Saturday, September 20, 2014

Healthy Peanut Butter Snack Cups + Giveaway


“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Monk Fruit In The Raw. I received product samples to facilitate my post as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”
I just started a health and fitness challenge and have been working really hard to choose healthy food options, and to be aware of why I am eating what I am eating.  We, as a family, are also changing up a few eating habits.  We are working hard at only having one sweet treat a week, but we also get a sweet healthy treat once a day.  This might include a granola bar, homemade graham crackers, Frozen Fruit Popsicle or these delicious new pudding cups that I just learned how to make!  

September is Childhood Obesity Month, and not that any of my children have a problem with that, but it it is definitely something we want to keep in mind and help our children stay healthy.  We have been incorporating Monk Fruit In The Raw into recipes as a way to reduce sugar without reducing taste. I have really liked this product a lot. I put it in my plain yogurt to sweeten it up a bit, and I also put it in my homemade lemonade.  It tastes really good, and my kids even like it!

Here are some facts about Monk Fruit In The Raw
  • It is made from delicious vine-ripened monk fruit, also called luo han guo. Originally harvested in the 13th century, it’s been making life more delicious for years now. 
  • Monk Fruit In The Raw is a wholesome, zero-calorie sweetener,
  • made with real fruit. It has a simple, sweet taste that can be used in any recipe that calls for sugar.
  • Monk Fruit In The Raw is ideal for moms looking to cut added sugars without sacrificing taste for their families.
  • Monk Fruit In The Raw has a simple, sweet taste that has the closest taste to sugar of any sugar-free, calorie-free sweetener.
  • Monk Fruit In The Raw is available in packets and a Bakers Bag that measures cup for cup, just like sugar.
  • Monk Fruit In The Raw has a simple ingredients list – no table sugar, molasses or sugar alcohols added
I chose to make these delicious snack cups. They came together in about 10 minutes and were very easy to make and tasted great!  My kids always ask me to buy those pudding snack cups at the grocery store, and I am the mean mom that never does, so when I saw this recipe I thought the kids would really enjoy it!


Peanut Butter Snack Cups
Recipe from Monk Fruit In The Raw
{Printable Recipe Here}
Makes 6 servings
2 cups fat-free or low-fat milk
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 Cup Monk Fruit In The Raw Bakers Bag.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large banana
6 (8-ounce) plastic cups or glass dessert dishes
1. Pour 1/4 cup of the milk into a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and
set aside for 5 minutes for the gelatin to soften. Place the peanut butter in a mixing bowl.
Add 1/2 cup of the milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth, 1 minute. Add the
remaining milk and whisk to blend. Mix in the Monk Fruit In The Raw and vanilla.
*Make these creamy snack cups using other milk alternative, if you wish, and increase the vanilla
to 1 teaspoon.
  

2. Set the saucepan over medium-low heat cook, stirring, until the gelatin melts and the
mixture is smooth, 1-2 minutes. It will look like milk. Pour this mixture into the peanut
milk mixture and whisk to blend. 

3. Place the 6 cups or dishes on a plate or tray. Using a ladle, divide the peanut milk
mixture among them. Add 2 or 3 banana slices to each. If desired, garnish each serving
with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon or cocoa powder. Refrigerate Peanut Butter Snack
Cups until they set, about 1 hour. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and
refrigerate until ready to serve. Peanut Butter Snack Cups keep for 2 days, covered in the
refrigerator. For lunch boxes, a Snack Cup wrapped with an ice pack will keep for 4
hours.  Makes 6 servings

I used my Ramekins, but you could use put them in paper cups, or those small glass dishes with lids for your kids to be able to take to school.  
I told my husband taking pictures of food is hard because when I say smile it never smiles back…but I think this picture my pudding cup is smiling back!
Monk fruit in the raw has offered one of my readers a prize pack consisting of a Monk Fruit In The Raw Bakers Bag and a box of packets!

Friday, September 19, 2014

"Believe" a Soccer Movie {Review}


I was able to see a pre-screening of the new movie Believe that was just released in theaters last Friday. This movie is set in 1984 and is inspired by the true events of Sir Matt Busby, legendary Manchester United football (aka soccer) manager, who helps a young wayward boy fulfill his dream! 

Mr. Busby, having lived with football all his life and survived the tragic 1958 Munich plane disaster in which 8 of his promising young players were killed, Matt, still haunted by the ghosts of the “Busby Babes” comes out of retirement for one last coaching challenge, to transform a young group of scallywags into a dream team to compete for the upcoming Manchester United Football League Cup.

