Thursday, September 18, 2014

Healthy Lunches: The Little Mermaid Lunch

I will always be amazed how much a difference the presentation makes in the world of getting my picky eater to eat. The Cinderella Lunch is one of her absolute favorites, but coming in a close second is this one, inspired by The Little Mermaid. It gets her to eat and try new things. This one is really simple to make and uses mostly all things I have one hand. 

You will need: 
  • a croissant for the crab sandwich 
  • sandwich fillers, for us this is veggies and cheese as my little girl won't eat meat
  • toothpicks
  • sliced olives
  • fish cracker
  • blueberry Greek yogurt
  • celery sticks 
  • strawberries
  • the little sea urchin in the photo is a Rambutan, it is a small tropical fruit. It isn't something we normally have on hand, but my daughter's school sent it home as a snack one day and we thought it completed this lunch perfectly. You can substitute more strawberries for the Rambutan. 
Create your croissant sandwich with all of your child's favorite fillers. We use a ton of veggies in sandwiches, because I feel like it is a semi sneaky way to get more veggies in your child. Make eyes for your crab by adding toothpicks with olives. Fill one container with blueberry Greek yogurt. I use Greek yogurt because it gives her that extra boost of protein. I cut ridges into the tops of the strawberries, to turn them into little sea shells she can dip into her yogurt. She was delighted with the little sea urchin in this lunch, but like I said, a Rambutan is not something I usually keep on hand, so usually I give her more strawberries. We finished with celery stalks for dipping and fish crackers to add more mermaid flair. 

Remember to head over to Intermountain Healthcare's LiVe Well Facebook page to enter to win your own Lunch Blox between now and the end of September. Check back tomorrow for another healthy princess lunch! 
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Creating Priceless Movies With Your Kids and $500 Target Giftcard Giveaway

This post was sponsored by OneDay app. The App is free to download on iOS, all opinions are my own. 
I have always been a photographer, not a videographer. I have thousands and thousands of pictures of my kids. I have pictures of every milestone and moment, but very few videos. I find myself wishing I could just go back in time and listen to my sweet girls when they were younger for just a minute.

OneDay is a fantastic free iOS app, that allows you to create simple interview type videos with your kids. It provides you the questions, music, all you have to do is take the video. It allows people with little to no video expertise to create fun and cute videos almost instantly.
When you open the app, you will see all of your videos in thumbnails.  All you have to do is press the plus button on the side of the app, and it will have you choose a story. You can then pick one of their pre-determined prompts to ask your child. In the future, you will even be able to add your own prompts to the app. Each story has ten questions in it, to get your child talking about that specific topic.
 After you select a story, the screen will come up for you to record your child. Simply hit the bit red button and record your child's answer to the question on the screen. Topics in the app include About Me, About Mom, About Dad. After you record the video, you can save it to your camera roll or upload it for your friends and family to see.

In the future you will be able to write your own questions, change the music and change the age group your movie is focused on.
I really love the easy to use format of the video recording. The one thing I don't love that is that it shoots in horizontal format, my little girl is a crazy wiggler and horizontal video doesn't show who she is right now very well. I can't wait to see her answers in a few years, for the video below, my daughter wanted to answer the question "What is the funniest video you have ever seen?" Her answer? Was this one. She wanted nothing more than to dance to Taylor Swift's new song and nothing I could say would change her mind. The beauty of being 5, right? I love the video, something crazy, fun and totally her. I hope next time she will sit and give me answers, but for now I will take anything I can get.

Right now by creating your own simple OneDay Video, you can be entered to win a $500 Target gift card. Just follow the steps below.

1. Download the OneDay app
2. Create a video using the OneDay app.
3. Share your video to your Facebook page and be SURE to tag @OneDay in your post!
4. The winner will be selected randomly from everyone who shares and tags their video on Facebook.

This contest will end October 8th at 8 pm EST! You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You can find more information about OneDay updates by following them on Facebook or Twitter
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Frozen Elsa Gloves

 Elsa fever doesn't seem to be dying down any time soon, at least in our house anyway. One of the first things my daughter started asking for after seeing Frozen was Elsa gloves. Not the gloves she wears at the coronation, but white gloves like she wears when she is a little girl. We have looked every where for white Elsa gloves but we came to the conclusion if we wanted white gloves we were going to have to make them. When I found these gloves for .99 cents at Tag's, my local thrift store, I was thrilled. These gloves came together in about 20 minutes and she absolutely loves them.

