Louisiana Bride

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Influenster Slimfast Voxbox

I recently received a Slimfast Advanced Nutrition Voxbox from Influenster to try out their products complimentary, here's what I thought! 

First off I received a bottle of vanilla high protein Slimfast, Cinnamon Bun Drizzled Crisps, Sour Cream and Onion baked chips, and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Meal Replacement Bar. 

Now let it be known I was a Slimfast lover back in the days of the Optima shake, I drank one every morning on the way to work before they were pulled from the market. The only reason I didn't move on over to their regular shakes was because it wasn't as filling and didn't keep me full and satisfied until lunch. 

So just know that while I was trying all of these lovelies out that's what I was comparing them to. 

How did they fare? 

Taste - they all tasted great and not diety at all, 
Satiety - yup, it passed the old Optima test. It kept me full and happy until lunch. 

Now here's something that may not be new, but I noticed with this package...all the products are gluten free. 

Which I think is great with the way current food trends have gone, they will appeal to a broader audience. Plus gluten type grains tend to bother me and when I'm actually behaving I like to avoid them. (notice I said behaving, that didn't happen over the holidays)

I think the biggest difference between this and the old Slimfast (it's been about 5 years since I bought it) is the high protein and fiber and that's what actually makes this satisfying until your next meal. 

So would I recommend it? Yes. It tastes good and the shakes are a great product if you don't have time to make breakfast or lunch for work. At least that's when I used them the most. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

$100 Shopping Spree with Leonisa

It's no secret that after having Harrison I was a little obsessed with tummy binders.

Truth be told I've had a long time love of shapewear.

When I was a majorette in high school I wore shapewear to smooth out my hips and tummy in those skin tight sequined outfits. Throughout college I wore something that went from below my chest to my knees for every wedding I was in.

I even use to sleep in a shapewear at night just to suck everything in because I read that celebrities were wearing tummy binders to bed.

I don't recommend that one though, my husband didn't appreciate it.

After having a baby and having my organs pushed here, there, and everywhere shapewear helped me shrink back down. Within a week of wearing it I was starting to see slimming in my hips and tummy, six weeks later it wouldn't even fit.

So when I was contacted about teaming up to offer a fun little shopping spree to Leonisa I had to jump in!

Leonisa has everything from shapewear to swimsuits, but I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you.

First up is their Postpartum Panty with Adjustable Belly Wrap, that's the tan and black in the photo. They are offered in a high and lower waist option. The Belly Wrap isn't just for postpartum, it's also great for post surgery.

Next is their Super Comfy Everyday Nursing Bra, this bra is extremely comfy for a nursing mama and has the support you need without the wire. There's nothing worse than wire on nursing boobs!

Another great product I use and love is the Slimming Tank. This type of shapewear is perfect if you need your tummy just a bit smoother or if you're dealing with that new mama soft belly that appears a little lumpy under shirts.

Now it's your chance to get some shapewear... or something else from Leonisa of your own! 
Enter to win for your chance to get a $100 shopping spree >>>

I wasn't compensated for this giveaway, I just thought it would be fun for all my readers! Leonisa is a great company and all opinions are my own. Also, no affiliate links were used in this post.

Monday, July 20, 2015

being a healthy mama®

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and healthy mama® , but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #gethealthymama  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

I've been open with y'all throughout my pregnancy and even post pregnancy with struggles I've had.

Especially health related ones that caused me to completely change my diet this summer in a effort to fix things, which it did. Can I get a yippee for a baby that is sleeping better and a mama that completely got rid of a birthing related postpartum side effect!

There is still only so much I can fix with food, and I'm a big believer that food can fix quite a bit.

Before I got pregnant I took a multivitamin, and then a prenatal vitamin, daily. I've always had trouble with the capsule pill varieties because they would cause me to be nauseous. Prenatal or regular multi, both made me sick.

To combat that during pregnancy I started taking the sugary gummy vitamins just so that I was getting some form of a prenatal, regardless of the dyes and sugar.

I just needed something!

