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what I buy

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How To Make Blueberry Iced Green Tea in 5 Minutes

We have all heard the benefits of drinking green tea. It’s known to be full of polyphenols and antioxidants.  It has been touted to help speed weight loss. Every time I turn around there is a new benefit. What made green tea super important to me was it’s benefits for cancer fighters/survivors.

I knew I had to find a way to get this super tea into my diet. In the winter this is easy for me, because I depend on cups of tea to stay warm! Once it became warm outside, I had to find another way to drink tea that would work for me. Well, I have done just that.  I have found a super easy way to get all those awesome benefits into may body, and in pretty large doses at that!

Lately, I have been making 2 quarts of green tea a day and drinking it ALL! I found one that I love, it is Celestial Seasonings Blueberry Green Tea Cold Brew.

Talk about easy, all I do is:

~fill 2 mason jars, quart sized, with filtered cold water
~add 4 bags to each jar
~let cold brew for 5 minutes
~add ice to one, a lid to the other
~start sipping on one, put the other in refrigerator for later

It has great flavor and no bitterness. I do sometimes add just a touch of sweetener, but it really does not need much.

My one and only complaint is that this tea is not organic. I figure the benefits outweigh that one negative, and the hot green tea I drink in the cold months is organic, so at least it is not all year!

I love that once I finish both quart jars of tea, I know that I have had 8 cups of fluid for the day. This is a great way to monitor the amount of liquids I get.  Bonus!

PS..did you see my favorite glass straw in the first photo?  I love it.  It comes with it’s own tiny little straw scrub brush.  You want one?  If you buy it from Amazon using this link, Foods Alive Glass Straw with Brush – Ecofriendly, 1-Ounce I will get a small percentage.  While you are there, you can pick up some Celestial Seasonings Cool Brew Blueberry Iced Green Tea — 40 Tea Bags!

Beauty/ HOME

What I Buy And Why-Glow Lotion!

It has been awhile since I wrote a “What I Buy And Why” post, so as I was getting ready for my date with this guy, I thought I would take a minute and share my favorite body lotion with you.

I love everything about this lotion.  I love the clean smell, I love the texture, I love how it moisturizes.  I love that the ingredients are safe.  But my MOST FAVORITE thing about this lotion is that it makes you glow!  It contains itty bitty bits of the mineral, mica, in it, which is super reflective and gives a healthy glow–no chunks of glitter in this lotion, just a nice shimmer!

{I am wearing it in this pic.  See the slight shimmer on my neck/chest area? 
 I put a bit on my cheeks, too. The forehead glow is just my natural oil from the day.  Ew. :p}

I got to be up close and personal with the beautiful mineral called mica in our recent trip to Colorado.  We visited an old mine and learned how to pan for gold.  I loved the panning process and found it quite relaxing.  I kept thinking I struck gold, but low and behold it was only little bits of beautiful mica shining at me, reflecting the sun.  No wonder this stuff is wonderful in lotion!

{Stopped in the middle of my gold hunt to take a photo}

*Tip:
I sometimes put a small bit of this in my hair for a nice shine.  I also like putting it on my collarbones and even a bit on my cheek bones to make them stand out.

Let me know if you try it out and what you think.
What is YOUR favorite lotion?

Drinks/ HOME/ RECIPES

Candy Cane Lane Green Tea

When something makes me this happy, I just have to share it with you!

I am coming down with a cold, my throat is very sore and I’ve got a stuffy nose.  Crap.

I picked up Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Green Tea at my health food store the other day and boy, am I glad I did.  It is REALLY good.  It has the taste of peppermint sticks, creamy vanilla bean and a hint of cinnamon.  I added a packet of stevia and a splash of milk to make it sweet, white and creamy.
This makes it feel like I am drinking an expensive, hot drink that is full of calories, when really, I am drinking something full of antioxidants, and all kinds of things that are good for me, and it is sugar free!  There is just something about peppermint when one has a stuffy nose!  Ahhh…

I just bought a bunch of red and white, candy cane striped coffee mugs at my local Dollar Tree. They are square and really cute. I am planning on using them in some way as Christmas gifts for teachers.  They would be perfect stuffed with these tea bags, (they smell SO good), and a candy cane, then wrapped with cellophane and tied with a red bow.  Great, simple gift for any tea lover’s out there!

If you go to Celestial Seasonings Website, you can type in your zip code and they will tell you where to find this particular tea in your area, or, you can click here and order it from Amazon.

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What I Buy And Why-Bob Mill Pancake Mix

Now that I am having chemotherapy treatments, I really don’t have the energy to cook for my family. We have been receiving some of the most wonderful meals from family and friends, which is just a super huge blessing!!
This morning, I woke up feeling pretty good except for some achiness. It is funny how the definition of feeling “good” changes with chemo…anything but knocked out flat on your back seems “good”:), so I wanted to do something that felt “normal.”  Making pancakes on a Saturday morning is very normal for me, and I knew I had this mix sitting there in my cupboard, which was enough to motivate me to make pancakes for the family.
I do have a pancake recipe that I love, but sometimes the ease and convenience of a mix is wonderful.  This one is organic, high in fiber and protein, and the flavor of the pancakes is spot on— delish. My family loves them.  They take an egg, oil and water.  I love that you can adjust the water amount to get just the right thickness of pancake.  We prefer thinner pancakes in this household.
The mix itself is higher priced when compared to others on the market, but what you get for your money is more than worth it.  The mix makes a ton of pancakes, your family will not only get full, but also nourished from the wonderful ingredients in the mix.  The cheaper mixes are full of white sugar and flour that do nothing for the family’s nutrition, so in the end, it is worth paying a bit more.
I only used less than half of the mix today, and it made 20 4″ pancakes!

