Healthy Living, Parenting, Review, Uncategorized

Keeping Kids Healthy with GIANTmicrobes – Review

I have partnered with GIANTmicrobes for feature. All opinions are my own

Keeping Kids Healthy with GIANTmicrobes - Review

Vitamins come in many forms from tablets and capsules to yummy gummies. Most kids get their vitamins in gummies or flavored, candy-like tablets. Now they can play with their vitamins! With actual, enlarged molecules of Vitamins A, B6, C and D they will learn all about these compounds that are essential for growth and nutrition. See these fun Vitamin GIANTmicrobes.

Vitamin A plays an important role in bone growth and vision. It also is great for the skin and teeth as well as cell and tissue growth. What foods are a good source of Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is found in yellow and orange foods like carrots and squash. Ask your child to name a few they can think of?

Microbes Plush

Vitamin B6 is one of those B-Vitamins that converts food into energy. In particular, B6 is important for the cardiovascular and nervous system as well as immunity and digestion.

Vitamin B6 is found in meat, fish, nuts, bananas and potatoes! Ask your child what Disney Minion they think gets the most Vitamin B6?

Vitamin C Facts

Vitamin C fights the cold and flu bugs and helps heals wounds. You can’t stay away from germs, they are all around us but Vitamin C helps our body not get sick from those germs.

Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, cabbage and kiwi to name a few. Ask your child what Vitamin C food they want as a side for lunch or dinner today?

Vit C nutrition

Vitamin D is for the bones! Vitamin D also gives us a mineral that helps our body take in Calcium. Calcium (milk) and Vitamin D are best friends.

Vitamin D can be found in grains, green leafy vegetables, egg yolks and some cereals. Ask your child what they like to put on their green salad?

Learning biology

Now that you and your child have learned about their vitamins, how about some plush molecules to play with. They will use these to learn and memorize. If vitamins don’t excite them, there are so many cells, diseases and critters to learn and have fun with at GIANTmicrobes.

Food/Beverage, Recipes, Uncategorized

Low Carb Chicken Pea Penne Recipe

Low Carb Chicken Pea Penne Recipe

Being on a low carb diet makes it hard to get creative. We have cut rices, most pasta and breads. Only poultry and lean pork and lots of fresh veggies and fruits. I can stare at a chicken breast a thousand hours some nights and am just flat out of creativity. Then one day you realize you have some peas, chicken and Explore Cuisine in the kitchen and crave pasta, but because we aren’t eating the sauces you just get creative anyway. Here is my Low Carb Chicken Pea Penne and it was a hit!

Explore Cuisine

The only pasta we keep in our cupboard is Explore Cuisine because it is made with real veggies and lentils like edamame chickpea and green lentils. These are loaded with plant-based protein, are USDA Organic and Gluten free. They taste incredible. The closest store to me that carries Explore Cuisine is an Albertsons 30 minutes away and I will head there to stock up. I have approved this pasta for a once a week meal on our diet.

low carb chicken penne

Everything is cooked separately then it all comes together with some herbs, parmesan and olive oil in the end.

organic lentil pasta

Low Carb Chicken Pea Penne Recipe
Rate this recipe

Low Carb Chicken Pea Penne Recipe


  • 1 Box Explore Cuisine Organic Green Lentil Penne
  • Chicken Breast (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 Cup cooked Peas
  • 1/4 Cup + extra for topping Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon Basil
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Cook chicken with oregano, salt, pepper, basil in 2 tbsp olive oil until done. While the chicken is cooking, boil water and cook the penne. Once penne is done, drain and set aside. I just put it back in the same pan I cooked chicken in to stay warm. In the (now empty) pasta pot cook garlic in 1/2 Cup of olive oil until browned. Add the pasta, chicken and cooked peas. Add 1/4 C parmesan and stir. plate the pasta and top with a sprinkle of parmesan and parsley.

penne with chicken

Father's Day, Uncategorized

Bind Schoolwork, Artwork and Stories with 4everBound

Thank you 4everBound for partnering for this feature

Bind Schoolwork, Artwork and Stories with 4everBound

 How many bags, boxes or totes do you have flooded with artwork, scribbles and stories fro your child? I had a Star Wars canvas bag, small tote and a shelf all overflowing with artwork from my youngest. Now I just have one book. I am so grateful to 4everBound for allowing me to send in all of those papers and bind them so I can free up storage space and keep Anthony’s work.

4Ever cover

As I gathered up his work, awards, report cards, photos and stories I just needed to keep 2 things in mind. I needed to consider paper size and order. I had a few pieces that went a tad over in size but got an email asking for permission for them to cut to size and I am not sure what pieces were altered because it all looks great.


The book will be bound in the order you send in the papers. Once you sign up and pick your book size you are given the shipping address to send papers. It cost me about $6 to ship all but I did a 2-day shipping method that cost a tad more. The cost of binding and shipping my papers (they pay for return shipping) is a fantastic value and I feel so much better my memories are in one book and not all over the place. Just double and triple check your order so it comes back the way you need it. I did my son’s by age. The photo above is the earliest one saved from a daycare as a toddler.

class photo

You can get as creative as you want in sending in pieces. Mine is a collection of all pieces I have saved of my son from Pre-K to now his 3rd grade year. You can do a sports theme for an older child which would be fun-send in all of their team photos, paper awards, clippings if in town paper and make a fun sports history for them That would be a fantastic graduation gift!

binding book

Another idea can be a memoir. If you follow 4everbound on Facebook you would have seen the recent video of a man who wrote a memoir for his family from his time in the military. It is such a sweet memoir and video. Visit 4everbound to get started!


Spring Cleaning with a Purpose #DonateStuffCreateJobs

A thanks to Goodwill for this social good posting information

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You’re lack of feeling unmotivated to spring clean is not unusual! We all feel that way, so here is a little inspiration for you.

Over the past several years, most of us have had a family member, friend, acquaintance struggle in this economy. Either they have lost a job or struggled to find employment. And if not someone you know personally, really, all you have to do is turn on the TV or pull up social media to see the struggle. It is real.
Goodwill’s career centers, training programs and staffing operations give people the resources, skills and confidence that changes thousands of lives each year.
So how can you help to be a part of this growth and effort in your own community? It’s easy! Donate to Goodwill = create jobs!

One tip I have is to take this time to sanitize your kids bath and pool toys. I sanitize bath toys every month in the dishwasher. This means I choose toys that sanitize well for the bath. Just gather them all and any tiny pieces in the utensil holder and do a cycle.


Have some to thin out in good condition? Consider donating them.

Thanks to the programs and support services made possible by donations of clothes and household items, Goodwill helped place more than 312,000 people in jobs in the United States and Canada in 2015 – that’s one person finding a job every 23 seconds of every business day.  

Why do I donate? Because what I may not want or have use for may be perfect for someone else! If we have perfectly good items that can be loved by someone else, why not help our community? If you are not sure where your local Goodwill is, you can use the Goodwill Locator App available for Android and iOS devices and at (click “Explore Our Map” on the homepage). Simply input the items you’re donating to calculate the number of hours of career counseling, on-the-job training, résumé preparation, financial planning classes, and other services you’ve helped provide people facing challenges finding employment. When jobs thrive, communities thrive.

Last year, nearly 2 million people engaged in face-to-face Goodwill services to advance in their careers. More than 35 million people accessed education, training, mentoring and online learning tools offered by Goodwill virtually to strengthen their skills and gain industry-recognized credentials.

We have done our part! Now it is time for you to do yours! Tag us on your social media posts with a photo of your Goodwill donations using #DonateStuffCreateJobs.


The Patchwork Bear Memory and Keepsake Bear

A sample bear was sent to us for feature we created

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I have 2 older stepsons and together we also have a son turning 9 next month. We have totes and bags full of memory and keepsake items. We have artwork, clothing, nursery decor and announcements we have saved. For years they sit packed up until the age where they enjoy looking through their own pasts.

Bear note

Eventually they will create families of their own and I will deliver their totes to them to keep at their place and share with their family. Before I do that, perhaps gathering some materials for The Patchwork Bear Memory and Keepsake Bear  would make the best touch.

Patchwork Bear MailBear Tag

How would a child, old or young react to such a memory? I made one for my 9 year old and it is a hit. He helped me gather pieces and mail them in. Then would ask every few days if his bear is here yet. When it came I called for him to open the box because his bear was here and he dropped everything and ran into the kitchen and tore the shipping box open. It has hardly left his side since.

The Patchwork Bear Memory and Keepsake Bear

Now I think of so many occasions this would be fun to gift. It would be fun to make our middle son one and have it sent in a college care package as he is away at school. The oldest is beginning to settle down so if he has children in the next several years, what a special teddy for his child if I gather his old first shirts and materials.

Personalize keepsake

I think of my Mom-gathering stuff form each grandkid and making her a tote or blanket. Even a memory puppy for my husband’s shelf in his office from all 3 boys memories. The gift ideas are almost endless with the gifts made from your upcycled memories.

keepsake gift

Anthony tells you more about his Patchwork Bear in his video below. Take a look and leave him a comment. Visit The Patchwork Bear website for more information.

Home, Spring 2017, Uncategorized

Smarter Spring Cleaning Strategies Start with Having the Kids Help

Guest story by BusyKid CEO Gregg Murset


Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to clean. From organizing closets to washing windows, dusting baseboards, cleaning inside, behind and under appliances, vacuuming air vents, and freshening up the yard, the list of chores that need to be done around the house is exhausting and endless. According to the Center For Parenting Education, children who regularly do chores are better able to deal with frustration; delay gratification; have higher self-esteem and are more responsible compared to children who don’t help out with chores. Instead of parents trying to tackle all of the Spring Cleaning tasks themselves, or hiring an expensive service for help, getting the kids involved with age-appropriate tasks might be the best idea.

Here is a how-to guide on tackling your Spring Cleaning tasks getting the kids motivated to lend a hand:

  • Plan It Out – Sit down as a family and discuss the projects, the deadlines and who is tackling what.
  • Team Up – Instead of having each person take on individual projects, team up to make the jobs go faster. Put on matching colored outfits and race to see who can finish their cleaning project the fastest, while delivering the best results.
  • Make It Fun – No one said chores had to be boring, make a game and trigger the competitive side of your kids. Since younger children cannot help as much with cleaning, put them in charge of quality control with a pair of white gloves and a magnifying glass!
  • Call in the Reserves – Ask friends from your neighborhood to do a cleaning swap. Take turns doing jobs at each other’s homes with your kids and set up an assembly line process. For example, if you are washing outside windows one person can scrub while another follows and rinses. Then go to the neighbor’s house and do the same. You’ll cut your job time half if not more!
  • Put Value On It – This is a great time to begin teaching your kids some valuable life lessons, including work ethic, responsibility, time management, and earning an allowance. If two kids want the same job, have them write down bids on scraps of paper and turn them in to you. The lowest bidder wins the job and the reward!
  • Share Your Time & Talents – Make sure to carve out a few hours to take on a community project as a family – clean your park, paint a neighbors fence, etc.
  • Throw a Party at the End – Thank everyone for their hard work, and get yourself out of having to make dinner, by ordering take-out. Then pick up some ice cream for dessert and recyclable paper dishes and silverware so you don’t have to wash one more thing.

About BusyKid

BusyKid is the first online chore chart where children can earn, save, share, spend and invest real money wisely. Formerly known as My Job Chart, BusyKid is easy to use, revolutionary and allows kids to receive a real allowance from their parents each Friday. No more points or trying to convert imaginary money. BusyKid is committed to helping children learn the important basic financial principles they don’t get anywhere else. Designed as a platform that is easy for parents to implement, BusyKid features pre-loaded chores based on children’s ages and making chore payment approvals is as simple as answering a text message. BusyKid is the only online chore/allowance platform that allows children to earn real allowance and use it immediately to buy gift cards, make a donation or invest in real stock. For more information, visit