aden + anais daydream blanket

We are adoring this new luxurious blanket made for adults by popular children’s brand, aden+anais! They must have known that adults wanted to be wrapped up in comfort just like their precious babies! This adult-sized blanket reminds us of a coveted and well-worn security blanket, but much larger and stylish, too!

Mom” is crushing on this new find – it’s perfect for snuggling up in on chilly winter nights or worn on early mornings while drinking that first cup of tea or coffee of the day!

aden + anais is known around the world for premium swaddles, accessories, gear and bathing products designed to nurture and pamper babies – and due to popular demand by parents who covet their collection of baby-sized blankets, the brand has now expanded to pamper adults, too. The new daydream blanket features four luxurious layers of aden + anais’ signature 100% breathable cotton muslin, and it’s the perfect size for lounging on the couch with a book, or providing a little extra warmth to you & your child as you read together before bedtime. Designed in true aden + anais style, the chic and subtle graphic prints make the daydream blanket a stylish throw to enhance any home décor.

Learn more about aden + anais and their extensive line of luxe baby essentials at adenandanais.com.

*Company generosuly provided samples and images for this piece.*

This scrumptious soup features butternut squash, which contains vital antioxidants and immunity boosting vitamins. Butternut squash also tops the charts for healthy choices because it is very low in calories and contains no saturated fats. So ladle up a bowl full for your family and friends, and eat it to your heart’s content!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Leek Soup with a Crostini

Ingredients

3 butternut squash, peeled, cut in half, seeded medium diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks – split lengthwise, rinse well
2 cups brown onion sliced thinly
4 garlic cloves – smashed
1/2 bunch basil
1/4 bunch thyme
1/4 bunch parsley stems
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Cheese cloth – see below
Crostini – sliced thin – see below

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place diced squash on pre heated oiled baking tray and roast about 30 – 35 minutes or until squash is soft.
In a large pot on medium heat add 1-tablespoon oil, onion, leek and cook for 10 – 12 minutes, add crushed
garlic and cook for an additional minute. Once you can smell the garlic add the roasted squash, chicken
broth, salt and pepper and cheesecloth.

Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. With tongs remove cheesecloth and squeeze herb broth into
your soup pot. In a blender purée the soup in batches until smooth. Reserve some broth so you can adjust to your desired thickness. Return the soup to a clean pot, bring to a simmer and adjust seasoning.

Serve in a soup bowl garnished with chopped basil and a crostini crisp.

Crostini: In a mixing bowl gently toss with olive oil salt and pepper. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 5 – 8 minutes.

Side note: Wash the herbs and tie in a piece of cheesecloth. This is the best way to infuse the flavor of the herbs so you can remove them.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Value: (Serving Size: 1 cup), 116 calories, 64 g. from fat, 9.8 g carbs, 1.2 fiber, 101mg sodium,
3.7 protien

*Recipe and image courtesy of Chris Brugler | Catering.*

Originally from Philadelphia, Chris Brugler has evolved his love of food into an esteemed business, which is now one of Los Angeles’ premier catering companies, Chris Brugler Catering. Brugler began crafting his creations while traveling the country working for the Ritz Carlton and later with private events within the estates of Beverly Hills. For more information, please visit www.chrisbruglercatering.com.

Mom” is crushing on the luxe, eco-fabulous gift sets from Noodle & Boo! Just the name alone evokes a smile! If you haven’t heard of this line, you are in for an eco-treat! The gift sets offer a variety of perfect products to pamper little ones as well as the new or expectant mom.

From body lotions, cleansing cloths, newborn gift sets and maternity products, Noodle & Boo offers essentials to keep skin soft, moisturized and supple the entire year. Noodle & Boo is the premier leader in luxury maternity and baby skin care. Made in the USA with the finest ingredients that are safe and gentle enough to be used on newborns and during pregnancy, the collection is also dermatologist and pediatrician-tested.

