Crafts With Kids | Homemade Playdough Recipe

diyplaydough5

My sister got Rowan the coolest book for her birthday. It’s loaded with tons of great ideas for Moms and kids. In a desperate moment last week to find something to entertain the girls, I grabbed the book looking for something we could do. Playdough!! My girls love play dough. I’ve never made it before and was super excited to try it out. We even juiced some beets, kale and used turmeric to naturally color the dough. I also added a few drops of essential oils and glitter and WOW!! it was a hit! The girls have had so much fun playing with it. At first I thought it was even too pretty to play with!

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp plain cooking oil
food coloring – if you’re using homemade colors, they should be added as water replacement. For example, if you’re using half a cup of color, you then will only need half a cup of water. I juiced kale, beets and then boiled some turmeric and used that instead of the water.
glitter
essential oils (your choice)

Directions:
1. Add flour, salt, water, cream of tartar, oil, and food color to a small pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring consistently.
2. After a couple of minutes you will notice the mixture starting to clump. It will get harder and harder to stir, eventually turning into one big lump.
3. Scoop the lump out onto a floured surface and knead all together. Press out flat and sprinkle with glitter. Knead together. Do the same with essential oils.
4. Bring out all the cookie cutters and have lots of fun! Keep in air tight containers when you are finished playing.

diyplaydough9

diyplaydough8

diyplaydough7

diyplaydough6

diyplaydough4

diyplaydough3

diyplaydough^^I am still blown away by how beautiful the colors came out.

diyplaydough2

*This recipe is from the Recipes for Play book by Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener

My Everyday Style | 11.06.14

IMG_7254

Well this is the last post I’ll have with long hair. Since I took these pictures I’ve chopped my hair to my shoulder and also gotten my nose pierced. You would think I was going through some identity issues. hahahaha. Making changes left and right around here. I’m just really trying to not hold back this year (you know, since I turned 32) when there is something I want to do. I’ve wanted to cut my hair short, so I did it. I’ve wanted my nose pierced, so I did it. Simple as that. It’s fun to just commit to changes rather then mill over them forever and ever. Hopefully I will have a tattoo appointment in the near future since I just finally found the artist I am totally in love with. 32 is the year to do everything I’ve always wanted to do but just never got around to! Better late than never, right?

So… this “leather” skirt is pretty dang awesome. I’ve been wearing it a ton lately. So easy to dress up or wear casual with a big warm sweater and sneakers.

IMG_7263

IMG_7268

IMG_7284

OUTFIT DETAILS:
Vest: old (similar Here and Here)
Plaid button down: Gap (out of red but similar version)
Leather Skirt: Loft
Tights: Spanx
Boots: Madewell (cheaper version)

Crafts With Kids | Fall Mobile

fallmobile

Looking for an afternoon activity to do with your little ones? Here’s a super simple fall mobile you guys can create together. Plus! It gets you all outside for a little bit first. I’m really trying to get everyone outside for at least 30 mins a day even in the fall and winter. It’s easy to retreat into the warmth and never venture outside but I think it’s important.

Anyway…Head out to your backyard, the park or a nearby hiking trail. I brought along big gallon sized ziplock bags for the girls. I told them they were looking for nature treasures to collect and put in their special “treasure bags”. They were allowed to pick up anything they thought was neat or interesting. I talked about how we should look for items of different size, colors and textures. It was fun to see them run along the trail looking for cool items that caught their attention. Make sure they pick up at least one stick to use to hang the other items from.

Once we were home, I laid out all the items on the table. I let them then pick out their most favorite items and we worked together to string them on some embroidery floss. We talked about balance (both physical weight and aesthetically) as we hung them from the stick. I had to help with the tying and the use of hot glue. It makes for the cutest fall decoration for your house!

Enjoy!!

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

fallmobile2

IMG_7127

IMG_7122

Living a Simple, Intentional Life | Pt. 4 Diet and Exercise

IMG_7024

I’m going to dive into another area today on this journey of living more intentionally. Today let’s talk about diet and exercise. A lot has changed for us as far as food choices and working out this past year. It all started around the beginning of the year actually. We decided to cancel our family membership at the YMCA. We loved going but we never consistently got to work out without being called back to the childcare area. Finley hated being left there. It also took a huge chunk of our night to get everyone packed up, drive there, drop off the girls in the child area, work out and then drive home. It seemed like a whole night affair. For Christmas last year Kev got T25 from my parents. Between T25, Insanity, a few yoga videos, some Tracy Anderson videos and running we decided we were better off just canceling our membership. 80 bucks a month saved! It’s been working pretty well for us ever since. We have a little area set up in the basement with weights and a tv to do videos. The girls play area is down there as well so most of the time they just play while we work out right next to them.

