Since I have started eating healthier at the beginning of this year, oatmeal has quickly become one of my favorite breakfast dishes. I used to think oatmeal was so flavorless and boring, but now that I have been experimenting with adding different things to it, I have realized just how amazing it can taste. It’s also really filling, so it keeps me from snacking on junk food all day long.
I browse Pinterest for new oatmeal ideas quite often, and I recently came across this Healthiest Bowl of Oatmeal recipe. This recipe featured oatmeal, blueberries, honey, greek yogurt and almonds. Oatmeal can often taste dry, so I really love the addition of greek yogurt to make it creamy. While I do like to add nuts to my oatmeal on occasion, I just wasn’t feeling it this morning, so I added a few different things to mine instead. I absolutely loved the flavor combo that I came up with!
BLUEBERRY BANANA OATMEAL BOWL
If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast that’s bursting with flavor, give this Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Bowl a try!
1/3 cup steel cut oats
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 of a banana (sliced)
1/2 cup Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon granola
1 tablespoon chia seeds
a few dark chocolate chips
drizzle of honey
Combine 1/3 cup steel cut oats with 3/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 5 minutes.
Spoon oatmeal into a bowl, top with greek yogurt, blueberries, banana slices, chia seeds, blueberry granola, dark chocolate chips and honey.
I’m part of a group of bloggers that remakes pins we find on Pinterest to make them our own. For more fun Pinterest Remakes projects, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:
Thank you Frito-Lay for sponsoring this post. This spring, try the new twist on seasonal snacking!
I can’t believe Easter is coming right up, can you? I feel like we just got through Christmas! I honestly don’t know where the time is going, but I wish it would slow down just a little bit. Admittedly, Easter kind of snuck up on me this year, as we celebrated my son’s first birthday this month, and my family has been busy preparing for the birth of my nephew, who will make his appearance any day now.
I have been scrambling to put together an Easter basket for my family at the last minute this week, but instead of just hitting up the candy aisle at the store like I normally do, I wanted to try something new and different. I thought it would be a neat idea to put together an Easter basket with items to have a fun day at the park. My family loves going to the park in the spring and summer, so I know this Easter basket will be a big hit with everyone!
The first thing I picked up was a small cooler. I used this as the “basket” to pack everything in. We always like to have a picnic lunch when we go to the park, so having a cooler to keep our sandwiches and drinks cold will come in very handy.
There are quite a few different parks in our area, and we like to rotate which ones we go to for a change of scenery. Sometimes we go to a park that has picnic tables available, but that’s not always the case, so I thought a blanket that we could all sit on while we enjoy our lunch would be nice.
Playing at the park usually consists of kicking around a ball, throwing a Frisbee or flying a kite when the breeze is just right, so I added some of those to our basket, too. I just know we will all have a blast using these toys this spring and summer!
It’s really important to stay hydrated while we spend the day playing outside, so I added water bottles for everyone to our Easter basket. We all have our own designated water bottle now, which will make things a lot easier for us when we are on the go.
I think every Easter basket should also include something sweet, so I added a couple bags of Cheetos Sweetos snacks to ours. Sweetos snacks took Americans by storm last year by swapping the signature Cheetos cheese flavor for delicious, cinnamon-sugar puffs for the first time in the in U.S. market in the brand’s nearly 70 year history. Cheetos, the masters of cheese, have brought back Sweetos, the cinnamon sugar snacks just in time for the Easter season, and I’m so happy they did! They are a perfect and tasty way to end our fun day at the park!
We all know how popular candy animals are around Easter time, but it turns out a lot of people would actually love to find a sweet treat in their Easter basket that isn’t candy. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 91% of Americans consider one or more traditional Easter treats to be “overrated”, and honestly, I would rather eat something else, too!
Their Sweetos snacks are a great alternative to the traditional Easter candy treats, and are sure to please any seasonal sweets lover. They are only available for a limited time, though, so go stock up for your Easter baskets now!
