Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Kid Nutrition While on Vacation

Ahhh.... Vacation...  We have been so long overdue for a vacation (like 4 and 1/2 yrs overdue) that we decided to squeeze 3 separate trips into 2 months.  The first trip was kid free...(Ahhh, again!)  We cruised the Caribbean with a great bunch of friends and had an absolute relaxing, recharging blast.  Margaritas never tasted so good.
A Margarita for Margarita!
The next vacation was just for the boys and I; we flew to Florida to visit my in laws for a week.  This is just what we all needed to cure our spring fever blues.  Spring has technically been here a few weeks now, but Mother Nature apparently didn't get the memo. Either that, or she's playing a freezing, icy, snowy, bitter cold, blustery joke on us.  The Florida sunshine felt wonderful and being outside in the fresh air (and in the pool, and at the park, and at the ice cream stand!) reminded me of warmer, brighter days ahead at home.
Florida Fun!
 Before our cruise started, my hubby and I decided to follow a 28-day diet, of sorts called the Fast Metabolism Diet. It's based on a book written by Haylie Pomroy; The Fast Metabolism Diet: Eat More Food and Lose More Weight.  All science aside, the meal plans are easy to follow and make a lot of sense.   Haylie even came out with a cookbook to help you be creative during the 28-day plan called  The Fast Metabolism Diet Cookbook.  We already have a bunch of obscure meal ingredients in our home (brown rice, quinoa, cashew butter, tahini, etc), so start-up wasn't too much of an investment for us.  There are some restrictions (diet is gluten free, caffeine free, dairy free, sugar free, soy free, and banana free), but those restrictions can always be altered to your specific needs; dietary or financial.  We completed the 28-days and still continue to adhere to the plan as much as we can.

On our cruise, we didn't hold back.  That being said, I didn't overdue myself, either, which is very easy to do, because...FRIED BACON!   and TATER TOTS!   and ROOM SERVICE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, 24 HOURS A DAY! Really, the cruise food was pretty awesome!  All in all, the pre-cruise diet got us into a healthy, conscious, food-decision-making state-of-mind and I did pretty well with my eating choices.
Good times with great friends!
Florida was a bit different.  Most of our lunches and dinners were eaten in restaurants, with crayons and kid menus, a plenty.  I allowed only 2 mac-n-cheese orders, but after that, it was mom's choice.   I decided to look through the menus and offer the boys 3 or four choices that I knew they'd like, but were healthier than the standard grilled cheese with fries.  Andrew opted for an adult-sized chef salad one day, and pretty much destroyed it.  Truly a Proud Mom Moment!  The boys also impressed their Grandpa by destroying a few bowls of steamed broccoli, too!
child of the corn
salad fan
When you're normally out to dinner with the kids it's usually a treat, and it's fun to allow the kids to order what they'd like for themselves, but when there are multiple non-home cooked meals, it's important to step in and coach/approve of the order before it is placed.  I made it mandatory that veggies were served with their meals (and eaten, accordingly!) and applesauce replaced french fries on most occasions.  Meals back at the condo were on the simpler side; pb&j, turkey roll-ups, greek yogurt, and of course, lots of fresh fruit and veggies.  The boys have impressive appetites (and an intense passion for raw carrots, which I'm quite certain they didn't inherit from me!), and I don't mind grabbing an ice cream cone or throwing a few Oreos their way (and taking a few for myself) if I know they've eaten a healthy meal before.
A sweet treat 
Ice cream with Grandpa
Have you ever had to limit your kids' access to kid's menus?  Was it easy, or a battle? What healthy choices were made?

Monday, April 7, 2014

{Another Giveaway!} - Enjoying My Photos

If anyone knows truly me, they know I have a bit of a camera problem.   My good lens was busted last year for about 3 months, and I felt lost without my Nikon neck buddy.  Don't get me wrong, I take my fair share of pics on my iphone, but there is something about uploading 100+ pics form any given day and going through them, reliving the experience (and deleting the not-so-flattering moments!)
My pictures dont just sit on my hard drive...I love using my photos. I print pics and canvases to hang in our home, I create personalized birthday cards, calendars and holiday cards with them and now I've had the opportunity to make another fun thing for myself. 

Right now is when you re-read the first line of this post and replace camera with coffee.  Go ahead. I'll wait.

Back?  OK.  Yes, I have a coffee problem.  I. LOVE. COFFEE.  Coffee flavored anything works. Coffee ice cream, coffee flavored desserts (tirimisu, anyone?), coffee milkshakes.

I recently gifted myself a Keurig and have been stocking up on cute coffee mugs to use at my little coffee station.  VivoPrint graciously allowed me to try out their service of creating fun projects from photos.  They have so many items to choose from - phone cases, keychains, jewelry boxes, etc.  You can probabaly guess that I had a few photo coffee cups made up for myself.  I chose the 10oz ceramic tumbler and had the same photo of my boys repilcated several times around the mug.  These tumblers are great compared to the usual handled mug.  I have several others shaped like this at home, so I was excited to see that this was one of VivoPrint's options.  If you like handles, fear not, they offer regular ol' mugs, as well.

The quality of this mug is great! The photo image is crisp and the colors are brilliant.  The mug is also dishwasher safe and can be microwaved - which is awesome if you're me, and you have to reheat your coffee about 4 times before you finally get to finish it.  One good thing to know is if you choose this item, the design doesn't fully wrap around the mug.  I may have selected a single wider photo had I known this, but I still love my results and I've used my new mugs several times each already!
This is what VivoPrint has to say about themselves:
Picture perfect and ready-to-print, VivoPrint is designed to help you share photos through fun and creative ways. We have hundreds of products to customize including jewelry boxes, iPhone cases, Galaxy S3 cases, color changing mugs, and more. Our easy-to-use design tool makes personalizing products simple: while our 100% satisfaction guarantee assures that you are always happy with your purchase. We pride ourselves on excellent service and top-quality products and printing.
Want to try out VivoPrint for yourself?  Until May 31st, you can use the code vivo30 for 30% off your total order OR you can enter below for a chance to win a $50 shop credit! WooHoo! Just enter via Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Visit VivoPrint's blog to learn about new items they have.