Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cantaloupe

My cantaloupe addiction has started for the year. The ones from the stores are so so. Just like tomatoes and anything, they are a little blah and bland. Or at least from the stores I have access too.


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So which ever farmer has these at the market this summer, I sure do hope you keep a good supply coming. I will be visiting your table every weekend.


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I ate 2 whole melons by myself this past week. I eat them the day I cut them up usually. They rarely make it to the container to store them in. 

Do you get hooked on a certain fruit and just can't get enough?


Easter Egg Hunts !

Let the Easter Egg Hunts begin! I love everything about Easter Egg Hunts except for all the candy. But next year is probably her last year on the age for them, so what the heck!

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Sometimes fun needs to overrule health and teeth falling out from candy. You can't replace fun, but there's always false teeth. Actually for those of you that know me, I'm a tightass on allowing candy. She'll have this candy until the next holiday then it gets thrown out. 

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See those eggs on the bracket of the post? The kids couldn't reach them, so a kind baseball player got it for them.

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Then he took off with the egg! It was hilarious to see the kids screaming and chasing him. He dropped it and they got it, but it added a little excitement to an otherwise typical egg hunt. Doesn't take much in these here small towns.

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Afterwards, we go through the loot.

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And a quick self-timer selfie since I seldom get picture's with her, being the one behind the camera all the time.

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Did you go to any Easter Egg Hunts this weekend?


Easter Window Decorations

Homemade holiday decorations for our front window is kind of our thing around here. It's cheap, creative and fun. And I can throw it all away and not store it anywhere!

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Cheaper than a dollar poster board from the Dollar Tree. Markers. Few Google and Pinterest ideas.

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And wallah

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Do you and your kids make your own holiday decorations?



Foam Soap Pump

I have tried so hard to make these homemade foam soap pumps work. Mostly because I love mason jars, especially when they have pretty soaps and lotions in them to use as well. I have tried many, many ways to get them not to rust. From cutting the hole differently, to using a paint coatings that is supposed to prevent rusting, to hot glue gunning or caulking around the hole where it meets the pump. None of them worked for me.

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Until I discovered the plastic lids. These may have been out for awhile, but I'm a little slow. Months ago I bought wide mouth and regular ones, cut that hole, inserted the pump and have been washing our hands with no rust ever since.

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Hallelujah!  I love these. So easy and they were really cheap. Bonus!

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Standard Size - Set of 8

Wide Mouth Size - Set of 8


Do you have homemade soap mason jars? What have you done to prevent rusting? 



Friday, March 18, 2016

Nancy B's Science Lab - Review

This science lab was a winner for Ashlyn's birthday. She absolutely loves it. And when combined with another present, H2O Water Coloring Tablet, it makes it THE BEST gift ever!

She uses it in the kitchen but mostly in the bathtub. Which extends bath time by about an hour. We haven't even begun to use the book that came with it, the water color changing tablets are still just too fun. Because then you come up with your own experiments from there. Mixing colors, to see what you get. And the tablets foam, which is very science lab like.

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This is an excellent quality science lab. The test tubes, cylinder, beaker and stir stick are made from a firm plastic. They are 'not' glass. The test tubes come with rubber caps to tip upside down for mixing.

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This is easily adaptable for the younger scientists, as well as the older kids. I'd say it covers a good age range of 5 or so on up. The glasses are a little big, but they aren't going to fit every kid perfectly.

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The biggest and only complaint we have is, the dropper is kind of short. It won't reach to the bottom of the beaker or test tubes if they are under half full. Well the beaker make with her smaller hands. But not the tubes, it won't reach down far enough. I happen to have a pipette which is longer and that works great. She still uses the dropper that came with it though.

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So far, we have not had any issue with the tablets staining anything. They aren't supposed. So far so good. It's nice, it comes with tiny tablets and big tablets. Big ones work great in the cylinder and beaker. Little ones are excellent in the test tubes.

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I highly recommend this set as well as the water tablets. It's got so much learning value to it. 

Anyone else have good science ideas for kids?  Anyone experiment with the water color changing tablets?




Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Shaklee Protein Energy Balls

I have always enjoyed protein balls, peanut butter balls, energy bites...balls, bites... whatever you want to call them. They are good.

