Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not Too Shabby!

Like this dress? Click on the picture
to see more fabulous dresses

I like to shop!


The process can be exhausting though, especially with little ones. For this reason, shopping online is favorable. There are no lines, no dressing rooms, no parking, and no driving. Also, during flu season, and especially with outbreaks such as the H1N1, you do not have to be in crowded public areas. The stores are also open 24 hours a day and chances are no one else will have what you bought.

The downside to buying your wanted items via computer is tactile deprivation. What is this? It's when you want to be able to feel the product in your hands and use all of your senses to decide whether or not to buy. The solution is to find online stores that sell products that you like, have good return policies, and that give out or let you purchase samples.

(Picture my husband took of me before a
meeting in my Shabby Apple Dress)

When it comes to clothing, I think of the 3 f's:

Feel: How does it feel?

Fit: How does it fit?

Fabulous: Is it fabulous?

I really like dresses, they are so easy, comfortable, and feminine. A dress shop that does not compromise style or quality is Shabby Apple. I found them through their beautiful children's line, but then made my way to their women's dresses.

Their dresses are all very different but they all fit right in all the right places! They offer style advice for any questions you may have and features eight different body types to choose from so that you can find the right fit to flatter your shape. I like that when you purchase from Shabby Apple you are helping to support "couture with a conscious" that helps women worldwide and helps to fight global poverty.

So, this is my first
Shabby Apple dress....not too shabby huh ( see above picture)? It's called "90 words per minute" and is reminiscent of a secretary dress. Turquoise in color with ruching at the sides to flatter and a tie at the neck. It has puff sleeves, made of poly/rayon/spandex jersey and is machine washable. I think it's very comfortable and my husband really likes it. The best news is: "Sizing concern? Not the right dress for you? Return your dress and Shabby Apple will ship you a new dress for FREE!" ...yes, good news!
Thanks Shabby Apple for making beautiful dresses and women's shopping experience a delight!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Open Sesame!


When walking down the nut butter isle in Whole foods, my eye always seems to spot a peculiar jar with a woman with painted black streaks on her face. Inside the jar is jet black tahini or crushed black sesame seeds. For the past few months I have been very curious about this product, especially because we are all hummus fans in my house and tahini is one of the main ingredients. I finally got to try it and now I am a big fan of this black stuff. Not only does it taste exotic but black sesame seeds are known to be effective in combating premature gray hair-that's impressive! Black sesame seeds have been used in ancient Chinese medicine for kidney, liver, vision, and blood deficiencies. And all this time I have been eating white sesame seeds instead of black...who knew it was this good?

When I asked my daughter what it looked like she said, "the black sand beach we played at." My fabulous husband made some of the "black sand hummus" and served it in a dish that looked like the ocean. Our guests loved it and we are so happy to have found another great, healthy, organic, and raw product.

The company that makes this and other raw and delicious creations are Living Tree Community Foods. They also make organic raw alive cashew butter that is superior in taste and quality. However, it is my daughter's favorite so we don't get much of it. She eats it as a dip on cucumbers, carrots, and sandwiches (see her happy face recipe).

Another Living Tree Community Foods that I like is Pistachio Pesto. It is raw pistachios, sun dried black olives, sun dried tomatoes, herbs, spices and alive unheated, unpressed, unfiltered olive oil. I have to admit, I liked it so much that I ate the whole jar in a matter of days... with a spoon. For more of their raw and unprocessed products visit their website.

With our society eating so much packaged, processed, dead food; it's refreshing to find delicious raw alive alternatives to boost your health and maybe even eliminate some gray hairs!

Hummus on Foodista

Joey Totes Bag Winner is....



Congratulations Audrey!! You were randomly selected to win a chic and stylish Joey totes bag to take to your favorite farmer's market. Enjoy!

A big Mahalo (thank-you) to all my fabulous readers...more great giveaways coming soon!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

ALOHA Friday


Happy Aloha Friday everyone!!!
Every Friday here at Moms Best Bets is a time to kick back and relax. Let's enjoy our family and all the good things our gracious God has given to us.
Have a happy weekend everyone !

