Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shrimp and Guacamole Tostadas

This was our clean eating dinner for tonight and it was sooo yummy! I got the original recipe here and modified it for our family.

I did not take a picture, although they were picture worthy. Ooops, sorry!

I prepared my own guacamole recipe that I got from a friend instead of the one in the recipe. I will share that recipe tomorrow. 

Coat 1 pound of shrimp with 1 Tbsp. Cumin, 1 1/2 Tbsp. Chili Seasoning and 1 tsp. onion powder. Saute in 1-2 Tbsp. canola or olive oil for 5 minutes.

Top tostada with guacamole (I smeared it on first underneath the cheese so my kids couldn't see it and guess what? They loved it :), cheese, cabbage. shrimp and cilantro. Squeeze lime juice on top and enjoy! So easy and yummy!

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Free entry to Bingham Canyon Mine

Here is a great coupon to get you into the mine, kennecott, for free. They will even
donate to a local charity with every visit so get out and Enjoy!

Click HERE for your coupon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chore Chart

This is a chore chart that is simple to make and is very rewarding to the child.
Take a large white magnet board (I found one at IKEA for hardly anything). Next divide the board into sections for how many children you have. Use electrical tape to make your is easily adjusted and removable if you want to use the board for something else in the future. 

Each square represents a chore or behavior that the child accomplishes. Magnets are added each time one a pre-designated chore or behavior is fulfilled. Once the child gets to the bottom of the chart with magnets, they receive the money award (in this case $5) and it starts over again.

Important to note that once earned, squares CANNOT be taken away. They did the positive behavior and it cannot be taken away from them...otherwise they would lose the incentive to keep trying if every time they did, it was taken away.

I used a single magnet as well and just moved it along the squares. The first section is for my oldest (and I write the names above their section so there is no confusion), the next is for the next oldest and the last is for my baby :) 

This has been very effective in our home. I will randomly tell them to move a space if they are being extra kind or do something without me asking. They love when I do that!

Happy Parenting!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Labor Day Labor of Love Hike

I admit that I am always pushing my family to do big things. I mean, why hike 3 miles when we can hike 10? I have an "I can do it" attitude and figure that if I think I can do it, then everyone else can too:) I have always been this way. Just ask my high school friend Sharee about some of our bone breaking, deep snow hiking, steep hill rollerblading, and more recently geo-caching experiences. She may laugh a bit and then definitely confirm that it somehow always ends up harder than I say it will be. I truly believe that we can do hard things and that it is good for kids and myself to always be reminded of this. 

This hike came about because I was anxious to do a new hike. I wanted it to be hard and long and beautiful. I wasn't disappointed. 

This hike starts at Brighton and goes up through Alta and then back down to Silver Fork Lodge. It was about 8.25 miles and took us roughly 4 1/2 hours with a 6 year old. Make sure everyone is well equipped with water, food, sunblock and good hiking shoes will not be enough for this hike....we found out the hard way with that one.
Looking down Silver Fork Canyon
We started at the Silver Lake boardwalk in Brighton Utah. We hiked to the left around the boardwalk until we came to the Solitude Lake Junction. Instead of continuing around the lake we continued straight towards Solitude Lake. In no time at all we came to the Twin Lakes junction. You can turn here, but with it being such a busy day, we continued another 1/2 mile or so until we came to an unmarked trail that headed to the left. It can be overlooked if you are not careful. Turn onto this won't be disappointed. We rarely run into anyone on this trail. It is secluded, serene and very beautiful. It will eventually merge with the Twin Lakes trail. Continue to Twin Lakes. 

Once at Twin Lakes, on the north side of the lake is a small utility shack. After taking in the scenery and a break if needed, hop onto the trail near the utility shack and continue up the mountain towards Solitude Ski Resort. 

At the saddle you will be able to either go right and head down into Solitude Lake or stay left on the trail. Stay left and follow this road. You will come to a trail that goes left...
Here is the road and the trail is right where the man is standing. I took the photo looking back.
...take this trail until you come to a ski run sign that has 3 blue runs and one black run on it. Just past this sign you will need to follow a faint trail to the left. This trail accesses the Wolverine Cirque as well Grizzly Gulch. 

Once on the trail be sure to look back at Twin Lakes...the view is amazing!

