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As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

On The Fence About Homeschooling? This Will Change Your Mind.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

When it comes to homeschooling I’m a complete novice. I’ve only been doing it with one of my children since August. That’s a whopping four months.

Needless to say I still have a LOT to learn. We are still figuring out routines, learning styles, what curriculum we enjoy, etc. And in just a couple weeks we’ll add a whole new dimension to the mix as my five-year old joins us.

It Wasn’t Always My Dream.

Growing up I had preconceived notions about homeschooling…or should I say homeschoolers. So when I had my own kids it was not something I even thought about at first.

As my oldest approached school age it did cross my mind. But not enough to actively pursue homeschooling. And my husband didn’t want to either.

It wasn’t until this past summer as my daughter was preparing for third grade when we all reached our limit on trying to push her through the day, every day – barking commands, getting angry, having her in tears, always telling her to go. When all she wanted to do was stay home and pursue her passions.

The Lord laid it on my heart that we needed to switch directions and start homeschooling.

The decision did not come without a lot of fear and anxiety. I asked every homeschooling friend I knew for advice on curriculum, what to do, where to start. One of the best pieces of advice I got was to just relax.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

But it wasn’t until I happened to hear from Kelly Crawford, a homeschooling mom of ten(!!), that I confronted my fears. And had them all put to rest.

I read her book “Think Outside The Classroom: A Practical Approach To Relaxed Homeschooling” in about two days. It would have been one if I had that much free time to read. I did not want to put it down. It helps that it’s an easy read!

I felt like she was speaking right to me, addressing every concern I had. It gave me a new sense of peace and excitement about the journey ahead.

What I didn’t expect was the conviction it gave me about how amazing homeschooling really is. It changed my whole perspective on how I raise my kids and my purpose as a mother.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

What Is Education?

Kelly starts by addressing what education actually is. I had never even thought about it. I grew up going to public schools. Everyone learns the same stuff. Everyone goes to elementary, junior high and high school. Then you try to figure out what you’re supposed to do with your life.

But that’s not what I want for my kids. I want them learning right now what they want to do and be. More importantly I want them developing their God-given talents and learning how God can use them.

Lifestyle Change.

Next Kelly talks about learning as a lifestyle as opposed to something you do five days a week inside a brick building.

I found myself nodding and smiling at every point she made.

  • Yes, I want my kids outside, exploring, learning about nature and life.
  • Yes, I want my kids to have time to ask questions and search for the answers without bells telling them it is time to move on.
  • Yes, I want my kids to have time alone to think and wonder and listen.
  • Yes, I want my kids to always be in conversation with me about the world around them.

Top Priority.

More important than any of those? Teaching the fear of the Lord. I want God to be number one in my children’s lives. Making that the priority in our house is so important.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

We have daily Bible times and talk about how we can put God’s Word into action. I always make sure all of the kids are awake and available to participate in devotions.

It has really changed my mindset knowing that my role is to help my children discover who God has created them to be.

It’s not my job to tell them what subjects should interest them. Instead I need to help open doors for them and give them the education to develop their talents.

Education Vs. Learning.

Even at eight years old my daughter already had ingrained in her head that school was about getting answers right and doing things perfectly. We’ve spent the first four months of homeschooling trying to undo that.

Education is about learning. That means understanding concepts and how to use them. It means knowing how to find the answers to your questions. It means enjoying the learning process and not working towards a grade. Getting an answer wrong is not a bad thing. It’s just a way of telling you there is more learning to be done.

Communicate And Contribute.

One of our focuses has also been on effective communication. Growing up I was painfully shy. I still am!! I want so badly to be able to speak in front of others and share my knowledge..but my lack of communication skills stops me from doing it. Now I am actively seeking opportunities for my kids to speak, perform, write, etc. It is one of the best skills they can learn.

I also love how Kelly focuses on teaching kids to be productive. Just because you are young does not mean you can’t be responsible and contribute. My kids help around the house. My five-year old already has such a great work ethic. He is willing to lend a hand any time. And I’m sure we will continue to cultivate that gift.

Even though my daughter is only eight she is constantly begging me to help her start her own business. She has a lot of ideas! And we will put some of them into action over the next few years. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is running a successful business by the time she’s twelve.

The Top Two Questions.

