Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A little snow day surprise!

We are snowed in with a blizzard right now.  I've got the house clean, dinner cooking in the crockpot, the kids are clean and happy.  Now, with the few extra minutes I have to spare, I am making three envelopes with goodies in it from me.  The first three people to go to my facebook page and post there "I love Monkeys and Moustaches!" will get one of the envelopes sent to them. Ready, set, GO! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Goodbye hair, hello good feeling

Back in December, I wrote a very long post about random acts of kindness.  It had over 80 ideas for doing random acts of kindness in your home town, with your family and friends.  Many of my followers or people who had found me through Pinterest emailed me for the list.  I emailed it to everyone interested and sat back to see what happened.  I got a lot of comments about the post, people who had tried doing random acts of kindness each day in December, and then people who had random acts of kindness done to them in return.  I was so excited to see where this project went, who learned something from it, who it effected, and hear about who felt blessed by doing nice things.  I heard from so many people who were new to this random kindness thing.  I heard how good it felt to give for absolutely no reason at all, and I heard how the good deeds were returned to them randomly. 

I was also the recipient of quite a few random acts of kindness myself in the month of December.  My kids and I were given gift cards to a restaurant, a coffee/donut shop and Walmart.    I received a few packages anonymously

Yes, it's filled with lip balms.  This is just my 'stashe on my work desk. 

(Do you see a pattern here??)

(and some weren't so anonymous) at my doorstep, and I was actually given a brand new couch by a couple I didn't know (but know now, and I could not thank them enough for their generosity), who were doing a kind deed before Christmas. 

The generous deeds I did were just small tokens of my appreciation for all of the blessings I have in my life.  My kids and I donated pillows, blankets and towels to the homeless. 

We donated winter clothes to a local charity.  We gave our gas attendants (and friend, Honey Badger Bob) hand warmers.  We paid for coffee and a donut at the drive thru.  We gave homemade cookies to every person on our newpaper routes,
we donated our time at the church Christmas bazaar. 

We brought glue sticks, dry erase markers, post it notes to the kids' classrooms at school.  I cut 11 inches of my hair off and donated my ponytail to a group that makes wigs for cancer patients. 

We donated our time and toys for Toys For Tots.  I helped move some couches to a cousin's house.  We dropped some old sheets off at a pet shelter.  I gave a little boy behind me in a loooooong line at Walmart a bunch of coins because he was so patient and such a good boy waiting all that time.  He originally had one penny in his hand that he had found on the floor, and he was going to put it in his piggy bank at home.  Now he has a bunch of coins to add to his piggy bank.  And his smile when I handed them to him was infectious. 
As I did all of these random acts of kindness, I didn't expect anything in return.  The good feeling I had knowing that I would make someone happy was enough for me.  The things I did were so minor, but they made a difference in someone's day.  Honey Badger Bob's hands were warm in the freezing cold.  Our paper customers had a yummy dessert, someone (or many someones) were able to keep warm because they had blankets now, and a soft pillow to lay their head at night.  The dogs at the shelter would now have a soft bed.  I did get plenty of items in return, which I am so grateful for.  But the emotion that I felt behind giving each item and the fact that my children were learning to be selfless and generous was all that I really needed. 
In closing, I received a beautiful letter in the mail today that I did not expect to receive.  When I mailed off my ponytail, I did not include a card letting them know who sent it.  When you donate, you can choose to get a card back in the mail, whether for tax purposes, or just for your own records, by sending them a card with your name and address.  I just mailed the ponytail with my return address on the envelope, not expecting anything at all. 

