Zaycon Foods

Today I want to share a quick little word with you about an awesome food movement. Have you heard of Zaycon Foods? No? Okay, let me share with you what they are all about!

“Zaycon Foods is a privately owned company based in Spokane, Washington. The company was founded in 2009 with the simple mission to bring farm fresh meats direct to consumers at wholesale prices. 

You see, we knew all the farmers who had the best stuff around. Thanks to our experience in the grocery industry, we knew how to quickly move that great stuff from point to point, preserving its freshness, taste, and nutrition.

 

So we asked ourselves: “Why are there middlemen involved? Why aren’t we just getting this food directly from the farms to the people who are going to eat it?”

 

That idea grew into the company we are today.

 

When we started off just a few short years ago, we offered only a few meats in a few areas. But thanks to the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response we’ve gotten from all of you, Zaycon has grown like wildfire!

 

We now offer a wider range of fresh foods – from milk to berries to salmon filets – to an ever expanding list of regions. If we have not been to your area yet, let us know and you can bet we’ll be there soon. And if we’ve already been through a dozen times, you know we’re coming back again, too!”

 

Here is short video about how they get their products straight to their customers.

We just put in our order for their upcoming 93/7 Ground Beef and Applewood boneless Ham, (which I would do soon by the way, if you are interested in ordering from them) and can’t wait to pick it up! If you want to check out their site just click here.

Have you ever purchased from Zaycon Foods or anyplace like them before? Please tell us about your experience below.

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Amazing Homemade Ranch

I try to be a good wife and mother and devote my time with my family strictly to them. I only write posts and things when little man is sleeping either during naptime or in the morning or evening and when the hubby is busy with school work. And then during that time I only let myself write posts when all my household duties are taken care of (cleaning, cooking, dishes, laundry etc you get the idea). To me, if my home falls apart because of time spent online I have truly failed indeed at my favorite and most important job. In life there are seasons, and we happen to be in one that demands my time, a lot. So when it’s been a while just know that I am still here, loving and thinking of you, but trying to do a million other things as well.

We really needed a dairy free version of Ranch Dressing especially when the little man decided that: 1. Dipping food is the second coolest creation ever; and 2. Ranch Dressing is so amazing that he will eat it plain. (True story). So I started scouring the internet trying to find a recipe that we could use to make some ranch.  Trouble is all of those recipes that I found are made with a soy alternative and that didn’t work for me (and I suspect the little man too) because I am allergic to that, too. Fun right? So then I had the idea to just try to make it with the dairy substitutes we already use. Right now we are currently using either unsweetened or original almondmilk and original coconutmilk. We prefer to use the almondmilk for the ranch. Of course you could always make this into regular ranch, though we honestly can’t taste the difference, with soured milk or buttermilk (you would just leave out the lemon juice).

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See we love this ranch, looks like it’s time to make more!

Ranch Dressing*

1 c Homemade Mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice, poured into a 1 cup measuring cup (leave out if using buttermilk)
7 1/2 tbsp Almondmilk, or pour the almondmilk into the cup containing the lemon juice until it reaches 1/2 cup
1/2 tsp dried Chives
1/2 tsp dried Parsley
1/2 tsp dried Dill Weed
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp dried Onion Flakes
TT fresh ground Sea Salt
TT fresh ground Black Pepper

1. Let the lemon juice and almond milk sit for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, chives, parsley, dill, garlic powder, onion flakes, and salt and pepper. Add in lemon and almondmilk mixture.
3. Let rest for 30 minutes in the fridge, (lf you can stand not eating it by the carrot stick full) and enjoy!
*We do like to make this doubled because we eat so much of it!

Hope you enjoy this ranch recipe! What is your favorite salad dressing/condiment?

From my Family, to Yours..

Whole Food Budget Challenge

I have had many people tell me that they would love to eat like we do. Nothing but whole foods. But they then say that they just can’t afford to right now, maybe later in their life when they have more money (probably has something to do with the fact that we are poor college students, and almost everyone that we associate with, are as well).

