Happy Mom

Yesterday I listened to a few wonderful podcasts from FamilyLife Today with Dennis Rainy. On the show was guest speaker, Meg Meeker. Meg is a Pediatrician and mother of four. She is the author of “The 10 Habits of Healthy Mothers,” and “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters.” In the podcasts, she shared some simple tips on enjoying a simple life and eliminating competition among mothers.

Meg’s tips were like a breath of fresh air. She encouraged mothers to know where our true value comes from, and it isn’t from the achievements of our children, it is from GOD! We need to let go of the fear that we or our kids will “miss out” if we aren’t in EVERY activity possible, if EVERY moment isn’t scheduled. The most important thing our children want is our time.

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Meg also reminded us to think about enjoying the simple things in life. Encouraging us to allow our kids to be bored, to let them learn to play on their own at times and enjoy the quiet themselves!

Simplicity + Knowing our true value = HAPPY MOM!!

I LOVE the busy, fun days with our friends and I also work hard to balance those days with easy days at home. My girls LOVE to play outside and make up their own games with their imaginations. We often go outside and they play while I do a workout or get some work done from my phone. It is a beautiful thing to see them creating things all on their own!

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For more information or to listen to these podcasts yourself use the “My Podcasts” app on your phone and subscribing to the FamilyLife Today with Dennis Rainey podcast or on the FamilyLife Today website. I reference two podcasts, “Enjoying the Simple Life,” and Eliminating Competition.”

Visit Here is for one of our favorite posts with a few of our own parenting tips!

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Best Uses for Coconut Oil

How do you use your coconut oil?? Here are some tips!

Pic from Huffington Post

Hair

  • Conditioner:Whether applied at room temperature or heated up, letting your hair soak in coconut oil for a few hours will deep condition your hair, i.e. make it look and feel way healthier, as it’s rich with vitamin E, vitamin K, and iron.
  • Anti-Frizz Potion:By lightly finger-combing it through your hair from the ears down, it can help tame frizz without making it look greasy—just keep it away from your roots.
  • Shine Creator:While hair serums can be packed with silicone, unrefined coconut oil will give your hair a natural sheen.
  • Cleaning Machine:As gross as it is to think about, the fact is our scalp and hair have a higher bacterial content than we’d like to acknowledge. Fortunately, coconut oil contains anti-fungal/antibacterial properties that make it serve as a protective barrier.
  • As an incredibly intensive natural conditioner- Rub into dry hair, put a shower cap on and leave for several hours

Face/ skin

  • Moisturizer:When applied on the face or body, coconut oil works as an all-natural moisturizer that replenishes the skin’s natural oils.
  • Soothing Balm:Whether applied topically or ingested in precise amounts, it helps to minimize outbreaks and irritation.
  • Anti-Aging Wonder:Filled with antioxidants that ward off free radicals, it’ll help slow the aging process while keeping your skin hydrated—making you soft, supple, and glowing.
  • Highlighter:Once you’ve applied your makeup, use it as a cheek highlighter as it will enhance your skin’s natural pigments and reflect light.
  • Excema
  • Gets rid of cellulite
  • Can help acne
  • Mix with salt for dry skin on feet

Teeth:

  • Whitener:Oil pulling, which is swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for several minutes, has been found to whiten teeth (Kylie Jenner is a believer).
  • Decay Fighter:When it comes to appearance, it’s not just about the color of your teeth, but also their density over time. Because it’s antibacterial, it helps ward off the plaque buildup that causes tooth decay in the first place.
  • Lip Moisturizer:Chapped lips are not a good look. Whether oil pulling or using it as a lip balm, coconut oil nourishes for a soft pout free of cracks and flakes.

Food:

  • added to anything for energy
  • support healthy thyroid
  • mix with chia seeds for energy boost
  • season cast iron skillets
  • warm cup of tea for sore throat

Cleaning products:

  • use in homemade soap for laundry

Hygiene

  • natural spf 4 sunscreen
  • with apple cider vinegar for lie treatment
  • rub on inside of noise to alleviate allergy symptoms
  • shaving cream
  • reduce itch of mosquito bites
  • ear infection healing. Rub in ears
  • by itself is a natural deorderant

Moms:

  • Nursing moms often take 3-4 tablespoons a day (and Vitamin D) to increase milk supply and nutrients

Benefits:

  • Helps improve insulin
  • Isn’t stored as fat
  • Can improve sleep

Any other ways you use coconut oil?? Let us know!

