August 30, 2012

We Have a Right to Know What's in Our Food #YesOn37 @CARightToKnow

The same corporations that brought us DDT and Agent Orange are now funding the No on Prop 37 campaign to deny our right to know what’s in our food.  Please take a moment and watch the video as well as share it with others, only takes a few minutes! We've got a right to know what's in our food!! 

Read more ...

August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Read more ...

August 27, 2012

The Garden planted itself!

Over the last few years if you've followed my garden updates you know that my vegetable plants have sprung up pretty much in the most unlikely places. I no longer plant cherry tomatoes, as they sprout themselves in about five locations in my garden. Who am I to complain? It just planted itself!

Usually though they sprout up in odd places, not convenient at all so they need to be relocated. This year however some tomatoes took it upon themselves to sprout in a perfect companion spot. Right with the roses.

Why is this good? Tomatoes help protect the roses against black spots!
Unfortunately  while the tomato was smart enough to find a growing mate, it's not in the best areas. The area is shaded mostly so it's growing mighty thin.

Next year if you find yourself wanting to plant some tomatoes and have roses,  team them up. Or if the location isn't best, you can make a solution to protect the roses from black spots. Take a good handful of tomato leaves and chop them all up, place in a quart jar of water and add a tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir, and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray all over the rose plants. Simple, frugal, organic.

Read more ...

August 26, 2012

Happy National Dog Day!!!

Read more ...

Finished Project - The Seed Box

No surprise here, I collect seeds by the dozen. It came across my mind a few months back that I should really have a place to store them other than a cardboard box. Of course in order to have my plan work I needed to convince the husband of this also. It was easier than I though to tell you the truth, he needs projects to keep him busy.

Or I need projects to keep him busy, however you look at it, this is possibly my all time- hands down- favorite thing my husband has made me.

Meet My Seed Box!

Pretty isn't it?

I've filled it up much more since this picture, and it's overflowing with seeds all around the garden. I'm in love with the box!
It's perfect, and I cart it around in the garden about once a week collecting seeds from plants. It's nifty to have around, and I thank my husband pretty much every time it's opened, no joke! 

Bet I can honestly say I'm the only one on my block with a custom made seed box ;-)

Read more ...

August 24, 2012

Being Sneaking with Spinach

With school starting this week I have come up with a new trick to get the kids to eat more greens, not that they hate it or anything. Surprisingly my kids ask for seconds even third helpings of most greens, but say on a day like today- Friday, we have a mini party to welcome the weekend. Pizza, popcorn, movies, extra fun happening around here.
   Where does the Spinach come in? It happens in the pizza. I've started to chop up the homegrown spinach into the sauce, the dough, even the cheese. The kids don't even know what's going on, They don't care either!
Come on, who would? It's pizza!

Do you sneak in extra vegetables anywhere? What are your secrets?

Read more ...

August 23, 2012

The New School Year Begins!

School started this past Monday for my kids crew, and that is why I've been missing in action in the blogging world. I'll catch up as soon as we're all used to the chaos of school again. Three of the kids are in this year, which leaves one munchkin home and it's an adjustment for everyone. There's also three different pick up times, all of which overlap one way or another. It's kinda crazy, wears the little one down fast as well.
 Once I can figure out some time to set aside again for blogging, I'll be back on schedule for daily posts!

Here's my awesome kids :)

So goofy, and so mine :) Love these guys! 

Have your kids started school yet? 

Read more ...

August 16, 2012

Join Teachers On The Frontline Against Hunger #Take action #NoKidHungry

With school right around the corner we're left dealing with things that come up during the new school year.
For 1 in 5 of our kids, there's an extra worry. Not having enough nutrition to live up to their full potential. Too often, the only meal that these children receive is a school lunch.

Principal McElhaney, from a middle school in Maryland, has seen the effects of hunger firsthand, like when, one morning, a student failed a test and told him he just didn’t care because he was too hungry to think about his school work. Like many of our heroes in the school system, he knew he had to do something.

