9.01.2014

Homemade Blueberry & Apple Fruit Roll Ups #RealFood

Looking for something healthy & fun to add to the kids lunches?  Skip the sugar-packed and chemical laden store bought treats and make your own.  My homemade Blueberry & Apple Fruit Roll Ups are a hit with the kids, super easy to make & have only 4 ingredients!!

Homemade Blueberry & Apple Fruit Roll Ups

Ingredients:

1 cup Apple Sauce
2 cups Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp Pure Vanilla
2 tsp Maple Syrup

Instructions: 

Place all the ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth. My Vitamix makes short work of the berries and creates a gorgeous smooth sauce.

Divide the mixture on to 2 fruit leather sheets for your dehydrator and spread it out so you have a nice even layer across the entire sheet.  I have a Nesco FD-80 dehydrator that works perfectly for these yummy treats.  Set your dehydrator to 135 degrees and walk away.  The fruit roll ups will take anywhere from 5-9 hours depending on how wet your mixture is.  You'll know when they are ready when there are no sticky spots left on your fruit roll ups.


Remove from trays and slice into strips!  And that's it.  They will keep in an air tight container for a week or two.  If they last that long!


My Blueberry & Apple Fruit Roll Ups are perfect for lunches but also make great on the go snacks; keep a few in your bag for snack emergencies!

8.29.2014

Falling for Autumn #Fashion #Trends

Since my Ragweed allergies are in full swing I am desperately seeking the change of seasons.  Those cool, crisp, clear days full of sunshine and Autumn colours can't come fast enough.  So I figured what better way to wallow in my own itchy, runny nosed sorrows than to dream of lovely Fall fashions and designs!

Falling for Autumn
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Falling for Autumn by myhippiehome featuring Tribal print cardigan

I love the Tribal & Aztec prints on cozy sweaters.  Using a scarf is the perfect way to add a splash of colour without going overboard or breaking the bank!  Rich browns and jewel tones are great for adding some depth to an outfit and are perfect colours for the season.

Oooh I can't wait to bust out my favourite  jeans and sweaters and ditch the box of Kleenex!  What are your favourite Autumn items that you're itching to pull out of the closet?

 
 

8.27.2014

Running Is My Paramour

I have a confession to make...

I haven't been faithful and I have been stepping out with another....and he's called Running. Yes, I know that may sound kind of ridiculous, but I've come to realize Running is my Don Juan, my gigolo, my lover.

photo credit: San Diego Shooter via photopin cc
 I've recently returned to my old flame after a few years apart.  This will be the third time we've gotten back together after calling it quits.  Mostly because I was pregnant, giving birth or nursing a child.  But alas, that is all over with and I'm free to engage in some outside activities.

I was first introduced to Running by my friend Sarah.  She had met him online and while fighting cancer she found some solace in his embrace.  She thought that he & I might really hit it off and introduced us.  This lead to an on going fling.  There were so many highs and I couldn't believe how good Running made me feel; free, joyous, empowered. But then my friend Sarah lost her battle with cancer.  After that, I couldn't bare look at Running and so we parted ways, never to speak again.

Fast forward a couple years and one child later and I was re-introduced to Running by another friend coincidentally named Sarah. It was like we hadn't missed a beat and we picked up right where we left off.  Running made me laugh and cry and feel like a totally different person.  It was to the point where things got pretty serious and we even joined races.  But as good as running made me feel I knew that I needed more; I couldn't just leave my family and run.  Once again, I was pregnant and expecting my second daughter and thought it best to call things off before we got in too deep.

Over the next couple years I thought about Running often; how well we complimented each other; how in a matter of minutes he could make me feel strong, confident and beautiful. I reminisced of the days we spent together; stealing away for sunset jogs and sneaking out for a sunrise dash before anyone awoke. Glorious.

Before long, our paths would cross again.  My friend Shannon recently re-introduced us and it was magical.  I fell completely under Running's spell and we have been inseparable ever since; meeting three, sometimes four times a week!  We just can't seem to get enough of each other.  Running has brought out some things in me I thought had disappeared a long time ago.