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Salsa a Family Favorite for Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial Day is this coming weekend and I know that many people are already planning their Memorial Day BBQs. We have 2 BBQs coming up this weekend and I am definitely going to whip up a batch of this fantastic salsa. Whether you are having Mexican food, BBQ chicken, ribs or burgers, this salsa is delicious as a side appetizer or condiment for whatever you are grilling.

Salsa Recipe

1-28 oz can Hunt’s tomato sauce
1-3 oz can El Pato tomatillo sauce
4-5 large tomatoes chopped
1-2 large red onions chopped
2 cups chopped cilantroDSC_1734

 

Depending on how chunky you want your salsa will determine whether you want to chop the vegetables by hand or chop them in the cuisinart. If you want a moderately chunky style salsa, chop the tomatoes and onions and cilantro by hand and stir together with the tomato sauce and tomatillo sauce. Let sit for at least an hour in the refrigerator and serve with tortilla chips, or cut up vegetables.

This recipe was shared with me years ago when I took my youngest daughter on an overnight camping field trip to the 49er’s Gold Country with her 4th grade class. The young adults that ran the 49er’s campground did all the cooking on outdoor grills and they served this fantastic salsa at breakfast, lunch and dinner. They were willing to share their basic recipe and through the years our family has made this recipe (with a variety of modifications) for all sorts of family events. It has become an all time favorite!

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Kindness-Making a Lasting Impact

In the past 5 days, I have been reminded time and time again how I can make a lasting impact on someone’s life by sharing simple acts of kindness. Modeling kindness is a powerful tool in child rearing and it is a way to dispel tension in relationship struggles. Kindness shows love, kindness offers friendship, kindness is an expression of the heart that says-“you matter”. Our family, our community, our country would be a happier place if people focused on kindness instead of criticism, sarcasm  and negativity.
Why then do we ever hesitate in offering kindness to others?
This is what simple acts of kindness looked like in the last 5 days:
A three year old sharing her fruit snacks with her sister without being asked.FullSizeRender
My SIL and daughter sharing a special container full of nutritious snacks with a homeless man.FullSizeRender-1
New friends stopping by with a “going away gift” and staying for 3 hours to help load the moving truck.
Another friend calling to see how he could help and tirelessly carrying boxes for a few hours, patiently stepping around the remaining random clutter. No critical comments about how much still needed to be done-just kindness offered with no strings attached.FullSizeRender-2
Batches of cookies baked and ready for goodbye events or for anyone who needed a small gesture of kindness in return for their friendship.FullSizeRender-3
Do you find ways to be kind each day? There are so many lonely and hurting people in our circles of influence. There are so many difficult circumstances facing our children and grandchildren. When we model kindness, we bring joy and give hope to others.
Find a need…
Take a moment and serve…
Be a good listener….
Stop and look for a way to encourage a friend or family member……
Let go of selfish ambition……
Be a loyal friend………
Someone is watching and your small acts of kindness can make all the difference.
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Amy Golding Photography-Recap of her Passion Perspective and Announcing Giveaway Winner

Our Growing Weisser family is PASSIONATE about every aspect of family life! Family is about having a servant’s heart, helping when you see a need, sharing when you know it is the right thing to do and giving and serving when you don’t really feel like it. Submitting our will, our wants, our needs to the greater needs of the family is part of the package deal when you are part of a growing and thriving family.

Amy Golding’s photography business has grown out of her passion for design and artistry, her skills as a photographer and her passion for capturing intimate moments to preserve memories of families in action.Proof4-1

We hope you have enjoyed her story and we hope that you will check out her website and will follow her on facebook and instagram. Part of growing her business is marketing through word of mouth referrals and she would be blessed by having you as our followers share her story and her website.

The winner of our fantastic giveaway is a surprise……stay tuned for a blog post in the future featuring pictures from the mini session

Congratulations. Amy will be contacting you. Thanks to Amy for sharing her passion for families and photography.

Passion Perspective Day 3- The Blessings and Challenges of Pursuing your Passion

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Her work captures the activities of daily living that will preserve memories for years to come. FullSizeRender-1So much of Amy’s work is personalized for each client. She pours her heart and soul, her  passion and commitment to family into her work. But as a devoted mom herself this presents some challenges to her. So we asked her to be vulnerable and share about how this journey has challenged and blessed her life.

How have you grown emotionally and spiritually as a part of this journey? With regard to her challenges-expected and unexpected, she responded, “It’s been difficult learning how to juggle running a small business with still being a present parent and giving my kids 100% of me. One thing that has been helpful for me has been establishing priorities, work hours and boundaries for myself, to keep myself in-check. Another challenge I have faced was just having the bravery to put my work out there. It’s hard to put your soul out on the web and hope that others will be kind and appreciative to what you do.

