Saturday, October 25, 2014

Out-the-Door Homemade Pancakes for Breakfast

School days are such a rush getting out the door.  I hate to get my kids up any earlier than I have to (nor do I want to get up), but I also want them to have a good breakfast.  We don't do pop-tarts in our house and my kids aren't fans of granola bars, so grab and go foods are out.  I have found a way to be able to serve up homemade pancakes quickly.  When I make pancakes on the weekend, I simply make extras.  Once they have cooled, I layer them with wax paper between and put them in a freezer bag and freeze them.  On hurried mornings, I simply pull out what I need and microwave them.  It's so simple!

Friday, October 24, 2014

In This House We Will Giggle #Book #Christian #Virtues #Parenting

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah, a Division of Random House, to facilitate this review. Links in post may contain affiliate links.

In this House We Will Giggle;  Making Virtues, Love & Laughter a Daily Part of Your Family Life.  The title alone got me.  Sometimes, this house feels tired and so busy with the day-to-day that I feel we don't have enough giggles, so I was interested in what author Courtney DeFeo had to say.

She hooked me right off the bat when she described what she envisioned for her hom...before she had children.  And what reality was after.  I think we all do that to some extent.  I guess we don't realize how stressful parenting can really be till we have been there.  I like that the author reminds us that a house of love and grace includes mess.

In this book, you learn a love and laughter approach to spiritual growth.  You learn how to teach children 12 virtues (joy, love, forgiveness, faith, patience, perseverance, respect, responsibility, service, humility, gratitude, generosity), each with a chapter devoted solely to it.  She recommends spending a full month on each virtue.  These chapters contains a family activity to reinforce the virtue, along with discussion questions, scripture verses, catch phrases and  more.  The book is also filled with 60 ways to bring out the giggles--these are quick and easy activities for nurturing a sense of fun in the house.

This is a fun, easy read that has practical ways to teach virtues to your children while instilling joy and giggles.  The book reminds us to parent with a purpose, rather than get caught up in all the day-to-day stuff.  Honestly, I think that any family that reads this book and participates in the suggested activities will grow stronger spiritually and as a family.  Kudos!  I love the book and look forward to the changes my family will make over the next year!

Right now, you can purchase In This House, We Will Giggle: Making Virtues, Love, and Laughter a Daily Part of Your Family Life  for just $7.99 from Amazon.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah, a Division of Random House, to facilitate this review. Links in post may contain affiliate links.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Common Sense Media to the Rescue


As a parent, it is difficult to know what your children are exposed to in movies, websites, music, games, apps, television shows, and books.  No parent has the time to thoroughly check out all the things their kids are exposed to.  That's why I love Common Sense Media.  I can visit them and read a pretty unbiased review of movies, shows, apps, and more.  They have a pretty simple rating system and give examples of why something was rated the way it was.  It is definitely a site that parents might want to consider to help them make good decisions on what their children are exposed to.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How Much Are You Spending On Energy Vampires?

Did you know that even when your electronics aren't switched to on, they can still zap electricity, draining your wallet?  The Department of Energy claims that vampire loads are responsible for approximately 5% of your energy bill, costing electric customers more than $3 billion, yes BILLION per year.

If you want to know what items are energy vampires, turn off your lights at night and see what lights up.  Many "standby" lights are guilty of draining energy.  A quick and easy fix is a power strip that cuts off the power completely when not in use.

Visit Duke Energy for a cool little form that can give you an idea of how much you can save each year by truly turning these items off when not in use.

Tips to Avoid a Deer Collision

Fall is here and the deer are frolicking!  Mating season tends to spike from October through December, so they are on the move more than any other time of the year.  Unfortunately, they don't have any street smarts, so deer collisions happen frequently.  However, there are some things you can do to avoid hitting one.

  1. Be most cautious at dawn and dusk--the times the deer are most active.  Unfortunately, they are also harder to see at these times.  But don't be fooled, sometimes they are out at anytime.
  2. Be aware of the area you are traveling.  If there are farms or wooded areas alongside the road, there are likely deer nearby.  However, these days, they are also showing up in neighborhoods in town.
  3. If you see one, there are most likely more.  Deer like to travel in groups.
  4. Don't swerve.  Just hit the brakes firmly.  Often times, swerving causes you to lose control of the car and end up in an accident that would be worse than hitting a deer.
  5. If you see deer crossing signs, be forewarned.  The signs are up for a reason!

#Giveaway: Good Earth Natural Organic Beauty Products! #organic #natural #beauty

Disclosure:  I received products in exchange for an honest review.

The older I get, the more concerned I am with my health and with all the chemicals we expose ourselves too.  I see research after research that demonstrates the negative effects of these chemicals.  So, I am starting to explore more natural products when it comes to skin care.  I recently learned of a company called Good Earth Beauty.

Good Earth Beauty is an online beauty shop that carries only natural and organic beauty products that aren't tested on animals.  The staff personally tests all products that they chose to sell.  They carry cosmetics, bath & body, hair care as well as items for babies, pets and more.  They also sell gift cards (great idea for Christmas!).

I tried a couple of Good Earth Beauty's exclusive products.  The first was Jasmine Exfoliating Body Scrub.  I found it to be on the dry side, but just added a bit of water on my loofah and it was perfect.  Not only did it do wonders for sloughing off old skin cells, it also did a wonderful job of moisturizing.  It is made with Fair Trade Organic Sugar, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Nut) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil , Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Fragrance Oil, Glyceryl Monocaprylate (and) Glyceryl Monoundecylenate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E).  No icky chemicals!

I also tried the Bentonite Clay Detox Soap.  I love this soap!  It feels silky to the touch once wet and is great for shaving.  It makes my skin feel balanced and clean and moisturized.  Bentonite clay is said to be detoxing and is frequently used in mud masks to pull the impurities and toxins from the body. I don't know if it does all that, but it sure makes my skin feel wonderful!  The soap is blended with lavender, litsea, and patchouli essential oils for a wonderful fresh smell--in fact, I can't keep my nose out of the box while I write this.  My only complaint is that the edges are squared off.  Rounded off edges are easier to glide over the skin.  The ingredients for this are: saponified organic olive, coconut, palm oil and shea butter, bentonite clay, essential oil blend.

A really neat thing about this company--shipping is always free!  No code needed!  They also include free samples with every order.  If there is something in particular you would like to sample, you can email them and they will do their best to accommodate your wishes.  Right now, if you use code Anna10 at check out, you can also get 10% off your order.  I think I am hooked!

Remember, it's not too early to think about Christmas gifts.  These products would make wonderful gifts!  Make sure you enter the giveaway below so you can try these products yourself!

Disclosure:  I received products in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Goodbye to a Wonderful Old Friend

My husband was recently in an auto accident where his truck was totaled.  We had to say goodbye to our old friend.  Our 4Runner was nearly 18 years old and had well over 200,000 miles on it.  We bought it almost 11 years ago--just before my oldest daughter was born.  We paid cash and have never had a payment on it.  We have traveled many trips in it and have many memories with it.  My husband had many deer in the back.  It was reliable.  We had it for 9 years before we discovered it had a check engine light.  We only had three small repairs on it.  Unbelievably, it was still worth $3500!

When we bought another used 4Runner, one that was much nicer, we quietly argued on the way home from the dealership over who had to drive the new 4Runner.  He won the argument.  We referred to the new one as 007 and the old one as '97.

As strange as it may seem, we both were attached to that old 4Runner.  It was sad to see it towed off.  Later, my husband went to clear his stuff out of the truck.  When he returned home, he said, "I know cars don't have feelings, but it looked pretty lonely over there in the corner of the lot.

Rest in peace, '97.  You will be missed.

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