Once at the next saddle, 

View looking into grizzly gulch.
...follow what looks like a wider trail. 

Follow the wide trail to the right.
This is where it became a bit difficult for us to find our way. You are now at Alta in Grizzly Gulch. If you want, just follow the road until you see a trail that goes right and heads up the mountain to another saddle. If you are more adventurous, try to stay somewhat high so that you do not have to drop down just to climb back up.

We had our GPS just to make sure we were in Grizzly Gulch and that we were going to be dropping down the correct canyon to get to Silver Fork Lodge. We got up onto the trail and followed it towards the saddle until there was a split in the trail. Unsure of which way to go, we chose to take the high trail and it was a good choice! This trail splits again. If you want to summit take the high trail, 

...otherwise they meet up again so the lower trail is fine. 

At the end of the trail you will find some old mining equipment. We went to look around and my kids were so enthralled with the whole thing. 

Before you get to the mining equipment the trail splits again. Take the lower trail and follow it around and down the canyon. There was difficulty finding the correct trail here. It is very faint. We did mark the trail with a cairn, but I am not sure if it will still be standing. If you continue on the trail until you can see down the canyon with an unobstructed view you have gone about 300 feet too far. Backtrack and look for a faint trail. 

You will come across another area with mining equipment and then some really steep downhill was next on the docket. Make sure you have good footwear. You will come out at the trailhead in the homes of those living in Silver Fork. Look across the road and there is another trail. Hop on that and follow it down closer to the lodge.

We followed the trail down the canyon and came out at a parking lot on a road. Follow the road down until you come to the canyon road and the lodge is about .25 miles up the road. 

This hike is not for beginning hikers and you should leave plenty of time to get back before dark. We parked our car near the lodge before the hike or you could have someone pick you up.

Happy Hiking!

Yum! Chocolate "Moose"

 With all this clean eating that has been going on at our house, my boys thought they were so funny to 
find some chocolate "moose" to eat by the lake :)

 Open wide!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stress Relief Gift

My friend was telling me about all of the stress she was having and how it almost made her cry. I have been there and I am sure that most of you have been there at one time or another.
These are the type of opportunities that we should watch for. They give us an opportunity to serve someone else if only in a small way. And...serving others is good for the heart and the mind.

I decided to make a fun little gift to cheer her up. I went to the dollar store and bought some bubble wrap. I cut it into 6 inch strips and the rolled it up. I chose a pretty ribbon and tied a bow around the bubble wrap.

I used my silhouette machine to print and cut out a tag that says,
 "Stress Relief
Simply pop capsules every 4-6
hours as needed until symptoms 
are alleviated."
Then I attached the tag with string to the bow so that it would hang nicely.
I made a few extra for those unexpected times that someone needs a smile:)

I love how it turned out. I am off now to deliver this to her and hope it makes her laugh a little.
That's what friends are for...right?

Have a stress free day!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ski Utah 5th Grade Passport

September is a great time of year here in Utah. The trees are beginning to change, the mountains are beautiful and it is time to think about ski season. Ski season is right around the corner. One of the best programs we participate in as a family is the 5th and 6th grade ski utah ski passports.

September is the earliest time to get them. It costs a mere $35 and gives your 5th grader 3 lift tickets to every resort here in Utah...that's right...3 to each resort! How great is that? For us it is fantastic. The 6th graders get 1 pass to every resort for the same price. By the time you hit 7th grade your kids will be hooked and unfortunately there are no more ski passports :)

Simply click here if you have a 5th grader. If you have a 6th grader click here. They will be available sometime this month so please keep checking back until the forms are up. You will need to submit a fairly recent photo of your child along with the money and the forms. It takes a few weeks to get the passport in the mail so plan appropriately. I always seem to put it off and put it off until I find it November and we are headed out to ski...without our passport. This year I am getting a jump on it.

Happy Skiing!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Where to buy Clean Meat??

After a few weeks of changing my diet over to clean eating, I am at a point where I can focus on finding the best sources when it comes to purchasing food. Up until now, I haven't worried too much about the meat we are eating because there were so many other big issues that needed to be changed.

Now I find myself wondering what is in the meat my family and I are eating. Upon further inquiries and label reading I found preservatives in almost everything.

