Sunday, November 23, 2014

Monk Fruit In The Raw Feature #sponsored

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

LLC or the manufacturer of this product.
Let me start by saying I'm not big on artificial sweeteners or zero calorie products so I was skeptical to try out Monk Fruit in The Raw.  I was pleasantly surprised that this was an option that I could incorporate in my baking and beyond!  What I liked most is that it didn't have any sort of chemical aftertaste I am used to with other brands.  The Monk Fruit In The Raw Baker’s Bag measures cup for cup, just like sugar and can be used to replace all of the sugar in beverages, sauces, and dressings.  For baked goods, it is recommended to only replace half of the amount of sugar with Monk Fruit In The Raw for best results. Try to substitute half of the sugar in your favorite baking recipes with Monk Fruit In The Raw.  You can also visit Monk Fruit In The Raw for recipes here.   
A little more about Monk Fruit In The Raw
• Monk Fruit In The Raw is a wholesome, zero-calorie sweetener made from real
monk fruit, a vine-ripened fruit that is native to Asia.
• Monk fruit, known as luo han guo in Asia, was first harvested in the 13th century by Arhats, or “Enlightened Ones,” which translates to Monks in English.
• The sweet and delicious extract from monk fruit is blended with other sweeteners to create the perfect balance of sweet.
• Monk Fruit In The Raw is naturally vegan, kosher, and gluten-free, and does not contain any added table sugar, sugar alcohols, or molasses.
• Conscious, rejoice! Monk Fruit In The Raw has the closest taste to sugar of any non-caloric sweetener, and has the least amount of aftertaste.
• One pack of Monk Fruit In The Raw is about as sweet as two teaspoons of
• One box of Monk Fruit In The Raw (40ct packets) retails for $3.49 
I decided to replace my normal banana bread's sugar with half the amount and half of Monk Fruit in the Raw.  The results were just as delicious and nobody notice the replacement so that's a win-win in my book!  Follow Monk Fruit in The Raw on Twitter, Facebook and on their website here to be "in the know" and 
Happy Baking!  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Clearasil Wash Feature #MC and #ClearasilMom #sponsored

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Clearasil. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Breakouts.  Pimples.  Acne.  Certainly not a "fun topic" but one that so many of us have dealt with during our lives or continue to deal with.  I have always had acne prone skin, since I was in the 8th grade on.  It's not a great way to go through adolescence.  I mean, puberty and all that goes with it is difficult enough and we also had to deal with breakouts?  It just seems cruel. 
Guess what?  It doesn't necessarily have to be!  As a parent of tween, I'm always looking for the next best thing and am on a quest to make sure that adolescence is as easy as possible.  Clearasil to the rescue!  Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Daily Gel Wash is dermatologist tested and gives you clearer skin in as little as 12 hours!  It works quickly to open blocked pores and help you get healthier looking skin.  Even though my daughter doesn't have significant breakouts yet, an occasional blemish does arise.  This product ensures you are staying on top of those breakouts before they occur - leaving skin fresh and clean, without over drying!  Let's face it, kids are busy these days between sports commitments, after school activities and more, they are not always concerned with washing their faces.  This Clearasil products comes in a counter friendly pump bottle that's both easy to use and handy.  
I tried the Clearasil Hydra-Blast Oil Free Face Wash, since I don't need to wash with extra oil, I felt that this would be the best option for my skin.  I used it for over two weeks and my skin is visibly clearer and since it's scientifically formulated to leave your skin feeling softer and well cared for, it's a win-win in my book!  This product helps reduce breakouts by 85% in just 4 weeks.  Here's hoping my face is fresh and clear(er) by the time Santa pulls up his sleigh!  I love that there are new products on the market by a brand that is trusted and respected.  I also love that I'm doing something to get clearer skin each and every day!  It smells fresh and clean too!

Thank you to Moms Central and Clearasil for the opportunity to try these products and spread the word! #MC and #ClearasilMom
I know many of you used Clearasil as teenagers and it's nice to know this brand has stood the test of time and continued to develop to make our teen's lives a little easier!  You can follow Clearasil on Twitter and Facebook to be in the know!  

Of course I participated in this campaign from Moms Central and Clearasil but all opinions, as always, are my own. 

Have a great weekend everybody! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

2014 Holiday Gift Guide!

There is no denying the holidays are right around the corner.  After a weekend shopping trip, hearing Christmas music playing, seeing the decorations in stores and on the streets I have given in!  I love this time of year.  I think the chunk of time between Halloween and New Year's is magical and so special!  Can it be stressful?  Most definitely!  But, over the years I've grown into myself and feel a little more in control of me so I'm able to enjoy the Holiday Season and embrace it.  We are settling into our routine as a family and establishing our family traditions.  I love that our children are so excited to celebrate and there is nothing like the wonder of a kid at Christmas!

I'm thrilled to again this year bring a list of products, companies and shops that have you covered this year!  There will be yummy treats, gifts ideas, product recommendations and giveaways!  How could I NOT share the love you guys?  So, keep reading in the following weeks and join me as I feature these amazing companies and then get ready to shop!  We've got some great ones this year!  

It's coming...soon! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Shopping during "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

It seems to happen to me every year, I'm in target or some other random store and realize "they are playing Christmas music".  I know it's definitely not unusual for the Christmas music to be playing before Thanksgiving these days but for whatever reason it seems to surprise me every year. So yesterday, I was completely taken aback when there was a huge cardboard cutout of Santa and all his reindeer hanging from the ceiling as I walked through the door of Target. The dollar section, full of all sorts of festive treats and trinkets… which of course does what every retailer wants to accomplish, makes me nervous! I feel like I'm way behind even though it's not Thanksgiving. Seriously, what's the rush? For me, I think the rush is that I want to make sure that my shopping is one thing I don't have to worry about as December approaches. In theory, I want to enjoy a wonderful and stress free holiday. I'm not sure if there is such a thing but that is always my goal.

In the years past, I purchased gifts all through the year and an effort to reduce the stress, only to tuck things away and forget that I purchased them… I've also been known to wait as long as I can so that I don't spend as much money but by the time I get to the store everything I wanted is out of stock. Not sure if there is one correct way to tackle Christmas shopping, but online shopping seems to be one of the easiest ways for me. This year, and focused on trying to buy gifts with more meaning. I'm trying to start a little earlier and also really think about the particular person I'm shopping for.  What would they love that they might not buy for themselves?  I also am looking for more handmade items and artisan made gifts.

Soon I'll be launching my 2014 holiday gift guide which again will focus on some of my favorite items, companies and gifts for 2014.  I hope that it's a fun journey that you'll join me on, one where you'll get some new white gift ideas and we will throw in a couple giveaways too !  So visit often to see what we're featuring!
In the meantime, what is your Christmas shopping strategy? Do you tend to buy the bulk online?  Do you fight the crowds on Black Friday? Do you shop locally? I would love to hear!
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