Lavender Oil

2
Sep
2013

The use of Lavender oil in your home in nearly endless.  In my opinion, if I could only have one oil to use in my home I would chose a high quality, therapeutic, all-natural Lavender oil.   I would not be without it now!

If you’ve never used essential oils, you’re missing out on a true source of health and wellness for everything in your home, from the people you love, pets who love you to the cleaning supplies you need.

Lavender is a universal oil that has traditionally been known to balance the body and work wherever there is a need.  Not only does it relax, but it adapts to imbalances in the body and can also boost stamina and energy when the body is lacking.  Love using it in Bath Salts!  Lavender is like your fall back oil, when in doubt just dab with Lavender!  It is truly a beginners oil.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has a fresh, sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that is soothing and refreshing.

This is one of the things I love about the Young Living Community I am involved in, so many people are excited to help you, it is okay if you aren’t sure what to do – plenty will help

Now, when my three year old gets a minor abrasion, he comes running to me to put a “dib-a-dab” {that is our unique term for treatment with oils!} on it.  I love that I can effectively treat injuries with oils that are completely natural, pure and not full of chemicals or hidden ingredients!

Come back tomorrow to find out what else I’ve been doing with Lavender Oil in my home!  I will share how I’ve helped calm down our family, treat our allergies and keep our home smelling like we don’t have two big dogs and a houseful of boys!

If you are interested in learning how you can purchase high quality oils at a discount – don’t miss this post!

Know Your Oil Company Well

When choosing essential oils it can be confusing!  There are so many available.  You can find low priced essential oils available in your local grocery store or online, but remember the old adage – you get what you pay for.  If you are using essential oils for therapeutic uses and internally, be sure to check with the specific oil company to ensure they are safe to ingest.  I highly recommend and will only give my family Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oil, such as Young Living.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Magical Bean Recipes Rescue the Budget

12
Aug
2013


We’ve been making some changes in our home with regard to the food we eat over the past month.  We’ve gone to drinking raw milk, eating only pastured eggs, grass-feed beef and cutting back on unnecessary snacks.  There are many reasons for this choice and I will share more in the weeks to come as I journey this new frontier for our family.

But, one thing I have discovered is our food budget is being stretched – real food is more expensive.  Instead of paying $2.98 for a gallon of milk, we are paying $9.99 for a gallon of raw milk.  Eggs are no different – $4.69 for a dozen instead of $1.59.  I have had to look for ways to reduce my food budget and one of those ways is to use more beans!  Yep, that magical fruit!

I wanted to share with you two recipes I’ve been using and love.  One is a recipe for Black Beans that I have adapted from eMeals and the other is for homemade refried beans.  I’ve been making batches of these beans in the crock pot and then freezing them so I have a stock pile of ready made food available.  They are easy to make, can be done during the day while I am doing other things and it saves us money, they taste better and are better for us!
Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker

I love my slow cooker, I purchased it last year and it is programmable, is larger than what I use to have, which makes double batches super easy and is dishwasher safe too

Black Beans

I’ve used these black beans for use in casseroles, enchiladas, tacos, chili and bean dip.  They are a fantastic base and super easy.  I typically make a double batch and then freeze them in quart size Ziploc bags.

1 lb dried black beans  (I buy in bulk for $.95/lb)

2 ½ cups chicken stock

2 cups water

½ cup diced onion

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt (I use REAL salt)

1 can Rotel tomatoes (I get these on amazon, subscribe ‘n save for less than $1 a can, when I have my monthly order)

1 bay leaf

1 diced jalapeno pepper (optional)

Sort, rinse and drain beans.  Place in slow cooker.  Stir in chicken stock, water, onion, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, tomatoes, bay leaf and jalapeno.  Cover and cook on LOW for 10 hours or until beans are tender.

emeals-black-bean-chili

I love using these black beans in eMeals Beef and Black Bean Chili – this recipe is at the top of my families list of favorites right now!

