Mom Knows Best

Friday, November 17, 2017

Could It Be Asthma?

I am discovering natural ways to manage my breathing problems that I experience while exercising.

  About a month ago, my youngest was diagnosed with mild asthma that is caused by allergies. This got me to thinking about some symptoms that I have been experiencing when I am running. For the past couple of months, there have been some days when running has been difficult for me. My running just felt like I was out of shape as I had to catch my breath several times. At first, I thought that maybe I just did not get enough sleep as it only happened a couple days a week. Then came a week that every day when I went running, I had to stop every 5 minutes to cough and catch my breath. It was then that I started thinking of what could be causing my breathing problems. I realized that my breathing problems started in the fall when I switched from running in the morning to afternoon running. I also noticed that the days that I had trouble running were the days my nose would drip like a faucet from my allergies. I also started noticing on my good days of running what I did differently. It then hit me, I might just have allergy induced asthma like my son and daughter. 

   I know I should make a doctor appointment to get it checked out. I think I will in the winter as I don't want to stop my allergy medicine just yet. If it freezes here in New Mexico, I can go two months without my allergy medicine that is until things start growing again. I also have not made a doctor appointment as for now, I only have breathing problems when I run. I also want to try natural remedies to see if I can manage my symptoms as I don't want to add an inhaler to my list of medicines that I take. I do take prescribed allergy medicines for now. If I go a day or two without those medicines, I am coughing so much that I am haking up a lung.

Things that have helped my breathing.

This year has been tough for my allergies as we have had a lot of rain here and the rain has made a lot of weeds grow. I am happier when we are in a drought. So I think all the weeds maybe what is making it hard for me to breathe when I am running. One thing that I noticed that has helped my breathing is drinking a cup of coffee 20-30 minutes before running. This made me realize why I did not have problems running in the summer as I was drinking an energy drink before I went running.

  I did some research and discovered that caffeine helps open up the lungs and makes breathing easier. The problem is that coffee can cause stomach problems for me if I drink it before running. I decided to try an energy drink that has caffeine in it to see if that could help with my running and breathing problems. I found that a drink with 100 mg of caffeine helped me to run better. The caffeine also helped to run faster. The energy drink that I am using right now is Fenix XT*. I like that this energy drink comes in stick packs so I can take it on the go and also control the amount of liquid that I want to consume before I go running. If I drink too much water before running it hurts my stomach or I have to pee while I am running. I really like the mango peach flavor and that it has antioxidants along with vitamin C in it.

*XT can help support energy, stamina, focus, and has beneficial antioxidants. It is lower sugar, caffeine, and taurine than other energy drinks, avoiding the ‘crash’ or ‘jitters’ often associated with energy drink use.

Fenix XT** also has a delicious detox drink that I am enjoying. I recently discovered that detoxing has nothing to do with cleansing your bowels but rather nourishing your body to get rid of toxins.

**FENIX-DX is a delicious pink lemonade-flavored dietary supplement drink mix that can help to gently support the body’s natural daily detoxification process and the immune system. Daily DX assists the digestive system and regularity with soothing herbs such as aloe and licorice. Chamomile is included to help fight stress.  Vitamin C is added to help defend the immune system. Daily DX is caffeine-free and can be used daily in support of health

Homeopathic Therapy
 I am trying homeopathic Fast Dissolving Tablets that are geared for asthma+ and bronchial cough++ to see if they can help manage my asthma symptoms. I discovered these last month at a conference that I attended. I like using natural products that stimulate my body's natural ability to alleviate the symptoms. TRP(The Relief Products) sent me samples and told me that I could take them on an as-needed basis. So I am taking the tablets before I run to help my body to breathe better. I like that these tablets are safe and gentle to use with no side effects or interactions with other medications. I know that these tablets are not a substitute for asthma medicine but are rather something that that may help my symptoms. I am thankful when I do have breathing problems that stopping my running and walking restores easy breathing to me. So my thought on taking the homeopathic tablets is to see if I can be able to run on those bad allergy days without any breathing problems.

 +According to homeopathic indications, the ingredients in Asthma Therapy™ provide temporary relief of Asthma and COPD-like symptoms such as difficulty breathing, spasmodic coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, the sensation of tightness in the chest and congestion.