Mom” tried the Noodle & Boo Newborn Favorites Gift Set, which retails for $60. It contains a bevy of all-natural products for newborns and babies, and comes beautifully packaged, making it an excellent addition to any baby shower gift! The line can be found at Nordstroms, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor and Von Maur, as well as online at NoodleandBoo.com.

Noodle & Boo Newborn Favorites Gift Set contains:

Ultimate Cleansing Cloths

◦Cloths consisting of gentle cleansers and nourishing moisturizers that soothe and hydrate sensitive skin
◦Petal soft cloths are soaked in an ultra mild, all natural, no rinse solution
◦Alcohol free formula soothes and hydrates the skin with Vitamin E, aloe and chamomile
◦Film package with reseabable closure is ideal for travel and home use



Ultimate Ointment

◦Developed for cradle cap, eczema, and diaper rash, as well as cracked, ultra dry, and chapped skin
◦Creates a moisture repellent barrier between the skin and sources of irritation, helping to enhance the natural healing process
◦Pro Vitamin B and Vitamin E help to hydrate skin, bisabolol and allantoin help reduce redness and inflammation while zinc oxide protects and enhances the natural healing process
◦Fragrance and preservative free

Soothing Body Wash

◦Soap free and tearless formula rebalances skin’s pH while Pro Vitamin B and Vitamin E condition and moisturize skin
◦Soothes tender skin with allantoin and nutrient rich milk protein
◦Cleanses without stripping natural moisture
◦Can be poured directly into bath water to be used for a moisturizing soak

Extra Gentle Shampoo

◦High moisture, low suds formula shampoo with extra gentle bubbling agents
◦Nutrient rich milk protein nourishes and conditions the hair
◦Pro Vitamin B and E keep hair healthy and shiny
◦Tearless formula gently cleans and hydrates
◦Gently cleans fine hair and hydrates the delicate skin on the scalp

Super Soft Lotion

◦Sweet almond oil and Vitamins E and C moisturize leaving the skin sweetly supple
◦Natural formula hydrates and protects delicate skin
◦Provides a protective layer of natural antioxidants to help shield skin from environmental elements

To learn more about Noodle and Boo, and their smattering of all-natural product offerings, visit NoodleandBoo.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Looking for a gift that will be appreciated by the mama-to-be? This affordable, luxe little gift set is the perfect addition to any gift to pamper the expectant mother. The Mom & Baby Gift Set Sampler by Dr. Hauschka offers a selection of nourishing trial size remedies for both moms and their newborns, and can be used on all skin types. “Mom” is loving the Rose Body Moisturizer – keeps your little one smooth as silk, and it makes her hands soft, too! An affordable $27.50, the set can be found online at Hazel Wood Children’s online store. We’re pretty sure your shopping won’t end there though with all of the lovely natural and organic choices for the whole family!

The Mom & Baby Gift Set Includes:

Rose Day Cream: has natural soothing properties, making it perfect for changing time, protecting baby’s skin from dryness often caused by diapering or harsh weather conditions, a moisturizing emulsion after bath time

Rose Body Moisturizer: Featuring precious rose ingredients to wrap baby’s skin in protective warmth. Sensitive skin is hydrated and kept as soft as a rose petal

Rose Body Oil: Damask rose extract and essential oil balance and harmonize, soothing and calming irritated skin while helping to soothe the senses

Lavender Bath: Perfect for Baby & Bath. Lavender essential oil imparts soothing warmth to the skin, relaxing the body, easing the mind, calming skin sensitivities and visibly reducing redness

Hand Cream: Softens, protects, renews. A daily moisturizer for dry, overworked hands. Protects hands from cold, harsh conditions

Blackthorn Body Oil: Care For Moms. Provides warmth and protection while supporting elasticity. Helps minimize the appearance of stretch marks due to weight loss or gain

Dr. Hauschka is a 45 year old German based, holistic skincare line that is made from 100% organic and biodynamic plant based ingredients offering products that can be used for moms, dads and babies alike. The line is truly a step above all others in terms of handcrafted quality and ingredients. They have been nurturing plant and mineral extracts since the 1930s. Their pharmaceutical expertise joins over forty years of pioneering work in holistic esthetics to create the purest, most effective natural skin care preparations available.

