Real Food Vs. Processed Foods, Let’s Compare Costs!

Posted on | September 28, 2015 | No Comments

Real Food vs Processed Foods - Cost Analysis  

This post was originally written in July 2012, please see disclaimer at the bottom of this post. While it is an older article, I find many of the comparisons are still relatively the same. Whole, real food comes in at a much lower price than their processed lookalikes!

From Coupons

I used to be a coupon queen. There. I admit it. I could pop $400 worth of groceries on the conveyor belt and walk away just $92 poorer. I was PROUD of that! I fed my family. You know what types of coupons come out in the papers, don’t you?

Kraft macaroni & cheese. Tyson frozen chicken nuggets. Betty Crocker cake mixes. Lay’s potato chips.

What do all these foods have in common? They are processed. They contain ingredients that most people fluent in the English language can’t pronounce, much less know what they are. I consider myself a fairly educated person, I do, after all, homeschool my three children. But I don’t even know what some of these ingredients are, much less how to pronounce them! Just 4 years ago, I’m not sure if I cared what was in my Ore-ida french fries or my bottled Starbucks iced mocha coffee.

I have always enjoyed cooking (from scratch), and taught myself! Over the past few years, I’ve learned some vile things about our broken food system. I’m not 100% organic. I’m not even 100% whole foods. Like with so many things in life, it is a process.

To Real Food

When we moved to Wyoming almost 4 years ago, I realized I was living in the land of no coupons. Literally. No newspaper, Sunday or otherwise, contained those little bits of paper that for years I had been so excited to get each week. There was only one full service grocery store in town, and the nearest Wal-Mart was 90 miles away.

Then in January of 2009, just a few months after our move, I met this wonderful creature called Real Food. My life changed. Coupons didn’t matter to me anymore. As the years have gone by since our transition to Real Food, I realize that even though it does take a little more time in the kitchen, it saves me time in the long run.

To Not Enough Time

I homeschool my kids, I work from home, I blog with a purpose (which contrary to popular belief is NOT as easy as it looks). With three kids, our lives are busy. I’m not complaining, but I have to tell you… I have no time to coupon anymore. With that said, one of the things I hear the most about Real Food is “It costs too much money!” I want to tell you – it really doesn’t! I learned that the hard way, but I’m so thankful I learned it!

I decided I wanted to write this piece when I saw an image of Joel Salatin (my hero!!!) on Facebook. It contained a quote, said to be from him that read “If you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?”

Two things came to mind. Ouch and goosebumps.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Organic

Buying 100% organic would be fantastic.  As they say, “Buy organic, or as your grandmother used to call it- FOOD!” However, I know that not everyone lives where they have a Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, etc. nearby. I lived in one of those places. The closest store of that sort was three hours away. Our farmers market was a measly 6 weeks long and contained hardly any fresh, local produce.

So, I want this article to be different. I don’t want you to worry about buying organic at the moment if you can’t. I understand! I just want you to see the price difference in processed foods and whole foods really isn’t what most people think it is.

Real Food vs Processed Foods - Cost Analysis 2

I went to our local Kroger store. I chose Kroger, because quite frankly I don’t like going into Walmart. The employees are mostly friendly, but a Friday in a Walmart is not my idea of a tea party. So I chose a nationwide store that many of you may be familiar with. They own several chains, including, but not limited to City Market, King Soopers, Baker’s, Food 4 Less, and QFC.

I gathered some prices, comparing processed foods and their whole food counterparts.


I know one of the most popular foods in American households is potatoes. French fries, mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, potato soup, potato cakes, hashbrowns… sorry, I didn’t mean to get all Forrest Gump on you, but I think you get the point. They are versatile, even for the pickiest eaters.

I found Kroger brand frozen fries at $1.99 for 26-28 ounces. That’s $1.22 a pound for the smallest package; $1.14 for the larger. Ore-ida fries came in at $1.64 per pound (32-ounce bag for $3.27). Canned store brand potatoes are running 69¢ for a 15.25 ounce can with liquid. Typically when you drain the fluid off, you lose half of the weight.  That makes them ring in at approximately $1.40 per pound before draining the liquid off. But the real food counterpart, the potato, rang in at $3.99 for an 8-pound bag. That’s only 50¢ a pound!!! We’ll call it 60¢ after peeling them.


