Friday, December 21, 2012

Mmmm...Homemade Honey Wheat Bread

We LOVE bread in this house. LOVE IT. But we're also very picky about our bread. It has to be just the right texture, just the right amount of wheat, and just the right amount of flavor. Store bought bread is just not very good (in our opinion), has ingredients that we try to keep out of our home, and can be quite expensive.

So, I scoured the web searching for the perfect recipe and found a great one here at 100 Days of Real Food.  I changed the flour contents to 60% wheat flour and 40% white flour. For us, too much wheat is too heavy tasting. We have been known to eat an entire loaf in less than 2 days.

Here's my version of her yummy recipe! Enjoy!
I only use a bread machine. Making bread where I have to actually knead the dough is a disaster for me 100% of the time.

  • 2 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups white flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups warm water (not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter)
  • 1 packet or 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
Place the ingredients in order in your bread machine. I use the regular bread setting with the lightest crust. Once it's ready, I pop it out of the pan and rub butter all over the warm bread. Yum!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

On Being a Preschool Mommy

Our oldest (4 years) has been going to a wonderful church preschool for the past two years. We love it and so does he. You know they're doing something right when he asks if he can go to school!

Anyway, I'm not friends with any of the moms in his class. We say "hello" in passing and make small talk when we happen to stand next to each other during pick up times. I believe most of the families that attend the preschool also attend the church. So it makes sense that a lot of the moms know each other and have lots to talk about. Sometimes, I get a feeling of being an outsider when I see small groups of moms chatting and laughing, but I'm not in that mix. I'm pretty shy, so I'm certainly not going to walk up to them and join in on the conversation.  Ugh, feelings of middle school start popping up. Don't get me wrong...when I do chat with these ladies, they are all super nice.

However, the things I see going on there make me question whether I'm a good enough preschool mommy.

Sound crazy?

It is. But it's true.

There is pressure to being a preschool mommy.

I have no idea what preschool was like when I was four back in 1981. (There, you now know my age!) I assume there was the usual birthday party invitations, bringing snacks for the class, having a Christmas book exchange.

Well, let me just tell you what goes on nowadays. It stresses me out. It has made me question myself. It has made me a bit angry, too.

At my son's school (and let's face it, this probably happens at most schools across the country) I've seen mommies this:
  • When unable to attend another kids birthday, they bring a gift for said child. OK, while I think it's sweet and thoughtful to bring a birthday gift for a child, is it going a little far to bring one for the kids that you don't know on a personal level? Where you and your child's only interaction with them is at preschool? Am I being unreasonable? 
  • Speaking of birthday parties, these parties for 4 year olds that cost minimum $300 just for the party (not including cake, decorations) just drive me crazy! What expecation is being set for next years party? Why do we need to invite every child in the preschool class? And what happened to having a fun party at home with just simple cake and ice cream? We did this last year with our oldest and it was a huge success. We invited his three closest friends, they played inside and out, ate cake, hit a pinata, and opened gifts. It was so much fun! 
  • And lastly, as I dropped him off Thursday for the last day before Christmas break, I caught wind of at least 3 moms who brought Christmas 'gifts' for each child. OMG, am I now supposed to bring gifts for 16 kids?? 
Please hear me: I LOVE TO GIVE. I'm HAPPY to give. I LOVE being involved in my boys' preschool class. I get such joy out of seeing him learn, participating in Zoo Days, Fireman visits, etc. But I don't feel the need to buy 'things' all the time. We don't have the money for it, and even if we did, I'm not sure I would spend it on those kinds of things.  

I guess I don't understand the reasoning behind it. Is it out of true kindness? Is it out of a sense of wanting your child to be well-liked (or wanting to be well-liked yourself)?

Those scenarios mentioned above are what stress me out about being a preschool mommy. And make me question myself as to whether I'm doing it 'right.'

On Thursday, as I was stressing to my husband about whether I should've bought gifts for all the kids in class, I was tagged in a Facebook post with a link to this article: Why You're Never Failing as a Mother
It was a true reminder that I don't have to be the 'perfect' mommy and bring Christmas gifts to each kid in my son's class. I'm doing a great job just being a mommy in general. I love my boys, I spend all my days with them interacting, baking, creating, singing, playing, name it. That's good enough. That's more than good enough.

Are you a preschool mommy? Do you ever feel pressure in the preschool classroom? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bloggers Block

Have you ever experienced this? I'm in a serious blogging drought right now. I have about 10 posts saved as drafts but I just can't seem to find the creativity (or time, or energy) to finish them.

Hopefully, I'll be back soon...until then, please feel free to keep up with me on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, December 7, 2012

My Grand Opening!

I had my first official Grand Opening party for my Shaklee business on Tuesday. I called it my Health and Wealth party. It was a great success! Of course, I didn't get pictures. Boo.

I had to give my two minute story on how I found Shaklee. Can I just tell you how much the idea of public speaking terrifies me? I waited until my very last semester of college before I took the required Public Communications class I needed in order to graduate. Surprisingly, I did not die from sharing my story. In fact, my sweet friends told me I looked like a professional up there! Liars.

After sharing my story, my business partners quickly shared theirs, then we launched into the Shaklee presentation...what Shaklee stands for, how we are the NUMBER ONE natural nutrition company in the US, and a demo of some of our best selling products.

My friends were impressed. Some of them were a little hesitant to attend because they didn't want to be sold ocean front property in north Texas, or feel pressured to purchase something. They (and myself) have had experiences like that from other MLM companies. And it is no fun.

I didn't have the party to get them to buy something from me, however, I appreciate greatly those who did. I had the party to share my passion about Shaklee and how the products have helped our family get clean and healthy! I want to spread the word about healthy, non-toxic living...especially to those I care about.

So everyone who attended the party, thanked ME for inviting them! They told me they were pleasantly surprised that they didn't feel pressured to purchase products. They told me, our presentations were wonderful and gave them lots of insight on Shaklee. I'd call that a huge success!