Flashback Friday Post:
IT'S ALL IN THE NUMBERS
On all produce there some numbers on a small sticker .
What do the numbers on fruit and veggies mean in the grocery store?
A little education on the numbers:

  • Four digit numbers starting with 3 or 4 mean:
    non-GMO, conventionally grown
  • Five digit numbers starting with 8 mean:
    the produce is GMO
  • Five digit numbers beginning with 9 mean:
    organically grown
Which one is the best?
USDA organically grown/local: best
Conventional: 2nd best
GMO : not enough research done on genetically modified organisms.
However; animals, if given the choice will not eat it...hmmmm...sound scary? Yes!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

FREE Barnes and Noble Gift Card


I am delighted to share this great deal I found with you today:

When you buy $15.00 worth of Hain Celestial Group natural and organic products you can receive a FREE Barnes and Noble gift card. Hain's makes everything from Earth's Best, Heath Valley, MaraNatha, and many others.

To receive your FREE card simply visit www.takeahealthybite.com. You are also able to encourage reading through healthy eating by entering for a chance to win $500 in books for your school library.

It's so nice to be rewarded when you buy yourself and your loved ones healthy products...now this is a sweet deal!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bathroom Beauty

I am blessed to have a spacious bathroom with lots of natural light coming in from our 2 plantation windows.
An extra fluffy robe, soft towel, and a quality makeup mirror, makes getting ready in the morning easier and spa-like. I could keep painting my ideal spa-like morning ritual with you ...warm tea, fresh flowers...but I think you get the idea. Being a mom usually means being short on time, so make the most out of the few precious minutes you have.
Forever on the search for safer and lovelier products, I want to share some of my favorite bathroom beauty picks with you.
JR Watkins salve and hand soap~My mom actually introduced me to this natural line. My grandmother would buy these goods from the Watkins salesman that came to her door.

Watkins has been a pioneer in providing natural products since 1868. This manufacturer uses natural and organic ingredients in their personal and home care products. I buy their lemon hand salve and hand soap. They smell fresh and clean and my favorite part is their apothecary look. You won't have to look far to find them. I found JR Watkins in Target for a great price.


Earth Science eye cream~ Earth Science Azulene Eye Treatment is a rich hydrating cream for the eyes that helps prevent the signs of premature aging. I was surprised to see the smurf blue color when I first applied the sample, but was reassured that it was sensitive and non irritating. It contains alpha hydroxy acids, bilberry extract, and blue chamomile flower extract called chamazulene that works on puffiness and dark circles.


Harvest Bay coconut oil ~ I love to write about coconut oil because it has a vast number of amazing properties and uses. I use Harvest Bay oil as a body moisturizer. I fill one of my antique glass bottles that has a pouring spout full with it. As mentioned in previous posts, coconut oil contains lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. It is an antioxidant, anti fungal, and antibacterial. It is also super hydrating and great when used after sun exposure.


Badger lip balm~ Badger has many wonderful and pure products. They are usually rated pretty good on the skin deep website when it comes to purity. I have heard great things about their sunscreen and I always have one of their lip balms in my purse and in my bathroom. When it comes to chap stick, you want to be able to read the ingredients and know what it is you are eating. Yes, I said eating! Licking and biting lips happens all the time, so make sure you are not ingesting too many chemicals. Using badger means using organic and chemical free...this mom approves!

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Happy Green Bee!

September marks the beginning of holiday festivities for me. As a child this was a time of picking apples, wearing sweaters, marveling at the changing of leaves, and smelling the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg coming from my mother's kitchen.
Living in Hawaii, we don't have a lot of the climate reminders of autumn. Hawaii is pretty much summer all year round, but there are subtle changes in temperature that we look forward too. Even more so for us, it's exciting to cook, bake, decorate, and dress with an autumn flair.

My daughter and I had a wonderful time making homemade applesauce this morning and decorating her playroom with the signs of fall. It was also time to send her relatives some new pictures of my growing busy bee. I found a wonderful dress for our photo session from "Happy Green Bee." This company makes organic fair trade children's clothing. Their philosophy is: "comfortable, colorful, playful and ecologically responsible."
They make hats, dresses, sports wear, and tops for boys and girls. "Happy Green Bee" creations are unique with handmade quality, and feel organically soft. I really like their color stripe patterns that come in variations such as watermelon, chocolate, butterscotch, and pumpkin.
My little buzzing bee is now happy, green, and thematically fall!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Giveaways!

Mom's Bets Bets Current Giveaways are listed to the left!
HOW TO ENTER A GIVEAWAY
1. Click on the giveaway you would like and after you read the post and the mandatory way to enter, then click "post a comment"
2. Type your comment in the box
3. To submit it there will be options that you can choose from. If you have a google email account then click google account if not then click anonymous
4. All of the giveaways have optional entries like to " follow me." To do this just go to the right hand side where it says follow with google friend connect. Click it and then enter you google user name to follow.
*If you have any problems please let me know

Friday, September 18, 2009

WINNERS of the DINNERS!


