Monday, April 30, 2012

Make It Monday: A Healthier Banana Split

The other day I was feeling a little indulgent, but not too indulgent. I wanted to have some kind of a treat without all the empty calories and simple sugars. I had recently bought a bunch of bananas that were screaming out to be eaten and that is when it came to me that I should make a Healthier Banana Split.

So, (disclaimer!) this is not as clean as it could be. I did use conventional chocolate chips instead of organic ones.

So, what is in my huge bowl (that I did share with my family!) -- banana slices, yogurt, pecans, chocolate chips, coconut and dried cranberries (I would have used dried cherries if I had any, but I didn't and I really thought it needed a little bit of red coloring.)

Doesn't it look so yummy? It was.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Learning How To Make Pottery

 This top picture is just a sampling of the creations I made in my 7 week pottery class. I had always wanted how to learn to create pottery, and committing to writing a post to Get It Done was just the push I needed to enroll in a class and begin a new hobby. Please go read my post called "Hand Behind the Wheel" to read about my experience.
This bottom picture is a set of pottery a made using hand-building instead of the pottery wheel. I did join the Art Center so that I can continue my new hobby and I hope to take more classes and further my craft.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Flashcards By Sister

It was all sister's idea to make flashcards and use them with brother. There are words on both sides of the cards. She is bound & determined to teach him to read before he starts kindergarten. Keep in mind that he is only 2 1/2.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

GIVEAWAY & Review: Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil

I was very excited about the opportunity to review Tropical Tradition Virgin Coconut Oil. You may have noticed that I have been posting recipes that I have come up with and tested that are clean eating recipes, well, in my research and learning about clean eating coconut oil keeps coming up.

I wanted to share a few ways I used this coconut oil with you that  are not related to a recipe that I was pleased with the results:
* As a deep conditioner to rub in to ends of my long, curly hair (it seems to help from it becoming too tangled and easier to comb through when it does.)
* As a lip balm- simply just apply a tint amount to your lips and rub in (it made my lips soft.)
* As a makeup remover (just a tiny, tiny bit is needed and I found it very effective in removing makeup, even the harder to remove eye liner it removed easily.)

Hopefully you also had a chance to read (and try out!) these recipes I have recently posted on my blog that I used coconut oil in.

Baked Puff Pancake

And you just have to try this!!!!

Blueberry Banana Bread

Every time I make this, my house smells absolutely wonderful and my family can't wait for it to be done. I am hammered by "How much longer?" through the entire hour it is in the oven. I used Tropical Traditions coconut oil to make both of these recipes.

Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Win 1 quart of  Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!
Giveaway to be posted soon!

Tropical Traditions is America's source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil? You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the  advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Try-It Tuesday: Pinecone Bird Feeder

 This is such a fun and easy project for kids of all ages to do, even my two year old. If you have been reading my blog for a while no, then you might remember that a couple years ago I blogged about doing it with my 3 year old (now my almost 6 year old). You can check out that POST too.

It's a simple project and all you need is a pinecone (we found these big ones at an area park), peanut butter and some bird seed.
 Start b spreading peanut butter over as much of the pinecone as you can cover. The peanut butter is what causes the birdseed to stick; so the more surface space the peanut butter covers the more bird seed you can put on.

I recommend either taking out the peanut butter you are going to use before applying it or waiting until your jar only has enough left to use to make one. That way you are not contaminating your peanut butter with any sap or dirt from the pinecone.

The next step is to sprinkle bird seed over the top. We put our pinecones over egg cartons when we were pouring the seed so that we could catch the excess seeds.
 We were at the end of our seed bucket, so there was a lot of seed dust that got on our peanut butter.

We also tired some twine to the top so that we could easily hang it.

What kind of bird your attract to this feeder will depend upon your location, type of seed you used and the level at which you hung it. My son really wanted to hang it on an apple tree by himself and this was as high as he could reach, which might mean it becomes more of a squirrel feeder since it is so low.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Make It Monday: Baked Puffed Pancake

Baked Puffed Pancake

2 T coconut oil
1 T raw dehydrated cane juice
3/4 C whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 C milk
1/2 tsp almond extract (or vanilla, if you prefer)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 C fresh berries (if you use froze, allow to thaw and drain first)
Powdered Sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place oil in an oven-safe pan and place it in the oven. Allow to melt and start cooking the oil.

Whisk eggs together with milk and extract in one bowl. Stir together flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. All wet mixture all at once to the dry mixture. Whisk until smooth.

Remove pan from the oven and pour in pancake mix. Top with berries. Bake for about 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar. (This step is completely optional. It is more for presentation.)


Also note that this is more dense with whole wheat than if you were to used processed white flour. 

