Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Jun 22, 2017

Top 5 Celebrities Who Look Great Over Age 45 Expert Plastic Surgeon Weighs In on Their Instagram Photos

There are celebrities who seem to get better with age and maintain their looks while others seem to be at war with aging. From lip injections and fillers that make faces look oddly distorted; to full face lifts that lead to slanted eyes and an expression-less appearance, we can’t help to notice when celebrities get it so wrong. In a sea of over-the-top plastic surgery, there are many celebrities who may have had a procedure or four, but managed to preserve the integrity of their faces. Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of the Brandow Clinic for Cosmetic Surgery in Philadelphia; who has appeared on national programs such as Good Morning America and 20/20, shared his list of the top 5 celebrities who look great over age 45 and explains why.

The best part, these images are from the Instagram accounts of these gorgeous ladies so the photos are current and in many cases, unretouched. Let’s begin.


1. Salma Hayek, age 50. Latin women with olive complexions age very well and Salma certainly fits into this category. She was gorgeous at 30 and she’s stunning still. “She looks incredible. She doesn’t appear to have had anything done. Amazing!” says Dr. Brandow. “For women looking to achieve this look there are simple things such as Botox to the forehead to prevent eyes from falling and to keep eyebrows in their natural position,” he adds. “You want to maintain your natural features and knowing the right moisturizer, make-up, plus sticking to a healthy diet, helps to maintain a youthful glow from the inside out. To achieve a look like Salma’s, most women would have to go the route of a mini face lift in their 40’s which offers a more natural look for 6-10 years without the distortion of excessive fillers,” he adds. 


2. Kris Jenner, age 61. 
While the Power “Momager” admits to having cosmetic procedures, she’s transformed herself into an elegant, age appropriate grandmother. Kris Jenner is on record saying she’s had a facelift, uses fillers yet, her look is sophisticated and not at all scary. “She looks great at 61. Her skin is radiant, her face has expression, there’s great symmetry and her features are soft.  She is an excellent example of someone who has embraced surgery to improve her eyelids with blephorplasty, her face with a facelift, and fillers in a very conservative fashion to get a nice, natural, ageless look.” explains Dr. Brandow. 


3. Cindy Crawford, age 51. Cindy Crawford’s look is iconic. She knows this and makes sure she keeps things as authentic as possible. “With Cindy, it’s all about those classic eyebrows and lips. Both have been beautifully maintained. Her eyebrows aren’t freakishly high. They look the same as they did in the 90’s. Her lips aren’t any different either. A lot of women over inject their lips distorting their shape and lose their uniqueness. The idea is to preserve, not change,” suggests Dr. Brandow. “Again, women often go too far with fillers leading to a puffy look when they can achieve a more natural look with a mini facelift which lessens the need for the fillers making the mini facelift a more cost-effective option over time,” he adds.


4. Jennifer Lopez, age 47. Jennifer Lopez is another Latina who looks at father time and gives him a wink. Her body is amazing and you can tell she has a healthy lifestyle. “I have patients in their 30’s saying they hope they look like J-Lo when they reach their late 40’s which is why they are getting procedures now. Jennifer Lopez is truly the hardest working woman in show biz who looks like she sleeps full 8 hours every night a very important part of the anti-aging regimen,” Dr. Brandow advises. It is possible that she does minimal things such as Botox or fillers, but in a very conservative way.”


5. Jennifer Anniston, age 48. When you see re-runs of the hit 90’s TV show Friend’s, you can easily compare a 26-year-old Anniston in her role as Rachel Greene, to how she looks two decades later.  You immediately can see how Jennifer Anniston has aged with grace. “She is another laid-back celebrity who ages with elegance. Her body is toned and strong and her face looks fresh and natural. As women age they lose volume in their lips. So, it is important to keep lip injections subtle and factor the overall shape of the mouth,” advises Dr. Brandow. 

