In Just 90 Days – Total Body Transformation

In just 90 days, I will be totally transformed, In just 90 days – Total Body Transformation……well, I have officially been sucked in to the Ketogenic diet. Now so long ago, I bought a Groupon for a local fitness boot camp.  I loved it, I loved feeling like I was doing something for me, I loved working with a trainer, and I loved the people I met while sweating for a common goal.  I began having health issues and dropped out of the program because it was simply too hard to do any longer.

After my lupus diagnosis, I told myself that I would take time to just focus on my health and getting better. I didn’t want to put any fitness or weight loss goals in the mix while trying so hard just to make it through the day as is.  Well that was a year ago, more if you count the symptoms that went on for years without an official diagnosis, and here I am sitting at my heaviest weight and feeling horrible.

It’s the little things for me: Like having to take my wedding band off at night because my hands swell, or cutting the sides of my pants because they are just easier to sit at my desk when there is more give in the sides.  I have chin rolls for goodness sake.  As if the universe heard my begging for a sign, I had an email in my in box, from the trainers at the boot camp.

HI KATHY – 
If you’re interested in joining the UP NUTRITIONALS FOCUS GROUP that Melinda + I are recruiting for,  I wanted to let you know that we only have a COUPLE spots left!  
 I have 2 questions for you:
#1) do you feel like your metabolism has SLOWED DOWN over the past few years? 
This is so stereotypical but UNFORTUNATELY SO TRUE!!  Metabolism + hormones DO CHANGE with age … but that’s also something that we created this diet to FIGHT + REVERSE! And it’s been awesome to see the ladies in our PHASE 1 group see MAJOR CHANGES in their WAIST LINE + ENERGY LEVELS by getting their hormones in check + metabolism fired up so they can actually get the weight off! = THIS PROGRAM IS WORKING GREAT AS WE PLANNED!!
#2) do you have excess weight you want to lose … HOW MUCH? 
If you DON’T have any weight to lose (then lucky you … ) then you DON’T qualify.  
The BEST thing about this TBT Diet is that Melinda + I can literally use ALL OF OUR YEARS OF EXPERIENCE with ALL DIFFERENT BODY TYPES from Body by Todd to REALLY HELP people lose weight!  The DIET CYCLING is working like MAGIC on all body types in our study so far … the BEST RESULTS are from one of my clients MICHELE who lost 8 LBS in the 1st WEEK + is down almost 30 now in WEEK #5!!!  (+ it’s not because she’s 22 either …) 
So let me know if you have any questions, because I’m closing out my list for this OVER 35 FEMALE / 20+ lbs to lose + I’d love for you to join my team! 
ALSO, in addition to the RESULTS PHOTOSHOOT we are planning for the end of the 90 days, we want to be able to PAY people for their transformation + to be an INSPIRATION to others!  If you’re interested in learning more about that then here you go: https://upnutritionals.com/3-ways-compensation
Hope you’re having a GREAT WEEK , talk to you soon!

I joined, and I have lost 6lbs so far, but more importantly I feel awesome. I have energy and I feel like I’m back baby!!

I don’t know if this is something I will do for the rest of my life, and I don’t know that I won’t what I do know is that feeling this good is what I was looking for.  I do hope to become a spokesperson for UP Nutritionals at the end of my 90 days because that would be huge for me.  In the meantime if anyone has interest you can check it out at www.upnutritionals.com. If you decide to order use my promo code , that will allow me to get you promotions and discounts etc.  As a spokesperson it also would allow them to know that people follow and care about what I do.

What I like about this program is: Its ALL laid out, no guesswork or wondering what you should eat and when.  It is for normal people, who work full time and have other things to do besides meal prep. You can eat out, with some modifiers but yes. And also COFFEE!!! All of these things make this a win/win for me.  Ill keep you posted on my progress, but for now just know that I am in a good place.

I’m Back…..and Saving Money on Stuff We Use

Well I have to apologize for my hiatus, my health and family comes first which means blogs are somewhere lower on the importance meter.  I am back and I am excited to continue sharing our journey of everything Homespun.  I know we talked about Grove before, but I want to share a few things about it again just in case you haven’t tried it.

