Clean Eating Peanut Butter Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

If you are looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth that isn’t soooo bad for you, this is a good one.

I’m currently nursing, and I’m basically hungry all.the.time. 😀

I wanted something to snack on that wasn’t terrible for me, so this is it. All the ingredients are clean ingredients with nothing overly processed or refined.

I make these quite frequently, and an added bonus is that my husband and kids like these, too. Healthier desserts for the win! 😉

So here’s what I do….

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey (or pure maple syrup works, too)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients except oats in a medium-sized saucepan. Melt on low heat, stirring until it is smooth. 
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the oats. 
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop a spoonful at a time onto the baking sheet. I like to use a cookie scoop
  4. Store in the fridge. Because of the coconut oil, they will melt if left at room temperature.
  5. And that’s it. This recipe makes 17-20 cookies, and they disappear fast.

Hope you are having a fantastic day!

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Safesha: Natural Hand Sanitizer Review

If you are like me, you’ve probably never heard of Safesha.

I just became aware of this product when I was approached by the company. Safesha offered to let me try out their product in exchange for an honest review.

Safesha is a hand sanitizer that is more natural than regular sanitizer; plus, it has an extra ingredient to make it more moisturizing.

It is scented with essential oils and uses olive oil as a moisturizer, so the ingredients do sound very promising and safe!

Comparing Ingredients

I decided to first compare labels with my regular hand sanitizer. 

  • They both have the same active ingredient: ethyl alcohol
  • They have very similar ingredients, but it is notable that the Safesha has both olive oil and aloe for moisturizers.
  • Purell has synthetic fragrance while Safesha has essential oils. The essential oils are much more preferable to me than synthetic fragrance.

Trying It Out

I feel lucky because Safesha sent me all three varieties to try:

  • sweet orange
  • lavender
  • unscented

I have a bottle in my car for when I get back into the car (shopping cart handles….ewww…). I also have a bottle in my diaper bag, and one in my house.

So how is it?

  • I love the scents! I like to diffuse essential oils occasionally, so I am familiar with these scents and enjoy them.
  • It does have a different feel to it. My sister felt the same way, as did my three-year-old daughter (she said it felt like there were little bumps in it, but not sure how she got that impression). It almost has a sticky feel right away, but once I got used to the texture, I didn’t notice it as I used it subsequently.
    • Safesha let me know that the “bumpy” feeling can occur when you rub the product too hard. The product normally doesn’t feel that way and dries quickly.

Safesha feels like a more luxurious hand sanitizer when I use it. 🙂

And I do like it.

Overall Thoughts

Pros:

  • It is scented with essential oils versus synthetic fragrances (which sometimes can have sketchy ingredients in them).
  • It doesn’t leave you with the alcohol smell of Purell.
  • It’s a Minnesota based company! They are right next door to us. 🙂
  • Safesha is a company founded by women.
  • It feels more high-end than Purell.

Cons:

  • I didn’t care for the initial sticky feel, but that was just the first few times I used it. I got used to it and didn’t notice it anymore.
  • It is expensive for hand sanitizer (in my opinion). This is sold at Bed Bath and Beyond, and I wanted to check out how much it was selling for. It is currently $9.99 per tube. This becomes a problem for me personally because I tend to lose my hand sanitizer a lot, and when it’s inexpensive, it doesn’t matter, but if I’m paying $10 for it, it’s a little more frustrating for me. (I know, I know…it’s kind of my fault for being absent minded. 😉 ) I honestly already misplaced my lavender tube, and I’m sad because I really liked it!

Like I said, if you are interested in checking it out, it is sold at Bed Bath and Beyond.

It is also available at Amazon.

It could be a nice gift if you are looking to pamper someone, or possibly yourself.

Overall, I like the product, and I like what the company stands for.

Thanks for letting me try it out!

As Summer Draws to a Close, New Adventures are about to Begin

The days keep getting shorter.

With school starting here yesterday, summer has officially ended. I now am mom to a first grader (seriously, where does the time go?). And I’m happy to say that he said his first day of first grade was AWESOME!

This summer I truly became a soccer mom (minus the minivan) and a chauffeur. On top of soccer, we had Bible school, basketball camp, and swimming lessons. Oh yeah, 4-H and a vacation were tied in there, too.

We were busy, had a blast, yet I think we were definitely ready for school to start. I could tell that the kids were a little “summered out.” Their excitement for going outside started to dwindle in these past couple of weeks, so the change of school seems to be a good thing.

Still, I’m trying to suck in the last sweet bits of summer. After the kids are put to bed, I try to sit on the deck or patio and read in the last moments of sunlight. A lot of times, it backfires, and I have at least one kid sneaking out, but sometimes, I am able to soak in every last minute of daylight, enjoy the fresh air, and just be.

Yes, the days keep getting shorter.

And my nights are about to get shorter, too.

I am currently 38 weeks pregnant.

I’m in that stage where I don’t really get a good night’s sleep (let’s face it, when you have a basketball attached to your abdomen, it gets a little uncomfortable in bed).

