September 9, 2013

Peachy Pancakes with Fresh Peach Sauce

September 9, 2013

Peachy Pancakes title

Yesterday morning I woke up at 6:30 like always do to the sound of my iphone alarm clock and my personalized message to myself: “Make a Healthy Breakfast”

It was raining outside, which rarely happens in the deserts of Arizona and I wanted to cook something warm. My first thoughts were cinnamon rolls and peach cobbler. mmmm. But cinnamon rolls take For-Ever to make and peach cobbler isn’t much quicker, and neither of these qualified as a very healthy breakfast.

My fam really loves pancakes and I make them so often that it’s become a quick-and-easy breakfast at our house. So I made up a perfect healthy recipe for a rainy morning that tastes almost as scrumptious as peach cobbler.

 

Did you know that Nectarines are just like peaches, they just don’t have the thick fuzzy skin. So if you use Nectarines in this recipe you don’t have to peel them. You don’t have to peel the peaches either but I think it would be better without the skin in your pancakes.

Peachy Pancakes 1Peachy Pancakes 0

   Peach SaucePeachy Pancakes 2 

 

Peachy Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour (Use fresh ground flour if it is available.)

1/4 C Dehydrated Cane Juice (Coconut sugar or even white sugar will work as well.)

2 tsp Aluminum-Free Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Sea salt

2 Eggs, beaten

1 1/2 C Milk (or substitute coconut or almond milk)

1/4 C Coconut Oil, melted

1 large Peach or Nectarine, chopped into small pieces

 

Instructions:

1. Mix dry ingredients together: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt

2. In a separate bowl, mix eggs and milk together. As you whisk the mixture, pour in the coconut oil and mix well.

3. Immediately pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until combined. If you wait too long the coconut oil will separate and harden and it will be very hard to mix in. Meted butter is a good substitute for coconut oil if you don’t have it on hand.

4. Fold in Peaches or Nectarines.

5. Cook pancakes on a skillet over medium-low heat, turning when bubbles form around the edges.

Serve hot.

 

 

Fresh Peach Sauce

Ingredients:

2 Peaches or Nectarines, pitted and roughly chopped

1/4 Water (you can add more water if you like a thinner consistency)

3-4 Tablespoons Dehydrated Cane Juice (or sweetener of choice. Honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc.)

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

 

Instructions:

1. Chop peaches and place in a blender or food processor.

2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

3. Pour over pancakes.

4. Enjoy!

The sauce needs to be used right away. It will separate if it sits too long. I want to try a cooked version of this recipe to see if it will hold up for a longer period of time. Then I could refrigerate it and use it all week. I’ll let you know when I try it out! I am a big fan of feeding my family raw fruits and veggies when possible so I love the raw version.

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April 1, 2013

What is “Processed Food” and why is it so bad?

April 1, 2013

A buzz word going around right now in the food world is “processed”. We all have heard to avoid processed foods if we want to be healthy. The ideal diet according to mainstream sources is a diet that is high in fruits, veggies, good fats, and whole grains and low in processed foods.

Now for the million-dollar-question: What is processed food?

What pops into your head?

 

I asked my husband this and he came up with things like:

Spam,

White flour bread,

Biscuits in a tube,

Cheese singles in plastic wrapping,

Donuts

 

Processing goes way beyond these pseudo-foods to things that you wouldn’t have even associated with the word “processed”.

Any product that goes through any type of process is technically a processed food. Unless you are eating a diet of only whole, raw foods you are eating processed foods.  Common sense, right? That means that anything boiled, fried, cooked, homogenized, preserved, baked, ground, dried, soaked, etc. 

So my husband says “Basically you are telling me that everything is processed” ( insert angry husband face here.)

And I said,  “uh . . .  yeah, . . . I guess your are right. Unless it is fresh and raw it has gone through some type of processing.”

Then I realized that there really aren’t any guidelines when it comes to the “no processed foods” rule, so how do you know what to eat?

