Sunday, June 30, 2013

We've Moved!

No silly, not the Big Move, just over to WordPress! Find all our new posts here at

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My morning (or anytime) pick-me-up: The Java Chiller

So I've been Fuel Cycling on Trim Healthy Mama for the past week,and it's been great! Comparing my weights for the 1st vs. 8th day, I'm down 3.8 pounds! That is huge for me, since I'm generally a turtle whose weight moves super-slow. I attribute part of my success to this luscious drink that I concocted to make it through the week. I call it The Java Chiller.

If you yourself are a Trim Healthy Mama, you probably know that the Fuel Cycle is a bit more restrictive than just freestyling. If you are not a Trim Healthy Mama, then, well, you should be! Ha, really, if you are not, the Fuel Cycle is just a weight-busting week to try to kick a few stubborn pounds. Normally, yummy things like cheese and yogurt and nuts are encouraged on THM, but on the Fuel Cycle, they are not really allowed, at least not in the quantities that I normally use them (and now you know why I need the Fuel Cycle!).

Anyway, this past week I was looking for a good way to drink my coffee. Normally, I load it up with heavy cream or half and half and just enjoy it. But this makes it an S (= Satisfying, low-carb but high fat), and really, I try on the Fuel Cycle not to have as much cream as normal. So, for my S days, I made Bulletproof coffee - oh Yum! I used Extra Virgin Coconut Oil instead of MCT Oil , and it was divine - delicious, creamy, and very satisfying.

But coffee on S days wasn't really the problem - I have S breakfasts almost every day simply so that I can have creamy coffee. This issue is that the Fuel Cycle has 2 FP (= Fuel Pull, low-carb and low-fat) days plus 2 E (= Energizing, low-fat but higher carb) days, so that's 4 non-S breakfasts to get through. This gal is NOT giving up coffee on those days, so I needed a solution.

One possible solution is fat free half and half. I'm not a purist, and I don't mind it, but I just didn't have any on hand, and I was being a cheapskate and spending my money on higher quality stuff instead. So what's a gal to do for FP and E coffee? Enter the Java Chiller! This worked perfectly for me, not only because it provided me with a great coffee fix each morning, but also because it was a cool and refreshing drink to sip on at any time of day as our temperatures inched closer and closer to 100 degrees.

The Java Chiller is a modification on the Fat Stripping Frappa (FSF) found on page 240 in the Trim Healthy Mama book. Both the FSF and the Java Chiller are considered Fuel Pull, since they have no significant source of fat or carbs, so they can be eaten anytime, anywhere (well, anywhere you have access to a blender), with anything. Without further ado, here ya go, the Java Chiller:

First fill your blender about 1/3 - 1/2 full of ice.
No need for a high-end blender here. My old Osterizer works great!

Then pour in your coffee - I use 14 ounces of strong dark coffee
Have I told you yet about my Keurig Vue® ? I LOVE it!!

Now add in the following:
1/2 to 1 cup of almond milk
1 scoop of protein powder
1/2 tsp of Glucomannan (optional)
a bit of salt
1 TBSP of Truvia (or a few shakes of stevia extract)
a dash of vanilla

Blend to desired consistency.
This makes 2 very large servings.

I like mine to still be a little slushy when I pour it into my cup, like this.

Be careful when you drink it. It's so yummy that others might try to steal it away from you. See Tigger's hand creeping in there to grab it? Don't worry, I snatched it out of his reach and kept it all to myself :-)

I'm linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesday over at Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents - head on over to check out all the other THM-friendly treats they have to offer!

[Please note that product links may be my affiliate links, giving me a small benefit if you click and buy. If you are uncomfortable with this, please feel free to go directly to Amazon or the site of your choice for your purchase.]

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sweaty Summer Cycling - Fuel Cycling, that is!

This week I'm starting the second week of my Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle. Right at this point I'm down about 1.6 pounds from the day I started my Fuel Cycle, and that's a pretty good loss for me, so I want to see if doing the second week will push me along even further.

