Saturday, July 23, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Montessori Curriculum

Are you are an educator or a parent?

If you're interesting in learning more about the Montessori philosophy of teaching and parenting, be sure to enter this awesome giveaway on my other blog, Raccoon School.

It's really easy to enter. The winner will receive a FREE spot in the next training course through World Wide Montessori Online, which starts in September. Along with the training, you will receive 12 albums of curriculum materials (over 5,000 pages of materials)...a $240 value. 

It's a great opportunity to learn about how to incorporate Montessori methods into your home or your curriculum. Good luck!

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Awesome Recipe for Veggie Burgers & Meatballs

I'm not a big fan of store-bought veggie burgers and meat substitutes. I've been experimenting with homemade recipes for years. I finally found one that I really, really like. So I'm going to share it with you all now.

It doesn't have anything weird in it...just beans, grains, and other yummy ingredients. I've used this recipe to make hamburger patties and meatballs. The meatballs are great with spaghetti sauce or Swedish style (shown below). My kids like them with no sauce. They call them "yummy balls".

It's my new favorite recipe. I found it on the Bob's Red Mill Facebook page (a good site to "like").

I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

  • 1 3/4 cups Cannellini Beans (cooked or from can)
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Basil
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked Hulled Millet
  • 3/4 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs (or gluten free Bread Crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs (or gluten free Bread Crumbs)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In blender or food processor, puree cannellini beans, onion, garlic, basil, and water. Combine with cooked millet (see note), bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and salt. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

Lightly spray cookie sheet. Shape mixture into 1” balls and roll in bread crumbs. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Serve with marinara if desired. Makes approximately 30 “meat” balls.

NOTE: To cook millet, bring 2 cups water to boil. Add 1/2 cup Hulled Millet and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until tender.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Haven't Pooed in More Than a Month

Seriously.... I haven't shampooed my hair in more than a month.

You may have heard about this "no-poo" movement. I first heard about it from one of my favorite bloggers, The Thrifty Mama, about a year ago. I've been thinking about trying it ever since, and about a month ago I gave it a whirl.

I've had my ups and downs with it, but I think I'm kinda liking it now. I'm intrigued to find out where this path will lead me.

More than anything, I feel like it's helped me to become more aware of the many false requirements I  place upon myself. The "need creation" model for making money is so pervasive in modern society, we hardly question the necessity of so many products we buy on a regular basis.

Well, I'm asking the question I really need shampoo? And conditioner? And gel? And an assortment of other chemical-laden, plastic-bottled stuff?

Perhaps not. Perhaps by using these products, I am perpetuating a viscous cycle of stripping away natural oils with one product only to be forced to replace them artificially with another.

The first few weeks of going "no poo", my hair was beyond oily. It was crazy oily. I've heard that this kind of "detoxing" phase is common.

Now, a month into this experiment, the oiliness has diminished significantly. I find that using a straight iron and a good hair brush helps keeps the oil from being too abundant.

However, a little extra natural oiliness has actually been nice. A youthful shine has returned to my hair, something I thought was irrevocably lost with age. My hair just feels "healthier".

Amazingly, my hair doesn't feel dirty at all. It doesn't smell bad either. My husband can vouch for that....he says my hair no longer smells like shampoo. It just smells like hair, and it's a good smell. He thinks I should continue, and so do I. Here's why....

  • I love the fact that I'm not spending
    a single penny on hair products.
  • I love the fact that I'm not creating
    any unnecessary packaging waste.

  • Most of all, I love the fact that I'm allowing
    my body to do what it is designed to do naturally.
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