Super Foods & Natural Probiotics: Blackberry Banana Smoothie

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This Super Food Smoothie recipe has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and their client. That’s right, I’m being compensated to improve my digestive system balance with a #NaturalProbiotic.

Super Foods #NaturalProbiotic #shop

How do you maintain a healthy balance, both physically and emotionally, during the winter months? For me, it’s not an easy task. You see, I’m a warm weather girl. During the warmer months, I’m very active. We ride bikes, walk along the Seawall or on the beach, play at the pool, or just anything outdoors really. During the winter, I basically hibernate. I hate the cold THAT much. It’s been unusually cold on the island this winter. I eat less (if you can believe that) because I’m less active. It’s even more important during these months that I pay close attention to the types of foods I put into my body to help maintain my physical, emotional, and digestive system balance. Enter super foods, daily (indoor) exercise, and natural probiotics.

#NaturalProbiotic #shop

When I complain about the cold and my need for hibernation, I’m sure I sound overly dramatic to my northern friends, but it’s been SERIOUSLY cold here this year. The island actually froze over one day! Ice, on palms. THIS is why I’m stuck inside. THIS is why my routine is so stagnant. THIS is why I have to remind myself daily to be active, at least in some capacity, in order to maintain a healthy balance. So how do I do it?

#NaturalProbiotic #shop

Since I’m no spring chicken (shush…it’s not kind to make fun of your elders), I start each day with supplements to fill in the holes in my diet, and my health. There’s a whole host of doctor recommended supplements that I take but the most important one for me, and my life-long digestive system issue (that would be IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, for those of you following along), is a probiotic supplement. You see, our bodies need natural probiotics (good bacteria) to help support gastrointestinal health. Taking supplements and loading up on foods high in natural probiotics is increasingly more important during stressful situations and as you get older. AND although this isn’t a proven medical fact, I do notice that I feel less bloated and avoid flu and cold season as long as I take these daily! My brand of choice is Insync Natural Probiotic because it’s affordable, I can find it at my local Walgreens to avoid the big store crowds, AND IT WORKS!

#NaturalProbiotic #shop

Of course I do exercise daily, indoors, and although it’s not rigorous, I do get in muscle toning exercises and cardio to help maintain a healthy me. I eat a healthy diet, low in sodium, and high in fruits and veggies (because that’s what vegetarians do). But I have a hard time getting natural probiotics in my diet. Why? Because I basically hate all of the foods that contain them as much as I hate Old Man Winter himself. I honestly Google it about once a week hoping that some genius will find a new food to put on that list, but it’s always the same old things and yogurt is always at the top of the list. Confession time: I hate yogurt *SHUDDER* and trying to force it on my children seems unnatural as I basically get gaggy opening a container. It’s not really the taste. It’s basically the fact that eating goo does not appeal to me AT.ALL!

#NaturalProbiotic #shop

So as a treat (a healthy one at that), I turn to super foods to create delicious smoothies to boost our immune systems and help balance our health during the winter. This blackberry, banana, and strawberry yogurt combination is one of the kids’ favorites and to me, this is a super food smoothie!

Yogurt contains natural probiotics. We’ve already gone over their importance.

Bananas are recommended to help lower blood pressure, promote heart health, and regulate the digestive system.

Blackberries not only taste delicious, they are incredibly good for you. They are rich in Vitamin C, have a high level of antioxidants, help promote tightening of the skin (that’s right, natural anti-aging), help regulate the digestive system, and the Vitamin K levels can actually help alleviate menstrual cramping.

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Although it does take a little more work and creativity on your part to remain healthy during the winter months, its doable. Daily exercise, proper diet with super foods mixed in, and supplements keep me feeling great during my hibernation.

What do YOU do to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the winter months?

Be Inspired to Get Organized with Scent-spiration from Glade®

I should really tell you that I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser, Glade® #MeltsBestFeelings.

Office Space #MeltsBestFeelings #shop

Let me just put this out there, I hate winter. HATE. Cold weather makes me cringe, shiver, and I’m just plain lazy during this time of year. I let things go, and this winter, I’ve let my office go. I work from home. I spend a LOT of time in my office. It’s rather depressing really. I have the rest of the house in order since the move, but not my office. I needed inspiration to motivate me to do something about it. I need to be organized in order to work efficiently. So where did I find this inspiration? My scent-spiration came from the scents of spring and summer (ahhh…the warm months). It’s amazing how just the smell of spring can light a fire under you to just do more and put a bounce in your step like only warm weather truly can. Luckily, I can bring the scents of warm weather indoors with the help of Glade® Wax Warmers and Wax Melts.

