Category : Living

choosing a DODeciding to see a doctor of osteopathic medicine for an adult version of a well visit

I started seeing a DO — a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine — almost on accident.

I didn’t see the point of making an appointment. For years, I only went to the OB/GYN, once a year most years, and what felt like eleven million times during each of my pregnancies. With two young children at home, making a doctor’s appointment — when I wasn’t even sick — seemed ridiculous.

After he had a physical, my husband saw it differently. He encouraged me to schedule an annual physical, much in the same way I diligently scheduled the kids’ well visits. How to find a doctor when I wasn’t even sure I needed one kept falling to the bottom of my priority list. I dragged my feet, but after getting recommendations from several of my friends for the same doctor, I made an appointment.

I discovered the doctor was a DO when I did a quick Google search for the exact location of the office, which I found vaguely interesting. I’d read about the difference between MDs and DOs at some point when one of my friends was considering medical school, but I didn’t think I’d notice much of a difference during a routine physical.

Find a Doctor You Love

My appointment with my DO

After the typical medical visit routine — weight, height, blood pressure — I waited on the familiar doctor’s table. I’d never been in the office, but the table and the exam room seemed exactly like every other doctor’s office I’d visited. I wondered how different the appointment would really be.

My doctor knocked, walked into the room, sat down, and then gestured at me to do the same — and she didn’t mean perched on the edge of the table. I sat across from her, and she began going over my history, but she asked questions I hadn’t expected, like how much sleep I’d been getting, how tired I felt, and what I was doing to combat my fatigue.

Throughout my visit, and during subsequent visits, I felt very heard during my appointments. She listened to my concerns about not really feeling like I was making gains in my fitness, even with a steady amount of running, and she suggested dietary and lifestyle tweaks I could make — including more sleep. She chatted with me about balancing normal “I’m a mom with two small kids” tiredness with being overly stressed, letting me know I’d sleep again — one day — and never made me feel my concerns were invalid just because I was in good overall health.

About Doctors of Osteopathic medicine

I shouldn’t have been surprised that my doctor was interested in how my sleep, diet, and lifestyle were connected to how I was feeling and how frustrated I was with my running progress.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine believe there’s more to good health than just being free of pain or illness. DOs are fully licensed physicians trained to listen and partner with their patients, not only to heal sickness but to keep patients well.

I love seeing a woman doctor, and the number of women DOs under the age of 45 rose 62% between 2010 and 2015. DOs can be found in any medical specialty, but they always practice the same philosophy of considering the person within the patient.

Find a DO near you or learn more at

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided for this blog via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of American Osteopathic Association or Momtrends.

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Make a Valentine’s Day breakfast that really says “I love you”

Valentine's Day breakfasts

Valentine’s Day happens to fall on a weekend this year, which gives you the perfect opportunity to go all-out for breakfast for your favorite people. Whether you’re putting together something sweet for the whole family or something savory for your significant other, we know one of these 13 delicious breakfasts will work for you.

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Donut strawberry shortcake
Pink greek yoghurt pancakes
mini raspberry white chocolate scones12
Raspberry Red Velvet Protein Shakes
Choco Berry Smoothie
Bisquick Donuts
Gluten free pancakes with strawberry cream cheese sauce


Old-Fashioned Donut Strawberry Shortcake from The Baker Mama is the perfect way to blend everyone’s favorite treat — an old-fashioned donut — with strawberries, the ideal Valentine’s Day fruit. It’s a surprising way to say good morning.

Brown Sugar Mama brings us Smoked Salmon and Avocado Eggs Benedict, a twist on the breakfast classic. The flavor of the smoked salmon and the splurge-worthy Hollandaise sauce make this an indulgent breakfast for your favorite Valentine.

Pink Greek Yoghurt Pancakes from A Million Miles don’t depend on artificial flavoring for their gorgeous pink color, and the fluffy pancakes are simply delicious, proving you don’t need an abundance of artificial ingredients for a sweet treat.

Sunday Public offers Brown Butter Doughnuts with Cinnamon Dolce Glaze, a delectable treat that will leave your entire house smelling amazing. The rich flavors are a perfectly sweet combination, and your Valentine will be requesting these for weekends on end.