Update on Day 8: As of today, my scale tells me that I am down 3.8 pounds on one week of the Fuel Cycle! WooHoo! Last week, I planned my menu carefully, selecting my meals with an eye toward health, calories, and whether they were S, E, or FP. Unfortunately, I didn't really consider the weather, which, here in North Texas, was in the 90's. So as I moved into my FP and E days and we hit the first official day of Summer, I found myself improvising, desperate to keep my kitchen as cool as possible and serve cool and refreshing meals rather than warm soups and things like that.

This week, the weather looks like it's going to be about the same around here. This is really gonna test the effectiveness of my homemade deodorant!

In planning this week's Fuel Cycle menu, I deliberately chose meals that either (a) require no cooking or (b) can be fixed quickly and easily on the stovetop or in the toaster oven without heating up my kitchen. My Deep S breakfasts and dinners fit category (b), but those are yummy and Satisfying enough that they are worth the bit of time at the stove. Many of my FP and E meals, however, require no cooking at all. Pair those with a nice refreshing glass of Good Girl MoonShine, and you've got a cool and refreshing meal that can be served - and enjoyed - on even the hottest days of Summer!

Tuesday (Deep S)
B: Soft boiled eggs, bulletproof coffee
L: Large salad with grilled chicken, oil and balsamic dressing
D: Pan-fried salmon with faux fried rice
S: GGMS, skinny chocolate, basic whey smoothie, cucumbers

Wednesday (Deep S)
B: Fuel cycle frittata, bulletproof coffee
L: Steak fajita salad, oil and vinegar dressing
D: Salmon fillets with green fries
S: GGMS, skinny chocolate, tummy tucking ice cream

Thursday (Deep S)
B: Spinach omelette, bulletproof coffee
L: Salad with tuna, oil and balsamic dressing
D: Fish tacos (fried salmon in wonder wraps), fresh cabbage
S: GGMS, skinny chocolate, peppers, cake in a mug

Friday (Fuel Pull)
B: Overnight oats w/ raspberries, java chiller
L: Low carb tortilla w/ laughing cow and lean turkey, pepper strips, savory yogurt dip
D: Tuna salad with light mayo on wasa crackers
S: GGMS, yogurt with berries, tummy tucking ice cream

Saturday (Fuel Pull)
B: Cottage berry whip, java chiller
L: BLT on a wonder wrap, cucumber chips
D: Fuel Pull Pizza, lots of veggies
S: GGMS, yogurt with berries, tummy tucking ice cream, wasa with laughing cow

Sunday (E)
B: Black bean breakfast burrito, java chiller
L: Chicken salad wraps with apple chunks, zucchini chips
D: Mexican cottage cheese salad with mango salsa,
S: GGMS, yogurt w/ berries, apple w/ 1 tsp pb

Monday (E)
B: Sourdough french toast, java chiller
L: Pico de gallo gazpacho, Deutsche Kuche bread with light yogurt spread
D: Southwestern black bean salad, greek yogurt
S: GGMS, yogurt w/ berries, ricotta creme

I'm linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesday over at Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents - head on over to check out all the THM-friendly treats you can incorporate in your own Fuel Cycle!

I'm also linking up to Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie. Head on over and see all the great menu plans to inspire you!

[Please note that product links may be my affiliate links, giving me a small benefit if you click and buy. If you are uncomfortable with this, please feel free to go directly to the site mentioned for your purchase.]

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Un Sueño Despertado (A dream awakened)

I'm participating in Spanish Friday over at Latinaish today. English translation is at the bottom.

