Thursday, October 23, 2014

Eat Fresh Challenge: 2 Easy Salsa Recipes

 It's been so fun cooking with the kids during my three week Colavita and Cooking Planit #eatfreshchallenge. Zoe loves being in the kitchen and got excited using ingredients that are new to her. Making homemade oatmeal pancakes was probably all of our favorite meal. Usually, we eat pancakes on Sundays and we'll use store bought mix and add in fruit. However, making the batter from scratch was so easy and made it taste a milling times better. I loved using the Colavita Fine Flour. It was very easy for me to work with, and I used in a lot of the recipes. It rose well while cooking my apple fritters, and was a really good batter. I also loved the Colavita Virgin Olive Oil. I used it in almost every recipe, and the smoothness of it made it easy to work with. I never use measuring cups, but they sure have been put to good use these past 3 weeks! I'm sure they were excited to have the dust washed off of them ;)

This week I experimented with salsa. We love salsa over here, especially when it uses so many fresh veggies and fruits. The top salsa was my favorite. It's Cucumber Avacado Salsa and was seriously amazing. My sister was laughing at me because I "don't slice an avocado right", and then I realized that Cooking Planit has a YouTube video on how to do it correctly.

I also made Roasted Pineapple and Strawberry Salsa. It was an interesting combo to put tomatoes and strawberries together, but it smelled so good! You can find the recipe here. I used Colavita Virgin Olive oil and sprinkled it on a cut up whole wheat tortilla and baked them to use as chips. The salsa would be good on tacos too, which you can find a lot of recipes for on Cooking Planit.

You can get 20% off of your Colavita purchase with code EatFresh20 at checkout, plus get free shipping on orders over $99. I hope this gave you some motivation to eat more fresh, it sure has been fun for us over here to switch things up and try new recipes.
You can see the other bloggers journeys by clicking over to their blogs below!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Double Braided Bun Tutorial

I teamed up with HC Cosmetology  and Talk Studios Photography to bring you this beautiful Double Braided Bun Tutorial. This would be so fun for a holiday party, or date night!

Each step coordinates in sequence with the pictures above. Make sure you tag your pictures @daily_braid #daily_braid so that we can see how your hair turned out!

Step 1: Section your hair half up, half down. In the front, make a distinct part and leave out the front of your hair, bangs, etc, so that you can braid it later. You should have an even circular part around your entire head.
Step 2: Create a high bun by twisting your hair around the base, and then bobby pinning it. Leave out  a thick section of hair from your bun, you will be braiding this.
Step 3: Braid the left out strand from your bun. Pancake out the braid by tugging outwards on the braid strands. This will create a fuller look. 
Step 4: Wrap your braid all the way around your bun, and then pin. If it overlaps, just tuck in the left over braid underneath so you can't see it.
Step 5: You will now be french lace braiding the remainder of your hair. Start in the front, and grab three small sections. Braid them together twice.
Step 6: Combine the first to strands of hair together, so now you only have two strands. Grab a small section of hair from the outer part of your hair to create a new third strand. Braid it into the rest of the strands to start creating your lace french braid.
Step 7: Continue this pattern all the way around your head. If you have longer hair that will require you to tuck some of your hair under the braid to hide it, then that's okay. We braided my left over strands and the tucked them under the front of my braid.
Step 8: Pancake out your braid so that it looks thicker.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Tooth Fairy Isn't Perfect

Shirt- ℅ Red 23 Clothing, Boots- ℅ Windsor, Jeans- ℅ Dittos

5 days ago I pulled Zoe's wiggly tooth out of her mouth.
"Wow mom, great job! That didn't even hurt! All I heard was a little click noise and now the tooth fairy gets to come. Hurry, I need a bag so I can go put my tooth under my pillow!"

The excitement she had for the tooth fairy needed to be bottled up in a jar, so I could pour it out on myself whenever I feel low. The girl lit up and pranced around the house. Her magical hope that the tooth fairy would come that night was endearing, and I couldn't wait to put that money under her pillow and hear about it the next morning.

Except something happened, I was exhausted that night and we went to bed late… 
and the tooth fairy forgot. 
Zoe woke up in the morning, and I imagine she giggled as she looked under her pillow.
Unfortunately all she found was her rotten old tooth.
I assured her the tooth fairy would come the next night, and probably missed us because we were up late watching Charlie Brown's Halloween Special. Zoe agreed that must be what happened, and was thrilled to know she would still come.

