Friday, December 17, 2010

Chicks and Their Mommas

Well, as I said before, I'm not that great at being a consistent blogger. In the time since I last blogged, I moved my daughter to Atlanta, spent 3 1/2 weeks crying about it every day, she decided it wasn't for her so she moved back home (happy dance - AND it was on my Birthday!!). She is now enrolled in online college courses, we've done almost all we need to do for the Christmas Holidays, and I'm just tired.Though I am truly happy to have my chick back with me.

So the rest of this post has pretty much nothing to do with chicks or mommas, but just some things that have been rolling around in my head. Some that I have given much thought to, some I wish to give more thought to, and some I probably haven't given enough thought to.

Why do the holidays have to be so exhausting? I long for a time just to sit and be. Soaking in what this moment in time truly represents. Although, I have come to the understanding that this is not the "real" time of year of Jesus' birth. I've been told (*please note I have not researched this for myself, but do trust the knowledge and spirituality of the one who told me this) that Jesus' birth actually took place in the spring around the time of passover. Makes a lot of sense when you actually think about it. The Old Testament is a forshadowing of the New Testament. The passover originated when God told the Hebrew children to kill a lamb and put the blood on their doorposts so that the Angel of Death would know to "pass over" that house during the time of the plagues in Egypt. So it suits to follow that Jesus' birth would be at the time of passover, just as his death and ressurection was as well. Oh well, it's something to think about anyway. Perhaps I will get around to researching it for myself one day soon.

So the day we are accustomed to celebrating the birth of our Savior is just one week away. The biggest thrill for me is seeing the ones I love, receive gifts that express that love and the joy on their faces. My most treasured moments are when they actually like/love the homemade gifts. This year, they even got into the spirit of making gifts for loved ones. I hope this is a tradition that will remain in our family. You know they go through that phase as little ones that they don't really know about buying presents. A picture that they've colored is a treasured gift, it means as much to them as it does to us. Then, as our society dictates, they fall into the stress of thinking they have to purchase gifts for them to be special. So it is truly special when they come full circle to "I'm going to make this for mom, dad, brother, sister because it will mean something to them to have it and it will mean something to me to make it for them. Yes, tears of joy are falling as I type this. 

I hope that as days pass on and turn to months and years, that we will begin to see outside of our circle even more. We have done things with our family on a regular basis to meet the needs of others. Sometimes I wish to do more, though, much of the time it is not possible, not only financially, but physically for me. My second daughter this year had set aside money for purchasing Christmas gifts. She heard of a family that was in need, and through proper channels, decided instead of using her money to buy gifts for our family, she would use the money to buy for the family in need. She plans to make us homemade fudge as our Christmas gifts. She has little to no idea that she has already given me and my husband our gift by choosing to do this for this family in need.

We are truly blessed, and for this I am truly grateful. Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope your days are filled with blessings and that we all remember to count each and every one of them and give thanks for them.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Collective Thoughts

Collective, not Random

I've been giving some thought to the idea of  "Random Thoughts". I think I've changed my mind. To speak/write randomly is to do so without purpose or meaning. The things I write/say here and in other areas of my life, I want to have purpose and meaning. I want to think before I speak/write. That was how I was raised. To live randomly is to live without purpose or meaning. I know that God put me here for a purpose and that purpose has meaning. To live according to the bible is to live with intention. To live with intention, I must choose to think before I speak/write. So you will no longer find Random Thoughts on this blog, but thoughts that have been collected, chosen to be intentional to bring about a purpose and a meaning.

Collective Thoughts

 Grounds in My Coffee

So obviously I'm not that great with keeping up with a blog. My life is either busier than I realize or I'm lazier than I realize, probably a combination of the two. In less than a weeks time, I will be packing my oldest daughter up to move to another city. My first born is leaving the nest. I know it's a necessary thing, but I still don't have to like it. I remember the first time I held her. We weren't too sure about each other. After checking her all out and cleaning her up and all that stuff they do to them when they are first born. The nurse wrapped her fat little body up and brought her to me. The first thing I noticed is she was heavy- already! 9 lbs 12 oz., I looked at her and she looked at me and she started to cry, then I started to cry. Her daddy took her and she was fine. He gave her back to me after a while and she started to cry again. I was clueless. About that time, my mother walked in and told me that the baby wanted me to feed her. UM.....WHAT? Sure I had wanted to breast feed, but really, I was clueless, I didn't know what to do. So they got the nurse in there and she sorta showed me what to do. They had me watch a video and we eventually got the hang of things. Since then we've both done a lot of crying. Some because of each other, some for each other, some with each other.When you hold them for the first time, and for many years after, you never once think, they are going to leave one day to begin their adult life. You think about what cute outfit you plan for them to wear that day, or do we want a pony tail, pig tails or braids today, or their elementary and high school education, and soccer practices.