When we asked her about the blessings-expected and unexpected that she has experienced she stated, “In putting my work out there though, the positive response I have received has honestly helped increase my confidence and self-worth. I think it’s important as someone who does devote their being to motherhood, to have a creative outlet, or some way to give yourself a sense of self-worth outside of your own motherhood. And I love, love, LOVE that mine relates directly to motherhood and parenthood.

We asked Amy about the wisdom she has gained in the process of turning her passion into her dream career and here are some of her specific answers.

Tips you would want to share with others:”The biggest tip I would share with others starting a business is to not give up and to always make sure your priorities are in the right order.”

Positives and negatives while pursuing your dream: “One of the most positive things that’s happened to me during this process has been having my work critiqued by some of the best photographers in the country, and being able to learn from them. It’s an amazing experience to interact with these people and learn that they are just as human as the next person! Haha!”

Wisdom you have gained personally and how did it affect you? “I think some wisdom I have gained is that it’s important value the work that any photographer puts out there. Recognize that it’s their soul you are viewing and value it as that. I have friends that are far in their journey and friends that are just starting, and it’s important to treat every photographer out there with kindness and love!”Proof3-2

We have enjoyed sharing with you our friend, Amy Golding. Her passion for family warms our heart and her talent for grasping the “Day in the Life” images of her clients is incredible. I hope you have been blessed by getting to know Amy and will refer her to your friends for family photography. Check out her website and Facebook and instagram.

Check back tomorrow to see who is the winner of our rafflecopter give away.

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Passion Perspective Day 2-Amy’s Photography Business

Facebook banner Ad May 2016We asked Amy to take us on the journey of how she developed her passion into her thriving photography business and these were her responses…..
What was your original passion and how did your passion for what you are doing now start? How and when did it begin?
My passion began when I was actually in high school. I was awarded the Sterling Scholar Award for Art for my high school and received several scholarships because of it. Circumstances arose in my life that lead me to chose another career path- and funny enough, I have never used my actual degree. A few years ago, my father-in-law, who is a publisher, asked me to become the editor of a community directory he owns. I said yes, and delved into redesigning the entire book. A huge part of the directory is photography, and after one year of relying completely on other amazingly talented photographers, I decided to take the images myself. Afterwards, friends and family began asking me to take their family pictures and my passion for art was reignited.

What steps did you take to make your dream a reality?
“One of the biggest steps I took was to build a website. It can be pretty scary putting yourself out there for the world to judge. There are so many incredible photographers out there. For me, it took a lot of bravery to say, “Look everyone, this is what I love, and where I’m headed.” There are times that feel incredibly rewarding- when a client posts a photo online for everyone to see, or they tell me, “Wow, you really captured our family!” Those moments make me grateful I had the courage to start my business and the bravery to put it out there.”

What sets your photography business apart? 
“One thing that sets me apart is my Day In The Life photography, where I document a few hours with a family- to capture the real and raw emotion they have for each other. Their real interactions.” Here is a beautiful example of Amy’s work.

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What makes your photography business special?  
“Truthfully, there are millions of photographers out there. But I feel that one thing that makes my business special is that you really get me completely- I will give you my all. I strive to take photos for my clients that I would want to hang in my home, photos that I would want of my own children! I also give my clients their images edited to download and use on the web, because lets face it, that is where most people will even see your family photos. I also offer my clients photo books, so they can re-live each year of family photography with me.”

What are your long-term goals and dreams?
“My long-term goal is to create images that capture the love, joy and emotion that bursts from the family. I yearn for mothers and fathers to look at my photographs and be inspired to be a better mother/father- and also to remember how much it means to them and how amazing their family really is.”

How has your product line changed and expanded? 
“The biggest change I have had recently has been the Day In The Life Photography. After completing a course regarding this specialty, I knew it was the direction I wanted to explore. But I realize it isn’t for everyone! So I still offer lifestyle family sessions, which I LOVE doing, where we can capture that real and raw emotion that is your family.

How do you promote your products?
Right now, I mostly promote my business through word of mouth, instagram, and Facebook.

What are the next steps for your business? What marketing or business mistakes have you made? I’m still learning and growing in this area! I have made a few mistakes- money poorly spent, thinking it would be the greatest investment. The biggest thing I have learned is to trust and believe in myself.

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Check back tomorrow to see more examples of Amy’s fabulous photography and learn about the challenges and the blessings she faces while pursuing her passion.

