It’s BACK! Free FroYo Day!

Is it wrong that I look forward to this every year?

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 10.37.39 AMFebruary 1st is National Frozen Yogurt Day and that means free Fro Yo at Menchie’s!

It’s from 4-7pm on Monday, February 1st!

Fine Print: The first 6 ounces are free on February 1, 2016 from 4pm – 7pm. Additional ounces are at cost to the consumer. Limit one cup per guest while supplies last. Flavors are available at participating locations, while supplies last.

This is going to be a great after school treat for our family! As more Free Fro Yo offers are announced for other fro yo companies, I’ll post!

DIY Frozen Pizzas!

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A cheese pizza baking away (and a calzone)!

We love Pizza. Probably too much. About 6 months ago, hubs bought How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food,10th Anniversary Edition by Mark Bittman. It’s amazing. We’ve cooked a lot of stuff out of it, but the best is probably the pizza crust recipe.

It’s easy -only three ingredients, but I usually add a few extra!  You can make a few batches, put a ball of dough in the freezer, and save it for when you want pizza, but are feeling lazy. OR- You can make a couple frozen pizzas (which I do once a month), and when you are feeling really lazy, you’ll have no need to call Noid or Cesar (wow, both of those totally date me, right?)

DIY Frozen Pizza

Makes 1 pizza

Crust (recipe adapted from Mark Bittman’s):

  • 3 c flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 2 t. yeast
  • 1 c. very warm water (90-100 degrees)
  • 2 T parmesan cheese (it’s ok to use the Kraft in a green canister stuff)-OMIT IF YOU ARE VEGAN!
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together until a soft sticky dough ball forms.
  3. Turn out onto a floured board or counter top and knead briefly.
  4. smooth a round ball of dough into a clean bowl. Cover bowl with a cool, damp cloth and allow to rise someplace undisturbed for 1 hour.
  5. After an hour, punch the dough, and turn out onto a floured board or counter top and knead for 2-3 minutes. At this time, you can roll the dough out and move onto the next step, or you can do a secondary rise (makes the crust extra crispy and chewy). If you elect to do a second rise, repeat step 3 and 4.
  6. After dough is rolled out to your preferred size and shape, lift into well greased cookie sheet or pizza pan. pierce the crust with a fork several times. This keeps the crust from getting weird bumps and lumps during the par-baking.
  7. Par-bake crust for 3-5 minutes. Allow crust to cool completely.

Now that you have cooled par-baked crust, it’s time to get topping! Transfer the pizza to a large piece of aluminum foil.

  • 1 cup or so of sauce, your choice
  • 1-2 c. cheese
  • Assorted toppings (precooked meats, veggies, fruit, herbs, etc)

Top the pizza as you like,, wrap the foil around the pizza, loosely around the top of the pizza so you don’t squash the toppings. Place in a large freezer zip top bag (don’t forget to label what kind of pizza it is) and freeze. pizzas should freeze at least 24 hours before cooking.

To heat, bake pizzas at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes

IMG_2938Some of our favorite pizzas include:

  • Gyro (Sprouts sells it wit hthe pre-sliced deli meat!), feta, and spinach
  • Caramelized onions and peppers and sliced meatballs with cheese
  • whatever veggies we have in the house (broccoli, spinach, onions, peppers) topped  with cheese
  • chicken, bacon, and pepper jack cheese

 

You can substitute in whatever your fav crust is, whatever sauce, cheese, and toppings you like! And because the pizzas are room temp/cooled when you top them, it’s a great opportunity for kids to help assemble pizzas. These pizzas are a frugal way to have a yummy dinner- Each pizza costs about $3.00 and feeds the three of us!

 

 

Healthy Recipe: Pumpkin Protein Shake!

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We drink a lot of protein shakes. I have 1-2 a day. They help me stay full and keep me out of the fridge, and they give me the energy I need to wrangle the munchkins.

This is an easy, yummy recipe- especially if you like pumpkin!

Pumpkin Protein Shake

Makes 1 shake

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop or pouch vanilla protein powder/protein shake (we use HMR 120)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not the canned pumkpin pie filling, but the plain canned pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup water (You can add up to an additional 1/2 c. if you want your shake thinner)
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes (You can add more if you like your shake thicker)
  • 2 T. sugar free butterscotch pudding powder
  • 1 T. sugar free vanilla syrup (like Torani)
  • cinnamon & nutmeg to taste

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender or magic bullet and blend for 1-2 minutes, or until all ingredients are blended and ice is broken down.
  2. Serve immediately.

Modifications:

  • If you do not use protein powder, substitute 1/2 c. fat free plain greek yogurt, and reduce water to 1/3 c.
  • If you are vegan, use soy yogurt (like Silk Brand).
  • If you have an ice cream maker, pour the mixer into the ice cream maker and use machine as directed for yummy pumpkin ice cream!

Calories for base recipe with no modifications: 225 Calories

Schoola: $20 for You. $20 for your Friend. + $25 Gift Card to Amazon

I love Schoola, so I’m stoked to hear about their latest promotion!unspecified

Check it:  $20 for You. $20 for your Friend. 40% to Schools. + $25 Gift Card to Amazon

In the month of January 2016, refer at least 3 friends and Schoola email you a $25 gift card to Amazon. WOOO HOOO!!

To get started, click here. New to Schoola- that’s cool too. Sign up here and score $20 in new to you clothes for you, or your kiddos!

Here is a photo of Birdie in her latest Schoola outfit (and her forever photo bombing brother):

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Sensible Swap: PB Cup Shake

It’s really hard to lose weight and eat well, especially when there are restaurants like Sonic Drive-In. They have these yummy, thick rich shakes and blasts (which is soft serve ice cream with cookies or candy mixed in and topped with whipped cream), but good lord, do they have tons of calories.

