Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pretty In Pink

Hey Gals!

I may have just squeaked into this contest and wanted to let you know about it too!

I think the last day to enter is TODAY! The big drawing is tomorrow!! Head over to Domestic Diva and give it a shot! What better way to support the cause AND look good while vacumming!

See the button on my sidebar? Isn't that the cutest pink thang you ever did see?

Win a Dyson “Pink” Vaccuum in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Just a click away!

I wasn't going to do WFMW this week, but just had to share this what with all the new blogs I am discovering this week!!

I am horrible about remembering where I saw a great idea or a neat place I wanted to return to. For some reason, I never really knew what the "favorites" icon would do until recently. Don't say it!!

WELL, it is my BFF these last few months! It comes in especially handy as I give away my Friday Fuzzies each Friday and need to look through my choices!

So, don't forget to click liberally on your "favorites" icon as you find stuff you want to remember for later! Blogs, websites, articles, stuff, you name it!

Especially this week!!

For more great ideas, head over to Rocks in my Dryer!

And my PINK winners are.............

You are gonna love this.............





It wasn't hard since they were the only two who played along (boo hoo!), BUT i am really glad it was them! One is local so this might actually mean we could meet in person-yea! The other is coming my way very soon, so another real life encounter possibility!

You gals are getting a cute mini pink cutting board with a pink-handled paring knife. AND some surprise goody from my Arbonne stash!

And, of course, my eternal thanks for supporting a wonderful cause!

To put a face to a name and learn a little about my friend Sonya, please go here for a recent news story by her friend Kirsten.

And continue to pray for her precious family!

Are you new around here and want to know more about why I did this? Go here and here and here for the story behind today's winners.

And there is still time to join the fun, so don't forget to go to to support this cause and learn about this incredible foundation that supports women and their families diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, as well as much needed research.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tackled Pink!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I am getting comfy and tackling for fun this week! With the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway going on all week, I have my hands full!

As of Monday night, I had this many visitors who I am eager to go see!

And I had this many emails in my box to work through. I LOVE subscribing to my blog comments. It has made life so much easier!

I had this many emails in just 4 hours!

Knowing (hoping!) this might happen, I worked through the house at warp speed today while the kids were at school. It always amazes me what I can accomplish in a few hours that would take me ALL DAY with them here. And still not be done! I love and adore my kids, but TODAY, I needed them to go to school! They were fighting after being up for only 5 minutes this morning!

So, for the other big kid that lives here, just know that yesterday I:

Cleaned the bedrooms
Cleaned the bathrooms
Cleaned the kitchen
Cooked dinner
Vacuumed house
Put things away
Finished laundry
Folded almost all the laundry
Taxied kids to dance and library
Got some groceries (with your wired son in tow!)
Fed, bathed, entertained, and put kids to bed
Prepared backpacks, lunches, and costumes/books for school Tuesday
Did some work
Prepared hand-out treats for Wednesday night

Just for the record, I am feeling no guilt! :)

Happy Tackling!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Y'all

The time has arrived! I really hope you will play along! I have done these carnivals only twice, but with great reward! I only won once, but the reward of which I speak was even better! I met so many fabulous people that I get to enjoy all the time!

All the details are over here.

Here are the yummies that I am giving away!!

A mini set of Arbonne's Ginger Citrus, including body wash, sugar scrub, and body butter! One of my personal favorites that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!


A bottle of Arbonne's Skin Conditioning Oil! OK girls, let me tell you about the power & longevity in this small bottle! First, it is the BEST thing I have tried for my daughter's eczema which is once again in it's flare-up stage as the weather changes. Second, I use it on my heels and toes before I put my socks on. Perfect! And I am not kidding, you will think the magic fairies fill it back up at night by how long it lasts!

Everyone has until Friday night, 11/2, at 8 pm CST to leave a comment here. I will draw for and announce my winner on Saturday morning.

Now go have a great time this week!

I can't wait to meet you!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

A day of rest??

I don't normally post on the weekends, but since my children (mostly, that sweet precious lively boy of ours!) enjoy the wee early morning hours.....well, here I am! I am going to start some serious clock training this week!!

I will be off and running soon for a Sunday filled with activity. The line-up includes church, lunch and fall activities with our life group, Trunk-or-Treat at church (includes both outdoor and indoor festivities and food!), then home to prepare for another week!

One of our life group families has hosted everyone the last few years and we bring our pumpkins to decorate and carve. This year it has to coincide with our TT at church, so we will just head over there afterwards. Our group is running the indoor games. We have decorated a trunk the last few years, but I thought this job could have some nice advantages whether it be hot or cold outside!! All the kids can wear their costumes and my kids have done so every year. This year, I decided not to worry about it since bounce houses are a fav with my kids! Last night, I picked up a couple of cute holiday shirts half-price at Old Navy, so we are going simple!

Speaking of Old Navy! I am sitting here right now in the cute pj's our friend R bought all the girls for our girls' weekend a couple of weeks ago. So cute and comfy! And let me just say, I am having serious thoughts of buying some more (in solid colors if they have them) because, my friends, I don't think I have ever owned a pair of pj's that makes one's backside look sooo good. I am not bragging. I am just sayin'! Right now, I am even contemplating taking a picture to prove it. And here is why I can speak the truth with ease. That weekend, we ALL looked good in them. We are a diverse group-tall, short, skinny, not as skinny. These pj bottoms just seemed to wrap themselves just right around each of our bums and shouted, "Look, look down here! I look good!!". Now, as women we know, anything like that deserves to have many friends join it in our closets!!