Aside from just being good, once I started adding Shaklee's Energizing Soy Protein in Cocoa (Item #20670) to them, they became beneficial too. I wrote about the benefits of protein in your diet in this post, The Power of Protein.

When I started making these at home for only me and not to be shared with anyone, is when I noticed how much they curbed my appetite. The only thing I ever did different to them is add the cocoa flavored protein powder. I mainly did it because yes, I knew it was good for me, but come on...I really did it because peanut butter is always better with a little bit of chocolate flavor !!

I honestly don't know how many you should eat in a day. The whole bag sounds good most days. But I have 2 mid-morning and 2 mid-afternoon, with absolutely no desire to snack what-so-ever. I will sometimes pop an extra one or two right before a run for a little extra energy boost.

They couldn't be easier to make, which is a huge bonus or I'd never make them. Printable recipe below.  
   
Dump all ingredients in a bowl. I eye ball it, so there's a wee chance there's more than a cup of peanut butter in there. I hate putting peanut butter in a measuring cup for some reason.

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Mix until it's about the consistency of a smidge thicker cookie dough. Or as long as it forms easily for you. If you're the only one going to eat them, it's totally okay to eat some right off of that spoon! Hey, we've all done it. And if someone eats one, well...shhh it's our little secret.

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Use a melon baller to scoop them to make sure they are all perfectly proportioned. Roll with hands (clean ones of course) for a smoother more uniform look. 

Then pop them in the freezer just like this for about an hour. 

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Then you are good to go to store them in a freezer bag or container without them sticking to each other. Enjoy!

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Please share your recipe in the comments if you have one.  I'd love to try them. 


Printable Recipe


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Rainy Day Walk

After a very long inactive winter (even though the winter was quite short and extremely light and easy on us). Getting out for a good 4 mile walk feels great. Even with the chilly rainy weather. Ready to get back at it !!


rainy walk



 

Pet Seat Cover - Review

This cover proved to be great pets and kids.
 

I thought this cover was a great idea when I first saw it. I'm so tired of covering the seats with a sheet or blanket to have them fall and move out of place. 

dog seat cover 01
Straps: the straps easily hook onto the 4 headrests and adjusts as needed. I've used this in a Jeep Cherokee and a Dodge Dart, fits both vehicles great. 


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Seat Belt Slit: if you need the seat belts for your dog, adults or kids while this cover is in place, it has 2 slits to allow the seat belt to fasten. If you have a bench seat, there's no way for the middle seat belt to come across the chest, it mainly works for the 2 outside seat belts. Which is fine in most cases since your dogs are back there anyway. 


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Zip: it has a zip that's at the middle of the front seats to allow your dog to stay in the back, but peek through to the front. I prefer my dogs to stay all the back and down, so I liked keeping this zipped. Kept them from trying to put their front paws on my middle console and smooch (or block my view) while I'm trying to drive. 


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Hair: kept dog hair and dirty paws completely off my seat. I can see how you might get a very minimal amount at the edge of your seat while they are jumping to or from. But I lift mine in, so I had no hair or dirty paw marks at all on anything but the blue seat cover. 


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Quality: it seems to be made of very good quality. I don't see how dog nails would poke through, it's thick. And the straps seem thick and strong as well. My dog seemed to lay down most of the time, when he did stand, it didn't seem to pull or tug at the straps on the head rests at all. 


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Sudden Stops (Crash Pad): if you don't strap your dog in (I don't) and you make a sudden brake (I do), they can go forward into the seat or down on the floorboard. With the cover in place, it prevented that. So it acts as a crash pad too.

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Kids: I did use this once for the kids while they had a snack in the car. Which worked great, you just can't have the middle console flipped down to holds drinks and such. Depending on their age and snack, could be a little inconvenience.

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I've been very, very happy with the cover.   


What do you use for your dogs in the car? This is way better than vacuuming those seats and floor boards.




I received this product at a discount in exchange for my honest opinion. 


Friday, March 11, 2016

Jenna Wolfe - Women's Health & Lifestyle Fair

I had a pretty neat Saturday a couple weeks ago. On a regular old Friday night, I grabbed the unread newspaper from 2 days prior to that. Because I'm one of those really cool people that reads old newspapers on Friday nights. If you can't handle the excitement, I understand. 

Half way through the paper, I see a picture of Jenna Wolfe. I have actually only recently in the last year even ever heard of her. But since I have, I've been following her website, facebook and public appearances like any good little stalker should. 

