Saturday, May 19, 2018

Happy 10th Birthday Isaak!

Dear Isaak,

Happy Birthday! You're a decade old! How can that possibly be?

Things You Like:

You still love to create things. Paper and colored pencils are usually all over the living room floor. I say messes are ok as long as you are in fact creating.

You're into The Dangerous Book for Boys - Both the show and the book. There are things inside the book that boys like to do. I came home, and there were paper airplanes all over the house. The next day you found some rope on the street, and were trying out how to make different kinds of knots.


You want what's right for the world. If that means standing up for your yourself, your friends, or even your teacher you'll do that.

You like being a book buddy. Mentoring the young kiddo at your school is a highlight to the week.

You enjoy being outside climbing trees...

and hugging trees too!

You want a Husky when you get older. You say they look the most like a wolf.

Your Newest Accomplishment:

A new title for Isaak Jaxon Apel exists. Meet Mr. Safety Patrol Man. As long as you take this role seriously, you'll do great. You can be like me at times - silly.

You also started playing the violin this year.

Your Best Friend:

Daniel! You say he stands with you no matter what.

Your Favorite Sport:

You say you like basketball and soccer, but you've played basketball more. It's fun to watch you grow with playing!

What You Want to Be:

No longer a hair dresser. You want to be a Movie Director and an Artist.

You want to change your name to I's. I still call you Zeek, Zeeky, and Zeeker.

One thing is true: If everyone were like you we'd have a better world. You stand up for people, when no one else does. 

 Dream Big! Accomplish Those Dreams! 



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sharkee and the Teddy Bear, Bremner and the Party Books @Ripleys Review

Reading to small kids is so important. It helps them develop a love for reading and art.

Recently Ripley's Believe It or Not! introduced two new beginner reader books to the market. My kids are past the age for these books, but they are still fun to look at. They are best for ages 3 to about 6. These books are a quick read.

I like Ripley's Believe It or Not! is adding this new line of books.

Both books use the illustrations of Ripley cartoonist John Graziano. They are written by Carrie Bolin and Jessica Firpi.

About Both Books:
  • They should be in the stores now. The release date was April 10, and on sale May 1
  • There are 40 pages in each book
  • They are 8.2"x11.3", almost the size of typical printer paper, which is 8.5"x11"
  • Text is simple, easy to read, and there's a good amount of contrast from the pages to the text. That's what I found difficult when my kids were little - some text is hard to read at night because there's little to no contrast from the text to the background. These books are easy to read! Part of me wished that there wasn't a band on the Sharkee and the Teddy Bear book, and they would have just bled the background to put type over.
The first one is Ripley's Believe It or Not! Sharkee and the Teddy Bear

About the Book:
  • If you are looking to buy it the ISBN: 978-1-60991-208-6
  • Cute images. 
  • It's about a shark that loses his teddy bear. A fish tries to help Sharkee find his teddy bear, but it's a challenge because they are not that helpful.  

The second book is Ripley's Believe it or Not! Bremner and the Party

About the Book:
  • If you are looking to buy it the ISBN: 978-1-60991-209-3
  • Cute images
  • This book is about a fish that is worried to go to a party because it feels like it will become a blowfish, and won't fit in. When he finally gets up the courage to go in he realizes that all the fish are blowfish. They can all have a good time. 

These books do have fun messages and illustrations. 

Disclaimer: I received two board books from Ripley's Believe It or Not! to assist with this review. I wrote this post, and was not influenced at all with an opinion. I only review things that I find interesting, or that would benefit my readers or family. 

I'm Lovin It! @McDonalds‏ #happinesssservedlocally

I was really excited to take my boys to a new McDonald in Omaha. You can find this McDonalds at 14449 W Center Rd Omaha, NE 68144. I love going to new places. Everything is so clean, and in this case modern.

I get tired of McDonalds getting a bad wrap for having unhealthy food, when they try to have options for their Happy Meals, salads with options, and now fresh burgers.

Did you know that most fast food places have pre frozen meat patty's, and do not serve fresh meat? McDonalds was one of those places, but they have changed their ways. :)

We were welcomed with smiles, a fun McDonalds backdrop, and a display of good food!

