Friday, February 28, 2014

Five Things Friday 2.28.14

Happy Friday!

Happy happy happy Friday! #GoodMorning #friday #happy (source)

1. My good friend, Summer, nominated me for a Liebster Award! Thanks, Summer! :) Since I've been nominated and participated twice before, I'm going to break the rules and just do part of the criteria. She provided some questions to pass on to her nominees:
  • Why did you start blogging?  A few of my friends from college started so we could read and write and keep each other up to date with what was going on in life. I initially started just writing a recap of a cruise vacation Tim and I went on. I loved the aspect of writing to journal our lives and just kept on going.
  • How long have you had your current blog?  I started blogging in May 2011
  • What is your biggest pet peeve? I have a few...but one is wearing socks with holes, just can't do it!
  • Wine or beer? I'm definitely not a beer drinker, I like some wines, but if I get the choice the last year I'll choose a dirty martini or bloody mary. Both with extra olive juice! YUM!
  • Would you rather go out for a night on the town or sit at home and snuggle? Depends on my mood. And that mood is usually stay in at home!
  • Describe your current outfit. Tall black boots, black leggings, with a dusty purple zip-front silk shirt. A Christmas gift from my parents. Mom picked out a good one!
  • Small town or big city? I really love Des Moines. It's definitely not a small town but it's no New York City, either. I think Des Moines is a good mix. And being that I moved away from my small hometown, if I had to choose one or the other, I'd go with big city.
  • What is your favorite meal to prepare? Hmmm, something that isn't too complicated and Tim and Kaydin really love. I don't make them often at all, but I'm going to say stir-fry. Simple and delicious!
  • Text or phone call? My voicemail is always full. There's a reason I keep it that way. ;) If you wanna get a response from me, text me. That's what you will get back. I would much rather text than be on the phone.
  • Name your all time favorite movie. I would have to say Forrest Gump. Been a favorite of mine since it came out in the 90's.
  • If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? That is a hard one for me to answer. I have a hard time choosing favorites in any category. A strange answer, but I'm going to go with beets. You can do so much with them!
2. Tonight I get to hang out with said good friend mentioned above and also Traci and a few other girls! Traci is hosting a wine party at her new place and I'm pretty excited! I haven't had a night with the girls in too long!

3. I ordered my seeds for the garden today! I ordered from Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit that is actually located in Iowa. They offer hundreds of organic and heirloom varieties that have been passed down through families for decades. SO excited to spring!

4. We've got a few things planned this weekend. One including giving the dogs a bath. Ciara has been itching like crazy the past week so I'm thinking maybe her skin is just getting dry from all the sucky cold weather. I'm gonna drown her in head and shoulders shampoo, coconut oil, and lavender oil. This could get very messy. Wish me luck!

5. I have a fun vacation with a friend coming up in the middle of March that I'll be sure to tell you all about when I return. The closer it gets, the more excited I get! So, since I'll be away from the computer for a short time, I'd like to have a few guest posts go live during that time? Anyone interested? :) If so, comment here or email me!

What do you have planned this weekend?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lemon and Spinach Hummus

Quick, easy recipe comin' at cha today!

I've been wanting to make homemade hummus for a couple years now. I even have dried chickpeas in my cupboard just waiting to be soaked and blended into a smooth, delicious dip. Laziness and procrastination just keeps me putting it off, though.

One afternoon I decided it had been long enough- I was going to make hummus! And not a plain variety either, but something a little different. I opted for going the quicker route and used canned chickpeas I had in the cupboard.  I had both lemon juice and fresh spinach in my fridge so my experimentation began!

Lemon and Spinach Hummus

1 15 oz can chickpeas
2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
2-2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh or bottled
1 tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic
1/2- 1 tsp cumin

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

This hummus turned out so well! Great amount of spice and lemon flavor, and of course, the spinach just bumps up the nutritional factor without altering the taste!

I used my Ninja Ultima and it worked fabulously! I've made multiple smoothies, juices, and milkshakes in the Ninja, also, and I love it! Stay tuned for a full review coming in the future.

