Friday, April 27, 2012

I want to be a Proverbs 31 coupon woman!

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her as the protector of his paycheck, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

She seeketh wool, and flax all the needs of her home from diapers to dinners, and worketh willingly with her hands clipping those coupons each week

She is like the merchants' ships the big kahuna of coupon land; tracking down the mother load of sales she bringeth her food from afar

She riseth also while it is yet night to work on her shopping list, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her coupon-less maidens.

She considereth a field (store) and buyeth it 10% at a time at rock-bottom price: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard of personal wealth through her family’s storehouse/stockpile.

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms to heave all her free copy paper onto their proper storage shelf spot

She perceiveth that her merchandise is good I mean c’mon it was FREE!: her candle goeth not out by night from last month’s battery sale

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy because couponing excess is such an easy way to give back what she’s so generously been given

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land I mean lets face it who hasn’t noticed a stockpile to outlast Armageddon

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also b/c of all the free candy she scores, and he praiseth her.

Give her of the fruit of her hands to heave and ho her 10 lb coupon binder; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Playdough Fun for All Ages

source (I didn't do these but super Cute!!)
This morning not only did I teach a room full of high schoolers (early morning seminary/religion class), I also had a house full young ones as it was my day to host pre-school.  Thus, I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone (so to speak) and made a huge batch of playdough for both:) 


2 cups flour
2 cups hot water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
Fragrance/color: food coloring, koolaid mix, ground cinnamon, scented oils (fyi: it will stink otherwise)


In a pan, add water and oil and begin heating on medium heat .  In the meantime,  mix the flour, salt, and cream of tarter together in a bowl.  Add dry ingredients to pan and stir (at a low heat).  It will begin to resemble mashed potatoes. It's ready when the dough pulls away from the side and clumps together in the center of the pan.  Turn the dough out onto a clean surface, cool, then knead until it becomes silky smooth.
Note: I've read that if it is still sticky, you need to cook it longer...and I've also read that using hot water and pre-mixing wet & dry ingredients seperately before combining will prevent any problems (it worked for me:)
To Color, Divide the dough into balls, make an indentation in center, pour or drop in coloring and/or frangrance of choice and knead it until evenly distributed.

Kids Activity:

There are so many fun learning activities to do with playdough.   I got a lot of my ideas for this activity here. Here are some of the things I did with the pre-schoolers.

SKILL: fine motor dexterity and strength; hand-eye coordination, visualizing

• Pound it
• Roll it
• Squish it
• Pull it apart/tear/cut it

SKILL: sensory information such as shapes, texture, temperature, touch, size

• roll out circles, triangles, rectangles, squares
• make different shapes: flat, round, tall, short, long, curved, straight, etc
• Size (form a small, medium and large ball)
• Textures (roll into a smooth ball, make it bumpy)

SKILL: vocabulary and descriptive language, measuring, counting, pre-writing
• Alphabet: Have adult form the letters of the alphabet and let kids guess, or have kids make them
• Have child form the letters of his/her name
• Numbers: make the shapes of the numbers 1-10 and/or roll out some little balls to show how many for each
• Counting: have kids make a specified number of circles or have them count the circles you’ve already made.

This was most popular w/ the kids, they
made little balls to fill in the circles provided
(I got them here)

SKILL:  problem-solving, planning, imagining and pretending

• Simple math (addition, subtract, fractions…it’s easy to see the meaning of ¼  or  ½ when you divide a ball or disk into 4 pieces)
• Using their imagination, children create their own little masterpiece (a fine art lesson too)

For Teens (& adults):  In seminary class (a good Family Home Evening lesson too), I explained how God tries to "shape" our lives like the potter's clay (Jeremiah 18-19) if we will but let Him.  Could you just imagine the clay jumping off the potter's wheel exclaiming "I don't need you, I can do this on my own!"  In the same way, do we sometimes jump off the wheel of the Great Potter (God)? I ended by having them shape/sculpt the clay to represent something important to them.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

But I don't want to give my baby formula!?! A Breastfeeding Solution

NOTHING and NO ONE was able provide help when I needed it baby wasn't getting enough breastmilk and giving her a bottle seemed the only solution.  Let me just say I attended the childbirth class, the breastfeeding class, hired the doula, the lactation consultant, and the pediatrician not to mention a stack of books I checked out from the library...all I heard was "it's ok dearie, sometimes it happens...there's nothing wrong with giving a bottle".