+ +According to homeopathic indications, the ingredients in Bronchial Cough Therapy™ provide temporary relief for the symptoms of Bronchial Cough such as coughing, mucous build-up, and chest tightness. 

Exercising Indoors
  On windy days I head to the gym and run on the treadmill. That has been helping with my breathing also. It seems that the wind just blows all the things around that I am allergic too and was making it hard for me to breathe when running.

Warm Up Longer
 I discovered that running for a few minutes and then walking for the first 1/2 mile of my running time helps my lungs work better so I can run without having to stop to catch my breath. I guess gone are the days that I can just take off running.

It Is Ok To Take Breaks
 I have to realize that I am still getting a great work out on those days that I have to walk more to catch my breath. I just do run 5 minutes and then walk a minute for my exercise. On the days when I can run the whole time, I rejoice.

 For now, these things are working to control what I think may be allergy induced asthma. I don't feel the need for a doctor appointment as my symptoms only happen when running. I also don't want to go through the dreadful 3-hour appointment that includes allergy testing that will tell me all the things that I am allergic to as I already know that I am allergic to weeds and mold.  I only got my son to the doctor as we had a scare this summer that we had to call the paramedics and it resulted in an urgent care visit. My son has an inhaler for just in case and he has not had to use it yet. As long as we manage his allergies hopefully he will not have to use the inhaler.

The Wonder Movie Review

  My 11-year-old son and I had the opportunity to see the Wonder movie on his birthday and it was a great movie. We had finished reading the book about a month ago and my son was excited to see the movie. In fact, he asked if we could go see it for his birthday, which was November 14th and the movie was going to be in the theatres on November 17th. So when I got a press invitation to see the movie on November 14th, my son and I were so excited.

 My son and I loved that the movie followed the story from the Wonder book. The movie did not really change much from the book but of course, there was plenty of things from the book that was not in the movie as the movie was less than 2 hours long. The movie, for the most part, followed the story from the book. This movie made me laugh and cry all at the same time. It kept my interest the whole movie. I know sometimes people say that the book or the movie was better but this movie was just as good as the book. It does a great job of teaching kindness and shows how people's hearts can be changed. My favorite line from the movie was

Image result for wonder quotes

This movie is a must-see movie for all ages but I think it is especially good for upper elementary and middle school kids to see. My son said the book and the movie opened his eyes to try to be kind to everyone. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Don't Let Life Get In The Way Of Your Passions

This post was sponsored by Astellas as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

 I have always had a passion to travel but my fears and life got in the way. The few times that I did travel, it was by car, train, or close to home as I had a tremendous fear of flying. I would hear about friend's vacations and think to myself "I want to travel to other places" but I would then make the excuses. Excuses like the kids are too young or it costs too much money. These were excuses that I made because I did not want to get on an airplane. I needed to face my fears, stop the excuses and pursue my passion!

 Fast-forward to many years later and my youngest was now in school. I had just started blogging and there was an opportunity for me to attend a blogging conference. I had a great desire to attend this conference as it sounded so fun and it would be a great opportunity for learning and networking. The problem was it was far away and I would have to board a plane to get there. I would also have to travel solo. I shared this desire to attend the conferences with my husband and he said that I should go. I made more excuses about how much money it would cost and that he would have to take time off from work. My husband looked at me and said: "I want you to go to this conference, it will be good for your blog and you will have a good time." He also said that money was no issue and he had plenty of vacation time to be able to stay home with the boys. My husband wanted me to go and take a much-needed break from the kids.  I do love that man. He continued to encourage me as I struggled to book my airfare and hotel.

 The day came that I had to leave for my conference and my fear of flying set in. Thank goodness, my husband was there to encourage me to get on the plane. I went to the conference and had a wonderful time. That was the beginning of my "me time traveling" and I have since traveled five more times for work and pleasure. Yes, I still have a little bit of fear of flying, but I have found the destination part of the travel part to be so wonderful that I get on that airplane and pursue my passion. I am glad that I have a husband that loves me so much that he allows me to travel to these blog conferences. I am glad that he helped me pursue my passion.

