There’s A New Clean In Town

This post was sponsored by NEW! Tide purclean as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.  Yes, my "Pittsburghese" came out a little bit in this blog post title. While there are many things that have changed in my life since moving to "the city," I'm still a Pittsburgh girl at heart. I guess that you could say that I have grown up a lot since moving here, becoming a wife and mom and essentially - my own person. I make decisions on my own that work best for my family and I, and once that decision has been made I stick to it through and through. One major change that I have made over the years is really turning towards an Eco-friendly lifestyle in every way possible, so  I'm super excited that my go-to for laundry has just released their new Tide purclean!   Available at Target (my favorite!), Tide purclean is the first bio-based detergent that still uses the power of Tide, yet is Certified by the USDA BioPreferred Program. It is new to the market and new to our home and I am loving it! Plus, it comes in the amazing fragrance of Honey Lavender and it pretty much doesn't get any better than that. I'm not gonna lie either - when we got to Target to pick this up, the shelf was completely empty except for a few bottles, so I think that says a lot about how excited NYC is about this new laundry detergent. Not to fear though, I did turn the corner down the aisle and found another display that was fully stalked and made sure to stalk up myself. (I know, I resemble a … [Read more...]

RAGÚ® Homestyle Pasta Sauce For a Healthy Life

***This is a sponsored post. As always, opinions are my own. *** Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a great event at The Bowery Hotel in honor of the new RAGÚ® Homestyle Pasta Sauce, and it was honestly one of the most beautiful venues with truly amazing food. Of course, the Italian girl in me was skeptical, but the mama in me was dying to test the new sauce out because, heck, it will make my life easier. I'm happy to say that both parts of me were satisfied and I'm so happy for all the ways this sauce will help my family and I continue to live a healthy life. As I know from growing up and watching both my Dad and grandmother make sauce on Sundays, a great sauce starts with great ingredients.  RAGÚ® only uses the best - with the red sauces having no artificial colors, no artificial flavors and no high-fructose corn syrup, I can be one happy mama about adding this sauce to the family classics that I now make at home for my boys. Even though this line is new, the fact that RAGÚ® has a long, rich Italian history deepened my connection with the brand (and of course, made me want to jump right in!). After emigrating from Naples Italy, RAGÚ’s founder, Assunta Cantisano, started selling pasta sauce made from her family’s recipe from her front porch in Rochester, NY, during the Great Depression. The sauce’s ingredients were grown in her own backyard garden and prepared right in her kitchen. I also got the scoop from someone who has been with the company for a … [Read more...]

Doctor On Demand For Mamas on the Go

  This post was sponsored by Doctor On Demand as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. Allergy season hit the Cooper household hard this year. The thing about allergies though is that you know you need to suffer through them because its being caused by the influx of allergens in the air...or do you? We would all like to be able to call up our doctors whenever we'd like and have a little chat, but that's not always possible, so we are stuck with taking time out of our day to lug the kids to the doctor, right? Wrong! There is now a better alternative with Doctor On Demand. Doctor On Demand is an extraordinary App available to families everywhere (keep scrolling for a code to try for $10 off!) that are busy, on the go, but get sick from time to time - ahem...all of us! Notice how I am sitting and relaxing during a quick break that I took in between writing and working and was able to participate in an easy breezy doctor's appointment for my special need, right from my smartphone. It is super convenient and you never have to leave the comfort of your home. Since allergies and the common cold can easily get mixed up, I wanted to speak to an actual doctor (buh-bye Dr. Google), and get my facts straight about what my family and I have been going through. It always hits us at the same time each year as we transition into spring, but especially since I'm pregnant and that I didn't really want to take Branden out of school for another pediatrician visit, … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Energy Smoothie Recipe

