Mantra Monday

**New blog segment! Mantra Mondays..

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I’m back at it. Fall time (Honestly, anytime.) makes it hard to want to stay motivated with health but once you don’t feel like yourself anymore, health or appearance wise, then you make the changes you need and want.

Back to full on paleo because I’ve been sick for a full week. Why? My immune system is weak – I haven’t been eating well and have been drinking a lot of whiskey and warm ciders (So good though..).

But now I know what I need to do. I need to think about my health more – Mainly so I can have my energy and strength back for my son and be the Mother I need to be. For Hudson and for myself. So, this week’s Mantra is – Believe in Yourself!

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Ghoulish Halloween Dinner (For Kids!)

It’s almost Halloween!! Our kids are SO excited. They’ve nearly got their costumes by the front door hahaha! We’re excited for all of the plans we have starting today til Halloween! Pumpkin carvings, haunted houses, festivals, Boo at the Zoo, and ghoulish treats!

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For dinner tonight I decided to make the kids some delicious and hilarious looking goodies – Mummy Dogs and ghost bread! I preheated the oven to 350°F and grabbed a roll of Crescent Rolls, some cheddar cheese and a pack of Oscar Meyer Weiners!

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I opened the dough roll, laid it out flat and cut the dough into long strips to make it easier to wrap the dogs in their Mummy Wrappings (I placed the cheese over the weiner before wrapping it) Obviously they weren’t going to eat ALL the weiners so I used the leftover dough to make Ghost Bread (I didn’t have any Halloween cutters so I used a gingerbread man and joined together his legs hahaha!) and BRAINSS (Which was balled up leftover dough with red food coloring)!

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I placed the pan in the oven and cooked for about 13-15 minutes! I kept a watchful eye on the ghost bread since they were a little thin (But they got SO fluffy! So they cooked ALL perfectly at the same amount of time!)

 

Once they were done I dotted eyes on the mummies and biscuits with ketchup and mustard and the kids DEVOURED them! I added a jack n’ cheese cup to their dinner for a cute Halloween extra 😉

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The kids had some pumpkin honey on their brainssssss and ghost bread! It was sooooo yummy!

It’s little meals like this that really get the kids excited for Halloween AND helps them eat if they’re being picky hahaha!

Try it for your kids today, they’ll love them!!

Elitch Gardens Fright Fest

UPDATE: Booooonus Night Added – Thursday, October 26 Theme Park + Fright by Night OPEN from 6pm – 10pm. Tickets Only $19.99 if booked online for Thursday, October 26 ONLY

My Family is huge on celebrating Halloween. We always have the most decked out decorations, we get dressed up, have spooky music on and watch horror movies all month long!

20171015_132655A new way our family is going to start celebrating is by going to Elitch Gardens Fright Fest every year!! We went last weekend with our kids and had an absolute blast! We had my Mother, Step Dad and my siblings there too which helped the kids be brave! 🙂

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Muahahahaha!!

We made sure to get the Fast Passes so we could get on all of the rides quickly (Especially with kids you never know when the breakdowns will occur) But there was fun treats, great food, BEER ♥, pumpkins for the kids to decorateawesome spooky rides that really gets you in the Halloween spirit and SO MUCH MORE.

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We loved it so much we decided we wanted to do a date night so we can actually enjoy some of the Haunted attractions the kids were too scared to try! We’re going on Friday and will be sure to update this post with some photos. We cannot wait!

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Try it out before it’s gone – Ends October 29th! Fright Fest is a BLAST for kids of all ages AND for a date night! Don’t forget, my readers can enjoy an exclusive discount for the Elitch Gardens Fright Fest Combo Ticket $39.99 here!!


Our date night at Fright Fest was AMAZING. We were missing the kiddos but it was SO fun being able to do any rides we wanted, going through all of the haunted houses and the Seance show (It was SO scary!!).

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We had some drinks, a giant delicious turkey leg and shared a ton of laughs (With all the teenagers getting scared by the clown/killer lumberjack guys walking around) and a ton of screams!

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We’ll absolutely be back twice a year from now on. Once for the kids and another time for just us – We felt so very connected! Thanks Elitches!!

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(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own – We had a blast!)

Texas Vacation & Roadtrip

Oh Texas.. How I already miss you so!

For my birthday we took an amazing 5 day road trip to Texas to visit my family and have some us time 🙂 It was incredible and I already miss it so very, very much!

