we’re giving thanks for this giveaway

A few months ago we introduced you to these ladies …

Pic for O'Mama's

Rebekah and Kaelin head up our local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Do you know about WAPF? Amazing group, promoting real food diets, traditional cooking methods and conscious eating. And Kaelin and Rebekah are two pretty remarkable real food advocates …under their inspired leadership, we’ve seen the local chapter meetings nearly double in size!! Which just means more people are caring about the food we eat. More people caring about their food means more people are living consciously. And more people living consciously means the world we live in has no choice but to get better. Yay Kaelin and Rebekah for leading the charge!

To say that we were excited when they emailed us offering to sponsor a book bundle giveaway is kind of an understatement.

And then they told us the books they wanted to give away and we were so excited!!!!

You’ll see for yourselves how incredible these books are … Jeanne uses the recipes in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon as a foundation for so much of her cooking.  Reading Kaayla Daniel’s Soy book will change the way you look at this so-called “health food.”  And it might just be because we’re geeky real food foodies, but the Milk book by Ron Schmid is just fascinating.

So we’re pretty thankful this week (which is just a lucky coincidence that it’s the week of Thanksgiving) to have such a great giveaway, from these incredible sponsors.

Do yourself (or someone you love) the favor of registering to win … seriously 🙂

Nourishing_Traditions

Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon
A full-spectrum nutritional cookbook with a startling message animal fats and cholesterol are vital factors in the human diet, necessary for reproduction and normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. Includes information on how to prepare grains, health benefits of bone broths and enzyme-rich lacto-fermented foods.

soy-story

The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food, Kaayla Daniel, PHD
A groundbreaking expose that tells the truth about soy that scientists know but that the soy industry has tried to suppress. Soy is not a health food, does not prevent disease and has not even been proven safe. Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory studies link soy to malnutrition, digestive problems, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, even heart disease and cancer.

the-untold-story-of-milk

The Untold Story of Milk, Ron Schmid
The role of raw milk in the rise of civilization, the milk problem that led to compulsory pasteurization, the politics of the dairy industry. Revised and updated with the latest scientific studies documenting the safety and health benefits of raw milk. Raw milk is a movement whose time has come. This book will serve as a catalyst for that movement, providing consumers with the facts and inspiration they need to embrace Nature’s perfect food.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations Krysti S! Please contact us at omamasblog@gmail.com with your mailing address so we can have Rebekah and Kaelin send your prize to you!!

personalized ABC book for kids

Like every parent does for their child, I wanted Elijah’s 3rd birthday to be extra special.

After he went to sleep the night before we filled his room with balloons as a surprise for when he woke up. He loved it, and is asking for it again for his upcoming 4th birthday.

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I stopped scrapbooking after he turned one, but I wanted to make him another special book.  Since he was starting to learn his letters, I thought a personalized ABC book would be a perfect fit.

personalized ABC book for kids I made the book using MyPublisher.  It very easy to make, the quality is great and they always have sales. (No, this isn’t a sponsored post. I was just really happy with the way it turned out!

For each letter, I chose one picture that covered the entire page, and then did the words in white.

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I wanted it to be very personalized to him so we used lots of favorite family pictures.  Image-28

Below is a list of words you could use for each letter.  The first ones listed are what I used for my book.

  • A-apple, animals, America, airplane, arm
  • B-brothers, ball, baby, band-aid, beach, birthday, bicycle
  • C-cousins, cat, car, camera, camping, Christman
  • D-daddy, dog, daughter, dinner, dinosaur, duck
  • E-Elijah, elephant, egg, exercise, explore
  • F-farm, face, family, feet, flag
  • G-Grammy and Grandpa, garden, gift, giraffe, glue, goldfish, glove
  • H-horses, hair, hammer, heart, hero
  • I-instruments, ice cream, insect, island
  • J-jumping, jammies, jeans, jelly
  • K-kisses, kites, keyboard
  • L-legos, laugh, legs, lips, lion, little
  • M-mommy, mailbox, mask, mermaid, milk
  • N-naptime, nose, noodles, night
  • O-ocean, oatmeal, octagon, orange
  • P-Pa and Grandma, princess, pizza, play
  • Q-quick (a picture of him running)
  • R-reading books, rainbows,
  • S– snow, sunshine, sisters,
  • T-trains, taco, teddy bear, tape measuer
  • U-underwear, umbrella, upside down, U.S.A.
  • V-vegetables, vehicle, vest, Valentines
  • W-wrestling, walk, wave, whistle, world
  • X-xylophone, x-ray
  • Y-yellow (a picture of him holding a big yellow flower)
  • Z-zebra, zoo, zipper, zucchini

personalized ABC book for kids

Remember, make it personal to you!