Today I made it my goal to find some places to purchase meat without preservatives. I started at our farmer's market on Saturday. I placed my name on a list where 2 or 3 families will share a cow. The place they have the meat processed (in Lindon I believe) is one of the best they could find and the meat is flash frozen without preservatives. This will take some time to get our meat.

Next, I googled butchers in my city. A list came up and I started to call. Most of the meat I can purchase is preservative free :) The only catch is that it takes a bit of planning. I must log onto their website and put an order in. It will take 2-3 days to fill the order then I can pick it up. They have shredded meats as well that do not have preservatives...but be careful. As I was talking to her she stated that their BBQ meat is put into BBQ sauce. This typically means that the sauce has preservatives in it.

The last option that I found today is Costco. This is quite convenient when I need something today for dinner. I talked to the meat department and he said that all their meat is cut fresh right there and packaged. No preservatives at all. YAY! We love Costco meat in our family of 4 boys/men...good news for me. The no preservatives pertains to all the meat in the long freezer under the meat department windows. When I asked about the salmon, it is farm raised and often times when that is the case, there is color added....which we want to avoid.

So, the bad news? Almost all deli style sandwich meat has preservatives. I haven't been able to find any without preservatives yet. I will keep looking and let you know when I find some.

Happy Eating!

Biking Hobble Creek Canyon

I love to bike and I love my kids. Why is it that when I put the two together I find it hard to love anything :) LOL! If my kids don't have a good time it is amazing how quickly the complaining can take the enjoyment out of biking.

The beauty of Hobble Creek Canyon in the fall.
There is a ride that we all love and the complaining is kept to a very minimum. It is the ride up Hobble Creek Canyon in Springville, Utah. It is a paved bike path that goes up just past the golf course. It is beautiful and only has one major hill that my kids sometimes have to walk. We take snacks and water and stop at the top for a quick bite.

I have been pulling them up this canyon for the last 6 years and it is so fun that they can ride it on their own. I put my littlest guy in the wee-hoo bike trailer so he can help peddle if he wants or just hang out if he gets tired. I like the wee-hoo for that reason.

To get to the canyon take the Springville/Mapleton 400 South exit off of I-15. Turn east and continue on this road. You will eventually pass Ream's grocery store. At the next stop sign take a right and follow this road up the canyon. Off to the right is a bike path and you can get on at any point. I like to start up near the mouth of the canyon. There is room to pull the car to the side of the road here.

Be sure to stay in your lane of travel when going around corners up this canyon. Often times there are fast bikers coming down as you are going up and we don't want anyone to get hurt :) My middle child accidentally got going too fast before the first bridge and went right into the river 2 years ago. He was fine and we all had a good laugh after it was all said and done.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Clean Eating Lime Chicken Tacos

This recipe is a cinch! And it got thumbs up all around the table tonight.

Crock Pot Recipe

Place 3-4 Large Chicken Breasts in the crock pot on low. (My chicken breasts were rather large)
Juice 2 limes and add 1 Tbsp Chili Spice...mix and pour over the chicken (or add 2 drops of doTerra Lime essential oil in 1/2 cup water with spice).

Let cook for 6-8 hours.
Shred the chicken and return to the pot.
Add 1-2 cups of frozen white corn.
Add 1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa.

Heat thoroughly and serve up in warm clean corn tortillas with lettuce, cherry tomatoes halved and salsa. Mmmmmm. This recipe is so simple and yummy. A keeper.
I will have to get photos next time...we ate it so fast that I did not have an opportunity to snap a picture!

I adapted this recipe from A Taste of Home recipe.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Give the Gift of Cards

I love making cards and I love to give cards as gifts to my friends for birthdays or other special occasions. As the result of both of our floods (one we are still trying to get settled and the house put back together), all my card making stuff was put away. That put me behind on gifts for friends. 

I was happy when I could finally pull it back out. I worked for a week to get these cards done and tied up all pretty. I try to make similar sized cards as they package up better that way. I find a beautiful ribbon and tie it round them with an attached tag.
Here is my finished product:

Here is a photo of the cards included in this pack. I focused on birthday cards and a couple of sympathy cards as well.

A simple card or note can brighten someone's day. Let's make many days brighter.

