Sunday, February 21, 2016

Super Yummy and Healthy Paleo Korean Beef!



Paleo Korean Beef

(Picture to come, my family ate it too fast :))

Based on the recipe from Six Sisters Stuff

Ok, it is super hard to mess this up. I don't measure at all. I just throw things in. I am giving measurements but they are just general guidelines. And ingredients can be left or substituted with few ill effects. It is a very forgiving recipe. I also make large batches if you want less, use less.

This recipe is gluten free, wheat free, soy free, dairy free, peanut free, shellfish free, paleo, sugar free, allergen friendly, nut free, egg free, and with a few modifications could be AIP

Ingredients:

3 lb ground beef (other ground meats would  probably work too, I have mixed in puréed liver before and no one noticed, the flavor is strong enough to cover a variety of meats)
1 can crushed pineapple
1/4 c coconut aminos or soy sauce substitute, or soy sauce if you can have soy
1/4 c blackstrap molasses
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 T sesame oil
1 t ginger
1-3 T of salt to taste
1 t red pepper flakes (optional, I never use it, but add it if you like spice)

Cabbage rice, cauliflower rice, or brown or white rice
2-3 lbs vegetables of your choice (I use cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. whatever I have on hand) or a bag or two of slaw mix
1-2 c roasted salted nuts or seeds of your choice (I have used sunflower seeds, almonds, and peanuts). (Optional, but optional, trust me if you can eat them it's worth it, it makes this meal 10x better! :))
Lettuce leaves (optional) big enough for lettuce wraps. Romaine works well for this.


Directions:

1. If using brown rice start cooking now
2. Brown ground beef
3. Add pineapple (including juice), aminos, molasses, and spices
4. Let simmer for a while for flavors to mix
5. If using veggie or white rice start cooking now
6. Shred vegetables, I use my food processor with the shredding attachment.
7. Chop nuts/seeds (I use my food processor for this too)
8. Serve beef over rice with vegetables on top and nuts on top. Put in lettuce leaves for lettuce wraps.


Verdict:

Amazing! This is one of my family's favorite meals. My kids gobble it up vegetables and all. The flavor on the the meat is amazing and it flavors everything well. The vegetables and nuts add a great crunch. I have also served this at family parties and everyone loved it and begged for the recipe. And it is healthy! No sugar, no soy, allergen friendly!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry



You know the saying "Eat, drink, and be merry"? Did you know that it is from the bible? Did you know that the next line is "For tomorrow we will die" (Is 22:13). I knew those things but I learned something new about that passage tonight.

In Isaiah 22 God is talking about the defenses that the Israelites put up around their city, knowing that their old defenses, and probably their new ones were not good enough to save them.

So they decided to have a party.

This is the part that blows my mind. They really thought they were going to die. They were sure that they were going to die.

And they decided to eat and drink and engage in revelry.

God had asked them to weep and wail, to tear out their hair and to put on sack cloth (vs 12). If they had done as God asked maybe they wouldn't have died tomorrow.

God was begging them to turn to him. But that still didn't change their minds or actions.

In verse 8-11 God describes the defenses that they had built up and then says "but you did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago."

God made everything. Including the things that I am hiding behind or building up to defend me. I need to look to the maker of these things for my true defense.

I'm sorry God for looking to the things you have made, instead of looking to you for defense. Please help me remember to always look to you. Thank you for being there for me always! I love you!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Why Not Me?



When I'm struggling with something the temptation is often to ask why? or why me? But I think we need to start asking why not? or why not me?

We live in a fallen world. There are struggles. Everyone struggles. What makes me so special that I should not struggle or that I should not have this struggle? God showed me this last week.

I struggle with insomnia.

It manifests itself in different ways on different nights. Sometimes I can't fall asleep. Sometimes I can't stay asleep. Sometimes I can't go back to sleep when I wake up. Lately it's been I wake up in the night and can't fall asleep for up to hours.

It all boils down to one statement; I'm tired.

One night I was up for 3 to 4 hours. When I had been awake for over 2 hours, and had already tried all my usual tricks, I looked at the clock and asked whhhyyyy?

And then God said why not? Why not me? What makes me so special? Why shouldn't I struggle?

Another great question is: What is God trying to show me through this struggle?

One thing i have found is that God is giving me a special time to be with him in the middle of the night. I have a time of quiet, which is rare of my busy life with 3 kids under 4. And I have the privilege of spending it with him.