I know my friend, Irene wants to use natural cleaning products that are great for the planet including her own family.  She loves vinegar cleaning.  The problem is her hubby is not such a fan of the smell. Not to fear…introducing Aunt Fannies – they offer a vinegar based cleaner that smells so fabulous.  I thought the pest control line like the fruit fly trap was genius. So I ordered both the cleaner in Mandarin scent and the fruit fly trap, 5 star reviews and I am excited to share my experience with y’all.  See below for some highlights on Aunt Fannies.

An easy, healthy clean for kitchen, bath & more.

Safe for food contact surfaces including counters and high chair trays

Commercial-grade cleaning power makes fast work of tough jobs
Made with non-toxic microbiomic ingredients.
No chemical smell.
Never tested on animals.

 

Now for my other realization: Prices

I was spending at least $1 to $1.50 or more for the products I ordered when I went to Target to buy, not to mention it’s Target ( go in for one thing come out $50 later) For the cost savings alone it was worth it to go back to Grove and by resigning up I got a cute apron, and a ton of cleaning products for free.

https://www.grove.co/referrer/1227017/

Okay so I know you want to use natural products and let’s be honest this can get expensive. Not to fear, Mrs. Maker is here. Sign up through the above link and not only get $10 off your first order. If you spend $20 you also get:

  • Grove Co. Walnut Scrubber Sponges
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Lotion
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap
  • Free 60-day VIP Trial or just subscribe and pay $2.99 shipping per order with no subscription or minimum.
  • Free shipping

You can easily subscribe to get products delivered each month or so to your door, or you can do what I did and cancel the future orders until you decide if these products are right for you and your family, and how often you want them.

Just a little bit about Grove Collaborative, Grove Collaborative is dedicated to helping everyone create a healthy, beautiful home. They grew out of a simple belief: the best natural products for your home and family should be the easiest to get.

At Grove Collaborative, they do the work to find amazing, affordable and effective natural products – from non-toxic laundry detergents that are tough on stains to sustainably sourced argan oil that will make your hair and skin glow.

Life is too busy for last minute errands so they deliver to your doorstep, on your schedule.

They work in collaboration with partner brands that share their values and vision. Everything you’ll find here meets the Grove Standard:

Uncompromisingly healthy.

Beautifully effective.

Sustainably minded.

Amazingly affordable.

Welcome to the beauty of Grove Collaborative.

Grove Collaborative is a Certified B Corp. one of just 1,700 companies like Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Etsy, and Ben & Jerry’s that meet the world’s most rigorous standard for businesses supporting social, environmental and community wellbeing.

Why My Family switched to Organic Milk- It’s worth the cost.

Organic milk costs a good deal more than ordinary milk in most stores—but I can show you below that it is worth the extra cash.

Today’s dairy cows endure cycles of artificial insemination, pregnancy and birth, and mechanized milking for 10 out of 12 months. This  overburdens the cows, who are considered “productive” for only two years and are slaughtered for hamburger when their profitability drops, typically around their fourth birthday, a small portion of their natural lifespan. This is sad.

My main reason that we switched to organic milk only in our house was that turning dairy cows into milk machines has led to epidemics of so-called “production-related diseases,” such as lameness and udder infections, the two leading causes of dairy cow mortality in the United States. We all remember the Humane Society of the United States investigation showing sick and crippled dairy cows being beaten and dragged into the California dairy cow slaughter plant en route to the national school lunch program, triggering the largest meat recall in history.

Because of the udder infections in the U.S. dairy herd, the dairy industry continues to demand that American milk retain the highest allowable “somatic cell” concentration in the world. Somatic cell count, according to the industry’s own National Mastitis Council, “reflects the levels of infection and resultant inflammation in the mammary gland of dairy cows,” but somatic cells are not synonymous with pus cells, as has sometimes been misleadingly suggested. Somatic just means “body.” Just as normal human breast milk has somatic cells—mostly non-inflammatory white blood cells and epithelial cells sloughed off from the mammary gland ducts—so does milk from healthy cows. The problem is that many of our cows are not healthy.

According to the USDA, 1 in 6 dairy cows in the United States suffers from clinical mastitis, which is responsible for 1 in 6 dairy cow deaths on U.S. dairy farms. This level of disease is reflected in the concentration of somatic cells in the American milk supply. Somatic cell counts greater than a million per teaspoon are abnormal and “almost always” caused by mastitis. When a cow is infected, greater than 90% of the somatic cells in her milk are neutrophils, the inflammatory immune cells that form pus. The average somatic cell count in U.S. milk per spoonful is 1,120,000.

