Monday, September 30, 2013

We Skype from our Living Room TV

The kids love being the Jetsons.  They haven't know any other way.  Isn't that odd?

We used to use Vid and now we switched to Skype (Vid is no longer).  And we do it from our living room TV using a Logitech camera. It is awesome because:

1. We don't have to sit in my little office
2. It is a wide screen (gets the whole room) but still zooms in and out if you want
3. It sends great video
4. It is always "on" to receive calls (my husband was recently traveling and called at odd hours from China and we heard the TV ringing) -- this is a huge complaint of mine for video calling- nobody is there to call!

And no, they didn't sponsor this post. I just like the camera. It just sits on your tv and has its own remote when you want to use it. Easy.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

DIY Lego Car Wash

This was not my idea.  We were at a friend's and she made one of these out of big Legos. It was pretty amazing.  Hers was simple, too- just an archway with a cut and taped piece of paper over the opening for the cars/ trucks to wash themselves on as they went through.

Our interpretation is bit more complicated.  It has soapers and extra wheels (in case the cars need them), plus the cut paper "washers" at the entrance and exit, as well as other features.  The preschooler helped design and build it.  The toddler helped drive the cars through.

Below you can see the town in process: the reservoir hut/ house in front of the reservoir with fish.  The bike car wash looks like it has collapsed (the shutters on their side).  Next up? I think a gas pump.
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Recipe: Tuna (and Leftover Salmon) Salad Bowls

Tuna/ Salmon Salad
3 cans tuna fish, rinsed and drained (can replace as many with as much leftover fish you had; we had half a fillet of salmon)
1/4 cup homemade olive oil mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch sea salt, or to taste
1/8 cup shredded red cabbage
1/4 red onion, shredded or diced
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1 cucumber, chopped small

The Bowl
4 tomatoes
head lettuce
1 lb green beans, steamed then plunged into cold water

Slice tomato wedges to lay around each bowl.  Fill in the middle and between the wedges with lettuce (we used butter lettuce).  Spoon the tuna salad in the middle.  Layer the green beans around the outside ("like electrical wires," my 5-year old said).

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Toddler Activity: Using the Drill and Nuts and Bolts

We've been working with the real tools again and the boys want in on the action.  So they got to drilling old yogurt containers and old buckets with the drill and drill bits.  

Our old nuts and bolts toy has proven useful yet again.

This time, we took two of the yogurt containers and a nut and bolt and connected them.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Recipe: Leftover Chicken Curry Salad


1/4 cup homemade olive oil mayo (can sub with full fat yogurt)
2 T curry powder
1/2 t. or to taste sea salt
dash apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

2 cups leftover (or cooked) chicken
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
2 large carrots, shredded
up to 1/4 cup non sulfured raisins
1/4 cup soaked and dehydrated almonds, sliced (can sub any nut)
1/2-2 cups steamed and chilled broccoli

Mix curry and mayonnaise in large bowl.  Add salt to taste and acid (vinegar or lemon juice).  Add the rest of the ingredients. Enjoy!
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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kids' Cooking: Baked Zucchini with Bacon

We grew the HUGEST zucchini we have ever grown and harvested it this week.

What did the little guy want to do with it?  Fork it and bake it.  With bacon for flavor.
FYI: at 350 for 40 minutes.

He also made a skewer of tomatoes and a tomatillo and made a lovely platter with some steamed green beans.

What did he end up eating?  Raw milk, steamed green beans, bacon, and a banana.  But he did want to make sure nobody else eats that huge zucchini just yet; he wants it later this week.  We shall see about that.
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Home Composting - with Eggshells and Kitty Urine

We compost at home, but invariably end up supplementing our annual haul with bags of steer manure and mixed compost from Home Depot.  We have a plain plastic compost bin (like this but it stacks and unstacks instead of having a door) and fill it with whatever is in the chicken coop, which is half composted, plus all of our eggshells and coffee grinds, and the kitty litter.  The kitty litter is pine, and we scoop the solids away.  It makes a nice nitrogen addition.  The eggshells make a nice addition of calcium.

We give all of our table scraps to the chickens, except eggshells and avocado.  The floor under their roost bars is wide hardware cloth, so their poop drops through onto where we put the scraps.  Sometimes I add hay or leaves to this mixture, especially if it seems way too wet.  Since we are continually adding to the mess, it never fully composts.  So we take it out and put it into the compost bin a few times per year.

This yields finished compost which we harvest in the spring, just before cleaning the coop and filling it up again.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Activity Idea: Trucks Around Town

Fun idea (aka homework from our preschool): take your kid around town and take pictures of them.

The second step, if this were a home project, would be to print them out and make a collage.

At school, they are having the kids dictate the captions.  It's pretty cute.

We even went to the fire station.
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

We Grew an Eggplant

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Activity: Using Coloring Printables Pages

We found a pretty awesome free website with a bunch of coloring pages you can print at home.

In addition to coloring the pages, the boys like to paint them, cut them out, organize them, and make collages and scenes.
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Recipe: Carrot Coleslaw

Carrot Coleslaw

1 head green cabbage, shredded by your helper
1 lb carrots, shredded by your helper
1 bunch green onions, sliced on a bias
3 pieces celery, sliced on a bias
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup soaked and dehydrated almonds, sliced (can sub with regular almonds)
1/3 bunch parsley, diced

1/4 cup homemade olive oil mayo (can sub with yogurt)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T lemon juice
1 t. salt
2 t. mustard

Mix salad ingredients in large bowl.  Mix dressing ingredients in small bowl. Can dress salad in advance.
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Monday, September 16, 2013

Forklift (aka Airplane)

Yes, those are my feet. Straight up...

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Better Baby Supplement Recommendations List

I've been reading The Bulletproof Executive and he has a lot of interesting life hacks/ ideas for making our bodies run better.  His wife, an MD, recently wrote a book called The Better Baby Book.  It's quite good (although it links to her website constantly).  I had trouble, though, finding a list of her supplement recommendations.  So I went through her book and here is my summary.  Please remember that this is a list only- meaning all of her reasons are in the book and some are on her website.  None of that info is here~ these are just my notes.  Also (duh but it bears repeating) these aren't my ideas- I just wanted a place to keep the info I collected.

Per Day: 6-11 Veg, 5-9 fats, 4-6 animal protein, 1-2 fruit (75% of veggies raw) - specific about which of each to eat - see book or website for details/ charts

Daily Shake:
D-ribose – for energy
Collagen – 2-4T scoops 
Lecitihin – 2T granular soy lecithin 
Green Powder
Liposomal Glutathione (fat encapsulated)- 1 teaspoon/ day or NAC (less good)
2 raw egg yolks
2 T MCT oil, 1 T coconut oil

Other (Daily):
Sea Salt- ½ teaspoon in large glass of water right when you wake up
Oil pulling- +/- 10 minutes in morning, then floss [not her idea]
Probiotics – on empty stomach

Advanced Essential Minerals
Folic acid—800mg/day at least.
Vitamin E- 400 Q 800 IU
Vitamin K
Vitamin C - 1-8G
D3 2000-8000IU/ day, depending on sun exposure (1000 per 25 lb body weight)
Fish Oil (up to 10G)/ Krill Oil (500 mg)
COQ10 or ubiquinol if over 30

Other (non-daily):
Iodine (1 drop every 4-5 days)- temporary – if you get a runny nose just after, back off and take less for a bit

Activated Charcoal – 1-3 teaspoons mixed w/cool water 1-3 x/day on empty stomach (and 1t with any not recommended foods)- can mix with:
Bentonite Clay (may need to up fiber or magnesium to avoid constipation)- 1 T/ day (less if taken with activated charcoal to avoid constipation)
Chlorella – 20-30 tablets for 1-2 mo then just with seafood or when exposed to heavy metals
Silymarin (Milk thistle)

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pineapple Pants Part 3

My younger son has a pair of pants made from pineapple swimsuit fabric that I made for his brother ages ago.  They were well-loved when he got them, and he wears them and asks for them whenever they are clean.  They are getting a wee bit small.

I got the fabric from on clearance ages ago and made a few pairs of pants, a few trainers, a bathing suit, and some underwear using the material.  I tried to find the fabric again and came up empty handed.  I recently made him some shorts from scraps of it, and they only fit for a brief time.

Last week we found another scrap of it and finally thought of how to make him new pineapple pants.

Yes, they are white pants with the pineapples cut from his favorite fabric and stitched on top. I made the waistband a bit wide so it would last a little longer as he gets bigger.

I hope he likes them!  I mean, really likes them.  
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Primal Lasagne

I don't do a lot of imitating pasta dishes, but my son had a lasagna at a restaurant the other day and went crazy for it.  So I wanted to try one at home.

First, the layers:
1. The sauce (tomatoes, peppers, basil, stock, onion, garlic)
2. The meat (ground grass fed beef 85%, kale)
3. Eggplant "pasta" (Peeled and thinly sliced eggplant sauteed in coconut oil until translucent)
4. Goat cheese (in dollops)- you could skip this


I got 3 rounds of each layer in, starting with sauce and ending with the cheese.  Note I also didn't salt it because my peppers in the sauce were poblanos and I didn't want to scare the kids away with too too much seasoning.

This cooked for 45 minutes at 350.
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