The Magic Happens in a backlit mess

Vlog #3 Baby! (please say that like joey from Friends if you’re of a certain age. “London Baby!”)

I’m putting it out there even though it’s a backlit mess. I have to move on. It’ll be fine. This is a journey right? I spent the day trying to figure out the best angles to shoot food prep in my little kitchen. It’s gonna be fun kids!

So talking about that space, the kitchen, I spend most of my time there. It’s where all the magic happens.

To be corny it’s where I sustain my family and build bonds with my kids. Friends come over and we laugh there. Someone needs something they find me in the kitchen.

So there it is or rather here it is…

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Whole Food Detox a la Vlog

So a loooooooong time ago I said I would start vlogging, then I didn’t. Ack!

So it’s a New Year and I’m a new me! A vlogging me :-) For now anyway.

I can hardly write anything because my caffeine withdrawal headache is so hideous.

Also I wish I had turned off autofocus, but again, headache.

I have to go.


There should be a cute vide here. If not refresh and like magic it will appear!

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A New Year’s Cleanse – A giveaway and discount!


I’ve been wanting to do a cleanse for a few years now. But having to feed 5 people 5 different meals everyday was already too much for me.  You know what I’m talking about mamas, no one will eat exactly the same thing at every meal and it’s maddening. To consider a different meal for me every time, well that wasn’t happening. Sometimes even the things that we should do for ourselves we just don’t take the time to do.

If you’ve read my blog for a while you know that I’ve done the 4HB  way of eating and had great success. Well, processed foods have slipped back in to our house and our whole family needs a more whole food approach. And it all starts with me. They need to see me eating whole foods and then slowly offering them only those kinds of things. It starts and ends with mama.

I’ve decided that this is the year that I stop making so many meals and I start using more whole foods, for everyone (I’m looking at you 3 year old). Big changes around here! So it would follow that now is also the perfect time to do that cleanse I’ve been putting off to kick start it all!

I’ve chosen a 14 day guided Whole Food Detox through Team J and A. Just in time for some New Year’s resolutions – the program starts on the 5th!

 The Basics:

It’s a 14 day program – 100% virtual, online program, starting on Jan. 5th. I’m online all the time anyway right? It’s a Whole Food Detox – which means that you are eating the whole time, learning how to eat real, clean un-processed food in a way that tastes good and fits your lifestyle. No powders or pills, just food! Jody & Ashley (the J and the A ;-)  are both certified holistic health coaches. They lead clients  step by step via live group training calls, live group Q&A calls, and emails with PDF materials, recipes, shopping lists, workbook & guidebook – so you know exactly what to do and why. Then there’s the group community & accountability – via a private Facebook group, that Jody & Ashley moderate to answer your questions … additionally over 70 people are already in the group who have experienced this program and are here to support you.

Just some of the benefits of this cleanse include:

  • Better sleep & stable moods
  • Reduced cravings
  • Improved energy, weight loss, improved digestive system
  • Outlook on food may change
  • Lose the inner thigh & belly fat

Sounds awesome right? I’ve looked over the recipes and the shopping list and everything’s there. Laid out. Simple. I don’t know about you but I could use a bit of hand holding when it comes to this sort of stuff. I like to be accountable to others to keep me on track. It all sounds like a good fit for me and at the very right time!

How about you? Are you ready? C’mom – do it with me!

The Giveaway and Discount:

Jody and Ashley were kind enough to not only offer my readers a very generous discount ($50 off!) but also a GIVEAWAY! WOOT! The Detox starts on January 5th.

If you want to make sure that you’re in for the 5th with me you can sign up at  with the coupon code violacay for $50 off! You will receive your getting started guide within the hour.

You can use the coupon for either the Basic ($197) or the VIP plan ($347). So that’s $147 for the Basic Plan. I just spent that on a pair of boots that aren’t even waterproof. Which purchase would prove more beneficial to me?! The VIP plan gets you ALL IN with private coaching calls and emails at $297 with the discount code!

Want to enter the Giveaway? It’s for the Basic Plan  – a $197 value!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Well I’m ready! Are you? Who wants to do a 14 day Whole Food Detox with me? Its starts this Sunday, January 5th – 7pm. Be there or be square

If you sign up, let me know in the comments:-)



Winner has 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. This giveaway will close at 11:59PM ET,  Jan 1,  2014. The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter and will be notified by email and announced here on the blog. 
This post (and my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a program by SOKA Wellness. I have been given a basic version of the cleanse to participate in for this post. All opinions are my own.
Photos by Michael Maina, used with permission. 

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Chop Chop Magazine Mingle and a Giveaway

Not too long ago I got to go to Sofra Bakery after hours. Yes, a bakery after hours. There was no bingeing don’t worry, well maybe a little. The fabulous umommy gathered some bloggers together to visit with Chop Chop Magazine. We were there to taste, learn, and mingle.

