Simply Real Eating

Simply Real Eating--Cookbook Simply Real Eating by Sarah Adler

Life all around us just seems to keep getting crazier, busier, and more unbalanced. Sometimes, no matter what you do trying to balance one area of life can tip another part out of whack. It’s definitely a balancing act, constantly in motion and needing adjustment and consideration as we are constantly assessing what best meets the needs of our families and ourselves.

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A Wonderful Winter Read

A Wonderful Winter Read - Lost At Sea by Erica Boyce - Keurig Junior Mints Hot Cocoa K-Cups
Beauty Brite Disclosure

I am always keen to find new authors to read and new genres of the written word to dive into. This winter, a new author I’ve found is Erica Boyce

I love a book with unexpected turns that makes me think about or see a situation in a totally new way. I’ve read novels about people who were adopted and I’ve read memoirs/biographies about people who were adopted. But, I don’t think I’ve read a book that explored the adoption of one child from so many different people’s perspectives at once before. I found that aspect of this story to be very fascinating and fulfilling.

On top of that this story takes place in a small town, features a mysterious disappearance that baffles everyone, the unraveling of secrets, and tackles the topic of substance addiction in and around all of the other plot elements.

Even though there are a lot of different characters and elements, I never felt like the story was rushed or confusing. At the same time, I think that there is enough of a foundation here that Ms. Boyce most certainly might have created a whole series or at least a very long novel out of it easily without losing her audience’s attention. Not saying she should have done that, but I mean it as a high compliment to her that I could easily have become ensconced in the narrative for a much longer time if she’d wanted to go that route. I would love to learn more about the town and its inhabitants.

I mentioned that one of the elements in the story was substance addiction. Without spoiling anything, there is one character who is supplying narcotics to addicts that I just didn’t see coming at all. Total surprise!! And honestly, I’d love to see an exploration of that topic and how seemingly ordinary people come to do very surprising things like this (just a thought I had after closing the last page of the book).

Lost At Sea by Erica Boyce will be on sale March 3, 2020. Definitely pick up a copy and give it a read. I’m glad I made it one of the 50 books I try to read each year for my Goodreads reading goal!

A Wonderful Winter Read - Lost At Sea by Erica Boyce - Keurig Junior Mints Hot Cocoa K-Cups

Synopsis:

When beloved fisherman John Staybrook vanishes in the night, his loss stirs up more than grief. His daughter Ella is convinced he’s still alive and vows to bring him home.

But as she searches the small Massachusetts town, secrets throughout the community begin to bubble to the surface. As the pieces fall into place of what really happened, everyone from the babysitter to the local librarian are swept into a more urgent question: Why would someone go out in the middle of a deadly storm?

Erica Boyce weaves a tense yet hopeful tale of family secrets whispering across the rocky shores and the unshakeable strength that love leaves behind.

A Wonderful Winter Read - Lost At Sea by Erica Boyce - Keurig Junior Mints Hot Cocoa K-Cups

Nothing goes better with a good book during the winter time than a nice hot beverage. Hot tea is fine, but I prefer a nice cup of hot cocoa or cappucino.

Junior Mints Hot Cocoa K-Cups are an easy way to get a fast cup of hot cocoa. Smooth and minty chocolate flavor warms me all up inside and the scent takes me back to that smell when opening a box of Junior Mints at the movie theater as a kid.

A Wonderful Winter Read - Lost At Sea by Erica Boyce - Keurig Junior Mints Hot Cocoa K-Cups

The only way this might be better is to have some whipped cream I could dollop on top and some soft, doughy, sweet doughnuts to snack on. You can also find other candy-inspired flavors like Charleston Chew (creamy vanilla marshmallow flavor) and Sugar Babies (caramel cocoa flavor)!

You can find these pretty much anywhere you like to shop for k-cups — like Amazon, Walmart, or Bed Bath & Beyond.