Some of these processes don’t damage the nutrition at all, some can actually make your food more nutritious or easier to digest, (like soaking and sprouting),  and others can turn healthy food into nutritionless lumps. Those lumps of pseudo-food are the ones we want to avoid. Like the ones listed above.

A much better way to go about the whole “no processed foods” idea is going with the idea of less processing=better.

Think of it this way: A green bean grows in the garden, soaking nutrients from the soil and miraculously turning energy from the sun into food. It is growing, thriving,  and full of life! Then you pick the green bean, wash it, and it is ready to be eaten. All of that life and energy is still inside that little bean package. Eaten raw the bean is full of vitamins and minerals from the garden, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria. Or you can cook them (process them) lightly and still get almost all of the vitamins and minerals but you miss out on the enzymes and bacteria. Or, if you are a home canner or if you buy your green beans in cans at the grocery store, the green beans will be pressure boiled (to kill off any pathogens) in an aluminum can lined with plastic or a glass jar with plenty of added salt. This is a major process that depletes the green beans of much of their vitamins and minerals, and completely kills off any beneficial bacteria and enzymes. What you have left looks kind of like a green bean but the life and energy have been boiled out of it and it is nothing like the living bean that grew in your garden. And the canned green bean needs the salt to enhance the flavor because most of the fresh, crisp, sweet flavor of the bean has been boiled away.

Now think about the processes that milk has to go through to become the block of processed cheese that never molds, or that box of “whole grain” cereal that looks nothing like the original grains it came from. Most processed foods contain preservatives to help keep some of the flavor so they don’t taste like cardboard, and food coloring so they look fresh and bright, and to get you to buy them they add vitamins and minerals back into them artificially. These vitamins aren’t the same as what you would get naturally and they only add the ones that will look good on the package label.  Always check your labels on anything that you are buying from a can, box, tube, or bottle. If there is anything on the label that you can’t pronounce or you have no idea what it is, DON’T EAT IT!

If it needs to be enhanced with MSG, food coloring, or preservatives then it has gone through enough processing that it doesn’t naturally taste like real food without all of the nasty additives. There is so much research popping up about food additives contributing to everything from Hyperactivity to Cancer.

This is especially important for kids! They are much more sensitive to the effects of food additives. HERE is a whole list of articles on the effect of artificial food dyes.

If you have a child who is sensitive, hyperactive, overweight or obese, or having trouble concentrating in school or at home, I think it would be a good idea to start with removing processed foods with any type of additives, especially food coloring. I am not a doctor but I know from mommy experience and research that my kids are more focused and less hyperactive when I am diligent in keeping the processed foods out of our home.

I have one son who is 4 and although he has never been diagnosed with any neuro disorder he is extremely sensitive to his surroundings. He tends to cry and whine much more often than my other 2 kids and he has a hard time watching anything even remotely “scary” on TV. He hates to watch Curious George because there are some parts in it that scare him enough that he will hide his head in the couch and whine and then run to his bedroom.  When I make it a priority to keep him off of processed food and any artificial food coloring he is so much more calm and relaxed. I still limit TV time for all of my kids but when he is eating a nutritious diet with no additives he can handle his favorite shows and even Curious George much better.

Turn your cans, boxes, bottles, and tubes around and see what you are REALLY eating for lunch today. If there is no label, that’s even better.  Keep it as fresh as possible  :)

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January 9, 2013

The Secret to Get Your Family to Eat Healthy

January 9, 2013

This is it! The big secret is revealed! How to get your family to accept the fact that they can’t survive anymore on Mickey D’s, fish crackers, Coke, and frozen pizzas. pizza

Are you ready for it?

The secret is. . .

Patience.

 

What, were you expecting a miracle?

Remember your mom teaching you that if you want something great you have to work for it? That rule most definitely applies here too. You may want to go all crazy and dump every last bit of junk food in the house (believe me, I’ve actually done this a few times) but that doesn’t mean that your family is going to be there helping you haul the loot out to the garbage bin. Prepare them by telling them how much you care about them and how you want them to be healthy and happy and to live forever. My kids know that when I give them healthy food I am trying to keep them from getting sick too.