I can’t write about homeschooling without mentioning everyone’s biggest questions:

  1. How will they be ready for the real world?
  2. How will they learn to socialize?

Don’t worry. I had those questions too! Kelly does a great job answering them. Here are some of her thoughts on preparing kids for the real world.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

I was really worried about the social aspect. I’m such a homebody by nature. But the homeschooling community here is amazing! In just four months I’ve started developing deeper friendships with other moms than I did in four years of my daughter going to school. And she is already making some great friends.

What really makes me excited is she is even meeting friends from families just like ours – real food, natural living, etc. My daughter is so excited to have friends that really get her and don’t think her lifestyle is weird.

Plus we have more time to socialize. I consider it one more part of our lifestyle of learning to get together with friends.

Pure Joy.

You have no idea the joy I have experienced seeing my daughter’s frustrations dissipate. To see her spend three hours getting lost in a good book in the afternoon instead of walking off the bus exhausted just before dinner time. To see her and her little brother explore and imagine outside for hours on end instead of looking longingly out the window while she does repetitive worksheets. I have been blessed to witness first hand her curiosity and gifts blossom.

And even better – our relationship as mother and daughter has been restored. There had been a disconnect for years. But now we have time to talk. She shares her dreams and her fears with me. We love to spend time together. It is such a blessing.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

Did I Help?

I could talk for hours on homeschooling and how much I love it. But I’ll stop here. I’ve already given you a lot to think about (hopefully it was helpful!). If you are on the fence about homeschooling I encourage you to talk to someone experienced and read Kelly’s book.

Honestly, I wish I could just copy the whole book here for you to read! It’s that good. Obviously I can’t. But I’ll do the next best thing. Kelly is graciously giving away a copy of her book to one of my readers.

This book is for those considering homeschooling, those just starting the journey or even for those with years of experience that need a new approach or a renewed purpose.

Every time I talk to someone that says they are considering homeschooling I want to give them this book. Now I get to!

Enter below for your chance to win.

Then tell me your thoughts! Are you considering homeschooling? What is holding you back?

Want to hear more from Kelly? She blogs at Generation Cedar!! Check it out.

As God called our family to homeschooling my husband and I both had preconceived ideas and fears. But as the journey started this one thing helped turn it around.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

I've got a solution for your busy weekday mornings. These grain free pumpkin spice breakfast cookies are so easy to make and loaded with good stuff. Plus kids love them!

Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cookies

I’ve got a solution for your busy weekday mornings. These grain free pumpkin spice breakfast cookies are so easy to make and loaded with good stuff. Plus kids love them!

*I am working with Perfect Supplements for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment, but all opinions are my own. Some links are affiliate links. Using the links will not change the cost of anything for you.*

I've got a solution for your busy weekday mornings. These grain free pumpkin spice breakfast cookies are so easy to make and loaded with good stuff. Plus kids love them!

Life is just a tad bit crazy right now. Who knew selling your house was so much work?

Busy life = less time for making good food.

But I’m not giving up! No way. I came up with the perfect fall breakfast that you can prepare in advance. You can even make a double or triple batch to stock your freezer for weeks.

Allergy Friendly Ingredients.

These pumpkin spice breakfast cookies are loaded with nourishing ingredients. Plus they taste great! They are super allergen friendly too. No grains, dairy, nuts, eggs or soy.

There is one secret ingredient that is really the star of the show.

Gelatin!

I recently tried the grass-fed gelatin from Perfect Supplements. I love it!! There is no strange smell. It gels beautifully. And since I do a lot of egg free baking it is my go-to ingredient.

These pumpkin spice breakfast cookies are also packed with pumpkin and and coconut oil for vitamins, minerals and healthy fat. Combine that with gelatin and garbanzo bean flour for protein. Plus tapioca flour for starch. It’s a complete breakfast that you can hold in your hand.

Grab a couple for the road, pair it with bacon and fresh fruit or pack one in your child’s lunch box. You get the flavors of fall in a nutritious cookie.

I've got a solution for your busy weekday mornings. These grain free pumpkin spice breakfast cookies are so easy to make and loaded with good stuff. Plus kids love them!

Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cookies
Yields 15
An allergy friendly breakfast cookie loaded with healthy protein, fat and carbs.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup amaranth flour
  2. 3/4 cups tapioca flour
  3. 3/4 cups garbanzo bean flour
  4. 3/4 cups water
  5. 2 Tbsp. Perfect Supplements collagen
  6. 1 Tbsp. organic lemon juice
  7. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  8. 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  9. 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  10. 3 tsp. Perfect Supplements gelatin
  11. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  12. 1 tsp. baking soda
  13. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  14. 1/2 - 1 cup mix-ins of choice: raisins, dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, water, collagen and lemon juice.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Cover and let sit at room temperature 7 - 24 hours.
When ready to bake
  1. Heat oven to 375*F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. Add the coconut oil and pumpkin to the soaked mixture. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the sugar, gelatin, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix well.
  4. Stir in your mix-ins of choice.
  5. Drop by large mounds onto the prepared baking pans.
  6. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes on baking pan.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  9. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a year.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

Prep Ahead.

I soak the seed and bean flours to help with digestion. I also prep the rest of the ingredients the night before. In the morning I just pour, mix and bake. I can have a batch of pumpkin spice breakfast cookies in the oven in about five minutes. Then we can eat some fresh and stick the rest in the freezer for a quick breakfast any day of the week.

Add whatever mix-ins you like. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, mini chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries…they’re all good.

My kids LOVE these cookies. I think my toddler ate THREE one morning (yes, the toddler that used to barely eat anything). They are that good.

I've got a solution for your busy weekday mornings. These grain free pumpkin spice breakfast cookies are so easy to make and loaded with good stuff. Plus kids love them!

More To Love.

If you’ve never tried Perfect Supplements gelatin I highly recommend it. The quality is exceptional. But don’t stop there. Perfect Supplements carries such a wide variety of products.

Collagen.

Like the collagen that I also use in the pumpkin spice breakfast cookies. I use it in all of our smoothies (like this blueberry spinach smoothie or this squash cherry smoothie). It was a life saver (literally) for my toddler when she was barely eating (check out how I got her to eat again with this “squash milk”).

Liver.

Another favorite of mine is the desiccated liver. I use it every single day. I really need to boost my vitamin A. And I am NOT a liver fan. The Perfect Supplements desiccated liver has been pivotal to my health. I use it on my salads, in my soups or in this salted caramel. Believe it or not I actually enjoy the taste of this liver and sometimes even crave it.

Greens.

We also recently tried both the fermented kale powder and the aquatic greens. They are perfect for smoothies. And the aquatic greens are especially great for those with allergies (imagine my disappointment that my toddler reacts to them!). I use it for my big kids as often as possible.

I could go on and on about all of the great products. But I’ll let you do some looking for yourself.

I've got a solution for your busy weekday mornings. These grain free pumpkin spice breakfast cookies are so easy to make and loaded with good stuff. Plus kids love them!

It’s Your Turn.

Now for the really fun part.

 

You can use the coupon code TAKE10 at checkout to get 10% off your entire order!

Come back later this week…I’ve got another great recipe that uses Perfect Supplements gelatin to share with you! I just couldn’t decide on one.

I've got a solution for your busy weekday mornings. These grain free pumpkin spice breakfast cookies are so easy to make and loaded with good stuff. Plus kids love them!

What is your favorite way to use gelatin?

Need more ideas for fun ways to add gelatin or collagen to your diet? Try these:

Strawberry Kiwi Gummies

Lemon Elderberry Gummies

Dairy Free Grilled Cheese

Homemade Fruit Snacks

Healing Hot Chocolate

Molasses Tonic

Squash Milk

Allergy Friendly Vanilla Cake

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

Make Bath Time Fun And Safe With LatherMitts! {Plus A Giveaway}

Want to make bath time fun and safe? Hold your baby tight with LatherMitts!

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

I have been compensated for my time commitment to review this product, but I have not been paid to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

I remember the first time I gave my oldest a real bath. It was exciting. It was an event.

Of course both mom and dad both had to be there. We got the little tub all set with some warm water. The towel was neatly laid out. A brand new wash cloth was ready and waiting. Clean clothes and diaper? Check.

Then we put her in. Whoa! Wait, you mean she might wiggle around while she’s all wet? Nobody ever told me how slippery a wet baby is!

Don’t worry, she didn’t wiggle out of my hands. No surprise dunks that day.

Of course with time you get better at it. And at some point they are big enough to sit up in the tub and the occasional dunk is pretty funny.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

A Better Way.

