Monday, March 31, 2014

Make It Monday: 2 Easter Side Dishes - Garlicky Dill Carrots & Spinach Salad

Both of these dishes pack a lot of flavor and fiber but with out the calories and fat. You won't miss the butter or the salad dressing. Good tasting food doesn't have to mean spending a lot of time in the kitchen; they can be simple and quick to prepare like these two side dishes.

Garlicky Dill Carrots
2 C broth (I used chicken, but you could use vegetable)
1 lb baby carrots
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dill

Directions: Boil the carrots and garlic in the broth until carrots reach desired level of doneness. Strain broth from carrots and garlic. Sprinkle dill on top and toss to coat evenly. Enjoy!

Spinach Salad
1 bag of spinach
1/2 lb strawberries, sliced
1/2 med. red onion, sliced
quality balsamic vinegar (a good quality balsamic will have a sweeter flavor to it)

Directions: Toss together spinach, strawberries and red onion. Drizzle on 1-2 T of good quality balsamic vinegar and toss to blend. Enjoy!

Review: Dial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap

I had a chance to review Dial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap for free. All thoughts and opinions and pictures are my own and I received no monetary compensation for this post.

I was sent both the Coconut Lime Verbena and and Water Blossoms scents. We use soap a lot in out house and there is a bottle of liquid soap at every sink in our house. I really liked both of these scents in their Deep Cleansing line. The other scent in this line is Yellow Raspberry and Black Sugar. I love the scent of raspberries so I am sure I would love it.

Both of the scents are very springy, which is so what we need right now in Minnesota. It has been a long winter and now that we are finally getting outside, all that snow is melting and we are cleaning up the yard and the kids are playing in a sloppy mess and we definitely need to have plenty of soap around to clean up.

Go check out all the lines of Dial Hand Soap including the Deep Cleansing line as well, and see what scents you prefer.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Clean Eating Recipes from Pinterest

I made these Cabbage Rolls from Seeded at the Table. My exception to the recipe is that I made it with ground turkey instead and I did use brown rice.

I was very excited to try this Clean Cookie Dough recipe from He and She Eat Clean. I have seen recipes that use garbanzo beans, these do NOT. I have not tried the variety with garbanzo beans, but sometimes I just don't want too many beans, if you catch my drift. :) This is so tasty. The picture was take right after I took it from the food processor. I let it soak up a bit in the fridge before I made individual freezer cookies. Also, I did put almond extract (I love that stuff!) for half of the vanilla.

This Pumpkin Custard recipe from Clean Eating Magazine was delicious and is like a custard pumpkin pie without the crust. I would make this one again in a heartbeat!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Slow Cooker Saturday: Carne Picada Salad

Mexican cuisine night in your household can be both healthy and cost effective. Carne Picada is a the type of labeled beef you want to look for in your supermarket. All it is, is simply very thin slices of beef from cheaper cuts of beef. Now, you are probably wondering how this is a slow cooker meal. Well, you could make carne picada just as you would tacos on the stove top and that is how you start out, but the beef carne picada tends to be cut from are tougher cuts and if you cook it all day in the slow cooker you will come home to very tender slices of meat.

Slow Cooker Carne Picada
1 1/2 - 2 pounds of carne picada beef
2-3 T  Clean Eating Taco Seasoning (click link for my recipe)
3/4 - 1 C water

Directions: Brown beef lightly on the stove top. Transfer beef to a 3 qt slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning on top and water. Stir. Cook on low for 6- 8 hours.

Carne Picada Salad
Make a bed of lettuce. Layer on top Slow Cooker Carne Picada, avocados, corn, black olives, salsa and any other favorite toppings, Enjoy!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fitness Friday: Wild Irish Run

My second 5K run of 2014 is complete! This one was the 1st annual Wild Irish Run in Waseca, MN that was put on by the Irish American Club of Southern MN. I ran the race with my friend Carrie and this was her first 5k race! So proud of her and happy I could run it with her, now to find a 10k that we can run together and she can run her first 10k. It was a chilly run at around 28 degrees, but frankly that was really warm compared the rest of our winter. This was my first time running outside since my October Half Marathon.

My other 5K this year was a Virtual Race. My next 5K is the Gorilla Fun Run. There might be a race I do in April, but I am just waiting to see how the weather shapes up and the terrain because it is a trail run and could be very muddy, plus we might want to go to our little rustic cabin, which we went to right after I finished this run. Are you planning on any run this year?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

GIVEAWAY and Review: The Sparkle Egg Book

My Thoughts:

If you loved The Sparkle Box when I review it a year an a half ago (if you don't remember it or didn't see it is a lovely book that engages the use of a sparkly box to help children engage in the true meaning of Christmas and learn what it means to give and do for others) then you are really going to love the next book by Jill Hardie titled The Sparkle Egg.

