BEST of 2015

2015 has been such a fabulous year, filled with fun road trips, delicious food, and awesome experiences! It has been such a joy & delight sharing all our excursions….

Here are the top 10 of 2015:  (click on post titles to be redirected)

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1. Falling in Love with Loveland: Castle in OHIO!

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2. Wauseon: An Affair to Remember

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3. Grand Rapids: Gastropub, Paleo Farm, & More

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4. I left my Heart in Holland

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5.  Playtime

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6. Wapakoneta

 

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7.  It’s just a Red Ball? Au contraire!

 

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8.  Au Revoir Redball Project

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9. Let’s Talk Salsa

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10.  Ladies Nights Out!

 

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It is going to be hard to say goodbye to 2015 however my heart is a bit lighter knowing that 2016 will be filled with new adventures, recipes, and fashion!?! Yep, you heard correctly, for 2016 we will be adding fashion to the Mom on the go in Holy Toledo mix!!! How was your 2015, what was the highlight? What are you looking forward to in 2016? What would you like to see Mom on the go in Holy Toledo include and/or discuss in 2016? I can’t wait to read your thoughts!! Cheers!!

 

 

Moment that defines an Experienced Mom vs. A New Mom

What a day! We (my preschooler & I) have been running errands all day, Costco, candy & mints shop for teachers’ gifts, etc. with a few brief pauses in-between for lunch, and to pick up kiddos from school. With Christmas only 10 days away we have a lot of people and gifts to still cross off our list, thus, after my son got picked up for basketball practice this evening the girls and I set out to run a few more errands. Perhaps I was biting off more than I could chew; I mean, how long can a 5 year old run errands without something happening?

Our last errand of the day, Barnes & Nobel! The girls and I strolled in, located the items we needed, and started to make our way to the exit. We were so close to the door, in the main/central aisle, and then it happened, my little precious 5 year old started having a coughing fit. Now this might not seem like a big deal to most but my little lady isn’t like most. See, she is getting over a cold and has a bit of mucus, she hates mucus! Unlike her sister and brother she can’t handle excess mucus; can you guess what is coming next?  She looked up at me with that gaze and I knew I knew she needed to get outside STAT!! But instead of moving she stood her ground, more like claimed her ground.  She stood their coughing and coughing until she coughed up her dinner right there in the central aisle of Barnes and Noble during the busiest season of the year!!

 

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Oh the looks, the verbal displays of dismay, the crowd that formed around us, fingers pointing at my poor little lady now in the center of a little pool that was once her dinner. I sprang into action, first order of business, eliminate my little lady’s embarrassment. I ran over to the Starbucks counter & retrieved as many cocktail sized napkins as I could to cover up the evidence. Then I walked around the store trying to locate an associate but I was unsuccessful, so I went over to the Starbuck’s barista and inquired about towels or mop to assist in the cleanup. She was a bit nervous; this must have been her first kid puking in the middle of the aisle incident. Don’t worry, I talked her through it, Lol! She got on the phone trying to contact someone and I assured her things would be okay, we were going to get through this if she could just part with a few paper towels and perhaps a couple bags. She handed me said items while still holding the phone and eagerly trying to contact help. I knelt down and cleaned up the mess, it took a few trips to the garbage, a few more glares and verbal declarations of disgust from strangers, and I had the mess almost entirely cleaned before the barista came over with a wet floor sign. As I gently guided my 5 year old up and we strolled outside I couldn’t help but grin from ear-to-ear, I kinda totally rocked that entire situation!

As I helped my little lady into her booster seat I couldn’t help but think back to when I was a new mom, back when my eldest was my youngest age, and how different the outcome of a situation like that would have been. My first inclination back then, as a new mom, after my child started vomiting in a crowded public place like that would have probably been one of total mortification. I would have become beat red in the face and overly consumed with other’s judgements and opinions of me as a mom. I probably would have beaten myself up and convinced myself that it was my entire fault. It would have probably taken me weeks to recover. So, why share my thoughts on this situation? Because, I want all those new moms to know that they are not alone, we have ALL been there at one time or another, it is not your fault; and yes, it will get better, promise! And I want us experienced moms to rejoice and be thankful for how far we have come, how much wisdom and knowledge we have attained.

 

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Lastly, it is so important that we support one another, both old and new moms. We can learn so much from one another. Encourage, inspire, strengthen, and love one another no matter where we might currently be strolling on the path called motherhood.

Cheers!!

What are your thoughts? Are you a new mom, experienced mom? How have you grown in motherhood?

