Heard of agave nectar, but just not sure how to use it or what it is? Chef Stephen Richards, author of Delicious Meets Nutritious and BetterBody Foods CEO, has developed Xagave, a complete sugar replacement, for all of your cooking, baking, and sweetening needs. What is Xagave? It is a low glycemic food (meaning it will not spike your blood sugar levels) that is a Premium Blend of Agave Nectar derived from organic Agave Salmiana (White Agave) and organic inulin from Agave Tequilana (Blue Agave). Certified USDA Organic, Xagave nectar contains no absolutely no artificial sweeteners or additives. In addition, it has been processed at very low temperatures so it qualifies as a raw food. Raw foodists everywhere will rejoice! For those who wish to incorporate Xagave into their daily life, delving into Delicious Meets Nutritious is a phenomenal resource! Filled with family favorites, such as Banana (Nut) Bread, Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes (who needs brown sugar?!), and Barbecue Chicken Pizza, Chef Stephen Richards introduces you to a whole new way of enjoying food without the added sugar and calories. In fact, you will not even miss it!

What “Mom” has found is that cooking with Xagave actually makes some of the normally drier baked goods, such as breads or cakes, much more moist and delectable. Her favorite so far? The Whole Wheat Carrot Pineapple Cake! YUM!

To learn more about the health benefits of Xagave, or to order a copy of Delicious Meet Nutritious, which currently arrives with a free 25 oz. bottle of Xagave, please visit www.xagave.com.

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

Lightly sweetened with Xagave rather than sugar, this side dish is kid-friendly and ready in minutes!

Xagave Glazed Carrots

Ingredients

1 lb. fresh baby or young carrots

½ cup water

1 tbsp. butter

¼ cup Xagave

¼ tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preparation

Place water and carrots in sauce pan, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain water, add butter, and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add remainder of ingredients and cook while stirring for 2-3 minutes.

*Image and recipe courtesy of Delicious Meets Nutritious.*

Mamas & Papas® has made its’ debut stateside! Britain’s favorite brand will soon be yours, as well! Mamas & Papas® offers families a wonderful array of baby gear – from high-quality strollers, lightweight strollers, high chairs, bouncers, travel accessories, whimsical toys, and more!

If you are seeking a stroller that literally pops right out of the box, ready for a walk around the block with your little one, look no further than the Trip Umbrella Stroller! With no wheels to attach or parts to put together, this extremely lightweight, stylish stroller holds up to 50 lbs, and folds up and down in a flash, making it a top pick for parents! What “Mom” loves about the Trip Umbrella Stroller (besides its’ bold Blueberry color!) is its’ wide seat, which is simply perfect for growing children.

The Trip Umbrella Stroller includes a removable canopy, breathable mesh seat, lockable front swivel wheels, all-round wheel suspension, adjustable back rest and leg rest for your child’s comfort, plus a five-point fixed safety harness. Mamas & Papas® has thought of everything – the Trip even comes prepared with a rain cover to match!

The Trip Umbrella Stroller is available in 3 brilliant colors, including Cherry, Blueberry, and Apple, and retails for $129.99. For more information on the complete line of products by Mamas & Papas®, or to order, please visit BabiesRUs.com.

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

Most of us want to help the environment by “Going Green” to make it a better world for ourselves and our children. However, I believe some do not practice good “green” habits because they think it is too complicated and time consuming. Not the case.

You don’t have to go to extremes to be green. Just by doing some basic, simple things, you can contribute.

A Busy Mom’s Guide to Going Green Without Going Crazy

by Audrey Cupo

Besides recycling (see Audrey Cupo’s future blog called “How To Create A Recyling Station”), you can:

Stop buying bottled water. Did you know that some bottled water is actually bottled municipal tap water? Few people can tell the difference, anyway. Bottled water is more expensive than gasoline and 250 to 10,000 times more than tap water. If you do buy some bottles, then be sure to recycle them.