You will need:

  • white gloves
  • blue heat transfer
  • a cutting machine or the patience to trace and cut
  • iron

First thing you need to do is prewash your gloves. I do this for any of my heat transfer projects and it is especially important if you bought them at the thrift store. Search online for Elsa glove designs, I found so many to choose from. Pick one you like and trace it in your design software or on a piece of paper. Cut out the design from blue heat transfer. Since this design is the same frontwards or backwards, there is no need to flip it. 
 Put your heat transfer on top of your gloves, make sure your gloves are facing the right way when you iron them on, so you don't end up with designs on the palms instead of backs of the hands.
Iron the design onto glove, for about 30 seconds, pull the plastic carrier sheet off, if any part of the design comes up, iron that part again with the carrier sheet for an additional 30 seconds. The gloves are ready to wear the second you are sure the vinyl is down, which for us meant they were on my daughter's hands about a minute later.  Do you have a little Elsa fan in your house? 
Earlier in the post, I mentioned Tag's Thrift Store, Tag's is a Utah local thrift store that is opening in Utah County this weekend and I just have to say that I am passionate about their main cause, which is working with Feed the World. They go into countries and teach small farmers how to provide themselves. They teach them how to feed their children and make sure they aren't going hungry. I love this program and everything it stands for. If you get the chance to look into their new store or Feed the World, do it.

My favorite thing about #TagsThrift? If you want to donate, but you would rather donate to another cause, they will gladly send what you would have made off your donation to another charity. We will be back often, just because I love their approach to charity so much.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Healthy Lunches- Cinderella

This post is sponsored by Intermountain Healthcare.  All opinions are 100% my own.
If I am being honest, there are few things about parenting that I have shed more tears over than food and nutrition. My 5-year-old is about as picky as they come. She fights against eating almost every form of protein and I have sat at the table after a meal, frustrated that it felt like I just went through a battle. 

This year, as apart of Intermountain's LiVe Well initiative, I have been practicing new tips and tricks to get the nutrition in my child without the battle. For my little girl, food is all about presentation. I could put some crackers and cheese on a plate and it will sit there until the end of time, but with a tiny bit of prep, we can have a very successful lunch. We have been using Rubbermaid Lunch Blox containers, they are a kind of Bento box that snap right into the ice pack, keeping the entire thing cold until lunch time. They are fantastic and I highly recommend looking into them. This isn't a paid advertisement for them, we just enjoy them in our house. 

I have been thrilled how much a little prep work gets almost twice the calories in my little girl and not just calories, healthy calories. Some of our favorite lunches are themed around her favorite princesses and super heroes. Today I am sharing Cinderella.

For a Cinderella lunch you will need:

  • crackers 
  • Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges
  • olives (just one or two for the nose and eyes on the mouse) 
  • a small slice of ham (just for the ears)
  • slices of something green, I used bell pepper because I know my kid will eat it. You could use celery. 
  • carrots and celery sticks
  • peanut butter
  • a small orange
My absolute favorite part of this lunch is the cute little cheese mouse. To make him, simply unwrap your cheese and place in a container, Pinch off small pieces of olive and place them for his nose and eyes, Cut small circles of ham and add them for the ears. I used a medicine syringe to cut the small circles for the eyes. Add the greenery for the tail. Another reason I love using a bell pepper for the tail is the natural curl in the pepper makes it look even more like a mouse. Peel your "pumpkin" and add a small green stem, I used pepper for this as well, but you could use celery. Cut crown peaks into your carrots and celery and add your dipping peanut butter to a container. 

I know some people will look at this lunch and think "Ain't nobody got time for that." but for a difficult eater, it is 100% worth it. Taking five minutes to prep this meal meant it got gobbled down without any fighting. That is a feat in our house. 