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Passion Perspective Day 1-Let’s Meet Amy Golding

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Amy Golding is a passionate mom and incredibly gifted photographer. We are featuring her on our Passion Perspective this week. Rachel first met Amy at Miss Lana’s Dance Academy, where their children take dance lessons. We will begin our passion Perspective week with “getting to Know Amy Golding”

Here is how she introduced herself in her Growing Weisser Passion Perspective Interview: “Hello! I’m so thrilled to be featured by such an inspiring blog! A little about me- I’m Amy and I have lived in Murrieta, California for the past 7 years! I’m married to a man with the most amazing heart and I have two sweet kids, ages almost 4 and 8. They are my whole world. I have a degree in Microbiology- but my passion is photography. I love photographing the family. Motherhood can be grueling but also the most joyous experience all rolled into one. I believe the grind is what makes it so sweet. Photography is how I document the story of my family, so I can remember the joy and the love we share. It’s so my kids can see for themselves someday how amazing my experience as a mother has been- particularly THEIR mother- and that being a parent is SO incredibly worth every second of worry, pain and heartache that undoubtably happens. The joy and love of family is real and attainable. In the rush and also the drag of the days, it can be hard for other mothers to see the beauty of their life. My goal in my photography is to capture that joy, so you can remember it always, and cherish it. “ Amy met Rachel and her daughters at dance class and she was “instantly drawn to their sweet personalities and the light and goodness they radiate.”

Just reading her first response helps you see why Rachel and the whole Growing Weisser family are proud to present Amy Golding and her photography business as our featured Passion Perspective.
Rachel has had a personal experience with Amy and her photography business and she states, “We had an incredible experience with Amy. As a mom herself she was so easy to relate to, and the girls felt totally comfortable with her. This comfort and feeling of fun was captured in the amazing photographs of our family just being that—a family! Amy created so much more than just pictures, these are a timeless memory of my girls that I will cherish forever.”

Here are two examples of Amy’s beautiful and captivating photographic images of Rachel’s family.

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Here are a few fun facts about Amy
Life Motto
Love everyone.
Favorite food
I LOVE Cafe Rio pork salads. If you haven’t had one, it’s absolutely worth the drive to Costa Mesa or Redlands! I also love grilled fish tacos.
Favorite dessert
BJ’s pizookies for the win!
Favorite Disney character
I love Buzz Lightyear!
One thing you can’t live without
Besides my family and the scriptures… Truthfully, and it’s kind of embarrassing, but my phone! It’s how I communicate, how I get directions, read (scriptures included!) and make purchases… It sounds silly, but really, my phone is pretty important. Haha!
Favorite book
I love ALL the Flavia de Luce books! So incredibly witty!
One bucket list item
I would love to travel as a photographer for a nonprofit- I think that would be an incredible experience!
Favorite Bible verse
I love the scriptures. One verse that holds a tender place in my heart is Matt. 11:28-30: ““Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” When reading this, I find it helpful to remember what a yoke actually is: a wooden beam, normally used between a pair of oxen or other animals that enables them to pull together on a load. A yoke places animals side-by-side so they can move together in order to accomplish a task. Each of us has a unique load we are carrying, whether it be stress, heartache, anxiety… the list is long! But there is no pain or anguish of the soul that our Savior did not experience first, and because of that He has perfect empathy and knows how to exactly how to heal and strengthen. In this verse, the Savior is asking us to rely upon and pull together with Him, even though our best efforts are not equal to and cannot be compared to His. He is asking us to come to Him because He knows exactly and perfectly how to help. I have found when I enlist His help through prayer and scripture study, and I trust in and pull my load with Him, I don’t feel alone, and I find that rest I really need. The Lord doesn’t necessarily remove my challenges but He increases my capacity to deal with them and He gives me the strength to endure.

Stay tuned for the incredible story about how Amy pursued her passion and enter the fantastic giveaway Amy is offering. $30 off a mini session!!!!

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Summer Sizzle

Do your Summer plans include a plan for your health goals? Wether you answered yes or no, we’ve got you covered with an amazing and fun Summer Challenge!

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We’ve had so much success with our Clean Eating Challenge we are ready to kick it up a notch with our healthy habits!

This 60 Day Challenge will feature our favorite daily nutrition, weekly challenges, and group accountability as we guide you in making lasting changes and achieve a healthy lifestyle you can maintain!

My favorite part of the challenge is our option to “choose your sizzle,” allowing you to determine your own goals and effort level. With nutrition options to support any goal and any phase of life, the choice is simple — choose to make your health a priority this Summer. Life can get a little hectic when your schedule changes, so let this challenge be your constant and your anchor so that the rest of your time and energy can be focused on fun, family, and living life to the fullest.