Happy Carding:)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Black Sheep R/C Racetrack

One of the best Christmas presents our boys received were big remote control race cars. They were a hit right from the beginning. There is something about boys and cars that never gets old. My 12 year old recently asked me if I wanted him to drive to pick me up. I told him no way! He then explained that he had a dream and in his dream he drove the short, he assured me that because of this dream, he could drive the car :) I love it when my children make me laugh!

If you get one of these cars for yourself or your child (my husband now wants a car), be sure to invest in a bigger battery. I think a battery that runs the car for 30 minutes costs about $40. The only problem we have is knowing where to go to run the cars for fun. The street and church parking lot are always options, but we were looking for something more.

After a long Saturday of garage cleaning and chores we decided to load up and take the boys to race their cars. We found a race track in Spanish Fork called Black Sheep.

I have yet to find out what the fee is. Every time we go, no one is ever there. I will call again to see if I can find out. If you go, please be sure to respect the rules that are plainly posted.
  • No Sunday Use
  • This is a Family Track
  • No Foul Language
  • Pay Use Fee for Non-Members

Getting ready to race around the track.

Cars need a bit of a fix and a battery change to continue the fun. Little brother had the job of righting the cars when they flipped or went off the track. He should like that for another year or so until he finally decides it is his turn to run the cars. This is an inexpensive and fun family activity if you already have a car.

To get to the track you take I-15 to the Spanish Fork exit. Turn right off the exit and follow the street until you get to 2700 North. Turn right until you come to 200 East and turn right again. The track is located about 1/2 mile down this road behind a business called....Ideal Machine.
Look for a small narrow dirt road to the south of the business and turn right. Follow the road behind the building and you will come to the track. It gets really dusty and the wind blows so beware :)

You can also get there from Springville by taking 2700 North west over the freeway and turning left onto 200 East. Go 1/2 mile or so until you come to Ideal Machine and turn right on the small dirt road just south of the business. 

Happy Racing!

Clean Eating Day 16

Clean eating Day 16

Waffle (from 
Pure Maple Syrup


Tortilla Soup 
Green Smoothie (2 cups red grapes, 1 cup spinach, 2 nectarines, 1 banana, 1/2 cup frozen fruit)
Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chicken Sicilian Soup
Macadamia Nut Crusted Talapia
Steamed Cauliflower and Broccoli
Fresh Bread
Carrabba's Restaraunt

Friday, August 24, 2012

Clean Eating Day 15

Clean Eating Day 15

Here is what I have eaten today. I am going to try to post my daily menu FYI.


Trail Mix (cocoa covered almonds, dried mango, almonds, peanuts, dark chocolate covered fruit)

Melted Cheese Sandwich
Kettle Chips

BLT Sandwich (whole wheat 5 ingredient bread, bacon, tomato and lettuce)

Exercise for Today
3 hours mountain biking (1 Shot Blok out of necessity)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back-To-School Gift

I just love my Beehive class. They are such cute girls. It seems like Junior High can be so much fun, but can also be a bit scary. 

I decided to make something for each girl for the first week of back-to-school. My idea began when my own children were telling me how much they liked SOBE drinks. At the grocery store I went to that day, SOBE's were on sale. I grabbed enough for each girl and went home to figure out what I could do. This is what I came up with:

I opened up President Hinckley's book "Standing for Something" and started to find quotes and advice I could give the girls. I also used some scriptures and decided my theme would be,
"SO, BE.."

At the bottom after: 
SO, BE teachable
SO, BE Strong
SO, BE sure to speak kindly
SO, BE loving
SO, BE happy

I ended with
SO, BE Christ-like.

I found the cute chevron paper at the silhouette store and printed it at home. The tag also came from the silhouette store. I printed the saying out and glued it to the chevron tag. I put each SOBE in a clear bag and tied the top at the side hooking the tag on. I think they turned out cute. I hope the girls like their gift.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Orange Salmon Tagine Recipe

Even before starting to eat clean, I wanted a tagine. A tagine is a Moroccan cooking vessel. It is a 2 inch deep base with an upside down funnel looking piece for the top. The idea is that the juices from the meal congregate in the funnel end and then drip back down into the meal. This makes the meat tender and the meal more flavorful.

I realized that almost every recipe I have made with my tagine is clean. Fresh veggies, fruit, spices and typically a portion of meat are called for in most recipes. I serve most of my tagine meals over couscous.

