Sunday, November 30, 2014

American Girl Books for History Homeschool

American Girl's BeForever line of historical dolls, books, and related accessories. (Photo: Business Wire)

If your child is learning about American History and enjoys American Girl Dolls you may want to check out their Historical Fiction series.  I would recommend these books especially if you are homeschooling since there are so many activities that you can expand on from the books. Classical Conversations has a list of different periods of history corresponding with the different dolls and books for each week of learning!

We are working on Samantha (1904). Visit here to check out all of the books and even play games with the American Girl dolls.

Here are some listed below: 

Kaya, 1764

Felicity Merriman, 1774

Caroline Abbott, 1812

Josefina Montoya, 1824

Marie-Grace Gardner, 1853

Kirsten Larson, 1854

Addy Walker, 1864

Samantha Parkington, 1904

Kit Kittredge, 1934

Molly McIntire, 1944

*disclaimer: Mom's Best Bets received a "Be Forever" book to aid with this review

Art Class for Kids in Hawaii

I made this quick collage on my iphone while waiting for my daughter in her art class. It's hard not to be inspired with this kind of beauty all around you! 
There are many art classes for children all over the island of Oahu.  Three classes that I recommend are:
Hawaii Academy of Art, Kroc Center, and Adventures in Art.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer activities outside for kids

outdoor gamesPlaying outdoors can be fun for the whole family.  While I love when children get to use their creativity and imagination independently, it's also fun to plan these easy 15 DIY outdoor games formulated by Kids Activities Blog

Play a backyard-sized version of memory with these DIY Lawn Memory Cards from Studio DIY.
Balloon Darts are made even cooler with an artsy twist by My Good Morning.
Use sidewalk chalk to create a Giant Checkers Board.
Outdoor Twister is sure to incite giggles, get the DIY details at Just Us Girls.
This simple Frisbee Tic Tac Toe by A Turtle’s Life for Me looks like a blast!
Giant Dominos by One Dog Woof on SYTYC are a great way to practice math skills AND enjoy to great outdoors.
This easy to make Giant Kerplunk from Design Dazzle promises hours of fun.
What’s more fun than pick up sticks?  Giant Pick-Up Sticks from I Heart Nap Time!
I can’t to make my family a Giant Jenga set like this one from A Beautiful Mess.
No room for horseshoes?  Try playing Washers by ECAB instead!
15 Outdoor Games
This DIY Ball and Cup Game can be played alone or together.
Everything is more fun in the dark, Flashlight Games are sure to make your kid’s summer.
These Water Balloon Games by Pars Caeli are a must on the hottest of days.
Bike Games are a great way to enjoy a summer evening.
Build your own Cornhole Set for some good old-fashioned family fun.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sun Care Tips and Whole Foods Sale

It's so important to take care of your skin, especially in the summer! Living in Hawaii means that we are always in the sun, so having an ample supply of sunscreen on hand helps to protect my family from dangerous sunburns.  Because we are always applying sunscreen I want it to be chemical free and as natural as possible.
Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Cream - 2.9oz
What's my favorite brand? Badger Baby Sunscreen found at Whole Foods.  Whole Foods Market has natural skin care products on sale this weekend!  

Some Awesome Sun Tips:


This is an easy one. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, being in the sun too much can cause sunburn, freckles, skin texture changes, rashes and dilated blood vessels. Exposure also increases the risk of skin cancer and is the cause of 90% of wrinkles.
Here's how it works: If you are using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15, and it usually takes you 15 minutes to get a sunburn, all you have to do is multiply the two numbers together to figure out about how long your sunscreen should last. In this case, it would be 225 minutes, or 3 hours and 45 minutes.

While that seems easy enough, the formula doesn't necessarily hold true when you're dealing with SPF numbers that are higher than 30. And, unfortunately, there are numerous other factors -- including humidity, sweating and contact with water -- that can change that number by decreasing the overall effectiveness of sunscreen. So if you're planning on going swimming or doing any other sort of strenuous activity, you'll need to reapply often for your sunblock to be of much use.


Chemical sunscreens protect skin by absorbing the sun's rays and they do this by actually seeping deep within the skin. Some of the chemical sunscreen active ingredients have been shown to have endocrine disruption activity. Last up, most chemical sunscreens do not provide broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB.

Physical sunscreen utilizes zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as active ingredients. Physical sunscreens sit on top of skin and physically block the sun's rays, like a mirror. A great benefit is that they work immediately and do not seep into the skin. Zinc oxide is protective against UVA and UVB rays, unlike most chemical sunscreens.

Recently, nano-sized physical sunscreens have been developed which apply smoothly on the skin, but there could be concerns with this new technology. Nano-particles are basically very, very small particles of a particular substance and this could be problematic if nano-particles were to cross the skin barrier and get into the tissues of the body. The use of these ingredients is relatively new and long-term effects are unknown. Labeling is not required, so the only way to know for sure whether a particular mineral-based ingredient is nano-sized is to ask the manufacturer.

Whole Foods Market Premium Body Care prohibits chemical sunscreen active ingredients and are carefully screened for particle size. So even though these non-nano, physical sunscreens may apply with a slightly white film, you will be assured that these products do not contain chemical sunscreens or nano-particles.

In addition to applying sunscreen, wearing protective clothing and hats is helpful. Also, an adequate antioxidant and omega-3 fatty acid intake in the diet can also be protective to the skin. For post-sun soothing, nurture your skin by choosing products with nutrient-rich ingredients:
Green Tea, Soy, Milk Thistle, Shea Butter, Sea Buckthorn & Carrot Oil.
Visit the Whole Body Department in your local Whole Foods Market store to get more expert tips and product suggestions.

Stop by your local Whole Foods Market on May 23-26th where you can find 30% off on their safe sunscreen during their Sun Care 4 Day Sale! 

Also, don't forget to check out their scrubs and moisture lotions for glowing and radiant skin this summer!

For more information about Whole Foods Market Hawaii visit, like them on Facebook and follow on Twitter
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Whole Foods Market.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Homemade Whipped Cocoa Body Butter Recipe

I am head over heals for this homemade body butter I made.  You can find a lot of different homemade whipped body butter recipes from natural blogs right now.  I checked out a lot of them and decided to simplify the recipe for own batch.  I didn't want an essential oil in my mixture because the natural scent of chocolate from the cacao butter is amazing enough!

This is so easy: 
  1. First heat 1/2 cup of cacao butter, 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 1/2 cup of Shea butter, and 1/2 cup of jojoba oil until its a liquid consistency.  
  2. Next, refrigerate until its starts to solidify.  
  3. Finally, get out your beaters and whip it like whipped cream. (Just don't be tempted to eat it because it smells like chocolate and looks just like whipped cream)
***Also, be aware that it is an oil once rubbed on the skin so too much can leave a residue that can stain couches and clothing


Lemongrass Tea and Beautiful Skin

Lemongrass is used a lot here in Hawaii due to it's popularity in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.  I love it's unique citrus flavor and have recently been making lemongrass tea.

Health Benefits of Lemongrass Tea:
*contains beta-carotene and is an anti-oxidant
*helps to detoxify while stimulating digestion
*some say that it's beautifying and is used for a glowing complexion 

First, buy a lemongrass plant.  They are fairly easy to grow and maintain.  

Next, cut a few stalks off.

Then, I cut up the stalks in inch pieces and let them soak in GSE extract for 5 minutes and rinsed them thoroughly again.
Add boiling water and let the lemongrass steep for about 10 minutes.
Delicious and healthy lemongrass tea!

Easter Eggs using Vegetables and Fruits as Dyes

Our eggs we dyed using food coloring


Eggs dyed using foods (picture from

My family and I have so much fun dyeing Easter eggs with foods around our house.  I seem to only have the picture of the eggs dyed with food coloring(see top picture) but we will be dyeing our eggs soon using some of these great ideas. Yes, we do love the brightness the food coloring gives to dyeing eggs but the natural look that using coffee, tumeric, and other foods is charming and a lot more fun.  
Last year, beet juice worked great and that was my daughter's favorite color. My husband preferred the rustic coffee color and I liked the golden turmeric hue. Here are some other great ideas for naturally coloring your eggs. Your kids will have so much fun because it's kind of a cooking/science experiment.

Creating Colors Naturally (from Whole
Here are some ingredient suggestions to get you started. Have fun, experiment and be sure to cover your work area!
Yellow – Lemon or orange peels, carrots, celery seed
Gold – Turmeric
Orange – Paprika, cumin, chili powder, yellow onion skins
Red/Pink – Cranberries, beets, raspberries, radishes
Purple – Hibiscus tea
Blue/Lavender – Red cabbage, blueberries, blackberries, purple or red grape juice
Green – Spinach leaves
Brown/Beige – Coffee, tea, walnuts

Friday, February 7, 2014

Aunty Oxidant Tea

You all know what a big fan I am of Vog tea. If you are new to Mom's Best Bets then read more here about it!  

Healing Dragons now makes a new tea called Aunty Oxidant tea.  This tea has a wonderful taste.  I really like the lemon mixed with the cardamon flavor.  It's soothing and it's formulated to help your immune system.  Some of the ingredients are similar to their vog tea such as the perilla seeds and pyrola and prunella.  It also has some other fantastic ingredients such as lemongrass (anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory), lemon verbena (calming effect), cardamon (for digestion), fennel seed (aromatic and also helps with digestion), and licorice root (adds a natural healthy sweetness).  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Whole Foods 25% Facial Care Sale

These are some of my favorite products.  Read more below.  

I'm making my may to Whole Foods tomorrow for their 3 Day Facial Care Sale !

This sale is for 25% off ALL facial care products from February 7-9 in Whole Foods Market stores in Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.

This means all Cleansers, Eye Creams, Toners, Moisturizers, Scrubs, Masks and Serums are all on sale. 

We usually think about what we are putting into our mouths as a way of staying healthy but what we put on our skin (our largest organ) is so important too! I try to buy products that are free of chemicals and the less ingredients the better. I also make sure I can read and understand all of the ingredients being listed on the product. 

My personal favorite facial care product is Now's Cocoa butter.  It smells like chocolate and there are only 2 ingredients: Cocoa butter and jojoba oil.  Both are excellent for your skin.  My other favorite (that I believe is only sold in Hawaii) is Honey Girl Organics face lotion.  It's pretty amazing stuff that smells like honey, is very natural, and makes your skin feel wonderful! My third pick in the picture above is John Masters Green Tea serum.   John Master's products are wonderful but they are pricey.  Pictured above is a sample I got from Whole Foods a few weeks ago.  I tried it and love the smell and feel so this 25% off sale is the time for me to try something new in my facial routine!

Why do I buy at Whole Foods? Whole Foods has standards. I have talked with the employees in many of their departments and I have been very pleased that they only sell products that meet these standards. Just look for the logo. They have a symbol that indicates that the product meets Premium Body Care Standards. Read more here: 

have been very interested in honey recently.  I read a wonderful book about all of the uses of honey so besides eating it, I'm also using it as a moisturiser and  I've tried this mask recipe below (it's from the Whole Foods website) My skin felt super clean and full of moisture. I used the acv but I've heard lemon juice gives your skin a glow afterwards.  

Raw Honey Face Mask

Follow these simple steps for a cleansing mask that helps keep blemishes at bay.
4 1/2 teaspoons 365 Everyday Value® Organic Raw Wildflower Honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or lavender 100% essential oil (optional)

In a clean ceramic or glass bowl, combine honey with vinegar, juice or oil (if using). Using clean fingers, massage honey or the mixture over your whole face (avoiding the eyes). Allow to dry and become slightly tacky, and then pat and tap to get blood flowing to the surface of the skin. Remove with warm water.

Visit Whole Foods on Twitter and on Facebook

Do you live in Hawaii like me? We have a Hawaii store page here!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Whole Foods Market.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Whole Foods Market 3 Day Whole Body Sale

 25% off ALL supplements 

January 24 to 26  

This is a once a year opportunity and an excellent time to stock up on supplements of all kinds for the year.  The sale applies to Whole Foods Market stores in Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.

Some of my favorite supplements are on sale at Whole Foods! Below are some of the supplements that they carry and I will share with you some of my picks for this winter season! 

I receive a lot of emails about children's vitamins.  Here is a link  to see what children's supplements Whole Foods carries and here is some information on Pregnancy nutrition.
  • All supplements will be on sale – Proteins, Meal Enhancers, SuperFoods (chia, flax), Probiotics, Vitamin A to Zinc and everything in between.  
    • Cleanse and Detox Kits like 365 Everday Value 7 Day Detox Kit
    • Bio K and all probiotics
    • All Boiron products – homeopathic products including Oscillococcinum®
    • Source Naturals Wellness Formula
    • All Gaia products like Oil of Oregano, Olive Leaf,
    • Ricola and Zinc lozenges
    • Weight loss products and supplements – Green Coffee Bean Extracts and Garcinia
    • Chia seeds
    • Flax Seeds
    • Vega Products – sports nutrition
    • Amazing Grass supplements
    • Garden of Life Protein Powders
  • Give your immune system the boost it needs during cold and flu season with the following: 
    • Boiron Oscillococcinum
    • Bio-K+ Probiotic
    • Source Naturals Wellness Formula
    • Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup
    • Ricola Lozenges Boiron Oscillococcinum
  • Support your New Year fitness resolutions with the following:
    • Vega Sport Performance Protein
    • Ultima Replenisher Electrolytes
    • Now Foods MCT Oil
    • MRM Glutamine Power
  • Looking to shed some pounds?  Support your weight loss goals with the following:
    • Garden of Life Raw Meal Replacement
    • Nature’s Way CLA
    • Genesis Today Garcinia Cambogia
    • Genesis Today Green Coffee Bean  
  • Need to cleanse and detox your way to a healthier you?  

    • 365 7 Day Quick Cleanse
    • 365 Organic Psyllium Powder
    • Bio-K+ Probiotic
    • Reboot Wellness Booster

    • So here are my picks for great supplements to help keep my energy up and immunity in tip top shape

      I took a picture of them along with some fruit because I feel that eating your vitamins in the form of real food is the best.  So you will usually find me at Whole Foods and at farmer's markets in Hawaii picking up a lot of vegetables and fruits.  But having quality supplements in your cabinet is a must for me as well.

      *Garden of Life Raw Meal for a delicious tasting protein shake
      *Vitamin Code Raw Family Vitamins for a daily vitamin
      *Alive Vitamin C made with real fruit for immunity
      *Amazing Grass Wheat Grass when you need some extra energy
      *Flora Probiotic
      *Calm magnesium
      *what isn't pictured here is Fish oil and children's probiotics because I am out of them.  So I will be heading to Whole Foods for this sale to pick them up!

      Do you live in Hawaii like me? Find out more at the Whole Foods Honolulu page!

      National Twitter Page
      National Facebook Page

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Whole Foods Market.

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