Skinny Puppy Chow

chexI love sweets. Forget pizza and pasta, sweet snacks are my go to item!! I can eat salad all day long if need be if it means I get chocolate for dessert haha. I’m always on the hunt to find ways to make my favorite treats a bit healthier, and this week I made Skinny “Puppy Chow”. No its not dog food, its peanut butter chocolate covered chex mix. SO GOOD!!!! Its also a great sweet snack for kids!!will and chex

Here is how I made it:

INGREDIENTS:

2 Cups Wheat Chex Cereal (you can use regular too)

2 Tbsp Natural Low Fat Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp “I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter”

2 Squares Sugar Free Dark Chocolate

1 Package Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding

1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the butter, peanut butter, and chocolate in a large pot on the stove. Melt over low heat and stir consistently to prevent it from burning.  Once it has all melted, remove from the stove.  Pour the chex mix in the pot and mix it up well. Dump the chex onto a foil lined cookie sheet to cool. Once it has cooled (approx. 20-30 minutes) pour it into a large Ziploc bad and add the pudding and powdered sugar. Shake gently to mix. Store in an air tight container or bag for 3-5 days.

Dana

Christmas Is About Love

mery christmasFor many people Christmas is a very stressful time of year. But that’s because we get lost in the hussel and bussel of things and forget the real meaning of Christmas. The fact that we all are loved and precious in the eyes of God!!! I feel Christmas is too materialized and gift gifting, instead of giving LOVE!!! To me, that is what the Holiday is all about, love!!!

One way I avoid getting stressed during the Holidays is not concentrating on giving expensive gifts. I guess that makes me cheap, but instead we find a family in need and give money to them. My husband and I are lame and normally we buy our own gifts haha. But to us, with 3 little kids and no family near to help, the best gift is a nice take out dinner and a movie on the couch. Quality time is what we enjoy!!xmas tree

We do have a VERY large extended family and I feel bad not sending them gifts, so we have the kids do home made presents!! Again, some may call me cheap, but to me a home made gift may cost less BUT it takes a LOT more time and is done with love. Let me tell you, trying to decorate cards with a 4 1/2, 3 and 6 month old is NOT easy at all. But that is something my kids took time making. That is something I searched for high and low. It is something we spent a lot of time on and made with love vs just quickly picking up. In most cases, our homemade gifts takes days to finish. And the excitement from my kids is priceless!! They love the idea that we are making and mailing presents to the people they love. When I tell them, this is going on someone you loves fridge, they light up and work so hard to make it pretty. That right there is priceless because they truly are sending LOVE!!!

unnamedminnnnnSo what are some good homemade gifts??? All you Mom’s are going to hate me, but painting cards is a great one! Check out the card we do. I made the design myself and then printed it on card-stock. Feel free to save you use!!! I let them fingerpaint and decorate the outside, then we sit and write each of their names (helping them) on the inside. They love decorating cards with paint….just make sure you get the washable kind HAHA!!! We also put a family photo in there. You can get them developed for pretty cheap at online sites like Snapfish and even find online coupons to save more.

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Another great gift we like is homemade ornaments. You have a lot of options with these and Pinterest is a great site to use for more ideas!! This year we bought a pack at Michaels that was 25% off and they are stickers…..not my favorite idea haha! We also did homemade salt magnets (directions at the bottom) or you can do homemade salt dough ornaments! Another great idea is potholders with handprints, ornaments with handprints, or plates with handprints. For me personally, I prefer things they can sit and paint as they get more time painiting vs just doing a handprint. The longer they can paint, the happier they are!!

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SALT DOUGH ORNAMENTS

Ingredients:

A cup salt

2 cups of flour

¾ cup of water

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl mix salt and flour together.
  2. Gradually stir in water. Mix well until it forms a doughy consistency.
  3. Turn the dough onto the bench and kneed with your hands until smooth and combined.
  4. Make your creations using the salt dough. (I use cookie cutters for designs)
  5. If you are making ornaments, make sure to poke a hole for a string.
  6. Place the salt dough creations into the oven at 180C.  The amount of time needed to bake depends on the size and thickness of the salt dough creations.

Tips 

  • Store your salt dough in an air tight container as it keeps well for a few days.
  • You can paint your creations with any-type of paint
  • Salt dough can also be aired dried and is an alternative to oven drying.
  • Let the kids decorate the salt dough creations, they have so much fun with it!!
  • Use the salt dough to make ornaments, magnets, and all sorts of keep sake items!
Dana

WHY?????

10367582_10152570653389576_6730199825170286823_nOne question I hear all the time is “WHY are you working from home??? Aren’t you busy enough??” The answer is a simple one, for my kids because doing this gives me MORE time with them!!! I have a Bachelors in Psychology, Personal Training Certification, and Nutrition Certification yet I choose to work from home because it’s the easiest!!! Before Liam was born, I was lucky in that I could usually get 3-4hrs of work in each day. Will and Adalyn took long afternoon naps plus were in bed by 7pm each night. I had tons of free time to write meal plans, workout plans, and help clients one on one. When Liam was born my plan was to take a few months off from personal training and then take on the same work load. But I couldn’t do that!!!934898_10152572574349576_3952406333496227497_n

Will and Adalyn stopped napping, Liam would only sleep on me, plus with nursing Liam wakes up a ton at night. I found that I was too exhausted and stretched too thin and had no time for anything extra, not to mention once all the kids went to bed, I usually passed out. But I still needed an income source as we prepare for a big move, buying a new home, and my husband cutting back his hours as he returns to school soon. So what was I to do???

1456736_10152568941094576_6985649486394944378_nI stay home with my kids because it’s what’s best for MY family and its what my husband and I both agreed on. I never want to miss a moment of them growing up, but I still needed to bring some income in. That’s why I share a few products I love with people. It’s a win for me AND my family AND clients! I introduce people to amazing products, spend less time working and more time with my kids, yet still am able to bring in a full time income. The most important thing for me is to be present for my kids all the time. They only have a few years with me, and sharing products and getting paid for it has made that possible for me and my family!! I love my personal training business and clients and can’t wait to get back to that full time one day, but right now this is what is best for my kids, and provides me with no stress!!!

Sharing a product is not for everyone, and to be successful with it, you need to make sure it’s a product you use daily and love. If its not something you love, you will dread trying to share it and people can tell that!! The reason I have been successful is because I use the products I love daily.

 

 

Its an easy win for me. I work from home not to be a millionaire, but because I want time with my kids!! Its an accomplishment in my book to be able to make a full time income, working a few hours a week, loving what I do, and never having to sacrifice time with my kids. Sure I don’t watch much TV or do anything other than work once my kids go to sleep, but for me it is totally worth it and I wouldn’t change it. Oh, and it also helps to have a great planner and be super organized. That and coffee keeps me on track each day!!

Dana