Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wellness Wednesday - Food Doesn't Have to Change - You do.

Here's something I'm beginning to realize.

Everyone wants to know how to make healthy food taste like the unhealthy food.

Today I want to propose a new idea to you.

How can we make the unhealthy food taste bad to us and the healthy stuff taste delicious without trying to make it taste exactly like it's evil twin!?

To further explain my point - We THINK those fast food fries taste oh so good but let me challenge you to stop eating them for a while. I can all but guarantee the next time you eat them you'll feel an icky greasy feeling on your lips and a sickening feeling in your stomach.

If you're not eating any healthy food, you won't necessarily love it right away.

If you stop eating greasy food for an extended period of time, it just doesn't seem as appealing after a while.

The more you treat your body to vitamin and antioxidant enriched foods, the more your body will crave those foods.

The more you eat whole grains/whole wheat, the more normal it'll taste to you.

Instead of saying "this healthy cookie just isn't as good as the full fat, butter and sugar laden cookie", keep making those healthy cookies for your dessert. Eventually your mind will begin to receive those cookies as dessert. Here's the difference: if you make a cookie recipe like the one I posted last Saturday, you'll be putting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and fruits into your body instead of saturated artery clogging fats and refined sugars.

We need to train our bodies to accept the good stuff and stop trying to make the good stuff taste like bad stuff! Get it??

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tips and Hints Tuesday - An alternative to salad dressing

I love salads.

I love to put anything and everything on salads...fruit, beans, cheese, eggs...anything.

But, it has been said, although people think they're eating healthy when downing a salad for lunch, in reality one study says that with all the "extras" we pile on our salad, the caloric intake rivals that of a BIG MAC!!!

Even salad dressing kills us. Who puts the recommended two tablespoon serving size on their salad?? It's probably more like 1/4 cup right?? Measure it out next time! It 2 tbsp of the average salad dressing there is about 150 calories and 16 grams of fat!

I bought the dressing you spray onto your salad...serving size is 10 sprays...I put at least 30 on!

Well, maybe this is just the italian in me and the rest of you will think this is gross, but I LOVE spaghetti sauce on my salads instead of dressing. I have been guilty of using it in addition to dressing too, but I'm watching my calories and it's really good! There's virtually no fat and few calories in tomato sauce and most are very healthy for you. The lycopene in tomatoes, which is thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers, is made more potent when cooked into a sauce.

Give it a shot. I like to warm the sauce up before putting on my salad because it makes it feel like more of a meal, but whatever floats your boat!!

Don't knock it until you've tried it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Money Monday - Big Spender vs. Nerd

You're one of them.

There's this notion that everyone falls into one of these categories.

Are you the one who spends money here, justifies a purchase there, sneaks money from the ATM as you drive past? You gotta live life right??

Or are you the nerd? The one who gets a financial high from making pretty spread sheets and making formulas that will forecast your financial future? Save now, rich later.

Pick one.

I

AM

THE

NERD.

I suppose you'd call Matt the spender...but he's not. He's not a full fledged nerd because he's too laid back to be one, but when we were first married, I was the one who panicked about money all the time. When I got pregnant, and was working AND going to school full time, Matt took over the finances for a little while but I'm so anal, it wasn't long before I nagged my way back into it....I'm so easy to be married to. ;) He goes with the flo and never wants to be in debt again.

I have my own set way of doing things. The checking account needs to be reconciled the day it comes in the mail. I almost become oddly giddy when it balances to the penny...and on the very off chance it doesn't, I will not quit until I find that penny...and if I find a transaction that I wasn't notified about, I get miffed. 

We have very specific places we put out debit receipts and everything is filed in an efficient manner! I AM A NERD. Bills are paid within a day of arrival and sometimes I pay them early to avoid installment fees (like car insurance).

I keep $100 hidden in our checking account on the off chance a mistake is made. I have nightmares about overdraft fees. 

I AM A NERD: AND PROUD OF IT!!

I think we need to embrace the importance of each and come together in the middle. Without a spender, the saver would be a cranky tightwad who had no fun other than looking at spreadsheets on a Saturday night.

Without savers, spenders would go off the deep end, using credit cards for pack of gum and vending machines!! 

Work together!


Who's the nerd in your house? Who's the spender? Why are you/they classified as such??


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spiritual Sunday - Your Doubts, His Answers

I read this here.


God's Positive Answers
For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a
positive answer for it :

     You say:  "It's impossible"
     God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

     You say:  "I'm too tired"
     God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 1:28-30)

     You say: "Nobody really loves me"
     God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 13:34)

     You say: "I can't go on"
     God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

     You say: "I can't figure things out"
     God says: I will direct your steps  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

     You say: "I can't do it"
     God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

     You say: "I'm not able"
     God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)

     You say:  "It's not worth it"
     God says: It will be worth it. (Roman 8:28)

     You say:  "I can't forgive myself"
     God says:  I FORGIVE YOU (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

     You say:  "I can't manage"
     God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

     You say:  "I'm afraid"
     God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear  (II Timothy1:7)

     You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
     God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

     You say: "I don't have enough faith"
     God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

     You say:  "I'm not smart enough"
     God says:  I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

     You say:  "I feel all alone"
     God says:  I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews13:5)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Scrumptious Saturday - Doreen's Healthy Cookies

These are really satisfying. They definitely taste fresh and healthy...not heavy like a regular chocolate chip cookie, but they're soft and sweet and yummy!

3 large ripe Bananas (or 1 banana, 1/2 c. applesauce, and a 1/4 c. honey)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 c. canola oil (or coconut oil) - I used just over 1/8 c. Doreen didn't use it at all.

2 c. rolled oats

2/3 c. almonds ground in the food processor

1/3 c. unsweetened finely shredded coconut

1/2 tsp cinnamon (I did not include)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

6oz chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Combine and mix first three ingredients.

In a separate bowl wisk together the dry ingredients and then add to the wet.

Fold in chocolate. Dough will be looser than most cookie doughs. Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto a greased cookie sheet and press down lightly. Cookies do not spread.

Bake about 15 minutes

Friday, September 25, 2009

Family Friday - A Love Too Big

A mother's mind is a FRIGHTENING place to be sometimes. At least I hope it's not just my mind that's so scary!

Sometimes I get myself into a complete panic...Like right now...just about to fall asleep and get smacked with a fear of something happening to my little baby.

Would God let that happen??

Is my fear Him telling me something's going to happen??

Obviously this is not true, because God doesn't work like this. The Bible says clearly that fear and God's love do not go together.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline.

FEAR IS NOT OF GOD. I'm not a "the devil has a foothold" type person, but this is where I feel like he drags me down. Being aware of that and reminding myself what God says is comforting to me - even though I'm fighting right now even as I type this. I don't want to be controlled by fear!

Please, if you're a mom, tell me I'm not alone! I go around in circles trying to rationalize things and I can't. It's an issue of lack of control!

I've been feeling it all around lately from:

...wondering how long my eyes will stay healthy...

...fearing getting on an airplane

...and now the worst, I just can't even type it... a mother's worst fear. (I probably should not write blog entries during a panic attack...)

So, that said - I don't have a pretty closing statement because my stomach is in knots and it's 1am, but I do know this. God loves me and he loves my baby even more than I do and when we ask God for His protection, He gives it!

I leave you with my favorite and most comforting verse, as right now (and always), Scripture speaks so much better than I can.

Philippians 4:6-7 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.



Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for the 47 junior high students we had at church last night!

I'm thankful that next week, we'll be starting the points system because that just makes things a lot easier!

I'm thankful for finally getting cable internet!

I'm thankful that my sick husband stayed up until midnight installing the cable internet.

I'm thankful to be able to see God's hand on my life through every step.

I'm thankful that my daughter knows the difference between right or wrong, feels guilty when she does something wrong, and tells me about it. I hope she stays that way and I hope that I always respond in such a way that makes her WANT to do right and leaves the door open for her to approach me in the future.

I'm thankful that in mid October the attic steps should be installed, and by the end of October I should be able to put all of my bins up there!!!! *Fingers crossed!*

I'm thankful for the friends helping us install the steps and the girl time I'm gonna get while that's happening!

I'm thankful that I'm going to see a super sweet face as soon as I wake up tomorrow morning!

I'm thankful that I'm FINALLY going to get my eyes checked for new CONTACTS tomorrow!! WOO HOO!!

I'm thankful that so far this week, I've been doing a pretty good job at controlling my portion size and late night eating. I know I'm not huge people...don't send me hate mail, but I've put on a few pounds and would like to take it off. I hope to lose 6.5 more pounds which may or may not happen, but 3 pounds NEED to come off! I have no willpower! :)

I'm just a thankful girl today!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wellness Wednesday - Little Ways To Take Off The Pounds

I love Real Simple Magazine. It's kind of expensive and my subscription ran out, so I visit them online sometimes.

While browsing, I happened across 20 little things you can do to drop a few pounds.

A lot of times these things seem like common sense, and undoable.

This was actually very interesting. Check it out here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tips and Hints Tuesday - Naturally treating coughs.

Well if you have been hit with the lovely cold that seems to be going around my circle, I'm sorry. So many little ones are dealing with croup-like coughs and it's only September!

Here's a couple hints that are natural and extremely helpful for all ages.

Honey - squeeze teaspoon full into tea or swallow it right from the spoon to soothe and heal a sore throat and chill out a cough. The antioxidants in honey not only help your symptoms but they actually help heal.

Even the medical community is recognizing that a spoonful of honey helps stop kids' coughs better than over the counter cough medicine! And, with so many of these products being pulled off the market, you can't go wrong.

Please use this advice with caution. Babies under age 1 SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN HONEY! Consult your doctor if you're unsure.

Vicks Vapo Rub - Place a thick layer on your child's feet...Yes, feet...and put some socks on at bed time. This will help the night time cough that seems to linger for weeks!

Let me know if you try these tips and how they work for you!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Money Monday - Coming Up

Well, I must say, it's not taking me long to learn to enjoy spending money! We actually spend $50 on 2 pairs of shoes for Hannah...usually I'd cap it off at one pair for $15 or less!

Next month, we're having someone come in to do some preventative maintenance on our furnace. I don't feel like dealing with it, and I'll feel better knowing it's clean and ready to go for winter!

We're also planning on finishing our attic (by the end of next month hopefully.) I want to get moving on our basement and there's so much STUFF down there, finishing the attic will give us the space we need.

As far as I'm hearing, this is not an expensive job, just labor intensive. WHAT ISN'T?! So hopefully we can finish the project for less than $500. We have a good friend who is willing to help us get started because putting an attic door in the ceiling is something we're not familiar with and he is. THANK YOU THANK YOU!

We're planning to run some electricity up there too. I'm very excited for the finished project!

I'm NOT in this post advocating creating more space for your junk! Because our house is so small, I'm very picky about what stays around here. But, I have tons of baby stuff sitting in my basement and I'm not going to get rid of it until I'm done having babies! Aside from some breakables that I'm not putting on display until my children are older, that's really all that's down there...It's just a lot of stuff.

In other news, we will be 20% done with our 3-6 month emergency fund this week! Slowly but surely!

So, that's where some of the money is going this month.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Spiritual Sunday, Suffering

As the fall semester has begun at Nexus, we're looking at the book of Romans.

This past week we talked about hanging in there when things are not going your way. It's definitely difficult.

Why does God let bad things happen? If he's a good God, why would he let things like (fill in the blank) happen?

If you're a parent, you might understand it this way...

We take our kids to the doctor and sometimes they have to get shots. To them, that's the most awful thing that could happen! Why would a mommy who loves her baby let some crazy nurse poke her child in the arm with a NEEDLE and inject who knows what?? Sometimes they get a fever after or an achy muscle. Why would a loving mom allow this to happen to her little child??

See where I'm going? Mommys see the big picture. Even though our babies don't understand why we'd let this happen to them, we see the big picture. A little pain now can save them from life-threatening diseases later. They don't get it, they don't see it, but we do. We allow them to suffer a little so they don't have to suffer A LOT.

It's the same with God. He let's us suffer a little to help us so that we don't have to suffer a lot...and maybe sometimes we do suffer a lot but ultimately, he sees the big picture. He knows more, he knows better. We need to trust him like our babies trust us!

Romans 5
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Scrumptious Saturday - Broccoli Cheese Soup

This recipe might be the best broccoli cheese soup I've ever tasted. I've recently been asked for the recipe, so here it is!