Sitting here, I also wonder, as I drink my coffee and give each of my kids a donut, if I lost any weight this past week. I was actually surprised that I did so at last Sunday's weigh-in. As of last week, I had lost 8.8 pounds in 9 weeks. My group at church has lost over 70 pounds in that same 9 weeks, with our high loser at a 9.8 loss so far. I am so proud of everyone! I will keep ya'll posted!

Don't forget all the fun that is about to start over at Rocks in my Dryer on Monday. Fall Ya'll is a great time to meet-greet-give-win! Go over for details and then be sure to join the week long fun starting tomorrow!

Almost done!

At the beginning of the month, I shared some ways to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month during October. I also wanted to give away a few things to say thanks for supporting some good causes. True, entering was a few more steps than just leaving a comment, but I am surprised that only ONE person is the running for TWO prizes! So, I solicited help! Not for me, for the causes! I am excited to let you know that I am featured today on 5 Minutes Around the Blogosphere! Each Sunday, Kailani features several blogs that are having contests or give-aways! Cool,huh!! Of course, I already love 5M4M as you can tell from my sidebar and this is just so special to be part of their site. Janice and Susan (and their many helpers!) host a great site for moms while also running their own stores, A Rocking Horse To Love and Pedal Cars and Retro.

Want a chance to help and win yourself? Click here for details!

Have a great day!!

Friday, October 26, 2007


I love doing this!

The only problem is there are so many of you out there to love!

My sidebar over there is getting crazy long! I played with the idea of creating a separate page (seriously, i don't even know if i can do that with blogger!), but hate the idea of having to click twice to get to someone you want to visit. Remember, if I give you a fuzzy, you end up on my sidebar in the near future. I am devoted that way!

The Diaper Diaries
I have had her on my computer favs list for a long time and I read there from time to time. Because my list is so long, I just didn't get there as often as I would have liked. Until now! In order to bestow her a FF, I checked out a few more entries and read through "About" and "100 Things". She is a SAHM now, but a former pediatric physical therapist!! (Remember, I am a pediatric OT.) AND, she lives in a town in Iowa where I think some old friends of mine live or lived previously. I can't wait to have her investigate for me! About her blog....I love it so far. I love how clean and organized it is. It is so easy to read and always full of good ideas and thoughts! I think I will be checking out her archives! Go say hi!!

The Preachers Wife
Lisa runs a beautiful site that encourages and blesses those that stop in there. Many participate in her online bible study as well. I hope you will go visit her and refresh your spirit!

Angela's Daily Struggle
Angela stopped by here long ago. Then, I feel in love with reading about her. She takes a break from writing now and then, but you can always enjoy her archives and her old site! She is married with a very cute daughter and....another babe on the way! She takes great pics too!! Reading some of her posts and seeing the pics, my guess is that life is not dull around them!! Go have yourself a visit!

Holding the Mirror up to My Soul
"Kelli" is a new blog friend. Best part is we could actually meet face-to-face if we tried! I have a lot more reading to do to catch up on her and know her better, but I like what I have read so far. I do know she stays busy because she runs a daycare besides all the other things she does. I hope you will go get to know her too!

My Tiny Kingdom
MUST.GO.READ! All of it! SERIOUSLY! I am just warning you now. Once you go there, you will have to put yourself on a schedule because you will want to go back and back and back to read more! I can't believe I just now found her! This is what got me started. And if you don't link over and read this, well, you will have no else to blame for your bad day but yourself! Just a warning, though. You might want to sit on a towel and not be drinking anything while you read it! Today is serious though. She is sharing the anniversary of her mom's passing with us along with ways to help others. Go now. You won't regret your time there.

Happy Friday Fuzzies to all!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This one I like

I am really not a big meme person (I think!), but this one seemed easy and fun to do.

Copy and paste to your site. Bold the ones you have actually done.

Commentary is optional but fun!

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
*my friend is a speech therapist at a dolphin place for kids in key west. my dream job!
03. Climbed a mountain
*not what i consider a real mountain.
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
*probably as a kid when climbing one.
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
*does Las Vegas count?
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
*i recommend doing so in Florida while looking out over the water!
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
*i am counting the 1996 Olympics for this one!
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
*love baby tomatoes!
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
*um, yah!
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
*i have to say a lot too. it's hard!
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
*this is so bad, but i can have a nervous giggle fit during a bad situation. doesn't happen as often as it used to.
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
*i made sure my single life was fun!
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
*i remember making one of those special boxes when i was in the 3rd grade.
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
*in jr. high, i played catcher on a softball team.
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
*of course!
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had/Have amazing friends
*i just can't say enough about all my amazing friends over the years! i am working on a post about them!
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
*Australia was fun!
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
*in college; the kind with the flashing light; i even stored it in my garage for awhile!
46. Backpacked in Europe
*Does Australia count? If not, sorry! We even stayed in youth hostiles and with strangers we met online who backpacked as well. A totally different concept there!
47. Taken a road-trip
*My life for 2 years, not counting all the other mini ones! Probably another fun post I could do!
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
*stupid, i know! long story!
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
*Wonder Woman, who else!
58. Sung karaoke
*College graduation party with friends!
59. Lounged around in bed all day
*pre-kids, believe me!
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
*Mexico and The Great Barrier Reef off Cairns, Australia!
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
*they should NOT be tearing these down :(
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
*sewing (Vignettes by stacey), Arbonne
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
*March 27, 1999
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
*belly button pierced!
81. Rafted the snake river
*white-water rafting on the Colorado river
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
*high school
85. Been to Las Vegas
*twice; girl's trip and business
86. Recorded music
*does as a kid count?
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
*rare, but yes.
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
*not my favorite vacation; too confining.
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in a Rocky Horror Picture Show
*midnight showing of Grease! RHPS is too weird, I think!
96. Raised children
*in progress with lots of praying!
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
*a co-worker does this. i don't get it!
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
*the perk of my traveling job i had!
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
*right before i threw up my burrito in a bag! did not make a good impression on the guy, i am sure!
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
*a regret to this day b/c he was a good person
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
*tonsils when 7 years old
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept 30 hours in a 48 hour time frame
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
*won a Benjamin Franklin story contest in elementary. i was quoted while waiting in line for Lisa loeb's autograph!
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read “The Iliad”
*enjoyed it; would love to read it as an adult!
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
*president of my sorority (social/service club) in college
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
*with my kids, of course! otherwise, probably, from time to time.
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
*too many times to count starting in high school
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
*the mean guy i hit made me cry, but the nice guy in front of him was kind. although i cried even harder when i saw the nice guy had his child in the car.
150. Saved someone’s life

