Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (sort of)

Woah Momma!

This is me almost exactly 2 years ago with Miles!
And Miles almost exactly 2 years ago!
6 more days until Miles is 2. I can't believe it!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

News you can use....Gear up for flu season!

There has been much speculation that this fall and winter could bring more severe illness related to the flu. GREAT. That is the one thing I am not looking forward to now that Amara is in school 5 times a week. She attended pre school twice a week and had flu like symptoms a few times last winter. Not fun.
Everyone can take measures to avoid getting sick this winter though. Getting a flu shot is recommended and also remind your household to to the following:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Or into the crook of your elbow.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth--germs are spread this way.

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever subsides without the use of fever reducing medication.

I am kind of neurotic about hand washing, nose picking and all that jazz. Not an OCD ( yet), but I do not like seeing my kids sick. It makes me sad! I try to keep my kids as healthy as possibly through eating right, exercising and mental health as well. There is not much I can do about the kids they come in contact with on a day to day basis ( school), but I hope other parents are taking these same precautions to keep their kids well.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

To Cleanse or not to cleanse..that is the question!!

Has anyone done a cleanse before?? I keep hearing about them and how great they are for you. I have big plans on trying one after I run a marathon in October. I have heard good things and not so good things about them. Could be the product, could be the person...I don't know!!
If anyone has any experiences they don't mind sharing I would love to hear about them!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Healthy Family Updates

My Operation De clutter is officially over. It has been over for quite some time actually. Uh, well I never claimed to have the domestic gene in this body now did I?? I kind of wish I did. Most of my close friends are overly neurotic about keeping a clean house where I am just the opposite. I wish my house had less clutter, less dog hair, less cat hair, less junk and dirty dishes. I figure I can just wait until the kids are old enough and then they can take care of it. Maybe we will start over again. New Year's resolution? Or maybe I should just wish a little harder and hope the Dust Fairy shows up.

Wordless Wednesday (sort of)

Pics of kids and my city of Grand Rapids.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Garden update....

I have forgotten to post about my lovely garden. Well, maybe not forgotten.....
I went out into the weed jungle and found one more zucchini. It did not get very big, but hey. I can't be too picky now can I?
The broccoli never sprouted. The onion bulbs did not get much bigger so I left them in the ground. The other squash varieties and bell peppers did not make an appearance either.
I had high hopes for the bell peppers and also the squash. I will still blame it on the weather!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fruit Fly TRAP..Update

Well it works!! I am going to make 2 more today to get rid of the rest of these pesky fliers.

I had the most luck with the peanut butter jar and the vitamin jar. The instructions said that the flies would die, but they are all alive, but from what I can tell they are not escaping.

I found a HUGE spider this morning on the's that time of year all ready. I am not a fan of spiders AT ALL. I sprayed it with the last of my harsh chemical cleaner ( Clorox Kitchen Spray). It did the job. I hate you spider.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, September 14, 2009

Casio Exilim Slim camera giveaway.....not here though!

Head on over to Mom Talk blog with 3 Kids and Us for a fabulous giveaway!
Have your chance at a Casio Exilim s12sr Slim camera.
I wanted to let you know about it, although I HOPE I win!

Fruit Fly TRAP!!

SO I have officially had it with fruit flies..what are they good for anyway?? They are good for nothing, that's what!

I used good old google to perhaps find a way to get rid of these pesky good for nothing species.

In a nutshell all I had to do was get a clean container ( I used an old peanut butter jar, baby food jar,Gatorade bottle, and clear vitamin jar) put pieces of banana in it. Cover the top with cling wrap and poke tiny holes in the top. I have captured quite a few so far! Amara gets a kick out of it too. I am afraid that they are crawling out of the same hole they crawl into, but the directions said that they will not crawl back I guess only time will tell. I did bait the flies with a sweet smelling nectarine. I think it's working. Those jars near it have the most flies inside!

Matt says he has noticed a difference of less flies so maybe it really is working! I am like McGuyver over here...or something.
Share your best tactics to get rid of the evil fruit fly!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fulton Street Farmer's Market- Saturday Tradition

For the past 6 or 8 weeks or so I have gone to a local Farmer's Market every Saturday after doing a long run ( I am currently training for a marathon). My running buddy and I finally made the trek ( its super close to where we live) and wish we would have started this tradition a long time ago. This particular Farmers Market has been open since 1922 and we are just now joining in on the fun. Better late than never I suppose. We get so excited to go there after running lots of miles. It's kind of what gets us through our runs--today we ran 22 miles and the Farmer's Market was brought up a few times as a means to an end! It's also good to walk around for a while to let our legs get rid of some lactic acid and just cool down in general.

The Fulton Street Farmer's Market has provided local produce to the City of Grand Rapids for over eighty years. The Market is located in the Midtown Neighborhood and is operated by the Neighborhood Association. The Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department provides this venue offering produce, flowers, meat, eggs, and local handmade items as a service to the residents of Grand Rapids. Farmers markets provide a unique opportunity for urban dwellers to connect with food producers and are great places to meet friends.

I bought ingredients to make fresh home made salsa--since my own garden did me no good.

