Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quinoa Pasta, Nigella & Veggies! #Recipe

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We are absolutely loving this - Quinoa Pasta, Heirloom Carrots, Red Palm Oil, Kale, Peas, Nigella, Sea Salt, Pepper & Balsamic Vinegar - and it a super easy go-to dinner!  Bon appetite!
If you follow little island studios on Instagram you already know this is completely awesome and one of our new favorites!  In an effort to eat less wheat, I have found quinoa pasta to be delicious - Non-GMO and organic it is a pasta I feel good about giving my family.

I am completely and utterly in love with heirloom carrots and smile every time I get to cook with them...especially the purple ones! Ahhh....carrots!

I picked up the yummiest Balsamic Vinegar at Le Pain Quotidien in Chicago (there are restaurants everywhere) and it is delicious - organic of course!


 Quinoa Pasta
Heirloom Carrots
1 clove fresh garlic - diced
Sea Salt
 (Himalayan  or Atlantic Sea Salt, never use "conventional table salt")
Balsamic Vinegar
Vegetable Broth

Start your pan of quinoa pasta by package directions using veggie broth, instead of water.

Saute your carrots, nigella, red palm oil and a twist of sea salt and pepper 
Cook until soft
Add a bit of balsamic vinegar (about 2 teaspoons)
Add in Peas and a bit more of sea salt and cook for 3 minutes (until cooked)
Add a bit of red palm oil, as needed
Taste and add more pepper, vinegar or sea salt as desired.
Add in Kale - saute until hot (only takes a minute)

My Notes:

I use Nutiva Red Palm Oil  (only) as it is organic, unrefined and does not cause any harm to animal (namely elephants) habitats.  

Use only quality sea salts, as they are not chemically processed and refined. 

I use only Non-GMO products and buy organic everytime I can.  If a label has the "Organic" Label then you automatically know it is Non-GMO.  Otherwise please look for the Verified Non-GMO label

Moms & Dads, What we feed our children matters.  Food Matters.  Find the joy in your cooking, it is a huge blessing to be able to cook for our families - not drudgery, as the media world would have us believe.

Eat like your health is directly depending on it.

Bon Appetite! 

This is not in any way a sponsored post.  There are no affiliate links in this post.  Shop away!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

WinterFrost Book Giveaway!

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This post is sponsored by Candlewick Press.  We have teamed up with them to find books that moms and kids alike will love!

I do not usually post review posts on a book, I've not yet finished - however, I feel I must post this early so you have a chance to read during this holiday season.  Winterfrost is a new novel out by Michelle Houts and we are completely mesmerized by it.  It is the first non-picture book I am reading out-loud to little one.   I take that back, I had tried Peter Pan, but it just didn't interest (yet).  Winterfrost is different, he listens to the magical story with anticipation and excitement.  
Christmas has come, and with it a sparkling white winterfrost over the countryside. But twelve-year-old Bettina’s parents have been called away unexpectedly, leaving her in charge of the house, the farm, and baby Pia. In all the confusion, Bettina’s family neglects to set out the traditional bowl of Christmas rice pudding for the tiny nisse who are rumored to look after the family and their livestock. No one besides her grandfather ever believed the nisse were real, so what harm could there be in forgetting this silly custom? But when baby Pia disappears during a nap, the magic of the nisse makes itself known. To find her sister and set things right, Bettina must venture into the miniature world of these usually helpful, but sometimes mischievous folk. A delightful winter adventure for lovers of the legendary and miraculous.
An ordinary Danish Christmas turns extraordinary when a family overlooks an important folkloric tradition. - Candlewick Press

This magical tale of a Danish Christmas for a twelve year old girl, Bettina and her little baby sister, Pia.   WinterFrost lets us into the magical world of folklore tradition of a nisse and what happens when you forget their bowl of rice pudding (and golden butter) on Christmas. - but does a nisse even exist?  
WinterFrost is such a delightful tale, we are reading a bit every night during this holiday season.

