What I'm into: February 2016

Today is a bonus day. One extra day we don’t see for another four years. I thought I would use this day to share what inspired me, delighted me and encouraged me this past month. Spring is around the corner and I’m excited to flip the calendar page tomorrow.

What inspired you this month?

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  1. What started as a fun Instagram idea for #waterwednesday has turned into a fun beverage to fill the gap between coffee and wine.

IMG_34352. Trying to learn a new skill is hard, but worth it. I decided to sign up for the Modern Calligraphy Summit this month. I have enjoyed seeing people create wonderful businesses through the gift of lettering. Call me curious so I’m giving lettering a whirl. It’s a lot harder than it looks…

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3. The bullet journal is working for me. My way. It’s not the real way, but it’s a tidy place for me to categorize all the random information I learn from magazines, blogs, conversations with friends and such. (I use the Kate Spade spiral notebook.)

at-mine-home-design-shopping

4. At Mine is like Pinterest of old…pretty pictures without screaming headlines. Take a peek if you like to look at pretty interior design pictures. It’s also another way to shop directly from a picture.

Home-office-inspiration-organization

 

5. Aqua is my happy color. I cleaned out my Martha Stewart office supplies and when I get a glimpse of this color it remind me of summer. I did the same thing under my kitchen sink with fun baskets. Who knew throwing out the trash could spark joy? (image source)

To round out what I’m into this month:

Reading: Station Eleven and listening to Daring Greatly

Listening: Finally switched to Spotify since Pandora doesn’t work in Canado (boo!). Love the Peace playlist when the kids are rowdy. Also loving the What Should I Read Next Podcast.

Watching: Billions. Great show so far. Also loved the movie Burnt.

See what’s inspiring others over at Leigh Kramer this week.

Ready for March?

A few people have asked about what we pack in our Yumbox lunches. These are our favorite lunch boxes, both for ease of use and how cute they are. They come in a variety of colors and inserts so you can customize it to the age of your child.

Yumbox bento box lunch for kids

When packing the boxes, it’s best to break it down into categories. The Yumbox makes it easy for you by reminding you of the categories in their inserts. Protein, dairy, vegetables, fruits and grains. So simple, right?

We own both the panino (sandwich friendly) insert and also the original bento box version. I use them both so frequently I can’t say I love one over the other. We have the blue and the pink box.

Here are some ideas of what to pack for each category.

PROTEIN
  • Hummus
  • Yogurt
  • Cold cuts rolled up
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Beans (chick peas are kid friendly)/Legumes
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Sunflower seeds/sunbutter
  • Sulfite free pepperoni sticks
DAIRY
  • Cheese stick
  • Cheese cubed
  • Yogurt- plain or greek flavored with honey is better than the presweetened variety
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ricotta with honey
FRUIT
  • Grapes-check for seedless variety
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Pears
  • Applesauce
  • Oranges/Clementines
  • Raisins/Craisins
VEGETABLES
  • Peppers
  • Cucumber- English is better for packing
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Broccoli/Cauliflower
  • Salad
WHOLE GRAINS
  • Pita bread
  • Crackers/rice crackers
  • Popcorn- (homemade)
  • Whole wheat bread/bagels
  • Pretzels
  • Rice cakes
  • Homemade mini muffins/breads

 

Pin the image to save for those mornings when you just can’t think of what to pack!

Healthy kid lunch ideas using the Yumbox lunch box container bento

 

What else do you like to pack in your kid’s lunch box?

Note: I’ve bought all my Yumboxes myself. Love them. The links in here are affiliate links, which means if you decide to purchase one the site receives a small commission. Thanks!

Notes from a Blue Bike. The path to living intentionally

As some of you know, I recently took a family vacation for a week to Disney world and to visit family. Throughout the week I read the new book  Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World written by my favorite blogger Tsh Oxenreider. It has felt like everyone is talking about living a more intentional, or mindful, life as 2014 begins. It’s even on the cover of Time magazine this month. I too have been feeling a tug to slow down and allow for more space in my life to savor all the wonderful people in it. Reading this book on vacation was a wonderful first step.

The book is divided up into the following categories:

  • Awakening
  • Food
  • Work
  • Education
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Revival

It was the first book in a while that kept me up late at night reading. Maybe it was the relaxed vacation mode, but I just devoured what Tsh had to say about slowing down our pace in life. Her story unfolds in Turkey as we learn about how different our American culture is in terms of how we value our time, food sources and resources. In America, we value EFFICIENCY. Just scroll though Pinterest to see how many posts are proclaiming “How to be More Productive.” I generally rate a day based on how many things I cross off my to-do list. Reading this book, and thinking about our slow days at the beach, are making me rethink how I view my idea of “productive.”

