Merry Christmas!!!

The Bible Christmas Story

Luke Chapter 2, King James Version

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."

The gift of Christmas isn't wrapped up in presents or parties. The gift of Christmas is Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Son of God. As you follow Him, you put people first. You may spend less time in lines and more time serving others. You may spend less money on - and more time with - the people you love. You may lose yourself and you may find everything else that matters.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a 2012 filled with peace, love and realizations!


Kale and Potato Soup {recipe}


I found a recipe for Kale Mashed Potato here! I changed the recipe a little and made it into a soup. We had last night for our Meatless Monday! Yumm...

3 baking potatoes, peeled and sliced
sea salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, large stems stripped and discarded, leaves chopped
1/2+ cup warm milk or cream
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish (opt)

Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water or chicken broth. Add a pinch of salt (ommit if using chicken broth), two sprigs of fresh parsley and two bay leaves . Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Discard the parsley and bay leaves.

Heat two tablespoons of coconut oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chopped kale, a big pinch of salt, and saute just until tender - about a minute. Set aside.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork. For a creamier consistency, blend  half  of thye potatoes. Add the milk (or cream) a few big splashes at a time.  Season with salt and pepper.

Dump the kale on top of the potatoes and give a quick stir.  Sprinkle with  scallions, Parmesan cheese, and shallots.

•Use mashed white beans in place of the mashed potatoes.
•Add some sauteed or baked mushrooms (chopped).

Homemade Master Tonic {recipe}

The Master Tonic - A Natural Antibiotic
by Richard Schulze, University of Natural Healing Based on a tonic by John Christopher known as  "Plague Tonic". 

**Start this Procedure on the NEW Moon.

what you need:
*Raw Unfiltered Unbleached Non-distilled Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg's or Spectrum Naturals).

*1 part fresh chopped garlic cloves

*1 part fresh chopped White Onion (or hottest onions)

*1 part fresh grated Ginger Root

*1 part fresh grated Horseradish Root

*1 part fresh chopped Cayenne Peppers or the hottest peppers available, i.e. habanero, African Bird, or Scotch Bonnets, etc.

Fill a glass jar 3/4 of the way full w/equal parts by volume (i.e. a cupful each) of the above fresh chopped and grated herbs. Then fill jar to the top with raw, unfiltered, unbleached, non-distilled apple cider vinegar. Close and shake vigorously and then top off the vinegar if necessary.

Let it sit until the FULL Moon (15-16 Days) or the NEXT New Moon (28-29 Days - OPTIMAL).

Shake it as MANY times during the day as possible.

Strain this mixture through an UNBLEACHED Coffee Filter.

Bottle and label. Store in a dark place, away from light. Make sure that when you make this tonic that you shake it every time you walk by it, a minimum of once per day. Remember that all the herbs and vegetables should be fresh (and organically grown if possible) and use dried herbs only in an emergency.

This tonic is extremely powerful because all the ingredients are fresh. It's power should not be underestimated. This formula is a modern day plague tonic and when added to an incurable routine it can cure the most chronic conditions and stubborn diseases. it stimulates maximum blood circulation, while putting the best detoxifying herbs into the blood. This formula is not just for the sniffles, it has helped to turn around the deadliest infections like some of the new mutated killer viruses that defy conventional antibiotics.

The dosage is 1/2 to 1 ounce, two or more times daily (1- 2 Tbs.). Gargle and swallow. (Don't dilute with water.)

For ordinary infections, 1 dropper full taken 5-6 times a day will deal with most conditions. It can be used during pregnancies, is safe for children (use smaller doses - 1 Tbs) and as a food is completely non-toxic.
Ingredient properties:

-Garlic  (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitical)

-White Onion, or hottest onions available (similar properties to garlic)

-Ginger Root (increases circulation to the extremities)

-Horseradish Root (increases blood flow to the head)

-Cayenne Peppers, or the hottest peppers available, i.e. habanero, African Bird, -or Scotch Bonnets, etc. (a great blood stimulant).

You can use it daily, up to two tablespoons a day as an immune booster or take more if you’re not feeling well.


A Frog Prince party...

