Our oldest son has always had the most sensitive skin. As a baby he had horrible eczema that caused a great deal of discomfort. We tried every cream on the market until I found a natural, chemical free option. That was one of our first steps to removing harsh toxins in our home that were causing more harm than good. So we were not surprised when G started to experience a dry itchy scalp. We saw how his condition was starting to worsen and so I began researching a DIY dandruff shampoo that would not be loaded with chemicals or would further agitate his sensitive skin. Continue reading “52 Weeks to Toxin Free – DIY Dandruff Shampoo”
For the last several years I have been on a journey to really clean up our family’s environment. Starting with our diet and then by eliminating as many harsh chemicals as possible in the various products we use. Who knew even something as simple as dyeing eggs could have harmful chemicals. So I began to look at some of the ordinary items in my home that I use as a healthy alternative that could also have other positive benefits that I never considered. With eliminating junk like sodas we switched to tea and I never knew of the many uses of tea and tea bags in and around our home. Continue reading “52 Weeks to Toxin Free – Many Uses of Tea”
We have covered so much on our DIY front about how to remove toxins, maintain our sanity with cleanliness (if we can call it that) and we have found we are saving money all the while. So here is another money saver that I truly love! While taking a queue from my love of cooking and experimentation I decided to apply that to my laundry. You see I have a true DIY laundry stain remover that my mother and grandmother and their mother’s used. This DIY laundry stain remover is the original before the fancy spray and wash. Bear with me as this will include several recipes in one share, depending upon the stain, level of soiling and or the type of stain. Continue reading “52 Weeks to Toxin Free – DIY Laundry Stain Remover”
Funny thing when I was perusing Facebook the other day, I follow a page called Grow Food Not Lawns and one of the memes they posted was that we want natural ingredients in our cleaners but our foods we are okay with artificial or chemical ingredients. The meme said something to the effect of a wood furniture cleaner made with real lemons, but our foods are flavored with artificial lemon. We have become of backwards society in that we look more to convenience and ease than what is really good for us. Yes, the argument is that the items are cheap and inexpensive, but what about the overall cost to our health? Is the immediate savings really worth the long term price? With all the being said here we are for another week in our 52 Weeks to Toxin Free, where I am pleased to share the easiest and most lovely homemade wood furniture cleaner. Continue reading “52 Weeks to Toxin Free Homemade Wood Furniture Cleaner”
Growing up I remember my mother using vinegar for everything in our home. Bug bite? Apple cider vinegar. Ants and weeds in the yard? White vinegar. Vinegar seemed to be a staple in our home. Recalling when my mom put my childhood home on the market for us to move, my grandmother (her mother) came over to help power clean the house and paint. The smell seemed very pungent for me as a child, but looking back I realize this was more about the paint and not the chemicals they were using to clean the house. You see, these two ladies went to town scrubbing the entire house in vinegar. Not ammonia. Not bleach. So I am going to break down an awesome toxin free glass surface cleaner for you to use in your home that is cheaper, safer, healthier and smells better than any other glass and surface cleaner in your home. Continue reading “52 Weeks to Toxin Free Glass Surface Cleaner”
Keeping a clean house is literally a full time job, hence why services exist to clean our homes. Cleaning is a dirty job. Yes, such an oxymoron. All the elbow grease and oomph you put into keeping a clean home. From the laundry to the dishes, vacuuming to the dusting, scrubbing and mopping. I do my best in our house to keep each room clean as we go about each day, while this is idealistic with three kids, we give it the old college try. As I mentioned in my DIY Softscrub and Ajax post, my kitchen is the most beloved room in my house. Nirvana, a sense of zen and peace wash over me while in my kitchen, so I go to great lengths to keep it clean. Bathrooms, however, are at the top of my least favorite room in the house, yet the second most important to keep clean. So I needed a DIY all purpose cleaner and spray that could cut through grease and shit…pardon the pun. Continue reading “52 Weeks to Toxin Free DIY All Purpose Cleaner & Spray”
As a working mother I don’t have time to clip coupons. I have tried, and I cannot keep up with the growing time consumption of clipping coupons and comparing to the weekly grocery ads in order to save money on my grocery and or paper goods bill. So I was told about a great new way to save money without a whole lot of hassle, plus I can use my essential oils while eliminating toxic products from our home. Not only do I make my own bath soap, which is made from all organic vegan oils which is fantastic for my children’s delicate skin, but now I can make my own laundry soap with this great DIY laundry soap recipe. Continue reading “DIY Laundry Soap Recipe”
Food is such an integral part of our lives. As a conversation piece, comfort and of course sustenance. For new moms, feeding your infant and or toddler can be worrisome, frustrating and concerning. Am I giving them enough options? Am I feeding them the right foods? Should I feed them these foods? When I had my twins I threw the traditional thoughts out the window and gave them everything. Brussels Sprouts were my favorite when they were teething, as were apples, bell peppers, the whole gamut of different fruits and vegetables. From the time they could sit up unassisted and gnaw on foods, I experimented on them. With G-man I was more concerned on being the perfect mom, giving him the “right” foods and never rocking the boat. I wish I had this book with my oldest, First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers, so I had some sort of compass and guide to tackle simple struggles like picky eating.
Iâ€™ve been interviewing experts about dealing with picky eaters for years and there are times when all that I have learned goes out the window! Do your best and when all else fails, take a deep breath and let it go. Donâ€™t get up and make something different, let your child take ownership and decide not to eat, they wonâ€™t starve to death if they skip dinner one night. Allow them to have some of the control, it will empower them believe it or not they will (almost always) come around.
