Slow Cooker Clean Eating Meatballs Recipe

This is, hands down, the easiest, and most delicious, slow cooker meal on the planet. This was adapted from my favorite clean eating blogger, The Gracious Pantry. I usually get one dinner out of this meal for me, husband and toddler. It’s my go to for Sunday dinner. I prep in the AM and it’s ready for dinner. Sometimes, I do two batches (I have two crockpots) and we save a batch for later in the week (or you can freeze!).

Ingredients:
1-1.5lb of ground, lean turkey
Jar of tomato sauce (I like to buy organic with no added sugar)
Optional – 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
Optional – Italian spices – basil, rosemary, oregano (all optional, teaspoon of each)
Optional – Pasta (make it whole grain!)

Directions:
Step 1 – Put turkey in mixing bowl and if you choose to, stir in spices and about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.

Step 2 – Add a thin layer of pasta sauce to the bottom of your slow cooker

Step 3 – With clean hands, roll the turkey into small balls, and line them up along the bottom of the slow cooker

Step 4 – Cook on ‘low’ for 4 hours

Step 5 – If you are serving with pasta, boil pasta separately and drain. Meatballs and sauce are ready to be served over pasta or by themselves. Enjoy!

Please let me know how you like these if you try them. What’s your favorite, “quick,” slow cooker meal? 

Easter Basket Alternatives for Candy

I know my son is going to be getting a ton of candy from family, so I decided to not include any candy or snacks in his basket. So…what did I include? Check it out below!

‘Daddy Duck’ Bath time book & Daddy’s bubble bath
My son is obsessed with his dad and ducks – so this book was perfect! My son loves bath time so new bubbles and a fun bath time waterproof book is perfect.

Kid O Floating Duck
Going with the bath time theme, I wanted to include a new bath toy. This duck got great reviews on Amazon! Max is going through a duck phase and he’s obsessed! You can buy it using Amazon Prime and receive it in 2 days.

Fischer-Price Doodle Pro Trip
I use to love my Magna Doodle! I saw this at Meijer and had to get it for Max’s basket. It’s a small, travel size, which will be good for his little hands. The age is 3+, and he’s only 18 months, but I figure he’ll grow into it. This is also available on Amazon Prime if you’re in a pinch!

I found jelly bean scented Easter grass at Meijer. It smells SO good! My son is a little young to appreciate this, but I think it’s fun. I also found sports ball themed eggs. Max is into footballs, soccer balls, basketballs, etc., so these are perfect for holding little treats. I won’t put sugary candy in them, instead I’ll put freeze dried yogurt bites, just so he can have fun discovering them.

Here are some other fun (non-candy!) ideas:
 – Gift certificates
 – Quarters, dimes and nickels in eggs (but not for young ones, may be a choking hazard)
 – Healthy treats, such as Plum Organics Mighty Bites or Plum Organics puffs.
 – New sippy cups with a favorite character

If you’re wondering, my Easter basket liner is from Pottery Barn Kids. I’m proud of myself for being able to find it after last Easter 🙂

I’d like to know what you’re putting in your kid’s Easter baskets? Anything unique? I want to know!

xo
Angela

*This post contains affiliate links

Healthy Easter Basket Alternative – Clean Eating Peanut Butter Cups

I know my son will be getting a ton of candy from relatives for Easter, so I want to make sure I limit what I put in his basket, and include healthy alternatives instead. I made these Clean Eating peanut butter cups for the holiday and they were a hit. I’m thinking about making them again and wrapping in foil to include in Easter eggs. Kind of like a clean version of a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup all natural peanut butter (make sure the only ingredient is peanuts!)
1 heaping tablespoon of natural honey
20 oz of chocolate, 60% cacao, I used 2 bags of Giradelli chips
Mini cupcake paper cups

1 – Mix the peanut butter and honey together and set aside
2 – Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between
3 – Once chocolate is completely melted, pour enough into each little cup to cover the bottom
4 – Layer on a dab of the peanut better mixture in each cup
5 – Cover the peanut butter mixture with another layer of chocolate
6 – Freeze cups for an hour enjoy!