Ordinary activities for contemplation

As a parent, there is a natural amount of chaos  and to-do’s that exists in our lives. However, we can control more of how we manage the chaos than we give ourselves credit for. Take birthday parties for instance. Over vacation we celebrated two of the kid’s birthdays. After giving the kids the gift of Disney, we realized that they didn’t need to have additional parties. Although it’s not the norm, after reading the book I felt better about my decision to swim upstream and do what’s right for our family. In our case, it’s keeping things simple.

So if you are inclined to slow down the path of your life and enjoy the one life you have, hop on the blue bike and settle in for some wonderful words. Put down the phone/email/Pinterest/Facebook/Twitter/etc. and just read. You may find you don’t want all those distractions in your life.

Here’s the video that I saw months ago before the book came out. It’s delightful and it may inspire you to make a change.

Notes From a Blue Bike is written by Tsh Oxenreider, founder and main voice of The Art of Simple. It doesn’t always feel like it, but we DO have the freedom to creatively change the everyday little things in our lives so that our path better aligns with our values and passions. Grab your copy here. I was provided an advance copy to review but all opinions shared here are my own. All Amazon links are affiliate links. Find more at #notesfromabluebike

Blue Bike Blog Tour

In the four months since I’ve had my third baby, I’ve realized that making time to exercise is rather challenging. There is just more of everything else to do…laundry, cooking, cleaning, playing with another little being, and the list goes on. I’ve also realized that when I am able to sneak in some exercise, I feel a lot better throughout the rest of the day. So here I am trying to pull together some tips and reminders for myself on how I can create some time to exercise with the kids.

make time to exercise with the kids

One of the reasons I am paying more attention to my workout schedule is because I partnered with PlanetShoes on their Fit For Fall campaign. They sent me a pair of new sneakers (long over due!) and they are just adorable. Having cute sneakers is one of those silly things that just makes me happy when I get to go to the gym.

The first time I got up early to go for a run on the beach this summer, Madison came screaming out of the house after me wanting to join me. It was cold and bitter that day, but she came along and we “ran” the beach. I realized that carving out time for Mom to escape for a run isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Turns out there is a lot I can get done at the playground, even while wearing the baby.

I’ve been doing some of the exercises in this article, written by Parents magazine. It’s a full body workout using playground equipment. The slide lunge is a great one!

stroller workouts

Recently I discovered my love for stroller walks again. I did  it all the time when I had just one baby, but it got more complicated when I had two. It’s just as complicated now with three, but I can bring a double stroller and let Madison ride her bike now. It may not be super fast, but it’s a great way to get us all outside and moving our bodies.

There is still time for you to create a workout plan for the fall. Plus, share some of your goals on the Get Fit for Fall site and you could win your own pair of new shoes! Share your progress with friends and get new workout ideas from other community members. 

Erba Vita Tips to keep kids healthy naturally

As the kids return to school, so comes the return of the running noses and germy hands. With a little baby at home, I am super aware of the imminent germs coming into our home. There are a few new things we are doing this year to keep us all healthy and the germs at bay. Here are some ways to keep your kids healthy naturally this season, plus a giveaway for natural remedies from Erba Vita. Erba Vita is a European company with high quality natural products that are effective, GMO-free, and pesticide-free.

  • Buy a fun soap canister for the kids so they enjoy hand washing. Help them from an early age learn how to wash their hands well. Get them to sing a favorite song so they learn how long they should wash their hands.
  • Offer kids a balanced diet with lots of variety in their fruits and veggies. Offer favorite fruits for snack, or make them a fun strawberry fruit roll-up.
  • Use a hand sanitizer when you are out and about. We tested out the Mother’s Therapy Organics kids sanitizer Erba Vita Immun Kids and love it so far. It’s not as drying as most alcohol based sanitizer as it includes aloe vera-based lotion. I keep a small one clipped on my diaper bag so I can use it after changing diapers on-the-go. The kids gave it a “no sting” vote.
  • Get the kids to bed early. (And mom and dad too!) A good night sleep helps the body defend against germs during the day.
  • Boost immunity with a supplement, like Erba Vita’s Immun Kids. For ages 4 and up, it contains active herbal ingredients to help support a healthy immune system.
  • Keep tissues handy so they are ready for sneezes. Teach kids how to sneeze into their elbow by encouraging them to “catch” their sneeze.
  • Keep extra toothbrushes on hand so you can replace them quickly if someone gets sick.
  • Everyone in the house should get a flu shot. I know people have strong opinions on this, I’m voting for flu shots for our family since our littlest one can’t get a shot and I want to keep him as healthy as possible in his first year of life.
  • Make sure the kids stay hydrated. Send a water bottle to school and limit the amount of sugary beverages they consume.

