida since 2009. Black has more than 30 years of experience in fine wine and spirits, including an intensive, five-year Master of Wine Program, studying viticulture, winery techniques, business, blind tasting and evaluation. He has also traveled extensively to major wine regions in France, Italy, Germany, Spain and California. Click here for more information about the Rosen College Wine Education Program.

8.13.2014

Weigh in Wednesday: Kickin' it on Keto


So it's been a while since I've done any public weigh-ins. At the end of May I ended up herniating a disc in my back and have been in a lot of pain. I haven't been able to go to the gym and my eating for a few weeks afterwards was really bad. I was fed up and could care less. It was a bad cycle. Then I stepped on the scale and saw I had gone over 200lbs and was shocked and sad. I decided even without exercise I needed to do something about it. So I did. I've toyed with doing a ketogenic diet before and have tried a few times, but never gave it 100%. On July 7th, I took pics and started keto and have not looked back.

Keto is basically a low carb, high fat diet. Instead of your body relying on glucose to give you energy (as it would when eating carbohydrates), your body starts converting fat into ketones and using ketones for fuel instead. I read an amazing book, Why We Get Fat that has since changed my view on everything regarding food, weight, and dieting. I highly recommend everyone read it.

Today I weighed in at 187.2. Down 15.8lbs since July 7 - it's pretty amazing and I cannot wait to hit my weight loss goal of 135 lbs. It's scary showing this pic...but here it is.


Yeah, it's not so hot, but it's me, haha. This is only a month in and I can't wait to see where I'll be another month from now.

I've been eating some amazing food that I will do a post on later, but if you follow me on Instagram, you've seen the tasty goodness.


General Tso's meatballs, homemade fried chicken with cheesy cauliflower mash, shrimp scampi on spaghetti squash (which I LOVE) and homemade alfredo pizza. All yum, all good to eat on keto. I do also follow IIFYM, but I tailor it for keto - I do 5% carbs, 25% protein, 70% fats.

Hope everyone else had a successful weight loss week and let me know if you have any keto questions :)

8.11.2014

Organic Gluten-Free Baked Goods from ginnybakes


I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Medai Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product


I absolutely love baked goods. Be it cookies, muffins, or brownies, I definitely do not turn down a delicious baked treat. Lately though, I've been doing my best to avoid products containing gluten (and especially wheat) because I've realized they just don't agree with me. Unfortunately, many times avoiding these things means avoiding tasty treats. I'm so glad Moms Meet introduced me to ginnybakes and their amazing line of organic, gluten-free baked goods.


  • ginnybakes offers a line of scrumptious chocolate chip cookies made with tempting dark chocolate.
  • ginnybakes’ coconut oatmeal bliss line is made with organic coconut blended with dark, organic raisins, crispy whole walnuts, and gluten-free rolled oats to make the perfect oatmeal cookie with a tropical twist.
  • You won’t find any artificial ingredients in ginnybakes cookies.
  • Every product from ginnybakes is gluten-free, organic, non- GMO, and kosher. They also offer a line of totally vegan treats.
  • ginnybakes produces cookies, bars, crumble snacks, and baking mixes—to fit each every one of your cravings.
  • The retail price for a 5.5 oz box of ginnybakes is $5.99, the price is the same for a case of their mini boxes.
  • ginnybakes products are sold at Costco stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, Whole Food Market stores, and Fresh Market. They recently found their way into Stop & Shop, Giant, Martin’s, Big Y stores, and Peapod for those who live in the New York and New England region! Use the store locator on ginnybakes.com to find even more ginnybakes locations. 

As all of my friends and family know, I'm a bit of a cookie connoisseur. I love nothing more than to bite into a sweet cookie for a little treat. The cookies from ginnybakes are like a tiny little bit of heaven. I absolutely love the Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bliss cookie - it had the perfect amount of chocolate mixed in with the oatmeal and I had to resist just sitting down with the entire box. My son was a big fan of the butter cookies and would try and climb up into the pantry to get them out. I love that these cookies are a little soft on the inside with a nice crunch on the outside and they're the perfect amount of sweet without being overly so. 


They also make some fabulous baking mixes. Hubby and I went out of town for the weekend while my parents stayed to watch the Nugget. I decided to make a batch of these Peace, Love, and Crumble muffins for them. My dad immediately dove into them when they arrived at my house even though it was almost dinner time. Let's just say these muffins were gone by the time we got home 2 days later - I'm definitely glad I managed to sneak one for myself before we left. In addition to these muffins, ginnybakes also makes mixes for cookies and brownies.


