Monday, December 31, 2012

What's Essential Essay Scholarship from Nordic Naturals

Are you a college student looking for some extra tuition money?  Or a high school student going to college in the fall looking for ways to pay?  Check out the information below and enter into the What's Essential Essay Scholarship from Nordic Naturals.

One entrant will win $5000 for college and a years supply of Nordic Naturals Omega oils!
Topic:  In 1000-1500 words tell "What are the essential components of education that your generation needs to make a positive impact on the world?"
New and returning college students are eligible to apply.
Must be 1000-1500 words.
Judged on style and communication.
Academic merit and community service are also considered.

You can learn more by going to the website and applications can be made HERE!  Applications are
accepted from January 1st through March 31st, 2013.

dNordic Naturals Complete Omega 3 6 9 Lemon
This is a stock photo of the Omega supplement I take.

Do you know much about Omega Oils or Omega 3?  If not you might want to study up on what they can do for you as you head to college or send your child to school.  They are especially essential to young children, but for some reason we seldom think to give them to children!

Does your child have attention or behavior problems?  Before putting them on medications, you might try  having them take some Omego 3's.  Omega 3's have been shown to improve concentration, promote calmer more rational behaviors, and improve behaviors.

What else do Omega 3's do?  For adults Omega 3's are often touted by eye doctors.  My eye doctor has told me to take them daily to help with my dry eye problem.  They also help to improve test scores and grades in children.  This is probably correlated to the improving concentration and promoting calmness mentioned above.  It also improves learning, literacy, problem solving, and memory(this information was gained from an excerpt from the book Amazing Grades chapter by Dr. Kerri Marshall).

My children take the jellies daily from Nordic Naturals and I take the soft gels   Check online to see if a store near you sells them or order online.

These statements and products mentioned in this post have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any diseases. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from my crew to yours!  Hope you're having a lovely Christmas.  I've been having lots of fun with my family today even though our youngest is still not feeling well.  Hoping she gets better soon.

Zyera loving on her new pony.

Fionna being cute!

Audry looking so big these days.

Our oldest.  With her cute dimples.  Can't believe she'll be 8 in a  month.

Poor sick  baby.

Colin looking at his new Bible intently.

Mariah digging deep into her stocking.

Lucas showing off his little Bible until his big one comes.

Patrick is very impressed with his new game. . . Battleship!

While we do Christmas, we do not do Santa.  Our focus on this day is on God and Jesus and the little baby born so many years ago.  We take all day to open our presents so we remember to be thankful for what we have and that getting isn't what it's all about.  This year each of the kids got books, a Bible of their very own, a toy or game, and a new pair of pajamas.  They also got their stockings stuffed full of goodies.  Stay tuned for more of a detailed run down of our Christmas traditions. . . .after the holidays of course!

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Monday, December 24, 2012

GFC Blop Hop!!!

It's Tuesday again which means it's time for the GFC Blog Hop!
When I want to follow a blog the first thing I look for is GFC (Google Friend Connect), it's so easy and  nice to be able to go and see all of the blogs you follow in one spot. It's really a great tool to have. 
One side note- Did you know you can follow through GFC using your Twitter Account? TRUE, it's definitely an option!
Ok, so let's get to the party, shall we?
RULES are simple:
1. Follow your host via GFC
The First link below
2. Follow your co-hosts via GFC
The Next 8 links below
3. Link up below using your main blog url not a specific post.
4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link up and follow them via GFC 
and if you want to leave them a comment, I'm sure they'd appreciate that as well.
5. Tweet about this blog hop
6. Share about this blog hop by grabbing a button and putting it on your sidebar!
Post Sponsor Ad:
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Tuesday's Good Eatin' Recipe Hop -The Pitch List

Welcome to the Good Eatin' Recipe Hop
hosted by
The 'Pitch List' Bloggers

Every Tuesday you can join us to share great recipes.........
There are no specific themes. 
Add your recipe of choice to the linky.
No Giveaways Please...all giveaways will be removed.
We Love Comments! Please Share!

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Crockpot Oatmeal with Fruit

A super easy and oh so good for you meal that requires almost no prep!  Of course we love it!  This is so simple all you need is a crockpot, steel cut oats(or whole oat groats even), water, vanilla, some cinnamon, and some fruit!

