4 Tips To Help You Throw a Frugal 4th of July Bash!

May 2019

While we all enjoy celebrating the 4th, we don't always love all the costs that are associated with it. So I wanted to share some easy tips  to keep this 4th of July under budget while still having fun! 

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Mushroom Makeover Challenge Week 4

April 2014

(I participated in "The 30 Day Mushroom Makeover Challenge" a campaign on behalf of mamavation for Mushroominfo.com. I received compensation as a thank you for participating) 

And so my 30 day mushroom makeover Challenge draws near its end. When I think of this last month I am thankful for being a part of this challenge. Before I started this challenge our Nutritionist Corrine had me fill out a vision worksheet. The very first exercise of this “Best Me Worksheet” had me closing my eyes and envisioning where I want to be in my life in 3 months. As I followed this exercise, I had to stop myself from breaking down in tears.  In three months I would be facing the last days and weeks of my 3rd pregnancy. With both of my last pregnancies this was a time of pain and fear and low esteem. I wanted with all my heart to be healthy, happy, and feel beautiful as I expected the arrival of my blessing from God. Later in the worksheet I was asked what I am doing and plan to do to help me achieve my vision. The truth is this is something that has been on my mind a lot over this last year. It is because of this that I started earnestly working out this last year and improving my diet. And yet I know I needed more. 

This 30 day challenge has helped me immensely. The workout plan (MushroomMakeover Workout Plan.pdf (44.39 kb) given to me by Mark Segedie has kept me on track even when I had to occasionally modify it when I wasn’t feeling well. I have noticed that I have more energy, I feel better and even my husband has noticed how well I am looking for being almost 7 months pregnant. 

I think however that the greatest difference has been my diet. Thanks to the nutrition counsel, meal plan ideas, and nutritional focuses (eating at the right time and interval, being aware of how the foods I eat make me feel, Be aware of when my body tells me I am hungry and full, savoring the food I eat, watching my internal language…) in addition to the mushroom meal makeovers (substituting meat for mushrooms or supplementing the meat with the mushrooms in at least 4 meals a week.) I have been eating so much healthier. Some of the recipes were makeovers of family favorites. Other were inspired by recipes I found on the Mushroominfo.com and the Mushroom Channel's Pinterest boards.  I find as I have been adding the mushrooms I naturally add more vegetables. I love how easy it has been to blend mushrooms into my diet and with how healthy they are this is a good thing. 

I never thought I could look and feel as great as I do while being so pregnant. I have hope that as I continue to apply the principles of this challenge in my everyday life, that two months from now will find me better then today. I look forward to finishing this pregnancy and recovering quickly so that I can be a happy healthy presence in my children’s lives. Thank you momavation for this opportunity. 

Ok, so now to the mushroom makeover meals for this last week of the challenge:

Breakfast Casserole: This was a hearty and delicious breakfast dish that was most filling. I love how well the mushrooms worked with this traditional morning dish. 


2 Cups Frozen Shoe String Potatoes

1 Cup Mushrooms

1 Cup Chopped Onions

½ Cup Red Bell Pepper

¼ Cup Cheese

4 Eggs

2 Tbl Milk

1-2 Tbl Coconut Oil




Preheat the oven to 350. Evenly spread the potatoes in a 9x9in pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the grated cheese over the potatoes. Then in a pan sauté the mushrooms, onions, and red peppers in coconut oil with a touch of salt and pepper. Spread the veggies over the potatoes and cheese. In separate bowl beat the eggs and milk together and pour evenly over veggies in pan. Season according to taste with salt and pepper. Place in oven for 45-55 min. 

Beef/Mushroom Veggie Stir Fry: 

We love stir frys in our house. I was happy to note how well the beef chucks and mushrooms complimented each other taste wise. To make it I first cooked the beef in a pan with a little water. Then in another pan I sautéed the Mushrooms, Onions, Red Peppers, Celery, Broccoli and Carrots in a bit of water. Once the veggies were cooked yet still crisp I added in the beef and some Mandarin sauce.  This I served over rice.


Scrambled Eggs and Mushrooms:

I was in the mood for simplicity so I opted to make good old Scrambled eggs topped with mushrooms. For the eggs after whipping them in a bowl with a fork (I am a fanatic about having my egg yokes and whites completely mixed. I also added a touch of milk to make them fluffier. Then I cooked them in a small amount of coconut oil. I topped the eggs with some mushrooms I sautéed in a small amount of coconut oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.


Mandarin Noodles:

For lunch I sautéed in a small amount of coconut oil mushrooms and red bell peppers then mixed them with shell noodles (the kids love it when I cook fun shaped noodles) and added Mandarin sauce. A very simple dish that was light on the stomach yet filling. 