But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to keep a safe hold on your child and get them clean without fumbling around with a tiny wash cloth?

A creative mom Sarah Stapp invented LatherMitts to do just that!

LatherMitts fit snugly on mom or dad’s hands so you can hold your little one tight. No slippery hands! What’s even better is that the gloves are the wash cloth! No searching for a cloth in the bubbles.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

LatherMitts make bath time so easy!

They don’t just work for infants, though. I use them with my toddler and even my five year old. It’s so fun.

The only trouble we had is that my son said it tickled when I was washing his belly. I might have done that partly on purpose…

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

If you know me, you know I want quality when it comes to taking care of my kids. I especially  have to be careful with a son that has latex allergies. LatherMitts pass my test! Here are some of the features:

Safety: The gentle neoprene grip that lines LatherMitts’ thumb and forefinger ensures that squirmy, slippery kids are secure and safe in your hands. Neoprene, commonly used in wetsuits, is hypoallergenic, non-slip and is naturally resistant to oil, mildew and mold.

Quality: The rest of the glove is made of white organic cotton, perfect for a baby’s sensitive skin.

Dexterity: The glove design of LatherMitts allows you full use of both hands and all ten fingers, making it easy to get into hard-to-reach places like behind ears and under chins.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

Value: LatherMitts can be rewashed and reused again and again the same way you would use a washcloth. Bonus: since LatherMitts require no special care, you can throw them in with your towels.

Options: LatherMitts come in sizes small to extra large, so mom, dad or any caregiver can cover bathtime duties.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.

Perfect For Everyone.

LatherMitts make a great gift for someone that is expecting or that just had a baby. They are unique and practical.

And yes, they do work for dads too. My husband even uses them.

My toddler thinks they are great toys as well.

Do you want to try LatherMitts? Sarah is so generously offering a pair to THREE of my readers!!

No more slippery baby! Hold your little one tight and get him clean with LatherMitts.

Want to make bath time both fun and safe? Try LatherMitts! Hold your baby tight and wash him with one product.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Red Plum Raspberry Jelly {No Added Pectin!}

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I’m not very good at making jams and jellies. Even when I use the packs of pectin!

I have switched over to using gelatin to create my strawberry freezer jam, cherry jam, grape jelly and five minute peach jam. They turned out beautifully!

But I recently teamed up with Ball Brand to try one of their recipes. I had the great pleasure of perusing The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving. It’s like a canner’s dream.

The pictures are gorgeous. And the recipes all sound so delicious. I wish I had time to try them all!

But I had to just pick one to try and share with you.

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Trying My Hand At Jelly Again

With our allergies I don’t use pectin. Since I can’t be certain of the source it’s too risky. I know a lot of pectin is made from apples. And my two youngest are allergic to apples.

So instead of modifying a recipe I went for one that didn’t even need pectin. Red plum raspberry jelly sounded like the perfect combination of fruit flavors. And it is!

Neither fruit over powers the other.

There is no doubt that red plum raspberry jelly tastes good. You can use it for your  morning eggs and toast or mixed into some plain yogurt. We like it on pancakes.

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

The Outcome

The real question, though, is did I manage to make good jelly without using gelatin?

Ummmm, no.

I read the instructions on how to look for the gelling point. I used a thermometer to monitor the temperature (got it to 220 just like it said).

But the timing worked out that it was right around the gelling point when I was trying to get my toddler down for a nap. And of course this was the one day where she was fighting sleep. In fact, instead of taking 3-10 minutes to get her to sleep it took over an hour and a half (including a dirty diaper change)! Maybe it was all those raspberries she ate!

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

So I kept bouncing back and forth between checking the jelly and checking the toddler. And at one point I just said I have to get it done and said a prayer. Well, it wasn’t gelled.

My Big Mistake

And now that I am re-reading the directions I see that it says to stir constantly…oops. Not easy when trying to get a toddler to nap. I think all of the pectin came to the top when I wasn’t stirring…there was a sticky, pink foam. Oops.

Note – keep stirring while it boils!!

All is not lost, though. We now have sweet red plum raspberry syrup! I can’t wait to use it on our pancakes this week (every Friday we have breakfast for dinner…pancakes is on the menu).

I might also try cooking it down a bit or adding a little gelatin when I open a jar. Just to see what happens.

