Friday, December 11, 2015

Space Cadet Defined

       Space Cadet. To some, it is an occupation- a live person who goes into space with a special suit, oxygen and freeze-dried food.  In the van Veen household, it meant something totally different. It was only recently that I came to the discovery that apparently I do not share the same definition of the term "Space Cadet" as most of my peers do.
    This often leads to awkward conversations where I unabashedly say things like "Yeah, so-and-so is a total space cadet," and my conversation buddy is all like, "No way! Can they give me a tour of NASA??". This is the part where, unfortunately, I have to burst their celebrity bubble. And now, I shall burst yours too.
         See, here is the not-so-famous *van Veen* definition of the term "Space Cadet": "someone whose brain has left the planet, is deprived of oxygen...and is now floating around in space, lost and faaaaaaaar from home". These folk display characteristics such as "extreme blondeness" and no common knowlege or ability to grasp such simple concepts such as 2 +2, or "the grass is green".
          For example: that person who just asked you where the crosswalk was (that you were both standing in), heard your response, then proceeded to walk across the street in the not-a-cross-walk.
    Granted, we all have moments in our lives where we forget things or our blonde roots start to show, but Space Cadets are the extreme version of is their life ALL. THE. TIME.
     Now, to be honest, no one know how or where these lovely people derive from. Some may have been created through circumstance while others are a product of of their environments....and the rest must just grow on trees, because they just keep showing up....

Monday, November 30, 2015

How To Give Thanks For Your Kids When You Just Can't

   Ever have one of those days where everything's going crazy and it's Friday, but it feels like a "Groundhog Day"-Monday-day?? I'm talking, like, one kid is sky diving off the couch while another is spinning a fresh roll of toilet paper all over the house, #3 is eating the dog's food and the the dog is lapping up your pricey coffee that is seeping into the carpet...because, of course, SkyDiver sometimes misses the ottoman or the floor and slams into the coffee table.
   These are the days I'm referring to. The ones where it seems like God went all "man" on you and left you to clean up the mess He helped create. The times where it's super hard to even utter the words "children are blessing" (Psalm 127:3)....and you can't help but wonder what in the world you did to deserve this kind of "blessing"??
    That's right. I said it (hey, *you* were thinking it!!!). Sometimes we can't help but wonder what in the world we've gotten ourselves into and start questioning who in the world thought that we were capable of adulting?? (Especially since that younger acts like he doesn't understand English and that your words {like "No!" and "Don't you dare!!"} mean nothing)
     I've been there. I've done that....and that's why I can write about this. And hopefully bless your heart a little bit.
    Giving thanks for your kids when you feel like you "just can't", when your mental capacities are about to explode, when you're two seconds from hiding under your bed and sobbing yourself to sleep is hard. It's hard to look at the mess, look at the chaos and say, "Thank You, God. Thank You for these blessing. For these children who are my reward from You."
    In fact, as you read that aloud, you heard the insanity. But you felt just a little better didn't you?? Now, say it again. And again. Exhale. Because your children ARE a blessing. Sure, you may not see it now, but it is true. And when you continue to thank God for (and pray for) your children, you will start to notice the little when my seven-year-old announces that she carries paper and pen with her when we leave the house "just in case you forget your list, Mommy, so that you can write one down" or when the youngest gives me gross, wet kisses, then giggles about it.
   It's okay. It's okay to feel overwhelmed at times. It's okay to cry. And call for help when you need it. Have your circle of Mommy friends. The best times to thank God are when it's when you're scrubbing the bathroom floor because the toilet overflowed because too many dinosaurs were flushed down it. But those are also the best times. Because through them, God will remind you of how blessed and loved you really are.

Monday, November 9, 2015

BlondieChell's Fab Granola Recipe

   Apparently I make this really fab homemade granola, and throngs of people desire the recipe. so here it is. To be fair, this is adapted from BuzzFeed's Granola Recipe, but a more specific version.

