TGIF! Have an awesome weekend everyone!
Occasionally I do a link round up to highlight all the cool stuff I have come across lately. It is also nice to do a more “fluffy” post when I am short on time and that I am right now. I leave this weekend for Detroit to attend Ford’s Innovation & Design Fantasy Camp and NAIAS, (#FordNAIAS). I was invited by Ford and they are putting me up while I am there. They also invited several of my green bloggy friends and we will hopefully get to pal around while there so I am very excited. I will get to see the entire design process from start to finish and see what they have planned as far as green technology goes.
Okay, so cool links…
Liked this short and sweet post from Ruth’s Real Food, Does Your Bathroom Stink? Don’t Buy Air Freshener. Change Your Diet. I have said to people before that if they are asking my advice about what natural deodorant to use that maybe they need to figure out what in their diet is making them stink in the first place. Sometimes I think that makes me come across a bit holier than thou I think… you know, like my you know what don’t stink. BUT honestly I find that I only smell bad if my diet has also been bad. The stinky bathroom issue is the same.
LOVE this link that shoes you how to make Upcycled Sweater Boots. Amazing!
Recently had a couple people ask me about what type of strainer to use for making Kefir since metal mesh strainers are generally considered a no-no. They are harder to find but you can get nylon mesh strainers. Here is one on Amazon.
A great article from Richard Louv: NATURE’S OWN STIMULUS PACKAGE: 7 Ways to Improve Our Lives in Tough Economic Times. When money is tight it is easy to feel like life sucks and we don’t have money to do anything fun. This is a very limited way to see things. “A nature stimulus package — may be just what the doctor and the economist ordered.”
I have been enjoying Simple Mom’s ebook One Bite at a Time – 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler. Perfect for the New Year! You can get it only for only $4.00 using code HAPPYNEWYEAR (till Jan. 10). It covers 52 common projects that many take on during the year, or attempt to, and helps you work through them in steps. It’s really a marvelous value for the price.
Others books I am reading include: Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival and The Magnesium Miracle.
I made the primal meatloaf from this recipe and OH MY GOODNESS it was GOOD! There are apples in the meatloaf instead of crackers or bread. My kids devoured it and asked me to make it once a week at least. I am not big on using ground beef since my gall bladderless body can’t handle grease (ala no burgers for me) but this was not a problem with this dish. All the grease pooled around the meatloaf so I just pulled it out and let it drain a bit on a towel before serving. No tummy issues. On a side note I am wondering if I should be taking bile salts and digestive enzymes since I am eating a lot more fats and I have no gall bladder. This is something I need to research.
Soon we will be confronted with Thin Mints again. I appreciated this article Girl Scout Cookies or Chemicals? It has an ingredient list inside the post and boy oh boy are those babies bad for us. I think it is time we stop buying this processed crap and act like we are doing a GOOD thing for kids. Or maybe I am just bitter because I tried to get my daughter into Girl Scouts this year and was told they are full unless I want to become a leader and start my own troop.
Have a GREAT weekend all!
Weather’s warm and I haven’t wanted to blog lately. But we have been busy… exploring gardens, local hiking trails, wading streams, finding wildlife, and scoping out gorgeous flowers.
I will likely be heading out of town for Thanksgiving this afternoon but of course all week long I have been reflecting on what I am thankful for. It is amazing how often we can let life’s little problems blind us to all the wonderful things we have.
I am THANKFUL to be 5 years cancer free.
I am THANKFUL for an amazing family…. husband, kids, mom, dad, brothers…
I am THANKFUL for a lovely home that is warm, cozy, and ridiculously low priced. How did we luck into that?
I am THANKFUL that I am self employed and that I only have to work 10-20 hours a week AND that I truly love what I do.
I am THANKFUL that both my husband and I have have good jobs, when so many others in this country do not.
I am THANKFUL that we never have to worry about money or paying our bills.
I am THANKFUL that we have so much freedom to pursue our dreams and do the things we love.
I am THANKFUL for the readers of this blog. You rock!
I am THANKFUL for my husband, who I have loved since I was 16 and who puts up with all my drama with a loving smile. Who right at this moment is patiently waiting for me to finish blogging so we can go out to breakfast…
Oh and I am THANKFUL I do NOT have to get up at dawn and go shopping.
I am THANKFUL that my life is so good.
What are YOU thankful for?
I am homeschooling again! Is it weird that I am the one most excited about it? Well, anyway a move and the many, many issues at the local school have given my oldest son and I reason to decide that homeschooling is in his best interests. This go round I have smartened up and decided NOT to use an online curriculum. Yes it kept me accountable and yes we knew exactly what to do and when to do it but it was so stressful and felt more like 5-6 daily hours of grueling homework rather than a relaxed school at home environment. This time I have decided to use Oak Meadow for our curriculum (with no online support). I bought a used syllabus on eBay and it is quite perfect for us I think… it has a slight Waldorf feel to it and it is no wonder because the creators of this curriculum were Waldorf teachers.
Also this time around I will not be his only teacher. I was VERY put out recently by my husband’s employer when they decided to switch him to second shift. I think I am going to be grumpy about it for a loooong time to come BUT it will mean my husband is home every day to help out with homeschooling. So I guess that is a bit of a silver lining.
One thing I have done this week is re-subscribe to all my favorite homeschooling blogs. I missed them so!! I prefer secular blogs but don’t mind a little Christian slant as long as it isn’t ONLY about that. Here is a list of my favorites.
