Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Will you be Baking in Chemicals this Summer?

I have been happily planning our family summer vacation. I am stocking up on all the necessities a bit at a time in hopes of saving myself from a frantic last minute trip to the store the night before we leave.

The little man is ready to go!
Were heading to the beach this year and one thing at the top of my list is sunscreen. So far I have purchased and returned two. Ugh! The first one I purchased, brought it home and opened the package to use on my kids (one of those rare sunny days we've had) and looked closely to see it was expired! When I say expired, I mean not a month over not even two months over....but a whole year old! I couldn't believe it! Check your dates peeps because that was ridiculous! Purchased my next sunscreen and happened to get an email from one of my favorite Natural Doctors Dr.Mercola about sunscreens and chemicals. The article states about the fact that the FDA has been aware of the dangers of Vitamin A and its derivatives retinol and retynl palmitate used in sunscreen but have yet to alert the public. Read an excerpt below:

The sunscreen industry uses vitamin A in its formulations because it is an anti-oxidant that is thought to slow skin aging. But according to the AOL story cited above, the FDA's study of vitamin A's photocarcinogenic properties revealed that:

"tumors and lesions developed up to 21 percent faster in lab animals coated in a vitamin A-laced cream than animals treated with a vitamin-free cream."

The article goes on to say how those chemicals can enter the bloodstream and may actually increase the speed of malignent cells that cause cancer.  What?! Scary, especially when I will be lathering that on my kids! Why is it still even on the market if that is a possiblity?

The Environmental Working Group  is a great site to refer to when looking for a sunscreen that is safe for your family. They have done the research and work measuring the levels of toxicity in sunscreens. 
You can enter in the sunscreen you have and see how its rated and what possible toxins you are being exposed to. Check your sunscreen Here. Read more of that article Here and be sure to scroll all the way down. Lots more information near the end.  Be safe this summer while having fun in the sun!

Monday, April 25, 2011

We have a Winner!

Thanks to The True Random Number Generator we have a winner from our Namaste Foods Giveaway!  Drumroll...........

Congratulations to mrsaltman (aka. commenter # 2)!

***Please respond to me with your email address within the next 48 hours to claim your prize otherwise, we will to pick a new winner. :(
Thanks to everyone who participated and keep checking, we have more giveaways coming your way!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jesus and the Easter Bunny

Easter is such an amazing day. A day that we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It often seems though that it can turned around into being all about the bunny (Veggie Tales Easter dvd is a must watch). Don't get me wrong, the Easter bunny is fun and cute (scary for some little ones, yikes!) and running around in your pretty outfits collecting candy filled eggs, who wouldn't love that day? But, it is easy to see how the true meaning and celebration can get lost in all the hub bub and materialism of this world we live in. Each holiday I feel the pull myself, the pull to get caught up in the what the world tells you that you "need" to do. When I start doing that I find myself getting stressed and frustrated that I can't keep up. Then I feel a gentle pull from my heavenly father, pulling me back to view it in its true perspective.  I am reminded that I am choosing to be in this world but not of it. So, to teach my kids that Easter is more than fluffy bunnies, fancy dresses and chocolate candy (really, who thought chocolate and fancy clothes were a good mix? Stain city!) I am going to be doing some fun Christ centered crafts and wanted to share them with you!

I found these craft ideas on a great site that I will definitely be using again called Toddler-Activities-at-Home. Wow! Some really great ideas to use with that fun toddler age! ;) Check out the ones I am doing below. Happy crafting and Happy Easter!

Jelly Bean Poem  
(Recommended ages 18 mos and up)
This idea has floated around the web for years and if I could give credit to the creator of it I would. It is a lovely visual way to remind little ones about that Jesus loved them so much that He was willing to lay down His life for them. You will need a bag of different coloured jelly beans and one cup or Ziploc bag per child taking part in this activity. Read this poem to them allowing them time to take a jelly bean of matching colour and place it in their cup or bag.

