Tag Archives: food

Parenting, Christianity and Natural Deodorant – Sunday Surf

homemade deodorant

Image by Liz (perspicacious.org) via Flickr

I’m sharing what I’ve read and enjoyed this week. I hope you find something you enjoy below as well!

Recipe: DIY All-Natural Deodorant – “Along my journey towards a simpler, healthier lifestyle, I started coming across articles about health and beauty products that weren’t so healthy for you! So many of them have added chemicals, like aluminum in deodorants, for example.”

Cosmetic Alterations and Children – “When a person consciously chooses to have something done to their body for whatever reason, they are exercising their power over their appearance and that is their right. When someone else makes that decision for them, especially with the absence of medical need, it suddenly becomes questionable.”

AAP Surprises – “Here are a couple things that are not considered mainstream (but should be!) that the AAP, who is supposed to be the mainstream ‘go-to’ (especially for pediatricians) recommends.”

Washing Feet – ” I’m learning, daily, to look for the small and the humble – the quiet and the meek.  The foot-washing moments that point me toward the blessings of laying down self and striving to serve.  In lowering me, He elevates.”

Let’s Un-Process Our Children’s Food – “Although we call them ‘food’, processed foods are not readily recognized by the body.  They are seen as alien matter and our white blood cells will be on attack mode as soon as they enter our system.”

An Answered Prayer – “To not only witness but to be part of such an extraordinary group of families coming together to feed human milk to human babies (MY baby, at that!) makes my heart feel bigger. It has given me a joy I never knew existed.”

How I Stopped Saying No – “When I started researching different parenting methods and started being more mindful about what I say and do to and with my children, I realized that there are many ways to say “No” that are more effective and serve to strengthen the parent/child relationship, not weaken it.”

Facebook: The Scourge of Modern Parenting? – “So you’ll all have to excuse me if I fail to feel phenomenally guilty for my Facebook use. I have enough guilt on my plate already, and I refuse to accept any more.”

Just Not On The Same Page – “If I’m going to truly co-parent and live with the principles of gentle family living, then I’ve got to learn to trust him and let go.”

Reflections on our first year – “While hard to explain – or even justify – to the uninitiated, the steps we’ve taken to build a deep and secure bond with our daughter have transformed us as just much as they’ve helped to ground her. “

Read the Bible Every Day! – “Without daily focused time with the Lord, we will never see the victory and experience the joy in the Christian life that we have been born again to know.”

 

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Pros and Cons of a CSA

Last summer I joined a CSA for the first time. If you are not familiar with what a CSA is, check out my guest post at Becoming Crunchy! I share my experience with the CSA we joined last summer, as well as pros and cons so you can figure out if joining one would be a good fit for your family.

If you read the post and decide a CSA sounds like a great choice for you, you can check out Greenbrier Farms!

Be sure to check out the rest of the Becoming Crunchy site, too! I always enjoy the posts there and am frequently inspired to live better! She makes appearances in my Sunday Surf’s often and she wrote a guest post here not too long ago. You can start with some of my favorite posts:

Why I Chose Baby Led Weaning: 4 Personal Reasons

Getting Rid of the Garbage

A Garden Made of Straw

Moving Away from Household Toxins- an Update


Easter Menu Plan Monday

This Sunday is Easter Sunday so we have a special menu for that day. I have included all meals again for this week. Enjoy!

As always, I use the weekly Publix ad to make my list to help save money.

Monday

B –  Plain Greek Yogurt with Granola

L – Leftovers

D – Spicy Tuna Melt Pie with Corn 

Tuesday

B – Peanut Butter Toast with Strawberries

L – Tuna and Apple Salad on 100% Whole Wheat Bread with Pears

D – Poppyseed Chicken with Havarti

Wednesday
 
B – Plain Greek Yogurt with Mango
 
L – Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Strawberries
 
D – Slow Cooker Ranch Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Celery Sticks and Ranch

Thursday

B – Oatmeal with Blueberries

L – Garden Vegetable Soup and Peanut Butter Sandwich

D – Cheese Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce with Spanish Rice

