Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Teenager Mom....

I like clean surfaces. I like things in their places. I like walls without clutter. I like things my way. I am the mom. It is my house. My rules.

I am now a teenager mom. The once little child who was there for my molding and correction in all things now desires to be their own self. This has brought me to much inner thought and debate. As in all things in life....we are on a journey. We are not brought into motherhood knowing what we are doing. It is always a journey of trial and error. I really thought I figured out the little kids. I can mostly make them do what I want. They are mostly obedient. They get sent to their room if they don't. They keep their things where I want them to. They play with whomever I approve of, they come home before it is dark (mostly). I pack their lunches so I know what they are eating (mostly). I have control and if I loose control and they choose the wrong path, their consequences in life at this point are minor; a yellow light at school, a lost lunch recess or a call from another mom. All things that can be corrected.

Now, I am a teenager mom. I don't know what I am doing for certain. This is new territory. I do know for certain that with this job as teenager mom, the consequences are now real and life altering. If they choose the wrong path, it may mean addiction, early parenthood, jail, etc. The real deal. No missed recesses, no yellow lights. The idea of me having to help guide these teenage souls is overwhelming. It deserves great thought and much prayer. I have tried a few routes. I have tried to control. I have tried to demand and make my ideas and will the "way". I have realized now at this point that my job is now different. My job is not to make this child submissive to my will but obedient to His will. This child must choose for himself. This child must have an inner desire to be good because that is what he should do, not do what his mom makes him do. This child needs to find himself, his talents, his quest in life. This child needs room to wiggle, to stretch. intro picture. The dresser. The wall. Not my idea when I started to decorate the room. The snake skin from the real snake he skinned himself. The peacock feather. The art. Clutter. Dust collectors. However, this child has taught me something as I repeatedly asked him to clear the area.

"Mom....I want my stuff. I want the room to be me. I don't want it sterile and "you". I need space."

I thought..... That statement was bigger than he realized. He needed to be himself. Teenagers have a lot on their plates. They don't even understand half of their emotions and we make it worse sometimes. I realized I needed to back off a little and give him wiggle room. He needed to start to be on his own a bit. Make his own decisions and even his own mistakes. It is his life in the end. Not mine. I will not be there in college, in marriage.

I had wise parents in my growing up years. We had little rules. We had ultimate trust. We knew , more than anything, that if we broke that trust, the rules would be instituted. The reigns would be drawn in. We understood that if we did what we were supposed to do, we could have freedom. We could have car keys. We could stay out late. They knew we would do what we said we would do. I didn't understand what wise parenting this was until now. I see other teens with much restriction. I see their resentment towards their parents. Does this make them more obedient? Many times it only proves the opposite. They sneak behind parents backs, they rebel. They feel they are not trusted by their parents so why prove them wrong? I am not naive enough to believe that children will always choose good but I know that they need the opportunity to do so. They need room to be themselves . Decorate the desk. Hang up snake skin. When I let go a bit with my son, when I gave him a little less stress at home, the change was immediate. He was relaxed. He was happy and a pleasure to be with. Instead of making my home a place he escaped from, it became a place he was drawn to. He felt happy here. His friends feel happy here. Maybe they just like my food. I don't know but I love having him home. I love that he is happy that I am his mom. I love that he knows he can tell me about his girlfriends and what he did that night. He trusts me as much as I trust him.

I still don't know everything about being a teenage mom but I think I am getting it. If we examine how the Lord parents it is much the same. He told Adam and Eve to not eat the apple. He gave them the consequence. He left them alone and let them make their own choice. They chose the apple. He came back to them. He did not yell at them to go to their room. He did not tell them he did not love them and that they were dumb for making that decision. He showed love. He saw their choice and told them that they now needed to live the consequence that they chose. It was their choice.
I am sure He was sad as he sent them on their way. I am sure He wanted to fix it all but He couldn't . He could only teach them to make better decisions by the consequence that they now had to live.

I want to be this kind of parent. I am learning. I will make mistakes. I will pray. I will trust. I will hope.

Photography basics and advertising.....

