Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Eco-Kid Modeling Dough

I had never heard of this amazing play dough until I received it in a Citrus Lane box months ago. We played with that one container for weeks and weeks. My son kept asking to play with it and I would warn him "It's probably all dried up by now". Over and over again I would get it out and it looked and felt fine. I finally tossed it because it had collected gross stuff along the way. I was so impressed by the product I purchased the five pack for Christmas.

 The dough is made with natural and organic fruit, plant and vegetable extracts from annatto seed, beets, blueberries, carrots, paprika, purple sweet potato, red cabbage and spinach, flour, salt, cream of tartar, organic rosemary oil, vitamin E oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, potassium sorbet and citric acid.
It doesn't get as crumbly or dry your hands out like regular playdough. The colors are vivid and gorgeous.

I am missing the yellow color here because I gave one of my five pack to a friend to try ;)

THE BEST Sugar Free Vanilla Spice Latte

Do you remember when Starbucks carried the Vanilla Spice Latte? It was my very favorite drink. They only carried it for one season and it never came back. I was so disappointed. Through much trial and error I came up with a pretty good sugar free version at home!

Also, I am in love with this Anthropologie mug I found at Goodwill this weekend! Score.
 What I use--

Make 2 shots of Espresso. Get your milk ready to steam, I add a touch of half & half, I think it makes the drink even more rich and delicious, you could leave it out though. To your milk add a few shakes of each of the spices. You might have to play around a little bit to get the drink just as you prefer. I only use a little Cardamom, as it is very strong. Then to the milk and spices I add a few drops of vanilla. Finally I add my sweetener. For this drink the NuNaturals Pure Liquid Vanilla Stevia works amazing. It doesn't have any funky stevia flavor and it amps up the vanilla. A little bit goes a long way. If you aren't use to this product I would add it a drop at a time until the milk is as sweet as you desire. These drops last forever and are very versatile.  

Okay, now that all your spices and sweet stuff is in the drink you must give it a good whisk. If you don't get it nicely whisked before you steam the milk you will have huge globs of spices. After all the spices are incorporated I steam the milk as usual. Make sure you clean you wand really good because with the spices things get dirty.  

And there you have it!! I love this drink. Play with the spices and make it your own!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter Days Boredom Buster!

If you have young kids like me, you are always looking for new activities to add to your arsenal. Sometimes you just need a quick, entertaining activity to keep the kids busy. I love this one because after set-up older kids can do it independently. Leaving me a few sweet, sweet moments of free time.

All you need is--

 1. Baking Soda

 2. White Vinegar

 3. Food Coloring

Here's how I do it- I fill a shallow dish with baking soda (maybe 1/4in thick). Then I add a little vinegar to two small dishes. You can see in the photo I just used what I had on hand. I let the kids choose which colors to add to the vinegar, and then add just enough to tint it. Then I let them dribble the vinegar into the baking dish and enjoy the bubbling show. A small eyedropper works great and is perfect for developing fine motor skills. I just let my daughter use a small measuring spoon.

This is definitely not my original idea. I saw it online a few years ago. If you have never tried it with your little's I recommend it!

Winter Crazies

       Are your kids starting to go crazy being stuck inside? Mine certainly are. This time of year it is just to cold to send my two little people out to play. Being ages 4 and 2, they have a LOT of pent up energy. I am always looking for creative ways to entertain them that does NOT involve another episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Here are a few fun games we have been enjoying--

     Dominoes - Exotic Animals  These Dominoes are made by Janod and are very high quality. This game is a favorite in our house. My four-year-old just adores playing this. The cards themselves are thick and sturdy, perfect for little hands. The graphic pictures are bright and just plain cute. My son caught on quick with the basics of the game. We played with the animals first, as I knew this would be more interesting to him. Once he got rolling with the game, we did the numbers a few times. The game is perfect for his age, not so hard it's frustrating but still engaging his mind.
       Tonight I heard him playing with my husband, "hmm I don't have a monkey but I do have a                fish!" I knew right away they were playing this game. I love seeing the games we buy used and          enjoyed. This is one we keep out, not shoved in a closet.

     eeBoo Animal Village Tell Me a Story This is such a fun and cute way to encourage creative storytelling. We have had these cards for almost a year now. Each card has a cute picture and when you put the pictures together you can create a story. It has been fun to watch my son develop his skills over time. At first, when he was three, I would lay a series of cards out at random and then tell him a story. I just made the stories up on the fly. The cards themselves are provocative enough that it is fairly easy to get creative. They sort of invite a story or situation.
          As he grew older we would look at the cards together from time to time. Just look at the sweet             pictures and talk about them. I would ask him questions about the cards "Why is that fox trying           to get in that tiny house?" "Why are those hedgehogs laughing?" It was fun to hear his answers           and ideas. Now he is almost four and enjoys making his own stories.

Next up, a boredom busting activity your kids can do! Bonus-- you most likely already have everything you need at home.

Friday, January 16, 2015

January Ipsy Bag

Very excited that my January Ipsy bag is on it's way. This month I am getting--


I think I am most excited about the (Malin+Goetz) Mojito Lip balm. Mostly because it sounds delicious ;) I was happy to see a Pacifica product too. I don't know that I would consider them to be a premium brand, but I think they offer good products in a price range I can afford. I'll take pictures and review the products when I receive them!

 If you have never heard of Ipsy, it's a monthly beauty subscription. You receive a mix of delux samples and full sized products, all in a cute cosmetic bag. The bag/products costs $10 a month and you can cancel whenever. So far I have been receiving them for four months. Sometimes they can be hit and miss, but so far I haven't gotten anything I didn't happily use. In my opinion it is a really great deal. $10 is one of the lowest price-points for subscription services like this. If you are interested in the service this is my referral link here. Seriously though, I really don't care about the referral link stuff, I just genuinly love Ipsy!