Monday, June 18, 2012

Lunch Ideas

Lunch Ideas

       I know, I has been a month!  As usual life has been crazy, my niece just got married and it was a huge celebration...(Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Diaz, we love you!)...but needless to say we had at least a dozen problems before it all came together.  In the end, however, it was beautiful.  This poor girl went through it all.  In the beginning they had hired a lady to be in charge of the decorations.  She was supposed to be in charge of basically everything, the candy and vases along with cake pops and rice krispies for a candy bar, linens and table skirts get the idea!  She was going to be setting everything up and taking everything down. I am sure you know where I am going with this.  A week before the wedding she calls my niece and tells her that she broke her hip and is in the hospital and will no longer be able to set up or take down decorations but that she will still rent them the decorations and they would need to hire somebody else to set them up.  Right off that sounds a little crazy but maybe believable.  My sister in-law is calling and calling this lady to get the decorations so that they can have everything ready and set to go and the lady will not answer her phone.  That is already stressful enough right?  Finally she drives over to her house and knocks on the door.  Her husband answers the door and my sister in-law asks to speak with his wife. He tells her she is not there and when she asks where she is he tells her she is out doing another wedding. Turns out she didn't break her hip, she just hadn't done a single thing for the wedding! She must have gotten in way over her head and then thought she could lie her way out of it.   She offered my sister in-law a melted bag of gummy bears in exchange for the thank you!  So a week before the wedding we all pitched in and scrambled to get things ready for the big day...but truly the bride and her mom did a lot of the work.  This is where big families come in handy :)  We also have his brother's family staying with us which means we have 9 kids ages 9 and under at our house so menu planning has had to take a hold since there are so many different appetites going on! So refer back to my previous menu's and lists because there are plenty of delicious recipes and menu's to choose from.

       I have been wanting to post for a while on different lunch ideas that you can use to switch up your lunch and breakfast menu so today I am just posting lunch ideas and next week I will post breakfast ideas. So first off I would like to state that I have a picky eater but she still has to eat whatever I make.  If it were up to her she would eat turkey sandwiches or lunchables every single day for lunch.  Yes that would make my life easy, however that's not a great way of introducing her to different types of healthy foods.  I have also found that usually by the 3rd or 4th try of introducing a food, she ends up making her own decision on whether she really likes the food or not instead of just automatically hating it without even giving it a chance...and most of the time she ends up liking it.  She used to hate she asks for it all the time for lunch or dinner as well as sweet peas and carrots.  So if you have picky eaters, my advice is to keep introducing different foods to them and be consistent and eventually they make a good decision on whether they really like it or not.  There are still some foods I have her eat whether she likes them or not, like certain vegetables, but there are some foods she doesn't like such as shrimp.  I am an avid hater of mushrooms...yes, I said me they are aweful!  It doesn't matter how they are prepared...I don't like them...even if they are battered and deep fried I am not a mushroom person so I understand there are some things that people just don't like.  But, like I said, our rule is that she at least has to try it 3 or 4 times before she makes up her mind that she doesn't like it :)

       Okay, phew!  Onto the menu ideas! I have attached an 8X10 that you can print out below.  If you have any questions or need more ideas or even if you have ideas you want to submit, feel free to email me at  Enjoy!

- Kristin

Friday, May 4, 2012

May Menu and Mother's Day Printable

May Menu and Mother's Day Printable

       Hey everyone!  I am still working on grouping all my lunch and breakfast ideas into easy recipes, I can't wait for them to be ready so I can share them with you!  Don't get me wrong, cereal is not bad...but eating the same thing over and over again for breakfast can get boring!  I can't believe that it is already May...the menu this month is excellent so you have got to check it out!  I have the Menu, Recipes, and Grocery Shopping List all ready so there is no excuse to slack of this month....right?? :)  Also, do you remember the Printable I offered here at the end of this post?  It would make a great Mother's Day present in a nice frame!  Right now I am willing to customize for those that want to but you need to e-mail me by the end of next week so I have enough time to get it in.  If you would like it, e-mail me any picture you would like to put in place of the one there and if you would like me to include a name on it.  It fits perfectly into an 8X10 frame and would be super cute with a picture of your mother and you or you and your baby :) Okay, you know the drill, the links are listed below and if you have any questions and are new, feel free to e-mail me and I will be more than happy to help you with any questions you may have!  Don't give up, you can do this, being organized will save you money and time and lots of "fun" extra trips to the grocery store.  Enjoy :)

- Kristin

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Green Smoothie Recipe

       Hey everyone!  I am so excited to post this recipe!  It is so delicious and an easy way to sneak some vegetables into your kids (or your) diet!  I had been seeing these smoothies all around the blog world and finally decided to give it a try and you would be surprised at how ridiculously delicious these things are with no added sugar!  When my daughter first saw me making these she gave me the funniest look and was so grossed out.  I tried to explain to her that Popeye ate his spinach and look at how strong it made him and she had no idea what I was talking about...yes, I am getting old!  Needless to say, after it was finished she drank 2 glasses of this! We drink these all the time just for their added benefits and I am so glad I gave it a whirl. So here is the recipe I came up with, super simple and really I just eyeball it but for those of you that enjoy measurements (and usually I do)...this is for you!

