Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: Simply 7 Chips

Are you looking for a chip for the Big Game this weekend and don't want the standard potato chips or tortilla chips? Well, these chips from Simply 7 are anything but standard. We have tried almost all the flavors in each variety and I have really been enjoying them. In fact, if you buy any of the flavored chips, you are probably not going to want any dip at all, which helps save some fat and calories!

What you need to know about Simply 7 is that they have 7 core standards and principles that keep their chips made with simple natural ingredients. Those 7 core standards are:

  1. No Trans Fat or Cholesterol
  2. No Artificial Colors or Flavors
  3. No Additives or Preservatives
  4. Products are Gluten-Free
  5. All Natural Recipes Used
  6. Simple Ingredients Used
  7. Simply Delicious

I was sent hummus chips, pomegranate chips and lentil chips to try with my family and now they also have new quinoa chips, which I think sound fantastic with 8g of protein per serving! I think my favorite of all the chips we tried was the Jalepeno Lentil Chips because I really liked the kick they had, but I think my kids much preferred any of the varities in the original sea salt flavor.

They are all crunchy and hold their shape well. They do have a curved shape so if you wanted to used them with a dip of sorts (hummus chips in some hummus dip perhaps!) if would work well for that. I think the Lentil Sea Salt Chips would be a perfect swap for regular potato chips and to have with a party dip.

Try their store locator to find them in a store near you. In MN, you can find them at many Kowalski's Markets and a handful of other stores. If you don't need them this weekend and can also a couple days for them to be shipped, you can also buy them on Amazon.

Fitness Friday: Free Exercise Videos from Amazon Prime

After I finished doing a yoga dvd that I have had for a few years now I was thinking it was time to get a new DVD to add to my collection for those days when I am not going to make it to class. I started checking popular new videos on Amazon and then it came to me -- I should check if there are Exercise Videos from Amazon Prime that I can use for free with my membership and there is!

There several titles I already owned listed, but MANY more I didn't. I included pictures of the three I want to try the most in the post that have FREE UNLIMITED STREAMING with my Amazon Prime Membership. I am so excited to try these out! Now I don't need to purchase anything new and I can just stream it through our Xbox.

The other thing I like is that I can easily workout to these while on vacation just by streaming it over my computer or tablet. If you are in to Martial Arts, then you will be super happy with how many videos there are for that!

If you are not an Amazon Prime Member, then check out my post 6 Free Online Exercise Video Websites or The Cheapskate Guide to Getting in Shape for other ideas.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Lowe's Build & Grow Clinic - Love Note Holder

It's been a while since I have reminded you about the Lowe's Build and Grow Clinics. The next one coming up is on February 8th and you can build this cute little Love Note Holder with your child. These FREE clinics can fill up fast, so sign up right away. If your nearest location is full it won't appear in the list.

If you miss the clinic, they sell several different kids projects for under $10 at the Lowe's store and also online.

You can see some of the other Lowe's Build and Grow Clinics I have posted about too!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

GIVEAWAY and Review: Purex Crystals - Mountain Breeze

I was sent a full size bottle of Purex Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze to use in our laundry and tell my readers my thoughts. The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own. I started using this just a week ago  and it does have a fresh scent that has lasted through the week. The scent fades as the week goes on. The bottle comes with a measuring cap that can be detached. The measuring cap has lines on it telling you how much to use for small, medium and large loads. I typically wash large loads (in a front loading HE washing machine) and I thought adding the line that is for a small load to a large load. In my opinion, the amount needed for a large load was too over powering of a scent. Using about half the amount was perfect and provided a pleasing scent on clothes that lasted. And since we have had this polar vortex lately, I am happy to have something that smells like the outdoors.

So, how would you like to try Purex Crytals?

The Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze Sweepstakes! Enter to win a mountain of cash! 

One grand prize winner will receive $500 and 100 additional winners will receive a coupon for a free bottle of NEW Purex Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze.

