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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Department of Sweet Diversions

Cara received product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% her own.

I love how Fall is a time of harvest. So much hard work has gone into planting, taking care, and now the picking of gardens and fields. We finally get to reap the benefits of our hard work. If you do not have your own garden or fields, there are always local farmers markets and companies that share their locally sourced goods.

I was just recently introduced to a great company just like this. Department of Sweet Diversions, a boutique jam company, features seasonal ingredients locally sourced from Farmer’s Markets within a 12-mile radius of their commercial kitchen. Jam-maker Virginie Strub’s cooking process is classic, while her flavors have a delectably modern twist. She makes a small-batch-made apple butter that is sweetened with agave instead of sugar, combined with a special blend of spices, and topped with a dash of Brandy for good measure. Yum! Apple butter...
I love their huge variety of homemade jams. I tried out their Rule of Plum, which is made with cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, ginger, cloves, and of course, plums! It is deliciously flavorful, as you can imagine. It is the perfect jam for fall, with its comforting spices and flavor combinations.

 Check out all their jams and enjoy the harvests of fall!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Emmy's Organics Macaroons

Who loves a good macaroon? I know I do.

Melt in your mouth. Rich. Creamy. Flavorful. Those are just some of the words I would use to describe the macaroons I have been enjoying from Emmy’s Organics. 

Emmy’s Organics is a 100% vegan and gluten-free food company that prides itself on the quality, creativity & sustainability of the products it offers. The company uses only the finest non-GMO ingredients in everything produced. All packaging is made from biodegradable and earth-friendly materials. Everything you purchase from Emmy’s is made in a vegan & gluten-free kitchen.
Chai Spice Macaroons
I have really enjoyed their Chai Spice Macaroons, which is a flavor I haven’t found in other brands. They taste fabulous, and I really attribute that to the high quality, delicious ingredients: organic shredded coconut, organic raw agave nectar, non-gmo almond flour, organic raw coconut oil, Fair Trade Vanilla Flavor, organic cinnamon, organic ginger, organic nutmeg, organic cardamom, organic clove, and himalayan crystal salt. They are the perfect fall treat!

I also enjoyed their Dark Cacao and Coconut Vanilla macaroons. They are full of flavor, and they just melt in your mouth. Make to sure to check out their other delicious products, like the chocolate dipped macaroons. I would love to try those!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Do You Love Your Kids More Than Your Husband?

I have been struggling with this question for the last couple months.

At first thought, my answer was no. Of course, I love my husband. We were "one" even before we had children. I understand how important it is for my kids to see that my husband and I are a stable couple. So, my priority (after God) is my husband, right?

But, despite my confidence in this, the question keeps bugging me. Do I really love my husband MORE than my kids? Or is it the other way around?

Panic starts to set in as I realize...
I spend more time with my kids than I do with my husband. The time I actually do spend with my husband is most often zoning out in front of the TV or a good book after a long day.

I read parenting book after parenting book to try to get this mothering thing just right. But, am I working that hard to figure out how to be a better wife?

I study my children and wrack my brain all day long trying to figure out how to best communicate with them and love them? Have I quit studying my husband?

I spend every ounce of patience I have each day on my children. When my husband comes home, do I have any left for him?

I am more than happy to talk about all the cute or loving things my kids have done lately. But when was the last time I got excited to talk about how great my husband is?

I rush to give my kids hugs and kisses when I have not seen them in a little while. Why don’t I rush to give my husband hugs and kisses after his long workday?

From all outward signs, I actually love my kids more than my husband.

This realization hit me right in the heart. No wonder we have so many misunderstandings. No wonder we don’t have the passion or romance we used to have in our relationship. No wonder I feel like my husband is more of a roommate/partner than my lover and friend.

Many people might not think there is anything wrong with loving their kids more than their husband. From surveys I have seen, most women do, in fact, love their children more and are happy to admit it. Some of you might be outraged that I am even trying to fix this "problem" in my life. Our children are the only thing we leave behind when we die, right? We better put all the effort and love that we have into them, right?

Well, as I have spent time thinking about this, my personal thought is a great, big "NO!" One of the greatest lessons you can teach your children is that they are loved by you and your husband as a couple, allowing them to feel stable and confident in their family.

My struggle is this... What kind of love can compare to that of a mother’s love the first time she sees her baby? How can a husband compete with the bond of mother and child? When you spend almost all day every day with your children bonding and making memories, how can the hour or two at the end of a day with your husband compete with that?

