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Schoolhouse Review: BrainFood Learning

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I have a house full of boys and one in particular we call Nature Boy because he loves to spend time outside watching the squirrels and/or catching insects.

As a Schoolhouse Crew Review member I had the opportunity to review The Fascinating World of Insects presented by BrainFood Learning. The target age for this 43 minute DVD is 3-11 and the cost is $14.99.
insects
The Fascinating World of Insects DVD captures each insect up close in their original habitat. Your child will learn facts about bees, different beetles, the famous praying mantis, the annoying mosquitoes, the beautiful butterfly and dragonfly (my favorite), as well as the busy ants and the impressive water strider. Your child will learn the common name of each insect and the scientific name. Be sure they are listening because at the end of DVD there will be a quiz.

I watched The Fascinating World of Insects with my 8, 10, 11, and 12 year old boys. They were fascinated with the videography and pictures of the insects and we all enjoyed watching this DVD. My boys wanted more facts about the insects though. They each said what was shown on the video was what they already knew and it was, they all aced the quiz. With that said, the DVD is very well made, we all enjoyed it but we also agreed it’s for a younger audience. Maybe more like ages 3-9. It could be that my children need to watch The Fascinating World of Birds and/or The Fascinating World of Mammals. Those are two areas that we haven’t watched, studied and observed as much as the insects.
You can watch a 3 minute preview of each video on their website. You’ll need to scroll down a little because it’s at the bottom of the page.

My final thoughts: Beautifully well done and if my children were younger I know they would have watched it often. If you are studying insects and want an educational video to go along with it, The Fascinating World of Insects would be a good addition to your homeschool.

The Schoolhouse Crew Review had the opportunity to review all three DVDs, so please click on the banner below to read more, thank you!
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THM Special Occasion Chocolate Cake

I have been wanting to make this cake for months, but have been too lazy. It’s much easier to just grab an Atkins bar or make a muffin in a mug. This time I wanted to make something the whole family could enjoy, so no Atkins bar or MIM.

After completing my 2nd Fuel Cycle I decided it was time to make a Special Occasion kind of cake Winking smile. It was worth my time and all 10 eggs, yes 10 eggs.

Trim Healthy Mama Cake

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup coconut flour (store bought)
  • 1/2 cup ground golden flax
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp baking soda
  • 3-4TBL Truvia and 1/4 tsp Nunaturals or your own sweetener
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cans of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla (the book says ‘generous dash’)

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. I used a whisk to get any lumps out. You can rub ingredient between the palms of your hands but the whisk worked fine for me.

In a blender add all the wet ingredients, eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk, and vanilla. Blend well.

Combine ingredients in bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. While waiting grease pans with coconut oil.

Divide mixture in two 8 inch round pans and bake @ 350 for 1 hour. I checked my cake after 50 minutes and it was done.

Let cakes cool before trying to remove from cake pans.

Icing for Cake ingredients:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 omega-3 eggs
  • 1TBL Pure Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • Sweeten to taste. If using Nunaturals 1/8-1/4 tsp. depending on how sweet you want it. I used 1/8.
  • 3/4 cup virgin coconut oil (use the best you can afford to get the most nutrients possible)

Put all ingredients in a blender, blend, put in a container and chill in the refrigerator.

It’s suppose to thicken as hard as butter but mine didn’t. The next day it was still soft, not super soft but spreadable. I liked that it didn’t get really hard though.

This frosting taste so good that I’ve been known to eat a few teaspoons straight from the jar. Yum and good for you too!

Trim Healthy Mama

The cake was hubby and children approved!!! Some liked the frosting and others didn’t so I decided to keep it as two cakes instead of layering it.

Trim Healthy Mama

Trim Healthy Mama recipe.

Fuel Cycle Mini {July 26th-30th}

Mini Fuel Cycle

This week is a mini Fuel Cycle for me. I was originally going to do a two week but I didn’t want to end a FC while on my cycle (hehe). A Mini Fuel Cycle is 2 day of Deep S, 1 day FP, and 1 day E. A few online friends introduced me to a Mini Fuel Cycle.

Friday: Deep S
Weight: 139.4

Breakfast: Bulleproof Coffee
Lunch: Zucchini Fritters w/a Zevia
Snack: Bulletproof coffee (yum)
Dinner: Steak w/leafy greens
Snack: Cake in a mug

I was somewhat discouraged to have gained. I know it’s what ones body naturally does during this time but I loved seeing the scale at 137-138. I was so close to my 5lb loss goal weight but I can’t fret. I just need to move on. Today is a new day!

I’m doing so much better. The minute I had my Bulletproof coffee made with my yummy coconut oil my body was happy. I felt the difference. Content, satisfied, and in high spirits. Something that I was lacking for a few days.

During the past two days I had been craving good fats, not sweets or carbs but coconut oil and some eggs. It’s amazing how our bodies will tell us what it needs if we listen. Unfortunately I didn’t listen and my wonderful hubby and sweet kids had to live with me, a harried women for two days.

Saturday: Deep S
Weight: 137.6

Breakfast: Bulletproof coffee
Lunch: Eggs with corned beef (I know it’s not the best meat but it’s another thing I’ve been wanting for days!) Salad.
Snack: Cake in a mug
Dinner: In-N-Out double-double with no bun or sauce/Saxby’s sugar free coffee made with cream instead of milk.

