Elf in Training Day 16

We continue our advent adventures with Day 16. Click here for a full copy or to print your own advent activities.   The categories we choose for 2018: Family Holiday Activity, Elf in Training and Workout Challenge.

Day 16 Tasks:

Elf in Training

1. Make someone’s day- tell a friend why you appreciate them.

Call, text or Snapchat a cheerful greeting to a friend.  Why are they special, tell them!

2. Take some time out to spend with a family member.

Today is Sunday and we are going to take opportunity to attend church then play a game or take a walk through the woods.

Day 16 Tasks:

Family Holiday Activity

Have a Pajama Dance Party

Cue the tunes, grab the PJs and Dance!

Workout Challenge

16 pushups & 16 Mountain Climbers

mt-climber

ELF IN TRAINING DAY 8

We continue our advent adventures with Day 8. Click here for a full copy or to print your own advent activities.   The categories we choose for 2018: Family Holiday Activity, Elf in Training and Workout Challenge.

Day 8 Tasks:

Kindness Challenge

1. Make and distribute a blessing bag to a homeless person:

Here are some ideas to include in a blessing bag:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Tissues
  • Baby Wipes
  • Bandaids
  • Disposable razor
  • Water
  • Nuts
  • Granola Bar
  • Crackers and cheese
  • Socks
  • Comb
  • Deodorant
  • A personal note
  • A list of shelters or food banks in the area

2. Find and Participate in an angel tree.

Our angle is collected and the shopping done. We are so grateful to be able to bless someone.

Family Holiday Activity

Play a Board Game by the Fire

 It’s finally getting chilly down in the south tonight. Who knew having a fireplace in Florida would come in handy. While enjoying the warmth from the fire, we will play a board-game with the family.  With a third, first and preschooler, our top favorite games are:
Quelf Jr. 
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Workout Challenge

8 TRX Pushups & TRX Inverted Rows

Back to the TRX Straps today with 8 of each exercise.  Take a look at the diagrams to see how we do our pushups and rows.

Elf in Training Day 6

Elf in Training Day 6

We continue our advent adventures with Day 6. Click here for a full copy or to print your own advent activities.   The categories we choose for 2018: Family Holiday Activity, Elf in Training and Workout Challenge.

Day 6 Tasks:

Elf in Training 

1. Meet and Shake hands with someone new today!

An encouraging smile, a happy hello, shake someone’s hand today and give them some holiday cheer.

2. Give away an Ornament to a Friend or Stranger

This falls perfect in line with our family holiday activity.  I’ll have the kids make an extra ornament so they can keep one and give one away.

Family Holiday Activity

Make  a Christmas Ornament

For a simple, kid friendly activity, I came up with this adorable ornament.  To make your own repurposed crafty ornaments consider the following materials:
  • Wooden shapes (found at Target or Walmart less then .50 an item
  • Felt shaped ornaments either store bought or cut your own. I found mine at Hobby Lobby 50% off.
  • gems, buttons or holiday stickers
  • glitter
  • glue, fabric glue and hot glue
  • paint

Have children paint the wooden shape and embellish with glitter.  Decorate with buttons, gems or holiday stickers. Use the hot glue gun if the fabric glue or regular glue isn’t holding the ornaments.

 

Workout Challenge

6 Hanging Abs

Today we add a bit of core strength into our workout with hanging abs.  Using the pull up bar, we hold steady and bring knees to the chest for 1 rep, repeating 6 times. For more core exercises to try with a pull-up bar, check out this blog posting from Redefining Strength . Don’t have a pull-up bar for hanging abs, use two chairs with arm rests or Equalizer Bars.

 

Elf in Training Day 3

We continue our advent adventures with Day 3. Click here for a full copy or to print your own advent activities.

Day 3 Tasks:

Elf in Training

Leave a fun surprise in a library book.

Perfect timing with library day for two my sweet babies. We found a fun bookmark and added it to their book for the next person to have a sweet surprise!

Family Holiday Activity

Find and Attend a Holiday Craft Fair

‘Tis the season for craft and holiday fairs.  In our local town there are plenty of events to choose from today. Now it’s a matter of choosing!

