Get Your Skin Glowing!


I was so excited to try the new YOUTH Advanced Skincare Package when it came out in 2017.  As a busy homeschool mom, I never knew which skincare products to use.  The only one I had faithfully used and loved was Shaklee’s former Enfuselle Moisturizer.  So I was a little scared knowing if I would love the new YOUTH line as much.  Wow, it was amazing!

The Luminous Gel Oil Cleanser truly got my eye makeup off!  I had been used to an exfoliating scrub… but the way my skin was cleansed and how it felt afterward was AMAZING.

The Perfecting Skin Toner exfoliated in a way that my scrub did… except not with anything abrasive!  I was shocked at how my pores shrunk and my blackheads disappeared in just a couple of weeks!

My favorite part of the Advanced Anti-Aging Regimen is the Youth Activating Serum.  With the Retinol A, the wrinkles quickly began diminishing.


Yet, even with my sensitive skin, I didn’t have a reaction that I hear happens to others with other skincare routines.  You might also consider the YOUTH Moisture Activating Serum.  Not sticky like other serums, it does a fantastic job of locking in moisture.  In fact, in clinical trials, applicants noticed increased hydration after 8 hours with just ONE use!  92% of women experienced hydration for up to 24 hours.

Working in conjunction in the daytime with the serum, is the YOUTH Age Defense Mineral Moisturizer.  Because it contains SPF 30, it gently protects and moisturizes the skin while using the serum.  However, I have also tried the YOUTH Moisture Lock Day Cream and I love it too!

At night, I have enjoyed the Advanced Renewal Night Cream.  In the winter, I love how my skin is not chapped with the rich cream.  In the summer, I love how refreshing the light cream is.


But that’s not the best part!  This month, and until June 30th, 2019, you will receive TWO free YOUTH masks with the regimen of YOUR choice!  These masks are awesome!  I had a spa party at my church earlier this year and ALL the women not only loved the whole YOUTH line, but they ALL agreed that the masks were incredible.  The first is the activated charcoal mask.  It is great for addressing breakouts of all kinds.   The second is the YOUTH Hydrating Gel Mask.  Not only will you look like an Egyptian Queen – you won’t want to take it off!


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Faithful in All Situations – How to Stay the Parenting Course


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Whether you are a parent of a child in a public, private, or homeschool, I would like to share with you today what will be a short series on some tips on how to overcome doubt and adversity despite the worst year of your life.  This is not a guide to see life wearing rose-colored glasses.  Though my life is scattered with several hardships, today I am going to share how my worst teaching (and probably worst parenting) year ever has made me into the wiser and smarter parent I am today.  First, I will take you into my story.  The year? 2014.  I will share with you what happened as a whole and how it affected me.  On my next post, I will share with you how, following the dreadful school year of 2013-2014, that summer I read a book I had no idea would change my understanding of who I am, where I came from, and where I wanted to go.  The book was about Helen Keller (the blind and deaf girl) as told by her TEACHER.  In it, there were had so many epiphanies on how not just to help my kids….but me.  I am reading it for the second time now and am still blown away by how her teacher struggle is so relevant to all parents today.

Here’s the setup.  It was my second year homeschooling.  I was teaching 2nd grade to my seven-year-old daughter while also learning to manage a one-year-old toddler.  I think I recall our homeschool year began happily with our usual scavenger hunt to ring in the school year. But soon math was a nightmare.  My daughter fought with me or whined about some part of it nearly every day while my son would scream at the top of his lungs begging for someone to pay attention to him.   I quickly learned that my daughter considered subtraction as her enemy – and therefore, since I was making her do it anyway… I also became her enemy. I was losing my joy – fast.  One day I even videotaped our lessons to show my daughter her behavior… except… yikes!  I was so depressed to see the look of numbness on my face – I never showed her.  No excitement was in my eyes.  Worse yet… I had lost how to discuss math with love.  My tone was business only… yet I also felt bad for the reflection of me on the screen.  That lady looking back at me was SO TIRED.  She was out of options for getting such a smart little girl, completely capable of learning to stop being so stubborn!  She could not see that she was against herself.  I could see that inside her she could do it!  I had to turn the video off; it was too dreadful to watch us both suffering.  I then thought to myself… I was a straight-A student in math in school.  In my background, I had tutored math to the most troubled student to the smartest student.  Why was my daughter, who I loved more than life itself, so unbelievably HARD?

My house was a nightmare.  I could never get things clean after feeling so defeated in my lessons.  The mess negatively affected my husband, who was experiencing a new level of stress at work.  It was a snowball effect of disaster.  By Christmas, we decided we needed a vacation!  Actually, I wasn’t sure a vacation would help.  I was ready to throw in the towel and put my daughter in school.  I thought surely she could learn from someone – just not me.  But as I prayed, God kept showing me the word “faith.”  Everywhere I went I saw the word.  When my husband brought me home a new car, the Hyundai “Santa Fe,” which is “Holy Faith” in Spanish… I knew God was telling me not to give up.  His word to me that kept popping up over and over was “faith.”  It seemed clear that it was not just about school, but also to focus on having “faith” for the incoming 2014 New Year.  So casually, I thought…”Thanks God!”  I mean, who couldn’t use more faith?  And yet I also wondered why I needed more faith… because I am a person who tends to already look for the best of things.

But the funny thing is, I know that God both prepared me and must have had a sense of humor.   People!  2014 was like the year of Job for me!!!  God was SERIOUS. He didn’t cause what was to come.  I think He was telling me to have faith because that year would be like a series of hailstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes all together!!!

