Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Big Dam Bridge

Of course we had to go across the Big Dam Bridge in North Little Rock, AR so we we could say "that is a big dam bridge!" :) But seriously, it is the longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in the US that has not been used by automobiles.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Try It Tuesday: May Day Baskets

They actually our May Day basket from last year, but we make a similar basket every year. It is just a piece of 8.5x11" construction paper made in to a cone shape (no cutting involved) and secured with a staple in the back and a piece of tape at the bottom and then a braided yarn handle stapled to the sides. We write "Happy May Day" on the  basket decorate it with spring stickers. We filled out with some popcorn (in snack size baggies), lollipops, fruit snacks and a crepe paper flower.

My kids have so much fun running up to the doors and hanging them and knocking and running away. They love to see if they can get away without being caught. Last year we were caught at only 1 of 5 houses.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Make It Monday: Pear Tart with Caramel Sauce

Pear Tart with Caramel Sauce Recip

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Pear Layer 
5 pears, quartered, cored, peeled, and sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp.lemon juice

Caramel Sauce 
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons water

Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Blend powdered sugar, almonds, and salt in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and blend with pastry blender. Mix in egg yolk. Add flour. Blend until dough comes together in clumps. Press into tart pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Pear Layer 
In a large bowl toss pear slices with sugar and lemon juice. Arrange pear slices on crust. Pour all juice on bottom of bowl on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Caramel Sauce
To prepare sauce, combine 1/3 cup brown sugar, sour cream, and 2 tablespoons softened butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in 2 teaspoons water. Drizzle on top of baked tart at desired temperature (warm, hot or cool).

**Notes on Alterations** I think you only need 1/3-1/2 the amount of sauce it makes to get the desired look & taste. So, that's a good place to cut out some sugar/butter if that is something you want to do. I put it all on, but it was quite a lot

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Breakfast Clean Eating Weekly Menu #2

Tuesday: 2 Van’s Power Grains Waffles

Wednesday: Protein Fruit Smoothie, Whole Wheat Toast and peanut butter

Thursday: Egg Muffin with a Light Thomas’ English Muffin and a 1 whole egg and 1 egg white (either scrambled or fried)

Friday: Scrambled Eggs (1 whole egg and 2 eggs whites) with ½ C broccoli, ¼ C green onion, ½ mushrooms

Sunday: 2 pcs Turkey bacon, 3 egg whites and 1 C strawberries

GIVEAWAY and Review: What Its Like, Living Green? Book

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I am going a very quick giveaway for a copy of the book What's It Like, Living Green? Kids Teaching Kids, By the Way They Live by Jill Ammon Vanderwood.  I had a chance to read the book and review it for my readers. The book is filled with stories of how other kids and families live green and what kinds of choices they make for their family. It gives lots of ideas from different perspectives. The book is divided in to 6 sections that are titled:

  • What's It Like, Living Green?
  • Recycle
  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Responsible for Our Earth
  • Kids Teaching Kids By the Way They Live

Each section is comprised of a number of essays that are written by kids like Sara Sikes, age 13, that wrote "Plastic Bags Contaminate Land and Sea" and adults like Carrol Wolverton, that wrote "Water Tips" as well as essays from the author Jill Ammon Vanderwood like the one titled "Why Are Families Concerned about Chinese Products." The book covers a wide range of topics and offers up many ideas to consider and thoughts on changes to make. There is also a Green Quiz where a kids can take it to see what shade of green their family it. The quiz too helps give ideas on how you could be a deeper shade of green.

The book is geared towards kids 9 and older and is the recipient of several awards including the Indie Excellence Book Awards, Best Books Awards from USA Book News, and Winner of the League of Utah Writers.

It is available for purchase on Amazon for paperback or for the Kindle.

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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.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Slow Cooker Saturday: Beef and Broccoli

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli Recipe

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp ginger, grated

2 med onions, sliced thinly

1 - 1/2 lb flank or skirt steak or stew meat, browned

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 T lime juice

3 tsp low sodium soy sauce

3/4 C water

2 tsp cornstarch

1/4 C cold water

4 C broccoli, cut into florets


  • Brown steak or stew meat lightly before putting in the slow cooker
  • Add all ingredients through the 1/2 C water to the slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours
  • 10 minutes before serving, whisk cornstarch and cold water together, mix in to slow cooker 
  • Steam broccoli and stir in to slow cooker and mix sauce over the top
  • Serve over brown rice or quinoa
  • Enjoy!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: My YogaWorks

Disclosure: I received a free product trial in exchange for an honest review.

