Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Day at the Farmer's Market: Beloit, WI





Farmer's markets near and far are a favorite past time of my family and I. We've checked out all the local ones around our area at least several times over and, of course, have our favorites we like to regularly go to when they're open for the season.

When we go on a mini road trip or vacation somewhere we also like seeking out local farmer's markets to check out all the delicious fresh and (hopefully) organic food, beautiful artisan wares, local establishments, and what the town we're in generally has to offer.

By far Beloit, Wisconsin has the best farmer's market within a 20 minute drive of where I live which is why we look forward to it opening in late Spring every year! While I do my best to attend several times during the Spring and Summer months (getting me up earlier than 10am is usually a miracle) my mom is the one who hits it up practically every Saturday morning gathering all our favorite things offered by the locals.











Saturday morning started out cool but it definitely didn't last! By the time we all woke up, ate our gluten free pancakes, got ready, and headed to the market the sun was shining and it was nearly 80 degrees. Keep in mind this was around 10 in the morning!

This was one of the first times a group of friends and I decided to explore the market together and it was such a enjoyable and fun experience, especially with like-minded friends.





Since the Beloit farmer's market just started up only a few short weeks ago, there are not as many vendors as there usually would be. When asked, one of the regular vendors that has been working this market for several years said the city of Beloit will open up the next street over within the coming weeks to make room for another 20 to 30 or so vendors.




While wandering around you can find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to homemade baked goods, grass fed meat CSAs, flavorful salsas and savory dips, food carts including Mexican, Oriental, and Italian food, smoked fish, and lots of other edible goodies!

Aside from all the food that can be found (and consumed of course) there are also lots of handmade wares from different artisans like soaps, perfumes, and cosmetics, outdoor decorations consisting of upcycled bird feeders, stepping stones, wind chimes, to lots of jewelry and  some clothing tents.

One of my favorite booths consists of baked goods and is run by a bunch of French nuns complete with adorable French accents and everything! The St. Roger Abbey can be found closer towards Chicago and they ship their delicious products across the country so if you're sweet tooth is a callin', you should definitely check their Online Shop out.




I unfortunately barely had any money to buy anything except for a $1.00 package of beads I found rummaging through a supply bin at one of the jewelry booths, which was only because I forgot I had my change purse with me.

So when worse comes to worse we know where my priorities lie...might as well make a sign now, "Will work for beads!" just in case ;)

My friends on the other hand were able to get a ton of goodies! Pickled beets, mango salsa, pure maple syrup, and a couple freshly shed peacock feathers were among some of the purchases of the day.

If you're interested in the Beloit farmer's market you can check out background, dates, times, and vendor information on their website!



Do you enjoy farmer's markets?







Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Win It Wednesday(5/28)





Win It Wednesday is a day for showcasing, browsing, entering, and linking up contests-Have a contest that needs a little extra exposure? Feel free to link it up!

NOTE:: Linking up your contests on my Win It Wednesday linky below automatically puts them on my Ongoing Contest Linky.

DOUBLE NOTE:: You only have to submit your contest link ONCE because I manage the ongoing list myself, deleting contests as they expire.


*******************************************









Win the Ultimate Ice Cream Lover's Giveaway!! 


Ends May 28, 2014


Enter Here


















Win 1 of 3 Movie Certificates good for 2 Tickets Each!! 


Ends May 28, 2014


Enter Here


















Win 9 14 oz Bottles of Third Street Fair Trade Organic Teas & Lemonades!! 


Ends June 1, 2014


Enter Here















 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Travel to Missouri: A Great Big New Adventure!


This is a Fashionista Events opportunity.


This is my Hay Hay.




We knew each other through a mutual friend of ours back in our high school days (she was a few years behind me in high school) but only really started getting quite close around this time last year when we discovered a mutual passion for pole fitness. Since then we've become pretty much BFFs!

She's my pole partner, my dancing partner, my fellow crazy 3 wiseman lover and she recently graduated college with a Bachelors in Nutrition and Dietetics. While I do have a little sister by blood already, Hannah joins the ranks as another that I classify like a little sister to me and that's legit stuff people!

