Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tribesports: Rugged Maniac Workout

Ever wonder if you've got what it takes to complete one of the many obstacle mud runs that seem to be popping up everywhere this time of year? You know the ones I'm talking about; Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race & Rugged Maniac to name a few.

Well just in case you've been seriously debating on trying one out (or you need a quick refresher for one coming up soon), I've got something to share with you.

Head on over to Tribesports & take the challenge for the Rugged Maniac Obstacle Strength Workout. Successfully "take" this challenge & be entered into the Rugged Maniac Competition. (Don't forget to check out the TOS.)

"This workout has been put together with a specific goal in mind - to efficiently build your strength so that you can quickly and easily move your own bodyweight around the common obstacles you will encounter at these races."

As of right now, I don't have any of these runs planned this summer. But, I'm really digging the superset workout (you can find a breakdown of what each superset does here). I figure if I am able to squeeze one in somewhere this year, I should be good to go!

 Train hard - Race easy!


Simple Sunday: Farmer's Market Finds

It's finally time for some delicious produce to hit the local Farmer's Market. (After all, it is NE Ohio.

We scored green peppers, cucumbers, a HUGE head of cabbage, a sweet onion, blackberries, some goat's milk fudge, flavored honey straws & some blubarb (blueberry-rhubarb) jam.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Snacktastic Saturday: Java Chip Milkshake

Today was a crazy busy day. It was also deemed as milkshake day by the kids. So, I did what any other multi tasking mama would do. One Java Chip Milkshake, coming up!

How To:

•vanilla ice cream
•brewed coffee, at room temperature 
•chocolate syrup
•chocolate chips

•Add desired amounts of ingredients to blender & blend.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Fun Friday: Chalkboard Labeled Glass

What do you get when you mix jelly & a chalkboard? Well, if you mix them literally, you would have one heck of a mess. But my way, not so much.

We've been getting the jelly jars with handles lately & have been using them as drinking glasses. Well, it just so happened that today I spotted my chalkboard paint & had a great idea. Why not paint on a label? Works great, until i filled my glass with ice water. The sweat from the glass was washing off the chalk. But that's OK, only 325484654151 more PB&J's till i have to have it all perfected! (Although I'm pretty sure I'll remedy it all fairly soon.)

Sprout Organic Toddler Snacks: Review & Giveaway

When my now 18 month old was just starting out on baby food, I discovered Sprout Organic Foods. If it wasn't Sprout, she wasn't eating it. I had figured that she was born with a refined palette & the tastes were more suitable to her liking. Plus the fact that she was way more interested in what the rest of the family was eating. That being said, we started on solids relatively early.

Now you can imagine my excitement when Sprout reached out to me on Twitter not that long ago. They had some new toddler snacks hitting the shelves & they wanted to know if my little one would be interested in trying them. I was sure she would love them! And me too since we all know that snack time can sometimes get a bit tricky. (You want them to have something that appeals to them while still being healthy.)

 We received 4 packages of Fruit & Veggie Crispy Chews:

•Tropical Fruit & Pumpkin
•Purple Berry & Carrot
•Orange Fruit & Carrot
•Red Berry & Beet

These crisped whole grain rice snacks reminded me of fruit leather meets a granola bar. (Of course I had to try them.)

Hayden's reaction:
She loved them! (Like I knew she would) They were the perfect size for her tiny little fingers to pick up from the pouch. And it was also the perfect portion size for her.

 We also received 4 packages of Fruity Yogurt Bites:

•Strawberry Carrot Yogurt with banana pieces 
•Banana Pumpkin yogurt with banana pieces
•Orange Carrot Yogurt with mango pieces
•Raspberry yogurt with mango pieces

These light, little puffs reminded me a lot of the marshmallows that you find in Lucky Charms cereal. Only a million times better of course, both in taste & being healthier. (Yep, had to try one of these too.)

Hayden's reaction:
She loved these too! (As if there was any doubt of it.) Although they were also the perfect size themselves & in portion, she kept standing in front of the cupboard & saying "snack". 

You know what that means, right? New household staple. These are especially great to take with us when we have a busy day of errands or that 11:30 a.m. doctor appointment. 

