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Herbal Nurturing: A Family Healing & Learning Guide GIVEAWAY

Are any of you unhappy with your doctors or pediatricians?  Do you think maybe you can take some control of your health and the health of your family by doing things a little more naturally?

Last year about this time, Val had an infected toe.  Now I’m not talking about a little cut that was a tad oozy.  I’m talking about her entire toe turning green!  We went the pediatrician, who happened to be out of town, and we had to deal with his fill-in.  She was not polite, she took a sample, told me the results would be in on Monday because of course it was a Friday, and even rudely asked me if I was going to breastfeed in front of her.  Okay, I’m getting off of my soap box.  She told me to just give Val some antibiotics and to be on our way.

Well, maybe she should have just told me this over the phone.  I could’ve guessed that’s what she would have done.  So we called our chiropractor – who we should have called first.  He told us about a homemade salve to fight infection, we made it, and within a few days it was HEALING!  Drastically!  Without antibiotics that would change the healthy flora of her gut.

These things work, and I wanted this book because I wanted to make a stash of goodies to keep on hand in case of scrapes and even when Mama just needs a soak.  In barely any time at all, I made three different soothers from Michele’s recipes to start my healing stash.

I bought some ingredients and containers from Rose Mountain Herbs and Tropical Traditions.

And this is what I made!

I am happy to announce that I am giving away

one copy of

Herbal Nurturing by Michele at Frugal Granola!

This eBook covers a lot of things from salves to teas and

syrups to lip balms.  It’s a great companion

for a family who wants to get well


To enter leave separate comments for more chances to win:

1.  What you would like to learn from this book?

2.  Like Frugal Granola on Facebook.

3.  Like Making a Home and Family on Facebook.

4.  Post about this giveaway on your blog and leave the link in a comment.

For those of you who can’t wait

for the giveaway,

use FAMILY25 when you get your

Herbal Nurturing book for 25% off!

The giveaway will be announced on

Friday around 8pm CST.

Good luck!

Sunday Inspiration ~ Baby Laughs and Louder than Words

This week, I took a break from my usually scheduled reading of The Fountainhead (which is taking me forever by the way).  I borrowed a couple of books from a friend and just devoured them!  Now, you may be surprised to hear I was inspired by this author (or not depending on what you think of me :P) but these books were a great reprieve from the slow moving book I had been reading.

The first was Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy, and I’m not quite sure why I didn’t read this sooner after having Val.  With her humor and crass way of telling it like it is, I may have felt a little bit better having a little one in the house.  All the crazy stuff was totally normal and maybe I could have laughed a little more.  It’s a quick read.  Even with a toddler, I finished it in a day.

The second book was also by Jenny McCarthy, but a little bit deeper than the first one.  It’s called Louder Than Words – A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism.  I know some people think that Jenny isn’t qualified to talk about autism and how to heal or what might cause it.  I am a firm believer in a mother’s instinct, in healing with diet, and not so much of a believer of the medical field sometimes.  She doesn’t know or claim to know exactly what caused her son’s autism, but she does know what actions she took to bring him out of his window and she’s sharing that information.  I am not a mother of a child with autism, but I would recommend this book to one so they would start asking questions.

Some inspiring links to share~

::A mesmerizing Goddess video shared by Shazzie

::Do you want a daily yoga practice?  What about just trying 7 minutes a day?

::Spend your time how you want to spend it!

::A video about changing the parenting paradigm.

::An interview talking about attachment parenting and beyond.

::Who remembers Blossom?  Here’s an interview with her talking about her homebirth.

::Green prefab homes - I’m really interested!  The layouts are great!

Visit the Organic Sister on Mondays to read about others who are Inspired and share yours too!

Welcome to my Home Wednesday ~ Mommy Time

My DH has been gone for a whole week already.  He is in the beautiful red rock area of Arizona for work.  Don’t get this post wrong – I am appreciative of all of the hardwork and sacrifices he makes to provide for us – but sometimes, being a full-time mom (and one that is so “AP” or whatever) can be challenging.

Remember the post about it takes a village to raise a child and take care of a family?  I asked for help because I needed a break to refresh and regroup to be a better mom.  Who better to ask than my own mom?  Mom to the rescue!

So she took Val to do errands and to visit my sister and nephew, and I did some quick tidying at the house before going out.  I went to the library to get The Fountainhead (as recommended by DH) and then I went to a cafe for a soy latte.  Just a few chapters and an uninterrupted coffee can do wonders for an overstimulated mama.

That quiet time was followed up by a big hug from Val at the door when I saw her, baby talk to my nephew and baby smiles in return, and then a big lunch at our favorite little burrito place.

I went home with my cup overflowing!

What can you do today, so your cup can overflow a little too?

What I’m reading

How and Economy Grows and Why it Crashes was recommended to me by my husband – he really encouraged me to read it.  He is very interested in the state of our economy, and wishes that I knew more about it.   But it’s a complicated mess to learn about, isn’t it?

This book is the simple way of learning economics – through a story with humor and ILLUSTRATIONS.  You heard me right, this adult book as illustrations.  How fun is that? :)

If you’re even a tad bit interested, this book even has a trailer.   Check it out!