Take baby steps in the right direction and be consistent. If you decide that you are going to clear your house of sugar you can still allow the kids to have a sweet treat occasionally.  I am constantly reminding my kids that we have to limit our sugar because sugar is bad for our immune system so when we eat lots of sugar we are more likely to get sick. I still allow them ice cream on special occasions, and a bit of candy when we celebrate holidays, and I love to bake so I occasionally whip up batches of brownies or oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, using the best ingredients within my budget.

This is New Years resolution time and millions of people make a resolution to “get healthy”. Only 8% actually follow through with this. Why? because “get healthy” is so utterly vague that no one can even wrap their brain around it. So let’s start with a real goal.

My goal for 2013: Eat fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats and proteins, increase probiotics, limit sugars and processed foods,  and work out 3 times a week for 30 minutes.

Now that is a goal I can take to the grocery store and gym and make it work!

I am 15 weeks pregnant right now and I am still riding the morning sickness train. Food hasn’t been my friend and I have been eating whatever sounded good, even Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, delivery pizza,  and sour gummy bears (not together). So just like you I am resolving to eat healthy this year for me and my baby.

 

Let’s start out with some tips on how to help our kids to eat a little healthier.

Tip #1: If your kids come home from school and go straight to the kitchen for juice and crackers I recommend keeping a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter so they see that colorful rainbow first. My boys LOVE fresh apples and oranges so I leave them out where they can see their bright colors flash as soon as they walk in the room. Works like a charm.

Tip #2: Keep unhealthy snacks up high or hidden away in a cupboard (or get rid of them altogether). Out of sight, out of mind.

Tip#3: Try something new. A new fruit or veggie, or even a new way to cook a veggie that they already like. And don’t be discouraged if they don’t take to a new food right away. It can take more than 10 times of trying a new food before they will learn to like it. I’m still trying to get my oldest to eat cucumbers.

Tip#4: If you do make a treat make it with the best ingredients you can get. I have revamped a yummy brownie recipe and our favorite cookie recipe by substituting whole wheat flour, dehydrated cane juice, and dark chocolate chips. They are still high in sugar and need to be eaten in moderation but they are much more nourishing than the original recipes and they taste just as good. (The recipes will be in a later post.) My kids would never know the difference. Check Pinterest for pages and pages of healthy desserts.

Tip #5: Don’t bring it in the house unless you want them to eat it. Kids are scavengers. When they are hungry they will find it. And if you don’t want them to eat it you probably shouldn’t be eating it either.

Tip #6: MOST IMPORTANTLY: Please lay off the soda and sugar laden drinks. This includes diet soda/drinks too. Studies have proved that artificial sweeteners don’t help at all with weight loss and actually make you crave more sugar and more calories. Juice is on this list too. I allow my boys a small amount of 100% juice on occasion but the fructose amounts are really high. Soda is completely void of nutrition and the high fructose corn syrup or sugar can do more than make us chubby, it can damage our liver just as badly as alcohol (see this video at Mercola.com), and make it difficult to concentrate and think at higher levels. Am I saying that sugar can make you stupid? YES!  I know how addictive these sugar drinks can be. I’ve been there and I still have days that I give in and drink a cold Dr. Pepper. The difference is that now I know that damage that can be done and one can is enough (or way more than enough) for me.

Did you know that Sugary drinks are the #1 source of calories in America? Think about it. There is no nutritional content and that is our #1 energy source. No wonder Americans are getting fat, popping anti-depressants, and dying of cancer and heart disease. Scary.

Tip #7: Don’t just feed, NOURISH. Read your labels and know what you are giving your children. Quality over quantity. If your children are eating nourishing foods they won’t be rummaging through the fridge every hour. Focus on fresh fruits and veggies, protein, healthy fats like coconut oil and grass-fed butter, nuts, beans and lentils, and probiotic foods.

 

It know that is a lot to start out with but if you can just start with one baby step at a time pretty soon your family will be feeling better, enjoying life more, and will be able to manage their weight much better too. All it takes is patience.

