Easy DIY Mint Tea Perfect for Summertime – Christmas in July Giveaway

For those here from the Christmas in July Giveaway, scroll down to find the giveaway form. If you love mint tea, pin our photo now and read it later for an easy DIY mint tea recipe!
 

Mighty Leaf Iced Teas

I love teas. Iced or hot, I love herbal teas! I drank a cup or two of hot tea everyday this past winter, I have a whole collection of different flavors. Now that summer is here I want my tea iced. I was glad to learn about Mighty Leaf Iced Teas. They come in 4 different, unique and yummy flavors and are perfect for Summertime!

Easy DIY Mint Tea

Easy DIY Mint Tea

I love adding mint leaves to my tea. I grow a mint plant right outside of our house. I pick fresh leaves, muddle them in the bottom of my glass, add ice, then pour any flavor of freshly brewed Mighty Leaf Iced Tea over them. You can remove the leaves from the drink or you can leave them. Either way it is so cool and refreshing! There you have it, an easy DIY mint tea perfect for summertime.

I’ve actually added mint to each flavor of tea and like them all, but I will have to say I like it best in the Organic Black.

What is your favorite iced tea recipe? What Mighty Leaf flavor would work well in it? Share with us in a comment below for an extra chance to win a Mighty Tea Leaf Prize Pack valued at $60. The Mighty Tea Leaf Prize Pack includes: a box of each of the four Mighty Leaf iced teas, a Takeya flash brew iced tea pitcher, and a Takeya glass water bottle.

Mighty Leaf Ice Tea Prize Pack

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway will run from July 10- July 17! Good Luck.
 
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Christmas in July

This giveaway is part of the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop hosted by Just Married with Coupons, Sweep Tight and Matter of Cents! Enter to win hundreds of dollars in prizes by hopping from blog to blog! The grand prize sponsor is Maggie Bags. They take recycled material & give it new life by creating eco-friendly & sophisticated handbags! Other sponsors include SodaTabs and JustSweep!
 
Enter to win $1000 in prizes!
 
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Review and Giveaway: Gorton’s 20 Under 200

 

Now that Spring is here, many of us are thinking about Summer. We are thinking about how we are going to look in our swimsuits after being covered up all winter long. If you live in a place like Florida where the weather is always hot in the Summer, it’s nice when you are in shape. No one wants to cover up in the 100 plus degree weather but when you are not comfortable with your body, that is something you might feel you have to do. What can you do to avoid having to cover up all Summer? Why not try eating healthier.

It was with that thought in mind that I was excited when I was given the opportunity to review some Gorton’s products. Seafood is so light that you know you aren’t overdoing it on the calories. And Gorton’s has 20 products under 200 calories and there are tons of recipes on their site to use them in. We eat Gorton’s seafood and have food it to be good quality at a good price. When my little boy was younger he ate fish stick for a while. He went through a fish sticks phase when he loved fish sticks and ketchup.

Well, I decided to go for something a little more advanced than that. I decided to try the Skillet Crisp Tilapia with Sauteed Greens. I wasn’t really expecting my little boy to be a huge fan of the greens but I thought we’d give it a try. Guess what? He wasn’t a fan of the sauteed greens. However, my child is not a fan of anything green or any vegetable really. Unfortunately, they didn’t turn out as I was hoping. BUT that was my first time making sauteed greens and I’m willing to give it a try again. I totally would put my picture up but…well we won’t go there. Just imagine that mine turned out looking as good as the one that I’m going to put up for you. Look at what we had and try not to drool. And here’s the recipe, in case you wanted to give it a try.

Okay, so that’s not the one that I made but the folks at Gorton’s take pictures that are so much better than what I can do. Trust me. If you want to check out Gorton’s Pinterest page you can see many more recipes. Also, there are some weekly challenges on the Gorton’s Facebook page you might be interested in trying.

Let me tell you all that I got when I got my Gorton’s kit:

Five coupons for FREE Gorton’s products

A Gorton’s Apron

A Gorton’s spatula

2 Gorton’s oven mitts

And guess what? You have the chance to win the same kit. Awesome, right??? Just use the rafflecopter widget below to get your entries in! Hope you win!

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Sibu Omega 7 Chocolates: Valentines Day Giveaway

sibu chocolates

I love chocolates! Who doesn’t? Sibu (my favorite beauty/skin care line) has come out with their own chocolates that are nothing short of delicious.  What’s more is that every piece of chocolate has 250 mg of Omega 7…who knew you could get your vitamins in chocolate that tastes so good?!

