Thursday, June 27, 2013

Let me tell you why

Let me tell you why my camera is like my 7th child. Let me tell you why I constantly take photos of our every day life that are probably boring as all get out to most of you. Let me tell you why...

My children are growing up in a family where there is constant change, constant, upheaval, lots of disappointment and lots of unknown. We move often, friends around us come and go often and Daddy isn't around much. Daddy.... my husband... that's what this is about the most. He misses so much. Family time is scarce, dinners together are rare and days off are few. He is gone before the kids are awake and often comes home after bedtime, on the days he does come home that is. There are duty days, there is time away, Navy schools, underways, deployments etc. He misses the day to day boring things with us. He doesn't get to see the baby learning to feed himself like a big boy at breakfast or dinner. He doesn't often get to see the kids run around in the sprinkler on a Saturday. He doesn't get to see his little girl dress up as a princess or fairy very much. He doesn't get to see the older boys building things and learning on a regular basis.

My husband has watched most of our children's childhood thus far, through photos and videos. The rare family time we have, I take pictures of him with the kids. I don't care if it's us on a walk or eating ice cream... he's with them and those moments are so valuable.

I photographically document our boring mundane life for my husband, for myself and for my children. I also do it for the family that we never see due to the distance that the Navy has created. When my children look back at their childhood and remember that Dad wasn't around much, I want them to see that photo of him eating ice cream with them, taking that walk or him sitting on the couch with them, and remember that the little time he was able to be with them, he cherished and made the best of.

That is why.

Me being the mamarazzi with my camera and my smart phone, has it's purpose. In my mind anyway. Those pointless, boring, every day pictures have so much more meaning to us. Every time my husband leaves work/the boat (you know, because he isn't allowed to have his phone with him), he looks at facebook or instagram and scrolls through the pictures of the kids that I shared that day. They make him smile. He gets to see our children grow up, even if it's mostly through photos.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Impromptu photos are always the best!

Yesterday, I drove all of my children crazy by telling them they all had to come with me to take a picture. Whenever I PLAN to photograph them, in a nice location with good lighting... it's always a bust. When I do it very last minute, they always come out great... just with crappy lighting, in a not so pretty place.

I love this picture though, crappy lighting/location and all.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blueberry Muffins - Allergy Friendly! (Not Gluten Free)

These Blueberry Muffins are delicious! I adapted a couple of different recipes to be allergy friendly for my 8 year old. This was a WIN! The allergy friendly Brownie attempt I made this past weekend, on the other hand.... lets not even talk about the fail that those were. Here you have, another one of my NOT healthy, but yummy, treats!

The things commonly found in baked goods that we have to avoid are dairy, barley (in most all purpose flour), soy (vegetable oil is soy), rice and nuts. So, this is why my recipes are the way they are.

You're drooling, right!?


3 cups all-purpose flour (I use an organic brand without Barley)
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tablespoons of warm water in a separate bowl (allow to sit a few minutes before mixing everything together.) This replaces 2 eggs.
2/3 cup and 2 tablespoons coconut milk. (If using eggs and regular milk, just use 2/3 cup of milk.)
1.5 - 2 cups of fresh blueberries

1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread cut/broken up into small chunks.
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease or line standard size muffin cups.

2. Combine 3 cups flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, salt and baking powder, then add flaxseed meal mixture, canola oil and almond milk. Mix together. Fold in blueberries. This batter is very thick, but bakes up excellent. Fill muffin cups to top and sprinkle with crumb topping.

3. Crumb Topping: Mix together 1 cup white sugar, 2/3 cup flour, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and combine that with the crumbled buttery spread. I use my hands to smash/crumble it all together. This makes a very generous amount of topping.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes

This recipe should be just as good with eggs, regular milk and butter for those who aren't concerned about allergies.

Hazelwood and Amber Necklace, from Baltic Creations - Review

I had the pleasure of reviewing a Hazelwood and Amber Necklace from Baltic Creations recently. What was originally intended for my almost 2 year old, ended up being used on my 8 year old, who has the worst eczema out of my 6 and severe food allergies.

Now, I'll admit, we're already Amber and Hazelwood users here. We love them and swear by them (Really, I was totally skeptical until I saw the results myself). I do already own an Amber Teething Necklace from Baltic Creations that has been used on my younger two children over the past 3 years (I also own several from another reputable seller as well. Baltic Creations is in the US though, which I like.)

As soon as the Necklace arrived, pretty quickly might I add, I tore that package open and put it right on my youngest. I took off the Amber Necklace he was already wearing. He was in the middle of cutting some molars at the time and became cranky over the next couple of days. I realized, there just wasn't enough Amber on the Hazelwood and Amber Necklace to do the job for him (The Baltic Amber is what gives the most natural pain relief), so I put his full Amber necklace back on. However, my 8 year old was in need of a new Hazelwood necklace because his was old. I put it on him! As I expected, I did see an improvement in his skin within a day! He has been wearing the necklace for a couple of months now, I believe. It's holding up well and still working for him.

So here's the bottom line:

The materials are authentic (no plastic "amber", which obviously will not do anything for you.).
The quality and craftsmanship is very good.
The item was shipped well and arrived intact.
It works.
If you're looking for a TEETHING necklace, go with full Baltic Amber.
If you're looking for something for skin ailments, heartburn etc. Hazelwood is excellent.
I will definitely be a return customer of Baltic Creations.

Click Here to view this necklace and the benefits of Hazelwood.

Both Hazelwood and Baltic Amber have a wide range of ailments they can help with! Just check them out! :)