Monday, October 29, 2012

Farm to Fork is so amazing

Another reason I love living in a rural farm community.

I dried 6 trays of sweet local corn
Ground it in the blender (I don't have a grain mill, someday Lord willing)

Homemade polenta

Polenta Caprease with fresh garden tomatoes and fresh garden basil

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What's the trick to preparing for the holidays?

60 days until Christmas, 28 days until Thanksgiving, and only 8 days until my oldest turns 10 so I'm starting to feel the push.
That being said I thought I would share with you my top 10 tricks to preparing for the holiday season!
Recently I shared some wonderful Mom invented goodies with some of my Mom friends thanks to #MompactLNO.  I created goody bags to put some of the various things in for the Moms which brings me to tip.
#1, have your children help with some of the decorating!
I picked up a package of foam leaf stickers and colored paper bags. My oldest stuck 3 stickers on each bag and then helped me fill them.

#2 Take time to be grateful for even the little things in your life.  My group of Moms created Gratitude jars using stickers, ribbon, scraps of paper, and empty recycled canning jars.
Share with your family and friends as a way to be grateful this season. Ask each family member even the younger ones to share what they are thankful for, write it on a slip of paper and date it.
#3 Keep lots of warm drinks handy as there is nothing better to calm the stress then a cup of warm. Remember as we prepare for the holiday season, a stressed out Mom doesn't make for a fun holiday. If you need to cut back on some of the decorating or bake a little less then do it. I know I am planning on baking for gifts this year as well as crafting, but I am also cutting back on the decorating and trying to simplify things a little.
#4 Buffet style is awesome! Keep is simple, if you are having guests over consider a buffet style rather than a formal sit down event. Yes sitting down for a meal is good (we do it almost every night at home) but being with people and having conversation is good too. I have found over the years some of my favorite parties have been buffet style (also easier to clean up at least for me.

#5 Keep a basket on the counter in the bathroom filled with products that will help visiting Moms and little ones. We have grown out of the baby stage but I have friends and family with little ones.  Here are some of the wonderful Mompact Products to fill a basket with:
 Presenting Diaperbuds Potty Training Products

Boogie Wipes, Diaper Buds, and TidyTots potty chair liners

#6 Stay Consistent  I know during the holidays sometimes we want to relax the rules a bit, not a good idea. Stay consistent with rules and consequences, add some extra snuggle time and extra incentives to following the rules, but don't relax the rules recovering on the back side of the holidays will be too hard. Penalty Pal is a great way to simplify timeouts with a single spot on the wall, a floor , perhaps even the kitchen cabinet or pantry door.

#7 Drink extra water, I know that sounds silly, but with the change in the weather and the rush rush of the holidays remember to drink your 8+ glasses a day.

#8. Cuddle with your kids more. We live in a very materialistic society and sometimes I think we forget about the simple things like snuggling. Read a book, share the day's events, ask them what they think of things.
#9. Menu plan and freezer meals are a huge way to save time and stress. It can also be a money saver if you can pick up larger quantities of things to have on hand.
#10 Share your thoughts and ideas with friends and family. Coming together and sharing some of the responsibilities for the holidays can make it easier. Potluck is a wonderful option for large family dinners (even buffet style). Maybe change it up a little and only buy gifts for the children to save money. Think outside the box, what will help make someone else's life a little less stressful.

Join us tonight (10/25) for a twitter party where we can share tips and tricks for the holiday season.
You can also enter to win a prize pack filled with treats to make you life a little easier.
Mompact prize pack
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mrs. Dash® recipes and ideas found in their Newsletter

The Salt-Free Flavor Statement
I receive the Mrs. Dash newsletter packed full of recipe ideas. If you are thinking low sodium means flavorless, you need to check out the newsletter.
Mrs. Dash® | Newsletter
Sample Giveaway

If you are looking to sample Mrs. Dash, check out their Facebook page and like to access the free sample.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Natural Toothpaste? sure why not!

I usually buy Crest toothpaste for my husband , but this last batch was weak and  wasn't really working for me. Knowing that baking soda can be used (I've purchased toothpaste with baking soda before), I decided to research making my own. I couldn't find a formal recipe just people mentioning they had done it or someone in their family had. I decided to go ahead and put something together. 

Unionvale Mom's SpotI used coconut oil as my liquid, baking soda as a polish, and peppermint essential oil for flavor and scent. 
I mixed it together in a 4 oz Kerr canning jar with a popsicle stick. I adjusted as I went along to get a good consistency so I can't really share a recipe, but am guesstimating 1 Tbsp Coconut oil, 2-3 Tbsp Baking Soda and 8-10 drops of essential oil blended well.
I have been using it for just over a week and it doesn't take a lot, so far I really like it. Next time I may add more peppermint oil. 
I am rinsing with an antiseptic mouth wash (I might try creating my own mouth wash later on.)
My husband thinks I'm a little crazy, but I was using things we already had so we didn't have to try something new only to find out we didn't like it. He hasn't tried the homemade stuff yet, but is considering it.
I am enjoying trying new creations and thankfully my husband is seeing the benefits in our budget and how everyone feels.