I WAS IN PRISON DOCUMENTARY

Merry merry Christmas from the Schieber Tribe of Five!

So instead of posting every single Christmas picture I took on Facebook, I decided to just pick my favs and blog them with a little commentary to go with each.  This year was full of some really low lows, and some really high highs, but all the lows turned out for best, and I realize more than ever how much God has his hand in every area of our lives. Our God is faithful!

 Santa came!!! Not going to lie, our kiddies are SPOILED!

Shameless selfie with my main squeeze ;) He loves me.

Absolutely positive that he is the one made for me, and me for him! I married my best friend. This year was our best, so happy to do life with him. I could go on all day...What more could a girl ask for?

#schiebertribeoffive

Our babies with their new cousin Grady! Bre is glowing, this was her first time holding his teensy weensy self!


She lit up when we put him in her arms!

Eli was helping Daddy make a fire! He was not a good helper, but he is cute so we excuse it ;)

Eli is just enamored with his Uncle Joey, who happens to look like Jesus. 

If I could describe this little girl in one pic, this would be it! She lights up the whole house with her silly, sassy, bossy, smart, and sweet little self! I just adore her.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! Looking forward to an even better 2014! God bless!

XXOO

Don't Cater to the Haters

If you are anything like Dustin and I, you probably record and watch every episode of Duck Dynasty religiously. It is literally like a little ritual for us, we put the kids to bed, grab a snack and snuggle up on the couch to enjoy every last second of that wonderful Robertson clan. The whole controversy surrounding the things Phil Robertson said in an interview really got me thinking about how this situation relates to every single person on the planet. If you are going to make a hard stand, on any given issue, you are going to have haters. What is a hater? Let me define it for you...

A hater is someone who doesn't like what you stand for, and no matter what you do, you will not please them. My message is simple, don't waste your time trying. If someone doesn't like you, or your cause, it doesn't matter what you do, it won't be good enough. Thank GOD Phil Robertson is man enough NOT to apologize for believing what the bible says. He knows you can't cater to haters.

Do you have people who hate you for what you believe, or who you are? If you have read any of my previous posts then you know I definitely do, because I take hard stands on certain topics. I have had friends get offended and tell me I should not be so harsh. You know what I say to them? Keep scrolling! If you don't like what I write, don't read it. For every offended person, I have someone who heartily agrees with me, and that is who I write for. 

This applies in every area of your life. Take a step back and look at your relationships, who are your haters? Do you find yourself constantly trying to please them and never able to make that happen? I know Dustin and I have learned a lot in this area, and have realized that you cannot ever base decisions on trying to live up to other people's standards. Find out who you are, and what you believe, and stand your ground. You will be surprised how many wonderful, like-minded people find their spot comfortably next to you. Remember, the haters only have a voice if you give them one. 

xxoo

Sample menu for toddlers!

Recently I saw a blog somebody wrote on a weeks worth of what their toddler ate. I thought it was a great subject to blog about because most littles are quite picky! Both of our girls and even the baby (so far) are really good eaters.

Statistically, 75% of children will have an ear infection by the time they are 3. Hazel is turning 3 at the end of this month and has never had one. Not only that but she has never had any sickness that would require antibiotics. Eli is 10 months and so far, same for him! I attribute their health to lots of factors, but food is one of the biggest. I like convenience just as much as any mom so you aren't going to find stuff made from scratch on this post! These are simple, everyday ideas...

I don't believe in coincidence when it comes to health, if a kid is sick a lot, it's because something is off in their body. One of the most important things you can start with is their diet... Here are some ideas:

Breakfast:

  • Organic cereal with raw milk (see the amazing benefits of raw milk at http://www.realmilk.com/)
  • Organic frozen waffles (I usually buy Van's) and grade B real maple syrup
  • Homemade organic pancakes (you can buy organic mixture and just add organic eggs, raw milk, and coconut oil)


Lunch:

  • Rolled up turkey and cheese (make sure its nitrite-free turkey if you can't find organic) with organic apple slices or clementine slices
  • Organic macaroni and cheese. Annie's makes a gluten free/organic version, and I use raw milk and coconut oil for the added health benefit. Add some frozen blueberries on the side and my kids are happy (Costco sells a huge bag of organic, wild blueberries for like $11)
  • Grilled Cheese. Ezekial bread (or any sprouted grain bread) is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat and it also makes a pretty darned good grilled cheese! Use some organic grass fed butter and cheese and you have a healthy and yummy lunch!


Dinner:
We don't make special stuff for the kids for dinner. They eat what we eat. I make almost all my meals organic, and non GMO. I try to stay away from gluten, but if we have it, it's organic, and preferably from sprouted grains.

Snacks:
For snacks I always keep some sort of fruit or veggie in the house as the first option. They like carrots and organic dressing, apples, berries, and oranges. Pirate's Booty, and Annie's cheddar bunnies too are popular around here too. I try to keep the yogurt and sweeter stuff for their after dinner snack.

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas for your little ones. Remember, stay away from packaged foods that are not organic, they are full of poison!

I would love to hear from YOU, what wholesome foods do your kids like?




