Thursday, May 11, 2017

Happy May Ya'All! A little Update.....

I'm sure some of you have noticed that I'm not blogging regularly anymore. I'm sure some of you are thinking - "Really?"lol. My life has gotten busy as can be & I thought I'd take a few minutes, say Hi and catch you all up on what I'm doing.

- Still doing the daycare thing. Yeah, only 2 kiddos for now and always open to taking another. Gianna is now 3 1/2 (where has the time gone?) she's like my own - only I get to hand her off and sleep all night without a foot in the face or listen to all the arguments old and new on why she doesn't want to go to bed.
- Still have Connor who is now 9 1/2. What a neat kid he is! He loves math, science and this summer the Omaha Public Library is hosting the Summer Reading Program and focusing on STEM projects and activities for the kids. He will be in his element!


- School Ends 5/26 and my NaturalTherapyPacks selling season so far hasn't shown signs of slowing down (usually it ends the beginning of April) so I will be continuing to sell on base and at the Gifford Park Neighborhood Market as well as on Etsy. Just go ahead and click the link (you know you want to!)
- This year I've added a new product to NaturalTherapyPacks - Migraine/Sinus Pillows are for those who suffer from Migraines, Sinus Pain and Congestion, Colds, Flu, Sleeplessness and or just like the smell of Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Rosemary all combined into Herby Goodness. These have been selling like hotcakes as have the lapsized rice packs which are unscented and can be used HOT or COLD to help you cool down this summer!
- Kids and I have joined the YMCA. They have this wonderful thing called a Youth Membership for $15 a month! Swim lessons for members are $56 and I can't wait to see Gianna swimming like a fish and Connor jumping off the diving platform. Think he's finally going to do it? We'll see!

You can find me regularly posting on (I'd love to see you more regularly that the few times I make it to my blog):


 

 Stay in touch! Cheers!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Book Review: The Joyful Business Planner


A little background:
The 4th quarter of 2016 my business took off. A few of you may know that I have a small business called NaturalTherapyPacks.  I create hot/cold therapy packs, sinus pillows, migraine pillows and kids heat packs loaded with lavender buds. I have a small shop on etsy and also sell locally on the air force base,  craft shows, thru 2 chiropractors offices, several shops and also via Facebook. I spent all of last fall sewing like crazy as I kept running out of product at my local shows. This happened 4 times between September and December!

I've come to the conclusion that I need to get more organized and I also need to start considering and praying about the future of my little business. I have for the first time started hearing back from customers that I've helped the last 3 years regarding how much my therapy packs have helped them with their chronic pain, migraines, allergies, etc.

A Guesstimating Tool for Organizing your Small Business
by Kate Martin, CPO
ISBN: 978-1539141815
Paperback: $16.95

Recently I was asked to review The Joyful Business Planner by Kate Martin and while it's a small book I'm finding this book is exactly what I'm needing. I am not a organized person at all but the format of this book is carefully laid out with worksheets, calendars, tips and to-do suggestions. 

The book is set up in 5 sections:
Part One is your business overview
- Your business plan, yearly goals, business at a glance and policies/procedures
Part Two is Marketing
- How are you going to tell everyone about the services and products you have available?
Part Three is Yearly Tracking
- What is your actual budget for the year?
Part Four is Monthly Calendars. 
- Quarterly Reviews, see what went well and what you need to work on.
Part Five is Wishlists & Aspirations
- Worksheets showing customer wish list, my wishlist, website changes, etc... 

I loved that I didn't feel overwhelmed and that the information is presented in small chunks that are easy to read and understand even when I'm tired, my mind isn't functioning so well and/or I'm so busy I'm being pulled in 6 different directions. Another thing I liked about the book is that I can see how it would be helpful for tax time since everything will ideally be done at the end of each quarter and organized in a easy to find format. 

This book could easily be used for more than the Creative Entrepreneur. It will be helpful for anyone considering starting a business or already in business (and struggling like I am) & it will be useful for a variety of businesses.

Find Kate at: Organized Joy (her website) and on Facebook

Disclaimer: GivingNSharing was asked to review The Joyful Business Planner and provided a copy of the book. I did not receive any monetary rewards or other items. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Fall Produce List and some delicious yumminess.....

Fall is my favorite time of year. It's getting cooler, I'm not sweating like a pig and I can start cooking and crafting to my hearts content.