Green Smoothie
- 1 C. Greek non-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 C. pineapple (fresh or chunks)
- 1 C. frozen strawberries
- 1 banana
- 1/2 mango
- 1 T. wheat germ
- 1 T. flax seed
- 2 C. spinach (I leave stems on and everything, but I have an awesome blender that purees it really well, if not, you might want to take the stems off)
- Almond Milk (with the almond milk I just pour it until it's right near the top of all the other ingredients, no real measure here)

Place all ingredients in blender and then puree!  Like I noted with my blender above, it really purees everything well so I don't worry about the texture with the wheat germ and flax seed too much.  If you are worried about those, you can cut down the amount or cut it out all together, either way, the health benefits are still all there!

       You HAVE to give this a try!  It will change your life...literally...there is some great stuff in there!  Come back tomorrow for a bunch of recipes and ideas on how to change up your lunch and breakfast routines...they are kid friendly and a great way to steer away from eating cereal everyday and adding in some daily doses of fiber!  I promise you won't be disappointed!  Enjoy!

- Kristin

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Cleaning Free Printable

        I don't know about you but I usually need a little motivation to do certain projects...don't get me wrong, I do like a clean house but there are some projects that are just too tedious for me! Example: the junk know you all have one!  It's filled with all sorts of odds and ends that I couldn't throw away yet have no place.  It gradually fills up until finally it's a complete disaster.  That's just one example to name a few.  So for my huge Spring Clean I like to make a list...why not make it cute if you can help it right??  I made a blank one for all of you as promised before so that you could go ahead and add your own chores on there since we all have different areas we want to focus on.  I am sticking mine in a glass frame and writing on it with a dry erase marker so that way I can use it again and again!  When you are finished you can take out the glass and add some paper flowers for a cute Spring decoration or print off an extra one.  I will post pictures when I am finished to give you an idea!  I hope you all enjoyed the last menu, it was one of my favorites!  The Reese's Popcorn and Macaroni Grill Bread recipes were included in there.  Let me know if you guys are using the recipe cards and I will make a quick batch for the last menu and keep them going for the rest of the menu's!  What Spring Cleaning Tips can you throw my way, I would love to hear them!  Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Did You Miss Me??

April Menu and Fun Recipes!

       I'm back!!  Did you miss me?? After a good 6 (and a half) week long break, I am finally getting back on my feet again and starting to get organized!  Phew...spring is here and my house is in definite need of some organization and spring cleaning...want to join me??  No?? Well at least I have some fun printables next week to share that will help aid you in organizing your life...okay, maybe not your life...but your house and that's the first step right?  So with the long awaited return comes some awesome new and fun recipes!  I have been especially trying to eat healthy right now, it just seems that with warmer weather it is so much easier to eat healthier....although with Easter comes Cadbury Eggs...hmmm.  I have been seeing these "Green" Smoothie recipes everywhere and decided to give it a go and make up my own.  I was pleasantly surprised and more than happy to board this train!  These are amazing and sound disgusting but you HAVE to try them!  It is an easy way to get your kids to eat veggies and fruit without taking away any of the nutrients and no added sugar....does it get any better than this? That's what I thought.  This smoothie is packed with Spinach, Bananas, Almond Milk, Yogurt, Strawberries, Pineapple, Mango, Wheat Germ and Flax could even throw in some Avocado for added protein if you wanted and I am beyond sure that it would still taste amazing.  I also have a Macaroni Grill Bread recipe to share and if you have eaten there, you know that this stuff is addicting and oh so delicious.  I always add in a little wheat or all wheat to help boost the nutrients in it.  Last but not least I have an awesome popcorn recipe...I debate sharing this because it is ridiculously hard to put down...once you start you can't stop eating this stuff.  I will share those on some recipe cards throughout the week along with the fun Spring Cleaning printables which you will NOT want to miss out on so pass it along to your friends and enjoy your April Menu and Recipes!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New 3 Week Menu and Recipes

