Showing posts from August, 2013

Granola Everywhere

Granola is the latest craze. It has even taken over meals. It has been tossed in yogurt, pastas and ice cream. Store bought granola bars are expense especially when 4-6 members of the home consume a bar once or twice a week. Loose Granola in yogurt cups have cause the price of that cup to nearly double. Granola cereals, are stuffed with fruit and chocolate and come in small packages. Making this tastily treat at home is easier than you think! Give it a try!

Loose Granola
1/4 cup Canola Oil (Can use less to cut calories)
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1    tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Cinnamon or Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
3    cups Old-Fashioned Oats
1-2 cups Additions such as dried cranberries, nuts and dark chocolate
* Even though quick oats will work, you best results come from old-fashioned oats

1. Preheat Oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together and then add the oats.
3. Mix oats together until completely…

Money Mondays- Back to School Lunches

As your children are heading back to school, your grocery bill might take a beating. There are two common types of school lunches: Homemade, and School-made. For those that prepare homemade lunches, let's take a look at what you prepare and how you can save money.

Most lunches contain a main course such as:
1. Sandwiches, pasta, pizza etc.
Buy what your children like. I have seen families cut back and buy cheap wheat bread only to learn that their children were trashing the sandwiches, trading them or bringing them back home.

Mix it up also. Soups go a long way. Make it in the slow cooker over night, divide in thermos' in the morning and offer toppings such as cheese. Stir fry over rice makes lunch special and filling for busy teens. Buy a whole head of lettuce for $2.99 (1 head of romaine lettuce can feed 4-6 people) rather than a bag of lettuce for $3.99 (which can feed 2-4 people). Add different dressings, and layer with protein, crunchy onions, fruit etc.

Then the lunchbox i…

Baby Steps 3

So the verdict is? I'm healthy and so are my lady parts!  I have been shaking in my sandals for the past 5 days waiting for the nurse to call back with an update. My ultrasound and blood work came back normal. Next is to check to see if I ovulate and when I ovulate. Nerves are calm and hope is rising. One day I will see those footprints in the sand.

Money Mondays-Backpack Overload

Summer is winding down and all the stores are filled with Back-to-School items. Do you have your child's back-to-school list? Hasn't it grown over the past few years? Everyone knows about the basics like notebooks, crayons, glue and tissue. But what about $300 laptops for 5th graders, and $200 calculators for 9th graders? Were you expecting that? How about $175 student software for whichever device you own? I think I hear someone gasping for air.

According to the National Retail Federation 2012 Back-To-School spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, the average person will spend $688.62 on school supplies from K-12 grade. The article noted that an average of $95.44 will be spent per year, per child. Did you plan for that? That amount does not include outside of the backpack. Parents will spend on average:

$246.10 on Clothing
$217.88 on Electronics
$129.20 on Shoes

Did we forget anything? Some schools (even public schools) often have a textbook fee. Don't forget that!

But w…

Life Changes, One Week at a Time, 3

If you have read Post #1 and Post #2, you would have learned that we changed the following:
Removed Gluten from our Diets Removed Night shades from his Diet Started Running for exercise Removed Pork from our Diets No more Canola Change #6 is the paramount change, as it has taken weeks of reading and understanding. Mr. Mind and I are changing our GUTS. I looked at Hubby and I said "I HATE YOUR GUTS AND I HATE MY GUTS!" This popular children tease has some truth wrapped up tight in it's undermining meaning. So let's break it down.
What's your Gut?From Wikipedia: "Thehuman gastrointestinal tractis thestomachandintestine,[1]sometimes including all the structures from themouthto theanus.[2](The "digestive system" is a broader term that includes other structures, including theaccessory organs of digestion).[3]
The GI tract always releases hormones to help regulate the digestive process. These hormones, including gastrinsecretincholecystokinin, andghreli…