Even though I’m uncomfortable, even though it’s harder to breathe, sleep, and get dressed (compression hose….definitely an acrobatic act), I’m still trying to suck in those last sweet moments of pregnancy. Because this is it. The last feelings of those flutters, the last of having feet sticking in my ribs, the last little pops of hiccups, the last moments of feeling the gift of life inside of me.

Just like summer, this doesn’t last forever.

And just like a new school year, I’m eager with anticipation for the unknown.

Boy or girl?

Calm or boisterous? 

Sweet or sassy?

I’m filled with hope that God will bless us with a great year, filled with new adventures and new life.

We Tried Home Chef Meal Delivery Kit

It seems like there are tons of meal delivery kits out there. We have previously tried Blue Apron, and it was good. We liked the food, and the recipes were easy to make.

I recently received a $30 credit to Home Chef, so I decided to give it a shot.

Once I signed up, I was able to browse through the week’s recipes and choose the meals I wanted. I opted for a 2-person meal since the kids are hit and miss with what they eat. (I can always throw hot dogs on for them.) 😉

When I looked at the selections, I could choose either the premium filet mignon option, or I could choose to receive two other recipe options.

I decided to go with the filet mignon option.

I opted to receive it on a Thursday night because I knew we would be home.

It arrived at my door via Fed Ex, and I was happily surprised that everything was still perfectly chilled after being on the truck all day. They provided plenty of ice packs and insulation. 

Everything was organized, and the recipe was easy to follow.

(I did stray from the recipe a bit…we grilled the steak instead of pan frying it and finishing it in the oven. I added a few extra seasonings to my potatoes. And I increased the size of the potato recipe to accommodate the family. Instead of using the shallot in the red wine sauce, I added mushrooms.)

So, after the discount, for under $20 shipped, I got 2 filet mignon cuts, broccolini, and the ingredients for duchess potatoes and red wine sauce.

Don’t be hatin’ on my well-done steak. Yes, it looks charred from the grill, but it was delicous! 🙂

For the price, I got a fun experience (the kids helped, too!) and a great steak. I like mine well-done, and it was soooo tender and good.

I don’t think I would pay the $50 for the experience, but with the $30 credit, it was worth trying.

Cancelling my subscription was easy. I just had to pause my account on the website to ensure that I didn’t receive a full-price shipment the next week.

If you are curious about trying Home Chef, this is my referral link and you will get a $30 credit, too!

Happy cooking!

 

Creamy Banana Cheesecake Ice Cream

Okay, so this is not really ice cream.

But it is rich and frozen and creamy. So, kind of….

I like that trick where you take frozen bananas, run them through a food processor, and call it ice cream. But I hate to dig out the food processor and clean it every time. Especially since I’m really the only one that actually likes this “ice cream.”

I also like the no-machine-required homemade ice creams that you can make. But sweetened condensed milk is sooooo sugary.

So, I decided to experiment and marry the two ideas. I wanted something that I could freeze and scoop out servings as I pleased. I was also looking for something with a little less added sugar.

The result: something that’s not truly ice cream, but it’s rich, filling, and hits my sweet tooth in the right way.

Like I said, it’s rich. It has both cream and cream cheese. But I’m not afraid of dietary fat. It’s satisfying.

However, it only has 1/4 cup of honey in it, so the added sugar is definitely low!

And I should say that you probably have to like bananas to like this. 🙂

So here’s what I threw together….

Ingredients:
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
What I did:
  1. Put bananas, honey, cream cheese, and salt in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  2. Add cream and blend for a couple minutes. Let it get nice and creamy.
  3. Pour into a bread loaf pan. Cover and freeze for at least 2-3 hours.

That’s it. Super quick and easy.

As I was whipping this up, I saw that I had Teddy Grahams on the counter along with some cashews and pecans, so I sprinkled those on top before freezing. Which I must say added awesome texture.

So….Teddy Grahams are optional. But if you have them….just saying. 😉

And that’s it! Done in about 5 minutes.

And if you wait about 5 minutes before digging in, it will seem much creamier. Too bad my husband doesn’t care for banana desserts.

More for me….

Have a great day!

We “Won” Two Free Nights at Rushmore Shadows Resort

Back in February, we entered to win a 4-wheeler at the Bismarck Tribune Sports Show. Little did we know, that entry would lead us to take a family vacation to South Dakota this summer.

A couple months after the sports show, we received a letter saying that we were “winners” and won two free nights at Rushmore Shadows resort in South Dakota. We kind of brushed it aside, but knew we were planning on a family vacation, so took another look at the letter a few weeks later.

After a thorough examination, we realized that in order to get the two free nights, we would have to sit through a 90-minute sales pitch. Aaahhh….There’s the catch. So I’m sure everyone who entered was a winner.

But you know what, we tried it!

I called the number just to make sure there was no other catch, we didn’t have to purchase anything, etc., etc., etc. The representatives were very nice and assured me that, nope, as long as you attend the 90-minute “tour,” there was no other catch.

Let me tell you, if you show any interest in their resort, they will call you over and over until you get something scheduled. 😉

We finally figured out some dates that would work, and we committed.

I had a few more questions about the cabins we would be staying in (there are showers, right??), and just shot them a message on Facebook, and they replied within minutes. Their customer service is very, very good.