With Thanksgiving

I don't have any fancy subject to write about at the moment, just taking a moment to be grateful.. All I can say is that this was, by far, my most favorite year ever, of my whole life. Yep. My entire life. I am so thankful. We had lots of changes this year... We had a baby... our last baby, and our little family of five is now complete. My hubby sold his business, I started working part time doing something I am passionate about, which led us to a new church that we love.Our marriage is stronger than ever and we are all healthy and happy.We have had lots of victories this year. Several different things that were meant for harm have been turned into the very things that have made our family stronger.The future is bright.. Bring it, 2014!

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for?

Just do it, yes I mean "it"

Ladies, this one is for you! Lately I have been quite alarmed at the amount of friends or acquaintances of mine who have decided for one reason or another that they are not having sex with their husband, whether it be for an undefined amount of time, or they just make constant "I have a headache" excuses.

Wow. Like seriously ladies. This is important! Here is what the bible says about it:

"3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

1 Corinthians 7:3-5

If you are not having sex with your husband, your marriage is not going to be good. God designed sex and it is crucial for having a happy and satisfied marriage. There are many excuses women come up with as far as why they aren't interested in getting between the sheets, but in my opinion they all boil down to one thing, lack of respect. 

You might say you have respect for your husband, but if you are denying him of something that is rightfully his (because you willfully gave it over when you said those vows) then you are being disrespectful. The number one thing men desire is respect. Show them respect and they will show you love. Here are some ways you can show your husband respect:

1. No nagging. No dude wants another mother, they want a wife. Keeping your mouth shut instead of nagging them to death is one way of showing you respect them.

2. Allow them to be the head of the household. That means you respect their decisions, even if you don't like what they are doing. Let me tell you something, you can't change your man! The only way they will truly change is if God changes his heart. So start praying they make better decisions instead of wasting your breath harassing them. You will be amazed at what happens....I have been, in my marriage.

3. Don't deny them. Have you ever been rejected? Not a good feeling, right? Telling your husband you can't have sex with him because "I am too tired" or "I am not in the mood" or moving to other side of the couch because you don't want him to touch you and get any ideas, is rejection, and it will ruin your marriage. If he wants to do "it" you need to be a willing participant.

Without sex, you are basically roommates. I don't know about you, but I don't want a roommate. When you married that man, you gave him your body, and he gave you his. If you have lost the attraction to your husband go read my "Fake it Til You Make It" post which talks about doing what is right, and your feelings will follow your actions. 

So there you have it.... If you care about your marriage, JUST DO IT!




Cure a migraine, naturally!

This morning I woke up and my head was pounding. I never get headaches, much less migraines, but I was well on my way to a full blown puking migraine. With a hubby working overtime, and two little wild children on my own, that is not going to work. 

Here is what I did to get rid of it!

  •  Made my kids turn off all the noise making toys
  •  Rubbed peppermint oil on my temples
  •  Continuously held the peppermint oil up to my nose
  •  Took a hot shower with steam, and you guessed it, more peppermint oil
  •  Brushed my skin to stimulate my lymphatic system and help flush toxins out of my body. (If you don't have a skin brush, get one! I will have a post on the benefits skin brushing very soon!)
  • Drank a couple glasses of water

Less than a half hour later I felt like a new woman, and it didn't return!No drugs necessary! As you can tell peppermint oil was the key. I suggest you put it in your medicine cabinet asap. I have also used it to completely stop a tummy bug in both my daughter and myself. Mix it with a carrier oil, rub it on the belly and neither of us threw up again, two totally separate occasions! Peppermint oil, get some and avoid filling your body with toxic chemical drugs! 

Happy weekend!






5 Tips to a Better Body After Babies!

Kids are not an excuse to let yourself go moms, they are all the more reason to keep yourself healthy! God gave us one body to live our whole life in, we have to take care of it! Here are some tips to getting a smokin' hot bod, even with a bunch of babies around!



1. Find a work out buddy. Recently I have been doing my work outs with my best friend. We don't let each other slack and it forces me to do it even when I don't feel like it!

2. Change it up. If you don't like something, don't do it forever. When I was trying to lose weight I ran. Once I got to my goal, I changed it up and now I do less cardio and lots more muscle building stuff. If you get bored, do something different! Try and stick to one thing for at least 30 days.

3. Abs are made in the kitchen, people! If you want a flat tummy you can't eat garbage. If you want a smaller waist, you can't eat junk. I don't care how many crunches you are doing, it won't help. Cut out the gluten and sugar, increase green foods and you will be amazed.

4. Make time. You must make yourself a priority, if you don't everyone will suffer. My husband always jokes that mama needs to be happy or nobody is.... and it's true! Exercise helps elevate your mood, gives you energy, and adds confidence. In turn everyone in the house will benefit. Whether you do a work out video while they are napping, or go for a run when hubby gets home.. Make it happen.

5. Chart your progress. Whether you are weighing in once a week, measuring inches, or taking before and after pics, you need to be able to see progress to keep you motivated. Pick one day a week to chart your progress and make it as much of a priority as the exercise itself, I promise you won't regret it!


Have fun and as always I would love to hear your results! XXOO

Relationship Detox!

Lately I have really been realizing the importance of surrounding yourself with the right kind of people. I understand now more than ever that if you want to have a happy life you must surround yourself with people who inspire and uplift you. Ask yourself, what kind of person do you want to be?