Hay que decir que mis sueños de mudarme a un lugar internacional han sido un poco dificil recientemente. Mi trabajo va bien, mi hijo está feliz con su escuela, mi esposo está pensando en ponerse un negocio aqui en la ciudad donde vivimos ahora. Pero para mí, los sueños no se desaparecen, solo duermen un ratito. Esta semana mis sueños despertaron de nuevo cuando ví este rotulo en frente de un edificio cerca de mi casa:

Una iglesia internacional, con escuela, tan cerca?! Antes de seguir, hay que entender que aqui en Texas, hay un montón de gente de todas partes del mundo. Pero decir "bilingue" o "internacional" casi siempre se refiere al inglés y el español. Entonces, pensé, será posible que se van a abrir una escuela, de pocas cuadras de mi casa, donde Pooh pudiera aprender el español?!

Al momento de llegar a casa, hice una busqueda por la red para averiguar de esa escuela. Sí, es una escuela bilingue, donde los niños hablan el inglés y el español todos los dias. Ya he escrito al director para preguntar de las posibilidades. No tengo nada mas de detalles todavia, pero, un sueño despertado, eso, sí lo tengo!

And now the English translation
I should tell you that my dreams of becoming an expat have been put on the back burner recently. My job is going well, Pooh is happy with his school, and P-Daddy is thinking of starting a business in the city we currently live in. But my dreams of becoming an expat never really disappear, they just sleep a while. This week, my dreams were re-awakened when I saw this sign in front of an empty building close to our house.

An international church, with a school, so close to us?! Now, before I continue, you have to understand that here in Texas, there are tons of people from all over the world. But when the word "bilingual" or "international" is used, it almost always refers to English and Spanish, not any of the other 100's of languages represented in the metroplex. So, I thought, is it really possible that they are about to open a school just a few blocks from my house where Pooh can learn Spanish?!

The minute I got home I googled the church and school to get more information. Yep, it's a bilingual school, where the students use both English and Spanish every day. I've already emailed the administration to request more information. I have no more details at this point, but a dream awakened, that I have!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fuel Cycle Frittata

I love frittata and quiche, and over my years of weight watching and dieting, I've come to rely on them as a staple. My favorites are full of cheese and cream, plus they contain lots of veggies and sometimes some meat. Recently, I just wanted to get rid of some stuff in my freezer, and I hit upon one that is a definite winner. Since I just threw it together, my measurements are not going to be terribly exact here, but you get the idea.

Sage Sausage Frittata

6 eggs
1/2 to 1 cup of cream (or half and half)
1 pound of sage sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 large onion, diced and browned
1 bunch of spinach or kale, chopped and wilted
2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
Italian seasoning, salt and pepper

First preheat your oven to 350 (F) and crack the eggs into a bowl.

Add salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings, and whisk the eggs together. Then add the cream.

Now add 1.5 cups of the shredded cheddar, the sausage, and the wilted spinach, and mix well. Pour the entire mixture into a casserole dish.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese on top is nicely browned. Makes 6 huge servings, or 9 smaller ones, or about 18 half-servings like these:

This was such a big hit that it was completely gone before the day was out. And P-Daddy has been hinting ever since that he wanted some more. But I'm headed into a Fuel Cycle with Trim Healthy Mama, and all that cheesy goodness is a definite no-no. So, I decided to make it much more Fuel Cycle friendly. Of course with the eggs and sausage, this is an S, and a pretty Deep one. Here's how it went:

Sage Sausage Frittata for the Fuel Cycle

6 eggs
1/2 to 1 cup of cream (or half and half) almond milk
1 pound of sage sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 large small or medium onion, diced and browned
1 bunch of spinach or kale, chopped and wilted
2 cups 2 ounces of cheddar cheese Kerry Gold aged cheddar, shredded
Italian seasoning, salt and pepper

As you can see, it's pretty much the same, but let's take a look at each of the substitutions that make this dish much more Fuel Cycle friendly than the original:

Almond milk in place of cream
Dairy products are fairly restricted on the Fuel Cycle. A bit of raw cream is okay in your coffee, but yogurt, cottage cheese, cream, and half and half are a no-no. Almond milk is neutral, so it's fine, and it actually worked well in this recipe. Definitely use unsweetened, and while plain might be better, it was still great with vanilla flavored, which is all I had on hand.

