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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Strawberry Picking

This past weekend we had a "what was supposed to be" a romantic Anniversary weekend. We enjoyed our first night away together. Then we started missing our kiddos so much, that we invited them to come stay with us the second night. We are such a close family, that it is hard for us to all be apart for too long. The weekend was the most relaxing weekend we have had in a long time. No baseball, no homework, no chores - just quality time together.

Before we left Carlsbad, we stopped to pick strawberries at a local farm. It is the perfect time to go strawberry picking in Southern California. To find your closest farm visit Pickyourown.org.

Lots of yummy strawberry recipes coming soon! Yum!












Monday, April 23, 2012

Game Day Charity Challenge Wrap-up #OdwallaCFK


At the beginning of the month, the kiddos started a campaign to collect baseball gear for an orphanage in Mexico. There are so many kids that need simple pieces of gear to be able to play baseball. Andrew originally planned to collect used gear from his team, but Tyler stepped-in and took over. Tyler was inspired after reading stories together about Champions for Kids.


He sat out on the street, and collected used gear from all the neighborhood kids on the street. For every child that donated gear to him, he gave them an Odwalla juice to enjoy.




He sat out there for almost three days, knocked on doors, and talked to neighbors about his campaign. The end result was a huge amount of baseball gear for us to ship to Mexico. 


Tyler's next step is to collect donations to pay for the shipping costs for sending all the gear to Mexico. I am so proud that my kids love giving back, and I hope that they inspire more children to do the same.

Enjoy seeing our shopping trip where we purchased some gear to donate at Walmart over at Google Plus.

 

Learn more about Champions for Kids on Twitter or Facebook.


This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #cbias. All our photos, thoughts and opinions are of our own.

Giveaway: Gutzy Gear


Have you ever heard about Gutzy Gear? They are these cool backpack strap covers with easy removable straps. There is no sewing required with Gutzy Gear, and kids can use their imagination to design their backpack straps with the cool patches available.


Ms. Ella brought a stack of Gutzy Gear backpack straps and patches to share with her favorite friends at school. Since she has shared them with her classmates, they have been swapping patches with each other. They have all be talking about what next cool patch they are all going to get.


Ella was sweet enough to save one extra Gutzy Gear kit to giveaway to one of our readers!

To enter to win, just leave a comment below.



For extra entries: (please leave a comment for each additional entry)

1. "Like" us on Facebook
2. "Like" Gutzy Gear on Facebook
3. Tweet about the giveaway as often as you wish.  "Enter to win cool @GutzyGear with @Glitterfulfelt http://ow.ly/asQw3 #giveaway #win"

Giveaway will be open until May 8th at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be chosen via random.org. Giveaway is open to winners worldwide. We were provided with Gutzy Gear at no cost to facilitate the giveaway. All our photos, thoughts and opinions are of our own.


Help a Mother on Mother's Day

Can you imagine not having enough diapers for your baby?


Sadly this is the case for more moms than we like to imagine. In 2010, an estimated 22% of California children lived below the FederalPoverty Level (FPL) of $22,113 annually for a family of four with two children.


  • 1 in 3 families in the U.S. struggle to buy diapers for their children 
  • Most free/subsidized childcare programs require parents to provide disposable diapers 
  • You cannot use Food stamps or WIC for diapers 
  • For many families in crisis this can mean being forced to choose between buying diapers or other basic needs like shelter, food, and medicine.

Help A Mother Out (HAMO), a non-profit dedicated to providing diapers for homeless and low income families, has launched a national Mother’s Day Call To Action with a goal to raise $30,000 to support the work to get diapers to families in need.

Help a Mother Out needs YOUR HELP!

Start your own fundraiser - You can join their efforts by starting your own fundraiser or holding a diaper drive for a social service in your community

Donate - anyone who donates during April 15 - May 13 can send a Mother's Day gift card as a lovely gift.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

DIY Pluto Travel Pillows #Disneysmmoms


We are getting ready for our big trip to Florida this week for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference at Disney World. We were sent a template to make these cute travel pillows, and I was super excited to sew three of them for my kiddos to use on the plane.


First I cut-out the template.


Next I pinned it to two sheets of yellow fleece.


I sewed around the edge of the template.


Then I cut the excess fleece around the sewing line.


Then I turned it inside out and ironed it flat.


Stuffed them with poly-fil.


Then I cut the face out of sticky felt.



 I sewed on some ears.


And a collar!


 Ta-da! Now the kiddos are all ready for the long plane ride to Florida! If only packing was this easy!