I don't know about you, but I want to be happy! Happy is not just an emotion, it is a state of being. A happy person is not swayed by bad circumstances. We all have hard times, it is part of life, but the kind of person I aspire to be is happy no matter what life throws their way! Most people live their life based off circumstances, but God calls us to be be happy all of the time.

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1Thessalonians 5:16-19

If you are going to become the person who can genuinely be thankful in all circumstances, then you must surround yourself with people who are going to help you do that. Ask yourself, after you spend time with any specific person, how do you feel? Do you feel anxious? Maybe they make you worry? Do you feel depressed? These are some warning signs to a toxic relationship. I have had many experiences with people like this, and it doesn't mean you need to cut them off completely (it might) but it does mean you need to cut the amount of time you spend with them down to a bare minimum.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be great. For example, one thing I want in my life is to have a strong, healthy, and happy marriage. That means I don't take advice from people whose marriages are NOT all of that stuff. I look for marriage advice from Godly couples who have strong, healthy marriages. Our marriage continues to grow and get stronger every day and I am convinced that it is because we have found, and continue to find people who have been down our same road. Marriage is hard work, don't make it harder by surrounding yourself with people who aren't happy in theirs!

Another example, who is your best friend? Does your best friend see life with a positive outlook or do they continually focus on the negative? Do they inspire you to be a better wife, mommy, and woman in general? Mine does! I will say hands down she is a better mom than I am!! Her house is always clean, she is very organized and her kids always look magazine ready. She inspires me to be better. I can say because of her, I am better.

The right people in your life will make all the difference in the world. Cut out the negative relationships and find people who inspire you to be better. If they don't build you up, and help you when you are feeling down it is time to go!

Please feel free to share your experiences with me! I love to hear from YOU my friends!!!!! XXOO






6 People I Don't Want Parenting Advice From

If you are a young mom chances are that you constantly have people giving you advice that you didn't ask for. Even better are the ones who give looks of disgust about the way you are raising your kids..  Do what you want with your kids people, but leave me alone with mine...

For laughs I came up with a list of people whom I don't need unsolicited advice from.

1. People with no kids... Yup, this is my favorite. I don't care how many kids you were a nanny for, if you have a freaking doctorate in child psychology, or are the best aunt in the world. If you don't have children of your own, you have no idea. It is something you must experience first hand.

2. People with one kid.. My husband and I have a combined total of 3 kids. Your advice won't help me.

3. People who put their kid in daycare... Sorry people, you can't compare a stay at home mom to a working mom. One stays all day with a bunch of rugrats constantly demanding something, and one goes to work where chances are they do a job, get a lunch break, go to the bathroom alone, and have adult interaction. Yes, my 9 month old is attached to me at the hip. Yes, he cries at strangers holding him. No, there is nothing weird about it, he is not "clingy" or socially awkward, he is a BABY who wants his MOM! So wipe that smug look off your face, lady.

4. People who formula feed. Again, I have nothing in common with your way of parenting because I see formula as toxic trash. Enough said.

5. People who vaccinate. Did you know that statistically the people with higher levels of college education don't vaccinate? Yes, true story. The more educated people are the less likely they will vaccinate their children. I research EVERYTHING when it comes to my kids, if you don't do the same then I don't really care to hear your opinion.

6. People who put their kid in public school. Schools in this state are horrible, the Common Core curriculum is disgusting and evil and if you don't even know what it is, and have a child in public school I suggest you look into it. There are other options besides homeschooling people, do your research.

It's is pretty simple, if somebody isn't asking for your advice don't give it to them, instead rant about it on your own blog like I just did ;) hehe <3


Rise before my little sunshines

A couple posts ago I talked about the Proverbs 31 woman and all the qualities that she possesses. One of the things the passage talks about is how she gets up while it is still dark. I know, I know, sounds miserable, but don't get mad at me I didn't write it!

15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.

Proverbs 31:15

In an effort to become like this woman my new goal, through the end of this year, is to get up consistently at 7am every morning. I know that doesn't sound early to most, but if you have a nursing baby, then you know getting up that extra half hour earlier is a sacrifice! I will definitely need the grace of God to have the discipline!

Anyone who knows me knows I don't like mornings. Don't even try talking to me until I have had BOTH shots of espresso. However, I have been feeling like this is something I need to do. Most of the time the two littlest are still sleeping until 7:30 so this will give me a chance to have my coffee, get breakfast ready, do my work outs, or a little reading/prayer time. Starting the day with peace and quiet... yes please!

Why am I blogging about this? Well, I need accountability and if I blog it, then I am going to have to do it! I also look forward to seeing the fruit in our lives that doing this will produce! Try it with me ladies, and check off one of your Proverbs 31 woman qualities!

*Yawn* off to bed with me!

Fake it til you make it!

Would you consider yourself a happy person? When you lay in bed at night what are you thinking about? Do you let circumstances in your life decide what level of happiness you are at for the day?

As someone who used to be happy depending on circumstance, let me give you a few tips on how to be happy no matter what you go through.

I have realized that being happy is almost always dependent on your thoughts. If your thoughts are negative, your life will suck. Sorry, but its true. This is something that takes a lot of discipline to change, especially if you tend to be a negative person.

Here is the thing, most negative people don't think they are negative. I always thought I was a positive person, but let me give you an example of how I was letting negativity rule in my life.