There are so many cool things here that I want to try. Different kinds of vegetables that I have never seen or heard of before ( Cranberry beans??). And now that the apples are in season. I am going to be buying Honey Crisp until they are gone! And the prices are less then my grocery store for most items, but you really can't beat the atmosphere, I don't even mind the big crowds. We are all there for the same reason-It's the best way to support our local farmers' and to buy great things! They do have a few vendors that provide organic, hormone-free, grass fed etc. poultry and meats. I am very interested in purchasing from them soon. I have already tried some of the pastries-- whole wheat so it's ok! The cinnamon rolls I bought were truly the best I have even eaten. Not to mention the breads and jams and pizza crusts..they have everything-all home made!

If you have not checked out your local Farmer's Market, I urge you to do so. I wish I would have YEARS ago!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Zhu Zhu Pets Reivew and Giveaway!

Congratulations to Brittney with the winning comment #50!!

brittney said...
my daughter would love the adventure ball.

Please email me w/ your contact info w/in 48 hours or a new winner will be selected.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

School is in session!! How to start the day off successfully

Now that Amara is in school everyday I need to make sure she has a good breakfast and a hearty lunch. She attends school Monday-Friday from 12:30-3:35.
Lunch time will come about an hour earlier than usual in our home now. There are things that, we as parents can do to raise the chances of school success. A full night's rest and breakfast are a good start to the day. Carbohydrates give the brain energy yo work, so choosing cereals and breads made with whole grains and add protein rich foods ( milk, peanut butter, eggs and turkey) for staying power. Research also shows that physically active students get better grades. "You can't play until you've finished your homework." may no longer be considered good parenting. Ongoing research from the American College of Sports Medicine has determined a link between kids' exercise and kids' academic success. Exercise increases memory capacity, cognitive thinking and stimulates the mind. Free play is the best type of exercise!
I am glad that Amara has time to play before school to get the blood flowing to her brain!
She does get a little snack during her short day, but I know that it is not something she would get at home ( Teddy Grahams--eek!). We are phasing out high fructose corn syrups in our home. I guess I have to loosen my control reigns for the time being. At least the HFCS was not the first ingredient! There is a positive! And Amara was quite excited to receive them. I might add she dropped more than half on the ground. I felt bad that I smiled when this happened!
Kind of....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

News You Can Use....3 Superfoods you probably already eat-or should be!

BROCCOLI- we all know that it's great for us. It's a yummy veggie that fights cancer. Well it also safeguards our lungs! A recent study found that people who consumed more sulforaphane, an antioxidant in the vegetable, doubled the amount of protective enzymes in their airways. More reasons to load up on this powerhouse!

GINGER- I know that this root is good for pregnant people that suffer from nausea, but I did not know that it protects against ovarian cancer. University of Michigan researchers found that ginger maybe cause cancerous cells to die. Another reason to add this flavorful ,spicy root to your dishes.

CARROTS- I think everyone knows these are great for eyesight, but did you know carrots could slash your odds of developing colon cancer?Carrots, which are high in falcarinol, lowers your risk of tumors. Bugs Bunny is on to something!

*Thanks to Shape Magazine*

Saturday, September 5, 2009

They grow up so fast!!!

My little girl is on her way to kindergarten next week. I cannot believe it!!! She is so ready to go and I think I am too. I'm so happy and excited for this new beginning for her and cannot believe how fast it came, but at the same time I am not sure I am ready for her to be so grown up!! We were able to visit her new school and to meet her teacher. In typical Amara fashion she greeted her new teach with the biggest hug. I told the teacher to get used to it. Amara is very sweet natured and loves to give over the top " hellos" to anyone that she thinks is nice. And aren't all teachers nice?!?!? She will do very well in school because as a 5 year old, she loves it. I hope that lasts!

We have been spending extra time together doing fun stuff these past weeks as a last hurrah to summer and the break. A trip to the zoo, walks in new territories and visiting new parks have been our fun activities.

I am also not sure how my son will take her absence! They are joined at the hip. I am very lucky I think that those 2 get along so well. I am not sure how long that will last, so I better soak it up while I can.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Zucchini-Blueberry Muffins

I am on a muffin kick! The only thing I did differently is I added a banana. I also only used 1/8 of both of the sugars. I think the banana made up for my reduced sugar strategy. Come to think of it I omitted the 1/4 c sugar by accident-oops! I also used 2 handfuls of blueberries ( a bit more than the 1/3 cup called for) They were really good. I liked these better than my last effort too. I am not sure if it had anything to do with the extra banana and blueberries, but this recipe made 15 muffins, not 12.

SERVES 12 , 12 muffins
1 1/2 cups shredded
zucchini (about 1/2 of one large zucchini)
1/2 cup
1/4 cup
old fashioned oats
1/2 cup
white flour
3/4 cup
whole wheat flour
1/4 cup
white sugar, plus
1/8 cup
white sugar
1/8 cup
brown sugar
2 teaspoons
lemon juice or lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon
baking powder
1/2 teaspoon
baking soda
1/2 teaspoon
1 teaspoon
1 dash
1/3 cup
1Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a muffin pan with pam.
2Combine zucchini, applesauce, oats, flours, egg, sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl (use a spatula to mix, it will make things easier).
3Let this mixture sit for about 15 minutes.
4In the meantime, mix together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
5Fold this into the first mixture.
6Stir in blueberries and add a dash of vanilla.
7Scoop the batter into muffin pan and sprinkle with cinnamon.
8Bake for approximately 25 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
9*You can also double the recipe and still make only twelve, to make larger, heartier muffins.