I was happy to see my weight drop. I know it went up because of the time of month but still it’s no fun to see.

Had a wonderful date with hubby and as I mentioned before my deep S days are more Atkins style. During the Fuel Cycle I don’t have tomatoes, avocados, etc. to stay within the Fuel Cycle rules but I do go a bit heavier on the calories, especially if we are out-and-about.

Sunday: Fuel Pull
Weight: 138.2

Breakfast: Greek Yogurt with raspberries
Lunch: Mexican Cottage Cheese Salad w/greens
Snack: Muffin in a Bowl
Dinner: Chicken over leafy greens

When Fuel Cycling I have a hard time with Fuel Pull days. My body wants good yummy fats. Can’t wait to have some coconut oil.

Monday: E
Weight: 137.6

Breakfast: Coffee and Sip the Shrinker a new drink recipe from Serene. Consist of Cayenne, vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon, sweetened to taste, and oolong tea. It’s very good. Taste like a chai tea.
Lunch: Waldorf Salad tweaked to fit an E day with lots of greens
Dinner: Slow Cooked Chicken

I was off to the pet store this morning with the kids and took my Sip the Shrinker drink. It’s very good

Weigh in after a 2 week FC with a mini attached: 137.4

Week 1 and Week 2 Fuel Cycle. My start weight for this FC was 142.6, I lost 5.2lbs. Yay, my goal was to lose 5lbs. My first Fuel Cycle that I started June 10th I weighed 148.6. Two FC later I’m down a total of 11.2lbs.

Crunchy Betty Honey Challenge

Crunchy Betty's Honey Challenge
I’m taking the clean your face with raw honey challenge. The challenge is old and over but I thought I’d do it anyway.
I have been meaning to stop purchasing face cleansers, even the organic ones. Lately I’ve been washing my face with coconut oil (some say it clogs pores but that hasn’t been the case with me).
One day I was visiting Lauren’s blog (amazing little lady) and she mentioned that she uses honey in the morning as a face mask.
Well of course I had to try it and her blog led me to Crunchy Betty, her blog is full of homemade goodies for your face. In fact I purchased her E-book and look forward to experimenting later after my ‘honey’ challenge.
Food on Your Face
 
Here I am with my honey mask. I started a few days ago.
 
Honey Mask
You’ll want to use raw honey. I use mega raw, like in its solid form Winking smile.
 
I use about 1/2 tsp. rub it gently over my face. I then go make my coffee and about 10 minutes later I’m ready to exfoliate. I wet my fingertips and again, gently rub my face. The little sugar/honey granules acts like a face scrub. Once most of the honey granules are dissolved I rinse the rest off.
 
These two are good because they haven’t been heated so high and haven’t lost all their goodness.
Raw Honey
So far so good with using honey. I love it. The only problem is I want to lick my lips, a no-no for this low glycemic mama!
 
Speaking of licking honey I hope to add honey back into my diet. I’m going to experiment once I reach goal weight. Not sure how or what will happen but I miss honey.
 
Well that’s it for now.
I’m off to see if I have enough ingredients to bake a healthy, low-carb cake. First time ever for me to actually bake a cake. I’ve made lots of mug kind of cakes but nothing bigger than that.

Window Shot

While I was washing dishes I looked out the window and saw . . .

Work

I love seeing my boys working along side their dad. Joshua was helping breakup the sidewalk and Caleb getting buckets of dirt.

We would love to make way for a new sidewalk but will have to plant grass. Either way it will look so much nicer. I have been wanting to get rid of the crooked, cracked, and hazardous sidewalk for years.

I took the picture from inside the house.

Fuel Cycle Week 2 {July 19-25}

Trim Healthy Mama

Friday: Deep S
Week 2/Day 1
Weight: 139.8

Breakfast: Zucchini Fritters (P. 217), coffee w/cream and stevia
Lunch: Chicken salad with lots of greens (eating at a friends house), Zevia Cream Soda
Dinner: Zucchini Fritters, cake in a mug, coffee w/cream and stevia

Today we were away from the house for most of the day visiting a church friend. I packed my lunch and enjoyed some fellowship. The kids had so much fun as well.

My supper was very filling and delicious. Drank lots of ACV water sweetened with stevia.

Saturday: Deep S
Week 2/Day 2
Weight: 139.4

Breakfast: Zucchini Fritters (pg. 217) Bulletproof coffee
Lunch: Chicken salad with greens (chicken salad has mayo)
Dinner: (date night, most likely a burger or steak)

Sunday: Deep S
Week 2/Day 3
Weight: 139.8

Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee
Lunch: Hamburger at Wendy’s without the bun
Dinner: Roast with veggies

Monday: Fuel Pull
Week 2/Day 4
Weight: 137.8

Breakfast: Berries with yogurt
Lunch: Mexican Cottage Cheese Salad with leafy greens
Snack: Big Man Smoothie
Dinner: Mini Meatloaves with greens
Snack: Muffin in a bowl

I stepped on the scale today happy to see I went from 139.8 to 137.8. Hope I’m in the 137’s tomorrow but not holding my breath. That seems too good to be true (especially with it happening overnight). When I went to bed last night I stepped on the scale and was surprised when it showed that I weighed 2oz less then when I woke.

