Second Chances Girl - a Miami family and lifestyle blog!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Collectively and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

As you already know, I love fall. I go a little overboard with decorating and baked goods when it comes to fall since we here in South Florida don't really experience an actual weather change. We are big smoothie drinkers in our home so of course, when Fall comes around, I change our smoothie flavorings up. Enter pumpkin everything and that will translate to this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!!

A pumpkin pie smoothie is heaven in a mason jar! It look like Fall, smells like Fall and tastes like Fall! Who could ask for anything better! 

Like I mentioned before, we love smoothies in our home. It's a great way to get in some of your required fruit and vegetable servings. A big factor in a delicious smoothie is a good quality protein powder! We recently discovered OLLY Protein Blends and they have really upped our smoothie game! OLLY protein is plant-based protein and contains flavor-packed nutrition that is vegan and gluten-free!

OLLY Smoothie powders are delicious on their own but are also a delicious base to your favorite smoothie! I used the vanilla is our pumpkin pie smoothies!

Makes 2

1 scoop OLLY Smoothie Blend in Vanilla
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 banana
1 cup ice
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 tsp dark vanilla
1/2 tsp real maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
whipped cream for topping (optional)

In a blender, add OLLY Smoothie Blend in Vanilla, 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 1 banana, 1 cup ice and 1 cup 2% milk. Blend until all ice is crushed.

Add vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg and puree until well blended. Serve in a mason jar and top with whipped cream. Do'n't forget a fun straw!

This pumpkin pie smoothie is perfect for breakfast or as a snack. I know I am super busy throughout the day so I make sure to have a yummy smoothie first thing in the morning. It's the perfect way to kickstart my day! Oh and let's not forget the pumpkin pie lover in the family. He loves this smoothie!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Emergency Kit for Girls

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., and its advertiser. All opinons are mine alone. #40Pounds #CollectiveBias

Back to school is a hectic time for all of us. There are so many supplies to buy, activities to schedule and homework to do. I have an advantage that I work from home and can spend time with my kids at school. I get to see them flourish everyday. I know how fortunate we are to have schools to go to each day. Not every one in the world is so fortunate, especially young girls in countries around the world. There are children in Ethiopia who cannot attend school due to the time consuming task of fetching water for their families. My girls are so lucky that they just have to worry about getting good grades and being kind to others.

I'm one of those moms who likes to be prepared at all times. I am teaching my kids the same. Even though I am usually at school while the kids are there, sometimes I just can't always be around. That's why I send my girls to school with an emergency kit. There is so much that can happen and if they are prepared, I know they will feel more confident, especially teenager years, when most girls start to feel self-conscious about their appearances.

Creating an emergency kit is as easy as can be. I just grabbed a cute bag and included some essentials for life's little emergencies. To assemble an emergency kit, you will need the following:

1. Cute bag. I love a fun cosmetic bag and when I saw this at the store I knew it was a winner! 
2. Travel size hairspray. Styling products like hairspray help with the perfect ponytail and top knot. Hairspray is also awesome to help quick-dry nail polish!
3. Hand sanitizer. Gotta keep those germs away!
4. Sanitary napkins. We've already dealt with first periods in our home and a sanitary napkin is always an essential. It sucks to get your period at school, but at least they know they have protection.
5. Emergen-C®. Being in a classroom all day is an easy way to get sick, so we try to stay as healthy as we can and Emergen-C® provides a dose of immune supporting antioxidants. Emergen-C® is packed with B vitamins, antioxidants+, electrolytes plus more vitamin C than 10 oranges^. With over 20 flavors, there are plenty of delicious varieties to choose from. +Zinc and Manganese^ Based on the nutrient database value for a large, raw orange. 

6. Lip gloss. Lip gloss in a fun flavor is always great for chapped lips.
7 Nail file. A nail file is so easy to carry around and perfect for fixing a cracked nail.
8. Travel size hand lotion. Very important for dry hands.
9. Bandages. It's so hard to get a bandage at school so I make sure they carry their own just in case of a small cut or scrape.
10. Hair ties. It's hot in Florida and even though they go to school with their hair loose, they always end up with a pony tail when I pick them up.
11. Bobby pins. Bobby pins help with cute up-dos throughout the day.