  I've really been wanting to share a fun energy smoothie recipe for a while now, and I was originally going to make it pregnancy focused, but quickly realized that ALL mamas could use a pep in their step every single day. I shared on Facebook this morning (if you aren't following along over there check me out for some fun behind the scenes stuff!), how I woke up absolutely starving and really do try to start my day with a super healthy meal - because I KNOW that my day always ended with ice cream (since I've been preggers)! This ultimate energy smoothie recipe will seriously do all that and more + your whole family will love it! Chris was off yesterday, so we went for a run together in the morning and then stopped at the grocery store so that I could seriously get one of everything in the tropical fruit section! Pineapple, papaya and watermelon all have energy producing qualities and are perfect to help give you a boost! I know you are thinking 'how the heck did that smoothie turn out green?" After adding all my fruit and other ingredients (full recipe below), I added a small scoop of Arbonne Essentials Green Balance (buy it on Amazon HERE), which gives you an extra boost of veggie and fruit nutrients - perfect for busy mamas! 5.0 from 1 reviews Save Print The Ultimate Energy Smoothie Recipe Recipe type: Smoothie Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  5 mins Total time:  15 mins Serves: 2   Perfect for on the … [Read more...]

Get Your Daily Boost With Nature Made

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. It's all about being able to give myself a boost lately and I know I'm not the only one who needs it! I'm not going to share all the gory details, but pregnancy and energy don't always go hand in hand. Yes, I have my moments where I go full speed and feel an extreme boost, but most moments are filled with my just feeling like I'm just getting by. There wasn't much of a balance happening and I knew that I needed to add something more to my diet. So, I headed to my local Walmart, where they have great deals on my favorites - Nature Made Vitamins! It all comes down to healthy habits and creating ones that we can easily integrate into our daily life that are easy and come second nature to us.  That's why I always turn to Nature Made to make sure that my body is getting everything that it needs each day to keep me going and for this little one inside me growing. *Nature Made is the nation’s #1 best-selling brand for quality vitamins, minerals and supplements* to help support nutritional gaps that you just can't squeeze into a 24 hour period. I know, we try to be perfect, but it doesn't always work out that way! So having these vitamins handy will make sure that you are always at 100%. Calcium and B12 are always my go to because I know that I don't get enough of them regularly through the foods I eat. Osteoporosis runs in my family, so adding some extra calcium is my … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day Black Cherry and Coconut Parfait

  Raise your hands if you are seeing Valentine's Day recipes everywhere that look delicious but are completely loaded with chocolate, sugar, and more sugar! ME! Don't get me wrong, I completely agree that the holidays are a great time to indulge a little bit, but at the same time, not to go overboard. It gets to be too much. And there are so many cute ones that we I want to try them all. So  if you want to go back to basics and treat your family to healthy guilt-free Valentine's Day desserts this year, this black cherry and coconut parfait is the way to go. Start with some beautiful black cherries that are naturally super sweet and bursting with flavor! These 4 simple ingredients (organic honey, coconut flakes, greek yogurt and black cherries), keep you completely in control over what your family is eating. The cherries give it a festive color and this parfait seriously tastes like ice cream. My grocery store was out of regular coconut flakes so I have to use the baker's sweetened kind. If this happens to you, you can opt to skip the honey since that makes it a little bit too sweet. I also highly recommend just buying plain, full fat Greek yogurt so you know that you are getting about 4 grams of sugar from that and no added crap that your body doesn't need, like we talked about in my post 5 Not So Obvious Eating Habits to Avoid. Layer your cherries, coconut and honey on top of your Greek yogurt and you are ready for your sweet treat! Save Print Valentine's … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Morning Routine For a Guaranteed Productive Day

  I feel like I have been allover and nowhere all at the same time. Ever feel like that? Almost like things are rushing all around me, yet I'm standing still in time. It's been an "off month" to say the least with the blizzard hitting NYC, almost daily issues with Branden's bus driver (if you follow me on Facebook, you know of my rants), and just trying overall to get back on a better routine after the holidays came to an end. Motivation has been something that has been missing, but I can honestly say that I am able to achieve more and actually get enthusiastic about what I'm getting done whenever a routine is implemented. Like I mentioned in my 2016 goals, one of my resolutions was being more productive, so I set out to develop the ultimate morning routine for a guaranteed productive day that is helping me keep myself on track and kick productivity in the ass! Yes, there are those out-of-whack mornings that you just can't control, but having this structure ingrained in your mind will help and leave you feeling a lot less mommy guilt. My Ultimate Morning Routine There is nothing like getting into the perfect morning routine to kick start your day! 1. Wake up early. I'm sure that most of you have kiddos, so this is something that already happens naturally in your home. But if not, or if you don't have early risers, I can't recommend enough getting up a little bit earlier than you actually need to be and taking a moment to connect with yourself and your … [Read more...]