Here you can see a close up of what the crystals look like. Purex Crytals acts as a fabric softener and claims to be a natural formula with 90% natural ingredients. I wish I knew more about the ingredients to share that with you, but I was not provided with that information and it is not labeled on the bottle.

What would you spend $500 on? Be sure to ENTER TO WIN!!

AND!!!! You can also enter my giveaway to win a bottle of Purex Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze. Winner will receive a coupon for a free full-size bottle. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordless Wednesday: Ice Skating at Medford Ice Park

I feel very fortunate that our little city decided to put the ice park in again this year. There are 2 rinks, one for skating and one for ice hockey and we have a staffed warming house (during staffed hours). It is a nice addition to our community and I think it helps develop pride in our community and support community involvement, especially among families. I hope we can get there many more times this season to skate!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Try It Tuesday: Hand Print Fish Painting

This was a Christmas present that my son made for his daddy to have to hang in the cabin. I painted the background on a 8x10 canvas and let him do the rest.

He started out by painting his hand (I let him pick out the colors of everything since this was his craft project and gift he was giving.)

Then he painted on a gold hook and then some brown sand/dirt on the bottom, and finally painted on a pink worm. When it was dry he glued on a pink googly eye (his choice.)

Review: Kelly's Kits

I received one Kelly's Kits to use with my kids in hopes that I would review it on my blog. The above is the kit I received that is called Frosty Frescos. It includes a watercolor paint set, 2 paint brushes, 2 salt packets and a small packet of watercolor paper and instructions.

First off, I need to say that I was happy that the paint brushes were of a decent quality and not plastic bristles like in most kids paint kids. We will get a lot of use out these brushes and are happy we can reuse them. I am also pleased with the colors of the watercolor paint set, as they are not the "normal" colors that are in kids paint sets. It really helped make it feel like between these more natural looking colors and the paint brushes that they were professional artists. The paper is also a very nice quality as well for painting on with water colors. Overall, I was happy with the quality of the supplies included, but I was expecting a nicer quality project kit like this for the price of $9.99.

Each of my kids and myself painted our own Fresco. There was only 2 salt packets and it seemed like each picture needed it's own packet, but you can just use salt from your home. So, we created 3 pictures, but we still have about 5 more sheets of paper left as well as plenty of paint and brushes that we will continue to use for a long time. So, all in all, I think this kit was priced decently. And it can be even cheaper if you sign up for a longer subscription than just buying one month. Also, the kits include FREE SHIPPING!

To Find Out More Information About Kelly's Kits Online:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Make It Monday: Clean Eating Oat Protein Waffles

Waffles are such a comfort food, but they can easily be cleaned up and pumped up and then topped with your favorite fruits or real maple syrup. These are very filling and you will be surprised that you eat less of these than you would traditional waffles.

Clean Eating Oat Protein Waffles 

1 C oat flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C what germ
1 scoop vanilla protein shake mix
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 egg whites
1/4 C coconut oil
1 3/4 C milk (your preference)

Mix all ingredients until blended. Bake in your waffle maker per manufacturer's instructions. Makes about 10 4" square waffles. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Disney on Ice "Let's Celebrate" Family 4-Pack

Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate!

It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends! Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; Mardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with the Disney Princesses; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo and Stitch; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivals from around the globe. Come join the party when this spectacular ice show visits your hometown!

Disney On Ice: Let's Celebrate! at the Target Center on 2/27-3/2

Opening Night Tickets only $10- no code needed. Get Your Tickets Today!

I will be there with my family to review the show and will share that review you after the show. It sounds like they are fitting a year of holidays, birthdays and celebrations in to one show. We have not seen Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter or Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen in a show yet, so that will be exciting to see.