Except something happened again.
I don't know what happened this time, other than the fact I have too much going on.
But the tooth fairy forgot. AGAIN.
And this time when Zoe woke up, she was so mad that she tried to just go back to sleep and miss out on the whole day all together, because the fairy just wasn't being fair!
We talked our way through it, and Zoe built her excitement back up in hopes Miss Fairy would
drop by soon.

We went to bed that night, and by the grace of God, I woke up from a dead sleep at 4 AM, realizing that the tooth fairy almost forgot about Zoe's tooth for the THIRD night in a row. I stumbled down the stairs, rummaging for money, and decided that the tooth fairy owed Zoe double the going tooth rate because of her lack of ability to show up on time.

When Zoe woke up, she was ecstatic. She had enough money to buy a new princess water bottle, and all was well in the world. The tooth fairy remembered her, after all.

I know, I'm horrible. I'm trying my best I promise. It got me thinking of all the little kids in the world, who put so much love and magic and mystery into the tooth fairy..
who really…
is created out of imperfect moms and dads across the world.
These moms and dads sometimes lie, or cheat, or make really bad decisions, 
they don't live up to promises,  they gossip, pass judgements, and forget what's important in life.
These tooth fairies curse and watch things they shouldn't, repeat bad jokes and get jealous of their neighbors. Sometimes they try to be better, other times they want to give up.

All the while, the trust of our tiny, naive babies are put fully into us.
Their full and all giving hearts are poured into ours, believing that we will protect, and care for, and always love them forever and ever. They don't see the imperfect sides of us, and if they do, they are quick to forgive. They are loyal, loving, trusting, and dependent. 
We need them, so that we can become better.
So that we can become how they see us.

Inside all of the people in this world, 
the ones who have offended us,
or who we think are bad, and mean, and rude
or who we do not want to forgive,

is a tooth fairy.
And behind every tooth fairy, is a child who thinks that life has a touch of magic to it.
Let's not take it away.

I'm putting on my tooth fairy glasses this week, to focus more on the magic inside all of us, and less on the faults that we all have. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#Eatfreshchallenge Week 2 and a giveaway!

Last week we kicked off our #eatfreshchallenge with Colavita  and Cooking Planit, and I've been surprised how much easier it has made my life. The Cooking Planit app really helps me when I am grocery shopping, and planning what to feed my little family for dinner.  Even though I didn't always stick to the exact meal plan, I was prepared to make healthy dinners and adjust things based on how much time I had. I'm already looking forward to sharing next week's meals with you, and trying them out for ourselves!

Tonight we had Cheesy Chicken Pasta. My trusted helper, Zoe, assisted me in whipping up dinner for the boys. When I had gotten home from work, Mike had flowers and a card for me with "Happy Boss's Day to The Big Boss." He knows who runs things around here, so I decided I'd really earn my title tonight by cooking him a bomb dinner. We substituted Colavita's whole wheat noodles and olive oil in our recipe, and it was delicious. We've been trying ColaVita's line of food, and I have to say that their Virgin Olive Oil is probably the best I've ever used. It's very smooth and easy to cook with, and adds great flavor to the meals we use it for. They also have different sauces, and my favorite is their pesto, which I can't wait to use again this week!

This Marinated Beet Recipe would have also been a good side to throw in:

You can click here to get 20% off of your Colavita order with code EatFresh20 at checkout, and you always get free shipping over $99. Also, if you're like me and need help in the kitchen, head over to Cooking Planit's YouTube channel HERE, for a bunch of great how to videos.

Here's my upcoming meals for next week:

Burger Fresh
Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups
Artichoke Pasta
Apple Fritters (for dessert!)
Black Bean Chimichangas

Now you all have a chance to enter and win a Colavita Pantry Essentials Basket which is a $120 Value!! To enter is easy:
1) Take a pic or video showing how you used Fresh Ingredients for your meal.
 2) Post it on instagram Twitter or Facebook.
3) Create a free Cooking Planit account and Follow Cooking Planit on Instagram.
4) Submit your name, Email and instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter URL through Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This post was sponsored by Cola Vita, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can follow along the other bloggers #eatfreshchallenge journeys below!