All mixed up and ready for a night in the crockpot!

This is all that went into it!  So simple!

This has to be the simplest oatmeal recipe ever!  Here is what you do:

Before going to bed place all the following in a crockpot, set on low heat, put the lid on, and go to sleep!
8 cups water
3 cups steel cut or whole groat oats
1 pound plus 2 cups of frozen fruit(I used a berry mix-strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, but you can use anything--that's what makes it so great)
1 Tb real vanilla(I make my own)
2 tsp cinnamon

Place on your low setting and just let the crock do work while you sleep.  Ideally it needs 8 hours to cook properly.  You can spray the crockpot or put a liner in to help with sticking during cleanup, but I just soak mine for a bit in boiling water with soap and it comes clean easily.

Serve with milk or honey.  We like honey on ours.  If you use gluten free oats it is gluten free.  It can also be dairy free as long as if you add milk you use dairy free milk.  We're not big on adding milk.  If we want more moisture we add yoghurt to ours.  

This serves 6.  I found that this served my whole family though so it can serve 10 if all but two are children!  Enjoy!

Shared on Gluten Free Fridays, Healthy 2Day Wednesdays, Frugal Ways Sustainable Ways, Thrifty Thursdays, Keep it Real Thursdays, Do you Hear this Enough, Whole Foods Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hair, Skin, and Nails Review

I recently received a one month supply of Hair, Nails, and Skin Beauty Activator by Fembody Nutrition.  You take two tablets per day to help achieve healthy hair, skin, and nails.

This product is endorsed by celebrity Paula Abdul.  You can watch her video about the product below:

This great little supplement contains biotin, bamboo extract(this contains silica), Opti-MSM, and Cysteine.   Silica is a building block for beauty proteins and plays an important role in mineral absorption.

I have trouble keeping my hair growing when I'm breastfeeding.  It just quits growing.  Not enough nutrients for me and the little one I guess.  I love this supplement for helping my hair continue to grow while I'm breastfeeding and pregnant.  It really helps!  I was losing chunks of hair at a time(which normally doesn't happy to me while I'm pregnant) and it went away and started growing and looking healthy again!

You can find more about Fembody but visiting them on:


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Pin It Now!

Toilet Tree Nail Care Products Review

I have very thick toe nails and thick fingernails.  I can only clip them when they are wet because normal clippers won't clip them, they'll just break them.

I was very surprised when I tried out the nail clippers from Toilet Tree.  They not only could cut through my nails, but they could cut my nails without them being wet and without ripping them!

I know this is not something that ordinary people are excited about, but I'm not ordinary and often forget to cut my nails when they are wet.

Toilet tree stainless steel nail clippers with file and pouch are indestructible(well at least they seem that way after having been around my children).  They are made with stainless steel and are ideal for trimming thicker fingernails or normal toenails.  

These great stainless steel tweezers by Toilet Tree are perfect for pulling out those ingrown hairs.  For me, I really don't get ingrown hairs, but my children are always getting splinters.  We live on a farm so it's just par for the course here.  These are great for pulling out those little wood splinters that my children get.

I love how the file and clippers fit nicely in this little pouch so you can carry them with you in your purse or diaper bag!  Perfect for everyday use.   

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Pin It Now!

Child Friendly Chores

Do your children have chores?  Do they have things that they are responsible for daily?

I think that it is essential and necessary for children to have chores and learn responsibility from an early age on.  My children start doing stuff on their own once they can walk.  I know this might sound mean or like I'm not wanting to do my own work around the house and farm, but honestly I have a hard time giving over some chores.  I'm a bit of a perfectionist in how somethings are done. . . .

Okay, so what can a child between the ages of 1 and 2 do?  Well here is what we do at our house!  As soon as they are good at walking, ie not falling down every few steps, they get to start taking their dirty dishes to the kitchen.  Once they can reach the counter they also get to put them up on the counter.  They also can take their own dirty clothes to the hamper and start to learn how to make their beds.  My two 2 year olds help to match socks.  They also help fold washcloths and hand towels.

My youngest makes her own bed!

