10/1/11

October Coupons Ready to Print

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Winner Winner

WINNER OF THE 2000 FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY
WINNER OF THE FALL GIVEAWAY FESTIVAL
 WINNER OF THE TOMTOM AND CASH
 
WINNER OF THE FOLLOW FRENZY
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED AND THANK YOU TO MY FABULOUS SPONSORS!

9/30/11

Quit Eating Like a Pig Diet - Day 25

Even in the decision to no longer be vegan, I'm still staying on my Quit Eating Like a Pig diet. The basic guidelines will change because I'll be reintroducing meat and dairy into my diet, but I'll still be focused on portion control and health. Mostly the reason for my decision was boredom. It has been very difficult to walk into the pantry looking for something to eat and having so few choices. I do believe a vegan diet is healthier, but I need more variety in my life than that. I stayed 24 days on the vegan diet and although I did lose some weight, I began gaining a few pounds back this week because I found myself overeating potatoes because my body needed something filling. So, today I begin again, in a different way, on the Quit Eating Like a Pig Diet. Wish me success!

9/29/11

Done Being Vegan

Well, that was fun. Back to reality. I'm done being vegan.

TRESemmé: Changing the Way You Do Hair

This post brought to you by TRESemmé. All opinions are 100% mine.

What will they think of next? Dry shampoo? Wow, who would have guessed it? Have you heard of it? What a great idea! I wish I'd thought of it. TRESemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo is the newest idea on the beauty market. Just think of all those mornings you wake up late, have to get the kids ready for school, out the door to the bus, feed the dog, kiss your man goodbye, and you realize suddenly you have ten minutes to become gorgeous for a full day of work. Think of how quickly you can cover your beauty routine in the morning with dry shampoo!

This is no ordinary shampoo and TRESemmé has come up with some great tips to help you get the most out of your dry shampoo. First, you should shake the can vigorously before use and in between spray bursts, and spray it in short bursts, holding the can about 8-12 inches from your head. Instead of spraying it all over continuously like hair spray, you lift sections of dry hair and spray lightly at the root, leaving it in for about two minutes. Then just use your fingers or a hairbrush to distribute it throughout your hair. Got a teenager that hates getting out of bed until the last minute? TRESemmé will likely be one of the Top Hair Products for School for this year!

This amazing line of new products has something for everyone: Strengthening Dry Shampoo, Volumizing Dry Shampoo, Smoothing Dry Shampoo, and Moisturizing Waterless Foam Shampoo. YouTube Celebrity Elle Fowler has even teamed up with TRESemmé and created a tutorial to teach people how to use Fresh Start Dry Shampoo properly. Check out out at http://www.youtube.com/allthatglitters21.

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9/28/11

Save Money and Look Great

The beginning of the school year is filled with many expenses...school supplies, new clothes, and computer upgrades. Many parents find their expenses also include eyeglasses. I know I put it off all summer, thinking why buy my boys new glasses until right before school? I didn't want them to break a new pair while out skateboarding all summer, so it was about two weeks before school when I finally took them in for exams and new glasses.

One great thing about shopping with teenage boys is that they are not teenage girls. I remember taking my daughter shopping for her new prescription eyeglasses when she lived at home. She had to try on every single pair of frames in the entire shop. My son walked over to the wall where the frames were, picked up a pair, put them on his face and said, "These will do." What a wonderful shopping trip!

He has been really happy with his glasses so far. I wish I had saved more money on them though. At a time when money is really tight, discount eyeglasses would have been a super idea. I ended up having to put the charge on a credit card, but thankfully I have an emergency fund and was able to pay off the debt before I got charged any interest on the glasses.

I recently discovered GlassesUSA.com and I wish I had known about them before school started this year. They offer a 110% lowest price guarantee, 100% satisfaction guarantee, and Back to School promotions to save parents even more money:
  • BOGO SALE: Buy any pair of glasses valued at $50 or more and get a second pair of glasses FREE! Code: Back2School
  • Take $25 off any order of glasses with Transitions lenses with the code: Trans25
  • Take 10% off any order. Code: Blog10
You could get high quality lenses and frames for everyone in the family for less than what those huge lists of school supplies cost!