My kids couldn't wait to start reading the book, because face it, what kid isn't going to be intrigued by a book with a glittery egg on the cover along with Easter candy. So we read it for the first time as soon as they walked in the door after school was over. My son's response right away was to ask me if we can go make our own sparkly egg for Easter, which we do plan to do as soon as I get some plastic eggs. When we make ours I will let my kids be creative and choose if they want a golden egg or some other color. You can pick up glitter and plastic eggs at the dollar store, so this project won't have to cost you much, or maybe you have both of these items in your home.

This book really got them engaged in what Easter really is about, and it's not about a bunny or chocolates. You can read below about what the books is all about and decide for yourself and then at the bottom of the post you can enter to win your own copy.

About The Sparkle Egg  from Ideals Publications -

Easter is coming, and Sam loves Easter! But this year, he is upset about a lie he told his parents. Even though he apologized and they forgave him, Sam can’t shake the feeling that he is a bad kid for what he did. Meanwhile, his parents help him make a special Easter craft called a Sparkle Egg. His mom tells him to write anything he feels sorry about or ashamed of on a piece of paper and put it inside his Sparkle Egg.

On Easter morning, when he opens his Sparkle Egg expecting a surprise, Sam finds that it is empty! His parents explain that because Jesus died and rose again, we are forgiven. Like the tomb that first Easter Day, Sam's egg is empty—and Sam’s wrongdoing is completely forgiven. Once he accepts this forgiveness fully, Sam realizes a truth: we can sparkle and shine with God’s light when we let God’s gift of grace into our hearts. This touching story will strike a deep chord with readers of all ages, and the Sparkle Egg tradition will help readers and their families grasp the totality of God’s perfect grace.

This is just to give you an idea of another lovely holiday book available from Ideals Publications.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Thrifty Thursday: Create Your Own Mickey Mouse Hair Accessories

How about one more Disney post this week! I made my kids their own Mickey and Minnie Ears on a headband for our recent Disney World Trip. I did look at how much the ears would cost me while I was there and there was many, many varieties of ears to choose from and it was going to cost a minimum of $15 per ear set and going up in price from there. A lot of souvenirs were not in our budget at Disney since just once day there costs $400 in admission for our family. My kids were just as happy with their homemade ears as they would have been with ones we bought there and I spent $1.50 to make them each a pair and 2 pairs to giveaway at our #Disneyside party. I do want to note that I saw so many ears being worn by parents because kids didn't want to wear them anymore or riding in the bottoms of strollers.

To start off I just cute pairs of ears our of felt by making this shape. This way when you fold if over the headband it can be easily secured together and matched up.

Then I placed a piece of hot glue in the center and glue the center to the headband first, then I placed hot glue on one of the insides of the ears and pressed them in to place. Repeat this with each ear. I didn't make my ears too big, so they didn't flop over. I bought a 4-pack these headbands at the Dollar Tree and 2 pieces of felt for 50-cents for both from JoAnn Fabrics.

For my daughter Minnie ears I used some red ribbon with white polka dots. I tie a bow on the top of the headband between the ears. I did put a bit of hot glue in the center too.

This was a fun and cute little barrette I made for my daughter. I bought the barrettes at Dollar Tree, but the buttons and ribbon were from my stash. Just a bit of hot glue in the right places and I had this cute little  barrette.

One last barrette I made for my daughter was this ribbon one of Minnie Mouse. These were created using alligator clips, ribbon and hot glue from my stash, so I didn't spend any additional money to make these for her.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review: Curious Critters Volume Two Book

I was so excited to be asked to review the next in the series of Curious Critters books by David Fitz Simmons. This newest one is of the same title, but add on Volume Two. It was almost two years ago that I first told my readers about Curious Critters and if you have read that book since then, you will not at all be disappointed in Volume Two. I am sharing some pictures I took of some of the pages so you can see just how wonderful all the pictures are. The quality of the photos are amazing and you get to see every details on each of the animals in the book. It is simply amazing!

The Bluegill page was what my son wanted to read first. Why, you ask? Well, he knows that is a native fish to Minnesota and his daddy caught some ice fishing this winter that we fried up and ate. He was so excited to learn more about this fish.