Small or medium onion instead of large
On the Fuel Cycle, onions are discouraged, and we are told to "eat very few" - I understand this, but I really felt like this dish needed at least a few for the flavor. Spread out over an entire recipe, the onion in each serving is minimal, and should be fine for Fuel Cycle guidelines. But feel free to leave them out if you think that's a better choice.

2 ounces of Kerry Gold white cheddar in place of 2 cups of whatever cheddar I had on hand
Since we just want to use cheese in very minimal quantities on the Fuel Cycle, you do want a strong cheese, and this one has a nice sharp taste. The 2 ounces spread across the entire recipe is just a tiny amount of cheese in a serving (something like one small cube per piece). Of course if you have raw cheese, that would be a better choice! I love the Kerry Gold white cheddar, and although it's not raw, I feel like it's a better option than your average cheese is, so it's my Fuel Cycle choice when I can't get raw.

Overall, this turned out really well! P-Daddy liked it as much as the original (he's not as much of a cheese fan as I am), and I thought it was pretty good as well. I don't think it's as pretty without the browned cheese on top, but it's that taste that counts, right?!

I'm linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesdays over at Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents - head on over to either one for lots more THM-friendly treats!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Swimsuit Season??!! Fuel Cycle Menu coming up!

Eek! Summer's here, and this Mama is very NOT ready for swimsuit season! To help get a little more prepared, I'm planning to do my third Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle this week. The first time I tried one, I lost about 5 pounds. The second one, I only lost one pound during the Fuel Cycle week, but then I lost another 3 the following week. Since I generally only lose about .2 pounds a week (if that much), these were FANTASTIC losses for me!

You'd think, with losses like those, that I might do the Fuel Cycle more often, but for me, that's not a wise choice. It's a pretty restricted week, and it takes lots of planning and prep work to make it successful. And I am looking for a sustainable plan, not a get-trim-quick plan. So I only do a Fuel Cycle week every few months. And if you are new to Trim Healthy Mama, the Fuel Cycle is NOT recommended for beginners - it will give you a false impression that THM is restrictive, when, in reality, it's one of the least restrictive plans out there. Plus, so many people have luck just freestyling the plan that it may not even be necessary! I'll also note that many of the recipes in my menu plan can be found in the Trim Healthy Mama book available as a huge printed tome on Amazon or in print and ebook formats through

Wanting to make room for Fuel Cycle friendly meals, I cleaned out my freezer. But I found so many things I could use to make this week successful that not only will I be helping my weight-loss along, I'll also be using up a lot of my freezer stock while I'm at it! Kai si ming, salmon fillets, chana dahl, brown rice, spicy lentils, enchilada soup, lots of berries, and an endless supply of frozen veggies - here's just a sampling that were buried so deep I didn't realize I had them!

Now that I think about it, maybe the Fuel Cycle isn't really as restrictive as I was thinking! (Can you tell I'm a Trim Healthy Mama by the multiple bags of cauliflower in there?!) Without further ado, here's my plan:

Tuesday (Deep S)
B: Fuel Cycle Frittata, bulletproof coffee
L: Steak fajita salad
D: Kai Si Ming, broccoli cooked in butter
S: GGMS, skinny chocolate, cucumbers, nighty-night custard with coconut oil

Wednesday (Deep S)
B: Eggs fried with coconut oil, bacon, bulletproof coffee
L: Salad with tuna, oil and balsamic dressing
D: Salmon fillet fried in coconut oil, broccoli in butter
S: GGMS, skinny chocolate, basic whey smoothie, mini peppers

Thursday (Deep S)
B: Fuel Cycle Frittata, bulletproof coffee
L: Salad with grilled chicken, oil and balsamic dressing
D: Fish tacos (fried salmon in wonder wraps), cabbage
S: GGMS, skinny chocolate, vanilla pudding, cukes and/or mini peppers

