I'm Linda, child of God, happily married to my Sweets, we have six children ages 15, 14, 13 ,12, 11 and a 9yr. old. They keep life fun! I enjoy blogging our days for the children. I usually have two cups of coffee. One in the morning and one while I blog. My favorite colors are brown, baby blue and pink. Hope you enjoy your visit!
And please visit my Lilla Rose store: http://www.lillarose.biz/homeschooling6
About five years ago I went the no-poo route. I don’t like the word ‘poo’ so I prefer to say I stopped using store bought shampoos. The ones with all the chemicals.
My journey started with me using the baking soda wash and apple cider vinegar rinse. I did this for two years! Chemicals didn’t touch my hair at all!
The first weeks my hair was yucky and tangley but I kept with it. Eventually my hair came around and liked my new regimen. I had softer hair.
I no longer combed my hair with a brush either. I switched to a wide tooth comb. I gently worked the comb through my tangles.
I also read and read about thick, long, curly, frizzy, hair. Someone mentioned the Curly Girl website. There is a forum someplace. I haven’t visited in years and haven’t found it, but here is another website. You can also google Curly Girls to find out more.
After a time though my hair went through a funk stage. It was greasy and yucky. So I gave in and washed my hair with store bought shampoo. About this time I started purchasing semi-natural shampoos with organic ingredients.
I gave in and washed my hair but my hair washing totally changed. I went from (before I stopped using shampoo) using store bought shampoo every, single, day, and tons of conditioner too. Now I wash my hair every 4 days and have not used conditioner in years!
My latest hair discovery is the Morroco Method way of brushing hair. I haven’t used a brush since 2009! That is until I purchased a boar brush. I now brush my hair almost every day. It’s part of my bedtime routine.
I’ve also been wanting to dye my hair. I haven’t yet (other than my one time dye 20 years ago) because I don’t want to use anything with chemicals. So I was happy when I read Lauren’s blog: Empowered Sustenance and found her post about Henna (scroll down to #11).
I ordered some to try and loved it. My hair had less tangles and was so much softer. You can read my Henna experience HERE.
My hair is naturally curly (and frizzy) and once I stopped using store bought shampoo my curls were coming out again. Before they were, how should I put it, pretty stretched, you know more straight then curly.
But when I used the Henna my curls really popped as they say. I wanted to really nourish my hair so I did a Henna treatment every week for a month than every two weeks.
I did my last Henna treatment 7/8/14 and will now only do them every 3 months.
The Morrocco Method suggest snipping your hair every so often. So a month after my husband snipped maybe an inch at the most of my hair. And oh my, this really got my curls showing. My hair was also a lot shorter even though my hair was just barely cut (a tiny bit).
To tell you the truth I didn’t believe that cutting less than an inch of hair could be so good.
The Morrocco Method shampoos and conditioners are so natural that you can use the Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo to wash your face and the Diamond Crystal and Voluminzer spritz conditioners as a toner. Just spritz on your face.
I still am washing my hair with honey water and other homemade shampoos and use coconut oil as a leave in conditioner. With that said, I’m happy I found a truly good for my hair products for the times when I want to ‘spoil’ my hair. They are so safe you can eat them but it’s highly recommended you don’t !
Here is my hair after 6 Henna treatments and two weeks after Curl Power.
And that is where I am at with my natural hair journey.
One last thing, if you brush your hair daily using a boar brush that helps spread the oils and to my surprise it’s like washing your hair, so you don’t have to wash everyday. Your natural oils are a good thing.
Do you use a more natural way to shampoo and condition your hair? Do you make your own shampoo? If so I’d love to hear about it.
It’s quick and easy to make, just 3 ingredients. Kerrygold Butter, coffee, and MCT Oil.
It’s not exactly Atkins, hee,hee. As I’ve written before, I’m not a morning-breakfast eater. And sometimes a nice cup of java made the Bulletproof way with a low-carb blueberry muffin is what works.
