Tuesday, July 29, 2014

V3 Life and Food Pure Premium Raw Organic Yacon Root Syrup Product Review

I have discovered a new sweetener!!  Great news - it's organic and 100% natural - for reals!!  Pure premium raw organic Yacon root syrup from V3 Life and Food!  What the heck is Yacon you ask???  Well, it's a perennial plant grown in the northern and central Andes, of course ;)  Huh??? It's a veggie!!  With super sweet tube roots!  These tube roots can be used to create a thick, rich sweet syrup which can be used as a sweetener or syrup on a daily basis.  I used it in my morning butta' coffee and was pleasantly surprised.  I'm not a huge fan of sugared up coffee so I didn't use too much - but a little went a long way - and I loved it! I'm very eager to try this out in some of my recipes that call for maple syrup - I think it will be a great substitute.  And, p.s. this syrup has also been linked to...wait for it...weight loss!!  No, I'm not getting all weight loss supplement crazy on you.  But, just rationalize for a moment.  Replace your regular white processed sugar intake with an all natural veggie based sweetener and what do you think will happen??? Exactly.... ;)

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

It's Giveaway Time!!! Enter to win 2 full pages of custom white vinyl stickers from Sticker You!!

Head on over to Mommy Fix on Facebook for the newest giveaway and enter to win 2 full pages of custom white vinyl stickers from Sticker You!!    Check out the pics below to see the cool labels my boys and I designed!  Only 2 days left in the giveaway!!!!!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Labels Galore!! Product Review of Sticker You's White Vinyl Custom Stickers....

I loooove a good label - personalization is my mantra!  A sweet monogram will just about put me over the edge!  So when I was provided the opportunity to review some new custom stickers from Sticker You - I jumped at the chance!  The boys and I had a blast creating our own custom labels.  The possibilities were endless!  We were able to choose our own backgrounds, fonts, clip art...you name it, they had it.  DC Comics and Dora, Lego and Spongebob....holiday, baby, sports....the options are endless.  Fun fonts and background colors...just click and drag to create your perfect label.  It was so easy and so fun!  I even designed a label for baby :) So cute!!  

One of my sons loves football and designed his just how he wanted it:

My other son is an avid soccer player and designed this label for his soccer gear.  We were right in the thick of the World Cup as you can see!

And, I was even able to create some labels for my little crafty business :)

Great selection, great customer service!  Check out www.stickeryou.com and create your perfect label!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Baby at the Beach!

