Food Yoga: Stretch Your Meals with these SIMPLE Recipes (Paleo/Gluten Free)

Back-to-school means getting back into a routine, having dinner before 10pm, and stretching my recipes!!

It feels so good to be back into a routine. The household just runs so much smoother when we have routine; everyone’s temperament is calmer, more enjoyable, including moms! We are slowly working our way back to a 6:30pm dinner time as opposed to our sporadic summer break schedule where we eat dinner at 5pm one day and 9pm the next. And most importantly back to school means I stretch my recipes so that there is plenty left for the lunchboxes the next day. But let’s be honest, what’s the point in stretching/doubling the recipes if the kids won’t eat it in the first place? Which is why I am sharing this meal with you, not only did the kiddos eat all this up for dinner but they also enjoyed it for breakfast and for lunch the next day! So you can cook once and they eat 3 times, now that’s what I call good time management!

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Crispy Chicken Strips (Serve 8-12)

 

Ingredients:

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips (can usually get 4-6 strips from each breast)

3 eggs

2 cups almond flour

3/4 cup parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet

Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk

Place chicken strips in the bowl with the eggs

In separate bowl mix Almond flour, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, & pepper

Remove chicken strips from eggs one at a time and place into dry ingredients bowl, coat chicken with dry ingredients

Remove from dry ingredients and place on parchment paper

Once all the chicken has taken a wet & dry bath and are on the parchment paper place in oven, bake for 20-25 minutes flipping half way. Bake till there is a golden brown coating on the chicken.

 

While chicken is baking why not make some refreshing Cucumber Salad. This is such a simple and refreshing recipe.

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Cucumber Salad (Again, I make a lot, and you will see why….this would easily serve 8-12 people)

Ingredients:

2 large English cucumbers sliced

1 red onion diced

1-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup avocado oil

3-4 twist of the Himalayan pink salt, just to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and place in fridge till mealtime. (My kiddos like it really cold & I usually make it 20 minutes before we eat so I place the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before I toss the ingredient in)

And eveyones favorite, dessert!! This is another really simple recipe that tastes delectable.

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Chocolate Banana Cake (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

½ cup coconut oil

4 eggs

½ cup cacao powder

4 bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup maple syrup

Few slices of banana or strawberry to place on top (optional)

Directions:

Dump all ingredients in food processor and mix till everything is blended well and there are no chunks.

Grease round cake pan with coconut oil and pour cake mixture into pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for ½ hour (till it is firm)

Let it cool for a few minutes and then slice!

And this is how I Food Yoga a.k.a. stretch meals!…..

So, that delicious Chocolate Banana Cake we had for dessert also doubles for breakfast the next day. What child is opposed to cake for breakfast!? I like the fact that it is filled with protein, potassium, healthy fat, & the cacao powder is a great antioxidant!

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Remember those crispy chicken strips that I made for dinner? Well, I make 8-12 servings so that we can have them for lunch the next day; they pack easily in the kiddo’s lunch boxes. I usually add a slice of cheese, fruit and veggie…and lunch is packed! Easy breezy!!

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Lastly, remember the cucumber salad? Simply add 1 tomatoes, 1 pepper, and 1 avocados and you have a side for dinner the next day! Voila! And that is how I Food Yoga/Stretch a meal! Do you Food Yoga? Have a favorite recipe? Please feel free to share/add a link to your recipe.

 

 

 

 

A New Kind of 1st Day of School Pic

BIG day today!! 1st day of school for my 4th & 2nd graders!! They each have awesome teachers and kind kiddos in their classes, thinking this is going to be a fabulous year! Of course we did the classic 1st day of school pics.

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And then I got to thinking, I have pics of myself as a child on the first days of school. Sadly I have probably only looked at them a handful of times, maybe less (what can I say, I have been busy, lol!). But what I would really be interested in, especially now that I am experiencing this whole back-to-school venture from the other end, is a photograph of my mom on the first days of school and a few tidbits about what she is up to each year. How cool would that be? So here goes…..this is for my kiddos in the future, one day they will appreciate this, or at least have a good laugh. Whose with me? If you’re in, post your back-to-school pic on the Facebook page, Mom on the go in Holy Toledo   or #momsbacktoschoolpic on Twitter, who knows maybe there will be a giveaway involved. 😉 What fun tidbit would you like to know about your mom when she was your age?

