Meal Plan Monday – Wild Rice Soup and Breakfast Enchiladas

by Tiffany in Healthy Eating

meal plan mondayIt’s meal plan Monday! I plan my meals out every Saturday (my grocery shopping day) but I use a Monday-Sunday calendar. It just gives the week an organized feeling and if I don’t plan things then I end up going to the store with no plan and I buy what I “think” we may need. 100% of the time this results in me spending too much. I have to meal plan to stay on my budget. Works like a charm! Here is what we are eating this week…

Monday: Wild rice soup with mushrooms – made in my Instant Pot

Tuesday: Breakfast Enchiladas

Wednesday: Venison stew with veggies (thanks to my 17 year old son, the hunter)

Thursday: Slow cooker cajun chicken alfredo and broccoli

Friday: Egg salad sandwiches

Saturday: Veggie casserole and pork tenderloin

Sunday: Pork roast with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes

What are you making this week?


This Amber Teething Necklace Will End Teething Woes

by Tiffany in Birth & Baby

Amber Teething Necklace for Teething As parents, just about all of us have been there: your baby has started teething, and you have no idea what to do. Or maybe our toddler woke up in a great mood, only to dissolve into a sad, drooling mess halfway through the day. Whatever the age, the next steps are usually the same: you panic, flail around trying to figure out the best way to help your baby cope… and several hours (and bouts of tears) later, maybe your baby feels better. Maybe.

Luckily, there’s a product on the market that is a totally safe and completely natural teething remedy: Baltic amber teething necklaces. Trust me, guys. This amber teething necklace is a dream.

What Is Baltic Amber?

Amber is tree resin that has been fossilized. It can be found all over the world, but Baltic Wonder uses amber that has been harvested from the Baltic region (think Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia). Amber is a completely natural anti-inflammatory agent, immune booster, and pain reliever, which makes it the perfect remedy for your little ones when they’re teething.

How Baltic Wonder Amber Teething Necklaces Work

When your baby wears a Baltic Wonder teething necklace, his or her own skin heats the amber inside each bead. This triggers the release of the treatment oil onto the skin, and the oil passes into the bloodstream. The entire process delivers succinic acid to your baby, which in turn reduces drooling and makes your baby feel better.

Europeans have been using Baltic amber as a teething and pain remedy for actual centuries. Baltic Wonder amber necklaces for teething babies are just as safe as any over-the-counter teething treatment you can find. And unlike a lot of those treatments, the necklaces are all natural—a Baltic Wonder teething necklace is something you can give your baby and feel good about.

Who Can Wear a Baltic Wonder Teething Necklace

The necklaces are sized 32-33 cm, and generally recommended for kids between three months and three years. However, if the size doesn’t fit your child’s neck, the necklaces can also be worn as necklaces and anklets. Babies and kids can also wear the necklace as often as they want, even when they aren’t teething—amber can also relieve general aches and pains, and has even been found to help relieve some mild symptoms of eczema and asthma.

Keep in Mind

There are a few rules to remember. First, any kind of necklace can be a hazard if worn to bed—so never let your baby wear the necklace while sleeping. Second, make sure your kiddos aren’t chewing on the beads. Due to their lightweight nature, most kids forget they’re even wearing the necklaces after a little while!

Get Your Baltic Wonder Amber Teething Necklace Now

Baltic Wonder amber teething necklaces come in six great options: polished cognac, polished honey, polished multi-four color baroque, raw honey, raw cherry, and raw multi-four color baroque. Each necklace is only $19.99, and comes with its own storage bag and a certificate of authenticity. They’re also super easy to order: just head over to Baltic Wonder and pick the necklace you love!


Five Beauty Treatments From Your Kitchen

by Tiffany in Beauty

Beauty Treatments From FoodForget the expensive beauty treatments that you buy in a store and which cost you half of your paycheck to purchase. Some of the best beauty products available can be found right on your kitchen shelves. Here are the top five beauty treatments that you could walk into your kitchen and make or use to improve your beauty regimen today.