 

 

 

 

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Facebook killed the Christmas card

The following message has been circulating on Facebook: If you would like to exchange Christmas cards send me a PM with your address.

I must admit, that message rubs me the wrong way. What happened to the good old days when you would eagerly open that mailbox and wonder will there be Christmas cards today, and if so, from whom? We have removed the excitement, anticipation, magic. We have removed that warm heartfelt feeling of knowing that you are important to someone, that they thought of you exclusively, and wanted to make certain you received a card. What ever happened to giving because you care, appreciate, and love someone as opposed to giving in order to receive?

Now, I am not naive, I realize Christmas cards are expensive and you can only send out a limited amount. But sending out a message to have people PM you if they wish to exchange cards might end up hurting someone’s feelings, including your own! You may not have enough cards to send to those who PM you their addresses. Or, you might be disappointed to see that only a couple friends want your Christmas card. Is there a solution?

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The answer is, I don’t know. I fear that just like video killed the radio star, Facebook is killing the Christmas card. Let’s be honest, we spend hours a week connecting with friends and family who live both near and far, it is like a virtual Christmas card all year! What is the point of sending a card with a photo of your cute babies when everyone sees them every day on Facebook? (Should be noted that I appreciate & LOVE each & every card I receive and yes, I do keep ALL of them….I might just be a dying breed?)

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Perhaps just like letter writing has become a thing of the past, Christmas cards will too, perhaps our generation will be the last? God only knows what the younger generations will send each other in the future, holograms? Am I just delaying the inevitable? Am I naïve to think others will appreciate receiving our Christmas card? Or am I just mailing out a card that will deliver nothing but more obligation to the receiver during an already stressful time of year? (I hope not, just because you receive a card from me doesn’t obligate you to send one to me, I understand, I just wanted to send some Christmas Cheers!)

What are your thoughts? Do you send Christmas cards?

Harlem Globetrotters TICKET GIVEAWAY!!

Looking for that perfect gift of experience to give this Christmas?  One that doesn’t require your child/grandchild having to wait until spring break (sure a trip sounds like fun but in their eyes spring break is decades away!!)!?  This one delivers a quick turnaround and is something the entire family will enjoy (kids and kids at heart). Tickets to see the world famous Harlem Globetrotters!!!

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The Harlem Globetrotters, featuring some of the greatest athletes and entertainers on the planet, will bring their unrivaled family show to Toledo’s Huntington Center Dec. 27th @ 3pm!! This show promises incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy & unequaled on-court fan interaction!

And you won’t want to miss the pre-show event! BE sure to get your MAGIC PASS for the pre-show 1:30-2pm. You can actually spend time on the court with the Globetrotters, shooting, trying ball tricks, and photo opportunities!!!

 

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I for one know my son is going to lose his mind when he receives this gift (FYI: looking to have something for your kiddos to open along with the tickets? I am contemplating sneakers and/or a basketball).

Show Date & Time

December 27th at 3pm

Pre-show 1:30-2pm

 

Ticket Info & Discount

Mom On The Go in Holy Toledo

Click on the link below to print off ticket form……

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Contest

Mom on the go in Holy Toledo is giving away a family 4 pack of tickets

To be entered complete step ONE & TWO:

ONE- must complete 3 of the following, you can decide which 3:

1.Share this post on Facebook. (simply click on button at the bottom of page)

2.Share this post on Twitter #harlemglobetrotters (button at bottom of page)

3. Show the Gobetrotters Facebook page some love

4.Share this post on Pinterest (button at bottom of page)

TWO- Comment below expressing who you wish to take to the show

Winner will be randomly selected December 11th @ 11:59pm. Winners name will be announced the 12th on this blog post thread and on Mom on the go in Holy Toledo’s Facebook page.

 

Second BEST gift to give!! (ALL my readers get 50% off!)

As most of y’all know I believe the best gift you can give are the gifts of experiences (memberships, tickets to a show, a class, gift card to a local hot spot) and the second best, gifts that commemorate those experiences. That is why every year we create fun photo books and calendars to give to those special individuals who gave us the gift of those awesome experiences. And let me tell you there is no greater joy than seeing their eyes light up as they flip through the pages and see all the fun that their gift of an experience brought to our family. And this year is no exception!

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Though, I will admit, with so many calendars and photo books it can get a bit pricey which is why I am always on the lookout for a great deal! A great deal that doesn’t compromise the quality.  So I did some research and came across this sweet deal by Mixbook!!

