Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quick Lunch Idea: Hummus and Veggie Spring Rolls

Looking for a quick lunch idea, high in protein for extra toddler-chasing energy? Look no further! These Spring Rolls are simple to make and the only ingredient you might not have on hand is the rice paper, but that's easy to pick up next time you're in the grocery store. PLUS these are low carb, gluten free, vegan (if you don't use the cheese) and overall delicious and my go-to lunch.

You'll need:
Rice Paper
Shredded Sharp Cheese (optional)

1. Soak your rice paper for about 30 seconds until it is able to be stretched a bit in your hands.
2. Lay it out flat on your plate, and spread some hummus on the rice paper.
3. Fill with desired amount of salad and sprinkle on some nuts.
4. Fold together like a burrito, and serve immediately or chill if you want to eat it later!

Usually two of these makes a nice lunch, maybe with some fruit on the side. Fruit or Oreo's. Either way.

Showing my husband how its done. (This is how it's done.) 
Also that plant on the windowsill is long dead. I am a house-plant killer.

Garlic Hummus, but you can use regular old boring hummus if you're so inclined.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sparkly Fall Leaves

I'm LOVING the colors this fall! The trees have been so beautiful. 
Inspired by the changing season, we made these cardboard cut-out leaves.

1. Cut various leaf shapes out of cardboard.
2. Tear up construction paper. As an activity for toddlers, you might want to have them sort the pieces of shredded paper into piles organized by color. 
3. Cover one side of the card board with glue, and stick the paper on.
4. We love glitter but hate the mess, so glitter pens were a great investment! What a lifesaver. Just squeeze some out and spread with a paint brush.
5. I taped string to the back of each leaf and hung them in the windows. They dried in under an hour.

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Colorful Spin Art Greeting Cards- In the Salad Spinner!

We've reached the age where birthday parties are piling up. In the next few weeks we have three to go to. What better card than one you make yourself? This is one of my favorite projects we've done- and really easy, inspired by this post. We spent a lot of time on it because it's so much fun but it could be done in five minutes or less. 

1. Fold a card in half, and then in half again. 
2. Place it inside of a salad spinner, dripping some paint of desired colors on the page. 
3. Give the salad spinner a few spins and remove your artwork! 
Make sure you give it at least a few hours to dry. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Thoughts on childbirth

I'm not talking C-Sections. I know nothing about C-Sections other than what I've heard from friends. 
I applaud those women who have needed them and had to deal with the resulting recovery.

Before I begin, I'll give you my history... 

Baby #1: Induced at 41 weeks (after I pretty much begged) and given pitocin and an epidural at 4 centimeters.
Baby #2: Got to the hospital when I thought I might be in labor on my due date. I was about 5 centimeters and got an epidural, but ended up giving birth so quickly it really didn't work until after the baby was already born.
Baby #3: Planned natural childbirth/water birth. Ended up delivering on the hospital bed shortly after arriving, one week before my due date. (No time to fill tub.)

Before my first child was born I had a ton of fear about labor and delivery. I was so freaked out at the thought of how much it was probably going to hurt that I resigned right away that I would get an epidural as soon as it was humanly possible. I'd heard horror stories and they had all made natural childbirth into something that I was unable to handle. To be honest, I didn't read any books but I did watch plenty of those terrifying childbirth shows on TLC. I regret being induced, but hindsight is twenty twenty. After over 30 hours of active labor Isaiah was born, maybe the threats of a C-Section motivated me to push through after all those hours. I didn't eat, drink, or walk that whole time. One of the first things I asked for after he was born was a drink of water. 
By baby number two, I was a little more informed but still very afraid. I gave more time after going into labor before going to the hospital, because I knew it could be a long road. I knew I could handle labor at 5 cm without an epidural, which encouraged me for the next time.
Baby number three is when everything finally clicked. I could do this. My body was made to do this- and it did! It was intense for a short period of time, but otherwise very tolerable. Not the horror movie I had played in my head so may times. I relaxed, joked, ate, drank, and took my time getting to the hospital. In fact contractions were three minutes apart and I was texting a friend to update her and only realized that maybe things were progressing more than I thought when I really stopped to think about it. So what's the difference in my perspective? Read the next paragraph...
If you are a woman expecting a baby (first or not), I HIGHLY highly highly recommend that you read anything by Ina May Gaskin. I didn't until my third pregnancy and I could have saved myself countless hours of worry. Specifically her books Spiritual Midwifery and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. She walks you through what to expect like a grandmother would, making you excited to tackle the challenge of natural childbirth. If you're looking for a realistic expectation of what labor will be like, please watch Birth Story, a documentary about Ina May and her team of midwives on 'the farm.' It follows several midwives as they help laboring mothers deliver safe babies.

