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Monday

Christmas Magic in this little elf ...


We love the holidays around here.  The truth is we go a little holi-crazy.  One of my favorite traditions  is our elf on the shelf.  This year we are using this fun printable packet to guide our activities.  The packet provides a journal tracker for the kids, a planner, and 50 fun notes from your elf and it is just $3.  The first activity on deck for us is a jumping jack challenge!  I can't wait to see how the little ones respond!  What has your elf been up to this year?

Thursday

Nine Naturals Give Away!

NN_Partnership-Logos_030313-01

Welcome to our week-long giveaway that we are co-hosting with a fabulous group of mommy bloggers from across the United States and Canada.

We are very excited to be giving away toxic-free goodies from Brooklyn (New York) based company Nine Naturals. Forward-thinking Nine Naturals make personal products which are smart and safe for moms and moms-to-be. They craft their products using only natural and organic ingredients, which include shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, deodorant, body wash, sunscreen and lip balm.

Mommy BewareNine-Naturals-Citrus-+-Mint-Nourishing-Shampoo_final_5_3_cap

For a health conscious mother or mother-to-be, most of us are well aware as to the dangers of eating genetically modified foods and foods sprayed with pesticides. We are aware of the dangers of drinking coffee, consuming alcohol, or smoking during pregnancy, and so many other things. However, not a lot of attention is spent on the dangers of slathering disease-causing chemicals and endocrine disruptors on our bodies, which are found in most mainstream personal products. Especially, as these are used on a daily basis!

The skin is the largest organ, and it aptly absorbs whatever is put on it very quickly, traveling into the blood stream, moving around the body, and of course this can affect a fragile fetus growing inside.

So What is Available and Safe to use during pregnancy


New-Belly-ButtersmallNine Naturals are 100% plant-based products, which are free of all the nasties one wants to avoid like, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances and artificial preservatives.

All Nine Naturals products are derived from nature, there is absolutely nothing artificial in their formulas. Additionally, all the ingredients have been pre-screened to make sure that they are safe for Mom and Baby, which is very assuring. Nine Naturals also happily disclose all additives that they use, and we love that, as most companies do not tell you what they are putting in their products.

We appreciate that Nine Naturals offer an unscented body butter, as speaking from experience, at one point in my pregnancy there was a stage where I could not stomach a lot of smells! Other essential oil based fragrances that are used in Nine Natural products have been formulated to ease common pregnancy complaints like morning sickness and fatigue - so thoughtful!

screen_shot_2014-10-06_at_12.07.25_pmThe Nine Naturals website is also filled to the brim with information like their handy explanation of all ingredients used in their products which you can see HERE.

You can order Nine Naturals from their website easily. Free shipping is contributed on all USA orders of $50+, a 10% off coupon is emailed to you if you sign up for their email list, and they offer a $5 sample set to try their shampoo and conditioner (just in case you want to try it first).

Nine Naturals is caring small company, who are focused on making a mother's pregnancy that little bit less stressful but don't take our word for it, visit their website and check out their energy for yourself!

Giveaway Time

IMG_8700Thanks to Nine Naturals for offering this very generous prize.

One grand prize winner will win the full line of products from Nine Naturals valued at $280, including;
While, 5 additional winners will win a body balm, valued at $15.

If you are, fingers crossed, one of the winners, Nine Naturals will send out the prize to you direct from their warehouse. This giveaway starts at midnight on Wednesday November the 26th, ending on Tuesday December the 2nd at midnight EST. It is open to the USA and Canada only.

Good Luck, and thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

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Disclaimer: The participating blogs, and Willy B Mum are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prizes.

Monday

Lactose Free Bisuits

We love biscuits in our house they are fun to make, quick, easy and can be easily adapted to be free of all sorts of allergens. 

Ingredients & Alternatives:

- 4 Cups Self Rising Flour

- 1/2 Cup of Ghee (You Can also shortening that is lactose free.  If lactose isn't a concern 1/2 cup of butter will also do nicely)

- 1 cup and a half of cups almond milk (You can also use traditional dairy if lactose isn't a concern)


How to:

 

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.