Drank ACV water, Calm water (this is a magnesium and calcium powdered supplement)

Tuesday: Fuel Pull
Week 2/Day 5
Weight: 138.0

Breakfast: Yogurt with berries
Lunch: Mexican Cottage Cheese Salad with greens
Snack: Muffin in a bowl
Dinner: Sweet & Spicy Asian Stir-fry (noodles for family and Kojac noodles for me) pg. 341
Snack: Muffin in a bowl with coffee. I needed more chocolate today.

Wednesday: E Meal
Week 2/Day 6
Weight: 140.0

Breakfast: Trim Healthy Pancakes with Jam
Lunch: Waldorf Cottage Cheese and Apple salad (no nuts)
Dinner: Balsamic Chicken pg. 324

Thursday: E Meal
Week 2/Day 7
Weight: 139.2

Breakfast: Trim Healthy Pancakes with jam
Lunch: Waldorf Cottage Salad
Snack: Muffin in a bowl
Dinner: Crockpot Chicken Ideas, E Mexican Style pg. 313

I’m quite boring with my meals. I find what works and I enjoy and stick with it until I find something else.

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As you can see I had a big spike up with my weight. At least for this mama it was a big spike, no huge. I was down to 137 and could almost taste being at my 130 goal weight.

I don’t like to write about this but it was that time of the month. It was a mean one this time around. I could feel I was holding some water, especially in my legs. They just felt heavy and I spent a lot of time in bed.

My body on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday was craving some good nourishing fats like coconut oil, olive oil, cream, scrambled eggs in butter, and a T-bone steak Winking smile I wanted to give me what my body needed but I also had a fuel cycle to complete. That’s when is gets confusing. I made a commitment with completing a Fuel Cycle but listening to ones body is very important and isn’t that the real goal, to understand what your body needs? I just felt torn and chose to continue with my Fuel Cycle. I don’t know if it was the right decision but what’s done is done and tomorrow will be a very nourishing day for me.

As you can see weight wise it was not good. I only lost 2oz but that’s okay, my body was also going through a lot as well.

Tomorrow I’ll give my body what it wants and start another Fuel Cycle, Deep S day. Yay, Bulletproof coffee here I come. This next FC will be what some of my HTM calls a mini, 2 days of Deep S, 1 Fuel Pull day and 1 E day then back to freestyling. The ‘mini’ fuel cycle is not a true FC but I don’t want to end this one while on my cycle if you know what I mean.

TOS Summer School

Yesterday I was suppose to get some summer schooling done with the kiddos. I forgot that I had an appointment so instead we started today.

I didn’t get too much done. I had planned on getting some Latin, ABeCeDarian Reading, and a few other subjects done. With it being summer and all the kids will get a call from church friends and off they go which is fine with me. Last Friday we had a great time fellowshipping with a church family, yesterday Joshua went to his friends house for a few hours and today the boys headed to church and met up with some friends for a nerf war.

Summers are special times and I don’t mind if our days are interrupted (not a good word because they are really not interrupting at all).

Here is what we did get done, Honing Your Study Skills by Hands of a Child. Caleb and Annette are working on this one.
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This is not a review but was the only subject I completed with Lance.
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This packet he worked on before school was out. Since it’s been so long I thought we’d start with it again and work our way through a few more before our homeschool gets going in the fall. You can find this reading program at This Reading Mama, she has lots of neat stuff.
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And um, that was all. The older children are starting math again. I was going to work with Lance but I let him go with the boys. They had so much fun.
Look what came today!
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Annette and I will start this tomorrow. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew item from Doorposts. The actual book will have a lay flat binding. Doesn’t it look so pretty. I can’t wait to dive in with my daughter.
And that was our short school day.

Back from the Trash

My hubby gets good gifts from well meaning children. Normally I’m okay with his snack gifts but lately I’ve been really trying to NOT let him have some of the junk. My Sweets is really good about sharing though and of course he’s an adult and can have whatever he wants but we make it a family joke. Crunchy Mama verses Not so Crunchy Hubby type of thing.

When I was cleaning out one of the food cupboards look what I found.

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It was half full so I tossed it in the trash and thought nothing of it since. Well lo and behold guess what popped up a few days later. The same bag of Mini Oreo Bites. Come to find out I have a little trash digger named Lance. He happened to see it in the trash and knew dad would really appreciate it if he rescued the bag.

Mama was caught and we all had a good laugh.

Schoolhouse Review: Homeschool Programming

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Homeschool Programming has recently released their first semester of Kid Coder: Beginning Web Design. The second semester program, Kid Coder: Advanced Web Design will be out in August as well as an accompanying Instructional DVD ($20.00).

Kid Coder: Beginning Web Design is recommended for grades 4th-12 and cost $70.00.

My children were very excited to know that we were going to review Kid Coder as they have been very interested in learning all things computer this past school year. I also believe that children should get as much computer learning as possible.

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Kid Coder: Beginning Web Design is not a dry textbook full of words. This would totally confuse me and I’m sure the children would lose interest. Instead it’s a hands on course. What appeals to my children and myself is the visual aspect of the program and the step-by-step instructions.

Work with Me Page

And who couldn’t resist a cute mouse! I’m very visual and like cute characters too!

Custe Mouse

What will you and your child learn? Yes, I learned right along with my children on this one.

The 1st semester course has 13 chapters:

Each chapter as lessons that can be completed daily. For instance with chapter 1: Introduction to the Web has 4 lessons, a chapter review, and an activity.

  • Lesson 1: How the Internet Works
  • Lesson 2: Web Browsers
  • Lesson 3: The Language of “Mark-ups”
  • Lesson 4: Ways to Create HTML
  • Chapter Review
  • Your Turn Activity: Secret Message Hunt

After explaining some of the new concept in the chapter there are shaded boxes that shows exactly how the typed text should look.

Shaded

What I absolutely loved was the “Work with Me” because this really broke the steps down. Even I was able to do this. I normally stay away from any computer programming stuff but this was so easy!

Work with Me Page

Toward the end of the chapter you stop to for some “Problem Solving”.

Problem Solving

At the end of the chapter is reviewing. I like that the program uses bullet points. It doesn’t look so overwhelming.

Kid Coder Review Page

For further practice your child is instructed to complete an activity. They will need to go into the Student Menu and select the correct chapter.
Student Menu

The program comes with a Teacher Solutions Manual so if there is ever a time when the student is stuck (and mom too). The guide has all the completed coded solutions. If you still are not understanding you can fill out a help request form and Homeschool Programming will get back to you within 24 hours.

I used Homeschool Programming Beginning Web Design with Brent m 11 year old son. We did this together one lesson a day. If he didn’t struggle with reading I would have had him work more on his own because the program really does make it easy to understand and follow instructions.

I also had Joshua my 9th grade student use the program as well. He was really excited to start and did most of it on his own. He like his mom loved the structure of the program. Everything was organized and simple to understand. Again, the instructions were plain and simple. No flipping here or there in the book. I keep stressing how simple it was to use because Joshua can get confused rather quickly but he didn’t with Beginning Web Design.

Joshua is including this course as part of his 9th grade computer class so it will go toward his high school credits.

Now that I’ve almost completed the first semester course with Brent I see codes and think, hey, I know what that means. It’s like understanding a new language.

My final thoughts on the Beginning Web Design course:

  • Has step-by-step instructions
  • No prior computer experience necessary
  • Great for the visual learner
  • Hands on
  • Complete Solutions Manual for mom
  • The textbook is not overwhelming. There are bullet points, shaded boxes, and Work with Me boxes to break up the page. The text is not page after page of words only.
  • DVDs accompany the course
  • I loved learning the history of the internet

Other Homeschool Programming courses are:

  1. Kid Coder VB
  2. Teen Coder Teen C#
  3. Teen Coder Java

To read more reviews on the above Homeschool Programming courses please click on the banner below.

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Blogging

I feel like blogging. I don’t know if you’ve all noticed but I haven’t been my regular blogging self. I use to take all kinds of pictures of the kiddos and blog almost daily about our homeschool days. I miss that.

As I’ve written before this year was a tough homeschooling year for me. I just wasn’t motivated at all. Of course we schooled and all but my heart wasn’t in it. I know that sounds so bad but it’s the truth.

Starting Monday I hope to get some pictures of the children schooling for my TOS Summer school series. A few things the children will be using:

We’ve finished:

Watched for Science and History:

Stopped for a while:

For mom:

I’m also trying to get the house organized for this upcoming school year. I have a lot to do so we will rotate subjects to fit them all in (unless I’m in the middle of reviewing an item, then that one will be done as I agreed upon). I plan to school a few hours a day then get some deep cleaning in as well.

Maybe I’ll do a week in review if I can’t blog daily about our school. I miss using my pretty button.

Weekly button

So that is what I’m up to right now.

***Discloser: All homeschooling items are items that I am or have reviewed for the Schoolhouse Review Crew and were given to me at no charge for my honest review.

Fuel Cycle Week 1 Menu {July 12th-18th}

Trim Healthy Mama
Friday: Deep S
Weight: 142.6
Breakfast: S-Coffee/cream/stevia
Snack: Med Mocha Frap Atkins syle
Lunch: Egg salad with a leafy green salad.
Snack: Frappa
Dinner: Scrambled eggs with a little cheddar and diced green chili
Snack: cake in a mug
It was a hectic morning. I had an early 8:00 orthodontist appt. Joshua was blessed to get is braces off. As a celebration treat I bought him a Starbucks coffee (it’s next to the orotho. office), so I bought be a low carb frap as well. Sugar free mocha frap made with cream instead of milk.

Saturday: Deep S
Day 2
Weight: 141.2
Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee
Lunch: 2 scrambled eggs with a little bit of cheddar and green chili. Green leafy salad.
Dinner: Gangues Grill and Starbucks low carb coffee.
It was date night and I stayed within the rules. My Starbucks coffee had no sugar or milk. It was made with heavy cream and sugar free syrup.

Sunday: Deep S
Day 3
Weight: 141.6
Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee w/cream and coconut oil
Lunch:Wendy’s Double w/chees, no bun
Dinner: Scrambled eggs with green chili made in coconut oil
Snack: Bulletproof Coffee

Monday: FP meals
Day 4
Weight: 140.2
Breakfast: 1 cup berries, 1 cup 0% Greek Yogurt, and 1 scoop of protein.
Snack: Muffin in a Bowl 
Lunch: Chicken salad with lots of greens (no mayo in this chicken salad)
Snack: Fat Stripping Frappa
Dinner: Mexican Cottage Cheese Salad w/greens (pg.302)  {Spaghetti for the family w/S. squash for Annette.}
Snack: Cottage Berry Whip
So far I’ve lost 2lbs. Wahoo!

