Castles in the Sand

Hello all!
I hope everyone has been doing just wonderfully! Life has been crazy busy, but crazy good all at the same time. We are currently hanging out at the beach for approximately 6 months. My hubby got a project out here so, life will be a beach for awhile. I am super thankful, too, that a friend of ours will be staying at our house  holding down the fort while we are away. Gotta love great friends who need a place to live!!

So, we are enjoying life at Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, Alabama area. I am loving it. The weather is still a bit chilly and windy on some days, but overall lovely. Not bikini weather YET but, still great for buidling castles in the sand and collecting seashells by the shore. ;-)

I was in quite a hurry to head out the doors since I discovered that the hubby has a beach front condo for the next two weeks (we'll be home for the holidays then depart again) and since there was an ice storm heading to the TN area I thought we'd beat the storm and head out early. In the process I lfet behind some essentials..one of which being my cell phone charger. I am phoneless because I accidently left my cell phone charger at home.. I have been wanting to update phones anyway (something smarter, you might say) and well, could not imagine buying something for a phone I did not want to keep...call me cheap, call me silly...well, nevermind...you can't call me if I am phoneless. ;-)

I also forgot to pack that fabulous little cord thingy (oh, I am so techinally wordy, huh?) that puts the pictures on my camera to my computer. So, I have lots of pictures to post but can't right now. Will get those up when I am back home during the holiday. Needless to say this post will be photoless. ;-(

So, today I am on a hunt for a place to live starting the first of the year..wish me luck. The sweet hubby has let me borrow his laptop while he went to work this morning so I can get a move on that so I better get that done.

Have a wonderful day, Lovelies!!

Peace & Love,

P.S. I know I have mentioned it before but I really do have a CSN Stores giveaway coming soon. So, if I have internet tomorrow (fingers crossed) I will get that up. Internet has been hit or miss these days. So, please be patient with me. Getting situated in a new place is taking time....but, anywho... Keep your eyes open for that giveaway...CSN Stores rock in case you didn't know!! ;-)


Product Review: Tropics Best Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Hello all! Wow, it seems like ages since I've blogged. Well, let's just say that I could make up tons of excuses as to why my posts are few and far between these days...but, would you really want to hear "read" it? I'll just say busy busy are my days. When things slow down (which they will) I will post more. So, meanwhile....please be patient with me. ;-)

So, I happily received a jar of virgin coconut oil to test and review from the kind people over at Tropics Best.

Oh, I love coconut oil!

This is some yummy coconut oil! I would recommend this coconut oil to all coconut oil lovers and to coconut lovers, in general. This truly is full of coco-nutty flavor, which scores big in my book!

As someone who loves to try out new coconut oil brands, as I am on the hunt for the "best", I was very pleased and came to the conclusion after using this coconut oil that this jar makes me happy (well, the stuff inside the jar). It did not disappoint! Fresh and yummy!

Well, I better go...I realize this is yet another short post..I beg for your patience. ;-)
Have a lovely evening! Continue to stay tuned for fun things to come on this blog. Really, I'm serious. For starters..I've got a CSN gift card giveaway coming up.You won't want to miss out on that one. Trust me!

*Tropics Best supplied me with a jar of coconut oil to review on my blog. All of the opinions posted within the post were mine and mine alone. I simply share my honest opinions to those who will listen.


TofuXpress Giveaway Winner!

Hello all! Pardon my absence...much is going on right now that blogging has been pushed to the back burner for a bit, but I will return and with yet another awesome giveaway! So, stayed tuned!

So...for the moment you all have been waiting for...the winner to the TofuXpress giveaway is the author of ....http://veganwheekers.blogspot.com/

Congrats to the winner! Please get your mailing address to me within the next 48 hours so I can pass that on to the kind folks at TofuXpress!

And like I said earlier in this itty bitty post...I have an awesome giveaway lined up. For now..I am getting some big projects taken care of and will be back shortly.

Lots have happened that I want to fill you in on like recap to my first half marathon, as well as Thanksgiving food makings, and our soon departure to the beach for a work project that will take 4 to 6 months. Oh yes, busy but blessed times!