The moral of the story is this: Your body was made to give birth to babies. Childbirth is not abnormal or a disease to be treated, it's natural and the intense contractions you feel are supposed to happen. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time. They did it and you can do it. Even if you feel afraid. Some of them did it and then got up and went about their work in fields. Labor is intense but its not impossible, its not too much for you, and it is fleeting with a great reward at the end. Finally- You should ultimately do what you feel most comfortable with. If you read and inform yourself and still decide you want an epidural, I fully support that choice. I treasure all of my birth experiences and thank God for three healthy children. 

New baby smell...

About 30 seconds after Evie was born. She was all clean because she was born in the amniotic sac and they had to break my water as she came out. We think of it as her first baptism. ;)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

And then I started a soap business.

My husband always wants to know whats next. "Is there anything I need to know?" he asks, as he walks in from work. I mean, he has good reason for asking. Some furniture is usually moved. I switched the spot where the peanut butter is kept. I started a baking business. I got my third positive pregnancy test. I started a blog. I started a garden. I started making jewelry. I got dreadlocks. The poor man never knows what's coming next. Being a stay at home mom is like, the ultimate lifestyle for me. I can pretty much do what I want when I want as long as the kids can be present. 
So when I told him my latest thing was soap making, he really wasn't at all surprised. "How much will it cost to start?" Good thing is my track record is actually pretty good. The baking business Maddy Lu has been a wonderful source of on-the-side income for our family, and now my blog is starting to make us some money as well! So he trusts me. And good thing because he's stuck with me, and my mind isn't easily changed about business ventures or life partners.
Isaiah has eczema and I have a friend (Donna) who makes really amazing soap, plus I had an interest in learning how myself. The two of us put our heads together and the rest is history. Happy Goats Soap Company is born! After months of planning the soap will be ready next week and we launched our Etsy site yesterday. We will primarily be selling soap at local stores, venues, festivals, fairs, and online. If anyone has sensitive skin or just wants to steer clear of chemicals in their body products, we may have the soap for you.

Check out our Etsy page at Happy Goats Soap Co. to purchase yours now!
And for updates on where and when we will be selling our soap in person, connect via Facebook.

As always, I so appreciate the support I have gotten from my "community..." Friends, family, etc etc. And hey, don't feel pressure to buy my soap just because you like me. But if you know someone who might be into it, would you spread the word? Thanks for all the help and love, and I better go figure out why my kids are so quiet and the permanent markers are missing from my desk!

Here is a summary of what we offer:

Quick note about our label- If you need an awesome custom logo, 
contact Beth at Backslash Ampersand. Creative genius.
 Plus she has a really cute kid named Miles.

Happy Goats, Happy Oats
Hand-crafted and wrapped 'Oatmeal' soap bar. 

Happy Goats, Happy Gardener
Hand-crafted and wrapped poppy seed and lemongrass gardener's soap bar. 

Happy Goats, Happy Man
Hand-crafted and wrapped "Man" soap bar- containing activated charcoal and peppermint for an invigorating wash.

Happy Goats, Happy Babies
Hand-crafted and wrapped "Baby Gentle" soap bar. You can trust us on this one, because this is the stuff I bathe my own babies with.

Happy Goats, for Boring Folks
Hand-crafted and wrapped "Unscented" soap bar. That means no smell and no essential oils. We still like you boring folks. :) 

Plus many others, and more to come!

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