How do you keep up with our economy?  Do you care about it?

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Stepping Lightly v20.0 –

In our attempt to lighten our load, we have downsized our books.  First, we purchased a Kindle.  I had wanted one for a long time, so this was a well thought out venture.  It turned out to be even more awesome than I ever imagined.  I don’t miss turning the pages of a real book like I thought I would.  The Kindle isn’t backlit, so it’s not hard on the eyes.  I can hold it with one hand while nursing and turn the pages without making noise and waking V while she’s snoozing.  And James even loves it – he has been reading more on it than I have!

Secondly, I donated a whole bunch of our books.  I didn’t weigh them, but I should have.  It would have won over on the 42 pounds of clothing donated.  Before donating them though, I entered all the ISBNs onto Cash4Books.  I made $25 for books I was just going to give away anyway, and they paid for shipping!  You should check it out yourself if your bookshelf is exploding at the seams.

Please use my Affiliate Link if you’d like to check it out, and I’d really appreciate it!

What am I reading?

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn is my first book that I have bought on the Kindle after repeatedly running across this book talked about on blogs.  I had read Punished by Rewards in an education class in college, but not only did I need a refresher I also needed inspiration as a parent.  Conscious parenting and gentle discipline is so against the norm.  I’m okay going against the current, but when you don’t see it modeled a lot it’s a hard thing to forge alone.

Picture courtesy or

I am about half way through this book, and I see some general themes so far.

  • Control gets them to “obey” but only for so long and has negative consequences on your relationship.
  • Respect and compromise is the way to work together with your children so that you are all happy and getting things done that are important.
  • The last thing you want to withhold from your child is love – as a society we generally withdraw when the child needs it most.

I will leave you with a quote:

“You have to give them unconditional love. They need to know that even if they screw up, you love them. You don’t want them to grow up and resent you or, even worse, parent the way you parented them.” Alfie Kohn

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What am I reading?

Why does it seem nearly impossible to only be reading one book at a time?  I am reading two books currently – Born to Run and Thoughts Without a Thinker.  One was borrowed to me from a running friend and the other was gifted to me from a running friend.  Are you seeing a connection?  I should be running!  I believe Born to Run will inspire me to do just that.


I am only a few chapters through this book, but I can already tell that it is a page turner.  It’s about a tribe of athletes who do not “train” or go on special diets and carb load before races – they just run.  I can’t wait to hear more about how they live and how they accomplish such long journeys – MUCH longer than marathons!



This book is a connection between psychotherapy and Buddhism.  I am very interested in Buddhism and have some books in the “to be read” pile, but opted to start with this one.   I was unsure of it, but it is sure turning into a great read.  I love the connections this author makes while giving background and details about both psychology and Buddhism.


Now, I am hoping for some quiet reading time throughout the day.  Happy reading!

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Stepping Lightly v4.0

 As many of you remember, that I started blogging about living simply and stepping lightly after seeing the phrase over and over again.  But the real kicker was when I heard from one of Eckhart Tolle’s group to Step Lightly and to not walk with any burdens.  That put me over the edge.  That made my heart ache for a change.

Soon after, I found myself at St. Vinnie’s digging through the bookshelves (as I usually do).  I have been trying to manifest my own copy of Walden so I was glancing, hoping that I would find that buried somewhere among the books.  No such luck that day, but I came upon another treasure that I would soon find would continue to send me on the simple path and learn more about it and myself.

As I started reading Living Simply with Children, I began to question mine and DH’s life now.  What surrounds us?  What do we need to raise a child?  How will I handle things when my family thinks that I’m being cheap, or picky, or even that I may be neglecting my child of some of the things we choose?  But as I was reading it, I came across one of many book recommendations – Stepping Lightly! I didn’t even realize there was such a book!

On my quest to get it from the library and their sources that they can get an interlibrary loan from, I was at a stalemate.  I didn’t want to buy it since I felt that it would be another thing to take up space, but I decided buying it used from Amazon would be okay.  If it was a book that I wanted to pass along, I could donate it or sell it to the used bookstore in town afterwards.  After starting it though, I may just keep it as a reference.  I have a few things dogeared and highlighted already.

Some of my things I’d like to come back to are:


  • Simplicity Website
  • This question ~ “How much does the acquisition of this new thing add to my innate capacity to experience richness in life, and of what costs to the environment and to those I love and care for?”
  • This quote ~ “We seem obsessed with filling the void instead of simply being in it.”

This book has brought me back to Tolle and has helped me realize that their philosophies aren’t on totally different ends of the spectrum, but these philosophies move together toward a simple life.  They both speak of being present in the moment, and that we can simply live when we aren’t numbed by the constant chatter of technology, jobs we aren’t happy in, and going going going without slowing down to pay attention to our breath and the beauty around us.

Reading Stepping Lightly has also already shared another book recommendation.  This is a book that was recommended to me about a year ago, and I bought it used off of Amazon and stuck it on my “to read” shelf.  It’s been sitting there ever since, but I have gotten my push from the Universe.  My next book will be Your Money or Your Life. :)


“Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences, but rather, it’s a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite sublime plan.”

