Plan Your Garden {How To}

I know that it is February and it’s so cold out, but now it’s time to plan your garden for spring and summer!  Who doesn’t want to dream of warmer weather, am I right?

To plan your garden, first start thinking about which vegetables and fruits your family actually eats.  Do they eat tomatoes and strawberries?  Plan to grow these.  Do they hate radishes?  Don’t plant these, though they are easy to grow.  Perhaps ask your family what they would want to see in the garden.  Write a list of these fruits and vegetables. Read More

Pizza Sauce {Recipe}

Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Soybean Oil, Salt, Spices, Natural Flavor.  These are the ingredients in a store-bought pizza sauce.  Looks not too bad, right?

But, let’s break it down.  That salt?  It’s 250mg of sodium!  Yikes!  This doesn’t even include the salt that is naturally in cheese (which is 597mg for 1 cup of shredded)!    Granted, you are not going to eat a whole pizza by yourself (or if you do, I am not going to judge you), but that’s still way more salt than you need.

Then, there’s the soybean oil.  Even though we have been preached that soybean oil, a newer study has proven that it is one of the worst things for us, even worse than high fructose corn syrup. It makes you obese when you eat too much of it (which is way too easy to do as it is in a ton of store-bought foods!), leads to inflammation, and can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Woe!  (Never mind the harmful ways it’s manufactured!  If you are curious, look at this.) Read More

HUGE List of Essential Oil Recipes

I posted a blog earlier this week where I talked in detail about the safety of essential oils.  Now, on to fun stuff—making recipes!  Throughout the years, I have accumulated a quite a few recipes and I have made a few recipes (with research, of course!).  Below, I will list a few recipes that I have picked just for you.  This is a HUGE list of essential oil recipes!

As I mentioned earlier in the week, please be super careful to properly dilute when putting it on your skin.  As for diffusing or using your personal inhaler, follow the instructions included for those items. Read More

5 Ways to Use Essential Oils Safely {Lifestyle}

Essential oil usage has increased dramatically in recent years.  With every day people who are not certified aromatherapists and without any training selling oils and giving recommendations on how to use the oils, there also has been a lot of misusing of essential oils.  Education on how to use oils is the best way to make sure that essential oils are used the best and safest way for you and your family.

Used properly, essential oils can moisturize your skin, lift your spirits, make you fall sleep faster, and heal you quicker.  God made these plants for us to use, so use them wisely!

Read More

Pizza Dough {Recipe}

Raise your hand if you love pizza!  You raised your hand didn’t you.  Don’t deny it.  I know I did!  We used to get our pizzas from a local pizzeria or in the frozen section of the local grocery store.  But, those pizzas are full of preservatives and extra calories.  Um….no.  Not cool in my book.  At my age, every calorie counts.  Never mind all that sodium!  I always feel like I need to drink a half gallon of water after I finish eating pizza from those places.  However, this homemade pizza dough (to pair with the homemade pizza sauce that will come in a later post) is so much healthier for you…and it tastes so much better!  This recipe has ZERO salt in it!

I long for the days when I could eat anything I wanted and not gain a pound.  I miss eating all the carbs all day long.  Carbs are my jam.

Anyway.

Salads are just as good as pizza, right?

Didn’t think so.

To make the pizza dough even healthier, you could use whole wheat flour, or even half whole wheat and half white.  I used to make it this way for awhile, but I have since switched back to regular bread flour as I didn’t like the taste or how dry it was.  That’s a personal opinion, though, and you may like the taste of whole wheat dough.

Here is another recipe that I use my stand mixer for.  If you do not have one, go get one or save up for one!  I use mine all the time and I haven’t regretted having it once.

I also highly suggest that you get yourself a pizza stone if you don’t have one.  It cooks your pizza dough evenly without burning it or scorching it in places, and makes it taste amazing!  The stone helps absorb the moisture and helps give you a crispy crust.  Just make sure you always heat the stone up first before using.