We went to Disney World!  Yippee, right?  No.  Head on over to my blog post for how I survived and thrived after that trip.  When we came back, I was shaken, but not overcome.  But by March, things both for me at home and for hubby at work, became closer to hell, or so I thought.  I became scared about how tired I was.  My doctor increased my thyroid medication.  Didn’t work.  I then saw a new doctor who put me on Naturethroid.  I seemed to stabilize.

Well, turns out Naturethroid wasn’t weapon enough to combat my daughter’s attitude, nor my son not sleeping, nor the stress of my husband dealing with a nightmare employee.  By the end of March, my adrenals were shot.  I was scared.  By July, my doctor agreed that my adrenals needed help.  I detoxed my liver.  Seemed to be stabilized.

Seeing a pattern here?  Crash. Stable.  Crash.  Stable.  On some days I was able to cope with all the adversity.  On other days, I just wanted out.  To go somewhere on a mountain and scream.  But because I felt God had signaled me before the year started to have faith, I was able to hang on spiritually, though I was physically weakening fast.  I knew God heard me.  I also felt His presence despite arrow after arrow coming at us month after month.

But then it got WORSE.

On July 13, 2014, I found a lump in my breast.  I made another appointment back to the doctor the next day, who confirmed that she also felt a lump.  She seemed concerned and immediately scheduled me to have a Mammogram three days later to determine if the lump was malignant or benign.  Those were the longest three days of my life. I did not want to call my mom and worry her.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  I felt like the past year of fighting over math with my daughter was wasted time.  What if I died?  Who would teach her about the heart things of life?  What about the birds and the bees talk?  Who would be there for her?  Of course, I worried about my son too.  But I was more worried about the things a mother and daughter should do that we could be cut short on.  However, it seemed that every moment that I felt panicked, God would send someone to pray for me or something to encourage me.  I remember driving home from the doctor that day and just breaking down in sobs at a stop sign.  In between my sobs, I could hear a song on the radio come on in that instant with words as if from God to comfort me.  The next day, I took my daughter to a playdate at her friend’s house.  Her mom and I were also friends and was someone I could rely on to earnestly pray for me.  She heard my story and as we both got on our knees and prayed for our families, she also prayed for complete healing for me.

On the third day, July 16th, I finally went for my mammogram.  I was so terrified.  I left our kids home with my husband so my daughter would not worry about me and I would not have to explain to her why I was there.  All alone, I waited for my name to be called.  When it was my turn, an older nurse welcomed me with a caring voice.  She saw the fear in my eyes and got a warm blanket for me to put on my shoulders.  She asked me to locate the lump.  But when I looked for it, I could not even feel it.  I invited her to check.  She couldn’t feel it either!  I wasn’t phased that not feeling the lump meant anything at that moment.  I only thought it had moved or that I was too nervous to locate it correctly.  She left the room for a few minutes and consulted with doctors.  She sweetly smiled and told me that if I couldn’t find the lump and she couldn’t find the lump, then there was no use in putting me through the mammogram.  However, the doctors all agreed that an ultrasound would indeed locate any suspicious matter.  As I was on the ultrasound table, I slowly began to realize that the doctor wasn’t finding ANYTHING.  He said that there was NO lump whatsoever – anywhere.  But when he said everything looked NORMAL, I was in amazement!  Wow!  God had healed me! No lump!  Which meant no cancer!

Words cannot express my gratitude that the lump had disappeared.  I felt in that moment that this was the climax of my year that God had been preparing me to stay the course.  To keep the faith.  I could have easily fallen apart long before.  But He held me up even to the moment.  I also felt it was ironic that I had been spared such a potentially serious diagnosis.  In fact, that very day I found out my lump was gone, a friend I had known for several years, who was my exact same age and also had a child, was diagnosed with breast cancer and is still suffering as I write this.  So many people I know are struggling with cancer or have lost their battle.  I would wonder to God – Why Me?  Why was I spared?  I will never know but I am in some way thankful for those scary three days.  I got to wear the dreaded shoes to the oncologist area and to realize all the millions of terrifying thoughts that go through their minds.  Perhaps I live to be their voice?  But mostly, I think it is to testify that God still heals today and to share His power!  He’s powerful y’all! And He cares about YOU!

Some questions I still had.  After such a rollercoaster year of huge dips and short periods of normalcy… was my family in the position to remain a homeschooling family?  Honestly, I can tell you that I was NOT ready.  Yet all I continued to feel was God’s continual urge for me to continue to have faith.  (For real, God?)  My main focus for the rest of that summer was to rest in Him.  He was not releasing me from my calling to homeschool my daughter.  My health recovered, my lump was gone, and my husband’s job situation were all regenerated.  Whether I could reach my daughter in her math?  That was a matter I left for God.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content and in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. ~ Philippians 4:12

I also learned that year to that I will never assume that I know what God intends.  What I thought was going to be a happy go-lucky year of “Faith” really meant for me to be faithful in every situation. I feel God would say not just to me, but to all: “Seek Me, despite anything.  Follow Me and I will uphold you.”  He did just what He promised.

Are you experiencing a drought or storm in your life?  Here are five tips to help you along:

  1. Rest.
  2. Take it to Jesus.
  3. Have Faith!
  4. Be Thankful! Even in the darkest of times, a great idea is to find at least three things to be thankful for.  It only takes one good moment to change your circumstances.  Even if it is just a little thing… when we focus on being thankful, we align ourselves more with God’s goodness and are less likely to miss the times He carried us in the day.
  5. Surround yourself with scripture.  During this year, I couldn’t always get to my Bible.  But I would be reminded through friends or in the oddest of places verses to encourage me.

