Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year in Review

2011 in Review 

This year, I have much to be thankful for, but I thought I would share a few with you.  We were relieved to find out through testing this year that Mika, my 2 year old's spinal cord isn't tethered and he won't need a very serious surgery to repair it, which is just a blessing.  We are also blessed to find a doctor who has been able to help my oldest son Max who has been having some health issues his whole life and the meds he is now on seem to be working better than any in the past.

Matt and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary (been together much longer), we started organic gardening and raising free-range chickens,  and we cut out all sodas except on rare occasions this last year.  The result is that I lost 20 lbs-still have a long way to go, and the kids all slimmed down too! Gracie, my 7 year old daughter has drastically improved her motor skills and her reading skills even bringing home the most improved in reading award, and my oldest daughter Suzannah is at the top of her class and doing basketball!  Even though we had our share of really rough times this last year, I have to say we are truly blessed and it was an overall great year.


I hate resolutions.  I went for years and refused to make them because I never keep them more than a day or so.  However, last year I decided to make the resolution to lose weight and while it was a small victory, I did lose 20 lbs.

We have made a lot of changes for the healthier this past year, rarely have desserts or snack foods, but we do still eat too much "southern" meals.  My goal this year is to get healthier.  I want to learn to eat even healthier, and am getting excited about this year's garden, praying for no more drought.

My goals are simple, to drink a minimum 2 cups of green tea a day, eat oatmeal at least once every day for my heart, eat less bread, and to eat more vegetables.  Hopefully, along with these changes will come weight loss.  Honestly though, as I quickly near 36, I just want to be healthier  for my kids and husband, to be around for years to irritate love them, and to eventually go ice skating.  I have never tried, and I want to.  So, how about you.  What are your goals this year?

Friday, December 30, 2011

laabn. Social Haircare

laabn. Social Haircare

Over the past several years, my hair has undergone a complete change.  I used to have slightly wavy hair, but it was easily dried straight with a hair dryer.  After I had my first two kids, it became curlier, but all I needed was to add a flat iron to my hair and viola!  straight hair.  Then I had my last bundle of joy 2.5 years ago, and my hair has not been the same since.  It is curly.  Cork-screw, can barely get a wide-toothed comb through it curly.  And,  to be honest, there wasn't an immediate love affair with my new hair.  Actually, I hate it.  I can blow dry it while pulling it straight with a brush for it to dry into slightly frizzy cork screw curls, and using a flat iron produces wavy curls.  I have just had to accept the fact that my straight days are over.

Because of this hair transition, I have been on a quest for the right products to keep my curls from frizzing into a full blown fro on any given day.  So I was really thrilled when I was blessed to win some laabn. hair care products and I am ready to share with you how they work for me.

First of all, they smell amazing.  I don't know how exactly to describe it other than when I wash my hair, it's smells like I am in the salon. It has a nice perfume smell, a hint of coconut, and reminds me of the beach.   Even better, I received the 3 shampoo which is sulfate-free, and designed to treat thick, course, color treated hair.  Funny thing is I don't recall them asking what kind of hair I have, but it is THICK, coarse, and at almost 36 I proudly admit it is color treated!

The conditioner is also sulfate-free, it is super thick which I love, and it does an awesome job moisturizing my hair.  The directions say to leave it on for 2 minutes, but at least 2 times a week I leave it on like a deep conditioner while I soak in the tub.  My hair just gets so tangled up that I try to condition it as well as possible.  The bottom line on this conditioner is that it really works for my hair and I am not in tears trying to comb out my curls.
The company itself stands for some really great things!  Adam Martin created laabn. hair care after being inspired by a local teen center and "Oprah's Big Give."  Basically he has combined business model with charitable giving.  The bottles themselves are named for the exact dollar amount that will be given to charity.  I have "3" so three dollars of my purchase goes to charity.  Even better, there are multiple charities on the website and YOU get to choose which charity gets your donation!

Where can you find them?  You can find laabn. Social Hair Care on Facebook and the products can be easily purchased directly on the website here.  The cost of the8 oz bottle I have is $23, which is pricey if you are accustomed to buying a drugstore brand.  However,  keeping in mind that $3 of this goes to charity, it is still reasonable for a salon brand.  I am sold on this company because of it's charitable work, but the products work really great too! 

Update 8/1/2012:  I am still in love with and using my Laabn products!  I have now added their oil and heat styling spray to my regimen, and I am loving how awesome my hair looks. I have tried other products that I like a lot, but none that smell as great as Laabn while effecting the same results!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Day in My Life!

I just don't think my house will ever be truly Better Home and Gardens Clean!  Four kids, a husband, two dogs, and this is what I feel like!  I still haven't taken down the tree!  Fortunately tonight is Date night and I am going to dinner and a movie so soon I shall look like this:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hey Shawty, It's Your Birthday...

We Gonna Party Like it's Your Birthday!

Well, It's Suzannah's Birthday anyways! Her Birthday is on January 2nd and she won't be here so we celebrated early.  She is 9 year's old this year and got exactly what she wanted:

Confetti poppers!!!!!

Tremendous fun!!!

Just what I've always wanted!!!!

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!!!-Every son's daughter's dream:  A BB gun!

I love this picture!  My daughter knows the rules of a "Pro Blogger."  No touching and cheese until Mom turns the camera off.  My niece was just baffled by the wait! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nature's Hand Granola

Nature's Hand Granola

This past week, I was blessed to receive a package in the mail from Nature's Hand Granola with two full sized bags of granola and a handy glass bowl with a lid and a coupon for some Chobani Yogurt to try.  My box contained the Wild Blueberry granola and the Raisin Hazelnut granola and because I LoVe LOVE wild blueberries, I tried this flavor first. It was just bursting with yummy blueberry flavor!  Did I mention how much I love wild blueberries?

I simply couldn't resist opening the second bag, the Raisin Hazelnut, and trying a handful of it as well.  I was really surprised at how "hazelnutty" it is.  Even when I had a bite that didn't have obvious hazelnuts in it, the roasted hazelnut flavor shown through!  I can't wait to go to the store and buy the Chobani and try the pair together.  I do have homemade yogurt on hand, but there is nothing like a yummy Greek yogurt.

Let me share a little more about the company with you.  Nature's Hand granola was founded in Burnsville, Minnesota in 1971 by Hans Sadlak, a German immigrant who created his own special homemade blend of granola.  Nature's Hand is also a proud supporter and the official granola of Outward Bound U.S.A's Youth Intercept Program.

Where to connect with them:

Nature's Hand is easily found at many local supermarkets, online and at specialty stores across the country and can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.  The great thing is these 13 oz pouches are only $4.99 a pouch which really isn't all that pricey for something healthy.  I will readily pay this for the peace of mind of knowing my children are eating something really good for their bodies!

Disclaimer:  I received no monetary compensation for this review, but I did receive product to try.  All opinions are honest and solely mine.

Monday, December 26, 2011

All I want for Christmas is....A NEW FREEZER!!!

So excited, Santa Claus aka my in-laws surprised me with a great new Freezer from Kenmore for Christmas!!!
This was a much needed essential in our home.  We grow a big organic garden every year, raise free-range chickens, and we have four kids plus the two of us.  While we do preserve a LOT of food, we definitely need more freezer space.

I know this is hard to see, but this is the freezer we got for Christmas.  It is 12.1 Cu. Feet, has three shelves, room for more food on the "floor" of the freezer and five shelves in the door!  So far, every thing is working fabulously, but I can't wait to show you a picture of the freezer in a week when we do our monthly grocery store shop!  You will see WHY we are so excited about our new freezer.