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with their festive and sentimental Merry Christmas photo book. Snowflakes, candy canes and colorful ornaments are featured on joyful holiday backgrounds to showcase your photographs. Layouts allow you to build collages, feature a portrait across the gutter or frame snapshots inside holiday artwork (WHAT!?! Can we say awesome!!) & your personal quotes and tags are highlighted in eye-catching typography.

Merry Christmas is part of their Seasonal Photo Books Collection and is backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee, just like all of their other photo books, cards, and calendars. Mixbook uses only the highest-quality, heavy-weight papers that are ethically sourced from sustainable forests and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Rainforest Alliance.

They offer 3 sizes of photo books; printing time is 1-2 business days!!! With Mixbook, everything is customizable. Add your own photos and text change the layout, add stickers and backgrounds – you are free to design a Book that is personal to you!

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My readers get to save just in time for the Holidays! 50% off cards & 10×10 photo books + 40% off site wide! http://mixtrk.com/?a=50&oc=13&c=104&p=r&momonthegoinholytoledo=

 

 

 

Toledo Museum of Art FINALLY has an exhibition for the guys!!

“Finally, something for the guys, I was getting sick of the ballerinas!” (I believe he was referring to Degas & the Dance exhibition, lol!), exclaimed my 8 year old son as we perused the latest exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art, The Rise of Sneaker Culture!

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Sneakers have long been loved as a staple of casual fashion, transcending gender, age, and socioeconomic categories to become the footwear of choice for millions across the globe. Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture tells the sneaker’s complex and fascinating story through approximately 150 pairs drawn from the collections of the Bata Shoe Museum; the Northampton Museums and Art Gallery; the Kosow Sneaker Museum; the archives of Adidas, Converse, Nike, and PUMA; and private collectors such as Dee Wells of Obsessive Sneaker Disorder, Bobbito Garcia, and legendary hip-hop group Run—DMC. Source

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I have to be honest; I kind of thought the exhibition would be a tad boring. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love shoes just as much as the next girl but sneakers, really!? And then I entered the exhibition and surprisingly found myself intrigued! The exhibition goes deeper than just the sneaker; it addresses the history, structure, cultural connection, value, marketing, fashion, etc.

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The Rise of Sneaker Culture includes iconic sneakers ranging from an 1860 spiked running shoe, track shoes from the 1936 Olympics, an original Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1, and early Adidas Superstars, to contemporary examples designed by such prominent figures as Damien Hirst, Christian Louboutin, Kanye West, and Nike sneaker design legend Tinker Hatfield. Out of the Box also features sneakers and related prototype drawings from Nike Archives, which span the career of legendary designers like Tinker Hatfield, as well as a complete presentation of Air Jordans I–XX3 on loan from the Kosow Sneaker Museum, which highlight the pivotal role this coveted series of sneakers has played in the rise of contemporary sneaker culture. Source 

 

 My little fashionista enjoyed walking around and seeing all the different styles.

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Meanwhile my 10 year old daughter wasn’t much interested until we entered Gallery 28C a.k.a. the room at the end. It was filled with fun, interactive, engaging games, an area where you can design your own sneaker and add it to the gallery for all to see, a spot to post your “shoefie”, like a selfie pic of your shoes.

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Then we headed downstairs for the Family Center to make some fun creative masterpieces and get our play on!!

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The Rise of Sneaker Culture is a traveling exhibition and The Toledo Museum of Art is the only Ohio venue for this show, so don’t miss it! It is here Dec. 3, 2015-Feb. 28th, 2016. Admission is FREE!! This makes a perfect date night!! If you have kiddos make certain your visit on a day that the Family Center is open (Tues & Thurs 10am-2pm, Fri 3:30pm-8pm, and Sun noon-5pm). The Family Center is also FREE! Best of all, with all that dough you saved you can grab a snack in the café and/or a souvenir in the store…commemorate the art of quality time together at TMA!

 

 

 

 

Vlog!! Video Bloggin it today, baby!!

Video blogging it today! Because, why read when you can watch? (I might need to work on that tagline but you get the gist). I will add links to items in the comments. Also, please feel free to add to the list, what is one thing you would suggest ALL moms get for Christmas?

 

Perfect Alternative to Elf on the Shelf?

As many of you know I sent the Elf on the Shelf packing last year. My reasons were many, click here to read more. Though, I must admit, it did feel like something was missing last year.  I missed the added enthusiasm the children displayed; their eager eyes every morning, and that extra dose of magic that added to the already exciting anticipation of the birth of our King.  I wanted a tradition that centered on the true meaning of Christmas. I really despised the whole idea of; if you are good you will get something…um, hello, what about the overflowing joy that fills your heart when you give?   I want to be able to ask my children, how are you coming along on your Christmas list? And their response to be something along the lines of, good, I just have Nana and daddy’s gifts left to buy, not, I have narrowed it down to 12 things I want! I figured there was nothing like that out there and then I happened upon a kit in the clearance section of the local Family Christian Bookstore, The Christmas Angel kit.

