Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dream Just a Little Bit

Do you ever dream about re-doing a room in your house?

I do.

I often look at my kitchen and wonder what would I do if I could remodel it.

Well I think really you need look no further than Pinterest to see.

What might some of my dream kitchens look like?  Something like this:

Source: via Francine on Pinterest

Source: via velia on Pinterest

For me a new set of cabinets would just be lovely and if I was given $25,000 to do it, I bet I could get a pretty nice set up.

Did you know Food Lion is giving away $25,000 for a kitchen make-over?

They are also giving away groceries for a year, and some other great prizes.  For more information head over to their Facebook page (As only certain Food Lions are participating in this contest, you will need to enter your zip code to see if your Food Lion is participating).

How to Enter:

Food Lion MVP shoppers will enter by registering their MVP Card and completing an entry form on Food Lion’s Facebook page. Once entered, customers will be made aware of additional ways to enter including:

1.  Purchasing any My Essentials brand product and scanning their personal MVP Card

2.  Checking into their local Food Lion via Foursquare or Facebook


There will be a Grand Prize, a 1st & 2nd place prize, as well as multiple Food Lion gift card giveaways.
  • Grand Prize: $25k Home Makeover Package
  • 1st Place: $10k in cash
  • 2nd Place: Free Groceries for a Year
  • 100 weekly $20 Food Lion gift cards (400 total)
I am surely heading over to register to win and then I am going to go perusing on Pinterest and dream, even for just a little while, about what I could do with that money.

So if you were to win what would you change about your kitchen?

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central for Food Lion. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yes! Yes You Can!

Yes you can put sourdough in everything...

Well almost!

For the weekends my children almost always ask for pancakes.

I oblige and whip up the batter I have perfected for them about a year ago.

This past weekend I decided to mess with perfection (at least in their eyes) and put some starter in my mix.

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Vegan Pancakes

1/2 C all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 C starter
3/4 C almond milk
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp oil (vegetable or coconut)
2 tsp baking powder
1 flax or chia egg (1 Tbsp flax/chia mixed with 3 Tbsp water)
1/2-1 C chocolate chips (amt varies depending on your love of chocolate)

Combine all of the ingredients together and cook up in a skillet.

A little confession...I forgot to put in the egg.

You know what?

They still turned out and still tasted good.

Need proof?  Look no further:

So delicious in fact Andrew pulled out his homemade two stringed dulcimer and sang us a tune.

The pink and blue blur on the left is Caroline running by during the second chorus

So do your kids sing for your food?  Maybe a spouse or boyfriend?

I hope you all are having a just fantastic day.

Be sure, if you haven't already to enter my giveaway for Barbara Rodriquez's book The Organic Nanny (here).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cereal Milk

When you were a kid did you tip your cereal bowl up to get the last of the sweet milk when you were done eating?

I know I always did.

Did you know that the people at General Mills are putting "curvy straws" in some of their cereals just for the purpose of being able to drink you cereal milk?

You can find them in select boxes (Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Reeses Puffs, Honey Nut Cheerios, Trix, and Cocoa Puffs).

I have been given an opportunity to share the above prize pack with one of my readers.  The cups you see pictured actually light up (there is a small button on the bottom of the cup).  

To be eligible to win I just ask that you answer this question:

Did you drink your cereal milk?  If so how did you drink it?

“Disclosure:  The prize pack, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.”

Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy Friday

Hello one and all!

It is Friday and I am very excited that the work week is almost over.

Not to say that the weekend will be filled with relaxation as each of my 3 children have a birthday party to go to (two of which overlap).

Oh well!  They will have a great time and it is nice for them to get out and enjoy their friends.

So for todays' post I wanted to do something that I've seen several other blogs do, and this is a Pinterest favorites post.

I am completely addicted to Pinterest (and I am not joking when I say we need a P.A. group--Pinterest Anonymous).

So today I want to provide to you some of the cool things I've seen on there:

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

Source: via Della on Pinterest

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and be sure, if you haven't done so already, to enter my giveaway for the book The Organic Nannies Guide to Raising Healthy Kids.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My First Book Review

Today was probably one of the best days this week.

Whole Foods opened here and I went there for my lunch hour (wish I had a couple of hours to browse).

I power shopped my way through the store managing to pick up lunch from the hot bar and a nice cold kombucha.

All so that I could have plenty of fuel to tell you about the latest book I read:

The Organic Nanny's Guide to Raising Healthy Kids: How to Create a Natural Diet and Lifestyle for Your Child  by Barbara Rodriquez

I am already on the eat organic food/lessen your consumption of meat/no processed food bandwagon.

So when reading Barbara's book I didn't need to be converted to understand that feeding your children healthy food makes them feel better and behave better.

However there are many people out there who don't have a clue, who feel stopping at a drive through is easier than planning a quick meal at home.

I promise the meal at home will be more nutritious and won't have a possibility of containing pink slime.

The Organic Nanny is broken down so that each chapter is a new change to introduce to your house.  You do each new change for a week (because you don't want to up and change everything all at once).

Barbara has fantastic suggestions on how to switch over everything from your food to your household cleaners to your clothing and bedding, all in an economical way.

She makes recommendations on ways for you "Mama" to get time in for yourself (as meditation, yoga, and spa days are all beneficial to our health and help make us a more calm person).

I think what struck me most about this book is that it can be applied anyone.  You don't have to be a mother to read this.  You can apply all of the principles to a single girl/boy just as easily as a family of 5.

Barbara includes some recipes for snacks, smoothies, and even homemade spa treatments.

I am telling you this book covers EVERYTHING.

I was very excited once I finished and really felt like I needed to share this book with others (it will be my go to gift, along with diapers, for baby showers).

