Potato Pancakes, Medifast Style

By Holly Sosa

Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

One of my favorite Medifast meals are the Sour Cream & Chive Mashed Potatoes. I love that I still get to enjoy some of my favorite foods, like potatoes, while on plan. Inspired by their Front Burner recipe on YouTube, I recreated their fun spin-off recipe for Potato Pancakes, Medifast Style. Now it’s become one of my favorite lunches to make when I’m working from home. These Potato Pancakes are so delicious and satisfying. And since they’re on plan, I feel full and satisfied all the way up until it’s time for my second snack of the day.

First I add my Medifast Sour Cream & Chive Mashed Potato mix to a large bowl.

Then I add in an egg.

And half a tablespoon of parmsean cheese.

And then half a tablespoon of chives.

Then I add a little bit of water.

Next I whisk it all together for at least one full minute to thicken the mixture.

Then I set it aside for about a minute while I warm up my skillet over medium heat and coat it with some non-stick cooking spray.

Once my pan is hot, I add about a third of the mixture to the pan and give it a small shake to spread out the batter.

I cook the pancake for about 40 second to a full minute before flipping over to cook the other side for about 30 seconds.

The finished product is savory and slightly crispy with plenty of zesty flavor thanks to the fresh chives. I love that my Medifast meals are versatile and easy to transform into healthy options like these Potato Pancakes.

Medifast is a portion-controlled weight loss program that helps people lose weight faster and more effectively than traditional dieting. My favorite meals come in packets that I add water to and microwave or refrigerate and are offered in a variety of types and flavors. The meals are quick and easy to prepare, are portion controlled, and many are filled with protein to help keep that hungry feeling at bay. The Medifast GO!™ Plan, their standard plan for weight loss, is medically designed to create a calorie deficit, allowing my body to burn fat for energy. Medifast also offers specially tailored programs to meet the needs of nursing moms, vegetarians, seniors, teens, and people with diabetes or gout. I’ve committed to a year on the program and will be sharing my journey with you along the way.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROGRAM OR WANT TO LEARN MORE, YOU CAN VISIT MEDIFASTNOW.COM. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN STARTING THE PROGRAM, USE MY COUPON CODE AT CHECKOUT HOLLY15 FOR $15 OFF $150 PLUS FREE SHIPPING.*

*Limit one per customer. Excludes ready-to-drink shakes. Not valid with Medifast Advantage, or any other promotions or discounts.

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The Spring Essential for Sweaty Girls

By Holly Sosa

Since middle school I’ve been a sweaty girl. I can vividly remember sitting in Health class in the 6th grade and being afraid to raise my hand because by first period I had already sweat a full wet spot into the armpit of my shirt. Since then, I’ve had to be mindful of what fabrics I wear or deal with the mortification of those embarrassing armpit sweat rings. In fact, as an adult I’ve been diagnosed with axillary hyperhidrosis, which is just a fancy term for excessive armpit sweating.

Warmer seasons like spring and summer always bring on an added layer of stress when it comes to knowing how much I’ll sweat in the coming months. Living in the desert, keeping cool in the heat can be problematic and as a woman who deals with excessive armpit sweat, I’ve had to quickly figure out what spring essential helps me to stay dry and smell fresh. Light layers and breathable cotton fabrics are helpful, but an antiperspirant I can depend on is my most depended on friend in the warm months.

Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant offers 48 hours of odor and wetness protection and for this sweaty mama, it’s one of the only deodorants I can depend on; especially in the warmer months. Dove Advanced Care also offers added skincare benefits with NutriumMoisture for softer, smoother underarms.

For me, Dove Advanced Care in the bright and fresh scent of Cool Essentials is my spring essential that I just cannot live without. Not only do my sweaty little armpits feel refreshed, but I can relax knowing that I’ll be dry for hours. My white tank tops and tshirts are never happier than when they can avoid the dreaded yellow ring of sweat, ha!

For more information on Dove Advanced Care and additional Dove products, be sure to visit the Dove website.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Upcycled Bird Feeder

By Holly Sosa

My kiddos love to watch the little critters we have here in our little rural desert home. Living in a small town that’s surrounded by desert, they’ve experienced a variety of animals. One of our favorite things to do is to feed the birds since we get to enjoy them all year long. While Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeders continue to be a favorite around here, the kiddos love to get involved with different ways to feed their little winged friends. We enjoy repurposing old wood and household items when we can; so when it came time to purge some of my old kitchen tools, I held onto one of my old ladles until we could figure out how to reuse it. With the help of the kiddos, we dreamed up a simple little DIY Upcycled Bird Feeder using my old ladle and a piece of old weathered wood they discovered in our yard.

