Monday, May 18, 2009


On Thursday May 14 2009 my beloved husband George died. My heart is broken and my soul is crying - no words can express how much I miss you and wish you where still here with me.
But we will meet again and until then I know you will be with me to guide my every step. You where my life, my friend, my love and my heart.

by James Dillet Freeman
He has put on invisibility, Dear Lord, I cannot see-But this I know, although the road ascends And passes from my sight, That there will be no night; That You will take him gently by the hand
And lead him on
Along the road of life that never ends,
And he will find it is not death but dawn,
I do not doubt that You are there as here,
And you will hold him dear. Our life did not begin with birth,
It is not of the earth,
And this that we call death, it is not more
Than the opening and closing of a door-
And in Your house how many rooms must be
Beyond this one where we rest momently. Dear Lord, I thank You for the faith that frees,
The love that knows it cannot lose its own:
The love that, looking through the shadows, see
That You and he and I are ever one!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Get Kids Involved in Food Preparation

There are so many benefits in getting the kids involved in food preparation, we don't even know where to begin. Then again, there are so many ways to go about getting them involved as well. We'll throw some suggestions out there and if you like some of them, we suggest you take advantage of each one. Heck, you might even come up with a few of your own along the way.

Kids Cookbooks

One the best ways to kids involved that we like is purchasing a children's cookbook. It allows them to provide meals for the family, learn about the different ingredients that go into making something taste great, and the benefits of eating a healthy meal. Don't worry, there won't be anything that is too complex, but it will be just enough to have them interacting. Best of all the quality time you spend together will speak volumes for the family.

Doing the Teaching

In the beginning, you will be telling them what each step does and how it turns a bunch of ingredients into an actual meal. However, as time passes you will notice that they can take over and do all the steps by themselves. When this occurs, let it happen. Even if your child is only a toddler, giving them the chance to stir macaroni and cheese will make them feel like they're helping.

Different Foods to Try

Seriously, they aren't going to break out with the next big 7-course meal, but something simple like a scrambled egg, grilled cheese sandwich, soup, or even a fruit salad will do the trick. As a parent, you'll know when it's time to take the next step, but when you do, the positive effects will be endless. Think about it, down the road you won't have to be making all the meals yourself because you'll have help from the kids.

Cleaning Up

Listen, it's great to get everyone involved in the cooking aspect, but there aren't too many people who enjoy cleaning up afterwards. Make it a point to have everybody help you when the meal is over. It's a great way to interact as a family, and it allows you to be able to do other things throughout the evening. Who wants to spend an hour cleaning up after dinner or breakfast? Exactly, which is why you should get the whole family to help.

The #1 Tip

When you're teaching your kids to prepare food, don't take over. You know just as well as we do when you're children are struggling it a parent's intuition to help them get through it, but doing so isn't recommended. If you do then they will just ask for help every time something is difficult. Keep this in mind when helping them with food preparation and the overall effect will be a successful one.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Explaining the Importance of Healthy Eating

If you're going to explain the concept behind healthy eating to your children, it's important to eat healthy yourself. Don't forget your children mirror everything you do and having a proper balanced meal will help incorporate healthier eating habits. We have a few tips, tricks, and methods you can take advantage of regard this and get your kids on the right track.

Packing for a Trip

It doesn't matter if you're going on vacation or just having a little day long excursion, packing the right snacks helps promote healthy eating. You'll want to give your kids the opportunity to choose, but make sure they're deciding between healthy foods. Deciding between apples and oranges is a whole lot better than candy bars and potato chips. We could go on with other examples, but you get the idea.

Around the House

A great way to explain the importance of eating healthy is by growing a garden. It doesn't have to big or anything, but letting your child grow their own is priceless. While growing you can talk about the benefits of eating the fruit or vegetables. Then when they are ripe and ready to be eaten, the family can provide accolades. It will not only help with healthier eating, but they will also feel a sense of accomplishment providing for the family.

Reading Labels

Once you've gone over some of the important facts of whatever it is they chose to grow, it's time to add them to your next grocery trip. Teach your children how to read the labels and understand what the abbreviations mean. When they are familiar with the benefits to look for on a package, offer them the opportunity to choose specific foods for dinner that week. It will only enhance their knowledge of proper nutrients to give their body.

Having More Fun

When it comes down to it, the easiest way to promote healthy eating is by explaining the benefits. Things like being able to go outside and play or staying healthy keeps you from extra trips to doctor each year. Obviously, you don't have to overdo it and make it a point to discuss different things at every meal, but when it's appropriate definitely put it out there.