Here Is An Easy Five


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Natural House Cleaning Products - Review

For 25 years, I've had to deal with a stinky diaper trash can. Since I do home daycare, there is always someone in diapers. In fact, I keep the trash can in the garage because it stinks so badly that I can barely stand to breathe when I have to throw a diaper away. I even wrap every single diaper in its own plastic bag before throwing it away. The smell never goes away. Ever heard the phrase "Gag a maggot?" Yeah, that's how bad it is. UNTIL NOW. I'm so excited that someone finally made something that works. Even better, it's probiotic and safe!!! And the best part is its name - TRASHY. How funny is that??? Seriously I sprayed Trashy on the inside of the diaper trash can and the smell is gone. GONE. It even smelled GOOD in the trash can. Amazing. Yay, Natural House!
I couldn't wait to try FLUSHY and SINKY. Those are also very stinky places in my house. The kitchen disposal smells bad all the time, no matter how many orange peels I toss in there. Sinky solved my problem there too!!! It's incredible! All I did was toss a little plastic bag into the sink drain and turn on the hot water. It started foaming and I flipped the disposal switch on and then off. Easiest weekly cleaning system ever. And the freshness lasts all week.
I have three toilets and I was really torn on which one got to experience the magic of Natural House. It was a real toss up between the teenage boys' toilet and the daycare kids' toilet. I finally settled on the daycare toilet downstairs since that's the one I have to use during the day. I can totally avoid the teenage boys' bathroom, thank God. So Flushy went for a swim.
These products will totally eliminate smells and revolutionize the way you clean. Check out more about these awesome products on their website.



Mama Mia's Homestyle Beef Jerky Review

I just knew there were going to be times I regretted becoming vegan. I have been so well behaved and haven't had cravings for meat at all. Well, until I opened the package of Mama Mia's Homestyle Beef Jerky. My mouth was watering and my stomach started growling. It smelled so good! I was so close to tasting just a tiny little bit when my teenage son walked in the kitchen. Busted! "Hey, mom, I guess I get to eat those now, huh?"
So he grabbed a big piece of the jerky and raved about how awesome it tastes. The brat. He reached in for some more then saw the second bag of Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky. "I guess that's for me too, right Mom?" he said as he grinned at me. As he stood there in front of me, munching happily on all the beef jerky, my other teenage son walked in the kitchen. He grabbed one of the bags by the wrong end, dumping several pieces onto the kitchen floor. My dog was thrilled. I think he even smiled at my son as he chewed on his own pieces of jerky.
Apparently everyone in the house loves this beef jerky and one of the boys said it's the best he's ever eaten. I'll have to take his word for it, because they really did run off with both bags and I didn't get to sneak a single bite. But if you're looking for a fabulous gift for someone, these Mama Mia beef jerky packages are an excellent choice!
Disclosure: We received this product in exchange for our honest reviews.

Cerra - The Seven Intentions - Gratitude - #SSCerra

Day Three of Cerra and the Seven Intentions is Gratitude. Every single day should be filled with gratitude for all the blessings in my life!! This fragrance card is a "light floral blend with Bergamot" and "Balsam Oil to open the heart to feel joy." I've never really been one for floral scents because of my hayfever, but this scent is light and airy. I like it in small doses. Gratitude on the other hand, comes in big doses in my life.

The journal prompt for today is:
I am feeling grateful for ______ right now.
I am feeling grateful for: my husband, my children, my freedom, the children I work with, my home, my mom, my sisters, my coffee, and most of all My God who gives me all these things. I used my Gratitude Keepsake Notes in my kit to list my many blessings.

I think being grateful is something that has to be intentional. It can be very easy to become complacent and take blessings for granted. Then suddenly when something precious is lost, we wonder why we didn't appreciate it more when we had it. If people were more grateful for all the wonderful blessings in their lives, rather than wanting more and more, there would be more peace and joy in their lives. Gratitude is the simple step of appreciation for what you already have in your life. It may be as simple as successfully growing your first tomato plant or it may be as complex as successfully beating a disease that could have killed you. Lord, thank you for my many blessings.