*BlondieChell's Fab Granola Recipe*

    To start, find a large mixing bowl, a pan with raised edges (I like to use wax paper on mine), some measuring cups and a spoon or small spatula to stir with.
   You will need:
   3 cups of rolled oats (aka "old fashioned oats")
   1 cup almonds
   1 cup pecans
   1 & 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
   1 tsp Pink Himalayan salt,
   1 tbsp ground cinnamon
   1/2 cup agave nectar
   1/4 cup olive oil
   1 tbsp vanilla extract

   1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
   2. Mix the oats, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, salt and cinnamon together in the big bowl until it looks well-blended.
   3. Add in the oil, nectar and vanilla extract. Mix super-well, until all the dry ingredients are wet with something.
   4. Line your baking pan with parchment paper, then smear the granola mixture onto that. Spread it out so it's as flat as you can get it.
   5. Put it in the oven for 20 minutes, then take it out of the oven and mix it around a bit, then put it back into the oven for 15 more minutes.
   6. Pull pan out of the oven and let cool. I like to take the parchment paper and wiggle it back and forth a bit so the wax paper doesn't melt to the pan.
   ....and....enjoy!!!! I let cook overnight, but then store in an air-tight container so it doesn't stale.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Bulu Box Promo #Sponsored

   Are you looking for a fun, new way to try health products, but can't afford to buy the new full-sizes all the time??? This may be the opportunity you're looking for! Bulu Box offers monthly sample boxes at a low price, then if you love the product, you can just return to their website and buy!    
   The perfect partner in the pursuit of a healthier you, Bulu Box is like having a personal trainer and a nutritionist as a best friend. Each month, a box of healthy discoveries is shipped right to your door for just $10. You learn about that month's 4-5 premium samples, try each one and see what fits into your individual healthy lifestyle. For sharing your opinions on each month's samples through a quick survey, we will give you 50 Rewards Points (that's $5!) to use in our shop to get more of your favorites. Get a 3 Month Subscription for just $15 (regularly $30)! at Bulu Box - Use code WOWZA Just Click Here.@usfg @bulubox

   *This is a sponsored post, which means that in exchange for posting this ad, I will receive something in return. All thoughts and options are my own and I only post/showcase products I love!

Monday, July 13, 2015

What Happens When BlondieChell Attends Group Exercise Classes

     Ever have a friend who is a great friend and you've been through just about everything together, but then she goes and just stops friending in the middle of an intensish yoga/pilates/athletic training class called "Centergy"??
   Well, I do. and for the sake of this post, she shall remain nameless. But we shall call her "T".  And in order to understand her misguided actions, you must first acknowledge the kind of pressure she was under...that "I-didn't-come-here-with-her-and-I-have-no-idea-who-this-crazy-woman-is" pressure.
         The situation started when my good friend "T" and I decided that we would take our not-so-flexible bodies to a Centergy course offered at the local gym. Because sometimes we're over-confident and we enjoy trying new things.
        Since we arrived a little later than the designated class time, we were forced to unroll our yoga mats in the front row, while all the slender-bodied women who obviously take this class religiously were positioned towards the back of the room. The instructor was a gracious, elderly woman who seemed new to the routine that she was introducing to the class. (And if hadn't have walked away with at least one humorous story, it would have been a waste of an hour.)
      About three-quarters of the way through the class, we were led into this pose called "the frog". The instructor herself seemed confused on the exact position, but basically,  you fold over your mat (so there's a bump towards the front of you) then melt down into a wide-legged child's pose, mangling the soles of your feet until they touch. then you take one arm and shoulder roll towards the opposite side, sliding that arm under the other. Until you are stuck. And you remain in that position until your lose all feeling in your knees.
      Once I had completely committed the rest of my life to this pose, the instructor then led us to unmangle ourselves from the "frog". And I tried. And I tried. And tried. Apparently I was stuck- face-first on the floor with one arm crossed under the other and my knees bent at the most unnatural angle. I was also the only student still lying on the floor. And unable to make eye contact with "T".
      I tried really hard to convince my anatomy to move-to at least allow me to wiggle to one side so I could resume the class. But, no. Nothing was working. So I had two choices: remain in this position for the rest of the class time or disrupt the class by asking for help.  
      In a quiet voice, I asked the instructor if she could repeat the was to get out of the pose. She did. And again, nothing moved. As I lay there, tears flowed from my eyes. (Why?? I don't know. I wasn't crying.) I was embarrassed and laughing at my situation, but I don't think anyone else was on the same page with me. To them, not only was I stuck, but I was silently sobbing about it. Great.

                            (it may have resembled something like this....)    

