Category Archives: Product Recommendations

LUVO – Healthy Heat & Eat Meals – Mama Feed Yourself, You’re Important, Too! – Review

In a previous blog post, I mentioned the phenomenon of Post-Pregnancy Depletion that can persist for several years, even more than a decade after giving birth.

Sadly, the majority of moms neglect to take proper care of themselves, while wearing themselves out to the bone taking care of their family!  We grab kid-chewed leftovers or whatever’s available within reach that our significant others haven’t already devoured, and stuff it in our mouths, or we go for the keep-us-going junkfood so we can be at least minimally functional, while we further starve ourselves of nutrition, because who’s got time to cook a nice gourmet meal for mama? Certainly not mama!

Well guess what? Someone’s got the time, after all: LUVO!

These two were my favorites: Orange Mango Chicken & Red Wine Braised Beef and Polenta!
These two were my favorites: Orange Mango Chicken & Red Wine Braised Beef and Polenta!
“Luvo [loo- vō] has Latin roots, and it loosely means to give aid or strength to accomplish a purpose. To us, Luvo is a person who takes care of themselves so they can in turn, care for others. Luvo is a movement that sparks the belief that leading a healthy lifestyles creates your best self and inspires the world around you.”
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You might have seen LUVO meals in your grocery’s frozen food section lately, as you were shopping for your family.  Mama, it’s time to do some shopping for YOU! 😀
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LUVO meals are heat and eat meals that are filled with tasty, natural and healthy ingredients.  While they’ll certainly be a treat for someone with a refined palate, they might not match a junk-food fan’s taste profile. You can actually taste the spices and herbs that are used for seasonings.  They aren’t over-laden with salt or other shelf-preserving ingredients. And best of all – they are EASY to prepare!  Toss one in the oven and a relatively short time later, you’ve got something yummy that’s not going to deepen your nutritional deficit.
Convenient steam-in-bag (non BPA) servings.
Convenient steam-in-bag (non BPA) servings.

You NEED healthy food, mama, and since no one’s likely going to be cooking it for you (including yourself if you’re like a majority of (sorry, it’s got to be said!) self-neglecting mamas, this is as close as you’re going to be getting to having a chef prepare tasty, healthy, chock-full-of-nutrition meals for you on demand, unless you actually do have a chef on your household staff.

Orange Mango Chicken
Orange Mango Chicken
Red Wine Braised Beef & Polenta
Red Wine Braised Beef & Polenta
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Luvo is all about helping people make healthier choices for themselves and their families.  We believe it should be easy to enjoy delicious and nutritious food that is responsibly sourced.  That’s why we’ve created chef-inspired frozen meals that have quality proteins (from whole plants and lean meats raised without antibiotics), whole grains, generous portions of fruits and veggies, responsible amounts of sodium and added sugar, and no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.”

Just the facts
• Signature Luvo meals offer delicious culinary recipes with full servings
of veggies, whole grains and quality proteins, flash frozen in custom
Steam in PouchTM packaging. Inspired by the French cooking technique
“en papillote,” which means “in parchment,” the pouch creates an
aromatic steam that gently cooks each meal in its own flavorful juices.
• Luvo Bowls offer delicious recipes in a convenient paperboard bowl
that steams quickly in the microwave. These Bowls feature a self-venting
film that does not require puncturing, peeling back or stirring
during the cooking process, maximizing convenience and locking in
flavor.
• Luvo PlantedTM Power Bowls offer delicious recipes with at least two
full servings of veggies, organic whole grain rice from Lotus Foods and
plant proteins – in a convenient paperboard bowl that steams quickly in
the microwave.
• Luvo meals use responsible amounts of sodium and added sugar.
While other frozen brands load up on salt, Luvo uses herbs, spices
and quality ingredients to deliver amazing taste. Luvo never uses any
artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
• Luvo’s people-, animal- and planet-friendly practices include using
antibiotic free meat and poultry, using non-GMO ingredients whenever
possible, and giving back to the community through partnerships with
local nonprofit organizations.

 

Learn more online
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socialmedluvo
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* I received this product for free from Moms
Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the
manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest
opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.
** Text in italics was provided by Moms Meet and the manufacturer.

Uncommonly Good Gifts For the Special People In Your Life (That Includes You, Too!)