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Au revoir RedBall Project & 2015 Christmas Card Reveal

Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” (J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan) This quote seemed rather appropriate given all the childlike fun I have been experiencing with the Toledo Museum of Art’s exhibition, Play Time exhibition and its recent installation, #RedBallProject. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had the opportunity to allow my imagination to soar to such heights, and with the company of my children. It has been a remarkable bonding experience. With each visit to Play Time I could literally feel the layers of adulthood, the layers that were holding my childlike imagination & spirit captive slowly shedding. It has been such a magnificent experience and it saddens me to have to see it come to an end (Play Time officially end Sept. 6th). We started our goodbyes yesterday, by bidding #RedBallProject farewell, it was bittersweet. Thankfully, unlike Peter Pan we will never forget, after all this is Toledo, not Neverland & we will always have the remarkable images as our treasures to remind of the summer of 2015, when mom became one of the kids!

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As if saying goodbye wasn’t already hard enough, the location where we would be saying goodbye to RedBall is one near and dear to my heart (and SO perfect given its next stop, France!). It is a location that one will find quite frequently in my memory treasure chest. The TMA Peristyle Terrace under Hector Guimard 1900 ‘Paris Métro Entrance is where I requested that our Wedding Photographer take our picture. He thought I was crazy; all the other brides want the perfect photographs by the columns. He probably was right, I am a little crazy, but I wanted something different, unique, our own, and  he humored me (we also have some sweet ones of the Wedding Party on the Tire Swing!!).

 

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Fast forward 8 or so years and we were finally going to take family pics for our Christmas card (up until then I only had the kids on the card). What better place than the TMA Peristyle Terrace, Hector Guimard 1900 ‘Paris Métro Entrance!?

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Thus, given our history with the TMA Peristyle Terrace, Hector Guimard 1900 ‘Paris Métro Entrance there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to get some farewell pics with the RedBall! And I also saw this as the perfect opportunity to take our 2015 Family Christmas card pic. So, without further adieu, our Christmas Card pic for 2015 (dad got squished by the ball) and many more awesome Farwell pics with RedBall…..

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“Good bye may seem forever. Farewell is like the end, but in my heart is the memory and there you will always be.” (Walt Disney Company)

We shall treasure the memories always, at the Glass Pavilion & Boyd’s Retro Candy Store.

Au Revoir #RedBallProject! Have fun in France!!

 

 

 

I Managed to Caption this: RedBall is up to its old TWIX!

The #Redball Project was at Boyd’s Retro Candy Store this afternoon & there was no way I was passing up an opportunity for candy to get some epic pics with the KING-SIZED RedBall, and CANDY! So my 3 MUSKETEERS and I hit the road in pursuit of the big ATOMIC FIREBALL!

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The WHATCHAMACALLIT, RedBall, was wedged perfectly so that there were 3 optimal up-close and personal photo opportunities (thank you to the artist, Kurt Perschke for selecting such an awesome Toledo Treasure and staging the RedBall so that it could be viewed from various angles, talk about a SMARTIE).

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I felt like such a NERD hoarding around the big JAWBREAKER but I wanted to make certain none of the pics were DUDS.

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It was refreshing, for once, I didn’t have any SOUR PATCH KIDS when it came to getting pics, each was eager for their turn.

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Then the piece de resistance, CANDY! As we entered Boyd’s Retro Candy store the CHICKLETS minds were BLOWN, POP, CANDY, & SUGAR EVERYWHERE!!

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Too bad PAYDAY was still a few days off because we could have dropped some mad COIN at Boyd’s.

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Body’s was packed with PEEPS! The line was literally wrapping around the store. It was like a CIRCUS, PEANUTS free of course (gotta be mindful of allergies).

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We ventured back out for some more epic pics with the RedBall this time with some of our SWEETS & TARTS. We felt like STARBURST!

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I grabbed a cup of Joe and then it was time for my M &M’s and me to go. We were all LAUGHY TAFFY on the way home talking about all the JOY we had, in some of the pics we felt like a NUT, MOUNDS you, in others we didn’t/don’t!

LOL! That was a BLAST to write, visit, the entire experience was, as the kids say, EPIC! Thank you for another EPIC day Toledo Museum of Art and all the PEEPS who have made Play Time possible. And huge thank you to #RedBall Project for reminding Toledoans of ALL our Towns Treasures like Boyd’s, Rudy’s Hot Dog, Farmers Market, etc.