Can I pray for you?  Please post in the comments how I can pray for you.  Do you have a story you’d like to share about how you survived an awful year?  I’d like to hear it in the comments too!

he-carries-us 2017(to be continued)… stay tuned for tips I learned that year to regain our household and homeschool joy.


Happy Rosh Hashanah! Leshana Tova Tikoseiv Vesichoseim!

Happy Rosh Hashanah!  It’s the Jewish New Year 5777!  rosh_hashanah-1 10.04.2016

Leshana Tova Tikoseiv Vesichoseim!  Which means, in Hebrew:  May you (immediately) be inscribed and sealed for a Good Year (and for a Good, Peaceful Life)!!!!

The Hebrew New Year, Rosh Hashanah has been very meaningful in my adult life for two reasons 1) I love the Jewish culture and learning how the Old Testament Prophecies have come to pass in the New Testament and are still coming to pass today and 2) Rosh Hashanah often either coincides or happens right around mine and my daughter’s birthdays.  It is a celebration and representation to me that not only am I getting older (and wiser!), but also that I anticipate more of God’s promises coming alive in my life and for the world at the New Year.

This past week I got to celebrate my birthday in California.  I decided to put on my best jewelry and enjoy the day exploring Sausalito and San Francisco.  It was a fabulous day!  Until… we got to Presidio and I scooped up my 4-year-old into my arms just to hug him and run across the luscious lawn to explore our surroundings.  And that’s when I just happened to look down.  I saw the chain on my necklace had come undone… and my charm was gone.  Though it is true that I could always but it online again, this realization really made me sad.  It really could have been anywhere.  I didn’t feel it drop.  I just noticed it.  This is the story of how it was found, why this is a New Year I’ll never forget, and how God cares about you in all circumstances of your life – even the difficult ones.

This necklace had been given to me as an anniversary present in 2009 and had the words both in Hebrew and in English known as the Shema.  The website, Judaism 101 states that the “Shema is one of only two prayers that are specifically commanded in Torah.  It is the oldest fixed daily prayer in Judaism, recited morning and night since ancient times. It consists of three biblical passages, two of which specifically say to speak of these things “when you lie down and when you rise up.” ( My necklace states the beginning portion of Deuteronomy 6:4:  “The Lord is God.  The Lord is One.”  I chose it to remind me that I should remember to speak the Word over my children and remember how “the Lord is God” over even the most exhausting moments of motherhood.  While I am not a Jew by faith, I do consider myself as a somewhat of a Messianic Jew.  I love uncovering the mysteries hidden there for the believer!

So as I went back to my car and saw the necklace had not fallen there, I was discouraged, though I REFUSED to let my joy to be stolen.  It was my birthday.  I was in California.  I was going to look forward and ask God to give me clarity regarding the lost charm.  I silently prayed in the car.  Suddenly, I realized that my phone had pictures of me at our previous destination WITH the necklace on.  So I knew that it wasn’t there.  It had to be in Presidio.

shema-mobius-1 10.04.2016

We arrived at the Palace of the Fine Arts.  It was gorgeous.  I remembered that my husband had brought me here almost 16 years ago when we first started dating.  Such marvelous architecture.  As I walked around, I began to pray more.  In our homeschool, we are learning about Ephesians 6,  also known as “The Armor of God” chapter.  I also recently joined a Bible study on the topic.  Just before my arrival to California, we studied about how there are invisible wars being waged around us.  Satan knows how to really bother us and there are angels fighting on our behalf.  I kid you not folks, in the same way that I just happened to look down and discover my necklace was missing, I just happened to look UP… and inside the roof of the Palace of the Fine Arts were – ANGELS!  I had forgotten they were there.palace-of-fine-arts-1-e1487223457589 10.04.2016

angel-e1487223346997 10.04.201620160924_165514

The angels encircled the whole dome.  As I began to pray, I knew in my heart that we had to go back to Presidio.  Suggesting the craziness of the idea to my husband was a different idea all together.  And just as I thought that… my hubby asks me if we should go back to the location where I discovered it was gone.  Immediately, the whole family hopped into the car.  I again prayed and prayed the whole way there and had a peace in my heart.

Prayer, in my study, is described as the first piece of armor we have to use against the enemy.  I was focused and determined to search.  When I got out of the car, I immediately stepped onto the lawn to find the necklace.  I, again, was praying.  It seemed as if my prayer was almost like a metal detector leading me right to it – because in 5 minutes, THERE MY EYES SAW IT LYING ON THE GRASS!!!!!

My daughter ran over and I picked her up and twirled her around how God had answered my prayers!!!!  A horrible annoyance that could have ruined my birthday became a birthday I will never forget!

It affirmed in my heart what my resolution is for my new year:  to take back what the enermy was stolen.  He tries to steal our joy.  He wants you to be distracted.  Not to notice the good going on in life.  To be too busy to be thankful.  Well… not on my watch, buddy!  I am taking my life back.  Will you?  I will be sharing the measures I have taken to throughout the past few years, and especially 2016, to prepare to take my life back.  This Rosh Hashanah, I am so thankful for a God who cares even about a lost necklace.  Did he do it because I’m special?  No.  He did it because He cares about me and even the little things concerning my life.  He did it just to show He loves me.  Maybe even just to say “Happy Birthday” and that He wants a Peaceful and Good Life for me.

