Mom Files

Family * Travel * Food

Jan 16, 2022

How To Experience VIVA: The Fastest, Freshest Chicken in Greenville!

VIVA Chicken joined the Greenville scene last August and has since received dazzling reviews for its lively environment, fun and friendly staff, and crave-worthy charcoal-fired chicken. With over a hundred people sharing their testimonials of how VIVA Chicken has increased the flavor game in Greenville through the hottest, freshest chicken around, VIVA wants to teach you How To VIVA!

Download The App

VIVA Chicken offers a VIVA App to access their loyalty program, VIVA Points. Earning points via VIVA Points allows users to receive free VIVA and be the first to know about special marketing promotions. Joining the app will earn you a special 10% off during your second visit in addition to easy ordering to pick up from your favorite location either in-store or curbside. Curbside pickup is as easy as selecting “I’m here” within the app and receiving delicious food at your convenience! 

Order What VIVA Insiders Love

VIVA Insiders love VIVA and we don’t blame them! The top menu items VIVA Insiders love are: 
  • VIVA’s staple: Pollo a la Brasa (Peruvian rotisserie chicken) which is imported from Peru, marinated in Chef Bruno's family recipe, and cooked in charcoal-fired ovens which gives the chicken a special and unique flavor. 
  • Tacu Bowl - Dynamic and delicious flavors join together in this bowl with cilantro rice, pulled rotisserie chicken, canary beans, salsa Criolla (lime-marinated onions and tomatoes), avocado and topped green onions.
  • Arroz Chaufa - Peruvian cuisine has a lot of Chinese influence, starting with Arroz Chaufa! This dish is Peruvian fried rice that includes veggies sauteed in soy sauce and ginger. 
Bring the Whole Family 

On Thursdays, it’s all about the family on Chef Bruno’s Big Chicken Day, where you can feed the whole fam for $19.95! Forget the stress of cooking tonight, VIVA Chicken provides an option that is fast, fresh, and a great deal for the family to enjoy. This meal includes a whole chicken and 3 large sides with quick and easy pick up to suit the needs of your busy lifestyle.

Get Lost in the Sauce 

VIVA has got the sauce, all of which are inspired by the best flavors of Peru. Each sauce served at VIVA Chicken has a unique flavor and adds value to any meal. VIVA’s sauces are made in-house daily and have gained quite the fanbase for their delicious taste, so it’s up to you to discover your favorite! They’re all delicious, ranging from:
  • Aji Amarillo — Mild, yellow, and made with garlic aji pepper
  • Huacatay — Medium, green, and made with cilantro, jalapeno, and black Peruvian mint
  • Rocoto — Red, hot, fiery, smoky, and made with rocoto pepper

8 Things to Prepare For When Choosing a Surrogate

Deciding to start a family is not a decision that one makes overnight. If you are not able to conceive a child naturally, some other avenues are well worth exploring. Adoption and surrogacy are two ideal alternatives to falling pregnant naturally and are often just as fulfilling as having a baby more traditionally.

Choosing the ideal surrogate is not a simple process, and the more control you have over the external variables, the better. There are some vital aspects that you need to consider when you start your journey to finding your perfect surrogate or carrier.

Make a list of what you ideally want in a surrogate - the below eight points will give you something to consider and spend time thinking about. Having a baby is a mammoth decision, and it is not one to be made on a whim.

1. Age

When choosing a surrogate, you must first look at her age. According to the experts, the ideal childbearing age is around 30 years old. The best time to get pregnant is between 20 and 35 years old.
While it is not impossible to fall pregnant when older, the passing years often make it more challenging. Women who fall pregnant past the age of 35 risk their health and the health of the baby.
When consulting a surrogacy agency, be sure to let them know what your exact requirements are in terms of what you are looking for in a surrogate. A gestational surrogate will not use eggs of her own, so age is more of just a general indication of overall health and wellness.

2. Health

Finding a willing carrier is only half of the battle. You must look at her health history; that way you can do your best to ensure that your baby is healthy and that the delivery process is free from any issues or complications.

