Dine with Diana: Too Good To Be Healthy Veggie Quinoa

If you’re like me, you’re scrambling around this week trying to get the kids back to a respectable bedtime routine, trying to remember where you left off at work, unpacking from holiday trips, and just generally trying to keep your head screwed on.

Meanwhile, my kids will not stop asking for snacks and chocolate. Literally. They average about once an hour. In the morning they want a snack, not breakfast. And around 9am they start saying, “Can we please have chocolate now. We haven’t had any yet today!”

Now that they no longer get their way, they go into full tantrum mode in hopes of recreating the near free-reign eating they experienced during the break when grandparents, uncles and even laid back parents were caving in at every turn.

So now our challenge is to get us all back to eating normally again with a focus on nutritious and delicious meals. Oh yah, and you know me. Fast and easy are key.

Since we’ve all been eating hearty dishes with a lot of flavor and comfort to them over the holidays, I wanted to come up with something that would give our family the same comfort feelings without being full of fat and calories.

Hubs and I came up with this amazing Veggie Quinoa dish that can be used as a side, a full meal (don’t be afraid to add meat) or as Hubs did, as a bed for our roasted leg of lamb a few nights ago. Decadent for a post holiday meal, I know, but it really wasn’t heavy at all.

The flavors, nuttiness, textures and healthy-factor on this dish all add up to perfection for getting back on track at the dinner table this week.

Let me know how you serve it!

Xo,

Diana

Too Good To Be Healthy Veggie Quinoa

 quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1 bag vegetable quinoa mix- I like Roland brand Garden
  • Yellow grape tomatoes cut in half
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Golden raisins
  • Dried cranberries
  • Top with raw Brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
    (amount of added ingredients is all to taste)

 Directions:

  1. Prepare the quinoa mix according to package instructions
  2. Toss in the yellow tomatoes, pine nuts, raisins, cranberries and mix
  3. Sprinkle top of each serving with the crispy raw Brussels sprouts

You can follow Totsy’s Chief Mom, Diana Heather on Twitter: @totsymom

5 Unexpected Dangers for Baby

We make sure to have locks on our stoves and plugs for the outlets, but sometimes the most dangerous things for your baby aren’t the most obvious. Here are a few things to look our for that are dangerous to baby.

  1. Baby powder/talc:  They may be great for diapers but they are terrible for lungs. When inhaled, it can irritate the lungs or worse, if there are toxic chemicals or asbestos present.
  2. Canned formula:  Be careful, formula cans may be lined with BPA. If nursing is not an option, try dry powdered formula. Always be on the lookout for BPA-free cans.
  3. Antibacterial Cleaners:  We know you want to keep the nursery germ-free but those antibacterial cleaners can pose unnecessary health risks.  Soap and warm water is usually sufficient when cleaning most surfaces.
  4. Teething Toys:  They may be of great help to your little one when they’re teething but many are made with PVC plastic. Choose teethers made of organic cotton or silicone.
  5. Crib Mattress:  Make sure the mattress is made of natural materials or get a mattress cover to help babies with allergies.

babies

Tell us, what are some unexpected dangers you’ve discovered?

How To: Shellac Nails at Home

$40 for a gel manicure every two to three can get costly pretty quickly! Unless you’re going on vacation or have a super important event coming up, there’s no need to break the wallet. And of course spending money on a regular manicure gets pretty annoying when it only lasts a week, especially with kids! Enough with the rant, here’s an easy, at home shellac manicure (no UV light required) that anyone can do!

Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Give yourself a relaxing manicure! Crank up the tunes, light some incense or candles and clip, file, and buff away!
  2. To ensure your nails are fully dry, run over each one with a cotton ball dipped in nail polish remover.
  3. Gently buff your nails, so they are slightly rough (not too rough!). Apply one coat of the 3 way glaze to each nail.
  4. Apply two coats (or three depending on the shear-ness of the color).
  5. Apply one coat of the Sephora by OPI UV Effects polish to each nail and let dry.

Voila! You’ve got yourself your very own shellac manicure!

You can view our YouTube Video for Shellac nails here: http://go.totsy.com/Qlk50V 

Have you ever had a shellac manicure?  Would you try this shellac mani at home? Share with us your shellac stories!

The Three C’s: Cute, Cozy, and Comfy!

Thanksgiving means rounding up the entire family, gathering with friends, being thankful for all the little (and big) things in life, and eating  to our hearts content! I mean who could pass up all the savory dishes, delicious deserts and TURKEY! But does anyone ever dress “properly” for this feast? I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of wearing the tightest, dressiest, most uncomfortable ensembles on this glorious day. Let’s not have a repeat this Thanksgiving and abide by the three c’s: cute, cozy, and comfy! The gals at Totsy have compiled 5 easy outfits that are guaranteed suitable for any Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.