Friday (Fuel Pull)
B: Overnight oats, fat-strippin frap made with coffee
L: 1/2 an Aldi flatbread w/ lean turkey and laughing cow cheese, pepper strips
D: Vegetable soup, wasa with laughing cow
S: GGMS, yogurt with berries, muffin in a bowl, light string cheese

Saturday (Fuel Pull)
B: Egg white scramble, fat-strippin frap made with coffee
L: Fotato soup, peppers with yogurt dip
D: Asian stir-fry with konjac noodles, grilled chicken, and lots of veggies
S: GGMS, yogurt with berries, tummy tucking ice cream, wasa with laughing cow

Sunday (E)
B: Steel-cut oats with almond milk and berries, coffee w/ FF half and half
L: Fish tacos (grilled fish in sprouted grain tortilla) with mango salsa
D: Enchilada soup, brussel sprouts
S: GGMS, yogurt w/ berries, Deutsche Kuche toast

Monday (E)
B: Deutsche Kuche bread with savory tomato shmear
L: Grilled chicken, brown rice, veggies
D: Lentil soup with greens added, cottage berry whip
S: GGMS, yogurt w/ berries, smoothie

I'm linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesdays over at Gwen's Nest and Stacy makes Cents - make sure to check out all the trim healthy treats to be had! I'm also linking up to Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie. Head on over and see all the great menu plans to inspire you!

[Please note that product links may be my affiliate links, giving me a small benefit if you click and buy. If you are uncomfortable with this, please feel free to go directly to the site mentioned for your purchase.]

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Trim Healthy Treats: The Skinny on Chocolate

I admit it. I'm a bit lot of a chocoholic. Milk chocolate feeds my addiction, but over the course of the last several years of nutrition research and weight watching, I have come to savor deep dark chocolate. And I make no secret of my love for it, so much so that this was my Valentine's Day gift from P-Daddy:

Now, lest you think this is all about feeding my chocolate addiction, I want to add that more and more research is showing that chocolate - especially dark chocolate - offers amazing health benefits, from boosting hearth health, to protecting us from UV damage from the sun, to improved vision. For more on these benefits (and more) see this great article. It's amazing to me that you get all that from indulging in yumminess like this!

Lucky for me, Trim Healthy Mama encourages consumption of yummy chocolate. As a matter of fact, skinny chocolate was probably the first recipe that I made out of the book. Who would have known that a simple mix of coconut oil, cocoa, and stevia could make such an awesome treat?! I feel like the superfoodiness of coconut oil kicks this chocolate treat up to a whole new level. The coconut oil is so great that you don't even have to use really good cocoa powder. As a matter of fact, these are my two most common options:

With all the coconut oil, this is a clear S (= Satisfying) treat. I generally start with a 2:1 ratio of melted extra-virgin coconut oil to cocoa powder, and then I add stevia extract a shake or two at a time until it tastes good to me. Then I pour it into some container or mold, or most commonly, into candy cups, and pop it in the fridge for an hour. or a day. or all week. And it's always a little bit different. Sometimes it's pretty Plain Jane, like this one. (I know, this is really ugly. It was an early batch, and I'm not sure what happened. The good thing is that it still tasted fantastic!)

Sometimes I change it up. I made this batch in a mini muffin tin, with (from left to right) chopped walnuts, a mix of walnuts and coconut, unsweetened shredded coconut, and nothing - that is, just plain jane unadulterated chocolate.

Only it wasn't really plain jane; the top half, with the green cups, got regular deep dark chocolate with just cocoa powder, and the bottom half, with the red cups, got peanut butter cup chocolate, with half peanut flour and half cocoa. I promise, none of it got a drop of the chocolate syrup that somehow made its way into the previous pic!

My convenient color-coding wasn't really necessary - as you can see from the finished product, the different mixes were evident in the color.

