Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sweet Potato Fridge Fudge (vegan, paleo, gluten free, dairy free)

We made this to celebrate Valentine's Day. An easy treat to make ahead of time that kids and parents can both enjoy.

On a dark chocolate scale, this would be more of a "milk" chocolate fudge. Because chocolate is a stimulant and my children are wildly affected by it, I kept the cacao powder to a minimum. Feel free to add another 1/4 cup cacao powder if you want darker (just be wary your kids may jump off the walls).
This is very similar to my sweet potato frosting and sweet potato pudding recipes. Can you tell I like to use vegetables in our dessert? Sweet potatoes have an affinity for that.
This is a very soft fudge but feel free to keep in freezer for harder fudge (or use raw cacao butter instead of extra virgin coconut oil).
Sweet Potato Fridge Fudge
2 sweet potatoes, cooked and still warm
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
Pinch of salt
6 Tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 tsp lucuma powder (optional)
1. Blend in your blender until thoroughly mixed.
2. Pour in a lined 8x8 baking dish.
3. Put in fridge (or freezer) until frozen.

Looking for other sweet potato recipes that are savory?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Welcome Succulents and Serenity Workshop attendees

Hi there!

I'm pleased to have met you and I enjoyed my time with you all! I hope you left the workshop with a little bit more understanding and confidence in using essential oils. Let me know if you have any questions.You'll be receiving an email soon from Alisa with the Serenity Spray ratio.

Meanwhile, I'm glad you stopped by! Take a look around!

Mountain Rose Herbs is where I buy most of my essential oils and herbs.

Organic Essential Oils
I'm looking forward to our next workshop! Leave a comment if there is anything you'd like to see in the future!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Love is Patient Butterfly Character Trait Homeschool Unit Study

I based this homeschool study on the first character trait of Love in 1 Corinthians 13: Patience. Look up the passage. In fact, I challenge you to read 1 Corinthians 13 with your family for Valentine's Day (check out my 1 Corinthians 13 Valentine's day wreath for a pretty decoration idea). If Valentine's day is about love, then it's especially important for my children to understand what real love is and 1 Corinthians 13 nicely lays it out for us.
It's interesting the more we study character traits, the more homeschooling has been refining my character as well as my children's! My patience is definitely something I could tinker for the better! What about yours? 
Originally, my sister inspired me to include Character First Education in our homeschooling. It's where you learn about an animal and a character trait that ties in with that animal. Here is a post about the resources we use for our character trait study. Plus until Sunday evening, you can still leave a comment on that blog post to win this character trait book Achieving True Success: How to Build Character As a Family
Character First Education provides some free resources on their website that have been helpful and you can include that in this homeschool study as well.

To kick off our Love is Patient Butterfly Character study, we read 1 Corinthians 13 (and made this wreath). We read this book about butterflies: Grow with Me: Butterfly that we picked up at the library. We talked about how caterpillars have to patiently grow in their chrysalis until they become butterflies and how waiting can make things better (i.e. food to cool off so it doesn't burn our tongue). Also how showing patience with our friends, family, and siblings shows them love. So if we truly love our neighbor, we must embrace patience!

Because my daughter is part kinesthetic learner, we role-played each stage of the butterfly. We rolled up like an egg, inched around on the ground like a caterpillar, stood very still like a chrysalis, then opened and fluttered our wings like a butterfly. (A great introduction to life cycles)

We then did a word search that I made with most of the vocabulary used in the book Grow with Me: Butterfly. You can print that word search here (for free!): Butterfly Word Search

To have some bonding time, I created a copy and trace coloring page for young kids and a "Mommy Meditation" page on 1 Corinthians 13 (also great for bigger kids who can read). The Mommy Meditation is a way you can lead by example! Get your color on and face-time with your children all while focusing on the word of God!

This Love is Patient Butterfly Trace, Copy and Color Butterfly Page (for young kids): write your name, copy and trace Love is Patient (after reading 1 Corinthians 13), and then color in your butterfly.

For the Mommy Meditation page: color as you like! I also suggest highlighting the word LOVE, then underlining in one color (I used gold) what love is, and underlining in another color (I used red to signify "stop") what love isn't.

Here is Big Blue Eyes and I after we colored our pages!
Love this girl! And learning together!
We also read page 70 "Monarch Miracle" in the book My Big Book of 5-minute Devotions and page 54 "Patience vs Restlessness" in Achieving True Success: How to Build Character As a Family (you can still win this book - details here).
Here is an outline of our unit study and resources below.
Language Arts
Butterfly Life Cycle Craft from Buggy and Buddy
Life Cycle of a Butterfly pasta activity from the Hildebrands
Comparing Types of Butterflies (or make a Venn diagram with 2 different types of butterflies)
Painting B Butterflies: A lesson in Symmetry (I'll post this tomorrow)
(I'll update this with a blog post tomorrow as well)
Character First Education for Patience page includes a poem, nature story, and song along with a few activity pages and a story of George Washington Carver. Check them out for some more free resources.

And a bible!
(Purchasing through the book links above can monetarily help/fund support Sweet Roots! I'm thankful to be an amazon affiliate!)

Please comment below if you decide to partake! I'd love to hear your thoughts and any other butterfly-related activities!

Thanks again, my dear readers!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Souping Kindle book on sale for $0.99

My Mom sent me the info that this Souping cookbook by Alison Velazquez was for sale on kindle for $0.99. I love the idea of juicing but am more prone to souping which the book explains is "the idea of integrating fresh, nutrient-dense soups into your daily diet to provide additional nutrition and hydration." The book has the soups divided by season and several suggested groupings of soups to complete different sorts of cleanse.

The book has a great range of blender soups. I'm looking forward to making the Beet, Orange & Basil Soup, Red Pepper Romesco Soup, and Watermelon Aloe Mint Soup. Who wants to go Souping with me?

Thanks Mom!

Friday, February 5, 2016

1 Corinthians 13 "Love is..." Wreath (Homeschooling craft and Valentine's Decoration)

 Big Blue Eyes is all about decorating the house lately. She wants the house to look pretty (wait, so it doesn't already?). When I told her I came up with a decoration idea for Valentine's Day, she was thrilled. And it involved washi tape - one of our favorite crafting tools.

I think it does pretty up the house a bit! What do you think?

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Before beginning this, we read 1 Corinthians 13 and discussed the definition of love according the bible. What it looks like to our friends and family.

Originally I thought ribbon and hot glue gun but that wasn't 5-year-old-friendly. Back to the drawing board (I mean, craft table)... and I thought of an alternative - washi tape!

We were both pleased with the end result! A sweet, little decoration just in time for Valentine's Day!

After reading Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life, I've been attempting to use what we have on hand. This forces us to be more creative! Originally, I had a different idea for our Valentine's decoration but this turned out great (and also taught both of us an important lesson, God provides!).

1 Corinthians 13 Valentine's Day Wreath
What you'll need:
Wire hanger
Washi tape   (alternatively you can use ribbon and glue gun)
Letter Stickers (we used felt stickers)
Mini clothespins
Paper + Printer (for the cut-out hearts)

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1. Form your wire hanger into a heart. Pull down on bottom til a "V" forms then curve the upper pieces. Twirl the hanger head with pliers into a curlyque to hang (and it looks less like a clothes hanger that way).

2. With washi tape, cover the whole heart. (For the straight bottom sides, we laid out washi tape length-wise and laid hanger on top of it then folded it around the metal). For the curves, we wound the tape around.

3. Cut out triangles from cardstock (need about 3" triangles). We used pink cardstock. Punch holes out of the top of the cardstock. Put stickers on banner then string ribbon through, tying it to the top sides of the heart.

4. Print out these free paper hearts I created available here. Cut outside the red hearts to leave the border.

5. Read 1 Corinthians 13 and as you read, hang up each "description of love" with your mini clothespins.

6. Hang the Wreath and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Secret Garden Coloring Calendar 75% off - Great for homeschooling and quiet time

I was thrilled to see this coloring calendar on sale for $3.74 (75%)! Yes, it is a month late but late is better than never! I had forgotten to buy a calendar for our bonus room and thought this would be perfect for some Mommy - daughter time. Plus, it adds an opportunity to talk about months, weeks, and days. Because homeschooling can be fun!

We like to color with gel pens. They look pretty. And it seems the best while we have a one year old because he can't as easily eat them or draw on himself as he can with crayons and markers.
Looking forward to coloring each month and building our knowledge about time with Big Blue Eyes!
Question of the Day: Adult coloring has become a trend - for good reasons (art therapy anyone?). Are you joining the trend? And if so, what have you been coloring? 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Resources our Homeschool uses for Character Trait Study + Book Giveaway

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My sister turned me on to Character First Education. You can read her post here Character Curriculum and how they organize their character learning into binders. Character First Education has free resources for each animal - a song, poem, and nature story. We enjoy all the free downloads offered for each trait, particularly the family connection.

In addition to Character First's free curriculum resources, I've found these other resources below to be extremely helpful. I wanted to share them with you before I jump into our Week of Love because the Homeschool Study will be focusing on one particular character trait.

Primarily, I believe this is important:
Achieving True Success: How to Build Character As a Family (WIN THIS!!)

My sister bought this for me and I'm enthralled. It's a great resource and we'll be using it for years to come. It's just one page for each character trait - a little blurb about each animal, what each trait looks like in the home, "I will ___" statements to better understand how to implement the trait, and a Hero of Character where an actual person who has demonstrated that trait is featured.

Eventually, I would like to buy this book The Power for True Success: How to Build Character in Your Life. From my understanding, it comes from a Christian viewpoint.

Also, leave a comment below on what character trait you would like to work on first for a chance to win a used copy of this book! Like Sweet Roots on facebook and leave a comment there for an extra chance (each) to win! (must enter before Feb 14th at 11:59 pm PST for chance to win).

My Big Book of 5-minute Devotions

We often revert back to this devotional for additional learning if the animal is featured or if I can find another animal with a similar trait. For example, we read "Fleecy Fighters: (p 36) about rams and anger when we talked about self control (Character First Education uses Black Bears as the animal for self-control).

World of Animals

An animal encyclopedia perfect for learning more about each animal. Each time we introduce a character trait, we look up the animal in this encyclopedia.

For us, I've also found that Character Trait Studies involve numerous trips to the library for resource books on each animal and searching youtube for short documentaries. Learning together (pair up with another family or homeschool group) is always advantageous.

I'll update this as I find other helpful resources we enjoy. For now, these three books have laid out a major foundation for our homeschool. We learn about God's creatures, real-life Heroes, and most importantly we learn character traits that will help my children (and myself) be better people.

Question of the Day: What are you learning with your family right now?

We found these incredible in-depth books by Buddy & Kay Davis. They are more in-depth on individual animals than the World of Animals above (but only speak of 30 animals in each book vs the encyclopedia has everything and is very inclusive).

Breathtaking Birds (Marvels of Creation)
Sensational Sea Creatures (Marvels of Creation)
Magnificent Mammals (Marvels of Creation)
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