1. The Poncho

[Source: Pinterest.com]

This can be easily be paired with tights or skinny jeans (whichever you feel more comfortable in). Boots, pumps, or even ballet flats would be super cute with this look. Make sure to incorporate a dressy, but simple blouse underneath for when it gets to warm. If your poncho has a high neck, focus on accessorizing your arms with a chunky bracelet, or stack a few simpler ones. For a lower neck poncho, a statement necklace will complete the look!

2. The Chunky Sweater

[Source: Pinterest.com]

We all have one those over sized, chunky sweaters in our closets. Now is the perfect time to break it out! Again, using tights or skinny jeans, or even a high waisted skirt, this is sure to be super comfortable. Paired with a sheer blouse and statement necklace, you’re guaranteed a winner. Pumps had even more dress appeal to the sweater. Riding boots would make this perfect for an afternoon Thanksgiving luncheon. For a more defined look, belt it!

3. The Baby Doll Dress

They flow, are loose fitting, and are a perfect go to dress for any gathering. Whether a short sleeved baby doll paired with a blazer for the evening or long sleeved for the afternoon, you’re sure to be comfortable. For the day, boots are the perfect compliment, where as in the evening booties or pumps are perfect. These dresses are so versatile that you can dress them up any which way!

4. The High Waisted Skirt

[Source:Pinterest.com]

As short or as long as you want it, high waisted skirts are a classic way to go for any holiday dinner. Perfect with either a button down or cardigan, dress it up with a statement necklace and stilettos to complete the look.

5. Clean and Simple

[Source: Pinterest.com]

When all else fails, you can never go wrong with tights (or skinnies), an oversized blouse or tunic, and stilettos. Easy, chic, and so versatile. Belt the tunic; throw on a colorful blazer; accessorize to the max; the possibilities are endless! Anyone can easily put this together in a matter of minutes.

Some advice:

  • Try not to wear such form fitting clothes as you will begin to feel uncomfortable during extended periods of sitting.
  • Opt for wider banded tights.
  • Empire waists are great as they give you form, but are loose fitting around the stomach.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Inspirations: Our Faves Across the Web

Our favorite holiday is coming up – Thanksgiving! Nothing says “love” like being surrounded by the ones you love and a good meal.  We rounded up some of our favorite Thanksgiving ideas, tips and more from around the web.  Check them out below.

1)  Satisfy that sweet tooth with this Yams and Apple in Caramel Sauce. It’s a spin on the sweet potato dish! Check out the full recipe here: http://www.justgetoffyourbuttandbake.com/

2)  This fun DIY is perfect for the kids as you prep for dinner.  Draw the tree trunk for the kids and have them write down what they’re thankful for this Thanksgiving.  After they’re done, you can frame it and hang it in the kids’ room.  Find this here: http://go.totsy.com/RAmza5

3) First time making a turkey this Thanksgiving?  Even if you’ve had the task of making the main course, there’s always room to learn more.  Check out this short video from foodwishes.com on prepping and roasting your turkey: http://go.totsy.com/TAHucZ

4)  Our favorite funny e-card: http://go.totsy.com/TAPuuG

5) Our favorite Instagram nail photo:  http://instagram.com/evelynnapoles

A Curious George Twitter Party

We are ecstatic to have Curious George join us on Totsy again!  Come join us for this very special Twitter Party. You can win some lovely prize packs from this lovable monkey! See you there :).

DATE: Friday 11/16
TIME: 2PM ET
HOST: Totsy Mom Committee member, Caryn Bailey
HASHTAG: #totsyparty

How to Create the Perfect Plant Vase


A green plant can spruce up any space – the living room coffee table, the office, even a bookshelf.  Arranging a plant is an art in itself.  There is so much room for creativity.   One of our favorite ways to spruce up a green plant is with marbles and stones.  Check out this easy, elegant and beautiful arrangement below.

You’ll Need:

  • Plant of your choice – be sure to ask your local florist about which plants need to be kept in soil and which can be sustained with just water
  • Clear glass vase in any shape – we used a rectangular one here
  • Small marbles and stones – marbles can be purchased at your local store and we found some small stones in our backyard which we rinsed thoroughly with water

Step-by-Step:

  1. Be sure to trim down your plant if it’s too tall for your vase.
  2. Clean out the vase and fill the base with a layer of rocks and marbles.
  3. Add the stalks of plants and hold them into place. With your other hand, begin to layer on more rocks and marbles.  Keep layering until you have about an inch left at the top.
  4. Carefully arrange the plant so that it looks the way you want it to.
  5. Slowly fill the vase with water (be sure to use filtered water, chlorine from the tap may be harmful to your plant).