Friday, April 27, 2012

Our Nutrition Revolution {I ♥ Vegetarian Nachos!!}

The Vegetarian Nachos were a hit!! I think we'll have them every week!!   We actually had two servings each - way more than we should've eaten!! Our second helping was with Organic Veggie and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips and those were actually better tasting. 

I made a Black Bean and Corn Salsa:
1 can of black beans, partially rinsed
{as in I just rinsed them in the can}
2 cups of corn
1/4 red pepper, diced
fresh cilantro, chopped
about 2 tsp cumin
squeeze of lime juice
Just warm it on the stove - Easy Peasy! :)
{All of the amounts are just a guess from what I'm estimating I put may need to adjust to your personal usual!}

And homemade fresh, organic Salsa:
Recipe HERE

We topped the chips with creamed pinto beans {the creamy texture helps hold everything together}, lettuce, black bean & corn salsa, tomato salsa, olives, avocado, and tomatoes.  I couldn't find non-dairy sour cream, and really we didn't miss it.

So, not everything at Trader Joe's is good for you and necessary for nutrition, but these inside out carrot cake cookies were DELICIOUS!!! I justified eating them {only a half a cookie at a time!} because they are made with wheat flour and organic ingredients - not as bad as they could have been! HA! Even with our new, healthier way of eating, it's nice to have a treat once in a while! We will probably get to the point where we don't crave the junk, but for now I'm taking it slow.  I have been snacking on nuts and dried fruit, though!!

Tonight we had Salad Wraps
Fresh Carrots and Sliced Red, Yellow, and Orange Peppers with Dressing
Sauteed Zucchini and Yellow Squash
I also made Sweet Potatoes with Almond Milk for the girlies.
{and then Titus wanted some, too!}

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{Friday Freebie} Modern Dinosaur Invitation

Today I have a super cute dinosaur invitation available for download. This was designed for my son's 4th birthday party, and I love the modern colors and super simple, clean design!
View his party HERE.

Just add your custom text using your favorite photo editing site.  I work in PSE, but some great free sites to use are pixlr and PicMonkey.  This download was designed as a 4x6 file - I generally print them off as photos at my local photo lab.

Printables and all designs are for PERSONAL USE only. Please feel free to download and share, but do not distribute for profit or self-promotion. If you would like to share online, you must include a link back to my site. Thanks! ENJOY!!

Example Text

4x6 Dinosaur Invitation
4x6 Dinosaur Invitation Option #2

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On the Verge of Vegan...

Any of you seen "Forks Over Knives" or "Food, INC" recently...or ever? OH MY! I've been making small changes to my diet since right after Christmas, but these films were totally eye-opening.  It's been awhile ago {before kids}, but my husband and I used to eat an organic/all natural diet.  We got off track when we traveled to Europe in 2007 and never recovered... :(

All that to say, I've done enough research in the past to know that these films are right on target.  I guess they were just the "kick in the pants" I needed to jump start our nutrition revolution.  In the recent months, I've cut out sugar, starting drinking my needed amount of water daily, and have been watching my carb intake.  And, honestly, I think making small changes and sticking with it are key.  

I've still got much research to do before deciding what animal-based food products we will consume, if any, but for now I'm cutting out the obvious offenders ~ processed foods, meats, etc...  And really, watching "Food, INC" will make you never want to eat meat from the supermarket again!!! I'm not an animal rights "activist" nor do I believe animals should be elevated as equals with humans, but really, the way some companies "farm" animals and butcher them is just inhumane...and hazardous to our health.  

So, I will periodically be posting about how we are changing our nutritional habits and how it effects our overall health. I'm starting simple to avoid feeling overwhelmed with all the changes that need to be made. 
Last Night's meal??