ALOHA FRIDAY...no work 'till Monday (unless you are a Mommy...hee hee)

The 3 winners of Helen's Kitchen organic dinners are:

*Mochichick
*Kirsten
*Amanda

Congratulations to all of you and a big thank-you to everyone that entered in this giveaway!

"Aloha Friday" is fun day here at Mommy's Favorite Things so stay tuned for more great giveaways and surprises every Friday!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Brush My Teeth With DOLLAR BILLS!


I brush my teeth with dollar bills and floss with pure silk. No, this is not Donald Trump talking...this is one of Mommy's new Favorite Things!

I have found an all natural toothbrush made of recycled dollar bills and floss made of pure silk. Your teeth need pampering too, right?

The company who makes these great oral care products is Radius. Radius toothbrush handles are made from old dollar bills, flax, or recycled wood fiber. They will last forever, while they make replaceable heads to snap on the handle. What is even more noticeable about this toothbrush, than the handle, is the width of the bristles. I was skeptical at first, but now agree that it is softer, and more effective than narrower toothbrushes.

Radius also make kids brushes with 300% more bristles and a thumb grip in bright cheery colors (6+). My daughter has not tried their totz brushes yet but I like that they are FDA approved and BPA free

Can you believe that "according to the ADA only 12% of the population flosses daily..." It is vital to floss regularly for the health of your mouth and the rest of your body. Flossing with silk is a good choice because it's natural, biodegradable, spun in natural beeswax, and the packaging is recycled. There are no artificial preservatives, yeasts, gluten, color, or GMO ingredients. Radius also makes another floss coated with pure cranberry essence. Why cranberry? Because, cranberry is rich in proanthocyanidins, which not only helps with urinary tract infections but has recently shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria on tooth enamel.

Happy brushing..and don't forget the flossing!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Oink for Piggy Paint!


Piggy Paint...brilliant!
Every little girl wants to paint her toes with mommy's nail polish. My daughter loves too but now she has her very own with "Piggy Paint!" Piggy Paint is water-based polish made of natural ingredients. This kid-friendly hypoallergenic polish is formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, biphenyl A, ethyl acetate and acetone free! It is also made in the USA!
My daughter's favorite part is the precious pink piggy on the label. My favorite part is that there is almost no odor or toxic chemicals. Piggy Paint stays on well and dries hard. I have to confess that I liked the color so much, I painted my nails with Piggy Paint.

Tori Spelling is a fan of piggy paint too! "Piggy Paint made its Hollywood debut on Saturday, June 6, 2009, at Stella McDermott’s first birthday party."

Their nail polish remover is orderless, safe, and takes off polish better than I imagined. I did a test using a generic non-acetone brand versus Piggy Paint remover. The Piggy Paint was by far superior. "Mommy's Favorite Things" also likes that this company ships their products in recycled peanuts.

The best part is "Mommy's Favorite Things" readers will receive 15% off of anything on www.piggypaint.com , including sales items. They also ship worldwide.
The coupon code is: BEST15L
The expiration date is October 31, 2009
If you spend over $25, the domestic shipping is FREE!
Now that is somethink to Oink about!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cures In The Cupboard


One of my favorite books when I was little was a very old Native American book about natural remedies using herbs and foods. I loved making facial masks and hair treatments out of fruit and honey concoctions. I guess it's the artistic experimental side of me that enjoys learning about the powerful properties of nature.
There are many thing that I keep stocked in my cupboard. I want to share some of them with you and will be sharing many more in the weeks to come.
*Acai powder~ Acai, deemed as the newest super food, is everywhere. I like Navitas Acai powder because is mess free, super easy to use, tastes great, and is USDA organic. (Navitas has amazing superfoods and seeds. I have not tried all of them yet, but their products are fresh and pure).
Acai is a berry from Central and South America and used medicinally by Amazonian cultures. It is a super antioxidant and contains omegas and amino acids. Studies have shown that extracts of acai have had a powerful effect on destroying cancer cells. I use it in yogurt, smoothies, desserts, and cereals.

* Coconut Oil ~ I have written about this amazing oil before, Navitas organic coconut oil is excellent for you . Coconut oil contains lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. It is an antioxidant, anti fungal, and antibacterial. The body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which helps fight viruses and bacteria. Not to mention that it is safe and tastes great. I use it on my daughter's curly hair too and it's very moisturizing. We use it on our skin, on our toast, to fry our eggs...well the list could keep going on and on.

