Thursday, April 17, 2014

Annual Earth Day Pledge

The month of April, and the approach of Earth Day always makes me think of what new challenge I should take on to minimize my eco-footprint, and help save some small piece of this wondrous planet we call home.

In years past I have taken on challenges such as; minimizing household trash to one kitchen bag per week (did it!), replace all household products with their eco-friendly and bio-degradable cousins (done! *insert Shaklee sales pitch*), and build a successful compost.

This year I am contemplating this topic from my front porch of our new home in Wake Forest. Our home is nestled in the woods on over an acre of beautiful wooded land. The natural treasures that surround us on a daily basis amaze me, and often leave me silently grinning ear to ear.

Just yesterday the kids came running in to let me know they found a box turtle in the yard. Later in the afternoon a lone doe wandered around our yard, munching on the long, un-mowed grass.
We have a nesting pair of wrens in the wreath on the front door. We have to go out the side door to not disturb them.

I adore these woods. I love living in such close proximity to complete wilderness. It makes my heart happy to see my children climb the trees, make leaf piles, identify the snakes with their new "Snakes of North Carolina" book, and play in nature until the sun goes down.
This year I have decided to, among other things, pledge to make my yard a Certified Wildlife Habitat® through the National Wildlife Federation.

With the addition of another water source (one bird bath is not enough), some native shrubs, and a couple of bird houses, I should be right where I ne
ed to be. If you want to try, just check out the National Wildlife Federation's website for more details!

Additionally, I aim to complete a chicken run and chicken coop to incorporate some partially free range chickens into our landscape. As much as I want to add a bountiful vegetable garden to the list, we do have an abundance of deer here, and I really don't want to fight them. They were here before we were. With a few planter boxes on the porch and some herbs in the kitchen window, I will stay calm and garden on.

Stay tuned for updates on all these projects, and other topics as random as my life! Be green and Be good!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Earth Day Party 2014

My two greatest passions in life are my children and protecting this planet that we all share. Earth Day has become the one great day each year where my two passions combine into a party of care and fun.
I love planning this party with the kids and I love that they are absorbing what I teach them about being responsible earth citizens.
Last years party was a huge hit with kids and adults. I do it mostly for the kids, but if the adults can have fun and get even a slight spark of enthusiasm to do good, I'm all the more pleased. This year the party will be at our new home in Wake Forest. We still don't know alot of people here, but I am inviting all the kids we know so far- and then some. I feel more challenged here then I ever did in Denver.
It seems that in Denver in particular, people are exceptionally green minded. I was so pleased to find that many families actually celebrated Earth Day. Almost everyone we met were strict recyclers, urban homesteaders, solar powered home owners, Prius driving, responsible citizens. It  was easy to be green in Denver.
New locations mean new challenges, and I dear venture this guess; North Carolina (rural in particular) is not the crunchy cousin of its Colorado relative. Judging by the state of the road sides around here, I can almost conclude that recycling programs are not just under utilized, so is the trash service. Challenge accepted.

I hope to throw a super fun and educational Earth Day party for our new friends, and I sincerely hope we can encourage at least one new green light bulb to go off.

Stay tuned for updates!

And yes, there will be Dirt Cake.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Birthday Questionaire- 5 Year Birthday

This is the third year where I'm asking these questions of my twins as they turn a year older. Fun tradition!

1. What is your favorite color?
H: Pink
N: Blue
2. What is your favorite toy?
H: Princesses
N: don't have a favorite
3. What is your favorite fruit?
H: Peaches
N: Apples
4. What is your favorite tv show?
N: Justin Time
H: Wild Krattz
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?
H: Ham sandwich
N: Cheese sandwich
6. What is your favorite outfit?
H: PJ's
N: PJ's
7. What is your favorite game?
H: Board game: Chinese Checkers Computer game: Purple Place
N: Backgammon/ Spore
8. What is your favorite snack?
H: Chocolate
N: Gummy bears and chocolate chip cookies
9. What is your favorite animal?
H: Sheep and mammoth
N: Dinosaur
10. What is your favorite song?
H: The Croods
N: What does the fox say
11. What is your favorite book?
H: Disney princesses
N: Click clack moo
12. Who is your best friend?
H: N:
13. What is your favorite cereal?
H: Squares/ Circles
N: Squares/Circles
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?
H: Swing
N: Play T-ball
15. What is your favorite drink?
H: Milk
N: Milk
16. What is your favorite holiday?
H: Christmas
N: Halloween
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?
H: Comfy, Panda, Flora
N: Rabbit
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
H: Eggs
N: Squares
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?
N: Ribs
H: Ribs
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?
H: Mama
N: A doctor

