Sunday, November 23, 2014

Feeding the Munchkins Right




As a mom, and substitute teacher, I am always exposed to the concerns (or lack thereof) of parents regarding their children's diet.
Are they getting enough of this? Are they eating too much of that? Why won't they eat a big hearty breakfast before school?

I have always been a firm believer in eating and feeding organic, non-GMO, local and no food color foods to the best of my ability. I have always been proud of my children's willingness to try anything, and they eat very well. They used to eat great breakfasts. Before school started.

When we get ready for school at 7a.m. the kiddos are simply not hungry yet. Pair that with a long school day, and you can have a disaster on your hands. I have pleaded with them to eat eggs, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese for breakfast to get them that super important boost of protein to keep them going until lunch. It can be a challenge some mornings.
The most successful breakfast as of late has been oatmeal. It is cold outside, and the hearty and warm bowl of oatmeal seems to make them happy and content. Great! Except, there is only 6 grams of protein in a cup of cooked oatmeal. At their age they should consume at least 25 grams of protein per day. Protein keeps them full longer, giving them sustained energy until lunch. I came up with a great solution! I tried this amazing protein powder from Shaklee. I chose the vanilla kind, figuring I can mix it in with a variety of foods. I mix in a scoop in their oatmeal and bam- that cup of oatmeal does not just taste delicious, but it all of a sudden has 10 grams of protein instead! I also usually mix in a spoon full of coconut oil in the oatmeal for some healthy and yummy fats to help sustain their little minds.
http://sunnyside.myshaklee.com/us/en/shop/healthyfoundations/protein/product-_p_vitalizing-proteinpAlso, what can be more satisfying than a warm cup of vanilla milk on a cold winter morning?! My kids absolutely love these. I simply heat up two cups of milk (one for each of them), mix in a scoop of the Vitalizing Protein, and again a  cup of milk turns into 12 grams of protein, hooray!

Stick around for the energy bites I make with this stuff, yummy!

Is it safe? Yes it is. I only trust Shaklee products when it comes to my family's health. Shaklee does clinical trials, step-by-step testing, third party verification, uses a "beyond organic" approach, and guarantees all their products.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fall and Winter... Cookies and Lattes- What's a girl to do?!



I don't know about you, but this time of year is the worst for me when it comes to eating healthy. I feel constantly surrounded by lattes and newly baked somethings.. .
Don't get me wrong, it is OK to indulge a little this time of year, it is cozy, we share with our friends, we spend more time indoors baking and cooking. Truly, it is ok! However, this year, I am going on a very un-timely tropical vacation in the beginning of December, you know, that time between the Thanksgiving meal and Christmas cookies.

Well, I'm trying something new! I want you to join me, because peer pressure, I mean support groups, make it easier to stay on track!
It is a 5-day "re-set" we use Shaklee's exceptional products to cleanse, and fuel our bodies for 5 days. Detox, and cleanse our system out! Sounds perfect for right after Thanksgiving, right!?

It is super easy to follow!

So what does a Reset entail?
For 5 days you have three Shaklee 180 smoothees for your main meals.  For snacks you add fruit, nuts, yogurt and vegetables.  Drink LOTS of water and cut out everything else.  You can eat as many fruits and veggies as you like and if you need snack ideas, we also have snack bars that fill you up and are great on the go.

We start December 1st, so get your order in by November 20!
Contact me for a shopping list, and we will get started together!  Check out the products at: sunnyside.myshaklee.com. You know I would only back a ethical, green, reputable company with superior quality products, right?!

Shaklee 180  Kick Start Detox



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Apple Butter & Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

You say you want to make a perfect fall cookie? You say you like fall spices? Pecans? How about Russian Tea cookies? You can have it all in this delicately easy autumn treat!

I have combined and mixed from a few recipes (as I always do.. ) so I can't give credit to any one in particular, so here goes:

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup ground nuts (as you may have guessed, I used pecans)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter at room temperature  (I used Kerrygold)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt (skip this step if your butter is salted)
1 tsp vanilla extract, or seeds from one vanilla bean

powdered sugar, and apple butter (or pumpkin butter etc)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grab a couple of cookie sheets, and either lightly grease, or cover in parchment paper. I have some really good non-stick ones from Ikea that never need either grease or paper, you know your kitchen and tools!

Mix sugar, salt, flour and nuts in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl mix the butter and vanilla. Once butter is creamed, add to nut/flour mixture. Mix well until you have a thick dough easy to shape.

Make 1" balls and place on the cookie sheet about 2" apart. Press your thumb, or back of a spoon into the middle of the cookie. Bake for about 15 minutes, keep an eye on them! You want to pull them out just as they start browning lightly along the bottom edges.
Let them mostly cool on the cookie sheet, then gently move them to a wire rack.
Once on the wire rack dust with powdered sugar (I use a tea sieve), and place a small amount of apple butter in the thumbprint.
Let them cool completely. And enjoy!

As a footnote, you can also use pumpkin butter, jam, pear butter or something similar (maybe Nutella!) For a simple pumpkin butter recipe, check here. 



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!