Shaklee Summer Must Have

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This is the safest and best sunscreen out there! You might of heard about all the studies going around about the chemicals in the sunscreens and how it can be very harmful to you and your kids. That’s why I use this more natural sunscreen. It’s designed for all skin types, including the most sensitive skin, this patented, water resistant, oil-free sunscreen smoothes easily into your skin and absorbs quickly, without leaving a sticky residue. Soothing and moisturizing, it does not irritate the skin. Patented Vital-Repair+ contains antioxidant vitamins and botanicals. The formula offers broad spectrum protection and adds an extra defense against premature skin aging. Oh, and it’s Paraben Free.
Extra Features include:
Protect and prevent premature aging of your skin with the clinically proven and patented Enfuselle® formula.
*It provides broad-spectrum protection against both harmful UVA and UVB rays.

*Vital Repair+® Complex adds extra protection against prematurely older-looking skin by neutralizing harmful free radicals

*Filters out sun’s harsh rays to protect against skin damage

*Nonirritating formula designed for sensitive skin

*Hypoallergenic

*Contains triple-patented Vital Repair+ Complex

*Formulated with witch hazel and chamomile extracts

*Alcohol Free

*100% dye, oil, and paraben free

*pH-balanced

*Hypoallergenic

*Dermatologist tested

*Not tested on animals

Get yours here!

 

 

3 Ingredient Chocolate Ice Cream (Vegan)

This is one of my easiest go to dessert recipes for my family when we want a quick and healthy treat for Dessert Night.

Every Friday Night we have either home-made pizza or sushi and a movie night!! Of course we have to indulge in dessert too!! I like to change it up a bit so we don’t have the same treat every week. These “desserts” are pretty healthy and I notice that if I make something too frequently they boys will soon feel like they are eating something healthy and they wont want it anymore. I have a few other recipes that I keep up my sleeve for dessert night as well and plan on doing a Dessert Night Round up blog post for you to share all of my healthy go-to, nutrition packed recipes!!

On the menu for tomorrow night is 3 ingredient chocolate ice cream. This is actually a pro biotic, potassium and protein packed bowl of deliciousness but don’t tell the babies!! Oh and let’s not forget the great source of omegas as well that come with Shaklee’s Life Shake mix.

Ingredients:

3 Bananas chopped and frozen

1/4 C. Cocoa Powder (I have used Cocoa Nibs before but its just a little too bitter for the boys)

1/4 C. Shaklee Life Shake Mix in Chocolate

That is it folks!!

First you need to chop up a few bananas and freeze them. I always have frozen bananas on hand because I buy 2 bunches weekly. I feed the kids some for snacks through the week and the rest will get chopped up for smoothies or froze for future baked goods or this recipe!! I’m always needing bananas!!

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I have a vitamix (that I would die without…..no seriously…….I would die without it……I use it 3x a day at least……They should use me as a spokes person but they arent) that is really amazing and has a “frozen dessert” option on the settings. This is a very high-powered blender so if you have a regular blender I would recommend adding a little dairy free milk to help it along.

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I just dump all the ingredients into my best friend……I mean blender and hit the start button!! It pulverizes it into a beautiful chocolate custard.

After this dump it into a container of your choice, pop the lid on and freeze for a couple of hours.

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It’s so fast and easy and so much healthier than store bought!!

I hope you and your kiddos enjoy this recipe. I am excited to try and mix it up with some more flavors in the future!! Of course I will do a blog post on that for you as well!!

What healthy recipe do you guys have for “Dessert Night” in your house?? I would love to hear!!

PS~I apologize for the poor quality in pictures. We are in the middle of a kitchen renovation so everything (including the lighting) is a wreck right now!!

 

Slow Cooker Black Beans

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Who doesn’t love a new slow cooker recipe?  Let me rephrase…… who doesn’t love a new, healthy and cheap slow cooker recipe. Because we are mostly vegan household we go through ton of black beans so I finally decided to get off my butt and start buying them dried to save us some money (and the environment).

I hope you enjoy this super easy recipe that I make every Monday morning to last us through the week!!

Ingredients:
  • 1-lb dried organic black beans sifted through for pebbles or bad beans
  • 1 teaspoon pink hymalaian salt
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic (optional!! We are crazy garlic consumers!!)
  • This is where some people will add an onion or cumin or chili powder!! experiment and make it your own!
Instructions:
  1. Mix the black beans, salt, and 6 cups of cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. To avoid this step you could soak beans over night
  2. Put the crushed garlic and the beans and cooking water into crock pot, cover, and turn on low.image
  3. Cook for 4-8 hours or until beans are cooked to the firmness that you prefer. Cool beans and liquid. You can now portion onto containers and freeze but we eat this entire pot and sometimes 2 during a week of meals!!image

We portion our’s out in canning jars.image

 

Happy Spring Kid’s Art Project

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We get pretty excited for spring in this family. Mama is out planting her garden (well parts of it) in the beginning of February, Daddy is just happy to not have to leave for work in the dark and drive home in the dark, and the boys are just smitten with more outdoor time.

Today in true Pacific Northwest fashion it was rainy and stormy but that didn’t take away our spring excitement!!

Mr. Precious (our 3 year old) decided he wanted to do an extra special art project to celebrate the spring solstice. I thought a rainbow and cloud would be fitting and since he already knows his colors, this could be a great time for him to learn the order of a rainbow!!

It was such a fun project and your kids will love it too. We had everything on hand to do it so no running to the store for supplies.

Here is what you will need:

White card stock paper

White paper plate

Black marker

School glue

Scissors (ours are for toddlers)

Cotton Balls

Crayons

Glitter Glue (optimal)

First I made lines on the white card stock that would become the rainbow. Between each line I wrote a letter that stood for the color needed (ROYGBIV). Then I had him color in each strip.

