Thursday, July 2, 2015

Home Brands USA United States Flag Review! Plus a huge discount!

Home Brands USA is a company that sells a HUGE assortment of amazing products for your home.  They sent me their American Flag Patchwork Rug to review and with 4th Of July almost here it's a perfect item!  This rug is made from 100% wool and I love the look of it.  It actually looks antique.  Now you notice it only has 13 stars right?  Representing the first flag of our country.  I love it but as a side note I will never put it on my floor.  Walking on our flag is hugely disrespectful in my mind.  However this makes a beautiful and unique wall hanging. My husband loves it!

Just like the incarnation of the original America Flag, this reimagining of the classic design with 13 stars was hand woven with the same patchwork methods. It's vintage look and feel are sure to cozy up any patriots home. Each produced as one of a kind with a cotton cloth backing. Made in Turkey

Right now  Home Brands USA is offering a sale on Momeni Rugs for the Fourth of July.  75% off on all momeni rugs on their site!  To go along with this Home Brands USA is offering a special additional 15% discount for the 4th of July weekend on top of the sale and runs from July 1-7. Including the 15% off  on top of their standard 60-70% discount on Momeni rugs the savings could end up being a total of 70-80% off which is huge!  Click HERE to be taken to the site and check out the great deals!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Why Women Need The Second Amendment

Human Events's photo.
There is allot of debate on weather America needs to take away the second amendment after the recent church shooting.  The logic is that if there are no guns there will be no gun violence.  Of course this is a completely illogical line of thinking because if you look at cities that ban guns they have some of the highest rates of gun violence i.e. Chicago.  The problem is the only people you are disarming are law abiding citizens that don't commit gun violence anyways.  Criminals don't care if they get their guns illegally because their going out to commit crimes.  So the only people who suffer are those of us that use guns legally.

As a woman I am very glad I have several guns in my home.  My father had four children, three of them girls.  He taught all of us how to shoot effectively and safely.  The reason was that women are in most cases unable to fight off an attacker.  He called guns the great equalizer.  Meaning a guy may be stronger and faster than me but he is NOT faster than my gun!

As our economy gets worse and drugs become more prevalent we will, and are, seeing more crime.  I have personally been on the receiving end of this trend three different times now.  All three involve men on drugs coming on to our property.  The most recent is as follows

Just recently we were woken up at 3:00 am by our 17 year old daughter running up the stairs in panic because a man was at our back door trying to kick it in.  Our dogs were going nuts and my husband and I sprang into action.  Police will tell you to never confront or allow someone to get ahold of you.  If they are on drugs they often are impervious to pain, abnormally strong, and especially with the new street drugs, extremely violent and dangerous.

My three younger children ages 6, 10, and 11 woke up and were terrified asking if the person was going to hurt them.

My husband and I worked quickly as a team.  I got on the phone and called 911 while I hustled my four children into a defendable and secure room.  I stood in the doorway waiting with a view of the stairs.  My husband got our shot gun loaded and headed down stairs.  While on the phone I also armed myself with a hand gun in case whoever was down there got through my husband.

You see we didn't know if this man was armed or not, or was coming in to kill us.  I could hear my husband yelling that he was armed and if the man came through our door he would defend himself and his family.  This did not deter the man in the least as he kept running a kicking our door.

I prayed and prayed that the door would hold.  We could feel it upstairs every time he kicked the door and our windows were shaking.

Meanwhile I was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher explaining the situation and that my husband was armed. 

The police showed up (thankfully) within 2 minutes and were able to get the man.  He was completely strung out on several drugs we found out.  He was making no sense and fought the police when they tried to get him in the patrol vehicle and later fought the jailers.

The only thing that stood between my children and that man was a regular back door with a dead bolt.  If I had been unarmed and without my husband my only option would have been to pray.  That is NOT an option for me.  Instead of being helpless in the face of attack I am empowered to protect myself and my children.  And you can bet NO ONE is going to hurt them without first having to come through me.

So when people cry about needing to ban guns I think of the countless women and children in countries where gun ownership is not allowed that are raped and murdered.  How many of those crimes would be averted if those women were armed and taught how to use them?  There are thousands of cases every year in America of women defending themselves with firearms against men that never make it to the mainstream media because it doesn't fit with their agenda.

We know that disarming a population does not decrease violence, it just shifts or even increases because criminals know they have defenseless victims.

Guns are not the problem, it is criminals that are the problem.  As my father told us, guns are just a tool.  A dangerous tool just like a skill saw, but still a tool.  You must respect them and use them safely.

My husband and I have been teaching our children gun safety and marksmanship as they reach ages that are appropriate.  My eldest daughter is nervous of guns but an excellent shot and knows how to load and fire.  After the above incident she told me how glad she was now that we have firearms.

And as I say to my children now.  The only time you need a gun is when you REALLY need a gun.

So how can you prepare for home invasion or violent crime?

1. Be Prepared

Think out different possible scenarios and your reactions in your head.  If you have a spouse talk about them and work out what both of you will do to deal with the situation.  The more you do this the less likely you will be to panic.  Knowing what your going to do is a huge confidence booster.

2. Get A Gun and Learn How To Use It

This is what stands between you and a criminal.  Learn to use this tool and use it safe. Learn how to clean it, load it, and reload it.   This also means educating your children about it and keeping it somewhere secure but accessible to you in an emergency.  You wouldn't leave knives down in a toddlers reach so don't do the same with your guns.

3.  Make your home less attractive to criminals

Have motion lights, lock your doors and gates, and teach your children not to open the door to strangers. Also hardening your home is a good idea.  Have a gravel path all around your house so that if someone is walking around looking in windows it is noisy alerting you or your dog.  Plant thorny hedges in front of windows.  Make sure all doors are well lit.

4.  If you don't have a dog consider getting one

Dogs hear and smell better than us.  Our dogs let us know whenever someone is around.  Also our Golden Lab is mildly intimidating so very few people will chance going into our yard.

5. Learn self defense

Most crimes against women start with a man surprising her and grabbing her before she knows what's going on.  That is the last situation you want to be in as a woman because a man is generally much stronger than a woman, but learning personal defense moves can save your life and get you away.

6.  Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Looking purposeful and aware deters criminals.  They want soft easy targets.  When you are walking to your car look around, pay attention, note people around you.

At some time or another most people will experience a violent crime.  It's really not a question of if but when.  So don't be a victim be a victor!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Dear Mom's - Why when you feel Overwhelmed, Horrible, Or Angry You Should Take a Break

Dear Moms,

I know how it is.  There is always something else that needs to be done right now.  There is always a child asking for help, to have another snack, or just made a mess. There is the mountain of laundry, the dirty dishes, the thousand errands.  And that is just the regular stuff.  There is also all those expectations we put on ourselves to be the perfect mom.  Canning our own food, baking our own bread, gardening, sewing, making our house like a picture from a magazine.  I know that feeling that there is no end until you fall into bed exhausted at night. I know what it's like when you find yourself angry and impatient and snapping at your children and then feel horribly guilty afterward. Or (especially for me) that time of the month when for a few days EVERYTHING is horrible.

I went through that for years.

Then I had a moment of clarity.  I pushed myself every day, every hour, 365 days a year past my limits.  I wasn't calm or happy and with every day felt worse and worse as a mother.  In that moment I realized that my family didn't want a cleaner house, home sewn clothes, perfectly planned days.  They just wanted ME.  And I also realized that I was not the mom I wanted to be.  I want my children to look back on their mommy and remember not a frazzled, tired, and angry woman.  But a calm, joyful, kind mother.

So what did I do to change?


When I feel angry, depressed, exhausted, or find myself getting into the nasty mommy role I go upstairs to my bedroom, bring in all the kids, and we cuddle on my king sized bed and read or watch nature shows together. When it is cool weather I light candles and play soothing music.  When it is hot we read together in front of the air conditioner.

Yep that's it.

And it has changed our home for the better.

I forget about all the stuff I need to get done (which being a neat freak is really challenging)  and concentrate only the things that HAVE to be done.  Like dinner.  Because truly caring for four children is enough of a full time job and THEY are my biggest priority.

Because here is the thing mom.  All those "things"  that seem so important and good, really aren't good at all if you are stressed.  The "things" your family really wants is just you.  To talk to, to be with, to share love and just BE there with them.

I give you permission to take time off.  Stop being so hard on yourself.  You are already everything your children and husband need.  When you feel yourself being overwhelmed you NEED to take that time out and just cuddle your children and lay down.  Life is too short and precious to spend it unhappy.


Your Friend and Sister in Mothering

Friday, June 26, 2015

Redmond Clay Natural Body Products Review/Giveaway $50.00 ARV!

Did you know that clay has many health benefits?  Neither did I!  But when Redmond Clay offered to send me several products to try out and review I started to research it.  This is not the clay that you make pots out of, although you probably could.  Instead this is special clay that you would find in a spa.  Reading all the literature about the reputed health benefits I really had my doubts, it sounded too good to be true.  The more I read the more I wanted to try it. Clay has been used to treat different ailments for thousands of years.  Redmond Clay is a completely natural bentonite clay sourced right here in the USA!  I really like that because America has the highest standards when it comes to labor and environmental impacts.  If your clay is coming from a third world country they often are using child labor in very unsafe conditions.

First I tried the Redmond Clay First Aid Mud.  It is officially mosquito season and all my kids get bit.  My daughter was really itching bad and I put some on.  The relief was instantaneous and the next morning the bites were just little red marks as opposed to huge lumps that she usually gets.  Also I ended up having a horrible allergic reaction to some lotion I put on my hands after showering.  My hands itched horribly and were covered in hives.  I tried cortisone, washing them three times to get the stuff off, but nothing helped.  So I slathered the First Aid Mud all over my hands and got immediate relief.  I believe it's because the clay drew up the stuff that had absorbed and stopped the reaction!  This stuff is great!  A must have in your first aid kits.

Then I tried the Redmond Clay Facial Mud.  I have very oily skin with major black heads on my nose.  I tried it on my nose and boy it really worked!  The pores on my nose shrunk very noticeably, and the impurities started coming out.  I use it once or twice a week and every time I see a major difference. My skin looks smoother and my pores are not as noticeable.

Next I tried using the Redmond Clay Powder for a few different health problems.  First was for my children.  My son especially is allergic to mosquito bites.  When he gets a bite it swells up to the size of a baseball and is hot and painful. At first I thought it was a horrible infection, but after a trip to the emergency room the doctor patiently explained that many people have the same kind of reaction to mosquito's.  These bites would stay swelled, painful, and hot for up to two weeks! When we went up to the mountains my son got several bites so as soon as we got home I re hydrated some clay and put it over the bite and covered it with a band aid.  The next morning I lifted the band aid and found just a little mark!  No itching, no swelling, nothing!  I have since used it many times for insect bites and had the same outcome.  That sold me!

Last but not least I tried the Earthpaste Amazingly Natural Toothpaste.  Here is the back story.  I had been having horrible tooth pain in one of my molars.  The pain was getting unbearable and hurt whenever I ate.  I read some testimonies from Redmond users that the toothpaste can actually heal tooth cavities.  I didn't believe it for a second but figured I had nothing to loose and everything to gain.  We don't have dental insurance so the idea of a big fat bill was more than a little depressing.  First I must say that this toothpaste takes a little getting used to.  It doesn't foam and has a less minty taste.  You can also taste a bit of the clay but other than that it's not bad.  After using the toothpaste every day for a week my tooth ache was gone.  I have been using it ever since and have had no recurrence, no pain!  That is pretty amazing.  I don't know if it healed it but I think it might have.

bathsalt-small.jpg I was also sent a bag of the Redmond Bath Salts.  These are natural unprocessed bath salts full of minerals from a ancient sea bed right here in the USA.  I love soaking in it when I have sore muscles and it has been really helpful for my sons eczema. Also it is very helpful when you are sick or need to relax.
As you can see there are so many uses for these products!  I would recommend Redmond Clay to anyone!  It is very affordable, Made In The USA, and most important Works!


Connect With Redmond Clay


The Giveaway!

Redmond Clay has generously offered to give one of my lucky readers a gift set of the Redmond Clay first aid tube, facial clay, a toothpaste, and the clay powder!   That's a $50.00 Value! Use the entry form below, all entries are optional, all winning entries are verified.  Good Luck!

The Thrifty Housewife was not compensated for this post, I did receive a sample product(s) for the purposes of review. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook, pinterest, twitter, or any other social media website.  The winner will be chosen through the entry form which uses  Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  Winner has 24 hours to respond to the  email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen.  Open to US only.  All Entries are verified. The Thrifty Housewife is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Our Trip to a High Desert Hot Springs

On the Drive Over
I love hot springs!  Ever since we lived in Wyoming and I first got to experience a hot springs pool I have wanted to do it again.  The first pools we visited were in Thermopolis which is one of the largest hot springs in the world!  If you ever go to Yellowstone consider a side trip because it is awesome!
The Pool
So for my 36th birthday last month I decided that all I wanted was a mini vacation to a nearby hot springs.  Soon it would be too hot to really appreciate soaking so off we went.
We have quite a few hot springs around us but most were booked solid for overnight stays and were really expensive to boot! So we decided on Crystal Crane Hot Springs which was about a two hour drive and very affordable.  Not only was it affordable, but it also has lots of amenities. Most of the drive was beautiful until you came out of the mountains and into the desert.  I have never been a fan of the desert because I have lived in one type or another my whole life.
 We took our 3 youngest children and rented the Tee Pee, which is a real Tee Pee with a heated floor.  You bring your bedding.  The bonus is there is a huge soaking tub big enough for 5 people in the middle that pipes in the hot springs water!  There are several different cabins you can choose from but all were booked anyways.  I would recommend booking in advance if you need a cabin.  There is also tons of RV space and there were at least 10 RV'rs there.
The kids were so excited to be in a REAL Tee Pee and so was I.  I've never slept in one and it was neat.  There is room for at least 8 people and it has a fire pit outside.  Inside there is a table and chairs.  The soaking tub has a moat around it for overflow and hot and cold spring water so you can adjust it to your liking.  It is fairly close to the bathrooms/showers in case of late night potty breaks. The TP is far from the RV spots and not close to any of the cabins so you feel secluded.  There are lights in the Tee Pee for the night and hooks to hang clothes or towels on.
There are a couple of downsides though.  This is a REAL tee pee.  So it is not fully sealed.  We found out in the middle of the night that the local ground squirrel population enjoys midnight strolls inside looking for food!  One walked across my husbands legs!  I woke up hearing them rustling in our bags but since there was nothing I could do to stop them I went back to sleep.  Also there is a birds nest at the top of the tee pee where the poles meet.  These birds are VERY noisy and wake up at dawn, which is 4:30!  But other than that it was fun.  And of course our kids slept great!
The staff was really helpful and friendly and bent over backwards to help us as we needed a fan in the middle of the day. Also every part of the resort is really nice and clean!  In the tee pee there is no bathroom or showers so you have a short walk over to them.  We didn't use the showers as we bathed in our tub, but the bathrooms were nice and clean with electric hook ups for blow dryers and curling irons.

The hot spring pool is HOT.  I overheated and had to get out often but the kids and my husband had a blast. It would be perfect to visit in the fall, winter, or earlier in the spring. One thing about hot springs water that I love is that it is very healing. 
 It is full of minerals and my son who suffers from eczema benefits greatly.  His eczema which was broken out when we arrived had completely healed by the time we left!  We took a dozen water bottles filled with the hot spring water home and when he breaks out pour it over.  It has worked nicely.
The pond is fairly big. There are places where fresh spring water comes in and it comes in very hot so be careful.  It has a bottom covered in local black lava rock that is crushed into gravel.  It's hard on the feet so bring swim shoes. 
The Clubhouse
The water is clear and clean and doesn't smell of sulfur strongly like some hot springs.  It is very mineral rich.  The pool gets deep so watch small kids.  We brought pool noodles and the kids had so much fun swimming and playing.
clubhouse decorations
The club house was nice and cool and we had our dinner there, and it has several tables for eating. There is a flat screen tv, games, books/magazines, a fireplace for the winter visitors, and lots of comfy seating and even a few toys. 
my daughter loved this antique dollhouse
It is really clean and decorated so cute with western flair.  Also there is lots of interesting history for those who enjoy it! We relaxed there for awhile after dinner and the kids watched some cartoons while my husband and I played Rummy Cube which is a favorite game of ours.
The Store
They also have a little store where you can buy everything you need or may have forgotten. They rent out pool toys and have lots of snacks. However there is very limited dinner options so you are either driving to the closest town or bringing it along.
 The camp kitchen is a little house with a stove, microwave, coffee pot, fridge, outside BBQ, and sink as well as a table and chairs.  I cooked up our simple dinner and carried it over to the next door club house. In the mornings there is free coffee in the club house.
inside the cookhouse

After soaking and playing we had a campfire outside our Tee Pee.  The kids had a great time and made friends with other children running around.  It is very quite here and there are these beautiful birds in the close overflow pond that had very interesting songs.  We had one neighbor in and RV next to us who stays all winter every year.  He was delightful and we chatted for quite a while.  We only stayed one night but I could see staying a few days in the fall.
Even though every cabin was rented you wouldn't know it.  Most people are here just to relax and it is pretty quiet.  The nights are spectacular with stars because you are in the high desert but I was so drained from the hot springs I fell asleep before I could enjoy them!
This is a great low key vacation spot!  I would recommend it to anyone who want to experience a hot springs.
I was not in any way compensated for this post.  My opinions are my own.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Free Kindle Cookbooks, Superfoods, Low Carb, Low Carb Slow Cooker, Clean Foods

Here are some great free Kindle books from my Amazon affiliate.  Click on the picture to be taken to the book.  These are free at time of posting so be sure to check the price!  Enjoy!
Product Details
Clean Eating: Amazingly Delicious Recipes To Jump Start Your Weight Loss, Increase Energy and Feel Great! (Clean Food Diet Book 1)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Creating Our Own Home Alter

Our Home Alter

Having a home alter is something many Catholics do, and now even other denominations are encouraging it.  I have wanted a home alter for a very long time and now that I am returning to the Catholic Church it seemed a perfect time.
The Blessed Virgin Mary Statue
It has a little drawer to hold things
So what is a home alter and why have one?  Well there are many reasons really.  I can't speak for anyone else but myself and why I wanted one.  So here goes.

Why Have a Home Alter
  • The Family is The Domestic Church.  We learn about God and Jesus first as children through our family, having a home alter helps to remind me and my family of God's presence in our lives every day.
  • A gathering place for prayer and worship in the home
  • A place for peace and contemplation, even during my very busy days
St. Ann who is the patron saint
of mothers.  I have chosen the name
Ann in veneration of Saint Ann
for my conformation name
What I have noticed since we created our home alter
  • Our home is more peaceful and loving
  • Whenever I walk by, which is dozens of times a day, God is immediately on my mind.
  • My children are much more "in tune" to God in their lives.  They love to look at the crucifix, rosary, and statues of saints, and talk about God and Jesus much more.
  • It has opened up my children to talk about the bible and God's plan for us
  • We discuss the saints much more frequently and why people become saints.
  • My children love to light the candles and pray for people in our lives.  Many times their friends or cousins.
Our Beautiful Crucifix
When I first started creating our home alter I got many of my items at a estate auction because we had little money.  I think I paid maybe $2.00 for a Crucifix and a friend gave me a statue of Mary.  Now however we have gotten a little more elaborate, but you don't have to!  Having a home alter is about loving God, not how fancy you can make it!  My children have loved placing each item at our alter and it has started some really great conversations.
A rosary and a little booklet on how to
pray the rosary
So here are some things suggested by other families and myself to include in your alter
A Cross or Crucifix
A Bible
Candles Matches and Candle Holders to light
A nice alter linen (I got my beautiful one from the thrift store for $1.00!)
A rosary
Statues of Jesus, The Virgin Mary, And Particular Saints
Prayer Cards and Rosary Cards
Holy water font
Pictures of Jesus and/or saints
Another candle and some beautiful
special matches my sweet daughter
bought me for my birthday to go
on our alter
I received a lovely Crucifix from Catholic Shop Online. They carry lots of lovely home alter products.
I bought two of these Single Copper Lily Candleholders for only $7.00 on amazon!  We light them when we are praying for someone or something.
 "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
- Mt. 7:7-11

Texas Sheet Cake - A Standby Dessert At My House

Here is a recipe for a favorite dessert at my house.  Every time I make it my family raves, and I have taken it to several get together's and people LOVE it! It is rich, chocolaty, and moist. The reason I love it is it's easy to make, fast, and feeds a crowd.  I like it topped with homemade whipped cream.  This would be perfect to take to a picnic or other summer get together.  Click HERE to get and easy printable version.

Photo Credit from All Recipes

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I See Me Personalized Children's Books Review and Giveaway!

Are you  looking for a children's book that is not only something your child will enjoy reading over and over but is well made and has great illustrations?  Well look no further!  I am privileged to be able to review I See Me. A company that makes high quality children's books that are personalized for that special child in your life.
I will be honest.  When I was first offered this opportunity I was a little skeptical.  My children are older and I didn't think my 10 year old daughter would appreciate them as much as my 6 year old.  But then when I started looking at the different books you could personalize I found several fairy books, and my little girl loves fairies! 
Sweet Dreams, Fairy Personalized BookI picked the Sweet Dreams Fairy book to review for her. It is a sweet story and I loved the illustrations.  When it arrived my daughter went crazy, something I have never seen her do over a book.  I was able to put her cousins names in as some of the fairies (or you can use your child's friends names) and she was so cute about that!  Since we received it she has read it several times. That is the sign of a true winner when it comes to children's books!
My Pirate Adventure Personalized BookFor my 6 year old son I of course picked a pirate book called My Pirate Adventure.  My son was so surprised that the book was about him and has me read it to him frequently since we received it.  It is a very cute book and has a very positive message.  The illustrations are fun and engaging as is the story.
I Wish You More Personalized BookTo illustrate the age groups these books appeal to my eldest son, who is 12, was very disappointed that he didn't get one too! I think we are going to have to get him one for his birthday. To personalize these books you simply select the book you want and then the site walks you through the very simple process of personalization.  You even get to pick the color of your child's hair, eyes, skin and outfits as well as using their names.  A dedication page allows you to make the book a truly lovely  keepsake.

Things I like about I See Me Personalized Children's Books

Excellent Quality
Beautiful Illustrations
Fun and Engaging Stories
Unique Gift Idea
It Makes A Wonderful Keepsake and Special Gift For Your Children/Grandchild
Easy to Make
Ships Fast


The Giveaway!

I See Me has been super generous in giving one lucky Thrifty Housewife reader their choice of a personalized book.  Use the entry form below, all entries are optional, all winning entries are verified for completion.  Good Luck!
The Thrifty Housewife was not compensated for this post, I did receive a sample product(s) for the purposes of review. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook, pinterest, twitter, or any other social media website.  The winner will be chosen through the rafflecopter form which uses  Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  Winner has 24 hours to respond to the  email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen.  Open to US only.  All winning Entries are verified.