It’s strange but some mornings when I have my Bulletproof Coffee I feel satisfied. Other days I add a muffin. Not sure why that happens as the coffee is pretty filling. Most times though I only have the coffee.
Here is my Bulletproof Coffee when it’s an on the go breakfast! Not the prettiest cup but I don’t end up with coffee on my shirt.
Here’s how I make mine.
Put your brewed coffee in the blender, add 1Tbls butter, 1TBL MCT Oil, blend on high, pour coffee into mug and enjoy a nice cup of java.
I felt like having some muffins today so I pulled my Trim Healthy Mama book off the shelf. There were a few recipes I wanted to try. One was Blueberry Coconut Muffins on page 261.
It has taken me a while to try this recipe because of having to grind my own dried coconut (lazy, I know). I had some shredded coconut in the freezer that I purchased months ago for this recipe.
I have enjoyed many of the Trim Healthy Mama recipes but one little bother for me is how words like, pinch of this, splash of that, swirl, two shakes or three shakes, etc. are used. We all have different strength behind those shakes, haha, but I’m learning.
My brain doesn’t work well that way.I need exact measurements or at least something like, “1/4-1/2 tsp”.
This recipe says to grind the dried coconut until the blades won’t turn anymore. Um, okay . . .
Does that mean I’m suppose to have pressed-chunked coconut or fine coconut flour. Sometimes I think the sisters forget that they have been cooking this way for years and are speaking to an audience (at least for me) that haven’t. (I started my low-carb lifestyle January of 2013)
Back to the recipe, thankfully the next line says “Take 2 1/2 cups of the ground fine flour” so that gave me a hint.
My flour looked like this when I was done.
Here’s how I made the muffins adding in exact measurements:
Put 2 1/2 cups of the ground flour in a bowl Add 1/2 cup golden ground flax meal,1 Tbl baking powder (aluminum free), 2TBL + 2 tsp of Trim Healthy Mama Sweet Blend or sweetener of your choice Use your hands to rub all ingredients to get all those lumps out. I actually used a whisk. I did have a few small ones here and there.
Now for the wet ingredients
2 eggs (the recipe calls for 4 egg whites or 1/2 100% carton egg whites but I prefer the whole egg and it came out fine, really moist). 1 cup water 1 Tbs coconut oil
Blend all the wet ingredients. Add to dry ingredients. Mix and add some blueberries. I added 1 cup of the little blueberries from Costco.
I spooned these into cupcake liners. I got about 12 small muffins. I think next time I’ll put more into the muffin liners to make 9 muffins and double the recipe for a total of 18.
Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 35 minutes
Only two came out looking like they puffed a bit. The two in the first picture above, so adding more to the muffin liner I think will take care of the size.
The rest pretty much stayed how I put them in the liner.
The lighter ones are the Blueberry Coconut Muffins. They came out really moist and tasted good. I will not be lazy anymore and will make them more often.
I liked the Blueberry Coconut Muffins more than the Light White Muffins but both were good.
The Light White Muffins call for a food processor which I don’t have. The first time I made these I stirred the batter. Not a good idea. When I took my first bite I nearly choked on the dryness.
So I made them again but this time used my Vitamix and they came out much better. Mine didn’t come out as moist as the Blueberry Coconut Muffins but the texture was much better using the Vitamix.
Lesson to self: don’t hand stir the batter when making Light White Muffins because they won’t come out light =)
I added a cup of mini frozen blueberries from Costco and that is why they are more like Light Green Muffins, hehe.
I don’t own a lot of jewelry and I don’t wear much either. Usually if I have money it goes for food and books! I love books! If I’m saving up for a big ticket item it will go for something like my Vitamix or Cannon EOS Rebel T3 (used my babysitting money).
But I do have two rings that I wear everyday. My wedding ring and my mom ring.