If you don't want to wait to see whether or not you've won (and who could blame you?)
WinterFrost is on Amazon at a great price! (no, I don't get paid if you buy it)

We are giving away a hard cover copy of WinterFrost!  Open to US only (apologies Canada) Prize is shipped from publisher, we are not responsible for shipping.

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I have teamed up with Candlewick Press to find stories that you and your little ones will love.  Opinion are my own.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Design An Eco-Friendly Playroom!

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Childhood should always be magical, kids need their own play space too.  A gorgeous play space can be created on any budget, but should always be as eco-friendly as possible.   Between our food, toys and everyday household products, kids today are bombarded with toxins from birth.   I go for the least amount of plastics and synthetic toys that I feasibly can and always use natural cleaners. 

The room is painted with Mythic Paint and is by far, albiet pricier than 'regular' paint, my most favorite paint.  The chalk paint is not Mythic.

Inspire nature with a tree painted (with eco-friendly paint) bringing calmness to the playroom.
The toddler bed made with re-claimed wood and painted with Mythic paints makes this the perfect toddler bed and converts to a train table when little one graduates to a big bed.

All book racks are handmade from re-claimed wood and painted with eco-friendly paint.

Book walls are one of my most favorite necessity for children's rooms.  Picture books bring inspiring and creative artwork to play rooms and at the same time inspire kids to read! 
Switch the books out on a regular basis - seasonal is great!

A play kitchen are a must for boys and girls and this one from Hape Toys has gotten hours upon hours of play and still going!  We have added the fridge and market stand and all are favorites!
Kitchen is eco-friendly wood with water based paints.   I am a huge Hape fan and highly recommend their toys.

The rug is actually a sturdy picnic blanket that is easily washed and brings warmth to the hardwood floors.   I am not a fan of carpets - full of toxins.   Swing is from Haba Toys and it is completely dreamy, especially on long winter days when it's too cold and wet to be outside swinging!

Room Details:

Mythic Paint - Zero Toxins (goes on like a dream)

Orange Bins, Planets in Space, Curtains and Bean Bag is from Land of Nod and I highly recommend both.  I have used for years and they wash and wear outstanding!

The Bedding is Birch Organic Fabrics and hand sewn into a duvet and pillow case.

The toddler sized pillow is from Woolly Boo and is wool and naturally hypoallergenic, flame retardant, mold and mildew resistant and chemical free - absolutely love it!

Back Pack - Hippo is from iPlay - no nasties it is a huge favorite

Bear Back Pack is from Beatrix NYC PVC free, lead free, phthalate free & BPA free

Play Room Tips:

Not everything in the playroom is completely organic or eco-friendly, do what you can to keep toxins out of playrooms (and homes).   I am not big on too many plastic toys.  I buy organic sheets, which are running more and more affordable (the organic sheets at Target are spectacular!).   I use basic vinegar and/or very eco-friendly cleaners in my entire house, not just in the playroom.  I see NO reason for toxic cleaners. Ever.

Re-Purpose containers and bins whenever possible.  When re-doing a room in the house, look to the rest of your place and see if you want to just change things around.  Buying new is not always necessary.  

Art Line and Book Ledges can make all the difference for you and your kids. 

I recommend, buy and use - Hape Toys Haba Toys,  Janod,  Plan Toys and Djeco Toys and Puzzles.

 Inspire kids to read, create and dream!

Avoid "theming" a room - kids are always changing (that's a good thing) and a room filled with the latest Disney character isn't going to last long with their interests and isn't going to allow room to grow.  

Metal sheets from the local hardware store are not expensive and absolutely excellent for magnet walls - no need to even paint them!

Ikea has excellent basic inexpensive, non-painted bed frames with zero to very little toxins that are our favorites when we can't make our own bed frames. 

I am currently working on two new playrooms, so join in the adventures on Instagram!