To help facilitate some healthy lunches in your house, Intermountain Healthcare is giving away 8 sets of Lunch Blox between now and the end of September. All you have to do it head over to their Facebook page for your chance to win. Check back tomorrow for another healthy princess lunch! 

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Easy Under the Sink Dishwasher Detergent Organization

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #CollectiveBias
 If there was one place in my house that was in desperate need of a makeover, it was under my kitchen sink. Everything was kind of haphazardly thrown in there and finding what you needed was always a pain. I have been putting it off forever, but when a sink leak ruined a bunch of dishwasher detergent, I knew it was time for an makeover 

 You will need:

  • Containers, various shapes and types. I liked having a container with a lid for my dishwasher tabs, but I liked the open ones for my other items
  • Vinyl 
  • Vinyl cutter or scissors
  • Transfer Tape
  • Credit Card (To apply the vinyl)
  • Dishwasher Tabs 

Cut out the words you need for your containers using a machine or trace them and cut by hand. The words I ended up needing were cleaners, dishwasher tabs and sponges. I also cut a bunch of 2 inch polka dots, just to add a little bit of flair to each of the containers.
Apply the transfer tape to the top of the vinyl, making sure it picks up the entire word. Center the word on your container and then use a credit card to smooth the vinyl down until secure. Remove the transfer tape.
Repeat with all of the containers you need for your sink.
When your containers have all of the words on them, place your polka dots. I love cutting my polka dots apart so I can see what it is going to look like before I actually secure them down using the credit card. I ended up using about 6 dots per container.
In my cleaners bucket, I keep the couple of cleaners we use around the house, my current cleaning sponge and my dustpan. In my sponges bucket, I actually keep my clean sponges that are waiting to be used and my dishwasher tabs container is just for my dishwasher tabs, which helps keep them dry when I am reaching into the cupboard for something else.
Right now, Finish Quantum Tabs are on an amazing rollback at Walmart and you can pair that with the coupon at the end of the post for extra #SparklySavings!
 We love Finish Quantum Tabs because they use hydrogen peroxide to help clean your dishes all while using less harsh chemicals. Even though they have less chemicals in them, make sure to supervise any children who are handling them.  Be sure to print out the coupon below for extra savings! 

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Friday, September 12, 2014

8 Fabulous Halloween Wreaths

It is coming. Costumes are hanging on racks in the stores. Halloween candy has its own aisle and I. Can't. Wait. Halloween is my 5-year-old's favorite holiday and her love for it is contagious. We fill out house with pumpkins and leaves and all links apple spiced. The first thing I always make for a holiday is a new wreath. Here are some of the ones I have been looking at this year. 
 Spooky Ghost Wreath at Better Homes and Gardens.
 Be-Witching Wreath by Craftomaniac
 Burlap Halloween Wreath by Housewife Eclectic.
 Lace Spider Web Wreath by The Thriftress
 Candy Corn Wreath by The Cards We Drew
 Mini Pumpkin Wreath from Snowflakes and Dragonflies.
 Pumpkin Wreath by Mommy X 3 = Insanity.
Spider Web Wreath at Artsy Fartsy Mama. 
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Three Cheese Baked Ziti

We don't make a lot of Italian food in our house, simply because my husband doesn't care for it. My daughter and I on the other hand, love it. I am always looking for amazing pasta recipes that will fill my craving for all things pasta but my husband will be happy to eat too. This recipe fits those requirements.

 I love the cheesy pasta and he loves the flavor of this dish. It is currently one of the only pasta dishes on our monthly rotation. The best part? It is super easy to pull together, making me love it even more. 
  • 1  16 oz Ziti (tube pasta)
  • 4 cups washed baby spinach and chopped
  • Spaghetti Sauce, 1 Jar or Homemade Recipe
  • 1   cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella 
  • 3/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2  teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper

Prepare your pasta according the package directions. Add your spinach to the boiling water with the pasta for the last minute of your cooking time. Drain the pasta and spinach and return to the pot. Stir in the ricotta, half of the mozzarella cheese, a 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and the spices. Press the mixture into a baking dish (9x13 Size) Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Baked at 350 for 30 minutes or until the dish is bubbly.  

What is your favorite pasta dish? 
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