I can't wait to have another party soon! I love helping others!

Would you like to have your own Shaklee Health and Wealth party? Contact me and we can get you set up!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Testimonial Tuesday - Joint Health Complex

This testimony is courtesy of me, your devoted author. Note: Shaklee has not asked me to endorse any of their products. Opinions are my own and I buy the products with my own money.

I don't believe in miracle drugs. I don't believe in a magic pill that's going to change your life. However, I do believe in Shaklee's Advanced Joint Complex. I put it to the test for 30 days and it has really helped me feel better! Read on...

I've dealt with chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain for about 11 years. It can be a real hindrance to my daily quality of life. Most of the pain is from soft tissue injury, but it also affects the joints in my shoulders and vertebrae in my spine. I can actually predict the weather depending on how my neck is feeling. No joke. If my neck muscles are painful, and it hurts to turn my head, then it's going to rain soon. Humidity is a real aggravator for me.

Shaklee has a supplement called Advanced Joint Health Complex.

The claim is:
  • Patent-pending, fast-acting form of Boswellia extract: In a clinical study, it has been shown to improve joint comfort in as a few as five days*
  • The most concentrated form of glucosamine. Glucosamine is clinically proven to:
    • Promote mobility
    • Enhance flexibility
    • Improve joint function
    • Support long-term joint health
  • Unique combination of key joint health nutrients: zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin C – each playing a unique and critical role in building healthy connective collagen and cartilage
  • Chondroitin-free for better glucosamine absorption
  • 100% shellfish free
  • 100% vegetarian – no animal-derived ingredients

I've been eyeing it for a few months, but I have to tell you, I'm definitely one of those people who resist any type of pain drug for as long as possible. To the point that when I do actually give in and take something, it's too late.

Granted, this supplement isn't a pain drug, but it's supposed to help with joint pain and stiffness. For the past few months, when I get up in the mornings my back is so stiff, so painful that I just want to cry. I feel exhausted at 7am. Wanting to cry and being exhausted before the day even begins really isn't an option for me. I have to be alert and ready to take care of my boys from the get go.

After putting it off for a while, I decided to give the Joint Complex a try. After about 6 days of continuous use, I noticed that I wasn't so achy in the mornings. I noticed that I didn't feel like crying from the pain, that I didn't want to just fall back into bed and sleep it off. (I do want to fall back into bed most mornings, but it's because mornings always come too soon!)

I've also noticed that my knees (tendonitis) aren't as achy from a cardio workout as they used to be. Good grief, you'd think I was 65 years old reading about my aches and pains...not 35! Sigh. 

Do you suffer from chronic or joint pain? What do you do to treat it?

Contact me if you're interested in learning more about Shaklee's Advanced Joint Complex. Try it! We offer at 30 day money back guarantee if you're not happy with it! You have nothing to lose, except pain! :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What? FREE Shipping?!

Shaklee very rarely does free shipping because let's face it...shipping products is expensive. But, beginning Friday November 9- Sunday November 18, you can get FREE shipping on orders of $200 or more!

Ya'll, take advantage of this opportunity! It may not come back for a long time.

Think a $200 order is too expensive? Let's look at it this way. How much do you spend monthly on household items like laundry detergent, dish soap, general cleaning products, and vitamins or supplements? Add it up and you'd probably be surprised!

For example, you could spend up to $3400 for toxic, hazardous ready to use cleaners to get the same amount of clean in our Get Clean Starter Kit! Yikes! And by purchasing our Get Clean Starter Kit, not only are you saving $$$, but you are keeping 108 POUNDS of packaging waste out of landfills!

Here are a few of my most popular blog posts regarding saving money, going green, and keeping those nasty toxins out of your home.
Cost Comparison: Vinegar vs Shaklee Basic H
Green Cleaning Saves Money
What's in My Fabric Softener?
Probiotics for Acid Reflux Relief
Vitalizer and Supplementation

Remember, from Nutrition to Beauty, Cleaning to Weight Loss, our products have been proven to Always Work, Always Be Safe, and Always Be Green! You can't lose with Shaklee!

So visit my website, get your orders in and enjoy that free shipping! While you're there, sign up as a Member and save even more, 15% off your products! Your membership is renewals!

Questions? Contact me at or via my Shaklee website.

Shaklee and Project MAHMA

I know there are several stay at home moms who read this blog. I wanted to pass along this information to you about Shaklee's Project MAHMA. I'm excited to be a part of it!

What is Project MAHMA?
It's a coalition of families across the country who stay at home with their kids and earn income by helping others live healthier, better, and more independent lives. Project MAHMA was formed as an opportunity for mothers to:

  • Have the very best for their family's health, well-being, and financial future
  • Realize their personal potential
  • Make a difference in the lives of others
  • Do it all AND stay at home with their kids

Every other week there are calls that you can listen to. The calls are hosted by other Shaklee moms. They share their stories about how they got involved with Shaklee, how they built their businesses, all while being full time moms.

The calls have been very inspiring to me. If you're interested in being a work-at-home mom, whether it's to get your favorite Shaklee products paid for, or to earn $500, $1000, or even more a month, then I strongly encourage you to sign up for Project MAHMA emails and call information. You don't have to be a Shaklee member to listen in!

Hope to 'see' you there!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How We Are Winning the War on Viruses

It's that time of year again. The time of year when kids come home with all kinds of ailments, usually the kind that you don't want to talk about in public. The kind that only happen in the middle of the night when everyone is bleary eyed and barely coherent. Why can't these types of viruses come to fruition at 1pm instead of 1am? Just sayin.'

Well, our littlest one got his first stomach virus the other day.  Normally, these types of viruses last several days with misery all around.

But, since we've been diligent about being a cleaner, greener family and looking more into homeopathic preventative measures, our family has been much healthier. And the times when one of us does get sick, it seems the length has been shortened greatly.