When pinning to Pinterest, please link back to this post.  Do not take pictures without written consent.   All work was done by myself.   Just a few of the smaller room items were sponsored for previous projects, however, I have had for quite some time and do not consider this, in any way a "sponsored" post.  Opinions are my own. I highly recommend, as a mom every product in the room.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Getting Rid Of Thanksgiving: Family or Shopping?

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I honestly cannot believe I need to post this.  Please explain the point of Thanksgiving, taking the day off and the "excitement" (for some) of Black Friday if the stores are open ON  Thanksgiving?!  Only in America would we take a day reserved for having gratitude and thankfulness and turn it into yet another "hey let's go buy all the things" day. *sigh*  You are the mom.  You are making lasting memories and shaping your children's future.  Spend the day unpluggedhaving fun, eating, laughing!  Your kids will thank you!   Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to you all and abundant blessings.  We will not be participating in shopping nor social media on Thanksgiving - other than Instagram sharing food and family fun.  Please join us - little island studios! 

Here are some stores that are refusing to open on Thanksgiving and quite frankly, we just put them at the top of our shopping go-to stores!  Also, Chipotle is not open - love it!  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Celebrate Holidays Now with LG OLED TV At Best Buy! #HintingSeason #OLEDatBestBuy #spon

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This post is sponsored by LG OLED is here just in time for the holidays at Best Buy! 

LG OLED TV is the ultimate in holiday entertaining media - streaming with new webOS* platform for the latest movies, shows and sports games!  The LG OLED with it's curved super thin screen, four pixels, incredible infinite contrast and it's vibrant picture - makes it the perfect entertaining TV!    This is not the TV to open on Christmas Day, this is the one you want now for the entire holiday season of festivities, celebrations and get-togethers!  

Take a minute and check it out, you won't believe it! Seriously.

Every aspect of LG OLED TV is designed to enhance your viewing pleasure. The curve of the screen is designed so that your eyes are equally distant from all parts of the screen when sitting in front of the TV, providing a natural and immersive viewing experience. It's an artful evolution of the traditional flat screen, designed for maximum impact.

Best Buy is hosting an LG OLED Twitter Party on Thursday December 4th at 7PM CST.  Join the party for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards and other great prizes. Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy. 

I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Friendsgiving And Netflix Fun! #StreamTeam #spon

We are so pleased to be a part of Netflix's Stream Team! 

Explore lessons about friendship from a few of the greatest duos, including Rory and LorelaiCharlotte and Wilbur and Bob and Larry, whose all-new Netflix original, "VeggieTales in the House," starts streaming November 26th.
Coming this month - Netflix Original 

Join Mickey and friends in fun holiday adventures! 
Gilmore Girls 
My daughter and I absolutely love to watch Gilmore Girls together and we look forward to it, as part of our "girly nights"!  I highly recommend!

If you are looking for laughs to de-stress from your in-laws coming over - join Harry and Lloyd for ridiculous adventures you can't help laugh at! 

To celebrate VeggieTales In The House coming to Netflix

Who are your favorite TV friends?

Get ready for the ultimate Friends - All TEN Seasons coming to Netflix January 1st

So pleased to be a part of Netflix's Stream Team. Opinions are my own.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Garden Of Life - Kind Organic Prize Pack Giveaway! #KindOrganics #spon

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Today's post and giveaway is sponsored by Garden of Life Kind Organics

If follow me on Instagram, you already know that the Kind Organics Line is already the vitamins I buy - whole foods, raw based, Non-GMO Verified and Organic - could there be a more perfect vitamin?  No.  Garden of Life has multiple products I buy and support - raw vitamin C, Fiber, Protein Powder, Kid's Vitamins and so much more.  I've actual yet to try one of their products that I wasn't completely thrilled with and I was beyond kiddy when they came out with their Kind Organic line and have been happily purchasing since.  Kind Organics have NO synthetic vitamins....nothing you don't want! 

