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Review: Luv Michael Originola Granola

I received this item at no charge.  Powered by Brandbacker, but all opinions are 100% my own.  For more information see our Disclosure Statement. #LuvMichaelCo

Luv-Michael-Originola

Before I get into the granola itself, I need to take a moment to tell you guys just how awesome Luv Michael really is.  They are a company based out of New York that Michael Kessaris’s parents helped start.  Michael is an 18-year-old with a passion for cooking who just happens to also be autistic.  His parents wanted to help start a business so that their son and others with autism could have more fulfilling, productive lives.  The slogan on the front of the package says “Autism Made, Autism Paid.”  Their mission is to provide meaningful vocational training for the autistic population and to produce exceptional gluten-free and natural products. Luv Michael educates, trains and employs individuals with autism.

There are so many people who either have a family member with autism or who know someone with autism.  We know first hand how difficult it is for someone with autism to find ways to be active participants in society, especially as adults.  My fiance’s brother had been living with him for many years.  They moved into my house over a  year ago and his brother had to quit his job since it was over an hour away.  He had only been employed a few months, but the effect it had on him was awesome.  He had come out of his shell more and was starting to talk more positively about his own future.  He really wants to have his own place again.  We thought we’d be able to transfer all his information and find something for him near where we live now, but it’s been next to impossible.  We keep getting told to call one place, then they tell us to call another.  It’s been very difficult and time-consuming.  He hasn’t had a job in over a year, he barely comes upstairs, and he’s most definitely back in his shell.  We’re actually planning to move back up near where they were before and hoping that we will be able to get him working again soon.

Luv Michael Originola

I think Daryl’s brother would be awesome at a job where he could help make or package granola! He’d probably want to take it all home, but I wouldn’t blame him – it’s delicious!  In the package, you can see it’s a little different than traditional granola.  It looks more like a broken up cookie than the typical granola crumbles you usually find.  It’s gluten free which is awesome, but also nut free and dairy free.  There are no GMO ingredients and it contains organic ingredients!  The Originola variety is loaded with lots of good stuff like cranberries, raisins, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon!  It kind of reminds me of an oatmeal raisin cookie.  I couldn’t stop eating it!

Luv Michael Originola

My favorite way to  use granola is in a cup of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt.  I’d also eat this as cereal or straight from the bag since the pieces are bigger and easier to grab.

Right now you can find 2oz snackable packages of Luv Michaels Originola Granola at New York Fresh & Co., Café Metro and Wild by Nature stores as well as select Starbucks and at local stores in Southampton, New York and throughout Delaware.  They are growing and hoping to expand to all 50 states!  If you happen to be in one of these areas I really hope you’ll give Luv Michael a try! If you’re not, keep your eyes open – they may be coming to a store near you soon!

To find out more about Luv Michael and their mission you can check them out on Facebook, Instagram, or visit their website at www.LuvMichael.com

 

 

 

Game Days and Easy Dinners (Plus A Football Name Card Tutorial)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #FamilyPizzaCombo #CollectiveBias

I love everything about Fall…the change in the weather, the leaves, apple picking, the food, and especially football!!  After our ridiculously busy week, Sundays are a day to enjoy our time together. For my family, that means watching our favorite football teams play while enjoying an easy dinner together!

Games Days and Easy Dinners

One of my favorite easy dinners that I just discovered is the Family Pizza Combo at Sam’s Club! For just $13.98 you get a hot 16-inch pizza, cheesy breadsticks, cookies, and a 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola!  When I told Daryl about this deal, he was shocked we could get that much food for such a great price! He is obviously more than okay with pizza for dinner while we watch the games and I’m happy to have one less meal to figure out and prepare each week! Being able to slow down, relax, and spend more time together has been really awesome for us!

This doesn’t stop me from breaking out the Game Day decor, though!  I love to decorate and make a big deal out of every little thing!  Jaxon enjoys it and Benjamin is fascinated with everything, so it’s always worth it!