 

Simply fork in all of our ingredients.  Turn the formed dough out onto a floured cloth and cut biscuit rounds.  Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet at cook for 10 - 15 minutes!  You can add in so many different flavors.  One of our favorites is cinnamon & raison. 

 

 

Friday

Happy + Meal Planning ... Say What !?




First a little back story … Meal Planning is one of those things that I have to rev my mama engine to accomplish.  Between trying to coupon, our food allergies, and our focus on eating organic, in season, local food …. Meal planning is no joke.  To be honest I have signed up for and tried sooo many meal planning and nutrition support programs to help do the heavy lifting and every time they have fallen short.  I end up doing more work trying to make their plan work for our family.   You will understand then why I squealed out loud when I learned that Chew Chew Mama one of my favorite blogger mamas is offering a terrific new program called, The Happy Eating Club.  Even more exciting she has teamed up with weelicious menus and is offering 30 days of free meal planning when you sign up for the Happy Eating Club. 


 

A few things you should know about Chew Chew mama.  She is a mama with some pretty awesome credentials.  She is a clinically trained speech language pathologist and feeding specialist.    We share a common bond of having a child with food allergies and I have always found her advice to be both helpful and realistic in the real world. 
 
Don't forget to use the code: FACEBOOK30 to save 30% on your enrollment! 
 



 

Sunday

5 Things “Know-It-All” Moms Do that Drive Me Nuts!



Recently, my Facebook newsfeed has been hit with a barrage of negative, condescending blogs boasting “know it all” content with a diabolical mix of relatable real life stories and deprecating content.  Typically, I just add my thoughts on the matter to this blog post and leave it in draft.  But I’ve decided to quote the words forever echoing in most parent of little one's head to...  "Let IT GO, Let IT GO!".  So here we go ... The 5 things that just drive me nuts about Know-It-All Mom Bloggers.

Number 1

Watch out! Her pants are on fire. You know that moment you are reading a blog post and your realize that the blogger is saying how little she cares about those dark and sinister people who don’t like her moment to moment pics of her kids and causes.  Ummm … the elephant in the room is she just wrote a post about them. I think she cares.   She cares a lot. 

 

It’s so hard in this social media world to do the real work to make sure we are not defining our worth in likes and shares.  It's truly sad to me that some people define their real life friendships around such things.  As much as posts like this drive me nuts.  They also make me want to give her a hug and latte.

 

Number 2

Being mean is not sarcasm.  I love a smart, sarcastic read to have a slight wicked giggle every now and again.  One of my favorite blogs for such anecdotes is the scary mommy blog.  So I'm definitely not speaking to those anecdotal bloggers.  But come on some bloggers pretend like being sarcastic is an excuse to use words like well-crafted weapons.  Congratulations to her on somehow managing to float into adulthood without earning one ounce of humility or compassion for people that she deems different.  In high school, I might have fallen for that mean girl mentality, but not today. 

 

Today, I read posts with discernment.  While I freely admit these divisive articles do sometimes get under my skin.  (Exhibit A: This blog post)  I don’t believe in fueling their fire with my comments, likes, and shares.  It's just not worth it. 

 

Number 3

When exactly did we elect her Captain Bossy Pants?  I must have missed that. I’m just going to say it.  She doesn’t speak for me and I seriously doubt that she turns her own listening ears on often.  Know it All bloggers represent themselves as the beacon of truth for parenthood with "articles" proclaiming the top 5 and 10 things we all dislike as parents.  But, guess what I’m a parent and I often disagree. For one, I appreciate the "ehem .. experienced" lady that gives me advice in the grocery store line ... even if it's not always relevant.  I respect her experience and occasionally have walked away with a great tip or two.  Even when I don't garner any great life lessons ... "Kind words are easy to speak and their echos are endless".  It doesn't take much to smile kindly and walk away. (Yeah, I just snuck a Mother Teresa quote in there. You have seen my cheesy inspirationally quote board on Pintrest, right?)