Serve on a platter or wrap in foil for individual treats!

Do you plan on healthy Easter candy alternatives? If so, please share in the comments!

Fit & Fab Michigan Event

Thank you to Lexie Green of Ruca Photography for the pictures!
I just attended my first Michigan blogger event and had an amazing time meeting fellow Michigan bloggers and health-related Michigan companies. Courtney from Motherhood & Main did an amazing job organizing! Read more about our amazing Michigan-based sponsors below….

The Barre Code
13 of us bloggers started the afternoon taking a Barre Code class led by owner, Lindsay. It was a ton of fun. We did a ‘mash up’ of several of the different classes they offer. I think my favorite was the barre work since it’s so different than normal workouts. My legs felt like spaghetti afterwards! My heart rate was up and I worked up a good sweat. If you want to try a class, use code FREE B at sign up and get your first class for free!

Both my husband and me agreed that this was some of the best chocolate we’ve ever tasted. The touch of honey gave it just enough sweetness. We ate the entire box in one sitting. I need to buy more to use in baking. It’s made in Michigan which makes it even better. You can buy it at local grocery stores or Amazon.com.
I’m currently obsessed with this water bottle from DAK Designs. I’ve used it all weekend and I drank more water than I ever have! It was great to have on the go to hold me accountable. I just ordered a second one to keep at work. Want your own? Use code MICH10 to get 10% off here.

Momentum Jewelry

These bracelets make the perfect gift for someone who is embarking on a fitness journey. Or, a present to yourself for meeting a goal. Each one has an inspirational saying to help motivate you. The bands are super soft and wrap around wrists comfortably. They are so comfortable I sometimes forget I have mine on. Perfect for workouts too. Just a glance at your wrist can help motivate and push you farther. Want one to help push you through your workouts? Use code FITANDFAB2016 to get 15% off! 
As a full time working mom, I struggle getting dinner on the table each night, let alone a healthy one. I try my best to meal prep on the weekends but some weekends it’s really hard to find time.  Fresh N’ Healthy to the rescue! Fresh N’ Healthy serves the metro Detroit area freshly prepared meals with all natural ingredients, direct to your door. It’s a life saver if you are a busy mom or dad and value healthy eating. We sampled chicken salad, trail mix and energy bites that were delicious. I can’t wait to get my first week of meals. 
Mitten Munch Trail Bars
Looking for some locally made healthy snacks? Check out Mitten Munch, made here in Troy, Michigan. All natural ingredients!
  

Thanks to Absopure for keeping us hydrated while we worked out. There’s more pictures from this event here. A giveaway is coming up soon as well – stay tuned!

Pottery Barn Kids Gift Card Giveaway


Now that I’m a mom holidays seem to be ten times more fun! I was excited to make Max’s Easter basket last year, and this year I’m over the moon. I’m also excited that he’s old enough to start to learn what this holiday really signifies as a Christian.
Leading up to our early Easter this year, I’m going to post about some creative & healthy Easter basket ideas for kids. I know Max will be getting a ton of candy from relatives, so I don’t plan on including any candy in his basket this year.
To kick things off, I want to offer up a giveaway! Enter below to win a $25 gift card to Pottery Barn Kids! You can put it towards a personalized Easter basket liner or an Easter gift – whatever you want! I purchased Max’s basket liner from Pottery Barn Kids last year and I’m excited to use it again this year.
The winner will be announced March 12th, 2016. I will email the winner the gift card to the email address provided for their entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Neutrogena See What’s Possible

I’m so excited to be able to share a sneak peak of the first-ever global campaign for Neutrogena: “Neutrogena See What’s Possible!” The video highlights women from various backgrounds who are pursuing their dreams. It’s narrated by Neutrogena Brand Ambassador, Kerry Washington.

It will air live Sunday, February 28th, during the 88th Academy Awards show. Check out the site and video below! Make sure to tweet about your dreams and include #SeeWhatsPossible!

Fandango Gift Card Giveaway

fandangogiftcardpin_0220162

Welcome to the $200 Fandango Bucks Giveaway!

