Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Once again, it's here! We survived the end of the Mayan Calendar year, and we're looking ahead, hopefully now down a fiscal cliff. Wow, I digress.

Looking back, my goals were generally reached. Many had to do with attitude and initiative and were not too measurable. I know I got distracted several times during the year, but as I evaluate where I am now with a year ago, I'm still satisfied.

Discovering the Me in Mommy's Goals
1. Write more frequently
2. Get more faithful readers as I'm faithful to read others' blogs
These goals were tough for me as I struggled to balance my time -- was my face in front of the computer or in front of my family and friends? But with some encouragement, I did realize that it's not all or nothing. 
Personal Spiritual Goals
1. Be more excited to regularly read my Bible 
This has proven true as I've had opportunity to regularly share with teens what I've been reading.

Personal Goals
1. Exercise 2-3 times a week
Yes, and then some! Under advice of a friend, I try to do 3-4 times a week, for 45 minutes each -- and I sweat more than I thought I was able to (Sorry, TMI)
2. Drink 6-8 cups of water each day
Um, no.
3. Come up with creative learning projects for my toddler
Just fair here.
4. Renew my teaching license
2/3 of the way there
5.Support and encourage my husband
Hopefully he'd say that was successful! I do feel that we're more connected now than last year.

So where do I go from here?
A friend shared how new year's resolutions tend to revolve around me (lost weight, spend less, quit smoking), and while those are good things, how am I wanting to better my life as it relates to helping others and bettering their lives?
So this year, I'm also considering an "others" category, so that I can be more intentional about meeting needs of the people around me.

Discovering the Me in Mommy's Goals
1. Consistently write 2-3 times a week.
2. Get more faithful readers as I'm faithful to read others' blogs
Personal Spiritual Goals
1. Develop a more varied and deeper prayer life.

Personal Goals
1. Exercise 3-4 times a week and cut out sugary sweets as snacks! (yikes, did I actually write that?!?)
2. Drink 6-8 cups of water each day
3. Play better with my child
4. Finish renewing my teaching license
5.Support and encourage my husband - either write down or tell him how I do appreciate him

"Others" Goals
1. Have more people over to the house for dinner (and not worry what they think about my decor or organization skills)
2. Make more phone calls to keep in touch with people or just call those who might not have many friends

Photo Credit: Image: digitalart /

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What I've Learned this Past Month

This has been a fun time for me! While I did forget a few things (none of which were life-changing, major), I was able to truly enjoy the festive and thankful time with my family.

1. Being real and genuine doesn't have to be totally organized, and I'm ok with that.
I've been wanting to get better connected with our neighbors since we've moved in, and finally after about 3 years, we've made huge progress. It helps that our bachelor-neighbor has gotten married and received a little boy who also likes playing with my little one! Two of our neighbors dropped by unexpectedly, and I invited them into our toy-littered living room, with couch overflowing with coats and other items that failed to make it to their proper place. But even though it wasn't as "perfect" as I'd have wanted, it represented that we're a far-from-perfect family, but we live in the here-and-now.

2. Gift-giving doesn't have to be complicated.
I was a little worried that I hadn't found the "perfect" gifts for our friends and family. I had shopped some during the year and purchased things that I thought the receiver would like. I also managed to score some holiday deals for things I knew would be liked, and this year, I had to spend less. Yet, most every (as we still have a "Christmas" to do still!) present was received much better than I had anticipated. Truly the heart is enough.

3. Laughter is always good.
We had a "blizzard warning" a few days ago. While it's really not blizzard-like, it's a bit more than normal for us. My husband went out to shovel the driveway, and my daughter and I went out to play! We ended up with a snowball fight, and our laughter carried down the street! That was such a sweet sound to my ears, to see, hear, and feel the fun it was to live life together as a family. I'm truly blessed!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops Review

I'm seem to be quite susceptible to sore throats, and as all sorts of viruses and illnesses are making their grand appearance, I'm on the look out for natural remedies. I had the opportunity to try Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops. When I opened the container, I was a bit surprised to find

"softish" throat drops -- somewhere between your hard lozenges and chewy gummies. I really like the Wild Cherry Flavored ones, as it provides a sweet cherry flavor, without being too overwhelming. 

The Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops have a very interesting story, as I found on the web site. Originally created in 1870, Herman Pine used the "soothing natural qualities of glycerin with the healing properties of gum acacia" to relieve sore throatts. The company ended up being sold several times, but recently has been acquired by the creator and former owner of Airborne, Victoria Knight-McDowells. They are proud to announce their re-launch after 15 years, with the original Pine Brothers recipes. Note that it is gluten-free, naturally flavored, and only 5 calories.

I really like the "puck" design; it's easy to carry around the lozenges and not worry about making too much noise unraveling a wrapper during church or a meeting! Fighting the urge to chew it quickly, the throat drops do provide soothing relief. They are also safe to give to children over three.

You'll want to try these for cold & flu season. And share them with your family -- they might remember these from times before!

***I was provided with Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops for a review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.***

Monday, November 26, 2012

Need More Energy? Need to Lose Weight? Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract Review

Kleissinger Labs Green Coffee Bean Extract 400mg 60 Caps w/ Svetol (As Seen on The View & Dr. Oz)

With the official "holiday season" in full swing, many of us need energy! I thought of that as I went out to a store late on Thanksgiving night, and just the idea of people storming the stores to get good deals, as I stood waiting to check out, made me even more tired -- I was glad to get back home and to bed!

I was sent Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract (as seen on The View and Dr. Oz) to try. Some coffee companies are also selling new brewed coffee from green, unroasted beans. Knowing that I cannot handle a lot of caffeine, I asked my husband to try the Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract. He said that he did feel more energized -- it lasted about 16 hours. Unfortunately, he took it in the middle of the day and had trouble sleeping! So this is perfect for those seeking a natural way to have more energy for those long days.

However, Svetol®   is most popular for its fat burning abilities (as Dr. Oz promoted it for weight loss). The properties of Svetol®  help you lose weight and trim down your body. You can read more about Svetol Research here. While we have not tried this product for weight loss, I do know of other companies who target weight loss with caffeine.

If you're interested in weight loss or more energy, you can purchase Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract from Best Price Nutrition for $13.99, which is 44% off the MSRP. Let me know how you're feeling!

***I was given a bottle of Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract for a review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.***

Monday, November 19, 2012

Trains, and Automobiles!

I haven't been on a train for long distances with my child, but I've heard that trains tend to lull children to sleep!

As for travel by car, here are a few tips we've tried or have had recommended to us!

1. Plan several activities, whether it's "I Spy" or "Road Trip Bingo" games, books, or busy bags. Visit the dollar store for several unexpected, new, and fun items!

2. Get some fun music for the car -- sing-a-longs aren't bad once in a while!

3. Don't forget the snacks! Pack a cooler with some drinks (and we even pack yogurt for protein-packed power).

4. Bring a spare change of clothes for everyone!

5. Pack medicines or emergency medicines.

6. Don't a bag for trash, or a little trash can.

7. For the "Are we there yet" folks, Once A Month Mom suggested showing the miles traveled graphically on the sun visor
DIY Vacation Trip Tracker - keep the kids from asking "Are we there yet?"

8. Start early in the morning or late at night. For some driving at night helps children sleep -- that is not the case with us!

9. Use electronics, if and when possible. And headphones!
See how the library can also help!

10. Be safe and enjoy!

Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon /

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Planes . . .

I've flown with my daughter twice, both over 8,000 miles one way, by plane. Before going, I scoured various blogs looking for tips for travel. So I made my list, made several purchases, and really was looking for the best. Some things worked; others did not. 