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Golden Pine Cone Garland

This is such an easy project to do with the kids! It turns out a sweet and rustic accent for the winter season, and holidays.
My first step was- send the kids out in the yard (woods) and collect pine cones in a big basket! How fun is that for a chore! Next I sorted the pine cones and made sure they were bug free and nice looking. I placed them on a large cardboard sheet on my craft table in the garage. Door open, I used this fancy new gold spray on a can and coated the pine cones on one side.

Next, before the gold paint dried, I sprayed a quick coat of this handy dandy glitter spray (can you believe they have glitter spray!?!?). Krylon- thank you! Love this product.
After these two coats dried, I turned the pine cones over and repeated. Once completely dry, I tied them on a hemp string in even (relatively) intervals. I also found these awesome little hooks that I easily placed under the mantel shelf.
I think these cute pine cones can be arranged in many ways to make rustic decor statement for your holiday house- placed in a large bowl, around  a door frame, on a deck railing etc. etc.
Enjoy this project!!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Paying Attention

Living out here in the woods, in this beautiful and silent landscape, has made my days filled with gratitude and inspiration. Yes, it is Thanksgiving week. I have COUNTLESS things to be thankful for. But I am really reminded of is the small things. Nature. How remarkable it all is, and how we can always turn to the comforts of nature at any moment, and anywhere.



Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pumpkin Butter- super easy, no crock pot needed!

I love me a good fruit "butter". When I first tried apple butter a decade ago at an Amish fair, I absolutely fell head over heels with it. I was surprised to find out there was absolutely no butter (or other fat for that matter) involved!
So, I learned to make apple butter, yum! Next, I tried pear butter- it may be even more satisfying than its apple cousin.
So, this time it is Pumpkin Butter's turn. This is my second batch ever, and I must say it is good, the only problem I found was that I had to add more sweetener than I expected and significantly more than in the pear and butter varieties, due to the pumpkins more savory flavor.
My sweeteners of choice in this batch was maple syrup (the real kind) and apple cider. Quantities of all ingredients is pretty much up to you and your preferences.

I start my pumpkin butter with, you guessed it, a PUMPKIN! Not from a can, but from a field. We got ours this year from a local farm- Hill Ridge Farms- where we also had a blast!

Here's some simple directions- play around with the seasonings! I'd love to hear about others versions I always love experimenting and learning! You can completely skip apple cider and maple syrup, and just go for some good ole cane sugar! Or, how about honey? lemon zest? Fresh ginger? I can't wait for my next batch!

Click on the images for larger- more legible version!
http://i.imgur.com/IKSzbHA.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/XWqbvkl.jpg

You will end up with a guaranteed delicious, nutritious and versatile spread/dip. My kids love dipping apple slices and graham crackers in it. It is also great mixed in with vanilla yogurt and granola. The options are endless. ENJOY!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Going for it

One of my most favorite quotes ever. I wish I knew who said it!
This rings so true in regards to myself, my life and my business.
I often catch myself dreaming of a retirement on a particular beach, and when I snap back, I remember this quote, and get back to work creating something new :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gift Ideas for the Holidays

I want to share some of these ideas with you. I'm sure we all have those people on our list who "have everything" or those that are very difficult to shop for. Or, a older friend in need of a health boost?

Check out some of these sweet, smart and from the heart, gifts for the holidays.



How about some adorable cleaning gloves and a Get Clean Starter kit? Best all-purpose green cleaner anywhere. It is so concentrated; I've had my bottle for 2 years. Fantastic product.

http://sunnyside.myshaklee.com/us/en/category.php?main_cat=HomeCare&sub_cat=GetCleanStarterKit 

 Or, for some safe skin care without all the pesky chemicals and preservatives, check out this line of wondrous softness and age erasing power! I adore the A.M Repair! Add some super luxurious, organic face towels, and you have a memorable gift!

http://sunnyside.myshaklee.com/us/en/category.php?main_cat=Beauty

Water. Simple. Delicious. Essential. Water. I have made a promise to myself, I will never again buy plastic water bottles. One of the greatest sources of plastic pollution in the world is the water bottle. Not only can you get healthier, cleaner and cheaper water from your tap when you use Get Clean Water, you can also feel better about what you do for the planet. With so many cute, re-useable water bottles out there, why ever buy those pesky plastic bottles again!?

http://sunnyside.myshaklee.com/us/en/category.php?main_cat=HomeCare&sub_cat=water

For even more gift ideas, check out my website- sunnyside.myshaklee.com - and I would love to hear your green gift giving ideas! I can never have too many :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Re-boot!

