Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chicken and Kale Stew

I hosted a girls night out a few days ago and it turned out to be the night of the Kale!  One friend brought a Kale quiche with an almond crust and another brought a kale salad.  I served the Kale and Chicken stew recipe below.  Healthy eating, good friends and fun.  What more could you ask for?  Thought that you might enjoy the stew recipe as the weather is cooling off.  I feel like making it again tonight!  I did add sauteed mushrooms to the recipe which I LOVED!

Kale and Chicken Stew by
Serves 6-8
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 medium mixed potatoes; diced (I used Yukon gold, red and purple)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion; chopped
1 large shallot; minced
2 carrots; peeled and diced
6 cups chicken stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese; finely grated
5 cups chopped kale
15-ounce can cannellini beans; drained
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. In a separate sheet pan, toss the potatoes with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat. Cover and set aside.
Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and shallot and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook 15 minutes until softened. Add in chicken stock, thyme, chicken, potatoes, Parmesan, salt and pepper bring to a simmer. Add the kale and beans and simmer for another 20 minutes, until the kale is tender and the beans are hot.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bippity, Boppity, Boo

I feel as if someone waved a magic wand over my house and said these magic words, "Bippity Boppity Boo!" and just like that relief washed over my kids like a wave.  

As most of you know that my youngest son, 3 of 3, broke out in hives from the day he was introduced to solid food.  This happened almost every time he ate.  As more foods were introduced, more hives appeared.  He also had almost constant ear infections for 6 months.  

I was tired, stressed and in need of answers.  Monthly trips to the doctor are NOT my idea of fun.  I couldn't find any answers other than antibiotics.   And really they weren't working either.   

Out of desperation I removed dairy from 3 of 3's diet and NO more ear infections.  Cured completely with the removal of dairy.  Hey THAT is the kind of help I needed.   And it started changing my thinking.

I turned to a natural doctor for help with the hives.  I knew it was caused by something he was eating.  It seemed EVERYTHING he was eating.  

We started with a simple blood test.  Come to find out my littlest person had a mild gluten allergy.  That was the only allergen that showed up in the blood test results.  And the gluten allergy was so mild it wouldn't even have been considered an allergy by conventional doctors. 

Thinking back, one of the first foods I introduced was oatmeal cereal with dairy based formula.  Gluten and dairy.  And at some point every day he had some form of gluten. Had I found the answer, could it be? 

Now 3 of 3's diet is free of dairy and gluten.  Just think of how many foods in your daily diet contain some form of these ingredients.  Challenging diet but doable.

The hives continued sporadically and my little person seemed much better but still not quite himself.

I took the rest of the family in to get the blood test done.  Again, no major allergies for any of us.  I did find a common mild allergy between a few family members and decided to experiment and take this out of 3 of 3's diet too.

It worked!  No more hives and a REALLY smiling, happy, playful child.  

The culprit...eggs.

So the egg free, dairy free, gluten free diet is the diet of this house.  And it's actually been quite easy to achieve.  I can't wait to share the fabulous finds that we have found so far.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Waiting Game

My oldest child, 1 of 3, turned 6 this summer and she has been waiting to have a sleep over.  I used the old carrot and stick trick, you get the sleep over after you have a dry pull up for 3 days.  We tried everything.  I cut off the water consumption a few hours before bed.  I got her up around midnight and set her on the potty.  To no avail.  The pull up was always wet.  We were both SUPER DUPER frustrated.

Then I had the idea to just let her sleep in panties.  She would realize the feeling after a few nights.  Nope.  No way.  It just caused more work for me.  I resigned myself to the idea that it would just be a long process.  No big deal.

When her 3 year old sister started waking up dry in the morning and asking to sleep in panties, it became a bigger deal.

I mentioned this problem to her doctor and he said that he could prescribe some medicine to help stop the night time wetting if we wanted to do so.  I declined as I did not think it necessary to medicate her for THAT problem.  We would just put off sleep overs for awhile.

After getting the food allergy results for my youngest, 3 of 3, I began to do a bit of research.  I read somewhere that food allergies can cause night time bed wetting.  Really?  That sounded like a bunch of hogwash to me but both my daughter and I were a bit desperate.

I had been thinking about the family getting the test anyway so off we went.

