Thursday, April 17, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama Hits and Misses So Far

So far we have had very few misses with recipes on the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating. Yesterday I made Peanut Butter Cups and they were a big hit
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Truvia to taste
Splash of Vanilla
Natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon of heavy cream

They turned out huge and delicious. Definitely need to split one with someone from now on when eating. I also tried my hand at cheesecake and that was an epic fail. Of course I have never cooked cheesecake in my life so this may take some practice. Another fail (at least with Grace) was the Quinoa. I ate it but wasn't overjoyed with it. Tonight I am making some quinoa as a side dish with roasted broccoli, salad, and beef tips. Other recipes that have been hits include:

Cheeseburger Quesadillas
Crockpot chicken with rotel and cream cheese
Pizza Casserole
Chicken, veggies, quinoa
THM Pancakes
Sandwiches with Joseph's Pita Wraps

We still have a lot to learn but getting there. Grace even told me today that she feels better eating this way and off of a lot of the processed junk. The two things I have to keep in stock to keep her happy is Zevia soda, Sobe Life water, and plenty of skinny chocolate. Next on the list to try is Berry Whip.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happenings Around The Old Homestead

Trim Healthy Mama is still going great. Grace has lost five pounds in 10 days and I have lost 3 1/2. Deli-meat roll ups was our snack this afternoon. I found a real great thing we love around the house granola made with stevia and is wheat free. This way of eating has introduced us to some new things we either haven't tried or liked in the past. Two night ago we had quinoa with our chicken and last night roasted green beans and broccoli.

This morning the drama group finished up most of the set painting and building. Grace isn't performing in Fiddler on the Roof but she is responsible for make-up and helping paint the set.

Funny story, but only funny because no one got hurt. Last week when it was raining I was going to the church to pick up Grace from another set painting session. In the distance I spotted what looked like a black cat crossing the street. Of course if it was a cat it would be across the street by the time I reached it. Well, low and behold it was a huge snapping turtle taking his sweet time crossing the street. I braked hard and the lady behind me with rain as an incentive ran into the back of me. Reminder to self, next time run over the turtle. Of course it was very big and looked just like a tortoise from the zoo.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama After One Week

I received my book on Tuesday and have been furiously reading through it trying to grasp all the concepts to put the entire plan into motion. One morning this week I made the cinnamon bun cake in a mug with cream cheese frosting for breakfast. Yum! I'm telling you the cake and muffin in mug recipes are pure brilliance. Grace likes them too but this week has been hard for her because on Monday she got an orthodontic appliance put in her mouth and eating has been painful and super slow for her. Yesterday things started finally turning around for her.

This morning I made the pancake recipe and some yogurt on the side with a sprinkling of granola. Typical granola is not on plan. I actually found some granola at Whole Foods that is made with stevia and oat flour. So excited about this one because I love granola as a snack, etc. The syrup is also not on plan. I chose to use IHOP sugar free because I am not a purist.

This is my second try at skinny chocolate with a little peanut butter thrown in the mix. So much better than the first and I learned from the online group to set in some type of container (I chose an ice cube tray). We did eat out twice this week because of crazy schedule and many doctor appointments. Tried to eat on plan when eating out and only failed one night when I had French fries. Even with a couple of slip ups and not completely on plan Grace lost 4 pounds and I lost 3. It is truly changing your way of eating lifestyle kind of diet. It really doesn't even feel like a diet. When Grace sat down to eat a sandwich in her Joseph's pita today, she said "I can eat like this on a diet?". I said you can on this one. Her stomach has shrunk some this week because of the mouth situation and I never thought I would hear myself saying ,"You need to eat more at each meal to make this work."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Learning to Sew

We have had three great sets of fabric sitting around the house for two years that were purchased to make skirts for Grace. I found out that one of my really close friends does a little sewing. Lately we have been meeting once a week to hang out. Now our weekly visits are taking on a whole new meaning. Today Grace sewed her first piece of clothing.

My friend was a great teacher. Very patient. Grace had a great time and was really happy with her finished product. We still have two more skirts to finish but now that we have made one the process will get faster.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

TOS Review - Supercharged Science - e-Science Premium Membership

Supercharged eScience Review
I don't know about you, but science really isn't my cup of tea. Now don't get me wrong, I love teaching nature studies, animals, and life science. What I don't understand or enjoy teaching is all the other stuff like physical science and chemistry. I didn't take those in high school or college and I am severely lacking in knowledge in those areas. Luckily there are other avenues for a parent like me to pursue and one of those avenues came up for review. The TOS Review Crew and Supercharged Science gave me the opportunity to review e-Science Premium Membership. We were given a six-month online subscription to use and review.
Supercharged eScience Review
Let's start with the basics:
Age recommendations are K-12th grade
Pricing for K-8 Level Plan is $37.00 a month
Pricing for K-12 Level Plan is $57.00 a month
Currently Supercharged Science is offering a Special $1.00 Deal for one month of activities.
In the beginning the Supercharged Science website can be a little overwhelming. Mainly because there are so many science topics, videos, and experiments to choose from. For the review I had about twenty different topics to pick from for us to study. We put away our regular science curriculum for the year to put our full focus on this program. I looked in the remainder of our textbook and matched up a couple of the topics we had not yet studied to what Supercharged Science had available. Before I delve into our experience with the product let's learn a little bit about the program and its creator.
Aurora is the creator and instructor of what your child will be watching and learning. Ten years ago she decided to create a science program that kids could really get excited about. Aurora is a real rocket scientist that actually worked for NASA. She has many degrees and experience with teaching adults and children.
Currently this program has over 1000 videos available to watch. The best way for me to explain how this program works is to take you through what we did. First we chose a topic - Earth Science, Geology to be specific. I printed out the downloadable files that include a shopping list for supplies, vocabulary list, text reading and lessons, instructions for the experiments and exercises. Grace read through the lesson then answered the questions that followed. Next she got to do the fun stuff. I bought a small kit with all the tools and supplies we would need to identify different rocks and minerals. We have had a stash of rocks/minerals sitting around for years waiting just for this type of lesson. Below you will see some of the experiments we performed. Before we did each experiment Grace watched the corresponding available video.
Sorting rocks to identify

Mohs' Hardness Testing

Penny Crystal Structure

Salt and Vinegar Crystal Experiment
The next unit/topic we picked was a life science unit delving into the intricacies of a cell. Again I downloaded and printed everything we would need. We watched all the videos about cells on the site. Lastly we decided to create a 3D model of a cell to help solidify the parts of a cell into Grace's mind.
On the site you will find lots of information to get you started as well as answering frequently asked questions. Below you will find other attractive incentives for using this program:
It is a safe online environment for kids to use. No links to take you to other sites. All the information you need is there already.
Kids can go on site and learn on their own without a parent needed to help. Self-guided learning at its best.
Step by step videos showing you how to perform the experiments as well as in printed form.
Teacher and parent guides
Exercises and Quizzes
Unlimited support. Just send an email with your questions or problem and get a fast response.
This online program is meant to be a complete science program for each grade level.
We enjoyed the flexibility of the program. Any type of homeschooler could us this program. An unschooling or interested led family might let a child move through the website and pick topics/videos/experiments that interest them. A family that homeschools in a more structured way could us this as a complete program going through each grade level at a time. Also students looking for great science project ideas have a plethora of choices. Another great way to use this program would be as a supplement to your current textbook or curriculum. Pick out the experiments/videos that match up to your chapter and it would be a perfect compliment. There is no way to cover everything this online science website and program has to offer in one review. That is why you need to be sure and visit many of the other TOS Reviews for this product to get a broad overview of how it can be used. Be sure to check out Supercharged Science for yourself and see everything you can learn about science through fun hands on experiments and videos.
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Free Webinar From Mango Languages

For those of you that read my review on Mango Languages and may be interested in using it yourself, they are having a free webinar you can participate in. This webinar will show you how to use the program and what it is all about. Very nice and helpful people running this company.

Follow this link to sign up for the webinar.

Monday, April 7, 2014

TOS Review - Victus Study Skills System

Victus Study Skills Review 
All homeschool parents worry about gaps in their children's education. I am no different and constantly worry about what we are missing. Recently it has become painfully obvious that my child doesn't know a whole lot about "how to study". That includes how to study for a test. Our review of the Student Workbook and Teacher Edition from Victus Study Skills System could not have come at a better time. We received the Teacher's Edition and Student Workbook to use and give our honest opinion. Both copies we received as physical books.
Victus Study Skills Review 
This year has been tough in many ways. First year of high school. Harder work load. State mandated standardized testing coming up. Being a freshman in high school starts to make education of your child seem more strict, scheduled, and dare I say NOT fun. I say all this because things like note taking, research, and preparing for a test have become much more important. When we started this review I discovered real quick that I had never really sat down and taught Grace how to take notes or study for an upcoming test. Some parents may ask , "Well how did you guys get this far and not learn how to study for a test?". Well, we are a very relaxed homeschooling family and the only tests we do pertain to spelling (in elementary), math, and vocabulary. It has been three long years since the last standardized test and we are fast approaching the next one. I'm telling you all this because we really needed this workbook. Here are some basics you might want to know:
Teacher's Edition Physical Copy  $40.00
Student Workbook Physical Copy $20.00
Recommended for grades 5th - 12th grade
The study skills program is also available in video, do-it-yourself, and power point formats.
First let's talk about the Teacher's Edition. This edition is broken down into four sections. The first section explains the philosophy of the program and what to expect to accomplish throughout the course. The next section contains all the instructions for the teacher/parent. Ten lessons are included in the following section that includes topics like goal setting, time management, note taking, and test taking. The final section is the Appendix which includes more extension activities and blank forms to use.
The student workbook is set up in much the same fashion and meant to correspond with the teacher's edition. I like the way the sections were set up in the workbook with the titles of, "Where am I now?", "Where do I want to be?", and "How do I get there?" All very valid questions worth investigating.
We used the program together a few times a week until it was finished. In the beginning the workbook had Grace take a short quiz to discover what her learning styles and strengths were. She was surprised to find out her highest score was auditory. Next she was able to read over specific techniques to study geared to an auditory learner. Grace enjoyed taking the quizzes and the goal setting activities. It was very eye opening for her to see how her time was spent throughout the day/week after working in the time management section. We both felt it was a worthwhile endeavor to work through the program. Grace learned better ways to study, how to take notes, how to have a better study environment, and tips to work your way through a test. We will definitely be reviewing the material again before taking the CAT in July and throughout her high school years. Victus Study Skills System seems to be a very effective tool to utilize while learning how to study. My only negative may be the price. As much as I enjoyed using the product and feel it will continue to help us through the years, I probably would not have paid the $60.00 price if purchasing it on my own. Luckily they do offer a DIY version that the student works through alone that seems more economical in my opinion. Regardless of my one negative we did enjoy using this product and are gradually filling that one gap in our education.
Please be sure to visit The TOS Review Crew to see what other members though of this product.
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Twitter: @VictusStudy

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