Fooducate App

unnamed

 

Today we made our second trip to the dentist for the week. Yesterday I took Megan in to get 2 stubborn baby teeth pulled. We had a horrible experience because the dentist we HAD gone to for years was apparently having a really bad day. So today we found ourselves at a new dentist with a much better attitude. Dentist offices sure have come a long way since when I was little. Mine was more like a torture chamber. Megan had her pick of movies to watch while they extracted her (now 3) teeth. They had video games, rooms with cute little themes, and a really nice staff. They gave her a little laughing gas and Monsters Inc and she was just fine. If you are in the area, Dr. Ty and his staff at Frisco Dentistry for Kids are awesome.

I’m trying really hard to get the girls to make healthier choices and to take care of themselves without me reminding them. It must be working some because when Megan heard the dental hygenist ask a teenage boy when he had brushed his teeth last and he responded with “yesterday”, her mouth flew open and her eyes got as big as saucers.

To help make better food choices I found the Fooducate app. It’s one of my new favorites. You simply scan the UPC on an item and it gives you a ton of information. If it doesn’t have a UPC you can still search by name. Fast food items are listed as well. My favorite part is that it gives each item you scan a grade from A+ to D-. It will also give you a list of better options. If you are a Weight Watchers person it automatically adds up the point value for you. You can keep track of your weight, exercise, daily calorie intake, water consumption, BMI, etc… For each item it will also give you the pros and cons.

jif_2DF2FDC2-23AB-11E0-BF92-FEFD45A4D471

It is very quick and easy to use. If you are shopping for granola bars, simply scan one and hit the “alternatives” button and you can pick the best option on the list. I lost 5 lbs the first 2 weeks of using it. Probably why it is one of my new favorite apps.

Today’s Leopard Print Finds:

Cheetah Scentsy Buddy – on sale for $22.50 until 8/31/13. Choose your own scent. My girls love these!

SYCTC_r1_chika_cheetahbuddysitting0

j/fit Leopard Print Yoga Mat from Amazon $21.49

Must Have Hair Brushes

IMG_9291

Remember Cousin It? Picture him if he didn’t brush his hair for 3 days, that’s what Taylor usually looks like when she wakes up in the morning. It used to be quite an ordeal to tame her hair. To get the tangles out of her hair after she washes it was even worse. My friend suggested The Wet Brush. I was skeptical, but I couldn’t believe how it glided through wet hair. Megan is super, super tender headed so she loves it even more. Bless her heart for going through the first 10 years of her life without one.

Today I found out about The Shine Brush. It detangles AND adds luster to the hair. I love it.

IMG_9293

The Shine Brush

IMG_9294

The Wet Brush

IMG_9295

 

You can also get The Wet Brush in prints.

You can find them in salons or here on Amazon….

The Wet Brush…

The Shine Brush…

My only complaint is that they don’t have it in leopard.

Today’s Leopard Print FInd: (I decided to make this flip flop week) Leopard Printed Petals-embellished Floral Strap Women Flip-flop – Yellow

My #1 Cleaning Discovery

IMG_8583

Well it only took me about a year, but I finally figured out a system for keeping my house clean without the luxury of a maid (minus my 2 weeks of book fair that don’t count). I kept trying to focus on a room a day. By the time I got done with all 15 rooms and got back to the room I started with it was a complete mess. So then I tried doing one thing a day…dusting, floors, windows, etc… That was even worse.

So I finally figured it out. Although I still have 3 rooms to get through… I figured out that things were getting dusty really quickly. So completely clean one room from top to bottom each day (or almost every day), then the next day I quickly dust and vacuum that room and move on to the next room. So now each day I very quickly run a cloth over everything using Pledge Multi Surface, my new favorite product! (and no they didn’t pay me for this) Next I vacuum each room and then deep clean my one room for the day. To dust and vacuum everything only takes me about 30-45 minutes for a 3800 sq ft house. The difference is amazing! No more dust build up or dirty wood floors. Now I know why things got so dusty, this was from one day of vacuuming….

IMG_8585

I have 2 Maltese that don’t shed at all, so I have no idea where all of that comes from!

