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In case you haven’t seen it or need a refresher, here is one of my favorite videos on where your stuff comes from, where it goes when you throw it away and the cost to the health of our planet and ourselves. It’s a good one to watch with your kids to plant the seeds of awareness.

Now THIS is Loving Out Loud
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I ran across a picture on Facebook the other day. A high school classmate. He’s dressed in a fine suit, holding his gorgeous girlfriend in his lap and they are passionately embracing, a moment clearly caught unrehearsed. The caption underneath was, “If you’re not loving like this, you’re not loving”.

I’ve caught up with this fellow at the the last two high school reunions. I’ve met his lovely girlfriend, very likeable. Both of them are in great shape, professional, have busy lives that require travel and time apart. They clearly do not live together and do not have children. I don’t begrudge anyone the right to look good, enjoy life, or live passionately out loud.

However, I don’t think anyone should suggest that if I’m not loving like that, I’m not loving.

Let me tell you about loving.

They're cute when they're clean

They’re cute when they’re clean

When my daughter wasn’t quite three and my son was just a baby, I had a chance to go get some shopping done. Alone. Anyone with little ones knows, that’s a treat. I had only been out for a bit when my cell rang and my husband said our girl had thrown up, could I please come home to help. I rushed back to find a kitchen and our toddler impressively drenched in vomit.  My husband was trying to hold it together while tending to our crying son, who was frightened by his howling sister. I stripped my daughter of her soiled clothes, tending to her upset tummy as my husband quieted the baby with a fresh diaper and a warm bottle. Once he got him to sleep he mopped up the majority of the regurgitated dinner. Handing her off to him to bathe her, I proceeded to detail the kitchen. The vomit had splattered into cracks and crevices everywhere, and I had my work cut out for me.

Finally, after both kids were asleep, with the kitchen and myself reeking of Chlorox disinfectant spray, we fell onto the couch in a heap into each others arms and had a good laugh about it all.

Anyone can love passionately under the best of circumstances. But if you can’t love after cleaning up snot and vomit, then maybe you’re not loving.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie – Tips & Tricks
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I have a sweet tooth and so does my family. After watching the documentary Fed Up (which I highly recommend!)  and the previous article on sugar, I came to understand even more than ever how harmful sugar can be.  I cut our family down even more than they already were.

homemade cookies

Good lookin’ cookie

This brings us to my cookies. What? But you just said…? Yes, I did. But even I  must concede that we in our family cannot give up sugar 100%. And I have noticed that the more you restrict something like that, the more it will backfire on you. I have had a few years to experiment with my family’s response to how I manage their food choices. I notice that if I provide a little homemade treat on a regular basis, they still feel as though they are getting goodies. It has gone a long way in how much they seek out junky food. Homemade means I have some control as to what goes into the food we eat on a regular basis.

My cookies are awesome. Yeah, I said awesome. They are requested at most every gathering I attend. I have spent 15 years perfecting the art of a good, simple chocolate chip cookie. Here are the best tips and tricks I have gathered over the years.

Sugar: The Less, The Better
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Guest post by Laura Vendever 

It’s everywhere you look: sugar is the latest terrible-for-you thing in the news. It joins, over the years, coffee, salt, eggs, fat, and smoking—but in the long run, only a couple of those things were actually dangerous. The others, not so much.

Sugar: the sneaky toxin

Sugar: the sneaky toxin

Today’s super-villain is sugar. Words used to describe it, in relation to health, include “toxic,” “poisonous,” and even “deadly.”

But is sugar really deadly?