The best part is, my husband has met Running and approves of our relationship.  His main concern is that I don't get hurt and I think we can all agree to that.

Well, it's no secret anymore...

My name is Jennifer & I'm having an affair...with Running!
 
 

8.25.2014

10 Ways Keep Your Cool During #BacktoSchool

Here in our neck of the woods school will be starting in just over a week and we are trying to get all our ducks in a row for the big day.  But I'm also trying to keep things simple and easy and frugal.  It's easy to go over board with back to school stuff & get stressed out trying to make it to the first day of school.  But is it really necessary?  Here's a few tips I've put together to help you keep your cool before school.

September - back to work - back to school - back to BOOKS / V. Donaghue. Chicago : Illinois WPA Art Project, [1940]

10 Ways to Keep Your Cool During #BacktoSchool

  1. Budget - It's pretty easy to let things get out of hand with all those cute clothes and gear for your kiddos.  You can easily drop a lot of cash without a budget, so make a realistic number for each kid and stick to it.  Your bank and conscience will thank you!
  2. Lists and More Lists - the only sure way to stick to your budget is to have a list. If it's not on the list, then don't get it.  Plus, every grade seems to require different items so keeping organized will help your from pulling out your hair.
  3. Keep it Fun - do you need some new threads for the kids or supplies? Rather than making it a chore or dragging around your brood from store to store, make it a special treat.  If you kids are old enough, give them their lists and their money and let them pick out their gear. Why not make it a contest to see who can complete their list on budget?!
  4. Less Is More - do your kids need all the latest fashions and gear? This is definitely something you need to ask yourself -  do they want it or need it or do YOU want them to have it? Yes, you need to provide things for your kids, but do they still have clothes that still fit and gear that is still in good shape? Then why not keep using it? My daughter's backpack still has lots of life left in it so she'll be using it again this year.  And besides, its good for the environment and your wallet!
  5. Get Back in the Routine - yes, we have the last long weekend of the summer coming up, but you'll be much better prepared for the first day of school if you work on getting the kids back into their routines now. Slowly get them to bed earlier each night and up earlier each morning and you will all be much happier come next week.
  6. Be Happy - is it your little ones first year at school? Why not celebrate that huge milestone? Rather than feeling sad and lonely that your tiny tot is grown bigger, try and be happy and get them excited about this huge step! It will make that first day much easier on the both of you if you're jazzed for them to go. 
  7. Practice Makes Perfect - is school a new thing to you or your kiddos? Did you move and now your little ones are going to a new school? Make the adjustment much less stressful by practicing their school day routine.  If you're in walking distance, try walking to the school complete with backpacks and show your child where they will be going, what their school looks like and all the fun things to see on the way.  If they are taking the bus, why no make it part of your routine to walk to the bus stop to show them where they will get picked up and dropped off.
  8. Kids Like to Help - rather than stressing over the perfect lunch or the best first day of school outfit, why not let you kids do it? Having your children pack their own lunches or pick out their own clothes will make for less morning stress and plus they are way more likely to eat what they made and wear what they picked out. Score!
  9. Celebrate the Summer - sorry, but it's true...summer is almost over.  Rather than having your kids moping around because their holiday is almost over, why not throw a Goodbye Summer celebration? It doesn't have to be huge or expensive, just something fun & exciting that your kids LOVE! Maybe it's a water balloon fight, a backyard BBQ or campfire or a final beach day.  Let them send off their summer with a bang!
  10. Deep Breaths -as much as we all want things to go smoothly, inevitably something will happen that we can't control.  So take a few cleansing breaths, and let it go. You can get though it and so can your kids. Embrace the change and the challenges!

8.23.2014

10 Things That Make Me Happy

I feel especially grateful today so I'm going to do some sharing. Sometimes we just need to remember those little things, the ones that put a smile on our faces...



10 Things That Make Me Happy

- Warm sand between my toes

- Baby Animals - kittens, chicks, puppies etc...

- The sound of my kids playing together

-Fiery Sunsets

- Painting

- Running my butt off

- Singing in the car when you think no one is watching

- Wilderness - trees, water & quiet

- My husband on guitar

- Panzerotti


What makes you happy?
 
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