Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Review: "Nighttime Parenting" by Dr. Sears

Over 7 years ago when my first child was born I was trying to be the best mom I could possibly be. My sweet baby girl was so tiny and new and I was exhausted. I needed to sleep but society was telling me to let my little one sleep on her own, and cry it out so she could learn to comfort herself and I could get some sleep.

The few minutes I let my sweet baby "cry it out" were the longest few How could something that is so "normal" feel so incredibly wrong? This was certainly not a relaxing atmosphere to get some rest, instead i became more tense and couldn't take it anymore, I ran into her room and scooped her up and consoled her.

Having her near felt "right". Not only did it comfort her, but it comforted me. We were so close for so long (the nine months while she was in my womb) it didn't feel natural to let her face the world by herself, she wanted to be by me and I wanted to be by her. So I held her close and nursed her to sleep in my bed; and shortly after I fell asleep too. After some great rest we were both refreshed and happy. It felt, natural, and "right".

Who ever said that babies should sleep through the night? They aren't built that way. It is something that should be an easy transision, and until then, be there for your baby to comfort them when they do wake at night. It can be hard to find support out there that encourages you to follow your natural instincts, and was so relieved when I came across , 'Nighttime Parenting: How to get your baby and child to sleep’ by William Sears (La Leche League International book)

I loved this book.  In a society that is bombarded with "independence" and early separation, it was so reassuring to know that it's ok to co-sleep. "Nighttime Parenting" by Dr. Sears is such an awesome resource for moms with newborns. Co sleeping with your baby isn't going to spoil them or create bad sleep habit, if anything it helps you sleep better and helps you create a stronger bond. Treasure these sweet moments while you can because they won't be babies forever. And for the record, my 7 year old sleeps peacefully and happily in her own bed now:)

So if you are a new mom, mom to be, or just supportive of natural parenting, give this book a read.

*Please note, I only recommend safely co-sleeping, which is easlily acheivable for mom's who breastfeed.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent RECIPE!

With 4 rambunctious kids you can imagine I have Mt.Laundry that I have to tackle everyday. Homemade laundry detergent isn't just cost effective but it's also free of a bunch of gross chemicals. I prefer my recipe for powdered laundry detergent because it's quick and simple to make plus it's less messy, since it doesn't drip everywhere.

Powdered Laundry Detergent Recipe:
2 bars of ivory soap (zote or fels naphtha work too)
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda

Put soap in food processor until it becomes cottage cheese like texture. Add borax and washing soda and blend until consistent powdery texture. Store in air tight container in a cool dry place. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load of laundry

TIP: add detergent while washer is filling with water to help it dissolve THEN add clothes to washer.
Check out my how-to video!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Green Smoothie Recipe

 Green Smoothie...
I remember when I first heard this term. "How disgusting!", I thought. How could a green smoothie actually be appetizing? No way did I want to drink that strange concoction, and certainly the kids would dislike it as well. I know that green leafy veggies are so good for me, but who really eats a salad every day? I know I should, but I don't. So eating my greens in a smoothie not only makes me feel lighter and more energized but its nice to know I'm getting all the health benefits of green leafy veggies first thing in the morning, since I usually eat this for breakfast. I say, "eat" because I kind of chew it as I sip on it. By chewing your smoothie it helps the digestion process by beginning to break it down so your body can absorb more nutrients. I know, chewing a liquid sounds silly but give it a try.
So I decided to give it a try, and to my surprise it was actually quite tasty! The bananas and other fruit really help give the smoothie a sweet flavor and you honestly can't taste the greens unless you add alot.

There are SO many different variations of green smoothies but that's the great thing because it will never get boring and you can use ingredients you have on hand! I will try to post some of my other recipes like my Nut-Butter and Banana Green Smoothie and Orange-Mango Green Smoothie! But today I'm going to share my Original Green Smoothie Recipe. O When I first tried this smoothie I didn't have ground flax seed or hemp protein (I actually just started incorporating them into my smoothie recently) so don't feel obligated to go out and purchase them right away, they are optional.

