Homemade Gifts in a Jar Ideas
For some reason, I had been feeling really inspired to make some homemade gifts in a jar for friends this year. I didn't really know what to put in the jar...just think anything in a jar makes a cute present.
I really think a "Me Day" is in order! I'm starting to get a little bit of that Christmas panic feeling. I have so much to do, so many Christmas presents to buy, I haven't finished decorating, I haven't made one cookie yet, and every day is getting closer and closer to Christmas! I'm running out of time!! AHHHHH!!!!!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
**Hurry...most of these deal expire this weekend!**
I've been eliminating as many chemicals from our food and cleaning products as possible. I was ready and willing to start paying a lot more to make the change, but I've been finding a ton of great deals or coupons for Natural and Organic products that I thought I'd share.
Money Saving Mom is a great source for, well everything really, but in particular she has a number of links to some organic and natural deals. Some of my favorites:
20% or 15% Off Natural and Organic Products at Soap.com. Soap.com is a great site for natural and organic products ranging from cleaning products, makeup, personal care products, supplements, and food...delivered right to your door! Through Sunday 2/27/11 you can get 20% all organic and natural products excluding Household Products with the code GREENUP20. I was a little bummed because I was going to stockup on their huge supply of natural cleaning and laundry products, which aren't included. BUT...if you are interested in Household products, you can use the cod SisBliss to get 15% off your first order (can also be used at Diapers.com). I've switched to all natural laundry products and am looking to switch out the rest of my cleaning supplies.
Seventh Generation Dish Soap $0.64 at Target: Did you know that at target you can stack manufacturer's coupons with Target coupons?? Stack this $1/1 Target Printable for Seventh Generation (under Household) with a $1/1 Seventh Generation printable to get Dish Soap for $0.64...or use towards another Seventh Generation item. I've been using their Dishwasher Detergent, so will probably stock up on some of that. There are a lot of other great deals at Target this week here!
$1/2 Happy Baby Printable Coupon. (expires 2/28/11) My daughter is obsessed with the puffs, so I stocked up! I also really like their baby cereals.
Money Saving Mom also has a link to a great list of other Organic Printables here, including some for dairy products like Organic Valley and Horizon, and Earth's best baby products.
images from pottery barn
Thursday, February 24, 2011
No one ever asks me "what my secret is", but if they did this is what I would tell them! Good clothes and good music! That's it! That is my secret for staying in shape. For me it is really that easy. There is nothing more motivating to me then a cute new workout outfit or some new great music to get the adrenaline going! When I get a new playlist I can't wait to go for a run just so I can listen to it! Some songs just really get my blood pumping.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
It's the strangest things, but since going through my pregnancy my body has completely changed the type of food it craves and tolerates. Before, I used to crave anything heavy in carbs, cheese, meat, and sugar. Now, those things don't appeal to me at all. Many things I used to eat actually make me sick even. I think the main difference is that I'm more in tune with my body now and what my body is actually craving..not my mind. Deep, huh?
The problem is...I don't want to and can't eat like I used to...but, I don't really know what to make myself to eat anymore.
So I started exploring some new recipes and came across a blog called Love Veggies and Yoga, filled with tons of great recipes, especially desserts! I could never understand before how some people could be vegetarians or vegans (and, truthfully, thought it was a little crazy)...but, now that I don't really enjoy eating much meat and crave veggies I've been exploring looking into some vegetarian recipes to try out. And, honestly, most of them look really great!
I'll start sharing any in particular that I try and really like.
And I LOOOVED these chocolate chip "un-cookies" as I like to think of them. They taste (almost) exactly like real chocolate chip cookie dough. And it's the strangest thing to eat a ball of "cookie dough", knowing it's actually good for you..and not feel the grossness and guilt associated with eating real cookie dough. I love that I'll be able to make so many great tasting, healthy desserts for my baby girl someday too!
Seriously, try these out and let me know what you think! Here's the recipe directly from the Veggies Yoga blog. You can check out the direct link here.
Averie’s Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
2/3 c raw cashews
1/3 c oats
2 Tbsp Agave
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup (Omit and use Agave to preserve true Raw Status if you care)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 c Chocolate Chips (or to preserve true raw status, take 2 Tbsp Raw Cocoa Powder and add 1 Tbsp Agave, optional dash of vanilla extract, whisk and blend. Spread into a thin layer on wax or parchment paper, freeze. Take frozen chocolate off parchment and crumble the shreds into the mixture as your raw “chips”.)
Recipe Yields: Approximately 17 Cookie Dough Balls
Add a dusting of cocoa powder, carob powder, or powdered sugar to the finished balls
Roll in raw cocoa nibs or shredded coconut
Rather than adding in chocolate chips, add raisins instead and add a dash of cinnamon to the batter for Oatmeal-Cinnamon-Raisin Raw Cookie Dough Balls
Flatten or mold into larger cookie shapes
Dehydrate for a more “cooked tasting” version of a chocolate chip cookie. But gawd I love the raw dough taste so this is out for me!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
Ahh Valentine's Day.... I love Valentines Day.... Even when I didn't have a Valentine I still loved that day. Just the idea of it... a day to celebrate love. How nice. I think it brightens up the winter "blahs" a bit and gives you something to look forward to. I always like to decorate at least a little bit for whatever holiday it is, and like Britt said, I love all the clashing colors. In any other circumstance the colors together would be terrible. Pink and red together? Ew! But for this day it totally works.
