Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Smoothie Book (and Show!)

Drink your way to better health with Molly Morgan of Creative Nutrition Solutions!  On "The Smoothie Show", we talk about smoothies of all sorts: kid-friendly, immune boosting, breakfast-time, probiotic, nourishing, and even dessert-like.  We also cover smoothie basics such as best liquids, sweeteners and blending tips for success every time!

In honor of this week's show release, you can WIN 1 of 5 COPIES of Drink Your Way to Gut Health: 140 Delicious Probiotic Smoothies  & Other Drinks that Cleanse and Heal.  Simply leave a comment on our FB post sharing your favorite smoothie ingredient or anything else! (Contest ends 4-19-15 at midnight.)


And thanks Molly for sharing these delicious recipes with us from the book!



Mango Blue Smoothie
(immune boosting)

3/4 cup low-fat or non-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen mango slices
1 cup low-fat or non-fat milk
1 tablespoon honey (or less)

Combine all ingredients except honey in a blender and blend until smooth.  Taste and sweeten to taste with the honey.  Serves 2 (1 1/2 cups each)


Pineapple Cucumber Smoothie
(detoxing)

1 cup low-fat or non-fat vanilla yogurt

1 cup sliced cucumber
1/2 cup cubed fresh pineapple

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  If needed, add water to thin the mixture to ease blending.


Extra Show Notes:

This is the drink Jen and Molly talked about:


Jen's Green Smoothie (Molly-Approved):


Monday, April 6, 2015

Kids Can Do: Be Science Geeks

Kids Can Do (KCD) ... SCIENCE plus more!  But it has to be fun, because it is part of our KCD series and the requirements are as follows: simple, fun, inexpensive.  In this case, it's more than Science.  There's a little math, exercise and language arts sprinkled in.  Give these easy activities a try ... 

Science Jars  

Fill identical clear jars with different materials such as sand, water, dirt, salt, popcorn kernals, cotton balls, rice and rocks.  Screw the lids on tightly.  Let your children hold and shake the jars.  Which jars are the lightest?  Which are the heaviest?  Which ones make sounds when they are shaken?  Put them in order from quiet to loud.  Estimate how many cotton balls are in the jar then count them.




Step-By-Step 

Take photographs of your young children doing a simple step-by-step activity (putting on socks and shoes, putting a puzzle together, baking bread, etc.)  Print the photos and let your children put them in the correct order.  Encourage them to describe what is happening in each picture.

Will It Roll?  

Prop a piece of wood against a chair to make an inclined plane.  Collect two egg cartons and a variety of rolling objects (marble, ball, toy car, etc.) and non-rolling objects (paper clip, block, puzzle piece, etc.)  Label one of the egg cartons “rolling objects” and one of the egg cartons “non-rolling objects.”  Let your children select one of the objects and predict whether or not it will roll down the slide.  Then place it on the slide and watch it.  Did they guess right?  Have the children put the object in the appropriate egg carton.  After all of the objects have been tested, show your children the egg cartons.  Which carton has the most?  Which has the least?  The cartons are a simple kind of graph.  




Nature Bracelet  

This fun idea can be used in the fall or in the summer or whenever!  Take some masking tape and make a bracelet for your child sticky side out.  As you have your walk, encourage your child to gather leaves, flowers, acorns, twigs or whatever to stick on their wrists to create a wonderful bracelet!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lucky Green Smoothie!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I thought we would share a healthy green smoothie idea for the day, and every day ...

I use about half of the amounts since I am usually making it just for me, and I definitely don't follow the measurements correctly all the time, but it still tastes great.  I do make sure I have the most of spinach, then banana - cause that is my favorite!  Give it a try...


Lucky Green Smoothie
2 cups spinach
1 cup mango
1 cup pineapple
2 bananas
water
*Be sure that at least one of the above fruits are frozen.

I have always been a big smoothie fan, especially for my kids.  It is SO easy to sneak stuff in there and they love it anyway!  Since I have been doing smoothies for so long and could use some fresh information and ideas, I am looking forward to our upcoming chat (The Smoothie Show!) with Molly Morgan about her new book, Drink Your Way to Gut Health.  Stay tuned and start blending!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Little Thing ...

... that might just be long remembered!


We, the Rehbergers, recently finished a part of our basement and shortly after, a small unexpected tradition started.

