Sunday, August 17, 2014

5 Ways to Keep Healthy This Fall

It's back to school time folks, well unless you work at a year-round school like us then it's always back to school time. With both Ian and I working at a school and with Tilly in day care we are exposed to every bug, cold, and virus that comes around.  I've done a lot of research on immune support and natural remedies and that paired with a healthy diet of real food has kept us going.  Here are 5 simple ways to get healthy and stay healthy this fall! 


Immune Boosting Gummies: I wrote the recipe for these last year (HERE) and I still make them from time to time.  They are a great way to boost little immune systems and taste so good that it's really more like dessert! 

A Good Nights Sleep: Getting enough sleep is so important to your health and wellness.  If you are having a hard time falling asleep at night try cutting back on "screen" time right before bed. We use lavender essential oil rubbed into our feet when we know that we could use some extra rest.  We also use the lavender oil mixed with coconut oil for Tilly when she is having a hard time settling down at night. 

Activated Charcoal: After an awful round of stomach bug I did some serious research and settled on activated charcoal as a natural solution.  We started taking it shortly after I got a second round of the bug and I recovered way faster and Ian never got sick! Its not recommended for little ones so we gave Tilly extra doses of elderberry syrup and she didn't get sick either.  I was so relieved!

Tummy Troubles Tea: I love this tea (RECIPE) for all sorts of stomach ailments.  It aids digestion, settles upset stomachs, and relieves gas pain.  The best part about this tea is that it is perfect for young children, I used it in place of gas drops for Tilly when she was as young as 2 months old and it was a huge help. 

Bone Broth: There is a lot of truth in the old "chicken soup when you are sick" tale.  Chicken or beef broth has all kinds of wonderful immune boosting power.  Its also a great first food if you've been sick as it can be sipped slowly to give you energy while being really easy to digest and easy on the stomach.  I use my crock pot to make broth after roasting a chicken, you can get the recipe HERE.



What tips do you have for staying healthy? Pop on over to our Facebook page to join the conversation or visit our Pinterest boards for more recipes and inspiration! 

*Linking up with: Homemade Mondays, Homestead Barn Hop, The Modest Mom

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Meal Plan 8.5.14

The canning starts this week with pickles and probably tomato puree (just waiting for the millions of tomatoes in my gardens to turn red).  I recently started making our yogurt and it's turned out awesome! I'm saving tons of money and Tilly likes it more than the store bought stuff, I highly recommend giving it a try.  I'll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.



Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and zucchini muffins.

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we'll have a "breakfast for dinner" night once a week and at least one "meatless meal".  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don't want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.

Week of 8/05/14

Monday: A special treat of grilled hot dogs (we use Applegate organic brand) and corn on the cob

Tuesday: Pasta and veggies with sauce

Wednesday: Scrambled eggs and fruit salad

Thursday: Chicken corn patties or salmon patties with salad

Friday: Puppy play date with some friends (We grab sandwiches on the way there)

Saturday: Grilled cheese with veggies for dipping

Sunday: Italian sausages and cheesy perogies

What are you serving up this week?

Linking up with: Homemade MondaysHomestead Barn HopThe Modest Mom

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Meal Plan 7.28.14

I feel like every time I write a meal plan it starts with "we're so busy!" but honestly, we are.  Thats how summer works right? come winter we can just lay around by the wood stove and crochet...ha! who am I kidding?  I'll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.



Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and english muffins.

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we'll have a "breakfast for dinner" night once a week and at least one "meatless meal".  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don't want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.

Week of 7/28/14

Monday: Beef with tomato gravy over brown rice (sound fancy, really isn't)

Tuesday: Pancakes and bacon

Wednesday: Grillin' up some burgers and mixing up some salad

Thursday: Chicken corn chowder (thank you crock pot!)

Friday: Puppy play date with some friends (We grab sandwiches on the way there)

Saturday: Leftover chowder cause my crock pot is huge

Sunday: Egg and cheese sandwiches

What are you serving up this week?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

No Technology Night


Recently Ian and I decided that we were spending entirely too much time on our computers and netflix. We found that once we were finished with our nightly tasks that we would sit down on opposite sides of the couch and be "busy" on our computers until it was time to go to sleep.
Now don't get me wrong, there are a lot of important, useful things that we use our computers for (This blog and Diaper Parties are two great examples) but there is also a lot of not so important or useful things that we like to use our computers for.
We decided that while we would still continue to use our computers for those useful, important things we would cut back on the amount of time that we spent with them.   We came up with a master plan entitled "No Technology Night".