I’m so thankful that I can now wear them too! Thanks to Atkins! Yay! Before I lost weight I was not able to wear either of these rings. The only way I’d be able to wear my wedding ring was if the weather was just right. Definitely not during the summer months.
Now that I’ve lost weight my rings are actually loose, even when it’s a 100 degrees outside.
I love hearts as you can probably see. Lupe bought me the mom ring before all the children were born as a Mother’s Day gift. I can’t remember how many we had at the time but I do know it was before the last two were born.
I still remember the day Lupe and I bought my wedding ring. We went to look for rings together. Once I saw the heart shaped ring, I knew it was the one! Lupe wasn’t so sure. I’m sad to say we left the ring sitting in the display case.
I’m the type of person that knows, that’s it! Where Lupe is the ‘make sure it’s the one you want’ type. Meaning we’ll keep looking.
I was so sad to leave it. I had never seen a heart shape ring like that before.
Thankfully a few weeks later after looking at many other rings, Lupe knew which ring I wanted and we went back (over an hour away) to see if the heart ring was still there.
Thank the Lord it was. I was so relieved and excited. I’ve treasured my wedding ring ever since. Now we won’t go into the story of how I lost it for a year, that’s for another post!
Joshua has been battling acne. He’s going through the teen years and although his dad and I didn’t get pimples as much as Josh has, he’s got them. I thought it was genetics and my children would maybe go through a mild case of teen acne. I guess not because Joshua doesn’t have a mild case.
He’s my son and it hurts my mama heart to see him go through this. I know it could be something worse or even a more severe case of acne but still. I know he’s self-conscious about it little.
He’s not embarrassed to leave the house thank goodness but he has asked why he has acne and his friends don’t.
A few weeks ago he came to me asking for help. I don’t want to use chemicals on his face so I dug out my Crunchy Betty book I purchased this a while ago but hadn’t used any of her remedies for acne.
I also visited Lauren’s blog: Empowered Sustenance. She always has some good reads about natural cleansers, toners, and such. In fact it was because of her that I started using honey on my face.
Since I’ve been trying to go chemical free I had a lot of the ingredients like tea tree oil, lavender, jojoba oil, etc.
There were some new ones that I hadn’t purchased like, Tamanu oil, carrot seed oil, grape seed oil, primrose oil, clay, etc.
Joshua’s basic daily regimen goes something like this:
In the morning Josh uses raw honey mask. He puts about a half teaspoon of raw honey in the palm of his hand with a few drops of tea tree oil. Massages all over his face. Waits 5-10 minutes and washes it off. He spritzes a homemade toner of raw apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, water, and which hazel (it stinks but he doesn’t complain), lastly he dabs on carrot seed oil.
Before bed he does an oil cleansing. He mixes jojoba oil, caster oil, and tee tree oil in the palm of his hands. He massages and works the oil into his skin. Once done he steams by wetting a washcloth with hot water. Puts it over his face and repeats a few times. He then uses the washcloth to wipe off the oil and ends with a cool washcloth to close those pores. Lastly he puts Tamanu Oil to heal his skin and diminish the scarring.
Throughout the day as needed he spritz cool chamomile tea mixed with organic green tea. I also froze some using mini candy mold that I had. You can also use a regular ice try, just fill the squared half way or less.
He will use the frozen tea mix on his enflamed skin by rubbing it across his face.
Once a week he uses some sort of mask. So far he’s only used the Aspirin Mask which is semi natural and clay one.
Josh also knows that his diet plays a role with healing his face. He doesn’t eat as much processed foods and sugar as most kids but he does get his fair share unfortunately. He’s been trying to eat less sugary foods and bread. This is where I need to step in and really start having less foods like breads and tortillas .
Josh also makes a dessert every Friday using organic cane sugar and organic white flour. I need to stop being lazy and find some healthy alternatives for the men in my life.
Annette, she’s easy when it comes to eating stevia, almond flour, and coconut flour, but the boys can taste the difference. Although they all loved my Healthified Pumpkin Pie.
