Tuesday's Tip- Building a cleaning bucket for your kids

Ok moms, you are gonna love today's Tuesday's tip.  I guarantee it.  A few months ago, shortly after Sydney turned 6, I decided it was time to teach them how to clean a bathroom.  To be honest, I did it out of sheer exhaustion.  I figured if we lived on a farm (that's my secret dream), they would've been working by now.  So instead of collecting eggs from chickens (sigh!), they get to learn how to clean a bathroom.  When I told them what we were going to do that day, you would have thought I had just announced we were going to Disneyland.  They were that excited.




I divided the girls up.  Sydney basically begged to clean the toilet.  Um, ok sure.  Have at it.  Brooklyn wanted the sink.  They actually did a really good job on their bathroom.  They had so much fun.   Who knew?  Wish I would've started it earlier.

So here is my tip to get your kids to enjoy cleaning.  Give them their own cleaning buckets or pails.  Here's what you need:

1 bucket or pail
1 "magic wand"
1 sponge or rag
1 water bottle filled with water
an apron (optional)

You may have all the supplies you need already in your home.  If not, you can create a bucket for around $5-$20 depending on how elaborate you want to get.  Here's my cost breakdown.



Pail: $1 at Target.
"Magic wands": $2.99 at Target.
Rags: I already had them.  Two pack from Trader Joes.
Water bottle: $1 at Ikea
Aprons (not pictured): Already had them
My total cost: $4 per bucket

Here's another tip.  Fill the water bottle with plain old water.  That way they can clean almost about anything and if they decide to have an impromptu water fight, it's not a big deal.

For the magic wand, I use half vinegar and half liquid soap. I love it.  It works fantastically and it's non toxic for the kids.

A bit of caution.  If you are a control freak like me, let me give you one piece of advice, Let it go!  Chances are they will end up making more of a mess for you to clean up, but you know what,  it's all worth it to see them learn and grow.  They are not perfect.  Far from it, but as I watched them  clean my bathroom tonight, I got a small glimpse of the beautiful mothers they will make one day. My other piece of advice is stay close by.  I was downstairs when they got started and by the time I got to my bathroom, here is what I saw.

video
 
So I had to give them a few rules, like don't climb up on a slippery counter.  Yikes.  Do you have any great ways you get your children to help around the house?  I'd love to hear about them.

Switcheroo Sunday-Peanut Butter

Today's Switcheroo Sunday came in the form of a question from my friend Tina, shout out to her.  She asked me a few weeks ago what brand of peanut butter I buy.  My text back to her was, I don't buy peanut butter.  I buy almond butter and cashew butter instead.  Let me tell you why.

You might be surprised to find out that peanuts are not actually nuts, they're legumes.  Did you know that?  Kind of strange right.  I mean why would they call it a nut if it's not?  Here is why I don't think peanuts are good for you.  They can be quite toxic and cause inflammation.

Here's a great explanation I found from Whole9Life blog.  "When peanuts grow, they can harbor carcinogenic mold called an “aflatoxin“. This goes for conventional and organic peanuts. The longer they sit (during shipping, for example), especially in warm temperatures and high humidity, the more mold grows. And as it’s nearly impossible to buy peanuts “local”, as they are only grown in a few Southern locations, more likely than not, even your organic peanuts, are suspect.  The far bigger concern, however, is that peanuts contain lectins which are believed to have inflammatory and atherogenic potential. Most plants contain lectins, some of which are toxic, inflammatory, or both. Many of these lectins are resistant to cooking and to digestive enzymes, and some have been scientifically shown to have significant GI toxicity in humans. Lectins from grains (especially wheat) and legumes (including peanuts and soybeans) are most commonly associated with aggravation of inflammatory and digestive diseases in the body. (As an aside, dairy from cows fed grain-based diets can also contain these grain-derived lectins.)

So instead of this......


Switch to one of these......

There are actually quite a few alternative nut butters.  In our home we use almond butter, for the girls and Brian and cashew butter for me.  If you live near a Costco, you are in luck.  You can buy a big jar, 26oz, of Maranatha Almond Butter for around $7.  That's a great deal.
 
