Tuesday, December 29, 2015

30 Day Full Body Challenge for the New Year!!!!

Whose ready for another challenge to start off the New Year with?

A group of friends and myself just finished doing a 30-day squat challenge recently and as of today are finishing a 14-day plank challenge. And so, I roped them in to doing another one but this time making it a full body challenge. I think we are all up for this one! I am excited to get started on January 1st.

I made up my own schedule so that it actually looks like January 2016 and I like to have my challenges be free of images of people. So, here you have it. Who's in?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pinterest Inspired Craft Projects

Time to check off a few of the projects on my Pinterest Boards as DONE! If you don't already follow me on Pinterest, please do. Follow me on Pinterest!

One afternoon, us mommies decided to have a lunch playdate and I  just had enough of only doing projects with the kids. I wanted to do something for me, by me. A t-shirt scarf had been in the back of my head for a long time and it felt SOOOO good to make it, have it turn out just how I anticipated. I didn't realize that project was weighing on me. I felt such a sense of accomplishment after we finished them. I made a brown scarf that came from a tutorial from Shwin and Shwin. My friend made her gray scarf from an image that was just a pinned image, so I don't know who to give the credit to. She might need to start a blog and pin her own tutorial because she figured out re-purpose a men's t-shirt and make the scarf. Smart lady!

 The idea and basic tutorial for this giant felt flower came from Sewing In No Mans Land and ironically the tutorial was to hot glue the pieces and not sew them. I am sure it is much faster to hot glue all the pieces, but I was afraid it might not hold up if I had to wash the hat, so I hand stitched each piece to each other. I thought it turned out really cute!

No Knit Scarf from Martha Stewart was pretty easy to make. You are simply tying a bunch of knots.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from Save Green Being Green!

Merry Christmas from Save Green Being Green!

LOL! After I made this, I realized that my daughter looks the exact same. Well, that is because they really don't have much to choose from for "girl" clothes for a child on the program. I hope they change that for 2016.

Monday, December 21, 2015

12 Books of Christmas at the 5.0 AR Level

Babar and Father Christmas by Jean de Brunhoff (.5 pts)
Christmas by Catherine Chambers (.5 pts)
Grandfather's Christmas Tree by Keith Strand (.5 pts)
Rags and Riches: Kids in the Time of Charles Dickens by Mary Pope Osborne (1pt)
Robot Santa by Dean Koontz (1pt)
Star Mother's Youngest Child by Louise Moeri (1pt)
The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree by David Rubel (.5 pts)
The Christmas Ghost by Janice Lee Smith (1pt)
The North Pole Penguin by Christopher Payne (.5 pts)
The Stable Rat and Other Christmas Poems by Julia Cunningham (.5 pts)
The Twelve Days of Christmas in Michigan by Susan Collins Thoms (.5 pts)
Woodland Nutcracker by Avril Tyrrell (.5 pts)

Christmas Divinity Candy

I am not going to pretend making divinity is easy. It can be if you have patience and follow this recipe exactly. It can be very easy to screw it up and overcook or under cook the mixture. So, take your time and make sure you have a good candy thermometer to use. You could add nuts to this candy, but I like it plain and I add food coloring to give it a fun color for the holidays.

Christmas Divinity Candy
From Betty Crocker Cookbook

2 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla


Cook sugar, corn syrup and water (use 1 tablespoon less water on humid days) in 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, to 260┬║F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water forms a hard ball that holds its shape but is pliable.

Beat egg whites in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Continue beating while pouring hot syrup in a thin stream into egg whites, beating constantly on medium speed. (For best results, use electric stand mixer, not a portable handheld mixer since beating time is about 10 minutes and mixture is thick.) Add vanilla. Beat until mixture holds its shape and becomes slightly dull. (Mixture may become too stiff for mixer.)

Drop mixture from buttered spoon onto waxed paper. Let stand at room temperature at least 12 hours, turning candies over once, until candies feel firm. Store in airtight container.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Coconut Flour Crust & Review of Love Cooking Company PushPan

If you are trying to eat grain-free or gluten free, then you are sure to appreciate this recipe which fits perfectly in this Love Cooking Company PushPan that is sized 8"x2".