As stated in my previous post I had packed way early to avoid any stress and it made it soo much easier the morning we left (Husband finally admitted it was a good idea ;)) We packed everything up and were on the road by 6AM! Brent and I do so wonderful on road trips, it’s a wonderful time for us to crack jokes, play car games and just bond. ♥

It’s around a 13 hour drive so it was really nice to have some new special things for Hudson! Before we took our trip I bought some brand new snacks he hadn’t had before and toys he’d never played with from the Dollar Store and it kept him busy for many hours of the trip! (Thank goodness!) We also had just gotten a new backseat organizer and carseat tray by DMoose for him! He loved the tray for playing cars on and was able to watch his favorite new movie Rock Dog on his tablet with the backseat organizer’s tablet slot! Made it so much easier on us :).

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After a long drive we finally made it to our incredible cottage we were staying in! We used Airbnb which we love for their customer service – I found a little cottage in Crowley, TX that was only $85 a night! And it had two rooms so we didn’t have to worry about sharing a hotel room with Hudson and having to be super duper quiet so it made it SO much easier having a whole house to ourselves!

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Get Airbnb Here for $40 Travel Credit then Book Their Amazing Cottage Here!

The owners were lovely people.. I miss them already.. We got all settled in, put Hudson down to sleep and enjoyed the owner’s famous chocolate chip banana bread before turning in for the night in the most comfortable bed we’ve ever slept in ♥

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In the morning we already had plans to spend the whole day with my Dad ♥ He came over and was so impressed with the gorgeous land we were staying on! (Sure made us feel good!) After some good breakfast we made the drive over to Dallas to visit the Dallas Zoo I used to LOVE as a child and was so excited to share with my son!!

It’s more beautiful than I remember! There was so much to see, so much to do and there was almost no one there because it was a Thursday morning! (Didn’t get many photos there because I just wanted to enjoy the time with all my guys :))

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After a few hours at the zoo Hudson started getting super sleepy (SO many kids activities there, helps to wear them out ;)) so we drove around while he napped in the car then hit a delicious Cuban restaurant (I cannot go to Texas without getting cuban food. It’s not the same in Colorado. I LOVE Cubano Sandwiches ♥)

Afterward we headed to the Dallas Cowboys Stadium!! GO COWBOYS! It was SO much fun! Brent wanted to bring a Football so he could throw it around on the field and we’re so glad he did cause it was a hit with Hudson too!

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Think the stadium made a fan out of my Husband whose usually a Saints fan but it’s such a gorgeous stadium and him getting to throw some pretty impressive passes into the end zone made him gitty!! ♥

Hudson was POOPED. So after a long tour of the rest of the stadium we headed back to our gorgeous cottage and took it easy.

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Once Hudson went down for bed my Dad watched him as Brent and I set out for my FAVORITE childhood memory in Dallas! Medieval Times!! I’d been telling him about it for years and we finally had a chance to check it out!

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I forgot how beautiful it was! The Spanish style castle was so impressive and Brent got more and more excited as we walked up! Once inside the staff was so friendly and really got into character! We got our photo taken in our red and yellow knight crowns and grabbed some delicious drinks before heading to our seats!

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Once the show began, Brent started to get what it was all about. You really get into it and root for your knight! We screamed and cheered every time he came out! Our server Noah was amazing and was SO cheerful and really played the part, especially with our food saying our potatoes were “dragon hooves”, etc. It was a blast. **And it came with a HUGE meal!

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The show was glorious, the food and service was fantastic and the experience was incredibly special. It’s something my Husband wouldn’t usually do but he really enjoyed it and got into it and it’s still a conversation of how much fun we had together! It’s wonderful for kids, birthdays, date nights, whatever! SO happy we went and I know we’ll be back again! They have a ton of locations so check it out if going on vacation or if you have one in your town! Check Here!


 

The next day my Dad had to work so we had just us 3 time. We started with some coffee and breakfast in our comfy cottage then headed to surprise my Grandparents with a visit! They were so happy to see us and especially their Great Grandson! (Wish I’d gotten a photo :'() Then went to see longtime friend of mine with her new adorable baby boy!

My Husband seemed drained and wanted to head back but I didn’t want to waste a minute of our trip! He perked up really quick when I showed him another favorite memory of mine, the Fort Worth Water Gardens!!

