Where Homemakin, Homeschoolin, Home Cookin, Sweet Tea, Babies, & Jesus are a part of life.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha (THM FP)

One of the drinks I missed so much from Starbucks was their Peppermint Mocha's. That is until today. :) A FB friend of mine shared a picture of a frozen sugar free Peppermint Mocha Frapp and I asked her to share her ingredients with me. I changed only one due to the fact I didn't have what she had. I blended the ingredients and then warmed it on the stove, topped it with FF Ready whip, dusted it with cocoa and voila!

Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha Heaven!

I made a drink big enough to share, or to sip yourself all afternoon. It was such a cozy drink. I sat by my hubby while we finished our movie from last night and my senses danced in a minty stupor. It was delightful.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Erythritol
  • Pure white stevia (to taste. I used approx. 5 sprinkles)
  • 3-4 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 1/2 scoop Swanson's vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract (depending on how pepperminty you want it ;)
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 heaping tsp. of granulated instant espresso

1. Mix all ingredients in your blender. I have a vitamix and did this part on low since it was during nap time. I just wanted to break down the powders and it worked on low.
2. Taste and see if or what you might want to add more of.
3. When you're happy with the taste, pour into a sauce pan and warm until desired heat. You can also use a microwave, of course,
4. Pour into a cup, add some FF Ready Whip and dust the top with cocoa.


How our family takes Raw Garlic, a natural Antibiotic.

With the recent success our family has had kicking sickesses where it hurts with raw garlic, I have had many mama's asking me exactly how I give it to my family.
 I didn't  know how to take it either when I started. It was kind of a trial by error thing. I knew you could take it with honey but that was the end of my knowledge.
Today I'm writing this post to share with others how our family takes garlic. :)
Here are a couple things you need to know.
1. Do not take raw garlic on an empty stomach.
(It's best to take it after you eat something)
(You can and I have but I don't advise it. Your stomach won't feel good at all. I did this and actually thought I might throw up. O.O Not a happy moment from me.)
2. Follow taking garlic with some sort of milk chaser.
(This will ease your tummy)
3. Mixing with honey really does help it go down.
(however, I don't take it with honey since it's sugar)
4. Do this at least 3 times a day (if not 4 times) if you are already sick. Continue to do this for at least 3 days. The garlic will alleviate your symptoms before the sickness is totally gone. Think about an antibiotic the Dr gives you. The pharmacist tells you to take all 10 days worth no matter how great you may feel on day 5. Garlic will need some time to kill the illness. In my experience it still didn't take as long as Dr. prescribed antibiotics.
The next picture will show you my set up.

1. Chop a clove or two of garlic per person, finely.
 (When I'm fighting something I use one large clove for me or two regular size ones. You can see in the top picture how much I cut for 4 of my 5 daughters, my hubby and I) The finer you cut it, the easier it is to take. Plus it helps the allicin come out. My barely two year old daughter takes it happily.
2. Set a timer for 10 minutes so that the garlic can release the allicin. That is what helps you from what I've read.
3. Make a milk chaser while you wait. You can either take just plain milk or if you're really interested in kicking something you can do what I do and make a turmeric milk chaser. (Ingredients: milk, (I use unsweeneted almond milk for me) organic turmeric, pure white stevia, and cinnamon. Just add some of each. The turmeric is great for you and this drink tastes great. my girls love it!
4. Get a bowl and your honey ready.
5. When the 10 minutes are up, mx your garlic with some honey (local, raw is best but you can use whatever honey you want)
6. Open up and swallow. (You can chew it, but I wouldn't suggest that either. I did the whole, 'put a garlic clove in your mouth, bite down and extract juices' thing and I wasn't too fond of it. Maybe I'm a wiener but it burned my mouth bad.)
Like I said earlier, I don't take mine with honey since I don't want the sugar. I just put mine in my mouth and take it with my turmeric milk. It's way easier than I would have thought. :)
You can google the benefits of raw garlic. It's incredible!  There are some sicknesses that aren't responding to antibiotics and yet garlic is proven to kick them. I have witnessed its power as its healed my family this year and it has helped me not catch what my littles had. I even make a garlic rub for the baby. The garlic has allowed them to break up and expel the build up of mucus from their sicknesses. I really can't say enough good things about it.
*One last note* I did read somewhere that it's best to use the raw garlic within 24 hours since it's most potent then. I typically cut enough for a day at a time. Garlic rub for a baby can last one week in the fridge.
P.S. I am not a doctor, I'm just a mama sharing what has worked for my family. :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Tis the Season to be Jolly...