Ideally, a surrogate should have given birth before and currently live a healthy and stable life. Your surrogate should be sober and a non-smoker, with no history of drug or substance abuse. Remember to check with your surrogate to ensure that she is not on any chronic medications or ensure that her condition can be safely managed throughout her pregnancy - without putting your baby at risk.

3. Family Health

To be well prepared, you should take your surrogate’s family's health into account. Certain diseases and conditions are hereditary. Just because your surrogate has given birth in the past without issues, does not guarantee that the pregnancy and delivery of your baby will be equally as uncomplicated.

Take a look at the delivery history of your surrogate’s mother and grandmother - this will give you the best indication of what you can expect during the birth of your baby.

4. Understand Willingness

Surrogacy should ideally be a cut and dry process. You want a baby, and then you find a carrier willing to have your baby. Sounds simple, right? As much as this is how things should happen, sometimes the hormones and parental instincts kick in, and, the surrogate, unfortunately, changes her mind.

By using a California surrogacy agency, they will do their best to ensure that your surrogate remains willing during the entire pregnancy. Make sure that you clear up any concerns before insemination. That way no one is left in the dark, and everyone knows what to expect as the pregnancy progresses.

Your surrogate or carrier needs to demonstrate complete willingness during the entire process. Be sure to discuss these matters in-depth beforehand so that no one is left disappointed or surprised. She needs to make concessions and commit to all the appointments and check-ups.

That is the only way to keep an eye on your baby’s development and health throughout the pregnancy.

5.  Pregnancy History

When choosing the perfect surrogate, you need to check their pregnancy history. Make sure that they haven’t had any issues during past pregnancies. The smaller, more expected, things are normal – such as heartburn or fatigue. Be on the lookout for bigger issues like gestational diabetes or hypertension.
Those can be red flags for future pregnancies, especially if the carrier is older now.

6. BMI

Having a high BMI can significantly reduce the chances of falling pregnant. Ensure that your surrogate’s BMI falls between the ideal range of 18.5 and 25, which is the healthiest range for having an uncomplicated pregnancy.

A higher BMI puts her at risk of developing problems during her pregnancy. Don’t let her start a diet while pregnant, is not recommended. If your surrogate wants to watch her weight during pregnancy, she needs to consult an experienced dietician.

The BMI cannot be too low either; a lower BMI increases the risk of delivery and post-delivery complications such as preterm delivery. 

7. Availability

When choosing a surrogate, be sure to check her and make sure that her schedule aligns with yours. If you want a winter baby, your surrogate needs to be available and willing to fall pregnant at the right time.

While you cannot guarantee that your surrogate will fall pregnant, you can increase her chances by ensuring that she lives in a calm and relaxing environment and takes her pregnancy supplements.

8. Involvement

Before going ahead with a pregnancy, make sure that both parties know what is expected of them, both during and after the pregnancy. Most surrogates are not involved in the baby’s life after the birth or breastfeeding, particularly ones who come from surrogacy agencies.

To End
Finding a surrogate should be an easy and fulfilling experience. Finding your perfect match is just like falling in love with someone – when it is the right person, you will know. For the duration of this journey with your surrogate, it is your responsibility to ensure that she has access to the best medical care available. If you’re ready to begin your journey to parenthood, contact a surrogacy agency today. Good luck on your journey; it will no doubt be an unforgettable one.


Nov 24, 2021

How You Can Improve Your Gut Health #BioGaiaUSA

Are you aware of how important good gut health is? So many of us don't realize that we are unintentionally wrecking our bellies. There are so many things that can really throw your gut health off beginning with diet.  What we eat and drink makes a difference in not just your overall health, but especially your gut health. With life being so busy all the time, it's often easy to pull up to the drive-thru window to order a meal on-the-go. I mean who can resist a tasty sandwich paired with some hot, crispy fries? Of course, I know it's not the best choice for me. Fried foods may taste delicious, but really is one of the worst things for your belly. 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post

According to Healthline, here are 7 signs of an unhealthy gut. 
  1. Upset stomach
  2. A high-sugar diet
  3. Unintentional weight changes
  4. Sleep disturbances or excessive fatigue
  5. Skin irritation
  6. Autoimmune conditions
  7. Food intolerances

What can you do to help heal your gut?