Mica had the craziest look on his 12 year old face. It was cracking everyone up! I knew he was having a great time once the words, "You can have whatever you want, and it's on us!" came out of the manager's mouth.

Isaak typically puts on a great smile for the camera. He hasn't entered that new stage of, I'm too cool for the camera.

Their set up of food looked so yummy! 

What to Order in Their Kiosk:

Typically between the 4 of us we order 2 meals, and 2 sandwiches. Then we split the fries, and drinks.

Last night it was just the two boys and I. Since we could have anything, but knew we were getting samples we ordered fairly light. Each boy got a sandwich, I got a South Western salad, and we each got a shake.

I have to admit that was was judgy with the any self order spot in any store. I'm getting used to it. The boys love it. Possibly it's my old school ways. I'm finding myself using self check out more at stores because it's faster.

My salad was good, but I didn't use any dressing. It tasted good without it. It's great if I can get used to eating salad without dressing. That's where the calories are.

They asked why we didn't get one of their Quarter Pounders, so we got one for the boys to split...

and one for me that had some yummy seasonings. It tasted very Southwestern. Oh my goodness it was good! Isaak had a sliver off mine.

They gave us a fry, for waiting on some chicken to grill. It was so not needed. We had so much food. We all split the fries.

The boys were really excited to have a shake! They picked chocolate and I picked strawberry. What's your favorite flavor of shake?

Food Coma

After that we were in a food coma. Isaak was laying his head on my shoulder at the booth, and Mica couldn't even stand up straight. Ha!


They were so nice and gave us a some McDonalds swag.

 Maybe I'll be a McDonald's worker for next Halloween. ;)

Go to McDonalds and order a Quarter Pounder today!

Disclaimer: McDonalds was kind enough to give us the food mentioned in this post. They in no way told me what to say when writing this post.

Monday, May 14, 2018

How To Make Your Summer Salads More Nutritious For Summer 2018

In summer we tend to eat more cold dishes like salads because they can be refreshing, and also pair well with other summer staple foods like barbecued meat. This should mean that it is easier to stick to a healthy diet rich in vegetables. However, quite often we make salads that are perhaps not as nutritious as we might think they are.

Salads can often be covered in dressings that add a lot of unhealthy empty calories, and simple green salads may be good for weight loss but don't really offer any particular nutritional value, as the calorie content and nutrient content is so low where things like lettuce are mostly just water. Here are some tips for enhancing your salads and making them more nutritional this summer. For some great salad inspiration check out Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice - click this link to view site.

Be Mindful of Your Dressings!

Whether you typically make your own dressings or buy them from the store, you should be aware of what is in them. Oil-based dressings are not necessarily a bad thing but be aware of how many calories they can add. This is especially important if you are trying to lose weight. If weight loss is not a concern, then look for healthy fats from things like olive oil to include in your salad dressings rather than going for very fatty dressings that do not provide the same nutritional benefits. If you want your dressings to be lower in fat, then simple vinegar-based dressings can be the best option. You can also try having your salad without a liquid dressing and using sprinkles of herbs or spices to add flavor instead.

Add Some Healthy Proteins

A vegetable salad by itself is fine as a side dish, but it does not really make for a complete nutritional meal. If you are planning to have the salad as your main course, it is important to add some protein to it. Lean meat is a good way to do this, for example, adding some chicken or some lean ham. You can also add things like tuna or eggs to give you a good protein content. If you do not eat meat, then there are plenty of ways to add protein-rich toppings, the easiest being to add seeds to your salad mix, or nuts. You can also add things like chickpeas, kidney beans, and other legumes.

Add Colorful Vegetables and Fruit

Different vegetables and fruits contain different quantities of different vitamins and minerals. Some of the vegetables that are richest in nutritional goodies are the ones that are brightly colored. Because of this, it is advisable to select the things that you base your salad on trying to make it look as colorful as possible. Carrots, corn, tomatoes, radishes, beets, and red onions, all have both appealing visible color and also different nutrients. Try experimenting with different combinations to make your salads more interesting, while also making them even richer in the essential nutrients that you should be getting from your diet.

By being mindful of what you are putting in your salads and what it is added to their nutritional profile, you can easily make your summer salads this year far healthier.


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