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Why I think Cheating is Important ~ Play Like a Kid

**Sponsored Post**I received complimentary product for participation in programs and/or this post.**

It’s already been two weeks! How am I doing? I’m down ALMOST ten pounds! I have a really lame confession to make—I haven’t been trying 100% this last week!

Sure, I’ve had little cheater moments (I ate a very small portion of ice cream, five or so Pringles, and tastes of chocolate throughout the week.) BUT, I’ve still been putting quite a bit of will power into the plan. I’ve resisted binging on Oreos and Cheetos. I’ve been out a few times on the plan and ate salad while my family enjoyed onion rings and French fries. So, I’m darn proud still!

The part that I’m not as proud of is my fitness dedication. I have only been working out about 3x per week instead of 3x per day. Granted, when I do a workout, it’s generally 20 minutes or longer and I am dripping with sweat when I’m done, but I really wanted to do that kind of work out EACH day, with a day or two of rest here and there. So, I’ve dropped the ball there.

The way I HAVE been exercising rocks though!! Not only do I love the movin’ and shakin’ to Zumba Fitness Incredible Results, I am also playing with my child while I do it! We dance and do Zumba for a while, then when he gets sick of it (generally after 15-20 minutes, which is pretty sweet for toddler attention span) we start running around the house—literally. We are currently living in barracks (suitable for 12 people, with just the three of us) and there is a long hall way and lots of open living space. So, it makes for a miniature indoor track.

I skip, shuffle step, run forward, run backwards and lunge all around the house. My son squeals with delight as I chase him and interact with him more actively and vigorously than ever before and I am absolutely panting and sweating after just ten minutes or so of this ‘toddlercise!”

So, my recommendation to you? Take that bite of chocolate—just a BITE mind you, but do it. It keeps me from completely going off plan and is really only about 50 calories or less. This I feel is a wash since I rarely eat all the sauces in my meals – I am never part of the clean plate club since I’m not big on sauce, so that’s my justification. Take it or leave it! Haha! If you are stronger than me and can stick to the plan (or any plan) flawlessly, I commend you!


My other bit of possibly more sound advice is to play like a kid. They are in constant motion and if you were to just follow your toddler around for a half hour each day, you’d be in better shape than you can believe without even trying!

**Disclosure: I received complimentary product for this post. I received no other compensation and opinions are my own. They in no way express my sponsors ideals or opinions.**

Mushroom Adventures ~ Grow Your Own Food as a Family

***I was provided a complimentary mushroom growing kit for the purposes of this review. We’ve had great success and a lot of fun in growing our own delicious button mushrooms!***

We are mushroom lovers. I can’t get enough of the little plain colored, wonderfully tasting morsels. I’m still a novice to wild mushroom hunting but I have always wanted to try to grow the edible kind myself. Something a little more to my caliber I daresay! Leave the hunting to my husband, who might as well be a truffle-scenting hog, since he is always able to find so many Chanterelles and Morels. I will bring on a bounty from a box! Thanks to Mushroom Adventures I was able to check this off my homesteading life list!

Preparation:

Initially, I read through the directions, decided it was too complex for me that day, and the kit needed to mature longer anyway, so we waited a bit. The second reading I thought “Wow, that’s simple! Let’s get to it!” I have no idea what made the difference, likely coffee and a better nights’ sleep.

We just had to prep the peat, score the medium and mix the two, for the most part. It was incredibly easy. It smelled like mushrooms, so I had a feeling that SOMETHING would happen! The hardest part? Waiting! I’m an instant results kind of person, so whether sewing a seed or starting a mushroom kit, I’m like a little kid that a day later expects to see a flower garden or a large grove of mushrooms!
Now, in the dead of winter, in a poorly insulated, wood-burning old house with two cats and a toddler, it was a bit of a trick to 1) keep the cats out of the box, 2) keep the toddler out of the box, 3) keep the direct sun out of the box, 4) keep a more or less constant temperature, and 5) keep the mushrooms watered. We are travelers so the watering was the biggest issue. Traveling between two houses, as we have been for the last few months was also a challenge.

Much to my surprise, the mushrooms have survived our bouts of craziness and a day or two of neglect, for which I feared for their livelihood—but our fourth crop is on its’ way!

The results:

The first “crop” was a single albeit gigantic white button mushroom. It was the size of a large Clementine fruit.

The second crop was FOUR button mushrooms, all smaller than the first, but not by much!
The third crop was THREE button mushrooms.

Now the fourth crop looks to be about TEN mushrooms! But they are all smaller than a dime, so I won’t know for a few days! Eek! Squeal!

The crops come in waves of about 8-10 days. The first crop showed up, about as planned around day 16 or 17. I wrote the “start” date on the box, which was very helpful when deciding how long ago it had been started!

Our fourth crop had TEN button mushrooms. One was ginormous and the rest were medium and small, with some just bigger than a dime. This was an exciting crop, one that could make an entire salad or adorn a large pizza. However, it was our LAST crop. I cannot say if it was just the end of the box of if it was a loss of the circumstances, but the box turned off after that.