About Dr. Kirk Brandow
Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of the Brandow Clinic for Cosmetic Surgery is a plastic surgeon with 2 locations in the Philadelphia metro area and a 3rd one at the jersey shore. Named a “Top Doc” in Plastic Surgery by Philadelphia Magazine as well as nationally recognized for one of America’s “Best Plastic Surgeons” of this decade, Dr. Brandow is a trusted expert who has developed many innovative, minimally invasive procedures for the face, body and skin. He has been featured on local, national and international television programs including 20/20, CNN’s Headline News, Good Morning America.
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Jun 20, 2017

The Best Things to Wear With Leggings, Jeggings and those Skinny Jeans

They’re a classic part of our wardrobes at this point: leggings, jeggings, and skinny jeans. Basically, anything that doesn’t put a lot of fabric around our ankles and show off just how long our legs are. These are comfortable, fun, and tend to be easier to wear than anything else. However, it can get a little difficult to find something that you really want to wear with them.

Add Some Scrunched Up Hobo Socks
Looking for a little more warmth over your leggings or jeggings? Adding a great pair of socks at any length can make the look feel warmer and cozier. Go for the classic legwarmers look or just add a chunky pair of socks. There are so many options out there with great detailing, from buttons to lace.

Just make sure that you have some breathing room and that your socks are at the same height.

Dare to Go High with High Shafted Boots
How high are you willing to go? Since leggings, jeggings, and skinny jeans are all tight all the way up, it is easy to pair them with high shafted boots – go to the knee or to the thigh for a put together look. No matter what else you have on, these boots help you to look just a little more put together.

Have smaller legs? Add the socks mentioned above under the boots for a better fit and extra warm protection.


Don’t Be Afraid of Sky High Heels
Part of the reason we wear skinny jeans and leggings is because they make our legs look amazing – but so do high heels. When you pair a great pair of pumps with this type of legwear, you get a really amazing final look that will make you look leaner, taller, and more confident with every step that you take.

Make sure that if you are wearing leggings you use closed toe shoes – especially if you have a little bit that has to stick near the toe!

Classic, Cool, Country Cowboy Boots for Casual Days
One of the classic ways to wear your skinny jeans is with a great pair of cowboy boots. Whether you are going to a country concert, a music festival, Target, or even working outside, cowboy boots are always a lot of fun.

Just make sure that your belt and your boots match – no fashion faux pas.

Modern, Patterned Tunics Make a Perfect Pairing
Tunics have returned in a big way, and they have no sign of going away anytime soon. Whether you pick a simple tunic that skirts around your curves or you belt your tunics, they look great with a pair of leggings sticking out from under them. Mix and match styles for a fashion forward look or pair them with similar styles for a cohesive feel.

Even better, take one small element from the tunic and match it to your leggings or jeggings.

Under Your Boyfriend’s (or Husband’s Shirt)
Have to dressed in a hurry? Want to be comfortable? Take an oversized shirt from your husband or boyfriend (or buy one for yourself, this is 2017!) and throw it over skinny jeans, jeggings, or leggings. The different between the tightness on your legs and the bagginess of the shirt will make for great visual appeal. This is a great look for just hanging out around the house or spending lazy weekends running errands.

Just make sure he hasn’t left any stains on it!

Cute and Comfy Oversized Sweaters
Just like an oversized shirt, oversized sweaters are a great way stay comfortable and still look cute. For days when it is just a little chilly outside, adding an oversized sweater or even a hoodie can be a comfortable look.

Add sneakers to make the look more casual or high shafted boots to look a little bit like that famous pop singer…

Chic Belted Trench Coat For Rainy Days
Raining outside? Most of us reach for the skinny jeans or leggings on those days because they fit easily into our rain boots and they don’t get as wet if we step into a puddle. Throw a cute trench coat over for some more protection and a cute look. Add a belt to give your body more shape, especially if you have a longer trench coat.

Match your wellies and your trench coat and then go for a pop of color with your leggings if you are feeling fun.

Professionally Tailored Blazer At the Office
Want to be comfortable and casual but still look like a tough business woman? Add a nicely tailored blazer and a crisp shirt overtop your leggings or skinny jeans. This look is still approachable and comfortable but still professional enough. It is also a look that easily transitions from work to picking up the kids, going to coffee, or even going out.

With a Kicky Mini Dress
Have patterned leggings? Put them under a great solid mini dress and add a blazer for a look you can wear into the office. If you have solid leggings, you can put them under just about any dress to really set off the pattern and rich colors of the dress.

No matter what you do, make sure that you have a great selection of skinny jeans, leggings, and jeggings in your wardrobe. They come in many different colors, washes, styles, and levels of distressing, so you’ll have a great option for every event.

