Sunday, September 30, 2012

I Made a Pomander!

I've been searching online for recipes for homemade air fresheners and saw several recommendations for pomanders. Honestly, I had never heard of them before but evidently they have been used for centuries to freshen the air and keep moths away. Who knew!

I just happened to have both oranges and cloves on hand so I figured I would give it a try:

Very Basic Ingredients
You just stick them in there!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Free Ebook Finds for Kindle

9/29/12 NOTE: Some of these deals have EXPIRED! Be sure to bookmark My Journey to Living Well in order to stay up to date on the latest deals. Thanks!

I was searching through Amazon and ran across some good ebooks you may be interested in. If you don't own a Kindle you can always download a free Kindle reading app for your device or computer here:


Hope you enjoy, now I have to go eat something because looking at all these cookbooks has made me hungry!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Newman's Own Organics Review and Giveaway

As you know, I started this blog in order to document my personal journey to living a healthier life. Part of this process is changing the way that I eat. That's why I was excited when I recieved the opportunity to join Everything By Chelsea and a few other bloggers in promoting a review giveaway for Newsman's Own Organics.

You've probably noticed, as I have, that organic products are more readily available in your local groceries stores than in years past. In fact, there are so many, that its hard to know which companies to trust. Its nice to have such a vast variety of products from a company we already know and trust. Not only are they organic but they go many steps further. They offer products that are vegan-friendly, gluten free, and even kosher, just check the packaging for the product of your choice to see what's inside!

On to the giveaway! Enter below for your chance to win Newman's Own Organic products of your own! This giveaway will run from September 27th to October 11, 2012. Also be sure to check out Everything By Chelsea's full review (link is below). Good luck!

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Version of Black Bean and Corn Salad

Another attempt at a healthy meal - Black Bean and Corn Salad

So I've been eating a lot of salads lately because, let's face it, its really a no-fail way eat naturally. But, when you are used to bigger, more filling meals, salads get old pretty quickly. I needed something a little more hardy. I've seen several recipes online for black bean and corn salad so I thought I'd try my own. Here is what I used:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Live Well: Coconut Oil or Miracle Oil? Hmmm

So I'd been looking for all-natural products to help me and my family get healthier when I got the opportunity to participate in a giveaway for a quart of Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil. Naturally, I researched the product to see what the benefits were and I was really surprised what all this stuff can do! Here is just a little info from WebMD:

Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm. The oil of the nut (fruit) is used to make medicine.

Some coconut oil products are referred to as “virgin” coconut oil. Unlike olive oil, there is no industry standard for the meaning of “virgin” coconut oil. The term has come to mean that the oil is generally unprocessed. For example, virgin coconut oil usually has not been bleached, deodorized, or refined.

Some coconut oil products claim to be “cold pressed” coconut oil. This generally means that a mechanical method of pressing out the oil is used, but without the use of any outside heat source. The high pressure needed to press out the oil generates some heat naturally, but the temperature is controlled so that temperatures do not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coconut oil is used for diabetesheart diseasechronic fatigueCrohn's disease,irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid conditions, energy, and boosting the immune system. Ironically, despite coconut oil’s high calorie and saturated fat content, some people use it to lose weight and lower cholesterol.

Coconut oil is sometimes applied to the skin as a moisturizer and to treat a skin condition called psoriasis.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.

Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

I was recently given the opportunity to review Tropical Traditions' Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. I was amazed at the things you can use Coconut Oil for! Some of the uses include cooking, massage oil, and bee sting relief. The list goes on and on! I am currently in the process of making lip balm with some of mine and of course cooking up some tasty recipes. Nothing like the smell of coconut when you walk into the door! Definitely a thumbs up for me!

Enter to Win a 2 Pack of Trash Dash!!

"Since 1964, our Corporation has been the leader in bringing a “Healthier Home Environment” to today’s families. Our dedication to producing high quality humidification wicks, air cleaning filters and accessories has never been stronger. Not only is offering superior quality important, it is equally important that “Real Value” be present. Our Corporation offers both. In addition, we provide unsurpassed Customer Service, prompt timely deliveries, quick response and “turn around” times, plus in-depth Industry and Market experience."

I recently had the opportunity to review Trash Dash. Trash Dash is an all new Odor Neutralizer that  you sprinkle in your trash cans. I found that it works wonders for many other things including but not limited too: Diaper Pails, behind the toilet (away from animals and small kids of course) and ashtrays!

I received both Lavender Vanilla and Citrus Burst in my kit. They both smelled amazing however I am partial to Lavender Vanilla. You can sprinkle Trash Dash in your can before you put your bag in, and afterwards as well if you add something that may smell before you can get your trash out. 

This would make the perfect "Must Have" for all families! And for just $8.49 a two pack, you just can't beat it!  Definitely gets my vote!

