Bring the Garden Home with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day

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as you know, i love gardening. the boys and i go to our community garden plot in the garden to water and look over the plants to make sure there are no bugs or disease on them. We even get to pick ripe vegetables and fruit to enjoy…the best part of having a garden! it’s rewarding and fun for all of us for sure, and we have learned a lot from the experience. the garden is my happy place, where i can forget about whatever else is going on in life and get lost in the beauty of nature. i am very passionate about gardening, so i am super excited to be partnering with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® this year to celebrate “Plant Something Day”.

Did you know May 19th was Plant Something Day? what better way to celebrate, than to actually #plantsomething? Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® is encouraging you to get your hands dirty in the garden. from May 9 to June 5,  for every order on MrsMeyers.com, Meyer’s Clean Day® will donate $5, towards a $10,000 donation, to the American Community Garden Association to help grow new community gardens across the country.

the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA), is a non-profit organization of volunteers, professionals and supporters working in support of community greening in rural and urban areas across the United States. its mission is to build communities by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across the United States and Canada. they actually inspired our family to start gardening! we first met the ACGA at their booth at our community fair and they taught us how to get started. we now have 4 large garden plots that we take care of and grow veggies and fruits all year long.
our plants are sprouting well this season, and once summer arrives, things will be growing at a faster rate. we are very excited for harvesting season. this is our first time planting basil tape, and hope to have an abundance of fresh basil herb. it is known for its uncanny ability to ease the nerves and perk up the senses….and mostly, i just love to eat it on my pizza.

i always love to be reminded of my garden, even when i’m cleaning. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® products  were inspired by Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer, an Iowa homemaker and mother of nine. every fragrance is a scent inspired by a Midwest backyard garden. these amazing cleaning products are a great choice for people who are concerned about the environmental effects of conventional cleaning products.

they definitely are some of my favorite products to use. their fragrances smell like the garden and provide an aromatherapeutic experience while you clean! a combination of natural essential oils and safe synthetic ingredients have created these garden-inspired fragrances. plus, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® is a certified cruelty-free company for our no animal testing policy. they do not test their products or ingredients on animals, nor are their products made with animal-derived ingredients which is very important to me. their products have all these amazing qualities, as well as they pack a punch against daily dirt and grime. i hope that you are inspired to plant something this time of year! i know that for our family, it has been a great treat to experience the amazing way nature works in our garden – from flowers, to vegetables to the little critters we come across. it’s a rewarding experience that my boys will hopefully always learn from and remember.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day®.

Exploring Balboa Beach with the Family and Crocs

last week, we had spent the entire weekend running around – there had been no real down time for our family. i looked around and the house was a mess, i really didn’t know what to make for dinner, and the kids were annoying each other.  i knew we needed to get out of the house and head to a happy place to get some fresh air, and clear our minds for the upcoming busy week. for many of us Southern Californians, that place is the beach. so that’s what we did. the boys threw on some clothes, grabbed some sand toys and towels…just the essentials, and their brand new shoes. i recently teamed up with my friends at Zappos x Crocs, so we had just received a delivery of new Crocs. now you may be thinking…what? CROCS?!!!! because, you’ve never seen any of my kids wearing Crocs before. but it’s true. Crocs have changed. there are now more styles to choose from….really cute ones. they are durable for my busy boys, with bright colors even my tween and teen love. and since they are easy to clean, they make a great choice for beach trips.

we piled in the car, picked up a couple of pizzas on our way down to the beach. Balboa Beach in Newport Beach was where we decided to go. i like Balboa Beach because it has a nice boardwalk, the pier, there is a nice playground on the sand, a grassy area where the boys can run, and if you need a little more entertainment, you can easily walk over to Balboa Fun Zone for some more fun or to ride the ferry.

i must say, we had a great evening together. i really love living in Orange County and having access to the beautiful beaches….and the best weather. check out some of our photos from our evening. don’t forget to check out our shoes…aren’t they so different from what you expect Crocs to look like!

