5 Reasons those Baby Teeth are Important – Give Kids a Smile Program

This post was sponsored by Give Kids A Smile as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.5 Reasons those Baby Teeth are Important & GKAS Program is 15 Years Old!

Sadly, 42% of children ages 2-11 years old suffer from untreated dental problems. Despite improved access to dental care under the Affordable Care Act and improved Mediaid availability, 50% of under-served, minority, and Medicaid receipts still have cavities that aren’t treated. Many people don’t understand the importance of dental care for kids, which is the reason for this post.

Baby teeth are important, y’all. Even though they eventually fall out, it is important to keep baby teeth healthy. Here’s why:

GKAS Program is 15 years old!

5 Reasons those Baby Teeth are Important

1. Baby teeth help kids learn to chew properly and eat nutritious food. It’s sad but true that kids with severely decayed primary teeth are more likely to be malnourished and underweight.

2. Baby teeth foster speech development. Think about how you make sounds using your tongue, mouth, lips, and even teeth. All are essential elements to speaking properly, and proper speech is necessary for cognitive, social, and emotional development.

3. Baby teeth hold the spots for adult teeth.  I had baby teeth pulled when I was quite young and had spacers in my mouth for years to prevent the other teeth from drifting around in my mouth and causing future problems for my permanent teeth. I sometimes still put my tongue behind my bottom teeth to feel for the spacer bar that was there for years (even thought it has been gone for 30 years!). Baby teeth preform a vital function by holding spots for adult teeth.

4. Baby teeth help kids smile. While that might not seem like much, the self-confidence that comes with smiling is necessary. Crooked and missing teeth can make children self-conscious and unsure of themselves, causing poor self-esteem.

5. Cavities can do more than cause teeth to deteriorate. Bad bacteria from cavities can impact gums, ligaments, and even bone if left alone long enough, which can set the stage for a life of periodontal diseases. I’ve watched people deal with periodontal disease in adulthood and it doesn’t look like much fun at all.

Fortunately, keeping baby teeth healthy can set the stage for good dental health for a person’s entire life. For dental tips and tricks, and ways to keep baby teeth healthy, head over here to the Mouth Healthy Website to learn more!

ADAF_GKAS_15thAnn_Logo_for_web_or_screen

Give Kids A Smile  Program is 15 Years Old!

But back to those 50% of under-served children who don’t get the dental attention they need. I’m excited to tell you about a group of dental professionals who are using their knowledge to give back.

On February 3, 2017, the Give Kids a Smile Program celebrated 15 years of service!  GKAS started a a one-day grassroots event for 400 under-served kids in St. Louis. Dental professionals of course understand the importance of dental care for kids and set out to educate, screen, provide preventative care and dental treatments to kids in need.

Since the very first GKAS day in 2002, more than 1,300 events in all 50 states have served more than 5.5 million children. More than half a million volunteers, including dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental technicians, dental office staff, dental students, teachers, parents, school nurses, and many other community health professionals, have given their time and talents to improve the lives of millions of children.

Give Kids a Smile turns 15 years old,

Give Kids A Smile Day, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Davie, Fla., February 5, 2016. Photo credit: ADA Foundation.

Give Kids a Smile is now the largest children’s dental health program in the U.S.  

You can help too! Make sure you help your kids keep their teeth healthy by brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing, eating healthy foods, and taking them to see their dentist. We’ve had our dentist longer than we’ve had our doctor and I’m thankful our dentist is also very generous with her skills and time by accepting many Medicaid children at her clinic. If your child needs dental care, head over to the Give Kids a Smile website or facebook page. You can also call 1-844-490-GKAS (4527).

How do you make sure your kids’ teeth stay healthy?

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Poisonous or Venomous?

Today’s 5 Minute Grammar Lesson come from a young friend in Florida and explains when to use  POISONOUS or VENOMOUS. Many thanks to Liam for addressing this topic in my 5 Minute Grammar Lesson Series!

Poisonous or Venomous – What’s the Difference

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog.*

Poisonous or Venomous – What’s the Difference?

Liam, the author of this post, is making field notes about snakes!

Liam, the author of this post, is making field notes about snakes!