I buy my Kind Organics at Whole Foods, MOMS Organic Market and Amazon.  My chiropractor (who is bloody brilliant) has them in his office and is the only line he recommends!  As well as my health coach!

During World War II, military doctors understood that armies living on canned, processed rations for months at a time, and with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables, were especially vulnerable to  nutrient deficiency diseases. So, synthetic vitamins were created by using the newly developed technology of making plastic from inexpensive and widely available petroleum. They succeeded in isolating, fermenting and synthesizing single-nutrient vitamins.  But what we have been missing in multivitamins is nutrients from real, honest food—full of essential  “co-factors” that help the body to absorb, process and utilize vitamins and minerals. - Garden of Life

Please check out Alicia Silverstone and her involvement with Kind Organics! (we just love this!)

We are beyond thrilled to offer FIVE Prize Packs!  Five winners will receive a prize pack.  Please leave a comment on this blog post - which prize pack you want if you win! (it doesn't mean you win, just interested in the most populars..)  Prizes are shipped by company to US location.  We are not responsible for prize or if the UPS guy drops it.  Just saying.

Prize One and Two: (one of each)
Women's Once Daily
Plant Calcium
Vitamin B-12 Spray
Vitamin D Spray

Prize Three & Four: (one of each)
Women's Over 40 Daily
Plant Calcium
Vitamin B-12 Spray
Vitamin D Spray

Prize Five: (one of each)
Men's Once Daily (you can pick regular mens or over 40)
Plant Calcium
Vitamin B-12
Vitamin D Spray

“It’s 100% food with no additives and no junk.
Just real good food.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post. Opinions are my own. YES, I absolutely support and buy Kind Organics, ask my mom!  They are what I recommended to her!  :D There are NO affiliate links on this post.  Shop away!

Disney's Phineas & Ferb Star Wars DVD & Printables!

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Woot! Phineas and Ferb Star Wars DVD and Activities - Enjoy and May the force be with you! 


Not sponsored, just plain fun!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Peppa Pig & The Day At Snowy Mountain Book Giveaway!

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Today's post and giveaway is sponsored by Candlewick Press!

Peppa Pig and her family are back in another adventure - Peppa Pig and the Day at Snowy Mountain!  The Day At Snowy Mountain is such fun when Peppa, family and friends head out for ice skating, sledding and learning to ski.  Will mummy pig remember how to ski?

Is there anything better on a snowy day?  Winter stories, bean bags, bunnies and blankies!

The cover for Peppa Pig and the Snowy Mountain is a color sheet on the inside! 
We love it!

My Notes:

Yes, we just love Peppa Pig books and videos!
Blue blankie is crazy soft, washes well and from iPlay 
All of my bean bags (and art caddy) are from Land of Nod and their products I highly recommend. 
(no, not sponsored)
We are so pleased to be giving away a hard cover copy just in time for the winter weather arriving!  Enjoy!  Winner is emailed, please respond to email with in 48 hours or new winner shall be chosen.  Prize is shipped by publisher and US only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We are so very pleased to be working with Candlewick Press to find books moms and kids will absolutely love! Opinions are my own.  (Peppa Pig is completely awesome!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Disney & Google Play Team Up To Bring You Disney Movies Anywhere! #DMA #Disney

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Free Digital Copy of Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph” Available
For A Limited Time Through Disney Movies Anywhere 

For a limited time, Disney Movies Anywhere users who connect a new participating retailer account will receive a free digital copy of Disney’s hit animated film “Wreck-It Ralph.” The launch of Disney Movies Anywhere on Google Play also coincides with the release of “Maleficent,” one of the year’s biggest hits, and Disney’s animated “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” both out on digital and Blu-ray today.


With this new partnership with Google Play, it’s easier than ever for consumers to buy the films they love, and then enjoy them through the free Disney Movies Anywhere app and website, as well as everywhere Google Play Movies is available. Just download the Disney Movies Anywhere app and link to your Google account.

This is not sponsored.  We like to travel & like Disney Movies Anywhere.