Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

When teething, most children chew on toys. My baby girl chews on the stove.....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kids Konserve coupon and GIVEAWAY!

Kids Konserve; packing green lunches/snacks with style and eco-cool reusable products for a clean conscience.

Fact: Each Student creates 67 pounds of trash per year! That's 18,760 pounds of trash from one average sized elementary school!!

Kids Konserve was founded by two women, both moms, who wanted to send the right message to their children about helping the environment. Realizing the amount of waste that was produced in just the one hour of school lunch, they researched products and developed the Waste-Free Lunch Kit.

What better way to teach our children about lessening their carbon footprint, than with our actions! If we pack our child's lunch with no plastic bottles and bags, no paper napkins and bags,and no juice boxes, our kiddos will have nothing to add to this trash total. They will know that they are making a difference every day!

All of Kid Konserve's products are NON-TOXIC, non-leaching, BPA, PVC, Phthalate and lead-free.

Now what I just LOVE about this company, besides their safe eco-friendly products, is their focus on environmental education. They believe, as I do, that the knowledge we give our children now will enable them to change the future.

Kids sponsors a Waste-Free Lunch Challenge in schools. This challenge gives schools the opportunity to raise money and brings awareness through teaching on how not creating waste. Over 40 schools have participated and more are signing up!

Small voices add up to big things!!!

Right now, Kids Konserve is offering you, my reader, 15% off your total purchase until 10/31/09. Visit Kids Konserve store by clicking here and show your support for this mom run, eco-friendly company and use coupon code: earth at check out.

They are also offering up a set of Stainless Steel Containers for my very first giveaway!!!

***So to enter first you must visit Kids Konserve and leave me a comment about another one of their products that I have not mentioned here, or something else you have learned from their site that I did not mention. THIS IS MANDATORY.***

After you have done the MANDATORY entry, you can enter again by doing all or some of the following. Remember to leave a SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY.
Please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. Winners will be drawn with Giveaway ends 10/31.
*Follow my blog and leave me a comment that you do
*Follow me on Twitter, leave me a comment here
*Follow kidskonserve on Twitter, leave me a comment
*Tweet this giveaway, leave me a comment. Can copy and paste this:
RT KidsKonserve Stainless Steel Containers giveaway and coupon @aMothersEarth
*Become a fan of Kids Konserve on Facebook, leave a comment here
*For 3 entries blog about this giveaway, leave 3 separate comments

Thanks, and Good Luck!!

(Comments in bold print are taken directly from the Kids Konserve website and/or press packet)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Favorite Pancake Recipe

We are HUGE breakfast eaters. Pancakes are our favorite! Tonight I am even making them for dinner. This is the best recipe I have found and I love it because you can actually make the mix ahead and store it in your fridge for up to 3 months. I think you can get 3 batches of pancakes out of one batch of mix. This recipe is from "Whole Grains For Busy People" by Lorna Sass, a cook book that I have mentioned before. Enjoy!

Pancake Mix

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 months in an air tight container.


1 large egg
1 cup of buttermilk (I never have buttermilk on hand, so I replace it with yogurt and milk to equal 1 cup. Enough milk added to the yogurt to make it not so thick. Or you can use a cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon added.)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup pancake mix

Mix all ingredients. Drop about by about 1/3 to 1/4 cup scoops onto a buttered and heated pan/griddle. This batter is pretty thick, so you will have to flatten it a bit when cooking :) I usually get about 10 pancakes out of a batch.

I almost always add other things to my pancake batter. Fruit is good- apples, peaches or bananas. I will add spices too, depending on what fruit I use. 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and/or cardamon.  I also use flavored yogurt if that's what I have in the fridge. Tonight I might add coconut and raisins (never tried this before, might be an update on the outcome!).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Today, My Toddler Taught ME

"Mommy, Daddy, wake UP!",  Logan yelled excitedly as he ran into our bedroom this morning. I felt a slight moment of panic. Thoughts ran through my head.  Is there a fire?  Where's Sophie? (as I am moving her foot from my face). Something must be wrong!  This is not his usual method of waking us. He is a fan of the silent approach. He sneaks up to either mine or the  hubby's side of the bed and does the "silent stare" until we are startled awake. The first words out of his mouth are almost always, "I wanna watch Noggin".

"Mommy, Daddy, GET UP!", he yells again. He is now jumping around the bed. "IT'S A BEAUTIFUL, SUNNY, SUNNY DAY!"  That's it. There is no fire. There is nothing wrong. It is just a beautiful sunny, sunny day, and he is sooooo happy!

