Processed Food – What’s in your Cupbord

Go through your cupboards, don’t worry I’ll wait. Take a short inventory on what you have in stock. How much of that is processed? Be honest with yourself and don’t be ashamed. As a promoter of urban homesteading and an advocate of trashing the “crap”, I still have boxes of Kraft Dinner stashed away for those emergency days.

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Processed and pre package food were brought to North America for conveniences. During the wars, food supplies were low as products were being shipped to the front line. Everyone did their part and soon we were faced with a shortage. Lucky rural dwellers could depend on their own produce, but many families relied on new canned ingredients. The trend continued into the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s when modern appliances catered to a new lifestyle. Women weren’t always in the home and the need for a fast meal was met with the microwave. Mass marketers convinced us that this was the way of the future and it was a low cost opportunity to feed your hungry family, fast.


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Why are we now under a food revolution then? With convenience comes a price. Slowly we’ve realized that a lot of these time-saving chemicals are actually harming us. With obesity, cancer and heart disease on the rise we can’t really afford to take chances with what we put in our bodies. We’re hurting ourselves.

When I’m not blogging here, I run a blog called Diet Eats which explores current diet trends and whether they’re worth the investment. During the past few weeks I’ve been exploring some popular diet readymade meals. This is the first time in years that I’ve ate these and I must admit the experience is educating. After getting over the ingredient list and lack of flavor, the price at the end really didn’t justify what I was eating. The saddest thing was that I know people who eat these every day. Frozen fake food, nuked on high. Lovely.

As a working mom and full-time wife, I understand we all can’t put a gourmet meal on the table every night. I have on more than one occasion succumbed to the siren call of pizza on a Wednesday and yes, I do like Kraft Dinner and will serve it as the odd weekend lunch. Processed food is not good for you, but it’s there as a convenience when you need it. When you eat it every day it’s not convenient, it becomes your lifestyle.

Before you throw in a microwave meal for your toddler, stop. Remember that a few carrot sticks, a peanut butter sandwich and an apple sauce will be quicker, cheaper, better tasting and healthier – and you don’t need to be a chef to make it.


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Rainy day with the kidlets

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Finally!! after a month without rain, it’s been pouring all morning without any signs of stopping. To some people this doesn’t mean much other than the plants will be happy and the dog will smell bad. To me, it simply means, keeping 4 kids busy and happy all at the same time and prevent fighting and hope they don’t wake daddy up since he’s on nights and needs to sleep the majority of the day.

challenge accepted!!

Having kids of ages varying from 3-12 sometimes its difficult to keep everyone happy all at the same time. So for today’s activities, I think we will bake cookies and decorate them, a Wii fit challenge I think is a must with my older kids today. mama must take back the crown! With the younger two, crafts and play dough are always a hit , however, I think today would be a great day to make bath bombs with the two girls. The boys might even enjoy it.

I think first, we will start with making and decorating gingerbread cookies and since this is always a fun yet very sticky activity, we will make some fun colorful bath bombs to play with in the bath this afternoon.

Here is the super easy recipe I use for the kids bath bombs.

2 cups baking soda

1.5 cups citric acid

2 oz  almond oil… add food color to the oil if you wish. just a couple drops should do.

1 oz orange essential oil

1.5 oz witch hazel in a spray bottle

In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients, add your oils an oz at a time starting with the essential oil, making sure they are thoroughly mixed. Mixture should be the consistency of wet sand and stick together very well, if not, mist with the witch hazel and try to mold it again. mixture will fizzle a bit but will stop.

use a metal ice cream scoop of any size you chose or use a silicone mold to make different shapes. let dry thoroughly.

* If you are going to use a silicone mold, do not re-use this mold for food, as the essential oils tend to seep into the silicone and can be transferred into the food.

My kids enjoy making bath bombs with me. the kids love picking new scents and making the bombs in different shapes and sizes and colors. My next project will be trying my hand at making soaps and lip balms. Having kids with skin allergies, it is very important to me to find things that they can use. I have recently discovered that my daughter who has a bee allergy also reacts to bees-wax. Luckily she doesn’t have an anaphylactic reaction.

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50% off Baby Yums Summer Sale!

Starting today! Monday July 23rd 2012
We’re having our 50% off Summer Sale!!

WOW We hit 700 Facebook Fans!!
Thank-you Thank-You Thank-UUUUUUUUU

So as stated on our fan page once we hit 700 Fans that we would have a 50% off sale!*

What’s half off
Any 2 ounce size order reg: $30.00 now $15.00
Any 5 ounce size order reg: $35.00 now $18.00
Mini pancakes reg: $30.00 now $15.00
*all 1 ounce portions stay the same at $15.00 and same with our teething cookies still $5.00*
When placing your order with Baby Yums all orders must be paid in full before orders are made
Also any orders pending after 5 days without payment and or response will be automatically canceled. NO exceptions

**Please note: order volume will be high at the 50% off Summer Sale. Each order will be done in a first come first serve base. I will confirm order/ respond with a pick-up or delivery date in a timely manner. So bear with me during this time. Thank-You!

50% Summer Sale Ends Thursday July 26th!
4 Days to get your order in!

