Sunday, July 27, 2014

Make It Monday: Low Carb Chocolate Whip (Review too!)

Low Carb Chocolate Whip
8 oz. cream cheese
1 T cacao powder
1 packet of stevia
2 T half and half


Whip together all of the ingredients. Top with a dollop of whip cream (if desired). Makes 4 servings.

My Thoughts:

KIVA Certified Organic Cacao
if you are craving some chocolate and are trying to eat low carb. Not only is there 0g of sugar in this cacao powder per serving, there is also 5 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per serving as well. That's not all! It is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, as each serving of 2.5 grams (there is 60 servings in this bag) contains DV of 40% Copper, 38% Magnesium, 14% Iron, 12% Zinc, 6% Selenium, and 4% Calcium. No wonder our body is craving chocolate sometimes! It needs all these nutrients, but all too often we don't get quality chocolate or cacao. KIVA Certified Organic Cacao is made from hand-selected cacao beans and is just as nature intended.

If you are looking for some other ideas on how to enjoy this cacao powder while eating low carb, try sprinkling it over greek yogurt, making a chocolate peanut butter smoothie or how about some chocolate fudge (I have yet to try making a low-carb fudge recipe, but have seen them on pinterest and they look tasty!)

Product Description from KIVA

100% Raw, Vegan, Non-GMO, Pure Organic Cacao Powder.

Cacao Powder: Cacao has been consumed by the Mayan and Aztec cultures for centuries due to its invigorating health properties. Cacao contains one of the richest sources of antioxidants found in nature and is a great source of magnesium, dietary fiber, iron, zinc, and potassium.

Kiva cacao powder is made from only the finest hand-selected premium Criollo cacao beans from Ecuador. Our low-temperature, minimal processing protects the cacaos natural nutrients and flavor. The result is a delicious powder that is just as nature intended, with no sugars or fillers.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fitness Friday: 5K Foam Fest is CANCELED

I had told you about the 5K Foam Fest a couple times and how it was my next race. Well, not anymore! The company declared bankruptcy and are not refunding any fees. If you paid for this race (in MN or in any other location that was pending) with a credit card, you should call your credit card company and dispute the charges.

It is very unfortunate that this has happened and as someone who was planning to run the race and invested some money in it, I feel duped. I will certainly be paying attention to my email because another company is offering free registration in one of their races for 2014 or 2015 to those registered for this race (This was actually delivered on Tuesday or Wednesday, so check your junk mail in case you haven't seen it yet.) . Most of the races I could register for have already happened in 2014, so I will be looking at the 2015 races.

In the mean time, I will be looking over my pins on my Pinterest Races Board and finding a new race for this summer, as I wanted to run 3 different organized races this summer in addition to 3 virtual races.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Tomato & Zucchini Salsa & Canning Labels GIVEAWAY

This is my mom's recipe and I often tell people about it when they are looking for either a thick recipe, another way to use up zucchini, or they just want something different to try. The recipe below is the one she gave me, but you cans always make it spicier if you choose. What is thriftier than growing your own food and canning it?!?!

Tomato and Zucchini Salsa
Yields: 13 pints

8 C shredded zucchini
4 C chopped onions
2-3 hot peppers
1 C green peppers
5 T salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 T cumin
1 1/2 T corn starch
2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 C vinegar
1 T cayenne
4 dashed hot sauce
1-2 T crushed red pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
2 (16oz) cans of tomato paste
10 C peeled tomatoes
1/2 C brown sugar (I have left this out before and it's still very good, if you do not want any sugar)

Combine all in a large slow cooker for several hours. Put in jars and process.

Last month, I told you all about the Lovable Label Canning Labels (go check it out and leave a comment! It gets you a 2 free entries in the giveaway!) and now I have had a chance to use them and let you know what I think of them.

I decided to order the Write-On Labels in the Flower Power Design. I wasn't sure what I was all going to can this year, so I wanted to be able to write on them myself. Plus, when you get the write-on labels you get 45 in a pack which was the most amount labels for the price and I really liked that idea.

You just write on the label with a permanent markers (which can later be washed off with rubbing alcohol so they can be reused). The labels are made of the same high quality material that other Lovable Labels are made of, so they are safe to use in the microwave, dishwasher, freezer and fridge.

So, now it is your turn to try out my recipe above and win some of your own labels. You can get them personalized however you want (as long as it fits on the label) or get write-on ones like I did.

What will you get?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent the above labels for the purpose of review. No monetary compensation was received. All thoughts, option,s photographs and the above recipe belong to SGBG.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

GIVEAWAY and Review: Groovy Lab in a Box

Groovy Lab in a Box has been a fun project subscription box that I have been able to review with my children this summer. It has been so great to deter the "summer slide", you know the slide in their academic abilities when they are out of school. It keeps their mind thinking and problem solving and learning. Groovy Lab in a box would also be a wonderful tool for home schoolers or for those parents who want to supplement the science curriculum taught in schools. I bring up that last part because it seems like schools have less and less funds to buy all the necessary supplies needed to do hands-on science projects. This particular box is called "Here Comes the Sun". You can buy this one individually, or 4 other Groovy Labs in a Box called:

  • Swing in to Spring 
  • Out to Launch
  • Lunar Launch
  • Fly with Me

Product Description from Groovy Lab in a Box

Each month through our Groovy Lab in a Box subscription service, young STEMists (your children!) will receive fun, hands-on projects and an engineering design challenge – all focused on that month’s STEM topic.All STEMists will receive a Lab Notebook, where they can read about that month’s topic, perform investigation activities and document their findings. They will investigate, brainstorm, plan, build, test and redesign their own creations.