Open to all! Just let me know when you post it, so I can come over and be nosey!!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gone in 60 seconds!

I can't believe I am going to put this out in Internet land, what with all my talk lately about going green. So, maybe, instead of crying FOUL!!!, you could look at it as a cry for HELP!!!!!

I am horrible about catching and cleaning stains on my counter tops. It just starts to look horrible before, in the old days, I would create a new slate with good ole' bleach. I hated using it, green or not, but didn't feel like I had a choice.

One day, I needed to get rid of the stains quick, and in a light bulb moment, remembered my Clorox Beach Pen I still had in my laundry room.

I wondered.....

People, I have a 3-year old boy. His clothes and newly discovered self-sufficiency are killing me! Do I need to beg for more mercy than that?!

So....I gave it a little squeeze and rub on all the stains. After letting the areas sit about 5 minutes (some less than that), I went back and wiped.


Old stains. New stains. No mess, MUCH LESS smell, no worries of slopping bleach solution on my clothes.

THEN, several weeks ago, we had to have our carpets and white/cream tile grout cleaned. The grout in our breakfast and kitchen areas was pitiful. (by the way, I DID use a service that did both the carpet and the grout with non-toxic solutions!)

So, you know how it goes! You watch your family like a hawk, shouting "Be careful", "Don't spill it", "Seriously, right after the grout guy leaves!".

My husband was starting to twitch from watching our money slowing disappear under the new grout dirt. Then, I remembered the pen!

All I have to say is YES!

That works for me now, but I am so open to suggestions of less toxic nature. Preferably ones that don't require a big mess, lots of mixing, or hands & knees scrubbing.

But don't worry, I am not picky!

For more great WFMW ideas, head over to Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Starting over

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I am not exactly sure what my tackle is going to look like today.

I won't know until I get to work later this morning.

On Thursday night, thieves decided to break into our office and steal all the laptops and our phone system.

Since I only work on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I am sure most of the "mess" has been cleaned up from the ransacking. However, I will probably be tackling my desk and figuring out how to replace what was on my computer. I believe 90% of my reports have hard copies in the charts, but there was so much other stuff on it as well. Report shells, home programs, activity ideas, letter shells, you name it! Uck!!

I do quite a bit of writing for work at home, so I am hoping to find some things on my home computer or in my email box. And....for some reason, I think I might have some things on a memory stick. Please, please, please! Say a prayer ladies! I have a lot of looking to do!

We are fortunate that they did not want any of our equipment, and that they were unable to walk off with our main office computer. The main computer is where all our financial and client information is stored! PTL! And, thankfully, that computer is always backed up each week, anyway!

Please say a prayer for my boss (and friend!) who I have worked with for over 10 years. This just stinks for her! I am so thankful we work in a small group and can support each other quickly.

And all the more reason to join Fried Okra's Back it up baby campaign!!

At least we still have our play dough and crayons!

Happy Tackling!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Picture pages, picture pages......

This is what you get when it is dark and raining outside and I want to be back in bed but my children, mostly Luke, like to not be back in bed! I am not even going to be all nice this time and put them in order. That would take brain power! I hope you enjoy anyway!

"Hey Mom, look at us, we are stealers." My kids can be almost anything with a pair of pantyhose. Maybe I can find some more pics to prove it!

Pumpkin Patch Pals

I know Luke is not waving here, but watching them go around the field, you would have thought they were both supahstahs the way they were crazy waving at all the cars on the road!

Attack of the Giant Fingers!

Luke holding a chinchilla at an animal birthday party!

You too can amaze your children for $1.

This is the look I get most of the times I catch him doing things he shouldn't be. That is when I am not catching him hiding under a table with whatever he should not be doing! This look is usually accompanied by "I sohwee, I sohwee!" or "It was an assident!"

"Yo ho ho, Mommy" Do you like that look Luke is giving me? Scary Pirate!

The kid loves him some broccoli!

More animal craziness!

Anysa with the chinchilla!

Handy Luke. Or Farmer Luke, depending on what exactly he is doing with those tools!

Luke with his buddies Diego, Superman, and David (David and Goliath book). I think he is well protected through the night!

Anysa went as Dorothy to a friend's pumpkin patch birthday party. This was our first practice with the outfit and accessories. I will get better pics with "Dorothy" and the "Lion" when we trick or treat!