 

Number 4

Speaking of Pintrest. All shades of green are not a pretty.  Gorgeous pictures, well-crafted how to articles, and Pinterest itself don’t intimidate me.   I'm an empowered, well educated mama.  Okay, yes.  I have had that moment when I see an amazing mom on Pinterest with a perfectly manicured house and I have played that dangerous comparison game.  In my opinion, that is on me not the blogger.  When those nasty, feelings of inferiority stop by for a visit, I kick them out.  I take a breath, a step back, and remember that I am well able to be the best mom for my little ones.  

 

Other moms don’t define who I am.  I do.  I choose the content I read and I choose to be inspired and uplifted by moms who sometimes write more eloquently,  make prettier cakes and rock out a lesson plan.  The joy is in the journey.  I choose to allow myself to listen to voices that find success even in failure and uplift others not tear down and marginalize. 

 

Number 5

Judge me by my crunchy, do you?  Well, Mama, sometimes your salty is a little to much for me.  Yes, I have seen them, those undeniably salty and targeted posts that proclaim the faults of those of us in the blogasphere that use cloth diapers, from scratch recipes, and un-paper towels.  If you have read my blog for any length of time you know I boldly confess to being a work in progress.  I don't know it all, but I'm happy to share from my experience.  I'm inspired by all different kinds of moms, dads, teachers, grandparents, farmers, cooks, and gardeners.  And they were willing to share from their experience with me.  In that spirit, I write my blog.

 

The environment is very important us.  Sharing what we are learning about good stewardship and eating clean, safe foods is a staple around here.  Stick around and I'll prove that you can eat and cook real allergy friendly food in 30 minutes or less, you can reduce your waste by purchasing or making environmentally friendly products, and eating local organics is both doable and awesome. 

 
Thank you so much for reading, commenting, liking and sharing this semi-crunchy, no where close to knowing it all mama's blog posts.  I am so grateful for you.  There is so much positive and informative stuff in our blogasphere and it's because you are awesome!  Thanks for Wasting Nothing!
 
 

3 Easy Tips to Reduce Cost & Waste Packing Lunches!




10 Tips for Fun & Stress-Free Playdates

1)  Something to Munch On
So you knew this was going to be number one tip, right? As a mom of a little with food allergies, I am vigilant about knowing and understanding our little friends food allergies.  But it's also important to know a few things they like and will eat.  Playdates are a great time to expand horizons but makings sure that everybody has something that can and will keep the fueled for a fun day of play is a key ingredient in taming tantrums and inspiring fun.

2)  HYPE! HYPE! Hooray!!
There is nothing wrong with a little well timed hype.  Spend some time talking to your children about your upcoming playdate.  Get them excited about some of the activities and free play time with friends. 

3) All hands on deck ...
Involve your children in some of your playdate preparation.  Let the kids help prep the snacks or get craft activities ready.  It's a great way to keep building excitement and it's a great opportunity for them to experience the joy of making things for others.

4)  NOT MY _________!
Put Away Beloved Toys.  Typically, children have at least one beloved toy.  You know ... the bear they sleep with, the ball they got from granddaddy those sorts of things.  Before we have a playdate, I reserve time to walk through our space and ask my little ones which things they are excited to share and which things do they not want to share.  It's a great way to preempt a tear-filled tug of war during your playdate.  My little ones usually only pick one or two things.  If your little one picks everything in the room it's a great time to have a conversation about sharing and can prep them for the reality of other little munchkins in a space that is usually all their own.  Chat up how much more fun it would be to play a game with that ball when Suzy comes over.

