Archive for February, 2012

Will the snow ever end??


I don’t know about you but this snow is starting to drive us all crazy. The kids and I are all feeling spring fever and having a few new inches out there is so not helping our dreams of spring.

So lets all start thinking warm thoughts! I know some of you out there are not in the same situation surrounded by all this white stuff…..but I m sure you are still ready for spring. ūüôā

…sigh until the sun decides to shine and melt this snow, I will drag out the boots, warm mittens, scarves and snow pants. Totally ready to put those things away.

I will take this snow in a positive way and say…Lets have a snowball fight on the way to the bus stop!

Hope you all see the beauty that your day holds!

 

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Kreativ Blogger Award


I am so honored to be nominated for the Kreativ Blogger Award by the kofegeek!

I always find the kofegeeks blogs to be extremely entertaining and informative! Her personality is always portrayed in such a unique manner. This is the first nomination for an award that I have received and I am very honored! Thank you kofegeek!

I am excited to nominate 7 other artistic extremely talented bloggers out there who deserve this award.

According to kofegeek, this award has a special recipe:

1. Thank the blogger who gave you the award and provide a link.
2. List 7 interesting things about yourself that your readers might find interesting
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers, provide links, and let them know!

and to fulfill the recipes, here are 7 interesting things about me  ;)

1. I tend to be very spontaneous in my thought process, if I let my head go on a creative out burst it will usually hit so many topics I can’t keep track.

2.¬† I am terrible at remembering people’s names and if I don’t relate their name to an object or act I will most likely forget it.

3. I am extremely obsessive about my art supplies and how they are laid out when I draw. And I do not enjoy it when people touch my art pencils when I’m drawing.

4. I can relate almost every aspect of my day with a line from either a motion picture or Disney movie. They fly out of my mouth when ever the opportunity arises.

5. I am not a very good learner. Things take me a bit to catch on to what the heck is going on.

6. I love symmetry, yet abstract is completely intriguing at the same time. OOOhh abstract symmetry! Perfect harmony

7. I have had nic names such as Melon Ellen, Smellen Ellen, Elmllen (a mixture of me and my sis’s name) and Ellenora Roary Drawers.

and my 7 nominees for the Kreativ Blogger Award are:

     Inner Warrior Martial Arts is a self-defense blog for women and is extremely informational. His advice about self-defense and personal safety is more than just useful important information but it is a life saver. I am always impressed with his knowledge.

 

 

¬†¬† ¬†¬†Vikram Roy’s blog is a very versatile blog ranging from poetry, literature, articles and movies. He has a unique¬†mind and was one of my first followers. I find his pieces to be inspiring and ever-changing.

 

 

    mommydaybyday is a fantastic blog about the joys of being a mom day by day. I can totally relate to her in so many ways. Her stories of her kids and family life are uplifting and hit home on a lot of levels!

 

 

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†A Detailed house¬†is a wonderful blog about architecture and the designs of homes. Her “How¬†to” and “Do it yourself”¬†post are awesome and the pictures are great!¬†It makes me want to redecorate my house and makes me feel¬†able to do it on my own.

 

    Cook Every Day is a food blog about recipes and kitchen tips. I love food so this is one of my favorites as well. Her tips about preserving lime slices and making Carmel are awesome. Her simple pan sauces and puff pastry dishes are amazing and informative.

 

    dinutrition is a great blog about a nutritionist way of healthy living. All of her post provide wonderful information about the nutritional value of what is in the recipe or item of discussion. Great information and excellent recipes.

 

   kazualkreative is another fantastic blog about nutritional foods that are so good for you. One of my favorites that I am going to try next is Quinoa Peanut Butter and Chocolate chip cookies. I love healthy recipes and she has them on her blog!

 

Thank you to all my followers and fellow bloggers! I love reading all of your posts and am always impressed with your talents!

Movie Memory Time!


What is your favorite childhood movie? And what movie do your kids like to watch?

