Category - MommyB Originals

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today and always, no matter whether we are going through; a hard season in life or an easy one, there are always so many people and things to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my faith, family, and my life. I’m also thankful for you, my readers, and the opportunities my blog gives me to help others.

May you and your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the B Family

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Ephesians 5:19-20

19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

MommyBKnowsBest on: Changes #vlogmom

#vlogmom

vlogmom-new-logoLately, I’ve really been thinking about life in general. Ooooh deep I know!! But seriously though, I’ve been meeting some great people, reading some awesome books, and really trying to figure out what I want to take away from this short life.

Here’s this week’s #vlogmom prompt/question and my answer:

I think sometimes we need to reflect, and see where our priorities are and if our time is being well-spent. In my life, I’ve been so blessed and want to make sure that I give to those less fortunate, raise my girls with love and enjoy as many moments as possible, be a good wife, be and have great friends, read my Bible and grow closer to God, be healthy inside and out and it starts with diet and exercise.

Some of these changes have been slowly happening and some I’m just getting started on, but I’m excited for good changes and have already had some great confirmations that this is the right direction for my life. I feel like whatever changes you have to make, whether they are similar to mine or completely opposite, we have to really make this life worth living.

I’m excited to use my blog to share whatever goodness is going on in life and will be giving you an update about my Red Cross service day soon too!

I hope if nothing else my video makes you think about what leaf or leaves you want to turn over and what changes you want to make in your life and inspire you to go for them!

Make sure you check out these other videos from #vlogmom vloggers too!!

#vlogmom MommyB Knows Best on: Money { Vlog }

#vlogmom

vlogmom-new-logoI did it again, I vlogged. Well I missed a week, but here I am back at it again. This week’s question comes from Amiyrah from 4HatsandFrugal.com go check her out and watch my vlog. I would love it if you want to link up and add your own video or if you want to leave your written comments below!!

 

 

 

Are you a saver or spender??? How about your spouse???

See you next week!!!

Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna Recipe {Guest Blog}

I saw a recipe for Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna on Pinterest and ever since, I have wanted to try making it. I really love Italian food, {especially lasagna}, but I am trying to watch my waistline and heart health, so this healthy recipe is perfect for me and my family and I’m sure you’ll love it too!!

In this recipe I replaced most of traditional lasagna ingredients and also omitted a lot of the ingredients from the pinned recipe to keep my dish as low-calorie and heart-healthy as possible.

Ingredients: 

2 Large Zucchinis

1 Bottle of Ragu Light, No Sugar Added, Tomato Basil Sauce

¼  cup reduced fat parmesan cheese

1 bag chopped spinach {frozen or fresh, adjust cook time accordingly}

1 lb of 96% lean ground beef

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon pepper

**Please be mindful that Ragu sauces claim to be gluten-free, but encourage you to read the labels of each of their products to be on the safe side.

Preparation and Cooking Instructions:

Season the ground beef with garlic powder, pepper and onion powder.

Once fully seasoned, brown the beef in a skillet.

As the beef is browning slice your zucchini length-wise, in a shape resembling lasagna noodles. **The thinner you slice the noodles the more tender they will be.

Next cook the spinach on the stove top in a saute pan or if it’s frozen you may want to heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes. After allowing the spinach to cool, squeeze excess liquid using paper towels or a clean hand towel. **This is really important so you don’t have watery lasagna after its done cooking.

Once the meat is done browning, drain the excess fat/grease, {which was a very small amount}.

Assembling the lasagna:

Sprayed a 9-inch glassware casserole dish with cooking spray.

Place your first layer of zucchini, meat, spinach, sauce and parmesan and repeated for about three layers. {On the last layer, covered with zucchini, sauce and cheese and a little bit of garlic powder.}

Cooking:

Cook for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

**Because the liquid cooks out of the veggies, you should let the lasagna sit for about 15 minutes after you remove it from the oven so the liquid can re-absorb into the veggies.

Let the lasagna cool to a desired temperature and enjoy!