Do NOT however, make this in a crock pot. It will not work. You need to use a soup pot on the old stove! Other than that...ENJOY! It's fantastic.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Simmer in large pot over medium heat for about 20 minutes:
2 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1-2 cups diced postatoes
1 cup diced onion
1 cup celery

Then add:
1lb (or more!) velveeta cheese cubes
1/2 cup milk
2 cans cream of chicken soup

Precook:
1 bag frozen broccoli
1 bag frozen cauliflour
(season)

Add to your soup and cook on LOW for 1 hour. (I cut up the broccoli and cauliflower a little bit if they look really large)

You may add other seasonings you like such as some garlic powder, sometimes I'll throw a spoonful of Dijon mustard.

Enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Family Friday

If you're a working parent, you know how hard it is to balance motherhood, housework, meal prep AND a career. I am so guilty of neglecting playtime with Hannah when things get out of control.

If you're able to get a handle on the clutter in the house, you'll be able to relax and play! Your kids will be better behaved and you will be happier.

For the last week or two I have not yelled (except once when Hannah turned on the paper shredder at the office YIKES!). I have refused to raise my voice or even sound irritated. (You can look at last Tuesday's post about the "ear tug" which I only use sometimes now because it's served its purpose). Now, for those of you who know me personally, you know that's more than a mild feat! I just can't believe how much this has changed Hannah's behavior! She is a high strung child. She does not respond well to yelling or irritation - but neither do I! So, I just try to remind myself that, when she does something wrong, it is my job to TEACH her how she should act not to yell and scream at her because I'm irritated. In fact, it doesn't even matter how I feel; it matters that she is learning...and what teacher teaches by screaming and spanking?? (We have been using time out...Those first few days time out was around A LOT!)

As a result, I have a child who is not whining, complaining, or arguing. She takes "no" for an answer and obeys when she's told to do something....Aaaaaahhhh, so lovely. It makes it so enjoyable to spend time and play with her!

I wonder how long it'll last.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's been a while since I've blogged - which I think is a good thing. I needed a break from my computer. Today I'm feeling pretty yucky since I've caught this nasty cold everyone has.

I'm thankful for tea with honey and lemon to help me feel better!

But mostly today, as a day of uncertainty, I'm thankful that God is bigger than any disease, any trial and any fear. I'm thankful that no matter what the doctors say or our worries tell us, God is in control and has a perfect plan.

Today there's some serious family stuff going on and a family member is getting some test results back. We're praying for the best. Please, as you read this, lift up a little prayer for good news. It'll only give me something else to be thankful for today! I will keep you posted.

Thank you!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I need this today....


I'm very thankful for a little bit of excitement going on this week!

I'm thankful Hannah is excited about school and had a great first day!

I'm thankful that we got a weekend away last week.

I'm thankful that Hannah is really getting the hang of reading!

I'm thankful we have plane tickets to DISNEY purchased!

I'm thankful for a great report on my grandfather's cancer! Tumors are shrinking and white blood cell count is just about normal.

I'm thankful for my health. My eyes are doing so well!

I'm thankful I'm FINALLY going to get my eyes checked for new contacts!!

That's all for now!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wellness Wednesday - Over-The-Hump-Day Slump

Ever get into a funk?

Sometimes we get into ruts and it feels like there's no way out.

Our country is overloaded with anti-depressants as doctors will toss them at anyone is having a bad day.

So what are some natural things you can do to boost your mood?

For me personally - exercise, chocolate, doing something I enjoy like scrap booking, and time with friends really help (although when I'm feeling down I usually don't want to be around anyone!) Taking deep breaths has also made a difference for me. It sounds silly, but over time I've realized that I often hold my breath when I'm stressing. Regularly breathing deeply really helps (yoga and pilates are good for this.)

Let's take a look at some alternative medicine recommendations for beating the blues.

1. Go for a walk.

Walking is a mood booster AND It burns fat and calories! Try a pedometer or just going for a 10 minute walk around the block on your lunch break. Start small.

2. Get more sleep.

Lack of sleep can make you cranky. Make your bedroom a place you ENJOY being and try to move your bedtime up just 30 minutes.

3. De-Clutter

You can't relax in an environment that screams stress. This is a big one. Pick a clutter spot and work on it for 15 minutes a day until it's done. Set a timer. You can do anything for 15 minutes!

4. Listen to some uplifting music that you enjoy

5. Try aroma therapy

They say lavender is very comforting (I can't stand it). If you enjoy it, it's worth a shot.




Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tips and Hints Tuesday - Are your ears burning?

