Archives for April 2014

Etnies Scout Shoes For Kids: Lightweight and Not Stinky!

Disclaimer: I received free etnies Scout shoes in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own. The shoes rock. I suggest you check them out!

Kids shoes. They outgrow them quickly, they wear them out fast because they play so hard in them, and sometimes…a lot of times…they stink. The kids wear them every day, all day, and the smell that permeates from those shoes can be really disgusting. So when etnies offered to send me a pair of their new etnies Scout shoes for Ethan to try out, I jumped at the chance.

etnies Scout shoes for kids are lighweight, easy to put on, and they don't stink! thin, all-mesh uppers lets air in and out keeping stinky smells out.

The new etnies Kids Scout shoe made its debut last month. You can get them in four different colors. The etnies Scout is SUPER lightweight – when you pick up the shoe it’s about as heavy as a fork or spoon…not even kidding.  The etnies Scout is also extremely flexible; you can twist and turn the shoe easily. This means they are extremely comfortable to wear and easy for little ones to put on. And? The shoe breathes. Its thin, all-mesh uppers lets air in and out keeping kids’ feet cool while kicking moisture and stinky smells out.  The shoe has a patented salt-based antimicrobial that fights against fungus, bacteria and odor.

etnies Scout shoes for kids are lighweight, easy to put on, and they don't stink! thin, all-mesh uppers lets air in and out keeping stinky smells out.

Ethan’s been wearing his etnies Scout shoes for about a month now, and he loves ’em! I asked him yesterday what he likes about them and he said they are light so they let him run really fast, they are easy to put on, and they look cool.

etnies Scout shoes for kids are lighweight, easy to put on, and they don't stink! thin, all-mesh uppers lets air in and out keeping stinky smells out.

Ethan wanted me to make sure to include this picture of him wearing his etnies Scout shoes.

And mom likes them because they aren’t stinky. At all.

etnies also sent me a pair of women’s Scout shoes to try out. I also love them! They are super light and they don’t even feel like you have shoes on. I can wear them all day long and not ever think about wanting to take them off. They are tough enough to work out in yet stylish enough to wear with cute capris and shorts. I love my etnies Scout shoes!

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Another thing I love about etnies is their Buy A Shoe Plant A Tree (BASPAT) initiative. The etnies Scout are made by a sustainable, no-waste molding process, and for every pair of Scouts sold, a tree is planted with the Trees for The Future Foundation in Brazil.  etnies’ BASPAT reforestation program helps kids see that their happy feet means a happy forest.

I just ordered Jason a pair too since Ethan and I like ours so much. Go check them out!

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Happy Earth Day! 10 Easy Ideas For Living A Sustainable Life

Looking for easy ways to go green (AKA ways to live a sustainable life) that you can start doing today? I've got 10 simple, inexpensive ideas for you!

Happy Earth Day! It’s no secret that sustainable – or green living – is important to me. I wouldn’t even begin to try to tell you that our day-to-day lives are 100% sustainable, but as my About Page says, I’m trying to live a little greener everyday. I even have an entire category here on my blog devoted to sustainable living.

I’ve written about simple ways to go green before…back when I started my blog in 2010 I wrote about ways to go green without breaking the bank. And again in 2012 I wrote about simple ways to go green (other than recycling). In between that I’ve written a few times about Seventh Generation and all the good they do for the environment and for us green consumers. I’ve written about composting and gardening, two of my favorite and easy ways to a sustainable family life. And I’ve written lots more. And with the exception of the solar panels we have on top of our roof, none of these sustainable ideas were expensive to do.

Most of you probably know that the month of April is Earth Month, and today, April 22nd happens to be Earth Day. What the entire month really boils down to is spreading awareness about sustainable living. The best thing about sustainable living is that many of the things that you will do to be green will cost you less than not going green! Being environmentally-friendly is not just good for the earth and your soul, it’s also good for your checkbook.

Most people think about going green and automatically think recycling. But there are so many little things we can do in our homes that take little time, effort, and money to do but that will make a huge difference in the long run. These simple things will help reduce landfill waste, help keep our air cleaner and will also help preserve the earth for our children and their children. A sustainable life doesn’t mean changing your lifestyle, that it will cost you a fortune, or be difficult.

And speaking of children, I even wrote about how I teach my kids to live green like The Lorax. It is so important to help them understand why it is important to save the earth and to live a sustainable life where you can. Help them understand that what they do (good or bad) impacts the earth. If you make this a part of their everyday life, it will become second nature to them, and that can’t hurt anybody!

So I’m going to give you 10 easy sustainable ideas that you can start doing at home today. These require little effort and won’t impact your daily schedules or rituals. Some of them you might already be doing, but if not, why not pick a few and see if you can incorporate them into your family’s lives? The earth will thank you for it!

Looking for easy ways to go green (AKA ways to live a sustainable life) that you can start doing today? I've got 10 simple, inexpensive ideas for you!

You Can Live A Sustainable Life! Here Are 10 Ideas To Get You Started

1.  Plant an herb and vegetable garden. Have the kids each plant a veggie or herb of their own that they will be responsible for. They’ll enjoy watching the garden grow, and will look forward to eating what they made grow.

2.  Turn off the TV and other electronics when you leave the room. Turn off all the lights, too. In fact, don’t turn on lights at all until absolutely necessary. Just open up those curtains or blinds and let the sunshine in.

3. Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot. No, washing laundry in hot water really does not get your clothes any cleaner. And if you have room in your yard or home, allow clothes to air dry. My board on Pinterest: Make Your Own Cleaning, Beauty, and Household Products has several suggestions for even making your own laundry detergent. And psst! Try my recipe for the world’s best shower cleaner…2 ingredients, and you probably have them both in your kitchen right now.