My SIL has been teaching photography classes for a while and has now put together an e book to teach photography basics and techniques to those of us who just can't find the time to take the classes. It is a great resource book to have on hand to learn how to capture the moments with a little more clarity and color. You can check out her website to learn more at

Now for the rest of you out there....if you have anything you want to plug ; services or goods, let us know here. I love to use the local folks. Just leave a comment about what you have to offer and everyone can check the comments to get the scoop. It's free advertising time! Yippee!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Essential Oil Cases

My friend, Cindy Sage, is a fellow oil addict and has come up with a great idea for carrying them in your purse. It is far better than my little "zip lock baggie" system.
She has sewn these little pouches in various sizes to hold the bottles. They hold a few large bottles and then she sells these cute little bottles that you can put your oils into for traveling. The are ever so cute in adorable fabrics. I absolutely love mine because I just must have my oils with me at all times. I am so dependent on them now.

Here is a picture of her three sizes. I have the small one , at least until I get a bigger purse, then I will upgrade. I carry lemon, peppermint, spice of life, eucalyptus, digest, lavender , tea tree and fysical thera P. They are my first aide oils. If you haven't gotten into these yet; you really must. I was a little unsure at first but I have my own personal successes with them and so many others are sharing theirs with me. I will be sharing those in upcoming blogs! As always, going natural is the best medicine. We just need to learn how to use the natural remedies.

To check out Cindy's great cases, visit her at addicted to

**I am placing oil orders this week for anyone needing supplies.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gluten Free Carrot Muffins

I have had so many people asking for a gluten free cookbook as so many have to livethis lifestyle. I really hope to do a GF cookbook but I am not quite ready for another big project yet. Until then, I am going to do my best to post Gluten free recipes weekly. Here is this mornings little gems....Carrot Cake Muffins. You could frost these with some cream cheese frosting if you wanted to be really bad but I leave them plain and even half the sugar. They are moist and delicious. Even non GF folks will like them.

Carrot Cake Muffins

1 C. gluten free flour (I used 1/3 cup brown rice, 1/3 cup white, 1/3 cup millet)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. allspice
1/8 t. salt
1 t. xanthan gum

Mix together and add:

1 C. brown sugar (I used half this amount)
1/4 C. coconut oil or other oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. finely shredded carrot

Stir until moist. Batter will be thick. Spoon into greased mini muffin pans, will yield about 2 dozen. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Freeze any leftovers.

***Any gluten free baked good will not last well unless frozen. It will get dry and crumbly. Always make a big batch and freeze for later use. The key to a great baked good is fresh ground flour. Any leftover ground flour can be stored in the fridge.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The cookbooks are ready....

The cookbooks will be in my hot little hands tonight so they will be ready for pick up beginning tomorrow morning. I will be in and out all weekend and around all next week. Please call me on my cell at 480-388-9970 or email me at to schedule a time. I will be in the Queen Creek area and East Valley next week if you need a drop off. I am leaving town after next week so please schedule with me prior to the 27th.

I have 28 books left on this print so buy now if you want one. It will be a few weeks before I reprint.

The books will be shipped Monday for those who wanted that option.

Thanks for all of your orders! You may also find my book at Preparing Wisely in Mesa. (see link to the right). This store also stocks many of the grains listed in my book. Check them out!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Coconut Oil Q & A

I received lots of questions about coconut oil so here is a little Q & A session.

1. No, it does not leave you oily. The oil sinks right in to your skin. That is what is so great about it; it doesn't sit on top of your skin like lotion and leave your skin unable to breathe, trapped beneath chemicals.

2. It does not clog your pores and give you acne. I was afraid of this when I first ventured to put it on my face, but it left it smooth, soft and zit free.

3. You can use this for your hair not only at the beach but anytime. If I am going to wash my hair the next day, I put some in my hair the night before. Just a little to work it through. It does sink in so it doesn't leave your pillow oily. It will just wash out with warm water and shampoo the next day.

4. It is the best "lotion" for eczema and sensitive skin because it nourishes and doesn't cause allergic reactions.

5. I use it for my all-over lotion, head to toe.I put some in a tupperware container on my bathroom counter. Once the coconut oil is a little warm,which is room temperature in AZ, it is a liquid so you can add essential oils to it. Orange oil is great as this is an oil for building collagen and helps to tone skin and help with cellulite. Lavender is great to calm itching skin and help heal; wonderful for eczema. You can use coconut oil as a base for a toothpaste and add some spice of life oil. This oil kills bacteria which is the cause of tooth and gum decay. It has done wonders for my friends husband who struggled with gum disease for years. His dentist is amazed at what this has done for him and he swears by it.

6. It is great to cook with. You can use it in place of butter or oil. I love to pop popcorn with it with a little cinnamon and sea salt. Yum.