We finally got the test results and found out that she was mildly allergic to wheat/gluten, eggs and peanuts.  She had a few other mild allergies but the mentioned allergies were IgE reactions.  Simply put, her body has a response to these foods from the very first time of exposure.  And the gluten response, albeit mild, could be causing an autoimmune response in her body.  We don't exactly know.

So I immediately cut gluten from her diet.  It was just AMAZING.  The child has never had another night time bed wetting episode.  Ever.  For 6 weeks she has been able to drink as much as she wants before bed.  No more waking her up in the middle of the night.  No more sad little face wondering why she can't seem to stop.  Just a PROUD little face thrilled to finally feel like the big girl she is.

It seems like a small thing but the gluten or SOMETHING was interfering with the hormone process in her body.  It just makes me wonder what other small ways the gluten had begun to interfere with in her body.  And what would have happened over the long haul if it hadn't been removed.

I feel so thankful that 1 of 3 found relief and an answer so quickly.  We are all off of gluten and I can report that I feel much more energetic as well.  More to come.

So the waiting game is over and I should get to planning that sleep over!  By the way, I had permission from my daughter to share this story.  She said that she hopes it might help someone.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Without a Little Bit of Heaven

This past summer has turned my food world upside down.  Circumstances have dictated that I learn to live without a little bit of heaven.  So I have taken a few months off to rethink everything I have ever thought about diet and nutrition.

For the next few posts I will discuss the dietary changes we have undergone this summer.  It has been challenging but more rewarding that I could have imagined!  I am not saying that you should remove these same foods from you diet, I am just highlighting the fact that conventional physicians want to throw medicine at every ailment.  This simply alleviates the symptom but never addresses the cause. Most doctors take few if any nutrition class and are not trained to look at the diet for answers to health issues. That is exactly where I believe the search for the cure begins.  The DIET is the key.

With the help of a Naturopathic Doctor, Terri Beim, our family underwent blood tests for food allergies.  We had the mildest of mild allergies.  But the removal of these mild allergens have yielded BIG results.

My challenge: finding foods that would be accepted by the family and still meet our diet restrictions. Thank GOD we live in Austin, TX.  It is one of the most friendly "without" cities in America.  I'll highlight some of our favorite foods along the way too.

I'll tell you about more results that we have seen on this diet in the next few days.  On two occasions things that the doctors wanted to medicate my children for were completely alleviated upon the removal of the MILD allergen.  Wondering why I didn't know about this test 6 years ago when my first child was born.  It has changed our lives in the few short months.

I will admit, when I first realized everything that needed to be removed from our diet I was overwhelmed and upset.  I wanted to journal my thoughts and emotions but I just couldn't make myself sit down and face it.  How can we all live without a little bit of heaven?

It's possible to live and LOVE living without the little bit of heaven.  I think that we would all agree we've found a whole lot more life by removing it!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Watermelon Popsicles

We just finished eating watermelon popsicles.  Perfect treat for a hot summer day.  

Recipe: Watermelon Popsicles

Watermelon Popsicles
makes 10-15, depending on size
6 cups cubed watermelon, seeds and rind removed (about 4 pounds)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest
Blend watermelon in a blender, or process through a juicer, until liquefied completely. Stir in lime juice and zest. Pour mixture through a sieve into a bowl, then spoon juice into popsicle molds with sticks inserted, and freeze.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Favorite New Dressing

Most Friday nights my husband and I can be found at the most unlikely place, Casa de Luz.  It is an organic vegan restaurant that only serves in season produce.  We LOVE their salads and dressing.  The BEST.

If I had a small army to help, I would cook meals just like they do.  Since that not likely to happen we bought their sauce/dressing cookbook to at least mimic their salads.

Tonight we tried their Vinaigreta Dressing and it is my new favorite.  Probably just until I try another recipe!

Vinaigreta Dressing
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh basil or parsley chopped, or 1 tsp. dry
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup basalmic vinegar
1tsp. mustard
2 tsp. ume vinegar
Black pepper

Mix garlic, basil or parsley, olive oil, basalmic vinegar, mustard, and ume vinegar in blender.  Season with black pepper to taste.

Really fabulous!  And it keeps in the frig!  Yummo!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Dirty Dozen-The Foods That Are Best To Purchase Organic

We eat some serious fruits and vegetables around our house.  They are served at every breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack.  I try to purchase as much as possible from the farmer's market.  However, I still find myself visiting the grocery store a few times a week. 