Here is a current list of chores that my children do:

make their own beds
clean up their rooms(pick up the floor, sweep the floor)
keep their books cleaned up
keep their toys picked up
match socks
fold washrags, handtowels, and towels
fold their own shirts and underwear/panties
put their own clothes away(even littles can do this)
make sure their dirty clothes get in the hamper
take the hampers downstairs
sort out the dirty clothes(whites, coloreds, jeans, etc)
feed and water the inside dog and cat
water our outside animals-this is something my seven year old just started doing
take scraps out to the chickens
feed the chickens
feed and water the outside dogs and cats
gather chicken eggs
load the dishwasher
empty the dishwasher and put away dishes(this requires help putting things in the upper cabinets still)
taking their own dirty dishes to the kitchen

Now, not every child does everything on this list, but all of the children do have chores or things that they are responsible for.

This is all I can think of right now, but my children do have several chores that they do.  But really it's not that much.  It takes them maybe an hour a day to get their chores done.  They also have the responsibility of doing their school work.  I see my children as learning from their chores.  Really they are.  They're learning responsibility.  They're learning what is required of them.  And they are learning to have fun while doing things that others might consider "work".

For an example of how my children find fun in their chores take a peak at their sock matching game!

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The Sock Matching Game

My kids have the chore of matching socks.  In our house, this is actually a very big chore with 10 people all wearing socks.

My kids have made this a game.  They play go fish with the sock matching.  Each child gets a pile of socks and they take turns asking other people for their socks!  I think this is one of the cutest things I've ever seen and am so very glad that my kids can have fun while learning responsibility and helping out.

Do your children have chores?  Even my two year olds have chores.  Really as soon as my children can walk they have chores.  Make sure to check out my other post on Child Friendly Chores if you need suggestions on things to start off with your children on learning responsibility.

Hanes - Girls' No-Show Socks, 12 Pairs Value Bundle
This is not our sock pile, rather just a picture of socks off the walmart website that I copied.
I did not get a picture of my children and their sock game as they were through before I  could take a picture.
 I'll try to get one next time!  It really is cute!
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hoping for Snow! And more snow!

We have our first big chance of snow today and the kids are all so excited they can't sit still!!  I have some in the living room running from window to window, some in the bedrooms hopping around the windows, and still others in the dining room running across from one set of windows to the next.  You'd think we hadn't had snow yet this year. . . . well we really haven't!  At least not enough to play in!

I have to admit I'd love to get a really good snow storm so we get snowed in for a few days with my husband at home.  I love the times we're "snowed in" and have fun as a family together.

UPDATE:  The above was written last night, but I didn't publish it.  Well. . . .we got about 3 inches of snow with a bit of ice underneath.  The interstate near us is closed northbound but we're safe and snug in our little house.  The kids were out playing in the snow for two hours this morning and can't wait to go back out this afternoon.  I on the other hand think it's not enough snow to mess with and would have preferred we get a good big snow instead of this little bit.  If I'm going to be putting up with snow I want a bunch!

Here are a few pictures that I took while the kids were out and about this morning!

Colin had to immediately check out the ice!

Sirus loves snow!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mei Tai by Mother and Bebe Giveaway -Holiday Gift Guide

Enter to win your own Mei Tai by Mother and Bebe!!  I adore mine and know you will too!

Check out my review to learn about them and don't forget to enter the other giveaways in the 

The actual carrier being given away!  Isn't it gorgeous?!

Fill out the rafflecopter below to enter to win your own.  Winner will have 48 hours to get back to the winning email before a new winner will be chosen.

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Mei Tai by Mother and Bebe Review

I like babywearing.  I love how close it keeps baby and mommy.  You'll find less in the way of fussy babies and crying with this method. I'm used to using wraps to carry my two babies at the same time, one on front and one on the back.  But now, my youngest is getting very independent and doesn't want to be carried anymore.  She says "Me do self" so it's just Zyera and me.  A size 7 wrap was way too much for just her so I jumped at the chance of getting to review a Mei Tai by Mother and Bebe.  

These can be custom made to whatever fabric you want!  I chose an adorable print that will work for either girl or boy(we don't know what we're having yet with this one) and that I find appealing so I'll enjoy wearing it.  

It came in this adorable gift wrapping!  Think what a cute Christmas gift this would make to that special mommy in your life!

