Friday, September 24, 2010

Caribou Coffee: Buy One, Get One Free (this weekend)

The crisp Fall weather has brought on the return of my coffee pot. I rarely drink coffee in the summer months, but absolutely LOVE it in the fall and winter. Now matter how I tweak my coffee preparations at home, it still doesn't taste like Caribous Carmel Northern Lite Latte (only 90 calories)!

Now, this will help get me through 4 soccer games this weekend. Print out your coupon for a free hot or cold drink at Caribou Coffee when you purchase another. This coupon is valid September 25-26, 2010.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Free American Girl Event on Saturday at Michael's

Take your American Girl lovin' girl to Michael’s on Saturday (September 25, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and they’ll make everything they need to throw a doll-sized American Girl party — All for free!

Oh, if only we didn't have four soccer games and a softball game on Saturday. This is definitely in the plans for if it rains. We have done their American Girl Events before and they have been worth it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Worst Foods in America

This kind of stuff always intrigues me. What could they be? Is it something that I or my kids regularly eat? You know you have to look because how would you ever know?!

Whew...I knew there was a good reason we don't eat out that often. wow!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

6 Secrets of Kids that Rarely Get Sick

I took Max into the doctor last week. He had developed a little rash on his neck and arm a few days prior. I tried the usual over the counter remedies with no help in clearing it up and knew I needed to turn to a professional for help. It turned out to be poison ivy (That was a first for me and my kids), but my whole point was not about that.

My Point being: We had not been to the doctor in over-a-year. We just haven't been sick (knock on wood). My kindergartner and second grader last year did not have a sick day all school year. I'm not saying that I have super duper healthy resilient-to-all-ailments kids, but we just don't get sick that often.

I am not a neurotic germaphobic, but we do take some simple easy precautions that help tip the scale in our favor.

*Everyone washes their hands immediately from coming home

*I don't let the kids get too worn down. If they are tired from a busy weekend, getting them to bed early is the #1 priority over everything else

*Overall we eat pretty healthy and follow an 80/20 rule. I always make sure they eat a healthy breakfast (never understanding how parents can send their kids to school with pop tarts in their tummy to start the day). After school, they have their sports and activities so it is usually a "mini healthy supper" that they eat before we all eat together again around 7 pm.

This works for us. Its easy and not rocket science. Read here for some other easy ways to prevent sickness from creeping into your house. One point I don't agree on is giving my kids the flu shot, but that is a whole other post.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mimi’s Cafe: Buy One Breakfast, Get One Free

Once upon a time, I signed up for Mimi's Cafe e-mail club. I probably get a "deal" e-mailed to me every day; which is a little much. I don't know if their business is hurting, but thisdeal is pretty good and their breakfasts are super yummy so I feel better about passing it on.

I also love how its good all day tomorrow, September 21, 2010. Print your coupon here for a free breakfast at Mimi’s Cafe when you purchase another breakfast.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fat Fighting Foods

If you are going to eat, why not make it a food choice that fights fat while you digest?

Makes sense to me as I have fully embraced the 80/20 rule. Every day I eat 80% healthy and include a lot of these fat fighting foods. As I have said before life is short and I love to indulge and treat myself with food goodies. That is where the 20% comes in. Ok...sometimes that number is a bit higher, but 80/20 is so much easier to remember.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

34 Easy Secrets to Great Health

Shhh.....they are supposed to be secrets! Well, not really secrets, but things anyone can do to keep healthy. Read about them here and then do 'em. ;-)

I know, I know, easier said then done, but its always good to know...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free Ice Cream at Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone Creamery will be holding their annual World’s Largest Ice Cream Social on September 30, 2010 from 5 to 8 p.m. Each person will receive a free 3-oz. cup of Kate’s Creation ice cream.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Easy Homemade Frapucinos

I love love love these and have one practically every afternoon when I need a little caffeine and chocolate pick me up. Best of all, they are so customizable! I have been varying it up a bit depending on what I feel like.

Here's the basic recipe. Let me know what you do differently!

*4-6 coffee ice cubes (see below)
1-2 TBSP sugar free Hershey's syrup
1 scoop protein powder (you could make it without, but I love protein powder!)
3/4 c. chocolate soy milk (you can use any kind of milk here, but I love my Silk Chocolate Soy milk!
1/2 c. water or 3-5 more ice cubes. Depending on how thick you want it!

Feel like a mocha? Add peanut butter!
Blend at high speed for a couple of minutes (this is what adds the frothiness that is famous for frappucinos.

Sometimes I freeze it for an hour and then dig in. Yum...just like ice cream!

*I love my coffee in the morning, but one cup is usually enough for me. I have been freezing my leftover coffee in ice cube trays. The frozen cubes are perfect for these frappucinos!

