Friday, January 27, 2017

Meal Prepping - Low Carb Meal Recipes

By Lisa VanWilliams
All of the families I cook for have started the New Year off right and they are all eating healthy! Today's client prefers healthy low-carb meals and I made a bunch of tasty dishes. As a private chef I cook tons of food, yet I struggle to feed my own family. I have two children under the age of six that only eat three things (chicken nuggets, french fries & clam chowder), and none of my cooking. I come across many dishes that look tempting enough to make in my own home for my husband and I, and today I made a few good ones I wanted to share!

Beef and Cashew Stir-Fry
This is a fragrant dish and you can add whatever veggies you prefer if this mix does not suit you. I like to hit the cashews with a hammer in a sandwich bag to get them extra fine and sprinkle them on top at the end.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb Sirloin
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 bunch broccolini
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon chili sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
toasted cashews
steamed brown rice

1. Heat oil in wok or pan over high heat. Cook the beef in batches, for 1-2 minutes, until well browned. Remove from the pan.
2. Heat a little more oil over medium heat, add the onion, red pepper, broccolini, ginger, garlic, and chili. Cook and toss around for 3-4 minutes or until just tender.
3. Return the beef to pan with the combined sauces. Toss until well mixed and heated.
4. Serve over brown rice and sprinkle w cashews

Glazed Carrots w Orange and Ginger
This is a great way to sweeten the carrots and adds a nice pop of citrus with the beef stir fry.

Tomato Basil Chicken
This is a classic. You can't go wrong with chicken cutlets, basil, tomatoes, and balsamic! Great recipe for reheating as well. I will make this.

Roasted Root Vegetables w Rosemary
I omitted the leeks because the store was out of them and I substituted some scallions in at the end.

Pecan-Crusted Honey Mustard Salmon
Yum Yum Yum...I would eat anything encrusted in pecans. Again, take a hammer to the pecans for extra fine and I leave a few pieces in there for texture.

French Cut Green Beans w Almonds and Fried Onions

I also did a couple batches of McCormick Grill Mates marinated chicken. Grilled chicken is great to keep on hand for extra protein and they are packed with flavor. You can toss these on a salad, put them in a wrap, use them for soup, or just eat them plain.
The have tons of options, and they are all great.

Grill Mates - Island Woodfire & Smoky Applewood Grilled Chicken

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Promise Organic - Facial Skincare & Body Products

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Every Winter I struggle with dry skin and I am constantly on the hunt for cures and remedies. I have recently been using Promise, which is an affordably priced and environmentally conscious organic skincare line. I really like the products and I would recommend the brand if your looking to try out some non-toxic alternative brands. These all contain organic ingredients, and they are made with plant-derived alternatives like aloe vera leaf juice, and shea butter. The body products are all priced under $10, and the facial care products are all under $15.

Promise Organic recently launched 14 new products in two distinct collections. The Ultra-Moisturizing Argan Crème is for normal to dry skin, and the Nourishing Coconut Milk which is for normal to dry skin. They were king enough to send me the Ultra-Moisturizing Set to check out for myself and help my dry winter skin.

The Towelettes are very refreshing and they do not leave a tacky feel. This is a great way to remove makeup, oil and impurities from skin in a gentle way and they smell great. ($5.99)

The Facial Scrub works to remove dead skin. It has a wonderful smell of blended sugar and walnut shells. ($9.99) The Facial Cleanser has aloe vera and soap berries in it and it has a great lather to it. ($7.99)

Promise Organic is exclusively available at select CVS locations throughout the U.S. To find out more about Promise Organic, you can go to:

To order online from CVS:

The body wash with shea butter smells great and has a nice lather ($6.99), followed by the body lotion which offers deep moisture without a greasy feel.($8.99) All of the products either have a citrus smells to them or a grapefruit smell. 

I was bummed the pump in the facial cream is not working but I did try the squeeze version. The Facial Cream goes for $14.99. Nice smell, soaks in fast, no residue or greasy feel. My skin feels great. 