But don't worry, you can stock up too without even leaving your computer. Use the coupons below to save $1.00. (Each box contains 5 packages & sells for an average of $5.00 on each site.)
sprout, organic, baby food, natural, toddler snacks, vegetables, fruit, toddler snacks coupon code promo
, toddler food, meals, snacks, yogurt bites, on the go, all natural

Wait! It gets better! The kind folks at Sprout are offering a giveaway! One lucky winner will win exactly what I received, 1 of each flavor of both the Fruit & Veggie Crispy Chews & the Fruity Yogurt Bites.  

sprout, organic, baby food, natural, toddler snacks, vegetables, fruit, toddler snacks giveaway, toddler food, meals, snacks, yogurt bites, on the go, all natural

The giveaway will conclude on at 12:00 a.m. est on Friday 7/5/13. Winners will be announced via rafflecopter & in a separate blog post which will be published no later than 9:00 a.m. on Friday 7/5/13. Winners will also be notified via email & announced on the Smith and Blessings facebook page. Winners will have 24 hours to submit shipping information which will then be passed directly to Sprout for product distribution. If 24 hours has lapsed, a new winner will be picked & then will also have 24 hours to submit their information. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

  #spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Sprout Foods. This could include the Sprout Foods providing us w/ content, product, access or other forms of payment. Check out the new Sprout Foods website at

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Think It Thursday: Making the Most of a Budget

I consider myself quite savvy when it comes to my bi-weekly grocery budget. I manage to feed 5 on roughly about $300. of course that includes all toiletries, paper products & diapers. No, I'm not an extreme couponer. Actually, I use far less coupons during the summer months as compared to the winter months.

Here's how:

•Plan out a menu & then make your shopping list. This will ensure two things, that you have everything you need for a meal already on hand & you won't be making a last minute shopping trip (no doubt grabbing more items than you intended).

•Stock up on sales. This doesn't mean you have to buy 20 boxes of spaghetti, but a few are always good to have on hand. Also, watch for sales on meat this time of year (it is grill season after all).

•Plant a garden or shop for local produce. Not only will you save money, but you'll eat healthier too.

•Outlet shop. We get all of our bread from the bakery outlet & all of our chips/pretzels from the local potato chip factory outlet. I pay the same price as a bag of chips in the store, for anywhere between a 3-5 lb. bag. 

•Buy in bulk. No I don't necessarily mean a big chain like Sam's Club, but a basic bulk food store if you have one available. We go to one nearby that I get all of my spices & deli meats/cheese from (I'm talking a little over $3.00 for smoked turkey breast!) We also get some snack items, the occasional produce & honey there.

•Don't be afraid to go to multiple stores. On our normal Saturday shopping day, I go to 8 different stores/markets. Of course we have a plan of attack that way there's no wasted gas.

•Re-invent your meals. Cook a big chicken? Shred what's left & have BBQ chicken sandwiches. Rice? make a burrito. Corn? How about some chowder? (I'm making myself hungry!)

•try your hand at homemade. I make my own yogurt & pita bread weekly & seem to always be whipping up something from scratch. But I also make lots of my cleaning supplies & laundry necessities from a handful of ingredients.



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Work It Wednesday: Safe Sun Tips

With summer in full swing, there's a million activities to be doing outside. Swimming, gardening, running, playing...I could go on & on. But regardless of what you're doing, make sure you're being safe in the sun.

Tips for Sun Safety:

•Wear sunblock. Use an SPF of 30 or greater & both UVA/UVB resistant.  Apply at least 30 minutes before heading out & re-apply every 2 hours. Be sure that you get the correct sunblock for the task at hand (like water resistant for swimming or if you sweat a lot).

• try to avoid direct sun exposure during it's peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

•Protect your face. Wear a hat & don't forget your sunglasses to help block those rays. (Ray-Ban anyone?)

•Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Don't forget to drink plenty of H2O.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Gyro Salad with Tzatziki Sauce

I love chicken gyros. So much so, that I tend to completely pig out on them. My solution, turn it all into a salad. Now even though I pile it on my plate, I'm not sitting there eating 3-4 gyros (shhh, don't tell).

I use the Pita Bread & Chicken Gyros recipe from Annie's Eats.  The only difference is that I don't measure anything (imagine that) & I use sour cream in place of the plain yogurt that's called for in the chicken marinade. Then there's the Tzatziki. I have my own version for that.

For the Tzatziki:

•16oz. sour cream (at least)
•1/2-3/4 cucumber, peeled, seeded & finely shredded
•4-5 cloves garlic, minced
•splash of white vinegar
•splash of lemon juice
•1 tsp. dried dill
•salt & pepper

•Thoroughly mix all ingredients together & chill for at least 1 hour for flavors to blend.