So, little buddy had his stomach virus and here's what we did to help him out:
  1. Upped his daily pre and probiotics. We normally give him one serving per day but I just added an extra dose. 
  2. Continued his daily multivitamin. We love Incredivites from Shaklee. It's the best on the market and it has lactoferrin, which helps build up the kiddos immune systems. 
  3. Put an essential oil blend on his feet. The one we use is called Shield from Spark Naturals, but there are several other essential oil company's that have the same blend (Young Living, doTERRA). This blend wonderful germ-killing essential oil that has been proven to help kill airborne bacteria and boost the immune system. In fact, all four of us have been putting it on our feet everyday to help ward of any 'contamination' from the little one. :)
  4. And sprayed everything he'd touched with Basic G. Love, LOVE Shaklee's Basic G! It kills over 40 microbes and is so much safer than your regular old bleach. Of course, we don't let our kids spray it around the house, but we don't freak out if they get their hands on it like we would if they touched bleach!
Feeling much better!
He was over the virus in about 12 hours. That's a record around here. I honestly believe it has to do with our change to our approach with keeping our family clean and healthy! 

Have you had the bug at your house? What's your go-to to keep healthy?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Real Dirt on Clean - A Basic H Giveaway!

Are you living in a healthy home?
You know that good, healthy feeling you get when you've just cleaned house? Sorry to spoil it, but you may have just made your home dirtier.

Think of it this way. You wouldn't let your kids play with toxic
chemicals, so why would you let the baby crawl over a floor that's just been wiped with them? That's much more dangerous than the orange juice that was just there.

How dangerous? Just take a look at these statistics.
  • Over 90% of poison exposures happen at home.
  • Common bleach is the #1 household chemical involved in poisoning.
  • Organic pollutants, found in many common cleaners and even air fresheners, are 2 to 5 times higher inside your home than out.
  • A person who spends 15 minutes cleaning scale off shower walls could inhale three times the "acute one-hour exposure limit" for glycol ether-containing products set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
  • Common cleaners give off fumes that have been linked to increasing the risk of your kids developing asthma, the most common serious chronic childhood disease.
  • 1 in 13 school-aged children has asthma. Rates in children under five have increased more than 160% from 1980 – 1994.
  • Children are highly vulnerable to chemical toxicants. Pound for pound of body weight, children drink more water, eat more food and breathe more air than adults. The implication of this is that children will have substantially heavier exposures than adults to any toxicants that are present in water, food or air.
  • If your home is anything like the average U.S. home, you generate more than 20 pounds of household hazardous waste each year (the EPA designates toilet cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, oven cleaners, and bleach as hazardous waste). 

Get Those Toxins Out of Your Home!
There are alternatives for these dangerous chemicals and cleaners. Shaklee Get Clean  is a wonderful product line that contains nothing harmful or dangerous. From Basic H to Fresh Laundry, these products not only clean well, they are concentrated down so you only need a little to clean a lot. So as you get the toxins out of your home with Shaklee's Get Clean Line , you save money...and lots of it. 

For example: 
  • Shaklee's Laundry detergent....just 1 ounce does one load.
  • Our BasicH.....just 1/4 tsp added to 16 ounces of water makes a great all purpose cleaner...for only 3 cents per bottle!
  • Basic H for window cleaner .....just 2 drops added to 16 ounces of water makes a great window cleaner....for less than 1 cent per bottle!

And Now for the Giveaway!
Five lucky winners will receive a free sample of Basic H! This tiny packet really packs a punch! You will be able to make two 16oz bottles of cleaner! You're going to save money and the environment with the wonderful product!

Follow the rules below to enter! And be sure to check out my store and let me know which Shaklee products interest you the most! Shaklee- Healthy Life, Happy Life
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 26, 2012

Seven Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
What a week! Hubs and I enjoyed a fantastic time in San Antonio together. Without kids. For 36 hours. Heaven!
--- 2 ---
I learned that your water will actually be turned off if you don't pay the bill. Oops. What an embarrassing mistake.
--- 3 ---
I voted today and I'm feeling so blessed to live in a country that lets us exercise our right to choose our Commander in Chief. I'm a straight party voter, but I never let the machines do it for me. I get such a thrill at checking off X for whom I want for President. I feel like I've made such a difference!

--- 4 ---
That said, good grief I cannot wait until the election is over. I'm beaten down by both sides.

--- 5 ---
I learned a new term that totally applies to me: Momnesia. Yep. Have it.

--- 6 ---
Wondering why my quick takes are so short. Oh yeah, see above. Momnesia.

--- 7 ---
Looking forward to the weekend with real autumn temperatures.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Zucchini Mini Muffins

My kids aren't the best veggie eaters. No surprise, right? The only vegetable my 3 1/2 year old will willingly eat is red bell pepper. The only one my 14 month old will eat is sweet potatoes. At least it's some kind of veggie.

I had a bunch of zucchini just waiting to be used and decided to try zucchini muffins for the first time. There are tons of recipes out there and most of them call for A LOT of sugar. My boys get too much sugar as it is, so I searched and searched for one that had less than 1 cup.

They weren't bad. We're still trying to get used to eating foods made out of whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour has a distinct texture to it. It's not a bad texture...just different. I would love to try another if you have one, please share it!

Luckily, the boys love the muffins (as of today) so I consider this a win...because they're getting some kind of vegetable and they like the idea of a somewhat sweet treat!

Here's the recipe I found if you're interested.

  • 4.75 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1 cup)
  • 3 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. 2. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine whole-wheat flour and next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine zucchini, milk, oil, honey, and egg in a small bowl; stir until blended. Make a well in center of flour mixture; add milk mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
  3. 3. Combine 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle over tops of muffins. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.