So how was it??

We enjoyed our stay!

We got a really nice two-bedroom cabin. It was clean. The cabin included towels, soap, dishes, bedding. It had a TV/DVD player. There was a fire pit outside. It was nice to be able to have some simple meals there instead of driving and going out to eat all the time while on vacation. 

It’s a very simple resort, but they have mini golf and a pool, so that kept the kids entertained.

The location was great. We were right next door to Old MacDonald’s Farm and minutes away from Bear Country. Very convenient!

What could be better?

The cabins are a bit close. You’ll want to make sure your curtains are shut.

I didn’t like that the cabin only had a shower. And the shower pressure was intense, but the mist was very fine, so it was a little painful. Which means that my kids really didn’t get to bathe. So yeah…..

Also, the pool area was okay. There was nothing for younger kids. BUT, they said that they are working on updating the pool area, so maybe that will be coming in the future.

And the catch??

Well, we sat through the 90-minute presentation, and it honestly wasn’t bad. It was no pressure, and as soon as you told them you weren’t really interested, that was it. And while we were taking that in, the activities director kept the kids busy with art, coloring, and movies.

And for staying and getting the two free nights (totally worth it!), we also got $50 in Visa gift cards and a free family pass to Old MacDonald’s Farm.

So if you ever find yourself to be a “winner” of a stay at Rushmore Shadows Resort, I’d say go for it!

(They also have a promo on their website, 2 nights for $40 with the presentation, so you don’t necessarily have to be a “winner” to stay on the cheap.)

Our South Dakota Adventure

Family Vacation 2017 is in the books!

This year we headed to the South Dakota Black Hills, and had a great time as a family.

We stayed three nights, which seemed to be the perfect amount of time for us on this trip.

We hit up a lot of the sites geared toward younger kids, but there is still so much to do and see that we will probably go back when the kids are older.

Day 1: North Dakota to Rapid City

On our drive from North Dakota to South Dakota, we took the Enchanted Highway. Just beware of which ND/SD highways you take on a Sunday morning. There are not a lot of places to stop. (And when you are pregnant, this matters!) 😉

  • Storybook IslandThis is like Storybook Land in Aberdeen, but smaller. Admission is free, and it’s fun to walk through. They also have a train that the kids can ride for $3. 
  • Dinosaur Park: This is another free attraction in Rapid City. There are a lot of steps, but the view of the city is worth it. The kids had fun climbing on some of the dinosaurs and touching the larger ones. 

We concluded Day 1 by staying at Ramkota in Rapid City. They didn’t have continental breakfast (which would have been nice!), but the pool was worth it. They have a zero-entry play area with pirate ships and water slides. It was fun!

Day 2: Rapid City to Rushmore

  • Reptile Gardens: This is really like a small zoo, but with mostly reptiles. I have a boy who is into snakes, so he thought it was very cool! While you are at Reptile Gardens, you can take in different animal shows. We watched an alligator and a snake show, where the worker handles these creatures. We had the opportunity to pet giant tortoises, pet a python, and walk through the terrarium where you can get up close to different birds, lizards, and even snakes (a boa constrictor!) that roam free in this building. 
  • Mount Rushmore: This wasn’t the most eventful stop for the kids. We found the North Dakota flag on the walkway. We also took some photos with the kids and family in front of the faces, and that was about all we did at Mt. Rushmore. 
  • Needles Highway: By this point, I suggested we take a drive. It was mid-afternoon, and a good time for the kids to fall asleep. I enjoy scenery, so suggested we take this route. Let me tell you, it will take a lot longer than you think to drive though this loop! And if your kid gets queasy, it makes for an even longer drive. 🙂 But it was gorgeous and there were lots of tunnels to drive though. I’m glad we took it. 

After our long journey though curves and hills, we headed to Rushmore Shadows, the resort we chose to stay at. We roasted hot dogs over a fire and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Day 3: Bear Country USA and Resort Relaxation 

  • Bear Country USA: This was great! It’s a drive-thru park where you get to see the animals close up. Keep your windows rolled up because the bears come right up to your vehicle! And they have more than just bears. Expect to see lots of other wildlife as well. We went first thing in the morning which worked out well. The animals were up, and there weren’t many people there at all. 

We spent the rest of the day at the resort, with swimming and mini golf being favorites of the kids.

Day 4: From Old MacDonald’s Farm to North Dakota

  • Old MacDonald’s Farm: This is a simple petting zoo, but the kids loved it. They offer a lot of hands-on activities such as bottle feeding, holding baby chicks, and going inside the pens with the rabbits and goats. If you are already from rural ND, your kids have probably “been there, done that”. But it’s still fun. 

After that, we were on our way back to North Dakota.

Overall, the road trip was pretty smooth. The worst of it was the first five miles away from our house, when dad had to almost pull over and tell the kids that if they don’t stop fighting (over a yellow marker), we would turn around and not go on vacation. After that, it was clear sailing for the most part. Thank goodness, in part, to our ancient portable DVD player. 🙂

I’m glad we took the time to go on a family vacation. We made memories together, and I think it made my kids grow a little closer.

I’m excited to see where the road will take us next year!