For the Salad:

•lettuce, torn into pieces
•tomatoes, sliced
•cucumbers, diced
•red onion, sliced
•Feta cheese, if desired
•Tzatziki Sauce, recipe above

•Pile it all on a plate, grab a knife (yes, it's that kind of salad) & enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Messy Monday: DIY Jewelry Cleaner

When i worked at a cafe, I had one of the bosses show me a cool way to clean my rings with the steamer on the espresso machine. Too bad I don't have one of those at home (not restaurant grade anyways). After that, I rarely cleaned my rings. Only occasionally at my in-laws. But now I can clean them whenever I want. And I didn't have to pay for a jar of solution with a drip tray. Which is good because I was always misplacing them.

I tried to get a good before & after picture of my rings, but I had an uncooperative camera & uncooperative kids. You'll just have to take my word for it or try it yourself.

How To:

•1Tbsp. dish soap (like Dawn)
•1Tbsp. baking soda
•1Tbsp. ammonia
•2C. warm water

•Mix all ingredients together by stirring.
•Slowly pour some in a small glass bowl & place jewelry in solution.
•Slowly swish in solution or allow to sit for a couple minutes depending on how dirty your jewelry is.
•Rinse off in cold water & towel dry.
•Keep solution in a tightly covered jar out of reach of children.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Simple Sunday: Me vs. The Chipmunk

This is my little foe, just chilling on my back porch. We discovered him a few weeks ado & since then my 7 year old has been feeding him (she shared this little tidbit a couple days ago). So now he's getting into everything!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Snacktastic Saturday: Lemon Ice

With high temps, you need a snack that can cool you down. Ice cream is perfect, if you have an ice cream maker (it's currently on my wish list). If ou don't, there's always Lemon Ice.

It was so hot & I forgot to chill my little bowl first...started melting right before my eyes. (LOL)

This isn't quick (it has to freeze after all), but it is easy. Not to mention refreshing!

How To:

•2C. water
•1C. sugar
•2/3C. lemon juice

•Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan.
•Lower heat & simmer for 5 minutes.
•Allow lemon mixture to cool. I usually place my saucepan in a large bowl with some cold water in it. Just stir the mixture & refresh your water every 5-10 minutes & it will cool down in no time.
•When cool enough, place in a metal bowl (or just leave it in your saucepan if you don't have one or can't find it to save your life) & place in the freezer.
•Freeze at least 30-45 minutes before stirring. Continue to stir every 15-20 minutes until done (it will be more like a thick slush).

*Note: Best served in chilled bowls.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fun Friday: Sponge Balls

It is officially Summer today! So what would any SAHM do? Go outside of course. We're still working on putting all of our outside toys away at the new place. Which means that the kid's pool is currently MIA. Next best thing? A bowl of water & some sponge balls.

Given they weren't that big, but they still worked. (I only had 6 sponges for 3 kids.) Not to mention how easy they were to make!

How To:

•Cut colored sponges in strips (either way depending on desired size).
•Secure with string or a rubber band.
•Pull edges out every which way to make them all crazy looking.
•Soak in water.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Think It Thursday: Benefits of Gardening

Gardening is fairly new to me. Instead of a green thumb, I had a brown thumb for many years. Seriously. I mean, I've killed an air fern before, that should say something. But now I find myself not only keeping things alive, but growing them from seeds. Which is great because gardening really is beneficial.

A few starters: Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, green onions & marigolds. Unfortunately the pesky squirrels raided my corn when I had to move my plants due to a storm.

Not only is it great exercise (all those weeds are good for something), but it's also a great stress reliever. Actually, it's one of the main ways I keep a bit of my sanity.

I think this is what my hubby's Grandma calls a Tiger Lily. I'm completely clueless when it comes to flowers, but I managed to keep this one around even though it looked like a weed to me.

Then of course there's the saving money part. If you have a vegetable garden, not only can you grow your own organic goodies, but you can also save a ton from your grocery budget. Even more so if you're able to can &/or freeze any excess.

Cucumbers have made it to the garden! Fingers crossed they all grow. Especially since this was all just a patch of grass a couple weeks ago.
And let's not forget the sheer satisfaction of actually growing something. Especially if you have children involved in the planting, watering & harvesting process. That family togetherness extends from the garden to the dining room table. And they might be a bit more likely to try something that they helped grow themselves.

