Monday, January 26, 2009

Fertility books on Amazon

I bought the following books for about $4 each (through the used book section) on Amazon. I've found most of them to be quite brilliant. I'll post a review of each when I can find the time. Meanwhile, check them out. They are all quite unique, and have some really great information! If you are one of my friends, let me know if you want to borrow any of them!

"Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year (Wise Woman Herbal Series, Book 1) (Wise Woman Herbal Series : No. 1)"
Susun S. Weed; Paperback; $0.74

Sold by: wmboothsbookssf

"Getting Pregnant Naturally: Healthy Choices To Boost Your Chances Of Conceiving Without Fertility Drugs"
Winifred Conkling; Paperback; $0.01

Sold by: atlanta-book-company
1 "Enhancing Fertility Naturally: Holistic Therapies for a Successful Pregnancy"
Nicky Wesson; Paperback; $0.01

Sold by: atlanta-book-company

"Yoga 4 Fertility"
Brenda Strong; DVD; $10.00

Sold by: PConnoisseurs

"Female Fertility and the Body Fat Connection"
Rose E. Frisch; Hardcover; $0.01

Sold by: betterworldbooks_
1 "Natural Fertility: How to Maximize Your Chances of Conception"
Nikki Bradford; Paperback; $0.37

Sold by: betterworldbooks_

1 "Getting Pregnant & Staying Pregnant: Overcoming Infertility and Managing Your High-Risk Pregnancy"
Diana Raab; Paperback; $0.01

Sold by: atlanta-book-company

Sunday, January 25, 2009

2009 Metroplex Tarrant County Valentine Ideas

So my 2008 Valentine page is one of my most frequented, followed by the Tarrant County Private school links page.
So here is the 2009 Valentine Ideas page for the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.

Crossroads of Arlington church annual Valentine banquet:
Valentines Banquet – Sunday, February 15th @ 6:00pm.
3221 West Pioneer Parkway, Arlington TX 76013

HighRidge Church Annual Valentines Banquet
With Comedian Tim Hawkins
Sunday, February 15th @ 7:00pm
$20 a person

10100 Rolling Hills Drive in Fort Worth, TX.

Wedgewood Baptist Church
Looking for a fun date for Valentine's night? Then join us at the Wedgwood Valentine's Banquet, Saturday, February 14 at 6:30pm in the CLC. The cost is $20 per couple or $10 per individual which includes dinner, dessert, entertainment and childcare! Click here for more information.

South Park Baptist Church
7201 Crowley Road -- Fort Worth, TX 76134 - Map
Valentine Banquet, Bar-B-Q dinner and then some singing, Tickets are $7 for the dinner. Call the church office for tickets.
Saturday, February 14th, 7 pm.
817-293-2760 (Church)

Burleson Community Center
Mother/Son - Father/Daughter Dance
February 6th and 7th
6 - 9 pm
$15 advance $25 at door
Link for Direction/more info

North Richland Hills
Daddy Daughter Dance
5:30 - 7:30 - ages 3-7
7:30 - 9:30 - ages 8-16
$8 per person

Other Daddy Daughter Dances:
The Colony, Desoto, Frisco, Garland, Plano and Rockwall - all at the parks and recreation centers in those cities.

PF Chang's China Bistro
all locations
Four Course Menu - $40 per couple

Murder Mystery Valentines - different locations

The Sixth Annual Gala Concert of Sacred Music
Tuesday, February 10th, 8pm
Bass Music Hall

Reel Religion 6
A festival of film of religious significance
Dates:January 30-31, 2009
Meets:Friday 7 PM & Saturday 10 AM & 1:30 PM

Travis Avenue Baptist Church
Just for Women

Following God's Heart - Winter Ladies' Luncheon

$6.00 payable at door
Thursday, February 12–11:30 am–South Complex

Ladies, remember how your heart fluttered when you opened your first Valentine? We women (and men, too) think of romance and friendship when we think of Valentine's Day. Roses, candy, cards, and gifts between sweethearts or friends to let us know we are appreciated by someone is what is important to us.