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Jun 15, 2017

NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN! SHOW SOME LOVE FOR MILITARY VETERANS

Veteran Shane Kruchten was chosen as the first recipient for MISSION: THANK YOU.
Veteran Shane Kruchten was the first recipient on the MISSION: THANK YOU tour and was honored at a ceremony in San Diego in May. 
This summer Adam Sandoval is hitting the road with Harley-Davidson for a cross-country ride to honor those who have served and give away bikes to eight lucky vets.

Adam is an avid H-D rider, and he and his chihuahua Scooter have crossed the country in support of military vets. His ScootinAmerica initiative has raised awareness for several veterans organizations, and he’s honored to partner with H-D to bring relief to more riders. He understands that riding can be a relaxing, restorative hobby for vets, especially for those suffering from PTSD.

Anyone can nominate an active military member or veteran to MISSION: THANK YOU by submitting their story of sacrifice, strength and courage to http://missionthankyou.com. Adam will be part of the group reviewing and selecting deserving patriots for the award.

Follow the mission on adamsandovalrides.com or on Facebook or Twitter.
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Packing Checklist For Summer Travel On The Road With Kids (Giveaway, too!)

This post has been sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

Summer break is here and many of us will be fitting in a few quick family trips before school starts back. Even if we take an overnight trip, we have learned to still pack for emergencies. You never know if something will happen unexpectedly. We have had a few scary moments during travel that really taught us a lesson.

Last year we drove down to Florida to visit relatives overnight. It was the one time I told everyone to pack light. I opted to not bring any medications for our little one and of course, he ended up with a severe headache and fever out of nowhere. I had to send my husband to the nearest pharmacy to grab a bottle of Children's Advil® Suspension. Thankfully after about an hour, his headache and fever broke. He felt like his normal self the next day. That was definitely one of those Sick just got real.™ moments. It is imperative to be well prepared, even for a simple overnight trip.

If you are hitting the road for summer travel with the kids, be sure not to forget these essentials.
  • Snacks for the car. Go for things like crackers, nuts, fruit, granola bars, sandwiches, and portable yogurt. 
  • Medium-size cooler with ice packs and drinks. The ice packs can double to keep drinks cold and help with cooling your little one down in case of overheating or fever. Don't forget plenty of bottled water!
  • An emergency kit to include adhesive bandages, ointment for scrapes or bug bites, thermometer (in case of fever), pain reliever and cold/cough medication such as Pfizer Pediatric products: Children's Advil®, cold/cough medications Children's Robitussin® Extended-Release 12 Hour Cough Relief, and Children’s Dimetapp® Multi-Symptom Cold Relief Dye-Free. Note: Always keep medications in the original packaging (complete with measuring cup/spoon) for accurate dosing information. 
  • Baby wipes for keeping hands and faces clean
  • Extra underwear and basic outfits packed in individual zipper storage bags
  • Rolls of coins for tolls, snack machines, etc... 
  • Entertainment items like a tablet, books, toys, and portable coloring books with colored pencils

Here's a little information about Pfizer Pediatric products:

When sick gets real, the pediatric brands of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare are there with three solutions – Children’s Advil®, Children’s Robitussin® and Children’s Dimetapp® – to tackle the ickiest of symptoms.

  • Ease those aches and pains, while reducing a child’s fever fast with Children’s Advil®*, a great solution for kids as young as 2 and up to 11. Children’s Advil® comes in several great-tasting flavors, including: Sugar-free Dye-free Berry, Bubble Gum, Grape, Blue Raspberry, Fruit and Dye-Free White Grape flavors. There’s also Infants’ Advil® White Grape, which provides unsurpassed fever relief (among OTC pain relievers) with a syringe for easy dosing for children 6-23 months.
  • For your child’s cough, trust Children's Robitussin® Extended-Release 12 Hour Cough Relief to control and relieve symptoms all-day or all- night. Available in grape or orange flavor, for children ages 4 and up. Please note, certain Children's Robitussin® products are only suitable for children ages 6 and up.
  • Children’s Dimetapp® Multi-Symptom Cold Relief Dye-Free eases your child’s stuffy and runny nose, while quieting a bothersome cough. All in a great-tasting grape flavor that’s dye-free, for children ages 6 and up.
Visit Sick just got real.™ for information to help with selecting the correct medications for your child's symptoms. Also, be sure to follow on Facebook for wellness tips, products updates, and promotions.