Circumstances: I left for a week for business and my husband was left to tend to the watering. In that week, he watered it two times. We were watering every day to keep the box moist because of terribly dry conditions in the house, so two times was just not enough. I could tell it was too dry when I got back. So, we waited a week and took care of it, watering as usual. Still no mushrooms. So, that was that. I blame the husband, honestly. In ‘ideal’ conditions, the box would have had another month or so of livelihood.

The bottom line:

This kind of kit is GREAT for teaching kids where your food comes from. Along with raising chickens and having a garden, this has been one of the most tangible ways for us to show our toddler that food can be grown and you can mostly provide for yourself, if in creative ways!

If you can keep your temperature rather constant and you do not travel for more than a few days during the few month stint that the kit spans, you’ll do great! We even brought our kit with us (traveling in sub-zero weather) and its done fine. Letting it get too hot, too cold, or too dry seem to be the worst things for it.

We DID develop some of the little flies that the kit warns of, but I was able to initially just squash 3-5 of them (slow lobbing fliers) and it seemed to have nipped it in the bud. Seemed. Then, we developed several flies and though they left people alone and weren’t malicious, they were annoying. We still (six weeks after throwing the box/kit out) have 2-3 flies. So, follow the ‘get rid of flies’ instructions provided and see if that helps. The instructions are easy to follow and tell you how to get rid of a small infestation – totally normal and not really gross at all. Its way less annoying than fruit flies!


***I was provided a complimentary mushroom growing kit for the purposes of this review. We’ve had great success and a lot of fun in growing our own delicious button mushrooms!***

An Update! My Health and Fitness Journey is Underway!

It's something that no one is really a stranger to -- wanting to improve is totally normal. So, I have looked back at my life, my fitness and my attempts at self-improvement. I found an odd pattern...

About every FIVE YEARS I have what I call a "peak." Really, since high school (since that just doesn't count -- everyone can eat Snickers whenever they want and wash it down with a stick of butter and Mt. Dew and never get fat) -- at least in comparison to my metabolism now... Anyway, every five years or so I'm really fit and really happy and I feel like I look pretty darn good.

Then things happen. You know...life. Jobs. Kids. Stress.

I am starting to lose weight and become happier and healthier, so I REALLY hope that this is the NEW norm for me -- maybe every five years I'll have an OFF year instead of the inverse that I'm currently stuck in...

That's my goal. To not have PEAK years but to stay at my peak as long as possible!



So far, I've lost ten pounds. Some was due to Zumba. Some to Nutrisystem. And some to good ol' ME!

No matter what your goal or method, go after your summit. Stay at your peak. Succeed.

I don't mean to sound like a Nike commercial or a Clif Bar ad, but it's true. Do it now. Time waits for no one... All of that. It's true.

How are you making progress?


What if I do not like the way Nutrisystem tastes?

I cannot describe to you Nutrisystem without letting you know what my day is like. I know I said it was like eating six meals, after I read the plan, but it's really like eating one small breakfast, a lot of vegetables and two portioned meals with a dessert or a shake. But, I'm not left ravenous, at least not MOST times. When I AM left a little hungry, it's usually because I am notoriously picky.

Some of my least favorites have been:
- Kung Pao Noodles
- Cheese Tortellini
- anything with MINT
- Orange Dreamsicle
- Zesty Honey Mustard Pretzel Bits
- Zesty Trail Mix



Because I think a tactic to disguise "diet food" is to use spices and flavorings, I have found quite a few dishes that I do not LOVE. A lot of that is due to my crazy Scandinavian roots, you know, the ones that scream: Spicy! when you try a new brand of ketsup!? Yeah, I've got those. So, for "normal" people, Kung Pao Chicken Noodles and Rice and Beans will be no problem. There's that other issue that I have, and it's heartburn. So, many of the rest of the dinners and lunches are made up of something substantial but with a RED sauce. RED sauce and I are mortal enemies. It's wonderfully healthy, but it does nothing for acid reflux.

This is where being able to CUSTOMIZE your plan is fabulous! You didn't like the Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes? Bummer, but at least you can swap it out for something more satisfying next month! That is one of the beautiful things about Nutrisystem, it's personalized to you! Your metabolism, your fitness and activity levels, and even your taste buds!

Some of my favorites, by no surprise are the higher calorie, carb-o-licious meals and snacks:
- Chicken Alfredo
- Fudge Brownie
- Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Energi-Zing Women's Chocolate Shake
- Craving Crusher Chocolate Shake for Women
- Golden Pound Cake
- Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Roasted Turkey Medallions and Mashed Potatoes
- Double Chocolate Muffin
- Fudge Graham Bar
- Loaded Baked Potato

Not EVERY plan has the option of customizing, but a lot of them do. You will want to sit down and read through your Getting Started kit and make sure you take advantage of the community (both online and over the phone) support that you have access to. I've found that 90% of the time Nutrisystem has fantastic customer service. The few times I've had a person that was just a little short I've figured that everyone has a bad day! Use the support. They are there for YOU!

**I received complimentary product as part of a campaign for Nutrisystem. All opinions are my own.**

Air Scrubber Plus - Kindle Fire Giveaway









Everyone knows about OUTDOOR pollution. But did you know your household air can be pretty gnarly too? Indoor air pollution may be two to five times, and occasionally, more than 100 times higher than outdoor levels! Gross! Sources of pollution include heating oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings; household cleaning products; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution that enter the home. Did yo know that even while cooking, you're always supposed to use the fan above your stove on the highest setting? It will help your indoor pollution slightly. 