Find Erica Boyce at Goodreads and her website to learn more, and find her book at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or anywhere else you shop for books.

read

I love a book with unexpected turns that makes me think about or see a situation in a totally new way. I’ve read novels about people who were adopted and I’ve read memoirs/biographies about people who were adopted. But, I don’t think I’ve read a book that explored the adoption of one child from so many different people’s perspectives at once before. I found that aspect of this story to be very fascinating and fulfilling. word word word word word word word word

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil
Beauty Brite Disclosure

healthier

Every once in a while I try out some new healthy food and drink options to see if they are something I could add to my everyday life. Recently, I have tried a new kombucha drink, healthy dark chocolates (because chocolate is life, am I right?), a new coconut oil for cooking healthier, and even a mushroom superfood drink powder.

I like variety and trying new products because it allows me to get out of my everyday rut when it comes to food and drink. So, here are my thoughts about the new items I’ve tried.

Om Mushrooms Superfood Drink Sticks

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

I might as well start with the one item that I was the most skeptical about. I mean, I like mushrooms … but as a drink? I was doubtful that I would like it, but intrigued enough to give it a shot.

I think it was pretty smart for Om to pair this superfood up with fruit flavors. Most people are used to enjoying drinks that have some degree of sweetness to them, and while mushrooms add a fantastic layer of savory flavor to many dishes they are not something I would sit down and eat just by themselves.

Varieties

Citrus Orange – Energy+

Lemon Lime – Energy+

Super Berry – Immune+

Mocha – Brain Fuel+

Strawberry Lemonade – Beauty+ (Hair, Skin, Nails)

I tend to like red fruits just in a general sense. So, it was really no surprise to me that I liked the taste of the Super Berry and Strawberry Lemonade flavors. I love chocolate and enjoy coffee, on occasion, so I was reasonably certain that I would enjoy the Mocha flavor (I added it to a few cups of coffee and really enjoyed that).

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

But, I’m not a huge fan of lemon lime or orange drinks. Which is a bummer, because I thought I might not like the Om versions, either, and I really wanted to since they were the two varieties which offer energy benefits. Lack of energy is something I’ve been struggling with as I get older. I tried both, and I think they both tasted great!

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

I like that Om Organic Mushroom Superfood Drink Sticks offer a variety of different types of flavors, to appeal to people who like different tastes. I love that the supplement powder is so portable and easy to carry with you everywhere. That makes it so easy to add into water or coffee or whatever you happen to be drinking for a healthy boost. And, it looks like these are good for just about everyone as they are gluten free and appropriate for popular dietary programs like Paleo and Keto.

Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

Speaking of health drinks, here is yet another variety of Kombucha that I’ve tried in the last year or so. Honestly, most kombucha drinks leave me wondering what all the hype is about. I get that they have health benefits, but I can’t generally get into the taste of some of them.

Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha is a bit different. First of all, these are canned drinks versus the other’s I’ve tried which were in glass bottles. I don’t know if that makes a difference in taste or whatever. But, I do know that this is the first kombucha that I have tried and liked well enough to consume the entire drink.

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

Second, though it is a healthy prebiotic drink, it comes in some definitely delicious sounding flavors: Apple Mint, Ginger Peach, Tropical Mango. I thought they each tasted pretty good, though the Apple Mint was my favorite overall. Not that I have to choose a favorite, but just in case you’re interested.

These drinks contain a certified organic, plant-based, prebiotic fiber called Xylooligosaccharides (XOS Fiber) which will nourish the probiotic bacteria that is naturally present in your gut, helping it to grow. 

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

While, the previous brands of Kombucha I’ve tasted have never made their way back into my home, I think Wonder Drink would be the one that I could see myself stocking in my fridge on a rotating basis with some other health foods that I like to have around.

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

Chocolate.

Enough said.

It’s good. Buy these chocolates. You will not be sorry.

LOL — I don’t know what to say here. Chocolate is either good or bad, in my opinion. I’m not usually so black and white in my judgements. But, it’s true here.

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

And these are good! Taste is everything when it comes to chocolate. I don’t care how healthy it’s made, if it doesn’t taste good I’m not going to eat it. Period.

Alter Eco uses dark chocolate (known to have health benefits), is organic and gluten free, and uses fair trade ingredients. All of these things make it even easier to enjoy one of my favorite snacks.