Growing up, Christmas time was my most favorite time of the year. The sights and sounds danced across my eyes, filling my heart with such joy it felt as if it would almost explode. Now that I'm an adult and a mama to 5 beautiful girls not much has changed in how my heart feels. It's more the why that's changed. It's no longer about what gifts I receive Christmas morning that make me happy. Instead it's watching my children call out to Jesus, wishing Him a happy birthday. I never did that growing up. It's watching them acknowledge Him and what a gift He was/is to us.

Something else that has changed in me over the years is that I now know that this isn't the only season to be jolly. Every season warrants that kind of emotion.

Our family loves Christmas time. I know some Christian families don't celebrate it because it's become such a commercial holiday and it's not really the day of Jesus' actual birth. God tells us though, not to judge each other as to what days we choose to celebrate Him. In our family we celebrate Jesus every day but on December 25 we celebrate the day of His birth, whenever that really was.

 We bake cookies.

We ice them.


We sing Christmas carols even when we're sick.

 And we decorate a tree.

This year my tree had it hard. My two year old really loved taking ornaments off and moving them around. She also enjoyed messing up my burlap ribbon. I finally gave up and had my 4 and 7 year olds fix it each time. That alone was amusing. Tis the season to be jolly, right!? lol We don't worship our tree. It's a mere decoration, and apparently I have a future design artist on my hands with my two year old.

Christmas in our family isn't about gift giving. Although it sure is fun and we do it when we can.
 We give all kinds of gifts. We give both bought and homemade ones. This year my twelve year old gave my seven year old a jewelry box that she painted and decorated herself. It was really special!

My two year old got a doll she's been looking at for months in a catalog we get. Her Grandma Debbie bought it for her and she was super excited.

All in all it's about celebrating the birth of God as man. We've had Christmases with lots of presents and some with not so many. It's about how thankful we are that Jesus came so that we could live. Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross our family can commune with God and we can be together for eternity. We love each other so much, just as most families do and this excites us. When our bodies stop working we know that it's not over. We will be together again. What a gift!

It's Jesus who gave us that gift by taking our sins upon Him and conquering death for us. Because of Jesus, my husband, daughters, and I will live forever reigning with Him in heaven. Now that's something worth celebrating if you ask me.

I hope y'all had a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Melt in Your Mouth Peanut Butter Fudge

This world is changing. It's sad but true. It seems that it's getting harder and harder to be able to find and purchase things made without chemicals or weird ingredients, and that my friends includes fudge. Malotodextrin alone has reared its head everywhere. Organic and non-organic. I'm no fan of the stuff and one thing I def. don't want that in is my fudge.

Sugar isn't good for you so I don't make a habit of indulging in sweet treats often but this time of year, there's just something about sharing some yummy goodies with those you love.

This recipe is not healthy. At...all. If you're a Trim Healthy Mama plan user and follow me, this is not for you unless you are splurging a little. Okay, well maybe a lot. lol

Like I said, it isn't healthy but it is divine! And is guaranteed to oooo and ahhhh all those who like peanut butter.

I tried many recipes and found this one to be my favorite years ago, so many so, that I don't have a  clue where I got it. I would assume somewhere on allrecipes.com. I cannot take the credit for this recipe. But I can take credit for this batch that went to the Air Guard base with my husband early this morning. The batch that was devoured before 10am.

Gosh, I can almost smell this fudge through the screen. Would you believe that I made this peanut buttery fudge and chocolate quickies (homemade chocolate fudge with oats) and didn't taste either?! It's true! My kiddos were the taste testers. They didn't mind. ;) lol

This is the second time I have made treats this month and haven't eaten any. I think I won a personal award for self-restraint! Whooo Hoooo...

Of course, I will be making this again soon for my own family and this time I will eat a little. Yum!

Okay... here's the recipe.

*key note* Do not alter the ingredients whatsoever. I have and it changed everything!! You have been warned. ;)

  • 1 cup of Jiff Creamy Peanut butter (and Jiff only)
  • 1 cup marshmallow cream
  • 1 cup of white cane sugar (not all white sugars on the baking aisle are created equal. You want the sugar made from cane, not beets. This is vital! Beet sugar will alter this recipe and it will not be as good.)
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • candy thermometer
If you've made real fudge before, not the stuff from chocolate chips, then you're already familiar with the soft ball stage. This recipe is uber-easy. All you do is mix the milk and sugar and cook on medium (I do mine a wee bit higher but I think my stove is tired lol) and then add all the other ingredients. That's it!

Here it is in detail for those of you who have never ventured into homemade fudge land.

Welcome, friends. :)

1. Pour milk and sugar into medium size saucepan. Get your candy thermometer and attach it to the side of the pan. This will guide you and tell you everything you need to know about where your fudge is in its cooking process.
2. Cook milk and sugar on medium heat until your candy thermometer reaches where it says 'soft ball' If you don't have a thermometer you can check if you've reached this stage buy dropping a small amount of the cooking syrup into cold water. If it's reached that stage it will stick together and you will be able to roll it into a ball with your fingers in the water. This is a pain in my opinion, hence me using a thermometer. But, if you don't have one, you can still make fudge! ;)
3. When it reaches soft ball stage, remove it from the heat and add all the other ingredients and stir until it's mixed well.
4. Pour into buttered 8x8 pan and let cool.
5. Cut into squares and enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

DIY Antibacterial Foaming Hand Soap

I have a love/hate relationship right now with this time of the year. The little girl in me loves the cold and all of the holiday's it brings. The sights, the sounds, and the smells are all something I embrace. The other part of me however, the mom part, isn't too fond of this time of year.

 I not so lovingly call it "Cootie Season." It's the time where it seems everyone everywhere is sick and they all share their cooties as if it's the kind thing to do. I for one think it's poopy, especially when you have a few kiddos, or 5 that tend to take your lessons in sharing very seriously during this season.

I'm not real interested in bringing tons of chemicals into my house so I've been making my own foam hand soap for years now. It wasn't until recently that I had a light bulb moment and realized that I could make my own antibacterial and anti-viral soap.

All you will need is...

  • a foam pump
  • Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap (I use the baby unscented one)
  • Melaluca or better known as Tea Tree Oil
  1. Fill Bottle 1/4 way up with Dr. Bronner's
  2. Fill the rest of the way with water (filtered is best)
  3. Add 4-6 drops of Tea Tree Oil (I use 6 but I use one I bought at Walmart. If you're using one from DoTerra you will have to deem how much works best for you. I am not familiar with theirs yet so I don't feel comfortable giving an exact amount of drops you would use.)
  4. Put pump part back on and gently give it a shake to mix the oil in.
I love the clean smell of Tea Tree oil, but if you don't or if you want to change it up a bit you can always add some lavender essential oil or any scent you like. I made this particular one for my kitchen. When I do one for the bathroom I think I might add just a little vitamin e oil and see how that goes. It might work. It might not. That's the fun of trying. :)

Until next time....

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sugar Cookie Delight (THM FP)

Starbucks who? That's what I think every time I make a sugar-free drink that tastes better than what they serve. Don't get me wrong, I still love their Decaf. Mocha's but probably only because I haven't figured out how to make those just yet. lol

This new drink surpassed all of my expectations. It was like an afternoon dessert.

I kid you not!

