29 April 2020

Mother's Day Gift Guide Of Unique Ideas That Wow

Mother's Day is just around the corner on Sunday, May 10, 2020. With the concern of social-distancing, this leaves a big question on how to celebrate this important day. In the past, we have held Mother’s Day brunches and celebrations but now what? How do we remind our moms of our love and appreciation for all that they have endured to help us become the best we can be? If you are unable to see each other face-to-face, pickup the phone and share your feelings over a conversation. In addition, thoughtful mom gifts are always a grand idea and all of these can be delivered right to her doorstep.

Mother's Day Gift Guide Of Unique Ideas That Wow - Jewel Tone Tote

Leather Handbag


True luxury can be found in Italian Leather, American Made Bosca 1911 and their handbags are no exception. Our favorite of the season is the Jewel Tone Tote. This piece has the vibrancy and durability that every woman-on-the-go needs. It comes in four gemstone Italian leather colors. Each as eye catching as the other.

Mother's Day Gift Guide Of Unique Ideas That Wow - Succulent Garden

Succulent Garden


Send mom something that is truly alive and timeless with an concrete succulent garden from Plants(dot)com. This delivered potted plant is both elegant and easy to maintain. It provides colorful collection of succulents in a white concrete planter with elegant gold details that is sure to wow any space.

Mother's Day Gift Guide Of Unique Ideas That Wow - Cartouche Necklace

Jewelry


Moms love jewelry too! The Cartouche Necklace 10K Yellow Gold from Kay Jewelers is a piece that shows how much your family is on your mind. The pendant has four unique sides that detail: family, joy, Mom, and a carving of a heart. This is a piece she will love to wear again and again.

Mother's Day Gift Guide Of Unique Ideas That Wow - Spa Gift Card

Spa Gift Card


Once our world being to go back to normal, the spa will be high on most women's visit list. Spafinder gift cards can be used at thousand of locations in the worldwide and never expire. They are valid at select salons that offer services such as massage, facials, manicures/pedicures and even haircare.

Mother's Day Gift Guide Of Unique Ideas That Wow - Animals Mugs

Animals Mugs


Animal lovers unite over these adorable Protect the Animals Mugs from uncommon goods. Created by JoAnn Stratakos, these mugs have purpose: protecting endangered animals. She throws each one on her wheel, then hand carves each animal, giving them fantastic detail and texture. Talk about a wow factor for a good cause.

Mother's Day Gift Guide Of Unique Ideas That Wow


Share your ideas for additional unique gifts for this Mother's Day in a comment below!~

10 April 2020

Best Unique Baby Shower Gifts

You've been invited to a baby shower and decide to go outside the box to purchase something that will dazzle the new mom. I've got just the list for you. Created by a mom of seven how knows all about the needs vs wants of being a new parent, these are the best unique baby shower gifts available online right now.


Lounge In Style


For probably the first 6 weeks of my new child's life, I found myself in either pajamas or lounge wear nearly all day long, everyday. It wasn't that I was being lazy or even that I was depressed. I simply wanted to be comfortable in my own space while caring for my newborn. It wasn't until my fourth child that I discovered family matching pjs at LazyOne.com. These not only allowed the comfort that I desired but also helped the others feel included in bedtime routines. This was especially important since my children were so close in age.

Keep Calm and Journal On


52 Lists for Calm: Journaling Inspiration for Soothing Anxiety and Creating a Peaceful Life is the ideal way to develop peace of mind and serenity through the calming practice of list-making. No matter if this is your first baby or your fourth, staying on task is very important. It will help relax your mind and save your soul when you find yourself frazzled from lack of sleep.

View from Above


Toss everything you know about baby monitors out the window. The Nanit Plus Camera offers an amazing bird's eye of baby in the crib and provides your baby’s sleep data at your fingertips. It was dubbed one of the "Best Inventions of 2018" by TIME Magazine. This smart baby monitor was designed to help your baby sleep like a baby while giving you piece of mind.

The Art of Penmanship


Anyone remember those baby books where you would write down details that you wanted to save and share with your little one when they grew up? Well, Letters to My Baby is similar but oh so much better. You'll always remember their first word or first steps, but what about that rainy Tuesday spent coloring while you looked upon your newborn and felt magic for the first time? This correspondence-inspired set is perfect for capturing those moments in words to be read later in life just when your child needs them.

Tell us which of these is your favorite or add your own unique baby shower gift idea in a comment below!