Once you start making your own pizzas, you will find that all other pizzas are not as good at all.  In fact, we don’t have pizza any other way now! Read More

{How To} Season and Care of Cast Iron

Non-stick cookware have been popular lately because they don’t stick and easy to clean.  However, it also emits toxic fumes when overheated.  Toxic fumes from Teflon released from pots and pans at high temperatures may kill pet birds and cause people to have flu-like symptoms.

Though cases of Teflon flu are rare, they do happen.  Some sites, like the EGG, have concerns about potential cancer concerns links with the fumes; though more research have to happen.

So, the best way to avoid the Teflon flumes in the kitchen is to use alternative pans. One of those choices is cast iron. Read More

Homemade Laundry Detergent {DIY}

Not all of my recipes are because I want to be healthy.  This recipe is just because I wanted to save money!  On a fixed, tight budget, any way to save budget is the way to go.  When I first made the detergent, I didn’t have any children and did laundry once a week.  This lasted us more than 2 years!  It cost us about $20 to make.  This is definitely cheaper to make, and lasts way longer than commercial laundry detergent.  It cleans SO well!  It even cleans and deodorizes my husband’s stinky summer workout clothes.

Read More

Burned Out {Lifestyle}

I became a Christian when I was 14 at a Christian camp in New Hampshire.  I meant it at the time, but when I went to a conservative college years later, I felt the fear of the fire and brimstone messages I was hearing during Bible Conference my freshman year that I rededicated my life to Jesus.  I felt that I didn’t live a life towards Him, though I was never one to rebel, or anything like that. (Though if you ask my mom, she would say that opposite, but that wasn’t in my nature.)   Now, I am not a fan of using fear to bring people to Jesus, but that’s a topic for another time.

Though my college was super conservative and legalistic, it was right for me at the time.  My church in my teens didn’t teach me much as far as what the Bible says (it was more for socialization in my book), so it was a good time for me to learn what the Bible says and to make more Christian friends. Read More

Soft Pretzels with Spicy Cheese Dip {Recipe}

With football season now upon us, now it’s time to start thinking of those football game snacks!  These soft pretzels are so amazing they make the store-bought taste awful.  Or, in my case, these pretzels make watching football bearable.  (I don’t like any sport that has a ball.  For real.  I am more of an artsy, cooking, gymnastics, horseback riding, dance…pretty much anything that requires having artistic talent.)  But, if I have to watch football, it’ll be the Philadelphia Eagles—cuz they’re so good!

Hahaha!  I crack myself up.

As I said, these soft pretzels can make any sport bearable. Read More

4 Ways to Mess up Raising Children {Lifestyle}

Do you not want your child to talk to you when you get older?  Are you tired of your child or do you regret having your child?  The following is a guaranteed way to ensure that your child will not call or talk to you when they move out of the house.

  • Talk down to your child.

Always scold her that she did wrong, but never tell her when she did right. Praising shows a sign of weakness, and could give her a big head.  You need to do your best to keep her humble!  No one likes someone who is confident in herself.  Make sure you chew her out for a minimum of an hour a day.  Bonus points if you say that you regret having her once a week.

  • Never have heart-to-heart talks with your child.

Unless you yell at him for something he did wrong of course. Talking to your child may show your child your weakness.  Never tell your child anything personal or show that you are human.  You need to keep the air that you are perfect and untouchable to your child.  Plus, you don’t have time for meaningless talks with your child!  You have Facebook and Instagram to update to show strangers out there what a perfect parent you are.

  • Don’t accept your child for who she is.

Try to change them to be who you want them to be, or who you think they should be. Your daughter wants to be an artist?  No way!  Artists can’t make it in the real world, and most don’t make enough money!  You need to tell her she is going to be a doctor, even if she does get squeamish at the sight of blood.  She needs to make good money so you can brag about her on Facebook and how successful she is and how much money she’s making.  Your son is an introvert and you are not?  This will not do!  Force him to go to social events and tell him that de needs to make more friends.  Tell her that he is too sensitive, too shy, too quiet, a hermit, and that is not healthy.  Do your best to change him to be an extrovert, even if it kills you.

