Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas Cookies and Icing

Christmas just isn't Christmas without tons if not hundreds of decorated sugar cookies. They are so delicious and go well with hot chocolate, cold milk, or just sneaking them by the handfuls in the kitchen to stuff in your face in your bedroom when nobodies looking. Yet I must confess... I SUCK at making sugar cookies. Horrible. My dough only turned out great once, then after that it was just all downhill. It was too soft, too hard, they burned too easily (or it was my fault i got distracted hehe) or something else went wrong. BUT I HAVE PREVAILED! thanks to Jessica @ The Novice Chef. Seriously, if you somehow managed to screw up your batch of cookies following this recipe, then by goodness you are SO much worse than me HAHA!

BUT, we all know that every sugar cookie isn't the same without that tasty sugar glace on top! The best one i've found (cause i've tried tons and tons) is this recipe from Cleverly Simple. You can even add a couple drops of liquid (not the gel kind) food coloring to make pretty colored sugar cookies. Now that you have the tools to do great baking, get out there and bake some cookies!!

Freebie Friday: New Years Eve Subway Art Printable

HORRAY! Christmas is finally over and with it now comes new years. It's the start of a whole new year, but it's a time to start fresh for everyone. Maybe there's something you've promised yourself you'll do in the new year whether it be taking a new perspective on life, to losing those 10lbs you gained stuffing your face with turkey, stuffing, and yummy desserts. On this day we celebrate our health, happiness, friends, family, and to just be appreciative to those around us and be thankful for who and what God has blessed us with. Yet this day is extra special for me, as it is.. MY BIRTHDAY! YAY! So every year I get to start each brand new year, a year older :) woohoo! This year i'll be 23. Incredible how time flies.

So here are 3 subway art printables I have put together for you to save onto your computer print off and hang somewhere in your home, office, or whatever you please. Happy New Years Everyone!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Momma Monday: cold and flu remedies for kids

It's the same time of year for both my kids when they get sick and it's the same symptoms every time. The infamous runny nose with boogers dripping down there face, fevers, dry hacking coughs, congestion and overall just plain miserable. I've found some tried and true remedies that have surely helped my kids kick the cold and feel better in no time!

I find this is the best thing for a child with a sore throat from coughing constantly. The lemon tea cleanses their systems and the brown sugar and honey soothes their throat, plus it tastes really good :)

Tried and true. Steam and humidifiers are one of your greatest allies with a kid with a stuffy nose and a cough. Stick your kid in the bathroom and run the shower on hot for 5-10 minutes or until it gets steamy in there and let them just sit and relax in the room for a couple minutes or give them a nice warm bath with Epsom salts and bubbles. The steam opens up their airways and helps clean out the congestion. Same with a humidifier put one in there room at night so the air isn't so dry and helps to losen mucus stuck in their nasal passages.

keep your child hydrated as much as possible with water, watered down fruit juices or herbal teas that help flush out toxins and replenish the liquids they lose through sneezing and coughing.

I usually only use these if I'm desperate. I used to use tylonel all the time with my little ones for teething, sickness, fevers, tummy aches, etc. it never really helped. Not to mention they come in a stupid little bottle with a dropper that's 8-10$ in most drugstores, it can be pretty pricey. I buy 0-9 years all-in-one sinus for kids and the 0-9 years day&night cough medicine for kids, it's 10$ for a big bottle at any drugstore and it lasts me forever. I give them 1-2 tsp every 4-6 hours. It helps relieve night time hacking coughs and just helps them sleep better which brings me to my next point...