My husband is a firefighter. One of the sacrifices I make to be married to that handsome hunk is the insane schedule. He works 24 hour shifts every third day, and if he works overtime he is gone for 48 hours straight. I will tell you right now that after being married for 4 years next month, I have yet to get used to this schedule. It gets lonely, and it is sometimes hard to deal with our kids all by myself for that amount of time, but I have learned to be happy despite all that.

Before, I would often get in a feeling sorry for myself type mood and text my husband some sad little message about how I was feeling. Misery bred more misery and I would even get depressed sometimes. Don't get me wrong, it's ok to feel bummed once in a while, but making it a habit is what gets you in trouble.

I read Joyce Myers, Battlefield of the Mind, and let me tell you that book changed my thinking completely. Now instead of sending a little pity party message to my husband about how unfair my life is that he is gone and I am all alone, I send a positive and uplifting message about how thankful I am that he works so hard to take care of us and how much I miss him.I had to fake it til I made it because I didn't really *feel* thankful towards him the first few times I sent that type of text, but I knew that I *should* be thankful, so I did it anyway.

 Let me tell you, since I have made a habit out of doing that instead of a sad message, I can truly say, I rarely ever have moments where I feel down anymore. I am genuinely more thankful and happy in my life than I have ever been.

The first few times I did this, I didn't really feel a change, but when I made the decision to never go back to that poor me mentality, not only did my attitude change, but my marriage has gotten stronger, and we have been blessed in so many ways I can't even name them all.

Give it a try! Replace your negative words with positive ones and give God the chance to do what he wants to do in your life! I would love to hear about your success :) xxoo

If she can do it, why can't I?

If you grew up in church, or even if you didn't you have probably heard people reference the Proverbs 31 woman. Whether you know about her or not I just want to provide a fresh perspective on who she is....

The Proverbs 31 woman is what every Christian woman strives to become. She is the goal, the role model that every little girl should have.

I have noticed a lot of blogs and articles lately that make light out of being a "less than perfect mom" and give any woman every excuse in the book not to strive for excellence. I can't stand them. As a mom, step mom, and wife I know that I am FAR from perfect, but I will never change my standards. My goal is the Proverbs 31 woman, not some overweight, lazy mom who makes a living off writing "full of excuse" blogs that make you laugh once or twice, but leave no lasting effect on your thinking.

I posted the Proverbs 31 passage on the bottom of this blog to reference, but here is my break down...

A virtuous wife, worth more than rubies... is someone who her husband can trust, she gives him everything he needs, he is satisfied. She works hard, she carefully selects her food, and prepares it for her family. She has people that work for her, she is good to them. She is a business woman, she makes her own money. She is strong and fit.

She stays up late working, she is a giver. She helps those in need. She is fearless. She takes care of herself, and dresses in beautiful clothes. Her husband is respected, not just by her, but by everyone. She is strong, honorable and faithful. She is wise, she knows when to shut her mouth and when to speak, her words are uplifting and fruitful and kind. She watches over her household, nothing gets past her, she strives to continuously make it better. Her children and husband appreciate her. Most importantly her God is first.

She is fruitful in all she does.

God loves excellence, look at his creation! Why do we set the bar so low? No woman on the planet is perfect, but if we measure by other women then we are doomed! The perfect woman is mapped out for us, and if she can do it, why can't we?! Lets raise our standards, ladies! Become the woman God intended you to be and stop making excuses!

I will be further breaking down particular verses in this passage in very near future posts, so follow my blog if you would like to read along!

XXOO

The Virtuous Wife

10 Who[b] can find a virtuous[c] wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.


Somebody pinch me

I usually don't get too personal with my blog posts, but I am very excited about this next season in my life so I have to share...

The last few years have been different for me. I quit my very secure, well paying job to have babies and stay home with them, which has been great. I love that I don't have to drop them off at daycare and leave them all day. I love that they spend every waking moment with me. I love my babies so much. However, it is very strange for me because I have always been very independent and don't like to rely on anyone for anything.

I have been forced in the last few years to completely rely on my husband and his income, and I am not going to lie, that was really tough for me in the beginning. I have learned a lot about myself in the process and we have been through ups and downs financially, but in the end we always made it work.

Two weeks ago I decided to contact a private school near by and see if they needed a dance teacher. It was a shot in the dark because I had no indication that they would want to start a dance program and even if they did, they probably had someone lined up, but I felt I needed to give it a try. Long story short, they hired me. 

It was so simple. It was so meant to be. The bible says that God will give you the desires of your heart, but I didn't even realize what my desires were! Apparently He knows me better than I know myself. Dance has been a passion of mine since I was a very little girl, but has also been something I had put on hold for the last few years. Teaching other children to do something I am passionate about, so far, is an absolute blast.

Now I am not only doing something I love, but I still get to spend time with my babies and my husband, who just so happened to sell his business the week before I got this job. He will now be able to stay home with them while I am working part time. The timing is perfect. 

After the principal hired me, I definitely had a pinch me moment. I knew that it was a blessing from God both for me and for them. There is something so amazing about knowing you are right where you are supposed to be. While I have had moments of such happiness in my life, I have never felt so content in every area. I can't wait to see where this road leads and what new and exciting things are up ahead!

xxoo  

Keeping my littles little for a little longer

I was at Costco a couple weeks ago (which was the last week of June) and I was absolutely horrified because they had HALLOWEEN stuff out!!!! All I could think was "are you freaking kidding me?! I am just now getting into the summer routine of pool, beach, sprinklers in the front yard, tan skin, light hair and you want to shove me into fall?!"

