Feb 19, 2014

Memory Verse Printable ~ Proverbs 3:3

This is the bible verse we are working on right now. I'm hoping this printable, with a focus on some of the anchor words for my readers, will help. Being my first try, I think it turned out okay, but I'm open to suggestions. If you like it, you can download it below.

Feb 15, 2014

Save $10 on Your First Vitacost Order

Vitacost is one of my favorite sources for supplements, natural hygiene products, and organic grocery items. I've been ordering from them for several years on a regular basis. The product that got us started with them was Nature's Plus Animal Parade vitamins. They have them for up to 30% less than our local health food stores. When you have multiple children taking them, one bottle doesn't last very long, so that can be a considerable savings!
My Favorite Vitacost Products
  • Deep Steep Tangerine Melon organic bubble bath (for the hobbits)
  • Organic Grooming Dusk cologne (for the big guys)
  • Seventh Generation chlorine-free personal hygiene products
  • Aura Cacia essential oils
  • Carlson's for Kids Cod Liver Oil (in lemon)
  • Natural Factors Vitamin D3 Drops (adults & kids)
  • Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds
  • Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Organic Raw Honey (my guys eat it off a spoon like candy)
  • Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk (when it's on sale)
  • Farmer's Market Organic Canned Pumpkin (when it's on sale)
If you are looking for good service, you'll find it with Vitacost. I am always impressed with how well my orders are packed - cardboard divider inserts, each fragile product wrapped in bubble wrap, and liquids in plastic bags. I've never had a leak or damaged product.

How It Works

If you have never ordered from Vitacost before, you can save $10 off of your first order by clicking through my referral link and placing a minimum $30 order. Not only do you get a $10 credit, so do I. Win-win! Orders over $49 automatically get free shipping also. While you are there, be sure to click on the Deals tab at the top right. They always have great sales going on.


Save a little more by getting to Vitacost via Ebates.com. By using Ebates, you can get a certain percentage of your purchase back in a quarterly rebate, either as a check or Amazon gift code. If you have never used Ebates before, you can click on this referral link to get started. (Again, I receive compensation for referrals.)

This post contains affiliate links.

Best Strawberry Frosting Ever...Naturally

My Valentine baby turned four years old today. His only request in regards to cake was that it be chocolate. He gets it honest. Normally, I just go with chocolate or vanilla buttercream frosting since we avoid artificial food coloring, then I remembered a suggestion from a fellow Feingold mom.

Freeze-dried fruit!

As it is Valentine's Day and red is Miles' favorite color, I chose strawberry. My guys loved it! They said it's the best strawberry frosting they have ever tasted. No cloying fake strawberry flavor here. Sweetness with just a bit of tang. Naturally.

"It's better than anything you can buy, Mom." - Son, age 6
 "Just have to say that those cupcakes with that frosting were crazy good." - Text from Papa Bear
This is super easy to make and you have a variety of flavors to choose from. Mango. Blueberry. Banana. Raspberry. Peach. Strawberry. If you have a love affair with blueberries, check out these blueberry cupcakes with blueberry cream cheese frosting.

Make the Fruit Powder

Pour part or all of the package of freeze-dried fruit into your blender or food processor. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until it has all turned to powder. Done. I used a 1.5 ounce package and had enough left over for another batch or two of frosting or maybe cake batter. You can store the remaining powder in a recycled spice jar and it should keep for quite a while due to being freeze-dried.

Make the Frosting

I'm going to cheat a bit here and not actually give you a recipe for frosting. {gasp} If you already have a favorite vanilla buttercream recipe, you can use that. If not, try this one. They are all fairly the same and any good cookbook will have a recipe for basic buttercream. I used organic cultured butter, organic powdered sugar, and unsweetened almond milk. After creaming the butter, simply add a teaspoon of the fruit powder in with the powdered sugar, increasing gradually until you reach the desired color and flavor intensity. Omit vanilla, if it calls for it. That's it. Easy Peasy.

What else can we add this fruit powder to?
  • Plain organic yogurt
  • Cake batter
  • Oatmeal
  • Smoothies
  • Homemade fruit chews candy??

This post contains affiliate links.

Linked to Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Super Saturday Link Party, Homemaking Link-Up, Welcome Home Wednesday

Feb 5, 2014

Mexican Rice & Taco Bowls

No Mexican fiesta is complete without rice. This makes a fairly regular appearance on our menu, especially in one of our favorite meals - taco bowls. Of course, it makes a great side to tacos, burritos, enchiladas, etc.
Yum. I'm eating it right now and it qualifies as comfort food in my book.

Mexican Rice

3-5 Tbl olive oil
2 c uncooked rice (I use organic brown or Basmati)
1/2 c onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed (1 1/2 tsp of jarred)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
4 c chicken broth

Heat oil in large deep skillet over medium heat, then saute garlic and onion until tender. Add rice to skillet, stirring constantly, until golden. Stir in salt, cumin, tomato sauce and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Brown rice may take longer.

Taco Bowls
Layer in a bowl:
  • Mexican rice
  • Seasoned ground beef (I use Laura's Lean or grass-fed)
  • Black or dark red kidney beans (rinsed)
  • Shredded cheese (we love Kerrygold Dubliner)
  • Chopped Romaine lettuce
  • Diced avocado or guacamole
  • Plain organic yogurt
Serve with tortilla chips (preferrable organic/GMO-free).

Linked to Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Super Saturday Link Party, Fight Back Friday

Feb 1, 2014

Homemade Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Near the beginning of our journey to healthier eating, I stopped buying ranch dressing. The primary reason was because we were avoiding dairy but also to avoid the preservatives and MSG. When we were ready to try dairy again, we tried a few natural and organic brands, but none of them passed our taste tests.

Currently, we are consuming dairy mostly in the form of butter, yogurt and, occasionally, cheese. I adapted this recipe from Linda's Lunacy by replacing the sour cream with yogurt and leaving out the buttermilk. If you need it thicker for dipping vegetables, use Greek yogurt or strain your regular yogurt through cheesecloth for a couple hours first. You can adjust the herbs to suit your preferences.


Yogurt Ranch Dressing
1 c mayonaisse (homemade or store-bought)
1 c plain whole milk yogurt
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp dried dill
3/4 tsp dried parsley
3/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Whisk together in medium bowl, then transfer to glass jar with lid. Refrigerate for at least an hour to let flavors combine before serving. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. 
Makes just over two cups and fits in a pint jar.


Linked to Super Saturday Link Party

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