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It was so beautiful and Hudson LOVED to watch all of the trickling water!

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I decided I wanted to walk to Sundance Square in Fort Worth for their other water feature but we found ourselves at Riscky’s BBQ for some drinks!

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We ended up being RIGHT next to a parade that included the TCU band! Hudson was in AWE, especially with all of the ladies that were in the parade 😉

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After our drinks and parade fun we headed to the Sundance Square water fountains! Hudson had a total blast playing in them!

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We were all exhausted so headed home (Felt like home ♥) and took it easy the rest of the night (Brent thanked me for taking us around instead of heading home early) 

The next morning we woke up and met Dad for some breakfast! Shortly after we began to get ready for a special vow renewal I had planned for my Hubby and I. It was our 2 year vow renewal and although I know 2 years isn’t usual I wanted to do something special for him to show him how much I truly love him still.

The couple who owned the land we were staying on were so excited for the idea to have our very, very small ceremony on their gorgeous land and they offered to officiate it for us!!

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His words were wise, sweet and something we’ll never forget. He personalized it for us and had some gorgeous things to add from experience from his loving 55 year marriage. This bonded us to the owners forever. We feel a little empty now that we’re away from them as this was such a special and intimate experience.

Brent and I feel closer than ever now and we have Joe and Joyce to thank for that. My Dad wasn’t able to make it to our small wedding in February 2016 so it was so special for him to be a part of this as our only guest 

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Hudson enjoyed chasing the ducks around the pond during our ceremony hahaha!

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After settling down after our gorgeous ceremony we decided to change and head to the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. It was as beautiful as I had remembered!! Hudson loved to run around and look at all the koi in the ponds 🙂 I loved experiencing this with him.

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We ventured back to the cottage to relax before our long drive the next day back to Colorado.

The next morning was a very sad one. We felt so at home at the cottage and didn’t want to leave. We love Texas, we love Joe and Joyce and loved the together time we were able to spend (We rarely looked at screens the whole trip!)

Hudson loves planes so I found a nearby restaurant at an airport and it was DELICIOUS! The Beacon Cafe had a breakfast buffet that was to die for and Hudson loved being SO close to all of the planes they had on the runway!

This was an amazing trip that I still think about, constantly. I miss the Southern hospitality, food and family. It’s a whole other world down there and if I had a chance would move there in an instant. Miss you, Texas.. Thank you for all of the adventures, experiences, new friendships and family time you gave.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Prepping – Texas Road Trip (With Toddler)

Hey y’all! It’s only 2 days away from our Texas road trip! So very excited! Get to spend time with family, friends AND I get to have some alone time with my Husband (Make time for Y’ALL time).

My Husband thinks I am CRAZY for packing 5 days early (Which is LATE for me..) but I’ve told him time and time again how useful I find it! SO I’ve put together some how and why’s I believe getting ready for a trip early IS useful!

  1. When you’ve already got you and your toddler’s bags packed and left on the couch it makes it very easy to throw additional items in as the days get closer (To ensure you don’t forget anything!)Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 2.31.21 PM.png
  2. Begin packing non-perishable food in bins! One for your little and one for y’all up front! *We don’t usually let Hudson have many sweets so we brought new treats he hasn’t really had much of so it’s new, exciting and a special treat!**

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  3. Pack a bin of BRAND new toys your child has never seen or played with *I just went to the Dollar Store and got a few awesome things I believe he’d enjoy!22547930_1386721598092111_1371867882_n
  4. Get a list together of what you still need to do/pack/make! *We’re still wanting to eat relatively paleo while our there so we’re going to be making snacks and meals for on the road!*

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    Don’t mind Hudson’s beautiful scribbles 😉
  5. Packing early gives you the time to CLEAN your house which is so important before a trip because it’s so much less stressful to come home to a welcoming, clean and fresh house!
  6. Plan some stuff ahead of time! You don’t want to find yourself really wanting to try something in town only to find it’s all booked or you missed on the chance for a coupon to get it at a better price!

So yes, I DO believe getting ready early is smart! Especially when you have a toddler riding along with you!

#SunRypeFamilySweepstakes Celebrating the release of Disney’s #PixarCoco Film

If y’all have been following me long you know how much my family and I love SunRype products! And we love how often they partner with Disney on the releases of some of their new movies (We’re definitely a Disney family!)