Mini Raspberry White Chocolate Scones from Stew or a Story  are both scrumptious and adorable, and we can’t get enough of the tea party presentation. Perfect for a Valentine’s Day brunch or even a simple brunch with your girlfriends, these scones are sure to be a hit.

Caramelized Banana Crepes from At the Corner of Happy and Harried are a simple and flavorful breakfast. Both the caramelized bananas and the crepes can be made the night before and assembled in the morning, which makes your holiday breakfast a cinch.

Spache the Spatula brings us Raspberry Red Velvet Protein Shakes, a breakfast shake that delivers a combination of chocolate and raspberry flavors with the filling punch of added protein. You’ll have energy for days with this shake!

My Ginger Garlic Kitchen offers a Romantic Choco-Berry Valentine’s Smoothie, and this sweet smoothie will go straight to your heart. Filled with rich and scrumptious flavor, this treat will work for breakfast, brunch or dessert.

Strawberry Waffles from Tara’s Multicultural Table use strawberry puree for their color, and you can top with anything your heart desires. The variety of toppings makes waffles a fabulous option for picky kids.

The Decorated Cookie gives us Mini Cinnamon Roll Pops, the cutest Valentine’s Day treat on the table. Be sure to make a big batch of these — you won’t be able to stop at just one. Kids will love helping with these, so you can enlist their help to surprise Daddy in the morning.

Bisquick Donuts from Something Swanky might more delicious than anything at your local bakery — plus you can make them in your pajamas! Her tips for frying these beauties will help even a donut novice make perfect donuts each time.

The Bewitchin’ Kitchen proves gluten-free doesn’t have to mean flavor-free with her Gluten Free Pancakes Smothered in Strawberry Cream Cheese Sauce. Baked goods can be some of the toughest substitutes for gluten-sensitive eaters, but coconut flour makes these a truly special treat.

Strawberries and Cream Crepes with Orange Liqueur from Cafe Delights are absolutely a special treat for someone you love. Crepes aren’t tough to make, but they look so fancy on a plate — and the orange liqueur gives these an unexpected burst of flavor.

What do you plan on making for breakfast this Valentine’s Day?
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Now that cold weather is just around the corner, being warm and cozy is on our minds. Nothing is better during this time of year than snuggling up with cozy sweaters, soft blankets, warm fires and having free-license to drink hot chocolate every single day.

Whether battling the frigid temperatures of a winter snow storm or coming back inside from a day of hitting the slopes on your family vacation, nothing will warm your insides faster — or taste yummier — than a nice cup of hot chocolate. We’ve already shared a fun hot chocolate bar set up for kids, but now it’s time to spice things up a bit with a twist on this classically delicious beverage for the adults.

Hot Chocolate Recipes for Grown-Ups

Kahlua Cocoa: Hot chocolate cocktails for grown-ups

Servings: Makes one cocktail, double — or triple! — as necessary
Prep time: 20 minutes, which includes making the hot cocoa


  • 5 ounces hot cocoa, prepped your favorite way
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Toppings of your choice: We preferred whipped cream and chocolate chips with a peppermint candy cane for an additional hint of minty flavor.

Hot Chocolate Cocktails


1. Combine warm cocoa and Kahlua in mug.
2. Add sugar and whipping cream. Sweeten to preferred taste.
3. Top with whipped cream and toppings of your choice.
4. Serve and enjoy.
Kahlua Cocoa: Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

Sharing is caring

The gift giving season is upon us, and who wouldn’t love a warm chocolatey surprise to brighten their chilly day? This adult hot chocolate also makes for a fun gift to surprise your loved one, share with your favorite hostess or include as a favor for your upcoming holiday party.

Simply place pre-made hot chocolate mix in a cute Mason jar and layer with mini-marshmallows. Grab your favorite festive ribbon, include our fun plaid printable (free download available here) and a mini bottle of Kahlua and you have a perfect to-go gift!

Hot Chocolate Mason Jar Gift with Printable Tag

Do you have a yummy way to spice up your hot chocolate this winter?
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The Best Peppermint Brownies

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, and the holiday season has officially started, it’s time to leave all things pumpkin spice in the past and concentrate on life’s much more decadent flavors — chocolate and peppermint. Okay, that might be a bit extreme, but we are definitely ready to indulge in all the tastes of the holiday season! Trust us when we say these festive peppermint brownies will have your taste buds swooning.

