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!! 😉