We are praying that our more natural approach to fighting teen acne will work for Josh. I told him it will take time. It has been almost three weeks and we’ve noticed some improvement.
For a few days his skin was looking smoother (although it still had scarring) but then bam! He had a major breakout again.
I encourage him letting him know it takes time.
I’d like to try Crunchy Betty’s Detoxifying Honey Facial Mask. I don’t have the activated charcoal but will get some next month and give it a whirl.
We did get rid of his wart with raw apple cider vinegar. Every night we placed a piece of cotton saturated with ACV and put it over the wart he had with a band aid holing it in place. 3 weeks later it’s gone, yay, go Josh!
That’s where we are at with my eldest teenager (wow, I have 3 teenagers).
We won’t start our new school year until January of 2015. This year I’ve been working to start our school years in January instead of September.
This way we can enjoy the holidays without a heavy school load. We will take 3 weeks off this summer because of our vacation then start right back up. Work through the middle of November.
In November we’ll do ‘summer’ school. Meaning we will have a lighter load. Maybe math and reading.
December we will continue with a few subjects and finally the first two weeks of January we’ll do no school at all. Just read, read, and read. At least that’s what I’ll be doing.
In the middle of January we’ll start our new school year.
That is our plan for my 7th and 8th grade boys.
Speaking of grades, just to make things easier their actual 7th and 8th grade year will start in January but I’m calling them a 7th grader and 8th grader now. It just makes things simple for AWANA, Sunday School, and such.
Moving Beyond the Page offers subjects in math, social studies, language arts, and science. You can purchase Moving Beyond the Page as a complete curriculum package or use a few units to add to your current program.
Caleb 14 and Brent 13 years old the Online Language Arts package: Bull Run. This package includes online access to the guide, a hardback book: Pink and Say, and a softcover book: Bull Run.
Price: $35.91 Age Range: 10-12
Each Moving Beyond the Page unit is intended to be completed in 3 weeks. With Bull Run we did complete it in that time but the social studies unit: Slavery and the Civil War took us longer. Some lesson we split up to last 4 days. If interested you can read how we used both units and what we called, Moving Beyond the Page School. I had a lot of fun recording our days.
The online access we used with the Language Arts unit: Bull Run. Once you activate the unit you have 90 days to complete it. 90 days is plenty of time and what I like about this is it keeps me on track. At times I can push history or science to the bottom of our homeschooling list.
With the online access you can use the unit with multiple students. With my boys we did this together so I was the one reading what we were to do and printing the activity pages we would need but this can be done by the child as well.
Moving Beyond the Page does a wonderful job with keeping everything organized and attainable for the students.
Each lesson has an introduction which explains what is happening for that time period, what they need to gather, ideas to think about, and things to know.
Once the child has read they can click the activities button below and continue with the lesson.
In this unit the parts of speech that the boys focused on was verbs: identify and properly use present perfect, past perfect, future perfect verb forms, and how to properly use them.
Your child will also examine reasons for a character's actions, explain the roles and functions of characters in various plots, including their relationships and conflicts, Analyze the characteristics of argumentative works, and so much more!
Throughout the unit your child will not only complete activity pages but also do some hands on learning. For instance my two boys each made their own propaganda poster where they had to grab the readers attention and influence the ‘public’ about the events of the war and influence his/her way of thinking.
We also sang songs, read real diary entries and even made a ‘quilt’ of the characters of Bull Run.
Caleb and Brent made the quilt together. One completed the character squares of the South and the other the North. They had to write the name of the character, who they were, and draw a picture that identified who the person was or they could find a picture in a magazine or online.
We all loved the books that are included in this unit. Pink and Say is a lovely book that really tugs at your heart strings. I wanted to scoop the two young boys (way too young to be fighting in a war) up and keep them safe. You know us mamas.