 

I was confident that I would like it because I am a veggie lover but my biggest critics are my kids who do like some veggies but are particular to which ones and how they are prepared. They love pasta or as they call it, “noonles” so I was impressed that they enjoyed the dish as well since it was noonle-less. They didn’t eat as much as I would have wanted them to, but definitely got a couple servings of veggies in their tummies with this yummy recipe.

It was a delicious, healthy recipe that will be a new favorite in my house!

 

Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna

 

Have you ever tried making your favorite food dishes healthier? Which ones, and how did they turn out??

Lisa is a Florida Native who currently lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two children. B.C. {Before Children} Lisa was an R.N. Currently Lisa has a love for hairdressing, finding fun play spots around North Carolina and giving great parenting advice.

Easy, Delicious, Healthy Radish Recipes

Thank you Duda Farm Fresh Foods for samples of your Dandy Ministick Radishes so I could whip up these tasty and healthy recipes.

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts you’ve probably read that my family and I are experimenting with new foods. We tried cauliflower pizza/breadsticks, and kale chips. Both of which have gone pretty well with the family, although they prefer the cauliflower pizza, I must say I love both.

When I was approached by Duda Farm Fresh Foods to review their Dandy Ministick Radishes, I thought it would be a fun “challenge” to get my family to eat radishes and also try new healthy recipes.

Of course I scoured the web researching radish dishes, reading more on the nutritional values and studying good pairings with other foods. Here are some creations I made and other easy, delicious, healthy radish recipes for you.

Easy Delicious Healthy Radish Recipes MommyBKnowsBest

Last week, I made pulled pork for the first time ever for a great family who welcomed a beautiful little boy into the world. Luckily the pulled pork tasted great and was a hit for that family, and I had some left over. Keeping with the healthy eating, instead of putting the pulled pork on sliced bread or a bun, I though it would be yummy to try out a pulled pork lettuce wrap topped with delicious ministick radishes.

Here’s how they turned out:

Here’s my revised recipe for pulled pork that I was inspired by at Just as We Are: http://myrecipetolife.blogspot.com/2011/04/dinner-recipe-pulled-pork.html

And here’s how I made my Pulled Pork Spinach Wraps:

First make your Pulled Pork:

– Start with a 4-5lb Pork Roast {shoulder or butt works best}.

– For optimal flavor marinade for 1-12 hours before placing in your slow cooker.

– Create a wet rub for the pork roast using the following ingredients:

  • 2 Garlic Cloves pressed from fresh or 2 teaspoon of canned {olive oil preferably}
  • 2 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of pepper {more for a spicier taste}
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of stone ground mustard {or more for spicier taste}

Unwrap your roast, removing all strings from the roast, placing it on a cutting board or shallow dish perfect for covering with your rub and/or leaving to marinate.

Mix your rub together until all ingredients are combined, place the rub on all sides of the roast coating sides well. Cover and marinate.

When done marinating, place the roast in your slow cooker set to high, {I recommend using Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners for easy cleanup} and add 1 cup of water for a deliciously moist roast.

Let your roast sit for about 6 hours, {if you’re like me you may want to flip your roast over mid-way at the 4 hour point.}

Once done, carefully remove your roast from your slow cooker and shred the meat using two forks.

Place the shredded pork in a mixing bowl, and incrementally add tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce until you reach your desired taste level.

After your pork has cooled a little glean through your spinach leaves {I recommend not using baby spinach for the best size wraps.

Place your spinach leaves in positions conducive for optimal pulled pork holding, top with delicious, crunchy Dandy Ministick Radishes and voila, an easy, healthy, delicious meal:

Pulled Pork Spinach Wrap with Radish MommyB

Here are some radish recipes that I found on Pinterest that I suggest you try as well.

Radish and Cucumber Kimchi Salad

Radish and Avocado Wraps

Cinnamon Sugar Radish Chips

Also check out more radish recipes on Duda Farm Fresh Foods’ website: Radish Recipes and find them on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to interact.

prod2_ministicks_pack

Duda Farm Fresh Foods’ radish ministicks can be found at Wal-Mart and are not only great for the above recipes but also super convenient since they’re precut. Consider adding this healthy crunch to sandwiches, salads, salsas and more.

