Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quick & Easy Changes to Start Leading a Healthier Life

One of my goals for this year was to get healthier for myself and my family.  I thought to myself, “piece of cake!” but then I got real.  There is no quick fix to getting healthy and losing weight.  You must dedicate yourself to “you” and that is when you’ll start to see things happening!  Watching what you eat and exercising are just a small percentage of the battle of getting healthy.  It is a complete lifestyle change and when you are ready, these few fundamental quick and easy tips will help you to get started.
1.      EAT SMARTER – Please don’t do what I’ve done and give up all your favorite foods!  You are just setting yourself up for failure when you do that.  Instead, eat just a little less everyday at every meal or substitute a protein shake for one or two of your meals.  Another idea is to leave the last bite or two on your plate at every meal.  Over the course of just one week you could save yourself approximately 700 calories!

2.      LESS MEAT AND MORE VEGGIES – This is a challenge in my home.  My husband loves his protein and I only cook one meal for my entire family.  We are going to try to incorporate this into our meal plan though.  It is shown that eating red meat increases your risk for heart disease and cancer.  Try swapping out one red meat meal a week with a vegetarian one!

3.      SERVE MEALS ON A SMALLER PLATE – Psychologically this is one of the easiest ways to start to eat a little less.  Most dishes these days are about 10-12 inches in diameter so when you switch to a smaller plate, you will eat less because these is less room to pile the food on!  Less is more.

4.      COOK AT HOME – Now I know what you’re thinking…..I try to cook at home I’m just so exhausted!   Here’s the truth.  I am too.  I don’t cook every night.  I want to, but there are just days that I can’t.  None of us are perfect.  Try to cook at home just one more night a week than you usually do.  Foods that are cooked at home are naturally lower in fat and calories because we are in control of the amount of fat we are cooking with. 
5.      CLOSE THE KITCHEN DOWN! – I remember growing up that after 8:00 the kitchen was closed.  No snacks, no nothing.  Late night snacking while sitting on the couch watching TV and unwinding from a long day just turns into many unwanted pounds over time.  Your body struggles to “work off” these calories in your sleep.  Close down the kitchen just like if you closed a restaurant.  If it isn’t open, you can’t get that late night snack.  If you just absolutely cannot do it, put your snack in a bowl or on a plate to prevent you from downing an entire bag or box!

6.      TAKE A VITAMIN – It is shown that society today is not getting the right amount of nutrients on a daily basis.  Taking a vitamin makes sure you get those nutrients regardless of what you eat and you’ll start to feel better within days!  If I don’t take my vitamins, boy do I know it!  I’m tired, cranky, and dragging all day.  Click HERE for the vitamins I take.

So, start making these little changes today and you’ll see that over time and probably without realizing it you are losing weight and building a foundation for a healthier lifestyle! 

Also, there is only two more days to take advantage of our Shaklee free membership!  You can get the vitamins I listed above for 25% off with the membership and auto-ship!  Makes for a really sweet deal!  If you would like more information you can also contact me at

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Our Weekend in Pictures….

Wow!  What a weekend!  Where did the time go….Does it go by as fast for you as it does me?  This weekend we visited a local hands-on children’s museum.  I thought it would be fun to share with you our experience in pictures.  We had a great time.  Ethan was already asking when we could go back when we were driving home!  J  We will definitely be going back this summer on the days where it is just too hot to go outside!  I hope you had a great weekend too!  Talk to you all tomorrow!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Disinfecting with Basic G

If there is one thing I can’t stand other than a dirty house is the germs!  I was a huge bleach user until I stumbled upon Shaklee.  Did you realize that bleach is considered a pesticide by the EPA?  Unbelievable!  I was disinfecting my bathroom sinks, toilets, laundry, and even my kid’s toys with bleach!  Yikes!

Now, I use Shaklee’s Basic G.  It is a safe and effective alternative to that yucky bleach.  Basic G is awesome.  It kills far more pathogens than Lysol (Basic G kills 32 pathogens and Lysol kills 8) and it’s effective for 3 days, whereas bleach lasts about 1 hour.  It is non-toxic and biodegradable.  It is also super concentrated so one quart of this magic stuff will make up to 64 gallons of disinfectant!  Can you feel the weight lifting off your wallet?  Total money savings!  Yahoo! 

I use my Basic G on a variety of places in my home.  One place that I’m always cleaning is my daughter’s diaper pail.  It’s great on garbage cans, toilets, bathroom sinks, the shower or bathtub, kitchen counters (please not around food), door knobs, light switches, and even floors.  Some people even use it as a weed killer!  (1 gallon of water, 1 tablespoon of Shaklee Basic G, ½ cup of white vinegar)

If you are a Lysol or Clorox wipe fan, Shaklee has the alternative for that as well.  The Germ Off Disinfecting Wipes are great for cleaning around the toilet, the kitchen counter, or surfaces in your bathroom.  I keep a container of these in my car as well because they are great on the go too. 