Crunchy Kelly's Original Green Smoothie Recipe:
2 large servings, I double this recipe for myself and 3 older kids
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach
  • 1 1/2-3 cups of water depending on how thick or thin you'd like your smoothie
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of hemp protein (optional)

  1. Add all the ingredients into the blender and slowly pour in the water. Blend until' a nice consistency adding more water as needed.


Don't think your kids will drink it? Add some blueberries to your smoothie in the blender! It will turn it an appealing purple-ish color.

Think it's to much spinach? Reduce the amount of spinach and slowly add more to your smoothies as your taste buds get used to the taste and texture. Soon you'll be craving yummy greens! A true green smoothie contains 60% greens, and 40% fruits, but even if you get some greens it's better than nothing.

Have you had a green smoothie before? What was your reaction?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Homeschool Co-Op

With School back in session I thought it'd be appropriate to blog a bit about what the kids and I have to look forward to this school year. It happens to be my favorite aspect of homeschooling.

Yes we homeschool... some might be thinking:

What's a homeschooled child to do all day but lounge around in their pajamas while watching endless amounts of uneducational television and play mindless video games all while being trapped in from the rest of the world. Or that other awkward homeschooler that is locked in their confining room staring at piles of boring books and studying til the sun goes down and never getting the opportunity to... Socialize.


I said it... The "S"'word.

Maybe the picture I described above is what many people think homeschooled children fill their days with. Hey, I'm not going to lie, at one point in my life I thought the same thing. On the contrary homeschoolers have a massive amount of activities and yes social opportunities that fill their days.

One of my faavorite weekly activies include our homeschool co op! Which gives the kids plenty of positive "socialization" with their peers;)

A homeschool co op is when a group of homeschool families get together and pitch in with enrichment activites. I'm part of a co-op with 3 other mom's. We get together once a week, and alternate who hosts and teaches the activty. So one week I host at my house and have an art lesson planned, another week another mom hosts and does a science lesson, another mom will read a story and we have show and tell on this day, and another week another mom will have a geography lesson... my favorite part about this lesson? We all bring a dish that coordinates with the place the kids learn about that day! So when we learned about Mexico, I brought enchiladas, and we had a feast with all the other mexican food my friends brought! It was really neat because the kids really got the experience that different culture, and I'm always happy when foods around;)
Art Lesson with Our Homeschool co op
When we meet up each week, we usually do the lesson first before the kids get to distracted. After the lesson the kids play, while the mom's chat. This is such a great time to reconnect with others that have encouraging words, and advice about homeschooling and you can just have a few good laughs. Around 11:30 we eat lunch. Each week everyone brings a dish to share so we can enjoy a potluck lunch together. We used to just bring snacks but by the time the co-op was over everyone was rushing home with hungry grumpy kids. So eating lunch together has worked out great, and we all look forward to it each week.

With our homeschool friends making "goo"!

Are you in search of a homeschool co op? Check out your local homeschool forums and see if there is an opening in one. If you are having a hard time finding one in your area, then you can start one! It's really simple, all you need is 2-4 other homeschool families that can commit. Choose the subjects you would each like to cover and alternate who hosts. If you have an extra day in the month without anyone to host, this is a fun time to take a field trip or just have a casual playdate.

I love our homeschool co op, in all seriousness I don't know what I'd do without their support. It's so important for both your children and you to have a good foundation of friends you have so much in common with.

Have you always been curious about homeschooling but didn't know where to start? I remember when my husband first mentioned homeschooling, this is how I felt. Once it sank in I wasn't sure where to start, if you are unsure on what to do now that you chose to homeschool, this might help, and check out this post on what to teach.

Are you involved in a homeschool co op? If so what are some of your favorite aspects of your co op?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tortilla Recipe

 I haven't eaten tortillas in such a long time...
Not because I don't like them but because I hated to buy the tortillas that had all the preservatives and extra ingredients that looked like a paragraph on the side of the package. I was intimidated to make my own but since mastering other breadmaking I figured I could handle it. Turns out it's really simple and it's honestly a bit addicting! I don't know if its because the texture of the dough reminds me of my childhood when I played wih playdough or just the fact that you can make them so quickly. I love seeing fast results, lol. I also love this version because it is vegan since I use coconut oil instead of butter. I make a big batch of these, so I can store them in the freezer and pull them out when I need them.