Don’t forget our 5 new Baby Yums dishes not listed on our website

**Delivery charge of $10.00 remains the same**

Any further questions feel free to e-mail

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camper’s cuisine

We work hard to keep food interesting for our kids And one of the experiences that really gets our family excited is outdoor cooking while on our yearly camping trips. The adventure begins long before the actual cooking does: choosing the food, packing the food, deciding what can be cooked on a fire and counting out the marshmallows. We get the whole family involved. Over the years, we’ve figured out what works best and what most delights hungry campers’ bellies! Here are my top 10 recommendations based on yummy factor and travel durability:

  • mini boxes of cereal
  • s’mores ingredients
  • small watermelon/bananas/apples
  • tortillas
  • salsa
  • eggs
  • canned beans
  • fresh, vacuum-sealed pasta
  • canned tomatoes
  • milk/cheese/butter

I’m not a big fan of uncooked meat with an unpredictable cooling system, but have had great success with pre-cooking ground turkey and re-heating for some outdoor tacos! For pasta dishes, we boil water on the camp stove and over the fire we’ll have a cast iron pan filled with diced tomatoes, pre-cooked meat (if we brought it) and any seasonings/herbs that we’ve brought from home. Although hot dogs on sticks are always a delight, road side corn-on-the-cob soaked in water while you’re at the beach (husks on) can also be cooked right on the grill of your camp fire (husks still on) and taste deliciously roasted once they’re done! We also bring a tabletop water dispenser that’s filled up at home and used for washing hands/food and providing cooking water. Get creative and bring foods that can also be used for a warm, energy-fueling breakfast. I’ll sign off here with a photo of some huevos rancheros made from leftover tortillas, salsa and eggs.


Louise Gleeson is a freelance journalist and mother of four. Her professional portfolio can be viewed at and you can follow along as she shares stories from everyday life on her blog at  You can also find her on twitter @louisegleeson

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added six new meals

Have you heard Baby Yums has added 6 new meals to choose from. Please note they are not added on our website however they are listed in our July newsletter. I have also posted them on our fan page . Now I’m promoting them here so that everyone will have a go to spot to check them out quick.

Here is a list of the new food choices: (if you would like the ingredients all you have to do is e-mail to ask and I will provide  you with all the info) just in case of allergies.

~Chicken sliders
~Cottage Pie
~Turkey Meatballs & Spaghetti
~Chicken & Apricot Curry
~Carrots & Broccoli
~Chowder Soup

**Extra Extra** We are only 15 Fans away from our 50% off Summer deal! Once we reach 700 fan we will offer half off our prices! So don’t forget to tell all your pals that have wee-ones

Summer Sale!

When we reach 700 fans you will be able to get 50% off!!!

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Getting ready for kindergarten

Trying to get our youngest child ready for kindergarten has proven to be quite a challenge. There are a few things we need to make sure she knows so we have been working on some basic skills with her. Who knew that getting a child ready for school would be more tiring for the parents. In a sense I think I am re-training me as opposed to actually teaching her anything.

She needs to be able to recognize her name and start printing it. I printed her name in nice big letters PEYTON and asked her to trace the letters. She picked up a crayon and scribbled all over it. It was a purple crayon. Peyton and Purple both start with P. Close enough I guess.

We have been trying to teach her, her left and right, when she is putting her shoes on, she often gets them mixed up so I tell her wrong foot. however, now instead of teacher her, her right foot from her left foot, I have accidentally taught her ,her right foot from her wrong foot.

Opening her lunch containers is not a problem. I often pack her some snacks when we go to the beach so she is used to having her lunch box and opening snacks is fairly easy for her. The only problem here is I will have to somehow get her to eat something other than peanut butter sandwiches. I can’t even send soy butter because it looks and smells like peanut butter.

When it comes to listening skills, she has none. she likes to be the boss and hand out orders as opposed to taking them which is yet another skill we are currently working on. she feels it is up to her to hand out punishments as she sees fit and that I should just go along with her decisions. Being that she is the youngest of 4 this really doesn’t sit well with my other 3. When being asked to do a task, she prefers to shrug it off and twirl like a princess instead. If all else fails, she pulls out her ‘smoking gun’ sticks out the bottom lip and batts her eyelashes. That one always gets her what she wants but she keeps it as a last resort move.

So far I have learned that slip on shoes are a God send, crackers, cheese and yogurt are really the only thing anyone agrees on around here, as long as the crayon you choose is a color that starts with the first letter of your name, you are doing good, and most importantly, as long as you have long, curly blond hair and green eyes, and can twirl like a princess you will get through the most important part of your life with ease.

I have now come to the understanding that it is not the child who needs to prepare for kindergarten, but the parents. Here’s praying for a school year that doesn’t send me (or her teachers) into the loony bin. I will be starting a pool on how many phone calls I get from the school about Peyton’s behavior this up coming year. who’s in? HAHAHA!!

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Prestos Pizza check out the link!

Check this out!!

At this time you can request a free Prestos’s pizza kitchen apron!   This apron is colorful and has  adjusting straps.

To receive your free Presto’s pizza kitchen apron fill out & submit the form below. All fields are REQUIRED. Submitted information is strictly confidential and is not made available to sources outside Presto’s.

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