If only we could all wake up each and every day with such enthusiasm! Through out the day when I felt a case of the crankies coming on I would take a deep breath and think, "It's a beautiful sunny, sunny day!", and channel my little guys positive outlook!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wordless Wedneday- Protect Health Insurance Companies PSA

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wet Socks and Boobies

I never get a fever *knocks on wood*. Or so I thought.  Last Sunday night I felt like I got hit by a mac truck.  I was freezing, my back and head were killing me. It took everything to get the kiddos to bed. When I finally got around to taking my temperature  it was 101.5. Yikes. I popped some Ibuprofen and decided to put the Wet Sock Treatment to the test. Now, I have been recommending this treatment to EVERYBODY, since the kiddos Dr passed the info to us. The hubby has done it countless times and it has been successful every single one (he works at a Casino and is constantly catching something).  I have never tried it myself. I don't get sick *knocks on wood, again*. So, with the thought of how I was possibly going to make it through the next day feeling as I did, AND keep 2 kiddos under 3 fed and safe, I decided it was time I followed my own advice.

Before I went to bed I wet 2 cotton white socks with cold water, rang them out and put them on my feet. Over them I put a pair of dry wool socks.

That's it. Now, I am a person who does not like to be wet. Wet hair, wet bathing suit, don't like em. And I'm a Pieces, figure that one out! But trust me, if you are feeling yucky, this is that last thing that's gonna bother you! The theory behind the Wet Sock Treatment is that while you are sleeping, the socks pull the toxins out of your body, or something like that. You will actually feel it happen over night with heavy sweating. I did.

When I woke up the next morning the fever was gone. I felt better, but not 100%.  Maybe 80%.  That evening when I went to breastfeed Sophie, I noticed that my right boobie was a bit painful. I realized that this boob had been a bit sore the day before, but I chalked it up as engorgement since we were at a tractor show and the excitement was too distracting for Sophie to breastfeed. Now it really hurt, and it was bright red, and when I touched it there was a noticeable lump. I have heard of Mastitis and clogged ducts, but have never experienced either myself.  Through the pain, I tried to get Sophie to empty it. She, being almost one and on the road to weening herself, had other ideas.

After she went to bed, I dug through my breast feeding supplies and found Breast Therapy Warm or Cool Relief Packs.
I have no clue where I got these from, whether from the hospital, a shower, or just bought myself at some point. They were still in the box. After taking a hot shower (helped a little with the pain), I put one of the packs in the microwave to use the heat to help me pump and drain the boob. The other pack I put in the freezer to apply after the pumping.

After a painful sleep, I called my doctor in the morning to see if she could take me. She could, but by the time I got there most of the pain and redness where GONE! My doctor was a bit confused as the fever and body aches where a sign of Mastitis, an infection that needs antibiotics to get rid off. Since I did the Wet Sock Treatment there was NO FEVER (I had to explain this to her, and momentarily felt like a crazy lady). She prescribed me some Dicloxacillin to be "safe". Well, I am very hesitant to take antibiotics while breastfeeding. The hubby is allergic to all the "cillians". I had to stop breastfeeding the little guy at 7 months when I got Lyme's Disease, due to his projectile vomiting after feeding. Sophie, after 11 months of boobies, I did not see taking well to going cold turkey if she too showed signs of an allergy. Since I seemed to be getting better on my own, I decided to wait and see how I felt the next day before taking any antibiotics. If I was feeling pain again, or was even close to a fever, I would take them and pray that Sophie had no reaction. Lucky for me, and Sophie, the next day ALL pain and redness where gone, and still no fever. Yeah! Antibiotics avoided!

For more info on the Wet Sock Treatment visit here. It explains how it really works.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Take Action: Our Children's Education- from Preschool to College

The town I live in is small. So small, that we don't even have a high school. We have one school that goes from 3 year old preschool to 8th grade. Yup, I said 3 year old preschool. It's FIVE days a week for 1/2 a day. The little kiddos can ride the SCHOOL BUS- in CAR SEATS provided by the bus company. Oh, and did I mention that this program is FREE. Yup, FREE, and grants make this possible. Grants that will be made more available with the passing of HR3221 when it goes before congress on Sept 17th.

HR3221, The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, when passed, will improve the educational possibilities for our children from early childhood, all the way through to college.

Here's how:

The Early Learning Challenge Fund (Title IV), will increase grants to implement pre K programs for disadvantaged children. It also proposes more grants to aid states in developing early childhood programs.

Title III, offers grants to states for the modernization, renovation and repair of Public school facilities- Elementary, Secondary and Community Colleges. There will be extra grants available for the states that were hit hard by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Title I is called Increasing College Access and Completion and aims to do just that. There are proposals to increase the maximum Pell grant amount, and to simplify the Student Financial Aid form, among other things.

