Momma Told Me: June 2017

Blog Archive

Simple Tips To Find Balance In A Crazy Life + Delicious Recipes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NatureMadeHealthPack #CollectiveBias This blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with your healthcare practitioner.
Simple tips to maintain balance in a hectic life. #NatureMadeHealthPack #AD
 Last year I turned 30.

It was like any other birthday. Honestly, as much of a fuss as most of my friends have made when turning the 'big 3-0' it's really quite un-extraordinary. I'm a pretty firm believer that age is but a number to chronicle the passing of time, rather than mark the loss of it. And while it's true, as we progress on this crazy journey called life, there are legal and physical landmarks often associated with various milestones, one is only as young (or old) as they are in spirit and in heart.

This all being said our bodies are the vessel in which we progress through life, and more than any number on a birthday card, it's how we choose to take care of it which ultimately weighs the largest on how much living we'll get out of it.
So, back to me and my birthday, there I was feeling no less or more extraordinary than the day before, having recently turned 30. I'd visited my personal physician for an annual checkup and he'd shared a few criticisms of his own. Side note: Am I the only one who feels as though they've let their doctor down when they get less than ideal feedback???? But I digress- I could go into the nitty gritty but it really comes down to this:

One's health is and always well be a complex and constantly changing picture painted by a number of factors. Some we can impact, while others we can only anticipate, and others we simply can't avoid. There is no magical formula, no paint by number, to perfect health.

When I asked my personal doctor what his best advice was for me, knowing I had some personal health hurdles to begin trying to overcome, his response was simple,

"The same thing I tell every patient. Make time."

Time, of course, for one's health. Whether it's researching new recipes that are lower in sodium/sugars/fats, researching one's family tree for hereditary dispositions, logging the amount of water drank in a day, or scheduling an annual checkup. So many people, myself included, express that their crazy lifestyles don't allow much time to really stop an care for themselves. But there are a few simple things one can do to help maintain balance within their hectic life.
You don't have to make plans to climb a mountain or start training for Secret Ninja Camp (yes, that's a real thing- and yes, it does sound awesome) to help find balance. In fact you really shouldn't make any drastic life changes, dietary or physically, without first consulting your own personal physician. But I do suggest that you expand your personal interests by defining specific goals. Goals, in general, help foster structure through a progression timeline. Set realistic goals to achieve a specific result, or lead up to a culminating event/triumph. Share your personal goals with close family and friends and let them support you as you progress.

Expect hurdles. Finding time to reach for a goal while you're already juggling work, family, personal relationships and more will be a struggle. It wouldn't be a goal if it wasn't. Don't punish yourself for setbacks but do recognize what caused them and how you can better overcome the hurdle next time. Whenever possible break your daily/weekly progress into many smaller sections of time that can fit in between your existing schedule. Breaking up your efforts and spreading them out will seem much less tedious than trying to cram 1 or 2 bigger efforts into your regular routine.

Having goals are nice, and break up the monotony of everyday commitments and obligations but caring for one's self can seem like a complete mystery when the topic turns to nutrition. General guidelines for healthy eating exist but there's always some fancy click bait lurking on the side of your Facebook browser tempting you with the latest 'study' or trend. On top of that every person truly is unique- without annual health exams and clear communication with a personal physician you truly can't know what your body is lacking, or has an excess of.