Bull Run did a wonderful job with presenting people from both sides of the Civil War. Both books really brought out the characters. My boys were able to see that both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ side were people, they were real people who had moms, dads, sisters, brothers, wives, and cared for their cause and country.
The boys may not have agreed with a certain side but I loved that they were able to see each side as a group of people who paid dearly for what the believed in.
As I was reading Bull Run, I’d often stop after reading about a character and ask questions or we’d discuss more about that person. What they lost, how they felt, how they changed, and so forth.
Because you’re studying about history we almost forgot that this was a Language Arts unit, it was so fun.
I liked how the grammar was incorporated into real books. One assignment was to have the children find helping verbs in some of the pages of Pink and Say. Other times they had to write a few sentences about the Civil War using the grammar they learned.
I would have appreciated more activity sheets for grammar. I would have also liked to have had a file with an answer key, examples of writing assignments, and just some more hand-holding with the grammar.
With that said, I’d still like to try a few more of the Language Arts units, like Number the Stars.
My Final Thoughts for This Unit:
I loved it. The boys really enjoyed it as well. I liked that the boys were not only reading books but also had plenty of hands on assignments. They practiced their Language Arts skills by making posters, writing about the characters via a quilt, wrote sentences using what they learned, and the best part, it didn’t feel like all book work. Especially when Moving Beyond the Page has you singing war songs, coloring maps, and locating the characters and organizing them on their maps (which I loved because they would refer to the map of characters as we read Bull Run).
Moving Beyond the Page: Industrialization, Urbanization, and Immigration a Social Studies Unit
The next unit we were privileged to review was for Annette. This unit came with a physical curriculum guide which contained a Parent Overview in the back, consumable activity pages, and instructions written to the child.
Also included was a nice hardback book titled: We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History and a very interesting DVD that all my children enjoyed: America The Story of US
Just a quick note about the DVD: All my children ages 9-16 watched America the Story of Us it does show some graphic war scenes that may not be suitable for younger viewers.
Price: $74.97 Age Range: 12-14
I’d like to bring to your attention that the book and DVD used in this unit are also used in at least 4 other units. You may need to purchase another book as some require 3 books but just the fact that they are utilized in more than one unit is wonderful all I need to do is purchase the guide and we are set to study another Moving Beyond the Page unit!
Each lesson has a:
~ “Getting Started” introduction of what was happening in that time period. ~Stuff You Need: which activity pages, required book, and materials. ~Ideas to Think About: thought provoking questions. ~Things to Know: Interesting facts about what was going on. ~Activities: these are the assignments.
Each lesson is set up the same which helps with familiarity of the curriculum guide. Some activities has your child taking notes, writing observations about photos, watching clips of history and reading articles from links provide by Moving Beyond the Page.
In this social studies unit your child is doing so much more than reading a book and answering questions. In lesson two, activity 2 Annette was to explore at least four exhibits. As she went through each exhibit she recorded her reactions using the activity pages provided.
A few of the pages with Annette’s recorded reactions.
In on lesson she was assigned to watch the DVD and she had to take notes as well. The note pages are provided in the guide.
Annette was introduced to Rose Cohen and Joseph Miliuaskas two children who worked in a sweatshop. She was then instructed to imagine that she had a friend who needed help finding a job. Annette had to think about how she would give her friend a clear sense of potential benefits. There are questions provided to help her do this.
What I like is the questions get the child’s mind thinking. The gears in their brains are turning. Moving Beyond the Page doesn’t just ask how did the character feel. The questions dig deeper, for example: What was the job like, what are your hours, what do you do, what are the conditions, and how are you treated by the people you work for?
These questions really flesh out what Annette read and watched. Many times she would come to me and talk about what she had learned and ask more questions. I could tell that this unit really sparked her interest because she was going to the library and checking or more books of this time period. I thought that was great.
One thing that Annette pointed out to me was she thought that unit presented the side of the people more than the business owners. She whole heartedly agreed that the people needed better work conditions and the children were way too young many times.