Today’s Leopard Print Find: 2B Love Struck Leo Dress by Bebe

Oven Bacon

IMG_8294

Megan loves, loves, loves bacon. She even asked for a “bag of bacon” as a snack once. But I hate, hate, hate cooking it. Especially since you can only cook a few pieces at a time. I saw this from Martha Stewart and now I will never fry bacon again.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Lay bacon flat, making sure the pieces do not overlap. Cook for 15-18 minutes. Transfer strips to a plate lined with paper towels.

So easy AND I didn’t get splattered with bacon grease!

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Tabitha & Angus British Fashion Leopard Print Portable Travel Hooded Rain Coat Dog Jacket Poncho – hahaha!!!

Refrigerator Mats

IMG_7860

Earlier this week as I was making my cleaning rounds, I realized that my refrigerator desperately needed to be cleaned. I saw this idea on Pinterest. You use vinyl placemats on the shelves. That way if you need to wipe something off all you have to do is take the mat out and wash it off. Much easier than removing the entire shelf or spraying cleaner in the refrigerator. They don’t fit perfectly and I couldn’t put one on the top shelf unless I cut it, so I just went with 4. I sure wish I would have known to do this when it was a brand new refrigerator. They had leopard ones on Amazon, but they were $19 and I didn’t want to wait. So I ran to Target and got some. They didn’t have a lot of choices, but this one looked a little food like so I went with it. They were only $1.99 each, so it’s a cheap fix. But it’s just not the same, so these will have to move to the laundry room refrigerator when the leopard ones get here.

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Jaguar Animal Print Washable Plastic Vinyl Reversible Placemats Set of Four

Did You Know You’re Supposed to Clean Your Washer Filter??

IMG_7054

I was so excited about getting a front loading washer when I got mine 6 years ago. Then we moved into a corporate apartment many states away and left it behind for 5 months. That’s when I discovered that you really want to let it dry completely before you shut the door. It took me weeks to get rid of the smell.

Next, I discovered all of the problems with the detergent drawer. I had no idea you needed to remove it and clean all around it.

A few days ago my sister added a new discovery. Her maid pointed out that her filter was dirty. Like me, she didn’t even know she had a filter. I’m sure that it was probably somewhere in the instruction manual (the instruction manual that I didn’t read), but I somehow missed that. Apparently you are supposed to clean it every month or so. So when I opened the filter, 6 years worth of nasty smelling water came pouring out all over my floor. So before you attempt this, make sure you have a towel handy. I also found a hair clip and a couple of other things that used to be something.

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Leopard Animal Print Wall Vinyl Circle Stickers Rings Decals (I think I need these to decorate the washer and dryer!)

How to Save Your Elf

It was a rough night tonight. Taylor accidentally touched Early Merly. (that’s what they get for hiding in the garland on the stair railing) He was barely hanging on, so I used a candy cane to put him back into place. She was devastated. I told her that it would be okay, but she didn’t believe me. I tried googling to see if there was anything we could do and came up with nothing. So I called the North Pole. They said that since it was an accident, a little extra magic dust should fix him. So I donated $20 and bought Early Merly extra magic dust for tonight. Thank you to Santa for fixing our elf and not letting a little girl’s birthday be ruined tomorrow!

Today’s Leopard Print Find:  Toms Womens Classics Silver Snow Leopard

Moroccanoil Treatment and Restorative Hair Mask

Yesterday was my birthday so I took a break from cooking, only to find out that my stockpile of blog recipes had been depleted. So instead I thought I’d share this with you…

Moroccanoil -

I’ve tried every professional haircare line under the sun. Nothing compares. So far I’ve only tried the treatment and the mask, but once I use up all of my other products I will be running to the store to get the rest of the line.

Moroccanoil Treatment - Conditioning, styling and finishing product. Speeds drying time.

Intense Hydrating Mask – argan oil–rich formulas deeply hydrate and condition while improving hair’s texture, elasticity, shine and manageability.

On a side note….for my birthday I got a Hot Pink Cuisinart stick, a George Foreman grill and panini press and a cookbook with 200 panini recipes so I hope y’all like paninis!!!