Here are some pictures from baby C's FIRST birthday
(it's been really a year??).

The table...
I used wrapping paper (Quilted Bear) for the background). Paper rosettes and the paper circle streamers. So much fun...

Everything was blue and green - including LOTS of candy and good food...

The little Frog Prince! Made out of fondant.

Baby pictures garland. Pictures from newborn to one year (first haircut too!).

Photo booth. I have only one thing to say SO.MUCH.FUN!!!

The cake.  Yellow cake with coconut and pineapple filling. Covered with cream cheese and marshmallow fondant. Yumm...

The whole gang!

Sugar cookie.

Memo to myself: Don't freeze the grapes already on the sticks. They turned out LESS than perfect. I think was the juice from piercing them... Oh well.

The water...


10 Essential Homemade Survival Items

Here are 10 innovative homemade survival techniques to keep you alive, with a few dollars left in your pocket:

1. Survival Biscuits

When you begin to get peckish on a long sea voyage and the last packet of crisps were gobbled days ago, or find yourself stranded in the jungle without '101 Berries You Shouldn't Eat or You Will Die Horribly', we have found a perfect recipe to keep you alive and satisfied, without the need of a refrigerator.

Hardtack is a long lasting cracker made from basic flour and water. The art of making it last is in the making of it so read carefully:
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

• Measure 2 cups of flour, and put in a mixing bowl.

• Slowly add water (salted or unsalted) a little at a time to make a dough.

• Roll out the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick (you can make it thicker, but remember there are no dentists out in the wilderness to fix any chips on your teeth!)

• Cut the dough into squares, bigger than the modern saltine cracker. Use a fork to prick holes in the top to let the steam escape.

• Lay out squares on a baking tray.

• The cooking temperatures vary, so listen up! -Bake at 350 degrees of the first 15 minutes. For the next 30 minutes cook at 250 degrees, and then for another 30 minutes, turn the heat down to 200 degrees.

• Throughout, flip them with a spatula so they are evenly cooked on both sides.

• You will know they are done when the squares are hard, and either still white or off white. Don't wait until they burn!

• And....Voila! You are ready for an adventure.

2. Pocket Lint

You'll be happy to know that you carry around highly flammable materials every time you wear your favourite blue jeans. Well, maybe not particularly happy in normal circumstances, but when you need to light a fire pretty quickly and need to get your hands on some tinder, just reach into your pocket and use the lint! It ignites very quickly-you'll be glad you wore your favourite jeans on your hiking-trip-gone-wrong.

3. A Drop of Oil

Of course we all know that water is crucial to our survival. However, many an adventurer has uncovered they have finished their last drop of Evian on a 4 day mountain trek, and the only alternative is some dodgy looking lake water. What can be done?!

You can use lime or grapefruit Essential Oil to purify water.

Just add 1 drop per gallon.
Stir it well.
Let the mixture stand for a half hour before drinking.

If the water is cloudy with suspended particles:

 First filter the water as best you can.
 Simple? YEAH!

4. Thompson's Water Seal

The last thing you want to find is how that bargain/cheap poncho you bought last minute isn't actually waterproof. And now it's raining. And you are very, very far from home. This water seal is a great way of avoiding the problem, and is really easy to get hold of.

You can use it on loads of things before your big trip- tents, tarps, whatever fabrics you can think of! Just test it on a small area and then just dip or coat the item. Wonderful!

5. Pet Food Can Stove


This is a very easy to make, home built stove. The 'Super Cat' stove, as it’s known, is made from a single 3 ounce aluminium pet food can that serves as both the stove and the pot stand. Once you've gathered your materials, it takes only a few minutes to complete. It has a reputation of being able to boil 2 cups of water in under 4 minutes.

Now that you've a hot tea in your hand, it's time to work out where in the world you are...

 Click here to download a copy of the SUPER CAT build instructions. The document is an Acrobat (PDF) file about 1.6MB in size, and contains text, photos and diagrams that will allow you to easily construct your own stove.

