Saturday, July 30, 2011

Abigail Fights Cancer

I know many of you have followed little Abigail's story and have helped monetarily with her fight. A little update....her little body has been through so much and as of now, is cancer free. They still have a long road ahead though, to keep the cancer from coming back. For the Goss family, it means back and forth trips to NYC and costly care. The Goss family has set up a great website for any who are able to help, even very small donations. They would also love any donated frequent flyer miles! If there is any business out there who would like to make a charitable donation as well or someone looking for a fundraising opportunity, take a look at the website for information.

Thanks for your help. They are such a sweet family that are angels on this earth. I love them dearly. Check them out here.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

We need a few new breakfast ideas around here. I make breakfast pretty much every morning, mostly for selfish reasons. I am a big breakfast type gal. It just makes me feel good to feed myself well in the morning and with good whole grains and produce, I don't need to really eat a meal again until dinner. I usually eat some light fruit for lunch with a little nuts for protein but my hearty breakfast ties me over other than that. That is just how my body likes to work. But, I am tired of the usuals so I've been reaching out to some of my favorite blogs for help. I love the "Grain Crazy" blog , which you can access on my favorites list and she had these great little oatmeal breakfast bars listed. I made them up and gobbled them down with a side of fresh, organic blueberries from Costco. They are even better the next day. Thanks, Grain Crazy lady!


1 C Oatmeal
1 1/2 C boiling water
1/3 C coconut oil 
2/3 C honey
2 eggs
1 1/2 C whole grain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C shredded coconut
1 small apple grated
Directions: Serves 12 or more

1. In a sauce pan boil water. Take off the heat pour in the oatmeal and let it sit for 15 min.

2. Cream oil, honey, and egg. Then add the oatmeal,flour, soda, cinnamon, salt, coconut and apple. Don't over mix.

3. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 for 20 to 25 min., or till done. (I used a square muffin pan and cooked them for about 16 minutes)

***To make these even healthier, soak the oatmeal and water overnight with a T. of lemon juice or kefir then add it right to the recipe in the morning skipping the boiling water part. I used my sprouted spelt and barley flour as well. I was out of coconut so I made it without and it was delicious as well. 

A special thanks to these ladies for their contribution to these great little breakfast bars. Couldn't have done it without you!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why I became a chicken farmer

This one's for you, Jes. Eggs. What is the Omega-3 enriched eggs all about? What is the deal with free range, organic, high omega enriched and why do you really want to pay double the price for these eggs or procure them yourself? Here's the scoop.

First off, in our diets today, we are consuming a large amount of imbalanced fatty acids. We get the Omega 's 6's but not much of the Omega 3's. Omega 6 is in the cheaper oils, especially the soy varieties. Soy is in everything so we become lopsided. This is dangerous in the body. While we want both, getting too much of the 6's and not enough of the 3's is linked to all sorts of diseases in the body. America is famous for this. There is a great article by Dr. Weil that you can read here to help you drive this point home.

Second, conventional eggs are from chickens that don't generally ever see the sun. We want our chickens basking in the sun rays to soak up the D3. We want our eggs full of nutrients. Today, our eggs are void of much nutrition not to mention full of pesticides and hormones. Chickens should be doing what chickens should always be doing; foraging the earth for vegetation and insects out in the fresh air with sunshine. This allows them to get a good diet, exercise and sun. A healthy chicken gives you healthy eggs. If you have to choose, I would pick free range over organic every time. Of course, the best would be both free range, organic with a side of Omega 3 enhanced. If you crack open a conventional egg and a pastured, omega 3 enriched egg, you will immediately see the difference. As with most fruits and vegetables in nature, if not all, the richer the color, the more nutrients and vitamins you are getting. The healthy egg has a rich yolk, almost an orange color. The nutrient void egg has a pale yellow color. Adding flax seed among other things to the chicken feed will aid in getting this rich color. The flax seed add's the important omega 3 side.