Hannah is on to bigger and better things, one of which being a year and a half internship down in St. Louis, Missouri. When she was accepted it had to be a very fast decision. A month ago she said yes and within the week she'll be moving on to another great big adventure!

I don't know what you people are talking about, I didn't threaten to kidnap her and make her stay...Okay, yes I'm having issues letting her go but I know she's going to do some wonderful things down there and come back with so much more knowledge, experience, and readiness to tackle her chosen passion and career field.

We've already talked about me coming down to visit (multiple times of course) and spend some time with her in St. Louis, too! I've never been to the state of Missouri before, let alone the city of St. Louis, and while she'll probably know her way around by the time I'm able to visit her, I had to do some checking myself and here are a few things I'd love to do and experience while I'm down there:


1. The St. Louis Zoo

2. Soulard Farmer's Market

3. Forest Park

4. River City Casino 

5. Go Ape Tree Adventure








So tell me, have you ever visited Missouri before? 
Any recommendations for when I eventually venture down there?










Monday, May 19, 2014

Gluten Free Paleo Friendly 3 Ingredient Pancakes Recipe



There are a few things in the food world that I can't live without. Of course all food and I have a loving and adoring relationship (just ask my thighs), but you don't mess with my ability to eat, and therefore enjoy, these select foods.

They are chocolate, french fries, and pancakes.

The latter of those 3 delectable delights is a widely beloved classic but I unfortunately don't get to eat it that often due to the fact that I'm wheat/gluten intolerant. That coupled with the fact that I'm trying to cut out excess processed sugars from my diet and eat a somewhat clean(er) diet, pancakes are a rare treat.

While scrolling through the delightful (and addicting) world of Pinterest the other day out of hunger boredom, I came across a gluten free, Paleo friendly recipe. As if that wasn't enticing enough, the next 3 words definitely caught my attention: Three. Ingredient. Pancakes.

And the kicker was I actually had all three ingredients on hand! If that wasn't fate, I don't know what is.

These pancakes might seem easy (which they are) and healthy (which they are), but what it really comes down to are they're surprisingly downright delicious! I'll admit I questioned the pancakes at first-I mean, I'm used to fluffy, wheat pancakes-but once I took my first banana-y filled bite, I was in love.

Not only are they super moist and extremely flavorful, they're packed full of protein and are low carb which makes for a wonderful breakfast to start any person's day right!



3 Ingredient Pancakes 
   
(makes 2-4 pancakes)



Adapted from Lilly of Recipe by Photo



Ingredients: 

1 ripe banana
2 eggs
1/2 tbsp cinnamon


1. Start by peeling, cutting, and mashing your ripe banana in a bowl. Use a fork and make sure you thoroughly mash the banana down to a thick consistency. Once done, add your eggs and cinnamon. Mix well.

**Note:: The batter will look and feel a little runny. That's okay, that's how it should be!

2. Turn on stove to a low to medium heat. Once heated through, use spray or butter to grease the pan so your pancakes won't stick.

3. Pour batter into pan and use your judgement as to how many pancakes you'd like. I suggest medium-sized pancakes which will be easier to flip. 2 to 3 minutes on each side should suffice.

**Note:: These pancakes will be flimsy so be careful when you go to flip them over the first time.

4. Enjoy!










Friday, May 16, 2014

Teva Original Sandals Unlock YOUR Adventurous Spirit #Ready2Roo


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Teva. All opinions are 100% mine.



Here in Illinois, it seems that, sadly, Spring has been skipped. It went from the cold (very cold) temperatures of Winter straight to the hot 80s and 90s of Summer seemingly overnight somehow! That means no more cozy long sleeve sweaters, no more not being able to wear long pants to hide the fact that you haven't shaved your legs in months, and, of course, no more boots.

What's a girl to do (aside from finally shaving her legs) for footwear, especially since this girl does not do flip flops and going barefoot is socially unacceptable in stores, restaurants, and other public places? My go-to shoe are usually tennis shoes but I want something that will allow my feet to breathe while still being stylish and, most of all, comfortable.

Sandals it is and Teva is just the place to get them at!