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January 7, 2013

Me + Food = Love. Why I am a “foodie”

January 7, 2013

Before I start jumping into “you should eat this” and “you shouldn’t eat that” I want to give you a little background on why I care so much about food.

Once upon a time I lived in a small town with my mom and dad and 6 siblings. Every year my mom and dad grew gardens full of fresh veggies to feed all the hungry mouths. I learned early that fresh fruits and veggies are more than just food. They were grown and cooked with love.

Years later, I get to be the mom and I didn’t inherit my dad’s green thumb so I rely heavily on grocery store produce and friends and neighbors' gardens.  (I do have a small garden that I desperately try to keep alive every year.)

I fell in love with food gradually. I have never been on a fad diet, been more than a 10 pounds overweight, or had any medical condition that required a special diet. My love for food started in college when I took my first Nutrition course. My teacher who was about 50 years old was so beautiful and radiant and looked no older than 35. Her skin and hair were practically glowing with health.  I would watch how her eyes sparkled as she taught us the most important role of nutrition: not to help us lose weight, attract the opposite sex, increase energy, or any other tag line you see on a magazine cover.

Nutrition is to help us PREVENT CHRONIC DISEASE!

(light bulb)

This idea changed how I looked at everything I ate. “Will this cheeseburger give me cancer? Will whole milk give me heart disease? Will gummy bears give me diabetes? Which vegetables have the most disease fighting power?” And most importantly I started reading the labels on everything I ate.  I had power over the unknown!

The “normal” diet in America (also called the Western Diet) is made up of

what is quick-and-easy and can be stored for a long time. Everything is packed with preservatives and processed until it is unrecognizable so that it has a 2+ year shelf life. White flour, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, yada yada yada.  By now most of us have heard a million times what the “bad foods” are.

 

So here is my theory about food.

Food = Life

Ok, completely obvious right? Everyone needs food to live.

But it is more than that. Live food = Life 

We need to make sure there is still life in our food so that it can give us life (and I’m not talking sushi and steak tartar here.) I mean, you are what you eat, right?

When we buy a can of green beans from the shelf at the store we think we are getting the same thing we get from the garden. When we process beans we break down some of the important nutrients like fiber, vitamin C,and Vitamin A. And even more importantly we lose the digestive enzymes that are only in raw foods. Some nutrition is still there but it loses a lot of it’s “life” .

After this epiphany about live foods I started eating up books from the library about fad diets and not-so-fad diets. I searched through all of the hype and fluff and found what works best for me and my family.

Nutrition is a fast evolving field that is always changing. I read and study as much as I can and I use what I believe to be true when I feed my family. I have one especially sensitive son who I know needs special dietary attention and I do my best to keep my picky little boy well nourished and it is not easy at all.

I am excited to start talking more about my passion for good food! This doesn’t mean I am a five star cook or that I am going to be passing out award winning recipes (if I could only be so lucky). It just means that I want to help you to help your family be healthy! I believe that we can tackle childhood obesity and chronic disease one home at a time!!!!!

Healthy food is the best food you will ever eat. It will feed your body, mind, and soul.

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October 11, 2012

Fire Ombre Baby Bodysuit Tutorial

October 11, 2012

fire ombre 9 w logo

 

This little “onesie” is so hot it’s on fire!

This is simple to make and you can use the colors I chose or you can mix it up and create something totally unique.

Here’s what you need:

1. Baby bodysuit (a.k.a. “onesie”)

2. Fabric markers

3. newspaper, foam board, or something else to put inside of the bodysuit to prevent the markers from running through to the other side.