Air Scrubber Plus® with ActivePure™ technology is based on a variation of the technology originally developed for use in the International Space Station and is recognized as the exclusive Certified Space Technology by the Space Foundation in its category. Air Scrubber Plus offers the only environmental technology that is scientifically proven to actually reduce contaminants in the air and surfaces of the home. Which, now that I've told you your home is worse than smog, you're getting pretty interested in this gizmo, right?! I know I am!

Working through your existing heating and air conditioning system, Air Scrubber Plus uses proprietary catalytic technology to reduce dust, pet dander and odors in your home. You can reduce common smells such as pet odor, cigarette smoke, paint fumes, mold smells and the occasional burnt food odor.


The difference in air quality is noticeable; the air is fresher and the surfaces are cleaner, with an up to 99% reduction in contaminants on surfaces, like kitchen counters and toilet seats. Dust, allergens, mildew and odor-causing bacteria are proven to be significantly reduced with Air Scrubber Plus.


Our Favorite Features of Air Scrubber Plus® with ActivePure™ technology:
  • Air Scrubber Plus cleans and disinfects the air and surfaces of your home, reducing up to 99.9% of surface micro-organisms and 90% of airborne micro-organisms. 
  • The most highly respected labs in the country at Kansas State University and University of Cincinnati have tested and validated the effectiveness of the Air Scrubber Plus technology. 
  • Air Scrubber Plus reduces VOCs (volatile organic compounds) emitted by carpets, building materials, cleaning products, furniture, paint, fireplaces, and pesticides.
  • Air Scrubber Plus eliminates airborne and surface toxins that can aggravate allergy symptoms, chest tightness, cough, nausea, sinus problems, dizziness, eye/nose/throat irritation, fatigue, and headaches.
  • Air Scrubber Plus extends the life and effectiveness of your existing HVAC system.
  • Air Scrubber Plus is easily installed by professional HVAC technician.
  • Member of the U.S. Green Building Council
Purchase: You can purchase the Air Scrubber Plus indoor air purification system from top HVAC contractors across the country or contact Air Scrubber Plus by phone or email for more information

Win! Air Scrubber Plus is sponsoring an Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16 GB Tablet giveaway (retail value $229) to promote their incredible new indoor air purification incredible technology during National Home Indoor Air Quality and Awareness Month.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Special thanks to AnaB Social for hosting this giveaway. Huge thanks to airscrubberplus.com and all the fabulous participating bloggers as well! Giveaway ends March 7th at 11:59 pm, open to residents of U.S., ages 18+. See detailed terms and conditions on entry form. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below (see directions on how to enter here). Thank you!

Disclaimer: AnaB Social and all participating event bloggers are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.  Adventures of Mommyhood did not receive any product or compensation for this post. 

How Much Does Nutrisystem cost? #NSNation

This is one of the things everyone wonders. You see it on TV, you hear about people having great success (everyone knows the name and face of Marie Osmond to be synonymous with Nutrisystem by now) but no one really knows what it costs. 



Let me pose this question for you...

How much do you spend on things outside of your NEEDS each day? (You NEED to eat...you do not NEED Starbucks lattes, or even to eat our. You can totally pack a lunch!)

Next, a TWO part-er!
a) How much do you spend on the gym? b) do you go to work out OR is it more of a social hour with minimal sweat?

Last...Habits!
You could trade the cigarettes, beer, Mt. Dew, or other vices and totally get yourself something like Nutrisystem! If you have no vices and your squeaky clean--or if your vice is something like reading books to kids or helping orphaned kittens, then I guess I have nothin' on you. But, just think about something that you might not like about your lifestyle, the expense it causes you and  voila! Most people can find the means!

Now, keeping all of this in mind, I posed these questions for myself.
1) I buy shakes that are just shy of $10. 2) I eat out but not a lot. 3) I like beer, but that's really only $15 a month or so, because I only drink one at a time, every so often. 4) For me, the place where I can really save is on GROCERIES! 

You see, I'm a foodie. Not a total foodie, because I don't even need anything real refined (other than the sugar) -- sorry, bad pun -- but I just love food. Pringles. Cookies. Mostly junk food. Creamy sauces and even the occasional greasy burger from the Golden Arches. (It pains me to admit that!) But, our grocery bill is quite large each month. So, by only purchasing clean foods and staples like milk and extra virgin olive oil (and yes, coffee--but not by the cup, by the bag o' beans) I have reduced costs by HUNDREDS of dollars.

Adding to that the fact that I've been doing Zumba Fitness DVDs and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing to burn some calories, I've quit going to the gym. I didn't do too much there -- not because I was extra social, far from it! I was too self-conscious to use the machines in front of people, to lap swim (because I was afraid of being too out of shape to shape up with the others OR not being able to swim straight) and when I ran laps on the track, I usually did less than a mile due to lack of counting laps or boredom. 

There you have it. My crazy self-analysis that led me to the school of thought that Nutrisystem costs less than some of the things when combined, that I was wasting money on in the past. For me, it's a great option! (I'm going to cry when I have to cook meals again!) 