There you go. If there are more questions, ask away. You want to get a good quality oil; organic unrefined like Spectrum that can be purchased even at Wal Mart. The unrefined will smell like coconut, the refined will not.

I am just Koo Koo for Coconuts!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Preparing Wisely...Canned Butter

I learned about this canned butter at a canning class and imediately went home and researched it. I would love to have real, creamy, natural butter in my year supply. It seemed too good to be true. It wasn't. This is real cream, real salt. That's it. It has an indefinite shelf life and tastes great. Each can contains about 3 sticks of butter. Preparing Wisely is now carrying it. I have learned that this goes fast. Very few companies in the U.S carry it so get it while you can. It isn't cheap but that is the cost for quality and convenience. The price from Preparing Wisely for this month is about half the cost of internet prices. Great deal. Visit their store and check them out.

Red Feather Canned Butter

Price: $6.00 for 12 oz Can

(Case Price is $129.60 for 24 Cans or $5.40 per can)

Red Feather Canned Butter is an extremely popular food storage item because it is made from two ingredients: Cream and Salt. That is it. There are no colorings, dyes, additives or preservatives. This butter tastses like high quality butter fresh from the store. This butter has a long shelf life and needs no hydration. It is recommended that the contents be removed from the can immediately after opening and that the contents be refrigerated if not used.

The Beach Hair Remedy

Every summer I look forward to our beach trip. We spend one week almost totally outside soaking up the rays and waves. However, at the end of this coarse overworked, colored hair is usually left fried, dead and ready for a trip to the hair Dr. Last year my hair was so dead that my hairdresser talked me into leaving his chair with $300 in hair products. I was that desperate. I thought I would try something new this year.

As you all know, I am a coconut oil connoisseur. It is my lotion and my cooking staple. Now, why the heck not be my deep oil conditioning treatment? I tried it out. Before hitting the beach each day, I would run a little through my hair before pulling it back in the pony or tucking it into the hat. The result was amazing. My husband even noticed. My hair was shiny, soft, undamaged. The hair color wasn't even faded which was totally amazing. I was impressed. I was sold. Just another great thing this inexpensive little wonder in a bottle can do. I have been home for a few weeks and still haven't seen the hair dresser. Lake Powell is coming up. You can bet my coconut oil will be packed along side the sun block and snacks. I just love finding out, as usual, that the natural solution is always better.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More on ordering.....

Just to clarify, when ordering the cookbook you have two options; you may pick it up locally or have it shipped. If you want to have it shipped, you must select that option. At the right of the $18 cookbook option there is a blue/ gray down button which is only halfway visible. Click on that and you will see the shipping version. Click on that then add to the cart. A few of you who live out of state didn't select the "shipped" version; don't redo it, I realize that if you are out of state you will not be picking it up. I will email you.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Cookbook Orders....

Here is the order a book just click on the Shopping Cart button to the right. You have the option of having it shipped or if you live close, just arranging with me to pick it up. Use the arrow down button to have the "shipped" option. The shipping price is an additional $5. For those of you who would prefer to mail a check or pay me when you pick it up, that is an option but I need to know how many to print. Please either use the shopping cart option or leave a comment on this page that you want one and how you prefer to pay. Please also leave me your email address.

If you have already let me know you want one, please do so again on this post or through email so I can make sure I have you down. These should be all finished printing within the next two weeks.

The cookbook contains 150 of my favorite recipes and a list of grains and how to use them.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gluten Free 101

I began my gluten free adventures 2 1/2 years ago and when I first learned that this would be a lifestyle for my littlest monkey, I was petrified. How in the world would he eat? Gluten is in everything. It is in soy sauce, ketchup, candies, refried beans, etc. It is a sneaky additive in everything you can imagine not to mention the main ingredient in most baked goods. It seemed impossible to avoid yet at the same time, unavoidably the route we had to take.
I began to read it all. I bought cook books, bought all the new baking ingredients; tapioca starch, potato starch, xanthan gum, Jowar flour, etc. I went to baking and was totally disappointed. I love food. I love the taste of food and take great joy in serving great food for my family. I want them to enjoy and appreciate a variety of tastes and textures. Knowing that these gluten free foods were tasteless and dense, I was sad. I was sad that Taters didn't get to taste a great hot Belgium waffle, a mouth watering homemade loaf of bread and sample my yummy breakfast muffins straight from the oven. We had to sneak food around him. I kept trying out recipes. I was totally unsatisfied with what I was given.