This film was a fun and touching film to watch as a family. And with soccer loving kids we couldn't go wrong! My son said when he first saw the George playing soccer that he wanted to be as good as him one day!  The movie was a fun and touching family film, Believe tells the story of how Matt is finally healed, while continuing to inspire generations of dreamers and leaving the world’s greatest football team as his legacy.

I love learning things from good movies and talking with my kids about them. One of the things we talked about in the movie was the relationship he had with his mother.  His father passed away in a car accident when he was young and the mother is trying to do the best she can to raise this boy.  They have a hard time communicating, but it teaches that in the end if you love and communicate well with those around you life will be a lot easier.  It also has a great message of working hard to accomplish something and reaching for your dreams!  It was fun to talk to my kids about what dream they have and want to accomplish in their lives!


What to read more about it, check out their website here and see if it is in a theater near you!  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bible Bands - Faith Based Rubber Band Jewelry



As you already know, rubber band jewelry is the hottest new craze, and now you can try these adorable new faith based designs! Create fun, fashionable rubber band jewelry while strengthening and sharing your faith. Each design is associated with a Bible verse or story, such as:
  • A blue and white pattern to symbolize Christ’s baptism
  • Circles of color to link families through genealogy
  • A heart design to remind you of God’s love
  • Letters that spell CTR to remind you to choose the right
  • A multi-colored weave to match Joseph’s coat of many colors
The book provides step-by-step instructions with photos so they are easy to make as well as fun to wear. We haven't made any other designs other than the basic design so my kids were really excited to try this out. My daughter, and even my older son, love to make these bands! We had a lot of fun creating the rainbow one for my daughter. Even my son wanted in once he saw how fun these designs were and wanted to create the God Head one. These are so creative and a great way to explain gospel principles to your children. They would also be great way they can share the gospel with friends. How cute would that be to have the heart design one on, and your daughter friend ask her what it was, and her explaining that it was a symbol for her to remember how much God loves her!?! That would be awesome! These would be a great family activity or even fun to do when your kids have some friends over. The book doesn't come with the loom, but those are easy to find at a lot of craft stores!
About the author:
Katreina Eden grew up in the Midwest, eventually landing in California, where she went to law school and then ran her own law firm for a number of years. She currently works as the Executive Vice President of Cedar Fort, Inc., in Springville, Utah. Katreina also owns and operates Organiwic, LLC, an all-natural candle company, with her sister. She enjoys being out in nature and spending time with family. Aside from being published in various legal journals, this is Katreina’s first trade publication.
(A review copy was provided, however, all reviews are of my own opinion :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Whole Grain Blueberry Oat Flour Mini Muffins


We love muffins and eggs for breakfast!  Who doesn't love a yummy blueberry muffin!?!  The only problem is I can't ever make enough! Especially of the mini ones since they can gobble them down in one bite!  They love when I make them though!
Whole Grain Blueberry Oat Flour Mini Muffins
{Printable Version Here}
Start out by grinding Oat Flour and Wheat flour in a mill.  I used this amazing Wondermill.  
(This recipe also calls for Ground Flax…..DO NOT GRIND THE FLAX IN THE MILL)
Mix Together
  • 1 cup Oat Flour
  • 1 cup Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 T Ground Flax seed
Then in another bowl mix together wet ingredients.
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1/4 C Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/4 C Honey or Agave (I added a little bit more)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 T water
Mix in Dry Ingredients and then add 1/2 to 1 cup of Blueberries.
Bake in Mini Muffins tins at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  You can do regular muffin tins, just add a little more time.
These were delicious and my kids LOVED them!  Hope you enjoy them also!
Happy Healthy Eating!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The e-auto Car Cleaning Kit Giveaway

My husband used to work at Supersonic Car Wash in Utah Valley.  He loved that job a lot.  Like sometimes a little too much I think.  If our car was just a little bit dirty he would detail the whole thing.  Why I ever complained and told him he was silly was beyond me because since moving and not working at a car wash he could almost care less about my van, unless there is food in it, then he is just frustrated the kids ate in the van.  But really for the most part I, or the kids, vacuum and clean the van.  We live pretty far away from a car wash and we live on a gravel road so the outside of our vehicles get dirty quick.

I was very excited when e-cloth approached me to try their e-cloth car washing kit.  I thought maybe it would motivate my husband to start cleaning our car again! Sidenote, I actually do like to clean the car, but don't do it as often as I like with five little munchkins running around!

It was kind of funny because one day my husband just said he wanted to clean and wax our vehicles.  I was pretty shocked, so I handed him the car cleaning kit and he went at it.  He loved the kit and thought it did a great job. With the e-auto kit you can just use water to wash the car, or a little bit of cleaning solutions.
 

