Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Homeschool Health & Science: Soda's Evil Twin

We are learning how to eat cleaner, read labels, cut out sugars and how big business markets soda and fruit juice's. Teaching kids now will lead to good choices in life.


Have a blessed day at your house.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February is National Wild Bird Feeding Month~ taking care of our feathered friends

My girls this week have been busy feeding our bird friends and a few squirrels in the learning process. We have saved and recycled with some of these cool ideas. As a homeschool of course it is a month to learn.
                    Make a homemade bird feeder! February is National Bird Feeding Month
Celebrate the wonder and joy of our feathered friends by celebrating National Wild Bird Feeding Month! Unlike a lot of special days, this holiday is actually official. In 1994, Congress proclaimed February as National Bird Feeding Month to encourage people to feed, water and provide shelter for wild birds, especially during the winter months. Get your kids together and make your own homemade bird feeder crafts with these great ideas!

From http://funfamilycrafts.com/tag/bird-feeder/

                         Cereal Bird Feeders

Simple wire and cereal feeder, shape into hearts or any form you wish, add some ribbon and hang up.

                             Orange Bird Feeder

Cut and hollow out oranges into halves, punch 3-4 holes evenly around the "cup" string twine to hang, fill with favorite seed mix. We also used apples cut in halve and covered with peanut butter, then dipped into sunflower seeds.

    Pumpkin Bird Feeder
A unique pumpkin feeder is created easily with small pumpkins or gourds halved and cleaned out inside. Use twine to string up, place the leftover pumpkin seeds inserted into the flesh around the edges I think adds a neat touch and seeds for them to eat.
Paint Can Bird Feeders
Recycle your cans into cute and colorful bird nesting or bird feeders, painting with a nontoxic paint and adding ribbon to them.

What is the best food to give your feathered friends? Our NC bird friends love sunflower seeds and safflower seeds, in addition to suet with peanuts and millet.
I learned a ton of great information here at The National Bird Society site Here www.birdfeeding.org/nbfm.html
Different bird species have different food preferences. To learn more about the bird seed preferences of your favorite species, view the NBFS Wild Bird Food Preferences for your region.
Bird Seed
sunflowerThere are nine types of seed commonly found in bird seed blends: black-oil sunflower, cracked corn, Nyjer®(formerly known as thistle), red milo, safflower, striped sunflower, sunflower hearts (also known as sunflower chips or hulled sunflower), white proso millet, and whole peanuts (peanuts out of the shell and split in half). Of those seed types, four have been shown to be most attractive to birds: black-oil sunflower, Nyjer®, sunflower hearts, and white proso millet. Learn more about what bird seeds birds like best.

Meet Your Bird Seed

What bird seed attracts the greatest variety of birds? What bird seed helps you attract new species of birds to your yard? Meet your bird seed to find the answers.

Bird Behavior and Bird Seed Preferences

A bird's behavior can tell you its bird food preference. Learn how to determine the bird seed preferences of the wild birds visiting your yard.
Other Bird Food
hummingbird drinking from feederOther bird food offered at feeders includes suet, nectar, fruit, and insects. Suet is very attractive to a wide variety of species including woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, Carolina Wren, and Tufted Titmouse. Suet comes commercially packaged or can be purchased from the butcher. Commercially packaged suet can be fed year round. Nectar is offered to hummingbirds and orioles. Nectar should be provided in a ratio of 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Nectar can be made at home, and purchased commercially in powder or liquid form.
© Roger Mayhorn
Many species of birds are frugivorous. Providing apples, bananas, oranges and raisins can help attract species such as orioles and mockingbirds. Insects, particularly mealworms (flour beetle larvae), are readily consumed by a large variety of insectivorous birds such as bluebirds. By offering these additional wild bird foods, you may increase the variety of birds visiting your backyard, thereby enhancing your experience.