It is not easy, but nothing worthwhile is easy, is it? It takes serious commitment from both you and your husband - hence the "till death do us part" promises you made. Whatever it takes, I am willing to work harder to love my husband at least as much as I love my children. Not that I will love my children less, but I will work to increase my efforts and make him more of a priority in my life. It is the least I can do for my stud-muffin husband. :-)

Here are a few ideas on how to get back on track with loving your husband just as much as you love your children:
  •  Try not to have many expectations. They kill relationships. Dont expect him to be romantic. Dont expect him to comfort you when you are upset. Dont expect him to love you all the time. Let God do all that. Let God comfort you, love you perfectly, make you feel like a million bucks every minute of every day. Your husband cannot be perfect. God is perfect.
  • Live gratefully. Constantly think of all the reasons you love your husband and are grateful for him. For me, it always comes back to thinking about "What would I do if he died at work today? Where would I be without him?" Try it. See? Instantly grateful. 
  •  Make the most of every moment you have together (and I am preaching to myself the most right here). I know at the end of the day the last thing you might want to do is try to come up with stimulating conversation with your husband. It might be easy to only talk/argue about money, to-dos, children, etc., but try to use this time to reconnect and keep learning about each other. I love asking my husband questions or having mini-dates in. Here are some other great ideas for connecting that I have on my Pinterest page.
  •  Continue to grow as a person and grow in your faith. When you can bring the best of yourself to your marriage, it is a lot easier to connect. If you are super stressed, super needy, always tired, grouchy, or whatever it is, it will be much harder to have a healthy relationship with someone else. 
Those are just a few ideas. I know you have more. Please share with us your thoughts on this article and your ideas for how to make your spouse more of a priority!

Remember, your kids will grow up and move out. But your husband is your partner for the rest of your days. Love him! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

HUGE Baby/Kids Giveaway

Imagine not being around friends and family during your pregnancy or not being able to have a baby shower to celebrate with all those you love. This is often the case with military moms who are stationed oversees or away from home somewhere.  To salute their service and sacrifice, we wanted to bring joy and a little piece of home to two military moms stationed on a US Base in Germany.  We teamed up with 39 other brands and 24 other mommy bloggers. These two pregnant moms received a HUGE SURPRISE!  They each received a gift from all the brands - nearly 40 presents of all the best baby/kids must haves. Now, YOU CAN WIN 36 of these amazing gifts by helping us support military moms. ENTER HERE: #militarymoms

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Surpise Ride Monthly Box Review and Giveaway

As a stay at home mom of four children, I know the joys in the little things - things like getting a surprise box in the mail that makes you and your children excited to do a new, fun project together!

That is exactly what I found when I received my Surprise Ride monthly box. 

Surprise Ride is a subscription service that sends kids ages 6-11 fun and educational hands-on activities that foster creativity and imagination! The company was started by two sisters Donna and Rosy, and they have been working hard to create a lasting impact on the lives of children, beyond the latest toys or technologies.

The Surprise Ride box we received was full of all kinds of ways to explore and learn about Stars! They included everything we needed to play a fun We Spy Telescope Game, plus a compass, a funny flying alien, space activity book, and even freeze-dried pineapples to help us feel like real astronauts in outer space. Besides all of that, we also got all the equipment to design and build a clock!

The best part about Surprise Ride is all the learning that is going on while you are having fun with your child(ren). I believe there is no better way to learn than by hands-on activities, and that is exactly what Surprise Ride offers.

The best part is...every month you get to learn about something new! This would be make a fantastic gift for your child. To give your child a year of Surprise Ride would give you both something to look forward to throughout the entire year. Plus, it offers you a way to connect in an educational way, have fun together, and make lots of great memories!

Great news! We are offering (1) of our lucky readers a chance to win their own Surprise Ride box! Enter below for your chance.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Using Online Resources to Boost Immunity

 This is a sponsored post.

As the CDC warns about new viral outbreaks and the threat of existing viruses mutating and becoming more dangerous, people everywhere are wondering what they can do to boost their immune systems. Along with eating healthy, exercising, and getting plenty of rest, people also wonder if they can take supplements that will make their immune responses stronger. I personally take several Shaklee supplements to boost my immune system and keep me healthy.

Some people may consider products like 4Life TransferFactor. This option could help them more than remembering to bleach down their homes and offices, drinking tons of orange juice, or just avoiding people in general to stay healthy.

You can find these types of products online and read more about each supplemental choice. As far as ordering, some people prefer to have plenty in stock so that they do not have to reorder supplies throughout the flu season. They can go online and find a quantity that works for them.

Along with choosing the right quantity, people can also choose varieties that suit their specific biological needs. For example, if they need boosts for men in their lives, they can choose the male formula that is available. If they want help with their glucose, they can choose the formula for glucose boosting. In fact, the website lists the different varieties and provides full descriptions of each one. They can click on each link and find the product that is ideal for them.

Along with reading about the products, people can also read company information to learn more about the company that sells these products. The About Us option lets people find out the company's history and why it is in this line of business. When people know more about the history, they can feel more at ease about their purchases.

Additionally, it can be vital for people to get in contact with a customer representative throughout the buying process. This lets them ask any questions that come to mind and also lets them have any concerns addressed. They are invited to utilize the contact options found on the website at their leisure. This lets them ask questions and clear up other details to avoid taking a supplement that perhaps will be less suited to their needs. They can choose the supplement that is perfect for them.

Prevention is key when it comes to staying healthy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Snack Giveaway

Happy Monday! How about we start the week off with a fun giveaway?

Remember, when I talked about my Fantastic Fall Food Finds of this year? We are going to be giving away some snacks from one of those foods - Funny Face Cranberries! These are great for snacks, lunches, and so much more.

One lucky winner will receive a fun Funny Face Cranberry Prize Pack! Enter below to win!

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