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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

 “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Life is getting really crazy in our household!  It seems that once Thanksgiving hits, life accelerates for busy families.  Getting ready for the Holiday's tends to put most households on edge.  The pressures to buy the right gifts, decorate, bake, attend holiday parties, and manage all the rest of our "normal" crazy lives tend to really stress us out!

For our family this time of year has been leading up to my daughter's performance in the Nutcracker!  Our ballerina has been working hard for months rehearsing with the cast to get ready for one weekend of Holiday Magic!  Just watching her first night of dress rehearsals last night got me teary!  It truly has become a holiday tradition for our family.

However, as rehearsals went on until 8:30, and I was driving home with my interior light on, and my daughter in the passenger seat trying to finish her math homework. I was regretting letting her attend our Girl Scout meeting where we worked on Christmas ornaments for the Christmas trees we are donating to needful families in our area.  This is our first year that she has 2 nights of ballet classes each week, and bigger roles in the Nutcracker.  Meaning she has 2 LATE nights of rehearsals this week also!

Needless to say, she is not going to get much sleep this week, which will put our whole family on edge.  Tweenage girls don't do well with lots of added stress, and less sleep than normal!

In my mailbox I came across this wonderful blog post  "Be the Change You Want to See In Your World" by Trent A. Hamm over at The Simple Dollar!  We have all seen the quote “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi.  Trent does a great job of breaking it down and really hammering it home!

Never more relevant a post for me and my family right now for certain.  After I had dropped my children off at school this morning I was thinking to myself that this week is going to be rough for our family, and it would be up to me to hold it all together.  We all know as Mom's we are the ones who set the dynamics in our family. Read the blog, take it to heart.  Know that I am right there with you struggling to keep my cool during this busy holiday time!

Good Luck!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cleaning With Vinegar!

I am all about healthier and easy products for taking care of our families.  For a couple of months now I have been using a vinegar water solution to clean everything from windows to my refrigerator.  Vinegar is a great all purpose cleaner and it is made from corn!  I never knew that!  No preservatives, no additives, all natural!  Love It!  Vinegar has been used for 10,000 years. It just might be the world's oldest ingredient!

So very easy to make, fill a re-purposed spray bottle with 50% water - 50% white vinegar.  That's it, and it cleans like a dream!

Another thing I just learned today about Vinegar:  An open dish of white distilled vinegar will help remove paint smells from a room. Bonus!

Due to it's high level of acidity it kills most mold, bacteria, and germs.  I would much rather spray my counter tops with vinegar than a bleach spray to kill bacteria after I have been slicing and dicing raw meats!  There are so many more ways to use vinegar in your cleaning routines, I could never list them all, so I suggest you explore them at 1001 uses for White Vinegar!  There are a ton of great ideas I could have never thought of!

I also wanted to share with you a way to improve upon an already great cleaner.  I came across this great idea to create Scented Vinegars Cleansers that a fellow blogger , Monica created at her site The Yummy Life!  I am so loving these ideas, I plan to pick up some fresh lemons today!

How Great is this?  All natural, non-toxic and you can make it smell any way you like!  And its easy!  Love It!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Healthier Fast Food Choices

Is it possible to go Christmas Shopping and have lunch at the mall for less than 500 calories?  Apparently so!  Here is another great story by iVillage about how we can make healthier food choices even when we have to make quick stops at fast food restaurants for dinner or lunch!  Not all of these restaurants are available in my area, but I have hear of almost all of them!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cheap, Homemeade Carpet Stain Remover!

I am a very big fan of the blog site One Good Thing By Jillee.  So when I read a post she had made about a Homemeade Carpet Stain Remover I had to try it!  

My daughter had a sleep over a couple of years ago, and unbeknownst (it must be a word, spell check liked it!) to me they had spilled pancake syrup on the carpet in my living room.  I tried everything to get that spot out.  Unfortunately, it had sat for a couple days before I even saw it.  I rarely go into the living room.  There is no time to watch TV, and if we have a busy couple of days, well, it can be a while...  Thankfully I had been able to cover it up by sliding the Loveseat forward a couple inches.

Anyways, I tried to get that spot out but nothing worked.  I even allowed the Kirby Salesman into our home to do a "free carpet cleaning demonstration" in the hopes that he could get it out.  No such luck!  I didn't end up buying the Kirby (nice system) but not in our budget.

Never the less, when I saw this post on Jillee's blog I had to try it!

It worked!  I filled a spray bottle halfway with Ammonia and filled it the rest of the way with hot water.  Got out a white towel to make sure I followed the directions exactly and plugged in my iron.

