Monday, March 31, 2014

Easter Hip Hop Printable

Posted by Devin
Ever since the Easter season started, I cannot get "Rapper's Delight" out of my head. I know it's because of all these Easter signs I'm seeing everywhere with Hip Hop written on them and before you know it... I am singing...
"I said a
Hip Hop
The hippie, the hippie,
to the hip hip hop
You don't stop the rock it
To the bang bang boogie
Say up jumped the boogie
To the rhythm of the boogie the beat"
And since I haven't been able to stop singing it, the boys started requesting to listen to it on my phone and now it seems like we are listening to it and getting our groove on every night before bed! Well, today I am going to share a little "Sugarhill Gang"-love with you all and see if we can spread the boogie-mania from our home to yours!

There's nothing like making a cute little printable to commemorate our recent Spring-time anthem, right?!! I have made this sign in four different color schemes so you can simply choose which one you like best, click on the image to open, print, and then frame! These are all made for 8x10" frames.
Keep it fresh, peeps!
Linking Up With: Link Party Palooza // Fluster Buster // Tidy Mom // Just Us Four // Practically Functional

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Clean Eating Challenge- Part 1

Posted by Tara

Clean Eating is a major movement spurred by people from all walks of life who want to feel good about what they are putting in their bodies. It's about getting rid of the processed and fatty foods we normally fill out diets with and getting back to simple and healthy choices. And now I have decided to try it out for 6 weeks.
Why? Well... I have been in a funk lately. I say FUNK because I don't know what else to call it. It started around the holidays. I was eating terrible, lost my drive to workout (had been working out Mon-Fri for months prior), and didn't want to do anything but lay in bed and sleep. I knew I needed to make some major changes!
I currently do Crossfit with a group in my area. It's not a gym, but a group of us in the community who meet at a park with all of our equipment and do our workouts together. The majority of the group are stay-at-home moms, like me. I approached one of the leaders about my lack of motivation and told her I thought we should have a nutrition challenge. She loved the idea and got a website started and invited everyone in our group to join. This clean eating challenge has helped me a lot. I am on week 2 and I already feel better. I am also trying to workout 5 days a week again. It is challenging juggling 5 kids and a busy schedule, but I have to make it a priority right now if I want to see it happen.
Since I've started this, I have had a lot of friends show interest in how to follow a clean eating challenge and what it is I am actually eating on a daily basis. If you are interested in following a clean eating challenge yourself, here is how I do it!
Basic Daily Guidelines 
  • Protein - 4-5 servings (lean meats, seafood, poultry, eggs)
  • Vegetables - 5+ servings (corn and potatoes are excluded)
  • Fruit - 2-3 servings
  • Water - 2 liters+
(Try to include a protein and healthy fat with every meal)

Good Fats
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Almonds and other nuts (except peanuts and cashews)

Limited Foods
  • Grains - 1 serving/day allowed (brown rice, oats, quinoa preferred). Avoid anything white! Corn and potatoes are included in this category
  • Dairy - 1 serving/day allowed (butter, cheese, yogurt, milk, cream)
  • Legumes (beans) - Try to avoid, however up to 2 servings/week is allowed. Peanuts and cashews are considered legumes.

Foods to AVOID
  • Sugar - granulated, brown, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, agave nectar. This pretty much includes all desserts! A small amount of honey is OK. Think fruit if you need something sweet
  • Processed foods - this includes protein bars
  • Unhealthy Oils - Vegetable, corn, canola, soybean, etc.
  • Alcohol
  • Soda (regular or diet)
  • Any sweetened drink (fruit juice, Gatorade, Lattes, etc.)

Ok, so now that you know the basic guidelines, what do I actually eat? Here is my menu of exactly what I ate for Week 1 with my grocery list. For the other 5 weeks, I will be eating a diet very close to this. Each week I will rotate my protein (meat) and switch it out, so I don't get sick of the same thing. I also will be switching out my grains. I started with sweet potato and will rotate with quinoa and brown rice. 

