<![CDATA[ThrivingLife.co - Lazy Green Mama]]>Sat, 23 Jan 2016 19:37:12 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[THe LOW DOWN on being a Thrive Life consultant]]>Mon, 02 Feb 2015 19:12:29 GMThttp://lazygreenmama.weebly.com/lazy-green-mama/the-low-down-on-being-a-thrive-life-consultantI have always strived to be honest and transparent in all aspects of my life.  My theory is if I feel compelled to keep something a secret, I shouldn't do it.  Perhaps that's why I'm a blogger (or used to be ;) and never lost sleep worrying if I over share my personal life

On my "About" page, you'll find a summary of my financial earnings in my first year with Thrive Life.  That was the ONLY year that I held classes, parties, etc.  That boggles my brain.  To know something has so much earning potential (earning with Thrive is exponential, so I was just poised at the tip of the hill with my income snowball when I stopped), does so much good for people, and is such a wonderful company...and yet still is not being an active consultant!?!  WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?  Well, my life.  There are many things that I am or could be good at, ways to earn more income (which is so desperately needed), ways to be successful...but I realized that at this point in my life, I simply must cut back (not on humility though, obviously).

So, I've greatly cut back my time working with my Thrive Life business.  It makes me sad, but I'm still active when current customers have questions or place orders and I'm still connected with my online Thrive Life family (because that's truly how they feel!).  I've chatted before about how much I like working with Thrive Life and yet...I have to post again because THINGS JUST GOT BETTER!

  • Thrive Life just launched NEW starter kits.  Now, I've chatted about these before...how you get a ton of food sold below COST!  Well, they just reduced the price and offer Gluten Free kits!  I was shocked, I didn't think this was something that needed or could be improved!
  • They changed their earning potential plan in order to help new consultants earn MORE and FASTER!  I admit to feeling a bit like a tortoise at the beginning when hosting numerous classes still resulted in rather small checks (most of your income will eventually be from your customer Q's...automatic shipments, so it takes awhile to get enough of those to see solid income!).  Feel free to email me to ask more detailed questions about earning potential with Thrive Life!
  • They launched a new training and incentive program to get consultants started off on the right foot...and with an extra $600 in gifts and credit during their first $100 days.  (sniff sniff...can I start again!?  They've made HUGE improvements over the past 2 years with training and now these incentives are truly MIND BLOWING!)

So if you've been on the fence about trying Thrive, let this be YOUR SIGN to DIVE IN! 

{click the sign below to learn more about joining my team...we're taking things literally today!}

<![CDATA[How to cheat when overnight camping or hiking]]>Sat, 02 Aug 2014 14:46:24 GMThttp://lazygreenmama.weebly.com/lazy-green-mama/how-to-cheat-when-overnight-camping-or-hiking
Many moons ago, Jake and I stumbled upon a brilliant CHEAT when it comes to overnight backpacking or day hikes...  


Not what you expected, was it?  We came up with the idea one winter day when we planned to drive into the mountains of Oregon immediately after work and hike (on 6 feet of snow) to a shelter for one overnight.  We didn't want to have to prep food and cook it once we got to the shelter, so we swung by a burger joint, wrapped the burgers in our clothes to keep them warm (ish) and were quite pleased with ourselves when we got to the shelter and were able to dig in without any more effort!

Now, we use this same CHEAT sometimes for family day hikes!  This picture was taken on an afternoon hike when we rushed home from church, changed our clothes and headed back out.  If we had paused to prep food, our hike would have been majorly delayed.  Plus, since it is a rare treat, it adds to the fun of the trip for us!

What's your favorite hiking/camping cheat?

<![CDATA[Grow Up WILD with Me!]]>Fri, 27 Jun 2014 18:41:49 GMThttp://lazygreenmama.weebly.com/lazy-green-mama/grow-up-wild-with-mePicture
WINNER WINNER!  I'm thrilled to announce that the WINNER of the free Project Wild Preschool Curriculum is DAWN :)  Dawn works with kiddos this age, so I'm thrilled that this will have a great impact on MANY kids!  

Two years ago, my sister (an elementary teacher with a love of science) gave me the Growing Up Wild book.  For the past two summers, I have intended to crack open this awesome book and DIG IN with my own kids.  We have looked at the guide and done a few of the activities, but now I'm ready to to really work through the 27 lessons (with about 400 activities)!  Ok, we're not going to do every single activity, but A LOT of them!  And I want you to JOIN ME!  

Starting July 14th, I will start a 6-week series using the Growing Up Wild lessons.  You will need the guide to join me.  We'll work through the lessons together and have a blast while spending quality time with our kids and helping them to GROW UP WILD!

You can either buy your own guide for $24.95 or ENTER TO WIN ONE HERE :)  Project Wild is generously giving one guide away to a LGM reader who will be joining me in this 6-week series (though you can adapt it to your own time frame)!  Simply leave ONE comment below to enter.  (contest open to US residents only.  winner will be chosen on July 7th using random.org.  Only one entry per email address.)

Each lesson offers multiple activity components including:  Healthy Me ideas, snack suggestions (oh how I love themed snacks), Take Me Outside (unplug those kids!), Music and Movement, Art, Home Connection ideas, and MORE!  Seriously, this is a wonderful resource for anyone with preschool-kindergarten youngsters in their life!  Read more about the guide here.

<![CDATA[Free Shipping on Starter Kits]]>Sun, 08 Jun 2014 21:14:10 GMThttp://lazygreenmama.weebly.com/lazy-green-mama/free-shipping-on-starter-kits PicturePuerto Vallarta, Mexico!
While I hate to toot my own horn... I'm heading back to REGULAR POSTINGS for the summer!  I already have some awesome {Lazy Green Mama} ideas, posts and giveaways in the works!

While I'm finishing my last day of school (tomorrow) and prepping for the Laurel Highlands Ultra Trail Relay (heaven help me, I'm NOT ready), I wanted you to know about this awesome offer on Thrive Life starter kits.  I've seen them offer free shipping about once every year, and you do NOT want to let this pass you by.

I shared my main concerns/ hesitations to joining Thrive Life here.  Now, over a year and a half after I enrolled and swore I wasn't going to make it a business, I've earned back ALL of my expenses and get my food for free, I earn regular paychecks (even when I don't hold parties/classes!), and... MY HUSBAND AND I GOT TO GO TO MEXICO FOR FREE!  Due to my families schedule and work commitments, I've really scaled back my end of the business, and yet... I'm STILL earning money and perks.  Thrive solves so many problems for people and I LOVE being their "store front".  Find out more about how Thrive can solve your problems here.

Feel free to ask me ANYTHING about Thrive Life products and/or the business :)

<![CDATA[Thrive Life March Madness Sale!]]>Tue, 18 Mar 2014 00:24:11 GMThttp://lazygreenmama.weebly.com/lazy-green-mama/thrive-life-march-madness-salePicture
For the first time EVER, Thrive Life is having their largest sale in MARCH!  I dare say, this is actually their largest SALE ever!

Yes, they have amazing deals on Black Friday, but if you like the Thrive Life freeze dried food (which either you DO or you haven't tried it yet), this is the sale to KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!  

The sale runs March 18th-25th and is only while supplies last.  So hurry to my website, fill up your cart and ENJOY!  

<![CDATA[Finally an answer to intense fatigue]]>Sun, 09 Feb 2014 02:49:27 GMThttp://lazygreenmama.weebly.com/lazy-green-mama/finally-an-answer-to-intense-fatiguePicture
Gross, right?  Well YOU ARE SLEEPING ON MILLIONS of these buggers every night.  You're probably sitting on some right now!

The infamous DUST MITE...turns out this beast has been ruining my life!

For years and years I have struggled with fatigue.  I've meekly confessed to many Doctors that I believe I'm more tired than people are supposed to be.  I've learned to act energetic. I've endured round after round of antibiotics. I've suffered.

Finally, my brilliant PCP (a Nurse Practitioner who I'll gladly recommend to anyone living in Venango County), decided to send me for allergy testing in order to find the root cause of chronic sinus infections over the past three years.

