Barefoot by the Sea

Friday, May 27, 2016

Garden LOVE

As the weather warms up, we take more trips to our local greenhouse. We're lucky to have a beautiful one close by, full of locally grown plants, fruits and vegetables. It's the perfect place to enjoy an escape. The girls and I headed there this past weekend to purchase a few plants for our back deck. We have a shady backyard, so I usually opt for coleus and begonias, things that are relatively easy and sort of take care of themselves. This is most definitely the first of many purchase trips but I wanted to stay on top of my planting. Am I the only one that gets carried away? Last year I made one HUGE and EXPENSIVE trip which ended up leading to a bit of stress because I was running around trying to get everything planted. This year I decided to take a different approach.
As always, the girls loved exploring the fairy house options and have been busy making a plan. It's a great escape for the mind, body and spirit! 
We will return soon!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Santa Cruz Agua Fresca Review and Giveaway #sponsored #momsmeet #santacruzorganic

It's warming up here in New England! Warmer weather means picnics, trips to the beach and more time outside. We definitely are most active this time of year and always looking for special beverages to enjoy in the park or after a long walk. Recently, the folks over at Moms Meet contacted me and offered the opportunity to try Santa Cruz Organic® Agua Fresca. How many times have you purchased a drink and brought it home before looking at the label? Most times, I find that it's not made with actual fruit. With Santa Cruz Organic Aqua Fresca, no worries about that because it's actually made with REAL FRUIT! Organic juice/fruit puree is listed as the second ingredient right after water. For those who read labels, the ingredients are listed in order from the ingredient with the largest amount to the smallest. It's nice to know that there is more fruit juice than sugar. I also like that the Agua Fresca is made with certified organic ingredients. It's refreshing, lightly sweetened and delicious! 

We enjoyed the agua fresa very much and brought it along on a recent trip to the butterfly garden. My girls loved the Pomegranate Flavor, a tad tangy and flavorful but not too sweet. The Mango Passionfruit was also tropical and delicious. We didn't get a chance to try the Grapefruit but I bet it would be light and refreshing as well! 

A little more about this company:
As a pioneer organic brand, Santa Cruz Organic® was the first to have a wide range of organic, 100 percent juices and blends. They were also the first juice processor to use all organic fruit sourced from growers certified by an independent, third-party certification organization. With a history of developing innovative products, Santa Cruz Organic currently offers more than 50 organic items ranging from organic fruit juices and sparkling beverages to organic fruit sauces, chocolate syrups, peanut butters, and fruit spreads.

A little more about this yummy beverage:
 Inspired by traditional agua fresca, Santa Cruz Organic Agua Fresca is made with core ingredients such as organic fruit juice, sugar, and a hint of lemon juice. 
• Santa Cruz Organic Agua Fresca contains only a handful of USDA Certified Organic ingredients, including organic juice/fruit puree as the first ingredient after water. 
• These refreshing and lightly sweetened beverages are Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten-Free, and available in three varieties: Pomegranate, Mango Passionfruit, and Grapefruit. 
• A 32 oz. bottle of Santa Cruz Organic Agua Fresca retails for $3.20 - $3.49, depending on the location.
I'm excited to let you know that the folks over at Santa Cruz Organic and Moms Meet are offering up two bottles of this delicious Agua Fresca to one lucky reader of Barefoot by the Sea! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below (please note, it may take a minute to generate) and enter to win!  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This would be the perfect Summer beverage to enjoy by the beach, lake, on a picnic or ANYWHERE!  Good luck!
Please note, I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Lightened Up Chipotle Coleslaw Recipe

As the weather starts to get warmer, I start looking ahead to spending more time outside. The perfect weekend  includes working in the garden, going for a long walk and watching my kids ride bikes and play outside. I love to create an outdoor space for entertaining and enjoying. The more outside time, the better! 

A big part of spending time outside includes making delicious foods, growing and enjoying it all on the deck. One beloved recipe I've made over the years is chipotle coleslaw. My dear friend shared the recipe with me years ago and although mine will never be as tasty as hers, we do love it served as a side with grilled chicken and veggies. It's absolutely a staple here on our 4th of July menu and through the warm summer days.

I decided to create a lightened up version last week because I didn't have any sour cream on hand and wanted to see if it was as tasty sans
mayo and sour cream. It wasn't quite as tasty but still yummy and flavorful, and a great side dish for summer potlucks and picnics. The heat and flavor of this recipe is still intact but the fat is not! During swimsuit and shorts season, I'm okay with sacrificing the fat! 
Lightened Up Chipotle Coleslaw
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek Yogurt 
  • 3 tablespoons apple cidar vinegar
  • 1  small canned chipotle chile, minced, plus 2 tsp. adobo sauce from the can (I use fresh)
  • About 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6  cups  each packed shredded green and red cabbage
  • 7  green onions, green and pale green portions, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1  cup  tightly packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves 
  1. Prepare the dressing - in a medium bowl, stir together greek yogurt, vinegar, minced chile, adobo sauce and 1 tsp salt
  2. In a large bowl
  3. In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, green onions, and 3/4 cup chopped cilantro. Pour dressing over vegetables, toss well, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Before serving, add more salt if you like and scatter remaining 1/4 cup chopped cilantro over the top.
This is hands down the #1 recipe that I am looking forward to the most this Summer.  Give it a try...but keep a tall glass of ice water (or your favorite beverage) on hand, it's SPICY! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Building Confidence In Girls

I've talked before how I love to check out thrift stores from time to time. It's fun discovering a deal or grabbing a find. The other day I was checking out some items and was shocked to see this shirt...
It reads, "Attention Single Boys Party Girl Looking for Fun, Must be Wild-N_Crazy and Go All Night Long". Ugh. I had to take a picture. I cannot IMAGINE who is thinking this is a good purchase for their daughter, no matter what the age. For the record, it was a size 12/14 GIRLS. Is it supposed to be funny or cute? Is this something you'd want your teacher (or any adult) to see you wearing? I'm hoping that's why it's at the thrift store, marked at $.99. I hope it remains there and nobody ever thinks this would be a good shirt for their daughter to wear. It's not a joke, it's not cute. To me, it's just inappropriate and sending a bad message. 

I also spotted this, made my American Eagle. I know it's supposed to be funny and intended for a college kid but again...just not cool! What kind of message are we sending out there?  
I'm a big advocate for building girls' confidence, teaching them to love themselves, respect their values and their bodies. I think it's harder than ever these days to grow up in a world that's connected 24/7. It seems like everybody is in everybody else's business. You almost have to represent yourself like a brand in social media! These t-shirts don't do anything to promote class or confidence. Instead they seem to encourage girls to represent themselves in a derogatory way, as party girls or wild girls. Neither of which, in my opinion, is a particularly appealing type of girl. Instead of advertising ourselves or our girls let's just encourage them to be who THEY are and who THEY want to be. Personally, I hope my daughters reflect their intelligence, love of nature, animals and sports. Beauty and appeal shines from within. I just want them to be real and BE proud of who they are! 

I feel like parents have real power where this is concerned. I know these shirts are for girls but there are other common themes for boys as well along similar lines. What do you think?
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