Whole Grain Organic Angel Hair Pasta
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce 
{made with organic canned tomatoes, EVOO, spices, and organic mushrooms - no meat}
and a Hearty Salad 
{with lots of veggies and soy nuts (non-GMO) added for protein - no cheese.}

And I've bought enough ingredients for two more meals before my trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's at the end of this week:

Potato Soup 
and whole-grain, all natural crackers
{made with almond milk and chopped onions, carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash}
and a Hearty Salad

Vegetarian Nachos 
{made with blue, organic tortilla chips topped with black beans, corn salsa, avocados, lettuce, tomatoes, homemade organic salsa, black olives, and non-dairy sour cream} 

For breakfast this week, we are doing oatmeal with fruit and smoothies; for lunch we're having salads and leftovers.  Yesterday the kiddos had peanut butter and honey sandwiches on whole grain bread and LOVED them! :)

I'd love to hear your feedback! What are some changes you've made recently to improve your family's nutrition or what are goals you have for the future? Do you have any vegan/healthy meal ideas or recipes??
Additionally, any knowledge or educated opinions you can share will be much appreciated!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Patch the Pirate

We were so very honored, privileged, and HUMBLED to get to spend some extra time with Dr. Ron and Mrs. Shelley Hamilton {aka Patch the Pirate and Sissy Seagull} after our church's ladies' conference this past weekend. We literally picked their brain, and they were so gracious and helpful. Tim has been their host every year since they started coming in 2009.  They've become dear friends and are so inspirational and encouraging to Tim and me!! I appreciate the stand they've taken for truly Christ-honoring music!! Their ministry, Majesty Music, is a valuable tool and asset to our music ministry.  But they are probably best known for their Patch the Pirate ministry. 

My children LOVE listening to Patch the Pirate!! In fact, we have a 6-CD changer in our car, and it usually has 6 Patch cds in it!!  Thanks to the generosity of the Hamiltons and gifts from family and friends, we now have quite the collection! We are currently listening to memorizing "IncrediWorld" - a story on creation.

 I have drawn from Patch's character building songs MANY times in training my children.  Additionally, as a side bonus, Titus can sing on pitch perfectly! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Titus! {A Dino Dig Party}

This year Titus wanted a dinosaur party, so we planned a super fun Dino-Dig!  We kept it small {and affordable!} and only invited a few friends.  Since several of Titus's friends are at home during the day with their mommies, it worked out great to have a weekday afternoon "play date" party. And Titus was so excited that his Grandma and Papa got to be there as well.

I kept the food super simple! For favors and activities we did a dino dig with homemade dirt dino eggs and hatched super sized dino eggs. But really, I just let the kids play!! Titus had a ton of fun, and I didn't break the bank = success! :) 

Food Table

"Dino Bites" aka PB&J Dino Sandwiches

"Dino Teeth" aka Bugles
I also used my Cricut to cut out vinyl letters and dino shapes to label the food buckets.

"Dino Eggs" aka Cuties Mandarin oranges

"Dino Chews" aka dinosaur fruit snacks {Kroger}

Dino Tracks Sugar Cookies

The CAKE!!! made with Wilton's Chocolate Buttercream that was SUPER DUPER YUMMY!!!!!!  I'm all about keeping it simple when it comes to making the cake! With my limited experience, it's better if I don't try anything too elaborate...

One of my awesome friends and her husband gave Titus this picnic table for his birthday. Her husband made it, and it was PERFECT for the kids' table!

He couldn't wait to eat his cake!
 I made Dino Eggs for the Dino Dig using this recipe.  I did use dirt instead of the coffee grounds it calls for.  It was sooo much easier to bake these in the oven to dry them out! And, really...only cool moms bake dinosaur eggs! :)
Dino Dig!! 

Each child got a container of dirt with three eggs buried.  They had soooo much fun digging for the eggs and then breaking them open.  We then got some water and let them wash their dinos...messy, but fun!!

The paper-mache dino eggs were also a hit.  I paper-mached balloons with newspaper and then coordinating tissue paper.  We then cut a slit and put the dinosaurs inside for the kids to "hatch." Then used a little packing tape {because we didn't have time to do another thin layer of tissue over it} to re-close the slit except for a small section to help them be able to tear into it.  

I added food coloring to the cake mix so it would match the party. :) 

The banner was made on a these little dinosaurs!

Mommy and Titus ♥

He played for hours even after the other kids left!

 To see the whole party you can visit my Flickr photostream.

Also, if you like what you see, PLEASE click the link to Top Mommy Blogs on my sidebar to put in your vote for my blog!! THANKS!! :)

Linking up at:

Skip To My Lou
wednesday's wowzers
The Organised Housewife

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