Finally, I tossed out the gluten free recipes. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why you want to add starch. It made the food gummy. I decided to take my favorite recipes and make them gluten way. It was a success. I couldn't believe that I spent so much money and time on ingredients that left the food so unappealing. Cooking with the basic ingredients also in many gluten free books are also not very nutritious. Most recipes call for rice flours and starches; not the highest in nutrition.

I wanted to add better grains, better oils and more variety. Many of you have asked me for gluten free recipes. I have even toyed with the idea of a gluten free blog as well but reality set in....the whole time issue. I have decided to just add a gluten free section on this blog. So many have to go this route now. I will try to post recipes routinely labeled under "gluten free" so you can just click on the label at the end of the page to pull them all up together. It is overwhelming when you first have to start down that road. Feel free to email me with any questions if you are one of the bewildered and petrified. Even if you are not one of the unlucky who have to cook this way, we all need to add in different grains. For many of us, all we eat is wheat and other foods with gluten. (Gluten is in wheat and many grains) When we eat too much of one thing, we can build up allergies. It is important to rotate and eat a variety. Think of how much wheat products little kids eat. Fish crackers, cereal, breads, etc. It can practically be a complete diet for them if let be. This is in my opinion one reason that so many children have gluten and wheat allergies. I have also learned that if kids only want to eat wheat products, they may indeed have an allergy.

To begin with, it is very important to get your own grinder. A grinder separate from your wheat grinder. You don't want to cross contaminate. Fresh ground flour delivers a superior taste and freshness. Flours that are purchased loose so much nutrition which defeats the whole point of cooking it yourself anyways. You also want to make sure that you use gluten free baking powder, vanilla and spices. If you are unsure; google it. You will almost always find your answer. As soon as you learn which ingredients to buy, it is really pretty easy.

The grains/flours I rotate are:

coconut flour - great for sweets and treats
teff - great source of iron
quionoa - a super grain , has a high amount of lysine and protein.
organic popcorn
brown rice, sweet brown rice, white rice - a great base for most recipes
millet - very mild taste and an alkaline grain
amaranth - good fiber, iron and vitamin C
bean flours
sorghum flour
nut flours

You also want to make sure that you use Xanthan gum which acts like gluten. Gluten helps to bind the food together. The general rule is about 1 tsp of Xanthan gum for 2 - 3 cups of flour in a recipe. You can get it at most stores like Sprouts or Whole Foods.
I also am dairy free for Tate so I substitute milk for rice milk or coconut milk. I use mostly coconut oil and sometimes olive oil and grape seed oil. Other than that, I keep the recipes the same. I use less sugar than the recipes call for and try to use honey, real maple, brown sugar and raw sugar. You need to freeze the leftovers because they don't last long. I usually make big batches and keep them frozen for later
use. You also cook the foods on a lower temperature , usually around 325. Those are my little secrets. It really does get easy.

Today's recipe to pass on is the waffle. My first waffles I made were hard as a rock. I felt so sorry for Tate. We had to use lots of syrup. These new waffles are so good, they taste much like a churro. They are very healthy and he loves to just eat them plain as a snack. I am so proud of them. They are by far the best gluten free waffle I have ever tried and I have tried many! You do these completely in a blender so you can make these even if you don't have a grinder. I adapted them from a recipe I use with wheat. You can change out the grains in many combinations or use all brown rice if that's all you have. Here is my favorite combination:

Apple Blender Waffles

1/3 cup brown rice
1/3 cup teff
1/3 cup millett
1/4 cup flax meal
2 cups milk or milk substitute
1 medium apple, quartered; peel, seeds and all

Blend until smooth.


1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbl. coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 T. baking powder

Blend again just until all mixed. Cook on a hot waffle iron. Fill up more than a regular waffle as it won't puff up as much . Cook a little longer if needed to get crisp. It may take a few trial runs to get the right batter quantity. I love the professional waffle griddles that rotate and make a great fluffy waffle. So Yummy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A little Sneak Peak....

It really is almost done. I just need the printing Company. If you have a good lead or are a printer yourself, email me asap. But.... until then..... here is the beautiful cover. Thanks to my incredibly talented mom for the art and my incredibly talented SIL, Wendi for the layout and idea. Love you both! Here you go....

P.S. Wendi does all kinds of headers, invitations, photography, blog designs, web pages and whatever else you need. Check her out on the link Artzy Blogger or Wendi Lee Photography.