Here's my recommendations if traveling by plane this holiday season:

1. Look into the CARES harness if you have a small child. 
While I could not spend the $62 to purchase brand new, I found a military mom who's child was over 40 pounds and not needing the harness who sold it to me via Craigslist for much less. It does give you peace of mind for any turbulence, and really is quite helpful for landing, as the force tend to work against small children.

2. Don't worry about over-packing the carry-ons for preparedness sake. (Don't go overboard) But it's really better to have a bit more than lacking. This summer, I packed a spare t-shirt in my carry-on and didn't think I'd need to squeeze in a spare pair of pants for myself. Should have. My daughter, who's not a puker, threw up on my leg. Not fun to be flying over 8,000 miles with attempted clean-up of vomit. 

3. Allow your child to bring their own backpack. You can either fill it with toys they haven't seen or their favorites or both. Grandma added a few treats, special crayons, and paper, and the people sitting around us all had their own take-home pictures.

4. Pack a few extra treats in your bag, in case the ones in their backpack get old too quickly. And plan for eating a snack or sipping a drink during take-off and landing.

5. Consider using a stroller at the airport and gate-checking it. Once we used a large stroller, and another time I used the umbrella stroller. It's great in case short legs get tired, or if time truly is the essence. 

6. Ask if airlines have pre-boarding. Often they won't, but a kind attendant might still allow you more time to board or give up a heads up with details.

7. Even if you ask, don't count on the airlines following through the bassinets. One trip, I did everything I was told to do, and ended up at the very back of the airplane.

8. Consider using technology. Bring something to watch movies on or other gaming devices. Don't forget headphones!

9.  Pack at least one thing for your enjoyment. Your child might end up sleeping 8 hours, leaving you with quiet rest!

10. Sit back and enjoy your flight -- you never know what's in store!

Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon /

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Tis the Season

For pumpkins!

Every year, I research how many people cook their own pumpkins. While I am not a big pumpkin cook or baker, I decided to jump in and give the homemade pumpkin puree a try, especially since the gardeners in my family have produced pumpkins for two years in a row!

For a few days, I scoured the internet as to the best way to cook the pumpkin. I decided my method -- cut the top and bottom off, quartered it, put a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan, and baked it in the oven for about 30-45 minutes. Then I let it cool for a few minutes before separating the peel from the flesh. I pureed the flesh, and added some water. And . . .

I have 3 cups of pure pumpkin to try all those fun pumpkin recipes I've only been reading about!

And being overly ambitious, I decided to save and roast the seeds!

Unfortunately I followed the directions I found online perfectly, and ended up with burnt seeds! Guess I'll have to try again!
What's your favorite pumpkin recipe?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Going to Grandma's for the Holidays? Bring the Library!

Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go! While we aren't planning on traveling too far for the holidays, I have traveled quite a bit with my toddler, even on a 16 hour flight, not including connections and lay-overs! I'll have tips on traveling with little ones by plane, train, and automobile in the next few days. But as I was at the library's storytime this morning, I saw a display about how the library can help with your travels.

Besides any maps or guidebooks, the library has lots of helpful materials in traveling.

1. Books -- Again, so obvious, but books can be checked out for several weeks and are great for enjoyment while traveling or arrived at destination.

2. Play-aways -- Our library has little devices with the book already recorded; all you'd need is your personal headset or earbuds to plug in. Walah . . . portable book on tape.

3. E-books -- Several can be loaded on your personal reader, and you won't have any books to carry with you!

4. Children's books with the recording on CD -- I think our library calls them "Bagged Books" as they come in a bag, with the children's book and the recording on CD. This would be great for the car, as it's sometimes impossible or quite challenging to read a book to your child while driving.

5. DVD -- Depending on the length of your travels, you might be able to check out some DVDs for a portable player or laptop while traveling.

How will you use your library to help you with your holiday travel?

Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon /

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Children's Book Exchange

To do it or not? That is the question!
If you haven't encountered it before, it goes something like this:

" Dear XXXX,

This is a book exchange.  Please join us!  It's a fun and inexpensive way to stock your child's library with books. Send one book to the child listed as #1 below.  Then send a copy of this 6 friends.  Move my child's name to the #1 spot and list your child as #2 on your letter.  Be sure to include your child's age next to their name and address.

If you can't do this in approximately one week, please let me know.  It isn't fair to the children who have participated and are waiting for their own special books to arrive.  A manila envelope will mail the new book nicely. Another idea is to order a new book direction from a website like Amazon and have it shipped directly to the person you are giving your book to. 

Seldom does anyone drop out, because this is such a great deal -your child will receive 36 new books!
  Your child should receive their new books in about 2 weeks - that is, if you get your letters out right away.  Please don't be responsible for spoiling the fun and stopping the flow of book for children - please join us!

Also, please be sure to include a blank copy of this letter to each of your friends so they don't have to retype it.  (12 copies, on filled out by you, and a blank one for all six people.)"

This is actually the second time I received one of these letters. The first time was when my daughter was young, and I honestly did forget about responding to the person who sent it to me. But this second time, the person asked me in person, which makes me feel slightly more obligated. I do trust the person who asked me too.

So, should I or shouldn't I?!?
And if I do, anyone out there interested too?!?

Monday, October 29, 2012


Our Monday morning was typical for us: after getting breakfast digested, we head to the gym and to the library. But as I listen to the radio, this Monday and probably many days after will not be typical for others. The name seems to bring up sounds and images of the Beach Boys, but in this present case, Sandy is definitely not so. I've seen pictures of flooding beginning and crews out in the abundant sea foam. And I've been so amazed by the growing waves, as seen from The Statute of Liberty's torch at

While out with a friend a few days ago, she mentioned how this was being called a super-storm, as I had not tuned into much of the news. It so mind-blowing how three fronts could come together to bring so much natural force and affect so many people. We do offer many thoughts and prayers for safety,

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Victor Habbick's image at

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Costume Discounters Classic Aurora Costume Review

Disney princesses are big in this house (and probably any house with young girls present), and we're looking forward to dressing up for Halloween in this new costume next week -- actually we gave this costume a try while attending a special Disney performance last week!

Though this is a Classic Aurora (aka. Sleeping Beauty) Costume (and if you're not on the up-and-up with princesses, you can read all about those princesses!), this design is a fresh for 2012 from Costume Discounters. I am extremely pleased with this costume. It's well-constructed, with the wide-brimmed, collar and sheer sleeves; the quality of this costume is much better than another princess costume we own. I believe this costume really stands out (as I saw many young Disney princesses at the event) with the sharp pink color and those sparkles! There are lots of golden sparkles and and shimmer to make this a fun costume, perfect for any girl! As a pendant, there's a sweet portrait of Disney's Aurora. And I love how the versatility will allow us to enjoy a regal Halloween but allow my daughter to enter Disney's fairy tale world whenever she wishes! For good or bad, there are only two sizes: Small (4-6X) and Medium (7-8), so the fit was not exact for us, and I placed a pink long-sleeved shirt under it.

If you've procrastinated and still need a costume, be sure to check out Costume Discounters. I know our neighbors still are without for their son's costume! Check out their 25% savings and bring home that dream costume! 

***I was given the costume for a review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.***

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Christmas Cards Tips and Ideas

As I've been thinking about Christmas cards, I remembered a few other tips, to personalize Christmas cards, that I blogged about last year. Most of these can be both print and digital, with an exception -- you'll see!
How do you personalize?

1. Include photos taken all year long.
I usually tend to pick out those that show our best sides and ones that definitely are worth sharing, and it doesn't matter if they aren't professionally done but simply capture who we are! =)

2. Incorporate a short letter or update.
Unfortunately I only keep in contact with some people through Christmas cards -- perhaps this should be a New Year's Resolution, to be a better friend! But I do like to get everyone up-to-date with our family.

3. Print you own.
Often I can find excellent deals online. But I've also printed my own on both photo paper and also plain paper. I've used Microsoft templates before, but I've also cut and pasted to make my own!

4. Use digital services.
In years past, I've used Snapfish, Shutterfly, and Purple Trail and others; I believe you can also utilize services at Walgreens, Sams, and other retails stores too. But those are always fun, and you're sure to get a good product.

5. Write a short note to the recipient and sign the card.
Even with pre-printed cards, notes, or newsletters, I like to add that last bit of personalization by hand writing the recipient's name, adding a short postscript, and then signing my name. Just a small way to let them know that I took some time to reconnect and do send BEST wishes.

6. Create your own stamps!
I found a great deal last year and put a picture of our little one on the stamp! Needless to say, that was a HUGE hit with the family -- some even cut the stamp off to display too!

7. Make the background one of your child's artwork
You could scan one of your child's artwork and incorporate that into the background (or front and center) of your design.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

The stores want us to think Christmas! This past weekend, we had moderate temperatures, so most families had the same idea to head out to the park in their new sweaters with their DSLR cameras, ready to get some fall colors and warm smiles for Christmas card pictures! Ours are never complicated or coordinated; just point and shoot and hope for the best! My simple method hasn't failed us horribly as we've had fun photo cards in the past. While I do secretly covet the nicer cameras which capture sharper details, my handy point and shoot will have to do. So how can you take a good Christmas card photograph?

1. Hire a photographer
This obviously is a sure-fire way to get that great shot!

2. Ask a friend who is a photographer
I have a dear friend who often steps in to capture moments I try, but cannot seem to as well as she does. And she graciously takes those photos for us!

3. Do it yourself!
Yes, I know probably most of us are already doing this. But one little tip on getting everything framed correctly: a tripod. Growing it, the tripod was a never-leave-home-for-vacation-without-it item, but I've found that most families do not have that same appreciation for it. Several years ago, we found one on sale, and it's been quite handy to leave in the car. Whenever we have the need for a family picture, I can place my simple camera on it, position it the way I want it framed, get the timer on, and --- Walah -- family photo. I only wish I had a tip on getting every family member to smile nicely in coordination with that timer. . .

Monday, October 15, 2012

5 Ways to Save on College Textbooks

Wrong season, right?!?
As students were getting out of school on summer vacation, I was going back but this time completely online. The timing was right, with a summer break in a program I'm heavily involved in. We had a little more than enough to cover tuition, but the books. . .
Since I signed up for classes two days before the start of the courses, I had to hurry, and I found that textbooks were a lot pricier than I remembered! These are 5 ways to save money on college textbooks, if you're thinking about going back:

1. Borrow the textbooks!
I used Facebook to ask friends if they owned textbooks so I could borrow them for the duration of the course. I also tried to borrow textbooks from libraries; the local library can help you locate books from other libraries around the state, and if you already have access to the college library, search there for the textbook and again they might also locate that textbook at another college library.

2. Rent the textbooks!
Not as cheap as borrowing, yet not as expensive as purchasing! You can see how I'd save with renting textbooks!

3. Purchase textbooks of Amazon using Swagbucks. While exchanging those Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards to use on a piece of technology or a Christmas present is much more fun, I used some for my textbooks! Don't forget to try to resell again!

4. Purchase used textbooks from eBay or I've had no experience here, but it's worth a look-see.

5. Last resort, buy new and definitely resell!

An unaccounted textbook expense I was previously unaware of was purchasing online access for certain classes. If you can save some money on the actually textbook, your savings can be spent on purchasing the online access; check the pricing directly from the website before buying at the college bookstore!

Photo Credit:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Campus Book Rentals

As a college student, I remember being shocked by the prices of new textbooks at the college bookstore. After that first quarter, I looked around for better options because I just wasn't going to read Culture and Values: A Survey of the Humanities, Comprehensive Edition after dinner every again. I was an on-campus student and found various real and virtual bulletin boards for cheap books and rentals, but when I decided to take some courses this summer online, I was stuck paying full price. I would have been able to save some cash with Campus Book Rentals, as you can see: a difference of about $50!

If your path finds you back in college classes, check out Campus Book Rentals to save 40-90% off bookstore prices. They offer free shipping both ways with flexible renting periods. Even though it's a rental program, you CAN highlight the textbooks.


Also know that with every textbook rental, Campus Book Rentals donates to Operation Smile, which provides life-changing cleft lip surgeries on children whose families would not be able to afford it otherwise. As you help yourself with your education, you can also help others!

***All thoughts and opinions are completely mine. I am being offered a credit to my next textbook rental in return for an honest review.***

Friday, October 5, 2012

Shell's Spin to Save

Wow... during the hour at the grocery store, gas went up $.20! Thankfully, I can use my fuel rewards card (as I've already used my Kroger rewards) at Shell stations. I'm a bit of a gas snob (wow, that sounds really weird), but we use Shell gas about 99% of the time because it gets us better gas mileage than competitor's gas. If you haven't seen the Shell fuel rewards card, you can Spin to Save $.05 to $.25 a gallon now, and find ways to keep on saving! How much will you be saving this week?!?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Forgotten Appointment

While I appreciate the doctor's office in making those appointments 6-months into the totally unknown future, I tend to do one of two things: 1) Go home and write it down right away in the calendar
2) Go home and wait for the office to send a postcard or call me a week before showing them that I'm still alive and well. Usually the events go off without a hitch.

Today I realized, I can no longer put off going to the dentist. Afraid that the beginnings of a small cavity would work its way into a root canal as that tingling sensation continues, I call the dentist for an appointment and ask for an available time for a back-to-back cleaning and filling in the next 4 days. As the receptionist checks her schedule, she says quite as surprised as I am, "You already have an appointment for a cleaning and a filling" in 3 days! Guess it really is time for me to take care of this!

Photo Credit:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nordic Naturals Back-To-School Campaign

I've really appreciated the information and updates from Healthy Child Healthy World on keeping my family safe and healthy naturally. Now until Oct. 31, 2012 Nordic Naturals, the leading manufacturer of omega-3 supplements, is donating $1 of selected children's products purchased (at Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Markets, Pharmaca, and other independent health food stores) to Healthy Child Healthy World. Look for their Nordic Berries, Omega-3 Gummies, Childrens' DHA, and Baby's DHA. Let's help keep our children safe and healthy naturally!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ah Matey, Are You Collecting Swag Booty Yet?

Coming up on Sept. 19th is talk Like A Pirate Day, and Swagbucks will have a Swag Code Treasure Hunt and also a Mega Swag Booty Day! If you still haven't heard about Swagbucks, sign up and as you search the internet (along with many other options like watching clips online or playing games), you can earn Swagbucks which can be redeemed for varies gifts like Amazon or Target gift cards -- very helpful for the up-coming holiday season!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Back Again!

Hi friends! While I have not intended on giving you the silent treatment, I do apologize for the lack of communication. The last time you heard from me, I was taking 4 semester hours of graduate courses online, while quickly preparing to take my 3 year old with me on a trans-pacific flight. I didn't realize the amount of stress I was under until my body reminded me that it was extremely taxed (and I had to double check that I was not pregnant).