*Samples generously provided by Hazel Wood Children.*

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop has created this fresh, lively salad that pairs pomegranate with cauliflower! Vegetarians can leave out the turkey bacon, or choose to use Smart Bacon instead.

Winter Roasted Cauliflower and Pomegranate Salad

Ingredients

3 oz baby arugula
¾ cup cauliflower, bite size pieces
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
1.5 oz turkey bacon (approximately 3 slices), chopped
¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 oz fresh lemon juice
4 oz pomegranate juice

Preparation

1. Add a pinch of olive oil, and salt and pepper to the cauliflower. Then roast the cauliflower in a 450 degree oven until al dente (approx. 10 minutes)
2. Reduce the pomegranate juice to a syrup by heating it over high heat
3. Mix all ingredients (except pomegranate reduction and crispy onions) and season with salt and pepper
4. Plate the salad, add the crispy onions, and drizzle the pomegranate syrup over the salad while still warm
5. ENJOY!

*Recipe and image courtesy of Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop.*

Flu season is in full swing, with influenza activity remaining elevated in the US! Though the risk of influenza is decreasing in some areas, it is still a good idea to keep your immune system in tip top shape! One good way to do so is with what Dr. Oz calls the “miracle berry” — sea buckthorn! This small berry boasts a multitude of health benefits, and is quickly becoming “Mom’s” go-to supplement for well-being!

A cherished Asian health and beauty secret, the sea buckthorn berry is well-known for its impressive nutritional profile which includes the rare Omega 7, as well as Omega 3, 6, and 9. In additionto the essential fatty acids, sea buckthorn contains a host of vitamins and minerals, super-charged anti-oxidants, and more than 190 phytonutrients to support the immune system during this brutal cold and flu season.

SeabuckWonders offers USDA certified-organic products that are available in gel tabs or oils, so they can easily be added to juices, smoothies, yogurt, salads and more. “Mom” prefers the Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil® in her morning smoothie – such an easy addition that her little one doesn’t notice!

To learn more about this small and mighty berry, visit seabuckwonders.com. The product line can be found online as well as natural retail stores nationwide.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Winter calls for a warm, hearty soup, like this delicious version of Tomato Basil Soup from the Whitestone Country Inn in Kingston, Tennessee!

Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients

1 Qt Heavy Cream (“Mom” prefers organic half & half)
1 15oz can of crushed or diced Tomatoes
1 15oz can of Tomato Sauce
1 Qt Water
1 Tbsp Chicken Base
1/2 Cup of Dried or Fresh Basil
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Cup Graded Parmesan Cheese
1 Tsp Granulated Garlic

Preparation

Bring water to a boil and add Chicken Stock. Add Tomato Sauce, Tomatoes, Basil, Salt & pepper. Thicken with a Roux or Cornstarch. Cook until thickened. Turn off heat and add cheese.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BNBFinder.com.*

Eliminate Your Children’s “Sneezes and Wheezes” this Winter

Most parents expect the winter months to lessen their children’s allergies because there’s no pollen in the air, but allergies still affect many kids this time of year because of what’s inside your home: cats, dogs, dust mites, mold and more.

Robin Wilson is CEO of Robin Wilson Home, an ambassador to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and has a hypoallergenic bedding line at Bed Bath and Beyond. She says most parents don’t realize that their home is probably making their kids sick, but there are simple solutions to help eliminate the “wheezes and sneezes.”

Here are 8 simple ways to make your home cleaner and safer which will help reduce asthma attacks and allergies this winter!