Disclaimers aside, as much as I try, I don't have the time to research all the nutrient potentials of everything I eat. I wish I had time to cook a homemade meal every day, or the willpower to never eat a scrap of 'junk' food, but I don't. What I can do is shop at Sam's Club, where I personally save time by using their 'Click N' Pull' online ordering system on thousands of items from toothpaste and batteries to fresh produce. Because I can shop amazing club pricing from just about anywhere with a WiFi or data connection I don't have to compromise on smart eating due to price or lack of time. I simply place my order online, show my order confirmation receipt to the Customer Service desk in store, and have my entire purchase brought out to me ready to go.
Sam's Club also offers a wide array of personal hygiene and health maintenance products (mine even has a full service pharmacy) in quantities that keep me stocked longer, so I can spend less time shopping and more time tackling my busy life. One of those products is the Nature Made® Daily Diabetes Health Pack, scientifically formulated to supply nutritional support for people with diabetes or prediabetes. † It's the #1 Pharmacist Recommended Diabetic Multivitamin Supplement Brandǂ It's unique 6 daily supplement health packs are individually packaged to inspire healthy choices for general population including those who are Pre-Diabetic or Diabetic to live a healthy lifestyle. † Inside each Health Pack you'll find A Multivitamin/Mineral providing essential vitamins and minerals for daily nutritional support. † Fish Oil with Vitamin D3: Fish oil provides essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA DHA, which help support a healthy heart. † Vitamin D supports bone, teeth, muscle and immune health.† Vitamin D3 is the body’s preferred form of vitamin D.* You'll also find Alpha Lipoic Acid with Green Tea which has antioxidant properties which neutralize free radicals.†

It may sound like a mouth-full, okay it's literally a mouth full of nutritional supplements, but it's proven a great way for me to fit nutritional support into my daily routine.
This Sparkling Strawberry Mint-Infused Water is the perfect way to stay refreshed without added sugars! #NatureMadeHealthPack #AD
Another important key to finding balance in a busy lifestyle is by taking time to explore new ways to enjoy favorite things. For example, if you find yourself stopping into the local smoothie shop every night on your way home it might be a good idea to look into ways to include that fruit flavored experience into a less complicated routine at home. Researching alternative ingredients or presentations of foods you tend to lean on can help introduce new nutrients and benefits with minimal effort or cost.
I found an amazing recipe for Sparkling Strawberry Mint Infused Water on the My Food Advisor® website that's recently changed the way I consume water while at home throughout the day. Not only has it saved excess seasonal strawberries from going to waste I've found I personally don't crave any added sugars when I introduce the sensation of carbonation with the rich flavors of real fruit. I just might enjoy this particular recipe more than my favorite drink at the local cafe.

Of course having a collection of trusted resources to help tackle your biggest time hurdles will really make the process of finding balance much easier. Consider spending an afternoon gathering and researching resources which may work for you. Having a local retailer which offers a wide range of smart shopping decisions with a variety of convenient shopping methods, such as Sam's Club, can be a worthy asset on your list. You may also with to take note of a few reputable websites which provide recipes searchable based on nutritional criteria. I prefer to utilize My Food Advisor® and the USDA recipe database, but your needs may vary based on your personal balance goals.
This delicious Turkey Sausage and Egg Casserole takes 10 minutes to prepare and as just 110 calories, 4g of sugar, and 13g of protein per serving! #NatureMadeHealthPack #ad
In fact, I recently tried out a new recipe I found while browsing the My Food Advisor® website, Turkey Sausage and Egg Casserole. At just 100 calories per serving with approximately 4g of sugars and 13g of protein I found it to be a deliciously filling way to kick start our weekend routine. Be sure to grab the recipe directly from the My Food Advisor® website, then follow along here as we cover the simple steps to make it.

To begin you'll want to gather some basic ingredients:

Cooking Spray
2 C Nonfat Milk
4-5 Green Onion Bunches
1/2 TSP Dry Mustard
1/4 TSP Salt (Optional, We don't include it)
1/4 TSP Black Pepper
16 OZ Egg Substitute
4 Slices Whole Wheat Bread
3 Precooked Breakfast Sausage Patties 
1/4 C Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Begin by preheating the oven to 350F.

Coat a 9x13 dish with cooking spray.

