Author Archives: Jaime

DIY Fruit & Veggie Wash

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When my boys come home after 2-3 hour basketball practices, they’re starving and I know I have to be ready with something for them to snack on, stat. They are much more inclined to grab a fruit or veggie if they can open the refrigerator, grab something, and pop it into their mouths. Nobody has time to wash food, Mom! So I try my best to wash all the produce as soon as I get it home from the grocery store…sometimes it’s a few hours later…but definitely before it’s too late and they’ve already poisoned themselves. I found a DIY Fruit & Veggie Wash recipe over at aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com that I’ve been using and was amazed at how dirty the water looked in my sink. So, today, to prove a point to some well-loved friends, I decided to wash my grapes in a clear bowl so that I could have visible proof of just how important it is to wash it all. Oh wow! Gross!!! As a side note, there’s no need to go spend lots of money on anything pre-made in a bottle. You probably already have white vinegar in your cabinet…and if you don’t, you should, because it’s even great for cleaning around the house. 🙂

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Growing Tulips Indoors…What?!

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Ummm…what?!!! I have so many thoughts about this, I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t even get them to make sense in my head so that I can put them on paper.

There are a few things cheaper in Germany (and most of Europe) than in America. 1) Fresh baked bread 2) Wine/Beer 3) Gelato is only 1 Euro per scoop and 4) Fresh flowers. Fresh Flowers!!! WHY are they so expensive here?! There are FIELDS of fresh flowers growing on the side of the roads in Germany with a sign and a can to put your money in. You picked your own flowers and put your money in the can. It’s based on the honor system and we LOVED it!

When I left Germany, I had to give away 3 orchids, 2 lavender plants, a jasmine bush, a small lemon tree, and a couple of unidentifiable houseplants that were impossible to kill despite my lack of a green thumb. I’ve been living in our new (rented) house in Florida for 2 months now and I have yet to buy any flowers or plants. Just one orchid is $20!!!

Anyway, my love for tulips is deep. Like as deep as it is for peonies and hydrangeas. But I don’t see them everywhere here like I did in Germany. I don’t even know if they can survive in this Florida weather. THIS could be the answer to all my problems…well, maybe not ALL my problems…but it will make this girl smile every morning.

High Protein Snacks…Don’t Leave Home Without Them

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This morning I left the house to take the kids to school. I had scheduled a social meeting with some of the school moms at our local Starbucks after morning dropoff. We met and chatted for 2 hours (What? A mom needs to socialize sometimes, okay?) and then I headed to the mall to redeem some gift certificates I received for Christmas. I didn’t want to carb up on a muffin or scone and didn’t want all those calories just to be starving in an hour, but then I’m at the mall and what are my choices? Panda Express? McDonalds? I just can’t bring myself to do it after so recently vowing to start the New Year off with better eating habits and healthier choices…I mean…I gotta be able to make it a week with that idea! So, I did my shopping, bought a water bottle, and practically ate my arm off on the ride home. . All I could think about was cooking an egg or making a salad when I got there. So, here I sit at the computer, with my salad, determined to NOT let this hunger happen again. Here’s a great list that I found from Greatist.com of some high protein snacks that seem pretty easy to take on the go. Some of these aren’t going to bode well in my purse…ummm…cottage cheese? No. But some of these are definitely easy options. And some of these are just common sense…but can I remember to grab them from the kitchen and throw them in my purse BEFORE I actually have my morning coffee? 🙂

Top 10 Foods to NOT Store

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My family’s move back from Germany to the US was unexpected and happened very fast. We knew for 2 weeks that we were leaving and then we were gone. Correction…my boys and I were gone leaving my husband to manage all the craziness there to get us packed and shipped out. When the packing company showed up to access our household goods, I was there with pen and paper to write down everything she said we could and couldn’t take. I was gonna try my very best to get everything taken care of before I left so that he didn’t have to deal with selling appliances and donating American boxed brownie mixes to my German friends. We basically had to throw out every single thing from the kitchen that we couldn’t pawn off on others…spices, olive oils, canned foods, boxed foods, everything. Now that I’m back in Tampa, I have to start new with my pantry and I have so much space now! What are the necessities? What should and shouldn’t I buy in bulk and keep stocked or not? (Don’t even get me started on how amazed I am at this couponing craziness that’s happened since I’ve been gone.) So, here’s a great list from the Survival Mom of the Top 10 Foods to NOT Store.

 

 

Get The Skinny (or not) On Fructose

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When we first arrived overseas, we noticed that we had to order “Coca Cola Light” instead of “Diet Coke”and we thought it tasted better. Somebody that had been living there a lot longer than us enlightened us with a story about how the Coca Cola products in the US are made with high fructose corn syrup but it’s banned in Europe. The Coca Cola products in Europe are made with simple sugar (and tastes so much better, btw) because the HFCS is so bad for you. Of course I googled this as soon as I was able to and the articles are endless about this topic. Then just this morning I came across another article relating the fructose to obesity. I don’t think this comes as much of a surprise to anybody but now that I’m living back in the US and find HFCS even in yogurt, I have to ask myself “what CAN I eat in America and how is this even allowed in so many foods and drinks?!” Click here to continue reading the article that caught my eye and got me thinking.