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But we’re REALLY excited about this one!! Pixar’s Coco is based on the gorgeous Mexican holiday Day of the Dead where a young boy finds himself in the land of the dead and goes on a journey with his trusty canine in search of this great, great Grandfather who shared his love for music so he can show his family that music isn’t bad at all! My kids have already seen the previews and REALLY want me to take them (We definitely will be going 😉 )

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This collaboration has created an exciting sweepstakes! From October 2nd-20th they will be collecting entries for 1 lucky person to win a Trip for 4 consisting of travel and accommodations for 3 Days & 2 Nights in Hollywood, plus 4 passes for the opportunity to see the Los Angeles Premiere Screening of the Disney Pixar’s Coco film in early November plus some yummy SunRype snacks of course (Lucky Ducks!!)

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There will also be some great weekly SunRype & Disney Pixar’s Coco prize packages up for grabs from October 23rd to November 24th, 2017! The best kind of collaboration – Healthy snacks and awesome movie prizes?! Yes, please!

 

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We love SunRype snacks for their convenience (Especially with school back in session, it’s perfect for their afternoon snack and for a side for lunch!) and their amazing flavors! We’ll definitely be taking some with us to see the movie (Because $5 for an unhealthy treat is a no-go for our family!)

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SunRype has re-launched their entire snack bar portfolio to be gluten-free, peanut-free, kosher and vegan within the past year, and are so excited to once again collaborate with Disney who shares their passion for health and wellness. Together, they can help deliver fun, educational and nutritional information around the power of healthy eating to individuals and families across North America.

Disney’s commitment to health and wellness dates back to 2006, when the company became the first major media company to establish a Nutrition Guideline Policy to associate its brands with a more nutritious portfolio of foods and beverages. The company has since marked every year of its Healthy Living Commitment with significant milestones, such as becoming the first major media company to launch food advertising standards for children, launching new content and experiences that inspire healthier lifestyles.


Interested?! Check out the Disney Pixar’s Coco trailer here:
Pixar Coco Trailer

Then be sure to enter the sweepstakes below!

Live Entry Link for the Movie Premiere Trip for 4: October 2-20, 2017
ENTER HERE

Live Entry Link for Weekly Prize Packages: October 23- November 24, 2017
ENTER HERE

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  The sweepstakes begins on October 2nd, 2017 at 8:00am PT and ends on October 20, 2017, at midnight PT for the Premiere Trip Sweepstakes & October 23rd through to November 24th, 2017 for the weekly prize packages.  Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. or D.C. who are 18 years of age or older. The sweeps can be entered ONCE PER DAY. Find a full list of the prizes available to be won, how to enter, odds of winning and drawing dates along with the full rules and regulations at www.facebook.com/SunRypeUSA. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Sun-Rype Products Ltd.


Try SunRype products today!

http://www.sunrypeusa.com/where-to-buy
or order by the case online at:
amazon.com/shops/SunRypeProductsLtd

www.sunrypeusa.com

Here are the SunRype USA Social sites to follow.
https://twitter.com/sunrypeusa
https://www.facebook.com/sunrypeusa
http://instagram.com/sunrypeusa
https://www.pinterest.com/sunrypeusa/

 

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own!)

Astri The Brave L’il Oyster

Hudson has a new favorite book and when I get hooked on one with him it’s really special because we really enjoy reading them together! His new favorite is Astri The Brave L’il Oyster by Jessica Delagardelle and we LOVE it. It’s so adorable – The art is so unique. Hudson loves how realistic it is (Because a lot of materials went into the making all of the pieces)! He loves his cartoon character books but it seems like he’s able to really relate to the realness of brave little Astri!

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Astri teaches all of us (big and small) how important it is to overcome fear and challenges to allow ourselves to accomplish and grow.

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She is a tiny, super cute little oyster who encounters some misfortune and although was initially very afraid she musters up the strength to be brave!

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Once braver she finds it easier and easier to gain the strength to handle her struggle and in the end brings forth a beautiful pearl.

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This story not only teaches our children (and again, ourselves) how powerful it is to be brave and strong but also teaches children where pearls come from (AND how much work it takes to do so – As it is with other things that may require bravery!)

I love this book because it’s teaching such a wonderful message (In so many different ways!) and the art is so unique and beautiful. Hudson constantly grabs it to read at night (And multiple times throughout the day!)

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I highly recommend it to any family, no matter the children’s age! You can buy it on Amazon or on L’il Astri’s Website!