for Vann, i got him the Crocs Kids Bump It Shoes. i really liked the two-toned look, and thought they would look great with a lot of his outfits. the slip on aspect is perfect for him, and makes getting ready easier for the entire family.

my shoes are the Crocs Isabella Mini Wedge in Coral. i prefer a wedge shoe for my feet, and something that is very comfortable. these are great…nice and cushy, and they come in four colors. my older boys love bright colored shoes, so i got the Crocs Citilane Roka Slip Ons. what i love about Crocs is the material they are made of is completely washable…so with my boys stinky feet, they are easily washed and don’t absorb the odor. they are also great for running up and along the pier. my hubby is really digging his Crocs. he got the Santa Cruz style, which are perfect for casual and dressy casual. i consider them true Southern California style!
one of our favorite parts of Balboa Beach is the playground. there are swings, slides, a jungle gym and this giant spider web that the kids can climb.  and bringing pizza to the beach was the best idea. it travels well, takes great whether its hot or cold, and it doesn’t require utensils. i couldn’t have asked for an easier dinner. i’m just grateful i didn’t have to cook. we ended the evening dipping our toes in the sand and sitting together on the lifeguard stand watching the waves.

heading to the beach that evening ended up being the perfect cure to the weekend blues. there’s just something about the fresh smell of the ocean and crashing waves. plus, all of us are really loving our new Crocs shoes. there are a wide array of Crocs styles and colors available on Zappos.com, so go check out the new styles. Zappos’ promises fast, free shipping, 365 day return policy, and world class customer service.

our new Crocs are a big hit…i can see us wearing them for lots of more adventures in Orange County. i hope that we have inspired you to also #FindYourFun with the whole family.  sometimes you need to just get out and have some fun….forget about your messy house or the millions of things that need to get done. you’ll be glad you did!

{This post is sponsored by Zappos and Crocs. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. }

 

How to Make at Gourmet Cheese Platter at ALDI

This post is sponsored by ALDI. a couple of weeks ago, i went to a special ‘Taste of ALDI’ event in Santa Ynez, where i was able to learn more about the ALDI brand. i left the event feeling very excited about all the possibilities of things i could create with the foods offered at ALDI. if you have never heard of ALDI, i wrote a very informative blog post about ALDI here. they just opened a bunch of stores here in Southern California, which is very exciting. so now, i can create some of the amazing food dishes that i got to enjoy at the ‘Taste of ALDI’ event.

one thing that impressed me about ALDI, was their selection of cheeses and meats. they really are your one-stop-shop when it comes to food for entertaining. during the event, we were offered this amazing cheese platter filled with unique cheeses and meats. we were also offered wine that paired perfectly with the cheeses and some great appetizers. and although i don’t drink…i can tell you that everyone was raving about the wine.

i was so inspired by the cheese platter, that i thought i would share how you could create your own using products from ALDI. summer is coming up, which means summer barbecues and dinner parties. offering your guests a cheese and meat platter like this is the perfect way to begin the entertaining.

ALDI has so many products that can be used on a cheese platter. after walking the aisles at ALDI, i ended up with all these great items that i thought would be perfect on a cheese platter. some of them are standard items you will find at ALDI, some of them are ALDI Finds, which are items that are only available for a limited time. they are specials for a limited time, so if you see them and like them, you better get them fast before they are gone. from specialty cheeses, to salami and meats, to crackers, to dried fruit and nuts, ALDI had everything i needed to make a fabulous cheese platter. check out what i bought…

look at the cheeses! here are just some of the great varieties i found – Happy Farms Preferred Brie Cheese, Specially Selected Aged Reserve White Cheddar, Specially Selected Gouda Cheese, Specially Selected Creamy Havarti…which also had dill and jalapeño flavors, Specially Selected Garden Vegetable & Sweet Basil, and Specially Selected Pepperoni Marinara which tastes like pizza! plus, the prices were amazing. almost all of them were under $3. i probably don’t need to tell you this, but i love cheese….so this made me really excited.
now to create the cheese platter, all i did was place the different cheeses on a nice cutting board. if you don’t have one, check out the ALDI Finds aisle in ALDI…you may find one. i got a nice circular slate platter at ALDI that would make a great cheese plate. but for this summery cheese board, i thought a wood one would be best.