Nothing about my pregnancy turned out as I had planned (except for the perfectly beautiful child I came home with).  Sick as a dog for 9 mo's, several hospital stays, instead of the natural birth a c-section.   When baby came, I had crazy post-partum depression plus baby wanted nurse 24/7, wouldn't sleep and cried a lot.  In my sleep-deprived zombie state I was told that I needed to supplement with formula.  I had had it!!!  After all my ordeal to get this child into this world, I have to forego breastfeeding too!!!?  And let's not even mention the recent news reports of tainted formulas.  But what could I do?  If I didn't produce enough milk, I couldn't let my poor baby starve!  So I did what I had to do, I began supplementing with a bottle AND searching for a solution.  God in his goodness sent me a solution where all else failed.  I'm hoping my story may be a blessing to the one who finds herself in the same situation.

My answer came in the form of the International Breastfeeding Centre (ibc).  Their website is jam packed full of helpful information.  You can check them out at your leisure, but here are the key elements that changed everything for me:


Key #1:  Increase milk supply with the herbs FENUGREEK and BLESSED THISTLE (3 capsules/3 times a day of each).  They will work within 12-24 hours if they are going to. 

Key #2: Reevaluate your breastfeeding technique (this one is vitally important).  Your baby may look like he's getting plenty, I mean he's nursing 24/7 right?  Actually, he might be using your breast as a pacifier and is not actually accessing much of your milk supply at all.  How can you tell?
  • a good latch (you will learn about this in breastfeeding classes)
  • Determine if baby is actually drinking (you won't learn about this in breastfeeding classes); If  baby is getting adequate drink, she will open her mouth wide and pause before closing again. 
  • It's the exact same motion you make when you drink a milkshake...because its thick, you keep your jaw open longer to get it thru the straw.  Similarly, the more the baby pauses, the more milk she is taking in.
Key #3:  Re-train baby how to breastfeed successfully using breast compression technique.  This technique is not necessary if baby feeds well but I can vouch that it works as I was able to take my child off formula and breastfeed exclusively with no problems!   I'm not going to explain the entire process because it's detailed in the link I provided but it basically it helps baby to change from ineffective sucking to actually take in milk.
Finally Watch this series of breastfeeding videos for demonstrations of all these techniques (warning: since it is about breastfeeding...obviously it's graphic).  I'd watch all the videos because even if they don't seem applicable, they each have golden nuggets of information.  Additionally, ibc has lots of information sheets on a myriad of breastfeeding topics.

I know there are other woman out there looking for solutions.  I hope by adding these resources to my blog, it might help someone stumble across this valuable information just as I did when I needed it most:)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Constipation in Pregnancy (or in general:)

Have you ever met someone who always seems to be in a foul mood? You know, those people you find it almost impossible to get along with. Chances are they may be suffering from constipation.  Yes, constipation can effect your attitude according to master herbalist, Dr. John R.Christopher.  In his practice, he saw many a personality transformed once their bowels were working properly.  According to Christopher, you should have bowel movements every single day, preferably multiple (3) times per day.

Now, why in the world am I blogging about constipation you may ask?  Well, pregnancy is on the forefront of my mind, and constipation tends to be an issue for women in pregnancy.  I was so ill  my last pregnancy, that constipation is the last thing I want to worry about...but as it turns out there just might be a relation between the two.  The better the bowels work, the better overall wellness you will feel.  A friend who is currently pregnant  notices that the more constipated she is, the worse she feels. Christopher had this to say about the subject (and I highly recommend reading more about it here): 

Over ninety percent of all diseases and malfunctions of children's bodies (as with adults) stem from the unclean intestinal tract. The body of man must be kept clean inside and out, to perform his daily tasks efficiently and smoothly. This body is the housing of the spirit and operating force of life. With the spirit commanding a good clean structure, a smoother, happier life is evident. The scriptures tell us that God will not dwell in an unclean tabernacle. We have been told that the body is a temple, or tabernacle of God. This structure must be kept in good repair, and clean, to be a comfortable abode.

Now, on the the Nitty Gritty:

Causes of Constipation:
1. improper diet and living
2. Meat also causes constipation through the fact that it encourages putrefaction of the colon both by introducing putrefactive organisms in great numbers and also by providing material which is best calculated to encourage the growth of putrefactive organisms in the colon.
3. 3. Most persons who suffer from constipation habitually drink too little water.