Get creative, what would you do with these Ministick Radishes??

 

 

Social Media Moms Jersey Shore Trip for Social Good #jerseylove

I am beyond excited to head to New Jersey at the end of this week. I haven’t had much extra time on my hands to write a post on this, but if you’re following me on Facebook and Twitter, I’m sure you’ve seen my #jerseylove references.

On Thursday, I’ll be driving North with Lisa Frame of A Daily Pinch {wahoo!!} Once we get to New Jersey, we’ll be dropping our bags off at the beautiful, Cesar’s Palace Atlantic City and enjoying a great dinner at Mia’s with these awesome moms from Social Media Moms and NJ Digital Moms. {Can you find me??}

#jerseylove Social Good

 

I’m very excited to spend some time catching up with, and making new friends, but will be happy to lay my head down at the end of the night after what will be a long, but I’m sure fun, drive North.

Friday we’ll be beach bound, heading to Belmar Shore. I am excited about this trip, although I have not been in person I have the images of the damage done by hurricane Sandy engrained in my head, it will be nice to fill them with new images of a place that is restored, and while not completely back to it’s “old” self, rising from the destruction and reclaiming home.

I’m honored to be a part of a group who will be presenting the Mayor of Belmar, Matt Doherty a check for rebuilding the town and to help those still in need and suffering from the effects of this tragedy. I know too well, how much others help can lift you up when you live through a situation like this, and that is why this trip is tugging at my heartstrings.

It’ll be nice to also show off some amazing businesses that have rebuilt and are trying to get back on their feet, I can’t wait to Instagram and tweet about the triumphs they are experiencing too!

While we are at the beach, I’ll be making a fool of myself learning how to surfing and finding out more about D6 Sports, having lunch at D’Jais {gonna try to stick with the salad, but the menu looks boardwalk-tastic}. For those of you who are foodies, you can spot us at the Taste of Atlantic City at Harrah’s , where we’ll be celebrating our Ladies Night Out on Saturday as well. {I heard Joey Lawrence was just there…WHOA!!!} Wonder how many autographs I’ll have to sign…

As for earlier in the day on Saturday, I know Hubby, aka Coaster Critic is a little jealous that I get to head to the Steel Pier on without him, but I’ll be taking lots of pictures and video and sharing with him and you too!!

After brunch and goodbyes on Sunday, Ms. Frame and I will be heading back South to report to you all the amazing things we did, and saw, and I fully plan on being filled up with inspiration for my own life on the progress and hope that you will consider helping restore New Jersey in any ways that you are able to, whether it be to pray, serve, or donate.

In the meantime, if you are a twitter kind of person, join Social Media Moms and NJ Digital Moms as we party with @D6SurfSkimmer tomorrow night 9pm ET (6pm PT, figure it out), and give away some cool prizes, and talk about our trip! RSVP to join us and be eligible to win prizes here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

***Thanks in advance to all of the hospitality our group will be receiving from the above mentioned companies and services!!

MommyB presents: Graduate Advice – #Vlogmom

#vlogmom

#vlogmomMiss A turned 6 years old on Saturday and will celebrate the last day of her Kindergarten year this Friday! As she graduates from Kindergarten I flash forward to her high school graduation day in 2025…what?!?! That sounds really far away, but I know it’ll be here before we know it.

I’m sure when she graduates I’ll have tons of advice for her and be praying non-stop for her guidance and direction for going out into the “real world”. In the meantime, I thought I would give some advice to those who are graduating now, nothing profound, and I’m sure just as when I was graduating, I waived away most tips, but hopefully some of this resonates if not now then maybe later.

Here’s my most recent vlog with #vlogmom (about a week later due to birthday party madness):

Tell me, what advice do you have for graduates??

Check out other advice from awesome vlogging mommies here:

My thoughts on Integrated Prom – White Prom, Black Prom

Mom PromAs I prepared for my Mom Prom just last weekend, little did I realize that there were high school students in South Georgia getting ready for their first prom….their first integrated prom that is.