You could use the tortillas in place of bread and make yummy nut butter and jelly rolls, veggie rolls or even fill them with this yummy Healthy Taco Salad!

I always double this recipe, because with my large family we go through them pretty quickly.

* 1 cup unbleached white flour (I just found unbleached flour in bulk at my local health food store, love it!)
*3/4 cup of whole wheat flour (you can use all white flour if you want them super flaky and light)
* 3/4 tsp sea salt
* 1/4 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
* 1/2 cup very hot water
* coconut oil for cooking

  1. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl, add the softened coconut oil and work into the flour until' you get a crumbly texture.
  2. Mix the hot water in slowly until combined
  3. Put mixture on lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes
  4. Shape dough into a ball and place in lightly greased bowl and cover and let rest for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 balls and then flatten. (I have more than 8 balls in this picture because I doubled the recipe) I found that if I smushed the ball under a glass bowl, then rolled out with my rolling pin I was able to get a pretty thin consistent shape. Make sure they are really thin so they turn out right.
  6. Preheat oiled skillet with some coconut oil on medium heat. Cook the tortilla for about 30-45 seconds on each side. They are done when they start to turn brown and puff up a bit. Be careful not to cook them over a very hot heat or they will burn.
  7. Let the tortillas cool down and freeze.

What will you do with your tortillas?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Raw Chocolate Pudding Recipe! It's actually Healthy!

Check out my latest video post! It's a raw chocolate pudding recipe! You'll never guess what the secret ingredient is, and did I mention it's actually healthy?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Anniversary! Creative Crunchy Mama Blog!

I can hardly believe that my blog is now 1 year old! I had been wanting to start my blog for years and finally just did it. Sometimes you have to stop wishing, hoping and dreaming and just DO it. I am so thankful to have this outlet to share with others the information that I have found. The topics that I talk about on my blog are often random but they are bits and pieces of my life that make me a Creative Crunchy Mama. Some things are deep morals and beliefs, and some are lighthearted tips and advice.

My passion in life is to be the best Mother, Wife, and ME that I can be. To live naturally and do what I feel is the right decision for all aspects of my life. I can only hope that if this blog has made a positive difference in someones life that I have served my purpose for all the time and energy that I have put into what is creativecrunchymama blog.

Here is to another wonderful year!

What are some things you would love for me to blog about? Any questions? Or advice you'd like? Leave a comment below and I'll make sure to feature it in my blog!

Monday, July 25, 2011

My First Video Blog Entry! Kitchen Tip:)

Check out my first ever Video Blog Entry! Today I'm talking about how to keep your cash out of the trash by chopping up and freezing veggies. Not only does it save the veggies that might go bad before you get to them, but it also will make your weeknights easier when you have these pre-chopped items on hand. Check out my video below!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Moving on the Cheap

I seriously can't believe it's been over a month since my last post. Between moving and family vacation I totally lost track of time... and seem to have lost any free time as well. But I certainly haven't forgotten how to be both cheap and green! ha! Let me share how you can save some $ next time you move.

So during our last move, my husband bought a bunch of boxes from Lowes or Home Depot. That was great  because we were able to get the specific sizes we needed, and when we needed them. He asked me to pick some up one day to finish our packing, and boy was I surprised! These boxes sure aren't cheap! Priced at at least $1 and up the cost adds up fast. I was determined to be a bit more budget friendly during this move so I found several places to get boxes, for FREE.

My Daughter helped label the boxes, "Fragile" :)

Reuse boxes and not only is it free but also eco-friendly! All retailers have boxes that their stock comes in, and I have found they are happy to send them along to a new home as opposed to "crushing" them. The place that was most convenient was my local grocery store. I visit it weekly, and all I had to do was call ahead and ask for them to set the boxes aside for me. Target, and other large retailers would often have free boxes, just make sure to call ahead of time or go early in the morning when they are stocking. Other places to check include ; and even your local mommies group.

