Saturday, July 30, 2011

Green smoothie guide and tips for whole foods eating!

Here is a great guide to making green smoothies.  You can customize it for whatever your needs are and what you have on hand.  A wonderful way to start your morning and set the tone for a day filled with healthy eating.

I have recently been trying to get back to really focusing on healthy eating and working out.  I am currently working out 5 days a week.  See my personal fitness plan here.  I have found a lot of research that is pointing to a whole foods plant based diet and am trying to incorporate that.  Two book you might like to read are by Brendan Brazier a professional iron man Triathlete.  They include a look at recovery and fitness nutrition based on a whole foods plant based diet.  I am not a Vegan and am not pushing that, but making the bulk of your meals focused on this way of eating can be nothing but a boost to your health.  Personally I still eat fish and the occasional dairy (like some cheese) but try to aim for mostly grain and veggie based meals.  
thrive     thrive fitness 
I am alos subscribed to (free of course)
Thrive in 30
 "Thrive in 30 is a free 30-day online wellness program focusing on plant-based nutrition and offering a fresh approach to total body health. Sign up now to receive 12 email lessons on different key health-enhancing topics including lifestyle tips and short video segments with vegan Ironman triathleteBrendan Brazier."

Here are some additional resources for recipes and tips on whole foods eating..

See the free diet and fitness planner sheets I posted earlier on my blog here.  I use these to be intentional about the way I eat and how much water I drink. I do not believe in restrictive starvation diets or life consuming diets.  Mentally you have to be able to handle the diet and still enjoy life. Tracking what you are eating and when is a great way to help you shed some unwanted weight or just improve your overall health.

How are you doing on your diet and exercise goals this summer? What sorts of things would you like to see here to help you reach your goals?  


Friday, July 29, 2011

Freebie Friday! Free Amy Butler purse / bag pattern

It's Friday and you know what that means!  FREEBIES!!  I love this free Amy Butler purse pattern,

Love to see your finished product when you get it done!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

5 flat belly moves & nutrition inspiration - for Wellness Wednesday

We all want flat abs for summer time so here are a few exercises to get you headed in the right direction.  I am hitting my work out regime hard again after a busy summer has taken its toll on my workout schedule.  I am also really trying to focus on whole foods like veggies, fruits, whole grains, and only the occasional chicken and fish (no red meat).  I am also starting to track my water intake to make sure I really am getting the requisite 8 cups a day.  I like to just keep a sticky note on the fridge and mark every time I drink 8oz of water.
My workout plan? 
Monday 8 am - Do Turbo Jam or Insanity or P90X with friends at the local church (there is a nursery         room for my kids to hang out in while I work out!)
Tuesday 6 pm - Show up for Zumba class1/2 hour early so I can do lunges, ab work and weights.  Then ZUMBA for 1 hour till I am dripping in sweat! (MY FAVORITE work out!)
Wednesday 6 am - Run for 30 - 45 min while Josh is home to watch kids.
Thursday 6 pm - Show up for Zumba class1/2 hour early so I can do lunges, ab work and weights.  Then ZUMBA for 1 hour till I am exhausted!
Friday 8 am - Do Turbo Jam or Insanity or P90X with friends at the local church 
Saturday and Sunday - Play hard!

Below are some tools to help you on your way to a flatter belly!

(Both of the above found on pinterest )
You can do it! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - Learning to sew? - links to tricks, tutorials and essential skills

It's Tutorial Tuesday but I wanted to do something a little different this Tuesday.  I know a lot of you love the ideas and crafts I post but you don't attempt them because you don't feel proficient enough in sewing to make them.   So this week instead of a tutorial on a particular project I wanted to have some tutorials available that will help you with your sewing skills so you can join in soon!  Sewing is an amazing art that is quickly making it's way back into the mainstream after a few years on the sidelines.  Even if you have never attempted anything these tutorials will help you get started.  Here are several that will help you on your way....

Click to Enlarge
List of sewing tutorials from sew 4 home

If you are looking for a comprehensive resource that will help you learn sewing from start to finish you will love Disney's sewing tutorials that cover everything from what you need to get started, how to thread your machine and on to shirring. Hope you get the bug and find the time to start learning to sew or improving your skill set!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Science fun for the kiddos - make ice cream in a coffee can!

Fun science project for kids! 
Make ice cream using a couple of coffee cans.
What could be more fun or yummier to do for a science lesson!

2 coffee cans with lids (one 2lb and the other about 13 oz size).
2 cups whole milk or experiment with thinner milks and note the differences. This is science after all!
1/3 cup sugar or use xyilitol or other natural sweetener. Other recipes call for 1/2 cup so it is up to you.
1 1/2  tsp vanilla
3 tbs chocolate syrup (optional for chocolate flavor)
About 1/2 cup Rock Salt
Pour all the ingredients except the rock salt into the smaller coffee can and seal the lid with duct tape. Place the smaller can in the center of the larger can and add the ice and salt around the smaller can.  Now put the lid on the larger can and seal it with duct tape to prevent leakage.  Have the kids roll it back and forth for about 20 - 30 minutes or until it looks solid like ice cream when you check it.  Be careful to rinse off the inner can before serving so that salt doesn't sneak in.  NOW THE FUN PART...EAT IT!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Freebie Friday - Free cheeky printable luggage tags!

I love these free printable luggage tags fom Amy at Living Locurto.  She puts out tons of great printables.  Perfect for all your summer time travel coming  up.  You just print them off attach a business card to the back so that your contact info is visible when you flip it over and laminate.  Next use a hole punch and attach with ribbon to your luggage!  No more accidental luggage confusion.
Free Printable Luggage Tags by
Hope you enjoy them.  They would make a great little gift as well.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Healthy main dish AND dessert with only 6 ingredients!