Have you ever made your own hummus?

Monday, February 24, 2014

February grocery budget- Week 4

Another weekend down and we're that much closer to spring!

It was another weekend of just Kaydin and I. Tim had to head north to Minneapolis this weekend for meetings. This is one I'm glad I got left behind on because of the treacherous weather that came through on Thursday and left Interstate 35 north of Des Moines and into Minnesota completely ice covered. What is usually a 3.5 trip turned into 8 (!!!) for Tim on Friday afternoon/night. I would've gone crazy in that traffic and weather. I am one impatient traveler and Tim would have wanted to kick my butt right outta the car after all my whining!

Anyway, Kaydin and I had another slow weekend of Netflix and movies. Let's just say I became a little too familiar with Wizards of Waverly Place. Although, I have to admit I kinda liked that show. In hindsight, we should have ventured out to the sledding hill not too far from the house but I completely forgot about it until Sunday night. I'm so ready for spring to be able to get out more and be more active!

We did make a trip out of the house on Saturday to shop a special birthday birthday (my Dad is turning the big 5-0 this Saturday!) coming up and also some browsing at Forever 21. We were met by the droves of people that come into town every year at this time for the high school state wrestling tournament. If I wasn't on a deadline for birthday shopping I woulda skipped the mall altogether! It was crazy!! At least Kaydin and I came away with a few good finds. We picked out some new scarves and jewelry and called it good to escape the crowds and packed parking lots.

We finished the weekend with a quick trip to Hy-Vee for some staples for the week and watched Captain Phillips before bed. It was a good movie choice as the last few Tim and I have watched just haven't impressed us all that much. Did anyone love Flight with Denzel Washington? I thought I would have but just really didn't.


Ok, so we're in the final week of February. I'm really not too sure what we will eat all week. I have a couple ideas I may use and to fill the rest of the days I'm just going to see what I can come with on the fly.

Linn's Supermarket
2- 24oz Greek yogurt- marked down
Noosa yogurt- marked down
snack bag potato chips

Whole wheat English muffins
1/2 gal milk
1 yogurt (Kaydin picked for her breakfast this morning)
wheat hamburger buns

Weekly total- $12.53
Monthly Total- $106.29

My monthly goal was $100. I'm pretty happy with that total!

Weekly Meal Plan
Homemade sloppy Joe's
Homemade pizza
Whole wheat pasta with vodka sauce

I'm definitely ready for March to be here so I can have a little more freedom in my spending but I think I could prob easily survive on $175 instead of the more typical ~$250 per month I was spending last year. I may try that for a few months and see how it goes. Oh, cookie butter and Whole Foods, I'm so excited for March so we can be reunited! :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Color Run 2014- Kaleidoscope Tour

The Color Run is coming back to Des Moines this year! Make sure to keep July 12 open on your calendar because I want to see you there running with me!

Tickets went on sale yesterday (if you are signed up for the VIP email) and Tuesday, February 25th, for team and individual sign-up. I have a sweet deal to share with you! :)

The Color Run, also known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet, is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality. Now the single largest event series in the United States, The Color Run has exploded since their debut event. It has more than tripled in growth, hosting more than 170 events in 30+ countries in 2013. You should be a part of it for 2014!

Last year I signed up and ran the race with my daughter, Kaydin. She had a great time getting plastered in color. I also met up with my Blends, Amanda, Calee, and Alex

The year before in October 2012, I ran The Color Run with my co-worker, Diane. It was my first 5k I ever participated in and was a great choice! 

The Color Run is announcing their 2014 Kaleidoscope Tour. They're changing a few things up and taking over our city like never before.

They've got some great swag lined up for us this year! Your ticket includes the limited edition Race Kit...all new T-shirt, headband, bracelet, and shoulder bag!

The best part of the day is after crossing the finish line and make your way to the Color Cloud. Music is playing, people are dancing, and color is flying! 