No Technology Night is Wednesday night at our house and from the time we get home from work on through the night our computers stay off and put away.   We go about our usual evening routine of dinner, homestead chores, and prep for the next day and then instead of sitting down on our computers we sit down with each other.  The past few weeks we've tuned the radio to the Red Sox game and played a few rounds of dominos before heading to bed.

You know what...I haven't missed my computer! We have had a great time talking, laughing and enjoying a little friendly domino competition.  It is such a nice break in the middle of the week and come Thursday I feel refreshed, its just the thing to get us ready for the end of our week.

Do you have a "No Technology Night" at your house?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Meal Plan 7.7.14


You guys, it's July! I can't believe the summer is going by so fast.  I'm using a lot of crock pot and prepare ahead meals this week because I foresee us being really busy with outside work most nights.  I'll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.



Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and english muffins.

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we'll have a "breakfast for dinner" night once a week and at least one "meatless meal".  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don't want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.

Week of 7/7/14

Monday: Beef and bean enchiladas

Tuesday: Grilled cheese and veggie sticks with dip

Wednesday: Baked spaghetti with salad

Thursday: Bean and cheese tostadas with left over beans 

Friday: Puppy play date with some friends (We grab sandwiches on the way there)

Saturday: Veggie quiche

Sunday: Baked spaghetti leftovers with salad and garlic bread

What are you serving up this week?

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Ultimate Nighttime Diaper

If you've been reading the blog for awhile now than you know that nighttime diapers have been a bit of a sore subject for us.  We have tried many different options and just recently discovered what I like to call "The Ultimate Nighttime Diaper".

It's super absorbent without being uncomfortably thick and that is pure magic.  Every other option we've tried has either been trim but not absorbent or absorbent but so bulky that no pajama bottoms in the history of pajama bottoms can contain it.


And so without further ado, I give you "The Ultimate Nighttime Diaper".

The "Ingredients"



1 flour sack towel: I buy these at Target for like $3.50 a 4 pack. They are in with the dish towels and bar mops (whatever those are).  No, they are not made to be a diaper but trust me they work.  They are 100% cotton, thin as paper, and hold so much water (or not water in this case).

1 square of fleece:  These are just strips from an old fleece blanket and look like garbage but they are my little secret.  The fleece pulls moisture away from the edges of the diaper and single handedly saved our cloth diapering journey, seriously.

1 diaper cover:  We like Flips by BumGenius but there are bunch of great companies out there.  Just please, please, don't use "made in China" diapers or covers.  The U.S. has specific standards that China doesn't have. The materials used in China made diapers / covers can end up being very dangerous to your child's health. Please do your research and make sure you know what your diapers are made of!

1 hemp insert:  We use Thirsties Hemp Inserts, but I have heard good things about a few other brands.  Hemp is the key material so make sure that you have hemp as the main fiber.  Hemp is ultra absorbent but without being super bulky.

Putting it all Together:


1.  Fold the flour sack towel in half and in half again.



2. Lay the hemp insert on one side and fold the towel over it (a hemp insert sandwich, if you will)

3.  Put the towel insert sandwich inside the diaper cover.  I love that Flips have the edges that you can tuck inserts into, they really help hold the whole thing together.



4.  Place the fleece square towards the top / center of the diaper

That's it! This combo has kept Tilly dry and comfortable each night that we have used it.  While it has gotten a good bit heavier during the night she hasn't had any leaks or weird bunching.

Hope this helps solve your nighttime diaper problems!  What other suggestions might you have?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Meal Plan 6.23.14


Tilly and I went strawberry picking (along with our favorite doula) so the preserving season has officially started! Also, everything is now growing out in the garden so we are busy, busy, busy.  I'll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.



Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and strawberry muffins.

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we'll have a "breakfast for dinner" night once a week and at least one "meatless meal".  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don't want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.

Week of 6/23/14

Monday: Breakfast casserole 

Tuesday: Chicken Gyros with veggies *Never got to this last week

Wednesday: Pasta and sauce with salad

Thursday: Simple chicken and veggie soup 

Friday: Puppy play date with some friends (We grab sandwiches on the way there)

Saturday: Grilled cheese and fruit salad

Sunday: Leftovers 

What are you serving up this week?

Linking up with: Homemade MondaysModest MomHomestead Barn Hop