Friday
 
B – Scrambled Eggs with Cantaloupe
 
L – Totable Tea Sandwiches with Cantaloupe
 

Saturday

B – Scrambled Eggs

L – Southwest Chicken Salad

D – Dinner out

Sunday

B – Caramel Apple Breakfast Casserole

L – Ham with Potato Salad, Watergate Salad, Baked Beans and Rolls with Earthquake Cake and Carrot Cake Bars

D – Leftovers

Snacks: Hummus with Raw Veggies, Cinnamon Almonds, Garbanzo Crunchies, Cheese Chips, Grapes, Pumpkin Flax Bars, Green Smoothies

For more menu plans, check out the home of Menu Plan Monday, at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


The Magic of Honey

Honey comb02

Image via Wikipedia

I am now a contributor over at The Sweet Potato, the blog for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA). What is CFSA all about? From their website:

CFSA helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic foods by advocating for fair farm and food policies, building the systems family farms need to thrive, and educating and organizing farmers and the communities they serve.

My first post is up on all the wonderfulness that is local, raw honey! I talk about the benefits and why you should get local and raw as opposed to industrialized honey.


Menu Plan Monday is Back

Here is this week’s menu plan. This time I chose to include all meals, plus snacks.

As always, I use the weekly Publix ad to make my list to help save money.

Monday

B – Baked Oatmeal Squares

via poorgirleatswell.com

L – Cranberry-Almond Tuna Salad Sandwiches with Pears

Tuesday

B – Baked Oatmeal Squares

L – Lunchtime Noodles with Grapes

D – Chicken Pot Pie with a Savory Herb and Cheddar Crust

Wednesday
B – Blueberry Waffles
L – Leftovers

Thursday

B – Kashi Cereal

L – Peanut Butter Banana Sandwiches with Grapes

D – Not My Mom’s Sloppy Joes with Corn on the Cob

Friday
B – Blueberry Waffles
L- Leftovers

Saturday

B – Eggs

L – Hawaiian Roll -ups with Grapes

D – Creole Shrimp and Rice

Sunday

B – Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

L – Pasta with Sauce with Green Beans

D – Teriyaki Pork Chops with Brown Rice

Snacks: Hummus with raw veggies, Black Bean Brownies, Cinnamon Almonds, Cheesesticks, Crackers, Cheese Chips, Grapes, Pumpkin Flax Bars

For more menu plans, check out the home of Menu Plan Monday, at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


Sunday Surf for week of March 20

I got carried away again this week so we have another mega links Sunday Surf.

Food and Recipes

Celebrating 20,000 Hits: Interview with Christine Ortiz of “Milk & Honey Organics” – For those in the upstate SC area, check out this interview. I have tried out this service yet but really want to and found the interview interesting.

Bacon Irish Soda Bread – Unusual bread recipe

Making Lunchtime Fun: Muffin Tin Meals! – I’ve heard of this idea before and love it but still have yet to implement it. Guess I’m just lazy?? I even have a nibble tray so I’m set. Maybe this week will be THE week.

Seriously Eating II: 94 Recipes from Serious Eats’ Healthy and Delicious Column – The title says it all

Dehydrating the Days Away – Funny post about dehydrating food. I have good memories of my parents doing this when I was a kid, especially my dad’s beef jerky.

Finding Better Health Through a Traditional Diet – Another great post from Natural Parents Network about what a traditional, real food diet is

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins – A friend brought me muffins like these after I had my daughter and they were fantastic!

Easy Breakfast and Lunch Ideas – Loved all these ideas!

Healthier Nachos and Green Brown Rice – I have never heard of green rice before. I totally want to try this.

Miscarriage

The Other Side – Sad story, recounting mourning with a friend through her miscarriage

Sound Bites from a Miscarriage Journey – Having been through miscarriage myself, I can truly relate to and appreciate this post

Moms Supporting Other Moms

Please Think Before You Comment – A mom of a nursing toddler gives some thoughtful advice

Let’s All Try Not to Be Jerks – Great post about how moms need to support each other

Lactivism, Breast Feeding, Bottle Feeding, Formula And Mothers At War – This one goes hand-in-hand with the “Please Think Before you Comment” post above

Childbirth

Birth Without Fear Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Be Scared – Although I can honestly say that birth did not scare me, I really, really liked this post a lot.

An Alternative To Perineal Massage For Childbirth Prep – Good info to keep in mind for my next pregnancy

One Response to ‘Eww! Birth is Icky!’ Squeamishness – I really appreciated this post about birth, sex and breastfeeding.

Parenting

Feeding to Sleep – My sentiments exactly!

Attachment Parenting Series: Beware of Baby Trainers – Some solid information that explains this “Baby B” of the AP style

Carseats – Lots of great links and info about the recommendations for rear-facing and booster seats

Shepherding a Child’s Heart: a review by Anne Sokol – Great review on the reasons this book is concerning

Eco-friendly Stuff

Sarah’s Stitches Wet Bags – I hadn’t heard of Sarah’s Stitches before and enjoyed learning about them in this review

Homemade Cleaning Spray – Good stuff and piggybacks nicely with my green spring cleaning tips!

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Baby Dust Diaries, ChildOrganics,Cloth Diapering Mama, Fabulous Mama Chronicles, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama and Baby Love, Mama Eve, Maman A Droit, Momma Jorje, Monkey Butt Junction, Motherhood Moments, My Inspired Baby, Navelgazing, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Great Stuff I Read for Week of March 13

Here’s a quick list of the great stuff I read this week!

Inquisition Monday: Attachment

Guest Post: Tex-Mex Enchiladas

Buying a Pram or Pushchair

Change, Growth, Loss and the Transformation of Babies

Disposables, Wet Wipes and Baby Food: Who Needs Them 

Breakfast Bentos and Green Smoothies

Cloth Diapering Papa

Bake Your Own Bread

Judging a Mama by Her Kid’s Behavior

Little Things That Help with HG Survival

Check out Authentic Parenting, Baby Dust Diaries, ChildOrganics, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama and Baby Love, Mama Eve, Maman A Droit, Momma Jorje, Monkey Butt Junction, Motherhood Moments, My Inspired Baby, Navelgazing, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Super Sunday Surf for week of March 6

Last week I had no Sunday Surf but this week I have SO much stuff to share, I’m going to have to categorize it! So let’s get to the links, shall we?

Recipes and Food 

via seriouseats.com

Sunday Brunch: Scallion and Cheese Corn Muffins – These look utterly delicious…and cheap to make….and easy to make. That, pretty much, sums up my criteria for a good recipe! Perhaps these will make it onto a Menu Plan Monday sometime soon!

Spiced Raspberry Leaf Tea – You guys know I love tea, right? Here’s a recipe for a good tea that sounds tasty AND is good for the female reproductive system. She also gives a way to make it for those who maybe aren’t so into the taste to make it taste better so you can still get the health benefits.

Cheese Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce – My family is big into Mexican food. (My mom is already planning a Cinco de Mayo party because it is an excuse for us to eat lots of yummy Mexican food.) This recipe is healthy, too! Yay!

Serious Sweets: S’mores Brownie Bars – Need I say more??

Get Healthy: Prepare 3 More Meals This Week – Lots of meal prep tips

Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls – More Mexican healthy yumminess

Peanut Butter Popcorn – My husband said this sounded gross (boo) so I’ll have to make this one night for me and my daughter. I bet SHE would approve. ;)

1st Visit to McDonalds – Totally interesting to me

Christianity

Blaming and Angry with God – Quote from the post: “Sometimes I am tempted to be angry with God because of something I think I really need or really want that God does not give me, some source of pain. And I realized a few days ago why this is.”

Crunchy Stuff

Your Own Crunchy Shopping List – Free PDF – Check it out…she even gives you a nice pdf file to print out and take to the store with you and tips. And there’s also an online community on the site to discuss this stuff. Nice.

Citrus Lavender Laundry Detergent – One of these days I’m going to stop being lazy and make my own laundry detergent. Let me know if you have or do on a regular basis. I also linked to another DIY laundry detergent recipe in another Sunday Surf you can check out as well.

The Mother of All Soap Nut Recipe Resources – I had never heard of these until now and they sound AWESOME!! There is a giveaway on the same blog and I totally hope I win! If you enter, please say Julia sent you!

