Kid-Friendly Breakfast “Milkshake”

imagesIn an effort to take a bit more control over my health, I’ve been trying a new way of eating this past month. It’s a “diet” based mainly on fruits and vegetables, with things like beans, seeds, nuts and a dash of good whole grain carbs thrown in. It’s referred to as the Nutritarian lifestyle. I still indulge in some salmon and occasional meat and/or dairy, but try hard to focus on big salads and fruit for dessert. I’m finding that I want less and less of the crap now that I’m so used to reaching for lettuce and grapes. WEIRDness.

For those who are curious, check out “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Furhman. Could be a life changer, jus’ sayin.

(Disclaimer: The 10th anniversary chocolate brownie gluten free cake with cream cheese whipped cream frosting that I devoured over the last 3 days DOES NOT COUNT. I repeat, DOES NOT COUNT. Anniversary calories mean nothing. NOTHING, I SAY!)

So, the “milkshake”. The best part about the shake is that you can sneak nutrient-dense greens into it and no one will be the wiser. Here is a typical morning “milkshake” that my kids will fight tooth and nail for (that will literally strengthen their teeth and nails, har…har…? Yeah, don’t quit my day job just yet. I know.):

2 cups kale

1 cup berries (any kind you want, frozen is good too!)

1 ripe banana (to mask the taste of the greens for the kiddos)

1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple

2 tbsp. flax meal (oh yeah, omega-3s!)

1.5 cups almond/coconut milk

8 – 12 ice cubes depending thickness preference

Put everything in a blender (I have a very special relationship with my Ninja blender!) and blend until smooth. Add as many, or as few, ice cubes as you’d like until the consistency looks right. I like my shake on the thicker side and extra cold.

Word of advice, add darker berries like blueberries or raspberries to change the overall color. Otherwise, the green hue may be a bit off-putting for the younger crowd. Once they taste it – they’ll definitely ask for more!

Already tricking your own kids into drinking their fruits and veggies? What do you put in your “milkshake”? We’d love to know!

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Starbucks Buy One, Get One Holiday Drinks are HERE!

starbucks BOGOIt’s like Christmas is here already!

Starbucks is offering Buy One, Get One Free Holiday Beverages from November 14th – 17th between the hours of 2-5pm.

I can’t think of a better early Christmas present, can you??

This momma needs COFFEE!

Live Reindeer Cam!

santa sleigh and reindeer

How awesome is this?!

Yes, I am 31 years old and I still use the word awesome, especially when it comes to all things Christmas.

Check out this Reindeer Cam and let the kids (and probably your own) excited squeals take over!

My middle daughter is SUPER excited to “see it poop”…

So there you go. We are waiting anxiously on bated breath in this house!

Super Simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas

elf on the shelfSo who’s ready to break out their Elf on the Shelf already?

For me, it signifies the start of a beautiful little threat game I like to call: “You better get your shit together, the Elf is WATCHING!”

And besides, the little guy is sorta cute – with maybe a touch of creepy.

There are so many different types of Elves you can choose from nowadays, including precious girly ones! Either way you swing it, the Elf on the Shelf has quickly become a tradition for thousands of families.

Of course, putting your Elf on an actual shelf is easy peasy. Joining in this new found craze of setting up your Elf in certain “situations” to surprise the kids each morning? Plain ol’ exhausting.

But who am I to deny my children at least a few mornings of that crazy Elf’s shenanigans? So here’s a list of simple Elf on the Shelf ideas that you can do or set up in no time and still feel like you’re letting your Elf buddy live up to his full expectations. No mess or complicated shiz = Happy Mom!

The Pooping Elf

Nothing says kid-approved like POOP. Take a bakers cooling rack, lay a sheet of white paper over it and shove the Elf’s feet through the paper and holes of the cooling rack. This will allow the Elf to be put in the squatting position. Put an unwrapped Hershey kiss under his bum. Congratulations, you have a pooping elf!

elf on the shelf pooping

Photo courtesy of The Fancy Stanton

The Toilet Paper Elf

It truly doesn’t get any easier than this. Put your Elf through the middle of a roll of toilet paper and roll him down the stairs. Or if you want to be kind, roll it down the steps first, and then put the Elf in. Who knows, he might enjoy the ride!

elf in toilet paper

Photo courtesy of A Thrifty Mom.com

The Drunken Syrup Elf

All Elves love sugar. Everyone knows that. All kids love sugar. Everyone knows that too. This syrup slurping elf is pretty self explanatory but is still way up there on the cuteness factor.

elf syrup

Photo courtesy of JennaBlogs.com

The Cereal Overdose Elf

Another super simple idea. Take any box of cereal, open it up and shove your Elf face first into the bag. Make sure his legs are sticking up though! A few pieces of cereal around the box gives a nice effect.

elf in cereal

Toilet Paper TREE Elf

An alternate version of the Toilet Paper Elf. If you aren’t too much of a tree freak, like me, you won’t mind winding some toilet paper through the branches to make your Elf appear mischievous. Just make sure your small humans don’t yank the paper down and bring several ornaments along with it!

elf toilet paper tree

Photo courtesy of katieraines.blogspot.com

Held For Ransom Elf

Grab a bunch of band-aids, “tape” your Elf to a wall, fridge, cabinet – whatever floats your boat. Find a super hero toy or Nutcracker statue or anything else that is a bit menacing, and have them stand “guard” around the Elf. Your kiddos can come to the rescue!

bandaid elf

Marshmallow Bath Elf

A bowl. Some mini-marshmallows. An Elf. Done.

marshmallow bath elf

Photo courtesy of LivingLocurto.com

These are just a few of many, many Elf on the Shelf ideas you can set up this holiday season. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination! The kids will love anything you do, so long as they think that sneaky Elf did it all on his own. Happy Elfing!