Initially, the allergy Doctor didn't see any cause for concern, but probably to appease me, took some blood work.  His office called me days later and informed me that the results of that test were extremely concerning and I needed more testing STAT.  Hmm... it's never good to be on the receiving end of that phone call!

39 shots later and one very itchy arm, it was discovered that I have intense allergies.  Sure, at times throughout the year, my eyes water, my nose itches and I know I have allergies.  But to have the allergists telling me that my allergies are about as bad as they can be was quite shocking... that's something I assumed I would have noticed.

However, it turns out that allergies don't always appear as red eyes, itchy nose and sneezing.  NO...allergies can surface as extreme fatigue and frequent headaches (since my body is in constant fight mode).  Allergies can result in frequent sinus infections.  OH!

The bad news:  I'm never to enter Antique Shops or Libraries.  We need to remove every nick nack in the house (Jake is doing a happy dance).  We need all new flooring (so long carpet...eventually).  We need HEPA air filters.  We need leather furniture.  We need no animals nor upholstery nor carpet.  Travelling now comes with all kinds of hurdles as other people's homes make me very sick (which also explains why I've unconsciously avoided other people's homes the past few years).  All of the changes needed to keep me healthy are very very expensive.

The good news:  lifestyle changes can greatly improve my condition!  We've emptied our bedroom (goodbye beloved headboard) and encased our pillows and mattresses.  NIGHT AND DAY DIFFERENCE!  Now that I'm tuned into the symptoms, I've found that simply cuddling my kids on their beds causes a stuffy nose.  I'm also not supposed to clean my own house (or I suppose I could with some mega mask contraption)...that's pretty awesome justification for hiring out!  And it's crazy, but true... the few times I have swept or dusted since being clued in, I have had severe headaches after that dreaded task.  How did I never notice these correlations before?

Tonight this is on my mind as I'm suffering through my first sinus infection of the year.  I hope it stems from a cold I picked up on a recent flight, the airplane seats, the hotel mattress (though I did travel with my pillow encasement).  If not, I may need to begin weekly allergy shots... but at least now I HAVE HOPE.  Yes, HOPE that I'll feel "normal".  I also have relief, that there IS a problem, which is not good...but a relief just the same (ie I'm not crazy, antisocial or lazy!).

What advice do you have for a girl who needs to live in an allergen free bubble?

<![CDATA[DIY felt ornaments & gifts]]>Sun, 08 Dec 2013 18:04:36 GMThttp://lazygreenmama.weebly.com/lazy-green-mama/diy-felt-ornaments-giftsWhen in an inspired and optimistic state, I put a call out for a DIY Christmas event scheduled for this past October, only one person came through with a post and craft.  My post isn't even completed yet... oi vey!  Introducing, my awesomely crafty sister, Marianne, who whips up gorgeous stuff without a moment's thought and completely under values her work because it's "so easy, anyone can do it".  I'm living proof that that is simply not true :) Picture
Did you go to Walmart's Black Friday sale (Target if you're "fancy") to buy all of your Christmas presents at once? Ordering boxes and boxes from Amazon, sometimes even choosing the gift wrapping option so that it's ready to give upon delivery? Even better- having it shipped to your loved one's home?! You don't even need to brush your hair to deliver a Christmas gift! 

I'm jealous. I am! I wish I could do that, just one year. It would be so simple. But I can't. It's too impersonal. It's too expensive. It's too commercial. At least, that's what my heart says. I just can't do it. (Note: good for you, if this is your style. I receive such gifts very happily.;-) ) 

Instead, I try to give everyone a home made Christmas gift. I want every gift to be special, heart-felt, and full of love. It doesn't always work and having four brother-in-laws doesn't help. (Homemade for men is much harder for me....) Plus, as I get older, my family keeps growing. It's not just my mom, dad, and sister anymore like it was when I was a kid. Now, it's my sister's whole family, my husband's whole family, and their whole families... It's a lot. Just in our immediate family (grandmas and girlfriends included) I've got 8 women, 5 men, and four kids under 5. I'm sure I've forgotten someone.... And that's not including cousins, close friends, my daughter's teachers, and on and on and on. (Plus, my mom and mom-in-law both have December birthdays. Goodness gracious!) That puts me at 19 homemade gifts in December.... Just in immediate family alone. 