GIVEAWAY & Review: The Forgiven Duke Book

I was very excited to have the opportunity to review the book The Forgiven Duke, which is the second in the Christian trilogy by Jamie Carie.  The first in this series is The Guardian Duke, which I reviewed two months ago. The final book in the trilogy is A Duke's Promise and is scheduled to be released on September 1st. I can't wait! I wish I had this book now to read and know how it ends.

The Forgiven Duke continues with the adventuresome Lady Alexandria Featherstone trying to track down her missing (other presume dead) parents who are treasure hunters. And trying to track  down Alex is her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton. Their adventures become a lot more dangerous both physically and emotionally. They must continually remind themselves to look to God for help and guidance as they try to embark their adventures.

Readers of Save Green Being Green will have the opportunity to win a copy. ONE LUCKY READER WILL WIN A COPY OF THE FORGIVEN DUKE

If you don't win, you can pre-order The Forgiven Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel on Amazon for under $10 for a hardcover book (remember - Amazon's prices will change, but you do get the price guarantee at your pre-order price, but if it goes lowers before then you will get the lower price.)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

GIVEAWAY and Review: Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler

Rubbermaid is very excited to introduce the Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler that gets recyclables off the counter and hidden out of sight.

The features of the product include:

  • Easy attachment to a cabinet door with hooks included with the product or screws 
  • A convenient handle allows the bag to easily be transported to wherever your recycling is stored for pick-up or transport 
  • A 5 gallon bag that holds up to 36 12-ounce cans and can fit a milk jug 
  • The bag has a leak-proof liner and is machine washable to make it easy to clean after any unexpected spills 
  • The bag is soft-sided allowing for flexibility inside any cabinet 
  • The bag and all packaging is made from recyclable material, and the product is recyclable

Here are my thoughts about this product:

  • I thought the the product was well constructed. 
  • The fabric was thick and appears to be waterproof. 
  • There are metal hooks to hang it from your cabinet. No need to drill holes or adhere anything.
  • The metal hooks are sturdy and do no bend and have a foam cushion to protect your cabinets.
  • The plastic is thick and feels solid.
  • It was easy to assemble (attaching hooks and putting fabric bag on the plastic holder.)
  • I love that all the packaging and bag are made from recyclable material and it is recyclable.
The only thing I didn't like is that it didn't fit my cabinets correctly. I have 1 cabinet door that is wide enough for this product, but the interior of the cabinet would not be conducive to having a hanging recycling bag. We do have cabinets in our garage and I am going to see if it will work in there, which is where one is needed. We have easily accessible recycling containers in our house, but in our garage there is no container. So fingers crossed it fits in there, otherwise I will be seeing if a friend could use it.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Influenster Love VoxBox

 I was so excited that I was picked to sample and review the products in the Influenster Love Voxbox. This time there were 5 items in the voxbox.

If you are interested in obtaining a voxbox from Influenster to try out these free products and review them, then CLICK HERE!

Below I have included links to the websites of the products and my comments on Influenster Review page, Facebook and Twitter for each one of them & YouTube video if one was created.
 View my comments/video at these locations!
Influenster Review Page
Twitter 1 & Twitter 2 & Twitter 3
View my comments/video at these locations!
Influenster Review Page
View my comments/video at these locations!
Influenster Review Page
View my comments/video at these locations!
Influenster Review Page

View my comments/video at these locations!
Influenster Review Page
YouTube (sorry I had the wrong angle :(  )

You can also view the video of me opening my Influenster Love Voxbox.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fix It Friday: #FAIL

 This is not the post that I intended to write. It was supposed to be another tutorial type post. But when it came time for my finished reveal I saw that it was a flop. I could have easily forgotten about what happened and started a new project, but there have been several times I have tweeted about a #CraftFail and people wanted pictures.
 It started with these cream (at one time) colored chair covers that we have had for a couple years that with two young (& messy) children and their messy parents and messy friends, they have become quite stained.

This is one of them. I took this picture of one while I was tea dyeing another one.
 It all seemed to be going good while I boiled water and soaked the chair cover.

I have dyed clothes before and it turned out, but this time --

 The stains on the chair cover were amplified by the tea dyeing. It did not disguise them as I had hoped.
And these spots on the other side of the cover are caused from an air bubble that was inside the of the balled up chair cover. I had never had this happen before. Guess I have learned some valuable lessons with this failed project.