I (Liam) have owned a snake for over 9 months now, and I am frequently showing it off to guests. Some don’t want me to open the cage, some want to hold it, and some are just fine watching it through the glass. I love educating people about snakes, and am almost always asked questions. There are many different questions that people ask me.

However, the most frequently asked question is by far, ‘Is she poisonous?’, to which I reply, ‘She is not venomous.’ I understand how people can get these two words mixed up, as many forms of media incorrectly refer to these two terms. People will often hear a snake or other animal called poisonous, and begin to call venomous animals poisonous as well. In this blog post, I will explain the differences between the two, and give some examples of animals, especially reptiles, that display these traits.

Poisonous

The most commonly used term that inexperienced people use when discussing snakes in poisonous. However, very few snake species are poisonous, though there are quite a few amphibians that are poisonous, such as poison dart frogs (Dendrobatidae). The best way to describe something that is poisonous is that if you come in contact with the animal, you will feel the effects of toxins that are secreted through the skin. The animal will usually have bright colors to warn potential predators not to touch them or try to eat them.

Poisonous animals tend to have this defensive mechanism only as a last resort. 90% of snakes will flee as soon as you come near them, and will not bother you if you do not bother them. However, when feeling very threatened, they will secrete toxins, play dead, or even bite to defend themselves (more on that later). Remember, if someone is handling a snake, then the snake would not be poisonous, and you wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Liam's mom, Chantal who took this picture, says, "This one still had a retained eyecap from his last shed. We didn't offer to remove it for him."

Liam’s mom, Chantal who took this picture, says, “This one still had a retained eyecap from his last shed. We didn’t offer to remove it for him.”

Venomous

The other term, venomous, is typically used by people who have experience with snakes, or who have talked to and have been educated by someone who does. Venomous is generally the correct term for snakes and other reptiles. Over 600 species of snakes around the world are venomous, but only a certain percentage of these are even life-threatening. An animal that is venomous must inject its venom, either through, teeth, saliva, or fangs. When a venomous snake bites, it creates a wound, and then inserts the venom into that wound.

Some snakes inject more venom than other snakes, and some have more deadly types of venom. There are some main types of venom: cytotoxic venom, neurotoxic venom, and hemotoxic venom. Different snakes can have different types of venom, based on several factors. One of these is prey items. Certain animals that the snakes eat can lead to different types of venom production. Don’t forget, venomous animals are animals that must inject venom into their prey, such as snakes.

To the amateur, poisonous and venomous might seem to be the same thing, but when you understand the differences, they appear quite different. Poisonous is dangerous when it comes in contact with the skin. Venomous animals must inject their venoms into their victim, and have various types of venom. I hope that you learned about the difference between poisonous and venomous. 

Today's 5 Minute Grammar explains the difference between Poisonous or Venomous Which one should you use when Stop by on every Sunday for a new topic!

Many thanks to Liam for writing this educational post! His parting wish is this: “The next time you see someone incorrectly use these terms, make sure you don’t just let false information get passed on. Step in, and educate one more person about the differences between poisonous and venomous.”

Facts are facts, you guys. “Alternative facts” have no place in my world.

Want more grammar?

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Broke or Broken?

Who’s or WHOSE?

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂

DIY Overnight Oats Bar – Healthy Breakfast in a flash

Five minutes of prep in the evening is all it takes to put a healthy breakfast on the table! This DIY Overnight Oats Bar sends your kids to school with a full belly and a big nutritious punch in the morning.

DIY Overnight Oats Bar - Healthy Breakfast in a flash

*This post is sponsored by Nancy’s Yogurt. All opinions are mine.*

DIY Overnight Oats Bar – Healthy Breakfast in a Flash

I have never been an oatmeal fan. Yes, it’s the siren call of crunchy moms everywhere, but I just don’t like it. Something about the texture? The heat? Maybe I can blame my little sister who used to leave her nasty oatmeal crusted bowl in MY CAR in the mornings when I was forced to drive her to school? Whatever the reason, I’ll be perfectly honest with you, I just can’t stomach hot oatmeal. Luckily I don’t have too! Overnight oats is not the same thing, and this recipe is one healthy way I can enjoy a nutritious breakfast of oats like a good crunchy mom should! 😉

Overnight Oats Recipe

There are a lot of ways to do overnight oats. You’ve probably seen the pictures of the beautiful little breakfasts in mason jars? A lot of people make up individual sized servings of overnight oats in mason jars and eat them straight from the jars. While I love the idea, it just isn’t that practical for me with my four kids. It works better for me to make up a big bowl of overnight oats and then serve it with a variety of mix-ins so everyone can customize their own breakfast. The oats keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, so I get the biggest bang for my buck, so to speak, by making a large portion at once and storing it an airtight bowl.

