Stress Free Morning Routine for Moms

Stress Free Morning Routine for Moms

 What is your morning routine like?  If your mornings are like those of many other moms, you are flying by the seat of your pants from the time your feet hit the floor until you walk out the front door (probably at least a few minutes late, right?) Mornings don’t have to be so hard.  I simplified my own morning routine so that I can get ready for the day in a stress free way.  There is no need to rush through your morning routine haphazardly when a little time management is all it takes to start your day in Continue Reading →

Slow Cooker Garlic Butter Chicken with Cream Cheese Sauce

Garlic Butter Chicken

Garlic butter chicken.   Cream Cheese Sauce.   Oh my.  Where do I even begin?  I guess I should tell you first about the tender, moist chicken.  But, you just have to know about the tangy cream cheese sauce.  The garlic butter component is pretty important, too. I guess best thing about this dish is that it’s as simple to make as it is tasty.  It’s perfectly comforting after a busy day and even better as a leftover lunch the next day.  (Even if you eat it sitting at your desk.  Promise!) The slow cooker does all of the work Continue Reading →

Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Zucchini

Raise your hand if you’ve tried every zucchini recipe on Pinterest.  Yep.  Me, too.  Zucchini is a versatile veggie, for sure.  However, I’ve mostly had zucchini sliced or shredded and, most often, as an addition to a more prominent ingredient in a recipe. Other than sauteed summer squash, I don’t think I’ve made a dish where zucchini is the star.  Well, until now, that is.   This super easy stuffed zucchini recipe was fun to make (the kiddos can help) and quite delicious.  The ingredients are few (zucchini, mild ground sausage, carrots, Parmesan and salt.) but the flavor is robust. Continue Reading →

Eggplant Mini Pizzas

Eggplant Mini Pizzas

Although my family follows a traditional, Weston A. Price diet at home, we often eat grain free.  Properly preparing grains takes a lot of time and none of us feels best when we consume too much grain — even if it is properly prepared.   When we are craving pizza this eggplant mini pizzas recipe hits the spot.  My kids love it and eat it up quickly. I feel good knowing that they are getting an extra serving of veggies that they wouldn’t have gotten from regular, grain-crusted pizza.   The varying sizes of the pizza is perfect, as well. Continue Reading →

Lettuce Tacos

Lettuce Wrapped Tacos 1

My family loves tacos and these lettuce tacos are a new family favorite.  As the boys gets older, their ability to mass consume tacos gets greater.  A dinner that used to require a pound of ground beef now requires more than four pounds.  (This does allow for lunch leftovers, because this is one leftover dinner that they will eat the next day without complaint!) This easy grain-free weeknight dinner is a snap to make, even in the large quantity I need in order to feed my guys.  The leftovers store easily and I don’t have to worry with broken or Continue Reading →

September Giveaway

$300 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway

Happy September, dear readers!  I’ve got another great giveaway for you!  I’ve teamed up with some of my favorite real food and natural wellness bloggers to bring you this amazing $300 Amazon gift card. If you love Amazon as much as I do then you probably have a wish list a mile long.  Whether it’s back to school shopping or getting ahead on your holiday finds, this gift card will give your bank account a little relief this fall. The giveaway runs until September 29th.  The winner will be announced here on the blog, so be sure to check back Continue Reading →

The Benefits of Mindfulness

Benefits of Mindfulness 1

 Several years ago, during a period of my life when wellness seemed to be beyond my grasp, I began practicing mindfulness.  My intention was to find a way to lessen my anxiety–both the physical anxiety symptoms that my body generated in its unwell state and the psychological worries that had become a part of my daily life.  I am grateful that I began using mindfulness, because it has benefited me in many ways.   What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is simply defined as awareness without judgement.  This means that you are aware of what you are sensing (both physically and emotionally) Continue Reading →

Tomato, Avocado and Goat Cheese Salad

tomato avocado and goat cheese

If you’re tired of the same old lettuce, spinach or kale salad routine, check out this lovely tomato, avocado and goat cheese creation!  I came up with this one when I was craving a salad with avocados and didn’t have any green-leafies on hand.  The combination was so amazing that this has become one of my favorite ways to get a hefty dose of healthy fats and a serving of vegetables, all in one bowl. When tomatoes are plentiful in the summer months, I eat this salad several times each week.  It never gets old!  The taste is sweet, salty Continue Reading →

Coconut Lime Shrimp

Coconut Lime Shrimp

Have you tasted summer?  I have.  It tastes like coconut lime shrimp and it is delicious! I found skewered shrimp on sale and couldn’t pass it up, but I didn’t have a skewered shrimp recipe handy.  I did have limes and coconut oil on hand, though, so I created this amazing coconut lime shrimp recipe. The ingredients (just four besides the shrimp) are simple and nourishing.  The taste is bright and well-rounded.  And, yes, the kiddos loved this recipe! Here’s the recipe!     Many of my posts contain affiliate links for which I will receive a commission if you Continue Reading →

Does Gentle Discipline Work?

Does Gentle Discipline Work

I first read about gentle discipline when my oldest child was nearing his first birthday.  I had practiced attachment parenting from the beginning, but hadn’t given much thought to discipline.  I knew from my my own upbringing and my education in psychology and sociology that physical punishment was not right for our family, but I had no idea how to discipline without the use of spanking, time outs and other punitive tools.  No one had modeled it for me and I did not know what to do instead. After arming myself with information and finding a supportive friend and a Continue Reading →

Cherry Vanilla Smoothie

cherry vanilla smoothie

My kiddos love smoothies.  Sunday mornings are smoothie time in my house.  We typically make blueberry, mango/pineapple and strawberry, but this time we all wanted something different.  This cherry vanilla smoothie was perfect for giving us a bit of change from our usual smoothie routine. My cherry vanilla smoothie is sweet, tart and creamy.  The background vanilla flavor reminded us all of frozen yogurt.  In fact, we froze the last bit of it and it turned out nicely.  We’ll definitely be making it again as a dessert, with the addition of a little more honey. Here is the recipe! Many Continue Reading →

How I Stopped My IBS Naturally

How To Cure IBS Naturally 1

Sudden Onset of IBS  My IBS began suddenly after the birth of my first child when I was 22 years old.  At my six week post-natal check up, I talked with the doctor about my constant stomach upset.  She told me it was my hormones regulating and that I would be fine after a few months.  I didn’t worry too much because I had already noticed a connection with my menstrual cycle and my digestive system. After a few months, my stomach issues became cyclical, alternating between IBS-D and IBS-C.  I went to a different doctor because I knew it Continue Reading →

Paleo Meal Plans

Paleo Meal Plans

Paleo Meal Plans Over the past few years, I’ve discovered that the Paleo diet (the primal version) is the way of eating that benefits my family the most.  As we transitioned from a Standard American Diet to a Real Food Diet, the hardest thing wasn’t giving up our favorite grain-and-sugar filled foods.  No, the most difficult thing was meal planning! I’ve always used meal plans to save money, time and curb wastefulness. Meal plans are definitely worth using, especially if you are on a budget or don’t have time to plan meals and shop for food on a day-by-day basis. Because Continue Reading →

Easy Homemade Body Wash

Easy Homemade Body Wash

Have you looked at the ingredients in your favorite body wash?  I have.  It’s not pretty.   I have to admit that I love scented body wash.  I had very sensitive skin as a child and was only allowed to use Ivory and Pure and Natural soaps.   Before liquid body wash was a thing, my friends all smelled like Caress and Dial.  I wanted to smell like soap, too, but those soaps irritated my skin. By the time I got to college, body wash had taken over the soap market and Bath and Body Works was my favorite store. Continue Reading →

Easy Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

homemade pie crust recipe

We all need a good, but simple homemade pie crust recipe in our recipe box, don’t we?  I don’t know why, but people seem intimidated by the thought of making a pie crust from scratch.  It’s one of the most basic things a home cook can make, yet few of us do it ourselves.   My pie crust has only four simple ingredients for a savory pie and one important rule — keep the ingredients cold.  That’s the key to a flaky crust.   My pie crust is made with sprouted flour because it’s easier to digest.  Find out more here.  You Continue Reading →

Fearless Parenting

parenting anxiety

If you are a parent chances are you’ve spent more than a little time worrying about your children.  It’s normal and it’s healthy to be concerned about the safety and well-being of our children.  We are given a great responsibility when we are blessed with children and those of us who take our responsibility seriously are likely to have some concerns about keeping our kids safe. The problem begins when we worry so much that we become anxious or we make decisions based solely on the emotion of fear.  Fearful parenting clouds our judgment and leads us to parent in Continue Reading →

Homemade Toothpaste

homemade toothpaste

As I strive to live a simpler, more natural lifestyle, I am replacing many personal hygiene products with natural and/or homemade alternatives.  I prefer not to use toothpaste that contains fluoride (find out why) and though I have used a few favorite natural, store-bought toothpastes (here’s my fav) many of them contain xylitol which leaves an unpleasant artificial-sweetener-flavor in my mouth.  I prefer the simple, clean taste that my homemade toothpaste leaves behind. My recipe for homemade toothpaste has just four ingredients:  coconut oil, baking soda, peppermint essential oil and thieves essential oil. (You can experiment with other flavors!) I chose Continue Reading →

Flourless Chocolate Cake

flourless chocolate cake

Oh man.  This cake is trouble, you guys.  I want to make it all the time.  I want to eat it all the time.  I want you to try it so you can join me.   Before I post the recipe for this lovely chocolate dream, let’s talk sweeteners for a minute.  Because I follow a traditional food diet at home I don’t like to use refined sugar when baking.  However, I keep organic sugar on hand for making kombucha and I’ve found that the finished flourless chocolate cake has a better texture when made with granulated organic sugar than Continue Reading →

How To Get Books for a Dollar or Less

books for less than a dollar

About a decade ago I developed a bad habit.  I joined several book clubs and got tons of books for a low price.  I did this over and over and amassed quite a library.  I was always on the lookout for inexpensive books on Amazon and I never passed up the clearance tables at the bookstore.  Add to that my collection of homeschooling textbooks, workbooks, chapter books, etc and you can imagine that my bookshelves were overflowing in a short time. About my love of books, I’ve comforted myself with the thought that at least I don’t collect shoes or Continue Reading →

Coping With Miscarriage

coping with miscarriage

  Twelve years ago this month I suffered the miscarriage of my second pregnancy.  I was 13 weeks into the pregnancy and feeling pretty confident as I moved into the second trimester.  My morning sickness (and a few other symptoms) had begun to diminish and I was ready to enjoy the next phase of the pregnancy. On the morning before my 13 week appointment, I noticed spotting.  An ultrasound performed later that day revealed that my baby had stopped growing about three weeks earlier and that the pregnancy was ending.  (I’ll write my miscarriage story at another time because today Continue Reading →

Chicken Quesadillas

chicken quesadillas

These chicken quesadillas are an easy week night favorite in my house.  They take no time at all to make and we always have leftovers for the lunch the next day.  The tortillas are perfectly crispy and the filling is cheesy and delicious.  They reheat well in the toaster oven, too! Before I share the recipe, I want to give you some ideas for additional ingredients.  My kiddos like them with just seasoning, chicken and cheese in the tortilla, but I like to add a few things to make them extra delicious.  I add sauteed mushrooms, sweet peppers and onions Continue Reading →

Potato Puffs

Quick and Easy Potato Puffs

We eat a lot of potatoes.  Mostly because we like them and they are filling.  Partly because potatoes — even organic ones — are inexpensive.  And there are so many varieties and colors.  Have you tried purple fingerling potatoes?  They are a mouthful of awesome roasted in the oven with olive oil and good salt. You know what else is a mouthful of awesome?  Potato puffs.  They are super tasty and are a wonderful way to use leftovers.  I occasionally make too many mashed potatoes.  These potato puffs are a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes for a completely Continue Reading →

Are Essential Oils Safe?

are essential oils safe

Are essential oils safe?  You probably use essential oils or know someone who uses essential oils.  Essential oils are the latest thing in natural wellness.  Sort of.  Essential oils have actually been around for as long as plants have existed and have been used by humans for natural wellness throughout recorded history.   I have been thrilled and concerned at the same time by the recent increase in use of essential oils.  I’m glad that many people are taking charge of their wellness and seeking natural sources of healing, but I’m worried that we as consumers are apt to over use Continue Reading →