after i laid the cheese out on the board, i filled in the open spaces with nuts, dried fruits, olives, salami and crackers. fresh fruit would also be great on the platter. ALDI has great fresh produce, so be sure to check it out. you can put the nuts directly on the board, or in little dishes like i did. i also cut some of the cheese into bite sized pieces and added some toothpicks. ALDI had some yummy Specially Selected Blackberry Fruit Spread on sale, i knew it was yummy because i tried it at the event. i decided to drizzle it over the creamy brie. the preserves and the brie complement each other, and can be served with crackers or apple slices. i really love how my board turned out. so much goodness on one plate!

here is what my cheese platter ended up looking like. i can’t wait to make one for my next party. and these cheeses and other items aren’t just for entertaining. my boys have loved them in their lunches. i just cut the cheese into bite-sized pieces, include some crackers and salami, and they have a great snack for school. ALDI is a great place to shop when you are looking for unique items for entertaining. i will definitely be visiting often this summer to stock up on all the great food products…i love hosting summer dinners with friends, and it’s always nice to have something for them to snack on while they are waiting for the food to finish on the barbecue. plus, i can also purchase everything i need for dinner at ALDI. best of all, i will be saving money, prices at ALDI are amazing! especially considering the high quality of their products. i am so happy that ALDI has made their way to California.

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Magical Unicorn Bagels Found in Orange County

when you love rainbow things as much as i do, and you find out they are selling amazing rainbow bagels at a bagel store in Orange County….you have to go check them out. Bagels & Brew just started selling Unicorn Bagels and i am over the moon. i spotted beautiful colored bagels like these ones in the photos of New York foodies on Insagram. i’d planned that next time i was in New York, i was going to get one. but when i found out that i could now get them near home i was pretty excited. the boys and i just had to try them out!
Bagels & Brew has three locations in Orange County – Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest and Mission Viejo. so if you have a Unicorn Bagel craving, there are a few to choose from. they are the neighborhood bagel and coffee spot, and sell not only bagels and coffee, but drinks, treats, cakes, smoothies, burgers, sandwiches, breakfast and more.

but the Unicorn Bagels and the most colorful item on the menu. and they didn’t disappoint. surprisingly, they taste just like a plain bagel. which is how we love our bagels. they are just as colorful on the inside and the outside, and you can top them off with any kind of cream cheese you would like. they boys chose birthday cake cream cheese with rainbow confetti sprinkles, with made our Unicorn bagels taste like dessert.
and while were were there, we decided to try out some of Bagels & Brew’s newest creations. Pizza Bagels with mini pepperoni and the Elvis Bagel with peanut butter, bananas and bacon!!!!! they also just created some new sweet cream cheese smeers including Birthday Cake, Oreo, Cookie Butter, S’mores, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel and Toffee Caramel Crunch. yum yum yum! 
the boys and i are always looking for fun treats to try around Orange County, and these magical Unicorn Bagels didn’t disappoint. the bright rainbow colors leave a smile on your face!

be sure to get you rainbow Unicorn Bagel when you are in the area! i recommend with plain cream cheese.