Games Days and Easy Dinners

I put out our tablecloth that resembles a football field and we always use plates that look like footballs!  I have a ton of these green and white striped straws I bought for another party that reminds me of the football field as well so we use those with our Coca-Cola!  Since we are planning on purchasing the Family Pizza Combo at Sam’s Club each week, I decided to make Football Name Cards for the food as well!

While I bought all the other decor, you can easily make the Football Name Cards yourself by following these steps:

Find an image of a football you like.  There are tons to pick from if you do a search on your computer for football images.

Games Days and Easy Dinners

Using a free photo editing website, like PicMonkey, open the photo to edit.

Games Days and Easy Dinners

Choose a font, click “add text” then type in the name.  You can use the text editing box to change the size and text color.  Position the name where you want it on the football and save to your computer.

Game Days and Easy Dinners

Print onto white cardstock at desired size.  Make sure to leave enough blank space so that you can fold the cards in half to display.

Viola!  An easy way to add even more pizzazz to your next Game Day gathering!

Whether you’re just feeding your family or hosting a big Game Day party, try the Family Pizza Combo at Sam’s Club for an easy dinner (or party!) solution at an amazing price!  Find a club near you here!

Games Days and Easy Dinners

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Fall Favorites + A JORD Watch Contest!

Fall Favorites + A JORD Watch Contest!

This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches.  For more information see our Disclosure Statement.

Pumpkin definitely makes my list when it comes to Fall favorites, but there is so much more I love about this season!  Check out my favs and get the details on a contest that is perfect for Fall!

I used to think I was a summer girl.  I have a Mediterranean background. I even once almost moved to Southern Florida and my parents did end up moving down without me!  Now they can’t stand temperatures under 70 degrees.  It’s in my genes to love hot weather, right??

Turns out that as I’ve gotten older, I’m all about Fall!  The way you can feel the cooler air moving in, the leaves changing, sweaters, boots, and pumpkin and apple EVERYTHING!  I love it all!

These are some my Fall Favorites right now!

Fall Favorites - Cooler Weather

  •  Cooler weather.  It has been one of the hottest summers I can ever remember.  Most days were over 90 degrees!  I had planned to be out a lot with the kids this summer since I was cooped up most of the last summer after giving birth on May 26.  But, at 90+ degrees almost every day, it was just too hot to be out and about with a baby.  I am more than ready for the cooler Fall weather and will most definitely have these two little sweeties of mine out a lot more than we have this summer! Fall Favorites - Sweaters and Boots
  • Oversized Sweaters.  I love all kinds of sweaters come Fall, but there is nothing cozier than an oversized sweater with a pair of leggings.  Can’t you just picture being curled up on the couch, by the fireplace, in this exact outfit?!?  Stylish AND comfortable.
  • Knee High Boots.  I am loving the bootie trend right now, but will never, ever give up my knee high boots!  Ever.

Fall Favorites JORD Watch

  • Wood Jewelry.  My newest obsession.  I recently won wooden hoop earrings and a bracelet in a giveaway contest.  Then, this JORD wood watch came into my life.  It’s so beautiful and unique and just perfect for Fall.  Mine is the Zebrawood and Maple from the Fieldcrest Collection.  You can see all the varieties here.  One of my readers will also win a $75 e-voucher towards the purchase of a JORD watch of their own!  You can find the contest details at the bottom of this post – be sure to share it with your friends and family too because everyone will get $20 off! Fall Favorites - Turkish Throws
  • Turkish Throws.  In the summer I’m all about Turkish towels, but I also LOVE Turkish Throws. They make a beautiful accent to any room and I actually use them all the time!  My fiance keeps the house freezing year round!

A photo posted by Lauren (@ourlittleeverything) on

  • Fall Festivals and Apple Picking.  We have quite a few orchards near us that hold Fall Festivals every year.  I always go every single year – even before I had kids!  They have hayrides, corn mazes, activities for kids, and a local store with all kinds of food including fresh apple cider and apple cider donuts!  We also pick our own apples and bake up a storm afterward.  My boys love my Homemade Apple Pie so much, that Jaxon has requested it instead of a birthday cake this year!  I’ll try to get a recipe down for it soon, but it’s one of those things that I make by adding a little of this and that!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Final Plating
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Pumpkin.  I know I am not alone when I say I want allllll the pumpkin.  I had never baked with pumpkin until last year when I made these cookies, and now my list of pumpkin recipes to try is endless.  Endless.  I want it all and then some.  I’m planning to share more pumpkin recipes this year if they turn out to be just as amazing as the cookies!