5) Space out!
Think about your space and how your guests might interact with it. We have playful learning spaces in our home like our letter writing center.  The first time I had a group of little friends over, post creation of this center, was an enlightening to say the least.  It was used and abused like NEVER before.  We are still missing two letter stamps.  A ream of about 30 sheets of paper was demolished (we recycled but I still cringe) and crayons, markers and stickers were scattered all over the house.  Lesson learned.  The kiddos had a blast and I have no regrets.  But, now I almost completely deplete the available resources in the center.  I limit or eliminate paper, scissors and markers.  I don't do this because I don't want our friends to enjoy the space, I do it so that they can have the same opportunity to learn the rules as my little ones did.  It's important to remember that when I introduced the space to my little ones, we did it one section at a time.  We learned to respect each resource and already know how use our space.  It's not fair to assume that children that just walk into your home will find it easy to remember and use your rules.  So by scaling back this center I'm able to control the traffic to the space.


6) Plan for the Unexpected
Have a plan A and B and C and maybe D. If you have read my blog for any length of time you know I'm all about creating environments that inspire play without necessarily prescribing play.  But when it comes to playdates I think it's a good idea to have a few focused activities in your back pocket to keep things moving or calm things down.  If it's raining outside and the littles start bouncing off the wall pulling out a fun craft, science experiment or game might be just what you need to keep the fun going without loosing your marbles.

7) Let them be, Let them be ...
Give them room to just be.  Free time should be a staple when friends come over.  One of the best things about having friends to your house is that they will play and interact with your space in ways you and your little ones don't.  Give them time to explore and just be.

8) Find your inner GUMBI!
Flexibility is key. Manage your expectations when it comes to the day.  If you cram your schedule full of perfect activities and fill your heart with expectations for a pintrest perfect day just go ahead and through in the white flag now.  Every time I have had an absolutely awesome playdate I always end up with two or three activities in the closet.   You don't have to do it all.  The focus should be fun, bonding and giggles.

9) Crunch loudly!
One of my favorite mom blogs, The Pistachio Project, (I know the irony of the nutty name is not lost on this peanut allergy mama) did a great series on what it means to be crunchy.  I never thought I would be a crunchy mama, but I am.  I am not the crunchiest mama that I know, but I have discovered that I am crunchier than most.  I do things a little differently, we compost and recycle regularly.  We have a worm farm, I make my own house cleaners and we use unpaper towels.  These practices can seem ... a little .... well .... unique to some guests.  So I give a tour, of sorts, to newbies in our house.  The most common thing that happens at my house with my less crunchy friends is their flat refusal to use my unpaper towels.  They never want to "mess them up". Silly but true.  When they do get on board remembering to use the wet bag not trash bin can be a challenge.    Heheh ... so I have to check the trash bins before taking out the garbage.  


10)  Leave Your Judgey Pants in the closet!
You know you have them!  We all do.  And if you think you don't ... look down because yours are probably the biggest and brightest in the room.  This whole parenthood gig is intense.  We are all navigating a world full of differing & often confusing research, endless opinions, and mystifying social expectations.   So when we make our choices, we tend to dig our heels in.  Naturally, we start measuring and sizing up our choices against those closest to us.  Some of my closest and best friends have made dynamically different choices from my own.  Every parent and every child is unique and they typically know what's best for them.  Seriously, let's check ourselves... don't we have enough on our collective parenting plates?  If Suzy's mom says no ping pong ball painting for Suzy, it's not a big deal.   Just (refer to tip 6) find something that Suzy can do.  Suzy's mom really doesn't need you to give her a list of all your well intended research about how awesome it is.  (Although, I do think it's awesome.)  Certainly, if someone is disrespecting your family or your house rules speak up.  But in general, back off.  You learn just as much as your kids do by playing with diverse groups of people. 

Play Happy!!

Tuesday

Our Favorite Playdough


I love making our own play dough.  Beyond loving the ability to control the ingredients, it’s just a fun thing to do.  The little ones learn lots of great practical skills.  Although, we have done no cook recipes, I greatly prefer cooked play dough.  This is primarily for two reasons the shelf life it offers and I like to make my own coloring so I'm cooking anyway.  The recipe that I use is a variation of a recipe I first tried from the artful parent.   My proportions are just a little bit different and I often use natural food dyes rather than store bought.

Here is how I make natural play dough colors…

Full disclosure: When I first started making my own dyes, I didn't find it easy at all.  This recipe took a good bit of trail and error and more than once I gave up and just used regular old food dye.  You will find zero judgment here if you make that choice.  Simply skip down to the ingredients list and add your store bought food dye to the water used in the recipe. But, I will say once I realized that I could use peels from my juicer and food stuffs in abundance the process became fun, affordable and easy.   
An important thing to remember is that the flour you add to your mix will significantly lighten the color so you want to create fairly saturated color in your water solutions.  *This is true regardless of your choice to use natural produce based dye or store bought food dye.  The process is really as simple as boiling water.  The basic formula is boil down a pot of water with your selection fruits and vegetables of choice.  I typically start with about 4-6 cups of boiling water.  I bring that water to a rolling boil, then drop in 1-3 cups of produce that will yield the color desired.  I allow that to boil for about 10 minutes.  This is a hugely important step to try to stave off any bacteria that might cause molding to occur.  Then I allow the pot to simmer for 30 minutes.  Finally, I run the mix through a filtered food strainer and boom colored water. Here is a list of some of my favorite produce to use for produce based water dyes:
  • Green: Kale, broccoli, or asparagus
  • Pink: Beets … nothing better than beets!
  • Purple: Purple Cabbage 
  • Blue: Purple cabbage plus 1-5 tablespoons of baking soda
  • Orange: Carrots (I make carrot juice frequently, I use the pulp I collect from the back of my juicer)
  • Yellow:  Orange and Lemon peels and pulp (I also save these from my compost pile when I juice)

*I typically use our non-toxic paints to create brown, red, and black.  When creating these colors I just haven’t found a reasonable/affordable produce based color solution.  If you have one I’d love to hear it! Be sure to leave me a comment! 

Ingredients:
  • 2 ½ Cups of Dyed water
  • 2 ½ Cups of flour
  • 1 ¼ Cup of Salt
  • 2 Table Spoons of Cream of tartar
  • 5 Table Spoons of Vegetable Oil

Process
Warm the dyed water on medium low.  If you have just made the coloring be sure that it is well below boiling.  It should be warm but not hot.  Leaving the pot on medium-low add the salt and cream of tarter. Whisk until blended.  Once the mixture is blended add oil.  Finally, begin adding your flour 1 cup at a time. I use my whisk to blend in the first cup of flour into the solution then switch to a wooden spoon when I add the remaining cup and a half of flour.  The play dough should start pulling away from the pot as you stir the final bit of flour in.  Dump the play dough into a large bowl and knead after allowing to cool. The dough should still be warm to the touch when you begin kneading.   As you are kneading your dough it’s a great time to add any essential oils you might like.  I tend to not use essential oils in play dough that smell like food … because frankly I don’t want them tempted (any more than usual) to eat the play dough. 
 

Luminance Natural Skincare Giveaway

Luminance-Giveaway-Button-FinalWelcome to the Luminance Skincare Giveaway Event, hosted by Happy
Mothering
and the Green Moms Network. Today, we're excited to introduce you to an up and coming natural skincare brand - Luminance.

Luminance Skincare was born when Priscilla, company Founder Kim's wife, became allergic to
conventional skincare products. Just walking through the beauty section in a department store would have her down for the day with a migraine.

After doing some research, Kim realized that his wife was reacting to the toxic chemicals
used in most conventional skincare brands. He was appalled at how hard it was to go out and buy skincare products that would be safe for his wife (and everyone else) to use, so he decided to put his scientist skills to work and develop skincare products that
would be safe for his wife.

He started with soap,
which became wildly popular with their friends and family. Believing he was onto something, Kim made the decision to quit his job and formulate safe and natural skincare products full time. That's when Luminance Skincare was born.

Luminance now offers a full line of skin and personal care products to meet all of your needs.
Rather than using cheap, synthetic ingredients, they use only the purest ingredients - no matter the cost. They use Red Radish Root Extract to preserve their products.