Take a minute to watch the video and hear his story. 

Read more ...

August 13, 2012

Lock Up Safety For Students Headed Back-to-School

School Safety Tips & The Master Combo Challenge

Kids are getting ready to head back to school this time of year and as aparent we strive to get ready and prepare them for the school year.
There's school lists to check twice, supplies to stock up on, lunch boxes to stuff up and books to buy, the list goes on. I'll have three kids out of four heading to school this year and I find myself saying the same things
  • Do not talk to strangers
  • Never get in the car with someone they do not know
  • Label your belongings
  • Never leave valuables unattended
  • Do not walk off campus at any time
  • Stick with the class during field trips
We pay for gear, and gadgets, and all the other stuff in between that we don't' want to end up having to replace them. Have you spoken to your kids about keeping their belongings safe?

We'll be teaching our oldest about safety and locking up his bike this year since he'll be riding too and from school by himself. The Master Lock dial Speed lock will come in handy for him, it look super user friendly.
You along with your children that are school bound can play the game to get helpful tips on how to stay safe at school as well as keeping the possessions safe. Take the Master Combo challenge on Master Lock’s Website. Stay safe and Happy School Year!!

Disclosure: By posting this information, I'm entered to win a Master Lock back-to-school prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.
Read more ...

August 9, 2012

A Day at the fair @sonomafair

This past weekend we headed to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. It's so close we can hear the concerts playing each night. The kids had a blast, we will try to get there again before it ends.

Tons of things to see and do there, if you are a local be sure to check out their facebook page where they update with daily activities and specials around the fairgrounds.

Here's some of the fun stuff we got to do around the fair.

This was right outside the horse track, amazing! There's also a great area for the kids to play int eh sand directly behind this as well as a shaded area for parents to chill. 

One of the craft buildings that held some amazing art works, my kids were blown away by the this giant spider! Make sure you look for the Lego area right outside the Finely building, they let the kids sit down and build a master piece out of legos! Another great time for parents to sit back and relax, it's next to photo booths, and plenty of fun fair foods. 

Can we say Fun!? My three older children did this, kids as young as 3 can enjoy bouncing and jumping , it's right near the water ball pit, which I must say was the best way to get the kids energy out. Look how fun

We headed to the dairy barns, the petting zoo, saw some people try a hand at bull riding and little ranglers riding the sheep. It was crazy fun. 

We saw some horse and dog racing which was pretty funny. Most the dogs ran to the fence instead of down the track, the kids enjoyed it. 
 Tons of things to do, don't miss out if your nearby the Fair ends 8/12/12 so make sure if your around you stop on by! 

Read more ...

August 7, 2012

Disney presents “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,”

Have you seen the commercials and previews for this wonderful movie? “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” comes into theaters August 15th 2012. Here's a great preview

Academy Award®–nominated director/writer Peter Hedge (“Dan in Real Life,” What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”) brings enchantment to the screen with “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” an inspiring, magical story about a happily married couple, Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), who can’t wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. When young Timothy (CJ Adams) shows up on their doorstep one stormy night, Cindy and Jim—and their small town of Stanleyville—learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life’s greatest gifts.

When young Timothy suddenly comes into the lives of Cindy and Jim Green, they learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life’s greatest gifts.

Disney presents “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” with Ahmet Zappa, Scott Sanders and Jim Whitaker producing, story by Ahmet Zappa and screenplay by Peter Hedges. “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” is slated for release on August 15, 2012.
Read more ...

August 6, 2012

Four Season Garden Update

It's been awhile since I've posted about my garden, but with the last months Recipe challenge being all about the vegetables within the garden you can pretty much guess it's been keeping me really busy.

The first tomato plants that had been planted for early harvest are actually already being pulled up. They've completed a nice full harvest for me, and the next wave of tomatoes is still in the next stage ready to ripen. I have three stages of tomato, planted for early harvest, summer harvest and a late harvest, so there's plenty to still happen just with tomatoes alone.