For over 40 years, students at Wilcox County High School, in Rochelle, Ga have been attending a segregated prom. One prom for the white students, and one for the black students were hosted by parents of each race. Parents supported the segregation by planning, paying for and continuing this age-old, hometown tradition. I like to call it “white prom” and “black prom” let’s be honest folks, we need not beat around the bush.

Surprisingly, the school board has avoided the situation all together, basically washing their hands of being either right or wrong and sitting by while the parents took over.

Are the parents to blame? Does this make the school innocent? Who’s really in charge here?

Thankfully, and finally, students at Wilcox County High School, stepped up where their school board administrators, local businesses, and even parents have failed. Standing up out of the ignorance of segregation and fighting for their right to end what is more than an antiquated tradition and clearly racism. Four girls, 2 African American and 2 Caucasian created a Facebook page, asking for support and donations to host their own, independent prom.

Integrated Prom MommyBKnowsBest

“We were doing that so we could get the word out, so that some people would be able to donate and help us out with what we were doing,” said senior Mareshia Rucker.

The night of the prom,  nearly half of the school’s student body were in attendence at Wilcox County High School’s first integrated prom in 2013… unfortunately, they aren’t the only place in our country with this same mindset.

CNN.com reports: “Wilcox County is not the only place with a racially segregated prom, nor is it the only one that’s attracted widespread attention in recent years. In the 2009 documentary “Prom Night in Mississippi,” director Paul Saltzman followed the preparations for the first integrated prom in Charleston, Mississippi. Actor Morgan Freeman, a native of the area, offered in 1997 to cover the cost if the school board would hold an integrated prom, but the offer wasn’t accepted till 2008.”

While this prom was a great success, there were still students and parents in opposition of the prom, and as a result “white prom” was held again this year. We can hope that this nation learns from this story and takes steps in the direction towards racial equality. If nothing else, these intelligent, amazing teenagers have inspired others, made history, and stood up for what they believe in. Who says children can’t teach adults?!?

Check out Integrated Prom’s Facebook page to see some pretty amazing pictures that I wanted to use for this post but didn’t have permission to, and support what they are doing, whether it is with prayers and words of kindness or donations.

 

What are your thoughts on this issue?? Who do you think is to blame? But even better still, how can WE change this?

Cauliflower Pizza – Gluten Free – Medifast Recipe

I have been seeing Cauliflower Pizza all over Pinterest. I am not a fan of cauliflower. In fact, I do not like cauliflower. Broccoli I can do, but cauliflower, I’ll pass. Needless to say my girls have never tried it and my husband doesn’t didn’t care for it before I stumbled upon this delicious recipe for Cauliflower Breadsticks: Sandy’s Kitchen

A week before Easter I tried the recipe out and the entire tray of breadsticks that I made, were gobbled up within minutes. My family could not believe they were made with cauliflower, moreover, they didn’t care! Yes, I know, unheard of!!

So I thought today that I would try my hand at making the cauliflower pizza this time around. First off, Lil’ C was singing, “Cauliflower pizza, yum, yum, yum,” if that gives you a hint as to whether or not my almost 6 year old and 3 year old like this pizza/breadstick recipe.

I found a few different recipes, but really should have just stuck to the original breadstick one and adjusted a little. The recipe I tried mentioned heating up the chopped cauliflower in the microwave and soaking out the juices, I found that the raw cauliflower I put into our breadsticks worked just fine and may have even been a little less mushy.

By popular demand and the fact that I am behind held at gunpoint {not really}, I am posting this recipe.

Please don’t lick the screen:

Cauliflower Pizza Recipe MommyB

Here are the Ingredients I used to make an entire pizza for my family:

1 medium head of cauliflower {grated makes about 3-4 cups}
1 egg white
2 cups shredded Reduced Fat 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese {1 cup for mix 1 cup for topping}
Turkey Pepperoni {use as desired or count out for caloric intake}
Marinara Sauce
The following herbs and seasonings to taste – garlic powder, pinch of salt {depending on your diet plan}, freeze dried basil, pepper.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450.

Chop cauliflower until it resembles a rice-like texture.

Mix RAW chopped cauliflower, 1 egg white, 1 cup of cheese, herbs and seasonings together in a bowl until combined.