The letter reads
"Dear Generous Donor,
On behalf of Pantene Beautiful Lengths, with heartfelt appreciation, we thank you for giving so selflessly of yourself to women who are faced with hair loss from cancer treatment. 
Your healthy ponytail will help give self -confidence back to a special woman who is battling cancer so that she can fight the disease with a little more dignity.  Your generosity is touching and we hope it will inspire many others to make the kindest cut of all. 
As you may already know, it takes roughly six ponytails to make one Pantene Beautiful Lengths wig.  Your donation will be joined with five others and transformed into a high quality, real-hair wig by HAIRUWEAR, our campaign partner and the leading global producer of real-hair wigs and extensions. 
We are also honored to work closely with the American Cancer Society.  The American Cancer Society distributes Pantene Beautiful lengths wigs, at no cost, to female cancer patients, through it's extensive network of nationwide wig banks.  If you are interested in finding out more about this program and the incredible difference that it is making, please visit .
Together, we can help bring some joy into the lives of women living with cancer.
Kind regards,
Pantene Beautiful Lengths"
This letter means so much to me.  And if you don't already know, this is not the first time I have been involved with the American Cancer Society.  I have cut my hair before to donate 12 inches back in 12/2009.  And I did it a few years before that, too.  But more importantly, I am a team co-Captain at the Upper Cape Relay For Life each June on Cape Cod, MA.  I do this for my Dad, who is a survivor of almost 11 years, for my Grandmother, whom we lost in April 2011, and for my friend Jackie who was like a second Mom to me who lost her fight in 2003.  Please read about my story (and theirs) HERE.
Please consider getting involved in random acts of kindness.  I promise you, you will get an AMAZING feeling from it.  Please contact me if you'd like any advice, any tips, or if you'd like to get involved with the Relay For Life.  For Pantene Beautiful Lengths, please go to or
Thank you so much to everyone who showered me with generosity this month, last month, and always.  I am so incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life and the lives of my family.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  Love, Heather

A little bit about me.....

About 5 months ago, I started a Monkeys and Moustaches Facebook page.  I post the links to my blog posts over there, start random conversations with my followers, post exercise tips or funny pictures over there.  If you haven't "liked" me there yet, please click HERE.  I logged in today to learn that I hit 300 likes this week! With all the new followers, I wanted to introduce myself and let everyone know exactly why I do what I do.  So Im going to re-post my introduction over here so all of you can "meet" me, also. 
Hello!  I am a Mom of three from Cape Cod, MA. My kids are 9, almost 6,and 21 months. My Husband is a chef and we have been married for almost 11 years, together for 13. I work part time from home as a blogger, a product sampler a...nd reviewer and I also watch a group of "borrowed kids" as I call them, 4 days a week. I also run the nursery program at my Church. I am busy, and life is hectic, but I wouldn't want it any other way. When I first had my son in 2004, my hours at my nanny job dropped dramatically and so I searched for ways to save my family money. I found a few companies that would send me free products and lots of coupons in return for my honest opinion. I learned to save money by watching sales, shopping clearance racks, using coupons and discount codes and stocking up when there is a huge sale. I also learned to create certain things that I wouldn't be able to spend money on otherwise. In all of these years as a Mom, I have saved money and made sure that my kids had all that they needed, most of what they wanted, and had fun every day. We do lots of crafts, bake and cook most days, and make fun items out of every day things. Im pretty sure that if you ask them, they'll tell you that our house is a fun house and that our family is a loving team.
  Photo credit: Sweet Connolly Photography

I also am a woman who is struggling with my weight. After the birth of my second child, I was at an all time high for weight, living a sedentary lifestyle and I finally admitted that I needed a change for my health. Now, 5 years later, I am over 100 lbs lighter. I am more active, eating much healthier, but still struggling. After a death in the family that sent me into my old eating habits in 2011, and then the pregnancy and then birth of my third baby in 2012, I found an extra 30 lbs on me. I have been losing and gaining the same 5-10 lbs ever since and now, just last week, I joined a gym and became committed more than ever to winning this battle. I have some health issues that I determined to beat and they will not hold me back from anything.

So that is me. I am happy to see all of these new faces and names each day, following my progress, joining in with me, cooking my recipes, trying my DIY tips, etc. I enjoying hearing that I have inspired you to join me, whether it is exercising a bit more, eating healthier, making crafts with your kids, saving money using a tip on my page, etc. And I also love to hear your triumphs. So feel free to comment, send me a message, find me on Instagram or Pinterest. I'd love to hear from you!

