March Home Reading

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Get your March Home Reading Calendar.  With the theme, “A Good Book is Like a Pot of Gold”, make reading fun and meaningful with these educational activity calendars. Fun for all elementary learners, there are three calendars in this set. Pre-K & Kindergarten, enjoy coloring in gold coins and St. Patrick’s Day themed pictures for each day you read. 1st and 2nd grades, enjoy a good book and complete 20 activities then color March Home Reading Page! Grades 3-5 enjoy a calendar filled with fun activities from art to athletic and simple to engaging, complete 20 tasks for 20 days read. Have fun and share your work.  Download a digital copy of March Home Reading Here.

Our Trim Healthy Mama Menu

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Another week, another menu!  In planning for our buy week, I have updated our menu to fit our schedule.  Thank goodness for crockpots! Two of the recipes are repeated since I didn’t get a chance to create them.  Others dishes are family favorites and recipes I have pinned to try later. Have a most wonderful week, all!  Cheers to healthy eating and creative cooking!

Monday: Chicken Marsala- (S) from Bake at Midnite .  In order to make it fit Trim Healthy Mama guidelines, I am omitting the pasta and using baking blend with parmesan cheese as my breading.

Tuesday: Bacon & Brie Frittata -(heavy S) from All Day I Dream About Food. This recipe looks deliciously decadent.  I’m so excited to try this flavorful frittata!

Wednesday: Jalapeno Chicken Bacon Chowder (S) from Darcie’s Dishes. My oldest daughter is really into soups and this delicious recipe is a favorite of hers.  I do adjust the dish so it’s not spicy for my three children.

Thursday:Taco Soup (E)- page 103 in the book Necessary Foods. I’m throwing this recipe in the cookbook for an easy but flavorful dish.

Friday:Low Carb Pizza (C/O).- Friday is Pizza and a Movie for our family

Saturday: Butter Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole (S) page 56 of Necessary Foods.  The picture in the book sold me on this recipe.  I’m excited to try however, I know my kids won’t be thrilled with a casserole so I may put some chicken aside for them.

Sunday: Jalapeno Popper Turkey Chili (E) from My Recipe Magic is a family favorite. My husband requested this recipe to have leftover for lunches next week.

For dessert my girls have requested brownies. I had pinned this deep s recipe a while ago since it looks so tasty.  It’s time to give it a try and enjoy a dark chocolate treat!

3rd Top 10 to Try in Kaua'i

3rd Top 10 to Try in Kaua’i

~as recommended by a 3 year old Keiki

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Traveling with young kids to Kaua’i?  My three children have chosen their top 10 favorite things to do on the island. Previous post from the 7 and 5 year old’s top ten are published.  Now to highlight the 3 year old boy’s point of view.

  1. Beach-For a little boy, any beach with sand to build race tracks and water to frolic is a perfect beach.
  2. Tree Tunnel– at the start of hwy 520 just off of hwy 50 headed south west from Lihu’e towards Po’ipu is a tunnel of trees that C. loved watching the cars flash by.

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3.  Red flavored ice cream – Our favorite ice cream shop was Lapperts Hawaii. The color red (Strawberry), his favorite color was what he chose every time.

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4. Kauai Luau: The Haka along with the fire dance was why C. choose this in his top 10.

5. Chickens roam free on the island of Kaua’i much to the delight of my  young three. Young and carefree, he was never going to catch a chicken but that didn’t stop him from trying and giggling with delight.

6. Travel Journals– C loved his nightly Travel Journals.  he would circle the weather, activity for the day and draw a little picture to accompany his journal.  Than rate the day by circling the smily face. Now, after returning home, he keeps his journal on his bedside table.

7. Train Ridethrough Kauai Plantation Railway, this little train took the us on an hour tour through their orchard, showing us many fruits that grow and are native to the Hawaiian Islands. We even stopped along the tour to feed the animals.

8.  Airplane– Riding on each and every airplane was a thrill for my young 3 year old. As we boarded one of our flights the crew even let him peek inside the cockpit.  A glowing smile accompanied that treat.

