Saturday, March 30, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter round up

Here are some more inspiring egg dying ideas from Huffington Post! 

And don't forget about these sock bunnies I made last year! The tutorial is can be found over at Little Blue Boo. They're still hanging in there (minus a button eye)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

best banana bread!

I signed up to take a bunch of bananas to Doodle's school for fruit salad day, but of course I forgot to take them and ended up stopping at the market on the way to school to get a bunch more bananas. Point being I ended up with a lot more bananas than I meant to have so I tried my hand at some gluten free banana bread. The goal: to make it taste like regular banana bread. 

While I love most recipes in Babycake, when I tried their banana bread recipe it ended up dry and not so yummy. Instead, I made this version using almond flour, brown rice flour and goat milk yogurt, keeping it moist and delicious! 

you'll need:

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey

4 eggs
4 bananas
1/2 cup plain goat milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut oil
dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

I placed all ingredients in my vitamix and mixed well until blended. If you're doing it by hand, mix dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls, then place wet into dry and mix through. 

Coat your bread pan with coconut oil or olive oil so it doesn't stick. Pour batter into pan. 

Bake for 50 minutes or until baked through (I use a wooden skewer stick to test)

Let cool and then enjoy!

Monday, March 25, 2013

we have a winner!

The winner of Return to Nim's Island is Brianna who said, 

"I got Edmund."

I will email you to get your mailing address in the next few minutes!
Check out the new Hobbit Giveaway! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hobbit Giveaway! Closes April 6th

Mr. P. is obsessed with the Hobbit. He especially loves the Hobbit Lego set he has and loves to make up stories involving hobbits and trolls and as he puts it "catastrophes".

You can imagine how excited he gets when he sees billboards that the film is coming out on DVD March 19th! In celebration of this release, I'm giving away one copy of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Blue-Ray Combo Pack!!

Every knows this story, right? 

J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic adventure follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an amazing quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers.Check out the Blog App!

To enter this giveaway, simply become a follower of this blog (using Google friend connect) AND let me know who your favorite character is in the comments section! Or in lieu of your favorite character, take the blog app quiz and let me know if you are 100% hobbit! Please include your email address.

This giveaway will close on April 6th and I must have the winner's mailing address by April 7th. 

The prize will be sent via FedEx or UPS. No P.O. Boxes please. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

tuna free tuna salad

You know when you're in the mood for tuna salad but perhaps you have no tuna? Or maybe you're trying to cut down on mercury? Or maybe you're a vegetarian? Have I got a salad for you!

So, my impetus for creating this particular salad was because I was craving a tuna salad but sadly had no canned tuna around. 

Tuna Free Tuna Salad (serves 1 hungry person or two people)

salad prep
four kale leaves (chopped or ripped into smaller pieces)
1 tomato or a handful of cherry tomatoes (diced)
1 Persian cucumber or 1/3 of a regular cucumber (sliced)
1/2 an avocado
1 scallion (diced)

Place above items in a bowl.

chickpea prep
1/2 can chickpeas
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I prefer Spectrum's vegan mayonnaise)
1 tablespoon mustard
fresh or dried parsley
fresh or dried oregano
red pepper flakes (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)

olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Mix above ingredients in a small bowl. Place chickpea mixture into bowl of salad. Dress with oil and vinegar. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

magical thank you cards

Truth be told, I haven't pulled it together to send these out yet, but this weekend we did work on our thank you cards from Doodle's birthday. These cards are super easy to make and fun for the kids as there's a magical element to them. 

Simply write whatever you want on the card - in our case, I wrote "Thank you" using the white crayon. Then let your kids go to town with the water colors. The paint will adhere everywhere but where your crayon went. 

cool, right?

We churned them out!

I love how differently they all turned out!

We let them dry, then glued them to a colorful card backing and wrote our notes on the inside.

We have a few more to do and then into the mail they'll go!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

the weekend

We had a nice, mellow weekend at home (my favorite kind!) Full of good eats including, vegan mac n cheese: (thanks healthy blender!)

beet hash with eggs (thanks Martha!)

my photo came out way steamier (and I added bacon) Plus, instead of potatoes I substituted sweet potatoes. They turned nice and pink in all that beet juice and I ate the extras over salad for dinner. 

For dinner, we had an Irish feast, kale salad (Irish only in spirit as it's green), corned beef brisket, and cabbage and potatoes. 

