Amazon Mama Blog

RSS feed for this section

Homeschool, Yes We Did It

Last year we decided to homeschool our three boys, ages 11, 9, and 7. It has been quite the under taking but, so glad we did it. My husband and I have been blessed to see our children grow and learn right before our eyes, and it has been a great joy. Of course it is not always easy, but life has become simpler in many ways and challenging in others. Keeping your kiddos engaged for an entire day of learning when all their toys are in the playroom downstairs can be a great temptation! Yes, there are days I am not sure they are learning anything, and the next day they are little genius’s. I am not sure if we will continue to homeschool as our children grow older and their needs change, but I am honored to have had the privilege to get to see my children everyday in such an amazing learning environment.

Livelifesimply

Megan

Planting the Garden

Are you ready to Garden?

Maybe you are lucky enough to live somewhere where the weather hasn’t been so awful and your garden is already planted. For us midwesterners who live up north, we haven’t been so lucky. Rain and sleet mixed with snow has been normal around here, we were lucky enough to get the garden tilled but, that has been it for now.

So, I am at the drawing board this year on what I want to plant and how I want to set the garden up. Every year I rotate my favorites and this year I am going to dig my compost bin into the garden, we’ll see how it works. I have learned as a gardener in my area that I only plant what will grow and what my family will eat!

This year I am planning on putting an herb garden in as well as my staples of, tomatoes, green beans, peas, lettuce, kale, zucchini, cucumbers, and raspberries. For the 14 years I have had a garden, these fruits and veggies are tried and true and you will always get something-many can be planted directly into the ground by seed which is very economical as well. I have never had luck with pumpkins, watermelons, green peppers, carrots, or potatoes. Even If I did get something it was not worth the care and effort put into the plants for what I harvested, maybe some of you can relate!

If your not able to put in a large garden or live in an apartment try an herb garden in a container. Cadre Company has some great containers for indoor and outdoor gardening and herbs are really easy to grow.

If you have any gardening tips you’d like to share post them in our comments. Also, keep watching us on Facebook for great ideas & gardening tools from Cadre Company.

Good luck to all your gardening endeavors, may they be fruitful.

Livelifesimply

Megan

Hello Spring

Spring has sprung with a BAM, with a wintery mix of snow, slush, cold, warm and rain! Wherever you live it needs to be spring cleaned! Yes thats right, we’re going back to the days of grandma, grandma’s old ways aren’t always a bad thing. Sure it’s nice to throw in some nonsensical, spontaneous activities here and there but, the true art of simplicity, is about being predictable.

Have you seen the meme about glamorizing busy? I am it’s number one fan, sometimes I find myself just too busy to get anything done, you know what I mean? (Busy=Nothing) I am running from here and there and at the end of the day fall into bed exhausted and nothing has been done, what is that?

This spring I have a new chance to define busy as actually getting something done and seeing and benefiting from its grand results. I have started putting my long list of spring cleaning chores and home projects together and found some really great resources to help me not miss one nook or cranny. One website in particular that is helpful is from Clean Mama. Clean Mama offers great printable’s to stay on task with to do lists, ways to keep your kids involved, and great organizing tips to keep it clean. Get your free printables HERE, Clean Mama also has recipes for eco friendly cleaning!

Once the house is clean you will want to keep it that way, one great app that I love is called Home Rountines. It is so easy to use, just create your to do list and use their zone cleaning to keep your home in tip top shape.

All month long we will be posting great tips for spring cleaning, organizing and laundry diy tips, follow Cadre Company on Facebook and stay updated with our blog. Also be sure and check out Cadre Company’s cleaning recipes & speciality bottles HERE for all your diy projects.

Livelifesimply

Megan

Healthy Meal Planning

March is flying by and I am not sure if the “March winds” have anything to do with it.  My father who was 99 percent Irish and 1 percent Scottish loved March not just because of St. Patrick’s day but, because March was the windy month.  In honor of the windy month, he always watched his favorite movie “Gone with The Wind.”  He was a man of  clock work, always predictable with his habits and daily routine.

As a wife a mother running from here and there planning is essential, and quite honestly I am horrible at it.  Meal planning is probably my biggest weakness and when dinner rolls around I usually panic at five o’clock.  From here on out there should be no more excuses for me. I have some really great websites to follow to keep me inspired and moving forward in my quest to be a meal planner.  I hope you find them helpful too if this is your weakness!