Overnight Oats Bar - Healthy Breakfast in a flash

Overnight oats can also be made with a bunch of different ingredients. Some versions call for yogurt, and others don’t use yogurt at all. Some recipes make a runnier type of oats by adding more milk. I’ve even found vegan overnight oats recipes. My personal preference is to sweeten plain whole milk yogurt  and a little bit of milk with maple syrup, because I like my overnight oats on the thicker side. I also include vanilla because it tastes good and chia seeds because of the nutrition these little seeds pack!

If you’d like to give our version a try, it’s really simple. 

Overnight Oats

Yields 4-6

DIY Overnight Oats Bar – Healthy Breakfast in a flash

Quick & healthy breakfast for busy mornings.

5 minPrep Time

5 minTotal Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Organic Plan Whole Milk Nancy's Yogurt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 TBS maple syrup
  • 1 TBS chia seeds
  • Toppings of choice: chopped fruit, peanut butter, jelly, nuts, granola, unsweetened coconut, chopped nuts etc

Instructions

  1. Combine the yogurt, oats, milk, maple syrup, and chia seeds. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
  2. Add your choice of toppings.
  3. Enjoy!
7.5
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http://www.simplifylivelove.com/diy-overnight-oats-bar/

When it comes to topping your Overnight Oats – the possibilities are endless! 

Here are some ways we like to top our overnight oats:

  1. Rainbow of fresh fruit – we like strawberries, pinapple, kiwi, and blueberries
  2. Peanut butter and banana
  3. Chopped apples and cinnamon
  4. Chocolate Berry or Chocolate Banana
  5. Tropical mix – mango, coconut, pineapple

Nancy's Yogurt productpage_feature
This recipe is made in partnership with Nancy’s Yogurt. Nancy’s has been family owned and operated in Oregon since 1960. They source organic milk from small family farms and make delicious and nutritious dairy products. We’ve been eating their yogurt for years and love it. Recently, we’ve also started buying many of their other products as well, mostly in bulk through Azure Standard. You can head over to their store locator to find Nancy’s Yogurt in your area.

Are you ready to try your hand at overnight oats? How do you think you’ll top your creation?

This DIY overnight oats bar gets a nutritious and delicious breakfast on the table in minutes so your kids will have time to eat before heading to school. The best part is, it's fully customizable so everyone gets what they like.

10 Things to Do Every Day to Maintain a Healthy Heart

I’m sure you’ve heard of a few things you can do to maintain a healthy heart, but there are actually a lot of fun {and delicious} ways to live a healthy life! You will like at least some of these 10 ideas, guaranteed! 🙂
10 Things you should Do Every Day to Maintain a Healthy Heart

February is American Hearth Month and I’m honored to partner with Welchs to provide heart healthy tips! It’s never too late or too early to start living a heart healthy life! #IHeartPurple#AmericanHeartMonth #Welchs

10 Things to Do Every Day to Maintain a Healthy Heart

1. Eat from the rainbow –

Specific colors of fruits and vegetables offer unique health benefits and a eating diet rich in colors is a great way to maintain a healthy heart. How lucky are we to have so many delicious and beautiful fruits and veggies to eat that are also good for us? Surely you can find some type of colorful fresh food to eat – it doesn’t have to be broccoli or brussel sprouts {though I happen to think they are both delicious too!}

2.Eat dark chocolate – 

I certainly don’t need an excuse to eat dark chocolate, but I love that I can indulge a little each day and also claim that it’s for my own good. LOL!