You will want to attend our luncheon on Thursday, February 12 to hear speaker Marge Worten share her story of the most important relationship of all when one follows God’s Heart. For 9 years of their missionary career, she and her husband Von were part of an itinerant missionary team who shared God’s word in eight different countries, having to move weekly, one year sleeping in ninety-three different beds.

Music will be provided by four year-old Bryce Basham. Bryce is the great nephew of Marilu McClellen and Elaine Richards. Invite a friend and make your reservation by signing up in a Tuesday/Thursday Bible Study class or calling Jana Bader by Monday, Feb. 9.

Your heart will be blessed, and more importantly, your presence may well bless someone else.

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

A teenager who works on his school's stage crew, is knocked out by a co-worker and finds himself transported back to the thrilling days of King Arthur, Queen Guenevere and the Knights and Ladies of the Round Table.

1100 West Randol Mill Road
Arlington, TX 76012
Driving directions

A Night at the Algonquin
The Fig theater company presents a musical revue featuring songs by Cole Porter and George Gershwin. Feb 13 at 7:30 and Feb 14 at 6:30 and Feb 15 at 2 pm.
Episcopal church of the Transfiguration 14115 Hillcrest Rd.

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra
Romantic Pops Concert
Feb 13 and 14 at 8 pm, Feb 15 at 2 pm. Bass Hall.

Other Symphonies

Other theaters:

Create a Glass Valentine Flower:

River Legacy Living Science Center We Love Birds
Make Valentine's Themed Bird feeders
Birding workshops, storytelling, and guided bird walks
Feb 14 from 10 - 2 pm
We'll be there - see you there!

Romancing the Stars
Star Constellation show for Valentines
University of Texas at Arlington Planetarium
817-272-1183 Reservations required
Feb 13 - 7 pm $15 in advance, $19 after Tuesday per couple
Includes a Rose and a box of chocolates
Feb 14 - 8pm $30 in advance, $38 after Tuesday per couple
Includes Rose, chocolates, wine and appetizers.

Sweetheart Express
Grapevine Railroad

$160 per couple

The Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s Sweetheart Express is a romantic escape and a perfect way to celebrate Valentine's Day.

The train will depart at 6:00 pm from the historic Cotton Belt Depot, located at 705 S. Main St. in Grapevine. Violinists will set the mood for your trip, as they will be performing on the platform as you board the train. On board the train, enjoy a selection of hors d'oeuvres. Two cash bars will offer beer, wine and soft drinks. Violinists will stroll through the coaches as the train rolls to the Stockyards.

Upon arriving, at River Ranch you will enjoy dinner and romantic music. A cash bar will be available. Following dinner, there will be dancing, with music provided by a DJ. At 9:15 pm passengers will be instructed to board the train for the return trip. The train will depart River Ranch at 9:45 pm. On the return trip the two of you will receive special gifts of a rose and chocolate. The cash bars will resume and also offer complimentary coffee and water. Dress is casual.

Sweetheart Express Dates & Times:
Friday, February 13, 2009

6:00 pm Load passengers Depart Grapevine Depot
7:30 pm Arrive at River Ranch
7:30 pm Music starts and Buffet line opens
8:15 pm Dancing starts
9:15 pm Announce return boarding
9:15 pm Board Train
9:45 pm Depart River Ranch
11:15 pm Arrive Grapevine Depot

Saturday, February 14, 2009

6:00 pm Load passengers Depart Grapevine Depot
7:30 pm Arrive at River Ranch
7:30 pm Music starts and Buffet line opens
8:15 pm Dancing starts
9:15 pm Announce return boarding
9:15 pm Board Train
9:45 pm Depart River Ranch
11:15 pm Arrive Grapevine Depot

the best dehydrator / Vitamix

Well, I finally saved up enough (through ebay and babysitting) to take the plunge and buy the new 5200 blender from Vitamix. The container is made of a new plastic that does not leach BPA, so I decided to go ahead and get that one, instead of a cheaper 5000. I have a stainless steel 3600 that is probably over 20 years ago, and its just not powerful enough for what I want it to do.

So I've been researching dehydrators for about 3 hours now. Whew. There's a lot of pros and cons for each one. I've found a lot of great information on forums, this one in particular:

What I want in a dehydrator is a temperature control, plenty of trays so I can make more bulky items by removing a tray, and definitely a timer - I just know I'll forget all about it and so I know I need a timer.

