Saturday, March 29, 2008

EARTH HOUR - Join Please!

Take a minute to watch this video!

I learned about this in my Ideal Bite newsletter. On March 29 starting at 8 PM YOUR time, turn off your lights for on hour. Originating in Sydney, Australia last year, it has now gone global. Last year, it had the effect of taking 48,000 cars off the road for an hour. Since this year's event is global, savings will be even bigger. Even landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Sears Tower, and the Sydney Opera House will dim during Earth Hour. If just 10,000 people turn off 10 lights tomorrow evening for just one hour, the amount of CO2 created by an average apartment in a whole year will be averted. That's a lot! So join the millions of people world wide and switch it all off for one hour. Check out their website! Earth Hour.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Healthy Snack Carnival

Stephanie over at Keeper of the Home is hosting a healthy snack carnival. I don't have many healthy snacks that we bake but I can share what we do for snacks. not a picture of a very healthy snack at right but they were homemade and made with WW flour so a LOT healthier than what you would buy at the store!
So...for snacks we do the following:

Fruit - Huge for us. My boys LOVE apples, bananas, oranges (prefer clementines), kiwi's, grapes (if I can find organic), pineapple, etc. I usually buy at least 4-5 different kinds of fruit every week.

Veggi's - right now just for Bennett. He eats everything! Aiden is a picky almost 4 yr right now.

Cheese - Right now we do mozarella cheese sticks and cubed cheese. I am currently reading Nourishing Traditions and am planning to start trying to buy raw dairy products again so we will probably do sliced raw cheese.

Crackers - we have been buy TLC crackers but I have collected a few recipes that look excellent so I plan to start making our own crackers.

Pretzels - Aiden LOVES to make pretzels.

Toast or Bread & Butter - another favorite. I love the toast fingers Stephanie mentions in her post. I think my kids might like it. Although Aiden is big into having a big piece of toast. He doesn't want us to cut anything anymore.

Raisins - and other dried fruit. Raisins not as much since we saw an article about how raisins and grapes (even just 1-2) can be toxic to dogs and my kids LOVE to feed Abeey.

That is all I can think of for right now.

Make sure to share your healthy snacks over at Keeper of the Home!

Tipster Tuesday

I have been wanted to join in on Kitchen Tip Tuesday's for a while now. I love all the tips I have gained from everyone over the last few weeks. tip for this week. BUY IN BULK and buy a freezer.

We are a member of a local food cooperative. We just LOVE it. I can purchase almost everything we need in bulk from our food coop and it is usually a ton cheaper than buying the same items in the store. We also buy all organic products and by buying these items in bulk I can usually get these items for the same price I would buy that same item but non-organic at the store. I bake a lot of our own food so I buy the following items in bulk:

Flour (usually WW Bread & Pastry)
Rolled Oats (I make oatmeal, granola, etc.)
Sunflower Butter
Oils (Olive, Canola, Sun & Safflower)
All of our bathroom products (toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)
Cleaning products (dish soap, liquid, cleaners, etc....although trying to learn to make some of these myself to make it even cheaper)
BAKING SODA!!! (I use this for everything from diapers to dishes and just got an AWESOME dish washer tip from Passionate Homemaker this week!)

There are a ton of other things I buy in bulk also. Check around in your area to see if you can find a food coop or start one of your own. You don't need to buy much to be able to buy at these wholesale prices.

And a freezer is a must for saving money also. I have a wonderful organic farm down the road a bit and at their little farm stand they sell their produce for cheaper than you can buy traditional produce at the store. Things that I can't seem to grow that well like peppers, onions, carrots. I also go to a pick your own strawberry & blueberry farm in the summer & fall. With my freezer I am able to store all of this lovely produce through the winter and still have blueberry muffins & pancakes and strawberry smoothies all winter long. It is also a lot cheaper as I can purchase a quart of organic wild Maine blueberries for only $1.50 and you can't even get a pint of traditional berries at the store that cheaply! We also raise our own Turkey's & Chickens and buy Beef & Goat meat from friends that raise them naturally (not organic certified but they are grass fed and are not give any hormones, etc.).

