Saturday, 21 January 2012

Other BIIIIG News!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway. We had 31 people participate and because of the multiple entries that were allowed, there were 112 entries. I took a picture of the answer on Random.org but it won't upload. So, I hope you trust me on it. Before we reveal the winner I would like to share some news.

In the coming week Natural-Nurturer and Natural-Nester will be merging to create one blog. It is a very exciting time. We will be able to work together to bring you all of the awesome ideas that we have. We will be merging to Natural-Nester's blog. We have many of the same followers, but those of you that don't follow her blog, please go on over and join it so you can keep up with us. We will be changing the name to Natural NesterS! It fits us both so much.

We are not only sisters but we are best friends and we are so excited about this step in our blogging life! We hope that you will continue to support us. Joining together like this will allow us to offer many more giveaways for you!

But what you have all be waiting for.... The winner of the Lequip Professional Stick Blender with all of the attachments, from Nutrition Lifestyles.... is Number 39!



Kim DeMoss

Thank you Nutrition Lifestyles for partnering with us for this amazing giveaway. We hope to do this again in the future!! 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Ms. Pig got a makeover!

Nine years ago I was in my balancing college life, working full-time, and planning for my wedding. Nate was in Hawaii with friends working... and doing ZERO wedding planning, haha! Between work and class I didn't have much extra time. So, all of the time that I did have I usually spent in my dorm room, online, finding nice- CHEAP- ideas! I can't believe it is almost 9 years ago that I married this boy.

Our family pig joined us almost 9 years ago too. She has been wonderful. She is world traveled and used by many. She has lived in Texas, Mississippi, JAPAN, and now California. She is still as healthy as ever. But the husband decided it was definitely time for a makeover. Her hair had started to fade, so like any awesome woman-- she needed to go in to have her hair fixed.

So.She.Did.


First the husband use a special tool (my word for I don't know which one) to take off the existing paint.  No worries, TawTaw (the awesome ARTIST of The Pig)... she didn't look as bad as the above picture portrays. 


Then the man got right to work! First was dying her hair black, I mean- that is what is in style these days with a lot of girls- right? Or at least it was in style in my neck o' the woods last time I visited.  


Next he gave her some white highlights. Don't you know that the gals that dye their hair black usually add some additional color? Well Ms. Pig wanted the same special care! 


Next she had her favorite procedure done: Getting her eye make-up put on to last FOREVER! Who wouldn't like this!!! Amazing- never have to do your make-up again! Sign me up, please! :)


Daddy took really good care of Ms. Pig.


She came out beautiful and ready to go! She is excited for the next 9 years with us! 

This pig has brought joy to many... :) We can only thank our very own TawTaw (my step-dad) for this wonderful creation. If you asked me what we got for our wedding... there are only three things that I could tell you that I remember from the top of my head.. and Ms. Pig of course would be #1. 

*If you have black hair with highlights, I wasn't saying bad things about you... just trying to make the post fun*



Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Making Playdough!!!

Every kid loves playdough! We decided to make our own in daycare! What is better than playdough? 

EATABLE, GOOD SMELLING, RED playdough! :)


Ingredients:
Cream of Tarter
Pack of Cool Aid
Flour
Oil
Salt
Water


Mix together all dry ingredients!
Mix the water and oil too!


Put on the stove and slowly pour the water/oil mixture in.


Heat and stir until it is all mixed together. This took about 2-3 minutes.


Then it says to put on a surface and knead it for a few minutes. 
I, however, used my Bosch Mixer that I bought from Nutrition Lifestyles to knead it for me! 


See how easy it was! Now all I have to do is let it cool until the kids can play with it. Took like 2 minutes! 


Rooster Head's handprint!


He loved it! 

I love him! He had so much fun. 



He wanted to build a snowman! 


Rolling it out with his own personal rolling pin! 


Feeding Mr. Piggy the playdough!

We had so much fun. The kids loooooved it. They played for at least 30 minutes. The best part is that if you keep it in a sealed container, it stays good for up to six months! That is AWESOME! AND if the baby decides to eat it... like babies do... all he gets is some VERY, VERY salty flour! 

