30 Day Plank Challenge for Beginners

I don’t know about you, but I would like to feel better inside and out. I have been far too inactive for far too long, and it’s time to take my life back! 

Now I know (because I’m feeling it) that this can be intimidating for several reasons, but what if we just started small? What if we created a step-by-step stairway, instead of running into a wall and trying to scale it with zero momentum?

We began with a 30 day walking challenge to get our legs moving and to open up our heart and lungs! We followed that with a 30 day squat challenge to strengthen our muscles! Now let’s continue strengthening our muscles by starting a 30 day plank challenge that begins with holding the plank position for just 10 seconds on the first day, and by end of the 30 days we will able to hold it for 2 minutes!

Here we go!

Healthy Homemade Snack – Baked Zucchini Chips

I love a good snack, snacks are delicious! Are they good for you? Ehhh it’s always up for debate, but if you are going to eat something between meals, perhaps while you’re cozying up to watch a movie or play a game, why not make it a healthier choice?

I think most nutritionists agree that anything deep-fried should be consumed in moderation or not at all, but chips are sooooo good! The solution? Let’s create our own oven-baked chips! And not just potato chips, let’s create some delicious vegetable chips too! This way we are regulating exactly what is going into and/or on to our chips with no deep-frying to be found!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 large zucchini
  • Salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 240 F.
  2. Wash the zucchini, then use a mandolin to uniformly slice them into thin chips.
  3. Place the zucchini slices on a clean dish towel or paper towels. Cover them with another dish towel or paper towels and set a baking sheet on them, pressing own slightly to remove excess moisture.
  4. After drying, place the zucchini slices into a bowl and toss them with olive oil and a few pinches of salt (how much depends on your preference).
  5. Coat a large baking sheet (or more) with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.
  6. Place the zucchini slices on the baking sheets in a single layer.
  7. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until crisp and golden.
  8. Allow the chips to cool completely. 
  9. Enjoy!

30 Day Squat Challenge for Beginners

I don’t know about you, but I would like to feel better inside and out. I have been far too inactive for far too long, and it’s time to take my life back! 

Now I know (because I’m feeling it) that this can be intimidating for several reasons, but what if we just started small? What if we created a step-by-step stairway, instead of running into a wall and trying to scale it with zero momentum?

We began with a 30 day walking challenge to get our legs moving and to open up our heart and lungs! Now let’s take the next step and strengthen our muscles! Let’s start a 30 day squat challenge that begins with just 5 squats on the first day, but by the end of the 30 days we will able to do 100 squats in a day!

I recommend breaking the squats up into sets as the numbers climb higher, please do not try to do them all at once!

Here we go!

DIY – Sensory Slime

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational activities for her that are made with love and will be loved!

I don’t believe I ever played with slime as a child, but it is super fascinating and fun to play with even as an adult! Adults should mix the slime, or supervise while a child over the age of 6 mixes. This recipe is safer for children to handle, but if they are younger than the age of 6 please supervise and please do not let them eat any!

Let’s make some slime!

SUPPLIES
  • 8 oz of washable school glue (i.e. Elmer’s)
  • 1 to 2 drops of liquid food coloring (optional)
  • 1/4 cup glitter (optional)
  • 1 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of saline solution (contact lens solution)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Squeeze the glue into a medium bowl, then stir in the food coloring and glitter if desired.
  2. Add the baking soda to the glue mixture and stir until smooth.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the saline solution and stir slowly until the mixture forms into a blob and becomes stringy.
  4. Pick up the slime and work it between your hands, until smooth.
  5. Enjoy and store in an airtight container so you can enjoy again!

Simple Shaken Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!

It’s summertime, and many of us think about cold and refreshing treats for the hot days ahead. When I was a little girl, my grandpa would bring out a hand-cranked ice cream maker during family barbecues and my job was to sit on it to hold it steady. It may sound silly, but I loved that job, and felt super important doing it.

I’m not sure if that old ice cream maker fell apart, or it’s stored away somewhere and I can’t find it. I would love to buy or make another one some day, but for now we’ll get Zoey involved in making ice cream another way, that will admittedly burn off more energy!

Let’s make some homemade ice cream in bags!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • Ice
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 2 plastic sandwich bags
  • 1 plastic gallon bag
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pour the half and half, sugar and vanilla extract into a small bowl, then whisk to combine.
  2. Pour the half and half mixture into one of the plastic sandwich bags and seal, then place it into the other sandwich bag and seal.
  3. Fill half of the gallon bag with ice and the salt.
  4. Place the smaller bag into the larger bag and cover the rest of it with ice, then seal the larger bag.
  5. The salt will make the ice colder than comfortable so wear oven mitts to protect your hands and shake the bag for about 6-12 minutes.
  6. Remove the small bag from the larger bag and rinse it well to remove any salt residue.
  7. Carefully open the bag and empty the ice cream into a bowl, stirring a bit to smooth.
  8. Enjoy!

Water Table Accessory and Activity Ideas

Water Table Activities

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational activities for her that are made with love and will be loved!

With how much young ones love water, water tables are perfection during the hot summer months! Set them up in a comfortable location with some shade, and watch them play to their hearts content! They can play with the table as is, or you can add accessories to make the play even more engaging and fun! 

Here to inspire you, I’ve created a list of water table accessory/activity ideas to keep the kiddos entertained for hours!

**If you live in California or any other location where wasting water may be an issue, no worries! Bypass adding any food coloring to the play water and once you’re done, you can use it to water your plants!