3.Eat a handful of heart healthy nuts and cut out sources of unhealthy saturated fats – 

Not only are raw nuts delicious, but they are also full of heart healthy fats! Grab a handful of nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pecans when you need a delicious and filling snack and once again, know that your indulgence is good for you!

4.Pet cats & dogs – 

Did you know that pets are good for a healthy heart? They are, because they help keep stress down and a calm, happy  heart, is a healthier heart. It’s true!

5. Drink a glass of Welch’s 100% Grape Juice

Bring more purple produce into your life with a glass of  Welch’s 100% Grape Juice made with Concord grapes. {You might even want to replace a glass of wine with 100% grape juice I won’t tell!} Nearly 20 years of research says 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes helps support a healthy heart!laugh with your family

6. Move around throughout the day – 

Get those steps in! An active lifestyle makes for a healthy heart. I don’t have a fitbit or anything like that, but little reminders to get up from my computer throughout the day are very helpful for me since I sit at my computer a significant portion of the day right now.

7. Floss your teeth – 

Healthy gums have actually been linked to healthy hearts. Did you know that? I have to admit that I dislike flossing as much as anyone, yet it really is a good thing to do every single day.

8. Get enough sleep – 

Ah blessed sleep. How I love thee. Seriously, the health benefits of adequate sleep are touted all over the place. Develop a good nighttime routine and try to get between seven and eight hours of sleep a night.  zzzzzzzzzzzzz

9.Enjoy a fun hobby –

Another way to reduce stress is to have a fun hobby to enjoy. Of course, it also helps if your hobby is something active, like running or cross fit, but just keeping your hands busy by knitting is even a great way to reduce stress.

10.Laugh with kids and friends –

Finally, another great way to reduce your stress is to laugh. There is not much better than a good ole belly laugh, so  please, for the sake of your heart, find someone to laugh with every single day. <3

Maintain a healthy heart with this list of ten fun things to do every day

Many thanks to Welchs for sponsoring this post! Please head over here for a money saving coupon on delicious Welchs 100% Grape Juice! Guaranteed it won’t last long.

How do you maintain a healthy heart? Share you best tips in the comments.

3 Reasons to Visit Heber Valley Utah This Winter

Heber Valley, Utah has long been on my list of family friendly winter destinations. Not only is there plenty of snow and fun winter activities, but Heber Valley is also full of breathtaking scenery. Here are three reasons to add Heber Valley to your list of places to visit with your family this winter!Breathtaking Scenery in Heber Vally Utah - a fun, family friendly winter vacation destination.

*This post is sponsored by Heber Valley (@HeberValley). All opinions are mine.*

Many thanks to @HeberValley for providing the photos used in this post.

Heber Valley, Utah is located 45 minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport, so it’s close enough for convenient travel but is just far enough away to get out of the hustle and bustle of the big city. When my husband I were in grad school years ago we spent some time in Heber Valley with a good friend of mine who lives in Midway – recently named as one of the ten most beautiful US towns in the winter. Dan and I skied at The Canyons and visited the Homestead Resort. Now that we have kids, I would love to go back as I know first hand what a pretty place it is. I’m excited to share a few of the reasons you should visit Heber Valley with your own family.

3 Reasons to Visit Heber Valley, Utah This Winter

Connect with your Family

What better way to connect with your family that visiting a true Winter Wonderland? Heber Valley and the iconic Wasatch Mountains make the perfect setting for true outdoor winter fun. With an average of 102 inches of snow a year, Heber Valley is full of snow packed trails for hiking or mountain biking, downhill and cross country skiing, the longest snow tubing lanes in Utah, a huge outdoor ice skating rink, show-shoeing. winter fishing, sleigh rides, and more. Surely with this list of fun outdoor activities, even the pickiest kid will find something fun to do.

tubing in Heber Valley. Utah

Unplugging from electronics and spending quality family time together is great for all families. If your family is anything like mine, I’m sure you know the electronic struggle is real. I get so sick of kicking my kids off one type of electronic only to have to do the same five minutes later on a different electronic. I showed my kids the pictures of Heber Valley and they want to know when we will visit! They’ve already made their list and want to do all of the outdoor fun (and with no electronics!).Heber Valley Winter Train