We tasted plenty of hors d’ouvres from the chef at Sofra and these two lovely kid friendly dishes:

Chop Chop Magazine Recipes

Then we learned how to take pretty pictures. We received some awesome tips from the food stylist at Chop Chop Magazine. I heart her. She helped us make crackers look good. See.

I can hear you guys “Girrrrrl, you make crackers look good!” Right? No just me again, ok?

As we mingled we talked about our kids, and food. Because that was the overarching theme of the night – kids and food. Which is what Chop Chop is all about too.

My kids love when I bring the magazine home. Often I’ll just have them pick something out the magazine that looks good to them and we make it. Making food with your kids, cooking and baking, is a sure fire way to get them to eat more food. And by more I mean different food. And by different I mean NOT chicken nuggets. (No judgement here people. My 2yo will currently only eat Lightening McQueen chicken nuggets. I’m trying. I really am.)

It’s hard for me sometimes to get the kids in the kitchen because, let’s face it, it’s easier to NOT have them involved. Plopping them in front of the TV while I run around the kitchen making 4 different meals is easier. But I’ve come to realize that for my kids, unless they’re involved, they’re not going to change their ways. It’s also about quality time with me. AND quality time with food. I want to nurture a love of food in them. A healthy love of healthy food. I’m not going to get that done if they’re watching Mickey while I cook. So back to the kitchen we go.

With the Holidays coming ChopChop is also a terrific gift for kids, foodie families will love it! It’s also a great “Under $25” gift for those elusive “Hard to Buy For” on your gift list. A two-year subscription costs $24.95 (Bonus:each subscription helps pay for a subscription to families in need).

To help you out in your own kitchen creations and gift giving, the lovely people at Chop Chop have offered a free year long subscription for me to give away to YOU!  Yay :-)

The Giveaway: The winner is Lara!
Just leave a comment below telling me one food you love making with your kids.

Want more entries?
Follow me on Facebook and let me know in a separate comment.
Like me on Twitter and let me know in a separate comment.
Follow Chop Chop on Facebook and let me know in a separate comment.
Like Chop Chop on Twitter and let me know in a separate comment.

Winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. This giveaway will close at 11:59PM ET, Wednesday, December 12th, 2012. Please leave a separate comment for each entry and remember to leave a valid email address.The winner will be chosen via the WordPress plugin “And the Winner Is” and will be notified by email and announced here on the blog. I received no form of monetary compensation for this post. I received some yummy food and awesome tips ;-)  All opinions are my own.


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I’m just going to name this post the hashtag for Giving Tuesday. Let’s just get down to it, shall we?  What are you giving today?

Giving Tuesday - Ideas

Lots of buying and getting and wanting and have-to-hav-ing happened over the weekend. We had Black Friday which started on Thursday and then Cyber Monday, which I think also started on Thursday. With all that buying and getting the “Giving”of the season sometimes get missed, or forgotten altogether. Getting the best deal seems to permeate our culture.

I have been trying to get down to the nitty gritty of what this season is about with my kids, for our family. Everyone’s family is different. We do not practice any particular religion so for us the focus is family and giving. Yes, there is some getting in there too. My kids are little. We do have SANTA! But what else is there? After we’re done thoughtfully picking out presents for our loved ones, what’s next?

My conversation with my kids always runs something like this: After family, we turn to our neighbors. We think of our teachers. Maybe we’ll make them some treats and put it in a pretty basket. Of course we say thank you to clients, they have put food on our table all year. For that we are grateful. Then what? We need to think of those who are less fortunate than us, because we are very fortunate.What can we do for them?

We don’t have a ton of excess cash, but we will donate some. But it doesn’t have to be cash. It can be time, or a service, or goods, or a smile. Mostly we will be giving goods. We are donating all of the baby stuff that has been sitting, waiting for us to decide on baby #4, to our local battered women’s shelter. Also we have a bag of toys for Toys for Tots. We have some winter jackets up in the attic that don’t fit anyone – I am postive there is a cold child somewhere. :-( We are also putting together a bag of food for the local food pantry.

So what are you giving today?

Giving Tuesday

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Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry

So do you have $20 bucks burning a hole in your pocket?

See this thing? You could get this. It’s $19.95.

Dog Wreath


See this? You could get this. It’s actually a bit cheaper.

You could donate a breakfast (or 10! or 180!) to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Your $1 donation can help connect a child in need with 10 breakfasts; and an $18 donation can help a child get breakfast every day of the school year (180 days). See how that works?

So remember that $20 bucks burning a hole in your pocket? $18 of it can buy a kid breakfast EVERY DAY OF THE SCHOOL YEAR!

Or you could go with the dog wreath thingy. I mean, it’s totally your choice.

Happy Holidays ;-)
No Kid Hungry

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