To help assist you to get some supplies for those unfortunate moments when sick gets real, one Mom Files reader will win a prize pack including:  a $25 virtual Visa gift card and (1) Children's Advil® Suspension, Grape, (1) Children’s Robitussin ® Extended-Release 12 Hour Cough Relief, and (1) Children’s Dimetapp® Multi-Symptom Cold Relief Dye-Free. Enter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and will end on June 30, 2017. Please follow all rules in the Rafflecopter widget and be sure to use a valid email. One winner will be selected and contacted via email to claim prize. Please be aware that Mom Files is not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged prizes. Good luck!
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Jun 9, 2017

Columbia, SC Food Finds- Tijuana Flats' New #FlatOutrageous Menu

Me and the hubby were invited to an exclusive tasting event at the all new Tijuana Flats located not too far from our home. We were greeted immediately by the super friendly staff upon walking into the restaurant. The first thing that really stuck out was the eclectic, artsy vibe. There was so much to look at including wall murals, artwork, painted ceiling tiles, and more. Tijuana Flats was started back in 1995 and has grown to 129 stores and counting. 

We sat down (along with the other guests) with the area marketing coordinator, Sarah Jones to get a little background on how Tijuana Flats came about. You can tell she really loves the company and was willing to answer our questions in depth. The reason they hosted the tasting event was to introduce their latest Flat Outrageous menu items. 

Of course you can't dine in a Tex-Mex restaurant without the nachos to start with. All of their dishes and sides are scratch-made. The chips are so crisp and light and the queso, salsa, and guac are all so fresh and delicious! We were told that their recipes were recently tweaked and I think they need to keep it this way. That guac stole my heart. It was so rich, chunky, and perfect all at the same time. Everyone was a bit surprised that the queso was yellow compared to most places that serve a white queso. I will say that it is one of the best I have ever tried. Yum! 
I had a refreshing Sangria to go along with the hoards of food they brought out to us. We were warned from the beginning and they came with it! Whew, so much delicious food! The first few entrees we tried from the Flat Outrageous menu were the Lime Steak, Crispy Baja Fish, and Jerk Chicken Street Tacos. Although they were all so good, the lime steak was our favorite! The jerk chicken was very spicy for those who crave a little more heat. I really enjoyed it! 
One of the BEST parts is their hot sauce bar. There are so many to choose from with different levels of heat. The curry sauce and Georgia peach sauces were my faves. The great thing is that you can purchase their sauces online or in-store.


Their signature sauce is called "Smack My Ass And Call Me Sally". It packs quite a punch! And the name is so fun! haha! We tried samples of several sauces to see what worked best with each dish. We were told that some sauces require signing a waiver- YIKES!


The last entrees we tried included the scrumptious Philly Cheesesteak Flautas and the Bangin' Chicken Tostadas. They were both absolutely deliciously crispy and full of flavor. The Philly Cheesesteak Flautas came with a generous serving of queso for dipping- mmm mmm! Of course no meal is complete without a sweet bite afterwards, and their Cookie Dough Flautas were ridiculous! Served with chocolate sauce for dipping, this dessert is a chocolate lover's crispy, crunchy, chocolaty dream! So good! 

The Flat Outrageous menu really is worth trying and the prices overall are reasonable. If you are located near one and have not been, you really need to check it out. I know my daughters and their friends will enjoy Tijuana Flats' Tex-Mex dishes. They plan to stop by soon. One last thing that I wanted to share is their charitable side. Their "Just in Queso" Foundation gives back to communities benefiting children and our brave military in their time of need. 


We want to send a warm thank you to the Columbia, SC store manager Crystal Richardson and Will Huggins for hosting us! They are located at 106 Percival Rd. Ste 200 Columbia, SC 29206. Stop in a see them if you're in the area or place your online order for takeout. Their entire staff is so friendly and accommodating. You won't be disappointed! Follow Tijuana Flats on Facebook, Insta, and Twitter for delicious updates :)

Thanks for reading and as always, all opinions are 100% my own xo
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Jun 6, 2017

Show Dad Your Appreciation With A Gourmet Gift Basket This Father's Day

It's June and that means Father's Day is on its way. I start thinking about Father's Day gifts well in advance when it comes to my husband. He is fairly easy to buy for, but I know a lot of people struggle with their spouse or dad. One great idea that you can't ever go wrong with is food. I mean, what dad does not like food? If you have limited time to go shopping, no worries, GourmetGiftBaskets.com has exactly what dad will want and is only a few clicks away!