Prepare your ingredients.
  • Cut your bread into 1/2" cubes.
  • Dice your turkey sausage patties.
  • Chop your green onions down to about 1/2" into the whites.
Start by whisking the nonfat milk, green onions, dry mustard, salt (optional), pepper, and egg substitute in a medium sized bowl. Since an egg substitute is being used you really only need to whis to combine and distribute the spices evenly.
Next spread the bread cubes evenly over the bottom of your prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the diced turkey sausage  on top and in between then slowly pour the egg mixture evenly over the top. The green onions will want to 'clump' on your initial pour so pour slowly and keep moving for even distribution. Top with the shredded cheese and cover with foil.
Bake the casserole for 20 minutes at 350F then carefully pull the oven rack forward, remove the foil, and place back into the oven for an additional 40 minutes. We like a nice 'crust' on the top so we let ours bake just a tad longer to really get that golden hue.
This delicious Turkey Sausage and Egg Casserole takes 10 minutes to prepare and as just 110 calories, 4g of sugar, and 13g of protein per serving! #NatureMadeHealthPack #ad
I loved this recipe because it was easy enough to prepare in under 10 minutes, and gave us a fair amount of leftovers. I wound the bread was naturally sweet and think our decision not to add salt didn't hinder it any way. If anything, next time, I'll add an extra dash of pepper- though the beauty of pepper is each individual can season their own serving if truly desired. It also just so happens to pair perfectly with my new favorite drink, the Sparkling Strawberry Mint-Infused Water from above!
Ultimately finding balance amidst the craziness will never be a perfect science at any age. There are a variety of tools one can use to help but my favorite truly is having a support system. Learning what works for you, personally, will always be trial and error, but making the most of life while you do it will always be made most possible through a strong tribe of family, allies and friends. Now, tell me, what are some resources or trick you use to help maintain balance everyday?

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.

ǂ Based on US News & World Report – Pharmacy Times Survey

Are you looking for more great resources to help balance your crazy life? Grab the Sam's Club shopping list resource below for your next shopping trip!

Pet Disaster Preparedness Tips + Upcoming Faceobok Live Event

The following content is being shared in partnership with the Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. All thoughts contained below are original and property of Momma Told Me Blog 2017.
June is National Pet Preparedness Month- Read these simple tips you might not have thought of!
Did you know June is National Pet Preparedness month?

More than half of U.S. homes have a prepared emergency evacuation kit in their home but most do not have a plan in place for their own family pet.

Having a pet, or multiple pets, in your home is much like having a child during an emergency. Unfortunately, while you can educate and practice escape routes and procedures with your children (especially as they grow) pets cannot benefit from the typical preparedness of such verbal skills. However, they can benefit from some advanced planning on your part, a little extra care and attention to emergency kits, and even from mock drills.

I recently had the chance to attend a YouTube live session with Dr. Kurt Venator, Purina Veterinarian, and pick his brain on safe practices, and what to expect, during an emergency with pets.
June is National Pet Preparedness Month- Read these simple tips you might not have thought of!
One of the first thing people think of when it comes to preparing their home and pets for an emergency is supplies- something we often leave out of emergency kits without a reminder such as this. It can be hard to know exactly what, and how much, to pack away for pets but Dr. Kurt Venator had some key insights to share:

-When it comes to water for your pets the general rule of thumb is to reserve 1 gallon of water for every 3 days for cats and dogs, compared to 1 gallon a day for humans. However you will want to research exact quantities for larger breed dogs, elderly pets, and medical issues, as they pertain to your family's exact furry composition.

-Always date pet food when stocking your family's emergency kit. Canned, or 'wet' food will keep longer than dry food and be less susceptible to spoil should they come in contact with water (say, in a flood.) Switch out the food in your pet's emergency supply every 6 months, or as needed by date for canned foods.

-Include a nylon leash and harness for your dog- you may not be able to, or thinking to, grab your pet's leashes and gear during an emergency. Keep a separate set inside your emergency kit just for this.

-Be sure to include any pet medications, enough for 5 days to a week. Your veterinarian should be able to write and fill an emergency prescription for this purpose, in advance. Be sure to put all pet medications in a bag that is clearly marked with the pet's name, dosing instructions, your contact information, and your vet's contact information. You never know if a neighbor, or first responder may be the one to initially handle your pet in an emergency.

