WELCOME TO MY HEALTH & FITNESS BLOG!

Half of Gabby has moved to a new kickass website!

www.halfofgabby.com

Come on over and let me know what you think of the new place!

*The site you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

3 Minute Carrot Cake Mug Muffin

Hi there!
Half of Gabby 
has moved to a new kickass website! 

Read this article, in it’s updated version, HERE.

 The page that you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site!

~~~






I'm a sucker for muffins. Give me a cup of coffee and a couple muffins and I'll love you forever. You wanna know something else I love? Carrot Cake. Oh yeah, like a lot. You wanna know something else I love? Oh, come on, just pretend you do. I know you really don't give a shit. The answer is... I love QUICK AND EASY! 

There's two things that I can guarantee that I am at ALL times:
1. Hungry
2. Busy

I love when I can whip up some healthy food in just a few minutes. Ain't nobody got time for camping out in the kitchen.

This microwave carrot cake muffin is a wonderful healthy breakfast! (Or lunch or snack or, okay I'll admit it, I've even had them for supper). They're made of wholesome ingredients, only 150 calories, and pack a protein punch. Good stuff, man.

So before I give you the recipe let me explain something. This muffin is NOT going to taste like a big piece of two-story carrot cake with mounds of cream cheese frosting on it. I mean, I would imagine you already knew that but I just wanted to remind you that this is a muffin we're talking about. And although this muffin is pretty sizable (I cut mine in half to make two), it's not the same size as those gargantuan ones you get at the bakery that are 1,200 calories each. However, this muffin is a fabulous change of pace and has that 'carb-y' taste we all love, yet the ingredients are healthy and nourishing. 

Do I love this carrot cake muffin? YES! Do I love this carrot cake muffin as much as a piece of carrot cake? Uh, hell no. But I'll take what I can get! 



BTW, this is only 1/2 of your muffin! They turn out so big that you're able to cut it in half and it's like having two muffins. Heck, you could actually have two muffins, which would really be like the size of FOUR muffins, for only 300 calories!

SCORE!

These muffins are good without any topping, but I usually do top mine. My favorite topping is cream cheese, but sometimes I'll top it with all-natural peanut butter. I also love it topped with a drizzle of honey. You can come up with all kinds of ways to top your muffins. Sometimes I'm in the mood to just have them plain with a tiny bit of butter (a small pat of butter is only 25 calories).

Are you ready to try these babies out for yourself? 

I think you are.


3 MINUTE CARROT CAKE MUFFIN
(Makes 1 Muffin)

Printable Recipe

WHATCHU NEED:
  • 1/4c Traditional Oats, pulverized.
  • 6 Baby Carrots
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1-2 Stevia Packets (Optional)
  • Coconut Oil or Cooking Spray.

  • 1 Coffee Mug
  • 1 Sandwich Baggie (If greasing your mug with coconut oil.)

*Note: I have a crazy sweet tooth so I add one or two stevia packets to my recipe. This is purely optional. The muffin has a nice hint of sweetness without the stevia because of the honey.


WHATCHU DO:
1. Pulverize your oats and baby carrots in a blender or food processor until they look like coarse flour.




2. Put oats and carrots in a small bowl and mix in the egg whites, honey, cinnamon, baking soda, and stevia.



3. Grease your coffee mug. I grease mine with coconut oil, but you can also use cooking spray.


*Note: To grease my mug, I put my hand in a sandwich baggie and scoop up a small dollop of coconut oil. Then I smear it all over the inside of the mug.



4. Pour carrot mixture into greased mug.




5. Microwave for 2 1/2 - 3 minutes. (Each microwave cooks slightly different.)

*Note: Once cooked, the muffin will very nicely pull away from the sides of the mug. Tip the mug over and it'll fall right out!



Look how big! 
YUM!



6. Cut your muffin in half and top if desired. 

I simply drizzled honey on top of this muffin. So yummy!

Some other topping suggestions:


BUTTER

CREAM CHEESE
This is my absolute favorite way to eat them!

PEANUT BUTTER

 PEANUT BUTTER WITH WALNUTS
(You can also add raisins if desired.)

You can also top with any kind of nut butter or simply drizzle some honey over the tops. Yum!



NUTRITIONAL INFO: 
    (1 muffin, plain)
  Calories   150 
  Protein   10g
  Carbs      25
  Sugar      12g
  Fiber        3g
~~~
Here's some more yummy, healthy recipes!





















FOLLOW HALF OF GABBY ON FACEBOOK FOR DAILY MOTIVATION! 

You will receive daily goodies including: HEALTH & FITNESS TIPSWORKOUTSHEALTHY RECIPESMOTIVATING ENCOURAGEMENT, as well as FAMILY FITNESSMOMMY IDEASCRAFT IDEAS, and even FUNNY STORIES & ARTICLES for some comedic relief. You get a little bit of everything in just one click :)


To follow, simply 'Like' Half of Gabby's Facebook Page. 


*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.