You can browse their wide selection of gourmet gift baskets to suit every dad's taste. Whether he loves beer, cheese, cookies, snacks or healthier fare, you will find the perfect gift. They offer free shipping and have gifts to fit every budget. The best part is you simply order and Gourmet Gift Baskets will take it from there. Each basket is packed with care and filled with high quality goodies. I chose the Orchard's Abundance gift basket for my husband since he is very health conscious. This basket is filled with enormous fresh fruit, cheese, crackers, peanuts, a couple chocolaty treats, and the most incredible sea salt caramel sauce for those crispy apples!


The package will arrive at your doorstep complete with the card attached to the outside of the box. The recipient can read the special message before tearing into the package. I guarantee any dad would have a huge smile on his face receiving a gift like this.


You can really see the care that goes into packing these beautiful baskets. They really do use premium products. This is a very well received gift not just for dads, but anyone! If you get stuck on what to give dad, give GourmetGiftBaskets.com a try. They have same day shipping so you can be sure the gift will get there fast. My advice is to make sure the recipient will be home to collect the gift since it does contain food items. You wouldn't want it sitting out on the front porch for very long.


Check out the amazing selection of gourmet gifts and order something for the special dads in your life today. They will love it like my husband did. Follow Gourmet Gift Baskets on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest promotions and updates. Don't delay! Hurry and order your dad or husband a Gourmet Gift Basket today!

Disclosure: We received a gift basket for review. All opinions are 100% our own as always.
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Jun 5, 2017

Get A Catalyst iPhone Case For Your Summer Adventures! (Giveaway)

School is officially out for the summer in most parts of the country, and the weather is already beach/pool friendly. Many of us are hitting the road looking for adventure this summer. Of course, you can't go anywhere without your trusty iPhone! Even when you are on the sandy beach, hanging out on the lake in a boat, hiking on dusty mountains, or just chillin' poolside, you have to keep an eye on your phone so you don't have an unfortunate accident.

Water, dust, dirt, snow, moisture, and general accidents can destroy your phone. How many times have you 'fatally dropped' your phone? I think I do this daily! Good news, Catalyst cases for the iPhone 7 are made to withstand all of the elements. When you invest in such a great phone (especially for the camera like I did), you want to get the most out of it. It's important to also invest in a good case to protect your precious phone. My theory is if you invest in quality, you won't have to buy it again any time soon.


Why choose Catalyst? It's simple. You can drop your phone on the ground, drop it in water, and get caught in the rain and your phone will be safe. Catalyst cases are waterproof to 10m (33ft)! This means you can take your iPhone under the sea or pool to record your scuba diving excursion or cool underwater pool tricks.

Why do we like this case? It has a clear front and back to show off your phone's color. So this means that pretty silver, black or rose gold color can still be seen. The sides are all shock-proof and the case in itself fits really snug and slim. I like that since I am not a fan of bulky phone cases. Also, if you need to take it off, you don't need the jaws of life to do so. I once had a phone case that got permanently stuck on my phone! The Catalyst case is easy to remove.  Another great thing is you can still hear phone calls clearly as well as listening to video or music. The charging port is easy to get to with no obstruction.


The directions to install your case is done with not only with text, but photos. It makes it a lot easier! There are simple steps to water test it. Check out these videos for details.


The Catalyst case is a must have for summer travel and would make a great Father's Day gift to the dad who lives an active lifestyle. Or if your husband is like mine, he might simply be careless with his phone. You can get full details about the Catalyst case and purchase one here for $79.99. It comes in two colors: Stealth Black & Alpine White. And don't forget a case for your Air Pods! They start at $24.99. The ones pictured below glow in the dark. Catalyst makes other products for your Apple devices as well.
Giveaway: One lucky reader will win a Catalyst Case for the iPhone 7! Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and will end on June 18, 2017. Please follow all rules in the Rafflecopter widget and be sure to use a valid email. One winner will be selected and contacted via email to claim prize. Please be aware that Mom Files is not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged prizes. Good luck!