Well I am lucky in that the people at Da Capo Press are providing me a copy to give to one of you, my fantastic readers.

So would you like to win a copy of this wonderful resource?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WIAW The Anniversary Edition

Happy What I Ate Wednesday everyone!

A special hello to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting our blog party.

I am excited to share my eats this week from my anniversary trip to Asheville.

My husband and I have been married for 10 years (just as a side...he hates to take pictures).

Quite fortuitously Good Friday was a day off from my job and the actual day of our wedding 10 years ago (April 6, 2002).

Asheville is one of my favorite places to go because almost any restaurant you go to (in the downtown area) has vegetarian/vegan choices.

So here are some highlights of our meals:

Lunch on Friday at Green Light Cafe included green water...nope it isn't dirty just filtered and has chlorophyll added (also pictured spelt crust pizza topped with Daiya):

For on Friday we went to Tupelo Honey where the chef was kind enough to top a house salad with some tofu hot wings (it was completely delicious and I am so glad I asked for the special order):

Breakfast on Saturday was a cup of fruit and smoothie from The Green Sage (again Kyle's not much of a morning person):

Our favorite meal of the trip was Mayfel's.  There I had a sloppy Jane, with chipotle pickles, and some French fries:

My mouth is watering just thinking about this sandwich.

It was a great trip and if you ever are planning a trip to Asheville please let me know...I love to talk about it and share what I know.

So what did you eat recently that was just fantastic?  Do you like providing foodie travel advice?

Be sure to head over to Peas and Crayons and see what other bloggers have been eating!!!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easter Fun

I realize that I should have posted this about a week ago...but you know

Sometimes things happen (like your camera and computer just aren't together at the same time).

You are too busy having fun with the kids to write a post

Or you just needed a break from blogging for a week to gather your thoughts.

I do have a little bit of business to settle first and that is to announce the winner of my Nature Box giveaway:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Chip Sourdough Muffins

That is quite a mouthful for a title, but once you have the muffin in your mouth all you will want to say is "mmmmmm."

I am still loving sourdough and trying to find new ways to incorporate it into our daily foods.

Since my children didn't like the loaf of sourdough that I made (even though I loved it toasted with a little Earth Balance) I thought add chocolate they are sure to like that.

I was right!

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 Tbsp water)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 C sourdough starter
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 C chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C oil
1 C flour (I used half whole wheat and half white)
1/4 C sugar

I am not one of your more refined bakers so I just put everything in one bowl and mixed until everything was incorporated.

I am careful not to over mix, but I am not one of for keeping the dry and wet ingredients separate (I know I am such a rebel).

Scoop into your greased muffin tin, muffin wrappers, or silicone molds (my favorite eco-friendly option).

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  I have a convection oven so I cooked these at 400 degrees for 18 minutes.

This makes 9 muffins.

I just wish I had made these in time to have for Easter morning...oh well there is always next year.

What do you make with your sourdough?  Do you have a recipe you would like to link to or share?  Please do I am looking for plenty of ideas and inspiration.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Blueberry Muffins Mom's Crazy Cooking Challenge

Hello my friends!

I realize that it is Saturday and that typically I would not be posting, but I have to.

See today is the reveal day for Mom's Crazy Cooking Challenge hosted by the fantastic Tina.

This month we were tasked with scouring the blog world in search of a blueberry muffin recipe.

Easy you say?


Blueberry muffin recipes are pretty bountiful.

However I think I located the perfect one.

I went to Bundles of Hugs written by Heidi and found this gem:

I made only a few alterations to the recipe and that was to make them vegan.


Instead of milk I used vanilla unsweetened almond milk
Instead of an egg I used a flax egg (1 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 Tbsp water)
I topped the muffins with a sprinkling of turbinado sugar for a little pizzaz

My children declared these to be the best blueberry muffins they have ever had. 

High praise from a 9, 4, and 2 year old (plus they all agreed and that is a pretty rare thing).

Heidi calls these her "go to" muffins and I can see why.

They are just absolutely delectable.

Be sure to stop by Heidi's blog and check out her other recipes and of course adorable pictures of her young son :)

Also check out my fellow participants in this months challenge and see what other blueberry muffins people have been making.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Winner and a New Giveaway Nature Box

Well Happy Thursday my blog loves!

What makes it happy (other than I was given another day to live and breath)?

Well today is the end of the week!!!

Tomorrow being Good Friday I am off from work and thus have a 3 day weekend.

However I don't want to get ahead of myself so let me start things off right by announcing the two winners of my Chobani Champions giveaway:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I've Been Fermenting

Well I took the plunge with sprouting and made raw hummus

I've taken the next step and now I am fermenting my food.

I made a sourdough starter.

It doesn't look like much:

But it is the coolest thing I've done this week.

Following the directions over at Peas and Thank You I was able to flawlessly accomplish a weeks worth of stirring and feeding my sourdough baby and at the end of the 6 day fermenting period I was able to produce this:

Which turned into this little bundle of joy:

I do have to put out there that I am not a fan of sourdough bread at all. 

In fact I avoid it.

You may ask then why did I make the starter?

Well I just wanted to see if I could do it.

And I am glad that I did as the flavor of this bread only has a mild sour flavor. 

By using the whole wheat flavor the bread has a more nutty flavor.

Completely delicious with a little slathering of Earth Balance, or you do what I did and make it into vegan French toast (however mine was greedily consumed by my 4 year old...oh well we mom's just have to share).

I can't wait to try more things with my starter.  I am thinking muffins or pancakes are next. 

What do you think?  What would you use sourdough for?

I hope you all are having a wonderful Tuesday.  Be sure to enter to win a case of Chobani Champions (here) that giveaway is going on till tomorrow (Wednesday the 4th).