Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fisher Price House Party

House Party is a a site that gets products directly into the homes of consumers. All you have to do is apply to host a party and if you are selected you host the party and then share your experience.

I apply to host a House Party every so often depending on if I think I will really be excited about the product. Recently I had the opportunity to host a Fisher Price House Party and it was a blast! 
I have a 2 year old and almost 2 month old and love getting together with some mom friends from church and their little ones so Fisher Price was right up my alley.

When we first received the packaged I was a bit overwhelmed by the size! Over $300 worth of stuff was delivered to our apartment's office and I had to have my husband use a dolly to bring it up. I made the mistake of opening it up in front of my daughter and she was SOOO excited, but I explained we may not keep all the toys because we would be sharing with friends. 

This is my husband (and our 2 month old behind him) amazingly putting together the almost 2 feet tall Wheelies Loops 'n Swoops Amusement Park which retails for $45!

I displayed all the boxes to show our guests all the features of the products.

The awesome swag bags that were provided for everyone that included DVDs, CDs, Wheelies and savings!

Coloring books and snacks that included carrots, thin pretzels, homemade hummus, and popcorn.

The Servin' Surprises Barbecue Set which retails for $15. 

 Ice Cream Party Set that retails for $15.

Playing with the awesome toys.

Little People Princess Songs Palace that retails for $50.
It also came with two sets of "princesses" that retail for $7 each.

Servin' Surprises Kitchen & Table that retails for $80! 

The girls enjoyed the boxes almost as much as the toys!

As the host I was able to keep ALL the toys, but I chose to give most of them away to our friends and bless them. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How to know what's in your food...

The only way to truly know what is in your food is to grow it and make everything from scratch... but the next best thing is to make everything yourself and avoid the middle aisles and freezer section (I will continue to buy frozen organic veggies) in the grocery store.

I have started educating myself on what is in the food I have been buying and was not happy with what I learned. Companies can slap any label they want on a package and we eat it up. From now on I will be looking at the actual ingredient list to see if our family will be consuming a product. Don't get me wrong, if we are at someone's house or my daughter is offered a snack from a friend we will eat what we are offered.

Two blogs I have enjoyed reading and learning from are:

(I am sure there are many more and would love to know what you look at.)

I want to try and make my own food and snacks for my family, but don't want this to take over my life or take away time from my girls.

Today, I made enough granola to last two weeks and am glad to know exactly what's in it!

(This batch has homemade apple chip pieces.)

Granola Cereal
(adapted from this Granola Recipe):
7 Cups Gluten Free Oats
1 cup Almonds (chopped)
1 cup Cashews (chopped)
1 cup Sunflower Seeds
4 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix the above ingredients in a large bowl.
Next, melt 
12 tablespoons Organic Coconut Oil
1 cup Organic Blue Agave

Once they are melted together add 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract. 

Pour warm mixture over Oat mixture and mix together. 

Finally, spread it all over a baking sheet covered by parchment paper and bake at 250 for 80 minutes. 

Once the mixture cools add dried fruit if you want or when you eat the granola top with your favorite fresh fruit!

I have also made "larabars" (link- 100DaysofRealFood) and hummus last week so easy thanks to my new food processor my husband bought me as my "push" present. I pushed our two daughters out and now I won't have to chop/grate/slice anymore haha.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Second Time Around...

I had my mom stay with us for a whole week and was able to do some freezer cooking again. I wanted to try out some new recipes and get a wider variety for us to eat. 

These are the links to the recipes I made this time around:


Taco Corn Fritters-

Monday, September 10, 2012

Going Gluten and Dairy Free (temporarily)

I am so thankful for the Internet... when my husband decided he wanted to try and go gluten free I also decided that while nursing my second little girl I was going to try and go dairy free to avoid some issues that my first little one dealt with.

So I decided that rather than making different meals for all members of the family we would all go gluten and dairy free for the time being. It seemed a little daunting and I was worried we would only be eating chicken, rice, and veggies every night, but I am so thankful to have access to an online community of people that are also going through a similar diet.

Not only were we going gluten and dairy free, but I also wanted to find recipes that didn't have much tomatoes (since they don't agree with my husband) AND of course were freezer friendly. Hmmm... doesn't sound daunting at all right??

These are the recipes I decided to make. Sadly, raising a 2 year old and dealing with a newborn didn't leave me time to take pretty pictures of everything, but I did take one when I was working on three different meals:

This picture shows the chicken nuggets I made that are cooling, the soup in the middle of being made and the Mexican chicken and rice is on the right. 

I used the following recipes and am quite pleased with how everything turned out. It also took me about 3 hours to make everything and will last our family of four (one doesn't eat obviously since she is only 6 weeks old) for about 10 dinners and multiple lunches with the nuggets.

1. Gluten Free Dairy Free Chicken & Vegetable Nuggets (really good with a dip) from 

2. Mexican Chicken and Rice (simple and yummy) from

3. Thai Chicken Soup (it's got a delicious kick) from

 4. Rice Casserole with Bacon and Spinach (we all loved this!) from

 5. Crockpot Italian Chicken with Potatoes (simple and yummy) from

6. Gluten Free Shepherd's Pie (not my favorite since I didn't have cheese haha) from

I also made a shopping list from things I didn't have in my house already:

2.2 cups ground chicken (I ended up getting turkey)
1 lb ground turkey
6 halves chicken breast
12 oz bacon
1 cup carrot grated
1 cup zucchini grated
2-3 lbs red or gold potatoes
6 oz fresh spinach (I ended up getting frozen since it was on sale)
1 cup celery finely diced
2 cups frozen mixed veggies (could have used fresh)
1 can diced green chilies
26oz can spaghetti sauce
Italian dressing
fish sauce
grapeseed oil
4 cups chicken stock
28oz coconut milk 
red curry paste