Am I complaining? No, indeed. I love it. As soon as these days get cooler and the leaves start changing, I start thinking, planning, and creating. In the evenings, you can find me at my sewing table, listening to a podcast on my iPad, surrounded in a sea of thread snips and felt pieces, happily cutting and sewing away. 

Will everyone on my list get a homemade gift? No. But I like to see what I can do.

To take some of the pressure off of 19 *amazing* homemade gifts, I've decided to create some smaller gifts this year that can accompany other store-bought gifts. Here are two things I made this week. 

I love homemade Christmas ornaments for the Christmas tree. Don't you? I can spend hours looking at my grandma's tree. She still knows the stories and memories behind most of her ornaments, even when some are 50 years old already. I sewed up a batch of matryoshka dolls out of simple crafting felt. I'm calling them "my ladies," but five of them will eventually find new homes and will make someone else's tree that much more cheerful. Attached to a loaf of homemade bread or on top of a book, this is the touch of homemade that I need to feel good about giving a Christmas gift. Don't they make you smile? 

I also got a book from the library called "Creatissimo Macht Das Leben Bunter!" (It's in German.... I live in Germany....)  and was disappointed by it. Fortunately, it was just a library book and I didn't buy it. Of the 70 ideas of colorful craft ideas, only one seemed to be creative and original. Maybe I spend too much time on Pinterest.... I'm becoming hard to impress. ;-) Anyway, using my leftover felt scraps from the doll ornaments, I made four felt piggy banks. Aren't they darling? These would be a great way to give a gift certificate, money towards a goal, or even just as they are. I'm thinking of making a batch of these for us at home to try to control the foreign change that we have floating around. We could have a pig for each country that my husband travels to for work.... 

There you have it: two simple homemade Christmas gifts. They're not my original ideas necessarily, but they sure are happy and fun. Plus, I got 11 homemade gifts out of one package of craft felt. Not bad, eh? 

What about you? What have you made out of felt lately? I'd love to see it. 

For more information about the matryoshka doll ornaments, feel free to visit my own blog: www.mokasch.blogspot.com.  I'd love to see you!
<![CDATA[Setting Boundaries]]>Sun, 17 Nov 2013 19:36:30 GMThttp://lazygreenmama.weebly.com/lazy-green-mama/setting-boundariesPicture
It's the most wonderful time...{record needle screeching}...WAIT ONE SECOND!  What has happened to my children?  

Over stimulation + excessive excess + constant sugar + festivities + distracted parents = MONSTER KIDS

While I admit that 99.99% of the time, my kids are sweet and 95% of the time they are well-behaved, they are certainly testing their boundaries lately!

Fortunately, I have a wealth of childhood development knowledge (well, I'm sure how much knowledge I have, but I sure put a lot of wealth into it) and know how appropriate it is for my kids to test the waters.  I also know how crucial it is to give them clear boundaries.

So yesterday, when Hazel and I were spending time with my father-in-law, she attempted to give me a sassy attitude.  She was right on, my first impulse was to put on a"ever-so-sweet-and-mild-natured" hat in front of my father-in-law.  That impulse lasted .2 seconds and I immediately addressed her behavior.  I seriously doubt my firm reaction surprised him ;)

Correcting her IN FRONT of her beloved PapPap embarrassed her which caused her to act out again (a classic "NO I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE!"), which led to a time-out, which led to a crying maniac standing on the steps to the basement (the light was on and the door to me was cracked...since basements are creepy...hey, she chose the location, I just had to use it while minimizing the basement-creepy factors). 

Like most tantrums, this one quickly ended with hugs and "I love you even when you're mad at me".  

The weekend also included some parent-free time where it sounds like my children BOTH decided to test the waters with their Grandparents at a restaurant (see above pic.  Their Grammy is a child whisperer and though she will hate that I posted this cell phone pic, I LOVE what it is showing... my wild kids about to find out that Grammy can set limits too!).

Such important life lessons.  While I don't like to upset my kids, I'd surely much rather take away a shopping trip with Daddy (their consequence from their parents in response to their behavior at the restaurant) then to see their civil rights revoked when the feel the need to test limits in adulthood.

Yes, I will raise responsible, polite citizens.  Yes, sometimes they will yell "I HATE YOU" and I will simply smile at my husband knowing that we're doing something right (my canned response to that is "I will always love you"... I don't change my sentence or the sincerity behind it until their personal attack ends.  And now we're back to the Love & Logic philosophies I shared previously.)

This parenthood thing is hard!  Which part do you find most challenging (at this phase in your life)?

<![CDATA[Declared "THE BEST SALAD DRESSING" ::  Cranberry Vinaigrette]]>Sun, 10 Nov 2013 20:40:19 GMThttp://lazygreenmama.weebly.com/lazy-green-mama/declared-the-best-salad-dressing-cranberry-vinaigrette
When we want to be fancy, our go-to cookbook is:  Pacific Northwest:  The Beautiful Cookbook, edited by Kathy Casey.  I don't recall where or when we received it, but we did live in the Pacific NW for about 2 delicious years and leafing through this cookbook not only brings back wonderful culinary adventures, but many fond memories of meals shared with friends.

If we've had this cookbook out while cooking for you, you should know that we think incredibly highly of you and want to entertain to the best of our abilities.  This is not a cookbook for the faint of heart, or for woman who claim to be {lazy}.  Nope, this cookbook is full of complex recipes that take commitment and time and consistently produce amazing results.

You may have already guessed that this is my HUSBAND's COOKBOOK.  I never ever feel inspired enough to use it.  HOWEVER, last week while he was making the spicy squash bisque with root vegetables (which he served in small hollowed out pumpkins...and grew 90% of the ingredients himself), I followed their suggestion to serve this dish with a salad topped with spicy walnuts, apples & cranberry vinaigrette.

LET IT BE SAID...this might very well be the ONLY dressing that will pass my lips from hence forth.

Cranberry Vinaigrette
adapted from Pacific Northwest The Beautiful Cookbook (see affiliate link -->)

2/3 c fresh, frozen or freeze dried cranberries
1/4 c sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 c fresh orange juice
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

If using freeze dried cranberries, crush the berries into a powder using your hand or by placing them in a bag and rolling with a rolling pin.

Place the cranberries, sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm (or 4-5 minutes if using fresh cranberries, till they pop.  Once mixture cools, puree in blender until smooth).  

Pour the puree into a medium bowl and whisk in the mustard, orange juice and vegetable oil.  Season with salt and peppers.  Refrigerate until needed.

Will this dressing make it to your Thanksgiving table this year?  
What is your FAVORITE Thanksgiving (or fancy dinner party) food?

the squash bisque soup in pumpkin bowl! YUM!
<![CDATA[Be Brave ::  Christmas Gifts that Keep On Giving]]>Sat, 02 Nov 2013 14:30:37 GMThttp://lazygreenmama.weebly.com/lazy-green-mama/be-brave-christmas-gifts-that-keep-on-giving
When my dad was first diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Luekemia (AML), I sat in his hospital room, scouring the web for SOMETHING that I could wear that reflected/honored his journey...our journey.  It seems that people who are affected by Leukemia aren't as fashion conscientious as others...there was NOTHING!  Well, almost nothing...

I discovered Bravelets.  Bravelets are beautifully designed, inspirational pieces of jewelry and the best part is: $10 from every sale goes to the cause of your choice (in my case, the the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  I've seen what they do folks, it's awesome!).  My family & church family have purchased dozens of these...each time I see a loved one wearing an orange Bravelet, my eyes well up and I am deeply touched.

Last month I was asked to become an Independent Fundraiser for this amazing grassroots company.  I said YES!  As a fundraiser, I can give you 10% off and I can help you raise funds for your own cause that requires huge amounts of bravery (and money).
Snag 10% off the purchase price (while still donating $10 to the associated cause) with this code:  julie046

I don't know about you, but receiving a meaningful charitable gift is at the top of my wish list each year... a charitable gift that moonlights as fashionable jewelry is simply AWESOME!  

Be Brave,

p.s. one Bravelet is never enough (hint hint Mr. Claus)