Browsing Tag:


Drinks/ HEALTH/ Healthy Eating/ RECIPES

My Personal 31 Days Of Tea-LC Challenge + Another Tea Giveaway

31 days of tea

 I just chose a winner for my last Celestial Seasonings 31 Days of TeaLC giveaway, and there was so much excitement about it that I though we should do one more!

I talked last week about just how much I love hot beverages in the winter.  I love chai, coffee and tea, but because I am a cancer survivor, health and immunity are super important to me. With this in mind, I have been wanting to drink less coffee and more tea, and joined in on Celestial Seasonings 31 Days of TeaLC Challenge.  My personal challenge is to replace my typical 2nd cup of coffee, the one I usually drink in the afternoon, with tea! 

Henry James Tea quote

My friends at Celestial Seasonings recently sent a bunch of their new wellness teas, just in time for my 31 Days of TeaLC Challenge.  I have LOVED trying out their new products, and have been really impressed with the emphasis their teas have on health!  This month is more than half way over and I have found that this 31 day challenge really isn’t much of a challenge for me because it has been a very delicious challenge!
During my last giveaway, I asked you to comment on what your favorite Celestial Seasonings teas are.  I loved the response I got from you!   Here are the most popular flavors according to New Nostalgia readers!
~ Sleepytime teas were by far the most popular.  Many of you commented on how they really do work and help you fall asleep.  The Vanilla, Peach and Sinus Soother were the most popular flavors.

~Raspberry Zinger was also very popular, and came in second.

~Mandarine Orange Spice was a close 3rd.

~Honey Vanilla Camomille was 4th

~Peppermint was a favorite for a few of you!


Ok, now on to a couple more of my favorite teas from Celestial Seasonings.

Celestial seasonings tea
This tea is very timely for what I have seen and experienced here in the Midwest.  It seems like EVERYONE is battling colds and flu.  We have managed to stay fairly healthy.  I do have one girl with some cold symptoms. When she told me she had a sore throat one evening, I was excited to experiment with Sleepytime Throat Tamer.  I made her some, added some honey, and she said she really liked it and that it definitely helped. She drifted right off to sleep after her tea. She is 11 and is really starting to enjoy tea, especially herbal teas!

When the seasons change, minor throat irritations are all too common. Steep yourself in soothing goodness with Sleepytime Throat Tamer. This special blend features all of the calming and relaxing qualities of our beloved Sleepytime tea, including aromatic spearmint from the Pacific Northwest and soothing Egyptian chamomile. Sleepytime Throat Tamer adds licorice root and slippery elm bark to coat and soothe a sore throat, while the rejuvenating infusion of lemongrass and ginger provides a comforting aroma and flavor. You’ll feel soothing relief from the very first sip! *

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Metabo Balance Green Tea
The next tea that I have really been enjoying is the Metabo Balance Green Tea.  I am on a medication for 5 years due to my cancer history.  This particular medication makes you gain weight.  It messes with hormone levels and because of this I have noticed a change in my body shape, and in my tendency to gain weight around the middle.  I have been blessed to never have had to worry about weight gain, until now!  I’m hoping this tea will help regulate my metabolism. This tea is delicious–it has hibiscus, orange peel and grapefruit flavor.  It is a green tea which is great for everyone, but especially cancer survivors!
For many of us, maintaining a healthy weight can be a challenge. Support your metabolism by adding Metabo Balance™ wellness tea to your healthy diet and active lifestyle. This all-natural blend features authentic green tea leaves and potent green tea extract for sustained energy and metabolism support, plus garcinia cambogia and a delicious tropical grapefruit flavor for great taste with no calories!*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Hamilton Beach Stainless Steel Electric Kettle
I own an electric tea kettle, and it is by far one of my most favorite kitchen appliances, especially in the winter.  I fill it with water in the morning, then flip the button to “on.”  In just a minute or 2, I have hot water for my tea.  The kettle keeps the water hot for a long time, so I refill my mug often.  If it has been a couple hours since my last cup of tea and I want more, I simply flip the switch to “on’ again. It is a great way to have hot water handy all throughout the day. I LOVE it.
Would you like a chance to win a month supply of Celestial Seasonings tea?

If so, enter below!
Frugal/ HOME/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

“Eat From The Pantry” Week

Our mail man keeps delivering medical bills on a daily basis, so in order to cut some corners around here, I am challenging our family to an “Eat From The Pantry” (and freezer) week.

I am not one to stock up on food, so this is a challenge.  But I like a challenge, it forces me to get creative.  I’m going to take it day by day, and see how far in the week we get before our pantry is empty.

Here are a few things I did today to help in this week-long adventure:

~Found some dough in my freezer and made these Pizza Roll-Ups for the kids lunch.  I’m freezing any extras for snacks later in the week.

~I made a big pot of brown rice in my rice cooker.  I love to make a bunch, then put into freezer bags.  Rice reheats beautifully.  For lunch today, I ate Rajma Masala (red kidney beans curry) over the rice.  Yum!

~I boiled a bunch of eggs to make Egg Salad Sandwiches for dinner.

~I don’t want to go buy bread to serve the Egg Salad Sandwiches on, so I threw Homemade Hamburger Buns into my bread maker.  Since I am cutting back on animal products (after reading The China Study) I will enjoy a Vegetarian Nature Burger on my bun. 🙂

~I will serve the sandwiches with Sweet Potato Coins to use up the bag of sweet potatoes I have.

~My youngest and I made a double batch of Chia Oats.  She loves to eat it for breakfast and snack.  We also made a batch of Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Oats.  We are going to blend them up and make Chocolate Chia Oat Popsicles.  If we are successful and they taste good, I will for sure post about them!

~I have a bag of pinto beans.  I am planning on making them in the crockpot using the method in the video above.  They are super filling and nutritious, great on rice or in wraps.

~I know my girls will want some sweets, so I will make a batch of homemade Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups with our frozen berries from the Strawberry Patch.  Yum!

If I can make it through the week with only buying a few grocery items, I can save over $100.00!  
Wish me luck!:)

Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

Real Food Challenge-Update

For those of you who signed up for the 28 day Nourishing Traditions Challenge, I wanted to let you know where I am at with it.  I said in the post “It will be interesting where this challenge takes us, and if there will be a point I draw a line and say, “nope, not ready for that.””  Well, that point hit at day 3! LOL.
I’ve read much on this movement and really do believe that it is important to try and eat foods in the most minimally processed state–but–I am only willing to go so far and spend so much of my life’s time doing it.   Day 3 talked about soaking grains–have not done it and not sure if I ever will, and I am willing to read on and continue to learn, but I know for me and my family, this level is just a bit too much. There are others that have been on this Real Foods journey much longer, so maybe for them that next step is not overwhelming.

I am all about baby steps, so the emails I am receiving from the challenge are throwing me.  The same email they tell you to change white grains to brown grains, they tell you that is not enough and that you need to start soaking your grains and making everything from scratch.  Sorry, but THAT overwhelms me!  It is a huge step for some people to just go from white bread to 100% wheat, or to change white pasta to whole grain pasta, so to expect people to be ok with “trade the white to wheat, grind your own wheat, soak your grains, make your bread homemade”…that is enough to make anyone give up and go buy a box of Twinkies, in my opinion!!

I guess what I am trying to say is if you signed up and are reading the emails, don’t freak out and give up on the idea of eating real foods.  It can look many different ways for many different people.   There are lots of people out there like me, who have made small steps to becoming more healthful and have had great success, without taking it to a level many of us won’t ever be.

I, personally, read the challenge and appreciate learning what others are doing and why, but I am careful.  I do not want to become consumed with feeling like I have to do everything they say in order to measure up and make a difference for my family.  I refuse to become a perfectionist about it all, and I rest in knowing that small changes here and there are enough.  If I allowed myself to become consumed, it could do my family more harm than good, by taking away from other, just as important, areas of nourishment for them–like emotional nourishment, for one.

Anyway, I had to communicate with you, my readers.  So many of you have sent such wonderful emails communicating your desire to eat healthier foods.  You have expressed excitement as you have tried new things, and you have expressed frustration when it seems overwhelming.  I hate to think that a link I shared would add to that frustration, especially when it seems to be going against what I am always saying…”one step at a time!”:)  So, if one of those steps involve removing yourself from the Nourishing Traditions Challenge email list, so you won’t get overwhelmed, by all means do what you need to do!!  If instead, it is intriguing to learn what the process is for some people, stay signed up and read on!

Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

Real Food Challenge

There is a Real Food movement going on and I’m happy to be moving with it.  My movement has been gradual, but I can’t tell you how great it has been to feel like the foods I have chosen to feed my family have been doing wonders for their health.

We have always been a family who were known for being sick…ALL THE TIME!  It felt like we lived at the dr.’s office (every two-three weeks at least, for years- no joke!)  Since deciding to eat Real Foods, that is no longer the case.  We have not been to the doctor since LAST MAY!!  We have had a cold here and stomach flu there, but usually only one of us gets it now(instead of the usual domino effect of illness that would happen when one would get sick–we’d all get it!) and it is over quickly.  I was the mom that got letters from the principal every year for each girl, telling me they had missed too much school.  Now the only school they have missed is when mommy falls for brilliant acting on my girls part:) That has happened twice recently, but momma’s not gonna fall for it again!  If they perk up after keeping them home a few hours, off to school they are gonna go!

A few months ago, I visited my pediatrician for a referral to an allergist to get my daughter checked for a suspected corn allergy.(never went to the allergist, symptoms disappeared when we stopped eating processed foods regularly)  When she saw us, she couldn’t believe how long it had been since we had been in, and was really surprised my daughter was off all inhalers for her asthma.  I loved it.  I feel like God has been so faithful in guiding me to some answers to my family’s health issues.

All that to say, I truly believe our eating habits are the reason why we are healthier.  I believe our immune systems are working as they should be, and our bodies are getting what they need through our foods.  We are by no means doing everything we could be doing, and I am at peace with that.  We are doing enough to make a difference in our health, so pressure is off to follow the movement perfectly.  I’ll be interested to see where this challenge takes us, and if there will be a point I draw a line and say, “nope  not ready for that.”

If all this healthy food talk is getting to you, just keep scrolling down and enjoy my posts on beauty or crafts or God🙂  If instead, it sparks some interest, click on the image above and sign up.  All you have to do is enter your name and email, and you will get posts sent to your email the next 28 days.


Eat From Your Pantry-Update

I am taking part in the Eat From Your Pantry Challenge (click here if you don’t know what that is)
I took inventory of my freezer, refrigerator, and my newly organized pantry. I quickly wrote down dinner ideas inspired by what I had. Then I wrote a grocery list to buy any filler ingredients that I would need.

I didn’t get so specific that I made a plan for each day of the week, but I made sure I had a list of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas.
And, off to the store I went with my list.

Here is what I came home with. I spent $80.00 for the week. It was a little shocking for me, I have not been shopping at our health market for a few months now, so the prices of organic food threw me a bit. (can you believe the picture above was $80.00!!  There is one bag of flour missing) I still stayed well under the $130-$140 I usually spend.

Free range chicken kills our budget-this one cost $13.00. WOW! Good thing I know how to stretch it. We will be alternating with Smart Chicken in the future.  For sure.
The flour was on sale so I had to stock up. I know this might go against the eat from your pantry challenge, but when the bag goes from $5.00 down to $2.00, and the sale is ending in 2 days, I must buy! I will be doing lots of baking during this challenge, so I think it was a wise decision.
Here is what we have eaten so far.

I shopped Thursday the 31st-New Year’s Eve, afternoon (make sense?)

We make clock shaped pizza.(used leftover sauce from freezer and shredded cheese from freezer.) Yummy, yummy.
My sister left cookie dough here at Christmas, which I froze. I thawed, sliced, baked and ATE!
Brownies- homemade from ingredients on hand. Yum. (I’ll post recipe soon)

Cereal for breakfast (toast, fruit)
Sloppy Joes at my sisters house to celebrate New Years Day
Arby’s 5 for $5.95 roast beef sandwich special for Family Movie Night (we split a large curly fry between 5 people…cracks me up. Its like 4 fries each. I’m not complaining, those things are so nasty for you, but taste so gooood!)
Toast and fruit
Whole wheat pasta tossed with butter and sprinkled with parm cheese, carrots, apples
Beef kabobs (beef has been in freezer for a month), potato casserole (used up leftover sour cream), salad