Babies and Parenting 

via codenamemama.com

Natural Parents Network’s Carnival of Natural Parenting’s theme this month is Top 10 Lists. I already did a post on one but here are the rest of my favorites:

10 Reasons to Choose Baby Led Weaning

Top 10 Ways to Know You’re a Natural Parent

Top 10 Ways to Be Present with Family

10 Natural Baby Items I Love

Choosing to Breastfeed

Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before Little Man

Top Ten Things No One Told Me About Natural Parenting

Top Ten Breastfeeding Misconceptions

Step Away from the Amazon List

My Top Ten New Mommy Moments

And this was not part of the carnival but is in the same vein:

Top 17 Things I Learned in My First Year as a Parent

The Invisible Umbilical Cord – I totally identified with this one!

Cooking with Your Toddler – Some great ideas here for fun meals your toddler would enjoy

Myth Busting 4: My Story – A post on gentle discipline

Random

Thoughts on Sleep – Robyn from Green Smoothie Girl gives some sleep information

Ice Candle Holder Table Decorations – I thought this was pretty cool, um literally.

Check out Authentic Parenting, Baby Dust Diaries, ChildOrganics, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama and Baby Love, Mama Eve, Maman A Droit, Momma Jorje, Monkey Butt Junction, Motherhood Moments, My Inspired Baby, Navelgazing, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Made From Scratch: Book Review (and a Recipe for the Perfect Salad!)

6,000 hits is here and with it is a new guest writer! Melissa from My Journey to Lean has some great things to share with you. Enjoy!

I have enjoyed reading Julia’s blog for several months now. She and I met in our adult Sunday School class at church, but we didn’t really get to know each other well until we both got into blogging. Since then, I’ve realized how much she and I have in common. We both have a passion for God and all things natural! One difference is that she’s a mom and I haven’t had that privilege yet. But I’m filing away her tips on cloth diapers and homemade baby food for when that day comes. Julia asked me to write a post to celebrate her reaching 6,000 hits on the blog! I had a hard time deciding what to write. After much deliberation, I decided to do a quick summary about my blog, a book review, and a quick recipe.

MY BLOG

My Journey to Lean is about a personal journey to eliminate the unnecessary elements of various aspects of my life. It started as a physical journey to lose excess pounds and body fat. It continued as a spiritual journey, realizing that all aspects of life are ultimately spiritual, and that I can’t do anything on my own. Then it began to touch every aspect: social networking, entertainment choices, organizing and decorating my home, recipe creations, organic food options, and the list goes on. I’ve always been a journaler, so blogging came naturally. The only part I don’t like is that it’s not on paper (I still love an old-fashioned journal and pencil). There’s something about a blank page that speaks to me: it’s a world of opportunities and, call me crazy but, I just love the smell of paper and freshly sharpened pencils.

BOOK REVIEW

I picked up this book at Mast General Store over the weekend and thought it would be the perfect highlight for this blog. It’s called Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich of Cold Antler Farm.

Cover of "Made from Scratch: Discovering ...

Cover via Amazon

The author, Jenna Woginrich, caught a dream from a coworker who owned her own farm. She learned how to raise chickens, angora rabbits, and grow vegetables at a small rental house, how to play mountain music in TN, and eventually bought her own farm in VT, and started sheep farming. She loves antiques and simple living, including percolated coffee, knitting, and gardening. She believes it’s time to slow down and loves using hand-powered kitchen tools, like hand-cranked coffee grinders and antique cheese graters. She’s my kind of girl!

This book gives you insights (and even step-by-step dos and don’ts) regarding raising chickens, rabbits, and training dogs. She has a delightful narrative style. And what I appreciated most was her advice on page 12:

“I think the real trick to finding that sense of satisfaction is to realize you don’t need much to attain it. A window-box salad garden and a banjo hanging on the back of the door can be all the freedom  you need. If it isn’t everything you want for the future, let it be enough for tonight.

Don’t look at your current situation as a hindrance to living the way you want, because living the way you want has nothing to do with how much land you have or how much you can afford to spend on a new house. It has to do with the way you choose to live every day and how content you are with what you have. If a few things on your plate every season come from the work of  your hands, you are creating food for your body, and that is enough. If the hat on your head was knitted with your own hands, you’re providing warmth from string and that’s enough. If you rode your bike to work, trained your dog to pack, or just baked a loaf of bread, let it be enough.