1. Simple Homeschool – This blogs has several writers and lots of great info on keeping homeschool simple and organized. Today’s post was all about Circle Time, which is a part of the Oak Meadow philosophy.
2. The Homeschool Classroom – Every post is FULL of great resources and links.
3. The Curriculum Choice – This blog seems to center more on homeschool product reviews which is really helpful. it gives me ideas for new tools and resources.
4. Magic and Mayhem – This blog by homeschooling mom Alicia is awesome. I read it daily and wonder where does she get the energy?!? I love that much of their learning seems to take place by doing and living rather than by completing worksheets.
5. Stitching Life – Great project ideas on this blog. I bookmarked the Scream artwork post because I think my little artist would really enjoy that.
6. Teach Mama – MANY great projects and resources including many posts on outdoor learning.
Do you have any to add?
I walk a fine line on this blog. I would like to say I brazenly talk about all the difficult stuff I might face as a mom but really I don’t. Instead I blog more about the good stuff which can of course leave people with the impression that you are either perfect or dishonest. But alas it cannot be helped most times because I value the privacy of my children as they get older and I have to be mindful of everything that gets sent out into the world wide web. You just have to try and be as real as you can without hurting your kids in the process and it isn’t easy.
I have been having one of those weeks. No, one of those months. I think all moms probably know what I am getting at… life just gets so stressful and overwhelming that you feel as though something has to give. Well, I let work go quite a bit and that didn’t help because I just had more time to stew about what was stressing me. I let cooking go and that worked out well initially because my husband started doing the cooking instead. But then I felt guilty about that, so problem not solved after all. I ended up reaching out to a professional for help with the biggest source of stress in my life and hope to see some results with that soon (pretty please) but with every step forward there seems to be two steps back.
This week it has become abundantly clear that we are going to have “bully” issues in this new neighborhood, which is always fun. AND my 10 year old son announced to me this morning that after 4 years of no epileptic symptoms… his seizures are back. He described what he was experiencing and I compared that with some bizarre things I had noticed myself and it just seems pretty clear that we are dealing with small seizures again. If history repeats itself they will get bigger and more frequent. I keep remembering the words of a neurologist many years ago… “We don’t know what the extent of the damage will be and we may not know for years.” Well, we saddled up that pony 10 years ago when we decided to vaccinate our first child and now we get to ride it, wherever it may go.
Stress relief has become a serious matter for my sanity lately. Here are some small things that really make a difference…
Meditation Rituals – Making time for quiet and reflection has become really important and to help me get in the zone I am making it more ritualistic. One thing that helps is creating a circle or a clear cut area where you can meditate. If I go outside I might make a circle of leaves and then sit inside it or I might draw a circle with chalk on the deck. I am a very visual person and carving out that “sacred space” has really helped. I grab my Shuffle and then listen to a guided mediation or some inspirational music and for just 10-20 minutes I will concentrate on nothing more strenuous than breathing. Just make a circle… and then call out the four corners. Okay, just kidding about that last part.
Music – It really does work miracles, at least for me. I have gotten in the habit of putting on some headphones whenever I am feeling stressed and listen to some celtic or new age songs or perhaps nature sounds like birds chirping and waterfalls. I really like Quiet Heart & Spirit Wind… beautiful music and nature sounds together. As I write this post I am listening to a composition called “after the rain”.
Crystals - Cultures for centuries have had beliefs about the properties of crystals.. that they offer protection, luck, or that they have healing properties. And this is no new concept to me since I have long been singing the praises of amber teething necklaces and their natural analgesic properties when worn in contact with the skin. Each crystal has a vibrational balance and an energy that can help to regulate your own energy. Good stress reliever crystals are Clear Quartz (my fave), Rose Quartz, Citrine, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Garnet, Howlite, and Amazonite. You can wear them in pendant form or hold them for quick stress relief. I like to hold a Clear Quartz crystal to my temples or the inside of my wrists. You can find lots of crystals on Etsy including a fave shop of mine called White Magic.
Feng Shui – I used to be a VERY much into Feng Shui and in fact I consulted with a corporate office to redo their large space to align with the principles of Feng Shui and positive energy. It is essentially the art of arranging objects and spaces so that they create balance (yin and yang) and allow for the unobstructed flow of energy (chi). This concept introduces the idea that our life and work spaces reflect and affect our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. I am sure you have had the feeling once that your house or office is just so cluttered you can’t think straight, right? Well, that is EXACTLY what Feng Shui addresses. By re-designing spaces with a Feng Shu Bagua in mind you can create the positive energy and outcomes you want. Once you get started, it is really quite fun.
Candle Therapy – Candles give us feelings of calm and serenity. I find it HUGELY relaxing to light a couple candles in the evening and take a shower or bath with only candlelight. I also like to take candles outside to sit in the dark during various phases of the moon. Candles at breakfast time can also help to get the day off to a peaceful start.
Walking – There is almost no better way to clear your head and let go of some negative energy. When my husband returns home after work I enjoy taking a short drive to a local Metro park and walking in the woods for 30-60 minutes. The fresh air and the exercise do wonders for my mental health.
Sometimes when we are stressed to the brink of what we can take it is amazing what we can accomplish with some simple items like candles, crystals, or a walking trail and just a few minutes of relaxation time.
What do you do to relieve stress?