Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas - 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

This past year has gone by so quickly, we can hardly believe 2012 is nearly here! It has been a year filled with watching the kids grow and learn.   The joys of parenting have presented many wonderful and treasured moments, along with challenges alike.  There haven’t been too many noteworthy events, but a plethora of special moments here and there.   

Our biggest blessing in 2011 was the birth of our second son, William Charles Vaughan.  He was born on March 16th.  He is now nine months old. Oh my, how time flies! He is such a mellow and sweet little boy.  He has a personality very similar to his father’s and it takes a lot to get him worked up, or to show much emotion at all.  William has started standing up all on his own and is working on mastering that talent at this time. While he is very calm, he is also incredibly mobile.  He manages to quietly get into everything!

We have our hands full with Wesley who is two and half years old now. He happens to have a personality quite similar to his mother’s and is an incredibly ornery and difficult ball of fire, and perfect in every way.  He loves anything that has to do with guns or wildlife and enjoyed his first deer hunting trip just a couple of weeks ago.   He is working on learning his numbers and colors, along with the differences between a buck, doe, and fawn.  You know, all of the important things in life!  Our proudest moment with him this year was when he potty-trained shortly before turning two years old.  Who knew how exciting potty-training would be?!? 

Jennifer is currently working two days a week at our local Christian radio stations, The House FM and My Praise FM ( & as an assistant to the promotions department.  She enjoys her job very much and loves being surrounded by wonderful and entertaining co-workers.  Jennifer has become a Silpada Designs Jewelry Independent Representative ( for a hobby in her spare time along with cooking and baking.  She also enjoys focusing on and learning about chemical free, non-toxic, organic products and it has made a big impact in our family.

Steven works from October to March at Red Rock Ranch guiding deer hunts and bird hunts and he is the assistant manager of Evans and Associates Big Fork Ranch April through September.  He often comments how he can’t believe that he actually gets to go hunting for a living! He is busy at this time with guiding bird hunts at work and deer hunting himself on his time-off.  He enjoys coming home to spend the evenings wrestling with the boys before bedtime. 

Christmas is such a special time of year when the weather is cool, the smell of chimney smoke fills the air, and sparkling and decorated trees are seen everywhere.  It’s easy to join into the commercialization of Christmas, but it’s this season that we are reminded of God’s eternal love for us and the Christ Child who was born in a manger.  We are praying for you all and wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

                                                                               Steven, Jennifer, Wesley, & William

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Green Smoothies

 Green smoothies may look absolutely disgusting, but the taste will surprise you!  My two and a half year old son loves them so much that we call them “ice cream”.  One time, I had one sitting on the counter while I walked away and when I came back he had gotten it down and was drinking it as fast as he could because he thought he got into something tasty that he wasn’t supposed to have! 
While there are many different recipes and variations, this has been my favorite so far.  Feel free to browse around for other recipes, or throw your own together!

2 cups water
A few large handfuls of spinach
2 apples
1 orange (or 3 clementines if you have those instead)
2 bananas

First, add the two cups of water to your blender and then fill to the top with spinach.  Blend until smooth and then fill to the top again with spinach.  Blend until the spinach mixture appears smooth, and then blend some more for good measure.  You don’t want a smoothie with pieces of leaves in it!  Next, add the peeled and cored apples, peeled orange and peeled bananas.  Blend until smooth.  Serve right away if you just can’t wait, or put in the fridge for 30 minutes to get your green smoothie nice and cold.  Another great idea is to put in ice cube trays, stick a cut up straw in each cube and freeze, then serve later as popsicles!

*It is best for all of your fruits and vegetables to be organic, but if you are limited in organic choices (in my small town, I’m lucky if I’m able to get even half of my produce organic), at least make sure the apples and spinach are organic. Apples were rated #1 for being contaminated with the most pesticides and spinach was rated #5 on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list for 2011. 

Wesley loves his "ice cream".

This was the time that he stole my glass off the counter!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pink Solution - Cleaning Products

Pink Solution - All of my household cleaners

I started using Pink Solution in September of 2010 towards the beginning of my decision to start living chemical free.   I spent a few hours online reading reviews and watching demonstration videos because I didn’t want to invest money into something that I would end up just throwing out.  I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase the product.  Here I am two years later and still so in love with Pink Solution that I’m writing a blog post about it!

A few of the main reasons why I love Pink Solution are because it is completely safe, replaces all of my cleaning products, and it is incredibly inexpensive when you compare the cost of how often you need to buy it, how much it replaces, and how long it lasts.  Pink Solution is my laundry detergent, stain remover, glass cleaner, kitchen counter cleaner, dusting spray, tub and toilet scrubber (I add baking soda), carpet cleaner, oven cleaner, and any other cleaning odd job that presents itself. 

The Investment –
I purchase my Pink Solution from and buy the Pink Solution Combo which includes Pink Solution, Mother's Choice, and the Laundry Bar, along with a bathroom sponge and kitchen scrubber.  The cost is $55 + tax and shipping, and my total came to $70.87.  I spent less than five dollars on a 2 gallon dispenser (found in the kitchen storage section at my local Walmart) for the laundry detergent and a spray bottle (found in the cleaning supplies section of my local Walmart) for my glass cleaner, kitchen counter cleaner, dusting spray, and more.  I also purchased a large bottle of lavender oil for $8 on Amazon at (it was on sale) to make it all smell wonderful and disinfect surfaces and clothes all at the same time.  I just recently purchased my second batch of Pink Solution, so my first batch lasted about a year.  It would have lasted considerably longer if I hadn’t decided to wash all of my carpets with the Rug Doctor using my Pink Solution.  The Rug Doctor used a ton!  I believe that if I hadn’t used so much on my carpets, it would have lasted two years.  The savings when purchasing Pink Solution are amazing! When the Pink Solution is mixed together, it costs only 35 cents per liter spray bottle and when using one cup, only 9 cents per load of laundry.

The Ingredients –
The Pink Solution has sea kelp, vegetable tallow, coconut oil, soda ash & water.  The Mother’s Choice has the same ingredients with pumice also.  The Laundry Bar has the same ingredients as the Pink Solution with less water. There are no harmful chemicals or harsh fumes.  When I was pregnant with Wesley, I wanted to deep clean the bathroom because I was nesting, but was forced to convince my husband to do it because I couldn’t be around the fumes.  When I was pregnant with William and had Pink Solution, I was able to deep clean the bathroom all that I wanted!  I don’t use any sort of gloves when using this like you would need to when using Bleach or other harsh chemical cleaners, in fact, my hands are always much softer after cleaning.  The only ingredient in Pink Solution that you should be aware of is the soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate.  Sodium carbonate is sodium salt of carbonic acid.  Sodium carbonate is domestically well-known for its everyday use as a water softener. It can be extracted from the ashes of many plants.  In domestic use, it is used as a water softener during laundry.  It competes with the ions magnesium and calcium in hard water and prevents them from bonding with the detergent being used.  Without using washing soda, additional detergent is needed to soak up the magnesium and calcium ions.  Called washing soda, soda crystals, or sal soda in the detergent section of stores, it effectively removes oil, grease, and alcohol stains. Sodium carbonate is usually not very toxic. However, if you swallow very large amounts, you may have symptoms.  Please watch this video that discusses the toxic fumes from regular household cleaners that are even in the air long after use, and the harmful effects on children. - I am so happy to be able to clean the house without worrying about toxic fumes getting into my baby’s lungs.

For even more information, feel free to watch the live demonstration video here -

Below is a step-by-step guide to preparing Pink Solution for use, along with a few of the ways that Pink Solution is used in my household.
Time to mix the concentrate and make the solution.
You will need two 2/3 cups of the Pink Solution concentrate to fill the two gallon dispenser.
Two cups of the concentrate ready to go in the microwave.
Microwave for 1 minute.
The Pink Solution will still be chunky so stir until it thins out.
Then, microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
The Pink Solution is then ready to be poured into the dispenser.
Next, fill the dispenser to the 2 gallon line with hot water.
I use lavender oil, but feel free to use any essential oil that disinfects such as eucalyptus, tea tree, ect.  Make sure to research any essential oil before using. 

I then add 1/2 teaspoon to the two gallon dispenser.
Give it a nice shake and it's ready to go!

Time to do laundry! Give the jug a nice shake to disperse the Pink Solution and lavender oil.
Then add one cup of the diluted Pink Solution to a load of laundry.  I do use two cups when Steven comes home with muddy work clothes because that is a tougher job.

Lets use it for glass cleaner!
Simply spray...
Wipe clean...
And wallah!

Nothing seems to get my make up off of my bathroom counter...

Except for Mother's Choice! (Pink Solution with pumice)


*If you decide to purchase Pink Solution, please enter "Vaughan" in the coupon code field so they will know who referred you.  Thank you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Granola Bar Recipe

Granola Bars

This granola bar recipe was shared with me from a friend, who happens to be our town's lactation consultant.  Thanks, Betty!
I've added flax seed and wheat germ, reduced the sugar, changed the white flour to whole wheat flour, and switched out the vegetable oil with coconut oil.  Therefore, I've made it my own! :)  I am so incredibly impressed with these granola bars.  They aren't too soft, and they aren't too hard.  They're just right!  They're also so delicious, my two year old calls them cookies, which works for me!

                                                         Let's get started!
First, we'll need to start with the ingredients.
Then, we'll add all of the dry ingredients and mix together.
Next, we'll make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.
We will then stir the mixture with a spoon, only to find that it's just easier to use our hands.
After mixing, add your extra ingredients.
Pour into pan and get ready to squish!
All squished down and ready to go in for 30 minutes.  Please note, the temperature in the picture is set to 375 degrees.  It should be 350! No worries, I just adjusted the cooking time once I realized that it was set too high.
All done!
Wallah! Beautiful and delicious granola bars. Also, a much healthier option than store-bought granola bars!

Granola Bars

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups whole grain old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup wheat germ
¼ cup flax seed
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients:
½ cup honey
½ cup coconut oil
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1-2 bananas
¾ cup chocolate chips
¾ cup dried fruit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan.  In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center and pour in all of the wet ingredients.  Mix together well with hands and then pat the mixture into the pan.  Bake for 15 minutes and then turn around in oven.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes and then cool for 3-4 minutes before cutting.  Do not allow the bars to cool any longer than 3-4 minutes or they will be too hard to cut. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Personal Breastfeeding Experience/Background

Considering the name of my blog, I felt it was only fitting for the first real post to be about breastfeeding.  The question is, what angle should I take?  Should I discuss the benefits of breastfeeding, some of the specifics about breast milk vs. formula, the importance of nursing in public, tandem nursing, mothering through breastfeeding, expose the truth about “booby-traps”, or uncover some of the misconceptions about breastfeeding and some well meaning, but poor, advice that is often given?  When the topic of breastfeeding comes up, I get flustered and wish I could share all of this information with you all at the same time, but don’t worry, I’ll refrain for now.  I would like to share with you a little bit about my personal breastfeeding experience and background.

                                             Wesley nursing for the first time -
When Wesley was born in May of 2009, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed because it was better for the baby’s health, but I honestly didn’t know one thing about it.  I thank God that Wesley took to nursing immediately and that we never had any real problems or I fear that I would have given up quickly.  Wesley had a bad latch for the first couple of weeks which caused nipple soreness and blisters, but I just ignored it thinking that it was normal because of all of the breastfeeding horror stories I had heard when I was pregnant.  Those can be filed under the “well meaning, but poor, advice that is often given” section.  Thankfully, he corrected his latch all on his own and it was pretty much smooth sailing from there until he was four months old.  When we went to his four month check-up, he had dropped considerably on the weight percentile chart, and even though he had plenty of wet and dirty diapers each day and was satisfied after feeding, I was very worried.  I thought that I was starving my baby!  The pediatrician recommended starting formula, which I denied.  I waited another month and had his weight checked, and when he came back even lower on the percentile chart (he wasn’t losing weight, he was just gaining slower, therefore lowering on the percentile chart), I decided to start rice cereal (I do not recommend rice cereal as a first food because of the lack of nutrients) at five months.  I then started home made baby food at five months and two weeks. Looking back, I know now that he was perfectly normal, and there was no need to start baby food early.  Pediatricians using the CDC growth charts that are based on formula fed babies instead of the WHO growth charts that are based on breastfed babies is one of the many booby traps that will be discussed in future posts. 

          Wesley nursing at fifteen months old - Two months pregnant with William -
Amanda Keener Photography -
Wesley nursed every two hours, day and night, for the first seventeen months of his life.  The only reason why he slowed down when he was seventeen months old is because I was in my second trimester of pregnancy with William and my supply had dropped.  Wesley was, and still is, in love with nursing.  He nursed for nutrition and sustenance of course, but he also nursed for comfort.  While nursing a child every two hours day and night may sounds absolutely terrible and tiring (which it certainly was at times!), it was also a wonderful way to make up for my missed time away from him while I was at work.  He needed his mommy time, and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world. Wesley is now almost 2 ½ years old and nurses in the morning, before and after nap time, before bed time, and in times of distress (sick, hurt, ect.).  If he had his choice, he would still be nursing every two hours, day and night.  We are coming to the end of our nursing relationship though, and I am gently weaning him, slowly but surely.

William nursing for the first time -
William was born in March of 2011 and had a slight problem with his latch on one side for a couple of weeks, but I was able to pop him off each time that he latched incorrectly and he would correct it.  William nurses often for nutrition and sustenance, but it is obvious that he could really rather care less about nursing for bonding or comfort.   I’m honestly worried that it is going to be a struggle to make it to the World Health Organization’s recommendation of nursing for at least two years, but we are going to work towards that goal one day at a time, and we will succeed!  William and I haven’t had any problems nursing, and I attribute most of our success to being knowledgeable in the subject.  Something that I would have considered to be a problem before, I no longer consider a problem.  William is very small and nurses often, but that isn’t a problem.  He’s perfectly healthy and normal in every way. 

                                            William nursing at four months old -
                            Amanda Keener Photography -
I started going to La Leche League ( when Wesley was almost a year old after stumbling upon it online while looking into different jobs that have to do with breastfeeding education.  I attend regularly and cannot recommend more strongly that if you are trying to conceive, pregnant, or have a little nursling, for you to attend at least one La Leche League meeting.  There is nothing like having mother-to-mother support surrounded by like-minded women with wisdom and experience in so many different breastfeeding challenges and topics.  I have lots of La Leche League resources and have started my own little advice line through Facebook for women with questions/concerns about breastfeeding.  I am certainly not a professional, nor have I taken any courses, but I do have experience, resources, and a passion.

Nursing necklace - & Jenny White Photography

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Hello, my name is Jennifer Vaughan and this is my very first blog post.  How exciting! For my first post, I think we had better stick with introductions and get to the craziness of my thoughts later. 
  This is me! -

I’m twenty-one years old and a home school high school graduate.  I have no plans to attend college, as what I want to do with my life does not require a degree.  I want to love, be loved, and be the best wife and mother I can possibly be.  I work two days a week, while my children are at Grammy’s house, at The House FM and My Praise FM Christian radio stations (check them out at & as an assistant to the promotion’s department and I am a new Silpada Designs Jewelry Independent Representative (check out my website at  I also co-own FromBlessingHands Etsy shop with my mother and sister featuring ring sling baby carriers, crocheted photography props and vintage light shade bird feeders, which you can view at Here are a handful of words you could use to describe me; I am excitable, obsessive, easily distracted, emotional and passionate.

I have been married since May of 2008 to the love of my life, Steven, who I happen to still be head of heels for.  Steven is very calm, practical, affectionate, and efficient.  We are complete opposites and balance each other out quite nicely. My husband is the assistant manager of Evans and Associates Big Fork Ranch, a hunting guide for Red Rock Ranch, and part owner/manager of The Buffalo Waller Ranch.   

          This is Steven! - 

Our oldest son, Wesley, was born in May of 2009.  He is an incredibly ornery, difficult, dominant personality and perfect in every way. 
      This is Wesley! - 
Our son, William, was born in March of 2011.  William is very mellow and sweet.  I think you can probably guess which child takes after which parent.  
        This is William! -

Letting My Breast Hang Out - A Weird Combination of Breastfeeding Advocacy and the Sharing of Everything That Goes Through My Mind will be a collection of whatever my little heart desires and what happens to be occupying my thoughts on that particular day and time.  I plan on featuring posts about breastfeeding advocacy, natural birthing, conservative political views, healthy and not-so-healthy recipes, chemical free/non-toxic/organic living, Christianity, ways to save money and special deals, specific chemicals to avoid, product giveaways and attachment parenting.  Please feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think, share your own personal stories, or let me know if there is something specific you would like for me to discuss.  I hope you enjoy my blog!