    Fall Favorites - School Begins
    Jaxon in 2nd Grade Trying to Reenact His Kindergarten Excitement
  • School Begins.  For the first time since my oldest son started Kindergarten, just 3 short years ago, I am excited for school to start.  I’m happy he will get to see his friends again, happy for some one-on-one time with the baby, and really happy for the possibility of working in silence for the first time in 3 months ha!

JORD Watch

Now about that contest I mentioned earlier – JORD is giving one lucky reader a $75 e-voucher good towards the purchase of any watch on their website!  And ALL readers will get a $20 e-voucher (excluding the winner)!  It’s a win-win kind of contest!  The $75 e-voucher expires on 11/30/16 and the $20 e-vouchers can be redeemed until 1/31/17!

The contest ends on 9/25/16 – ENTER HERE!!

What are some of your Fall favorites?


Luxury Wood Watch

Review: Exuviance Retexturing Treatment

Exuviance Retexturing Treatment

I received this Exuviance Retexturing Treatment at no cost to me in exchange for my honest review.  Powered by BrandBacker.  See our Disclosure Statement for more information.

A few months ago I went to the dermatologist to have a full body check of my moles and freckles. During my exam, the doctor mentioned that I had bumps on the backs of my arms.  He told me it was a fairly common condition called Keratosis Pilaris.  I had no idea I even had these bumps!  He had recommended a brand of lotion I could pick up at the drugstore to use on my son’s eczema and told me it would work for me as well.  He also told me it would help where the sides of my feet get really dry and flaky. Unfortunately, the lotion he recommended didn’t work for either of us.

A couple weeks ago, I learned of the brand Exuviance’s Retexturing Treatment.  It’s an exfoliating treatment for arms and legs and is also appropriate to use for Keratosis Pilaris as well! The Glycolic Acid formula is supposed to lightly hydrate while exfoliating and banish dry skin over time.  They also state that there are added anti-aging benefits with continued use and that this treatment smooths lines while restoring elasticity and suppleness.  After using regularly, my skin would be smooth and radiant.  It all sounded great, so I was anxious to try it!

I decided to use the Exuviance RetexuringTreatment on both my upper arms where the Keratosis Pilaris is, and along the sides of my feet.  The package states it can be used on the arms and legs, so I’m not quite sure the sides of the feet really fit into it’s intended use, but I was curious to see if it would give me better results on the dryness in that area than other products I have tried.

On day one I applied the Retexturing Treatment in the morning.  While I didn’t see (or expect) immediate results of the Keratosis Pilaris, I did see immediate results on the dryness on the sides of my feet.  Whenever I apply lotion to my feet, they don’t appear as dry immediately after.  The real test here was seeing how long the results lasted.  Eight hours later, the area was still hydrated and nowhere near as dry and flaky. For Keratosis Pilaris it is recommended to use the treatment at least twice a day so,  I re-applied the treatment to both my feet and arms again before bed.

Exuviance Retexturing Treatment
My heel before the first application
Exuviance Retexturing Treatment
Immediately after the first application
Exuviance Retexturing Treatment
Five days later and BEFORE anything was applied

After five days of using the Exuviance Retexturing Treatment twice a day, I am really happy with the results I’ve gotten so far.  I don’t need to reapply this product or any other lotion to the sides of my feet in the middle of the day like I used to because they are staying smooth and hydrated much longer!  It’s really nice being able to wear sandals or flip flops without having to worry about how bad my feet might look as the day goes on.  The photos of the skin on the back of my arms don’t seem that different to me but it is starting to feel smoother to the touch.  I know this area might take a little more time to clear up, but I’m seeing progress already and really believe I will continue to.

