Archives for April 2016

The Freedom Challenge: Help End Modern Day Slavery

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Freedom Challenge.

Here’s a very sad but true fact: Modern day slavery exists. Every 10 minutes, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. Every 30 seconds, someone is abducted into slavery. That means, by the time you are done reading this, there will be 4-5 more slaves in the world.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Did you know that there are 30,000,000 slaves worldwide? The International Trade Organization says that 80% of them are women.

Thirty.Million.Slaves. And 24,000,000 of them are women and children.

Let me give you an idea of how many people that is: Imagine that every woman in America between the ages of 18-24 was enslaved. Now add the entire population of New Zealand to that number. Next add in the entire population of Jamaica…and the entire population of Fiji. That’s how many
women are enslaved worldwide.

24,000,000 women and children have been forced into labor or indentured servitude, have been trafficked and sold, or that have been forced into marriage as a child bride. 12,000,000 children are under the age of 12. 2,000,000 children alone are exploited in the commercial sex industry.

Many of these women are sold to another human for less than one hundred dollars. Imagine one of your children being taken from you and sold for $100.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

That makes me want to do something about this very real, worldwide problem. And that’s where the Freedom Challenge comes in.

What Is The Freedom Challenge?

Freedom Challenge is made of women all over the world who participate in physical challenges. These physical challenges test our limits while raising funds and awareness to free oppressed and enslaved women and children all around the world, and set women and children on the pathway to freedom. They use a four-pronged approach to freeing women and children around the world. Their goal is to Prevent. Rescue. Restore. Develop. You can lean more about it here.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Their mission is to free 1 million slaves and has already raised over three million dollars for the cause to date. The goal for 2016 is to free 1,000 women and children.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

So how can you help? Together we can make a difference because when we do things together, we can accomplish more than when we are alone. There are so many ways to show your support!

You can join a local event in your area or even get together a group of friends and create your own Freedom Challenge doing whatever you like to do – you can run, walk, swim, hike, climb…the challenges are endless.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Physical challenges not your thing? You can still show your support. You can donate. You can sponsor someone else’s challenge. Every single penny helps get us to the goal, but if you are unable to do give monetarily, you can show your support by spreading the word about the Freedom Challenge.

Join me in spreading the word about the Freedom Challenge

Simply helping spread the word about the Freedom Challenge is a huge support. Knowledge is power, and if you are deeply passionate about a cause, introducing others to it is a great way to drive awareness to the cause.

You Can:

Sign up to stay in touch with Freedom Challenge and they’ll share the work and impact of The Freedom Challenge with you. Encourage others to do the same.

Read stories of women and children who were freed from slavery by the Freedom Challenge and share these heartbreaking but courageous, inspiring stories with others.

Follow Freedom Challenge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Freedom Challenge is women fighting for women.

It’s Our challenge for their Freedom.

There are 24,000,000 women and children across the world who have been sold into modern day slavery. The goal of the Freedom Challenge is to end it. Learn more about how you can help.

Disclaimer: I received compensation in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

The Scents of Spring

Four years ago, I wrote a post called the Scents of Summer and it’s still one of my favorites. You know how sometimes you smell or see or hear something and it just takes you straight back to your childhood? That’s what the post is about.

Last night, it rained. I walked outside to see how hard it was raining and I could smell the rain and for some reason it took me right back to being a kid for some reason. So I thought it would be fun to write about the scents that remind me of spring.

The Scents of Spring For Me Are:

The rain

Warm wind that blows the scent of Italian Cypresses around (we had about 40 of them around our pool at the house I grew up in and so it always smelled like them)

photo source

photo source

Jasmine and magnolia trees

Soil and freshly cut grass

Wet cement

IMG_2868

But so many other things remind me of spring, too. Warm, windy days. Eating dinner outside. Working in the yard with the radio playing. Digging in the soil and planting seeds. Warm days and cool nights. The feeling of excitement because summer’s right around the corner. Playing outside from the time we got home from school until it was time for dinner.

I absolutely LOVE summer, but as I get older, I find that I prefer spring more. The weather is milder and not just hot, hot, hot for months at a time. The time changes so the evenings stay lighter longer. The excitement of school ending and the lazy days ahead. Everything blooming. The excitement of the baby birds hatching (the same nest above our front door has had babies every year for the last 5 years!) Just the fact that everything seems to be coming alive after a long winter.

What sights, scents, and sounds remind you of your childhood springs?

My Life In Pictures: April 1 – 15, 2016

Back in October, I started what I thought was the best idea EVER: To share my Instagram pictures a couple of times a month since I can’t seem to find time to write! I decided to call it My Life In Pictures. You can see all of my previous posts here. So here’s what I’ve been up to the last couple of weeks.

Screenshot 2016-04-19 12.48.30

That top picture is of the community garden we started last year with friends and family. As you can tell we really let it go over the winter. The bottom picture shows what twelve people can do in just a few hours of hard work! We’ll be planting soon.

Screenshot 2016-04-19 12.48.41

And while we are busy pulling more weeds than I think I’ve ever seen, the kids stay busy by selling lemonade and treats. They make great money are are currently saving it to buy a snowcone maker and all the fixings.

Screenshot 2016-04-19 12.49.09

I got this cup for my birthday. It’s my new favorite!

Screenshot 2016-04-19 12.49.25

Ethan loves his dog, and she’s getting old. I’m not looking forward to the kids losing her. It’s going to break their hearts.

Screenshot 2016-04-19 12.49.35

So glad to have found this shirt at Target for the girls!

affiliate

Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliate sites.