 Life often gets in the way of our true passions but with determination, we can discover our passions. Dancing is a passion for some but it’s different things for different people. The “Keep on Dancing” Sweepstakes, sponsored by Myrbetriq® (mirabegron), is a reminder never to give up on the things you love.

What passion do you need to pursue? 

Rediscover your passion and enter for a chance to win a trip to a 2018 taping of Dancing with the Stars.
Enter The “Keep on Dancing” Sweepstakes here:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

On The Go Aromatherapy Made Simple With Aromatherapy Bracelets And a Giveaway

           It is amazing how scent can affect your mood!

  I just love using natural scent in my home and I have several diffusers that I use depending on my mood. I also have a box of different essential oils that I use with my diffusers. My favorite scents that I love using are peppermint, lavender, orange, and lemon. Not only do these scents smell awesome to me, they also help my moods at different times of the day depending on how I want to feel. The lavender is my help me relax and fall asleep scent while the peppermint helps energize me. The lemon and orange also smell great and lift my mood. It is amazing how scent can make one feel. I have not been using essential oils that long, maybe about a year, so I am still learning about them. For now, I am using them for my diffusers and in homemade skin care products that I make for my son.

Did you know that essential oils can be combined to make scents that can help the brain focus?

How do essential oils affect your mood?

The olfactory nerve cells are the cells that are responsible for your sense of smell. The part of the brain that processes messages produced by these cells is also responsible for mood and memory. It’s little wonder the brain often connects the two while multitasking, and closely ties scent with memory and mood. That’s how scent—and especially scent from essential oils—can trigger memories and alter your outlook!

  Like I said I am still learning about essential oils, things like how much of different oils to combine to make mood blends. So I love when I find products that have the best essential oils already combined that can help with my mood. So I like using Goddess Garden Organic blends as they always smell so good. One of my favorite Goddess Garden blends is Brain Boost. This Focus blend has a wonderful scent that smells so good and always lifts my mood. The scent has essential oils in it like orange, lemon, lavender, and rosemary. I just love the small bottle as I can stash it in my purse to use it on the go, especially when traveling. I also love that Goddess Garden makes these pretty Aromatherapy bracelets to use with their essential oils so I don't have to bring my diffuser with me when traveling. Trust me, I have considered bringing a diffuser with for trips so I can use them in my hotel room. 


    I am glad that I can instead just wearing this pretty bracelet that matches all my outfits. That saves me so much more room in my suitcase for my clothes. These bracelets are made with porous lava rocks that absorb my essential oils so I can have my favorite scents always with me. It is amazing how a quick sniff of my bracelet can enhance my mood and help me focus so I can get some work done while on an airplane. I know I should relax and enjoy my flight but I find that working helps keep my mind off the fact that I am way too high in the sky. I don't like traveling by plane one bit. Maybe next time I will use the Grounding Aromatherapy Bracelet Blend to help calm my nerves before I get on the plane. I just place the beautiful bracelet near my face and take a deep breath. The wonderful fragrance instantly calms my nerves. I love being able to wear aromatherapy jewelry! 

Goddess Garden has three different styles of Aromatherapy bracelets and five Aromatherapy blends. Each of the oil blends enhances different moods. Simply choose the bracelet that makes you happy and then apply the oil according to your mood. The scent lasts for a long time too. The small bottles of the best essential oils also fit perfectly in my pocket so I can have my aromatherapy whenever I need it. 

Pick-Me-Up: Put some pep in your step 
Happy Day: Find your inner happy
Grounding: Calm your anxious mind
Brain Boost: Unlock memory and focus
Take 5: Breathe in and reduce stress

Visit Goddess Garden and check out the new Aromatherapy On The Go line and tell me which bracelet and essential oil blend is your favorite.

Enter to win one Goddess Garden Aromatherapy bracelet and one essential oil blend of your choosing ($25 value). To have a chance to win one of these amazing Aromatherapy bracelets, just enter on the form below! Good luck!

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age or older.  Chances of winning this giveaway depend on the number of entries. All entries will be verified. The winner will be notified within 24 hours of the end of the contest and will then have 48 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. Void where prohibited

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

      Check out some delicious unique recipes that will be on my Thanksgiving menu.