He wants it for you, too.  Happy Rosh Hashanah everyone!  The Lord Bless you and keep you.  The Lord make His face shine upon you and give to you His Shalom peace!

Beating Fatigue: What My Lab Tests Revealed and the Odd Valentine’s Food my Hubby Cooked to Correct It.


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I took the chance this winter to follow up on my thyroid panel with my doctor.  On this visit, one test particularly struck me as interesting – ferritin

What is ferritin?  The amount of iron your body stores away in your bone marrow.

My lab results stated that my Ferritin result was 41.4.  The range for a normal ferritin result is between 80 and 150.

This was both good news and bad news to me.  Good, because this was not my lowest ferritin result I’ve ever had.  In fact, it was one of my best.  But bad, because I had still been tired an hour till my next dose of vitamins/meds and my hair was falling out, so if 80 is the minimum… HOW was I going to get it up and WHY was this number NOT going up if both the foods I eat and the supplements I take include a lot of iron?  Strangely, the last time I had my iron checked, my iron was high and yet my ferritin was lowOdd sounding to you?  It was to me too.

iron-deficiency-checklist 03.30.2015

So I asked my doctor and I was amazed at her response.

She asked if I have suffered from heavy menstrual periods in my life.  My response was a resounding “yes!”  She explained that this condition makes it very difficult to keep iron reserves stored up.  She compared it to getting a bath running for my toddler and leaving the room for the bath to fill.  Except, when I got back, I realized that I had forgotten to plug the drain and all the water I had hoped was plugged was now down the drain.  In the same way, this is what happens to the iron I take all month long…. it pretty much goes down the drain each month during my cycle.  No doctor I’ve ever had has ever known how to get ferritin up or shared this knowledge with me.  In fact, I learned just a few consecutive heavy periods can cause iron losses that are difficult to reverse without supplementation.

This made me scratch my head.  What could I do to prevent my iron from draining each month?  My doctor recommended several methods to eliminate my cycle all together.  After researching this, I realized I am not ready for that.  Secondly, she informed me that it is not the milligrams of iron that I receive every month that increases the storage of ferritin – it is the number of milligrams of elemental iron received.  As long as I received 29 grams of ELEMENTAL iron a day, then this would boost my ferritin significantly.  Lastly, she suggested that if I didn’t up my elemental iron by supplementing, the only other option would be for me to increase my organ meat consumption.  Gulp… if you haven’t guessed by now, this means eating liver.

Okay y’all.  I have NEVER eaten liver in my life.  But the look on my doctor’s face said to me that it really would help.  Naturally, I turned to the best person I knew who was knowledgeable about eating organ meat – my husband.  In his Chinese culture, eating most parts of the animal is perfectly normal and acceptable.  In fact, pork liver is his mom’s favorite kind of soup.  Not only is it something they enjoy eating, but the Chinese believe that if there is a part of your body that is ill, it is very beneficial for you to eat that part of the animal to help your own body to heal.  After I thought about it, I realized that one of the greatest places my Hashimoto’s disease afflicts me, is the liver.  The liver is where the thyroid hormones are converted to bring energy throughout the body.

After talking with my hubby about “Operation Increase Ferritin”, I had totally forgotten about it.  I didn’t think he remembered our conversation either.  But lo and behold, at our next trip to the Chinese grocery store, my husband spotted the pork liver and encouraged me to get my courage up to give it a try.  I felt so loved by him and sick just thinking about eating it all at once.  I found myself agreeing to try…

Totally coincidentally, on Valentine’s Day, my thoughtful hubby very patiently and thoroughly made me his pork liver soup.  On this day, 12 years prior, my husband asked my hand in marriage with a filet mignon dinner he personally torched for me.  How ironic is it that now we have two kids and he’s lovingly making me pork LIVER soup???  I would have never believed you folks, if you had told me!  You’re probably wondering if I ate it.  Yes, I ate every bite. My kids did too!  My daughter, who eats barely anything, liked it.  My son GOBBLED it and asked for seconds.  Me?  Not so much.  The aftertaste is something I can’t handle… though I actually thought the texture is what would get me.  That wasn’t bad at all.  I thought it was going to be a regular meal I could incorporate into our routine…

Well then?  What to do?  I was happy to discover that the VitaLea I have already been taking is the most excellent source of ELEMENTAL iron that is out there – ferrous fumarate, which is 33% elemental iron (see below). I just needed to take more of it.  I also discovered that Shaklee has another iron pill that stands alone to add to the VitaLea I also take.  I have now been taking my doubled dose for several weeks.  And guess what?  My menstrual cycle was not filled with horrible PMS and was NOT as heavy!  I am very excited!  I have also noticed that my brain has been clearer and I have had more energy.

Having Hashimoto’s Disease displays symptoms like extreme fatigue and weakness, memory loss, and poor immune system function.  But did you know that low iron is also related to proper brain, muscle and immune system function?  Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding are also particularly in need of proper iron.

That was last month.  Since then, I have doubled my iron dose.  And who would’ve guessed it?  My cycle was more normalized and I wasn’t smacked down like I often am every month!  I am so thankful for Shaklee’s Vita-Lea and the extra Iron Plus C-Complex that I’ve added to my normal routine.

Be sure you check out the PERCENTAGES of iron below.  It is very important that the scientific name of your iron is listed below.  You’ll want your iron to be at least 33% elemental iron, (Shaklee does).  For instance, there is a product called Floradix that sells for $36 at the Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods.  But when you look closer, you can clearly see the iron inside their product is only 12% elemental.  Shaklee’s scientists have intentionally chosen Ferrous Fumarate as the iron in Vitalizer, Vita-Lea, and Iron Plus C-Complex because it is the most absorbable form of elemental iron.

