Friday, September 28, 2012

Simple & Cute Idea to Replace Birthday Cards

Today is MY Birthday!!! So it is the perfect day to post about this topic!
I don't know about you but recently we have been going to AT LEAST one Birthday Party every weekend! Many of them are for my son's friends. 
Do you remember when you were a kid and you tried to be nice by opening the card and then THROWING it aside just to get to the present! Have you ever seen the movie Big Top Pee Wee? I always think of throwing the birthday card to the side the same as when Pee Wee throws the egg salad sandwich when Winnie isn't looking! =) I had to add this clip if you haven't seen it! 
"Ummm, Egg salady!"

Cards aren't cheap but still are necessary to know who the present came from. Since I love pictures so much I started to make personalized tags instead of cards! 
So simple and only the cost of a little printer ink and a piece of white paper!
It also really adds to the look of a present!
I just find a cute recent picture of who the present is from and bring it into Illustrator (program).
I type in a cool font "Happy Birthday______!"
Then "From____"
If you don't know how to do this with a program, simply print out a picture and write with a nice marker! 
If your child is old enough, have them write it out!
Simple as that!
One more reason this is good for a little child's present is because they can't read yet but they could still see who it is from!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My favorite Guinness Drink: Diesel

Since I've started this blog I am always looking for a reason to post something....
One evening, as I was making one of my favorite drinks, I realized that many people don't know about this drink and totally need to try it out!!! 
Every time I go out to a bar and request this, the bartender looks at me like I'm crazy....I was actually out with my friend one time and the waitress was so intrigued that she asked me my name and then said, "Don't be surprised if you come back here and we have this drink and it's called the Colleen!"

I actually first had this drink at McCoy's here in Westport, KCMO. My friend knew I liked sweeter drinks and told me to try out "Diesel"! I've been hooked on it ever since!
All you need to make "Diesel" is a can of Guinness and a small can of root beer!!
Pour them together in and enjoy!!!
An easy way to explain this drink is, it is like a root beer float for adults!!! 
It's so creamy and frothy and sweet!
Even if you normally don't like Guinness, you might still like this yummy drink!
 Try it and see for yourself!
Leave a comment if you try the drink out to let me and others know what you think!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Natural Mosquito Repellant

 It is definitely Mosquito time!!! I have been kind of freaked out because there are also cases of West Nile going around the States! It is said to be the worst year on record of the West Nile Virus!! I can't put any bug spray on my 3 month old baby and I really don't want to put any on my big kids either! This is because most of them contain the chemical DEET! When DEET is sprayed onto your skin it gets absorbed and eventually enters the bloodstream. It pumps through your nervous system and has been proven to kill brain cells, causing neurological damage. If you have heavy exposure to DEET, you may experience memory loss, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and shortness of breath....
With all of that information, I think I would rather just let the bugs bite! LOL
The only time I would use DEET bug spray is if I were going camping, hiking, hunting, etc because I would also be warding off ticks! The point is to have little to no exposure to DEET!

Recently, I heard that Mosquitos HATE the smell of fresh Thyme and fresh Basil!
I decided to test this out because I have two Basil plants.
What is great about Basil plants is that you have to pick the flowers off so it can keep growing AND it grows back really fast!

If you are putting it on your child you will have to get creative. With my kids, if it touched their skin, they complain about it being itchy!
So I picked some and put it into my daughters hair!
 Then I tied some to my sons shorts!
 I simply held the basil in my hand, touching it to my baby's head and legs, and playing with it which released it strong sent! This is a plus because I love the smell of Basil!

 The night before I was outside and in a matter of 5 minutes I killed six mosquitos on my legs. I had to cut the conversation with the neighbors short and go inside because I was so frustrated with the bugs!
The next night, with fresh Basil in my hand,  I kept watching my legs and NOTHING!!! I am telling you, not one mosquito landed on my legs that I saw!

Another thing that you could also do is add a little citronella oil to some fragrance free lotion and it will act as a natural bug repellant. For 4oz. of lotion use about 1 teaspoon of oil! Below is a picture of Whole Foods brand of fragrance free lotion. It is really a great price (32oz bottle for around $5) and it is also free of Sulfates and Parabens!
This is a little off topic but I want to inform you about what Parabens are so you can make good choices when it comes to your body care products! Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products! They stop bacteria and fungus from growing in your favorite creams and makeup. There is a debate that these chemicals are harmful to our health. For example, they have the weak ability to mimic estrogen and have been found in breast cancer tumors!! Here are the names of Parabens on a bottle or package: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and isobutylparaben! They can even be found in your MASCARA!!!
A tip: read labels of everything you put in your mouth or on your body!!!!!
My kids and I also use 365 shower gel. This was a lifesaver to me when I noticed my daughter had sensitive skin because fragrance free products marketed for babies can cost a FORTUNE!!! The lotion and shower gel also come in 16oz or 32oz bottles in mint, citrus grapefruit, lavender, and unscented!
I love the Lavender scent!