Festival of Trees

Festival Market Place

Hello December at the Farm

Christmas at the Bryant House

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical

Holiday Jubilee 

 

Workout Challenge

Three Side Lunges on Each Side

This year I’m adding onto my workout from the previous day. So far I have:

1 minute of plank

2 minutes of jumprope

3 side lunges on each side for proper form check out this illustrated exercise guide.

 

First Week in December Menu

First Week in December Menu!

This weeks menu is ready! We follow the guidelines of Trim Healthy Mama developed by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison and we encourage you to check out their websitebooks and various social media platforms. My new book, Convenient Food from Brianna’s Kitchen arrived this week. There are so many yummy recipes to choose from!

Menu

Monday: Lasagna Soup (S), Page 149 of the book, Convenient Food  Lazy Lasagna is a favorite meal in our household so this week we are trying all the flavors in a warm winter soup.

Tuesday:  Taco Tuesday! (E) Black Bean Tacos over Cilantro Lime Rice Page 157 of the book, Convenient Food.

Wednesday: Lasagna Cabbage Rolls (s). Page 76 of Convenient Food.

Thursday: Southwestern Meatloaf  (S) Page 65 of Convenient Food

Friday: Carb Friendly Pizza & Movie Night (S)

Saturday: Western Burgers (S) Page 112 of Convenient Food

Sunday: Loaded Stuffed Spaghetti Squash (S) Page 65 of Convenient Food

 

For my Sweet Tooth

Pumpkin Torte Page 408 of Convenient Food

Black Raspberry Cheesecake Page 420 of Convenient Food


 

My Recipes

New Pizza Crust Creation:

  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup baking blend
  • 1/4 cup psyllium husk
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning.

Place the both the mozzarella and cream cheese into the microwave for a 1 minuet and 1/2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  If the dough is to soft, add more parmesan cheese or baking blend until easy to roll out. Place the dough between to pieces of parchment paper. I prefer to use a fondant roller to stretch the crust or you can use a rolling pin. Cook at 400 degrees for 10 mins until browned.  Place desired toppings on crust and cook for an additional 10 minuets or until the cheese is browned.

Cranberry Chia Preserves is a recipe I created a couple years ago adapted from a Facebook post. This recipe is delicious, so very easy and done is less than 15 minutes!! Tart but sweet, this fall recipe can be used on top of bread, turkey or just a spoon full of yum.

  • 1 (12 oz.) bag of fresh cranberries
  • 2TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup xylitol
  • 1 TBSP Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • orange zest or 1 drop of orange essential oil, (optional)
  • a dash of crushed red pepper (optional)

Bring all ingredients to boil, simmer for 10-12 minutes. Store in mason jars. This recipe made approx. 1 1/2 pints. Refrigerate.

Feeling Creative try some of these other additions to the preserves:

  • A cup of frozen raspberries
  • A cup of frozen strawberries
  • A cup of frozen rhubarb

Happy Thanksgiving Menu

Happy Thanksgiving Menu!

This weeks menu is ready! We follow the guidelines of Trim Healthy Mama developed by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison and we encourage you to check out their websitebooks and various social media platforms. It’s Thanksgiving week!! Time for some cranberries, turkey and stuffing!

Menu

Monday: Roasted Turkey (S), It’s a little early but we have something special planned for the big day.

Tuesday:  Taco Tuesday! (S or E) Add beans for some energy and pair with low fat cheese or take away the beans and add some yummy cheddar for satisfying!

Wednesday:Pizza Chili! (E) See Recipe in comments 

Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving! Ham, sweet potatoes, cranberry and veggies

Friday: Grilled Hotdogs and Hamburgers

Saturday: Spagetti (E)

Sunday: Eggroll in a Bowl (S or E) page 63 of the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbookwith our own added additions such as water chestnuts, baby corn and sprouts.

