Gifts from Bend, OR

Live in Bend, Oregon and want to give a gift from Bend, Oregon? Follow my local gift giving series!

Green your coffee routine

Save 23 lbs of waste this year and start using a reusable coffee cup to keep you caffeinated.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Being different is awesome

It's very exciting times in our house as Benjamin is preparing for kindergarten. We've gone school shopping, to the dentist, made sure immunizations were up to date and picked out a new back pack. Even though I indicated it was exciting times and Ben is counting down the days to kindergarten, there is worry  in the back of my head as we start this chapter in his life.

My son is going to kindergarten labeled special needs and on an IEP (individual education plan) which is rare. Most kids don't get an IEP until first, second or third grade but we had concerns early on about speech and his behavior and how those tied together. We figured, the sooner we figured everything out, the better chance he'll have at learning.

Ben made these for his grandpa. He was 4!
I haven’t written much about the long saga of Ben and his speech delay/problems. It started when he was two and the preschool he was attending kept indicating he was having behavioral problems. He was tested at Healthy Beginnings and everything appeared normal to their specialists.  The preschool then specially indicated we call in a behavioral specialist from a state funded program because they felt something wasn't quite right still. Healthy Beginnings linked us with a Early Intervention, Early Childhood Center (EIEC) who observed Ben in the classroom.

At the time, EIEC felt the preschool wasn't a good fit but there were some concerns regarding his attention span and speech and they wanted us to wait until 4 years old for further testings. We switched to a larger preschool setting where he could socialize and learn with kids his age instead of a mix of ages. He also had regular visits from a speech language therapist (SLP) and behavioral specialist to help with socialization. Over time, he made friends and starting having regular play dates but there were still some concerns.

One of the reasons I haven't talked about this publicly was I didn't want to be bombarded with advice I wasn't asking for. I want to use this space to tell the story and just have people listen. Maybe you or someone you know are struggling with something similar like I am.  Everyone is quick to offer advice ... read to him more? Do you have flashcards?  Do you know everything I've been doing for my child? The testings. The special books recommended from the SLP. The many appointments we've had with behavioral pediatric specialists.   Can't we all just listen for once and not comment? Hence, why it's taken me almost two years to write about this.

Ben's sea creature art!
I think my biggest struggle with this is I compare him to other kids and I shouldn't. I caught myself in awe of a friend whose child is starting kindergarten one whole year early. She saw my face and said "Ben is so artistic!" She is right -- Ben is super creative. He can draw anything better than my 38 year old self. He taught me the name of every fish in the sea. He's the most kind and loving kid. If he makes you sad or angry, he genuinely wants to please you and make you happy again.

You know what is a common thing they don't tell you about when becoming a parent ... having major anxiety of the unknown. They need to print that large and make that the first sentence of all baby books, right? I'm worrying about the following: What else will he be labeled? Will he be bullied because he's not like every other kids? What if he doesn't make any friends? What if no one sits with him at lunch? Then I have to stop and think about all the cool qualities my little Benjamin has that I mentioned above. What is normal anyway?

When I was growing up, I didn't want to be anything like the other kids. My life would have been easier if I was just like all the popular kids. I really didn't figure this out until junior high. I was just different. I wasn't good at sports.  If the kids in my class listened to New Kids on the Block, I would rather listen to the Cure or U2. I'd rather be a band geek than try out for cheer leading (even though I did go to one day of cheer leading try outs just to prove it wasn't my thing). I wanted to be friends with the goth chick in my gym class (she wasn't having it). Sure I had anxiety about who I was going to sit with at lunch but it all worked out in the end. Look at me now -- my dad is proud of me and I know my mom would be.

Then it hit me ... EUREKA! What am I worrying about? It will all work out for Benjamin. He is different and I need to remind myself different is OK. Different is awesome. It is what makes us who we are! If you want to run a marathon, I'm cool with that but don't make fun of me for driving eight hours to see my favorite band! It's what makes me happy! It makes me who I am. Drawing, discovering the ocean, making Lego art -- that is Ben's personality. It's what makes him BEN.