As you may have seen in my previous post...Thank God for the beach, beer and Dorito fingers...we are beach lovers! And complete minimalists when it comes to beach gear. My two big boys are now 8 and almost 12 so all we have to do is slather on their sunscreen and send them out with their boards...which they carry themselves ;) Big Daddy and I rotate playing and lounging....it's heaven!! And, then we went and had another baby! Needless to say...our beach routine changed a bit. However, this is our 3rd round with a baby at the beach so I'd like to think we have learned a thing or two.  So here I present to you...How To Survive with your Baby at the Beach!!!
* Lower your expectations. This is probably the most important key to surviving the beach vaca with baby. No matter how "easy going" your baby is.....there will be messes, meltdowns and mixed up sleep schedules.  Just remember...you are on vacation!!! This is your time to relax and enjoy being with the ones you love the most!
* "Babyproof" your vaca quarters. Especially if you have a mover and a shaker. Easier said than done sometimes but even just moving that death trap of a coffee table can make the week a lot less stressful.
* Less is more!!!! I always pack too much....ALWAYS!! Baby had a full suitcase to himself and I think he wore 3 different onesies and a swim diaper all week.  But, we had blankets and pack and play sheets for days! You will need a lot of these....sand happens!
* Sand happens...a lot of sand happens! In the diaper, in the neck folds and in the mouth. Just try to keep them from ingesting complete mouthfulls and everyone should be good.
* If your baby is in the sitting or crawling around stage where the beach is a full buffet of all you can eat sand....buy a little blow up pool. They are less than $10 and it will be the best money you ever spent. It's a beach baby containment system. And, if you're feeling really generous, throw some ocean water in there for them to splash around.
* Clothing is completely optional on the beach. However, if your little one is fair skinned....clothing is a necessity! Swimshirt, hat, and swimmie diaper...or if you cloth diaper, use one of your "worn out" covers, without an insert - just designate that one cover as the swim diaper.
* Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen!!! If baby is 6 mos or older...lather them up...often!! And, limit their time in the sun...their sweet little skin is still so new and they will burn quickly! The hours between 10 and 2 are the most brutal so be careful and make sure there is some shade if you are out during those times.  And, get that baby a hat!! The floppier the better...it will cover more :)
* Toys for the beach??? Completely unnecessary....did you forget about the "all you can eat sand buffet"? My little guy sat and crawled right at the edge of the water digging for days with his little hands!
* Toys for the vaca quarters? Fill a suitcase or they will drive you nuts!
* Food for baby??? Make sure you have all the gear you will need...breastfeeding? Boobies, pump and bottles. Formula??? Bottles, water for mixing and formula. Beginning food??? Pouches with spoon attachments are amazing! They saved our tails quite a few times. You should also consider packing all the utensils you will need for baby...spoons, bowls, sippy cups, etc....most places, even those with fully stocked kitchens, will not have these items. I make a lot of baby's food and I actually packed my Magic Bullet so I could grind up food for baby!  Eating out?? Get a high chair cover!! You can find one for under $20 and it will keep baby from gnawing on all those nasty restaurant high chairs...they will cover shopping carts, too!
* Sleep - consider your options with where you will be staying. Many hotels, large condo units and rental houses will have cribs available. Don't forget to pack bedding!!!  We always take our pack and play which doubles as a baby condo containment system ;)
* Transportation...and I'm not talking about how you are getting there!  Think about what activities you have planned while you are on vaca...you may not need the full stroller system. Many major attraction spots have stroller rentals. We brought ours and didn't really use it. We did use our Ergo baby carrier a ton, though!!!
* And above all...pack your sense of wonder and delight because that is exactly what you will experience with baby at the beach. Look out over the ocean with a fresh set of eyes....see the world as baby does. Amazing and big!! So many new sights, sounds and textures. A whole new world has opened up right before your little one and you are the one blessed enough to share this moment with them!
And....if your baby has entered the walking/running stage....don't bother with the beach chairs because you will not sit down the entire time!!!
Happy Travels!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thank God for the beach, beer and Dorito fingers!

Ahhhh!!  Vaca finally arrived for the family!  It took us a week's worth of cleaning and packing, two days of driving, numerous stops and a mass of emotional breakdowns but we made it!!  Funny thing is - our closest beach is only 3 1/2 hours away yet we choose to trek 9 plus hours to our favorite FL beach :)  Yep, we're a little nuts but it is sooooo worth it.  We love everything about being at the beach - we are beach people.  We are not the ones with the cabanas, and chairs for everyone, multiple coolers to house every drink and snack you can imagine and sand toys out the whazoo.  Nope, we are the minimalists.  Roll us in the sand with a drink, a bag of Doritos and the surf and we are the happiest campers this side of the Mason Dixon line!  What?  You gotta pee?  Nature's potty is just a few steps away - just give at least a 10 foot clearance.  Need a shower?  Rub some sand on ya and take a dip - pretend it's a spa day.  When I get to the beach, I love to just be.  I park it on the sand, pop open a beer and watch the world stand still.  Big Daddy and the boys are happy doing what they do best at the beach...boogie boardin', throwin' football, attempting to dig to the other side of the world - cue the poor unsuspecting beach walker later that evening ;) - and I'm lovin' life, chillin' like a villain.  I rotate between playing with the fam and restoring my soul. Pure heaven, just like vaca is supposed to be.  And, then we went and had another baby.....  Stay tuned for the next post - Baby at the Beach!

Stealing a few alone minutes on the beach with my toes in the sand, an ice cold beer and Dorito fingers!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Super Moon Meltdown....