So, here’s what you do….First, jump off the bleach train and grab a bottle HERE.  Once you receive it, just mix just 3/8 of a teaspoon to 16oz of water or 1 tablespoon to 1 gallon of water for bigger jobs. (Use within 30 days once mixed)

That’s it!  So easy and safe!  Again, if you want to start to remove the toxic cleaners from your home my suggestion would be getting a Get Clean kit and the Basic G.  It’s a great investment for your health and your family’s health. 

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summertime Fun for the Kiddos!

Now that I have taken on the role of being a Stay at Home Mom, I have been compiling a list of things I’d like to do this summer with my kids.  I have never had the experience being home with them in the summertime other than a week of vacation that I would take at work.  I’m so excited to finally be able to have some fun in the sun!  I thank God everyday that I have been given this opportunity to be with them.  I thought it would be fun to share my list so far and see if you my readers have anything that you’d like to add.  It’s a long summer, so the more the merrier!  J

·        Have an indoor picnic (perfect for a rainy or really hot day)

·        Play in the sprinkler

·        Start a garden (flowers and veggies)

·        Go bird watching

·        Take a trip to the local park

·        Go visit a children’s museum

·        Go berry picking at the orchard

·        Set up a lemonade stand

·        Go fly kites

·        Build a fort out of pillows and blankets

·        Have a water balloon fight

·        Go bowling

·        Spend a day volunteering our time for a local charity

·        Go to the beach

·        Make some homemade bubbles and wands

·        Start a fire and make smores!

·        Take a trip to the amusement park

·        Camp out in the backyard (my husband will be doing this….I choose to stay inside where it’s bug free!)

·        Go to the petting zoo

·        Make homemade popsicles

Please add any more you can think of in the comments section below.  I’d love to hear your ideas!  J

Have a great day!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Super Easy, Kid Friendly, English Muffin Pizzas

Ok, so this isn’t the most gourmet recipe in the world but its fun, kid friendly, and really easy!  My husband works well over 2 hours away from work so most nights it’s just me and the kids for dinner.  With my hands so full, I usually turn to things that take me 30 minutes or less.  These pizzas are so versatile.  I’m sure most of you have already made these before and know that there are so many variations to the recipe.  I like to stay on the more healthy side so I don’t use pepperoni, bacon, or any of the really greasy stuff.  In this particular recipe I used Italian chicken sausage.  It’s awesome!  Any way you make these, I’m sure they’ll be delicious! 
  • 2 packages of English muffins
  • Olive oil         
  • 1 jar pizza sauce
  • ½ tsp of garlic powder
  • ½ tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Whatever toppings you like on pizza (In this recipe I used Italian Chicken Sausage)     
Preheat your oven to 450.
Split the English muffins and brush the outside with olive oil, place the cut side up on a baking sheet. 

Sprinkle the muffins with the garlic powder
Toast in the oven until slightly brown. 
Remove from the oven and top with pizza sauce, toppings, the mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning. 

Even Ethan likes to help!
Bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly brown. 
Here is Ethan's plate….I always like to have some sort of veggie with every meal!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Meal Planning 101

Welcome to my first of an ongoing meal planning series for Mom’s and Dad’s!  As a very busy Mom who is taking care of two children, running a business, and going to school, I find it very difficult to not have a plan in place when it comes to meals during the week.  Before I started meal planning, my husband would pick up take out on the way home from work or I’d cook frozen junk that really took no effort at all.  Both of these are extremely unhealthy and not creative.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t cook gourmet meals every day.  I make things that are not only healthy, but quick and easy as well, because let’s face it, who has the time! 
So, twice a month I’ll be sharing with you my lovely and faithful readers our menu and give you some tips on what works for me.  I do my big grocery shopping trips twice per month and then weekly I get my essentials, milk, fresh fruit, veggies, etc.  I plan according to what is on sale and I also clip coupons.  This is a bit time consuming on my Sunday nights, but I have saved a significant amount of money. 
Without further ado, here’s my menu for the next two weeks!

Mother’s Day Dinner at Aunt Sue’s House
Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli with rice
English Muffin Pizzas with Italian Chicken Sausage
Stuffed Peppers
Chicken Parmesan with Salad
Tater Tot Casserole
Teriyaki Steak on the Grill with Veggies and Baked Potatoes
Crockpot Bolognese with Salad
Chicken Enchiladas
Meatloaf Muffins with Rice and Veggies
Crockpot Chicken Philly Grinders and French Fries
Tacos with Mexican Rice
Grilled Honey lime chicken with Mexican 3 Bean Salad
Grilled Pork Chops with Sweet Potato and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Note:  I post my menu on the front of the fridge so I know what I need to thaw out first thing in the morning.  This way, I don’t even need to think about it!  I also keep a magnetic notepad on the front of the fridge as well so if I run out of something my husband or I will make a note of it.  This makes life very easy when it comes time to plan my grocery shopping trip. 