Today I am going to share with you my experience taking my first My YogaWorks Online Class. I was given a 6-month membership for free in exchange for my honest review, so I am going to have plenty of time to try it out and share more thoughts with my readers.

I was very excited to get this opportunity, because like I mentioned in my earlier post today I do practice yoga by taking a class once a week and try to do another video at home. Before accepting to do this review I did spend some time looking around the website to see if it was a good fit for me and I was very pleased because there are SO MANY videos to choose from. You can choose to find a video based on time, choosing from 8 different class time lengths between 5 minutes and 90 minutes or you choose based on level (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Teacher). There is no excuse that it is too hard or you don't have enough time. Make time for yourself for at least 5 minutes a day and before you know it you will be taking longer and more advanced classes.

I really like that I can do this from my home. I do like taking classes in person, but once or twice a week I do end up doing a video because the timing didn't work out for me to drive to a class, plus if I learned anything from our very cold winter in Minnesota that left us indoors often with schools and businesses being closed, is that I need to have options in my home to work out. I don't like to do the same thing every day and bore of it, that is why I am so pleased by how many options there are available.

I have mentioned how many options a couple times already, well let me just tell you have many video are available for each level (at the time of this post): Beginner - 163, Intermediate - 268, Advanced - 92, and Teachers - 135.

It's not just that you can pick a video based on time or level, but you can also narrow down your option by picking your target area, the benefit to you (detox, calming, weight loss, partner yoga, etc.) or even by teacher. You can also choose to do a series that helps you work to get in to a specific pose (i.e. handstand, firefly, etc.) or if you participate in a specific sport (i.e. running, surfing etc.) or their new 28 Day Spring Yoga Challenge, plus many more series options.

Is this starting to sound like there are too many options and you don't know where to start? I would suggest browsing around the site for a while to get a feel for it like I did, or if you want to jump right in, check out one of the Journey Series options (perhaps Yoga 101) where the classes are already laid out for you in the order they recommend them.

I was impressed with how much they talk you through proper form, which is very important and I sometimes find missing from yoga dvds that I do. I did 3 short classes (the benefit of having many times options) with different instructors in order to give my feedback and I am so thrilled with them. I have already picked out my first 30 minute class that I did by setting my search criteria to 30 minutes, Intermediate and Energizing. I had 24 options with that search criteria, but I am choosing the class called Yin and Yang.

You also have the option to stream it on your computer, tablet or phone so it is always available where ever you are. They also have a link to a tutorial if you want to connect your laptop to your TV so that you have a bigger screen.

Want to see if you like it before you subscribe? They offer a 14-DAY FREE TRIAL!!! How awesome is that!After that it is only $15 a month or unlimited streaming of classes. You can also choose to give it as a gift for 3, 6 or 12 months. Why delay? Start your FREE TRIAL today! Or as a SPECIAL DEAL FOR MY READERS!!!! Use code Blogger14 and get your first month for ONLY $5!!

Fitness Friday: This Week's Re-Cap

I really should have taken this picture after Strength class instead of before since my muscles would be more pumped looking and more impressive. Oh well. I was struggling this week to come up with a post for Fitness Friday again and realized my problem is that I was forgetting about what I do every week and not just the special events, products or reviews. I was forgetting that I workout most days of the week and it's not just the races or products reviews that keep me in shape, those only add up to a very small percentage of what I do to stay in shape.

If I mention any classes I took, they are always at Dynamic Fitness (unless I say differently), but here is how my last week looked:

Friday: Hiking with my kids
Saturday: Zumba Class
Sunday: Rest Day
Monday: 4 mile run with a friend (was such an awesome run!)
Tuesday: Vinyasa Yoga class AND Zumba class
Wednesday: Kick It Up Class
Thursday: Zumba class AND Strength Class (plus volunteering in my daughter's phy. ed. class and my son's recess in which I participate and run around with them during the entire time)

Pretty much that is how my week looks every week and soon my days I double up with classes will change because my kids'activity schedule changes. Usually there is a run on the weekend instead of a class, but sometimes weekend schedules change stuff up a bit. But as you notice I really do like to cross train quite a bit. I also try to fit in a Jillian Michaels video once a week to so that I am getting another strength or yoga time in and soon I will let you know about what I think about the JM One Week Shred DVD that a friend gave me for my birthday!

I do have some pretty awesome reviews and races coming up to blog about. Next weekend I have 2 races that I am participating in that are both Fun Run in nature.