I really need to stop eating Joseph’s Pita breads they hurt my stomach. I had a pack of the pita bread from my last fuel cycle so I thought I’d finish them off. Not good.
I was also very hungry today and ate three snacks, one after each meal! I ate an early dinner at 4:00. Around 5:00 I didn’t feel to good and had to lay down. I made supper and rested while the family ate.
About 9:00 I drank some water with apple cider vinegar to help get rid of my bloated feeling and gas. No more Joseph's bread. It’s not worth the discomfort it causes.

Tuesday: Fuel Pull
Day 5
Weight: 139.8
Breakfast: Berries with 0% Greek yogurt w/1 scoop protein powder
Snack: Muffin in a bowl
Lunch: Chicken or tuna salad with lots of greens
Dinner:  Mexican Cottage Cheese Salad w/greens (pg.302) 
Today I was craving something. I didn’t want the usual frappa, pudding, etc. and didn’t want to eat just to eat. I wasn’t hungry. Not sure what was going on. Glad tomorrow is an E day. Pancakes here I come!!!

Wednesday: E
Day 6
Weight: 139.8
Breakfast: Coffee with 2TBL half & half, 3 Trim Healthy Pancakes with sugar free jam
Lunch: Waldorf Cottage Cheese salad with greens (pg. 300)
Dinner: Mexican Cottage Cheese Salad w/herb mix of greens and 1/2 cup greek yogurt w/1 cup raspberries. (not sure if that qualifies for an E. The fat grams added up to 5. I’m not sure how many carbs)
I was so happy to have some pancakes this morning. The day before I was craving something but didn’t want to eat just to eat. I finally went to bed.

Thursday: E
Day 7
Weight: 140.2
Breakfast: Coffee with 2TBL half & half, 3 Trim Healthy Pancakes 
Lunch: Waldorf Cottage Cheese salad with greens (pg. 300)
Snack: Muffin in a bowl
Dinner: Chicken salad with lots of greens and 1 Trim Healthy Pancake.
Snack: Greek yogurt and blackberries, coffee with 2TBL half and half
Bummer that I went up some ounces but that’s okay. Some deep S days are coming up and hopefully I’ll lose the ounces and more. Many people experience a pound or so gain during the E days. I was hoping it would pass me up like last time but again it could have been worse.
I felt like I ate a lot today and am afraid I might  gain, guess time will tell. I’ll find out tomorrow.

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Week 1 done! Friday morning I weighed in at 139.8 for a total loss of 2.8lbs. Almost reached 3lbs but not quite. I really do hope I can get rid of 5lbs during my second fuel cycle.
The only problems I have are on the E days. If I use all Trim Healthy Mama recipes I’m fine but when I want to make my own they seem to be more of a fuel pull sometimes.
My menu is quite boring but I like it. I had actually made it very colorful at first with lots of good HTM recipes for our dinners but I never got around with buying chicken breast and/or ground turkey for the E-energizing meals and FP-fuel pull meals. This week I plan to get some white meat for those days.

I’m enjoying the cottage cheese salads right now. I absolutely look forward to eating the Mexican Cottage Cheese salad and the Waldorf Salad,  with the Waldorf Salad I don’t add nuts or celery. Mine is pretty plain with cottage cheese, a splash of lemon juice, and 1 granny smith apple. No nuts during the FC and I don’t care much for celery.

Molly Crew Review: Christi The Coupon Coach

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The Molly Crew was blessed with learning some couponing this summer! We’ve had the opportunity to review Christi the Coupon Coach. If you’d like to learn the ins and outs of couponing, Christi’s book is priced at $18.00, Kindle edition $4.99.

 photo christithecouponcoachlogo_zpsbe2a70cc.pngChristi is a homeschooling mama of 4 who has made shopping an adventure. Her challenge to see how much money she can save on a shopping trip. She has been couponing for years and has been very successful at it. How does she leave a grocery store spending only $15.00 on $120.00 worth of stuff?

In her book she will teach you how to stack and use BOGO coupons, that means Buy One/Get One free. I didn’t know what BOGO was until I read Christi’s book.

Christi the Coupon Coach

In her book you will learn:
  • Chapter 1: Success Stories
  • Chapter 2: A New Way to Shop
  • Chapter 3: The Language of Couponing
  • Chapter 4: Organization System
  • Chapter 5: Step-by-Step Process
  • Chapter 6: Tips and Tools
  • Chapter 7: Couponing Ethics
  • Chapter 8: Networking and Communicating
  • Chapter 9: Bonus Section
  • Chapter 10: Beyond Couponing
The book is under 150 pages which is a plus for a busy mama of 6. When the book arrived I didn’t feel overwhelmed. It was nice knowing I didn’t have to read a 300 page book to understand how to coupon!
 
I thought I’d use this with Annette, kind of like a home economics course. Christi gives ideas with how to organize your coupons. We decided to only use a binder for our coupons. We figured we could tweak our system as we went along.
 
First thing we did after getting our binder together was go online to find some coupons. On Sunday we bought the huge Sunday’s paper. Christi recommends purchasing one newspaper per family member. We didn’t do that because our paper is $3.00 and hubby and I didn’t want to spend $24.00 just to get the coupons.
 
I was disappointed to find that many of the coupons were for processed foods. As many of you may know I have changed the way we eat this year and most of our food is fresh and goes in the fridge. With many of the hair, lotions, and other body products that the coupons were for had chemicals in them Not to say we are 100% chemical free here but most of what we use is more natural and/or organic. We rarely use store bought soaps for instance because we prefer homemade. Instead of purchasing conditioner or lotions we use coconut oil and so forth.
 
But Annette and I were determined to make this work. We went online to the two stores that we mainly shop at and found their coupon section. We went through them and printed what we could use.
 
Every Friday we go shopping for a weeks worth of meals. Our first stop we were happy to save about $7.00. It doesn’t look like much but that was $7.00 more in our pocket. We went to the second place and saved another $6.00 for a total saving of $13.00.
 
We figured if we saved $13.00 we would make that our goal for next week. So far since the review we have saved around $52.00. I know that is not nearly as close to what Christi saved an many of my fellow Crew members even but Annette and I were pleased.

My final thoughts: Christi the Coupon Coach has done all the foot work for you. If you have wanted to learn how to coupon but haven’t had the time to figure it all out then you may want to look into purchasing the book.

Although I wasn’t as successful as others what I did walk away with is I should make an effort to save our hard earned money by using coupons. If I can find a few that will save me $.50 here and $.30 there then that’s $.80 savings.

Christi also touches on shopping at thrift stores and garage sales, so we do save in those areas and I didn’t add how much we have saved by purchasing used in my above totals.

At the end of the book Christi saves the best for last. She writes the best deal is free and that’s the gift of Salvation.

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My Boys

Homeschooling6 Kids

Annette took this picture of her brothers today. Josh said Lance looks all innocent. He’s my good little monster.

Aprons

Annette made these black aprons for her brothers. They like to spend time in the kitchen. This Sunday Josh and Caleb made pancakes, eggs, and bacon for the family.

Fuel Cycle Thoughts and More

***I wrote this a few days after my first fuel cycle which ended June 28th but forgot to post it. I am now on my 2nd fuel cycle and down to 141.2 pounds. I also have been eating 1 E meal a day during the week and all S meals Atkins style not worrying about my fat intake during the weekends and have maintained my weight. I am not yo-yoing with pounds anymore. Instead of going back and forth with the same 2-3lbs I am going back and forth with ounces (yay). My net carbs have stayed under 60 even with adding in 1 E meal a day.***

Today I weighed in at 144.0 for a total weight loss of 4.2 pounds. My goal was to lose 5lbs but oh well I tried. I stuck to the plan as best as I knew how. The first week I did cut it short by two days because I wanted to eat a hamburger on our date night.

Note to self: don’t start a fuel cycle on Monday, for me starting on Friday or Saturday makes more sense because the first 3 days are deep S days and easier to do over the weekend when one might be out and about more.

The Fuel Cycle was a good experience for me, one reason, I found out I’m allergic to wheat gluten. It causes inflammation in my gut. I get um, gas. Yup, having those Joseph’s breads and low carb tortillas caused my tummy to bloat, so did chia seeds.

I enjoyed my foods though. It had been a while since I had an apple or a bean burrito. No cheese on that burrito too and I still liked it.

It was a good challenge. I’m happy to report I didn’t cheat. I did goof twice. The first week I ate a chicken thigh (small 3oz but still was not on plan). On a fuel pull day you are suppose to eat very lean meats. I wasn’t thinking about that because on Atkins I can eat a chicken thigh whenever I want. I can tell you this though, I won’t ever forget that mistake and will always eat lean on a fuel pull or E meal now.

The 2nd mistake was week 2 with an E meal. The fat grams on an E meal are to be kept at 5 or under. I had two tablespoons of cream cheese on my tortilla wrap which was 2 grams too many. One of my fuel cycle friends said that was more of a light S meal, so again I learned and didn’t make that mistake. Thankfully I ate 3 hours apart from each meal and am hoping that made it not a total mess up.

I didn’t cheat and that’s very important when doing the Fuel Cycle. In my humble opinion one should strictly stick to the program while doing a fuel cycle because I believe it throws what one is trying to accomplish off and you are really not doing a true Fuel Cycle. One is trying to get their body on days 1-3 (Deep S meals)  to burn only fat, days 3-4 (fuel pull) to switch to burning your fat stores. If you eat one bite of your child’s cake on a full pull day you just fed your body sugar on a day when you were pulling back on both fuels, fat and carbs. Same on a S day. When you take a few bites of your husband’s pasta your body can not stay with burning only fat because you have added carbs and not very good ones at that. Your body is switching over. The deep S days are to rid your body of any glucose. Well by eating some pasta even a little bit your body is back to burning the carbs.

Days 6-7 are refueling days and one still needs to stick to lean meats and low-fat foods. Because I had a hard time putting together E meals and I don’t mean I was ‘afraid’ of them because they contain more carbs, are you kidding, I was happy to bite into a burrito or have some Trim Healthy Pancakes but I was afraid of adding too much of the wrong food by mistake, so I know I did a few fuel pull meals. For the most part I think I did okay though. My body is refueling on good carbs and I was not adding lots of fats (even though they would have been good fats).