#1: A Teeth Whitener Like You’ve Never Seen

Okay, this is going to sound crazy, but all you need to make the most amazing teeth whitener are some strawberries and some baking soda. Yes, I know, strawberries are red, but give it a try, it really does knock all of those over the counter teeth whitening strips for a loop. Simply make a paste out of equal amounts of baking soda and pureed strawberries. Only make as much as you are going to use as the baking soda tends to use its oomph after it has been exposed to the air for a while. You can brush the paste onto your teeth or put the paste in a mouth guard. Whichever way you choose, leave the paste on your teeth for 1-2 minutes and then rinse with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Don’t swallow! If you swallow you’ll probably end up throwing up.

#2: A Sweet Body Scrub

There is nothing like a sugar scrub to remove all of those dead skin cells and tighten up your pores to give you that youthful glow. In fact, plenty of people pay an arm and a leg for brand name sugar body scrubs. If you’d like the benefits without having to pay a fortune you can make your own sugar scrub with just a few simple ingredients. All you have to do is to mix up equal parts of white (or brown) sugar, almond, coconut or avocado oil. Pick a carrier oil that works well with your skin type. You can find out which ones can clog pores here. You can also add in essential oils if you’d like. Rosemary, grapefruit, lemon, and peppermint are good choices. Then just slather on the scrub and use a washcloth or body scrub brush to rub in the scrub then rinse off with warm water.

#3: Egg On Your Face Food Mask

This is going to sound disgusting, but it makes facial masks that you buy in the drugstore look like a bad joke. Combine equal parts plain yogurt, beat egg whites and honey and a touch of avocado oil to create a facial mask that you might not want to eat but which will definitely leave your face with the kind of glow that only the most expensive beauty products will leave you with.

#4: The Glossiest Hair You’ll Ever See

Do you ever find yourself envying those actors in the hair product commercials, the ones with the amazingly glossy hair? Did you know that you can get this same kind of gloss and bounce simply by combining bananas and avocados and just a touch of almond oil. Mix them well then work it into your hair, wrap your hair in a reusable hair cap and leave it on for 10-20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

#5: Baking Soda Scrub

You’ve seen those fancy microdermabrasion kits I’m sure. And any spa worth its salt sells extremely expensive microdermabrasion packages to those who want their skin to have that youthful glow. But did you know that you don’t have to spend a fortune in order to get the same results? Just dampen your body in a lukewarm shower, then take a box of baking soda and rub it into your face, arms, legs and all of the skin that you can reach. Go ahead and use a scrubbing mitt if you have one and continue working the baking soda into your face and the rest of your skin for 2-5 minutes. Don’t get too aggressive or you might find yourself getting rubbed raw.

Hey we all love a good luxury beauty or skincare product right? Well, if you try some of these options and find they work out quite well then you have saved some money. The sugar scrub from Sephora can go because you can make it at home. Now you have more money to spend on the latest palette from Urban Decay. Sounds good right?


How to Create a Minimalist Wardrobe

by Tiffany in Green Cleaning

Minimalist WardrobeWhen most people first delve into the minimalist lifestyle, it is fairly common for them to make hard and fast rules about the sort of things they plan to have or not have in the home. They might consider “clutter” to be all the stuff laying around that makes their house look unkept and untidy and they think about what they can donate to various groups.

As they learn more about this process though, they will realize clutter can include their wardrobe as well. All your clothes, neatly hanging in hangers and tucked away by the closet door, is a big source of clutter for most people.  We have way more clothes than we can wear on a regular basis. In fact most of us wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. We have clothes that no longer fit. We have clothes we bought, wore once, and decided we did not love, and thus never wore again. As you continue reading, you will find a few tips on how to create a more minimalist wardrobe.

Take an Inventory of Your Closet

First off, it would be a good idea to know what you have. Look in your closet and see how much is there. Once you have become aware that you really do own more than any one person actually needs, it’s time to start making some serious decisions about what you plan to do. I love, love, love the KonMari method, in the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. The author recommends taking all of your clothes out of your closet…and your spare closet and your hamper… and putting everything together in one place to go through it all. Anything that does not spark joy for you should be donated.