What's your favorite thing about gardening?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Work It Wednesday: Tribesports

With all the fitness craze going on, it's tough to find the websites that work for you. I don't count calories or lift, but I do like a little challenge. Preferably ones that are realistic for me to actually finish being a busy SAHM.

That's where Tribesports comes in.

"We’re going to make a bold statement. 
We believe that Tribesports will make you do more sports.
Whether you’re a novice or a pro, we think seeing your friends sports activity, and sharing yours will make you want to be more active and do more sports.
We think that you are probably sportier than you think you are, and maybe just sometimes you need that nudge to get out there to exercise."

One of my favorite groups I've discovered is "Get Fit Without Joining a Gym". There is literally 1000's (if not more) of great tips of how to exercise effectively without spending a lot of money. 
And then there's the challenges. My first one was 25 squats a day for 7 days. I'm thinking either 50 crunches a day for 7 days or a 1 minute plank will be my next choice(s). 

And after a little bit of clicking, I've also managed to discover a Sexy Legs Workout & a few recipes. Just don't ask me how, because I'm still fairly new to this & I only have the slightest clue to what I'm doing. But of course I had to share since I'm currently obsessed with this awesome site!

Some of the reasons we think by using Tribesports, you’ll do more sports:

  • Seeing your friends’ sports activity motivates you to get out there and do sport. Seeing other people exercise is contagious - it’s a bug that will hook you and make you want to do it too.
  • Getting encouragment and advice from sports people like you is reassuring, its addictive, and it makes you want to do more.
  • Taking Challenges in a supportive, friendly competitive environment helps you keep motivated and pushes you to try new things.
  • Telling someone you’re going to do something by hitting the Challenge take button provides that bit of accountability that will see you succeed with it.
  • The fun of sharing advice with sports people around the world is incredibly rewarding, and keeps you wanting to grow your knowledge by trying new sports, and pushing yourself a little more than you would otherwise.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Bacon

There are few things I love to consume as much as bacon. But of course moderation is key, so I like to add a little where I can. Which must be why the hubs, aka "Mr. Anti-Green Vegetable", actually asks for these green beans quite often. Something about them roasting in the bacon drippings, or maybe just the roasting part, who knows.

How To:

•fresh green beans, ends snapped off & rinsed
•onion, minced
•garlic, minced
•bacon, uncooked & chopped
•salt & pepper
•nonstick cooking spray

•Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray & add desired amount of green beans.
•Top with desired amounts of onion, garlic, salt, pepper & bacon (in that order).
•Place in 400 degree oven & roast, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes (time varies by the amount of green beans you have so keep that in mind), stirring every 10 minutes.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Messy Monday: DIY Wallpaper Remover

We're knee deep in our little bathroom remodel, but of course there's nothing "little" about it. What started out as a chair rail border (and an upper border visible underneath the paint), has turned into a bit of a nightmare. I'm talking layer after layer of paint, wallpaper & border.

Most people would probably just throw in the towel & cover it all up with fresh drywall. But I'd rather put my money towards a new sink (I've got my eye on a pedestal one). And while it doesn't work on the paint (thank goodness only one layer is being stubborn), I've come up with a killer wallpaper remover solution.

How To:

•warm water
•fabric softener
•dish soap (like Dawn or something close to it)

•Mix in equal parts, warm water, fabric softener & vinegar in spray bottle.
•Add a couple squirts (judge amount by the size of your bottle) of dish soap.
•Replace nozzle & shake well.
•Spray on wallpaper & allow to sit for a few minutes before scraping.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Simple Sunday: Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!!!
This is an old picture (as if you couldn't tell by there only being 2 small kids), but it's the only one I could find that had hubs & the kids in it. Most of them anyways. (I suppose I better quit slacking on the pictures.)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Snacktastic Saturday: Homemade Plain Yogurt

I'm a bit obsessed with yogurt. Especially Greek yogurt. And the ones that come with all the extra goodies to add. I could eat them all day long, seriously. But of course my family can't survive with me alone eating yogurt. So I did what any food loving mom would do...I figured out how to make my own.
Doesn't that look delicious?! I assure you, it was. Creamy yogurt topped with shredded coconut, chopped almonds & mini chocolate chips. That's the cool thing about plain yogurt, you can change the flavor every time depending on what you add to it. 
How To:

•1/2 gal. whole milk
•1 small container (single serving size) plain Greek yogurt
 •2 heavy bath towels

•Start by adding the milk to your Crock-Pot & cooking on LOW for 3 hours.
•Without removing the lid, turn off & unplug your Crock-Pot & allow to sit for an additional 3 hours.
•Remove 2C. of the warm milk & place in a medium sized bowl, add Greek yogurt & stir to combine.
•Return Greek yogurt mixture to Crock-Pot & stir to combine.
•Replace lid & thoroughly wrap Crock-Pot in bath towels (for insulation), allow to sit for 8-10 hours.

