Family Values

I’ve become such a bleeding heart when it comes to children. I believe they deserve so much better than what they are given at times, and I wish I could help them all! My maternal insticts are so strong and kick in so hard whenever a situation includes children. 

My husband and I were watching a movie the other day, and the child was treated poorly. It literally broke my heart! If you know me, you know I’m not much of a crier, but I bawled like a baby! Silly hormones! They are just so innocent, and if given a chance, they could accomplish so much.

People are so concerned with the adults in any given situation. Like, oh, Tom and June are getting divorced, or Mark and Mary are going through a hard time. If there are children involved, I think the conversation should look more like: are Timmy and Julie doing well with the divorce? Are Mikey and Missy getting enough to eat?

When did family values start to exclude the well-being of the child? And when did Hollywood start exploiting the subtraction of the total members of the family until? When did we stop noticing, or stop caring?

I hope true family values come back in style. These children are the future, and they deserve the best chance at making this world a better place.

FLO Vitamins Review

I am a huge proponent of taking vitamin supplements. Unfortunately, most people’s diets no longer consist of the nutrients needed for a well rounded diet. In recent years, there has been more of a focus on eating green and less processed meals. However, for most of us, there are still gaps in our nutritional needs. Supplementing those needs with vitamins is a great way to meet your bodies needs.

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I am also a careful tracker. I don’t mean calories or weight, which I probably should be, but neither here nor there on this topic. I carefully track my cycles, their length, and any abnormalities in my hormonal health. Ever since I was a teen, my hormones would wreck havoc on my mind, body, and cycle. To this day, I still have flare ups with my hormones. I have tried conventional means such as birth control or other medicinal paths, but nothing has ever seemed to tame my acne, PMS, or cycle discomfort.

Through my careful tracking, I came across the FLO app, a way to track your cycle and many other symptoms that may be related to it. This app is crucial to knowing when to be ready for Aunt Flo and any prefacing symptoms my family should take shelter from. I love this app! It is a big help in the doctor’s office whenever they ask that famous question: When was your last cycle? It’s also a great tool to help talk to your doctor about any concerns you’ve had throughout the months.

But, one of it’s newest features is AI. The AI tool will actually give you tips on where you are in your cycle, such as you may feel happy, weak, or energized today. They even give exercise programs, ways to manage your symptoms, and alerts on when to talk to your doctor on any reported feelings. It’s a great app!

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While this is all great, what I would like to highlight today is a new product FLO has debuted called, FLO PMS Relief Gummy Vitamins. It’s been three months, almost three cycles, and I have to say, I like these vitamins. The flavor is amazing, but I wish they didn’t have so much sugar. I find it odd that these vitamins claim to help acne, but then have so much sugar per serving. Disclaimer: my acne has gotten a lot better since starting these, though! Texture, size, shape, and color are all great; no complaints there. They are soft, easy to chew, and smooth on the way down.

The most important claim to these vitamins for me are how they are supposed to make you feel throughout your cycle. After almost three now, I can report my cycles are seeming to be a bit better as far as pain and discomfort. The PMS portion seems to be shorter, as of now, and I feel like I’m not so irritable as long as I used to be. Overall, whether a placebo effect or not, these vitamins do seem to be helping! I hope more benefits come as I continue to take them!

Netflix: Julie and the Phantoms

You know those television shows that used to be good, family centric, wholesome entertainment? Whatever happened to those? The shows that left you feeling good from start to end. The shows that have conflict enough to feel like real life, but never too much to actually wear you down like life can. I MISS THOSE SHOWS!

There’s enough drama and chaos in my life without adding to it with real or fictional characters from a television show. Honestly, one of the reasons I was happy to cut the cord from cable television was the lack of anything wholesome and the abundance of DRAMA.

But, every now and then, you run into a familiar feeling in a show, like a memory from years ago. The show is happy, but gently tainted with conflict. The climax isn’t overbearing and burdensome, but it’s more than enough to keep you hooked.

That’s Julie and the Phantoms!

An original Nickelodeon show in Brazil, Netflix bought the rights to the Julie e os Phantasmos series. They have taken some liberties with the show, changing some details from the original story, but it is a great adaptation! The whole family will enjoy it!

Melissa Reyes (Julie) has an amazing voice. She’s only sixteen! I can’t wait to see how she develops as she ages. She reminds me of a youthful Alicia Keys with her piano skills and voice range.

Charlie Gillespie is another surprise! He’s phenomenal in the show! Did I mention cute? Oh, major crush over here. His sound also reminds me of my punk music days. Man, whatever happened to Yellowcard?

