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4 Health Foods to Sneak Into Smoothies

Ahh, the beloved smoothie. One press of the blender button and who can remember if there was a handful of spinach in there with those blueberries, a few chard stalks under that banana. It’s cold, it’s delicious, and it’s a great way to sneak some healthy foods in to your kids’ diet (and your own!)

4 Health Foods to Sneak into your Next Smoothie

First a few tips for getting adventurous with your smoothies:

Start small: Start by adding a little bit of the new addition at a time so you/your kids get accustomed to any flavor or texture changes.

Cover with color: Worried your kids will notice the green tint from the kale? Cover up color changes with berries. Blueberries are great for this.

Give it an awesome name. Kids catch you dumping chia seeds into the blender? Call them “strength seeds” and tell them how chia seed can swell to ten times their original size. Just like their muscles will. *wink, wink*

Here are four health foods that will bump up the nutrition of your next smoothie.

For more greens: Spinach or kale

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If your smoothies consist of mostly fruit, start with this first easy step by sneaking in a handful of spinach or kale into your next batch. I like to use baby kale (shown here) or lacinato kale which can be slightly sweeter and less hearty than curly kale. My kids never notice a cup of kale but will start to complain if I get closer to two cups. Start small while taste buds adjust.

For more omega-3s: Chia seeds

Healthy Smoothie Ideas

Chia seeds are another healthy no-brainer for throwing in a smoothie. One ounce of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons) has 10 grams of fiber which is good for your gut and to help that smoothie feel more filling. Chia seeds are also a great plant-based source of omega-3s which many of us are deficient in as well as a good source of iron, calcium and magnesium. These little black seeds are flavorless and nearly invisible in a smoothie – especially if you have other berries with small seeds like strawberries. Do note: just like berry seed  have a way of getting stuck in your teeth, so do chia seeds so be sure to do a quick post-smoothie mirror check. Chia seeds can swell to ten times their normal size as they sit in liquid and take on a gelatinous, tapioca-like texture, so these are best used in smoothies that will be consumed right away.

For added fiber: Oats

Healthy Smoothie Ideas

Yes, rolled oats. For added fiber and to help your kids feel full longer, start by adding some  rolled oats to your blender first and blending them into a flour-like consistency. Then add your other fruits, veggies and liquids. The pulverized oats will blended in easily to your other ingredients adding some extra nutritional and consistency oomph to your smoothies.

A serious superfood: Spirulina

Healthy Smoothie Ideas

If you’ve master hiding kale and chia seeds, then your’re ready for the big time: spirulina. This blue-green algae powder is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and antioxidants. It contains about 60% plant-based protein and is a good source of many B vitamins, iron and chlorophyll. But it is not for the faint of heart. It smells – as my children kindly offered – like swamp water, so start with a half a teaspoon and work your way up.

Ready to blend? What kale? What chia seeds? Looks purple to me!

Healthy smoothies

Smoothies

What else do you like to sneak into smoothies? And for even more smoothie fun, check out this recipe from The Shopping Mama!

Momtrends was not paid for this post.

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Saturday Sips: Four Ways to Rosé

Summer is in the air – can you feel it? Time to break out the rosé. Tonight we’re looking at four ways to enjoy this warm-weather wine.

SATURDAY SIPS - Four Ways to Enjoy Rose

1. Drink it straight.

I have a serious confession to make: I had NEVER had a rosé until recently. I think my fear of rosé stemmed from my dad drinking white zinfandel with crushed ice when I was growing up – which is pretty much a smoothie (don’t worry – he’s moved on to “real” wine- ha!). Luckily, I am a convert! Rosé is a delicious and pretty addition to my fridge and perfect for warm-weather drinking. I’ve been trying out this 2014 SIMI Sonoma County Dry Rosé which has hints of berries and citrus without being too sweet. It pairs perfectly with one of my favorite weeknight appetizers – goat cheese and these Trader Joes crackers that I am obsessed with. SIMI also recommends trying this rosé with grilled salmon or a roasted pork loin.

2. Make a rosé cocktail.

Rose Sangria

If you’re looking for a way to spice up your next bottle of rosé, try this rosé sangria that combines the wine with brandy, raspberry liquor, fresh fruit and seltzer for a boozy picnic-ready pitcher.