It’s Your Turn

In spite of my inability to make jams and jellies I am sharing this delicious recipe with you today. I bet you’ll have better luck. Maybe you can teach me a thing or two about gel! My motto moving forward is going to be “Follow the directions and keep stirring.”

I hope to try this recipe again and actually cook it the right way. I REALLY want to try red plum raspberry jelly on bread (freshly baked sourdough would heavenly).

How about you? Are you a pro at making jams and jellies? Or are you jelly challenged like me?

I’d love to hear how it goes if you try red plum raspberry jelly.

But there’s more! Keep reading.
Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Red Plum Raspberry Jelly
Yields 4
Write a review
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs. firm, ripe red plums, halved
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 4 cups raspberries
  4. 3 cups cane sugar
  5. cheesecloth
Instructions
  1. Pit plums, reserving pits. Chop plums and place in a 6 qt. stainless steel or enameled Dutch oven. Lightly crush the plum with a potato masher.
  2. Stir in the water and reserved pits. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Add raspberries, crushing with a potato masher. Return to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Line a large, fine wire mesh strainer with 3 layers of dampened cheesecloth. Place the strainer over a large bowl.
  5. Pour the plum mixture into the strainer (do not press down). Cover and let stand 3 hours or until collected juice measures 3 1/2 cups and mixture no longer drips.
  6. Wash and dry Dutch oven.
  7. Pour the juice into the Dutch oven. Stir in the sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring constantly, to gelling point.
  8. Ladle hot jelly into a hot jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
  9. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band and adjust to fingertip tight.
  10. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  11. Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid and let jars stand 5 minutes.
  12. Remove jars from canner and cool.
Notes
  1. Tip - plum pits are super high in pectin, so simmering them with the fruit really helps give this jelly its velvety smooth set.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.Can It Forward

Don’t forget to “Can It Forward” with Ball Brand. On July 22, 2016 they are hosting a Can-It-Forward day live on Facebook. You’ll see demos (I think I need to tune in for one on jelly). Plus Ball Brand will be donating to a local charity. The more engagement they receive the more they donate!

Here’s how you can participate.

  • Pledge to can-it-forward by signing up via the pledge page and share with friends.
  • Tune in on July 22nd to watch canning demonstrations via Facebook Live from 10:00AM – 3:30PM ET. Each hour, viewers will have the chance to win a giveaway prize!
  • If you engage with any of the Facebook Live recipe videos, a donation will be made to charity.
  • You can ask Jarden Home Brands canning experts any preserving or home canning questions via Twitter with the hashtag #canitforward from 10AM – 5PM ET on July 22nd. Consumers can also share their own #canitforward creations with the brand on Pinterest and Instagram.

More For You

Ball Brand would also like to give one of my lucky readers coupons for canning supplies and a copy of The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving! Enter below for your chance to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Does red plum raspberry jelly sound like a delicious combination? What is your favorite jelly flavor?

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

Learning To Embrace BOLD {With A Giveaway!}

Sometimes your true nature gets lost in the shuffle of daily life. After a career, marriage and three kids I’m finally learning to embrace bold again.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I am working with Stonyfield and prAna for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment but have not been paid to post positive reviews. All opinions are my own.

When I was younger everything about the way I dressed was bold.

I wore my big brother’s blue suspender’s with comfy shorts (that my mom made) and my favorite t-shirt (with a roller coaster on it…one of my favorite things!).

My big sister cringed at the outfits I created. It was like tom boy meets athlete meets comfort queen.

In junior high I had a favorite outfit that consisted of bright kelly green jeans and a green and white striped shirt (from the GAP no less! It really was in style).

In high school you’d find me in bright orange tanks with matching wedge flip-flops or red soccer jerseys with matching warm-up pants.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

You might think I was outgoing and outspoken. But, no. I was not confident in myself at all. I was quiet as a mouse and very insecure. But I knew what I liked. Without realizing it I was dressing for my energy type to a tee.

Once I started working full time and then having kids my style faded. At work I wore basic tan or black dress pants with a button down or sweater most days. At home I switched over to yoga pants, nursing tanks and old t-shirts. About the farthest thing from bold you can find. Lots of black and gray.

Bold but not brash.

A few months ago I heard about Dressing Your Truth and decided to check it out. These days I’m completely lost when it comes to my own style. I have none. And I don’t even know how to shop for myself anymore (my husband usually shops for me). I figured it couldn’t hurt to see what it was about (no I am not an affiliate…I haven’t even taken the course. It was just really cool to watch the videos and be reminded of my true nature).

