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Monday, March 2, 2015

Yummy Mummy Monday: Gluten Free Dairy Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Since we've had to take gluten & dairy out of Ari's diet I've been on the hunt for yummy treats and snacks that I can make for her. Rather than stuffing our cupboards with all of the store- bought options (many of which seem to be quite high in sugar and/ or other ingredients that don't really strike me as healthy) I'm trying to make my own that a) don't taste like cardboard and b) are packed with nutrients. A little while ago a friend of mine served up some of her own healthy homemade oatmeal raisin cookies and Ari pounced on them (gluten and all). So I took her hint and decided to tempt her with my own version sans dairy & gluten. Low in sugar and high in fibre, these cookies are like granola bars in cookie form. They're such a hit I've been making them in double batches & plan on making a monster batch to freeze to have on hand for when baby #2 arrives.


Yummy Mummy Recipe: Gluten Free Dairy Free Raisin Cookies 

Makes 12- 15 cookies 
Ingredients:
1 cup gluten free oats
3/4 cup gluten free flour 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 large egg (swap in a half cup of apple sauce if you're allergic)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 genuine maple syrup or honey (or try a ripe mashed banana)
1/2 cup raisins (dried cranberries would be good too)
Optional:
1 tbsp flax seeds

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix the dry ingredients in one large mixing bowl; mix the wet ingredients in another bowl & then combine, working out any lumps.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & scoop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto the sheet about an inch apart.
4. Bake for 12- 14 minutes or until the cookies just start to turn golden brown.
5. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring.

What's your favourite combo for cookies? I'd love to hear your ideas for different variations to try. :)

For more recipes- with lots of gluten and dairy free options- check out the blog's Yummy Mummy Recipes page.

March posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting


Friday, February 27, 2015

Amazing Mom: Jamie Moore, The Little Moore Shop {+ Promocode & Giveaway!}

"If there's something 
you love to do 
why not try 
and make something of it?"

If you're having a baby or are shopping for one, it's safe to say that there are so many cute options out there. How do you choose??? (Hint: sometimes you can't & just have to buy one of everything! ;) ). While it's fun shopping in the larger stores at the mall I'm finding that there are so many amazing local brands with adorable quality products that I'd much rather buy from & support. One of these local brands is  The Little Moore Shop, which sells a variety of items for your little one including leggings, moccs, and bibs, to name a few. The owner, Jamie, started it up when she was searching for a way to earn an income working at home while her kids are young. Isn't that the ind of business you'd like to support & see succeed? Here's a little bit about the lovely Jamie & The Little Moore Shop...

A little bit about Jamie
After being a stay at home mom for 4 months I decided I needed to do something to help with the finances as I am pregnant again with baby #3. I am a certified teacher and love what I do, but where I am in my life right now I feel like this is where I am supposed to be. Starting The Little Moore Shop allows me to be there for my family.


How did you decide to start The Little Moore Shop?
I was encouraged by friends and family to start my own business selling all the baby things I love to make as gifts.  In August 2014 I opened Moore Craft Creations and changed the name to The Little Moore Shop this January. I wanted to give the shop a more chic name to appeal to the customers I'm trying to reach.

What kind of products do you sell?
I offer homemade sewed baby leggings, baby leather moccasins, baby bibs and bibdanas, infinity scarfs, and crocheted baby hats. Most of the products in the shop range from $10.00 -$35.00.


How did you decide to open the shop?
I started researching fads and trends for babies and began designing my own baby leggings and moccasins as they are really popular. From there The Little Moore Shop has taken off!!!

What is your favourite thing about having your own business? What is the biggest challenge?
My favourite part of what I do is being able to stay at home with my 2 little girls and still help out with finances.  The biggest challenge is putting a hold on my career as a certified teacher, since I really love what I do. But having The Little Moore Shop allows me to be there for my kids & contribute financially. 



Any advice to other ladies/ moms looking to start their own business?

If there's something you love to do, why not try and make something of it?

I hope you'll check out Jamie's 

Did you love all the cutie items in the post & want to support this Amazing Mama? Jamie is generously offering an outfit for your favourite little lady or man from The Little Moore Shop (a $75 value!). Hop over to the blog's Contests page to enter!

PLUS Jamie is offering TPB readers an exclusive discount: Receive 10% off you entire purchase for the two weeks of March (March 1- 14). Enter promocode (SS2015) at checkout to receive your discount. 







Make sure to visit The Little Moore Shop on Etsy to shop all of Jamie's adorable wares! Plus find the shop on Facebook & Instagram: @TheLittleMooreShop to stay in the know about her upcoming products.





