Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Review: Don't Kill The Birthday Girl

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing the new books in our local library and this very interesting book caught my eye. It is called  Don't Kill The Birthday Girl : Tales From An Allergic Life. Well I took this pretty pink book home. When I picked it up I found out that I did not want to put it down.

You see two of my children have food allergies, my oldest son and my youngest daughter. Food allergies are something that we deal with every day. Not everyone deals with food allergies, but they may know someone who does.

I was able to connect with the author on many different levels. She was brutally honest with her feelings and thoughts. When she felt bad I felt bad for her. Sandra Beasley, the author, was able to draw you in with her words. She caused you to feel what was happening in the book. She wrote in a way that made you identify with her.

This book was very informative. It had a lot of factual information on food allergies and medications. The book was also a feel good book because you saw the author grow and learn. I do have to say that the author uses some language, so I do not recommend it for teens. I do not condone this type of language, however finding books without it these days is hard to do.

Overall I would recommend this book for anyone who has food allergies or for anyone who has a loved one with food allergies.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Semi - Productive Saturday

Today was a very good day, even though the hubby had to work. The children and I tackled some small projects. It is always a good day when your family can come together and work towards a common goal. Even though we had chores to do, we managed to have a bit of fun with some relaxing thrown in.

The first thing on my to do list was to make up some consumables. The younger children and I made up shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, and deodorant. I used the shampoo recipe with castile soap and the conditioner recipe with ACV and water. They seem to work well for us. It is still like store bought shampoo, just without all of the chemicals. The recipe that I use for our toothpaste is

:                               2 TBS coconut oil
                                1/4 C baking soda
                                pinch of stevia
                                6 drops of essential oil (we use wintergreen)

I wish that I could remember where I found the recipe so that I could give them credit. Unfortunately I can not find it. As for the deodorant recipe, I use this one. If you need a little extra something to cut down on strong smelling odor, I suggest using 5 drops of tea tree oil added to the deodorant. This has worked well for my teenager. I like the homemade alternative to store bought toothpaste because I do not add fluoride ;)When I make my own deodorant then I know that it is free of the chemicals that are harmful. While I don't always make our products when we are in a busy season, I feel better when I can take the tine to do it. I love knowing that my family is not exposed to harmful chemicals when they are using our homemade products.

After we were done with making the consumables we turned our attention to making a dessert for our church fellowship meal tomorrow and to making dinner. We decided to make these yummy Almond Power Bars. These bars are such a big hit at our house that they do not last long. Because we are taking them to the fellowship meal tomorrow I made a double batch. Some for church and some for home. That way everyone is happy!

While I was getting the ingredients together I realized that I was out of chocolate. The only thing I had was cocoa. So I made chocolate with cocoa, natural sugar, and coconut oil. Solved the problem. However because it has been so warm here I will need to keep them refrigerated so the chocolate does not melt. Even with this minor substitution, they are still AMAZING! I know that I have a good recipe if no one is allergic to the ingredients.

While the Almond Power Bars were setting up in the fridge, My oldest beauty helped me by cutting up potatoes to make fries. She loves to help and I love to have her help! She turned this pile of potatoes into a beautiful sheet of fries. The roast and fries baked at the same time. When all was said and done it was a great dinner!
We were also able to cook the millet up for the millet casserole that we will take tomorrow . While the beauties and I worked in the kitchen, The boys were outside. My oldest son finished his knives that he has been making. My youngest son worked on one of his projects and helped out in the kitchen when he was done outside. We did not do everything on the list but we had fun working together. A wonderfully blessed day!

                                           I really had some cute help today!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Making Vs. Buying

 This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursdays at GNOWFGLINS.

I have been trying to make the things that we need instead of buying them. Some things that I make are needs and some things are wants. The couch slip cover was a real need. Our couch has been well loved through four children and our animals too ;) Other needs are toothpaste, deodorant, laundry soap, and even washable night time pull ups (an upcoming post). Making what we need really helps with the budget.

Sometimes I may want something that is not in the budget or it may be something that can be made easily. I have been wanting some produce bags like my mom had when we lived in Germany when I was young. I have tried a knit pattern and lets just say that project is still on my needles. LOL! Then last week I came across this pattern for a crotchet version of a produce bag. I was so very excited! So I set to work and in no time flat I was able to whip these little gems together.