Love the logo as well!

Look how small it wraps up to!  I love how portable this is. You can wrap it up and place it in the diaper bag without taking up too much room.  My wraps needed a bag of their own to go with us anywhere.

Time to unwrap and check it out!

Check out the cute little hood for them when they're sleeping or bad weather.  I typically wear Zyera on my back and she falls asleep from the gentle constant movement when I'm walking.  This is great to keep her head from lolling about.

Check out this cute print!  But wait we're hiding something here!

Tada a tiny pocket!  Great for keys or a toy or even a kleenex for those horrible runny noses that come with the season.

The hood again.  I'm in love!  Wraps don't have these!

See the structured part of the mei tai is the area that baby sits.  It still has the "wraps" in the straps that you tie around yourself.  Note also the snaps on the hood.  Those snap to the strap that goes over the shoulder to keep it in place while baby is sleeping.

The hood can be tucked down inside the body of the carrier when not in use(I have never done this though as I like having it out just in case we'll need it).  Also, the straps do have snaps on them and at the waist so if you don't double up the wrapping(or have a big prego belly to wrap around) you can snap those straps up and keep them from dragging when you're running around!  So ingenius and a great carrier!

Interested?  Want to learn more?  Want to purchase one for that special mommy in your life?  Make sure to check out the website, Mother and Bebe, and check out her other items.  She also makes full buckle carriers (have standard buckles instead of tying), half buckles(have a buckle and a tie), drool pads, bibs, burp clothes, carriers for your little one to pretend with her dolls, and so much more!! 

I love the freedom to use my hands and still carry a fussy baby.  Please note that though I do wear Zyera on my back, but younger children should be worn on the front.  Backwearing is for children who are older and can hold their heads up by themselves, normally at least 6 months old.

Make sure to enter my giveaway to win one of your own and check out the rest of the giveaways in my Holiday Gift Guide!!

I received this product for the purchase of reviewing and writing this review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this post.  All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and not endorsed or meant as law.  Please do your own research on babywearing before wearing your child and always make sure you babywear in a safe manner!

Shared on:  The Tuesday Baby Link up

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Creme de Menthe Chunk Cookies -Gluten Free

I love mint.  Really anything mint, but chocolate and mint are really good together!  I recently found some creme de menthe chunks(Andres brand) that were gluten free and knew I had to get some and use them in cookies!

Here is that recipe!  Enjoy!


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups creme de menthe baking pieces(I used chunks)
2-2/3 cups all purpose flour(I used Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour)
3/4 tsp guar gum

Blend together the butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and eggs until well mixed.
Stir in the creme de menthe pieces.
Stir in the flour slowly.

Ready to go chillin'

Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray cookie sheets with olive oil.
Form into one ounce balls.
Flatten slightly.

Flat and ready for the oven.

Place on baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Let cool on pans for around 2 minutes before removing to cooling racks.

Oh so yummy!

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.  I got 50 out of this batch.  Oh and this is a unique gluten free cookie.  It actually spread when baking!!!!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

I love chewy chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips but had shied away from making these gluten free because I simply did not want to have a different tasting cookie than what I was used to.  Well, I made them today and they are absolutely wonderful!  Don't take my word for it though, go ahead and try the recipe out and let me know what you think!  Now I have a great chewy gluten free chocolate cookie with peanut butter chips!

2 cups all purpose flour(I used Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour blend)
1/2 tsp guar gum
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 cup butter(2-1/2 sticks), softened
2 cups sugar(I used demerara)
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups peanut butter chips(this is equivalent to a 10 ounce package in the store)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease several cookie sheets(I spray lightly with olive oil).

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, guar gum, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy(demerara will never result in fluffy).
Add in the eggs and vanilla to the butter and beat well.
Slowly mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture, beating well.
Stir in the peanut butter chips.

All nice and mixed together.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the cookie sheets.

ready for the oven

Bake for 8 minutes.
Cooks will be soft.  Do not overbake.
When using gluten free flours they will NOT flatten, so if you want them to be a flatter cookie simply moisten your fingers and press them down before baking.
Cool slightly and remove from sheet onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

On the cooling rack, now to keep little fingers away.

Makes about 4-1/2 dozen(I got 50 from my batch).