Friday, June 3, 2016

SHARK CRAYON ART: Step-By-Step Picture Tutorial

Hi there!
Half of Gabby 
has moved to a new kickass website! 

Read this article, in it’s updated version, HERE.

 The page that you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site!

~~~






Is this the coolest art project or what?


I mean seriously, this is AWESOMENESS!

And my kid was in her glory the whole time.

My youngest daughter, Jossy, is obsessed with sharks. She's also obsessed with all things art. She brings it upon herself to come up with an art project each weekend. I should probably blog about many more of them than I do because I know if she gets such enjoyment out of them, then other kids would too. This was one I couldn't not post about. According to Jossy, this was her most favorite art project to date. I asked her on a scale from 1 to 10, how much fun did she have doing this art project, her reply, "A THOUSAND!" 
So there ya go. 

Now I gotta say right off the bat that the shark crayon art was not an original idea on our part. Jossy got the idea off of her Pinterest board. You see, I am a little bit of a Pinterest addict... okay, not a little, I'm full blown and I probably need a Pintervention. I have a special board for each of my daughters. When I see anything that reminds me of them, I pin it to their boards. Once a week or so, at bedtime, we cuddle up and look through their boards together. 

They actually LOVE looking at their boards that I made for them. They get super excited to look at the new stuff mommy pinned for them. This here, you see, feeds my addiction. 

So I just keep pinning. (Dory reference intended. I know, I'm a dork.)

{ You can follow Half of Gabby on Pinterest HERE! }

So where did Jossy's inspiration for her crayon art come from??

I had pinned this shark crayon art to Jossy's board. It was a pin from Etsy. The price for this shark crayon art on Etsy was $35.00.


Jossy couldn't believe they were selling it for that amount. She was convinced she could make that same thing and then quickly became determined to prove herself right. And boy was she right!

Now I'm sure I'm a biased mommy but I gotta be honest, I think my 9 year old's shark crayon art is way cooler and I love it a million times more than the Etsy version. 


I need to also say that 
I DID NOT HELP MY CHILD WITH THIS PROJECT.

She even came up with all of the ideas on how to create it. I had absolutely no part in it whatsoever.

Now before you render me Mommy Dearest for letting my child handle a glue gun, let me explain that I have worked on dozens and dozens of projects with Jossy using a glue gun and I have closely supervised her while using one many times before. So I felt confident that she could handle this project on her own. I was in the same room as her but I was not supervising her closely. I was busy going between writing an article and doing laundry (which was still in eyeshot of her).

With all of that being said,

I DO NOT RECOMMEND that you let a young child operate a glue gun unsupervised. 

So set aside some time to help your child do the hot gluing portion of this project. 

If you have older children (7+), I think they'd definitely be able to place the crayons on the canvas if an adult would be the one who laid down the beaded lines of glue on the canvas.

Although this project was time consuming, it was fairly straight forward and easy to complete. Definitely easy enough where a young child could be a BIG part of this fun project. 

This project would've gone a lot faster had I helped Jossy but she was adamant about me not helping her. She wanted to do this art project completely on her own. But I think it's important to note here that my child is one who relishes long art projects and gets great enjoyment and satisfaction from spending time on her masterpieces. 

So if your child is one who would like to get to the end of a project more quickly, you could definitely make that happen by taking over some of the steps for them.

This was an amazing art experience for my little one and I encourage anyone who has artistic and creative children to try this project out on a rainy day.

HOW TO MAKE SHARK CRAYON ART 

WHATCHU NEED:
  • HAIR DRYER
  • 16 x 20 CANVAS (or desired size) 
  • CRAYONS (unbroken and preferably w/ points)
  • PENCIL
  • GLUE GUN
  • GLUE STICKS
  • CARDBOARD
  • SCISSORS
  • PAINTER'S TAPE
  • PAINT (Gray, red, white, black, sky blue)
  • PAINT BRUSH
  • UTILITY KNIFE (for ADULT use only!)
  • DROP CLOTHS OR TABLE CLOTHS (for waxing station)

WHATCHU DO:

I'm going to list the order in which Jossy worked on her crayon art. Here we go!

1. Cut out two identical shark heads out of cardboard. 
Jossy used the cardboard from Priority Mail boxes we got free from the post office. The cardboard is very thin and cuts well with scissors.

Jossy made two of these:

2. Take one of the shark heads and draw a mouth with sharp teeth. Draw two ovals where the eyes will be.


3. Cut out eyes and mouth with a utility knife. 

*AN ADULT MUST DO THIS PART!

Jossy's daddy did this part for her.



Your shark heads will look like this.


4. Take the solid shark head and paint the lower half RED. 
This will serve as the inside of the shark's mouth. Once you glue the teeth/eyes shark head directly on top of this head, it'll give the shark a 3D effect and the inside of the mouth will be red.


This is what it'll look like.


5. Now take the teeth/eyes shark head and use Painter's Tape to carefully cover the teeth.


When you flip the head over, it will look like this.


6. Now it's time to paint the shark GRAY.


Once the paint dries to the touch, you can remove the Painter's Tape.


Cool, huh? Yup, it's starting to really look like something now!

7. Hot glue your half-red shark head onto your canvas wherever you'd like it placed.


8. Draw a line where you want your crayons to line up. Above the crayons will be sky and below the crayons will be your water.


Do you see the thin dark blue line in the above pic? That is where Jossy wanted to line up her crayons. The lighter blue you see is the sky paint (she just wanted to make sure she didn't get confused which end was up). You really only need to draw the crayon line.

9. Hot glue your crayons along the line in your desired order of colors.

Hot glue the crayons POINTY END DOWN and glue them along your line.

*You can also take the paper wrappers off of the crayons if you'd like. Jossy wanted her wrappers on because she wanted to see the trademark Crayola logo. I would guess if they had no wrappers, they would probably melt faster.


She took a lot of time picking out colors and then deciding exactly where they should go. She wanted it to look like dark sea water so she used a lot of blues, purples, and a few greens. She also used white so there would be some contrast. 


She did an amazing job picking out the colors. Children will really amaze you if you give them a full creative license to make the decisions.

Okay before we get to more crayon stuff, let's get back to the prep work for a minute.

10. Put Painter's Tape around your shark head to protect it from the melting crayons.
(Make sure you read the section at the very end of this article regarding this step.)


At this point, this is what your canvas should look like:


11. Set up a waxing station.
We put an old sheet on the floor and then taped a plastic table cloth to the wall that the canvas would be leaning up against.

NOTE: The wax splatters a lot so make sure your waxing station extends way past the canvas!


12. Let the blow-drying commence! 

This is the crazy fun part!

NOTE: You will need to go back and forth between low and high settings to get the hang of it. After a few minutes, you'll start to get a feel for how the crayons respond to the heat.

You can do as little or as much melting as your little heart desires. Jossy wanted it to look like solid ocean water so she kept going until every bit of the canvas was covered in melted wax. But you can do it however you want!


NOTE: It's likely that your hair dryer will get some spatters of wax on it. 
Just a heads up!

After you're done melting the wax, let it cool before moving on to the next step. It won't take long. It cools down pretty quickly!

13. Put Painter's Tape along the top of the crayons.
This will protect the crayons from your paint when you paint your sky.


14. Paint your sky!

Jossy picked out a light teal color for her sky. You can pick any color you'd like!


After you paint your sky, add some clouds if you'd like!


15. On cardboard, draw the silhouette of a person swimming.

Draw half of a torso sticking up out of the water. You'll also want to draw a leg sticking out of the water. 

This will actually be two separate pieces.

Use your pencil until you get it how you want it and then cut it out with scissors. 

THEN paint your silhouettes black.

16. Hot glue your silhouettes right above your line of crayons.


You can place your swimmer anywhere along the crayon line.


17. Hot glue your teeth/eyes shark head directly on top of your half-red shark head.

Your shark will have a 3D effect! So cool!



YOU ARE ALL DONE!

YAY! 

LOOK AT WHAT A GREAT JOB YOU DID!