Follow Cheetos on Facebook for the latest news and promotions, and I wish you all a very Happy Easter!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of ModernMom and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Posted by Mindy on March 18, 2016Comments Off on Create Healthy Habits in 30 Days with Nature Made®
This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
Having two kids in the last three years was quite a challenge for me. During both of my pregnancies, I really lost all motivation to stay fit and active, or to watch my diet. After my babies were born, my unhealthy habits grew even worse. I started eating unhealthy foods even more, as I was always busy taking care of my babies, and I didn’t feel like I had the time to eat healthy. Most of the time, I grabbed whatever I could find in the house – chips, cookies, etc. and ate it as quickly as I could, so I could get back to what I was doing. This caused me to gain a lot of weight quickly, make me feel bad about myself, and hate the example I was setting for my kids.
With a little push from friends and family who were all feeling the same way, we decided to make a change, together. Since the beginning of the year, with the help of my support system, I have been doing my best to live a healthier lifestyle. I learned to create healthy habits, such as watching portion sizes, adding more fruits and veggies into my diet, cutting out soda and processed foods, drinking more water and getting moderate exercise almost every day. I’m happy to say that I am down 16 pounds and 2 pant sizes, and feeling pretty good!
While I have seen a boost in my energy levels since I started eating healthier and exercising, I still struggle to get myself in gear most days. As a Mom of a 1 year old and a 2.5 year old, life is pretty chaotic most of the time, and by the end of the day, I’m left feeling completely worn out.
While I had gotten in the habit of taking a daily multivitamin and Vitamin D every day, after having my son last year, I felt like I could really benefit from taking something extra – something that would give me more energy.
I recently took a trip to Walmart to check out Nature Made® vitamins, and the one that really interested me the most was the Super B-Complex, which provides cellular energy production (it converts food into cellular energy!) and antioxidant support.
B vitamins are also necessary for normal functioning of the nervous system and the Super B-Complex formula contains high levels of B vitamins and C vitamins for antioxidant support, and to help support a healthy immune system. I really like this, because, as you know, little kids get sick so often and in turn get their parents sick. So, I would really like to give my immune system a boost as well.
I have to say, Nature Made® is pretty awesome. Their vitamins are made from carefully selected ingredients under strict manufacturing processes, so you know they are high quality, but they are also very affordable. I love that I can get that at Walmart, without having to wait for a sale.
Nature Made® is also the nation’s #1 best-selling brand for quality vitamins, minerals and supplements* to help support nutritional gaps. They really care about their consumers, too, which is why they have created a 30-Day Healthy Habit Builder Program to help you create healthy habits. You can participate by selecting four habits you’d like to build over the course of 30 days. Then, complete weekly challenges to help you establish a routine and begin your journey to a healthier you! You, also, can get rewarded as you progress with prizes, coupons, and more. Upon signing up you’ll be automatically entered to win a grand prize of $5,000. How great is that?!
Even though I have already started to create healthy habits in my life, there are still some areas that I want to improve. I am trying to gain more energy, so the four habits I have selected for this challenge are to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night, take time to recharge every day (very important for us Moms!!), watch an hour less of TV each day and to remember to take a lunch break every day. I think these are all reasonable expectations that I can easily meet, and I am excited to get started on this journey.
I would love to hear how you plan to create healthy habits this year. Do you take vitamins and supplements on a regular basis? Will you join the 30-Day Healthy Habit Builder Program, and if so, what are the four habits you will build?
I’m excited to partner with Nature Made® on this Influencer Activation for Influence Central to share how and why I am adding vitamins and supplements to my daily routine and to share this great giveaway for one of 20 $50 WalMart gift cards. The contest closes on March 19, 2016.
I-C will randomly select 20 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.
Go to NatureMade.com/Challenge and join the Nature Made® Healthy Habit Builder program at NatureMade.com/Challenge, where you can get motivation and tips around your specific health goals. In addition, you’ll be automatically entered to win a grand prize of $5,000*.(*For full rules and regulations visit NatureMade.com/Challenge)
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C) 18 YEARS AND OLDER.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Enter by 3/31/16. Internet access required. 1 Grand Registration Prize (actual value $5,000) and 30 Challenge Prizes (each actual value $250) available to be won. For Official Rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit HealthyHabitBuilder.com. Sponsor: Pharmavite LLC, 8510 Balboa Blvd. Suite 100, Northridge, CA 91325.
