Skip to content

Wisdom

wis·dom n. The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.

Organic Cleaning – Easiest & Cheapest Way To Clean Organically

November 20, 2018

AND Better than chemicals…!

Cleaning organically.  Green Cleaning.  Who knew it could be so fast and simple?

Even better?!?!  It will cost less than you imagined.

All you need is an ecloth and water.  YUP, you read that right.  Ecloths have amazing technology.  They have millions of microscopic fibers that are tightly woven and literally pick up over 99& of the bacteria from your surfaces.  You don’t need any chemicals.  Simply wet the ecloth and start wiping everything you can find.

All your surfaces will be cleaner than if you had used a chemical spray or a Clorox wipe.

How can this be, you ask?  If you are using chemicals, you are relying on the chemical being in contact with the bacteria and germs long enough to kill them.  When you wipe your surface with a paper towel, there is a good chance you didn’t pick everything up.

With an ecloth, you pick up practically everything, even all the microscopic creepy things.

Check out this handy chart.

It explains why using only water works like magic.  You won’t be disappointed.

Fastest Way To Chart BBT (Body Basal Temperature) – Life Saver!

November 15, 2018

Trying to get pregnant or trying NOT to get pregnant…

Trying to figure out your body and hormones?

Wanting to know if your symptoms are from low progesterone levels or estrogen and progesterone imbalance?

Charting your bbt – basal body temp gives you so much information about your body.  Your morning temperature (before you get out of bed) can give you SO MANY clues and information about your body that is almost impossible to know otherwise.

I have been charting my bbt (body basal temperature) for 10 yrs.  I have done it all different ways. Using printed out paper charts, using free bbt apps online, free bbt apps on my phone and usually using a thermometer from the drug store.

Charting temps is brilliant.  The information is life changing.

The actual DOING IT… sucks.

Let’s be honest, who wants to wake up, take their temp (the same time, every single day, whether you are ready to get out of bed or not) AND THEN write it down or remember to write it down later… (yah, good luck with remembering that)

Enter… the Wink and the Kindara App

The Wink is the bbt thermometer and the Kindara App is a free app that syncs automatically with the Wink.

Another convenient perk is that when you stick the wink into your mouth, the alarm turns off.
Then, the Wink silently vibrates when it has found your temp and stores the temp.
If your blue-tooth is not on, it will store all your temps for days until you connect it with your phone.
It will instantly populate your chart and you will have a perfect chart with almost no effort on your end.
(the app allows you to add more info like cervical fluid, when you had sex, if you are spotting or had a period, etc)

Here’s the thing. For your temps and charting to be accurate, you need to take it at the same time every morning before you get out of bed. So if you wake up 2 days a week at 5am and 3 days at 6am and on the weekends you lay in bed till 8am… you need to take your temp at 5am all 7 days.  The wink does everything except get into your mouth for you.

Toddler scenario – say you have a toddler that crawls into your bed sometime after 430 every morning and your sleep isn’t great from 430 on… you can take your temp at 4am and know it will be accurate.

Infant scenario – you have a baby you feed in the middle of the night. Take your temp before you get up and feed them. (They say it’s ideal to have been asleep for at least 3 hrs for this to be accurate… though my opinion is that any charting is better than no charting).

Charting is so helpful, even if you aren’t sexually active.  If you have weird cycles, or have an ovarian cysts (or lower abdomen pain) or have endometriosis…  you can start charting to discover IF and when you are ovulating.  Every 28 day cycle, you have roughly 2 weeks of more estrogen and 2 weeks of more progesterone in your body.  Charting will help tell you if this is what YOUR body is doing or if you are estrogen dominant.

Feel free to comment below if you have any questions.

Best Tasting Chicken At The Cheapest Price. I’m In LOVE!

November 13, 2018

Chicken.

I like chicken, most people do.

Chicken can be cheap if you buy conventional…  but really, we need be eating the good quality, organic chicken.

So… now the price is NOT cheap.