Some products you may want to check out include:

Delicate Cleanser

400_700_Cleanser_ShopRosewater Toner

400_700_Rose_Toner_ShopHydrating Serum

Hydrating_Serum_25_40_c6681d01-3da9-4aeb-adf9-cfdf99ef207cYou can see the full line of natural skincare products on the Luminance website.

Buy Luminance Skincare Products

You can purchase Luminance Skincare products on the Luminance website. You can get a 20% discount using code GREENMOMS. You will also receive free shipping on all orders over $50.

Win Luminance Products!

Three winners will have the opportunity to try Luminance Skincare products! One winner will
receive $150 in credit for the Luminance Skincare website, a second winner will receive $100 in credit and a third winner will receive $50 in credit!

This giveaway is open to US residents only and runs through August 5, 2014 at 11:59 pm EDT.
Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

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Monday

10 Patriotic Picnic Tips

When I think of made in the USA, I always think of my maternal grandfather.  He was a humble veteran, but always loudly and proudly supported products made in the USA. For our family, the most important place we strive to consume Made in the USA products is around our table.   As an allergy mom, I pay close attention to the origins of our food.  Let me tell you, it is an enlightening experience when you really take a good, hard look at the story of your food.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a foodie at heart and I understand the enticing call of an occasional imported wine and cheese night.  But if your not careful you may discover that your everyday food has a more diverse passport than you do!

Here are a few quick tips on ways you can make your meal not only look patriotic but be patriotic this Independence Day.

1.  Join a crop share (CSA).  This may sound SUPER "crunchy" but it's actually a very practical way to get awesome locally grown, often organic produce delivered right to your door.  YES, I said right to your door.  CSAs are making farm-to-table easier than ever before.  Most crop shares have awesome delivery services for those of us that can't squeeze a weekly or bi-monthly run out to the farm into our carpool plan. Tell me that doesn't fit into your busy schedule.   Even better, our CSA emails us in advance with meal suggestions based on the basket of deliciousness headed our way.  If you don't know of any CSA farms near you take a look at this cool site: www.localharvest.org

2.  Shop at your local farmers market.   The farmers market is great place to browse and shop for fresh local food that is in season.  But it's also a great place to get the skinny on who's got the best food in town.   Take time to talk to vendors.  You will discover lots of great information about other local artisan shops and restaurants that source food locally.  But more on that in Tip 5! . 

3. No Food Label = No purchase.  When your in the grocery store and the origin of your food isn't labeled, don't bring it home.  Choosing to shop only with grocers that understand the importance of food labeling is a big deal.  It's so important to understand not only what is in your food; but it's also important to understand where your food came from and where it was manufactured. 

4.  Cruise the PEREMETER! Particularly, when you are in a chain grocery or big box store be vigilant to shop the outer rim of your grocery store.  Most of the things you can purchase from those center isles (such as grains and breads) can be purchased from local millers and bakers.  If you do find yourself in one of those middle isles refer to tip 3. 

5.  Local bakeries and restaurants are the best!  Many of them source locally and are connected to other like minded businesses.  Our favorite bakery, Sweet Theory turned us onto to one of our knew favorite eateries, Digg foods.  

6.  Join the PARTY.  Local festivals that center around local businesses and green, organic living are a great way to find and support locally made in the USA products.  We discovered our bakery of choice at an awesome local festival, VegFest.  We also have a fantastic arts market in town that's kind of like a hybrid festival, farmers market, local artisan show.  It's my favorite spot to buy local milk.  Yeah ... milk.

7. Get Seedy. Okay, cheesy pun intended.  But seriously, planting your own garden is a great way to grow local.  Container gardening is super easy and affordable, but if you are up for the challenge I say dig in your own local dirt!  If you don't have a back yard join a community garden.  Be sure you reach out to local garden shops to source your supplies and seeds.

8.  Visit local Farms  It's fun.  We have so many in our area.  Contact a few to learn when they are having You Pick events.  In some cases you may find the farm is open and selling goods daily, weekly, or monthly.  Straw hat ... optional.  But do remember if you are heading to a "You Pick" event you might need: Sunscreen, bug repellent, a few baskets, & good close toed shoes that can manage diverse terrain.