However, with my postpartum journey back to being health conscious Emily (Oh how I derailed when the 1st trimester got the best of me.) I've wanted to cut out anything that wasn't necessary.

I got rid of processed foods and put our little family back on a whole foods diet. I've tried to use less harsh cleaning products in the house so we aren't sucking in the chemicals. The nipple cream I even use for breastfeeding is organic and food grade so I don't have to worry about wiping it off or what Harrison is getting in his mouth by using it.

By the time this summer hit I had decided that I had had enough of the sugar and dye I was putting in my own body as a means of getting a vitamin. With the sheer exhaustion of being a new mom I couldn't hurt the tiny bit of energy I had by consuming sugar I didn't need.

If I was going out of my way to make sure the baby didn't get dyes and sugar in his colic medicine why on earth was I going to take it to let whatever trace amounts could get into my breast milk.

After searching high and low at every heath food store around us and not wanting to pay a ton for supplements I finally came across the healthy mama® brand.

So far I've tried their prenatal called Be Well Rounded! and a pregnancy safe caffeine free protein energy drink they call Boost it Up!

I don't feel like I can get it across well enough through writing just how pleased I am with their products. Their prenatal vitamins are exactly what I was looking for.

They're dye free, gluten free, and small enough that someone who once had to cut every pill she took in half could easily swallow it without gaging. The biggie for me was also the cost, in one package you get 60 vitamins for $29.99.

So at basically $15 a month it costs the same as the brand I just got done choking down that was filled with dyes; and we all know how much I am a stickler for cost.

After wandering around here like a zombie most days unable to drink more than decaf coffee I was pumped to try the healthy mama® protein and energy drink Boost it Up!

My caffeine issues isn't one I've discussed a bunch on the blog, but for a few years I thought I was having low blood sugar issues. After testing my blood sugar I came to realize it was a caffeine sensitivity, which isn't something you get excited about when you really love coffee.

So even on the days I could literally fall over, and at times have literally run into walls trying to get to the baby, I have to weigh the cost of what that little boost from coffee would give me over the drained low sugar feeling I had the rest of the day.

When I tell you I put the healthy mama® Boost it Up! to the test I honestly mean it, this wasn't so much about taste. It was about how my body would react to what the drink contained in it for energy.

This past Wednesday we loaded up early in the morning, before the heat set in something nasty, and headed to the zoo. I thought this would be a true test of how I could handle the energy drink, and honestly I liked it.

I picked up the Mango with Ginger flavor and it was something I could have added to my "doesn't make me puke" list of the first trimester. Which was a small list, mind you. It was refreshing and had a light enough taste that I would have enjoyed it even pregnancy.

The healthy mama® brand touts that Boost it Up! is a pick me up for when you are just having one of those need a nap days or an all day morning sickness kind of pregnancy gal like myself.

The drink gave my just enough energy to notice a difference without the side effects I get from caffeine, which is great! Boost it Up! also doesn't contain artificial sweeteners, colors, gluten, HFC's, caffeine, or preservatives.

Trust me when I say I gave healthy mama® Boost it Up! the true test, I wasn't at home to stuff my face when I misread my low sugar feeling for hungry instead of a caffeine issue. We managed to make it through a full day toting around the baby and having a blast, and I never hit that mid afternoon lull.

Like I said before, if you're looking for healthy products that are free of the extras you don't really want, look no further. While you're looking these will be very easy to find because healthy mama® had been working with retailers, like Target where I found mine, to create shelf space for mamas-to-be so we aren't going on a scavenger hunt.

In case you're wondering, Target is carrying healthy mama® products while supplies last in the hygiene isle in the Pre/Post Natal Care area (a totally new section). In my opinion, this makes shopping for those pregnancy ailments so much easier with everything being in one space and under one brand. One of the problems I had with finding medicine while pregnant was finding products then trying to figure out if Dr. Internet said I could have them.

I can see pregnancy #2 being a breeze in the "locate prego items" department thanks to healthy mama®.