Mushroom Potato Soup..Mushroom Makeover Week 3

March 2014

(I participated in "The 30 Day Mushroom Makeover Challenge" a campaign on behalf of mamavation for Mushroominfo.com. I received compensation as a thank you for participating) 

This week was a little bumpy for me. Some of my later in pregnancy issues I have every time started manifesting themselves (exhaustion, pinched nerve, and shifting hips due to shallow hip sockets) which made working out harder. However I made the commitments that even if I had to do a shorter modified workout I would still do it every day. This commitment became harder when later this week I caught a cold from my kiddos, but I stuck with it. I feel better when I take the time to take care of my body. Our personal trainer Mark Segedie has given me a great workout plan for healthy living. The key to losing weight or getting into shape is not temporary work out plan or diet. Rather if lasting change is what you desire then a lifestyle change is what is needed. I think with very little modification I could adopt this work out routine for my new life. Yes at time like now when I am very pregnant and have a cold I will need to modify what I do, but the key is to stick with it.

Also this week our Nutritionist Corinne challenged everyone taking the 30 Mushroom Makeover Challenge to watch our inner dialogue. That’s right, since our thoughts determine our reality it is important to watch our inner dialogue. This is a major key to any life change especially nutritionally. It hasn’t always been easy. Earlier this week I was at a family get together with a lot of my husband’s family and I found myself slipping into the hated practice of inwardly comparing myself with those around me and finding myself wanting. I got depressed and wanted to just eat. Thankfully I snapped myself out of this and reaffirmed that for 6 ½ months pregnant I looked great! That I was healthy and so was my baby. 

For my Mushroom Makeover meals this week I found some of my inspiration from the Mushroom Councils Website: Mushroominfo.com. I also as usual converted some of my favorite meals to incorporate mushrooms. All of the meals were tasty and very satisfying. This was especially true with the soups I made while sick. I am amazed at how flavorful and blendable they are within my meals. Without fail the mushrooms have worked perfectly and even added to each meal I have tried them in. 

As per requests from my followers the recipe I will include this week will be for the Mushroom Potato Soup.

Easy Potato Soup is an old family recipe I always make along with chicken noodle soup when sick. You can find the original recipe HERE. This time however I took the challenge to add mushrooms and I loved it this way too. 


4 - 5 medium potatoes, diced (I prefer Red potatoes)

1 onion, diced 

1 stick butter

2/3 Cup chopped baby bella mushrooms





Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until tender. Saute onion and mushroom in butter, until onions are translucent. Combine onions and mushrooms with potatoes. Add milk to desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Mushroom Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup is easy to make and a real crowd pleaser. I combined chopped chicken, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion in a pot with water and chicken billion. I let this slowly simmer and cook till the chicken was cooked and the vegetables softened. Then I added the noodles. (I usually use egg noodles but this time to make it fun for my sick kids I used shell noodles.) and then added salt, pepper, and Cinnamon. (Yep cinnamon in my chicken soup is my secret family ingredient that totally makes it pop!). As soon as the noodles were cooked the soup was ready to go. 

Mushroom Pan Friend Rice

Pan friend rice is another favorite in my family. While cooking rice in a pot, I sautéed yellow and green onions and mushrooms in a bit of coconut oil (on high). Once the yellow onions were transparent I moved the onions and mushrooms away from the middle and added 2-3 eggs to the middle. Stir regularly till the eggs are cooked then mix with the mushrooms and onions. Add cooked (hot) rice and soy sauce (about 2-3 tbl) and mix completely and serve. 

Sautéed Mushrooms and Cheese over Breaded Chicken

Monday was a day for leftovers. So I grabbed some homemade Italian breaded chicken from the freezer and heated it up then topped it with mushrooms sautéed in coconut oil and shredded mozzarella Cheese. I served that up with left over rice I reheated and topped with onions and red bell peppers that I cooked in a bit of water and seasonings.  This was an easy yummy meal that was a big hit with everyone. 

Well, I have one more week to go for the 30 Day mushroom makeover challenge. I can’t say I have lost weight. What with being 6 ½ months pregnant I am not suppose to. However (other than this head cold I got from the kids) I am healthier then I have been in a long time. Actually this is my best pregnancy yet! 


Mushroom Veggie Soup and More...

March 2014

(I participated in "The 30 Day Mushroom Makeover Challenge" a campaign on behalf of mamavation for Mushroominfo.com. I received compensation as a thank you for participating) 

Here are the 4 mushroom makeover meals I made this week. I’ll post the basic recipes for them later in the post, but first I wasn’t to talk about the other aspect of the 30 Weight Loss Mushroom Makeover Challenge. First I want to talk about the assignment given by our awesome nutritionist Corrine. This week I was asked to focus being more aware of my body. What does this mean?

-Pay attention to when I am hungry (and then eat.) and know when I am satisfied (and then stop eating). 