3. Cook with it.

Brick Chicken with Rosé Wine and Bacon

Cooking a delicious meal with a glass of wine and some good music is one of my favorite things. And this Brick Chicken with Rosé and Bacon recipe has been calling my name this month. A splash of rosé for the chicken. A splash for me. Another splash for me…

4. Make a boozy dessert.

Rose dessert

Looking for an easy summer dessert? Combine fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries with a little sugar and half a cup of rosé wine. Gently stir and let the mixture sit to let the flavors blend (psst – this is called macerating). Add in some chopped mint and spoon on top of vanilla ice cream, lemon sorbet or a shortcake. Or try the berries on this rosé gelée that combines wine, gelatin and sugar for a grown-up DIY jello.

Cheers to the weekend!

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Sipping Cocktails and Talking Hair at the #FairyTalesMix Event

Fairy tales, hair care, and cocktails… Does an event get any sweeter?

Rosemary cocktail

Nicole Feliciano Hosts #FairyTaleMix

Earlier this week, Momtrends hosted a #FairyTalesMix event in Manhattan for New York City bloggers and influencers. We were introduced to the new formulations from Fairy Tales Hair Care—and, better yet, got to mix our own delicious libations inspired by the products’ aromatic ingredients.

Scene at Fairy Tales Event

margaritas on the terrace

Sherri at Fairy Tales event

Sipping exotic cocktails on a Tribeca rooftop is most definitely my kind of moms’ night out, and I had great fun “mixing” and mingling with industry peeps. We even challenged our bloggers friends use the kitschy props (like miniature sunglasses and teeny-tiny hairdryers!) to capture silly, inspiring, and memorable photos.

FairyTales Mix Instagram contest

Product Testing

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Fairy Tales lice prevention

Cute itty-bitty props and delicious drinks aside, I was so excited to learn more about Fairy Tales—often referred to as the “lice” brand, even though there’s more to them—I promise! I’m a longtime fan of the mom-owned company, that’s been around since 1999, and was even more impressed hearing firsthand about the quality, standards, and core mission behind the brand.

Fairytales blueberry product

So what’s different? They’ve taken all the “bad stuff.” As a mom, I’m consciousness of the personal products I use on my children—and hair care is no exception. I need the things I buy to feature healthy, safe, and effective ingredients. (Is that too much to ask for?) No, I’m not living in a fairy tale, it actually is possible to keep your kids’ hair clean and shiny without compromising your standards as a protective parent. Fairy Tales boasts no harsh chemicals, toxins, pesticides, parabens, and sulfates. They’ve even taken out the soy, gluten, and nuts—because, as a brand, they’ve listened to what parents want. Simple as that.

Nicole With Fairy Tales Founder

After hearing from our very own Nicole (who informed the crowd that Fairy Tales is a must for her kids at summer camp) and Fairy Tales founder, Risa Barash, we were invited to the bar station to whip up our own formulations—of the “drinkable” variety, of course! We learned to make three drinks for three new-and-improved Fairy Tales collections. I’ll take you through each recipe and share a little bit more about its “product inspiration.”

sangria with prosecco

Sunburst Sangria
1 Bottle Dry White Wine
1 cup Cointreau
1 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1 cup Pineapple Juice
6 Fresh Oranges, peeled and muddled
A Splash of Simple Syrup
A Splash of Prosecco

Steps: Combine all ingredients and chill . Pour into a wine glass. Top with a splash of Prosecco. Garnish with fresh oranges and lemons.

Inspired by the Sun-and-Swim Collection: This line is specially formulated to heal sun-and-chlorine-damaged hair with natural fruit extracts and moisturizing ingredients, like orange flower, grapefruit extract, and lemon peel. Vitamins and minerals gently restore softness and give locks a beautiful shine. Plus, it smells like summer and lemon-aid. Ahhh, so refreshing! (The collection includes Lifeguard Clarifying Shampoo, Lemon-Aid Conditioner, and CoCo Cabana Spray.)

rosemary raspberry vodka cocktail

Rapunzel Red Ringer
1.5 oz. Premium Vodka
6 Raspberries, muddled
1 oz. Fresh Ginger, peeled and muddled
2 oz. Grapefruit Juice

Steps: Muddle raspberries and peeled ginger in a shaker. Add vodka, ice, and grapefruit juice. Shake well. Serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and candied ginger.

