Archives for October 2016

Welch’s Fruit Snacks for Halloween!

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Looking for a great tasting snack for the Kids this Halloween? This one is even a healthier option!

The Welch’s® Fruit Snacks Halloween-themed box and pouch  have custom Halloween-themed graphics with fun shapes which include a bat, witch, haunted castle, and pumpkin and are perfect for trick or treating, lunchbox treats or parties. My son just tested these out for me and he says that he approves! He loves the flavors and thinks that the Halloween shapes are cool!

I like that they are fat Free and have real fruit in them! They are a healthier option than many candies and other sweet treats this holiday!

Available in the Mixed Fruit Variety, the 28ct boxes is available nationally for $4.99. I highly recommend!

Happy Halloween!

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Tips on Halloween Nutritional Swapping for Kids

Coined ‘America’s Green Nutritionist’, Kate Geagan, a frequent guest on morning news and talk shows, has helped millions of Americans fall in love with healthier, greener food choices that powerfully nourish their lives.  An award-winning dietitian and the author of Go Green Get Lean: Trim Your Waistline with the Ultimate Low-Carbon Footprint Diet(Rodale), Kate helps families thrive in America’s food landscape. Kate, who is also a mother of two, offers the following strategies to help your family survive the Halloween junk food frenzy and suggests insight to nutritional swapping.

1.      Spell out HALLOWEEN and hand out healthy snack packs such as Earth’s Best (Sesame Street) Organic Letter of the Day Vanilla Cookies.https://www.earthsbest.com/en/search/?q=COOKIES  Candy won’t crowd out the healthy foods if kids are intrigued with the tasty alphabet treat.

2.      Who doesn’t love a chocolate chip cookie? KIDSAFE Cookies are a perfect Halloween “treat” in its own little package.  https://earthsbest.com/en/products/mini-cookies-chocolate-chip-0-75oz/

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3.      Fill them up with healthy snacks first!  Foods packed with fiber enriched whole grains like Elmo and Big Bird shapes of Crunchin’ Crackers and Grahams in flavors of cinnamon, chedder and veggie digest slowly and provide your child with a steady stream of energy. https://www.earthsbest.com/en/search/?q=SESAME%20STREET

4.   DELICIOUS drinks that are made from real fruit juice purees – perfect treat to go with any snack.  http://www.ellaskitchen.com/ellas_range/lunchbox-drinks/

5.   Hand out non-food treats to the trick-or-treaters that come to your door – fake vampire teeth, glo sticks or other fun Halloween goodies.

Hope you find these tips helpful! I know that I do! Earth’s Best is a personal favorite of mine!

Self Disclosure: Tips and photos were provided to facilitate this post. I will be receiving samples and featuring soon so stay tuned! Credit:  Kate Geagan and Earth’s Best.

SUN-STACHES are a Must this Halloween! Need something silly and fun for YOU and the kids?

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Sun-Staches are the absolute PERFECT thing for mom and dad to take the kids trick or treating, without having to get totally dressed up! Great for kids, too!!!

 

You may have seen these guys on Shark Tank! They were on Season 6 and got a deal with Daymon Smith.

 

Sun-Staches are a new, fun style of eyewear PERFECT for HALLOWEEN or any occasion and are the answer to all your fashion follies.

 

They’re also perfect for tailgating, parties, playtime and gag gifts for you and you kids!

These really are quite cool and just perfect for the Teenagers! My son is pretty impressed with the Pokemon ones!

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Pokemon Sun-Staches are absolutely PERFECT for playing the game with your friends but they will be a hit this Halloween!

To see many of the awesome Sun-Staches styles, visit: http://sunstaches.com/

 

Sun-Staches are also available at Spencer’s, Hot Topic, Spirt Halloween, Party City and other national retailers.

 

Self Disclosure: I received samples and have reviewed in the past.  

 

Halloween Time with Stephen Joseph!

Halloween is almost here! I love all the cute, scary costumes!

How I wish my teenager was still a little kid!

Do you have a little one who would like a DIY type of cute costume? Stephen Joseph has the cutest  Create your own kit in a butterfly design that is just too cute!

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What I love is how simple it is! My niece had a blast designing this one! Young girls will have so much fun with this kit! Stephen Joseph also has other Create your own costume choices such as a Pirate, Princess, Superhero and more! Check them all out on their website! Right now they are on sale for $4.99! You can’t beat those kind of prices!!