Red is for the blood He gave.
Green is for the grass He made.
Yellow is for the sunflowers so bright.
Black is for the dark of night.
White is for the grace He gave.
Orange is for the sun He made.
Purple is for the hours of sorrow.
Pink is for our new tomorrow.
A bag full of jelly beans,
colourful and sweet.
It's a prayer, a promise, and a child's treat.
May the risen Lord Bless you
this Easter and always

Resurrection Cookies
(Recommended ages 24 mos and up)

1 C whole pecans zipper baggie
1 tsp vinegar wooden spoon
3 egg whites tape
pinch salt Bible
1 C Sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break
into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, he was beaten by the Roman
soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

2. Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that
when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

3. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave his life to give
us life. Read John 10:10-11.

4. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the
bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the
bitterness of our own sins. Read Luke 23:27. (So far the ingredients are not very

5. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died
because He loves us. He wants us to know Him and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and
John 3:16.

6. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
Explain that the color white represents purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been
cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

7. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain
that each mount represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was lain. Read Matthew

8. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF (DO NOT BAKE

9. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was
sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.

10. Go to bed! Explain to them that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven
overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed and they had to
leave. Read John 16:20 & 22.

On Resurrection morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked
surface and take a bite. The cookies, like the tomb, are hollow! On the first Resurrection
morning, Jesus' followers were amazed and surprised to find the tomb open and empty.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


"Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy."
Prov 27:6

This morning Pastor Terry spoke about repentance and the way we are brought to repentance. Sometimes, if were lucky, we have people (friends or family) that speak truth into our lives. He shared the story of Nathan and David in the Bible from 2 Samuel 12. Nathan was a good friend, he spoke truth to David. I have been thinking about this all morning. I realized that I am blessed beyond measure to have a friend that has spoke truth to me for 20+ years. That friend was the very first Christian I met outside of my family.  She set the bar pretty high for me. She loved me for me, no matter what phases I went through or how weird I was. HA! I was pretty weird.  I am surrounded by other friends as well who speak truth to me, afterall, I am a truth person and I often "tell it like it is". LOL. Anyway, I think the point to all of this is that it is so important to keep yourself surrounded by people who love you enough to speak to you in your moments when you slip up. Pastor Terry spoke about making sure you keep an open line of communication with God to where you can repent and admit when you have messed up. As I babble on about this I will finish up with this song I heard on the way home from the store. Call me sappy if you wish. It is by Watermark, about friends that speak truth and love you through your hardships. I'm so thankful for my friends that hold me accountable and lead me along the path to repentance. Enjoy!

More than you'll ever know

Something brought you to my mind today
I thought about the funny ways you make me laugh
And yet I feel like it's okay to cry with you
Something about just being with you
When I leave I feel like I've been near God
And that's the way it ought to be...

'Cause you've been more than a friend to me
You fight off my enemies
'Cause you've spoken the Truth over my life
And you'll never know what it means to me
Just to know you've been on your knees for me
Oh, you have blessed my life
More than you'll ever know, yeah, yeah, yeah
More than you'll ever know, yeah, yeah, yeah

You had faith, when I had none
You prayed God would bring me a brand new song
When I didn't think I could find the strength to sing
And all the while I'm hoping that I'll
Do the kind of praying for you that you've done for me
And that's the way it ought to be...

You have carried me
You have taken upon a bruden that wasn't your own
And may the blessing return to you
A hundredfold, oh yeah...
A hundredfold, oh yeah...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Find Your Raw Milk

Remember when we posted a week or so ago about Genetically Altered Cow's Milk? I couldn't help feeling really disturbed while reading that article and thinking how glad I am that my kids don't drink much cow's milk. Why do scientist have to mess with everything we eat so much? I am sure it is fun to see what chemicals can do to things but leave out food alone. Come on, I kind of think our Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when He created food.
My sister recently sent me some information about raw milk and it got me curious about how pasteurization has affected the milk we are drinking and what the benefits of drinking raw milk might be. So, I did a little research and came upon a site called Raw Milk  I know most people when they hear Raw Milk think "Eww, that's gross!" But, when you read over the health benefits of raw milk and how it was used to heal in the past I can easily get past the gross factor. Its more gross for me to serve my children a glass of hormone laden watered down "milk".