       Since I was evidently stuck (I may also have announced this) some of the other class members along with the instructor rushed over unpositioned my legs for me. (Notice I didn't mention "T"?? She was frozen with the rest of the class-gawking at the sight I had become)
       After I was returned ot my full-upright postion, "T" leaned over and asked if I was okay. Somehow she had discovered how to friend again. We finished the class without anymore delays or surprises, and in the end, we felt stronger. And more secure in our relationship.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Grilled Mac N Cheese *Recipe*

    Unlike most folks, I try to stay away from traditional recipes (it also doesn't help that the kitchen and I are frenemies).  Instead, I let my imagination take charge, creating recipes that look like they came from a "What To Expect When You're Expecting" cookbook. Like this one.
     Simply put, it is a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with mac n cheese.  And it is yum. One of those "you'll thank me later" recipes.

        Heated macaroni and cheese (a great use for those leftovers!)
        Cheese (to make the sandwich stick together)
        2 Slices of Bread
        Butter (if you have any of Papa John's garlic butter sauce laying around, substitute that)
         1. Grease your frying pan with the butter.
         2. Layer heated mac n cheese and cheese onto the bread and place sandwich in frying pan.
         3. Flip sandwich over after a few minutes.
         4. Check to make sure you didn't burn the sandwich, and scoop out of the pan and onto a plate. Cut in half. Thank me later.

   This lovely photo is a variation of the Grilled Mac N Cheese. It's the "Mac N Cheese Quesadilla". Same concept, only I added taco meat and used tortillas. (The mac n cheese pictured is a special spaghetti kind my friend makes)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kitchen: 1. BlondieChell: 0,

  I've had a very hard time deciding how to label this story and with which direction to take it in. Am I blaming my new calorie counter app for my mishap (as in, if I hadn't had entered the meal before I actually ate it, would this

have happened????)?? Or griping about how the children ate raw potatoes and apples that were waiting to be sliced while I bled to death (not to mention the 8yo who disappeared, only to reappear five minutes later, crying because he was afraid his parents would die.
    Some people laugh whenever I try to explain that "the kitchen hats me". Others mistaken my statement as my own personal dislike for the kitchen....when the reality is, I try my hardest to cooperate and submit to the ways of the kitchen. It truly is the kitchen who has a vendetta for me.
    Oh, I started my adult years with naive, lofty thoughts about things I could whip up, dreaming of one day owning one of those fancy-dancy KitchenAid mixers...but the kitchen had other ideas. My main foes include the microwave, oven and stove top. Why?? All I can think of is that they've had it in for me from the beginning...planning, plotting...whispering in the dark....mocking me as I sit here, typing this without the use of my right middle finger....because of last night's mishap.
    Let me set the scene for you: I'm in the middle of cooking dinner It's late and two of the three children are in the kitchen helping me, when all of a sudden, I REMEMBER that I had promised the Hubs that I would make potato chips!!! Uh-oh! So I proceeded to quickly clean, peel and slice potatoes.
    So while the last quesadilla was in the pan and I was slicing the future delectable home-made potato chips, something drastic happened. I lost a piece of my finger. It slid right off while I was slicing a potato and into the bowl holding potato slices.
    Knowing that this was not a good thing. I rushed to the sink to clean the wound. Blood spurted everywhere (did you know that since there's a lot of nerve endings in the tip of a finger, that means there's also a lot of blood??) I moved to the island in the kitchen with paper towels pressed onto my latest injury. I stood there answering the children's questions of "What happened??" and "Do you need to go to the hospital??".  Since I spent a good portion of my childhood in emergency rooms, I knew that my injury was minor....
      And that's when I started to panic. (I am *excellent* at panicking, by the way). See, I wasn't concerned so much about myself, but there was blood and it wasn't stopping...and my poor hungry children were noshing on raw potatoes and apples that were sanctioned to be sliced. All I needed was for the blood to stop and my children to be fed.....when the 8yo comes out of his room, crying. Because he suddenly realized that one day Mommy and Daddy may die. This helps no one.
      After texting a friend, I called the Hubs at work to come home...then our EMT friend who is 2 time zones away training. He confirmed my thoughts about an ER visit and advised me how to wrap it. My maimed finger and I made it through the night and the next day. The blood stopped flowing and I've downgraded the wrap to a Lighting McQueen bandaid, but the message remains clear: I'm not welcome in the kitchen. Though I do not take this warning lightly, there are times when I cannot avoid being in the same room with the kitchen, but I will be more mindful to tread softly.