In the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, one of the ‘languages’, or main ways a person may best express or receive love, is “Giving gifts”.   I like to put a lot of thought into a gift, trying to get to know the person, what they enjoy, what would make them happy and what would best make them feel cared about. I also enjoy such gifts – ones that someone obviously put a lot of thought into, not just snagged at a convenience store on the way over (sometimes with the price tag still attached).

The best gifts I received and the ones I gave that got the best response were the ones that were SPECIAL!  Ones that you didn’t find on practically every big-box chain-store’s shelves.

Gifts that you may never have known about but once you see it, you just know that this was MEANT to be in your life! Or in a loved-one’s life. I’ll let you in on a secret: there’s a veritable treasure trove (good for wives or s.o.’s – hint, hint!) of such items at Uncommon Goods! 😀

THIS is definitely on my husband’s wish list:

Bonsai Forest
A DIY bonsai forest! How cool is that?
Aquaponic Garden
Or an Aquaponic Herb Garden!

And for the kids –

edible chemistry set
CHEMISTRY they can EAT!!!

Although, to be honest, I’d probably give all those gifts to myself. 😀  The hubster and kids can just look on in envy at my newly acquired awesome gifts. 😀

However, there are SO MANY amazingly terrific things on this site, that you’ll never have to resort to coffee mugs or socks ever again.

If you’re stuck for something truly special to give to your wife or mother for her anniversary, they’ve got a great selection of items already curated.

What makes it even nicer is that Uncommon Goods sells products that weren’t made at the expense of harming people or animals. <3

In addition to finding uncommonly great gifts for your loved ones (including yourself!), another wonderful thing about Uncommon Goods that I really like is that they donate $1 to charity for every purchase made. So far they’ve donated over $1,000,000 through their Better To Give program!

They’re also founding members of B Corporation, an organization that was “created to help customers understand the social and environmental impact of their purchases. The B seal means that a company has met the standards outlined in a comprehensive screening questionnaire, which evaluates a company on issues ranging from providing a living wage, to lessening their impact on the environment, to giving back to the community.”

I strongly urge you to go take a look at the amazing selection at Uncommon Goods, you won’t regret it!

And if you happen to be a friend or relative of mine, my birthday’s coming up… 😀  I’m really jonesing for one of their recycled glass nightlights – so beautiful! Those would probably also make a very memorable housewarming gift!

These teeny earring vases would also be PERFECT!

vase

 


This post is a sponsored partnership between Twice Blessed Life and Uncommon Goods. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. Pictures and italicized text are from the Uncommon Goods website.

Finding the Best Prenatal Vitamin

New Chapter Organics Perfect PrenatalWhen I was newly pregnant with my twins, one of the first things I had to shop for was the best prenatal vitamin.  I read article after article, read reviews, asked other parents and researched the recommendation of my OB/GYN (who I later ditched because of their callous attitude).  I reached saturation point on info about iron levels, side effects (constipation, yippee! :D), folate vs. folic acid, fillers, synthetic vs. organic, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. LOL! 😀 vectorstock-215595-sleeping-emoticon-vector

Yep, there’s a bit more involved than just casually accepting whatever the doctor (who might be receiving incentives for certain recommendations) hands you, but the research you invest in something so vital to you and your baby’s health is time well spent.

Anyhoo, during my vitamin quest one day, another mama had posted an article mentioning that Gwyneth Paltrow was practically ecstatic about one particular brand of prenatal vitamin. In fact, she loved it so much that she was taking it even when she wasn’t pregnant. Huh?

Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in Iron Man
Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in Iron Man

I’m not one to rush out and buy a product based on a (probably compensated) celebrity say-so, but what caught my interest was that New Chapter Organics Perfect Prenatal Vitamins were organic. Not only that, many of the sources from which the vitamins in the tablet were derived, were from whole food sources and involved fermentation.  This was intriguing and I decided to look into this prenatal product.

After quite a lot of research, I’d decided that this was the one for me! Then breathed a HUGE sigh of relief that that topic of research was finally over with. 😀

I took the vitamins, I didn’t have any constipation problems, the babies turned out fine, case closed, right?

Uh-uh. Nope!

Because now it’s a very tough 9 years later (twins!) and I find that I still don’t feel I’m ‘back on my feet’, so to speak.  Guess what? Apparently “Post-Natal Depletion” is also a very real thing.