On that same note, I realized that all of the Kroger brand canned vegetables were 69¢ for a 14.5-ounce can.  Again, that’s with the liquid.  Green beans are just coming into season, so I wasn’t able to find those in the produce section.  I popped over to the frozen section and took a look at their frozen veggies.  The frozen veggies are $2.48 for a 2-pound bag. That makes them come out less than the canned vegetables once the liquid is drained off, which come in at approximately $1.40 per pound.

Carrots, canned, are the same price as the canned green beans. Carrots ran $3.00 for a five-pound bag. That makes fresh 80¢ cheaper per pound than their canned counterparts.

Real Food vs Processed Foods - Cost Analysis 3


A fresh, whole chicken is less than $1.50 a pound (often much cheaper on sale). A whole chicken will feed my family for at least 3 meals. We’ll roast the chicken and eat off it the first night. The 2nd night we’ll have a soup, and the 3rd night, we’ll do Buffalo Chicken Dip. With the carcass, I’ll make stock, which stretches the chicken a little further. Kroger brand frozen chicken breast strips rang in at $5.99 for a 22-29 ounce bag. Again, we’ll go with the larger bag, so that we’re comparing a smaller price per unit. That will run you $3.30 a pound. Ouch. Oftentimes, boneless, skinless chicken breast goes on sale for $1.99 a pound.


Need something to drink? Some store brand sodas rang in at 88¢ per 2-liter, 79¢ on sale. We’ll use the sale price in this example. At almost $1.60 a gallon for store brand soda, and 1 gallon of Hawaiian Punch on sale for $1.99 ($2.39 regularly) those are pricey! Even cheaper? Water. Can’t stand tap water? Kroger brand water was 99¢ for a gallon.


For dessert, cookies would be nice. But at $2 or more per pound, you can get a quick and easy (and way better for you!) dessert for just 57¢ a pound. Bananas!

Real Food vs Processed Foods - Cost Analysis 4

Put It All Together

Now, I’ll tell you how to put this all together. There are two ways. Put your slow cooker to work so you don’t have to. Throw in your peeled and cubed potatoes, some sliced carrots, and place your chicken on top. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and maybe a few spices (all of these “extras” are just pennies per serving). Turn to low and 8-10 hours later, dinner is done. If you prefer to do it in the oven, usually an hour and a half will do it. Make sure it is covered, except for the last 15 minutes. This make the skin on the chicken browned and crispy. YUM!

There are many other whole foods that ring in much cheaper than their processed counterparts. I compared old fashioned oats & “instant” oatmeal. I compared boxed pastas with “flavor packets” with things like rice. This was the first time I’d actually sat down and worked out the penny-to-penny cost comparison. I keep finding that whole foods rang in cheaper than processed foods. Sometimes by mere pennies but sometimes by 50% (or more). Even though we’ve been whole foods for over three years, it was an eye opener to sit down and figure the numbers out. Try it for yourself. Go grocery shopping and take your calculator. You won’t be disappointed in shopping for whole foods, even when the processed foods seem like such a great deal.

What is the best real food vs. processed food cost comparison that you have seen?

You may have seen this post on a website I was a contributor for. When the website became read only & no longer publishing new content, I worried about the future of my posts. I am posting them here where I never have to worry about them getting lost in cyber space, should the other site become obsolete….

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Quick & Easy Limoncello

Posted on | September 14, 2015 | No Comments

limoncello collage
What is Limoncello?

From Wikipedia:

“Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi, and islands of Procida, Ischia, and Capri.”

While 2 weeks may not seem “quick” to you, traditionally, the peels are steeped for many weeks before being added to the simple syrup. 10-14 days is sufficient for a slightly lesser, yet super tasty, infusion. You’ll notice an oil slick on the top of your vodka after this time. Limoncello is also made with a certain type of lemon in Italy, but it’s one not easily (if at all) attainable here.

One of my reasons for doing this is because I love lemons, wanted to try limoncello & almost cried at some of the price tags I’ve seen. I’m really quite pleased with this recipe, which is a compilation of many recipes & articles I’ve read across the web. I hope you are, too!

limoncello peels steeping
Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils.


Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”

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9 Things To Do With Bananas

Posted on | May 29, 2015 | No Comments

You may have seen this post on a website I was a contributor for. When the website became read only & no longer publishing new content, I worried about the future of my posts. I am posting them here where I never have to worry about them getting lost in cyber space, should the other site become obsolete.

We love bananas in this house. We love banana bread and banana sauce and anything else banana. Bananas make a great snack and are wonderful with breakfast. I read once upon a time that 1 banana can fuel a tennis game. That’s a lot of oomph for a little piece of fruit. Locally, I often find several bunches for free. Instead of them going to waste, a store here offers them free of charge when they are “too ripe” to sell.