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

My daughters are both interested in products that are healthy and that benefit people and communities over corporations, so they have both been interested in learning about the company behind these delicious chocolate bars and truffles and sampling the treats.

Salted caramel chocolates are my number one favorite overall. So, my personal favorite of the ones pictured here are the Salted Caramel Truffles. Of the chocolate bars, my fave would have to be the Crisp Mint.

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

The chocolate in all of the products is smooth and very satisfying and the truffle centers literally just melt in your mouth! So, so good!!! You can’t really go wrong no matter which one you choose.

Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

I like to cook. Finding new and interesting recipes, ingredients, and stuff like that is a fun hobby for me. New cooking oils are something I have enjoyed exploring as they each have different tastes and health benefits.

One of the most recent new finds in our house is sesame oil. We love Asian foods, and the peanut-y flavor has made things like my daughter’s fried rice recipe a whole new dish!

Coconut oil is something I began seeing covered in the media a year or two ago and decided to try. I’m still experimenting and learning about different oils and what uses they have and benefits they offer.

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil is the latest one to grace my pantry. It’s organic, non-GMO, and Keto certified and labelled as an organic superfood.

Small Changes To Make For A Healthier Life - Wonder Drink Prebiotic Kombucha - Om Mushroom SuperDrink Sticks - Alter Eco Chocolate - Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil

I know, the other items listed are things you can eat or drink on their own, and coconut oil isn’t. But, I still wanted to mention it here since it’s a health food item that I’ve tried and have enjoyed using. I will, however, talk about it some more in another upcoming article about a new cookbook I’ve been dabbling in preparing recipes from.

It’s called Simply Real Eating by Sarah Adler. It’s all about using real food ingredients and preparing easy and healthy meals. One of the cooking oils talked about in her book is coconut oil, so I will be using this Nutiva Coconut Oil in preparing a recipe from Ms. Adler’s book to share with Beauty Brite readers. Keep a look out for that very soon!

What healthy food swap have you made in your life and how has it worked out for you?

Silky Smooth Feet Without Breaking The Bank

Silky Smooth Feet Without Breaking The Bank -- Brio Personal Care-SilkStone Electric Pedicure File and Replacement Rollers
Beauty Brite Disclosure

Silky smooth feet

The one single thing that I hate the most about personal care is trying to care for the appearance of my feet. Having silky smooth feet is desirable, though it can be a pain in the butt to achieve. But, I like to wear flip flops and sandals when the weather is nice outside during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. So, I keep a pumice stone in the bathtub for the purpose of trying to keep my feet looking nice.

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Pampering Valentine’s Day Prize Pack Giveaway

Can you believe Valentine’s Day is right around the corner? Do you have a special someone?

Pampering Valentine's Day Prize Pack Giveaway

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Welcome to the Pampering Valentine’s Day Prize Pack Giveaway

Hosted by Beauty Brite and Mamahearted

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New Year Refresh Giveaway

It’s a brand new year! Are you ready for 2020!? We’re so excited! We recently launched a sister blog! Let’s help boost traffic!

Target $200 Gift Card Giveaway

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Welcome to the New Year Refresh Giveaway

Hosted by Beauty Brite and Mamahearted

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The Most Fun I’ve Had While Crafting

The Most Fun I’ve Had While Crafting - Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit
Beauty Brite Disclosure

The Most Fun I’ve Had While Crafting The Most Fun I’ve Had While Crafting The Most Fun I’ve Had While Crafting The Most Fun I’ve Had While CraftingI’m an avid crafter. Primarily, my medium of choice is yarn, but I’ve been known to dabble in stamping, simple painting, beginner beading and jewelry, thread crafts like embroidery and cross stitch, card making, etc. Years ago, I was on a little scrapbooking kick. Also, one year my mother-in-law helped me sew a poodle skirt for my oldest daughter to wear as part of her Halloween costume. Basically, I’m game to try anything crafty — that’s the takeaway here.