This lovely moment brought to you on behalf of Cerra.com where you can discover new ways to grow!

One Cup Connection

Hello Planet Weidknecht readers & followers!

This is Sara from One Cup Connection and Lisa was kind enough to let me do a little guest post on her blog!  One Cup Connection is an authorized Keurig coffee distributor, specializing in Keurig Coffee K-cups and Keurig Coffee Brewers.  Are any of you familiar with Keurig?  Keurig coffee makers are the innovative one cup coffee brewing systems that allow you to enjoy fresh, perfectly brewed coffee in less than a minute.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Keurig brewers, yes, you read it correctly… LESS THAN A MINUTE.  Pretty convenient, huh?  Keurig brewers eliminate both the waste of leftover coffee and also the mess of coffee grounds.

The machines take K-Cups, small pods measuring only 2 inches x 2 inches. The K-Cup is actually a mini brewer that distributes water evenly throughout the pre-measured coffee stored in its core and is surrounded by an internal filter and an air-tight lid, resulting in an obviously superior taste experience.  To learn more, check out the page of K-Cups.  We carry all the favorite brands of K-Cups; Green Mountain, Gloria Jean’s, Wolfgang Puck, Donut House, Caribou… the list goes on & on!  We also offer the best prices on the web, selling our 24 COUNT boxes (normal is 18) for just $12.99, what a steal. You do the math, that’s like getting 6 free K-Cups… or a really good deal.  

We love trying new recipes and tips with our brewers.  Check out our step by step post here on how to make iced- coffee with your Keurig.  I know summer’s coming to an end, but it’s never too late for iced-coffee, especially for those of you living in Texas ;)  We would love for you to share your Keurig story with us!  You can visit us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or check out our Coffee Break Blog.  If it turns out a lot of Lisa’s readers are Keurig owners, we may have to give away a couple boxes of K-Cups  on Planet Weidknecht (if that’s okay with Lisa of course).  Let’s see how much you love your Keurig!

End of the Month Super Deals

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Book Review Mental Illness and Your Town by Larry Hayes

I hate labels. Labeling people stereotypes them into a box that is nearly impossible to get out of. At the same time, a label is often necessary so that someone with mental illness can get the help they need. This book by Larry Hayes called "Mental Illness and Your Town" is a really great tool to use to motivate communities to help and/or heal those who are suffering from things as simple as post-partum depression to things as complex as bipolar disorders and schizophrenia. There is mental illness within my own family and I've personally faced many of the stigmas that this book details. I found many ideas that people can easily use to make a huge difference in their community.
How's your mental health? Many people tend to brush aside their symptoms and ignore them for a long time. In order to be the best wife, parent, and friend that you can be, your own mental health needs to be in a good place. Did you know there are services that are free of charge and on a sliding-fee scale to help families address things like depression, anxiety, and fears? Sometimes all it takes is a single phone call to help a person begin to heal.

I found some online quizzes you can use to help you get a clearer picture of your own mental health. If any of your answers concern you, please reach out to someone for help. If nothing else, let your doctor know if you find you're feeling out of sorts and ask his advice for resources. There is no shame in wanting to be a better, happier, healthier person! Mental Health Assessments offers nine different quizzes.

I highly recommend reading "Mental Illness and Your Town" by Larry Hayes! If you want to make a difference, this book offers an excellent blueprint to helping those right there where you live. There are lots of personal stories in the book that really hit home.
Disclosure: I received this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread Machine Recipe

Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread
for Bread Machines
an original Lisa Weidknecht recipe

Into the bread machine, pour 3 cups of whole wheat flour, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, 1 1/4 cup warm water, 1/4 cup 100% apple juice, 4 tablespoons local honey, 2 teaspoons active dry yeast. Add 1 cup raisins to bread machine after the yeast-rising cycle (most bread machines beep at this point). Machine Settings: Light color, 1 1/2 pound, wheat bread.

My husband's review: "SCORE!"

9/27/11

Preschool Lesson: Five Senses Lemons and Limes

I love doing the five senses theme. It's easy preschool science! Here is a fabulous lesson that the kids really get into doing. A site such as www.earlychildhoodeducationdegree.net has information about how you can learn more about great lessons to teach preschool kids.