Teva's philosophy: inside every person is an adventurous spirit waiting to be tapped.

"The Teva Original came from humble beginnings -- an old Velcro watch strap attached to a flip flop -- but it has grown into an icon that speaks to the masses. People around the world have accepted the invitation to adventure and adopted the "strap in and go," spontaneous, go-anywhere, do-anything mentality that the Original stands for. Everything that we do, and everything we make is in service of the adventurous spirit, because we know that unscripted moments are the ones that turn into the best memories."





Sure, Teva sandals are super stylish and look pretty darn comfortable, but did you know that Teva is the official footwear of the Bonnaroo Music Festival? I bet they'd be fantastic for ANY music festival near and far because of the fact that they're so stylish and comfortable!

I've never been to a music festival personally but I'm counting down the days until I can go to my first one! I'm a big Indie music lover so a music festival along those lines would definitely be up my alley.

Even though I've never been to one before, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when attending a music festival regardless of what genre it may be:

1. Wear comfortable footwear! I cannot, CANNOT stress this enough, especially if you're going to be traveling to and from and on your feet all day. Plus, if you're anything like me, you'll also be dancing a lot throughout the day so why not give your feet a little lovin' and wear something that treats them well? Say the Teva Original Sandal? *wink wink*

2. Pack snacks you can munch on throughout the day. From someone who is borderline hypoglycemic, having a high protein, blood sugar boosting snack can be the difference between dancing the day away and hitting the floor. Literally! Plus having snacks on you will help you save a little money when it comes to buying expensive snacks at the venue.

3. Invest in an external charger, especially if you're going to be traveling for the festival. Of course as a blogger I learned this lesson the hard way. Have it fully charged and ready to rock and roll (pun intended). Pack it in your purse, bag, backpack, etc. so it'll be handy when you need to whip it out and recharge.

Got a music festival you plan on going to that's coming up soon? Find more tips and tricks by following the hashtag #Ready2Roo or visit The Fountain!

Can't forget to purchase your stylish and comfortable Teva sandals for the festival-lovers experience either! They can be purchased at Zappos.


Connect:




Have you been to a music festival before? What tips or tricks would YOU share?







Visit Sponsor's Site






Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day 2014!


I'm at that age where my friends and peers are starting to settle down, buy houses, get married, and have babies. Everywhere I look lately it seems that all my friends or acquaintances I went to school with are announcing pregnancies in one cute and witty way or another and frankly, it freaks me out and settles a wee little seed of panic right inside my chest that I can almost physically feel!

While it really shouldn't scare me that bad, it does-it means we're all growing up and becoming adults with adult decisions, adult lives, and adult problems.

I'm still not sure how I would have fared with motherhood if things had turned out differently back nearly three years ago, but there's nothing I can do now but drop those feelings and thoughts of 'what if' and just love my little angel as a mother would, just from far away.

Since we're taking time to honor mothers today, I would like to take a moment to honor MY mother for all that she is and all that she does for both my sister and I and the whole family. Her job as a mother, chef, chauffeur, therapist, cleaner, accountant and so many other things never stops and she handles every day like the superwoman I know her to be!

Not only that, she's been my rock since I got sick back in 2004 and has never stopped being my personal advocate and cheer leader. Her philosophy: "We will leave no stone unturned until you're living a full and happy life." I can say this with 110% certainty, without her support over the last 10+ years I would have been gone a long time ago.






Motherhood is definitely one of the most blessed things that a woman can experience in her lifetime and it's what us woman are biologically designed and driven to do; bring babies into this world to carry on the human species as a whole. While it can be one of the most thankless jobs at times, it's also one that is well worth it in the end.

To all the mother's out there, traditional and non-traditional alike, I want to extend my gratitude for all that you day day in and day out, not just on this one day of the year dedicated to mother's, but for every single minute of every single day of every single month of every single year. You ladies are what keep a house a home, a group of individuals a family, and your children a success just by your kindness, compassion, and strength.

You are the glue that keeps everything together and running smoothly regardless of how messy your house is, how many dishes are in the sink, who's nose is running, that sticky stuff on the walls, or what's for dinner.

Never ever forget that!