The newest craft company to come to my attention is Joone Crafts. Joone offers some of the most colorful, interesting crafts! Paper crafts like cutting, embroidery, and coloring. Cloth crafts like tea towels and tote bags that you can paint on to decorate them. Even a Macramé Jewelry kit and a few Teracotta Tile Coaster crafts that look super interesting to me.

The Most Fun I’ve Had While Crafting - Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit

I am finding the designs of Joone Crafts very pleasing and the color palettes bright and cheerful. I’m working on making a Paper Embroidery Pencil Case and a Paper Embroidery Notebook for my daughters as part of their Christmas gifts this year.

The Most Fun I’ve Had While Crafting - Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit

The pencil case will be for my younger daughter. She’s an artist, so it will be paired with some sketchbooks and sketching pencils. She is always drawing, so hopefully this pencil case will be a good way for her to organize and take her sketching pencils along wherever her creativity takes her.

My older daughter is a writer, so the notebook will be paired with some fun colored pens. She loves to journal, write lists, and use notebooks to gather and analyze her thoughts or make future plans. She’s gonna think this is awesome!

I am having fun working on these crafts, but I know they’d also enjoy many of the crafting kits available from Joone, as well. So, I’m tucking this company in my back pocket (i.e. adding to an ongoing gift idea list that I keep in my phone’s notepad app) for their birthdays this coming year. Now I just have to decide whether I want to choose some kits for them, or get them a Joone gift card so that they can choose for themselves.

I love this Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit so much! Here’s why. First of all the kit comes with two items to embroider, and you get to choose them. In each kit you can choose to receive two notebooks (choose black covers with blank pages, or kraft covers with lined pages) OR two Kraft pencil cases OR one each Kraft cover lined notebook and Kraft pencil case.

But, that’s just the beginning! Once you decide which items you want in your kit, you will need to choose a colorway:

Joone Creative Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit Colorways

Spring: peaches and greens

Autumn: purples and oranges

Winter: blues and cream

For my kit, I chose the option of one Kraft cover notebook and a Kraft pencil case in the Winter colorway, since these are going to be Christmas gifts. I love all three colorways, though! So, it was really hard to choose one over the others.

Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit

This kit is COMPLETE!!! Seriously … it comes with everything you need to complete the project. Literally the only thing you need to have at home already is a pair of scissors.

Here’s what comes in this kit:

Project materials:

  • (2) notebooks, 5″ x 8″ or (2) pencil cases or (1) notebook + (1) pencil case
  • (5) skeins DMC cotton embroidery floss
  • (5) plastic floss bobbins
  • (1-2) lengths elastic cord (pencil case kits only)

Foundation materials – reusable with future paper embroidery projects:

  • (1) Clover straight tailor’s awl
  • (1) tape measure
  • (1) piece Eco-fi felt
  • (1) 100% recycled cardboard pad
  • (1) needle threader
  • (2) size-22 tapestry needles
  • (1) bobbin MT washi tape
  • (1) pot pH neutral glue (to seal your stitches)
  • (1) glue brush
  • (1) instruction booklet
  • (1) set paper punching patterns with beginner, intermediate & advanced designs (Note: combo kits include 2 sets of punching patterns – one for notebooks and one for pencil cases)
  • (1) design examples booklet (Note: combo kits include 2 design examples booklets – one for notebooks and one for pencil cases)

Bonus materials:

  • (1) 100% recycled cardboard project tray
  • (1) cotton drawstring project bag
Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit

I don’t really know how not to multi-task, so while working on this project I had my laptop in front of me so that I could catch up on some political news programs. Sometimes while I’m crafting I’ll watch TV shows on YouTube TV on my iPad, also, or listen to an audiobook. But, today, it’s political news.

Joone has quite literally thought of everything when designing this project kit. I’ve never done this type of project before. But, the instructions and design templates are so inclusive and complete that I embarked on this project with full confidence that I could actually complete it without messing it up.

And I think it’s really an intuitive idea for them to include a drawstring project bag in the kit. I will often take a knitting or crochet project with me when I leave home to work on while waiting for my kids at school or sports functions or to work on in the waiting room of a doctor’s office if they have an appointment. I think it’s fantastic that I can take this project along just as easily when I’m on-the-go! The drawstring bag can even be used as a gift bag, just put the completed project (or the uncompleted kit itself) inside the bag, cinch it, and maybe tie some ribbon around the top and add a gift tag … presto! Gift giving ready!

Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit - embroidery thread
Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit - embroidery thread

The punching patterns that are included to choose from for the embroidery design on the cover of your items are of three levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Depending on which level you choose, it will include a different number of the leaf design elements to be punched and then embroidered onto the notebook and/or pencil case.

The Most Fun I’ve Had While Crafting - Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit
The Most Fun I’ve Had While Crafting - Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit

Even though this is the first experience I have had with this project type, I felt completely comfortable choosing the Advanced design template.

Seriously, if you are a crafter or if you know a crafter you’d like to give a crafting-related gift to, you have to take a look at all the awesome crafting kit options that are available from Joone

The Most Fun I’ve Had While Crafting - Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit - Clover Punching Awl
Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit – Clover Punching Awl

I had a really great time learning a new craft skill. And I love that I now have some tools to make more items using these tools and skills in the future. You can get additional supplies (notebooks, pencil cases, tea towels, tote bags, and other items) on their own without re-purchasing full kits. This is great since some of the items that come in the kits like the punching awl, measuring tape and needles are re-usable and would not need to be purchased again. I really can’t wait to try out the Macrame Jewelry Kit and the Fabric Stamping Kit one of these days. 

The Most Fun I’ve Had While Crafting - Joone Crafts Paper Embroidery Foundations Kit

I’ve finished the pencil case and am working on the notebook now. After the holidays when things slow down I will be doing a little internet research to learn more about paper embroidery to find other design patterns and see what other things I can do this kind of embroidery on!

Which Joone crafting kit would you love to try? Or which one would you love to gift to a friend or a loved one?

Multi-Use Bags For Your Busy Life

A busy life makes finding a means to transport the stuff we need essential. Whether it’s needed for sports or a similarly active lifestyle, to haul laundry, or pack for a tripbags are big. There are thousands of options to choose from. We found two Multi-Use Bags For Your Busy Life!

Multi-Use Bags For Your Busy Life--Lumehra Flex Bag-Lumehra Yoga Bag
Beauty Brite Disclosure

LUMEHRA offers two oversized bag options that I think are pretty cool. What I like most about them is that cleaning the bags themselves was taken into account during manufacturing. I’ve definitely struggled over the years to clean luggage that has become soiled by spills, fur-filled since our cats think everything is a bed for them, or dusty from being in storage.

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Care For Common Skin Issues

Care For Common Skin Issues -- Bioré Witch Hazel Skin Care-Hanhoo Watermelon Illuminating Duo-MyChelle Pumpkin Skin Care
Beauty Brite Disclosure

Care For Common Skin Issues Care For Common Skin Issues Care For Common Skin Issues

Humans are a very diverse species. There are so many ways we are different from each other and an infinite number of ways to understand and address those issues.

One thing about us that is extremely interesting to me is how many different issues we have with caring for our facial skin. I didn’t realize until I got older myself and started having skin issues (resulting in researching the topic and reading about other women’s perspectives) how many different kinds of products there are and how many services can be utilized. It’s pretty mind boggling, honestly.

So, I won’t try to tell you which products are the best for each skin issue. You will have to do the research on different products for yourself based on your individual needs. My purpose here is to provide information on a few products that are new to me that you may be interested in looking into for your own personal use.

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Easy Luxe Repair For Damaged Hair

Easy Luxe Repair For Damaged Hair - Ayur Luxe Hair Care
Beauty Brite Disclosure

Easy Luxe Repair For Damaged Hair Easy Luxe Repair For Damaged Hair

Winter is hard on hair. Mine gets dry and more susceptible to damage and flyaways. Hair care products that provide deep moisturization and damage repair help make my long, thick hair easier to live with.

Ayur Luxe is helping me keep my hair looking great as we head into winter with its deep moisturizing Ayurveda hair care line. It’s reducing the instances of frizz and flyaway so that dealing with my hair doesn’t make me crazy.

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