For Iron to properly be absorbed, please know that you MUST have Vitamin C with it – to take without food.  Thankfully, not only has Shaklee created their iron with the greatest amount of elemental iron – they have taken the guess-work out of remembering to take your Vitamin C at the same time and have included it already in the same pill.  It’s also inexpensive.  If you already have a multivitamin, then the
Iron Plus C-Complex might be for you at the low member’s price of $8.65!

You will feel better.  That’s a promise or your money back. Any purchase of Vitalizer comes with *free* membership and a 15% lifetime discount. 

If you are still unsure about taking iron because of usual side effects, don’t worry!  Check out the list below.  The best part about any of the 3 products is that there are NO side effects.  You only feel great! NO gas.  NO bad aftertaste.  NO constipation.

Why Shaklee’s Iron? What’s the difference?

    • non-constipating
    • no aftertaste
    • does not cause belching
    • free of artificial colors and flavors
    • Always Safe
    • Always Works or your money back, no questions asked.
    • Always Green & Non-GMO
    • Formulated for Maximum Absorption with C to properly absorb
    • 33% Elemental Iron in the from of Ferrous Fumarate 
    • Vegetarian Formulated
    • Gluten Free, Certified Kosher

I hope you choose Shaklee.  Your support means so much to me as I am working while homeschooling.  Click on the above links and go to my store.  Please subscribe to my blog, TheWholeDeel, by clicking on the envelope icon on the top right.   Also be sure to like me on Facebook by clicking on the FB icon or here:

H O W   M U C H  ELEMENTAL I R O N  I S  I N   T H I S   P I L L ?

To calculate how much elemental iron is in an iron supplement:

Ferrous fumarate = 33% elemental iron

(i.e., 100mgs contain only 33mgs elemental iron)

Ferrous gluconate = 12% elemental iron

Ferrous sulfate = 20% elemental iron

Ferrous sulfate, exsiccated = 32% elemental iron

Ferric ammonium citrate = 18% elemental iron

Ferrous bisglycinate = 20% elemental iron

Heme-iron polypeptide= 100% elemental iron

Polysaccharide-iron complex = 100% elemental iron

Carbonyl iron = 100% elemental iron

Some Other Tips:

  • Stomach antacids and reflux medicines reduce iron absorption. If you need them, take them separately.
  • Foods rich in tannic acid (e.g., black coffee, black or green tea), or in phytates (e.g., bran, sesame seeds), reduce iron absorption. Don’t use them at the same time as iron supplements.
  • It is okay to also increase iron-rich foods in your diet: organic organ meats, whole grains, organic dried fruits, and acidic foods cooked in cast-iron pans (e.g., tomato-based sauces).
  • Dark leafy greens contain iron, but their oxalic acid content can make it too hard to absorb iron, so they may not be the best source of iron.
  • (Note: Iron tinctures and homeopathic iron preparations do not contain elemental iron.)

Introducing Shaklee Vitalizer™–
the most advanced multinutrient supplement pack in the marketplace today.Start your journey to a healthier life today with Vitalizer.  More than just a
single multivitamin, Vitalizer gives you 80 bio-optimized nutrients clinically
proven to create a foundation for a longer, healthier life*–all in one
convenient daily serving.

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Click here to watch another video on how Vitalizer synergistically works with Life Shake!

St. Patrick – More than Shamrocks and Leprechauns


St. Patrick's DayHappy St. Patrick’s Day!  I was so tickled to create these cute pots of gold for my 2-year-old class I teach every Monday at my Classical Conversations group.  These kids have been so cute all year long and really soaking up every subject we’ve been learning about.  So I really wanted this year to be a time where I could teach them who St. Patrick REALLY was and what the day really signifies.  Whether you are Irish or not, chances are you might now know that the holiday is more than being pinched if you don’t wear green and that it is not about luck.

To explain this, I “read” by summarizing the pictures of this book I found from Voice of the Martyrs called, “St. Patrick: More than Shamrocks and Leprachauns.” I never realized how much his story parallels Joseph in the Bible who was captured and sold as a slave.  Except that St. Patrick was sold as a slave, escaped to return to his family, and obeyed God to go BACK to the land where he could have been hurt for his faith just to tell them to “trust in the Lord with all their heart” and that “nothing is impossible with God.”  Wow!  I know there is more to his story than even this.  But to convey just this much to 2-year-olds is awesome.  They get it.  My 8-year-old was all over it too.

After the story, we talked about how God wants us to store our treasures in heaven.  So we made pots of gold with each child’s treasures: Jesus and each of their family members… people they will all see again in heaven.  But I really loved one girl treasured “learning”… and I think that’s a treasure to totally store in heaven!

I got the idea for these cute pots with a combination of these bloggers.  For the pot, I just took the template from  For the back of the pot, I glued a printable that you can also download free from the link above that quoted Matthew 6:20, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”


matthew 6.20 click here to get these FREE printables for the pot and Matthew 6:20 quote from

You can see my idea from  For the coins, I just traced a circular bottle and cut them out.

I think the part the kids in my class liked the most, was the “stickers” I made them from the .pdf file available at’s blog.  Her whole blog is filled with great printables.


Of course, this post would not be complete without mentioning the AMAZING corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots my husband brought home from Cracker Barrel tonight!  All of us kept saying, “YUM!”  Gluten-Free.  The kids easily understood that the wee bit of Irish in them from my side of the family is equally as fun as it is delicious.  How does it get better than that?