-Store your supplies inside a hard shelled carrier with your pet's name and your contact information written in waterproof marker. If your pet is too large for a carrier a large seal-top bucket will often do. Don't forget to pick up an emergency litter pan for the cats- they make disposable ones that are intended for temporary use which work perfect in a pinch.
Gathering supplies is a great start, but not the only thing you should consider when preparing your pets for an emergency. Dr. Kurt Venator notes:

"Being able to help your pets transition and move in an emergency situation is really important."

Naturally the size, age, health, and temperament of your pet/s all play a big role in how well you will be able to effectively evacuate in an emergency. You will likely panicked, and animals are great at picking up on their owner's emotions. Remaining calm is the first key to keeping your pets calm and cooperative.

Keep small cats and dogs in their hard-shelled emergency kennel at all times while moving. Cutting a slot in the top of an old blanket so you can toss it over the crate and still carry your pet may help with some of the anxiety and confusion for your pet.

For larger dogs, you are unable to carry, always use a harness to avoid choking scared and disoriented pets. Make sure their ID is attached not just to a collar, but the harness as well. The more identification on your pet in an emergency, the better.

Elderly pets may be less mobile and require assistance in and out of buildings or cars. You can use an old sheet or blanket ran under your dog's hind quarters with a light lifting motion to help ease some of the weight off of dogs with joint and back problems. It's even better to have a lightweight ramp on hand.
June is National Pet Preparedness Month- Read these simple tips you might not have thought of!
Naturally knowing the types of disasters that are local to your area will help you best prepare for how to handle them. Natural disasters are just one form of an emergency to prepare for but you should always consider the potential for fires, terrorist attacks, and more.

Talk to your personal veterinarian about local disaster preparation and identify pet surrender facilities, emergency veterinarian contacts, and any special things you may need to watch out for specific to your breed or pet. If your pet is prone to panic attacks or high anxiety consider asking for an anxiety medication you can put in your emergency kit- just be sure to try the tranquilizer with your pet prior to an actual emergency so you can know exactly what to expect.

In many cases micro-chipped pets will alert the veterinarian on file if found separate from their owner. Ensure that your microchip information is up to date annually and add an emergency contact (such as a friend or neighbor) to your personal contact list directly with your veterinarian.
June is National Pet Preparedness Month- Read these simple tips you might not have thought of!
One of my personal favorite pet preparedness tips applies to human safety as well- in an emergency do not rely on electronic communication, records, or maps. Make sure to keep a local map in your emergency kit, sealed in a waterproof bag. Write ON the map your pet's emergency contact and veterinary info, as well as points of interest such as shelter and surrender points.

Again, and I cannot stress this enough, make sure everything attached to your pet is clearly identified with contact information. While you may have a microchip do not rely on it to reunite you and your pet. It may be some time before your bet would wind up at a facility able to scan the chip and that's precious time in a disaster. Furthermore, add your emergency contact, when possible, as you may not always have a method of contact in the event of a disaster.
June is National Pet Preparedness Month- Read these simple tips you might not have thought of!
One of the things many of the participants of our YouTube chat felt strongly about was how to prepare for the event that pet and owner would be separated during an emergency.

Dr. Kurt Venator was quick to urge that not only pets wear and have several forms of emergency identification, but your home should as well. As scary as it may sound you may not always be home with your pets when disaster strikes. The ASPCA, your local veterinarian, pet supply stores, and more carry a variety of Emergency Alert decals to notify first-responders of your pet's presence. Display this decals in multiple windows around your home and be sure to check them regularly for fading and legibility.

