Lunchbox Squeezable Chia Pouches

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

School is almost here and I'm trying to gear up for packing healthy snacks and lunches for Lula.  She'll be in Kindergarten and this is new territory for me! I noticed these Mama Chia pouches at Costco the other day. Have you tried them?

They are a thicker version of the Mama Chia drinks.

If you aren't familiar with these, they are almost a jelly like drink. Chia seeds get a layer of gel around them when they are in liquid and they are suspended in the drink. It's kind of like drinking bubble tea, but the "bubbles" are much smaller chia seeds.  I think it's really yummy and fun to drink and I've bought them before as a treat for my girls. Well, the pouches are a thicker version of the drink and are almost a jello consistency that can be sucked out of a pouch. They are pretty pricy, so I decided to come up with a way to make them myself!

Chia seeds are super healthy. Very high in Omega-3's, lots of protein to help you feel full throughout the day and are full of fiber.  Such a great school snack to get those kids through the day! Here's how to make it...

You'll need some juice - any flavor will work. I used 100% cherry juice. Some chia seeds, and reusable squeeze pouches like these from Amazon.

First, measure out about 3 Tbs of chia seeds and mix with 1 cup of water. Let this sit for a few hours or overnight.

The seeds will expand and become little jelly balls.

Then, mix with about 1/2 cup of juice.

Open up your bags and fill with the chia mixture

And you are good to go! Pack them away in those lunches!

And while we are talking back to school, you must check out these 2 posts for some creative and adorable back to school projects!

Alexis from Persia Lou is showing you how to make DIY Glitter Scissors (and she has the best free printables!)

Jessica from Cutesy Crafts has another absolutely adorable felt project to share: DIY Clock for Kids! 

Healthy Summer Lunch: Smoothie Bowls

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

After vacationing in Colorado for a week and eating not so healthy, I was brainstorming on some yummy and healthy lunch ideas last week.  We decided to try out the newest trend called "smoothie bowls". Have you heard of it? Maybe I'm way late to the game, but I feel like I haven't seen these around until this summer.  Here's how we made ours!

There is no real recipe here. When I make my smoothies, I just throw stuff in the blender and go. But, we did try two different versions. The first was a green smoothie.

Oh, and in case you are confused, a smoothie bowl is basically pouring your smoothie into a bowl, adding some toppings and eating it with a spoon instead of drinking it. Simple! The green smoothie was good, but I didn't make it thick enough. The toppings didn't stay on top and just sank to the bottom. I didn't add yogurt which I think was my mistake.

But the girls loved it! They had 2 bowls. I used spinach, pineapple, frozen bananas and almond milk. Yum! We topped it with my homemade granola, blueberries and strawberries.

The next version was much prettier and thicker.

This one was frozen raspberries, strawberry greek yogurt and almond milk. We topped it off with homemade granola and banana slices.

Oh, and my girls call this "fruit soup" and now ask for it every day for lunch. They will each eat 2 big bowls. I'm actually not the biggest fan of drinking my meals. I'd much rather eat something with a spoon than drink through a straw (I'd rather have ice cream than a milkshake and a piece of fruit than a smoothie) smoothie bowls are much more appetizing to me than downing a huge glass.

My next topping idea is...DARK CHOCOLATE. Doesn't that sound amazing?

Handmade Vinyl Record Book VIDEO TUTORIAL

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hello! Yes, I'm still here. I know it's been far far too long. I've been enjoying some vacation time in Colorado with my family with absolutely no cell or internet service. It was awesome, but obviously difficult to keep up with blogging! But, on to the good stuff. I have such a fun tutorial for you all today! If you follow me on Facebook, you probably saw a sneak peek. The best part of this is that I made my first ever VIDEO TUTORIAL! This project is a bit complicated, but not neccesarily hard, so I thought a video would get the point across the best. So, what is it?

That's right, my friend Donna got married a few weeks ago and asked me to make her guest books. She wanted them made out of vinyl records. It took me a bit of research and trial and error, but I ended up making 2 of these books and they turned out pretty sweet.