You'll know it's effective when your children are beginning to ask questions, offer suggestions, and even doing most of the grocery shopping for you. It may sound like paradise to you, but to them it's a learning experience and will definitely promote healthier eating and a healthier child for you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

*** Be an Example for Your Kids Eating Habits ***

One of the best parts of having children is watching them mirror everything you do. It's definitely one of the joys associated with being parent. It doesn't matter if you're walking, doing your hair, the way you sit when you watch television, at one time or another they will notice. This being said, you have to be an example for them when it comes to eating habits as well.

In a fast paced world it's real easy to forget and instead hit the fast food restaurants loading up with all kinds of trans fat. Now, you aren't going to be able to do this 100% of the time, but it would be nice if you could right? So below we threw together a few tips, tricks, and methods that will help you along the way. Even if you've never thought about how important this is until now.

The Routine

Almost everyone loves a good routine, but having one before you eat dinner is very important in your child's future. Even something as little as washing your hands before handling or eating food can go a long way. Then of course sitting down with your family everyday at a certain time is crucial to their outlook of a daily plan as they get older. It's a good way to start a routine, you just have to make sure you stick with it.

Once that is set into place then it's time to move onto the food. To give your children a real sense of self-worth, take them shopping with you to the grocery. Taking a ride or walk through the produce section can teach them a lot about a person's overall health. Don't be afraid to let them help with dinner. You would be surprised how exhilarating that time spent together can be for all of you.

When the food is ready and everyone sits down to eat, remember, your children will be watching. So cut and chew your food as you would teach them to do. If you are chewing slow, so will they. Cutting in a specific direction? They will as well, but most likely after they've tried every other way their minds can think of doing. However, the chewing part is extremely important for their digestive system.

The Discussion

We all eat outside of our three meals a day and at some point you need to have a little talk about it with your kids. Everyone tells you to substitute carrot sticks and 100% juice for chips and soda right? Well, we're going to do the same. You should also discuss the moderation levels of sweets of any kind and make sure this one is repeated upon as the years go by.

Doing all this will not only give your children the head start they need in daily life, but will also keep the family life more like a family. It's so important to eat together, and if by chance they notice you don't eat "everything all gone," don't be afraid to tell them why. Listen, when it's all said and done they don't have to like everything, but giving them a variety of food to choose from will help both of you in the long run.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Shop of the Week delivers! Tamara Garvey

A sense of humor is something we all could use more of these days and this week’s Shop of the Week delivers! Tamara Garvey, of, has some really cute and beautiful illustrations. Her style is quirky and fun! For example, the drawing pictured above, "Burglars and Russian Nesting Dolls", actually made me laugh out loud.

“I draw fun, whimsical, pen-and-ink scenes, usually involving at least one animal and/or tree, as these are my favorite things to study and draw! I sell them as prints in different sizes, including ACEOs, as well as note card sets.

I'm really inspired by the classic pen-and-ink artists Edward Gorey and Aubrey Beardsley. My drawings are made with care in my cute home studio, usually with my dog snoozing on the floor nearby. I'm saving up for a large-format printer of my own so that I can have complete control over my prints (that sounds diabolical! mua ha ha), but in the meantime I have them done at a print shop nearby that does an awesome job. My prints have great color and are printed on nice quality card stock.

My drawings are inspired by my walk to work through Savannah, Georgia's squares, magazines, other artists/crafters on Etsy, color combinations of a stranger's outfit, tattoos, particularly cute dogs at the dog park...anything really!”

Tamara has a degree in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design and a B.S. in Biology from Mary Washington College. Her biology background comes through in her piece titled “Enchantment under the Sea” – it’s like looking into a microscope and seeing all sorts of neat little creatures swimming around in the pond water.

When asked about her Twittering: “It took me a while to get used to Twitter, but now I am really into it! I try hard to maintain a mix of promotional (whether self- or other-) tweets with replies or random thoughts, to keep a personal touch to things. I love keeping in touch with my Etsy team members, seeing what they're creating, and what's new with them. I have made some great connections with other artists and crafters especially. One girl in particular, a freelance illustrator, has pretty much become my mentor as I develop my own illustration career! I think it is amazing that a new site can have such an effect.”

She ships everywhere and all her illustrations are shipped wrapped in a waterproof cellophane sleeve, sandwiched between pieces of thick, non-bending cardboard.

Follow her on her blog and on Twitter!

Special for the Week: Put “EtsyTwitter” into the “Messages for the Seller” box and await a revised invoice with a 15% discount off any of her items! (If you forget, just send her a convo.)