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Almond Chia Steel-Cut Oatmeal Bowls - A simple, healthy, and beautiful breakfast that is ready in two minutes, flat.Breakfast has never been my strong suit. I’m happy to make it but somehow, after a cup of coffee, I’m just never really in the mood for it in the mornings. While, I’m not all that old… yet… something about having children makes me think a bit more about taking care of myself — and the least I can do is try to start my day with something more substantial than a cup of coffee.

I’ve always been a fan of oatmeal, but traditional packets (even organic brands) are often loaded with sugar, which is not really something I consider to be a good start to my day. I’ve also tried making overnight oats, which I do enjoy, but having to prepare meals ahead is also a shortcoming of mine. When I had the chance to try Pacific Foods ready to eat steel-cut oats I was pretty excited. Pacific is a brand that I am familiar with, purchase, and trust.

Their steel-cut oatmeal is certified organic and comes in unsweatened, lightly sweetened, Maple & Brown Sugar, Apple & Cinnamon, and my favorite — Flax & Chia Power. Steel-cut oats are a recent favorite of mine. They add a little extra texture to oatmeal, which some may find quite welcome. (Rolled and instant oats are sometimes a bit too mushy for my tastes.)

Each flavor contains at least 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and 25 grams of whole grains (though some contain more!). Not only are they ready to eat in about two minutes, but they are low in sugar. I can enjoy the oatmeal as-is, or spruce them up with a handful of fruit and a sprinkling of nuts or seeds.

If you’ve been on Instagram or Pinterest, you’ve likely seen smoothie bowls, which are so beautiful. I love eating pretty foods but I’ve yet to hop on the smoothie craze, so… in lieu of that, I’ve started to beatify the foods I love to eat.

I make lunch each day for my kids, so I’m always chopping up fruits in the morning. With these oatmeal bowls I can easily set a little aside for myself, get them kids the bus, and then toss it my oatmeal bowl together. It’s no time at all, but it certainly brings a bit of light to my day and helps me not crash and burn because I skipped feeding myself.

I hope that you enjoy this ridiculously simple recipe as much as I do – though, to be honest, it’s so easy that I’m not sure it even qualifies as a recipe, but I do hope that it encourages you to treat yourself a bit. We deserve it!

Almond Chia Steel-Cut Oatmeal Bowls
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  1. 8 oz Steel Cut Oatmeal (cooked) (I used Pacific's Ready-to-Eat Steel-Cut Oatmeal in Flax & Chia Power)
  2. Splash of Organic Milk (Almond, Hemp, Dairy, etc. - Optional)
  3. 2 Strawberries (sliced)
  4. 1 tbs Sliced Almonds
  5. 1 tsp Chia Seeds
  1. Heat precooked oats for 1-2 minutes and stir in a splash of milk to get the consistency you prefer and then create a bit of art.
  2. You can pile the toppings on or take your time to create something that brings you joy.
  1. I used strawberries, chia, and almond slices in my bowl, but you can get creative with any number of ingredients. I love to use a little drizzle of maple syrup with blueberries and pumpkin seeds too, but there are so many fun combinations.
The Eco-Friendly Family

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Diaper Need AwarenessI have been a long-time supporter of Giving Diapers, Giving Hope – a cloth diaper lending organization that help families provide clean, sustainable diapers for their children. Saving money to pay for vital things like food, utilities, and more.

Each year, the National Diaper Bank Network highlights this need with National Diaper Need Awareness Week (September 26-October 2, 2016).

Las year, GDGH held a groundbreaking telethon style fundraiser on Periscope. It raised enough funds to carry them through the year (and beyond) – enabling them to help nearly 50 families per month.

This year Giving Diapers, Giving Hope will focus on stories that reflect how cloth diapering (and GDGH) helps families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to begin cloth diapering.

1 in 3 families struggle to afford diapers of any kind and there are no public assistance programs that directly provide diaper assistance.

Diapers are a basic necessity for babies, and cloth diapers can effectively eliminate that monthly expense. Cloth can enable families to use that $60+ per month towards food, power, and the many other bills they face.

If you’d like to support Giving Diapers, Giving Hope by donating your gently used cloth diapers or by making a monetary donation (80% of donations directly assist our families through the purchase of diapers and shipping costs) you can find out more at Giving Diapers, Giving Hope or use these links to quickly make your tax-deductible donation.

Donate $5 now | Donate $10 now | Donate $25 now | Donate $50 now

or choose your own amount to donate using the form on the Donate page at GDGH.

Thank you for helping keep babies dry and healthy 💕


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Floor Cleaning, Simplified : With the bObi robotic vacuumI’m going to be honest here. Cleaning is not my favorite thing. Not by even the longest of shots. You would think that picking up a device that would clean FOR ME would be a no-brainer, but when robotic vacuums first came around I couldn’t imagine how they could work all that well. I mean, they’re so tiny! But then I started hearing friends say things like “It’s part of the family.” Some even said they had one for each floor of their home. Every time I saw a post the comments were full people sharing their love for these little devices.

The buzz had my head turned, so when bObsweep reached out to me about being introduced to their line I was ready and excited jump on board. We chatted about my family’s needs and soon their bObi Classic Robotic Vacuum was headed my way.

You may have seen bObi's introduction on my Instagram stories.

You may have seen bObi’s introduction on my Instagram stories.

bObi arrived with the most adorable with ‘birth announcement’ and the kids nearly flipped. They could not wait for me to get it all set up. I must have said “It has to charge first!” at least a dozen times, and you should have seen the kids the first time bObi approached a ledge! The kids all screamed in unison “bObi, no!”  It was comical. Have no fear, bObi is fine. She zooms in and out of tight spaces, avoiding dangers while sweeping up fluff along the way.

