Sunday, June 30, 2013

Quinoa Fried Rice... Without the Rice

My family is about to go on vacation, so I have been cleaning out our fridge! What to do with all of those fresh veggies before we leave??? So I decided to make Fried Rice, by substituting the "rice" with Quinoa. It turned out so well! I'm excited there are leftovers so I can eat the rest for lunch tomorrow after my run!

I followed this recipe I found on Pinterest. But I made a few adjustments based on all the veggies I had in my fridge. You could really add just about anything you like to this dish - the teriyaki sauce will make it all taste delicious, even to those "picky eaters"!


1 cup cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups water or chicken stock (I used water)
1/4 cup small onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 scallions, chopped and divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 eggs, lightly scrambled and still raw
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 1/2 tbsp. teriyaki sauce
2 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
3/4 tsp. sesame oil

1. Cook quinoa according to directions.
2. Mix teriyaki, soy sauce and sesame oil together in a bowl and set it aside.
3. Heat 1/2 tbsp. olive oil to a large pan. Add onion and carrot, cook about 2 min. Add ginger, garlic and scallions, cook for another 2 min. Add 1/2 tbsp. olive oil and the quinoa. Stir fry for about 2 min.
4. Add sauce and stir fry for about 2 minutes until well incorporated.
5. Make a well in the center of the stir fry and add the eggs. Scramble and toss in the peas until everything is heated through.

Veggies I used: onion, zucchini, broccoli, yellow bell pepper, carrots 

 Mixing my Stir Fry

 Scrambled eggs and Teriyaki Sauce

 Adding eggs to the "well" in the center of my Stir Fry

"Fridge Clean-out" Quinoa Fried Rice


Friday, June 28, 2013

Kiwi Crate for Kids!

Well I recently posted about receiving a monthly gift of Birchbox, well there is something similar out there for kids. It's called Kiwi Crate and you can buy a monthly subscription and get a different themed craft box each month for your kiddo, or you can simply go on their website and pick out "Single Crates" or "Mini Crates" to buy on  your own without a subscription.

This month, since its summer time, I decided to purchase a Single Crate and Mini Crate for my toddler. I got him the "Making Music" Single Crate, where he can make an xylophone and rhythm bells, while leaning about music and music notes. It's a special Kiwi Crate did with Carnegie Hall to encourage a love for music!

The Mini Crate I got for Kinley was the "My Shadow Puppets" crate. He is obsessed with flashlights, and this box came with one to create the shadows, so it really was a no brainer for me! We already completed this crate box, and he had a ball decorating his shadow puppets and of course, playing with the flashlight.

These boxes are a lot of fun to try out. Even just the Kiwi Crate website has great craft ideas for kids, so if you don't feel like buying a crate, its always nice to "window shop" for a new craft to do yourself at home!

Kiwi Crates arrived!

Carnegie Hall Partnership

Make your own Rhythm Bells and Xylophone Single Crate

My Shadow Puppets Mini Crate

 Kinley decorating his shadow puppets

 Playing with the Flashlights and Puppets


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gettin' Fit... Again

I love to run. Running cleanses my soul, makes me feel great, and makes me sweat. However, pushing a BoB Duallie stroller with two kids in it when every path around your house has at least one huge hill- just stinks! My run times are not anything to brag about when I am hauling this stroller, but boy am I smoked afterwards! To counter the running/pushing, I decided to try out the Celebrity trainer, Tracy Anderson Method: Post-Pregnancy Workout video. I LOVE it! It works abs, legs, butt, and arms. All those parts effected by pregnancy. It's low impact and you only use 3 lb. weights twice. I feel myself getting better at engaging my muscles again and getting stronger.

I really have been seeing a huge difference in my body shape in just 2 short weeks. It took me 4.5 months to get back into my skinny jeans after my first son, but hopefully by continuing to run and do this video when I have some time during the week, I can get back to where I started soon. I know everyone says that it "takes 9 months to grow a baby and could take 9 months to get back to normal," so I am not too hard on myself. However, I really look forward to fitting into my clothes better!

I have been drinking a lot of smoothies these days! I make them with frozen berries, bananas, oranges, Greek yogurt, flax seeds, skim milk, or orange juice as a few ingredients. I have also started eating a healthy snack of a 1/4 cup of nuts, dried cranberries, raisins, and yogurt drops. I think having a healthy body and eating healthy, while working out has really helped me to lose this baby weight.