Armstrong Air & Space Museum

It was a hot Tuesday afternoon in August. The in-laws had just picked up our youngest for her special day with grandma & grandpa. My sister happened to have the day off from work. We had a full tank of gas & ambitious attitudes; the stars were aligning for a fun filled, totally spur-of-the-moment ROAD TRIP!!

I am a bit of an adventure junky; I enjoy the thrill of the unknown, the enticement of the journey, and my sister is exactly the same way! So there was really no telling where we might end up. It is a good thing we don’t possess monetary wealth because we would have probably be boarding plane. Haha! Though, technically speaking the sky wasn’t our limit, space was our final destination!

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Our voyage destination, Wapakoneta! We grabbed food from Tropical Smoothie Café and ate on the road (the result was the stain my son is so desperately trying to hide in the pic below, haha!) and began our voyage down orange barrel expressway, better known as I-75.

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As we entered the Armstrong Air & Space Museum  we were greeted by a long hallway filled with images & info of all the Ohio astronauts, 25 in all. That is a lot of Astronauts from Ohio! One has to wonder, what is it about this state that makes so many people want to leave the planet? LOL!

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The hall of fame, so to speak, really perked up the kiddos attention, they were officially hooked and eager to tour the museum! First things first, after that smoothie we were all in dire need of a potty break!!

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This phrase is written on the bathroom wall when you walk into the woman’s room. Bahahaha!

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We has some fun washing our hands too! We hadn’t even made it beyond the restrooms and we were already having a great time. Haha!

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After emptying our bladders and having a good laugh we paid admission (kids 5 & under are FREE, kids 6-12 are $4, and adults are $8….which I thought was really reasonable especially for a family) and our space exploration education began!

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The kiddos learned about Sputnik, satellites & gravity, the first man in space…..

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I must admit, I feel a bit bad for Alan Shepard, he was the first man in space however he is not a household name. Nor is Alexei Leonov, who accomplished the first spacewalk.

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Then it got real! We learned ALL about the preparation for space and the scary fact that an emergency Earth landing might be a possibility. It was at this point that the prospect of being an Astronaut didn’t sound very enticing to our son….our daughter was still all for it! (I think she might be an adventure junky…no idea where she gets it from?)

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The attractions and exhibits weren’t just for the older kiddos, they remembered the tots too! They strategically placed tactile area for the little ones in locations where the big kids might linger a little longer. Like at the Gemini Docking Simulator….

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Kiddos got a kick out of learning about space food & seeing REAL moon rock!!

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We watched a brief movie on the moon landing & walk. Towards the end the movie terminology took an abrupt detour and caught some of us off guard. The narrator was speaking in scientific, technical terms throughout the documentary. Then they explained that once the Astronauts were back on Earth they had to be contained in a pod for some 16-19 days for fear of contagious “moon germs”. Everyone let out a giggle, Haha! Not a day has gone by since that the kids don’t reference moon germs at some point.

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After the movie I walked down the ramp a bit and heard a familiar voice from my childhood & then it all came back to me and my heart sunk a bit. There was a monitor with President Regan speaking about the tragedy that had just occurred to the Challenger.

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Suddenly I was six years old again and I could hear my mother sobbing as we watched the television screen. At the time I could not entirely comprehend the magnitude of the catastrophe. Now, as an adult, mother, and after being in total awe and wonder after touring the museum and having a better understanding of all the training and strenuous preparation that Astronauts undergo it is heartbreaking to think they did not get to reap the benefits of their hard work & they risked it ALL for simply the opportunity.

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Final stop, gift shop!

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No trip to the Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum would be complete without Astronaut ice cream!!!

 

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The facilities are so clean! The fun continues outside!

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They offer a great picnic area outside with overhead shelter from rain/direct sun.

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You could easy make a day of space exploration and aerodynamic fun….pack a lunch, visit the Armstrong Air and Space Museum, enjoy lunch, and then head back on the highway to the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton!

We on the other hand had a bit of a tight schedule; we had to get home ASAP. So we hit Skyline (we don’t have any in Toledo so it really added something special to the road trip) for Coney’s to go! Yep, I said to go, lol! Can you say more stains? Haha!

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It was a stupendous day of air & space exploration education I was sad to see it end. Do you need some Space? What are you waiting for? 

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It’s just a Red Ball? Au contraire!

The Red Ball is HERE! It has arrived! It is in Toledo, Ohio!

