Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Freebies: BerryCart Subscription Box, Meditation, Paleo Ebooks and more

      It's Friday again TFMFriends.   It's been a crazy week in our household.  How about yours?  

      Anyway, I was able to find an exciting deal and really good ebooks today for you today. 

      Before you relax and enjoy the weekend, check out what I got for you.  

- Roz      
(Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  Please see my full disclosure here. )

Organic Box Subscription 

50% OFF 1st Box of BerryCart Subscription
         If you subscribe now to the 3- Month Plan of BerryCart Organic products Box,  you'll receive a refund of $13 (half price of a box in a 3 Month plan) within 24 hours.   
         A BerryCart Box contains 8-10 organic products (at least 4 are full sized), 1 Bonus produce rebate and $10 cashback rebates. 

      As of posting, these Ebooks are free to download.  Prices can go up anytime so please check before you download. 

Clean Food Diet by Jonathan Vine

Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss by Troy Adashon

The Heart of Abundance by Candy Paull

The Meditation Transformation by Jennifer Brooks

Trusting God with your Dream by Roxanne Elizabeth Anderson

Superfoods Cookbook by Don Orwell

A Sassy Cavewoman Makes Fire by Megan White

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gluten Free Taco Pizza To the Rescue

      "How do you do it?  I mean making food from scratch everyday."  If a can get a dollar every time I'm asked with this, I bet I'll have a brand new outfit complete with matching shoes and bag every month. (Hmm... That's not a bad idea.)

     Well, here's a confession.  Even though I enjoy cooking and baking, there are days when I totally don't feel like doing anything in the kitchen. Yes, there are times when I would rather fold the kids' clothes than turn on the stove. FYI, laundry is always the last in my to do list.  

    Since calling the local pizzeria and Chinese delivery is no longer an option for us, I have no choice but to produce something for my ever hungry children.  That's when I rely on some packaged staples in my pantry.   

      One of the products, I try to have on hand is Schar's Gluten Free Pizza Crust.  Each box contains 2 crusts which are already at room temperature.  Such a time saver. With my children's appetite, a pizza dinner means two pies!

      Just a little heads up to all my multiple food allergy people. Schar's Gluten Free Pizza Crusts are made with water, corn starch, potato starch, rice flour, sunflower oil, rice starch, rice syrup, dextrose, psyllium seed husks (vegetable fiber), modified cellulose, guar gum, apple fiber, yeast, salt and tartaric acid.  (The ingredient list found in on the box).  Though it contains no soy, there is a statement indicating that it "May Contain Soy". 

       I don't know about your comfort level when it comes to those label warnings.  That's why, I am disclosing this.  In my experience though with this brand,  Child #2 and Child#3 who both have soy allergy were able to eat it without any issues.  Since every situation and child is different, I suggest you trust your instincts.  If you're not comfortable, using this ready made crust, you surely can make your own.  Here's one of my favorite Top 8 allergen free Pizza crust recipe.  

       Either you are using a homemade or ready made crust, this Taco Pizza is kid approved and still easy to make.  Here's another secret.  I usually make a big batch of Taco Meat.  Then I'll put it in quarter size freezer bags and store it in the freezer.  A nice back up for my lazy cooking days.  

       As long as you have the staples on hand, you can readily make this yummy pizza in minutes. If you only knew how many times this came in to my rescue.  

        Give this one a try and don't forget to let me know how you think.  

- Roz
 (Note: I was given free products to use for this post.  This however, doesn't affect my review and thoughts I've written.  Please see my full disclosure here.



1 pc. Schar Gluten Free pizza crust
1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey
2 tsp (or more) Taco Seasoning
1/3 cup shredded cheese (in our case Daiya cheddar style)
1/4 cup guacamole
1 tsp. melted butter
pinch of garlic powder

Optional toppings:
     shredded lettuce
     chopped tomatoes
     hot pepper slices
     crushed corn chips

1. Preheat the oven to 410 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a heated pan, brown the ground beef or turkey.  Once the meat is almost cooked, add the taco seasoning and mix well.
3. Transfer the cooked taco meat in a platter and set aside.
4. Place the pizza crust on the prepared baking sheet.
5. Brush whole the pizza crust with melted butter and sprinkle the garlic powder. Make sure the edge has some garlic powder too.
6. Spread the cooked taco meat on the crust.
7. Sprinkle cheese on top of the meat.
8. Bake in the oven for 11-12 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven.
10. Top with guacamole and other toppings you like. Serve hot.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Freebies: Paleo Diet for Kids, Audiobook, Coupon and more

       First day of Spring and  we are having some snow here in New Jersey.  Is it luck or what?  