March 3 Week Menu and Recipes

       Hey everyone!  I know I am a little early in posting this but I just wanted to get it done early so you have it ready to go.  This time I haven't included a Grocery Shopping List but if you need one please leave a comment below and I can e-mail one to you :)  Here's some little tidbits of information for you to a question that I get asked most often.  "How do you stay so healthy and cook with butter and some of those heavy ingredients."  Here is my little secret...I love cooking because you can always change a recipe!  I use the mantra "Everything in moderation."  I think if you completely limit your body of something...fat, carbs, etc. then your body will go crazy.  I mean there are obvious things our bodies can do without but for the most part I think if you try to completely abolish one thing from your diet then sometimes it ends up having the opposite effect of what you desire.  This is just my belief and I know there are numerous out there.  For instance I already did a little shpill on butter.  I don't use margarine because it is hydrogenated.  Margarine and butter have the exact same fat and calorie content.  That doesn't mean I need a whole stick of butter every single time I cook though right?  If I am cooking, I usually cut my butter recipe in half.  You won't even miss it?  Now if you are baking, that's another story and can become a little bit trickier with substituting in other ingredients for moisture content but that's another post for another day :)  If a recipe calls for heavy whipping cream then I usually try half and half...again this is only with cooking.  Sometimes our experiments are going to fail...sometimes they will turn out amazing but you have to be willing to try!  I actually try not to use a whole lot of "fat free" items in our house other than milk.  My reasoning for this is that a lot of the stuff that they make "fat free" they add in other chemicals and such to do so.  Again, everything in moderation comes in to play here.  So when I am using full fat items I just cut down on them.  Now, not everyone probably uses this method and I am not saying that everyone should.  This is what works for me and my family.  I try to keep a lot of raw snacks around the house for the kids such as almonds, fruit, vegetables, walnuts...all these without sugar or added salt that way it is an easy snack for them to grab and healthy too!  My kids LOVE nuts!  I usually give my readers the recipes unchanged for the most part but if you would like me to add in my changes that I use to cut down the fat content to make them healthier let me know and I would be more than happy to put those in!  I hope you enjoy this next 3 week Menu Rotation!

- Kristin

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

        Okay so first of all I have to apologize for being a complete and total slacker lately.  I kept meaning to wake up early so I could post these and I could not drag myself out of bed...mornings and pregnancy have not been my friend for the past couple of weeks!  I hope this post makes up for my absence even though you probably have all of your Valentine's written and sent off with your kids to school!  I finally finished my hubbie's Valentine's Day Present!  Total cost??  $1.69...literally...that's buying all the materials.  It did take a lot of time however but hey it was worth it because he totally and completely loved it!  First off go to the Dollar Store and pick up 2 white poster boards for $0.50 each.  If you have a monopoly board you can trace around it or make your square 24x24 inches.  Draw a square in the middle measuring up 3 inches from the sides.

       Next sketch out Lovopoly in the middle with a pencil. I recommend doing everything with a pencil first so that you can erase it and make sure you do it on the non-shiny side of the poster board that way it doesn't  leave smudges when you erase! I made each of my corner squares 3 inches, you know the ones that have Go, Jail, Free Parking and Go To Jail.  So you need to measure a 3x3 inch square on all 4 corners.  Next you need to make 9 rectangles in between each of those squares.  I made mine measuring 2 inches each to give you the right amount of space.  No from your top line measure 1/2 inch down and draw a straight line across, these you will color in with the colors of the properties.  This is where monopoly comes in handy.  I used it the whole time for colors.  Don't forget that Income Tax, Community Chest, Chance, Utilities and Railroads do not have that line across.

       Next I wrote up a list of all the places that had special meaning to us.  You will need 28 special places, preferrably ones that have special memories that you can incorporate into the game.  By the way, I did find the website for the game if you want to purchase it go to I did use some ideas from there but most of the stuff was fun to just create on my own!  Okay after you have all your memories decide what you want to go where.  Again the board comes in handy.  You will need 2 brown, 3 light blue, 3 purple, 3 orange, 3 red, 3 yellow, 3 green and 2 dark blue properties.  You will also need 4 railroads, I put 4 temples that were special to us.  Then last you will need 2 utilities, I put the hospital and Disneyland.  Now sketch those out and any pictures you would like.  I just tried to think of simple pictures since I am no artist as you can tell :)  I colored in the squares accordingly, wrote the properties and prices.  I also did a 1/2 inch outline of black marker all the way around the outside of the board to make it look more like the real thing.

       Dog House is used in place of Jail

Stop Sign is much easier to draw then that guy from Monopoly :)

Diaper Fund used in place of Income Tax.

       Next you will make your Property Cards.  I apologize that I didn't get pictures for the rest of the tutorial.  For the Property cards I measure them 2x3.  I just colored in a co-ordinating square on the top and wrote the name of each property in the colored square.  For pricing and house information I just used the exact same pricing as they had on Monopoly.  You are almost there!  Next you need to make your Community Chest and Chance cards (I used Feelin' Lucky and Family Treasure).  You will need 32 of these, 16 of each.  You can do more or less but that's what I did since that's what the game had.  This is where your "meaningful places" come in handy.  So for instance I said "Take a trip to Chicho and Cecy's house.  While you are there, steal your first kiss.  If you pass go, collect $200 Love Bucks!"  Or another one was "Head on over to TGI Friday's where you have an awkward run in with an ex.  Pay $50 Love Bucks for emotional distress."  Get creative!  Find ways to incorporate them in, it is well worth it and we all had a good laugh as we played!  The kids loved it too! 

       Okay here is your last part, are ALMOST done!  Find good pictures of you and your spouse's faces!  Develop them, laminate them and cut them out.  I used the little stands from our Chutes and Ladders game and set the faces in there and that's what we used for our playing pieces!  So fun!  Trust me, your whole family will have so much fun playing this game, especially when they read little things about themselves in the cards :)  I will put some links below to some fun last minute Valentine Printables from other fun websites in case you need a quick fix!  Good luck and enjoy!

- Kristin