(Enter Rafflecopter Form Below)

I received no monetary compensation for this post. I will be recieving tickets so that I can review the show. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Review: YoYummy Yogurts

My kids and I had the chance to review YoYummy yogurts. I only ended up my only being able to try 2 of the flavors because my children bogarted the rest. YoYummy yogurts are available in four delicious flavors: Mixed Berry, Strawberry Banana, Strawberry, and Cotton Candy. I am not sure they had a favorite flavor, they seem to ask for each flavor equally.

From YoYummy:

YoYummy was started by three guys with a very basic philosophy in mind: create a healthy, responsibly-made yogurt that tastes great and is affordable! YoYummy and Green Mountain Creamery strive to support their local dairy economy and community, using only Vermont cow milk from the Commonwealth Dairy. As a company, they are also committed to environmental sustainability and package all of their products using BPA-free materials.

Check back later and see a post how we re-used the caps off our YoYummy Yogurt in an art project the kids did. It was all my son's idea and the projects turned out so cute. I love that we were able to reuse the packaging.

I really liked having these on hand because my kids like to have snacks after school and these are a healthy snack that they really enjoyed. YoYummy yogurt is made with Grade-A rBST-free Vermont milk, is a good source of calcium, and is rich in vitamin A and D. I love the pouches they are in because they could easily be opened without squirting yogurt all over yourself and could be resealed if they did not finish it, although that was not the case with my kids. The sucked them down quickly.

YoYummy is available at Wegman’s, Costco, Hannaford, Stew Leonard’s, Fresh & Easy, and Sprout’s Farmer Markets. I do not have a Costco membership, so unless I ask someone who to pick some up for me that does have a membsership their, it looks like I won't be able to get any more for my kids because those other grocery store lines are not in my area. Hopefully they will expand to other grocery stores that are in MN because my kids really did like them.

Find out more information about YoYummy Yogurt online:

For more YoYummy fun for kids, check out their website for free printable color sheets of cows and fruit, as well as bookmarks, birthday invitations, birthday hat, or downloadable wallpaper. And don't forget to come back later to check out our post on how we re-used the caps in an art project!

The retail price for YoYummy is $4.99 for a 4-pack, $9.99 for a 12-pack, and $1.29 for single pouches.

Stay tuned for a giveaway of $10 Worth of YoYummy Product coupons. 

But in the meantime, you can get your own YoYummy Yogurt coupons here.

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Slow Cooker Saturday: Eggplant & Lentil Chili

If you are looking for a chili recipe that does not use beans or does not use meat, then this is your recipe! Lentils are used as a change from the traditional beans and eggplant offers a meaty texture. Both the lentils and eggplant keep the calories and fat low while increasing fiber. This recipe will fit perfectly in an Clean Eating or Paleo diet.

Eggplant and Lentil Chili
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, chopped
2 jalepenos, diced and seeds removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T mild chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed (I used orange lentils, but you could use whichever variety you wish)
4 cups vegetable broth
3 C tomatoes, chopped (canned or fresh)
2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 C fresh cilantro, minced

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fitness Friday: #megsmiles

I don't know Meg Menzies and I don't live in Virgina, but I don't have to. She was a fellow wife, mother, runner and person and that is all I needed to know. She was killed by a drunk driver while on her morning running on Monday morning. There was a Memorial Run this past Saturday in Virgina, but through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (and probably every other form of social media) there was a call out for everyone to put in miles for Meg whether you were a runner or walker or whatever. Here is the Facebook event with the invitation.

Photo: Facebook

It wasn't my day to run. It was actually supposed to be a rest day, with an hour of playing with my son at his preschool open gym and 45 minutes of shoveling snow mixed in, but I was going to run because I can in her memory and she't can't. I had to keep from tearing up while I ran (it's hard to breathe when you are crying) thinking about everyone she left behind. My heart breaks for her family and friends. I had a hard time not thinking about my outdoor run and how I am constantly scanning faces to make sure they are looking up at me and not distracted. My outdoor runs in my little town have to be on the road because we don't have the sidewalks and trails (maybe in a few more years the trail extending from neighboring towns will actually be built like they are talking about). I pray for Meg's soul to be at peace and that she is in a far better place and can run with out distracted and drunk drivers.