One Week Menu Example

Omelette with Vegetables & Sriracha´╗┐

Pre-Workout: Fruit and water
Breakfast: Omelette - 3 eggs, peppers, onions, small handful of spinach, 1/2 tomato, 1/2 avocado, & Sriracha (shown above)
Lunch: 1/2 chicken breast, 1/4 baked sweet potato, asparagus
Snacks: 3 clementines
Dinner: Ground turkey with onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli, and Sriracha (shown below)

Ground Turkey with Vegetables & Sriracha´╗┐

Pre-Workout: Fruit and water
Breakfast/Brunch: Omelette with ground turkey hash, topped with tomatoes and 1/2 avocado
Snacks: Grapes, 1/2 apple
Lunch: 1/2 Chicken Breast, 1/4 baked sweet potato, asparagus
Dinner: Chicken Apple Sausage, 1 link

Pre- Workout : Apple and water
Post-Workout: Omelette with peppers, onions, spinach, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 tomato
Snack: Grapefruit w/ honey
Lunch: 1/2 Chicken Breast, 1/2 baked sweet potato, asparagus
Dinner: Cajun Chicken Sausage with broccoli, peppers, onions
Snack: 4 strawberries

Breakfast/Brunch: 2 yolks 3 egg whites, spinach, peppers, onions, 1 turkey sausage link, 1 avocado
Snack: 2 clementines
Lunch:  1/2 Chicken Breast, 1/2 baked sweet potato, asparagus
Snack: 4 strawberries with honey, lime juice, cinnamon
Dinner: Turkey burger patty (seasoned with garlic, pepper, salt, and rosemary), with roasted pepper, onions, lettuce, and tomato (shown below)

Turkey Burger Patty with Vegetables´╗┐

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 egg white, spinach, onion, peppers
Lunch:1/2 Chicken Breast, 1/2 baked sweet potato, asparagus
Dinner: DATE NIGHT @ Black Angus
   Appetizer: Lettuce wraps
   Salad w/ dressing on the side (avoid all creamy dressings, only do balsamic vinegar and olive oil)
   Entree: Chicken breast and asparagus

Breakfast: 2 eggs 1 egg white omelette
Lunch: Spinach Salad topped with tomatoes, chicken breast, avocado and drizzle of EVOO, and balsamic vinegar
Snacks: Strawberries and bananas with honey and lime juice
Dinner: Protein shake and fruit

Sunday: (I am at church during lunch hours, so I miss that meal)
Breakfast : 2 slices of bacon, 2 eggs 1 egg white
Snacks: Grapefruit w/ honey, 3 cuties
Dinner: Quinoa salad with chicken and pineapple

Grocery List

Meats: Chicken Breasts, Ground Turkey, Chicken Apple Sausage
Vegetables: Asparagus, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, Red and Yellow Peppers, Onion, 1 Bag Spinach, Avocados, Tomatoes, Red Onion
Fruit: Apples, Bananas, Clementines, Grapes, Strawberries, Pineapple
Other: Eggs, Sriracha, Quinoa, Cilatnro

Tips for Meals

Be creative! I have found that I am being more creative with my meals than I have ever done before! If you are bored with your meals, switch them up. Look on Pinterest or Google for new recipes. Make your meals ahead, or at least most of them. I make all my lunches and some extras. I am constantly running around and this helps me stay on track during the week. It takes 90 seconds to warm up my food and I take it with me while I run errands or juggle kids around. Not eating during the day is the worst thing to do while trying to get fit. Making meals ahead of time helps me eat, because there are no excuses if it's already made.
Even though this is not listed on the "Foods to Avoid," try to AVOID increasing your salt. I know for me, when I am trying new foods, the first thing I want to do is salt them. Don't! I even went to the store and bought seasonings that have no salt in them so I don't even have the option. A little bit of salt is fine, but if you know that you are a heavy salter (like me) try cutting back while doing this challenge.

Week 2 Meals

Now in no way am I suggesting you do this like me. This is just how I plan on doing clean eating for the next 6 weeks. Make a plan that works for you and your schedule! Research what foods have the highest nutrition, and make meals with the ones you like. This is so easy that anyone can do this, it just takes some determination to want to feel better and eat right!