There were plenty of resources that helped her understand the people but not many for what the business owners where going through as well.
But all this was good. Her gears were turning and she was considering both sides. The people and the business owners.
My Final Thoughts for this Unit
I loved that this unit got my daughter thinking. She really learned a lot and Moving Beyond the Page had many ways for her to understand what was going on. She read the book provided, read online resources, watched the DVD, Moving Beyond the Page provided internet links that she could watch, see, and even interact with.
Annette enjoyed the different projects and how engaging (<---her own word) the program was. She liked how the program was not just book reading. It had a variety of ways to learn so it wasn’t pencil to paper all the time.
Moving Beyond the Page is a wonderful way to spice up the year. If you are looking to take a month off from your regular studies but still want to get school in, especially in a fun and engaging way, you might want to give a unit or two a try. You can view some samples to see if Moving Beyond the Page will work for you.
So I went back to the drawing board . I kept thinking, what if I replace the milk that is called for in the regular recipes with coconut milk. Hmmm . . .
Well, I finally decided to give it a whirl and you know what?!?! The whole family loved it! My husband taste tested and loved the texture of it. It was just like a ‘regular’ pumpkin pie.
I also changed the crust and this one really came out yummy. It’s not a crust that you roll out, maybe it’s more like a crumble.
Start with the crumble crust because you want to bake it before adding the pumpkin filling.
This recipe makes two deep dish pies.
Almond Crumble Crust
2 1/4 cups almond flour 2/3 cup coconut oil 2 tsp. apple pie spice 1 tsp. ginger 1 tsp. cinnamon (I used true cinnamon) 2/3 to 1 tsp. of Trim Healthy Mama Sweet Blend or sweetener of choice Pinch of Himalayan Salt (the pink one)
1.Divide dough and place in your deep pie dish. 2.Put some butter or coconut oil on hands and press the dough out and toward the edge of the pie dish. The oil on your hands helps so the dough won’t stick. 3.Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes maybe a little longer. The 'dough' will not be stiff. You can also replace the coconut oil with butter or do a combination of both if using only coconut oil seems like too much. Experiment with the spices to get it just right for you and your family.
It doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through but enough to take the weight of the pumpkin filling.
Let cool before adding the filling.
Pie Filling, this is basically the recipe on the back of the Libby Pumpkin Pie can.
1 cup Xylitol 2 tsp. Trim Healthy Mama Sweet Blend 3 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice 4 eggs 1 29oz can of pure pumpkin 3 cups coconut milk (full fat from the can) I used Sprout’s brand
1. Mix Xylitol, THM Blend, & pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. 2. In a large bowl beat eggs, add pumpkin, gently add in the coconut milk (I use a whisk to mix it in), and sugar mixture. 3. Pour over the prepared almond crumble crust and bake in preheated 425 degrees oven for 15 minutes. 4. Reduce temperature to 350* and bake for another 50 minutes or until your toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean.
I had to bake my pie a little extra then the remaining 50 minutes. Maybe for another 10 minutes. When I checked my pie by inserting a butter knife in the middle, it didn’t come out completely clear. The edges did but not the center. I took it out and figured it would continue cooking for a little while.
Let pie cool, cover with plastic wrap or foil and place in the fridge over night. In my opinion pumpkin pie always taste better the next day.
The Almond Crumble Crust will fall apart some if it’s not completely cook. Still taste yummy though!
I wanted to stay as close to the recipe on the can so I used a low glycemic ‘sugar’ that could take the place of sugar one for one ratio. The original Libby recipe did say 1 1/2 cups sugar but I didn’t want to use that much Xylitol when I could use less of another sweetener. I was thinking $$$$ (dollar signs ). You can also top with coconut whipped cream (scroll down for recipe)
I don’t feel guilty serving up some Healthified Pumpkin Pie! The kids actually ask for this healthy dessert. Next, I am going to play around with a coconut flour crust.