  • Certified to NSF
  • Not test on animals
  • Recycled packaging
  • Made in the USA
  • 1% for the planet (1% of all product sales are donated to THE NATURE CONSERVANCY)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fizz & Bubble - Cupcake Bath Fizzies

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Keep your resolutions and diet on track while still treating yourself to something sweet like these adorable cupcakes and bath treats from Fizz & Bubble. These bath fizzies are all natural treats made in the USA. They are a blend of essential oils that include: aloe vera, coconut, grapeseed, sweet almond, olive, avocado, sunflower, and jojoba.

They sell a delectable menu of bath milkshakes, truffles, and cupcakes, large and small bath fizzies, (which are the same as bath balls), bubble bath, sugar scrubs, bath salts, and body creams.

The cupcakes have a foaming shea frosting butter that will crumble apart in your hands under the water, then toss the bottom portion of the cupcake in the water to activate the fizz. The cupcakes are available in 13 flavors for $10 each at Ulta locations nationwide ( You can also find out more about the company and order online here:

They were kind enough to send me some cupcakes to check for myself. My kids have been dying to get into the bath to use these. So, mommy had to hide one. They smell incredible and I had to tell my son you can't eat them because he was going to take a bite out of one.

The truffles also look like a really awesome box of decadent chocolates if your looking for a treat on Valentine's Day with no calories. $20 for an assorted 9-pack of foaming fizzies.

All natural, no parabens, no animal testing.

Truffle Box (Image above courtesy of Fizz & Bubble)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Joy Forever Perfume by Jean Patou

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
I'm bringing Joy everywhere I go this year. Just kidding. I'm wearing it! I'm surprised at myself as a perfume lover for several decades that I have never heard of Joy. Joy was originally created by Jean Patou who was a French fashion designer. He created the perfume as a reaction to the stock market crash of 1929. The once affluent clients could no longer afford his haute couture clothing line turned to his perfume and the House of Patou was able to survive through the depression.

Joy remains the world's second best-selling scent (after Chanel No. 5) and Joy is one of the most expensive perfumes out there because it takes around 10,000 jasmine flowers and and 28 dozen roses to create 30ml of the perfume. Joy Forever was launched in 2013 and it is a floral perfume containing key original olfactive ingredients of the original Joy perfume - Rose de May and Jasmine to create a modern twist for today's modern woman. Top notes are bergamot, mandarin orange and galbanum; middle notes are marigold, jasmine, rose, orris, orange blossom, and peach; base notes are cedar, sandalwood, white musk and amber.

They were kind enough to send me a set to check out for myself. It has an elegant timeless gold bottle and the scent almost reminds me of a classic Shalimar. It's a refreshing scent of flowers that's not too overbearing or heavy. I like the body cream which is very subtle but creamy.

The Joy Forever duo contains a 2.5oz Eau de Parfum spray and a 6.8oz Body Cream. The set goes for $190 and it's available at Lord and Taylor. The 2.5oz bottle can be purchased on it's own for $130.You can order the set or just the perfume here:

Friday, January 6, 2017

CND Creative Play Nail Lacquer

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
We are ringing in the first week of the New Year with these dazzling nail colors from CND Creative Play. They have over 80+ colors to pick from in 10 different finishes like: Crème, Holographic Glitter, Metallic, Metallic Glitter, Micro Glitter, Multi Color Glitter, Pearl, Satin, Shimmer, and Transformer. It has a great brush for easy application and it's 7 free. Cute names like Hottie Tomattie, Poppin Bubbly, and Isle Never Let Go will have your nails popping with potent colors.

CND Creative Play sent me some colors to check out for the Holidays. They are playful colors and I had fun doing my nails with my daughter. I went with the Revelry Red (red with glitter mixed in),and she picked Extravagant (gold glitter) and Turquoise Tidings (blue glitter). Chipping will happen quickly, so do a nice top coat to lengthen your wear.

The colors are affordably priced at $6.99 each and you can find them at Sally Beauty.,default,pd.html#q=cnd&start=2

To find out more about CND Creative Play, please go to: