Smart Mamas

New site will launch on 11.11.11!

Hi friends!

So sorry for my long absence. Life became a bit hectic and I needed a break from my blog for a while. My last semester of graduate school was very demanding and then we moved back home to Arizona two weeks after my graduation. It has been crazy around here, but we have finally settled into our new happy, chaotic routine.

I have been thinking a lot about my blog in recent months and am very excited to announce a brand new blog in the works! I finally decided to upgrade from wordpress.org to wordpress.com. I am currently building the site and it will launch on 11.11.11. The focus will be on holistic wellness, vegetarian recipes made from whole food ingredients, and other daily inspirational, healthy, good things. I wanted to have a more inclusive site for all people, not just mamas. I will still have many family and parenting posts, too. It’s the same type of stuff, just a broader scope.

The new site will be….You Evolution! www.youevolution.com. I will soon update my Twitter and Facebook, too.

I hope you like the changes and will come visit me once it’s up and running.

Peace to you,

Lisa

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all women who love and nurture children.

New Blog Coming Soon

I’m working on a brand new blog. Can’t wait to share it. :)

8 Week Fitness Challenge

I have been so crazy busy lately. I feel awful for neglecting my blog.  Right now is a stressful time for many different reasons, one being it’s my last semester of graduate school.

So to combat the stress and poor nutritional and exercise habits that come along with it, I decided to take an 8 week fitness challenge with some of my friends.  I will blog about it soon and let you know the details. Just wanted to let you know I’m still here:)

Peace, love and joy,

Lisa

Love Day

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a “fake” holiday contrived by greeting card and flower companies.  It can simply be a day about love.

A day to celebrate the people in your life that love you unconditionally.

We spend time together as a family at home. I like to cook something special, something I have never prepared before. A natural way for me to show people love is to cook for them.

If today feels forced, think about making it your own day. A day without Hallmark and flowers.com taking ownership. A day without restaurants dictating what your meal must be and charging a fortune for it. It is yours to show love however suits you.

Abudant love to you and your family,

Lisa

Kids and Veggies. How to Foster a Love Affair (4)

Christian and his buddy selecting the perfect tomato

Pick Your Own Farms

There are many ways to get your kids interested in vegetables and fruit, this way is fail proof, the crown jewel. Plan a fun family day by visiting a local pick your own farm. There are many all over the country. Every farm is unique. Some are destination spots with picnic tables, restrooms, and tours. Others are small, intimate family farms with nothing more than a bucket to fill and rows and rows of fresh veggies.

Once your child learns how to look for ripe pickings, the hunt is like Easter on steroids.

This farm we visited with friends.  They grew many varieties of tomatoes. They also had peppers, watermelon, and squash. My friend’s daughter hated tomatoes. It wasn’t long before she was munching on tiny, yellow sweet tomatoes (sweet golds).

My boys couldn’t wait to get home and eat their little treasures. Christian ate a large tomato just like an apple and little Roman ate grape tomatoes by the fistful. The nice thing about picking your own fruit and veggies is they tend to be sweeter, juicer, more flavorful than those found in the grocery store. Also, kids get a chance to learn how veggies are grown and about different varieties.

Once you visit a farm, many times they will put you on their mailing list, so you will get email updates when they have a new crop ready to harvest. It’s a fun and unique way to spend a family day. One your kids will fondly remember.

The best online resource for locating a pick your own farm in your area is http://pickyourown.org/.

Have you visited one before? I would love to hear your experience.

Healthy Mango Milkshake

This is one of our favorite fruit shakes.  Sure to be a hit with it’s light and refreshing taste and a snap to make.

Ingredients

1 mango, peeled and seeded

1 large pear

2 cups of your favorite milk.  We love it with almond or soy milk.

ice

Directions

Cut the mango and pear into large pieces and place in your blender.  Add 2 cups of milk.  You may want to adjust this according to the size of your fruit.  Add ice, we use around 6-8 pieces. Blend till smooth.  Pour into glasses and enjoy.

Mangoes are packed with vitamin A and other antioxidant vitamins like E and C.  They are also high in iron.  This fruit can even help with acne by unclogging pores.  You can slice a few pieces and place them on the affected area for about 10 minutes.  Mangoes have a wonderful anti-inflammatory property, which can reduce pain from arthritis and ease symptoms of asthma.

Cheers!

Note to self, clean spots off blender and glasses before taking pictures:)

Kale and Orzo

Today I am busy with schoolwork so I made a quick, light dinner.  Can’t beat a nice, healthy meal in 30 minutes.

I found this recipe on allrecipe.com and added a few extra ingredients.

Orzo with Kale

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 cups uncooked orzo pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped

1 large lemon, juiced

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to a boil: Sprinkle the turmeric over the boiling water and stir in the orzo; return to a boil.  Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes; drain. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the garlic in the hot oil for a few seconds until it begins to bubble.  Stir the kale into the garlic, cover the skillet with a lid, and cook for 10 mins.  Remove the cover and continue cooking and stirring until the kale is tender, about 10 mins more.  Stir the kale mixture into the orzo along with lemon juice, nutmeg, and Parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

The flavor is mild and refreshing.  I can’t wait to make it again.

A few minor modifications ~I tossed mushrooms and red bell peppers in with the kale and added more olive oil.  I only used 1 1/2 cups of uncooked orzo and it turned out great.  I omitted the Parmesan cheese.

Verdict
Christian (6) devoured two plates and said it was, “delicious,” except for the peppers.  He also wanted to know if kale had more vitamin A than carrots so he could see better tomorrow.
Roman (3) said, “It doesn’t smell very good,” while I was cooking.  He made sure I saw his pinched nose and exaggerated mouth breathing.  After a few minutes of asking he finally tasted the orzo and said it didn’t taste good.  I have to say he can’t stand orzo pasta because “the shape is weird for a noodle.”
Husband loved it.
Plate scrapped clean = good dish.
This recipe was submitted to allrecipes.com by Sunaina. You can find it here.

Etsy Gem

I love personalized everyday items.  They turn the mundane daily tasks into a big warm hug.

I came across these “upcycled” vintage silverware pieces this morning and wanted to share.

Hope your morning is wonderful.

Sycamore Hill Etsy Store

#1 Snack in our House

My kids could eat apples and peanut butter everyday. Keep fruits fun by changing up the way you cut them.  All I did was core and slice, simple and quick.   A nice bonus is the peanut butter stays on the apple and not all over your kid.

I love the fresh roasted, organic peanut butter at Sprouts.  It is half the price of other stores in my area and there is only one ingredient…peanuts.

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