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Kurt Perschke’s RedBall Project is part of The Toledo Museum of Art’s Play Time exhibition. The RedBall Project is a 250-pound red, inflated sculptural installation that has/will be squeezed into unexpected spaces in cities across the globe…you read correctly, THE GLOBE (and right now it is in Toledo, what!?!).

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I can hear the naysayers now, what’s the big deal; it’s just a red ball? Au contraire my cynic friend, this is NOT JUST A RED BALL! It is an opportunity to experience something spectacular, something bigger than, well, the ball. It is an opportunity to be a part of history, a part of art, a part of something world renowned and a magnificent way to get to know our amazing city in the process!!

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“The magnetic, playful and charismatic nature of RedBall allows the work to access the imagination embedded in all of us. On the surface, the experience seems to be about the ball itself as an object, but the true power of the project is what it can create for those who experience it. It opens a doorway to the imagination,” Perschke has said of the work.  source  

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You can follow the RedBall Project on Twitter and Facebook…it is so awesome that I had the opportunity to take a pic with my kiddos next to the same Red Ball that families in Abu Dhabi, Paris, Toronto, Sydney, Montreal, etc. took a pic with too!! Mind blown!

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Most awesome, or epic (as my 9 year old would say), summer destinations take hours, whining, complaining, potty breaks, and lots of road food to get to but this is in our own backyard! What are you waiting for? Go make history! Interact, play, bounce, and get photographed next to the REDBALL!!! (#redballproject so we can ALL see your pics…have fun with it!)

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Here is the schedule of where the public can view the RedBall Project in Toledo (source):

Friday, Aug. 14: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, 2444 Monroe St.

Saturday, Aug. 15: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Toledo Farmer’s Market, 155 S. Superior St.

Sunday, Aug. 16: 1-8 p.m., Across from Fifth Third Field, corner of Huron and Washington

Monday, Aug. 17: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Toledo Edison Building, 300 Madison Ave.

Tuesday, Aug. 18: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., ProMedica Steam Plant, Corner of Madison Avenue and Water Street. RedBall will be located in a window facing Promenade Park. The artist will discuss the role of public art in city spaces with Halona Norton-Westbrook, co-curator of the Play Time exhibition, and others during a free panel discussion at noon in Promenade Park.

Wednesday, Aug. 19: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Roulet Jewelers, alley between 405 S. Madison St. and 413 Madison St.

Thursday, Aug. 20: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., North Erie and Adams Streets, alley between 338 N. Erie St. and 340 N. Erie St.

Friday, Aug. 21: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Boyd’s Retro Candy Store, 954 Phillips Ave.

Saturday, Aug. 22: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Side Cut Metropark, Located in Lock #1

Sunday, Aug. 23: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle Terrace, 2445 Monroe St.

I left my Heart in Holland

Have you ever had a remarkable evening that is just so magnificent that you find yourself ranking all future evening against it? The ambiance, company, temperaments, entertainment, talent, etc. all perfectly combined into a symphony of euphoric splendor…now that is pure Downtown Holland, Michigan.

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Our journey to splendor-ville began on a textbook summer evening.  We originally planned on just staying for dinner, grabbing a cappuccino, then heading out afterward. However, as we left Curragh Irish Pub and made our way to JPs Coffee and Espresso Bar (FYI-they have THE best cappuccinos!) we stumbled upon a sign stating that there would be Street Performers downtown on Thursday evening, as luck would have it was a Thursday evening! And that is when our evening took a dramatic & insanely awesome turn!

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Downtown Holland vibe is eclectic, a nice marinade of hip, artistic, high-end, family friendly, sophisticated relaxation. And we were about to spend an entire evening soaking up that vibe.

The evening was filled with an intertwinement of amazingly talented street performers with short interludes for shopping…a girls dream come true!

Our first stop, a Bluegrass Jam Session  at the Holland area Arts Council! (What was so cool about this is they welcomed peeps to bring their own instruments and join in! And the fact that it was entirely FREE) We so enjoyed sitting and listening to the music, the kiddos really admired the various instruments in the session and how they all came together for an impromptu song.

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Next stop, Circus Acts….Bangarang Circus

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This group was AH-mazing!! They really captivated the audience and drew a huge crowd. They were so talented, there performance was perfectly choreographed with the music, absolutely fascinating…and the hoops & fabric acts were slightly scary, which only added to the excitement! We could have stayed there all night mesmerized by their talent. I literally had to bribe the kids away from these performers, WITH CANDY! (Yes, they were that good!)