 
I love cashew butter.  My favorite way to buy it is at Whole Foods fresh from the grinder.  Just cashews.  No oils added.  Unfortunately, they don't always have cashews for fresh cashew butter.  So I buy the Whole Foods brand.  Although I've decided I'm going to use my Vitamix to start making my own from scratch.  It just makes sense.  We always have cashews on hand at the house and it would be so easy to make and so much cheaper.
 
 
Another great option is Sunbutter from sunflower seeds.  I haven't personally used sunbutter but I have many friends whose kids can't have nuts and they use this and love it.
 
 
As you can see, you have so many great options for healthy protein and healthy fats.  It's just experimenting and finding one that's right for you.  Here's a tip. Did you know you can buy anything from Whole Foods and if you don't like it or aren't satisfied with any of their products, you can take it back, no questions asked?  You don't even need a receipt.  They have fantastic customer service and I can't tell you how many things my family has tried, that we didn't like, and they are always so kind and helpful.
 
If you can't let go of your peanut butter and you just have to have it, make sure it's organic and made only of peanuts.  That's it.  No sugar and no added oils and try to limit how often you eat it. 
 
Have you tried any alternatives to Peanut Butter?  What is your favorite?
 

Switcheroo Sunday-Baking Powder

I wanted to give you another easy and inexpensive switch this Sunday.  Today we are going to take on Baking Powder.  If you bake anything at all, you have this ingredient in your pantry.  Have you ever looked at the ingredients?  More than likely, no.  If you are like me, you probably bought whatever was on sale.  Just a few months ago, I had to do my own Switcheroo.  You see I had this brand in my pantry.

 
I love the packaging on this baking powder.  What I don't like are the ingredients.  In particular, cornstarch and aluminum.  Let's start with cornstarch.  It is more than likely genetically modified corn.  Yucko.  Then there is aluminum.  Let's be honest, this ingredient doesn't belong in food.  Enough said.  Some studies show that aluminum is linked to Alzheimer's.  I don't want to find out.  It's an easy switch to this:
 
 
These two baking powders are actually made by the same company, Clabber Girl.  Rumford, however, is aluminum free and non-GMO. A win, win.  I don't have the cost breakdown on the two, but I know it was maybe 50 cents more.  To me, totally worth it.  You should be able to find the Rumford brand at any market.  Just make sure the can says non-GMO on it.  Mine does, but I've heard others say that it wasn't labeled on their can.  If it's not labeled, I wouldn't buy it.  Keep looking until you find a can that says, non-GMO.  This means they have used corn for their corn starch that is not genetically modified.  Corn is one of the worst for being GMO.

There you have it.  A very easy Switcheroo for you.  Is this a switch that you need to make?  Drop me a comment and let me know. 

Switcheroo Sunday-Ketchup

I'm back with my Switcheroo Sunday posts.  I've had many friends ask my opinion about switching the foods that they eat.  They feel overwhelmed and have no idea where to start.  So I hope this will help you all out.  Instead of trying to change your whole pantry or fridge all at once, choose 1 item every week to change.  Buy the time Fall rolls around, you will have switched about 20 items.     

I think most homes in America have this condiment in their pantries.  It's really an American staple, is it not?  I mean, a hot dog or french fries just don't feel complete without it.  What you might not know, is that in this bright red bottle lurks a dirty little word, HFCS, aka, High Fructose Corn Syrup.  I'm sure you have heard the debate over HFCS through the years.  Some say it's no worse than sugar and others say it's a man made chemical that should be avoided. 

I have to agree with the later.  Here's why.  HFCS is made from corn, Genetically Modified corn.  Unlike real cane sugar that grows from a plant, HCFS is engineered in a lab.  There is research that shows that the more you consume HCFS, the more likely you are to be overweight?  That can go for sugar as well, but my rule of thumb is to eat as close to how God created things to be. 

The second reason to switch your ketchup is because the tomatoes are not organic.  What does that mean?  It means that they are heavily sprayed with pesticides and more than likely, are GMO, genetically modified organisms.  I'll go into further details about GMO's in a later post.

Heinz ketchup contains tomato concentrate made from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, and natural flavors.