Linking up with: Practically Functional, Link Party Palooza, Sunday Funday, Fluster's Creative Muster, Snap Creativity

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Dollar Store Easter Decor

Posted by Devin

The other day our family was exploring outside and look what we found in one of our trees: this beautiful little bird's nest with the prettiest speckled eggs inside of it! It totally inspired me to get a jump on my spring and Easter decor and bring some of the outside beauty inside our home!
I knew I wanted to make something with speckled eggs, but I wasn't sure exactly what and I didn't want to spend a lot of money. So I headed to the dollar store to see what treasures they currently had on the shelves! I fell in love with the Dollar Tree's little glass hurricane candleholders, found some faux moss in the crafting aisle, spotted the little decorative birds, and I knew what I wanted to make! Here's what you'll need to make your own Easter Nest Hurricane Glasses with the White Bird Statues:
Glass Hurricane Candleholders - Dollar Tree ($1)
Tapered Glass Candleholders - Dollar Tree ($1)
Moss - Dollar Tree ($1)
Polyresin Decorative Birds - Dollar Tree ($1)
Spray Paint - Hobby Lobby ($5.99 but then used a 40% off coupon so spent $3.59)
Decorative Speckled Eggs - Hobby Lobby ($5.99 but then on sale for 30% off so spent $4.19)
Gorilla Glue - What I had on hand. Use any adhesive that works on glass.
For two Easter Nest Hurrican Glasses and two White Bird Statues, I spent about $12 total. Plus I still have moss, eggs, and plenty of spray paint left over!

I thought it was going to be tricky finding the speckled eggs, but I was really excited to find these at Hobby Lobby! They were just what I was looking for and the price was right!

Now for the How-To.

Step 1: Remove the stickers from the glass pieces and give them a quick wash.

Step 2. Glue the candleholder to the hurricane glass. I used a bit too much glue and had to pull it apart to remove some of the excess and then re-set it on. It wasn't a big deal because I did it quickly, before the glue had dried at all, but try not to use too much glue. A thin bead around the ring will cut it.

I looked from the top through the glass to make sure I had everything centered.
Then I set some books on top for an hour or so to "clamp" it, cause I'm fancy like that. ;)
Step 3: Spray paint the birds. I used Krylon Color Master in Dover White with a gloss finish.

Make sure to apply the spray paint in lots of thin, even coats. You only have to wait 1 minute in between coats, so it's not so bad. I applied 4 coats to my birds to get the coverage I was wanting.
Here's what they looked like when I was done.
Step 4: Put some moss in the bottoms of the hurricane glasses and then put the eggs on top.
And that's it! Once the birds are dry you are ready to decorate for spring! Didn't the birds turn out so cute?


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$100 EGG Baby Giveaway

Posted by Tara

Today, I've teamed up with these beautiful ladies to bring you a great giveaway, it will be a lovely gift to all moms and moms to be ! One lucky winner will get $100 EggBaby gift card!
To enter to win, complete the entries using the widget below. The Giveaway is open to all U.S. residents and will run for 1 week. Good luck and happy shopping!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My Boyfriend Jeans

Posted by Tara

I'm pretty excited about this post. A couple of weeks ago I won $100 gift card on Before I Shop. Every week I would enter my fashion posts to their website and had no idea that there was some contest for winning $100 per week. When they contacted me I was ecstatic!
I decided that I would get a few things that I have been contemplating. Boyfriend jeans was one. I wasn't sure if I could pull off the (slightly) distressed look let alone the cut of the jean. When I got them and  tried them on, though, I fell in love with how they looked.

I of course got ANOTHER floral top. I'm telling ya, I am loving floral right now. It's spring time and I want to show it, I guess! Ha! This top is light and sheer.

The gold necklace is a perfect piece for this outfit, or any for that matter. It's dainty and perfect for tops that are too busy for a statement necklace.

This entire outfit is from Forever 21 (except for the wedges). I love how I can go there with $100 and come home with a load of clothes! They have such good prices that you can't pass up! This entire outfit is still online, if you are interested. 

All I can say is that these boyfriend jeans are fun to wear, comfortable, and I'm ready to pair them with everything! 

What I Wore:
Floral Top: Forever 21
Boyfriend Jeans: Forever 21
Wedges: Target
Necklace: Forever 21
Blue Glasses: Fresh Picks

Friday, March 21, 2014

Homemade Banana Bread

Posted by Tara

Ever get a hankering for some banana bread?! Well, I do. I think I get it from my Dad. I remember as a kid, my Dad always enjoyed some banana bread with butter on it. This recipe comes from my Mom and I think she said a long time ago they had found it in a book. Not sure what book, but it's dang delicious and I thought I would share!

First you blend your eggs, sugar, and butter together. 

Then add your extremely ripe bananas. The more ripe the better!

I then combine all my dry ingredients and slowly add them into the batter.

It's not done yet. Add your buttermilk. I never have it on hand, so I make my own with milk and vinegar. The recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk so I measure out 1 cup of milk and add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar and that does the trick!