That’s it. Let’s get started. 

fire ombre 1

1. Pick out 3 markers that are similar in color or that can blend well from one to another. I chose Red, Orange, and Yellow for the fire effect.

fire ombre 2fire ombre 3

2. Start from the bottom and straight lines up from the bottom of the onesie. Try to keep them as straight as you can. Start with more lines at the bottom and thin them out a little the further up you go.

fire ombre 4

This is what the red layer looks like when it is done.

fire ombre 5

3. Do the same thing with the orange, overlapping the colors by a couple of inches so it gives the illusion that the red runs into the orange. Make the orange lines more dense in the middle and thin them out on the bottom and top so they blend well with the other colors.

fire ombre 6

4. Do the same thing with the yellow. This will be the top color so make at nice and even at the top.

fire ombre 7

4. When you are done with the front do the same thing on the backside, matching the placement of the layers so it looks cohesive with the front side.

fire ombre 8

5.You can also add a little flare to the sleeves.

6. Heat set the design if your markers require it. Check the instructions on your box of markers. These Crayola Fabric markers need to be heat set with a hot iron.

And you are done! Now go dress up your little fireball!

This is such an easy project. It requires only about 10-20 minutes from start to finish. This would be a great start to a “little devil” Halloween costume! Use your imagination and the possibilities go on for days!

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May 18, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter Bites

May 18, 2012

Choc cherry pb bites

These little bites are packed with flavor and nutrition. They are my favorite treat when I am craving some chocolate, which is always. The recipe is super easy and the result will have you swooning for this sweet and tangy dark chocolate confection.

Choc cherry pb bites 4

The best part is these these babies are naturally sweetened with fruit. Raisins and dried cherries make these bites sweet and tangy. And dark chocolate chips make them decedent and daringly delicious. I love chocolate so much I could marry it.

 

Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter Bites

Ingredients:

1 C. Rolled Oats

1 T. Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)

1/3 C. Raisins

1/3 C Peanut Butter

1/2 C. Dark Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao chips)

1/2 C. Dried Cherries 

 

Method:

Measure out all of your ingredients into a food processor, I use my Ninja prep blender but a food processor works just as well. Process until there are no big pieces left. I usually process until the mixture looks uniform and sticks to the sides of the bowl.

Roll dough into bite sized balls and serve.

These bites can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for one week, or maybe even longer. They haven’t lasted more than 2 days in our house.

Choc cherry pb bites 2

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May 7, 2012

Zucchini Brownies (with Healthy Chocolate Frosting)

May 7, 2012

Zucchini Brownies 3

My sister gave me a wonderful recipe for zucchini brownies that quickly became my favorite go-to semi-healthy dessert. But after swearing off white sugar and flour I had to say goodbye to my favorite brownies. boo hoo hoo.

But then I realized I am not powerless in this new no-sugar diet plan. So I grabbed a couple of bowls and zucchinis and made up a new recipe that I can enjoy (occasionally) without feeling guilty. And the frosting. . . oh man, I am so happy with how it turned out! Addicted? yes!

Zucchini Brownies 1

Zucchini Brownies:

Ingredients:

2T Olive Oil

1/4 C Unsweetened applesauce

3/4 C Evaporated Cane Juice (Sucanat) or Coconut Sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 C Whole wheat flour

1/4 C Unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 tsp. Baking soda

1/4 tsp. Sea salt

1 C Finely Shredded Zucchini

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 8x8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, applesauce, cane juice, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine whole wheat flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix well. The mixture will be kind of dry but don't add liquid to it. Trust me. Next, fold in the zucchini until everything is moistened and the mixture is consistent. It will still seem dry but the liquid will cook out of the zucchini in the oven so don't add any liquid.

Spread batter in pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Zucchini Brownies 7

Zucchini Brownies 6

 

Amazing Healthy Chocolate Frosting

1 Can of Coconut Milk (use a reliable brand like Thai Kitchen)

1 C Dark Chocolate Chips

1/2 tsp. Vanilla

3T Stevia in the Raw (or other dry sweetener)

 

Directions:

Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Don't shake it up. Carefully open the can and scoop out the scrumptious coconut cream on top.

Zucchini Brownies 5Zucchini Brownies 4

Melt coconut cream and chocolate chips together over med-low heat, stirring occasionally. Once they are melted and mixed together into chocolate goodness, remove from heat and add vanilla and stevia.

