Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Deadlines

Just a couple of things you may not want to miss...

1) Katie is having a Nutrimill giveaway that ends today (2/28/2011).  I can't say that I *never* win, but I'm pretty close to it so I don't dare get too excited; but maybe one of you will win :) and I'll just sigh and be happy for you.  This would be soooo awesome.  Go here to enter:

2) Tropical Traditions has free shipping today!  I'm pasting part of the e-mail newsletter below:

Through midnight EST today, Monday, February 28th, all Tropical Traditions Ground shipments within the lower 48 United States will be FREE with the use of our FREE Shipping coupon! This special offer does not apply to refrigerated or frozen items, eggs, or to rebounders, which are shipped by the manufacturer. It also does not apply to 3 day, 2nd day air and overnight shipments.
NOTE: To take advantage of this special, you MUST enter coupon code 280211 in your cart before checking out, and choose either Ground or SmartPost from the drop down list of shipping options! FREE shipping is NOT applied automatically. Orders placed before today cannot be refunded for shipping charges. "

Again, I may not be able to enjoy it, but maybe one of you may :).  I absolutely love their products (as much as you can love a product) and I only use their deodorants and lip balms for dc.  Uh-oh, their soap bars are $3 each...

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Can You Help?

This is an unusual circumstance for me to post something like this but here goes... Can you help a fellow homeschooler get out of a bind?  Just in case you can help, Jessica from Garden of Francis (that I've bragged about several times on this blog and plan to order from again soon) is in a bit of a financial pickle and can really use our immediate and urgent prayers/financial help.  She only has a few days to come up with a 4-digit amount.  I'm hoping and praying that she receive exactly what she needs.  Here is the link to her facebook homepage and on the left side there is a donations button.  Please discern if you can help and donate there.  Even though I do NOT have facebook (Am I the only one on the planet who doesn't?  Even my mom is on facebook!) it worked just fine for me and it uses secure paypal.

What's Cookin'?

Tomato Treat side dish: I made this from my "Gottatries" list. I had gotten some small tomatoes from a farmer's market as I was passing through a (literally) one-light town several weeks ago. They weren't sprayed and were mostly green so I grabbed a few pounds. I was thrilled to find some in January - they had cut them before the first frost. I've been taking them out of the fridge to ripen one or two at a time. When I remembered this recipe I took out a handful. My tomatoes were barely turning red which gave this dish a lightly tart flavor. These were delicious. I can't wait for summer's farmer's market! BTW, the ingredients say parsley and the directions say basil. I used basil. I only used 1/2 the mayo because I'm a cheapskate.

Accidental Latte: I was very flustered at the store while buying whipping cream... I needed whipping cream *that* moment for the St. Valentine's Day fruit salad. The only ones I could find were ultra-pasteurized, even the organic one. The only non-ultra-pasteurized cream where I was shopping was Mexican Cream by Cacique (which I love but it does have guar gum and carageenan (sp?) and since it's pasteurized it will bother my stomach a bit if I have too much). I ended up buying one of each: The Mexican Cream (sometimes they have Salvadoran cream, yum!) and a regular heavy whipping cream.

[By the way, if you buy Shepps, the little one is ultra-pasteurized, the middle size is just pasteurized, and the big size is ultra-pasteurized - at least in stores I've seen. I was wishing that I had at least gotten the middle one the day before at another store.]

I thought I would try whipping the Mexican cream first because I preferred pasteurized over UHT and they both had added ingredients. This was clearly a compromise treat. Anyway, I added some vanilla and rapadura to the cream and began whisking it with the electric whisk. After forever it still had not 'whipped' although it was a bit, a tiny bit, frothy. I stuck it in the fridge and whipped the blah heavy whipping cream to use for the recipe.

The next morning I plopped some of the whipped Mexican cream in my coffee and it was so luxuriously frothy and creamy. If you like lattes give this a go!

What's Schoolin'?