Giveaway is hosted by
Sponsored by
Let’s celebrate this spring’s most anticipated movies with a fun giveaway! Looks like the spring of 2016 is going to be another great season for movie fans. There will definitely be something for everyone. ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (March 25), ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’ (March 25), ‘The Jungle Book’ (April 15), ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (May 6), ‘The Angry Birds Movie’ (May 20), and ‘Finding Dory’ (June 17).  
fandango_family_logo

 You can find more information, trailers, and even purchase your movie tickets on Fandango.com. You can find family reviews, suggestions and even fun movie themed activities on Fandango Family. Fandango is a great website for parents, and movie fans of all ages.

  fandangospringgiveaway16_4
Enter to Win!
One lucky reader will win a $200 Fandango Bucks Gift Card!
Enter to win by using the widget below. You will need a valid email address to enter. If you have issue with the widget or would prefer to enter by email. Please send your entry to shakingit@gmail.com

. a Rafflecopter giveaway Fivedollarshake.net was compensated as part of a blogging campaign in collaboration with Fandango. As a Fandango Family Ambassador. I have not been compensated for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own. Winner must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for prize fulfillment. This event is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions, or to have your product featured on Five Dollar Shake you can Email Jenn at shakingit@gmail.com

Easy Clean Eating Lasagna Recipe

picture from my other blog, LipglossBreak.com

Lately I’ve been trying to cook a 2-night meal on Sunday nights, so we can eat the leftovers on Monday. More often than not, they end up being crockpot meals.

I have done a ton of research on clean crockpot meals, and incorporating several recipes, I put together my own Clean Eating Crockpot Lasagna recipe. Trust me when I say, it’s phenomenal. It takes about 20 minutes to prep and 4 hours to cook in the slow cooker. It serves about 6 people, but since my husband usually eats 2 helpings, it only lasts us two dinners. I originally posted this on my beauty blog, http://www.lipglossbreak.com, but thought it could be helpful to share with busy moms too.

Ingredients:
1/2 package of whole grain, whole wheat or gluten free uncooked lasagna noodles
1 package of lean turkey
1 jar of all natural tomato sauce
2.5 cups of part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
15 oz container of part skim ricotta (you can substitute cottage cheese for this)
1 package of mushrooms
3 cups of spinach
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

1. Brown the turkey, mixing in garlic and red pepper flakes
2. While meat is browning, mix the ricotta with 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese
3. Once meat is brown, add 3/4 of the jar of tomato sauce to the pan and stir, making a meat sauce
4. Line the base of your crockpot with lasagna noodles (you may need to break a few apart to fit)
5. Add a layer of the meat sauce on top of the noodles
6. Add a layer of the cheese mixture on top of the meat sauce
7. Add a layer of mushrooms on top of the cheese mixture
8. Add a layer of spinach on top of the mushrooms
9. Repeat steps 5-8 one more time
10. Add one more layer of the meat sauce & cheese if you have any left over, along with the rest of the pasta sauce
11. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top and cook in crockpot for 4 hours on low.

You really can’t mess this up. If your proportions and layers are off, it’s okay! Trust me, no two lasagnas will be the same.

Enjoy!

*post contains affiliate links

Essential Oils: DIY Lice Prevention Spray

I have a lot of friends and family who do an awesome job at incorporating essential oils into their every day life. Personally, I diffuse them. I have given up on candles because of allergies and use oils to make my house smell great.

For all of you with kids in school, I’m sure the word ‘lice’ gets you really stressed out! I heard both from a co-worker and my sister in law that it’s been really bad in the schools this year. You know what I say to that? “Ain’t nobody got time for lice!” Here’s a recipe my sister in law uses to help prevent lice with her kids…

Ingredients:
Peppermint oil
Melaleuca oil
Eucalyptus oil
Lavender oil
Rosemary oil
16oz distilled water

Instructions:
Add 5 drops of each oil into a glass spray bottle with the 16 oz of distilled water. Spray in hair!

