Selasa, 16 Desember 2014

Say Please Lunchbox Love Cards Review and Giveaway!

Say Please was started by life-long friends and fellow moms Judi Willard and Mary Fuller, because they were tired of seeing products being peddled for kids and adults with messages like: "My favorite accessory is my dad's credit card", ''Boys are stupid", or "I'm a Biotch."

They decided to create a company that produced greeting cards, clothing and other accessories that featured positive messages, but in a hip and humorous way.

Willard, a licensed psychotherapist, and Fuller, a journalist, were able to combine their talents to come up with upbeat phrases and sentiments that, quite simply, make people feel great. & nbsp;It is no longer a secret, but scientifically proven that positive thoughts and words have a positive affect on our mental and physical health.

Both women were in a place in their lives where they wanted to be able to work independently at a company with a greater purpose. That's why a portion of the profits from Say Please's products go to a specially selected charity. & nbsp;Positive words can change someone's day, a life, and eventually the world

My 8 and 9 year old children are in 2nd and 3rd grade and I pack their lunches. & nbsp;I really love these little cards and I remember how special I felt as a child when my mom would put a note in my lunch box. & nbsp;With Lunchbox Love my kids get a really neat fun fact on one side and a special message on the other. The messages range from I Love You to Seeing you is the best part of my day. They have cards just for kids, for friends, for holidays and even ones for people you work with. They have been so excited lately by these neat cards. The shares the trivia facts, like "some turtles can breathe through their butts", with friends and they know I'm thinking of them when they are at school. This is one of the neatest products I've come across and I'm so glad I got to review these. My son actually has saved every one I have given him!

I really enjoy the ones for the different holidays & nbsp;and am planning to get them this fall. & nbsp;I know my kids would have a great time with them. & nbsp;One thing I would love to see them make is a set for kids from the with bible facts on the fact side. & nbsp;As a Christian I would love to be able to give my kids some cool bible facts as well as love and & nbsp;encouragement. & nbsp;Also they would be great to have a set has the & nbsp;encouragement & nbsp;on one side and then a matching bible verse. & nbsp;That would be perfect for parents doing bible memorization with their kids.


Senin, 15 Desember 2014

Homemade Granola- better for you, cheaper, and easy as pie!

My family loves granola. & nbsp;They like it on their yogurt, plain as a snack, and with milk at breakfast. & nbsp;Sadly I am so cheap that I would only buy a box of granola from the store as a treat. & nbsp;I mean those boxes of granola are expensive and small! & nbsp;My eldest & nbsp;daughter & nbsp;is always begging me to buy it but I say no because it only lasts one day.

Well the other day I was browsing one of my & nbsp;favorite & nbsp;sites and came across a link to another blog about making healthy homemade granola. & nbsp;And so I bopped over to see how hard it was to make. & nbsp; Well I have to say that granola is as easy as mixing up mud and you just throw it in the oven. & nbsp;This recipe makes a delicious granola like some of the high end ones you find in the store. & nbsp;Now I make a batch every week and like it so much that I have it for breakfast. & nbsp;Just to let you know I am not a big granola fan so that tells you how good this is. & nbsp;My kids love it and call it yummy crunchy mix and have it for snack, on yogurt, or with breakfast. & nbsp;As a side note my son will not eat vegetables willingly so he gets very little of essential minerals, but granola (with my tweaks) has huge amounts of these very important nutrients.

Also this recipe seems to help regulate blood sugars due to the use of the nuts which add protein.

Now as with most of my recipes I have tweaked it to add nutrition and cater to our family tastes so I will give you the original and then my tweaks. & nbsp;Also granola is very healthy for you with tons of essential vitamins and minerals that most of us Americans don't get. & nbsp;Some of the nutritional & nbsp;benefits & nbsp;of the ingredients are

Wheat germ- high in vit E
Molasses- high in
& nbsp;manganese18%





vitamin B65%







all the ingredients

dry & nbsp;ingredients & nbsp;ready to mix

wet ingredients

ready to go into the oven

my additions to the recipe are & nbsp;underneath

Oats & amp; Honey Granola & nbsp;

6 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
3 T. wheat germ
3 T. whole wheat flour


Minggu, 14 Desember 2014

In Love with Aprons!

