Teach Me: Books on CD

As I was preparing a warm dinner of cottage ham, green beans and potatoes for my sweet man, I had the boys working on pattern puzzles. We love patterns around here. Process of elimination, critical thinking, creative thinking and art. You name it, pattern puzzles offer up some serious fun. What is more fun, is doing pattern puzzles while listening to a book on cd.

The boys started to chatter and discuss what they were creating with the patterns and I found myself shooshing them. I was thoroughly enjoying the story too. We've made it to chapter five quite quickly and can't seem to put the book "down". It has encouraged listening ears, comprehension and use of imagination. Books on CD are also cost friendly as you can find many selections at your local library.

The Horse and His Boy
Our current book on CD is The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis from The Chronicles of Narnia. I've heard books on cd before and found myself snoozing to the reader. A reading performance by Alex Jennings makes our listening time delightful and on the edge of our seats. 

If you don't homeschool, consider books on cd for long car rides, trips to and from the store or an alternative to the " one eyed monster" the TV. 

Do you have any suggestions for books on cd? Let us know what you've been listening to!

Snow Report: Susie L from Baltimore, Maryland

We're studying snow, ice and all things weather around these parts and we're appreciating your photos! We're finally getting some real snow around here too!

First up Vintage Indie reader Susie L.  from Baltimore, Maryland .

Susie writes, " We got bomb-barded with 14" in December '09. We aren't use to it...we've been having mild winters for the past 10 years or so. It was lovely to see though and made it so very nice for Christmas. We have more snow headed our way Friday...here we go again."


Thanks Susie!

Keep your winter weather photos coming!

xoxo Gabreial

Teach Me: Music O Holy Night

As some of you already know, we are homeschoolers around these parts and this year, I've decided we are going to learn a real Christmas song. One full of truth, heart, joy and love. My favorite is O Holy Night. Have you heard Josh Groban sing it? Ahh, it warms my heart to the core.

We'll be learning it a little at a time. Learning how to write the lyrics in our best cursive and then with our voices.

You can find the lyrics here.

Mama to Mama: Straight Up Coconut Oil

Many moons ago I started a bath and body products company from the ground up. My goal was to find alternative products to the chemical laden and massed produced products of today. Since then, I've sold that business to pursue my role as a mother first and foremost as well as my writing.

Just recently, I've discovered organic extra virgin coconut oil (thanks mom). The particular brand we use around here is Nutivia.This isn't your ordinary organic coconut oil. If you do a quick search on how coconut oil is processed you can see that there are many different methods.

From Nutivia's website;

  • Certified organic and non-GMO
  • Made from fresh coconuts, not dried copra
  • Cold-processed
  • Unrefined
  • Chemical-free
  • Unfermented *
  • Unbleached
  • Undeodorized
  • Unhydrogenated
  • Pure white like fresh coconut
  • Tastes like fresh coconut
  • Has a fresh coconut fragrance

Can you say YUM!  I love it when my boys step out of the shower and lather themselves up with coconut oil. For one, I don't have to worry if the little one gets some on his lips and happens to have a taste. After all, it is safe enough to eat and cook with! Some days I add a dollop into my morning coffee, it curves my appetite and gives my coffee a yummy sweet coconut aftertaste. The coco-nutty goodness makes me feel like I'm on a desert island without a care in the world. Seriously, wouldn't that be nice.

Since Nutivia didn't pay me a lick or probably care that I wrote this post, you are probably wondering why would I waste my time? Well, because I want a better, healthier life for you and your family. Mamas before me, who started introducing me to organic, natural and whole living changed my world. The truth is, simpler is in fact better. Natural is in FACT better.  Do we really need to slather our children with chemical-laden products just so they can smell like kiwi? Introduce them to whole natural products (make sure it really is natural, these days you can't trust the labels), that are actually good for them at the same time. I only wish I would have known what I know now when they were babies.

Now go forth and get some coconut oil! Make sure you check how it is processed before you buy it!

xoxo - Mama Gabreial

Nourish Me: Boulevards™ Organic Hot Chocolate Product Review

In my quest to feed my children a healthier chemical free diet my family and I have been changing to healthier options from cereal to cleaning products. I was thrilled when the opportunity arose to try Boulevards™ Organic Hot Chocolate. Who doesn't love a smooth and creamy mug of luscious hot chocolate?

If you are anything like us, you love a good dark chocolate. Not only is dark chocolate better for you, it is often found with the least amount of additives. When looking for a good dark chocolate look for a high percentage of cacao. We usually go for 65% cacao or higher. Boulevards sent us their Dark Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate.

This USDA Organic product is Whey and Rice Filler Free. Ingredients include: Organic evaporated cane juice, organic cocoa, organic maltrodextrin, organic guar gum. I like that list. It is short, simple and I can pronounce all of the ingredients. I choose the Dairy Free option so that I could add what type of milk that we prefer, which is whole organic milk. You can choose to use soy milk, rice milk, coffee or your favorite mixer. I love this option! If you are lactose intolerant you can enjoy this delicious hot cocoa your way.

Click to Visit Boulevard Organics
Now on to the good stuff. The hot chocolate was easy to make. We warmed a mug of milk and followed the directions using two tablespoons for 6-8 ounces of milk. The mix whipped up and blended in with the milk perfectly. The consistency was very creamy luscious and a delightful foam formed at the top of the mug. The taste was very sweet, possibly even to sweet for our taste so the next round I used only half of the suggested amount and this made a perfect cup of steamy hot cocoa. This product has been tried, tested and retested throughout this past couple of weeks by all members of my family. They all needed to make sure the cocoa was as delicious as the day before. Sure enough it was just as good the second and third time around.  As a family we give this product a very large A+ and plan to purchase more in the future.

Thank you Boulevards!

Truth in Review: Boulevards did provide me with all of the products mentioned to review including shipping. Boulevards did not pay me for the review or require any certain context within my review. All reviews posted by me are truthful in content and not bought. Gabreial Visit our Disclaimer  for more info.

My Room: Daisy Barn Arts

My Room

If you're looking for nursery art, Daisy Barn Arts wants you to check out their shop. Artist and shop owner of Daisy Barn Arts contacted me awhile ago about showing off her nursery art.

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Reclaimed barn wood, vintage buttons, printed fabrics, and wool crewel yarn, hand stitches are combined on linen to create charming nursery art. I love the reclaimed wood frames.

Visit Daisy Barn Art for more!


My Room: Arian

I recently landed on Arian at Etsy. I fell in love with her inspirational art as well as her charming prints.

Arian_Here I Am
Special Offer copy

Arian has created a special offer just for Vintage Indie Readers! You are so lucky, aren't you?

Buy One Get One Free (free print excludes custom name print). Purchase a print then mention your Vintage Indie Kids and which free print you'd like in the "message to seller"


Get Dressed for Winter: Wooly Baby

With all of this talk about the Holiday Gift Guide/Market, It is hard to not think of the fluffy white snow that will soon show its face here in my neck of the woods. Don't get me wrong though, I am not rushing it. As much as I love vintage details, I love classy recycling.


Wooly Baby does vintage sweaters good, with their adorable line of wool slippers and booties.  Head over to their shop to see high tops, low tops and even cashmere offerings. 

Get Dressed: Rove Arounds

I don't know about you, but here in my neck of the woods summer left over night and on came chilly fall temperatures. I guess it is time to start thinking about jackets and coats for the winter.

I really like this handmade suede swing coat by Rove Arounds. It is fully lined with cotton corduroy and hand covered buttons. I think this is such a classy style for a young lady. Visit Rove Arounds for this coat and other handmade coats and childrens wear. 

Get Dressed: Marshmallows & Pickles

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Born out of necessity Marshmallows & Pickles shop owner says, "My littlest wears clips like these everyday and I grew tired of trying to find something that was not only fun to wear but also fun to look at."

I love businesses spurred on by the fact that there is a need, and hopefully a way to help others. I know it's just the start of fall, but these would make great stocking stuffers!