Tuesday, October 22, 2019

DIY Handprint Spiders


I love to get the boys outside and letting them play and get creative. This is one of the easiest craft projects and as you all know, anything with a hand print is a win!

Here is an easy way to make some fun & spooky spiders!
I first gave the boys a half sheet of paper and let them go nutty with my favorite, dot art painters. I thought orange and purple would be appropriate for a background pallet, so the boys got on to slamming down dots.

Once those dried, out came the black, non-toxic, waterproof paint. My goal was to have each little hand (no thumb) be part of the spider body in hopes of getting those little eight fingers to look like spider legs. 



The spiders were a big smudgy but that is to be expected with busy boys. Hey, it could be a tarantula right?!


Next up, the cobweb. The boys helped me squeeze the black glitter glue in the corner of the paper in a perfect webbed fashion. This is the only glitter I allow, it must be in glue form. A black sharpe would work too.


They loved the squiggly line going down from the web to their spider and squealed with delight! Two eyes and our spiders were complete.


Once that glitter dried we were done! I showed the boys how to write Happy Halloween and we all stood back to admire our oh-so spooky spiders!


This craft was easy, fun and fa great way to add a personal touch to your Halloween Decor!

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Peanut Butter Frosting

I am rather selective when it comes to my peanut butter consumption. I am not your eat a spoonful type of girl, nor would I ever choose peanut butter ice cream, cookies, ect. I more like it with green apples and jelly. That's about it.

My Thriving Husband on the other hand...obsessed. So, naturally, I whip up his favorite chocolate cake whenever there is cause to celebrate...and even when I am just feeling extra nice.


Please forgive me for not making the chocolate cakes from scratch, I can only do so much. But frosting? Now, that I can bust out on the regular.

I typically like to do double decker chocolate rounds. If you too are into that, then get those cakes cooked and cooling before whipping up this easy frosting.


As they cool, you can get started. Gather your ingredients and mix the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter.


Once those three are whipped smooth, add in the sugar (I would recommend one cup at a time to avoid a sugar cloud taking over your kitchen) and vanilla. 



Once you are mixed the only thing left to do besides frost your cake is to exercise restraint. Even me, a non-peanut butter lover has a hard time...it must be the massive amounts of added sugar that hooks me.


With your cakes cooled, set the bottom layer on your cake stand (or plate) and frost the top.


Add the second layer and frost the top again.


 Lastly, frost the sides and BOOM, you are done!


All that is left to do is cut into that beauty and enjoy! And trust, enjoy you will. Peanut butter obsessed or not.


Have you ever seen anything so easy?! What is your favorite frosting recipe?

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

How to Sneak in Veggies to your Littles - Smoothie Pops!


When the boys were younger they ate everything. Broccoli by the bushel, spinach scrambles, zucchini tacos; I mean allll the veggies. 

Then that sassy toddler switch went on and they got annoyingly picky. These days it seems as though they have a sixth sense of my veggie sneaking and can locate exactly where I hid it...yes they even found the ninja'ed broccoli hidden in their pesto sauce..ugh!

As a veggie lover myself I always worry that they aren't getting enough of that colorful, healthy goodness. They will eat almost all fruit, but something about vegetables they just will. not. do. RUDE!

Of course, I will not tolerate this and I knew a sure fire way to sneak in loads of greens was in a tasty smoothie. I loaded them each up with some green goodness, hid it in an aluminum cup and I was in business! My smoothing game was strong for what seemed like forever...and then that Clarkey-Puss started to boycott those as well. What the heck was I going to do now?!

The picky Puss himself enjoying his smoothie pop poolside!

Then it dawned on me, popsicles! These fun treats are always welcomed by the boys and since So Cal is basically an endless summer, they are the perfect post-rest time, afternoon snack.  I can load them up with greens, fruit, protein powder and they are so elated to be getting a popsicle they woof that thing down and beg for more...now that is a #mommywin for sho!

I knew I needed some molds and grabbed these BPA free, drip catching, large Mamasicle popsicle molds from Amazon and am truly obsessed. Plus, their website has gaggles of recipes for the whole family to enjoy...even wine pops for mommy...YES!

While you can pretty much add whatever you want to sneak past your littles tastebuds, my daily recipe is easy and welcomed each and every day. HORRAY!


It's so easy, it's too easy. Grab your ingredients (whatever they may be), blend, pour and freeze!


SO many nutrients, SO much plant based protein (if you too have vegetarian babies, these are insanely loaded with the greens/powder/yogurt combo) and SO tasty!

Greens first...
Blueberries are great to add as they hide ALL the green color and are full of antioxidants...
The sweet fruit completely hides those bitter greens...
Extra boost of protein...
DONE!
Mamasicle molds come with a handy tray to make pouring and storing as enjoyable as a summer breeze!


Fill them up, pop on the top and that is it. You have made a super healthy, super tasty, kid friendly snack you can feel good about giving your littles...especially when they demand seconds.



Summer is in full swing Thrivers, so let's get popsiclin' and sneakin' in those greens...ha, and those littles thought they couldn't be outsmarted...

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Recipe Review - Blueberry Rosé Lemonade


I have many a blog crush, and one of my most steady ladies is, The College Housewife. As a lover of Rosé, lemonade and blueberries, what could go wrong? Nothing I tell you, nothing. 

Summer has officially started now, hasn't it?



In a small sauce pan, combine ONE cup of the berries, sugar and water on high until boiling. You will be able to see the berries start to soften.


In a pitcher, add rosé and prepare to add the other ingredients to the mixture.


Strain the berries from the juice and add into pitcher.



Add in the lemonade.


The vodka.

The lemon slices and additional cup of berries.


Stir it up and refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving over ice.  Get ready to have your mind BLOWN! Thank you College Housewife for my new favorite cocktail!


