Recent Reads: I Am Malala (and Super Natural Every Day)

supernaturalcookingSuper Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen 
by Heidi Swanson I am not going to say too much about this book because I post so many recipes from it that I think that it speaks for itself. I enjoyed reading it very much. And I really did read it…every page, every recipe! I love her voice in describing the recipes and the simplicity of putting each one together. This is not only a whole foods cookbook, but also vegetarian (which I didn’t even notice at first!). The recipes have been simple, healthy, and yummy. I look forward to sharing more of my Super Natural adventures with you!

17851885I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban 
by Malala YousafzaiChristina Lamb I wasn’t able to go to bookclub this month because we were out of town, but I wanted to get the book read anyway. I was very sorry to miss all the yummy food, but even more disappointed not to be able to join in the discussion about this book. This was a very interesting and eye-opening book about a young girl growing up in Pakistan around the time of 9/11. She and her father fought bravely for girls’ education. Most of the book is about that fight, but her increased fame happened after she was shot by the Taliban. She is young and very focused. It was an excellent read and I highly recommend it!

 

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Rye Soda Bread and Spinach Strata

photo 2A couple of weeks ago I made Super Natural Every Day’s Rye Soda Bread. Soda bread is so simple – just three ingredients! I was suprised not to find rye flour amongst the many different flours at both Whole Foods and Ccentral Market’s bulk sections, but I did find a small bag of it at Central Market. I thought this was good just out of the oven and slathered with butter. Jeremy felt like it was a little too ‘hearty’ or ‘rye flavored’.  We weren’t eating it fast enought, but Heidi suggests using it in her Spinach Strata, so I did! My parents were going to spend the night and have breakfast with us the next day so I put the whole thing together the night before and then put it in the oven the next morning. I thought it tasted excellent! My mom said it made her feel like she had stayed at a B & B 🙂 The only change I made was to add a little bit of bacon to the strata because you can never go wrong with adding bacon! I’m not sure I’ll make the bread again (but definitely a non-rye soda bread!) but I think I will make the spinach strata again and try it with a less intense bread.

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?

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Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? Was the first book we used for our Before Five in a Row ‘preschool’ venture. I got the book from the library a week before, both for the girls and for me! Capri really likes it and asks to read it every night. I’m looking forward to reading some of the other Jesse Bear books. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m using Before Five in a Row for some basics to get me started. I read through the short chapter and have tried to keep talking points in mind when we read the book together. I pulled a couple of activities from the curriculum book and printed off a few of the Fold n Learn Activities that you can get for free on their website.

Matching

Matching

However, this printable preschool pack was invaluable! It’s free and it was great! I didn’t print out the entire thing because Capri isn’t ready for all of it, but we did most of them! It’s so nice to have some things ready to go! The cutting/pasting activities were especially enjoyable for her! I came up with a few ideas on my own and scoured Pinterest to see what other moms had done!

Cutting and Pasting

Cutting and Pasting

The curriculum suggests a Bible verse so I printed mine out and added some cheesy clipart to help Capri remember the verse. We kept it on the fridge and practiced in the mornings and I tried to bring it up during the day. It was about having a happy heart, so it was relevant pretty much all the time (both for me and her!).

Dressing Bear

Dressing Bear

In the Fold N Learn there is a bear you can cut out and put clothes on but I went ahead and traced the bear onto some extra Pelltex I had.The books suggests using swatches to feel different fabrics, but I just cut out the swatches into shapes that were shirts and pants, etc.  I cut some out before hand but then I let Capri choose the article of clothing, ‘the pattern,’ and then the fabric so we could ‘make’ the clothes.

Hanging Clothes

Hanging Clothes

We also hung up a clothesline and pretended to wash the clothes and then hang them up to dry.

photo 1 (2)We got out all of our stuffed bears one day to play with them. We did some science experiments –  gummy bears in regular water vs salt water overnight. We pretended a box of cornmeal was a sandbox. . We did several crafts where we made a scene based loosely off the book – outside with sun, flours, snakes, etc, night time with moon and stars, bedroom, paper flowers and butterflies.

What’s up next? Well, I thought that I might do the Before Five in a Row stuff every other week and on the off weeks we would do some stuff based on movies we have! So next up, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves!

Open-Face Egg Salad Sandwich

We eat eggs for breakfast almost every day so I wasn’t sure about making an egg salad sandwich, but it sounded good photo 1so I thought I’d give it a try! I made sure I made something that did revolve around eggs for breakfast and then made Super Natural Every Day’s Open-Face Egg Salad Sandwich for dinner. As it turns out Jeremy, wasn’t home for dinner that night so it was just me and the girls. I used Whole Foods’ Seeduction bread and it was so tasty! I really enjoyed this sandwich and it was the perfect easy meal for a warm spring day!

Birch Box!

photo (3)My sweet friend, Chrissy, gave me an awesome gift for my 30th birthday – a three month subscription to Birch Box! I had seen this around but it hadn’t sparked a lot of interest for me…Well, I totally love this! For starters, I love that I get a little box of surpise goodies in the mail every month! I love that it introduces me to new products because, let’s be honest, I’m not good at trying new ‘beauty’ items. And finally, it’s only $10 a month! That is awesome! It’s totally worth it. And it has kept my deep desire to join Stitch Fix at bay!

How does it work? You subscribe and receive a box every month for just $10. You get 5 sample items in your box (so it’s like paying $2/item!). Sometimes they are sample sized and sometimes they are full sized. You can log into your account and set your preferences, so if you don’t want to receive any perfume samples you won’t. And you also let them know your skin tone, hair type, etc…so they will send you products you will actually use. If you want to check it  out (which you totally should) you go here https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5qgbj  It’s a referral link so I get points if you sign up through me! 🙂

So my first month, they sent me stuff before I could edit my preferences. Still, there was only one item that I didn’t end up using:

Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle – Full-size, $21.95 This stuff is awesome! It smells so good! It’s a little sweet like cotton candy, but it’s better than that. I’ve been using this every day and totally love it!

INIKA Eyeliner in Green Lagoon – Full-size, $20. I’m pretty sure they sent me the full size of this. It was a full size pencil with a shrapener on the end! This seemed really cool, but I don’t use green eyeliner so I gave it to a friend. It’s the only thing I didn’t use from the box.

Juicy Courture Viva La Juicy – Full-size, $25-90. This one totally took me by surpise. I smelled it at first and wasn’t sure but Jeremy really liked it and it has grown on me. I’m pretty sad my little sample is almost gone 😦

Mox Botanicals Bath Milks – 2-Pack, $12. I love to take baths so I was excited to get something to use in the bath. I think the idea is cool and I have no other bath milks to compare it too, but I wasn’t super impressed with this…But it was fun to try!

Ahmad Tea London – Full-size, $7. I love tea and these were quite tasty! They were a great afternoon treat to replace the many, many cups of coffee I have been drinking lately!

March was my second month and I was so excited to receive my box! They sent me an email when it shipped and I was checking the mailbox excitedly for a couple of days before it arrived!

Air Repair Rescue Balm – Full-size $12. This is for dry skin and I have used it on one spot but haven’t noticed significant difference yet. I have also been using it on my lips and that has been great!

grand Central Beauty S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting Serum + Primer – Full-size, $68 From the get-go I knew I didn’t wan to get too attached this since I knew how much a full-sized bottle would be. I’ve only used it a couple of days so I’m still waiting to see major results but I do noticed that my skin glows after I put it on!

Keims Cleanshine Energizing Shampoo – $9.50 – I’ve been using this every day since I received it. I really like the clean and energizing smell!

Stila Lip Glaze – Full-size $8 – So I couldn’t get this to work for several days and then Capri was playing with it and finally got it to work! I tried it on, but I’ve never been a big fan of lip glaze. It’s a little sticky on my lips. The color is also really light, maybe I’ll enjoy it more in the summer. In general for something like this, I’ve been a big fan of Buxom Lip Gloss.

Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream – I’ve only used this a couple of days so I haven’t seen amazing results yet, but I think it like it. I’m still a little unsure of BB cream for my body, I haven’t even purchased any for my face yet!

Overall, I’ve been so happy! I have been trying to really use everything in box. And I am so excited to get April’s box!

Recent Reads: Allegiant (Divergent 3)

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I’m not going to say a lot in this review. The book has a huge ‘twist’ at the end…and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. I will say that I enjoyed the first book. Not as good as Hunger Games, but still enjoyable. Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian, action packed. I didn’t like the 2nd book as much as the 1st. And then I didn’t really like the 3rd…and then there was the ending…and I was super unhappy. I was actually kind of excited to see the movie coming out and now I’m not sure I care…I say Boo on the third book, kind of wish I hadn’t read it. 😦 Sorry, Veronica Roth, I think it’s impressive that you wrote the first book while still in college. I think that means you have a lot of potential. I may read another book that you write, but right now, I’m not super happy with you…

Playing School

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I don’t have a lot of memories from being 3 years old. I have a lot of memories of being older than that, 8, 9, 10… I know my mom planned stuff for us to do, but I feel like my brother and I played together a lot. I don’t really remember my mom being there telling us what to do with our time. It was spent imagining we were pioneers on the Oregon Trail (a game we called ‘olden days’) or building a ‘tree house’, or me forcing him to play Barbies (because let’s be honest, I don’t mind playing by myself but my brother would do ANYTHING to play with another person, even if it meant playing Barbies with me).

That’s kind of what I thought it would be like being a mom. Occasionally I would have a fun activity for my kids to do but they would mostly play on there own. And hey, maybe some day they will! But right now, they are little and turns out you have to do stuff with them! And their attention span is incredibly short! A lot of Capri’s friends are in preschool . I didn’t go to preschool and I love being home with my kids (well, it kind of depends on when you ask me 😉 so I didn’t want to put her in preschool, but we need stuff to do! I can only pretend to act out Cinderella so many times in a day, I need us to do other things!

It’s no secret that I like to organize things, so I took that approach to this too. I tried not to overdue it…turns out some moms are hardcore about preschool homeschooling…I don’t really consider what I’m doing homeschooling. More like making a list of a whole bunch of crafts and activities that we can do a week at a time. It’s so nice to have something at my fingertips to do. It did take some time to pull it all together but I’m super thankful to Pinterest and Instagram for pointing me to other moms who have done it before!

I ran across the curriculum Five in a Row a while back and although I’m unsure of how it works with older kids, it felt just right for preschool – they have a smaller version called Before Five in a Row just for preschoolers. Essentially there is a list of books and each book has a set of activities with it. A friend gave me the actual Before Five in a Row book and they offer their printable Fold N Learn’s for free on their website. I did reference all of that, however I got most of my ideas from Pinterest and the blogs it pointed me to, including one that had this awesome printable packet!

I have some kinks to work out. And honestly, they are toddlers, they are moody and sometimes they fall apart because you suggest writing their name at the top of the paper. But I feel much better when I have a bunch of stuff for us to do. It makes me eager to turn off the TV and get us doing things! I look forward to sharing with you how our first week goes – Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear is our first book!