April 30, 2010

Are You Listening?

Last night my husband and I went to our churches' live worship recording at Gateway Church!  It was awesome and crazy!  We went with our pre-printed, early admission tickets and still stood behind probably 500 people outside for 45 minutes waiting for the doors to open (and my huge belly bulging, and feet aching).  They even had Chick-fil-a cart strolling up and down the line offering sandwiches, chips and water.  I must have looked huge and uncomfortable because the lady gave me a free water and said she felt my pain.  Sometimes there are perks to being pregnant!
After the lights went down and the atmosphere began to get intense with anticipation; the worship began and it was pretty incredible.  You'll be able to be a part once the CD/DVD is released in a few months (can't wait to relive it!).  
Then Pastor Robert Morris came up during intermission and told us to hold out our hands.  In our hands represented the sin that we just felt we couldn't get free from on our own.  We held it up to God and believed that He would set us free that night!  I whispered into my hands "hesitating when God says go," then I started to think, "okay, now how do I walk in freedom?"  Automatically my little brain began another list of things I needed to do to be free... and then I felt like God spoke straight to my heart, "You don't have to learn how to walk in freedom, just learn how to walk in Me."  Wow!  Miracle moment for me... Thank you God!  That alone is freedom to me, because I'm always trying to figure everything out and do things the best way.  And right then, God showed me the simple truth that I'd probably learned a thousand times before, but it went straight to my heart. 
I can't figure everything out, I'm not supposed to!  I just have to walk every day with Jesus, try to be as much like Him as possible... and He will help me take care of all the rest!  Amen.
So we ended the night with praise and then crashed because we were so exhausted from a wearing week of running all over the place!  But even in the most unexpected times, God wants to speak to your heart, and share His Truth and Freedom with you... are you listening?!

April 27, 2010

Homemade Kids Products

Homemade Hand Sanitizer:
4 oz of Aloe Vera Gel
Lavender and/or Tea Tree Oil

Place Aloe Vera in a bowl.  Mix 10 drops of each oil, or 20 of one.  Place in a container of your choice (travel bottles work great)!

Homemade Hand Soap:
1 Tsp -1/8 Cup (depending on size of pump or dispenser) of Dr. Bronner's Soap
5-6 Drops of Jojoba Oil to moisturize - optional
4-5 Drops of Essential Oil of choice - optional

Fill foaming pump bottle nearly to the top with water.  Add Dr. Bronner's and Oils.  Cap and mix. 

Homemade Baby Wash:
Follow instructions for Hand Soap but add Lavender Oil.  Use in a foaming dispenser and squirt a tiny bit on a wash cloth to clean entire body, and hair, in bath.  The only thing I don't like is that it's a bit watery (could probably add a bit more soap).  Also, be sure to cover their eyes when rinsing to assure no soap gets into their eyes!

April 25, 2010

My "baby" Turned Two!

Happy Birthday Neeci!

We had so much fun celebrating with Neeci at Rainforest Cafe Friday night.  We didn't really do anything "green," except that I made little flower-lollipop bouquets for favors from the leftover flower lollipops from Kailyn's third birthday (her theme was Candy Land, so I'm still trying to get rid of starlight mints and other random candies!).  I purchased some balloons and brought my own used, sparkly weights to reuse.  And I carried all our gifts and goodies into the restaurant in my newly acquired Aldi reusable grocery bag.

Haha, okay, so this isn't really a post about being more green or gracious for that matter, just a chance to show off my beautiful babies.  Here's a few pictures from our fun evening... love you Neeci!!

If you want to see more pictures, check out my Facebook page!

April 23, 2010

Going Green...Update!