I highly recommend you check the website Raw Milk for yourself. There is a link on the site where you can locate a farm where you live that produces and sells Raw milk. I found one only 20 minutes from where I live!
Keep in mind, if you should decide to try raw milk its important to know how it is collected, what the cow's are fed and how it is stored. There is a reason pasteurization came about due to unsanitary conditions and poor diets in cow's. Raw milk can be good for you in the right conditions and should the farm near me have the right conditions I will be trying my first glass of raw milk. Bottom's up! :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Extreme Couponing

If TLC's show extreme couponing rubbed you the wrong way like it did Nathalie and I then check out THIS blog called A FULL CUP. It is interesting all of the things that are not aired on the show. There is a lot of unknowns with this topic as far as how much money is actually being spent. Coupon clipping services charge fees per coupon, so when you see somebody buying $1,000 of groceries and paying $6.50 it is misleading because those coupons are not all free. It is really interesting and it has been the buzz lately among all of us who call ourselves frugal. There is a healthy and proper way to coupon. After all, it is not about quantity it is about quality. We will help you make sure what you are couponing for is actually beneficial to your family, not just something you got for free. In the end it is NOT how much money you have but what you do with your money that counts. I know that it is our prayer to be good stewards with the money we have and we do not want to be wasteful with the blessings God has given us.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Giveaway and Review!

Not long ago the lovely people at Namaste Foods contacted us and asked us to review some of their gluten free food products. We were thrilled to do so and to try something new!

They allowed us to pick any two products from their site to review and after looking over all the delicious choices we chose the Namaste Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix and Namaste Gluten Free Say Cheez Pasta Meal.  

Namaste Foods, Gluten Free Say Cheez Pasta Dish, 9-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6) 
I happened to choose to make the Say Cheez Pasta Meal on a night my husband was out of town and the kids were rather ravenous. Great planning on my part, right? Thankfully, it was fairly simple to make like any other macaroni and cheese meal on the market and required very little ingredients (water and oil) for me to complete it. I will be honest, I was looking forward to trying the Chocolate Cake Mix but not so excited about the  Namaste Say Cheez Pasta Meal. I expected it to be bland and lacking flavor. Let me tell you, it was not! We were both amazed at how good it tasted and my kids gobbled it up! 
Photo courtesy Namaste Foods
I actually think I prefer it to your typical non-gluten free mac n' cheese and Amey even thought it had a slight southwest (not spicy) flavor to it. I noticed their appeared to be seeds in the Say Cheez Pasta Meal and looked at the packaging to see it was Hemp seeds. How cool is that!  Hemp Seeds are considered one of the perfect foods because they are loaded with protein and contain all the amino and essential fatty acids your body needs. Overall, we give this product an A+! So good and delicious and even tastes great the next day! **Note** In the rush of trying to feed my kids before they ate the table I didn't get any photos of my finished pasta. But the photo shown is a photo taken by Namaste foods and my finished dish looked almost identical to theirs. Minus the nice cloth napkin and placemat.:)

 Namaste Foods, Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix, 26-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)
Now, on to dessert! :) Like I said before, I was really excited to try the Namaste Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix.  I think gluten free dessert options have been hard to find that are not only easy to make but that are delicious too. These were a piece of cake (literally too)! Just add eggs, oil and water. 
No need to mess with measuring xanthum gum, sorghum flour or any other binding ingredient usually needed when baking GF.  I opted to make cupcakes versus two 9 inch round cakes. Cupcakes are better for little hands in my opinion and are the perfect portion size. I let the gluten free cupcakes cool while I made my own icing with peanut butter, powder sugar and milk and then iced them. Namaste also offers a gluten free icing mix if you don't/can't make your own.

The cupcakes were delicious! So moist and yummy with a dark chocolate flavor. My husband who has not cared for many of the GF items I have made ate one, then two and I am pretty sure he ate a few more in the days following.  He said they were the best GF desserts I have made thus far and that is saying a lot from a person who loves his sweets. These cupcakes also get an A+. 
Want to check out more of Gluten Free Products? Head on over to Namaste Foods to learn more about the company and what else they offer. Tons of Allergy friendly foods!