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The kiddos each received $5 to spend on sugary delights at the Holland Peanut Store

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Not going to lie, the kiddos had some tough decisions to make considering the fact that the store literally carried every type of candy you could imagine! And it smelled like heaven! It was too tempting; even I succumbed to the sweet heavenly delight, darn you Holland Peanut Store and all your enchanting treats!! LOL!

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Since I was so good for the kids in the candy store it only seemed fair that I get my turn shopping, right!? Haha!

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Next stop Moynihan Gallery & Candle-ology! I should warn you, I am a soy candle freak!

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I adore soy candles (because they burn clean)…and often times the more unusual scents, thus I was like a kid in the Holland Peanut Candy Store as I walked down the Candle-ology isle sniffing practically all 100+ scents. This is THE COOLEST part, you can blend your very own candle! What!?! ( Know someone having a baby, getting married, maybe your on a romantic getaway? Why not savor the scent of the event/weekend and make a custom candle to burn for weeks to come and commemorate the event/weekend? Such an original gift idea! You can even name/label your candle!) So, after sniffing all the scents  if you don’t see one you like or if you want to mix scents you can make your own! And it doesn’t take long. It is such a cool experience & highly recommended! And don’t worry about the kiddos being occupied, the shop has SO many neat gifts and cool things to look at, they will be occupied.

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And, just one more quick stop for mom, at Fustini’s  I can’t pass up the opportunity to sample oils and vinegars!

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Their Ginger & honey balsamic is my all-time favorite, it tastes amazing on Asian salads, Ahi tuna, chicken, veggies, in a shot glass, you name it! Lol! I am obsessed!

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And on with the show!

We were stopped in our tracks when we walked down the street and heard the beautiful, delicate, voices of these lovely young ladies singing Disney Princesses’ songs….yet another performer set I had to literally pull my 4 year old away from.

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As we walked down 8th street I could hear the laughter coming from the crowds watching a clown, children screaming with excitement to receive an animal balloon, people gasping in amazement as a juggler juggled knives, the soft fluttering of the wind instruments, deep hum of the cello, it was a choirs, a symphony of enchantment. It was a magical evening!

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Huge thank you to ALL the performers for sharing their talents with all of us and to Downtown Holland for making us feel so welcomed and for offering such magnificent events! Planning your visit to Holland? Make certain you check out their calendar of events …who knows what kind of fun is waiting for you! Holland will steal your heart, you have been warned!! 😉

Thorn Park SPLASH PAD

Who’s up for a mini day trip? Thorn Park SPLASH PAD  is OPEN!!!  Woot! Woot! But do note it is running at 50% capacity so do get there early so you’re guaranteed entrance…or if worse got to worse, shoot for the first session and if you don’t make it play on the playground, have lunch, then enjoy session 2…see details below.

Address: Brownstown Parks & Recreation 21311 Telegraph Rd

Brownstown Charter Twp, MI 48183

Website: https://brownstownrec.org/Default.aspx?id=17

Phone: (734) 675-0920

ADMISSION FEE: $2.00 PER PERSON, PER SESSION

Open Daily

SESSION 1 – 11:00AM-1:00PM /SESSION 2 – 1:30PM-3:30PM

SESSION 3 – 4:00PM-6:00PM (Brownstown residents Only)

 

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Thorn Park Splash Pad is located in Brownstown Michigan, roughly 40 minutes (with construction) from Toledo. It is literally a straight shot up I-75, super easy to find. It is like a little oasis of fun! Thorne park has a remarkable slash pad & sweet playground so be sure to pack a lunch because you are going to want to stay for a while.

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When planning your trip to the splash pad it is important to bear in mind that they offer 3 separate splash pad sessions, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, 1:30 PM to 3:30PM and the last session is strictly for residents only 4:00PM to 6:00 PM. Admission is required; everyone who enters the splash pad must have a wristband. Admission/wristbands cost $2 per person, talk about a steal! It only cost me $8 for me and my kiddos to enjoy 2 hours of slashtastic fun!!

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The kiddos had an absolute blast! But let’s be honest, they are kids playing in water, they are going to have fun. The real question is how was the experience from a mom’s perspective? How vigilant do moms have to be? Is there a place for moms to sit? Are there locker rooms/changing area? Can you bring snacks/food? Is it clean? How are the people? Us moms have REAL questions & would appreciate REAL answers! Am I right!?!