Accepting where you are today, and working toward what’s ahead, is the best you can do. You can take the projects in this book as far as your chosen road will take you. Maybe your gardens and coops will outgrow mine, and before you know it you’ll be trading in your Audi for a pickup. But the starting point is to take control of what you can and smile with how things are. Find your own happiness and dance with it.”

The last section of the book contains all kinds of resources for each topic discussed in the book. I found my copy at Greenville’s Mast General Store on a buy-one-get-one-free sale; you can get yours on Amazon for about $10, too (also available for Kindle)!

I think it’s great anytime anyone tries to make small changes towards simpler living, whether it’s setting aside an hour on Saturday morning for a quiet cup of coffee and a good book, choosing an organic head of lettuce instead of conventional from the grocery store, starting your own garden, or buying a farm, take one small step at a time and enjoy every moment of it! This book doesn’t necessarily have a Christian worldview, so remember that whatever you do is for the glory of God. If you have a desire, recognize that it may be from God, and trust Him to fulfill your dreams. As a side note, you might be interested in the Simple Living section of one of my new favorite blogs: Frugal Granola. And feel free to stop by my blog anytime and leave your comments!

RECIPE: The Perfect Salad

 

1.       A Leafy Green Base: the darker the green, the more nutritious. Be creative and try a new lettuce variety, especially if you’re stuck on Iceberg; Bibb, Red Leaf, and Romaine are always good options, or you can branch out and add spinach, kale, or other greens likes collards, mustard greens, or Swiss chard. My favorite is the Organic Girl brand at Publix (when I can’t get it from my own garden).

via eating-in.com

2.       Add Some Color: I suggest at least one from each color group below…

a.       Something Red: grape tomatoes, red pepper, strawberries, pomegranate arils, sliced beets, dried cranberries, radishes, apples

b.      Something Orange or Yellow: bell peppers, carrots, banana peppers, mandarin oranges, mango salsa, corn

c.       Something Green: peppers, cucumbers, sprouts, green beans, granny smith apples, pears, zucchini, artichoke hearts, celery, broccoli, peas

d.      Something Blue or Purple: blueberries or other berries, purple cabbage, grapes, purple carrots, raisins

e.      Something White: mushrooms, onion, cauliflower, garlic or shallots

3.       Add a Protein: this can be grilled chicken or salmon on top of the salad, or something simple like a half cup of rinsed and drained beans (kidney beans, black beans, whatever your favorite is), a hardboiled egg or an ounce of low-fat cheese.

4.       Add a Healthy Fat Source: 1 Tbsp. of olive oil or chopped olives, ¼ avocado, or a small handful of nuts and/or seeds. You need healthy fat in your meal if you want to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins available in the rest of your salad!

5.       Add Some Flavor: balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, fresh herbs, freshly cracked black pepper, etc. Stay away from high-sodium and saturated fat laden options. Something crunchy is always fun too (depending on what you’ve already added): whole wheat croutons, asian noodles, or these salad toppers from Oh She Glows are all fun ideas.

Bon Appetit!

Thank you for the opportunity to share with you! And Congrats to Julia on 6,000 hits on her blog! Keep up the great work, Julia!

Enjoying the Journey, Melissa


Menu Plan for February 21st

Last week’s Valentine’s Meal was a big hit! My husband said it was the best meal he’s had in a long time. I think that’s a good thing. :) Here’s this week’s list!

As always, I use the weekly Publix ad to make my list to save money.

Monday – Sausage Potato Soup

Tuesday – Spaghetti with homemade sauce, garlic bread and Caesar salad

via Kraft

Wednesday – Chicken and Sour Cream Enchiladas with Spanish Rice and Salad

Thursday – Spicy Tuna Melt Pie with green beans

Friday – Calzones with steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots

Saturday – Ham and Cheese Melts with Poppyseed Mustard Sauce

Sunday – Cheesy Chili Mac

For more menu plans, check out the home of Menu Plan Monday, at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


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