6. Cotton Ball Fire starters

With just a few simple cotton balls and some Vaseline/petroleum jelly, you can make a homemade fire starter. Here are the instructions:

1. Get a bag cotton balls.

2. Get some petroleum jelly.

3. Get a plastic bag, empty 35mm film canister, or similar container. The cotton balls are kind of messy, and you don’t want these rolling around in your preparedness kit.

4. Lightly compress one cotton ball with your fingers. Dip the cotton ball in the jelly, enough to cover most of one side.

5. Use your fingers to work the jelly around the entire exterior of the cotton ball while compressing the cotton ball as much as you can. Use the jelly to “seal” stray fibers in place.

6. Repeat until you’ve had enough.

Now you’re set to go!

7. Creating Water Proof Matches


The BEST & SAFEST Method for making your own waterproof matches is to use Turpentine. (Turpentine has a higher "flash point" relative to Acetone, which commonly used in Nail Polish. Nor does it involve the use of flame as is needed in the Wax or Paraffin methods.)

1. Pour 2 to 3 large tablespoons of Turpentine into a small (Tumbler sized) glass.

2. Place the matches, (Head down) into the Turpentine and allow the matches to soak for 5 minutes. During that time the turpentine will soak into the head as well as the stem. All the water will be driven off by the turpentine.

3. Remove the matches and spread them out to dry out on a sheet of newspaper. Generally, 20 minutes for excess turpentine to be evaporated is recommended. Matches treated in this way remain waterproof for several months or longer.

Cheap and Easy!

8. Fire from a Can of Coke and a Chocolate Bar

By rubbing chocolate onto the bottom of the can you can create a high shine. By focusing the sun onto some timber using the can, you create a fire.

But please, don't eat the chocolate after the rubbing process. It won't taste too good, and isn't good for your survival!
9. Wooden Snow Goggles

Ok, so they're not Ray Ban Wayfarers, and you're likely to turn heads on the beach for the wrong reason, but these bark sunglasses may be a requirement for your survival.

Unless you protect your eyes from the sun, ultra violet rays can actually burn your eyes. The symptoms may be delayed, so at some point on your trip you may find yourself unable to find your way to safety.

So, follow these simple instructions:

1. Cut the bark into a rectangular shape.

2. Measure the distance between the centre points of your eyes.

3. Transfer this measurement to the centre of the bark and cut out a small slit for each eye. The slit should not be very large, perhaps 1/8 inch wide at most.

4. In the centre bottom of the bark cut out a wedge shaped piece for the bridge of your nose.

Survival snow goggles are made from whatever materials are at hand in order to protect the wearer from snow blindness. Wood, bark, cloth, or other materials can be used. And you never know, it could be the next big thing.

Very Couture!

10. Candle/Cardboard Stove

The buddy burner is a nice little stove made from the simplest of materials. Just remember to put some paper under before you pour the wax - view the source and see what we mean!

It's especially nice because it is pretty immune to moisture and, unlike propane, will light at fairly low temperatures. Plus, they should burn for about 2-3 hours, which isn't bad considering its size and weight.
All you need are:

• A tin Can

• Candles

• Some Cardboard

• A small amount of Tin Foil

Just shove it in your back pack and go on an adventure!

Here is a video on YouTube:


Natural Cleaners: kitchen!

To me, the kitchen is the HEART of a HOME. There we not only cook, but gather with family and friends, do homework, have long conversations, pay the bills (as of a lack of a home office - it works!!). Unfortunetely, it's also the room where the garbage is kept, where the floors endurer the patter of muddy feet - 12 feet to be exact!! Needless to say is the hardest place to keep clean and germ free.

The kitchen is probably the most frequented room in the house and is most in need of daily cleaning!

Here are some tried and true recipes for cost-effective, healthy alternatives to kitchen cleaners:


Fruity Dishwashing Blend
liquid castile soap (for locals: I buy this at Sunflower Market)
15 drops lemon or lemongrass essential oil
6 drops lavender EO
5 drops bergamot EO
Fill aclean 22-ounce squirt bottle with castile soap. Add the essential oil. Shake the bottle before each use. Add 1 - 2 tbs of the liquid to dishwater and wash as usual.