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Thorne Park Splash Pad is extremely clean & accommodating to mothers! It is an entirely enclosed space, children cannot escape, no matter how hard they try. Haha! The gate is latched and needs to be opened by an adult.

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They offer benches along the parameter of the pad as well as shaded, yes; I said shaded areas with tables and chairs. We placed our bags and towels down in the shaded areas since the splash pad wasn’t too crowded. They do have lockers available for your bags. The shaded areas do not get wet, only the blue areas get wet, I like how they define the splash zones, it is nice to know where you can take pics without the fear of being blasted with water.

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Moms can just relax in the shade and chat it up with other mommas like I did, while watching my kiddos enjoy themselves. I love the fact that whoever designed this splash pad really considered the parents perspective, it was nice not being an afterthought (there is nothing worse than having to squat down and sit on a curb with all your stuff, stressing out trying to locate your child in a crowd of kiddos, praying they didn’t escape or accidently get caught up in a field trip, all the while wish you would have gone pee when the kids did!)

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Food is allowed in the park just not in the splash area, which makes perfect sense. They have plenty of picnic tables across from the splash pad where you can enjoy lunch. We splashed for an hour, had lunch, and then went back for 40 minutes. 2 hours seems to be the perfect amount of time. To be honest, the kiddos were pretty much finished and ready to go, though it helps when they knew we were going to the playground afterward.

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They offer changing area and very clean restrooms. After kiddos changed we headed to the playground. Since the majority of the kiddos we were with were between 5 &12 we went to that playground but it should be noted that they also have a playground for the toddlers too.

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The playground looked like an extension of nature. It camouflaged with the surrounding trees. It offered quite an array of activities for the kiddos.

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In addition to working out the various muscle groups through climbing, stretching, and balancing it also had them using senses on a scavenger hunt & and listening to various nature sounds. A panel listed all the items they needed to locate throughout the structure, it made for a fun game.

 

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I was sad to see this day end; it was the quintessential August day! We will be going back! Huge thank you to our friends for suggestions this sweet splash pad and park and thanks to the residents of Brownstown for sharing your treasure with the rest of us.

 

 

Grand Rapids Gastropub, Paleo Farm Basket, and more!

After taking in all that gorgeous architecture and design we were parched! We managed to locate a delicious eatery just a few miles from the Meyer May house (FREE tours of a Frank Lloyd Wright House!), The Winchester

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I am literally STILL dreaming about that meal! Have you ever eaten something that just tastes so fresh, crisp, and delicious that you just wanted to savor every morsel? That is precisely how I felt about every bite of food I had at The Winchester.

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The Winchester is a gastro pub.

What is a gastropub? A gastropub is a bar that also serves high-quality cuisine. Gastropubs, which offer gastronomy in a pub setting, have become extremely popular in recent years. Chefs are now leaving fancy restaurants behind, trading them in for laid-back pubs with accessible price points so they can attract regular customers rather than sporadic diners who only come on special occasions. Gone are the days of greasy “pub grub”….Gastropubs serve a higher standard of food than you’ll find at your average watering hole. SOURCE  

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We started off lunch with a shareable, Roasted Vegetable. And, get this, some of the veggies actually came from the garden across the street! Talk about local, organic, & FRESH!!

 

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The Winchester definitely quenches the sophisticated palate, and with some of the most simplistic dishes, like the Classic Burger and Fries. Those are fresh, hand cut, homemade, pure deliciousness of a fry! True I gave up carbs but I will make exceptions when it comes to food this delightful!

 

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And the salad I order was nothing short of spectacular! The color, freshness, crispy texture, and unbeatable taste, it was like a symphony for my taste buds.

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My taste buds are still singing The Winchester’s praises! I can’t wait to go back!

 

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After Lunch we stopped in at a neighboring establishment, Nourish to grab some ingredients for some Paleo cookies.

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Speaking of Paleo how cool is this? Nourish offers a Paleo Farm Basket….

The Paleo Farm Basket

Now in its third season, this basket is already an old favorite with members who are serious about a traditional way of eating.

Each basket in this plan includes:

  • A gorgeous bouquet of local organically grown vegetables and fruit.
  • An added selection of some paleo must-have foods like avocados, sweet potatoes and peppers.
  • Some healthy and interesting traditional fats like lard or coconut oil, along with nuts and fruits.
  • A supply of healthy local grass-fed locally-grown meat and sustainably caught fish.