 

Erba Vita is offering one lucky reader a $150 worth of products of your choosing. You can check out their Kids’ Line, Women’s Health, Weight Loss, and more. Please enter via the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway is open to US residents only until Sept 30th. Winner will be notified via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received some of the Erba Vita products to review, including their Leg Light Gel that I used at the end of my pregnancy. It was great to use at the end of the day. I appreciate their commitment to using quality ingredients and following the safest standard of testing. You can get some of their product line in Whole Foods now or order online. All opinions shared here are my own. 

I also received the Mother’s Therapy Organic line of hand sanitizer and lotion. So far it’s one of the kids’ favorite as it’s not too sticky and doesn’t sting like most alcohol based sanitizers. 

It’s hard to avoid all the articles recently talking about the safety of sunscreen. If you love to play outside like our family, sunscreen is one of those summer necessities you spend a lot of time applying and reapplying. What’s really in the sunscreen you use for your family? Here’s my cheat sheet of what to look for in your sunscreen and what to avoid. Plus I’ll share some of my favorites that all get grade of 2 or better on the EWG Guide for Sunscreen.

What do you want in your sunscreen?

  • Mineral based products using zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
  • No false promises. It shouldn’t read “sunblock” or “waterproof”. These terms are no longer allowed on sunscreen labels. Water-resistant is ok.
  • Broad Spectrum label which protects against both sunburns and aging.
  • SPF of 30-50.

What to avoid in your sunscreen?

  • Oxybenzone or any other chemical based lotion that has an ingredient ending in “one.”
  • Spray sunscreens. Aerosol based sprays contain nano particles that can be inhaled into the lungs and cause hormone disruption. Yes they are easy to use, but they are TOXIC!! The FDA is finally investigating this issue. Read more about why you should avoid spray sunscreens here.
  • Anything claiming to have an SPF over 50.

10 Healthy Sunscreens for Every Budget

 

For my top picks, I’m including brands that I’m familiar with or have tested out myself. I also choose sunscreen products that you can get at your local drugstore, Whole Foods or on Amazon.

  • Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Face Stick, SPF 50 (Rating 2)
  • COOLA Suncare Baby Moisturizer Mineral Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 50 (Rating 1, this is what I’m using on my kids now)
  • COOLA Suncare Plant UV Face Moisturizer Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30 (Rating 1, I’m using this as my face sunscreen for everyday. Did you recently see the article about how wearing sunscreen keeps skin looking younger?)
  • Coppertone Kids Pure & Simple Lotion, SPF 50 (Rating 2)
  • Coppertone Sensitive Skin Suncreen Lotion, SPF 50 (Rating 2)
  • Dolphin Organics Naturals Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 32 (Rating 2)
  •  Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen with Hydresia, SPF 40 (Rating 2)
  • Miessence Reflect Outdoor Balm, SPF 15 (Rating 2) (I’ve shared my thoughts before in a past sunscreen post.)
  • Mustela Broad Spectrum Mineral Sun Stick, SPF 50+
  • Seventh Generation Wee Generation Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

Further Reading: My friend Lori shared her thoughts on finding the best non-whitening sunscreen. For a very detailed cheat sheet with product reviews you can read Kathy’s SafeMama’s 2013 recap.

Disclosure: I have received some of these products in the past and none for the purpose of this review. All opinions shared here are my own. The Amazon link is an affiliate link, if you make a purchase via Amazon it helps support this site. Thanks!

Green Smoothie Recipes Your Kids will Love

I pulled together our list of green smoothies your kids will love. My kid’s favorite snack lately is a smoothie, always with a dose of greens. My two year old runs into the kitchen saying “moothie” until I make him one. Smoothies are a great way to sneak additional vegetables and fruits into your kids diet, and your own if needed. We usually make one large smoothie and split it up between the three of us in the afternoon. Both kids like the green smoothies and I’ll share today some super simple recipes that are kid-approved.

