Friday, December 30, 2011

No One Likes a Frowny Face...

Lately our 4.5 year old has really been making an effort to perfect her unhappy mad face, just she she can express herself more clearly at any given opportunity.  It's been getting to be a little much and we were trying to explain to her that if she keeps making ugly faces, her face will stay that way and she will make ugly faces at people even when she doesn't mean to, and no one will see the kind, beautiful person she truly is.  So to help remind her, we told her she was going to have a warning first and then a time out anytime she makes one of those ugly faces.  Then I made this special mirror with her, I was planning to make it anyways just for fun, but decided to tell her it was for her to practice her nice faces.  So yesterday we put it together...

I picked up a purple feather boa and the hand mirror from the dollar store. The glitter is from the dollar store came in her stocking.  we just hot glued the boa to the edges and also hot glued the edges of the mirror and added the glitter.  So far, seems to be helping...She's been proudly practicing :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kids Defense - Keeping Kids Healthy

Homeopathy and Gemmotherapy

I have a couple of things I would really like to share with ya'll! (I lived in Dallas 2 years I can say it now! haha!  I can also say eh! Because I grew up in Canada....and although I'm also from Washington state, I will never say WaRshington....nope...that one just didn't rub off!).  Anyways...and while I'm off topic (yes, before I've even gotten on topic, just a quick question for you...Look at your computer screen....How many windows or internet tabs do you currently have open?  I think within 5 minutes of being on the computer I usually have at least 10 non-related tabs open on my internet browser.  Sometimes I'll have 3 seperate windows open, each having t a bunch of tabs husband will get on the computer and be like "what the heck are you doing?!? How can you be looking at that many things at once?"  Well...I think I may have the answer to that.  Yesterday a friend on facebook posted a link to an adult adhd test so I thought it would be funny to find out..since I always joke I have add anyways.  Scoring above 70 is severe ADHD and I scored an that's my excuse for always having a gazillion windows and tabs open...Curious how you score?  Check out the Adult ADHD Test Here

Anyways...back to  kids health, I wanted to share with you some of the key things we have done this year to stay healthy that have seemed to have worked really well.  The kids have stayed healthy even when around others who have come down with the flu later that day after playing, coughs, colds, runny noses, etc...their immune systems have done a great job.  The only ailment this whole year was Jordan got a bit of a cough after playing outside in the snow but we were able to nip it in the bud with lithy tree, extra briar rose and doing a warm lemon compress on her chest so she could lay down and sleep without coughing.  (I soaked a linen hand towel in a bowl of strongly brewed lemon tea, wrung it out a little so it wasn't soaking, then placed it on her bare chest and then placed a rice heating pad on top to help drive it in.  It was amazing the difference it made, she wasn't able to recline without a coughing fit, but when she had the lemon compress on, she had no problem.  At bedtime I set it up inside her zip up sleeper pj's so it wouldn't move around and she was able to fall asleep with ease...later I came to check on her and removed it once she was sleeping.  I got the idea for this as well as many other great natural childcare tips from the book Natural Baby and Childcare by Dr. Lauren Feder, M.D.. I also kept her home from school for a day, even though she was on the mend, just to keep her from catching something else while her immune system was down a bit.

As part of our routine, and recommended by Dr. Bain from Frisco, TX I give the kids Dr. Carlson's Baby Vitamin D Drops daily.  I give my 4 year old 2 drops in her juice or water each morning, and was especially diligent once preschool started.

And several drops of Briar Rose by Boiron every couple of days during cold and flu season to keep the immune system strong.  If I notice any symptoms of oncoming illness or find out one of her friends she was playing with is sick, I will give her Briar Rose daily, or twice daily.

Lithy Tree is the other gemmotherapy remedy we have that I reserve for coughs and sore throats.  you can find all sorts of gemmotherapy drops through Dr. Feder's website.

We recently ran out of Briar Rose and I haven't had time to look up local healthfood stores to buy more or order more (I bought mine before the move) so I was at Whole Foods looking to see if they carried it, which they didn't.  However I saw something called Kids Defense herbal drops for around $12 and decided to grab some.

On Christmas Eve, by the time we got home from service, my husband was starting to feel all the symptoms of the flu.  That would make this the third year in a row he has had the flu ON Christmas.  I thought, well, the Kids Defense drops are to be given at onset of symptoms so I decided to try it out on Tyler.  I gave him a full dropper in some OJ and he then fell asleep while I wrapped everything and got it under the tree.  The next day he said he was feeling a little bit better but still felt like he had the start of the flu, so I gave him another full dropper in some OJ and then again later that day...we took that long afternoon nap that resulted in an overcooked turkey, but by that evening, he was amazed at how much better he was feeling.  Tyler is always the skeptical one and whenever I give him stuff like this he doesn't think it's going to do anything, but he admitted he thought it must have helped because he knew he had the flu and he always get really sick for a week, and he improved majorly and was almost back to feeling normal within a day and a half.  He said "I think that crap you gave me saved me." lol..that's Tyler.  Other times he has started to get sick I have put a big shot of Briar Rose and Lithy Tree in his juice without telling him just to see what happens, and within a day he'll be surprised at how much better he is feeling so quickly.  So anyways....I don't know what gemmotherapy is or how it works, but we use it along with Vit D and it does seem to work pretty darn good!

Other things that may help are

We don't eat a lot of processed/packaged foods.  Breakfast is usually GF Old Fashioned Rolled Oats with real maple syrup and cinnamon or scrambled eggs.  And some days I'll make gluten free pancakes, waffles or muffins.  Lunch is usually smoothies, sandwiches with homemade gluten free bread, homemade gluten free pizza, turkey hot dogs (no nitrates or sulfates), fruit, peanuts etc... my daughter loves muffin tin meals to eat a variety of things.  

We don't eat very much dairy, my son and I have none at all (and we never get sick) and my daughter only eats cheese and yogurt sparingly...and when I notice any onset of symptoms I also restrict her dairy intake...dairy makes us mucusy which  increases phlem and can worsen cold symptoms. (and info out there that denies the connection between milk and mucus are wrong.  My son was so mucusy and constantly congested until I went off dairy and as a benefit to me, I noticed I no longer had excess mucus either...I used to always notice a slight coating of mucus on my throat that I thought was normal but when it went away I was like, oh wow! so much nicer...  Go off dairy and you won't have any loogies to spit out!!!) Everyone in the house uses Coconut Milk.

We try to get exposure to natural sunlight and be active when we can.

We drink mostly water, some juice (we like fruitables for juice boxes or Treetop applejuice made in WA not China) and chocolate smoothies made with chocolate almond milk, peanut butter, banana and ice.

We always use the anti bacterial wipes at stores and fully wipe down our cart and when we leave the store we use either hand sanitizer or wipes to clean our hands as soon as we get in the car.  

We try to eat lots of fruits and veggies but I can't say we deserve any awards in that category, our kids are average eaters in that regard.  But if they want a treat, I usually tell them they have to eat something healthy first like an apple, banana or a carrot...then they can have the cookie.  And for my picky 20 month old, the applesauce and other fruit and veggie puree blends in the fun colorful squeeze pouches are a life saver!  That's the only way I can really get things into him! Also the fruitables juice boxes help get some extra fruits and veggies into them.

For more tips on Having a Healthy Family check out these posts

And for a wealth of great information for your family's healthy, you can visit Dr. Feder's website Here.  Our old NP used to work with her and turned us on to her, she is our go to resourse with a balanced approach of conventional and natural family care.  

Gemmotherapy definition and more info on uses @
Gemmotherapy is one seminal origin point of modern Phytotherapy. Gemmotherapy uses ONLY the flower buds and/or young shoots from the mother plant. It could easily be called “Phyto-embryonic Therapy”.

Traditionally, Gemmotherapy has been used by knowledgeable nutritional practitioners and homeopaths to assist in the gentle drainage and detoxification processes of the human body. This form of plant-based nutritional therapy has long been popular in Europe. The use of buds in traditional herbal pharmacopoeia dates back to the middle Ages when Alchemy was the common means of treatment.