Unlike most women, I have the unfortunate inability of multi-tasking. I found this out during our small group of married couples; as we were going through the different perspectives, I had the rather odd experience of recognizing that I like focusing on one task at a time and that I can sometimes have a "nothing box!" It does stress me out to have multiple things going on at the same time, and when that happens, I'm often dumbfounded and too confused to be anything close to effective. I tried to solve my problems by thinking through how others do it, but those women are able to multi-task much better than I do. Up until a few days ago, I was thinking that I'd better focus on what's physically in front of me, since I can't handle too much anyways. But I'm thankful for a dear Facebook friend who wrote to inquire about this blog, and she encouraged me to do what I can. So here I am . . . and I'm going to do what I can! Since I can't multi-task, I'm going to give this blog time at the beginning and at the end of the week -- if I'm not there, be a friend and see if I'm still alive! But I'm going to try to adapt because it's not all or nothing, right?!?

Photo Credit: Image:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Hectic Summer?

Summertime can be a hectic time. With kids out of school and vacations planned, it might be hard to relax!  Summer has been very busy for me, but it wasn't a vacation or end of the school year that made it busy. It was the opposite -- I went back to school! Actually I'm still trying to finish up a couple of online Master's classes. Literally, with each "free" moment I have, I'm online looking for research (which I've once again realized I do not enjoy), reading my textbook, reading the research I finally found which was useful, trying to decipher scholarly language, posting in my group's online forum, rereading the article I previously read because scholarly language has got me once again.  Whew, makes me feel like I have an old brain!

I know my postings have been erratic, I will be returning to a better schedule once my classes finish up. Please bear with me as I use my limited energies to finish classes well and take a few weeks with family! Be sure to follow on Facebook to make sure you're still in the loop of what's going on!

Best to you, my friends!

Photo Credit: Image:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ecover Review

I'm always trying to learn more about enjoying and maintaining good, healthy living, and helps me in my growth in knowledge. I was sent a bottle of Ecover's Dishwashing Liquid with Pomegranate and Lime, and I was so excited to try it. At the end of the day, I'm usually hand-washing my preschooler's plastic sippy cup, and I was thrilled to try a natural cleaner on my child's cup. Without excessive bubbles, Ecover's dishwashing liquid is made of plant-based and mineral ingredients, biodegradable, and safe for septic tanks.

I appreciate how Ecover's mission is to provide effective cleaners (from "clean-running factories") without the chemicals. They've also created a "green plastic," made from sugarcane. This "green plastic" used for their packaging is renewable, reusable, and recyclable!

While I have used one other Ecover cleaning product with great success, I was wanting this dishwashing liquid to do just as well. It does the job of cleaning dishes well, however, the plastic sippy cup that held raw milk was quite the challenge to degrease. Ecover's Dishwashing Liquid with Pomegranate and Lime, would clean and degrease the cup when I added more dishwashing liquid than I originally anticipated needing. While I'm still happy with the product, I'm not as ecstatic about it simply because it took a bigger squirt of dishwashing liquid to clean. But with other dishes that needed cleaning, it did well.

I received Ecover's Dishingwashing Liquid courtesy of for this review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When I'm Hungry . . .

I'm a bear to be around. It's true. And when I'm hungry, I only have one thing on my mind -- food.

With my digestive issues and with diabetics in my gene pool, I probably do need think more about the foods I eat. And I've been thinking a lot about food and about how I eat my food recently! Having a well-balanced diet with proper snacks and lots of water should keep me from being hungry. With the resources that I have available to me, there's no reason to feel hungry, and it doesn't mean that I have to always stuff myself. The reverse is probably more true; eating smaller, whole foods, balanced with fiber and protein.

Since I've "self-anti-medicated" myself, I have been feeling a little more like I used to. The energy level is much better, and the digestive enzymes I'm taking at meal times really does make my stomach more efficient. And I am eating much like we did on the Daniel Fast, going back to whole foods. After reading some books about reflux, I'm also (no I'm not OCD, really) counting how many bites I take before swallowing -- chewing at least 20 times starts the digestion without putting all that pressure on your stomach to break it down; when I started counting, I realized I could swallow at around 7! I'm trying not to play hunger games with myself but to look after myself, from the inside out.

What about you?!?