So, a review is great right but whats even better is a giveaway!
Namaste Foods is letting us give one lucky reader a chance to win a grocery tote loaded up with goodies! The grocery tote will contain 3 Namaste  Foods products, a copy of their Simple Pleasures Cookbook, a copy of Living Without magazine and an assortment of recipe cards.

How to Enter
  1. Become a Follower on our blog
  2. Check out Namaste
  3. Leave us a comment telling us which Gluten Free products you would like to try from Namaste Foods
  4. One entry per person please! :)
Enter once, now until Saturday, April 23rd. A random winner will be announced Monday, April 25th.
Good Luck!

Giveaway has ended!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"- and I am the worst of them.
~ 1 Timothy 1:15~
Photo courtesy of Rado Gadoczi
In Saul's dramatic conversion you and I get to see the evil of a sinner's heart.

I am certainly no counselor, but I suspect that most obsessions rise from a futile attempt to fill a gaping hole somewhere deep in a life. Saul's external righteousness-ness and achieved goals left behind an itch he could not scratch. Can you imagine how miserable he must have been? Religiously righteous to the bone, inside he had nothing but innately wicked marrow. All that work, and it hadn't worked. All his righteous passion turned into unrighteous zeal, and he became dangerous.

But we also get to see the purity of a Savior's mercy. Christ met Saul on the path to his darkest, most devious sin. For this very moment, for the depths of Saul's depravity, Christ had already died. Christ literally caught him in the act.
Jesus sent Saul to open the eyes of many and turn them from darkness to light so they could receive forgiveness of sins. No greater calling exists, as well as no room for pride. God's servant was never more than a flashback from humility. No one can teach forgiveness like the forgiven.
~Excerpt taken from Beth Moore's "To Live Is Christ: Day by Day"~

To learn more about Christ and His forgiveness go Here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Trader Joe's Gluten exposed pizza recall

                                                                Image via Wikipedia

Trader Joe's just had to recall 131,000 pounds of pizza. Apparently, the pizza did contain gluten and the packaging was misleading . Get your read on and check it out HERE

No thanks, I will pass on genetically altered cow milk!

Check out this disturbing article about cow milk. Apparently, they have been genetically altering cow milk experimenting with it so that it will be more like human milk. This article makes me sick to my stomach. Happy reading!

Thanks adventures of a Gluten Free Mom for this article.

Click HERE to read the whole article, here is a little excerpt....

“… your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” – Dr. Ian Malcolm (from Jurassic Park)
Scientists claim to have successfully introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows to produce milk with the same properties as human breast milk.
Apparently, the researchers used cloning technology to introduce human genes into the DNA of Holstein dairy cows before the genetically modified embryos were implanted into surrogate cows.  “We aim to commercialize some research in this area in coming three years…for the “human-like milk”, say the researchers.
Holy cow, you say, right?  And all for the commercialization of a product that moms have been engineering for years.
Human milk contains the ‘just right’ proportions of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins for an infant’s optimal growth and development.  But since there isn’t an open market for breast milk, scientists have humanized bovine milk from cows in order to create that product."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yeah for Chick-fil-A! 
 I am beyond excited about Chick-fil-A opening up on Mid Rivers this month. If you have not eaten there you really should give them a try. Not only are they a great Christian company but their food is fantastic! They are having a Playland (indoor playground) Dedication Celebration on April 16th from 9a.m. to 10 a.m. I cannot wait to get some of their yummy french fries too!! I also really appreciate that they are closed on Sundays. Not many companies will sacrifice the loss in sales to close on a Sunday, it seems to be something very important to them. Here is a little more on that from their site...

Why We're Closed on Sundays

Our founder, Truett Cathy, made the decision to close on Sundays in 1946 when he opened his first restaurant in Hapeville, Georgia. He has often shared that his decision was as much practical as spiritual. He believes that all franchised Chick-fil-A Operators and their Restaurant employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so. That's why all Chick-fil-A Restaurants are closed on Sundays. It's part of our recipe for success.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rice Krispies officially Gluten Free!!!

 Let me hear a whoop whoop!! More and more companies are catching on! Now another great cereal has made it official and cut out Gluten from their product. Rice Krispies made it official. Thanks to Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom and Gluten Free is life for the info and link below!