Disclosure: We received products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% our own. 
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Jun 3, 2017

Perfect Turkey Meatball Recipe

I was talking with a good blog friend of mine the other day and she was telling me how she drools when she looks at my Insta feed. I am always in the kitchen baking or cooking up something. Today I made some super simple turkey meatballs and they came out perfectly seasoned and not dry like turkey tends to get. Since I get asked for recipes all the time, I decided I better get busy and throw them on the blog as often as I can. Check out the recipe below.
Ingredients:

  • One pound of ground turkey (I use the less lean variety since I don't want dry meatballs)
  • finely minced onion, garlic, herbs (I use thyme, rosemary, and parsley), and jalapenos 
  • 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
  • assorted dry seasonings (here are my staples
  • Olive oil
  • Cookware: a cast iron skillet or heavy skillet, tongs, spatula, flat tray lined with parchment paper
What to do:

Simply add all of the fresh ingredients into a bowl with the ground turkey. Add desired seasonings. I like to add a few shakes of red pepper flakes for added spice. Throw in the Parmesan and mix everything together with a fork. Use a spoon to help scoop even amounts of turkey and roll into balls. Place them on parchment lined tray as you roll. Place tray in freezer for about 5-10 minutes so they can firm up a bit. Heat skillet on medium-high and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Gently, but quickly place meatballs in hot skillet and let them start browning without moving them for a few minutes. Carefully use tongs to flip them. If they start to fall apart, you can use a spatula to help keep them together. Let them get brown and crispy all over. That's it! 

I like to serve these meatballs with sides like smashed sweet potatoes, regular mashed potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, or any vegetable my family likes. You can also add them in your favorite pasta sauce for spaghetti and meatballs, or eat them as is. They are the perfect protein-packed snack! 

I hope you will try this recipe soon. Thanks for stopping by xo 

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New Baby Dove Moisture Rich Product Line (Giveaway)

Did you know that Dove makes baby products? I did not know until recently and thought, it's about time! Dove has been a reliable household favorite for decades. You can't beat that gentle clean with powerful moisturizers. Now you can give that same thing to your baby or little one. The new Baby Dove Rich Moisture product line offers a tip-to-toe wash, baby lotion, baby bar, shampoo, and baby wipes.


Each product is made with your delicate baby's skin in mind. All products are dermatologist and pediatrician tested. Here is a little information on each product:

  • Rich Moisture Tip to Toe Wash - As gentle as water, tear-free, hypoallergenic, pH-neutral baby wash and shampoo in one. It contains super mild cleansers for baby's skin and helps more moisture and nutrients stay in the skin. Retails for $5.99 for 13oz or $7.99 for 20oz. 
  • Rich Moisture Baby Lotion - Soothes dry skin and leaves baby's skin extra soft and delicately scented. Retails for $5.99 for 13oz or $7.99 for 20oz.
  • Rich Moisture Baby Bar - This is like junior version of the adult bar and retails for $2.49 for 3.17oz. 
  • Rich Moisture Shampoo - Unlike regular baby shampoos, this one contains 1/4 moisturizing cream. Retails for $5.99 for 13oz.
  • Rich Moisture Baby Wipes - As gentle as water and effectively removes impurities while moisturizing baby's delicate skin. They are hypoallergenic and alcohol-free. Retails for $4.49 for 30 wipes. Great for travel! 
Although my son William is no longer a baby, I still have to use gentle products for his skin. The Baby Dove Rich Moisture Line is excellent and I suspect will last for a long time. I confess, I love the very light scent that is reminiscent of a freshly bathed baby. There is also a sensitive skin version of these products as well. This is one of those times I wish I had these skin care items for all of my babies when they were babies. 

You can find Baby Dove products at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and Amazon. If you are looking for a great baby shower gift, I suggest this entire product line. I know that the recipient would love it! Of course, I know you will love these products for your own baby. For more details on these products, visit the Baby Dove site. 

We have great news! One very lucky Mom Files reader will win the entire Baby Dove Rich Moisture product line. Enter below:

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and will end on June 16, 2017. Please follow all rules in the Rafflecopter widget and be sure to use a valid email. One winner will be selected and contacted via email to claim prize. Please be aware that Mom Files is not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged prizes. Good luck! 