“Deliciously Healthy, Delightfully Decadent”

Sibu is famous for their use of Omega-7-rich sea buckthorn oil in their skin care products and supplements and now they have brought this into chocolate truffles! They’re chocolate truffles are custom made with a proprietary Belgian liquor chocolate blended with 250 mg of Omega-7-rich sea buckthorn oil in each truffle.

Benefits of Omega-7 include:

>>Nutritional support for skin and mucous membranes
>>Powerful free-radical scavenger
>>Increases vitality
>>Certified Kosher/100% natural
>>May help prevent weight gain

sibu chocolates

The truffles come in dark mint and milk orange flavors. I knew without a doubt I would love the dark mint but to be honest I wasn’t sure if I would like the milk orange. I have a cousin who loves those chocolate covered oranges that you can get at Christmas time and I’ve never been crazy about them…BUT I can truly say that I do like these milk chocolate orange truffles from Sibu. The dark mint is my fave but I enjoy the milk orange as well.

sibu omega 7 chocolates

Buy it: You can purchase Sibu Chocolates online for $17.95 per box, each box includes 8 orange-flavored milk chocolate truffles and 8 mint-flavored dark chocolates for a totally of 16 chocolates.

sibu valentine giveaway

Win it: Enter to win a box of Sibu Chocolate Truffles for Valentine’s Day! This giveaway will run from 2/1-2/9, you can enter to when using the Rafflecopter form below:

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Chuao Chocolate for the Holidays

What are the holidays without a little bit of chocolate… not just any chocolate though, Chuao Chocolates have some of the most amazing chocolate I’ve ever had. Their chocolates are made with natural, non dairy products. Their items range from chocolate bars, to bonbons, truffles and hot chocolate. I, personally, love good chocolate and would be happy to receive any of their chocolates as a gift or in my stocking {hint, hint, just kidding :) }.

“Chuao Chocolatier is pioneering “fusion chocolate” through a commitment to creating unusual, unexpected and delicious flavors using their secret blend of premium chocolate and fresh natural ingredients.”

I tried the following 3 chocolate bars from Chuao:

chocolate

Dark Chocolate Nut Nirvana

Luscious dark chocolate that is studded with crunchy whole roasted almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios. Dark Nut Nirvana is pure bliss for those enlightened beings who are nuts about nuts. Formerly known as Caracas Dark. Non dairy, vegan friendly. 100 g/ 3.52 oz per bar

This one was my favorite,

Price: $6.00

 

 

spicy chocolate

Spicy Maya Chocolate

Seductive cinnamon, pasilla chile and warming cayenne bedded in dark chocolate. Non dairy, vegan friendly.  80 g/ 2.8 oz per bar.

I love this one, too, it’s not too HOT, but it has just the right amount of spices… great combination.

Price: $6.00

 

 

bacon chocolate

Maple Bacon Bar

Crisp bites of bacon drizzled with delicate maple sweetness and a sprinkle of bonfire smoked sea salt, bathed in milk chocolate. 80 g/ 2.8 oz  per bar

I wasn’t too wild about this combo, it actually wan’t too bad, but it’s not something I would get regularly for myself. My husband and the guys at his work were crazy about this one though.

Price: $6.00

 

 

chocolate

Close ups of the Nut Nirvana bar (yum!):

chocolatechocolate

There is a variety of Chuao Chocolates available, so you will be sure to find a flavor for everyone on your holiday list this year. Find Chuao Chocolates online and on Facebook.

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Ranch Chicken Nuggets And Hidden Valley's Lunch Break For Kids

 

 

Lunch Break For Kids

The Chef & Child Foundation (CCF) and the makers of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dressings & dips are partnering to host the Lunch Break For Kids fundraiser to showcase how simple, good food can make healthier bodies and stronger family connections, as well as support CCF’s national Childhood Nutrition Day in its mission to promote healthier eating to kids and their families through community-based initiatives.

 

It seems like only yesterday that my kids were little. Little feet and little hands, and all throughout the house it seems that everything we owned had a tiny counterpart. We had a big couch… the kids had a little one. I had a rocking chair, they had a little rocking chair. We had a big bed, the kids’ were small. Big car, little car. We had grown up dishes, the kids had cute little plates, cups and silverware that worked with small hands. The same thing was true with food. Big food and little people versions. As a home school mom, I was very blessed to be able to spend lunchtime with my kids nearly every day, and both of them liked helping me get things ready. One of their favorite lunches was a little kid version of my Ranch Chicken. For them… Ranch Chicken Nuggets with finger veggies.