Cereal and clementines
Pizza at G’pa and G’ma’s house for lunch. Love it.
Dinner: Girls- leftover pizza from G’ma’s house; Me-White Chicken Chili from freezer; Todd-oatmeal (He eats a lot of oatmeal. He likes it. Strange.)
Bagels and cream cheese given to us from gma. My girls were in heaven.
Lunch: Girls packed lunch (pb sandwich, Kashi crackers/cheese, apple slices); Me-White Chicken Chili from freezer (I froze in very small single serving mason jars, so handy); Todd-homemade soup from freezer.
Dinner: Whole wheat noodles, leftover spaghetti sauce with beef from freezer, salad, and homemade Swope Bread (I’ll post recipe soon)
Tues-here are the plans
Oatmeal for breakfast
Lunch: Girls-Leftover noodles in thermos, fruit, mix of pretzels, dried cranberries and chocolate chips
Dinner:Me-Indian food with my sisters YIPPEE! Todd-nachos at the Nebraska Basketball game, Girls-dinner out with gma
Dinner plan:my super expensive bird cooked rotisserie style in the crockpot, salad, frozen veggie mix, Swope bread from freezer (recipe made 2)
Dinner plan: Chicken Pot Pie-got a piecrust leftover from Christmas.
Make bone broth with chicken bones to make soup for Todd’s lunches.
Fri-Pancakes (leftover homemade dry mix in pantry)
Family Movie Night-Arbys! Roast beef sandwiches. Split large fry.
Fruit and Yogurt Smoothies

Sat-Time to grocery shop again!!!!
Whew. That took awhile to type. Maybe next time I will just tell you dinners and snacks??

Frugal/ HEALTH/ HOME/ How-Tos/ Organizing/ RECIPES/ Simplifying

Eat From Your Pantry Challenge

Our last Christmas family celebration was here at our home yesterday.  Boy, did we have fun!  We had a “come wearing a silly hat theme,” a pancake bar, games, an insane amount of gifts from Grandpa John and Grandma Pam, a Christmas craft with Grandma Sheri, a Christmas movie, and constant food consumption from 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. —  We made such great memories!   Everyone came nicely dressed in normal clothes, and within a few hours most of us were in our new pajamas that we had just unwrapped.  Time with family was extra sweet, because a blizzard kept us from seeing each other on Christmas day.

My Silly Christmas Hat And A Platter Of Pancakes!
Although we constantly consumed food throughout the day, there were lots and lots of leftovers.  A great thing about being the host house is getting stuck with all the leftovers!  I’m very stuffed as I sit here typing!

I spent some time in my kitchen today, clearing out the Christmas decorations (I am REALLY excited to get the house back to its simple self!) and organizing my refrigerator and freezer.  I could not tell what- was- what when I opened the refrig this morning, and I knew if I didn’t get in there and figure it out, that all those great leftovers would go to waste.  I now have leftovers that won’t get eaten today or tomorrow, packaged and into the freezer (shredded cheese leftover from nachos, bacon leftover from making quiche, pancakes leftover from our pancake feast, cookie dough that didn’t get baked, etc).
I know what I have, and feel confident that we won’t waste all that good food!  Tomorrow I will tackle the pantry, it is so disorganized right now that it is hazardous to open the door! Holidays have a way of reeking havoc on my kitchen in more ways than one!  I am so very eager to get back to simple and healthful eating, to get as much processed sugar and foods out of my house as I can, and fill my pantry up with ingredients from my little neighborhood health food market.

Today I stumbled upon this post and it really excited me.  “Eat From Your Pantry” is a concept that I love and have tried before.  We did it for 2 weeks in the month of October.  It was so rewarding to see how much money we could save by just paying attention to food we already have.  I loved seeing my cupboards become bare, and I loved filling them back with only healthful, necessary foods.  I only spent $40.00 the first week, and $48.00 the next week.  We usually spend about $120.00-$130.00 a week, so that was a substantial amount saved!

I am a bit apprehensive to commit to a whole month, but it seems like they are a bit flexible with the challenge.  I think the goal is just to be extremely thoughtful about what groceries you do buy, all the while using up what you already have.  This came at a perfect time for me, here is why:

* I have lots of leftovers hanging out in my freezer

*I am VERY MOTIVATED to get our kitchen back in order

*I miss shopping at my health food grocer

*My husband is back on track with healthful eating (as of today) & I want to support him in that

*It is soon-to-be a NEW YEAR, which gives me motivation to start anew with food.

I will occasionally post about our progress and experience.  Let me know if you think this is a good idea and if you want to do it, too!