Dr. Seuss Reading Corner

Monday, October 31, 2011

I recently added a little reading corner to my son’s room. As you may know, my son’s room is Dr. Seuss themed. So everything that I added has a hint of Dr. Seuss.


The room already had a couple of book shelves.



Underneath the shelves I added a magnet wall.


I just used Rustoleum magnet paint. This stuff is amazing! You can even paint over the magnet paint so that the magnet wall can just blend right in with the rest of the wall. I decided to leave it for the time being so that my son can see the contrast between where to put the magnets and where not to. I think eventually I’ll paint over it and then just frame the part of the wall that is magnetized.

Here is the wall before right we painted it.


I love the magnets on the wall. I happened to come across some Dr. Seuss foam stickers at Hobby Lobby one day. They came in a pack of 200. I thought that they would be perfect for this project. I just converted them to magnets by adding some adhesive magnet tape to the back of each sticker.



There are some cool magnets. All of the ABC’s, plus pictures of Dr. Seuss books and characters. They even have a magnet for every page of Green Eggs and Ham so you can even read the book right there on the magnet wall.


In addition to the magnet wall, I also sewed my son a bean bag chair using various Dr. Seuss fabrics. I used the Michael Miller child bean bag chair pattern.



It sits right next to his book shelf.


Contrary to the story this picture tells, my son actually loves his chair. He spends a lot of his day sitting and reading in his bean bag chair. He just wasn’t interested in sitting in it when I wanted to take a picture.


Here is a view of the entire reading corner, complete with a pennant banner made from Dr. Seuss book pages.


Here are a couple of links to other Dr. Seuss projects in his room.

Cat in the Hat Mobile

Dr. Seuss Storage Boxes

P.S. Happy Halloween! We spent our evening reading Halloween books in our Halloween PJ’s. We’ve had 3 rounds of trick or treating over the last week so we took the night off from candy collecting to pass out candy to others. It was just as fun but without the sugar high. My son would get so excited every time the door bell rang!



Workout series

Friday, October 28, 2011

Here is my favorite leg circuit series that I do with clients to make their legs look stronger and leaner. They are even great exercises you can do from home! Get to it!

1. Side lunge (10 on each side)

Start in a standing position and then shift your weight to one leg so it bends. Do 10 on each leg and then switch sides. 

2. Single leg get ups (10 on each leg)

Use a couch or a bench and stand up using one leg then switch sides.

3. Squat Jumps (20 repetitions)
 4. Wall sit (20 sec hold) 

Make sure to hold the wall sit nice and deep. Try to get a 90 degree angle in your knees. 

Go through each exercise and then repeat 2 more times. Do 20 repetitions or 20 sec holds for each exercise.

Mexican Shrimp Cobb Salad

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This is my first pinterest recipe I have made and it is divine! A yummy salad with shrimp, avocados and a heavenly dressing. You really can't go wrong here. This salad reminds me of a cafe rio salad but so much easier with much less steps and mess. The only thing I would have changed is sauteing the shrimp first to make them crispy and add heat to the salad. The salad dressing actually comes from my sister, Lauren who found it in a cookbook. Thanks sis for putting this salad over the top delicious.

For the dressing:
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
1 lime, juiced
1 package hidden valley ranch dressing (ignore the directions)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup Salsa Verde

For the salad:
16 oz. cooked large shrimp, peeled
chili powder to taste
1 TBSP lime juice
salt, to taste
1 romaine heart, shredded
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoon red onion, chopped
2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
1 seedless cucumber, diced
2 c. diced tomatoes
1 ripe hass avocado, diced
1 c. reduced-fat Mexican blend shredded cheese

1. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Refridgeate for at least 1 hour to let thicken. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

2. To prepare the shrimp, rinse and chop into large chunks. Toss with chipotle powder, lime juice, and salt.

3. In a small bowl, combine drained beans, corn, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt to taste.

4. In a large glass dish or clear bowl, layer the salad ingredients in the following order: lettuce, black bean mixture, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, cheese and shrimp.

*if wanting to saute the shrimp, let the shrimp marinade in the chili powder, lime and salt for 15 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in saute pan. Add the shrimp for just a few minutes to allow to crisp up and heat through.

What’s your Sodium Style? How to ensure a Low Sodium Diet

Monday, October 24, 2011

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sunkist S’alternative for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Lauren here, and you know that I love to eat healthy! One of the ways that I make sure that I am eating a healthy diet is by consuming only the recommended daily amount of sodium or salt. Do you know how much sodium you consume everyday?

Check out this chart below:

According to the CDC (center for disease control and prevention) Americans eat too much sodium, commonly consumed as salt. The average American consumes almost 3,500 mg of salt everyday, when we should really be taking in no more than 2,300 mg a day or 1 teaspoon a day.

There are quite a few benefits to having a low sodium diet:

  • lower blood pressure
  • can reduce cardiovascular disease
  • helps lower cholesterol
  • reduce risk of chronic liver disease
  • reduce risk of heart attack and stroke

How do you know if you are consuming too much sodium?