Do you have a favorite zucchini muffin recipe? Please share!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Deodorant Must-Know's

So, if you're like me and are fairly new to the green living, getting toxins out of your life adventure, then you might not know about what yucky things are in your...deodorant.

Yes, that stuff that keeps you from being stinky when you sweat perspire.

There is information all over the Internet about the chemicals that are in your regular old Dove, Secret, Arrid, etc. And that information isn't really comforting to me. Some of these ingredients have been proven to cause cancer. Sigh. Again, with the cancer causing ingredients that seem to be in EVERYTHING.

I myself was an avid Dove user. It worked on my sweating perspiration, plus it smelled nice. Not overwhelming, but enough to make me think it's doing it's job.

Then, I read through this list of ingredients that are in your typical antiperspirant.

  1. Aluminum- absorbed through the skin and accumulates in the body. That can't be good, right?
  2. Parabens- (methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl) - are all derived from toluene a toxic petrochemical derivitive. Toluene is toxic if swallowed or inhaled and is harmful for the skin. Since '00, 13 research studies have shown that various types of parabens act like estrogen in animals and tissue cultures. It's also known to drive the growth of cancerous cells. What the ...?? Evil, evil parabens!
  3. Triclosan- a skin irritant. It is stored in body fat and classified as a pesticide by the FDA. Lovely.
  4. Talc- classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
  5. Propylene glycol- May cause delayed allergic reactions. It's been said that it is neurotoxin and can cause liver or kidney damage. The FDA has not fully investigated these claims. Good ol FDA on our side!
  6. Silica- a skin irritant. 
  7. Steareth-n- a known human carcinogen.
Isn't this information so reassuring scary to think about? I mean, most of our deodorants have these ingredients in them. And for what? So we can smell nice? Um, no thanks. 

So, I tossed my Dove and went searching for an alternative that did not have those nasty ingredients. There are quite a few out there. I chose Tom's of Maine as my first go around for all natural, non-toxic deodorant. I've been pleased so far. It works well, smells nice, and I'm confident that I'm not putting nasty chemicals (at least from deodorant) into my body. 

If this list of ingredients makes you want to try something a little healthier for your body, make sure you look for antiperspirants that contain ingredients like vegetable glycerin, bioflavinoids and lichen, herbs or herb extracts, de-ionized or distilled water, green tea, aloe vera, baking soda, and essential oils.

What do you think? Is this list of dangerous ingredients scary to you or do you think I'm being a little paranoid? Have you switched your brands? 

Disclaimer: Tom's of Maine did not ask me to mention them in this post. 

Being a Mom in Today's World

Being a mom in today's world is tough. So is being a dad. And a kid. Heck, it's just tough being!

I don't know what it was like back when my own mom or even my grandma was a younger mom; I imagine they had their own challenges of outside influences, experts, friends, family, etc.

I really can't make comparisons, but today's world is so full of the Internet and bloggers and social media and experts and all of these outside influences that it just gets so overwhelming!

As moms, we want to be perfect. Have the perfect marriage, the perfect kids who are well-mannered, excel at school and sports, have the perfectly clean home, drive the perfect car to the perfect preschool.

We want the perfect marriage with the perfect husband. Perfect kids who are well-mannered and excel at everything. We aspire to drive the perfect car to the perfect preschool, then home to the perfect home on the perfect street in the perfect neighborhood. All the while having your clothes and makeup just perfect.

Because, as we all know, all the other moms are keeping tabs on us and tsk-ing when we're not perfect.

What I just wrote up there? Yeah, that pretty much sums me up in a long run-on sentence. I struggle with perfectionism on a daily basis. And I fail to be perfect

It's a nasty, nasty battle to be in with myself.

I've been a mom for almost four years and just this past summer, I've finally started to let go of that myth of perfectionism. I'm not letting myself feel guilty when I am just human to my family and not this make believe supermom who looks great, feels great, can blog about her beautiful home, while homeschooling her kids, and runs an at home business, but still finds time to work out, make dinner, have coffee with friends, and shower on a regular basis.

Okay, I'm not letting myself feel as guilty. It's a struggle for me, but I'm moving forward.

My house frequently looks like a bomb went off, our love seat has been the kids' closet for about 6 months, the bathrooms aren't cleaned on a regular basis, and I can't manage my time to save my life.

I've started going back to the basics. I'm relying on God to get me through those times when I start feeling the need to be supermom. Every morning before I get out of bed, I take just a few moments to thank Him for a new day, and ask for grace and patience with myself. He's been my go-to, my rock, my guidance. As He should be.

Which leads me to this article I read on our local news: Moms Popping Pills to Be Better Parents. Read it if you get a chance. For me, it's a sad story. But a very true story to so many moms out there. It's a true story to moms I know personally. 

Relying on drugs (prescription or otherwise) is not the way to deal with life. It's not worth it. Common sense says so. The effects of it later on can be so bad.  Using drugs to become supermom is just another way to check out of reality. Sure, you may be able to keep a clean home, never forget a kids water bottle or diaper, but are you really there for your family? There are other ways to cope with the stress besides Xanax and Adderall.

Moms (and dads, too!) give yourself a break. You don't need to be perfect. You don't need that perfectly clean home or perfectly clean kids. Remember what is important in this life. Your faith, your precious husband, and those precious kids. They all need you healthy, mentally, physically, and emotionally!

So tell me, do you struggle with being a mom in today's world? How do you cope?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cost Comparison: Vinegar vs. Shaklee Basic H

Which would you rather buy:
  • 24 gallons of vinegar ($40-$120) 
  • or just one 16oz bottle of Shaklee Basic H that will make 24 gallons of cleaner ($12)?
I have several friends who previously made their own cleaning products using white distilled vinegar, claiming it is cheaper than buying a product like Shaklee Basic H.

I did the math and I was surprised to find that the cheapest vinegar one can buy costs at least 3 times as much as Shaklee Basic H for all-purpose cleaning.

shaklee basic h
A 16oz bottle of Basic H costs members around $12 including 7% tax and shipping (when bundled with other products to save on shipping).