I check their emergency kits often and replenish supplies as necessary. Can you imagine if all girls had one of these kits in their backpacks? I feel like they gain just a little more confidence knowing they are prepared for anything!

Raising confident, educated girls is so important to me. It makes me so sad to think about all the young girls around the world that get pulled out of school everyday because they need to help their families survive. Remember I mentioned the children in Ethiopia? Well, I have partnered with Emergen-C® and have taken on the #40Pounds Challenge! For every #40Pounds Challenge picture uploaded to Instagram, Emergen-C® will donate $5 to charity:water to help fund projects that bring clean, accessible water to communities in Ethiopia. Clean water in Ethiopia means more children in school! Let me tell you, I tried carrying these packages of water bottles (about 50 pounds) and I have no idea how children in Ethiopia can do this everyday......

Remember to pick up Emergen-C® at your local Walmart to create your own emergency kit and remember to take the #40Pounds Challenge on Instagram!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Chicken and Veggie Fried Rice

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Mars, Incorporated. All opinions are mine alone. #BensBeginners #UncleBensPromo #CollectiveBias

School is in session. Extra curriculars are in full swing and this busy momma of three is exhausted. Honestly, one of the hardest parts of parenting to me is figuring out what to make every night for dinner. These kids are constantly hungry, especially in the late evenings. During the summer it was 2nd lunch, now it's become 2nd dinner! They have an early dinner between school and extracurriculars (music, swimming, football, etc.) but once they get back home, they are starving and refuse to eat whatever they ate earlier. These 2nd dinners need to be quick, easy to make and on the healthier side since they go to bed as soon as they eat.  Their days are jam-packed and good nutrition is key to keep them going!

One of my go-to recipes for the infamous "2nd dinner" is chicken and veggie fried rice. I have mastered this recipe to where I can have it ready in under 15 minutes!

Chicken and Veggie Fried Rice is a delicious kid-friendly dinner! It is healthier than take-out and homemade always tastes best! #BensBeginners #UncleBensPromo #ad  @UncleBens

My chicken and veggie fried rice is made with a staple in my pantry: Uncle Ben's Ready Rice or Uncle Ben's Boil-in Bag rice. Uncle Ben's can help you make quick and easy meals with the family even during this busy time of year when everyone is getting back into a routine. 

Chicken and Veggie Fried Rice
Serves 2 adults or 3 children
Time: 15 minutes

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
1 8.5 oz pkg of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice Brown Basmati
1 cup chopped vegetables (my kids like broccoli and carrots)
1 large egg
2 tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

My favorite aspect about this dish is that anyone can make it, including my kids (with adult supervision of course!) My kids are at a great age to begin cooking. Cooking together brings us together and it's a great time to have an actual conversation with them! 

Back to the recipe: This is a quick recipe so make sure you have all your ingredients close by. In a pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and Uncle Ben's Ready Rice. We eat brown rice in our home and love the Brown Basmati Ready Rice! Cook rice for about 3 minutes.

Make a hole in the center of the rice and crack open the egg. Quickly scramble the egg and them mix with the rice.

Add chicken and veggies. I use fresh veggies in our fried rice but if you have frozen veggies, make sure to defrost them before adding to the rice.

Cook for about 4 minutes and add soy sauce, salt and pepper. Mix again and cover pan for 5 minutes. 

That's it. Told you it was easy! Look at how yummy this fried rice looks!

This chicken and veggie fried rice is a healthier alternative to take-out. It is way easy to make and tastes delicious. It is definitely a family favorite!

Chicken and Veggie Fried Rice is a delicious kid-friendly dinner! It is healthier than take-out and homemade always tastes best! #BensBeginners #UncleBensPromo #ad

Uncle Ben's Rice products are available in the rice aisle in your local Walmart! Click here to save $0.75 off Ready Rice products at Walmart (IBOTTA coupon)

Ben's Beginners

Did you know that October 15th is Cook With Your Kids Day? Uncle Ben's does and they created the Ben's Beginners initiative! Ben’s Beginners began with a simple ambition – to get kids to cook. They are even giving back to schools with a chance to win a cafeteria makeover in a Ben's Beginners contest! Get the family into the kitchen and show them how fun cooking together can be. Enter the Uncle Ben's Beginners Contest where you can enter to win $15,000 for your family and $30,000 towards a cafeteria makeover for your child's school! 

#UncleBensPromo Sweepstakes


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