I will be the first to admit I don’t love to work out. I think it’s sort of a myth and honestly an excuse when people say they don’t work out because they really don’t love it or they aren’t an athletic person. I think very few of us really LOVE working out. I know some people definitely do. Kev is one of those people, I am not. I work out because I know the benefits far outweigh my excuses. I am not a natural runner either. I’ve run a lot of races and talk a lot about running but I always need to force myself to sign up for a race, pay the stupid amount of money to register and then tell everyone about it just to keep myself accountable to sticking with it. Don’t fool yourself by thinking you can’t do it. It’s such a mind game. Also, don’t trick yourself by assuming that you have to go so hardcore to even make it worthwhile. A mindset like that will be so intimidating that you’ll likely just give up before you even try. You don’t need to work out everyday. Start where you are. Take a walk, try some stretching. Just make it consistent and stick with it for at least a month. I promise it will become a habit you will miss when it’s not there.

I think we should all get rid of the idea that we consistently have to be losing weight or that the only reason to work out is to lose weight. I decided this year that I was going to work out without an end goal. Because really, once you reach your end goal then what? you stop working out? I wanted to make it a lifetime habit. Something I do to feel strong, healthy, and happy.

15645409742_a043b783d3_o

Around March last year I decided to go on a food cleanse for Lent. What an unknowing turning point in our life. Through those 40 days I read a ton about food, ingredients, diets and really did a 180 degree turn with how we approach food in our house. We all love to eat but through the cleanse I realized just how important the food we choose to eat is. I hate diets. The word makes me cringe. Diets are fads. They don’t last, are hard to stick with and are crazy restrictive. What if we looked at food in a completely different way? What if we chose to eat wholesome, real homemade food and didn’t have to worry about calories or intake? What if instead of “I can’t eat that” it was “I don’t want to eat that”? A light switch went on in my head during Lent. This was so much more than restricting what we were going to be eating from now on. Do we honestly realize how much processed food we eat in our culture? It’s mind blowing and sad. In the book Notes From A Blue Bike, Tsh talks about a slow food way of eating. How it’s important to take your time when cooking meals — that we should be involving our kids in the cooking process, spending more on an emptier cart, being informed on what our food choices mean for others in the world and the importance of farmers markets and eating what’s in season. The whole chapter (THE ENTIRE BOOK) really spoke to me. I want my girls to grow up with a healthy body image. I don’t want food to be an issue. Our culture overloads young girls with this idea that food is the enemy to looking your best. I don’t want this for them. Of course balance is key but I want to teach them how to think differently about the food we eat.

We made some major changes to our pantry and fridge. I really do try to make everything now (granola, granola bars, salad dressings, sauces, sweets, etc…) that we use to buy and was processed. There are, of course, some great choices out there for you when you need a quicker option but you have to look. Not all packaged food is created equal even when it’s organic or “all natural”. The biggest thing is just how important label reading is. I read every label of everything we buy. I really try to make sure things have 5 or less ingredients and that I can pronounce them and know what they are. I challenge you to take charge of what you eat. Learn what all those ingredients in the food you are eating are. I know it can sound overwhelming when someone starts talking about this. But really any little change you make is a start in the right direction. Find the balance that works for you and your family.

If by chance you are looking for some new workout gear to give yourself a boost of confidence to start working out or to kick it up a notch,  I would highly recommend the new activewear line from Boden. I have a lot of running gear but these items are by far the softest most comfy pants, tank and hoodie I own. Boden is offering 15% off any of their activewear line now until Nov. 9th with code: YOGA

Would love to hear from your guys how you approach eating and working out??

IMG_7047

IMG_7053

*I am in no way a doctor or dietician. Everything I wrote in this post simply reflects my own personal thoughts. There is of course a time and place for diets and working out to lose weight.

Halloween 2014

IMG_7175

Our neighborhood has what they call “Trick or Booze” and guys! it’s so fun! Each of the house’s have candy for the kids and then booze for the adults. You just bring your own glass. Hahaha. Everyone signs up to participate and says what kind of drink they are going to serve. There was jello shots, spiked punch, hard cider, beer, wine, etc… I felt like I was getting away with something! Who knew walking around the street drinking a glass of punch, wearing super warm ridiculous pjs from walmart while Trick-or-Treating would be so fun.

The best part of course was watching the girls. Finley was so in to it. She didn’t want to be held or sit in the stroller or have anyone try to help her with her candy bucket. I am pretty sure she walked like 2 miles all by herself. Oh Halloween! You are my favorite.

The weekend before Halloween we went on a search for a real pumpkin patch. Not the kind with a grassy lawn with randomly placed pumpkins. Why do they call that a pumpkin patch? Anyway, we ended up at one of those said pumpkin patches but what they lacked in real “pick a pumpkin from a vine” type pumpkins they made up for with crazy awesome hay bails decorated like children’s books. Aren’t they cool? Rowan wasn’t going to let an opportunity go by to wear her Pumpkin princess dress out either. We love Sunnyside Farms in Saratoga!

Fall you sure have been good to us!
(although November seemed to come in like a punch to the gut- not ready for those below freezing temperatures).

IMG_7201

IMG_7145

IMG_7131

IMG_7129

IMG_7153

IMG_7142

IMG_7189

IMG_7195

IMG_7181

IMG_7223

IMG_7231

Outfit details: Coat (similar), Jeans, Vans Sk8 Hi Tops.

Halloween Night:
Untitled

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev
css.php