Monday, February 10, 2014

A little Sunshine, House Of J nomination for a Sunshine Award.



What an AMAZING thing to read in your inbox " your blog brightens my day and I've nominated you for a Sunshine award"

After being a bit overwhelmed with kids, life and my business goals, blogging has come last in the equation and I couldn't be more touched. And with this, my blogging motivation has returned. So thank you so much PinkHeartString for the glowing feeling.

What is the Sunshine Award: 
A blogger to blogger award that is given when your blog inspires others or brings ‘sunshine’ by inspiring them creatively.
Rules of the award: 
Answer 11 questions with random facts about yourself asked by your nominee. Then forward the recognition by choosing 11 other blogs and ask the bloggers 11 questions about themselves.

Kareen with PinkHeartString passed on these questions to me for the nomination- Here are my answers.

1. As a mother, how do you consider blogging? Is it a job, a hobby or a past time?
For me blogging is a hobby that encourages me to create new wholesome recipes and to try new things. House Of J started as a blog and has developed into an actual money making food industry business. I am so grateful.

2. One challenging part of being a parent is to discipline the kids. How do you discipline your kids? Can you cite one example of a situation where you tried to teach them something?

Disiplining is the hardest part of being a mother to me, and I try to use methods that encourage children to grow from within' and follow an "attachment parenting" model.

3. Since you are occupied with so many Super Mom stuffs, what do you enjoy doing when your child is not around?

Quiet nights with my husband doing nothing. You forget how soothing quiet can be when you become a mother.

4. When you had kid/s, how did it affect your relationship with your husband, family and friends?

Becoming a mama has done nothing but grow more and more love in every aspect of my life. My husband and I make an incredible parenting duo.

5. All of us have dreams and aspirations in life. Did you achieve yours? Or was it detoured when you had a child?

I feel like we are in just the beginning stages of achievement and through love, teamwork and a strong family bond all of our dreams can be facilitated together.

6. Are you a shoppaholic? What certain stuffs do you always get and can't resist to buy? Did that change when you had a children?

I have a deep appreciation for "finer" things, but materialism and "stuff" means very little to me, and even more so now that we have children.

7.  Did you look into maintaining a good figure, wearing makeup and fashionable clothes after giving birth?

I will admit that my fashion sense and desire to be on trend with the best designers or newest looks have pretty much disintegrated after becoming a mother but I know when to dress up when its needed :)

8. What do you usually do when your child(ren) get tantrums? Do you yield to their demands or you impose discpline?
I do give in occasionally, but tantrums are mostly met with love and redirection.

9. My daughter loves Lalaloopsy and we are supportive of that. But we don't buy her every doll she wants. How do you spoil your kids while making sure that they will not get "totally spoiled"?

We are incredibly selective with tv shows and "sweets" so when the occasion is special and calls for goodies, they are usually very enthusiastic. We try hard to say "no" and "yes" when the situation calls for it but the old term "spoil" is not something that I think much about. 

10. My daughter and I loves to eat ice cream a lot like everyday! What is one foodie that you and your kids love to eat together?

Yogurt and granola!

11. What are the crazy things you usually did when you were a teenager which you do not want your kids to do?

Getting a tattoo. Very hypocritical of me, but I wish they would make the decision to NOT get any body art.

------

This was so fun- I enjoyed the questions and am excited to think up my own set!

I've been inspired by so many blogs but these particular blogs really stand out.

1  Food Babe
2. Whimsically Detailed
3. The Crafted Sparrow
4. Intoxicated on Life
5. Piggybank Parties
6. Not Just A Housewife
7.100 Days of Real Food

These ladies have inspired me beyond words. And although this is the equivalent of a blogger chain letter- I do appreciate all the work that these bloggers put into their blogs and their creative inspirations.

Cheers!
--

Call me a rule breaker but because I've passed this on to my 7 most admired blogs, I've created a list of just 7 questions...