But just because Saturday has come and gone doesn't mean you can't still add your own #megsmiles because we all know if she were here still she would be logging those miles herself.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Simple Ribbon Hair Bands

These are simple to make and you could easily hand stitch them if you don't have a machine. You just need a short amount of ribbon (about 9-10 inches) and an elastic headband, some pins, thread and a needle (or sewing machine). This could be a good use for any leftover ribbon you might have from other projects or if you had ribbon that was wrapped around holiday packages that you saved.

I bought these elastic head bands from the dollar store. They came as a pack of 4 for $1. And then I cut one of them in half on only used the half length, so you can get 8 ribbon headbands out of those elastic bands.

Pin you elastic ends to your ribbon ends. I folded the ribbon over the elastic so that you couldn't see the white elastic piece in between. I machine stitched mine together which made it such a quick project.

Here I am wearing it to the Little Black Dress Affair (a fundraising event) that had a theme of vintage. I was dressed to look 60's-ish. The big hair in back with a flat front that was separated by a ribbon or head band was very classic of the 60's. You can also see the earrings I made to wear to this event in another blog post.

Here you can see a side view of what the ribbon head band looks like. The elastic part is under your hair and barely noticeable.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mom's Night Out is in Theatres May 8th

I like a fun Mom's Night Out! But the night these ladies are having in this Trailer is just a little too crazy for me! It certainly doesn't seem out of the realm of possibilities, but I hope it never happens. I certainly have no desire to be tasered! The movie is in theatres on Thursday, May 8th and I am going to have to get together a group of moms to go with me to see it,

‘Moms’ Night Out’ is produced by Kevin Downes to be distributed by AFFIRM Films (a division of Sony Pictures) and Provident Films. ‘Mom’s Night Out’ is a fast-paced, family comedy about four moms scheduling a night out where everything can and will go wrong, yet it all turns out just fine in the end. The film features a fantastic lineup of stars like Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy), Sean Astin (THE LORD OF THE RINGS), Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle), Alex Kendrick (COURAGEOUS), Robert Amaya (COURAGEOUS), Andrea Logan White (REVELATION ROAD) and Kevin Downes (COURAGEOUS). Platinum-selling country recording artist Trace Adkins (THE LINCOLN LAWYER) is “Bones,” a philosophical tattoo artist with a checkered past and a load of wisdom. This star-studded cast is sure to give an accurate portrayal of some of the hilarious situations Moms have found themselves in at one time or another in the wonderful world of parenting.

I am posting this information on behalf of BSM Media and Maria Bailey. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I received no monetary compensation for this post. I received nothing at all for this post except for the chance to win movie passes, which I am not guaranteed.

Wordless Wednesday: Snow Ice Cream

Every winter we hope to be able to make some Snow Ice Cream and we finally got around to that this year. 
It is simple to make and yummy! You can find my Snow Ice Cream Recipe (2013) or when we made it in here in 2012.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Try It Tuesday: DIY Teaching Clock

This is definitely a Dollar Store craft. The foam stickers, the foam circles and the foam sheets all came from the dollar store. The brads came from an office supply store when I needed them for another project a couple years ago.

The foam circles are great for this project because the clock shape is ready made. I did cut out the clock hands and gave the kids a choice as to what color clock face and hands they wanted.

We took down a clock from the kitchen wall so the kids could see it and know exactly where they needed to put the numbers. Lots of good number practice for them. Luckily there was enough 1's in the pack for both kids to get all their numbers!

This was a project that I brought over to a playdate at a friend's house. We like to have a nice long playdate that includes lunch, a craft project for the kids and lot of playtime and talk time and maybe some loom knitting time while we talk.

