Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Awesome things are happening at HMFW!!

A friend of mine made this mug for me.  Hand-thrown pottery.  I love it.  It loves me sipping herbal tea from it.  I am launching my Holistic Health Coaching Business in 2013.  True Stories, all.

Yes, awesome things are happening here at HealthMatters Family Wellness:

  1. My Mug
  2. I graduate from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition with my Holistic Health Coaching certificate on March 1
  3. I am now a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach, certified through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners
  4. I am teaching 3 Alternative Beverage workshops in the Madison area:  March 9 (Mindful Motion Physical Therapy), April 14 (Willy Street Coop East) and April 16 (Willy Street Coop West)
  5. I will be learning how to make my own kombucha soon!
Life. Is. Good.

For more details about HMFW and my upcoming workshops, please visit:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The wonders of vinegar!

What is vinegar?  I realized that I have been using this substance quite a bit for a variety of things from cleaning to hair conditioner, and I did not know exactly what it was.

Vinegar can be made from any fruit or any material containing sugar.  Vinegar is made by two distinct biological processes, both the result of the action of harmless microorganisms that turn sugars into acetic acid.  The first process is called alcoholic fermentation and occurs when yeasts change natural sugars to alcohol under controlled conditions.  In the second process, a group of bacteria converts the alcohol portion to acid.  This is the acetic, or acid fermentation that forms vinegar.  

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can be used for so many household chores.  Plus, it’s available in gallon containers and it’s ECONOMICAL!  I have at least 2 gallons going at all times.

Vinegar as an all natural cleaner:  Mix 1 part distilled water with 1 part white distilled vinegar in a labeled spray bottle.  Use on appliances, mirrors, counter tops, tub and the outside of toilets.  Use anywhere you would use a chemical all purpose cleaner.  I mix use a citrus mix of vinegar by taking citrus peels and soaking them with white vinegar for at least 14 days, then mix  with the water for the cleaner.  Smells wonderful!

Vinegar as an all natural toilet bowl cleaner:  Flush the toilet and then pour undiluted vinegar around the rim and scrub with a toilet brush to effectively clean and disinfect your toilet.  I have been doing this for years, and it does really work!

Vinegar as an all natural floor cleaner:  Use 1 cup of white distilled vinegar for every gallon of water.  Mop as usual.  I make my own Swiffer WetJet refill solution too.  Gotta love Pinterest!

Vinegar as an all natural weed killer:  Pour undiluted white vinegar directly on weeds or grass growing where you do not want it.  Works especially well in sidewalk or driveway cracks.

Vinegar as an all natural pesticide:  Pour directly on anthills to eliminate.  Kill slugs by spraying with the all natural cleaner mentioned above.  Discourage ants in your home by spraying undiluted vinegar in doorways and window sills or wherever you see them coming in.  Get rid if fruit flies by setting out a small dish of undiluted white vinegar.  We had some ants coming in the kitchen window last summer.  Some sprays of vinegar had them heading the opposite direction!

Never use vinegar on marble, and test your tile and grout before using on those surfaces.  Don’t worry about your house smelling like vinegar, the smell goes away when it dries.  If you cannot handle the smell while cleaning, add a few drops of a citrus essential oil to the mix, or soak your citrus peels in vinegar, as mentioned above.  

In my home, we use vinegar for all cleaning purposes except dish-washing and dusting.  Counter tops, toilets, mirrors, floors, virtually any surface that needs to wiped down and/or disinfected.

There are so many uses for vinegar in your home, garden, garage and beyond. Please check out http://www.vinegartips.com/ for more tips, pick your favorites and you are on your way to more healthful, non-toxic, all natural cleaning and disinfecting!

Friday, February 1, 2013

They're adorable, they're maddening and I love them to the moon and back...they're my boys.

I don't mind bragging a bit, my kiddos are awesome.  I am blessed with 2 boys, ages 11 and 8, and they absolutely rock. Being a single mom isn't easy, but I wouldn't trade those hooligans for anything.

Why my 11 year old rocks:
  • He invited me to a special breakfast at school as someone who is a good roll model for him.  His reason?  "You teach me how to eat healthy, mom."  Ironically, the special breakfast served will be donuts. :)
  • He believes in paranormal phenomena such as Bigfoot, Chupacabra and aliens.
  • He can't decide if he wants to be a paranormal investigator, A 'Ghostbuster', or a Bigfoot chaser when he grows up.  What a huge decision!
  • He is challenged by his math class, yet can quickly figure out how to play any game imaginable on the PlayStation   
  • He is enamored by Godzilla and cannot get enough of the movies, toys and books.
  • He quotes from the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' book series.
  • He loves to sing.  His current favorite?  The 'Ghostbusters' theme song.
  • He busts out with an "I love you, mom!" at any given moment, no matter where we are or what we are doing.
  • He has autism and is a bit awkward socially, but he practices and tries hard.
  • He will try most any new food.
  • He's a thinker.
  • He's sweet.
  • His favorite snack is fruit.
  • He still asks to hear the story of how he farted on my sister when he was less than 1 day old.  (it was a big one, so I guess I can understand)
  • When we are planning an outdoor activity, he tells me, "I'm more of an indoor kid, mom."
  • He still sleeps with the remnants of his baby blankie and a stuffed Yogi Bear from a camping trip years ago.
  • He loves to read, especially graphic novels.
  • He is a talented artist.  His specialty is monsters.  Go figure.

Why my 8 year old rocks:
  • He looks out for his older brother, yet isn't afraid to tackle or fight with him at any given moment.
  • He's whip smart and soaks up knowledge like a sponge.
  • He loves to read non-fiction books, especially about animals or weather.
  • When he does read his non-fiction books, he shouts out random facts.  "Mom, did you know that lightening is 5 times hotter than the sun?"
  • He's sassy.
  • He's a drama king.
  • He will yell, "I hate you, mom!" in one breath when he is punished for misbehavior, then want his back rubbed 5 minutes later.
  • He understands more than it's possible to give him credit for.
  • He loves to play outside and ride his bike.  Current favorite sport is basketball.
  • He credits me with teaching how to throw a spiral with the football.
  • He still sleeps with his blankie.
  • He talks in his sleep.
  • He still lets me tickle his feet.
  • He is sweet on occasion, so it is special when he is.
  • He loves to sing, loudly, and in his husky, gravelly voice.  I can totally see him as a front-man for a hard rock band.
  • He loves building with Legos and K'Nex, and will design his own creations.
  • He gives random hugs.
  • He loves to help out in the kitchen from grating to slicing, he wants to learn how to do everything.
My boys are unique in their own way, yet still have many things in common.  They fight on occasion  they get along on occasion, they tattle, they work it out.  They gang up on mom sometimes, they stick up for me sometimes.  They fart, have stinky feet, talk about poop and burp loudly.  They are little men who are going to be kind, considerate, helpful and hard working big men someday, (I hope!), who also fart, have stinky feet, talk about poop and burp loudly.  Yep, I'm blessed.

I wouldn't trade them for anything.