Monday, August 31, 2015

28 Days to a Healthier and Happier Life {Week 2}

We made it through week 1 with no casualties! Right now your house should smell more natural and less like a crime scene. Next we will take that last week just a little deeper and a little more involved. Small side note: I am a green freak. I like green {like healthy, not the color...the color is ok too though}. If you are not all about going green, by all means, just skip the days that make you look at me like I am a mad woman.

 Green living preserves today for our children tomorrow. 

I am not trying to convert you, just educate and enlighten. And, if you love my suggestions, but your best friend doesn't, don't fight about, just do your thing and you will both be happy with your choices. 

*Remember, I am a green living, baby wearing, cloth diapering, homeschooling, single mama. I do what I like, and I do it well...but I can certainly see how this is not the life for every person out there*

Week 2:

Monday: One word: FlyLady. No joke. FlyLady is a game changer guys! She will whip you right into shape and get things done in your home. I love FlyLady, and better still? I linked my Cozi calendar to her zones. Oh. My. Wow. Now, I know we all know how to clean. But, again, I am a single mother, I homeschool and my kids play sports. FlyLady breaks my cleaning down for me so it is one less thing to think about and spend time on. More free time for my babies make happy children!

Tuesday: Eat clean with baked salmon and asparagus.

Wednesday: Essential oils. Oh, I love them. I have been using essential oils since having my first daughter back in 2003. You can add them to cleaners, you can dilute them in water for a pretty smelling spray, you can burn them for a scented room. I use them in my carpet powder, and I use them on my linens and in my wash.
Melaleuca oil is a natural disinfectant. I add it to some laundry loads, and I use it as a wipe solution on my babies.
Lavender is a calming oil, it does well in baths and calms babies. I also heat it in the evening at
Eucalyptus oil is a lifesaver. I place a few drops in a diffuser when one of us is all stuffy. It clears you out fast and naturally.
Spearmint oil is a great alternative for an inhaler. Bear has asthma and we just put a drop of this on her hands (use a carrier) and she just breathes it in. Please note: This is NOT meant to replace a medical device or medication in any way. This is what we use during very mild attacks and if it does not work immediately she uses a rescue inhaler. Don't risk your health folks.

Thursday: Healthy chocolate chip scones should do the trick this morning. Easy and delicious!

Friday: Paper towels. Dear me, paper towels. For some odd reason my mother is obsessed with them. She is always upset that I don't have any. I use "un-paper towels." Regular kitchen towels work fine too. Of hey, even $0.99 store microfiber works well for cleaning {I have a ton of these for cleaning the house}. I cannot stand paper towels, they are a massive waste. They cost you so much money, and for what? To wipe a spill any towel can handle? Right. I will use towels for spills and I will use microfiber to clean *thankyouverymuch*

Saturday: Cloth diapers. This is where we get to people's too much line {for reference, I do have my limits, family cloth is not an option for us}. I use cloth for a plethora of reasons, but my top three are: economical, green, and healthier for my baby. I realize not everyone shares my joy, so no big deal. If you want to see my personal stash and where to begin and where to look for diapers head here. Everyone else, you have a day off.

Sunday: Time to add some movement to your life, if you aren't already doing it. Three days a week, schedule time to workout. If you really can't get away for a good workout, schedule a walk with the family. We go on family walks four to five times a week . The kids love it. They actually ask to do this simple little activity. Bless yourself and your children today, get active as a family.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Slammed with

Well, I am a day...or two...late...oops. We were running around all week like chickens with our heads cut off. And over the weekend we went to the Natural History Museum. I have been diligently picking away at things that needed to get done for the major school this week. We started weeks ago, but this is the big start. All classes in full swing. Everything is ordered and on its way. I only wish Boo and Bear were as excited I am. I haven't ordered religious ed yet, I am struggling with choosing. I had one picked, but there are just so many, and I do not like dealing with the unknown.

I am getting my binder all in order so I have the lesson plans, school paperwork, and all that good stuff in one place. I am also in the process of getting a file box ready with file folders for their work. I am keeping everything at my fingertips. 

My binder will include, but is not limited to:

State legal information {affidavit, homeschool laws for Arizona, annual testing results}
Activities {sports, field trips, clubs, church groups, etc}
Current curriculum list with a current school year calendar
Book wishlist along with other curriculum to look at {if needed}, as well as class wants for the next year.
Boo's tests from all her classes
Bear's tests from all her classes
Nani's...well, er uh...everything just so she feels like a big girl!

*Please note, the legal information you keep should be based on local laws for your area. I am in Arizona, we don't need records, but since I am divorced I keep these items for the ex to see when he is just good co-parenting.

Like I said, we are all out of control over here! In addition to my notebook I created a spreadsheet to docushare with the ex as is my grade sheet. I have all eight {yes EIGHT} classes listed, as well as the curriculum, what I paid and where I got it, PLUS I have the attendance sheet there for him. I am toying with sharing it here on the site for a time for FREE.

I am also custom building a Home Econ curriculum for the big girls. I will go along with the Geography and cultural lessons. We are just swamped with the start of school the past few weeks.

Monday, August 24, 2015

28 Days to a Healthier and Happier Life {Week 1}

You thought there might be zombies, right?

For the next 28 days we are going to talk about living naturally. I am big on avoiding chemicals whenever I can, so this a topic we learn as part of school, and just life in general. Recently we did a clean eating challenge, well it really wasn't much of a challenge, but I did get some new great recipes and I am ready to share how we live with you.