Really, this is such a nice treat! It calms me down, fills me up, and satisfies me in a way that even an endless supply of sugar-filled milk chocolate cannot. It's so magical that when I was deep in the throes of a hectic Spring semester and was pining for sandy beaches and relaxation, I used my skinny chocolate to transport me there.

I'm linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesday over at Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents - come on over and check out all the yummy treats to be found today!

[please note that links to products are my affiliate links and I may get a tiny kick-back if you purchase from them]

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Homemade Greek Yogurt

This past weekend, I did a bit of Trim Healthy Mama cooking, prepping special agent brownies, chocolate baked oatmeal, kai si ming, and homemade yogurt. Even though I've blogged about homemade yogurt before, I'm gonna talk about it again today, since I've learned a few things about making it, and it's one of my favorite always-have-in-the-fridge-ready-to-grab food items. If you are following THM, this recipe is also FP, so you can eat it with any type of meal.

Just look at this yumminess:

I was really intimidated by making my own yogurt until I actually tried it, and now I think it's pretty easy. Here's what you need:
1/2 gallon of milk (I use fat-free to keep this recipe FP)
1/2 cup yogurt w/ active cultures (the starter, can be homemade or store-bought)
cooking thermometer (might be optional)
Here's the super-easy (but not quick) process:
First heat the milk to 180 degrees F (almost boiling), then let it cool to 115. This heats the milk enough to kill off the bad bacteria, then cools it to an optimal temperature for culturing. If you're in a hurry, set your pot of warm milk into a sinkful of ice to cool it more quickly, but don't be tempted to add the starter before the milk has cooled to somewhere between about 105 and 120 degrees F - hotter than that and you'll end up killing the bacteria in your starter and not getting any yogurt. Don't ask me how I know this. I now use a candy thermometer to make sure that my milk is within the temperature range I want it at.

If you don't have a cooking thermometer, you can make your yogurt in a crockpot, heating the milk in the crockpot on low for about 2.5 hours, then turning the crock off and letting it sit for about 3 hours. At that point it should be somewhere close to 115, and within the range for culture growth. Test is on your forearm, the way you would a baby's bottle, to make sure it's warm, but not hot.

Once your milk has cooled down to around 115, just add in the starter, wrap the crock in a towel, and set in a warm spot (in the oven with the light on, on the counter if it's a pleasantly warm day and you don't have AC, or even out in the garage if your AC keeps your house deliciously cool) for about 8 hours. Unwrap, and YUM!

You could just eat the yogurt straight from the crockpot, and it would be totally yummy. But to make it as THM-friendly as possible, there's an additional step, and that's to drain the yogurt to remove much of the whey (and the carbs), making it into Greek yogurt, and into a fabulous FP treat. I've tried this in a number of different ways, and I am convinced that the best way to do this is with a reusable coffee filter, like this one:

Set the filter over a container of your choice (I often just use an old yogurt container), ladle in the freshly made yogurt, and then stick it in the fridge to drain for a while. You can pretty much leave it however long you like in order to get the texture you want - a couple hours will make it nice and thick, but leaving it overnight will make it more like a soft, spreadable cheese, perfect to season and serve on sprouted grain bread for an E breakfast or snack.

You can use this yogurt on pancakes, with fruit, in a smoothie, or in any number of other creative and delicious ways.

I'm linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesday over at Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents - come on over and check out all the yummy treats to be found today!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trim Healthy Hamburger Helper

Growing up, our food was pretty simple. Dad was a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so that's what Mom fixed. I never had Hamburger Helper or Rice-A-Roni until I was in college. The first time I tried it, I fell promptly in love. How yummy! How easy! How...fattening!

Now that I'm a lot more weight and health conscious, I really try to avoid eating too much processed junk like that, but I admit to still craving my hamburger helper every once in a while. This week, I decided to try my hand at making it myself. It was pretty good, if I do say so myself!