I know what you're thinking: She hasn't told me what it costs! You're right. That's because there isn't really a set cost. Each person will have a bit different plan. Your metabolism is figured in. There are several different plans to choose from -- Select, My Way, Fast 5, Men's, Women's, Family... The fact is, IT IS AN INVESTMENT. I'm not going to lie, it IS expensive (at least for most folks, like me) but it depends on what you deem worthy of your money. For me, finally losing my weight will be worth more than my old weight in gold! (Well, not literally, but to me, personally, yes it will!)


*I received a complimentary meal plan in return for my participation in this campaign. I was compensated in no other way. All opinions are 100% my own.*

Mama's Got a Brand New Look ~ Appendage Accessories

If you're a mama, you probably realized around the second night of your new baby's life that you no longer got to look forward to BEAUTY sleep, rather you needed just a few hours of SURVIVAL sleep. Welcome to motherhood, my friend! You are in good company here!

Well, one thing that I've noticed other than the fact that my late night addiction to corny Nancy Drew games does not help sleep, is that if I can keep my eyes closed, I fall asleep faster, longer. One night, in the dark, I resorted to tying my son's robe belt around my eyes. Fearing inadvertent strangulation, I soon found a sleep mask.

Not just any sleep mask though...a playful, gorgeous, cozy one that is what I aspire to someday become...




A SLOTH!!!

Appendage Accessories makes many different really cool looking sleep masks. I chose the sloth because ever since my pilgrimage to Costa Rica, I have been in love with them. My husband seems to think I was one in a former life, because of my tendency toward sleep and my need for lazing around. I however, aspire to become a sloth. They are really chill, great mothers, good swimmers and are pretty darn adorable!



I love that this mask is pliable. It contours your face nicely. They are HAND DRAWN! Isn't that amazing--then printed, of course. She doesn't drawn on each one. That would be crazy. She'd need a sleep mask for all that hard work! The adjustable elastic band makes this a great score for any head, and as a bonus, all of the masks have eyes that pierce onlookers. So, on a plane or another public place you appear to be gazing through the eyes of an animal, which guarantees undisturbed sleep! (Bonus for mama's because it trips out your children as well. They think it's just the coolest thing! At least, mine does!)

Get your own Appendage Sloth (or other critter) sleep mask at the Appendage Accessories Etsy shop--they retail for about $26.50. Make sure to check out my Mama's Got a Brand New Look event page for your chance to win a gift certificate to the Appendage Accessories shop!

**I received a complimentary mask for the purposes of this post and this event.**

Mama's Got a Brand New Look ~ Silverwear Creations

Do you ever want to BE a Disney Princess? I must be having some kind of early mid-life crisis, or I just REALLY need to have a little girl and talk my husband into having child #2, because I've totally been channeling Disney Princess energy lately!


Here is a photo from the Silverwear Creations shop that is inspired by Princess Anna

I have the hair of Princess Anna now, but before, I was as blonde as Queen Elsa. Then, I found this great necklace in an Etsy shop and my love of recycling and upcycling and Disney combined to make a beautiful accessory that I thought would be perfect for this event! I found Silverwear Creations and was amazed at how beautiful a SPOON handle could become!

Here is the back of the spoon necklace. All of the cool work is done by hand and this shows that the coloring truly is silver, not yellowish gold like my crazy lighting might lead you to believe!




Once the eating part of the spoon is gone, the utensil is no longer clunky or heavy and becomes are really unique piece of jewelry! I have been wearing it since it was delivered and I think it's a funky piece for any jewelry collection that is affordable, unique and can really be paired with many looks!

Make sure to check out my Mama's Got a Brand New Look event page for your chance to win a piece from the Silverwear Creations shop!

**I received a necklace to try in exchange for this post. All opinions of the Princess Effect I feel are my own and are honest. I was not compensated in any other way.**

Mama's Got a Brand New Look ~ Rainpuk


Have you ever watched Northern Exposure? It's no secret, especially if you've read my blog at all, that I LOVE Northern Exposure. It's a great example of a show that met its' maker too soon. As an ex-Alaskan myself, I really REALLY still believe a part of my heart is there in the Last Frontier. So, when I find great shops and products from that great big wild state, I tend to LOVE them too! Rainpuk is potentially the coolest outdoor gear shop that I've found in a LONG time! You can find Krista the mom and talented maker of the Rainpuk jacket on Etsy.

Never heard of a rainpuk? Wondering what my connection between Northern Exposure is to a rain jacket, other than Alaska? (Even though, yes, I know it was really filmed in Washington...) Well, the connection lies in Marilyn. Remember, the Alaskan native secretary that Dr. Fleischman employed in his office? Well she'd often be seen wearing a KUSPUK, which is a traditional Alaskan native garb. Well, Krista has combined the need for weather protection and warmth with the traditional style of a kuspuk to for RAINPUK!


This is a rainpuk. She has TONS of prints and can make them for kiddos too! Made with laminated cotton and lined with fleece or flannel, these jackets are the epitome of outdoor style for your NEW LOOK! Any mama (and her offspring) would be all too happy to sport this functional and fashionable form of rain gear! I lived in one of the rainiest portions of the state and though my field work through the Devil's Club would have probably ravaged a pretty coat like this, I'd still have worn it proudly!