I kept seeing how much less it cost to buy drumsticks… but who wants to eat drumsticks?  Seriously… they are messy and aren’t very versatile…and don’t taste amazing….  Cheapest way to buy chicken is drumsticks.

BUT….

Then…

I found this super easy, amazing, chicken drumstick recipe.

My kids LOVE them.  I LOVE them.  The hubs is a huge fan.

AND guess what?  I have a bunch of bones for chicken stock that I can whip up in my InstaPot.  Winning.

Ready for this?!

  • Heat oven to 400
  • Put parchment (if you have some) on your cookie sheet.
    Lay the drumsticks on cookie sheet – not touching
  • Drizzle olive oil on all pieces, turn over and drizzle more

Sprinkle the following:

Salt
Garlic Powder
Cinnamon  (THIS IS A MUST – trust me)
Cayenne (optional)

Flip chicken and sprinkle the second side.

Stick in oven for about 60 minutes.  I flip them about 1/2 through.

You can tell they are done when you see the chicken pulling away from the bone.

ENJOY!

**I often make this when we have dinner guests, because this works if you are gluten free, paleo, keto, or really anything but vegetarian.  Pair it with some type of potato (sweet potato?) and/or a couple veggie sides and your guests will be in heaven. And your house will smell like heaven.**

*You will need a minimum of 2 drumsticks per person. Guys will easily eat 4+

*Costco sells their organic chicken drumsticks for about $9, I think you get about 13-15 pieces

Selling Your House? Ecloths Are Fastest Way To Clean Before The Realtor Shows Up!

June 14, 2018

Ecloths are a life hack!  And totally make showing your home super easy.

You’ve just got the call that that the realtor wants to show your place in 20 min.

With these two ecloths, you can make your faucets, mirrors, front door and kitchen windows spotless in about 10 min.

HOW?!

The Glass and Polishing ecloth can be wet with water and then totally wrung out so that it is “just” wet.  Everything you wipe down will be totally spotless when it dries… (in about 30 seconds or less).

Sounds too good to be true… I thought the same thing.

At one time, I had two toddlers and was pregnant with my 3rd baby when we decided to put our house on the market.

Ecloths totally saved my life.  Who knew cleaning could be this easy?!

Increase Iron Levels Fast – Ferritin and Hair loss – Anemia, My Story

December 20, 2015

First, if you feel you have iron deficiency symptoms, but your hemoglobin is still in normal ranges.
You should get your ferritin levels checked.

Here is a list of some ferritin deficiency symptoms:

Migraine headaches
Dizziness
Poor appetite
Cold hands and feet
Fatigue
Hair Loss
Thyroid Problems (if you have low thyroid – PLEASE get your ferritin levels checked)
Pale Cold Skin
Brittle Nails
Breathing Problems (air hungry, short of breath)
Craving Ice
Decreased Sex Drive

Even though normal ranges of ferritin are 20-150.  Most women do best with levels above 50, and closer to 100… especially if you struggle with low thyroid and/or hair loss.

For those of you who know about the TSH, T3 and T4, you will find it fascinating that
**Ferritin is required for transport of T3…!!!

Okay, Here Is My Story:
**My hemoglobin has NEVER been low.**
But then I started researching symptoms of low iron and I definitely had symptoms of low iron…
(thankfully I didn’t have migraines.  I also didn’t crave ice)

I was confused.

Then I got my ferritin levels checked… and my ferritin was AWFUL!  It shouldn’t be below 20 and mine was a 7.
A SEVEN

How was I even functioning?

The range is 20-150.  I had almost every symptom and I felt awful.  And then I read that if your ferritin is below a 50 AND you struggle with hair-loss….you really need to get your ferritin checked, and then you need to get it up to 50 to rule out iron being the reason for the hair loss.

So, I guess this is commonly overlooked.  Your doctor or OB may even do a iron panel and “forget” to draw your ferritin… And all your levels can come back in range… but your iron can still be way too low.

I was in panic mode…

I had only a couple months before I was due to have my 5th baby.  Everyone says it takes months and months, even years to get iron levels up.