~~~

A MINOR ISSUE:

PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT SECTION BEFORE DOING YOUR SHARK CRAYON ART 

 I need to note something that didn't work that great. I'll tell you what went wrong (it really wasn't that bad though).

Once the crayons start melting, they're going to assault the shark head!

This was just the beginning...


Note: Once the hot, melting crayon wax starts dripping onto this shark head, the shark head will start lifting up. This is because the heat of the wax melts the hot glue that's holding your shark head onto the canvas.

The taping of the shark head is not a fail-proof technique. 

There'll be some wax that gets underneath the shark head and by the time you're done melting the crayons, you'll probably be able to pull the head off easily. However, for the most part it did keep most of the wax out. That being said, I'm sure there's a better way to stop the wax. But this is what my 9 year old came up with and honestly, it was a better idea than anything I could think of at the time.

After she was done melting the wax, the shark head came right off. 


Again, you may be able to figure something else out. Jossy's technique did work for the most part, but she had to re-glue the shark head after she was done melting the crayons. 

And before she re-glued it, she had to scrape off some of the wax that seeped behind it so that she could glue the shark head back on evenly. The wax made it bumpy.

Again, it wasn't catastrophic but I thought I should warn you of the issue.

Here's the amount of wax that seeped behind the shark head:


~~~

If you liked this craft idea, you might like these:











More family friendly ideas!










FOLLOW HALF OF GABBY ON FACEBOOK FOR DAILY MOTIVATION! 

You will receive daily goodies including: HEALTH & FITNESS TIPSWORKOUTSHEALTHY RECIPESMOTIVATING ENCOURAGEMENT, as well as FAMILY FITNESSMOMMY IDEASCRAFT IDEAS, and even FUNNY STORIES & ARTICLES for some comedic relief. You get a little bit of everything in just one click :)


To follow, simply 'Like' Half of Gabby's Facebook Page. 



*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.
NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.