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After that he used his cutting skills to cut out each strip. He also cut the paper plate to be a more appropriate cloud shape.

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Then we got to gluing the cotton balls on the cloud and the strips (in order). So FUN!!

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We let it sit for a little while to dry and then came back with the glitter glue. He was the one who came up with the idea for a sparkly cloud. I absolutely love the way it turned out. He’s pretty excited that he did it all himself too.

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So Happy Spring Homesteaders!! What are your plans for Spring 2016?

Brownie Batter Protein Bites

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Ingredients

Directions

Combine all ingredients then roll into balls. If you put them in the refrigerator they will get hard and not have the “batter” consistency but they are amazing both ways!!

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Enjoy!!

Thin Mint Smoothie

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In the spirit of Girl Scout Cookie Season, This recipe is perfect!!

Pass on the cookies and try this healthier alternative instead. It’s a fun twist on a green smoothie.
In blender add:
1 cup water
2 scoops Shaklee Life Energizing Shake (any flavor)
2 handfuls of mint
3 handfuls of kale
2 handfuls of spinach
1/2 cup organic yogurt
2 tbsp ground flaxseed

Ice Cubes if desired


Top with chopped dark chocolate chips.

 

Kid’s Canvas Art Project

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I got these 8×11 canvas’s at Walmart last year. It was a steal ~ 8 for $9.99. At the time I had planned on doing some sort of picture project for our living room but lost interest. Then one day I ran out of paper for my oldest during art time and decided to let him paint on one!!

After seeing how adorable it turned out I thought these would be the perfect addition to our Playroom Gallery Wall!!

So today I had the baby join in our art project and we tried out the plastic bag method that is floating around Pinterest!! Have you guys seen it? Normally I fail at every Pinterst attempt but this actually turned out pretty well!!

I started by dumping different colors of paint on the canvas.

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Then I slipped the canvas into a gallon freezer bag.image

Of course it didn’t fit perfectly like the tutorial said but we made it work!!image

He had tons of fun squishing and sliding the colors all around.image

At this point he decided that he was done so we carefully slid it out of the bag and left it to dry.image

A finished masterpiece!!image

There are few things that warm my heart more than seeing my kids thrive through art.

What art projects have your kiddos been doing lately?

 

Funny Valentine’s

Sooooo. Lets all be honest here. Arts and crafts with a toddler is hard. Today I took it upon myself to attempt a pinterest Win with the kids. I saw an adorable tutorial on hand hearts for Valentine’s. Of course being on Pinterest they were perfect and I thought ‘why can’t we do that?’. Why?? How about because you always fail at pinterest projects Emily…..thats why!!

SO if you are a mama who loves/hates Pinterest, here is the real life side of hand hearts for valentines day!!

Here is the toddler’s attempt at hearts. Pretty adorbs if you ask me. Of course the entire time he had no interest in putting his hand on the paper…..only in his mouth.

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And here is our Big Boy’s (3 year old) hands. He did a great job trying to make a heart. He was even annoyed with how much it didn’t look like the Pinterest picture. Sigh…….I know son……Welcome to my world.

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And here is the finished product all cut out. I love them. They warm my heart and will be perfect on our fridge. I especially love doing art work that captures their growth (like the size of their hands or feet).

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I know their grandparents will be so excited to get these!!

Do you let your kids make crafts for Valentine’s Day?

DIY Cloth Diaper Spray

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We have been Cloth Diapering for 3 and a half years now (well we got a 2 month break between our 2 year old being potty trained and the birth of his brother) and we love it!!

I will be the first to admit that it has been a process figuring out a system with non toxic detergents. Before we found Shaklee, we were always trying new non toxic detergents and failed miserably. We always have to use some kind of detergent for sensitive skin because my husband will break out all over his body!!

So I found myself using Tide for the diapers and Ecos for the rest of our clothes. It drove me insane that I was putting toxic residue against my baby’s skin and washing it down the drain into our water system. It just felt like I was canceling out our eco friendlyness of the cloth diapers.

Then I found Shaklee and their Laundry Line and things improved greatly!! You can read about my cloth diaper routine here. I still struggled with keeping them bright and the stains away. In the summer it’s not a problem because I put them in the sun to dry and bleach but in the winter I needed something else.

So I came up with my own recipe for a cloth diaper spray!! It uses all non toxic products and has been a lifesaver for my diapers!! Its so important for me too make these diapers last (especially since we want another baby someday).

Try this out and let me know what you think!!

What you need:

16 oz spray bottle

2 tsp. Basic H

3 tsp. Nature Bright

4 Pumps of Fresh Laundry Concentrate

*Fill squirt bottle with HOT water before adding ingredients (or it will overflow with bubbles)

*Add ingredients above and shake

*After rinsing solids out of cloth diaper, spray soiled area with diaper spray and throw in your hamper!! Thats it!!

Lactation Protein Smoothie Packs

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I have been working on perfecting a lactation smoothie that actually tastes good. My sister is having a baby in a couple of  weeks and I am making her a New Mama Care Package for her to come home to after the birth.

I thought pre packaged smoothie packs would be a great addition since it is so easy to pop them in a blender, add milk, and blend for a healthy meal when you don’t have time to cook (or enough hands).

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So after blending and tasting for a couple of weeks, I think I have it down. The oats, brewer’s yeast, and pure protein and omegas are a perfect combination to help promote lactation in a new mama!!

Have you ever had a lactation smoothie??

Ingredients:

2 scoops Vanilla or Chocolate Shaklee Life Shake
1 T Peanut Butter
¼ cup Oats
½ Banana
1-1.5 Tsp. Brewer’s Yeast
8 oz. Milk of choice
Ice as needed