She's a brilliant girl, planning to major in journalism. Which doesn't surprise me one bit. I've had her keeping journals since she was 8. She's always been an extremely avid reader. Her favorite author is C.S.Lewis, brilliant in his own right. Why is she moving now? I mean the next semester in school doesn't start until January. Her amazing personality is why! She went to apply for a part time job in the area, and after filling out applications at a few places, one called her back for an interview and hired her on the spot! It's not surprising, she has that amazing smile and a very easy going personality.

We've become awesome friends these last couple of years. So now its far more than just a mother daughter relationship, she is my closest friend after God and my husband. The other two are still in their own worlds in the teen years. My bookworm, she never went through that selfish period of teenagehood . I mean sure she could be selfish at times, but not ever to the severity of the average American teenager. She learned very early on that there are always consequences for your actions. We certainly haven't raised the other two any differently yet, it just hasn't sunk in yet. I pray that it will some day.

So what does all this have to do with grounds in my coffee? Well, this morning I got up, made my pot of coffee, and as I was pouring, I noticed that several grounds had gotten into my coffee. Evidently the filter had folded over, thus allowing some of the grounds to seep in underneath and into the pot. I had two choices. One, throw it out and make another pot, or deal with it and just try to restrain it into another cup. It seemed senseless to pour it out. So I restrained it with a small sieve. Which brings me back to my story above. I don't like this, not one bit, but I have to deal with it. Encourage her that she can deal with it, when all I really want is for her to stay right here with me. But then that makes me the selfish mother. Since she was never the selfish teen, then I owe it to her not to be selfish now. I know she loves me, and I her, immensely. We always have the other person's best interest at heart when we care so deeply, no matter how much it hurts us.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


 And the winner is number 19, Kentucky Frugalista who said "I follow you on GFC". Congratulations!! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Thank you to everyone who participated.

True Random Number Generator 47 19

Breaks are Good

Sometimes we just have to sit back and take a break from it all. Although, I have taken a break from blogging, it doesn't seem as though I've really had a break. Actually, I've gotten a lot done. We recently took a sort of mini-vacation to visit my aunt in Charlotte. It was anything but a rest. We were constantly on the go. But it was still fun. We took the kids to the largest mall any of us po-dunks have ever seen. It was a monstrosity!! 4 miles long!! My poor feet and legs. They haven't walked that much at one time in quite a while.

I made up a bunch of tutu's, hoping to sell some for some extra cash. Yeah, that didn't work. Although they are adorable! I will probably let the two little girls I babysit use them as dress up clothes. I've also made several hairbows for the baby's birthday next week, and a little hide and seek game that I'm putting together. I'll explain that in a minute. Now I am working on things in my yard as well as making a fairy play house for the older little girl's birthday coming up in January.

For my yard, I now have a fish hanging on a tree- he's my fish out of water. I also have a fairy shadow, tons of bubbles- yes bubbles floating around in various bushes and such. I have several butterfly clips on one bush, it's my butterfly bush of course. I am also working on making a bench. I rescued two cement pillars that will serve as the base. I have a mirror frame (in hot pink of course) that I plan to make a mosaic seat from. I have various pebbles, tumbled glass pieces and a ton of watch faces I plan to put in the mosaic. Pictures will follow, hopefully-- you know I have to rely on my kids to help with that.

Okay, the hide and seek game. I took a little wooden box, found 3 painted wooden puppies in a craft store and I'm making paw prints on card stock with simple directions on, "look for me under a pillow", or "look for me in the kitchen". This is for a gift for the baby... I know she will only be 1, but she understands commands very well, plus her big sister can help I'm sure. As for the fairy house, well, the older one is just obsessed with Tinkerbell, so I decided I would make her a play house mimicking the one in the latest movie, "The Great Fairy Rescue".