1. What inspired you to begin writing for the world to see?


2. Creating new content can be challenging, How do you get over writing blocks or blogger hurdles?


3. Where do you envision your blog going to in the future?


4. How do you find a happy balance between blogging for the love of what you do and blogging for monetary value?

5. If there was one thing you could change about the future of our world, what would it be?

6. What would you say to women, especially mothers, who have so much to contribute but just don't know where to begin

7. What is the most touching message you've received from a fan of your blog?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bran Muffins With Coconut Oil & Flax


We don't get the sickies often, but when we do...its ROUGH

This one hit all of us at once, and its been a whirlwind trying to keep the house germ free, get the munchkins to eat nutritious food and have a good nights sleep and keep up with all the daily "to-dos"

With what little energy I had at 9am this morning I decided to whip up something I knew the kids would eat- a muffin!

Coconut oil is such an amazing super food and contains  powerful medicinal properties. Did you know that the Lauric acid in coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, while keeping infections at bay? Coconut oil also helps moisturize the skin from the inside out. Living in a very dry climate, moisture is so helpful, especially when you are under the weather!

You need:

  • 2 cups wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 tablespoon vinegar works too)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice + 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ( I would usually use 1/2 cup turbinado sugar blended with 1 tablespoon molasses, this time I went the easy route!)
  • 1/2 cup organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1 large egg + 1 Egg white
  • 3/4 cup AP flour or Whole Wheat 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • tiny pinch of salt
  • Mix all the ingredients together and pour into recycled kraft cupcake liners- I like these unbleached liners
  • bake @ 350 degrees for 25 minutes and enjoy :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Farmers Market Roasted Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce


I promised you long ago that I would share one of my many pasta sauce making secrets with you and the day has come.

This is a really light, delicious and super easy way to have FRESH pasta sauce without BPA lined cans and icky GM tomatoes!

I am lucky enough to live in the land of plentiful farmer's markets, and while they were in season and deliciously ripe I stocked up on some local, organically grown tomatoes. I also splurged on some amazing fresh organic herbs like basil and oregano. Those, along with some amazing local bread made for a fabulous weekend dinner at home. Those amazing potatoes are for my Chanukah Latkes this week :)



Spaghetti for two:

6 large organic tomatoes cut in half
2 Tablespoons unfiltered EVOO (preferably Sicilian) plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon organic minced garlic
1 jar tomato paste- I like this brand-
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 sprigs basil for sauce + more for roasting
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried parsley
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375*

Slice your tomatoes in half and lay them inside UP on a baking dish, sprinkle 1/2 of your minced garlic and a few basil leaves on top and drizzle with olive oil.

Roast for 35 minutes

In a large sauce pan, drizzle some more olive oil, add your tomato paste water and dried herbs and bring to a slow, low simmer.

Add in your roasted tomatoes and blend with an immersion blender (or transfer to standing blender). When smooth, return to pan and simmer on low for 1-2 hours. At this point you can add meat to your sauce. We used 3 small cruelty free organic pork chops that were lightly browned on each side for about 1 minute.

After that 2 hour mark your meat should shred very easily and really fill out your sauce. If you are going meat free, your sauce should be ready for the final step in 1 hour.

while your water boils for your spaghetti, add the fresh herbs to your sauce and simmer until pasta is perfectly al dente'

Bon Apetito!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Keeping your family safe, one app at a time

When I heard about REACT mobile my first thought was WOW I know so many families who could benefit from this iphone and android app! My little ones are still too small for me to track them with it but I know that any growing family could use an easier way to keep track of their kiddos and themselves. I can't tell you how many times I felt compromised living in a heavily populated metropolitan area. REACT would have definitely helped me to feel more secure. Feeling safe is such a big part of being a mother.

 Did I mention that it's free!?

 React Mobile  helps you turn your smartphone into a powerful lifeline for your family. The app has a “Follow Me” feature, that let’s your self selected contacts track your whereabouts in real-time whenever you’re concerned for your safety. 