Herbal Aids
1. Dr. Christopher's Lower Bowel Formula (this stuff works well):The average person uses two capsules three times a day, but if necessary may want to use five or more capsules three times a day, and more if needed. Available online ( and most health food stores
2. Cayenne: And if you are brave, you can use it as an enema for obstinate constipation.
3. Kelp: So many of our illnesses result from constipation, and such a large portion of our population suffers from this ailment! Poisons accumulate in the large bowel and are absorbed back into the bloodstream, causing a host of disorders which are not specific in themselves but stem back to the toxic colon. Many people subscribe to enemas and colonics to cleanse the colon, and Dr. Christopher agreed that these may have a place in an emergency, but they should absolutely never be relied upon. In addition to his formula for toning the colon, Kelp can take an important place doing this job. Because of its high natural mineral salt content, Kelp builds the walls of the colon and the iodine, being highly antiseptic, deals with the toxic condition. For this reason, Kelp can be used in all cases associated with auto toxemia, especially in pregnancy. All constipated people should take Kelp daily, with the addition of blackstrap molasses if needed. Few people are really free from constipation, so almost everyone could benefit from the addition of Kelp to the daily diet.

NOTE: One should be wary of an incorrect use of laxatives and purgatives, because liquefied fecal matter is immediately absorbed by the intestinal villi into the bloodstream, and if there be excess, some of it will be thrown out of the bloodstream into the lungs, skin, kidneys, or other organs, producing a chronic toxemia thus laying the foundation for chronic disease.

Juices for Constipation: From personal family experience, any fresh fruit/veg juice (from a juicer) seems to do the trick.  Or try Rhubarb, prune, fig (prune works fast); 3 oz prunes (about 8) once or twice a day works good too (no more in one sitting as it could cause painful gas).

Vegetables for Constipation: Several glasses a day of cabbage broth.

More Vegetables for Constipation: Red Beet, chard, Jerusalem artichoke, green pepper, pumpkin, radishes, summer squash and zucchini.

Here's to a happy, healthy pregnancy!

Nausea in Pregnancy---Solutions

image source
I hesitated to entitle this post morning sickness---a more appropriate name from my experience would be All-day-and-night-will-I-ever-survive-this-sickness!?!   What was "morning sickness" like for me?
  • cooking, cleaning products, and all but 1 bath soap were banned in my house to avoid wretched odors
  • I couldn't even say the word "vegetable" much less eat any (or meat)
  • Don't get me started on bathrooms (they grossed me out in general...I remember thinking it was the most digusting idea ever to put a bathroom inside a bedroom).
  •  pets were banned from the house
  • Making phone calls or surfing the web were too taxing
  • I was borderline toxemia (high blood pressure)
  • Admitted to hospital for low potassium (from vomiting) which can stop your heart
  • And lets not forget the constant heaving while taking nausea pills meant for chemo patients
  • I basically carried around a "pet" throw-up trash can for 9 mo's
So here we are trying for baby number two so I've decided to pull out the big guns and prepare early should I suffer the same fate with the next little cutie pie.  What's my solution?  Natural Remedies. 

Why natural remedies? First of all, conventional meds didn't help one iota the first time around. Secondly, I've witnessed miraculous results among myself, friends and family using safe, natural remedies...for example stopping a miscarriage * instantaneous relief from various stomach ailments * re-grew bone, skin & tissue after accidents * Fast healing of cuts & abrasions * stopped appendicitis * Cold & Flu prevention or fast recovery * Pink Eye * Mood enhancement (natural anti-depressant) * infant earache * constipation * and infant colic to name a few

So here goes...Natural Remedies for Nausea:
Note: There's not a 1 for all cure unfortunately as each woman and pregnancy is different.  The key is to try a combination of these suggestions and remedies until you minimize your symptoms.  

    • Nutrition is how we give our body what it needs to heal and thrive.  We must give our body the proper nutrients to work with.  just as you wouldn't build a home with toothpicks and marshmallows, nor should you build a baby with soda and twinkies.  A living soul needs living foods (fruits, veg, grain, seeds, nuts...) Eat as healthy a diet as possible.  Eliminate/decrease mucus forming foods such as processed foods, flour & sugar, and even dairy.  
    • According to Dr. Tom Brewer, proper & adequate nutrition keeps the blood volume up in pregnancy and prevents a number of issues such as preeclampsia/toxemia (high blood pressure).  You can get his diet  here.
    • Legumes can reduce nausea.  I have a pregnant friend who says that eating small amounts of beans every 30 minutes is giving her relief (she said she thought she was better and stopped the beans only to get sick again within 2 weeks).  You can read about how beans works here but basically eating legumes help remove bile in your system that cause the nausea.  BTW, this bile is produced by the liver, thus a liver cleanse would be beneficial too (drinking 16 oz of juiced carrots has worked well for me)...there are also herbal liver cleanses you do (just make sure your bowels are working (see constipation post coming up next).C
    • Constipation:  Constipation and pregnancy seem to go hand in hand.  But if you can keep yourself constipation-free, it will help you feel much better ( read this post for details/solutions )