I’m also going to be sharing with everyone some of the recipes I make for our dinners.  Now, keep in mind, I’m feeding an extremely picky five year old!  Need I say more?  I cook very easy, very kid friendly meals that work for my family.  I try very hard to instill what my Mom taught me which is to have a meat, veggie and a starch at every meal.  Do I do this every night?  Nope.  I’m human!  I do try my best though. 
Tonight I’m making English muffin pizzas with salad.  I’ll be sharing the recipe tomorrow so please stop back!
Have a great day!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend so far!   We have been quite busy helping my brother with his new house.  He’s literally flipping it.  He got a great deal on it, but it also requires a great deal of work.  My husband spent the day over there yesterday helping build furniture and install various things.  It’s really coming along.  I’m kicking myself for not taking some before and after photos because it’s such an amazing transformation! 
I just wanted to take a quick moment today to let you all know of the free shipping special we have going on for today only.  Today, we’re offering free shipping with any Enfuselle Skin Care System purchase.  I absolutely LOVE the Enfuselle line.  I was always a Neutrogena fan until I came across this stuff.  My skin is incredible and has never been healthier and best of all, you deserve it!

If you are a member you can order the kit right HERE. 
If you aren’t a Shaklee member yet you can join FREE with your Enfuselle Skin Care System purchase!  Order right HERE.
Our system comes in two formulas, Normal to Oily and Normal to Dry.  Pick whichever one is right for you!
Just don’t forget….This is good for TODAY only!  While you are at it, don’t forget to enter into the Mother’s day giveaway!  It’s right below this post. 
Have a great day and Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mommy & the Monsters Mother’s Day Contest!

Hi Moms!
It’s that time again….the time where our families celebrate us for all the hard work we do for them all year long!  It’s the day where we can stay in bed and let our husband’s cook us breakfast and take care of the kids!  Don’t you wish it was everyday!  I know I do! 
To celebrate this fun day I thought it would be fun to have a little contest for the weekend.  There are only 2 requirements….here we go!  J

First, you must subscribe to the Mommy & the Monsters newsletter (The sign up box is on the left hand side)
Second, you need to respond to this blog post and tell me one thing you LOVE about being a Mommy. 

Ok, so I know what you’re wondering…..What do I win?  Well, if you are like me, I LOVE the spa.  With having my two monsters at home I just don’t get there as much as I used to.  I absolutely adore this Enfuselle Spa Shea Butter Cream.  My skin is so much softer and hydrated since I started using it.  This stuff rocks!  One of you lucky Mommy’s will be receiving a full size bottle from me!

I’ll draw one lucky winner Monday morning (5/14)
Good luck and Happy Mother’s Day!


Follow Me on Blog Lovin!

You can now follow me on Blog Lovin!  This is a site that keeps track of all the blogs you most commonly read and puts them all on one page.  You’ll be notified every time a new post is published to the blog!  Very cool! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Naturally Get Rid of Allergies Once and for All!

Most people who suffer with allergy and sinus problems feel they must resort to using medications that have unpleasant or even dangerous side effects.  For those who may be interested in safe, more natural alternatives, some of the following premium products by Shaklee may be of interest. 

To strengthen the immune system, start here:

Optiflora Probiotic Capsule

Scientists now believe that 70% of our immune system is located in our gut….a good place to start to strengthen our immune system against allergic reactions.  There appears to be a surprising correlation between symptoms of upper respiratory congestion and sinus discomfort to poor elimination in the lower intestines.  This is often associated with an overgrowth of the Candida yeast organisms.  An increasing number of Americans suffer from Candida when the essential friendly microbes nature intended to reside in our intestines get destroyed by medications such as antibiotics, steroid-based drugs (e.g. asthma medications), oral contraceptives, and more.  Couple this with a culture so entrenched with sweets, breads, baked goods, chips, and snacks that are the favorite foods of the Candida organisms. 

The Optiflora Probiotic Capsule is a patented technology that allows the very fragile probiotics to pass through the highly acidic stomach protected by a triple encapsulation so they arrive exactly in the right location: the lower intestines. 


Developed and extensively tested by immunologists in Japan, this proprietary blend of natural plant is derived from pumpkin seeds, safflower flowers, plantago seeds, and Japanese honeysuckle flower buds.  Nutriferon supports and stimulates the immune system by increasing the activity of macrophages (white blood cells) and inducing natural interferon production.  It optimizes the body’s immune response against environmental irritants and airborne substances (as with allergies and asthma).  It is complete safe – no adverse reactions to these plant extracts have been recorded. 