God Bless!
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Feeling Kind of Nutty...A Nuttzo Review

Hello all!!
If I wasn't already nutty enough, folks...Nuttzo kindly sent me a jar of some amazing nut butter to try (their Peanut Free Omega 3 Multi-Nut Butter to be exact) and review on the blog. So, I am officially nuttier than before trying this. Can you handle it? ;-) It's that good!!

Love. In. A. Jar.
I have used this goodness on toast, straight from the jar on a spoon (one of my personal favorite ways to devour it), and also in oatmeal, and overnight oats. Scrumptious! I love how it has chia seeds in it (I adore chia seeds, just be sure to brush and do the chia-seed-teeth-check after eating ;-) All you avid chia eaters will probably know what I'm talking about. Haha!

Also, I like how it doesn't have peanuts in it. I, personally, do not have a problem with peanuts (some know me as the peanut butter queen, in fact). But, I like that there is a peanut free option available for those who need it and want it.

I can't wait to try the original Nuttzo (which does have peanuts in it). I am sure that one won't disappoint either!

Here is some info you might find interesting!!!

Now through the end of the year (12/31/2010) with a minimum of a $28 order you will receive FREE SHIPPING and Handling.  Coupon code: happyholidays2010
For nuttzo.com orders only, not opensky.

Why You'll Love NuttZo PF (PEANUT FREE)
Remember NuttZo is natural so the oils do separate.  Therefore, when you first open NuttZo, all the healthy oils will be at the bottom of the jar.  Just like with all natural nut butters, after the oils separate the nut butter can be quite hard at the top.  Keep pushing a butter knife down through the nut butter paste into the oils.  The nut butter paste will start to combine back into the oils. Once you’ve knocked all the paste into the oils stir into a creamy butter.  You must stir the oils before you refrigerate. Refrigerate lid side up once it's opened. No need to stir again. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Serv. Size: 2 Tbsp (32g)
Serv. per container: 14 

Calories 180
Fat Cal. 140
Total Fat 15g (24% DV), Sat. Fat 2.5g (13% DV) Trans Fat 0g, Cholest. 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 65mg (3% DV),Total Carb, 8g (3% DV), Dietary Fiber 3g (13% DV), Sugar 1g, Protein 6g.  Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. 
Ingredients:  Organic Cashews, Organic Almonds, Organic Brazilian Nuts, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Flax Seeds, Organic Hazelnuts, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Sea Salt.

Here are some helpful facts about our power-packed multi-nut butter:
  • You’ll taste the earthy, elegant hazelnut pieces and nutty, flavorful, crunchy flax seeds in every bite. Whole brown flax seeds add fiber as well as nutritious Omega 3s as long as the skins have been broken through chewing. The Aztec Superfood-Chia seeds are added for easy absorption of Omega 3s as well as  hydration qualities to assist athletic workouts and races. 
  • NuttZo PF is RAW except for the flaxseeds and Hazelnuts which are medium roasted.  Also the NuttZo is ground below 118 degrees.
  • No added sugar in NuttZo PF. 
  • Provides 75% of your DV of ALA Omega-3's per serving (975 mg). 
  • Organic ingredients; kosher certified.
  • Stored upside down for easier stirring. After opening, stir it, and then refrigerate and store it “lid-up”; the oils will separate naturally, but who wants a mess!
  • NuttZo PF is AKA (Ashley Koff R.D. approved)
  • The TASTE is AMAZING; it will keep you coming back for more!
  • A 16-ounce jar of NuttZo retails for $19.95 and each jar provides 14 servings. This equates to less than $1.45 per serving of organic nut-nutrition. 
Also, NuttZo is a proud supporter of ProjectLeftBehind.org
1% of NuttZo's sales goes to the Project Left Behind Foundation.

So, let me know what you think about this goodness aka "love in a jar". Have you tried it yet? What are your thoughts?

Tip of the Day- Go enter my giveaway (if you haven't already done so) for a chance to win a TofuXpress. Click here to enter! Contest ends Nov. 24th!