  I love cooking and Thanksgiving is a time that I like to try out several new recipes. I like to cook unique, wow, impressive recipes for Thanksgiving as this day is all about the food. I think the only thing on my menu that is traditional is the turkey and even then, my husband will make it with a different twist. Our favorite way to make the turkey is with green chile and honey.

  Months before Thanksgiving, I will look at magazines for inspiration on what to make for this fabulous feasting day. I will choose recipes from breakfast all the way to dessert. It is so much fun making all this food for my family. This year all my kids will be here for Thanksgiving for the second year in a row and that makes for one happy mom. I don't have all the items picked out for my menu yet as my husband loves to cook also so I let him help with the selection also. So I am going to share some of the items that will be on my menu. I have a couple of new dishes that I am making that are inspired by some chocolate/cocoa ingredients that I received. Chocolate is a wonderful ingredient and just about makes everything taste so delicious. All the recipes that I am sharing came from
 The Cocoa Exchange Recipe Blog so be sure to check this site out for more wonderful recipes.

     I received several products from the Cocoa Exchange to facilitate this post.

I always treat my family to a delicious breakfast on Thanksgiving. In the past, it has always been cinnamon rolls but this year I am making White Chocolate Pancakes. The pancakes were super easy to make as I used a delicious baking mix. This baking mix is a white chocolate lovers dream as it has Dove Signature white chocolate in it. This sweet delicious mix is also great for making cupcakes and cookies. The baking mix is a huge bag that makes several batches of these scrumptious pancakes. I like to serve my pancakes with thawed frozen strawberries but if you want sweetness overload you can pour melted white chocolate over them or just sprinkle white chocolate chips on top of the pancakes.

White Chocolate Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour


3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cup milk

1 egg

3 tablespoons butter, melted


1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, DOVE® SIGNATURE WHITE CHOCOLATE BAKING MIX, baking powder, and salt.

2. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat.

4. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately ¼ cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot. Serve with thawed frozen strawberries and white chocolate chips.

 My Thanksgiving breakfast always ends with a great cup of coffee. I just love relaxing with my coffee in the morning This year I am enjoying a French roasted blend that has wonderful notes of chocolate. This  Organic Fair Trade coffee has a smoky and smooth taste to it. It is a perfect coffee that just pairs well with my chocolate inspired recipes.

        I received a bag of coffee from Wicked Joe coffee to facilitate this post.

 My Thanksgiving menu always has fresh cranberry sauce on it, none of the wiggly can stuff for me. I decided to add chocolate to my recipe this year for a different twist. I was pleasantly surprised as the PURE DARK Cinnamon Chocolate Nibs gave it an awesome flavor without being overloaded with chocolate. These cocoa nibs are covered in 64% cacao chocolate and dusted with cinnamon to give you recipes a sweetly spiced taste. I need to add these to my brownies!

 Cranberry Sauce
1 lb cranberries, fresh or frozen

3/4 cup apple cider

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup PURE DARK Cinnamon Chocolate Nibs

1/2 pint fresh raspberries, I substituted 1 cup frozen thawed strawberries


1. To a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, add cranberries, apple cider, sugar and PURE DARK® Cinnamon Chocolate Nibs. Stir gently and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until cranberries begin to burst and sauce starts to thicken.

3. Add strawberries and stir very gently so strawberries maintain shape. Allow to cool on the stove before transferring to dish to refrigerate.

  My husband loves roasted beets so I decided to add them to my menu with a Roasted Beet with Feta recipe. This side dish combines the great taste of roasted beets with a unique fig balsamic vinaigrette. This dressing has sweet figs and white chocolate in it and it makes a flavorful salad dressing. To make this dish colorful, use both red and gold beets.

Roasted Beets with Feta

4 medium beets, peeled

1 tbsp olive oil

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup POD & BEAN Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled


1. Preheat oven to 450° F.

2. Peel beets and cut into ½ inch pieces. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and spread on a baking sheet.

3. Roast until tender (approximately 35 minutes.)

4. Transfer beets to a bowl and toss with Pod & Bean™ Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette and chopped scallions. Top with crumbled feta and serve.