I’m about to shame myself (and my OCD brothers and sisters) by showing you this, but here goes. THIS was my office just a few days ago.

Office Before #MeltsBestFeelings #shop

*SHUDDER*

And THIS was my desktop.

Desk Top Before #MeltsBestFeelings #shop I suppose I’ve seen worse and some might say this isn’t really so bad. But those people don’t know me. THIS is utter chaos and it had to change! HAD to. I can’t work like this. I look around, I cringe, and I try to work through the chaos. Not cool, but I wasn’t motivated.

But this weekend, while grocery shopping at my favorite grocery store, HEB, I found the fire that lit my butt into action. My inspiration was right in front of my eyes and I’d been missing it all along. I have wax warmers throughout the house because I love the smell, but not in my office. What was I thinking? Obviously I wasn’t!

In Store #MeltsBestFeelings #shop Until I saw this. I was looking for a spray and carpet freshener and that’s when it hit me. I needed to bring spring into my office. But where were the Glade® Wax Warmers and Wax Melts? Not where I expected but I did find them on a special display in the soda aisle so be sure to look around the store if you can’t find them yourself. They now have all of the scents of spring available and they are all divine and scent-spirational. Their warmer is the most beautiful hue of blue that goes perfectly with my decor and the melts are now available in Live Loud, Lift Off, Creamy Custard, Red Honeysuckle Nectar, Sunny Days, and Lavender & Vanilla. Something for everyone for sure. I picked up Live Loud (because, well…that’s how I live) and Lift Off and headed home with a plan!

Scent-spiration from Glade #MeltsBestFeelings #shop I stopped by an office supply store on my way home and picked up a black (not my color choice) organizer and some other supplies I needed. I plugged in my new Glade® Wax Melt Warmer and dropped in two Lift Off Wax Melts. The floral smells immediately started flowing through my office and I had an idea. What do you do when you don’t like the color of a supply you just brought home?

DIY Organizer #MeltsBestFeelings #shop Spray paint of course! Y’all spray paint was invented for people like me. I’m not very crafty but ANYONE can spray paint and the right color, just like the right scent, can change the mood of any room, and any person. Spray, dry, organize!

Desk Top After #MeltsBestFeelings #shop It’s really that easy. I literally revamped and organized my office space in less than an hour (and believe me, I didn’t show you everything so it wasn’t an easy task) inspired only by beautiful scents of spring from Glade® and an uplifting color.

After #MeltsBestFeelings #shop It’s like a totally new room, that smells amazing, and I’ve been so much more productive today. Clean spaces are happy spaces. For real!

Scentspiration for happy spaces #MeltsBestFeelings #shop And ironically, B must have sensed that I’d been a little blue about the winter because he brought even more color and fragrance into our home, and my office, with 18 gorgeous pink roses. Just because. Yes, it might still be cold outside but spring is in the air. It is in here anyway. And I LOVE it!

Setting the Mood #MeltsBestFeelings #shop Living on an island is a beautiful thing. Even during this dreary yet brief cold spell we have every year, I know that spring is just around the corner. And thankfully, with a little help from Glade®, I was reminded of this fact and my office thanks us both very much!

I have the Lift Off scent in my office and Live Loud is beautifying my living room with its fresh floral scent. Seriously, I wish you could smell it in here. Y’all, it’s AH-MAZING! Have you tried the Glade® Wax Warmers yet with Glade® Wax Melts? They really are WAY more affordable than the big brands you may be using and I love the convenience of picking them up when I’m out shopping. If you’ve tried them, what’s your favorite scent-spiration? If not, what are you waiting for? If you hurry, you can receive a Catalina coupon to save $2.50 on any Glade® purchase of $7 or more during January and February!

Can an Online Friendship be a True Friendship?

Now that’s a great question! I believe the answer to be yes for so many reasons, well 5 actually. I should talk about this more. I don’t believe in dating sites, I don’t believe in chat rooms. But I do believe in online communities and I KNOW for a fact that having a tribe, an online network, keeps me grounded. I love my friends. Sometimes I lote (love + hate) them because they do keep me grounded, but I’m happy to be a part of my close-knit group. Sometimes I find it hard to put into words how much they mean to me. And why would I when one of them put it so eloquently and allowed me to share it with y’all here? Without further ado, my friend, Janet from Going Crazy Wanna Go shares her story.
Photo by Dancenhance Entertainment


Guest Post by Janet from Going Crazy!! Wanna Go??!!