            And I have spared you the most gruesome photos that contain blood and gore (but hey, I'm a blogger, so taking pics is a must!!!)  Here is my first wrap (hey, not bad for wrapping left-handed!!!) and what I down graded to....along with the top view....but who uses that side of their middle finger anyways???

My paper towel and masking tape bandage.              What I eventually downgraded to....

View from the top. Ew. You're welcome.

Kitchen: 1. BlondieChell: 0,

Monday, March 30, 2015

BlondieChell's March #MomFail Moment

          Total #MomFail moment over here this weekend. It all started on Saturday morning. I slept in, then was woken up by the volume level of three kiddos. I did my my best to keep them out of my hair for a few more minutes by telling them to make me some coffee. (Because I  couldn't think of anything else to keep them busy). I heard the 3yo yell "I'll do it!!! J-----!!! Make Mommy some coffee!!!"
           A few months go, I did teach J how to make it for me....but he didn't get the memo that I switched to drinking straight black. And his 3yo bro decided to "pitch-in" so what they brought me was an overly sweetened cup of what I can only assume to be a semblance of coffee, with noticeable floating grounds. Yum. (Did I mention the only creamer I had was an unopened bottle of Peppermint Mocha....bought sometime in December?? Well...that's where the creamer came from). Needless to say, I wasn't grateful for it. *Then* all of the kids started asking for coffee.
        Now, I've read reports about how caffeine can be beneficial people on the autism spectrum.  I've tried coffee with J before, but it was only once and I couldn't gauge the results. So, I told J he could have some. Then the other two started begging. What was a Mom to do?? Of course J shouldn't *really* be getting coffee, but I wanted to see the effects.....(caffeine is calming for me) so I
conceded and gave all three of them a "little bit". Because I couldn't figure out how to fudge my way of this one.
      Well, A surprised me. She didn't like the taste at all, so she didn't drink any. M jumped ship and started running around (we channeled his energy into cleaning the windows....which he was too excited about...then he starting crawling on all fours chasing a tiny white feather around the house saying "Butterfly! Baby butterfly!!!"). J seemed fine, but then as the morning progressed, so did his behavior. He started to resemble the hyper 3yo.  So I'm going to conclude that caffeine is a stimulant, not a suppressant for J. At least I have my answer, right??


Monday, March 23, 2015

This One Weird Trick That Keeps Your Water Bottle From Freezing

   As you know, life in Alaska means that it is very cold at times. And if you leave any liquids in the car they may freeze overnight. Which instead of water...and of course it will take forever to melt.
   And since winter is still lingering in some parts of the world (not Alaska, hehe) I thought it would be an opportune time to share this!
    I'm really good at leaving my water bottle in the car, so one would think that I would learn not to.
    Nope. One thing I did notice though, is that the water wouldn't always freeze. This started happening when I would leave my bottle in the seat with my extra jacket.
     So I experimented. (And yes, it went well!) As long as I kept my water bottle under some sort of clothing or bags, it wouldn't freeze. If I left it in a cup holder, I would find ice.
     The moral of the story is, if you're too lazy to bring your bottle inside, yet still desire it unfrozen, throw something over it.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Letting Loose

    I had a conversation (it may have been mostly one-sided) with some women at my church yesterday morning. We started discussing the complexities of being on the stage in the choir, yet the pastor encourages (read: *ENCOURAGES*) us to "let loose" during worship. Which may mean certain extremes. Which means moving....and...well....
   This topic eventually led us on the path of women "letting loose" people get moving, we pondered women's shoes flying potentially into the congregation (or whacking the music minister in the head while he's playing keyboard). Obviously these scenarios can be hazardous to everyone's health.
    So I created a solution for this potential hazard: hot glue-gun on stage to glue women's hosiery to their know, so their shoes won't fly off, but they will be at liberty to move however the Spirit leads. As in.... "Sister Sally, are you glued in today???", "I'm sorry, but I can't allow you on stage until you've been glued.",  "Let's get our glue on!!!", "Oops. I forgot to glue!"
    If you have a problem, BlondieChell has a solution!!! Moral of the story: don't "let loose" until you've been glued in!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Things To Do When Running Solo Outside

    This morning I have a list of tips for you of things you can do while running solo outside. (Note: performing these tasks while running indoors on a treadmill may make you seem like a crazy person):