Now eggs get a bad rap from some these days and many just go for the whites. There are so many valuable nutrients in the yolk that you want and remember, all fats are not created equal as with calories. Eat the yolk. The yolk and the white were put together in one cute little package for a reason. I know many are concerned about cholesterol but with the Omega 3 eggs, the cholesterol is in a healthy form that the body actually needs. The yolk contains the important B vitamins that the body needs. For vegetarians, eating eggs is very important to get the B's you need. The yolk also contains Lutein which is essential for eye health.  The egg also has selenium for your immune health, vitamin E for your antioxitant and vitamin A for your skin health, among other things. It is a great protein for your body and eating a hard boiled egg after a workout is a great way to get the protein intake so many are concerned with when hitting the gym. I cringe at the protein powders being sold on the market. Horrible stuff, really. Not to mention expensive. Just eat and egg and some almonds and you are getting all you need. 

My last point, and one I never really thought about before I had chickens is about the chicken itself. I didn't really think about the chicken as a living being. I just bought eggs or meat. Now that I have them grazing in my backyard, I realize that they are a living, thinking, feeling creature. They each have personalities. They come up to us and like attention. They are now pets. A few of them will even climb onto my sons lap and like to be petted. Weird. But, this makes me realize how torturous it must be to have thousands of chickens crammed into a little cage for their whole life for the sole purpose of laying eggs. They are suffering. It makes me sad. Like I said before, I have never been an animal activist or anything but now I understand more fully that life should be respected. An animal, any kind of animal, feels. It makes me sad to think of them suffering. It is easy to not think about our food supply that way but when I do, it makes me want to adopt a more committed vegetarian lifestyle. 

So, there you have it. All you wanted to know about the egg. We eat lots of eggs. I believe that they are given to us for our betterment. A chicken can lay one egg a day. We really don't need that many chicks so I think it was part of the game plan for us to eat them. My personal thoughts. 

We lost some of our chickens to heat this summer. We cried. Honestly, I had no idea that I could be sad about a chicken. It is a little life and I do have tender spots in my heart for little things. 

I am going to go make an omelet.

As a side note, Costco, who is so committed to sustainable, healthy food, actually works with a number of farms to get us these good omega , free range eggs. They believe in quality and have strived to make this obtainable for all of us. I love them. They even have organic , fresh blueberries and blackberries right now. I also scored on the no nitrite, no msg, no gluten Italian sausage. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Langley's Market

I have been meaning to tell you all about this cute little market for months but have always forgotten to bring my camera with me when I go for a picture. I still forgot the camera so I grabbed one shot off the web that doesn't show so well. You can vaguely get the idea.

Langley's Market in Gilbert is a cute little shop that sells local, pesticide free produce and the Olive Mill products among other things. It is cute as a button and quite addicting. I love people who want to share such wonderful things for us! Best of all, today you can get a groupon for $20 worth of products for only $10! Yahoo. It made my day to find that in my inbox. 

Click on this link and grab yours today:

You can also go to their website to learn a little more by clicking here. Visit them at 2738 E. Guadalupe Road in Gilbert. 

My personal favorites are the tepanades to make grilled pizza with. Such perfect summer dishes. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fresh Finds....Sprouts

Just took a peak at the Sprout's ads....

Organic grass-fed ground beef:  $3.99 per pound

Organic Celery:  $.99 each

Almond milk yogurt: 4/$3 New to the market

20% off all Biokleen products

Mango's, not organic but very little pesticides if any:
3/$1. Great to chop and freeze for smooties

Good through July 27th. 

This is one of the best prices for organic ground beef so stock up and freeze!

Another thing to check out:

Frontera sauces are a super thing to have on hand for quick meals. I have had the green chili enchilada sauce and the red sauce and they taste fresh and homemade! They have great ingredients as well. If you check the label of the canned green chili sauces, you will be amazed at what you are really eating. There may be some out there that are better than others but the Frontera enchilada sauce is pure and natural. I was so excited to see this. It is exhausting to make everything yourself sometime!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just Breathe....