If you are interested in learning more about our challenge you can comment here, email us at weisserwomen@growingweisser.com or contact Rachel directly at rachelweisser@yahoo.com.

Let’s get ready to SIZZLE with confidence and fun this Summer!

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Helping with Household Chores shows Kindness

Here is a post that was very helpful to many families a few years back so we decided to repost it. The content is timeless but the photos are outdated, but they were too cute to not include in this helpful post. Enjoy Rachel’s insightful suggestions for including involving young children in household chores. this teaches them how to happily serve and teaches them about kindness by helping mommy and daddy. Here is the updated picture of the girls today. FullSizeRender-2

Lately, I have had some success including the girls in my chores and household activities. I use the word “some” on purpose because I know with kids what works one day won’t work another day. However, I hope that what I share can encourage you to make your kids a part of household chores and activities.

Ellie helping Gammie pick tomatoes.

Ellie helping Gammie pick tomatoes. Picture from summer 2014.

If you have a baby, I would encourage you to wear your baby. Ask your friends for recommendations on a baby carrier, or join a local babywearing group. When you have things to do around the house you can include your baby when you wear them or wrap them. (Note: It is generally not recommended to wear your baby while cooking or preparing hot foods. Also, be very careful if you are wearing your baby and using a knife that you can see what you are doing!)

I'm a mommy sandwich!

I’m a mommy sandwich! Picture from 2014

Now for the toddler. Here are some successful ways I have included Ellie.

1. Laundry – Ellie loves to be my “helper.” I say, “Ellie, I need my helper.” And she follows me around saying, “helper, helper!” I let her help me put clothes in the washing machine and push the buttons (only when Mamae is around!). She also love to help transfer the clean clothes to the dryer.  (We have a front loading washer and dryer).

2. Making Pizza – Ellie likes to help out in the kitchen. I am waiting to get a good deal on a learning tower like this one, but for now I’m using a chair so that she can reach the counter. (With constant and careful monitoring). She loves to help me make pizza. I give her a little flour and some measuring cups and let her have fun. She still puts everything in her mouth, so I taught her how to scoop the flour, pour the flour from cup to cup, or paint in the flour on the counter. (Yes, this is a very messy activity!) I also tell Ellie about the ingredients I am adding and count the number of ingredients as they go in.

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3. Making muffins – I wanted to have Ellie help me make muffins for her breakfast. I had the brilliant idea to include her by giving her blueberries to drop into the muffins. It was fun because she could eat the blueberries as she helped. This kept her occupied while I mixed the ingredients. On her first try she put her whole hand in the batter, which was a mess and went straight to her mouth. So I showed her how to drop the blueberries in. She got it right away and loved to say, “drop,” as she did it.

Ellie enjoying the muffins she helped make.

Ellie enjoying the muffins she helped make.

4. Helping with the baby – Ellie loves to help me change the baby’s diapers. I put a stool next to the changing table so that she can watch me. She also likes to get me things for the baby when I ask (blankets, burp cloths, toys), and clean up “yucky” with a burp cloth when the baby spits up. This does mean that these things have to be in her reach. I do spend a lot of time refolding and putting these things away when Ellie has her “take everything out of its place and throw it on the floor” play time, but it is worth it to me to be able to include her.

Ellie loves to "help" by giving Hanna lots of toys.

Ellie loves to “help” by giving Hanna lots of toys.

5. Getting dressed – I have started letting Ellie pick our her clothes. If we have somewhere to be I usually will just give her two outfits to choose from, but if we are on time I just let her go to her drawer a pick. She really likes to choose. Her favorite thing to choose is shoes.

6. Getting the mail – It takes a long time, but Ellie loves to walk down the street to the mail box. Her favorite part is peeking inside to see what we have. Her other favorite part is the short walk there because my neighbor has a beautiful yard with awesome flowers, rocks and plants that Ellie loves to look at.

7. Sweeping – Ellie figured this out all on her own just by watching us. One day she got the broom and started sweeping as she said, “helper.” Somehow the broom and my helper ended up in the office rather than the kitchen, but she enjoyed it!

I know a lot of these ideas require extra time with tasks that would otherwise only take a few minutes, but I have seen awesome rewards from including Ellie in things around the house. Toddlers love doing whatever mommy and daddy do, so use that to your advantage! If there is a task that you need to do quickly or your kids can’t help, I find food to be a great help. I just fill a little bowl with a snack and ta-da, toddler is happy and mommy can finish her chores (or sit and take a quick break!).

What are your favorite ways to include your kids in household tasks?

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