Crock-Pot-Refried-Beans

Crock Pot ‘Refried’ Beans

2 lbs pinto beans  (I buy in bulk for $.89/lb)

1 large onion, chopped

6 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

1 Tablespoon salt

1 jalapeno, finely diced

10 cups water

Sort, rinse and drain beans.  Place in slow cooker.  Stir in onion, garlic, pepper, cumin, salt, water and jalapeno.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours and LOW for 2 hours.

refried-beans

Remove any extra liquid, but leave enough to mash into the desired consistency when the beans are mashed.  Take a potato masher and mash until you get the desired consistency.  Serve or let cool and freeze – I use quart size Ziploc bags.

These two recipes are so easy and will certainly help stretch your family food budget, regardless if you are making other changes to your eating habits.  We are turning to more meatless main meals, and beans often are our “meat” substitute.

Do you use beans to stretch your family budget?

eMeals Makes Back to School Easy!

5
Aug
2013


Yes, it is time to think about Back to School.  Some of you are like me and still have several weeks left of summer, yet I know a few who already have kids back to school.  I honestly cannot wait for school to begin – I love having the structure of the school year to keep everyone focused – especially me.

With Back to School comes issues like earlier bedtimes, morning routines, packing lunches and having yummy after school snacks.  I remember coming home from school when I was younger and looking forward to what my mom had for us to eat.  I still am that way, looking forward to the snacks!

Wouldn’t it be great to have some ideas for after school snacks already planned out for you?  Kinda like my Summer Survival Calendar, where you just follow the directions, no thinking involved – just get the supplies for the day listed.  Well, eMeals has got your back!

eMeals has created a Back to School Calendar with 31 Days of Snacks that is FREE for eMeals members, you just login to your eMeals account and access it to see the full calendar.  Print that baby off {I already got mine!!} and you are all set.

Here are a few of the simple recipes you will find that will surely appeal to your little ones – and even big ones!

Pretzel Stacks

Stack small pretzel twists, peanut butter, banana slices, and mini chocolate chips into a tower for your kids to enjoy a fun snack!  They look good enough to eat in the above picture.

Nutella Grahams

Dip graham crackers in chocolate hazelnut spread and sprinkle lightly with wheat germ. Serve with milk for a little calcium and extra dairy for the day!

eMeals is the site {my favorite meal planning site} that helps busy moms get dinner on the table by providing you a weeks worth of menus with simple/easy recipes and a shopping list.  The best part is you can pick from a huge variety of menu plans – AND they have an APP, so it makes it even easier to plan menus, shop and keep yourself organized.   Exactly what a busy mom needs during the Back to School season.

eMeals-Collage

They’ve also created a simple Back to School Survival Kit – which is a 7 page PDF that includes:

Back to School Checklist
Lunch Notes
Healthy Lunch Menu for One Week

Download yours for FREE!

This is a great addition to the printables I include in my Back 2 School Survival Guide.  If you are needing to get your ‘rear in gear’ and plan for Back to School, don’t miss this great discount to join eMeals -use the discount code SCHOOL15 for 15% off any new eMeals subscription.

What is your favorite after school snack to offer your kiddos? 

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Fresh Veggies and More

24
Jun
2013


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Welcome to the 30 Days of Summer – Go-To Guide for Moms!

Day Twenty Four

Summer is fresh fruits and vegetables – plain and simple.  Even if you do not grow your own you can enjoy incredibly fresh produce when you visit your local farmer’s market.  Not sure where to find one near your home, you can go to the USDA directory and find one or this Farmer’s Market directory.

In my neck of the woods, we have a farmer’s market going on nearby almost every day of the week, which makes planning a family outing and an activity of preparing a fun dinner really easy.  Last year I had fun purchasing fresh Kale, lettuce, green beans and berries, it is so fun. [Read more…]

The Big Secret {Day Thirty-One}

31
Jan
2013


Day Thirty-One: 31 Days to Becoming a Frugalista – Live Well While Spending Less

frugal living

 

This series will soon be available as an ebook – watch for it and get all the great tips, secrets and ways you can DREAM big too!