The ginnyminis are my son's favorite thing. He begged for me to put them in his lunchbox for summer school everyday and I had to go looking for them at Whole Foods when I ran out because any other cookie simply would not do for him. These are perfect to throw into a lunch box or even for a quick treat on the go. 

All of the products from ginnybakes are so good. From their pre-made cookies to their muffin mix, and even ginnybars (like granola bars only 1,000 times better), all of their products taste great and are something I feel comfortable eating myself and feeding to my family. Not only is it hard to find good tasting and quality organic baked goods, but it's even harder to find gluten-free ones. I'm glad that thanks to ginnybakes, I no longer have to sneak in treats for myself that I don't feel good about because they make being healthy easy and delicious.

Connect: You can connect with ginnybakes on their website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and @ginnybakes on Twitter.

6.18.2014

Easy Green Cleaning with Ology from Walgreens


  1. I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product. 
I absolutely love the idea of natural cleaners, but I never feel that they work quite as well as the "regular" ones. I've tried every brand out there and have even made my own, but they just weren't working for me. I'm so glad Moms Meet sent me the new Ology brand products by Walgreens to try because their products are the solution to my green cleaning problems. 

Ology has an extensive line of products from paper towels and all purpose cleaners to laundry detergent and personal bath products for you and baby. 

  • Ology 2x Laundry Liquid Detergent is gentle on clothes and your skin, while still fighting tough stains. It works in both HE and regular machines and
  • is formulated to thoroughly clean all types of loads (regular, delicates, and woolens).
  • Ology 2x Laundry Liquid Detergent is available in a free and clear scent as well as a spring lavender vanilla scent, both of which are derived using only natural ingredients—nothing artificial.
  • Ology detergent contains no dyes, artificial fragrances or phosphates.
  • You won’t find these harmful chemicals in Ology products: ammonia, chlorine bleach, DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, nonylphenol ethoxylates, triclosan, and SLS/SLES.
  • Ology products are made using plant-based and mineral-based raw materials.
  • Every Ology bottle is made from 100% post-consumer materials.
  • Their products are never tested on animals and do not contain any animal byproducts.
  • The Ology brand is endorsed by Healthy Child Healthy World, a national leading independent nonprofit organization, dedicated to the protection of children from harmful chemicals.

I tried the Ology Ultra Absorbent Paper Towels, 2x Laundry Liquid, and All-Purpose Cleaner. I immediately grabbed a load of my son's laundry and used the 2x Laundry Liquid. It worked great in my HE washer and didn't over or under suds. I was really curious as to how clean my son's clothes would get since they can get pretty dirty from being outside, but they all came out nice and clean. The laundry liquid retails for $6.79.


I then set to work to tackle my kitchen with the All-Purpose Cleaner and the paper towels. I immediately noticed how thick and plushy the paper towels felt. They're made from renewable sugar cane husk and quick growing bamboo. They worked great with the All-Purpose Cleaner at wiping up messes and got up a lot of grease on my stove that I normally would've had to spend a lot of time scrubbing. The Meyer lemon and lavender scent of the All-Purpose Cleaner was really nice and not overpowering. The cleaner worked great and I will never ever bother with another cleaner again because this one is leaps and bounds better than any of the other green cleaners out there. 

I can't wait to go to my local Walgreens and check out all of the Ology products. I love that I can get all of my cleaning and personal care supplies in one place without having to drive all over town to different stores to get different products I might need. When it comes to green cleaning and green living, Ology products are definitely the way to go.

Connect: You can connect with Ology and Walgreens on their websiteFacebook, and/or @Walgreens on Twitter!


6.11.2014

Injury MIA

Hey, hey, hey! I've been gone from the blog world for a few weeks now due to injury and therefore lack of anything to write.

Somehow I ended up with some severe sciatica that sent me to the ER. It affected my right leg, made it numb, and I quite literally couldn't walk and was in so much pain I'd have rather been in labor. So I got some good drugs and have an MRI tomorrow to see what's going on.

Because of this I haven't been able to workout at all :( It sucks, but my right leg is just so week. I may end up having to do physical therapy. Let's hope for some good news tomorrow!