It’s just been that kind of a day…

who are these kids

Anyone else ecstatic that today is almost over??

5 Easy Ways to Put Peppermint in Your Holiday

There are so many things to look forward to when the holiday season rolls around. Decorated trees, twinkling lights, snow. Hot cocoa, warm-hearted movies, family.

And peppermint.

In general, my life motto throughout the year is

eat-all-the-peppermint-patties-thumb

but when it comes to Christmas, peppermint takes on a whole new meaning. And I try to shove it, stir it or bake it into everything.

That being said, let’s get right to the 5 easy ways to put peppermint in your holiday!

Peppermint Brownies with Buttercream Icing

peppermint-brownies-1

These peppermint brownies by i heart nap time can whipped up in a shake. Probably eaten in a shake too – but it’s Christmas, calories don’t count. So get whipping!

White Chocolate Peppermint Dipped Oreos

peppermint oreos

Peppermint. Oreos. Chocolate. A perfect trifecta? Absolutely. Pink Cake Plate put together these super simple treats that would be great for a holiday gathering or friendly gifts for neighbors. Want to make your own? Pink Cake Plate says you will need:

Peppermint Oreos

White Candy Melts

Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking chips

\Melt the candy, dip the oreos, shake off excess candy, sprinkle with peppermint baking chips. Let harden.  EAT!!!

Peppermint Marshmallow Stirrers

peppermint marshmallows 2

What is hot cocoa without marshmallows? Especially peppermint marshmallows! Bargain Blessings puts together a version that is not only easy to assemble but also perfect for stirring a cup of hot chocolate. All you need are marshmallows, peppermint sticks, white chocolate and red sprinkles.

Melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave just until melted. Stir until smooth. Dip the end of each peppermint stick into the chocolate to act as a “glue” and put a marshmallow on the end of each stick over the chocolate end. Dip the marshmallow halfway into the chocolate and then put a small bit of sprinkles evenly over the chocolate. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

Peppermint Snickerdoodles

Peppermint-Snickerdoodles-recipe

Yeah, yeah. So quick peppermint desserts might be slightly dangerous for our waistlines. To that, I say: Eh, who cares? Especially when you see how easily you can throw together these peppermint snickerdoodles from Pillsbury.

Peppermint White Trash Candy

peppermint white trash

Not exactly sure how I feel about the name, but certainly sure how I feel about eating it. All of it. In my stomach. NOW. This peppermint white trash candy by The Domestic Rebel may just be a new yearly tradition for me. One I may or may not share with others. YUM-O.

I hope that everyone has a very peppermint-y holiday season – and okay, I guess you should probably share some of this goodness with others too. Just be sure to keep plenty of these 5 easy peppermint treats in stock for yourself as well for those long cold winter days!

A Sleek Way to Display Your Child’s Fridge Artwork

When it comes to my children’s artwork, I am truly proud.

I love the pictures they draw at school. I love the pictures they paint after school. I love the “mommy & me” stick figures they scribble before breakfast. And after dinner. And before bed. And whenever they find a scrap of paper under the couch. Or the broken crayon at the bottom of my purse…

But sometimes, it’s quite the artwork overload. And, of course, it’s ALL important. Every last doodle or dot. And where do my small little humans want to put it all?

The Fridge.

So I’ve been in this kind of limbo trying to figure out how to overcome my OCD to make their masterpieces look neat and tidy even though there will be 40 of them plastered to the fridge like wallpaper. I also want to avoid having to repeatedly scoop up fallen papers or hunting down cheap magnets that roll across my kitchen floor. every. time. I. open. the. door.

After a trip to my local Office Depot, I found these:

PhotoGrid_1383842760492

They are push pin magnets! Extremely strong magnets, at that. I can’t get over just how clean and simple and professional they look on my fridge. The best part? They stay put! So I snatched up several bags and went on a fridge “pinning” mission. Displaying your child’s artwork has never been sleeker.

IMG_20131108_085841

Photo courtesy of my Natalie – 3

IMG_20131108_085930

Photo courtesy of my Olivia – 5

If I can spend a good deal of time “pinning” ideas and cute things on sites like Pinterest, why not pin my own real life cute things in my home? Especially when they’re made by my 3 most favorite artists!

Redesigned By M

DIY-er who loves to redesign, repurpose, and reorganize just about everything.

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