   I always make several desserts for Thanksgiving as my family has their favorites. My husband always requests my chocolate cream pie while the teen loves pumpkin pie. I don't mind making several desserts as that means more leftovers! This year I added Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Coconut Macaroons as I wanted something salty and chocolaty. I think salt and chocolate are the perfect combination! The Pure Dark Sea Salt rounds are bite-sized disks of intense dark chocolate that are dusted with sea salt to give your taste buds an intriguing taste sensation.

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Coconut Macaroons

14 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 bag Pure Dark® Sea Salt Nibs 


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place oven racks in center positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. If PURE DARK® Chocolate Sea Salt Nibs are desired, add them at this stage.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks are formed.

4. With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture until fully incorporated.

5. Using a small ice cream scoop, form the mixture into mounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart.

6. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans occasionally. Remove from oven when bottoms are a dark golden brown and tops are a light golden. Let cool for five minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. When completely cooled, macaroons can be drizzled with chocolate or the bottoms can be dipped. Place dipped macaroons on a tray lined with clean parchment.

Check out this video for some cookie making inspiration!

  My family has a tradition of looking at Christmas lights after our Thanksgiving meal. We drive to a place called Old Town and walk around the square. It is a great way to burn off some of those calories while taking in the lights. My husband and I always grab a mug of hot coffee for the road. The Wicked French blend from Wicked Joe Coffee is the best! My new purple travel mug keeps my coffee hot for a long time. I love the leak and spill-proof lid so I can walk without spilling coffee on myself. It is my new favorite coffee mug!

      I received a travel mug from Contigo to facilitate this post.

Looking for more recipe inspiration for your Thanksgiving dinner? 
 Check out these other recipes:

Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Savory Lentil Loaf With A Cranberry Cherry Glaze

Ravioli With Mushrooms in Brown Butter Sauce

Cheddar Rosemary Bread

Honey Balsamic Roasted Acorn Squash

Vegetarian Mushroom "Meat" Loaf

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Friday, November 10, 2017

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I love these bras! You need to try one and you will fall in love with them too!

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Best Planner For Bloggers, Parents And Life

                                                Life is always crazy busy here!

  My life has been crazy busy here lately. The holidays are keeping me busy with work assignments on my website and the family life somehow fits into my busy work day. That is what I love about working from home as I can be there for my boys and take care of the house while working at the same time. It is not unusual for me to throw a load of laundry in and then get on my computer to post something on Facebook and then drive my teen son somewhere. I am known for multitasking all day long.

            I received a planner from Andrews McMeel Publishing to facilitate this post.

  My teen is a senior in high school this year so he has been keeping me extra busy with rides to/from school, JRrotc events, cross country, and congressmen appointments for the Naval Academy. The younger boys keep me busy with birthday parties and playdates. The husband occasionally needs me to run errands for him and then there are all the doctor appointments. All this while writing, cooking and taking photos for my website. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping track of everything. I am thankful for my planner. I started using a planner about 3 years ago and it has helped me stay on top of my work and life. My current planner was a mess and not working anymore, I needed a new one. I was just running out of space on my calendar. I tried color coding things but that did not work as my highlighters somehow seemed to disappear. So I knew I needed a planner that was better organized to help keep me organized.

                                                                        ISBN: 9781449485214

  I did a lot of searching for my new planner and fell in love with the Posh: Organized Living 2017-2018 Monthly/Weekly Planner. I just loved all the features that this planner had and the size was perfect. Since it was an 18-month planner, I could start using it right away as it started with Aug 2017 and went through Dec 2018. I loved the tabbed monthly sections that opened up to a monthly calendar with big squares for me to write on. I also had the weekly sections for more ways to keep track of my assignments and want I had to do for that day. I loved the boxes that I could check off! Checking off items just makes me feel so good.

 The included stickers were fun and could use those for keeping track of kid stuff. I think the best part of the planner was the monthly Get In The Habit grid that I would use for keeping track of my work payments. I could then make check marks next to each one to show that I completed my work, submitted my work and when I received payment. I knew that the two pockets at the front would be great for all my receipts. 

This planner also had inspiring quotes in it that just seemed to align with my work and goals. I know that this planner will get a lot of use and will help me stay organized with my crazy busy life. Want to know more about this Blogger/parent/life planner? Then click Here and go have a look. There are many more planners and calendars at this website to help you get more organized. 

                                          Would a planner help you be more organized?

Mom knows best