First show them a lemon. Ask! They almost always know what it is. Then show them a lime. Ask! Almost none of them will know what it is. Then while you are cutting the lemons and limes (1/4 for each child), tell them when you cut in HALF, then tell them when you cut in FOURTHS. Explain how half is two and fourths is four. Talk about the sense of SEEING. Give each child 1/4 lemon and 1/4 lime. Talk about the sense of SMELL. Ask them how the peel feels. Ask them how the inner pulp feels. Talk about the sense of TOUCH. Encourage them (get your camera ready) to lick each lemon and lime piece. Talk about the sense of TASTE. As you talk about taste, teach them the words sour and tart.
Give each child a small cup and show them how to squeeze the lemon and lime juice out of the fruit. The easiest way for preschoolers is to fold the fruit fourth in half and squeeze. Give each child a spoon to scoop out the seeds that may fall in the cup. Ask them do they HEAR a sound (the fifth sense) when the juice drips down in the cup.
Ask them if they know of something sweet (opposite of sour). You may need to lead them to say sugar. Talk about making lemon-lime ade with the juice, water and sugar. Using a pitcher, add water to each cup of squeezed juice. Allow the children to put one teaspoon of sugar in their cup and stir. Again ask about the sound. Encourage tasting again. Compare the sweet lemon-lime ade to the sour taste.

And always encourage creativity and silliness! We also colored lemons and limes on paper so the children would have something to remind themselves of what we did when the parents asked about their day.

9/26/11

One Day Only - Free Address Labels

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Quit Eating Like a Pig Diet - Day 21

Today is Day 21. Three weeks. Amazing. I really don't miss dairy and meat. At all. I am loving my new vegan foods. And the fact I've lost almost 9 pounds. My clothes are fitting better!!! Maybe http://www.online-cooking-classes.org would have helpful info on more
healthy recipes I could make.

Breakfast - Shredded Wheat Cereal, Soy Milk, Banana
Lunch - Veggie Salad with Salsa, 5 Melba Snack Crackers, Coffee
Snack - Wheat Toast with thin sliced Nectarine on Top
Dinner - Beans and Potatoes in Tomato Sauce, Slice of Wheat Bread, Coffee

Mood and energy great!

2000 Follower Party Sponsor Highlight Twisterz

Twisterz are award winning, colorful, hand held, battery free toys that combine early learning skills such as spelling, language, reading, problem solving, and logic with fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. They're great at home, in the classroom, waiting rooms, restaurants, and in the car! For ages 3-9.
I was so excited about receiving a couple of Twisterz to use in my daycare! I have two girls who are almost five years old who I just KNEW would love these, and I was right. They are very close to reading, know many of the letter sounds, and are just beginning to sound out things. The Alphabet Matcher is just perfect for this stage of learning!
The first loop has letters and the subsequent loops have words that begin with that letter sound. They figured out very quickly how to match up the letter A with Ant, Astronaut, Anchor, etc. The girls were so excited to finish their first row without my help!
And then, like all little girls, the sharing didn't go very well anymore. So I pulled out the Word Builder which was a little advanced of where they are right now, but I discovered these are all interchangeable! Since the Alphabet Matcher comes with four sections of loops, I set up one for each girl.

Ah, peace again. The Twisterz kept the girls busy for about 30 minutes, with some teacher guidance, but mostly they were able to do it on their own. I love brain-powered toys!! I also received the Story Starter which will be a wonderful group activity we can do at circle time.
My challenge was how to store these. I think it would be awesome for Twisterz to come up with a little storage bag for each set, then a backpack where the posts and little bags can go. That would make it more portable and easy to store without mixing sets. I settled for little plastic zipper bags for now, which works perfectly.
I'm so happy to be able to give a set of these cool Twisterz away in my 2000 Follower Party Giveaway! Click HERE so you can enter to win these and many other fabulous prizes!!