Always being fans of comics, we got out Jeff's comic and Superman collection and hung a print.  Then other things got added, and it quickly became the "Hero Wall".  It had previously been our thing to get each other a fun balloon for birthdays, and I am not too sure where they used to go, but now I do ... on the Hero Wall!  To the right is the wall as of now.  The image below is what Jasmine did when I let a balloon fly out of the car ... :(  She printed a image of the balloon with a funny message explaining it's disappearance.  It is a great family story and she made us all chuckle with this one.

So, now we have a unique tradition that the girls love, and somehow they remember who got what and when.  That tells me they like our fun, new tradition.  (Sometimes the simple ones, that we don't plan, turn out to be the cool ones!)

Maximize your family time together (whether it is 5 minutes, a weekend, or a holiday) and create long-remembered memories.  Listen to Little Things Long Remembered with Susan Newman as we each share really small things that could just turn out to be big things to your little ones.

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Sweet Treat

A special delivery makes all of us smile!  Now you can send a treat to someone who's sweet with InstaCandi.  It's unique, simple and fun!



Cute themes like Birthday Bits, Congrats Candi and Get Well Goodies are just some of your choices with old-time favorites like Mary Janes and Tootsie Rolls, to Snickers, Milky Ways and Jolly Ranchers.  All themed choices are packaged in colorful bags with confetti and a handwritten personal card, then mailed in a colorful envelope.  All choices are one price, $9.99, and there is no shipping and no tax (unless you live in NY).

Some more themes to brighten someones day:

St. Patrick's Day Delights
St. Patrick's Day Delights
Sweet Treats
Thankful Things
Happy Candiversary
I Heart U
Sorry Sweeties
Mindful Mix
Easter Eats
Instacandi for Business

Check out this great idea at INSTACANDI.com and be a fan on Facebook or Twitter!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Simple (maybe gross) Lunch Tip

There is so much information out there about school lunches - so many ideas about how to pack, tools to use, what to put in them.  It is a lot to take in ...

Both Jasmine and Jade prefer packed lunches.  Actually, Jade has NEVER eaten a school lunch, and Jasmine has purchased 3 in her 6 years of school.  I am sure it because I pack the most amazing lunches ever!  Right?  I am going with that ...

Despite my clear amazing-ness for making great lunches, I don't like doing it.  The girls have gone through phases and have packed their own, but it just seems to work out better for us if I do it - several reasons.  So here is my big tip for making the whole lunch packing process easier on me:  I only touch the lunch box
ONCE a day!

Yep, that's it.  In the morning, I pack it and hand it off.  The girls put it in it's place after school and I don't touch it.  My theory: why mess with the dirty stuff after school, and then pack it back up in the morning.  I just empty it out and pack it in one "session".  Are you cringing - I have been told that is nasty, but even if there are leftovers, nothing really gets gross in that short of a time.

What do I use?  I have a couple sets of the Ziplock divided containers (they don't leak - love that!) and the 10 oz Thermos jars for hot meals. And we have several sporks.

So, what do you think of my single tip - nasty or genius?



Monday, February 9, 2015

Little Things Long Remembered

On our show with Susan Newman, we talk about lots of little things that make a big difference.  When you think of your own childhood, do you remember some of them? Check out these special ideas from the book AND listen to Little Things Long Remembered.  You (and your family) will be happy you did!
Establishing Ties  Create a gesture that your child knows means “I love you.” Perhaps it’s your hand on your heart, your arms folded, or placing one finger on your cheek.
Five Minutes More or Less  Start a story: “A boy named Jack had a fun family.” Alternate one-sentence additions: one child adds the next sentence and another child continues the story. And so it goes for the car ride, at the dinner table, or while waiting anywhere.
Half an Hour to an Hour or So  Once every few weeks put fresh flowers on the table, light dinner candles, and take a moment to express gratitude that you are a family.
Weekend Fun  Invite a surprise person—an old family friend, a relative, or one of your child’s friends—to dinner and keep it a secret until he or she walks in the door.
When You Travel  While you are out of town lend your child something—a pen, a hat, gloves, or your favorite mug or cup—that you use frequently but will not need while you are gone. Also - pillow, t-shirt (to sleep in).
Sick Days  An attractive tray makes the food more appetizing. Use a bright-colored napkin, dishes you don’t use; Prepare foods differently.
Happy Holidays  Turn a holiday meal into a celebration by purchasing theme-decorated paper napkins and plates.
Memorable Birthdays  Write a short letter to your children each year on their birthdays. For younger children, record milestones and progress; for older children, mention accomplishments or include family highlights of the year.
Little Things Long Remembered  On occasion, announce “Rule Break” and make an exception to a standing rule: “Rule Break: Tonight you can sleep on the couch,” or, “Rule Break: I will walk the dog so you can watch TV.”
What "little thing" will you do today?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Kids Can Do: Restaurants (and Other Places)

