Preparing Your Soil for the Gardening Season

It’s a few days past spring, and your fingers are getting itchy. Sure, where you are it might be frozen and snowing, or perhaps it’s been balmy weather all winter. But in the northern hemisphere, the spring equinox signals the time when nature heralds us to head out into the garden once again, or at least start planning for the time when the snowdrifts taper off a bit. What’s in my garden? There’s a whole lot of soil. My cover crop experiment worked to a degree. I was testing out fava beans as a cover crop, but given our Pacific … Continue reading

Fifteen Weeks Post Partum

At twelve weeks post partum I wrote about being stuck in a rut of sorts. While my muscles were getting toned and my clothes were starting to fit again, I was not losing any weight. I made some changes by watching what I was eating more closely and keeping track of my food intake with my food journal. The biggest change has been cutting back on sweets. What I discovered was that I was going way over my breastfeeding caloric needs. I was eating when I was not hungry because whatever it was that I was eating tasted good e.g. … Continue reading

Fact or Fiction: Fucoxanthin

What is it? Basically, it is the stuff that turns seaweed brown. It is a natural carotenoid or pigment found in kelp, a type of brown seaweed. Studies have suggested that ingesting it will burn fat. The Study: Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is usually expressed only in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and a key molecule for metabolic thermogenesis to avoid an excess of fat accumulation. However, there is little BAT in adult humans. Therefore, UCP1 expression in tissues other than BAT is expected to reduce abdominal fat. Here, we show reduction of abdominal white adipose tissue (WAT) weights in … Continue reading

Get Your Soil Ready for Summer!

It’s been a wild spring here, with hail and pouring rain and temperatures that are near freezing. However, the garden is calling and so is the soil. Soil is the foundation of the health of your garden. In your vegetable garden, you likely have a whole lot of soil at the moment. If you live somewhere that is a little warmer, you may also have perennials or annual food crops growing. If you live somewhere quite cold, your garden might be just stretching its tendrils and waking up. In the winter, adding a cover crop like those fava beans or … Continue reading

Building Soil

All weekend they have been swooping in on the garden center, eager to collect white bags from the packages of brown gold outside the front doors. It’s Sea Soil, pricey but wonderful stuff that you can put around your garden vegetables. Now, I buy Sea Soil sometimes. I must confess that I do. However, I also consider soil to be a great do it yourself project. One of the joys of this spring was to step out into our vegetable garden that contains soil that is a mere four years in the making and discover that it is looking wonderful … Continue reading

Healthiest Frugal Foods

Since I live on one paycheck, I’m on a constant quest to serve my family frugal yet healthy foods. Awhile back I decided to do some research online to see what foods packed the most nutrients. I checked the website World’s Healthiest Foods to see what fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and other items I should be spending my hard-earned dollars on. I’ve been using this list for a few years now and wanted to share it with you. I’ve included what nutrients the foods are highest in. You don’t have to create any fancy or new recipes with these … Continue reading

Weird Things That Babies Eat

The other day, some moms and I were talking about what we let our children eat. Now, I’m not talking about pancakes, broccoli, and sushi here – although all of those sound good to me. No, I’m talking about slugs, leaves, and other non-edible objects. One of the parents made the point that with her first, she was super careful. She monitored her child’s every move to ensure that he did not put any non-food items into his mouth. Well, except for the usual toys. Certainly no dirt, for example. With the second she was a lot more lax, since … Continue reading

Sleeping with the Fishes

It’s probably not an offer you would consider if an associate of Don Vito Corleone suggested it, but the following deals, which allow you to come face to face with exotic fishes while you are trying to catch some zzzz’s, are 100% pure family-friendly. FLORIDA Getting to Jules’ Undersea Lodge, located in Florida’s Key Largo is an adventure in itself. Spending the night at the unique lodging requires diving 21 feet beneath the sea surface through a tropical mangrove lagoon. Your payoff for taking the plunge—an unforgettable night mingling with vibrant sea life at an underwater hotel that originally started … Continue reading

Adventures in Whale Watching

Looking for a whale of a trip? Then load up the family and head to an area where you can get up close and personal with some of the largest creatures on Earth. My family enjoys whale watching off the Hawaiian Islands, but I recently learned about another group of islands where the whale watching has been hailed as some of the best in the world. The San Juan Islands, a group of small islands off the coast of Washington state, is considered by naturalists as a must-stop destination for whale watching enthusiasts. And the experts aren’t just referring to … Continue reading

Wedding Traditions – Japan

My daughter has a great fondness for all things Japanese and she thrills to the knowledge – any knowledge – about Japan. So as I started this new series on wedding traditions, I decided on Japan as our first around the world outing to study the wedding traditions. Most of my information comes from research both online and off. According to Japanese myth, the creation of all things occurred because of the marriage of the god and goddess Izanagi and Izanami. These two gods came down to the primordial earth from their place amongst the heavens across a rainbow bridge. … Continue reading