  • The number one thing you can do is to adjust your diet. Hydration is a good start. Drink water throughout the day. 
  • Make dietary changes. Avoid sugar, processed and fried foods. Lean protein, fruit and vegetables are all good choices. Also, don't forget to eat slowly and chew chew chew your food!
  • Get enough sleep. Stay away from screens as much as you can before bedtime. 
  • Avoid stressful situations as much as you can. Exercise and deep breathing can be beneficial in lowering stress levels. 
  • If you notice major stomach issues that won't seem to go away, it might be a good idea to be allergy tested to see if you are eating foods that might be triggering the problem. 
  • Take a probiotic supplement like BioGaia products

About BioGaia products: 

BioGaia’s probiotic products with Limosilactobacillus reuteri (formerly known as Lactobacillus reuteri) are among the most scientifically well-documented probiotics in the world. To date the efficacy and safety of BioGaia’s different strains of L. reuteri have been documented in 224 clinical studies in around 18,000 people of all ages (May 2020).

BioGaia’s strains of L reuteri has been tested in 110 studies in children, from newborns up to 18 years old, and in 114 studies in adults. You can also learn more here

BioGaia products come in different varieties for your individual needs. There is a product for everyone in your family. I have been using the Immune Active with added vitamin D, and the Gastrus for optimal gut health. I am doing my best to make some small changes for myself. I've been suffering from an unsettled tummy that doesn't seem to go away fully. I am hoping these products will help. I will say that so far I have bot been feeling overly bloated at night. That's a big win for me. It's hard to go to bed when your stomach doesn't feel so good, so these probiotics will be a great help. 

If you are suffering from stomach issues like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or heartburn, a probiotic with the proper lifestyle changes can be beneficial for you. An unhealthy gut means an unhealthy you. Take a look at the BioGaia USA website to read up on the benefits of probiotics.  


Nov 16, 2021

Überrito Fresh Mex Opens First Restaurant in Columbia, SC

Überrito Fresh Mex (Überrito), dedicated to old school Mexican scratch cooking, announced that its first restaurant ever in South Carolina is officially open. The new Columbia Überrito located at 275 Park Terrace Drive, just off Harbison Boulevard and across from Walmart and Sam’s Club. The Columbia Überrito is owned and operated by local residents and business partners Ricky Patel and Deval Patel.

“We’re burrito, taco, bowl, and nacho-loving locals that live and breathe Columbia,” said Ricky Patel, co-owner of Columbia Überrito. “We knew as soon as we tried Überrito for the first time in Houston, we had to bring that authentic, scratch-cooked Tex-Mex flavor straight back to our community. One of the biggest differentiators for us will be our huge menu variety. From students at the University of South Carolina to state capital employees, office workers, families, or those just craving authentic Tex-Mex – there is something for everyone at Überrito. In fact, you could eat Überrito seven days a week and get something different each time, but my favorites are probably a chicken or shrimp burrito with spicy avocado and serrano ranch.”

Since signing the rights to develop Überrito in Columbia, both Ricky Patel and Deval Patel have been active brand ambassadors while their restaurant was under development. Deval’s husband Hiren (Harry) is managing day-to-day operations at the new restaurant. Their new restaurant is part of Überrito’s strategic growth plan that features new restaurant prototypes that accentuate design and operational enhancements such as a stronger focus on delivery, drive-thru, and outdoor dining, while highlighting a softer color palette, more lighting and a modern edge that boosts the customer experience.    

“Now that we are open, we’re so excited to serve our community while giving back through our new Überrito,” said Deval Patel. “Because Columbia is and always has been a community that thrives when we work together, we’re going to do our part to also give back. When we learned that Überrito was interested in developing in South Carolina, we jumped at the opportunity to serve the best scratch-made Mexican food with my friend and business partner Ricky by my side.”

For nearly a decade, Überrito has drawn in crowds for its hand-made Mexican food rooted in a tradition of fresh, hot, and fast with a generous dash of Southwestern hospitality. Today, that set of core values, along with its tradition of quality, variety, and experience, still determines the restaurant’s direction and has kept the brand on solid footing, even during the height of the pandemic.

