Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sculpey Oven Bake Clay

The oven bake sculpey clay we got has been a major hit.  The boys knew just what to do with it.

It took a minute for them to figure out how to knead it (in small amounts to soften it), but they were off and running from there.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Recipe: Raw Zucchini and Chicken Salad (Paleo/ Primal)

4 large zucchinis, cut thin or spiralized
1 T sea salt
1 cooked chicken breast, diced into large pieces
1/4 cup parsley, diced
2 T fresh basil, diced
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
4 green onions, tops only
6-10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 stalks celery, sliced 

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 T coconut aminos
1 T tamari or Nama Shoyu (or soy sauce)
2 t. lemon juice
2-4 T olive oil (to taste)
1/2 t. fresh cracked black pepper (or to taste)

First salt the zucchini and set aside.  Let sit while you prepare everything else.

Put other salad ingredients into a large bowl.

Put all the dressing ingredients except the olive oil into a small bowl.  While whisking by hand, add the olive oil.

Rinse the zucchini.  Add it to the other salad ingredients.  Add half the dressing and see if you like that amount of dressing.  Add more as desired (or use elsewhere another day!).


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Friday, June 26, 2015

DIY Quick Kids' Shorts

My son woke up and told me he was out of shorts.  I thought it would be quicker to whip up a new pair than to slay the growing laundry dragon.

And it was!

These took maybe half an hour, including choosing the fabric and the extra time for putting them together when both kids were awake and in the room.

To make them, I took some fabric and folded it in half.  I then took a pair of (ahem, dirty) shorts that fit nicely and matched the side seam to my fold.  I made sure I had enough fabric to do this twice, then cut a square.

Then I cut an angle up for the crotch seam.

To put them together, I stitched up the inside of each leg.  Then I stitched up the middle seam. Then I hemmed them with a zig zag.

 Lastly, I made the waistband.  To do this, I measured my son's waist against a piece of elastic and made it into a loop with a zig zag.  I took a 4" wide piece of the same fabric as the shorts (but could have easily chosen a complimentary fabric).  Making sure its stretch went wide-ways, I sewed it into a loop.  Then I folded it in half and tucked the elastic loop inside.  I matched its rough ends with the rough ends of the shorts and folded the nice parts downwards.  This I looped around my machine and stitched it in a loop.  I like to reinforce this seam by going around twice.  These look sharp if you also topstitch after, sewing down the seam allowance.  I didn't do this on this pair.

Viola!  Quick kids' shorts.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

And How Many Veggies EVERY Day??!!??

Yes, this is Mom speaking. Well, not your Mom. But his mom.

 But the past many months I have been eating MANY servings of veggies every day.... aiming for EIGHT per day. Yes, eight!!  And I feel GREAT!!

How do I get that many per day? Let's break it down.

Breakfast (within an hour of waking): 1/2 smoothie (includes 3 servings of veggies: 1 serving of green powder plus 2 servings of the spinach)

After workout (aka snack): 1/2 the same smoothie as I made for breakfast

Lunch: 2 C Veggie and some meat (example is a huge salad with leftover meat and olive oil and balsamic on it or my favorite, the leftover chicken curry salad with some extra romaine)

Dinner: Meat and 2 C Veggies (example is BBQ salmon, steak, or hamburger with steamed broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.)

Snack: nuts or a hard boiled egg and a cup of veggies (ex: bell pepper or a cucumber with a hard boiled egg or nuts, or maybe carrots or celery dipped in almond butter)

I've also been trying to space the meals/ snacks at 2.5-3.5 hours apart.

HERE is a home workout routine you can pair this with.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Recipe: "Basic" Smoothie Recipe - hidden bone broth

2 c home made bone broth (you don't taste it at all!!)
1/2 package organic frozen berries
dash pomegranate or cranberry juice, 100%
1/4 cup fresh spinach, wilted (measured wilted- it's 2 cups raw... and to wilt it, you just steam a week's worth at a time and store in the fridge)

Blend. makes 2 servings (drink 1/3 pre-workout and 2/3 post-workout if you work out in the morning).

(option: 2 scoops Reservage whey instead of Jay Robb and sunwarrior)

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Friday, May 8, 2015

DIY Kids Haircuts - Clipper Cuts

These haircuts were a dramatic change this time!  The little one hadn't had a haircut excepting for trims.  And it, admittedly, had been a while since my older son's hair has been cut.

It had been hot here so they wanted a change.  I took out the clippers, and these haircuts are seriously so easy.  The boys take their shirts off and stand over the sink, and I run the clippers against the hair grain and run it through until there is no more hair clipping off.  You need to pay extra attention at the edges like the nape of the neck, the front, and the ears.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Taking the K Class Bear Home for the Weekend

In my older son's Kindergarten class, there is a stuffed bear that each student gets to take home on a rotating basis.

It was our turn... and love at first sight... for my younger son.

He toured the bear all over, and hugged it, and dragged it around, and even slept with it.  This was, of course, after a stop in my fabric stash to try and make it some clothing.

My older son, on the other hand, agreed to be photographed with it and helped assemble these collages to be brought to school.  He also helped dictate the photo descriptions for the class bear's journal.

My younger son, now, two weeks later, is still talking about the bear, and he is pining over when he will be in the same class and get to take the bear home again.

there's a bear in there

Until We Meet Again....

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Kids' Flower Arranging

We made four bouquets this weekend from the garden for a party.  My two sons each made one, and I made one.  We also made one that was all mint with one rose.

The boys, my older son in particular, enjoyed measuring the length of the flower stems in relation to the jar and each other, and deciding where to put the flowers in relation to each other.  

We also added some ribbon to the top of each jar.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Kids' Woodworking Area Set Up

I have talked about the woodworking bench we made for the kids to use before, but wanted to show it in its full context.  This area is the side of our house, just outside the garage.  All of the saws, drills, and other tools are stored inside the garage.

Out here, we put an old shelving unit like this one (or here is a smaller one).  It used to be in the garage and was no longer needed there.  But moving it outside has been perfect to allow us a space to organize wood and scraps.  Plywood is on top, 2x4s have a shelf, 1x4s have a space, and so on.  Wood is just grouped by type. Miscellaneous materials like clear plastic are stored behind.  Latches, clasps and wheels are stored int he garage. 

There is a step ladder nearby for the kids to peruse and choose their wood that is too high.  We also keep folding saw horses in the area.  You see an old 5 gallon paint/ spackle bucket that the kids can use as a seat.  

Having this organization system allows us to use the same materials over and over again for different projects, and to be able to tidy up the area without getting rid of all the fun.

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Working out at Home with Kids

We have been doing this for a long time~ me getting a short workout at home, and the kids doing their exercises.  You can see my mat crosswise just below where I am standing to take the photos.

I wanted to illustrate what it looks like to have three yoga mats for us in the edges of my bedroom.  I have found that giving each person their own space works great.

You see that my younger son has a tiny kettlebell (I think it's 8 lbs.) and really light dumbbells that I bought for this purpose at Target (I bought him 2 pounders when he was really little and in looking here, I see he took what used to be my older son's 5 pounders)  My older son uses my smallest kettlebell and smallest weights (16 lb. kettlebell and 10 lb. hand weights).

When they were really small, the little one used to jump in the doorway jumper and my older one would do exercises.

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