Do you have a favorite print? What do you think of this crazy cool rain repelling jacket? 
I LOVE it!

This print (pictured above with courtesy from Rainpuk) is called KITCHEN CAMEO.


It's a Kuspuk! As you can tell, Krista can make a traditional Kuspuk if that's more your style. Believe me, I've scoured the web, and unless you know where to go in Alaska, Kuspuks are hard to come by! So this is a great shop to bookmark!

Make sure to check out my Mama's Got a Brand New Look event page for your chance to win a gift certificate to the Rainpuk shop! Oh--and Like the Facebook Page for Rainpuk as well, you'll see all sorts of folks sporting their Rainpuks---so much fun!

**I received a Rainpuk to try in exchange for this post. All opinions of the rad rainjacket are my own and are honest. I was not compensated in any other way.**

Mama's Got a Brand New Look ~ Mineral Brilliance

Ever want to GREEN up your makeup, no matter what the color? Well, Mineral Brilliance has done just that! With ingredients like Mica, Magnesium, and other naturally occurring minerals, there is an array of color that can be made from Mother Nature!


I was able to try three eye shadows (in the trial size) and I really LOVE the color mist! It's wonderfully subtle and with my red hair, makes me feel like Princess Merida! You'll love buying your makeup from a REAL person, rather than Covergirl or another mass-produced brand AND you'll know that you're a little closer to Mother Nature, wearing some of what comes from the earth right on your face! It's just crazy enough to be so cool for your NEW look!



Check out the Mineral Veil setting powder! Perfect for an all-day long look! Make sure to check out my Mama's Got a Brand New Look event page for your chance to call this cool powder your very own!

**I was given a trial pack in exchange for this post. The value was less than $5 and I was not compensated in any other way.**

Fast 5 by Nutrisystem

The Fast 5 is a really neat part of the Nutrisystem program.

This box gives you everything you need to eat for a week. It's as they say, fool proof. The cool part is, you can lose 5 pounds in your first week!


Fast 5 is even sold in Walmart stores (thousands of them) around the US. So, you can get a feel for the ease and taste of Nutrisystem that way as well!



Pros:
  • The Shakes are tasty!
  • There are SOME meals like Alfredo that are rather filling
  • I DID lose weight, I didn't starve!


Cons
  • You don't have much choice--whatever is in the box is what you should eat. 
  • The box included Spicy Kung Pao Noodles which I would not eat. 
  • I didn't exercise near as much as I should have. 
  • There are no desserts.



Bottom Line: I liked about half of the Fast 5. I didn't lose 5, or EIGHT as I had felt sure I would. I DID feel kind of empty the first few days. But, I think it's important to "condition" your body to the months of the new lifestyle it will be encountering and this is a good way to do it.



I need to look into whether I can order some of the items from my Fast 5 week as an a la cart option or if they are exclusive to the box. I LOVED the e-Zing Shakes. Conversely, I do not like the Vanilla Protein shake (the chocolate is marginal for me too) so I'd love to continue on the shakes that were in the Fab 5. They were actually really good and filling.

**I received a complimentary program for participation as a #NSNation Blogger. All opinions are very honest and are my own. No other compensation was received.**

Mama's Got a Brand New Look ~ You can too! #MamasNewLook




We just rang in 2014 and with a New Year comes the chance to develop a new YOU! Welcome to the [2nd Annual] Mama's Got a New Look Giveaway Hop Event. The Blogging Mamas Network, along with co-hosts Mama's Baby Cupcakes, So Easy Being Green, and Viva Veltoro want to give the special, deserving Mamas a chance at a New Look for the New Year!
This Event will run from January 15-29 and each blogger in the hop has a great prize, worth at least $25, to help you achieve that new look!

Grand Prize

This wonderful Grand Prize has two packages up for grabs. The first prize pack, Fashion Mama, features a whole Gel Nail Kit from Couture Gel Nail Polish, a $100 Gift Code to the online jewelry retailer The Vintage Pearl, and a crocheted Infinity Scarf in winner's choice of color from Treasured by Holly.

Our second prize pack, New Mama, features a breastfeeding camisole from Undercover Mama, a Chewbeads "Jane" necklace in winner's choice of color, winner's choice of fabric for a diapers/wipes carrying case from The Diaper Clutch, Bamboobies set of Multi Pack Pads, and winner's choice of item shown from Loving Moments by Leading Lady and their Maternity to Nursing line.

Adventures of Mommyhood Prize Package



For ONE lucky reader, they will receive a prize package worth about $190!! It will include a gift certificate to Novica (in association with National Geographic) for $25, a gift certificate to Rainpuk Etsy Shop for $75, a sleep mask from Appendage Accessories worth $26, a $50 gift certificate to Momufactured Etsy shop, a great piece of jewelry from Silverwear Creations and the Mineral Veil setting powder from Mineral Brilliance. All of this can really change your ho-hum current self to a New Look that will suit any mama out there! A few things to freshen up your look and you'll be taking on 2014 in style! Enter on the Rafflecopter form below!

This giveaway is open to the US and Canada. You must be 18 to enter. I may have received some promotional items or complimentary product for this event, but all opinions are my own. Try to win and decide for yourself! Contest ends 1/29/14.


