A Work In Progress

Reflections Of A Mommy & Homemaker

My Favorite Products March 12, 2008

Filed under: Favorite Products Wednesdays — briem @ 8:56 am


I thought that I would share some of my favorite products that I use. Some of these products I discovered on my own & others my friend Mary shared with me. I will try and provide links when I can. I will post new products I discover on each Wednesday.

1. Earth Balance Whipped Spread This buttery spread has changed my life! This is one of the products that my friend Mary introduced to me. It taste so yummy…totally taste like margarine or butter to me, yet it is super healthy. It is made with a blend of natural oils that help to improve HDL/LDL cholesterol. For more information about their products, go to their Frequently Asked Questions Page. You can usually buy this spread in the natural section of your regular grocery store or a health food store.

2. Annie’s Deluxe Shells and Real Aged Cheddar. I love Annie’s products. They are either all natural or organic & taste delicious. Their Deluxe Shells and Real Aged Cheddar has become a staple lunch in our household at least once a week. They also have skillet meals that are all-natural and taste great. Annie’s products are starting to be available in most stores, however it may be in the natural section of your grocery store. I have also found alot of their products at my local Super Target

3. California Baby Calming Shampoo & Bodywash I looked it up on the cosmetic database and found that it has a low toxicity rating. It smells really good and lathers well!

4. VitaMix (Before you look, just know that this is really expensive!). This product is life changing, but is something that you may have to save for over a course of time. I am blessed because my mom owns one so I am able to borrow hers. This thing is not your average blender! It has like 50 horse power (ok not really, but it has alot). My favorite thing to make with it is smoothies. My favorite recipe with the Vita Mix is 1 banana, 1 orange, 1/4 a apple & some frozen pineapple. Just add some water & ice and you have an ice cold juice smoothie. My son literally runs to me when I am done making it saying “I wan’t soothie (He is 2 1/2 and we are sill working saying smoothie)”. It also has a dry container for grinding your own wheat, etc.

5. Travel Booster Seat. This is not the one we own, but it is very similar. I loved the booster chair when my son was between 1-2 years old. It was easy to take into restraunts or other people’s houses & easily hooks on the chair, that way you could just give your toddler food on the attatchable tray without having to put the food on the table (I found that my son had a hard time eating off a plate when he was a younger toddler. He would drop the food on the table, and then try and eat it…not very sanitary!)

6. BabyGanics Glass & Surface Cleaner (Lavender Formula). I absolutely love this product! It is a all natural cleanser that really smells like lavender! I use it alot for my kitchen counters & mirrors. It is nice using a cleanser that you know is safe to use. Read BabyGanics “Why BabyGanics” page to learn why it is good to use natural cleansers, especially if you have children. I found my bottle at BabiesRUs.

7. YoKids Organic Yogurt Tubes. This is another product that I found out from my friend Mary. These yogurt tubes which contain probiotics have won my son’s heart! Simply stick them in the freezer for a nice Ice Cream alternative. These can be a little pricey at times, but I try and stock up when there is a sale. You will most likely find these in the natural section of your grocery store of health food store.

Well, there you go! Some of my most favorite products. If you have any great products you would like to share with us, please leave a comment. I am on a mission to find good quality products for my family to use.


A Scary but Necessary Decision March 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — briem @ 10:24 pm

This is a bit scary for me, but I have decided to make my fitness efforts public as a way of accountability. I am sick of watching other people get healthy, while I stay unhealthy. Usually I ask my husband to keep me accountable with this stuff (and he always does) but when he checks me on something, I get kinda defensive. We have decided that this is not the best way to bring more love into our marriage :), hence, I am going to be accountable to all my blog readers. Honestly, I am not sure if I am brave enough to post before pictures of me and tell you my weight. I will tell you that I have had 9 and 10lb babies 2 years apart and love food…hehehe. Also, right now I don’t have a regular exercise routine and I lack energy.

Now let me explain that the reason I want to do this is not because I want to be some skinny stick figure like the women who are protrayed to us on the media, but rather I want to be strong & healthy so that I can be a better servant to my family and others…and to be able to bench press like 250 lbs 😉 .

 Well, I just had one of those little defining points in my life. If any of you want to send a little encouragement my way to kick off my journey to a healthy me, please leave me a comment. Thanks!


Awesome Meat Storage Idea

Filed under: Kitchen Tip Tuesdays — briem @ 2:48 pm


For Kitchen Tip Tuesdays I found the most awesome post on meat storage by a fellow blogger named Roni over at www.weightwatchen.com. She lost like 75 lbs on Weight Watchers and has kept if off for a couple years. She also has another blog named www.greenlitebites.com where she posts recipes she has invented (all very healthy and diet friendly) along with recipe & kitchen tip video posts.

Definitely check out her video on meat storage. It is so awesome, especially if you don’t have a food saver. Also, using her method, you can defrost the meat much faster! I wish I could take credit for this, but I can’t :). All credit goes to Roni and her clever mind.


That’s In My Shampoo! March 10, 2008

Filed under: Going Green — briem @ 7:31 pm


So lately I feel like God has just been sending a wealth of information my way. Alot of it has come from blogs that I read. However this next bit of information came from my good friend Mary.