Have a wonderful weekend!! Oh, and wish me luck...I am running my first ever 1/2 marathon on Sunday!! I'm so nervous...especially since I haven't started training for it (well, not really). Okay, that's a long story and will have to wait till next post. ;-)

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TofuXpress Giveaway!!

Hello Blogosphere!  Well, I have teamed up with the great people over at TofuXpress and have some exciting news! One lucky reader will win a fabulous TofuXpress food press! 

You may have remembered my recent review of this wonderful, time saving kitchen gadget. You can read that review here.

I have been very happy with my TofuXpress and am thrilled that I can offer you all the chance to have one of these in your kitchen, as well!

To enter please do this FIRST: (leave one comment total telling me which ones you did.)
- follow @tofuxpress on Twitter
- or like TofuXpress on Facebook
- subscribe to their newsletter at www.TofuXpress.com

Additional Entries:.
- follow my blog publicly on Google Friend Connect (1 entry)
- follow @coconutkelly on Twitter (1 entry)
- mention this giveaway, with the link, in a blog post, and leave a link to the post (2 entries)
- Tweet this giveaway with a link to this post. Include @coconutkelly and @tofuxpress in the Tweet. (1 entry daily)

Winner must live in the USA.

Last day to enter is Wednesday, November 24th at midnight EST.
The lucky winner will be randomly selected via random.org and will be announced shortly thereafter!

Here are some pictures of the TofuXpress in action!! I love this little gadget! 

Go for it! Good luck! Have a very happy Thanksgiving!
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Soy Candles Giveaway Winner...

Hi everyone! I hope you all are having a great start to your week. I've had a good, but busy morning so far. Looking over to my left I see a mound of laundry that needs folding and put away the size of a mountain. Eek..But, other than that I have great news...

I have a winner to my first ever giveaway!! Oh, the suspense!!

The suspense is just too much to handle!

And the winner is..... Heidi from HiHIRosies's Place blog!. Congrats to Heidi! She has been notified and will soon be enjoying some rockin', delicious smelling soy candles!

Heidi... I hope you are this happy,too!

No worries to all that didn't win because I have another fabulous giveaway lined up for you all, and should hopefully get that up and posted tomorrow!! You won't want to miss out on that giveaway!!

Well, I better get a move on as that mound of a laundry mountain is beginning to groan, I do believe...or maybe that's my belly. I better get lunch fixed, too!

Have wonderful day!!

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Highlights from the Week..Wordless-ish Wednesday

Hello! I hope everyone had a lovely Wednesday! We had a great one, but super busy! This evening we took the kids swimming at the gym and they loved it!! It's been awhile since we've done that so...it was about time for some well-overdue pool fun! The kids are becoming quite the skilled little swimmers, and they have so much fun together in the pool! It's adorable. I, unfortunately do not have pool pics as the hubby and I are splashing around with them.

Oh, yes...this is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday so...shutting up now. ;-)

Picture time...

Too bad the kids weren't feeling it. 

Those aren't peppers,btw!

My birthday rose from my Love

Poms so pretty...and tasty!

"Can I have a Larabar, mommy?"

Just thought I'd share some of the week's highlights...have a great Thursday!

P.S. My first giveaway is underway and ends on November 14th (Sunday)...if you haven't entered to win TWO delicious smelling soy candles from Soy Candles by Phebes click here.

P.P.S. Also check out Anne P.'s (from fANNEtasticfood blog) Giveaway...enter to win Quaker's Amazing Morning Kit. Click here to enter.

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109 Years Old On Mainly Raw Foods

I saw this posted on The Raw Food Health with Angi Blog this morning and thought this was worth sharing! Very impressive and inspiring! He has been eating raw food for about 104 years. He looks great and says he feels great, too. Love this!

I believe many people could benefit from watching this!

Oh, and have you entered my FIRST giveaway yet? Win TWO delicious soy candles! Click here!