Beans, huge bounty there, already picked three times, my kidney beans are ready to be picked these of course must all dry in their pods on the plant before picking. Once those are done, another set is ready to takes it's place.
Kidney beans dried in pod, ready to store away for later use! Red Scarlet's bean pods can get up to 10 inches long before they are ready to be picked! 

Greens galore
Squash, new sets were planted with a total of 8 different varieties, now if only teh squirrel leaves them alone, maybe they'd grow!

Anything happening in your garden? 

Read more ...

August 5, 2012

Homemade Chamomile Shampoo

It isn't hard to make your own shampoo, in fact it's easier than you think. You can use leftover slivers of soap that you may have laying around though it should be a mild one , and it's best that it wasn't scented in anyway.
 I've done this recipe many times, and many different ways, even with a little leftover baby shampoo and it comes out great. If you have no left over slivers of soap you can use pure soap flakes which are perfect and a must to keep on hand.

A note before I even start to post the recipe, yes the shampoo is a yellowish brown, that's because of the chamomile flowers. There is no coloring in this, it's all from the flower itself. It doesn't stain, and the shampoo lathers up nice a thick. There is no over powering smell but if the flower alone bugs you, use less, or use something like Rosemary to even it out if you'd like.

Chamomile keeps both scalp and hair nice and healthy! 

2 handfuls of dried chamomile flowers
2 1/2 cups boiling water
6 tablespoons pure soap flakes (or left over slivers)
2 tablespoons glycerin

 You will need-
2 bowls both heat proof
fine strainer


Boil your water. Place your flowers in a heat proof bowl and slowly add the boiling water to them. Let it stand for about 15 minutes. Take your strainer and place it inside one of your heat proof bowls. Lay cheesecloth (double layered) in the strainer.

 Pour the water/flower mixture carefully through cheese cloth. Scoop out some of the flower mixture and place it back into the bowl so you can work in small batches. You want to squeeze out all the water and strain it, so press as much as you can out and let the liquid pour through strainer into the bowl. Discard those flowers, and take next batch and repeat till all the flowers are strained. You should have a colored liquid to work with.

Set strainer aside and take your soap flakes and mix into the hot liquid. Soap flakes take several minutes to soften so let it sit. If after ten minutes they are still clumps of white, you may heat it up, but slowly. Use low heat if you need to do this. Add in the glycerin after the soap finally softens and blend well. Set mixture aside to let cool. Only place it into a container after it's cooled.

Easy and I enjoy it. I have very thick curl hair, in which this shampoo doesn't weight it down. It leaves my hair nice and clean and the chamomile scent (very light scent) lasts pretty much all day. It used to be mid day I'd feel like I had to re-wash my hair with store bought shampoo, so the change was easy for me. If and when I finally find a working conditioner recipe I'll share that as well!

Read more ...

August 3, 2012

The Adventurous Motorcyclist's Guide to Alaska

I love reading Travel books! Not only can you get a jump start in any vacation you and your family are planning, but you learn a tons of interesting facts about the area your reading about. Even if we're not planning on going somewhere I pick them up, it's fun just to read about areas and learn about new places.

I recently read and reviewed The Adventurous Motorcyclist's Guide to Alaska by Lee Klancher with Phil Freeman which I really enjoyed.

A complete guide with maps interesting facts, lists of stops and off road musts, this is a perfect side kick if your heading around Alaska. It was an enjoyable read even though I don't plan on heading up there anytime soon, just being able to read about it was fun enough. Delivered with some wit and plenty of amazing pictures your taken around the state on the best roads, tour stops lodging included of course as well as some must stops along the way. This would be my first travel book for a motorist, and I must say he covered everything needed. Great little travel case for emergencies, tools an essentials you'll need along the way to keep your ride smooth. It's a great pick if, your heading around Alaska even for a day, pick this up you'll enjoy it!

Lee Klancer is a write and photographer who delivered another great read. His work is in thirteen books, not to mention calenders and hundreds of magazine articles. He can really capture his surroundings in both words and photos, it was a pleasure to read. You can pick up a copy at any bookstore or stop by Amazon for the

The Adventurous Motorcyclist's Guide to Alaska  
by Lee Klancher with Phil Freeman
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Octane Press; First edition (June 19, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982913125
ISBN-13: 978-0982913123

Read more ...

August 1, 2012

Disney Junior News!

Disney Junior, the brand behind three of cable TV's top five co-viewed series among parents and kids age 2-8, including the #1 series "Doc McStuffins," will launch a nightly block of parent-targeted, kid-friendly short-form programming to air interstitially on the 24-hour channel Disney Junior, beginning TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 (9:00 p.m.-4:00 a.m., ET/PT). Presented under the banner "Disney Junior Night Light," the content is produced by Disney Interactive Family and the block is sponsored by Babble, Disney's leading parenting blog platform. The programs will also be featured on the Babble YouTube channel and The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide.
Kanter said, "We know that Disney Junior reaches moms as well as our core audience. Our new 'Disney Junior Night Light' programming is a nod to those moms, and dads too, who find themselves watching with their child during the later nighttime hours." Kanter continued, "We partnered with Disney Interactive Family to provide content that parents will appreciate, yet will also feel organic to our young Disney Junior viewers."
In keeping with Disney's heritage of storytelling, the emotional connection kids and parents have to Disney characters and stories and Disney's commitment to healthy lifestyles, the Disney Junior short-form series include: "DJ Tales," featuring cleverly costumed finger puppets acting out kids' versions of classic fairytales and storybook favorites; "Picture This!," a fast-paced series featuring artists and animators creating images of classic and contemporary Disney characters; and "That's Fresh," a cooking show hosted by chef Helen Cavallo who shares inspirational stories of cooking and eating with her own family and simple, healthy recipe ideas for kids and families. "Disney Junior Night Light" shorts in development include a series starring child and family photographer Me Ra Koh sharing her tips and tricks for taking professional-quality photographs, charming vignettes featuring parents sharing the story of the first day they brought their child home and a series that puts stay-at-home dads front and center.
"Babble leverages the power of storytelling to inform, entertain and empower parents everywhere," said Brooke Chaffin, Senior Vice President, Disney Interactive Family. "Based on the insights we've gleaned from Babble's vibrant community of bloggers, we've created short form video content for parents and kids to view together, offering them quick bursts of entertainment and inspiration in between some of their favorite Disney Junior shows."
For the second quarter 2012, the Disney Junior preschool block on Disney Channel delivered the top three preschool cable TV series among Women 18-49 with "Doc McStuffins," "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" and "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse."  Additionally, the March 23, 2012 premiere of "Doc McStuffins" is the #1 preschool series launch in cable TV history with adults 18-49.
Acquired by Disney in 2011, Babble is part of the Disney Interactive Family portfolio of online content and tools for today's connected parents. Babble offers a vibrant online community of real moms and dads who support, encourage and celebrate the highs and lows of raising a family. Babble's network of more than 300 influential bloggers contributes to the site daily, writing about a variety of parenting topics including pregnancy, child care, health, food and family activities, as well as lifestyle topics such as home, fashion and family products.   
Disney Junior reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior’s series blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills. Disney Junior launched in February 2011 with a daily programming block on Disney Channel. In its first year, Disney Junior posted the network's biggest yearly audience in the daypart in Total Viewers, Kids 2-5, Boys 2-5 and Women 18-49, increasing by double-digit margins among preschooler demographics over year-ago levels. On March 23, 2012 Disney Junior added a cable and satellite channel in the U.S. bringing the total number of channels to 30 worldwide. 
Read more ...