One way to find out is to take the Sunkist Sodium Quiz from Sunkist on Facebook to find out where you fall on the sodium scale based on your daily food choices.. Whether it turns out you’re a Serial Salt Offender or a Sodium Smarty, you’ll learn new tips on how to use Sunkist® lemons as a healthy sodium-free alternative to salt.

In case you are wondering, here are my quiz results. Not too bad. And I promise I didn’t cheat!


Most food includes “hidden salts” that can be dangerous to your health. A few things you may not have thought about, in regards to sneaky sodium:

  • Deli meats like turkey and ham (and especially more processed ones like salami and pepperoni) often have a lot of salt added to them during their processing. Cooking a turkey breast or a ham yourself, and slicing it for sandwiches or snacks is a better option.
  • Pre-prepared foods like frozen dinners, even “healthy” ones, often have a high sodium content because it adds flavor stripped out due to processing and it’s also a preservative.
  • Cooking from scratch will significantly reduce incidental sodium from overly-processed foods, but you still need to be aware of the ingredients you’re using! If you use cheese in a quiche, for example, you probably don’t need to add any salt, because most cheeses have a lot of salt in them already. Or if you make a stir-fry with soy sauce, it’s going to be plenty salty without any additional salt from your shaker.
  • Restaurant foods (from chain restaurants or fast food) are some of the most sodium-laden foods you’ll encounter. If you’re out to eat, put the salt shaker down. Or on the table beside you. It doesn’t need it. And be sure to drink lots of water.

So a great way to avoid TOO MUCH salt even in your home cooking, is to use Sunkist lemons for their bold fresh flavor. Using Sunkist lemons as an alternative to salt can help reduce sodium, increase potassium, and enhance the flavor of recipes. Sunkist S’alternative

Here is a delicious low sodium recipe that you could try:


Sunkist® Lemon Seafood Paella


Ingredients: (Makes 8 servings)
*1- 32 oz can low sodium vegetable broth
*1 cup dry white wine
*1 teaspoon saffron threads
*1lb. of firm, fresh pieces of whitefish such as tilapia, bass, halibut and swordfish, cut into 16-21 pieces
*1lb. or 16-21 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
*1lb. or 16-21 medium sized clams, rinsed
*cup chopped fresh parsley
*3 Sunkist® lemons, zest and juice
*3 Tbsp. olive oil
*1 _ cups minced onion
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*teaspoon crushed red pepper
*3 cups uncooked short-grain rice such as Valencian, Arborio, or Calrose
*1 cup frozen green peas
*1- 8oz jar of sliced, roasted red peppers

• To prepare broth, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

• To prepare paella, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces to pan and sauté 1 minute. Remove fish from pan, reserve and keep warm. Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

• Stir in the peas and red pepper slices. Add mussels and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the reserved fish and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and check for seasoning. Cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes before stirring

How do you try to avoid excess sodium in your diet? What do you love to cook with lemons?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Rose Bath Mat

Incase you missed it, here is my guest post from Someday Crafts.

The Rose Bath Mat.


Are you looking to spruce up your bath mat? Let me show you how to make your own rose bath mat. All of the skills needed to create this were learned in Kindergarten. Seriously, if you can cut and glue than you can make this rug. That is how easy it is to make. As far as materials go for creating this you will need a rug, an old T-Shirt, some felt or fleece, a hot glue gun, and some scissors.

*I was also thinking that a towel might work instead of a T-Shirt.


You are going to start by cutting your T-Shirt into 2-3 inch strips.


Then you are going to cut out circles from the felt or fleece. You will cut them in various sizes depending on how big or small you want your flowers to be. Place your circles in the pattern that you would like on your rug. Originally I was going to have three large flowers and five smaller flowers spread across my rug. My husband wasn’t too sure about having a rug full of flowers, plus he was worried that the rug would loose some of its comfort. So we compromised, and I ended up only putting three large circles and three smaller circles on half of the rug. Now we each have our own side of the rug. I think the flowers are just as comfortable, if not more so than the original rug.


Next you will make your flowers. Take your cut T-Shirt strips and start wrapping them around the circle. Once one T-Shirt strip has come to an end, just add another. Keep wrapping the strips around the circle until you have the desired flower effect. Now all the while you are doing this you want to be gluing the strips to your circle.


Just keep making as many flowers as you want for your rug. Like I mentioned before, I went with three large flowers and three small flowers.


Once all of your flowers have been created, then glue them onto the rug.


Here is a closer look at the flowers.


I love the end result. It looks perfect in my bathroom!




Trick or Treat Bag Winners

Congratulations to the winner of the Trick or Treat Bags!

Shooting Stars Mag- winner of the Frankenstein Bag.


Melanie- winner of the Bat Bag.


Congrats and you will be hearing from me soon!

Healthy Halloween Snacks

Friday, October 21, 2011

With Halloween just around the corner you may find your self tempted with all the Halloween goodies at parties and in trick-or-treat bags. 

Here are some cute Healthy Halloween Treats that still make Halloween fun but healthy at the same time!