Using a drill, my husband made a hole in the bottom of the ladle handle for a screw to fit.

Then he secured the bottom portion of the ladle into the piece of wood using a screw.

Next he used a screw with a washer to secure the top portion of the handle, utilizing the hole that was already there to secure the top to the wood.

And lastly, he secured it to the tree using longer screws in both the top and bottom areas of the wood.

No measuring necessary, which made this project so easy. We finished it in under ten minutes with an excited Evelyn ready to fill up the ladle with bird seed.

This project is simple, fast, and easy to whip together over an afternoon. Plus, the birds really seemed to appreciate it. I’m a fan of having birds around because they like to eat bugs. And bugs are not things I like to mess around with, so birds are a friendly way to help me manage them. The kids also love watching the birds from the window and learning about how they can stand on cacti, what different colors they come in, and how they eat the bird seed. Sneaky mom, helping them learn about things.

For more simple DIYs like this one, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, where I pin ideas that inspire me from bloggers and friends.

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Heal, a Medical Concierge for Your Family

By Holly Sosa

This post is sponsored by Heal. Thank you to Heal for partnering with me and thank you readers for supporting the brands that support this blog and my family.

It’s 11PM, all the kiddos are sleeping except for the one who has been up all night with the pukes. Dad is on the grave shift tonight so it’s just you, little puker, and an early morning on the horizon getting the other kiddos ready for school. The book you were reading in bed has long been abandoned as you help her rest and relax while running your fingers through her hair. She hasn’t kept much down the past 24 hours; so you’re filled with anxiety, but can’t leave the house for urgent care. You hold her close, wishing for a solution that could get her seen by a professional without having to make her leave the security of her home and that pink blanket she is never without.

And here’s where Heal comes in.

Heal uses the technology of today to bring medical care back to the old school days of in-home visits. You can schedule a visit with a doctor in as little as 24 hours advance notice through your smartphone by downloading the app or computer by using their website. Heal offers both pediatricians and physicians for adults, so the whole family is covered whether it’s an urgent illness or a simple well visit. You can create multiple profiles for each member of your family, making it easy to set up an appointment.

A medical concierge service sounds expensive, but Heal isn’t only affordable, it’s covered by your insurance. Most Anthem and Blue Shield PPO members pay what they typically would for an in-office co-pay. And everyone else simply pays Heal’s flat fee of $99. The physicians at Heal can provide all the same services your usual doctor would, including preventative care like flu shots.

Heal physicians are currently available in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Berkley, and Oakland. They’re available seven days a week from 8AM-8PM (including holidays) for on demand in-home visits. Heal doctors are background checked and licensed pediatric, internal medicine, emergency medicine, and family practice physicians. Prior to your visit, you’ll be able to see a picture of your physician along with a complete profile.

For more information and to sign up for Heal services, be sure to visit Heal.com.

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My Three Favorite Medifast Products

By Holly Sosa

Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

Since sharing that I’m on the Medifast Go!™ Plan, I’ve been asked time and again what my favorite meals are, what snacks are the best, and more. Today, I’m sharing my three favorite Medifast products that I order time and again every month. These snacks are my ol’ faithfuls, my go-to, my guaranteed-to-enjoy flavors that I just can’t get enough of.

Rosemary & Sea Salt Crackers

I am never without a packet of these tasty crackers in my purse. They’re full of flavor and easy to enjoy on the go. But I also love them because they double as a great way to enjoy my other Medifast meals. For instance, Vegetable Chili over these crackers is so tasty!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chewy Bar

These bars are like eating delicious cookie dough! My weakness is and forever will be sweets; so I love that I have an option while on plan that satisfies my sweet tooth without sabotaging my entire day.

Parmesan & Olive Oil Crisps

These bad boys are so dang delicious. If I’m being overly honest, I’d order these whether on plan or not because they’re so good! I love to sneak these into the movie theater to help deter me from the popcorn!

Medifast is a portion-controlled weight loss program that helps people lose weight faster and more effectively than traditional dieting. My favorite meals come in packets that I add water to and microwave or refrigerate and are offered in a variety of types and flavors. The meals are quick and easy to prepare, are portion controlled, and many are filled with protein to help keep that hungry feeling at bay. The Medifast Go! Plan, is clinically proven to deliver fast, effective weight loss. Each meal is nutritionally balanced with the protein you need so you feel full while your body burns fat away. Medifast Go! is great for busy people who prefer an easy-to-follow program that delivers fast results. Medifast also offers specially tailored programs to meet the needs of nursing moms, vegetarians, seniors, teens, and people with diabetes or gout. I’ve committed to a year on the program and will be sharing my journey with you along the way.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROGRAM OR WANT TO LEARN MORE, YOU CAN VISIT MEDIFASTNOW.COM. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN STARTING THE PROGRAM, USE MY COUPON CODE AT CHECKOUT HOLLY15 FOR $15 OFF $150 PLUS FREE SHIPPING.*

*Limit one per customer. Excludes ready-to-drink shakes. Not valid with Medifast Advantage, or any other promotions or discounts.

