Melon Popsicles

I made these yummy popsicles for our twins last summer when San Diego decided to have a heat wave which lasted most of the summer.  Teething babies and heat does not make for a good combo.  Wanting something healthy that would help ease their gums while entertaining them, the light bulb went off and these yummy (not to mention healthy) popsicles were born.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Melon, (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Water

DIRECTIONS:

Cube the melon, add it to your Nutri bullet, baby bullet, blender whatever you use.  Add the water and blend away until smooth.

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Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze.  I found these molds on Amazon for less than $15.

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Keep in mind you can make these popsicles with any fruit and even add veggies.

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Buen Provecho!

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Brussel Sprouts

I love veggies, however there are some which I steer clear from when it comes to cooking for fear of cooking a disaster.  This was the case with brussel sprouts for quite some time.  I signed up for the Farm Fresh To You delivery, and in my last box was a pound of brussel sprouts.  In my quest to not throw out any veggies and learn how to cook new ones, I finally summed up the courage to roast brussel sprouts.  I am every so happy I did!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1lb brussel sprouts
  • 1lb sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • Salt, pepper (to taste)
  • Dash of cumin
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Clean your brussel sprouts, cut the bottom stem and peel away the first layer.  Cut in half or quarters depending on how big they are.  Wash very well to remove any dirt. In a baking dish add the brussel sprouts, cubed sweet potatoes, garlic and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and an every so light sprinkling of cumin.

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Roast for 30-40 min or until all the veggies are tender.  As soon as you bring it out of the oven drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.  My mouth is watering just typing this!  The cumin adds another dimension of flavor and the balsamic adds a sweet & tangy finish.

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Buen Provecho!

Toddler Paint

I was searching the internet for a way to make a safe paint for our twins to use.  For the most part they’re over the everything in the mouth phase, but from time to time they think they should give things a try.  I came across various methods and ways of making my own paint.  This was the easiest I found, it’s literally two ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Edible aloe
  • Food coloring

DIRECTIONS:

Aloe paint

Add about 1/4 cup of the aloe to a container and 2-3 drops of food coloring.

Mix well, and let your little ones paint away.  See, it’s simple.

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The aloe dries like water color.  Your little ones fingers/hands may stain it’ll come off during their bath time.  Make sure you do not scrub their hands to get it off it could irritate their skin. The first time painting our girls didn’t eat it, the second time around one of them found it tasted better than in painted.

I purchased this large bottle of aloe on Amazon for less than $11.00.

Banana Pancakes

These toddler (and mom) approved “pancakes” are a nice and delicious change to the carb laden not so healthy actual pancakes.  I first tried these with our toddlers when they were around 10mo.  Although they didn’t exactly scarf them down they did enjoy a few bites.  I found them rather tasty and satisfying myself.  There are two simple ingredients and a dash of cinnamon to make these tasty banana-cakes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1-2 banana(s), ripe
  • Cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Add egg to a blender and banana, pulse for a minute or two.

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Add a sprinkle of cinnamon.  In a skillet over medium heat, add a little butter and pour a small amount of your banana batter, about silver dollar size.  Flip when golden brown.

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Serve these with a drizzle of syrup or topped with delicious fruits.

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Bueno Provecho!

Hallway Closet

January’s declutter project was the hallway closet, aka “coat closet.”  This lovely space holds so much potential yet becomes utter chaos when that potential isn’t known.  Our closet became additional storage where anything and everything was just thrown in.  It took about 2 hours to get it situated and that was with 15mo old twins needing to be entertained, held and fed in between.

Before:  (I feel the need to point out that there are only two adults in this house, yet we have about 20 sweaters/warmies in the closet).

Hallway Closet

The first step is to empty the entire closet, or at least 90%, if you know the big items are staying you can leave them in. In this case there are two big suitcases which you can’t see because they’re hidden  behind the pile of rubbish.  Let me also point out, that once you’ve emptied the closet, this is a great time to clean this space, sweep/mop as well as wipe down the shelves and walls.

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This wrapping paper organizer was a Pinterest inspo, using a shoe organizer. (This was the only organized area in this closet).

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After: You can actually see the floor! We had attachments for our Kirby vacuum which we haven’t used/had in probably 3 years!  I purchased a pack of 8 wooden hangers from Ikea for less than $6 if I recall.  I, now have 4 hangers as does hubby.  All the other coats/warmies can go to charity or be nicely folded in your regular closet. I was even able to bring some of my cookbooks out of boxes and into the closet.  That cute grey and white stripped bag is where I store the arts and crafts for our twinkies.

