Friday, June 17, 2011

Artichokes, Kale chips and a Mango...

I'm back after a short break to visit my sister and her family. We stayed longer than we ever have and had a great time. We swam, went to the movie, enjoyed a nature walk that was not so enjoyable once my nephew H was stung by a bee, and just had fun being together. The girls played dress up while the boys chased each other through the house with nerf bullets flying. They built tents and played with water balloons. My kiddos got to join Hunter in his Cross-Fit class and had a blast! I'm now bugging Rodney to hang us some rings from the ceiling in the garage so the kids can do pull-ups. I got some great ideas on how to make fitness fun for the kids. Thanks Sis for letting us tag along.

Watermelon for breakfast ~ yummy!

Yesterday we went to the grocery store and I thought it would be fun for the kids to pick out a fruit and vege they had never tried before. The catch was they had to at least taste what they picked out; so after much deliberation they agreed on an artichoke and a mango. I picked up some kale; I've been wanting to try making kale chips. The mango was a huge success; they had it for breakfast this morning. The artichoke is still waiting patiently in the fridge (I'll be Googling "how to cook an artichoke" shortly.) As for the kale chips?

This health nut mama thought they were delicious! I have to hand it to the kids, they at least tasted them. I must say, for those of us living a low carb, high fat diet these little chips are perfect for those days when we need something crunchy and a little salty. Not only are they tasty, they are so good for you. Kale is rich in nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E, fiber, calcium, manganese and loaded with sulfur containing phytonutrients which have been shown to protect against many kinds of cancers including breast and ovarian. The chips are super simple to make; simply wash the leaves, spin in a salad spinner, gently tear the leaves from the stem, place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes.

I hope you try them and if you do, let me know what you think ~

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chalk Art ~

It's amazing  how a bucket of chalk can bring so much contentment. I think so many times as parents we (or should I say "I") feel a tremendous amount pressure to entertain our children especially throughout the summer months; not only is this exhausting, it's also very expensive! We're so used to being busy that it really is an adjustment to just "chill out."

Despite the fact the wind has blown 30 mph everyday so far this summer, the kids still want to be outside. I would say the chalk was a nice change of pace from water balloons. (Our water balloon adventures came to a halt when we discovered our destructive sweet puppy had chewed up the water balloon nozzle and the hose. Yes, I tried to buy more balloons, but apparently Target buyers think people only play with water balloons around Easter time and I have yet to make it to my least favorite store...Walmart.)

I loved watching the kids being creative ~ even Sam got in on the fun and ate a piece of white chalk. :) As a mom I have to remember how easy it is to get sucked into the vortex that is computers, tv's and video games...our creative juices dry up quickly when they're not being used. I may meet some resistance, but everyone is so much happier when all that junk is switched off. The simplicity of something as basic as a piece of chalk, a new coloring book and colors, a set of children's water colors or *gasp* a good book might be just what you need to tap in to your creative side. I have several craft ideas in mind for us to work on this summer...can't wait to get started and blog about our creations!


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