Disclosure: We received products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% our own. 
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May 31, 2017

Celebrate Your Graduate Safely: Tips on Hosting a Foodborne Illness-Free Party

The final exams are taken, the diploma is framed and the cap is thrown in the air. Now it’s time to celebrate your graduate’s latest major life milestone! For those hosting large parties, preparing large amounts of food for friends and family is hard enough but ensuring food is safe and pathogen free can be downright stressful.


"Hosting parties take a great deal of work and we often focus so much on preparing and serving food in a timely fashion that we don’t think about preparing and serving food safely," says Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of Stop Foodborne Illness , a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens. To help ensure you are serving food that won’t spread foodborne illness, Stop has put together a list of food safety tips to help party hosts put out their best and safest food when celebrating their graduates.

For hosting a party, Stop Foodborne Illness suggests:

  • Have a plan! Cooking such an important meal for a large gathering of friends and family can be stressful and lead to subpar approaches to handling food. Think about your refrigerator, freezer and oven space, and how you'll manage to keep hot foods at 140 degrees or higher and cold foods at 40 degrees or below. If you need to use coolers, make sure you have plenty of clean ice. Whatever you do, don’t rely on the natural outdoor or indoor temperatures to keep foods at proper temperature!
  • Wash your hands. When preparing food, Stop Foodborne Illness emphasizes the importance of washing your hands thoroughly and keeping all surfaces you’re working on clean.
  • Wash produce. Stop Foodborne Illness recommends washing even prepackaged greens, to minimize potential bacterial contamination.
  • Keep cooking surfaces clean and sanitized. Preparing raw meat and poultry on the same surfaces as food that does not get cooked could lead to cross-contamination. Make sure kitchen counters, sponges, cutting boards, and knives are all well-scrubbed.
  • Defrost Safely. Properly defrost meat by allocating 24 hours per 5 pounds to defrost in the refrigerator. If you need to defrost quicker, place the meat a large bowl filled with cold water and change the cold water bath every 30 minutes.
  • Cook to proper temperature. And use a thermometer to ensure food has been cooked enough to kill bacteria. Find out more with this safe food temperature guide.
  • Food brought by party guests. While help is always appreciated, remind guests to transport cold foods in a cooler below 40 F and bring hot foods in an insulated carrier to ensure the temperature stays at or above 140 F. Prepared foods must be refrigerated or thrown out after two hours.
  • Refrigerate leftovers. Many people don’t think twice about leaving food out on the counter all day. Two hours is the limit. Allowing food to sit out longer is one of the easiest food safety mistakes to make since food left in the danger zone—above 40 degrees and below 140 degrees–facilitates bacterial growth. To avoid this, Stop recommends storing leftovers in 2-inch deep, shallow containers within two hours of serving.

Remember, practicing safe cooking procedures is not just for the host. For those attending graduation parties as guests, bring dishes, not pathogens. Here are a few things guests can do to help prevent the spread of foodborne illness:

  • Wash your hands. Even if you don’t prepare food you should still wash your hands before you eat.
  • Pack hot foods while hot. If you’re preparing a hot dish at home and bringing it to the party, pack it right away! Don’t wait for hot foods to cool down before packing. If you reheat at the party, remember to check the temperature with a thermometer.

About Stop Foodborne Illness
Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens by advocating for sound public policies, building public awareness and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit www.STOPfoodborneillness.org/awareness/. If you think you have been sickened from food , contact your local health professional. You may subscribe to receive Stop Foodborne Illness e-Alerts and eNews here: www.STOPfoodborneillness.org/take-action/sign-up-for-e-alerts/ and follow their news at their newsroom here: http://www.newsline360.com/stopfoodborneillness.
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May 29, 2017

Low-Carb Italian Zucchini Boats

If you are like me, you probably have about 50 links on Facebook you saved of recipe or exercise videos that caught your eye. You tell yourself you will try that amazing ab and butt workout or will bake that triple chocolate ganache brownie cake. Am I right? Of course I am! I think Facebook sends me bi-weekly reminders that tell me I have saved links to look at. 

Recently I saw a recipe floating around Facebook for Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats and it really caught my attention. This time it was only saved for one week instead of 6 months. Today was finally the day I would try it. I followed the recipe for the most part, but tweaked it to my taste. First, here is the original recipe from Valerie's Kitchen. 