And black and tans:

We acquired some new family members...I'll get a better photo soon. The black goldfish is "Ninja" and the orange one is "Pog". Apparently, they can grow up to 8 inches! I can't tell you how close we came to almost taking home a hamster. I'm quite content with the fish. 

The boys played a little hockey with their dad. 

There were bike rides (It's hard to ride bikes and hold hands at the same time!)

And we cheered on a dear friend running the L.A. marathon. We looked for a second friend and sadly couldn't find him amid the swarms of people. But at one point, a friend from high school ran by! It was a 10 second mini reunion, but exciting to see a familiar face running nonetheless!

Phew! Now that I type this all up suddenly my weekend doesn't look so relaxing! I didn't even write about dance class or Mr. P.'s fencing or the play date on Friday, movies in bed, swimming and dinner at a friend's house. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Easter, naturally

photo courtesy of Just Short of Crazy

A Facebook friend recently linked up this great turorial on how to dye Easter eggs naturally. Would be a nice alternative to the store bought kind with all those chemicals. (You know how you peel those eggs and the dye has seeped into the egg white?) Would make eating them feel a little less wrong. Brought to you by Just Short of Crazy. 

photo courtesy of Just Short of Crazy

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Return to Nim's Island Giveaway!

Return to Nim's Island is premiering on the Hallmark Channel on March 15th at 7/8 C! The story picks up where Nim's Island left off. The movie stars Bindi Irwin (Steve Irwin's daughter) who is more determined than ever to protect her island and the animals that call it home. With ruthless resort developers and greedy wildlife poachers threatening the existence she loves, Nim realizes she and her animal pals can’t defend their home alone. To save her island, she is forced to combine forces with an outsider: Edmund, a runaway from the mainland. Only with his help does she stand a chance of stopping the villains from dismantling her world.

One lucky follower will receive a Return to Nim's Island Blue-ray combo pack! 


To enter, click here to check out the Return to Nim's Island Family Adventures blog app! Take the Discover Which Adventurer You Are Quiz and then let me know the answer in the comments section below along with your email address. 

In case you were wondering, I was Edmund, a Swashbuckling Explorer.

You must also become a follower of my blog. 

Your kids can't get enough of Bindi? Bindi Irwin will be doing a Live Twitter Q&A on Saturday March 9th at 6pm EST/3pm PST! This is your chance to connect with Bindi! Bindi will be collecting questions to answer on Saturday so start asking away, just remember to tag your question to Bindi with #nimsislandchat!

This giveaway is open to U.S. mailing addresses only. It will be sent by FedEx or UPS (no P.O. boxes please)

This giveaway will close Sunday, March 24th at 11:59 PM ET. I will contact the winner by Monday, March 25th and I must receive the winner's mailing address by March 26th in order to claim your prize. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

jawbone winner

The winner of the jawbone head set is Julianne who said, "great giveaway!"

I will be contacting you later today to get your mailing address. 


Everyone else, a new giveaway is happening tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

it's the little things

So, things have changed with the new diet. Gone are the days of spending the morning with my second true love: coffee. It wasn't easy to end that relationship, let me tell you. There were headaches and cravings and energy dips. I have, however, found a new companion in the form of an almond milk green tea latte from Urth Cafe. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it tastes so good!

If only I could figure out how to make them!

Friday, March 8, 2013

carnival birthday

Doodle decided on a carnival themed party for his number 4. I was all ready to work my tail off making games for the kids to play, but when we went to rent out table, turns out they also rent out games. One less thing for me to do!

The night before the party some good friends got wrangled into helping blow up balloons, make party favors and stuff pinatas. 

Someone was so excited about his impending party; he passed out at 6:30. 

Carnival fare included grapes on fancy sticks (Target):


Corn dogs and veggies with ranch:

There were lots of things to do like toss the ring on the clown with the odd nipple-like protrusions:


the strong-man hammer:

get tickets at the ticket stand:

tic tac toe toss:

knock down the weirdos:


face painting, tattoos and an art wall:

Doodle's favorite helpers were on hand:

and I got to work with fondant for the first time!

Big brother helped with the little ones.

He was so excited to turn 4!

and so was his brother:

and then somehow, everyone ended up shirtless:

Guests left with their party favors:

One last snuggle with his bestie:

He ogled over his pressies:

And finally, after everyone left, I was able to convince him to do a little face painting:

Birthday celebration part deux is next....stay tuned.
Check out past birthday celebrations: