Monday, July 7, 2014

July Goals

It helps me to make goals for myself...I like to cross things off my list.  So I make daily "to do" lists and just recently started making weekly and monthly lists of goals.

So here are my goals for July:

1. Family Reunion -- already done!  A great time!

2. Finish two Shutterfly books (before my free coupons expire!)

3. Sew this dress for Ruthie.

4. Sort through, weed out and reorganize toys.

Here's to Goals with Grace from the Tiny Twig.

Life with Kids...Events to Experience vs. Tasks to Complete

I was talking with a friend the other day who had just had her second child.  Her oldest is 2.5 and she was wondering how she was ever going to be able to go grocery shopping with both kids. 

I've felt the same way...especially with three...thankfully I didn't have to take all three grocery shopping by myself until Hannah was six months old (and I didn't have to stop AT LEAST once to nurse!)

I've realized that somewhere along this parenting journey I've had a change of perspective: I'm viewing life more as events to experience rather than as tasks to complete.  

Little things (like grocery shopping and errands) and bigger things (like 400 mile car trips) need to be viewed as events to experience and enjoy.  When I begin a task with the mindset to experience it as an event, I have a more peaceful and joyful time.  I do not feel stressed to complete the task in a reasonable amount of time...just to complete the task and enjoy the process.

What does this look like for our family?  It means I ALWAYS pack snacks (and sometimes lunch).  I know our limits (a max of 2-3 stops for a trip to town...this is about 2-3 hours total, including 45 minutes of drive time).  I take the time to stop and look at the fish in Walmart.  I take the time to eat samples at Costco (including pulling over and parking in a side aisle so the kids can finish each sample before coming to the next one).  Sometimes we plan for a picnic lunch at the park following our errands.

We just got back from a trip to Iowa for a family reunion.  400 miles each way, with three young children.  I'm excited to say that we got our first "Are we there yet?" from our eldest when we were only 25 minutes from our destination!  Here is what we did:

9:45am  We left home. A great aunt had made bags of fun for each kid...these were just dollar store toys and such but they LOVED them! And it kept they occupied...for FAR longer than I had imagined possible!

11:45am Stopped at Cabela's, looked at all the animal displays, walked through the aquarium, used the bathroom.

12:45pm Back on the road with lunch to eat while driving.

2:30pm Stopped at another Cabela's, looked at the animal displays, walked through the aquarioum, used the bathroom.

3:15pm Back on the road. Snacks!

5:30pm Stopped at a rest area to use the bathroom and run around the picnic tables.

6:35pm Got our first "Are we there yet?"

7:00pm Arrived at our destination!

We planned all there stops ahead of time and we knew it would take MUCH longer than the 6.5 hours of actual drive time to reach our destination.  But we made it with smiles on our faces and lots of fun things to tell Grandma about!

How are you learning to see life as Events to Experience vs. Tasks to Complete?

Linking to Modest Monday at The Modest Mom.

Raw Milk Cleanse -- Update 2

I'm finally sitting down to write this update!  Crazy summer we've had so far!  Hopefully it's slowing down now.

So, back to the raw milk cleanse...I felt really good just drinking raw milk but woke up on the third day with painful constipation.  Enough said.

So, if you decide to give the raw milk cleanse a try...drink your prune juice too!

The end.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Raw Milk Cleanse -- Update 1

It is now Wednesday afternoon.  I started drinking only raw goat milk Tuesday morning.  And, so far, so good.  I had a slight headache yesterday beginning around noon and I again have a slight headache this afternoon, but nothing major.  I've been slightly hungry but it has been more annoying than anything and a glass of milk makes it pretty much go away for a couple of hours.

Other than the slight headache and bad breath, I have had no other detox symptoms yet.  Hopefully this will continue!

I drank about 16 oz less than a gallon yesterday and am on track to do the same today.  I need to go and pick up more milk tomorrow morning and that should get me through the rest of the week.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Raw Milk Cleanse

image credit
 We started our journey to a whole foods diet about four years ago.  I was pregnant with Asher and we had just discovered Tony's sensitivity to nightshade foods.  Since then I've been learning a TON about whole foods/real foods and natural health and taking care of my health and the health of my family naturally.  The more I've learned, the more I've thought that my body needs a cleanse...many people that believe strongly in the power of a cleanse say you should cleanse at least once a year, but also that you shouldn't cleanse if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.  Hmmm, I haven't been NOT pregnant or breastfeeding since that time...until now!  (Well mostly, Hannah is still nursing a couple of times a day, but I feel OK about trying to cleanse now and I can always stop if she seems to be having trouble.)  So, tomorrow I will start a raw milk cleanse!