Have I convinced you to sign up yet? If yes, use my promo code, COLOR5OFF, to receive $5 off of registration. Don't live near Des Moines but still want to experience this epic event? Use the same code, COLOR5OFF, for registration to ANY city. See the list of scheduled cities here.
Important: code must be entered at time of registration, cannot be retro-applied. Also make sure to type the code in, not just copy/paste. Not valid on flash city sales.

For this year's race I recruited more of my family to join me! Both my mom and dad are going to sign up to run with my daughter and I. Neither of them have run a 5k before and I am so excited to share this experience with them! Mom has already started some training on her treadmill because she's pretty determined to run the whole thing! I'm already so excited for this year's race. Kaydin joined me last July and she absolutely loved it! Although, she didn't run or walk the whole thing and conned me into carrying her part of the way. I'm hoping this year she will power through! :)

To read my full recaps for more convincing to join the fun, visit here and here.

Disclosure: I received free entries in exchange for a blog post promoting The Color Run. All opinions are my own.

Will you be joining my this July?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February grocery budget- Week 3

Onto another week of grocery spending. I'm still doing well, eating well, and staying creative, but I am really in Whole Foods withdrawal. I haven't stepped foot in the store since before New Year's Eve. I'll be glad for March to get here so I can go do some browsing and maybe a little impulse spending. :)

2 pineapples
3# apples
Greek yogurt
beef broth
beef roast

Trader Joe's

salad mix


wheat hamburger buns
2- 1 gallon water refills
Kale/cabbage salad kit
cheese cubes

Total= $40.76

Total for month= $93.76

I also wanted to share a couple bargain finds I came across this weekend while browsing Target. Found both of these dresses in the clearance section. The blue one tagged $2.16 and the patterned one $2.86! I was so excited at the price and even more excited that they were both in my size!! Woo hoo! Two new dresses to add to my summer collection for less than $5.00! Can't beat that! :)

Weekly Meal Plan
Chicken and dumplings with broccoli
Crockpot French dip sandwiches with asparagus
Homemade pizza with salad

Any good finds on one of your recent shopping trips?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Kids and Finance {and Kids Fest ticket giveaway}

Kids Fest is coming up!

It's an event we always look forward to attending every year. This year it's being held February 28-March 2 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Varied Industries Building.

When Veridian Credit Union reached out and asked if I would be interested in promoting Kids Fest, I jumped at the opportunity. It's an event we've been attending for the four previous years! Tim is a board member with Children and Families of Iowa and it's a favorite event of his to volunteer at, too.

Veridian is the presenting sponsor for Kids Fest and takes the opportunity to have many activities throughout the weekend to teach kids about the importance of saving money. To keep the learning going at home, though, we take a lot of time to instill in Kaydin the importance of saving money and working hard to earn the things she wants.

A trip to the bank to deposit her first real paycheck from a Mediacom commercial  into her savings account.

Last Friday Kaydin received a Valentine's card from my grandma. Of course, there was $20 inside that Kaydin always gets excited about when she sees a card from her great-granny. Most times those twenties go straight into one of her many piggy banks. This time, though, she asked to spend a few dollars at the store. We were headed to Hy-Vee later that night so I agreed. After searching the aisles, she decided on some gummy sharks from the bulk bins.

We made our way to the cash register where Kaydin handled her own transaction with the cashier. Tim has taught her over the years how to handle purchasing items on her own at the store.

Tim and Kaydin counting out $10 that will be deposited into her savings account at the bank.
I feel it's important for children to learn at a young age how to handle and save money. That way when it really counts they will have an understanding of how to manage and save money. With Tim being in finance it comes naturally to him to incorporate financial education. He always works with Kaydin on money issues. Whether it's counting change, taking a trip to the bank to make a deposit, or handing cash over to the cashier at the toy store she always plays a part.