I'm working on our 20th Century study lesson plans right now.  I'll post it soon.  For now I'm pasting just the extra activity portion for the first decade below:

Activities to fit in throughout this decade:
-Eat at Subway (first subway begun in NYC)
-Eat some Hawaiian pineapple, papaya (non-GMO of either!) or macadamia nuts (became US territory)
-Eat some bubble gum (we use Glee Gum-although it's not actually bubble gum, it's still a treat)
*Read Call of the Wild
-Fly paper airplanes
-Watch a movie about the Panama Canal? (it started here and finished in the next decade)
-Watch the Samantha movie
-Try making homemade ice cream cones

Books (I'm still making my list and haven't picked up my holds from the library yet so I'll add more later):

Animals Robert Scott Saw by S Markle;
Bully for You, Teddy Roosevelt! by J Fritz.
Little Britches by Ralph Moody

Monday, February 21, 2011


What's Cookin'?

Ketchup:  Well, not completely.  I'm doing so many things that ketchup can't be one of them right now.  However.... instead of making homemade lacto-fermented ketchup (who knew you could??) I plan on fermenting store bought organic ketchup.  Tomatoes are one of those things that, if at all possible, should be organic.  It was a big shift when I realized that I don't have to eat tomatoes year-round.  They are seasonal foods.  Ugh.  I refuse to pay soooo much in the stores for an organic tomato unless I really need one for a special, special recipe.  I get them in the summer from a farmer at the local farmer's market who does not spray with anything and just picks the bugs off.

Back to the ketchup.  For 2 Cups of ketchup add in 1/4 C whey.  Stir well.  Add 2 Tbl whey to cover the top.  I'm not sure why because I've never covered the top before in any other ferment but anyway, I'll actually follow directions this time!  Leave on the counter for 3-5 days.  After 3-5 days stir in the top layer of whey before storing in the refrigerator.  It should keep several months in the fridge.

This is adapted from:

Almond Butter:  I was so excited to be making almond butter in the new food processor that my mom gave me for Christmas.  I thought I would finally get creamy almond or peanut butter.  It was as chunky as ever (but we still ate it and still used it in recipes).  I was clearing out my inbox yesterday and came across this link (and then went off on bunny trails and never did clear out the inbox!).  She ran it for 25 minutes but it finally got creamy.  I was afraid that would burn up my new processor.  However, I'm going to try it by letting it rest several times during the processing time and see what happens.

What's Schoolin'?

Youngest dd keeps getting pulled toward this book like a magnet to the refrigerator :) during shelf work time.  She likes trying the experiments:  How the Body Works by Steve Parker.  I need to talk to her and see if she wants to know 'parts of' different things and maybe make some cards for her.  I have the parts of a skeleton somewhere around here...

The olders are busy writing speeches and educational presentations for some 4-H contests. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February Calendar (Religious) ~ Headache Help

Headache Help:

This was posted on The Nourished Life.  In a nutshell:  peppermint oil (I apply it across the forehead and I actually use this a LOT for earaches, stuffiness, etc); water, food, willow bark, nap, acupuncture, massage, chiropractor, Feverfew, hot shower, acupressure, magnesium, cold packs, cherries, get outside, dlpa, salt loading, tea, eliminate the cause (like msg for me or too many tomatoes).  I'm not endorsing all of those - this is just from her list posted in the link below.

Quote of the Day:

I haven't had a quote of the day in many months!  Here is a good one:

"It is when we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hurt, when we try to spare ourselves the effort and pain of pursuing truth, love, and goodness, that we drift into a life of emptiness, in which there may be almost no pain, but the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater. It is not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love." —POPE BENEDICT XVI, —Spe Salvi, n. 37

Pope Benedict XVI has written many books.  I'll be honest, most of it goes right over my head!  My poor lyme brain simply cannot process what it use to be able to handle.  Here is a search of his books.
Search Books for pope benedict xvi

In case some are missing from that search I did another under Cardinal Ratzinger:
Search Books for joseph ratzinger

Even if you are not Catholic, this biography of Pope Benedict XVI is a good biographical book for youngsters.  Joseph and Chico is a children's biography of this very important modern world leader.  I got it through inter-library loan a few years ago.  I haven't read Joseph from Germany but it looks like a good one for children as well.  I found 2 more biographies for children:  Pope Benedict XVI (Biography; A&E); and Pope Benedict XVI (People in the News).  I found the sequel for Joseph and Chico called Max and Benedict.  I guess I need to start my ILL requests!

