3.18.2012

Celebrating Green & Weekend Bites



Hi there! Man, this past week was a crazy one! You may have read on the very first post that Kent and I are foster-parents. (We are working to adopt J, who we have fostered for over a year now.) Last Friday we got a call asking if we would foster an 8mo little girl for a month- and we said Yes! And my work was a bit out-of-the-ordinary busy AND we found the house we are about to buy!!! Whew! No break in sight for us for the next month, but at least life will be interesting. :)

This weekend we held a Celebrating Green party for a handful of close friends and family. We were celebrating 3 very awesome greens... 1. Kent is officially out of the National Guard/AR after 6 years!!!! (army=green) 2. We started our new, green Shaklee business and wanted to have a mini-grand opening and 3. It was St. Patrick's Day!!!

I was super busy the night before making signs and getting the Shaklee stuff organized. The food I kind of came up with as I went through the grocery store on Friday. Not the best party planning I've ever done, but it worked! :) We had 3-4 different beers to drink, green champagne, green jello shots, cake pops, a stuffed baguette, a fruit tray, and Kent's favorite melted cheese and sausage/beef dip with chips. (I don't know the name of it but he insists on making it for every party and it's always the first thing gone! Forgot to take a picture.)


We set up a little table in the front with Shaklee info.
This amazed (and scared) me!



Jonathan Adler Presentation Book
I felt that something like this was very important to make since people might want to know more, but not necessarily what you read in a product guide or what I can tell them. This gives freedom to see important facts about key products easily.




These are the easiest wreaths to make!
Wrap burlap around a styrofoam form, then
cut out and pin circles to the wreath. Done!





On to the food!!!...

Displaying all of our products behind the food so you have to see them.
And on the right side I put out Cinch snack bar samples.



I actually bought a cake pop pan and it worked great!


Tip 1: I overheated the candy coating you're supposed to cover them with so I had to melt some chocolate chips instead- it turned out to taste way better! Took longer to harden, but was very worth it.

Tip 2: Make sure to tell people not to throw away the pop sticks. I'm missing ~10 of them now. :/


This was a flavored sparkling water mixed with champagne.
It was... eh. Not the best, but not awful.

This picture is actually from J's 1st Birthday Party. The stuffed baguette is very good and so easy to make. Here's where I found the recipe almost a year ago... pin and website.

I don't use quite as much- Mine are thyme, parsley, goat cheese, cream cheese, and salami only. Still so good!


Have you made cake pops before? They've been around for a few years now, but I never tried them until now. Definitely a keeper for future parties!


3.13.2012

We Have a McHome! {almost}

I'm not even going to attempt to explain the house hunting woes we have experienced in the past year+. Our realtor is the most awesome woman ever- Robin McKenzie! She has dealt with showing us 75+ houses, 6 offers made, 1 failed bidding war on our heart-breaking dream home on 2 acres, 1 backing out of a contract, 1 mortgage company huge messup 3 days before signing, 1 year of waiting to qualify for VA (which the mortgage company messed up on before)... and now 1 more house with a ratified contract!

Oh my goodness I cannot even begin to tell you how awful house hunting has been for us. I have spent so many nights crying over lost houses. I cried every night for a week when we lost our dream house to some rich guy buying it for his daughter. It was a foreclosure and the bank was so crooked stringing us along until they had another offer-forcing us into a bidding war. We used to joke that House Hunters would have packed up and gone home a LONG time ago, but somewhere along the road the joke became that they would have made a whole series out of us. I'm read for this series to have a finale!!!

We have a contract on another house!!! Yeah, that picture you may have seen in our header- not our house. I was trying to be positive about negotiations for it, that ended badly a few weeks ago.

The house we have a contract on now is one story (never thought that would happen!), 4bdr (room for plenty of kiddos), 2ba, has a HUGE kitchen and living room, is in a great neighborhood, and my favorite parts- has a large backyard that backs to a huge pond with egrets and a line of trees separating us from other houses AND the seller has this amazing garden already set up. The garden is fenced in by solar powered lines to keep deer away. This thing is awesome and I just hope I can do it justice! There's also an adorable "barn fence" where I think he grew roses- I'll try! Oh and it's right around the corner (literally) from one of the city's best parks with a baseball field, etc...

Oh man we're so excited, but we've been down this road before so I'm trying not to get my hopes too high.

As far as before and after pictures are going to go- well, they'll be drastic, but not because it's a dump. This guy has a very "man cave" super decorated taste and the house is wonderfully designed- just not our style. He painted all of the molding black- I'll be busting my butt to get it back to white.

Take a look...















I'm so excited!!! I'll show y'all the outside after it's ours. :) It's a one-story, but it has these beautiful white columns and hanging lanterns and plants. So southern.

Y'all better say a prayer for us!!! :)


P.S. I'll be changing my header soon, but it's way past bedtime so it'll have to wait until tomorrow!

