Thursday, January 30, 2014

No Bake Apple Pie Bites

So, we're in the last week of January.  Can you believe it?  How are those New Year's resolutions going?  I've had some ups and downs with mine.  One reason is the weather: I don't want to get out in it, and the kids have had too many snow days.  I'm learning to work around this, though.  Trying to exercising with videos, being more consistent in drinking my smoothees, and cutting back on the processed foods.  The only easy one is drinking my morning smoothee - well, as long as one of the kids doesn't drink it before me.  Thank you, Shaklee!

To help with the processed foods, I've just had to stop buying them.  It's hard as a mom with several kids not to just grab junk off the shelves at the store for quick and easy snacks, though.  I've had to be somewhat creative to keep a full out revolt from happening in our home.  Keeping lots of fruit on hand helps.  Yogurt, granola bars, salsa and nuts are also great snacks for the kids.  But, sometimes, we all just want some of those comfort foods we gave up even though they aren't good for us.

Here's my solution to apple pie - no baking, all natural, 6 ingredients, and super yum!

No Bake Apple Pie Bites

1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
1 cup dried apple slices
1/2 T cinnamon
pinch of salt
water, if needed

 (Make sure you have someone on hand to sample your ingredients for quality.)
Place all ingredients in a food processor and chop until it resembles a coarse gravel.  The natural sugar from the dates should hold everything together.  If not, add a small amount of water to help things stick a little.
 Spoon out about a teaspoon at a time and form into bite size balls.
Have a cute, little one sample the finished snack to make sure they are the perfect size and shape for snacking.
 Store in a container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (If they last that long.)
That's it.  So Easy!

A couple of notes:
1. The type of date does make a difference.  Medjool dates seem to have more moisture in them than the others we've tried.  You'll have to add more water to get everything to stick together if another type is used.  Just remember to add a little at a time.
2.  A pinch of salt makes the flavors really pop in this recipe.  If your cashews are salted, don't add any additional.
3.  This is an easy recipe to make from all organic ingredients.  Or, just use what you can find at the local grocery.  It's your choice.

Don't forget - Today and tomorrow are the last days to join with Shaklee 180 on AutoShip and get up to $100 in free products and a year of free shipping!  This applies to the Shaklee 180 Turnaround Kit, the Shaklee 180 Energizing Smoothee Kit, and the Shaklee 180 Lean & Healthy Kit.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Smoothee Thief

I consider myself a pretty generous person.  However, I'm going to start thinking twice before handing my breakfast 180 smoothee to the little boy sitting behind me in the car.  Either that, or I'll be faster about drinking it.

We've really been enjoying playing with Shaklee's flavors.  One of our favorites is one of the simplest we make, and I'm going to share it with you.

Strawberry Banana Smoothee

1 banana peeled
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 scoop Shaklee 180 vanilla smoothee mix
3/4 cup milk (I use organic 2%)

Place all of this in a blender or the like.  (I use our NutriBullet) Mix until smooth.  Enjoy!

Such and easy and nutritious treat.  The way my kids react, you would think we were serving them ice cream at 8 in the morning!  A great start to the day for my kids packed with lots of the nutrition they need with no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives added.  Happy kids, happy mom.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Basic H2 Concentrate

I love this stuff!

One bottle of Basic H2 concentrate makes 3 nontoxic, natural cleaners for our home.  I've had this same bottle of concentrate for months.

I can use it on all our hard surfaces around the house.

It cleans glass and mirrors like a champ.
(Still not sure why there was toothpaste smeared on the bathroom mirror, but my daughter was able to erase that little lapse in judgement with minimal effort.)

Basic H2 keeps my stove top clean and shiny no matter what is cooked on it.  Last night it was smoked sausage.  A few nights ago, it was hamburgers.  Could you tell?  Didn't think so!

I can even use it to clean my stainless steel appliances without worrying about which direction I wipe the surface or leaving streaks.
Even bigger bonus?  I have a cleaning product that works and I have no problem letting my kids help out with the cleaning.
Wanna talk economics?
Have you ever paid that price for a bottle of organic cleaner off the shelf at a store?