#NSNation Fast 5 and Select Scrutiny

So, I am on track for starting my Fast Five on the 14th. I see for the first week there are no desserts...sad face! But, getting that weight loss ball rolling is important. I have a feeling I will lose like EIGHT pounds. Yesterday, I felt like a Survivor contestant! It was hard to not have to food in time, but it all worked out fine. I just ate healthier options, in lieu of fast food, junk food, or no food!


I need to up the water intake. I suppose yesterday I got 20 ounces in total. This is a GOOD water day compared to my norm, which I know is scary and stupid. I drink just enough to survive I'm sure!

So, I have dedicated a water bottle to my cause and will be clipping it to my person with a caribiner.



I was bummed to see just how many "meals" were in the form of a bar. I have not yet tried this as a "meal" but a protein bar has never cut it in the past, so I'm thinking on days where this is my MEAL I will need a salad and a heavy does of veggies with the bar. I'm open-minded though! Maybe they're great.


Chicken Pot Pie for dinner was satisfying, though I was so hungry because I first made my son's supper, and then put away groceries, that I didn't take the time to add veggies with it. So, an hour later, I ate 1/2 a cucumber to keep filling up my belly. I also drank a glass of milk (because I LOVE milk) in lieu of a dessert. I'm still under 1,000 calories for today. I can't help but think...is that right?


I was also a little surprised to see a substitution of something like a Harvest Nut Bar subbed in for Cheesy Homestyle Potatoes. Those two things are on TOTALLY different playing fields if you ask me! So, I hope I get to try the potatoes someday! All the "low inventory" items sounded fantastic and in general were subbed for lesser items, in my humble opinion. There were probably eight substitutions on my order this round.

Are you intrigued? Need to know more about Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting them on the web!

Thanks to the friendly folks at Nutrisystem who believed in me enough to bring me aboard as a Nutrisystem Nation Blogger! 
Disclosure: I received complimentary products as part of this adventure. All opinions are my own and are honest.

#NSNation So, How does Nutrisystem work? Day One!

I sat up on Sunday, thinking about the Fresh Frozen foods in my freezer and anticipating the arrival of the Nutrisystem pantry items and convenience meals that would be coming from the man in the brown shorts tomorrow.

Then I checked the status of my order, and I saw it wouldn't be the man in the brown shorts, but the fella in the white van. I only got about four hours of sleep, so I'm starting off the morning with a LOT of black coffee. Not an empty calorie sort of choice, but still, a diuretic so not my best start!

I looked at the website. I have seen the commercials. What the heck did I sign up for? It seemed relatively easy--they ship me food, I eat it, I lose weight! Right? I sure hope so!

I will be eating FOUR meals a day! And, I peeked into that box of food on dry ice and I did spy some dessert!

This morning, since Fresh Frozen is all I have to choose from until said delivery man gets to my house,  I started with a Cinnamon Roll. Nothing too fancy and I didn't add anything to it, except my morning coffee.

I LOVE that the program is delivered to my door! I am very scared that I will only like about 50% of less of the selections, since I'm extraordinarily picky! The Cinnamon Roll was GOOD!



The rest of my day is a bit of a mystery, since I will be out and about. If I don't get my other foods before I leave the house, I'll likely default to an Herbalife Shake for lunch and then go grocery shopping for some fresh fruits and veggies and healthy add-ons like cottage cheese and yogurt. So, this first day is a little shaky, but I'm workin' it out as best as I can!

Okay, today I was HUNGRY. I didn't have the ability to pack my convenience foods, since they hadn't arrived. I DID have a shake and then I had 1/2 C shredded cheese and a cup of raw carrots to tide me over. I got home and at a Chicken Pot Pie meal. All in all, not bad food, but I am excited to get to EAT MORE tomorrow!

Fast 5 is looking like the logical next step, I sort of jumped the gun starting today, but there are others that started today too, so I didn't want to get behind! The only thing so far that I don't like is my lack of MILK!!!

I'm excited to weigh myself Thursday morning to see how fast the pounds are shedding. I KNOW they are, since my regular regime was pretty pathetic. [Read Corn Pops, Pringles, Candy, Pasta...] If a rare veggie snuck in it was a HEALTH FOOD DAY!


Restaurants.com ~ Daring Dining!

*This is a sponsored post.*

Become a Dining Daredevil in 2014! 
Restaurant.com releases their Hot Food Trends for the New Year

There is no shortage of fun and exciting ways to start the new year -- for many eating better, healthier options are HUGE this time of year. Restaurants.com has released some great, trendy new ways for you to experience new cuisine or twists to old favorites that you might just love this year! 

Break free from the same-old dining routine in 2014 and try something new with the help of Restaurant.com. To help you start your own dining adventures, Restaurant.com has compiled the 3 hottest trends to conquer at local restaurants near you. Resident trend-guru, Restaurant.com President and Chief Marketing Officer Christopher Krohn provided his predictions that will grace our plate in 2014. With these trends, you’re sure to have a spicy year, but only if you dare!

1. Egg-cellent Adventures 

While it’s hard to determine when this trend ignited, it’s definitely picked up pace and could reach its peak of popularity in 2014. The “breakfast for dinner” craze and increasing popularity of regional specialties, like Korean Bibimbap and Mexican Huevos Rancheros, will only grow the trend of egg-y fusions. Plus, there’s an emerging sense from the scientific crowd that eggs are healthier than perhaps you previously thought, which will feed consumer interest in this farm-fresh favorite. All in all, 2014 will be the year of the egg, so you might as well get cracking!