The good news is both kids drink green smoothies. The bad news is they often want them before I get dinner on the table so I find it can affect how much they eat when we sit at the table. I’m slowly trying to find a balance between offering them healthy vegetable-filled snacks and not take away from eating vegetables on the plate. The fiber isn’t lost when you make a smoothie, but I do think it’s important for kids to continue to experience the different textures of cooked or raw vegetables on their dinner plate.

Did you grab your Free Smoothie Guide?

I could talk all day about how just one smoothie a day can help boost your energy, clear up your skin, and help your digestion.

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    We are using the Blendtec blender that I received as part of a Stonyfield yogurt campaign. The blender really is amazing and I think I’ll always have one of these high speed blenders from now on. We are using the Wildside Blendtec Blender.

    Green Smoothie ingredients

    There are a few key ingredients I use when I make smoothies for us:

    • Spinach
    • Coconut Milk
    • Yogurt
    • Frozen Fruit
    • Bananas
    • Oranges
    • Melon
    • Chia seeds (optional)

    I generally never add any sweetener (like honey or agave) as I don’t want to give the kids a taste of a sweeter option. If something tastes too “green” I can soften the taste with the addition of more citrus or an apple. Yes, there is still sugar in the fruit but there are also a ton of vitamins that are beneficial.

    Wondering how we serve our smoothies? I use our pint size mason jars and these glass smoothie straws (only one has broken in 3 years of using glass straws with the little kids). JJ loves his blue one and Madison has pink! If we are on the go, I also serve the smoothie in our favorite reusable squeeze pouch.

    Here are just a few of our favorite recipes. Combine in the order listed and blend well.

    If you want ALL of my smoothie recipes in one handy printable recipe book, click here. All recipes are kid-approved!

    Green Monkey Smoothie

    Green Smoothies Your Kids Will Love

    *where it says water, you can sub in coconut milk to make it creamy, almond, oat, cashew or your favorite type of milk.

    Mango Monkey

    1/2 cup coconut milk

    2 cups spinach

    1 banana

    1 cup frozen mango

    Alligator Surprise

    1/2 cup water

    1/2 a medium avocado scooped out (we make this to use up leftover avocado)

    2 cups spinach

    2 cups frozen pineapple

     

    Green Queen

    1/2 cup of water

    2 tablespoons of flaxseeds (or chia seeds)

    2 clementines, peeled

    1 banana

    2 cups spinach

    1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks

    Berries and Spinach smoothie

    The Blue One

    (which really comes out more purple than blue)

    1/2 cup water

    1 cup yogurt (we use our homemade yogurt)

    1 cup spinach

    2 cups frozen berries

    Head over here for one more bonus green smoothie: Coconut Kale Smoothie!

    Did you grab your Free Smoothie Guide?

    I could talk all day about how just one smoothie a day can help boost your energy, clear up your skin, and help your digestion.

      We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

      Powered By ConvertKit

      If the kids are not into anything green, you can also try my Paleo Pumpkin Pie Smoothie recipe.  Happy blending! I hope these green smoothies your kids will love helps make getting more vegetables into them a lot easier for you.

      When I first saw this collection of ebooks I was pretty excited. I already have some of them so was familiar with the authors. This ebook library is pretty big, and each book isn’t for everyone. However, there probably is at least 4-5 books that you can learn from making the price of the package worthwhile. It’s a homemaking theme, so it covers food, budgeting, parenting, schooling, marriage, health, blogging, holidays and more. It’s not just for my eco-friendly readers, but for any mom, sister, grandparent, newlywed or blogger that is interested in building up her home-keeping resources. (I should say dad, brother or grandfather too, right.)

      Why am I buying the ebook bundle?

      I am already a fan of ebooks. They are with me on the go in my iPhone or iPad, plus I have others organized on my laptop. When I download a bundle, I have everything go to my laptop. Then I pick and choose as needed and email it to myself to open in either my Kindle app or iBooks app so I have it when I’m waiting at a doctor’s office or traveling.

      The reason I’m buying my own bundle is because I wanted these specific books for myself. I’ve seen them advertised and now is the right time to purchase them, plus the balance of the library.

      The cost of these four books alone is $34.91 so the low bundle price of $29.97 already gives me a deal, plus I’ll get all the free products too. Keep reading to the end of the post (sorry it’s really long!) and the freebies are noted at the end.

      Some of my favorite ebooks I have already read and would recommend:

      The Details

      For 6 days only, more than 75 widely-known bloggers and authors in the homemaking sphere have joined together to offer 97 of their most popular eBooks and eCourses, valued at just over $600, for the incredibly low price of $29.97!

      More than anything, our goal for this sale was for it to be, well… ultimate! We firmly believe that you will not find a more comprehensive collection of homemaking resources anywhere on the web, and particularly not in this price range. For this low price, you gain access to every single one of these resources, so that you can customize your own collection to contain exactly the ones you want and know you’ll use.

      This library of homemaking helps include topics such as mothering, organization and cleaning, recipes and kitchen helps, home education, spiritual growth for both moms and kids, home décor and DIY, pregnancy and baby care, frugal living, health and fitness, and even work-from-home and financial tools.

      To sweeten the pot, we’ve also teamed up with 10 companies to bring you over $140 in bonus offers, giving you an affordable opportunity to get products you’ll use and love for only the cost of shipping, or in some cases, entirely for free!

      What’s Included in the Sale?

      When you purchase The Ultimate Homemaking eBook collection  you will get instant access to any of the 97 eBooks and eCourses listed below.

      PLUS over $140 of FREE Bonuses

      The Ultimate Homemaking eBook collection comes with more than $140 of FREE Bonuses from 10 companies that we know you’ll love. More on these bonuses below.

      Please note: This collection is only available from 9 a.m. EST on April 29th to 11:59 p.m. EST on May 4th. There will be no late sales offered.

      Home & Property {Cleaning, Organizing, Decor}

      31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae @ SarahMae.com ($4.99)
      Getting it Together: Your Guide to Setting Up a Home Management System that Works by Kayse @ kayse pratt ($3.99)
      Pulling Yourself Together: Implementing a Cleaning Routine that Sticks by Becky @ Clean Mama ($10.00)
      Simple Living by Lorilee @ Loving Simple Living ($2.99)
      NOT a DIY Diva by Melissa @ The Inspired Room ($3.99)
      One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh @ Simple Mom ($5.00)
      28 Days to Hope for your Home by Dana @ A Slob Comes Clean ($5.00)
      Organizing Life as Mom by Jessica @ Life as Mom ($9.00)
      Clean Enough: Simple Solutions for the Overwhelmed by Jenni @ Live Called ($4.99)
      10 Steps to Organized Paper by Lisa @ Lisa Woodruff.net($5.00)
      Handmade Walls by Jamin and Ashley @ the handmade home ($9.95)
      Easy Peasy Chores: An Easy-to-Use Chore System That Brings JOY Back Into Family Chores by Alina Joy @ The Good Old Days Farm ($17.99)

      Educational Children’s Resources

      Princess Training by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($3.99)
      The Armor of God by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($2.50)
      My Bedtime Learning Book by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($1.00)
      Think Outside the Classroom by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($6.97)
      Raising Rock Stars — Kindergarten Bundle by Carissa @ 1plus1plus1equals1 ($10.00)
      The ABC’s For Godly Boys Curriculum by Lindsey @ Road to 31 ($8.00)
      The ABC’s For Godly Girls Curriculum by Lindsey @ Road to 31 ($8.00)
      K4 Curriculum by Erica @ Confessions of a Homeschooler ($15.00)
      Write Through the Bible (print) by Trisha @ Intoxicated on Life ($5.00)
      Write Through the Bible (cursive) by Trisha @ Intoxicated on Life ($5.00)
      Balcony Girls (books 1 & 2) by Sandy @ Reluctant Entertainer ($19.90)
      The Dig for Kids: Luke (Volumes 1 and 2) by Patrick, husband of Ruth @ The Better Mom ($5.98)
      Music: An Essential Ingredient for Life by Ryan @ Resound School of Music ($6.99)

      Budgeting {Finance & Time}

      From Debtor to Better by Barry @ From Debtor to Better ($10.00)
      Tell Your Time by Amy @ Blogging with Amy ($2.99)
      The Homemakers Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule by Amy @ Raising Arrows ($4.99)
      Your Grocery Budget Toolbox by Anne @ Authentic Simplicity ($7.99)
      Finding Financial Freedom by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($5.97)
      Become a Frugalista in 30 Days by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($3.99)