Tomato Paste (Made from ripe tomatoes), Liquid Sugar, White Vinegar, Salt, Orion Powder, Spices Salt, Sugar, Lactose Syrup, Red Ripe Tomato's, Onion Pepper, Spice's, and Natural Flavouring.

This switch is super easy.  You can even stick with the same brand, Heinz.  I know around our house, Heinz is the only brand my family likes.  I tried a different brand of organic ketchup years ago and no one would eat it.  I can honestly say, you cannot tell the difference between Heinz organic and non organic ketchup.
Organic tomato concentrate made from red ripe organic tomatoes, organic distilled vinegar, organic sugar, salt, organic onion powder, organic spices, natural flavoring.

So what is the difference between the two?  The organic version uses organic tomatoes and organic sugar.  The original version uses HFCS and pesticide ridden tomatoes.  Yes, there is still sugar in the organic version, but I would much prefer my kids to eat organic sugar than the HFCS.  I don't worry that much about the sugar in ketchup because we don't eat alot of it.  Primarily because we don't eat alot of processed foods.  I think we've had the same bottle of ketchup for about 6 months.  I better go check the expiration date.

So how does the organic version compare to the original version in price?  At my local Publix, the original 14 oz bottle of Heinz ketchup is $1.79.  The organic version is $3.19.  To me, it's worth it to spend more for better ingredients.  Of course you could always use coupons or wait until it goes on sale and stock up.  I try to do that all the time with organic food because it is more expensive.

I hope you have found this week's Switcheroo helpful.  Do you have a product you would love for me to Switcheroo?  Leave me a comment and let me know.  If you'd like to check out more Switcheroo Sunday's, click on the tab at the top of the page.

The many health benefits of Lemon

Well spring is here, Praise the Lord!  Last weekend we got a wonderful taste of what is to come.  The girls played outside all weekend in the 70 degree weather.  It was fantastic to open up the windows and let the warm breeze blow through the house. 

I had this blowing through the house as well.  It's my spa vapor diffuser with doTerra Lemon Essential oil.  Oh my heavens, the house smelled like one giant lemon.  It was fantastic.  I got rid of air fresheners and candles many years ago after learning how toxic they are to our bodies.  They can cause allergies, asthma and many other health problems, just by breathing them in.  If I burn a candle now, I make sure it's soy and essential oils.  Nothing else.




Not only do I breathe in lemon, but I also drink it.  That's how I start out my morning.  I take my 22 ounce glass water bottle (always glass, never plastic when consuming essential oils) and add 5 drops of doTerra lemon essential oil to my water.  I do this right when I wake up before I make my morning protein shake for breakfast.  I have seen amazing results already.  I've lost weight and the inflammation in by body is decreasing.  How do I know that?  Well, I had something called a Lipoma, a benign fatty tumor, underneath my left shoulder blade.   It was pretty big and I was concerned at first until I found out what it was.  Between my chiropractic care, cutting out sugar and gluten and drinking my lemon water everyday, it's shrinking.  I can't believe it.  It's about half the size it was about a month ago. 


Lemon is also used in the FluBomb.  What is the flu bomb you ask?  It's a mix of 4 doTerra essential oils to help the body heal itself from the flu.  I watched my niece and brother-in-law recover from the flu in 2 days. Truly unbelievable.  These Certified Theuraputic Grade Essential oils have become a huge blessing to our family.  We choose not to get the flu shot every year and this year, this has become a way that I can help protect my family from the flu.  The girls both got strep, but no flu.  Brian and I were able to escape the flu as well.
I love playing scientist.  I mix up all of these oils and put them in a roller bottle.  That way at night my girls can just roll it on their feet before climbing into bed.  It's really that simple.  Just one more way I can protect them from the flu and build up their immune systems.

doTerra is not sold in stores.  If you are interested in how these amazing essential oils can help you and your family, please drop me an email at hopeinthewaiting@gmail.com. I would love to chat with you.  You can also visit my store at www.mydoterra.com/kristalord

Have a great weekend.  We have a special one planned.  Can't wait to share it with you.  What plans do you have for the first weekend of Spring?

Disclaimer: This is my opinion. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on t.v. I am a wife and mom who enjoys researching the ingredients in the products my family uses and the foods that we eat. Thank you.