The grocery store is often limited in organic foods.  I was glad to find this 2011 Dirty Dozen list to reference.  The EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce identifies the fruits and vegetables that contain the most contamination from pesticide residues.  Now I have a quick reference guide on which foods to skip if organic is unavailable and which foods I can save a bit of money on and purchase conventional. 

I was shocked to see apples topped the dirty dozen list.  Today I priced organic apples and there was NO price difference between most of the apple varieties.  

Quick note: I always purchase organic corn as I am trying to stay away from GMOs and corn is a huge GMO crop.

EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Dirty Dozen
Buy these organic
– imported
Grapes – imported
Red Pepper
Sweet bell peppers
– domestic
Kale/collard greens
Clean 15
Lowest in Pesticide
Sweet Corn
Sweet Corn
Sweet peas
- domestic
Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Would Make These Chocolate Chip Cookies Every Night

The hunt has begun for tasty gluten free options for our favorite foods.  Every momma has to have a good chocolate chip cookie recipe in her kitchen arsenal.  Right?

The funny thing is I can't even remember the last time I made chocolate chip cookies.  Maybe 6 months ago?  Now that 3 of 3 has to be on a gluten free diet, I find that I need a chocolate chip cookie recipe!  NEED!

I found this recipe on Elana's Pantry. All of her recipes look or sound fabulous!  Looking forward to trying them out soon.

Now I've got a recipe I don't feel guilty about making often for my sweet little people.  Blanched Almond Flour is the secret ingredient that allows all the members of our household to enjoy this treat!  I like that!

This recipe has been taste tested and approved by all in the house.  In fact we are wishing there were just a few more to try out.  We ran out of the most of the ingredients.

We used Bob's Red Mill Almond flour as that is the only almond flour the grocery store carried.  Loved the cookies even though the recipe states: Do not use Bob's Red Mill Almond flour as it does not yield successful results.

Since I thought these cookies still turned out great, I am looking forward to ordering some of the other almond meals.  The recommended almond flours are by Lucy's Kitchen Shop or Honeyville.

Go ahead, try it out.  Even if you are need not rid all gluten out of your diet, I think these almond flour cookies are fabulous!  

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookiesprinter friendly
2 ½ cups blanched almond flour *
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
10 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup agave nectar
1 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Stir together wet ingredients in a smaller bowl
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry
  4. Form 1" balls and press onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes
  6. Cool and serve
Makes 24 cookies
Please note: Bob's Red Mill almond flour does not yield successful results when used in this recipe. For more information regarding this matter please see my FAQs.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Homemade Salsa

Today my cousin, Olivia, and I experimented with making our own salsa.  This week's CSA box came loaded with all the ingredients we needed.  My oh my.  We put a huge bowl of salsa away in no time.  AWESOME.

Here is our recipe:


3 tomatoes, chopped (we used blanched tomatoes)
1/2 cup finely diced purple onion
1 jalapeno finely diced
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons lime juice


In a medium bowl, stir together tomatoes, onion, peppers, salt, and lime juice. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator before serving.

We didn't chill the salsa but used cold tomatoes.   Too hungry to wait!  Our recipe was adapted from this recipe.  Here is a link to detail the tomato blanching processing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why The Tears?

Made my first gluten free trip to the grocery store today.  As I strolled the gluten free aisle, I had to fight back tears.  The choices seemed so limiting.  Two sides of one aisle at the grocery store.  One aisle.  As I perused labels on other aisles my chest began to tighten as I read statements such as "made in a facility that processes wheat, dairy, nuts, soy."


Breathe, Natalie, breathe.  Don't hyperventilate!  Just breathe.

Even as I type this post, I feel my heart rate increase and my chest feels full and heavy.  And then great, big sighs are exhaled.  Whew.  

I had to stop and ask myself, "Why the tears?"  I mean really, Natalie?  The entire purpose of this blog is to educate myself on the food we eat and then make CHANGES to our diets.  

So many of the needed changes are already in place anyway!  Why the tears?

For 9 months we have been eating organic fruits and vegetables and grass fed meats when possible,  cutting down on refined sugar, and reducing the amount of processed foods and fast foods.  By just eliminating the processed foods in our diets I had already removed most of the gluten culprits from our diets.