I wanted to point out that this book features the Eastern Cottontail, just in case anyone is looking for some kind of Easter present that wasn't all Easter-y. I know that many of us like to find something that we can use or read all year round when we give holiday gifts or prizes, and this certainly fits the bill.

Here is my son opening up to his favorite one. I gave him the book and although he can't read yet he looked through the book at all the amazing pictures and then said told me (point to the Bluegill) "I want you to read me this one first then we can start from the beginning."

What I haven't yet told you about is the text - not only is this book filled with page after page of wonderous picture but also entertaining and educational text. Each critter is written about from the perspective of the that animals while teaching them about themselves and their habitats and behaviors. You will find yourself chuckling a time or two while you read this.

Just look at the detail on that Armadillo and that is of me taking a picture of the book. Imagine how fantastic this looks when you have the actual book in your hands!

They will be coming out with Curious Critters: Marine this coming Fall. I sure do hope I am asked to review that one as well. They are fantastic book. The pictures are wonderful and the text is sure to make you laugh and interest your children.

The books are also available in audio versions in both MP3 and CD. You can check them out and here sample of them HERE.

You can buy Curious Critters Volume Two from both Wild Iris Publishing and Amazon.

Wordless Wednesday: Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

My mom was actually the person who suggested we find a lighthouse to tour when we take our trip to Florida. I started looking and there are only a few in the whole state that you can actually go in. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is one of those. It is also the tallest functioning lighthouse in Florida and 2nd tallest in the U.S. Here are pictures of us inside it, from the top, from the bottom and on the grounds and around the museum buildings.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review: Delivery Man (RELEASED TODAY! 3/25)

My Thoughts:

I had the fun privilege of reviewing Delivery Man, which was released to Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and On-Demand today!!!! Have you seen it yet? My husband and I had a date night when it was released to the theater. We had seen a preview of the movie and have always been fans of Vince Vaughn, so we saw it opening weekend. When I was asked if I wanted to review the DVD, I jumped at the chance to be able to own the Blu-Ray and view it in my home.

The role is a fairly typical one for Vince Vaughn, the underachiever role seems to be his type-cast, so he is perfect for the part. The movie really illustrates how a children from the same parent can be so different from each other. Throughout the movie he struggles with deciding if he wants to disclose that he is actually a father and what that means to him, his current relationship and what being a father to so many children mean. The movie does a good job of making you understand how these children must feel about wanting to know more about the other half of their genetic code.  It is a feel good movie and one that has you think a little bit about decisions you have made in your past and how they can affect your future.

What I am most excited about it seeing the bonus clips, behind the scenes footage and deleted scenes. Aren't those always the best! You can't see them at the theater and you can only see them on the dvd.

About Delivery Man:

In this heartwarming comedy, underachiever David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) learns he’s actually an overachiever — he’s fathered 533 children via donations made twenty years earlier! David soon discovers that the shock of his life might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Along the way he discovers not only his true self, but also the father he could become. Also starring Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders — and complete with bonus materials, including behind-the-scenes footage — it’s a feel-good movie that really delivers.

To learn more visit:

Facebook page @`

Twitter at @

Try It Tuesday: Mickey Mouse Cupcakes

Making Mickey Mouse Cupcakes are simple and all you need is red frosting (you really need to buy a canister of this because if you try to make your own you will use up all your red food coloring and still just have dark pink frosting), cake mix (make your own if you choose), cupcake liners, marbles, white chocolate chips and mini Oreos.

I made a whole tray of them, actually I made more than this, but the tray didn't fit any more than this.

So, here is the trick to how you create the top of the head with the ear. Put the liners in place first, then press in a marble, then scoop in the batter. If you don't do it in that order you might put in too much batter and then it will bake over the top of your cupcake. Only fill the liners 2/3 full, if you notice the one that is filled higher there, well that one baked over the top of the marble and then I had to make the shape of the ears after the fact. So, it's important to just fill them 2/3 full.

Then frost with red frosting, put the mini Oreos on top for the ears and the white chocolate chips on the bottom to look like the buttons on Mickey's pants.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Make It Monday: Clean Eating Cole Slaw Recipe

Are you thinking of a side did to have for Easter? Or maybe thinking ahead to picnics and potlucks! Traditional cole slaw is loaded with mayo and fat, try out this clean eating version and you won't miss the old kind.