*Will keep in refrigerator for up to 10 days.
**Save 2/3C. as a starter for a new batch.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fun Friday: Canvas Button Tree

This was lots of fun to make, even though it looks like a 3 year old helped me. Which was true, at least with the buttons. 
I had high hopes for this tree, but they didn't get very far. Mostly because of the fact that the canvas is actually just slightly bigger than my hand (apparently I need to restock). But after all of our buttons were on, I realized it would have been a great 'Spooky Tree' for Halloween if it had purple, black & orange buttons. But don't worry, there will be more attempts (without the help of a 3 year old & with a larger piece of canvas) especially since I have been inspired by the ones I discovered on Etsy.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Think It Thursday: Time Management

Let's face it, time management is important no matter who you are. And I find myself needing it more & more being a busy SAHM.

It can get a little tricky sometimes to be able to fit everything into my day without feeling like I neglected anyone, myself included. I have my GPT sites, blogging, housework, yard work & gardening, errands, meals & bedtime routines along with spending time with my three kids & husband. And of course some "me" time. I'm usually pretty lucky if I get in a small workout, read a chapter in my latest book or even paint my nails. And of course once I get a good system down, school starts or ends, soccer season picks up or something else to throw me off kilter.

Time sure would be more manageable if there were more of it!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Work It Wednesday: Benefits of Running

Don't these shoes just make you want to run? Every time I put them on I feel like I could run for miles...even if it is only a couple of blocks (typical newb).

I have a few friends who run & they've inspired me to start. And while yes, getting back into shape & ditching a few extra pounds is the main reason, there's so much more to it.

I'm no expert, but I've done a little bit of research & found quite a few extra reasons to keep myself motivated.

Running can...

relieve stress (HUGE factor for me!)

lower blood pressure (my Dr. will be ecstatic!)

help prevent bone & muscle loss (my mom was diagnosed with osteoporosis a couple years ago & I was told that I had a greater chance of acquiring it because of her diagnosis.)

helps fight disease (seriously, what's not to love about this one?)

improve general health (enough said!)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Turkey Caesar Pita

Summer is here! Not officially of course, but some days it sure feels like it. That usually means that you want something on the lighter side while still being a bit filling. Well, I have some great news for you. A Turkey Caesar Pita is just what you're looking for!

How To:

•Pita bread (I use this recipe all the time. Sometimes I cut pockets, sometimes I don't.)
• Caesar salad fixings such as romaine, dressing, tomato, red onion & mozzarella cheese (or whatever you prefer)
•Thin sliced deli turkey, diced (I'm a smoked kind of gal.)

•Mix salad ingredients & turkey together in a medium sized bowl.
•Stuff pita.
•Get seconds.
•Enjoy again.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Messy Monday: DIY Dryer Sheets

I'll admit, sometimes I miss the rinse cycle when I'm doing laundry (who doesn't from time to time). But my washer doesn't have an automatic dispenser & I'm not a fan of the Downy ball (not since I had one break while my washer was running). So, seeing as how I make my own fabric softener, it's only fitting I make my own dryer sheets too.

How To:

•1/3C. vinegar
•1/3C. fabric softener (for that fresh scent)
•1C. warm water
•old washcloths (I used old baby ones)
•container with a tight fitting lid

•Mix all liquid ingredients in container.
•Add rags, making sure each one evenly soaks up the softener mixture.

To Use:

•Thoroughly wring out rag to remove excess liquid & place in dryer with laundry.
•When done, return to container & re-soak. If you do not have enough softener mixture to do so, you can set aside to add when a new batch is made.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ivory® 2-IN-1 Hair & Body Wash

Don't you love it when you're in the shower, go to grab something & have a slew of bottles topple over? Most of the time ending with soap in your eye. Fail. Wouldn't it be awesome if you could have just one? Well guess what, the folks over at Ivory heard you!

