Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween! May It Be Filled with Snacks and Crafts!

I Hope You Have a Happy Halloween! 
We have been enjoying it all month!
Check out what we have been up to!

Painting to remember the size of those fingers, hands, toes and feet!
Inspired from something from Fun Handprint Art, but we changed it up to make it our own.

Paper Mache Monster or Alien Masks

Thrifty Thursday: Slow Cooker Beans Recipe

Last week, I shared with you about saving money by making baked potatoes in your crock pot and this week I am going to tell you  how simple it is to take dried beans and cook them. Beans are an excellent protein source and vital to a clean eating diet, or should be vital to any diet. I know beans are relatively inexpensive when you can get them for under $1 a can. I often buy them when they are on sale for 2/$1, but I can also buy a pound of dried beans for $1, which will make about 6 cups of beans, which is an even better deal than my sale can beans. And if you buy in bulk, you can lower the price even further.

Now for the directions - super simple!

Directions: Rinse and drain dried beans. Pour beans in to a slow cooker and cover with 8 cups of water. Cook on low for 8 hours.

So, what will you make with your beans? Some burritos? Soup? How about some of my recipes that use beans:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Try It Tuesday: Painted Spider Pumpkin & Pumpkin Drawings

The painted spider pumpkin craft was the idea of a friend of mine. We like to have lunch, spilling in to afternoon play dates with our youngest kids and we plan some kind of craft for them to do. The morning we made these, my son asked me if we could do a spider craft that day. I told him I didn't know what our friends had planned and unbeknownst to us it was a spider craft.

I also did pumpkin drawings with my kids and just gave them mini pumpkins and a large set of permanent markers (you don't want to use washable because it just won't set on the pumpkin skin) and let them draw.

My son did the above pumpkin pretty much on his own, I just had to carve the holes for the legs to be inserted since we were using sharp scissors.

To make the painted spider pumpkin you need a miniature pumpkin, acrylic black paint (or any other color you want), newspaper, paint brush, scissors, black pipe cleaners, glue, some beads and googly eyes.

  • Have the child paint his pumpkin on top of newspaper and all to dry.
  • When it is dry you can use a scissors to cut some pipe cleaners to size and bend in to shape. 
  • Puncture holes in the sides of the pumpkin to make it easier to insert pipe cleaner legs.
  • Glue on eyes and nose and allow to set before handling.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Make It Monday: Clean Eating Ranch Dressing

Is there anything more satisfying than a tasty salad covered in ranch dressing? Well, there certainly is if you are using conventional salad dressing that is filled with oils and sugar. This recipe is free of both of those items and fit with the clean eating lifestyle. This recipe will add minimal calories and fat to your salad and leave you feeling refreshed after eating you salad rather than laden with heaviness.

Clean Eating Ranch Dressing

1/2 C Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced very fine
1 T chives, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp dried parsley
5T buttermilk
ground pepper, to taste

Measure everything in to a shaker. Shake for about 30 seconds and allow to sit for a minimum of 30 minutes, 3 hours or overnight would be better as it gives the herbs a chance to be absorbed and the flavors to meld together.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fitness Friday: Cold Weather Race Gear


I have spent some time thinking about and preparing my gear for tomorrow's Monster Half Marathon in St. Paul, MN. The forecast (as of 24 hours before) has us running at around 40 degrees. Ok, that's not so bad, pretty decent in fact. It's the wind at 13-16 mph that throws me for a loop when planning. Wind can make it feel 10 degrees cooler. They say to plan to dress for 20 degrees warmer than the temp because your body warms up so much on your run, but the wind can change that. I'm just glad there is no rain in the forecast anymore, which really changes things too. And since I have to get up up early (my family will still be sleeping for another 2-2 1/2 hours after I get up) to get ready and drive the hour to the race where there are over 16,000 runners in the 3 races, I don't want o be stumbling in our dark house trying to find my stuff. Also, I can keep in mind that my race partner is going to have family at multiple spots along the 13.1 miles so we can shed layers (no need to buy throw away pieces) if needed. Here is my list:

Base Layer
  • Compression Socks
  • Sports Bra
  • Long Running Tights/Pants
  • LS Dri Fit Top
  • Running Shoes
Additional Layers (all things I could shed if needed)
  • SS Dri Fit Top
  • Running Sleeves
  • Running Jacket
  • Running Beanie (has this awesome hole to stick my ponytail through)
  • Thin Gloves (my hands take a good mile to warm up in the cold)
  • Dri Fit Neck Silo (if my soulders & neck are cold I will not have good posture, so this is useful to me)
During Race Fuel
  • Gel (the one I have been using during training, they do have a gel station at the race too, but better to know I have one my stomach likes and have used)
  • Electrolyte Tablets
  • Oral IV (basically a flavorless electrolye & mineral shot)
  • Gum (ok, not really a fuel, but I chew gum while I run, keeps me from getting cotton mouth)
  • mp3 Player (again, not fuel, but thinking it might be good to have with in case my running partner & I do not end up being able to run together the whole time)
After Race Recovery
  • Filled Water Bottle (in the car waiting for me)
  • Aleve
  • Bio-Freeze
  • After Race Food from the Race
Now, I hope I don't have to use the Aleve or Bio-Freeze, but I am bringing it along in case I do. I would rather tote it along and not use it than need it and not have anything. Races, especially these bigger ones that have lots of sponsors and charge a pretty penny for your entry fee, usually have lots of food. This race specified in it's race guide that we will get a food bag when we are going through the finish tunnel, but I usually bring along a banana and a bar of some sort so that I have them too in case I don't like the choices from the race or am still hungry. I just like to be prepared as much as possible.

Super excited for tomorrow's half marathon race. It's my 2nd half, both of them I did this year. This is the first half marathon for my running partner for this race.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review: Disney Jr. LIVE A Pirate and Princess Adventure

I had the opportunity to take my kids to the Excel Energy Center and see the show Disney Jr. LIVE: A Pirate and Princess Adventure. They did this show twice on the same day in St. Paul, MN. We were at the second show for the day. While there are not anymore shows on the current schedule in MN, there are MANY more nationwide through May 2014.

Here I am with my little pirate with nacho cheese on his face. LOL! He was just as excited to see the Sofia the First show as Jake and the Neverland Pirates. He loves to watch both show on the Disney Channel.

And here is my little princess wearing a Cinderella tiara and a princess style dress her grandma made for her. She was beyond thrilled when Cinderella appeared in the Sofia the First program.

If you planned ahead and arrived 10 minutes before the start of the show, you would be lucky enough to see a live show of Doc McStuffins. That is a fun little bonus that we did know about and planned to be there for.

I wish we were a little closer to see how the costumes were designed. They have such an appearance of being a plastic costume for face and hair but still looks quite realistic.

My kids were so excited when they sang the "Bailywick" song because it was one of the most recent episodes they had just watched over and over the past week.

The costumes were all so vibrant and very much what you would have expected if you watch the show. It was really such a cute production. They had an intermission right after the Sofia production and we couldn't wait to see the Jake and the Neverland Pirates production.

Just like Sofia had a special guest in Cinderella, Jake had a special guest in Peter Pan. My daughter was bouncing out of her seat when they mentioned Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, although Tinkerbell was just on the video screen in the back, which was hard to see from our seats and then was a light in a container, but Peter Pan was a full size character.

It was a cute program and both of my kids enjoyed it. My son was very active in participating in songs and movements they had asked for audience participation with.

The show ended with the cast of all the productions coming out and was joined by Mickey and Minnie. Mickey and Minnie also opened the show and provided a transition between the productions.

I was given free tickets to attend this show for this review post. No monetary compensation was recieved. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

GIVEAWAY: 2 Movie Tickets to "All is Lost" with Robert Redford

About All Is Lost Academy Award® winner Robert Redford stars in All Is Lost, an open-water thriller about one man’s battle for survival against the elements after his sailboat is destroyed at sea. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.

Written and directed by Academy Award nominee J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) with a musical score by Alex Ebert (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), All Is Lost is a gripping, visceral and powerfully moving tribute to ingenuity and resilience.
All Is Lost opened in NY and LA October 18, nationwide October 25th.





Leave a Blog Post Comment for any/each of the following things, each comment counts as 1 entry.
1) Comment: Has there ever been a time where you thought... All Is Lost? 
2) Comment: What is the nearest theater to you?
3) Follow me on Pinterest and tell me that you did & what your pinterest name is.
4) Tweet: #Win 2 Movie Passes to #AllIsLost from @jshallow01 at Save Green Being Green at


I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. Nothing was received in exchange for this post. I am providing this post so my readers have a chance to win. Each household is only eligible to win 2 Free Movie Tickets via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. WINNER must reply within 24 hours to claim prize.

Thrifty Thursday: Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

Planning ahead and making baked potatoes can be simple and done while you are at work or sleeping. You can do this with both white potatoes or sweet potatoes. This will help you from spending money on prepackaged sides that cost more than eating this whole food. Plus it's a simple and cost effective side to add to your clean eating menu.

Directions: Wash and dry potatoes, wrap in aluminum foil, place in a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours.

That's it! Have baked potatoes with your supper, or I tried out this idea for Egg-Stuffed Baked Potatoes from Cooking Pinterest for breakfast one morning.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Pictures from a Family Trip to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, we actually took a ton of pictures so this is just a small sampling.