The Surrendered Wife Review

On my self-journey that started after my Reiki Training, where I realized my heart chakra was closed, I began doing some research about becoming a better wife.  I had read books before about the Christian wife and although they are wonderful and have great lessons – I wanted a reason to do it beyond The Source, The One, God, or whatever.  I wanted to do it for ME and I wanted to do it for my DH.  So the following is my review of the book before it goes into the sell or donate pile. :)

I found this book at Barnes and Noble and decided this would be a good of a start as any.  I struggled with the idea of surrendering to my DH, but I soon realized this was the exact reason we were stumbling as a couple.  I was trying to control his every move whether it be by asking a question and wanting to hear *my* answer, telling him how to drive, or nagging at him about the chores he has failed to do.  I am not his mother, I don’t need to control him.  I learned that surrendering was just giving up control (and the awful crabbing that comes with it) to give him more power and lift him up as a person.  The more I do that, the more confident he feels, the more he’ll show me attention (or do the chores), and the more intimate our relationship can be.

My favorite chapters were titled Take Care of Yourself First, Admit It When You’re Hurt, and lastly Say Yes to Sex (yes I just said that – she wrote it not me!!) :P

I think so many women forget about taking care of themselves first!  How much do we do in a day for others?  We make breakfast for our families, pack their lunches, do the dishes, make beds, tidy the house, only to realize that we still our in our pjs and dread taking a peek at what our hair must look like in the mirror by this time.  When we are well rested, have taken the time to grab a bite to eat or enjoy some morning tea, and maybe enjoyed some time working on our latest hobby or reading our new book ~ we feel refreshed and renewed enough to give more the man of our hearts.  We can make a nice supper or have the patience for a conversation and maybe even some alone time in the bedroom.

The other thing I have a hard time dealing with that I really related to in the book was just the simple idea of admitting when I’m hurt.  He’ll say something rude or hurtful just to jab at me probably to start a fight, and I’ll blow up.  Maybe he wanted a discussion, but I go off and give him a stick of dynamite instead.  This book suggests instead of letting him fire me up, I am just to say “Ouch!” and walk away.  That lets him know he was mean and he hurt my feelings and there is no other discussion that I want at the time.  What a great idea!  No fighting!  He got his point across and so did I.

 I know we’ve all made excuses to get out of doing the deed at least a few times, but how must it feel to be rejected by your spouse?  This chapter suggests being available and making time for it because it is the most intimate and private part of your relationship, which can cause great strain on the two of you if it’s neglected.  Be creative, take the time to enjoy long kisses and back rubs, and be available to your spouse for that physical connection.  Don’t make it a chore though – make it enjoyable for both of you (that’s where the creativity comes in). :)

I would recommend this book to others especially ones struggling in a relationship or striving to make the one you have even better.  I wanted to share about the book, reflect on it, and pass it along because I think it’s a good read.

Picture courtesy of

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A Million Little Pieces

A Million Little Pieces is a memoir of a 23-year-old man who has been addicted to alcohol for 10 years and cocaine for 3 years.  The story is about his 6 weeks in rehab.  The delirious time of detox.  The fights between addicted men.  The bonds made between men you’d never expect to be friends.  The brutal reality of the pain of being an addict, a criminal, and keeping it all to oneself.

At first, this book was very hard for me to read.  I didn’t like how the paragraphs were set, his use of foul language, or the non-exsistant quotations marks to keep up with a conversation.  Once I got into the meat of the book, and waiting for his breakthrough in rehab, the pages seemed to zoom by.

At the end I cried because I was happy, and I cried because I was extremely sad to hear some of the outcomes.  I really enjoyed the book because the journey was difficult, heartwrenching, but it also gives a sense of hope.  And heck, it makes you appreciate your life (at least it did for me).

Onto the controversy:  I knew it was an Oprah Club Book, so I decided to go to her site and search for it.  I knew James Frey had been on the show previously, and I thought maybe I could catch a video of it.  All I seemed to stumble upon was the controversy of the book.  What controversy?!

If you are interested in reading it, I’d like to share this with you *before* you read the book.  As many of the readers, like me, find out afterwards.

Oprah: James Frey is here and I have to say it is difficult for me to talk to you because I feel really duped. But more importantly, I feel that you betrayed millions of readers. I think it’s such a gift to have millions of people to read your work and that bothers me greatly. So now, as I sit here today I don’t know what is true and I don’t know what isn’t. So first of all, I wanted to start with The Smoking Gun report titled, “The Man Who Conned Oprah” and I want to know—were they right?

James: I think most of what they wrote was pretty accurate. Absolutely.

Oprah: Okay.

James: I think they did a good job detailing some of the discrepancies between some of the actual facts of the events…

Oprah: What [The Smoking Gun] said was that you lied about the length of time that you spent in jail. How long were you in jail?

James: [The Smoking Gun was] right about that. I was in [jail] for a few hours.

Oprah: Not 87 days?

James: Correct.”

Read the rest of the interview at Oprah’s website.

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