Now for the part you've been waiting for! Trash Dash has generously agreed to giveaway FIVE 2 packs to YOU, the fans! Good luck to each and every one of you! I look forward to seeing YOUR name on the winner's list! a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest will begin 9-22-12 at 12:01 am EST and End on 9-30-12 at 12:01 EST and is in no way affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, or any other Social Media Network.

Review Written By April @ Down South Savings
I received this product for review purposes only. I was not required to write a positive review. No other monetary compensation was or will be received. All opinions are that of my own.My Journey to Living Well, nor any of the blogs participating are responsible for sponsor prize fulfillment. At the end of the contest, I will contact the winners via email. Winner's will have 48 hours to claim their prize. In the email you will be asked for your mailing address and phone number. (FedEx requires a phone number) Your information will then be sent to the sponsor and not used for any other purpose by myself.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My First (intentionally) Healthy Meal!

So today for lunch I decided to try to make my first intentionally healthy meal. Just so you don't get the wrong impression, I don't eat all that bad normally, I just wasn't very conscious of what was in my food.

Yesterday at Publix I found a blinkie coupon for $1.00 off these Lighlife Mushroom Burgers, a peelie for the Arnold Sandwich Thins and B1G1 on the New York Style Bagel Crisps. And here is the result:

It was really good! The "burger" had the consistency of a salmon patty, it didn't taste like I was eating "fake" meat. I got the Sea Salt flavor of bagel crisps and they were really good too. I halved another sandwich between my 2 year old and 6 year old daughter. Mya, my two year old, ate a little and was done (as usual) but Madilyn (my six year old) ate all of hers and wanted the rest of Mya's! Healthy, quick and kid-friendly, will definitely be keeping these things on hand.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quit Smoking: Avoid my triggers?

I put on my first nicotine patch on Friday and they really do help! I AM still smoking even though the directions say not to, but I'm not smoking nearly as much. I'm finding it much easier to just say no! :)

I do have a concern though for the weeks to come. The literature for the patches give tips on quitting. The first tip is that you have to be motivated to quit - got that, no problem.

The second tip is to avoid your triggers. This could be a problem. I don't know about the other smokers out there, but for me life is my trigger. For me to avoid my triggers, these are the things I'm going to need to avoid:

Waking up
Whiny kids
Screaming kids

Umm, this is gonna be tricky.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Eat Well: Baby Steps

For fear of an all-out revolt, I have decided to slooowly integrate new, healthy foods into my family menu. For now, I am the health food guinea pig. I am on the lookout for good, healthy recipes in the vegan/natural and/or vegetarian food areas. I don't have any plans right now to go fully vegan or vegetarian but I do see the benefits after some research.

Here is a list of some the ingredients that I have purchased recently to try:

Whole Wheat Flour
Whole grain rice
Flax Seed
Chia Seeds
Nori sheets

I am also going to experiment with some new things from the produce department. Over the weekend I bought my first eggplant and some fresh ginger. Now I just have to figure out what to do with them. Any ideas?

My Goals

I suppose a good place to start this journey is to list my goals, so here goes:

Quit Smoking

I have been smoking for about 12 years and am ready to be done with it. I just got a prescription for nicotine patches, next step - put it on. Will keep you updated.

Eat Well

My family has had many illnesses lately and this has really strengthened my determination to watch what my family eats. I never realized how bad some things are for us that we normally eat everyday. My goal is to try to cut back on meat and dairy and add more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and water to my family's diet.

I currently consume way to many Sundrops and Redbulls, had a tooth chip the other day so I have seriously got to cut down on these. Eventually I hope to eliminate them altogether but I'm going one step at a time here.


Having kids, I do get a moderate amount of exercise, but I would like to get much more. I am starting slowly here. I'm thinking maybe some Wii time, working in the garden, and walking.

Think well

I firmly believe that thoughts are THINGS. Bad thoughts create bad energies, good thoughts create good energies. I want to think better thoughts about everything around me and stop being so quick to judge. I'm hoping this will help me to be a calmer, more peaceful person to be around.

Live well, on a budget

I am always looking to save money, mainly because we rarely HAVE any. I want to get past the pop-tart coupons (not that I would turn those down just yet) and see what I can find to complement my current goals. I'll be looking for ways to save on healthier, greener products to benefit me and my family.

Get Organized

I am constantly trying to organize everything in my life, but I usually get so frustrated that chaos reigns again. I'll be looking for new ways to get and stay organized.

I fully expect to slip up along the way and do not expect to see this overnight, so don't be surprised if you see minute steaks on the menu one night. I know this will take time, but all the important things do. The main thing to do is to not be discouraged when I fail and keep going after the setbacks.