1. For allergy and asthma sufferers, make sure and use synthetic pillows over feathered ones, and anti-allergen or hypoallergenic pillow cases and covers. Wash your pillow case once a week, your pillow protector at least once a month and wash your pillow at least twice a year. Replace pillows every three years.

2. Don’t use a vinyl shower curtain because it holds mold more easily and off gases. Use a nylon curtain instead. It’s also less expensive.

3. Use non-VOC paints in your child’s bedroom which won’t off gas, leave an obnoxious paint odor and stir up asthma or allergies. It looks just as good on the wall as regular paint.

4. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting. Tile and hardwood floors are a much better choice, but must be vacuumed or cleaned on a regular basis to eliminate dirt and dust. Shake out and vacuum area rugs on a regular basis as well. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

5. Watch for mold in the dishwasher and refrigerator pan which can build up quickly in the kitchen.

6. One of the biggest trends today is eco-friendly cabinetry because it has no formaldehyde adhesives and is made with low VOC stains. Consider frameless cabinets which won’t collect as much dust.

7. Use slip covers on sofas and chairs which can be washed regularly to eliminate dirt and dust.

8. Keep pets out of your child’s bedroom and definitely don’t ever let them on the bed. Pets should be bathed often to reduce dander.

Crunch on this! For healthful noshing in the New Year to keep weight loss goals in check, Crunchies® natural snacks are the perfect alternative to a bag of potato chips! The freeze-dried fruits and vegetables keep adults and kids alike crunching on a wide variety of fruits and veggies! “Mom” is loving that there are only 100 calories or less per serving, and the crunch factor plus the fresh, tart fruit & vegetable taste is extremely tasty.

The Crunchies® line of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are free of additives, chemicals, preservatives or unhealthy ingredients, and come in convenient resealable for easy snacking anytime. These make great nutritious additions to your child’s lunchbox, too!

Why do we love Crunchies®?

No sugar added
No Preservatives
Gluten/Wheat Free
Kosher Certified
Non GMO
Approved by Weight Watchers
Fat free fruits; low fat veggies
Less than 100 calories per serving
Crunchies have a 24 month shelf life and are in resealable bags so they stay fresh after being opened

Crunchies® are available in four varieties, including Fruit Crunchies®, Veggie Crunchies®, Organic Crunchies® and Corn Crunchies®. In addition, they now have smaller Munch Paks available in the following fruit varieties: Cinnamon Apple, Mango, Mixed Fruit, Pear, Pineapple and Strawberry.

Not just for snacking on, Crunchies® can also be used in recipes, and the website offers an interesting recipe selection using Crunchies® for more fun in the kitchen!

To learn more about Crunchies®, please visit www.crunchiesfood.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that the brand new Tom’s of Maine Naturally Clean Toothbrush would soon be placed in there! Looking for healthier stocking stuffers this year? Alongside all those goodies and sweetss, consider adding Tom’s of Maine new Naturally Clean Toothbrush, a chemical-free option that’s good for your smile and for your world. “Mom” is a longtime fan of Tom’s of Maine products, and her young daughter only uses the Children’s Silly Strawberry to brush her teeth! The toothpaste is flouride-free, dye-free and all-natural, making it an excellent choice for little ones!

Why choose Tom’s of Maine new Naturally Clean Toothbrush?

•Natural benefits include a BPA-free and dye-free plant-based handle made from renewable castor oil plants and colored with mineral-based pigments.

•The toothbrush also performs with multi-height bristles to clean between teeth and along the gum line and an angled neck for accessing hard-to-reach areas.

•Consumers can recycle the toothbrush through the Natural Care Brigade created by Tom’s of Maine and TerraCycle, which recycles packaging that may otherwise end up in a landfill into useful products like picnic tables and park benches.

This season, give the gift of good dental hygiene – a welcome present for any age!

The Tom’s of Maine Naturally Clean Toothbrush can be found at TomsofMainestore.com and will be available at health and specialty retailers nationwide in January.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*