Friday, July 29, 2011

Dried Onion Soup Mix

I don't use a lot of processed foods. This first came out of necessity and needing to be frugal. Then I bought even less of them when we started the Feingold Diet to combat the symptoms of ADHD. I further scaled down my purchase of processed foods when I began realizing that I wanted the most control I could have over what I was feeding my family.

With our changes in diet, I began trying to new recipes. My family prefers their favorites however and some just aren't very healthy. I attempt to make them as healthy as possible, making changes where I can. One such change is making my own spice mixes. This began with Feingold and continues today.

Dried Onion Soup Mix

8 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley (I use 2 t since I love parsley!)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (I use 1/8 t since my kids prefer less spice.)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and use immediately. Or you can store in an airtight container for up to six months.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Happy Birthday, Month

I try to make birthdays special for my boys but sometimes fail when it comes to making my husband's birthday special. Today I posted at The Happy Housewife on how I attempted to make his day special this year. This year, instead of a birthday, he had a Happy Birthday, Month!

Monday, July 25, 2011

REVIEW: Robert Pierre's I'm All In (and a Giveaway!!)

Can you imagine recording an album, let along three? Most of us can't.

Could you imagine leading a group or worshipers every Sunday morning? What about 800 worshipers?

Robert Pierre did this while he was just a senior in high school. 

The theme for Robert Pierre's I'm All In, is surrendering to God's will for the next stage of life after high school. With a packed summer of touring before he begins college this fall, I'm All In speaks to the young person struggling with leaving all they have ever known in their lives - the enormous unknown of moving on after graduation and becoming and adult.

Robert Pierre's soothing voice is mesmerizing and brings you into personal worship with the Father wherever you are.

I'm All In, which releases tomorrow, is available on pre-order through iTunes. Check out Robert Pierre on Facebook and hear a sampling of his music through his website.

I cannot wait to see what this young man will do for God with this rest of his life.

Who would like to win a copy of Robert Pierre's I'm All In?? One lucky winner will receive a copy of this CD.

To enter, tell me what you were most concerned about when you were finishing high school. PLEASE be sure to leave me a way to contact you!!

This giveaway closes at 11:59 PM on August 2, 2011.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, July 18, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 7/18/2011

This is my first official Menu Plan Monday post! I do so much better with our meals when I actually have a plan - no more last minute trips to the store or 5 o'clock freak outs because I have forgotten to plan dinner.

So without further adieu ... the menu!

Marinara and Angelhair, salad

lentil tacos/taco salad

Chicken Bowls

Date Night at Home!
grilled salmon, veggie kabobs and baked potato (brown rice for me)

homemade pizza

Family Reunion
Since we are on a special diet, I have to take our meal - BBQ, mac and cheese, salad and green bean casserole or homemade baked beans. I will also take dessert and homemade bread to share with everyone.

reunion leftovers

Saturday, July 16, 2011

REVIEW: Bright Ideas Press Wondermaps

Farm Boy is a serious geography nut. He started learning the States when he was a wee five years old. He is fascinated with any kind of map and has quite a collection. And he practically started drooling when I showed him Wondermaps from Bright Ideas Press.

Wondermaps is an amazing map program with over 300 ways to completely customize your geography learning experience! Choose a simple, black and white map or a full color map with terrain gradients and geological features!

Wondermaps Screenshot
Farm Boy was able, with very little instruction, to create printable PDF maps with just a few clicks. He is currently learning the European countries and loved looking at all the features he could add to his maps, including rivers, names and borders. The full color gradients are beautiful!

What's it Gonna Cost Me?

This curriculum is a bargain for larger families since it can be used over and over again for elementary through high school!

Wondermaps is available for Windows or Mac. You may order a digital download or CD (or both!) The free Adobe Acrobat is required to use this curriculum.

Check it Out!
Not convinced? Check out the six minute Wondermaps Tutorial (below) and feast your eyes on the many features available! 

Other Products
Bright Ideas Press is well-known for its Christian Kids Explore Science series. They also have the very excellent Illuminations curriculum for upper elementary through high school, All-American History and All-American History, Jr for elementary aged kids! Bright Ideas Press also carries Mystery of History.