The Best Peppermint Brownies

Peppermint brownies


Servings: 9 or more, depending on how big or small you cut the squares
Preheat: 350 degrees F
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes, plus additional time in the freezer to set before serving


  • 6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 can fudge frosting
  • 1 cup peppermint candies or crushed candy canes

The Best Peppermint Dessert Recipes


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
2. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch glass or metal baking dish
3. Place chocolate and butter in microwavable bowl and heat for approximately 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until melted and smooth.
4. Stir in the sugar and brown sugar until smooth in texture.
5.  Add eggs, vanilla extract, peppermint extract. Lightly stir until combined.
6. Fold in the flour with a baking spatula. Note: Flour can still be slightly visible in the chocolate mixture. Do not over mix.
7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Brownies will be ready to come out of the oven when a toothpick check comes back with moist crumbs, rather than wet batter.
8. While the brownies are baking, place peppermint candy in a large Ziploc bag and crush into small pieces. Set bag aside.
9. Once brownies are ready, remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
10. Spread frosting on the top of the brownies while still warm.
11. Sprinkle generously with crushed peppermint.
12. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Tip: For smooth and perfectly square cuts, place peppermint brownies in fridge or freezer to cool after topping. Let cool completely for at least an hour, and then cut with a warm knife. Wipe blade after each cut.

Must-Make Peppermint Brownies


What peppermint treat are you craving this holiday?
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November offers the chance to celebrate gratitude

Even if you’re still sneaking a few pieces of your kids’ Halloween candy to pair with your coffee each morning, November means looking forward to Thanksgiving. Without a religious connection or the expectation of gifts, many families relish the chance to connect over a well-crafted meal. Whether your Thanksgiving table is filled with the family into which you were born or the family you’ve cobbled together with friends and neighbors, there’s something special about breaking bread with those you love.

La Brea Bakery

La Brea Bakery want to brighten Thanksgiving day — with more than bread

La Brea Bakery is the leading artisan bread in the United States — sold in 7,000-7,500 retail outlets and chains nationwide. Learn more about La Brea Bakery and how they focus on giving back to others. While La Brea Bakery would love to see their artisan bread on your Thanksgiving table, this year they’re working to spread joy and gratitude to your community’s heroes.

Nominate — and celebrate — your Thanksgiving hero this November

Even if we’re not making an elaborate dinner, my immediate family makes it a point to spend Thanksgiving together. Little touches, like my Grandma Rose’s special Thanksgiving china, elevate the day from the ordinary. I make mashed potatoes with abandon, ignoring the calorie count on butter and promising to make up for the extra large piece of pumpkin pie another day.

For some people, though, Thanksgiving is spent at work. Nurses, firefighters, waiters and countless other people spend their Thanksgiving taking care of other people — and sometimes saving lives. This year, La Brea Bakery is running a Thanksgiving promotion where you will be encouraged to nominate your “Thanksgiving Hero”: people you know and love who regularly work on Thanksgiving serving others. La Brea Bakery will deliver fully catered meals to five finalists across the nation on Thanksgiving, so they can still enjoy a special meal, even at work.

How to nominate your Thanksgiving Hero

To submit an entry visit “Thanksgiving Heroes” and create your submission by including: your first and last name; zip code; email address; an essay of 100 words or less telling about your family member that you will be unable to share Thanksgiving dinner with and submit at least one photograph showing both you and your family member that you will be unable to share Thanksgiving dinner with. Submissions must be received by November 15th 2015. Finalists will be announced November 17th 2015, after which the public will have a chance to vote for their favorites through November 20th 2015.

La Brea Bakery

Keep in touch with La Brea Bakery

Stay up-to-date with La Brea Bakery this holiday season and all year long by following along with their social media stories. In addition to updates about the contest, you’ll also receive product discounts — and who doesn’t love a deal on delicious artisan bread?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of La Brea Bakery. All opinions are my own.