    • Prenatal vitamins: 
      Prescription and OTC vitamins are often difficult for the body to assimilate and will thus be treated as waste product.  Here are some better alternatives:

    • Vitalerbs by Dr. Christopher which is a nutrient dense, whole food vitamin and mineral. 2-6 capsules 3x/day. You can read more about it here.  I highly recommend it.

    • Floradix:  Some woman have a hard time with their pre-natal vitamins because of the iron.  Floradix is a natural iron supplement with a very highly absorbable form of iron
    • Dandelion: yes, I'm referring to the weed in your has the highest source of iron content found anywhere
Essential Oil for Nausea:

I've just recently begun using essential oils by doTERRA and they are amazing, even miraculous in their effect.  With oils, you generally get what you pay for.  As a rule of thumb, all quality oils will be in the same price range.  I personally would not use an oil you find at the local market.  doTERRA is a high grade, pure oil.

Digestzen by doTERRA has become a must have in my home...LOVE IT!! It has stopped upset stomachs (even severe) in literally seconds for myself, husband, toddler, and teen relative.  I have 4 pregnant friends who have tried it and found relief.  Put a drop under tongue and/or rub a drop over belly in a clockwise circular motion.  
Herbs for Nausea

Ginger Capsules - proven to work better than OTC (over the counter) motion sickness meds i.e. Dramamine.  I suffer from motion sickness and can vouch for this.
    • How to take ginger pills: take enough pills until you taste the herb in the back of your throat.  Take 2 capsules, wait a few minutes; continue taking 1 at a time (waiting a few minutes in between) until you taste in back of your throat (I don’t mean spitting it up either).  Go slow so you don’t overdue it and give yourself heartburn

Red Rasberry Leaf (capsule or tea):  I'm not talking about the actual fruit, but rather the leaves.  It's a great all around pregnancy and reproductive aid also good for nausea.  drinking a cup of tea (or more) a day will also build a strong, healthy placenta. available online, health stores, and some grocery stores sell organic tea.  fyi: also great during flu season as a preventative:)  A delicious MUST at my home

More herbal suggestions can be read at  Dr. Christopher was an LDS master herbalist with an  amazing story  whose products I can vouch for (they have worked miraculously on a few occasions in my own and extended family).  Suggestions include spearment tea (works great for upset tummies), cloves, cinammon, turkey ruhbarb, and wild yam.

TEAS: ginger root, peppermint, spearmint, raspberry leaf, chamomille, fennel and lemon and honey mix


Several homeopathic remedies can help; they include Nux vomica, Pulsatilla, Sepia, and Ipecac, depending on what kind of nausea and vomiting that you may have.  Choose the one that matches your condition most (I will sometimes rotate several until I get the result) offers a great description of some homeopathic choices:

Antimonium Tart: You will feel like vomiting soon after eating a meal - usually its undigested food and you feel really tired, like lying down on the sofa most of the time.Look at the vomit. Is there a thick and stringy mucus mixed with bile? If yes, then this remedy will work wonders.
Argentum Nit: You dread being sick, feel anxious about it all the time. You are farting a lot and want to eat lost of sweet foods.The sickness is made a little better from cold drinks and being in a cold atmosphere. Being in a warm room makes you feel unwell.
Ipecac: You just feel sick a lot of the time. Your mouth gets filled with saliva that you have to swallow. Look at your tongue. Is it clean? Ipecac has a clean tongue. You don't feel very thirsty and sometimes can feel a bit faint.
Petroleum: You feel generally sick but still you never loose your appetite. Mouth has lots of spit, some heartburn. You feel hungry in the middle of the night.
Pulsatilla: Emotionally you feel tearful and frail. The nausea and sickness comes and goes with no clear pattern. But you can't bear fatty foods and your tongue has a thick yellow/white coating on it. You would like to drink cold lemonade. Feeling a bit worse afternoons and evenings.
Nux Vomica;There is a hung-over kind of feeling to the nux state, a heavy head, a bit fuzzy. You may vomit or retch after breakfast, being generally worse in the morning. Your mouth has a bitter acid taste. You have become a bit constipated and generally irritable, snappy.
Anarcardium: This is similar to nux vomica but not so much in the morning and the nausea is relieved by eating.
Natrum Phos: A creamy yellow coating at the back of your tongue. Sour vomiting and burping, slightly greenish diarrhoea. Feeling achey in joints.
Carbolic Acid: Your sense of smell has become very strong. You long for stimulants, tobacco or alcohol but can't have any. Lots of farting, constipation and your breath has become smelly. - or you think it has.
Sepia: One of the most reliable remedies for morning sickness.All of the usual suspects.. but the nausea and sickness etc are accompanied by a dragging sensation around the lower abdomen. You are feeling tired and disconnected, no emotions, overwhelmed by the situation.
Sulphur: This remedy has burning acidic vomit which smells awful. You feel worse on waking in the morning, and may have an itchy skin rash and feel very hot.
Tabacum: This is a case of extreme nausea, which is made worse by the least motion, You mouth feels full of saliva all the time, you look pale and feel weak and have a sinking feeling at the pit of your stomach. Generally you don't want to be covered up and there may be some itching on the skin - this could be anywhere on the whole body during pregnancy.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Around 1 in 300 women suffer from a severe on-going nausea and vomiting called hyperemesis gravidarum which may necessitate a stay in hospital for bed rest, rehydration and nutrient replacement. This condition is linked to the very high levels of oestrogen and chorionic gonadtropin which is released by the placenta increasingly until the end of the first trimester.
Some specialists feel that this condition is a symptom of a deeper psychological reaction to stress and that the chance to get away from the causation is all that is required. IF you do have this diagnosed and have medical intervention for it, remember that these remedies are very good for 'AND ALSO'.. so never just rely on orthodox medicine when you can add a more individual remedy to help YOUR health improve on a physical, mental and emotional level.
Whatever the cause, it is a very harrowing condition and practical treatment should be offered. There is a homeopathic remedy specific for the condition, Symthoricarpus Racemosa 200c every other day is considered a specific especially if these characteristic symptoms are present.Violent vomiting with nausea and retching, better from lying on the back and worse for movement.
I LOVE Hyland's brand.  I started off buying them seperately and liked them so much that I bought these 2 kits.

This is a basic kit for children & a good starter kit

This is for those who already use homeopathic medicine, like their benefit, and want to have a variety on hand.

A final suggestion for nausea is acupressure wrist bands for motion sickness. 

 I'll admit I tried them once on an airplane and they did not help...but I also know of people who say they work great.

Whew!  That's it!!!  I'll end with my lit'l disclaimer---I'm not a doctor so this is not an attempt to give medical advice or treatment.  This is my personal arsenal of ideas to get me through my next pregnancy.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

20,000 sheets of copy paper for 2 Pennies...Again!!:))

I just LOVE Office Max! 

They keep giving me free stuff!!!
Here's the scoop:

October, I buy  2 cases of copy paper  (20,000 sheets) for $68  
  • I pay $68 out of pocket and the magic begins...  
  • I get ALL my money back  (minus 2 pennies)  in MaxPerks rewards (it's like a store gift card)!!
November, more FREE rewards deals offered.
  • I order $50 worth of office supplies (i.e. batteries, retractable sharpies, labels).  
  • I use my Oct rewards, pay ZERO out of pocket plus get $50 back in rewards!  
Are you beginning to get the picture?

This weekOffice max again is offering FREE and $0.01 items including cases of paper, heavy duty binders, quality pens
  • You guessed it, I have $64 in rewards
  • won't pay a penny out of pocket PLUS I'll receive even more rewards!

Did I mention I'm saving this from 
the comfort of my own home?


Maxperks Explained:  
  • You need to  sign up  for rewards card (online or in-store).  You are issued a store card with an ID no. which you must use when you make purchases. 
  • When you purchase items (online or store) you give your maxperks number so purchase rewards will be issued to you
  • Create an  online account  in which to view your rewards and to print out your redemption cards.
  • At the end of each month, OfficeMax electronically issues any rewards you may have earned into your secure, online account. This reward will be issued by the end of the following month (usually around the 20th).  In other words, rewards for January purchases will be issued by the end of February.