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First, I want to say that we don’t “eat whole” 100% of the time. We are still in the adjusting process of this whole experience, we by no means are perfect at this. Just check out todays lunch Instagram, we had a mixture of frozen homemade pasta sauce and store bought, becuase I didn’t make enough to last us until this summer last year, partially becuase we only have so much freezer space (oh pressure cooker I would love it if you magically showed up on my doorstep). Someday I hope that we are at 97% or above but for now we eat whole (meaning we do not eat pre-packaged processed foods, rather we make things from scratch etc etc) around 60%-70% of the time. But whenever I do eat processed foods my body is really starting to feel it, equaling bad headaches and a fog that overcomes my being. Not pleasant.
Second, I want to say that we are broke too! We set aside a larger portion of our budget for whole food shopping, but it is still restricted. I wanted to challenge myself this month though and keep to a tight budget and still eat whole foods in the process!
I set the budget to $200. But my budget plans might get messed up a little becuase we are going to have my parents, brother and his girlfriend staying with us this weekend and they have to eat too.
What do you think of this plan? Impossible? Do-able? Is the budget too high? Or too low?

Cloth Diapers: Questions and Concerns

There really is so much to learn when it comes to cloth diapers, it can be very overwhelming at first! I know I felt like a deer in headlights when I started looking into it. My goal is to hopefully help simplify that a little bit over the next several posts. Today let’s look at some cloth diaper concerns that people have.

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Cost
Will using cloth diapers really save me money?
I think everyone realizes that they will save you a little money because you are not buying bags or boxes of diapers all the time, but did you know that over your child’s diapering years you can spend anywhere from $1,200 – $3,500 or more if your child isn’t potty trained by 2 and a half, on diapers and wipes! If you don’t believe me do the math yourself!  A newborn on average uses 12 diapers a day. As they grow older they use less and less until it averages out at 6 a day around 6 to 8 months old.
But what about me, I shop sales and or use coupons?
Yes, though you will be spending less on disposables, think of all the extra money you will be saving by purchasing something you can reuse over and over,  even with your other children so that savings will continue to add up as you continue to use them. And when you are done with them they have a pretty good resale value too!
Okay, but what about all the water and electricity/gas that you will use to wash and dry them?
I am so glad you asked! First, let’s think of all the trees, water, electricity, and other precious resources that went into just making that little disposable diaper. Then, I will point out that most diapers are not supposed to go into the dryer, and in fact hanging diapers and liners out on the line in the sun not only sanitizes them further, but the sun has awesome stain-fighting power! So that cuts your drying time down to almost non-existent. Finally, I will concede. You do have to use water to clean your diapers, and to remove the waste, which I will discuss more in posts devoted entirely to those lovely topics. But you can be smart about how you do it, so that way you are not paying a ridiculous amount, nor using a ton of water. With cloth diapering you are not adding laundry that needs to be done daily (unless you don’t have a large enough stash), rather you will add 2 to 3 extra easy loads per week.
Before, I leave the cost factor I do want to say that there is an up front price tag associated with cloth diapers. You need to purchase your supplies almost all at once in order to cloth diaper. For example: If you purchase only diaper liners and wipes, you will not be able to achieve leak proof-ability (that’s a word right?) without a cover nor will you be able to wash them with out a detergent that is safe with cloth diapers (more on this in its own post as well).

Cloth Diapers Won’t Work
For one reason or another people don’t think that they will work anymore. Notice the word anymore. They used to work fine, but now with our modern society we need a more modern diaper, instead of the flat cloth that you have to fold and risk pricking either your little one or your self and finally some plastic pants to wear over them. Thank heavens for our modern life and the fact that we have more modern options. Cloth diapering has changed quite a bit and we will go over some of those changes in the following posts. I am happy to say that cloth diapers do work! In fact, they work better than disposables! They hold in the poopy messes so much better, which is music to the ears of any parent’s of newborn babies out there. I know with the little man we had diaper blowouts that went up his back and down his legs, using disposables, and we ruined tons of cute outfits in the process.
But I’ve heard that Cloth Diapers leak really bad.
It is true that cloth diapers cannot go on indefinitely absorbing urine as it seems some disposable diapers can. It is a good rule of thumb change your babies diaper every two hours. Then you should never have to deal with leaks. As for nighttime use there are certain liners and other tricks you can use to maximize your diapers absorbency. Also, I would avoid any cheap brands of diapers, they are not as well made and can delaminate or come apart easily.