This is one I would love to read:

February Calendar:

Now that February is almost over I *finally* got the calendar finished.  Countless times when I was ready to work on it the computer would freeze, the phone would ring, time was up, the computer would freeze, the computer would freeze (seriously, it was uncanny how much computer trouble I had when I would try to get this done).  Here it is, I hope it will enrich some family somewhere and hopfully make planning easier.

I found these for less than $2 at the local health food store for breadsticks for St. Blaise.  We rarely buy store-bought crackers, etc., so it was a real treat (for me!) to just pick up a box of bread sticks for our soup dinner lately.  I got these because of the short list of ingredients and the price:  Alessi Thin Breadsticks.  There are other flavors/products here.  The box came with 5 little packets of breadsticks.  The dc (and dh) were surprised to find a packet just for them at their place for dinner.  Too cute.

Grammar Lessons ~ Rice Krispie Treats (Rice Crisp Cereal Bars)

I just use the Grammar Lessons from Montessori R and D manuals.  In fact, just this morning I pulled out the cute little pouches of grammar cards that dd hasn't touched to make them more visible.  My mistake for clearing an area and putting them in a little drawer in the shelf work cubby.  We'll see what she does with them today.  Anyway, if you don't have a manual and want to introduce the parts of speech, Zelda has posted some introductory presentations for those here.  I saw the noun, article, and adjective but she may have more.  Thanks, Zelda!

Here is the (free) moteaco language album for 6-9:

What's Cookin'?

I wanted to make the grotto for St. Bernadette's feast day but wanted to give it a healthy twist. I found Perky's Crunchy Rice cereal to take the place of Rice Krispies. Why? Well, here are the ingredients for Rice Krispies from the Kellog's website (they already had in all caps):


Here are the ingredients for the Enjoy Life product (Perky's Crunchy Rice Cereal)(they had the all caps):
Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Honey, Salt

Kellog's added all those vitamins to pump it up to 25% of daily  requirements (and 50% for iron) but I'm not using this for sustenance; I'm using it for junk food.  I'm okay that Enjoy Life did NOT add them in and that it naturally has 10% thiamine; 15% niacin; 4% iron; 6% zinc; 2% riboflavin; 10% B6; and 10% magnesium; and 6% pantothenic acid.

Next challenge: marshmallows. I found this recipe to try except I'll have to substitute the corn syrup (with honey??) or maybe even try leaving it out:

Here is another recipe I found googling.  In it she mentions using homemade ones for the bar treats so maybe my plan will work after all (I would nix any corn syrup/cornstarch).  If I could get dh to like homemade then we could get the Jet-Puffed mallows out of the cupboard:

So, to compare, here are the ingredients of dh's marshmallows in the cupboard plus who knows how they were manufactured:
Corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, dextrose, water, gelatin, artificial flavor, tetrasodium pyrophosphate (whipping aid), artificial color (blue 1).

Homemade marshmallow ingredients:  water, gelatin, sugar, salt, vanilla (plus corn syrup if you include that).  Wow.  So it's basically whipped gelatin and sugar.

As it turns out, I only have 2 packs of gelatin left over from the jello the other day since I had added an extra packet.  I'll try a 1/2 batch of marshmallows today (with no corn syrup) and see if it works.  That way they'll be ready for tomorrow's grotto.

Anyone else see the irony that yesterday I posted about making homemade breakfast cereal (and that I *never* buy boxed cereal) and today I'm using store bought for a feast day treat??? 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cold Breakfast Cereal

The recipes in Nourishing Traditions or online usually have soaked flour or oats which are then baked which are then crumbled which are then baked on low temp in the oven.  This requires 2 oven bakes.  I like those recipes and we have used them over and over.  However, not having had an oven since June-ish I've had to develop a new way to make cereal for those crazy mornings or for easy snacks.