Hubby bought me some Celestial Seasonings 'Sugar Cookie' tea. It seemed festive and I thought, "Awesome!"

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Truvia
  • 2 Sugar Cookie tea bags
  • FF Ready Whip
  1. Heat water and milk
  2. Add tea bags and steep for 4 minutes.
  3. Remove bags and add Truvia.
  4. Taste. Mmmmm..
  5. Now add FF Ready Whip if you're sugar tooth is really hankering for something good and sweet.
Prepared to dazzle your taste buds with sugary goodness without the sugar!

*The above serving I made is shareable. Unless of course you're having a particularly rough day and are in need of a serious comfort drink and a long book. In that case, enjoy it all without the guilt.*

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Quinn style :)

Turkey is one of those things I am thankful for. My family eats a lot of turkey, typically ground. We use it instead of ground beef. It is cheaper and not as fattening. Even with all the turkey we eat, we don't typically eat whole turkeys until Thanksgiving and we look forward to them all year long. The above turkeys were a blessing from God this year.

Speaking of that... did you notice how expensive turkeys were? Crazy.

This year I had multiple kiddos wanting wings. Hmmm... There are only two on a normal turkey. If there are more than two on a turkey I don't want any part of it. O.O lol

As our loving Father would have it He provided us with two smaller turkeys this year for free. One we got from Albertsons when we spent $100 and the other from a local grocery store because we are a "valued customer." I guess spending money has its perks every now and then. In a perfect world I would have been slaughtering my own turkeys. One day, God willing.

Those two fit perfectly in my roaster. I was worried for no reason. God always knows better than us!

Our day began with a really fattening, yummy breakfast called Cinnamon French Toast bake. I made homemade white bread, a treat for our family, the day before. I don't make a lot of white bread.

It's perfect for Thanksgiving because you prepare it the night before.

It is really good and I repeat... really fattening!

The rest of the day was filled with fun and silliness while the food cooked. Mackynzie, my little two year old, was an actress that day. She is following in her sisters footsteps and is quite the comedian.

She asked her sister to put the bandanna on. Kynzie thought she was funny and was purposely not smiling. I tried to get her to smile and she just nodded no, staying in character.
 She cracks me up. And apparently she found herself funny too.
Finally it was dinner time and boy were the girls excited!
One of my kiddos was trying to decide what piece of turkey she wanted. 
Wing or drumstick? Wing or drumstick? Wing or Drumstick?
 This was apparently very stressful for her. LOL

The day ended with pie and us decorating for Christmas. There are no pictures of the homemade pies I made nor is there any pie left. Hmm... LOL That was some good pie! hahaha And no, it wasn't diet. I don't do healthy on Thanksgiving.
And that night was the much anticipated return of Tinsel McBiggles.
Let the Christmas Season begin...


December DETOX time :)

It's the first Monday after Thanksgiving and although I didn't eat as bad as I did growing up, I did ingest some things that weren't the best for my body.

I know that Spring is typically the time when people start thinking about detoxing. They've had a long winter full of treats and it's the time coats come off and the result of those treats show through your clothes.

For me, I think differently than some. You see, my parents weren't very healthy. On his death bed my earthly father had heart disease, type 2 diabetes and kidney failure. He even had gangrene on one of his feet from the high levels of sugar and the fact his body just couldn't function well anymore. Years of eating bad had taken its toll on him and it had finally come to take his life. As I held my fathers hand when the Lord took him home I knew I never wanted to end up like him. I was 26.

My mother was and is no better. She suffers from heart disease, type two diabetes and has been on dialysis for a couple of years now. She can't hardly walk anymore and her quality of life is poor.

I don't want to end up like them and if I don't take care of my body I will.

So here we are today. I don't like to go with the flow of society. It annoys me. Typically they are moving in the complete opposite direction that I am looking to go. Detoxing in December is no different. :)

So let's have at it... Here's what I'm doing to give my body a nice cleanse.

Last night I started with a warm Bentonite Clay bath . Bentonite Clay is a very popular detoxifier. If you Google it you will find tons of info on it.

