Cleaning Up

I’ve written a few times about cleaning products and about trying to live greener. Today, I want to share some things I’m using and doing. I know I still have work to do, but I’m doing more and more everyday. 3865DB83-F9FE-4FB4-B7F3-92F90E3EF0FD.jpeg

While reading, “The Art of Southern Charm” by Patricia Altschul,  I was introduced to the brand called The Laundress. I purchased several things from the company and have been impressed with them. According to the company it contains: “All of the good, none of the bad. Nontoxic, biodegradable, and allergen-free. Free of petroleum, phosphate, phthalates, artificial color, and animal by-products.” Considering that I do at least two loads of laundry a day I need a good product that goes a long way and does a good job.  The Laundress fits the bill! I also love the All-Purpose Cleaner from The Laundress. It does an amazing job cleaning everything! I especially love mopping the floors with it.

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I pack lots of snacks with so many children to feed. Ziploc bags were always in my pantry, but I swapped them for silicone ones after seeing more than a dozen plastic bags littering the beach. I got the Pepe Nero ones from Amazon and I also got some gallon ones with a zipper from a company called Planet Wise. Their website is planetwiseinc.com.

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On a weekend trip to The Home Depot I came across Mighty Bamboo paper towel rolls. They can be washed. They are re-usable and anti-microbial. I will admit that I’m not totally giving up my Viva paper towels just yet (I use those for dog messes and things that just really gross me out), but I am definitely using far less of them now.

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I’m also using biodegradable bags for food scraps and most bathroom trash. The brand I like is Unni.

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I’ve mentioned Puracy products before. I’m a big fan of the made in the USA company. Their products are non-toxic and safe for the environment. I try to buy the big refills to help cut down on our plastic waste.

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I’ve always used Mason jars for leftovers. This is such a simple and easy way to store food.

These are a few ways I’m trying to become a greener person. I want my children and their children to have the healthiest planet possible.

Keto Fast Foods From McDonald’s

There are times when you just have no choice but to get fast food (although my teenagers would eat fast food for every meal if I let them).

Now that McDonald’s serves all day breakfast, it makes it so much easier to eat a Keto meal on the road. If I have to eat fast food, I will order a sausage egg cheese McMuffin without the muffin.  My husband also loves these. He eats beef so his options are vaster, but since I don’t these are perfect for me.

As long as you order things without the bun and sugary sauces, you can eat several things and stay Keto.  When eating fast food, stay away from anything breaded. Also, keep in mind that most sauces, other than mustard and mayo, are usually loaded with sugar.  Keto on a road trip or just on busy nights isn’t so hard after all.

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From McDonald’s.com

April Fools Day Dinner

8DB3AF89-3BA1-4157-A96A-F3661FF578D8.pngA23FEA70-C43D-4AE8-B647-99A5C6EE6F58.jpegTomorrow is one of my children’s favorite days of the year. April Fools Day provides so many funny moments and fun activities if you just look for it. Every year, I make a special dinner or dessert. My kids look forward to it, so I can’t let them down. I’m including last year’s menu and the year before if you want to start a tradition like this. The way this works is that they are given a card for each of the three courses. They must pick 3 or 4 items at the beginning of the dinner for each course with no duplicates. They could end up with a fork, a cake pop, and a glass for one course. You just have to make your best guess. I try to save plates and napkins from other holidays and use them on this day.  There are so many silly things you can do! I hope you have a fun day tomorrow no matter how you choose to celebrate it!

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Keto Cheesy Biscuits {recipe}

It seems like there are more and more Keto snacks out there now than ever before. The problem is that most are sweet, but sometimes I just want something savory. I was wanting to try out a new recipe that wasn’t a dessert, and this is what I created.

I love that this recipe is fast and easy to throw together. It also requires ingredients that I almost always have on hand.

Keto Cheesy Biscuits

2 cups of almond flour

2 cups of shredded cheese (I used spicy, but any kind should work)

2 eggs

1/3 cup melted ghee

2 tsp. Baking soda

1.5 tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until a stiff dough forms. Put tablespoon-size balls of biscuit dough on the cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Enjoy!!

These would probably be excellent Keto cheddar bay biscuit copycats if you added a butter garlic wash to the tops.

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“Girl, Wash Your Face”{book/ Audible review}

Let me start by saying that I am an extremely hard critic for books that tell me what to do. I guess I don’t like being bossed around by anyone.

