Friday, July 26, 2013

Playing Hookie.

It is time for my family vacation. :)  I will be very busy having fun with the special people in my life. I will be back to blogging in 2 weeks. See you soon. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pirate Party Part 1

Back in May we celebrated my son's 5th birthday. I know, it has seriously taken me this long to blog about it, what can I say, life happens and we are busy. In the interest of some privacy, I will not disclose my children's names here on the blog, who knows how many crazy people there are out there that could find a way to corrupt my life. :) Seriously though, you never know. I will begin referring to my children as B and R. B is my oldest son, he is 5. R is my youngest, he is 2. Yes. I have two boys. :)

So...B chose to have a pirate party this year. He wanted to invite his entire preschool class to his party. If you've ever hosted a children's birthday party you know that the larger the number of kids who attend, the crazier and more chaotic the party. With a little persuasion we compromised, and allowed him to invite five friends.

Here are some pictures of the supplies we got for our pirates. 
My sister found the bandanas, and I picked up the patch at Target and the sword at the dollar store.

I kept the party snacks pretty simple. Paper cups filled with organic popcorn, fruit kabobs, and pirate cupcakes.
The pirate cupcakes were delicious. I did not make them gluten free, but the chocolate cupcakes are egg free. The vanilla cupcakes are pretty standard. My sources tell me they were yummy.
Recipe for chocolate cupcakes:
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c, sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. veg oil
1 c. water
1 tsp. vinegar
Bake at 350 for 25 min.
Recipe for Vanilla cupcakes:
1/2 c. softened butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. cold milk
Bake at 350 for 20 min. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cocoa Balls

Are you in love with dates yet? Since my discovery of dates a while back I feel like I cannot get enough of them. They are the perfect staple in any bar, ball, or bite you can make. If you haven't given them a fair chance now is the time. These mouth watering little cocoa balls are the perfect healthy snack/dessert. They only take a few minutes to whip up, and offer a nice feeling of accomplishment. Think of it this way, you make these kinds of sweet treats at home while saving money, eating healthier and having fun. Did I mention there is no sugar? Enjoy!

You will need:
2 cups dates, pitted
1 cup pecans
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2-3 Tbs. coconut oil

That's it. Just mix all up in the food processor and roll into balls. I store mine in the fridge, but they will do fine at room temperature too.

Friday, July 19, 2013

5 Benefits of Yoga for Kids

My boys and I recently started doing yoga at home. I have found this to be a sure way to involve the kids in a healthy activity that has proven to be very beneficial for their minds and bodies. Not only does it provide a fun activity, but it also provides many benefits that help your child grow. There are many long cold days in the Winter months that drag without something new to engage in. I have found the summer months to also have a few days where it is actually too hot to even play outdoors. Bring out some kids yoga during these times. You might decide to implement this into your child's routine permanently.

5 Benefits of Yoga for Kids include:

1. Relaxation- With school, sports, dance and all the other organized activities our kids are involved in, they can get tired quickly. Sometimes I think we should take it down a notch and give them a chance to relax and take a break. Yoga provides your mind and body with natural relaxation. Once in a relaxed state, your brain can shut off any unwanted stressors, or hyperactivity. 

2. Inner fulfillment- Daily, or weekly yoga exercises can become enjoyable, thus creating a new hobby for you and your little one. Try implementing yoga into your morning routine. A little yoga after breakfast can help create a positive outlook on the day ahead. Kids can dive into life's challenges with an anxiety free outlook, and achieve many of their personal goals.

3. Boosts self esteem- Deep breathing during yoga helps boost self esteem and confidence. The deep rhythmic breathing helps calm your nerves, and lower anxiety. Once these skills are learned at a young age, they are easily carried on into adulthood.

4. Enhances strength and flexibility-  I like to look at yoga as pretty much an accident free activity. Certain yoga poses work your muscles as you hold the pose for a period of time. Gradually over time your muscles will become more flexible making these poses easier.

5. Improves everyday focus and concentration- While engaging in yoga poses our bodies natural response is to decrease the amount of adrenaline it produces, making us more clam and able to concentrate or focus on an activity. This is particularly helpful for school age children who need to pay attention to a classroom lesson, or take a test. Sometimes it is difficult to sit still, especially for those kiddos who struggle to keep focused.

Challenge yourself to yoga once a week to start. Let me know how you make out.