Sustained Release Vita-C

For continuous antioxidant protection against environmental assaults, this unique all-natural sustained formula slowly releases Vitamin C into your blood stream over a 5-hour period and provides nutrients from the entire Vitamin C complex, including bioflavonoids.  It is very economical.  It has been found to protect against smog, chronic infection, allergies, asthma, colds, flu, swollen glands, anemia, stroke, poor diet, stress, bruising, varicose and spider veins, colon polyps, and slow healing. 

Vita-Lea Multivitamin/Multimineral Tablet

Supported by seven clinical studies, Vita-Lea has a patented bio-activated absorption system.  Over 340 quality control tests are done on every batch, so you know you’re getting exceptional quality!  Each serving contains 23 essential vitamins and critical minerals, including 800 IU of Vitamin D3.  It’s also Kosher and Gluten-Free.

Also helpful to relieve symptoms:


With deep roots extending 10 to 20 feet below the soil, this plant is rich in trace minerals and protein, and also contains 8 digestive enzymes.  Recognized as a natural anti-histamine, allergy suffers report good results from taking 3 or 4 of the little compressed sun-dried leaf tablets.  It contains no pesticides, fungicides, growth regulators, or synthetic hormones.  Other popular uses for alfalfa are swelling, painful and stiff joints, ulcers, stomach ailments, hiatal hernia, water retention, gout, body odor, and bad breath. 

Premium Garlic Complex

Retains all the potency of a clove of fresh raw garlic without the odor.  Garlic is traditionally used for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties.  People often take it to relieve symptoms of allergies, asthma, colds, flu, sinus infections, yeast infections, diarrhea, and flatulence.  It also has heart protective properties of lowering elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 


Emphasize fresh vegetables and avoid sugar, breads, and baked goods.

Reduce exposure to toxins:

In addressing allergy and sinus problems, a two-fold approach is usually recommended:

1)     Strengthen the immune system (as discussed above), and

2)     Avoid products that could aggravate allergy and sinus problems, such as certain cleaning products.  Many cleaning products not only irritate the skin, but their odors can irritate the upper respiratory problems. 

Shaklee Get Clean Starter Kit

Step one in reducing toxins in and around our living space is to remove all toxic cleaning products from the home and replace them with the non-toxic, earth-friendly Get Clean product line.  Oprah Winfrey named these remarkable, effective, and yet inexpensive cleaners among her “favorite things.”  They can be purchased for the kitchen, bathroom, and the laundry….all for $99.  The Get Clean Starter Kit is the equivalent to $3,400 in store-bought cleaners!  Each product is ultra-concentrated and saves you money.  Kosher certified.

Basic-G Highly Concentrated Germicide

Disinfectant made without cresol.  Cresol is easily absorbed through the skin and causes digestive disturbances, nervous disorders, mental changes, skin eruptions, and jaundice.  Basic-G kills parvovirus, feline leukemia, distemper virus, and the AIDS virus on surfaces.  Note: for allergy and sinus relief in the winter when it’s dry, remember to use a humidifier with a few drops of Basic-G to inhibit bacterial growth. 

Enfuselle – Nutrition Therapy for your Skin

Combine advanced technology with herbal and botanical extracts and antioxidants and you get a skin care line for even the most sensitive skin.  It’s hypoallergenic, pH balanced, with no artificial colorants or heavy mineral oils, and noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores).  Plus, it contains a comprehensive, highly derma-available complex designed to actually break each link in the chain of free radical damage.  Enfuselle literally reverse the accelerated aging of the skin caused by computer screens, fluorescent lights, and the sun.  Available in either Normal to Dry or Normal to Oily skin types

Other helpful products:

Defend and Resist Complex

Contains Echinacea which activates the immune system, promotes production of white blood cells, and enhances resistance to infection (both bacterial and viral).  It is also anti-inflammatory, promotes wound healing, reduces mucous, relieves boils, gangrene, ulcerations, bites, abscesses, and fights Candida yeast.  It contains larchtree extract and elderberry to surround viruses and help prevent their reproduction.  It is best taken at the onset of a virus.  It can also be used as a zinc lozenge or made into tea.  It is very soothing to sore throats. 


Because the brain is the most sensitive organ in the body, many experts recommend eliminating foods and environmental irritants that could create brain allergies.  (Source: Doris Rapp, M.D. “Is This Your Child’s World?”) Using Shaklee cleaning and personal care products may be helpful as they are based on the philosophy of “Living in Harmony with Nature.”

Information courtesy of Lagoni Health Associates