And lots of it. If your child's older and has grown out of the napping stage, prop them on the couch with pillows, blankets, cartoons, and let them be a couch potato. My kids still nap during the day for 2-4 hours ( lucky me! ) and it does them good. Otherwise they get so frighten cranky and miserable being sick and tired that I want to pull my hair out haha :P 

I hope some of these ideas will help your kids feel better in no time because let's face it, nobody likes a sick child. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Weightloss Wednesday: Printable Workouts

I know im not the only one who has a hard time making it to the gym with two kids running around. I can barely get dinner on the table and the house cleaned in an orderly fashion, let alone get daily exercise. Things can get hectic around here and i love knowing that i can always find time to do a 40 minute workout in my living room while the kids are napping than to pack the kids up in the car, drop them off at daycare, go to the gym (if the gym doesn't have child services) do my workout, pick up the kids, drive back home, and then do everything else I have to do along with it. Below are circuit exercises that you can add weight to to increase resistance and get better results, and exercises that take 20 - 30 minutes to do and that's not asking a lot out of your day, and can be done in any room in your home!

A HUGE thank you to Caitlin @ Fit Fab Cities for these wonderful printables! They are only few of many on her blog and they all are amazing and can be down anywhere, anytime, and you can go crazy workout animal, or laid back and a little sweaty! Don't forget to drink plenty of water during your workout to replenish your reservoirs from the sweat you lose ;)

Monday, 9 December 2013

Momma Monday: 10 Worst Dinners to Feed Your Kids

We've all done it. Lost track of time or don't have enough time to slave away at a hot stove for 2 hours and prepare a decent healthy meal to fill that rumbling in our children's bellies. We opt out for the quick fix of fast food, microwavable dinners, or hotdogs, hamburgers, pizza, and french fries. Little did we know that those foods can be so bad for our kids and have a huge helping hand in children obesity. Here are 10 foods we really should avoid feeding our children, and alternatives to still being able to enjoy them, just at a healthier level.

1. Fried Chicken
My kids love fried crispy chicken, and the dipping sauce that goes along with it. It's popular and they convince you as a parent that when its cooked at high heats its preventing oil being absorbed into the chicken. WRONG. Its absorbed into the breading and our kids still eat the skin. Avoid the deep-fried chicken and side gravy, go for the baked every time.

2. Hotdogs
Another love of my children. Probably primarily of the fact they can eat with there hands and not get into trouble :P But hot dogs have high levels of nitrates which is a preservative to help it not to go bad. All cured meats contain nitrates, so even if you feed them lunch meat, it could still be bad for them. Try meats that aren't precooked, and free of preservatives :)

3. Delivery Pizza
Probably one of the worst things you could eat. Full of fat, calories, and unless you get vegetables on it, you aren't getting any protein either. Make your own pizza. It's that simple. Use pita bread, make your own  Homemade Spinach Pizza Dough , or english muffins as the crust. Let your kids make their own masterpiece with a light sprinkle of cheese. This will cut calories and fat in less than half if you order in pizza. Try to even sneak vegetables into the mix like peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes.

4. Fast Food
This is by far the most unhealthy choice for a meal. I know my kids see the golden arches of mcdonalds or the big KFC bucket and whine to have it for dinner. Almost every combo, even the kids meals unfortunately, are high in calories, fat, and sodium. You think oh, apple slices instead of fries? yah, healthy, but the dip is still loaded full of sugar. Opt out for making a slow cooker meal if you know or think your going to be running late from work. Prepare it the night before, turn the cooker on in the morning on low, and you'll have dinner prepared by the time you get home!

5. Grilled Cheese
This was my childhood favorite lunch, and has become my children's as well. Made with butter, bread, and processed cheese, yet you can make a healthy alternative believe it or not :) Use whole grain, brown, or rye bread. Instead of processed cheese, use unprocessed and also fill it with cold cuts or sliced chicken breast maybe some lettuce and tomato. And use only a light dab of butter along the outside of the bread. This will cut calories 1/4 of the way down, but it's still better light, than getting rid of your childs favorite meal if its all they'll eat some days.

6. Fettuccine Alfredo
I personally LOVE this dish, it's so delicious, yet wickedly unhealthy. The sauce is packed with fat with the cream, butter, and plenty of cheese that give it its flavor. Any creamy type of sauce is packed with fat and calories, opt out for a traditional hearty tomato sauce with whole wheat pasta instead to raise the fiber content. You can even sneak in vegetables try this Sneaky Spaghetti Sauce.