"I had heard the rumors a few months back that Rice Krispies were going to be gluten-free soon and even saw a picture of a box that said “Gluten-Free” on the front, yet Kellogg’s was remaining silent on the issue.  Until now.  Lookie here….

Doesn’t that just tickle your fancy?!  I have been wanting to use that phrase for a while and am thrilled that I finally found a chance to do so.  Now, back to my post".  Winking smile  More on the Gluten-Free Rice Krispies:

Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal

Where to Buy
Nutrition Facts
After hearing from so many gluten-free families out there, we’re happy to bring you NEW Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal, made with brown rice.  It’ll be available in June, so be sure to ask your local supermarket to stock up!
View available sizes.


Ingredients: Whole grain brown rice, sugar, contains 2% or less of salt, BHT for freshness.
Vitamins and Minerals: Iron, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (alpha tocopherol acetate), niacinamide, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride), folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B12.

Kosher Status

Anyone else really stinkin’ excited?!?  I don’t know if I am excited that I will have the Rice Krispies to eat again or if it is because another mainstream company that makes cereal is jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon.  There are gluten-free versions of Rice Krispies, but they aren’t the same.  In fact, I can’t wait to try them side by side to see how different (or maybe even the same) they are. 
I love that the ingredient list is simple.  No HFCS.  Yes, there is sugar, but I would much rather there be real sugar than a chemically altered sugar added.  Another bonus, the gluten-free version is made with brown rice, the original is not.  The gluten-free also has 10 less calories & 1 more gram of protein.  Little things make me happy. 
Once the product is on the market, you can go here and see where you can find it close to you. 
Now, I must go do my happy dance.

Click Here to read more

Saved lots of money at Walgreens

Hey Hey everyone. Just wanted to break down my purchase from Walgreens for you so you could see what a good deal I walked out with. My grand total was with tax around $19!!

6 rolls of Viva (retail for $6.99)
-used one $1 off coupon from P&G and $1 off from Walgreens spring savings booklet (in-store)
2 bottles of Purex Pure and Free detergent (retail for $6.49 each)
-used a walgreens in store coupon to make them $1.99 and a $1 off from last weeks paper
4 Colgate Max White toothpaste $2.99 with $2.99 RR back per toothpaste (so they were basically free)
1 box of puffs for .99
-used a .50 off coup from P&G
1 bottle of Dawn .99
-used .25 off from P&G
3 dish towels $3
6 wash rags $3
Whoop Whoop for Walgreens!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


" A little lie is like a little pregnancy. It doesn't take long before everyone knows."
~ C.S. Lewis ~

" Seven things God hates. Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion:  Eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family. "
Proverbs 6:16-20, The Message

Friday, April 1, 2011

Shaklee's GF Kids Vitamins

 Yum, right?
  I am not one of those parents who bans junk food but like all things moderation is key. The occasional treat is not a big deal but I am always wondering if they're meeting the nutritional requirements they need to grow healthy and strong? So, if I am going to give them a nutritional supplement I want to know that it has science to back it up. I grew up taking Shaklee and my mom used Shaklee products so I know it works!  Shaklee is the #1 nutritional company in the United States and many of their children vitamins are also Gluten Free!
I was recently reading over a handbook by a Dr.Jamie McManus, M.D. for Shaklee and was surprised by some of the following facts:
  • National Nutrition Survey says 25-30% of infants and toddlers age 9-24 months did not eat fruits and vegetables on a given day.
  • French fries were the most common vegetable consumed by 15-24 month
  • 46% of 7-8 month olds consumed some type of dessert, sweets or sweetened beverage!!
You can't help but think that these childrens' bodies are not functioning at the best capacity on that kind of diet. Or, that their immune system is able to fight off illness as well as it could either.

I choose to give my kids Shaklee vitamins and probiotics because I know that when they don't eat the best or are having a "picky" day their body is still getting the nutrients it needs. Shaklee also has incredible non-toxic cleaning products that Amey and I both swear by!
To find out more go to  Embrace Health.
**** Join Free through May 21, 2011****