Here is the latest recipe that I tried:

 Orange Salmon Tagine

1.5 tsp round cumin
1 tsp tumeric
2 broken cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 bay leaves

Mix above ingredients in the base of the tagine on medium. When they smell fragrant add:

3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 medium onion chopped in larger pieces
4 garlic cloves minced
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger

Cook until onions are soft then add:

3 cups chopped zucchini
2 cups chopped yellow squash
1/3 cups dried apricots
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Toss mixture well. Set the remaining ingredients on top:

Salmon fillets (1.5-2 lbs)
Naval orange sliced thinly
Handful of parsley cleaned and chopped

Cover and simmer gently until salmon is thoroughly cooked. About 20 minutes.
Serve over couscous. (Spoon sauce over couscous).

Happy eating!

Monday, August 20, 2012

8 Ways to Successful Outdoor Activities with Kids

I have 3 wonderful boys. I have always loved all things outdoors. I had some great guy friends in high school and college who helped me keep my interests alive and introduced me to new adventures. After that I married my husband who, at that time in life, had been a backpack guide, an excellent rock climber, a skier, a sponsored snowboarder and an avid fly fisherman. Together we took up mountain biking, road biking, backpacking, telemark skiing and much more.

Now, back to the 3 wonderful boys. You see, they didn't stand a chance. They have been in baby packs, bike trailers, etc. since they were 6 weeks old.

I definitely wanted my children to love the outdoors and the peace and clarity that comes with each outdoor experience. I did not want them to start to dislike the opportunities to admire and reflect on the creations of this world.

My all time favorite photo of my son fly fishing.
As my husband and I talked it over, we decided to do what we could to help them learn to love it. Our children, although still young, are a bit older than when we started 12 years ago and we have learned a few thing over the years.

1. Purchase quality clothing for the activity. One reason our children love to be in the outdoors snowshoeing or skiing is that they have the gear to keep them warm. This is such as important thing. I have seen children come ill-prepared to an outdoor activity and by the time it is over they have decided to greatly dislike the activity. Spend the extra money and get the gear that will keep them dry, warm and comfortable. Quality gear in my experience, lasts long enough to hand down from child to child without wearing out. Although you may pay more up front, in the end the return is great.

So he may be a bit overdressed to ride his trike :)
2. Purchase shoes and gear from a reputable store like REI that stands behind the products. Just this week we took back 2 pairs of hiking boots. Each of the boots had an open eyelet break off. One pair was only 2 weeks old and had broke the first day of scout camp on the hike (the boots were over $100) and the other pair had been worn by one child for a season and saved for my youngest. REI was great and refunded the money ...without a sideways glance, so we were able to purchase them each another pair of hiking boots. If the feet are comfortable it makes the day much more enjoyable for all.

Good shoes are needed when they find gems like this climbing rock.
3. Make sure the child is comfortable. For example, if the child is in a bike trailer make sure he has water, snacks, an activity (crayons/paper, electronic learning games, books, etc) and maybe a pillow and blanket.
Yes. We gave him the cell phone to take pictures while in the bike trailer.
4. Keep them hydrated. Camelbacks and other water reservoirs are perfect for the small hikers. They often don't drink until they are thirsty. That can lead to a bad situation. With water on my boys back they seem to drink more and overall end up being happier during our adventures. My husband has started to carry a water filter with us on longer hikes. As long as there is water nearby, we don't need to worry about running out.

5. Sunblock is a must. Nothing is worse than realizing that you forgot to apply sunblock to your child and now they are red and irritable.

6. Have fun with them. Make the experience memorable and interesting because they have fun with mom and/or dad. Take time to build a snowman, have water fights, look at the fish in the river, have adventures or whatever else presents itself as an opportunity. We play games while hiking like hiding and scaring the next group. We have taken kites to the tops of peaks to fly them. We have stopped to watch a small bird learning to hunt and being taught by its parent. We have awed over 2 moose swimming the lake and playing. Having fun is something adults sometimes need to remember to do.

7. My boys would argue that this next point is the most important of all. Food. Always bring extra. Sometimes all the kids need is a pick me up...otherwise known as a snack in our home. My boys are always hungry. When they aren't hungry they are happier and more cooperative.

