What I’ve Been Up To: January

Well hey there!

The last month has flown past while I’ve been busy writing, designing, coding, and, oh yeah – loving on my babies and my husband.

Here is some of what I’ve been up to:

Fighting the flu. The reports aren’t exaggerating — this strain is stubborn.

Finally answering (nearly) every imaginable question about going (and staying) shampoo free: Shampoo Free FAQ. If you have any additional questions, please ask! Not kidding –  I’m happy to help anyone considering this.

Trying out other uses for baking soda (since I knew it had to be for more than just baking, hair care and cleaning counter tops).

Watching Alabama’s victory over Notre Dame (Roll Tide!!)

Helping Abbie finalize her application to ASFA.

Inviting y’all to come visit us in Birmingham. Seriously. It’s on Jetsetter.com’s list of the 6 places to visit in 2013.

Continuing to update on the latest Resources and News for parents and educators of gifted and twice exceptional children.

Creating some logos, web designs and graphics that I’m super proud of. I can’t wait for them to go live.

Taking the kids to Tuscaloosa for the first time, so they could watch the BCS Championship parade.

And, starting today, this:

 What Ive Been Up To: January What Ive Been Up To: January
The Plan What Ive Been Up To: January.

I happened to catch a post from Missy, at Almost Naptime, where she mentioned the book and that she was going to start on it. She mentioned that it is an anti-inflammatory diet, and that even foods that are healthy can cause inflammatory reactions.  That caught my attention, so I sought out more information. I had a lot of questions and have watched her go through the first week and half (I’ve messaged her a lot… bless her heart…)

(Even though I do not have a Kindle, I downloaded the Kindle app and purchased the Kindle version What Ive Been Up To: January, and HELLO! I love the Kindle app on my iPhone/iMac/Macbook Air! Highlighting, bookmarking… heaven…)

By the time  you read this, I will have already weighed myself and drunk/drank/drinken (heh) 16 ounces of water with lemon juice (after weighing myself, thank you…), had a cup of dandelion tea for liver support, and eaten some flax seed granola with blueberries.

Why?

Because despite the fact that for the last 3 years I’ve been eating healthier than ever, I have struggled with chronic pain/autoimmune issues and, though I run 4 days a week, a slight weight gain. I want to find out if I’m reactive to any of the healthy foods I am eating, and I don’t want ‘slight’ to turn into ‘major’.

Speaking of my chronic pain, several people have asked and I still plan on having my IUD removed. Because I’m a new patient, I had to wait for an appointment, so I will keep updating here as I figure things out. It will hopefully be removed next month.

What are y’all up to? Do tell.

(The book link above is an affiliate link. If you purchase it using the link, I’ll toast you with some dandelion tea… thanks. ;) )

Celebrating Every Day

CW125 Celebrating Every Day Celebrating Every DayThank you COOL WHIP for sponsoring this post. Join us on Facebook for inspiration and recipes for everyday treats. What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms

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Most people would probably look at how we celebrate traditionally major events and holidays and think that we are ruining them for our children. We try not to overdo it, preferring to keep things low-key and simple, without minimizing it.

Instead, we try to celebrate the every day, every day. We celebrate the fact that we are together. That we had a good week. That some one was complimented for good manners. Or that Randy returned from being on the road.

Some may say this waters things down and trivializes what’s important.

On quite the contrary. I believe that it is teaching our children to see the joy and beauty in every moment, and not just the things that we are told are worthy of celebration. Or to only celebrate on particular occasions or events.

It’s not about elevating the children’s sense of self-importance. It’s about gratitude and attitude. Christmas is not just one day, in December. We can celebrate Jesus’ birth in May or July, over several days. At the beach! A birthday is not something we celebrate only once a year – we are happy every day that our family members were born!

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Along with that, we like to enjoy our food and be creative with it. We have become very particular about how and what we eat. But one thing we are determined to do is keep it fun, pleasurable and enjoyable. Each meal is a mini-celebration – something that should be colorful and tasty.