I didn’t have time on my side.

And I’m impatient and was tired of feeling tired.

And I know that there is lots of blood loss after baby and I didn’t have any extra blood to spare… I was a bit frantic.

Well, after much reading and willing to do pay for my own blood test…I found something that worked!!!
(I use privatemdlabs.com – you can get any blood draw you want or need.  You simply pay, print and go to labcorp  – your results show up the next day).

I decided on taking Enzymatic Therapy.  It seemed to have everything I needed for absorption.  I took it for 6 weeks and did a blood test… my ferritin had not increased, not at all… I was bummed.  But knew, that was “normal”.  It may take “forever” to see results in a blood test…

Back to researching.  I kept coming across people saying I needed to be taking Yellow Dock as well.  Others saying Yellow Dock couldn’t do anything for me because it’s an herb and it doesn’t have iron in it… or very little.

This is the Yellow Dock I took and it doesn’t cost much.

I didn’t have anything too loose.  And a benefit of yellow dock is that it prevents constipation and nausea that can come with iron supplementation.

I added yellow dock to these iron pills and waited 6 weeks.

Did a ferritin blood test and my levels TRIPLED!

Yes, they went from a 7 to a 21.

I was ecstatic!  I was now within “normal ranges”  but I was on a goal to get to 50 because I always have terrible post partum hair loss at 3 months that doesn’t stop at 6 months.  I thought maybe this was my ticket.

6 more weeks of this regimen and my levels were in the 40’s.   Whoo Hoo!!!

I was almost full term and decided to wait until a week after baby to test again (when my levels should be the lowest). And my levels were in the 50’s.  I started backing off my iron to every other day and tested again at 3 mos postpartum and my levels were in the upper 90’s.  I then stopped taking the iron and the yellow dock.

I get my level checked every 3-6 months to keep tabs on them.

My postpartum hair loss was much more ‘text book’.  That was amazing for me.  It lasted almost exactly 3 months.  From 3 months to 6 months postpartum and it was never severe.  Yes, it’s always disturbing to lose hair, but to know it’s only for a time and it will stop was reassuring.  With my past babies, it wouldn’t stop falling out for many many months… sometimes not until I got pregnant again.

 

**NOTES

So, I think the reason that Yellow Dock made the Enzymatic Iron able to be absorbed so well, is because it increases stomach acid.  This in return allows your body to absorb and uptake the nutrients in your digestive tract.   So not only was I absorbing my iron supplementation, but also the iron in my meals every day.

Also, yes, I was afraid to take iron because I have heard all these stories of nausea and constipation.  But with Yellow Dock, there was zero problem.  It actually helps make your trips to the bathroom more pleasant.  And if you are pregnant, you’ll definitely be happy about that 😉

I took 2 iron pills and 1 yellow dock in the morning and then again in the afternoon.

I am not a health professional and I am not recommending or advising you to do anything written here on this post.  I am simply sharing my experience.

 

**UPDATE – since this post, I have had several friends ask me my thoughts on increasing their low iron.  So far, everyone has had great success and fast results.  One of my friends had a miscarriage and hemorrhaged badly.  She lost so much blood everyone recommended she get a blood transfusion.  Her husband is a MD and he said she needed a transfusion. She refused but wanted to know what she could do to support her body’s ability to replace all that blood loss.  She started the Iron Pills with the Yellow Dock and she could feel her body have more energy within 3 days.  She was amazed and so grateful to be back to 100% within a couple weeks.

Authentic Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread (In A Bread Machine!!!)

December 15, 2015

Authentic sourdough bread… start to finish… in a bread machine!  Yes, you really can!

And you can LOVE LOVE your results.

I grew up making homemade bread with my mother.  There is nothing like homemade bread coming out of the oven.  Then I became a teenager, young adult and then a young mother and discovered if I didn’t eat bread, it was much easier to maintain my slim figure.  After my family continued to grow… I started to realize how much easier it would make my life if I simply had bread to offer my growing and ravenous family (4 boys!).