06 February 2020

All-Day Nutrition: Dairy-Inspired, Plant-Based Recipes

From cereal and milk to yogurt and fruit to broccoli and cheese, combining dairy with plant-based foods creates a superfood power couple that can help ensure you and your family are getting the nutrients you need any time of day.

With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets, dairy can help optimize nutrient absorption from plant foods and provide additional nutrients like high-quality protein, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. You can create delicious meals with the nutrition you need while enjoying the best of plants and dairy.

Combining dairy and plant-based foods can be easier with these dairy-powered recipes from Milk Means More. They are ideal for creating a nutritious and delicious plan for every meal throughout the day. Start with a Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl in the morning then build out your lunch or dinner plans around an appetizer like this traditional Middle Eastern Labneh Spread with grilled pita bread and assorted veggies. For the main course, try Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole and a classic Moroccan staple, Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese, on the side.

Find more recipes that combine the goodness of dairy and plant-based foods at milkmeansmore.org.

Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese

Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese


Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups fat-free, 2% or whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups plain couscous (wheat pasta)
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil leaves
  1. In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook onion in butter 2 minutes. Add broccoli, garlic and pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
  2. Stir milk into broccoli mixture. Bring to boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Gently stir Parmesan cheese into couscous mixture. Spread on serving platter. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Top with tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole


Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole


Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Tangy Guacamole:
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange, lime or lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt

Lentil Tacos:
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped tomatoes, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 12 yellow corn taco shells
  1. To make Tangy Guacamole: In small bowl, mash avocado, juice, hot pepper sauce and garlic. Stir in yogurt. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  2. To make Lentil Tacos: Heat oven to 400 F.
  3. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, lentils, onion, chili powder, garlic and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and gently boil 12-15 minutes, or until lentils are just tender. Uncover and boil 5-15 minutes, or until most liquid evaporates.
  4. Remove lentils from heat. Stir in 1 cup tomatoes and 3/4 cup cheese. Spoon into taco shells. Stand filled tacos in 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle tacos with remaining tomatoes and cheese. Loosely cover dish with foil. Bake 3-5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  5. Stir guacamole. Serve with warm tacos.

Labneh Spread

Labneh Spread


Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN of Jenny with the Good Eats
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 12 ounces whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt, for garnish
  • fresh herbs, for garnish
  • pita bread, grilled
  • assorted seasonal vegetables
  1. In bowl, mix Greek yogurt, salt and lemon juice.
  2. Transfer mixture to fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
  3. Wrap mixture in cheesecloth and strain over bowl in refrigerator 24-48 hours. Strain longer to make thicker.
  4. Once thickened as desired, remove from cheesecloth and top spread with olive oil, sea salt and fresh herbs.
  5. Serve with grilled pita bread and assorted seasonal vegetables.
Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl


Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl


Recipe courtesy of Rachel Gurk of Rachel Cooks
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups apples, roughly chopped, reserving 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup spinach
  • pure maple syrup, to taste
  • ice cubes (optional)

Toppings:
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pecans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons reserved chopped apple
  • fresh blueberries
  1. In blender, blend blueberries, apples, cinnamon, yogurt and spinach until smooth. Taste and add maple syrup, to taste. If thicker mixture is desired, add ice cubes.
  2. Pour into bowl. Mix oats with maple syrup. Top smoothie mixture with oats, pecans, apples and blueberries.

04 February 2020

Time-Saving Kitchen Shortcuts That Don’t Sacrifice Quality

Time-Saving Kitchen Shortcuts That Don’t Sacrifice Quality

If coordinating schedules to gather the family around the dinner table is a victory in its own right, finding enough time to prepare a well-rounded, flavorful meal may just be a medal-worthy accomplishment.

Whether a weeknight dinner or special occasion, you can shave precious minutes off your kitchen work and dedicate more moments to doing the things you love with these time-saving ideas that don’t sacrifice quality.

Plan Meals Ahead of Time

Organizing your thoughts and scouring the kitchen for ingredients can take as much time as preparing the meal itself. Instead of wondering what you’ll make and whether you have what you need to make it, take time to plan meals a week ahead whenever possible. Think through a complete menu, including main dishes and sides, and take inventory of the pantry and refrigerator so you can build an efficient grocery list.

Use Ingredients in Multiple Recipes

When planning and shopping for your weekly meals, consider which ingredients you may be able to repurpose. Not only does using ingredients across multiple dishes help minimize waste, it cuts down on prep time. If you’ll be using chopped onion in multiple recipes, go ahead and chop enough for every meal and save the unused portions in the refrigerator or freezer.