Have a Blessed St. Patty’s Day!


Spring Cleaning: The Non-Toxic, Cheap, Easy Way


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A friend recently asked me how I have time to clean my house when I homeschool a second-grader and a toddler entering the terrible twos.

The answer?

I don’t have time to clean.  I DO NOT LIKE cleaning.  But I have learned to make time.

This past school year has been a roller coaster of schedule changes.

1. The first quarter I literally did not know how to clean because I was so overwhelmed by so much.

2. The second and third quarters, I decided that we would clean during the mornings and then I would teach my daughter during my son’s nap time.  This worked okay for me.  Except we couldn’t be consistent with keeping the house cleaned AFTER school.  Which means, this method was not really working for anybody.

3. The fourth quarter (now), we have decided we are going to have a better bedtime and wake up schedule in this house.

We have been waking up and getting ready for the day, and reading our devotions during breakfast.  Then school begins and is over before 11:30 a.m.  Lunch is at 11:30 a.m.  Any remaining school is finished.  By 12:30 p.m. we are done and ready for cleaning.   Nap time for the Mister is around 1:30-2.  During his nap, Mommy and daughter time commences along with any other things we need to pick up.  Snacks.  Dinner.  Baths. Bed.

If you know me, you know that cleaning is a constant struggle for me.  That’s why I was delighted to find Shaklee’s GET CLEAN line in 2010.  I was overcoming extreme fatigue at the time.  How would I clean when I was so tired?  When I finally got to cleaning, my lungs would react horribly to the fumes while cleaning my shower.  I had to literally wear a face mask just to do the job.  Since using the entire GET CLEAN line, I can even feel comfortable having my toddler help me with the laundry and dust my counters.  I love the fact that stains from blood, to grape juice, to grass – all come out of our clothes with minimal effort.  I love that I can get mildew off my shower without holding my breath with Basic-G and that Basic-H does everything else from cleaning my vegetables, to getting silly putty out of kids clothes, to cleaning my counters…. and I’ve had the SAME 16oz. bottle for 4 YEARS!!!!  FOUR YEARS!  That part seals the deal for me, not to mention it would take $3,400 to get the same clean from other products that make my lungs feel like they’re crumbling.  Or the thought of how many bottles I would be wasting.  Or, more importantly, my time being wasted just going down the cleaning aisle of the store to replace a bottle.  When, at home, I just make a new bottle whenever I need it.

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I was also amazed by how many kids are affected in our schools by these cleaners constantly around them.  So many cleaners today are directly related to allergies, asthma, autism, ADHD, and more.  

Shocking too, was the fact that stay-at-home-moms were the most likely to develop cancers due to the fact of toxic cleaner usage alone.

Please leave a comment and tell me how cleaners have affected you.  I am so accustomed to green cleaning now, my nose will detect Windex from the other side of the room and make me cough.  I am constantly changing how I clean my house, but am thankful I can always rely on Shaklee.


6 Tips for Weaning Your Toddler Gently & Meal Supplements for All Ages


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Last week, I shared our family nightmare story how our Disney vacation was pretty much not what we intended and how I relied on my natural medicine cabinet to get us through.  Unfortunately, the severity of my symptoms combined with the fact that I was determined not to have what was in my chest, move to my head, convinced me that I had to also resort to a Mucinex tablet.  Ugh.  I was bummed.

Ironically, I was praying and wondering about when would be the right time to remove my 21-month old toddler from his last weaning.  I just didn’t think it would be during vacation.  At least not the way it did.  There were a few nights in the month where he had gone to sleep without nursing.  So I knew the time was coming near.  I realized that there was really not much of a nutritional benefit for him to keep nursing, he just depended on the time to get drowsy.

Being sick in a hotel was not the time I was thinking about completely ending our nighttime routine.  I was sad because he was sick too… and wanted his only nursing to help him get better.  The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I would be suffering and would delay my recovery.  Sigh, if mom is not well – it delays the recovery of everyone else too.  What a vicious cycle.

So I felt I had no choice.  This it how it went.

On the first night, I nursed him for 3-5 minutes when I was due for my next Mucinex dose.  By the second night, I found that the same instrumental music that helps my 7-year-old to sleep, might soothe him, if I bounced him on the bed.  (This is dreamy music folks, and a lot of it is in Latin.  Ties in well with the Latin with our Classical Conversations community, but anyone would love it.)  Surprising though, was that not only did he like the music – he was SINGING along with me in his Latin toddler mumble until he drifted off to sleep!  It was BETTER than nursing!  He even slept all night long in the hotel without waking up… something he doesn’t do at home.

If you are having difficulty weaning your baby, don’t panic.  I had never planned to nurse this child past 13 months.  With my daughter, I planned to nurse through one year old and succeeded in going to 13 months.  However, my son LOVED nursing.  I didn’t mind because he is my last baby.  But by the time he turned 18 months, with no signs of him weaning… I started to freak out.  Family started questioning why I was still nursing, which didn’t bother me.  But when I could feel the health of my thyroid begin to suffer, I knew.  It was time.

If you are wondering how to begin weaning your baby/toddler, here are…

My Top 6 Tips:

1. Understand there is no rush.  Your toddler won’t be nursing until college.  Just like you knew that nursing was the best source of nutrition for your child, you’ll know when to stop. Don’t feel pressured by family who do not understand your extended nursing.  It is perfectly normal to nurse into toddlerhood.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO):

Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival.  If every child was breastfed within an hour of birth, given only breast milk for their first six months of life, and continued breastfeeding up to the age of two years, about 800,000 child lives would be saved every year.