I gave that syrup spot a good spray, soaking it well.  Placed my towel over top and started ironing it with my hot iron.  I lifted the towel after ironing maybe 45 seconds (+/-) and da da da da!  It was gone!

It really worked!  Next I worked on that spot where someone spilled pop at my son's birthday party.  That disappeared too!  So I kept going.  I know have a spot free carpets in my home!  Yeah!!! 

Just be sure you don't inhale too much of the ammonia fumes!

Although we still needed to shampoo our carpets with a machine.  My husband recently did this.  (something I just physically can't do) Wow, I couldn't believe all the yuck he got out that you couldn't see.  
Hopefully someday soon that money tree will start growing in our backyard, OR we learn to live on a budget and we can put in hardwood floors throughout the house.  

Until then, I know how to get the carpet stains out and with kids, I am sure there will be more!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sick Children & Chicken Noodle Soup!

So I made my pot of Chicken Soup for my sick children.  I have always believed that Chicken soup helps relieve your cold symptoms.  Here is a link that discusses why!

I always make an extra large pot so I can freeze some for future emergencies.  I cook my noodles on the side and add them to the bowl as I serve.  Otherwise, the noodles get mushy in the freezer.  Plus, once my family doesn't want any more soup (which is pretty much by the second bowl!) I can make Chicken & Bisciuts! Yeah!

Maybe I should give you my Chicken Soup recipe first? I do tend to get ahead of myself...

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup:

1 Whole, Organic, Free Range Chicken
1 1/2 lbs. Organic Baby Carrots, sliced
1 lb. Organic Celery, Sliced & Diced
1 Lg. Organic Onion, Sliced & Diced
Couple dashes of Salt & Pepper
Chicken Bullion, to your taste specifications
Noodles, Rice, Pasta, whatever you have/want to add at the end!

Boil your chicken gently in a very large pot until the chicken is cooked & easily pulled off the bone.  My pot has a strainer in it, if your lucky enough to have one use that!  Once the chicken is cooked you want to remove the chicken and all the bones from your pot so it may cool.  

Once you have removed all the chicken parts from your pot of chicken stock, gently add the vegetables. Yes, you have actually made your own chicken stock! Let them simmer until tender.   Please feel free to get creative with your veggies here.  There are so many veggies you can add to mix up the recipe!  I added half a bag of chopped Kale to this batch.  Not bad, my son wasn't so very fond, but that is nothing new! (click on this link to discover why Kale  is considered the "Queen of Greens")

In the meantime, let your chicken cool a bit.  It helps to pull sections of the chicken apart.  This will help it cool faster.  You really don't want to try breaking up the chicken with your fingers.  It Hurts!

Pull all of your chicken meat off of the bones.  Save some of the mushy/yucky looking stuff for your dog if you have one.  If your like me, he/she will be standing at your feet waiting for something to drop!  Makes our Sunshine so happy!  Cut up the chicken meat into bite size pieces and add to your pot of simmering veggies.

Start taste testing your broth to determine how much Chicken Bullion you like in your soup. Start with a couple tablespoons, and stir.  Then taste it. Repeat if you want more.   We like ours pretty salty, so I add almost a full container of the powdered  stuff!  Enjoy!
New to Blogging - Uuugh!

So here I am trying to figure out this whole blogging thing.  I spent the whole morning researching. Don't get me wrong, I love finding new stuff on the internet! But, there are so many things I really should be doing.
  It has been awhile since I have added anything to this blog, oops!

I had gotten pretty discouraged wondering how/why I can't get any followers!  Not that I thought the Magical Blogging Fairy would come along & make this successful.  But shouldn't Somebody?, Anybody? want to hear my magical rantings (lol) ?

Time they say.  It all takes time.  Uuugh!  I want to start contributing to this financially sinking ship now, NOT IN TIME!

Fortunately, there are a lot of bloggers out there who offer support and say just keep plugging away!

So I stopped for a moment to start my pot of Chicken Soup.  I am no Julia Child, but I was taught that when your sick there is nothing better than homemade chicken soup.  I have a sick child at home, time to make some soup! I guess I should have started it before I sat down at the computer.  I do tend to get stuck!

I am really trying to use only organic, free-range chickens.  If I'm going to take the time to cook something homemade (which, Good Lord, is time consuming!) I don't want to give my family food with chemicals! It is a little more expensive, but the price is going down

Of course, as I was cutting up my bag of baby carrots, I remembered hearing how they are rinsed in Chlorine! Oh Poop!