 Tracy Anderson Method: Post-Pregnancy Workout DVD

 39 weeks pregnant (3 days before giving birth) and 13 weeks post-partem

 Nuts and Berries Snack

Smoothie Time! My toddler is a HUGE fan!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yucky Bananas... Make Clean Banana Bread

My husband loves banana bread and I have made this recipe a few times now. This week we had some overly ripe bananas, so I mashed them up and made bread! This recipe is considered "clean" because no sugar is added, apple sauce and honey are used as substitutes and you really can not taste a difference. I like to add 1 tsp. of vanilla to my recipe, you can never go wrong adding a little bit of vanilla extract (one of my favorite baking ingredients). This recipe is super easy and a great snack or warm up a slice with some butter for breakfast!


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup apple sauce
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs beaten
3 mashed bananas
*1 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients together with your mixer (or by hand if you are hardcore), adding the bananas last. Fold them in gently.
3. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Clean Banana Bread


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Birchbox Fun!

Every month I receive a little 'gift' of 5-6 beauty products from Birchbox. I LOVE getting packages in the mail and so why not gift myself one, monthly?! This month's Birchbox was probably my favorite to date, so I had to share.

Birchbox is easy to sign up for and it costs $10 a month. When you sign up you fill out a questionnaire about products you like, your hair type, skin type, etc., so every month there are products that cater to your body. You can then go to their website and purchase products at their full size, with free shipping. You also earn points as you buy products, which can help you to 'purchase' products with your points down the road. I have bought a few full sized items that I had gotten a sample of and have been pretty pleased with them thus far.

Every month Birchbox has a 'theme' for the products they send you, and this month's was Summer Travels - or Wanderlust. I received the following:

*Color Club for Birchbox Wanderlust Nail Polish in Mod in Manhatten - a neon off white
*Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo (since I have curly hair)
*Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner
*Davines Oi/Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion
*Something Blue Perfume by Oscar de la Renta
*Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser

June 2013 Birchbox

 World-ly Postcards

Mod in Manhattan Neon Off-White Nail Polish 

Quite the box! So I decided to try each item out and report my findings. I took a shower and washed my hair with the Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner. The shampoo sort of made my hair feel dry, so I wasn't a huge fan. The conditioner smelled awesome and I really liked how it moisturized my hair - which is needed here in the dry state of Colorado! I loved the lemony scent of the Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser and it really left my skin smooth after my shower. I applied the Davines Oi/Oil to my hair after I towel dried it and I felt it helped keep my 'frizzies' under control. I really liked the Oscar de la Renta Something Blue Perfume - it smells of mandarin and linden blossoms. I'm a huge floral scent fan when it comes to perfume. My 'go to' scent is Poppy by Coach. Now for the nail polish... it's not my favorite color per say. I'm more of a pink/red/orange nail polish girl, but it was fun to try something new!

Also, I really liked that Birchbox included a bunch of postcards in my box for my future 'World Travels' - guess it's time to plan a trip!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Favorite Things Party

I have been dying to share my ideas/pictures/secrets for my "Favorite Things Party!" I have been planning it for weeks ever since my friend Caroline posted about the one she threw on her blog. These parties are very popular according to Pinterest, and I really enjoyed getting ideas for mine on there. The "Favorite Things Party" is inspired by "Oprah's Favorite Things" Show. Essentially, you invite friends and tell them to pick one of their 'favorite things' and bring three of the same thing over. We all write our name on three pieces of paper and take turns drawing names and giving our 'favorite thing' away with a small story about why it's your favorite thing! We also played a game where I gave each guest a piece of paper where they listed their favorite things, such as color, food, top vacation destination, movie, holiday and book. It was a fun ice breaker and a lot of our answers were both different and similar to one another! I learned new things about my sweet friends, which I loved. Plus who doesn't like to receive a few presents?!

Here are some pictures of my decor, snacks, drinks, and of course, the "Favorite Things!"

 The Mommies: Nancy, Martina, Kelsey, Me, Rhianna, Kristen, and Laura

My Invitation... free chevron printable I used from here

My Favorite Thing: A Scarf! 

"Favorite Things" banner I made


Table Scape

 The drinks: Perrier w/ Lime and Sunset Sangria

The Food: angel food kabobs, pita chips with hummus, cookies and cream macarons, spinach and artichoke dip

Favorite Things: Nail polish, spa stuff, Turbie Twist towels, Starbucks gift cards, Burt's Bee lipgloss with notepad, scarves, eye masks, and homemade cinnamon buns with the 'secret' recipe

Who doesn't like leaving a party with a goody bag?!

 A few of my favorite things I gifted each guest: mascara, EOS chap stick, cupcake liners, chevron card, and a frame of the Mommy Mantra "Keep Calm and Mommy On"

What an awesome evening with great friends, conversations, laughs, food, and presents! I received a Starbucks gift card, luxurious lotion, and homemade cinnamon rolls - which my family enjoyed this morning for breakfast! 

Yummy Cinnamon Rolls!