Don't forget though that no medicine can be deemed 100% safe during pregnancy, and be sure to consult your doctor. healthy mama® uses only the safest ingredients & their active ingredients have not been shown to increase birth defects. If you want to find out more check out their fact sheet on healthymamabrand.com.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Uncommon Goods Gift Ideas & Giveaway

Christmas is right around the corner and it's high time to finish up the gift buying for this year. I'm not one to spend tons on presents, I really think the season is more about being together.

I also think that if you're going to give something, make it something that person could use or might want. Goodness knows I've gotten my hands on a few things throughout past Christmas's that were less than stellar. (See also... things I found out I was allergic to. Those are the most joyful gifts of all.)

The other type of best gift is the kind I would never find myself but I would love to have found. My mother is great at those gifts, I on the other hand didn't inherit her gift giving ability.

Which makes it all the better than I found a great site that has a variety of products. If y'all are anything like me, it's a little annoying to have to order from 10 different places. I really prefer to get everything done at one time.

So without further rambling from me, here are a few of my favorite gift ideas for this season... all from Uncommon Goods.

To make it more interesting, I'll share my favorite's from Uncommon Good's Christmas Gift sections and then you can share your favorites with me... and there may be a little surprise in it for you at the end. 
1. Coal Gum
2. Healing Stone Mugs
3. State Dish Towels
4. Scratch Map
5. Woodland Animal Pincushion

Every single year for Christmas Jeremy gets some type of coal in his stocking so I couldn't pass adding that to my list of favorites.

When I saw the Healing Stone Mugs the hippie deep within me got really excited. Pregnancy has definitely heightened my hippie-ness. These would be absolutely perfect for the slight hippie to the full fledged hippie in your life. They're just so different, I love the look of the mugs, but the story behind them in just as interesting.

There is also no denying that state anything is popular right now, I've seen shirts and jewelry all over creation. Not only did I find some really neat looking state dish towels, Uncommon Goods also carries region, country, and city. Plus there are aprons! Don't even get me started on aprons.

When I saw the little fox and mouse pincushions I immediately thought of my mother. She always had the tomato pincushion at her sewing machine. Being the child that constantly shoved all her pins deep within the pincushion, I couldn't help but think that she couldn't help but appreciate the gesture of getting some cute new pincushions from her awful-pincushion-treating child.

6. Tube Wringer
7. Love Letter Napkins
8. Oyster Garlic Grater and Oil Dipping Dish
9. Shark Socks

I love the toothpaste tube wringer idea for a stocking stuffer. I remembered hearing year ago that Prince Charles is so cheap that he uses one. Plus this one looks really retro, and I love anything retro. 

The love letter napkins isn't something I'd buy for anyone on my buying list, but more of something I wouldn't mind seeing in my own stocking. I'm a sucker for Sonnets and love old romance, especially how people wrote letters year ago. We just don't do that anymore, but the love letter napkins are a really neat conversation starter for dinner. Especially for a Valentine's dinner setting.

I've seen dipping bowls, and I've seen garlic graters (see also that awful garlic press in my drawer currently - I need this Jeremy) but I haven't seen a grater/dipping bowl combo. I can just imagine grating in some fresh garlic with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and eating a whole loaf of crusty bread all by myself. If you have a foodie in your life who lives in the kitchen, get them this. The best part is that Uncommon Goods has several of these at different price points... and you can also use them for ginger.

Shark socks, you may be wondering why on earth I would have socks on a favorite gifts list. Well it's a little tradition that I put some funky dress sock in Jeremy's stocking. Turns out he likes them enough to wear them, and this particular shark pair would make a really neat ice breaker. In all seriousness, people are going to say something to you if you are wearing interesting socks. There were even shark slippers, and baby shark slippers. Swoon!

Now I'm more than happy to support a company just because they have cute stuff, but there is so much more to Uncommon Goods.

For one, they are a US based company out of Brooklyn. Their lowest paid seasonal workers start at 50% above minimum wage. They support artists and designers, and half of what they sell is handmade.  If the handmade fact doesn't make you hippie happy, 1/3 of their entire collection incorporates recycled or upcycled materials. 