Check those faucets. Office workers alone use enough water every day to fill 17,500 olympic-sized pools! Much of it comes from leaky faucets. Here’s a statistic – a leaky faucet that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes will waste approximately 3,000 gallons of water a year! While you’re at it, check the outside faucets as well, especially since they were exposed over the winter months.

Use cold water. When doing your laundry, try to wash your clothes in cold water whenever possible. Heating water is the #1 energy consumer in many homes. And while you’re at it, use an outdoor or even indoor clothesline to dry your clothes whenever possible. I always use an indoor drying rack for my delicates and special fabrics. You can dry them on the line and then just pop them into the dryer on a low setting for a few minutes just to get rid of wrinkles and make them softer. This will keep the clothes from wearing out and fading so quickly as well, saving you money!

BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag. Instead of using the plastic or paper grocery bags the next time you go shopping, bring canvas bags. You can purchase them inexpensively at most grocery stores these days. Remember, it takes one 15-20 year old tree to make enough paper for only 700 grocery bags! And, although plastic is convenient, they are not biodegradable. They can only be recycled so many times!

Turn off your screen saver; unplug your TV. The EPA has estimated that using a computer “sleep mode” reduces its energy consumption by 60% to 70%! So, please turn off your monitor when you are not using it. At the same time, consider unplugging your tv or using a power strip with a manual on/off switch. Most TVs, DVD players, game systems and stereo receivers use electricity because they are placed in “standby” mode when you shut them off. They are not really “off”. However, keep your VCR, DVR or cable box on the regular outlet so it will not lose its programming.

Use a ceiling fan. Some manufacturers have suggested that a ceiling fan can save up to 40% on summer cooling costs and up to 10% on winter heating costs. Sometimes, all you need is a light breeze to cool the room in the Spring and Summer and by reversing the fans in the Fall and Winter, you are drawing the heat down to the floor, thereby saving energy.

You should find these tips easy to implement. Just by doing these simple things, you to can start to go green!

Audrey Cupo is a full-time Professional Organizer and sole proprietor of A BETTER SPACE based in Bucks County, PA. She specializes in residential organizing and focuses her business on helping busy moms and women entrepreneurs get organized with her in-home services and her U Can Do It product line. To sign up for her free monthly newsletter “Organizing News You Can Use”, go to www.4abetterspace.com.

*Image provided by Repax Reusable Bags.*

This fresh, tropical sorbet recipe calls for an ice-cream maker, so it may be best to borrow one if you do not currently own one. Make sure to invite the lender on over for a tasting party once the sorbet is ready!

Lychee-Coconut Sorbet with Mango and Lime

Recipe by Chef Stephen Sands, CEO

Culinaria Cooking School, www.culinariacookingschool.com

Ingredients

1 20-ounce can of lychees in syrup

2 cups well-blended sweetened cream of coconut (preferably Coco Lopez brand)

3 T. fresh-squeezed lime juice

2 large firm-ripe mangos, peeled and sliced

1 T. superfine sugar

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

Preparation

Drain the lychees, reserving the syrup, then puree the lychees, cream of coconut (do not use coconut milk or coconut cream), 3 cups of the lychees syrup, and 2 T. lime juice in a bender until smooth.

Place the lychees/coconut mixture together into ice-cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

While the sorbet is churning, toss together the mango, lime zest, sugar, and remaining (1-2 T.) lime juice to taste.

Serve scoops of sorbet over the macerated mango slices.

*Recipe courtesy of Chef Stephen Sands, CEO Culinaria Cooking School, www.culinariacookingschool.com

*Image by Shutterstock.com*

For the month of October, Earth Mama Angel Baby is offering 25 percent off their Happy Mama Body Wash (one of “Mom’s” favorites!), as well as their Natural Stretch Oil and Peaceful Mama Tea. These pure, USDA Certified Organic goodies are safe for both mommy and baby! Visit Earth Mama Angel Baby to take advantage of this special.

*Image provided by Earth Mama Angel Baby. This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

Feel simply luxurious in one of Marigold Fair Trade’s Organic Chaela Tops! This breezy, flowing top is great as a cover-up over your yoga clothing, or just alone, dressed up with a silky scarf or chunky necklace.