* Apple Cider Vinegar~Bragg's apple cider vinegar is excellent for restoring pH balance. I make a salad dressing with it. You can also use it topically. A lady told me the other day it is also a natural deodorant.

*Hawaiian Noni Fruit Leather~ I have posted about the wonders of Noni before and have recently been educated on the healing properties of Noni lotion and Noni fruit leather. The brand I recommend is Hawaiian Health Noni. 100% organic made in Kauai, it relieves pain and inflammation. The fruit leather is raw, boosts the immune system, helps promote healthy skin and gums, and can be used on burns to toothaches! This company makes regular shipments to basketball teams for players to treat injuries.

Please share some of your favorite cures in the cupboard

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's Back... Organic Dinner Giveaway!

Back by popular Blogger demand ...The Organic dinner for 2 giveaway!
The new twist on the giveaway is there will be 3 WINNERS...Mommy's Favorite Things is giving away 6 dinners total!

Three of my hard working readers will get to take the night off and win healthy delicious USDA organic dinners.
----------------------------------------------------------
My husband loves cooking and I enjoy cooking, but sometimes you need a break.
I recently tried
Helen's Kitchen USDA organic GMO free foods, found at my Whole Foods market. This is a gourmet line of dinners that are good for you and tastes amazing.

The other night my family and I decided to try these 'lishes dishes while watching a movie. The farfalle and basil pesto was creamy, delicious, and totally satisfying. The red thai curry was very authentic and the mac and cheese...we never tasted because my daughter confiscated it.
All I can say is Thank-you Helen:)
The best part is all of you will have a chance to take a break from the kitchen and
WIN 2 of Helen's organic meals of your choice!

FREE ORGANIC MEALS....how to win:

1. Respond to this post telling me you want to win and "follow" Mommy's Favorite Things!

For extra chances to win:

*Follow me on twitter (1 extra chance)
*Follow me on facebook (1 extra chance)
*Copy and paste my button on your site (1 extra chance)

ends 9/18/2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Soft Landing Giveaway Winner is....


Congratulations Xenia! I hope you enjoy your glass tumblers with silicone covers. They are so practical, pretty, and safer for children.

Thank-you to everyone for participating. I enjoyed reading all of your favorite drinks. I think that water or good old H2O was the favorite! Visit The Soft Landing to find more of their great Eco friendly products.

Also, stay tuned for another of "Mommy's Favorite Things" giveaways....organic dinner for 2. The BEST part is there will be more than 1 winner!

FILLO ~ My New Party Friend


Appetizers, pupus, hors d'oeuvres, and munchies are all tiny samples or snacks eaten before a meal. What makes a good appetizer? When I am at a party I want it to be delicious of course, not too messy, and not too filling. Appetizers are a crowd pleaser and sometimes may steal the spotlight of the main dish. I am always looking for new and simple appetizer recipes.

For those of you that don't know me, I am surrounded by excellent cooks. My husband's culinary creations and presentation rivals the best chefs here in Hawaii, and many other places for that matter. My sister could be Sandra Lee's twin on semi-homemade, my brother-in-law is a chef, and my mother is the best Italian cook I know. Oh, and if you missed my post a couple of weeks ago, my daughter is a food network star on the rise!

What's a mommy to serve to impress this crowd? Fillo shells, they are my new best friend! I decided to try a healthier version from The Fillo Factory. They make organic fillo shells that are very low in fat and calories. The recipe possibilities are endless with these shells. You can make desserts, brie topped with preserves, quiches, healthy salads, and many more.

I experimented with them and came up with my Mexican mini (refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, salsa, and sour cream), curry chicken with carrots and walnuts, and a feta omelet. They all turned out mouth watering, the shells are super light and crispy and "gourmet the organic way." The feta omelet was perfect and easy to transport for our quick breakfast this morning as we prepared to play golf.
There are so many other options to try but I have to get more Fillo Factory Fillo Shells first! I would recommend keeping some in your freezer for a quick, easy, and yummy munchie to appetize your hungry crowd!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Win a lunchbox!


One of my favorite and delicious companies is Applegate Farms. I just had to share with you all about their exciting "Rock the Box Contest"

Just share your school food memories and you could win a snazzy OOTS lunchbox. New winners are chosen each week, so there will be lots of chances to win!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

GO Greek! (part II)

I have posted about Korres makeup previously but had to add more products in their line to Mommy's Favorite Things!