Simplyrecipes.com is a great website for meal planning.  This website is easy to navigate, the recipes are simple, healthy, & innovative.  The website doesn’t have all those confusing advertising pages that show up right over the recipe or links to links to get the recipe, its just straight forward recipes and great information.  Guacamole deviled eggs are amazing!

Makeaheadmealsforbusymoms.com is another great website for meal planning with many of the same great features of Simply Recipes, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms also includes reviews of products and recipe books which are very helpful.  And, for those of you who are gluten free Heartbeetkitchen.com is a must for really trendy and cool recipes.  Heck, even if your not gluten free you will want to check this one out!

Last but, not least this is definitely something I am going to start trying, freezer meals.   Every once in awhile I see friends posting their freezer meals on Facebook and WOW to have 15-30 meals all ready to go would be heaven. I don’t know why I haven’t truly committed to trying this, just one day out of my month could change all the stress we moms or dads carry around on us to bring dinner to the table in a healthy way.  Happymoneysaver.com is one of the best sites I have found for freezer meal preparation and recipes.

Happy Meal prepping and feel free to share in our comments any sites you love to help make meal planning easy and healthy!

Live Life Simply

Megan

Cheers to Healthy Drinking!

What a beautiful day in the upper midwest, after such a horrible winter, 45° and sunny is a great day for us in the North!  I have gotten a little behind in my blogging and posting.  With so many activities around our house, namely hockey that has finally wrapped up for the winter season, and getting our business up and going sometimes time just gets away from me!

This week we are continuing our theme for the month of March on bringing better nutrition into our diet and what better way than through drinking it!  We all know we need more water in our diet to stay hydrated and healthy. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average fluid intake of a healthy adult living in a temperate climate is for men roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The average for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.  That seems like a lot but, there are many ways to get healthy fluids into your body.  First, you want clean filtered water and at Cadre Company we are fortunate to be able to offer our customers the Berkey Water Filter Systems, right now we have 3 Big Berkey’s in stock.  We also have L’Equip® juicers, Bosch® blenders, and new to Cadre Company is Grosche® French Presses, Teapots, Blooming Teas and Water Infusers.  You can make water taste great!  Be sure and check us out this week on Facebook for some great recipes for smoothies, juicing and infused water & teas.

Live Life Simply

Megan

Helpful Hints for Better Nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month® and is a great time to take a step back and evaluate what steps you are taking to bring more healthy foods into your family’s diet. With our busy lifestyles and hectic schedules its hard to plan, it’s always been my downfall.  The better question might be what simple steps can we do right now?

Right now, we can get re-educated on what we already know but, may have forgotten or get some helpful ideas to put better nutrition into practice, mainly by ORGANIZING & PLANNNING.  I find many websites/blogs/apps can be extremely helpful when taking on unprocessing your diet and incorporating more healthy foods into your everyday food planning and orgainizing.

The first place to start is a refresher guide on the food pyramid, the USDA has a great way to put this into perspective using a plate and dividing the plate into the food groups, check it out at Choosemyplate.gov.   Another great website to check out is from Nutrition Data, this website finds the nutritional value of food very quickly and easily.

Second, is finding and planning your meals accordingly.  I am a visual person and love to search out healthy meal ideas through websites like Pinterest.com and Yummly.com.  With so many ideas mealing planning can be exciting, choose a day that works best for you then, meal plan and shop!

If you have little ones or big kids heading off to school, many of our school lunch programs have fallen short, so make your own and if you can’t everyday try a couple times a week.  Again, there are many helpful sites out there to get the job done easily and healthy. This Lunch Rox, is an awesome blog that will literally make your kids lunch box rock.  It has super cool ideas and recipes, very inspiring check it out at This Lunch Rox.  Another cool site is an app from La La Lunchbox, this a great app allows you to plug in your kids names, create a character, and from there you can chart out their lunches and get a grocery list for the week.  They also have one for breakfast planning!

Happy Nutrition Month to you all and we hope you find these ideas and sites are helpful in bringing better nutrition to your family! There will be some great snack recipes on our Facebook page this month on healthy snacking, beverages and meal planning don’t miss out and be sure to LIKE our page on Facebook, Cadre Company.