We take a lot of photos of our food creations, and one thing that is obvious as you look through them is that we love sprinkles and COOL WHIP Whipped Topping. (It’s perfect frozen or thawed!)

Duckie-shaped sprinkles on green beans.
Sprinkles and COOL WHIP topping a bowl of chocolate peanut butter steel-cut oatmeal.

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Microwave Martini glass cake, with sprinkles and COOL WHIP.

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Strawberries dipped in COOL WHIP and sprinkled with… well, SPRINKLES, next to a taco.

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There is never a shortage of things to celebrate when you stop and think about it. You don’t have to look far. And nothing lights up a face like celebrating those moments that so many others might have missed or overlooked.

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Celebrating is not reserved for special occasions. It’s part of our daily lives.

Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

Homemade Ice Cream

IMG 67611 300x300 Homemade Ice Cream

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the homemade popsicles we made for the kids to have on ice cream day at school. This week, I finally got around to posting the recipe on Living The Life Fantastic. You can read it here.

It’s so simple and delicious. You don’t even need an ice cream maker, but frankly, I enjoy the process and the grinding sound of the ice cream maker; brings back memories of summers while growing up.

For the popsicles, we make the base (the cream and sugar) and add sliced strawberries, bananas or cherries and simply poured them into popsicle molds and froze them.

Let me know if you try them!

Enjoy!

Let the Internet Help Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Ok – so the internet won’t bake your pumpkin pie or fix your over-dry turkey, but there are plenty of resources out there that can help you do it yourself and make it through the day without downing the entire bottle of rum you purchased for your dessert cake.

Some of my favorites are:

Smithfield

Smithfield Home 300x221 Let the Internet Help Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner

This site has lots of recipes, including several by Paula Deen. Most are twists on old classics. Be sure to also check out the articles – many are non-food related.

What’s Cooking America

What s Cooking America Thanksgiving Dinner Planning Prime Rib Roast Thanksgiving Turkey 300x145 Let the Internet Help Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Don’t judge this site by it’s ‘cover’ – it’s not the prettiest site, but it has a lot of really useful information. Answers some of the most common questions: How to roast a turkey, but also how to smoke and BBQ/grill a turkey and defines Turkey Terminology. Looking for variations on common T’day dishes? They’ve got ‘em.

BusyCook.About.com

Thanksgiving Recipes and Tips Thanksgiving 101 Thanksgiving Menus and Recipes Thanksgiving Recipes 300x176 Let the Internet Help Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner

The very first page has links for Stuffing 101Turkey 101Gravy 101Rolls 101 etc. If that isn’t enough information for you, check out this page for articles on The Top 10 Thanksgiving Problems – Solved! (including what to do about dry turkey!!!) and the always useful list of Holiday Helplines.

Reynolds

Reynolds Kitchens %E2%80%93 Paper and Foil For Baking Cooking and Grilling 300x200 Let the Internet Help Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner

I love that their products help make clean-up easier. You’ll find lots of tips on their site including ways to avoid over-browning, cooking with limited oven space and how to cook two turkeys at once.

Ocean Spray

Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. 300x205 Let the Internet Help Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner

I think this may be my favorite site of all, for Thanksgiving usefulness. I can’t even begin to list all of the information this site has packed into it. Some of the highlights: help for the Top Thanksgiving Terrors, a holiday planning book you can prepare and print out (based on the recipes you want to prepare), crafts (using cranberries, of course), and family fun (including a kids table menu).

Remember: many companies are on Twitter as well, and most will be available on Thanksgiving to help with any cooking issues that arise.
Some  companies on Twitter
Butterball
Kraft Foods
Land o Lakes
Ocean Spray

What resources will you be using this Thanksgiving? Share them with us:

 

Purposeful Living

Today on my other blog (Living the Life Fantastic), I’ve written about Purposeful Living. Hint: It includes a brownie recipe. It also includes some tips from this book:

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook
 Purposeful Living Purposeful Living Purposeful Living

Purposeful Living: Purposeful Eating

(*note: the link for the cookbook is an affiliate link)