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The kit came with a book, toy stuffed angel, golden dust, and tin for storage. Book & stuffed animal combo sound familiar? The basic idea is that the Christmas Angel comes in the evening when the children sleep and writes a message, an act of kindness to complete, in the golden dust (glitter that is spread in the bottom of the tin).Hmmm….I was totally skeptical!

I stood there in the clearance section for a lengthy amount of time having a conversation with myself. (I am really hoping I am not the only one who does this…always keeping it real, no matter how embarrassing).

I asked myself the following questions:

If I purchase this am I simply replacing one ridiculous tradition with another? Will this tradition encourage a selfless Christmas or foster selfishness? Is it about the receiving or the giving? Is this tradition practical, will we be taking on too much during an already very busy season?

My responses to my own questions (I know, I am a total dork):

If I purchase the Christmas Angel kit I will have more flexibility and control over the tradition since I would be the one writing the messages, the acts of kindness, in the gold dust. I could also alter the messages if need be, if we do not have time to complete an act of kindness one day I could instead leave a message expressing affirmation for a random act of kindness a child facilitated the day before (it is so important we acknowledge and praise a child when they do good, far too often we only focus on punishing them when they do something bad). This tradition would definitely be focusing on the giving, making someone else’s day brighter, and fostering a selfless Christmas. Conclusion, this new tradition would not be ridiculous, this tradition would fill our hearts with the joy of giving, and this new tradition would center on something real, the Christmas Angel.

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So I bought it!! And the day after Thanksgiving we read the book and I introduced the children to our new tradition!

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How was it received by the children?

The children were beyond elated. We read the book and all three of them, including our 10 year old, were enthralled. They even decided on a schedule of who shall sleep with the stuffed angel each night. Then they made a special request before they went to bed, they asked if they could write the angel a thank you note in the golden dust, it melted my heart to hear them request such a beautiful thing. Thus began their communication with the Christmas Angel.

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CLICK HERE to purchase your own Christmas Angel Kit and checkout some fun activities!

Need some acts of kindness ideas:

Examples of what we will be doing include, make an invitation inviting our neighbor to dinner, donate toys & books, decorate cookies at a nursing home, sing carols with friends, let a sibling go first, help mom without being asked, take stuffed animals to the children’s hospital, make a thank you note & treat for local firefighter and police, thank your guardian angel, etc. Keep it as simple as possible; remember this is supposed to add to your joy not take away from it. And don’t forget to entwine some messages of affirmation and praise for those random acts of kindness you children do.

What are some acts of kindness you do as a family during Christmas? What traditions do you have during this joyous time of year? Please share.

 

 

LEGO Bricks & No Brakes!! I was a nervous wreck!

You know those childhood memories that come up around the Thanksgiving table? The ones that have everyone laughing till they practically cry? Like when the van door fell off in Bar Harbor, Maine or when the Taurus broke down on the way to Chicago and the entire family had to squeeze into the tow truck cab, (both are one of many of my childhood travel memories). Well, we made one of those for our kiddos this past weekend. It was the classic tale of two vehicles going somewhere and only one returning home.

It all started Friday afterschool. Kiddos and I packed up the Yukon with the road trip essentials: LEGO bricks, dolls, Floam, music, snacks, etc. and we headed to Troy, Ohio to meet up with my husband who had been there for work. It was going to be a blast, kiddos could swim, we could relax, spend the night, then the next morning, (which just so happened to be our eldest birthday), we would head into Columbus for the LEGO Creativity Tour!! The drive down was so smooth; my 2001 Yukon drove like a champ that day! We arrived, had dinner, swam, watched cable (our house is cable free, so this is an added hotel perk), went to bed, and the next morning the REAL adventure began!

My husband and I both had to drive from Troy to Columbus because we would be going home after the LEGO Creativity Tour. So we headed out, it was a gorgeous day, sun was shining, a few clouds in the sky, traffic wasn’t too bad especially considering Ohio State played that day. On our way into town the car made a weird noise, right around Plain City, Ohio, then it seemed fine. We got into Columbus and suddenly the dash flashed the low fuel sign & anti-lock brake sign pair that with the fact that I had no idea where any gas stations were & no access online and I became one slightly nervous momma. So I did the only logical thing, prayed & we got our LEGO on! Woot! Woot!!