The sponsor of this sweepstakes is Nature Made. WebMD is not related to or responsible for the sweepstakes.
If you’re looking for some inspiration to help you reach your health goals, check out the Nature Made Daily Boost program! While you’re there, you can also get a sneak peek at what other Nature Made fans are doing to stay healthy, which is great motivation!
Today is 3.14, so it’s time to celebrate Pi Day with 25 delicious pie recipes I have rounded up from some of my favorite fellow bloggers. These are some of the best looking pie recipes I have seen on the internet, and I can’t wait to try making a few of these myself. What could be better than treating yourself to a tasty slice of homemade pie tonight?! Nothing, that’s what!
Which one of these delicious pie recipes will you try first?
My daughter, Kayleigh, is almost 3 years old, and lately she has been showing quite a lot of interest in making crafts. She’s a very imaginative little girl, and loves to build and make things. With Easter coming up soon, I thought it would be a perfect time to make an Easter craft with her.
After asking her if she wanted to make a bunny, lamb or chick, she excitedly told me that she would love to make a cute little Easter chick. I raided my craft stash to see what I had on hand that could be used to make an Easter chick, and found a small yellow paper cup, yellow Easter grass, cardstock, pipe cleaners and craft eyes.
Easter Chick Craft
This craft is really so quick and easy to put together. It took us less than 10 minutes! This is a great craft to make with young kids, because they don’t sit still for too long, and they like to see results very quickly. It is also a craft that is easy for them to help with. We used a glue stick to put everything together, so there is no mess to clean up!
Kayleigh absolutely loved her little Easter chick, and she had fun setting him on different surfaces around our house. She even asked to keep it in her room with her when she went to sleep tonight. As you can see, it was a big hit!
Small yellow paper cup
Orange, black and yellow cardstock
1 orange pipe cleaner cut in half
Yellow Easter grass
Turn cup upside down, glue orange pipe cleaner halves onto the bottom inside of the cup.
Next, glue the craft eyes on the front of the cup.
Cut out eyebrows from black cardstock and place them above the eyes.
Cut out a beak and feet from the orange cardstock.
Glue the beak onto the cup so that it is centered directly below the eyes, and glue the feet onto the ends of each pipe cleaner.
Cut out wings from the yellow cardstock and glue them onto either side of the cup.
Glue a tuft of yellow Easter grass to the top of the cup. You can then trim the Easter grass to get your desired look.
For more creative Easter and spring ideas, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:
I have been compensated by Pedialyte for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own.
Our house was hit pretty hard with “the sickies” last week. Kayleigh woke up in the middle of the night with a temperature of 103.1, then proceeded to get sick all over her bedroom rug, and John and I both came down with a horrendous head cold that lasted several days. Needless to say, it wasn’t a very fun week and I am thankful that we are all finally on the mend.
It was a rough week, but we managed to push through it, somehow. Parenting is hard, but it’s even harder when you are sick, too. To make things easier, I got Kayleigh all snug and comfortable on the couch during the day, played her favorite movies on the television, and kept her well hydrated with Pedialyte, of course. She was really easy going, and quite content with that, thankfully. It allowed John and I to also get some rest while we were fighting our head colds.
I have given Kayleigh Pedialyte during sick times for a while now. She is normally very picky about everything she eats and drinks, especially when she is sick, but she really loves the flavor of Pedialyte, and I love to see her drinking hydrating liquids.
I always try to keep some Pedialyte Powder Packets on hand, so we have them when we need them. They are available at Walmart, where I do most of my grocery shopping, so I just add a box to my cart every once in a while to keep my stock up. They are right in the baby section, which I frequent quite often anyway, for diapers and wipes, etc. Pedialyte also comes in ready-made 1 liter bottles and freezer pops!
The Powder Packets are so easy to store and use. I love that I can stash them in the car, my purse, diaper bag, etc. for whenever Kayleigh needs a little extra hydration. While we mostly use them during sick days, they also come in handy when we have been running around outside, or spending the day basking in the sun at the beach.