Insta-Pot Pizza Chili
  • 2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 cans RoTel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
  • 2 cans of the following beans (Black, any kind of White & Kidney)
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons chili powder (depending on how spicy you like your chili)
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin 
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock low sodium
  • 3 ounce can of tomato paste.
  • 2 cans of sugar-free pizza sauce

Press Sauté button and add butter and onion and ground turkey. Once the onion and turkey has been cooked, turn off Sauté mood and add the rest of the ingredients. Close lid and pressure cook on chili at High Pressure for 30 minutes, followed by Natural Release. Open the lid carefully.

For my Sweet Tooth

For snacks, I have a lot of tasty desserts listed and I hope I have the time for them all! From pumpkin custard and brownies, to low carb truffles and Sopapilla Cheesecake,  I defiantly had a sweet tooth while designing this menu.  Thank goodness for Trim Healthy Mama’s sugar-free lifestyle!  I have my desserts and enjoy them, too!

Wicked Wizard’s October Menu

What to do when it’s Halloween and you need to make your weekly, make it goolish, of course!  Each family member got to choose two dinners this week. To make it fun, I had them write their food choice on a slip of paper with a spooky twist.  The three delighted in designing their creative menu items. Items include:

Menu

Monday: Mongolian Death Worms in Basilisk Blood (Spaghetti with dream field pasta) E

Tuesday:  Pumpkin Taco Tarts S (Made with beans, low carb tortillas and mozzarella cheese) Made with our new pizza creation as the taco tarts. *See Recipe Below

Wednesday: Devilish Delight (Chili and Bean Soup) E *See Recipe Below

Thursday: Slimy Pickles with Squiggly Mac Salad (Trim Mac Salad Page 181 from The Trim Healthy Cookbook)

Friday: Monster Eye and Spider Crawling Pizza & Movie Night (S).  There are a couple new recipe’s for crusts in the book Trim Healthy Table that we’ve been meaning to try!

Saturday: Mommy Dogs  with Witch Fingers (Green Fries)(S), Our green fries are simply green beans or zucchini strips cooked in the air fryer a perfect alternative french fries.

Sunday: Haunted Halloween Tea with Eye balls (deviled eggs) and Grizzly Gorp (Cheese and Wasa crackers)

For my Sweet Tooth

Pumpkin Gummy Candy I’ll be using the tart cherry recipe but with pumpkin juice to make these gummy candies.

Creamy Pumpkin Chocolate Fried Taco (S) 

  • Haunted Halloween Tea with Eye balls (deviled eggs) and Grizzly Gorp (Cheese and Wasa crackers) S
Insta-Pot Pizza Chili
  • 2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 cans RoTel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
  • 2 cans of the following beans (Black, any kind of White & Kidney)
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons chili powder (depending on how spicy you like your chili)
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin 
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock low sodium
  • 3 ounce can of tomato paste.
  • 2 cans of sugar-free pizza sauce

Press Sauté button and add butter and onion and ground turkey. Once the onion and turkey has been cooked, turn off Sauté mood and add the rest of the ingredients. Close lid and pressure cook on chili at High Pressure for 30 minutes, followed by Natural Release. Open the lid carefully.

New Crust Creation:

  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup baking blend
  • 1/4 cup psyllium husk
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning.

Place the both the mozzarella and cream cheese into the microwave for a 1 minuet and 1/2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  If the dough is to soft, add more parmesan cheese or baking blend until easy to roll out. Place the dough between to pieces of parchment paper. I prefer to use a fondant roller to stretch the crust or you can use a rolling pin. Cook at 400 degrees for 10 mins until browned.  Place desired toppings on crust and cook for an additional 10 minuets or until the cheese is browned.

Our Chilly October, Warm up Menu

This weeks menu is ready! We follow the guidelines of Trim Healthy Mama developed by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison and we encourage you to check out their websitebooks and various social media platforms.

Menu

Monday:  Pumpkin Mung Dal Curry (E) *See recipe Below then Add a large plate of Greens

Tuesday:  Saucy Stir-fry Chicken (E) page 72 of the book, Necessary Food by Brianna Thomas

Wednesday: Loaded Sweet Potatoes (E). So delicious and so very easy to make.

Thursday: Everything Bagel Dogs (S), Low Carb and flavorful options for your easy hot dog night.