Yes, I tasted it! 

Have fun making playdough with your kids!

-C

Hey you, YES YOU, Don't forget about our GIVEAWAY! You have until Friday night to enter!! Come on, it is FREEEEE! 

I am a food addict.

*This was written last night, Jan. 16, but I have debated about actually posting it*

Hi, my name is Cassey and I am a recovering food addict. Seriously.

I have struggled my whole life with being the overweight gal. I have tried every fad diet out there and I have lost a little weight here and there, but mostly, I put it right back on. I think I am just use to being the fat girl that I put on a happy smile to mask the pain I am in being the big girl. Is there anyone out there that understands that? I am sure there are many of you that can totally understand!!! 

I was successful once.

2007. I had graduated college and had my first teaching job... and I did not want to be the fat teacher. I wanted to look good. Heck, I was only 24 years old. On June 18th of that year, I made a lifestyle change. I started my journey at 228 pounds. When I started school in August, I felt AWESOME! I had been working out and eating right. I continued to lose weight and focus on me and it was great. My husband was finally getting the beautiful wife that his hunky self deserved. I was happy. In October of that year, an acquaintance (who became one of my best friends) asked me to run a half marathon with her the following March. I had recently began running and she thought I would be the perfect running partner. For the next six months we ran and trained for our half marathon. I found a NEW ME, a girl that I LOVED! 

2008. Brought many changes. We had just gotten news that we would be moving to Japan for three years. I hit my lowest weight to date of 148. I felt awesome. I ran a half marathon in 2 hours and 21 minutes and DID NOT STOP ONE TIME. I was on it. I could do this. WAIT! I did this! I was in love with me. I was in love with who I had become. I was happy. As we moved to Japan my focus on what I put into my body was not near as important to me as I began enjoying all of the Japanese food. However, I never got above 165 and I still felt great. But I let go of my goals when it came to my body. I didn't think I would ever see high numbers on thats scale Again. I was wearing a size 8, a size that was so very foreign to me! I felt AWESOME! 

2009. I found out I was pregnant. God had blessed us. I firmly believe that I got pregnant because I had lost the weight and was active. I had previously been diagnosed with PCOS and was told it would be very difficult for me to have children. Getting pregnant was a big surprise. July of that year we had gone to Tokyo to climb Mt. Fuji. We did it! We were the second couple up and back down Mt. Fuji with our group. We were loving the active lifestyle together. Two days later I found out I was five weeks pregnant. How awesome! Life couldn't get better. :) Oh, but it could get worse. December of that year I found out that my brother was killed in a car wreck and we were rushed home to be with family. Rushed from Japan still took two days. A part of me died with Shane that day. I will never be the same person. I am so thankful though that my brothers last memories of me are not the fat Cassey. A couple of months before that terrible day he was talking to me on the phone telling me that he and my mom were looking at old pictures... and that they just never realized how big I really was all those years. I was Cassey... the people that loved me FOR ME, never saw the fat.. until it was not there anymore. I am sad to say, I am looking very similar to that girl from years ago again today. 

2010. I enjoyed being pregnant in Japan. I missed my brother like crazy. I continued to eat and eat. I was one of those gals that said when I get pregnant I will not eat like I am eating for two... I will eat healthy, workout. Yea, right! The only thing that I worked was my jaw... eating all of those Popeye's mashed potatoes. I am also one of those girls that covers up my pain, sadness, anger, etc. with food. Why I have allowed food to suppress my feelings for so long is beyond me. March of that year I had went in for induction at 40 weeks and 5 days. I was prepared for a natural birth. I wanted to do it all the right way. I had researched it all.. I was READY! :) However, Noah would not progress. I ended up having a C-Section (not my plans:)). Going in to have Noah, I weighed in at 256lbs. WHOA! I was so swollen. I know everyone says that.. but seriously. :) Within two weeks I had gotten down to 185lbs... It was truly awesome becoming a Mommy.

Today. I sit here quite a bit heavier than what I was before I had Noah. I have not been able to find my mojo to get this weight off. I continue to allow food comfort me when I am sad, angry, lonely. I have finally joined a gym and I really, really LOVE going. I have not lost any weight, though. No matter how much I workout, I haven't lost weight. Clearly the answer is the food I have been eating. I just can't seem to kick that bowl of cereal, that slice of fresh made bread, that pasta dish, etc. For the past two years I have been toying with a COMPLETE lifestyle change with how we eat. I have been researching it and I love everything I read and know about changing my life. It is just taking that step to do it. I want my family to be a healthy family. I know the right steps... but again, it is a matter of doing it! 

A few weeks ago I started reading into the Paleo Lifestyle. Have you heard of it? Tonight I joined the Paleo Challenge at my gym for 30 days. I am not sure if putting this out there for everyone to read is the right thing or not. I worry about being judged or failure. But as my husband said: "So, don't fail!" So if you are judging me... please keep it to yourself. I need support... and I know there are so many people that have struggled that can support me right now. I need all of the support that I can get. I also know there are many people just like me.. you are at your whits end, you are sick of how you feel and look, you need the motivation to put one foot in front of another. If I can motivate anyone to take that first step ... it will all be worth it.

So here I am. Today we took measurements and before pictures. My hope is that eventually I will feel comfortable enough to put those pictures up here for you to see... when you can see where I ended up.

So if you are reading this, will you promise to support me, follow me, and encourage me on my 30 day challenge, that is going to turn into my forever? I am going to have hard days... but I WANT and NEED to succeed. Something changed in me when I became a Mommy. I want and need to be here for my son. I want to grow old with my husband. I want to live an active life with my family. I want to have more children. This is the only way it is going to happen- changing my life. I don't want my child(ren) to grow up struggling with weight the way I have. I want them to have a healthy relationship with food and be able to enjoy it... but not think they have to depend on it during the hard times in their life! 

Here is to Day 1 of changing my life FOREVER!

*Day 1 went great. I ate 100% on track and had a great workout. I have not been tired or hungry all day*

-Thanks for your support!
C

Monday, 16 January 2012

Who wants Pancakes???

Our little Rooster head does! Oh yes, that is his nickname that his daddy gave him! :) About 5 out of 7 days a week my little boy is asking for Pancakes.. And now he has added BACON to that request as well. Sweet boy! :) 

So here is a morning of making our pancakes. Many times we use our Bosch blender from nutrition lifestyles to make our pancakes from our whole wheat. But in the mason jar below, we still had some fresh wheat that we had ground up the day before that we needed to use. 

I was out of egg- so we used flaxseed mixed with water. YUM! 


My little helper. He loves to help with anything and everything-- and he is GREAT at it! 


But what he really loves to do is EAT THE PANCAKES! Eat he will. He will eat 5-7 pancakes at a given time. This is wonderful. He was breastfed until 20 months old, so food didn't interest him like normal kids. 


So my question for you is.. what is your favorite food to cook with your child? Leave me a comment and let me know! I need some new ideas! 

Also, don't forget about the GIVEAWAY. It ends on Friday! 

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Kids and Veggies

Until recently, I have struggled with getting my little guy to eat his veggies. He was breastfed until twenty months old, so real food really did not interest him. Lately though, he has been eating pretty much anything you put in front of him AND asks for more! :) What a blessing for this mommy. 

But the question always arose- how do I make sure this little guys is getting the nutrients that he needs? Well, I use my juicer. He doesn't get juice often. I never buy it. I don't think he needs all of that extra sugar in his little body... heck, he is already hyper enough! :) I love it. But we love to juice together. And we did this week. 
(I would post more pictures of us juicing together, but some of my daycare kids are in it... and I don't want to put their pictures on my blog.)


We gathered apples, carrots, and celery for our juice this day. We cleaned the fruit and veggies. Then we cut off the edges. Ok, I cut the edges off. The kids had a lot of fun knowing we were going to make our own juice. 


This is what the juicer looked like after we finished juicing. All of the veggies and fruit you see above has now been juiced and that is what was produced, in the cup container. Just enough for three kids cups and two adult cups. YUM!


My little rugrat drinking his juice. Seriously, if you are one of those that said you would get a juicer from nutrition lifestyles, I highly recommend it. It is so great for you, PLUS it is so very fun to juice with your kids. Also, you know exactly what you are giving your child vs all of the store bought juices. Seriously, those can't be THAT great for our little kiddies. 



This was my cup. Hubby had his own as well. It was gone within seconds. We don't add anything else to it, we drink it straight from being juiced. YUM! 


This is the remaining compost. This is my least favorite part about the juicer. I don't really like to clean it, but if you do right away... it literally takes 2-3 minutes to get all of the parts clean. We love our juicer and we try all kinds of different juices... you should try too! 

Don't forget about our GIVEAWAY! We don't have that many entries. Make sure you enter AND tell a friend! 

-C

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

GIVEAWAY & Guest Post!


First off I just want to say "Hello," to everyone over here at Natural-Nurturer and also say thank you for letting me come hang out with yall today! 

I am really excited to share about these wonderful muffins that I baked last night! Since I got my new red, shiny Kitchen Aid Mixer for Christmas I have had a ton of fun baking.  I have kind of been on a muffin kick though...which I don't mind since I love breakfast.  So I have been baking my muffins at night time, and then having them ready for the next morning...that might not be as nice as right out of the oven muffins, but they have been pretty dang good! 



So this morning we got to eat these wonderful French Toast Muffins! They were so yummy, and very fun to make.  Also, they didn't take long at all, I always love baking things that don't need to be fully mixed, but call for you to leave some lumps in them. It makes things a lot easier.  This may come from the fact that I have never owned any kind of electric mixer at all.  I have always hand mixed everything that I bake, and that gets very tiring, so you can see why I prefer these types of things.  

Anyways, I have brought the wonderful French Toast Muffin recipe over here to share with all of you guys! So take some time to make these wonderful muffins, you don't even have to eat them for breakfast, have them at a party, or for dessert, anything...they are great! 



French Toast Muffins
First you will need: 

Muffin Mix:
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. all purpose flower
1 1/2 tsp.  baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 c. melted butter
1 egg 
1/2 c. milk

Topping:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. melted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Preparation time: 10-15 min.
Bake time: 20-25 min. 
Recipe Servings: 9-12 muffins

First you want to sift together all of the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl.  (I first put mine into my mixer but then realized it wouldn't have taken very long just to do this one by hand) 
Then add all of the wet ingredients to the same bowl
Combine and mix all of the ingredients, but do not over mix.  Leave the mixture a little lumpy
In a muffin pan put muffin liners or grease 9-12 muffin tins (I made 9 muffins, you could probably make a dozen if you wanted, they would just be a little smaller)
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the edges begin to turn a little brown (mine baked for the full 25 minutes)

Muffin Topping
For the topping, 
In one small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon
In another small bowl, melt butter
While the muffins are still hot dip each individual one in the butter and then roll them in the cinnamon/sugar mixture to coat the top
*If you are able to, you can dip the entire muffin in the butter and cinnamon mixture, it makes them even better! 
**You may have some of the mixture left over, if you do use it to dip the muffins in while you eat it!










Then enjoy your wonderful creation! 




I hope you all enjoy this wonderful recipe as much as my family and I have! And if you do try it out stop by over at Natural-Nester and let me know what you think! 

Thanks so much for letting me come visit! 


NOW....for the GIVEAWAY we have been telling yall about! 
I am so excited to share with you this awesome kitchen tool that you can win FOR FREE! You do have to go through a few hoops to get entered… but it is a great tool to have in your kitchen. I use my regularly. Also, I am so excited that Nutrition Lifestyles  has partnered with us to offer this amazing giveaway to you.
Our first ever giveaway is a Lequip Professional Stick Blender with all of the attachments.
This tool is so amazing. I have used it to mince veggies such as onions, cilantro, and even tomotoes. We really enjoy using it to help make our salsa. I have also used it when making baby food. The uses for this tool are unlimited. The website describes this tool as:
“An ideal blender for daily use. Slim ergonomic design with soft-touch easy-grip handle. Stainless steel body. Removable, interchangeable blades for mincing, beating, chopping, aerating, and whisking. It also includes a multi- chopper/grinder attachment.”
Please go to the website and read all about this awesome little tool! I think every kitchen needs one. YOU could be the lucky one to get it for FREE!
You have so many ways to enter! (leave a separate comment for each entry that you make, so you could have up to 6 entries/6 different comments)

1) LIKE Natural-Nurturer on Facebook
2) JOIN the Natural-Nurturer Blog
3) LIKE Natural-Nester on Facebook (and let her know that I sent you)
4) JOIN the Natural-Nester Blog
5) Share this contest with your friends on Facebook or twitter
6) Go over to the Nutrition Lifestyles website and look at their products then come back over here and let us know what your favorite item is! 


Make sure that you comment on the blog that you have liked both facebook pages, subscribed to both blogs, shared the giveaway on facebook or twitter, and went to nutritionlifestyles.com and commented what you would buy and why!

Giveaway ends Friday, Jan. 20th at 10pm, CENTRAL TIME.. 












Tuesday, 10 January 2012

GET READY: Tomorrow is the Giveaway!!


Hey Ya'll! 

Get ready, because tomorrow I am doing a great giveaway! YOU have helped me reach over 100 likes, therefore, I am doing an awesome giveaway FOR YOU! You will have many chances to get your name in the drawing... all of those amazing details come out tomorrow! Yay!! The giveaway is something that I use very often and for many different things. I can't wait to share with you! 

I will be partnering up with Natural-Nester to do this awesome FREE Giveaway to our followers! So be sure to check back tomorrow for all the details on how to enter! 

Go ahead and check out our facebook pages! And share the page with your friends and get them to LIKE us to! 
Here's the link to Natural-Nurturer on facebook, and here's the one to Natural-Nester, so go check those out! 



A Little HINT!


Tomorrow we will both be featuring each other's cooking blog with the recipe included, so we will be giving away some awesome kitchen supplies from Nutrition Lifestyles, so go ahead and take some time to go check out their awesome supplies there! And come back tomorrow to find what item you could win! 

Monday, 9 January 2012

Toddler and Choices...

Do you give your toddler choices? What they want to play, eat, do? I have been reading one of the best blogs ever for the past few months, Play At Home Mom, and they have some fantastic ideas! 

One of the blogs that really caught my eye was setting up an area where your child can choose their snacks. So, I have taken the time to set it up. It has been working very well in my home. My son goes to the door and wants me to help him open it, and he chooses what he wants. 

The first things that he does when he wakes up is get a snack, usually a baggie of cereal, and then watch one episode of cartoons as we wait for our daycare friends to arrive. 


This is his shelf in the pantry.
Applesauce and Crackers

Cereal and Crackers

Fruit bowls, dried fruit, raisins

Squeezy fruit, fruit bowls


It has been working so well. I know he is going to be so excited when he wakes up tomorrow to a new stock of snacks for him to choose from. I love watching his little eyes go from one to another to make his choice. It is so nice to have him pick what he wants.... less work for me! :)

He already had his own drawers with his cups, plates, bowls. But tonight I spent some time to organize them. I will be checking them and making sure they stay organized. I know he will appreciate the organization more as well. 

When he helps me unload the dishwasher, he is really good at putting his things in his drawer, hence the reason it looks like the one below. 

Organized...


My pantry... It needs some work. THAT, is my next project. I have some ideas on how I want to organized it.. I will share when it is completed. 


Way too excited about finding the bulk section in a local grocery store. All of that pasta cost me LESS than $5.00. Amazing. 



This is my sons area in the fridge. He has gogurts, cheesesticks, blackberries, and strawberries. 


He is going to LOOOOVE it! I hope this helps someone. Remember to check out that website! 

-C