Stephen Joseph specializes in bright and colorful gifts and products for your child.

Since 1981, Stephen Joseph has been dedicated to creating fun and unique gifts while delivering service to our customers which exceed their expectations!

CREATE YOUR OWN COSTUME PIRATE (S16)They are committed to staying true to the core values on which the company was founded: they focus on the details, they produce the highest quality products, and they believe in making customers happy!

Happy Halloween!

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Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post. Photos were also provided.

 

The Rootlets: Trouble at Plantasy Land

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Author, chef, and host of the healthy living TV show Nourished, Vicki Marquez was just featured in Chicago’s Daily Herald for her piece “Morning routines for school or office helped with breakfast on the fly” as well as her recipe Nutty Overnight Pudding for busy moms.

Vicki is a plant based chef who connects with kids, educators, and parents at Chicago-area schools through her Rootlets’ School Rocksprogram and the Rooting For You initiative, both designed to inspire a new generation of lifelong readers and healthy eaters.

A board certified health coach, she is the first chef to host a television show (Nourished, based in Chicago) structured as healthy living coaching. Vicki and her recipes have been featured in The Herald-News, Chicago Parent, Washington Parent, VegKitchen, and Chicago’s Daily Herald.

 

It’s opening day at Mr. Fungo Fungi’s magnificent amusement park, Plantasy Land…and The Rootlets couldn’t be more excited! With special surprises and newly sprouted rides, this is sure to be the greatest day ever! But when The Rootlets arrive at the park, they realize that something is terribly wrong. Plantasy Land is in trouble! Someone—or something—is destroying the park. Could it be The Great Zucchini, Mr. Fungi’s new magician? Or could there be an even greater danger lurking beyond the park? Most of all, can The Rootlets trust their new super rootabilities to help them save their favorite place on the planet?

This one is a must-read! Children ages 3-9 will enjoy!

Vicki Marquez author of The Rootlets

10-30-14 Vicki Marquez Head Shots Chicago, IL ©2014 Jennifer Kathryn Photography www.jenniferkathryn.com

10-30-14 Vicki Marquez Head Shots
Chicago, IL
©2014 Jennifer Kathryn Photography
www.jenniferkathryn.com

  1. What inspired you to create this series?

A: The idea of The Rootlets popped into my head one day as I was thinking about how I could help inspire kids to want to — and to be excited to — eat their veggies and make good, healthy choices. That thought lit a fire inside of me and I immediately knew that these characters were something special – that’s what inspired me to take action, create this series, build this brand and bring these characters to life.

 

  1. How would you describe the dynamic between the Rootlets—Brocc, Carrotina, Cornelius and Kaley?

A: The Rootlets are best friends, with a special bond and a lot of trust between them. They count on (and value) each others’ unique set of talents and strengths, and they operate like a little team…always rooting for and looking out for one another, no matter what kind of trouble their next adventure brings!

 

  1. How did you decide what traits the Rootlets would possess?

A: It wasn’t actually a conscious decision – they each began taking on certain characteristics with that initial vision I had of them. Right away it was clear who they were and what was important to each one of them. Brocc was smart and into studying, Cornelius was the jokester who loved to have fun. Kaley was a fancy girly-girl and Carrotina was a brave adventure-seeker. It felt like I knew them.

 

A few months after I wrote the first book (Super Rootabilities), my husband said to me that each Rootlet reminded him of me, like they were me — at the core — divided into four. And in retrospect, I can totally see that…everything that The Rootlets love, I love. So, I guess that maybe I subconsciously selected their traits based on those things…and that each one actually represents a little part of me.

 

  1. We have to ask about one of the most distinct aspects of The Rootlets—their vegetable hair. What inspired that idea?

A: When I first transitioned to a plant-based diet, my best friend kept calling me her “veggie head.” That nickname was running through my brain when I first had the idea of The Rootlets. I envisioned these adorable kids with big, veggie hairdos: a broccoli afro, carrot pigtails, blonde kernels, leafy green locks…it was how I saw them, and it was absolutely perfect.

 

 

  1. The Rootlets features bright and brilliant illustrations. Did the characters look the way you envisioned while writing the book?

A: My illustrator, Jeremy, and I actually developed the characters long before I wrote the first story, so I was lucky to have a very clear visual reference of these kids as I was developing the series. But I will say that when Jeremy sent me those very first sketches of The Rootlets, he 1000% captured on paper what these characters looked like in my head.