I call this Trim Healthy Hamburger Helper since it's Trim Healthy Mama friendly. Made with Dreamfield's elbows, it falls within S guidelines, so feel free to serve up a yummy S dessert with it!

Trim Healthy Hamburger Helper
A box of Dreamfields elbow noodles, cooked according to package directions
Ragu No Sugar Added Spaghetti Sauce (about half a jar)
1 pound of ground beef, crumbled and browned
1 can of diced tomatoes
Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese
1 small container of Mexican crema, like this:

In a saucepan, combine the ground beef, spaghetti sauce, can of tomatoes, italian seasoning, and a little water. Simmer to desired consistency. Mix in the crema - the combo of the cream and the sauce will give you that gorgeous orange color of typical cheeseburger macaroni :-). Then add the sauce to the noodles, mixing thoroughly Sprinkle a good dose of parmesan over it and add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

I'm linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesday over at Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents - come on over and check out all the yummy treats to be found today!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Simplicity Saturday: Homemade deodorant

Those who know me know that I love my convenience items. Life is busy and I want to be able to get things done quickly and easily. However, I also love DIY cleaners and things like that - I think they are safer for the environment as well as for my family, and as long as I plan ahead a bit so that I always have some on hand, they are pretty quick and easy to make. One DIY item I've made and liked recently is deodorant.

I admit I was hesitant at first to make this since I sweat a lot and was really worried about being stinky all summer. But since I had the ingredients for this popular deodorant recipe from Passionate Homemaking, I decided to give it a try.

I started out with these 3 ingredients:

Coconut oil (I used Nutiva)
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch

And I decided that I would try to refill an old deodorant stick with it. I just took a knife and scraped out any last little pieces of the old deodorant so that it was fairly clean, like this:

First, I mixed the baking soda and cornstarch in a bowl. Now that I've been using this deodorant for a while, I admit that I'll do something different with this next time I make it. This part is a little gritty and it kind of cakes in my armpit.

Then I added in the coconut oil and mixed it all up and started to scoop it into my empty deodorant tube.

When the tube was full I just kind of smoothed over the top - with one use it becomes pretty smooth, so there's no use really spending a lot of time on smoothing it over.

I had a bit that didn't fit, so I just put it into a small jelly jar. I did add a bit of tea-tree oil first, just to try something a little different in that part of the batch. And that's it, quick and easy homemade deodorant!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday

Well, since summer's here, it's time to think about what I want to get done! Of course I have some research/school goals, but I want to talk about personal and family goals here. I'd really, in general, like to focus on strengthening our family relationships, making our home more liveable, and making sure that I don't get lost in this whole crazy world of marriage and family. To that end, here are my Top 10 wishes for a great summer:

10. Clean out the garage and junk room.
Here's what I'm starting with.
This could take the whole summer if I let it!

9. Organize and clean out Pooh's toys.
Then maybe we'll have room to put the Wall Tracks back in his room.

8. Begin - and maintain - a regular workout routine.
I used to be much more fit before marriage and family.
Look at the definition in those arms! I want that back!

7. Eat more chocolate.
Skinny chocolate, that is!
I've recently been following the Trim Healthy Mama plan, and loving it.
More on that later.

6. Find a class to take, just for me.
Sewing? Computer programming? I'm not sure what yet.
But just because I've graduated doesn't mean I can't still learn something new!

5. Plan one full family activity every week.
Here's a recent outing to check out the bluebonnets.
I love getting us out of the house and doing something different

4. Spend more time with extended family.
After almost losing Dad this year, we want to really appreciate our time left with him!

3. Have regular swim dates with Pooh.
He loves the water, at least after he gets a bit used to it,
and this can be our special time together too.

2. Have a weekly date with P-Daddy.
Maybe we'll find more beautiful food presentations like this one at a local sushi restaurant.
Even if not, we'll build our relationship together.

1. Tell P-Daddy and Pooh every single day that I love them.