You can find a great list of Fall Produce Recipes on the Once A Month Cooking website. Don't these look delicious? Click here for a list of recipes you can use to feed your families healthy all fall & winter long! You can use Once A Month Cooking's website & Menu Planner to make planning your menus much easier. And if you use their Pro Members Plan you can actually create custom menus and use recipes you know your family will enjoy. =D

Apples:
Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Sausage Quiche
Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Sausage Quiche
Paleo Pumpkin Bread
Paleo Pumpkin Bread
Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Overnight Oats
Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Wild Rice Stuffed Chicken Breast
Wild Rice Stuffed Chicken Breast (GF, DF)
And finally....
A recipe from me:
This recipe is based on one of my aunt's recipes for Apple Goodie. I tweaked it so it wasn't so sweet and basically took out about 1/2 the sugar. Feel free to do your own tweaking if you'd like. 
=D Happy September!


Apple Crisp: (preheat oven to 350)

3 cups apples, sliced                      1 Tb Flour
1/4 cup brown sugar                      1 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
1/4 cup honey
Combine and pour into a 9x9" pan. 
Note: You can skip the brown sugar and do a 1/2 cup honey instead.

Topping:
3/4 cup oatmeal                             
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brow sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup melted butter
Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 in a 9x9" pan. I like to add Carmel drizzled over the top but you could also add vanilla ice cream or whip cream if you prefer. YUM!

I'm linked up at:
Spiritual Sundays
Oh, My Heartsie Girl
One Mother Hen
Flour Me with Love
Mommy Monday @ Squishable Baby

Going back to:
Pluckies_Second_Thought (they are new to me....)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Prince Noah and the School Pirates (kids book review)






Prince Noah and the School Pirates

by Silke Schnee
ISBN: 978-0874867657
$ 13.14   (hardback)

About the book:
It’s time for young Prince Noah to go to school. The prince, who starred in the book The Prince Who Was Just Himself, may be a little slower than other students, but he has no less joy in learning. In his kingdom, children go to school on sailing ships. There is a ship for girls and one for boys. There is a ship for children with an eye patch, a ship for children with one leg, and a ship for children who are slower learners. No one knows why there are so many different ships, but it has always been that way.

Then a terrible storm drives the ships into the hands of pirates. The boys and girls realize that they will only escape if everyone does what he or she does best. Through their adventures, they learn that diversity makes us strong and that every person has something to teach us.

My thoughts:
This is a very fun book for children who have the attention span to sit and listen. There are a lot of words to this story and it reads like a storytelling session with Grandpa or Mom at bedtime. It will open up lots of questions like "why don't girls learn math" and "why is there a ship for boys and a different one for kids with one leg". Its a good opportunity for you to discuss how children and sometimes grown ups are treated differently from others and yet each person is able to participate and help with a problem in different ways.

I did try to read this book with my 2 year old but she barely has the attention span yet for a storybook unless it's very interactive. This one doesn't have a lot of rhyming text or sing song passages for her join in the story so it's didn't hold her attention. If you have a 4 year old that will sit for a fairly long story book this will be a great book to encourage thinking about situations and how we can help each other with tasks.

To see more books by Silke Schnee, click here.
To see more books by the publisher Plough, click here.

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. No money was offered for a positive review. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing.

 Book Nook at Create With Joy That Friday Blog Hop

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Thrive by Le-Vel: What is it? (Giveaway)

For the last several months Ive been using a product called Thrive by a company called Le-Vel. I know most all of you have heard of them on Facebook but today I thought Id share a little about it and what my experience has been using it. I also thought Id post a video showing me unboxing my order and actually doing a bit of a vlog as well.

Why did I start The Thrive Experience?
* I was EXHAUSTED and my thoughts were FOGGY.
* I was afraid if I didn't get help I would have to close my in home daycare as I didn't feel (and I wasn't) that I was giving the children the care & attention they deserve and need.
* I felt like I needed to take a nap daily or else I would be out from 530 - 930 every night and then up until 2 am before I would crash again.
* Due to my weight and sedentary lifestyle that per the tests she was going to run I was likely to need to be on meds...... (this had me a bit worried since I don't have insurance.)

What was the result?
* Thrive gives me the energy, calmness, focus & participation my little ones deserve from me.
* My pain levels have eased most days - going from a 7-8 Pre-Thrive to an average of a 2-3 currently.
* I no longer feel so tired I need to sleep during the day or crash as soon as the kids leave.
* My cravings are gone! I can actually walk past donuts, soda and the hostess cupcake section! I am not drinking 3 32 oz sodas everyday saving me $3 per day just on sodas. The shake truly helps me with appetite control and cravings.
* Even though I'm not trying to lose weight - I have gone down 1-2 sizes depending on what Im wearing. I had to go shopping so my clothes weren't so baggy. Consignment Shops here I come!
* My test results came back with great results!
* My thought process is "I Can DO This!" more than "I cant or I don't feel like it." Most of all - I feel like I WANT to do things & this is an amazing feeling!
* I'm exercising most days! Wow! My support team: Gianna & Heidi (2) and I are using Lesley Sansone's Walking off the Weight videos - Mix & Match Walk Blasters: Mini Walks and Start! Walking. I'm only up to doing a 1 mile walk each morning and my 2 year olds make it through about 3/4's of a mile which I think is amazing! Without my new thought process this would not be happening!