Coconut Flour Crust
1/4 C Coconut Flour
2 T chopped pecans
2 packets stevia
2 T butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir until well combined. Press in to a greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool if topping with a no bake cheesecake.

Review of Love Cooking Company PushPan

I had the opportunity to review the three Love Cooking Company pans above, but I was excited to share my coconut flour crust recipe with you, so I wanted to tell you about he PushPan first.

The pan is easy to use. It creates a liquid tight seal so it works great when making a cheesecake. It easily pushes out and I was surprised that I could relatively easily push it back in with cheesecake on top of it, that's if you don't serve it all at once.

Now that I have a PushPan that makes serving a no bake cheesecake recipe easier, and a tasty new cheesecake crust recipe I think my family will be expecting more cheesecakes in the future.

All thoughts, opinions and photographs and recipes are my own. I was provided the pans for the purpose of review but no monetary compensation was received.

Top 10 Christmas Movies on Netflix in 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Recycled Ornaments

There are 3 different ornaments here, 2 of which are spruced up Christmas Ball ornaments and one is repurposed bottle caps. The Christmas balls I bought from the dollar store in a tube of 12. For the Green "Elf" ornament I just glued on 2 red buttons from my leftover stash and some leftover fuzzy white yarn. For the Red "Santa" ornament I used some gaffer tape and folded it in the center so I could repurpose a pop top to and then taped it down.

The repurposed Snowman ornament was made by hot gluing bottle caps and a felt hat I cut out on to a popsicle stick and then painting it and gluing on a scrap piece of yarn for a scarf.

Monday, December 14, 2015

EASY 3-Ingredient Gingerbread Dip

Gingerbread Dip
1 box gingerbread Jell-O
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C whipping cream
vanilla wafers, apple slices or gingerbread cookies to serve on the side

Whip Together all ingredients until fluffy. Allow to chill for at least  1 hour before serving. Mixture will thicken as it chills. Serve with vanilla wafers, apple slices or gingerbread cookies.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Spruced Up Store Bought Ornaments

These ones are these thick felt ornaments I bought at Target last year when they were 75% off and gave them a little bling by adding some sequins and gluing them on. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

For Your Mistle-TOES This Holiday Season

This was one of the many little gifts we gave to the babysitter last Christmas. They are all sitting on a cute organza tie gift bag that I put then in.

It's just a cute little set including a pedicure foot mask, emery boards, lotion, sparkling red nail polish and clear nail polish.

Then I just tied it closed and attached a little card that read:

For Your Mistle-Toes This Holiday Season!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Easiest Fudge Recipe EVER!

Easiest Fudge Recipe Ever!
18 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla


  • Line an 8" square pan with wax paper
  • Melt chocolate chips with the salt and sweetened condensed milk in a sauce pan until chocolate is completely melted
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla
  • Chill for 2 hours or until firm
  • Remove from pan by lifting up on edges of wax paper

Friday, December 4, 2015

Pottery Dinosaur and Butterfly Ornaments

These are ornaments I made for my children (they each have their own little Christmas trees), a niece and nephew and our own tree. I had been making a lot of pottery items and pottery is the one thing I do that no one else in my family does, so it's something I can make for them that they can't make for themselves. I started an ornament collection for my children from their first Christmas and gave them small (we're talking about 2.5'-3' tall) artificial trees and each year they get a new ornament from St. Nick but we also add to that collection some homemade ornaments. I also wanted them to have a keepsake ornament that their mom/aunt made. Plus, making ornaments are a easy way that uses a small amount of clay to test how some glazes work together.

I made these by slab rolling out clay and using cookie cutters. Simple to make and a big impact on the tree and their memories. I really how using a small piece of thick ribbon added to the luxuriousness of the ornament.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

FREE Lowe's Build & Grow Christmas Train

Don't wait long to sign up to make this Holiday Train at the Lowe's Build and Grow. I tried to sign up yesterday and it is already full at my closest Lowe's and the next closest one is an hour away. Needless to say, we won't be able to participate in this one on Saturday, December 12th.