Natural Alternative to Dryer Sheets

natural alternative to dryer sheets dryer balls

As I’ve made the transition to a natural and less toxic lifestyle, one of my conventional indulgences has been dryer sheets.  I love the way they make my clothes feel and smell.  I’ve tried fragrance-free dryer sheets, but recently discovered that even fragrance-free dryer sheets contain toxins.  I decided to get serious about it and search for a natural alternative to dryer sheets.  There is no reason to continue to add to my family’s toxic load from sources that I can control! As I researched, one option continued to pop up over and over.  Wool dryer balls seemed to be a natural-living Continue Reading →

Simple Sweet Pepper Frittata

Sweet Pepper Frittata

If you’re looking for a simple weeknight meal that’s easy on the grocery budget, put this Sweet Pepper Frittata recipe on your go-to list!  This recipes takes just a few minutes to prep and feeds my family of five with leftover for lunch the next day. If you’re like us and don’t eat meat every night, this is a perfectly filling vegetarian dish.  The texture is fluffy and the taste is a savory with enough sweetness from the peppers to balance it nicely.  This has quickly become a family favorite around my house. This sweet pepper frittata is as beautiful Continue Reading →

Ten Reasons To Go Grain Free

10-Reasons-To-Go-Grain-Free-FB

  Have you gone grain free or are you considering going grain free?  Maybe you have friends or family members who are going grain free.  You’ve probably heard of the paleo or primal diet and you might know already that those are grain-free ways of life.  What’s the big deal about grains? Grains have only been a part of the human diet for about 10000 years.  That’s not a very long time in the course of human evolution.  Simply put, we were not made to easily digest grains.  However, if you are a follower of a traditional, Weston A. Price Continue Reading →

What’s Wrong With Common Core Math

what's wrong with common core

What’s Wrong With Common Core? Before you read this post, check out this problem.  Did the common core method of calculation make sense to you?  It did to me.  But, that doesn’t mean I’m rushing to teach my homeschooled children how to do calculations in this way. Common Core math attempts to teach children the ‘why’ behind the ‘how’ of solving a math problem.  This is good, because it sets a solid foundation for algebra, trigonometry and calculus later on.  We all want our children to be prepared for higher level math.  There is no reason that advanced high school Continue Reading →

My Single Ingredient Natural Laundry Detergent

natural laundry detergent

It’s no secret that store-bought laundry detergent is not the healthiest of products.  From sulfates to dioxanes to fragrances, conventional laundry detergents are sudsing up a toxic soup in your washing machine. If you’re like me, sensitive skin complicates the problem even further. While I haven’t had a skin rash from laundry detergent in a while due to careful avoidance, I know that exposure to certain brands will leave my skin burning and itching for days.  But, even the unscented detergents have less-than-desirable ingredients. I’ve tried for years to find a natural laundry detergent that I liked, to no avail. Continue Reading →

Essential Oil Giveaway — Citrus Fresh — WINNER ANNOUNCED!

essential oil giveaway citrus fresh

Winner Announcement: The winner of this giveaway, chosen by Random.org, is Jessica V.!  Congrats! My new favorite essential oil blend is citrus fresh. Citrus Fresh is a blend of orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon and spearmint oils.  It has clean citrus scent that is lovely in the diffuser or applied topically, diluted in a bit of olive or coconut oil. The benefits of citrus fresh include immunity support and emotional wellness.  According to the Essential Oils Pocket Reference, Citrus Fresh can promote creativity and lessen anxiety. For me, inhalation of Citrus Fresh is uplifting.  It’s my “happiness in a bottle”. Continue Reading →

Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry

Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry

First of all, this one was a kid-pleaser.  Does anything else matter? Oh.  Okay. This pineapple shrimp stir fry is a sweet and savory summer supper.  The pineapple gives it both a sweetness and tangy-ness that is unforgettable.  I would like to tell you that it took me hours to create and prepare this masterpiece, but truthfully I had pineapple, I had shrimp, I had veggies and I had hungry boys. I got creative and prayed that it would work.   It did! This one will be on the easy summer meals list for years to come!     Many of Continue Reading →