Here's me and Donna and the guest book in action at the wedding. Isn't she the cutest bride ever?

On to the video tutorial! A few disclaimers: This video footage was taken with my husband's cell phone and is not the greatest. Also, this was my first time ever editing a video of any kind. So, it's not professional, but you get the idea. (For written instructions and photos, keep scrolling down!) Or click over to YouTube to watch it.

Step One: Measure out an 8.25 X 8.25 inch square with a pencil onto 2 vinyl records.

Step Two: Using a heat knife, careful cut out the square.

Step Three: Break off the edges of the record.

Step Four: Measure and mark 8 evenly spaced holes, about 1/4 inch from the edge of both records.

Step Five: Sand the edges of the records with fine grit sandpaper.

Step Six:Using a very small drill bit, drill all of the holes.

Step Seven (not pictured): Cut heavy paper (I used paper from a sketch book) to approximately 8X16 inches.

Step Eight: Divide the paper up into even stacks, or signatures (I put 6 pieces of paper in each stack) and fold them together.

Step Nine: Line your record up to mark 8 spots aligned with the holes in the record cover and mark.

Step Ten: Use an awl to punch holes in each of the eight marks in each signature.

Step Eleven: Using waxed thread, bind the book together using the coptic stitch method. A full video tutorial can be found here:

Step Twelve: Trim and tie off any loose threads.

Step Thirteen: Erase any marks on the pages.

Step Fourteen: Wipe off the covers with a damp cloth.

Step Fifteen: Admire your amazing handmade vinyl record book!

DIY Frozen Themed Cake

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lula's 6th birthday is coming up and we had a little celebration for her at my parents' house on the 4th of July. All she wanted was a Disney Frozen themed cake. My girls are obsessed. Thankfully Pinterest has tons of ideas and I came up with a fun cake to surprise her with!

First, I made a 2 layer chocolate cake (from a box mix) and frosted it with a very thin layer of homemade butter cream frosting. Then, I stuck it in the freezer for about 15 minutes to let the frosting harden.

Next, I made more frosting and separated it into 4 bowls. I left one part white, and the rest I dyed different shades of teal with food coloring. I used a few drops of blue and one or 2 drops of green until I got the shades I wanted.

I wanted to do a scallop for the icing. So, I practiced first on a piece of parchment paper. Using a round tip, make some big dollops, then  smear the dollop with the back of a spoon. I used a baby spoon because it was just the right size.

I did the top of the cake first, just layering them in a circle.

Then, went down the sides, starting with the lightest color.

Using a star tip and the white frosting, I made stars to fill in any gaps or mistakes.

It turned out so pretty. I loved it just like this, but of course I had to add some Frozen elements to it. I found some rock candy at the party store to use as big icicles.

I just stuck them right in the cake and added some Frozen figurines to the top.

She loved it!

This was my first time attempting a "fancy" cake and I had a lot of fun. Now, I have to think of something equally as cool to do for Jane's birthday in August.

Chocolate Covered Frozen Fruit Bars

Monday, June 30, 2014

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Fruttare, but all my opinions are my own. #itsallgood #pmedia

I have a super yummy, frozen treat to share with you today. It's pretty much amazing and absolutely the easiest thing to make...ever.  It would be such a fun activity for kids because you can make each one different. Here's how to make these amazing chocolate covered frozen fruit bars.

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Easy Wedding Gift Wrap + Wedding Gift Guide

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wedding season is upon us! I don't know about you, but we are invited to five wedding this summer! Although, that doesn't even come close to the "summer of weddings" that we experienced the same summer we got married. I think we were invited to 12 just that summer. Even if you just have one wedding to attend, I have a quick little gift wrap idea for you PLUS some gift ideas from Target!

For my gift idea, I made a garland of map hearts and wrapped it around simple white gift wrap. First, I cut my hearts out of some old maps I already had on hand.

Then, I simply stitched them together on the sewing machine. Easy!

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