Automatic Dishwasher Detergent

Super Easy Dishwasher Powder
2cups washing soda
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
Combine all ingredients and store in a glass jar. To use, add about 2 tablespoons to the soap compartiment.

Rinse for hard water
Add 1 cup white distilled vinegar to the rinse compartiment.

Kitchen Sink

Basic Cleaner
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 cup vinegar
3 drops lavender, rosemary, lemon, lime or orange EO
Combine all ingredients. Rinse sink with hot water. Pour the cleanser in the sink and wipe with a sponge or cloth. Rinse again with hot water.

Rust Remover
1/4 cup baking soda
5 drops essential oil of choice (see oils properties here)
juice of half lemon

Oven Cleaners
As I mentioned before, commercial oven cleaners are one of the MOST toxic products you could use. I haven't used any od these, since I am lucky enough to own a self-cleaning range! But it should work very well. But remember: no oven cleaner is a miracle worker - bummer - sometimes it may require a bit of elbow grease if there's too much build up.

Formula for "After Disaster" clean up
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup washing soda
1 box (16oz) baking soda
scant 1/4 cup water
3/4 cup white vinegar
10 drops thyme EO
10 drops lemon or lemongrass EO

1. Combine salt, washing soda, and baking soda in a glass bowl. Add just enough water to make a paste.
2. Remove oven racks and preheat the oven to 250F for 15 min., then turn off and leave the door open.
3.Carefully spread the paste on oven walls with a sponge or cloth and allow to set for 20 - 30 min.
4. Combine vinegar and EO in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray oven walls and wipe clean. Rinse well.

Oven Maintenance Formula
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
10 drops sweet orange, lemon or lime EO
1/2 cup hot water

1. Preheat the oven to 250F for 15 min., then turn off and leave the door open.

2. Combine the baking soda, castile soap and EOs in a spray bottle. Add water and shake well.
3. Spray oven walls and wait 20 min. Wipe clean and rinse well.

Kitchen Surfaces

Herbal Degreaser
2 cups water
1/4 cup oil-based soap (I use Murphy's)
10 drops rosemary or lavender EO
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray on surface (works well on appliances) and wipe.

Lemon Blast Cleaner
Citrus peels
White vinegar
10 drops of essential oil of choice

1. Fill a quart- to half-gallon-size glass jar with citrus peels.
2. Pour vinegar over the peels to cover.
3. Let mixture sit fot at least two and half weeks. The vinegar will take on an orange/golden hue.
4. Fill half a spray bottle with citurs-vinegar, straining as you pour. Fill the rest with water. Add the EO.
5. Shake well before each use. Spray and wipe with a cloth.

Kitchen Floor

Pine Fresh Floor Cleaner
1 gallon hot water
2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
10 drops pine EO
5 drops cypress EO
Mix all ingredients in a large bucket. Dip the mop into the mixture and squeeze out the excess liquid. Rinsing is not necessary.

Note: if you don't like the smell of pine, leave out the pine and cypress oils and add 15 drops sweet orange and 8 drops lemon or 1/4 cup lemon juice for a citrusy smell!

Blog to you soon...


Hidden Dangers of Cleaning Products

Poisons Under Your Sink: Hidden Danger of Cleaning Products
by: Glenn Beach

The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) has recorded many exposures to household cleaning substances that were serious enough to require treatment in a health care facility. Incredibly, according to the AAPCC the largest number of occurrences of poisoning in 1993 were due to cleaning products - drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, bleach, soaps and detergents.

One million poisonings in Canada each year are due to household cleaner ingestion. Some are fatal. Thousands of children and adults are permanently disfigured or injured through contact with chemicals in the home each year.

Here is an alphabetical list of some of the most hazardous cleansers found around the house:

AIR FRESHENERS: interfere with your ability to smell by releasing nerve-deadening agents or coating nasal passages with an oil film, usually methoxychlor, a pesticide that accumulates in fat cells. Known toxic chemicals found in an air freshener are formaldehyde, a highly toxic, known carcinogen, and phenol. When phenol touches your skin it can cause it to swell, burn, peel, and break out in hives.

AMMONIA: is a very volatile chemical and is very damaging to your eyes, respiratory tract and skin.

ANTIBACTERIAL CLEANERS: may contain triclosan, which is absorbed through the skin and can be tied to liver damage.

BLEACH: is a strong corrosive. It will irritate or burn the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. It may cause pulmonary edema or vomiting and coma if ingested. Never mix bleach with acid toilet bowl cleaners or ammonia. These mixtures may produce fumes which can be DEADLY.

CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY SHAMPOO: Most formulas are designed to over power the stain itself; they accomplish the task but not without using highly toxic substances. Some include perchlorethylene, a known carcinogen that damages liver, kidney and nervous system damage; and ammonium hydroxide, a corrosive, extremely irritable to eyes, skin and respiratory passages.

CHLORINE: The first agent of chemical warfare was chlorine. WWII ended with an abundance of this cheap chemical. In the name of huge profits, it was added to our water supply and many other products. Chlorine is the number one cause of breast cancer and can be lethal. Scientists won't handle chlorine without protective gloves, facemasks, and ventilation, yet it is in most store-brand cleaners, including dishwasher detergents. The harmful effects are intensified when the fumes are heated, as in the shower. It ís in our drinking water, swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and more.

DISHWASHER DETERGENTS: Most products contain chlorine in a dry form that is highly concentrated. The #1 cause of household poisoning is dish detergent. Dishwashing liquids are labeled"harmful if swallowed." Each time you wash your dishes, some residue is left on them, which accumulates with each washing. Your food picks up part of the residue -- especially if your meal is hot when you eat it.

FURNITURE POLISH: contain petroleum distillates, which are highly flammable and can cause skin and lung cancer. They contain nitrobenzene, which is easily absorbed through the skin and extremely toxic.

LAUNDRY ROOM PRODUCTS: Laundry detergents contain phosphorus, enzymes, ammonia, naphthalene, phenol, sodium nitilotriacetate and countless other chemicals. These substances can cause rashes, itches, allergies, sinus problems and more. The residue left on your clothes, bed sheets, etc. is absorbed through your skin, as is everything else you touch.

OVEN CLEANER: one of the most toxic products people use. They contain lye and ammonia, which eat the skin, and the fumes linger and affect the respiratory system. Then there ís the residue that ís intensified the next time you turn your oven on. 

TOILET BOWL CLEANERS: usually contain hydrochloric acid, a highly corrosive irritant to both skin and eyes that damages kidneys and liver; and hypochlorite bleach, a corrosive irritant that can burn eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Toilet bowl cleaners also may cause pulmonary edema, vomiting or coma if ingested. Contact with other chemicals may cause chlorine fumes which may be fatal.

Are you one of the millions of consumers who tend to think anything sold must be safe? Think again. Since WWII more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals have been invented. Most have been created from petroleum and coal tar for the purposes of chemical warfare. The sad thing is that hardly any of these substances have been tested for safety, but have been added to our food, water and cleaning products without our consent and most often without informing us of any dangers. There is a lot of intentional suppression in this industry that adds approximately 1000 new chemicals each year.

According to the National Research Council, "no toxic information is available for more than 80% of the chemicals in everyday-use products. Less than 20% have been tested for acute effects and less than 10% have been tested for chronic, reproductive or mutagenic effects." Most have not been tested for combined or accumulated effects, nor for their effects on unborn children.

What can you do to protect your loved ones from chemical injury and poisoning?

First of all, educate yourself, and find safer alternatives as much as possible.

Second, minimize use of harsh chemicals. Clean spills and stains immediately, remove food waste promptly, keep home moisture/humidity down to 30-50%, and use entry way mats at all entrances.

Third, store all cleaning agents in their original containers out of the reach of children. Follow the directions on the label and use only the amount of product recommended. Read labels, follow safety precautions and contact the manufacturer if you have questions.

By definition, we clean our homes to reduce damage or harm to human and pet health, and to protect our valued possessions.
Let's not make the solution worse than the problem!

This week I'll post safe, natural substitutes for the most hazardous cleansers that most of us use everyday around the house:

** Air freshener **
** Ammonia **
** Antibacterial cleaners **
** Bleach **
** Carpet & upholstery shampoo **
** Chlorine **
** Dishwasher detergent **
** Furniture polish **
** Laundry products (more) **
** Oven cleaner **
** Toilet bowl cleaner **

Stay tuned!! If you have any "recipes" of cleaners that has worked for you, share it here!!

Blog to you soon...


Helpful Hints for a Clean Kitchen

Wipe out food spills in the oven as soon as possible.
Sprinkle fresh grease spills in the oven with salt.

Sanitize wooden cutting boards by rubbing with half of a freshly cut lemon, lime or grapefruit.

Clean the gunk of an electric can opener with a soft toothbrush dampened with 2 or 3 drops of any EO

Keep garbage disposal smelling fresh by tossing in the remains of a lemon, grapefruit or lime when available.

Instead of using paper towels to wipe up spills or to clean off countertops, store multiple squares of soft cotton or microfiber in a glass jar filled with 1 cup water, 1 oz liquid castile soap and 6-8 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Use cloth napkins and placemats whenever possible to reduce the consumption of paper napkins.

Blog to you soon...


Getting Kids to Eat Their Vegetables

Eating plenty of veggies is important to a healthy diet. However, getting kids to eat vegetables is often difficult. Kids that are growing especially need to get the nutrition that are in vegetables and fruits, and even little toddlers need to get plenty of veggies in their diet. It can definitely be hard to get kids to eat their vegetables

There's always, at least, one kid that, no matter what you do, will NOT eat...

I have to tell you that I have three very distinct  (from each other) kids.

Kimberly, my oldest, LOVE salads. Greens, tomatoes... She is getting very a little picky these days, though. She is very skeptical to try new things! But still, I can say she is my best "healthy" eater.

Rebecca is very funny about food. She goes through "seasons". Sometimes she will eat everything, her veggies, salad, but then, something happen (I haven't figured out what - yet) and she won't eat anything! But she NEVER gives up her tomatoes! That she will eat as snack!!

Now Noah... This is another story... A sad one, I might add. I can't get this boy to eat anything! I've tried some different things, but he rathers starve than to eat veggies! It's funny and sad at the same time!

Last year, I went to a green smoothie class just to find out the solution to my problems - at least the "eat your vegetables" kind of problem!!

Green smoothies are greens  blended with fruits. It is actually very easy to cover up the flavor of the greens with the sweet fruits.

So needless to say I was more than happy when I got home and, enthusiasticlly, started making my green smothies every day, with the help of my wonderful not-anything green-eater son! I was quite shocked (the good shocked) when we finished our bright green smoothie and Noah drunk almost a quart just by himself!  He is the one the LOVES the smoothies the most!

So  that's the only way I can get Noah to "eat" greens! 

Does your kids like greens? How do you "make" them eat their veggies?

Green Smoothie Recipes


I use 40% greens and 60% fruit (adjust to taste)
Water (you can use rice milk, coconut milk or almond milk)
Banana or avocado (to make it creamy)
Agave (sweetener) to taste

For the greens I like kale, spinach and collard greens best, but you can use ANYTHING green; lettuce, arugula, beet tops, cabbage, radish greens, etc...

And I use whatever fruit I have at home. If you use berries the smoothie will be brownish red!!

Tropical Kale Smoothie

1 large ripe banana, peeled
10 kale leaves
1 cup pineapple, fresh
3 dates, pitted
1 cup mango, frozen
3 ice cubes
1 1/2 cup pure water

Pour the water and toss the banana, kale, pineapple, and dates into the blender. Blend. Then add the mango and ice. Blend again until smooth. Very Yummy! 1-2 servings

Melon Lettuce Smoothie

10 large leaves of romaine lettuce
2 cup ripe cantaloupe slices
1 cup strawberries
1/2 teaspoon agave (optional)
6 ice cubes

Add the cantaloupe, strawberries, lettuce, agave, ice into the blender in that order. Blend until completely smooth. Serves 1-2

Spinach Green Smoothie

1 large banana, ripe
1 cup mangoes, frozen
1/2 cup strawberries, frozen
5 oz spinach, fresh
1 1/2 cups pure water

