28
Feb

Can Your First Grader Name any Fruits and Veggies?

by Tiffany in Healthy Eating

Kids Eating Veggies

I was REALLY shocked by this video from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. It is a new show that will premiere in March 26th and I guess the theme is real food. Now if you had asked me what "most" kids today would say is their favorite food I would guess things like pizza, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, etc. BUT I would never have guessed that kids wouldn't at least know what the major fruits and veggies were named if asked.

The kids in this video cannot identify tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes, and mushrooms. WTH are these kids eating?! If our kids are eating so much stuff out of boxes that they cannot even identify, non-processed, real food than we have a huge problem as a society.

I decided to have my daughter (Kindergarten) watch it with me and she identified every food Oliver held up except the beet and I take ownership of that cause I hate beets and rarely buy them. She would recognize them cut and cooked from grandma's house though. I also paused it at the beginning when he uncovers the food and she identified mushrooms, onions, carrots, artichokes, pumpkin, squash, asparagus, and bell peppers. She mentioned that she had snacked on bell peppers and carrots all throughout the day today (we like to keep cut veggies at eye level in the frig for the kids to grab). Whew…  I am doing something right.

This looks like a promising show. Can't wait to tune in!

22
Feb

Natural Ways to Cope With Illness

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

sick child

I swear I can time the illnesses in this house perfectly. With any major holiday that highlights "candy" the kids will inevitably get sick after their school or a well meaning relative decides to send them home with candy. And how lovely for us.. Valentines has been no exception. Since my youngest is home sick I have been rockin the wellness routines.

I have been washing his sheets with homemade dryer bags, lightly scented with Lemon Balm to calm and sedate.

I have made sweet and sour soup with bunches of mushrooms which increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive. Tonight I will make Leek and Potato Soup with tons of fresh garlic… another immune boosting food. Green Smoothies are freezing inside Popsicle molds for sore throats.

All the kids are taking Elderberry Syrup and the youngest is taking Homeopathic cough syrup. Daddy has been making his homemade honey, lemon, ginger tea.

And since I am not one to trust conventional hand sanitizers I will whip up some of my own this afternoon so that we might hopefully contain this illness as much as possible.

DIY Hand Sanitizer

1/4 Cup Witch Hazel

1/4 Cup aloe vera gel

1 tsp vegetable glycerin

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

8-10 drops tea tree essential oil

Mix the ingredients in a small glass jar, shake well. Dab on hands and rub it in for a safe way to sanitize hands and kill germs.

20
Feb

Weekending – Doing GROSS Stuff

by Tiffany in Tidbits

Looking Glass

Today we took the kids to our local science museum to see the Grossology exhibit. They had a blast shooting boogers into a giant nose, playing the piano that burps and farts, climbing inside a giant mouth only to come out via the colon as "poop", and smelling all the various bacteria they had in petri dishes, like arm pit bacteria and anal bacteria.

Afterwards we spent some time getting wet in the ocean exhibit and then building stuff in the gadgets section. I am glad we got out of the house before the next big snow storm cause I think we are finally starting to get a little weary of all this snow. Heck I will go back tomorrow and shoot some boogers myself if it means I get to get out of the house and avoid the laundry pile for a bit longer.

Shooting Boogers

Crawling Through the Colon

Playing Piano

Water Pipes

Hula Hoop

Building Gadgets

Building Gadgets

18
Feb

10 MORE Ways to Reuse Glass Jars

by Tiffany in Recycle

10-more-ways-to-reuse-glass-jarsOne of the first places I head to in my local thrift store is the glassware section. It is not uncommon for me to buy up all the mason jars or other glass jars they have. I like ones with lids (as long as they don’t have mold or rust) but I will buy ones without lids as well because they are one of my favorite storage containers. I rarely buy anything from the store that comes in jars like these (spaghetti sauce, pickles) so I have to get mine second hand.

Last year I wrote about 10 Ways to Reuse a Glass Jar and I was inspired today to write about 10 MORE ways to reuse and repurpose glass jars cause I just LOVE them!