Now on to Kids Fest! I have two admission tickets to this year's event to giveaway! If you live in the area and have never been it's a really fun event for kids. There always lots of games, activities, characters meet and greets, face painting, story times, and lots of other things. The only one complaint I have about the event is the food prizes/snacks. All geared toward the junk food category (pop, ice cream bars, candy, processed snack cakes and chips) there is major room for improvement. Hopefully in years to come there will be a shift as more and more people get interested in cutting out sugar and artificial ingredients from their family's diet. I understand that a lot of this is vendor provided, but I still hope to see positive changes in the years to come.





To enter the giveaway:
1. Leave a comment on this blogpost. Have you been to Kids Fest before?
2. To earn an additional entry, follow Sprinkles of Life on Instagram. (Leave a separate comment telling me you did.)

Giveaway will be open for one week and end Sunday, February 23th at midnight, CST.

*Disclaimer- I was given tickets and monetary compensation in exchange for a post regarding children and finance and also promotion of Kids Fest. All opinions are my own.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Check-in


Long time no talk! Happy Valentine's Day friends! 

So I was in warm Orlando this week! I traveled there for work for a workshop and my family tagged along and we hit up Disneyworld and Clearwater Marine Hospital where Winter the dolphin lives for the first part of the trip. Expect a full recap in the near future.

Also, in the works is my Washington, D.C. post. I traveled there last August and still have not gotten around to blogging about what I did there. Way overdue, yes, but I still want to document it. Can't wait to go back some day!

I'm apparently in catch-up mode because I also need to blog about Kaydin's 7th birthday still, too.

Last week I ordered a new cookbook written by Cassie of Back to Her Roots. I'll be spending more time this weekend reading even more! So intrigued by many of the recipes! If you like Greek yogurt and haven't ordered it yet, I definitely recommend it!

We don't have too many plans this weekend. Unfortunately, Tim has some business meetings and dinners that is taking up his schedule tonight and then he travels out of town for the rest of the weekend. So it's just Kaydin Baby and I for Valentine's weekend. We're gonna make Iowa Girl Eats new recipe, Pizza Quinoa Bites tonight and of course, it's not Valentine's Day without chocolate lava cakes!

Be on the lookout for my next February grocery post early next week to see how much I've spent so far this month!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February grocery budget- Week 1

Kaydin and I had a pretty good weekend! Tim was out of town for the weekend so it was just me, her, and the dogs.

Friday we got through a doctor appointment for her and then got pedicures!

Friday night for dinner we headed up to Ames to meet Kati, a friend from high school, for dinner at +39, a new Italian restaurant. Her husband is one of the chefs there and I've been excited to try it since it opened just a few weeks ago in December.

The service was great, atmosphere fun, menu intriguing, and the food delicious. I can't wait to go back for a date night with Tim! I think he'd really love it.

We didn't have too much on the agenda for Saturday and Sunday besides a trip to the grocery store, bookstore, and making guacamole for the Super Bowl. Tim attends the same meeting most years so is gone the weekend of Super Bowl right up until about kickoff so we don't plan a big menu or make any other plans. The last couple years, though, guacamole is a staple.

A lazy Saturday morning called for a cinnamon roll breakfast. 

I swear every weekend Tim is out of town in the winters, it snows! And that leaves me to shovel the driveway on my own. He refuses to get a snowblower because a shovel does a better job and it's a workout. I don't argue, sometimes shoveling is kind of fun! As long as it doesn't take forever and isn't a heavy, packed snow. A quick 40 minutes and the driveway was cleared and we were on our way to the bookstore.

 Groceries- Week 1

red onions
mini peppers
grape tomatoes
sweet potatoes
turkey pepperoni
turkey sausage
half and half
take n bake pizza
Snickers- to make Snickers chex mix sometime this month

Trader Joe's
frozen corn
choc covered potato chips

Hy-Vee not pictured
Clif bars
Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips- 2 bags
organic toaster pastries- 2 boxes

Total= $53

A little high for just a few days into the month, but I won't have to buy more groceries for at least another week and a half. 

And my impulse/treat buy for the week were these chocolate covered potato chips. So good! 

Weekly Meal Plan
Pizza and guacamole with chips
Sausage and Tortellini Soup with kale
Homemade cream of mushroom soup