So I headed over to to find the answer.  I'm not sure if I trust that it is totally safe, but we sure do eat an awful lot of them in our house!  So for now, I guess they're better than eating Potato Chips! (Oh, how I love a bag of Salty Chips!)

We have a number of issues in my little family (physical, sensory, emotional....) anyhow, all the talk out there says that it is all those awful chemicals that are contributing/causing/making worse so many of our problems!

So for now I'm going to try to be more organic as long as it isn't too difficult!  I will not be starting any alfalfa sprouts!

But back to my rantings...I will keep trying.  I believe there are others (hello...) out there like me who want easier, more healthful ways to raise our families!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Kitchen Escapades: Lunchbox Icepacks

I just found the link to this in one of my favorite emails - Living Rich With Coupons!  Yeah! What a wonderfully inexpensive solution to all those expensive lunch box freezer ice blocks! My Kitchen Escapades: Lunchbox Icepacks !

We go thru so many of these especially in the summer when we take numerous salads to picnics & parties, and if we happen to leave it there, oh well!  I will be buying the larger sponges with the big zip tight freezes bags for that purpose of course!

 But, I can only imagine the $ I'll save!  How many of those fancy lunchbox ice blocks end up in the school's cafeteria garbage?  Once my daughter even threw her change purse full of money into the garbage!  Actually, I think she did it more than that.  Obviously, we quit sending money in with her for lunch after that.  It is so much easier to just refill their lunch $ accounts with a monthly check!  If only school lunches tasted better.  The new Federal Laws are helping to make them healthier, but not that much!  All those foods made with canned & preservative filled foods! YUCK!

As I was reading this blog, I immediately thought of my Mother.  She recently injured her foot and needed to purchase an Ice Pack, to ice her foot throughout the day to reduce the swelling.  Unfortunately, she lives on a very tight budget.  So when she went to the store to buy one, she couldn't imagine spending so much money.  It was way beyond her budget!  I recommended to her something my Girl Scout Troop learned while earning their Safety Badge.  Using a zip tight bag with water and placing it in the freezer to have handy for emergency uses.  My Mother was concerned about how hard & un-conforming this would be.  This would solve that problem!  I am sure that within a couple of minutes the sponges would defrost to a point that would allow it to be wrapped in a dish towel and place on your swollen appendage!  I can't wait to share this with our local Fire Department Safety Instructor & my Girl Scout Troop!  Of course my Mother too!

This was my first time visiting this blog site, but it looks like a good one!  It is amazing how many bloggers are out there with incredibly great ideas.  I'll keep sharing the great ones as I find them!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Choosing Snacks - Which is Healthier?

I ran across this article on iVillage today. Boy was I surprised by some of the unhealthy choices in snacks I had been making for my kids!  You think your making good choices, but how do we really know?  Some of the choices didn't surprise me at all.  Others just blew me away! Check it out for yourself and see what you think.  "Which is Worse? Healthy and Unhealthy Choices! could be a great resource for me while I am in the snack aisle of the grocery store. Thank goodness for smart phones!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Reduce Spider & Varicose Veins with Essential Oils...

I seriously have to try this!  I have had my veins stripped in my right leg, I don't recommend it! Of course the day after I had mine done my 2 year old son came down with the flu.  The only place he wanted to be was cuddled up on Mommy's lap, moving all my stitches around.  Made the scars even worse! Uuugh!  I was planning on looking into a vein treatment center, but if this works....Yay!  I'll let you know! Thanks Rebecca at Camp Wander!

Camp Wander: How to Reduce Spider & Varicose Veins with Essenti...: By a show of hands , how many wear long pants all summer  to avoid showing your legs because of unsightly spider veins or varicose vei...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chia Seeds Update!

Well, I haven't had a chance to try making the Apricot Chia Bars.  But I did go out and get some nutrition packed Chia Seeds.  Major Anti-Oxidants & Omega 3's!  I sprinkle a couple spoonfuls in my plain Greek yogurt with some cut up fruit and a couple spoonfuls of local honey.  Yum, Yum!  This I can eat.  Plus it's quick & easy!  I bought the plain Greek Yogurt for the extra punch of protein and added the local honey to help combat my seasonal allergies.  So far, so good!

The Chia Seeds really don't have a flavor.  I wouldn't know they were there except for all the little black specks in my yogurt.  My husband did complain about the calories as he is on a diet.  60 calories per tablespoon.  I may just try throwing them in a smoothie!  should be an easy way to add them to my diet!