Helping My Kids Feel Their Best With OLLY Kids Gummy Vitamins | Giveaway

as parents we are constantly worried that our children are getting the right nutrition. it’s not always easy to know if they are getting the right vitamins and minerals in their diets. i personal do all that i can to make sure my boys are getting the best quality foods, but now that they are older, i can’t always be with them at every meal. i don’t have control over how much of their school lunches they eat. i’ve tried to help them appreciate good and healthy food – including planting a large garden that provides our family fruits and vegetables. the boys help me water and weed it every afternoon, and they find joy in seeing the plants grow and then getting to eat them. however, this produce isn’t always enough. luckily, i can supplement their diets with vitamins. which makes me happy to have partnered with Olly Kids Vitamin Boosts – a new kind of vitamins for kids that parents can feel good about giving to their kids!

recently, i have become very interested in finding the right vitamins for my boys. one of them has become very picky and almost tortures himself not to eat because he’s afraid he won’t like certain foods. it’s been frustrating, and i did bring it up to his pediatrician. i asked her if i should be giving him vitamins, and she told me it was a good idea that all my kids be given them, just to make sure they are getting the right amount in their diets. after looking around, i was happy to be introduced to  Olly Kids Vitamin Boosts. they are new to the OLLY line of vitamins and there are a bunch of reasons why i really like them. the newly released Olly Kids Vitamin Boosts come in 4 smart options ranging from “Super Brainy” to “Happy Tummy” that cater to your little one’s individual needs.

you can mix and match and choose the option of OLLY that is right for your child. besides Olly Kids Multi + Omega, Kids Super Food Multi and Kids Multi Probiotic multi vitamins, there are special formulas. whether you need a little more calcium or some immunity boosters, there’s a variety to fit everyone’s needs.

just one serving of Kids Growing Bones has as much calcium as an average serving of dairy, plus a boost of Vitamin D to help make the most of it. (Average serving taken from calcium provided by yogurt, cheese, and milk.) your are building a healthy body from the inside out with every bite gummy. now you’ll just miss the milk mustache.

Kids Happy Tummy has an expert blend of prebiotics and probiotics plus soothing peppermint. it  nurtures a healthy ecosystem inside, so they can play outside. think easy does it when it comes to maintaining healthy digestion and smooth moves? thanks to a special combo of the good guy bacteria, Bacillus coagulans, and prebiotic FOS. * It’s belly beneficial. and Kids Super Brainy  is tummy-friendly and fishy-taste-free! it delivers the mega Omegas little ones need to thrive, including Choline, an essential B Vitamin, and superstar wild blueberry balance out this blend, so their health and development is supported from head to toe.

Kids Mighty Immunity is packed with the good stuff from Acerola Cherry to Zinc, its formulated to help support little immune systems in the biggest way. it helps to keep kids healthy and happy year-round…so you can give winter the cold shoulder.
the best part is that my boys love the vitamins, and there’s now fighting to get them to take them. Olly Kids gummies get their uniquely delicious flavors and vibrant colors from all natural sources, derived from fruits, vegetables and herbs. it’s great knowing that your kids aren’t getting added artificial dyes and sweetners in their vitamins. plus, it’s okay to take a variety. OLLY is a complete system of products designed for use in combination with one another to help you address your daily needs and achieve your own personal health goals..

Olly vitamins are helping my boys to feel their very best. whether it be at school, going to dance class, swim team or playing in the garden. knowing that i can give my kids OLLY Kids Vitamin Boosts to make sure they get the best nutrition and the most energy makes me on happy momma. and i must say, my boys love them too!

wanna try OLLY Kids for yourself AND enter to win a bunch of awesome prizes?!!!!  enter the OLLY Up, Up, and Away Giveaway and have a chance  to win over $1,000 in prizes for super kids and their super moms + dads’:

  • A year supply of your choice of two OLLY Kids Wellness Boosts 
  • $250 gift card to Tea Collection to keep them suited up in style.
  • $500 gift card to Target for all the gadgets and gear needed to keep their day action-packed.
  • $100 gift card to Starbucks so you can keep up as their trusty sidekick.
  •  And a year supply of method cleaning products so you can transform their super world back into your home.

Click here to enter the OLLY Up, Up, and Away Giveaway!

 

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own! }