Monday, November 30, 2015

DEAL!!! $9.99 (regularly: $69) for a 20x16" canvas print

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#ad Review: Voice-activated led Laser Stage lighting

My Thoughts:
The red and green colors in this laser stage show is perfect for the upcoming holiday season. I have included 3 pictures here that show the laser show with 3 different ways the lights work. My kids thought this was pretty awesome to set up a dance party in the living room. A couple of warnings on the product say to not use it continuously for over 2 hours, which I don't know that we would have a problem with but wanted to mention in case someone was buying this and wanted it to run longer. Also, it has a warning to not shine the light in anyone's eyes. People should know that, but I am saying it in case people aren't thinking about that. You need to plan to have this in a location so it is not in direct eye line of people and are project it on to something. I looks really cool projected up at the ceiling or at a wall. You can project it on to a wall on the opposite side of the room and them people can dance with the lights going over them.

My kids also really thought it was neat that this was voice activated. It is a feature you can turn on, or you can just have it playing continuously. If you turn on the voice activation feature it will move the lights per your settings to the beats it hears, so you could play music in the background and it will flash in beat to the music or voices or hands clapping.

Product Description from JS Lighting:

Suitable for disco, ballroom, KTV, bar, stage, club, party etc. No UV rays, environment friendly Long working life, excellent stability.
Small and exquisite appearance.
Fully adjustable motion speed Animated moving red and green star, fully adjustable motion speed. Package Includes:1pcs*led stage light

Disclosure - I received these at a deep discount for the purpose of reviewing them. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

#ad Review: #ValuePack1000buildingblocks 1000 Piece Building Bricks Compatible with Lego

My Thoughts:
I was excited to get this 1000 Pc Click'n'Play Building Block Set for my son. He likes to build his own thing most often and we have some name brand building blocks at home at home, and he really wanted to have some at the cabin too but we all know how expensive the name brand ones can be so these worked perfectly. We tried them with some 10x10 building sheets that are Lego brand and they adhere too them nicely and are indeed compatible. These block don't stick as tightly together as the Lego kind, which means you need to build them on a flat surface, but on the positive side - they come apart so much easier. I know sometimes I struggles with pulling apart the really thin lego blocks and I don't struggle with these. Now I need to look for some little guys to go with this set and some wheels that attach as well. These are the basic kind of blocks and are mainly square and rectangle with different thicknesses and widths, but there is some slanted blocks as well.

Product Description from Skas Marketing

1000 piece Big Bag of assorted building bricks in various colors and sizes guaranteed to fit tight and compatible with Lego and other major building blocks manufacturers. Let your children be occupied for hour constructing to their imagination. Don't waste your money anymore on expensive building bricks when you can get the same for less. 1000 piece value pack of building bricks with assorted 10 colors and 14 different shaped pieces. Compatible with Lego and other major building block manufacturers. Building blocks are guaranteed to fit tight together. Keeps your children occupied for hours on end building to their imagination. These bricks are not affiliated with or endorsed in any way by Lego, a registered trademark of Lego Systems.

Disclosure - I received these at a deep discount for the purpose of reviewing them. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Cinnamon Roll Wreath from Taste of Home

This is a picture from last Christmas. I made this for Christmas Day breakfast. It was delicious and they kids thought it was pretty neat to look at.

Cinnamon Wreath Bread
from Taste of Home

2 Packages ( ¼ oz each ) Active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
6 TBS butter
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
¾ tsp salt
4 1/2-5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 TBS butter melted
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 TBS water
¼ tsp almond extract

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the butter, milk powder, sugar, egg, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough. ( The dough will be sticky )

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Punch dough down. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 18 in x 12 in rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and chipped almonds to within ½ inch of the edges. Roll up jelly-roll style starting with the long side and pinch the seam to seal.