Ingredients-all Organic Whole Grain Flours; Whole Wheat Pastry, Rye, Spelt, Corn, Oat, Kamut, Flaxseed Meal, Quinoa and Brown Rice Flour, and Organic Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Baking Powder and Sea Salt.

*I was not compensated to review this product.

Drinks/ HOME/ RECIPES

What I Buy & Why-Acai Mango Celestial Seasonings Tea

Acai Mango Celestial Seasonings Tea…I love this stuff!  I’ve been drinking it like crazy.  It tastes like a mildly sweet fruit juice, thanks to the natural stevia that is in it. I think it is great that you don’t have to take the extra step to sweeten the tea, and that it does not contain artificial sugar!  It has zero calories and is caffeine free.

I use this simple cold brew method, but if I forget to set it up the night before to brew, then I usually just:
~Fill the teapot with water.
~Put it on to boil
~Put 4 bags of tea in a mason jar (I love that they are heat resistant)
~Pour the water into the jar to the 2 cup line
~Let steep for 4-6 minutes
~Fill another mason jar with ice
~Pour tea over ice, (this will only take 1/3 of the prepared tea, store what is left in refrigerator)
~Stir and enjoy!

*If you click on the above Acai Mango Celestial Seasonings Tea link, it will take you to Amazon where you can purchase it for an extremely reasonable price. (lower than what I purchases it for at the store.)  If you use that link, I will receive a small percentage of anything you buy, but it will not cost you anything more.  If you use this option, THANK YOU!
This post is linked to:
Frou Frou Friday @ Frou Frou Decor

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What I Buy & Why-Lemonade

I have learned so much about food by asking people what they buy, where they buy it, and why they like it.  These conversations inspired me to start writing some posts on the food items I buy and why.  Not only do I want to share with you what is working for us, but my hope is, that in the comments section, I will get to hear from you and what is working for you! 

I love lemonade, especially in the summer.  I have tried a few recipes this summer, but keep going back to just purchasing it at the store, because of “Simply Lemonade brand lemonade.  I love this brand because it tastes good, only has 4 ingredients, and contains NO high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  It is 11% lemon juice, and it is not from concentrate. 


The ingredients are filtered water, lemon juice, sugar, and natural flavors.  


Now, I would like to know what “natural flavors” are, and hope that does not mean some chemical cocktail added, but honestly, it is easy to turn a blind eye as it is the last ingredient and again, it is one of four ingredients.   


Check out this long list of ingredients in Minute Maid Lemonade:
 Pure filtered water, sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup, sugar), lemon juice from concentrate, less than 5% each of the following: natural flavors, citric acid (provides tartness), modified cornstarch, glycerol, ester of wood rosin, sodium hexametaphosphate and sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate and EDTA (to protect taste), yellow #5.  It only contains 3% lemon juice!  


 I don’t often bring simple processed sugars and HFCS in to our home.  I try to sweeten our food with honey, maple syrup, sucanat or stevia.  But when it comes to lemonade, (& ice cream!-post coming soon), I break our rule.  I tried a lemonade recipe that was sweetened with maple syrup, and it just was not what I was looking for.  I want the true, old- fashioned taste of lemonade, like Simply Lemonade or one like  this recipe at “How Does She…” –will be trying that one soon!
What about you?  Do you have a favorite recipe?  Do you know of any great recipes without processed white sugar?  


HEALTH/ Healthy Eating/ HOME/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

What I Buy and Why-Bread

I always find it fascinating to peek into other peoples grocery carts, while waiting in line at the grocery store, to see what they are buying.  So often I have wanted to strike up a conversation and ask about a product I see, and ask why they like it and why they choose it over another.  I get the same feeling when I open up other people’s refrigerators, I love seeing what brands of foods they buy, and often get inspired to try something new.

I have learned so much about food by asking my friends what they buy, where they buy it, and why they like it.  These conversations inspired me to start writing some posts on the food items I buy and why.  Not only do I want to share with you what is working for us, but my hope is, that in the comments section, I will get to hear from you and what is working for you!

Bread
Our Everyday, Whole Wheat Bread (either of the 2 below:)
If I Want To Treat My Kids To “White” Bread:
When I Want To Splurge:
*Disclaimer-I was not paid or compensated in anyway to promote these products.
It is important to me that our bread does not contain High Fructose Corn Syrup. (Read why here and here)  I also think fiber is very important, so I try not to buy bread that contains less then 3 grams/slice.  The “Oatnut” bread is what my girls call “the yummy white bread.”  It is really good, but I do not buy it as often because it has less fiber in it and uses enriched flour (although unbleached:)) where as the 100% whole wheat breads uses whole wheat flour, which does not have to be enriched, because nothing was ever removed in the first place.  I like that!
 You can go here to read more of my thoughts on making grains count.
What brands of bread work for you?  Have you switched to 100% whole wheat bread?  If so, was it hard on your kids?
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