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Homemade Microwave Popcorn

I am really excited about this recipe – the kiddos and I LOVE popcorn!  What I don’t love is the cost and unnecessary ingredients in normal microwave popcorn or the hassle and clean up of most homemade recipes.  Recently I learned that you can make your own microwave bags with just a brown paper bag and some kernels.  Our grocery store sells 100 packs of paper bags for $2.09 and popcorn kernels for $1.10/pound....

Lemon, Poppyseed, Zucchini Power Muffins

These sweet lemony delights taste like a muffin and satisfy like an energy bar.  The ingredient list looks strange (beans, oats, zucchini and lemon, really?) but they taste awesome and they’re packed with nutrition.  They’re full of protein, fiber and a good dose of vitamins and minerals.  They’re also gluten free, relatively low fat and did I mention, they taste really good?  I’ve been testing...

How to Make Foaming Hand Soap

The cost of commercial hand soap is highway robbery.  Most places charge the same price for regular and foaming soap, even though the foaming version is diluted with over 75% water!  Fortunately this is one of the easiest products to make at home.  For less than $1 you can make a 10 oz bottle of soap and use essential oil to customize the scent however you please.  It cleans beautifully, takes about 2 minutes to make and...

Coconut Cream Popsicles

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a serious popsicle kick lately.  It’s been an outrageously hot summer and nothing tastes better than a frozen treat on a hot day…  This pop is my take on Edy’s Whole Fruit Coconut popsicles and they’re even better than the original!  They’re dripping with rich, creamy coconut flavor and they’re a perfect poolside treat…  If...

Banana Ice Cream in a Blender!

Did you know that you can make outstanding, creamy ice cream using just bananas?  Simply freeze bananas then purée them in your blender or food processor – it couldn’t be any easier!  It tastes awesome and the texture is remarkably similar to regular ice-cream.  Plus it’s healthy, dairy free, gluten free and no sugar added.  Satisfy your cravings with this wholesome dessert – you’ll be shocked at...

Prenatal Testing Explained

When I was pregnant with Luke I felt very pressured to go through the full gamut of prenatal testing.  Most of the tests were no brainers – low or no risk tests that were clearly helpful.  But a few of them – specifically the screenings – weren’t as obvious and I felt like I wasn’t given enough information to make an informed decision.  So I started asking questions, talking to other women and researching the...

Homemade Pretzel Bites

I grew up outside of Philly which is quite possibly the soft pretzel capitol of the world.  They have entire stores devoted to soft pretzels and during childhood we frequently bought them on the side of the road.  To this day a warm, moist, delicious pretzel brings me back to happy childhood memories.  Lately Marshall and I have been on a bit of a pretzel kick and I was tickled to learn that they’re not hard to make....

Top 12 Low Light Houseplants

Houseplants are amazing – they beautify your home, clean your air and generally just make me happy.  We recently moved into a condo that faces northeast, not a good direction for growing plants!  We get some nice morning sun, but not nearly enough to sustain most sun loving houseplants.  So I’ve been on a mission to find shade tolerant houseplants that will brighten up our new place.  Below are some tough cookies –...

How to Read a Label

Conscious consumers are beginning to recognize and reject chemical laden skincare (see here for some compelling reasons why: http://youngmotherhubbard.com/how-this-blog-works/why-bother/).  Similar to the organic food movement, people are demanding an alternative that respects our health and our planet.  When consumers speak with their wallets, companies listen.  This can be seen through the awesome growth of the organic...

How to Make Yogurt

A couple years ago Marshall and I were watching an episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown makes yogurt.  I was shocked at how simple it was, it doesn’t even require any special equipment!  We eat a lot of organic yogurt which is expensive and that show gave me the confidence to attempt to make it myself.  I’ve made yogurt many times since then.  It’s simple, cheap and tastes even better than store...

Making Babies – Book Review

It seems like everyone I know is either pregnant or trying to get pregnant.  And a surprising number of us have struggled with infertility, often with no explainable cause.  These are fit, healthy, youngish couples with no apparent medical conditions.  Yet month after month, sometimes year after year, infertility rears its ugly head.  This book, Making Babies by Sami David and Jill Blakeway, recently caught on with our...

How to make baby food

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but store bought baby food is crazy expensive.  When my son switched to solid foods I took one look at the prices, did some quick math and realized I could save well over half the cost of baby food by making it myself.  Plus making your own baby food has benefits beyond cost savings – there are no preservatives, fillers or questionable ingredients.  You can customize your baby’s...

All Purpose Cleaning Spray Recipe

This is a wonderfully simple, low chemical cleaning spray you can use all over your home.  It’s non-toxic, easy to make, works great and is way cheaper than store bought alternatives.  Scent it with your favorite essential oil and it’ll smell so fantastic you’ll (almost) want to clean! All Purpose Cleaning Spray (Time: 2 minutes) Ingredients: 2 cups (16 oz) water 1 1/2 Tablespoons dish soap or 3...

Chapstick Recipe

My love of chapstick goes back to elementary school and a tube of grape chapstick.  To this day I still place chapstick strategically around the house (by the bed, in my purse, on the kitchen counter) so I never have to go long between applications.  Over the past decades I’ve spent a small fortune on it, especially as I’ve grown more aware of quality and ingredient lists.  A few years back I attempted to hone...