It's Super Moon time!!  What's a "Super Moon" you ask?  In everyday people speak....It's a full moon that's super close to Earth making it look super big.  As you may know - full moons have long been associated with werewolves and heightened emotions.  Well, I don't know about the werewolf part buuut - I'm a Mom and every Mom knows - when the moon gets full the kids get CRAZY!!  Now, the thought of a Super Moon approaching sends the PMSing Mom to a teething 8 mos. old, moody pre-teen and off the wall 8 yr old into near convulsions.  And, I'm sure I'm not the only one!  I sense impending doom on the horizon. There will be meltdowns and silent treatments....no naps and crying jags.  And, I can't even begin to imagine how this phenomenon will affect the kids!  There's only one way to face this day - lots of chocolate, caffeine and multiple "disappearances".  They'll just think I'm playing hide and seek. Things should run pretty smooth until that Super Moon starts to peek up over the horizon.  Then it's every man for himself!  The seemingly happy sweet children that played "hyperly" all day will turn into sniveling, emotional monster minions.  The emotions could run high or they could run low...they could turn at a moment's notice...only time will tell.  Fangs could erupt and shrieking howls may be heard.  But, rest easy - morning will come...and that 'ol Super Moon will move to the other side of the world to wreak havoc.  Tonight is the height of this phenomenon, the Super Moon will wane over the next few days and humanity will be restored. Stay vigilant though my fellow Mommies...there are projected Super Moons on the horizon for August and September.  Stock up early on your booze, chocolate and coffee!

The effects of the Super Moon on me and my kids....   

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Polarization of Mommies....

In the wee hours of the night, as I rocked my littlest guy to sleep, my mind began to wander and I started to think about how things have changed since my oldest boys were babies.  See, I'm a pushin' 40 Momma again to a baby - with an 8 and almost 12 yr old...and, let me tell you - A LOT has changed.  The gadgets are cooler, safety regulations are completely different and everything is more expensive.  But, as I rocked and reminisced, I realized one of the biggest differences is....the polarization of Mommies.  I am absolutely amazed at the countless categories of Moms that are circulating right now and how these "labels" affect how we treat one another and who we "hang" with.  Twelve years ago, in my Mommy world - the three big categories were - are you a working mom or a stay at home mom, do you breast or bottle feed and do you let your baby cry it out? And, guess what - none of us really cared about the answer - we were just happy to be with other Mommies!!  Sleepless nights, fussy teethers, boogers and baby bellies bonded us all.  The differences really didn't matter.  Fast forward to 2014 and add these to the list - are you attachment, detachment, hands free? Do you room share, bed share or does baby sleep in his own room?  Do you baby wear, use cloth or disposable diapers, incorporate baby led solids/homemade baby food or store bought baby food? Do you vax or non-vax? (p.s. - I'm not touching that one with a 10 foot pole!)  And, that's not even half of the labels we use today!  It's mind boggling how we have created so many different categories for Mommies and even more sad is how these labels have polarized us.  I am a member of a Facebook group for "crunchy" Mommas. Many of my parenting practices would be considered "crunchy" so I thought I could benefit from this group and learn some new things.  Sadly, this has not been my experience.  Even within these categories - there is judging and bashing - I just don't get it.  Here is my philosophy, and it's real simple - "Gurl....You do what you gotta do!"  We, as parents, are tasked with the greatest job in the world - raising amazing human beings. This is also the toughest job in the world and instead of focusing on our differences - we need to look to the things that make us one.  We are Mommas, we love our babies - more than life itself, and we are all doing the best we can.  Yes, we have different parenting practices and we make different decisions for our families - decisions that after much discussion, research and gut checking are the best for OUR family.  Know a Momma who does things a little different than you?  Awesome!!!  Support her, love her, hang out with her....learn from each other.  And, never forget...we all put our dirty yoga pants on one leg at a time!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!!  Keep it clean and keep it nice or I will shut it down in a hot second!!  ;)      

Saturday, July 5, 2014

4th of July Cookout!!