“There is something classic and quintessential about Überrito that everyone can relate to,” said Pete Pascuzzi, CEO of Überrito and MRI Heritage Brands, Inc. “Almost everyone can relate to a freshly made burrito or taco because people are driven by an emotional connection to our authentic food – it’s very strong and powerful. We’re thrilled that Ricky and Deval have now joined our team to introduce Columbia and the surrounding communities to Überrito. We’re ready to spread our fresh-is-first Überrito approach to the entire region.”

With one foot anchored in tradition and the other firmly planted in the future, Überrito has several original locations spread across greater Houston and its revamped model, upgraded training and support, state-of-the-art technology and new operational efficiencies are igniting the brand’s surge into Columbia and beyond.

“Our longstanding history of operating multiple restaurant brands across several states provided us with the runway and experience to position Überrito for success in Columbia,” said Pascuzzi. “There was a fundamental shift happening in consumer dining habits prior to 2020, which the pandemic accelerated. Überrito is a fresh, fast and friendly environment that has adapted to today’s guest, which allows our owners to take full advantage of dine-in, take-out, delivery, drive-thru, and pick-up lane options.”

The new Columbia Überrito is located at 275 Park Terrace Drive, Suite 800, Columbia, SC. 29212. The restaurant will operate Monday – Sunday, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. To learn more about Überrito visit

About Überrito Fresh Mex:

Überrito Fresh Mex is a Mexican fast casual concept dedicated to craft cooking highly customizable burritos, bowls, salads, and nachos made with fresh ingredients and toppings. This allows Überrito owners to honor traditional Mexican cooking excellence while simultaneously elevating tradition to create better opportunities for growth and profitability. True to its name, Überrito’s signature dish is a burrito, but restaurants also offer a complete menu of Mexican favorites, sides and more. Überrito is part of MRI Heritage Brands, Inc. For more information about Überrito ownership, visit

Nov 2, 2021

The Best Gifts for Colorado Alumni

College can hold a special place in people’s lives long after graduation. If you’re looking for gift ideas for a Colorado college graduate who is brimming with school pride, here are some of the best gifts for both new and old Colorado State and Colorado University alumni.


Nothing says school pride like wearing your school’s logo for all to see. Whether your alumnus prefers comfortable sweats or snappy polos, there are plenty of apparel options to choose from. Both Colorado State University and Colorado University offer online shopping through their school’s bookstore, making it easy to find styles that are only available through the university. University bookstores are also a great place to find inspiration for unique gifts, so if you’re feeling stumped take a look and see if something jumps out at you! 


For Colorado alumni who want to show their school pride every day, jewelry is a wonderful gift. CU jewelry featuring Ralphie is sure to be a favorite for Buffs, as is Cam the Ram on CSU jewelry. From elegant and understated to bold and flashy, there are many different styles of earrings, necklaces, and bracelets available, so it’s easy to find a style that matches your giftee’s. 

Jewelry is often considered to be a gift for women, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Simple leather bracelets are a stylish addition to casual wear for both men and women. Add a small CSU or CU engraving to the clasp for a comfortable, soft leather bracelet perfect for everyday wear.\


Engraving is a great option for creating a meaningful, personalized gift. Even the simplest items can be made extra special with a personalized engraving. Whether you buy an item from a shop that customizes things directly or take your gift to a specialty store, engraving can elevate a gift from simple to special. Some great options to consider for engraving are travel mugs, pocket knives, glass tumblers, and metal fountain pens. Engrave your giftee’s school logo, name, graduation date, fraternity or sorority letters, or anything else you think will be the most meaningful to them. 

Diploma Display 

Earning a degree takes hard work, dedication, and for some individuals, it’s the realization of a lifelong aspiration. If you know an alum who doesn’t display their diploma or if you are looking for a gift for a soon-to-be college graduate, help them celebrate their achievement with a display for their diploma. There are many different display options, from simple, single-pane frames to sectioned displays for both diploma and tassel. To make your gift even more special, diploma frames with mattes featuring the CU or CSU logo can really add a personalized touch. These diploma displays are easy to find at many different online stores, as well as the CU and CSU bookstores. 

No matter what occasion you need a gift for, celebrating a person’s college of choice is a great way to honor one of their major personal achievements.

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