Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Can you live on $1.50/Day?

This is NOT a sponsored post. Information about the program has been shared with me, and I am sharing it with you in hopes to spread awareness. No compensation has been given for this post.

Could you do it? How would you spend that $1.50 every day if it's all you had? Would you walk to work, or forgo eating? Maybe all you could afford is a loaf of bread - and perhaps you aren't working because you can't afford to get to work. 

That is the reality facing 1.2 Billion people today.

So could you do it? Would you do it to raise awareness? 

Opportunity International is doing it! Kicking off this initiative is the 2nd Annual Live Below the Line Cook Off. 4 Chefs are coming together to prepare meals that cost less than $1/serving

Paul Hitalenko of Huegah 
Mariela Bolanos of Whitelodging Services/Viand Bar and Kitchen 
Christy Gaylord of Simply Plated 
Justin Hall from Fig Catering

Then starting Monday April 28th you can join the 5 day Live Below the Line Challenge to eat on no more than $1.50/day. Learn more, and see how this initiative can help those living in extreme poverty stop the cycle and start living a better life at the Live Below the Line and Opportunity International website. 

Keep up with the challenge, and stay informed
Twitter - @YAOpportunity
and #BelowtheLine

Will you take the challenge?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Backyard Tourist: Provo Spring Festival

Saturday night we headed out to Provo's Spring Festival at Rock Canyon Park. Our first impression was to not even try and find parking, but I was determined to get out of the house as a family and have fun! So slowly we drove through the myriad of parked cars looking for some place relatively close. We managed to park right next to the playground - complete luck there!

Princess C loves to let her voice be heard outside. She's not scared here, just letting out a good ole scream of joy that slides can bring to kids. 

Once we got the kids away from the playground we headed down the hill into the bowl of the park. I need to remember to come here to go running while the kids can also get some energy out. It's so perfect! The hills make for great sledding in the winter as well (or so I recall from my teenage years). 
We ended up wandering the food tents first, but since we had already eaten, we made  a turn about to go find the activities. 

First place we stopped was a series of tents with different activities and Easter Eggs for the kids. Each area inside the tent had a little spring history from a different country, and spring type decor. We loved the big butterfly. but the kids had a whole lot of fun coloring an Easter Egg, making Japanese paintings, and paper kites in China. 

After leaving the Spring around the world tent, I noticed the May Pole! I've always loved may poles, and thought it was such a fun springy activity. The girls thought it was pretty cool too, and got a little more energy out. I have to hand it to the workers at this activity, 10ish little kids running in different directions with ribbons, they did pretty awesome.

Wasn't that fun? Of course since it was the day before Easter, we got to meet the Easter Bunny while there as well, and even found a few extra special friends. 

We had so much fun! Mark stood in line after these pictures to get balloon swords with the kids, and I took little Prince to the pony rides. Unfortunately we were told they were putting the ponies away soon, and would not get a turn. So off we went to check out the Humane Society and the dogs they brought. I've never been much of an animal person, but ever since we had to give up our dog to move last fall, I feel like we need a dog. My kids could use that little extra unbiased love from a furry friend. One day.

Awe! Isn't that the sweetest. 

It was starting to get late, and although the kids really wanted to stay and watch Frozen outside - Mark and I decided we really need to get our kids to bed. So we compromised and let them set up beds on the couch and watch Frozen at home until they fell asleep. Maybe this summer we'll find another outdoor movie to go to. 

Thanks PROVO for a Kid Friendly Spring Festival! We really appreciate free events like this!

If you are going to be in Utah this year, here is a pretty comprehensive list of Utah Fairs and Festivals.
I plan on attending at least the Strawberry Festival and hopefully one of the Scottish Festivals this year.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Foodie Friday Featuring Asparagus Sides

I would love it if you took a moment to visit my co-host Diane at Simple Living and Eating

If you're new to Foodie Friday, here's the run down
1. Link up your recipe or any food related post below
2. Browse the linky, visit some new blogs, and share if you feel so inclined. 
3. Please only link up 3 posts. This lets us visit as many of you as possible.
4. By linking up you give me permission to feature your photos on Home Maid Simple (always linking back to you of course!)
5. Each month I send out a newsletter with the most popular links from that month - you may be featured!!  This is a once a month newsletter, no spamming involved. Sign up over there ------>

Happy Almost Easter

We're headed over to my mom's this weekend for our Easter dinner. She's purchased a lamb, which is something I've never had, and she's never cooked herself! It should be a lot of fun. I tried to find lamb last Easter but couldn't find it. So we enjoyed a more simple Jerusalem dinner to remind us of Christ and what He may have eaten. 