My son is proud to show off his project. He has been very interested in the clock and can usually tell me the hour, he is a little young to really get minutes on an analog clock but time will pass quickly and before I know it be will be telling time.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Make It Monday: Traditional Lentil Soup

Were you expecting another slow cooker meal from me with this one? Sorry to disappoint, but I do love my slow cooker. Lentil soup cooks up so quick that you don't need to plan ahead and have it cook all day. With only 45 minutes of cook time and about 10 minutes of prep time, this is an easy weeknight meal.

Traditional Lentil Soup
1 C dry lentils, rinsed and drained
5 C broth
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/8 ground pepper


  • Rinse and drain lentils and put in a large pot with broth.
  • Chop vegetables. I use my food processor
  • Combine vegetables and seasonings in the pot and stir.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to simmer and cover.
  • Cook for 40-45 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review: Transformers Prime: Ultimate Bumblebee DVD

My son was so excited when I showed him what was in the mail box for us to review now, a new DVD of Transformers Prime: Ultimate Bumblebee. I have to admit that with having my daughter being the oldest child and not growing up playing with Transformers (not sure that my brother had as big of an interest in it as he did other things), I am not quite as familiar with Transformers. But I do have a husband that grew up loving them and watching them a lot and the apple apparently does not fall from the tree as my son thinks they are awesome. He has a couple of Transformer toys and a Transformer book and we have seen the cartoon on TV, but this is the first Transformer DVD that we own.

 As soon as we walked in the house, he immediately got out of all his winter clothe sand put them away (if you were in my house you would know that I have to remind the kids to put their outerwear away) and had the wrapper off and asking if he can go watch it right away.

He was just mesmerized by all our episodes on this DVD. The whole DVD length is 88 minutes. I hope my daughter likes watching it too, because it is nice to have some long-ish DVDs in rotation when we are taking long road trips to visit my family or go up north. If you have a Transformer fan in your family, you will definitely want to get this DVD when it is released on February 25th! You can Pre-order Transformers Prime: Ultimate Bumblebee right now from their website!


 Spring into action with BUMBLEBEE from Hasbro Studios’ Emmy® Award-winning series TRANSFORMERS PRIME! Beloved by kids and legions of fans worldwide, BUMBLEBEE is a dedicated warrior and a scout who serves as part of the elite squad lead by OPTIMUS PRIME. Though he may be one of the smallest and youngest of the TRANSFORMERS, don’t let that fool you. Time and time again, this AUTOBOT proves that he has the bravery to fight for what is right and the tenacity to throw himself into action to battle against his opponents no matter where they appear. On February 25, 2014, Shout! Factory Kids, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios, will release TRANSFORMERS PRIME: ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE on DVD, featuring a collection of four best BUMBLEBEE adventures from the TRANSFORMERS PRIME lore. Packed with visually stunning CG animation and unforgettable characters, this new DVD delivers fun-filled home entertainment that kids and parents will enjoy!

Bring home TRANSFORMERS PRIME: ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE DVD at an affordable low price of $9.99. SRP.

 Four action-packed BUMBLEBEE adventures include:

  • Masters and Students
  • Operation Bumblebee, Part 1
  • Operation Bumblebee, Part 2
  • Deadlock

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Review: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

  I received these Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polished from Influenster to review. No monetary compensation was received and all thoughts, opinions and pictures are my own.

I just love these new color choices. The Pat on the Black (pictured below on my nails) could also be purple if you only put on 1-2 coats. I put on 3 coats. I found that 3 coats was best for all of them to have the best coverage, but I am fine with 3 coats of just one color because it is a 7-in-1 nail polish.

It has both a top coat and base coat built in along with the color. Here is a list of all 7 benefits:

Base Coat 
 Growth Treatment 
 Top Coat 
 Gel Shine

From the Sally Hansen Website About the Product:

Skip the salon, get the results. Don't settle for just color when you can get a base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, salon-inspired color, top coat, chip-resistance and a gel finish all in 1 bottle. Featuring the unique precision brush for a flawless finish and patented Vita Care technology for advanced 10 day wear, more shine and nourishing care.