The music is fantastic in this show! My entire family will break out into song with this soundtrack at any minute throughout the day. The three of us have really enjoyed the show.

Unfortunately, Netflix hasn’t renewed the show as of yet, but I am beyond hopeful they will soon! It’s just too good not to give them another season. We could all use a good, lighthearted family series right about now.

Going Zero-Waste – Ethique

Continuing on our zero-waste journey after discussing two of the areas in which we wanted to cut back our single use plastic, toothpaste and cleaning products, we now find ourselves at shampoo and body soap, or shower essentials. It still amazes me how many of these companies are up and coming in the zero-waste space. I want to badly to support them all, but when it comes to researching their true goals, we have quickly found which organizations align with our goals.

Ethique drew us in with their zero-waste products, but they don’t stop at just providing products without single use plastic. Their products go so far as being packed in compost-able material! Why is this a big deal? Because it means their waste, their packaging, their products end of life has no negative impact on the environment! AMAZING! Did I also mention they plant a tree for every order made?

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Going Zero-Waste – Bite

Research ways to become zero-waste, and you will be amazed at how many small businesses are popping up everywhere! There are so many new organizations being born in this space, it took quite a while to decide which company to go with. On a broader scale, it became a focus as to what products to start with on this journey. After some serious thought, cleaning supplies, shampoo and soap, and toothpaste are where we decided to focus first.

In the toothpaste race, there are so many choices to choose from! There’s Unpaste, Chomp, Georganics, and so many, many more, all with the promise of zero-waste. For my family, it truly came down to a composition race.

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Going Zero-Waste – Blueland

Blueland’s amazing cleaning products!

If you haven’t seen the advertisements on your social media for Blueland yet, get ready to start seeing it pop up! The moment you read this article, the tiny gremlin in your phone tells Facebook, Instagram, etc., that you looked at something related to Blueland! Now every ad will be about the zero-waste company. (Insert maniacal laugh.)

Our household decided to go zero-waste for a number of reasons, but single use plastic is one of the largest drivers. Once we were done with a detergent bottle or a toothpaste tube, it was dropped in recycling, and hopefully, it is handled properly. Too many times now, I have seen that recycling isn’t dealt with appropriately, so instead of throwing it away, we looked at alternatives.

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ABC Mouse Subscription

As most mom’s know, we are trying to find ways to keep our young ones learning, entertained, and, for just one moment, occupied while we try and do anything around the house! We also want to see our kids using technology in a way that is more than mind numbing television or video games. We want sustenance for their little minds!

Enter ABC Mouse.

I’m sure you’ve seen the ads as much as I have, especially if you’ve even thought the words “homeschool” or “kids at home learning”. HOW DO THEY KNOW?!

I finally caved because I was tired of hearing other apps being used on my five year old daughter’s tablet that were nowhere near educational. The ABC Mouse app at least has a purpose to teach the child something.

Again, I digress.

When I first got the app for my daughter, she’d play for a few minutes then look for her other apps. I’d redirect her and get her back on the learning path, but I think it is beneficial to all considering the app to know there is a motivational aspect to it that I had to explain to my daughter.

To keep the child engaged, ABC Mouse has a built in reward system. For every module they complete, they receive tickets for in app “purchases”. (They cannot buy tickets with real cash. I checked. They gotta do the work!) These “purchases” are for their virtual classroom, in app pets, and avatar clothes and home decorations. Money is a concept my daughter is still learning, so explaining the tickets and what they could be used for helped tremendously to motivate her and do the work!

Her current favorite thing to do is buy stuff for her avatar’s house. She was having fun buying up all the class pets and coloring by numbers, but we’ve moved on to decorating!

Overall, I think my daughter and I are both happy with the app and it’s teaching ability as well as it’s engaging qualities. I would recommend it to Mom’s looking for a way to keep their kids learning. I would just add, be on the lookout for the best discount code. There are a lot of them!

Egg Fast

Yes, you read the headline right. Egg Fast!

Recently, I’ve been really focused on trying to get back to a healthier weight. I am sadly at a heavy weight, and I am trying to find the will I once had to get back in the diet mindset. For me, I know lower calories, lower carbs, and moderate exercise works for me, but with so much Keto diet success, I was curious.

I know Keto works for some. I’ve seen the results in multiple Facebook groups. I tried, and have found many things I love about the diet, but I also learned my body does not respond well to such low carbs. Regardless, a few months ago, I was curious. I started researching, and one of the items I wanted to try was an Egg Fast. Fasting in general is best done when you body is fat adapted, so I tried to have a complete Keto diet, keeping my macros and monitoring my calories. I did this for about a month, and thought I was ready for an egg fast. 