Why bother?  Well... I really hated to hear this a few years ago.  Most cereals in the stores are processed by extrusion.  Even organic cereals.  There are others who can explain this so much better than I.  Back when I was in the deep Lyme Hole I gave my dc cereal even for dinner many times.  I figured it was healthier than a drive-thru burger.  I guess...  Basically the cereal is forced through these teeny tiny holes and it disrupts their molecular structure making it not only not beneficial but actually harmful.  Yeah.  Told you I hated to hear it too! 

[Some may feel that there is not enough documented, published evidence to avoid extruded cereals.  I'd rather err on the safe side and have not bought boxed cereals for well over a year.  Correction:  I got some organic cereal last summer when traveling to my in-laws so we could at least eat some with no food dyes amongst the boxes of cereal there.  Another correction:  I haven't checked yet but I just may get some organic puffed rice to make a grotto next week... but those are huge exceptions!]

We usually eat eggs for breakfast.  Otherwise, we may have oatmeal, egg taquitos, bean and cheese melts on tortillas, a banana, or an egg and cheese biscuit.  However, there are some mornings (like today when a repairman was coming in the morning or we're rushing to enrichment) that I can't spend one single second more in the kitchen making breakfast - or rather, I'm in there doing other things - and need to throw something on the table in 2 seconds.  Cold cereal to the rescue!

Here is what I did to be able to make homemade cold cereal without an oven.  Soak your oats the night before.  I put equal amounts of water to oats and add 1/4 C whey.  Usually (when I remember) I add a teaspoon or two of rye flour as well.  The next morning I add more water to cook it.  Basically I add the same amount of water again.  In other words, for 4 cups oats I would add 4 cups water the night before and then another 4 cups water when cooking.  I do it a cup at a time though in the morning so it's not too soupy and then cook it.

1.  Make oatmeal for breakfast one morning even though it's not one dd's favorite and ignore any expressions she may make. 

2.  Double or triple your normal recipe.  Innocently offer dd seconds ;).

3.  After breakfast is over, add lots of cinnamon to the remaining oatmeal.  Add any other spices that your family likes.  I put a pinch of cloves and ginger last time along with the cinnamon.  Add any sweetener of your choice such as local honey, rapadura, stevia, or maple syrup to the oatmeal and mix it well.  This is also a good time to add any raisins, dried fruit, or chopped nuts to the mix.

4.  Let it cool completely so that you can handle it if necessary without calling 911 and so you won't be putting something hot on plastic or parchment paper during step 5.  I put my pot straight into the refrigerator until it is cooled.  That way I can just get back to it whenever I get back to it.

5.  Spread it out on a dehydrator tray.  Dehydrate until it is completely dry all the way through.

6.  Break it into bite-size chunks.  Some may want to pulse it in the food processor but my dc like it chunky.  Keep in a sealed container either in the cupboard or the refrigerator.  We keep ours in the cupboard.  It is usually eaten within about 3-4 days but has lasted more than a week before.

7.  Enjoy watching the *same* dd enjoy her breakfast of cold cereal with milk (the exact same food she was making faces over) and ask for seconds while she says, "Mmm.  This is good." :)

This blog post is part of Kelly's Real Food Wednesday:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Saint Valentine's Day!

I've been trying to post this all day :).  Here is a picture of the little surprise dc found at the table when they got up.  I found an icon image online, pasted it in a document, used the shapes template to make a pink rectangle around it, and added a text box with the words, "Happy St. Valentine's Day."  I added a note on the back of each card.  They were taped to little individual bags of Sundrops for them to take in their lunches for enrichment today.

What's Cookin'?

Truffles:  I also indulged the dc by making Laura's truffle recipe today  (I did the simpler recipe at the link).  Youngest dd made them with me.  They were so incredibly easy and way too good!  Let's just say that I had 2 glasses of milk today to help even out the sugar I ate!  I only made 1/2 the recipe and I think there were 30 little balls in my batch.  I ended up freezing about 10 so I wouldn't eat them.  I rolled them in powdered sugar made from rapadura in the coffee grinder.  I just keep some stashed in the cupboard in a little jar for things like this.