One of my closest friends took me to see “Made For More.” This is a movie about Rachel Hollis and her conference, Rise.

I have to say that Rachel is likeable right away. She’s relatable and funny (that’s why she has a tribe of over a million followers). I wasn’t over the top excited to leave and run and get the book though. I felt like it was great for certain women, but not really for me.

Fast-forward a few days later and I was looking for something to inspire me to do more than just get through my days (which is the way I’ve felt lately). I looked at all kinds of books. I then listened to an excerpt from this book and bought it with an Audible credit.

I listened while I worked out. I listened while I waited for someone to get done with an appointment. I actually was inspired. I didn’t expect to enjoy it half as much as I did. I didn’t really expect to feel inspired or excited from it, but I was!

It’s hard to put my finger on why. I don’t know exactly why. I know that listening to Rachel talk about her struggles, her fears, her dreams, and her successes has made me feel like I can do so much more than what I’ve been telling myself, and what I’ve been letting others make me feel like I can do.  Somewhere along the way, I lost a sense of hopefulness about the future. I needed to hear someone tell me that women tell themselves lies and let themselves believe lies, and that we have to stop it! None of this was new news, by the way. I’ve heard this all before. Head to Pinterest and you’ll see a thousand quotes all about it.  I’ve just never heard it from another person exactly when I needed to hear it.

Even though I don’t have the same dreams as Rachel (I don’t want to be a mogul or friends of the rich and famous) she still spoke words into my heart that urge me to move past the limitations that I allow myself to believe and reach for so much more. I just want to live a life that abundantly serves others,  but in a way where I feel blessed to do so, and not in a way that leaves me depleted and overwhelmed.

I’m looking at my life with greater expectations.

I would recommend this book to any woman out there who feels stuck in a rut, any woman who needs someone to tell her that she’s made for more than what she’s settled for in the past, and any woman who is looking for a cheerleader and a coach to tell her what she needs to do to get out of her own way in order to live a beautiful and full life.

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Interested in Keto?

As soon as it was evident that I’d lost weight, people began asking how I did it. Truthfully, my weight fluctuates as much to ten pounds up and down so it took a while for people to start questioning how I’d done it, but I was glad to tell them once they asked. Most people had heard of keto but didn’t know anything about it. Some people thought I was asking for a heart attack with all that fat. Some questioned how my cholesterol levels must look (assuming they must be awful). After a few weeks and months, more and more people started asking me more about the diet. They wanted to know what I ate in a day. Did I count calories, carbohydrates, fiber, etc? I was happy to tell them, but I also wanted to arm them with knowledge. I wanted them to decide for themselves based on research if this diet was one that they could believe in and actually stick to. I realize that on any particular subject there will be multiple sides with varying opinions, but I want to always make sure I don’t make decisions based on trends or fads.

I am going to link several studies. If you are interested in learning more about a ketogenic diet, these studies will help you learn more and see what research shows. I hope they will be helpful and that you will be inspired to do more research on your own. Also, Mark Sisson has a great website and podcast about primal eating and the ketogenic diet.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2716748/

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-08-keto-diet-gains-popularity-scientists.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/201809/latest-low-carb-study-all-politics-no-science

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/13/493739074/50-years-ago-sugar-industry-quietly-paid-scientists-to-point-blame-at-fat

Whenever I read articles or “studies” which claim that the keto diet is all meat and no vegetables, I get irritated. Mostly, because I don’t know anyone who eats like that. I am extremely sensitive to protein so I eat meat (fish, chicken, turkey, or uncured pork) once or twice a week at most. Most days my diet mostly consists of several salads, cheese, eggs, and avocados. I also eat broccoli, green beans, and berries. If the fiber grams are subtracted from the total carbohydrate counts, my carb count still comes in below 50 grams daily.

I always recommend that if you are planning on starting a new diet or exercise program that you talk to your medical doctor first. I am closely followed by my own doctor. My bloodwork is also done every six months. I am very happy to report that my numbers are excellent.

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One last thing, I went off the diet for a week while in Disney World (we had the dining plan). I felt horrible! I went to bed with a massive stomachache for the first two nights. I could hardly wait to get back home and back on the diet. The experience solidified the fact that this diet is the one that works well for me and that leaves me feeling the best overall.

I would love to hear your comments or questions.