When your done with your move, let your kids have at it and decorate the boxes to look like a house, or tape together to make a fun tunnel, what kid doesn't love boxes? Or just share the wealth and when you are done with them and pass them along to someone else that can use them.

Do you have an inexpensive moving tip or an idea to make moving easier? Please share in the comments below:)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

1 Minute Hair Cut!

All my life I've loved cutting and dying my own hair. I even cut hair when I was 14, yep, my friends and even my sisters trusted me at such a young age. I've always been a do-it-yourselfer! ...and who really wants to pay for something that you can do yourself...for free? I haven't dyed my hair in years, but I do still cut it on my own occasionally.

Ok, so I don't always cut my hair myself... Sometimes I'll go to a walk-in type salon to get my hair cut. I can count on one hand the times I've had my hair cut professionally in my adult life. Here is a picture of my last (professional) hair cut I had about 1 1/2 years ago.

I loved my hair short, it forced me to style it, instead of just tossing it in a ponytail.

Well, fast forward to now, and my hair is past my shoulders. I have been meaning to go get my hair cut for months, but really when do I have time? I certainly don't see myself lugging 4 kids in with me! Lol. And when my husband will watch the kids, I'd rather hang out with them.

So I finally gave up and just decided to do it myself. I scanned youtube for layered cuts and wanted to try something new. I found the quickest and easiest Do-it-Yourself cut ever! It seriously took me 1 minute to cut my own hair, and it looks fab!

  1. First brush your hair forward from the back of your head to the front (I wet my hair since it was easier to control).
  2. Then line up the tips of your hair using a fine-toothed comb, and use scissors or a trimmer, and cut a straight line across.
  3. Voila! You have a new layered cut!
Check out this video for a demo:

Here is my after pictures of my 1 minute hair cut. Please excuse the fact I don't have on a stitch of makeup... but look at my hair instead;)

This 1 minute hair cut is SO awesome, I even cut my daughters hair using the same technique and it was a cinch! Want to make it even easier, cut your hair over a trash can or spread out a piece of newspaper and cut over that for super quick cleanup!

*TIP* Only cut a small amount off at first. It's no fun when you cut off way more than you intended too, I know this from experience, ha! You can always cut more hair off later.

If you royally mess up though, you can go see a pro to fix it;)

And if not, hey, it'll grow back, right?

Have you ever cut your own hair? Were you pleased with how it turned out?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Strawberry Picking!

I love going to pick-your-own farms! The kids get to see where their food comes from, the fruit is DELICIOUS, and it makes for a great field trip.

Seriously, Look at these scrumptious red berries.

We went strawberry picking recently with some of our homeschool friends and it was so much fun. We picked strawberries first, which went pretty quickly even though my 2 year old picked several unripe strawberries, and my 4 year old only picked five! My 6 year old and I managed to pick a whole basket in no time. The farm we went to has several activities for the kids including a maze, play area, duck race, and more. We also brought a picnic lunch to enjoy on site which ended the morning perfectly!

My little helper and I picking Strawberries:)
I had plenty of strawberries, so we ate a bunch, froze some for smoothies and made some delicious freezer jam (thanks to my awesome friend Michelle) and I will share that later.

Strawberry season is typically from the end of April through the month of May. So check out to find a pick-your-own farm near you, and get to pickin'!

Now I just can't wait for July so I can go Blueberry Picking! Yum-O:)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Orange-Mango Smoothie

I love a good smoothie to start my day off right. I find that if I eat something heavy (cereal, oatmeal, muffins, typical breakfast food) I feel weighed down, and after only being awake for an hour, want to go back to bed! So after my tall glass of water (or 2-As a breastfeeding mama, I have to stay hydrated;) ) I typically have a tasty smoothie. Mango's are one of my favorite fruits, and eating them (or drinking them) always remind me of when I was in Puerto Rico for a Mission Trip years ago. They had mango's EVERYWHERE, and I happily indulged.

Mango's become creamy and perfect in a smoothie, especially when combined with zesty oranges. This is vibrant, refreshing, and will certainly put you in a good mood.

Orange-Mango Smoothie:
  • 2 mango's-peeled, chopped and frozen
  • 2 oranges-cold
  • a bit of fresh squeezed orange juice or water
Add all the ingredients in blender, and blend until' smooth. Add more liquid as needed. If you were unable to freeze the mango, you can add ice to make it nice and chilly. Savor!

Doesn't that look DELISH?!

Take a closer look...

Orange-Mango Smoothie

Friday, April 22, 2011

Egg Dyes- Naturally!

The kids and I dyed Easter eggs- Naturally!

Ok, so they all didn't turn out as vibrant as the store-bought dyes, but we had a great time making them. I did use brown eggs, (local, organic from the local farmers market) so the eggs didn't turn out as great as they could if I used white eggs. But I refuse to buy storebought eggs, the laying hens are treated so inhumanely, you can read more here. Pluse local, organic eggs have SOOOO much more nutrition, it's almost a no-brainer for me.

Back to the egg dying-

Get the kids involved, it's always more interesting. Each of the kids got to make predictions about our egg dyes. While we waited for the dyes to boil, the kids and I wrote down our educated guesses about what color each ingredient would dye the eggs.
We predicted the following:
orange peels=orange
chili powder=red

But instead, only a few colors stuck, and the blueberries, and chili powder did the best. The blueberries made a purple, and the chili powder did come out reddish, and it was fun to see as the eggs change before our eyes.  Things I might do next time to make this project work better is, boil the dye longer, and maybe even puree the dye (spinach, carrots, etc) after it's been boiled for a while, then submerge the eggs into that and see if it turns out better.

Pictured below:
Carrots, Spinach, Oranges
Blueberries, Chili Powder, Tomato

My 6-year old wrote the labels;)

Here is the basic steps to making your own dyes at home:
  1. Boil about 2 cups of water then add your "natural coloring". Let it boil long enough so the color leaches into the water.
  2. Pour the strained liquid into a glass container, add a tablespoon or 2 of vinegar to the hot coloring, then submerge your already boiled eggs.
  3. Let the eggs soak until' brightness of color is achieved. Store in refrigerator.
I found this list online that had suggestions to get the different egg colors.

If you choose to dye your eggs naturally, how did they turn out? Do you have any suggestions, or which natural egg dye did best?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Healthy Taco Salad

I LOVE Mexican food.

Heck, I love all food!

As a kid I loved build-your-own taco night. Tons of flavors combine to create a crunchy, chewy, hot, crisp, cool and savory meal that make your taste buds go crazy for more! I'm constantly trying to eat healthier and trying to avoid the overly processed food at the grocery store since you never know what the heck is (hidden) in it. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about... Taco Dinner in a box. I was determined to make it into something I felt good about serving to my family. Plus, it's VEGETARIAN! Or Vegan, if you skip the cheese and sour cream.

Doesn't that look delicious?!
I served this with some Spanish rice and it was a big hit. My kids and even meat and potato's husband wanted seconds.

Taco Bean Seasoning:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Combine the following in a small bowl. Once mixed, you can add as much to the beans as you want according to how spicy you want it. I made mine a bit more flavorful than I usually would just because nothing else had added salt, so when I took a bite the lettuce and other ingredients helped mellow it out nicely. I actually saved the extra mix in a tiny glass container so next time I want a kick of spice I have it on hand.
Taco Beans:
I used dried pinto beans, it is more time consuming but it's much less expensive, and this way you can control the amount of sodium. You can use canned pinto beans if you are in a rush, or you can use black beans.
  • 2 cups of pinto beans
  • Taco Seasoning mix (recipe above)
Take your pinto beans and mash them up a bit, you can add a touch of the canned liquid or cooking liquid to make the consistency better. Slowly add the taco seasoning mix DON'T ADD ALL OF IT! If you do it will be WAY to strong. Just add a little, taste it, then add more if needed. Store the extra taco seasoning mix in a small jar for next time.
Taco Salad Bar:

  •  Large bowl of crisp lettuce (I used romaine lettuce)
  • Diced tomato
  • Diced Avocado
  • Grated Cheese (optional)
  • Sour Cream (optional)
  • Taco Beans (see recipe above)
Display all the taco salad bar ingredients in separate bowls, so each person can customize their salad how they like. When making my taco salad, I like to add my lettuce, then warm beans, then cheese on top (the heat from the beans seem to melt the cheese a bit) then the avocados, tomato's, and other toppings.
I hope you enjoy this healthier version of Tacos, and I hope your family does too:)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Natural Cleaning: Olive Oil

Olive Oil isn't just good for your body, you can clean with it too! I love cleaning with natural products, not only are they less expensive but I don't have to worry about the yucky toxins in most chemical-based cleaners sold today.

If you have stainless steel appliances, they can be tough to keep clean... especially with kids. I was so excited when we bought our stainless steel appliances, but I didn't realize the upkeep. There seem to be tiny finger prints constanly on the fridge, dishwasher and oven... o and don't forget the trashcan too. I had tried a few different products marketed to clean stainless steel they left streakes, and boy they were smelly! My wonderful husband told me about using olive oil on a microfiber, and it seriously does the trick. Just make sure to use a small amount and wipe with the grain of the stainless steel.

Another great use for olive oil is wood! Mix a 1-part olive oil, and 1-part lemon juice. 2 tablespoons of each is what I usually use. Put it on a soft cloth and wipe down your wood surfaces. I love the fresh lemon scent, and it really shines my table up beautifully.

There are natural cleaners that can be used all throughout the house, I will share them soon. But until' then, what is your favorite homemade, natural cleaner?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

To My Dear Son's...Why I kept you whole.

To My Dear Son's,
     One day when you're older and you find out about circumcision, you might wonder, "Why am I intact?" "Why didn't mom have me circumcised?" Here are all my reasons why I kept you whole.

     You were born perfect and whole. I believe that God makes no mistakes, he created you perfectly as you should be. You are brought into this world so adorably precious, a little gift from God. He knew exactly what he was doing when he created you. He makes no mistakes, and therefore created you perfect and whole. Why would I change that? I believe in God's precious design over human's imperfect interventions. If your foreskin were meant to be removed it would fall of like your umbilical cord does days after birth.
     Your foreskin is there for a reason. Not only does your foreskin have hundreds of nerve-endings (which are pretty important when you get older, and find your wife;) ) but it acts as a protective cover to your penis, which would otherwise become desensitized over time from constantly being exposed. So with your foreskin it protects your penis and therefore you will feel more, and intercourse will be more enjoyable for both you and your wife... but you don't need to worry about that for another 25 years;)

      It's YOUR body, not myn. It's not my body to alter, or change forever. I wouldn't dare give you a tatoo, or plastic surgery as an infant, (or ever), especially without your consent. So why would I have you circumcised? Many insurance companies aren't covering this procedure because it's not medically necessary and therefore nothing more than plastic surgery. If you choose to be circumsied when you get older, so be it, it will be YOUR choice.

     The history of circumcision in America began in order to prevent masturbation... and as far as I can tell, it doesn't really cure that;) What about hygiene? Aren't intact penises dirtier that circumcised ones? Not true, at all. Instead of cutting off a perfectly functioning part of the body, why not just educate your son about safe sex, and good hygiene? Just because your fingernails get dirty, I wouldn't dare think about cutting them off. Same principal.

     Although many might argue that you need to look like your dad by being circumcised, that certainly isn't a good enough reason. Sure you look similar to your father, you have his eyes, his gorgeous skin tone, but your not his twin... your suppose to look a little different right? I also have hopes that you will never stand around naked comparing your penis to other male anyways... if so, then that would be the thing to be questioned at that point, lol.

     Even if our religion encouraged circumcision, I still wouldn't do it. Who says you'll have the same religious beliefs as me? What about when you get older, and come to your own conclusion about life? You'll still be intact and if you can decide to be circumcised... not the other way around, because once the foreskin is gone, it's gone.
     Circumcision is brutal. I carried you for 9 months, birthed you in a peaceful environment and will continue to care, nurture and protect you. I would never put you in harms way. They would strap you down, administer local anestesia (anestesia is rarely used, and if it is, it often wears off too quickly) and cut off nearly half of your perfectly functioning body part. Just because you are a baby doesn't mean you don't feel pain, or aren't scared while being strapped down. Doesn't seem right to me.
I love you with all of my heart!

I started researching circumcision when I found out I was expecting my first son. The thought of it just didn't feel right. My hope for posting this is to help just one person decide to keep their son intact.

Please pass this on, post on your facebook page, networking groups and more. The more that people talk, the more informed people can be.

To read more about circumcision, please visit the sites below:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Living Foods= Long Healthy Life!

Raw living food is so incredibly good for you. Here is an interview with a Raw Vegan, Mimi Kirk, she is incredibly inspiring! I'll have to post more about green smoothies (she mentions this in the video) because they are so yummy and super good for you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Reduce Paper waste, Increase Savings

The amount of paper products that are used are astonishing. From printer paper to tissue, toilet paper, and paper towels, napkins...we use so much. I know that I am guilty of this too. We easily go through 4-5 rolls of paper towels in a week, and that adds up to almost $200 a year! But isn't there a solution to consuming so many paper products? Of course!

Using cloth is a great way to cut down on trash, as well as cost!

You could buy kitchen washclothes, cloth napkins, and kitchen towels. This is certainly more cost effective and better for the environment than disposable. Don't get me wrong, I certainly have a few nicer towels, and washclothes but...

If you are really cheap like me, make your own, for free! Don't throw away those old towels, reuse them and give them new life. Get an old towel, and cut it into small squares to use, I like to cut myn in about 8"x8" squares. These little rags are great for wiping down the kitchen counters, table, or even cleaning in the bathroom.Need something that is good for dusting? I'm sure you have an old t-shirt laying around. This is a nice soft material that is perfect for dusting and can be cut into small squares too.
I especially like to have alot of these on hand so the kids can help me clean. They can grab a damp rag and help wipe down the baseboards, window seals etc. I have a drawer in the kitchen dedicated to all of my washclothes, towels and dust rags. So, repurpose some of your old towels and shirts, you might even be able to encourage your little ones help you clean. ;)

Monday, February 28, 2011

My Creative Kettlebell...

... Or ghetto kettlebell, you be the judge;)

My sister has used a kettlebell to workout with for a while now, and a good friend of myn recently raved about them too. So I looked up online where to buy one... I know I'm cheap, but I didn't want to invest in a kettlebell right away without even trying it out yet. The price starts around $30 for one, and goes up from there. I got to thinking... could I use something at home as a kettlebell?

Or make my own?

I don't want anything cheaply constructed in fear it might fling across the room during my first attempt to use it! LOL.

I've used kids on my back during push ups...and canned goods for handweights...I have it! Use a milk jug! Just rinse it out when your done and fill it with water. Or you could just buy a gallon of water, it's usually less than $1! Although it's lighter than the 15 lb. kettlebell, at least this will give you a general idea of what a kettlebell is like before blowing your money on one. If you want a heavier version, I'm sure you could fill it with sand... haven't tried it yet, so someone else will have to be the guniea pig ;) O- and make sure the lid is sealed up... either tape it, or hot glue it on... just in case. I'm sure water or sand spewing across the room wouldn't go well with your decor.

I went on youtube and found some really great basic workouts. Here is a 6 minute workout using the kettlebell... you can really feel the burn! lol.
Minute Kettle Bell Workout

My only word of caution is not to use the water jugs to often, I've used it a few times and can feel my hands are a bit sore from where it rubbed the inside of the handle. So after the first try or two, if you still like it, maybe it's time to buy a real kettlebell;)

Here's to working out on a budget!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Raw Food Recipe: Apple Chips and Mango Salsa

Over 2 1/2 years ago, after researching high and low for the ultimate health food, I finally stumbled on "Raw Food". Raw food basically consists of a vegan diet, and all eaten raw, living... and not cooked. I felt like I had found a hidden treasure, why didn't I know about this amazing raw food diet sooner? The health benefits are astounding. I tried raw food out and I was blown away. I had never felt lighter, and more energized in my life. I didn't have that heavy tired feeling that I felt when I ate cooked and processed food, I was amazed.