Too Much Work
Cloth diapers are a great idea and all, but they take too much work to fit into my busy day.
I agree that life is incredibly hectic and busy and trying to do one more thing a day can seem overwhelming. But all in all I think I spend 1 hour altogether during the space of a week actually dealing with cloth diapers, not including diaper changing time because that would happen regardless of our use of cloth diapers or not. I have an entire post planned on our laundry routine and another one just for our daily routine.

Poop is gross
That is a true statement if ever there was one! And using cloth diapers doesn’t make poop less gross, but you don’t smear your hands in it! In fact, I have a whole post where we will discuss this whole “poopy issue” as well. And also did you know that you are supposed to flush the poop from a disposable diaper down the toilet to? Yep! Because otherwise that “loaded” diaper you are throwing away will go to a landfill creating a toxic dump, especially if that waste is contaminated with any kind of virus, bacteria, or disease. And beyond that, disposable diapers can take anywhere from 300-500 years to decompose. That means that none of the disposable diapers that have ever been used are even close to decomposing yet. Now THAT is gross!

Cloth Diapers Smell Terrible
The truth couldn’t be further from that. I actually have a hard time knowing when the little man has gone, because they hold in the smell so well. We have to actually look and see if he has or not. If your diapers do smell really bad of ammonia, then that most likely means that your diapers are in need of a good “strip”. A not difficult process that we will discuss in more detail later, but otherwise they do not smell bad at all.

There are a couple of extra pluses to using cloth diapers too. The use of disposable diapers exposes your baby to unnecessary and dangerous chemicals from the very beginning and, though the consequences may not be immediate, no one is sure of the long term outcome of such exposures. In my opinion, it is better to avoid chemicals as much as possible.
Cloth diapers also are more gentle on babies sensitive skin. The chemicals and toxins in disposable diapers can seriously irritate babies skin. It is not true though that cloth diapered will never get diaper rash. There are many factors that go into diaper rash such as: being left took long in a soiled diaper, food sensitivities or allergies, harsh laundry detergent, yeast infection, teething and so forth.
It is also possible for the use of cloth diapers to lead to earlier potty training! The reason behind this is because most babies do not like feeling the wetness that the cloth diaper produces compared to disposable diapers which are more of a stay-dry experience. There are many factors that go into potty training though so I would not have this be the reason you are cloth diapering.
And finally cloth diapers are just cuter! That may seem silly, but they make those adorable baby bums just that much cuter!

*The information in this post was taken from my own experience and also referencing “Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert” by Erin Odom an excellent resource on cloth diapers. You can also check out her websites here and here.

Were there any concerns that I didn’t address? Make sure to let me know in the comments below! And stay tuned for the next post in this cloth diapering series where I will discuss how we use cloth diapers and our daily routine.

From my Family, to Yours..

Our Monthly Gift from the Earth

I have been asked by the lovely Larissa Dickson to be a co-contributor at the blog Everything doTERRA. She has really created an awesome space there to learn so much about Essential Oils! I am honored to work with her! Today I posted about our monthly gift from the earth. Here is a sneak preview:

“Each month we are blessed to receive products from doTERRA, and because doTERRA literally means gift of the earth, that is what we call our exciting package that arrives on our doorstep. We take part in the Loyalty Rewards Program (LRP), which is an awesome incentive for Independent Product Consultants (IPC’S) which you should check out here. The longer you stay with the program the more points you receive back for your orders. It does max out at 30%, but the credits build very quickly and you can use those credits to reduce the cost of your oils and even get them free! We are saving up our credits to use them in a large chunk.

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This was our order this month! Normally we get more…”

Make sure to click-through and see what we got this month, and all the other great things she has available!

 

Our Little Oily Life

I feel like a lot of my posts lately are sharing with you all of the new things we are doing in our “Nourishing” life. I hope you are not tired of them yet we just think these new things we are doing are all just so exciting! And today I’m going to share with you one of my favorites!