     It is always hard coming home from the beach. For 8 days, I don't have anything resting on my shoulders. I sleep, eat, play, eat, sleep, etc. I don't let the stresses of the world rest on my shoulders and I realized how very good it is to get sleep. Real sleep that lasts more than 5 hours. That part is my fault but I always come home committed to change. I have all of these wonderful life changing ideas when I am out of the daily grind. Some stick, the sleep part never does. 

     I came home and made the mistake of jumping on the computer to check a week worths of emails. 298 emails. Reality hit and I could feel the tension mounting on my shoulders. It isn't like I have a rough life or am facing major turmoil in my life, it is just that I have responsibilities that felt nice left behind for a while. My daughter is playing "Just Breathe" on the guitar and the words are ringing in my ears. Just breathe, Miss Shari. I went through all 298 emails. I jotted down my to do lists and pondered the days ahead. I couldn't sleep that night. I want those quiet moments on the beach back where all that mattered was my family and good food. Life just isn't supposed to be that quiet, I suppose.

I just returned from my grandmother's bedside. A place she spends most of her hours at this time. "Just Breathe," I told her. The air will clear your mind and give you peace. She took a deep breath and so did I. It wasn't the beach but sitting there, holding her hand felt as calm and right as the moments I spent watching the waves. 

I know that we have the burdens and stresses in life to make us appreciate the quiet moments and to make us bigger and better than we were before. I know that there is breath in life everywhere, especially when we serve and take a moment to drink it all in. I am thankful that I have strong shoulders to carry the load and a family that shares the load with me. 

I came home from the beach resolved to be better in the more important arenas in life. 

Family time, one on one with my children
cleaning my closet
Reading to my little ones
Creating new recipes
Restocking my year supply
Leaving stress behind

So many good ideas. I will really try. I promise. Summer is a great time to reboot. I think back to school time is akin to the New Year. Thank goodness there is more than one chance a year to get our acts together. 

How has your summer been? Are you taking the time to Breathe a little? I hope so. We all need a reboot now and then. 

Time to switch the laundry load. I brought half the beach home with me, I am sure.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sticker Therapy

Yep, I am still on vacation but I want to let you know about a little project you can help with. 

Operation Sticker Therapy.

Remember sweet Abigail Goss? She is the sweet little one who is fighting stage 4 cancer. It has been a very bumpy road and many of you have helped out. Her sweet mama has thought of a way to help out other little ones who are also facing this struggle. That is how she is, always thinking of others even when she is facing the toughest battle of her life. Read the info below that she has posted on her blog page and help if you can. 

Operation: Sticker Therapy
Your mission: to help bring happiness and distraction to toddlers fighting cancer by mailing stickers, sticker books, or happy vibes!
Hi! This is Abigail the day before her 2nd birthday. You can see her central line and her surgery scar.
When she was 19 months old she was critically ill, and diagnosed with cancer--stage 4, high-risk Neuroblastoma.
She has been through a lot--with a lot still yet to go through. Abigail loves stickers and they offer distraction and entertainment during multiple hospital stays.
When kids are fighting cancer, they go through a lot of yucky therapies: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, antibody therapy, etc. We decided to call this project Sticker Therapy...a therapy they could look forward to!!
Our goal with Operation: Sticker Therapy is to receive enough stickers to be able to put some packets together to share with other children we meet who are fighting for their lives. We encourage you to donate some stickers, and then know that you are blessing the lives of some precious children.
Please mail them to:
To: Operation: Sticker Therapy
C/O Fans Across America Charitable Foundation
18521 E. Queen Creek Rd., Suite 105-187
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Thank you for your kindness and generosity, and may it be returned unto you!
If you would like to make a financial donation to Abigail, that would be greatly appreciated. You can do so by visiting this site:
or by including a check payable to "Abigail Goss Medical Trust Fund" with your stickers. Thank you dearly!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Guest Post, natural laundry solutions.