Could it be that I associate gluten foods with convenience and happiness?  Like the cakes, cookies and brownies that make my little people's eyes light up?  Or the occasions when we are in a hurry to get out the door so the hidden stash of graham crackers, saltines, or goldfish, are pulled out and served.  

Why the tears?  We eat limited amounts of gluten anyway.  Why the tears?  Why the tight chest and anxiety?

I think it can be boiled down to this: before, it was a choice.  I could have days, okay weeks, that I backslid on the lifestyle I wanted.  But now it is an absolute necessity.  There is no end, no rest for busy weeks or weekends.  There is only the constant diligence and questions that go along with the gluten free diet.  And that seems to cause me the most stress.  It is UNENDING.

So this blog post today is to acknowledge the tears that have stained my face and the mourning swirling around in my heart.  This too shall pass.  I'll pull it together and get my emotions under control.  It just seems a daunting task right now. 

Big, huge thank you to all of my friends that have reached out to offer their help and expertise.  I will be leaning heavily on you while I make this family transition to a gluten free diet.

With a grateful heart that is currently in a bit of mourning, 


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Safe Food Storage For Kids

BPA, lead, plastics and the likes have caused me to rethink the plastic cups, plates, and bowls we have been using.  Over the past few months I have dwindled down our stash of plastic sippy cups and started buying Corelle dishes.  The dishes are great for the girls but not so much the littlest, 3 of 3.  The dishes have survived many falls and very sturdy, but we have had a few shatter.

So today when I saw this that Zulily was selling Kinderville non toxic dishes, cups and storage containers for kids I was thrilled.  Zulily is a website that offers daily deals on all things kids and mommas.  Kids items are usually clothing, toys, books, and accessories.  For the mommas there are often awesome purses, maternity clothes, spanks, and other great items.  Here is a link to sign up to for Zulily and it is free! If you use this link to sign up for Zulily I get a credit after your first order!  And then you can use your link to post on facebook or twitter and get credit for yourself!  Love Zulily.

Here is some information from about Kinderville from Zulily.  The discounted Kinderville dishes, cups and storage is only on sale until Saturday at 6am.  I'm going to order right now.  I want to rid my house of plastics!!!

Kinderville: Safe Food Storage
Kinderville was founded by parents who were frustrated with finding toxin-free ways to serve and store their daughter's food. Now that they've done all the hard work, every family can enjoy these products knowing that they're free of BPA, Phthalates and lead. All are safe to use in the dishwasher, freezer and microwave as well. They're perfect for sending to daycare, school or playdates too!

Kinderville products are made of high-grade silicone, which is a safe, durable and pliable rubber-like material. It's great for food storage because it's hygienic, hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria. Plus it doesn't contain any toxic chemicals, nor does it react with food or beverages. You'll also love how easy it is to clean.

From plates to jars and ice-treat molds, Kinderville helps families stock kitchens with everything little ones need (or simply want!) to make snack time safe, colorful and simple.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Today Pushed Me Over The Edge

Yesterday I was standing on the edge and today I jumped.  I had contemplated the jump for awhile.  I played around with the idea, tried it out for a time, and enjoyed the results.  However the jump requires a big commitment and the entire family needs to be on board.  So I never really got hard core.

Today that changed. My husband and I received 3 of 3's allergy test results.  And with this news my family and I are jumping in with both feet.  We are going hard core gluten free, but in a week.  The rest of our clan is going to get tested next week.

I want to have all members of the family tested as I need to know if the girls are free to eat out and about as they please or if they are full time anti-glutenites too.

When I received the test results from the doctor I was STUNNED by what I learned.  3 of 3 is not allergic to milk, or almonds or eggs.  He is allergic to GLUTEN.  His hives may be brought on by the gluten.  Or the gluten may be causing him to be sensitive to other foods as it can cause chronic health conditions.

Either way, that is not what I expected to hear.

Throughout the appointment our doctor enlightened us about gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity, and celiac diesease.  First off, in her experience 90% of the gluten intolerance issues are passed on from the father.  I had no idea!!!

And that is one of the reasons we are all going in for a great big family blood draw and allergy test.  Doesn't that sound like such a wonderful bonding experience?  Taking a 3 year old and a soon to be 6 year old to get blood drawn.