1. Drink out of them – I drink my green smoothies out of them and because they are often rimmed or bent I use a glass straw as well. My husband drinks iced coffee and tea out of them too. They are the first drink glasses we will go for. I steal the smaller chipped ham glass jars that my dad buys and those are the kids glasses. It was those chipped ham jars that I drank from every summer when I stayed with my grandma. She was the queen of thrift and managed to save over a million dollars during her working years, while employed at a factory. Every time I drink some OJ from a chipped ham jar I think of it as a frugal luxury.

2. Collection Jars – Glass jars are great places to put marbles, buttons, sewing notions, stickers, shiny rocks, pretty baubles or anything you or your kids like to collect. Not only do they store the items for you, they display them nicely for you. There is a lady down the street from me who put 3 shelves inside the window sills of her windows and on them she displays glass jars filled with various treasures. Every time I pass by her house I have to look!

Glass Jar with Marbles

Photo by alexkerhead

3. Dried Beans, Nuts, and Seeds – Instead of buying glass jars from Wal-Mart or some other store I just put old ones to work for storing dried beans on my counter top. I use jars in the refrigerator and freezer for raw nuts and seeds too. You could also use them for flour, spices, or virtually anything.

4. Specimen Jars – If you homeschool or just enjoy home education projects then glass jars make great specimen jars. You can put herbs, leaves, bugs, cocoons, or other objects of interest and then line them up for your kids to identify and study. The bottom can be labeled with the name of the specimen so they can check their work. They can be reused every week with new specimens to encourage your little scientists and nature lovers.

5. Nut Butters – The great thing about having a food processor or a Vita-Mix (which I have) you can make your own nut butters like almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter. Glass jars are a great place to store them.

6. Snack Jars – When your kids get home from school you can whip out a couple jars filled with grapes, nuts, raw cookies, and dehydrated fruit in jars. It makes them feel special to have all these options to presented to them in a pretty way and they know exactly what they can snack on when they get home without ransacking through the frig and pantry, or maybe its just my kids that do that!

Paint Brushes and Paint in Jars

7. Paint Brush holder – All our paintbrushes are stored in a glass jar so that if the kids don’t bother to clean them afterwards there is no large mess to clean up.. I just rinse the jar out when it needs it. I use candle jars from the thrift store for the wet paint. You can also use a glass for holding straws, pens, pencils.. you name it.

8. Fermentation – Jars are awesome for your sour dough starters, Kombucha tea, and homemade vinegar.

9. A hanging lantern – In one of MaryJane Butter’s books (I can’t recall which at the moment) there are instructions for using glass jars and the lids to make a hanging lantern using a chain and a candle. They would be perfect for eating outside in the summer and if you put a citronella candle in them you could keep the bugs away too. The ones in the book are absolutely lovely.

10. Voodoo Jars – This is probably geared towards Halloween but I just love it. You put scary little items in the jars.. like eyeballs or those little babies like you get in the King Cakes at Mardi Gras (been years since I had some King cake!) and then you color the water and make it look like you have been conducting “evil experiments”. Muhaaawa! Plus you can probably get most of the stuff at your local thrift store so you don’t have to buy new.

How do YOU use glass jars?

Voodoo Jars

Photo by revjim5000

15
Feb

Wooden Bowls and Utensils for Kids

by Tiffany in A Green Home

Eating Yogurt

Last year parents everywhere became concerned about BPA in their kid’s feeding gear… bowls, cups, plates, spoons. Parents are still concerned about it. My posts with compilations of BPA free cups and BPA free plates, bowls, and utensils are still get huge amounts of daily traffic. One option that was slow to catch on back then was that of wooden feeding items. Why is a mystery to me because even if it is BPA free plastic… this feeding set:

Dora plastic plates and utensils

… is UGLY. This would be an eyesore at my table and in my cupboards.

But this set:

… is lovely! This Camden Rose bowl and spoon is a great  non-plastic option. As is their wood plate. I am excited to see more options for people who like wooden feeding gear!

Sustainable Wood Bowls