9. Buying a Car with a Surfboard– what does a little boy buy for a souvenir, a car of course, with a surfboard attached.

10. Big Waves– watching the waves splash along the shore and climbing the rocks gave us scare but sure entertained him.

#1 Favorite Thing to do:

Play with my Family

2nd Top 10 to Try in Kaua'i

2nd Top 10 to Try in Kaua’i

~as recommended by a 5 year old Keiki

Traveling with young kids to Kaua’i?  My three children have chosen their top 10 favorite things to do on the island. Yesterday I posted our 7 year old’s top ten.

Today our TOP 10 is courtesy of our 5 year old girl, L.

  1. Snow Cones & Lilikoi Pie – My little sweetie loves her snow cones and pie.  What makes Hawaii’s snow cones extra special? The layers of course. Decadent flavors of ice cream in a bed of sweetened shaved ice makes for a delicious and refreshing treat.  L’s favorite flavor is mango to match her favorite color orange.   Normally not a pie or cake girl, my girl fell in love with the sweet, tangy flavor of Lilikoi Cheesecake Pie from The RIght Slice

2. Swinging Bridge- tucked away in the artistic town of Hanapepe, is a swinging bridge that terrified  the kids at first then thrilled so much they had to cross again.  L’s little mantra as she walked and balanced across the bridge, “No Fear, L, No Fear, You got This”. What made this town extra special was the connection to the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch.

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3. Chickens roam free on the island of Kaua’i much to the delight of my  young three.  One of L’s most treasured souvenirs is a small chicken adorned with a Lei who is now nicknamed HeiHei from Disney’s Moana.

4. Tree Tunnel– at the start of hwy 520 just off of hwy 50 headed south west from Lihu’e towards Po’ipu is a tunnel of trees that L loved so much she begged for a video.

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5.Hawaiian village of Kamokila– exploring the past through a reconstructed Hawaiian village.  5 year old L.loved feeding the chickens and exploring the town.

6.Allerton Gardens : The various gardens, flowers and magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Trees, featured in  Jurassic Park, along with it’s rich history and gorgeous views is tour that L. enjoyed (especially climbing among the roots of the Bay Fig Trees) .

7.Poipu Beach– with a secluded area for kids to play in calm waters and a larger area for adults to experience snorkeling, this beach is a favorite for my little travelers.

8.Kauai Luau: Dancing along with the beautiful dresses was why L voted this among her top 10.  Plus, we each received a Lai which made the experience even more magical for her.

9. Lava Lava Beach Club a spur of the moment decision made for a wonderful moment as we found this charming restaurant on the beach. We played games, relaxed on cozy couches with a spectacular view of the ocean and enjoyed a delicious lunch.

10. Spouting Horn located next to Allerton Gardens, is the Spouting Horn.  Water spout and sprayed from a hold in the rocks which reminded L of a while’s blowhole.  She was so excited to see the water shoot up.  Go early and they have venders with local crafts set up.

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Her #1 Favorite Activity:

Eating Snowcones

Top 10 to Try in Kaua'i

Top 10 to Try in Kaua’i

~as recommended by a 7 year old Keiki

Traveling with young kids to Kaua’i?  My three children have chosen their top 10 favorite things to do on the island. Our first TOP 10 is created by my 7 year old girl, S.

  1.  Pulka Dogs – Hawaiian Style Hotdogs.  While she went with just ketchup on hers, I personally recommend the pineapple relish with Lilikoi’s Hawaiian mustard. Talk about an explosion of flavor, this small “hot-dog stand” is a royal treat. img_3943
  2. Poipu Beach– with a secluded area for kids to play in calm waters and a larger area for adults to experience snorkeling, this beach is a favorite for travelers.

     

  3. Hawaiian village of Kamokila– exploring the past through a reconstructed Hawaiian village.  7 year old S. was so captivated she decided this was her new home.