The doctor went on to say that when she started her practice, 1 in 200 patients had gluten issues.  Years later, it went up to 2 in 100 patients.  I could hardly believe it when she said currently she is finding at least 50% of her patients are testing positive for gluten allergies.  "A study looked at the blood tests of ten thousand people from fifty years ago and compared them to tests on 10,000 people today. The study discovered a 400% increase in full-blown celiac disease."  link  The same article said that around one third of the population has gluten intolerance and 1 in 100 has celiac disease.

Our doctor said the top indicators of gluten intolerance she sees in her patients were foggy headedness, sluggishness, bloatedness, skin problems such as eczema, seasonal allergies, especially allergies to mold, and joint pain.  GI tract issues were not even mention in the top indicators!

Gluten intolerance triggers an autoimmune response in the body.  "Symptoms can include irritable bowel disease, canker sores, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, osteoporosis, anemia, cancer, autoimmune disease, MS, and neurological problems such as depression, anxiety, dementia, schizophrenia, nerve damage, migraines, epilepsy, and autism."  Link  Heart disease, liver disease and cancer are also linked to gluten issues.

So this momma is going to make it her summer mission to learn everything about gluten, every hidden source, every gluten free treat and recipe and basically learn how to become a hard core anti-glutenite.  Gluten, it's on!  You are so out of here!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Had A Wholly Cow!

Remember the phrase, "Don't have a cow?"  I sure do!  I think I said it daily for many years.  Probably most of the time to my poor parents!

But I did have a cow yesterday.  A Wholly Cow!  Now I'll never say "Don't have a cow" again!  In fact, I will probably say something like, "Hey, who wants to have a Wholly Cow?"  Gosh. I'll probably say that phrase weekly in the summer.

Okay so if you know me you probably know 2 things about me.  First is that I like really like to save money.  I'm not so much a coupon clipper for the grocery store as the coupons are often for items that are not really healthy or things I wouldn't normally buy.  I do like coupons to restaurants, especially restaurants I frequent.

The second is that I'm not the girl to take to a "hole in the wall" joint or dive restaurant.  Really, I'm not.  Best to not even mention it to me.  On many occasions, my husband has suggested small, out of the way places he's heard good things about, or even eaten at, but when we arrived I had to say, "I'm sorry, I just can't."  And we drive on to a more appealing location.

I guess the coupon to the restaurant Wholly Cow got the best of me.  I had driven by it many times and it was the sign out front that always caught my attention.  It read, "Local Grass Fed Beef Burgers."  Problem for me was the sign was just outside of a convenience store.  I don't do convenience stores.

Well, I THOUGHT I didn't eat in convenience stores.  Apparently I do.  And apparently I like it.  Very much. And apparently I want to eat there often!

So yesterday, my party of 5 ventured out and tried it.  Coupon in hand we arrived at Wholly Cow which is located inside the Star-Grill Convenience store on South Lamar.

We were really just doing our part to keep Austin weird I guess.

Favorite burger EVER!  EVER!!!!  I am trying to cut down on gluten products and mentioned that to the owner.  He suggested that I have the burger with a portabella mushroom bun.  I can't even describe it.  I'll only say, that I will probably never eat the bun again.  It was out of this world.  Then I found out that navy seals and elite bikers eat burgers like that.  Oh yeah, I'm on my way, baby!

And of course one can't eat a burger without fries.  We ordered both sweet potato fries and french fries.  They are fried in peanut oil which is much better than the canola oil most restaurants use because canola oil is almost always genetically modified.  The fries were gone as soon as they were cool enough to scarf down.

Not only does Wholly Cow serve hormone free, chemical free, grass fed beef, they also use organic produce when it is in season.  Here is a link to an article describing the health benefits of grass fed beef.  There is a HUGE benefit to grass fed beef compared to grain fed beef.

And the convenience store is also different from most.  Farmer's market produce can be purchased there daily.  How great is that?  Also there are many natural drinks featured as well as desserts made from the fabulous Fredericksburg peaches.

And I have to mention the owner and staff.  They were so friendly and provide customer service that is unbeatable!  The entire dinner was absolutely delightful!  That is saying something coming from a mom of 3 kids ages 20 months, 3 years old, and 5 years old.  Usually taking those folks out for dinner makes for a challenging if not miserable time!

Wholly Cow is totally Austin and absolutely satisfying!  Love to find restaurants that embrace healthy practices for family favorites!  I am so going to have another Wholly Cow!  And soon!!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Where Have You Been All My Life?