Here are a few things my husband liked about the kit….
  • He loved the orange mitt because it really sped up cleaning the rims.
  • He liked that it is microfiber so I don't get the spiderweb scratches.
  • He also said it did a great job on widows!
Here are a few more facts from their site about the car kit...
  • e-auto cloths have 1.6 million fibers per square inch
  • Using e-cloth’s unique fiber technology with water, they break up and hold dirt, grime and grease which normal cloths leave behind
  • Kit includes one (1) each: Dual Action Mitt - 10” x 6.75”, Dry & Shine Cloth - 16” x 24”, and Glass & Chrome Cloth – 20” x 16”
  • e-auto Dual Action Mitt's Orange “soft-fingered” side will quickly handle all the tough initial cleaning and get into hard to reach areas 
  • e-auto Dual Action Mitt's smooth grey side is for general and spot cleaning {this is an extra purchase}
  • e-auto Dry & Shine Cloth is used after the e-auto Dual Action Mitt - use dry on the wet body, glass and shiny surfaces for the perfect water mark free, polished finish
  • Cleaning power of the fibers removes any residues of grease and grime and is effective on all surfaces: body, lights, glass and chrome
  • e-auto Glass & Chrome Cloth produces a perfect smear-free, lint-free and polished finish on windshields, glass, chrome and mirrors using just water
  • Guaranteed for 300 Machine Washings
  • The kit is $24.99, which is way cheaper then washing your car on a weekly basis at a car wash.
e-cloth is a brand that has been enabling chemical-free cleaning in the UK since 1995 and in the US since 2008.  e-cloth®'s cleaning products work with just water to meet all cleaning challenges.  Their aim is to supply the most effective, healthiest and most environmentally-friendly cleaning system available at a good value to the consumer.

e-cloth has offered to give one of my readers one of these great e-auto kits!  I know whoever wins it is going to LOVE IT!!  So enter below and I will pick a winner next Monday!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 12, 2014

“The Strength of Ballerinas” by Nacy Lorenz Book Review {Giveaway}




All Kendra wants to do is dance for the Manhattan Dance Company. So when her family’s forced to move to California, her dreams of auditioning are shattered. Still determined to dance, Kendra faces social isolation and family pressures in her new home. But when she’s diagnosed with a debilitating illness, Kendra must decide which dreams are worth fighting for.

As you can tell by the name of the girl in the book this book is about me and my amazing ballet skills.  You never knew huh?  HaHa, you can all laugh out loud now!  I tried once, it was kinda scary, but I was an amazing clogger!!  Anyway, all kidding aside, how could I resist reading a good, clean and wonderfully written book about a girl named Kendra!  I really really enjoyed this book.  It was a lot different than a lot of fictional books I have read.  Usually I am in to historical fiction, but this book was about right now in the life of this girl named Kendra. Kendra is a young teenage girl trying to figure out living in a new area, new friends fitting in and what to do about giving up her dream to dance with the Manhattan Dance Company.  Within a couple months of moving she finds out that she has an illness that might make it so one day she can't dance.  With a mother that has passed away, a sweet and loving but also challenging autistic brother, and a dad who is trying to get through a job loss and a move, Kendra has to deal with many challenges as a young girl.  Thankfully Kendra finds some great friends that help her get through her trying time and make some pretty big decision in her life.  The book doesn't sugar coat things.  It keeps it real.  We see a girl that shows courage, frustration, anger, happiness, and love while trying to make important decisions for her life!

I like how the book ended, but would love more.  Hopefully Nancy will write another.  I am kind of that way with most books.  I want to know every detail of the after story that is never written.  This book reminds me of my amazing cousins, who was also a ballerina, who at a young age had cancer in her leg and was told she probably would never be able to dance like she used to.  She had great strength and through it all, she was able to dance all the way through highschool and even taught a little after that!

I totally recommend this book to anyone, but I do think a teenage girl, especially a dancer would love it.
About the author: 
Nancy Lorenz currently teaches as an English adjunct at several colleges. She worked in publishing, public relations and in network television. She studied ballet in New York City at numerous studios, including open level classes at American Ballet Theater in the 1980’s, and continues to study ballet for the sheer love of it. She recommends that you love what you do, but also to branch out to the many subjects out there yet to discover. The more you learn, the more you can bring back into your art.
The Strength of Ballerinas is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Giveaway:

Enter here for a chance to win a copy of The Strength of Ballerinas and a $25 Amazon gift card, courtesy of the author!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

5 Fun and Easy Ways to Help your Kids Be More Fit & a Recap on our #FitMadeFun Party


We all know how important it is to be healthy and fit.  Kids are getting more and more sedentary these days which is a huge problem in their lives not only for their bodies, but for their minds.  I am a firm believer kids need to be outside, being active for at least an hour a day! That doesn't mean running miles, or training for big huge races, but being outside (or in when it is cold),  being active and enjoying the great things their body can do to stay healthy and fit!