Pour your batter into your bread pans. Tap the pans on the counter to ensure there are no bubbles and they are level. 

Bake at 350 for 50 mins-1 hour.  I'm crazy when it comes to over cooking things, I really don't like it, so I always start checking a few minutes before the recipe calls for it to be done. 

And there you have it! Super easy and moist banana bread. When they are done, I allow them to cool on a cooling rack then pull them out of the pan and let them cool a little longer. I feel like the longer they sit in the pan, the harder the exterior gets. I like my banana bread super soft!

2 eggs
1/2 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
3 ripe bananas
3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
pinch of salt

Blend together eggs, margarine, sugar, and bananas. In a separate bowl combine flour, soda, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients slowly. If you want nuts, add 1/2 cup of nuts to batter.
Pour batter into 2 bread pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minute - 1 hour.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Easter Outfits

Posted by Tara and Devin

Did you know that today is the first day of Spring?!! Well it is! Woohoo! We love Spring and Easter and all of the pastels and baby animals and beautiful weather that comes with it. We also love switching out our wardrobes for our brighter and lighter clothing, don't you? And there is no better occasion to wear our favorite Spring items than a darling Easter brunch!

We recently teamed up with Destiny from Just Destiny blog to help throw the prettiest Easter brunch for kids ever. Everything was perfect, from the lavender tulips to the darling place settings and monogrammed lemonade bottles... you are definitely going to want to check out the party details over at Destiny's blog. And don't even get us started on the food. Jenna from Apples to Ziti created the most delectable dishes for this kiddo soiree. So delicious and beautiful, we're drooling just thinking about it all! To find out all about this sweet party, head on over to Just Destiny and Apples to Ziti!

To get the girls all dolled up for the brunch, we dressed them in the cutest outfits from DownEast Basics. We were in love with their lavender and white choices for this Spring. Don't the girls look so pretty?

Livy is wearing the Sun Sailor Dress dress in the Violet Stripe and we are smitten with the basic chevron stripe design and lovely color of this dress. The simple style and cut make it an ideal choice for active little girls. 

Neela is wearing the Green Thumb Skirt in White paired with the Jane Tee in Snow White. The bow tie print on this skirt is just too much, total cuteness overload! Both girls were not only beautiful, but also so comfortable in their DownEast clothing. Just perfect for girls ready to have lots of fun running around in the grass, but who also want to feel like little princesses.

What the Girls Wore
Sun Sailor Dress (Violet Stripe) - DownEast Basics
White Belt - Old Navy
Green Thumb Skirt (White) - DownEast Basics
Jane Tee (Snow White) - DownEast Basics
Purple Charm Bracelets - Created by Tara

Our boys were looking quite dapper in their Spring clothing as well. They were feeling very hip in their new duds and were happy to pose for a few snap shots (don't we all wish we looked this cool?!).

Chase has a very vintage feel to his outfit. There's just something about a pageboy hat and a bow tie that makes us swoon! And this striped chambray with it's pop of orange was the perfect choice for a Spring celebration.

Kade is our little hispter. We love his gray sweater with the navy check button-up underneath it, but the glasses just take the whole outfit over the top. Such a cutie! 

What the Boys Wore
Pageboy Hat & Khaki Shoes - The Children's Place
Striped Chambray and Bow Tie - OshKosh
Checked Button-Up, Sweater, Navy Shoes, and Glasses - Old Navy
Yellow Shorts - Target

And now for what WE wore!

Devin is wearing a very light pink skirt she found while thrifting, paired with a button-up polka dot blouse from Forever 21. Sandals keep this outfit casual and the pale pink necklace from Fresh Picks matches the skirt perfectly. Devin's clutch is also from Fresh Picks and the neutral color makes it a great addition to any outfit.

Tara's dress is from DownEast Basics and we are loving it's blue stripes and large bow. A coral cardigan gives this outfit a punch of color and this beautiful statement necklace with matching earrings from Fresh Picks adds the perfect touch of visual interest. Tara's super cute clutch is also from Fresh Picks, we love clutches!

What We Wore
Polka Dot Blouse - Forever 21
Pink Skirt - Thrifted
Necklace: Fresh Picks
Clutch: Fresh Picks

Striped Dress: DownEast Basics
Coral Cardigan: Rue 21
Gold Belt: Target
Necklace and Earrings: Fresh Picks
Clutch: Fresh Picks

Linking Up With: All Things Pretty, Fashion Informant

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