We dare you: Next time you order a burger or stir fry, ask them to top it off with a fried egg or two. The added protein will help boost your metabolism and satisfy your hunger! 

2. Farm to Fork

Diners' growing eco-awareness and their desire for the wholesome simplicity of home-style cooking and minimally processed foods is on the rise. Riding this wave, restaurants are returning to their predecessors’ roots, sourcing fresh produce and natural ingredients and cooking them up in a style that more closely resembles the authentic recipes that graced Grandma’s kitchen table rather than modern, industrial food products. 

We dare you: When people hear “farm to fork,” they immediately think of steamed vegetables, but this trend encompasses more than just radishes and such. Tender meat alternatives and locally produced cheeses are two items to look for on the menu. Don’t be afraid to order something with a beet or two for an added super food bonus! 

3. Tea Time, All the Time 

Once confined primarily to Asian restaurants, tea is an increasingly popular beverage. In 2014, you’ll find tea used for novel and surprising purposes. For example, ground teas like matcha and chai can be used as dry rubs and marinades for beef, chicken or veggies. Tea-smoked salmon and pork will both make headway in the new year, and English-style tea-time gatherings at local cafes will also be big. 

We dare you: To find these tea-fusion meals, take a trip to an Asian fusion restaurant near you and keep an eye out for tea-smoked pork, ribs, or stir fry. For an added bonus, try one of our other favorite food trends of 2014, a hot sauce like sriracha. 

Feeling brave? Why not tackle the rest of our top food trend list on the Restaurant.com blog. Your tummy will thank you!


You can connect with Restaurants.com on several social media outlets: 

*This was a sponsored post.*

Mama's Got a Brand New Look ~ Momufactured Designs

Kicking off the sponsor spotlights for Mama's Got a Brand New Look is todays' shop, Momufactured Designs!


Holly, the talented lady behind the name and the shop and all the goodness within makes all kinds of goodies for the kitchen the kiddos and you! Making life just a little better--unique, handmade products for YOUR natural family!




Not only do can YOU look good, you can feel good about a more natural approach to a revamping of your look, you kitchen, your lifestyle and your kids! It's all right here at Momufactured Designs Etsy Shop!

Holly has generously put up a $50 certificate to her shop! With that, you can have a serious makeover in several aspects of life, giving you and all that's around you a new look! Make sure to enter my Mama's Got a Brand New Look Event starting 1/15/12 at 12:00 a.m. for your chance to win!!!

*I did not receive any compensation for this post. This is a post highlighting a sponsor for this event.*



#NSNation Starts TODAY!!



Well folks, I cannot help but be excited. It's Monday. My Frozen foods came from Nutrisystem and I'm REALLY excited to start the program!! I've already lost SIX pounds to kick off my weight loss and health fest -- that was just in a few minor changes like eating only when I'm hungry, trying to get in a 1/2 hour of exercise (thanks to my new love of Zumba and swimming!) and drinking more water. Easy peasy.




I will be trying out three months of the all-new Nutrisystem My Way program and I'm really excited about trying the Fast 5 -- a week long kit to jumpstart weight loss and lose FIVE pounds fast!

So, TODAY is the day I get to start in on the real eating makeover. I couldn't resist peeking at my frozen foods and I think I'm going to do it "grab bag style." That way, I won't be high grading the "really good stuff" and lose some of my weight loss mojo at the end of the month when I'm down to "what's left" -- though most of it looks pretty tempting!


Have you used a meal plan program to lose weight? Have you had success with self discipline and good old fashioned exercise?


I am a little overwhelmed and we'll be moving from one house to another during this time. I'm also apprehensive about snacking and totally blowing my new diet AND preparing meals for my family while I'm eating Nutrisystem. I'm sure these are quite common anxieties, and as I forge ahead, I'll be sure to let you all know if I'm totally failing or if I'm kicking butt. I hope it's the latter.




So what else have I done?
  • Well you've already seen my before photo. So that's done (thank goodness!)
  • I've cleaned out space in the freezer where those delectable desserts now lay.
  • My start date is Monday, January 13th, so I have made the commitment!
  • I have a staggered system of goals. 
    • First: Lose 7% of my weight -- the crazy thing is I'm a third of the way there! Since the time I found out I was starting this #NSNation adventure to this very moment, I've lost SIX pounds. 
    • Second: Lose a full 20 lbs. and 
    • Ultimate: Lose 60 lbs., size 5 or 7 jeans, FEEL HEALTHY!
  • I am sitting down tonight to have my husband measure me (it seems like eons ago that I was measured as I started my personal trainer job and had only 18% body fat...)
  • I will be Grocery Shopping sans child tomorrow! Healthy ONLY! 


So, there we have it. That's the best mental dump I can divulge before actually jumping into this thing. I'm grateful to be given this chance to succeed and that has given me even more ambition!

I'd LOVE YOUR support! In fact, I'd love to do this WITH you! Come on back each week and comment on how you've done your best to become a healthier you.