- Lead by exampleâ€”parents have to be willing to eat and try things too
- Offer a combination of foods your child likes along with things that may be a bit outside their comfort zone
- Have a discussion about where food comes from
- Get to the farmersâ€™ marker or plant a garden
- Make mealtime funâ€”eat, talk, share
- Prepare meals together
Try not to:
- Freak out!
- Get noticeably frustrated
- Fight over meals
- Use dessert or other food as a reward
- Insist that your child eat everything on their plate
(Photo and excerpt from FIRST BITES: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers with the permission of Perigee/Penguin. Copyright Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, 2015.)
Today I do one of the “try not to” with my kids, but they are now 7,7 and 12 so having them finish their plate usually consists of did you at least eat all of your vegetables on your plate? When I was growing up I was limited on my exposure to foods, fruits and vegetables. I wasn’t even aware of farmers markets, local farmer co-ops, or the like. At the young age of 17 I was exposed to artichokes and capers. I never looked back. My children were a fraction of my age when they were exposed and that is one of their all time favorite requests, including asparagus, roasted Brussels Sprouts, stuffed bell peppers, bok choy, spinach, mushrooms, onions and kale.
What I found with my oldest is just as Dana suggests, have your kids take ownership. I let my kids rummage through the fridge when they were toddling and we discussed the different fruits and vegetables and I let them try. I also tried. I stock my fridge to this day with an assortment of foods. Such an empowering feeling to have your children try and share and tell others about the foods they like.
Seth defined that moment and humbled me as a parent when at his Boy Scout den meeting he explained the various foods on his plate as part of a nutrition project. Mind you, my little gem is barely six at the time and he explained grilled chicken or salmon as his protein, quinoa or brown rice as his grain, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, asparagus and green beans (because he clarified those are his favorite) as his veggie, strawberries as his fruit and Gouda was his choice of cheese (dairy) but he also likes almond milk. His dessert, of course, was my gluten free, dairy free, caramel apple cake. Of course, a meal would be incomplete without dessert!
When his den leader and The Chad shared this with me I felt so proud. I felt like we crested a hump. A pressure was relieved regarding the work I put into my kids to ensure they are eating the right foods and are educated about proper nutrition.
However I know I am truly blessed because my children do not lack a food allergy. Many children these days have or develop food allergies which can make meals tricky and tough to navigate, First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers helps provide helpful tips and insightful information on how to ensure we as parents are maximizing our children’s diets. The book release and copy could not have come at a better time as a friend from church was experiencing her own frustrations and concerns as a new mom. Her post on Facebook immediately prompted me to provide her with my copy of the book, to give her the tools I wish I had when I was a new mom, the tools I just figured out with having twins. If you are facing some of these struggles: food allergies, picky eaters, maximizing a vegetarian/vegan diet, or food transitions First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers should be in your arsenal of tools in the kitchen and your home. First Bites was released on February 3rd and is available nationwide and on Amazon, get your copy today and take the frustration out of navigating meals and foods for your child with amazing meal options and friendly recipes sure to transform even the pickiest of eaters.
Best of all is our giveaway this month. We are giving away THREE (3) copies of “What The Fork Are You Eating: An Action Plan for Your Pantry and Plate” where the author debunks food myths and misconceptions. Stephanie Sacks is a certified dietary nutritionist, dietician, who breaks down the best way to shop and eat foods. Her personal struggle with food allergies and conditions and extensive knowledge makes her rich in the topic. The book shares 50 mouth watering recipes that help you clean up your pantry and save time and money as well!
If you haven’t signed up yet this month please do so! Otherwise please enjoy our giveaway and the great recipes from our fellow bloggers for our February Eat In Challenge.
Disclaimer: Participating blogs were not compensated for this event, may contain affiliate links. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor will be responsible for product shipment to winner of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contactus@networkingperks.com if you have any additional questions or comments.
I am normally a huge fan of desserts. Starting any meal with a dessert is truly living. But I live in a world where the reality is we cannot always have our cake and eat it too. So I substitute with some amazing comfort foods that warm my family’s belly’s as well as their hearts; The Chad loved to eat this favorite while growing up on air force bases. It’s a fairly inexpensive and goes the mile type of meal, sure to have plenty of leftovers, and let’s be honest….the leftovers are ALWAYS better the next day.
1 & 1/2 c of Kirkland Organic Mixed vegetables (potatoes, corn, green beans, carrots, celery), I like frozen, you can just toss them in and forget about it.
Organic Chicken broth (generally about 3-4 cups depending on how many people you are feeding)
Cream of Chicken soup is the shortcut way, I like to mix some heavy cream with my homemade Organic Chicken Broth.
Salt and pepper to flavor
1 bay leaf
For the Dumplings:
2 1/2 c Bisquick (I like to scratch bake my biscuits as opposed to using Bisquick, the choice is yours)
2/3 c. milk
In a large pot, dutch oven, crock pot, or Cuisinart Multi-Cooker like mine, simmer chicken, broth, vegetables, until vegetables are tender maybe an hour or more depending on how much flavor you want your vegetables to absorb. I personally slow cook my chicken overnight to have them fall apart and shred on their own into the pot.
Slowly add cream of chicken (or cream) and stir gently ever careful not to boil. Add bay leaf and let simmer for 20 minutes, skim out the leaf before the dumplings. While simmering mix the Bisquick and milk until a dough forms and slowly drop into soup mixture, cover and let cook for 10 minutes or until dough rises like bread and biscuits form. Remove from heat and ladle out into a bowl, serve with butter and pepper.