So, what did you do to stay fit and active this week?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I Am a #PapaMurphysMom

If you "Like" Me on Facebook, you may remember a while back I announced I was picked to be a Papa Murphy's Mom. Well, my welcome kit arrived today and I am so excited to share my experiences with my readers, family and friends. Some of you (if you are local to me) might be lucky to be included in those experiences.

My welcome kit is pictured below and includes some conversation cards, Papa Murphy's signature topping of Herb and Cheese Blend and Red Pepper Flakes, as well as some Papa Murphy's napkins, this really awesome pizza cutter and a gift card to Papa Murphy's (I smell a pizza party with our friends in the future!)

As a Papa Murphy's Mom, I will be able to participate in focus groups, a Facebook insight group, learn about exclusive promotions and have early access to learn about new Papa Murphy's menu items

Lean more about Papa Murphy's online:

As a Papa Murphy's Mom, I receive products, promotional items and educational materials to use and share as I see fit. However, any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience.

Review: Transformers: Energon, Volume One

My son was so excited to see what was in the mail today, a new DVD to review for free!! This time we were reviewing Transformers Energon: Volume One. He couldn't wait to go veg out in front of the TV after a busy day at preschool and I was happy to oblige on this rainy day in MN. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, so we will be too busy playing outside to spend any time sitting in front of the TV.

This DVD from Shout Factory includes the first 7 episodes with a total run length of 154 minutes, which is one of the longest kid DVDs that I think we own. While he didn't watch it all of it in one sitting, not even close, the DVD does have the option to pick which episodes you want to watch you so can come back to them whenever you want.

I also really like that this DVD goes write to the main menu without previews for anything else or advertisements for toys or anything. I like to minimize how many advertisements and previews my son sees. I know that he is already exposed to quite a bit, but I minimize where I can. Plus, since he doesn't know how to use the Xbox control to get DVDs started I can get it started right away for him and now have to hang around in front of the TV fast-forwarding through previews.

He really enjoyed this DVD. I mean, it's Transformers - they are machines that turns in to robots and is good fighting against evil, so what's not to love.

No monetary compensation was received for this post. All thoughts, opinions, and pictures belong to Save Green Being Green.

Thrifty Thursday: Lowes Build Grow - Flower Delivery Truck

The next Lowe's Build and Grow is coming up Mother's Day Weekend. We have been doing these for a while now and it seems like Lowe's usually offers a Build and Grow Clinic that allows a child to make a preset for their mother or other caregiver. It is a very nice sentiment.

What I have also noticed recently is that Lowe's has scaled back the amount of Build and Grow Clinics they offer and appear to only offer one a month now, whereas they used to offer two. These FREE clinics have become very popular and sign ups go quickly. If you wait to sign up until the week of, you might not get in.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Pinnacle Mountain

This was from a hike I did with friends to the peak of Pinnacle Mountain at Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Try It Tuesday: Dot Marker Popsicle Stick Math

This project was fun to do with my son. I took a bunch of large popsicle sticks and numbered them and let him make dots on them. You can fit up to 10 dots on one if you make the dots close together. This exercise was good practice with counting, but then we took it a step further and I made +, - and = signs on some more and we started to practice some math and then he had to look for the corresponding answer to the problem I set up for him. This was a lot of a fun and a different way to do preschool at home.

Be sure to also check out my post called Five Spring Dot Marker Art Projects to get some other ideas!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Make It Monday: Mock Guacamole

I came across this recipe when I was counting weight watchers points years ago. I am not sure on the points, but it is certainly half of what regular guacamole will be since you are using half as much avocado. There is a pea flavor to it, but if you eat it served in a burrito or on a taco salad the flavors will all blend and you will not even notice it. I would think that if you just ate this with chips you would taste the peas. I have seen where it was all peas for the recipe, but I don't think that would taste close enough. But if have Mock Guac with a little pea flavor or no guacamole are the options, I will have the Mock Guac. I think having fats included as part of your diet is healthy and avocados have a good fat, but considering the way I eat guacamole it's probably smart to have only half the traditional amount of avocados in it and add in a different veggies.

This is a simple recipe:

Mock Guac Recipe

1 avocado
1/2 bag frozen (thawed peas)
1 packet guacamole seasoning

Puree it all together and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!!

I am enjoying my Easter with family and hope that you have the opportunity to do the same things with some loved ones! Come back tomorrow for a new recipe for Make It Monday!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Slow Cooker Saturday: Chicken Corn Chowder

I came up with this recipe when I noticed I had an abundance of creamed corn in my pantry. I don't typically buy creamed corn, and I know I had bought 2 can for 1 recipe I wanted to try, but I must have forgotten I bought some and bought 2 more cans. My soup-loving daughter just gobbled this up.

Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder Recipe
6-8 oz of cooked chicken, diced
1 - 15oz can of creamed corn
1 large potato, peeled and cubed or 1 C uncooked hashbrowns
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
2 C chicken broth
1 C milk
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 5 hours.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fitness Friday: Favorite Fitness Reads This Week

Ok, I admit it....I have been uninspired this week to write about anything fitness I am looking to help inspire you by giving you some ideas of other Fitness Reads from other bloggers that I have read this week.

Or you can check out my previous Fitness Posts or see what I have pinned to my Exercise/Fitness Board on Pinterest (be sure to follow me too!)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thifty Thursday: Make Your Own Apple & Potato Chips

Ok, I know, potato chips are cheap so you are probably not saving money using your Pampered Chef Chip Maker (plus you need to buy one of them too - but try to find one at a yard sale, or if you find yourself at a party and feel like you need to buy something, then think about this because you can make Fat Free Chips!!!) But have you ever bought apple chips. I do and while they are tasty it ends up costing $1 an ounce for organic apple chips. That can be spendy, but over time your investment in a chip maker will save you money if you regularly make your family apple chips and potato chips.

The other tool I use to help me make them is a mandoline slicer. It's a fantastic too that makes it so easy to make REALLY thin cuts. Some of you might have a slicer attachment for your food processor, or maybe you are just gifted at making really thin cuts with a knife (btw - I am so jealous of this skill!)

I've tried making these chips in the oven and while you can do it, it is faster in the microwave.

So, if you love potato chips but avoided them because of the added fat they contain, then there is not need to worry. You use NO oil whatsoever to make these. In fact the only thing I add to my potato chips is salt and I sometimes add plain cinnamon to my apple chips.

Specific instructions are included with your chip maker and there are differing cooking times depending upon the strength of your microwave, so it is best to consult those instructions.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Blue Springs State Park

A GREAT opportunity to check out manatees at the Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, FL

Short video I took of the manatees while we were there. They said the count in the lagoon that day was 217!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Sunsella Buddy Box

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I was so excited to be able to review the Sunsella Buddy Box, which is a bento-style box with 3 compartments. First of all, I want to say that the compartments are all nicely sized so that I can give hearty portions of fruits and vegetables in them. I can, fit in a sandwich made on wide loaf pan bread in the larger compartment, which I really appreciate since that is the type of bread I use. The lids snap on easily and stay in place and keep the food from touching each other. I love that they are are BPA-free, so I feel good about serving food to my kids in them.

My daughter eats lunch 2-3 times a week and by using a bento-style box I am able to just grab 2 pieces, the container and the lid, and assemble her lunch. Previously, I was searching for 6 different pieces since I prefer to use re-useable containers and not use baggies if I do not have to.

The picture above was taken when I was heading to a park playgroup with my son that afternoon and my daughter was eating lunch from home at school I just lined them up and put in carrots, sliced strawberries, sandwiches (my kids tend to only eat a 1/2 a sandwich when I make them on wide loaf pan bread) and pretzels.

Today I sent my daughter to school with a similar looking lunch of strawberries, a full PBJ sandwich (her request today) and cucumber slices. The bento style box make it easy to send enough food choices to eat and appropriate sized servings.

My kids love that they can just open up the lid and see all of their food at once.

You can buy your own set of 4 Sunsella Buddy Boxes on Amazon. At the time of this post they were listed for $13.99, which I think is a wonderful deal.

Product Description from Sunsella
Sunsella Buddy Box's - 4 High Quality BPA Free Bento Lunch Boxes - Not Leakproof - Durable Plastic Lunch & Food Storage Containers - Microwave, Freezer & Dishwasher Safe - Meets FDA Standards - Keeps Food Separated, Perfectly Sized Portions, Child Friendly Colorful Lids, Great for School or Office Lunches.

You can find out more information about Sunsella and their products online:

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.

Try It Tuesday: Easter Bunny Smores

This Easter we are going to spend some time at our Rustic Cabin since it is also my husband's birthday. So, we'll be having campfires and a fun time and I thought it would be cute for the Easter Bunny to leave behind these treats (along with some other outdoor exploration items) for the kids to find in the morning. I can't wait to see how big these bunnies get!

Want some other S'mores ideas? Then check out my post called 12 Ways to Make S'mores or how about some S'mores Oatmeal?