The original recipe came from Hershey's.  The switch to gluten free refined sugar free came from me of course!  You can easily make them dairy free by using coconut oil instead of butter as well.  Enjoy these chewy gluten free chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips hopefully as much as I do!

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Hanukkah and our Makeshift Menorah

Since we've begun celebrating Hanukkah with our family(my husbands family has celebrated it for years now) I realized how horribly hard it is to find a Menorah in a rural setting.  I tried so many stores and most people had no idea what I was even talking about!

So, I got resourceful and made our own makeshift Menorah   Okay, yes it is not even really close to a real Menorah except for the fact of how many candles I used, but it worked for us!

I bought nine of the pretty crystal candle holders at the store.  They said they were for tea lights or votive  but they worked really well for our taper candles.  I also picked up 8 Berry scented taper candles(a rich maroon color) plus a package of 4 unscented green tall tapers to use as our center lighting candle.  It was a very pleasing to the eye and to the nose(it smelled good).

Tada!  Our makeshift Menorah.
We set the Menorah up on top of our piano in the living room so it would be a center or central part of our daily lives.  The kids loved the lighting of the candles and seemed to really enjoy our scripture readings and learning about Hanukkah and the Menorah.

Looked so pretty before we burned them all down.
Some other fun things to do for Hanukkah:
gluten free potato latkes
traditional Hanukkah donuts
dreidel games
read the stories of Hanukkah and the Menorah

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Chocolate Frosting

This is the perfect frosting to use on the Mississippi Mud Cake as well as on top of sugar cookies. 

6 Tb. butter, softened
3/4 c. cocoa
2-2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk(or more as needed)
1 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl cream the butter.
Add cocoa and powdered sugar alternately with the milk.
Beat to spreading consistency.
More milk may be needed to achieve the correct consistency.
Blend in the vanilla.

Makes 2 cups frosting.

For the Mississippi Mud Cake frosting I used this recipe only with 2/3 cup of milk because I like the frosting to be a little less thick and a bit more pourable!

Frosting on the Mississippi Mud cake.
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Gluten Free Mississippi Mud Cake

This cake is a fond memory of my childhood.  I can remember birthdays and eating this scrumptious cake.  There is nothing healthy about this cake though so I waited until Christmas time to convert it to gluten free and share it with my children!  This is the first time they've ever had it!

Ingredients you will need:
1/2 c. butter(or coconut oil)
1 c. sugar---I used demerara because I don't buy white sugar ever anymore
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
3/4 c. gluten free flour----I used Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free blend
1 tsp guar gum or xantham gum
1/3 c. cocoa--be careful to get gluten free
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash salt
1 c. chopped pecans---optional, I did not use these as my husband doesn't like nuts
1 package miniature marshmallows or about 1/4 of a bag of large marshmallows
1 bowl frosting----recipe HERE

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease or lightly spray with olive oil a 13 by 9 by 2 glass baking dish---I'm not sure why but glass does so much better with this cake.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla, until light and fluffy.  With demerara you never really achieve fluffy, but still mix VERY well.
Add eggs, one  at a time mixing well after each addition.

not fluffy but well aerated!

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, guar gum, and salt; add to mixture.
Stir in nuts if you are using them.
Place in pan, spread to make it even.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the top is barely soft to touch.
Prepare frosting.  Recipe HERE.
Remove cake from oven.

Fresh from the oven.

Cover top with marshmallows.

Looking oh so good, but oh so bad for us.

Place back in oven and bake 2-3 minutes to allow the marshmallows to "melt".

See how big and puffy they get?!

Spread the marshmallows over the cake.

Oohy gooey goodness.

Immediately spread frosting over cake.

Tada!  So good!

I then put it in the fridge to set the icing.  Remove for at least half an hour before serving.

Super yummy, very rich, and not good for you at all but hope you enjoy!

Shared on:  Modest Mondays Link Up,  Barn Hop Holiday Edition, Titus Tuesdays,  Domestically Divine Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Melt in Your Mouth Mondays, Meatless Mondays, Raising Mighty Arrows, Made from Scratch Mondays, Gluten Free Monday,  Allergy Free Wednesdays,  Wheat Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Homemaking Linkup

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