Crepes:  One more indulgence!  These were suppose to be for Our Lady of Lourdes, or for St. Bernadette's feast day.  I was too late for one and too early for the other!  I made extra crepes and froze them so maybe we can have them on an appropriate day.  They sure were good though!  For the filling I just put in some thawed frozen organic berries (semi-thawed since I didn't take them out soon enough) and folded them closed.  Then I put some whipped cream on top that I had left over from yesterday's fruit salad.  I had whipped the cream with some vanilla and rapadura.  The ones in the photo are ready to be packaged for the freezer.  I had 2 recipes printed to choose from but I went with the one that used less milk since I was low:

They were not hard to make, it just took time to stand there and flip them - just like pancakes do.  My biggest accomplishment with these though (aside from only ruining one - the dog was very happy!) was that I attempted them in a 8" stainless steel pan rather than the non-stick.  It worked!!  I just put about 1-2 drops of oil before each one.  I never had to resort to the non-stick.  I am almost ready to completely let go of our teflon back-up pan :).  I just need to get a second pan first, though.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Montessori and Adolescence ~ St. Valentine's Day

I was doing a little research regarding Montessori and adolescence.  I came across this article.  It says that adolescents often don't want to use Montessori materials and yet may still need them because the youths either cannot think abstractly about certain concepts or still need to review (that's roughly what it said).  One way around this is to challenge them to create Montessori materials to present to younger students. 

Fortunately our dc still enjoy the materials.  Just today during shelf work time one was working with the Elements 3-part cards, the Bohr model, and the electric circuit kit (she was in a science mood!).  The other older did some spelling cards and continent horse pin maps (that got youngest dd interested in those maps again).  We also talked and planned out some North America materials/activities.  They brainstormed what they should learn about the continent/countries and came up with ideas to make/do.  We still need to brainstorm resources so the ideas of library books, videos, etc can come from them :).  We looked at an awesome Geography curriculum to see how we would use it for North America along with shelf work and Montessori materials.  [It's Trail Guide to World Geography]

It's still something to keep in mind though if/when they begin to show reluctance with materials because they are too 'old' for that style of learning. 

The article talks about integrated studies, such as reading Homer while studying Greece, and studying the Elizabethan period when reading Shakespeare.  That style of learning is deeply a part of us.  It gave me some affirmation in our styles of learning/teaching.

They also talk about the importance of the older student being involved in meal planning and meal preparation.  We're all about that! (Yes, I needed more affirmation!)

But what *curriculum* should be found at the high school level???  Well, in one of the photos in the article they have the Borenson Hands-On Equation that I just mentioned in a previous post!  Even though I have the last say :), I do discuss curriculum choices with the children - always have and always will.  Whether it's letting younger dd choose what unit topic she would like to study, or the olders helping decide what science curriculum to use next year for Biology, we talk it over and they give input/direction in their own learning.

Here is the full article:

What's Cookin'?

Middle dd was asking for funnel cakes so she's going to make these for St. Valentine's Day as a surprise.  Actually, she wanted malt balls, then peppermint patties (sigh).  Then I offered to look for a homemade recipe for peppermint patties and she changed it to funnel cakes.  I'm a softy - it's so hard when we're shopping for treats for youngest dd's class party but we don't eat the regular candy from the stores.,166,135191-251197,00.html

BTW, these peppermint patties look possible.  I think you can swap fresh cream (or even heavy whipping cream) for the evaporated milk 1:1.  Maybe I'll make these for her birthday coming up soon:

My surprise treat for St. Valentine's will be truffles from Heavenly Homemakers (I LOVE that blog!):

We'll also have her fruit salad and I may make some strawberry dip-type thing (or dd's strawberry cream cheese).