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Miss Evelyn Turns Four

By Holly Sosa

I received free product in exchange for this review. All thoughts, opinions, and ideas are my own. Thank you to Basic Invite for partnering with me. And thank you readers for supporting the brands that support this blog and my family.

Every cliche you’ve ever heard abut having children comes true when you have your own. They grow so fast! I just don’t know where the time goes! It’s like she was born yesterday! And the case is painfully true with me each and every time a birthday rolls around. Evelyn, my youngest, turned four last month and it just somehow doesn’t seem possible. Four sounds so big. So much like a true kid rather than a toddler or baby. When I look at her, I still see gummy grins and sweet baby coos, but she’s beyond that now and much prefers running and jumping along with her big brothers.

Our family celebrates milestones and birthdays in a big way. My children choose a theme and I take on that theme like it’s a sworn oath. Evelyn chose kitties and kitties she had, right down to the plates. When it came time for the invitation, I wanted to hang onto that cliche of freezing time for just a little longer and created a classic invitation that doubled as a keepsake for friends and relatives. Basic Invite offered an unlimited variety of color options and styles, which allowed me to create an invitation around one of my most favorite recent photos of Miss Evelyn, drawing on the blues, red, and golds from the cardigan she wore.

I was able to see an instant online preview before placing my order and even customized the inside color of the envelopes. And I was able to rest easy knowing they use only the highest quality cardstock. The invitations arrived quickly and the printing was true to color and vibrant. Sweet Evelyn’s face was crisp and clear, right down to the sparkle in her eyes, making the invitation serve as the keepsake I was hoping for.

While my littlest baby is growing faster than any parenting cliche, I’ll be able to hold on to this invitation for years to come. Even when she’s much too cool for me to make her birthday party invitations and has moved on from running with her brothers to playing with makeup.

Visit the Basic Invite website for all of your invitation, wedding, and announcement needs and know they’ll care for your paper as the keepsake it’s intended to be.

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BGCA Triple Play, a Game Plan for the Mind, Body, and Soul

By Holly Sosa

This post was sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

My children’s health and well-being has always been a top priority for me, as it is with most every other mom, but I often forget that healthy kids doesn’t just mean brushing their teeth every night, making sure they’re active, and feeding them healthy foods. Their health also includes connecting to their community, accepting their own (and others’) differences, and realizing that their choices can have lifetime impacts. Triple Play is a Boys & Girls Club comprehensive health and wellness program that serves young people at BGCA, giving them the tools and awareness needed to put them on a path to a great future. With their mind, body, and soul approach, kids are reminded that health is a trifecta of elements.

Triple Play is supported by a multi-million dollar commitment from The Coca-Cola Company and the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation and is the biggest wellness endeavor taken on by BGCA. Working together as a team, they’re helping youth maintain physical fitness and create positive lifestyle changes. BGCA is making a difference by educating kids on the importance of active and healthy lifestyles that encompass the Triple Play trio of mind, body, and soul.

Mind

The mind approach helps kids to understand healthy living and active learning with central themes of good nutrition, regular healthcare, and overall well-being. Their Healthy Habits curriculum was developed in collaboration with the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Body

This portion of the program boosts physical activities to higher levels for all youth, ensuring inclusion of everyone. Daily fitness challenges encourage kids to play longer and harder at a variety of activities and games.

Soul

Club youth can help to create positive and lasting relationships through the social recreation portion of the program. Encouragement on self-worth and skills to cope with both positive and adverse situations are emphasized in this component of the program.

This year the key mantra for BGCA is “I FEEL BETTER WHEN…”, to encourage families to improve their health and wellness practices. This phrase helps illustrate how small, daily behavioral changes can have a lasting impact. Triple Play is focused on these types of healthy lifestyle changes at and fosters them at a young age. For my family, “WE FEEL BETTER WHEN WE ENJOY DINNER TOGETHER AT THE TABLE AS A FAMILY,” and as the mother I’m working towards ensuring we have that time to connect each day, no matter how busy we all are.

For more information on the Triple Play program at BGCA, please visit the Triple Play website. You can also visit them on Facebook.