Before I started blogging, I was a blog reader. I would subscribe to my favorites and just read all day long about the lives of women who worked from home, worked outside the home, couponed to help their families save money, and taught others how to enjoy their children on a daily basis. I would comment where I felt a connection and support others as I often do in real life. I got to know a few of them, but I was just a reader to them. Sometimes the bloggers would respond and sometimes not, but I stayed loyal to quite a few of them for a while.

After I had read for several months, I started to think that maybe I could do this blog thing too. I reached out to a blogger who was near me and asked for her advice. She encouraged me and told me how she thought I could get started and then one day I took the leap. I didn’t know what I would write about, but I knew that others told me that I wrote well and were happy to see that I was using that skill for something enjoyable.

On my very first day of blogging (August 1, 2011) I came across another “newbie” and we started chatting. We found out that we both needed a LOT of help and we started learning new things and teaching each other. Not long after that we started a Newbie Blog Hop and a Facebook group for Newbies like us. We talked about the things we were learning and we had a great time. It turns out that my newbie friend is much younger than me and she had some family and marriage issues and the more we got to know about each other, the more we talked about our personal lives almost as much as we talked about our blogs (maybe more!). To this day, we are friends on Facebook and talk occasionally. The Newbie group is gone and the hop fizzled out (we passed it on to some newer newbies and I haven’t kept track of it), but our friendship is still there. Her original blog fizzled out and she started a new one, then she decided to move on to living her young, happy life. My blog is thriving, limping on some days and soaring on others, and it has been the source of a lot of happiness for my family. Someday I hope to meet Kristin  in real life and give her a big ‘ole hug.

Since making a friend in Kristin, I have continued to “meet” several people online and it amazes me daily that I have made so many friends through online groups and blogging. But, can an online friendship be a true friendship?
Can an online friendship be a true friendship?
I know that Christy has talked a lot on this blog about Collective Bias and you all already know what an amazing company this place can be to its bloggers. The community of Social Fabric is the stronghold of the company and I have met so many great people through working with them. When I was first starting out, I was timid and shy (still am in real life) and I doubted my work. I started up conversations with a few of my campaign leaders (who scared the crap out of me) and it turns out these people are (almost) just like me!

When I needed advice on a series of posts for my blog, Mallery talked to me about the logistics of it all and what she loved about the idea. She encouraged me to just go for it and rock it! I still doubted myself, but her words stuck with me for over a year and one day I took the plunge and started writing about my messy house and then I had the motivation to clean it up!
When I started to get down about my weight and my body and I put myself down too much, Summer stepped in and started giving me pep talks on a daily basis. She told me her story of an abusive marriage and her own struggles with weight. She is unashamed on her blog and she encourages me to just put it all out there. She and Mallery are both Paleo believers and they told me that my healthy lifestyle IS Paleo too! Now, I’m more motivated than ever to get healthy, not worry about size, love myself and my own beauty as I am today, and encourage other women to love themselves as well.

When I needed work, was discouraged by the work I wasn’t getting, and was looking to branch out, Jillian stepped in and offered me work, encouraged me to keep writing, found jobs that were perfect for me. She is one of “those” moms – the ones who love crepe paper and parties and make the most amazing crafts – but she encourages me to keep crafting with my boy and just being myself.

When I think that my life sucks and I just need a laugh, Amy will step in with an inappropriate, but very funny, anecdote and instantly I’m laughing instead of on the edge of tears. Amy has encouraged me in my posts to be better, do better, and work hard. She has a full time job outside the home, just like me, and she is a source of inspiration for me.

And Christy, bless her big ‘ole Texas heart, she is my rock on most days. I can text, email, call, message her on Facebook, or just think of her sometimes, and life seems more bearable. I know that sounds really mushy and dramatic, but it’s true and if you read Christy’s blog, you know it is 100% accurate. Christy has “pulled me back from the ledge” more times than I can count. She has helped me emotionally, financially, and spiritually (and yes, I know, she’s not “religious”, but she has…). She is an amazing person and friend and I was blessed the day I “met” her.

Now, to answer the question of this post, I’ll say this. I have met each of these ladies once in real life last May at a conference. I might have spent 30 minutes total with each of them (if that long) because the conference was overwhelming to me and I was more than a little ill. Even though I haven’t spent face to face time with these ladies, I consider them my very best friends. When something sad or frustrating happens, I tell them. When something exciting or funny happens, I tell them. When I thought about leaving my husband recently, I told them.

I think you could say that YES, online friends can be true friends. Well, that is if you have online friends like mine.