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Archive for the ‘Homemaking’ Category

Bye-Bye Kraft

Cheese… Mmmmm! Yummy, dairy goodness.

So why are my daughter and I both desperately gluten-poisoned after eating a big cheese-y meal?

Having eliminated all the other ingredients beyond doubt, I was left starting at a package of Kraft cheese. A block of cheddar cheese, not slices, or shreds, or anything “fancy.”

Cheese shouldn’t have gluten in it. Cheese should be in the category of “naturally gluten-free.” Let’s see…

Ingredients: Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized nonfat milk and milkfat, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, annatto [color]), natamycin (a natural mold inhibitor). Contains: Milk

Doesn’t sounds like gluten, does it?

So I called Kraft.

First, I got transferred from the regular Customer Service desk to a specialized department because I made the mistake of saying that I had had a bad reaction. And the woman at that department didn’t have lists of ingredients for given products, so was not actually set up to answer my question.

I grabbed the block of cheese and read her the ingredient list, and she confirmed that none of those ingredients were glutinous.

In the way of all the “good guys” big food companies these days, Kraft would have labeled anything that had wheat. And even anything that was “processed in a facility that produces things made with wheat.”

But gluten is not a “Major Allergen.”

They have no requirement to list any possible exposure to other potential problems, like rye, barley, malt, or oats.

And furthermore? They don’t care.


Well, that’s good to know.

All Kraft foods are now making an exodus from our home. There are other brands that do care about my health in this regard, not to mention the tasty option of making many of these products myself.


I’m a Potty Mouth

So, let’s talk potty.

Not quite the usual topic of conversation around here, eh?

But eating healthy, living healthy, being healthy, and following God’s natural plan and order — that’s normal stuff.

So.. it turns out that our anatomy is designed to squat to eliminate.

This should come as no big surprise there to anyone who has had any exposure to natural childbirth; squatting is the best way to allow that baby to get out, too.

This was brought to mind for me again recently by Mommypotamus’ excellent article on pelvic floor issues and incontinence, Why You Need to Pee in the Shower.

But our “western civilization” toilets, for some reason, have been designed in a different position altogether. And it’s causing us to struggle with constipation, hemorrhoids, and a host of other complaints.

Until now, your only choice was pretty much to remove your toilet and create a squatting toilet similar to those common in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and some parts of Latin America.

But now, there’s a great, inexpensive, non-home-damaging option! (Click the graphic to visit their website)

Want a visual on the anatomical issues (non-graphic, in all senses of the word)? Check out Squatty Potty’s video:

Visit to find out more, or order yours.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your costs will be the same but As For My House will receive a small commission. This helps cover some of the costs for this site. We appreciate your support.

Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe may be good products/services for my readers.

I disclose this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Looking for Mr. Dole Whip

[By Wolf]

Have you ever had that feeling of flavor filled nostalgia?

We recently took a trip to Disney World and had a wonderful time. During all of our planning we each thought about what things we really wanted to do that would make us feel satisfied after the vacation was over. One thing on the list was to go have pineapple Dole Whip at the Tiki Room.

Well, we did have some Dole Whip at the Magic Kingdom and to our extreme satisfaction, we were able to have it 3 times. We found that the Polynesian Resort had self serve Dole Whip at one of its eateries. There we created MOUNT DOLE WHIP.

Now it’s in our brain … and taste buds. We are looking for Mr. Dole Whip.

I tried a recipe tonight that left us wanting. It tasted more like pineapple ice cream. It wasn’t tangy enough and was too creamy and too sweet.

The recipe used:

1 quart of pineapple juice
3 cups of whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3 cups of sugar
and top it off with milk

The family all agreed that it was really good pineapple ice cream, but not the elusive Dole Whip.

So, the search continues. Perhaps we need to start with a sherbet or sorbet recipe?

Seeking: DIY Cleaner Recipes

Okay, ladies… And gents, I suppose. Do we have any gents?

Anyhow, I need your help!

I’d like to test out a few different recipes for homemade cleaning and hygiene products, and review them here.

Please share the recipe and/or link to your favorites to get the ball rolling:

  • Laundry Soap
  • Dishwasher Soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant

Thank you!

Beginning a Water Kefir Adventure

Have you heard of water kefir?

Here’s some great info to get you started from the Healthy Home Economist, Cultures for Health, and Keeper of the Home (her photo).

I have been reading about this fr a while, and was interested… But not willing to shell out to purchase the starter grains online, since I had no idea how it would work out.

Then I saw an ad on our local Freecycle list – someone offering starter batches of water kefir grains, since hers had multiplied. Yay!

We exchanged emails, and I learned that she was a kindred spirit. She said,

BTW, I saw your blog. We are also a gluten free, Christian, homeschooling family of wannabe homesteaders! Very cool. :)

Hopefully we will get to know her and her family better!

So I now have a batch of water kefir happily fermenting on the kitchen counter.

We’ll find out how well it works out in a couple of days…

Making Babies Cheaper

Okay, I admit it, the title is a contrived way to try and be cute while telling you about this fabulous offer.

I recently received a letter from the Bulk Herb Store folks, in reference to my Holy Week reviews of the Making Babies Book and the Making Babies DVD Series.

They had this to say:

On behalf of the Bulk Herb Store, I would like to thank you for helping us reach the world with the good news of natural health and wellness with herbs. One of the most moving ways that we have been able to encourage others in their journey toward health, has been with our Making Babies Series. What better way of equipping families to give their precious new babies the best start in life?

As a token of our appreciation for your review of the Making Babies Series, Bulk Herb Store would like to offer your readers a SPECIAL 40% OFF of the Making Babies Book & DVD Series. That is a huge savings of $44 dollars for you and your readers! Have a fantastic day and happy blogging!


So you, my lucky friends, can head on over to the Bulk Herb Store and decide if you want the book, the DVDs, or the complete set.

Just enter the code MBBFMH at checkout for your 40% discount! And hurry – this is good for one week only, until July 16th.

Easter Activities – Recap and Evaluation

I had big plans for Easter activities with the kids.

But the Easter activities didn’t seem to be on board with my plans.

We got a bit of a late start trying to grow grass on our Easter Garden after seeing the idea posted on Facebook (I apologize – I have no idea who to credit with the idea and the lovely garden pictured here).

First we discovered that Lowe’s didn’t really have a terra cotta pot small enough. Since we were already behind, we got the smallest one they had. [We have since learned that Michael’s has adorable small sized pots for craft use].

We had trouble with the steep slope this created for our hill, but we soldiered on. Jewel and R.T. dutifully took turns watering the seeds with a spray bottle.

The grass was JUST beginning to sprout by Easter. Not ideal, but, it worked…

On “Easter Eve,” we made Easter Story Cookies.

The kids had fun making them, and we enjoyed reading the Easter story to them along the way.

The first batch, I realized I was in trouble when I got to the final step that said “add the nuts” … since I had put the nuts into the bowl after breaking them up in the first step!

Yes, I know I should have read through more thoroughly first, but it was the best I could do with a migraine.

So we put them in the oven and sent the kids to bed.

Then Wolf and I set about re-making them. (Yeah, we were going to “cheat” and stick them in the oven and not tell the kids!)

We beat and beat and beat, but they never fluffed. We read some other meringue recipes to try and figure out what the problem might have been.

Throwing them out, we made another whole batch with a couple of tweaks. We burned out the cheap hand mixer I’d just picked up (I should have known better). Then we burned out my stick blender! Ack! And still, no fluff.

We did put them in the oven, but with no hope of success.

The kids were surprised to see that they had “baked” overnight, but there was no miraculous “cracked open” or “empty (hollow) tomb”.

And I don’t even know what to do differently next year!

The only up side?

We couldn’t find a rock big enough to cover the overly-large tomb opening in our Easter Garden… But one of our Easter Story cookie-patties worked as an excellent stand-in!

Some good lessons learned for next year, and one mystery unsolved.

Good thing Easter isn’t about my homemaking endeavors!

A Gluten Free Vacation?

Wolf will be going to his Reserves duty in Georgia for almost two weeks this summer, and we were considering whether it might be fun for the kids and I to go along and make a bit of a vacation out of it. (More for us than for him, poor thing!)

We’ve done this type of thing before, when he did some duty time at the Columbus, Mississippi base, and had a great time. We thought of that one more because he has family in that area, but really it’s fun to get away anywhere!

The complication is that this will be the first time we’ve gone anywhere since I started eating a gluten free diet back at the end of February.

No casual stops to eat out along the way… Even “obviously gluten free” things (such as meat) can have gluten containing seasonings on them – and restaurant staff doesn’t always know.

It’s not simple to “just swing by the store and pick up anything we didn’t pack”, since many stores have a very limited (or even none at all).

Certainly I will plan and pack – and I AM a planner! – but being the first time, I know there will be lots of things I never even think of.

Do any of you who are further along this path have any tips for gluten free travelling?

Sorry, no photo credit to be had. I picked it out of a composed meme picture floating around on Facebook…

Maple Hill Dryer Balls review and giveaway

It’s Day TWO of the As For My House Holy Week Giveaway Bonanza!

What? A bunch of blog giveaways aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “holy” or “Easter”?

I know… But I wanted to share my joy with you at this time of year, and share gifts in honor of the Greatest Gift of All that Christ gave us.

There will be five giveaways, each lasting for a week, leading up to Easter Sunday.

I appreciate all the wonderful sponsors who have made this possible. Enjoy!!

Let me introduce you to Maple Hill Dryer Balls.

The owner, Rebecca, is a stay-at-home mom, making the dryer balls with wool from the sheep on her father’s farm. (Isn’t that sweet?)

She was a delight to do business with, and her products are very professional in appearance and even packaging.

Dryer balls are sold in many forms these days, all claiming to reduce drying time by allowing the air to circulate better among the items in the dryer.

Wool is a 100% natural way to do this, with no dyes or chemicals.

According to Maple Hill Dryer Balls, and confirmed by my experience, these dryer balls:

  • Decrease static cling
  • Fluff up clothing
  • Are 100% reusable and very durable
  • The XL size is much larger than others you’ll find (or the typical tennis ball substitute), and that much more effective!

The more you use the better your results. Maple Hill Dryer Balls recommends that people use 4 balls for small loads and 6+ for large loads to optimize drying time and benefits — or up to 12 for super large loads, heavy towels or cloth diapers, etc.

I purchased a set of dryer balls – lavender mint. I do use a clothesline when possible, but I also rely on my gas dryer when it’s raining, humid, or the laundry is just too much at one time for the line.

The smell was delightful, and I certainly enjoyed handling them. It didn’t seem to last very long, though, and since it doesn’t impart any scent to the clothes I don’t think I’ll spend the money to re-scent them.

The dryer balls have done a wonderful job!

I have absolutely noticed a decrease in drying time (think of the money saved on the gas bill!), as well as a softer, fluffier result. Why did I wait so long to try these little beauties?

As an As For My House Reader, you can take 10% off your purchase at from now until April 10th. Use code AsForMyHouse10 at checkout.

Enter below to win a Coupon Code good for 50% Off your purchase at Maple Hill Dryer Balls

I received a discounted product for review purposes. I was not compensated in any way for this review. This review has not been approved or edited by anyone. Maple Hill Dryer Balls is providing the prize for this giveaway, shipped directly to the winner.
I was “disclosing” before it was cool. See my Review Policy for the full scoop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Your Custom Homestead

At only $4.99, this looks like a terrific little eBook for all of us – the frustrated wanna-be homesteaders!

What if… you could fulfill your homesteading dreams without having to relocate?

What if… you could start a journey towards a simpler way of life where you are right now?

Wherever you live right now– THAT is your homestead.

Contrary to popular belief, a homesteader doesn’t have to be someone who lives on hundreds of acres with the perfect red barn and white picket fence.

They live in apartments in the middle of the asphalt jungle. And in suburbia with mini-vans. And on a few acres on the outskirts of town.

Your Custom Homestead takes you through a 21-day process of moving closer to your homesteading dreams, no matter where you may live.

In this 79 page eBook, we’ll examine different motivations for homesteading, define exactly what modern-day homesteading means, and then work through the prepwork and actual processes of accomplishing a homesteading lifestyle that will perfectly fit your unique situation.

I’m definitely going to check it out – it has information on making the most of an unlikely location, planning for (future) farm animals, and many other topics that are right on my “To Do” list.

And a great bonus? You can have it however you want!

Buy the .pdf version

- or –

Buy the Kindle version

If you hurry, you can also enter to win one of three copies (.pdf) from GNOWFGLINS.

(Links in any posts may contain affiliate links, in which case your purchase helps support the maintenance of As For My House – and we thank you!)

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