In addition to their brightly colored, flattering Chaela Tops, Marigold Fair Trade offers a complete line of clothing, with everything from dresses, jackets, skirts, and yoga-inspired items. For those seeking sustainable clothing options, by making a purchase from Marigold Fair Trade Clothing you are empowering a disadvantaged woman to make herself more economically self-sufficient. Since 2004, this phenomenal company has been working with a co-op of over 200 women from the slums of Mumbai, India and an association of 5000 organic cotton farmers to create stylish, high-quality fair trade clothing and housewares that are available for purchase online.

For more information on Marigold Fair Trade Clothing, and their programs, please visit www.marigoldfairtradeclothing.com. You will simply fall in love with their mission and their planet-friendly clothing line!

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

A hint of sweetness makes these biscuits created by the Recipe for Success Culinary Team absolutely delectable this Fall! Kid-friendly, these whip in no time!

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Orange Honey Spread

(Yield 6-8 Biscuits)

Ingredients

For the Biscuits

1 C cooked sweet potato

2 ½ C all-purpose flour

1/3 C whole wheat flour

1 t cinnamon

1 t baking powder

½ t baking soda

½ t salt

1/3 C butter, very cold

½ C fat free milk (“Mom” prefers organic)

3 T honey

As needed flour

As needed milk

For the Spread

1 C low fat cream cheese

2 T honey

1 T orange zest

1 t vanilla

1 T fresh orange juice

Make the Biscuits

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl. Mash with a fork.

In a mixing bowl add the flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. These are the dry ingredients. Stir the dry ingredients together with a fork or clean hands.

Add the butter and squish the butter in between your fingertips. Keep squishing

until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add the sweet potatoes, milk and honey. Mix until just combined.

Sprinkle flour onto the work space. Place dough on top of flour.

Roll the dough with a rolling pin into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.

Fold the dough like a letter- fold the top 1/3 into the center. Then fold the

bottom 1/3 on top. Roll dough out again into a square. Cut out 16 pieces.

Place biscuits onto a baking sheet.

Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with milk.

Place in the oven. Bake for 15 min or until golden.

Make the Spread

Place all ingredients in the food processor. Pulse until combined. Serve the biscuits with the spread.

*Recipe and image courtesy of the www.recipe4success.org

“Mom” is over the moon – her 2nd article was featured on the super popular SheKnows.com today! Please stop by to read the article on Eco-Friendly Holiday Fashion, and browse throughout this awesome, informative site for women. Read the entire article here.

*Image provided by JustJen.com.*

Carry all of baby’s necessities in eco-friendly style with the World Peace Eco Tote from Amy Michelle! This roomy bag shows moms’ eco-conscious side, and features a plethora of pockets for keeping everything neat and tidy while out and about with baby. The World Peace Eco-Tote is made from 11 recycled plastic bottles and 8.5 oz of reused fabric, making it a planet-friendly gal’s dream.

What “Mom” loves about this diaper bag is that it can also be carried by Dad! With an adjustable shoulder strap, the World Peace Eco Tote offers parents a bag that they can both share when caring for baby, in a style that suits everyone. It can also be strapped to a stroller, if needed.

Unique features of the World Peace Eco Tote include:

Baby’s Section

  • Changing pad (21″ x 14″) – Remove padding to wash lining
  • 2 Internal & 2 external bottle pockets (baby or water bottles)
  • Quick release pacifier holder
  • 5 pockets for maximum organization
  • Compartments for diapers, wipes, and bottles
  • Stroller attachments included

Parent’s Section:

  • Top zipper closure
  • Zip closure outside front pocket with cell phone pocket
  • Adjustable shoulder strap (can convert to quick backpack)
  • Easy to find key ring
  • Bright lining with recycled symbol
  • Monogramming available

To learn more about Amy Michelle, to view their other styles, or to order a World Peace Eco Tote, please visit www.amymichelle.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for review.*