Want other ideas for protein powder? Check out the ideas here, here and here!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Speedy Dinner Ideas

Back to school, soccer season and softball are in full force around here which means there is a practice or game every night except Wednesday. Not complaining here. Kids love it and Fall is great in Iowa for bee bopping around.

Dinner time as a family is so important to me that we eat together whatever time that may be. Last night was 7:30 pm and tomorrow will be 5 pm. The point is, time is sacred and I don't want to waste a second of it in the kithen thawing hamburger.

I am always on the lookout for nutrious and fast menu ideas and here is the latest slew I have come across. Bon Appetit!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Am I the last person on the planet to try P90X?

I've heard about the P90X workout now for over a year. It seems like every other person I know is installing a chin up bar in their basement and slapping down a few bucks for resistance bands. I was under the assumption that mucho equipment was needed for this workout, but evidently that is not the case.

Dave and I finally got a hold of a copy. We enjoyed previewing it the other night. Keep in the mind the word preview. It had a been a long busy day. No energy for a workout, but plenty o' energy for ice cream, peanuts and caramel while we viewed this new craze. Snack? Yum! P90X? Lots of possibilities...!

Of course, I would need to get over the cheesiest of the instructor, but doesn't every workout DVD have a somewhat overly enthusiastic instructor? Read more about P90X here and ask me about putting down the bowl of ice cream and giving it a good 90 day effort!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting Leggy

Longer. Leaner. Stronger. Legs!

I am kind of glad shorts season is departing and jeans weather is here. Here are the top ways to get your legs ready for 'em! I hope you are more motivated to do these on your own, I'm not, but if I happen to be in one of my exercise classes and we do them then its just fine. Something about group misery makes it more manageable!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The PechaKucha Craze hits Iowa!

Hailing from Japan, PechaKucha (Peh-cha kuh-cha) is the Japanese term for small talk or chit chat. How does it work? Speakers go before an audience one at a time to talk about anything they want. Anything at all. You have 20 slides timed at 20 seconds apiece. That equals a little over 6 minutes to enlighten the crowd on something that you deem worthy.

I love it!

Naturally, speakers are going to discuss things that they are interested in or consider themselves experts. It all kind of goes with my belief that you can't be an expert in everything, but you can know a little about lots of stuff. Think of the amount of things you would learn about in one evening!

Pecha Kucha debuts tonite in Des Moines at the Des Moines Social Club. I hope this craze is here to stay. Read more about Pecha Kucha here!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

20 Simple Stress Reducers

Who doesn't need a little bit of stress relief? I love how these stress reducers can be implemented right away. The last thing you want is to walk around super stressed. Not only is that no fun, but stress builds up cortisol in your body which leads to rapid weight gain around the mid section.

Take a deep breath and read on!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Dream Workout

Kettlebell Yoga! How cool would that be?! My love of yoga isn't anything new, but kettlebell workouts are something I have had my eye on for awhile. My gym won't invest in the kettlebells now, but c'mon even the YMCA has kettlebell classes. Read more here about how awesome this Yoga and Kettlebell option would be!

Once again I will look at this as an opprtunity...hmmmm...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Helping Haiti from the Heartland

Its Labor Day weekend and I couldn't think of a better way to spend it then spending some time not our ourselves. Lucy, Megan and I helped with Meals from the Heartland last year and I continue to be impressed by the organization, the volunteers and they way they really bring the trials of Haiti a lot closer to us.

Haiti has been ravaged by flooding, lack of food, clean water and numerous other ailments. Sure Haiti is halfway around the world, but to us it was right in our backyard. Meals from the Heartland organizers had video and pictures to show. This year a real tent city was set right up in Wells Fargo and we saw first hand the heart ache and devasation that they encounter every day.

Its heartbreaking. We invited some good friends to serve with us this year and for two hours, our four girls measure scooped, sealed and packaged 25 boxes. Each box held 35 meal packets, Each packet feeds 6. That's 5,250 people that can be fed from our two hours of "work." I don't know about you, but that was time well spent and we would gladly give more.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Free Living History Farms Tickets (and more!) with Museum Day


Mark your calendars! September 25, 2010 is National Museum Day and over 1,000 museums are offering free admission. Find a museum participating in your area here and then print your ticket for up to two free admissions here.

I have followed this for years, but have never taken advantage of it because we didn't have any museums participating in our area. That has changed this year! No matter that we have a dozen different directions to go that weekend. We WILL make time to head to one of our very favorite places Living History Farms!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tips to Boost Energy and Feel More Healthy

Who wouldn't want more energy? Its easy to become dependent on the morning coffee or the afternoon diet coke. I'm definitely not perfect, homemade frappuccinos have been my vice on these hot August afternoons. This is the best list I have seen out there that encompasses all of the natural elements of mind, spirit and body to achieve more energy. Check it out here!