      In the Kitchen {Recipes and Cooking}

      Crock On by Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents ($5.00)
      Real Food, Real Easy by various bloggers @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)
      Wholesome Mixes by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)
      20-Minute Meals by Leigh Ann @ Intentional by Grace ($4.99)
      Restocking the Pantry by Kresha @ Nourishing Joy ($9.99)
      Money Saving Mom’s Guide to Freezer Cooking by Crystal @ Money Saving Mom ($3.99)
      Simply Summer by Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama ($7.95)
      Do the Funky Kitchen by Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers ($4.95)
      Real Food Kids: In the Kitchen plus 1 month access to select Real Food Kids eCourse videos by Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS and Jami @ Eat Nourishing ($20.00)
      Seasonal Menu Plans on a Budget: A Month of Meals from My Humble Kitchen to Yours by Diana @ My Humble Kitchen ($4.99)
      Just Making Ice Cream by Marillyn @ Just Making Noise ($12.00)
      The Curative Kitchen by Susan @ Handy Pantry ($20.00)

      Pregnancy & Baby Care

      First Bites by Hilary @ Accidentally Green ($9.99)
      Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert by Erin @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)
      Stress-Free Baby Shower by Sara @ Your Thriving Family ($4.00)
      Unbound Birth by Jenny @ The Southern Institute ($2.99)
      My Pregnancy Journey by Mindy @ Simply Designs ($9.99)
      My Buttered Life Baby Edition by Renee @ Made On Hard Lotion ($5.00)
      The Minimalist Mom’s Guide to Baby’s First Year by Rachel @ The Minimalist Mom ($5.00)
      Redeeming Childbirth: Growth & Study Guide by Angie @ Redeeming Childbirth ($3.99)

      Holidays & Special Events

      Festive Traditions by Jill @ Modern Alternative Kitchen ($7.95)
      Holiday Mixes: Gifts in a Jar by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)
      Flourishing Spring by Michele @ Frugal Granola ($5.95)
      Family Camping Handbook by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($6.95)
      Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda @ Oh, Amanda! ($7.99)
      Plan a Fabulous Party by Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect ($4.99)
      iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide by Alli @ Alli Worthington($9.97)

      Spiritual Growth

      Pursuit of the Proverbs 31 by Amy @ Amy Bayliss ($3.99)
      The Best of Visionary Womanhood by Natalie @ Visionary Womanhood ($5.00)
      God’s Word in my Heart: A Scripture Memory Learning Guide with Verses {all 4 versions} by Jenn @ The Purposeful Mom ($3.99)
      Kept: a 13-Week Inductive Study on 1 Peter by Lara and Katie @ Quench Bible ($4.99)
      Love Like Him: an 8 week Inductive Bible study on 1 Corinthians 13 by Lara and Katie @ Quench Bible ($2.99)

      Marriage & Romance

      Rekindling Romance by Jason & Jami @ A Biblical Marriage ($4.99)
      Good Wife’s Guide by Darlene @ Time-Warp Wife ($2.99)
      31 Days to Build a Better Spouse by Ashley @ Ashley Pichea ($4.99)
      31 Days to Great Sex by Sheila @ To Love, Honor and Vacuum ($4.99)
      Entangled: Recognize Your Emotional Affair by Amy @ Amy J. Bennett ($4.99)

      Motherhood

      The Heart of Simplicity by various authors @ The Heart of Simplicity ($9.99)
      True Christian Motherhood by June @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home ($7.00)
      Hula Hoop Girl by September @ One September Day ($4.99)
      When Motherhood Feels Too Hard by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($4.97)
      Mindset for Moms by Jamie @ Steady Days ($4.99)
      From Cube to Farm by Heather @ From Cube to Farm ($2.99)
      4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions by various authors @ 4 Moms, 35+ Kids Parenting E-book ($7.99)
      That Works for Me! by Kristen @ We are THAT Family ($8.00)

      Health & Fitness

      100-pound Loser by Jessica @ Muthering Heights ($4.99)
      Honoring the Rhythm of Rest by Danielle @ Domestic Serenity ($2.99)
      42 Days to Fit by Brandy @ The Marathon Mom, Emma @ Real Fit Moms and Stacy @ A Delightful Home ($4.99)
      Healthy Homemaking by Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home ($12.95)
      Personal ePlanner by Jennifer @ ListPlanIt ($5.00)

      Beauty

      Frumps to Pumps by Sarah Mae @ SaraMae.com ($4.99)
      The Cottage Mama’s DIY Guide by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)
      Simple Scrubs to Make and Give by Stacy @ A Delightful Home ($3.99)
      The No Brainer Wardrobe by Hayley @ The No Brainer Wardrobe ($7.99)
      Embracing Beauty by Trina @ Trina Holden ($9.00)
      Reuse, Refresh, Repurpose by Kristen @ The Frugal Girl ($3.99)