Top Ten Bird Feeding Tips
Use these ten simple steps to enhance your wild bird feeding experience.
Click here for a printer-friendly version of the NBFS Top Ten Bird Feeding Tips.
Wild Bird Feeding Tips1. Bird feeding is for people who love watching birds - Always place your bird feeders in places where you can readily and frequently see the birds you are feeding.
2. Start with the basics - Black-oil sunflower in a tubular feeder is a very effective combination for attracting a large number of birds to your yard.
3. Attract more species by adding additional types of feeders and seed - Try Nyjer® in a tube feeder, and mixtures of black-oil sunflower, hulled sunflower, and whole peanuts in hopper and platform feeders.
4. Don't forget about alternative foods and water -Suet, fruits, mealworms, nectar and water may attract species of birds not found at traditional offerings.
5. The bird species in your yard change with season of the year - The birds visiting your feeders in summer may be very different than those in winter. Provide the feeders and food best suited to your seasonal suite of birds.
6. Make your yard bird-friendly - Provide birds with habitat, food, water, and nest boxes so birds will use your yard year-round. Bird feeders near larger trees and shrubs often have more bird visits.
7. Keep the birds safe - Reduce window collisions, keep birds safe from outdoor cats, and clean your feeders. Move feeders to within 3 feet of windows, remove hiding places of cats, and keep feeders free of debris and filled only with seeds birds will eat.
Top Ten Bird Feeding Tips8. Use binoculars and a backyard bird guide to learn more about your birds - Learning more about birds by using the tools of the birdwatcher provides you with a greater appreciation for your feathered friends.
9. Take your hobby to the next level - Explore your local, state, and national parks and refuges. You will see bird species you can't see in your yard.
10. Enjoy feeding the birds! - Contact the NBFS anytime you have questions about bird feeding or for assistance in enhancing your bird feeding experience!

If your Homeschooler wants to learn more about birding visit the NBFS website or we are working on Zoology I Apologia's Flying Creatures of the 5th Day. Available via Amazon or or booksellers.

Happy Birding!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Triple Chocolate Nutella Cookies for your Valentine!

Valentine’s Dessert Menu (from our FREE w/ purchase dessert Valentine’s Day Menu)
Triple Chocolate Nutella® Cookies
Cocoa powder, Nutella® and chocolate chips combine in these oh-so-chocolaty cookies, making them an instant favorite.
1¼ cups flour
⅔ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
⅓ cup chocolate hazelnut spread, such as Nutella®
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
⅓ cup milk
½ cup milk and/or white chocolate chips
Parchment paper
  1. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set aside.
  2. Combine butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.
  3. Add chocolate hazelnut spread and vanilla; mix until combined.
  4. Add half of flour mixture, then milk, and remaining flour mixture, stirring well between additions.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Refrigerate dough at least 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 325°F. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until set but still soft.
  9. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes; transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

discount code HEART for 10% off emeals 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Side Effects of Soda~ How is it impacting your family's health?

No Soda you say! Yep that's right our household (with the exception of a certain daddy) has gone soda-less.
I thought at one point in my life that I could not live without my diet Mountain Dew daily, but over that last year or so, I have slowly cut back and just lost the taste for any thing soda related. Some of my medications yes have helped with that problem, but I just found myself liking other things instead. Same thing goes for my teenager, he had nearly cut his soda intake in half, and now after reading some of the data, he has nearly cut all the soft drinks out of his diet also. I started doing some research about what is actually in soft drinks and fruit drinks that we give our kids all the time, I was totally shocked. The effects on our body is even greater and a better reason to just not buy it anymore! Green tea for me now!

The infographic below was the real reason I stopped drinking soda all together!

                                                              Source: flickr.com via Whitney on Pinterest

Have a blessed and Healthy day!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Leaping Liebsters!! I am so honored for an award

I actually have been nominated twice for the Liebster award and have been so busy blogging away and taking care of every body at my house this winter, I have not had the time to do my post. Today I wanted to tak the time to say thank you to some awesome ladies! Any pass it forward to nominate other bloggers, inspiring them to keep blogging. 

So what is a Liebster Blog Award? It's an award that recognizes up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. The award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another. 

I want to thank Amy P @Consider Me Inspired and Summer @ Simply Summer for the nominations

Here are the rules:
*List 11 facts about yourself.
*Answer the 11 questions given to you.
*Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
*Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
*Go to each blogger's page and let them know about the award.
*Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog

Since I was nominated twice, I may cheat just a little bit. I don't want to have to answer 22 questions and nominate 22 people, so I'll do half and half from each of my nominators.

So here goes:  

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. I am a GRITS girl (Girl Raised In The South)

2. I grew up on the beach but love the mountains now

3. I never sleep, never enough hours in my day to finish anything

4. My favorite website is Pinterest (as you can tell)

5. I love to paint, sew, glue anything , crafting soothes the soul

6. Gardening is my stress relief, love to get my hands in that dirt and love the sounds of nature.

7. I started blogging merely to keep grandparents updated-- now I blog all the time via several different blogs actually.

8. I wanted to be a vet, before I became a nurse ( but I cry with hurt animals)

9. I hate my feet - I have the ugly little toe that all of my kids have inherited (sorry kids)

10. I am a very loyal friend, always here, a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear

11. I  am a total sucker, and am always trying to help others, so I can't say NO much.

My questions given to me :

1. How would your spouse/significant other describe you? Stubborn as a mule

2. If you could be a dog or cat which would you be and why? Cat, because they can jump and climb anywhere they want to, lazy laying in the sun all day long.

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Somewhere tropical where the sand is white and the water is so clear you can see the bottom of the ocean floor

4. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? End Human trafficking and slavery! 

5. How many pillows do you currently have on your bed? (you can include throw pillows if you want) 6

6. If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? ice cream/popsicles addicted to them

7. What is your earliest childhood memory? our Collie named Hobo, who would follow me around and pull my dress if I wandered to far from my mother

8. What is your most favorite outfit? yoga pants and a T-shirt

9. What is something that annoys you more than anything in the world? People who drive unsafe knowing that they could kill someone by drinking, drugs, texting etc. 

10. What is the best movie you saw in 2012? "Don't recall ,not a big movie watcher"

11. If you could have one super power, what would it be? to fly, would save on my gas money

My questions for my 11 bloggers to answer : 

1. Why or how did you start blogging ? 

2. What is your best quality?

3. What is your one thing in your bucket list? 

4. How would you spend a million dollars if given to you, no strings? 

5. Favorite sports car if you could have one (along with your mommy mobile)

6. Do you like it hot (Summer) or cold ( winter) ? 

7. Name your favorite movie star? 

8. Favorite book or novel? 

9. What do you prefer in the summer and winter, flip flops or tennis shoes? 

10.  What area of the country to you live in? 

11. Do you cook well or burn water often and rather eat out? 

My list of lucky 11 bloggers nominated for a Liebster Award! 

1.Tamara Maellaro  at  http://billygorilly.com/blog/

2. Stacy K at  http://www.lookingforisis.com/

3. Stacy M at http://couponingwithboys.com 

4. Summer P at http://summerofmanyhats.blogspot.com/ 

5. Elena at http://wisewaytribe.wordpress.com/

6. Robin at http://mypathtograce.org/

7. Amber at http://greeneggs-and-spam.com/

8. Tracy at http://thekelleykasa.blogspot.com/

9. Mindy at http://thehindslife.blogspot.com/

10. Abby at http://mommycubed260818.blogspot.com/

11. Lauryn at http://sahmbeauty.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 4, 2013

Vera Bradley Giveaway~ Large Hobo Handbag and Wallet


Welcome to the Vera Bradley Giveaway!

Hosted and sponsored by Giveaway Promote.
We've teamed up with a great group of bloggers to bring you this fabulous giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a brand new, authentic Vera Bradley Large Hobo Handbag and Zip Around Wallet.
If you love entering giveaways, sweepstakes and contests, you’ll find the latest and greatest listed on Giveaway Promote.
Giveaway Promote is one of my favorite places to list my giveaways and find other great giveaways to enter. Stop by and enter a few giveaways today!

Vera Bradley Large Hobo Handbag

Nothing’s more classic than the hobo style, but this interpretation kicks it up a notch! Big and spacious, but so easy to carry, the Large Hobo truly knows what a girl needs - practicality, style and room to be herself! Measures 15" x 10½" x 4" with 11" strap drop. - Vera Bradley
Lemon Parfait Large Hobo
Lemon Parfait Large Hobo Inside

Vera Bradley Zip Around Wallet

An outside change pocket, nine interior pockets and zip-around closure keep everything secure. The wrist strap makes it a trendy way to carry cash and cards. Measures 7½" x 4¾" - 6" wrist strap. - Vera Bradley
Lemon Parfait Zip Around Wallet
Lemon Parfait Zip Around Inside
The Vera Bradley Large Hobo Handbag and Zip Around Wallet are both in the Lemon Parfait pattern.

Enter to win a Vera Bradley Large Hobo Handbag and Zip Around Wallet.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway. Refer your friends using your unique link to earn even more chances to win.
Open in the United States & Canada.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on February 17th, 2013.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Bloggers, we'd love for you to join an awesome group giveaway event like this one! Sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by Giveaway Promote.

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