Queen of the Haystack

Not a good day between Anysa and Luke. This was her attempt to say "Luke, stay out!". I don't think he took it very well, do you?

Babies are always taken good care of around here!

This is what I dug out of my little nose-stuffing boy! A balloon tip he had broken off an old balloon.

Rain, rain, go away.

Or at least until I drop the kids off at school and can get back home to jump into bed!

I wish!!


Friday, October 19, 2007


Joy in the Journey
Joy is a wife and mother of 5. And next to her commitment to Him, it is easy to tell that her priorities are embedded in her family! They are currently working in Indonesia where her husband flies for the MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship). You can read more about it at her site. Joy shares about her faith, her family, her passions. Spend some time getting to know her and praying for her family!

Mommy Zabs
I have mentioned Elizabeth before when talking about Not China Made, but good grief, this girl is even busier than I originally thought! And more talent in the tips of her typing fingers than I could ever hope for! She writes at a technical blog (sorry Elizabeth, I can't find it at this moment!), her personal blog (this one), her China blog, and probably contributes to many more! Then, she and some of her friends decided to create MusicMamas (i have a feeling these are some cool chicks!). And just recently, she unveiled She is sweet, funny, insightful, and encouraging. And she calls her son "Lukey" just like me! That's my girl!

An Iowa Mom
Hang on tight! Stopping by just once will have you coming back over and over! First and foremost, she is crack-up funny! The kid stories are just hilarious, but she is not afraid to tell on herself too! She has helpful ideas, makes cute little girl socks, and is the creator of Mom's Turn (where a mom can go to blow off some anonymous steam!) on my sidebar. She is also the one to introduce me to, and for that, I am so grateful!

Lizzie's Home
Lizzie has not received my attention as much as I would like, so I can't go on and on about her. So many times, I am reading blogs late at night which means I usually just read the day's entry and move on. But Lizzie has SO MUCH neat stuff listed on her sidebar that I must get to!! You will see why I did not want to pass her by just because I couldn't tell you much myself! I am hoping we can become "friends" so I will have another person to visit when I go to Australia again! Someday!

Mama's on a Playdate
I found Jenny after linking here, then there one night. It was hard not to be quickly drawn into her stories of her precious Allie. I would encourage you to learn more about Allie and her story. Now Jenny shares passionately about life with her husband, a busy 2-year old Maggie, and Heroes for Children!

Happy Friday Fuzzies to all!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fill 'er up!

I was getting concerned last Friday because my list for Friday Fuzzies was running dangerously low. If I continued at my current pace of 5 each Friday, I would be scrambling in 2 weeks!

Now, THAT, was about the silliest thing I have ever worried about! Give me a few good reads about Tackles and WFMW's and my list is sufficiently refueled! Not to mention my excitement about upcoming new contests floating around the blogosphere, as well as learning about fun sites to get cool stuff!

One of the new sites I found today is both informative AND generous!

Noelle at Live Your Healthiest Life has done tons of "legwork" to give her visitors so much incredible information on living healthier! And as an added bonus, her weekly featured products, are offered to her readers as prizes just for entering!

Do you like whip cream on your hot cocoa? Me too! Noelle's "whip cream" is her referral program which allows you to earn a FREE product of your choice when your name is posted by someone else in the "message" section of an entry form. Each time your name (Stacey Willmon!) is provided, you get a point. 5 points = Free product! That is her way of thanking you for getting the word out about her site and her mission!

And since Random Generator refuses to be my friend anymore with all the other contests I have been entering, this seems like a piece of cake for winning something!

Would you mind getting me a piece of cake?

And then go tell your friends so we can eat it together!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Juicy Details!

I decided to share a WFMW tip that follows along with my previous healthier-living posts. Probably nothing new to most of you budget-minded moms!

Because I am purchasing as much organic products as possible for our budget, I have to think of ways to make those food products last as long as possible. Plus, until recently, my children have only known juice (and most other drinks other than milk!) in their watered-down version. It was just "normal" to them.

Once a month, I usually purchase 2 types of juice. Typically, I choose an orange, apple, or grape juice; each coming in about a 1 quart container. Once home, I pour the juice into a 4 quart pitcher and fill the container with water. I have a pitcher with a sifter-type handle which mixes the juice if it settles. Then, I will refill the smaller container for everyday use; refilling as needed until we have used all the "juice" in the larger pitcher.

To an adult, it does taste diluted. To a kid, just right!

And just think of all the calories and sugar grams you will be saving with each serving!!

For more great ideas, be sure to head over to Rocks In My Dryer!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

To quote by son's heros, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything!

Give me a few days. Or a few cheese curls. And I might come up with something coherent!

On second thought...skip the cheese curls! The scale stuck its little red tongue out at me after this weekend.

"Jonah was a prophet. Oo, Oo. But he never really got it. Oo, Oo."

Oh, I couldn't help myself. It's to be expected since we read the book every night!

I can also sing a mean Boyz In The Sink tune or two if you want! :)


Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Fuzzies!

And Miles To Go Before We Sleep
Bridget's (ok, I never really know anymore if people are using their real names, so I am just assuming for now!) is all full of goodness. She has a nice variety of posts. And people, the recipes! Who needs a cookbook when you have her recipe roll! And, YES, she did supply me with the Banana Pumpkin Smoothie recipe! But you should really go back for the Cheesy Beer Bread!! She has 5 little ones, but somehow seems still intact mentally :) Go over there for a stroll!