I realized that this is not really Costco's fault, they are just capitalizing on the demands of their customers. This is a bigger problem, its a society problem.

These days everything is always in such a hurry. There is so much focus on "the next thing" whether it be the new iphone coming out or something as simple as waiting for the next season to come along. 

Being content where you are, with what you have, has become obsolete. 

I find it so sad when I see kids looking at their phone or ipad instead of playing with each other

My point here is that society rushes children into the next thing as quick as they do the next fashion trend. Kids are not allowed to be kids, they go straight from being a toddler to being a mini adult with a cell phone and ipad and having role models like Miley Cyrus and Lyndsay Lohan.... It scares me.

My message is to slow down, people. Stop where you are and embrace it. Enjoy the journey, keep your kids little by taking away all the noise.... Limit the TV, take away the phone and ipad. Talk to them about life, tell them stories. Leave them with their thoughts and let them be bored! Boredom sparks creativity.

Let your littles be little a little longer than most <3






This instead of that: Taco night!

I don't know about all of you, but Taco Night is very popular at my house. We eat tacos for dinner at least a few times a month, and I love making them too because it takes 10 minutes and is an easy clean up.

Well, when I started eliminating all the unhealthy stuff in my pantry I realized that tacos would definitely not make the cut. Noooooooooo! I can hear their cries now! Well I came up with some darn good substitute taco making stuff so I wouldn't be slowly poisoning my family at the dinner table.


I will start by telling you about the shells.... Like most people, I previously used the Old El Paso shells. They are made of corn, they can't be that bad right? Wrong! Corn is one of the worst possible things to eat, unless its organic, and even then I try to buy it as seldom as possible.

The problem is that 88% of corn in the US is genetically modified. What does that mean? Well without making this blog 85 pages long, I will tell you that when lab rats were tested and fed a diet of only genetically modified corn, they grew huge tumors all over their bodies, became infertile and died prematurely...

GMO food is not food at all, and the body doesn't recognize it or know what to do with it. Soooo, start small. Buy your taco shells at a health food store and make sure they are made with organic corn (as the ones shown above.)

Taco seasoning: I have seen some great recipe on pinterest if you want to make your own, but if not just remember if you cannot pronounce an ingredient in your taco seasoning then don't buy it. Your seasoning should be only spices, if there is anything else in there it's a chemical or preservative. The one I have in the pic above passed the test in my house and is pure.

Last but not least the meat. Around here we don't eat a lot of beef. It is a special event when we do because beef is another big problem. I NEVER buy beef that isn't organic. Non-organic beef is full of hormones and antibiotics and is fed a diet of GMO corn. The best option for beef is to find some that is grass-fed, but I have yet to find a good resource for that, so we buy the organic beef from Costco.

Top your tacos off with some local, organic tomatoes, greens and onions and you have your new and improved taco night!

*Disclaimer: My husband complained that the shells did not have the flat bottoms like the "stand and stuff" ones that Old El Paso makes... LOL. If that is my biggest complaint about the change I think we are good to go!

This instead of That: Breakfast Edition

If you are anything like me then you read every label at the grocery store. You take wayyyyyy longer than you should to plan out your meals, and while you want to eat healthier, there are some things you just don't want to sacrifice in your diet!This is why I have found lots of healthier substitutions for stuff I still want to eat. 

For example, BACON! Everyone loves bacon, and if you don't I am convinced there is something wrong with you. 

The problem with bacon... it actually causes cancer. YUP, bacon causes cancer. Why? Well bacon. along with most packaged meats, contains nitrites. Nitrites are carcinogens and are used in the meats to preserve the color, but are not safe for consumption. That is the bad news...

Want to hear the good news?! You can still eat bacon! You just have to buy it without nitrites. I buy Applegate Naturals Uncured Sunday Bacon. Now, of course this doesn't mean you want to eat it for every meal, but a little bacon here or there is a beautiful thing! 

Top row are healthy alternatives to the chemical crap storm below them
Next thing you can buy a safe alternative for.... Frozen waffles. Ok, I am going to admit it. In the morning I am tired and my kids annoy me greatly until I get out of bed and feed them. The last thing I feel like doing is cooking breakfast so I try to keep easy stuff around, like frozen waffles...

Have you ever analyzed the ingredients in Eggo waffles, for example? Here is the ingredient list:

Ingredients:  Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, vitamin B1 [thiamin mononitrate], vitamin B2 [riboflavin], folic acid), water, vegetable oil (soybean, palm, and/or canola oil), eggs, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), contains 2% or less of sugar, salt, whey, soy lecithin, yellow 5, yellow 6.

Do you know what those things are? I guarantee you probably never thought a waffle could have so many ingredients.. Yes you are reading correctly that there is ALUMINUM, oils that are genetically modified, preservatives and yellow 5&6 (which are known to cause behavioral problems.) Its basically a poison patty. That is the bad news.. 

The good news! There are other options for frozen waffles. The Nature's Path Organic ones I have pictured above are good! I know Earth's Best also makes an organic version. They are both made from real, wholesome ingredients with no GMO's, preservatives or food dye.

Last but not least, Pop Tarts. I saved this for last because it has to be the worst, in my opinion.... Here are the ingredients for those:

ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, DEXTROSE, SOYBEAN AND PALM OIL (WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS), SUGAR, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF CRACKER MEAL, WHEAT STARCH, SALT, DRIED STRAWBERRIES, DRIED PEARS, DRIED APPLES, CORNSTARCH, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), CITRIC ACID, CORN CEREAL, GELATIN, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL†, CARAMEL COLOR, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, SOY LECITHIN, XANTHAN GUM, MODIFIED WHEAT STARCH, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, COLOR ADDED, TURMERIC COLOR, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, RED #40, NIACINAMIDE, REDUCED IRON, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), YELLOW #6, RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), FOLIC ACID, BLUE #1.†LESS THAN 0.5g TRANS FAT PER SERVING

Let me ask you this, can you pronounce these ingredients?! I know I can't. Not only do these have preservatives and food dyes, but they have GMO's, hydrogenated oils, chemicals, and high fructose corn syrup. Pop tarts, my friends are NOT FOOD. They are poison. Throw them out and if you must have them try the version pictured above. Again these are Nature's Path. They are delicious and made from organic, REAL food ingredients.. 

I will give you a hint. When it comes to buying packaged food, I don't touch it unless its organic, and even then you have to be careful from time to time. I still like to indulge in the good stuff sometimes, but I want it to be real food and not poison that my body cannot recognize. When your body doesn't recognize something  as food it will cause many health problems, including cancer. Take charge of your family's health and start today!

The extra money you spend on organic, you will save in health care costs down the road! Remember that every grocery trip you make!



Fitness mommy diaries: Just say NO! to mom jeans

My husband makes fun of me because I always tell him that I don't want to look like a mom. His response is, "Well you are a mom." Why is it that when women become moms and cut their hair short, put on a bunch of weight and wear mom jeans?

 My theory is that your goal should always be to look the way you did on your wedding day (or better!)

I now have more of a reason to stay healthy than just myself and my husband. I have two (half the time 3) littles depending on me for everything, and I need to be my strongest, best self to be up for the challenge! Exercise is not only good for your body, but its good for your mind.
Me 2 months ago. Me now.

In the last couple months I have lost my last few lbs and I feel amazing! 

I cut out almost all gluten from my diet and the weight just fell off! I only exercise 2-3 times a week, but when I go, I make it count. 

I get it moms, you are exhausted. You have probably been up all night, but exercise gives you more energy and keeps you looking and feeling amazing. 

Don't fall into the mom jeans trap! Do these three things:

1.Exercise at least 3 times a week 
2.Drink tons of water (especially if you are breast feeding!)
3.Cut out gluten and limit sugar

Start today!

Fitness mommy diaries

I have had 2 babies in the past two years. I gave birth to my daughter naturally and had an emergency c-section with my son. I now understand how to get your body back after either. It has been 3 months since my son was born and I am back in all my pre preg clothes (have been for a while now.)
You can see the definition coming back in my abs.. Woohoo!

People ask me how I can exercise when I have to chase around a toddler and an infant, and the answer is, how could I not? I can't imagine being able to keep up with them if I wasn't in shape.

How do I do it?

Here is the deal. If you are out of shape when you get pregnant, don't expect to drop into a size zero as soon as you give birth, that just does not happen for most people. The best way to guarantee a good bod post pregnancy is to have a good bod BEFORE pregnancy. So if you plan on starting a family there is no better time to get yourself in shape.

I started exercising 2 months after my son was born (even after a csection.) I started with 5 days a week alternating between the 30 Day Shred and jogging.

A few weeks into that I realized that 5 days was too intense for my incision was still too fresh. I started to have some pain and decided to cut down to 3 days a week which is what I am doing now (and I am still losing weight!)

I got frustrated during the first few weeks because I GAINED weight. Yes, a few of the lbs were muscle, but there were a couple extra "bonus" lbs that I was not happy about. The problem? I wasn't eating enough, and I am breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding you cannot "diet" you have to eat when you are hungry, otherwise your body will store some extra fat to make that liquid gold.

During pregnancy your body packs on approx 8 lbs of fat stored for breastfeeding. If you are bottle feeding you will not only have a harder time losing those lbs, but your uterus will not be contracting every 2 hours when the baby feeds, causing that belly to hang out for longer. Another reason to give that baby boob!

Drink TONS of water. I have to drink about a gallon a day to stay hydrated. Exercise and breastfeeding require a lot of water. Drink up!

As with anything the key to looking fit after baby is just discipline. Discipline to exercise even though you have been up all night, and are completely exhausted.

I still have a little ways until I get back to where I was before I had Eli, but I know I will get there.There are no crazy secrets. Exercise. Breastfeed. Eat healthy (and a lot.)

Have fun mommies! If you have any other tips I would love to hear them!



 
 


 
 

Supplements for Kids!

I have had a lot of people ask what we give the kids as far as vitamin and mineral supplements. I have done lots of research on this subject and these are the four things we give our kids.

1. A children's multi vitamin. We use the 365 brand from Whole Foods.
2.Probiotic. The kids like the Buddy Bear orange flavor
3.Vitamin D3. We give the girls 2500 IU's a day.
4. Vegetarian Enzymes. These can be ordered in a chewable version through Young Living (link on the right)

Why are all of these things necessary? Here is a brief explanation for each thing.