You heard me right.. A delicious main dish and dessert that is easy to make, low in calories, full of flavor and all you need are 6 ingredients!  You could whip this up in a hurry for tonight's dinner or turn it into a quick dinner for company if you add a simple mixed field green salad and whole grain artisan bread.

THE MENU: Grilled Bruschetta Chicken and Banana ice cream for dessert.
Photo courtesy of The Girl Who Ate Everything
Banana ice cream photo courtesy of The Kitchn
Here are the 6 ingredients you need -

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb.)
1/4 cup sun dried tomato vinaigrette divided or other vinaigrette according to taste.
1 tomato finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese.

1/4 cup chopped FRESH basil
and last but not least 
bananas for the ice cream

Chicken Bruschetta 
HEAT grill to medium heat.
COVER half the grill grate with sheet of heavy-duty foil. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag. Add 2 Tbsp. dressing; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 min. Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and dressing.
PLACE chicken on uncovered side of grill; cover with lid. Grill 6 min. Meanwhile, combine remaining dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil.
TURN chicken over; place on foil. Top with tomato mixture. Grill, covered, grill 8 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). (recipe adapted from KRAFT)

1 ingredient Banana Ice Cream
Bananas make great ice cream because the small amount of naturally occurring fat in bananas makes them become creamy and rich when processed.
Peel and slice bananas and then freeze them. 1-2 hours later when the bananas are frozen pull them out and throw them into a blender or food processor.  Viola! You now have rich , creamy banana ice cream.  If you want to get fancy you can throw in a spoonful of  peanut butter before processing.  
There you have it 6 ingredients is all you need for a quick healthy main dish and delicious ice cream.  ALL perfectly acceptable on your summer diet I might add!  Let me know what you think!  


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday- mason jar chandeliers and more jar ideas

I was looking for something fun for you all and came across a ton of fun uses for mason mars.  Here are a few tutorials to get you going.....
Mason jar storage tutorial from Liz Marie blog

Jars for office or craft storage (photo from re-nest)

Mason jar lantern tutorial from chezbeeperbebe

DIY Jar solar lights for inside or out from blog free people

You could even use two of the above tutorials (hanging lanters and solar jar lanterns) combined to create this look that came from Martha Stewart!

Tutorial for mason jar soap or lotion pumps from - the blissfully content life

What do you think? I love comments so let me know which project was your favorite!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Suffering from "mom hair"? Meet the sock bun that changed my life...

Who does not want to be more glamorous with less work?  I do!  I have had long hair for a while and was contemplating cutting it all of because I felt like I have "mom hair".  Every photo I would look at of mine had bad hair!  I do not want to have mom hair.  So I decided if I want to have long hair then I needed to find ways to do it. Spending a lot of time with a curling iron was not an option.  Moms often have mom hair for a reason... They are too busy chasing kids to worry about their hair.  With 4 kids 6 and under to chase I had to come up with some good solutions.  Here is one of my favorites since it is so versatile.

So here is what I found... THE SOCK BUN THAT CHANGED MY LIFE!

Now I would love to say how I used this technique and immediately met the man of my dreams, but I already have him, and that I got the job I have always wanted, but I already have that too as a mom who gets to stay home with her kiddos.  A luxury not everyone is able to enjoy.

So here is the real scoop... I saw this photo on pinterest with no credit as to who took it, but titled "sock bun curls".  "YES YES!!" I said and promptly looked up sock bun.  I discovered something amazing... heat free curls!  You just use the sock bun technique at nigh and sleep in it (you do it on the top of your head so it is comfortable), and when you wake up and take it out you get these curls.  It sounded too good to be true but IT WORKED!! My hair had long beautiful curls and it really was easy once you practice a few times.

Check out the following video on how to do a sock bun.  VERY helpful.

Here is a tutorial on how to do the sock bun as a style in itself from Cheeky Chicago

Another example of a great sock bun worn as a style all on its own.

Find a sock to cut and go get glamorous!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back yard ideas with pallets!

Since it is summer I have been working in my little back yard a lot lately.  Currently I am needing some inspiration for a few projects and I  am guessing some of you might as well. I am going to share my finds with you!

One thing I have recently discovered while being on a really tight budget is that pallets are a great free way to start projects.  Here are a few of the things I am interested in making....
from house and home
Great idea hu? Some shipping crates or pallets plus a single mattress covered or with  a piece of foam, add pillows and an easy homemade awning.  LOVE IT!

Need some seating?  Feeling crafty?
from cuarto derecha

Love these sectional benches from vtwonen
How cool is this kids picnic table from ana-white

This chair looks pretty comfy from curbly
This chair from studiomama would look great painted and or with cushions!

Or how about a little planter?

from apartment therapy

The best part is that pallets are usually free at industrial areas, hardware and ranch supply stores!
have you seen any ohter ideas from pallets that inspire you?  Check on pinterest as there are tons of pallet ideas.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado!

Had a great time at a wedding this weekend in Vail!  We took out little '83 Toyota Dolphin RV (aptly named "flipper") and 8 hours later we were in Vail with all 4 kids still in tow. Happy to say we did not at any point throw any of them out the window no matter how we were tempted!  There is always the chaos of travel whenever kids are involved, but it really didn't go too bad. We all had a great time once were there and the kids made new "best friends"  so that was fun.
The wedding was  gorgeous!  The scenery was to die for.  We used to live in Vail and that is where my husband and I met and every time we return we miss it all over again!  Piney is a 45 min drive from vail straight up into the mountains.  After a bumpy windy slow trip you are rewarded with these spectacular views.

Anyway, that is why I haven't posted as much in the last few days. I have lots of crafty posts in store! Check back soon!