Inspired by the Rosemary Repel Collection: With rosemary, tea tree oil, citronella, geranium oils, and organic herbs and plant extracts, this line is clinically proven to help prevent head lice. And it smells so fresh and revitalizing! The collection includes Rosemary Repel Daily Shampoo, Rosemary Repel Conditioner, Rosemary Repel Conditioning Spray, Rosemary Repel Hair Spray, and Rosemary Repel Styling Gel.

Blue Fairy Margarita
2 oz. 100% Agave Tequila
1.5 oz. Aloe Vera Juice
1.5 oz. Lime Juice
.5 oz. Blue Curacao

Steps: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vicorogous and strain over ice into a salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with lime.

Inspired by the No-More Knots Collection: With natural Keratin extracts and vitamins, these products naturally de-tangle and smooth out curly, knotted, unruly locks, and transform them into a soft, beautiful, movie-star worthy mane! The collection includes Super-Charge Detangling Shampoo, Super-Charge Detangling Conditioner, and Static-Free Detangling Spray.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

 

 

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Simple Snack: 2 Ingredient Energy Bars

Are your kids always hungry? My three boys seem to be hungry constantly despite my feeding them, so I’m always on the lookout for snacks that will fill them up and give them energy without just providing empty calories. These energy bars definitely do the trick. They are a riff on a LÄRABAR which often just have 3-4 ingredients and I love how you can personalize them to your – or your kids’ – preference. Here’s how to make them.

EASY ENERGY BARS

Ingredients:

  • a “hard” – cashews, almonds, peanuts or other nuts
  • a “squishy” – dried figs, dates, raisins, cranberries, dried cherries
  • extras – chocolate chips, peanut butter, shredded coconut, chia seeds, other nuts

Easy Energy Bars

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, blend together equal parts of your “hard” and your “squishy”. Blend or stir in any extras.
  2. Press firmly into a baking dish lined with parchment paper and refrigerate.
  3. Cut into squares and enjoy!

 

EAsy Energy Bars

Easy Energy Bars

I love that these bars are simple to make, can be customized for allergies or likes/dislikes, and are an inexpensive, homemade way to keep my boys satisfied and fueled up for their next adventure.

Easy Energy Bars

Want more inspiration? Head on over to LÄRABAR and click on some flavors that sounds good. The flavor page will tell you exactly what few ingredients you’ll find in each bar so you can make your own.

LARA

Momtrends was not paid for this post.

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Saturday Sips: Gin & Tonic

It’s been one of those weeks around here which means the weekend calls for a cocktail that is simple, delicious and does the trick. On the menu? Gin + tonics.

Saturday Sips Gin + Tonics

The simplicity of the gin + tonic is what makes it so easy. But since it only involves two main ingredients, it also requires that your ingredients are good.

Saturday Sips Gin + Tonics

Ingredients:

  • gin
  • tonic water
  • limes or lemons
  • ice

Gin has a wide range of flavors from the super dry and juniper-y to more mellow floral flavors. If you don’t already have a gin you like, take a gander at this Eater piece to help figure out a gin that will be a good fit for your palate. The same attention needs to be paid to the tonic water too. Skip the grocery store brand and opt for a higher quality tonic like Feverfew or Q Tonic.

Another great thing about the G+T is that since there are just two ingredients, you can adjust the ratio to your personal preference. Opt for 1 part gin to 3 -4 parts tonic for a less boozy option or if you’ve had one of those weeks too, change the ratio to 1:2. Make it in a old-fashioned or rocks glass and you can measure by just eyeballing the amounts. Easy peasy.

Saturday Sips Gin + Tonics

Saturday Sips Gin + Tonics

Directions:

  1. Fill an old fashioned or rocks glass with ice.
  2. Squeeze desired numbers of limes over ice.
  3. Add a finger-width of gin (or more depending on your ratio)
  4. Top with tonic.
  5. Stir and enjoy!

Saturday Sips Gin + Tonics

 

Check out our past Saturday Sips for more inspiration or head on over to The Shopping Mama to see what they are pouring up tonight!

