review – Growing Healthy Homes


We’ve made several changes in our home over the past year in our quest for a healthier lifestyle: whole grains, unrefined sugar, organic when we can afford it, trying to cut out high fructose corn syrup. I was so excited to receive a copy of Nutrition 101: Choose Life. It not only teaches what changes you should make, but WHY you should make them. I strongly believe that God created specific foods and nutrients to strengthen and heal our bodies. This book is an amazing look into His awesome design.

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is a Biblically based curriculum for the entire family. It is a huge 448 page book, with over 100 of those pages in the form of an information-rich appendix. It is co-authored by homeschool mother Debra Raybern, N.D., M.H., C.N.C., I.C.A.; homeschool mother and researcher Sera Johnson, B.MU; mother and writer/editor Laura Hopkins, B.S.; and mother, grandmother and former Home Economics teacher Karen Hopkins, B.S.

The curriculum is broken up into these six units:

  1. The Brain and Nervous System
  2. Digestion and Elimination
  3. Respiration and Olfactory
  4. Muscular and Skeletal Systems
  5. Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
  6. Endocrine System and Emotions.

Each unit has discussion questions, hands-on activities and power recipes to make together. Some of the material is a little over the heads of my gang, so I pick and choose the info to study.  I am reading through all of it myself, and I will be using it again in a few years as a more in-depth high school study.

You can view a sample of this book HERE. I strongly urge you to take a minute to read the introduction and take a look at what is included in the huge appendix.

Nutrition_10 CDROM_cover

The Nitty Gritty:

  • the CD-Rom is $79.99
  • the book is $99.95
  • the CD-ROM/book combo is $129.99

Things I like:

  • Lessons are taught from the viewpoint that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God.
  • There is something for most ages (starting in early elementary, in my opinion).
  • There is so much information provided in these lessons. I am using this for our science curriculum this year. I pull whatever is age appropriate from the lesson and add in my own things like notebook pages or goodies I find on the internet.
  • The appendix is full of wonderful things to help me in my quest to provide the best nutrition for my family.

Value: I will be honest… I thought the price of this curriculum was really high when I first saw it. Now that I’ve had a chance to read through and use it, I think it is worth every penny! I reviewed the e-book and printed off only what I needed to teach the lessons. I think the ideal, if you can afford it, is to purchase the book combo. You would have the physical book to read and the e-book to print off resources and activities.

See what my TOS Crew Mates have to say about Growing Healthy Homes!

what’s your decorating style?


The HomeGoods StyleScope is a fun little quiz to determine your decorating style. After the quiz, you can enter for a $5000 shopping spree!

My results were very accurate. It’s not really how my house looks now, but definitely the look (and feel) I am working towards.

you are a Bohemian Casual

You are interested in creating a place where people feel relaxed. You have a variety of interests and influences and so appreciate different styles, cultures, and objects. Your home is cozy, with comfy chairs, throw pillows and places to set a drink or a book. But it also feels creative and visually intriguing, because you have an artist’s eye that allows you to find objects that appeal to you in a unique and personal way—whether from your travels or from a local shop. This gives your home a feeling of being laid-back, and maybe even a bit quirky with its mix of pieces—some of which are classic, some handmade, some ethnic, and some just rich in meaning to you.

You value comfort. Your home is a warm and open friendly place, and you feel happiest when everyone is cared for and relaxed in your space. Elements like pillows, throws, overstuffed furniture, and good lighting set the mood. You may also enjoy layering different fabrics or mixing patterns to create a cozy effect.

What were your results?

review – Studypod


My opinion of the Studypod book holder before it arrived: What a neat little gadget! Maybe we will use it to display a seasonal book on the coffee table.

My opinion of Studypod after using it for a few weeks: How did I ever teach without this??? I use it Every.Single.Day. I like it so much that this is going to be my standard high school graduation gift from now on.


We are studying explorers in history right now. I put my book in the Studypod so that I can read and still easily write on the whiteboard. I then put the map we are creating on top of the book and sit it in the middle of the table. All of the kids are able to see it at the same time and work on their maps. I get to avoid the chaos I would hear if I were to put it flat on the table: “Your head is in the way, I can’t see it! Your elbow is poking me! She wrinkled my paper!”

You can watch a video of the Studypod in action:


Studypods come in black, blue or pink. Bookpods are the same thing, but marketed for general use, and come in black, gray and beige.

The Nitty Gritty:

One is $19.95; buy 2 or more & get them for $16.95 each. My readers can get a $5 dicount by using this code: TOSBLOG5


Things I like:

  • It fits any size book, large or small
  • It folds up to the size of a book so you can throw it in a bag & go
  • It holds the book at a comfortable reading angle, similar to a laptop.
  • There is a mesh pocket inside to store study supplies
  • It is a great servant to me and makes my job easier

Value: The Studypod is obviously not a homeschooling essential, but use it for a week and I think you will wonder how you ever taught without it! Definitely worth the money!

See what my TOS Crew Mates have to say about the Studypod!