 

I didn’t start watching T.V. until I was in about the 8th grade. We lived in the boonies and didn’t have the luxury of television. Our power was run by a generator, we rationed our fuel to an hour a night ūüôā So instead we would listen to Prairie Home Companions on Saturday afternoons. Being from Minnesota it was a classic afternoon tradition for us. I need to remember to have my kids start listening to¬†Garrison Keillor and their animated stories of¬†“Lake Wobegon Days.”¬†

The first movie I saw in theatre was Beauty and the Beast when it was first released. I still have the movie stub! ūüôā

So needless to say that I loved Disney movies…The Little Mermaid, The Sword and the Stone, Fantasia and the Rescuers Down Under. I am also¬†fond of “The Goonies” which I bought for my kids to watch. They love it! There are so many others that my library is lacking. Time to hit the pawn shops and see that treasures they have!

Lets hear of some of your all time childhood favorites that you pass onto your kids! ūüôā I am sure you will have a few that I have totally forgotten about!

Finally getting over the Sickness!


What a time for sickness! Is it must me or does this crud not go away!

It has been a long week and a half and we are just all now starting to be human again. My son didnt get it thank God! My daughter caught a slight fever and a case of¬†“sluggish and tired.” Me? I got the full blown fever chills body aches sore throat cough head ache and a major case of “Couldn’t get my but off the couch!” My boyfriend got the same as me. Good times in our house. I am glad it didn’t lead to barfing or stomach flu!

So how have you beat, or not beaten, this recent spread of illness that seems to be sweeping the area? What was your most comforting food, and what helped you with those body aches?

We drank lots of mint tea, the hotter the better, with honey in it. Our lovely attire consisted of bundling up in a ton of fleece blankets, socks, slippers and hoodies. We ate chicken noodle soup, which was like liquid gold to the soul, and drank cranberry juice and water.

We watched a ton of movies and I have to say they were really good. In case you are interested they were:  Tekken, Real Steel, Unknown, Bunraku. So I am totally recommending all of those. I loved Bunraku it was so unique! Great movie picks for sick couch potatoes.

Hope anyone sick out there is feeling better!!

Remember¬†the comments¬†that are running through your head right now are what I want to hear! Never a judging¬†ear here ūüėČ

“What to do about Rashes?”


Squeamish¬†Alert! Those of you who don’t¬†like stories about rashes should step away from the monitor! ūüôā

My 9-year-old had a whopper of a rash the day before yesterday. It started on his back and chest the first day, then moved down his stomach yesterday. I called the doctor and she said that it sounded like a benign rash since there was no fever or sore throat. And if it got worse over the next three days to bring him in. She gave me a home remedy of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 4 oz of water for the itching or to use calamine lotion. She also advised to give him some Benadryl. Well I don’t like giving an antihistamine unless I have to so I skipped that part.

I applied a generous amount of calamine to my red skinned boy and prayed it would get better. Today it is looking a lot better. His back resembles a boys back and not that of a lobster with a sunburn. His chest looks clearer and his skin is getting back to his nice pale white tone. ūüôā

He is a blonde toe head to boot, and any rash or scratch on his skin looks horrific. I am glad to see it clearing up today, no trip to the doctors! Yippee! He doesn’t care for the doctors, and believe it or not doesn’t like missing school.

So I would like to pick your brains out there and hear what your remedies for heat rash and minor rashes is in your home. Any advice on how we can help them get over the itchy pants syndrome of a rash is like money in the bank!

I look forward to hearing your stories, advice and home remedies!

 

“Chocolate! A healthy way to snack”


¬†Delicate…Delectible…Delicious…Dreaming…Chocolate!

 

If you are anything like me there is no better satisfying treat than smooth creaming dark chocolate. Whenever I go to the store, I find myself stopping and drooling at the display of beautifully dark rich 70% Cacao chocolate. There is something about the way it makes you feel when you take that first bite…completely satisfying!

I have done my share of research on cacao and have been reading up on the benefits of this beautiful Cacao bean that originates from Africa. Africa generates 70% of the worlds cacao beans and is the most classic in flavor. Depending upon where the beans are grown, changes the flavor of the bean. Those from the Caribbean/Latin America the beans will have a distinct tasting notes in their beans.

Think of it this way: Africa is the cacao workhorse, producing a steady supply of dependable beans with classic cocoa flavor. The Caribbean and Latin America are the thoroughbreds, generating beans known for their unique taste and quality.

Now I could go on and on about the different spice notes, underlying coffee tones, and complex fruit flavors each region produces.