3.11.2012

Weekend Bites: Yogurt Covered Fruit

 
(Previously shared on and pinned from my foster-blog before I separated the diy, crafts, etc.
...just so no one thinks I stole the pictures!) :)
 
I came across this idea on Pinterest a few months ago and fell in love! The link I had isn't working anymore, but that's okay because it didn't link to a recipe anyways. Oh well- That just meant I needed to try it myself and write directions for y'all! :)

 
What you need:
Yogurt (I used one 6oz of Red Velvet Cake Yoplait and one 6oz of Very Vanilla Yoplait)
Fruits (mine only needed ONE strawberry cut up and a handful of blueberries)
Molds or Ice Tray (I used my new Ikea molds!)

You can substitute any of this. Use different fruits or yogurt flavors. I want to try a chocolate yogurt! (oh and Walmart was all out of fresh strawberries- shock.)
 


Chop strawberry into pieces that will fit. Fill your molds!
 
 
Spoon the yogurt into the molds.
Make sure to turn the fruit around so it's completely covered.
(I later realized that a baby spoon would be helpful!)
 
Pop your gooey good mess into the freezer for approximately 2 hours
(or until you feel they are hard enough- will depend on the trays you use)
 
 

Frozen enough for me!

Blueberry Vanilla Fish. :)


Serve, keep in trays, or pop out and store in the freezer!
Yum! We didn't wait for them to be frozen SOLID solid, so they were a little messy, but so good. Felt like we were eating a dessert, but at 10 calories each you won't feel guilty! :)
Hope you enjoy!!!
 

3.08.2012

Wedding Card Keepsake Book


Have you seen this pin that was pretty popular in December from Something Turquoise? I'm a beginner scrapbooker (well, I've been scrapbooking for years, just not consistent or enough to be good at it yet!), but I'm very happy with mine. Something Turquoise is basically a professional so it's something good for all skill levels! :)

I've been wanting something to do with our wedding cards and I'm in love with this. It's also great for a child's Birthday or Christmas cards! ... or maybe just a collection of your dearest over the years.
I don't think you need a tutorial for it, but if you want even more ideas and scrapbooking tips, check out  Something Turquoise's. It took me no time at all (while watching tv) and the toughest part was keeping J from stealing the cards!

Now go pin it and then make it! Pin first so you feel extra productive. :)

3.07.2012

Homemade Disinfectant Wipes



How much do you pay for disinfectant wipes? We used to go through at least one $7 bottle bi-weekly! I know that's a lot and many of you don't use them for that reason, but I love disinfectant wipes in the kitchen. LOVE!

With our toddler now making more messes than ever, spending over $200 every year on wipes was getting a bit out of control. AND all of the chemicals in them was starting to worry me. I want to disinfect to keep my family healthy, not hurt them with all of the toxins. Disinfecting surfaces is a must for me though! That's where Shaklee comes in...

You will need:
BasicH2
Basic G
2 cups of water
1/2 roll of paper towels
Empty container

Use less water if you don't want them to be soaking wet and make sure to use a good paper towel brand. (I buy cheap paper towels to use normally, but single rolls of "the good stuff" for this.)



Step 1: Using a serrated knife, cut the paper towel roll down to fit in your container.



Step 2: Mix a 1/4tsp of BasicH2 and a 1/3tsp of BasicG into the water.
Step 3: Place paper towel in the container and pour the mix in.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes, turn over and let sit upside down for another 5-10 minutes.




Step 4: Remove cardboard roll from the center and pull first square up!






Step 5: Clean and disinfect your kitchen counters, table, highchairs, etc.
all at the same time and for only $0.50/roll!!!!


This is a no brainer ladies. Sometimes 50cents is > $7 and this is one of those instances!

Sidenote: BasicH2 is an organic, super cleaning concentrate. What does that mean to you? These wipes will also easily wipe off tomato sauce (think toddler spaghetti messes), etc.!!!

Don't own BasicH and BasicG? Go here or click on the above links to go straight to them! :)

Happy Cleaning!


3.05.2012

Happy National Nutrition Month!

Hello March. We're 5 days into you, but I thought now would be a good time to give you the recognition you deserve.

I was going to do a post on Shaklee and its magic cleaning and saving abilities tomorrow, but I don't want y'all to miss out on tonight's webinar opportunity!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Did you make another "lose weight, get healthy" goal as the clocks turned to 2012? Good for you! About the only resolution I stick to is 1280x800. {pause for the non-computer nerds to get that}

Over the past few years I have been slowly nudging Kent into a healthier lifestyle- try a boca burger here, throw a salad in there, play subliminal messages about "organic" and "natural" while he's sleeping. All that work has finally payed off! Sort of.

I'm not alone in being fat and fat isn't all that matters. Even if you aren't in the fat club, I'm willing to bet that you are in the lacking-full-nutrition club. NINE out of TEN Americans are. 90% of us aren't eating the amount of nutrients we need EVERY day! Mind boggling.

A huge part of not being fat anymore (to me) meant educating myself. My eyes have been so opened in the last month! Even if I did overhaul my diet and lose all the weight- there's still a good chance that I wouldn't be getting all of the nutrients my body needs! You likely already know all the reasons- processed foods, busy lifestyles, convenience foods, chocolate > broccoli. But we can fix that! Of course, you should still try to limit those things, but let's get real- it doesn't always happen and I want to go to sleep every night knowing that I treated my body as best as I could that day!