STEMists also receive access to our special “Beyond…in a Box” online learning portal. This is a unique feature of Groovy Lab in a Box because it gives STEMists a deeper understanding of that month’s topic. “Beyond…in a Box” has videos and more interactive activities to supplement what they are learning from the box projects, which also helps the STEMist even more when completing the design challenge. Additionally, the monthly box contains bonus supplies exclusively for the activities available through “Beyond…in a Box.”

While the investigation activities have step-by-step directions, STEMists won’t have detailed directions to complete the Engineering Design Challenge. Instead, they must rely on their critical thinking skills, and what they’ve learned through the investigation process from the Lab Notebook and online activities. The Engineering Design Challenge is the culmination of your STEMist’s learning experience – the ultimate project where he/she must apply the knowledge gained from that month’s activities.

Science learning made fun! Groovy Lab in a Box: Inspiring the next generation of STEMists…. For ages 8+

Here you can see that I spread out all the supplies to conduct all experiments detailed in the Lab Book, as well as the bonus experiment using Solar Sun Paper, which I took pictures of below when I did it with both my 8 year old and 4 year old. The box is geared towards 8+ and that is very appropriate. Children who are closer to age 8 will need more guidance conducting the experiments than those older children. The Solar paper experiment was one that my youngest could participate in and understand.

You can order a subscription of 1, 3, 6, or 12 months to Groovy Lab in a box and be shipped upcoming boxes to your home. The longer the subscription you order, the lower price you pay per box and if you order 3 months or more you get them shipped FREE.

We have only done 2 out of the 4 experiments sent to us (the one pictured was the simplest) and have really enjoyed them. The solar oven was pretty neat and my daughter remembers when I have done one with her the last 2 summers. We plan to do the Conductivity Tester last this week and my daughter is super excited to hear if she can make a buzzer go off or not with using water.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wordless Wednesday: Nisswa Pioneer Village

Monday, July 21, 2014

Try It Tuesday: Make a Volcano and Eruption (not paper mache!)

My son is a huge dinosaur fan and when we filled out our Summer Goals Lists, 4 our of his 10 goals revolved around dinosaurs. He wanted to build a landscape with a volcano to use with his dinosaurs when he played with them, so we decided we would make one. I wanted it to last longer than just one "explosion" so the traditional paper mache volcano was not going to be in our best interest and we came up with another idea using spray foam insulation.

We used a sturdy scrap board so that we could easily transport the volcano and it would stand many play time episodes.We also used a 2L bottle, duct tape, spray foam insulation (we used a whole can), newspaper, spray paint, homemade playdough, and sticks.

To start off, we duct taped the 2L bottle to the board.

Next we stuffed crumpled newspaper underneath the duct tape and reinforced the ends of the duct tape with more duct tape so that they don't pull up.

This next step you will want to do for the kids and do it inside a large box or at least outside on the grass in case you overspray. Spray foam insulation over the volcano and allow to sit for a couple hours before moving. Allow to cure overnight before painting. I thought the use of the spray insulation gives it more of a rocky look that you can't get from paper mache typically.

I placed the volcano in a large box (now deemed our painting box - LOL!) and taught the kids how to use spray paint. You can just imagine how excited they were that their mom was actually teaching them how to use spray paint and allowing them to use it.

We used all leftover cans of spray paint, which is why we have black and grey and red. Plus we thought the black and grey looked like volcanic rocks and the red looked like lava.

You can see how proud my son is of his volcano. It is turning out so much better than we ever imagined and we are still not finished. What you don't see here is that we took old homemade playdough and applied it to the board to be the ground and allow us to stick bare sticks in (they had to be bare because the lave burned them) :)

Now it is time to make it explode!  You need baking soda, vinegar, food coloring (if you want your "lava" to have some color) and dish soap (optional, but it will foam out thicker more like lava.)

Using a funnel, pour 1/4 C of baking soda in to the bottom of the volcano.
In another cut mix together about 1T of dish soap. a few drops of food coloring and 1/2 C vinegar
Pour the vinegar mixture in to the funnel and quickly remove the funnel to watch the lava.

Below is a little video of one of their attempts at making lava flow from their homemade volcano. I think it is safe to say that my kids loved this experiment and project.

Review: CLUE DVD from Shout Factory

With a heat index of 100+ degrees today (dew point levels were crazy!, plus it was hot - totally tropical in MN) we ended up spending much of the day indoors and so I suggested to the kids that we watch the DVD CLUE, which we just received from Shout Factory to review. I knew my daughter was really going to be in to it and I was right. Now, she wants to know if there are more episodes of CLUE. I told her that we actually own the original game (hasn't been dusted off since we had kids) and we had to get that out as well and my husband told her about the original CLUE movie and she wants to see that too. It is so neat to see how a recent re-make of a movie is spurring interest in my daughter for things that we have memories of from our childhood and can now share them with our children as adults.

About Clue: A Movie Mystery Adventure from Shout Factory

It features the beloved characters inspired by the world’s most famous crime-solving board game, Clue. Follow six very different young sleuths as they embark on a mysterious adventure beyond their imaginations. As they work as a team to discover hidden treasures, decipher cryptic knowledge, and uncover a secret society, they learn they have more in common than they thought.

CLUE: A Murder Mystery Advenyure was released on July 15th.

Buy it from Shout Factory or Amazon.

I received a copy of the above DVD for the purpose of review on this blog. No monetary compensation was received. All thoughts and opinions and photographs are my own.