Pour water in first. Then place the banana closest to the blade with the rest of the ingredients on top. Blend until smooth. Serves 1-2


Roasted Spring Vegetables {sort of like} Risotto


1 pound asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 cups whole baby carrots cut in lengthwise quarters
6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium assorted peppers (yellow, red, green), cut into 1-inch strips
2 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut into diagonal slices
1 cup halved fresh medium mushrooms
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 1/2 cups  Vegetable Broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/3 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray 17x11-inch roasting pan with cooking spray.
2.Mix asparagus, carrots, onions, peppers, squash, mushrooms, rosemary and 1/4 cup broth in prepared pan.
3.Roast 20 minutes or until done, stirring once. Prepare risotto while the vegetables are roasting.
4.Heat oil in saucepot. Add rice. Cook and stir for 2 minutes Add 1/2 cup broth and cook until broth is absorbed. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until all broth is absorbed before adding more. (Total cooking time: 25 minutes)
5.Add vegetables and cheese. Heat through. Serve immediately.

I made this last night and it was D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S! I used basmati brown rice instead of arborio rice and ommited the cheese. So it wasn't creamy (risotto like) at all. So if you want the traditional risotto texture, use arborio!


MeatLess Monday.

I am not a vegetarian, but when I heard about “Meat Less Monday,” I was intrigued. I had never thought about the environmental impact of raising livestock. Below are the facts to get us off to a good start.

A quick taste of Meatless Monday


An international movement to help people reduce their meat consumption by 15% to improve personal health and the health of the planet. We are a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


On average, Americans consume 8 ounces of meat per day – 45% more than the USDA recommends. Going meatless once a week can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help limit your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.


Multiple studies have shown that periodic health prompts lead to positive behavior change. Monday is the beginning of the week, making it the perfect time to reevaluate our choices and set our intentions for the coming days. With a Meatless Monday, you have a scheduled, recurring reminder to start your week off on a nutritious note. And if this Monday passes you by, next week is another opportunity to focus on health!

Key Benefits of  Meatless Monday



Beans, peas, nuts and seeds contain little to no saturated fats. Reducing saturated fats can help keep your cholesterol low, and cut risk of cardiovascular disease.


Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables can reduce cancer risk. Red meat consumption is associated with colon cancer.


Research suggests that plant-based diets– particularly those low in processed meat – can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.


People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A plant-based diet is a great source of fiber (absent in animal products). This makes you feel full with fewer calories, ie. lower calorie intake and less overeating.


Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.


Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.



Food prices continue to rise. Current increases are especially sharp in packaged items and meat, which require extra expenses like feed and transportation. Forgoing meat once a week is a great way to cut the weekly budget.


Treatment of chronic preventable diseases accounts for 70% of total U.S. healthcare spending. By reducing our risk for these conditions, we can curtail healthcare spending nationwide.



The UN estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change.


The water needs of livestock are huge, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef.


On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. (compared to 2.2 calories of fossil fuel for plant-based protein).
Visit meatlessmonday.com and then tell your friends, family, co-workers and community leaders how they can improve their health and the health of the planet by cutting meat one Monday at a time!


Natural Laundry Soap {recipe}

Manufacturers of laundry products spend a good deal of money on advertising to convince us that their products contain "magical" ingredients that can solve every laundry problem. Well, they don't! With their cleaning power stemming from caustic bleach, EDTA, and optical brighteners (which are strong allergens), their ingredients are anything but magical.

After experiencing lots of different recipes, here are some that worked really well. They are easy to make, cheap and natural.

These formulas don't have any magical components that you can't pronounce. Instead, the cleaning power of these soaps comes from combining clean, pure ingredients.

Basic Laundry Soap Powder

1 cup washing soda
1 cup scented baking soda (fill a shaker-type container with baking soda and add about 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Click here for a list of essential oils and their benefits)
1 cup soap flakes or finely grated pure bar soap (I like Dr Bronners castile bar soap)

Combine all ingredients and store in a heavy plastic container or glass jar (canning jars work great - make sure to use the wide-mouth ones!). Use 1/2 cup per average laundry load.