-Abby

the board game … celebrating family!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!  

Congratulations HELEN R.!  

Email us with your contact information so we can send it on to Family Board Games and they can get your checkerboard in the post!

Jeanne here.

We play board games in our house.

Especially during winter.

When the days are shorter (it’s dark at 4:30 here in Montana) and we spend less time outside (the high today is 26 degrees).

When work demands are a little more lenient.

And even though the littles are still little, we use game time as an opportunity to laugh and bond and teach lessons like teamwork and good sportsmanship.  And because complex rules don’t often compute for a 3 year-old, we let it be a time when we let our imaginations run wild.  (The last time we played chess, our horse-obsessed toddler created a world that had the queen riding the rook to a castle to rescue her dragon from a frog prince.)

So you can imagine how excited I was when I got a call from a girlfriend who works for Family Board Games asking if we wanted to host a GIVEAWAY for our readers!!!  These guys make some amazing versions of the classic games you probably already love.

Like Chinese Checkers.

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And Chess.

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And Tumbling Tower (which doubles as a great set of blocks to build castles at Grammy’s!)

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These games are GORGEOUS and CLASSIC and we are thrilled that they noticed our little blog and wanted to offer you all a chance to own one of their beautiful games!!!

So here’s the deal …

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The folks at Family Board Games will give a SET OF TRADITIONAL CHECKERS to ONE LUCKY READER!

Here are the details:

  • Prize: ONE GAME OF CHECKERS (the traditional version), sent to you directly from Family Board Games.
  • To enter:  Leave a comment here letting us know what games you love and why … 
  • Comments are manually approved, so it might not pop up right away. Then scroll to the bottom of the post (above the comment section) and share this post via Facebook or Twitter.
  • Prize ships in the USA only.
  • Nitty gritty: Only one entry per person per day. Giveaway starts right now and ends SUNDAY, December 23rd at 10 PM PST. Winner will be chose randomly and announced ON MONDAY, DEC. 24TH (CHRISTMAS EVE), here on the blog!

Remember you can enter once each day… so you can enter FIVE times before the giveaway closes on Sunday!

Good luck!

ALSO — We’ve arranged for a promotion at Family Board Games … use the code OMAMASBG at checkout from now until December 31, 2012, to receive 10% discount off any purchase.  Limited one per customer and cannot be combined with other offers.  Code must be used upon checkout and is not valid on previous purchases.

NOTE:  This is a sponsored giveaway!  So … let’s show our sponsor how much we appreciate their support!!!  Register to win a game that could bring your family closer together!

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ladled: a cookbook review

I got home yesterday to find that my review copy of LADLED was in the mailbox!

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So as much as I wanted to do some laundry (we’ve been out of town for nine days … I didn’t want to do laundry … I need to do laundry!), I just had to take a few minutes to admire Kimi’s new book.

You see, I was lucky enough to recipe test for this book.

That's me.  Top left of the list.  Before I was married ... and before I knew I was going to change my name :)
That’s me. Top left of the list. Before I was married … and before I knew I was going to change my name 🙂

I had been a fan of Kimi Harris’ blog for a while. We use her recipe for sourdoughs pancakes because … why mess with perfection? I love how knowledgable she is about nourishing foods. I am impressed that her grain free, sugar free treats always taste as good as they look. And honestly, even though I don’t know Kimi in the real world, I love knowing her in the blogsphere. I like to think we might be friends if she lived nearby. 🙂

Anyway … when she put out a call to her readers for recipe testers, I jumped at the chance. It was one of the best choices I made last spring. Because that means, when the book arrived, I already knew that the Miso Soba and Salmon Soup (on page 134) is delicious and easy to make.