Are you intrigued? Need to know more about Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting them on the web!

Thanks to the friendly folks at Nutrisystem who believed in me enough to bring me aboard as a Nutrisystem Nation Blogger! 
Disclosure: I received complimentary products as part of this adventure. All opinions are my own and are honest.

Global Fitness with Little Passports


**This is an Affiliate Post.**
All around the world, people are pursuing their fitness goals as well as personal goals to make 2014 great. For my family, this means snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and Zumba or swimming when we're indoors. What does fitness look like in 2014 for your family? Here are some fun examples of fitness from some of our favorite spots!

How We Stay Fit All Around The World with Little Passports

January is the time of year when people all over the world make resolutions, and that’s exactly what Sofia and Sam of Little Passports are doing! This year they are promising to be more active. Join us as we travel the world discovering new sports and activities that will make you want to move around every day.

Australia 
The majority of Australia’s population lives near the coast, so guess what sport is popular in this country? Surfing! Australia’s surfing culture is inspired by the surrounding waters. They enjoy the Southern Ocean in the South, the Indian Ocean in the West, the Pacific Ocean in the East, as well as the Timor, Tasman, Coral and other seas. Australian children learn early on how to respect the water and look for any dangers. Their beautiful beaches and big waves are a surfer’s paradise!



Brazil 
Brazilians go nuts for one sport in particular: football. Sam and Sofia have told you a little bit about this before. We even have a football game on our website! If you remember, this isn’t the kind of football that requires helmets and pads. All you really need to play is your foot and a ball. Sound familiar to you? You bet it does! We call it “soccer” in the United States. Brazil’s national football team is the most successful in the world, and they are scheduled to host the 2014 World Cup, football’s biggest tournament. Wouldn’t it be fun to visit Brazil during the World Cup?



Canada
Ice hockey is the national sport of Canada. As its name implies, it’s a sport that’s played on ice. The game involves two teams of six active players each, who use a hockey stick to shoot a puck across the ice while trying to score a goal. The puck is similar to a ball but is flat on the bottom to help it smoothly glide across the ice. Every player has to have balance, coordination, and know how to ice skate very well. Although it is most popular in colder climates like Canada, ice hockey is now played all over the world. It is played here in the United States from Los Angeles to Chicago, and even in sunny Florida! Do you have an ice hockey team in your town? Or perhaps an ice skating rink nearby where YOU can learn to skate?



Sam and Sofia are ready to try all of these new sports! Which one would you like to try? Bring Little Passports into your child's life in 2014 to teach them about all of the fascinating cultures around the world!
**This is an Affiliate Post.**


Diono Carseat Ends 1/20

You remember when I reviewed the Radian RXT car seat from Diono recently? Well now a fellow blogger and friend of mine has teamed up with Diono as well and YOU can win one! The detail are below, but please check out the review--you will be sold on the amazing safety features and will want desperately to win! I promise!

RadianRXT_Daytona

Welcome to the Diono Radian RXT New Year, New Ride Giveaway Event

Sponsored by Diono
Hosted by: Conservamom

Comfort and security are two highlights of the Diono Radian®RXT Car Seat .The removable seat pad is perfect for quick cleaning and comfortable for short and long car rides. With convertible features, this car seat grows with your child, from 5 to 120 pounds. With all the protection you need in a car seat and the comfort and convenience your children desire when they move into a booster seat. Packed with so many features this car seat is truly a gem.

  • Features: Adjustable Height, EPS Safety Foam, Removable Seat Pad, LATCH Compatibility, Armrests, Hide-Away Cup Holders, Converts to Backless Booster, Folds for Storage.
  • Converts to: Rear-facing Seat, Belt Positioning Booster, 5-point Harness Booster, Forward-facing Seat
  • Safety and Security Features: LATCH Equipped Car Seat, Compatible with Shoulder Seat Belt, Compatible with Lap Seat Belt
  • Infant body support cushions and memory foam for added comfort
  • Energy absorbing EPS foam and side impact protection provides added safety
  • Safestop® energy-absorbing harness
  • Additional forward-facing recline position to accommodate different types of contoured vehicle seats, 12-position adjustable headrest, 5 shoulder and 3 buckle positions deliver a comfortable ride.
  • Rear-facing tether capability
  • LATCH installation up to 80 lbs
  • Expandable sides and long seat bottom allow proper leg support
  • Low-sitting profile makes it easy for your child to board
  • Angled cup holder keeps a variety of drinks upright and within easy reach
  • Cover is machine washable and dry-able
  • Rubber bottom grips for no-slip installation
  • 10 year life
This car seat not only has the amazing features listed above but because of its slim body and size you can even fit three across for safe transportation of your most precious cargo.4848_spring_10700
One lucky person will win their very own Diono Radian®RXT car seat. This giveaway is open to Us Residents only and will run from 1/1-1/20 at 11:59pm.

This contest has ended.

Have your little one Ride in Style this new year in a Diono Car Seat!

Just enter the rafflecopter below! You can also check out more info on Diono on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or Pinterest



Disclaimer: Adventures of Mommyhood is not responsible for fulfillment/Shipment of prize. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, or any other social media outlet. Conservamom will not be responsible for prize fulfillment/shipment. If you have any questions, please email mome@conservamome.com.