       Before I make my fellow East Coast people upset, let me share with your this week's giveaway, discount and yes, freebie finds.  There's even a Free Trial Membership!

        Check them out before the deals expire.

        Have a great weekend.

- Roz

(Note: This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you so much for you support. To know more about this, please see more full disclosure here.)

75 Cents off Coupon for a pink of Wink Frozen Dessert


Yum Earth Organic Lollipops and Sour Beans Giveaway
       Just in time for Easter, our friend, Vegetarian Mamma is currently hosting a giveaway on her blog.  Here's the link.  Good luck!

Free Trial Offer

Free 30-day Trial and Audiobook at 

Free Ebooks

    As of this posting, the ebooks below are free to download.  However, the price can change anytime so make sure to check before downloading. 

Paleo Diet for Kids by J.J. Lewis 

Paleo Easter Bunny by Lucy Fast

The Paleo Parents' Beginner Guide by Deep Cove Publishing 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Making Life a Little Sweeter without the Guilt

      One of my goals for this year is to use less sugar. I have to say, it is quite a challenge because I do have a sweet tooth.  That's why when I was asked to try Organic SweetLeaf Stevia by Moms Meet, I immediately grabbed the opportunity.  

      Here are some of the things about SweetLeaf Stevia that got me really curious:
  • It is Certified Organic, zero calorie sweetener made from high-quality Stevia leaves.
  • SweetLeaf Organic Stevia Sweetener is gluten free and contains no artificial ingredients, calories, carbohydrates glycemic response which makes it ideal for people managing their blood sugar or calorie intake. 
  • One packet of of SweetLeaf Organic Stevia is as sweet as 2 teaspoons of sugar. 
  • With a delicious taste that is sweeter than sugar, SweetLeaf Organic Stevia Sweetener is perfect for sweetening hot or cold beverages, cereals, baked goods, desserts, fresh fruit, yogurt and more.

     Above is the gift pack I received from the makers of SweetLeaf Organic Stevia.  Though I was really curious about on how the sugar alternative will taste, I have to admit, the Sweet Drops stole the show. Packaged in a familiar medicine bottle complete with a rubber dropper, the SweetDrops made me a little hesitant to actually try it. (Well, it just brings bad memories.) 

    Anyway, since our rule in this house is try something once before saying No, (unless of course it contains their allergens),  I kept on open mind.  Now, here's something important to know most especially by us food allergy people.  Since the labels of SweetLeaf products don't specify for any allergens or warnings, I decided to contact them before writing this post.  Here's their response on my inquiry. 

Ms. DeSagun,
Our ingredients include purified water, organic stevia extract, and natural flavors which are plant based, which means that we use a combination of herbs, fruits, vegetables, and essences. Sweet Drops™ contain no MSG or other products like it. Our liquids are also vegan and gluten free, meaning they contain no corn, wheat, barley or rye. We do not use GMO products. Our equipment may process different things but it is thoroughly cleaned between each product. Our product does not contain any soy or rice, and stevia extract used for the preparation of SweetDrops has been obtained with water extraction only.
I hope this information helps!

       As of this posting, I still haven't had a specific response on the peanuts and tree nuts (aside from Hazelnuts).  I'll keep you posted once the information is available.

      However, our family did try the Pumpkin Spice and the Berry Flavors (about 8 times already) and so far, all four of the kiddos didn't have any reactions. 

      For testing, I used our favorite recipe for Pumpkin Oat Muffins.  Instead of the adding 1 cup of sugar as the recipe requires, I cut it in half and included 8 packet of Sweet Leaf Organic Stevia. Then, I added about 10 drops of the Pumpkin Spice Sweet Drops to the batter and baked it in a loaf pan at 350 F for about 40 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean). The result is a delicious Pumpkin Spiced Bread.   