      Working from Home & Blogging

      Your Blogging Business: Tax, Talk and Tips by Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger ($4.99)
      The Bootstrap VA by Lisa @ The Home Life {and Me} ($12.99)
      How to Grow Your Blog and Manage Your Home by Jacinda @ Growing Home ($4.99)
      How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($12.00)
      Simple Blogging: Less Computer Time, Better Blogging by Rachel @ Small Notebook ($8.00)

      Ecourses

      Learning in Love: The Preschool Years by Renee @ FIMBY ($7.99)
      Homeschooling from the Heart by Renee @ FIMBY ($7.99)
      Grocery University by Carrie @ Colorado Bargains ($24.95)
      Vibrant Living Strategies for Moms by Lisa @ Well-Grounded Life ($59)
      You Can Do This! The First Five Steps to a Real Food Kitchen by Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers ($5.00)

      PLUS, You will receive FREE Bonuses from these companies…

      A FREE Two-Month Membership to Fit2B Studio (for new members) or $20 off a Yearly Membership (for current members), where their wholesome workouts for the whole family are tummy safe and particularly target Diastasis Recti (split abs). ($19.98 value. No shipping restrictions.)

      A $15 store credit to TruKid. With products like their aware-winning sun care, they are dedicated to providing all natural skin and hair care for kids, babies, and now pets. ($15.00 value. Standard shipping applies. International shipping available.)

      Your choice of incredible natural products like sea salt and clay for FREE. Choose from the Redmond Trading Earthpaste Bundle ($24.90 value) or the Facial Mud Bundle ($26.90 value). (Standard shipping applies. Continental US only.)

      Your choice of a FREE heirloom sourdough starter or FREE yogurt starter from Cultures for Health, the leading supplier of starter cultures and supplies for making cultured and fermented foods ($12.95 value. US & CAN addresses only. Standard shipping applies.)

      Your choice of: a FREE 3-Month Subscription (for new accounts) or 30% off a One Year Subscription. Plan to Eat is an online menu planner that uses your recipes, scheduled for the days you want them. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)

      A FREE Culinary Herbs Assorted Seed Pack Check just in time for spring planting from www.wheatgrasskits.com, a living whole foods company. ($11.95 value. Standard shipping applies to all US states and territories- no international shipping for seeds.)

      Get $10 off Union28’s original “my husband rocks” tee. Their marriage apparel lets you celebrate your spouse in style. ($10.00 value. Standard shipping rates apply. International shipping available, but free shipping only available within USA.)

      A $10 store credit plus 1 FREE lip balm from Bee All Natural. Their whole body products nourish and heal, and are made using only the highest quality, food grade, organic ingredients. ($13.49 value. Standard shipping applies. International shipping available.)

      A FREE 2 oz. bottle of your choice of liquid herbal formula from TriLight Health. They specialize in fast acting, great tasting natural herbal remedies. ($12.95 value or more. Standard shipping applies, within the USA only.)

      Your choice of 3 FREE ePlanners OR a 3-Month FREE Membership to ListPlanIt, whose mobile lists will help to organize your life. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)

      The fine print:

      Bonus Offers

      • Each bonus offer can be redeemed once only per eBook Bundle purchase.
      • For each bonus offer, transaction numbers or proof of purchase may be required at the time of redemption.
      • All bonus offers are free gifts from the bonus sponsors, are their sole responsibility to provide, and are subject to availability.
      • All bonus offers expire at midnight on May 19th, 2013 (2 weeks from the last day of this sale).

      General

      • It is your responsibility to download and back-up your purchase within the 1-month download time-frame. With proof of purchase, we can renew download links up until August 1st, 2013. After this date we will no longer have access to the books and will not be able to provide any new links to download.
      • Due to the nature of this sale, there will be no refunds available. However, we would invite you to read our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about the file types, the download process, how the bonus offers work, etc.

      Please note: This collection is only available from 9 a.m. EST on April 29th to 11:59 p.m. EST on May 4th. There will be no late sales offered, so make sure that you get your bundle right away!

      This post includes affiliate links, and I make a portion of the sale of each ebook bundle. Thanks for your support of this site!
      Eat the Rainbow Fruit Skewers RandomRecycling.com

      Start the day with a rainbow of fruit on skewers.