Place seam down on a greased baking sheet and pinch the ends together to form a ring. With kitchen scissors, cut from the outside edge to 2/3’s of the way towards the center of the ring at 1 inch intervals. Separate the strips slightly and twist to allow the filling to show. Cover and let rise again until doubled. (About 45 minutes to an hour)

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, Combine the confectioners sugar, water, and extract and drizzle over the warm bread. I used leftover green frosting from when we decorated sugar cookies and added red hot on top for decoratio

Friday, November 27, 2015

30 Day Plank Challenge!!!! Let's Do This!!!!

I wanted something I could print off and reference and not have partly dressed people on the print out or a close up of body parts. I wanted something that I didn't mind my kids seeing and so I created this. I am finishing up JJ's 30 Day Ab Challenge right now and it is going well. I do it in addition to my 5 days of exercise and thought I need to keep the momentum going and am trying to encourage and motivate some friends so I suggested we try this #Christmasbooty Squat Challenge. I chose this one because I thought it was a good one for beginners, but if you want one with greater numbers try the 30-Day Squat Challenge I posted in November 2 years ago. We are starting the #Christmasbooty challenge tomorrow and I will start this plank challenge on December 1st since my ab challenge continues until November 30th.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park in Seattle, Washington is a large green space that kids can run around and play, and awesome hill and play space among an old gas works building, and an awesome play to fly kites while overlooking Lake Union. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pottery Scrubbie Holder

I made this for my mom last year for Christmas. She had requested a pottery scrubbing holder that allowed for her scrubbie to drain out water and not sit in it's own water. So, this is what I made up with.

I modeled it after this Slab Rolled Mug with bottons I had previously made, but left off the handles and added drainage holes and some feet to the bottom. I think it turned out pretty nice. I made the scrubbies I included as well.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Christmas Confetti Pasta with Shrimp

I came up with this recipe last Christmas went I decided I wanted something other than Ham or Turkey. I desired something that would be filling, delicious and something we all would like but not require me to spend all Christmas Day in the kitchen. I wanted it to seem "Christmas-y" and so I thought making it red and green would do the trick.

Christmas Confetti Pasta with Shrimp
12 oz. Linguine, cooked
1/2 C butter
12 oz. shrimp
3 green onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 med. zucchini, cubed
salt, pepper and parsley, to taste
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Melt butter on baking sheet in the oven
  • Add shrimp, onion, cloves zucchini and lightly toss
  • Sprinkle desired amount of salt, pepper and parsley over the top
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • While Shrimp is cooking, bring water to a boil and cook linguine
  • Drain linguine and place in a large pasta bowl
  • Heat up can of diced tomatoes
  • Pour tomatoes and cooked shrimp mixture on top of  linguine and toss together
  • Enjoy!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fitness Friday: Chocoholic Frolic

The Chocoholic Frolic was another fun run I did recently. This one was only 2 weeks ago and I did it with 3 girlfriends. We scored a really good deal on Labor Day weekend (it pays to like races on FB because then you find out about specials) and we were able to register for this one for only $29/pp. Our race fee included race entry, a technical hoodie or 1/4 zip jacket (your choice, I got the hoodie), a race bag that says "Life is Better with Chocolate" and chocolate candy bar, plus a fondue buffet afterwards (and a hot chocolate stop at the halfway point if you wanted but I couldn't imagine having hot chocolate when I still had a a little over a mile left to run.) They had both a 5K and a 10K, but we all signed up to do the same run and some were just beginning running again, so we did the 5K.

As of right now, I am not signed up for another race, but I am thinking about a holiday themed 5K to do next month. I am starting to think ahead to next year and what races I might want to do. I don't often repeat too many, but there are some I do because they were just so much fun or they are local.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Make Your Own Lego Greeting Online

Once again, you can create your own Lego Holiday Greeting just like we did. I will unveil our Lego greeting on Christmas, so you'll have to wait, but you can see what our 2014 Lego Holiday Card looked like.

It's FREE to do and you can save your image on your computer and it also allows you to share across social media sites. Be one of the first to create yours this year.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We Learn to Draw a Plants Vs. Zombies Sunflower

This was actually a really fun project for myself and the kids. We did this as part of our Summer Camp at Home theme of Plants vs. Zombies. If you want to see some of the other things we did and other ideas, check out my Plants vs. Zombie Pinterest Board.

The tutorial on how to draw this is this awesome step by step layout. It was easy to follow. My son wanted a unicorn sunflower with pink eyes and different sized leaves, so he strayed from the instructions, but my daughter and I followed the directions closely.

Learn how to make your own Plants Vs. Zombie Sunflower.

We also drew our own Puffsrooms from a tutorial I have pinned, but we haven't painted them yet, so I will have to share those another time.