Here is the much anticipated, highly promoted 4th of July cookout post!!  Complete with recipes!!  Just as promised to my loyal Facebook followers - oh, you do not follow me on Facebook - well what are you waiting for??  Come on over and join us at Mommy Fix!!  And, I digress....  Our menu was extensive: grilled swordfish steaks with buttery lemon garlic marinade , bacon wrapped filet mignon, salt and pepper rubbed ribeyes, southern fried shrimp, grilled shrimp, southern crock pot green beans, deviled eggs, fresh fruit and rolls..and french fries for the kids ;)  Our plans were grand: Big Daddy and the big boys would pick up all of the delicious goodness from a local butcher first thing in the morning and then enjoy the afternoon at the movies while Mommy shopped for the last minute items and food prepped while baby took a nap.  Mommy even posted to all of her amazing followers that pics and recipes would be coming!!!  Sounds like a flawless plan, right???  O.K. - here's what really happened  - the food pick up went off without a hitch and baby took his first nap of the day - a whole 30 min...in my arms - would NOT let me lay him down.  OK - no biggie - I'll shop when the guys get back - they can keep baby at home, I'll be able to really concentrate and move fast!  Nope, once they got back there was a full 30 min. until they needed to leave for the movie.  It's cool - I'm used to moving and grooving with baby - Let's DO This!!!  I quickly rinse the shrimp in the sink, put the eggs on to boil, snapped the beans and assembled all of the ingredients in the crock pot to cook.
 I then went about arranging all that scrumptious meat on a platter - Instagram and Twitter time!!  I was so proud of myself - and Big Daddy was quite pleased with himself when the "likes" started rolling in ;)
Aww, yeah, not our original plan but things were working out just fine.  The big boys head out for the movies and me and baby head to the store for just a couple of ingredients.  45 min. and $50 later...I had obviously forgotten that in the South, the entire town congregates at the local  Wal-Mart on the 4th....we were on our way home!  Until, I realized that I forgot butter....so, we head to our other grocery store, yep - we're a little two horse town - and I find the rest of the town there.  We're good - we're good - baby will nap when we get home and I'll get to work!  He'll take a good one, he's so tired...so tired that he starts to fall asleep in the car on the way home - Awww, shmells NO...just a little"Incognito Cussing"!  Pull in, grab baby and throw the cold stuff in the fridge - shew, he only slept  for a few minutes - there's still hope!  Nurse, rock, beg, pray - yes! He's asleep :)  It's go time!  Mix the marinade for the swordfish, marinate the swordfish, wrap the filets with bacon, what am I gonna do with the shrimp??  Baggie up the flour and spice mix for frying, cajun spice some others, butter and garlic up some more and oh - there's marinade left over from the swordfish??  BAM!

Beans are perking, pop the hard boiled eggs in the fridge - I'll peel and mix them up later, clean up the kitchen mess and start to empty the dishwasher.  Cue the baby - a very fussy baby.  Oh, this was another full 30 min. nap.....  I really needed to empty that dishwasher!  Boys finally get home and Big Daddy is ready to grill!  Give me 30 min. baby free, please!  Full speed in motion - mix up batter for shrimp, put in the french fries, cut up the water melon, mix up the deviled eggs, rolls in the toaster oven - frozen, y'all - I ain't got no time to make real rolls today!  Notice how I do everything in 30 min. increments?  Yeah, I noticed, too.  Meats are on the grill, seafood will be the second round, shrimp is frying....one of the big boys is "baby-sitting" and the other big boy is my little server in the kitchen.
Oh, everything looks so good!  I can't wait to get a picture of all this - it's going to be an amazing post!  And, then, it really all falls to schnitzle...the guys are literally eating the beautiful bacon wrapped filet as they walk into the house...so much for that blog pic.  But, dang y'all - it was delicious!!!  We sat right down - and ate whatever was ready - there was no beautiful table set-up, no full pic of the spread, bless our hearts - I don't even think we said the blessing until we were halfway through!  It was just a lot of yummy goodness and happy boys - which equals a happy heart for me.  Full tummies and happy faces - the boys head upstairs to play and Big Daddy grills up the seafood while I nurse baby, who promptly settles in for his last 30 min. nap of the day.  The kitchen is a mess, the table is a hot mess but there is nowhere I'd rather be...happy boys upstairs, sleeping baby in my arms and sending Big Daddy back and forth for just another piece of shrimp.  The perfect cook-out!  Oh, I did manage to get a pic of the seafood that was left on the table.