Because it is such an easy recipe, is healthy, features Ranch seasonings and is fun for kids to help make, I thought this would be perfect to share with you, while highlighting Hidden Valley’s Lunch Break For Kids program. Helping kids learn that healthy food is good food doesn’t have to be hard. And it’s one of the things you can do as a parent that can have a lasting impact with your kids- both my teens love broccoli, request my veggie soup all the time, and have been known to order the steamed veggies when we go out to eat. I’m calling that success.

So. Here is the recipe for my kid friendly version of Ranch Chicken–Ranch Chicken Nuggets.

Enjoy!!

You will need a cookie sheet/baking pan, spatula, gallon sized zip baggie, measuring cups and spoons.

1 lb. chicken, cut into bite size pieces.

* Tip- if you are using frozen chicken, only let it thaw partway, so it’s easier to cut. On the other hand, if your chicken is thawed/fresh, just throw it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Slightly frozen is much easier to handle*

2/3 cup bread crumbs (regular plain or panko)

1/3 cup fine shredded cheese (I prefer Italian blend, but whatever suits your fancy will work)

1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. milk (I like skim- use whatever you like) 

2 full tbsp. Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning (I used Fiesta Ranch for a kick, but Original is delicious)

Salt/pepper to taste

Assorted veggies, cut into finger-food-sized pieces

2-3 Romaine lettuce leaves

Hidden Valley Ranch Single Serve cups (or just pour your Hidden Valley Ranch into little cups for dipping)

 

*When cooking with the kids, I would pre-cut the chicken and put it in a bowl, and then let them measure the other ingredients into bowls. So, in the instructions, I’m assuming you have done that, too.*

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 

Pour bread crumbs, cheese, and Hidden Valley Ranch seasonings into gallon sized baggie. Shake to mix well. My kids liked dumping everything in the bag, then jumping up and down to “mix.”

Pour egg mixture over chicken pieces. Little ones think it’s fun to get their hands all slimy while making sure the chicken is evenly coated with egg mixture. Take a break to wash hands.

Place coated chicken in gallon baggie and let your kids shake, squeeze and mush until well coated with breadcrumb mixture.

Place on cookie sheet lightly sprayed with oil.

Place in 400 degree oven for 15- 20 minutes, until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink.

Arrange on plate. Add veggies on a lettuce leaf along with dip. Tell your kids what fantastic helpers and incredible cooks they are, and eat up!!

Click on the location tab here  for a local Lunch Break for Kids fundraiser or a Childhood Nutrition Day volunteer location in your area to join, or start one of your own.

The Hidden Valley® Original Ranch®, dressings & dips has provided me with free product to help with my review, but anything I receive from Hidden Valley does not affect my thoughts on its company or their product.

 

 

 

Give The Gift Of Healthier Water With Alkamate

 

 

 

 

 

Water. It covers three quarters of our planet but we don’t really think about it that much. It’s just there…until you are in a drought or you live somewhere where your tap water tastes like  chlorinated mud.  The water we drink today has been cleaned and has had so many chemicals added to it that the minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium are often absent. And instead of the good things our bodies need- water often has things like chlorine, rust, manure, nitrates, bacteria, heavy metals and many other unsafe and even toxic substances in it!

Of course, you might be fine because you buy bottled water right? Well, here’s the kicker, depending on the brand- your bottled water might just be from the municipal water supply from some other town, and not really that artesian well water you thought you were buying!  Even supposing you are getting “good” water every day…are you really drinking the best water for your body?

Are you drinking alkaline water?

There is a difference between clean water and clean alkaline water. What is alkaline water? Well, the ideal pH balance of the human body is between 7.3 to 7.4 and the only way to maintain or attain it in the first place is to follow an alkaline diet and by drinking alkaline water. Alkaline water has a pH of approximately 8 (depending on the brand or the equipment used to alkalize the water) and normal water has a neutral pH, which is 7 on the scale. Water can also  be slightly acidic.