I get so tired of finding new and effective ways to discipline my four year old.

It becomes so exhausting. I'll do well for a while, but eventually I become so frustrated that I'm screaming all the time which only makes Hannah act out more. It makes me feel like a bad mom and she's constantly loud, whining, and discontent.

If you read my blog on Sunday, you know I've been discouraged. I've done a lot of reading and I've decided to try something new. I know I have to stop yelling. In our house, this family takes on my mood. If I'm miserable, so are my husband in child. In some ways it just doesn't seem fair at all. Why can't I have a bad day every once in a while?

I can continue to have a pity party for myself, or look at the upside. I am the momma! I can make my home a peaceful sanctuary for my family or a miserable place of discord. Since I'm a fan of being in control of things, this should be a positive for me, right??

I know that whiny children are a fact of life. Unfortunately, parents will either give in to stop the behavior or yell and fight increasing the tension. I am guilty of the latter and it has to stop.

Sunday morning when Hannah woke up and I was getting her vitamins and breakfast ready, we had a little heart to heart talk.

This is where my tip for stopping the whining comes in!

I told her that she's been much too whiny lately and it has to stop.

"No one is happy with a bad attitude and a bad tone of voice. You don't get what you want that way. Things have gotten out of control and mommy is yelling too much. From now on," I told her, "mommy will not respond to you when you use a whiny voice. Instead, I will look at you and tug on my ear. That means you are not using a nice tone of voice and I will not answer you until you use kind words and tone."

It seems so strange, but this has worked instantly. Hannah is a high spirited, high volume and high maintenance child. She has texture issues with food and clothing and is always looking to disagree. Who would have thought that a simple little tug of the ear would virtually stop the "fingernails on a chalk board" sound of whining?

To be honest, just simply having a plan has always worked for us when it comes to discipline. We are consistent, and I'm not escalating Hannah's frustration by yelling. Before, if I'd ignore her, she'd become MORE angry and yell and scream. By tugging on my ear, she knows I acknowledge her, but she needs to use a better voice if she wants a response.

So today, if you're sick of the whining, have a talk with your kids and do a little ear tugging! Let me know if it works for you...and I'll let YOU know how my long term outcome is!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Money Monday - Priorities

Part of managing your money is knowing what your priorities are when it comes to spending it.

It is sometimes hard for me to watch other people spend their money. At times I'll scratch my head and wonder what people are thinking when they buy things or flippantly spend money. But ultimately, I know people probably think the same thing about us.

We are CHEAP. Too cheap sometimes. My friends all know it and they make comments like "I know even YOU can't pass this deal up." I don't care if people think I'm cheap. In fact, I wear it like a badge of honor!

But if I'm ever feeling judgmental, I ask myself, what do people think about me (besides being obnoxious about Dave Ramsey and freedom from debt?) Do people think I'm nuts for spending thousands of dollars at a nutritionist, but never buying myself prepackaged foods or an article of clothing?

It's all about priorities. Our financial goals are different from yours most likely, but we know where we're willing to spend money. The benefits of holistic treatment has proved to be worth the extra expense for us.

This is not an excuse to blow your money, this is an opportunity to strategically PLAN where you'll spend your extra dollars and your income. Know where it's going. Track your spending for a few months, then take a long hard look at it. Does your spending reflect where you want your priorities to be? Does it reflect who you think you are? Do you like what you see?

If you can look at your spending and say, "I'm happy with where we put our money." then you're on the right track. If you're not happy with where your money is going, then it's time to set some goals in order to get where you want to go.

Ultimately, God has blessed you with whatever income you have. We owe it to him to glorify him with it in how we spend our money. Remember, every family has different priorities, and that's okay - just make sure your priorities ARE a priority. Make sure your outflow reflects the person you want to be.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Spiritual Sunday, Patience

Ecc. 7:8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning and patience is better than pride.

Proverbs 14:29 A patient man has great understanding, but a quick tempered man displays folly.

Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.

Proverbs 16:32 Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.

1 Cor. 13:4 LOVE IS PATIENT

Eph. 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

I'm feeling quite vulnerable at the moment and I've looked up these verses to encourage me. I don't know how to describe how I'm feeling right now except RAW.

I'm sure it's common to lack self-esteem sometimes and that's just how I'm feeling. I don't feel like a great parent right now, and I definitely feel that my lack of patience with my child is creating a whiny and combative attitude in her.