I made it for a potluck dinner party in early June and it went over like gangbusters. (Although I have to admit that I had to order ingredients from amazon for the anchovy stock because there’s no specialty store in Bozeman that sells dried sardines or anchovies. The second time I made the soup, I substituted bonito flakes and while it wasn’t as rich a broth, it still worked, and was a little more friendly to our budget).

I also know the Chilled Honeydew and Cucumber Soup with Coconut Milk is a perfect chilled summer soup. In fact, seeing it again in the book (on page 264) returns me to the long days of summer and makes me want to find a reason to go somewhere warm just to have another bowl.

But what’s most exciting about Kimi’s book (and the 120 nourishing soups she’s included … with great photos and simple instructions) is that there are so many simple soups …even if you’re new to this whole “nourishing foods” idea, you’re sure to find something you like! And if you’re on a special diet? There are GAPS friendly, vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, gluten free …it’s a specialty food extravaganza.

In fact, it’s such a great resource, as soon as I get the copy I ordered from amazon.com, we’re going to give away a copy here on O’Mamas. So you’ll have to check back!

How about you …read any good cookbooks lately?

PS – LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO WIN A $40 GIFTCARD FROM THE GAP!

gift ideas for littles …

“Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful or to discover something that is true.” – William Ralph Inge

And with that in mind, we hope to find gifts for the littles in our life this year that will nourish their souls, ignite their curiosity, challenge their minds and get their bodies moving.

I’m going to assume you’ve considered all the gadgets, all the fashion and all the usual suspects.

This is list of ideas that might seem off the wall …but we’d like to get you thinking outside the proverbial toy box.

IMAGINATION PLAY:

SCARVES … Abby found some $8 scarves at Target that she considered putting on our gift ideas for women (but they didn’t make the cut :).  And then I saw our 3 1/2 year old putting one of her many scarves on her rocking horse like a saddle so she could take a long journey into the desert.

A few of cool colored scarves magically transform into superhero capes, long hair, building material for forts, swaddling for babydolls, magic carpets to carry them to far away places, boats that carry them across the sea …in the hands of a child, the possibilities are endless.
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for about $5 from amazon.com, you can give the kids in your life their very own magic carpet … or tent wall … or superhero cape … or … whatever their minds can dream up!
CHALKBOARD PLACEMATS – do you struggle to keep your little one at the table when they’re done eating, but not everyone else is?  These chalkboard placemats from uncommongoods.com like a great idea … get their imagination juices going while they drink their juice!
chalkboard placemat - $35
uncommongoods.com has chalkboard placemats for $35 … a great way to keep kids at the table while the family finishes eating …

SPY GEAR – I don’t know a little who doesn’t get a kick out of spy gear.  Spy-watches, night-vision goggles, “bionic” ears, lie detector tests, walkie-talkies.  Just cool.  And a quick search on amazon.com brings up 570 ideas!

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this “spyclops” is $32.50 on amazon.com … but there’s spy gear available from $5 to $60 … pretty much for any budget.

DRESS-UP – secondhand stores (in Bozeman, the Goodwill and Sack’s are fantastic for dress-up ideas) and craigslist.com and ebay.com are great places for cool dress-up ideas at really reasonable prices.

ART & SCIENCE:

ART EASEL – this is a funny one for me.  We’re working our way through easels because our kids love their art-time.  The P’Kolino easel (our first one) had a terrible, nearly unusable chalkboard that was way too frustrating for everyone in the house.  The guide that holds the paper down was loose and didn’t really hold the paper so we were constantly making messes.  Then we were given an Art Alternative easel, which is just fine.  But I’m going to admit to easel-envy for our nephew’s KidKraft Deluxe.  Seriously.  It’s awesome.  And “H” is 5 1/2 years old.  He’s had this easel for at least 3 years and it’s holding up beautifully.  And gets a TON of use!  So it might be more expensive (ranges in price from $95 – $190), there are deals to be found and might be worth a little searching.

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an online search shows that the kidkraft deluxe wood easel sells for anywhere from $95-$190. So it’s going to require a little searching to find the right deal.

ROCK CRAYONS – these are great, eco-friendly, easy to use, good for little hands that are learning to grip, great for older artists who want to make interesting art.  And for $9.25, they make a wonderful stocking stuffer or gift for a play-date pal!

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these cool soy eco-frienfly rock crayons are available at amazon.com for $9.25

SIDEWALK CHALK – We’ve tried a lot of different sidewalk chalks over the years.  And Crayola just does it right.  They are the right size.  The colors are vibrant.  They wash away pretty easily.  And are hours and hours of fun for kids of all ages (including moms in their 40s, who fancy themselves wanna-be graffiti artists 🙂

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crayola sidewalk chalk is available on amazon.com for $8.79 … seems like a good deal for 52 crayons!

GROWING CRYSTALS – We have a nephew who is a bit of a science nerd …and I use that term as a compliment in the highest order.  He’s 5 1/2 and he always has “experiments” running in their kitchen.  He grows crystals, incubates “aliens,” excavates for dinosaur bones.  I love checking out what’s “cooking” in the kitchen at their house.  Seriously.

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Be Amazing Lab-in-a-Bag Test Tube Wonders … for $14.51 … I can’t believed the reviews on this one. We have to buy this for our 5-year-old scientist nephew!

GAMES:

TWISTER (ages 3 – 93!) … seems pretty simple right? Hasbro suggests this is good for ages 6 and up.  But here’s the thing … super littles (like 3 year olds and such) love the challenge of this game, and don’t even notice they are learning left from right and developing their coordination.  Everyone loves Twister!

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available from amazon.com for $26.50

MONOPOLY (recommended for ages 8 up) … I know it’s a classic.  But there’s a reason this game’s been around so long.  It’s fun.  Challenging.  Educational.  And encourages family fun time!

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$16.87 seems like a bargain for the hours of fun this game promises … yay amazon.com for putting it on sale!

Obviously, there are so many other games … like Cranium and Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit … they are all family favorites in our house.  But as usual, we’re curious if you have fun ideas for kid gifts this year!

gift ideas for men

Okay, so I wrote this whole post on how Christmas isn’t about gifts and the importance of simplifying and all that. And here I am writing a blog with gift ideas. I’m not anti-presents. Presents are nice. Gifts are good. I like presents! And we’ve all got people in our lives that we want to celebrate by giving gifts.

And if you’re anything like me, you struggle to find the perfect gift for the men in your life. (This is one of the reasons I’m thankful the Cowboy and I don’t exchange presents on Christmas!)

But I still have brothers-in-law. I still have nephews. I still have a step-dad (Hi, Paul!).

Anyway. I struggle. Every year. To buy the men in my life something unique or interesting or cool. Because I want to buy local. I want to buy American made. I want to find something a little out of the ordinary (without going to “Sharper Image,” you know?) that they might like as much as I do. And that requires “shopping” (or at least browsing), and with two little-ones … well … browsing in stores can be … um … challenging.

So a lot of my exploration happens online. Looking for fun ideas. Hoping that if I find something neat … something personal … something that’s not a tie … that lets my loved-one know that this gift is “just for him.” In my late night online wanderings I’ve discovered a few interesting things. Like these:

FOR THE SAKE OF FAMILY … we have a family tradition of getting new PJs on Christmas Eve, reading “Twas The Night Before Christmas” and playing board games. And I don’t know about you, but I’m always so envious of those cutie footie jammies that the littles get to wear, except I don’t like having my feet covered. These union suits are from LL Bean. And they might be the perfect adult alternative (and it comes in men’s and women’s and kids’ sizes!)

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for him, from llbean.com, for $59
women's union suit
for her, from llbean.com, for $59
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for the not-too-little kids, from llbean.com, for $49

FOR THE TRAVELER (this water bottle is amazingly durable, collapsible, BPA-free, eco-friendly and kind-of-high-tech-looking and my sister-in-law, who travels more than anyone I know, will NOT leave her house without it) …

Vapur Element .7L Collapsible Water Bottle sells at amazon.com for about $13
Vapur Element .7L Collapsible Water Bottle sells at amazon.com for about $13

… for the hubby’s college roommate who fancies himself a CHEF, but is still using that teflon set he had in college … (one day, we’ll write a post on why cooking in stainless steel or cast iron should be your method-of-choice … because no one wants teflon or aluminum or copper or lead or cadmium floating around in your bloodstream poisoning your organs … but that’s for another day 🙂

7-piece Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware usually sells for $260, but is on sale at amazon.com for $96!
7-piece Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware usually sells for $260, but is on sale at amazon.com for $96!

for the COOL (and very manly) TECH-HEAD in your life … I love this Swiss Army-like-“knife.” (And by “knife,” I mean flash-drive.) I just think it’s super-neat.

slimflight flash drive  by victorinox $48
A slimflight flash drive by Victorinox available on the sundancecatalog.com for $48
for the MYSTERY READER in the room … the Cowboy happened upon this series about a week ago. He can’t put it down. Six days in, he’s on book three of this eight-part mystery series by Craig Johnson.
THE COLD DISH is the first book in the Walt Longmire Series, and sells at amazon.com for about $10.  Or, you can buy the first four books in a collection for about $36.  And it's available in audiobooks and for a kindle.
THE COLD DISH is the first book in the Walt Longmire Series, and sells at amazon.com for about $10. Or, you can buy the first four books in a collection for about $36. And it’s available in audiobooks and for a kindle.
And when all else fails … instead of a tie … what about some SmartWool socks (which are available at rei.com for about $20!
By the way … those socks from REI? Who knows, if you register before 10 pm Wednesday (tonight), you may win a $35 gift card to REI, and they could be a gift for you!
So that’s my list. But I’m curious … what’s on YOUR list for the men in your life this year?

gift ideas for women

This post is one of a few for the non-overachievers (like me) who might not have their Christmas shopping already done.  We’ve compiled a list of some pretty awesome things we think the women in your life might appreciate.

Magazines are fun, because they are inexpensive and they keep showing up!  Here is a great deal on Amazon for a 2 year subscription to Organic Gardener for only $5!

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One more magazine.  Whole Living offers a one year subscription here on Amazon for $5.  Again, another great read and well worth the $5.

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Update: turns out the Amazon’s magazine deals are always changing.  The 2 deals above may not be the same as the were the day this post was created.  Click here to see Amazon’s Daily Magazine deals. There are always some good ones! 

I have purchased quite a few Moleskin journals in my day.  This bring green one found here runs about $13 and should please any woman who loves to write.

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I’ve have always loved Willow Tree , because they are sentimental figurines that aren’t cheesy.  I have the nativity scene as well as a few others representing seasons in my life.  There are so many to choose from and this one for around $20 is one I love.  Screen Shot 2012-12-02 at 2.56.50 PM

I love this tea box! It is such an interesting piece that can be used to tea bags or loose tea.  Personally, I think I could find a handful of things to store in it.  It’s only $20 and sells online and in store at World Market.

Even as an adult, there have been plenty of times when I needed to pack a lunch for something.  Using a reusable bag saves money and waste.   Here is where I found this cute one for $20. Screen Shot 2012-12-02 at 3.05.14 PM

A nice pair of slippers can last years, and come in extra handy when living in a cold climate like Montana.  I’m a big fan of Keen, and they seem to make products that are made to last.  These slippers run about $65 and can be found here on Back Country.

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I think Gap Body is full of cozy and cute things.  Every one can use a good robe, and I love this one found here for $49.

This sweet bird necklace here on UncommonGoods starting at $70.  Jeanne’s a big fan of this website, and they have some really unique gifts for everyone.

Next up, and maybe it’s because I’m chilly as we speak… Patagonia Hibernation Fleece ($120) found on Title Nine.

The Clean Bedroom has so many organic blankets and things for the bedroom.  Personally, I’m eyeing these blankets below, and I think any woman would want one.

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Why I love these boots so much? I don’t know, but something about them speaks to me. They’d be great for cold weather, but also have a little funk.  The brand is Sorel and can be found here on Piperlime for $125.

Next up is a vacuum.  Some might not think this is a great gift, but I can honestly say that if I had a bad vacuum and then was gifted an awesome vacuum… I’d be ecstatic.  I actually have this exact Shark vacuum, and while it’s not the most expensive on the market, for around $200 it is amazing.

If you are shopping for a woman who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, you might want to look into a Vita-Mix.  They run $350 and up, but they are such a great tool in the kitchen.   You can find them on Amazon.