Lastly, DO get your pets involved in your family's disaster preparation. While your pets may be unable to speak for themselves they CAN benefit from simple practices such as acclimating them to emergency carriers and harnesses. Involve every member of the family with not only building your pet's emergency kit but the evacuation plan and any special care/handling your pet may need to get them ready to go in an emergency. And remember, if your plan involves using a sedative for transport- do a trail run prior to an actual event so you know how your pet will react!
Naturally nobody can ever be truly prepared for a disaster but many of these steps can help you and your pet feel more calm and prepared should one hit. I really enjoyed picking Dr. Kurt Venator's brain during the YouTube live session and I'm especially excited to share yet another informative Purina event coming later this month. Join Purina and their veterinarian specialists on Facebook Live June 29, 2017 at 12PM CT, 1PM ET for a special discussion about calming pets during travel, tornado season,  fireworks, and more. Both Nora and Truffles are especially anxious over the 4th of July holiday so I'm quite looking forward to attending! Now, tell me a little bit about the disasters you might need to prepare for in your area.

Create A Website, Poolside, In Less Than An Hour- FREE GoCentral 1 Month Trial

A promotional item was provided to me for today’s discussion. The host for this event is Still Blonde after all these Years.
Summer is an interesting time.

For me it means my schedule fills with recreational commitments while my regular, work schedule, doesn't budge. Essentially I have to find the time to live 2 lives within the timeline of one. Unfortunately, as my family and friends will attest, I'm one of those people who typically let's responsibility outweigh elective invitations. That is to say I most often have to be drug kicking and screaming from my home, or computer, during the Summer. Even the thought of upcoming vacations and road trips expand my anxiety bubble.

So, when one of my close friends asked me to help her build a storefront for her new business online I was quick to offer my help and equally immediately felt regret. While I had the skills to make her an amazing website the idea of chipping into my precious free time coding and fighting with domain hosts didn't exactly excite me.
Then I came across one of the ads for GoDaddy's new GoCentral Website Builder, much like the one above. It promised to help me build a website in under an hour with easy code-free skills. Even better new users could start a FREE 30 day trial** with absolutely no credit card information. I'll admit, I'm one of those people who instantly tabs out the second I see I need to secure my credit card for something 'free'- so this was a huge motivator for me to log on and check it out. And, while Momma Told Me has been hosted by GoDaddy for 5 years now, a previously existing GoDaddy account is NOT necessary to take advantage of the trial.

***The Free Trial is an opportunity for you to use a GoDaddy Product free of charge for one (1) month, beginning on the date that you accept the Free Trial offer.  The Free Trial will expire one (1) month from the date you accept the Free Trial offer, regardless of whether or not you use the Product during the Free Trial period. No credit card is necessary. The free trial is now available in all markets we sell the product.
Helping build my friend's website was something I'd pushed off for over a month, but I was finally convinced I could tackle the task without giving up more than an hour of my precious Summer. In fact, having now used the GoCentral website builder platform I'm thrilled to know that the service is so user-friendly and non skill reliant that she will be able to maintain, edit, and build her website entirely on her own in the future! For anyone ever dubbed 'that techie friend' you can certainly sympathize with how big a win it is to assist someone with setting something up and the sheer relief of knowing they will be able to handle and maintain it once you hand it over.
So let's take a look at the GoCentral, powdered by GoDaddy, website building process, shall we?

You'll start by logging into GoCentral with your existing GoDaddy information OR by setting up a free GoCentral account in just a few painless questions. No payment information is required or requested to set up an account or start your trial.

Next you'll want to choose a category for the type of website you want to create. The GoCentral platform will auto-populate a website template with some general styles and elements based on your response, but you won't be locked into anything. In my case I set the website category as 'Jewelry Designer' and titled the site after my friend's shop name, 'The Lovely Stones.'
Next I was taken to a pretty generic front page mock-up. I did note that GoCentral had auto-populated some jewelry themed graphics into the backgrounds and buttons as a nice touch. Stock images are available at no extra charge and can really help website builders get their site up and running for utility purposes, immediately. Since GoCentral is a living breathing website building wizard (tool) you can easily hop on and make edits to your live site without a disruption of service. If you really want to get a site live in a matter of minutes you truly can thanks to the easy to use templates.
I wasn't a fan of the initial layout theme so I browsed some other options and chose one that worked for me. In addition to the physical layout/presentation of the main page I had the choice to choose accent colors, font styles, and more to really mold the page to my brand/topic.