And all the hippies said Amen. 

They do their best as a company to impact the world in a positive way and have a few Non-Profits to boot; RAINN, American Forests, Women for Women International, and Reach Out and Read's. 

I really love the push for companies in our generation to support charities and create a movement back towards US made goods . Which is why I'm more than happy to support a company like Uncommon Goods. Now not only are they awesome and I've spent far too many hours browsing their website, Uncommon Goods is also giving away a $50 gift certificate. Just enter using the widget below and I'll announce next Monday who won!

I was compensated for writing this post about Uncommon Goods. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Purina One 28 Day Challenge

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Purina One, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #ONEDifference http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

If you've read this blog for more than the past few minutes you've probably heard me talk about my dogs. 

Ellie being the queen bee, I've had the old woman since right before I turned 20 and this year she is turning 8... in two short months. So as you can probably guess the little things are starting to show age like her skin and coat. 

Hence the need to change things up a bit, and Purina One's 28 Day Challenge sounded like the perfect test run to see if her food was effecting her, or just how much it was. So off I went to start the challenge, or more like I sent Jeremy to get the food since I had the flu the day we started!

As far as her diet goes she's been a Purina dog since day one, except for a 30 day stint after Maddie died.

She was so depressed that her best friend died that I had to supplement with soft dog food so she'd think it was a treat and eat. Then it was right back to Purina for her.

So when that happened a year ago I talked to a dog nutritionist about what to do and she suggested a better blend of food. Apparently what's commonly offered on the market has a ton of fillers and you'll see your dog eating more of it verses the better varieties of food.

When we initially started the challenge she wasn't too happy with me.

How do I know? Well Ellie doesn't lack in the quirky personality area, she tried to take the food out of the bowl and leave it in my kitchen floor.

I'm not kidding you when I say she's stubborn.

Somewhere in her "Where's my food!" temper tantrum she found out she loved the little lamb bits in the flavor I bought her.

So she ate all the lamb bits, like a little kid hunting for the toy in a box of cereal with marshmallows.

After a few days her insistence that I put her food back in her bowl subsided and she started eating the rest of it. I'm telling you from my experience, it's the only way to win the war with this dog. She's a creature of habit and if you try to break that habit she makes it known! If you want to change the habit you have to outlast her wild ideas of how to break you of that idea.

I won, just so we're clear.

This little hot mess! Notice the triangle of food on the floor. 

When we started the 28 Day Challenge there was a lot I wasn't happy about with her skin. She's always had skin issues, I've tried oatmeal baths, and everything other crazy thing the Internet told me to do. Nothing worked. 

Her hair was also becoming an issue, it was obviously aging and not as soft as it once was. It looked dull and was looking worse as it grew out. 

Ellie's eyes were also showing some age to them, they weren't nearly as bright as they were when she was a puppy. 

Last but surely not least, her weight. She had some extra pudge for sure, nothing big, but enough to get on my radar. Doxies are prone to gain like crazy and it's awful for their backs. 

This is Ellie's please stop taking pictures of me look! Or give me a cookie now, however you prefer to take it. 

Post challenge I can tell a huge difference in Ellie. Her hair is darker and softer. It doesn't look as dull as it did when we started the challenge. 

My absolute favorite change, that I didn't notice until we were gone to Puerto Rico for a week, is that her skin has cleared up. No more scaly patches! Just a smooth puppy dog under all that hair. 

Ellie's eyes look much brighter, and her weight is down a little (I attribute that to the quality of the food being so good that she doesn't need to eat as much to be satisfied). 

The puppy dog's energy levels are even up, whether that be a good thing or not depends on it you live with her. More energy means more energy to express her self. Below is a depiction of how she felt about photos. As in, "Oh you'd like me to sit there with the food in the back? How about here with the food in the front?" 

While we were cleaning the couch this weekend she sat behind me "talking" to complain of the noise level from the upholstery cleaner. Those energy/spunky levels are definitely up! 

My parent's dog Rudy is now on week 3 of the 28 Day Challenge and from what I hear he is loving it! We are going to have a family of Purina One puppies around here.