So these are the top 4 dehydrators according to most sites:

Excalibur Dehydator 9 tray with timer

Good4U Dehydrator 10 tray with timer

Cabela's Stainless Steel dehydrator

SausageMaker's Stainless Steel dehydrator

Amazon Review that I particularly liked

How I organize my freezer

Here is the perfect set up for my garage freezer:

Bottom shelf/basket: bags of frozen vegetables

2nd to the bottom: Loaves of bread - I go to the bread store once a month, spend $12 and really stock up on bread. This usually lasts 4 to 6 weeks. I also buy Ezekiel sprouted bread at my local Herb Mart.

Next shelf: Meat - ground turkey patties, ground hamburger meat, roasts, and Costco's Rotisserie Chickens. Though I've gone mostly raw, my family has not, and loves meat.

Top Shelf: Bags of frozen bananas, other frozen fruit.

I've been trying to find out what else I can put frozen fruit in besides plastic bags. I'm trying to cut out as much toxic plastic as possible.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Aspiring Raw Foodist Raw Foods / Living Foods

So I've been an aspiring raw foodist for about 3 months now. Most days I'm about 80/20.
The side effects that I like best are clarity of mind and being non-depressive. Another one is that I'm rarely thirsty. I used to be thirsty all the time, and drink 90 ounces of water/tea a day. Now I drink more like 30 oz plus a fruit smoothie.

It took me about a year and a half to make this decision. I think this is a personal decision, and not necessarily right for everyone. Feel free to ask me any questions about it, but know that I won't bring it up in conversation or try to push people into it. Its one of those things that if you are interested enough, you will start to research it yourself, which is how you probably happened upon this site. :)

There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of websites out there that are all about raw food.
Here is Raw Food simplified.

First, you've got to decide on some staples to help you transition into raw foods, as you research, read the books and surf the internet. There are also a lot of YouTube videos.

So, for me, my staples are:

Guacamole w/organic tortilla chips (70/30 raw food)
almond butter on Ezekiel sprouted bread
frozen blueberries
Fruit smoothie for breakfast
cucumbers with dressing
I also ate eggs, fish, and oatmeal - none of which are raw, but are good for transitioning.

After about 6 weeks, I started to crave salad, so now I eat at least one salad a day.
I still eat chocolate - right now, my chocolate of choice is Plumsweets (dried plums in dark chocolate).

I am still learning the vocabulary and overall knowledge and usage of raw foods.

I've read around 15 books on raw foods - these are the two that I highly recommend that you actually own.

12 Steps to Raw Foods

Rejuvenate your Life

Then check out as many raw food books and dvds as possible from your local library. Your local library can also help you get several through interlibrary loan.

If you want to become a raw foodist, you absolutely must start saving up for a VitaMix blender. You can use a regular blender for about 3 or 4 weeks, but you really need to get a VitaMix. Currently, I have a 3600 Vitamix that does ok, but I am saving up for a 5200 that I will buy on ebay.

The way to get through and stay on course as a Raw Foodist, is to go ahead and indulge what you are craving - I often will eat a bite of cooked food, and then think, no I really don't want that, or no, that really didn't taste like I thought it was going to taste. I know that as I grow accustomed to Raw foods, my taste buds are going to change and I won't want cooked food as much.

From what I understand, avocadoes really help satisfy cravings.
I also know that within a year of being a Raw Foodist, I will have to start drinking green smoothies. It is green smoothies (made with lettuce and fruit) that really allow you to get all the nutrition that you need. Without them, you will usually go back to cooked foods. I really can't tolerate green smoothies right now, but I do believe that will change as my taste buds change. I also believe that once I have a better blender like the 5200 that it will make the lettuce more palatable. Green for Life has quite a few great recipes on green smoothies. Some start their raw food life by trying green smoothies first. I also know that green smoothies are terrific for babies, and is a great "first food" at the usual age of 6 months. By the way, if you start babies on solid foods before 6 months, you are just asking for trouble, ie. ear infections, illness, etc. Green smoothies are also great for IBS sufferers.