Before we get into the details and features of bObi, I want to discuss my biggest concern – our dog, Sadie.

bObi & pets

I was skeptical at first, you see we have a lab… who sheds… a lot. She’s also entirely terrified of our upright vacuum. While slightly amusing, I was worried that bObi might stress her out. She’s known for jumping onto the furniture – across it – and more when the vacuum is on. It really scares her and the last thing we would want is a machine running around terrorizing her. Thankfully, Sadie really doesn’t care too much about bObi. bObi isn’t nearly as loud as our upright vacuum, and I think her smaller size and slower speed probably come into play as well. I wouldn’t say that she’s snuggling up with bObi anytime soon, but she’s certainly not stressed or scared by it in any way. I’m calling this one a win.

bObi & kids

As I mentioned, the kids were crazy excited when bObi arrived, perhaps annoyingly so. bObi has been with us for about a month now and they still ask to turn her on far too often. I like to let her work during the day, but the kids do enjoy when I let her work on the weekends. They like following bObi around – sort of like an extra sibling for them to chase and attack – and they love to fight over who gets to turn bObi on… which often results in at lest two of our three kids getting to turn her off and on so that they all get a turn 😂🙈

bObi is pretty much hands off, but you will need to keep cords out of the way. This is the same as any other vacuum but because we are in the middle of a home renovation it does require a little extra diligence on my part. bObi doesn’t like loose or tangly things. We have cut up multiple areas of our main floor and will be replacing the carpet with wood flooring, but until then we have several raw edges. Clearly this won’t apply to anyone but me, but it’s worth noting that should there be an area of conflict, it’s simple enough to just put something in bObi’s way – like a gate, basket, or box.

finer details & features

I love how bObi, when used regularly, can manage the daily dog hair and dust. While I can’t imagine ever allowing bObi into our girls’ room (the mess…. ohhh the mess), I cannot wait to have new floors to set bObi loose on. She maneuvers our big areas so smoothly and I am excited for her to be able to keep up with more of the house for me.

Floor Cleaning, Simplified : With the bObi robotic vacuum

bObi is a compact vacuum full of features. It sweeps and vacuums while using a UV sterilization on the bottom panel, along with a HEPA filter. And, while I don’t currently use the mop function, it does exist. Once we have new flooring in I’ll be excited to try it out.

bObi comes with a Wi-Fi enabled remote which allows you to set up a fully customized cleaning schedule. If that’s not your thing, simply press the touchscreen buttons on top of bObi: GO!, JUICE, or WAFFLE.

In GO! mode bObi will travel around your home, across all floors and surfaces. When bObi needs to recharge (battery below 15%), she will automatically head back to the charging dock. This ensures that you won’t fine bObi laying lifeless in a hallway, corner, or under furniture.

JUICE mode will send bObi back to home base to recharge.

In WAFFLE mode, bObi will spend extra time in the area you set her in – traveling in a grid pattern to concentrate on tougher messes.

Of course, a deep cleaning with carpet is sometimes needed, but I am really excited to see how she does when we have more solid surface floors (she does great in our kitchen!) While bObi Classic is the right fit for us, but may want to learn more about their other models on the bObsweep website or on Amazon.





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Where you buy your roses matters. All Kroger roses are Rainforest Alliance certified. Click through to learn more about #KrogerRosesWhen I first started going green the availability of ethical sources and safe products was limited, at best. I lived in a rural area with a few big box stores, small town grocers, and Kroger. Admittedly, much of my previous grocery budget was made up with convenience foods and my familiarity with the produce section was largely limited to things like corn on the cob, apples, grapes, peaches, and watermelon. When I started going making healthier, safer buying choices my world opened up and I fell in love with Kroger. Not only did they offer the healthier foods I was looking for, but they also offered other products that were in line with my new ideals – like paper products made with recycled paper, non-toxic cleaners, etc.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to visit some pretty cool naturally minded stores, but Kroger has always remained my constant. I am always pleased with what I can find and am impressed by the way they continue to listen to their customers and grow their offerings. Their sustainability efforts even extend to their floral department. Until recently I didn’t know this, but when I was offered the chance to learn more, and to work with them, I was more than eager to do so. 

Did you know that all roses sold in Kroger stores are Rainforest Alliance certified?

What that means to me, is that I can feel confident that the product I’m buying was grown with a conscience. The growers that Kroger work with are committed to meeting, and even exceeding, the Rainforest Alliance certification standards. 

So, what exactly is the Rainforest Alliance and what are their standards?

The Rainforest Alliance is a nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. Their standards were designed to conserve wildlife, safeguard soils and waterways, protect worker, communities, and increase livelihoods. Rainforest Alliance certified farms and forests are managed according to extremely thorough environmental, social and economic criteria to meet those strict standards.

And it has a real impact.

As the largest florist in the US, Kroger supplies roses for the most important days in the lives of people all over the county. From weddings to births, “I love you”s to “I’m sorry”s — and, of course, traditions. Each rose in their store is ethically sourced. For 30 years, Kroger has been providing the rose garland for the Kentucky Derby. Each year approximately four hundred and sixty-five roses make up this iconic garland. 

Kroger’s sustainability efforts are one of my favorite things about them. As I mentioned, I’ve been a customer for years, and it certainly feels good to know how much they are doing and to watch those efforts grow.

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