2.  To Wait or Not to Wait.  Deciding when to start weaning can be tough.  Until your family schedule is free from major trips, holidays – anything that is stressful in your life – wait – so that you can be consistent with your decision to wean.  For me, I would find that if something stressful was happening in the week and my son’s very loud cry increased my stress, that I would cave in and nurse him just to make life calm for me.  Due to my son’s overpowering personality, I knew I had to be ready to get my game on and be ready to stick to my guns no matter how he acted.

On the other hand, perhaps you have a child who is so easily distracted that a weekend away may make the whole process easier and quicker for you.

You will know what is best for the personalities of you and your child.  One sign my son gave me was that he was able to point to himself and say his name.  And then point to me and say, “Mommy.”  This showed me he understood we are two separate beings.  He is not another part of my body.  He is his own person.  He is a big boy.

3.  Take One Feeding out at a time... even if it is over a period of months.  I recall that around April 2013, when my son turned one, I was still at five feedings a day: Waking, Morning Nap, Afternoon nap, Bedtime, and Middle of the Night feedings.  I actually thought he wouldn’t notice if I just cut out the first three and just kept bedtime.  Oh boy.  He was not happy.  Neither was… *ahem*, my body.  We naturally moved to three feedings after his morning nap phased out.  How to cut the others was harder for me.

4.  Replace missing feeding with a Shaklee Meal Shake or a Shaklee Life Shake.

I realized the main reason why I was having a difficult time was that I didn’t know WHAT I would use to replace my son’s nursings.  I found out that my daughter was lactose intolerant when she was 2.5 years old.  I did not want to even try to wean him with cow’s milk.  I was able to get him to like Almond Milk if I flavored it with vanilla extract.  But I was bummed that the Almond Milk was nowhere near the calories for the amount of breastmilk he had at a feeding.  There was no way I wanted to use formula from the stores.  The amount of protein they offered was laughable. It was also unlikely he would take to it because breastmilk is so sweet.

It then dawned on me.  The Shaklee Meal Shake would be a great replacement (please also see below about other options as well)!  Coming in Vanilla and Cocoa flavors, they are whey protein and no artificial anything and Gluten Free.  They are as yummy as a McDonald’s milkshake.  And it offers 19 essential vitamins and minerals and 7 grams of protein.

I tried it the next day with his almond milk.  My son LOVED IT!  I then immediately tried having him drink one before his afternoon nap and just sing him to sleep.  Bingo!  It worked!

Now is a great time to try.  Any 50 PV purchase made with The Whole Deel gets FREE lifetime membership pricing AND will receive a FREE canister of the Cafe Latte Life Shake listed below.  Offer has been extended to March 31st, 2014.healthier future _ 02.26.2014

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5.  Set a schedule.

I was down to three feedings by December.   Waking, Bedtime, and Middle of the Night.  His sleeping patterns were horrible and he wasn’t eating well during the day.  I suddenly realized that this was because he was eating all night long,  so of course he wasn’t hungry during the day!  Middle of the Night feedings were the next to go.  (Stay tuned for this description when I post about overcoming poor sleep habits).

Setting a schedule seemed the best way to cut his middle of the night cravings and prepared for my next elimination:  waking.  If he went to bed no later than 8pm, then he would do better lasting through the night until breakfast.  If he woke up at the same time every morning, he would eat a better breakfast and forget about wanting to nurse.  You may choose to cut bedtime first.  It all depends on your child.

6. Distraction

It took about a week for him to accept no more nursings upon waking.  How I did it was I immediately told him it was time to eat as I changed his morning diaper.  I made him breakfast immediately and he ate an entire egg he was so hungry!  Wow.  Another sign to me that he was ready for this.  So encouraging for a mom.  If he did show signs of wanting to nurse, I would just distract him to look at toys.  Or tell him, “Milk all gone!”

This tactic I also had to use when we cut out our final bedtime weaning.  I explained to him that Mommy had a “boo boo” while pointing to my chest.  He seemed to understand.  As mentioned earlier, music is also a great distraction – especially at bedtime.

My kids love all four flavors of the Shaklee 180 protein.  And it’s great even for kids because it signals their body to build and retain lean muscle.


Now that your baby is weaned, it wasn’t that bad, was it?  Please tell me your stories. If you are confused at the order of my eliminations, I listed clearly at the end of this post.  I am happy to have more energy and feel I can be consistent again in the rest of my life.


We have loved the Meal Shakes by Shaklee to transition from breastmilk.  However, currently, we are transitioning to the Shaklee 180 Smoothees because of their higher protein content and the complete 9 amino acids that our bodies need.  My kids like both the Soy and the Whey.

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Soy is a controversial topic.  I am one to agree not to buy soy unless it is completely pure.  It comes in Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Caffe Latte.  Also available this season are Vanilla Chai and Mango.  With Shaklee, you can be 100% sure the soy is safe.  It offers:

  • 24 grams of hunger fighting protein
  • 6 grams of fiber
  • Powered by LeucineTM
  • 23 vitamins and minerals
  • Non-GMO soy protein
  • Low glycemic. GI Value: 37
  • No artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives added
  • Gluten free, lactose free

Note: Although this is in Shaklee Weight Management line, there is no need to fear for kids! It is all natural and the main reason it helps you to lose weight is because when you have more lean muscle, your metabolism works better! So if there is no fat to burn, you will just maintain lean muscle. My kids are strong and healthy and this is in no way a “weight loss” or management shake for them, but more of a way to get a high protein and fiber in them that is helping them build muscle – even at a young age!