     Things To Do When Running Solo Outside:
 1. Talk to someone via microphone headphone or bluetooth. I get in some great conversations this way, and I'm multitasking.
 2. Pray
 3. Butt-kicks. Because I can't get Jillian Michaels out of my head.
 4. Talk to an imaginary dog. Because it's all about talking while running which means expanding your lung capacity.
  5. Skip. Because changing it up is good.
 6. Sing really loud to your music In your opera voice.
 7. Crochet. I haven't attempted this, but I'm tempted to.
 8. Take selfies at crazy angles (you may need to stop running in order to do this...not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...haha)

   Have a great week!!! And tell me how these tips work for you!!!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Violence Is Sometimes Okay....

    This weekend it occurred to me that a lot of things that happen in the spiritual realm that we consider positive encounters are actually quite violent....
    Like...wanting to be "on fire for God". In reality, being set on fire is a bad thing. A VERY bad thing. You kind of die.
     Or you want "the Spirit to crash over me like waves". Ever seen a wave?? They can be pretty destructive. We associate the word "crash" with them. CRASHING WAVES. Nothing that crashes is calm or serene. It too is violent. Yet we choose to associate those words with God and things of the spiritual realm.
      And we wonder why people look at us like we're crazy. "No, I don't want you to throw a lit match at me-I want to be set on fire by GOD!!!". Yep. Crazy. Train.
      As these thoughts flooded into my head this weekend, I discovered that, perhaps the reason why violence is prevalent in the scripture is because we are at war. A spiritual war. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places " (Ephesians 6:12).
       And somehow...that makes it all okay. Because I know that God has my back, no matter what may come.
    May the spirit of God crash over you like waves so that you may be set on fire. Have a great week!!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

#BuluBox #Review #Sponsored #Healthy

    Have you heard of subscription boxes?? There's basically one for everything nowadays. There's even a website to help you launch your own subscription box service! The possibilities are endless!!!
     The folks at BuluBox sent me a free box to try and review, so here we go:
    Bulubox is the subscription service for you if you want to try out health products but don't want to spend $$$ on full-sized products you may not like.
    They have a few different options and I chose the weightloss box (I may have put on a few pounds or so over the holidays)
   My box included: Cellucor Alpha Amino (endurance, recovery and hydration formula), Cellucor C4 Extreme (energy formula), Dollar Shots Club Energy Shot, NeoCell Beauty Infusions drink mix, Met-Rx Prime Bar (protein bar), and VitaPerk (vitamins to add to your coffee).

   Would I buy these products on my own?? Of course not!!! It would cost me over $150 to obtain these products in their full sizes, but why would I invest that much $$ without knowing how I like the product?? That's where BuluBox comes in-letting me sample products I wouldn't normally purchase. Now I can try all of these fantastic products, but without the hefty $$ commitment!

   I love the product card they sent me with my samples because not only do I have easy access to a product's name, but now I also know how much of the product I would receive for the price. Also, the back of the card has a place for you to write notes about the individual products like how you felt before and after using the product.
    Since I signed up with BuluBox, I keep getting emails with discount codes, so I recommend signing up with your email first in order to get a discount on your first purchase!

    Disclaimer: I received my Bulubox complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions states are my own.

Monday, February 23, 2015

BlondieChell's Original Small Group Game Idea

     Remember's last week's post about my special talent?? Well, the following Monday, I felt like God was telling me to bring toilet paper in addition to a snack to the small group. Looks like I was just meant to be that "one weird girl".
       So I did. And I was reluctant, for obvious reasons. Thanks, God. 
       I showed up (ON TIME!!!) with my toilet paper and snack. Needless to say, the Honey Buns were well received. The bathroom tissue on the other hand?? Accepted with as much gratefulness as I had expected...with questions. Yep. That's me now. The girl who brings TP to Bible Study. 
      I dodged questions by answering with "I...can't tell you". But by the end of our time together, I found the boldness to share my story with the wife of the small group leader and another attendee.
      I explained to them how I was pondering the small group, and what to bring for snack. More specifically, I thought to myself "What would happen if I was hosting a small group? What would I want people to bring??" Top of my list was toilet paper. Because these people use your toilet, their kids dump your rolls in and...well, I think it just makes sense.  After these dwelling on these thoughts, I couldn't decipher if they were from God or just my own random ramblings. 
      Since I've learned to "go with God" (aka: trust the Holy Spirit), I brought the toilet paper. Well, the ladies enjoyed the story enough for me to suggest a new game idea, called "Who can bring the weirdest thing to small group?" (Patent pending)
     So game on!!!! What am I bringing this week?? I'll tell you later....Meanwhile, give me your suggestions for the next few weeks below! The only rule we have (so far!) is that it *has* to have been in your house for at least 30 days-that means no buying something brand new....hhhhhmmmmm.....