Turn to Your Pantry for Simple Sides

Flavorful side dishes can be surprisingly simple. For example, Idahoan helps you put real mashed potatoes on the table in just 5 minutes. They start with 100% real Idaho potatoes from local growers then wash, peel, boil and mash them like you would at home. After cooking each batch, they simply fresh-dry the mashed potatoes so they’re ready for you to prepare at home.

Make Larger Portions

Cooking once and eating twice (or more) is an easy equation for saving time. Intentionally making more than you need ensures fuss-free lunches or plenty of leftovers you can heat up quickly for nights when the family is running in different directions.

Pre-Cook Proteins

For many meals, the main dish protein takes the longest to prepare. If you can carve out some time over the weekend or one night a week, multitask and make several batches of proteins to use later in the week. Cooking the proteins concurrently lets you pack multiple days of preparation time into a single super-sized session.

Use Time-Saving Tools

Traditional methods have their time and place, but a weekday dinner isn’t it. Rely on tools to get the job done faster, like a slow cooker that works hard all day so you can enjoy its labor when you return home or a food processor that takes the effort out of slicing and dicing.

Time-Saving Kitchen Shortcuts That Don’t Sacrifice Quality


Time-Saving Upgrades for Delicious Sides


Mashed potatoes are a crowd-pleasing dish that can be incorporated in a wide range of menus. While they can often be time-consuming, an option like Idahoan can help you put real mashed potatoes on the table in just 5 minutes because they take the time to create mashed potatoes from scratch so you don’t have to. This allows you to embrace the staple side dish’s versatility by freeing up time for you to incorporate simple twists like these.

Mix it up with all the fixings. From vegetables like corn or caramelized onions to classic garnishes like chopped fresh herbs, you can mix and match toppings for a new take on a loaded smashed sensation.

Embrace Tex-Mex flair. Create your own version of ethnic favorites like traditional Mexican papas. Add lightly sauteed red and green peppers, green onion, green chilis and shredded cheese for a Tex-Mex potato dish perfect for pairing with tacos or enchiladas.

Get garlicky. Add minced garlic and grated Parmesan cheese for a savory burst of flavor that complements the traditional potato taste.

Find more ideas to put meals on the table quickly at Idahoan.com.

03 January 2020

5 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

If you worry that you or someone you love will get heart disease or even have a heart attack, it’s understandable.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Research shows you can lower your risk, particularly if you team up with family, friends or co-workers. This kind of social support may be the key to your success.

To mark American Heart Month, NHLBI, one of the National Institutes of Health, is inviting people across the country to team up and join #OurHearts, a national heart health initiative that encourages people to improve heart health together.

“Studies show that having positive, close relationships and feeling connected to others benefits overall health, blood pressure, weight and more,” said NHLBI’s Dr. David Goff, director of cardiovascular sciences.

5 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

Consider these five tips that can help lower your risk of heart disease:


Risk: Inactivity

Solution: Move more throughout your day. Aim for at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity. Build up to activity that gets your heart beating faster and leaves you a little breathless. If you’re busy, try breaking your daily activity into 10-minute chunks.

Stay motivated: Make walking dates. Join a pickup soccer or basketball game. Join a fitness class with your neighbor. Grab a loved one and dance in your kitchen.

Risk: An unhealthy diet

Solution: Consider an option like NHLBI’s Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, which is free and scientifically proven to lower high blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.

Stay motivated: Invite friends to cook up heart healthy recipes together. Start a lunch club at work and trade recipe ideas.

Risk: Smoking, even occasionally

Solution: Quitting can be beneficial to your overall health, even if you’ve smoked for years. Set a quit date and let those close to you know. If you’ve tried quitting in the past, consider what helped and what made it harder.

Stay motivated: Ask your family and friends for support or join a support group. Find resources and connect with a trained counselor at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or smokefree.gov.

Risk: Inadequate or poor-quality sleep

Solution: Sleeping 7-8 hours each night helps improve heart health. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Getting a 30-minute daily dose of sunlight may also improve sleep.

Stay motivated: Resist that late afternoon nap. Turn off all screens at a set time nightly. Relax by listening to music, reading or taking a bath.

Risk: Uncontrolled stress

Solution: To help manage stress, try relaxation therapy and increase physical activity. Talk to a qualified mental health provider or someone you trust. De-stressing may also help improve sleep.

Stay motivated: Join a friend or family member in a relaxing activity like walking, yoga or meditation every day.

Learn about heart health and heart healthy activities in your community at nhlbi.nih.gov/ourhearts. Use #OurHearts on social media to share how you and your friends, colleagues or family members are being heart healthy together.