9.  Eat in Season.  I know this one is on EVERY clean and fresh eating top ten list.  But it ALWAYS bares mentioning.  The reason is quite simply because it is important.  Knowing what is in season and what grows locally empowers you to eat food that has traveled significantly shorter distances to get to you,  supports local businesses, and is seriously fresh.

10. Don't forget the Gear.  Patriotic plates, napkins, silverware, table clothes and picnic blankets abound this time of year.  But take a peek at the label before you make the purchase.   Look for options that are made in the USA or consider re-using things you already have in the house.  Mason jars can make great cups of Iced Tea or serve as utensil holders, use a handmade quilt for your picnic blanket rather than rushing out to buy one.

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Give Away!!


stand-mixer-button2Hello from Van’s Natural Foods!
May is Celiac Awareness month and the perfect time to let our fans know about all the delicious gluten-free offerings from Van’s Natural foods.
As you may know, we at Van’s pride ourselves on offering a wide variety of tasty, wholesome food choices – flavorful, simple, whole-grain snacks (including new multigrain chips and PB&J bars!) and a wide variety of whole-grain breakfast options – many of which are gluten-free.
Our celiac-friendly snacks and breakfast offerings are made with gluten-free oats, brown rice and hearty whole grains like quinoa, amaranth and millet, with an emphasis on great taste. We’re committed to providing gluten-free offerings so delicious the whole family will enjoy them.
But even with tasty packaged foods like Van’s, we know prepping and making your own food is still a big part of living without gluten. So, in celebration of Celiac Awareness Month, we’re offering fans a chance to win a KitchenAid stand mixer.
To enter, just use the widget below, which will prompt you to opt into the Van’s e-Club.
Van’s e-Club Members get access to exclusive content – news, nutrition advice, recipes and special offers – that isn’t available anywhere else. Membership is free and easy, so whether you’d like to be the first to know about new products or be first in line for promotions, just sign up and you’ll be all set as an official Van’s Fan.
The fun doesn’t stop there – visit Van’s Facebook page before Monday, May 19th to sign up and receive a $1.50 coupon valid for any Van’s product.
CA promo coupon 1P.S. – Want to learn more about celiac disease and living gluten-free? Make sure to join our Facebook Q&A with registered dietitian and gluten-free expert, Silvana Nardone from Silvana’s Kitchen, on May 22 from 10-11 a.m. PT.
5.21.14 Silvana TeaserHappy May!
The KitchenAid Stand Mixer is valued at $229.99. This giveaway is open to US residents only, ages 18+ and runs through May 31, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST.
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This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. For questions about this giveaway, which is hosted by the Green Moms Network, please contact Chrystal at Happy Mothering.

Counting Bead Fun

My oldest has always loved counting beads.  Numbers and Shapes are quite simply a place of bliss for him.  It's kind of odd that the counting beads have never made an appearance on our blog.  We use them often in varied ways.  Both boys love making pyramids, rectangles squares and counting lines.
 
I always let the littles guide appropriate play with counting beads it's amazing the things they discover.    I just set up the invitation to play.  On our play table during instructional time, I have our our Sandpaper numbers, box of counting beads and our littles caddy with Montessori inspired table mats.  (I just made these and LOVE them.  It's an upgrade from our original mats.)  One of these days I'll get the tutorial up in case you want some of your own.  :)
 

 
 
 


Monday

Inspiring Writing ...


Here is what I stocked our writing center with: 
G) Note Cards and Note Paper: We got ours from the Target Dollar Spot :)
H) Stamps & Labels: Picked up at the Post Office
I) Envelopes: I just had a ton of these laying around
J) Blank and Colored Paper: A Random Assortment



The Wasting Nothing Philosophy

Playing, cooking, reading, exploring, loving, laughing, and making a mess with your little one is NEVER a waste of time! It is priority one! It's not just about getting to know your little one. It's about letting your little one get to know you!