      Spring is finally in the air and we are spending lots more time outside. As my kids burn more energy now running and biking, making sure they are eating well is even more important. As a Mom, I talk about what my kids are eating, or not eating, with friends and family a lot. I am lucky to have two kids who are not very picky, they just tend to want to eat all the time. I think snack is JJ’s favorite word, right behind show. Feeding them real food is so important to me and I am happy to partner with New Balance and Chop Chop magazine to help support their campaign to “Eat the Rainbow, Run the Rainbow.”

      As a blogger who focuses on kid friendly food recipes, I get to read a lot of cookbooks and nutrition books when they first get released. The recipes that always get the best response are those that are pretty. Pretty to my kids means there are lots of colors on the plate. Eat the Rainbow is such a simple message, but it really drives home what you should be feeding your kids. They may not eat it all, but there have been studies that show the more variety of color that is offered on a plate, the better the overall intake is of food. This is great for parents of picky eaters. Although they may throw it at you, at least you know you are offering them the best chance for a well-balanced meal. If you have young kids, I really like the book, Give Peas a Chance: The Foolproof Guide to Feeding Your Picky Toddler.

      New Balance Rainbow Shoes RandomRecycling.com

      Now here is the fun part. You get two chances to win some great products from both New Balance and  Chop Chop magazine. Head over to their main contest page to enter to win monthly prizes. Then, enter here to win a pair of New Balance 890v3 Rainbow sneakers and a one year subscription to Chop Chop magazine! The shoes are just adorable. I know this since my daughter gets complimented on her special pair wherever we go. They come in both infant/preschool sizes with velcro and switch to laces at size 10 1/2 and up. It’s Madison’s very first pair of lace up shoes…not great timing for me at 32 weeks pregnant. I tie those shoes a lot!

      Rainbow Giveaway RandomRecycling.com

      The giveaway is open to US residents until April 21, 2013. The winner will be announced on Earth Day, April 22! Good luck.

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

      Disclosure: I was provided a pair of New Balance Rainbow Shoes and subscription to Chop Chop magazine for which I am very excited about. All opinions expressed her are my own. 

      I find myself perplexed sometimes when I hear the latest eco-news. Sometimes it scares me, other times it confuses me. This week there were so many articles I found interesting I thought I would share a few plus some advice.

      What you should know about Tervis cups?

      This article shares which Tervis cups are BPA free, and which are not. The popular tumblers have been BPA free since 1/1/11. I received a set of Tervis cups when I got married in 2005 so I think they will be moved to the top shelf so we don’t use them often. In the article, a representative from Tervis responds in the comment section discussing when each type of cup made the switch. I’m pretty skeptical of most plastics these days so I’m slowly converting all cups over to glass. Even the kids are using glass; Duralex Cupswork great. They have been dropped numerous times and haven’t broken.

      Are you going to drink artificially sweetened milk?

      Buying milk is already complicated. Organic, hormone-free, raw  milk, local, and conventional. These are just some of the choices we have to make. This week, a petition filed by the dairy industry is under review with the FDA to let them add artificial sweeteners to milk and other milk based products (yogurt, cheese, etc) and avoid having to label them. If you don’t let your kids have aspartame, which is  a rule for my house, it will be really difficult to figure it out. The sweeteners will be listed as “optional ingredients” and require no special labeling.  A few months ago, we switched to buying our milk from the local dairy farm. (We use Thatcher Farm.) I like that we are supporting a local business, the milk is super fresh, plus our glass bottles get reused.

      Thatcher Farm Milk Glass Bottles Food Fight You Tube video

      This little video takes aim at the world of processed food and beyond. It’s a story of urban gangsters fighting grocery store crimes. Makes me appreciate how easy it is for me to get access to healthy and fresh produce.

      Turtleback making a switch to biodegradable plastic

      Although some news is scary, other times it’s positive. One company making plastic drink holders for the beach is making an effort to switch to a biodegradable plastic. I wouldn’t call this an essential beach item by any means, but at least if people are going to buy them, they won’t end up in the ocean forever.

      Are we really avoiding BPA?

      This is one of those articles that is frustrating, but raises some issues. Even if you eat an organic diet, you still may end up with high levels of BPA/endocrine disruptors in your bloodstream. The two big culprits here are milk and spices. Two possible ways to fix it~ buy milk in glass bottles and switch spices to glass containers. Spices just look prettier in glass jars anyways.