Search Gemmotherapy remedies by condition Here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Leftover Turkey?

Have any Leftover Turkey from the holidays?  We got a free turkey from my husband's office that was like 25 pounds and between the two of us and 2 little ones (one who won't even touch it), and being that our turkey was pretty well cooked (if you saw my last post, we slacked on Christmas, took naps all afternoon and got a dry turkey).  Anyways, so what to do with those rather dry turkey leftovers?

Yesterday I made Turkey Tetrazinni for my husband.  I found some recipes on AllRecipes and ended up doing a mix of the Turkey Tetrazzini II and Chicken or Turkey Tetrazzini.

For my daughter and I, I needed something gluten free and dairy free (I doubt she would have eaten the tetrazinni even if it was gluten free anyways) so we made turkey noodle soup with gluten free animal noodles.  It's Super simple, just poured gluten free chicken broth in the pot, added some mixed frozen vegetables, a bunch of turkey chopped up small and lastly, the gluten free farm animal noodles.

These noodles are great by the way, it's not always easy to find good gluten free noodles that the kids will enjoy and these are good, made with vegetables, are fun and my daughter always is excited to have them.  My 20 month old on the other hand....I have YET to get a noodle in his mouth of any kind!  No matter how we try it, he is determined to never touch one....He is a picky eater visually AND he refuses to eat anything we give him...we have to put food we think he might eat somewhere in his line of sight, casually without actually giving it to him or saying anything about it and wait for him to notice it, then we can say "Oh you want this? you sure?' then we can give it to him without him freaking out and acting like we are trying to force it down his throat! lol!  (they say payback is a b!@#$...I was a super picky eater the same way growing up and drove my parents crazy).

Anyways, next on the menu that we can all eat will be Turkey and Rice Soup.  Other years I have made Turkey Enchiladas with a cream sauce.  Another option to use up small amounts of leftover turkey or taco meat is to make quesadillas.  I like to put a little oil in the frying pan then use corn tortillas, add shredded cheese, leftover meat and top with another corn tortilla, fry about 2 minutes on both sides, then place on a paper towel and serve with franks hot sauce.  

After the Turkey and Rice soup, if there is anything else left...too bad....we will be turkey-ed out and I have sliders and fries on the menu!!!

PS- Thanks everyone who voted for my embarrassing stories over at Wanna Be Balanced!  Crystal just told me I won the personal microderm system!!!! YAY I AM SOOO EXCITED! THANK YOU!!!  I'll be sure to let you all know how it works and if it helps!  I've recently started getting the worst acne of my life!  I didn't break out this much in high school! UGH!  Crystal, I really appreciate you doing this awesome contest/giveaway!  I love your blog it's always so fun, interesting, inspiring and educational!!! :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hand Painted Family Last Name Signs

Now that they have been recieved...I can show and tell these gifts I made!

Hand painted family last name signs with the date each family established on 12 x 12 inch canvas.   I found a really fine tip paint brush and some Japanese Sumi Ink in my stash that worked out really well for doing all the lettering.  I used the same technique as I did in the Restoration Hardware Inspired Pillows Tutorial.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  We missed being with family but it was still special having our first Christmas here in our new house and of course....Christmas is special wherever you are because no matter where you are and who you are with, it's all about Christ! And we have been blessed to have met so many wonderful friends since we moved here in May so we have yet to be lonely on the holidays and had a amazing Christmas Eve Dinner with Friends and attended an awesome service, everything was wonderful. On Christmas Day, I meant to make a yummy gluten free chocolate layered cake, but we all ended up taking a long nap on Christmas day which resulted with an overcooked Turkey and some last minute mashed potatoes and steamed peas! lol...and Luckily we already had an awesome meal the night before  also lucky I had this one cupcake in the freezer that the kids could share!