Life Changes, One Week at a Time 2

If you haven't read part one, head over and check it out. Then come back to part 2. Go on, I'll wait...Two Changes down, right? Mr. Mind has been avoiding night shades for 9 weeks and gluten for 8 months. His skin has cleared up tremendously but he isn't healed. A few weeks ago, while driving to buy local produce, he said "I want to start running." I was shocked! I self trained for a 5k about 3 1/2 years ago. He never wanted to practice with me before nor after my race. I let my running slide, because I was doing it alone. But now he wants to pick up running. I told him "Knock yourself out!" That's what I say when I don't want to get into someone's way, but I know it wouldn't last, help or work. Mr. Mind has a horrible problem of not being consistent with much. He is a work-a-holic, but when it comes to himself, cleaning and planning things, well, now you see where I come in.

All last week, Mr. Mind laced up his shoes and ran his little…

Life Changes, One Week at a Time

If you have been keeping up with Mr. Mind and I for the past year, you would have learned about his battle with Hidradenitis Suppurative. A quick run down: 'it's a condition that causes red, swollen, painful bumps to form on the body, usually in places where the skin rubs together. They are painful, drain pus or blood and even smell bad. They can linger for weeks or months and even come back.' That was the description from his paperwork from the doctor.

Doctors have NO idea where this skin condition began and when it will end. If you are not mindful of your bodily changes, you can suffer with this for a really long time. Like Mr. Mind, he often ignored them and then his bumps were infected with tons of bacteria, twice! So with nutrition in mind, I hit the internet to find a solution. I wanted a healthy and natural way to heal him and possibly me from whatever is the source.

Reading is fundamental Ever heard of that? Well I found Primal Girl back in November 2012 right after…

Baby Step 2

After an hour at the OBGYN office last Wednesday I learned something new. Infertility is a strong and heavy word. My doctor wrote it at the top of my chart and I nearly came to tears. I heart sank. My diagnostic: Infertility. I understand that many women never want to talk about the 'I' word, but it's real. It hurts. It 's lonely. No matter if it's child #1, #4 or #8, no woman wants to hear that she is having trouble conceiving.

The first thing Mr. Mind said was "I don't know what to say to you to make you feel better." Then I thought, 'I don't know what I want him to say to me.' Certain encouragement phrases would seem fake or rehearsed. It's not a cold so please don't say "It'll get better." Don't tell me to relax because I am. I haven't gone off the deep end yet! And for the love of all the ice cream in the world, please don't tell me how easy it was for you (others) to get pregnant. I'm 30 and you…

Mission Accomplished

#10 Do a Mission Trip/Activity I wanted to make a difference in my community, but I was cautious about what to do and the message that I will be passing along. I have been approaching volunteering as as something I did to make a difference for that day. As a life long Girl Scout, I have made a difference in my community through food banks, hospitals, day cares, nursing homes, and more throughout my schooling years. But now as an adult, I want to make sure that I do not become distant in passing along help, and assistance to the world around me.

Someone suggested that I do missionary work. I have heard about missionaries and even encountered a few while living overseas. However, I always thought that their only job was to teach maybe force people to believe in God. I didn't approve of that focus, so I waved off that suggestion. Then I learned of a new friend's adventure to China. When I asked him more about it, he called it a mission activity. He is going to share music with a …

Baby Step 1

Tomorrow is the day that I will finally see a doctor for fertility issues. This last year has been a roller coaster ride. I have wished, crossed my fingers and prayed that every month was the magical month. I saw smiles, frowns and tears from Mr. Mind. We waited and waited. Three minute tests, two week windows and twelve empty months. Stunned, shocked and scared with the lack of fertility. We thought we did everything right. We married, prepared a home, and made space. Saved and improved our health. We have dreams and desires for our future for our family. Yet, empty handed.

Nothing prepared us for the emotions of family planning. We had to learn to hid our emotions for chemical pregnancies, other's unexpected pregnancies, and other's disturbing decisions to family planning. Hunched over a delicious fried rice dinner, Mr. Mind saw tears filling my eyes. I failed, the 12th month ended and I wasn't pregnant. Mr. Mind asked about a double date and I declined. I snared one nas…