I have done a gluten free diet in the past.   And we have done paleo.  Now we do THM (trim healthy mama).  We love it and it loves us 🙂  It’s the best of all worlds.  They mention how you can use bread in your diet IF it is genuine sourdough bread.  Hard to find and expensive it is to buy from the store.  Check the ingredients, you have to make sure there is ZERO yeast and only sourdough starter in the ingredients to insure that it’s sourdough and not a “tastes like sourdough” bread.

I had 3 hurdles that I really hoped were possible:

  • I wanted a real sourdough recipe that I could make in my kitchen – that actually tasted good
  • I wanted to use 100% whole wheat (to gain full nutritional benefit)
    (*you are welcome to use all-purpose flour in place of whole wheat)
  • I wanted to make it start-to-finish in a bread machine

I was stumped at hurdle #1.  It was frustrating.  I couldn’t get my sourdough starter to work for me….THEN, I got my starter from Sourdo, (click on the link and check them out).
Now, I was starting to get somewhere.
I got the San Fran starter.  They have many to choose from, pick any of them.

Then I found this whole wheat sourdough site, explaining that you can do 100% whole wheat sourdough.  I was in disbelief.  I had searched and searched and it was really hard to find anyone saying that was possible.  At best, most “experts” say you can do 50% blend of all purpose with whole wheat.  And this guy offered a sandwich loaf style vs the artisan style.
(I love artisan sourdough, but it’s not as useful for a daily bread for a large, growing, hungry family.)

Third hurdle… can this be done in a bread machine? ? ?
Even though I have many children, homeschool, a husband I feed/cook 3 meals a day for, laundry, and all the other myriad of things a mom of littles must do every day… I was tempted to do homemade bread in my kitchen aid or bosch mixer  – oven style.

WHY?  because I would no longer run out of bread. I would always have something to feed my hungry people.
And it is less expensive than any other food and completely wholesome!

BUT – HOW VERY nice it would be to throw all the ingredients into a bread machine and not worry about burning it in the oven because I decided to take a nap with the kids or run to the park last minute…

Then I discover the Zojirushi Bread Machine.  I bought it with my fingers crossed.

Could this be too good to be true???

It was the only bread machine that had a “homemade” setting.  This setting let you customize how long you wanted to knead your bread and how long you wanted your bread to rise before baking.  Or you could turn off the bake option and let it rise for a long time in a cooler temp and then decide to bake when you were ready.  The description online, from every source I could find didn’t tell me it could do all those things listed above.  It did say it had a “sourdough” setting, but it was for the “fake sourdough bread” with yeast. 😦

The Zojirushi arrived and I was in heaven.  It makes a traditional looking loaf vs the tall cylinder loaf most of us have seen from the traditional bread machine.

I went to work.  My first loaf turned out, I was amazed!…. but I tweaked and tweaked and pondered and pondered as to why some loaves were better than other.  Some were absolutely PERFECT.  Others were edible.
It took me about 4 months of making bread 3 times a week, before I settled on exactly how to make a predictable loaf.

Finally, here is the recipe – if you want to make Pizza Dough – simply don’t let the bread bake and use the dough for pizza.  It makes wonderful pizza!

WHOLE WHEAT SOURDOUGH SANDWICH BREAD
(yes, I did up-my-game and get a scale to weigh the ingredients… makes it precise and NO utensils to clean)

  • Put the bread machine pan on the scale, zero out, set to grams
  • Pour in 315 grams of sourdough starter (I like mine like pancake batter consistency – see below)
  • Zero out scale, pour in 270 grams of warm water
  • Zero out, pour in 450 grams of ground whole wheat (I grind my own)
  • Zero out, pour in
    10 grams of salt
    45 grams of honey
    45 grams of oil

Stick in bread machine.  Set to homemade setting #1. Let knead for 15 minutes.  (when the “add ingredient” beeping starts – I lift the lid and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then I add more flour if needed and shut the lid.  It almost always needs more flour.  Read this guy’s post about making whole wheat sourdough and learn about the “window pane test“.  He also shows pictures of how the dough will look when you are done kneading it.