No Bake Energy Bites Recipe: Cranberry Oatmeal

  I'm not going to lie, we go to Rite Aid an awful lot. It's on our walk home from the bus stop, and it's like our fun little place to stop in and grab chap-stick and toiletries and sometimes treats we are craving. Lately, there have been a ton of energy boosters hanging out in the checkout line - 5 hour energy, candies, essential oils, you name it, it's there. B is always trying to get me to buy them so that I can have more energy, which leaves me to believe that he's trying to hint at something. So I knew I needed to whip up our favorite no bake energy bites recipe. So I try to explain to him that we get our energy from the healthy foods we eat, and for me - my coffee. I'm not big on baking (mostly because Chris and Branden are not sweet eaters so I end up eating everything myself), but this No Bake Energy Bites recipe is a great alternative that somewhat mimics a granola bar but healthier, since you are in control of the ingredients. No Bake Energy Bites Recipe Since these No Energy Bites are small enough to basically pop in your mouth, it's easy to make a double batch to have them handy for those "need to snack" moments. I recommend keeping your serving size to just two, even though they are so delicious you will want to eat more! Save Print No Bake Cranberry Oatmeal Energy Bites Recipe type: Snack Prep time:  10 mins Total time:  10 mins Serves: 10 servings   These yummy energy bites will help you naturally fuel your … [Read more...]

5 Not So Obvious Foods To Avoid Eating

  At the turn of the New Year, we are always looking for ways to cut back on food, increase our metabolism, and lose the weight we gained over the holiday season. I personally try not to get too caught up in it all and be mindful about what I'm eating on a daily basis. I strongly feel that this helps me maintain my weight the whole year through. But I will say this, I have made a strong commitment to  focus on developing more healthy habits, and keep the foods to avoid eating out of my life. Looking back to my high school and college years, I can easily pinpoint eating habits that were good and some that were bad, but there was much to be improved upon. It wasn't until after I had B that I started developing healthier habits that I still live by today (and they are always being improved upon with each passing year.) Plus, fitting in yoga a few times a week helps, too! (These are my favorite Reebok yoga tights and you can read a full review + how I'm trying to be more kind to myself about getting back into shape HERE.) 5 Foods To Avoid Eating We all think or would like to believe that our healthy choices are well thought out or that we have been well advised by our personal experts. In reality, sometimes it's just easier to focus on a few foods to avoid eating than a laundry list of things we should be eating. I say: keep things simple. 1. Eating fat-free or low-fat foods. Throughout high school and college, I turned towards foods that were labels "low fat" … [Read more...]

25 Self Love Affirmations To Live By

  Body acceptance. Paired together these are very big words that ironically, carry an awful lot of weight. Whenever I started Project Motherhood, this quite possibly was the main focus of mine, since it was something I struggled with tremendously. I knew with every cell in my body that women of all shapes and sizes, pre and post baby, were feeling the same way. To this day, I still struggle with body acceptance. I have good days and bad days - we all do. So starting out the new year, I wanted to try to cleanse myself and think about body acceptance, my body acceptance, in a different light. These self love affirmations will do the trick. Not everyday is going to be perfect, but join me in these body acceptance resolutions and make a difference in your life. 25 Self Love Affirmations I will not let my mind bully my body. I will not forget that I gave life with this body. I will do something positive every day for my body. I will not let others negative body image effect mine. I will stop thinking about what I should be doing for my body and do only what I am able and willing to do. I will be proud of the skin I'm in. Just because I'm not a model, doesn't mean that I'm not beautiful. I am a work in progress, and not seeking perfection. My imperfections make me perfect in my own way. My self-worth has nothing to do with how my body looks. My body is changing, and that's okay. It's okay to love myself as I … [Read more...]