Exuviance Retexturing Treatment
The back of my arm on day one
Exuviance Retexturing Treatment
The back of my arm on day five

There are a few precautions that need to be taken when using this product.  First, it is not recommended that it be used immediately after shaving.  This isn’t an issue for me since I don’t use it on my legs. You’re also supposed to limit exposure to the sun when using this product, and for a week afterwards since it contains alpha-hydroxy acids which can make you more likely to get a sunburn.  Being this is mid-summer, I was a bit concerned. When I did have to go out, I used plenty of high SPF sunscreen and protective clothing and was fine.

After five days of use, I can honestly say I would recommend this product to anyone who has persistent dry flaky skin or Keratosis Pilaris.  The price is $42 for a 6-ounce tube, and while it is higher than the drugstore brand I tried, the results are must faster and far better.  The immediate improvement in the dryness around my feet and how long it lasted after even just one use was really impressive.  I plan to continue to use it on the areas of Keratosis Pilaris and expect I will see continued improvement there as well.

Exuviance Retexturing Treatment

If you’re interested in Exuviance’s Retexturing Treatment you can find more information and purchase it on their website:  www.Exuviance.com

Baby On The Move with Huggies!

Baby on the Move with Huggies

Ben started taking his first steps a couple months ago and now there is just no stopping him! This is a baby on the move and we are just trying to keep up!

Ben’s first steps actually came very early for his condition.  He has dwarfism and the “early” age for walking is typically around 14 months.  Our boy wasn’t going to let his heavy, wobbly head slow him down.  Even before he could walk he was up on two feet and just sliding his head along on the floor in both the forward and reverse snowplow positions.  But even after he could get himself up on those two adorable feet of his, the unique ways he gets around kept coming!  We have found that Huggies Little Snugglers have been the best at keeping him dry and comfortable through hours of play!

Baby on the Move with Huggies

I often still find him up on his two feet with his head pressed into the floor playing with a toy as if that’s how every baby plays with their toys.  He also gets himself in this position and spins around just to check out what’s going on around him.  I’m not sure how long this maneuver will go on, but it’s one of my favorites!

Baby on the Move with Huggies

We also find Benjamin in a squatting position a lot too!  I’ve read that it could be because his little legs get tired quicker than average height toddlers, but he never stops for long and doesn’t really seem tired.  I think he’s just still figuring out his body and how it works.  Lately, if his big brother, Jaxon, has the television on,  I will find Benjamin squatting with his back on the couch or ottoman  just watching along.

A photo posted by Lauren (@ourlittleeverything) on

Even though he can walk now, he still loves to use his push toys.  He likes to go as fast as he can but doesn’t know how to turn.  Every 15 seconds he’s grunting to let us know to come turn the toy for him!  He also reaches up for our hands and once he has them, takes off as fast as he can! I have a feeling he’s going to be just as crazy, if not crazier, than Jaxon!

Baby on the Move with Huggies

Baby on the Move

While we are having a hard time keeping up with him, one thing that’s not having any trouble are his diapers!  The Huggies Little Snugglers fit him so well, stay incredibly dry between changes, and don’t leak even through all his new crazy moves!   And when playtime is done, they keep him dry and leak-free all night as well!

Huggies Diapers and Wipes

Baby on the Move with Huggies

 

We also love the Huggies One and Done Refreshing Baby Wipes!  Diaper changes need to be quick and thorough because this little boy has places to go and things to do!  These wipes clean messes up so quickly! We even use them for spills and messy hands!

You can find Huggies Diapers and Wipes at Walmart Neighborhood Market for the same prices you’d find at the Walmart supercenters!  We love shopping at the smaller Walmart Neighborhood Market stores because it’s so easy to get in and out which means more time for play time!  They are opening a lot of new stores so check the store locator to find the store nearest to you!

If you’ve got a baby on the move of your own you can get a $2.00 off coupon for Huggies Diapers (available now until December 31, 2016) and a there is also a coupon for Huggies Wipes (available August 28 – September 10, 2016).

Huggies at Walmart Neighborhood Market

Benjamin in Walmart with Huggies

 

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