R.I.P. Nutella

Dear Nutella,

Our friendship must come to an abrupt end.  I normally would say that I feel so incredibly sorry about this, but today, I simply do not.  You knew what you were doing from the first moment we met.  You weren't being truthful with me sweet chocolaty goodness.  You were lying to me and my other mommy friends.  I should have followed my gut when I bought you in a two pack from Costco, but who can resist a deal?  Something just didn't sit right with me about buying a big vat of chocolate spread for my family, but I did it anyway.  Now I am kicking myself that I didn't follow my gut. I know you've learned the hard way.  You now have to shell out $3,000,000 and can no longer claim your chocolate spread is healthy.  I'm sure you are not worried, you will make that 3 million back in no time.  I'm just glad this mom won't be helping you do it.

Sincerely,
A mom on a mission

To read more about the class action lawsuit filed by a California mom, click here.




If you'd like to learn more about the ingredients in Nutella, click here.  I love Weed'em and Reap's blog.  It's funny and insightful.  She also has a homemade version of Nutella with just 3 simple ingredients.  I'm so making it.  Looks delish.

To my readers:  In all seriousness, this goes to show you that even for someone like myself, who prides herself in looking at labels and buying organic foods, I often fall short.  This was a major fail on my part.  I won't beat myself over it.  I will simply use it as a tool to continue to look closely at the ingredients I allow me and my family to consume. 

I didn't need a lawsuit to tell me that Nutella was not good for my family.  I didn't seek out the $20 I could've received as a consumer, but it is a reminder that I vote every time I go to the grocery store. A reminder to me too that my sweet girls, eat what I give them.  They don't get the chance to have a say in the matter.  At 5 & 7, they are already learning what is acceptable to eat in our house and what is not.  They can tell you all about food dyes and high fructose corn syrup.  While some might think I am crazy and a "little overboard" I tell my girls all the time, I don't say no to alot of foods that aren't good for them because I want to be mean, I do it because I love them so much.  My prayer is that by the time they go off to college and have to fend for themselves, this will be second nature to them. 

On another note:  Maybe it's time to go back to Switcheroo Sunday.  If you aren't familiar with that series, it's where I take one product and switch it out for something healthier.  You can click on the Switcheroo Sunday tab at the top of the page to check it out.  I'm curious to know if that is something you'd like me to start back up.  Could you leave me a comment if that's something you are interested in seeing every week?  I'd sure appreciate it.

What's lurking in your beloved beverage?

Would you be surprised and shocked if I told you there was a toxic chemical hidden in your sports drink?  How about that Mountain Dew you love to drink with lunch?  Well, take a listen to this weeks podcast where I talk about the hidden danger lurking in your sports drink and soft drinks.



Have you been convinced to clean out your refrigerator?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again to my friends Eric and Krissy Nordhoff over at Faithful Wellness for having me as a guest on their show.

If you are interested in how essential oils can help you or your family, click on the link here.

Side Note:  I loved Alex's recipe for OrangeAid.  Smart kid.  One thing I would add to the drink to make it a sports drink is coconut water.  Coconut water is an amazing source of 5 electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.  It also has less acidity than sports drinks and it supports rapid hydration.  There is a coconut taste to it so you would have to play around with the water, stevia, orange combination until you came up with a taste you liked.  I would start off with 8 oz so you are getting a full serving.  I've started adding coconut water to my daily shakes in the morning.  With the shakes the coconut flavor is disguised so I don't even taste it. 

Disclaimer: This is my opinion.  I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on t.v. I am a wife and mom who enjoys researching the ingredients in the products my family uses and the foods that we eat.  Thank you.

Ode to my husband

I am blessed!  Even when life is tough, I try to remember the blessings in my life.  One of those blessing is my husband, Brian.  Almost 12 years ago when we said, "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health," we never could have imagined how much we would be tested.  This amazing man has stood by me over the last 8 years as we have suffered loss, not once, but twice and has watched me suffer debilitating dizziness every day.  So, if you don't mind, I'd like to share with you a little bit about this man I call my husband.

