My Life of Travels and Adventures

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

26 May 2017

Mornings are always hard around here. Everyone is dragging and most of us still want to be in bed still.  Breakfast must be served but usually it is something quick that has been remade.  These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins have really been a hit.  And this momma loves that they can be stored in the freezer so I usually make a double batch each time.  

2 Eggs
1 Banana
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla
2 Tsp Baking Powder
3 C Oats
1 C Milk
1 C Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray and set aside. 
2. Mix the eggs, mashed banana, brown sugar and vanilla together.  
3. Add the baking powder, oats and milk and mix.  
4. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.  
5. Divide the batter into the muffin cups.  
6. Bake for about 20 minutes.  
7. Enjoy!

I freeze these for a quick breakfast treat.  

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Gardening with Kids

23 May 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias
I have been talking a lot about gardening around here lately.  So it seems only fitting that I finally talk a little about gardening with kids. Having the kids help with the garden is rewarding but sometimes stressful.  My poor onions this year.  The kids trampled the transplants and I replanted them several times already. 

Below are several tips that make gardening with the kids easier and more enjoyable for all of us.  

Kid Sized Garden Tools - This year the kids both got their own set of garden tools for Easter.  They each got a little hand shovel and kid sized long handled shovels, rakes and hoes.  They are easier for the kids to use and now my tools are just mine. 
Plant Something Fast Growing - Reid loves checking on the garden and seeing what has sprouted, whats growing, etc.  But most plants don't change that quickly.  So one of the first things we plant each year is a row of peas.  They sprout fast, grow fairly quick and make for a yummy garden snack while checking on everything else.  
Be Prepared - Sometimes its a quick trip to the garden to check on the plants and sometimes we spend most of the day in the garden, either way I always make sure that I have applied Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen Baby on everyone.  
Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen Baby is perfect for keeping the entire family safe from the sun.  Blue Lizard® has an unique zinc oxide formulation that provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and the Blue Lizard® Baby is paraben-free, chemical-free and fragrance-free

Have a "Play Garden" - We have a small area next to my garden that is the kids garden.  Its a place where they can dig holes, make mud pies or plant the left over seeds however they want (6 sunflower seeds per hole).  
Think Simple - Digging holes for transplants, pulling weeds from the walkways, watering the plants  or picking ripe vegetables are fun garden tasks for my kids.  Most of the time they get bored after a few minutes of a particular task and leave the rest to me, but they do help for a bit.  
Grow Something They Picked - For the last couple years, I have took Reid with me to the greenhouse and let him pick out something for the garden that is all his.  Last year, he picked pickling cucumbers and he helped transplant, water and then harvest his plant.  Although, they would not have been picked by me, we ended up with jars upon jars of pickles that everyone enjoyed. We haven't made the trip to the greenhouse yet this year but I am curious on what he will pick.  

Blue Lizard® is available at Walmart so I can pick some up, along with more garden goodies all in one trip.  Also, if you join iBotta, you can earn $4.00 when you purchase the 5oz bottle of Blue Lizard® Baby.

* Parents should consult with their pediatrician before using any sunscreen on a child younger than 6 months.  

How do you get your kids involved in the garden?

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Garbage Can Compost Tumbler

19 May 2017

With the huge expansion of our garden (follow along on Instagram for a lot of garden goodness) this year,  I decided it was time to start composting.  

Now we live in a very rural area with lots of land and trees directly surrounding us, so space isn't really an issue.  However, we live in an area with black bears.  They have been spotted in the ravine behind our house and we have had proof that they have visited our driveway and yard.  So for me putting a compost pile where they have frequented before seemed like a no, no.  Even though proper composting shouldn't attract animals and critters. 

So for our need we went with a tumbler system.  Which start around $100 online and go up steadily from there.  I searched pinterest for a bit and found this site with a DIY compost tumbler made from a garbage can.  

I purchased this garbage can for our compost bin.  I went with the can with the locking lid for ease of turning.  Then using a couple old tool cart pallets and the metal handle to our broken push broom.  Neil made me this tumbling system.  

After attaching the uprights, he notched a groove for the handle to rest.  We just added large enough holes through the can for the handle to pass through.  

Then he drilled 1/4" holes everywhere else, making sure to hit the top and bottom of the can.  

Finally, we had this old cement mixing trough that I set underneath to catch the "compost tea" with.
It sits at the far end of my garden.  So every few days,  I give it a couple spins and call is good enough.
We have had it set up for a couple weeks now and its getting pretty full.  I can see us needing at least one more, maybe two, as long as we have no visits from our furry friends.  

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