Here is a link to the template for making this fun pillow!


Celebrate Earth Day with Chimpanzee


Last week our family went to Los Angeles to pre-screen the movie Chimpanzee. It was a movie that not only touched my heart, but also the hearts of my children. The movie brought my family right into the forest giving us a glimpse of things we probably will never see in real life.


Disneynature will donate a portion of the first weeks box office earnings for Chimpanzee to the Jane Goodall Institute. The Jane Goodall Institute worked closely with Disneynature on the release of Chimpanzee. The institute has been working in Africa for almost 35 years working to protect chimpanzee habitats, caring for orphaned chimpanzee, and educating the community.


Disneynature will make a donation of all ticket sales until April 26th.


The movie tells the story deep in the forest of Africa. The story shows how a chimpanzee named Oscar becomes an orphan, and his journey of becoming adopted by the most unlikely "mother."


Take your family to go see Chimpanzee, and you might run into a few Disney Channel celebrities like we did!



We were provided with tickets to see Chimpanzee. All our photos, thoughts and opinions are of our own.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

English Muffin Tuna Melt Recipe


Tonight my son had a baseball game, and I was off to the OC Family Green event. I needed to prepare a fast dinner, while getting ready at the same time. Steve's Mom used to make this super easy tuna melt recipe when he was younger. It is important to me that my kids eat a lot of fish, so I decided to give it a try.

I had made eight tuna melts expecting to enjoy one when I got home later in the evening, but they were all gone. (a sign that my family enjoyed them)

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat english muffins
  • 1 can of tuna
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Directions:



Cut 4 english muffins in half, and place a foiled lined cookie sheet. Evenly top each muffin with tuna.


Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Then bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Serve with a green salad.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Authentic Hummus and Pita Chips Recipe


After I took a Moroccan cooking class, I learned the Hummus is so easy to make fresh at home. The best part is that you can control the ingredients that go into it.

Hummus Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 2 cups of canned chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 tea. of Harissa (spice)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Directions:




Add all the ingredients into a blender. Then blend for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth. 


Add more olive oil or lemon to taste.


Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle some harissa on top before serving.


Serve with homemade pita chips! You can find the recipe for the pita chips at OC Family Magazine!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Za'atar Chicken with roasted tomato Couscous recipe


Z - ha- what? It is the coolest new Moroccan spice that I purchased after taking a Moroccan cooking class at the Savory Spice Shop. Last week, I used the spice to make the most delicious pita chips so I attempted to try making a chicken dish with it tonight.

I have to admit I was getting a little (ok..a lot) nervous about making this tonight. I was not sure if the spices I was using were right, or if dinner was going to be a total flop. I actually found myself gabbing away with Popsicle Blog on the phone tonight, subconsciously to avoid making it.

The clock was ticking...the boys would be home from baseball in less than 15 minutes...and I could not avoid giving it a try. The end result was fantastic! I actually saw my husband go back for seconds..so would I recommend it? Absolutely!

Z'atar Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 Chicken thighs
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (plus 2 Tbl. for cooking)
  • 1 1/2 Tbl. Z'atar Spice (Savory Spice Shop)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbl. rosemary
  • 1 tea. marjoram
Directions:


Clean, and take the skin off your chicken thighs


In a bowl - add olive oil, z'atar spice, garlic, rosemary, and marjoram


squeeze in juice from 1/2 lemon.


And stir...


Put chicken into a gallon size bag, and pour the mixture in.


Seal the bag, and mix the spices around with the chicken. (place into the fridge for at least 3 hours)


Heat 2 Tbl. of olive oil into a large skillet.


Once the oil has heated, add the chicken.


Cook for about 10-12 minutes on each side (or until chicken is fully cooked). Then serve, and enjoy!!

Roasted Tomato Cous Cous

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbl. of olive oil
  • 1 cup of pearl couscous
  • 1 1/4 of water
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tea. of butter
  • 2 Tbl. of green onions (chopped)
  • 1 cup of diced cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbl. of parsley
  • 2 Tbl of garlic
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
Directions:


First chop the tomatoes


Mix with garlic, olive oil, and salt.


Bake in the oven at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.


While the tomatoes are cooking bring water, butter, and a dash of salt to a boil.


Once it is boiling, add one cup of pearl couscous.


Cover, and simmer over medium (while stirring occasionally) for 8-10 minutes.


Once the couscous is done - add parsley, green onion, tomatoes, juice from 1/2 lemon, and optional additional olive oil.


Stir! Serve warm or cold! Enjoy!!


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