I'm thrilled to be back on the blog! I must apologize for the extended departure, but I sold a house, bought another, and moved across country with the whole family. There was simply no time for blogging. Or showering (kidding on that last one... ).
What a ride it has been! We successfully pulled this thing off, and have now landed in the beautiful forests of Wake Forest, North Carolina! During this whole ordeal my whole remarkable family has kept smiles on their faces and and a sparkle in the eye.
Despite tons of stress, extended separations, 3 days in a car, 1 month living with in-laws and one very tedious real-estate transaction, we all remained happy, HEALTHY, and a tight unit.

As I have landed with both feet on the ground and technology back at my fingertips, I am re-launching my Shaklee business, and my blog! Hooray!
My contact information is mostly the same, except for the physical mailing address, and if you need it, you will have it.
My online store is still sunnyside.myshaklee.com, I am still on Facebook as well.


I could not be more excited to be back, and I'd love to hear from you!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Adventure!




Our family is getting ready to set out on our next big adventure- we are moving! 1800 miles across the country!
My deary hubbs has a new gig in North Carolina and we are selling our home in Denver to move!
It will be bitter sweet to say the least. We love Colorado and our friends here, but remind ourselves that our true friends will remain so. In North Carolina we get to be closer to family, the beach, try new mountains and experience the famed southern hospitality!

As we set out on our adventure, I will update the blog when I can. I am taking my dear Shaklee business with me (hooray for own business!!) and will continue to build and grow in NC.

Although adventure and change is something we thrive on, it is helpful to have a couple of nutritional stress relief aides in the back pocket. If you are ever in need, here's a good summary of what I'm stashing for this journey!


Stay tuned friends!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ooops. it's Summer!

Where does time go? I felt as if we had Earth Day, and I blinked, and now we are in the middle of summer! Whoa!
Well, to make it up to you (my abscence!) check out this amazing July offer from Shaklee!

FREE Membership with ANY purchase! Enjoy this, and I hope your summer is excellent!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Omega 3 ..



We all know we should eat fish 3 times/week. I certainly know this is true- but who can find affordable, sustainable and responsibly raised fish? I know I'm having a real hard time. Everybody in this family supplements to make sure we get our brain food.

It is shown that children with ADD and ADHD tendencies even out in temperament and shows significantly improved concentration when supplementing with fish oils.

Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids positively impacts and even prevents serious degenerative illnesses like heart disease, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and more.

The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3’s are especially beneficial to menopausal women in preserving heart, breast and bone health, and even help keep our moods on an even keel.

Not to mention, it makes our hair, nails and skin healthy too!

Here are the best omega 3 supplements available:
Shaklee's Mighty Smart  

Shaklee's Omega Guard



Friday, May 24, 2013

"cool" treats

Healthy and cool treats for hot days!

I love my shaped silicone ice cube trays- I get them super cheap at Ikea, and we come up with something different every day!

I enjoy cucumber or citrus in my water, and made the cucumber "stars" for myself. I also put an organic raspberry in each of the flower shaped molds and (always) water purified in my Shaklee pitcher.

Together the kiddos and I decided to blitz up some watermelon in the blender, and froze that. After trying those, Nathan said- hey- how about banana ice! So, we blitzed enough ripe bananas with water to make a thick liquid and froze those too - they LOVE them!



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Earth Day Treat- Dirt


This special treat for the kiddos at our Earth Day celebration!

I baked 2 large dark chocolate kakes (Betty Crocker) let the cool completely, crumbled them up into a large pan (so fun!)
Added:
gummy worms
chocolate covered raisins
pretzel sticks

2 colorful scoops for the kiddos to use to scoop the dirt into cups and devour. Such a hit!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Eart Day Party Planning part deux- planet earth heart crayons

Add caption
The kids and I collected all their broken blue and green crayons and melted them down to create our heart shaped planet earth crayons. What a fun project! And, in recycling the crayons, we are also doing a tiny little good too!