  4. Active Play- Learning about the island took a creative spin as the kids acted out becoming an island chief, created a boat and alligator from tree limbs that fell from the storm and practiced her Luau.

 

5. Poi- made from the stem of a taro plan, this traditional Hawaiian purple food, although bland in taste for me, was a favorite for my sweet girl.

6. Majestic Waves- along the coast of Princeville and Hanalei Bay . Stunning views, a picnic lunch by the seashore and giant waves made this venture a memorable day.

7. Lilikoi Cheesecake- For my birthday I choose a lilikoi cheesecake from The RIght Slice.  This adorable little shop with it’s decorated outdoor wall served the most delicious sweet and savory pies.  The lilikoi cheesecake quickly became a favorite dessert.

img_44368. Train Ride-through Kauai Plantation Railway, this little train took the us on an hour tour through their orchard, showing us many fruits that grow and are native to the Hawaiian Islands. We even stopped along the tour to feed the animals.

 

9. Coffee and Noni Farms- The Kaua’i Coffee Plantation was a delcious visit.  A quick self-guided tour and a taste of local coffee, little S. learned the basics of how coffee is created.

We had hoped to take a tour of the Noni Farm, however we ended up catching a bug.  Luckily we stopped by a farmers market where they had a booth.  She enjoyed tasting the  Noni Leather, which has a distinct flavor and smell. Although I had trouble choking it down, S begged for another piece.  She also purchased a small Noni Lotion that works wonders on bug bites and eczema.

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10. Shopping- What little kids doesn’t like to find treasures and goodies to take home as a souvenir. What did she choose?  A laminated placemat that featured a map of the island, a beautiful “Moana” Necklace, a small musical instrument and a few other small trinkets.

To read more travel ideas, check out my previous post on science fun.

 

Her #1 Favorite Activity:

Spending Time with Family

Exciting News in the Rodan+Fields World!

Active Hydration Serum will launch in the Rodan+Fields line soon! Welcome HYDRATION, a product designed to make your skin act younger!! This one of a kind product can be used with all four of our regimens!! Stay tuned for more details and how are you can be one of the first to get your hands on this product!!!

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The NEWS is out!!! The buzz is electric and the beauty editors are raving about our breakthrough product that is soon coming!!!! I love this quote I found the other day and it’s so true:

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Now’s the time all, if you are ready for an adventure come and join me in this growth opportunity.  If you live in the area and want to learn more about Rodan+Fields products or considering a business opportunity, join us tomorrow tonight or message me! My Rodan+Fields Website

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Ocean Analogies & Other Science Fun

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Florida: Peninsula :: Hawaii: Island

Living so close to the beach allows us to play with comparisons and analogies.  Over the last two weekends we have ventured out to our local beaches where my three babies quickly noticed the differences from Florida to Hawaii. Ask them which one they prefer and they will instantly say Hawaii but then just as quickly amend that our beaches are just as amazing.

White sandy beaches along the Emerald Coast allows for a stunning contrast and a  welcome escape.  While Hawaii has cove beaches and a peaceful landscape that evokes tranquility. Anyway you look at it, both are gorgeous landscapes that are enjoyed especially right now in winter.  Here are some of the comparisons the kids have made.

  • Destin, Florida: White Sands vs. Kauai, Hawaii: Brown Sands

  • Florida: Palm Trees vs .Hawaii: Coconut Palms

  • Florida: Seagulls vs. Hawaii: Macaws (in a local hotel)

  • Florida: Long Flowing Beach Grass vs. Hawaii: Lava Rocks

  • Florida: Long Stretches of Beaches vs. Hawaii: Rocky Cove Beaches

  • Florida: Dolphins vs. Hawaii: Whales

  • Florida: Cold water in winter vs. Hawaii: Warm water in winter

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During our most recent trip to Hawaii we looked at many different comparisons to give the kids a sense of wonder and amazement at the difference they find in the world around them.  One such science lesson had us exploring a pond verses ocean life.  As we researched the pond, we watched a variety of different animal and plant life.  We examined the size of ponds & lakes and compared them to oceans and then analyzed salt verses fresh water.