I have yet to use Basic H2 and be disappointed.  Simply can't imagine ever going back to the cleaners I used to use.  No longer do I have to worry about streaks, residue, harmful fumes or disappointing results.

Have some questions?  Contact me! Leave a comment here, ask a question on the Facebook page, or email me.  I'd love to help.  Also, thanks to those of you who have already purchased products from me.  I really appreciate it!

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Additions

I've been spending a little time here and there tweaking the blog.  I've added some social media buttons on the right of the screen to make things easy on everyone to stay connected.  Along those lines, I would love it if everyone would 'like' the Facebook page.  I'll be putting other information there that may not warrant a full post here on the blog.

Another thing I decided to add is a page for Our Favorites.  We use a lot of Shaklee products, but the ones I put on the page are the items that have made the biggest difference for us.  They are items we were already purchasing, we just made a change in the brand we like.

In other news, Madi has been neutropenic for several days now.  We had to head into the cancer center today to get a CBC to see if her numbers had improved.  I'm glad to report she is above where they would like her ANC to be and she can return to taking her chemo medications and going to school.  Yay!

Anytime you would like to follow Madi's story, you are more than welcome to click on the page link above - that will take you straight to the blog I have devoted to her.  I'll try to let everyone know, either on Facebook or here, each time I write a new post for her.

Thanks for all the support!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pirate Room Curtains

A little over 4 years ago, my husband and I found out that little bun in my oven was a boy.  (What?!?) Let me tell ya - after having 4 girls, we were shocked to find we could produce a boy.  Such an exciting addition to our family! 

Our little boy is now 3 and we have all enjoyed the differences.  Kevin likes having someone to share all his sports information and knowledge with. (Yes.  I know girls can like/enjoy sports, as well.  However, our girls will never be sports fanatics.)  Our girls have enjoyed having a little brother for the toys that were introduced into our home after his birth: trucks, guns, dinosaurs, legos and such.  I LOVE dressing a kid in something other than frills and bows.

Another bonus for me is my chance to decorate a little boy room.  I don't know how many different themes I contemplated.  It had to be cute and fun, but it also had to grow with him.  I wanted it to be something a little different from the norm.  After much deliberation, a pirate theme was settled on and I started combing the internet for ideas.

I had so much fun gathering all my supplies and picking colors to be used.

I got to be really creative and even drew on the walls to add several unique items to the room.
I dedicated one wall to having an ocean view.
And, of course, he needed to have a treasure map on one wall.
And his room would have had all this and more!  But, about the time I got half way through this mammoth project, my son met this guy.
And soon, these guys were also introduced.
And it was all over.

While my original design idea was great, my little boy's heart seems to be more in love with Marvel.  And, that's okay.  However, I really want to share with you all my curtain idea.  Doesn't it look like a ship's mast and sail?
This was such a super easy project!  

All it required were two beige tab curtains (hand stitched together),
some twine or rope and some electrical tape.
The twine was already loopy, so it made things easy when stringing it though the tabs on the curtain.
I then searched the internet for nautical knots that were authentic, but were also aesthetically pleasing.  I  then cut 3 lengths of twine that were the same to allow for drape in the curtain and the knot.  Electrical tape was used to hold the ends in place.
It really looked great in the room until Spiderman, The Hulk and a few others moved in.  *sigh*  

I'm hoping someone else will be able to use this idea in their little boy's pirate themed room and allow my creative moment to live on.  (Even if Marvel characters killed it off in our home.)  Such is life!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Snow Daze

Things have been busy around here lately!  The kids got an extra 6 days of Christmas vacation due to the winter weather that hit the midwest these past 2 weeks.  I love my kids, but I think we are all relieved to be back to a normal routine.  There was lots of playing, arts and crafts, electronics being played, lego builds, time in the snow (when it wasn't -20 out), and creativity.  This all led to lots of cleaning needing to be done!  We had a lot of fun with the extra time spent together, though.  Now to get the refrigerator and pantry restocked.

