DIY Halloween Costume

It’s October which means cooler weather, pumpkin spiced lattes, and Halloween! I used to LOVE this holiday as a child and now that I’m a mom, it’s so fun to celebrate like a kid again! I love taking my kids out trick or treating and helping them find great costumes. Most of the costumes you can buy in store are cheap and made in China. I would much rather make the costumes myself buy buying used clothing and DIYing a few accessories. Inexpensive and fun!

One of my littles is obsessed with Bambi so I am doing some face painting to create a deer costume. Here’s how you can make your own!

Super Easy DIY Deer Costume For Kids

Bye for now,

Michelle

Traveling with Little Ones

Happy summer my friends! I hope you’ve had a lovely summer and been able to spend lots of quality time with your family. 🙂

If you’re anything like else like us, you probably took some time this summer for a family vacation to make memories you’ll always cherish. The hubby and I decided to beat the heat in LA this summer by taking a family road trip to Seattle – one of our favorite cities! As you probably know, traveling with kids is NOT easy, but I found these simple tips made our family vacation much more enjoyable this summer!

  1. Always carry healthy snacks. Okay this is mom rule #1. But because we’re so busy we sometimes end up picking up quick snacks at the grocery store like fruit roll up that are FILLED with sugar and cause major meltdowns for my kids. Lately I’ve been experimenting with making my own portable snacks made with healthy fats and proteins to keep the kids satisfied for longer without the sugar crash. I love sliced apples with almond butter or homemade granola bars with lots of nuts and fruit. I like this recipe which I add chunks of dark chocolate to. My kids love them and making them myself means I can control the ingredients and sugar!
  2. Packs lots of wetnaps! If you’re snacking in the car or on the go it’s always best to wash the kids up before and after their snack. Who knows what germs they have on their hands and after we do NOT want chocolate all over our car! I like portable packs for my purse and the big plastic container pack of wet naps for the car. They’re better value and when you have the room in the car make a lot more sense! You can even make your own by googling it – I’ve never tried but I plan to soon!
  3. Say no to ipads and yes to games. We’re all guilty of sitting our kids in front of the iphone or ipad so we can have a moment to ourselves. During a long road trip this is especially tempting but I find my kids to be less than pleasant with too much screen time. Instead I prefer them to play games or read books. One fun game to play in the car is ‘I Spy’. I know this is super old school but it really keeps their attention and is a really fun way to actually notice the beautiful places you’re driving through! Plus it makes for amazing memories you and your family will always cherish.

Those are my top three tips for traveling with kids this summer! I know these tips were a lifesaver on our most recent trip. If you have any other suggestions please let me know in the comments!

Bye for now,

Michelle

 

Healthier Easter Treats

Easter is just around the corner and that means the shops are filled with sugary chocolate eggs and candies. It feels like just yesterday it was Christmas and we were surrounded by the same temptations! Like all kids, mine love these treats but I’ve noticed their behavior is less than great after a sugar high. They buzz around for a few hours then absolutely crash with meltdowns. No treat is worth that sort of aftermath in my mind! I prefer to make healthier treats myself where I can control the ingredients and also ensure there is at least some nutrition. Try these delicious raspberry gummies I’m making my kids for Easter! They use honey instead of sugar and the grass fed-gelatin is great for their tummies. Check around the shops for a festive silicone mold in a the shape of eggs or bunnies!

Lemon-Raspberry Gelatin Gummies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 24 gummies
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup grass-fed gelatin
Instructions
  1. Place lemon juice and raspberries in a blender and blend on high until completely mixed. Pour into a saucepan.
  2. Add the honey and gelatin and whisk together. You will have a thick paste. Turn the heat on low/medium, and continue to whisk the mixture for 5-10 minutes, until it becomes thin and everything is incorporated. Take off the heat.
  3. Pour into silicone molds or a small baking dish. Set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm up.
  4. If you used a small baking dish as a receptacle, cut into bite-size squares. Otherwise, remove gummies from their molds and enjoy!

Bye for now,

Michelle

Chicken fingers for the kids!

I’ve never met a child who doesn’t LOVE chicken fingers. Problem is the store bought ones are expensive and who knows what’s in them! I found this great recipe via Babble and made a few modifications (my kids love these with ketchup and I prefer corn chips to Frito chips).

These are gluten free but you would never know it! We aren’t a gluten free household, I just find these taste as good or better that chicken fingers with breadcrumbs. They’re also so easy and fast to make!

Oven-Fried Chicken Fingers
serves 6

extra virgin olive oil, for greasing
6 c corn tortilla chips
salt and pepper
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 lbs (750 g) chicken tenders

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil. In a shallow bowl, combine the corn chips, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and & 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Coat a chicken tender with the corn chip mixture, dip into the eggs, then coat again with the corn chip mixture; place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Bake until golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Leave a message in the comments if you try these for dinner one night!

Bye for now,

Michelle

Fitness tips from one busy mom to another

As a mom, I’m always looking for ways to fit fitness into a busy and unpredictable schedule. Sometimes when your babies are sick it’s hard to find time for yourself, so I do my best to get my fitness in on the days I can and I don’t beat myself up the days I can’t.

Here are some of things I’ve been doing lately to stay fit and happy so I can be the best mom for my family.