Basic Liquid Formula

2 1/4 cups liquid castile soap
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon glycerin
3/4 cup water
10-15 drops essential oil of you choice (you may skip this if using the scented castile soap)

Combine all ingredients into a plastic container or squirt bottle. Shake once or twice before adding to the wash. To use, add 1/4 cup per average load; 1/2 cup for extra large or heavily soiled loads.


Cleaning With Essential Oil and Herbs.

Nearly everyone has heard about the virtues of common items such as baking soda and vinegar for cleaning jobs like scouring and absorbing grease. The addition of herbal materials, especially essential oils, to the formula serves to enhance its cleaning value with the added benefit of leaving behind a soothing, natural scent.

Essential oils and dried herbs are readily available in health food stores and by mail order.

Essential Oils (EO)

When buying essential oils, make sure to buy a pure, undiluted oil and not the one that has been diluted in a carrier oil such as jojoba or almond.

There are even grade differences among pure oil, but this difference generally pertains to the quality of fragrance, and for the purpose of household cleaning it is insignificant! So don't use your therapeutic $90 oil to clean the floors!! Just saying...

Here are the most common essential oils (EO) used in  cleaning formulas:

*Mint (peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen)
*Sweet Orange
*Tea tree


If you are fortunate enough to be able to grow your own herb, as I do, you will already have a supply of herbal material on hand to dry for making scouring powders, sachets, and carpet fresheners. You will need to dry the herbs before using them in cleaning formulas!

Many herbs have antibiotic, antiviral, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. The following list is not complete by any means, but it represents the most common herbs that are grown in home gardens and that are easily available in dried or essential oil form.

HERB                          PROPERTIES

Bay                               antibacterial

Bergamot                       antibiotic

Camphor                       antibacterial

Cardamon                     antibacterial

Chamomile                   antibiotic, antibacterial

Cinnamon                    antiviral

Citronella                    antibacterial

Clove                           antibiotic, antiviral

Cypress                        antibacterial

Eucalyptus                  antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial

Ginger                         antibacterial

Hyssop                         antifungal, antibacterial

Juniper                       antifungal, antibacterial

Lavender                antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial

Lemon                    antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial

Lemongrass                  antibacterial

Marjoram                    antibacterial

Myrtle                         antibiotic, antifungal

Nutmeg                        antibiotic

Orange                        antibacterial

Oregano                       antibiotic, antiviral

Patchouli                    antibiotic, antifungal

Pine                           antibiotic, antibacterial

Rosemary                    antibacterial

Sage                            antibacterial, antifungal

Spearmint                    antibacterial

Tea tree                  antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial

Thyme                        antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial

Wintergreen                 antibacterial; take extra care when handling


Honey cupcakes {recipe}

I really don't like buttercream frosting, so when I came across this recipe, I new I had to try... I made some for Kimmy's Baptism and it was such a hit!!! Hope you enjoy...

Honey Cupcakes

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup creamed honey
¾ cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups self rising flour

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and honey. Beat for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Beat in egg, scrape down sides after blended. Add in vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds.
Starting with the flour first, alternate between flour and milk, ending with flour. So 1/3 of flour, ½ of milk, 1/3 of flour, ½ milk, 1/3 flour.

Blend until fully combined.

Fill cupcake pan  2/3 of the way full with batter. Fill until all batter is used.

Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes in pan. Then remove from pan and place on a wire rack to finish cooling. Cool completely before frosting.

Honey Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup honey plus 2 TBSP
4-5 cups powdered sugar
milk as needed for thinning out frosting
In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the honey for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar .

Start on low speed on the mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.

Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.

Use milk to thin out frosting to reach desired consistency.

To assemble cupcakes:

Take cooled cupcake. Place frosting in a piping bag. Starting at one end pipe in a circle, continuing around and around until you form a beehive shape.

Dip top of cupcake into crushed Peanut Butter Crunch Candy.  If you can’t find it, crushed up Butterfinger or crushed up peanut brittle would work nicely as well.

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