I came up with five fun and easy ways to help kids become more fit.  While we know that eating healthy plays a huge factor in being healthy we also know that getting exercise everyday is very important!


1- Sign them up for a fun race to train for in the community - My kids have loved doing this. We have some pretty fun kids Tri's and bike races around town that we like to put our kids in a couple times a year.

2- Find a sport they are interested in and do it with them - My son loves basketball and so do I, so that is an easy one.  We go out and shoot hoops, play games and have fun.  My daughter hates it, but she loves to run and play soccer, so I can go to the park and play with her there, or take her on my runs!

3- Help them set a goal with a reward at the end - Even if it is just to go outside and play for an hour a day for a week, or run a mile or two a day. At the end of the week give them some sort of reward like a movie night or treat or even go somewhere fun as a family.

4- Teach your kids to work outside with you - My kids have actually been trying to get their school work done to go help their dad pull our huge weeds so we can plant grass.  I always find when we work with our kids in the yard it ends up being fun and brings us together, but if I just tell them go out and pick 20 weeds they hate it.  So you have to do it with them in order for it to be fun.  If you don't live in a place that needs yard work, fine some! Go do service for someone that does!  My kids love to go to the neighbors house to help them weed or pick up their yard.

5- Get them a LeapBand and have them use it for one hour a day  - I am not just saying this because LeapFrog helped sponsor our party.  I am not being paid to say it.  These Leapbands are really really fun.  My kids like to wear them to see how many points they can get! They even put the second one on the Toddlers and get them to play a long!

Some other ideas might include going on a family bike ride, go hiking together, GeoCaching, or go play at a lake or river! Those take a little more effort and planning, but can be really fun once you get out there!

Now onto sharing about our fun national #FitMadeFun party!  As you can see from the pictures the kids had a great time!!
We had a very successful Fit Made Fun Party this last Saturday.  In California, Mia Hamm along with LeapFrog and Clif kids, held a big record breaking #FitMadeFun party on the beach!  Wish we could have been there, but we couldn't so we had our own at home.  Although it wasn't California and the beach I think the kids had a great time! I thought I would share with you some cute pictures of these sweet kiddos working hard and having fun.
We had two families over and the kids had a great time. I was a bit nervous hosting an fitness day for kids, but these kids had a blast.  We started out by stretching and a little yoga. The kids were so cute doing their little yoga poses.

Then we divided the kids up in partners and had them rotate through shooting baskets, running around the house, playing on the play-set, throwing a Frisbee and hula hooping!  After we were done with that, we used the cards from this fun board game to have fun acting like different animals and being silly.  Even the 11 year olds were having fun. None of the kids complained. After we headed inside for some Green Smooties, Crackers, Carrots and of course the yummy Clif Kids Zbars!  At the end of the party we did a giveaway for 2 boxes of Cliff Kid Z Protein Bars and a an actual LeapBand!  The 3 year old little girl won and she was SO excited!
I'd like to thank Leapfrog for the fun party supplies and Clif Kids bars for the yummy bars we served at the end!  The kids loved the Mint ones the best!

I am an affiliate of Amazon and by purchasing from this link I do make a little bit of money. So thanks in advance if you do! 





Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Save 20% on Kids' Costumes + Costumes for $10 or Less


**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Halloween is coming up, which means, I guess it's time to start thinking about costumes for your kids! I wish I had enough energy and time to make all of my kids costumes, but with 5 kids we usually end up buying at least a couple!

Have you ever heard of BuyCostumes?  An online company that has great costumes for any age.
Right now they have a great deal going on that I wanted to let all my readers know about! 
BuyCostumes is featuring Orange Tag Specials, which is a collection of $10 Halloween Costumes.  You can even use the coupon code for these costumes also! When you see an item with an orange tag, then it's $10 or less. More items will be given an orange tag each week, so stay tuned for new additions!
  
You can also get 20% off on Kids' Costumes by using Coupon Code: BCkids20


And get 15% off on Halloween Decor and Party Supplies by using Coupon Code: HalloweenDecor15




Here are just a few of their $10 specials.  My boys would love that G.I. Joe Costume!

Do you dress up for Halloween? What are your kids going to be for Halloween?

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