Monday, January 26, 2015

Energy Bites in the BLIZZARD ZONE

One of the things I've talked about in the past is the fact that I make weekly, from scratch snacks for my children. I do realize there's a lot of wonderful options on the market for a good quality, healthy snacks. When I do have the time, I opt to make my own simply because I know they're healthy but they're also more economical. I usually make a healthy muffin or a quick bread, but a few weeks ago I tried this recipe I found on Healthy Appetites for Energy Bites that my children absolutely love! These healthy ingredients these will keep you moving throughout the day because they're packed with protein and goodness! Let me just say that my husband and I also love them, maybe a little too much!  I typically make a couple batches so that the whole family can enjoy them throughout the week. The recipe called for sun-butter but I've also made them with peanut butter and almond butter which work well too.
These delicious treats are simple and delicious - chia seeds, chocolate chips, nut butter, honey...the stuff dreams are made of!  What a great treat to have on hand for snack today or perhaps a SNOW DAY!  Speaking of which, what's the weather look like where you are?  Let's just say, we are officially in the BLIZZARD WARNING ZONE and anticipating being closer to the 18-25 inch zone in these parts!  Looks like we will have the very first snow day of the season! 
Happy Shoveling Friends! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thank YOU!

One of the things I love most about running a blog is that connection you make with people across the country and sometimes, all over the world. Over the years I've made great friends and established a great network of blog oriented people who share, provide inspiration and ideas. I can't tell you how many times I've bookmarked a recipe or did a craft based on one of the blogs that I've read. Of course I have my favorites and those are the ones I visit often. I think blogging can be quite personal and you learn more about the people who run them and often times establish a nice friendship.

That friendship can sometimes lead to the most wonderful surprises! Earlier this week, I had THREE such surprises from three friends in the blogging world who I've grown closer to in the past year. I arrived home to the sweetest package with an encouraging note of friendship which meant more than to me then she will probably ever know. Her blog is one that I read it as often as possible, it's inspiring and encouraging, it's positive but honest. I appreciate the words she writes and I'm thankful to call her a friend. She sent me the sweetest notecards, you can check out her amazing work here
Another friend in the blogging world sent me a very flattering email seeking my advice about her blogging. I can't tell you how much that meant to me considering the fact I respect her as a blogger and have tried to have more meaningful content since I started reading her blog in 2014. I discovered her through 31 days and have never looked back. Her blog was one that I actually enjoyed so much that I look to her for daily encouragement and inspiration through her words.

Finally, I discovered a cool, chic and funky friend who loves photographs, her family and London!  I love that I can read about her exciting adventures, check out her decorating ideas and hear more about her family.  She sent me a message the other day - I just felt that connection.  

This to say that I'm so thankful for all of you who read my blog! Whether you visit once in a while or visit often, your support means the world to me. I know it's a busy world, everyone has things going on and distractions. Social media has overtaken our lives to some degree, at least mine! With so many blogs the newsletters out there I can't help to feel an immense amount of gratitude for those of you who continue to read, find inspiration through my words or check out a recipe or craft.
That being said, I have felt like I've been letting things slip from a blogging point of you lately. I still have ideas but time sometimes prevents me from sharing those are executing a recipe or craft properly. These encouraging friends this week have reminded me how lucky I am and therefore I'm encouraged to continue to run the best blog possible. The relationships we build mean the most and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who continues to support me!

On that note, I'm wishing you all a wonderful weekend!  I'll see you back here next week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ice Rink Tutorial

A few years ago, my husband made a great backyard ice rink.  After taking a couple years off, we decided it was time to get one going again! Several people have emailed and asked how he did it so I thought I'd go straight to the "master carpenter" for the information.  Here's what he did -You'll need
· 2X4’s (2 – 10 Foot and 4 – 8 foot)
· Joining plates (to join 8 foot 2x4’s into 16 foot lengths of the long sides)
· Right angle joining brackets (for the insides of the corners)
· Galvanized roofing nails (big heads but not so long that they poke out through the 2x4’s)
· 1 Sheet of 3 Mill painters plastic (10 foot width, and I think 25 foot length – something like that)
He created the frame by making the long sides – joining them with the plates and putting the right angle brackets on each end.  Then, he laid out the sheet of plastic where the rink was going to be and put the long sides under it, leaving enough slack so he could nail the edge of the sheet to the top of the 2x4 and hang down to the ground .  FYI - Try to leave additional slack for ay corner or side that needed to be propped up to level the rink – this way the plastic won’t pull so hard if it is suspended from the ground with a ton of water in it.)
Next,  he attached the ends.  He had to leave about 4 – 5 inched hanging over the “short” side due to the width of the plastic and the amount of “hang down” it would need – this is why the right angle brackets need to be on the inside of the corners, not the outside (unless you are going to cut off the excess). Then you tack the plastic in place all along the top of the 2X4 “box” you have created with the galvanized nails, about a foot apart, but closer together if water is pooling into one area adding extra weight and stress on the plastic. In some areas on ours, he has the nails spaced only about 4 inches apart.
Then you fill with water. If it is not on absolutely level ground, you may need to prop up a side or corner (he used excess 2x4 scraps) so that water doesn’t fill up one side, while leaving another side “high and dry”.

Then… wait for it to freeze.

Monday, January 19, 2015

No excuses...

As a New Englander, yesterday was a BIG game out here in Patriots land!  I'm happy to report (if you already didn't hear) that it's the Patriots vs the Seahawks in the SUPERBOWL on Sunday, February 1st!  Needless to say, we had a late night and I wasn't *exactly* prepared with a blog post so there you have it!

My girls are home today in observance of Martin Luther King Day so I'm taking a day to get ready for the 4 day week and just going to enjoy some extra family time.  Oh and it's a beautiful and warm(ish) morning here so we will be taking the last of our Christmas decorations down and maybe working on making the house look a little...sweeter for Valentine's Day!

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!
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