There are said to be many benefits to alkaline water, and on the other side of the fence there are those that say it doesn’t matter. After reading as much as I could find, and drinking it myself,  I am one of those that do believe that alkaline water is valid, healthy and that it  DOES convey benefits to your body. So many diseases and health issues are acidic related. Neutralizing acids in the body, through diet and drinking alkaline water may:

1. Boost your immune system.

2. Increase your blood oxygen levels

May help prevent:

3. Arthritis or joint pain (this I know about as I personally experienced a lessening of my oft talked about joint pain)

4. Gout

5. Candida

6. Psoriasis

7. Water retention

8. May help prevent weight gain/accelerate weight loss

9. Help with increased energy

10. Help with improved sleep

11. Keep your body hydrated and give energy, naturally- no stimulants

And there are many, many other issues it addresses.

Great! But you’ve seen the prices on bottled alkaline water. You just looked around to see what filters for your house cost…how can you and your family drink alkaline water and do so affordably?

 

You can use the portable HL4Y AlkaMate like I am!  Made to be sturdy (you will be surprised at the weight- I expected a typical water filter type construction and was amazed at how solid this was)  the AlkaMate neutralizes the the acid in your water.

 

Made of 304 food grade stainless steel, and available in a variety off colors, it has two filters made of tourmaline and a mineral called maifanite. It also has 13 minerals and this combination is what will alkalize your water.

I am using my AlkaMate every day and I love it! Like I said, I personally experienced the lessening of the joint pain I deal with- not morphine relief – but enough that I could say “hey- I can tell it’s helping”  I also noticed, as did hubs, that it absolutely helps with fatigue and energy levels, but without that caffeine effect. This might not make sense but I’m going to call it gentle energy. You feel up, but not skittery.

 It’s easy to use- basically you pour your water in, shake for 10 or 15 seconds, wait 15 minutes the drink up! It only needs cleaning 1x per month by adding one spoon full of white vinegar and water to your AlkaMate- and then you let it sit for an hour. Wash with hot water and that’s it! They send a really well made carry pouch with the bottle so you can take your healthy water with you everywhere. I think this is an excellent gift idea this holiday season. The colors are very pretty and the size and shape are just right. 

If you are interested in a well priced counter top or under sink system you can go to the HL4Y site and browse their other products. Make sure to take a peek at the FIT Detox Foot Bath while you are there! They are on Twitter and Facebook also.

 

New Nopalea Ultra

How much do you know about  super fruits? Do you make sure they are part of  your daily diet? If you haven’t yet discovered the amazing benefits,  a great way to take control of your health and well-being is to try them. Once you do, the overall feeling of wellness will convince you to keep it up! When you give  your body the nutrients it needs to help your immune system work properly, it’s a difference you can feel!

One of the fruits with detoxing properties is the  Nopal fruit,  from the Nopal cactus. It’s a  native of the mountains of Mexico. Since ancient times as food, and  also because of it’s medicinal and health benefits. Nopalea Ultra (pronounced “No-pah lay’uh”)   is a juice that contains this incredible fruit.   Nopalea is a product from TriVita, a 12-year old company that helps people pursue physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellness. To date, over 3 million bottles have been sold!  The antioxidants called Betalains, that  it contains, have been scientifically proven to help reduce inflammation, which is a leading source of pain! And, it may help with breathing and digestive problems.  Nopalea Ultra can help your body cleanse itself of toxins, and thus enabling optimal health.  Each 32 ounce bottle is sweetened with agave nectar and contains no preservatives, which is a big plus!

 

Muscle, Joint and Body pain, Respiratory, Arterial, Digestive Issues? You can try Nopalea for free (only pay $9.95 for shipping) by calling 1-800-203-7063.

 

*This is brought to you by our sponsors* See Disclosure for more information*

Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions

tropical traditions coconut oil

I love cooking with coconut oil, it is my absolute favorite oil to cook with and it is so much healthier than other oils. I have really enjoyed the Tropical Traditions brand. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is one of their least processed oils, which helps it retain a coconut scent and taste. I love how it adds a hint of coconut flavor to our foods, especially the sweet baked goodies, it just makes them that much better.

I also use coconut oil in my beauty regimen, it is excellent for dry skin and hair along with many other things. There are literally hundreds of different ways coconut oil can be used, read more about all the uses of coconut oil and the health benefits of coconut oil.

I also encourage you to watch this short video on the Tropical Traditions virgin coconut oil to find out why this is the number one virgin coconut oil sold in the US.