This recipe is a Swap. We swap out stuff with crazy high calories for lower calories ingredients to make a yummy, less calorically dense treat. For reference, a MINI Reese’s Cup Sonic Blast is 580 calories and is about 8 ounces (oh, yeah, they come in four other, progressively larger sizes!). The HMR recipe is 380 calories, and the Swap version is between 380-420 calories depending on which brand of light ice cream you use. Oh, and the recipe makes about 20 ounces! Hooray for more volume and less calories!

I’ve included two versions: One with HMR ingredients (you can substitute your favorite brand of vanilla protein powder and PB Protein Bar), and one using ingredients from the grocer.

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Peanut Butter Cup Shake
Makes 1 large shake (or I guess you could split it and share, but trust me, you won’t want to!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet Vanilla HMR Shake (or scoop if you use the 120 version)
  • 2 Tablespoons PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter(I used the choc. PB2, it’s all we had)
  • 1 HMR Chocolate Peanut bar, chopped into small, bite-sized pieces and frozen
  • 2 handfuls of ice cubes
  • 10 oz water
  • Optional, but yummy: 3 T. Walden Farms Chocolate Syrup

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender, except for the syrup
  2. Blend on medium until all ingredients are incorporated. Mixture should be thick and frosty.
  3. Swirl the syrup in a cold glass.
  4. Pour shake into cup and serve with both a spoon and a straw.
Freaking Delish! I have one of these about once a week!

Here is the second recipe, for those who just want to eat a little better:

Peanut Butter Cup Shake
Makes 1 large shake

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Fat Free Vanilla ice cream (Your favorite brand)
  • 2 handfuls of ice cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter
  • 1 Atkins Endulge Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, chopped into small, bite-sized pieces and frozen (there are two in each serving- if you want your shake extra yummy, you could use both of them)
  • Optional, but yummy: 3 T. Walden Farms Chocolate Syrup

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender, except for the syrup
  2. Blend on medium until all ingredients are incorporated. Mixture should be thick and frosty.
  3. Swirl the syrup in a cold glass.
  4. Pour shake into cup and serve with both a spoon and a straw.

We have both a  Ninja NJ600 Pro Blender and a Magic bullet.  The Magic Bullet is great for making shakes at the office (for hubs) and the Ninja is great for making multiple shakes at once at home.

Enjoy The Great Outdoors at Mission Trails Regional Park!

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Exploring the Dam is one of our favorite activities!

IMG_2796When I was a kid, my dad took my brother and I hiking a lot. We had all kinds of fun adventures, but I always loved Mission Trails Regional Park, specifically Old Mission Dam.

As Lil’ Man gets bigger, we are looking for more fun outdoor adventures. This last rain storm would be the catalyst for two days of big outdoor fun.

Friday, we loaded up and headed over to to dam. The past week of rain has really changed our usual path, so we got to explore some areas we’d never seen together.

IMG_2833It was a great chance for him to check out new trails, see erosion in action, splash in the cold stream water (there were a couple times we had to jump over streams to continue on, and well, we didn’t quite make it!), and see shells. There are a lot of little fresh water clams that make the river their home, as a result, we saw lots of shells!

We climbed, discovered, and navigated our way through the park for about 2 hours. IMG_2817By far the most exciting thing we found was an old, rusted car that had been shot at many, many times in the past. When you area four year old boy, nothing is more exciting than a rusty old car.

After stopping for snacks and water, we continued on to explore nature and hopefully find some cool rocks (another favorite pastime).IMG_2818

On Saturday, we headed over after lunch to the Visitor & Interpretive Center. It was closed, but we checked out the nature flora and the amphitheater. Then we did the loop around the center. It was a fun, easy walk (no pictures, we were too busy exploring).

It’s a quick 1 mile loop with a couple foot bridges and it overlooks the river, which is “raging” (as much as it can here) right now.

If you are in the San Diego area and haven’t been to Mission Trails Regional Park, you are missing out. There is tons of fun to be had and nature to explore. There are paths and trails for every skill level, and there is even a paved path along Father Junipero Serra Trail if you aren’t feeling adventurous, but still want to get outside. Parking is free, admission to the park and Visitor & Interpretive Center is free (but they do accept donations!). Most paths, except the paved road are not stroller friendly. Most paths are bike and/or Equine friendly, and leashed dogs are welcome.

And of course what better IMG_2835way to end a fun day of hiking, than with a little park yoga:

 

Review: Coobie Seamless Bra

UGH. I hate writing less than stellar reviews, but Ya’ll need to know. I teased the review about the Coobie Seamless Bras here.

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I promised no photos of me parading around in my bra, so I’m not parading. And I’ve cropped out my naked, pale flesh.

Well, I’m not impressed. The ladies on the website must either all have had really good breast lifts or have not breast fed two babies because the Coobie is NOT supportive. I couldn’t exercise in it, and by the end of the day, my poor ol’ boobs hurt. Adjusting the straps didn’t give me any extra “lift”.

Hubs remarked that I had a “uni-boob”, which ya know, no one wants to hear.

I had to remove the triangular shaped pads on each side as well. They looked like they were for the smaller size bra (oh, Coobie Bras only come in two sizes), and sat super weird on my breasts, almost giving them a lopsided cone shape. There is an opening inside the bra under each arm for removal.

So, there ya go. They didn’t work for my floppy mom boobs, but if you have naturally perky, pert boobs, the Coobie Seamless Bra may be for you.

 

Thanks to USFG and Coobie for giving me the opportunity to review the Coobie Seamless Bra. I received it for free to facilitate my review.