My response needs to be (and sometimes is :)); Thank you God for giving me this special time with you.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Diaper Wars Wipes Edition: WaterWipes Review #WaterWipes #IC #ad

“This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.”

As many of you know I am pretty picky about diapers. I have an entire series comparing different diaper brands. However, as picky as I am about diapers I've never been that picky about baby wipes. When I had my first I just found the sensitive skin wipes that were the cheapest and have stuck with that brand for almost 4 years.

The last couple years I have been trying to increase the health of my family. One of the things that I have done is working on eliminating as many man made and toxic chemicals as possible. I have been using homemade laundry soap and tooth powder. I make the majority of our food from scratch. And we recently switched to cloth diapers for the children. I will admit that the main reason for switching to cloth diapers was the cost factor. With 3 in diapers, the cost of disposables was killing our budget. But I also appreciate the environmental and health conscious side of cloth diapering.

One thing I had never considered a health thing before was baby wipes. To be honest I never even considered the fact that wipes had ingredients. I have always bought the sensitive skin ones and made sure that they were perfume free and alcohol free. So if they are free of things then they must have something in them; but I never wondered what was in them.

When I finally looked at the ingredients I found a long string of unpronounceable words. I never imagined that there would be so many ingredients in wipes. I have thought about using washcloths and water, but even with using cloth diapers, cloth wipes seem inconvenient. I use a diaper sprayer for the poopy diapers but I don't want to spray down bunches of wipes. I may get there someday, but I'm just not there yet. That's where WaterWipes comes in.



WaterWipes are baby wipes that are completely unique. What makes them unique is that WaterWipes  only have 2 ingredients (besides the wipes themselves :)): 99.9% purified water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. You get the naturalness (yes, I just made up that word :)) of washcloths and water but the convenience of a container of wipes.


Pros:
  • Only 2 ingredients! 
  • Man made and toxic chemical free!
  • They are very durable. I asked my 4 yr old to try to rip them and they didn't come apart.

  • They stay moist well. Because the top opener is a sticker (see below in the cons about that) it is not easy to leave sitting open (which is a weakness of mine :() so the wipes don't get dried out as quick. I read in some reviews that the water might settle to the bottom sometimes but if that happens and you find your top wipes to be dry all you have to do is turn the package over and squeeze it a little bit to allow the water to redistribute.
  • They are very soft and smooth.
  • They clean poop off well. Trust me, with 3 kids in diapers I get plenty of chances to test that. And these do the job well.
  • Good for cleaning faces and hands. I admit I have used other brands of wipes on my babies faces and hands when I needed to. I have been uncomfortable with it because of the ingredients but didn't have another option. Now I have another option!
  • The wipes are not connected. I know some people don't like this, but I don't mind it. 
  • Available in stores. WaterWipes can be found in many stores, including Meijers, and online. Check out their store locator to find where they are available near you. I recommend calling your local store to make sure they are in stock before going. 



Cons:

  • The package does not have an easy open top. It is a plastic sticker that you peel back and replace. It is completely able to be sealed but not quite as convenient as the hard plastic openings that I am used to. Also my husband had a hard time figuring out how to open them. Since we have used the same brand for the last 4 years he didn't know that were other opening styles available. If I hadn't been watching he would have ripped open the package which is  not good because putting the wipes in a different container will eliminate the sterile environment.

  • They cost more than other brands.
  • They don't last as long as other brands. Because they don't have any man made chemicals in them they don't have any preservatives. Unopened packs can last as long as 15 months, but once the package is opened they recommend using them up within 1 month. There are only 60 wipes per package so using them up within a month is not a problem for me, but if you do not use very many wipes it may be a consideration for you.


Conclusion
These are good wipes. I like them as wipes. I like the ingredients. The price isn't my favorite. But these are great wipes!

If you want to know more about WaterWipes you can check out their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages. And again you can check them out at Meijers or find out where else to buy them on their store locator page.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Role Model for Change #savoringtimewithGod

I am going through the devotional book Savor, by Shauna Niequist with my women's bible study. I thought the questions were so great and thought provoking that I wanted to share them and my answers with you. I would love to hear your answers in the comments or if you blog about them too please post your link in the comments!



June 17 p182


Q. Who has shown you how to handle change courageously, thoughtfully, proactively? How have you followed their example? Is there any area of your life in which you need to consider making a change?