What comes in The Thrive Experience? Watch this unboxing....


Would you like to know more & are your ready to do something positive and helpful for your body?

Are you ready to give your body the 100% Plant Based Gluten Free Premium Nutrition it deserves with No Chemicals?

If so, click the image to the right to start w your FREE account and look over the ingredients for yourself and then place your order.

Have questions? Email me HERE or would you like a ONE on ONE to learn more? You know me - I will give you my honest opinion, will make no claims and will not pressure you.

Disclaimer: I am a promoter and customer of Le-Vel and personally use their products. This review is based on my experience and no one elses. I was not asked by Le-Vel to review their products.

Linked up @
 Around the Blogosphere sunday giveaway linky, giveaways, linky, sunday linky, giveaway linky Giveaway linky 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Helping your toddler understand language





We all know how important it is to read to our kids and often I hear from parents "you have to many books" or "she doesn't need any books - she doesn't read them." Well, I always have to bite my tongue because how is a child to learn to love reading if no one ever reads to them? How are they to learn to focus on what they are hearing and start understanding instructions, descriptions, what people are saying to them if no one reads to them?

Today's books are dedicated to the smallest readers. Baby's and Toddlers. Yes, they don't read yet - but their vocabulary is growing 7 words each day. They are learning to pay attention, to listen, to focus and proper sentence structure. Reading is important to all children regardless of their age but especially to the 0-6 year old child.

Ten Tiny Toes
by Caroline Jayne Church
ISBN: 978-0545536011
$7.73 board book

About the book:
Caroline Jayne Church brings her adorable toddler art and lovely rhymes to this joyful twist on the tried-and-true classic, HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES, AND TOES. From ears that wiggle to bellies that giggle, TEN TINY TOES is sure to inspire little ones as they learn to celebrate their "mouth, ears, eyes, nose, and a love that grows and grows."

My thoughts:
This adorable book is one of 2 year old Gianna's favorite books. The pictures in the book are of an adorable baby that really connected with Gianna and she will mimic the actions of the baby – one page shows him waving his arms and she will do so, another shows him touching his toes and yet another he’s  balancing on one leg. When we are finished we sing the "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" song. This would make a really cute book for a baby shower or a first birthday gift.

God Made You Just RightGod Made You Just Right
by Jill Roman Lord
ISBN: 978-0824919764
$7.99 board book

About the book: A bright and cheerful reminder that God made each of us special and unique
Here is a message that every parent will want to share with his or her child: You're brilliantly created and there s no one else like you! With easy-to-understand descriptions and simple, rhyming text, Jill Roman Lord shares the message that God created each of us in just the right way in a manner that even the youngest child will understand. Bright and engaging illustrations from Amy Wummer pair perfectly with the text and enhance the appeal of the book. Ages 2-5.

God made you very special
And I hope you know it’s true.
Your’re brilliantly created,
And there’s no one else like you!

My thoughts:
This book is for the slightly older infant or younger toddler. Gianna still hasn’t really connected with it but I don’t think it will be much longer. The story itself has quite a few more words with each page consisting of 1 long sentence that requires a little more ability to focus on the picture and comprehend what the phrase is saying. The words are a bit bigger too and unless your child is used to you using “bigger” words like brilliantly, perfect, special, blessed they may not understand them till they are closer to 3 or 3 ½. Gianna has been speaking in full sentences since she was just 2 and she regularly uses these kinds of words – but she is not yet sitting to listen to longer passages of words

This is a wonderful book that encourages and shows children that they are special to God. He took the time to plan each child and knew their purpose and needs before they were born. The images in the books are full of joy and emotion and kids can easily see the description of what the text is saying.


I personally think this book is for kids 2 ½ and up – if your child is not ready to sit and listen to lots of words it would be very easy to share the books and talk about the pictures. What is the child doing in this picture? Are they happy or sad? You can also encourage your child to act out what’s happening on that page: He made your two legs super strong (accent the words Super Strong) to RUN and JUMP and PLAY. This is an example of a sentence that you can say to your child as well as your day goes on – it’s great for interaction, practicing word combinations and helping your child understand or comprehend what you are saying.

I received a copy of each of these books to read and review on GivingNSharing. I received no money and was just asked to give my honest opinion of each book. Thanks for reading!

Mami 2 Five