Introducing the new ivory 2-IN-1 Hair & Body Wash (available in two scents, energizing & refreshing). This dual action formula cleans head to toe and conditions! Do you know what that means? Instead of 3 bottles for me, 2 for hubs, 2 between the oldest two & 1 for the baby (8 total); we have just ONE bottle in the shower. Which is great since we're in the middle of a bathroom overhaul & do not have room for all of those bottles. 

Another wonderful discovery? Since this creamy hair & body wash has conditioner built in (which actually does a pretty decent job), you could ditch the shaving gel & use this instead. I can attest that it works great! (When I said we don't have room, I meant it. LOL!)

Still not a believer? Head on over to Ivory's facebook page, give them a "like" & watch this digital short. Be sure you come back & let me know if any of that has ever happened to you. (I'm guilty of having the hanging shower head organizer falling down.)

 **Disclaimer: I received this product to try from Influenster & am simply sharing my personal opinion which may vary from yours. I was not compensated for this review.

Simple Sunday: Working in the Flowerbeds

Better late than never to get my sunflower seeds in.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Snacktastic Saturday: Sweet Potato Chips

I used to work at a little cafe, that had one of the greatest sides to accompany its sandwiches. Sweet Potato Chips. I haven't worked there in years (& it's not even around today), but luckily for me (& now you) I used to work the cook's line a couple nights a week. Which means I make the same chips whenever I want!

How To:

•deep fryer or large pot of oil
•sweet potatoes, sliced paper thin with a mandolin slicer
•seasoned salt
•large bowl lined with paper towels

•When your oil is heated to 375 degrees, spread small batch (a handful at a time) of sweet potatoes directly into oil.
•Using a large metal slotted spoon or tongs, stir the sweet potatoes while in the oil.
•Remove when they start to cool & are a slightly darker shape (they'll darken up more once removed).
•Place in paper towel lined bowl, sprinkle with seasoned salt & shake lightly to distribute.

*Note: These are delicious served with ranch! You could even sprinkle them with a bit or cinnamon sugar if you'd like a sweeter chip.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fun Friday: Painted Herb Pots

I have a very long window in my kitchen that I had the hubs build a long shelf underneath. Simply for the purpose of having an indoor herb garden. And while I still have a lot of work to do to get the look that I want, I better start with some pots.

This is your basic terra cotta pot & saucer, painted white with a chalkboard paint rectangle. I might add some color to it later, or paint the other pots & saucers different colors. I haven't quite made my mind up yet. But I do know one thing, that basil looks delicious!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Think It Thursday: Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day is Sunday June 16th!
Can you believe there's only 10 days to find the perfect gift for Dad, Grandpa, Hubby or any other special guy in your life? Although the term "perfect" varies for everyone of course.

From an Adult:

• Remember that adorable picture of you & your Dad or Grandpa when you were growing up? Print it out on whatever you'd like; a canvas, mug  or even a pillow. (Cap That has some unique products to personalize with pictures.) 

• They say a man's stomach leads to his heart, so a special meal just for them with all of their favorite trimmings is always good.

•What do you get a man that has everything? More of everything of course! Scour the internet for the newest doodads & must haves. (Uncommon Goods is a great eco-friendly site that has...everything!)

From a Child:

• Remember the bedtime story Dad or Grandpa would read to the little one(s)? Make a recording of them reading it for him.

•Art is always great! Have your little Picasso paint or sculpt a Father's Day masterpiece.

•Seed starters are great for the avid gardener. Don't forget to have your little one help take care of it & then harvest it into a yummy treat.

And of course don't forget to go out as a family. Hit up Grandpa's favorite fishing spot & then catch a game with Dad. Just remember to make the day about them. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Work It Wednesday: Fishtail Braid

I have long hair, just about to my waistline. Now, I've seen hair longer, but I still consider mine to be ridiculously long at that length. So I run into the issue of what to do with it. My go-to is to pull it up in a bun, especially in the summer. So I've been looking for some cute ways to keep it pulled back (no one likes a blanket on their head) that aren't the average braid or ponytail.

Photo from Glamour

 I love this fishtail braid that Nicole Scherzinger is rockin'! Better yet, I found a great tutorial on how to get the same look!   