What most impresses me about this Greek skincare line is it's natural direction without the use of synthetic ingredients such as silicones, propylene glycol, petroleum, parabens, and many other unnecessary chemicals. They use Greek flora herbs and many food based ingredients. The packaging is stylish and the colors are brilliant.
The newest Korres arrivals to Mommy's makeup drawer are:











  • Materia Herba Foaming Cleanser ~ it washes away impurities and contains certified organic hamamelis floral water which acts as a mild astringent and anti-inflammatory. Certified organic olive leaf provides antioxidant protection, while centaurea floral water calms eyes and skin.





  • Pomegranate make up removing wipes ~ removes my make-up, cleanses with no greasy residue and is made with pomegranate extract which is rich in polyphenols, diminishes pore size and stops free radical damage. The vitamin E provides moisture. It also smells great.


  • Lash-strengthening mascara ~ with PROVITAMIN B5 AND RICE BRAN to make lashes look long, healthy, and beautiful!
There are 34 Korres stores internationally with 2 in NYC. You can also find their products online or at Sephora.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Warm Your Belly Soup


It's September again and everyone is feeling the change in seasons. We change our clothes, our activities, and our food. Children are back in school and it's important to keep their immune systems strong. This is a recipe for my lentil soup that will warm your belly and give you lots of energy this autumn.

Lentils, a member of the legume family, absorb the flavors from seasonings readily and help with maintaining blood sugar. They are super easy to cook and contain important minerals such as, folate, magnesium, iron, protein, and rich in dietary fiber. With only around 200 calories for a whole cup of lentils, this is a superwoman kind of food!

Mommy's Lentil Soup

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 chopped onion
1 1/2 cups of mushrooms
4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup of water
1 1/3 cups of lentils
1 sweet potato diced in small bite sized pieces
4 minced garlic cloves
2 carrots peeled and sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp basil

Heat olive oil and saute onion, garlic, and mushrooms in a sauce pan. Stir in broth, water, lentils, potato, and bay leaf and simmer for about 30 minutes (or until the lentils are tender) Take out the bay leaf and season with the spices, salt, and pepper. You may need to add more water depending on consistency. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Soft Landing Giveaway

The Soft Landing has recently become one of mommy's favorite things! They are an online store that focuses on feeding families safely by offering all BPA, Phthalate and PVC free products. They carry products from baby bottles, pacifiers, toothbrushes, dishes, to pet gear.

I stumbled upon the soft landing while searching for safer alternatives for my daughter. One product in particular that caught my eye was their Silikids glass tumbler with a silicone cover. I like them because they are smaller glasses holding 6 oz., which is perfect for your little one, while the silicone cover makes it safer for slippery hands. They comes in different colors (the aqua is my favorite)


The best news is The Soft Landing is giving away a set of their functional and stylish glass tumblers with the silicone covers to the lucky winner of this giveaway!!!!!

RULES for Giveaway:
1. reply to this post telling me what your favorite healthy beverage is
AND follow Mommy's Favorite Things
*** 1 extra entry if you follow me on Twitter

*contest ends 9/9 ..Good Luck!

And The WINNER Is.....




Thank-you all for entering the Helen's Kitchen tasty organic meal giveaway! The winner is Janet Faye. Congratulations and enjoy your night off of cooking.
Mommy's Favorite Things is going to be giving away MORE of Helen's organic meals next week so stay tuned to be the next winner...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More Breakfast Options...

I have posted previously about healthy delicious choices to start your day off right.

Here are a few more:





Greens in my shake ~ I like to add a green powder to our shakes in the morning. After reading "Force of Nature," by Laird Hamilton, I learned about Catie's Greens from Energy Essentials. It is a concentrated Whole Food supplement containing vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, antioxidants, good probiotic bacteria, digestive enzymes, and essential fatty acids. I like the part that one tablespoon is about equal to 7 daily servings of green vegetables! Energy? Yes, I have it.


Is there such a thing as a nutritious cereal?


The cereal isle in the grocery store seems to go on forever with lots of eye catching labeling that can make your kids reach out of the cart to grab them. Unfortunately, most are low in fiber and high in sugar. My favorite cereal is by Nature's Path called Organic pumpkin flax plus granola. It is USDA organic, super crunchy, and sweet. Flax seeds are full of omega 3 and pumpkin seeds are good sources of zinc (which helps build a strong immune system)and iron (needed to carry oxygen in the blood and helps ward off anemia). They have dozens of other great choices. I mostly use the cereal as a sweet snack to use in place of cookies or candy and you don't need the milk because it's granola.

Ahhh breakfast....my favorite meal of the day!
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