3 Steps to the Perfect DIY Mother's Day - in 1 Hour or Less

I don’t remember the details of my first Mother’s Day, but I’m pretty sure it involved a card, and a happy hour trip to the neighborhood bistro where we’d order an appetizer, a glass of wine to split, and a complimentary bread basket. We used to do this a lot for special occasions. We were super-short on money, my husband and I, (I mean, everyone wants more, right, but we’re talking pregnant and no health insurance short.) but we also liked the high life a bit, so we’d get creative on how to indulge ourselves and not break the non-existent bank. It was a cash-only system.

Natural Remedies for Bug Bites and Bee Stings: #2 in our Natural First Aid Series

Well, it’s official. Sitting in the pre-tornado humidity of our Spring evening in Austin, it first mosquito bite of the season. Fighting back the urge to cry, “I’m not ready!”, I am reminding myself that this Friday for Recipe Weekend we’ll be posting a recipe -- and mixing up a batch! of natural homemade bug repellent that will hopefully make this first bite my last.

But I know that this first bite heralds the start to an entire post-Winter season - of camping trips, picnics, pool parties, trips to the park, summer vacations -- and general outdoor merriment that comes with the lurking dangers of everything from yellow-jacket-riddled trashcans to noseeums and sand fleas.

The Homemade Cleaning Challenge Continues: More Room Freshening Ideas & Natural Fabric Softeners

 (Plus a Couple of Critiques from my Ever-Patient Husband)

Okay, so I’m loving the 30-day cleaning challenge -- because, as we’ve established, I love a challenge (at least, occasionally). And it IS a challenge. A challenge, for example, to convince my hubby, that streaky windows are a small price to pay for windows I’d let my loved ones lick -- come to mention it, that’s a tough one for me too. And tougher than tough to get him to buy any more of the recycled toilet paper -- because, as he puts it, it’s no help to the environment if he has to use a whole roll of thin sandpaper where a couple of pillow-soft squares would have otherwise been enough. This all makes him the perfect critic for the cleaning challenge.

Recipe Weekend: Simply Stated, “Super Cookies”

I’m sitting at the table in my parents’ house - a rare moment when my older boys are on a road trip and the baby is sleeping - and I’m beginning to experiment with homemade bug repellents in hopes of getting a leg up on summer time mosquitoes. Actually, I’m just going thru the motions on this bug repellent thing, because I’m HUNGRY! Its funny how a parent’s house can take you back to your most fundamental, childish self...I’m sliding down Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as we speak. Well, I’m nursing, so maybe that’s it.

And the cupboard is bare -- or nearly so. I’m pretty fussy too, so this is an abysmal combination. What to do? Scrap the bug spray project, enter domestic diva mode. What better than to whip up a batch of cookies?

What Season is Your Child?

In the tradition of eastern medicine, the seasons play a role in understanding not only our environment, but as a template for understanding our own internal environments, our constitutions.Similar to the ‘archetypes’ described by Carl Jung, or the signs of the horoscope, each child (and adult) can be said to have a predominant ‘season’ or constitution, beginning at birth. Your child’s ‘season’ has relatively little to do with the month of their birth – although there may be a correspondence. Instead, it has more to do with what constitutional strengths, weaknesses and general attributes help to make your child who they are; Your child’s ‘Season’ is like his or her physical and psychological blueprint.

The Healthy Homemade Cleaning Challenge


For 30+ Days We're Using and Creating Homemade Cleaning Products that (Hopefully!) the Entire Family will Love

Well, its been a while since we’ve challenged ourselves at Mommy’s ER (childbirth aside) and I’m delighted to say that my son still eats breakfast like a champ -- check out our series on the breakfast challenge -- link here. Now today, watching my sweet new baby boy roll over for the first time, his expression reminds me of the level of determination and satisfaction that a good challenge provides -- even what appears to be a small one. So what better day to launch a new challenge -- cleaning our house with natural cleaning products? I mean, rolling is just a hop, skip and jump away from crawling, toddling and otherwise putting our floors to the test. I want to make sure the floors are ready for his exploring mouth and tender skin.

Chocolate is Back on the Pregnancy Menu! Plus a Great Trail Mix Recipe

Dear other pregos-on-the-go out there (or preggie mamas who used to be on the go, but whose babies are now telling them to stay put):

I just found out about the best pregnancy news ever today. In my world, which is now inundated with fears of health complications to watch out for, products to avoid (I’m still pouting about sushi), and hormones that are predisposed to latch onto any and all worries that I might deem remotely and sometimes not-at-all reasonable, good news is something to shout from the rooftops.

The...29 Day...Challenge? Plus, My Family’s Recipe for Wheat Germ Pancakes

Ugh, today I got lazy -- and failed. I offered my son another English muffin (homemade this time, but this gets a big ‘who-cares’ from most little ones I know -- if it isn’t delicious, they aren’t impressed by elemental cooking). In any case, it was another English muffin, with nut butter -- strike that -- I was in a hurry and just threw on some fruit jam, which at that moment was easier to find, and cut a couple of slices of pear -- strike that too, my husband did it.... And we threw it all in the car instead of sitting down as we’ve been doing throughout this challenge. So, in total, a complete disaster. In the end, my tired son, already feeling ornery and slightly rebellious about going back to school after Spring Break, took one look at breakfast on a paper towel, and disdainfully shut his lips tight and glared at me as though I had just demanded he drink down battery acid.

Maddie’s Ultimate Blueberry Banana Smoothie

In honor of Spring, and 22 days and counting into our breakfast challenge, Maddie has come up with the ultimate smoothie recipe. Absolutely indulgently delicious, and chalk full of potassium, antioxidants, and good-for-you fats, the word straight from Maddie’s kitchen: ”You gotta make this...SOO good with the coconut milk and honey!!”

For protein, you can add yogurt, protein powder (whey or hemp both taste great and add protein punch) or a side of whole grain toast and nut butter.

Please forgive us if you are still trapped in the snow (in which case, stick with hot oatmeal, and file this away for a couple of months!), in Austin it hit 90 degrees last week...


Blueberry Banana Smoothiewhole grain toast with nut butter


I forget how quick French toast really is to make. It combines the protein of the eggs with the complex carbohydrates of the bread, which satisfies the protein - complex carbohydrate balance that feeds little one’s brain. Equally important, he loves it!
This recipe is easily modifiable for food sensitivities and preferences, and feels like a treat to my son. With nearly 12 grams of protein per slice, this is a breakfast that seems like a decadent treat, and still gives us the protein/complex carbohydrate balance we’re looking for. This recipe is my variation on a wonderful Good Housekeeping recipe (thanks, for posting!) that we’ve amended to accomodate my son’s favorite ingredient (cinammon, cinammon, cinammon!), and his food sensitivities.

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