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Bundle Organic Juices for Pregnancy

Bundle Organics juices for expecting and new moms

When you’re pregnant, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that you can eat whatever you want. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for most moms. When expecting, you actually need to be extra careful about what you put into your body. It’s not only important to be healthy for yourself, but now it’s more important than ever because you need to be healthy for this little one that you are growing inside of you. When you find something that makes this not only super easy and convenient, but also delicious, then I’d say you have found something great. And good news! We’ve found something great!

Read what Rebecca of Mainely Mama had to say about Bundle Organics!

Bundle Organics: Juices for Pregnancy

Packed full of nutrients

Bundle Organics is a healthy, easy and delicious line of organic juices for expecting and new moms. They carry three flavors: Dark Berry and Veggies, Orange Carrot Strawberry Ginger and Kale Apple Lemon Ginger. Each flavors is packed full of organic veggies and fruit and essential ingredients for pregnancy, including folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 and iron. I love that they are 100% safe for pregnancy and beyond, and are an easy way for me to make sure to get in some vitamins and nourish my body while I’m growing this little one. Because when I nourish myself, I’m also nourishing my baby and making sure he or she grows strong and healthy. And, I think that’s every pregnant woman’s ultimate goal, right? Not only are these juices easy, convenient and delicious, they’re also nourishing and wholesome.

How to get your veggies during pregnancy

Great for pre-conception and breastfeeding, too

The nutrients found in Bundle Organics juices are good for pre-conception and breastfeeding, so you can keep on sipping and reaping the benefits long after you have your little one! Plus, they taste so good, you’ll probably be hooked anyway and not want to stop drinking them. And hey, with all of the good stuff they contain, why would you?

See what The Magnolia Mamas had to say about Bundle Organics!
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What was the last healthy snack you had? No, not the leftover grilled cheese crust from your kids’ lunches. Or, the sugar-filled granola bar you found in the bottom of your diaper bag. We mean a real healthy, good-for-you snack… and one that actually tasted good, too?

The next time you need a pick-me-up, grab a belicious. Your kids love their food pouches and these are made for grown-ups who are also looking for snacks that are on-the-go friendly, but without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

belicious Food Pouches for Moms

All about belicious

Made from fresh organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and seeds, belicious is a savory blend of nutritious, 100% organic, non-GMO, low sugar, high fiber, whole food that comes packaged in a convenient pouch. belicious is uncompromising on quality, pioneering in how it’s produced and the perfect blend of taste and nutrition.

With four savory flavors — Revive, Vitalize, Strength (coming soon!), and Energize — belicious blends are designed with a balance of nutrient-dense whole fruits, vegetables and grains that are high in anti-inflammatory properties. The food, the whole food and nothing but the food. There are no powders, no concentrates, no extracts, no fillers, nothing artificial in belicious!

Each pouch contains two full servings of fruits and vegetables and they are all vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and nut-free. While they’re best enjoyed when cold, straight from your fridge, they don’t need to be refrigerated, so you can easily keep them in your purse, your desk at work or your car for a last-minute snack! And, at under $4 each, they’re far cheaper than those smoothies you buy, right?

Belicious Win a Year Graphic FB 2

Win an entire year of belicious

One winner will win an entire year supply of belicious — a box for every month of the year!
Please enter using the Rafflecopter below.
Giveaway ends 11/6.
Must be 18 years old and a US resident to enter and win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




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There’s a lot to be said for making Sunday a family day. After your busy week and, let’s be honest, your even busier weekend, it’s nice to know that on Sundays, you can come together as a family to reconnect, have some downtime and simply enjoy each other’s company while leaving the hustle and bustle behind.

For many families, connecting on a Sunday means watching football! There’s nothing like cheering on your favorite team on a Sunday to get the entire family in on the fun, right? From holding your breath on that oh-so-close touchdown pass to biting your tongues as the ref makes (another) questionable call to comforting each other when your team just doesn’t seem to have it together this week, football on Sundays brings families together.

Football-loving families know that besides having the game on blast, the other must-have for a successful Football Sunday is great food. Sure, you could order pizza… again. But, adding a new recipe to the mix for the game each week is much more fun and it adds to that quality Sunday family time together, too!