Monday, February 16, 2015

BlondieChell's Special Talent

      Gods has granted *this girl* a special talent. Now, don't be jealous-this skill has taken years to perfect. Are you ready to find out what it is??
   I have this *innate* knack for showing up at in opportune times, making things more awkward than they already are and (drumroll, please....) not being needed when I seize an opportunity to help. I don't have a name for it, but maybe you can help me choose one! So here's my story for you:
   A few weeks ago our church was spreading word about their small groups and passing out info. I think they called it "Light it up Sunday" (i.e. the "lights" are the church's ministries). Now, even though Hubs and I have been attending this church since last summer, we haven't taken part in a small group. So we felt like now was our chance. And we picked one. About raising kiddos God's way...and the time frame worked for us.
    Since I like to know what's going on before I commit to things, I asked one of the leaders a series of informational questions like what to bring (snacks, anyone??), time constraints, ect. The most important thing I said was, "So we just show up Monday?" and of course that elicited a "Yes!"
    Monday came. Due to other circumstances God wanted us to take part in, we were running late. And the McDonald's drive thru ensured we would run even later.
    We showed up about 15 minutes after the scheduled start time (of course by this time I am fully embarrassed and trying to shush the kiddos outside because they sound like a herd of elephants) and rang the doorbell. Expecting a warm welcome and "Oh, we're elated you could come!" We were greeted with "What are you doing here?" ,"Why are you here?" , and shocked expressions.
    Me: "Um....Hi! I'm here for the Bible study...for small group....Monday nights....right??"
   Them: "Oooooohhhh.....The 'Alternatives to Beating Your Kids' (or whatever it is called) starts *next* Monday night."
   Fantastic. So they invited me in and we swapped life stories. Love this talent! Good times.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Spanx A Million

       If you're like me, you have a magical garment in your wardrobe that some refer to as a "fat-sucker-inner". I don't think you can really appreciate the power of this enchanted fabric until you've had multiple kiddos and been slacking on your diet and exercise routine.
      I've actually been in denial about my recent weight gain, so my fat-sucker-inners have been taking a vacation in my dresser. I pulled them out today to wear to church because my dress pants made me look fat(ter).
      And I was honest about it at church too-several of us "chubbier than thou" women were standing around, complimenting each other on apparel when I admitted that I looked so fantastic because I was wearing one of the magical pieces of fabric that took my fat and squished it into my body as tight as it could!
      To my surprise, I was not alone in hiding my excess poundage. We threw around words like "fat-sucker-inner", "spandex", "spanx" and even "corset". (Did you know corsets were becoming a thing again??) I was not alone in hiding all those extra calories....
     And now you can help me laugh them off:

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Yum To The 'O' #ReesesSpreads #InfluensterVoxBox

   Who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate mixed together?? (Oh, dad..Dad, you may skip this post)
      Well, the folks at Reeses Peanut Butter Cups have outdone them selves with this fantasyic Reeses Spreads! It's essentially a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup that you can smear on everything!!!
       Now you can have some Reeses all day long! I put it on my toast and pancakes, add it to my coffee and protein shakes...and it's great for dipping fruit or other treats into! (Try it on some Reeses Peanut Butter Cups with some Reeses Pieces sprinkled on...I dare you!!!)

           My recipe for faux "bullet-proof coffee":
1. Protein Shake
2. 8-10oz coffee
3. 1 Tbs Reeses Spreads
4. 1 Tbs Coconut Oil.
(I also add cinnamon and honey to taste)
Blend well. I use my Ninja.
         You're welcome.
           The only drawback is the calorie content- it's just as caloric as my fav peanut butter! 

     *Disclaimer: I received this product complimentary from Influenster. All thoughts and opinions of the product are my own..but it sure does taste fantastic, so go get some!!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Jeepers Creepers!!!