Now I have one stained brown chair cover and 3 cream stained chairs covers and I need to come up with a new solution for making my kitchen chairs more presentable.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

FREE BLOGGER EVENT: Bright Starts Ultimate Baby Shower Event

The Bright Starts Ultimate Baby Shower Event is a free blogger event. You will receive one link at no cost as a thank you for participating in this event.
Prize: Bright Starts Sunnyside Safari Collection including the Chair Top High Chair, Plug in Sway & Swing, Portable Swing, Playard, and Saucer!
Open to: US only
The event dates: May 7 at 12:01 am to May 25 11:59pm
Blogger Note – (Canadian bloggers may participate in this event if you have a large number of US readers/traffic)
Link options are: GFC, Email, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vote (as long as it is a no signup or like required, example picket fence). G+ is not allowed as it is against google rules.
What is required to join? 
  • Post about the event with the button above linking back to this post. Easy copy paste text below along with the button.
Bright StartsMom to Bed by 8 and Iowa-Mom is excited to present the Baby Shower Event from May 7th to May 28th. This is a free blogger event and accepting signups now.
Join the Bright Starts Ultimate Baby Shower Giveaway event today, grow your readership and offer one amazing baby shower gifts giveaway!

Good Books to Read to Kids To Encourage Gardening

As I prepared for Earth Week and our activities to do as family and share on the blog, as well as planning our our Annual Earth Week Planting Party, I was thinking about books I like to read to my kids to encourage gardening.

My all-time favorite book to reading to them is Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert. Actually, this author has a whole series of good books that encourage children to grow plants (vegetables & flowers), eating fruits & vegetables and planting a butterfly garden.

Another favorite is Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell, even though this is about the fall, it is a good thought to put in their head as they figure out what to do with their pumpkin in the fall and maybe encourage them to save some seeds to plant next year.

If you loved the illustrations of Harold and the Purple Crayon, then check out The Carrot Seed which is by Ruth Karuss, but is illustrated by Crockett Johnson.

And if you are an Eric Carle fan, then we can't forget The Tiny Seed (World of Eric Carle). That is such a wonderful book to talk to children about how Mother Nature works and such a great tool to help explain why there are lettuce plants poking up through our lawn when they were planted in a garden bed last year and then re-seeded themselves in other places. Or to help those adults understand that even though you spray your yard (ack!), you can still get weeds and dandelions.

Finally, for all the Cat in the Hat fans - check out out Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library). With the new show on PBS Kids, the Cat in the Hat is more popular than ever and kids just love learning from him.

The new books that we are borrowing from the library to read during Earth Week include:
* Wiggling Worms at Work (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
* The Earth and I
* Composting: Nature's Recyclers (Amazing Science (Picture Window))
* The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling (Little Green Books)
* One Bean

This post does contain affiliate links which do not affect the purchase price of the book. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

GIVEAWAY and Review: Clean + Green Pet Stain Remover

I have two older & finicky cats. Enough said! Anyone with pets understands what I am about to tell you - when you pets get older or things change in their life (moving, adding a family member, going on vacation, switching a product on them, not being prompt with changing the litter box, etc.) they can act out by urinating in places they should not. That's my main problem with our cats. And that is where Clean+Green came to the rescue.

But for some the problem might be the smell their cats/dogs/birds/ferrets leave on their furniture, which is what the Furniture Refresher is perfect for. Or maybe you live in an area where there are skunks - then you need to try the De-Skunk Coat Cleaner for dogs. Man! I hope I never have to use that product, but if I do need it I imagine it would be helpful.

Right now we only have 1 cats, so we only were able to review products for cats. In the past few weeks that we have had these products, we have been able to review all three products pictured above. The Litter Box spray and Furniture Refresher are great products to use on a weekly basis, but one hopes to not have to use the Carpet and Upholstery product. But I did have to use the Carpet and Upholstery product twice since receiving it. Darn cats! And you know what!

It eliminates the odor quickly and effectively. I would even go so far as to say that it eliminates the odor better than any other product we have tried. I am now wishing I had this product earlier and would have been able to save an area rug that we threw away. I believe this product would have removed the odor and we would still be able to use it and not have to worry about "that" smell.

Clean+Green natural pet stain and odor removers are safe for people, pets and the planet! Using a patented formula, Clean+Green encapsulates and eliminates stain and odor on contact - even skunk odor! - by naturally biodegrading the stain or odor source. The all-natural formula delivers instant results in a safe, non-toxic, eco-friendly solution. Ingredients include cane sugar derivatives, a proprietary blend of botanical extracts, hydrated cellulose, purified water, and a natural aerosol propellant (nitrogen). For more information, please visit

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ideas for Outdoor Activities

Before you head on over to Northern Cheapskate to read my newest post called "Ideas for Getting Outside During Earth Week (or Anytime!)", check out more ideas I have included below.

Play in a Sandbox
Play T-Ball / Softball / Baseball

Set Up an Obstacle Course

Ride a Scooter

Dig in the Dirt with a Stick

Draw with Chalk

Make the World's Largest Hopscotch (& Play!)