Line a cookie sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper preferably.

Spread mixture onto parchment paper, trying to make an even layer of “dough”. My personal preference is as thin as possible so as not to get a mushy texture, and trying to get my edges even as much as possible.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes and flip the “dough”, baking for another 5 minutes or so to brown both sides of your pizza crust. {VERY IMPORTANT STEP, and will save you from mushy pizza.}

Remove crust from the oven, add the marinara sauce, and any toppings, including the last cup of cheese, we used Turkey pepperoni, and place back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. *Don’t worry about the edges browning, this is typical of cauliflower pizza and tastes great regardless.

Let the pizza set for 2 minutes and then enjoy! Voila!!!

Cauliflower pizza

Princess Party Food Ideas

Lil’ C turned 3 last month and knew a few months before that she wanted a princess party. As you’ve seen in previous years {Miss A’s Rainbow Birthday Bash, Lil C’s Bee Party} I like to get crafty and creative when I throw my little girls birthday parties, whether they are at our home or at a party location. One of the aspects of a party where you can get really creative are with food!! Princess Party Food Ideas from MommyBKnowsBest

Since it was a princess themed birthday party I checked out all things girly on Pinterest, Etsy, and of course googled, “Princess Party” to see what I could come up with. I found some great recommendations all over the web and a lot of recurring ideas from several websites. I can’t attribute them to just one website, but here are a couple that gave me inspiration: disney princess inspired, and cute ruffle hombre cake.

Here are the princess inspired food choices:

Princess Party Food MommyB

1. Trader Joe’s Yogurt Star cookies (nut-free) – these were great because the party colors were white, pink, and purple.

2. Chocolate covered Marshmallows – we used pink dipping chocolate that contained nuts, I also used some pink sprinkles to give them a little sparkle.

3. Princessy Fruit Wands – instead of using lots of different fruits like I had seen online I chose to stick with grapes for the handle of the wand and made cantaloup stars using a play-doh cutter we had around the house.

4. Pretty Meringue cookies (processed with nuts) – someone online mentioned Trader Joe’s had colored versions of meringues including pink, I didn’t find the pink ones but this white version was perfect and pretty.

5. Mini Ruffle Cupcakes – I knew I wanted to make ruffles but wasn’t sure about making an entire cake. (I made my own cake because we had an attendee who has a nut allergy). I found a great tutorial of the mini ruffle cupcakes, and scaled mine down from 2 cupcakes they used to just one, I figured that was plenty for each child. I used a strawberry box mix and made my own buttercream frosting. I topped them off with a princess themed Wilton topper and they were relatively easy to make not having much icing experience. I’ll admit it was a lot of icing to cake ratio, but I don’t think the kids minded *LOL*

6. Blue Bunny Ice Cream Castles – Using an ice cream cone, sprinkles, princess decorations, the same dipping chocolate I used on the covered marshmallows, and any flavor Blue Bunny Ice Cream or Frozen YogurtI made these cute “ice cream castles”. I came up with the idea on my own, but I’m sure other people have probably done something similar in the past. Growing up I always had ice cream with my cake so I tried to figure out how I could incorporate it into our princess theme. It was pretty easy to do.

I dipped the cone into our melting chocolate, covered in sprinkles and sugar pearls, let it dry, filled the cones with Blue Bunny All Natural Frozen Yogurt, and topped with a sparkly metallic flag that I found while shopping at Super Target.

Ice Cream Castle Supplies MommyB Ice Cream Castle MommyB

Are you throwing a Princess themed birthday party??? What was your favorite snack idea? {you don’t need to pick just one}. If you do use any of my ideas, especially the ice cream castle idea, feel free to link back here or share by pinning, on Facebook or Twitter!!

 

Blue Bunny Ice Cream with Cake MommyB

(For the party we cut Blue Bunny Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches in half and each child enjoyed them with their cupcakes, they were easy and one of the best flavors for a birthday party (or anytime)).

 

I received Blue Bunny ice cream products for this party, that in no way reflects the integrity of my post or any opinions I have shared. My family enjoys the products and Lil’ C said, “Best Birthday Ever” so I think that speaks for itself.