Now you have to wait for the frosting to cool down so you you can put in in the fridge for about 3 hours or overnight. I put my frosting in the freezer for about 30 minutes to cool it down fast. Fluff up frosting with a fork or hand mixer and serve cold.

DO NOT let this sit out at room temperature or warmer because it melts much faster and easier that regular frosting. Keep it refrigerated until you are ready to use it and make sure your brownies are all the way cool before you frost them.

Zucchini Brownies 2

Watch them disappear.

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May 2, 2012

Feeling brand new {our new look, and designs}

May 2, 2012

It’s spring cleaning season and I am cleaning up things around here and making Cantaloupe Corner all fresh and new. A little while back I was looking over my blog and thinking. . . “bleh, I need a makeover, and I know this rockin’ awesome girl I went to college with that does graphic design. I need her. . . bad.” So, long story short, me and Erin from Eedee Design Studio got together and she created our fresh new look! Isn’t she the best? 

LogoJPG

She found a way to incorporate the orange and green colors and she turned the o’s into cantaloupes. Cute huh? Just don’t stare at them too long or they start to look like amoebas. (Or maybe I just had too much caffeine today.)

If you need a blog makeover or a new logo or any other graphic design stuff, check out Eedee Design Studios. Her designs are sweet and memorable, and she really works with you to make it just what YOU want. I was really impressed with how easy she was to work with and how she made sure I was completely happy with my new design. 

 

 

And along with our new look we also just added a bunch of new designs to our shop! YES! New stuff makes me so happy!

Not only is it brand new but we are going completely out of the box here and adding C-O-L-O-R!

That’s right, COLOR! I have found the most amazing way to print these shirts in color while still keeping them lead free, and super duper soft. Trust me, it’s pretty amazing. I’ve been working on this new technique since about 6 months ago and I finally have it perfected and ready to make for you.

Here’s our newest members of our CC family!

Splatter Number- Toddler Birthday shirt.  This is a 2 tone color printed tee with your choice of number in the center. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. We now have Navy shirts up to size 8!

Teach Me – Toddler T-shirt. Green or Navy Blue with Yellow distressed words.

This was inspired by my kids. I’m a work at home mom and life gets really stressful with 3 little ones running (or crawling) around here. I’ve adapted a motto that I have even taught to my kids. It is “Don’t get mad, teach.” This is my little reminder that when I’m about to get angry or lose my temper those are the best teaching moments. Take a breath, look at the situation and teach them how to make it better. This shirt also is a great reminder that we need to be teaching our kids all day long every day. Teach them to read. Teach them about the world. Teach them to love.

Girls Typewriter Number Shirt- Toddler Birthday shirt , available in Purple with aqua blue number or Fuchsia with cream number.

I wanted to bring in some simple and fun birthday designs for da girls! And there are more girl designs in the works!! So keep checking back to see what’s new!

Girl's Vintage Applique Number Shirt – Toddler Birthday shirt  '

Girl’s version of our popular applique tee. The fuchsia and orange are bright and cheery with just the right amount of vintage to make it super fashionable for the little birthday girl.

 

Vintage Applique Number T-shirt  -  Kelly Green with Royal Blue number.

 

Spanish Number T-shirt -  Toddler birthday shirt

Here in AZ everyone there are so many people that speak Spanish. So I wanted to make a fun option available to my Spanish speaking neighbors, or anyone else who wants to mix it up for a Birthday or everyday. This would be a great shirt for a fiesta style birthday party!

That’s what we have going on over here. We also have some more new designs that will be making their grand appearance soon. I can’t wait to show and tell!

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April 30, 2012

Teaming up with Whippy

April 30, 2012

Have you noticed that things here at Cantaloupe Corner are looking fresh and new? We have a new Logo, new blog, and new designs!!! I want to tell you all about it but I have a more important mission for today. The new stuff will have to wait, just a little teensy bit longer.

I was telling you before how Whippy Cake’s Becki is earning money to make a trip to Africa with an organization called Heart for Africa.

Well, I have some EPIC EXCITING news!  Cantaloupe Corner is teaming up with Whippy Cake! oh YEAH!