Images & logo courtesy of Jamie Moore, The Little Moore Shop

February posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting




Monday, February 23, 2015

Yummy Mummy Monday: Mexican Quinoa by Everything's Better Sprouted

This last week Malika from Everything's Better Sprouted & I did a post swap. I traded her a DIY project  (see that here!) for one of her mouth- watering recipes and she didn't disappoint! Healthy, tasty, and quick to make (and delicious as leftovers!), this recipe is a winner all around for busy week nights. This is one talented lady in the culinary department and she's in training to become a health coach, so you know that she's got some great ideas that pack a healthy punch. It's been a lot of fun working with her and our family LOVED this dish! 

A little intro about this recipe from Malika:
I love quinoa! It's super easy to cook and it takes on the flavour of any seasoning you want. Quinoa is now on the list of "Super Foods" which might make it even more appealing. ;) Did you know that quinoa is full of fibre, iron, and zinc and is also a complete protein?! I love its nutty flavour and it's also a hit with my 5 year old son. Plus it cooks in just 15 minutes! It's great in a cold salad or used as a side to complete a meal. If you haven't tried quinoa yet this recipe is sure to make you fall in love! 


Yummy Mummy Recipe: Mexican Quinoa
Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
35 mins

Author: Malika
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS
§  1 cup of quinoa (rinsed)
§  1 cup of organic corn (I used frozen)
§  1 can of pureed organic tomatoes
§  1 can of black beans (rinsed)
§  1 cup of vegetable stock
§  ½ tsp cumin
§  1 tsp olive oil
§  1 clove of garlic, crushed
§  ½ tsp chill powder
§  ½ lemon or lime
§  2 tbs freshly chopped cilantro
§  1 ripe avocado
§  Optional: Goat cheese mozzarella or daiya vegan cheese to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large pot or pan sauté the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Now add your chill powder and cumin and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes, stock, quinoa, corn and black beans, bring to a boil with the lid on and then turn the heat down to simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Remove the quinoa form the stove, all the liquid should be absorbed. Add the cilantro, lemon juice and avocado.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese and enjoy!
(Tip: Use the leftovers as nacho topping!) 

A huge thank you to Malika for this yummy recipe! 
Make sure to check her out over on 


Malika Smith is the Blogger behind Everything's Better Sprouted. A mother, foodie, and health coach in training, she's passionate about eating real whole food that tastes good! It's hard to know what is and isn't good for you with all the fad diets these days,  and Malika uses her blog to help guide and inspire you to live your healthiest life. To learn more about Everything's Better Sprouted, hop over to the website & find her blog on social media: Facebook, TwitterInstagram, & Pinterest

You can also contact Malika via email at: malika@everythingsbettersprouted.com.


Logo & photo courtesy of Malika Smith, Everything's Better Sprouted






Friday, February 20, 2015

Why I'm Making My Makeup Bag Natural + Review with Elate Cosmetics

I met Melodie from Elate Cosmetics at last year's Modern Family Expo  (renamed the Healthy Family Expo for 2015) and enjoyed chatting with her about natural beauty products and the challenge we face to find natural, chemical- free options that actually work. Makeup has been one of my biggest challenges when it comes to going green because I've had staples in my makeup bag for years that I've grown used to and love. But I'm over the science- lab worthy list of ingredients and am replacing my drugstore brands with natural alternatives. I was really excited when I got the chance to work with Melodie & her line of natural cosmetics that are cruelty & chemical free, organic, and vegan. 

Melodie generously sent me Elate's Essential Mascara & Universal Cream for lips & cheeks to try & I was interested to see how these natural options stood up to their chemical- laden counterparts. The company has a goal to "empower women to make healthy choices and use the best possible products for their daily ritual"and I can definitely get behind a brand with a mantra like that. So, out with my tube of mascara & compact of blush and in with these products!

Let the fun begin!


First up:

Elate Essential Mascara ($20 CAD)
Product details: Great for those with sensitive eyes; gluten free & water resistant. The teddy bear brush "makes application a breeze and gives full, longer lashes".



If I was stranded on a desert island and could only pick one makeup product it would be mascara. I used to go through a tube of the stuff in a month or two. I love how it can open up your eyes and really finish off your look. But I hate knowing that the black goop I'm layering on my lashes is laced with chemicals- and that stuff is flaking and running into my eyes! Not the most comforting thought, but I've had a hard time giving up my big brand mascara because I haven't found a natural brand that delivers the body & length that I was looking for. I also struggle with the cost, since the natural products are more than double what I pay for my big brand tube, and this was especially frustrating when I wasn't happy with the result. Enter Elate's Essential Mascara.


Not only does it act like any of the regular mascaras I've used over the years, it only took 2 coats for me to get the length & body that I was seeking for my daytime makeup. (I add another coat or 2 for an evening out, date night, etc). I love the way this mascara coats lashes to make them look fuller & longer without looking gloppy & caked- on. The brush does a great job of coating & separating lashes while adding volume.