1. A multivitamin is self explanatory. There are lots of vitamins and minerals the body needs to function. A good multivitamin will help fill in the gaps that your children are not getting in their diet.

2. Probitics are essential for gut health. Everything in the body revolves around the gut. If there is not enough good bacteria in the gut, your child's overall health and immune response will be very poor, especially if they have ever been on an antibiotic. Antibiotics destroy even good bacteria and throw off the entire bodily system.

3.Vitamin D3 is soooo important. The immune system relies heavily on D3 and cannot function without it. Ever notice that your kid is sick more often in the winter? The reason is because they don't spend nearly the amount of time in the sun. The sun is the ideal way to get vitamin D3, but if that is not possible a supplement will do the trick. My doctor recommends 2000-3000 IU's daily for toddlers and young children. We give the girls 2500 plus there is some in the multivitamin.

4. Enzymes are naturally occuring in the food we eat. However, since we cook most of our food, we are not getting near the amount of enzymes we need. The best way to get enzymes is to eat lots of raw fruits and veggies. We do our best to eat raw food as much as possible, but are also giving them a supplement.

Until they are eating 10-12 servings of raw fruits and veggies per day we will continue to do all of this!

Message me for more information on ordering the enzymes, supplements or essential oils from Young Living!

Don't let things raise your baby

No I am not referencing the movie Where The Wild Things Are, I am talking about actual material items. Don't let things raise your baby.

These days moms spend hours upon hours perfecting their registries, myself included. There is a baby item for absolutely everything under the friggin' sun. It gets to be so overwhelming.

I realized today that most of my baby "gear" just sits around, never getting used, and taking up space.

Now that I have had two babies and two baby showers, I have realized that most of the stuff I thought I "needed" I actually did not. In fact I am against most of it now. It is designed to make having a baby more "convenient" for mom. I got news for you, being a mom is not convenient. Ever. Embrace it because it doesn't last forever.

Babies sleep, and when they are awake they should be in mommy's (or someones) arms... Do you really want a full blown bouncing, lighted up, spinning, swinging thing to mother your baby? I don't.

If you are going to invest in a baby item, let it be a baby carrier of some sort, preferably a wrap or sling. Learn how to use it, and it will be your best friend.

Think about how much time your baby spends in some sort of contraption!! Car seats, swings, bouncy seats, strollers, bouncers, baby entertainment centers... Ridiculous. Babies learn from mommy, not a toy. Babies need your touch, not a glowing thing in their face. My best advice to a new mom would be to remember LESS is more.

Ditch the baby stuff. Embrace every second that you get to snuggle up with that sweet thing because time is gone before you know it, and you can't get it back. Sleep with your baby, wear your baby, nurse your baby, and guess what?! Happy baby.

Can't afford organic? I have your solution.

Organic produce is really expensive. Is it worth it? YES. However if you can't afford organic then that doesn't mean you should not buy produce... Your body needs fruits and veggies. Feeding a family of 5 all organic food is not cheap. Some months the budget is tighter and buying organic is a luxury we can't afford. Below is a picture of WASHED blueberries still covered in pesticides that will go straight into your family's body unless you do something about it.
 
Before
 
See all that white nastiness? That is chemicals going straight into your body! Eww. So what can you do about it? Here is my solution:

Young Living essential oils! I soak my produce in water and grapefruit essential oil (lemon works too) and it removes the nasty chemicals that rinsing alone can't get rid of.

1.Fill up the sink with water
2.Add 10-15 drops of essential oil
3. Soak for about 15 mins (every couple minutes I go move everything around to make sure the oil touches all the produce)

The result:
 
After

What an amazing difference!! Not only does the oil break through all those pesticides, but it kills fungus that could have possibly grown on the food and naturally and safely preserves the produce. Not only that, but the remaining oil has amazing health benefits and is medical grade and safe to take internally (only Young Living oils are safe to ingest, so don't do this with oils you buy at the store!)

To order oils, schedule a class on essential oils, or ask questions, email me at:
ylessentialoilmama@gmail.com!

Change of heart... (especially for wifeys!)

One of the lessons I have learned lately is that no matter how hard you try or what you do, you CANNOT change other people. Sounds simple, right? Well duh, everyone knows you can't change people, but do people change?

I believe that people can change, but not because you forced them to. That sort of change is never permanent. If you spend your entire life waiting for someone to change and nagging them to do so, you are going to have a miserable existence. The only way to be happy is to realize that the only person you can control is yourself.

I cannot believe the amount of time I have wasted getting mad at people because they aren't what I expect them to be. It is even harder when the person or people's decisions directly effect you. I have so many people in my life that I wish were different, but I have finally come to terms with the fact that until there is a change within themselves, I must move on. You want someone to change? Spend more time on your knees praying for TRUE internal change and less time nagging, worrying or arguing. Take the time you usually would spend doing that, and pray for the person. That is the very most you can do.

This is particularly true for wives! I have had a couple of friends confide in me in the last few weeks about their husbands, and frustrations they have with them. "I wish he would do (blank) differently" or "I wish he would not do (blank) anymore".. It is not weird for a wife to feel this way. I have felt this way with my husband lots of times. I have also learned that trying to tell him how he "needs" to do things does NOT work and actually just causes tension between us. I have also realized that in the past there are some decisions he has made, that I didn't agree with at the time, that have turned out to work out in our family's best interest.