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Pasta Primavera

Ever have those nights where you just want some veggies? Tonight was one of them. Mostly because I simply did not want to cut chicken. (I buy a few packages at a time & then cut it all at once to use/store in the freezer.) 

So what could I make with zucchini, carrots, broccoli, red pepper, mushrooms & red onion? A yummy (& filling) Pasta Primavera of course! 

How To:

•Desired pasta (I used fettuccine)
•Desired veggies
•Desired sauce (I used Alfredo, but a good garlic & oil or pesto would work too)
•Desired toppings such as grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh basil, salt & pepper

•Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, run under cold water & set aside.
•Saute veggies in olive oil until crisp-tender
•Add pasta & sauce to veggies. 
•Stir well to combine & top with desired toppings.

Of course, you don't want to forget the garlic toast...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Messy Monday: DIY Carpet Cleaner

I have 3 kids so occasionally they tend to make a mess of some sorts on the carpet that requires a little bit of scrubbing. But there's no need to get out the huge steam cleaner for a little spot here & there. So it's spot treatment time.

 I used to grab the carpet cleaner, spray the foam, inhale & choke. I would sound like I needed emergency assistance just from the fumes of the carpet cleaner while I was trying to hurry & scrub. Not cool. But luckily for me, that's never going to happen again. 

This is a picture of carpet with blood on it (somebody got a bad boo-boo one day) & we all know how difficult blood can be to remove.

As you can see, there's a huge difference! Still another scrub or two, to hopefully completely remove it. But that's fine by me since I won't be choking on fumes while I'm scrubbing.

How To:

•baking soda
•spray bottle
•1 Tbsp. Dawn dish washing soap
 •1 Tbsp. vinegar
•1 C. warm water
•old rag 

•Sprinkle baking soda on stain & allow to sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming up.
•In spray bottle, combine Dawn, vinegar & warm water. Shake lightly to combine.
•Spray directly on stain, allow to sit for 1 minute & start scrubbing with an old rag. 

*You may need to repeat spraying & scrubbing a couple times to completely remove.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Snacktastic Saturday: Apple Nutella Roll-Ups

Did you ever notice that the activities you do throughout the day, have an impact on your food? Gardening usually makes me want a huge salad (how ironic) & shopping makes me want anything that I don't have to make. So what do you get when you want a snack after hitting up the local Farmers Market & a town festival in the same day?

These Apple Nutella Roll-Ups were a cinch to make with just 3 ingredients. Not to mention they were perfect for that festival-like taste, while still having some fresh fruit to satisfy the farmer-like taste. (That makes total sense, right?)

How To:

•1 can of crescent rolls
•1 apple, sliced into thing wedges

•Spread a bit of Nutella on apple slice & roll up in crescent roll. Bake as directed on package.

See, I told you they were a cinch. 

Fun Friday: Chalkboard Menu

From doing some small building projects in the new house, we've acquired some extra pieces of wood. Add a can of chalkboard spray paint & a willing husband...

And you get a Chalkboard Menu! Hubs made 2 (1 had a coat of primer on it, the other didn't) so I think I'll use the other as a shopping list for everyone to add to.

The Fast Metabolism Diet Book Review

We all know there seems to be a million different diets out there at any given time. Mostly fads. Some are just...insane (to put it bluntly). So what happens with those? Quick loss, followed by slow gain. Pointless. But how about a "diet" that isn't actually a diet? Yep, that's the part that intrigued me too.

Let's jump ahead a bit, when you exercise, you can't keep doing the same workouts every day. You have to switch it up to keep your muscles guessing. Celebrity Nutritionist & Wellness Consultant, Haylie Pomroy, discovered the same to be true with your metabolism. When you keep it guessing in a deliberate manner, it speeds up & becomes more effective.

In The Fast Metabolism Diet you learn to unwind stress, unlock stored fat & unleash the burn by eating certain foods at certain times (phases). And the best part, aside from the lists of available foods (preferably all organic if possible), are the recipes. And I'm not talking about 1 or 2 for each phase. We're talking whole meal plans here people! You can even map them out yourself in the book.

And while I haven't full committed myself to it yet, I can see what the difference will be. Not to mention feeling better & being more energized. I'm hoping to give it a try soon though now that the local Farmer's Market will be open (I still have a budget to keep).

So what do you think about it, would you give it a shot for 20 lbs. in 28 days?

*Be sure to follow Haylie Pomroy on facebook & twitter #FastMetabolismDiet for the latest updates.

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