November 30, 2010

Teach my kids to care about others?

It's really a work in progress, but something we did today was a big step for Sparky. We got together with about 8 other moms who also have small children. We each brought some things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, hats, single serve fruit cups, and hand warmers. We then set everything out on the tables and put a little bit of it all into gallon sized zip-locs. Now, we each have at least 3 ziplocs to hand to a person on the street corner who can use it.

Making the kits was a great opportunity to talk about giving to others and that we are supposed to help people when we can. When we give out the kits, it's another opportunity to talk to Sparky especially about the difference between want and need. Sparky isn't greedy, just learning about life.

How did you teach your kids to care?

Make awsome fruit and nut bars?

When I was still gainfully employed I used to enjoy store bought Lara bars, about 1 a day. Tasty, relatively nutritious, simple. Sure, why not!

Oh yeah, because they're not cheap and they have a somewhat weird texture that's pretty "datey".

Now that I'm not working a paid job and am much more involved in cooking organic and wholesome foods for my family, I decided this was something I could do myself.

I tried a sample of a coconut cream pie Lara bar at a local grocery store and promptly started searching for a recipe. I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I tried making my own. First try was with pecans and cashews. Eh. I can do better. Now, I've done better and I'm sharing it!!

So, here's my very simple, very tasty recipe for homemade fruit and nut bars that take all of about 5 minutes to make.

Coconut Lush Fruit and Nut Bars (mine are completely organic)
.25c cashews (Trader Joe's or PCC baking)
.25c almonds (Trader Joe's or PCC baking)
.5c shredded coconut (PCC baking)
.25c deglet dates (PCC bulk)
.25c medjool dates (PCC produce)
2t coconut butter (PCC baking)

Put all the nuts, the coconut and the coconut butter in a food processor. Let 'er rip until the nuts are about half as big as you really want them. Just break them up a bit. I break them up a lot since I'm feeding this to young children. Remove the pits from the medjool dates and then toss the dates in there too! Let it go again until it's mixed to your liking. Again, I let it go until it's all really small and well mixed since I'm feeding it to little kids. It's probably going to look a little dry, but when you pinch it with your fingers, it should stick together. This makes about 1 cup of fruit and nut bar.

My favorite thing to do at this point is to press it into the lid of my butter keeper. It's a rectangle and just deep enough for me to fit a while batch in. Then I stick it all in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until I open the fridge again. Turn it out, slice and stick any leftovers back in the fridge in your favorite food storage device. These would probably last quite awhile since everything is shelf stable, but a batch this size has never lasted more than a few days in my household of 4.

November 25, 2010

Create a cute holiday card for Shutterfly and get a $25 credit?

I'm a pretty regular reader of freebies 4 mom and she had a step by step of how to get a $25 gift certificate to shutterfly. I followed her directions, made a cute card, and voila! I should end up with a credit to order said cute card for the holidays! If you want to do it too, it's pretty easy and the steps are here:
Sorry I can't make the links cooler. I'm just having issues with it.
Oh yeah, scroll to the next post to see my cute card!

Christmas 2010

Classic Snowflakes Christmas
Shop for elegant Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

November 24, 2010

Score some awesome free toothpaste?

I'm a BzzAgent as part of a word of mouth marketing campaign.They send me free samples to try and samples to give away and I tell people what I think about the product. It's pretty slick and I've had some awesome samples too!
I'm having some serious trouble getting links to embed, but here's the link if you're interested in being a BzzAgent too:

So, the toothpaste.It's from Tom's of Maine, which has been my toothpaste brand of choice for years, and is their new line of Wicked Fresh which is supposed to help keep fresh breath for hours. Okay, who doesn't like that right?
I signed up to be part of the fray, waited impatiently for my toothpaste to arrive and voila! The day that my other tube of ToM ran out, there was a beatiful box on the doorstep! Cool Peppermint to be exact. I'm more of a fruity toothpaste user myself, but what the heck, mint is a little more refreshing I guess.
Open tube, apply a pea sized amount (anybody else think that's funny?), and brush away. Oh goodness that's hot! Not temperature wise, but like.... hot mint. Okay, wiping away tears from heat..... ready to spit. Oh. How to take a breath without it burning? Hmmm. Warm water to rinse. Oh. Not a good idea. Well, gotta rinse somehow. In the words of Tim Gunn.... Make it work! Okay, done.

Final verdict:
Eh, it does the job and my teeth are clean. No complaints that my breath stinks so either I have a very polite family or the toothpaste does what it's supposed to do! Maybe both. Then again, Sparky doesn't have a very good verbal filter.

If you're interested in picking up some of the new Toms of Maine Wicked Fresh toothpaste, it's pretty readily available online and in local grocery stores. It was about $3.50 at my local store and online it was a bit more.

November 23, 2010

Get to be a blogger?

I started a blog about a year ago, got involved in too many silly carnivals, got burnt out, just quit doing it and eventually, just deleted the whole mess. Most every day right now, I think to myself, how did I...., so, a blog is born.
I know this first post probably won't be read much. I'm okay with that. Hopefully something that I write somewhere along the way will strike a chord with you!
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