As for Benjamin, if he struggles in school, I vow NOW to foster what ever makes him happy. Sure, we'll have homework struggles but if he loves to draw, I won't make him spend his summer in school taking math classes -- he'll be doing art.

I know years from now, he'll read this and probably be embarrassed as most teenagers would be. Here's my note to you, sweet Benjamin:  your dad and I wanted to give you the best start in life we possibly could. You were a champ through the testings, and us trying to figure out being parents for the first time. I wrote this blog post just in case anyone else was dealing with a quirky kid who loves to draw and dreams of the ocean every day.

If you're worried about your child's development, talk to your pediatrician or call your school district for referrals to early childhood intervention programs in your area. They will be able to link you to services like we have in Bend, Oregon like Healthy Beginnings, The Alyce Hatch Center (EIEC) and KidTalk

Monday, August 26, 2013

Final Shaklee180 Blogger Update: The results

It seems like it was just yesterday that I found out I was going to be  part of the Shaklee180 Blogger Challenge. I was nervous at first and had all the normal doubts that anyone would have ... what if I fail? what if I don't lose weight? If anything, this challenged has helped me realize if I can set my mind to anything, I can do it.

Here are my starting stats:

Here are my ending stats:

Not bad, right? I discovered through this process that realistically, losing 1 pound a week would be ideal and that's exactly what I lost. I still want to shoot for my goal weight of 175 lbs by March 2014 which is when I started the Shaklee180 journey. Slow and steady wins the race for sure.

The combination of the Shaklee180 plan and running 3 days a week, along with crossfit were really my secret sauce to the weightloss. Since it's not the normal, I don't see that changing!

What's next now that I'm done with the blogger challenge? I will continue to still drink the shakes in the morning and purchase the meal bars. The meal bars have been awesome when I forget to prepare a shake in the morning! (if you're interested in purchasing product, please visit my Shaklee site) I'll also continue eating 1,800 calories a day tracking that in MyFitnessPal. Tracking everything has made me aware of how many calories are included in everything and knowing my limits. I will still update on my progress at the beginning of the month too!

As for exercise, I am going to start adding on mileage each month to my running and shoot for a 10K this spring and possibly a triathlon next summer. I'll also continue to hit the "box" aka crossfit 3-4 times a week pushing myself in each WOD.

Want to see my transformation over the past six month? Check out my last video in the Shaklee180 Blogger program series!

And here are the BEFORE and AFTER photos with my size 18 jeans:

I'm happy to say I'm a size 14 and even this week, that was starting to feel baggy! Thanks for being very supportive on this journey! But we're not done yet!

I want others to know that even if you're busy with two kids, working 45 plus hours a week -- you can find the time to make life changes and Shaklee180 has helped me learn that! No more excuses. 

To clear the air ...some of you have mentioned in person, in emails and on Facebook that I haven't been eating "real food" through this process. That maybe I should have tried a clean eating lifestyle change instead. First off, yes -- that would have been a great option but I'm a busy working green mom with two small children, who works 45 plus hours a week and has a household to run.  Shaklee180's program offers non-GMO products which made this such a great fit for me and our green lifestyle. 

This is a sponsored post as part of the Shaklee Corporation blogger program. I have received free products, online support and incentives for participating. If you're interested in purchasing Shaklee products, feel free to visit my Shaklee site for more information.  My opinions are my own. People following the weight-loss portion of the Shaklee 180™ Program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Meatless Monday: Penne Caprese Pasta Salad

I believe the theme this summer has been "easy, fast, no bake, dishes" for dinner. As I have said over and over again, who wants to slave over the oven or the stove. Certainly not me.

Often, I made these dishes the night before so when we got home, there was no question what was for dinner. This dish was inspired by this dish on pinterest with a few modifications and my love affair with all things caprese this summer.