I WAS NOT!

**Disclaimer: an Egg Fast may work for others! Know your body, do your research, and consult your doctor!

I Did a 5 Day Egg Fast on the Keto Diet and This Is What HappenedEat your first egg 30 minutes after you wake up. It was closer to 40 minutes, but did it! Two eggs, two tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper. First meal, done!

Eat (min) 6 to (max) 12 eggs a day for (min) 3 to (max) 5 days. Eat every three-four hours. Add a tablespoon of healthy fat to every egg. Up to three ounces of cheese, all day. Add salt for electrolytes. Drink water! (RESEARCH EGG FAST!)

I thought I was ready, but I so wasn’t!

By my second egg “meal”, I had lost all color and felt ill. My family started to comment on my appearance, and my husband tried to throw crackers at me! I am no quitter, so I decided to finish out the day on the fast. I have never regretted a “diet” so much in my life. I realized right then and there, the Egg Fast was not for me, and slowly brought my body back to normal over two days with healthy shakes, chicken broth, then finally, healthy meals.

I do not recommend this fast, but again, it may work for someone else. Please learn from my lesson, though. Do your research, and know your body. I did not know my body was going to react that horribly to the Egg Fast, but now I understand. I’ll forevermore stay in my low carb lane!

Trolls World Tour – Movie Review

My five year old daughter loves Poppy and Branch! After that first movie came out, it was all she would talk about. She would sing the songs and want to wear “Poppy pink” all the time! The movie was sweet and catchy with the mashups, so not too much heartache to be found after watching it multiple times a week.

When we heard a second movie was coming out, my child was so excited! We made the viewing party into a real experience for her since we weren’t able to see it in theater (due to the thing that must not be named). We baked cookies, made crazy drinks, and ate whatever she wanted for dinner. We laid out our spread and turned the movie on.

We built the moment of watching the movie up so much, this child was bursting the moment the first song began! Every few seconds she would say, “Daddy, did you see that!” Or, “Momma, look!” It was hilariously adorable! Luckily we were at home because this child could hardly contain her excitement.

As the movie played out, she was completely sucked in!

I, on the other hand, missed the first movie.

Don’t get me wrong, the second movie was cute, too, but something about the dialogue didn’t work for me.

In the first rendition, there is a conflict, a mission, a redemption, and a resolution. All of that is present in this sequel as well, but the interactions between the characters just feel short and bland. I know these movies have a lot of music in them, which I thoroughly enjoyed in both films, but there is a lackluster quality to the spoken exchanges between the characters themselves. Anytime they weren’t singing, there wasn’t much value added to inform the audience of what was happening.

Without getting too detailed, there is mention that certain events happened before and history was repeating itself. There is even a quick reference to whom the conductor of the first event was, but it’s blown off so quickly, it’s hard to tell if it’s really what they meant or if they were just wondering if that was the case. There are several instances like this where they just casually throw a comment out, but there is no further interaction amongst the characters to progress the thought process.

I know, it’s a kids movie. I didn’t have any overreaching expectations of the movie other than my daughter’s enjoyment, and she definitely enjoyed it!

Queue playing the soundtrack on repeat until we can buy the movie and play it incessantly!

Sonic the Hedgehog – Movie Review

Man, am I glad people complained about the way Sonic looked before they CG’d him. I can’t imagine the movie would have been even half as good had they not taken the time and given Sonic his proper aesthetics. I wonder what Tails would have looked like, too, had they not had fans balk as vehemently as they did about Sonic! Silly!

I’m a 90’s kid, so I grew up with Sega and playing Sonic. When I saw this movie was coming out, I honestly didn’t know what to think. When I saw how they originally designed Sonic, I was out. Nope, not going to watch it. Done! But, after the redesign, I was curious.

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Talk about a well done movie!

The casting we phenomenal! Jim Carey was amazing as Dr. Eggman. He brought humor to an otherwise dastardly villain, and captured the struggle between the two iconic video games characters perfectly. James Marsden was always a great addition to the story as the Doughnut Lord, a great sidekick and earthling to bring Sonic through his journey.

A lot of critics have called the movie a cute, cuddly, clunky CG tirade, but what they are missing is the nostalgia. Any kid who grew up playing Sega knows Sonic. The iconic clinking of the rings. The power up zing as Sonic rolled into a ball. His trademark red and white sneakers. You may only appreciate these well captured aspects if you used to spend your afternoons after school playing the game!

I truly hope there will be a next movie! And I’m being led to believe, there will be! Yes!