I'll leave you with this video I found on YouTube. This girl shares her favorite All Natural beauty products and she includes Whole Foods 365 body lotion as one of them! I think I'm gunna try out the liquid eyeliner she recommends!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Simple Pirate Dress Up!

As I have said before, my family LOVES doughnuts!!!!!!! What does this have to do with pirate dress up, you ask?? This coming Wednesday, September 19, 2012, Krispy Kreme is having a special pirate day. If you talk like a Pirate, you get a FREE Doughnut. BUT if you dress up like a pirate you get a WHOLE DOZEN DOUGHNUTS for FREE!!!!!
I'm gunna show you how to dress your kids like a pirate with stuff around the house!
First you will need a pirate hat!
I used a large white piece of paper (19X13). You could also use a newspaper!
Here is what you do! Fold your paper in half!
Then face the open end towards you and fold the top corners in leaving a little space between the folds.
Then fold up the bottom end and turn over and fold up the other!
I then drew a simple skull and crossbones but you could leave this off if you like!
The hat stays on better if you tape or staple some string to the inside!
You may also want to tie a bandana around their head instead!
Now your little pirate needs a hook!
All you need is a cup, plastic or styrofoam, and foil!
Roll up a piece of foil and then squeeze it with your hands.
Make a hook at one end of the foil. 
Poke a hole it the top of the cup with something sharp and insert the long end of your foil!
What about a sword!?!
Check out how easy it is to make this stick sword!
Go find a stick outside!
Now get into your recycling and find something that is thin cardboard, like a cereal box. 
I used, wouldn't you guess, a DOUGHNUT BOX!!! LOL
Then draw a big tear drop shape and cut it out!
Have your child color the end without a logo on it!
You are going to cut two holes at each end....where you see the two black circles!
Insert the stick into the end of the tear drop that is larger.
Then fold it over and insert the stick through the other hole!
There you have it! A few simple accessories to dress up like a pirate!
I had to add a picture of my almost 3 month old pirate baby! 
Incase you also wanted to make an eye patch, 
here is a cute easy Tutorial on how to make one!
Just click on the picture!
After you have made these simple accessories just put you child in black pants and and oversized T-shirt (red, black, gray, white or striped) and tie a sash around their waist! If the shirt is old, rip the ends a little for flare!

UPDATE: We went to Krispy Kreme and my little pirates got THREE dozen doughnuts! Yes, they gave a WHOLE DOZEN to my three month old baby! LOL

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to Spice Up a Package Brownie Mix!

I have been on a huge chocolate fix lately....
I love to make a batch of Brownies and enjoy them for a few days.
The great thing about chocolate is that is has so much flavor and dark color that you can add almost anything to it and no one will know! 
So I asked myself, how can I have the ease of package brownie mix but add nutrition to it!?!
Here is the simple answer!

Get yourself a package of brownie mix....whichever one is your favorite!
I got the Reduced Guilt Brownie Mix from Trader Joes! It is great because all you add is 3/4 cup of vanilla yogurt to the mix and bake. They also have a Gluten free brownie mix!
Simply follow the directions on your box to make your batter and now here's the fun part.

Use about 1/2 cup of black beans and a large handful of fresh spinach and blend it in your food processor! Or, if you have the ingredients already from making "Hale the Kale" Salad that I just blogged about, use up the rest of your Kale instead of Spinach!!!!
These measurements aren't exact....if you want to add more it will still be yummy!
It will make a green paste. This is what it looks like before I mix it into the batter. However, once mixed up, you could NEVER tell!
This next step is optional: I love peanut butter and chocolate together. So what I did was pour half of my batter in the baking dish. 
Then, I melted a little peanut butter and poured it over the batter and then add the rest of the batter on top! Now bake as box instructs!
When there is about ten minutes left to baking I sprinkled a handful of dark chocolate chips to the top of the brownies! You don't have to do this step either, I just love the texture the chocolate chips add!
Enjoy a yummy treat thats actually not so bad for you after all! =)

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