I am still on vacation but my good blogging friend, Raygon wanted to let you all know about her all natural laundry solutions. She was sweet enough to write up a little post for you all. Enjoy!

For the wash:

About 6 months ago, I saw a deal on line for some soap nuts, it was a generic email that came to my inbox.  I had actually never heard of them, but they looked interesting.  I read about them and after learning about them, I really wanted to try them.  The company I ordered them from answered all my questions.  I emailed with a list and a very kind lady was prompt to respond.  I asked her about things like who gathers the nuts, are the compensated appropriately, is this a sustainable practice, etc.  After I learned about them I was excited to try them!  I got in on a good deal, I spent just over $40 and bought enough soap nuts for almost 400 loads of laundry!  They clean beautifully and after using them for a while, I can say I would recommend them to others. I have 3 small kids who make lots of messes thru the day, sometimes the soap nuts don't cut all the stains.  (I got a natural coconut based stain remover from the same company I got the soap nuts from, I am trying to be generic here in my information since I know you have someone who wants you to sell her soap nuts.  I don't want to detract from her business, although I did mention the price I paid....but I got mine on sale.  Maybe your lady would offer a deal to your readers?  If she sells the stain remover, you could add something here about it....its good stuff!  If you don't go with the lady that has contacted you, let me know and I will give you the name of the place I got mine from.  They were great to work with and answered tons of my questions.  I like knowing who is selling me stuff) 

There are lots of good things about the soap nuts, in my opinion.  #1 enough nuts to clean 400 loads of laundry came to my door in a medium size priority mail box.  #2 Inside there were little muslin bags full of the nuts.  After the nuts are used, they get tossed in my compost bin and the muslin bags get used to store Hot Wheels Cars, darts for the Nerf gun, shoes, etc. #3 I am not tossing any large plastic jugs in my trash can!  The waste from enough soap nuts to clean our laundry for about a year was a few quart sized bags. 

Another great addition to loads of laundry is 1/2 cup baking soda or/and 1/2 cup vinegar.  Baking soda helps brighten whites and remove stains.  Vinegar helps to soften clothes (don't worry they don't come out smelling like vinegar) 

Now for the dryer:

Since I was trying to get rid of the chemicals in the wash, I had to do the dryer too.  I had to stop tossing a sheet of Bounce in the dryer!  I actually tried drying our clothes without anything and for the most part they are fine.  But my husband wears business clothes 6 days a week and his clothes were so full of static!  I found a very reasonable solution.  My neighbor uses some of those plastic mass produced blue balls in her dryer.  The idea intrigued me but I didn't want those blue things in my laundry!  So I looked around to see if there was something similar, made from a natural product.  I finally came upon a nice little lady that sells 100% natural felted wool dryer balls.  Made from a natural fiber all the way down to the core (beware of some wool balls that are wool wrapped)  I toss those in my dryer and they have worked great!  They actually help my laundry dry faster too!  I bought mine from a lady who sells at  She was nice and friendly and answered my questions too. (she also sells on ebay and you can get a little bit better of a deal on there.)  

I have found that drying our clothes in the sun is another great and energy efficient way to dry them. (but we are short on sun up here about 6 months out of the year!) The sun has magical powers and helps remove stains from clothing.  Its how I keep my cloth diapers looking bright and white and good as new!

The last thing:  If you like your clothes to smell like Tide or Febreeze or Downy, or any kind of "smell", this is not the system for you.  There are no added dyes, fragrances, perfumes, etc.  This is a good system for my family and I think its keeping our clothes and linens looking good and clean, but it might not work for everyone.   

Anyone interested in trying out soap nuts, I have a blogging friend here in AZ who has some to sell. Just email me and I will get you the info.

Thanks, Raygon!