  • Don’t develop a relationship with your child.

Never be there when he needs you. Unless it benefits you, of course. Work so much to make money for them* to have the life you never had, but make sure you are not around when they need you. Money and material things always trump quality time. Never attend their boring games; use work as an excuse.  Never ask him about his day.  Make sure you are never home, and when you are home, make yourself so busy cleaning (while muttering how worthless your child is under your breath) or on the computer/phone so your child can’t approach you.  Put your child in so many activities so you don’t have to deal with him.  Force him to go on vacations with you every summer, and grumble and scold him the whole trip.  Force him to be around you the whole time, but don’t do anything he wants to do.

Obviously, the points mentioned above are tongue-in-cheek.  It’s common to hear older adults complain how their child doesn’t call them, talk to them, or won’t even see them.  This is so disheartening to hear and experience.  Thoughts go around that the child is selfish, greedy, self-absorbed.  This could be true, but it could also be the fact that parents just weren’t there for their children (mentally and/or physically), mentally abused their child, or refused to accept their child was their own person.Child

What to Do Right
  • Praise Your Child.

I am not talking about giving her medals for just participating. Build her up; praise her for her hard work.  The harder she works on something, the more you should praise her!  If she does something wrong that needs to be corrected, do the sandwich method:  positive, negative, and positive.  Also, explain why they did wrong.  Focus more on the positive. It’s not wrong to let her know you are proud of them.  I know the Bible says “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) and “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2), but being proud of your child is actually expressing delight in the child and a feeling of deep satisfaction with what the child has been able to accomplish.  This is basically saying, “I love my child.”  This type of pride is other-centered and can be nothing sinful about it.  In fact, even God was proud of Jesus.

Children desperately need to know they are loved and appreciated. Their self-esteem is based largely on the input they receive from their parents.  They tend to grow up seeing themselves the way their parents see them.  It’s absolutely vital to reassure her that she is valuable in the sight of God.

  • Have a lot of conversations with your child.

If you want your child to come to you when they have something big and important to tell or discuss with you, you need to listen to the small things. When children are a toddler, I know that they can talk for hours (and hours and hours), but listen to them when they talk excitedly about their favorite toy.  Listen to your child when he talks to you about Minecraft.  Listen to your child when they talk to you about their good friends at school.  Those little things will become big things when they can trust you and know you will listen.  You children will not come to you if they know you will not listen (or chew them out) in the first place.

  • Accept your child for the individual they are.

Your child is their own individual. There will never be someone the same as him ever.  Your child is not a mini version of yourself.  Your child is not your second chance at life. Do now force your child to do something they don’t want to do just because you didn’t get a chance.  Your child may love art—encourage that.  Your child may love soccer—root for her.  Your child may love animals—inspire him the best you can.  Your child may be an introvert that has a sensitive heart.  This is the way God may your child.  Embrace that.  Have your child be the best person they can be with the way that God made them.  Don’t try to change them—it won’t work.  Don’t make them feel inferior for who they are.

  • Try to be the best parent you can be for your child.

Develop a great relationship with them. Like I mentioned above, listen to them.  When you get home, try to keep your phone/computer away as much as possible.  Be there for your child.  Quality time, not quantity is the key.  Do puzzles, play tag, or whatever they love to do.  Go to their games or music events.  Be their biggest cheerleader!  Don’t sit there in the stand on your phone complaining to everyone how bored you are.  Talk to them in the car.  (This is a perfect place to bond with your child as you both can’t go anywhere else!)  Just take time to bond with your child, earn their trust, and be there for them.

Of course, doing all of these things doesn’t guarantee that your child will be close to you, but at least you can be self assured you did the best you could for your child.  You only have your child for 18 years.  In the grand scheme of life, that is so short.  Make every moment matter to your child.

*Working to make ends meet to pay the bills and such is a different story.  I am talking about those that work long hours so they look rich.

 

 

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