But what else can this magic fruit do? If you’re not latex sensitive, read on.

Smoothies, Oats and Yogurt

We like to add bananas to our smoothies. They add a natural sweetness, and they are great for thickening the smoothies up. Bananas are best added to smoothies if you first peel them, cut into chunks and flash freeze them (this means spread them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet & freeze. When you put them in a baggy or container after they’re frozen, they don’t stick in one big glob). I like to keep a container of flash frozen chunks for this purpose.

Fresh bananas are wonderful mashed and added to yogurt.  My husband likes those “fruit on the bottom” yogurts. Since I quit buying those, I now make them. I add a half mashed bananas and a heaping spoonful of organic strawberry jam to the bottom of a half pint jar and spoon in yogurt on top. He loves them.

Like the yoghurt, we also like to mash bananas up and serve in our oatmeal. Overripe bananas work well for all three of these purposes.

Banana Sandwiches, Banana Bread and Fried Bananas

Mmmm, banana sandwiches are so good. My kids like them with peanut butter. Simply spread your peanut butter on some bread, slice your bananas onto that and top with another piece of bread. Me? I love it done with salted butter instead of peanut butter.

Another favorite in this house is banana bread. When your bananas are fully ripe (and even a little beyond), mash’em up and make banana bread. If you have a lot, you can make several loaves, or you can flash freeze them to thaw and make banana bread later.

Again, fresh or overripe bananas make an amazing sauce or fried bananas. Slice your bananas. Heat some butter (or use coconut oil if you’re lactose intolerant) in a skillet. Add your bananas & cook til butter is golden brown, bananas are soft & gooey and all is heated through. If you’d like to add a little sucanat or other sweetener, feel free to do so when you add the bananas. I think it’s sweet enough as is. I do occasionally like to add a sprinkle of cinnamon when I add my bananas, though. Serve in yogurt, oats or over pancakes. YUM!

Of course, you can also just slice up fresh bananas and serve those over pancakes as well. It’s delicious like that, too.

Banana Ice “Cream,” Banana Pops and Banana Splits

Several years ago on one of my mainstream diets, I’d read about banana ice “cream.” Using the flash freeze method above, you put your frozen chunks of banana into a blender or food processor and blend them until they are ice cream consistency. You can add cocoa powder to taste, vanilla bean scrapings or peanut butter for some flavour variations. It is super tasty!

Banana pops are so much fun and so easy to make. Cut bananas in half. Slide a popsicle stick into the cut end. Freeze until firm. Get the kids in the kitchen now to help with this. They’ll have a blast, but be ready to hear “Are they done yet?” After your bananas are frozen, dip the bananas into melted chocolate. To this melted chocolate you can whisk in some peanut butter if you’d like. After dipping in chocolate, roll the bananas in coatings of choice- chopped nuts, coconut flakes, chia seed, etc. Pop back into the freezer and freeze until firm. Watch the kids’ faces light up.

Last but not least, the traditional banana split is a wonderful, fun and yummy way to serve bananas. Typically and traditionally, the bananas are cut in half lengthways. We like to slice them in slices. We put them in a bowl, plop some homemade ice cream on top, then top with toppings of choice. We like things like nuts, shredded coconut, raw sunflower seeds, homemade chocolate syrup, etc.

Still Wanting More??

Still have lots of bananas? Check out these links to great recipes and ideas for things to do with bananas. They’re cheap, yummy and good for you. They contain lots of potassium, which is great for leg cramps.

Banana Tacos

Banana Pudding

Banana Egg Pancakes (She calls these stupid easy, & they’re only 2 ingredients!)

Chocolate Banana Milkshakes, just 3 ingredients!

Buttermilk Banana Ice Cream

What’s YOUR favourite way to eat bananas??


Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”

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Posted on | March 12, 2014 | 2 Comments

Sometimes paleo-ish-ers need a late night snack. Yes, a couple of us have gone paleo-ish. We’ve kept dairy. I read on a blog that primal is more dairy friendly, so maybe we’ve gone primal? I haven’t researched much on primal, so I don’t know if this is primal. Colour me confused :)

Anyhoo, this rich & decadent snack is awesome! No fancy party or Sunday best needed!


Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”


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How To Easily Declutter & Simplify Your Kitchen

Posted on | March 3, 2014 | No Comments

I have a confession. I’m an addict. I’m addicted. I’m unashamed. See, I love all things kitchen. Appliances, gizmos, gadgets and doodads all have a way of finding their way into my kitchen. However, a while back, I realized what a mess I’d gotten myself into. I started purging. I decided to make sure that very few things in my kitchen were single-taskers.



Since purging, kitchen life has become much more manageable. While I’ve always loved being in the kitchen, I find tasks have become easier and expectations are often met. It sounds weird, I know. But the less you have to worry about, the less you…well…have to worry about. When your life is cluttered, you can get overwhelmed. The same thing happens in the kitchen. Join me as I share with you what I’ve done to take my kitchen from overwhelming to streamlined!

Will I Really Use It?

Several years ago I’d read an article. It was on how to purge your closet. It said to turn your hangers backwards, and as you wore them, to rehang them facing the proper way. After a year, any clothing that was still backwards- get rid of. I thought why not do this with your kitchen stuff?

What I decided to do was place all my kitchen items from the drawers into plastic bins. I stuck them in my laundry room which is just off the kitchen. This allowed me easy access to them, but they were out of the way. I have almost no counter space, so keeping them off the counter was great! As I used the items from the bins, they went into the dishwasher and were returned to the drawers. After 3 months, anything left was put into yard sale boxes or thrown out.

Loved and Seasonal Items?

I have a lot of seasonal items in my kitchen. Popsicle molds, water bath canner, Christmas cookie cutters, etc. Much like above, if I’m not sure I’m going to use them, I move them to a location out of the way. Over the course of a year, if you haven’t used it, off to thrift/trash/donation it goes.

On that note, I do keep a few much loved items around. My father-in-law and his wife recently gave me a family heirloom tea set. I haven’t used it yet, though I hope to. I just polished it up and keep it in our china cabinet. I also have the cutest little creamer jug shaped like a milk carton. It’s hand blown glass and when I saw it, I had to have it. I’ve sacrificed a lot of things, so that I can keep the things I love and treasure. I do have some other collectibles, but I use those as well.

I also have a non-electric percolator. It stays. We’ve had to use it when the power has gone out. To me, it’s like having that little box of white candles in your junk drawer. We keep it around “in case of emergency.” Emergency items are OK to hang on to if you’ll indeed use them in an emergency. Keep them out of the way, though. Don’t let them clutter up the main parts of your kitchen.

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils.


As I mentioned, I do have a few single-taskers in my kitchen. I have a pressure canner that I never use for cooking. However, I do can quite a bit, so this one slides. It’s very much used. My french press is a single-tasker. However, if I don’t have my coffee in the morning…. well, it’s just not pretty. I keep a fruit bowl on my counter, too. While it holds only fruit, it’s aesthetically pleasing and serves the purpose of keeping counter items corralled.

Single-taskers are acceptable if, and only if, they serve a great purpose and cannot be performed by any other kitchen tool.


Now let’s look at how we can turn those too many single-taskers into multi-taskers. One of the things I got rid of were a set of lovely servings dishes. They were large, thick heavy-duty plastic and shaped like shells. I bought them for our wedding and I’d held onto them for that reason. I realized over time though, those bowls are not the prize. I married the prize, and these bowls were just things. They were clutter and they served only one purpose: to serve things in. Can’t I do the same thing in my bowls? I have quite the collection of mixing bowls. I realized I could just as easily pour a bag of chips or crackers into a mixing bowl and call it good. So, I got rid of the shell-shaped serving bowls from the wedding. And I didn’t even cry.

I have a collection of slow cookers. When I say collection, I mean it! I have seven of varying types and sizes. Why so many? On any given day there’s a chance you may walk into my kitchen and find at least four of them running… at the same time. Chicken stock, beef stock, yoghurt & dinner are all staples in my house, so for my family, these are a necessity.

I love mason jars and collect them. I mentioned earlier that I enjoy canning. While I always want to keep a good stockpile of canning jars, they come in handy for other uses. We like to drink out of them. The boys think it’s fun! I store things in them: food, buttons, school supplies all have a way of finding themselves in jars.

Another favorite multi-tasker are these mugs (seen below). We use them for tea and coffee. That’s a given. However, they’re 18 ounce mugs, so they get used plenty for soup, broth, cereal, yoghurt, snacks. They’re large, but the handle and shape make them easy for even the kiddos to handle and eat out of. Plus, things don’t spill quite as easily as they do in wider, flat bowls.

Take a Look Around

Take a look around your kitchen. Find out what your most used and loved items are and set those aside. Find those items that you know you don’t use or won’t use again. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Do I really love this?” If not, get rid of it. Don’t wait. Get rid of it now, whether it’s straight to the trash or to a yard sale/donation box. Only throw away things that are no longer usable. Things that are still in good shape can be used by others, and you won’t fill up a landfill with it.

Place the rest of your items in containers as I mentioned above. You don’t have to do your entire kitchen at once. Start with putting your annual items away. Store them in a basement, attic or closet. Empty your drawers into bins and place them out of the way. Three months later, anything left in those bins goes away.

Once those three months are up, start with another cabinet or a group of cabinets, and keep going until you knock out the whole kitchen!

Have fun with this! How do you declutter your kitchen?

You may have seen this post on a website I was a contributor for. When the website became read only & no longer publishing new content, I worried about the future of my posts. I am posting them here where I never have to worry about them getting lost in cyber space, should the other site become obsolete.


Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”

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Life Lately Pt. 3

Posted on | February 21, 2014 | No Comments

Part one is here.

Part 2 is here.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

This is part 3…

I had my follow up appointment to be sure I was healing from the pneumonia. All looked well according to the doctors. Yay! Hubba hadn’t been believing me when I’d told him I was healing & feeling better. He decided I would be allowed to do  laundry again. Goofy guy. Just like an overprotective Mom!! After a couple weeks, I was feeling SO much better & decided I was going to make a small task/goal/to do list for the following week. I do mean small. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to learn to say no, slow down when I’m sick, etc.

We’d just had a SMALL family birthday party for Sebastion. My Mum was up visiting again (LOL) & we’d had my in-laws visit just for a Saturday. Monday morning, luck would have it I awoke with a “cold.” Tris had come down with one over the weekend, & my body just wasn’t ready to deal with something as small as a cold just yet! By Tuesday, I was yet again in the urgent care. This time I had BRONCHITIS!! 4 weeks to the day from walking into the urgent care with pneumonia! This “cold” season was NOT treating me well. Another round of antibiotics, a couple more weeks & I was on my way to breathing properly again!

Now… after all this, we headed into the busiest time of the year. Thanksgiving was spent at my parent’s house. Christmas was at our house, but we decided to KISS. Lasagna (one GF & one regular), salad & garlic bread. I had each of the sets of parents bring a beverage to share & a dessert to share. It turned out lovely.

Once the holidays were over, I was anxiously awaiting the new year. I just knew that once the new year rang in, things would calm down. I was really just kinda wrong about that. What I didn’t realize is that the house was ATROCIOUS from Momma being out of commission for 6 weeks. I mean, this gal held the couch down for SIX weeks straight. Fo’realz, no lyin’, literally.

Once I was able to get off the couch, it was gogogo. It was even more gogogo, because I was gogogoing SLOWLY. LOL! There was a fridge to scrub, floors to peel dirt & other unidentified guck off of & dust bunnies the size of Alaska to unearth & wrastle up the tube of the vacuum. There was schoolin’ to grade, schoolin’ to catch up on & schoolin’ to school. There were lists to be made- groceries to replace, toiletries we’d gotten low on, stockpiles to replenish (this is why sometimes I don’t skip my Amazon Subscribe & Save shipments even if I don’t need them now. An extra tube of toothpaste comes in handy when Momma’s sick).

January also held the wee-est bub’s birthday, so there was no slowing down in January. At the end of January/beginning of January, we were also invited to Robert’s grandmother’s 95th birthday celebration. So we went to Georgia to visit & stayed with my Mum. We left, but we left the 2 youngest dudes there to visit. A week later, I was picking them up & staying the weekend.

Now that that’s all done with, I’ve been able to concentrate on our home. I’ve also been able to better concentrate on my Crazy Wrap Business! I LOVE selling the wraps, & I’ll be back soon with my own testimony. Of course, if you have any questions before I get back, be sure to leave a comment! I love talking wraps (wait, no. I just love talking. Period, HAHA!!).

So, I’m HOPING to get back to blogging regularly again & posting to our **NEW** Facebook page regularly again!


Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”

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Life Lately Pt. 2

Posted on | February 19, 2014 | No Comments

It’s been 4+ months since I updated everyone on our life. Four. Months. I’m sorry. My name is Mud & all that other stuff. Let me explain… This is a VERY in depth story of my hospitalization, so be warned.

The last paragraph in that post states that I was hospitalized. I came down with pneumonia. It took 4 days to escalate from a  “cold” to full blown pneumonia. An EMT friend of mine said this last season was BADBADBAD for upper respiratory illnesses & that the pneumonia she’d dealt with was no joking matter (not that it ever is, but it was all out of whack & BADBADBAD).

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils.

I woke up Saturday with a “cold.” Monday evening, I had to wrestle with the puppy, as he was shedding dirt (literally). I got so winded that I couldn’t breathe. Chalk it up to over exertion while in the throes of a super nasty cold, right?? Wrong. Less  than 24 hours later, we were pulling into the urgent care. I was seen pretty quickly, as usual. They took my oxygen saturation (you know the thing they clip on your finger, & it has a digital read out? That).

The lady walked out of the room & returned very quickly with a doctor. HE took my oxy-sat reading, & I was told “We can’t help you. You need to go to the emergency room. Do we need to call you an ambulance?” I declined & they took my oxy-sat one more time. It went from 85 to 82 just while I was sitting there. Anything less than 90 is bad. 95 or more is where the docs like you to be. If you’ve read my blog or Facebook page, you know I’m not fond of docs, but I DO believe they have a place in society. If they are utilized as needed & not worshiped as society does, they can be a life saver. Literally.

Anyhoo, the kinda funny part (looking back now) was that Hubba was AT HOME looking for our insurance card. Urgent care was closing soon, so we had to get me in, but since I’d never been seen there, they needed my card. We couldn’t find it before we left. So, he dropped me off & went home to look for it. Something about the new ones not getting switched out or something. I don’t remember now. The fact that I can remember any of this is pretty amazing. I was so foggy for WEEEEEKKKKSSS at this time.

Anyway, I call him & tell him not to worry about the card; they can’t see me; we have to go the ER; been there for UTI’s; etc; so on; so forth. He zooms back to pick me up. The urgent care is not charging me for the visit since they can’t help (I thought that was super of them!), & they wrote a note on prescription paper to the ER that I am to show them as soon as I get there. That piece of paper was like the golden ticket. I was rushed to triage, zero waiting in the waiting room. Yeehaw!!!

No. Wait. Nevermind.

I was triaged, put in an ER room, hooked to an IV & monitors & ordered for x-rays, injectable steroids & a CT scan + whatever else they ordered. Apparently, though, I’m allergic to steroids. After they injected the steroids, I was sitting up, talking (I was in fairly good spirits, surprisingly, maybe a little upset that I was down- I loathe being sick!!!), laughing a little, crying over being sick, then BOOM! I started feeling like I needed to throw up. I was dizzy & started feeling less & less control over my body. I told Robert frantically “I don’t feel well! I REALLY don’t feel well!!!”

He rushed out of the room to tell the nurse’s station & by the time he & a nurse returned I was in the process of flopping back on the gurney, semi-passing out & petite mal seizing!! Hubba said the next thing HE knew, the room was FILLED with medical staff & they were throwing furniture out of the room. What’s really strange (to me, anyway) is that I can REMEMBER having my eyes closed while this is all going on & HEARING every word they were saying. I was trying to speak & tell them to leave me alone, to get their hands off of me & that I was fine (I most certainly was not!) & pushing them away with my hands.

The poor little girl in the ER room was SO upset. She kept apologizing & said at my age & being relatively healthy, they were all SHOCKED that I went down like that.

Anyway, this was all on a Tuesday night. I was released from the hospital Friday afternoon. During my stay I was on breathing treatments, 2 types of intravenous antibiotics & complete bed rest (Hubba helped me to the bathroom when no one was looking, hehe!! I used that bedside portable toilet thing twice while I was there- yuck!). I also ended up having to demand they wrap my IV ports (yes, plural) & allow me to shower.

During my stay, the fruit salads that the hospital offered got a little old (I couldn’t stand the food, & by the 3rd fruit salad, I didn’t want that either). All I could handle in the mornings were the not-very-good-bacon, orange juice, coffee & whole milk. Hubba was staying each night. He’d head home in the morning, shower change & pick up anything we needed. He brought me clothes, snacks & my favourite things- RAW MILK & COOKED BACON!!! Love that man! He also brought some other goodies, but when you have raw milk & cooked bacon, WHO CARES, RIGHT!?!?!

So, finally, Friday my oxy sats were consistently above 92 & I was made to walk the floor, so they could check my saturation levels after “exertion.” I asked if I could get out of my room & walk. I was told that last day to walk about as much as possible. YAY! We popped down to the cafeteria & the gift shop. Boy, did I walk slow, but I was so happy!

We went home after stopping by the pharmacy to pick up a round of antibiotics & an inhaler. Hubba swore me off mommy & wife duties for awhile. Thankfully, my Mum was there during this whole ordeal. She had shown up Friday to help with apples- 3 bushels for canning- that I’d purchased. Little did we know why she was REALLY coming!). She left Monday morning, after I swore I’d be ok. My boys are old enough to be semi-self-sufficient, so that too was a blessing!

There is STILL more to this story, but I realize this has gotten long. I’ll pause for now, & take a deep breath (you take these things for granted, by the way!). Stay tuned, as I am currently writing Pt. 3 & hopefully the ending to this saga of respiratory woe.


Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”

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Cheeseburger Soup

Posted on | October 21, 2013 | No Comments

In an attempt to heal from a recent hospital stay, Graze All Day Sunday is currently back in rotation. Hubba had asked for cheeseburger soup recently, & I was happy to oblige. It turned out quite tasty, & everyone agreed. Not only is this soup wonderful for GAD Sunday, because we cook once, eat all day, it’s double duty- cook once, eat all day AND eat another day (or 3, depending on your family size). This soup is definitely a winner for freezer cooking. With the holidays coming up, we all need some easy to whip up meals in the freezer :)

We served this delicious soup with dill & bacon, but you can add a dollop of sour cream or plain yoghurt. On the side, we had bread, fermented pickles & fresh tomatoes from the farmers market.

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Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”

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Life Lately

Posted on | October 13, 2013 | 1 Comment


It’s been a couple months since I posted regularly. If you follow me on Facebook, you know I more or less disappeared for the month of August. Starting this last spring, we went through a ton of life changes & had a lot of “interesting” news.

We found out that my sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. Hubba was extremely distraught over this. There was a lot more to it, but we’ll leave it at that. Shortly after, we found out my father-in-law diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. Along with that, Hubba’s bonus mom went through 2 surgeries.

Many of you also knew that we were planning, praying & hoping to head back West. When we found out father-in-law had prostate cancer, we decided to postpone our plans. We began looking in the Knoxville area for a rental home. This was proving fruitless, & after a couple months of looking, we were growing weary, stressed & worried.

See, the landlords we have are WONDERFUL! The house has some issues, though. It’s a mid-century home, so things that once worked have begun to show their age. We’ve had water heater issues, toilet leaking issues, other leaks, etc., etc. The landlords have been GREAT at fixing these things in a timely fashion. However, each time something leaked, our utility bills became outrageous. We paid off our van at the beginning of the year, & I truly believe that was our saving grace. We had a month of great bills after the van payoff, then all hell broke loose. We were living more week to week than I think ever before. We just could not keep up with the bills. Each time one issue was fixed, another would arise.

Anyhoo, with all the issues, the landlords told us when we moved out, they were going to sell. They have never asked us to leave, never made us feel that we should or anything like that. We decided it would be in everyone’s best interest if we did indeed move, so they could “get out from under it.”

As the end of our lease approached (Aug 31), our search for a home was becoming more & more exhausting. We’re not overly picky by any means, & we don’t expect a mansion. However, we don’t want to pay $800 for a $500 or $1k for an $800 house at best that would need a LOT of TLC, that quite frankly, we didn’t feel the landlords would be willing to pay for (we’re talking unfinished paint jobs, complete with roller lines where they stopped, dangerously rippled carpets, water stains on the ceiling complete with holes & cracks, and on & on).

We looked at several very small homes as well, & we realized that even though we don’t need a gigantic home, anything smaller than 1500 square feet was pushing it. We homeschool & we try to be as self sufficient as we can, so we do have a bit of stuff for our lifestyle. They are not frivolous things. We were still looking at homes a little smaller, because if the layout was right, we could make one work. We did find one that we absolutely loved & applied. We rec’d an email thanking us for our time, but they’d found a renter they felt suited their needs. We were devastated, but we felt no hard feelings & continued our search.

By the time Aug rolled around, I was ready for a nervous breakdown. We then rec’d an email from our landlords. They had decided since the rental market was horrific (something we’d figured out), they’d decided to keep the house as a rental. They said if we decided to stay, that would be great, but they wished us luck if we decided to move. But I wasn’t relieved yet. I still had to talk to Hubba about this turn of events. This proved to be a great thing, & after just a couple days of praying, we decided we were staying.


Here’s the kicker. We’d sold half our furniture & belongings & packed over half of what was left anticipating a move cross country, then a local move. So the work began “moving” back in. It still took some time before the nervous breakdown feeling would go away. Here we are 2 months after we decided to stay & we still have things in boxes & piles of stuff everywhere. We’re slowly working on it though, but the house being in disarray grates our nerves, too. The first thing we did was spend some of our moving savings to buy new (or new to us) furniture. Homeschooling nerd families have a LOT of books 😀

Recently, I also confirmed an allergy to eggs. I’ve been doing the GAPS diet now for a couple of weeks, & so far, I’m not noticing much of a change. Hubba has been working a LOT, & he recently went out of town for a week. My allergies are acting like a crazy fool. I’ve never suffered too terribly from fall allergies, but this year is different.

We’ve also got some amazing things to share. On top of not having to move (even though we basically moved, we just didn’t have to lift the beds & couch, LOL), my Mum has been to visit a few times, & we’ve been to visit her & other family. My Hubba has begun mending a relationship with someone he deeply cares about.

The 2 youngest boys & I got to go to the World’s Longest Yard Sale. We took my Mum, & we had SUCH a blast!! I found an old butter mold, old glass Pyrex juicer & some other things I was on the hunt for. But really, the fun of it was the most amazing part! We also got a new puppy, & we’re working hard on training him. We love him to pieces.

Last but not least, and I’m sure I’m leaving some stuff out (but when you’re a little brain dead from stress & happenings, you tend to forget things), I started a new venture. With the help of KeryAnn of Intentionally Domestic (I like to say she coerced me, LOL), I became an independent distributor for It Works! Global.

Along with the daily mundane life- laundry, cleaning, working, etc, life got crazy, hectic & stressful. I can’t apologize for my absence, just like I won’t apologize to those out West for not being able to move back. Life happens. Roll with the punches, cry & scream a little, & hopefully you’ll come out on the other side with a smile. I’m thankful, though, for the support system I’ve had. While I mention not apologizing to those out West, don’t take that as they’re complaining. They aren’t. They’ve all been very understanding, even though they were as excited as we were for us to go back :)

Along with the above, we’ve had one other earth shattering (even if only our own) event, that I won’t be discussing on the blog here at this time. While this change is ultimately for the better, it has NOT been (and still isn’t) an easy road.

Note: I had this written up & just before I was about to post it, I got extremely sick & landed in the hospital, but I’ll save that post for another day! I know this one has gotten a little bit long :)


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Udi’s On The Go review!

Posted on | August 30, 2013 | No Comments

Mmmm!! Time for another Udi’s review! I was blessed with yet another box full of wonderful goodies, many of which I never knew Udi’s made! With on-the-go in mind, Udi’s has created some amazing packable snacks. If you’re planning a trip, keep Udi’s gluten free snacks in mind. With school starting up, these snacks will pack a lunchbox nicely as well. Keenan was really excited when he learned we’d been offered another round, solely in exchange for an honest review!

We got another box of Double Vanilla Muffins. Since we all loved them so much the first time around, those were the first things we indulged in. We couldn’t help ourselves.

Next up, we tried the Harvest Crunch Muffins. Keenan wasn’t too fond of them, but the rest of us enjoyed them. The Ancient Grain Crisps were amazing. We had those along side some raw cheddar cheese. Wow, what a snack!

I’m also eating a bowl of granola as I type. They sent a flavour, like the muffins, called Double Vanilla. While the granola tastes nothing like the muffins, it was a yummy breakfast before we rushed out to go grocery shopping.

Speaking of grocery shopping, we used some of the packable snacks for some outings. When we go grocery shopping, we head into Knoxville to several of our fave shoppes. Some days these grocery trips can take a good chunk of the day. With 3 boys, I often hear “Mom, I’m HUNGRY!” This go round, I was prepared with some Udi’s snacks that satisfied their hunger AND were easy to toss in the back of the van. The granola bars were a hit, & we headed home home to eat a proper lunch shortly thereafter.

On a trip to Georgia to pick up the boys, I threw a box of Maple Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, some crisps & granola bars in the bag & we were able to snack on those on the way home. I did, of course, share while I was there. My Mum is not gluten free, but she thought the cookies were really good, too. I believe it speaks volumes when a person that eats gluten can ask for 2nds of a gluten free treat!! It’s too bad I ate all the Salted Caramel Cashew Cookies before I left for Georgia, or I’d have shared them. I couldn’t help it. 1 bite, & I was hooked.

As usual, Udi’s comes through with awesome flavour & a texture that can’t be beat for store bought gluten free treats. I highly recommend these items as a treat for school lunches, packed lunched for outings & snacks for trips, as well as the occasional snack at home! What are you waiting for? Does your local store carry Udi’s products?

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