 

  1. Since you are an expert in health and nutrition with years of experience, what types of research did you do to write The Rootlets?

A: The Rootlets series is all about the evolution of these four young kids who learn that they’re superheroes and who now have to navigate the huge responsibilities that come along with that, so all of my research was focused around character and story development, as well as general writing tips and guidelines for kids literature.

 

The health and nutrition aspects of this series are indirect and expressed creatively, so that requires a lot less research, and a lot more imagination.

 

  1. In The Rootlets, adventurous kids who love to play and a healthy lifestyle go hand-in-hand. Was that connection intentional?

Yes, it was intentional, but also very obvious. The Rootlets are relatable role models who love to play, explore and go on little adventures, just like most kids – and those are all really great health-promoting activities to encourage.

 

  1. What is the key to inspiring kids to make healthier choices?

A: There are two keys: fun and familiarity! Fun is the easy one…kids seek it, love it, have to have it…and they’re motivated by it! So, when veggies and fruits are presented in a fun, exciting way, kids are much more interested in them.

 

Familiarity is the other key. Most kids (and adults) prefer to try (and buy) things that they’re familiar with. The Rootlets series introduces and popularizes healthy, plant-based foods, so that when kids see them in the grocery store or at the farmers market, they’re much more curious and excited to try them.

 

  1. Why is reaching and educating kids about healthy choices in elementary school important to their lifelong health?

A: Because so many of the habits that we have as adults stem from the habits that we developed when we were little. Good habits, like brushing our teeth, are gems that’ll serve us well our whole lives, but bad habits — especially unhealthy eating habits — are really hard to break and can lead to serious chronic disease and illness. Teaching kids, from an early age, about the superpowers of veggies and the importance of making good nutritional choices, establishes the foundation for them to build strong, healthy habits that will stay with them as they grow up.

 

  1. What would you consider to be the biggest challenge to raising healthy kids today?

A: Time…for sure! Parents are SO busy these days that finding the time to meal plan, shop and cook can be a real challenge. That’s why I’m really excited that our Rootlets blog now features quick and healthy kid-friendly recipes that parents can easily whip up and feel really good about sharing with their little ones.

 

 

Author website:

http://www.therootlets.com/

Buy link:  http://shop.therootlets.com/products/the-rootlets-trouble-at-plantasy-land-book-2

Self Disclosure: I received a free book to participate in the blog tour. Photos and info were provided.

Picking Up In Good Company dog **** bags are a must-buy! A must-buy from Boty Bogs!

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I like that these bags are easy to tear off the roll and that there is no need to double-bag! I also love the Santa design which is just perfect for the upcoming holiday season! They also do not leak and that means no mess on your hands! It comes with 4 rolls which means 80 bags because there are 20 in a roll.

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You can purchase them on Amazon.com.

Self Disclosure: I received free or heavily discounted products to facilitate this post. 

Eco-friendly tree free paper products are a must!

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I am always looking for ways to be more eco-friendly! It really is something important to me! I found out about a company called Vastly that makes paper products (toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, paper plates, napkins, etc.) in a very unique way: from wheat straw (a “waste product after wheat is harvested). No trees! Their products have a unique silky texture and are virtually lint-free with natural color. So the products are all completely compostable! But not only they make paper products, but they make fertilizer as a co-product of the process. Then, the fertilizer goes back into the very fields from which they get the straw to make the paper in the first place. I really think that it is pretty cool that no trees are used!

I received samples of the plates, napkins, tissue and toilet paper and they have  been a hit in our house! My favorites are the plates and the napkins!

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To find out more go to  www.vastly.com.

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Photos were provided.

San-J Organic Tamari Sauces are a hit in our house!

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I received three bottles of San-J sauces to try out and they were a big hit in our house!  I love that they taste great with such a variety of different foods! My favorite is with chicken, veggies and rice!

I like that they are Gluten Free and my favorite is the Mongolian Stir Fry and Marinade Sauce! It is so good with chicken and veggies!

 

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As you can see, the bottle is almost gone!

I also love the Soy Sauce and the San-J Organic Gluten Free Soy Sauce is made with 100% soy and no wheat. I was sold at the first taste!

More info:

San-J Organic Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce is certified organic, gluten free, vegan, Kosher and Non-GMO Project verified. • A 10 oz. bottle of San-J Organic Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce typically retails for around $4.45.

Look for it at a store near you! To find out more go to http://san-j.com/

Self Disclosure: I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.