A Chelsea Morning
If you look closely, you can probably find Barb on a wholotta blog rolls! Maybe she won't mind one more! She is so stinkin' crafty, can OCD clean with the best of us, seems full of life, inspires us, and takes care of her precious grandson. If you don't know her, please go and introduce yourself!

Baby Bangs
Amanda is a tough one to introduce, mainly because I really do want you to know her for who SHE is. And it is not anywhere close to like she is my BFF, but she just oozes those same qualities as her mom that make you feel like it is just you and her having a convo. We live on opposite ends of our big city, but I am always on the lookout for that time we will cross paths and I can say, "Oh, I just loved your post the other day about crock pots!". And then, as I walk off, casually throw out, "Oh, and tell your mom hi for me!". She is funny, devoted, and has a hunka precious son! You can find her in two places, but I will let you figure it out for yourself!

Chronicles of a Night Owl
Jennifer's blog name caught my eyes first. My bleary, blog-reading, getting stuff done eyes! She is just now back in the swing since battling not feeling well for weeks, so I can't wait to know her more. She also does cute cards on another site you can link to from this one. Stop by her place soon!

Fruitful Vines
I first "met" Julie-Anne because she was the winner of the first blog party I ever participated in :) She is from Canada and precious. You can just tell her heart is in every post. She added another sweet babe to their family in August and has been a little busy since then as she homeschools the other 3 while being a wife, mommy, doula, and childbirth instructor. She has so much to offer, which is why I was sad to read the other day that she is thinking about shutting down her blog. I would love for each of you to pay her a visit and don't leave before giving her a word of encouragement. Check out some of her informative posts and you will see what I mean!

Happy Friday Fuzzies to all!

p.s. I will be gone several days soaking up some girl time this w.e. with our church ladies' retreat followed by an extra night at the hotel with my dear girl friends! I look forward to catching up with everyone when I return!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I have never done a recipe post! In honor of October and Fall, I thought it would be a good time. And besides, I am loving my pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins I just made (a little too much!) and wanted to share. I am sure ya'll have some great Fall recipes yourself!

Sturbridge Pumpkin Muffins

1 C Sugar
1/4 C Oil
2 Eggs
3/4 of Canned Pumpkin
1 1/2 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 C Raisins (optional)
1/2 C Chopped Walnuts (optional)
1/2 Bag of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (optional) (but really, is chocolate ever optional!)

Preheat oven. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Mix sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin. Sift together flour, powder, soda, and spices. Quickly stir together both mixtures. Fold in extras. Filled prepared muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown.

**I use liners for easier clean-up. When I doubled this recipe, I made 12 regular-sized muffins and almost 48 mini muffins. It is rare I use a separate bowl for the ingredients anymore. I just have not found what difference it makes to do the dry ingredients separate first. With this recipe, I only use cc's because of my picky family when it comes to nuts. Personally, the walnut/cc/pumpkin combo sounds divine!

**And my blog buddy, Cara, did indeed offer a homemade solution to the pumpkin mush. I just moved it over here in case you don't read my comments section.


Pick up one or two of those cute little sugar pumpkins at the grocery store. Not the big ones for carving, they're too hallow in the middle, the cute little dense ones.

Chop it in half either way, vertical or horizontal, and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon into a bowl.

Rub a little bit of olive oil on the cut side (so it doesn't stick) and put cut-side down on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300 for an hour or so, until you can pierce the skin with a fork easily. Let cool, and scoop out the pumpkin mush.

I also did my pumpkin seeds while I was baking the pumpkin; remove most of the pulp from the seeds. Give the pulp to the chickens ~grin~ and to the seeds add about a tablespoon of olive oil and half a teaspoon of sea salt (sea salt is much better than regular salt) Mix with a fork or your hands or whatever, and spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake on the other rack in your oven when you bake the pumpkin, but remove after about 30 mins, or when the seeds are a golden brown. Let cool on a paper towel :)


And I got permission to copy this next recipe. I have not tried it yet, but I bet it is so good. And pssst! Come back tomorrow so you can hear more about who I got the recipe from- I will give her props tomorrow for it, but did not want to spoil the surprise just yet in case any of her friends lurk here!

Banana Pumpkin Smoothie

I just made one of the best drinks I've ever tasted. It's smooth, creamy and it's packed with potassium and all the good stuff. My kids LOVED this and asked for seconds!

1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup canned pumpkin, chilled
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 dash ground cloves
1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen

Combine all ingredients in blender; process until smooth.


And finally, one you WILL want to make this Fall! If you have ever had this at their store, I promise you the recipe is true to the flavor. And the calories! I have made it many times with rave reviews every time.

La Madeleine Tomato-Basil Soup

4 C Tomatoes (about 8-10 medium-sized), peeled, cored, and chopped OR 4 C canned whole tomatoes, crushed.
4 C Tomato Juice
12-14 Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped plus additional for garnish
1 C Whipping Cream
1/2 C Sweet Unsalted Butter, softened
1/4 tsp Cracked black pepper
Salt to taste
Crusty Bread (optional)

Combine tomatoes and juice in saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat. Cool slightly, then place in a blender or food processor. Add basil and process to puree; this will have to be done in batches. Return mixture to saucepan. Add cream and butter. Stir over low heat until butter and cream are incorporated. Stir in salt and pepper before serving. Garnish with more fresh basil and serve with fresh, crusty bread. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving- Calories 237 (79% fat!!), Fat 22 g, Fiber 1 g, Chol 67 mg, Sodium 165 mg, Carbs 10 g, Calcium 45 mg.