Title II covers student loan reform. Any one with student loans knows ANY reform will help there!! Especially with the increase in the fees of higher education.

To read HR3221 in full, visit, where I got this info.

It is important for us to let our Legislators know RIGHT NOW that we want them to support HR3221. Visit here, and send a letter to your Representative with just a click of the button! And join MomsRising while you're there, this organization ROCKS!

Wordless Wednesday

Dead dragon fly that I found Logan playing with.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

When I was at the flea market on Sunday I found a cook book called "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld (yup, Jerry's wife). The recipes all have a hidden ingredient of some kind of veggie puree. This one has carrot puree. Just steam some carrots and stick them in the food processor with some water until they are pureed. Since I do this for Sophie's food anyway, it's kinda convenient. I made these as a special breakfast treat. Enjoy!!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

non stick cooking spray
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy)
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons trans-fat free soft tub margarine spread (yeah, I don't buy this stuff. I used about a tablespoon of slightly melted butter and they were fine)
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt (I used a tad more to make up for the lack of margarine)
1 large egg white ( I accidentally dropped the yolk in there and it came out fine)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low sugar strawberry, blueberry, or grape preserves (I used raspberry. This is perfect for cleaning out the fridge and using those jellies that you have no clue how long they have been in there for. They are getting cooked, right, so that will kill anything>LOL)

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, carrot puree, sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in the yogurt and egg white.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined, but do not over mix- there should be some lumps in the batter.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and drop a spoonful of preserves on top of each.

Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, 20-25 min. Cool on wire rack.

Store in an air tight container for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to a month.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

All summer I have been picking up random pieces of laundry off the ground under the clothes line. I was starting to think I needed to invest in new clothes pins. Well, the other day I looked out the window and saw this:

My cat Chloe attacking the laundry!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Must Have For The Cook Book Shelf

I am a cook book addict. I check out every new cook book that comes into my library. Usually, I will find one recipe I like and will take the time to copy it down. Maybe, I will even get around to trying it. Well, my library books are due tomorrow and this is one that I don't want to return. I have already renewed it, twice, so it's time to say good-bye. We will meet again.....when I get my own copy.

"Whole Grains For Busy People", by Lorna Sass, is a must for anyone interested in cooking with whole grains. And not just for the recipes. The first chapter is a guide to whole grains. LOVE it. This is one reason why I need my own copy. Too much information to write down. Too many pages for my lazy butt to photo copy. There are actually charts in this cook book that show "at a glance" the different types of whole grain pastas, breads and flours. For example, the whole grain flour chart, has headers like "Easy to Grind at Home?", "Taste", and "Texture in Baked Goods". Since I try to make most of my families food from scratch, this is awesome! Sass even shares her formula for substituting white flour with wheat flour in recipes. I haven't tried it yet, but will share if it works. Wait, can I do that or is that a copy-right thing?

The second reason why I need to get this book is because of the mix and quick bread recipes. There are 'make ahead and refrigerate mixes' recipes for pancakes, biscuits, and muffins, among other things. We are a big breakfast family so I LOVE this idea. I am also a recovering Bisquick addict and am going to try the biscuit mix as a substitute.

The other recipes aren't too shabby either, and they are all easy and quick. Most call for ingredients that are already in the house, or are easy to substitute with what you do have on hand. Since my little guy is on a pasta and rice kick, these recipes have come in handy.

Well, I think I'm going to have to start typing up a couple of recipes tonight to hold me over until I get my own copy. And I think it's gonna be cold enough in the morning to try one of the oatmeal recipes for breakfast. HMMMMM, maybe Chai-Spiced Oatmeal....

FYI, I am not getting anything for this "review" if you could call it that. Nor was I asked to do this. This is just me, sharing my new cook book discovery. When you find a book you like, don't you just want to tell everybody?!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

I started making my own laundry detergent a while ago. I found this recipe and it works great. I am saving money- costs less than $10 for the ingredients. The boxes of Borax and Washing Soda make at least 5 batches (I think I am under estimating here). Only one tablespoon of this soap is needed for a regular load, 2 tablespoons for a large or extra dirty load, so a batch lasts a while. I am also lessening my carbon footprint, as I am no longer buying a plastic bottle of detergent every other week. I use it in my He machine, but I do NOT use it on my cloth diapers. I am afraid that the soap might leave a build up on the diapers.



1 Bar of Fels Naptha Soap (I have found this soap in the hand soap aisle and the laundry soap aisle of the grocery store)
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda (not the same as baking soda)
1/4 Cup Oxy Clean powder (optional, I don't use it)
Oil for scent (I use lavender oil, but I'm out right now)

Large spoon
Something to store final product in

Grate the soap using the holes on the grater that are this size, or close:

After grating 1/2 the bar, I stop to check on Sophie.......

