Friday, February 21, 2014

Arbonne Protein Balls

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This is one of those things that seems too good to be true.  These little treats are like the new and improved healthier version of the no bake cookie. Yayyyyy!

I've seen them around on Facebook and Pinterest and since we love all things Arbonne*, we decided to give them a whirl....and YUM!  Our entire family likes these.  In fact, a bit of panic sets in when we don't have a batch around. Thankfully, they are quite easy to make.

Arbonne Protein Balls

1 1/3 c organic agave nectar or honey

2 c organic or natural peanut butter ( I used half Almond Butter)

4 c rolled oats

2 c Arbonne vegan protein powder (suggested 1 c chocolate and 1 c of vanilla)

Heat peanut butter and agave/honey in a saucepan for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the protein powder, mix well. In a large bowl, pour the mixture over the oats.

Refigerate for 1 hour.

Remove and roll into 1" balls.


*For questions about Arbonne or how to shop at a discount, contact me at  Pure, Safe, Beneficial...always!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dealing with focus issues in homeschooling

So this post is probably going to be quite different than what you were thinking.  The focus issues I'm talking about here are ahem....mine! Not the students, the teacher. 

Let me explain.   I can honestly say that since we decided to educate our children at home, we haven't looked back.  I have no desire to send them to school nor do they want to go. We all love it. We truly love being home together and learning together. You can ask my kids anytime, I'm not speaking for them ;)

To say that everyone "doesn't look back" or have doubts, would not be correct.  If you are considering homeschooling and have occasional doubts or if you are currently homeschooling and wonder if you are doing the right thing, that is totally normal. I have had several of my fellow homeschool mommies have seasons where they question their decision.  In fact, I think it is quite healthy to take it a year at a time, heck  - a day at a time and reevaluate things.  

All that to say, we are in this for the long run. However, let's not confuse our steadfast desire to homeschool with saying that it's easy or that I always know what I am doing or that I am always the most patient person on the planet.  This is not the case, but we are committed.

Now, back to the topic at hand. Focus.  Throughout the day, I hear myself reminding the girls to focus and get back on task at whatever they are working on, reading, etc.  But, even MORE often, do I find myself having to refocus and remember what my purpose is during those moments.  I'm their teacher.  I'm the one responsible for creating an environment for learning as well as a love and passion for learning. If I'm continually "checking out", that effects them more than I probably know.

The computer at my desk and the phone within reach ever tempt me. My mind goes on and on: "Maybe I could just send one quick email or check my FB messages.  I really should get a couple loads of laundry done. Oh man, this house is a mess, I need to get cleaning. I haven't talked to so and so forever, maybe I should call."  On and on my mind wanders. Distraction after distraction.

I constantly have to pull myself back together and FOCUS. Yes, the beauty of homeschooling is flexibility and I'm not saying I should be glued to their side, but truly being where I am for those moments is crucial.

Erica, at Confessions of a Homeschooler said it best:

"...the reality of it is that homeschooling is your job.  It's your obligation.  It's your calling.  You would't show up to work late, unprepared, and procrastinating the whole day.  Well, you might, but you'd be fired.  
If you're reading this and you are a homeschooling parent, then homeschooling is your job.  Treat it as such.  Plan your schoool year, get ready for your day, show up on time, and be ready to go.  From 8am-3pm (or whatever your hours are) you are a teacher.  You're not a Facebooking-friend calling-email checking-tweeting-errand runner...
...I've committed to homeschooling our children.  And so even when I don't feel like it.  I do it.  I'm in charge of our children's education and discipleship and that's not something that can be pushed aside because I'm feeling lazy or unmotivated.
Homeschooling is your ministry, your family is your ministry.  Fulfill the calling God has gien you.  Be committed.  Be diligent.  Even when it's hard.  Even when you don't feel like it.    

Thank you Erica! That was SO the kick in the pants that I needed.

I would be kidding myself (and you) if I said my kids didn't notice my occasional  wandering mind and body.  MY focus (or lack of) truly sets the tone of our school day.

I can tell an immense difference on the days that I am focused and committed to helping them and being available for them.  They literally thrive and the day goes much more smoothly. 

Although the laundry, dishes, emails and phone calls to tend to will ALWAYS be there, the years that I am blessed to be called not only mother, but teacher, by my children will not.  

