Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Shop Hop: Easter

It's the weekend! Which means it's time for another shop hop!  Last week's theme was "Spring" and here a couple of the great items that linked up:

Vintage Style Blossom Brooch from Heavenly Blossoms

Jade Colored Faceted Earrings from Canyon House Crafts

So link up this week and you might be featured in our next shop hop!

This week's theme is: Easter

Almost anything "eastery" goes - pastels, florals, bunnies, crosses, eggs -  whatever someone might buy for the holiday.

Don't forget to check out some of the other awesome products linked up below!

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring

It's that time again! Time to link up with
Our Reflection Photo Challenge
for the weekly photo challenge.  This week's theme is Spring - which is great because Spring has been springing up all over here lately.  My favorite thing about Spring?  Getting to take my energetic kiddos outside to play!  They love heading to the park and this year they brought their ride-on toys.  Little did I know they'd have the gumption to ride those toys a whole mile + around the park's lake!  Mommy sure was tired, but I got some awesome photos :)  Here's my favorite which I'm entering into the link up:

I absolutely adore the beautiful buds in spring and on our walk we were treated to two different colors in the canopy.  I had to force myself to take my eyes off the trees above and pay attention to the ground in front of me just so I didn't fall!!

And here are some more that I just loved.  I never can decide which is my favorite season - Spring or Fall - but right now Spring sure is getting my vote!

The boys love love their ride-on toys

Baby L is ecstatic to get out and run

Spring is for getting covered in sand

And making sand castles

She has no idea she's only one year old

Look, Mama, I can do anything!

I'm big enough for this bike, right?

And we're off around the lake!

These boys crack me up

Love my little ones

Little boy heaven

He'd have kept on riding like this all day if I'd let him

Spring is also for running.  A lot. 

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Swap It To Me: Services

We're a little early this month, but since April starts on a Sunday I didn't want us to have to wait for our swap.  So here we are again - it's time to swap it to me!!

Last month we swapped material goods.  A great way to clean out the things we no longer needed.  If you missed that one, don't worry, we'll be doing another "stuff" swap next month - so start working on that post while you do your spring cleaning!

THIS month, however, we're swapping services.  What does that include?  Pretty much anything non-material that you can do for someone else.  Blog sponsor buttons, blog design, photo editing, guest posting, editing a paper for school, helping someone advertise their shop/blog/business, sending a dozen homemade cookies (I guess that one is goods and services) - whatever online need you have, or service you can provide, you can link it up here.

Here are the rules:

1) Keep it clean and legal, please.
2) Be kind to one another.
3) Write a post about the service(s) you want to offer and/or the services you are looking to receive, and link it up here.
4) Alternatively, list your wants/offers in the comment section.
5) Grab a button and share the swap with others!

That's it!  Happy swapping!

Swap It To Me
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Swap It To Me"><img src="" alt="Swap It To Me" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

My swap wants this month:
1) Cover design for a couple facebook pages
2) Help promoting Operation Feed The Lambs
3) Product reviews for my shop
4) Guest posters for the blog
5) I'm always looking to swap buttons for sponsoring

What I can provide:
1) 200x150 button slots on my sidebar
2) Product reviews for your shop
3) Guest post for your blog
4) Simple button design/html
5) Cookies

Let me know if you see something you want, or have something I want, or just want to chat - thanks!

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Recipe Of The Week: Pea and Carrot Soup With Pesto Rice

I've been looking for fun new recipes lately.  We're getting bored with the routine around here and I wanted to find some things that were veggie-full, but that my kids would gobble up.  And I found one!   This is my riff on a recent Rachel Ray recipe.  I swapped quinoa for the orzo to make it gluten free, and I subbed basil and walnuts for the mint and pine nuts in the pesto.  Hope you like it as much as we did!

Pea and Carrot Soup With Pesto Rice

1 cup brown rice
1/2 quinoa
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 carrots, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cups peas
dash salt and pepper
3/4 cup fresh parsley (or 4 tbsp dry parsley)
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese
2-3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil

In medium pot, combine rice and quinoa.  Pour in 2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until cooked - about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in stock pot.  Sautee carrots and onions until tender.  Add peas, salt, pepper and remaining 4 cups broth and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer.

Meanwhile, in food processor, combine parsley, basil, walnuts, cheese and garlic.  Process, drizzling in oil, until a smooth paste is formed.

To serve, stir pesto into hot rice.  Spoon rice into 4 bowls, then top with soup.  Or, if you prefer a more uniformed soup, stir pesto rice into the soup (note, soup will look cloudy, but tastes great!)

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Wander: Linky Follow/ Hellocotton

Welcome to the Wednesday Wander! This week we're linking up our Linky Followers and/or Hellocotton accounts.  All you do is:

1) Link up your account (be sure to write LF or HC next to it)
2) Visit some other accounts
3) Leave some love

That's it!  Happy wandering!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stuff I Love: Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug

When my oldest was just learning to walk, Grandma and I took a trip to a local baby boutique.  We hadn't been there long when she spotted the cutest little ride on toy and just had to buy it for my little guy.  We had no idea then that it would become one of the most fought-over toys in our home.

The Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug collection features 6 high-quality wheeled ride-on animals - a bee, a ladybug, a mouse, a cow, a tiger and a pig.  Each toy is made of incredibly sturdy wood and water resistant PLU.  These toys are tough!  We've (accidentally) left ours outside on the deck in rain, snow and even hail - repeatedly - and after 4 years there is still no sign of mildew, mold or water damage.  Some of the varnish on the wood is chipping a little, but this thing has been well loved.  Each wheel on the bug turns 360 degrees, meaning the toy is super maneuverable.  It is intended for use inside (it can tip if you ride it over bumps or change surfaces) and rides very smoothly on carpet.  But I can tell you from experience that it works equally well on wooden decks, concrete driveways, carpeted bedrooms and even on short grass. 

The only complaint I have about this toy is that with heavy use, the wheels will unscrew and come off.  If you're not watching closely, it's pretty easy to lose the washers (though I'm sure they could be easily replaced at a hardware store).   Our wheels fall off quite frequently (every few days), but we have lost most of the washers and have never tried tightening them with a wrench.  Frankly, I don't consider it a big fault, as they are very quick to re-tighten and get back on your way again.

My kids started using the Wheely Bee as soon as they could walk, and my 4 year old has just now outgrown it (only because his legs are too long).  When we take it to the park, other kids beg for a turn to ride on it. My 2 year old even prefers it to his fancy tricycle.  They cost around $50 a piece - which seems steep until you consider the quality and longevity of this toy.  We've paid more for toys our kids won't touch, and I fully expect them to play with this one until it's on its last legs.

And if that doesn't convince you enough, have a look at these pictures and you'll see - riding on a Wheely Bug really is pure joy. 

Baby L loves that she's big enough to ride this
Downhill is awesome!
yes, he rode this thing all the way around the mile+ path along the pond
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