Reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet

December 26, 2011

After eating lots of yummy goodies this past month (like those gluten free Bob’s Red Mill shortbread cookies in the photo above), I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the need to reduce or eliminate sugar from my diet.  Too much sugar leaves me feeling jittery and wrecks havoc on my immune system.  I successfully eliminated sugars for about 10 weeks this fall and I felt great.  Some people might not need to eliminate it, but for me I’ve found sugar to be a slippery slope.  If I have a little bit of sugar, then I want more and soon my cravings are out of control.  I learned from my days of no sugars that fruit is sweet enough to my palate to satisfy my sweet cravings.  I also eliminated grains, except for 2 pieces of sprouted grain bread per day.  Why?  The first few days without sugar are the hardest.  How did I survive those days?  Often times when I craved sugar, it’s because I was actually hungry and needed to eat a protein snack.  I will admit that it’s not easy.  Sugar is in everthing these days.  It takes willpower and determination, but it can be done.

Here are some ideas for favorite sugar-free snacks:

  • fruit
  • cut up veggies
  • nuts
  • cheese slices
  • yogurt
  • green smoothies
  • sprouted grain bread with almond butter
  • hard boiled eggs
  • canned salmon

This post is being linked up at: Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Growing Home blog, and New Life on a Homestead.


Winner of the Simple Scrubs to Make and Give Ebook

December 26, 2011

Congratulations to commenter #1, Michelle at Delightful Learning!  She won a copy the Simple Scrubs to Make and Give Ebook.

Thank you to those of you that entered!

A Christmas knit

December 21, 2011

One of my favorite things to enjoy during the month of December is reading Christmas books with my kids. Here are a few of my favorites that we’ve been enjoying this week:

Shall I Knit You a Hat?: A Christmas Yarn by Kate Klise. This is a whimsical book about a bunny whose mom knits hats for all of his animal friends. I love the charming illustrations. There is even a pattern to knit your own hat like bunny wears.

A Little House Christmas: Holiday Stories From the Little House Books. It’s interesting to think about how simple Christmas gifts used to be. Laura was excited about getting a penny, sugar cookie, peppermint stick and tin cup. Where along the way did we lose the simplicity in our celebrations?

Bartholomew’s Passage by Arnold Ytreeide.  This is the second book in a trilogy.  We’ve also been working our way through this book with a daily Advent reading. My boys, ages 6-12, look forward to each day’s reading.

Speaking of Christmas, here’s a candy cane hat that I recently completed. The pattern is from the Itty Bitty Hats book by Susan B. Anderson. I knit it in Rowan Handknit cotton that the pattern called for. I hadn’t knit with it before, but loved it. It was a fun, quick knit, especially after working on socks.

Baby is playing with a foam ornament, not a glass one.  I wouldn’t give my baby a glass ornament to play with!

Join others and myself at the Yarn Along at Small Things where we link up to share what we’ve been reading and knitting.

Simple Scrubs to Make and Give Ebook Review and Giveaway

December 21, 2011

I was excited to have the opportunity to review the new ebook Simple Scrubs to Make and Give.  Stacy at A Delightful Home has put time and attention to detail in to creating this unique ebook.

Eye catching pictures of different sugar and salt scrubs can be found throughout the ebook.  They all make me want to grab a book and take a nice hot bath.  There are 15 salt and sugar scrub recipes in this ebook.  Some of the scrubs included are the Holiday Spice Sugar Scrub, Rustic Lavender Scrub, and Fresh Citrus Body Scrub.

I chose to make the Chocolate Lover’s Scrub because I love anything chocolate.  It was simple to make and turned out well.  I haven’t tried it yet as I might give it as a gift, but it smells good enough to eat.

Before you get started making your scrub, you may need to buy the ingredients.  There is a list detailing where you can buy the various ingredients.

Stacy gives a basic recipe and different essential oil combinations you can use to scent your scrub.  An explanation of the benefits of the essential oils are listed.

Also included in the book are 9 facial scrub recipes.  Facial scrubs are not something that you’d package for giving as you would use them right away.  There is a basic facial scrub recipe with a list of wet ingredients and dry ingredients.  Pick one from each list, combine, and you have a facial scrub.

Once you’ve made your scrub, you’ll want some way to package it.  Packaging ideas are included, as well as labeling ideas.

Stacy encourages readers to experiment when making scrubs.  You may create some different, yet wonderful combination not listed.

At $3.99, this is a great deal.  You can get 30% off until 12/21 making it $2.79.  Click here to view more details

Stacy is giving a copy of her new ebook to one of you!  To enter, leave me a comment telling me which scrub you would make if you win.

For additional entries:

  • Subscribe to my blog
  • Share about this giveaway on facebook or twitter

Please leave a seperate comment for each entry.

This giveaway ends 12/25 at 11:59 pm CST.  Winner will be chosen via random number generator.

Disclosure: Affiliate links are contained in this post.

This post is being linked up at: Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Growing Home blog, and New Life on a Homestead.

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal

December 17, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal
In my life this week…  I’m recuperating from a toe injury.

In our homeschool this week…  We’ve been studying the parts of a seed, Alexander Hamilton, James Audubon, poinsettas, and more.

I am inspired by… handprint crafts I’ve seen on Pinterest.  I want to remember their small hands.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… I’ve not gone anywhere this week due to my toe injury. It’s actually a nice change.

My favorite thing this week was…  reading Bartholomew’s Passage with my kids.  I’m also reading Ann Voskamp’s Jesse Tree devotional with my 12 year old son.