Have a beautiful day!
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JustNatural Organic Skincare: A Review

Hello Blogosphere!! By the sounds of it..many of you are attending the Food Buzz Festival in San Francisco this weekend. I am not one of them, unfortunately...one of these years I will (fingers crossed). I think it would be great fun to go and finally meet those bloggers who I converse with about healthy foods, fitness, and overall wellness. One of these years I say...one of these years.

Really, though...I think that until I really start blogging more about food and dishing out those fantastic recipes to you- should I even dare attend one of these grand events for food bloggers? I'm thinking probably not YET! I'm working on it. Promise!

To all who are attending...I will live vicariously through your posts and tweets. ;-) Have lots of fun!

So, onto a review. I was recently sent a 4 oz container of Natural Body Shea Butter from JustNatural Organic Care to review on my blog.

You might recall I recently did a review on shea butter. I am in love with shea butter. This was my first time trying a shea butter with a mix of a variety of all natural skin loving ingredients. I am always a big fan of being able to pronounce all of the words in an ingredients list. If I can't read it or decipher what an ingredient is...well, it doesn't touch my skin.

This body butter is a lovely, thick, moisturizer for skin. It doesn't feel greasy, blends into the skin quickly, and has a lovely soft scent of frangipini (plumeria) and lavender essential oils. Very refreshing scent. I love putting this on right before bed as I find the scent very calming and relaxing. I give this a two thumbs up! Oh, before I forget...one other thing I like about this product is that a little bit goes along way, which is good because you wouldn't have to buy it as often (I like that). Who wouldn't,especially in this crazy economy? ;-)

Oh, have you entered my giveaway for TWO soy candles from Soy Candles by Phebes? These are simply some delicious smelling candles which fill up a room with yummy smells. Don't be bashful!  Enter here.

Have a great evening! Have a wonderful weekend!

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Easy Peasy Coconut Milk Makin' with Native Forest!

I hope everyone is having a super sunshiny day! It's a bit on the cold, dreary side here but, I can still feel the sunshine within! ;-)

Well, today I wanted to share with you a little trick for making coconut milk. Me talking about something coconut? Hmmm...imagine that!

A friend of mine recently shared with me her trick for making homemade coconut milk, similar to those found in grocery stores. I quickly ran out a purchased a few cans to try my hand at making coconut milk as well as coconut milk kefir.

The cartons of coconut milk can be a bit pricey and I'm all about saving a few dollars when I can. Another thing is that most of the time it appears that the main bulk of the purchase comes from water?? True, it would be best to get the coconut milk straight from the coconut, but for those who lack the time needed to crack open the nuts of goodness..this is your answer! Of course, for optimal nutrition you should get it from a fresh coconut..that would be best! This would be your next best choice. An option I am glad I discovered! It makes my taste buds dance.

Okay...so, onto the recipe:
I've been using Native Forest brand canned coconut milk as it is the only company that I am aware of that does not use BPA canning.

So, you simply open up the can and mix with 2 1/2 to 3 can fulls of filtered water. Shake it up before each use. It's that simple! 

It appears that the cost of the Native Forest brand varies from store to store so, I'm still searching for the best deal. Greenlife grocery seems to be the best at the moment, followed by Earthfare.

Coconut milk is relatively low in protein so, I might experiment with adding a smidge of protein powder to the finished product, but maybe not. It's just a thought. We shall see. I have yet to get my hands on a good vegan, raw protein powder anyway (though, I know they are out there).

What's your favorite way to use coconut milk? What's your favorite brand or do you only use it straight from the coconut? 

Have a blessed, sunshiny day! Oh, and don't forget to enter my FIRST ever giveaway! One reader will win TWO soy candles from Candles from Phebes! Enter now!!

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Monday Music...plus Costume Fun!

Hello! I hope everyone is having a wonderful first day of November! I can't believe it is already November! This year is flying by so quickly! Well, I missed my morning boot camp class today. Oh, I hate to miss a workout but, sleep was so needed and I couldn't stand the thought of leaving the warmth of my hubby (he is my own personal heater) in our bed. Baby, it's cold outside that early in the morning!! But, I'll hit up the gym bright and early tomorrow morning and work doubly hard. ;-)

Oh, don't forget to enter my FIRST GIVEAWAY!! One lucky reader will win TWO soy candles from Candles by Phebes! These candles rock!

