Thursday, November 15

I HEART BoxedUp!

I have made a fantastic [online] discovery that I must share with you! It's called BoxedUp -- have you heard of it?!

So most people know you can make "wish lists" on and various other online stores that allow you to pick out your top items for Christmas or an upcoming birthday. Well, I was thinking one day, "Wouldn't it be awesome if there was a website where I could make an online Christmas list, with items from lots of different companies, to share with out-of-town family?!"

I googled "wish list, different companies" and came up with about four different sites that actually provided exactly what I was looking for! I joined two of them and decided on BoxedUp. I LOVE it! I created a separate list for each one of us, and now as I'm browsing online and find an item we want/need, I just click on a little button in my browser, and it adds the item to our lists! Isn't that cool? You can create lists for different rooms in your house, different people in the family, or any way you want to categorize things.

I used to bookmark sites that I liked, and I had them all in a "shopping" folder in my favorites, but this is SO much more efficient. Instead of trying to remember what it was I liked on those sites, I just add items as I find them. No going back, no extra thinking, and no stress trying to think of gift ideas for my family.

So now, when October/November rolls around each year (or a month before any of our birthdays), I won't have to wrack my brain trying to think of gifts when that phone call comes ... "So what do you guys want for _______________?"

Who wouldn't be happy about that?!

Friday, November 9

"Fall" in Love with a Smoothie

As I've mentioned before, I'm a lover of all things Hungry Girl. Nothing new there. But a while back she posted a recipe for a pumpkin smoothie, and I've been tinkering around with it for about two weeks now. I haven't changed much, but I wanted to post it here in case anyone else is interested in a little pumpkin pie in a glass. :-)

About a month ago, I took a tip from my mom and started having a smoothie for lunch. At first I thought she was crazy -- how could a smoothie fill you up for lunch?? I've been making smoothies for breakfast for about three years now, but I didn't think it would make a very good lunch. But I was wrong! The fruit, the pumpkin (counts as a veggie for me), and the protein powder make this smoothie very long lasting...and tasty! Play around with it and adjust to your taste buds. I hope you enjoy it!

Pumpkin Smoothie

1 c. frozen fruit (I usually use just under 1 cup. HG recommended peaches, but I've also used a mixed bag of strawberries, peaches, melon, and pineapple)
1/2 banana
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder
1/2 c. skim milk
pumpkin pie spice, or cinnamon & nutmeg (to taste)
stevia, or sweetener of choice (to taste)
1/2 c. ice chips

Add everything but the ice into your blender and mix until the ingredients are combined. Add the ice and blend until combined. I like a thick, milkshakey smoothie, so you can adjust the liquid amount until it reaches the desired consistency that you like.

I always eat my smoothie with two rice cakes, and this routine has saved me a lot of standing in front of the frig going, "Hmmmm, now what do I want for lunch?" It may seem boring to have the same thing for lunch everyday, but it works for me. Give 'er a whirl (pun intended)! :-)

Oh, and if you don't have Halloween candy lying about and a husband who brings home Godiva chocolates from work, substituting this smoothie for your usual lunch may even help you control your daily calories and shed a few pounds. Or in my case, help make up for one more delicious bite of Godiva...

Thursday, November 1

Don't Miss This Hug!

I wanted to share a little Kaden blurb from today. Kaden was in "quiet time" (the replacement for nap time) in my room, and I was working on my laptop in the living room. Our rules are that he's supposed to stay in the room and play quietly or rest until Laney finishes her nap. Now of course, he doesn't always follow those rules -- he likes to call for me, ask me questions, request more drinks, make small talk, etc. -- but he's only supposed to call for me for important stuff (like if he jumps from the ceiling fan and breaks his leg). :-)

After several reminders about the rules behind us, he opened the door, poked his head out, gave me an impish grin, and said, "Mommy, I have something to tell you. You don't want to miss this hug I have for you."

Is that precious or what?! Yes, he broke the rules; yes, he tried to manipulate me with cuteness; and yes, he knew it would work.

Get over here, baby, I do need that hug.

P.S. Can I add something here? Don't wait until your child asks you for a hug -- initiate the love!