PS- Thanks everyone who has been voting for my embarrassing moments stories over at Wanna Be Balanced!  My skin has been SO terrible lately so I am really hoping to win the microdermabrasion kit!  If you haven't seen the post yet with all the funny stories and voted yet, check it out HERE.  Scroll down to the post titled "Vote for Your Favorite" and I'm number 10.  You may have already read about this on my facebook or twitter but I didn't want to miss anyone knowing about it :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  We had a WONDERFUL Christmas Eve with friends who had us over for a delicious dinner followed by a great Christmas Eve Service at church. Santa just finished his work for the night and now that he's gone I thought I'd share some of the Christmasy things we have had going on around here and with our friends.

Also, I am honored to have been a guest blogger over at Dear Creatives yesterday which you can check out here!  I shared a tutorial for making Giant 3-D Snowflakes! that we did with our friends.

 Finger paint Christmas Tree

 Hand print and Footprint Reindeer

Fingerpaint thumbprint reindeer with googley eyes
(thanks Kelsie for helping the girls!)

I'm a snowman!


Mini Nativity Tree on our mantle

Christmas gift J made at Preschool for us

Teaching my 4 year old how to wrap presents and practice her writing

Magic Reindeer Food

Flannel stockings made by Gram, Snowman Christmas Counter Downer from My parents.

Christmas village my parents sent us this year, I always loved setting that up each year and I'm so excited my mom gave it to me.  

 Tyler reads them a christmas story every night this month

Made some festive dishtowels as gifts

Our other mantel in the kitchen, kids made the garland at a friends house and our christmas card collection has started

my 20 month old decorating Christmas trees with dot art

Feeling a bit festive, got some bows and bells in my hair! (thanks Whitney you wrap everything so cute!) Um, yes this has been my main outfit the past week while at home..good ol' college sweats never get old! :P

One of the Christmas headbands I've made 

Setting up the ol' train tracks with Dad! They used to be Grandpa's!

Christmas eve dinner with great friends, and "santa paws" made an appearance!  Well he's really Santa Bonz...we love you Bonzo Bean!!!

Caramel Popcorn drizzled with Ghiridelli Chocolate

One of our first Christmas tree ornaments that I made for our first Christmas 5 years ago when we couldn't afford to buy a bunch of new stuff.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Scrappy Saturdays Week 13

Christmas is almost here!  I'm getting excited, I've got most of the HAVE to stuff done and so from here on out it is just extra, fun, christmas family fun time.  I love all the creative inspiration that each one of your  bring each week!  

Check out this beautiful Christmas tree made with recycled dryer sheets over at Petities Pashions

Check out this quick present shared by tales or a trophy wife great for siblings, friends and neighbors.

I love this primitive snowman made by Ode to Inspiration made with things she already had on hand.

Brassy Apply has done it again with this awesome Christmas ball chandelier!

Want to make some vintage ornaments?  Check out this great tutorial by Freaking Craft.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Eeny Meeny Miny Mo Game

Eeny Meeny Miny Mo Game
Walnut game for kids

I don't know what this game is called or should be called.  My mother-in-law made it for J and today she was teaching it to her 18 month old brother.  They were having fun, it was nice having them play so nicely while I made Gluten Free Cinnamon Banana Pancakes from the Cooking For Isaiah cookbook.  

Gram painted the walnut shells each a different color and then put ladybug stickers on top.  There are 7 shells and she put 7 little surprises to go under each one, like little jewels, a character noodle, a bean, a button, etc.  So here is how to's so easy, there's really nothing to it but the kids like it.

Eeny meeny miny mo, catch a piggy by the toe, if he hollars let him go, eeny meeny miny mo!  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Clothespins

Holiday Clothespins Project

I recently posted the Holiday Clothespins Project by Blue Cricket Designs as one of the many handmade Christmas gift ideas.  We are making these as a craft project for my MOPS group and I was in charge of getting everything ready and making a sample for the girls.  So here are how some of mine turned out.  We have two MOPS groups that meet on opposite weeks and I heard the first group really like it and I'll be doing it with my group this week.  I hot glued magnetic strips onto the backs of all the clothespins so they could be used as fridge magnets but as she mentions in the original post you could include a ribbon for them to be strung along a mantle for displaying Christmas cards.  What a fun little project!!!