Experience Unique Family Friendly Activities

Ice Castles at Night in Heber Valley Utah

Besides skiing, hiking, and tubing, fly fishing on the Provo River (even in the wintertime) and riding the historic Heber Valley Railroad are more family friendly activities to add to your list. Midway has the largest outdoor ice skating rink in Utah and the Midway Ice Castles are simply stunning. Your FROZEN movie fans would be delighted to visit the Ice Castles which are built icicle by icicle (20 million pounds of ice!) and look to be straight out of the movie. Geothermal Crater Spring at the Homestead Resort in Heber Valley Utah

Another must visit destination in Heber Valley is the Homestead Crater. The Crater is a geothermal spring with mineral water that naturally stays at a delightful 90-96 F. It’s hidden in a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock  and is the only naturally warm SCUBA diving spot in the continental US.

Love the Luxurious Lodging in Heber Valley

All of this winter outdoor stuff is lots of fun, but I also appreciate luxurious accommodations and Heber Valley offers that as well. When my husband took his USAFA Rugby team to play BYU, the team stayed at The historic Homestead Resort. I haven’t personally seen the rooms, but I’ve been assured that their Garden Family Rooms with cozy built-in bunk beds for kiddos are wonderful.

Zermatt Resort in Heber Valley Utah

The Zermatt Resort offers European villa experience and guest room suites for any size of family which I appreciate. It can be challenging to find accommodations for my family of six. My family visited Zermatt, Switzerland when I was about ten and I am so inspired by this beautiful resort located in the US.

Daniels Summit Lodge Heber Valley Utah

The Daniels Summit Lodge is another beautiful lodging option. Located on the edge of the Uintah National Forest, Daniels Summit Lodge offers unlimited snowmobiling from your temporary back porch! They also offer three family lodges that sleep over 40+ people, perfect for family reunions.

If you like snow and winter fun, Heber Valley, Utah is the place to go. Connecting with family, participating in unique and fun outdoor activities, and staying in beautiful hotels will make any family vacation magical. For more information about Heber Valley, check out their facebook and youtube pages.

I can’t wait to visit Heber Valley, Utah again. It’s on the family bucket list for sure. Which of the amazing activities I’ve listed would you most like to do?

Family Friendly Winter Fun in Heber Valley, Utah

Save Time in the Kitchen with 25 Genius Meal Prep Ideas

You don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen to prepare a healthy meal. These 25 genius meal prep ideas will make cooking from scratch a lot faster to save you time and money in the kitchen!

25 genius meal prep ideas

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my site.*

Save Time in the Kitchen with 25 Genius Meal Prep Ideas

There are so many ways things you can do ahead to save yourself lots of time! Think about what you can do in two spare minutes to make a from-scratch meal that much easier during the busy meal time. I’ve learned a lot of these tricks from my super smart friend, Robin. She’s awesome at making delicious meals come together really quickly at dinner time – primarily because does as much as she can during the day. Here are 25 tips to help you save time in the kitchen too.

1. Cook noodles – you can reheat noodles by running hot or boiling water over them

2.  Cook rice – you can reheat covered rice (add a little extra water) in the microwave, oven, or stir-fry cold rice

3. Hard boil eggs – cooked eggs are great to have on hand for salads, quick snacks or breakfasts

4. Pop popcorn – We might be weird, but we like leftover popcorn. I add it to kids lunches or pull it out for quick snack after school. Since I don’t add butter to the popped corn, it’s safe to leave on the counter.

5. Peel potatoes and keep in cold water – make sure you keep them in cold water to prevent them from turning brown. Storing them in cold water also has the added bonus of removing starch.

6. Chop veggies – peel and chop carrots, wash broccoli and chop, celery, peppers, onions, prep veggies once for using all week. Store in airtight containers, adding wet towels to the carrots.

7.  Shred cheese – I rarely buy pre-shredded cheese as I don’t like the additives (wood pulp? no thanks). Instead, I buy big blocks of cheese, shred in my food processor, and freeze in 2 cup portions.

batch cook bacon

8. Batch bake baconand then freeze for use in quick morning breakfast sandwiches or recipes that call for bacon. Don’t forget to save the grease and use it too!