Things I’m working on…  Christmas shopping lists.

I’m reading… an ebook Hope for the Weary Mom.  I’m really enjoying it.

I’m cooking…  nothing this week. I’m letting my kids and husband take care of the food

I’m grateful for… a hard working husband and helpful kids.

I’m praying for… my toe to get better soon.

A photo…  such a sweetie pie, this baby boy of mine.  I love his chubby baby hands.

My helpful boys

December 15, 2011

My three big boys (ages 12, 9, and 6) have been helpful this week after my recent toe injury.  They have made breakfasts and lunches and helped with laundry.  The photo above is from my breakfast in bed that my oldest brought to me.  This is giving them a chance to serve others.  At the same time, it’s also shown me that they are capable of quite alot.  I am blessed with great boys and am grateful for their help.

I am linking this post up at The Mob Society’s Let’s Hear it for the Boys, where moms can share weekly how wonderful their boys are.  Join others and myself and tell us how great your boy is!


Peanut Butter Blossoms and a lesson in slowing down

December 13, 2011

Yesterday, I made my husband’s favorite cookie, Peanut Butter Blossoms with plans to make another type of cookie in the evening.  I had a lovely time baking with my 3 year old daughter always eager to help mommy in the kitchen.  Baby boy (7 months) was scooting around on the floor during this time.  He made a beeline for the dog’s water bowl and knocked it over.  I quickly wiped up the mess, or so I thought.  After my baking was done, I quickly walked through the kitchen, only to slip in the puddle of water from the dog’s bowl.  I think I’ve broken my toe.  So what is the lesson in this as I lay on the couch with my foot propped up or hobbling on crutches?  Perhaps it’s a lesson in examining what is truly important during this blessed time of Advent.  Do I need to bake 8 other kinds of cookies this year?  Mail out cards?  Rush from one event to the next?  Maybe it’s a chance to knit more, read more, and slow down in an otherwise often busy time of year.

On to the recipe:

Peanut Butter Blossoms

  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 3/4 c. peanut butter
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. unsifted flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • granulated sugar
  • 9 oz package Hershey’s kisses

Cream shortening and peanut butter.  Add sugars.  Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well.  Combine dry ingredients.  Add gradually, blending thoroughly.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls; roll in granulated sugar.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven, immediately place unwrapped kiss on tops of each cookie, pressing down so that cookie cracks around the edge.  Remove from cookie sheet; cool.  Makes 4 dozen cookies.

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal

December 9, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal
In my life this week… Christmas baking, listening to Christmas music, ornament making with Truth in the Tinsel, making a list of meaningful gifts to buy for my children and others.

In our homeschool this week… We’ve been enjoying reading George Washington’s World for history. In science, we finished chapter 1 in Exploring Creation with Botany.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… Making sure I get enough sleep during this busy season is a good thing. A well rested mama equals a cheerful mama.

I am inspired by… all of the Christmas recipes and craft ideas I’ve been seeing online lately. So many great ideas, not enough time.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… We went to church on Wednesday to see and learn about St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. Boy Scouts and piano lessons were also on the agenda.

My favorite thing this week was… reading Christmas books with my littles.

Things I’m working on… my laundry pile. Will I ever be caught up? Perhaps I’ll be caught up when my kids are grown and then I’ll miss the laundry piles.

I’m reading… Season’s of a Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson. I’ve read this book before, but am now going through it again, one chapter per week, underlining what speaks to me.

I’m cooking… something with chicken in it. We have several pounds of chicken breasts in our freezer.

I’m grateful for… a freezer full of food. In addition to the chicken breasts, we also have some yummy sausage and raviolis.

I’m praying for… my friend Andrea’s baby, Jonathan. You can follow his journey at Jonathan’s NICU Journey.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share… We are loving Cuties around here. We could eat a box a day.

Truth in the Tinsel E-book

December 1, 2011

I recently had the opportunity to review an e-book title Truth in the Tinsel An Advent Experience for Little Hands.  It is written by Amanda from Impress Your Kids.

This e-book has 24 days of fun for you to enjoy with your child from December 1 – December 24.  Each day there are instructions on how to make that day’s ornament, a scripture passage, and ideas for conversation.

I like that Amanda provides a detailed list of items needed for crafts, but also mentions that you can use what you have on hand if you don’t have a certain item.  She breaks down the list by each day as well.  If you are like me and need to see what the finished ornament is supposed to look like, you will like the photos of each day’s ornament.

Advent is often a busy time of year.  These ornaments are simple to complete.  If time is an issue though, Amanda offers a few alternative schedules for creating fewer ornaments.  These alternative schedules include the highlights.

Truth in the Tinsel is a fabulous e-book.  You can purchase it for $4.99.  I know I am excited to do some crafting fun with my kids this month.  I hope you will consider joining me!  If you want to share your stories and photos of working through this fun e-book, you can go to the Truth in the Tinsel Facebook page.

A blessed Advent to you!

Yarn Along

October 12, 2011

I am linking up to the Yarn Along at Small Things.  Each week, participants share what they are knitting or crocheting and reading.

I’ve been working on this pair of socks lately.  I’m knitting it in some lovely handpainted Cascade sock yarn.  I am so excited that I finally conquered knitting two socks at a time on one long circular.  I had tried before but gave up.  This time I did it and love it!

I’m reading Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic.  It is a quick read with short chapters, perfect for this mama.  I am really enjoying it.  She’s very down to earth as she talks about her mothering.