Another tip for those of you with infants. When I started taking my kids in the bike trailer I found it is much easier to keep them in their car seats and then strap the car seat into the bike trailer. This allows the head and neck to be supported until they are old enough to sit upright. My boys always fell asleep on the ride so I made sure to take them during nap time.

Hansel and Grettling our kids

Last year on a vacation to Southern Utah in search of some beautiful arches, we found ourselves in a bit of a pickle
My son was too big to carry in the baby backpack, but not quite big enough to do as much hiking as we had done that particular day. Within 1 mile of the car he just stopped and refused to take another step forward.

We tried piggy backing him, switching off with each other and promising long rests if he could just go a bit further. Our efforts were to no avail. Then it hit us.

Why not "Hansel and Grettle" him back to the car? 

We had some licorice nips with us (it was our lucky moment of the day), and with the nips in hand, my husband set out ahead of us. He left the licorice on rocks along the trail. As soon as my son realized that he could hunt for treasure along the way and eat it when he found it....our problem vanished. He had a renewed energy and we made it back to the car. We lovingly refer to this as

"Hansel and Grettling our children".

After this experience we never leave on a hike or other physical activity without a snack in our packs....

...just in case! 

Happy hiking :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Alpine Natural Water Slide Hike

My friend called me to go find the natural water slide in Alpine, Utah. It is something I had read about and wanted to take our hiking group to. Sadly we never did make it there. So we loaded up the kids and headed out in search of an adventure. And an adventure is what we got.

Getting there was our first adventure. My friend looked up directions before we headed out. We got somewhat confused and took a right turn where we should have gone straight. This one mistake led to at least an hour of searching, hiking, hot and hungry kids and bewilderment. We finally determined where we had made our mistake and headed up the road to the correct trail.

Once there, the kids had a ball. My 6 year old went down the slide and came out crying. When I asked if he was hurt, "no" was the answer, when I asked why he was crying, "it is just so cold". I told him he did not need to go again and his reply, "It was fun, I want to...(between tears) I just need to get warm first".

The water slide is made of a large, smooth granite slab in the river. It is about 25 feet of slide. The water is freezing cold and the hike up is a bit slippery, especially with chaco's on.

To get there, take I-15 to the Alpine/Highland Exit and head 5 miles east towards American Fork Canyon.  Turn left at the stop light in Highland (near the grocery store and gas station). Drive on this road a few miles. You will come to a round about. Continue on the same road through the round about. When you come to Fort Canyon Road you will turn left and follow that road until you come to a gated off road with a large No Trespassing sign. Park anywhere along this road. Go through the No Trespassing gate and stay on the road for about a mile.

You will pass a right turn... continue straight. You will come to two forks in the road...always stay to the right. When you finally come to a large yellow metal thing on the east side of the road, there is a small parking lot. Continue through the parking lot to the dirt road on the other side. Off to the left of the dirt road is a trail that heads through the trees and ends at the waterfall in about 100 feet or so.

And have fun!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Clean Eating Update 2

Don't think that just because I haven't been blogging about my clean eating that I have given up :0) I think that it is time for an update.

Life just gets in the way of all the things I want to do...including clean eating. After deciding to "go clean" for 100 days my family experienced a number of set backs including floods, family get togethers..need I say more? That is just scraping the surface and I don't believe it is very different for any one of us. We all go through stuff...and it throws us off our game for a minute or two. The trick is figuring out what to do and how to eat well even in non-ideal situations. As I find tricks that work for me through this journey I will share.

My family eats clean at home, but when we are at family functions, scout activities or visiting friends or family I let them choose what they want to eat. I want to teach my boys what good and healthy food is and I want them to choose to eat it. Somehow it becomes yucky if I say, "this is what you have to eat". lol! My oldest actually told me that he would pass on a treat the other day because it wasn't clean and he would eat clean with me. Yay! Of course all of this came after my boys saying they were going to starve and telling everyone who asked that clean eating bites:)

I am finding that clean eating isn't very hard to do in my own home now that most of the cupboards and pantry have been cleaned out. I have been replacing old choices of food with better and cleaner food. In another couple of weeks I will write a post about what I have in my pantry. It might give you ideas about what to keep in your own pantry. 