Did you know that there are alot of toxic ingredients in our shampoos, conditioners, makeup, toothpaste & soaps (even the ones we put on our babies and toddlers!). I just rececently found this out within the last several months. You would think that when we shop at our favorite stores, they would sell us only good, safe products. Unfortunately, nowdays that is just not the case. We have entered an era where toxic ingredients invade many of the the things we use on a regualar basis.

Thankfully I discovered this website: www.cosmeticdatabase.com

Here is what they state on their home page:

“Skin Deep is a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group.”

“Skin Deep pairs ingredients in more than 25,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated data resource of its kind. Why did a small nonprofit take on such a big project? Because the FDA doesn’t require companies to test their own products for safety.”

This site is so helpful because you can type in the actual product you use (Suave, Covergirl, etc) and check to see if there are any toxic ingredients. I searched out some of the products that I commonly used and was shocked at the things I found out. I really encourage you to check out the products that you commonly use, especially what you put on your babies. I have even found that some organic and natural products on their site have some toxic ingredients.

If any of you use products that you have found to be generally safe and that you are happy with, please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!


A Little Lesson In Self Control (and frugality) March 9, 2008

Filed under: Stewardship,Uncategorized — briem @ 11:28 pm

Today, I took a little trip to our neighborhood grocery store to well…umm…buy groceries. I had a very tight budget because my husband got really sick and missed close to a week of work (right now he is working a temp job, and when you get sick, you don’t get paid). I had to get some food to last us until his next payday. So I frugally went around trying by best to get nutritious (and dirt cheap!) food. Everything was going good until I approached the bakery section. And let me tell you, I LOVE ME SOME BAKERY! Especially at our neighborhood grocery store. They have these homeade (or should I say storemade) cookies that litteraly melt in your mouth. I love them. They also tempt you buy giving you a whole cookie as a sample. Let me tell you that their marketing works, because I took a whole box that they sell which was priced at $4.00. I was so happy! I had been craving something this sweet and good for like a few days.

Well, as I carried along with my grocery shopping, all the while trying to be the frugal shopper, I realized that, considering my budget, I may have not been making the best decision with my cookie purchase. I realized that those cookies costs almost the same amount as the whole chicken I put in my cart that would last us at least a couple days. But then I thought, “I need these!!! Gosh, they are sooo good! I can’t wait to go home and eat like…ALL OF THEM! (You may ask if I really had this conversation in my head. I did, no lie.) But after some conviction set in (and many minutes of debating) I decided that with this particular shopping trip, I was not being wise with my money.

So, I went home cookieless, having learn a lesson in self control. Was it hard? Yes…I love those cookies! But I did leave that store holding my head up high proud that I resisted my temptation…and no cookie can beat that 🙂


Meet My Family

Filed under: Family,Uncategorized — briem @ 11:08 pm

 Today I thought I’d show you some pictures of my family. When I read other people’s blogs, I like to put a face to the writing 🙂

First is my handsome hubby. We have been married a little over 4 years. Sometime, when I have more energy for storytelling, I will tell you how we came to be.

In this picture my husband is with my oldest Son, Noah, a little over a year ago.


Here is a picture from our wedding (We were married in December, so we had a Winter Wonderland Theme)


Here is a picture of our oldest Son Noah. He is 2 1/2 years old and truly a joy to be around. He has an awesome personality & sweet spirit.


Our youngest, who turns 6 months tomorrow is totally a mommy’s boy. He has the cutest laugh & already adores his brother! It is bittersweet to realize that his first year is almost gone. As moms we must cherish every moment.


 This is another pic of Isaiah


Here is a picture of both my boys together. Kodak moment 🙂


Well, I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our little family!


A Lesson Learned From My Son March 8, 2008

Filed under: A Closer Walk,Uncategorized — briem @ 12:01 am


Honestly, sometimes it can just be so hard to put your trust in God. I mean, sincerely, you want to…you want to be free of your stress, worry, anxiety and heavy burdens, but you find yourself in the end putting all that weight on your own shoulders. And, boy, can it be overwhelming…almost sickening. No wonder, God never meant for us to take that load upon ourselves.

Today when my oldest son, Noah, who is 2 1/2 years old woke up, I was seriously TIRED. My youngest, Isaiah, who is six months old has been waking up at least 3 times a night. Combine that with a toddler who wakes up at like 6:30 am feeling rested from a FULL nights sleep, you got one tired (and sometimes cranky) mommy on your hands. Well, anyways, we go down stairs for our morning routine…breakfast, Dora The Explorer, etc., and I had a realization. I thought “Wow, Noah always assumes I am going to give him his breakfast. He doesn’t even worry what it will be.” Gosh, what trust. Later, when we were playing make believe Dora The Explorer & Diego (his favorite show right now) I had another realization. I thought, “Wow, Noah doesn’t even worry about his day. He doesn’t have any pressing plan. All he wants do do is play with me & hang out.” Gosh, how simple…and so incredibly beautiful. Even in the small things, like when Noah is on the 4th stair from the ground and gets a big grin on his face as I hold my hands out…he jumps…and I catch him.

I so want to have the childlike faith that God calls us to. I want to wake up and just know that he is there, and will always be there. I want to live my day knowing that he will provide and do all the things that he says he will. I want to spend my day in His presense spending time with Him…I want to jump and know that he will catch me.

Lord, give me the strength to trust you. Free me from the burdens that I have put on my shoulders. You are God and no situation, no nothing, is bigger than you. Jesus, I will choose to trust you.