Well, I need to get in the yard and work on that bench, it's not going to make itself-- wishful thinking.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

BuySoapNuts Review and Giveaway

I recently had the opportunity to review two products that are all natural, green and from a renewable resource. That makes me feel good just to use all those words in one sentence! The products I  am referring to are Soap Nuts and a bar of soap from . Now if you haven't heard of Soap Nuts, well, don't count yourself in the dark. I've just started hearing/reading more about them myself. It is an actual nut that grows on a tree, that when mixed with water makes a wonderful cleaner, laundry detergent, and dishwasher detergent.

I really wanted to put them to the test, and I have to say, they did a pretty amazing job. The nuts themselves come in a 1.1 lb. muslin bag, which also contains 3 smaller pouch type bags inside. My first experiment was of course as a laundry detergent. I placed 4 of the nuts in one of the smaller pouches and tossed it in the laundry. I washed my normal 4-5 loads of laundry and it worked great! Even on my husbands muddy jeans and socks. This isn't just any mud, it's GA RED CLAY! It got out the stains without the use of bleach or anything else. I was so pleased. I've since used the same pouch of soap nuts for 3 more loads and still it is cleaning well. The instructions on the back were to use for only 4-5 loads, but I wanted to stretch it as much as possible.

Well, my next experiments were as dishwasher detergent and all purpose cleaner. Now this was a little more labor intensive as well as you can only make in small batches because it will spoil easily. I followed the instructions on the back of the back to place 10 soap nuts in a pouch and place in a boiler, then cover with 6 cups of water. I brought it to a boil and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, reducing it to approx. 3 cups. I placed 2/3 of the liquid in a bottle and placed by the dishwasher to be used there. The other third, I placed in a spray bottle, filled the bottle the rest of the way with water and a couple of drops of tea tree oil. I have to say both worked beautifully. I have clean dishes and counters and with an all natural product! I am thoroughly pleased with my results.

Now for the second product I was given to review, the bar soap. I have a positive note as well as a negative note to share about that. I used the soap in the shower, it contains olive oil, coconut oil and saponin from the soap nuts as well as glycerin. The bar does not lather very much, which is not a problem. Where I normally have to apply lotion after showering, I didn't using the soapnut bar. My skin stayed soft and silky all day. My only negative comment would be that it didn't have a smell. I would have liked to had a lavender smell or rosemary mint. But aside from that, I loved the product. It would be great for someone who does not tolerate perfumey smells.

All in all, I give soapnuts a two thumbs up on both products!

You can buy soapnuts here at or enter here for a chance to win both products from the company.The contest will run from Oct. 3 through Oct. 17.Winner will receive a 1.1 lb bag of soapnuts and a bar of soap made from soapnuts.  

Mandatory entry: You must leave a comment here with an email address so I can contact you if you win and follow this blog. If you are not comfortable leaving your email address on the blog you may email me at downroadslesstraveled at gmail dot com.

Extra entries: Subscribe to email from
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                     Tweet about this giveaway (may do this daily for additional entries)
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                     giveaway and leave a link back so I can see that you posted it)

Winner will be chosen using Winner will have 48 hours to contact me after I contact you through your provided email. If said winner does not respond in the given amount of time, then another winner will be chosen again through must be from and in US or Canada

*Disclosure* I was not prompted in any way to give a positive review of All opinions expressed here about soapnuts are exclusively mine. The only compensation I received for this review and giveaway was the products themselves to test and use for myself and my family.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Coming Soon Soap Nuts Review and Giveaway

I will be reviewing and hosting a giveaway of SoapNuts towards the end of this week. Check back soon for dates and guidelines for the giveaway. Tell your friends!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


A BIG Thank you to my friend navyfrugalista over at who helped make my blog look more purdy! I couldn't have done it without her, REALLY, I couldn't, Lame, I know. Thanks so much. I'm so blessed to have such great bloggy friends.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


 The following post is a guest post from a friend. You can read more of her posts over at I loved it so much,(because it sounds a lot like me) and she is a really talented writer.* This post was copied with permission from Kristen-- my un-copyright convictions do not apply here. You must have her permission if you wish to copy.

Okay, here goes with question #11...and it asks for...another picture of you and your friends.

Bleh. What's with all the pic requests, anyway?

Being that I hate pictures of myself and tend to avoid them at all costs, I'm going to go rogue on this one and post a friend-related topic instead. It's my blog and I can do that sort of thing, so there. It's actually not even totally off-topic, as I'll explain why I don't have scores upon scores of pictures of myself and my friends - at least, not current pictures. I'm sure there are many old school pics floating around here somewhere, but none that I'm up to unearthing and scanning tonight.

The reason that I don't have many recent pictures of myself with friends is that *gasp* I just plain don't have that many friends.