-Savor my meals, and pay attention to how I feel after each one. 

Wow was this assignment revelatory. Last week I learned the importance of eating at regular intervals. But it was still more of a set my clock thing vrs a be aware of my body sort of thing. So this week I tried to listen to myself more. Guess what my body was better than a clock! Who knew that our bodies were so smart? I have found that stopping to savor my meals, to pay attention to the taste, texture, and experience of eating these healthy foods. Doing this really took my meals enjoyment to a new level. Additionally I have noticed that while after eating certain foods (like meals made of mostly vegetables, and lean meats) I feel light and full of energy, while on the other hand when I eat other favorite foods (like meals heavy on the carbs like bread or pasta) I feel heavy, slightly sick, and sluggish.) 

As for working out: since the weather has improved I have switched using my elliptical to walking outside with my kids. When you factor in all the hills, the distance I am going, the quick pace, and the fact that I am pushing a 2 and 4 year old in a double stroller…Yeah I am getting a decent cardio to team up with the weight training. I have been loving it! I am sore but I feel great! 

As for the mushroom makeover meals…I am loving them. I have found myself checking out the Mushroom Council’s Website and Pinterest site for ideas which I then customize to meet my taste and needs. This week I made:

Mushroom Veggie Stir Fry: Stir fry over rice is a favorite in our house. Usually I make it with chicken and veggies, but this time I switched the chicken with chopped mushrooms.


1 cup baby bella mushrooms

1/2 cup red bell peppers

1 cup onions

1 cup celery

1 cup carrots

1 1/2 cup broccoli

1-2 tsp coconut oil

2 eggs

2-3 tsp soy sauce

I cooked up the mushrooms in a bit of coconut oil with red peppers, onions, carrots, celery, and broccoli. Then I moved the veggies and cooked up 2 eggs. After I mixed it all together I added a bit of soy sauce let it simmer for 2 minutes and poured it over rice. 

Mushroom Spaghetti: My family was requesting spaghetti for dinner, so I decided to switch things up and instead of using ground beef or chicken like I usually do, I used mushrooms sautéed up in coconut oil with onions, tomatoes, red bell peppers and green onions.  I mixed this in with our favorite spaghetti sauce and poured that over angel hair pasta. 

Mushroom Veggie Soup: I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday so I decided soup was in order. I chopped up mushrooms, tomatoes, celery, onions, and carrots. I added them to the pot of water with my favorite (non msg) beef Bouillon. I let this simmer for an hour and it was perfect.  

Mushroom Hash with Green Onion Omelet: This morning I wanted something hearty so I made mushroom hash and a omelet. For the hash I just chopped up mushrooms and onions and sautéed them in coconut oil then added the shoestring potatoes with seasoned salt and let them cook for 5 minutes together. Then I served it beside a green onion omelet cooked with a small amount of coconut oil. 


15 Fun and Easy Saint Patrick’s Day Ideas for Kids!

March 2014

Saint Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and I am so excited to celebrate with my small children by doing some fun (and easy please) crafts, and treats with them. Knowing my children, they will have a blast with any of these.  Now, to just decide which ones to do this year!



This is a fun yet simple Paper Heart Shamrock at Hands On As We Grow that you could hang with thread from the ceiling for an easy Decoration.  

This Fruit Loop Rainbow at One Artsy Mama would look great hanging on the wall or fridge!

I love this Shamrock Rainbow Necklace at Mamas Like Me. Its fun to make and it can be your bit of green you wear to protect you from crazy pinchers. 

The Hand print Rainbow at The Logans makes a perfect gift for grandparents, 

You can have lots of fun making these Bell Pepper Shamrock at Family Fresh Meals

I love finger print art and this Finger Print Rainbow at Sassy Dealz is super cute. 

You kids can be styling with this easy to make Paper Shamrock Hat at Alpha Mom.  


This tasty Rainbow Jelly Dessert at Mess for Less is sure to please any Jello fan!

Making these Lucky Charms Krispy Treats at Sugar n’ Spice Gals is a great way to customize this great classic treat!

How can you drink a rainbow? Easy, just make some of the Happy Hooligans' Rainbow Ice Cubes. 

These Twizzler Rainbow Treats at Our Best Bites make a great gift that everyone can enjoy!  

Need a little extra Luck, making these Shamrock Pretzel Bites at That’s What Che Said

We all need a little color i our diet and this Muffin Tin Rainbow of Food at Another Lunch is just what the Dr. Ordered. 

Dont these Green Deviled Eggs at Food Jimoto just look delish?

Ok, these Rainbow Waffles at I Am Baker are so cool that they may just become a family favorite. 

I hope these easy and fun crafts and treats have inspired you like they have me. Happy St. Patrick's Day Every!


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