It actually surprised me to realize I am a Type 4. The reason I was surprised is because Type 4 is BOLD. Me? Bold? Are you kidding?

I’m quiet, reserved, introverted. My clothing makes me fade into the background.

But the more I thought about it the more I realized I really am bold! I just haven’t been letting that boldness come through for many years now.

I am smart and strong-willed.

I am structured and organized.

I am determined and dependable.

But I don’t always let that show.

Time to get it back.

About the same time I was given the opportunity to try some new clothes from prAna. I was going to do my usual boring pants or top in a plain color. But I decided to be bold and go with yellow patterned pants.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I have never in my life worn pants like this! To be honest I was a little nervous to wear them for the first time. To my great delight instead of feeling self-conscious I felt confident. A great feeling I haven’t had in a while.

Feeling happy.

Then just a few weeks ago I ordered a new pair of boots. I’ve needed new boots for about three years now. I wear my winter boots almost year round for everything from grocery shopping in deep snow to walking through mud at the milk farm. They finally gave out and started letting water in. I never spend money on myself, so this was a splurge (even though I used birthday money that was intended to update my wardrobe!!)

I decided to get some all-purpose farm/rain/winter boots. Instead of getting black or gray I went with bright green.

Can I tell you how happy they made me feel?! I call them my happy boots. And I wear them even when I have no reason at all to be wearing boots. Just because. I think they make other people happy too. I’ve gotten lots of compliments. I love that instead of fading into the background I’m able to be bold. I love that my boots get me noticed. They are true to my nature…true to my youthful spirit of bold, fun expression through my clothing.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

What I’m craving.

I’ve been craving some direction in my style for quite some time now. This summer I’m finally getting it! I’m on the hunt for a new wardrobe that shows my boldness.

Want to know what else I crave? Yogurt. I haven’t eaten any in almost two years now. Yogurt is one of my favorite foods. Especially for breakfast on hot summer days.

When my little one with allergies is weaned I look forward to trying all of the Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek Yogurt flavors (my husband and daughter sure love them!). Though to be honest I’m sure I’ll go for vanilla first. I am really craving that!! It’s always been my favorite.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I’m loving my new prAna pants. They are so fun. The only down side is that as my daughter gets older and nurses less my weight starts to go back up (a good thing for my health, not so great for my wardrobe). So the pants are tighter than I had hoped (they were the right size when I ordered them, but not by the time I got them). It’s a good thing they are stretchy! An added bonus.

But that is part of the process – accepting myself, accepting my body as it changes and still being true to myself and my bold personality.

I have yet to figure out a bold hair style. I’ve pretty much always had long straight hair. All suggestions are welcome.

In the mean time I’m ready to satisfy my summer craving for bright colors. No more hiding. You don’t have to be outgoing or loud to be bold. I am embracing my quiet boldness.

It’s your turn!

prAna and Stonyfield want to help you embrace your style and satisfy your summer cravings too!

One lucky reader gets a pear of the same Kara jeans I got, in your color of choice.

Are you a Type 4 that wants something bold? Or are you a type that needs a softer, more subtle color? Does your style reflect your personality and true nature? I’d love to hear!

What are you craving this summer? A new wardrobe? Delicious food? Long days at the beach? Working in the garden?

Share your summer cravings and enter for your chance to win below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Crunchy Balm Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Crunchy Balm Giveaway Winner!

Today I’m announcing the Crunchy Balm giveaway winner. But even if you didn’t win there is still time to get the discount!

Crunchy Balm Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

The Crunchy Balm giveaway has ended. I’m excited to announce that the winner is:

Steph!

Congratulations, Steph. You’ll be hearing from me shortly.

Don’t forget that the coupon code for $5 off Crunchy Balm is good until the end of February!

Use JUSTTAKEABITE16 to get your discount when you visit The Toups Address.

If you’re still unsure you want some go back and read my thoughts on this wonderful product.

 In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Cheshire Fields Hair Care Bundle Winner

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Thanks to all of you that entered the Cheshire Fields giveaway!! The hair care bundle winner is:

Bianca N.!!

Congratulations!

Remember that you can still use the 10% off coupon code MYNEWYEAR until the end of January. Michelle has so many amazing products to choose from. And they make great gifts.