Near the  Opaeka’a Falls and down a steep road is the little reconstructed Hawaiian village of Kamokila.  This little gem was a favorite for our family.  Guided by Ilima, this lovely artist took us on a personal tour of the village, playing her ukulele as we walked and explored each hut.  Much history was learned as she entertained us with stories about island life.  While on our peaceful tour we discovered the joy of learning without walls by sampling food off the trees, playing games, learning about local history and past plant based medicine (this sure helped with the pesky mosquito bites). This little village gave us the perfect opportunity to compare and contrast historical lifestyle with current practices.

Other science activities that our kids enjoyed on the island:

Kauai Coffee Plantation: Excellent self-guided or docent lead tours

Kauai Plantation Railway: Tour lead by an adorable train through the orchard.

Allerton Gardens : Well worth the entry fee, this garden with it’s rich history and gorgeous views is a garden tour that even our youngest enjoyed.

Salt Pond: Although not currently opened, the children were able to see the salt beds and get an idea of how it was cultivated.

Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast  Stunning landscape, makes this day trip well worth the drive.  Someday it would be fun to take an arial tour or boat trip out of see the coast.  With our young children, it didn’t happen this time.  However, the views are not to be missed, from the lookouts.

Kauai Luau: My kids one request was to take their dad to a luau.  The dancing, artistry and food was a hit with the whole family.  Learning about traditions, comparing the food and making precious memories made the experience so worth while.

Many discovery are made when learning without walls. In the next couple posts, I will blog my kids 10 ten must see/do things around the island of Kaua’i.

Our Trim Healthy Mama Menu

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Spring feels like it’s on the way here in Florida as today we once again head to the beach. But first, before we play, I wanted to plan our menu and be ready for the fun this week has in store.  This particular Trim Healthy Mama menu I wanted to focus on recipes found in Necessary Foods by Briana Thomas’ Kitchen.  Most of this week’s dinners will have a page reference to her book.  To see our full menu, click here.  After an particularly busy Valentine’s week, I am now ready to focus on my blog!  Get ready for some fun upcoming posts!

Monday: Spaghetti with carb friendly noodles(E). A personal favorite for my kids is Dreamfield Pasta.  Although, tomorrow I may try and cook up zucchini noodles in the air fryer.

Tuesday: Hotdogs (S)- for a healthier option, I usually choose Hebrew Nationals or another kosher option. To pair with our hot dogs, I will cook up some fried okra in the air fryer.

Wednesday: Eggroll in a bowl with Cauli rice (S) page 75 in the book Necessary Foods – an fast, easy and flavorful dish, this is a family favorite.  There are many different recipes on Pinterest and in the Trim Healthy Mama Book but this is a new for our family.

Thursday: Taco Soup (E)- page 103 in the book Necessary Foods. I’m throwing this recipe in the cookbook for an easy but flavorful dish.

Friday: Low Carb Pizza (C/O).- Friday is Pizza and a Movie for our family

Saturday: Butter Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole (S) page 56 of Necessary Foods.  The picture in the book sold me on this recipe.  I’m excited to try however, I know my kids won’t be thrilled with a casserole so I may put some chicken aside for them.

Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner/Leftovers (S or E) with all the delicious recipes this week, we are bound to have plenty of leftovers.

Dessert: Butter Pecan Ice Cream page 220 of Necessary Foods!  I can’t wait to try this delicious sounding treat.  Butter pecan not your favorite? Briana Thomas has a huge selection of ice cream flavor in her book and on her blog.

 

Our Trim Healthy Mama Menu

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Our menu is all cooked up for Valentine’s Week. All three of my children wanted to cook so I let them choose most of the dinners. I’m sure you will be able to see where my input was added. The Air Fryer will be used for many of my side items. Quick and easy to use, I finally have a way to make vegetable fries crispy.