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Heart-Healthy Superfoods

By Holly Sosa

Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

Medifast is a portion-controlled weight loss program that helps people lose weight faster and more effectively than traditional dieting. My favorite meals come in packets that I add water to and microwave or refrigerate and are offered in a variety of types and flavors. The meals are quick and easy to prepare, are portion controlled, and many are filled with protein to help keep that hungry feeling at bay. The Medifast Go! Plan, is clinically proven to deliver fast, effective weight loss. Each meal is nutritionally balanced with the protein you need so you feel full while your body burns fat away. Medifast Go™ is great for busy people who prefer an easy-to-follow program that delivers fast results. Medifast also offers specially tailored programs to meet the needs of nursing moms, vegetarians, seniors, teens, and people with diabetes or gout. I’ve committed to a year on the program and will be sharing my journey with you along the way.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROGRAM OR WANT TO LEARN MORE, YOU CAN VISIT MEDIFASTNOW.COM. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN STARTING THE PROGRAM, USE MY COUPON CODE AT CHECKOUT HOLLY15 FOR $15 OFF $150 PLUS FREE SHIPPING.*

*Limit one per customer. Excludes ready-to-drink shakes. Not valid with Medifast Advantage, or any other promotions or discounts.

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DIY Food Journal

By Holly Sosa

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

As a work from home mom, lunch time is usually spent multi-tasking while I enjoy my meal. When I’m out shopping my my local Walmart for weekly groceries, I never forget to swing down the soup aisle to see what Campbell’s has in store for me. They always seem to have simple solutions for mealtime that are delicious and satisfying. With a new year in store, I was excited to find their new line of Campbell’s Well Yes!™ Soups that are made with nutritious ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors, or ingredients. Staying on track with these tasty options will be a breeze this new year.

With a shiny new year in front of me, I’m motivated to get back on track. As a busy mom, running two small businesses from my home office, remembering to take care of myself often comes at the very end of my priorities list. One way I ensure I can clear my mind and get my priorities in order is through my planner. Planning my meals ahead of time has been helpful for me to stay on track and ensure I’m eating throughout the day. Because if I’m being honest here, I often forget to eat until it’s 3PM and my stomach is rumbling.

This DIY Food Journal is made with just a few supplies, most of which I had on hand already (craft hoarder!). To create this, I used the following supplies:

  • printer paper (about eight pieces)
  • a piece of scrapbook paper
  • letter stickers
  • a stapler

To start, I simply trimmed my scrapbook paper to the same size as my printer paper.

I folded my scrapbook paper in half and then repeated with each piece of printer paper.

Next I stacked my printer paper on top of my scrapbook paper and used my stapler to secure them together in the middle.

This created a simple notebook.

I used letter stickers on the front to label the notebook.

And from there, I use it as a sort of mini bullet journal to track my food for each day. I prefer to plan my weeks ahead of time. If I don’t have to think about my food for the day, it makes it easier for me to stop working and grab what I set aside rather than to halt what I’m doing and figure out what to do for my meals.

Lately one of my favorite mealtime solutions has been adding Campbell’s Well Yes!™ Tomato Carrot Bisque to my journal ahead of time. It’s full of yummy flavor, has just a touch of cream, and contains two full cups of vegetables.

Later this week, I’ll be enjoying Hearty Lentil with Vegetable Soup which has chickpeas and roasted garlic (yes, please!) and the Sweet Potato Corn Chowder which contains red peppers and wild rice. Each soup is crafted with care and contains purposeful ingredients (I can read and pronounce them all!). Logging these in my food journal always gives me something to look forward to!

For more information on Campbell’s Well Yes!™ Soups and where you can find them at a Walmart near you, be sure to visit Walmart.com. You can also find out more on the Campbell’s Well Yes! Facebook page.

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Box of Crayons Valentines

By Holly Sosa

This post may contain affiliate links.

Since Valentine’s Day is full of more than it’s fair share of candy, when I help my kiddos put together their class Valentines, we try to think of something that doesn’t involve candy. This year we made these adorable Box of Crayons Valentines using labels I already had in my home office. It was simple to make and fresh crayons are a fun gift for younger kiddos to receive.

SUPPLIES

To create these fun Valentines, we opened a Word Doc and formatted it for the labels. Then we used a fun print font and changed the colors to create a rainbow effect.

We printed the labels and stuck them on each box of crayons.

For added embellishments we used yarn and washi tape to dazzle them up a little more.

This Box of Crayons Valentines craft was easier than some of the store bought ones and I think it results in a gift that the kiddos in my boys classes will get practical use out of. The crayons could easily be swapped out with colored pencils, markers, or even Sharpies for teachers (or stationery addicts like myself!).

For more ideas like this simple Valentine’s Day gift craft, be sure to follow Our Holly Days on Pinterest.

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