I pack a few 16oz. bottles of water and when we need a little added hydration, I pour two of the Pedialyte Powder Packets into the bottle and shake it up. It’s really so easy! Sometimes we put two of the same flavor in, and sometimes we mix it up by adding two different flavors.
Since we were all feeling so much better today, we decided to head out to the park to get some fresh air. I wanted to make sure that Kayleigh was well hydrated, as we are still just getting over this sickness, so I made up a bottle of the Pedialyte when we got home. She requested apple and grape together, and absolutely loved it!
Pedialyte is the #1 pediatrician-recommended oral electrolyte solution and the #1 pharmacist recommended brand for hydration. It’s really a great beverage choice for helping to prevent dehydration, as sports drinks, juice, and soda are too high in sugar and too low in sodium, which is an important electrolyte lost due to diarrhea and vomiting.
Are you a member of ibotta? I have been for a while, and I absolutely love it! I get cash back on my grocery purchases, and whenever I reach $20, I can request a deposit directly into my Paypal account. Cha-ching! Right now, you can get $2 off any (1) 8 ct powder pack of Pedialyte with the ibotta app. How great is that?! I know I will be stocking up!
What are your tips for keeping little ones comfortable during a sickness?
Being a first-time parent can often be stressful and overwhelming, and even more so if you’re caring for a colicky baby. My first-born daughter, Kayleigh, had colic and it was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. I was a new Mom. I had just recently left my Paralegal job of 10 years to stay home with my baby. I was adjusting to all of these different things happening in my life, a new body, and on top of it all, I had to learn how to cope with my daughter’s colic.
How can you tell if your baby has colic? Well, it is normal for all babies to cry, but a baby with colic will usually cry for more than 3 hours a day, for more than 3 days a week, and for more than 3 weeks a month. Excessive crying usually happens around evening and night time. Colic will usually present in the first 6 weeks of life and may continue for up to 4 months – and possibly even longer in some cases.
While Kayleigh was a perfect angel during the day, at night was a completely different story. The screaming would always start at 7:00pm on the dot and it would last for several hours. I learned to expect it every single night, and it would bring a feeling of dread over me as the day progressed. I found myself stress eating at dinner time, because I knew what was coming next.
The stress ate away at me every day. I felt like a failure as a parent. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to make my daughter happy. I didn’t understand why she was crying so much every night, why I couldn’t help her. I was exhausted, and I felt so alone in those late night hours, as I waited for her to finally fall asleep. I was moody and touched out, and it really drove a wedge between my husband and me.
Having a colicky baby really takes a toll on the whole family. Did you know that 3 out of 10 babies will have colic at some point? Prior to going through this experience myself, I didn’t know anything at all about colic, but as the weeks passed, I actually figured out a few things that worked to soothe my colicky daughter.
TIPS FOR SOOTHING A COLICKY BABY
Rocking. I learned that colicky babies like motion. I noticed that Kayleigh was most content when she was moving. She hated laying down, and she hated it when I would just hold her in my arms without moving. I spent many nights just rocking her back and forth in our rocking chair, and I found it to be quite helpful.
Babywearing. Kayleigh always wanted to be held close to me during her colicky nights, and wearing her in a wrap or carrier helped to give my back a rest for a while, and also allowed me to keep my arms free to get other stuff done around the house. It truly was a lifesaver!
Soft, upbeat music. To save my sanity during one of Kayleigh’s late night crying sessions, I put on one of my favorite Bob Marley albums, and I was quite surprised to see that it actually helped to soothe Kayleigh as well. I started singing “Three Little Birds” to her as a lullaby while I rocked her, and to this day it is still one of her favorite songs. Music can really bring a calming effect to a stressful situation.
Another thing that can be helpful in soothing colicky babies, is to try switching formulas. Research shows that the type of bacteria in an infant’s intestine may determine whether they are colicky. This suggests that probiotics can help to support a balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract of colicky infants. The probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri has been clinically shown in multiple studies to successfully reduce crying time in colicky infants.