 

 
 
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Win a 32oz jar of Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil using the Rafflecopter form below. Once you’ve entered here go by to enter to win a Coconut Oil For Your Skin Recipe Book
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Unjunk Your Junk Fook: Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks

I would love to tell you all that we eat nothing but fresh fruits and veggies as snacks in this house, but the truth is we occasionally do have some junk food snacks around here as well. Naturally Savvy has put out an informative book that gives healthier alternatives to some of popular junk foods called Unjunk Your Junk Food.

 unjunk book

This book also highlights the worst ingredients in foods. They have the ingredients categorized into what they call “The Scary Seven”, which are:

  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Artificial Flavors
  • Artificial Colors
  • Trans Fat
  • MSG
  • Preservatives
    I was shocked to find several things in our pantry contained some ingredients from “The Scary Seven”. I think the most surprisingly unhealthy “healthy” thing we had was granola bars. Our granola bars had several of the worst ingredients from the list in them.

I have found this book helpful when I’m choosing snacks for my family. I am definitely more aware of ingredients and check the list on the food item before buying it. I also find myself referencing it for the healthy alternatives it provides.

Purchase this book on Amazon: Unjunk Your Junk Food: Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks

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Zero Water Pitcher – A wow on this one!

GIVEAWAY–We are SOO lucky. We live in a house in the country with a well that has the sweetest water on the planet. In fact, whenever we have had to travel- we fill up gallon jugs of OUR water to take with us! Spoiled, we are.  I don’t even run to town without my extra glass bottles of water. EXCEPT that it is all about to change. We have to move. To the city. Ugh. Not only will I have to learn how to live with neighbors I can see and hear *sob* our water will be city water *sob*…  I’m not joking,  it really makes me want to cry. I don’t wanna go. But, we must, so, I’m bucking up like the brave girl I am and I’m dealing. Sorta.

Because of my water concerns I was really happy that I had the chance to try out the Zero Water Pitcher. The ZeroWater pitcher uses a 5-stage ion exchange filter which removes dissolved solids from tap water, even chromium-6 and lead. It’s even certified by the NSF for its reduction of lead and chromium levels in water. The ZeroWater filtration system is designed to produce water that meets the FDA standard for “purified” water.  The filter has five layers, each one with a “job”  to do in the  purification of the water. Cool, huh? BUT DOES IT TASTE GOOD??? I have been at a friends’ home where they use a well known filter pitcher… and it did NOT have that crispy fresh water taste that I am used to. I got a flat bottled water taste, and didn’t like it. So, knowing I don’t have the moola to install a whole house filtration system I was very interested in trying this Zero Pitcher out. Will it give me good water- not just “clean” but tasty??

To find out, I had hubs bring home two bottles of water from the city. One from where he works and one from the tap at a fast food place.

I tested both of them plus a sample from our h0use with the **TDS meter** (see below)  included with the pitcher, before filtering. The sample from his work was 149 and the sample from the burger joint was 146. Ours was 22.  Then over the course of the next few hours I filtered each sample through the pitcher. After filtering I put hub’s work water in a purple cup, burger water in a red cup and ours in a blue cup. I retested and got ZERO’s all the way around! Cool. Now for the biggie…TASTE test. I used the terry head band I use to keep my hair off my face when I am washing up, I slid it down to use as a blindfold. I asked hub to switch the cups around so I wouldn’t know which was which and started blind tasting. I’d like to say that I knew my water… but actually I couldn’t tell one from the other at ALL.  I didn’t get that plastic-y bottle water taste but the “sweetness” of our water was gone, too. That said, the water tasted good and crispy fresh and I won’t be having any issues at all drinking this when we move. The flavor difference from the town tap after filtering is amazing. From yuck to yum in a few minutes! I am awfully glad I got to try this. Find them on Facebook!


TWO of my readers get a chance to win their own Zero Pitcher, to changer their water to clean and tasty! Don’t want to wait?

Use code MC30  HERE to get 30% off a ten-cup Zero Water Pitcher!

 
“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of ZeroWater and received a water pitcher to facilitate my review, two pitchers to giveaway, and extra filters to thank me for taking the time to participate.”


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***TDS METER- A TDS Meter indicates the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) of a solution, i.e. the concentration of dissolved solids in it. Since dissolved ionized solids such as salts and minerals increase the conductivityof a solution, a TDS meter measures the conductivity of the solution and estimates the TDS from that.****