  1. Get outside with the kids to play! We go for walks and when the kids want to play on the playground, I join them! I love running around with my babies and jumping on and off the playground equipment. It’s tons of fun and it honestly makes me sweat! My kids giggle with glee when I chase them and no sound in the world is sweeter. <3
  2. When the kids are napping, I get toning! When the kids go down for their afternoon nap, I set up shop in the living room to my resistance training. Squats, lunges, crunches, push ups – anything that only requires my body and some work! Sometimes the kids are screaming and won’t go to sleep or wake up after 15 minutes, so this type of exercise allows me to stop at any time and make sure the babies are ok. Once I check on them I get back to it. I aim for 30 minutes of this type of training 3 times a week. Some weeks that’s possible and others it’s impossible, but again I don’t beat myself up over it!
  3. Exercise during everyday tasks! Sometimes the most everyday mundane tasks can be combined with exercise. For instance when I’m brushing my teeth I balance up and down on my tip toes to tone my calves. I have to brush my teeth anyways, so why not do double duty?

These are just a few quick tips for busy moms to help inspire them to incorporate exercise into their everyday! Not only will you feel better, but you’ll show your kids from a young age how valuable a strong and healthy body is!

Bye for now,

Michelle

 

Amazing Healthy Recipe

As the Christmas season rolls around I’ve been thinking more about how to keep my hubby and babies healthy. My husband in particular goes to a lot of work and client development functions during the holidays and tends not to eat very well during this time… and he drinks too much wine, too, that naughty man! 🙂

So, I’ve made it my mission to make sure I feed my family only the healthiest fare during the weekends and evenings! Here is one recipe that I’ve been particularly captivated with and have come back to time and time again. It’s a delicious crostini with pea-based pesto, and oh-so good for you! My babies and hubby love it, and so will you and your family! Credit to the Food Network! 🙂

Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 (285g) package frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g grated Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative
  • 1 tsp salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

Crostini Ingredients

  • 8 (1cm thick) slices brown baguette or ciabatta bread, preferably day-old
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 small tomato, diced

Instructions

For the pesto, start by pulsing together the peas, garlic, parmesan, one teaspoon of salt and quarter teaspoon of pepper in a food processor. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until well combined, about one to two minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

For the crostini, start by preheating a stovetop griddle on medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the sliced bread with olive oil and cook until golden, about 1 to 2 mins. Transfer the bread to a clean surface and spread one to two tablespoons of the prepared pesto on each slice.

Finish by topping with tomato halves and serve.

Please let me know how you like it!

Bye for now,

Michelle

My New Tibetan Singing Bowl + Sound Healing

So, living in L.A., I am exposed to a TON of health and wellness trends! One of the recent trends involves what is known as sound-healing or sound bathing. The basic idea is to lie on the floor or a yoga mat in a meditative state and surround yourself with healing sounds, like gentle music, the sound of a gong, or the sound of a singing bowl.

Well, I’m really one for crazes and trends, and I was so curious, so I jumped on board and ordered a Tibetan singing bowl from Shanti Bowl a few weeks ago. I found them on Instagram and the photos of their bowl are absolutely gorgeous! I have been using my new singing bowl on a daily basis and absolutely love it! They have a video on their website where you can see how to use the singing bowl and the sound it makes, which is awesome, but it is nothing compared to experiencing it in person!

The most interesting thing I’ve noticed is the power of the vibration. It feels as though the vibrations from the singing bowl are actually massaging my body. I can see why they call them “sound baths”! I’ve been playing my bowl in the morning and actually using it to gently wake up my husband and my babies. It’s so much nicer than the sound of an alarm – just so soothing!

I have been learning more about singing bowls and find it all so interesting. You can play your bowl in two ways – by hitting it like a gong, or by rubbing the rim of your bowl with the mallet which causes the bowl to vibrate and “sing”. You can ever pour a bit of water into your bowl and make the water “boil” via vibrations when you make your bowl sing. It’s otherworldly!

Do you have any experiences with sound healing? I’d love to hear from you!

Bye for now,

Michelle

Butternut Squash Addiction!

I don’t think I’m the only one currently obsessed with butternut squash! I’ve been making butternut squash soup like every week and can’t seem to get enough! It’s delicious, very nutritious, and my kids and hubby love it! Here is a recipe I love (credits due to Epicurious)!

Ingredients

  • 2 butternut squash (about 4 3/4 pounds total), halved lengthwise, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil baking sheet. Place squash, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake until squash is very soft, about 50 minutes. Using paring knife, remove peel from squash; discard peel. Cut squash into 2-inch pieces. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Mix in onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Cover pot and cook until onion is tender, about 15 minutes. Add squash and 5 cups chicken broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Discard cinnamon.

Working in batches, purée soup in blender. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.) Return soup to pot. Season soup with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer, thinning soup with more broth if necessary. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Bye for now,

Michelle

Staying Fit with Kids

All the fellow moms out there know how hard it can be staying in shape with little ones to take care of. I’ve struggled with that for a long time but seem to have finally got into a good rhythm now and am actually staying in shape (knock on wood). I found this great exercise routine that I build into every morning. What makes it especially great is that you don’t need any fancy equipment – you can do everything in the comfort of your bedroom after rolling out of bed!

Another great thing about an exercise routine like this is that you can do it first thing in the morning before the kids are out of bed. On most days I persuade my hubby to go downstairs and make breakfast while I work up a sweat with my routine! And it’s only 15 minutes long!

One thing I would suggest is having a yoga mat in your bedroom if you’re dealing with a hard floor. We have hardwood and some of the exercises can be a little rough on the body if there isn’t any padding.

My results have been pretty good so far – you should try it too!

What sort of exercise routines do you enjoy?

Bye for now,

Michelle