And Why Couldn't We Have Met Sooner??????  You know, when I was younger and probably in greater need of you?

Those are the questions I am asking myself over and over.  I am just sitting here in silence wondering why I have never tried this before.

Raw Milk.  Really, why have I never tried you before?

For starters it could be because I don't particularly like milk.  Love milk products such as cheese and ice cream.  Almost hate milk.

Almost hate, but then how can you really hate something that produces such heavenly treats as cheese and ice cream.  Manna from heaven!  Hardly a meal goes by without a serving or two of some type of cheese.  And ice cream, need I say more.

I have been interested in trying raw milk.  The thought kind of grossed me out if you must know the truth.  Bought in hook, line and sinker to the idea that milk must be pasteurized or it'll kill ya!

Grossed out no more!  And I'm still alive.  I just drank a small amount to be sure.  Hee hee.

In serious like of raw milk.

Just dipped organic double chocolate (almost oreos) cookies into the milk.  I'm quite a happy girl.  I'm interested in trying this raw milk out again tomorrow.

Wondering if I'll still be in serious like, love or back to the "not so much" phase of milk.  Tonight, raw milk did my body, mostly my tongue, good!

Tomorrow we shall see...

Just went back for another glass.  It is REALLY GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  My husband concurs.  Raw milk just might be our new norm.

Here is an interesting website about raw milk if you are interested.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It Got Me AGAIN!

Summer after summer I venture out into the balmy 102 degree afternoon to cool off in the refreshing waters of the pool.  And it never fails, year after year, the first few times I am LOBSTER RED.  The crazy sun and I aren't very good friends as evident in my fluorescent white wrappings.

Why I forget year after year to bathe myself in sunscreen before I step foot in a pool baffles me.  I guess subconsciously I would rather be red than fluorescent white.  Still, one would think the sheer pain would trigger some type of memory response.  Not so much. 

It's one thing to turn myself into a lobster but it's an entirely different beast to turn my children into lobsters.  

Well, last week my little kindergartener had her end of the year school party.  It was a pool party.  Oh no!  With my track record 1 of 3 was destined to have some redness and a bit of pain.

Hurray for the host momma that provided sunscreen because I did forget AGAIN!!!!  I lathered up that baby girl and off she headed to the pool.  

Ummm, do you see the parts in her hair in the above picture?  So did I.  After washing her hair the next day.  Bright red lines on her scalp.  She commented about how they hurt. 

Oh why didn't I think of that?  Next time sun, you won't get us.  I'll be armed!


So this momma is on the hunt and heading to the store to get the safest sunscreens for my family.  I thought other mommas would like to check out the information below to arm themselves with weapons against lobster red sun-induced burns.  

Happy sunburn-free summer!  May your days be filled with joy, laughter and memories of a lifetime!

Here is the Environmental Working List's 2011 list of the best/safest sunscreens.  And just to make sure you're not using the potentially dangerous sunscreens on your precious babies, here is a link to the EWL's hall of shame sunscreens.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little Miss Manners

Sunday afternoon I went to a parenting class called "Getting Ready for Summer."  I am always looking for ways to empower myself and enlighten my children!  It is my goal in life to raise children that are not only book-educated but equipped with life skills that will help them have a beautiful life that is rooted in God's love and grace.  And that is what we are doing this summer and every summer to come.

So I am embarking on a little summer journey to transform my little ladies into little miss manners.  We started tonight by learning how to set the table.  Two little ladies were absolutely thrilled to set the table and help with dinner.  

The Table Manners We Are Learning This Summer:

Comes to the table on time.
Knows how to correctly set a table.
Sits up straight.
Places napkin on her lap.
Takes his hat off.
Makes only positive comments about food.
Waits for the hostess to sit before serving or eating.
Puts modest portions on his plate.
Keeps elbows off table.
Knows how to use utensils correctly.
Chews with her mouth closed.
Doesn't talk with food in her mouth.
Places knife and fork sideways on plate when finished.
Asks to be excused before leaving the table.
Offers to help the hostess.
Thanks the hostess before leaving.

My oldest, 1 of 3, does many of the items on the list already.  It sure does make her beam to think that she already has great manners.  Manners fit for a princess.  And my 3 year old is becoming interested in helping in the kitchen and having polite manners too.

Summer fun times!!!