Category Archives: Tasha Recommends

Charity Water – Making A Difference in Rwanda

Did you buy a cup of coffee today? What was it, like $6 or $7?

Did you crack open a can of beer over the weekend? How much was that six pack?

Are you drinking a nice cold glass of ice water as you read this? Go ahead, take a sip, relish in it’s ice cold refreshment.

If the answer to any of these questions was yes (and most likely you answered yes to more than one of them!) then would take a moment to watch this?

Chills and tears, yes?

Would you join me in contributing to this cause? You can trust that your money will make a difference.

 From the Charity Water website:

100% of every dollar will fund large-scale water systems in Rulindo District. When the systems are complete, we’ll prove each one with photos and GPS coordinates.

Ian, a good friend of mine, has already started a campaign called Water from Vermont. If you would like to donate, please do so there! Or start your own campaign and share it with your church, your families, your friends. Your donation counts, no matter what the amount!

Water changes everything. I believe it.

Thanks for believing it too, friends.

Higher Ground – A Children’s Book To Benefit The Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund

When Irene ripped through the East Coast we were fairly new to Vermont. I was shocked to see the devastation that a hurricane turned tropical storm could cause so far up here! There was news of flooding that wiped away entire homes. Many families lost everything. While we were not affected immediately, there was definitely an urge inside me to do something to help. I volunteered with Vermont 211 to take phone calls and record storm damage. It was something small, but I felt like I helped in some way. When a friend of mine told me about a book he wrote to raise money for farms affected by the storm, I knew I wanted to share it with you. It’s just another small way I (and you!) can help.

I asked Kevin Fitton, the author, to tell me about the book and here is what he shared with me:

The idea behind the book came from a story I heard on Vermont Public Radio about a week after Hurricane Irene swept through Vermont. The reporter (who is actually our neighbor, Melody Bodette) told about a farm in Royalton which lost a half dozen of their cows when the White River surged over its banks. This story planted a seed in my mind, and I soon had an idea for a book about a farm like the one in Royalton. In my story, the storm damages the farm and some of the cows are lost, but their neighbors come to their aid and help them rebuild. Since the book was about neighbors helping neighbors, I wondered if I could recruit a Vermont artist and Vermont publisher to do the book with me and use the book as a fundraiser for farms like the one in the news story. So I took a complete shot in the dark and emailed my manuscript to my favorite children’s book illustrator, Mary Azarian, who happens to live in Vermont (and who I had never met, mind you). And shock of all shocks, she wrote me back and said she would read it. And then, after she read it, she said she would like to be involved if I could find a publisher. So I then contacted Radiant Hen, which is a small Vermont publisher of children’s books, and within a few days, they expressed interest in the project. And then both Mary and Tanya (the editor at Radiant Hen) agreed to donate their time to make the book happen.

Neighbors helping neighbors! I love it! And what a great lesson to teach our kids!

Here is a blurb about the book as shared on Radiant Hen’s website:

When a Hurricane strikes and causes disastrous flooding, the humans aren’t the only ones who need to seek higher ground! A story of kindness, love and inner strength that is sure to become an instant classic.
An Excerpt from the book:

“Now, unless you’re a dairy farmer this may be hard to understand, but those cows are part of our family. We feed them, and by giving us their milk, they feed us too…”

Now here’s how you can help!

The book, Higher Ground, is available for pre-order from I’d love to see them sell out of the books they have prepared for pre-printing! 

100% of the proceeds of the purchase of this book will go directly to The Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund. The price is $10.95 plus shipping (a steal when it comes to buying a children’s book!).

Please join me in supporting some of our most important community members, our farmers! Like the bumper sticker says, “If you ate today, thank a farmer!”

*Not a sponsored post! Kevin is a personal friend of mine. As are many farmers! 🙂

Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Pot Pie

My go-to recipe for chicken pot pie is one that I fall back on all the time. When things are busy and I need a quick meal that I know everyone will enjoy, I go to this one.

My kids love those frozen pot pies with the crust that you can get in the freezer section. (Yes, I have bought them, so what?) So I thought I’d try a recipe with the pie crust. My boys gave me Pioneer Woman’s cookbook for Christmas and I made many promises to make everything in the book so I thought it would be fun to try her version.