The Whey Smoothee offers:

  • 24 grams of hunger fighting protein
  • 5 grams of fiber
  • Powered by LeucineTM
  • 23 vitamins and minerals
  • Soy-free, for those who are sensitive to soy
  • Low glycemic. GI Value: 32
  • No artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives added
  • Gluten free, 99% lactose free.

RECAP of the order of my Feeding Eliminations (Yours may differ):

1. Naps.

2. Middle of the Night.

3. Morning.

4. Bedtime.


Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Today was a Snow Day here in Ohio for the local schools.  Which meant a snow day for our Classical Conversations community as well.  It was bittersweet to miss our extended family of friends – but we had an unexpectedly fun day in our home school instead!

Our Math lesson today covered how to visualize what 1/4 looks like.  We had four, equally sized, clear, empty containers.  I filled one whole jar to the brim with liquid and asked my daughter to fill the other jar halfway (which would cause her original jar to be half).  The lesson brought home how 1/4 is simply half of a half and that all four quarters come together to create a whole.  We are just about finished with this RightStart Mathematics Level B course.  It will take a whole other post to sing my praise about it.  Let me just emphasize, for now, that it is a recurring theme throughout the book that numbers are related.  We do not just add numbers for the sake of adding.  All numbers have a relationship of which are either part or whole.  The way they repeatedly drive this home, visually and kinesthetically, empowers me with the tools I need to teach my daughter, who cried during math last year with a different curriculum.  She can now mentally add double digit numbers plus double digit numbers in her head.

After Math and lunch, a quick browsing of my e-mails reminded me that March 2nd was Theodore Geisel’s birthday.  Who’s that you ask?  The one, the only – Dr. Seuss!  So I continued the day in his honor.  We looked at Pinterest for ways to celebrate.  We found out my almost two-year-old son recognized the Cat in the Hat, and referred to him as the “Go-Guy” (made sense to us after the PBS song the Cat in the Hat sings about “go go go – on an adventure!)  So, we printed coloring pages for him of the “Go-Guy.”

My 7-year-old daughter found images of the famous oobleck and begged to make it.  So we got to it.  Here is a recipe for oobleck if you’ve never heard of it, from Dr. Seuss’ famous story:  Bartholomew and the Oobleck.  This was my son’s first experience with gooey stuff.  At first he was horrified, but you can see his delight below.  My daughter was also curious as to the science behind the mixture.  How did it feel so solid and then turn so liquid the next instant?  Preschool Powol Packets defined the reason is “Oobelck is a suspension (a liquid mixture that has particles large enough to eventually settle out of the mixture).”  This means it operates like quicksand.  The long starch polymers press together when thrown or rolled on the table.  My daughter had fun slapping it on the counter as a ball and then watching it ooze back to its liquid state.  This happens because the polymers in the oobleck easily trap the water when pressed together and then behave like a solid.  But when you let it go, no force, causes it to relax.  The water then flows within the mixture and it behaves like a liquid.  I was impressed she actually repeated this back to me after I explained it to her.  Thank you Preschool Powol Packets!

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A Dr. Seuss birthday didn’t seem quite complete without including the Lorax.  So, while  I was boiling an egg for the Lorax creation she wanted to replicate, she drew her own version of Mr. Lorax.

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Here is the finished hard-boiled egg version of The Lorax.  Isn’t he loveable? So easy to make.  We used a blank sticker page for the eyes and stuck them on.  Pipe cleaners for the arms.  And we used cotton balls for his eyebrows and bushy mustache.  We tried using yellow food coloring to color the cotton.  That did not work at all.  So she ended up coloring with a marker.  And no, this was not my idea.  It turned out just like what I found on Pinterest.

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This was so fun, we are gonna be celebrating all week long.  I found a great site on pinterest that brought creative writing and copywork into the mixture. posted GREAT FREE printables for both younger and higher elemetary grades.  We finished the day with great prompts to get our own story juices flowing!

Did you celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday?  Join us this week and tell us what you did.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to

get better. It’s not.” ~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Campbell’s to the Rescue for Dinner? New! Slow Cooker Sauce: Mexican Red Chili Taco

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Couldn’t wait to share that Campbell’s gets an A+++ on their NEW Slow Cooker Sauce that makes delicious tacos!  I was skeptical when purchasing because a) I have very picky eaters in my house.  We can’t have things too spicy or too sweet. b) I have hypoglycemia and wondered if I would have any type of reaction to the ingredients.  c) It just seemed too good to be true.  Really? All I had to do was add the beef and I was a good to go?

I was courageous enough to buy it because NO MSG was in the package and only 2 g of sugar was listed.  I was craving tacos and hoping my family could handle something new.

I tried it last night.  At 10 a.m. yesterday morning, my kids were hollering about something and I had no time to thaw my meat.  So I dumped it in frozen and set it in with the sauce.  The only thing I did add, was some corn and black beans – per suggestion on the back of the bag about 10 minutes before serving.  When dinner arrived, I cut up some tomatoes, set out the sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese and announce it was dinner.

THEY LOVED IT.  Even my pickiest eater.  I was SO HAPPY.  I then chowed down my tacos.  I would say they are as good as the fajitas at Chili.  The only thing I would do differ would be to cut up the meat into large chunks before cooking for extra tender meat.

Oh wow.  Thank you LORD that I have a new meal that I can use it in my dinner rotations.