Here's how to:

Step 1: collect all broken blue and green crayons. if your family is anything like ours, you will be amazed at the mountain of broken/discarded crayons. you want more blue than green, since planet earth is mostly water, hence mostly blue ;)
Step 2: chop crayons (on surface that is only used for crafts, the waxy crayons don't wash off)
Step 3: find a heat resistant mold you want to use, ours is heart shaped silicone.
Step 4: fill the shapes, we mixed the colors up, and again, made sure there was more blue than green.
Step 5: "bake" at 250 degrees for about 20 minutes until all crayons have melted
Step 6: with a craft tool swirl the melted wax a little to copy the geographic atlas look
Step 7: let set overnight of for at least 2-3 hours
Step 8: gently remove from mold and keep in airtight container




We can't wait to share these with our friends together with the coloring page we created!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Earth Day Partay planning

The kids and I have started creating crafts and fun for the Earth Day party next weekend and today we finished up our coloring page we are going to hand out to all the children.



We had a great time drawing and writing this one. I am always amazed at how much they take in, and how much they have picked up from various reading and conversations. They get it. They absolutely understand the importance of caring for our planet.


I have to give a shout out to one of our favorite books "The Earth Book" by Todd Parr. This book is a fantastic, colorful and fun way to introduce our future environmentalists to the topics.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Earth Day Partaay!



I'm so thrilled to be hosting a Earth Day party at my home this year. On Sunday the 21st of April we will have a open house style party from 11-1.
We are going to have some organic food and beverage, crafts and fun for the kiddos, tree seedlings for the adults- and a showcasing of natural home care products from Shaklee.
Shakee's environmental heritage makes it the perfect company to partner with during Earth Day, and any other day.
Shaklee was the first company in the world to be certified climate neutral, and continuously strive to meet and surpass that honor.

The home care products from Shaklee are completely safe, biodegradable, and simply amazing.

Here's to celebrating our planet and doing our part to take care of her.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Its not just bread...

just look at it....
.. its a loaf of wonderful. It costs less than 80 cents to make.

If you are as active on Pinterest as I am, you have probably already seen this bread. But honestly, everyone needs to make this bread. It is back to basics.
It is the BEST bread recipe in the world. Ask the New York Times where it was first published a few years ago. The recipe originally came from Sullivan Street Bakery's Jim Lahey (genius).

It is also the EASIEST bread recipe you have ever used. I am obsessed.
I have not bought bread in almost 2 months, I make about 3-5 loaves/week. We use it for toast, lunch sandwiches, giving to people we visit etc. etc.
















You like crust you say? Let me introduce you to the crunchiest, crispiest, most delicious crust you've ever had.

Just start baking already.

You need an oven proof pot of some kind. About 5 quarts in size. You can use a dutch oven, a ceramic pot, crock pot insert, or, like me, an aluminum pot. And it HAS to have a lid.

In addition to the basics, I have tried adding tons of seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin seeds) and some semolina flour to replace white. Delish! I've also tried with 1/2 whole wheat flour, its very good, but not as fluffy.
This is my seed add-in version (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower) all organic of course!
Mix the seeds in with the flour mixture before adding water.

The secret to this recipe is patience. You NEED to let it sit at least 15 hours before baking.

Here's the recipe basics:

In large bowl add 3 cups all purpose flour ( i use unbleached, organic)
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry yeast (i've tried several brands and varieties, and they all work)

Mix well.

Add 1 1/2 cup cold water.
This is the seed version of the dough again


Mix well.
It will be a sticky mess of a dough. It is ok! Its supposed to be this way!

Cover really well, with plastic wrap and a plate. Done.


15-24 hrs later, turn oven to 450 degrees. Once pre-heated  put your pot, with lid on, into oven.
Set timer for 30 minutes.

Pour dough out on well floured surface (still very very sticky). Shape into round with floured hands or forks. Place the plastic wrap back over dough.
this is the seeded version or rest prior to going in the oven


When the timer goes off- CAREFULLY remove pot from oven. Put dough into pot. Replace lid.
Bake 30 minutes. Done.
taking the lid off - nothing to worry about this is fool proof

This is the finished, seeded version. I know, but sadly I can not share over the computer.

Make sure you have some softened butter on hand, there's nothing better than this bread. Fresh. With butter spread all over. (real butter y'all!!)

Hubby and I did the math- with this flour, yeast and salt, the loaf of bread costs NO MORE than 80 cents.