       One of the reasons why I enjoy using Sweet Drops is that it not overly sweet like honey or agave. It's not even thick at all.  In fact, it is more of like the extracts we use for baking, only colorless, alcohol free and full of flavor. That's when  I realize the importance of the dropper. It allowed me to precisely add how much I need. Surprisingly,  a little of this really goes a long way.  

       Aside from adding extra flavor to baked goods, the SweetLeaf Drops works well coffee, tea and yes plain old water.  Even Child #3, (the pickiest one) agrees.  It provides so much flavor without the added calories, after taste and side effects.  Personally, I get headaches if I consume products with aspartame or other artificial sugar substitutes.  

       Now for the Organic SweetLeaf Stevia packets. After using it on hot liquids such as coffee and even tomato based sauces, I found out that it gives the added sweetness without any after taste - a challenge most sugar substitutes have. When used with cold liquids, it melts right away and is not bitter at all.  I've made sweet lemon tea with it a few times and I have to say, I can't tell the difference.

        If you are watching your sugar intake, SweetLeaf Organic Stevia products are really nice to have on hand.  It gives that sweetness we love and crave without the guilty feeling.  

- Roz

(Note:  I received this products for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet SM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a Moms Meet SM blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer for this product.)       

Monday, March 16, 2015

Four Important Financial Advices for New and Not So New Parents

     Yesterday, as the kids and I went to an indoor mini golf activity, I just realized that very soon my oldest will be in high school. After that, every two years to be exact, I'll have a freshman. In just a blink of an eye, the kids will be in college!  

     Where did time go? I know that it flies fast but not at this rate. Anyway, this got me thinking.  Am I ready for it? College, weddings, empty nesting?  

     Whether you are expecting your first child or taking care of your fifth, I would like to share with you these four important things which most parents tend to put aside until the very end. 
     As most of us have heard or experienced, having a child can be a very expensive thing. Therefore, it is important for families to carefully plan out all of their expenses. When a child is involved, there are often many unexpected expenses that come into play as well. Needless to say, you need to be wise when it comes to money when you are raising a family in this very difficult financial times.  Here are some useful money saving advice for new and not so new families.  
Photo courtesy of Magickal Goodies 
1. Start planning for college immediately 

It is never too early to start planning for college. The cost of college tuition continues to go up every year. If you wait until your child is in high school to start saving for college, it will be far too late. However, if you do get a late start and you need some extra cash to finance your child's college education, visit one of the many New York private banking locations to find out about the various loans they offer. There is certain to be one that suits your needs. 

     This is one of my priorities. When my kids were younger (babies), I would put all their monetary gifts in an educational plan I got for them. I also remembered asking their godparents not to buy them those cute yet really pricey clothes and toys. Yes, they could buy them presents but I let them know how helpful a $10 deposit to their educational fund is. Those who were still paying their college loans readily understood.  I mean, if a child is under 3 years old, she wouldn't know the difference of a $50 Barbie doll from a $10 one. Right?

2. New expenses

Before you have a child, it is important that you understand the financial burden that will be coming your way when the little one finally arrives. Items such as wipes, diapers, clothing, food, formula, babysitters, day care and visits to the doctor will all need to be figured into your budget. Being able to afford these essential things for your new child may require you to give up some other things. For example, the cable TV and your gym membership may need to be cancelled.

        This is something I learned later on. The older a child gets, the more expensive he or she gets.  A baby wouldn't care if his or her shirt is from an expensive boutique or from a discount bin.  As my children got bigger, I've noticed that they now have a say on their clothes, shoes, activities and more.  Most of the time, if they are not paying for it, their choices tend to be on the higher side.  

3. Life insurance and wills

Now that you have a family, it is important that you do what is necessary to safeguard their future if something should happen to you. This is especially important if you are the primary breadwinner in your family. If you are relied upon for financial support, having an updated will and life insurance policy is critical. If you should pass away suddenly without either of these things in place, your family could be left destitute. 

      This is something most don't like to talk about.  However, it is really crucial.  I'm the primary caregiver of my children. However, I can't even imagine what will happen to my them in case I passed soon.  My children with food allergies for instance, can't cook their food yet.  Who will care for them in the even both my husband and I are gone?  How will they care of these kids with special needs? 

4. Go to a financial planner

New families often find it useful to go to a financial planner after their new baby is born. A financial planer can take a look at the parents finances and construct a budget for them to follow so they can prevent going broke. This is definitely worthwhile if neither parent is good at managing their money.