9. Prep a salad – just don’t add the dressing as the salad will not last long after the dressing has been added.

10. Scramble a bunch of eggs – then re-purpose as breakfast burritos, or simply reheat for quick breakfasting later in the week.

11. Make a quick salad dressing – salad dressing is a great thing to make ahead and it keeps for a long time in the fridge! You don’t even need a seasoning packets. Just mix up your favorite vinegar and oil dressing and store in a mason jar!

12. Brown meat – instead of browning one pound of meat, brown a bunch! You can store it in the fridge or freezer it too.

13. Make smoothie mixes for the freezer – combine all ingredients except liquid, and freeze in mason jars of ziplock bags.

14. Prepare meat marinades – meat marinades can be made several days ahead of time and stored in the fridge. You don’t want to marinate most meats for days on end, but you can prepare the marinade and have it ready when you need it. 

15. Make seasoning mixes and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. I make huge portions of taco seasoning and also a versatile rotisserie chicken spice rub mix.

16. Cook dried beans and freeze – this comes in especially handy when I make one of our go-to meals, taco soup!

17. Premake muffin mixes and all kinds of baking mixes – then store in the freezer. Check out this post with over 30 different types of baking mixes you can make ahead!

18. Make bone broth – You’re missing out if you don’t use chicken bones, ham bones, and beef soup bones to make broth! It’s really easy to make, very nutritious, and freezes well too.

19. Make bread dough – I haven’t done this recently, but I used to do it often and I need to start again. When you make pie dough or pizza dough, make extras, throw in a ziplock bag, label, and store in the freezer! The next time you want a pie or pizza, you’ll save yourself a lot of time.

20. Make bread crumbs – run leftover bread through your food processor, store in an airtight container in the freezer.

oven sandwiches for the freezer

21. Make herbed butter – simply add your favorite herbs to butter and next time you want to make garlic bread or oven sandwiches for the freezer!

22. Make DIY fruit dip or veg dips – I have found that dips encourage my kids to eat more veggies. They eat the fruit either way, but a dip always seems to make the veggies go down a little easier. It’s pretty easy to make dips ahead of time and store in the fridge in an airtight container.

23. Freeze fresh herbs in olive oil – use ice cube trays to make the perfect size and freeze. Simply pull out an ice cube the next time you need fresh herbs!

24. Mince or press garlic and store in olive oil – You can also batch mince fresh garlic and store it in olive oil. Make sure you store it in the fridge though, and not at room temperature.

25. Double your dinner recipe and freeze the extra! – The ultimate in batch cooking – double or quadruple a recipe and and freeze the rest. I do this with meatloaf, chicken, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, and more! You can find my freezer friendly recipes here.

What do you prep ahead of time that I didn’t cover? Please share in the comments!

25 genius meal prep ideas that will save you time and money in the kitchen

More Kitchen Tip Posts you may like!

How to Start Cooking from Scratch

5 Simple Tips for Making Quick & Healthy Meals

Tips for Setting up a Freezer Meal Exchange Group

 

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Toward? or Towards?

Welcome back for another 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! Today’s topic is Toward or Towards? Which is right? Does it really matter?!

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog.*

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Toward? or Towards?

Today’s topic is actually pretty short, you guys. Best I can tell, both toward and towards are correct. The difference simply depends on where you’re from.

Are you American?

If so, TOWARD is the preferred version and TOWARDS is technically counted as incorrect in formal writing. I should remember this when I write blog posts, because until I just researched this topic for my post, I honestly didn’t know the difference.

Are you Canadian?

Then, TOWARD is also your preferred version.

Maybe you’re British or Australian?

In your case, the preferred version is TOWARDS and it probably really grates on your nerves to see Americans moving toward anything.

And that’s really all I have to say about that topic. 🙂 Do you have anything to add? 

5 minute grammar lesson. Toward or towards

Want more grammar posts?

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Broke or Broken?

Who’s or WHOSE?