 

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Three Easy Breakfast Ideas

If you’re anything like me, your mornings are beyond hectic. You have to get yourself and the kids ready which takes up enough time on its own. Being able to spend a ton of time cooking breakfast is probably a luxury you don’t have. But it’s so important to send them off to school with full bellies. And being that we’re in the home stretch for the school year, you’re probably just trying to get through the next couple of months until everyone can take a breather this summer. So, I decided to round up three easy breakfast ideas that your family will surely gobble up!

banana yogurt pops

Banana Yogurt Pops…As the weather warms up, the kids will definitely appreciate nice cold treats…and who says breakfast can’t taste like a treat? BonBon Rose Girls came up with the yummiest looking breakfast pops. With Greek yogurt and granola being the ingredients, you can’t go wrong handing one to your kiddo in the morning.

overnight oats

Overnight Oats…Just like laying out their clothes, making their lunches and packing their backpacks the night before makes life easier for you, so does making breakfast. Our overnight oats recipe is tasty, nutritious and requires zero prep time in the morning. Anything you can do to make the morning routine more seamless right?

Bacon-Breakfast-Potatoes

Breakfast Potatoes…My kids definitely have more productive days when they’ve had a hearty breakfast. This breakfast potatoes concoction from Sunny Sweet Days would do the trick quite well. You could even swap out the bacon for ham or just forgo the meat completely. Eggs are a nice source of protein on their own!

Disclosure: We were not paid for this post.

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But First (Boozy) Coffee

Like the rest of the internet, I fell in love with the “But First Coffee” phrases slapped onto, well, pretty much everything. Tumblers, T-shirts, even my gym bag is now branded with it. For the coffee die-hards, there’s never enough. For those of you stuck on what to gift for Easter, there might be one or two things on your favorite coffee-lover’s wish list. Here are a few things I’m coveting, plus a delicious, and yes, boozy, coffee recipe.

This little pin gets the message across in the cutest of ways.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 12.09.53 PM For all my band.o die-hards, this tumbler is exactly what you need. 

IMG_6808This gorgeous wooden painted sign is perfect for the kitchen, the office, or anywhere where you need to let people know that coffee comes first.

but-first-600x600Everyone needs a perfect t-shirt. This one from Target is my go-to.

IMG_6529

And now for the Boozy Coffee:

In a dry glass, mix 1oz of Frangelico Hazelnut Liquor with 1oz of Whiskey and 1.5oz of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Add your coffee. Swirl in half-and-half and add a *dash* of pepper. Stir or shake then pour over ice.

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These labels are too cute, right? They’re from VersaChalk, along with the bright chalk markers. (By the way, these markers are the best. You can change out the tips to achieve your desired look). The labels are perfect for mason jar lids, but I added one to my glass to ward off any potential coffee usurpers who might have their eyes on my prize.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive samples for review. 

 

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Three Seriously Tasty Popcorn Recipes

What do you eat on Popcorn Lover’s Day? POPCORN of course! If a “holiday” was made for me, it was certainly this one. I’m definitely a popcorn girl through and through. No movie is complete without a bowl of that salty (and sometimes sweet) goodness in my book. And while it may have been all about the butter when I was a kiddo, I love trying out all kinds of flavor combinations these days. Who knew that there were so many ways to dress up those fluffy kernels?

Since I’m sure I’m not the only one who considers popcorn one of her favorite snacks, I rounded up some seriously tasty popcorn recipes for your noshing pleasure. If sweet and salty flavors are your jam, these recipes are going to make your tummy very happy! The only question is…which one are you going to make for your Netflix and chills sesh tonight? All three would be overkill right? Just checking…

raspberry chocolate popcorn

Raspberry Chocolate Popcorn…Need I say more? Fresh raspberry glaze drizzled over popcorn and dark chocolate chunks? It’s been over a year since I made this recipe…and I do believe that’s been one year too long.

black and white popcorn

Black and White Popcorn…You can never have too much chocolate right? This popcorn recipe from BonBon Rose Girls combines both semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. Yum!

Caramel Corn

Homemade Caramel Corn…Have you ever tried to make caramel corn yourself? It’s worth the effort as Mom Endeavors proves in spades. There is nothing quite look gooey caramel corn that’s still warm!

Now who’s ready to get their Popcorn Lover’s Day celebration started?!? Both hands are raised over here!

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