A. I guess my parents. I never really thought about it because they kinda lead by example/forcing us into it :). We moved several times throughout my growing up years. My dad changed not only jobs but entire lines of work. My mom went from a stay at home mom to a working mom and has gone through several job changes. All of that to bring us to a better place in life, either because something wasn't working, was going to stop working, or something else would work better.


I don't know if this is because of the upheaval, or just my personality, but I am e type of person who thrives on change. If everything stays the same I get bored. So I have followed their example. My husband and I have moved 3 times in our almost 7 years of marriage. We've had 3 kids. I tended to switch jobs fairly regularly when it wasn't working for me anymore (now I am a stay at home mom). My husband has had a couple different jobs in that same 7 yr period, and we weathered the unchosen changes well. We have also gone through the sad changes of losing loved ones. I started a blog that didn't have a specific theme so I could change what I wrote about. We started a small hobby farm. We are constantly remodeling, rearranging, and redecorating our home. We are constantly working to make sure our lives are well lived.


Honestly as far as future changes, I think we are good. We will continue the constant changes of home and family. But for the big things I think we are in the right place right now. One specific thing I need to work on changing is organization. And we are working on what exactly God wants us to do mission wise.


What about you? Do you handle change well? Is there anything you need to change?

Monday, June 22, 2015

What Connects Me To God #savoringtimewithGod

I am going through the devotional book Savor, by Shauna Niequist with my women's bible study. I thought the questions were so great and thought provoking that I wanted to share them and my answers with you. I would love to hear your answers in the comments or if you blog about them too please post your link in the comments!


June 9 p 174

Q. God is endlessly creative in how he shares his presence with each of us. And the specific way he chooses to connect with you matters. What is the tie that binds you to God?

A. Peace, quiet, alone time, time with people, deep conversations with girlfriends, loving my kids, sometimes some songs, deep abiding faith and love, my garden, my chickens, obeying, seeing God working in circumstances

The list above is what came to mind when I asked myself how I have seen and felt connected to God lately. As you can see it is widely varied. I was trying to figure out what one thing binds me to God and realized that it is not one thing, it is many things. I see God all around me, in many parts of my life. And he speaks to me in many ways, in the quiet, through the voice of a friend, in my garden, through my husband, etc.


But there is one thing that really ties my to God and that is inside of me. One of my spiritual gifts is faith. It took me forever to realize that that is a spiritual gift, not something I learned, but something I was given. But I have it. It is deep inside of me, and no matter the circumstances in life or around me I still have it. I believe in God, I believe that he is there, that he loves me, that what he says in the bible is true. I believe. That's it, I just believe. I can't explain it, I didn't put it there, it is just there. I have absolute faith in God. And that is the tie that most binds me to God.


But I am so thankful for all the other ways he speaks to me too! How do you connect with God? How does he speak to you?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How do I feel about my body? #savoringtimewithGod

I am going through the devotional book Savor, by Shauna Niequist with my women's bible study. I thought the questions were so great and thought provoking that I wanted to share them and my answers with you. I would love to hear your answers in the comments or if you blog about them too please post your link in the comments!


June 5 p 169
Q. How do you feel about your body? Do you feel connected to it? Do you feel respect for it? How do you nurture it? How do you challenge it?
A. How do I feel about my body? Hmm this is an interesting question. I've never really thought about it. I think most of the time I feel that my body is just there. It just exists. It is what it is. Except when it doesn't work right or hurts, then I feel annoyed at it or whatever hurt it. A lot of times I groan from being achy but I still don't really think about my body. It is just there and it is me so why would I think about it as if it is something separate? So yes, I feel connected to it. (Shauna talks in the devotional about feeling disconnect between her body and her soul).

Do I feel respect for it? I'm not sure if I respect it, because like I said, it is me. I respect myself, I think we'll of myself so in that way I respect my body, because it is part of myself. I don't usually feel thankful for my body because it is just a part of me, like I said. But now I am thinking about several friends and family members who have bodies that don't work like mine do. Sure there are times when my body doesn't work the way I want it to, but I have full use of all my limbs so I should be thankful for that. Thank you God for my body.

How do I nurture it? Well I try to eat healthy. I sleep as much as my body and my kids and my schedule will let me. I don't do much exercise besides chasing 3 kids around. I need to stretch more, I get stiff a lot these days. I work outside in the garden with fresh air. I get as much peace as my kids will let me :). I don't know, is all that nurturing my body? It is nurturing me.