Just what the doctor ordered! This basket is for you! $75 a week

Available for convenient free delivery or in-store pickup.

Of course it includes a weekly newsletter that provides great recipes, tips and paleo-healthy information.

Wish they delivered to Toledo, how cool would that be? I want this! (Might have to do some researching and see if there is any local organic health food store that offers a Paleo home delivered basket.)

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I also thought it was pretty cool that they had photographs of the actual farmers in the store….it is always nice to put a face with the name of the individual who is putting all their time, energy, and hard work into growing your food.

 

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And last put not least, dessert! Or at least my kind of dessert, a cappuccino!! A REAL cappuccino! At Rowster’s!!

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It was so smooth and oh so delicious!

 

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I was sad to see our day in Grand Rapids end. There was so much more I wanted to see and do.

 

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I can’t wait to go back!

Speaking of going back, if you plan on visiting next week you will be in town during Grand Rapids Restaurant Week!!  (August 12-23)

Going with the family? Then be sure to check out Grand Rapids Kids before you go for some fun kid friendly hot spots!

Getting a babysitter? Then grab some friends and enjoy the Great Lakes Pub Cruiser! There is so much to do in Grand Rapids! Enjoy! And please feel free to share your adventures in the comments.

 

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Wauseon’s Homecoming: An Affair to Remember

Our love affair with Wauseon began a few weeks ago when we took a day trip and stumbled upon Imagination Kingdom, where my little princesses and prince had an absolute blast!! (Read all about it HERE). Thanks to that post I have had the pure delight and pleasure of meeting some remarkable people including the Co-coordinator for the Imagination Kingdom, Bonnie Grisier, a mother and grandmother to 9 grandchildren who saw a need & made it happen, talk about a determined soul! And thanks to all you AWESOME loyal followers & readers that post really took off and I received an official invitation to Wauseon’s Homecoming from Mayor Kathy Huner and you don’t say no to the Mayor! Haha! But seriously, there would be a parade, kids’ tent, music, and more….we were totally attending!! And attend we did!!

Goodbye City, Hello Country…..

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We love a parade! And what a parade! An hour and 15 minutes worth of parade, NO JOKE! Wauseon knows how to parade!!

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Now this is something you don’t see in a typical “city” parade……

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How do you know when the parade is over? The Sterling Cow arrives….kinda like Santa in the Thanksgiving parade.

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After the parade we had the pleasure of officially meeting Mayor Kathy Huner  and Bonnie Grisier…and they are even sweeter in person! It was nice to finally put a beautiful face with each of their names and chat for a little while…FYI-turns out the next BIG event on the agenda is Fulton County Fair…you’re gonna wanna mark that on your calendars folks!! Did you know they let out school in Fulton county for the fair (you better believe my kiddos were wishing they didn’t reside in Lucas county when they heard that, haha!), it is a HUGE to do!! And the Mayor had some goodies for us including these SWEET t-shirts!! I LOVE these!!

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We so enjoyed our visit with Mayor Huner and Bonnie!! The people of Wauseon are SO NICE! There must be something in the water. Haha! Seriously though, every volunteer, waitress, Red Rambler baristas, even the guy emptying the trash, ALL had smiles on their faces. And they are so kind. We totally forgot to bring a bag for candy at the parade (mom fail) and this kind woman came up and had extra, one for each of my children!! How could you not fall in love with this town? After the parade we enjoy all the rest of the festivities Wauseon Homecoming had to offer including…..

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Kids Tent!! This is so cool! For $5 each kiddo receives a card worth 10 activities/visits to anything in the kids tent and/or inflatables. At the end, once they have completed 10 activities they can select a prize! Talk about a GREAT deal!! And SO MUCH FUN! The activities included sand art, photo booth, duck game, face painting, inflatables, etc. It was so nice having the kids contained to one tent….not all up and down the main street….thus, us parents could actually sit for a minute and chill. SO NICE!! Thank you Wauseon!

And we took a horse drawn ride around town for only $2! The experience alone was worth the $2….but in addition to that we received a small tour. We went past the Wauseon Depot (too cute!…there is even a caboose out front!) and some cool houses…one of which was apparently part of the Underground Railroad…so I suppose we could even add history lesson to the cost….thus a tour, history lesson, and experience for only $2, SOLD!!

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And the kiddos rode rides….

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We had an absolute blast! Thank you so much for the magnificent memories Wauseon! We cant wait for next year’s Homecoming!!