I wrote a blog a few weeks back about where to start going green, so here is a little update on where we are!
We have officially switched to recycled toilet paper!  We have only tried two brands, CVS brand and Walmart's White Cloud - we are completely sold on Walmart's brand!  It's cheaper than most and we can't tell any difference in softness between that and what we used to use.  Here's a more in depth blog on recycled toilet paper.
I have been much better at bringing my reusable bags into the store and I've collected a few more (free)!
I've replaced almost all of our household cleaning and personal cleaning products (diapers too).  I have made a few things on my own, but I've been slowly stocking up on deals for as many products as possible and looking for common products that are low in chemicals (check on cosmetics database) and using coupons with good weekly sales.  I've also started switching over my makeup and started a master list of products (rated 0-3) to look for while I'm shopping.  Look for a future blog on my makeup makeover.
I have started recycling my hangers by dropping them off at the cleaners when we go (my husband really likes the dry clean, crisp look and I found out that our cleaners cleans organically)!
I'm planning to make a huge trip to Goodwill this weekend and donate a lot of our used household items that could benefit someone else.  I'm still looking for ways to reuse all of my old magazines without having to dump them in the recycling bin.
I'm still working on,

  • a more advanced recycling center at home
  • starting a garden (I'm only going to start with some low maintenance herbs)
  • composting
  • slowly switching all food (esp. meat and produce) to local/organic
  • limiting our food waste

April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Even though this is the 40th anniversary of celebrating Earth Day, this is my first time really recognizing it!
I started the week off on Sunday getting a free reusable tote at Target (woohoo)!  You can get one from Red Gold before May 7th!
I had my 36 week doctors visit for me and baby (we're so close).
Started trying to finish potty training =).  That's always exciting, and full of surprises.  Less diapers, better Earth!
My heart was hoping to get my tiny herb garden started and plant a tree with my girls... but I haven't been able to do that before Earth day, so we're making it our goal for May.  I want some yummy fresh herbs and a tree really does benefit so many things; they love playing in the dirt.  Win win.
Since I'm already on this journey of being greener, I'm not going to go to crazy over one day, and just continue doing what I'm doing.  One way is to green up my makeup... check out this site from EcoTools offering 2 free makeup brushes just by mailing your old ones in!!!

Whatever you end up doing on Earth Day, April 22 ... I hope it's fun and helps make it more fun for your whole family going green!  Be sure to check out magazines, online coupon printing sites and your local stores and papers for many environmentally-friendly and organic coupons and deals this month!  Let me know what you did this Earth Day!

April 19, 2010

My "Busy Woman's" Quiet Time

I woke up the other morning and felt like God just whispered to my spirit that He missed me.  I realized I had let life get the best of me again... it had probably been a whole week since I'd really sat down and just spent some time with my Saviour.
This has always been the greatest struggle for me, consistency in my quiet times.  For me I battle the perfectionist mindset even in what is supposed to be a special time to just build my relationship with my Jesus.  I set these guidelines, whether it's the actual amount of time I spend each morning in prayer or worship; if I'm writing in my journal each day or following a devotional journal; or digging into the Word through study.  If I don't meet this self-prescribed criteria than I'm not having a "real quiet time."  I know that is never the way to think, but it's almost a sub-conscience train of thought I have to break.
God reminded me that this next season of my life is going to be a hectic one, with the birth of our third baby girl just a few weeks away.  I remember with my first two, it felt like I would never be able to enjoy my early morning quietness again. I was sleeping every chance I got and when I was awake I was so needed by everyone and everything.
So He said to start meditating on the Word.  Pick a scripture and memorize it.  Whether that takes a day or a week, just focus on it, put it up around the house and meditate on it throughout the day.  I spent a few weeks doing this last summer... just focusing on memorizing scripture (which I'm sad to say I haven't yet made a habit), and it changed my whole perspective!  I found ways to apply the Word to every situation throughout my day and it kept my mind focused on Jesus all day long.
This is my "busy woman's" plan for staying focused on Jesus even in the most hectic of life's seasons.