Actually I made six bags. Two in each color above. (I am sorry about the pictures being so dark.) I love them. They are  smaller than I expected. It could be the way I crochet. I think I am going to play around to make some a little bigger. However they are the perfect size for picking up a few items. I would say they would hold about six apples, give or take a few.

I am really happy with them. I plan on making more for gifts. Maybe I'll also make some and have them available to sell at the farmers market too. I really love making things that save us money. It makes me feel so helpful. Comment below and let me know what you make for your family.


Saturday, January 21, 2012


So I was able to finish my slip cover for the couch today. That means that I can check one project off of my to do list. The slip cover came out a little wonky on the arm rests. But I still think it's not to bad considering I did not use a pattern and because this is the first slip cover that I have made.
I still have a few more sewing projects to do. Also I want to try to make these neat produce bags made out of T shirts. I also would love to make this cute produce bag too. I really have a lot of small projects on my ever growing list to do. I guess I should Start on the next one ;)


Friday, January 20, 2012

Gluten Free Sour Dough Baking Giveaway

I know of several people that are on a gluten free diet. As a matter of fact I believe our family is headed that way. My youngest is allergic to wheat and soy. So far she is able to handle spelt. However if we rely to heavily on that one grain she could become allergic to spelt too. The rest of our family seems to have some sensitivities to gluten. 

Just yesterday I was reading an article written by Sharon Kane. She guest posted at Real Food Forager. I found her article to be very inspiring. It is just what I needed in researching the gluten free diet. It was also great because I just started making things with my spelt sour dough starter.

Sharon Kane wrote a book called Gluten - Free Sour Dough Baking. Real Food Forager is doing a giveaway of the book. I encourage you to go check it out! I am super excited about all of the possibilities that this will open up for those that are on a gluten free diet. 

Have A Blessed Day!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sour Dough

So I have been working on this beautiful starter for about two weeks. Just a couple of days ago I started to build up the volume so that I could cook with it. I am so very excited because I was able to make the best pancakes ever! Even the children liked them.

You see, a couple of years ago I made a sour dough starter. I used half spelt flour and half rye flour. I only fed it every twenty four hours. Every thing that I made with that starter was SOUR! I realize that sour dough is supposed to have a tang to it.However this was extremely sour and the children did not want any parts of it. I had a hard time eating the bread that I made with it. Please do not tell the children I said that! LOL! So when I started my new starter the children were begging me to reconsider. HaHa!

 So my beautiful starter made it's way into my pancake batter. I used a simple recipe from one of my cookbooks. It already called for starter to be added. Since it was my first time cooking with sour dough in a while, I did not want to experiment to much.

The Pancakes were very fluffy and had a very good texture to them. I doubled the batch in the hopes that there would be enough for another meal. However my skeptical children liked them so much that I only had a few to put away. I do not want to complain too much because at least I know now that I can use this starter with good results :)

                             The children gave the pancakes two thumbs up!!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

That Time Of Year

What time of year is it? Well it's that time of year of course. The time of year that we settle down and turn inward. We seem to be more home bound and doing little projects indoors.

As with many others I know, we too have had a little sickness. A few weeks ago a cold swept through the house. The lingering effects were a nagging, hacking cough that seemed like it took forever to get rid of. Just this past week my smallest monkey thought it was wise to go outside without a coat. So by Friday she deloped a cough. By Saturday night it sounded like the croup had set in. Monday we went to the doctors because I suspected Pneumonia. Thank God I was off the mark! She is just heavily congested and on the mend. When one of the family is feeling under the weather it reminds me that it is more important during the colder season to stay close to home. We do not want to share germs ;)

I have been doing several little projects. Currently I have been sewing a slip cover for the couch. The couch has been well loved ;) We have been doing several small deep cleaning projects. I try to keep some sort of hand project going too. As of right know I have a dishcloth on my knitting needles.

During the colder months I try to research and to learn new things. Currently I am researching sour dough. I have even started a sour dough starter. I am really excited to make something! I might do pancakes tonight for dinner. I have also been learning about gluten free vs. using sour dough. I have noticed that several of us have some issues related to gluten. Add that on top of my youngest being allergic to wheat, I believe that I may put the family on a gluten free diet to see who is gluten intolerant. So I feel I need to research this a little more before I jump in with both feet.

Is there things that you like to do during this time of year?