Final Word
We absolutely love Wondermaps! This belongs in every homeschool family's permanent curriculum library.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of Wondermaps from Bright Ideas Press for the purpose of review. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and by clicking and purchasing I will receive a small compensation. All opinions expressed are my own and I received no other compensation for my review.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tips for Camping with Kids from a Camping Rookie

My major in college was Outdoor Recreation and I totally scoffed at the thought of car camping, much less a camper. I loved backpacking and the whole "pack it in, pack it out" philosophy. However, having kids, especially one with special needs, has changed my thoughts drastically. We had access to a camper this past weekend and jumped at the chance to get out of town. So we embarked on our first real camping trip away from home. On a holiday weekend. With two days to prepare.

And it was awesome. And we also learned a lot.

Tips for Camping with Kids from a Camping Rookie

1. Pack everything the night before. If you have to make a stop or two in route, you may end up with cranky kids and that's no way to start a vacation.
2. You don't need as many clothes as you think you do. Everybody recycles clothes and nobody is really truly clean in the woods. Even with a kid who changes clothes often at home due to messiness is fine with dirty clothes while camping.  
3. Take lots of yard games. Our boys brought a soft nerd-like bat and ball and a soccer ball. Not great for a crowded campground. The Saturn ball was a great boredom distractor though, as was Uno and Checkers.  
4. Take some friends with you! Camping is a great family activity but it is even better when you have someone to share the memories with. If you plan ahead, sites can be reserved next to each other. You could even spring for an additional campsite between the two families once the kids get old enough to stay in a tent alone.  
5. If the college kids next to you party all night, do not hesitaite to contact the appropriate authorities. You paid for your campsite and deserve a good night's sleep.  
6. Get up early one morning to watch the sunrise over the lake, beach or other body of water. I watch it almost every day at home but it is worth getting up to see it over the water.  
7. If you go to another state, find out the laws before you go. Think boating, life jackets, car seats, bike helmets etc. If you plan on fishing, find out the those requirements and laws too.  
8. Try to get recommendations on a campground before you go. Find out if it is family friendly or more of a fish camp. It is also helpful to know if the No Alcohol rule or Quiet Time hours are actually enforced.  
9. Don't go out on a holiday weekend on your first real camping trip. We did and there was a reason for it. We went in to the weekend knowing it was going to be crowded and it was fine for us. however, I would not recommend it for a typical rookie. :)  
10. Be flexible. Kinda goes without saying if you have kids but for a planner like me, a reminder is sometimes necessary!

So there you have it - ten tips I wish I had known before we left home on Friday. You'll hear more about the trip in the coming weeks. We can't wait to go again!

Do you camp with kids? What is your best camping with kids tip?

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Camping We Will Go

Two days ago, my husband came home from work and told me that we were going camping this weekend. I was super excited but slightly freaked because of my over-planning nature. Two days was a very short amount of time to plan a long weekend away. Camping. During the biggest holiday of the summer. Oh and did I mention it isn't something that we do regularly. So it isn't like I am really prepared to just go camping with two days notice.

Well, then I remembered.

Katie Kimball from Kitchen Stewardship just came out with the 2nd Edition of her family camping cookbook, Kitchen Stewardship in the Big Woods.

Kitchen Stewardship was one of the first real foods websites I found. I read everything she posts (almost immediately most days!) I have learned so much from her in the almost year that I have been reading her blog. And let me tell ya, that girl researches. Her posts are thorough and informative and she makes you think. A lot. And completely analyze everything you put in your mouth. Or your family's mouths. Read her blog. You won't be sorry.

Katie has made meal planning while camping super simple for traditional (real) food eaters. Kitchen Stewardship in the Big Woods contains 14 new recipes, 35 in all! There are printable packing and to-do lists, which are awesome for planners and list makers like me!! I was quickly able to plan my menu and move on with that part of the preparation process.

Her other two ebooks, Healthy Snacks to Go and The Everything Beans Book are also amazing!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, however, all opinions expressed are my own. If you purchase through these links, I do get a percentage of the sales and use them to sustain this website.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...