Here's the kicker, she was going to be in the Quad Cities the very next day! She was going to be the main speaker at the Women's Health and Lifestyle Fair in Davenport, IA at the RiverCenter. How often does this happen? Not very! So even though Ashlyn would be with me all day, I felt like crap and was tired from having a cold....I was going no matter what. So Ashlyn and I grabbed my Mom and off we went. 

Wondering why on earth I haven't heard of the Women's Health & Lifestyle Fair before. Wondering how many great speakers I've missed in the past. My Mom informed me this was their 25th year of having it. Ah that explains it !  It's only been around for a measly 25 years!! Jeesh. I guess that's where staying home on Friday nights gets me.   

The whole shindig is put on or sponsored by or whatever the correct word is, by KWQC. So Paula Sands was there. Which is neat and weird to see your local "TV people" for real. 

Jenna Wolfe - Women's Health & Lifestyle Fair (2)

All the other KWQC cast taking questions from the crowd, coming out from behind the TV screen "for real".

Jenna Wolfe - Women's Health & Lifestyle Fair (1)

Then the celebrity guest speaker Jenna Wolfe came out and took the stage. She talked and took questions for about an hour.

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The facts...she used to be the lifestyle and fitness correspondent on NBC's Today Show. And a sportscaster prior to that I believe. Now she's a certified personal trainer, health and wellness expert.

Jenna Wolfe - Women's Health & Lifestyle Fair (5)

Why I like her.....she's normal and real for giving advice to the everyday average busy person. What I mean is, she gets it. She gets everyone is busy. But not busy enough to not make your health a priority. She's not going to tell you that you have to sign up at the gym, spends hours doing this or that, benching 10,000 lbs, taking all exercise classes you can.  Because it's not realistic for the average person. And everything out of her mouth is what I think and believe in also. Her tips are real and doable. She's putting it all out there. It's up to you, to actually do them.

Jenna Wolfe - Women's Health & Lifestyle Fair (4)

You don't need to spend a penny if you don't want. You can squeeze mini workouts and exercises in whenever you have time. Little things that add up to big changes over time. You think you don't have any time left for exercise. But it's all in your head because others make us think unless you can fit an hour in here or 2 hours there...it's useless. You missed your time slot. But that's not true. 5 minutes here, 3 minutes there, while your on the phone, or waiting for water to boil, or whatever whenever you think of it, do a few of anything. Jumping jacks, toe raises, arm circles, countertop push ups, anything. And it all adds up at the end of the day.  And you haven't spent a penny, but you gained a lot. Doing something is better than nothing.

Jenna Wolfe - Women's Health & Lifestyle Fair (3)

Her book tells so much more, called Thinner in 30. She's very inspiring for reminding you what you already know to do. I'll be getting her book soon to learn more of her great tips and tricks. I was so glad we went even though I didn't feel to hot. Guess I'll start going now that they are already 25 years into it. Wish I could have met Jenna and gotten my picture with her, but it was still really neat to go and snap a few picture's during her speech.

They also have cooking demonstrations by Hy-Vee and health and wellness demonstrations by Genesis Health System. A ton of vendor booths featuring fashion, fitness, home decorating, health and wellness, financial, food and cooking, entertainment and many more. I did not see a Shaklee booth there. Maybe I should take care of that in the future.

Speaking of Hy-Vee. They had something going on that had a line out the ying-yang!! I mean snaked through, all around, out the door, all around again. We were not able to, nor did we want to wait in a line that long. But we are dying to know, what in the hell was at the end of that line? Samples along the way? What was it? Please leave in the comments section if you went and know. 

FYI - You get a lot more free stuff from these booth's if you have a cute little shy smiling kid with you. 

Have you ever got to meet or see in person your favorite celebrity person?


Well Rested - Ready for Spring

Although we had a very mild winter this year, I do believe we are very well rested.

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The past couple of days have been so nice. We are waking up from hibernation.

toby roll

Getting our stretches out.

spencer stretch

Enjoying those first few warm sun moments. The signs of spring are out there.

toby face

Spring smells are in the air.

spencer face


We are all very much ready to get outside. We are airing up tires, digging out bats, balls and sidewalk chalk. Switching totes from sweaters to tank, boots for flip flops. 

Bring on Spring. We are ready ! 


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