For my sweet tooth, I’ll be making a batch of buckeyes with sunbutter in place of peanut butter (page 306 of Necessary Foods by Briana Thomas). Lemon Custard will be my special treat on Valentine’s Day and Mad Melba cookies are also on the menu (page 454 of the Trim Healthy Mama Book).

For our full menu, Click Here to Download

Monday: Hebrew National Hot Dogs with Zucchini Chips- made in the air fryer-S

Tuesday: Heart Shaped Pizza Quesadillas with Low Carb Tortillas -S

Wednesday: Chicken Curry from Blogger: A Slice with Joy

Thursday: Crispy Fish with Sweet Potato Fries -made in the air fryer-E

Friday: Low Carb Pizza -S

Saturday Taco Salad Page from Mrs. Criddle’s Kitchen

Sunday: Kid Favorite Spaghetti with Carb Free Noodles -E

Rainbows and Butterflies

Hawaii is stunning, with gorgeous cove like beaches and heavenly painted sunsets that begged to be watched, visiting the island of Kaua’i is comparable to entering a dreamland. Stunning views and a multitude of places to explore, the geography is a travelers paradise.  With many captivating memories imprinted into our family’s experiences, the two weeks were amazing.  However, not all of our trip was filled with rainbows and butterflies.  During these moments we tried to keep a positive attitude and roll with the tide.

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With a bad storm hammering much of the east coast, our connecting flights were tricky and our luggage was delayed by a few days. Upon reaching the island, we were utterly thankful to have arrived safe, sound and on the same day! Additionally, my husband traveled this leg with us and having an extra set of hands made an enormous difference. The stress evaporated making the traveling journey enjoyable. The first few days, frolicking around Kaua’i in winter travel clothes was a challenge. However, we were thankful to have a laundry machine and extra essential items brought by my parents and sister’s family. Ultimately, a quick shop for swimsuits for the kids and a summer dress for me, made the rest of the wait so much easier.

Normally a healthy eater, avoiding sugars and complex carbs, and addicted to my five days of workouts I unconsciously took a break during our two-week vacation. During our trip I overindulged with sweeties and enjoyed delicious dinners out (Who doesn’t love decadent macadamia-nut ice cream tucked inside a heap of mango flavored shaved ice). Moments of guilt plagued my conscience as I used swimming and basic hiking as my daily workouts. However, I could not seem to stop the sweet cravings and time away from my exercise.  Where as before I would allow my lapse to gnaw at me, this time I am not allowing myself to dwell.  Living in the moment and learning moderation is key as I move beyond the guilt.  Bouncing back to healthy eating and workouts came as we returned and wouldn’t you know, I feel more energized and empowered.

Our last couple days on the island, the dreaded stomach bug hit our family.   By this time, my husband and already left for home, everyone was sick and we were facing an overnight flight home.  All but one of my babies had their personal day of rest and I was dreading the upcoming trip, where I was sure my five-year old would come down with the flu. Three flights later and 11 hours in the air, my girl still didn’t show any signs of tummy trouble -and I watched her like a hawk.  Amazingly and ironic since she struggles with G.I. issues, she is the only one not to come down with the flu out of 15 people. We are immensely thankful to have made it home without her getting ill.

Are these the memories that I am going to let define a lovely family vacation?  No!! Memorable moments, yes, I can call them that but I have a choice now to turn them into fantastic self-growth lessons, learning opportunities and a chance to focus on all the amazing time we spent as a family. Looking back on the trip, we were able to see a great deal, spend much-needed time with each other and turn this vacation into a cherished memory. Within the next few blog posts I will explore some of our must see places on Kaua’i, discuss learning without walls, and share projects developed on the island.  There is so much to do and see in the paradise of Kaua’i Hawaii!

Finally, a shout out to my parents!  This trip would not have been possible with our my their support.  We are so very thankful for the gift of tickets, a place to stay, abundance of food and all your help with the kids (especially the  much-needed date night out)!  Thank you so much for all you do for us and our family!  You are both a blessing and an inspiration.