April 16, 2010

My Very First Garage Sale... Will Have to Wait

I had planned everything to hold my very first garage sale, but my husband and I decided that this is not the best time for our family to try and make that happen (we only have 5 weeks left before our due date, and our schedule is already jam-packed).  So I went ahead and deleted my online (free) ads for the garage sale and plan to return my $.39 poster boards to target (and wooden sign sticks to my mom).  I planned to donate 50% of all the proceeds to a local charity, but since that won't be happening, we are going to donate all of the actual household items we were going to sell to the charity (and Goodwill).
So instead of holding a sale this weekend, we are going to spend a few hours cleaning out the attic and garage (the only parts of my house I haven't already scoured through) and either throw away, donate or post (big items) on craigslist to sell.  I can't wait to see my garage and attic cleaned and organized!  I also decided to try and get a few bucks for the clothes we need to get rid of by taking them to a resale shop and putting the money towards our last minute baby needs.  Whatever doesn't sell will be loaded up in the truck with the rest of the donations.
One day I will have pictures and experiences of my first garage sale to share with you... until then...

April 14, 2010

ToysRus/BabiesRus Sale!

If you haven't checked out organicdeals.blogspot.com do it today!  Through that awesome site I found out about this awesome deal that lead me to buy a bag full of 7th Generation cleaning products (and a few BabyGanics products) for less than $10!!!  This week at Toys/BabiesRUs all BabyGanics is B1G1Free and 7th Generation is B1G1 1/2 off!  There is also a huge clearance on most 7th Generation products, they're ringing up at $1.98 each, plus you can still use coupons... woohoo!  I can't contain my excitement!  I found a few stragglers in the clearance section and bought those too (as well as a few diapers, with coupons).  Kiss My Face also had a few clearance items, so I picked up a Detangler for free (used a $2 off coupon) and then bought a few Jason Kids products for $1.98 each!  Just exciting stuff.  Check out this page all about the sale, and then link to a few coupons to print for yourself!  Hurry, I don't know when this sale ends!

April 7, 2010

My Favorite Pregnancy Places

I woke up bright and early, and couldn't fall back asleep (which is unusual since I've been so exhausted this third trimester)... that's when it hit me.  The nesting has begun.  I couldn't stop my brain from going a million miles an hour, and had to literally focus on calming myself down before I freaked out that "We only have six weeks left and nothing is READY?!"  Whew.  I made it through that brief anxiety attack and have spent the rest of the day finding the best deals online for the basics I need to purchase; scouring the internet for useful resources; and planning my meal-freezing for after the delivery.  Haha!  It's crazy how fast it comes on!  I was so relaxed up until today... but maybe you too can benefit from my craziness.  Here are some really useful resources I've used, some since my first pregnancy!

Ever since I got pregnant with my first baby (4 years ago) I have been using babycenter.com.  This is a great site that helps you track your pregnancy, baby and toddler growth, for each child!  I now have a 3 1/4 year old, a 23 month old and a 31 week pregnancy being tracked.  I get updates in my e-mailbox (if I choose), and the site is full of great articles, discussions and tools.  They also have a great green living section full of tips and tools.

I just found thebump.com.  I love their pregnancy checklist which covers everything you will need to do from conception to delivery, as well as their pregnancy and parenting tools.  They have some great resources, so check it out for yourself.  I find the "What To Buy for Baby" checklist very helpful for this third time around.  It's been a little while, and since we're having another girl I don't need to buy quite as much stuff this time around, so this has helped me stay on course.  Here is a great article on going green during your pregnancy.

Check out lilaguide.com.  This is a great site that I've just found.  Set the city to the nearest, largest city to you and then you can check out events in your area, find reviews on popular products left by other parents, and more.

Since I'm now in my third trimester, I have found these tips on freezing foods really helpful.  Here are some great freezable recipes too.  I like to spice it up, I know that we will always eat italian - lasagna and chicken tetrazini, or mexican - burritos and enchildas, but I wanted to find some other really good recipes that we would eat and were a bit different.  I purchased some disposable tins to freeze in so that I wouldn't use up my glass dishes.  I also LOVED the tip of lining your glass casserole dishes with heavy-duty aluminum foil, assemble your casserole, freeze, then remove the foil and place in a heavy-duty freezer bag.  Place back in glass dish to thaw and cook.  Now I'm stocked for a few weeks after the delivery and I'm getting the nursery and my hospital bag finished... yay!  What a great feeling.  Next is to tackle the attics and have a garage sale (ugh!).  I'll let you know how that goes.  Please share any advice you have with a mom very reluctant to "yard-sale."
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