Now don’t get me wrong about cheat days when doing the free-styling. When you are changing the way you eat for life, then yeah, having a meal off plan now and then is okay, that’s life and I don’t even consider that a cheat because the next meal will be on plan.

I have done this on Atkins. Since I started my new way of eating I have had two delicious Country Burgers and some sweet potato fries to go along with those burgers. Did I feel guilt, no, did I feel like I had to hide and eat the burger in a corner so no one will see me, of course not. I just ate it and enjoyed my time with my family. My next meal was Atkins and I kept on going.

BUT the Fuel Cycle is different so I encourage you to really plan your Fuel Cycle. Find a time when you don’t see a lot of engagements on your calendar. The first week I started on a Monday, so Saturday and Sunday were suppose to be E meals. I ended up cutting my first week short because I didn’t plan accordingly. Saturday is date night and Sunday is eat out for lunch day. I cut my refueling days off and jumped right back into Deep S days because it was easier and more doable for me to have Deep S meals over the weekend.

We also celebrated Father’s Day and Joshua’s birthday during the time I was doing the Fuel Cycle. Thankfully they were on a Sunday so I had no problem with staying on the Fuel Cycle. I was able to have a piece of steak and eat my S cake too. By S cake I mean I ate a Healthy Trim Mama cake with some cream on top and I did not feel deprived. Not even tempted to have cake and ice cream. Although I have been on Atkins for 6 months and haven’t had a sugar, carby, cake for 6 months nor have I had ice cream.

So what now? Where do I go from here? I was talking to my hubby about how much I love eating Atkins/Paleo  but do like Healthy Trim Mama for it’s variety. I was going over the pros and cons of both (when I say both I groups Atkins and Paleo together as one now, they mesh so well as long as I stay away from honey and higher carb veggies/fruits from Paleo).

Atkins/Paleo: I don’t have to worry about an S, E, FP, S Helper, Cross Over meal. I just eat the foods that are on plan. I can be liberal with my oils and still lose weight. I like that I don’t have to eat low-fat, low-calorie. I know how to eat this way (Atkins/Paleo). I feel like I eat more clean and when I eat more Paleo style I don’t count carbs but listen to my body. I’m on Phase 3 and able to add in many more foods and can now add oatmeal and more grains but at the same time I don’t feel like I’m eating ‘whole’ foods but they are nice as a treat.

Healthy Trim Mama: I love that I can have berries (1 cup of berries except blueberries those are 1/2 c.) without counting carbs, they are ‘free’ in a way. I like the variety of the E meals. Being able to add some bread in. On an E meal you are allowed up to 45 carbs but have to stay within 5 grams of fat.
I guess HTM has a learning curve for me too. Although you don’t have to count carbs, calories, and fats, you do in way if. I guess like Atkins you eventually just know (maybe?).

Again, where do I go . . . well I was telling hubby that I feel more comfortable eating Atkins/Paleo but will miss my Cottage Berry Whip from HTM and that I don’t feel confident enough about putting together E meals. We both decided that maybe I should stick to eating Atkins but throw in some E meals about 3 times a week. Hubby said to stick to what you know and I know Atkins/Paleo.

I have collected some good Paleo cookbooks and am not sure how’d I’d fit them in with the HTM.
I have some friends that want to do a Fuel Cycle and would like me to join, so in three weeks I’ll do another one. Right now I’m going to enjoy my cream in my coffee but limited of course. Oh and in the HTM book they recommend doing a fuel cycle every other month for those who have some stubborn pounds to lose (like me). I’m starting another one a week early. I’ll be eating good so I’m not worried about starting too early.

And that’s where I’m at on my journey to a healthier and hopefully thinner me!

No More Headaches!!!

{Clicking on Lilla Rose links will take you to my website}
I know many of you may be familiar with Lilla Rose hair pieces but what you may not know is they are truly comfortable. I was given the chance to review two clips almost a month ago, and guess what?!?! I loved them so much that I decided to sign up as a consultant. I would have signed up on the spot but my hubby said I should wait a few weeks to see if I was still as excited about Lill Rose clips  weeks after I tried them.
LillaRose.biz/homeschooling6
Aren’t they just gorgeous! Both hubby and I thought so. My Sweets was really impressed with them.
The top Flexi Clip is a large and the bottom is a small. I am able to use a small when pinning only some of my hair back, medium when wearing my hair up but actually pinning some of it. I wear a large when I wear all my hair up in a French twist. You can see a sizing video on my website to help choose the correct clip.

Writing from personal experience I can say that these clips are the most comfortable hair pieces ever! I use to wear these . . .
Not Lilla Rose
And many times I would end up with a headache and often times my barrettes would end up looking like this . . .
027
I also paid good money for  barrette and clips (around $6.00). I would wear the ugly broken clip for months before purchasing a new one.
Now I wear Lilla Rose . . .
Lilla Rose
Technically I don’t need to ever buy another (but I will) because once you purchase from Lilla Rose and if your clip ever breaks, it’s guaranteed. All you would have to do is contact the main office and mail in your Lilla Rose clip. No questions asked. In fact each clip has the Lilla Rose website engraved so you don’t have to search the web to return it.