Unfortunately it can be pretty hard to untrain a lifetime of eating habits, and I slowly fell back into my old routine. Although I eat pretty healthy in comparison to the "food pyramid" (which by the way should be totally re-vamped) I want to have the raw food feeling I did before. I think just like anything, you have to take it one step at a time, and learn one recipe and slowly build on it, until' it's second nature.

Apple Chips and Mango Salsa
I checked out some raw food books recently and have been really inspired. Today I made some Apple Chips and Mango Salsa for the kids and I. They devoured it nearly as quickly as I did! Make the food fun and interesting and it's so much more exciting and delicious to eat.

Apple Chips:
Slice Apples into chip size pieces

Mango Salsa:
Dice a ripe mango, and ripe banana. Drizzle with a bit of raw local honey, and a dash of cinnamon. Serve over apple chips.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Baking Day!

I try to bake regularly so I can make a batch or two of muffins, breads, pancakes and other snacks, but sometimes I just never get around to it. So that is when a baking day comes in handy! On a slow day when I don't have much to do, I schedule in a baking day, and yes I have to write it on my calendar, lol. You can spend as much or as little time in the kitchen as you like, yesterday I baked 4 dozen muffins and spent about 2 hours in the kitchen with prep, baking and cleanup. However I could have probably doubled the amount of muffins I made with just a bit longer in the kitchen. You might as well make alot while all of your baking pans, and measuring cups are out, and the mixer is on the counter, ya know?

The benefits of planning a baking day is that you can bake a lot of food on a day that's pretty slow, and then have snacks on hand for those days that are extra hectic! We love muffins for breakfast, and for snacks paired with some fruit. I keep some of the muffins in the fridge, and package the others in freezer bags in the freezer to store until' I need them. Then I just thaw them and go!

Carrot Muffins
Here are some baking tips that might come in handy:
  • Replace oils and butter with homemade applesauce
  • Add a banana for a bit of sweetness, and reduce the amount of sugar
  • Add raisins to add sweetness to your muffins
  • Use honey as a sweetner instead of sugar
Here are a few of my muffin recipes, they can also be baked as loaves, just cook longer:

Carrot Muffin Recipe

Vegan Banana Zucchini Muffin Recipe

Now schedule in your baking day so your family can enjoy homemade baked goods too! Happy Baking! :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"The Love Dare"

Love. What is love? It's not a feeling... it's an action, something you do, or don't do in some cases.

Love is Patient, Love is Kind, Love is not Selfish, Love is Thoughtful, Love is not Rude, Love is not irritable...

This 40 day journey will help you dig deeper into what unconditional love truly is. Each chapter of "The Love Dare" is filled with wonderful insight about what Love truly is. At the end of each chapter there is a question, or "dare" for you to complete each day,and an area to journal your answer. This is such a wonderful book because not only will it help to transform your relationship with your spouse, but for me, it's bettered all the relationships in my life.

I know that marriage has it's definite ups and downs, but you have to do what you can to always better it. I love this quote, and it is SOO true, "The grass is greener where there is water and fertilizer, you need to water and fertilize your marriage." In other words, you need to invest time, and effort to better your marriage, and this goes for any relationship. So give your spouse the best Valentine's Day gift, that will last a lifetime... a better relationship, with unconditional love.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Get your life in Order

Trust me, as a mother of 4 I know time management can seem like it's near impossible. My mission today is to get my life in order, and manage my time appropriately. First things first, make a schedule. I've found that when you have each minute of your day already scheduled you get so much done and with a great flow. When do you wake up? When do the kids eat? When do they do their schoolwork? What about the housework? And the mending and the sewing? ok... I got a bit carried away, lol. But you get the idea, think of all the things you need to get done in the day, and what times they need to be completed.
In the morning we try to complete most of our chores, flylady is great for mom, and a chore chart is perfect for the kids:

A great resource for keeping your house nice and tidy is I know her system can be a bit overwhelming but pick and choose what works for you.

Also, I found this great chore chart for the kids at Confessions of a Homeschooler

Use every minute of the day to benefit you the most, and it will be a super successful day:)
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