"Bentonite Clay s a unique clay due to its ability to produce an “electrical charge” when hydrated. Upon contact with fluid, its electrical components change, giving it the ability to absorb toxins. Bentonite is known for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals."

*taken from a blog post by Wellness Mama*

When I was done with my bath I let the water drain and then went to look at the clay. It was dark. Yikes! That shows that it was pulling out toxins and heavy metals from my body. I barely used any last night )maybe 2Tbsp. Next time I will use 3oz)

Good start to my Monday before it even started.

This morning I woke up and took 2 Bentonite Clay capsules that I encapsulated myself yesterday. You can buy everything you need to encapsulate from Bulk Herb Store. Then I drank 15 oz. of water. I did this on an empty stomach. I will take another 2 this afternoon and repeat this for 3 days.

Today and tomorrow I will be removing all glucose from my body. That will include all simple sugars as well as grains. Then on the third day I will begin reintroducing complex carbs that are good for my body in small amounts. Simple sugars will not be making a comeback. Instead I will be using pure white stevia, Xylitol for our Southern Sweet Tea and Truvia.
I am a Trim Healthy Mama.
If you're interested in purchasing the THM book you can link to it in my Amazon store. It offers a wealth of health information!

Another must in my books when you're wanting to cleanse your body is incorporating both fresh lemon juice and Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) I use Braggs.

Serene Allison, one of the authors of Trim Healthy Mama created this yummy drink and it blew up! Now there are as many variations as some women have shoes I think, lol, but I am sticking to the original. At least maybe until summer comes. ;)

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Ginger
  • Water
  • whole small or half large lemon
  • pure-white stevia
  • ice
This drink is awesome! One of my friends at church even recently told me that her hubby loves this drink and asks his daughter to make it for him. My hubby however, wouldn't touch it. LOL To each his own I guess.

Other than making sure I drink enough water and concentrating on fueling my body with healthy foods, I have one more thing in my Detox arsenal. This one is something that I won't stop after detoxing since it is terrific for my body. Theresa Tapp developed an exercise that also helps those with adrenal fatigue and it is a proven detoxifier.

Here are some benefits stated by Wellness Mama
  • “Is the fastest weight loss workout we’ve ever seen
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Increases insulin sensitivity, which promotes loss of excess weight
  • Reduces stress
  • Skyrockets energy levels and mental clarity
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Improves cardiovascular function
  • Helps the brain gain better control over the body (builds neurokinetic function)
  • Takes just 15 minutes”

    I love Ttapp and have been doing it off and on since May of 2013. I lost a total of 20 inches and 17 lbs in only a few weeks doing Ttapp and THM. My skin cleared up and I felt great! My husband lost 30 lbs doing Ttapp and THM with me. He didn't Ttapp as much as I did either.
    Since then life has happened and I haven't solely stuck to both. I am super excited to get back on the bandwagon.
     I had never felt better in my life!

    As someone who loves food I have learned much in my life and after seeing how the wrong foods can hurt your body I refuse to let food own me. It may be Christmas time but that doesn't mean that I have to gorge myself with goodies and blame it on the lack of warmth outside.

    Will I eat unhealthy this month. Oh yeah I will. I just won't go crazy. And you can bet that for the most part I will be eating well. When January comes I will do a second detox just in the name of homemade sugar cookies and fudge. ;) Just sayin....

    *Side Note*

    I am writing this post on my Father's Birthday. I so wish I would have had access to the health information I do now while he was still alive. He is who taught me about my Savior, not through words but instead by his self sacrifice for Jesus. I knew that Jesus had to be someone so very special when I watched my father suffer for him. As my fathers' body was beginning to fail he would still kneel every night and pray. He was so weak and his knees would give out. He would struggle to stand back up. This spoke volumes to me. The church we attended spoke of Jesus, yet never in all my years of attending did I see the kind of love for Jesus in that church that I saw in my father.

    Happy Birthday to my Daddy! I hope you're having fun celebrating with Jesus. I sure do miss you!