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂

Red Berry Yogurt Bundt Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Berry Yogurt Bundt Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting?! Yes, please! You won’t need a big slice of this rich cake, but you will love it.  Make it for your loved ones today. <3

red berry yogurt cake slice

*This post is sponsored by Nancy’s Yogurt. All opinions are mine.*

Red Berry Yogurt Bundt Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

The combination of butter and yogurt make this cake almost pound cake like rich, yet keep it nice and moist. It’s not a dry cake at all, nor is it hard to make. If you’re looking for a recipe for a special dessert or breakfast or to take to coffee … give this one a try!

Red Berry Yogurt Bundt Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I hope you enjoy this recipe that I made in partnership with Nancy’s Yogurt. You know we are big Nancy’s Yogurt fans. Two weeks I bought 4 – 64 ounce tubs of their Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt from Azure Standard, and would you believe it’s already gone? My family absolutely devours the yogurt.

Red Berry Yogurt Bundt Cake
You guys probably know that I don’t make desserts that often, but when I do, they have to be rich, delicious, and include some sort of berry and / or chocolate. This cake is spot on and my family loves it.

Red Berry Yogurt Bundt Cake
Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar, I used organic raw sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup Organic Nancy's Whole Milk plain yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh red berries - strawberries, raspberries, currants if you can find them
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 oz Nancy's Organic Cultured Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk or whipping cream

Instructions

    To make the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325 and grease and flour a bundt pan.
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest together in a large bowl.
  3. With a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until it's nice and fluffy. Add the eggs and lemon juice and mix well.
  4. Gently mix in yogurt.
  5. Mix the berries with flour so they won't bleed all over your cake and gently fold them into the batter.
  6. Pour into a prepared bundt pan and bake at 325 for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool cake in the pan for at least 15 minutes. Then run a knife all along the edges and invert the bundt pan to release the cake.
  8. To make the frosting
  9. Beat cream cheese until fluffy, then add cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Add in milk or whipping cream until you reach the desired consistency.
  10. Drizzle over the completely cooled cake. Enjoy!
  11. Keep this cake refrigerated.
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http://www.simplifylivelove.com/red-berry-yogurt-cake/

What’s your favorite type of dessert to make?

Looking for a delicious dessert or brunch recipe for Valentine's Day? This Red Berry Yogurt Bundt Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting is delish!

Save Time & Money with these Homemade Baking Mix Recipes

These homemade baking mix recipes will help you spend less time in the kitchen while still cooking from scratch. Store the mixes in your freezer and pull them out anytime you need baked goods. It saves money, time, and clean-up as well! Enjoy!

Homemade Baking Mix Recipes Everyone will love

Homemade Baking Mix Recipes Everyone will love

Baking Mixes for Breakfast

Homemade baking mixes for scones and muffins make my life a lot simpler. I’ve been using these recipes for years, and they are family favorites!

Homemade Baking Mixes for Breakfast

Apple & Pear Scones made with Whole Grains – Simplify Live Love

Homemade Fluffy Pancake Mix – Sugar Dish

Muffin Mixes for the Freezer – Simplify Live Love

Baking Mixes for Dessert

Homemade Baking Mixes for Dessert

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix {better than a box cake mix} – My Frugal Home

Homemade Brownie Mix – Ally’s Sweet & Savory eats

DIY Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix – Brown Eyed Baker

Savory Baking Mixes

Homemad savory baking mixes

Homemade Bisquick Mix – High Heels & Grills

Homemade Jiffy Corn Bread Mix – Savory Experiments

DIY No-Knead Bread Mix in a Jar – Melissa Norris

Homemade Drink Mix Recipes

Not only can you make bread, breakfast, and dessert mixes to simplify your life, but you can also make homemade drink mixes as well!

Homemade drink mixes

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix – Sprinkle Some Sugar

Healthy Homemade Chai Tea Mix – Erick & Courtney

Homemade Cappuccino Mix – Sunny Sweet Days

Gluten-Free Baking Mix Recipes

Just because you’re gluten-free, that doesn’t mean you can’t make homemade baking mixes. Here are 12 gluten-free recipes you might like too! We’re not gluten-free so you’ll have to let me know how they are if you try them.