Coconut smoothies are also really helpful for cravings. They are also yummy. The best way to open a young(baby) coconut (by the way, don't even bother buying the mature brown fuzzy coconuts - smooth skin baby coconuts are so much better) is to take an ice pick and hammer in two holes on top (I even know some who use a mini-drill just for this purpose) and drain the juice into the blender. Then wrap the coconut in a towel, take it out to the porch/sidewalk and swing the towel and hit the ground. The coconut will then be broken apart in the towel - just dig out the meat with the spoon and place it in the blender. The Rejuvenate for Life book has several wonderful coconut smoothie recipes.

Green superfood powder - I've been placing a teaspoon of green superfood powder (I recommend Garden of Life, but whatever you want) in my smoothies. It helps me get my vitamins, etc.

Here's my recipe for a fruit smoothie:

First, put enough liquid to cover the blades. I like to use Tropicana Raspberry Acai pure juice +whatever other juice or nectar I have on hand. About 2-4 ounces of each. Or you could use water.
Then put in a handful of raw pumpkin seeds. These are great for your daily intake of zinc.
Squeeze in some honey (I love Stroope's Wildflower Honey that is locally only available from the Signature Krogers on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas).
Then squeeze in Raw Agave Nectar. This will make the smoothie sweet without using sugar. Whole Foods brand is the cheapest I have found so far for agave nectar.
Then put in 2 pitted dates. Dates have the highest antioxidants of any fruit or tea. They also make anything sweet.
Then put in a teaspoon (or whatever amount you're comfortable with) of green superfoods powder.
I put all the above in first so that it will definitely get blended together.
Then put in some frozen banana or frozen blueberries.
Turn the blender on, and put more frozen fruit in.
I usually put in at least one frozen banana, then lots of frozen blueberries, frozen mangoes and frozen peaches. Feel free to put any other frozen fruit in. I personally don't like frozen blackberries because of the seeds.
Then pour in a glass, and drink up!

If you want to get free supersaver shipping from Amazon, I recommend buying these three products:
12 Steps to Raw Foods
Green for Life
Raw Gourmet Dishes Simplified DVD

Increasing Milk Supply
- this one is a great encourager!
- this one has lots of info!

Here are the herbs that can help:

The two most popular galactogogues are:

  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek seeds

These are usually sold in the form of tea. Since these two ingredients do have a milk-enhancing reputation, there may be some merit in their claims, and they seem to be harmless.

Other herbs that have been used as galactogogues are:

  • Milk thistle
  • Motherwort
  • Asparagus racemosus
  • Red raspberry
  • Chamomile

Here is the tea that is recommended to me by several friends:
amazon link

Mostly, to increase your milk, you just have to breastfeed more often like every hour to two hours for a few days.

Here's a quick link for sore nipples:

Award-winning sites

I personally think that appreciation is important. Which is why I decided to give an award button to those blog sites that I come across in my research that I believe are truly outstanding, especially in helping parents and people everywhere lead more natural and healthy lives. I will write a short review of the site, giving my personal opinion of why I think the site embodies this criteria.

#1 Real Mom Style
Marisa is a homeschooling mom of 4 and her reviews of products and her candid style of writing is quite refreshing. What really makes her site stand out though is that she is currently in the process of creating "how-to" videos for homeschooling moms, which I believe will be a great resource for those just starting out as homeschoolers. I've talked to several homeschooling moms lately, and their number one request is to find a mentor to help them through the myriad of homeschooling chaos. I only hope this video trend will take off, and more 'with-it' homeschooling mothers will find the time to create such videos to help make life easier for those who want to start homeschooling. Thank you Marisa for providing such a great resource!

#2 From Dates to Diapers
Christine is a mother of 6 and is considered a great reviewer of workable family-friendly products. I really enjoy reading her reviews because she will be quite frank in her assessments, and if it didn't work for her family, she will tell you so. I sincerely appreciate that honesty. I also emailed her the other day with a question, and she emailed me back with an answer which was extremely helpful to me. So thank you Christine!

#3 Educational Playtime
Melanie is a mother of two and is a long-time advocate of creative musical play for children. She's a former children's theater director and teacher and also taught Early Childhood music for many years. Her site encourages parents to be more creative in playtime and relates many ideas on how to make that happen. What a great idea site!