                                                                 ......and to switch grating arms.

When done grating, soap will look like this:


Add rest of ingredients. It will look like this when done:

Sophie will look like this when done:

I store my final product in this:


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Take Action : What's for Lunch?

One of the goals of this blog is to inform. I hope that by bringing up and informing on issues that I feel passionate about, I can incite in my readers that same passion. If I can get just one person to act, I feel I have made a difference in the lives of future generations. So blah, blah, blah, here it goes....

Today, that issue is nutrition. More specifically, the nutrition of our children as provided and protected by the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 and the Richard B. Russel National School Lunch Act of 1946. Both of these Acts are now up for review, and both contain parts that will expire Sept 30th of THIS YEAR (that's just weeks away, people!) without Congressional action. It is important to know what is going on, especially when our children are at stake! Congress meets on Sept 8th to discuss this, just a few days away!!

The objective of the Child Nutrition Act, according to the Act itself, is "to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation's children, and to encourage the domestic consumption of agriculture and other foods, by assisting States through grants-in-aid and other means, to meet more effectively the nutritional needs of our children". To read the Child Nutrition Act (CNA) in it's entirety click here. Yeah, it's long and technical, but in a nut shell, the CNA includes the implementation of:

The School Breakfast Program
The School Milk Program
The Special Nutrition Programs for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), including the WIC Farmers Market Program, School Wellness Programs, and the Program to Promote Breastfeeding.

Are you still with me?  The Richard B. Russel National School Lunch Act of 1946 can be read in it's entirety here, but again, in a nut shell, it includes the implementation of:

The National School Lunch Program
Nutritional promotion and education
The Reduced/Free Lunch Program
The Summer Food Service Program
The Child and Adult Care Food Program
The After School Snack and Meal Programs

So what's the deal? All of these programs EXCEPT National School Lunch, The School Breakfast, and School Milk Programs are set to expire on Sept 30th, without Congressional action. Now I highly doubt that the other programs dissapear, but they are up for review and could be modified. There are several issues that are of focus, including:

The need for the implementation and enforcement of policies to guarantee that school meals are following recent updates to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The need for an increase in the funding received by States to cover the increase in food costs, and to cover the higher price of healthier foods in school meals.

The proposed elimination of the "Reduced" lunch program. Groups such as the School Nutrition Association, are stating that even the "reduced lunch" price is too much, suggesting that there be only "free" and "paid" lunches. Read more on this here.

The need for the strengthening of the School Wellness Program and the support and strengthening of the WIC program with the assistance of Congress. For more details on this click here.

The need for the strengthening of policies to support farm to school initiatives. Farm to School is a program that forms a link between local farms and schools to provide healthier food for school menus, and to improve nutrition through education. For more info, click here.

Ok, now if you are still reading this, you probably want to know what YOU can do to see that these issues are considered on Sept 8th. Here are some ideas:

Take part in "A Time for Lunch" National Day of Action Eat-In on Labor Day, Sept 7th. An Eat-In can be as basic as a group of people having a picnic in a public place while having a "sit-in". The purpose of this Eat-In is to get REAL food into schools. You can find an Eat-In near you, or host your own by visiting There is also a petition here you can sign.

Visit to send a form email to your Legislators. This is as easy as typing your name and clicking to send!

Go to to get your Legislators email address or phone number and give them a piece of you mind. They work for YOU!

Hope that wasn't too borring!!!!! Let me know what you think. I know there are more aspects to these Acts and proposed changes than I touched on. This was just the Cliff Notes.

Where I got my info, and where you can go if you want more:
The National Farm to School Program
National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA)
Child Nutrition Act of 1966
School Nutrition Association
Healthy Schools Campaign
Frame Works Institute
Frac101: Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act
United States Department of Agriculture

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Cliff Walk, Newport RI

The Cliff Walk is a 3.5 mile public access walkway that goes along the Newport, Rhode Island shoreline. You get a great view of the Atlantic Ocean, and a peak into the backyards of historical mansions. We only walked the part of the Walk that is stroller friendly.

The Breakers, also known as the Vanderbilt's summer "cottage".

Diaper Washer Back In Action!

So the hubby finally made it to the basement today to see what's up with the washer. Apparently, the only thing I didn't check was the lever that turns the water flow on/off to the machine. YUP, that's all. He insists he did not turn it off. I didn't turn it off. I suggested maybe one of the cats hit it (because they are always climbing the walls in the basement?!), but it's hard to turn. That means we now have a ghost. Sweet.