Ok I love vintage looking aprons. & nbsp;Take a look at some of my faves. & nbsp;There are now whole companies who cater to those of us with a vintage obsession and have the cutest products. & nbsp;Oh I am drooling!!!

Mint a liscious
red cherry front with bow

Sage Front1

WO Cherry Blossom Front

They even have them for little girls!
strawberry shortcake front 350x660


Sabtu, 13 Desember 2014

Easy Homemade Yogurt In a Crockpot

Making home made dairy products may seem intimidating at first but I can tell you most are so easy its worth it. & nbsp;Probably the best thing to start with is & nbsp;yoghurt. & nbsp; Not only is & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp; incredibly easy to make at home it is healthier and allot cheaper than store bought too! & nbsp;Home-made & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp;can be made with fresh milk from a cow (I did when we had our milk cow) or milk from the store, or even powdered milk. Then you just mix in to the finished product what sweeteners you like and fruit and there you have fresh, healthy, cheap & nbsp;yoghurt.

& nbsp;The first thing to choose is what kind of & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp;you want to end up with. & nbsp;Go to the store and try several different brands and you will be able to see the & nbsp;differences in & nbsp;flavour & nbsp;and consistency. & nbsp;This is because there are dozens and dozens of & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp;cultures, and each one produces a different & nbsp;flavour & nbsp;and thickness of the finished product. & nbsp;So pick the & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp;you like the & nbsp;flavour & nbsp;and thickness of the best. & nbsp;I used a Greek & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp;this time but I usually use tillamook because it produces a sweet, mild, and thick & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp; & nbsp;You can experiment to find the kind & nbsp;you like best.

Now this recipe may seem very unscientific but it's just that I've made it so often that I don't need to look at the book & nbsp;any more. & nbsp;Where I learned it is from my & nbsp;favourite & nbsp;book of all time for all homesteading knowledge. & nbsp;Carla Emery's & nbsp;Encyclopaedia & nbsp;of Country Living

This book will give you all the temps, times, etc that you need for & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp;making but this is how to do it. & nbsp;I will say that using the mason jars not only seems to produce better more consistent results, but then I just pop them into the fridge for storage.

What you'll need:

Large non reactive saucepan
Large non reactive bowl
Quart sized mason jars
1 Gallon Raw, Store bought, or powdered milk
1 cup plain hopefully organic & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp;with live cultures
Large crock pot with a warm setting

So how to do it.

Take out your store bought & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp;and let it come to room & nbsp;temperature & nbsp;first.

Next turn your crock pot to warm and fill half way with hot water from the sink.

Then take your milk and pour it into a non reactive saucepan like stainless steel.. & nbsp;If you are using store bought or dry milk skip the scalding & nbsp;step and just warm the milk. & nbsp;Scald your milk to kill any other & nbsp;bacteria's & nbsp;that you don't want competing with your yogurt culture. & nbsp;Then cool to warm to the touch of a clean pinkie finger.

Next using a wire wisk mix in the yogurt from the store until no chunks are left.

Then pour into a non reactive pan made of glass or stainless steel or your mason jars, cover with & nbsp;Saran & nbsp;wrap, do not use & nbsp;aluminium & nbsp;foil!

Next set the bowl or jars into the crock pot being careful & nbsp;that the water doesn't overflow. & nbsp;If needed add more warm water to the crock pot until its full.

Now just let sit. & nbsp;Try not to agitate the milk and do not stir it. & nbsp;This will mess with the setting process. & nbsp;In about four to six hours, sometimes more, sometimes less, & nbsp;you will see the the milk has magically turned into & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp;and is thick and solid looking. & nbsp;The longer you let it "cook" the thicker it will become but it will also become more tangy so beware if you like mild yoghurt.

Take it out of the crock pot and put it in the fridge to cool overnight. & nbsp;Next morning enjoy your & nbsp;home-made & nbsp;yoghurt!

I use my & nbsp;home-made & nbsp;yoghurt & nbsp;for tons of things. & nbsp;I use it in place of buttermilk, sour milk, and sour cream in all my baking recipes. & nbsp;It doesn't change a thing & nbsp;in the finished product and is so much cheaper for me to use my own & nbsp;home-made & nbsp;than buying store bought.


Jumat, 12 Desember 2014

Germs... be gone!

I've been missing from blogland for almost a week now! The dreaded gastro has infected our house and we've all been sick. It's even come back a second time for Buster Jim and Missy Moo. We even passed it onto the grandies... oops!

Here's hoping that the sun shines brightly today and I can get the mountains of washing done that are waiting to be done (after a few days of rain).... the laundry looks like a bomb has hit it.

Once we get back on top of life again I assure you I'll be back.


Rabu, 10 Desember 2014

The 10 things children really want there parents to do with them

This article is so important I had to post it here. & nbsp;As parents we forget sometimes that the most important thing is that we just be with our children, instead of running from activity to activity. & nbsp;One day, before I read this article, I asked my children what their & nbsp;favourite & nbsp;thing to do with my husband and I is. & nbsp;The answers & nbsp;really & nbsp;surprised & nbsp;me.

Princess in waiting

I love & nbsp;wrestling & nbsp;with daddy
I love & nbsp;cuddling & nbsp;with you

Captain Submarine
I love & nbsp;wrestling & nbsp;with daddy
I love going on a private date with you

Viking Boy
I love & nbsp;wrestling & nbsp;with daddy
I love & nbsp;cuddling & nbsp;with mommy

Really that is what they said, and I asked them all & nbsp;separately & nbsp;so they didn't hear & nbsp;each others & nbsp;answers! & nbsp;What is & nbsp;obvious & nbsp;is that they just want to spend personal & nbsp;uninterrupted & nbsp;time with us. & nbsp;Not more activities or more toys, but more us! & nbsp;The following article is so so important to understanding what children really need in life.

The Top 10 Things Children Really Want Their Parents To Do With Them

DECEMBER 29 BY & nbsp;

What do you think matters most to your children? You driving them to lessons and practices, or is it the smile and hug you greet them with after school? If you guessed the latter, you are correct.
Sixteen & nbsp;years of teaching and giving the same assignment every Mother's Day has led me to the exact same conclusion. You see, every Mother's Day I would ask my students to give me advice on being a mother. They were to think about things their mother or guardian did for or with them that made them feel happy or loved. The classroom would go silent as the students wrote intensely for longer than they had ever written before. Often smiles would appear on their faces as they reflected on the happy experiences they were remembering. After reading their responses I would add to my & nbsp;list & nbsp;all the ideas they mentioned. Surprisingly, many of the responses were the same. Year after year, in every country I taught, and in every type of demographic, the students were saying the same things and had the same message: & nbsp;It's the small things that their mothers did that meant the most and that they remembered.
Many moms today feel as if they are not good mothers unless they are racing around, shuttling their children from lessons, to practices and back to lessons again. I've had mothers tell me that they want to give their children every opportunity they did not have. While this thinking might bring the mother some comfort, it really does not do the same for their child who is potentially feeling overextended, stressed and tired.
After speaking endlessly about this topic with my students, it became clear to me that children today are involved in too many activities and are in turn becoming less in touch with themselves and their families. & nbsp;In addition, my students told me they really wished for more time to "just play". Of course many of them enjoy their extra curricular activities, but it is not necessary they said to be allowed to do everything. What they enjoyed most, and what made their hearts happiest was when their mothers did simple things for or with them.
Here is a list of the top ten things students around the world said they remembered and loved most about their mothers.
  1. Come into my bedroom at night, tuck me in and sing me a song. & nbsp;Also tell me stories about when & nbsp;you were little.
  2. Give me hugs and kisses and sit and talk with me privately.
  3. Spend quality time just with me, not with my brothers and sisters around.
  4. Give me nutritious food so I can grow up healthy.
  5. At dinner talk about what we could do together on the weekend.
  6. At night talk to me about about anything; love, school, family etc.
  7. Let me play outside a lot.
  8. Cuddle under a blanket and watch our favorite TV show together.
  9. Discipline me. It makes me feel like you care.
  10. Leave special messages in my desk or lunch bag.
Children are incredibly wise and tend to see the world more simply than we do. Perhaps it is time we start taking their advice. & nbsp;Maybe we would all feel a little less stressed and be satisfied with the fact that doing little things really is… good enough.


Selasa, 09 Desember 2014

Economic Alert: If You’re Not Worried Yet…You Should Be

For the past four years I have been covering the progression of the global economic crisis with an emphasis on the debilitating effects it has had on the American financial system. & nbsp; Only once before have I ever issued an economic alert, and this was at the onset of the very first credit downgrade in U.S. history by S & amp;P. & nbsp; I do not take the word "alert" lightly. & nbsp; Since 2008 we have seen a cycle of events that have severely weakened our country's foundation, but each event has then been followed by a lull, sometimes 4 to 6 months at a stretch, which seems to disarm the public, drawing them back into apathy and complacency. & nbsp; The calm moments before each passing storm give Americans a false sense of hope that our capsized fiscal vessel will somehow right itself if we just hold on a little longer...
I don't have to tell most people within the Liberty Movement that this is not going to happen. & nbsp; Unfortunately, there are many out there who do not share our awareness of the situation. & nbsp; & nbsp; Debt implosions and currency devaluation NEVER simply "fade away"; they are always followed by extreme social and political strife that tends to sully the doorsteps of almost every individual and family. & nbsp; The notion that we can coast through such a tempest unscathed is an insane idea, filled with a dangerous potential for sour regrets.
There are some people who also believe that the private Federal Reserve with the Treasury in tow has the ability to prolong the worst symptoms of the collapse indefinitely, or at least, until they have long since kicked the bucket and don't have to worry about it anymore (the 'pay-it forward to our grandkids' crowd) . & nbsp; I can say with 100% certainty that most of us will live to see the climax of the breakdown, and that this breakdown is about to enter a more precarious state before the end of this year. & nbsp; You can only stretch a sun-boiled rubber band so far before it snaps completely, and America's financial elasticity has long been melted away.
A pummeling hailstorm of news items and international developments have made the first half of 2012 almost impossible to track and analyze. & nbsp; The frequency at which negative information has surfaced is almost dizzying. & nbsp; However, a pattern and a recognizable motion are beginning to take shape, and, I believe, a loose timeline is beginning to form. & nbsp;
At the end of January, & nbsp;I covered the incredible nosedive of the Baltic Dry Index & nbsp;(a measure of global shipping rates that signals a fall in global demand) to historic lows. & nbsp; I pointed out the tendency of stocks and the general economy to crash around 8 months (sometimes a little longer) after the BDI makes such a dramatic downturn. & nbsp; Mainstream analysts, of course, attributed the fall to an "overproduction of ships", which is the same exact excuse they used when the BDI collapsed back in 2008 just before the derivatives bubble burst. & nbsp; It would seem that the cable TV talking heads were wrong yet again, as the international market facade quickly evaporates right in line with the BDI's almost prophetic knack for calling an economic derailment in advance.
Here are some of the most important reasons why every American should be prepared for much harder days, especially before the end of 2012:

The European Union Is Officially Dead In The Water
Stick a fork in er', the EU is done! & nbsp; We are talking about full scale dismantlement, likely followed by a reformation of core nations and multiple collapse scenarios of peripheral countries. & nbsp; The writing is all over the wall in the wake of the latest election results in Greece and France, where, as alternative researchers have been predicting for some time, the battle between the government spending crowd and proponents of austerity has reached a fever pitch. & nbsp;
The Greeks and the French are royally pissed over draconian cuts in public programs and the destruction of pensions which have been a mainstay of their economies for quite some time. & nbsp; They are also furious over being sold off like collateral to the IMF and World Bank. & nbsp; Rightly so. & nbsp; Like the American taxpayer, the taxpayers of floundering EU nations are wrongly being held responsible for the financial mismanagement and fraud of their governments and global banks which have remained untouched and unpunished for their trespasses. & nbsp; The problem is, the voters of both countries are signing on to the socialist/quasi-communist bandwagon in response. & nbsp; In Greece, the Left Coalition Party, a splinter group of the traditional communist party, has now taken a primary position of power:
In France, voters have elected socialist Francois Hollande (a Bilderberg attendee), whose latest promise is to spend France into recovery through his "pro-growth agenda":
I have no doubt that the elections of the EU are as manipulated by elitists as they are here in the U.S., and I'm sure false paradigms abound. & nbsp; Have Europeans forgotten that it was overt government spending that set them on the path to calamity in the first place? & nbsp; Or, are they like Americans; just desperate for any change in the ranks of leadership? & nbsp; One would think that they would take note of the problems here in our country and realize that electing a socialist to replace another socialist is no way out of economic hardship.
Former officials like Nicolas Sarkozy may have claimed to be distanced from the socialist ideal, but, as with all globalist puppets, their actions did not match their rhetoric, and they have always supported policies of centralization and big government. & nbsp; The French and the Greeks have essentially replaced closet collectivists with outspoken collectivists, and will see NO relief from the crisis in the Euro-zone as a result of the political reordering. & nbsp; In fact, the stage has now been set for a volatile chain of dominos. & nbsp; Germany, which is the only economy left holding the EU together, has been unyielding on austerity cuts. & nbsp; A conflict between France and Germany is now inevitable. & nbsp; Neither will compromise their position, and I can see no other eventual result than a reexamination and perhaps abandonment of the EU charter. & nbsp;
How does this affect America? & nbsp; Being that international banks and corporations have forced our countries into interdependency through the engineered chicanery of globalization, any collapse in Europe is going to strike hard around the world, but the worst will hit the U.S. and China. & nbsp; Which is probably why China is disengaging trade away from the U.S. and the EU and focusing on other developing nations:
If you thought the Greek rollercoaster was a pain in the neck for investment markets, just wait until the whole of the EU is in a shambles! & nbsp;
Spain is next in line, with a 25% official unemployment rate and a massive black market economy forming. & nbsp; As I have been saying for years now, when governments disrupt the financial survival of the people, they WILL form their own alternatives, including black markets and barter markets. & nbsp; It is about survival. & nbsp; The Spanish government does not care much for these alternatives, though, and has now banned cash transaction over 2500 euros in a futile attempt to squeeze taxes out of the populace through digitally tracked payment methods:
Another major concern for Americans is the fact that Europeans are inching towards an abandonment of the dollar. & nbsp; Francois Hollande has openly called for an end to the dollar's world reserve status, and with a majority backing of the French people, he could easily make this happen, at least where France is concerned. & nbsp; All it takes is for a few key countries to publically and completely drop the Greenback and the dollar's reputation as a safe haven investment will be quashed. & nbsp; This could very well happen before 2012 is over.
QE3 Is The End
Here is the bottom line; U.S. growth is a theater of shadows. & nbsp; There has been no progress, no recovery, only the misrepresentation of statistics. & nbsp; Millions of Americans have fallen off unemployment rolls because they have been jobless for too long, which lowers the unemployment rate, but does not change the fact that they are still without work. & nbsp; Durable goods orders are dropping like an avalanche. & nbsp; U.S. credit has been lowered yet again by rating agency Egan-Jones. & nbsp; With China making bilateral trade deals in numerous countries on the condition that the dollar be dropped as the primary purchasing mechanism, and with the EU turning to economic mulch, the currency's safety is nonexistent. & nbsp; Traditional investors who cling to the idea that a falling Euro spells dollar strength will be sorely disappointed when the currency is suddenly being rejected in international currency markets.
The Federal Reserve has already stated that any signs of "relapse" into recession (the recession that we never left) will be met with all options on the table, including QE3:
I believe that QE3 will probably be announced this year (due in large part to trauma from Europe), and, that this will trigger a mass movement by foreign nations to drop the dollar as the world reserve. & nbsp; QE3 will be the straw that broke the camel. & nbsp; How exactly this will play out socially and politically, I do not know (I could take a good guess though). & nbsp; But, the technical results are predictable. & nbsp; The Fed will respond to the lack of treasury purchases by ramping up fiat printing in order to cover the ever increasing costs of the government machine. & nbsp; The Greenback will immediately lose a large portion of its value, at least in terms of imported goods, causing inflation in prices. & nbsp; Oil and energy prices will skyrocket if OPEC follows suit (which they will, though the Saudis may still honor dollars for a time). & nbsp; Doing any traditional business will become nearly impossible, and price inflation will dominate the lives and the minds of average unprepared citizens. & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
The amount of time that it will take for these difficulties to unfold is also not clear. & nbsp; We are operating in uncharted territory, and dealing with a collapse scenario on a truly planetary scale. & nbsp; My best advice is to assume that the avalanche will move fast.
While markets in our country have seen only mild disruptions so far this year, their solidity is predicated on a host of props and costume pieces, any one of which could pull the rug out from under America's suspension of disbelief if it strays but a little from the illusion. & nbsp; As long as the dollar holds, stocks can be infused with bailout juice through major banks. & nbsp; So can major companies and even desperate state governments on the verge of bankruptcy. & nbsp; The Dow will remain relatively friendly, and day traders and the public will remain happy. & nbsp; As soon as the dollar comes into question, all bets are off…