I’m so glad I did!

The recipe is not difficult at all, came together fairly quickly and was SO delicious!

I thought about posting my own take of her recipe but honestly I can not think of one thing I’d change. It’s a keeper!

So check out Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Chicken Pot Pie from her cookbook “Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl” .

The only one I can find close to it on her website is her Turkey Pot Pie which looks like pretty close to the same thing. The only thing I do differently is put a bottom crust in the pie pan. We love a double layer of that crust!

Here is my recipe for a very quick and easy homemade pie crust.

Let me know if you try it!

*Amazon Affiliate Links*

Back It Up: A Cautionary Tale

My laptop. When I think about losing it I want to sing “How can I live without you” in my best Faith Hill voice. It is my friend. My confidant. My keeper of all things precious.

Why then, did I not back it up? Why did I let that pack of CDs sit on my desk for a month without transferring my pictures onto them? Why didn’t we buy that external hard drive?

Why, God, why?!

I woke up yesterday to a laptop that had given up. The black screen of death. And when we really tried to get it to turn on? A screen full of words and garblygook. Yes. That’s a word. I’m distraught. Leave me alone.

So here I am. No laptop. I’ve been assured that there are geek type people who can fix it or at the very least, get my pictures off it. For a very reasonable price, I’m sure. Eye roll.

But that’s what I get. And so today I encourage you…


I wish I was sharing a fun new rap I made up with you. That would have been much more fun.

Until I get it fixed, there may be limited stuff happening here. Which is too bad because I have a giveaway lined up! But don’t worry. Our old faithful dinosaur desk top is still going and I just figured out how to blog from my phone.


I hope my back it up rap song gets stuck in your head all day. That would make me feel better.

End Piracy, Not Liberty. Stop SOPA.

So you’ve probably noticed that Google, Wikipedia, Craigslist and many others are protesting against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). I know quite a few bloggers are also shutting down their blogs in protest as well. I won’t be doing that (mostly because I don’t know how. Ahem.) but I did want to make sure I posted some info on it.

I am not an expert on what is happening, but I encourage you to look it up, check it out and do something about it. What I do know is that this could affect bloggers like myself in a very
negative way. It could affect all of us and the way we use the internet.
I know that I risk people stealing my ideas, my recipes and my content
in general by posting it on the internet for all to see. But stopping piracy and full on censorship are very different things.

You can start by learning more and doing something about it here:

End Piracy, Not Liberty

SOPA vs PIPA Anti-Piracy Bills Uproar Explained by Yahoo News 

Huffington Post

The Liebster Award

I received a very sweet email yesterday from Sue of Cake Balls, Cookies and More that just made me smile! She nominated my blog for a Liebster Award!

A Liebster Blog Award is a fun way to recognize your fellow bloggers and get the word out about how much you love them! It’s specifically for smaller blogs and those of us who are just getting started! Liebster is a German word that means favorite or dearest. It was very sweet for Sue to think of me and I’m blessed to be in included on her list! Thanks Sue!

So now it’s my pleasure to pass it on by telling you about my favorite “smaller” blogs that maybe you haven’t heard of yet.

Cake Balls, Cookies and More

Well I’m just going to go ahead and return the favor and start with Sue’s blog! She posts some really great recipes and I love her creativity in the kitchen! This recipe for Salted Nutella Fudge is a great example!

The Hunger Girl Games

This blog was just started this week by my dear friend, Jennifer. She is posting health related articles, healthy recipes and tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Jen and I are always sharing health info with each other (like this post about the right diet for kids with ADHD) and she has a lot of knowledge about all natural medicines and cures so I’m really excited that she can share it all with everyone now!

In Moms We Trust

This is another fairly new blog that I really love! Mauranda has big plans for In Moms We Trust and I’m anxious to see what she does next! She has Message Boards set up for Moms to have a place to go ask questions and chat with other Moms. Go over there and get some conversations started!

The Blessed Mom

Amy from The Blessed Mom blogs about parenting, recipes and being a Mom of faith. She shares great insights and I always smile when I read her blog! I found myself nodding along until my neck fell off when I read her post about being enough. Read along, you’ll love her!

Whisk, Write, Repeat

Carolyn never disappoints with the recipes she shares. Check out her Holiday Roundup post and you’ll see what I mean! I also love reading about all of her adventures!

Congratulations, ladies! You all deserve it! I can’t wait to hear what your favorites are!

Homespun Expressions Etsy Giveaway!

WINNER UPDATE! Congratulations to Amy from The Blessed Mom! Email me which candle wrap you want Amy!

And for the rest of ya, if you order a candle wrap from Homespun Expressions this week, shipping is on me!

Merry Christmas!

*Winner chosen using

 I got a box in the mail the other day from my Mom. It contained this:

It’s an adorable candle wrap that she sells in her Etsy shop. I just love it! What a fun way to decorate a plain glass candle jar. AND she can monogram them to make them unique and personalized! My living room is blue and brown and snowmen are my favorite!

This is a perfect Christmas gift! I mean look at how cute this one is! They range from $7-$9. So great!

 My mom being the sweet person she is offered to give one of her candle wraps to one of you! How much do we love Momma?!

Check out her Etsy shop Homespun Expressions and tell me which one you love and maybe you’ll win it!

One entry per person, please! Winner will be announced on Monday, December 5th!

Thanks Mom!

Greek Tuna Salad Featuring Marzetti’s Simply Dressed Salad Dressing


I’m really excited to share a new product with you guys that I am in love with! Marzetti has launched a new line of salad dressings called “Simply Dressed“. I’m loving them because the ingredients are SIMPLE! I can read everything in the ingredients list and there is no high fructose corn syrup! There are no preservatives either which scores high points in my book. So many of the every day salad dressings out there are full of chemicals and hfcs and who knows what else. This salad dressing definitely helps me keep my Food Golden Rule.

I’ve seen these dressings on sale and I’ve heard other bloggers mention finding coupons for them (you can sign up for their newsletter to get coupons!). So you can definitely get them at a great price. Honestly, I’d pay full dollar for them. Salad dressings are something we use quite often in our house and I feel good using a brand that keeps the ingredient list so pure.

I used the Greek Feta Salad Dressing on a Greek Tuna Salad that I made and it was so delicious! Here is what I put in it:

Greek Tuna Salad Featuring Marzetti’s Simple Dressed Salad Dressing:

Chopped romaine lettuce
Chopped baby spinach
Chick Peas, rinsed
2 oz water packed tuna
Sliced cucumber
Grape tomatoes
Crumbled feta cheese
Marzetti’s Greek Feta Simply Dressed Salad Dressing
Mini whole wheat pita
This was a delicious combination! I think the Balsamic flavor would be equally delicious on this salad as well. If you are not a tuna fan, you could substitute with chicken.

I am really looking forward to trying the other flavors, especially the Ginger Sesame one! What do you guys thing that would taste good on? An Asian type salad with chicken and mandarin oranges, maybe? I’m thinking a Buffalo Chicken Wrap using the Bleu Cheese dressing should be my next venture.

Have you tried any of these yet? I’d love to hear some thoughts and recipes from all of you!Marzettie has some great recipes using these dressings as a Downloadable Recipe Book. These are some seriously great looking recipes!

Sorry, I know I just threw a ton of links at you, but I honestly don’t want you to miss anything!

I was one of the bloggers selected by T. Marzetti Company and Clever Girls Collective to host a Marzetti Simply Dressed review. They provided me with product to test myself and compensation for my time. However, my opinions are entirely my own.

WINNER UPDATE! Love and Logic Speed-E Solutions..and a Giveaway!

UPDATE: Winner Announced!
The winner is…Sandy! Sandy, email me and let me know which Speed-E Solution you want!
First of all, this is not a sponsored post. I I just want to share the love! And it will
make me feel better if a bunch of you say you need parenting help too.

If you have read my blog at all, you know what a fan I am of Love and Logic Parenting. I have found so many ideas and strategies from reading the books to listening to the cds. Now I have found a new way to soak up all of their parenting advice.

Love and Logic has started selling Speed-E Solutions online. You can download them in mp3 format and listen to them on your computer, ipod or phone. I just bought When Your Kids Get Defiant the other day and listened to it while at the gym.

Not because I have a defiant child. Nope. My kids are perfect little angels. I did it for blog research.


I love how easy the downloadable lessons make it to get parenting advice. It’s a nice little reminder to turn on when things are getting, um, rough at home.

I wanted to share my excitement by purchasing a Speed-E Solutions for one of you! You pick which one you want and I’ll buy it for you. Just tell me which one you want in the comments and why and you are entered to win!

Pick your Speed-E Solution here!

Deadline for entries is Tuesday, September 20th at 9pm. Because I’m old and that’s my bedtime.

One comment per family please!

Oh, and if you want to get a copy of my favorite book, order it below! *affiliate link*

Raising Good Citizens…Getting Involved In Your Community!

Thanks to Walgreens for sponsoring my writing. Help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote.

Getting involved in the community is a big priority for us. We are bound and determined to teach our kids
to be good citizens! Sometimes it can feel like an overwhelming thing to teach a child. But teaching volunteerism is done best just like every other teaching moment…by example!
Here are some of the ways we get involved with giving back to the community. I’d love to hear yours too! 
The obvious places to check for help are your local food shelf and your church. There are always needs waiting to be met there. I have found some great opportunities in my local newspaper. Check yours out to see if they list volunteer needs. And if they do not? Request it!
One organization always asking for help in our paper is the Ronald McDonald House.
If you live anywhere near a hospital, there is probably a McD house nearby. They house families with seriously ill children in the hospital and are always in need of food for their guests. We went with a group from our Church and prepared a meal. It was fun to cook together, especially knowing what a blessing it would be to those staying there. When you are tired and weary and emotionally drained with a child in the hospital, a free warm meal is a wonderfully practical blessing. This is a great project to do with older kids who can help prepare food and cook.
Habitat for Humanity is another great organization to get involved in. It’s not really something you can do with kids until they are older. But while my husband helps out it is a great chance to explain to my boys that giving up their Daddy for a few hours on a Saturday so some kids can have a house is really a pretty small sacrifice.
 Since hurricane Irene came roaring through the East Coast causing wide spread flooding in Vermont, we have had a very large need for volunteers in our communities to the south. Thanks to one of my lovely local twitter friends, Sarah, a website was started to connect people who needed help with people who wanted to give help. It has been amazing to watch Vermonters come together and help one another on such a large scale. Much more help is needed and will be for some time! is the perfect example of jumping in and doing what you can with what you have. Everyone can be involved in some way and on some level! If you see a need and you know how to fill it? DO IT!

Find more ways to help Vermont by following them on twitter @vtresponse and the hashtag #vtresponse.

During the past week I was able to help at the Vermont 211 call center. When there is a natural disaster or other local emergency, your state’s 211 call center is going to get very busy and very likely will need some extra help. You can find out how to help out with that and many other ways to get involved in your community in non-emergency times by connecting with The United Way.
My son’s school is running penny wars to raise money for families affected by the floods. It is a really easy way to get a large group of kids involved in donating money. Kids can scrounge up pennies pretty easily. And pennies can add up to a lot of dollars! They sabotage the other classes by donating dollars and other change. It was so fun!
Another great way to get your kids involved is to donate toys and clothes. This works out great because you get to clean out your closets and your kids get to learn how to give to others! Just be sure to only donate items
that are in good condition and toys that are like-new and have all their pieces. While reading through some of the needs on, I saw one woman asking for shoes for her kids. All their shoes were ruined in the water and muck from the flooding and they can’t just run down to the store to get some new ones. This is the perfect example of how a child can help. I guarantee if you explain that situation to your child, they will be more than happy to give up a pair of shoes to help out! Find simple opportunities like this for your child to help with. Make it personal. Paint a picture for them and help them understand just how blessed they are. 
Kids are tenderhearted. They will act. We could learn a lot from their examples too! 
Giving back is a healthy way to show gratitude for what you’ve been blessed with. Get out there and get involved. Your community needs you!

Don’t forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

*Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions are honestly and truly mine. All mine.