**I followed the recipe to a tee many times, but got tired of the blending part. So, instead, I just the crushed tomato route. It works. I have also done it both in a crock pot and on the stove.


Don't forget to check back tomorrow for another addition of Friday Fuzzies!!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Do Love Granola- Part 2

I promised more, so I am back!

I wanted to begin with the changes I started implementing for our family.

Some things I did just for me without making a big deal out of it or forcing it on my family or others. In fact, unless someone specifically pointed it out, I never said anything about what I was ordering, putting on my plate (or not!), and eating. For example, I stopped eating meat (beef, pork, chicken). Initially, none whatsoever. Now, I would say it is 90-95% of the time. In some ways, this was no big deal. But I will be totally honest and confess that sometimes all I really want is something really good off the grill! It is mostly because of the smell that floods my taste bud's memory bank! And if I am confessing, this did start because of a movie I watched. I found it unbearable to see the way most of the industry raises, injects, and slaughters the animals, and the filth we don't even know about. I do a lot of eggs (natural or organic), fish, and non-meat meat; then supplement my protein in other ways. I use Morning Star Farms products mostly for my non-meat meat. I have tried some Boca, but have not liked it as much. I should probably try a few more things before being too judgemental.

At first, I envisioned the weight just melting off because I was not clogging up my intestines. Oh, the naivety!

Next, I worked on switching our milk. I just knew it was the right thing to do for us because of the cumulative effect on our bodies between the pesticide-sprayed grains our cows ate and the artificial hormones injected into them. This was a hard sale to my husband because of the cost. So, I started with milk that was labeled as having no artificial hormones. Then, after feeling like that just was not enough, I now try to always keep organic milk in the fridge. YES, in regular grocery stores and the big W, it is almost twice the cost. Most of the time, for milk especially, I try to always buy it at Central Market where I can get their brand for only about $1 more per gallon. And although I know he rolls his eyes every time and thinks this whole thing is just a bunch of propaganda, he DID make the organic milk purchase without me saying one word the other night. I am sure he knew what I would say if he didn't!

In terms of purchasing organic foods, I must tell you that I felt very overwhelmed at first. Ok, sometimes still today! I knew the cost difference was going to throw my husband and his budget into a tizzy! So, I tried to start with just a few things at once and then add more each time. And to this day, I still have to take a big gulp before picking up the organic version of some foods! My brain is just so programmed to buy what works and is cheapest. Honestly, in the beginning, I made it more about buying fresh fruits and vegetables and staying out of the processed aisles of W as much as possible. For my husband and kids, that would be a huge adjustment in itself!

Now, even if I am shopping at W, I try to keep my eyes focused first on organic, then on natural if organic is not available, then just the healthiest version I can manage of what is available. Because grocery shopping is at the bottom of my list of all-time favorite activities, I still tend to be the gal that tries to get most of her shopping done at a one-stop place. What I love about Central Market is I can do some shopping there and take advantage of their specials like Moo Mondays. At times, I have even found Target to be a good competitor for W in the organic realm, especially when they are having a sale. I have not ventured into researching different grocery store chains in our area for their items and cost, mainly because it just is a lot of work!

Ok, where was I?

As far as your family, just start where you can in terms of foods and cost. Other options are to grow some of your own things, research and shop at local farmers' market, join a coop so you can buy healthier in bulk and maybe save money. There are some great places where other people have already done the research for you about what and where and why.

Along the way, I have also increased my supplementation. Along with my regular vitamins, I increased my selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, multi-enzyme, probiotic, and added St. John Wort and B12. I am still reading and tweaking in this department, so this is subject to change! And I know the arguments about it being a waste, but I just believe most of us and our bodies need more opportunities to absorb what they would not get otherwise due to the way our foods are grown now. And honestly, some days I am better than others in terms of remembering to take it. I can tell you that I do notice the difference when I don't! I get my kids to take a vitamin/mineral with superfood enrichment. We use a powder that makes a berry flavored drink, but you can do whatever you can get your kids to down :) My husband, well, you would think I ask him to swallow dirt everyday the way he resists. At one point, I got him excited and taking a liquid product through Vemma but he fizzled there too. Excuses, excuses! You can go over here to read more about it. I even take it to address the inflammation around the nerves in my spine. Again, when I am faithful, it works! (Oh wait, maybe I should apply that to my life!!)

Good places to visit and to keep handy as a resource could include
Food Routes
Whole Foods Market
World's Healthiest Foods
Naturally Savvy
Horizon Organic
CleanWell Hand Sanitizer
Food News
Healthy Child
Town and Country Foods

I am sure you could suggest many many more! I already feel like this is way bigger than I can comment on! Ultimately, remember, these are resources that you can keep going back to. Don't feel like you have to read and absorb all they have to offer in one sitting!

Just a couple of more things strictly for fun...and bragging!

Since starting the weight-loss challenge, I have lost 9 pounds! I so wanted to say 10, but last week was a bust! Better still, the 12 women participating with me, together we have lost SEVENTY.TWO POUNDS!! OH.MY!!

Ooooh, and this weekend I made my favorite fall dessert. Sturbridge Pumpkin Muffins. I modify it to include chocolate chips cuz I am all healthy like that :) And while I do use canned pumpkin, I am counting on you Cara, to give us some fun and easy way to make the pumpkin mush ourselves!!!