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About seven months ago, some of our friends introduced the hubby and me to essential oils. I had heard of aromatherapy growing up (though I didn’t really know what was used in it), and more recently I had vaguely come across essential oil references in the health literature I had been reading.
The only thing I knew was that lavender was my favorite scent and Frankincense and Myrrh (I didn’t know they were essential oils) were two of the three gifts given to Jesus Christ by the three wise men. They explained what essential oils were (the life-blood of plants), and that because they are not made synthetically (which makes their basic structure a mirror image of what ours is and, consequently, incompatible with ours) they work with our bodies to produce some pretty amazing results. When they said that we were like, O…K… …so what does that mean?
Basically it means that you can use these oils to help your body heal from certain ailments naturally. I sure liked the sound of that, but the hubby silently asked the question, “Yeah, but does it really.” It turns out that they had just signed up to be Independent Product Consultants with doTERRA, a company that has the highest grade of essential oils available to mankind. They are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade making them the best of the best, and safe enough to be consumed interally and even used on infants and children. Not something that you can say about most OTC medicine’s.

They gave us some samples to take home including: Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, DigestZen, and Deep Blue Rub. Two nights later, Little Man, broke out in a fever in conjunction with him teething and I wanted to try the Peppermint to help alleviate his symptoms. I asked our friends for some guidance and applied the peppermint as needed to the Little Man. Immediately he started cooling down and we were excited by the results. We started using the essential oils more and more and when the hubby asked for some peppermint to relieve his headache, before even trying the Tylenol, I knew he had come around to the idea that they work. Not long ago, we decided to sign up as Independent Product Consultants as well to get our oils at wholesale price, and the rest, as they say, is history. We already have so many great stories to share and that is what, every so often, I will do. These essential oils are improving our health one day at a time and we have opportunities to witness the little miracles that come from them every day.

If you are interested in learning more about doTERRA essential oils check our our website here. It has information about essential oils and doTERRA as a company, and if you are interested in purchasing any oils or other products you can also do so there. There are some pretty awesome promotions this month that doTERRA is offering.

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During February, you can save 10% on the essential oil Whisper. “Whisper is a perfect balance of several CPTG® essential oils unified to impart beauty, femininity, and allure. Whisper’s subtle fragrance, once applied, mingles with your individual scent to enhance the essence that is all your own.” It’s pretty awesome, it really does create a perfect scent for you!
The product of the month is Oregano. This is an excellent oil because it is antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiseptic to the respiratory system, antiviral, and an immune system stimulant. It kills everything from Candida to Whooping Cough, Ebola to Staph infections, and from MRSA to the Plague. The product of the month promotion is simple, you only need to place one monthly Loyalty Rewards order totaling 125 PV or more.  Make sure it is scheduled to ship on or before the 15th of each month, and your order will include a free product! We love taking advantage of these great deals to get free oils!

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They also have this great promotion for a limited time. Stainless steel roller balls that you can put into the oil bottles themselves to make your own “rollers”. I would jump on this deal if you want it, because when they are gone they won’t be back for awhile, if at all.

If you would like to purchase your oils at wholesale price, get free oils, and also potentially have a side-business (it can do anything from pay for your oils, to replacing your full time job, if you work at it) then either click here or email me at thesnickerplum@gmail.com for more information.

One last thing, if you are interested in learning more about essential oils and live in the Rexburg, Idaho area we are going to be co-hosting a class this Saturday, February 15 at 5:30 PM, please email me for the address. I am really excited for this class and we will also be doing a giveaway! If you are not in this area but would like to attend either this class through Skype, a class at another time, or a class in your area, email me and we will find a class that works with your schedule/location.

I promise I will not spam the blog with doTERRA posts, but I wanted to have the links and dates available if you were interested.

I am excited about this journey that we are on, and can’t wait to share it with you along the way.

From my Family, to Yours..

By the way, We are doing this

I have hesitated for a while now, sharing this piece of information on the blog, but I figured it is now time.

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It’s not that I was ashamed that we use cloth diapers, in fact 95% of the time I prefer using them, and wish we would have from the beginning (we would have been spared from so many nasty newborn blowouts and not stained so many cute outfits), I was just not sure how much we would like them. And that’s what I am here to share with you.  We do! I never want to go back to disposable diapers! Even when we are not broke like a joke college students. So, every so often I am going to be posting different topics about them like: where to start, my advice, things that we use, and how our cloth diaper system works.

And let me just say one more thing before I go: These are not your Grandma’s cloth diapers. The world of cloth diapering has changed folks, even from my early babysitting years. So stay tuned and we will take this one step at a time.

Have you ever used cloth diapers? What was your experience? Please share your story below.

From my Family, to Yours..