Shaklee is how I go to bed knowing that every night.





I want to celebrate March by improving my health and YOURS! Kent and I now both take Vitalizer and I take NutriFeron and Vivix. And we are both on Cinch! I cannot even begin to describe to you how awesome this has been for us. I have so much more energy, it gave a good 2 punches and took out the cold I was getting (prior to starting on it), and I'm down 4lbs. :) How about them natural, organic apples?


With all of that said!... I had to make the decision for me. I had to get out there and learn. Join me tonight and get educated!

It is tonight (Tuesday 5th) at 9pm Central.


{If after watching that you find that you are so super pumped (kinda like me. ha!) about these amazing, natural, frugal, effective products- Join me Tuesday night to learn about selling Shaklee. Click here to join the Dare to Dream webinar!}

These webinars are put on by my wonderful Shaklee team (Dream Team!) and do not obligate you to anything! I hope you join us in celebrating National Health Month.

What have you got to lose? 50 lbs., toxins, bad nutrition, tiredness...


P.S. You can get started using the same 2 specials that got me going! Free Membership with Vitalizer! Free $100 Cinch Kit with purchase of $70 and membership. Add that together and do what I did- Membership + Vitalizer + $100 Cinch Kit= $70!

Whew! I'm overdue for my afternoon pick-me-up. I hope you get a chance to listen in tonight!

3.03.2012

Weekend Bites: Nuberry Thins


Hi y'all! :) It's a rainy weekend here in Charleston, so I thought I'd take the chance to start my first "Weekend Bites" post. Every weekend (to the best of my abilities!) I will be posting a new food idea. Sometimes it will be something I saw online and wanted to try and sometimes it's something I thought up while I should have been sleeping. It can be any meal, but I tend to get breakfast ideas the most. Eventually I hope to start a foodie link party to go along with it. Join my McHome so you don't miss out on the link party when it begins!!!

So, this weekend's bites are Nuberry Thins. I thought of this one while laying in bed one Saturday morning and it's actually my first time ever using Nutella. Did you have Nutella growing up??? I think I tried it once while visiting a friend in Germany, but that's as close as I got to it. I seriously thought it was a European only thing all these years! haha

My boys LOVED these and I'll definitely be making them again soon!

What you need:
Nutella
Raspberries
Mini Wheat Thins
Magic Bullet (or other blender)


Toast your wheat thins. (We don't own a toaster)


Anyone know of a good organic and/or made in USA raspberry brand?
Publix didn't have any. :(


Add 2 scoops of Nutella and 7 raspberries to your blender.


Blend baby Blend!


Spread and Serve!!!
 Counting calories?...

Full spread= 207 calories
Calories are mostly the nutella, since raspberries are roughly 1 calorie each.

8 Mini wheat thins= 400 calories
Only 6 are shown in the pictures, but it makes enough spread for at least 8.

So, having 2 for breakfast (which was enough for me) = 151 calories
The amount of protein for 2 is only 8g, but you could also mix in some good protein- see here if you want more! :)

Side note/question- I think broken raspberries (i.e. their inside juices) is the most disgusting smelling thing! Am I alone in this? Kent doesn't think it smells bad but I seriously almost didn't try these because of the raspberry smell. (So glad I got over it though and no, I'm not pregnant!) Please tell me I'm not alone in this.



Check out all the great parties I'm linking up to here!

3.02.2012

Home: Nicholas Sparks' Charleston, My Charleston

Home

I'm born and raised in Charleston, SC and that means I get beautiful beaches, mountains within a days drive, pink sunsets, creek kayaking, and the chance to know what it feels like to live in a Nicholas Sparks story. :)


Have you ever seen Dear John or The Notebook? Yeah, those were mostly filmed in Charleston! Last weekend we went to an oyster roast at Bowen's Island, which is one of my favorite places in Charleston. I used to spend every weekend fishing out there and drawing my name all over the restaurant (like everyone else!). Bowen's Island Restaurant is quite the dive type of place, but that's okay because their focus is on good food and fun.


Bowen's Island Restaurant (right through those ^ doors) is where John and Savannah had their first date (called the Shrimp Shack in the book/movie). I was such a geek in the theatre when I saw them walk through those doors. Kent and I had visited to write our names on the place only a few months before it was filmed. Nice timing!

At the time that Dear John came out in theatres, we had a few funny similarities...
- We were preparing for Kent to be deployed to Afghanistan (he ended up not going, but we didn't know at the time)
- I actually graduated from the College of Charleston, where Savannah attends
- I even drove the SAME Jetta as her while attending CofC
- And of course... all of Charleston!

Not the most amazing coincidences, but we thought they were funny. :)

Okay, now for some Bowen's Island eye candy...


So simple!





I just loved this door and the hardware for some reason!


 
 
Bowen's Island Restaurant on Urbanspoon
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