    How creepy are your kids?!?? Have you ever found your offspring to do anything to creep you out or scare the snot out of you?? Mine are experts at it! So much so that if I now refer to someone as creepy, the 8yo chimes in with "like me, huh?"
     For example, on Friday nights we usually have a "movie night" where the kiddos eat popcorn and watch a movie while Mommy falls asleep on the couch and Daddy puts them to bed when he gets home.  This also coincides with a very strict rule in our house: "Do not bug Mommy when she is sleeping!" It is frequently repeated.
      Last Friday we uttered this rule before Mommy dozed off on the couch. And I woke up at 9:30p.m. with three sets of eyes in my face and the question "What next? What next?" being repeated like seagulls who say "Mine? Mine?" All because the movie had ended...and apparently they weren't as ready for bed as I was ready for them to be.
      Needless to say, they were immediately (and a bit harshly) sent to bed. Hey, if this view was the first thing you saw when you opened your uncaffeinated eyes, you would have reacted negatively too. (I do believe the children now have more respect for the "Mommy's sleeping" rule now. )

           Do you have a Jeepers Creepers story?? Share it with me!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

How To Go Sledding In Alaska

BlondieChell's Tips For Sledding In AK:

1. Pick a snow-covered hill. Basically anywhere.

2. Buy some cheap sleds (watch the videos)

3. Dress warm. Tons of layers are recommended

4. Have fun!

Monday, January 19, 2015

6 Reasons I Struggle With Running In the Dark

    I struggle with running in the dark. I'm a sunshine girl, so i have to fight myself to run in the dark. Here are some reasons why:

    1. Dark is scary.

    2. I've seen moose run across the hig uhh way randomly, so I can just imagine one lying in wait, then charging out of nowhere when I pass by.

     3. Bears. I know they're around, I just don't know "where"...

     4. It's not as fun. The scenery? Black. It's all black.

     5. No running trails near my house, so that means running on roads that have sharp turns and winds....which could equal danger for me if I'm running on the road.

     6. I....may be too scared....

Monday, January 12, 2015

Reasons To Love Zambonis

       Yesterday I came to appreciate the role zambonis play on the ice. See, last year was our first time ice skating. Ever. And we took full advantage of living in Alaska by using the outdoor rink at the kiddo's school which was just a block away. Every so often, they would "ghetto zamboni" the rink with a hose and tarp on the back of a truck.
      It didn't matter to me if the ice was "smooth" or not. I seemed to be able to handle it well...except for when they ice wasn't completely frozen that was troublesome.
      Since we moved approx 60 miles away from that location over the summer, I have been searching for a new (and free) locale. However, this winter has been unseasonably warm (I'm calling it an Alaskan Indian Summer) so frozen surfaces can be sketchy.
      Apparently Wasillians frequent the local lake for skating when it's frozen solid, and yesterday seemed like the perfect time for us to try it out. So we did.
      And...then I discovered the important role zamboni's play in the world of ice skating:

        1. They literally do smooth out the ice! See the bubbles and cracks?? (not to mention the random frozen foliage sticking out of the ice) Apparently "natural" ice skating surfaces develop these defects from the freezing and refreezing and stuff landing on them before they refreeze.....

     Okay, I guess that's the only reason I discovered to love now take a gander at the fun family photos we took while ice skating:

            These two just may have spent more time on their knees than their feet....

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Few Reasons To Visit Alaska In The Winter

     Ever wonder Alaska offers in the winter besides frozen tundra, Kodiak bears and The Deadliest Catch??  Well, I documented some of our great features to show you!

            Like a winter sunset on the Turnagain Arm....

         And filling up containers with drinking water from this magical pipe that sticks out of the side of a mountain (no worries-water has been tested!!!){Note: It has been unseasonably warm this winter -typically it's still froze at this time of year}

                Fantastic sunrises!!!

       Finding landscape treasures such as this old bridge!

   Uncaged bald eagles!!!

      Moose. On the side of the road. Just munching.

World's largest chocolate waterfall....Who doesn't want to see this???

              And of course, gigantic chunks of chocolate.....

         Accumulating ice on your beard while the pitch the winter.....

The Aurora Borealis.....right over our house!!!

Free museum entry the first Friday of every month in Anchorage....

    So...when are you coming to visit??