So how much pus is there in a glass of milk? Not much. A million cells per spoonful sounds like a lot, but pus is really concentrated. The average cup of milk in the United States would not be expected to contain more than a single drop of pus. EWWWWWWW. If drinking pus is not enough to sway you, I have included a few more handy facts about ordinary vs organic milk.

Get Longer Shelf Life

One big advantage organic milk has over regular milk is its shelf life: most brands of organic milk are sterilized at very high temperatures (around 280 degrees F), so it can keep for up to two months.

Because regular pasteurized milk is heated to only 165 degrees F or lower, it doesn’t have the same shelf life. On the other hand, high-temperature sterilization can make milk sweeter—something that may be a plus or minus, depending upon your preferences.

If you’re concerned about milk going bad in your refrigerator, organic milk might actually save you money. Alternatively, you can buy non-organic milk that has been sterilized at high temperatures.

Drink up Extra Nutrition

While ultra-high-temperature processing can have a negative impact on some nutrients, researchers find that organic milk does have a high level of omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 can be found in many foods and taken as a supplement. Studies show that Omega-3 can reduce cardiovascular disease, improve neurological development and function, and strengthens immune function.

Possible Additives

Two products— bovine growth hormone and antibiotics—are said to be found in regular milk but not in organic milk.

It’s quite true that organic milk comes from cows that have never been given these drugs, which means that organic milk is guaranteed to be free of any residue.

 

Environmentally Friendly

With these benefits and the longer shelf life of organic milk are considered, it’s easy to see why organic milk can be ​a good buy. Plus now drinking pus…ewwwwww.

Gift Exchange Idea – Misto

  • Misto is the #1 Selling Oil Mister Brand in the U.S (Source: The NPD Group, Inc./Retail Tracking Service. 52 weeks ending April 2016)
  • Reusable oil spray and mister bottle gives you the convenience and health benefits of an aerosol sprayer in a more economical and environmental form
  • Fill MISTO with your favorite oils, vinegars, lemon and lime juice, sherry, or marsala wine. Great for salads, breads, or cooking
  • Easy-to-use pump style cap features a 2-step operation: simply pump the container, then and press the valve on the pressurized sprayer for an even mist.
  • Environmentally friendly: The non-aerosol sprayer doesn’t use chemical propellants, and it’s refillable, so no more throwing cans away to end up in landfills. MISTO is BPA-free. Threading the cap on incorrectly allows air to escape and in turn does not allow the bottle to build up pressure to spray.

Well in my effort again to be the most environmentally conscience that I can be without being weird, I would like to offer my recommendation for the Misto.

We have used PAM or knock off store version of PAM for years, the spraying seemed wasteful and also full of chemicals, that while we were buying organic foods and worried about what we ate, we put chemicals on the pans to cook with? This seems counter intuitive.  My friend recommended the Misto. I read up on it and realized that a lot of people give this as a gift exchange present. It is perfect to give the gift of something you know they will use, but also something that is good for them.

It’s not just for oil, this can me used for salad dressing, breads and endless other options. It’s healthier because you can control the amount of oil or seasoning.

I have been using mine for about a month and I LOVE IT. This was by far the best $10 purchase, which I used my Amazon Rewards points to buy. My MISTO was actually free.

Last night we made roasted asparagus and I simply did a few pumps of the Misto rather than tossing in olive oil.

With the holidays around the corner, I would recommend this for a Favorite Things or any under $10 exchange. They will be thanking you.

Burt’s Bees Makeup- I am in Love

Well over the weekend, I bit the bullet, by bullet I mean under $40 for ALL NATURAL BURTS BEES MAKE-UP.

I saw an ad on my Facebook timeline that Burt’s Bees now offers a makeup line, made up natural ingredients.  I was already hooked on their lip balm, due to the healing nature of my overly dry lips, so I thought, why not give it a go.

Today is day One with my new minimalist make-up routine. I bought the press powder foundation because I love the look of powder over liquid.

I have been in my office for about 4 hours and so far I have received 3 compliments on my skin!

The mascara comes with a an easy to use silicone or rubber brush- not sure which, but if you have seen me in person recently and noticed the hard times I have been having with my eyes this mascara in combination with the eye pencil is the answer to my prayers. No flaking and no clumping. I am still waiting for a good cry or a rain storm but for me this mascara is standing the test of time.

The blush was so smooth and silky, loved it.