Are you good at keeping secrets?  I guess I would have to say that I am, because I’ve had a secret I’ve been keeping to myself for quite a few months and have been waiting to share it with you all.  I know you will want to celebrate with me, but I had to create the right atmosphere to share it in.

Dream Big

You see, the 31 Day series was about finding ways to save money, learning to live well by spending less than we need to.  Some of us need to learn to spend less because we just don’t have it to spend.  Others want to learn to spend less in order to create more to share with others, plan for a vacation or dream for something even bigger than that.

Well, we {my hubby and I} have fallen into all of those categories at different times in our lives.  We’ve needed to cut back to make ends meet, we’ve saved for special family trips and we’ve had dreams and goals to place in front of us as a target and incentive to cut back and be smart with what God has given us.

I stated earlier in the series about creating a budget, that it is often easier to cut back on expenses when you have a goal in mind.  It can be a large goal or a small one, but a special ‘spark’ in your heart you can be reminded of every time you sacrifice and make a choice not to spend.  We’ll we’ve had a BIG goal in mind for several years.

I am a true Pacific Northwest girl and I love the ocean.  The cloudy days are just fine for me and the sound of the waves crashing the beach is soothing to my soul.  It is sweet refreshment for me.  Five years ago this very month my husband and I visited a cute community out on the Washington coast, Seabrook and I fell in love.  I knew that I wanted to own a little slice of heaven in this heartwarming community and began searching and praying for ways to make it happen.

I began to coupon like nothing else, saving bits of money.  My hubby and I set up a pretty strict and confining budget in order to save, but it was okay, because I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  To do without in order to find a way to fulfill a dream was good.  It was hard and often I didn’t quite understand if it was worth it.  We were thrown a lot of frustrating curve balls during the past few years, and I often felt that things would fall apart.  I didn’t understand if we would ever get to the point to see our dream come to fruition.  I am sure you can relate, we’ve all had rough spots, challenges and feelings of defeat.

Obedience

We’ve been obedient to things that God has asked, even when we didn’t see the plan or understand.  We are living day to day amidst circumstances that we could never had dreamed we would be, but we are doing it all for His Glory.  He knows our hearts……He knows our desires.

Mama’s I happy to share with you all that because of so many twists and turns and His incredible grace, we are building that little slice of heaven out in that wonderful community we fell in love with 5 years ago.  I wish I could take you step by step through how God orchestrated this amazing feat, it was easy to see His hand everywhere along the way – from the timing of a particular lot for sale, to funds turning up just in time, so all the little tid bits that have had us exclaiming in near unbelief.

His Grace

Seabrook HouseIt is small {the bottom floor is a garage, it may look big, but it is not!)  but it has the most incredible view, where I can wake every morning to stand in awe of His creation, His unfailing love and His grace and redemption.  I cannot tell you how my heart is filled to overflowing, not just because of the house, but of those I’ve met along the way, the trust we’ve had to put in God and His plan and all of you who’ve allowed me in your life.  You see, it would not have been possible without this little place called, The Confident Mom.

 

 

 

Seabrook View

Yes, the saving was all great, and we couldn’t have done this without it, but we needed a bit more.  My desire to help moms has blessed my life so much, but the fact that God has blessed me in such a way to allow me to have an income doing what I love to do is almost unbelievable.  I cannot thank you all enough.  I wish I could have each and every one of you come for a weekend and celebrate with me.  We will be using this little ‘nest’ to refresh our family, but it will also be a place to bless other families with as well and that is even more exciting.  I can’t wait.

So I ask you this…..what is your goal, your dream?  Have you let it slip or do you feel you don’t have time to think about it?  I encourage you today to sit down and ask God to give you inspiration to dream, to think of the impossible.   I never thought I would be writing here and sharing with you all that we were able to have the ability to purchase this little get-away haven – if I never have had true understanding of how God works and blesses us, I certainly do now.

I feel like the luckiest daughter in the world!  

 

What is your dream and how can you begin making small steps toward it?

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Photo Credit -MSGS Architects