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Shaklee 180

Have you made any New Year's resolutions?  Get organized?  Do better through the year on x, y, or z? Loose weight?  Redecorate a room in your home or several?

My personal goals for the year are very simple: get organized, get healthy and be productive.  Since the kids are home from school because of weather, I've been a bit slow getting started.  Now that you all know, though, I'll have to follow through on mine and share as I accomplish my goals.

Since so many people are making resolutions to loose weight and improve their health, I thought Shaklee 180 would be something of interest to a lot of people.  
Shaklee 180 Turnaround Kit
Now, those of you who know me personally, know I don't need to loose any weight.  (Get healthy, workout, gain muscle - yes.)  That doesn't mean I don't use some of the products.  I love the Energizing Vanilla Smoothee.  It's a great meal replacement when I'm busy and I don't take the time to really eat.  Or, sometimes I have it in addition to my meal.  Add a banana to the smoothie in a blender and that tastes great, too!

The snack bars are nice to have in our pantry or even a couple in my purse.  Being able to grab something quick and easy and healthy, reduces the chance of me going through a drive-thru or grabbing the Oreos or something as equally bad for me.

Want some incentives other than just loosing weight?  This program has so much to offer!  There's a Shaklee 180 Facebook page for support and even a photo contest.  To help you track your progress, there's a Shaklee 180 app and supporting website where you will learn healthy habits and help you stay accountable.  This is a whole program to give you all the tools, support, products and rewards you need to be successful.

Order your kit before the end of January! Here's why-

From now through January 31, 2014, new Members who join with a Shaklee 180® Kit or PAK on AutoShip will receive:
  • Up to $20 in free shipping each month of their first three consecutive months on AutoShip (including join month).
  • Up to $100 in free Shaklee products once they complete their first three months on AutoShip.
  • Up to $20 in free shipping for every consecutive month their Shaklee 180® product kit remains on AutoShip for the rest of the year!
This limited time, never before offered promotion rewards new people with up to $340 of value for making the decision to get healthier…and sticking to it – perfect for “New Year’s Resolution” season.
***A Shaklee 180® Kit must be put on AutoShip during the join process. 

Have some questions?  Please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns!  Or leave it in the comment section below.  If I don't know the answer, I have a support group who will help me find the answer for you.
Good luck to everyone on any and all resolutions!  I'm looking forward to a great 2014!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

a new start

Welcome to My Life!  I'm so glad you've found your way to my new blog!

Why a new blogging location, you ask?  Well.  To put it simply, things have changed.  Big changes and little changes have been happening over the years and my life has changed as a result.  I'm constantly being molded and shaped in small ways as time passes.  I no longer felt my previous blog, This Too, was really able to encompass all that my life has become.

Is crafting still a part of me?  Of course.  Just not as big a part of me.  I'll still get my 'crafting' on, but not nearly as much as I used to.

Do I still play with recipes?  Yep.  I'll make sure I incorporate all of the previous recipes on this blog along with some new, healthier recipes to come.

What about my daughter and her illness?  Ah.  This is a big source of the biggest changes in my life!  Madi is doing well; however, taking care of her (and my other kids) definitely takes up a lot of my time.  It also has influenced me in making some other changes in my life.

One of the biggest changes?  I'm now a business owner - a Shaklee distributor!  This is huge and exciting and scary all at the same time!  It's also a great thing for us.  I'll be sharing a lot about this company and the great products we've been using!

I still have the desire to share what is going on in our lives, but there will be some new focuses as I go forward.  The start of a new year seemed like a great time to kick-start this endeavor and share it with everyone.  I'm basically bringing the facets of my life into a little better focus and sharing it all in one location rather than scattered among several.

I'm looking forward to another wonderful year!  I'm hoping you all will stick with me and invite your friends along for this new direction my life is traveling.

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