Clean or cleaner eating is different for everyone. My husband who was death about doing this told me the other day that he went out with his co-workers to the favorite local hamburger joint and that for the first time ever, he didn't really like it. He said that he didn't feel good and it just didn't sound good to him. Now, realize that this is coming from a man who has eaten more hamburgers in his life than anyone I know :) That is probably an exaggeration, but you get the idea. 

Clean eating has improved how I feel and how my family feels. After just a few short weeks I have even lost about 5 pounds just from eating better. I don't count calories or anything like that...I just don't feel hungry like I used to. I attribute this to eating considerably less sugar and no preservatives or processed foods. If you haven't made the commitment to try it, give it a go. Aren't we all after a healthier body and increased energy? The magic solution? In my opinion, it is clean eating.

So, today this is what we ate:

Breakfast - Egg white omelet, fruit
Lunch - Almonds, grapes, whole-wheat toast (on the go lunch)
Dinner - Tilapia, green salad with balsamic dressing and a green smoothie.

To make the tilapia: 
Mix juice of a lemon, 1 tsp. sea salt, 2 tsp. cumin seeds or powder, 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes and a small bunch of chopped cilantro in a bowl. Place 2 pounds of tilapia loins in a 9x13 baking dish and spread mixture evenly over fish. Broil on high for 10 minutes or until fish is white and flaky. Serve over salad or rice.

2-3 cups seedless red grapes
1-2 cups fresh spinach
1 banana
2 oranges
1 cup ice

Happy Eating!

Flower Birthday Card

I love birthdays. 

When I first moved to my new neighborhood I had the thought that I should take one of my neighbors a birthday card on her birthday. I hesitated because we were fairly new to the area and I didn't know her well at that point. The decision to not take her a card has been one of my regrets. I came to find out later that in this friend's native country, birthdays are huge. She had been feeling somewhat overlooked and unhappy because of the circumstances of that particular birthday. And I did nothing to make it any better.

I learned a great lesson that day. First, to follow the impressions we have. God does love us and he knows what we need...he often works through others. And second, birthdays are special days for everyone and just to be recognized makes each one of us feel better.

So, send a card. Here is a simple one. I made some to give away as gifts and others to use for birthdays.

This card was made using a pre-made embossed 5.5 x 5.5 inch square card. If you don't have any that are pre-made, simply cute a piece of white paper 5.5 x 11, score the middle and fold. You can choose any paper design or emboss on the card.

I cut a 2.5 inch square with rounded corners out on my silhouette machine with the happy birthday saying using the print and cut feature. Then I cut out a white frame slightly smaller than the square. I chose a flower I liked from the silhouette store and cut 2 of them out in pink card stock. 

Glue the first square onto the card and the first flower onto the square. Make sure it is situated so that the happy birthday sentiment is visible. Next, secure the frame and the second flower to the card using foam glue dots to give it a 3-D look. 

Simple as that and you can bring a smile to someone who needs it.

Cute Owl Card

I have been experimenting with the backgrounds and paper printables found at the silhouette store. This is a fun card that can be given for birthdays or as a thank you for a great time.

I used a wood background and then had my silhouette cut a hole in it. I chose one of the many cute owls and the print and cut sentiment "Best Day Ever".

Happy Card Making!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Spanish Fork Reservoir

Today we took the kids to the Spanish Fork Reservoir with a group of friends. I have put off going this summer and realized how much fun we have missed out on. Next year this is going to be a weekly trip for us. If you have not been to the reservoir before it is a nice treat. The crowds are low, the beach is nice, it is free, the kids can build in the sand or float out into the lake with life vests on. The area is clean and there is even a playground and pavilion further up the road for parties or get togethers.

This is one of our favorite things to do as a family.

To get there, take I-15 to Highway 6 (Exit 261) towards Price. Follow Highway 6 for 6 miles, take a right on Powerhouse Rd. Drive 1 mile and you will see Spanish Oak Drive and a sign for the Spanish Fork gun club. Turn left here. Follow the road up through the neighborhood and after you enter the gates there is a parking lot to the left. Park there and take the stairs up to the reservoir.

Bring sunshades, sunscreen, water toys, sand digging toys, water, food and flotation devices. There is an old log in the reservoir that provides hours of fun for kids.

The reservoir also provides great open water swim training. Please take a buddy and be safe!