What are some of your favorite summer drinks?

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

12 Tricks to Prep for Summer


It's officially summer...are you ready? If not, try incorporating some of these tips to help you get ready for a fit and fabulous summer!
  • REST.  Ideally eight to ten hours is what you should shoot for. Shoot for. If that means winding down early (with your kids or without), then do it. I keep a notepad by my bed so I can jot down things on my mind that might keep me awake. I also try to get to bed early enough to read/meditate to make sure I fall into that deep sleep I love so much. Staying well rested will keep your brain in check when those nasty cravings set in.
  • INTENSIFY YOUR WORKOUT. Work out smarter, not harder. Don't waste precious time jogging along when  you can speed it up with sprints or a Tabata session (20 seconds high intensity, 10 seconds recovery for eight rounds). Whether you are jumping rope, squatting, lunging or high knee-ing, push yourself through intervals and make 20 minutes count for an hour.
  • CUT BACK ON COCKTAILS. I know, I know, WTH...but if you want to lose weight, one of the first things that needs to go is that nightly drinky drink. Try to limit it to one or two drinks per week...if that. Once you get to your ideal weight, then you can enjoy a cocktail poolside...with that rockin' body of yours! 
  • FIBER-FULL MORNINGS. Fiber keeps you fuller longer, and who doesn't want that? With the recommendation being 25-35 grams per day, it seems nearly impossible to full up on that many berries, cups of beans and whole grains. Start off strong and get as much as you can in the AM  (think steel-cut oatmeal, fiber cereal with fruit).
  • HYDRATE. There is one true liquid of the Gods and it is that quality H20. Ditch the soda and juice (packed with sugar and calories) and flush that body right with nothing but fresh, delicious water.
  • MAKE IT A GROUP THANG. Whether you hit an exercise class with a friend, run with a neighbor or take on virtual challenges, force yourself to be accountable. Get in a group and expect each other to show up. It is not nearly as easy to dodge a workout when people are waiting for you and are happy to lay on the guilt.
  • KEEP TRACK. With so many apps and gadgets out there these days it is easier than ever to keep track of what goes in and out of your body. Food gets written down (the in) as do your daily workouts (the out). I use MyFitnessPal for food/workouts which is great as it syncs to my FitBit Blaze to give me all the information I need to ensure I meet my daily goals. I also keep a small desk calendar with my workouts to make sure I get in at least five a week. Nothing is more depressing than seeing empty little squares...
  • LIVE ACTIVE. I know how hard it is to try and make time for fitness when you have little ones at home, but what if your life just was fitness? Get in the habit of always doing some activity for YOU. One that makes you sweat, kicks up that heart rate and lets your body do what it wants to do...MOVE!  Running around outside, dancing, riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline, teach yourself (and your littles) that being active IS life.


  • EAT CLEAN(-ISH). I try to eat as healthy as possible, but I also don't deny myself anything I want. So, yes, if that means I need a day of chemical s#% storm, so be it. I accept my poor choices and make better ones the next time around. As long as most of your diet is whole and healthy than you are off to a good start. 
  • CHECK OUT. Taking a small amount of time each day to mentally cleanse through meditation can reduce stress and also get your mind in check. When your have a clear head you are less likely to go digging make poor eating choices and dodge a workout.
  • SET SOME ASIDE. When you make/order food, train yourself to see multiple servings. If you are out, ask for a box. If you are home, make a small plate and save the rest. Don't gorge yourself at each meal. Keep it small, enjoy it and set the rest aside for later.
  • GET STARTED. Make an effort to get healthy. Even as little as five minutes of cardio a day will have you feeling better than zero. Jumping jacks while dinner is cooking or a dance party with your kids will work. The goal here, get your endorphins pumping and teach your brain to crave the feeling.  Cutting out soda, your daily McDonalds breakfast or even just slowing down on that burrito is a good start. Take it one day at a time and do your best.
Do you have any favorite tricks stashed away to help you ready for summer?

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Recipe: Banana Bread


I have a pretty serious obsession with my Geena.  She is the most beautiful angel on the planet and the mother to my mommy which by default makes her the mother of a Saint.

My earliest and best memories are being saddled up to the bar of her kitchen. With my bestie right next to me, (my Poppa) we would watch as this stunning creature with white hair made our food to order at, as I like to call it, the "Geena Cafe".

Aside from her world renowned chocolate chip pancakes, she has never made a batch of banana bread I didn't like... well, she did once put nuts in it, which was exactly what she did, NUTS!

Since forever, I have stolen her recipe and now make at least at batch a week for my brood. I have adjusted the recipe over the years using vegan butter or cutting part of the sugar, it always ends up being the same amount of delicious. Whether loaf or muffins, this recipe is must have for the busy and treat loving Thriving Wife/Mommy.

So since you Thrivers keep asking for it...here it is!

 

Mix together the first four ingredients, "the wets".


Then add "the drys", one cup of flour at a time and the baking soda of course.


Throw in your chocolate chips and mix one last time.

 

Using a greased loaf pan or muffin liners and transfer the mixture. We have been doing A LOT of muffins lately.


Bake at 350 for 30-ish minutes for muffins or 1-1.5 hours for a loaf.


When the edges are golden brown and a toothpick comes out smooth, remove and cool. Trust me, you will smell it when it is ready. YUMMMMO!


Quietly eat one before your kids come in demanding to try one as you politely lie and say they aren't cool yet, which is actually kinda true since you did just burn your tongue woofing one down.

Share with everyone else the next morning and know you won't get your hard working hands on another one until the next batch which will be in a few days anyway.


Well, there you have it! So easy, so tasty and so worth making weekly!

What is your favorite muffin/loaf recipe?

Strive to thrive, 
Em