I omitted the extra flesh that was scraped out of the zucchini as well as the panko bread crumbs at the end. Also, I used a 4-cheese pasta sauce instead of marinara like the recipe stated. I put my own favorite seasonings including some extra hot pepper and let me tell you, this one is a winner! It was so full of flavor and good texture. I like the fact that you top it with the cheeses at the end so that it doesn't get too gooey or lose it's cheesiness (if that makes sense).



My husband does not like zucchini at all. He will tolerate trying one or two slices in a stir-fry, but still never actually liked it. He is currently practicing a lower carb lifestyle and I begged him to try it. He started with half of one "boat" and soon went back to the kitchen for the other half. He was so shocked that he really liked it. I was super shocked myself! I think it was because the zucchini was still pretty firm that he enjoyed it. If it was squooshy, he would not touch it. 

I did notice that if you reheat any of the leftovers that they become a whole lot softer. I think I will bake for 5-8 minutes less next time. One of my blog friends mentioned that her mother makes these with eggplant. I will definitely have to try that in the future. If you are looking for a delicious dinner idea (especially if you are doing LCHF), you must try this one!

Thanks for stopping by 💓
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May 26, 2017

Replenish Your Aging Skin With DerMend Mature Skin Solutions

Although I have been blessed with good genes, there are some things that are inevitable. You can have the best genes on the planet, but you will age along the way. Of course aging is an absolute blessing and I'm sure we all desire to live a long life. I have noticed so many changes in myself ever since I hit 40. One thing that is really starting to show is a difference in my skin. My face still maintains its firmness and shows little signs of wrinkles. I think that because I wear a daily sunscreen on my face year 'round, it has halted the normal aging process. The rest of my body is a different story.

My arms and legs seem to be less radiant like it was in my 20's or 30's. I feel like I have tried every product there is! I even did the whole coconut oil thing and feel like it made my skin more dry and scaly looking. I was recently introduced to the DerMend line of skincare products made specifically for aging skin for the over 40 crowd. I was low-key sad at first, but realized that having skincare products targeted to help specific issues is not a bad thing.


Here is a little info on each product:

DerMend Moisturizing Anti-Itch Lotion
If you suffer from frequent itchy, dry mature skin, use this gentle moisturizing lotion to relieve the itch effectively with its safe, steroid-free formula. The formula goes on easily and absorbs instantly. It is recommended to use up to 3 or 4 times a day. I guess if you suffer from very dry, itchy, sensitive skin this would make sense to have to use it more than once. I find that 1-2 times works for me. It really feels like smooth with no stickiness whatsoever. It is unscented which is good. Most scented products are very drying to skin. It retails for $19.99 for an 8-ounce bottle.


DerMend Moisturizing Bruise Formula Cream
If you experience chronic, frequent bruising, use this cream to help improve the appearance of bruises and replenish your skin’s protective barrier. This cream is super emollient, while keeping your skin feeling smooth and not sticky. It feels like you have a protective barrier on your skin in a good way. You have to be careful using this product if you are going to be exposed to the sun since it contains alpha hydroxy acid. It retails for $29.99 for a 4.5 ounce tube.


DerMend Fragile Skin Moisturizing Formula Cream
If your skin is thin, crepey and damages easily, use this cream to help restore, rejuvenate and repair thin, fragile skin. As we mature, our skin loses elasticity. Many factors, including repeated sun damage, cause elastin and collagen under the skin’s surface to break down. The protective fatty layer of tissue also depletes, making skin much thinner and more fragile. This can cause skin to tear easily and also appear wrinkled or crepey, especially areas that have been exposed to the elements more frequently.

DerMend Fragile Skin Moisturizing Formula Cream provides targeted care to help restore thin, fragile skin with rejuvenating ingredients and enriching moisturizers. It retails for $29.99 for a 4.5 ounce tube.


You can find these DerMend Mature Skin Solutions products at CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Meijer locations nationwide. You can also grab a coupon here while supplies last. If you or a loved one have concerns about aging skin, be sure to check out these resources full of valuable information. Also, be sure to "like" DerMend on Facebook for the latest product offerings and skin care tips.

Many thanks for DerMend for providing these products for review. As always, all opinions are mine.
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