7. Fish Fingers
My kids hate fish, and I know it can be so so so hard to get children to eat fish. It's a strong flavor, and has a lot of different textures. But most fish fingers these day have little to no fish inside them and way too much breading. Try pan frying mild fish and lightly batter them if you need to. Also, try feeding them halibut. Its very mild and has the same type of texture as say tuna, or chicken.

8. Chicken Nuggets
I've never met a child that doesn't love chicken nuggets. Fun shapes, yummy dips, they can eat with their hands, and there just down right delicious. Nuggets are just made from the cut offs of chicken, not the actual meaty part. So your kids are really eating just the bones, organs, and fat off the chicken. That's actually really disgusting, if not revolting. I've opted out for making my own chicken strips/nuggets with fresh chicken breast, my own home made bread crumbs, and i bake them in the oven. They still come out crispy, tender, and at half the calories AND fat content, it's worth doing it yourself. But if you are out, and want to give them chicken nuggets, go for the chicken tenders. There from the breast meat, and all meat, and watch for the dipping sauces as they can still turn a healthy alternative, into a bad one.

9. Frozen Dinners
SUCH a great way to save time. Out of the freezer, into the microwave, 5 minutes later into the belly of our starving children. Yet did you know they contain double the amount of sodium children should be getting in one day? They should only have 1000-1500 mg a day. Instead of buying frozen dinners, make your own make-ahead-freezer meals :D they are a GODSEND in my household. I take it out in the afternoon, let it thaw, stick it in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes and I have a healthy and delicious home cooked meal without all the mess :)

10. Tuna Casserole
 I love tuna fish. It's a mild taste, and you can put it in any casserole, or dish to play it up. Unfortunately with the excess cheese and butter it becomes indulgent. But you can make it healthy. Make the sauce with skim milk and light cheese. Add in vegetables along with the tuna like broccoli and peppers.

There you have it. Alternatives to the fast food and quick picks to help your children grow up big and strong and healthy :)

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Freebie Friday: Dear Santa Letter Printables!

I wish I had these printables when I was growing up to write my letters to Santa. There so cute, and probably makes your child more imaginative writing there wish list to Santa for what they want for Christmas, than a blank piece of lined paper :) I was supposed to post this yesterday but didn't get around to doing it until this morning as for some reason YET AGAIN it wouldn't let me save my file. I really hate computers sometimes.. So here they are, 3 free printables to use for your children as they write there letters to Santa <3

Just right click to save image as save as. ENJOY!

 ^ this is my favorite one, partially because its the best way to think of christmas gifts instead of always getting them toys, get them the 4 things, and 1 thing they'd really like, christmas shopping done simple!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Food Frenzy Thursday: Gingerbread Cake Recipe!


The holidays are vast approaching, if not are already here. Yet many of us are trying to be "smart" about what foods and desserts we may consume to not overdo it and opt out for the healthy option so we can still enjoy so many great foods and sweet yummy goodies without going overboard. I found this recipe online via healthy recipes blogs and is SO good. I made some the other day and it is super moist, so much flavor and made with a low-fat icing is just down right delicious!

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1//2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and cocoa powder.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, molasses and sugar. Whisk in the eggs and the milk until combined. Gradually whisk wet mixture into flour mixture, whisking until well-combined and smooth.

4. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until top of cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine was ready after 35 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack, about 30 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.


 I also found another great post on making your own home-made low-fat icing and it's super easy to make, and tastes like your eating actual icing haha

First, Make your powdered sugar by taking 1 cup of sweetener such as xylitol or stevia or even splenda would probably work. Add 1 - 2 tbsp of cornstarch (to prevent clumping) and put it in a blender until its smooth and powdery.

Now take that 1 cup of powdered sugar you made, add in 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and 1 1/2 tbsp of milk and blend until smooth. Voila, low-fat low-sugar delicious icing you can now make for any cake you make. You can also add in some low-fat cream cheese for something different, or even some cocoa powder if you want a chocolatey frosting.