For example,
  1. For windows/mirrors, use 1-2 drops diluted in 16oz water, which costs less than a penny!
  2. For an all purpose solution,  use 1/4 tsp (25 drops) diluted in 16oz water, which costs 3 cents!
  3. To make an entire gallon, use 2 tsp (200 drops) in one gallon of water. Can you believe that will only costs you 25 cents for one gallon??
  4. The degreaser solution uses 1.5 tsp (150 drops) of Basic H in 16oz water, which costs 20 cents! 

For all purpose cleaning with vinegar, as well as for cleaning glass, you would need 1 part vinegar to 1 part water, so 1 gallon of cleaning solution would use 64oz vinegar plus 64oz water.

Now check this out:

  • A gallon of white vinegar ranges in cost from $1.65-$5 depending on brand. It would cost $0.80-$2.50 per gallon of diluted vinegar all purpose cleaning solution (at 1:1 ratio), 
  • Or 3-10 times the cost of making Shaklee Basic H all-purpose solution, which only costs 25 cents per gallon!
  • For cleaning mirrors and glass, vinegar costs 80 times more than Basic H windows solution! You'd need to buy and carry home 24 one gallon jugs of white distilled vinegar ($40-$120) to equal the cleaning power of just one 16oz bottle of concentrated Basic H ($12)!!! 
  • Which would you rather buy and carry home?

I also found this interesting information about cleaning with vinegar and water:
"Vinegar and Water: This system has been used for years and some still stand by it's use. However, vinegar can be acidic for floor/furniture/cabinets finishes. Initially, you may not notice the effects, but used consistently over the years it will affect the shine of your floors and other surfaces. Additionally, using too much water in the actual application always results in problems or ruined wood floors."

Shaklee Basic H is cheaper to use than vinegar and safer to use, as it's not going to ruin your surface finishes over time like vinegar could. And Basic H is unscented, which is a big plus for me!

Here is a great chart of cost comparison between Basic H and other brands.

What do you think? Is this information enough for you to consider switching brands? Or is vinegar and water still your favorite choice?

Oh, and those friends I mentioned earlier? They tried Basic H and love it!

For more information, check out our fantastic Get Clean line, where you can safely and effectively clean your entire home without toxins!

Quality is Everything to Shaklee

So this is what I really love about Shaklee: Their outstanding committment to quality. If even one ingredient in their product does not meet their specifications and standards, they halt production until the issue is resolved.

Are you confident that the company that makes your vitamins, supplements and baby care products is doing the same?

Since I joined Shaklee back in April, most of the baby line has been out of production. And I think it was out of production even before April. That's a long time! But you know what? It's because Shaklee refuses to put out less than perfect products.

Take a look at what our corporate office has put out about our Shakleebaby products:

We understand your frustration with the current unavailability of Shakleebaby products, and would like nothing more than to have them back in inventory, immediately. Unfortunately, the sourcing of exclusive, natural and organic ingredients has been more challenging than we had hoped.

As you might imagine, when we cannot secure even one ingredient, we cannot produce an entire formulation. On the upside, we have been working with new natural and certified organic ingredient sources, but they require a series of prototype batches that must be tested and re-tested to achieve a superior end product—not the least of which includes time-consuming, real-life testing by pediatricians for their feedback and confidence in the products.

While this may not be the answer you were hoping for, we ask your understanding and hope to report good news in the not-too-distant future.

I don't know about you, but I think that's a testament to the company. And as the saying goes, "You get what you pay for." While Shaklee may be a little more pricey, you can be confident that you are getting the best of the best.

Sure, you can get baby products at your local store for about $5-$8, but have you checked out the ingredients? Can you pronounce those ingredients? I'm pretty sure your regular over the counter products (Johnson & Johnson anyone?) does not have the same standard as Shaklee. Remember, you get what you pay for!

Want to know a little more about our Shakleebaby products? Check out this great video!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Overfed and Undernourished

How is it that Americans today consume an average of 610 calories a day more than they did 20 years ago—yet are still falling short in getting enough of the most critical nutrients needed for a long and healthy life? Blame it on our superbusy, fast food-packed lifestyles that drive us to make compromises of convenience, which are taking a toll on our nutritional status.

  • More than 80% of Americans have inadequate vitamin D blood levels, and for those over 50, almost 100% do not get the recommended amount of vitamin D from their diet. Vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption, and a results in osteomalacia (a softening of bones in adults).
  • About half of adults don't get enough vitamin C, which plays a role in immune function. One of the first signs of poor vitamin C status is low energy.
  • 86% of men and 93% of women don't get enough vitamin E. This vitamin also is key to supporting a healthy immune system.
  • 90% of teenage girls, more than 67% of women ages 19–50, and more than 90% of women over 50 fall short in reaching the recommended dietary intake for calcium from diet alone. Calcium is a mineral essential for strong and healthy bones.
  • Iron deficiency is believed to affect up to 16% of premenopausal women in the U.S., primarily because suboptimal iron consumption and menstruation lead to negative iron balance.
  • Two-thirds of adults don't get enough magnesium, an essential mineral needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps normal heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong.
  • American adults consume only about 15 grams of dietary fiber daily, while dietary guidelines recommend 25 to 35 grams per day. Fiber is important for healthy digestive function and for reducing the risk of heart disease.
There's no question that NOW is the time to set a goal of eating more healthfully. Start by consuming healthier fast foods: fresh fruits and vegetables for some extra vitamin C, a handful of nuts for the vitamin E and magnesium you may be missing, an extra glass of low-fat or nonfat milk to get more calcium and vitamin D, and replace that white bread with a slice of whole grain toast to help boost your fiber intake. While you're working toward that goal, take a comprehensive multivitamin/multimineral supplement every day to help fill your nutrient gaps!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Seven Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
I'm stoked that it's Thursday night and I'm writing this post. It's the first time in about 6 months I've done something ahead of schedule. Whoopie!
--- 2 ---
I was fired from my job of being cook for the family. FINALLY. I think the great Burned Sausage and Pancake Debacle of 2012 is what ultimately sent hubs over the edge.
--- 3 ---
The itty bitty has croup. Poor buddy...he's been so sick this year. Way too much for such a little guy.
--- 4 ---
T minus EIGHT days til hubs and I get to leave town by ourselves! Two whole nights without the littles!
--- 5 ---
Which leads me to think about all the fun things we're going to do alone. Dinner in an adult restaurant, uninterrupted conversations, and most importantly SLEEP!
--- 6 ---
I worked out three times this week. Gosh, I've missed it so much these past TWO YEARS! Why have I waited so long to get back into it?
--- 7 ---
I'm having mommy 10pm brain. All the wonderful thoughts and quips I had earlier today have vanished.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Giving Back