So I was thinking about what to do for Immanuel for Valentine's Day. Every year (and yes, I know we've only been together for 3 years but I hope to keep up the tradition) we surprise each other with small ways to show our love. I wanted to share some ideas we have either done in the past, or that I've thought about doing. Obviously, these are things you can do for other special occasions as well, like anniversaries or birthdays. And don't worry, I'll save you all the "sexy" ideas like "wear lingerie".... I'll keep it clean ;)
1. Heart shaped pancakes
Get up early and surprise him with heart shaped pancakes with red food coloring. Garish with strawberries and whip cream. Be sure to have the table set with red, pink, and white! You can buy heart shape molds HERE
2. Valentine Cards
Buy a box of those valentine cards you use to buy as a kid for your classmates. Write little love notes in them and/or things you love about your valentine and leave them places where you know he’ll find them. For example: next to his razor or toothbrush in the bathroom, in his shoes, in his laptop or briefcase, on his car seat, etc.
3. Paper Hearts
Cut out a ton of paper hearts - all different colors, shapes and sizes and leave them all over. Have a bunch right outside the bedroom door for when he wakes up in the morning. Immanuel did this for me one year and it was so sweet! I pictured him sitting there late at night cutting out all those hearts by hand. He is too cute!
4. Send lots of love!
The most simple and easiest way to let your Valentine know you are thinking about them is to send him loves message every way you can think of. Text, e-mail, voicemail, Facebook, Gmail chat, etc.
5. Make his favorite dinner
Instead of going out to dinner make his favorite meal. For Immanuel it's any kind of pasta. He likes the really rich, heavy, cheesy kind... the kind that you wouldn't normally make because you can feel yourself getting fatter as you eat it. But it’s Valentine’s Day so who cares!
6. Rent a movie
Rent a movie you know he’ll love, make a big bowl of popcorn, light some candles, open a chilled bottle of champagne and serve with fancy glasses, and get comfy with lots of cozy blankets!
7. Frame a Photo
As a gift, get a really great photo of the two of you framed. It’s probably something you’ve been wanting to do anyway, so Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to finally do it! I like black and white photos. I think it always makes photos look more romantic and artistic.
8. Surprise Lunch
If you can, surprise him at work and tell him you a going out to lunch. Make sure you have a place in mind ahead of time! It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. The surprise of you showing up and taking him out is enough. OR bring his favorite lunch to him and eat with him there.
9. Heart Shaped Desserts,
Make heart shaped dessert.... cupcakes, cookies, cake, brownies, etc.... one year I surprised Immanuel with heart shaped cupcakes. They were so much fun to make and decorate!
10. Message in Lipstick
Write a love note on the mirror with red lipstick and don’t forget to put the lipstick on then kiss the mirror :)
Thursday, February 3, 2011
"I'm slightly relieved to hear that you're human. I had to quit reading your blog for a little while, and only look at baby pictures because, as I was feeling overwhelmed and like a failure.. you had a newborn, who never cried, and had eliminated processed food from your diet, and were spending only $20 a week on groceries, and making your own furniture, and buying 100% organic, all the while always smiling and being completely in love with your husband...You're amazing :)"
It was a wake up call because I felt terrible that by sharing some things I'm excited and passionate about, I am apparently coming across as a "one-of-those-women" and making someone else feel inadaquate. That is NEVER my intention in anything I do in my life and home or blog.
I really want to view being a stay-at-home Mom as my job and do the best I can. Some days that means making homemade bagels and a big batch of homemade baby food and washing a load of cloth diapers and having a hot meal waiting for my husband in our clean house...by "some" I mean maybe that's happened once in the past 7 months. Probably not though..my exhausted Mommy brain can't think back that far.
Most days though it's just me struggling to survive the day at home with the baby and not go crazy...with both of us in our pajamas all day (both covered in spit up because I just don't care enough to change either), me eating cereal and cheese and crackers all day because I don't have the energy to come up with any real food to eat. The house a disaster..baby toys everywhere, loads of dirty and clean unfolded laundry everywhere, dishes pouring out of the sink, and (if my "perfect" husband isn't on a trip or working a 24/48 hr shift) me and my husband snapping at each other over something involving the baby or the house.
The email was also a relief though because not one of those things my friend mentioned I do is true, and I realized that if my friend thinks I have it all together and a perfect life...then maybe all those other women I think have the perfect life don't either!
I call it the Martha-Stewart Syndrome. For some reason, I think all of us women tend to look at other women and think they have it all together and have this perfect, magical life..with a perfectly decorated, perfectly clean, perfectly organized house, and perfect kids, doing perfect crafts all day, and making perfect meals at night for their perfect husband....and that we need to measure up to and keep up with that!
I'm starting to realize that doesn't exist anywhere...so why do I always compare myself to this mythical woman and make myself feel inadequate on a daily basis??
....just don't think that just because I came to this realization that I'm cured of the sickness! But it's a start!! :)