Penne Caprese Pasta Salad

1 pound whole wheat penne pasta, cooked per package instructions and then cooled
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
1 container of small fresh mozzarella balls  (like bocconcini), cut in half
1 bag of organic spinach or arugula
1/4-1/2 cup of salad dressing (I used Trader Joe's Fat Free Balsamic Vinegar)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine cooked penne with tomatoes, mozzarella and greens in a bowl. Add desired amount of salad dressing. Eat right away or chill for a few hours.

What has been your summer go to recipe? 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Top 5 Friday Green links: 8/23 Edition

Here's some awesome eco-friendly, green links that I found this week that I've been wanting to share!
Eco-friendly Cars: Expert Enviro Dad Shines Light on Your Options via Green Talk:If you're in the market for a newish car like me, here's a great post about options when buying a more fuel efficient car.

5 Pervasive Myths About "All-Natural" Foods via Creative Green Living:Fellow Oregonian, Carissa (and Shaklee Blogger too) talks about what to look for when buying all natural food items.

My Favorite School Lunch Supplies via 100 Days of Real Food:
Kids or you not into school lunch, here are some great supplies for sending those kids off to school with a healthy real food lunch!

4 great reasons to wake up early via Simple Mom:
Tsh from Simple Mom talks about why she wakes up early. She did leave off my favorite reason to wake up ... to work out.

7 Healthy School Snacks: Apple Sauce Recipe cia Good Girl Gone Green:

I believe I have a girl crush on Good Girl Gone Green. Her posts have been awesome as of late. This one is no exception.

What are you favorite posts from around the web this week?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Geting healthy: Getting comfortable with my new skin

I had to go shopping today because nothing fits me. You’d think as a woman, I’d love shopping but I really don’t.

Why do I hate shopping?
A) I have to spend money that I work hard to earn 
B) I have no idea what looks good on me 

and the latest revelation thanks to my friend Wendy

 C) Even though I have lost weight, I’m not really comfortable in my skin, yet.

I’ve lost 30 pounds on Shaklee180, but I still have about 20 pounds to go before I hit my goal weight of 175 pounds. Even though I’ve been doing the Shaklee180 program for almost six month, I knew my goal of losing close to 50 pounds wouldn't be an overnight thing – in fact, I gave myself a year to do it (which would be March 2014). The program has helped me jump start healthy routines like exercising 5-6 days a week and tracking my calorie intake. I’m pretty confident after this is all said and done, I’ll keep Shaklee180 as part of my routine for breakfast. I never used to eat breakfast before and their shakes have been a fast, filling addition to my new routine.

Back to “C.” I was in denial about still not being comfortable in my skin yet and I had some time to really think about what Wendy said to me. She’s totally right. I worry that at 175 pounds, I still won’t be comfortable. I know I’ll never be 125 pounds but can I really reach 150 pounds? If losing 30 pounds has taught me anything, it’s been anything is possible. If I don't feel comfortable at 175, then I'll shoot for 150,  I guess. 

I went shopping the other day because my pants have been pretty saggy and it was time to invest in a couple pairs of work pants that fit. The gals at work have been razzing me to get pants that fit for two months now.

I’m happy to report, I’m a size 14 (I started at size 18)! I haven’t seen that size for over FIVE YEARS. I definitely felt better about trying on clothes but now I think I need to take a personal shopper with me as I have NO idea what looks good on me.

Thank you to my friend Wendy who helped me own up to not being comfortable in my skin yet. Maybe I should make her go shopping with me now?

As for Shaklee180, I’m down to my last two weeks in the program. I’m so thankful for the experience, other bloggers I’ve worked with and confidence it’s given me!

Do you love or hate to shop? Why or why not? Are you comfortable in your skin? If not, what would make you more comfortable?