I have designed some sweet-as-a-cupcake women’s shirts for Becki and all of the proceeds from these shirts go directly to Heart for Africa!

The design features  Africa with the signature Whippy Cake stripes and a heart where Swaziland is, (that’s where she will be going to help) and the inspirational words: Share Hope, Spread Love.

Heart for Africa is doing just that, sharing hope and spreading love to those sweet little children. Watch the videos, look into those eyes of those tiny children that have known more struggles in their short lives that we may ever know. If you can’t go to Africa yourself to help out those sweet little ones, help Becki get there to spread our love to them and to share hope for a brighter future.

Becki also has some exquisite Whippy Cake appliques, head wraps, earrings, and she is always adding new fashionable items to her Etsy shop. And all of the proceeds go to Heart for Africa! Help her out. Make this dream of hers come true so that she can share hope with those sweet kids!

Get clicking!

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April 26, 2012

2 Cool science experiments to do with your kids

April 26, 2012

I have this boy. He is kind of a genius, for a 5 year old. I’m way biased because I’m his mom but he really is a smarty. His latest venture is anything involving Science. Earth science is his fave. He is fascinated by volcanoes, caves, rocks, earthquakes. . .

We took a trip to Carlsbad Caverns in November and he was in absolute heaven. He ogled at the massive cave formations and spouted off random cave facts to anyone who would listen. Even I was like “Whoa! Where did you learn all this stuff!” 

I’m a proud mom.

When we have free time at home between school, meals, games, and homework, we love to do science experiments!

Here were a couple of our favorites we have done:

Experiment #1: Oobleck

A lesson in states of matter and surface tension.

-1 part cornstarch

-1.5 to 2 parts water

Mix these ingredients together.  Add more water or cornstarch to get the desired consistency. You can also add a few drops of food coloring if you want. Ours started out really wet and drippy and it made a huge mess but our boys had a BLAST getting dirty. Wait, only one boy got dirty. Ry didn’t want his hands to get messy so he dipped in one finger and then washed his hands and didn’t want anything else to do with the oobleck.

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We talked about how the oobleck went from liquid to solid and back to liquid. We also experimented with the surface tension by punching it! It’s a great stress reliever.

I finally had to drag Simon away from the oobleck once he was covered in the stuff and it was getting dry and crumbly. It is so fun and since it is just corn starch and water it is completely non-toxic and safe. And it sure helps that it is easy to clean out of kids clothes. Simon was COVERED in this stuff. We even had to wash it out of his hair! He played for over an hour before I had to clean him up and send him off to bed.

And if you are up for even more fun with oobleck, you can make it dance!! Seriously! We don’t have a subwoofer to try it out but check out this cool video:

 

Science is so weird, and amazing!

 

Experiment #2: The Naked Egg

Our next experiment was learning about chemical reactions. My hubby cleaned his sister’s pool floor with acid and Simon was so interested in how it worked and why the acid made bubbles and bad smells. So I thought this experiment was perfect to answer some of his questions.

January 2012 031

This experiment is: How to remove an eggshell without cracking it.

-1 egg

-white vinegar

-small glass cup or jar

Place the egg in the jar and cover it with vinegar. Ask your child what they see happening when you put the egg in the vinegar.

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Bubbles! The acidic vinegar is reacting with the eggshell.

I’ll let him tell you all about it.

Here’s what’s happening: The acetic acid in the vinegar breaks down the solid calcium carbonate that make up the egg’s shell. When the calcium carbonate breaks down the calcium ions are now free and the carbonate goes into making carbon dioxide, which are those little bubbles that you see all over the egg.

Let the egg sit in water for 24 hours and then carefully remove the egg and replace the old vinegar with fresh new vinegar. Let it sit for another day or 2 and then you can carefully rinse of the egg. Be gentle. Once you have all of the shell off it will look a little something like this:

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If you hold it up to the light you can see the yolk inside. Pretty cool, right?

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I wish I had photos of all of the fun experiments we do together. I have a budding scientist on my hands!

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