Spinach Celebration

One week of summer passed and I’m pleased to cross off one “Mom Summer Goal” from my list.  I wanted to increase my kiddos consumption of veggies, and vowed to make a spinach smoothie that my family would like… or at least tolerate.



After a few so-so trials, I found one they like! We’ve had this every day this week and I love that they get a serving of spinach before lunch even rolls around. The trick? There are so many monster smoothie recipes out there that call for yogurt.  Except, the yogurt is what adds a bad/tangy aftertaste with the spinach.  At least in our opinion (and I’m a fan of plain yogurt!)

That, and… I add a touch of chocolate syrup to it.

Here’s the recipe that finally won them over:

2 c. ice

2 c. milk (I’ve found almond milk works the best)

3 c. fresh spinach

2 T natural peanut butter (or any nut butter)

2 bananas- if you freeze the bananas ahead of time you can skip the ice or at least decrease

and… a squirt of chocolate syrup if you want the kids to LOVE a spinach smoothie.

I personally love to serve it mid-morning after doing outdoor activities as it also doubles as a great workout recovery drink.

Yay for summer goals!  What can I say? We celebrate the small things. Let me know how it turns out for you if you try it. Or if you have any other smoothie recipes your kids go gaga for!


DIY Blackout Curtains

IMG_0279This fall, I let the kiddos pick out their fabric for curtains. The flames above are my son’s. The problem?  In the Northwest, summer sunlight blazes through the darkest of curtains approximately 20 hours a day. I’m only slightly exaggerating.

I blame myself for reading all those Sandra Boynton books to my kids when they were little. When the first rays of sunshine slip inside, their minds play the words of her book, Wake Up: “Hey, Big Guys, Open your eyes. What do you say? It’s a brand new day! Shout out loud: GOOD MORNING, SUN! HAPPY MORNING, EVERYONE!”

So even though I love, love, love Sandra Boynton books, we don’t like shouting at 5 a.m.  We ventured to Hobby Lobby to find some more dark fabric to add to the curtain backing. Nothing fit the bill.  I asked an employee, “If it were you, which dark fabric would you choose?”

She blinked. “Blackout fabric.”

My world changed. “WHAT? They SELL blackout fabric?!”

I promptly got a few yards and handed over my 40% off coupon and walked out thinking, “Why doesn’t everyone do this?”  Because those blackout curtain panels are expensive!  So my little helper is cutting out the fabric before I give it a quick run through the sewing machine.

If I were more crafty, I’d probably attach hooks to the back of the curtain and slits on the top of the blackout fabric to make it removable but given I have two teens in the house who will like sleeping in when given the chance, this fits the bill.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s 830 a.m. and my kiddos are still asleep. Time to open up their blackout curtains, but it’s okay –I’m wearing earplugs.


Welcome to Summer

Need some ideas to put on your summer list?  My kids are willing to share their list:





I’m a big believer in handing off the camera to kiddos.  Kids take pictures at angles you might never have thought of – at least I never did.

Things you see every day suddenly look very cool with a different perspective,

in a different light.

And, then, there are other times that the kids simply steal my camera for a school project.

And even then, it’s a reminder to look at LIFE® a little differently.