And don’t forget to enter the Crunchy Balm giveaway going on right now!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Crunchy Balm Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Crunchy Balm Review and Giveaway

Don’t let the dry winter weather take its toll on delicate or sensitive skin. Crunchy balm is safe, natural and effective for the whole family.

Crunchy Balm Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

When seeking natural health and beauty products most people instantly jump to coconut oil. Sure, it’s good stuff.

Coconut = dry skin.

But did you know that coconut can actually dry your skin more? My oldest really struggles all winter with dry skin on her hands that gets so bad she has little cuts all over and it’s so painful.

We used to put tons of coconut oil on…and it just got worse. Eventually I started just taking our lard and tallow from the fridge to put on her hands. MUCH better. So we stopped using coconut oil for skin care.

Crunchy Balm Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Though she didn’t appreciate smelling like lard!

Now I also have to be very selective with skin care products with a child allergic to coconut. So if we don’t want to use coconut or smell like a barnyard what do we do?

We use Crunchy Balm!

I really think I could bathe in this stuff. It is made from grass-fed tallow and quality essential oils. Unlike most balms it is super soft and creamy and not greasy at all. It’s like whipped butter.

Crunchy Balm Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Crunchy Balm does NOT contain:

  • petroleum based ingredients
  • artificial colors, ingredients or fragrances
  • chemicals
  • GMO’s

It is full of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Exactly what your skin needs. Plus there is definitely no barnyard smell to Crunchy Balm. It has a mild floral smell.

I love to use it on my toddler after a bath. She gets dry skin on her feet and has all around sensitive skin. Crunchy Balm clears it all up. And since she likes to copy everything her siblings do she MUST have some on her hands to rub in by herself. And I can feel perfectly comfortable with that. What a blessing.

When my oldest is having issues with her hands we reach right for the Crunchy Balm. Just a small amount is all she needs. It’s instant relief. In her own words, “It’s magical.”

We even used it for windburn recently after the kids played outside for a long time in the cold and snow.

Crunchy Balm Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

I really only have two “complaints” about Crunchy Balm.

  1. I want a bigger container so we don’t run out. That is how much I love it. With all of our skin issues we go through it quickly, even though a little really does go a long way. In all honesty I bet this container will last us several months. It just depends how much little hands take out of the jar when they use it.
  2. I found that when using the scented version on my face it irritated my eyes and made them red. I have VERY sensitive eyes. Just a little bit of eye liner or eye shadow (even a natural kind) can make my eye swell. So if you have sensitive eyes use caution putting the scented Crunchy Balm on your face or touching your face if it’s on your hands.

    I did get to try the scent free version. I LOVE using it on my face!!! No sensitivity at all.

There’s more.

Emilie, the creator of Crunchy Balm, also makes other quality products like lip balm. Or you can try Crunchy Balm in a few different scents!

Are you ready to try some Crunchy Balm for yourself? One lucky reader gets a free container! Enter below for a chance to win.

Don’t forget to head over to Crunchy Balm to check it out for  yourself. Then show her some love by visiting and liking her facebook page.

I just might have to go order more to stock up. This stuff really is “the balm.”

After you try it come back and let me know what you think. I have a feeling you’re going to love it!

Crunchy Balm Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

 

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway!

Take one simple step towards better health this year by updating your health and beauty routine. I’m so excited to share my Cheshire Fields review and giveaway of some amazing products!

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

I am working with Cheshire Fields to blog about these products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to review these products. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Just about everyone is on the lookout for simple ways to improve their health. Especially as the new year starts.

I’m not big on diets or spending a lot of money to feel good. I don’t know about you but I also don’t have a lot of extra time to learn to make my own health and beauty products.

But I do love when there are affordable, homemade, high quality products that are in line with my views on health.

I recently got to sample some products from my friend Michelle at Cheshire Fields. She has an assortment of handmade soaps, shampoos, balms, sprays and more that are 100% natural (and I really mean that…not just labeled organic or using the term natural without much meaning behind it).

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

When it comes to natural health and beauty most people jump to coconut oil. It is amazing stuff.

But since I have a toddler with a coconut allergy I try to keep our house pretty much coconut free. That means just about every soap, lotion and shampoo is out.

I was thrilled to find out that Michelle has many products that are not only coconut free but also dairy and nut free! Natural products that are safe for my family. I didn’t think they existed!