So, for all of you out there who are lacking patience, I'm sorry that I have nothing profound to say. God's word sums it up well. Read and be encouraged. Also, know you're not alone in your struggle.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Family Friday/Scrumptious Saturday

We spend a couple days in Lake Erie this weekend for a lovely little getaway.

It was much needed but I didn't want to spend the money. After coaxing from my husband and EVERYONE else, it didn't look like I had much of a choice, and I must say, I'm glad we went.

We booked at hotel that had an indoor swimming pool and hot tub as well as a continental breakfast. We first stopped at the beach and it was so nice there, we ended up staying all day! We had packed our lunches to eat there and Hannah Banana even slept on the beach!

We then checked into our hotel, ate a yummy dinner at Texas Roadhouse, went to downtown Erie on the bay side, stopped at the mall to let Hannah jump in one of those trampoline things, got ice cream, went swimming at the hotel and then CRASHED from exhaustion!

We woke up the next morning had breakfast, went swimming, went to the Erie Zoo, had lunch at Sara's Diner and to our dismay, the bike rental shop was closed. THE ONLY ONE AROUND. BLAH! I was SO disappointed! So we decided to drive to the Grove City Outlets to do some SHOP SHOP SHOPPING. I got Hannah some school clothes and Matt did some Gap shopping.

We had a lovely time and ate WAY too much.

Today Hannah and I stopped at my grandma's and she made us spaghetti for lunch. Scrumptious!!

Have a great holiday weekend and eat well!


At the Erie Zoo over 3 years ago. A little blast from the past.

At the polar bear exhibit at the zoo in 2009.
Sleeping on the beach.
In one of those bungee things at the mall. She is so funny!
We had other cute pictures on the beach...but I'm not posting bathing suit pictures!!
How sweet is this??

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wellness Wednesday - Swine Flu Vaccine

I posted last week about Hannah's 4 year well visit.

She received all of her vaccines and had some lovely side effects. She spent the whole weekend with a drippy nose (from the nasal flu vaccine) and a fever (tetanus shot) and a hot, red, swollen arm. My poor baby.

It's no secret that I'm interested in natural medicine. I also feel like I have a very balanced view of the medical community. I believe modern medicine and natural medicine need to WORK TOGETHER. I think I might be the only one who rides the fence, but you're looking at a girl who is taking chemo pills for an autoimmune disease (not for much longer though!) AND who sees a nutritionist. These two things together along with the grace of God have progressed my health VERY quickly...WHEN USED TOGETHER.

That said, I don't think we'll be giving Hannah the H1N1 Vaccine that will be released later this fall. I am pro vaccination. I will vaccinate my next kid as I have vaccinated and will continue to vaccinate Hannah HOWEVER, this vaccine is BRAND NEW. I refuse to let them test it on my child.

I feel as though I am well informed of the risks associated with the vaccines that children are given today. Over many years of being administered I believe the benefits outweigh the risk (though I'm not looking for a pro/anti vaccination argument). This vaccine hasn't been given to anyone yet and they're going to try it out on my little peanut? No.

Hannah's pediatrician did not push me to get the vaccine when I expressed concern. She said that the vaccine is being pushed because there's panic that the strains of the flu will be more severe as it passes from person to person. There is also fear because the swine flu did not stop infecting during the summer as influenza does. She believes, as do I, that the virus is similar to the regular flu. Most people recover quickly, but in large numbers, you're going to see severe cases sometimes.

We don't make the decision lightly and I hope it's the right one. I suppose for now, the only thing I know for sure is that we at least will wait a significant amount of time before considering it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tips and Hints Tuesday - Paper Towels

I've been cooking and baking a lot lately.

I enjoy it.

Today I tried for the first time to use half whole-wheat flour in my bread. It came out perfect. Hours of work and the loaf is half gone. Matt loves home made bread!!

Anyway, I'm always using tons of paper towels in the kitchen...cleaning a counter here, wiping a spill there, washing my hands 8 million times!! It becomes expensive and wasteful.

So, to fix this problem, I have been using a dish towel. I pull it through a belt loop in my jeans and use it for whatever. Once I'm done cooking, it goes in the wash. It seriously cuts back on paper towel use, and it's very convenient!

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