No, no...don't feel bad for me. It's not a totally bad thing. I have lots of really great acquaintances...people that I see pretty regularly, whose company I enjoy, who have kids that are my kids' friends, etc. But my definition of "friend" is pretty precise, and I only apply that title to a select few.

And why is that, you ask? Am I that terribly selective about who I call my friend? Do I have a three-mile long checklist of qualities that a person must possess before they're "good enough" to hang around with on a regular basis? Pffft, no, nothing like that. I do have a few criteria, of course - I think we all do. I wouldn't call my standards low by any means, but they're certainly not impossible.

That aside, there's a two-fold reason that I don't have many true friends.

1) I'm kind of a homebody. Okay, I'm a lot of a homebody. I'd rather be at my house, with my family, than anywhere else in the world. (Even though I dream about escaping from all of them pretty much on a daily basis, but you know I'd miss them if I actually got away.) Sure, I like to travel and see new things and spend time with other people, but not all the time. I have no urge to dip my fingers into everything that goes on locally, to be a part of every organization, to participate in every event, to have my kids in every possible activity. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that, but just the thought of all that go-go-go stresses me right out. My goal is for more calmness, for myself and my children. They'll have plenty of time to run in circles when they're older. I want to be with them and just enjoy them as much as possible while they're little.

This...quirk of mine isn't without drawbacks, of course. Because I'm not ever present at social events, I assume that others assume I'm anti-social or not interested in being around them (based on the shocking lack of invitations I receive of late.) That's not true, and it kind of stinks, but I'm not going to change my loathing of running-all-the-time in order to seek out scads of friendships.

2) My biggest requirement for forming a friendship is time. Now, this may seem to be in opposition to what I've just written, but it's not. The thing is, I'm never going to be your best friend overnight; I'm just not wired that way. To be my honest-to-goodness friend, you're going to have to get to know me. And yeah, that might not be the easiest thing to do, given that I'm not going to move into your house or talk to you on the phone all day. But if someone consistently shows interest in being a friend...checks in via email or text, calls sometimes, invites us to join them on playdates, that sort of thing...well, I'll certainly do the same for them. I'm a big believer in "do unto others", after all. And no, I don't mean that my potential friend has to do all the work, although the ones that do know me best understand that I'm not usually the one to plan the outings.

And that is why I claim two, count 'em two, really wonderful friends. They are ladies who understand my quirks and tolerate me anyway, and thank God for them. My friends are that much more precious to me because they are so few in number.

I'll admit, I do get down about it once in a while. After all, I try so hard to be friendly to everyone, and as a general rule, I bend over backward to help anyone who asks. On my down days, I wonder why on earth being friendly isn't enough for some people, why I'm not included in this activity or the other. Sometimes it does sting. But me being me, what else can I do about it?

Not a thing.

So I remind myself that each of my two most wonderful friends were received into my life at precisely the moment that I needed them most. Yes, I remember the exact dates, times and locations, and why I needed them so much. I remember the relief I felt within minutes of first meeting them. And I'm grateful for them, every single day.

There. Ask ME for another picture, why dontcha!

Congrats to the Dill Family

Congratulations to my dear friend and her family. They found out they were expecting a baby this week! Lots of Love to them. She has a wonderful site called "The Dilli-o" check it out sometime. Can't wait for cutie pie baby Dill #3 to get here in May!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Food for Thought

Some of you may not know this, but I have a soap box. Tonight, I've decided to step up on it for a bit. So if you've never heard of a peach on a soap box, here it is.

I recently had a topic brought to my attention once again. The idea of returning food items that had not been used for a refund on said items. My aunt and I as well as my daughter and I have had this conversation quite a bit in the last year or so. My aunt works for a warehouse club in her state and my daughter works for a chain grocer. I suppose, before then I had never really given any thought to it, mainly, because it had never occurred to me to return food items unless there was spoilage involved and I had purchased well within the "sell by" date. If you bought something that is intended for food, then you were to eat it. If you bought it without the intention of eating it yourself, then you must intend to donate it to someone in need. I never knew how big of a issue it is for people to return food, just because. There was nothing wrong with the food. The packaging had not been damaged or tampered with, perhaps they just changed their mind, none-the-less, they just wanted their money back. All the while not realizing the ramifications of what they were and are doing. 