1. Apple Chompers 

Easy as 1...2...3

1. Core an apple with an apple core
2. Cut core slices in half
3. Place almond slivers into bottom and top of the apple slices

2. Pear Witch 

1. Start out with a whole green pear
2. Cut a slice of pear from the back and stick a toothpick in it to place on front of the pear for the nose
3. Shred some carrots with a peeler and set aside 
4. Place frosting under the rim of the ice cream cone and stick onto the middle of the chocolate cookie
4. Put frosting underneath the cookie to hold in place the pear and carrot shreds
5. Place cookie and carrot on the tips and side of the pear
6. Cut a small wedge of red apple for the mouth and place a toothpick in the apple so it stays in place
7. Place raisins for eyes on the side of the nose
8. Stick a chocolate chip in the lower corner of the pear for the mole 
9. Enjoy!! 

3. Pizza Monsters 

1. Cut mini bagels in half
2. Place a spoonful of tomato sauce on the top 
3. Rip off pieces of string cheese to make the mummy bandages
4. Place two olives on the pizza for eyes
5. Bake on 350 in oven for 10 minutes 

Give these fun Healthy Halloween Treats a try!!! Happy Halloween!

Thanks to famliyfun for these recipes 

Trick or Treat Bags with Tutorial + Pattern + Giveaway!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This post has a little bit of it all! Before I get to the bags I thought I would give a little background on how I got creating the bags.

I wanted to make my sons costume his year. I wasn’t sure what exactly he was going to be, but I was going to make it. Then one day on a trip to Old Navy my son discovered their creepy life like manikins. He tried so hard to figure out if they were real. He would hold their hand and he would shake them trying to figure out what these things were. Well one of them happened to be wearing a dragon costume and that was it, my son had made up his mind on what he was being for Halloween. He wanted to be a dragon just like the manikin. We tried the costume on and he was not going to take it off for anything. I couldn’t even get it off to purchase it. I had to bring him to the scanner. Ha!

Below are a few pictures of this experience. At the time I was only trying to get a picture of the costume, but you can see a little glimpses of him holding the manikins hands.

2011-09-09 12.35.012011-09-09 12.35.35

So then I figured if I wasn’t going to be able to make his costume then I would at least make him a trick or treat bag. I experimented with a couple of different options- which I will get to later in this post. I finally decided that I wanted his bag to match his costume. I tried to think of an accessory for a dragon. The only thing that came to mind was fire. Dragons + Fire = perfect idea for a trick or treat bag. I set out to make him a trick or treat bag on fire!

Here is what I came up with.


I have yet to get him to touch it. He thinks that it is hot, so he wants nothing to do with it. This is as close as he has come to it.


I did trick him into touching it for a second, by putting his favorite ball inside of the bag. I am hoping that once he figures out that the bag is used to put candy in that he will forget about the “hotness” of the bag. We’ll see.


Before I created him the fire trick or treat bag, I made him two other versions. I made him a Frankenstein and a Bat.


I thought I would share a tutorial and pattern on how to create these bags.


Bat Pattern- Part 1, Part 2 

Frankenstein Pattern- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 

You will need a variety of colors of wool felt. Bat Felt Colors- Black, White, Purple. Frankenstein Felt Colors- Green, Black, White, Purple. I suggest using wool felt over the regular because it is a little more sturdy. You will also need to print out my pattern. Now I just want to apologize about the pattern right now. You will probably laugh at it ghetto-ness after you download it. But even though it may not be the prettiest pattern, it will work just fine.

First, you will want to cut out all of your felt pieces.


Then you will either hot glue or sew the face pieces together.


The bat requires a two step process. You will glue on your wings and ears to the back of your face. Then you will cover that with another felt circle or the front of your face. Then glue or sew on eyes and fangs. 


Then you will hot glue the middle piece to the back of your face. You will want to draw your hot glue in the shape of a smile around the edge of your face and then stick in your middle piece. Repeat for the other side as well.


Then you just glue your handles together. Then glue them to the inside middle piece of the bag.



Then you are complete!

Let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to help.

Now are you saying to yourself, “this is cute, but I don’t know if I have time to make this before Halloween.” Well today is your lucky day, because I am giving away one Frankenstein bag to a lucky winner. And I am giving away one Bat bag to a lucky winner. That is 2 winners!


Here are the giveaway rules:

-This contest is open only to followers of Better Together, because we love our followers! We want to give back to you. If you are a follower, than just leave a comment telling me which bag is your favorite- and be honest because that is the one that you will get if you win.

-If you are looking for an additional entry, like our Facebook page (1 additional entry) or follow us on twitter (1 additional entry)

You have 3 chances to win your own trick or treat bag.

The giveaway will be open until 8 p.m. MST Sunday, October 23. I will contact the winner Sunday evening. I need to hear back from you within 24 hours. I will be shipping these out on Tuesday morning so that they will arrive in plenty of time for your Halloween weekend.

Thanks and Good luck!


And P.S. Are there any moms of dragons this year? If so, email me and I will send you the pattern for the fire trick or treat bag!

*Giveaway is now closed, but I am still leaving the comments open incase you have something nice that you would like to say. Thanks!


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