Southern Fried Shrimp

Oh yeah!!!  Nothing says summer like a good 'ol fish fry and a good 'ol fish fry is never complete without some delicious fried shrimp!  The recipe below will cover about a pound of jumbo shrimp, just double the recipe for more shrimp.


1 lb peeled and de-veined jumbo shrimp

Dry Mix
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1 tbsp seasoning of your choice:  Old Bay, Chef Paul Seafood Magic, Cajun Seasoning or just add in some salt and pepper

1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup dry mix

Coconut Oil for frying

Place all dry mix ingredients in a gallon size baggie and shake well

Beat the egg in a bowl, add milk and mix well.  Add 1/4 of dry mix and stir well.  If the batter is too thick, add more milk 1 tbsp at a time.

In a heavy skillet - place enough coconut oil to cover the shrimp when melted at med heat

Rinse and pat shrimp dry

Place one piece of shrimp at a time in the batter and coat well, let the excess drip off before putting the battered shrimp into the bag of dry mix.  When you have about 3 - 4 pieces of battered shrimp in the dry mix baggie - close baggie and shake gently. Make sure the battered shrimp is covered with the dry mix well before you place it in the skillet.  The oil should crackle lightly and bubble when you place the shrimp in...if it spits oil and hisses loudly...turn the heat down.  Turn the shrimp frequently while frying with a slotted spoon to ensure even browning.  The tails will be completely pink when they are done...this should only take about 6 - 8 min. Repeat until all of the shrimp has been fried.  Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. Serve with cocktail sauce and fresh lemon wedges.

Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Buttery Lemon Garlic Marinade

This marinade is a conglomeration of many other marinade recipes I have tried.  It would work great on almost any seafood...filets, shrimp and scallops.  This marinade will cover 4 steaks.


1/2 cup white wine
3 tbsp olive oil
lemon juice from 4 lemons - this should come to about` 4 tblsp
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 tsp basil - a palmful (chopped)  if you are using fresh 
6 turns freshly ground pepper - this is about 1/4 tbsp

3 tbsp butter

Place all ingredients (except the butter) in a blender or food processor and blend well - immediately cover the fish in a separate dish with the marinade - the liquids will separate from the oils quickly.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Before grilling melt the butter brush onto the steaks along with some of the marinade.  Grill over Direct Medium heat until fillets are opaque and flaky in the middle...8-10 min...turn once halfway through grilling. (grilling instructions courtesy of Weber's Big Book of Grilling...the grilling bible!)

Southern Crock Pot Green Beans

Nothing better than some fresh picked green beans.  And, they're so easy to make!  You just need a few ingredients, a crock pot or stockpot and a little patience :)  Notice some of the ingredients are "approximate".  For recipes like this - and many other good Southern cookin' dishes - your senses are more important than the actual measurements.  Does it look right? Does it smell right?  If you can answer with an ummm-hmmmm...then you're doing it right ;)

8 - 10 good size handfuls of fresh green beans - preferably from a nice local produce stand - but many grocery stores sell loose green beans in the produce section
Chicken broth - just enough to cover the green beans
1 handful chopped onion or a few shakes of onion flakes
3 pieces bacon (torn into pieces) or a small chunk of fatback
1 clove garlic
1 spoonful of shortening - if you used fatback instead of bacon or if your bacon is extra fatty, you will not need the shortening 

Clean beans in a vinegar/water mixture and drain well.

Snap beans - snap beans??? - don't flip...it just means to pop the ends off of each bean and then "snap" them into nice sized green beans :)

Place all ingredients in the crock pot or stockpot and cook on low for about 4 hours or until the beans are tender and the whole kitchen smells delicious 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Yummy Goodness :)
All of these measurements are approximate...tweak them as needed depending on the size of your mug/blender.  
Fill 1/3 of the mug with ice
1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
1/2 cup blueberries 
1 handful spinach
2 tbsp flax seed meal
1tblsp chia seeds
1 cup coconut water (If smoothie is too thick, add a little more coconut water)

Blend until smooth!