Oh, I hope all had fun dressing up last night (if you did). We didn't dress up this year, next year we will. Here are a couple pictures from last year's party...didn't end up with any good pictures of my daughter who went as a princess! She moved too quickly for a good shot. She was a princess on the move...and quickly! ;-)

Trying for the Captain Morgan pose! ;-)

He was so little...oh my! Arrr!
So, I've been thinking that I really need to start baking up some unique things and share them with you all. I am not too gifted in creating my own recipes, I'm sad to say. But, I could still share pictures of some of my kitchen creations, right? Right! I will work on that one...yes, as well as posting information on my exercise activity. I love exercise so much and yet, speak so little of my routines and such. Work on that...will do!

So, on to some random Monday Music...I got this song stuck in my head this morning. It's from that television show Cheers, which I used to watch as a kid. Why my parents allowed me to watch a show about life in a bar I do not know, but I remember always liking the song. I'm sure the fact that my name is 'Kelly' played a part in that...I could never get over the fact that Kelly was ultra snobby and so ungrateful...Who wouldn't LOVE having a song written and then sung for them? That would be gift enough for me, folks!! Anyone agree with me on this?

This just makes me laugh!

Must go live life now...Happy November all!!

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Candle Duo Giveaway + Review ~Soy Candles by Phebes

Hello all! Well, yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day...beautiful weather, beautiful company. Yep, like I said...beautiful day. 

The Hubster left on a motorcycle trip with a friend of ours so, it was just "Little Sprouts" and me..fun times were had hiking up and down our long driveway (it's tucked back in the woods and is winding and steep so it's fun and great exercise). Also, a trip to the park was enjoyed by all. My sister and her adorable kids met us at the park. My sister's kids, who, are currently taking gymnastics at the elementary school, taught me how to do a back bend. Yes, I never took gymnastics in school...and honestly, I feel I missed out!  Watch out gymnastics world...here I come. Ha!  Sadly no pictures are currently available on my grand back bend. But, I rocked it!! ;-) 

I recently received some soy candles to review from the fabulous companySoy Candles by Phebes. Oh wow! What an experience! Let me first say that I absolutely adore candles. In fact, Fall seems to scream for candles to be lit and enjoyed. Anyone else agree with me on this? 

So, I was thrilled when Soy Candles by Phebes offered to send me two of their candles and two tarts to sample. Let me first state that these are soy candles and soy is truly the best candle in my opinion! Soy candles simply burn cleaner, are longer lasting, and are soot free. Score!!

Some good-to-know facts about Soy Candles by Phebes...in case you were curious. 
  • The candles are made in Atlanta, GA.
  • Each candle is hand poured at the time of order.
  • Only essential oils and premium plant derived fragrance oils are used.
  • Over 90 scents available (some with just down right awesome names, too!) (I'm a sucker for names)
  • Packaging is eco-friendly.
  • Soy wax is 100 % US grown.
  • Candle jars are glass and can be re-used after candle is gone.
  • Candles come in one size (8.5 oz) and one color (natural).
  • Each candle is only $12.99, which is very reasonable...trust me I've done the research. ;-)
  • Handcrafted.
  • Made to Order.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Never tested on animals.
  • Free from man made chemicals.
  • Braided cotton lead free wicks.
  • Phthalate Free
  • Strong smelling (in a good way).
  • Earth Friendly.
  • Free Shipping on orders over $25.
So, the two candles I was graciously sent to try were Ginger Bergamot and Red Current. Both of these scents are outstanding! I have tried my fair share of soy candles over the course of my life and can say that I love these best. The smell from the candle fills up a room perfectly. I didn't have to stick my head right above the candle and risk burning the tip of my nose to get a good whiff. The Ginger Bergamot was lovely..perfect ginger aromas filled my kitchen. My nose was happy (and not just because it avoided being burned). ;-)

The Red Current scent rocked! This scent seemed to be even stronger than the Ginger, which I like my candles strong so I was very happy with this scent. 