I turn off the machine.  Turn it back on to setting #1.  Let it knead again for 15 minutes.  So now it will have kneaded for a total of 30 minutes.  If I have a busy day ahead, I leave it alone and it’s done whenever I return.

IF I have the presence of mind and the time and I’m around the kitchen/house…. (*grin*)…  I turn off the machine after it’s done kneading for 30 minutes and check on it in 4-5 hrs.  The machine is a room temp when turned off vs a warming/rising temp when in rise mode.  I think some say it’s best to let it rise 7 hrs to convert all the sugar out of the wheat.  I’ve been happy with my 4-6 hrs rise time.  You could set a kitchen timer for 7 hrs while your machine is off and then hit setting 3 (the just bake option) and let it bake when you tell it too.

This is how I have my custom setting:

Setting 1 (everything is off except the following)

  • knead 15 min
  • rise 1 hr
  • rise 3 hrs
  • bake 55 minutes

Setting 2

  • rise 4 hrs
  • bake 55 minutes

Setting 3

  • bake 55 minutes

**You can play around with these settings.  The first rise is the only one you can do for more than 3 hrs.  The second rise is maxed at 3 hrs.

FEEDING SOURDOUGH STARTER

As for keeping your sourdough starter happy from day to day… I have found it’s easier than I have read on most online articles.

Literally, this is all I do:
– I keep the starter in a wide mouth quart jar with a lid barely screwed on (so it can breathe).
It needs to eat a minimum of once a day.  It has optimum growth if fed twice a day.   And if you need bulk up your supply because you are going to be making bread every day or you want to make bread today and pizza tomorrow, then you can feed it as often as every 3 hrs.
– I feed it a couple heaping spoonfuls (of ground wheat per feeding and add some water.  I don’t measure the quantity of either, I just make sure it’s the consistency of pancake batter.  STIR WELL.
– If you are going to be away or are not going to make bread every couple days, simply stick the starter in the fridge.  Pull it out the day before you want to bake bread.  Feed it a minimum of twice before making bread.  This allows for the starter to be at full power.

 

 

NOTES:

I did the math… I can make a loaf of bread for somewhere between $1.00 – $1.5o a loaf… depending on how expensive your wheat is.  If grind your own, it’s cheaper.  Organic costs more than non-organic. But even with the highest quality of ingredients, all organic… this bread will be the freshest you can get and probably a 1/4 of the price of anything in the store.   #win

If you use the amazon link, I make a small affiliate commision off your purchase.

 

Standing Desk – DIY – Finally A Solution That Works For The Home & Is Affordable

April 2, 2013

I was on the hunt for a standing desk solution to using in my dining room.  (This would also work in a living room or any other room).  I just happen to have extra room in my dining room for a computer area and it keeps me close to the kitchen and my children.

So… I needed/wanted a standing desk solution that was cute, functional and had storage.  Most of the ones I found had ZERO storage… that doesn’t work for me.  I want a place to file away papers, hold desk related items and other office type things – like my camera, mailing supplies, etc.

After much brainstorming and pondering, I decided I would need to find a dresser the right height (or make simple adjustments to a dresser or keyboard so that it was raised high enough) and a couple of shelves.  I have a laptop as my main computer, but this would totally work for a desk top if you have a flat screen.

I found the dresser for $80 (at Ikea) and the two shelves with brackets were about $10 a piece (they simple pine boards that I stained to match the stain on the dresser).  I put the whole thing together for just over $100.  I already had the storage boxes.  You should easily be able to find something off of craigslist that would work if you don’t have an Ikea close by.  Make sure the dresser has space underneath so that you can stand as close to the dresser as you would like without running your feet into the bottom.

Here is it the finished product 🙂  Lots of storage and so cute!

DIY Standing Desk

DIY Standing Desk

DIY Home Standing Desk

DIY Home Standing Desk

ps. please ignore the crayola artwork on the walls  :-/