These patented Flexi Clips are made with music wire which is very sturdy! The pin is cast in zinc, the center piece is brass, and it’s plated in nickel. Lilla Rose chose nickel because it doesn’t turn like silver. There are some clips that are plated with brass and gold which will turn in time but the more you wear your Lilla Rose clips you will naturally polish them and they will stay pretty. Lilla Rose does not claim that they will never change though. One thing to keep in mind is anything plated will eventually turn no matter how much you paid for it (except nickel). This is what I love about the company is their honesty.

If you plan to play a sport or go swimming then you’d probably want to use a ponytail holder for that. Lilla Rose clips are to fit comfortably and again they are honest about what it can do. It’s not meant to be used as a tight holding ponytail holder (which can hold your hair pretty tight when wrapped many times) if out playing an active sport.
My box arrived today, yay!
Lilla Rose Box
Here is Annette wearing a large. I think a medium would have fit but her hair was a bit, um, tangled, so a large it was.
Lilla Rose
She looked so pretty wearing her Lilla Rose clip. She was leaving with her dad and older bother to a Bible Study class.

I hope you will take the time to visit my Lilla Rose website @ http://www.lillarose.biz/homeschooling6 and even try a few out. I know longer get headaches and when going to an orthodontist, doctor, or dentist appointment I don’t have to worry about what to wear in my hair like before because you can lie down and not have anything poking you or hurting the back of your head. If I’d forget to wear a low ponytail to an appointment I’d have to remove my clip before getting in the chair.

I don’t plan to host parties because I’m terrible at it. I have tried in the past and believe me I’m beat red when speaking. I do plan to host online parties if you all are interested. Just bear with me as I learn the ropes.

Menu July 7th-13th

I have noticed that my diet has been lacking veggies. This week I’m going to make sure I get 15 net carbs (as per Atkins) of veggies by eating avocados, tomatoes,  and leafy greens. I need to figure out for future weeks how to add more veggies but keep with the carbs, calories, and fat grams of Healthy Trim Mama.

My menu is a bit boring compared to many I kinda stick to the same foods for days then switch it up. One week I was hooked on the Fuel Pull Pizza, another it may be a bean burrito.

MondayWeight: 142.8
Breakfast: S- Coffee with cream/stevia (.8).
Snack: E-Big Man Smoothie w/extra berries (17)
Lunch: E-Leftover stuffed peppers with a green leafy tomato salad, Walden Farms dressing (23)
Snack: E-coffee with half and half , 2TBL.
Dinner: S- Pancakes with sugar free jam (1)
Snack: S-Atkins Mud Slide Bar (3)
Net Carbs: 35
I’m not a breakfast eater so some days coffee is it. Once school starts I’ll have to make sure I do have a good and large breakfast to keep me going with teaching.

TuesdayWeight: 142.6
Breakfast: S-coffee w/cream, S pancakes with jam. (1)
Lunch: E-Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad (add spinach) (36.4)
Dinner: S- Crockpot Mexican Style Chicken p. 315 topped with a little cheddar cheese and sour cream (6)
Snack: S-Atkins Mud Slide (3)
Net Carbs: 46
Trim Healthy Mama
I enjoy these S pancakes made from 2TBL flax, 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, 1 egg, sweetener, and cinnamon.

WednesdayWeight: 142.4
Breakfast: S- Coffee w/cream/stevia, S pancakes (1)
Lunch: FP-Mexican Cottage Salad p. 302 (13)
Snack: FP- Big Man Smoothie made with Blackberries (1 + berries 15)
Dinner: S-chili w/cheese & sour cream (7)
Net Carbs: 34
Trim Healthy Mama
I didn’t have any salsa so instead I added some green chili.

ThursdayWeight: 143.2
Breakfast: S-Coffee/cream/stevia
Brunch: Had a late breakfast because I went to see the oral surgeon. FP: Mexican Cottage Salad again (3). 
Snack: Early snack, Big Man Smoothie (12)
Dinner: E-Lighter Side Chili pg.330 with Greek Yogurt and raspberries (20)
Gained almost a pound today. Not sure why. Tomorrow I start my 2nd Fuel Cycle. Hopefully it will get some of these last stubborn pounds moving. I can’t wait to be in the maintaining stage of my weigh loss journey. 
Net Carb: 35

Friday: Deep S Day
Weight: 142.6
Today is my first day on my 2nd Fuel Cycle.
Breakfast: S-Coffee/cream/stevia 
Snack: Med Mocha Frap Atkins syle
Lunch: Egg salad with a leafy green salad.
Snack: Frappea
Dinner: Scrambled eggs with a little cheddar and diced green chili
Snack: cake in a mug

It was a hectic morning. I had an early 8:00 orthodontist appt. Joshua was blessed to get is braces off. As a celebration treat I bought him a Starbucks coffee (it’s next to the orotho. office), so I bought be a low carb frap as well. Sugar free mocha frap made with cream instead of milk.
For the past two weeks I’ve been making dinner at a more reasonable hour. This way I’m not eating after 5:30 or 6:00.

Normally I’d have my menu through Sunday but since I’m doing a Fuel Cycle I will have the days on that menu.