The only 'candy' they'll be getting is a little pack of Sundrops (like M&Ms)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Art ~ More Lapbooks

Meet the Masters: 

Here is another Art program.  I have not seen it personally nor used it so I cannot vouch for it but you can get it 50% off through the homeschool buyers club right now.  It is called Meet the Masters and there is a link to the product page within this link:

Sale at In the Hands of a Child:

I put this in the comments but wanted to add it in a post to make sure you all see it.  HOAC has a sale of $4 off any project packs.  That could be up to 80% off depending on the price.  In the Thematic Early Childhood section I found Winter Sports that would only be $2 right now. This could go along with The Big Snow study I mentioned before or alone. Some books to use with it might be:  Snowy, Blowy Winter; The Winter Olympics (True Book); or Tacky and the Winter Games.


This is 50% off through the homeschool buyers club also.  I haven't used it but a friend has and I seem to remember that she liked it.  Their Help for High School looks interesting for my olders, but they have for all levels:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Diego Rivera

When someone asked for materials for Diego Rivera I felt drawn as if to a magnet to make some 3-part cards. 

I don't adhere to his politics and he did some, uh, well, uncool things if you delve into his biography and autobiography.  Definitely preview any material if your dc will be reading online sources or books that I link below.  On the other hand, having seen extreme poverty in Central America and having experienced part of a civil war that could have ended in a communist takeover but didn't (the US and USSR met in this tiny little country during the Cold War), his paintings of the subjugated populations, populist themes, and the civil war/revolution era of Mexico speak to me (although not always in ways he probably intended because I also know of the brutality of the 'winning' side during/after the Mexican Revolution - especially the horrible persecution of the Church and martyrs... anyway...).  His simple yet detailed paintings and murals touch me in inexplicable ways - it taps into my Mayan/Pipil heritage.  He was also a plain fabulous painter and muralist!

Here are some links:

I like this because it's just the art work and mostly in order:

Excellent link (and they have awesome music cards also somewhere):

I know, I know, I said I don't go along with his politics but I found this comparison between Socialist Realism and Mexican Muralists very interesting - just disregard the rest of the website:

Here are my 3-part cards.  It was tricky finding public domain or fair use images that were kid-friendly.  I chose not to include his cubism period because that is not what he is known for the most.  His murals and paintings are more famous and distinctive.  No selling and for personal use only:

Diego Rivera definitely has a place in studies of Art History that cannot be denied.  He was influenced by and then influenced art in distinct ways.  Some books about Diego RiveraDiego and
Diego Rivera (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artist series).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Art and More Lapbook Goodies! ~ Safe cosmetics

What's Cookin'?

Jello!  Yes, that may sound unexciting, I know... But have you looked at the ingredients on the jello boxes?  We never ate it that often anyway but once I looked I just couldn't make it any more.  About a year ago I realized that you can make jello with just plain fruit juice and unflavored gelatin.  The directions are right on the box.  Somehow it never occurred to me to look at a plain box before!  Since then when certain juices go on sale I'll pick up a jar to have handy for a very special rare treat of jello.  I especially like the organics from Santa Cruz  in glass jars and can sometimes get the qt jars for buy one get one free at the store.  The berry flavors work well for jello.  Even fruit juice is still high sugar so we use it sparingly (chocolate, on the other hand...).  Right now I have a box of Knox in the cupboard with (can you believe it?) no directions :(.  I vaguely remember the ratio for the Kroger brand packs to be 2 cups juice to 1 envelope gelatin.  If the packets are the same then it will work.  Vaguely, you set aside 1/2 C juice and sprinkle the gelatin over it while you bring the rest just to the boiling point.  Then you mix it all together until dissolved and refrigerate.  Here goes... [update:  with the Knox packets I had to use 2 packets for 2 cups of juice.  It didn't look like it was jelling so I added the second packet after it was refrigerated for a while.  It may have worked but since I wasn't sure and patience with inanimate objects is not my strength I added it and it was fine.]

Regarding plain gelatin, the Knox and store brands are not necessarily recommended and I plan on switching to this brand of beef (Kosher) natural gelatin which IS recommended.  I have found it in a local health food store: 
Great Lakes unflavored Kosher Beef Gelatin

What's Schoolin'?