Imagine Your Dream Closet

Look through some Pinterest photos or magazines and get excited about how organized and lovely your closet could actually be. Don’t be sad about decluttering just think about that awesome boutique style closet you could have once our wardrobe is more manageable. Who could feel deprived if they had this to enjoy at every day???

Stop Shopping

After you have seen how much you have accumulated, it’s time to put a stop to the process of accumulation. Getting rid of clothes will do you no good if you run out to immediately replace the items that you’re planning to remove from your home. The other great thing is that this will free up funds that can now be used for other goals, like fancy closet organizers from Ikea. Or Amazon, can you believe you can buy the closet set above via Amazon and have it delivered right to your door. Bonus!

Stick to Your Favorite Colors More

We all have favorite clothes and colors that we love to wear. They make us happy. They make us feel good. If you make it a point to wear more of what makes you look the best, you will feel great, look great, and be free to utilize the space you save by getting rid of the clothes that you aren’t likely to wear again. Sticking to only a couple color palettes also means we do not need as many accessories.

Get Rid of Clothes That No Longer Work

If the clothes don’t fit right now, let them go or have them professionally altered. If the clothes are unflattering, let them go. Don’t be overly concerned with what you spent on them or how much you like the items. Life is too short to hold on to that $90 sweater you never wear just because it’s a designer brand and you got it for a steal. Be realistic about what you can physically wear and what you will wear in the future. Items that cannot be worn, need to go.

Buy Quality Items

A simple wardrobe means that you will be wearing the same clothes in various combinations a large portion of the time. This means that you will want to purchase much higher quality, durable items. This can also save you money in the long run, because you aren’t going to have to replace clothes as often.

Further Reading: The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe


How Contaminated Water Affects Children

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

Contaminated Water Affects ChildrenGrowing children need anywhere from five to eleven cups of fresh, clean water a day, depending on their age and sex. Water helps keep young bodies hydrated and functioning properly. The body is made up of more than 60% water which helps to lubricate joints, maintain blood volume, and remove toxins. Water also helps the body to regulate its temperature while transporting oxygen and nutrients to its cells.

Water Related Illnesses

With the increased reports of illnesses related to tainted drinking water, it is important to know exactly what is in your water, especially if you have children. Years of pollution, industrial dumping, and water pipe deterioration have taken a toll on local water systems. Research suggests that nearly one out of every five people in the United States has been exposed to potentially unsafe water in the past decade.

Experts warn that contamination in water can lead to cancer, gastrointestinal distress, and developmental delays in children. Children are at a higher risk than adults when it comes to drinking contaminated water because they drink more for every pound of body weight and their organs and tissues are still experiencing growth. Their small size means that they consume a greater percentage of contaminants which results in higher exposure levels. Heavy metals and toxic chemicals can build up in their bodies, causing lasting damage and possible long-term health issues.

Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning is one of the most serious concerns for children when it comes to water quality. Lead can be found in old faucets as well as interior and exterior plumbing. As water sits in these outdated pipes, it can absorb lead. Even if your water tests safe at the source, by the time it passes through the plumbing and out your tap, it could have picked up lead.

Drinking this water can cause lead poisoning that results in a number of serious health concerns, especially for children. Exposure to lead from drinking water can cause neurological, gastrointestinal, developmental, and behavioral issues. The signs of lead poisoning often go undetected, but typical symptoms can include irritability, fatigue, loss of focus, loss of appetite, and weight loss among others. Take action immediately to minimize exposure if tap water is found to have lead levels exceeding 15ppb.

Although lead is the most often talked about water contaminant that is a threat to children, it is not the only one. Parents also need to be sure that drinking water is free from pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and other dangerous chemicals. Many of these can cause a variety of issues that may impact a child’s health, leading to long-term damage.

Test Your Water

If you are concerned about the quality of your water, the best thing to do is test it. There are many options for at home testing kits that will give you results within minutes for most contaminants. Whether you have city water or well water, you should make it a habit to test your water at least once a year to ensure that your children have access to plenty of quality drinking water.