The two tarts scents I received was Vanilla Pear and Butt Naked. Yes, those are some naked bums pictured on the Butt Naked tart packaging. Creative, heh?  

Vanilla Pear smelled so good I almost wanted to eat it at times. It was lovely!!  The Butt Naked was out-of-this-world fresh and clean smelling. As if I just emerged from the shower. I'd definitely want to have Butt Naked burning after getting home from mountain biking in mud (I love mud fun). Just the smell would make me think clean, fresh thoughts. ;-)

A few scents that I am wanting to try just because they sound so unique:
  • Eat it Raw (for the raw vegan me)
  • Coco-Loco (for my crazy love of coconuts)
  • Hippie Christmas (this one just sounds super interesting!)

***Buy 3 Candles Get 1 free for Kisses from a Coconut Readers!!***
Simply say you found Soy Candles by Soy Candles by Phebes on Kisses from a Coconut blog, as well as what scent you would like in the free text area of your order. 

Now onto my FIRST giveaway! In honor of my birthday being in November and to the generosity of the kind folks over at Soy Candles by Phebes ..I am hosting my first ever giveaway! I'm super excited! One lucky reader of Kisses from a Coconut is going to win 2 soy candles (a $26.00 value). 

Mandatory Entry:
To enter you must first follow my blog and then visit Soy Candles by Phebes website, browse around, then tell me in a comment what scents you would like to win most. (1 entry)

Extra Entries:
1. Follow me on Twitter (@coconutkelly). (1 entry)

2. Tweet about the giveaway. Leave a direct link to the tweet in a comment. (Please make sure to include @coconutkelly in tweet) You can do this daily. (1 entry)

3. Publicly follow 'Kisses from a Coconut' with Google Friend Connect. (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to Kisses from a Coconut in a reader. (1 entry)

5. Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to my site. (5 entries)

6. Subscribe via email to Kisses from a Coconut & then confirm that subscription (don't worry..I rarely blog everyday). (2 entries)

7. Add Kisses from a Coconut to your blogroll with a link back to me. (1 entry)

Giveaway ends on Sunday, November 14th.

*Winner will be randomly chosen using a random.org number generator. Must be 18+ years old to enter. Giveaway only open to U.S. entries only. Winners will be contacted via email and posted in this post when confirmed. Winner will have 48 hours to confirm before a new winner is randomly chosen. Please leave your email address in your comment if your Blogger profile is not public (so I can reach you if you win).

Many thanks to Soy Candles by Phebes for sending me some samples to try out and also for offering two candles for a giveaway! I'm sure my readers will be so thankful!

So, seriously...you don't want to miss out on these candles! They rock! I love them and want to buy some ASAP! Fall and candles just go happily together. Kind of like peanut butter and apples...don't you think?

Have fun trick-or-treating, dressing up, satisfying that sweet tooth, spending time with cutely dressed kids, and all that other jazz tonight! ;-) Be safe!!

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My Cup of Tea & Two Reviews

Hello Friends! I hope you all are having a wonderful day! 

I want to take you on a adventure...I want your imaginations to run wild. I'd say close your eyes, but that would make reading this a bit challenging. ;-) So...the adventure will be to imagine you are me. Sounds funny, huh? Picture for a moment you are in the middle of a fun, but hectic morning-a high energy day to say the least. Life is busy, lots of noise, lots of laughter, maybe a few screams as one child pulls their sibling's hair ;-(. Can one really refer to a day with kids as anything but 'high energy'? 

I wouldn't change anything for the world. I am beyond blessed...much more than I deserve. God has blessed me and I am forever grateful! There are some days, mid-day..after feeding the kids lunch, reading them their afternoon stories, and getting them situated for their quiet/nap times that I simply crash..Wow, and it's only 1:00 in the afternoon?? Whoa! So, it's those moments when I need to unwind and momentarily put my feet up (if it be for only 5 minutes).

Enter onto the scene- a nice cup of tea

I have never been into drinking coffee.it's just never been my 'cup of tea'. ;-) I've somewhat just recently discovered green tea. I love it now. It is a delicious tea with loads of healthy antioxidants. It also has just enough "pick me up energy" aka caffeine to make me happy.