 But what I would like to talk about this time is the health benefits of Cacao.

 

 

Antioxidants!

The reason why cocoa and dark chocolate pack such a punch is because the antioxidants are so concentrated. Consider this: antioxidants known as polpyphenols make up more than 10 percent of the weight of dry raw cocoa beans.

As you can see from this bar chart, dark chocolate and cocoa are packed with antioxidants. One serving of dark chocolate has more antioxidant capacity than a serving of blueberries or cranberries.

What is an antioxidant?

By Wiki definition:

An Antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When the chain reaction occurs in a cell, it can cause damage or death to the cell. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions.

How do they work?

Antioxidants work by protecting your cells from damaging molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are basically unstable oxygen molecules that can trigger changes in the structure of normally healthy cells. This damage is thought to be an underlying cause of many chronic diseases. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals.

They say that a glass of red wine a night is good for as well and contains a great deal of antioxidants. In moderation of course it is beneficial to your health, as is everything we ingest into our bodies too much can be damaging to our systems.

This is only one of the benefits of Dark chocolate. The higher the percentage of cacao the better the chocolate is for you. Milk chocolate has a lot more sugars and fat in it due to the milk added and the sugar added for sweetness.

I recently got into making my own chocolate from 100% pure cacao nibs I found at my local organic Pilgrims market.¬† It is¬†an amazing experience to see it melt and form into a beautiful rich dark paste of chocolate that you can eat with a spoon. It is bitter if you don’t¬†add any sugar but that’s where¬†you become the scientist in it all! Add a little sugar,¬†or¬†chili pepper spice for a kick, and see what you can create!

Here is the recipe I found to make homemade chocolate. Enjoy!

 Video How to make Homemade dark chocolate!

Let me know how your chocolate turns out!

 

Information References: www.allchocolate.com

 

Children and Obesity


Deutsch: Agricultural Research Service, Photo ...

In our country today between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents are obese. There are over 300,000 deaths a year due to unhealthy weight gain, poor diet and lack of exercise. Consuming fast food on a daily basis, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and not drinking the proper amount of water effects each and everyone of us on a negative level.

I know this is a sensitive topic for many, but it is heart breaking to see so many children and teens struggle with obesity at such young ages. It is a cruel world out there for an overweight child. All of us know that in grade school and high school those children will get teased at the expense of their weight.

Last year while my daughter was attending Kindergarten, I saw a lot of little kids¬†that were overweight. The children were all running around the grass in front of the school. They¬†were¬†waiting for the doors to open¬†so they could go in and play on the playground. As I looked around at the little beautiful faces, I couldn’t help but notice this one little girl. She was smiling and laughing while¬†running with the other kids. After about the second lap around the¬†lawn she had to stop and bend over to catch her breath. She was overweight and couldn’t keep up with the other kids. My heart went out to her. Here she was only 5 years old¬†and unable to keep pace with her piers.

We as adults influence our children daily and their habits. Whether it be language, talents, health awareness, nutrition, eating habits, or confidence. There are many good and bad habits/qualities we teach our children repeatedly each day. They are like little sponges and will absorb all that is around them. If what they see is food from a window handed into a car all the time they are going to think that it is the healthy way of life. Families that sit down and eat a healthy dinner together at least 4 nights a week are more likely to have children who stay out of trouble, and respect what they have. Not to mention it shows them proper nutrition, how to cook fresh foods and encourages communication. Many children have not experienced fresh veggies from the farm, or produce section, where and how they grow, or the value of proper nutrition. It is up to us to teach our kids about healthy eating and a healthy life style.

My kids participated in the community garden this summer and were given the opportunity to see where their carrots, lettuce, spices, and berries came from. It gave them a great respect for vegetables and eating healthy . Not to mention witnessing the hard work it was to keep up on the garden all summer long to produce the veggetables.

There are many tools and a vast amount of knowledge for parents to prevent their children from becoming obese. It takes time and dedication for us to make sure that they are getting all they need on a daily basis. If we look at our own eating habits, are we eating 4 fruits and veggies a day? Is there color on your plates? Are you eating enough¬†protien and healthy snacks? It is a simple change in our daily life to make sure we are giving our loved ones what their bodies need and are made for…fresh healthy foods, proper vitamins and supplements.

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