      I think this advice is not only applicable when a new baby is born.  In fact, I think we (that includes me) should go for consultations more often. With our busy daily routine and never ending life changes, a new set of eyes and ideas can definitely be beneficial.  A financial adviser can help us stay on track of our goals and even make new ones.
      Do you have some common or unique financial tips to share?  I love to hear from you.  Please write them down at the common section below.  

        Have a great week!

- Roz

(Note: This is a sponsored post which meant that I have compensation for writing this article and posting a link.  Please see my full disclosure here. )

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Freebies and Deals: Red Apple Lipstick Eye Make Up, Paleo Ebooks and more

      Happy Friday the 13th!  While most people think that today isn't a lucky day, I'm here to prove that it can be a lucky one.

       Check out the amazing deals I found for your today.

       Here's to a lucky weekend!

- Roz

(Note:  This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure here.) 

Online Deals

Red Apple Lipstick's The Lash Project Mascara is now available at a lower price of $37.  There's also a 15% ongoing sale on all of their Brown Eye shadows.

Free Ebooks

At the time of posting, these books are free.  The prices can go up anytime so always check before you download.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Did I Give UP Blogging?

    It's the middle of the Lenten Season.  As a practicing Catholic, I know I have to sacrifice something I love during this forty days.  For this year, will it be blogging? Can I? Should I? 

       For starters, here's the good news my TFM Friends, giving up blogging hasn't crossed my mind.  After maintaining this blog for almost three years, it has become really close to my heart.  Over those years, I realized that what I am doing is more than just a hobby or an outlet for my food allergy ranting.  What started out as a feel better therapy for me, bloomed into so much more.  It became a calling... a mission.  

       When I had my first food allergy related meltdown over a pancake (here's the story in case you like to read it), I remembered questioning God why I was put in this situation.  If the chances of having one child with multiple allergies is like winning the lottery, then I'm a Mega, Powerball, Quick Pick and Scratch off winner.  As in 4 out of 4 came out positive with several food and environmental allergies.  

       I was heartbroken, confused, defeated and lost.  On top of it all, I have to put a bright and positive face in front of my children.  If I think I am fragile at that time, how much more are my kids? They are the ones with food allergies!  I'm sure so many thoughts and emotions are swirling in their minds too.   

       Since I can't readily share my predicament at home, I turned to my friends via Facebook.  I have to say, I'm so blessed to have such caring and supportive friends. Though many of them are not familiar with food allergies, they encouraged me to write about my challenges and victories (grocery shopping and recipes).  Their common line was "You are not alone.  We are sure many people out there are experiencing what you are going through and you can help them." 

      Along with the new lifestyle, the writing started.  It was not easy.  Because of  the extra time I needed to cook everything from scratch, I have to give up the precious time allotted to my online jewelry and eco bag business.  Income that could have helped tremendously with the sudden increase of our grocery and medical bills.  

       With lesser income coming in, bigger bills and fewer time to "my work", I realized that God is working on something.  As I tackle each day, my food allergy meltdowns become lesser.  My recipe collection kept on growing.  The kids are growing way healthier and happier.  More products are being introduced to the market.  Coupons are starting to come out too.  Eventually, opportunities for product reviews began to flow as well.  The more I share, the more information I get which I felt needed to be given back.  
       Financial wise, I have to say, this blogging work is still far from supporting a family.  Though I'm fortunate to work with several companies, this business is still a work in progress.  

       With all the challenges I encounter, you may wonder why I still do what I do.  My real honest answer is that it fills me with so much joy. 

        "My son never had a donut until today. Can I give you a hug?"
        "I made these cupcakes for my son's birthday.  Everybody in our family loved it."
      "Thank you for the event you shared.  I was able to buy so much food and I saved a lot of money."  

        "The coupons were really helpful. Thank you so much."

        "Thanks for posting the products your kids eat.  It made my grocery shopping a lot easier."

      Those were some of the messages I get from complete strangers. Little notes that reassure me that I am in this situation for a reason and that my story has a purpose.  

      Now, you may be asking why I was missing in action for more than two weeks.  Well, it's because I don't have any internet connection!  After four repair mans, it looks like it's about time to switch to cable. Any suggestions?

photo courtesy of BajuesBest

- Roz
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