The folks at Farm Rich are providing some awesome Game Day Snack Hacks that will keep your family fed from now until Super Bowl Sunday! You can see this week’s recipe and all of the recipes on the Farm Rich website.

Buffalo Chicken Parmesan Poppers

Buffalo Chicken Parmesan Poppers

Super simple and quick to make using the Farm Rich Boneless Buffalo Bites as a starting point, their Buffalo Chicken Parmesan Poppers will become a most-requested Sunday Football snack!

What’s your family’s favorite football snack?

This is a sponsored blog. While the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by Farm Rich to review this product.


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When breast tenderness interferes with your life

My daughter thinks I’m a runner. Though many of my runs feel more like trudging along a path than gracefully gliding like a gazelle, I love that she sees me like that. I said yes immediately when she decided she wanted to train for a race with me. One of her favorite parts about trying a new thing is finding the perfect outfit to wear while doing it, and she dug through my running clothes to find something that coordinated with hers.

mother-daughter running

Her nose wrinkled as she saw me pull on not one, but two, sports bras — items definitely not included in her ideal running look. She’s seen me put on bras — and sports bras — countless times, but generally I’m only wearing one. I didn’t want to get into details about how the days surrounding my period involve breast tenderness that borders on painful and calls for double support, so there’s absolutely no movement on my chest.


Violet® Iodine helps women feel more comfortable

Thanks to a new supplement, women — like me! — who suffer from breast discomfort can find some relief. A simple pill, taken once daily, can make a huge difference in the way your breasts feel — and it promotes optimal breast health. Violet isn’t a drug — it’s an iodine supplement regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and can be purchased without a prescription.

Violet can help women who experience breast tenderness, whether it’s due to monthly hormone cycles or fibrocystic breasts — a clinical term for dense or lumpy breast tissue. Violet iodine is a daily iodine supplement clinically demonstrated to alleviate the most common symptoms of cyclic mastalgia and fibrocystic breast condition (FBC), including swelling, tenderness, aches and heaviness.

Iodine supplements

Find deals on Violet — and try it for yourself

Violet differs from other iodine supplements, because the tablets are made with a unique, patented formulation that blends two iodine ingredients in a non-hormonal formulation. These two forms of iodine combine in the stomach to form molecular iodine. Molecular iodine is a form of iodine that has been clinically demonstrated to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual breast discomfort and to help restore the natural, healthy balance of breast cells. Unlike taking over-the-counter medications for pain, Violet helps combat the cause of the pain instead of just masking it. You can find Violet for 30% off at select retailers:

  • CVS – in select stores (does not apply online)
  • The Vitamin Shoppe – online and in store
Connect with Violet online
Do you experience monthly breast discomfort?


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Homemade Caramel Apple Pops

When you think of fall desserts, few desserts are more synonymous with the season than caramel apples. The pairing of tart, crisp apples and sweet, sticky caramel make for such a delicious combination!

While we love nothing more than a good caramel apple, sometimes our eyes get the best of us with all those fun toppings and we want to sample a little bit of everything… or, sometimes, the whole thing is a little large (even for our sweet tooth!) and we leave a good bit of it behind. The solution? Homemade caramel apple pops that bring the best of caramel apples into a bite-sized pop that’s easy to eat… and to dip in all of your favorite toppings!

Fall Recipes: Caramel Apple Pops with Homemade Caramel

Homemade caramel apple pops

Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

2-3 Apples, the crispier the better
Homemade salted caramel dip (Click for the recipe!)
Variety of toppings, crushed to be easily sprinkled and dipped
Wilton Lollipop Sticks
Parchment paper

How to make homemade caramel apple pops

1. Slice each apple into six wedges. You want each slice to be big enough to go on a stick!
2. Insert a lollipop stick into the end of each apple slice. Make sure it’s in far enough.
3. Keep the pre-made caramel sauce warm and dip each slice into the caramel, coating the top half. It’s best to do the slices one-by-one so that the caramel doesn’t harden too quickly.
4. Immediately dip or roll each caramel coated slice into your favorite toppings.
5. Let cool on parchment paper until no longer sticky to touch.

Caramel Apple Pops with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Serve and enjoy!

What topping will you try first on your caramel apple pops?
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