On the topic of caffeine- being what I know about caffeine and how caffeine isn't really all that healthy for me in the first place, I keep my consumption of it low. I try to drink no more than a cup a day. Really that is all I want. I believe that a cup should easily give me a healthy dose of antioxidants as well as be a treat for when I need a 'mama break'.

So, what about tannins in teas? I've read somewhere (sorry source is fleeting my brain right now) where that there are some who drink several (maybe up to ten) cups a day of green tea. The reason this is so shocking for me is that many suffer from anemia., me being one of them. ;-( I rarely read about tannins and teas on other healthy living blogs (though, that's not to say it isn't there..I may not be coming across it). Tannins make it difficult for the body to absorb iron. So, that's another reason I keep my consumption of it low..after having had two babies my menstrual flow can be heavy (aka anemia city)...sorry, was that too much info? hahaha! I make sure to drink my daily cup at least a couple hours before or after a meal, and I also try not to drink it daily during while I'm on my period. Anyone else deal with a similar issue? Oh how I wish even good things didn't come with side effects! ;-(

Maybe the ones drinking lots of green tea knows something I do not (quite possibly). I'd love to know their secret! Although, I honestly prefer to drink good ole' water throughout the day, with just a cup of tea for a healthy boost...I'm still curious what the secret is. ;-)

So, lately I've been experimenting (after a friend's recommendation) that I give yerba mate tea a try. It has fewer tannins than green tea, which is a plus for me. So, combine that suggestion with the gracious sample box I received to review from Mate Factor, I embarked on a a new tea experience. 

The flavor is outstanding! It is also quite energizing, but in a different way than what I experience with green tea. The energy and focus lasts much longer and with no jittery feelings (though, I never get jittery with green tea). I also love how it is very high in antioxidants..4 to 6 times higher than green tea. Good to know!

Oh, one thing I've recently learned is that studies are showing a correlation between drinking teas hot and various types of throat and mouth cancers..so, I'm careful to let mine cool a bit. I prefer to keep my taste buds free of burns anyhow, so this works out great! ;-) Call me weird, but I like being able to taste my food. Good for you to know? ;-) 

So, lately I've been enjoying the yerba mate with some NuNaturals NuStevia White Stevia Powder. I received the pictured box from the fabulous folks at NuNaturals to review and it has proven to be a wonderfully sweet partner with my yerba mate tea! Score! A match made in heaven! This is wonderful stevia powder and the the little packets aren't just cute, the stevia inside is delish...never bitter, which is a huge plus! Also, you don't have to worry about spikes in blood sugar. They also sent me a fabulous packet of recipes that I have been working on...pictures to come. I am also experimenting with recipes using stevia. Yep, those to come soon, too!

So, this afternoon's tea time proved to be a wonderfully relaxing, yet energizing one thanks to my two new friends...Mate Factor yerba mate tea and NuNaturals NuStevia Stevia. Just what a mother needs to unwind...okay, I will stop the commercial tones. I like them. Enough said.

So, what's your favorite kind of tea? Any info you want to share on tannins and anemia? Do you like your tea with stevia?

Disclosure: The companies mentioned above sent me products to sample and review on my blog. I received no monetary compensation for the review. All opinions expressed within this review are solely my own.
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My Love for Exercise plus a Wheat Grass Juicer Review!

Hello! How's your day going so far? I am off to a busy start today. Yesterday was an absolutely amazing day...the weather was gorgeous! I took advantage of it by getting in a great run and some abdominal work (well, I actually did the ab work inside, but you get my point.) ;-) I am especially loving the plank these days. What a great way to target the areas of the abs!! What a great core exercise!  Don't you just love a good workout? I love going running...it helps clear my mind and is so rejuvenating! Today I am feeling the pain from that ab workout and it is making me smile. It's the simple things in life, you know!