Perfect for running or walking alone early in the morning or late at night, keeping track of kids, or meeting a client for the first time, simply touch the “I’m Safe” button to let your contacts know when you’ve arrived at your destination safely. In an emergency, press the SOS shield on the app to send out a panic alert containing a link to your GPS location to select emergency contacts via text message and email, which can optionally be posted to Facebook and Twitter. Once the SOS alert is activated, you’re automatically prompted to dial 911. 

This app allows you to choose which country you live in (or are traveling to) from the settings tab and when an SOS alert is triggered, you will be prompted to dial the appropriate emergency authority depending on you’re geographic location.

Check out the video demo & download your copy!

· React Mobile Web site: www.ReactMobile.com
· Google Play Download (available on select smartphones): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.reactmobile.lite 
· React Overview Video: http://vimeo.com/61906781
· React App Demo Video: http://vimeo.com/61927390

The Founder of REACT mobile shares his story:

Can you explain your inspiration for creating this app? What exactly happened to you? 
I’ve personally been the victim of a hostage situation while I was a college student and saw the need for a product that could be used to silently and discreetly alert the authorities and your trusted contacts if you are in trouble.  When we first came up with the idea behind React Mobile, we wanted to develop a tool to improve safety on university campuses. What we noticed is that institutions are actively installing and maintaining blue light emergency phones which help to create the perception of safety on campuses. Although these blue light emergency phones can be useful, they are very expensive to install ($7K - $10K on average) and maintaining these phones costs upwards of $60k per year. Furthermore, usage rates are low and these phones are typically used for crank calls pestering police and security officers. While there is no doubt that these blue light emergency phones serve a purpose, we wanted to develop technology that puts the power of an emergency blue light phone in the palm of every students’ hand, thus, arming individuals with a more effective safety tool that can be used on and off campus.
Since our launch we’ve found other markets beyond schools that can benefit from our app’s capabilities, and we’ve been gaining traction with parents, solo runners, travelers and lone workers.




This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Orange Creamsicle Greens & Protein Smoothie


Green smoothies... All the rage right now.

While I try not to follow "new miracle" food trends. There are a few trends that have really improved my over-all health and wellness. I try to drink a green smoothie every single day.

My energy level skyrockets and theyreally lift me out of that tired early morning grogginess. When do babies and preschoolers sleep through the night again? Never? Oh right...so I guess I'll be drinking green smoothies forever.

 I've learned what my body needs to function and what my cravings really mean. Since the addition of RAW Fit protein powder to my daily green smoothie my cravings have almost 100% diminished. Now, I am a woman after all so chocolate cravings will never disappear but they aren't controlling my diet any more.

 Green smoothies on their own shouldn't be a full meal replacement but adding RAW fit makes them more satisfying and adds even more kicked up nutrients.

 My Cacao Berry Blend Protein Shake uses RAW Protein in Cacao flavor. All protein powders are not created equal, in that post I show you all the junk found in your average protein powder.
Finding an organic and GMO free verified dietary brand was a life saver!


RAW Fit is a USDA Certified organic, RAW, plant-based vegan high-protein powder that is an easy way to increase your protein intake.

One of the "trendy" ingredients in RAW Fit, is Green Coffee Bean Extract- It helps you maintain healthy blood sugar, boosts energy and naturally increase fat burning capabilities.

Between the duties of being a stay at home mommy, my business and all of the other things life throws your way, I missed going to my Barre Fitness classes for 2 whole weeks! I still managed to lose 2lbs in those 2 weeks and I'd like to think its with the help of my smoothies!

One thing to always remember is to keep trying new ways to make your smoothies so you don't lose momentum . I always buy different kinds of fruits, greens flavor and yogurts to keep it interesting.

This smoothie recipe is my favorite and most used! It reminds me of an orange Julius but greener, healthier and without the sugar.