My husband and I love to give. We tithe faithfully to our church, we help out with neighborhood kids fundraisers, we supported a child in Brazil through Compassion, we are forever giving away clothes and blankets to those in need.

It fills our hearts with joy to give to those who are in need. While we are not well off financially, we have so much more than others and we believe it's our calling as Christ followers to help others, whether it's with money, clothes, time, and/or prayer.

A few months ago we decided to help out another cause that is dear to us, The Wounded Warrior Project. We don't know anyone who is in the military, none of our family is, we don't have friends who are.  But for both of us, the effects of front line combat and war on our amazing troops has shook us to the core.

Personally, I think our country can and should do so much more to help our soldiers who have been at war, have been wounded, suffer from PTSD, or have been killed and left behind a family.  How unfair is it for these brave, amazing men and women (some of them are still kids, for crying out loud), to be sent overseas to witness death, violence, devastation, and things that we could never understand...then be sent back home with a pat on the back and expected to get back into their former 'normal' lives?

I have tears in my eyes just writing about this. These men and women deserve so much more! They deserve help financially, emotionally, physically...they all deserve a heroes welcome home.

Why am I so passionate about this? I really don't know. Like I said, we don't know anyone who is in the military. We don't have first-hand experience with the military life, or how war can change a person and their family.

All I know is that Matt and I have joined The Wounded Warrior Project by donating money every month in hopes that it will help at least one soldier.

With the holidays coming up, people really start thinking about giving and donating. While I think that's wonderful, why not give back year round? Choose your favorite organization and donate just a few bucks a month. I truly believe you can make a difference!

Do you support any causes? What are your favorite ways to give back? I'd love to hear!

Note: This post was written on my own accord. The WWP did not contact me about it; heck, they don't even know who I am!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Giving Up on Perfect

As a stay at home wife and mom for the past four years, I have struggled with the idea of being a perfect stay at home wife and mom.


  1. conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type: a perfect sphere; a perfect gentleman.
  2. excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement: There is no perfect legal code. The proportions of this temple are almost perfect.
  3. exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose: a perfect actor to play Mr. Micawber; a perfect saw for cutting out keyholes.
  4. entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings: a perfect apple; the perfect crime. 5.accurate, exact, or correct in every detail: a perfect copy.


I've begun hating this word. Why? Because I struggle with this idea To the point where I find myself paralyzed and just can't move forward. Sound ridiculous? Maybe to some. To others, I bet you can relate.

I know my husband can relate. He sees me struggle with the idea of perfection every day. Every day. In fact, just this morning I had a bit of a breakdown because I needed him to take some time off work today to help me take one child to an unexpected doctor appointment so I could keep my own doctor appointment that was at the same time. It totally threw a wrench in his work plans, but as usual, he graciously said he could and would help. Then he reminded me that I don't have to be perfect. He's here to help me. It's part of being a husband and father. (I do love him so!)

I hate asking him to take time off to help. He already has missed a lot of work this year because of us (vacation, baby surgery, helping his ill father, etc.) We don't have any family here, we don't have a go-to person that can help us last minute with babysitting when things like this come up. (Yeah, yeah, I need to find someone. Easier said than done!) So, it's up to him to help out when I need it. I thank God daily that his employer is a big supporter of family-work life and as long as he gets his work done, it doesn't matter whether he's at the office or doing it at home. We are so very fortunate in that respect.

  1. a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
  2. the state or feeling of being proud.
  3. a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
  4. pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself: civic pride. something that causes a person or persons to be proud: His art collection was the pride of the family.
Remember I mentioned that I hate asking my husband for help? In my mind, I'm the housewife/mommy and he's the one that goes to work. So I should be able to clean, shop, do laundry, take care of the boys, teach them everything they need to know, be their chauffeur to school and appointments, and still have enough energy at the end of the day to be a perfect wife to my husband. All the while doing it all by myself. 

A bit prideful, huh?

I stumbled on a blog a few months ago. What caught my eye was the title, Giving Up on Perfect.  Reading her posts is like deja vu. She could be writing the thoughts and experiences that I deal with daily.

I find great comfort in her blog and it makes me feel better to know that I'm not alone in this quest for perfection. Her blog is an eye opener for me to give up on perfect. No one expects perfection out of me, except for me. It's unrealistic. It's prideful. It's wrong.

I don't know this person. I've not been asked to review her blog or make a plug for her. I've commented on some of her posts a few times and she's graciously responded. I just enjoy reading her posts, relating to her experiences, and realizing that I'm a work in progress on a daily basis.

I invite you to check out Giving Up on Perfect if you struggle with the idea of perfectionism like I do.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Excited to Sponsor Hi, Sugarplum!

I am pumped to be a sponsor for one of my favorite blogs, Hi Sugarplum! If you haven't checked out Cassie's blog with all of her amazing DIY design, fashion, and travel ideas, then you're missing out! Plus, click on my Shaklee link on her site for a special treat!