Book Review - The Gift Giver by Jennifer Hawkins

On the afternoon of September 11 this year, I had to turn off the television. I just could not deal with any more sadness. Instead I picked up a book to read. I chose "The Gift Giver" by Jennifer Hawkins. Little did I realize it was about the sudden and tragic loss of a young woman's husband. It was a very moving story and it actually helped me heal a little bit from my annual September 11 grieving. Jennifer writes about the struggle she faced in rebuilding her life with her children. I was so moved by emotion written into every page of this book and was brought to tears several times. As she learns to cope with life on her own she finds herself being led by her husband's voice from the other side. She discovers how the loss of her husband actually saved the life of another person she loves. I was so gripped by the story that I could not put this book down. I was intrigued by the author's bridge between life and death; between here and beyond. As Jennifer learns to interact with friends and family again, it is very interesting to watch how the relationships begin and progress. Her determination is real and inspiring. It truly teaches that even in death, there is a new beginning. This is a very good read and not for the faint of heart.
Disclosure: I was given two copies of this book in exchange for my honest review. The second copy will be given away in a blog hop event coming up soon!

Monday Morning Winner Announcements

The winner of the Rafflecopter Round Up is.....
And the winner of the Rock N Learn dvd or cd of choice is...
Congratulations to the winners!
Thanks to everyone who participated!
Thanks to our sponsors!
Didn't win? Lots more chances to win right HERE.

9/25/11

Planet Weidknecht Weekend Hop - Join Us



Link up your blog, facebook and twitter!
Yay Weekend!

Quit Eating Like a Pig Diet - Day 20

Weight Change -0.4lbs
Cumulative Weight Change -8.8lbs
Some people choose to look into www.nutritiondegreeonline.org when they realize how important healthy eating is for our lives.

No breakfast, slept in, coffee.
Lunch: Mix of Brown Rice, Corn, Broccoli, Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce, Coffee
Snack: Whole Wheat Honey Bread
Dinner: Banana, Watermelon, Potato with Salsa, Wheat Tortilla, Water


Dreaming of Remodeling Again

My husband just groans when I start watching those remodeling shows. It happens about twice a year. I'll sit down for a couple weeks and watch nothing but the do-it-yourself shows. And then, I get the bug again. I need to change something in my house. It means we're going to remodel again. And by "we" I mean "he" is going to have to do another project for me. Lucky for him, I always trade him a new tool for a new project. He likes that part.

We've been in this house for about six years and even though we probably won't retire here, the way the economy sits right now, there is no telling when the housing market will bounce back so we'll be here a while. Right now, we're under water since we put the backyard swimming pool in (no pun intended) so we cannot refinance until we pay off the pool. That's kind of a bummer since rates are so low right now. Because of the home daycare here, weekend projects are usually what we can accomplish. I keep thinking I'd love to have wood or laminate flooring in the daycare rooms. The carpeting in those two rooms just gets yucky and it's a pain to drag out the carpet cleaner. I would love to just sweep or mop up messes instead of that! Laminate floors seem like they are a breeze to clean up and from what I've read, they are really quick to install.

I think my husband could probably redo a floor in a weekend. Or maybe over Christmas break we could redo the entire downstairs flooring. I always take a week off daycare between Christmas and New Year because that's one of the least inconvenient times for a daycare vacation for all the families. I think I can hear my husband already groaning about the new project and I haven't even told him yet!

Quit Eating Like a Pig Diet - Day 17 18 19

Day 17 Menu
Breakfast: Shredded Wheat Cereal in Soy Milk
Lunch: Veggie Wrap (raw veggies in a wheat tortilla)
Snack: Green Olives
Dinner: Red Beans and Brown Rice
No weight change.

Day 18
Breakfast: Whole Wheat Honey Bread, Banana, Coffee
Lunch: Red Beans and Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Honey Bread, Coffee
Snack: Pickles
Dinner at Serrano's: Mushroom Enchiladas, Black Beans, Two Margaritas
No weight change.

Day 19
No breakfast, slept in YAY!
Lunch at Subway: Veggie Delight on Whole Wheat, Water
Dinner: Black beans, potatoes, corn tortillas, hot sauce, coffee
Gained a pound back overnight, probably from the two margaritas.