Tallow Balm

The first product I tried as soon as it arrived was the tallow balm.

I haven’t been able to use lotion in over a year! A year!! Can you say dry skin?

I was thrilled to try the tallow balm and was not disappointed. Just a tiny bit goes a long way and creates soft, smooth skin. Plus it smells so good with all of the essential oils added.

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

I love that it is safe to use on my entire family, even my kids with allergies. It also comes in a compact case that is easy to take wherever you go. We brought it along for all of our holiday travel.

My oldest likes to use it on her hands at bed time and wear socks on her hands (thanks to Michelle’s suggestion!). By morning she has super soft skin again instead of dry, cracked hands.

Sinus Balm

The sinus balm was a Christmas present for my seven year old. That might sound strange to some. But she has struggled with environmental allergies and mouth breathing for years.

Having another natural tool for helping her breathe better at night is a huge blessing.

It is also made with olive oil and is very safe. The scent is pretty strong. But that is how it works.

My son had a stuffy nose the other day and told us he had to breathe with his mouth open. We put some behind his ears and on his neck. He didn’t wake up once in the night!

Disinfectant & Freshener Spray

With young kids in school I don’t have to tell you how excited I am to have a safe disinfectant spray! It is so easy to use. Just shake and spray.

It makes my house smell wonderful (thieves will do that). Plus I can freshen things in a matter of seconds.

No need to use chemicals to clean your house. This spray can be used directly on surfaces to get rid of the germs.

I was so glad to have it around after my daughter had the flu. It has also come in very handy for the potty seat that sits in our bathroom. It is almost impossible to keep that clean and free of bad smells. The freshener spray worked wonderfully.

Tea Tree + Lavender Freshener

The tea tree + lavender spray is one of Michelle’s new products. It is similar to the disinfectant spray, but with different oils.

I can’t decide which one I like better. The tea tree and lavender combination is very floral and leaves the whole house smelling bright and fresh. I will be using both all winter long!

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Itch Relief Remedy

When you have a child with eczema there is a never ending search for products to help calm the itching. So I was very excited to get to try this.

It comes as a powder that you can make into a paste. It has a very mild scent and soothing ingredients. Just a pinch goes a long way so this will last a long time.

Chamomile Lavender Dry Shampoo

I wash my hair every day. Otherwise my hair gets so oily. It is fine and thin.

When Michelle told me about her dry shampoo I was so excited. I can actually get by without washing my hair once in a while with this product. Simply rub it into the scalp to absorb oil. Plus it smells amazing!

For those mornings where my little one just doesn’t want to sleep and let me take a shower this dry shampoo is a life saver! I can leave the house without feeling like I look unshowered. It is even great for days that I wear my hair down. By afternoon it already looks greasy. Just a bit of dry shampoo and I’m looking good again and smelling good too!

The chamomile lavender is great for light colored hair like mine. There is another one specifically for dark hair.

I was so impressed with all of these Cheshire Fields products. I even bought a bunch for Christmas presents for the women in my family! But you don’t have to wait until Christmas. They make great gifts any time of year.

Plus this is just a small sample of all of the great products Michelle has to offer. She is so passionate about sharing homemade, natural products.

Cheshire Fields Review and Giveaway | Just Take A Bite

Michelle has generously offered to give away a hair care bundle to one of my lovely readers. It includes:

  • Henna Shampoo Bar
  • Hair Oil
  • Dry Shampoo (you choose light or dark)

I don’t know about you, but I could use some serious hair pampering this year!

Can’t wait to see if you’re the winner? Head over to Cheshire Fields right now and use the code MYNEWYEAR to get 10% off your whole order all month long!

I hope you check out all of the Cheshire Fields products. Come back and let me know what looks good or what you’ve tried.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

My Simple Mommy Style | Just Take A Bite

prAna Clothing Winner And Coupon Code

The giveaway has ended! Are you the prAna clothing winner?!

prAna Clothing Winner And Coupon Code | Just Take A Bite

The winner of the prAna and Stonyfield clothing give away is:

Loree J.!

Congratulations, Loree! I hope you enjoy your new clothes.

Don’t forget that you can get 15% off at prAna by using the coupon code JBYF15HDAP through December 15, 2015.

I need to start browsing to add to my Christmas list! There is so much cute stuff.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.