This week instead of featuring 1 blogger, I wanted to feature some of your Easter recipes. They were so overwhelming though, I decided to narrow it down to one of my favorite Spring sides - Asparagus! I'm sure you've already got your main dish planned for this Easter, but perhaps are looking for a godo side. I'd suggest giving one of these a try!

from Farm Flavor

Asparagus with Crispy Garlic and Prosciutto
from A Palatable Pastime

from My Carolina Kitchen
This would make more of a meal than a side :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop

Hoppy Easter 2

Welcome to the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop!
This hop is hosted by I am a Reader and Read now Sleep Later. 

I have been so excited for this giveaway my friends because I am bringing you gift certificates for TWO of my favorite things in life - Food, and Book related stuff! Exciting right? We need food to live, but books make living so much better. With spring finally showing up, that usually means a little crazier schedule as we try to catch some sun. Hopefully this giveaway will give you a little time back to enjoy the more important things in life - like family. So enough suspense, let's welcome these sponsors. 

Schwans! I met Myesha (love her name) at a Home and Garden show a month ago. She was so friendly to talk to. I told her the story of how as a kid, one of the most exciting times for us was when the Schwans Man came driving up our driveway (it was a long drive..). Living in the backwoods of NH, we didn't get an ice cream truck, and I believed they were just in stories and movies (until I moved to UT and actually saw one, and bought ice cream from one...). To us, the Schwans Man WAS our ice cream truck. My mom would sit down with him in our living room, look through the catalogue he brought, check out the weeks specials, make an order, and bam - there it was, in his truck all ready for her. 

My older brother, and my baby sister and brother hanging out on the Schwans truck. 

Currently Schwans offers over 350 products flash frozen at the peak of freshness. As a mother myself now, I placed my first Schwans order last week online (oh the days have changed) of Bomb Pop Jr Frozen treats and the LiveSmart Creme Bars, and it arrived Monday night. Of course I couldn't help myself, and while our Schwans man was at the door we went ahead and ordered some raspberry lemonade and pecan pie. It took all of 2 minuted for him to grab those out of his truck and be back at our door. Freshness delivered to me - I could get use to this! Plus Schwans has a reward system now! 5% back online for every order placed. Sweet deal.  
Along with the Giveaway today Myesha has more savings for you when you visit
myesha2 for $5 off a $25 order or $10 off a $50 order. 
myesha15 for $15 off a $75 order

Our next sponsor is one I've been crushing over for awhile. When they said they would love to be part of this giveaway, I was like a giddy school girl. GoneReading is THE place to shop for all your reading accessories and gifts for readers. Not only can you find some pretty awesome products, like Oh these Open Book Platters that you can serve up your Schwans on, but all after tax profits go to fund libraries and reading related charities!  And there you go - my 3rd favorite thing in this world, doing good for others with no expectation back for you. 

FYI - you all should totally follow my Book Stuff board on Pinterest

Now on to the real fun part!
Enter on the rafflecopter below. 
Must be 18+ and live in the US
Giveaway ends April 24th at midnight. Winner will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. 
**As of posting this there seems to be a problem with the GoneReading website. Hopefully it's just my computer, but if not, I'm working on figuring it out**

Now HOP on to the rest of these awesome giveaways!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Healthy You, Healthy Earth #sponsored

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Earth day is coming up April 22nd! It's one of my favorite non-holiday holidays to celebrate. Perhaps because I have fond memories of picking trash up around our neighborhood with my mom, and piling it in our driveway to see how much we collected.

It was one of those days that was just perfect. We had friends over, it was sunny, and we were doing something good for mother Earth. My family was never big on recycling, probably because there wasn't a service to pick it up for us like the trash, but we did do our best to keep the earth clean and healthy.

Find a Recycling solution near you

Learning how to garden has had so much meaning in my life, and something I've been excited to share with my children. My kids LOVE these Go-Paks! of cookies, so I'll periodically buy them as a special treat. The last time we got them, I looked at those empty containers and thought - gosh those would make great window planters!

Aren't they so cute? Last year I let the girls plant some flowers in milk jugs, so this year I let them branch out and pick some herbs if they wanted. I thought it would be a great lesson in sustainability as well.  We've got 1 cup with basil, 1 with spearmint, and 2 with Marigolds. The kids have been checking every morning and after school to see if anything has sprouted yet. Definitely an experience they will always remember.

When you look hard enough, it's actually easy to find ways to recycle, upcycle, and live a more sustainable life. I love visiting the Healthy Essentials Website, because other than savings they've also got so many tips and knowledge on how to live a Healthy Life while also keeping our Earth Healthy. 

Watch this video to see how Johnson & Johnson employees feel about sustainability. I just love this company!

Don't forget to also check out the Healthy Essentials website for some amazing deals on products that are also Earth friendly. 

Are you ready to give back even more this Earth Day? Download the Donate a Photo App from J&J - for every photo you upload in the App J&J will donate $1 to a list of charitable causes.

Share your tips on having a Healthy You and Healthy Earth!


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