Change comes from the heart. The best advice wives, is to just shut your mouth. When you want to nag or complain to him about something he is doing, just don't. Pray about it instead. This is the ONLY way you will see true change from the heart. Think about it... Has your nagging and anger worked thus far? Probably not. If it has, I guarantee you it is only temporary change. This is true with anyone in your life, not just husbands. This applies to your kids, difficult family members, whoever!

Letting go is the most freeing and wonderful experience ever! Give it a try, I would love to hear your success stories! xxoo

Beat the mommy blues!

I am now 9 days post pardum and have had a totally different experience this time than I did having my daughter two years ago. My baby boy is healthy and perfect, but decided to come down the birth canal hand/arm first and could not be delivered naturally without breaking bones.

Needless to say, I had a c-section and find the recovery to be literally 10 times more difficult. I see why God did not create us to have our guts split open to deliver a baby, but this is one of the few times I am truly thankful for modern medicine.

Right now, I am smack in the middle of crazy hormones, pain, breastfeeding, and falling in love with a new little soul. I am not suffering from post pardum depression, but I know many moms do, and I want to give a little insight as to how I keep my spirits up despite my raging hormones. These things all apply to the first year of mommyhood as well...

1. Get up, take a shower, put on a little makeup, and put on something besides PJ's. So simple, but will make you feel like a woman again, not just a mommy with a screwed up body. Hehe.

2. Force yourself to engage in non-mommy duties. This could be anything from going to coffee with a friend or engaging in a hobby. For me, it is my business, and blogging of course. As soon as I was feeling half human (about a week post pardum) I continued emailing, scheduling classes and reaching out to new contacts.

 If you are a stay at home mama, as I am, then I encourage you to find something that you love and start doing it. Even if its just something crafty. I sell essential oils, they are medical grade and can treat any illness under the sun. They have been a huge part of my recovery and my children's overall health. For more info on the oils email me at ylessentialoilmama@gmail.com

3. Let it go. Don't let people get to you. Everyone will probably annoy you with the drop of a hat, but just make the decision to keep your mouth shut and let it go. I promise you that you will have a much more peaceful experience doing this. Your husband will be especially thankful for this too, remember, he is adjusting as well, but doesn't have the hormones to go with it.

4. Exercise. When your body is healed and ready to conquer the world again, start an exercise routine and continue to make yourself a priority. Get your hair done, get your nails done, and buy yourself a cute shirt here and there!

My biggest pet peeve is that moms think they have an excuse to let themselves go just because they have had children. You are a mommy, and you have now accomplished the best thing a woman can achieve, why not look like a rockstar too?! This is another pointer that your husband will appreciate.

 
Me and my new little boo.

Hazel's immune system passed it's first test!

Ok, so most of you are thinking that I am nuts at this point because who really blogs about a kid getting sick?! Well, this was a big deal for me. I take great pride in my daughter's extraordinary health. It is also a big deal because I was amazed at the great strength it takes to practice what you preach and not let fear kick in.

Hazel just turned two and as I said in my last post, has never needed to go to the doctor for a sickness or even had anything worse than the sniffles. Most moms are amazed at this because the average two year old has had at LEAST a handful of illnesses and been on antibiotics for at least half of those. I attribute Hazel's health to her lack of vaccines, healthy diet, and that she was breast fed until she was 17 months old (would have been longer if I didn't get knocked up again, hehe.)

When she started feeling warm on Christmas Eve, I imagined it was her two year molars coming in, as this is the only other time she has ever run any sort of temperature. We gave her homeopathic teething tablets and carried on with our regular activities. As the next couple days went on, she was not wanting to eat, feeling warmer and warmer and super clingy. It was so sad! I still don't know what she was battling, but we let the sickness run its course and find its way out of her body without any sort of medical intervention (not even Tylenol or Motrin.) I used all the natural methods I had in my arsenal (essential oils, baths, cold compresses,prayers, fluids and lots of love.) Her body was detoxing. The crappy food from the holiday season in combination with the crazy schedule, and messed up sleep routine totally threw her body off. She needed a reset.

I made an effort to let her immune system do what God intended it to do instead of putting chemicals in her body that would further suppress the illness into her body. It took a little over a week for all the symptoms to subside. The first morning that she woke up feeling good again I could tell because her eyes looked brighter and clearer than they had in a really long time! She came out of it stronger and healthier than she was before! I call that success!

I look at sickness differently now. I see it as an opportunity to cleanse and refresh the body. I am so glad I stuck with my gut and didn't give her anything that would interfere in this process. I spent every waking moment, for a week, tending to her every need and monitoring her closely. I am not sure that every parent has the time or patience to do this, and I can understand because there were times I was tempted to go get some Motrin so I could get a break. With all the knowledge I have gathered over the years, I couldn't bring myself to do it and now I am very glad.

When I was starting to question myself I went to my trusted sources for information on health, this is one of the articles that gave me reassurance, I suggest taking the time to read it. http://www.drpalevsky.com/general_guidance.asp

Here is to a happy, healthy New Year! Blessings, friends!

Women's Empowerment Part 1

Women's Empowerment Part 2

Women's Empowerment part 3

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