If your colicky baby is breastfed, Gerber® has a product for you, too. Their Soothe probiotic Colic Drops with L. reuteri are ideal for breastfed babies.
If you are currently caring for a colicky baby, please know that this phase doesn’t last forever. It will end, and you and your baby will both be happy again. In the meantime, try using the tips and tools above to bring some relief to both of you.
This post was sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
My daughter, Kayleigh, is almost 3 years old, so she is at that age where she is curious about everything and is constantly asking questions. She talks all day long, about anything and everything, from the moment she rises in the morning, until she passes out in my arms as I rock her to sleep at night. She has always been very interested in learning new things, and I love seeing the wonder and excitement in her eyes whenever she learns something new. I feel that early learning is so important for her development, so I do everything I can to help keep her curiosity alive. Encouraging curiosity in children has so many wonderful benefits, including leaving them feeling intellectual, valuable and unstoppable.
We love to go on outings to places the Maine Discovery Museum, where she can explore, socialize with other kids, and learn so many new things.
While it’s fun to get out of the house, we also have fun learning new things right at home. Kayleigh and I started watching an awesome television show, called Signing Time, when she was about 8 months old. It is a show that we both absolutely love, and I especially love how different it is from most other television shows that are geared towards children. Every single moment of every episode presents an opportunity for learning, not only sign language, but so much more. Kayleigh learned all of her colors, shapes, numbers, letters and more at a very young age, and I am sure watching Signing Time had a lot to do with that.
Signing Time, as well as its sister-show, Rachel and the Treeschoolers, have really left an impact on our lives, and I love to share them with other people whenever I can. They are such a great learning resource for kids, and even adults! Just by watching these shows, I have been able to learn a great deal of sign language in my 30’s, without even taking a class. It’s never too late to learn something new!
In addition to watching educational shows like Signing Time and Rachel and the Treeschoolers, we read a lot of books. Kayleigh’s favorite books are the ones that have photos of various items with labels underneath them. She loves to point to the images and tell me what each one is. We are currently working on learning the different types of dinosaurs. It is so fun to hear her try to pronounce names like Brachiosaurus or Iguanodon.
Did you know that 61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their home for their children?1 That is just so unbelievable to me. I can’t imagine my children growing up without access to books at home. They are such an important learning resource.
In middle-income neighborhoods, the ratio of age-appropriate books per child is 13 to 1, while in low-income neighborhoods, it is only 1 book for every 300 children!2
It is so heartbreaking to know that there are so many children out there who are not being given access to the tools they need to learn, or the opportunity to build their imaginations. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is working hard to change that with their #SparkAMind initiative. They believe that everyday moments can spark curiosity and stimulate the mind in an instant, and these individual moments of curiosity add up to something much bigger – a lifetime of learning.
I am really excited about the #SparkAMind initiative, and it’s really easy for you to get involved too! All you have to do is use the hashtag #SparkAMind on social media, and it will appear on the #SparkAMind mini-site for everyone to share. You can do a search for the hashtag on social media or on the campaign website to read ways others are encouraging learning, too. Every time someone uses #SparkAMind on social media, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will donate a children’s book to an early learning organization. How great is that?!
You can also introduce your own kids to a great learning resource with the Curious World app from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It is an early learning app designed for kids, aged 3-7, and you can get a 20% discount on the membership here! which is an early learning app designed for kids ages 3-7. This app has over 500 fun and educational games, videos and books available for your child to learn from.
Happy March, everyone! I am so excited that St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. It has always been one of my favorite holidays, mostly because it also happens to be my younger sister’s birthday. I always have so much fun buying her lots of green gifts and making her a St. Patrick’s Day themed birthday cake. I also happen to really love mint flavored things, so that makes this holiday really wonderful, because it gives me the perfect excuse to eat lots of minty things.
Below, I have rounded up some of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day Dessert recipes. I promise they are not all mint flavored, but of course, some of them are! No matter what you’re in the mood for this St. Patrick’s Day, I’m sure you’ll find something the whole family will enjoy in the recipe collection below! Which one is your favorite?