Apparently, I've led quite a sheltered life for the last several years. As my aunt and daughter and I would have these conversations more and more, I started doing a little research on my own. The number of items returned in one chain alone can be astronomical. Some would argue that their reasons for returning an item was because they came to realize that it contained something they no longer wanted to put into their bodies. That's fine, I think for me and my family we should be more careful of what we eat. Yet, that does not mean I am going to let my bag of white rice go to waste in my pantry. Nor does it mean I am going to return it to the store for a refund. We will incorporate it into our diets along with brown rice. Now is this the optimum choice for our diets, probably not, but let's face facts, food is NOT cheap.

Now, let us discuss why it is not cheap. There are several factors, the economy, the price of raising/growing food has risen, packaging, costs of production to package said products--you get the picture. But did you ever consider that all of those people who return food for refunds for no particular reason (or at least no good reason) are driving up the prices of your groceries? I can't say exclusively that all items are marked damaged and thrown out, for the simple reason that I am not God, nor can I be all places at all times. However, as a general rule when food items are returned, no matter how or what they are packaged in, they are marked damaged and thrown away!

I find this to be appalling considering there are so many AMERICAN children going hungry on a daily basis. Some would argue that they want to send the manufacturers a message that they don't want certain chemicals in their foods. These persons would be grossly mistaken. The only way to have a manufacturer acknowledge a complaint, suggestion or any other comment, is to contact that manufacturer. The items that get returned, get a fat DAMAGED stamp and thrown out. Have I mentioned enough times how food gets thrown out when you return it?

No one, not the store, not the manufacturer, not the insurance companies for either parties wants to be responsible for food that has been in someone else's possession. If you are responsible for this type of action, then you know who you are. I am certainly not going to come knocking on your door with the grocery police. What you must realize though is, that you are partly to blame for the inflation of groceries in this country. The price of groceries have risen 25 - 40% in the last five years and less. Now, you may be fortunate enough that this is no big deal to you. You and your household make plenty of money- that kind of an increase is not going to affect you. Quit driving up the price of groceries on the backs of the average working person's paycheck. We have got to stop living in such a way that we have no regard for the rest of the folks out there. I have no issue with helping those in other countries, I am quite the advocate for foreign missions actually. When we show no compassion for the human condition that is in our back door though-- we look pretty stupid to the other countries we are trying to help. Don't get me wrong, I love my country, but sometimes I wonder, just what are we thinking?

So the next time you are at the grocer, think about your purchases before you buy them. Seriously, get off your cell phone, look at your list (if you didn't make one, you should have), please don't buy it if you are just going to return it. Maybe you have no intention of returning it when you buy it-- if you find that you are not going to use it yourself, donate it to your local food bank.It is certainly no secret that food banks nation wide are running low and turning people away, some are even closing. If your community doesn't have one, find a family to donate some items to. I'm sure if you just take a minute to look, you'll easily find someone.

Okay, the peach is off the soapbox now, it is nicely tucked away in the corner where it usually stays.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Won Something!!!

Can I get a Woot-Woot!! I just won a free giveaway from! I'm so excited! This is my first win ever! It was an Emergency Supply kit from the NYC Ad council. Check it out if you like over at her site.
I have some things in the works to start some reviews and giveaways of my own. So stop in occasionally to check them out! But for now, I'm going to go do the happy dance. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

No-Labor Labor Day

Today is Labor Day. Usually around my house that means as little labor as possible on this fine holiday. I love having an extra day, to not have to plan to do anything, and to almost have a day off. Well, I am a homemaker and that is virtually an oxymoron. There is no such thing as a day off when you are AT your WORKPLACE, virtually 24/7.

I do plan to do a few things. Wash a load of towels, maybe work on some crafts for Christmas (yeah, it's approaching quickly), whip up a little something for dinner. I might even get the urge to start a new painting. But not likely. Geesh, if I get those three things done, don't you think that's enough for a holiday that is supposed to  relieve you from you labor for one day?Oh, and one more thing I might squeeze in, a nap, I've been meaning to do that for a while now.  Happy No-Labor Labor Day to ya!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bear With Me

Okay, I'm fairly new to this bloggin stuff. So bear with me while I try to build it up, share a little about what's on my mind, maybe a recipe or two (oh yeah, we're totally changing the way we eat, I'll tell ya more about that later), and let's not forget my occasional soap box (I try to keep it tucked in the corner, but the darn thing just keeps sneaking out). Thanks, Peachy-- yes, I will always go by that nickname, it's about the only one I've ever had, and my best bloggin buds gave it to me.