This is a sponsored post as part of the Shaklee Corporation blogger program. I have received free products, online support and incentives for participating. If you're interested in purchasing Shaklee products, feel free to visit my Shaklee site for more information.  My opinions are my own. People following the weight-loss portion of the Shaklee 180™ Program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Meatless Monday: Summer Cheesy Pasta Salad

Here's another meatless Monday recipe that won't heat up your kitchen and is best made the day before. I like to make a couple dishes on Sunday so I'm not slaving over the stove after I get home from work. I have found cheese tortellini to be one of the best summer time staples when it comes to pasta salads (I'll buy it in built at Costco) and it gives it some "guts" to sticking to your ribs longer.

This is a variation of several recipes and honestly, I can't remember where I started adapting this recipes. Sometimes we do without the red onions and other times I'll add it.  I also switch up the dressing too, depending on what I have on hand.

Summer Cheesy Pasta Salad

1 container of cheese tortellini, cooked
1 container of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 red or green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup Italian dressing or Balsamic vinegar dressing

Combine all prepared ingredients in a bowl and add dressing and combine. See, it's that easy!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Top 5 Friday Green Links: 8/16 edition

A quick round-up of green links from the past week! Enjoy!

30 Days of Paleo: Beating The Bloat via Organic Authority:  I have an interest in Paleo eating and this article and the previous one posted by Beth have been great guides to help me stick my toe in.

Eco-novice's Advice and Rules for a Green Remodel: A great resource if you're looking to go eco-friendly when remodeling. 

Making your own homemade coconut milk via Girl Gone Green: Don't want carrageenan in your coconut milk? Have time to make your own coconut milk? Here's a great recipe. 

Kris Carr's quick and easy travel tips: I adore Kris Carr! Her videos are awesome and I almost want to become a vegan because of her. 

Six weeks of summer sweetness via Simple Mom: How taking a blog break is good for the soul. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

We ditched the CSA

For three summers, we participated in a CSA (community supported agriculture share). It felt good to support local farmers and farms but halfway through the summer, we started throwing away half of it or  it would go bad before we got a chance to eat it. It seems all we were really doing was feeding our worms in the composter.

Last summer, we didn't sign up for a CSA and instead opted to join one we could choose each week to participate in each week. Same thing would happen ... worm food.

Don't get me wrong, a CSA is a great idea. It just wasn't for us. We were spending $22 a week at one point. Then my husband and I started visiting the local Farmer's Market and local produce stand once a week which both support local farms and growers. It felt great to still be supporting local -- just all in once place and we could choose what we wanted and nothing went to waste.

If you need a great guide to buying seasonal produce use this one provided by Real Simple.

Did a CSA work or not work for you? I'd love to hear. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Save water this summer

Our home owners association mandates we keep our lawn green in the summer. The first spot of brown and we'll have a nasty letter in the mailbox asking us to water more. It's kind of a bummer.

Here are some great ways to save water this summer via Non-Toxic Kids!

For a larger image, click through to Non-Toxic Kids

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meatless Monday: Caprese Sandwich

I love caprese anything! Salads, green beans, pizza but this pinterest find is now in regular rotation in the Hinderberger household. 

We seem to always have the ingredients on hand in the summer: pesto, basil, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. Pair that with a tasty ciabatta and you have a winner. My husband commented this would probably taste good on any bread and the thought of cute little caprese sliders on dinners rolls at a party seems like the perfect summer BBQ dish!

Summer Caprese Sandwiches
inspired by Closet Cooking

serves 4

Basil leaves
8 slices fresh mozzarella
2 large tomatoes (8 slices)
Balsalmic vinegar
4 Ciabatta rolls

Spread desired amount of pesto on ciabatta. Top with 2 slices of mozzarella, 2 slices of tomato and desired about of basil leaves. Drizzle desired amount of balsamic vinegar. Take a bite. Doesn't it taste like summer?


Friday, August 9, 2013

Top 5 Friday Green links: 8/9 Edition

Here's some awesome eco-friendly, green links that I found this week that I've been wanting to share!