LEGO Creativity Tour!!!

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As we walked in we were greeted by these awesome Lego bricks sculptures! They we absolutely fascinating! The time, energy, effort, and creativity that went into those was inspiring!

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Then our eldest wanted to check out the YouthDigital   booth that offered kiddos aged 8-14 the opportunity to make their own sword and then use it in the Minecraft world, it was kinda the coolest!!

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Kids Learn to Code, Program & Create!

Highly Interactive, Effective and Fun Learning Platform

Youth Digital’s breakthrough learning platform provides kids and teens — between the ages of 8 and 14 — a comprehensive learning experience that is amazingly fun, highly interactive and extremely effective. Students watch videos, respond to questions, earn badges, complete quizzes, and attempt challenging assignments as they step toward mastering critical technology skills and professional-level software. Kids learn to code, program in Java, make Mods for Minecraft®,

animate their own movies, design and print in 3D, develop their own mobile apps, create video games, and more. Source  

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Our next stop, LEGO Friends!!! The girls absolutely adore LEGO friends, they know all the girls names and have practically all the sets.

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They were quite eager to build a house for Heartlake City. The coolest part was once they turned in their house to the LEGO person in charge in return they received a small LEGO kit. I was extremely thankful for that since I know our preschool has a tough time parting with her creations.

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They literally had something for everyone, including video games. All 3 of the kiddos lost their minds when we boarded a truck that was filled with huge screens, video game consoles and sweet games. They had the option of playing Minecraft or LEGO and they chose LEGO. Even our youngest got in on the fun, and she has not stopped talking about it since, lol!

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We stopped by the Art Gallery…..

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Built more SWEET things with LEGO bricks…

 

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Became LEGO Club members….join today, it is free, get FREE magazines, and other fun activities for kiddos! CLICK HERE TO JOIN!

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Sadly, we did not get to everything, our time expired. But no worries, just means we will have to go checkout LEGO KidsFest 2016 in Cleveland!! For tour dates and cities, CLICK HERE for info.

We headed out of the parking garage and with every turn the Yukon seemed to get worse and worse, the grinding, loss of anti-lock brakes, eventually it felt like the wheel was literally going to fall off…pair that with the inclement weather and semis and this mommas was a nervous wreck!! We made it as far as Waldo, Ohio. I officially know where Waldo is, lol! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!). We stopped for dinner at an adorable little spot known for their bologna sandwiches, G & R Tavern and then called AAA.  The Tavern had huge pieces of pie and since it was our daughter’s 10th birthday and I just so happened to have candles in my purse we made certain we sang Happy Birthday….this is one birthday she will never forget.

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This will be one of those stories that comes up at the Thanksgiving table for years to come and I am certain we will laugh till we cry (perhaps not this Thanksgiving, the wounds are still fresh, but next year for sure).

 

FYI-AAA is another MUST HAVE membership for ALL families on the go! They came to our rescue within 45 minutes and towed us back to Toledo (100 miles!…covered under the Gold Membership).  AAA membership makes a great Christmas Gift…CLICK HERE for more info.

 

 

Keto Pasta!

My latest obsession, the Spiral Slicer!! Why? Because sometimes a girl has a real hankering for pasta! I have enjoyed all the splendors the Ketogenic lifestyle offers, the clear-headedness, weight loss, rich delicious foods, clearer complexion, etc. However the one thing I miss more than Reese’s Pieces, merlot, and maple syrup is PASTA!! Angel hair, linguine, and good old-fashioned spaghetti!!! But with all those carbs what’s a girl to do!?! Get her Zoodle on! ( the name even has me chuckling, zoodles, lol!).

 

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What are zoodles? Zucchini that has gone through a spiral slicer and produces long strands that resemble pasta. You’re probably thinking, yeah right!? Let me tell you, I was skeptical too.  But then I tasted it and it was amazing! The key is to cook the zoodles so that they are al dente then the texture is perfect.

 

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So how does one prepare zoodles?

Directions:

  1. Rinse off/clean zucchini (If you wish you can remove the green so that it resembles the look of noodles more).
  2. Place zucchini in spiral slicer and slice
  3. Once the entire zucchini has been sliced get out a pan, place on range on medium heat, drizzle olive oil in pan place zoodles in pan and heat for roughly 4 minutes turning frequently.
  4. Add your “goodies” to your pasta…pesto, marinara sauce (watch for sugar!), shrimp, meatballs, etc.
  5. Enjoy!

Do you have a Spiral Slicer? Any favorite recipes? Please share.