To get a coupon for $3 off your own bag of Purina One to start the 28 Day Challenge follow this link:: http://www.purinaone.com/ONEDifference

You can also find more information on Purina One's Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

I'd love to know what you think about the Purina One dog food and to hear that your family has started the challenge. So be sure to come back and comment telling me about your experience! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Summer Slim Down & 7-Up Ten Cake

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways

Some of you may know, but not be painfully as aware of it as I am... but we are going to Puerto Rico in a little over two months. 

Just, oh, the pinnacle of swim suit season. 

This slightly Puerto Rican, Puerto Rican (my dad is Puerto Rican) girl is refusing to go to the motherland looking like I just ate a moose and crawled my miserable way back from the bleak winter of the north. 

No, I demand I go out in style not feeling like a bear in hibernation mode. 

Slimming Down for Summer with DPSG Core Four Ten Products

I've enacted a few things to cut back and slim up for summer. 

One of those is replacing a meal or two with a green smoothie. I've also started calorie counting, but also watching my carb/protein intake at the same time. It's easy for me to get carbs, but heavens I can't eat enough protein. 

I really have to be mindful of it. 

There is only one issue with mentally knowing that I'm cutting back. 

I start looking for ways to cheat my heart out. I can't help it, when I say no my mind says cake. 

I did happen to find one awesome "cheat" option that is only ten calories while shopping at Walmart. 

Slimming Down for Summer with DPSG Core Four Ten Products

The biggest problem for my brain is when a snack tastes diet. 

We all know what diet tastes like... fake, slightly cardboard-ish. It's just not good. 

If you happen to love soda though, the Four DPSG Ten beverages are the way to go. A girlfriend of mine recently tried to cut out soda since it's so high calorie. For a mere 10 calories she could still be drinking her beloved Sunkist at lunch every single day without guilt. 

Obviously you've noticed the 10 calorie 7-Up in my photo, and I did say there were four drink options. The others happen to be Sunkist, A&W, and Canada Dry. 

As soon as I  saw the list of drinks that Dr. Pepper Snapple Group had in their Core Four Ten I was instantly hooked, orange soda and lemon lime are my go-to drinks when I want a soda. Plus I adore Canada Dry when I'm not feeling well. 

Jeremy is a root beer person so the A&W was definitely up his ally. (He quit drinking soda several months back due to the calories.)

I chose to bring home the Four DPSG Ten 7-Up first, and honestly I was sure it would be just me drinking this whole case. My husband hates, and I mean HATES diet drinks. He cringes at sugar free and absolutely refuses to use fake sweeteners. I was a bit surprised though, he has drank nearly the entire case and I can count what I've had on a few fingers. (Update: he drank the whole case)

So if that doesn't tell you that the Four Ten beverages are full flavor and are on par with their full calorie counterparts I don't know what will. I seriously can't tell a difference when I compare the Four Ten 7-Up to the original. 

Citrus Angel Food Cake | made with 7-Up TEN #TENways #PMedia #ad via @labride

With a whole case of 10 calorie 7-Up sitting in the fridge, quickly being guzzled by my husband, I had to think of a recipe I could make with it. 

Y'all know how I am. 

If you recall I made these biscuits a few months back that involve 7-up, and would have a big calorie reduction if you're dying for biscuits this close to swim suit season and use the ten calorie 7-Up. 

The biscuits were already made, but I remembered I hadn't had my grandmother's Citrus Angel Food Cake in literally 5 years. 

So instead of buying a cake from the store and slicing it up, I decided to add a little more citrus flavor by using a can of Four DPSG Ten 7-Up in the cake. I must say, it didn't disappoint and I actually prefer the flavor the 7-Up added to the Angel Food Cake. 

It definitely made for a light spring/summer dessert that I plan on making again for the entire family at Easter. At least with this lower calorie light dessert we can chomp away slightly less guilty before packing to run off to Puerto Rico for swim suit season. 