I love to help my family and friends get their lives and homes healthier. And I would love to help YOU too! Please contact me for any questions about clean, healthy living!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Homemade Vitamin Water

Did you know that Vitamin Water has 13 grams of sugar in one serving? That makes 32.5 grams in just one bottle of supposed- to- b-e good- for- you Vitamin Water.

I happen to like flavored still water. Not flavored sparkling water. Sparkling water reminds me of Alka Seltzer.

I've had Vitamin Water many times. I like the taste, it's convenient, and it looks healthy. Sigh. Fooled by labels again!

On a search for a healthier alternative, I found a recipe for homemade vitamin water using some of our wonderful natural products.

It's been tasted and husband and kid approved and it's super easy! Added bonus, the Defend and Resist has been proven to help your body respond to seasonal challenges (preschool boogies anyone?) by upping your immune system! And we all need a little extra Vitamin C and D in our diets too!

So mix it up and drink daily as a preventative to all the junk that's sure to be coming your way with the cooler seasons. Or if you're already feeling a little puny, drink it twice a day.

3 T of Performance Orange or Lemon Lime (I prefer Orange myself)
10 Chewable Vitamin C
4 Defend and Resist
1 Vitamin D
2-3 C ice
8-12 oz water

Mix in a large pitcher and enjoy!

I would love to help you order your supplements today so you have them in stock for the upcoming cold and flu season! Contact me through this blog, via Facebook, or through my Shaklee site!

Testimonial Tuesday -Cinch Weight Loss

I met Laura in Dallas a few months ago during a Shaklee meeting. She is super nice, energetic, and loves telling her story about losing weight with Cinch! She is like most moms...takes care of everyone else before herself, didn't eat right, and before she knew it she had gained a lot of weight. Yikes!

How many of us have found ourselves in that same situation? (Raises hand). I myself tend to take care of everyone else around me and not eat right. I've put on a few pounds here and there, but drinking our yummy Cinch Shakes and eating Cinch Snack Bars (plus EXERCISING regularly) has helped me maintain my high school (yes, high school) weight!

Ya'll Cinch is the real deal. I know there are lots of other weight loss gimmicks out there. Wraps and miracle juices seem to be in right now. But common sense tells us that's not going to work in the long run.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with healthy foods, exercise, and the help of Cinch products will let you get to the weight you want! 

Here's her wonderful Cinch story!

Laura before
 If I can do it, you can do it!  For years I have been spending time taking care of everyone else in my life – my children, my husband, my family, my friends, my job, my staff, my boss and my customers.  So it is no wonder that as my family grew and my responsibilities grew… so did I. Sure I had all the excuses and reasons why. But after watching my parents struggle thru cardiovascular disease and open heart surgery, I knew this was not how I wanted to age gracefully and not what I wanted my kids to experience.

So I took another look at the Body Mass Index chart and realized I was not at a healthy weight according to the medical data. That’s when I knew I needed to make a change. I chose Cinch® from Shaklee. I was tired of “yo-yo dieting;” I have lost and gained hundreds of pounds many times over. I wanted to lose the weight and stop the yo-yo. I knew the preliminary clinical study with real people conducted with Shaklee Cinch resulted primarily in fat loss, not muscle loss. I knew muscle helps metabolism. 

I set my goal low:  to lose 15 lbs in 90 days just like the clinical study participants had achieved. To my surprise, not only did I lose the weight, I started to change my body shape! I went from “mom look” to athletic. Something I have never been in my life!  Cinch changed my life for the better, for good!

Laura after!

Do you have a great Cinch weight loss story? I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Food Dyes are EVERYWHERE

So after my post about being fooled by labels, I've been scouring the house looking for other items that contain dyes. Holy moly, they are everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

I continue to be shocked and annoyed at all the things dyes are in. Did you know that there is dye in your pre-made pie crusts in the grocery store? Yep, of all places. I guess it's to make it that pretty 'crust' color? Whatever.

You know what else? I'm starting to wonder if our oldest boy is sensitive to these dyes. (I can just see the group sigh and eye roll by certain members of my family.)

I'm not a doctor, and I'm not trying to diagnose him with any type of disorder/issue/problem. I'm also certainly not trying to get out of parenting him because sometimes it's really hard and I want to categorize him and excuse his behavior. Nope, not at all.

Our oldest is active, active, active. He's resistant to sleep. He can be whiny. He can be mean. He can drive me nuts.

Now, let me say this. He's an almost four year old boy. I fully understand that those traits are normal for a child this young. And if he didn't display those behaviors at times, I'd be worried.

However, we've noticed that after he eats certain things, like processed foods, or a lot of sugar, these 'traits' seem to come out more.

For example, recently after he had a smoothie made from yogurt with Red 40 and 15g of sugar he was off the wall. I know my child. It wasn't late in the day. He was rested. He just started acting like a crazy person. Hitting his brother (unprovoked), slamming toys into the wall, cabinets, floor. Jumping off his bookshelves. Not his normal active behavior.

So we are embarking on a mission to get rid of the dyes in their foods. Because, why not? We are really just concerned for the health and well-being of our kids. We don't see any reason for giving them food, drinks, or anything else that has unnecessary ingredients in them. Because, besides color, what is the point? Our food and baby wash really just doesn't need to be fun, exciting, and colorful all the time, does it?

