Who says a rainy day has to be boring?

Ah, April (and late March) showers bring May flowers...but oh how those showers can test a parent's creativity! But here's a few fail-proof ideas to stop "cabin-fever" before it starts:

1. Start off with a super neat craft project by painting with the rain! Here's how: take a almost empty watercolor tray and break up the leftover paints then reusing an old pie tin waited down with a rock or two place a paper in the tin and let your little one design a picture with the paint pieces. Set the tin outside in the rain and let the drops get creative! Once the rain slows or stops bring in the picture to dry and see how the drops painted a unique raindrop work of art!
2. Sing songs and dance! The Itsy Bitty Spider, Raindrops falling on my head, even dancing like a raindrop...all that wiggling is sure to get the giggles going on gloomy day.
3. Have a picnic inside. Spread out a blanket, make some ants on a log (or try dried cranberries for fire ants on a log!) and complete the picnic by singing the ants go marching...
4. Once the rain slows or stops...get out the galoshes and go puddle splashing! Don't forget to teach about how the rain gave the plants a good drink of water, washed away the sneezy pollen, etc. Getting your children out after a rain is a whole new world for them to explore!

So don't fret next time the forecast calls for rain, just start planning your picnic and pull out the paints!

What's your rainy day childhood memories? What do you do with your kids on rainy days?


Foodie Friday: Everyday "green" Smoothie

Need a boost in the mornings? Here's a delicious natural jolt for your morning and your immune system! And I promise...you can't taste the green; my two year old will attest to that:-)

1 banana, for thickness
1 cup frozen blueberries (or any berry of choice)
3 to 5 leaves of kale or about a cup of spinach, stalks removed
water, to cover
honey or agave to sweeten, (optional...I typically leave this out)

Simply place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smoothie texture then enjoy!

Do you have other green smoothie recipes to share? Post or link them here!


Recycling at Apartment complexes...why not?

A good friend of mine brought to my attention that many apartment complexes in our area do not recycle though they are located in city limits and recycling is available. So, what's the reasoning?

Well, I intend to look into this and find out! Especially with mixed recycling available in the area...so I want to know: if you or someone you know lives in an apartment complex do they offer recycling for the complex? If not, do you know there reasoning? If so, how do they handle collections? All comments and ideas are appreciated!


Plastic leaching...more than just BPA

What do you serve your children's snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner in? If you've been careful to avoid BPA (now banned in many children's products) great job! However, there are now studies that show there are other harmful things related to plastics. You run into issues heating in plastics due to an increase in leaching by heating, plus there are many endocrine disruptors that can leach from platics. Not to mention that though you can recycle many plastics much of children's character plates and such cannot be recycled as they are missing the symbol or they are a polymer blend. So, what's a parent to do? Well, here's a list of some of my favorite products:
1. pampered chef glass prep bowls

And remember, every change is better than no change at all...elimate as many plastics as you can from your home...with these products I am sure you won't miss them!


Good Life Cafe West Columbia, SC

 Today our whole family had an eating adventure at Good Life Cafe! They are a new all raw, vegan and organic restaurant in West Columbia and though we are not all raw (though we add raw foods to our diet frequently) it is so wonderful to see a plant friendly restaurant in the area...even my husband and 2 year old enjoyed it. I was excited from the moment that I saw a wipe board with their menu...that way they can change the menu by what's available for the day or season. Fresh! Then to see REAL glass cups, silverware and china was wonderful! So many sit down restaurants have moved to plastic everything and with all the studies around hot foods and plastic chemical leaching that was refreshing!

My husband tried their fruit salad with cinnamon crackers. He can be a bit skeptical but he really enjoyed it and LOVED the pumpkin seed crisp that came on top. I guess I am going to have to find a recipe to make them. My oldest sprout and I enjoyed the sample plate featuring mock chicken salad, kale salad, fruit salad, taco salad, Thai lettuce cup and another salad (I am not sure the name of it). All of it was so fresh, delicious and nutritious but my favorites were the taco, kale and lettuce cup. Yummy! My oldest enjoyed the fruit, kale and mock chicken salads. So all in all sharing with her worked out well :-)

It was wonderful to feel energized after eating lunch rather than sluggish and sleepy thanks to antioxidants, phytonutrients and all around good food!

I highly recommend trying this great new restaurant on Leaphart Road in West Columbia; open M-Sat 7a-8p serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. And remember to introduce your children young to the wonderful tastes of fresh foods and you'll help to develop a lifetime of good choices.


Sunday's Eco Inspiration

"You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you." Nehemiah 9:6

Praise God for all of Creation...He has blessed us with all we need...Rejoice in the simplicities of life...look around you...bow in awe...Our God is AWESOME!