10 things that don't belong at a backyard BBQ via Mind the Store: You'll be surprised to find what doesn't belong at a backyard BBQ.

20 uses for coconut oil via Good Girl Gone GreenSeeing as coconut oil is so affordable, readily available and completely natural, here are some great uses for this very green item.

8 tips for buying organic for less via The StirYou want to start a debate, ask any group of moms how important organic food is, really. You can bet one mom will act as if you're feeding your baby poison if you let him have a cupcake at a birthday party without checking if everything down to the paper wrapper is organic, and another who happily shoves store-brand chicken nuggets into their child's mouth and thinks this organic thing is just pure hype.

Capturing kids via mobile photography via Simple Mom: It’s true, mobile photography has taken the world by storm. Not only are the cameras within these phones getting better, the apps in which to process our images are remarkable. With a simple tap of our finger we have the opportunity to capture the big and little moments in our days.

11 things I wish every parent knew:  After 25 years practicing pediatrics, and caring for thousands of children, Stephen Cowan, MD noticed some patterns that offered him a deeper vision of health. Here are some of those invaluable lesson.

What's your favorite green link from the week? I'd love to hear!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What’s the deal with the Diva Cup?

Remember when I said no one wants to hear about your period? And that the Luna Pads store said they’d give me a discount if I helped them promote something?  Well, I ended up buying a DivaCup.

For six weeks now, I’ve been trying to write up something that won’t disgust my readers but also encourage you to try a DivaCup because THE DIVA CUP HAS CHANGED MY LIFE.

Why did I wait this long to try the DivaCup? Fear, that’s what made me wait so long.  Why is this product amazing? No leaks. No worrying about leaks. No stressing over remembering to buy tampons. Did I mention no leaks? (I think you get it).

Here’s a little bit about DivaCup:
The DivaCup is a reusable, bell-shaped menstrual cup that is worn internally and sits low in the vaginal canal, collecting rather than absorbing your menstrual flow. Menstrual cups have existed since the 1930s when women were searching for an alternative to the choices of the time. Yet, its breakthrough into the feminine hygiene industry is much more recent.   

It features:
  • 12 hour leak-free protection!
  • Made from the highest quality healthcare grade silicone to assure comfort and durability.
  • Does not contain any of the following: latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, phthalate, elastomer, polyethylene, and free of colors and dyes.
  • Reusable and eco-friendly – no waste, no chemicals.
  • Features extra grip ridges for easier removal.
  • Cleared for marketing by the US FDA and the Australian TGA and the only reusable menstrual cup allowed to be sold in Canada by Health Canada.

OK - I’ll stop talking now. Just so you know, the DivaCup is amazing. Oh, wait, I already said that. 

Lunapads offered me some free product (which is completely timely) in exchange for posting this offer. Opinions are my own.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Top 5 Friday Green Links - 8/2 edition

Here's some awesome eco-friendly, green links that I found this week that I've been wanting to share!

3 simple homemade toothpaste recipes via MNN.comThese money-saving DIY toothpaste recipes let you bypass the synthetic ingredients that commercial toothpastes often contain.

Why Everyone Should Eat More Plants via Mind Body Green We live in the most prosperous nation on Earth, and yet overall we've never been more unhealthy. Chronic illness is killing us and bankrupting our economy. One out of every three deaths in the US is caused by heart disease, America’s #1 killer.

Heatstroke: Could it Happen to Your Child? [VIDEO] via Safe Kid USA24 children have died from heatstroke this summer. Share this video to help spread the message to never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute.

Frugal Travel: Camping via Go GinghamTravel doesn’t have to be expensive. Or complicated. And travel planning and packing don’t have to be a headache, either. For 25 years, we’ve been saving money on travel by camping!

Review of the July Ecocentric Mom Box via Big Green PurseI LOVE EcoCentric Mom! Here's a review of the July Box along with a discount code.

What's your favorite green link from the week? I'd love to hear!


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