So, right now I have tons I need to be accomplishing! I am going to take a bit of a break to tell you about a package I recently got in the mail. Have I mentioned how I love getting packages in the mail?? Yes, I do love those sweet packages!  Speaking of sweet.. the people over at Lexen sent me one of their HealthyJuicers to review. I was super excited to receive this juicer as I have been wanting to get more into juicing wheat grass and  have been looking to compare wheat grass juicers. The health benefits are plenty of wheat grass!

So, onto the review...here is some pictures from some of the multiple practice sessions I had with it.

First off...wheat grass!

I love the way wheat grass shines in the sun!

The HealthyJuicer-the manual version!

The wheat grass and juicer team!

First taste of the wheat grass juice...yum!
I was very happy with how this juicer juiced the wheat grass. An electric would have obviously done the job much faster, but I was very impressed with how well it did the juicing. I would definitely take this juicer with me traveling as it is super light and easy to clean. Here is a picture where you can see all the pieces..

Now...on to making some apple cider with the juicer....

Since I had an extra box of apples (oh, I love Fall) I thought some apple cider making was in order. 

I made sure to slice the apples thinly as this made the juicer work more efficiently.  

Team: Apple and Juicer

Apples in position...

Apples and juicer doing their thing...

Carrots met the juicer, too!
Overall, I was very happy with how the juicer juiced the wheat grass, apples, and celery. It was super easy to clean and to put together. I recommend this product especially for juicing on the go away from home. I would love to eventually buy their electric juicer!


For my product review disclosure see here.
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Not So Wordless Wednesday: Leaf Hunting, Fall Love, Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Hello All! I hope you are all having a wonderfully blessed day! So, normally I keep my Wordless Wednesday  not too wordy...after all, the name implies that it should be. But, I've feeling kind of wordy today. ;-)

So, here are some shots (some fairly random) of our adventures outside enjoying the Fall colors and gorgeous weather...Notice the stickers on my truck (aka random shot #1). Oh yes, we love Colorado! I'm curious if we'll be hitting up the slopes this year (may have to wait until next year, is my guess..too bad Rocky got a season pass last time we were there and we may not be able to use it). ;-( 

This last year we got to get pretty cozy with Arapahoe Basin. This truly is a great place. Nice, laid back people..great snow. Yep, it's a keeper! You can see some pictures from our last trip to Colorado here.

Oh my truck needs cleaned and the stickers need some attention, too.;-)

Leaf picking with plans of making leaf pictures soon!

Oh the colors of Fall!
Feast your eyes on random picture #2...There's something about this picture I love. Simple yet rugged.
Rocky is fixing up a motorcycle he's had for a while. Don't you just love it when dirt meets handsome? ;-)
Lately I've been making my own laundry soap and now....homemade dishwasher detergent. We've been saving some serious cash by making these at home. It still shocks me when I see the cost of laundry and dishwasher detergent at stores. 

Many of the items I use in my laundry soap (which is great) I also use in the dishwasher detergent. Here's the recipe for the dishwasher detergent. Please note that in the picture I am using a really good apple cider vinegar (all raw and all). This is not necessary as you are not eating it. Really, I was supposed to be using just plain white vinegar, but since we made "volcanoes" as a science experiment with the kids (you know, baking soda and vinegar makes a mini volcano,right?) we were all out. The ACV does great, but I'd rather save it for eating..

Okay...seriously now, the recipe for the dishwasher detergent
1 Tbsp Borax
1 Tbsp Washing soda (not to be confused with baking soda) (Washing soda can be found in the laundry isle   of most grocery stores)
Vinegar (To be used as the rinse aid)

I mix up lots and put in a mason jars (gotta love mason jars). Shake it up and then put two Tbsp in the dishwasher for every load. Do, remember that the vinegar is very important key in the rinse aid portion of dishwasher.

Simple recipe, inexpensive ingredients. I can handle that!
The homemade dishwasher detergent line-up

I'm still experimenting with the homemade laundry detergent. Will let you know when I hit the jackpot on that recipe. 
Do you make any household items from scratch to save money and to cut down on some of the nasty chemicals? I'm still learning about all the possibilities and would love to hear your ideas,recipes, and tricks!

Have a happy Wednesday!

Love, Kelly

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