I, on the other hand, am watching my health as opposed to my waistline.  I have spinal issues, with the added bonus of Fibromyalgia!  Woo Hoo!  So I am constantly trying new, healthful ways to take care of my body, as well as my family's!  I haven't noticed any dramatic changes in my pain levels, but I guess it will take more than one thing to get this body functioning better as a whole!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Better Sex through Yoga?

Better Sex through Yoga?  Just 5 Minutes a day? Here is a video by Dr. Frank Lampman and Tara Stiles that discusses the benefits. Not just better sex, but more energy, less stress, better sleep, better digestion, etc...... I am a firm believer that exercise, getting your blood flowing, is always good for you!  A cousin of mine has become a Yoga Guru and has been touting the benefits that the practice of yoga can bring to your life.  They say this in the video, but my cousin has also recommended that I take a class.  She says that the best way to learn the pose's is to have a teacher correcting your incorrect positioning, & most importantly reminding you to Breathe!

I am going to try to make this a habit in my life. Not an easy thing to do with my family's busy schedule, but I want to start feeling better and have more energy!  I am going to do it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Algebra Help!

I found this site ALGEBRA HELP on Homestead Survival.  I know I have trouble helping my daughter with her Math Homework!  Here's hoping this helps!

Chia Seeds

I am a Mom always looking for Easier, Healthier, & Safer ways to take care of my busy family just like everybody else!  I keep finding all these wonderful posting on the internet and other blog sites.  The problem is that I loose track of where I find the information I want to keep!  So I decided (selfishly, yes!) to create a blog site that holds all the interesting & helpful information out on the web!  I hope you enjoy the things I share!

I recently found this post on Edible Harmony! I think I will be trying them!  I'll let you know what I think later!

Chia Seeds: Benefits and Nutrition

benefits and nutrition of chia seeds

Chia seeds, also known as Salvia Hispanica, is a seed grown primarily in southern Mexico. These miniature powerhouses are extremely nutritious, readily available, inexpensive, and versatile. They are made up of 22% of protein, 35% of healthy fats, and abundant amounts of dietary fiber. With 10-11 grams of fiber per ounce, chia seeds deliver over 40% of the recommended daily value of fiber with a single serving. The fiber helps slow digestion and makes you feel fuller by soaking up fluid and expanding in your digestive tract. A unique characteristic of chia is its nutritional content:
3-5 times more calcium than milk.
3 times more iron than spinach.
8 times more omega 3s than salmon.
15 times more magnesium than broccoli.
3 times more antioxidants than blueberries.
Among the numerous benefits of chia is their high omega 3 content, higher than even flaxseed.  Another benefit of chia over flaxseed is that due to their high antioxidant content, their storage life is extremely long. Chia seeds do not have the rancidity issues that affect other sources of fatty acids. Also, unlike flax seeds, they are very bioavailable and do not need to be ground or crushed before eaten  for optimal absorption. They´re also a great source of fiber, and chock full of minerals including magnesium, calcium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, iron, and zinc as well as B vitamins.
Their versatility and unique nutritional content makes chia seeds a great choice for those suffering from numerous health conditions.  Chia helps control blood sugar, as well as lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. It helps improve memory and mood, and also improves the overall health of skin, teeth, and nails. Yet another advantage unique to chia seeds: when added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia seeds form a gel. Researchers suggest that a similar reaction takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar. This can prove as a great benefit in weight management endeavors. Also, chia gel can replace eggs in vegan versions of various types of baked goods. If making chia gel, use 1 part chia  to 9 parts liquid. Mix well, and allow 10 minutes for the seeds to fully  hydrate.
In the culinary world, chia seeds also have unique characteristics that are making them a more popular choice in ethnic foods from around the world.  Their mild nutlike flavor and solid consistency provide them with a versatility that makes them a great addition to yogurt, smoothies, salads, baked goods, and almost anything you can imagine.  Their consistency and internal properties allow them to be a healthy substitute for butter and/or eggs while baking, which makes chia a favorite among vegetarians and vegans alike. Until recently, chia was produced by only a few small growers, but commercial production has resumed in Latin America, and you can now buy the seeds online and in health food stores. Because of their unique nutritional value and stability, chia is already being added to a range of foods. Another bonus: insects don’t like the chia plant so it is easier to find organically grown varieties. Although already featured on many health blogs, magazines, articles, and even The Dr. Oz TV Show, be on the look out as we´ll undoubtedly be hearing much more about chia and its health benefits in the near future.

Edible Harmony also included a recipe for Apricot Chia Bars which I think my Husband will love!