Best Stain Cleaner {Puracy}

Throughout my life I’ve tried to look for ways to be more “natural”.  I’ve cleaned with vinegar and essential oils. I’ve tried the newest “all natural” cleaners. I’ve even made my kids do school experiments to see which cleaner is more effective with Petri dishes, mop water, and various cleaners. Within the last couple of years or so, I’ve stumbled across an American brand of cleaners that is natural and not harmful to the environment. The brand is Puracy. I love their cleaners. I especially love their stain remover. I love it so much that I make a point to carry some with me anytime I’ll be doing laundry (on vacation, short trips, every day of my life basically). We use their shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, lotion, stain remover, and general all purpose cleaner. My daughter even uses it at college. When one of her roommates, who works at a famous ice cream shop, came home with a shirt stained with chocolate ice cream my daughter told her she had to try the stain remover. Her roommate assured her she’d tried everything to get the stain out. My daughter told her she just had to try it. Of course, it worked and now she’s a Puracy devotee too. I don’t get anything for passing along my love of this brand to everyone out there. I just like to know what works and what is worth my time and money, and I want to pass along that information to anyone else who may be looking for something natural and effective. 8d8bdb3d-68e5-4fc4-acdf-67010cfbaa9b

Party On{Dinosaur Birthday Party}

I can’t believe I haven’t shared one of my favorite parties of all time.

David is like every other five-year-old boy I’ve ever met! He loves dinosaurs!! He knows most of their names, and whether they were carnivores or herbivores. He knows about how they fought. He surprises me regularly with his dinosaur knowledge. So there was no question that we would have a dinosaur birthday party for his fifth birthday.

506ee3d8-eb70-45d7-84ec-147eab2f378fce259b24-29af-4190-9877-a635bdca3bf905b7496c-0df5-4671-ad96-f61558567846537b0079-a038-4cb1-bc3c-b07f9b5fd4a8We served “dinosaur” eggs. I made these deviled eggs by cracking the shells and placing them in water with food coloring for awhile. I also bought some silicone dinosaur molds for small chocolates. I made fossil cookies out of sugar cookies and when they were just about done, I pressed a small dinosaur toy into the cookies. My daughter made a volcano cake out of Rice Krispies and a real cake. We put a cup in the middle and put dry ice in so it would look like it was erupting.

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We also made dinosaur bath bombs. Bath bombs are all the rage, so this was a fun activity.

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We did our trivia game as usual. We also did a photo scavenger hunt. I find this is one of the only ways I can get lots of pictures of the party-goers. We did the unwrapping game as always. We also did Dino egg pong (just like beer pong without the beer). I also bought wooden 3-d dinosaur puzzles. They were so hard, only the adults could do them, and even then, most gave up.

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It was a very busy, but fun party!

Happy New Year

2018, you were a rough one. Many of your 365 days were so very hard, but they were also scattered with so many blessings!

I am so hopeful for the new year. 2019, I pray you are a great year!

In the next few days, I hope that my presence here on this blog will be more frequent. I am trying new recipes. I have lots to share about the things that have gone on in the last few months. I have some new things on the horizon.

Happy New Year to you and yours! Here’s to today and the days ahead!

toast party ball cheers

Photo by Caio Resende on Pexels.com

 

 

 

Thankful in Every Season

 

I hope this Thanksgiving finds you all feeling grateful and blessed.

I haven’t been as active as I was previously due to a thousand little reasons and a few big ones. During the more difficult seasons of life, I find that I draw inward and even stop writing in my daily planner. Just getting through each day can seem to be a struggle.

As a result of this particularly difficult season that my family has been in over the last few months, I am actually feeling more grateful than usual.

Without going into a ton of detail, my mother fell and broke both her arms, then found out she has the very earliest stage of colon cancer, and one of my children has been struggling with depression and all that goes with it. Even though these are things that are not good, I am thankful for my family who will step up and help out when we need them. I am grateful for doctors who are so intelligent, discerning, and thorough in what they do. I am thankful for true friends who know that sometimes all I need is to know that they are there when I need them. I feel blessed that my husband’s job offers good benefits which make finding help easier. I am most grateful that my God never leaves my side. I can come to Him in every moment and cry out to him in joy and despair. I am loved and cherished by my Savior who died for me. For that, there is nothing for which to be more grateful!

Every one of us will go through hard seasons in life, but I pray that I will always be able to find things that make me realize how truly blessed I am. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!

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This image is the property of the linked blog. Please, visit her blog for this free printable and many more!

https://www.neathousesweethome.com/free-thanksgiving-chalkboard-art-printables/