Image found here

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

We are having some hot summer weather here in Maine. No one want's to cook in this heat, so last night for dinner the kids and I kept it light with salad and smoothies.  My husband was not home, or I never would have got away with such a light dinner. He needs way more food than that, but for the kids and myself, it was a just right. The smoothie was a nice and refreshing treat. 
How are you holding up in this heat wave?

You will need:

2c. Almond Milk
1c. Frozen Strawberries
1 Fresh Banana
1 Frozen Banana

That's it. Just blend all ingredients together, and enjoy!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Choo Choo

Here is another summer lunch that was packed for a day trip. This planet box makes packing so easy, and trash free, I just love it! I would eventually like to get a planet box for each of us, but we haven't splurged just yet.

This lunch includes a train sandwich with ham, cheese, mayo, and spinach. You know he loves pickles, so I couldn't leave that out. Pretzels, orange wedges, cherry tomatoes, and raisins complete this lunch. I added a sesame chia bar for a sweet treat. Recipe shown here.

How is your summer going?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sunbutter Cups

Look at these babies. Oh they are so good.  I cannot describe how delicious these are, you simply have to try them for yourself. It is such a great feeling when you make something so mouth watering that has only wholesome ingredients. There are no nasty additives or flavor enhancers like those that you buy in the store. This is basically candy that is safe to eat. good!

You will need:

mini muffin cups
1/4 c. sunflower butter
2 tbs. pecan meal, or almond meal
2 tbs. raw honey
20 oz. dark chocolate, melted


Mix together the sunflower butter, pecan meal, and honey in a stand mixer. You can alternate peanut butter or almond butter for the sunflower butter, you will just have to alter your ratio a bit. The mixture needs to be thick, and able to roll into a ball.

Next, melt the chocolate using a double boiler, or a glass bowl over a saucepan with simmering water.

Spoon the melted chocolate into the bottom of the mini muffin cups, adding only enough to cover the bottom. Then roll a small clump of the sunbutter mixture into a ball, and flatten. Add the flattened ball to the center of the muffin cup. Finally, spoon chocolate over the top.
 Here comes the most challenging part. Waiting for them to freeze. :) I made mine around noon, and we feasted on them for dessert. Everyone had at least two.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Turkey and spinach roll ups

I actually found organic apricots  which is certainly not an every day find for me. :)

This is a lunch that I packed for my son when he went on a day trip last week.

Here we have turkey and spinach roll ups with ketchup to dip. A fresh organic apricot, that did not fit in the planet box, but did make the picture, a cup of blueberries, gluten free pretzel sticks, and a yogurt tube. Havarti cheese cut into a car shape made a fun little addition too.  I also added some chocolate covered sunflower seeds that I got a Trader Joes.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fudge Pops

This is a perfect choice for a summer treat. Skip the high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors, and make simple treat yourself. If you have a blender, and a freezer, than this one is easy and sure to please.  We had this for dessert last night. It was delicious.

You will need:
12 oz. Vanilla coconut milk
1/4c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbs. raw honey

Blend all ingredients together, and pour evenly into small paper cups. Place in the freezer for 1 hour. Add popsicle sticks, and continue to freeze until set. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day Pops

Happy 4th everyone!  My family and I just got home from a nice fourth of July parade on this very hot day, and now to enjoy one of these frozen fruit and yogurt pops. There really is no recipe to follow here. Just grab some frozen berries and vanilla yogurt, and start blending. Once you have poured your mixtures into the mold, simply set in the freezer overnight. I was hoping my colors would not run, but they did. Oh well, they will taste yummy to the little one's all the same. I bought this star mold from amazon, and the lollipop sticks from JoAnn Fabrics. I'm sure you could get those anywhere. Click here for the link for the star mold.

Have a safe and Happy day.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Reading for mom

Have you read this series yet? 

Summer time is the perfect time to curl up in a beach chair or hammock with a good book. I love it when I find a good book, or series to capture me. I am taking part in the adult summer reading program at my local library. There are great prizes, and they are not just for the kids. My children have been reading away also. They are very motivated by prizes.They just love it.  Are you participating in a summer reading program?

 Find a sitter and take yourself to the beach to relax and read, we all know there is no relaxing at the beach when the kids are involved.  Another perfect time to read during the summer is during a thunder storm. I LOVE thunder storms. There is a certain amunt of peace about them.  Whatever little bit of time you can manage, lose yourself in good book this summer. Mommy's deserve a mental break.

*Image found here