Our Kids Can Do means easy.  And quick.  And fun.  And inexpensive.


We all need help in traffic.  At school pick up with a younger sibling in the car.  At the doctor's office.  At the airport.  During travel time.  And especially at restaurants.  Here's a few easy ideas for the youngest to the oldest:

Hiding Game
Set out three paper cups in a row and hide a "something" under one of the cups.  Move the cups around in a sneaky-fast- crazy fashion.  Ask the children to guess which cup the "whatever" is under.  For example, you can use a penny or a jelly / butter thingy.  Or you can hide under sugar packets too! (You'll find something in your purse!)

Tic-Tac-Toe Time

Well, this is a classic.  Use straws for the grid and sugar packets for the game pieces.  Who doesn't love a little Tic-Tac-Toe.  If you don't do this, they will build towers with small jelly containers and you will spend your time picking them off the floor.


I knew this game but wanted a photo - found this on Repeat Crafter Me blog.
Silly Stories or Best Part of the Day
As Ellie says, "tell me best thing."  That means - what was the best part of your day so far?  Dad always has to add -- "how can you make tomorrow better?"  We love to connect with our kids in this fashion.  You can always start a silly story too.  Go around the table and everyone adds a piece to the story.  Ellie's always, always start ... "Once in the deep dark woods, there was a girl ..."  (Because the deep dark woods always makes for a fun setting.)

LCR

Know that dice game?  We love it because it fits in your purse.  It's cheap and fun - and you can find it at Amazon.


I Spy. 
Another classic you can forget about.  The little ones like this best.  Choose an object at the table or within view of your table / car and using the phrase “I spy with my little eye, something that is ___”.  Use shapes or colors or other descriptive words as your clues.  

Crayon Cookies  

Restaurant crayons suck.  Make your own crayon cookies.  Peel paper off stubs of old crayons.  Preheat oven to 350 then turn off.  Sort crayon stubs by color or combine 2-3 colors to make a pretty cookie.  Place in muffin tins (only 1/2 full).  Place in oven.  When wax is almost melted (it will still be chunky), remove from oven and let cool.  If they don't release easily, put in freezer for a while.  Then pry out.  Colors are fun coordinated and swirled!  Put them in a zipper baggy and carry them in your purse.

Lace Cards  

For younger kids, make your own easy lace cards.  Keep a set in the pouch behind your driver's seat.  You will need:  Cereal boxes or cardboard, a torn picture book page with a large, simple picture, glue, scissors, shoestring for lacing, and a hole punch.  Cut the cereal box front or back out. Select a page from an old picture book and glue it onto the cardboard.  Smooth out any air bubbles.  Allow plenty of time for the card to completely dry.  After the card is dry, trim around the edges.  Punch holes to outline pictures on the card, approximately one inch to two inches apart.  Just look - your kids can practice their fine motor skills (while waiting for the time to pass) as they weave a shoestring in and out of the holes. Hee!

Grab Game Pieces.  Grab a handful of cards from a boxed game at home that you never play ... Pictionary.  Trivial Pursuit.  Would You Rather.  Brain teasers.  You know they're getting dusty anyway.  


Games with NO Pieces

You can always make up your own game like "20 Questions".  One person thinks of a person, place, or thing that all the other players will know.  The others have to ask questions to discover what the first player is thinking and it must be answered with a yes or no.  "Does she had brown hair?" or "Is it smaller than an apple?"  

What about "Two Truths and One Lie"?  (Does that have a real name?  Or is that the name?)  This one is a good way (and a quite interesting way) to learn more about mom or grandpa!  What?  Grandma used to wear red high heels?!?!?!    As the name denotes, players take turns telling two truths and one lie, while the others try to figure out what's true and what's not.  Google for the full rules if need be ....