(I was given a book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and are genuine. We LOVE this book!)

 

Paleo Margaritas

Happy College Game Day y’all! Geaux Tigers!

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Today, we decided to have some family also from Louisiana to come over and root for the LSU Tigers with us! So we wanted to have some good drinks to serve everyone that’s also paleo still! SO I just randomly came up with an idea for a drink and it came out amazing! Try it for yourselves and let me know what you thought or what you did differently ❥

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We’re going to be thoroughly enjoying these drinks AND some amazing food I’ve got in the works that I’ll also post tonight! Football is back, y’all!

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Cusa Tea – Swapping Coffee for Tea!

As y’all know I’ve been struggling with some fatigue for awhile. It comes and goes and I believed it to be a Vitamin C deficiency but have still been super sluggish lately without knowing the reason why, STILL.

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When I would wake up in the morning the first thing I would go for is a cup of coffee which in the end left me feeling sick to my stomach and almost just as tired if not more afterward! So I’ve decided to give it up and switch to tea to see if that’ll help at all. And so far, it’s been amazing!

I started drinking Cusa Tea as it’s an instant tea that comes in to-go packets which are so very convenient for a Mom who is always on the go like myself! Not only did I notice my energy levels go up in the mornings but I don’t feel as sluggish afterward and don’t feel dehydrated!

 

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I love my Pouchee purse! It’s got the best stevia and tea packet holders 😉

Cusa Tea is a Colorado company based out of Boulder (I love supporting local businesses!) and uses only premium, high-quality teas and fruits without any sugars or artificial gunk you see in other to-go packets in the stores! So I feel great having my toddler have sips! (Cuz you know.. Their stuff is not nearly as delicious as what Mommy is having 😛 )

They have a lovely variety of teas from black, green and oolong tea with varying flavors as well! (So far my favorite is the Mango Green tea! ❥)

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I went to a health event recently that said that common coffees could contain Mycotoxins (mold toxins) that could be detrimental to your body especially if you’re sensitive to these toxins, but why would you want toxins in your body anyways?!

So I’m sure I’ll have a cup of joe every now and then but after feeling the way I have sticking with Cusa Tea and Stevia (I use Wholesome’s Stevia packets because of the convenience and it’s just straight Stevia leaf extract, no added stuff!) I’m going to keep staying on track with these in the mornings and whenever I need a midday pickup!

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Try for yourself and see if switching from coffee to tea helps you with whatever fatigue, foggy-headedness, or grogginess you’re experiencing! You never know what you could use as an alternative to make you feel like new ☀

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

 

Paleo Homemade Fruit Strips / Roll-Ups

Y’all.. I’m OBSESSED with our new dehydrator! I’ve used it literally everyday! So far.. I’ve mastered jerky and fruit strips. Fruit strips seemed pretty tough at first and after a few epic failures we’ve finally mastered some adult enjoyed and child approved/LOVED fruit strips/leather! It’s SO good. This is just the recipe for fruit strips but I promise to share my jerky recipe VERY soon (My meat OBSESSED Husband very much approves of my method 😉 )

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You can use any dehydrator but we really love our Magic Mill! It’s affordable, quiet and works AMAZING. Most dehydrators will come with a tray specific for fruit strips/leather. I begin by making sure my dehydrator is set at 158°F for 10 hours – I spray my fruit tray with non-stick spray (Just incase) and use whichever fruit is going to go bad! (Used blackberries in one but it was SO texture-y because of the seeds) So far, our favorite is JUST bananas! All you need to do is blend up whichever fruit you’re wanting to use and then pour the mixture into the tray (Ours have lips so they don’t spill out). The more mixture the thicker the strips, we like them either way!

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It’s good to check it constantly but once they’ve been in the dehydrator for 10 hours (May need longer if you’ve used a TON of mixture!) you can remove them and let them sit out for about 5-10 minutes then you can cut them longways and make them into “fruit roll-ups” our kids have been LOVING this alternative to the sugar-y snack and they love that they’re “being healthy” for their school snacks!

It’s seriously THAT simple. And instead of spending money on unhealthy snacks or money on one tiny strip at a time you can make your own with any fruit you choose or any fruit that’s going bad to avoid ANY waste – And it makes a TON!

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Try it out y’all! You’ll love having a healthy treat to turn to and your kids will love the delicious taste of their healthy lunch snacks!