Live Life Simply

Megan

 

Why Mill Your Own Grains

Are you un-processing your diet?  Look no further than your flour in your kitchen. Conventional flour goes through a process that devoids almost any nutritional value it has.  In this process it takes away the bran, middlings, the wheat germ, and wheat germ oil, some of the most nutritious parts of the whole grain.  By doing this the flour can last longer on the shelves of your grocery stores.  What is the saying, “Eat food that spoils,” flour that is freshly ground begins to break down, in most cases freshly ground grain can last up to 2 months in a cool dry place or keep it refrigerated, after that freezing is required and can be frozen up to 6 months.  Before I learned about the wonderful world of milling your own grains, it would not have been uncommon around our household to have flour sitting on our shelves for at up to 12 months without a thought. Un-process your flour today and check out our mills from Nutrimill and our grains from Natural Way Mills and get milling!

Live Life Simply

Megan

 

Tis the gift to be Simple

Are you giving yourself the gift to be simple this year?  I am working hard at it this year, the Christmas tree was truly decorated by the children, with a tad bit of help from mom with some decorations here and there.  The tree really is beautiful even with four or five ornaments piled up on one branch and no I did not move them.  I let the boys set up the manger scene however they wanted and let them decorate a gingerbread house without them hiring me as their contractor.  When they pulled out the black & red frosting I did have to remind them it was Christmas.  When it was all said and done, it actually was quiet lovely.  I can feel the stress fall away and the boys enjoying everything so much more too.  Enjoying our traditions without the need for perfection has been a true gift, it is simple.  Simple doesn’t mean there’s less work though, it means there’s less stress, it is the effort and love thats put into something regardless of the result.

As the this year comes to an end, a new year is beginning, what are your New Year’s resolutions, what are you hoping for this year, what will you do differently?  I hope to continue to be more simple, work harder, and be more organized.  One thing I can’t live out is a free app called Cozi.  It gathers all your calendars together into one place, it pulls from icloud, yahoo, google, and all your school &  athletic calendars.  It allows you to assign items to each member of your family and it can also send you reminders before an appointment.  This app has really helped me stay organized it also has to do lists, grocery lists, and family meal plans.  If organizing your new year is in your future you might want to try this app it really is a great resource.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas & happy New Year!

Live Life Simply

Megan

*Please note I have not been paid by Cozi to give this review, I truly believe it is a worth while app if you have a smart phone to help simplify everyday life.

The Change Into Winter

And so, winter has begun. It amazes me how quickly this weather has come upon us with a vengeance and I am already sick of the cold. Today though, I embraced winter and went sliding with my husband and three boys. We had a wonderful time and how important it is to get out and play with your kids!

I am freeze baby but, there is one thing that keeps me going through the winter, next years garden. Many northerner’s can relate that it’s a great day when the seed catalog comes. I can’t tell you the great joy in imagining the summertime and a garden in these very frigid temps. This is just what happened to me this week, I received Baker Creek Heirloom seed’s catalog. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds carries one of the largest selections of seeds from the 19th century. You can learn so much from a seed catalog. One thing (although there are many) that I love about there seeds is they are non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated and non-patented. They work with a network of small farmers, gardeners and seed growers to bring you the best selection of seeds available. I love working with and supporting these kinds of businesses. I am looking forward to hearing from you this winter on what do you do first in planning your garden for next year? How did your garden turn out last year and what will you do different this year? I never had the same garden twice and I think it’s the genius of gardening, “it’s like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what your going to get.” I turn to this site for some really great gardening information at  Old World Garden Farms check them out for gardening ideas. It’s never to early to dream!

I hope you are able to enjoy your weather wherever you are and embrace it, with our fast past world how often do we miss the little things that can give us joy even when it’s so cold. So, today before the craziness of the Christmas and holiday season begins I hope you are able to unplug and embrace our beautiful world and find joy in the, simple.

Live Life Simply

Megan

Create

All of a sudden it’s a beautiful fall day! It’s been gloomy here in the upper midwest and it’s wonderful to see the sun shine. My kids are off to school and I am working hard on our website and plugging in new ideas.

My inspiration for Cadre’s, Create is obviously the internet with its wide array of formulations for homemade cleaning and food recipes at my disposal. I love to save money and be frugal but, I need to know what works before I spend my time messing around.

Check out our blog every week for a youtube video and recipe we try out. See if it’s worth your time and if the recipe will make it to our site as a “Create” recipe. Send us your ideas and recipes too and, they could end up on our website.

Live Life Simply

Megan