Friday: Carb Friendly Pizza & Movie Night (S).  There are a couple new recipe’s for crusts in the book Trim Healthy Table that we’ve been meaning to try!

Saturday: Cicken Alfredo over Zoodles (S) page 72 of the book, Necessary Food by Brianna Thomas

Sunday: Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole (E)- Page 62 the book, Necessary Food by Brianna Thomas

For my Sweet Tooth

Cherry Crisp (E)- Reading through this blog post, I didn’t realize cherries had so many health benefits.  Even if you don’t create this tasty treat, I encourage you to click the link to read.

Pumpkin Bread! (S)

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cup Instant Oats
  • 1 cup THM Baking Blend
  • 1/2 Cup Sprouted Rye or Spelt flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Organic, Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Strap Molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey (optional)
  • 4 Egg Whites (or 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Swerve

Other Optional Items to Add to your mix:

  • 1 cup Finely Diced Red Apple
  • 1 cup Raisons
  • 1 sugar-free chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Mix together the dry ingredients: oats, baking blend, four, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, egg whites, molasses, pumpkin, honey and vanilla and swerve.
  3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, then add in any of the optional items.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325.
  5. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, scoop out a tablespoon for each cookie. Bake at 325 for 13-15 minutes then cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet.
Pumpkin Mung Dal Curry (E)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Mung Dal
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • dash of cayenne
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1st garam marsala powder
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tomatoes chopped

Directions:

Set the Instapot on the saute mode. Add the 1 tsp. of butter and onion.  Cook onion until tender.  Add in spices (cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg, marsala powder, curry & turmeric) cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Turn off saute.  Add the remaining ingredients (Mung Dal, chicken stock, pumpkin, almond milk and chopped tomatoes).  Cook on manual for 10 mins.  Quick release pressure.

The Teal Pumpkin Project

The Teal Pumpkin Project

 

A little food for thought. Halloween is fast approaching and our littles will be out parading their creative costumes and celebrating fall in style. But, what about all the littles with allergies?  As a teacher I had so many young ones with a variety of food allergies. Some broke out in hives others had sever responses that required a tag-a-long Epipen.  It really didn’t hit home until our first born started having reactions to foods as early as 9 months. Now our sweet girl has to carry her Epipen and we, like many, have to read the back of packages for ingredients that might cause a reaction.

A couple years ago I was introduced to the Teal Pumpkin Project and ordered bracelets to help support and spread awareness.  Over the years the project has grown.  So when a friend of mine posted a picture of teal pumpkins at her local Target in Florida, I decided to make a trip of my own. We are thankful that our local Target not only Teal Pumpkin supplies but also an allergy free selection of goodies for our Trick or Treaters. See a teal pumpkin on the porch in your area? Thank them for supporting allergy awareness! For more supplies, just type Teal Pumpkin Project into Google and you’ll see a variety of goodies for sale!

Target for the win!  Thank you for supporting allergy awareness! Speaking of food, we also found these savory costumes!

Week 1 Adventures

Week 1 Adventures

Monday: Life Skill- shopping List. Going grocery shopping with children is always a challenge.  This week I’ll have the kids create a shopping list for our weekly menu. They will be in charge of their list crossing and checking off each item.

Tuesday: Art ClassAberdeen Beads and Brushes hosts a Weekly Toddler Art lesson for $5.00.  Time to get and create!

Wednesday: Exploring Science make parchment paperClick this link to see a video of how we created our paper.  It was a quick, easy and fun craft that took no more then 15 minuets.

Thursday: Sports Day 7 minute Superhero Workout  My kids are in love with this workout!  Maybe add on a family bike ride?!

Friday: Cooking with Math. Summer Ice Cream!  If you are looking for a terrific resource projects with easy steps for grades pk-2, check out “On My Own: Art, Cooking & Life Skills“. We will be using this resource throughout the summer.

Family Adventure!

If you’re in the Southern Pines/Aberdeen/ Pinehurst area join us for Hanging with Hero in Downtown Aberdeen. We will be there supporting the local chapter of  The Green Beret Foundation.