Today’s Leopard Print Find: Hair Extensions

Spaghetti with Meatballs

Taylor carved her pumpkin yesterday. Before she did it I decided to do a little research about how to make the pumpkins last longer. I had seen something on Pinterest about a bleach solution. I found an interesting science project that someone had done testing out these different solutions. Turns out the best option is to not do anything at all.

This meal was a Taylor request that I kept putting off. She was happy and since it made so many meatballs, she even used some of the leftovers for a meatball sandwich.

Meatballs
1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
¼ cup Whole Milk, room temperature
2 Large Eggs, beaten and room temperature
½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
¼ cup Basil, chopped
¼ cup Parsley, chopped
1 Tbs Tomato Paste
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
¾ tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Italian Turkey Sausage Links, casings removed
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling

Sauce
¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped in a food processor
1 tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Fennel Seeds
2 (28-ounce) cans Crushed Tomatoes
¾ cup Basil, chopped

16 oz Spaghetti

Meatballs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, milk, eggs, Parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, tomato paste, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to blend. Add the ground beef and sausage meat. Using fingers gently mix all the ingredients until combined.

Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, form the meat mixture into 1-1/2-inch balls (about 24 meatballs). Place the meatballs on a heavy non-stick baking sheet. Mist with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Sauce
Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 6 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, fennel and 1/2 cup basil. Bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup basil.

(At this point, cook spaghetti according to package directions)

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

Servings: 8
Calories 613
Total Fat 20.4g
Carbohydrates 61.2g
Dietary Fiber 7.7g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: High Heel Shoe Christmas Ornament

Belize Land Rover and Cave Expedition Excursion

 

The 2nd stop on our Carnival Magic cruise…Belize! This is a Tender Port. Just my luck, as we are on the tender and headed to the port we suddenly notice that the ship seemed to have disappeared. Then we realized that it was behind the rain. Nothing like being out in the middle of the ocean on an open boat and seeing a storm quickly approaching you. We got drenched. The Carnival description for the Land Rover and Cave Expedition excursion must be out of date. We had a great time, it just wasn’t what we were expecting and Belize is not anything like I had pictured. The river was my favorite part of the port.

First we took a boat ride up the river. They said we might see some wildlife. All we got were 2 iguanas and some termite nests. The group before us did get to see a crocodile though.

The boat took us to the farm where we picked up our Land Rover. The Land Rover’s hold 8 people and only 2 people get to drive. They are all manual transmission vehicles and you have to have your driver’s license with you. The Carnival website had this description of the excursion… “You’ll feel like Indiana Jones as you traverse through raw jungle trails in a rugged 4×4 Land Rover and trek through ancient Mayan caves.” I didn’t have an Indiana Jones hat and we drove on roads more than we did jungle.

Part of the roads were really dusty too.

 

We did get a little muddy but that was from just one small part of our drive.

The cave was okay but not real exciting. There were rocks and bats. I might have appreciated it more if it wasn’t for the excursion I’m going to post tomorrow.

This was the river we had to cross to get to and from the cave. You have to cross a long, swaying suspension bridge so if you are scared of heights this might not be the excursion for you.

After we finished exploring the cave, they took us back to “camp”. They had fruit, rum punch and sodas. There were also a couple of vendors there that you could buy things from. Hindsight, I wish I would have gotten something from one of them because the shopping at this port was awful! One of the vendors was selling food. It looked delicious but we didn’t get any. When we got on the bus to return back to the port, one of the workers asked if any of us had gotten the food and asked what we had. When they told him that they had chicken, beans & rice and banana bread he said “are you sure that’s what you had?” They all said yes and he said “are you sure that was chicken?” Which is why I prefer to not eat when I’m not in Texas. He told us the story of the Queen of England coming to Belize and wanting to eat one of their traditional meals. They fed her and then afterwards she asked what it was. They told her it was “Paca” which is apparently another word for big, hairy rat. So the Paca is now referred to as the Royal Rat in Belize. Apparently she wasn’t happy about being fed rat. I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t be seeing any Paca recipes on my blog.

Today’s Leopard Find: Sperry Top-Sider Hiking Boot