Be Prepared – First Aid Kit Checklist

Do you have a first aid kit in your home? In your car? I didn’t until just recently, when I realized it’s better to have it around and not need it, than need it and not have it around!

As a starter, I purchased this one, and I will be purchasing another one for my car. If I need anything that isn’t included in this kit I can always purchase it to fill in the blanks, but what does a first aid kit ultimately need and why?

The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the following:

P.S. I did not create this infographic. If the creator contacts me I can credit them properly!
  • Emergency First Aid guide 
  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approx. 1 gram each)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 breathing barrier
  • 1 emergency blanket
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of non-latex gloves
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approx. 1 gram each) 
  • 1 gauze roll bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide) 
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)  
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers

You can increase the numbers of each item if you have a family of larger than 4 or as you see the need. It is also recommended to include any personal items such as medications and emergency phone numbers or other items your health-care provider may suggest.

As I educate myself more on being prepared, I will update or redo this post with any updates!

Healthy Homemade Snack – Baked Potato Chips

I love a good snack, snacks are delicious! Are they good for you? Ehhh it’s always up for debate, but if you are going to eat something between meals, perhaps while you’re cozying up to watch a movie or play a game, why not make it a healthier choice?

I think most nutritionists agree that anything deep-fried should be consumed in moderation or not at all, but chips are sooooo good! The solution? Let’s create our own oven-baked chips! This way we are regulating exactly what is going into and/or on to our chips with no deep-frying to be found!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound of russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Wash the potatoes, then use a mandolin to uniformly slice them into thin chips.
  2. Place the potato slices into a large bowl and cover them with cold water. 
  3. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to soak for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. Drain the potato slices and pat them dry.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  6. Coat a large baking sheet (or more) with cooking spray.
  7. In a large bowl, toss the potato slices together with the olive oil and salt to coat evenly. 
  8. Spread the potato slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the chips are a very light golden color and appear crunchy. Keep a careful eye on the potatoes to make sure they don’t brown and overcook.
  10. Allow the chips to cool completely. 
  11. Enjoy!

30 Day Walking Challenge for Beginners

I don’t know about you, but I would like to feel better inside and out. I have been far too inactive for far too long, and it’s time to take my life back! 

Now I know (because I’m feeling it) that this can be intimidating for several reasons, but what if we just started small? What if we created a step-by-step stairway, instead of running into a wall and trying to scale it with zero momentum?

So first step, let’s get our legs moving and open up our heart and lungs! Let’s start a 30 day walking challenge that begins with 15 minute sessions and by the end of the 30 days we will be walking for 60 minutes without stopping!

Here we go!

Transformed Power Wheels – Barbie to Jurassic Park Jeep

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational toys for her that are made with love and will be loved! I loved dinosaurs as a child and quite honestly I still do! I see that interest piquing in Zoey too and of course I’m going to encourage it!

I was always fascinated by power wheels as a child and envious of any of my friends who owned one! When my parents found this one at a thrift store, I jumped at the chance to get one for Zoey, but it needed a little work! As you can see it started out as Barbie themed, and while I loved Barbies too this was the opportunity to try something new!

Let’s create a Jurassic Park themed power wheels! Please feel free to use this information to breathe new life into an old toy and, if you have any new tips, please feel free to share!

SUPPLIES
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Using a screwdriver, dismantle the toy as much as possible without breaking anything. If a piece is not coming off and you’re worried it will break if you force it, don’t force it, and don’t worry! Painter’s tape and paper are your friends!
  2. Remove any old stickers and completely wash/clean the plastic toy and it’s pieces, then allow to dry.
  3. Wipe the toy down with rubbing alcohol to prepare the surfaces before painting, then allow to dry.
  4. Spread flattened cardboard (or something similar) in a well ventilated space to protect the floor.
  5. Paint the removed items first, taking care not to pile the paint on too thickly, instead try misting it on and applying multiple layers.
  6. Tape and paper the wheels surrounding the hubcaps, then paint the hubcaps red in layers.
  7. Once you’re satisfied with the hubcaps, and they are fully dried, you can cover each whole wheel with a disposable bag.
  8. Flip the car over and paint the undercarriage first with whichever color you choose.
  9. Once you’re satisfied with the undercarriage and it is fully dried, you can flip the car back over and place it on the cardboard directly or place it on a couple of sawhorses.
  10. Tape up anything you do not want painted, i.e. the pedal and shifter.
  11. Paint the base layers first (where any surrounding paint can be covered with top layers) and allow to dry completely. This may take a few layers so be patient and wait for each coat to dry a bit before painting another. I started with the red of the dashboard/windshield piece, then the gray of the front bumper.
  12. Using painter’s tape, bags and/or paper, cover the painted items that cannot be removed once they are completely dried. I covered the dashboard/windshield piece, but left the steering wheel exposed. I also covered the front bumper.
  13. Once these layers are covered, paint the next layer up and allow to dry completely. This may take a few layers so be patient and wait for each coat to dry a bit before painting another. For me, this was painting the steering wheel gray.
  14. Using painter’s tape, bags and/or paper, cover everything painted that cannot be removed. In addition to the previously covered items, I also covered the steering wheel with a disposable bag after it was completely dry.
  15. Once everything is covered, paint the body of the toy and allow it to dry completely. This may take a few layers so be patient and wait for each coat to dry a bit before painting another.
  16. Gently remove all of the coverings and reassemble the Power Wheels Ride On Jeep.
  17. Carefully peel and stick the Jurassic Park Jeep Wrangler decals to your Jeep.
  18. Let’s go find some Dinosaurs!