Apr 18, 2015

Going Green - Lime Green juice recipe

This past summer was really a turning point for me as I implemented a whole new healthy goal complete with a diet overhaul and a rigorous daily workout plan. Tired of feeling tired and ran down, I sat outside in the front yard one evening with some other neighborhood moms, chatting while our kids played together. I was playing with the idea of purchasing a juicer but still not convinced about the price or if I would even like blending my fruits and veggies together, so I was interested in others opinions. It seems as though everyone owns a juicer these days - but it also seems that not everyone likes to use it. I had to wonder why. I made a mental note, a promise really to use mine (once I picked one out) more than just once before I banished it to the appliance graveyard - that cabinet in everyone's kitchen full of once loved barely used appliances that were purchased with good intentions or while watching a tv infomercial. 

Yep, I could do this! I could be the person that drinks their salad rather than eating it! 

I finished the summer almost 30 pounds lighter, (it took me about 3 months) and in the best shape I'd ever been in. I'll compare it to being 15 again and running track everyday. I felt great and had lots of extra energy - something being a mom doesn't always allow for and I did it all the old fashioned way - just a green diet (I ate 3 meals, snacks and juice everyday, I didn't do just a juice diet) and exercise and to think it started with one simple green juice recipe! As time has gone on, I've created a note book full of scribbled down recipes and notes for different juice recipes. Sometimes they work out and some are just undrinkable. Trial and error! It's interesting when you find something that works, everyone wants to know how you're doing it and I must have sent out at least 50 emails full of recipes and my workout schedule. But I like the idea of adding the recipes to my blog and then I'll pinned them all to a board on Pinterest, that way I'll just direct people to one spot. Easy-peasy! (Plus I like to see a photo of each one, I judge recipes by the photo :)  

Lime Green Juice  

1/2 a peeled cucumber
2-3 cups spinach leaves
1 apple
1 sprig mint 
juice from half a lime 
1 guava
1 cup pineapple
1 inch peeled piece of ginger
1 cup broccoli*

Add all ingredients to a juicer and enjoy! This amount of fruit and veggies will make 1 serving of juice, or 1 full mason jar. If you dilute it with some green tea you could make 2 servings! 

*I know what your're probably thinking the ingredients were doable until you read broccoli. Here's the thing though, I add broccoli to almost every green juice I make because it's super healthy for you - high in vitamins A, K and D. Vitamin D is especially important for me as I tend to tow the line of a deficit. There is a trick though for drinking broccoli: make sure you have the freshest broccoli possible, it should be firm and not have a strong smell. I find that the firmer/fresher it is I won't be able to taste or smell it. Also, the fruit you choose for your juice will cover the taste, usually pineapple or apples will do the trick to cover the taste of broccoli. Still not convinced? Add one small piece at a time and then try your juice to see if it's something you will like. There's nothing worse than making a whole glass of juice only to taste it and not want to drink it. 

Now that it's almost summer time again and school is starting to wrap up, I'm preparing to submerse myself back into a daily gym routine and I'll admit I'm actually kind of excited about it! Living in the desert during the summer when temps can reach 120 limits the possibility of doing anything outdoors during the day. There's  really nothing to do but spend the afternoons in the gym - at least it's air-conditioned! Plus it just feels good to work so hard and be able to see results - it's vain but true. 
Do you have a favorite green juice recipe? I plan to hopefully add a new one maybe each week to the blog and I'd love to try yours or at least hear what you think is a winning combination of fruit and vegetables!  

Have a wonderful Saturday!! 
xo~ Tara

Apr 8, 2015

2 Tiny Photo books

Since Mother's Day is almost upon us, I wanted to get started making a few quick gifts for the Grandma's this year. I decided on the idea of making small mini album of the kids' photos from this past year. I love small albums!!! - they fit in your hand and they are super convenient to take along with you (in case Grandma wants to show off photos of the grandkids :) and you can make them in a matter of hours! 

I used this Gossamer Blue kit from March to complete Alaina's tiny book. I loved the pretty combination of colors and graphics - perfect for a little girl!   

 I made one for Chase too using lots of Basic Grey products. I tried to photograph his book but I didn't like the photos even after editing them. Using the same simple page construction as Alaina's book, Chase's book has a total of 12 pages with every other page as a photo page. I think his book took a little longer to make, I had arrange and then rearrange lots of little embellishments until they were just right!

Hope you  have a fantastic afternoon! We have plans to visit an outdoor museum today. I've managed to keep it a secret from the kids as I know they've been wanting to go and visit this Rock Garden. Adventure #2 this week - here we come! 

xo ~ Tara

Apr 7, 2015

Sears-Kay Ruins in AZ

I think one of the best parts of Arizona is it's history and I'm not one to pass up the chance to share it with the kids. On Easter, instead of having a big family event, we decided to fill some backpacks with water and snacks and head out to explore. Turns out just up the road is the site of a 900 year old Hohokom Indian ruin - 5 buildings of 40 rooms plus the courtyards. Unfortunately I left my smaller lens behind in favor of the larger one that I own so I wasn't able to capture the full lengths and dimensions of the rooms. (I'll be returning to photograph again later this week!) It's definitely worth taking another trip back to explore the surrounding desert again! 

Sears-Kay Ruin, Cave Creek AZ 

 These are pieces of red clay pottery left behind.  I explained to the kids again why it's important to respect the history of the land and to leave it alone so that others are able to see the same things we do. Luckily, they seem to both understand and are careful to not disrupt the area around them and luckily the people who explored this area before us must have felt the same way.  
Notice the person to the left of this huge rock! I've read some varying theories about this rock, all of which I plan to investigate a little closer when I go back.  

 Most of this trail is rock or gravel which makes for an easy but slippery hike in some places. At this time of year the trail is over grown with wild flowers and flowering cacti which makes for some beautiful landscape photography. I was really impressed with this site and the kids give it a lot of thumbs up! 

Hope you enjoyed the photos of our afternoon hike! 

Apr 1, 2015

Gossamer Blue ~ April

 I love the first of the month when I update my gallery over at Gossamer Blue! It's fun to see lots of little projects all come together. This month's kit include lots of Elles Studio paper and Simply Stories chipboard embellishments. The add-on kits though came with a variety of Crate Paper - Craft Market products - which are my personal favorite!(How could you go wrong with that much gold glitter!)

 I may a little early with this idea, but I wanted to start putting together a mix of things to take with me on a road-trip that's currently in the works. I used one of the Craft Market linen bags from Crate Paper and made a little 'weekend adventure' bag - full of things I can use on the go! 

You can never have too many gift tags laying around! Especially as we're getting ready for end of the year gifts for everyone involved with the kids' school year!

 Here's a super cute idea for Easter (there's still a little time!) Easter Bunny wands! I found a printable template and used the template to trace out a 'chocolate' bunny shape onto some scrapbook paper. I cut out the shapes, mine are backed with colored card stock paper, and then sewed almost all the way around the bunny leaving just enough room for a small wooden dowel. I used some extra chipboard embellishments to decorate the bunnies and I'll add a name tag to each bunny with the kids' name on them. (I wanted to make a few pink paper Peeps as well, I think they would be perfect in a vase with some flowers for our Easter brunch table!) 
I have a Pablo Picasso class to teach later on today so I 'm off to review notes and make sure I have all of my class samples ready to go! I hope you have a fun day planned as well and thanks so much for popping in this afternoon!

xo ~ Tara