Check out this interesting chart from the Feingold Association.  For me personally, it's gross to see all the additive, preservatives, and dyes that are added to our foods.
What the child growing up in the U.S. in the 1940's got:
What the child growing up in the U.S. today gets:
White toothpaste Multi-colored toothpaste, perhaps with sparkles
Oatmeal Sea Treasures Instant Oatmeal (turns milk blue)
Corn flakes Fruity Pebbles
Toast & butter, jam Pop Tarts
Cocoa made with natural ingredients Cocoa made with artificial flavoring, & some with dyes.
Whipped cream Cool Whip
No vitamins (or perhaps cod liver oil) Flintstone vitamins with coloring & flavoring
White powder or bad-tasting liquid medicine Bright pink, bubble-gum flavored chewable or liquid medicine
Sample school lunch:
Meat loaf, freshly made mashed potatoes, vegetable. Milk, cupcake made from scratch.
Sample school lunch:
Highly processed foods loaded with synthetic additives, no vegetable. Chocolate milk with artificial flavor.
Sample school beverage:
Water from the drinking fountain
Sample school beverage:
Soft drink with artificial color, flavor, caffeine, aspartame, etc.
Candy in the classroom a few times a year at class parties. Candy (with synthetic additives) given frequently.

Let me say this: I grew up on a lot of these foods. Heck, sometimes we even buy them. I do love some Fruity Pebbles every now and then. But I know that if I eat too much of those kinds of foods, I feel gross. I feel bloated, my stomach hurts, I get a little cranky. I'm not talking about gorging myself on them. But if I have Fruity Pebbles for breakfast, a soda at lunch, and then maybe a processed dessert in the evening, then I go to bed miserable.

So why wouldn't if affect my kids, too?

Here's another very interesting article from Allergy Kids about one mom's experience with food dyes.

What do you think about all this? Do you think sensitivity/allergies to food dyes is a bunch of junk? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, September 28, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---
I should be a case study in how lack of sleep affects your brain. Anyone else seem to walk around the house in circles when they're exhausted?
--- 2 ---
I have finally accepted that I'm not a domestic diva. I can do laundry like no one's business, but I cannot cook. In fact, food scares me. I just shut down at the thought of cooking for my family.
--- 3 ---
I always laugh at people who break out their warm boots, hoodies and long sleeves when we have 2 'cool' days. It's Texas ya'll. There's a good chance it's still going to be 95 degrees come Thanksgiving. If you want seasons, move up north. The high yesterday was 95 degrees. Case in point.
--- 4 ---
I get all self-conscious when I drop my boy off at preschool twice a week. The mommies are beautiful and drive big Tahoe's or Escalades. And I show up in my pseudo-minivan and clothes that are 5 years old because we can't afford anything new. Flashback to middle school. Gah.
--- 5 ---
Living paycheck to paycheck sucks. We've been doing it for FOUR YEARS. Nuff said.
--- 6 ---
My awesome hubby just showed up with a yummo sandwich for me. For ME. I don't have to share one bit of it with my kids! I heart him!
--- 7 ---
In less than two weeks, hubs and I will have exactly 36 hours to ourselves in San Antonio! Without kids! It's been THREE years since we've had even one night to ourselves. I'm sure we'll be spending 24 of those hours sleeping! :)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On Vitamins and Supplements

A blog I LOVE and read regularly recently posted about why she and her family don't take vitamins or supplements. It was so interesting to read her reasoning and the comments to her post. Some people were pretty annoyed with her, others supportive, others even tried to promote their own businesses by sharing why their vitamins were superior. (Okaaay).

Her families reasons for not taking vitamins or supplements is because they 1) believe the real, clean foods they eat provide the nutrients they need every day and 2) they don't want to pay for the vitamins.

You know what? I can definitely see her point! Obviously supplementing your diet is a personal choice, and she feels that they don't need them. Great for her and her family!

I believe my family needs to supplement with vitamins. We try very hard to eat real, clean food on a daily basis. But, we don't always make it. And we're ok with that. We do our best and move on.

We have a very picky 3 3/4 year old boy who eats like a bird (like his mommy). He's not a good veggie eater, he's not a good protein eater (how can a child of mine not like peanut butter?? or chicken nuggets??).

Because of his pickiness, we give him a daily multi.  It's one of the few multi's that doesn't have added sugar or food dyes. It has all the extra calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D that he's probably not getting through food. We also give him a DHA supplement which has omega-3 fatty acids. Again, he's not getting it through food, so we feel we need to supplement. Maybe when he's older and hopefully not so picky, we won't need the supplements. Maybe not.

As for me and my husband, again, since we don't always eat clean (heck, sometimes I don't get to eat regular meals because I'm chasing after my boys all day long), we've decided to take multi's too.

What do you think about supplementing? Does your family take vitamins? Do you think they're a waste of money?  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fooled by Labels Again!

 As my husband and I are becoming more aware of what's in our foods and other products, like lotions, other toiletries, medicines, etc, I've become increasingly annoyed at how much garbage is in everything!

OK, so I'm probably several years late joining the non-toxic, chemical free train, but better late than never, right?

I try to carefully read labels and not buy products that have...well ingredients that don't add value to the product.

And I just don't get why companies put ingredients in their products that have been proven harmful or unnecessary. I was reading the label on our Johnson and Johnson baby wash and there are parabens and, wait for it, Red 40 in there. Seriously? Dye in body wash for kids? It's SOAP for crying out loud. It goes directly from the bottle to my hand to my child's body.  It doesn't need to be colorful.

I have purchased J&J for four years because I assumed it was kid-safe, healthy, etc.  I mean, it's tear free, it's specifically for kids, so it must be ok, right?  Fooled by the label! 

I bought some Musselmans Natural Applesauce a few weeks ago, again thinking, "It's Musselmans, it's natural, it's healthy, it's fine." Upon reading the ingredients, I saw that HFCS is added to the applesauce. What? Come ON! Applesauce is sweet already, it doesn't need to taste like candy people! Why is this unnecessary ingredient added to my child's food? Fooled by the label! 

So now I'm on a mission to check labels in our home and get rid of the items that have junk in them. It's going to be a lot of tossing, I'm sure. It's going to be a frustrating process...that's a fact. I can only imagine how many items I have in our home that fooled me by their labels.

So tell me, have you been fooled by labels? Please tell me I'm not the only one?