Thursday, May 31, 2012

June Commitment to Health

I realize that I have been m.i.a. lately, but I have not given up on my 1 year journey to a healthier life style.

I have been thinking a lot about what to do for June.  I realized that it's not all about food.  Living a healthy lifestyle encompasses much more than what you eat. 

I have recently started running and I am loving how I feel after a good run.  That's why I chose physical activity for my June commitment.  I will be intentional about doing daily physical activity and getting my kids involved in it too. 

If the weather permits, we will swim, run and play outside together.  If it is a rainy day, I will play indoor games that get us moving.  Maybe obstacle courses made of pillows and blankets, maybe hot lava ... I have tons of ideas for indoor movement. 

I will try my best to document any creative ideas that I come up with and share them with you.  Hopefully I can inspire you too!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Leap Into Spring Photo Challenge: Finale

I had so much fun in the Live and Love .. Out Loud Spring Photo Challenge!  It's time for the finale ... my favorite shots that capture Spring in my small town Missouri.

Light - I chose to use a shadow created by the sunlight

Easter:  Getting ready to dye our eggs

Blossom: A single rose petal, torn away in the previous night's storm ... still cradling the rain water

Blossom/Tree:  My neighbor's flowering tree

Rain:  Taken during a storm, the rain settles onto the delicate petals of my roses.  Bonus, I did not get struck by lightning

Grass/Green:  A walk at the Missouri Botanical Garden brought me to this beautiful and fragrant patch of lavender

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Leap Into Spring Photo Challenge: Grass/Green

I am late posting this week's entry for the Leap into Spring Photo Challenge for Live and Love ... Out Loud.  I was really challenged with this topic.  Right now, as spring is upon us, everything is green.  Trying to make grass and green and interesting photo really left me feeling confused.  Being to to photography, I was searching for inspiration.  As luck would have it, my daughter had a Girl Scouts trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden last night.  If you haven't been there, you need to go!  It is impossible to not be inspired as you walk around the garden.  The beautiful displays catch your eye with bright colors and interesting designs.  The smell of the flowers as you walk along the paths gently whispers "spring."  The warmth of the sun on your skin is what you have been waiting for all winter long.  The sound of the breeze gently blowing through the trees, the birds singing their happy songs and the bees buzzing along creating new life with each flower they land on ... I love this place.

So here are my pictures for the category of grass/green:

Leap Into Spring Photo Challenge

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Summer Fun 1 - Bubbles!

I can not take credit for these marvelous ideas, but I can pass them along so that you too can enjoy them!

A friend of mine shared an awesome, homemade bubble solution "recipe".  I am not sure where she found it though.
  1. Combine 6 cups of water and 1/2 cup of corn syrup.  Mix well
  2. Add 1 cup of dish soap.  Mix well, again.
That's it!  Super simple and cheap!

The next bubble idea comes from Come Together Kids.  After you have mixed up your bubble solution, pour it into one of those tea jugs with the spout at the bottom.  The kids can refill their containers easily and hopefully with less spillage.  I love this idea!!

More fun with bubbles?  My favorite thing is to use one of those battery operated bubble blowers.  This allows hundreds of bubbles to be blown and mom doesn't get light headed from blowing them! has a cute activity in which you can paint with bubbles.  In a small bowl you whisk a small amount of tempera paint into your bubble solution.  Next place a straw in the bowl and have your child (or yourself if your child is too small) blow bubbles into the bowl until there is a "pile" of them on top of the bowl.  Gently lay a piece of paper on top of the bubbles, and carefully lift it up and lay flat to dry.  As the bubbles pop, they leave their shapes behind in paint!

My friend also shared the idea to break open glow sticks and mix the liquid with bubble solution.  This creates glow in the dark bubbles for night time fun!

Do you have an awesome bubble fun tip to share?  Maybe you have a favorite summer activity.  Tell me about it!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Commitment to Health

In my house we eat a lot of peanut butter!  Peanut butter is a great go to snack or lunch.  While is it a little high in calories, peanut butter is still a very healthy food.  It is high in fat, however, most of the fat is monounsaturated which had been shown to lower "bad cholesterol".  It also contains polyunsaturated fat which has been shown to raise "good cholesterol".  Peanut butter is high in protein, dietary fiber and vitamin E.  (Info from Peanut, go there to read more about the health benefits.)

So my commitment is to switch to natural peanut butter.  True natural peanut butter only has salt added, I chose to switch to "no - stir" natural peanut butter.  This means it has a couple more ingredients to keep the oils and solids from separating.

Ingredients of the traditional peanut butter that I had been buying:
roasted peanuts, sugar, molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapeseed, cottonseed and soybean) and salt.

Seriously ... YIKES!!  Fully hydrogenated oils!!  Livestrong has a great article about hydrogenated oils.

Ingredient list for my new brand of "no stir" natural peanut butter:
roasted peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt

WOW!  I know what all of those ingredients are and I know that they are not dangerous!  I will definitely feel better about feeding this to my kids!

It is a little more pricey than traditional peanut butter, but I personally feel it is worth it...the price difference is minimal.

Leap Into Spring Photo Challenge

The theme was rain / water for this round of the Leap Into Spring Photo Challenge at Live and Love ... Out Loud.  Being new at photography, I had trouble getting good shot of water and rain.  : (  But, I tried and that is what it's all about, challenging you to get the shot!  So here is the one that I was happy with.  The second one is will soft focus, which I think looks so pretty with the roses.