A Game with Paper

Tell me you didn't forget about Hangman.  Pen + Paper = Easy.  If you're a bit rusty, Google that one too!


Logo Quiz Game
Phone Apps. Of Course
Your phone is right there.  In your pocket.  On the table.  So is your husband's.  And your kids have their phone attached to them.  So I will leave you with my new favorite: The Logo Quiz.  We see a boatload of logos a day - but do we really pay attention?  Look it up!  By the way, you don't have to find the games all by yourself.  The kids will tell you what they like to play, and the whole family can join in!  

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hey V&J! What's New, You Ask?

What have been up to lately?  Ahhhh, just having fun with new guests and learning some useful stuff!

This is us. We love our job!
We went on a date with The Dating Advice Girl.  Erin dished out helpful hints for conversation faux pas, awkward follow-ups and other embarrassing moments.

We became less of a broken record (do our kids even know what the means anyway?) and more in control of bedtimes, homework headaches, clean rooms and other frequent kid arguments that make us insane.  (Gosh, we love Betsy.)

We both became Copykats with Stephanie Manley. Funny that Jen made a copy of Panera's Broccoli Cheddar Soup on the day we recorded the show and Vicky made it the day we released the show.  (Yeah, it's that good.)

We learned what to say (and more importantly, what not to say): when a friend loses a pet, or when your tween has a friendship issue, or when you're a bit concerned about your child's health and weight.

Also, we made tiny changes to our eating habits for big (and slim) results.  We've become more organized (right away, as in today) with 5 easy tips.   We started thinking about retirement (well, geez, some of us are procrastinators and can't help it!)  And we got a better handle on our credit cards (we suck at that too!)

Yeah, we've been busy.  But we're keeping in simple.  Really - at the same time?  It's possible when you tune into What Really Matters.  Stay in the loop and join the FUN via Facebook, Twitter, iTunes, Stitcher or with our newsletter


Thursday, January 15, 2015

CopyKat: Our Famous Ask-a-Chef Survey

We've mastered the grill and made simple meals with 5 ingredients or less. We've gone decadent with desserts and prepped for holiday baking.  We've cooked bikini-style and southern-style.  We've prepped quick meals with less stress, under $10, and in our slow-cookers.  All of this and much more on our popular Ask-a-Chef Series.  AND NOW, WE'VE BECOME COPYKATS!  Part of the fun is giving our guests a cooking survey ... kinda like a sneak peek into their kitchen, a feel for their favorite books, tools and foods.  Meet Stephanie Manley, creator of CopyKat.com.  

(And you simply MUST listen to our interview with her:  Ask-a-Chef: CopyKat!)


1. What is your favorite cookbook?  The one I turn to the most is the 1973 edition of Joy of Cooking.  I like this one the best, at this time there were fewer store bought products that were being used, and there was a lot more scratch cooking.   Since I try to break down recipes, this type of cookbook is the most helpful to me.   I have many other favorites depending upon what I want to cook.   I love David Lebovitz's cookbook, The Perfect Scoop for it's chocolate ice cream recipe.

2. What is your favorite cooking tool?  My favorite cooking cool is a good kitchen knife.  It's not glamorous, but it does the job in so many ways.   

3. What is your signature dish or specialty?  My signature dish is Alfredo sauce, I feel like I have demonstrated this one so many times, and I still like to eat the sauce.  It is basic, and it can have you eating a meal in less time than it takes to go eat take out food. 

4. What is your favorite cooking website?  My favorite cooking site... Honestly, this is a difficult question to answer.  I like so many websites.  I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest.  I like to see what is trending, and what real people are enjoying at the moment.  I have other websites like SimplyRecipes, or Kalyn's Kitchen, or the Perfect Pantry.  It really depends on what I want at that moment.

5. Name one food item that is a staple in your fridge or pantry.  The one food staple in my refrigerator, always, is some yard eggs.  My mother has chickens for eggs, and I adore these eggs.  They taste so much better than store-bought eggs.  They are rich and flavorful, and you can turn eggs into so many different dishes. 

Be sure to listen to our show with Stephanie for more:  Ask-a-Chef: CopyKat.



Get it on CopyKat.com!

Feel free to help a fellow cook out by emailing us or commenting right here about your kitchen favorites.  Bon Appetite!