Gluten Free Baking Mixes

Gluten Free Flour {Near Perfect Replacement for Flour}: The Thrifty Couple

Two Minute, Gluten Free Bread – Gluten Free Cooking School

One Minute, Gluten Free Bisquick Mix – Bless Her Heart Y’ll

Gluten-Free Cookie Mix Recipes

Gluten free cookie mixes in a jar

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie in a Jar – Natural Fertility and Wellness

Chew Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies in a Jar – Fit Foodie

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar – Gluten Free Frenzy

Gluten-Free Baking Mix Recipes

Gluten-Free Baking Mix Recipes

Chai Chocolate Cupcake Mix Recipe – A Southern Fairytale

Homemade Cake Mix {Chocolate & Yellow} – A Few Shortcuts

DIY Mix for Gluten Free Pancakes – Gluten Free on a Shoestring

Gluten-Free Baking Blends

Gluten-Free Baking Blends

Homemade Oat Flour – The Crunky Chronicles

Homemade Cornbread Mix {Gluten Free} – Wicked Good Kitchen

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend – Kitchen Dreaming

Do you make homemade baking mixes for the freezer? I’d love to hear your experience! 

Homemade Baking Mix Recipes Everyone will love

 

Gluten-Free Baking mixes that will simplify your life
Homemade Baking Mix Recipes Everyone will love

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest

If you’re trying to eat local, in-season food, make sure to include these top ten plants for early spring harvest. They will yield the first food in the spring so you can have farm fresh produce as soon as possible.

top 10 plants for early spring harvest

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One of my long term life dreams is to eat only locally grown and produced food, like Barbara Kingsolver did in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle {one of my most favorite books of all times}. At first thought, it sounds kind of doable, right? I mean, I have a big garden, and I have egg and meat chickens. I’ve also found a source for local pastured pork and organic, local, grassfed beef. But the logistics are really a lot more complicated than my pea-brain can handle. And it would take a REALLY REALLY REALLY big garden to produce enough food to feed my family of six. Maybe some day.

For now, I will be content to do what I can, and that means maximizing every growing season, and this post starts with spring! Enjoy my list of the top 10 plants to consider if you want to get the earliest possible harvest out of your garden.

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest - strawberries and asparagus

Early Spring Perennials

I love perennials because I can plant them once, and reap the rewards for years! It’s also a bonus that a few garden perennials produce some of the earliest food in the spring, so make sure to include them in your garden.

Rhubarb – it seems a lot of people have a love/hate relationship with rhubarb, but I love it. It’s also ready for picking sooner than most other fruits and is delicious in crisps, scones, and made into syrup too!

Strawberries – strawberries are the first berries to ripen, usually late May or early June in my area. Nothing beats a fresh strawberry right out of the garden! And since conventionally grown strawberries are some of the most pesticide laden fruits grown, we prefer to grow our own.

asparagus

Asparagus – asparagus is ready for a full harvest the third year after it’s planted. It’s one of the earliest crops of spring – so delicious!! We look forward to fresh asparagus every year.

Spring Veggies to Plant before the Last Frost

Spring Onions / Potatoes – can be directly sown from seed six weeks before the last frost if the ground is workable. Onions grow quickly and the greens can be cut pretty soon after they start growing. If you leave the bulb in the ground and just cut the greens, they will even grow new greens for you!

Potatoes are generally ready for harvest a little later, but you can carefully collect new potatoes without disturbing the plant ten weeks after the potatoes were planted. We use the no-dig planting method to grow potatoes. Learn more here.

Spinach / Kohlrabi / Kale – can be directly sown from seed five weeks before the last frost date. It’s especially important to plant spinach early as it needs six cool weeks to reach maturity and bolts quickly in hot weather.

Peas / Radish / Carrots – can be directly sown from seed four weeks before last frost date. Peas also don’t do well in hot weather, so make sure to plant them as quickly as possible. Every year I have volunteer radish crops in my garden because I let some go to seed in the summer. They are some of the first fresh veggies we eat!

Forellensuss Lettuce

Lettuce / Swiss Chard – can be directly sown from seed two weeks before last frost date. I also have volunteer lettuce in my garden from time to time and love it! Fresh lettuce is just delicious.

Check your seed packets to see which varieties mature the quickest. Some radishes are ready within 25 days! And lettuce is very quick growing too.

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest

What plants do you look forward to most in spring?