You need:

8oz Organic 100% Orange Juice
4oz Organic Kefir  (I buy all different flavors but I've heard some amazing things about adding small amounts of pomegranate to your diet so I'd been buying the pom/acai blend
1 ripe medium banana(frozen) I let my bananas ripen and then freeze for smoothies. You can use a non frozen banana and add ice as needed instead.
1 scoop RAW Fit- Garden Of Life
1 individual packet/ 1 scoop Orange Blend Greens- Amazing Grass

Always add your wet ingredients first when blending with powders- otherwise it will taste grainy
add in fruit next and then RAW Fit & Greens

Blend on high until desired consistency. I prefer more of a juice beverage consistency but if you like more yogurty add more kefir, or Ice for a "granita" style =)



Drink up with a cute paper straw for added pizzazz :P


This Post was featured on Small Footprint Fridays





Thursday, October 3, 2013

Healthy Mama Happy Baby Giveaway

I am BLESSED to live in a community where MOM owned businesses thrive and we all root each other on!

I've teamed up with some great ladies for a super fun giveaway!

1 week FREE @ Fit4Mom! check out their awesome program here: http://frontrange.fit4mom.com/
not to worry if you aren't in Northern Colorado, see if there is a Fit4Mom Franchise near you, Here: http://fit4mom.com/

Keep your baby happy while you exercise with a GORGEOUS teething necklace by Amber & Haze! Check out her etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EstanysFlame

And when you get home, work out that post baby mama belly with a tummy wrap from ITWorks! Check out the awesome benefits here: https://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wrapmeaway.net&h=pAQFSJjug




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Preschool Lunch Ideas and Organization with help from Sistema Plastics

Oh plastics....

One of life's many conveniences that are toxic to us and hard on our environment. But it's just too hard to give up, for now.

I am relatively new to avoiding BPA and we do try to avoid it as best we can. Especially in long term food storage.

All of this of course becomes even more substantial now that lil girl is in preschool this year! I've been trying to keep her lunchboxes interesting, fun, healthy and exciting.

She isn't the best eater and usually will have a better lunch if something is shaped like a flower, or a man or a tree, even a butterfly. Or in this case, A little man with carrot eyes and mouth!

I knew that because I have a "snacker" and not a foodie on my hands, I needed a BPA free, inexpensive version of a bento box.


This was lil girl's most recent preschool lunch. Sandwhich buddy and yogurt in the large bottom compartment, Apple slices and grapes in the top side compartment, cucumbers in the other and some Annie's chocolate bunnies in the smaller compartment. And guess what, it came home EMPTY! Victory!!

I've been purchasing food storage containers from Sistema since my first real apartment, 8+ years ago.
It keeps food fresh, is priced super reasonably and is very high quality.

Did I mention it goes in the dishwasher safely and comes out sparkling clean?

Because I always have so many ingredients on hand at any given time, even 20 cabinets wouldn't be enough. Things get piled high and I dig around for 15 minutes sometimes looking for the baking powder.

I am so embarassed to show you my cabinets before and after but here goes!



It was pretty much just boxes on top of bags on top of mason jars. I try to keep it as neat as I can but life gets away from you sometimes and you end up with that kind of mess.

Now check it out--

Between my combination of mason jars, tin buckets (targets $1 section) and beautiful Sistema containers, My cabinet is pretty much as neat as its going to get. You can see that most of the bags are now in my new Sistema baker's line(white) and my gluten free pasta, rices and other goodies are in the klip-it line(blue).

Did I mention this closet is right front and center of my dining room? And that the kids leave the door open ALL the time?

Sistema Plastics is one of the few brands that I feel comfortable reviewing and recommending to my beloved readers. With their BPA free materials, sustainable business practices and all around reasonable pricing. The House Of J family will definitely be buying more and more!

I'd love for you to check them out @ www.sistemaplastics.com and read there awesome story. Basically their company went from a small business, operating in someones garage in New Zealand. With what is now a huge factory warehouse, full staff and available at most of my favorite stores.


House Of J was sent these products gratis to review but the views and opinions expressed are 100% my own. House Of J is not paid in exchange for advertising.