Friday, July 29, 2011

Mmmmm...Cocoa Butter

Recently my friend wrote a Facebook post that stated she wouldn't put anything on her skin that she couldn't eat. She wrote this after posting info about the book:  "No More Dirty Looks". It is an expose on dangerous beauty products and offers alternatives. They have a great website with amazing information about "clean" but modern and hip alternative cosmetic products.

Today I bought a 100% cocoa butter stick to rub on my face. I chose this "edible" option because a few years ago my sister told me that a girl at her work had the most amazing skin she had ever seen and this girl rubbed cocoa butter on her skin at her desk throughout the day. I have been shamefully neglecting my skin so I thought I would get this magic, organic, $2 stick and take better care of my skin. Now my face smells like chocolate all the time. Maybe it will cure my chocolate cravings too. Here is a great blog review of it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

3 Good Things

There are some fun things happening right now with Platinum Digital Video and Life on Film / Gainesville Weddings. 

1. We are making a promo film for Footstone Photography and came out to film them in action at Megan and John's wedding day photo shoot. We got some great shots of Kristen and Paul and I can't wait to finish and share that promo film. We were also hired to film Megan and John's beautiful Baughman Center wedding ceremony. We just got some new filming equipment and editing software plugins to FCP. So I couldn't wait to put together a montage for Megan as a thank you for letting us crash their photo-shoot at Sweetwater Inn Bed and Breakfast. Here is the link to view that video

2. I put together a 30 second super fun, promo video for the upcoming Gainesville Wedding Expo. You can find the current version on the Gainesville Wedding Expo website and one with an updated voiceover soon to be on your (Gainesville-area) TV.  So don't fast forward over the commercials!!

3. I was completely inspired by Melissa's (of Masterpiece Weddings) awesome Social Media Class at Love Wedd. Here is a link to her professional blog. I took her priceless advice on everything, including writing some posts ahead of time.

I want to credit Oh Happy Day for the cute template.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why GFCFSF and Toxin Free?

When A.J. was 3, her classmate's parents told me that the GFCF diet worked absolute wonders for their spectrum son. So we had to try it. Within 3 days we saw a difference, then in 2 weeks it cleared up much of the "fog". After this happy success I wanted to know what else was out there that was "not proven"...but parents seemed to know about. That was the beginning of my spectrum education.

The next and most important thing I learned was that our spectrum kids can't seem to shed toxins like kids who are not on the spectrum. This may contribute to causing the autism symptoms and is why some parents do chelation. But basically it is really important to keep toxins out of spectrum kid's little systems. After I started reading what is in our food and cosmetics, I decided to remove the toxins from my whole family's environment.

None of this stuff about removing toxins from our personal environment was ever "proven" to help or accepted as treatment by the mainstream medical community until finally last month this article came out about how it is now proven that autism is caused more by environmental factors than genetic factors. It states how autism is triggered in kids who are genetically predisposed, by toxins in the environment (pesticides, any chemical in food, lotion, shampoo or cleaning product, any anything pretty much that you wouldn't find 100 years ago.)

It is a lifestyle change to live like we do but we are so used to it, it isn't a big deal anymore. We work hard at keeping plastics out of the kitchen and trying to buy "safe" cookware and containers. It is always a work in process. Our grocery bills are high because, to start with, I buy the $5 strawberries and blueberries instead of the $2 ones. But this article explains how you shouldn't even feed your children berries that are not organic because you are basically also giving them a few doses of chemicals that are proven to cause damage, starting with ADD and ending with cancer.

It just really makes sense. We just try to buy food that doesn't have junk in or on it. Yes, we cheat. We cheat at restaurants and friends houses. I have no interest in being completely militant about it. We never cheat with the gluten or soy they seem to be the toughest on A.J.'s system. And we only occasionally cheat with cheese on the gluten free pizza at Satchels Pizza...but that is another blog post in the making :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gluten Free, Casein Free, Soy Free Lunch - Turkey Sandwich

People usually think it must be really hard to go gluten free. Well try gluten free, casein (dairy) free and soy free. Actually, it sounds hard but it is really quite easy. I'll show you why. Here is a pretty typical packed lunch for A.J. (for summer camp). It looks simple...and it is. But it took a a few years to find foods that she could eat and that she loves. So I am happy to share our secrets in hopes that it will help other families. 

This is A.J.'s lunch for tomorrow and yes, I pulled food out of the fridge and took pictures of it :)

BREAD - My Mom makes some really yummy bread for A.J. But between loafs, we get this GFCFSF white bread at our local grocery store, Publix. We found this yummy, soft sandwich bread fairly recently. We had tried millet and flax bread in the past which is technically gluten free and tastes just like regular bread. But she turned out to be allergic to millet and flax. I don't recommend millet and flax bread for spectrum kids.

Udi's white sandwich bread is made with brown rice flower. It is GFCFSF (gluten free, casein free and soy free). So it is perfect for A.J. It also tastes great and she loves it. A few years ago there was no bread option and so we rolled up pieces of lunch meat like how you see on a party platter. She would dip the lunch meat in different dressing and in pastes like hummus or guacamole. 

CHIPS - The Publix blue corn chips are organic and she likes them.

CONDIMENT - We have not found any butter or margarine that has no soy in it, but Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening  is butter flavor so it tastes just like margarine. A.J. does not like mayo, or I would use the canola-oil mayo on her sandwich. We buy this at our local health food store, Mother Earth.

APPLE SLICES - These apples we got at Publix. Usually we buy organic apples but when we are feeling lazy we get the ready sliced ones. This is quite rare though because I don't like that they are packaged in plastic with BPA's in it. How do I know this?...the recycle number 7 is printed on the plastic packaging.

LUNCH MEAT - We like the Applegate lunch meats (I included the coupon link btw). The meats are organic or natural. The organic kind is very expensive so sometimes we opt for the "natural" like in the picture below. I usually buy chicken though since turkey has an ingredient that makes one sleepy! So if A.J. is going through a lethargic phase we use the chicken lunch meat and not the turkey.

CARROTS - The carrots are a new discovery that came from using the Planet Box.  Since it has that long container section at the top, I thought that I should get a long carrot and peel it and see if she eats it. She does!

I put a couple of Gummy Bear Rhino Vitamins in the little section in the middle. They are a delicious treat and a great source of calcium with vitamin D. She thinks they are candy, he he. My Mom makes amazing GFCFSF cupcakes for A.J. but more on that later!

Picnic Wedding

My younger sister had a picnic wedding celebration here in Gainesville (after their earlier nuptials in Cyprus).  So I have a special place in my heart for picnic weddings. I found these picnic wedding pics that inspired me. Would you feel comfy sitting on a blanket?

Friday, July 22, 2011

DVD Thank You Cards

I just started to offer DVD Thank You Cards.  We package them in an Earth-friendly natural case that opens and has a pocket on each side. One one side we put a silver or printed DVD and on the other side you can add your own personal note. On the front we stamp, "THANK YOU". Not only do your guests and loved ones get a sweet thank you note, they get a priceless and original keepsake of your wedding. The simplicity of the packaging allows you the freedom to embellish them with your wedding theme and color scheme (two ribbons the colors of your wedding or a natural twine bow would be very pretty). On the DVD we include your ending montage. If your wedding film package includes a teaser or highlight you have the options of substituting either of those for your Thank You DVD Film. The DVD menu will also say "Thank You" or whatever message you would like to include.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Planet Box Love

I love these Planet Box lunch boxes. It was a splurge but totally worth it. They are made of stainless steel so I know that plastic is not leaching into the kid's food. These are very well made...super tough but not too heavy. I just rinse what is left over into the garbage disposal and put the whole thing into the dishwasher. The magnets are super cute and when the new school year comes around I will order some new magnets to change things up a bit.

Blog Revamp

I'm working on changing my blog...check in for updates and changes over the next few hours/days/weeks.

GFCF Quiche with Oat Milk and Almond Cheese

I promise this is delicious, even with no cheese or heavy cream. I created it today and my son ate so much for dinner that there wasn...