I first heard about doing a raw milk cleanse HERE.  I like the idea of it because it is easy -- no wierd food prep, and because it is supposed to be easier to continue with every-day life while doing it.

I've been waiting for our "milk lady" to call saying they are milking their goats again...and she called on Friday!  So tonight we will pick up milk and I start tomorrow!

I plan to continue taking my herbal vitamin and cod liver oil as well as olive leaf extract with doing the cleanse.  I will also be drinking some tea with my milk occasionally for a bit of variety.  I plan to continue the cleanse for at least a week...we'll see how it's going and how I am feeling.

I plan to update a few times over the next week so you can follow along if you like.

Have you ever heard of/done a raw milk cleanse?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Simple Laundry Tip for Grease Stains

 I do a lot of laundry.  And I don't mind doing it.  It is not a hated chore for me.  But every once in a while something happens that makes it a bit unpleasant.  Tony is very good about emptying his pockets before putting his pants in the wash.  And rarely do things go through the wash that shouldn't.  But sometimes (usually when I grab a pair off the floor that he was planning to wear again...) stuff happens.  Last week a tube of lip balm went through the washer and the dryer, leaving some pretty good grease spots on a couple of Tony's shirts (and work pants, but it doesn't matter on those).  Here is a picture of the worst spots:
Grease Stains: BEFORE
Thankfully, I have discovered a quick and easy way to remove grease spots, even after a tumble through the dryer: Dawn Dish Soap.  Just pre-treat the grease spots with Dawn Dish Soap, wait a while (I usually wait at least over night) and wash again.  Here is the after pic:
Grease Stains: AFTER
If you look closely, you can still faintly see the spots...but they are so much lighter!  The best part can keep treating the spots and rewashing until the spots are completely gone!

Dawn Dish Soap works especially well for grease-y stains and also works just as well as any other laundry pre-treat for all other stains -- it is the only thing I keep around to treat stains with.
One word of caution: be careful when treating white clothing...if you leave it too long before washing, you can end up with a blue spot from the blue dish soap.  You might want to keep a bleach pen around for treating stains on white and the Dawn for all other stains!

What's your best kept stain-treating secret?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Simple Kitchen Tip: Manage Your Recipes

With the invention of the internet has come an overwhelming assortment of new recipes...for everything!  Good ol' home cookin', gluten free, sugar free, GAPS friendly; all this is great if you have special dietary need or if you are looking for a new recipe for, say squash.  But it can also be a bit overwhelming...too many choices...will my family like it? 

I have found something that works for me and I'd like to share it with you: manage your recipes, simply!

I need a recipe for almost everything I make; I have very few recipes memorized and even those I usually double check to make sure I haven't forgotten something because with little people around I often get interrupted and can easily forget where I am in a recipe or what I've added.

So for recipes that I make often (like weekly), I write down the basics on a piece of paper and tape it inside my cupboard door.  That way it is always easy to look at double check, without having to get out the cookbook.

 Speaking of cookbooks...I keep two.  My Better Homes and Gardens one I love because it has basic recipes for pretty much to roast a turkey, how to hard boil and egg, a few basic frostings and cakes.  Yep, when I need a basic recipe, it is my go-to.  It also has some handy charts that I refer to much rice/millet/barley to how much water, and what to sub for what if I'm out of something, how to cook any veggie, how to can/freeze/preserve fruit and how long to process it in the canner.

My other cookbook is one I have made.  It only contains recipes that I love and that I reuse.  A new recipe does not get permanently put into this cookbook until it has proven itself in our daily life.  I made this cookbook out of a photo album for 4x6 pictures and 4x6 note cards...super easy and super cheap.  When I find a new recipe that I want to try, I write it on a sticky note, then I make the recipe and if it is one that we like, the sticky note goes in to my cookbook.  After I have made the recipe a few times and we still like it, then it gets written on a note card and permanently placed in my cookbook.  I really love knowing that I have a cookbook full of recipes I love and I don't have to wonder if it will work or if we will like it.
 My final recipe tip is useful for herbal remedies, bath and body care item and the like...stuff that you remake occasionally and requires special ingredients that you don't usually use in your kitchen.  I use this method for my herbal vitamin and for elderberry syrup.  Just write the recipe on a piece of paper and tape it to a container that holds all the herbs/supplies.  Always ready when you need it!

I also have a Pinterest board for recipes I see online that I'd like to try.  I am careful to only pin recipes that I think I will actually use...ones that everyone will eat and ones that use ingredients that I usually have on hand.

That is how I manage my recipes and keep my mind and my kitchen free of recipe clutter!
What do you do to manage your recipes...any new ideas for me?

Linking to Modest Monday at The Modest Mom.