Handle on the Arts:
I was actually already planning to do a post on this wonderful art curriculum but found a nice surprise when I got to their website that just can't wait! Right now they have **2 FREE LAPBOOKS**. One for Leonardo da Vinci and another for Egypt. Yeah!! You register but I didn't have to give out any credit card info to get the freebies. Here is the link to the page with the free lapbooks, but please take time to browse around the rest of the site. I've seen some of the curriculum in person at a book fair and they really impressed me - I've had this curr in the back of my mind for years. My wishlist: the CD-Rom package for Time Traveler Volume 1 and eventually Volume 2. One can dream, right?? Actually, depending on what happens to dc's enrichment classes this may become a necessity.

Please note that this isn't an Egypt unit covering everything under the sun (like mine end up doing!) but rather it focuses on the architecture. I think these mini-books will complement any other lapbook or unit study beautifully. I think the da Vinci one would easily stand alone. I'm not sure how long this offer will hold.


What's Green?

This is a list of the top ten household toxins.  It's from Time, so if it's that mainstream then you know this info has been around a while.  This is a super short read:,29569,1976909,00.html

In short:  flouride; BPA; oxybenzone; parabens; phthalates; BHA; PFOA (time to stop using my non-stick pan once and for all!); perchlorate; DECA; asbestos. 

Several are hormone disruptors and 2 are common in cosmetics (oxybenzone and parabens).  For face cream I just use plain old coconut oil.  It's great.  I use either Spectrum, or Now, or (my favorite but more expensive) Tropical Traditions.  For my face I use refined so I don't smell the coconut all day :).  For chapstick I now only use (for me and dc) Tropical Traditions' lip moisturizer.  It's actually about the same price as any other in the store.  For deodorant I use coconut oil/baking soda and let me tell you - it works better than ANY I've tried regular or natural, including all those big names.  For dc I get the Tropical Traditions deodorant and stock up when I can get it on sale or free shipping.  It's expensive but it does last each one several months and even the 'natural' ones at the health food stores usually have something in them I don't like (sigh).  Same with shampoo.  I looked for months and months to even find a 'natural' one for the dc without SLS or something else toxic in it.  I ended up getting Everyday Shea on sale - a huge pump for $10.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lapbook Goodies ~ Snow Books

The Freebie right now from In the Hands of a Child is The Big Snow.  How perfect!  Click on freebie on the top tool bar and you'll get to the pdf.  I just looked at it and I think I'll do a lot of them with youngest dd.  We don't have the book and can't get to the library right now but I can still do them until we get the book and read some other winter books I have.

Their $5 e-book this week is Ancient Rome!  I got that at another sale earlier in the school year but this is a great bargain.  Click on the big box with EBook of the Week.

[See below for a sale from Journey through Learning]

Here are some more winter picture books to enjoy by the fire:
White Snow, Bright Snow; Katy and the Big Snow Book; Geraldine's Big Snow; The Jacket I Wear in the Snow (one of my all-time favorites!! Great for making a book with it); Snow Treasure (for olders or WWII studies); Snow (C. Rylant-I haven't read it but have enjoyed several of her books); The Three Snow Bears; The Snowy Day; and another favorite Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (poem by Robert Frost illustrated by Jeffers).  I could go on and on until spring!  There are so many wonderful winter books.


A Journey through Learning is having a Winter Blast sale.  This is from the e-mail:
"While most of the country is braving the ice and snow, (even us in the south!!) you and your child can keep warm by the fire with a fun lapbook or unit study. Our "Winter Blast" sale is on ALL instant downloads! Take 40% off at checkout using this code...

Code can not be used for CD, printed, or assembled versions. Sale goes through Monday, Feb. 7."

What's Cookin'?

Just plain bread, milk kefir, apple sauce (oldest dd is making that), beet kvass.  I'm not motivated to cook/prep today.  Mainly I want to straighten things around the house and maybe reorganize the freezer or cupboard.  Last night for a side I tried combining some garbanzos that I had cooked with ham hocks and some green beans.  It was okay, good actually, but I noticed nobody else taking seconds :).  I'll put those leftovers in soup today, he, he, he...