Tastefully Plated Review: High Quality Meals From The Microwave

Disclaimer this Tastefully Plated review is sponsored. I received samples and compensation in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

There are conveniences when it comes to microwavable meals – they’re quick and easy to make, they make for an inexpensive meal, and there’s a huge variety of them. That being said, most of them lack quality ingredients and taste. But after reading this Tastefully Plated review, I bet you’ll change your mind and want to try these chef created, restaurant quality microwavable meals yourself!

Say goodbye to boring frozen meals! After you read this Tastefully Plated review you'll want to try these chef created, restaurant quality frozen meals!

What is Tastefully Plated?

Tastefully Plated allows you to enjoy the convenience of a prepared frozen meal, without sacrificing quality and taste. Their see-through packaging allows you to actually see your meal before you buy it – you can literally see the quality. The simple, white plate that the meal comes on looks great from microwave to table, too.

Tastefully Plated Review

You know when you buy a frozen meal and you open it up and all the different parts of the meal are mixed up? The veggies are in with the potatoes. The chicken has mixed in with the veggies.

What I like about Tastefully Plated is that the sealing system that they use keeps the food exactly where it’s supposed to be. The sealing system seems to be some kind of vacuum, and it also comes off of the plate easily and mess free for quick, clean serving. Because of the sealing, the meal stay beautifully plated and ready for your dining room table (or in my case, desk.)

The BPA-free sealing expands like a balloon during cooking. The steam heating warms the meal evenly and keeps the food moist, fresh and delicious.

You can learn a bit more about it by watching this video.

Now let’s talk about the actual food. YUM! There are a ton of different Tastefully Plated meal options to choose from. You’ll find beef, pork, chicken, and vegetarian selections. You can see that the food is high quality; the chicken looks like chicken and the veggies look full of color and crisp. The meals are chef-crafted with the freshest ingredients and healthier than traditional ready-made meals.

Say goodbye to boring frozen meals! After you read this Tastefully Plated review you'll want to try these chef created, restaurant quality frozen meals!

I was sent a few different ones to try out: Chicken Marsala, Lemon Oregano Chicken, and the Coconut Spiced Rice with grilled vegetables. All of them are delicious, the Chicken Marsala is my favorite.

Say goodbye to boring frozen meals! After you read this Tastefully Plated review you'll want to try these chef created, restaurant quality frozen meals!

The description reads: Roasted chicken breast in a Marsala wine sauce with mushroom risotto and steamed baby carrots in a butter sauce.

This is what it looks like before it goes into the microwave. You don’t need to remove anything from the dish except the yellow description tag.

Say goodbye to boring frozen meals! After you read this Tastefully Plated review you'll want to try these chef created, restaurant quality frozen meals!

I popped it into the microwave for 3 minutes.

Say goodbye to boring frozen meals! After you read this Tastefully Plated review you'll want to try these chef created, restaurant quality frozen meals!

Here’s what it looks like out of the microwave.

Say goodbye to boring frozen meals! After you read this Tastefully Plated review you'll want to try these chef created, restaurant quality frozen meals!

And here’s the finished product.

Say goodbye to boring frozen meals! After you read this Tastefully Plated review you'll want to try these chef created, restaurant quality frozen meals!

It was absolutely delicious! The chicken tasted like I made it myself. The risotto was perfect and the mushrooms were plump and full of flavor. The carrots were crisp, brightly colored, and tasted like carrots (which makes sense if you have ever eaten a frozen meal and only know what your supposed to be tasting because it looks like a carrot!)

I actually was not expecting the meals to be so good. I didn’t expect the food to taste like a real meal that I’d make myself. I didn’t expect the freshness or such high quality. I was pleasantly surprised and absolutely will be ordering more from Tastefully Plated! At just $6.99 a meal, it’s cheaper than eating fast food and more healthy too.

Check out Tastefully Plated on Facebook to find locations near you and order some of their delicious meals. You won’t be disappointed.

approved

I Think I’m Too Old For Las Vegas

If you live in California and drive to Las Vegas, you know that this sign always means that you're on your way to a weekend of fun!

If you live in California and drive to Las Vegas, you know that this sign always means that you’re on your way to a weekend of fun!

This past weekend, Jason and I went to Las Vegas with family and friends to celebrate my littlest brother’s 30th birthday party. Well, lots of my family and friends bowl on a league and they were having their “sweeps”, or final games of the season, in Vegas. They’ve done it for years, and while we haven’t gone in quite a few years, it’s always a blast.

12938158_10208615619244062_8579124538200821158_n

My mom (right) and some of our favorite friends wearing their lucky bowling socks…balls and pins. Both my mom and Dena won a ton of money with their mad bowling skills!

But here’s the problem with Vegas. My 40 year old brain shuts off and my 20 year old brain takes over. I forget that I’m too old to stay up gambling and drinking and partying like a rock star all night. I forget that I need to eat 3 meals a day, and that I need to drink a ton of water. I forget that I need 8 hours of sleep. I forget that when I do party like a rock star, I can only do it one night, not two.

12967955_10201395788734890_6262879689065428140_o

So my 20 year old brain took over this weekend and coming home on Sunday I was exhausted. Now, nearly a week later, I’m still trying to catch up on sleep and recover from a weekend of too much partying and not enough of doing anything healthy.

My siblings and I at the end of a very long day and night.

My siblings and I at the end of a very long day and night.

It was a blast, a huge blast, and I loved every minute of it.

But next year? I think instead of hanging out all night with the 30 year olds, I’ll be heading to bed at 10:30 with the other old people.