Citrus Angel Food Cake | made with 7-Up TEN #TENways #PMedia #ad via @labride

Citrus Angel Food Cake

1 box of Angel Food Cake mix
1 12 oz can of 7-Up TEN
2 11oz cans of mandarin oranges, drained
8 oz container of whip topping (from the frozen food section)

Mix together cake mix and 7-Up in a large bowl following cake mix box directions. Bake according to directions as well. When cake is done allow to cool upside down on a heat proof bottle. (I used a glass hot sauce bottle that fit the opening in the pan.) After cooling slice the cake through the middle and separate the sections.  On the bottom half of the cake arrange most of the mandarin oranges in a single layer, then spoon on half of the whip topping and spread it out evenly. Place top layer back onto the cake and spoon on the remaining whip topping, spreading it around evenly. Decorate the top with remaining mandarin oranges. 

I like to chose the 12 best looking orange slices for the top to remind myself that this serves 12, it definitely helps keep me mindful of portion control. 

This can be subbed for other cake flavors and Four DPSG Ten drink flavors, however, the cake mix and soda are the only ingredients in the cake. Do not add oil or eggs. 


Now if you plan on buying some of the Four DPSG Ten drinks a coupon would definitely help, who doesn't love a discount. 

To get the coupon click here, it will take you to a $0.50 off the purchase of TWO 2 Liter bottles or TWO 4-pack cans of 7UP TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TEN, RC TEN or Sunkist TEN soda. However, if you were to share that digital coupon via email, FB, Twitter (there is a click to share function) you will get brought to a coupon that will get $1.50 off that purchase rather than just $0.50.

The coupon will be available from March 27 to April 17, while supplies last. 

Which of the Four Ten Calorie DPSG products are you the most happy to see offered at 10 Calories? 7UP, Sunkist, A&W and Canada Dry

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Embeding Your Memories with YesVideo

When we were growing up my grandparents splurged and bought a video camera, like the big ole bulky black video camera.

The thought reminds me of Full House episodes when the dad is recording the kids.

For years we recorded little life events on VHS, then they upgraded to the smaller camcorder that required a different tape.

It was slightly fancier, but I still cherished those early videos.

To this day I still remember the Christmas my grandparents bought the camera, it was also the Christmas we all got roller blades.

Oh those roller blades! I actually made Jeremy buy me a pair for my birthday last year.

I'm a non-athletic roller blading nerd. There, I've said it, it's out in the open.

I love roller blading but totally suck at it.

If it wasn't for the video I sent in to YesVideo there would be no reliving those days of roller blading up and down the levee... where after picking up so much speed I could only roll into the grass to crash/stop.

The video below is actually one of the 3 highlight videos that were included in my transfer. With it you get a little glimpse into our life in the 90's, it's involved a lot of skating, fireworks, spaghetti, and apparently a temper-tantrum in the closet from my cousin Chris. 
Several months ago I first heard of YesVideo while at a blog conference and was then contacted by a blog friend about sending in a video to them. I absolutely love the concept and quickly received my videos back in DVD form.

There were sharing options online, and YesVideo would even load a clip or two to YouTube for you. It was fabulous and I couldn't think of anything they could do better, until I was told they added an embed feature to their site.

Now, instead of just sharing through Facebook and email I can add in the html right to my own blog posts.

It's actually super easy to do. First sign into your account and click the Watch tab. Once you're there you can chose any clip or chapter you like, or even make a shorter snippet to share.

After you've chosen your footage click the "get embed code" at the bottom of the screen.

After clicking "get embed code" you'll see this pop up...

Copy and paste that code right into your site and you will have your home movies right! 
It's seriously that simple.

With YesVideo's new embed code y'all are a lot more likely to see the silly stories I talk about, rather than just reading the words. We all know pictures are better than typed words, and videos are better than pictures. So save your memories and send in your old home videos.

Plus I didn't know this until after I had sent in my video, but after signing up I started getting discount offers every week... and we all know how much we love a good emailed discount code.

Have you used YesVideo? If you could save one family memory what would it be? 

I was compensated for writing this post about YesVideo's new embed feature. All opinions are my own.