I’ve actually been hearing a lot from other mamas who likewise still feel like something the cat dragged in, even several years later, post-partum.  And speaking of post-partum – apparently post-partum depression can linger on for YEARS after giving birth! (And is exacerbated by post-natal depletion.) A lot of mamas also suffer from self-esteem issues when they don’t bounce back quickly after giving birth, or even after the kids are finally school-ready.

twintiredmommy

Well, when you’re consistently operating under a post-natal depletion deficit for years, you’re not going to be feeling the greatest.  Simply getting your regular pre-pregnancy intake levels of nutrients isn’t going to be enough. You also need to replenish the used-up stores of nutrients in your body that had been stockpiling for years before pregnancy occurred.  And if you’ve had more than one pregnancy, that deficit is going to get depleted even more with each subsequent pregnancy.

So even though I’m not planning on having any more children, I will be using New Chapter Organics Perfect Prenatal Vitamins to help me replenish myself. +++

How about you? Do you have a particular favorite prenatal vitamin? While you were researching pregnancy or baby-related topics did you come across any startling new info? Please comment below and share with us. Thank you! 😀

Happy Holidays everyone, and PLEASE – Mamas especially – take GOOD care of yourselves!  You deserve it!

**This post is a sponsored partnership with Nakturnal. The opinions expressed above and specific product recommendation are entirely my own.

+++ This post is opinion only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult with a trusted medical professional to ascertain what levels of nutritional supplements would be most appropriate for your individual medical situation.

Lavender Wow! Review of New York Biology 100% Pure & Natural Lavender Essential Oil


I love lavender. I love the smell, I love the taste!

I also love the wonderful and beautiful lavender-scented and flavored gifts I see for sale at practically any worthwhile boutique.  The price of those wonderful gifts (I would love to spoil myself with) is not as lovely, however. 😀

Then it occurred to me…maybe I could make some of those pretty things myself! (for myself…and, uh…gifts for others, I suppose ) 😀

So a little bit of Google-fu later and I’ve got a trove of free recipes to try out!

(Note: although some recipes add Baking Soda or Baking Powder, some folks have reported that unless the mixture is COMPLETELY dry, it will tend to explode, glass jar and all. So I didn’t add any of that to my recipe.)

Who doesn’t love a good soak in the tub (minus the shrieks of children) with a lovely dash of Lavender Bath Salts?

Thanks to the kind sponsorship of Tomoson and New York Biology, I was offered a sample of Lavender Essential Oil that I used for this review*.0I just needed epsom salts, sea salt, food coloring and a small decorative jar (you can buy the kind of jar I used at a good craft store), and of course, the Lavender Essential Oil, which you can buy HERE for a very affordable price.

It was so easy to make, and within mere moments of opening the bottle and adding just a few small drops of the lavender oil, my kitchen smelled like a lovely lavender sachet!  I can’t wait to try out my new pretty bottle of lavender bath salts!

I used 1/8 cup Epsom Salt and 1/16 cup Sea Salt, 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil, Several drops of red and blue food coloring, and mixed it well. Then I spooned it into the jar and applied a cute little label with a gluestick! That’s all there is to it!

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It smelled so good!  I’m thinking about also mixing this with some coconut oil (as a carrier oil, because you should never use essential oils undiluted on your skin!) as a lovely lotion for the inevitable winter-roughened skin every winter!

Unlike some other Lavender Essential Oil brands I’ve used in the past, New York Biology’s Lavender Essential Oil’s scent lingered for quite awhile, which I was very pleased about. Other oils I’ve tried in the past dissipated too soon, but this was not the case with this oil. 😀
New York Biology – 100% Pure & Natural Lavender Essential Oil
About the Product
  • 100% PURE, NATURAL, & AUTHENTIC Kashmir Lavender Essential Oil steam distilled without any fillers or additives.
  • OUR KASHMIR LAVENDER OIL contains Linalool 31%, Linalyl Acetate 34%. We proudly showcase the constituents & purity of our oil on the front of the bottle.
  • HIGHEST QUALITY GRADE & PREMIUM QUALITY originating from India and Bottled in the USA
  • LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL is frequently used in various forms including aromatherapy oil, gels, infusion, lotion, and soaps. It induces calmness and relaxation. This makes it the most popular essential oil on the market.

@NEWYORKBIOLOGY

#NEWYORKBIOLOGY

#NewYorkBiology
#LavenderOil
#EssentialOil
#TopQuality


*I was offered a sample of the product for the purpose of my honest review by Tomoson and New York Biology. No other compensation was received.  My review was my own honest experience and opinion of the product and was not influenced in any way by the sponsors.

 

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