We also LOVE bananas. We use them in everything! And they always put the ones that are starting to get soft on sale at the grocery store...usually for at least 1/2 off, if not more. So, I buy these up and when I get home I peel them and throw them in the freezer. Once they are frozen solid I seal them in seal & save bags. We use them in smoothies, muffins, bread, etc.

And lastly I am trying to do more baking 1-2 days per week and freezing items so it is easier to prepare meals. A large freeze makes this all so much easier. I hardly buy anything at the grocery store any more!

I have gained TONS of great ideas from all the other ladies that share their tips so I thought I would share some of my favorite tips I have gained over the last few weeks of browsing.

I love this idea to make play dough for your kids so they can "cook" while you are cooking also. Homemade play dough in pretty jars also makes a great gift for the children in your life and is SO easy to make. I just ordered a pound of cream of tartar from my food coop to make lots of play dough with!

Making a recipe binder is definitely something I am going to work on. Right now I
have cards and paper everywhere with recipes on them.

And I also definitely need to make a
kitchen spring cleaning list!

These Make Ahead Burritos sound yummy!

And simplifying is my favorite word lately. We are cutting down majorly to try and simplify our lives so this
great list of ways to simplify in your kitchen is definitely a great starting point for me!

And what a great idea for
storing muffins in your freezer!!

I am in the midst of kitchen organizing and I LOVE this idea for
storing measuring spoons and I think I will use the idea for my measuring cups also (I asked for new stainless steel measuring cups & spoons for my birthday).

this is something I definitely need to do to declutter my own kitchen! I have way to many kitchen gadgets!

I have absolutely got to try these
pizza pockets! They look so yummy and are a very easy make ahead and freeze type meal. And you could cook enough for the family in the toaster oven making it a great warm weather, don't want to heat up the stove type recipe. You could even make them on a grill I bet! Can't wait to try!

Great recipe for
Taco seasoning!

And what a great
tip for using up the leftover bread, flour & eggs used for making breaded chicken. Sounds yummy!

Lots of great ideas out there. Thanks to everyone posting their tips. They have come in very handy or hopefully will soon!

Video about Vaccines Causing Autism

Just wanted to share this video that Mothering Magazine posted to their website. Interesting pictorial view of the vaccine debate.

I also wanted to share this. Someone said to me the other day that we shouldn't need to worry because they have phased thimerosal out of vaccines anyway. While thimerosal is being phased out it has not been completely removed. To quote the FDA website:

In this regard, all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age or younger and marketed in the U.S. contain no thimerosal or only trace amounts (1 microgram or less mercury per dose), with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine, which was first recommended by the Advisory Committee on immunization Practices in 2004 for routine use in children 6 to 23 months of age.

Also, something else to think about is new vaccines being made will not have thimerosal but a lot of states stockpile vaccines, so make sure to ask your Doctor for a mercury free vaccine and if they don't have any ask them to order it for you. Here is a link to a list of vaccines that do still contain thimerosal.

You can also take a look at the ingredients in the vaccines given at this website.

And here is an interesting timeline provided by Mother Jones online.

We need to take our children's health in our own hands. Until they can prove that these vaccinations are definitely safe I will continue to not vaccinate my children.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Scary Day Thursday

Thursday actually started off great! We had a few of the families from church with little ones over to play. We had a lot of fun! My meringue's were a no pictures. I had never made them before so didn't realize that you definitely need parchment paper. Oh well. We live & learn.

After everyone left we were all just hanging out and relaxing, including our dog, Abbey. After about an hour she woke up and tried to stand u. She couldn't and started flaying all around. She finally fell to the floor and had a seizure. We rushed her quickly to the vet and were told she has a seizure disorder and need to keep her on medication for the rest of her life.

It was a pretty scary thing but we are a little concerned about her medication. We take a pretty natural approach to things like this so we are looking for some alternatives to the drug they want us to keep her on. If anyone has had any experience with that we would love some input.

We are actually going to take her in to see our chiropractor in a few weeks and I plan to call our holistic vet on Monday. So, we will see what they all say. But if you have any advice please share.

Happy Easter!

Food Matters

This looks like it will be excellent! Check out the trailer. I'm going to watch it when it is released and go to to sign up to be notified when it is released.