Does This Mean Doom, Or Just Another Bad Day?
The real beginning of today's collapse is tied to the events of 2008. & nbsp; The pace of it has been deceptive, but also, in a way, it is a gift. & nbsp; Over the past four years, I have personally seen the awakening of thousands of people that may have never had the chance if the system had gone into full spectrum breakdown right away. & nbsp; The question now is, how much longer can the U.S. wobble along on one wheel? & nbsp; In my view, and from the evidence I see in markets at the moment, not much longer. & nbsp;
It is hard to set aside any expectations that the next leg down will be easy to digest for the populace. & nbsp; The reality of our predicament is starting to hit home. & nbsp; All the tax return checks have been spent. & nbsp; The credit cards have been maxed. & nbsp; The new cars have been sold off and traded in for ghetto-mobiles. & nbsp; The good jobs have been replaced with Taco Bell slavery. & nbsp; A trip to see The Avengers is now the family vacation. & nbsp; And, the distractions of reality TV just aren't buttering our bread anymore. & nbsp; It's the little things at first that really signal the financial mood of a society, as well as reveal the more vital and looming issues just over the horizon.
All indicators suggest that this year will be unlike any other before. & nbsp; In 2008, we saw the first trigger events for the collapse. & nbsp; In 2008/2009, we saw the creation of the bailout culture, setting the stage for inflation and dollar disintegration. & nbsp; In 2010, we saw the first bilateral trade deal cutting out the dollar between China and Russia, which is now the template for trade deals all over the globe. & nbsp; In 2011, we saw the first downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and the crisis in the EU become epidemic. & nbsp; In 2012, I see not just another difficulty to add to the mountain, but a culmination of all these detriments to produce something entirely new; a vast and subversive realignment forcing many of us to take a more aggressive stance in the fight for an economically and socially free America.
Financial disasters have always been a convenient catalyst for a host of even more frightening obstacles, including civil unrest, and blatant totalitarianism. & nbsp; This is the cusp. & nbsp; It is one of those moments that people of later generations read about in awe, and sometimes horror. & nbsp; The "doom" is not in the event, but in the response. & nbsp; What we make of the days approaching determines the darkness that they cast upon the future. & nbsp; It is a test. & nbsp; It is not something to be dreaded. & nbsp; It is something to be seized upon, and dealt with, as great men and women before us have done. & nbsp; At the very least, we know that it is coming. & nbsp; That, in itself, could well seal our success…