Now, excuse me as I refocus!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Stirring up some love for Valentine's Day

 We spent a lot of time in the kitchen this Valentine's Day stirring up some love.  The girls and I made these little muffins for breakfast before we took our youngest to her "library class".  Then we whipped up my husband's favorite dessert (the strawberry pretzel salad below). Yum and yum!  I enjoy these care free times with the girls during the day. As you could see, we took it easy today with the books. This was hands on time : )  

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Flourless Banana Oatmeal Muffins

2.5 cups of oats
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup of honey
2 T of flax
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup greek yogurt
optional: I threw in some chocolate chips in honor of the holiday ; ))))

Mix well and bake on 400 for about 10-12 minutes.

Then, we spent some time making good old fashioned home made Valentine cards : )  Can't beat those precious gifts.


is patientlove is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
    If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 
    1 Corinthians 13

Happy Valentine's Day all!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

28 Day Detox Challenge Update: Weeks 3 & 4

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Woo hoo! I did it!

I wanted to post my results sooner, but life happens : ) Thankfully, it was all good! Hopefully, you have had the opportunity to read about the amazing results I had on the first two weeks of the 28 Day Detox Challenge?! I wanted to share my results from weeks 3 & 4, as well.

Basically, the positive results continued.  I would say the biggest change/addition would be in regards to my energy level.  I may have been called annoying peppy last week! ; )  I decided to take it as a compliment and realized that it must be from increased energy from the extra vitamins and minerals in the Arbonne supplements and from the major decrease of toxins in my body. Yay! This is a very good thing.  

Otherwise here is...

...a summary of the results from the 28 days:

love handles - bye bye!
joint pain - gone!
remaining pregnancy weight - adios!
digestive issues - see ya!
toxic addictions (a.k.a diet pop) - get lost!

new habits - yes ma'am!
more energy - uh huh!
better nutritional choices - let's go!
lovin' Abonne even more - oh yeah!

(OK, so I was trying to make it fun. Was that too annoying peppy?)

So now what?
Because of the unbelievable results I have been feeling, I am going to continue to follow the program at a minimum of 80/20%. Meaning, I will continue to eat clean and try to avoid acidic, addictive and allergenic foods (dairy, coffee, gluten,etc.) for at least 80% of the time, if not more. Don't get me wrong...I will still enjoy my chai latte here and there and some chocolate now and then, but I'm going to be consistent. 

I have come too far and feel too great to throw it all away for a measly "toxic treat".  I will continue to implement the protein shakes, detox tea and energy drinks into my daily routine.  My family has come to love all of the products, as well, and my husband will be joining the 28 day challenge soon!  (Thankfully, I'm a consultant, so we can get them at a discount) : )))))

Thank you for following my progress and for caring! So many of you have been interested and encouraging and have even decided to take the step yourself. I'm so excited for you! We only get one life and one body. I want to do this right! 

I have had several people join me on this program.  Will you be the next to make an amazing life change such as this?

This is not to take place of or act as medical advice.  Please consult your physician for any nutritional plans or diets. These are my personal and true experiences.  I am an Independent Consultant for Arbonne. Check out Arbonne and/or order (ID #14414570) or contact me for details.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What we are learning: Spanish

Hola amigos!  So, to tell the truth, I've been a bit disappointed with myself in regards to our progress in Spanish. My goal/dream was for our kids to be bilingual at a young age. : (  Being bilingual myself, having a major in Spanish and a passion for the language and culture, that would have been completely possible... However (with a capital H).

Life has been a bit busy over the last several years, adding new babies to our family almost consecutively for four years, "officially" beginning homeschooling and all of the other things that fill our time, I haven't implemented second language training as well as I would have liked.  It's much easier to stress out in your first language. ha ha

Don't get me wrong, some of my children's first words were "leche", "agua" "hola" and "jugo", but fluency just hasn't happened, yet.

Because I realize there is no time like el presente (the present), we are kicking into high gear. On top of our newly implemented "Taco Tuesdays", where we eat Mexican and latin inspired foods and speak Spanish, we have begun to step up our Spanish during the time we do our other work.

This week, our theme is la comida - food. 

Here are some of the ways we are studying and reinforcing the names of foods in Spanish:

playing Spanish bingo (Eeboo Spanish Bingo)

looking at Spanish/English dictionaries (My First Book of Spanish Words (Bilingual Picture Dictionaries)

I don't have a personal picture, but this is one of the best CD's I've heard for learning Spanish terms. The songs have such fun latin rhythms and are separated into themes, you cannot help but pick up on the catchy tunes. : )


And of course....


Check out some of our previous posts about how we practice  Spanish. I hope this helps for those of you wanting to give your children the gift of a second language.  Adios!