He has an amazing heart for those less fortunate.  He loves to serve the orphans and the widows.  This is one of my favorite pictures that was taken while he was in Haiti just a few short weeks ago.  He hadn't been to Haiti since the summer of 2010.

 
He is an amazing dad to our daughters.  I love to just sit back and watch the way he gently instructs the girls and how he makes them think for themselves.  I love to listen to him read to the girls at night.  He has passed on his love of C.S. Lewis and the girls enjoy hearing him read the Chronicles of Narnia. I love how he takes them to dances and on dates.  It's so important that my girls know how a man should treat them when they starting dating. Daddy makes sure they know how loved and valued they are.


Brian loves to run and compete in triathlons.  I was so proud of him this last weekend when he competed in the Birmingham Mercedes Marathon and beat his PR by a landslide.  This was his 3rd marathon (Boston 2008 & Miami 2010) and by far his fastest.  I also love to watch how he encourages others to take up the sport.  I can't tell you how many people have started running because of Brian's gentle encouragement.


Brian, I wanted to publicly thank you for being an incredible husband and father.  I didn't want to wait until Father's Day or our anniversary to let you know how I felt.  Today just seemed like the perfect day.  I love you with all of my heart and I want to thank you for being such an amazing example of Jesus to me.  I know at times it's been hard to watch me suffer and know there is really nothing you can do to help me, but pray.  Those prayers mean the world to me.  Thank you for helping around the house and caring for the girls, when I just simply can't.  You are more than I could've ever asked for and I am so thankful God chose me to be your wife.

The Benefits of Coconut Oil

I'm so excited about this post today.  I'm teaming up with my friend Krissy and her husband Eric of Faithful Wellness.  They have a weekly podcast all about health and wellness.  Today we are discussing the health benefits of coconut oil. Take a listen and let me know what you think.




As Krissy mentioned, here are a few other benefits and tips for using Coconut Oil.

1. It can be used as a sunscreen as well as relieve sunburns
2. Soothes diaper rash. I would also add a drop of doTerra Lavendar Essential oil into the coconut oil
3. Eliminates dry and cracked heels
4. Eliminates fleas and ticks in pets
5. Treats bee stings or insect bites
6. Helps get rid of craddle cap in babies

and much much more....

If you are interested in learning more about Coconut Oil and it's amazing benefits, I highly recommend you read this book written by the founders of Tropical Traditions.

 


Lastly, remember that the largest organ of our body is our skin.  EVERYTHING we put on our skin goes straight into the bloodstream.  I will be talking more about this in the future, but think about getting in the habit of reading the ingredients of the products that you are putting on and in your body.

To learn more about doTerra Essential Oils that we discussed on today's podcast, you can click here .  I will be posting the Flu Bomb recipe I talked about in the podcast on Monday, so stay tuned.


Disclaimer: This is my opinion. I did not get paid to tell you about Tropical Traditions.  I am just a fan of their products.  I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on t.v. I am a wife and mom who enjoys researching the ingredients in the products my family uses and the foods that we eat. Thank you.



Onward

I've missed blogging.  I've missed you.  That may sound strange because most of you who still read my blog, I probably will never have the chance of meeting, but I feel a connection to you.  That's the funny thing about the blog world, you feel a sense of oneness with people you've never even met.  For my sweet friends who know me in real life and have told me they have missed reading my blog posts, thank you.  You don't know how much that means to me.

Most importantly, I've missed blogging for my sweet babies.  Every year at Christmas time I make a blog book for my girls.  They love them.  I felt guilty that this Christmas there was no blog book for them under the tree.  I was reminded of this the other day when Brooklyn took all 3 of her books to bed and was reading them.  Then Sydney, who is just learning how to read her sight words, chimed in and asked if I would read them to her.  They love to read the stories and look at the pictures of when they were much younger.  This is why I blog.  I miss giving them these stories. 


With that said, I'm back.  I have alot of catching up to do.  Yikes.  They are getting so big and I want to remember these times, because they go by so fast.  So, Brooklyn and Sydney, mommy is back to blogging.  I can't promise that I will blog every day like I've tried to do in the past.  It will be, as the Spirit moves, as they say and I promise to get last years posts in a book for you soon.
 

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