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Label and store everything in a box/bin, this way EVERYTHING has a home! Get into the habit of giving everything a home.  (Ikea’s wine cart is doing double duty as a shelf).

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Share some of your before and after project organization ideas! Cheers to a tidy and organized 2016!

 

Watermelon & Mint

Who would have thought that such a simple addition to fruit could completely change the taste and most likely how you’ll ever eat it!

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INGREDIENTS: 

  • Watermelon, cubed
  • Fresh mint, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Place cubed watermelon in a bowl and sprinkle the mint on top. Sit back and enjoy, yep…it’s that simple and I promise you’ll never look back!

Measurements were left out intentionally because you can make a small bowl or a giant one for a party!

Mission Organization 2016

Hello all!  I’m taking it 2 steps back today.  A few people have asked what my plan is (if any) in my organization and decluttering and/or do I follow anyone’s plan.  Here’s how I’m laying out my mission.  I have found that with twin toddlers I can’t really have a “schedule” because each day can be different depending on the wonderful moods of toddlers.  What I do is each month I write down what I want to accomplish and I basically give myself the entire month to do it.  For instance January is the hallway closet and garage.  I’m not adding more because for those that have seen our garage, you know it’s going to take probably half the month to clean out.  I’ve given myself a realistic timeline (again factoring our lovely little ladies) of 6 months to declutter and organize this entire house!

Write your goals for the month on your calendar, where you have a “notes” section, not on a date unless you know for a fact you’ll be able to do it on that date.  When the time allows get to work and do not stop unless it’s done.  This is difficult if your kiddos are awake, but if you need to take a break to feed, hold, snuggle, dance, sing whatever the case may be do it, but DO NOT stop until that project is complete or you may never come back to it.  Keep in mind that if you can’t do an entire room in one sitting then simply do  la drawer. Little by little will get you to the finish line.

As for ideas, storage solutions etc…Pinterest is a great place to start.  It helps simply gather your thoughts or gives you creative ways on how you can store and organize items.  TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Dollar Tree are all worth checking out for deals on storage solutions!

Best wishes for a fabulous and clutter free 2016!

Mission Organization

I promised I would share pictures along the way of project declutter and organize 2016! Here’s the first baby step we took in the kitchen.  It’s definitely  a Pinterest inspo!  Clear the clutter on your counter top and keep all your oils, salts, peppers, etc in one spot!

Here’s the before:

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This $9.99 basket from TJ Maxx created the after. You can keep your cutting boards in the basket or behind it for quick access.  For an even cleaner look stash them in a drawer.

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Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

I had been on the hunt for a delicious (and easy) chicken tortilla soup, and with the weather we’ve been having lately it was much needed.  I finally found a soup on Pinterest (my insomniac cure) and modified it my way.  Low and behold a delicious, quick and easy soup was born!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 can Herdez salsa casera
  • 1 can green chiles
  • 1 can black beans, drained 
  • 2 ears of corn or 1 can
  • 6-10 cilantro stems
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 Zucchini, chopped (optional)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Garlic powder (about 1 tsp)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Cumin (about 1 tsp)
  • Chipotle chile pepper (optional)
  • 4 corn tortillas, chopped

Chicken Tortilla Soup

DIRECTIONS:

Drizzle olive oil on bottom of crock pot add Chicken and all ingredients cook on low for 6-8hrs.  Add cilantro & 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

I added about 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream to mine the last hour because I wanted a richer creamier soup, this is totally optional.

Once ready, shred the chicken, give it a good stir.  Serve this delicious bowl of soup with cheese, tortilla strips, avocado & fresh lime juice.

As always, Buen Provecho!

New Year, New Goals!

Happy 2016 everyone!  Hopefully everyone had a wonderful and safe Christmas season.  Cheers to another year of new goals, opportunities, health and life!  What’s on everyone’s agenda for this year’s goals (aside from the popular “workout and lose weight”)?  Mine is to completely purge and detox our house of any unwanted, un-needed, unused items that are sitting around collecting dust and creating more work when we clean/tidy up.  Of course there are other goals and plans but this here is my big project for 2016.  I’ll keep everyone updated and post before and after pics along the way.  Hopefully I pick up a few tip and tricks I can share along the way.

Cheers to a wonderful and exciting 2016!