Bottom, bottom line is that I do NOT know everything about all this. I am still learning, still making "mistakes" (or just creating learning opportunities, right!), and still making changes. I am not so all mighty that I never let the enemy foods cross my sacred lips or preach (oh, i really hope this is true!!) to my friends about all this.

My husband and kids are slowly trudging behind.

But nothing a little flax seed, wheat germ, and healthy purees thrown in their foods won't make up for!!


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I know, I know, I know!

Part 2 is no where finished.

Or started.

It is in my head, though. Does that count?

So, I am taking the pressure off myself and letting ya'll know I will have a few things popping up here this week, but no promises on my time frame!

I have to attend to my life a little, catch up with work stuff, and discover the cure for childhood whining.


Monday, October 8, 2007

I Do Love Granola- Part 1

I have been pondering this for some time and even promised a more detailed post back during the Horizon Organic Milk contest.

Waaaay back!

If you stumble over here and have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment for us all to benefit from. If you are totally immersed into all that is natural and good, please know that I am a babe in this area. And while I am continually trying to learn and make changes, I am still a work-in-progress when it comes to living healthy and making smart choices for myself, my family, and my environment.

What I share with you are my thoughts and my suggestions. I do not claim to be a medical professional or a trained expert about the things I mention. Please do the research yourself and then consult a professional to guide you. I am learning though and being an active participant in my life. One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou, "I did then what I knew how to do, and when I knew better, I did better." Ahhh, living by grace!

I have decided to do this in at least 2 posts so your eyes don't completely glaze over!

I have always tried to take care of myself and help my family eat healthy. I consistently exercised periodically. I know you know what I mean! I occasionally took a multi-vitamin (I dosed up before and during pregnancies on folic acid stuff). But that was about it.


About 2 1/2 years ago, my friend introduced me to Arbonne products. **Let me go ahead and say this here. Obviously, this is my business and one could see this as another shameless plug. But here is the deal. Yes, it is my business, but it is also the products that I feel passionate about. I feel no shame in that fact. You may have a different opinion or make some different choices and that is so OK because different things work for different people. Anyway..........!

I saw and realized the difference in how products made without junk (mineral oil, an abundance of unnecessary chemicals, etc.) in them could do great things for one, inside and out. So, basically, if it could be replaced in our home with what Arbonne offered, that is what happened. I won't go into detail because what Arbonne offers is listed and linked on my sidebar.

What happened next, is that I really had to start looking at the other things in our home. I mean if I was gonna tell people why they needed to change their skin care, etc, then I might oughta think seriously about other aspects of our life and home. It only made sense.

Household products were the next victims!

For me, the choice is Shaklee for our household cleaners, dishes, and laundry products. I like being able to order when I need to and they have a great starter kit where you can try out many of these cleaners with one order. I love also, that like Arbonne and many other quality-made products, less really is more. It may seem like these products cost more upfront, but in the end, they cost less. They last longer and create a safer environment for our families.

As my awareness has increased, I have realized that more and more products are available that offer safer options. Look at your local retailers or seek out various company's distributors. There are definitely many more choices these days, and at various costs, which makes buying better much more affordable to a greater number of people. And of course, you CAN always make the stuff yourself! More on that later!

I am not sure why, but food came along last as far as reconsidering our options. Actually, more changes are on the way because since the time I actually started this post, my whole realization regarding products made in China and other thoughts concerning how I store our food and things has changed.

What is funny, is I actually had my daughter on the right start early on as a babe. She had eczema and was found to have a few allergies. Nothing life threatening, but enough to exacerbate the condition and make her miserable. Since we were early on with introducing milk to her, we went with rice milk. She knew no different. And just for the record, I totally flavor my kids milk if they want it. A healthy chocolate milk is way better than a coke or juice. After a few years, I started weaning her back to regular milk. Regular, hormone-injected, pesticide-residue filled cow milk. Yuck!! I PROMISE you that it did not take long for me to see her body change. Probably only enough for a mommy to notice, but I could totally see why all these artificial hormones could be influencing the early development of our young girls. However, it was still a long while before I got on the organic train.

About 6 months ago, I started reading and looking into other food choices more closely. Long ago, I had read The Maker's Diet, The 40 Day Health Experience That Will Change Your Life by Jordan Rubin. I knew what we should be doing, but it was a scary change, especially when my husband was not on the bandwagon and is a meat and potatoes, whatever-it-takes-to-make-it-taste-good, and at-the-lowest-cost kinda person.

So, nothing happened.

Then, I found this book. Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones. I had heard about bioidentical hormones over a year before and knew they were the best step up from natural progesterone creams. At first, I wondered about the whole Suzanne Somers expertise thing. But truly, other than talking about her own personal experiences and results, she leaves the information to the doctors she interviews for this book. This book was probably the catalyst for me to get serious about my health and the health of my family. I now want to read this one and this one.

Then I remembered that I had TWO books by Dr. Andrew Weil in my own library! I had read them before but had forgotten about them. They are Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Bringing Health and Pleasure Back to Eating and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health. So I reread them, made some notes, and started making some changes.

Coming tomorrow- The Changes!


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Because I Said So


I watched this movie! It has been sitting on my TV, courtesy of Netflix, for, oh, about a month! LOVED.IT!


I got all my Friday Fuzzies' recipients posted on my sidebar under "Places I Visit"!

Don't forget about my contest that runs through October. It truly is a win-win opportunity!

