Educational Resources: Storyline Online

storyline-online

We all love entertaining our little ones, but it’s even better when the fun has educational benefits! If you are looking for free educational resources, I have a great one for you: Storyline Online!

This site offers videos of actors and actresses reading children’s books with fun and slightly animated pictures from the book. The great part of having actors and actresses perform the readings is that they often use fun, different, and animated voices! They really bring the stories to life!

My son also has a short attention span, like many little ones. He has a hard time sitting and listening to me read as much as I would like to. Since Storyline Online brings the story to life with music, sounds, and pictures, he has a much easier time sitting through an entire reading on this site.

Storyline Online also has a YouTube Channel that can be found HERE! This allows immediate access to the videos through the YouTube App.

It has been proven time and time again that reading books to children greatly improves their future reading ability, vocabulary, and much, much more. I really hope that your family can use this resource to allow your child to gain the multiple benefits from being read to out loud, even if you are unable do it yourself.

Remedy Review: Sea Salt and Hydrogen Peroxide for Sinus Infection

Unfortunately for the past few days I have been experiencing horrible sinus pressure and pain. I could just feel the sinus infection coming along. Fortunately, through the miracle of the internet, I found a home remedy at Earthclinic.com. I could call this the miracle cure because of how wonderfully it worked!

The directions for this home remedy included mixing “six ounces of warm filtered water with 1/2 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Allow the salt to dissolve into the solution, and insert the solution into a nasal sprayer or neti pot. Leaning over the sink, spray the solution into the nose and allow it to drain through the mouth.” – Earthclinic.com

I followed these directions and used it in my Neti pot. I used it in the method that this instrument is normally used: pouring half of the solution into one nostril, leaning over the sink, and breathing through my mouth so that the solution flowed out my other nostril.

Now I will make a note that it felt a little odd. I could describe it as a tiny stinging, but compared to the agony of my sinuses for four days, it was nothing I couldn’t handle. My eyes also watered a little. After I finished pouring the rest of the solution through my other nostril, I already could feel my sinuses clearing out. I blew my nose several times and it started to stuff up a little.

I laid down for a couple hours while the little guy was napping (Daddy was also home). When I awoke, I felt much better! My nose was still a little stuffy, but virtually no pain! This was quite the relief given I was suffering for days.

Being that this remedy can fend off even a persistent sinus infection, I definitely recommend it. Before you do anything, please please please ask your doctor. I also would not use this on a little one, especially a baby being that they could accidentally swallow some of the mixture and that would not be good. This worked for me, but please take precautions for any side effects that could occur. I hope this information can help you and your loved ones during this cold and flu season!

Improving Instant: Oat Pancakes

Hey all! Instant mixes and dishes are plentiful in the grocery stores these days due to the busy lives of customers from all walks of life, including parents. Now these products may be time savers, but they can often times be lacking in nutrition.

I have decided to take a couple typical pantry staples and create something a little more nutritious for my family: Oat Pancakes! 

My grandmother gets pantry items from her local food pantry and she will give us the items she cannot eat for health reasons. This is where I ended up with “just add water” pancake mix. I didn’t want to feed these pancakes to my son as they were, but I am not one to simply throw out food, so I decided to add old fashion oats to make them a little more wholesome.

If you want to do the same for your family, here’s what you can do:

  1. Follow the directions for 1 cup of mix. Mine had me add 3/4 cup of water. 
  2. To this mixture, add 3/4 cup of old fashioned oats. 
  3. Observe the mixture and add tablespoons of water until it is at your desired thickness. I added 2 tablespoons of water, but my ended up mildly thick. If you like thinner pancakes, add a little more water.
  4. If desired, add a dash of cinnamon to the pancake mixture. 
  5. Drop the pancake mix on a greased pan or skillet and cook accordingly. These do not cook any differently than plain old pancakes!
  6. Serve with desired toppings and enjoy!

Simple Stir-Fry

This is one of my all time favorite inexpensive and quick meals to make. You can even cook the chicken ahead of time to save even more time!

All you need to make Simple Stir-fry is:

  1. Cooked rice (Any type you like is fine. Here I used long grain white rice.)
  2. Frozen Stir-fry veggies
  3. Sliced Chicken Breast
  4. Teriyaki sauce (I love Soy Vay’s Veri Veri Teriyaki! It has no preservatives or high fructose corn syrup and it tastes amazing!)

Just cook and combine the chicken, veggies, and sauce in a pan with a little oil, then serve over rice.

If you choose to cook the chicken from raw, slice it into strips and saute in oil until fully cooked. Then add the frozen vegetables and allow to cook thoroughly. Then add the desired amount of teriyaki sauce. I usually add about 1/3 cup to 1 bag of veggies.

If you want to cook your chicken ahead of time, coat the chicken with a small amount of oil and cook on a sheet pan for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Check to make sure the chicken has reached 165 degrees internally. Let cool, slice, and put in they fridge or freezer until you are ready to cook the Stir-fry.

I hope you all can make this into one of your family dinners to save time and money! It’s way cheaper than Chinese take-out!

Soup for the Season: Smoked Sausage Soup

First, let me all wish you a Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is wonderful to you all! 

I have another frugal and delicious soup recipe for all of you! Smoked Sausage Soup is simple and delicious. I don’t even peel the potatoes because 1) it takes a lot of time and 2) there are so many vitamins in potato skins! Also, the skin is so thin on golden potatoes that you barely notice it! This recipe makes a little over 2 quarts of soup to feed your loved ones during the cold months. My fiance and little guy love this soup. 

To make Smoked Sausage Soup you will need:

2 tbsp oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 lb smoked or polish sausage, cut into rounds of similar thickness (**remember to cut these into semi-circles for any little ones, since full circle pieces can pose a cooking hazard**)

1 tsp minced garlic

1 quart chicken broth

1 quart water

1/2 can of diced tomatoes

3 cups golden potatoes, medium diced (I have also tried this with delicata squash and it was very good)

2 cans of white beans (either cannelini or great northern)

2 cups chopped kale

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1.  Heat up oil in a large soup pot to medium heat. Cook chopped onions until almost translucent.
  2. Put in the sausage and garlic. Brown the pieces of sausage.
  3. After the sausage is browned, add water, chicken broth, tomatoes, potatoes ( or squash), and beans. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes ( or squash) are tender.
  4. Once the potatoes ( or squash) are tender, add in the kale, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
  5. Top with Parmesan cheese of desired and enjoy!