Clean Eating Cole Slaw
14 oz. shredded cole slaw mix
6 oz container of plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp brown mustard
1 T raw honey
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Combine yogurt, mustard, honey , salt & pepper in a shaker or mix with a blender. Pour over cole slaw mix and stir to cover. Allow to sit for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

GIVEAWAY and Review: Purex Crystals - Fabulously Fresh

I was super excited to be asked to review the Purex Crystals Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh with my family. I first used Purex Crystals when I reviewed them in January with that scent of Fresh Mountain Breeze. I have a family of four and it took me a little over a month of use to use up the bottle. I have really enjoyed the scent of this new limited edition scent. My use of this scent is the same as as when I reviewed the previous scent, that I only use enough crystals for a small load in my large load in my front loading washing machine. Their are handy lines on the removable cap for small, medium and large loads.

Fabulously Fresh is a Limited Edition scent of Purex Crystals, so be sure to go get it now to try it out of you are interested in this scent. The other scents include Fresh Mountain Breeze, Fresh Spring Water, Lavendar Blossom, and Tropical Splash. I really want to try Tropical Splash, but I have not seen it in our area stores like I have seen the other scents. They also have Purex Crystals for Baby that is hypoallergenic and dye free, I am hoping to try that one too! I really like the idea that the Baby Crystals is dye free.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent this product for the purpose of reviewing it for a blog post. No monetary compensation was received. All thoughts, opinions and photos belong to SGBG.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Loom Knit Boot Cuffs

These were quick to whip up and you could easily embellish them with buttons or hand sew some lace to them at the top if you wanted additional detail.

Here you can see all the supplies I used and the finished cuffs. Not sure why one looks bigger than the other in this picture. They were made on the same loom and fit the same.

I used the smallest Knifty Knitter loom that is used to make infant hats. I started out by casting on with an e-wrap and then pulling over a single stitch to make 10 rows. After making 10 rows I put the first row back on the pegs and pulled the stitches over so that it created a brim.

Then I continued to cast on 20 more rows to make sure that they were long enough to go in to my boots a bit to where the back of my boots  has a cut out design.

To finish the bottom I made a single chain around the bottom using a crochet hook. But if you have bigger calves this will make too tight of a bottom for you and would recommend using a needle and threading yarn through it and taking the stitches off and use a whip stitch on the loops and the space between the loops.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Slow Cooker Saturday: Easy Pork and Mushroom Gravy

What could be more simple that 3 ingredients and no measuring? That's it! And you will be amazed at how tender your pork is. You choose what kind of cut of pork you want to use, chops, steaks, roast.

Easy Pork and Gravy
2 pounds of pork (your choice of cut: steaks, chops, roast, tenderloin)
1 can of a cola product (doesn't matter if it's a name brand or generic or diet or regular)
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup

Cook pork with can of cola poured over the top of it in a slow cooker for 7-8 hours
Before serving, remove pork from the slow cooker and whisk in cream of mushroom to the cola and drippings mixture. Use this as a gravy. Serve with mashed potatoes , pasta or rice. Enjoy!

#Disneyside Party in Our Home

I want to disclose right away that any Disney items you see pictured here including the plates, cups, balloons, decorations, bingo, many of the prizes, table cloth, cupcake liners, etc. were sent to me to help promote Disney Side Celebrations.

If you have been following my blog a bit this month you have been watching me show my #Disneyside by going on a family trip to Walt Disney World and I shared with you pictures of going to the Magic Kingdom and all of Disney Characters we met. Well, we took it further than than and showed our #Disneyside  at home and had a party and invited a bunch of friends.

We played bingo and learned quite a bit about all the parks, characters and special Disney places. The kids loved it and it was very helpful that each card drawn appeared on every bingo card so all these young kids felt like they were participating the whole time because they were!

Our friends that came over went home with so many wonderful prizes to help them show their own #Disneyside including posters, stickers, and blank photo cards & envelopes from HP. I also included other things prizes and samples I had to pass out and to use as prizes for the Disney Trivia game we played (the adults.)

It was so fun to get the house all decorated up with Mickey and Friends. We decorated up both the dining room (where the adults ate our fancy salads I made) and the kids at the kitchen table which was decorated above it too and they ate traditional kid fare of Mac and cheese and baby carrots. And we all had some bread too and these fun Mickey cupcakes I made.

 Below you can see one of the Mickey cupcakes I made and I am going to have another #Disneyside post tell you just how to create these Mickey Mouse Cupcakes. So, come back on Tuesday for Try It Tuesday!

If you like all the Disney decorations I was sent, you  might be able to find them at your local Hallmark Store because they all had Hallmark store labels on them.

If you are thinking of throwing a party and showing your Disney Side, be sure to check out the website Disney Side Celebrations for lots of party ideas, recipes, themes and so much more!