Please check out my page if you haven't already..... 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Protein Ice Cream and a Click giveaway!

One of my biggest problems with sticking with healthy eating is that part of my brain that tells me I need something sweet after a meal or when Im watching tv at night.  I'm normally not hungry at those times, but my body begs me to get something sweet..... chocolate, a cookie (oh, stop lying.... its 2, 3 or 4 cookies!) or ice cream.  Mmmm, I do love my ice cream.  Lately I've been trying to make sure my "sweet" snack is more of a healthy type..... greek yogurt with some chocolate chips, cottage cheese with some fruit, a protein shake.  A few nights ago, I couldnt get that feeling under control.  I wanted ice cream but didnt want to blow the hard work I did all day, the exercising and healthy eating. 

So I pulled out my ice cream maker.  It hadn't been used in well over a year.  My family has two ice cream makers, one is electric, one is a shake and make ball.  Both are so easy to use.  The shake and make is a big plastic ball that you add salt and ice to one chamber, the ice cream ingredients in the other chamber and shake.  My family makes a game of hot potato out of it when we make ice cream that way, plus its a good way to keep our allergens separate.  We make my son's ice cream in the shaker, we use the electric ice cream maker for all non safe ice cream.  The electric ice cream maker that we have is by a company called Deni.  I bought the maker off of Amazon for super cheap years ago, and its still working perfectly.  I toss the bowl in the freezer overnight, the next day I put the bowl into the machine, turn the machine on, add the ingredients, and it will freeze them in no time.

This brilliant idea to make my own ice cream couldn't have come at a better time.  Click brand protein had contacted me a while back about doing another giveaway on my blog.  I drink Click EVERY morning.  It's a coffee flavored protein that I toss in my blender with water, coffee, a bit of flavoring and some ice and I make a protein filled coffee house type frozen drink every day.  It is a lot lower in calories and sugar than the typical frozen coffee drink that you get at the local coffee shop and it tastes delicious, plus, with about 15 grams of protein per serving, its a nice boost to get your morning going.  Read about it here and here
So I started getting my recipes ready so I could make a few containers of ice cream for when a craving hits.   In all instances, I added all of the ingredients together in a glass bowl, mixed thoroughly. I turned my ice cream maker on and added the mix in. It takes approximately 5-15 minutes for the ice cream to freeze, depending on the flavor.  Each recipe here will make 2 full servings of ice cream, with between 8 and 16 grams of protein per serving. 
Mexican Royale protein Ice Cream
1 cup almond milk (you can use regular milk, coconut milk or soy milk, also.)
2 scoops of Click Mocha protein
2tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 crushed chocolate covered espresso beans


Mocha Oreo protein ice cream
1 cup of almond milk
2 scoops of Click brand mocha protein
2 crushed oreo cookies
1 tbsp Torani (or other flavored syrup) I used Kahlua flavor

Chocolate covered Cherry Protein ice cream
1 cup of almond milk
1tbsp black cherry flavored syrup
2 scoops of Click Vanilla latte flavored protein
5-6 frozen cherries chopped up
1tbsp dark chocolate chips
Salted Caramel protein ice cream
1 cup of almond milk
2 scoops of Click vanilla latte flavored protein
2 tbsp of salted caramel flavored Torani syrup
I made each type of ice cream, put them in a small freezer safe container (sealed tight!) and now I have healthier ice cream ready to go whenever the mood strikes.  It is lower in calories and sugar, and high in protein.  I am ready for an ice cream craving!!!
Now, please enter my Click protein giveaway!  They will send one lucky winner a tub of Click protein (winner's choice of flavor..... Mocha, Vanilla latte, or Mocha decaf) and a Click brand wire whisk shaker bottle, perfect for making Click protein drinks on the go!  GOOD LUCK!! 

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