If you don’t have these oils and are interested, you can purchase them here. If you make a purchase, please comment below and my sister in law will also send you a free Essential Oil book & free Orange oil (good for diffusing and adding to water!).

I’m going to start regularly sharing DIY essential oil recipes and blends. Please let me know if there is anything specific you’d like to hear more about!

*affiliate links included 

5 Tips for Maintaining Work Life Balance as a Working Mom

I knew that I wanted to return to work full time after my maternity leave was over. I knew I had to at least try it, before I decided to change my career or schedule. Before returning, I put together a list of goals and ‘routines’ I wanted to make sure we stuck to as a family, to make the transition easier and to maintain balance.

Here’s my advice for the balancing act that is being a full time working mom:

1 – Weekends = family time
This is something I had discussed with my husband, and made sure we were on the same page. Weekends are all about Max and spending time with him. Before Max, it seemed like we had a wedding, graduation party, birthday party or some kind of commitment every weekend. Mike and I loved doing this kind of stuff, but it is 10x harder fulfilling these commitments with a baby. So, I just don’t commit, especially if it’s not a family event where all of us can attend. Instead we try to plan something fun each weekend, even if it’s just a stroll up town or to the park, for two on one time with Max.

2 – Unplug for family dinners
Growing up, my parents and I ate dinner together every single night, and I want to continue that tradition for my family. We turn off the TV and there is a ‘no cell phone’ rule. Mike and I discuss our days and soon Max will be old enough to tell us about his day (right now, he just listens :).

3 – Set expectations at work (when possible)
I don’t work a standard 9-5 job. I travel for work and have flexible hours. Since I live 30+ minutes away from work, I talked to my manager and team about leaving the office before rush hour, to give me enough time to pick up Max and spend time with him once we’re home, before bed. This is not feasible 100% of the time, but mostly, it works. I was really nervous about rush hour traffic making me late, and only spending a few minutes with him before bedtime. Now, we get playtime, dinner, bath, and story time before bed. If I have to finish up work and check email, I do it after Max is in bed.

4 – Delegate & outsource when you can
We are all super moms, but not even super moms can do it ALL. Don’t let social media posts about a mom doing it all make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. Do your best and don’t overcommit. Don’t feel bad asking for help, either. Have a neighbor kid shovel snow so you can spend more time with your family. Pay for a precooked meal a few nights so you don’t have to spend time prepping. It’s not cutting corners, its prioritizing family (if you are struggling to fit it in).

5 – It’s okay to say ‘no’
You can’t do everything. I’ve said ‘no’ to work team dinners, happy hours, birthday parties, etc., not because I had to or couldn’t find someone to watch Max, but I just didn’t want to go. If I’ve been traveling for work the last thing I want to do is leave Max on a weekend night. And in the past year and half, everyone I’ve had to say ‘no’ to has been totally understanding.

My tips may not work for everyone depending on the person or the job, but this is what I focus on and it definitely helps our family (especially me!) keep a good balance.
xoxo
Angela

This post is part of a blog hop where a group of bloggers are all sharing on similar topics (Working Mom, How to Balance). To find more inspiration, check out these awesome blogs:

Daily Momtivity (http://dailymomtivity.com)
The Buccio Clan (www.thebuccioclan.com)
Peaches and Pickles (www.peachesandpickles.org)
Simple at Home (Simpleathome.com)
Sara B Nash (http://www.sarabnash.com)
Craft Create Calm (Http://www.craftcreatecalm.com)
Multitasking Mom (http://www.themultitaskingmomsite.net)
LedyLiz (http://ledyliz.com)
Home Maid Simple (http://homemadesimple.com)
Sweet Discord (http://www.sweetdiscord.com)
Smart Mom, Smart Ideas (http://smartmomsmartideas.com)
Misty Shaheen (http://mistyshaheen.com)
Suzi Whitford (http://www.startamomblog.com)
Faunya Estrada (http://thisismethenblog.blogspot.com

Melissa Hunt (http://www.deuxbella.com
Suzanna Claire Davies (http://onehooliemama.com