If you wake up in the morning and you are tired and just have zero energy {there's your zombie}, that can change. First we will look at your cleaners. What is in them? All kinds of crazy chemicals? Bleach? Probably, right? Well...throw them out. 

Go...I will wait...

 There is nothing healthy about bleach. Nothing. At all. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I do not make my own cleaning products. I have no time for that. I use something called Melaleuca. I love it, some don't, no big deal. There are several other options for "natural" cleaning options. Use them. I will let you decide what will work best for your family. 

What I will tell you is that Bear has bad asthma and tossing the bleach really helped clear a lot of her breathing issues right up! The one simple change that we made to start was what sold me on changing our lives forever.

Tossing my bleach was my very first step to a new life. Don't take these 31 days as the can keep getting greener, healthier, and happier, day-by-day.

Week 1:

Monday {Today}: 28 day clean eating meal plan {complete with links to recipes}. Go shopping and ease on in!

Tuesday: DIY carpet powder for when you vacuum. It smells amazing!

Wednesday: Turkey Joes for dinner!

Thursday: Change out your cleaners we want to switch to healthier options. If you need ideas, here is my Melaleuca Board, you can also use Pinterest for a quick search of green cleaning. Toss your bleach and join my family in healthy, happy living. 

Friday: Eggs and avocado breakfast with coffee and homemade creamer

Saturday: Let's talk weed killer: I know, RoundUp is great! It works. I get it. It also, for a long time. And it makes it hard for my Bear and I to breathe. SO what do you do when your yard is overrun with weeds and you don't want crazy chemicals? 
1. You wait for a mildly warm day with a lot of sun. 
2. You fill up your old RoundUp bucket with plain white vinegar.
3. Spray away at about 10am. Ta-da! Homemade and pet safe weed killer!

Sunday: We all have toilets. We all need them clean. This is where going green gets dicey. But, have no fear, Pinterest has options! Homemade toilet cleaner to the rescue! I can totally think of a better way to spend a Sunday, but hey, at least take a look.

Did you try any of these? How well is this working out for you? Let me know, and I will see you back here next Monday morning for week 2.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mommy on a mission ~ Clean eating

Healthy living, clean eating, natural lifestyle...

All of these are very common today, especially with ADD, ADHD, Diabetes, Autism, and other various health issues on the rise. Because we homeschool, and we are together so much, I have a little more control over what my children eat. No unhealthy school lunches or vending machine meals.

Starting this week I am re-overhauling our food intake:

NO high fructose corn syrup allowed...
YES fresh fruits and veggies galore
SOME and chicken mostly
We are LIMITING carbs, but not so much the amount, more like the kind. I am using whole grain only


This is all, of course, in addition to multivitamins and smoothies we normally drink. 

It is important to note, most medical professionals will tell you that a great many of the issues we have today with the health of our children can be helped a lot with a more controlled diet. Bear's anxiety dropped a great deal, while not totally because of, but at least in part due to a change in diet. 

I also have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), and more vegetarian diet helps immensely. I have less mood swings, and less pain. No secret fad diets, no special pills or drinks, just vitamins (I use Melaleuca) and healthy eating. 

This week I am following a one week clean eating routine. Basically I have a menu laid out, ready for the week (we usually do anyway) and I am starting with five days. Then I will add more as I go. I will build a habit again...

Who wants to join in?

Hop on over Tuesday morning for a list of recipes, and feel free to join in and follow along!

Friday, August 14, 2015

How I manage to still do Adoration

Adoration questions I hear:

-An hour of silent adoration?
-What do I do?
-How do I stay focused for a whole hour?
-Do people really do this?

These are all good questions, with very basic answers.

*An hour. That is all Christ asked of his Apostles. One hour. Pray with him.
*You pray. You adore the God who gave you life and forgiveness of your Earthly sins.
*You take up a rosary, you can read a book meant to strengthen your relationship with God, or just pray...a lot.
*Yes. We do. I go at least twice a month. Once I drop my children with their father I head over to adoration.

What do I do?

Pray. That is the easiest way to put it. But, because dropping my children off can be stressful, I am usually found doing an examine of conscience before entering adoration. I know what I have done, and what I need to repent for.

Generally, I will spend the better part of 30 minutes repairing the damage I have done with God. I take books in, assuming I am working on a retreat or reading a book to strengthen my relationship with God. I focus my energy, all of it, on Christ. I am human, my mind wanders, and when it does I treat it like a child and simply redirect. Liturgy of the Hours is an amazing option as well, and I use that on days I am especially unfocused.

What can you do if you have small children?

Children should not stand in the way of your relationship with Christ. It is important, as a mother, to know Him and love Him. When I am in need of adoration I have a set up in my home ready for use. A small nook, or crevice in the wall, a built-in shelf, or a small table off to the side somewhere is all you need.

A photo, or statue of Christ can help immensely while adoring at home. I use a small photo as a quick redirect or reset button when my mind wanders. It reminds me what I am supposed to be doing at that moment. If you want, add a small pillow or something to ensure comfort (I know, I know sacrifice and all that...but that is coming), you may choose to do this the full hour!

Finally, adore early. Before your tiny lovelies wake and start their day. Wake before every one and pray. Read a book, read daily readings, say a rosary, do what feels right for you.

And finally: Enjoy the gifts God gives you in return for your small sacrifice!

That is, after all, what true worship and adoration are...SACRIFICE for God.