The eye shadow was easy to use, and I am always a fan of anything natural around my eyes.

Of course you know I love the lip balm already but the tinted lip shimmer added the pop of color I needed. I ordered the holiday 4-pack already to sample the plum, fig…etc.

I will update more as I wear more, but so far today, this is an excellent choice for my sensitive skin, eyes and me.

A few things about Burt’s Bees to know in case you haven’t already tried their other products.

Their products are not formulated with parabens, phthalates, SLS, petrolatum, talc, synthetic fragrances, or silicones.

  Our products are not tested on animals.

They believe that what they keep out of their products is just as important as what they put in.

Read more

DIY Drain Unclogger

Drain Unclogger, that is the official name I have selected, sounds fancy doesn’t it.  Who else has super long thick hair and/or a household of teenagers? Welcome to Mr. Maker’s least favorite chore, unclogging the drain.

You and I have probably all used a  type of clog-reducing chemical found in stores to  to flush out drains. You may have even thought of yourself as a Handyman or woman because you tackled that drain clog.   I am here to explain why there is an Easier, Better, Greener, HOMESPUN option.

Consider these four issues or concerns with regard to the use of  store bought or  similar drain cleaner products. You know what they are called.

1. Environmentally unsafe ingredients

Many commercial drain cleaners contain unsafe ingredients that can be detrimental to residential and water environments. Some contain lye and other highly toxic materials. Liquid waste that has high levels of such toxins can make its way into the sewage system and out to rivers, streams, and the ocean, and take its toll on plants and wildlife, possibly even contaminate food and water supplies.

2. Risks to children

Many cleaning agents, sport warning labels to inform consumers about physical threats the ingredients may pose. Unfortunately, children often cannot or do not read labels when they are playing and exploring. Practice good home safety tactics by removing these harmful chemicals from use altogether and replacing them with less toxic alternatives.

3. Further pipe damage

The chemicals in some of the other uncloggers may not solve all clogs, and they can lead to a worsening of pipe issues. They can build up in a clogged area, and corrode the pipe. With repeated use, these chemicals may eat their way through a pipe, and cause a leak or a collapse of the system.

4. A danger to pets

Like children, pets are susceptible to accidental poisoning by household chemicals. They are not able to read cautionary labels and cannot ask for help when they encounter and ingest harmful materials. Caring for pets should include taking proper safety precautions, such as moving cleaners to higher shelves where furry critters cannot reach the containers.

Animals can also track harmful substances around the house. Avoid pouring or spraying cleaners on surfaces over which a pet may soon walk. Otherwise, your four-legged housemates may track harmful chemicals around the house, develop irritated paws, and end up ingesting toxic substances by trying to clean themselves.

Now that I have explained all the reasons why  you should try to DIY, take a gander at how easy this recipe is. You probably have this in your house already.

Instructions:
  1. Pour a pot of boiling hot water down your drain.
  2. Dump in about 1/2 c. baking soda.
  3. Then, pour a mixture of 1 c. vinegar and cover the drain or plug the drain.
  4. Cover with a drain plug (to keep the reaction down below the drain surface) if you have one and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Flush one more time with a pot of boiling water.

Why this works: The baking soda and hot water treatment will loosen up any grimy sludge that’s hanging out at the bottom of your drain, and the explosive chemical reaction with the vinegar will jolt it all loose. Then one final super hot-water rinse will make all the bad stuff go bye-bye.

 

DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

For those of you who know me in real life and not just blog life, you know I HATE STORE BOUGHT COFFEE CREAMER. Recently while listen to an Adam Corolla pod cast, he shared my disdain for coffee creamer, this got me thinking…..How many others share the HATE for store brand coffee creamer, and how many people don’t really know how BAD it is for you?

There are new brands and lines of coffee creamer on the market nowadays touting “natural flavors” and whatnot, but my stance hasn’t changed.

Honestly, my internal red flags go up when I buy Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer and neither pumpkin nor spice is listed as ingredients.

Besides natural flavors, there are other ingredients you should be leery of too in your coffee creamer. Specifically, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.

Hydrogenated oils are also known as trans fat, and for awhile now the FDA has known trans fat is not healthy for the human body. It wasn’t until 2015 though, when the FDA finally made the decision that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer generally recognized as safe either.

Despite these rulings, there are loopholes that allow hydrogenated oils to be in your food, including your coffee creamer.

High fructose corn syrup is created in a factory using a 7-step process to convert corn into a sweetener. In the conversion process, strains of bacteria known to cause anthrax, food poisoning and used as a pesticide are added to the starch. The end results is a 90% concentration of fructose.

For comparison purposes, honey is roughly 37% fructose.

Even if you find a coffee creamer that doesn’t contain either of these two ingredients, it probably contains one of these:

  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Artificial flavor (which could be anything)
  • Artificial color (again, which could be anything)

AND STILL if your coffee creamer doesn’t contain these, I’m guessing it cost an arm and a leg.

HOMESPUN PUMPKIN SPICE COFFEE CREAMER

Warning- his recipe actually contains REAL pumpkin and REAL spices. 

 The key to making that happen is the combination of whole milk and cream.

Note – I did not say skim milk or half-and-half or 2% milk or all cream or anything else.

HOMSPUN PUMPKIN SPICE COFFEE CREAMER
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree this can be real or from a can
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from the heat, stirring often with a flat whisk as it cools to prevent scalding of the milk and burning of the sugars.

 

Easiest Shepard’s Pie

Well if anyone else is having a week like I am, this easy and delish. Maker family approved.

Easiest Shepards Pie

This is the worlds easiest, busy mom, ain't got time for that- Shepard's Pie

Ingredients
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 packages Jack Daniels Tenessee BBQ Pulled Chicken
  • 1 package Family Size Mashed Potatoes
Instructions
  1. in a baking dish, open the package of Pulled Chicken, and spread along bottom. The second layer is the bag of frozen corn (do not heat)


  2. In a saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add potato flakes per instructions. 

  3. whip masked potatoes and add as top layer

  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 35-45 minutes until mashed potatoes begin to brown on top. 

Mental Clarity – Simple Living

Part of living your life on purpose is mental clarity. I know I mention simplifying in a way that is material things, saving money, DIY Natural Remedies etc. This is all for nothing if you are a mess mentally. I can tell you this is SUCH A STRUGGLE for me. I must credit blogger Erica Layne for some of these common sense ideas. I am working on or should I say a work in progress of focusing on things that matter and living simply. Giving up control for our type AAA personalities is always going to be a work in progress. I hope you enjoy the read.

MENTAL CLARITY

  • Have a “do nothing” day. (Regularly.) We call this a PJ day in our house.
  • Design a morning routine that helps you start each day peacefully and efficiently. I can testify that my beginning of my capsule wardrobe has helped immensely with this.
  • Choose an intention or a mantra for the week. For example,

Less is more.

Live Simply

May I practice with what I’m given—rather than wish for something else.

  • Institute one hour to hammer out all the tasks you’ve been procrastinating.
  • Single-task. Focus on one thing at a time rather than multitasking and doing half a job.
  • Set timers to help you work with more focus and produce results you’re proud of.
  • Plan a trip. Whether it’s a day-trip, a weekend road trip, or an exotic vacation, nothing reminds you to value experiences over things like travel does.
  • Take a good look at your to-do list and cross one thing off that just doesn’t REALLY need done.
  • Double the time you spend outside.
  • Drink a Tea and listen to rain.
  • Pet your fur animals.
  • Take a deep breath. Take another.
  • Take your shoes off and put your feet in the grass. This always reminds me of the “pop a squat” scene in Pretty Woman.

Let me know what you practice for Mental Clarity. Comment below.

 

DIY Makeup Remover Pads

DIY Homemade Makeup Remover Pads

As you know, in our house we have teenage girls. When we were really looking at tracking our grocery budget it was around the same time cat eyes were in style. Well, makeup wipes are about $4-$8 depending on the brand. This was a ridiculous waste of money. When ever I feel like something is a waste of money, I think…Can I do this myself?

What you will need:

  • 1 quart wide mouth jar
  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 squirts of tear-free baby wash
  • 2 cups of purified water
  • 2 packages of cotton pads
  • Microwaveable bowl
  • Instructions: 

    1. Mix 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 2 squirts of tear-free baby wash and 2 cups of purified water.

    2. Microwave in 10-20 second increments until melted and well blended.

    3. Place about 50 cotton pads in you quart jar.

    4. Pour your liquid mixture over your pads in the jar. Press pads down to help soak up the liquid. Add more pads to fit, pressing down.

    5. Secure lid tight and keep in a dry, cool place.

    6. Use your pads to remove your makeup daily.

    Enjoy!