If you don't already link to Not China Made, it is a must! Not only can you receive updates on all the latest recalls, but you can find great links for non-China shopping! And this is how precious Elizabeth is....if you know of a company or you have a business where the products (actual product and manufacturing) are American-made or at least not made in China, just let her know and it might get a review. Or at least a sidebar link. She did that for me here. I truly hope it makes a difference for this family!

Next week, look for the weight loss update, my kids and school, and hopefully, some good general info about living healthier. I have only had that one on the post back burner forever!

Make it a great week!

Friday, October 5, 2007


More gals for you to enjoy!

Sorta Crunchy
Megan just had another sweet baby girl, so she will tell you how little time she can devote to writing right now. But I would tell you to go over there anyway. She has a lot to offer and keeps a good sense of humor! She has a very informative sidebar with my particular favorite being the info on organic foods.

The Simple Life at Home
Lori always provides something good to read. She shares the humor and the struggles. I have really enjoyed her "book reports" from The Overload Syndrome; you should go read them. And her new thoughts on Beth Moore's Daniel study are great. I saw the videos but really need to dive back into the study I never finished. Anyway, a good place to visit!

The Wooden Porch
The scenary is always good when you "walk" up to her porch. You will learn why she enjoys where she lives and get to hear some of the crazy stories that go along with it. Always a good pic or two to enjoy as well!

Looking Towards Heaven
YEA, I am so glad to have finally arrived here! I hated that Karla was not closer to the top of my list, but I got to her, so that is what counts. Sweet Karla shares her life with you, and while it does seem pretty crazy at times, it is also full of grace, faith, and the hope that she is making a difference through her life. They added a new boy to their family and she is not holding back; good stories, sweet pics! And do be sure to visit her business Fruition Designs!

Natural Family Living Blog
This is such a great place to visit if you want to start making some earth-friendly changes and need ideas. Now certainly, you may not be ready to take it to the level she does, but still a top spot for ideas. Her last few posts have been very good reads, including changing your dairy and how to create better school lunches for your kids. And many more you will just have to go back and read for yourself.

Happy Friday Fuzzies to all!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Faith like a child

Luke is sufficiently potty trained from the anterior point of view and he has made great strides the last 2 weeks from the posterior point of view!

And while I strive to ensure that my children empty their bladders prior to leaving the house, well, things do come up that we can't control.

Like 3 year old bladders!

So, possibly, on a couple of occasions, a certain son's mother might have allowed her son to relieve himself in a paper cup that, just happened to have been available in the car.

Applicable rules to this type of situation were discussed in great detail.

Somehow, however, a 3 year old's mind interprets that discussion to include the JUST.PROFESSIONALLY.CLEANED.KITCHEN.FLOOR.AND.TILE.GROUT!
With a perfectly good plastic drinking cup!

While in the middle of kneeling down to his level and making it PERFECTLY.CLEAR that this does NOT happen in the house with a PERFECTLY.GOOD.BATHROOM.TOILET.AVAILABLE, he lowered his eyes and face and got this pouty mouth and said,

"But I just prasin God."

Thank goodness he is not old enough to partake in communion.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Now you see it, now you don't

update: i give up! i thought i knew what i had done to mess up several of my posts with pictures. i hate wasting time on the technical stuff cuz i am really un-technical, so if anyone has any thoughts, i am open for suggestions

obviously, i am experiencing a little technical difficulty with my pictures throughout several of my posts!

i just had a "duh" moment about the problem, but will have to fix it later when I am home.

check back later!


The Working Table-Part 2

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Remember this from last week?


I actually took an in-between picture with my sewing machine and the few things I was finishing up out on the table (in a very tackled way!), but the picture seems to have disappeared!

My tackle for the table this week is to go through that paper stack on the right and finish my final two sewing items that I had started. I will show you those soon!

Happy Tackling!

p.s. go to 5 Minutes for Mom for more tackles!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Count the ways in 31 days!

There are so many ways to help those dealing with breast cancer. I am only mentioning a few today to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Feel free to make other suggestions for me to use in post updates throughout the month!

I love this one where you simply click everyday and help women receive free mammograms!

The Breast Cancer Site

Several at work will be participating in the Race for the Cure. I had done it several times about 6 years ago with my friend Judy! I will miss again this year, but am registering for the event anyway. Apparently, I am what they call a "sleep walker"! Cute, huh!

And of course, I am participating in the Virtual Walk for the Gal To Gal Foundation which supports those diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer. It is so neat because you can type in someone's first name, last initial, and their city/state and voila', you can find your friends that are walking too!!

Now best of all!

I recently discovered that I have 2 pink bar boards with pink-handled paring knives that I ordered from Pampered Chef several years ago. That is what happens when you clean and purge!! I think I had purchased 5 at the time to use as gifts because I knew some of the proceeds were donated.

Want to win one? :)

Here is what you need to do:

1. Go register and design "you" at The cost is $3.
2. Either post about it and link others there as well OR email 3 other people about it with the link if you don't have a blog.
3. Come back to this post and leave me a comment. Either link me to your post about signing up OR tell me the first names of the 3 people you emailed.

(Ya'll, I would so love to do a Mr. Linky here, but seriously, does it have to be that complicated! My eyes were glazed over while reading the first sentence of instructions!)

On October 31st, I will randomly draw 2 winners for these cute pink sets!! Who knows, I may also throw in some Luxurious Holiday yummies just cuz ya'll are so generous!

And just for fun, I am going to wear a cute pink bracelet everyday in October! I may have to raid Anysa's jewelry until I can make it to the store!!