It was easy to swap the stock background image for one of our own, with a built in sizing/cropping tool and the option to add logos or extra action buttons. Because my friend's business had initially began on Facebook (since she had no startup or method of creating a physical online storefront) I added an action button which would direct new customers to her Facebook Group from the main page. It was as simple as giving the button a title and pasting the destination link into the template on the right of the screen.
The template I'd chosen offered a free scrolling site layout with a cascading page organization at the top. I could easily add pages/tabs to the website then choose from 'section' templates which would auto-fill various dummy elements based on the section's theme. These section templates suggested everything from a blog format or interactive calendar widget to a photo gallery and eCommerce features.

The first thing I knew her site needed was a Contact Us section, which was conveniently auto-populated as a page, thanks to the 'Jewelry Designer' category I had chosen initially. Since she operates her business solely online I dropped the physical business hours and put another shout-out to her original Facebook sales group.
Next, since it's an online storefront, I had to add some sort of inventory. For eCommerce features I was given 2 initial options under the 'Sell Online' section, 'Online Store' and 'Paypal Button'. I wanted to look a little into the 'Online Store' functions but this was classified as an upgrade and prompted me to cal GoDaddy to upgrade my trial.

Instead I used my friend's existing PayPal information to set up basic listings for her items, each item housing it's own PayPal button. I could easily add a product image, title, cost, shipping cost, and description to each section. Because this was so easy, and took less than a minute for each product, I was also able to create different tabs/pages for each category of product to better organize her inventory for easy shopping.
I hadn't really thought of everything I wanted the website to have so it was especially useful to have the 'Section' categories suggested by GoCentral.Under the Content tab there was a mention of an FAQ page- something every business should have. I especially loved how easy it was to select and integrate into the website. I played with a few templates at first, which I didn't like, and found it very easy to delete entire sections, elements, or make edits on the fly.
GoCentral is very user friendly in it's website builder platform but still offers the clean structure of initial templates to guide you towards a better website. One of the things I've always found overwhelming with website building in the past was the lack of guardrails- I could put anything anywhere and that often ended up looking quite over-crowded and messy. GoCentral allows for a distinct voice and style while still maintaining a professional face on the internet. Best of all, you don't ever have to touch coding.

Once I had The Lovely Stones designed about how I wanted it I could preview both the mobile and PC versions. With my own blog I had to pay someone to come in and code my mobile site so it would be easy to navigate on phones and tablets. GoCentral has worked this right in- your site will automatically be user friendly on mobile!

The 30 day trial will allow you to maintain your new site, and the attached web address(at for the entire 30 days but your site will be disabled at the end if you do not choose to subscribe. To be quite honest, if I'd had the GoCentral platform when I began blogging I would have happily paid the GoCentral subscription price for the ability to easily transform and personalize my living website without the fuss and expenses of professionals and coding. Everytime I want something changed on my blog it costs me money and down time. With GoCentral users can instantly tinker with their content with no disruptions or extra fees.

You can even purchase a unique domain name for your GoCentral website, if you want to ditch the URL.
So you want to see the finished product?

I have to admit my friend was quite impressed. I believe the words she used were 'that's freaking awesome' and 'it's so professional!' We have a few back end things to work on (taking photos that are larger resolution for display on the computer, for example) but the website functions as a living breathing storefront and gives a clear impression of her and her business. Check out The Lovely Stones, thanks to GoDaddy's GoCentral!
So there you have it- I created a storefront website with eCommerce features in less than 40 minutes, poolside. Even better I've made some edits and tweaks on the go through my phone! While the service and platform are here to stay the FREE Trial Offer is not so be sure to take advantage of your 1 Month Free Trial with GoDaddy's GoCentral Website Builder before the deal ends on August 11, 2017! GoCentral's website builder really is something you have to experience to understand how easy it is to use, and there is no credit card or payment required to get you on and playing with GoCentral today. Now, tell me, do you have a website of your own? If not, what would your website be about if you did?

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