Thursday, October 25, 2012

Orange Julius -- Do It Yourself!

After doing some researching online, here is my formula:

1.5 cups orange juice (we use the good valencia kind from Costco)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar
A teensy splash of vanilla
1.5 cups of ice

Blend on high until it becomes frothy and irresistible.  Enjoy!

ORCA Beverage Company, Field Trip

 Today, it was "Bubble Up" in production.

Since I'm such a fan of lemonade, they brought home an entire case of this flavor.  :)

If you ever need "nostaglic" beverages for a party, you can call them in advance to get them in bulk.  Check out their website:  Orca Beverage

Lego Bugs

To join the bi-weekly lego challenge, check out Frugal Fun 4 Boys .

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The New Norm for Breakfast

So, one of my Facebook friends recently posted an article about how cereal is bad for you because of the high heat used in the extrusion process.  Not totally sure which friend or which article, but here is a similar article.  Anyway, it turned me off to regular boxed cereal, which has been a staple in our home.  I need breakfasts that are quick!  So, now, we eat oatmeal, homemade granola, healthy bars, and frozen waffles/pancakes/french toast that I've made on the weekend and stored. 

My original granola recipe came from the sweet lady over at Cook's Cottage.  I've made a whole bunch of variations on her recipe.  This weekend, I added pecans, dried cherries, and dried blueberries.  A couple weeks ago, it was almonds and raisins (golden and regular).  This may not be the exact original recipe, but it is close:

Mix together:
5 cups oats (I use a variety of rolled grains)
Your mix-ins (nuts, coconut, dried fruits, etc)
1/2 cup powdered milk

On the stovetop, heat until bubbly:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey (you can use other sweeteners, such as maple syrup)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut oil today for something new)

Pour the sugar/oil mix over the oat mix and blend well.

Cook in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Break into pieces and store in an airtight container. 

Chia Seeds -- A Nutritious Powerhouse!

My first order of chia seeds has arrived! 
(I ordered mine from Bulk Herb Store.) 
Here's the fine print on the package:  "The Chia seed is one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, an anti-inflammatory agent that is good for healthy skin and involved in the cholesterol metabolism function.  It is an excellent source of natural antioxidants, protein, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, zinc, copper, and iron.  In fact, Chia contains six times more iron than spinach.  Also, it's gluten free."
 My first method of integrating these little powerhouses into our diet, is to put them in our morning smoothies.  I started by soaking one teaspoon of seeds overnight. 
 Then, I put them in the blender with all my other secret ingredients. 
Have I mentioned that I use Green Superfood to add "green stuff" in a way that is palatable?
AND, Liquid Stevia sweetens while keeping the calories low.
Throw in carrots, some fruit that is isn't getting eaten, 
frozen berries and cherries from Costco, and some juice.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

Simeon Gets Inspired to Build the Tallest Lego Tower EVER!

Iron Chef, HE (crushed oreos)

Okay, so I went a bit crazy this morning.  I asked Emmett to make pancakes for us this morning and while I was considering what add-ins to "clean" out of the pantry, I came across some crushed Oreo cookies left over from another baking project.  Hmmm...oreo pancakes?  Well, if you are going to go that far, you might as well throw in some chocolate chips too!

 Top these yum-yums with whip cream!

Stockpile the leftovers (if there are any) in the freezer for when you need a chocolate fix later.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Standing and Cruising

Okay, so this picture is a little blurry, but it isn't easy getting good shots with my camera while he is constantly on the move.  Zebedee now pulls into a standing position by himself and he is starting to get good at moving from place to place while on his feet.  He crawls with such small moves though that is is more like a shuffling and it is stinkin' cute!  I'm afraid there's no slowing him down now...he'll be walking unassisted within the next couple weeks for sure.

Pattern Blocks

One of my favorite blogs to follow is Frugal Fun 4 Boys.   It is a great blog that provides me with fresh ideas regularly.  Plus, this mom has FOUR boys, so it is also a great encouragement.  So, the start of our latest project came from her latest inspiration. 

 Here, Emmett mocked up a design.
 Then, he traced and cut the same pieces out of construction paper and glued them in place.
 Here is another design he created.
This time he traced the pieces and colored them in.
He is using these art pieces as thank you notes for some recent gifts.
This can count as art, math, language (thank you notes)...and it teaches diligence and patience as well.