How do I challenge it? The same way I challenge the rest of me. I do what i think is good to do for me. Have I ever specifically challenged my body? Not that I can remember. Other than pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing. Does that count?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Physical Difficulty #savoringtimewithGod



I am going through the devotional book Savor, by Shauna Niequist with my women's bible study. I thought the questions were so great and thought provoking that I wanted to share them and my answers with you. I would love to hear your answers in the comments or if you blog about them too please post your link in the comments!


June 4 p 168

Q. Have you ever run a marathon, or fulfilled some other physical goal that pushed you beyond what you had thought you could do? What did you learn from that process?

A. Well I gave birth to 3 babies. And nursed them.

Before the first one I thought it would all be fine and easy. I was planning to have an epidural and breastfeeding is natural, right? I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I didn't know how hard it would be. When my epidural didn't work right with my first two I learned how excruciating labor and child birth could be. At one point with my first I honestly wasn't sure how I would make it. But I did make it, and went on to birth 2 more children. I learned I am capable even if it is horribly hard. I also learned that I can endure horrible pain for a short time period as long as there is an end in sight. But even in that moment when I can't see the end I would still choose to do it all over again for my precious children. I guess I learned how strong I am?

Nursing babies took a whole different level of strength. I wrote about this before, but Nursing my first was incredibly hard. It was very painful. Problems with latch and neither of us knew what to do. In the beginning, for the first several months I daydreamed at every feeding about switching to a bottle. I sometimes wished that the doctor would find a medical reason for me to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula. (That sounds horrible, and I cringe writing that, but it is true). There were times I honestly didn't know if I would finish the week nursing. But I made it through. I made it to a year nursing both my first and second (still working on my 3rd). It started being easy sometime between 3 and 6 months (I can't remember for sure when, that whole time is a little fuzzy). Again I learned how strong I am. I can make it through. I learned to take the hard things 1 thing at a time, (I will make it through this one feeding don't think about the next one). I learned that pushing through one hard thing may make the next one a little easier (the 2nd and 3rd have been easier for nursing, one naturally and 1 with the help of a tongue tie being clipped). I learned that it is ok to lean on something to help you make it through (I doubt I would have made it through without nipple shields, I've used them with all 3 and they are a life saver!). I learned that hard things are only a season. I learned that God is right there with me through those hard seasons

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Big Brass Band Book Blast and $25 giveaway

Disclosure: I earned an entry into a separate giveaway for blog blast participants in exchange for this post. I also got the chance to have new readers come visit my blog (welcome new readers! please feel free to stay and browse a while!). None of the links in this post are affiliate links for me. If you are a blogger and would like the opportunity to participate in future blog tours and blog blasts sign up at Mother, Daughter, & Son Book Reviews.

The Big Brass Band by Pam Bonsper

Title: The Big Brass Band
Author: Pam Bonsper
Illustrator: Jessica Ziegler
Publication Date: August 18, 2014
Publisher: AroSage Publishing
Pages: 32
Recommended Ages: 3 to 8 
Book Summary: A parade! Watch from the sidelines, as a little fellow follows the magnificent marching band go by. He is overcome by the sounds of the big brass band, and every instrument is his favorite. How can he decide which instrument he will play? Will it be a bassoon, a drum, a tuba? In this delightful rhyming tale about a parade, a band, and a boy, Pam Bonsper and illustrator Jessica Ziegler take us on a very loud, decision-making journey while we learn the names of the instruments in a marching band. But be aware...your children may want an instrument after reading this book! Which instrument will they choose?

Now available both in print and as an e-book!

Amazon (Print) * Amazon (eBook)* AroSage * StoryTots * Goodreads

 

The Buzz About the Book

"The poetry in the book is lyrical and when read out loud you feel the music of the band. This will draw a child's attention and introduce vocabulary that is sure to stimulate. Really like the colors and emotion in each page. Well done! " ~ 5 Star Review, kmhorgan, Amazon
"Poems help improve a child’s reading skills and also their ability to remember passages. The author has cleverly used these techniques to enhance her tale and mesmerize her readers." ~ 5 Star Review, Susan D., Amazon
"'Watch out. The Big Brass Band is about to march straight into your heart! " ~ 5 Star Review, S.J. Teer, Amazon
"My grandson made me promise to read it to him every night. Could anything be better than that - encouraging children to read and give them knowledge about instruments in a band?" ~ 5 Star Review, Juliet A., Amazon
"The best part of this book was reading with my son and seeing his excitement for music and all the possible instruments he could play. We have been talking about them all morning." ~ 5 Star Review, Joshua C., Amazon
 

About the Author: Pam Bonsper

Pam Bonsper, AuthorPam Bonsper has been a free-lance writer for many years. Her articles have appeared in numerous periodicals and professional publications. She is currently a feature writer for Coastal Canine magazine. Pam also enjoys writing children's poems and stories and has been published in The Bee Hive, Mexican World, Happy Times and Classmate and Bumples.com. She has now published her first children's rhyming book and will launch her new Friends and Feelings Series in December. She lives with her husband in Carmel Valley, California and is inspired daily by her two young grandchildren.

Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Facebook

Pinterest | Google+ | Goodreads

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: December 19, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author Pam Bonsper and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool Book Blast and $25 giveaway

Disclosure: I earned an entry into a separate giveaway for blog blast participants in exchange for this post. I also got the chance to have new readers come visit my blog (welcome new readers! please feel free to stay and browse a while!). None of the links in this post are affiliate links for me. If you are a blogger and would like the opportunity to participate in future blog tours and blog blasts sign up at Mother, Daughter, & Son Book Reviews.

Girls Powers-front cover for Amazon

Title: The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool
Author: PJ LaRue
Illustrator: Aristides Rodriguez
Publication Date: June 28, 2014
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 63
Recommended Ages: 5 to 10 
Book Description: Join Exciting Princess Adventures and Learn Life Lessons Along the Way Have you ever wanted to ride a dolphin or dreamed of playing on a rainbow as if it were a waterslide? How would you feel if someone tried to kidnap you, and you were forced to move to Hawai'i to hide and live with people you don't know? That happened to Harmonie. Come meet Harmonie, her new Mystic Princess friends, and find out what happens when her enemies, the Children of Ares, find her again.

Purchase * Goodreads

 

The Buzz About the Book

"The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool has a delightful plot. P. J. LaRue uses mythological characters to tell a lively story of bravery and friendship. The book teaches important lessons on strengths and weaknesses, conservation and safety. This is the first book in the Mystic Princesses series, and I cannot wait for the next princesses' adventure to come. Young girls will love The Mystic Princesses adventure on their bedside table." ~ Kelly Santana, Readers' Favorite Book Reviews
"A lovely book for children with colourful pictures and any child who reads it will be looking for a sequel." ~ 5 Star Review, Diane, Amazon
"'The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool' is a confidence boosting book for children, giving them important information. It is the first in a series and I look forward to reading more about Harmonie and her friends." ~ 5 Star Review, Mary C., Goodreads
"This early chapter book is perfect for children ages six through ten. It does not portray wimpy princesses, but strong, respectful and independent female role models involved in many adventures in which they learn to overcome their weaknesses, act against bullying, and cooperate with friends and family to promote human welfare and peace. Short chapters interspersed with illustrations will maintain interest if the book is read aloud for younger children. Introduce your little princess to this one." ~ 5 Star Review, Barbara M., Amazon
"The short chapters would make this ideal for younger girls who are newer to reading Chapter Books. The colourful illustrations are excellent, and compliment this warm story nicely. A new series for girls, offering a fun way to learn valuable life lessons." ~ 5 Star Review, M.J. Kinsmen, Amazon
 

About the Author: PJ LaRue

PJ LaRuePJ LaRue wrote poetry in high school, but she discovered writing children’s books and short stories later in life. Her writing inspirations are hiking, photography and environmental consciousness, but she links these interests to much larger social issues. A person very close to PJ was molested as a child, making PJ passionate about providing child safety tips. And, PJ was bullied in the third grade by girls much larger than she, who demanded that PJ give them her lunch money. As a result, PJ is committed to spreading the word that bullying must be stopped.
One of PJ’s goals is to help educate children, parents and caregivers, in a fun way, using her children’s book series, The Mystic Princesses. Because PJ loves to travel, the princesses will visit many locales, learning about environmental concerns along the way.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Pinterest | Google+ | Goodreads

 

About the Illustrator: Aristides Rodriguez

Aristides Rodriguez has worked with clients to create websites, social media graphics, print graphics, and logos. His print media projects include cards, posters and magazine ads. He is comfortable working with a team, but has also designed client projects independently. While in school, Aristides participated in job shadows to Central Florida design community members including Disney Event Group, Orlando, SeaWorld, Orlando, and large offset and digital printing companies. Currently, Aristides is a Winter Park Tech Advisory Board member.

Website

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: December 17, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author PJ LaRue and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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