4. Stop using disposable water bottles! Buy some BPA free reusable bottles for your family to use. Not sure why this is a big deal? Check out The Story of Bottled Water – a short film that will really make you think about the water you get in those plastic disposable bottles.

5. Stop using disposable shopping bags. You can make your own or even buy them (they are inexpensive) at your favorite store. If you do use disposable bags, make sure to reuse them. And don’t throw them away! Make sure to recycle them when you are all done with them.

7. Switch all your lightbulbs to CFLs. You don’t have to replace all the lights in your entire house all at once. Start with the room you use most often and replace the bulbs in that room first. Next month, replace another room’s lightbulbs. Keep going until you’ve replaced them all.

8. Pay your bills online.

9. Make your own household cleaners. There’s nothing that vinegar and baking soda can’t clean in your home! These cleaners are so inexpensive to make and work just as (or even more) effectively than products you buy at the store! Ask Anna recently shared 40 Vinegar Tips and Tricks that are worth checking out. And I recently shared Sophie Uliano’s (author of Gorgeously Green) recipe for making natural all purpose spray that literally takes about 2 minutes to make (I haven’t bought all purpose cleaners in years!).

10.  Make your own compost bin and start composting. It’s easy (and not stinky)! I’ll teach you all about composting. It’s one of the first things I started doing that lead me towards living a sustainable life.

Now it’s your turn to share…what simple things do you do to live a little greener?

Brancott Estate Flight Song Wines: Finally, A Low Cal Wine!

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Brancott Estate Flight Song Wines. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted here on my blog. A month?! That’s crazy…where did that time go? Well, between the kids being off for two weeks for spring break, a trip to Palm Springs, Easter and some home renovations, apparently the month just flew by. Another exciting thing happened: I found some low calorie wine that is just as tasty as regular wine. I found Brancott Estate Flight Song Wines.

Looking for a low calorie wine? Brancott Estate Flight Song wine is for you. These full flavored, easy drinking, casual wines are tasty and refreshing.

Brancott Estate hails from New Zealand and their line includes Flight Song wines. These wines are light, refreshing, crisp, and tasty, AND have 20% fewer calories compared to their other wines.  I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and one bottle of Marlborough Pinot Grigio.

If you are a fan of grapefruit, the Brancott Estate Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc is for you. And for me. You can smell the grapefruit and it’s the first flavor that hits your palate and it travels all the way through to the finish. It’s a citrus-y, refreshing, full flavored delight and would be perfect to sip around the pool.

Looking for a low calorie wine? Brancott Estate Flight Song wine is for you. These full flavored, easy drinking, casual wines are tasty and refreshing.

But by far my favorite was the Brancott Estate Flight Song Pinot Grigio. While I’m not normally a huge fan of white wines, this one was a winner for me. It’s also full of citrus and is very refreshing. There are major notes of white peach, too. And the label mentions guava, but I didn’t get that. This is one of those wines that from the first sip I gave it two thumbs up. It was like summer in a glass. It would be perfect to sip around the pool or at a lunch date with friends. It was a palate pleaser for sure.

Overall I would say give both wines a shot…and remember, this is coming from somebody who isn’t a huge white wine lover. These are easy drinking, casual wines that you can drink without feeling guilty because they are also lower in calories.

Connect with Brancott Estate Wines on Facebook and Twitter – I’m hoping that they’ll be coming up with a low cal Pinot Noir soon! And if you’re a wine lover, check out my All Wine, All The Time board on Pinterest.

Looking for a low calorie wine? Brancott Estate Flight Song wine is for you. These full flavored, easy drinking, casual wines are tasty and refreshing.

Arugula Pasta Salad Recipe: My Favorite Go-To Meal

It’s now Thursday, and I just realized I haven’t posted anything this week. The kids are on the second week of spring break and it’s getting more challenging to keep them busy which of course means less time for me to find a few minutes to sit down at the computer uninterrupted. But I’ve got to share this – it’s my new favorite go-to meal and I crave it all day long. It’s an arugula pasta salad recipe.

Now what makes this pasta salad recipe so addicting is that it’s simple and quick to throw together, tastes amazing, and will last in the fridge for several days.

Looking for a quick & easy lunch or weeknight dinner? This arugula pasta salad recipe is perfect! Add additional ingredients to suit your family's tastes.

Arugula Pasta Salad Recipe

Arugula Pasta Salad Recipe
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Ingredients

  • 10 ounces whole wheat pasta (try rotini, farfalle, or my favorite rigatoni (all the yummy gets stuck inside of the pasta!))
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta to al dente as directed on the package. Drain the pasta and rinse in cold water.
  2. Place the pasta in a large bowl and stir in the arugula, capers, and cheese.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk them together. Pour dressing over pasta salad and toss until well coated. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
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You can serve this pasta salad recipe at room temperature or chilled. You can eat it for lunch or as a quick weeknight dinner. The longer it sits and all of the flavors marinate together, the better it tastes.

Get creative with this quick pasta salad recipe! Throw in pine nuts, garbanzo beans, kalmata olives, change up the cheese (how about feta?), add a variety of greens, chicken, or turkey.

And if you’re into healthy eating or are on a diet, don’t miss these flavored water recipes that will wake up your water.  If you’re looking for more pasta salad recipes or other salad ideas, check out my board Soups and Salads on Pinterest. If you are looking for healthy eating recipes, you can visit my board Healthy Eats on Pinterest. pasta-salad-recipe Yum