On that note it's important to mention the shape of this brush. Over the years I've experimented with mascaras with all variations of bristles & shapes. Some definitely work better than others and I'm all about length & volume. I want a mascara that delivers, but even a good formula is no good if the brush doesn't do it's job. The 'teddy bear' brush that Elate uses is a good shape for achieving the results I'm looking for & I like the bristle style (I've used some mascaras with plastic, comb- like brushes & they just weren't for me). 


When it came time to removing the mascara I noted 2 things: there was no flaking at the end of the day (a major pet peeve of mine) and it washed off easily with warm water and soap. With several coats of mascara I was pleased that no makeup remover or abrasion was necessary to take it off. Back to au natural! ;) 

Second up:

Universal Cream (for cheeks & lips) $20 CAD
Product details: This cream blush contains lemongrass essential oil & adds a soft, natural flush. The shape is designed to glide easily along your cheekbone.


As a fair- skinned girl I have to be very careful with the colours I use on my face as it doesn't take much for me to look like I've had a bad day at the beach. I have natural pink undertones, which can have their charm, but make it so that whatever powders & creams I put on my face tread a careful line between highlighting my features & making me look like a drag queen (just saying!). I've learnt what colours work well for me and 'Bliss' was the perfect warm peachy colour for me (thanks Melodie!).

I started out with my moisturizer & mineral powder as a base/ foundation then used the Universal Cream on top. The shape of the cream is specifically formulated to glide along cheekbones & for use on lips. I like how it made applying the cream pretty much fool- proof, especially since I'm used to using a powder. Simply use light pressure & apply it from the apple of your cheek & move upwards (suck in your cheeks & make a fishy face if you need help figuring out where to apply). Then simply use your fingers to blend until you reach the desired colour/ effect. It creates a natural blush effect without looking heavy.


I loved the creaminess of the Universal Cream (no pun intended) and that it can be used on both cheeks & lips (I've used it on my lips but didn't want to share close- ups since the they've been a little chapped & not so photogenic), but it's just as lovely for that use too. Like the mascara it lasted all day and only needed a touch- up before heading out for the evening. As for removal, it was as much of a breeze as the mascara to wash off and I didn't feel the need to scrub or use other products to sufficiently remove it. No leftover residue or the feeling of clogged pores. Just fresh- faced & clean.

Voila! Whadya think?

It's important to mention a few other things about Elate in addition to the products I've talked about in this post. I love that the company has a goal to help women make wiser choices about the products they use without compromising on quality. When you think about how many products we use on our faces alone (count them, I dare you; I use 6-8 on average including soap & moisturizer), suddenly it becomes clear why we need to care more about our product choices. If these products contain toxic & harmful ingredients, they pose a threat to our health given the duration & consistency of use (click here for more info on this).  In addition to this mindfulness, Elate's products the are also cruelty free, vegan, organic, are made in Canada, and come in sustainable packaging. I think they've just about got everything covered. The price is comparable to other 'natural' brands that I've seen at my local drugstore & ultimately, like with what I put in my mouth, I'd rather pay a little more for the products I use on my face & get better quality without the laundry list of harmful chemicals. Because as one famous beauty brand likes to remind us: You're worth it.  ;)

In addition to these merits, Elate Cosmetics can be found on the Think Dirty App, an app that has rated more than 200,000 cosmetic and personal care products including shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and nail polishes based on the toxicity of their ingredients on their Dirty MeterTM. Simply scan the barcode of the product to see it's rating. If you're curious about the ingredients in the cosmetics & personal products you use, it's worth it to check this app out; it may make you toss out the entire contents of your bathroom. 

A big thank you to Melodie from Elate for treating this lady to some lovely new cosmetics. I'm looking forward to trying out more of this company's products & replacing the naughty ones in my makeup bag.

Elate Cosmetics is based in Victoria, BC and offers a variety of natural cosmetics with a skincare line due for release in the Fall of 2015. Visit the company's website to learn more & shop online. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram
The Think Dirty App helps consumers easily identify the toxic chemicals found in the cosmetics & personal products they buy. When you scan the barcode of a product, Think Dirty will provide a rating plus information on the product & it's ingredients and suggest cleaner options.  For more information about the Think Dirty App, click here. You can also find the app on FacebookTwitter, & Instagram. 


Elate cosmetics won’t compromise your skin, your lifestyle, or the earth. Beautiful colours. Skin loving ingredients. Sustainable packaging. Made in Canada, all natural and vegan.
Life, Love, Community.
Elate


Product photos by K Petrunia; logos courtesy of Elate Cosmetics & the Think Dirty App.


February posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting