September 9, 2013

Ages & Ages

Well, it has certainly been some time, no?

Let's see what has happened..
-We have moved and are now located in Iowa, not California.
-We are living in a 1 BR apartment that we are enjoying, but counting the days until we can purchase a house!
-We are now running regularly every week and did our 1st 5k this year, and hopefully our 2nd this fall.
-My summer garden was a little success of tomatoes and (now growing) peppers, cucumbers, carrots and more.
-I've been honing my foraging skills and am now able to identify elderberries, sumac (not the poison kind), wild grapes, wild raspberries, black walnut, morel mushrooms, lamb's quarters, and gooseberries in the wild.
-We've been camping and exploring our local area several times this year and love finding new and fun places (and seeing extended family while we're at it)!
-And last but not least, we have been going to an amazing church body that sticks so closely to the Bible and truly serves each other and the community. We love it and we are growing, which is a total blessing! Finding a church that was very solid and had small groups was quite hard!
I have been striving to create a more healthful home environment, where we eat only organic (preferably grass-fed) dairy, organic fruits & veggies, and organic grain products. We are cutting out processed foods as much as possible, and I've been learning to make some rather delicious recipes by soaking grains and even learning to make water kefir. Yum! The local co-op really helps out with the grass-fed meat part!

Now, this blog will take a different tone. Although I did giveaways in the past, unless someone approaches me about their products to review, I won't be doing the giveaway, as I did in the past. 

I'll also be posting much less regularly, but will post recipes, healthful advice that we've found useful and such. Hope you stick around for the peek into our lives!

Our Minneapolis February trip to Como Park. Definitely worth a visit!
Camping at lake Red Rock with some awesome friends, and surrounded by poison ivy in the foreground.
Camping at Loud Thunder Preserve on the border of Illinois and Iowa, where we visited family. Such fun!
Some 4th of July fireworks at Raccoon River Park in Des Moines.
Some lovely little mushrooms I haven't identified yet, at Ledges Park.
Biking the High Trestle Trail. Gorgeous views.
Capturing some majestic lightening.

Peace & Love,


November 13, 2012

Spiffy Business: Tukula Giveaway and Review

Today, I'm happy to showcase an awesome organization: Tukula.

Similar to another company I have worked with in the past, Tukula works with young Ugandan women who are unable to find consistent work. They provide them a job, medical care, and the ability to save money. This all goes a long ways! There are some personal bios that tell about some of their current artisans!

Each product is handmade and helps to stimulate Uganda's economy as well because the fabric is purchased there. The patterns of the fabric differ in variety so each print is a unique one!

Tukula is the vehicle that allows these women with dreams to be able to find a way to accomplish them. Who doesn't want to be a part of that? There are some fun videos to check out if you're further interested.

Handbags, clutches, accessories, and childrens items are all sold by Tukula. They are colorful, fun, and cultural. I personally love having a story behind something that I use, so supporting Tukula is a perfect conversation starter with friends!

I was able to review a headwrap. It came very colorful and just perfect for accessorizing! I use it with my hair down, in a ponytail, in a name it, the options are endless!

Also offered are kits that offer items at a discount to you so that you can sell them to friends and family and raise money for Tukula. It's like a Pampered Chef party, but for an awesome cause! Here is how to host one.

Tukula has generously offered 1 lucky reader the chance to win a clutch (pictured above). Below is the entry widget. Keep in mind that hosting a Tukula party will get you a load of entries. I want to help this awesome organization!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
**I was not monetarily compensated for this review. All views are my own.**

October 31, 2012

Spiffy Business: Vasseur Skincare Review + Giveaway

When Vasseur sent me their beauty pillow, I was thrilled. Not only does it seem like it would help with sleep posture, but it also keeps you from getting those terrible morning face wrinkles!

 The Beauty Pillow is shaped a little bit like a space ship, and a little bit like a tooth. Its softness is perfectly cushioned without being overly fluffy.
(giveaway after the jump!-->)

October 27, 2012

Spiffy Business: Vermont Farm Table Review & Mini Pumpkin Pies Recipe

When the folks at Vermont Farm Table sent me this gorgeous French Tapered Cherry rolling pin to review, I was thrilled! Just in time to try it out on holiday baking. :)

Vermont Farm Table specializes in furniture and other wood items that are made from reclaimed wood with non-toxic finishes. They are warm, and homey pieces, not made by the thousands. They invite you to stop by and check out their shop if you're in Vermont!

Their pieces are made without all the bolts and screws, and use solid wood, no veneers. They are also very open to customization...perfect for holiday gifts! Check out their shop by looking at the camera-view here. (Hint: it's pretty cool!!)

Go here to check out their shop! They have everything from toys, to tables, to kitchen items.
Follow their Twitter.
Check out their Facebook.
Visit and follow their Pinterest.

Mini Pumpkin Pies
(printable version w/o pictures)

(Delicious recipe after the jump!-->)

October 25, 2012

Healthy Halloween Treat: Abe's Market!

Just a little announcement about a *great* sale at Abe's Market!
They are offering a whopping 20% off of their products for 2 days (until October 28 at 11pm)!
Talk about a healthy fall treat! Take 20% off when you spend $50 or more with code TREATS20. Excludes gift cards. Limit one per customer.

Abe's Market Halloween Special

Learning to Sew: Maintain Your Machine!

Let's just start off by saying, I have an old sewing machine!
 It's a Riccar Z208B, as far as I can tell. If you  have a Riccar, you can go here and find your model too, if you don't know what it is. They have all the product manuals!

I learned to sew when I was quite young, but honestly I haven't done much sewing since Jr. High, so I have lost most of what I knew! This is my journey of re-learning! I haven't used my machine very often, and so it hasn't been least by me. That's...bad. :)

Although I have an older machine model, most sewing machines have a few basic cleaning methods, and the metal ones need to be oiled several times a year if you do regular sewing.

Sewing Machine Maintenance

Gather Your Gear
Sewing Machine Oil (sold at Jo-Ann's, Hancock Fabrics, and other craft stores.
Little Brush (eyeshadow brush size)
Little clean cloth
Sewing Machine Lightbulb
Philips Screw
*optional sewing machine needle

Clean your Ma-chine

1. Open the front compartment of your machine where the light bulb is. If it hasn't been changed in a while, and looks like mine...Yikes! It needs changed!
2. Be sure to dust out the light compartment with your tiny brush as well. Refrain from blowing on the dust, as it can create moisture in the compartment. Get that little brush into each nook and cranny and get all the dust out!

(learn more after the jump-->)