A Story of Comfy Cozy Delight That Will Inspire!

A Story of Comfy Cozy Delight That Will Inspire!

So excited to sit down with my friend and author, Peggy Alberda, to discuss her delightful new children’s book, “Hugo Makes Bread with Grandad.”

The warmth and coziness is captured in every picture!

Here is what people are saying about this delightful book!

To read all about Peggy, her incredibly talented illustrator, Mary Coons, news articles and fun details on the “birth” of Hugo’s story, click here.

If you listened to the podcast, here are the pictures from Peggy’s bread baking class that we talked about! Her book reflects that same extraordinary attention to detail!

For any of you interested in publishing a book, and the lessons Peggy learned along the way, you might enjoy this YouTube interview from “The Ready Writer”:

Click on the links below to order this DELIGHTFUL book! And don’t forget to use the code for

FREE shipping!

(It can be ordered on Amazon, but it helps Peggy if you order directly from her book site.)

If you have any questions or comments for Peggy, feel free to contact her at: Peggyalberdaauthor@gmail.com

For more information on Restored to Glory Dance Ministry, click on the photo below!


Do The Twist! You Will Love It!

Do The Twist! You Will Love It!

One of the goals of the Forti-fy podcast is to feature local businesses in our neighborhoods so that you can get to know them better, and all that they offer!

On this episode, we sat down with Lori Berndt, owner of the Olive Twist. Listen in to hear the tasty experience this delightful store offers up!

And…. to all you who may be reading this and think you would have no interest in olive oil or vinegars…. I really want to encourage you to push the “play” button.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised and may seriously consider venturing out to your local Olive Twist by the end of this podcast!


In the podcast, you will hear Lori talk about the comprehensive quality checks that they do on their oils to insure that you have a fresh product!

The Olive Twist offers up 20 DIFFERENT FLAVORS of oils!  The top 3 best sellers mentioned in the podcast are:


Same comprehensive quality checks here and  30 DIFFERENT FLAVORS to choose from!  Do you have an idea for a new flavor you think would be popular? Let then know to see if they can create it!

Their top 3 best sellers are: Cranberry Pear, Traditional and Raspberry. The top flavor used at our house is the Denissimo Aged Balsamic!


Check out the cupboard of herbs and spices!

The helpful staff can assist you in selecting the perfect herb or spice to provide the taste you are looking to achieve.




Be sure to listen in on how Lori came to start serving a wide variety of teas!



As we discuss in the podcast, the Olive Twist offers up a perfect gift for anyone for almost any occasion.Click HERE for great ideas.


Click HERE for Website

You’ll have no problem locating the Auburn store!

Check out their Facebook page HERE for delectable delightful recipes!


When you shop local, everyone benefits! Strong businesses grow strong communities.  So head on out to your local OLIVE TWIST to enjoy a day of learning, tasting, and fortifying your community!


Area Homeschool Co-ops and Classes

Area Homeschool Co-ops and Classes

(Originally posted June 2017, Updated August 2020)

Depending on where you are in your homeschooling journey, you may be very familiar with homeschool co-ops, or, like me, waited 20 years before trying one!  Here, I review homeschool co-ops and classes offered in the Fort Wayne and surrounding areas.

Character Ink

I did a blog post several years ago on Donna and Ray Reish’s Character Ink Classes. You can read that here.

Ray and Donna have a tremendous wealth of homeschooling experience and they just love their students! They have been a tried and trusted resource for many homeschooling families – including mine – for many years. Donna is known as the “Language Lady” because she has literally written thousands of pages of writing material! She loves what she does!

Now, they offer even more options! Half – Day Homeschooling and Online Tutoring and Classes are now on the menu! Just click on the photo below to get started on a path that works just right for you and your family!



Doorposts Homeschool Co-op of Northeast Indiana


Based on how fast I see these classes fill up, I can tell this is a popular co-op choice!

Their mission statement reads:

“DoorPosts Homeschool Co-op was created to provide a faith-based environment where homeschool families could gather together in fellowship, friendship, and learning.”

Classes are located in the Kendallville and Auburn Area. Click HERE for their website.

Kroeker Homeschool Academy



This is taken from a blog post I wrote :

“The first time I came across Kroeker Academy was when I was reading their course descriptions in a homeschool newsletter and was thinking, “Wow, how do they teach ALL that in one class?!”  So often times I wanted my kids to take classes they were offering, but due to schedule conflicts, it never happened. I often felt we missed out on some great learning! I have, however, had many friends whose kids have taken their classes, and they have confirmed what I instinctively knew – there is a whole lot of learning going on in those classes!”  You can read the rest of the post here. 

Click HERE for their website.

Life Adventures HomeSchool



Since most of my kids have graduated, they have not taken any classes here, but I do know Jennifer MacDonald who directs Life Adventures. Click HERE for their website:

Life Adventures Homeschool Resources is a Christian homeschool group based in Fort Wayne, which is northeastern Indiana. We are also an open, inclusive group, welcoming homeschoolers of all faiths and those with none. We encourage cooperation and service to each other and our fellow man. We schedule social and educational activities and provide support for new and veteran families alike.

Life Adventures Homeschool Resources was formed to provide information and support to homeschooling families. We have a parent support group https://www.lifehs.net/supportgroup.html and weekly classes https://www.lifehs.net/classes.html. you choose what you want to be involved in based on what works best for your family! A variety of events are offered to meet those goals as well as to encourage Christian fellowship. Opportunities include monthly meetings (workshops and/or topics), field trips, Moms’ Night Out, Couples’ Night Out, field day, swim and park days, and friends and adventures galore, plus a web site https://www.lifehs.net/.

Northeast Homeschool Family Co-op


Do Your Vitamins Contain Folate or Folic Acid? And Why Does it Matter?

Do Your Vitamins Contain Folate or Folic Acid? And Why Does it Matter?

The one “vitamin” thing I remember most, way back in my pregnancy days, was that there was a great deal of fervor over making sure you were taking plenty of folic acid. Folic acid is essential to warding off birth defects and maintaining you baby’s brain and spinal cord health. Well, in the last decade or so, there is now new fervor saying that too much folic acid in the diet could be causing autism in babies.

If I have learned one thing over the last 30 years in regards to health and wellness trends is that reasonable truth lies somewhere between extremes.

I was completely clueless in my first years of pregnancy and “child rearing,” and I do mean clueless. Proof of this is that I was feeding my 7-week-old, second born son, raspberry sherbet right from the carton with my finger, in the grocery check out line because he was crying…and I wondered why the people all around me were staring at us…couldn’t they see I just wanted to do something to keep him from crying???

And I may have forgotten to take my pre-natal vitamins during my third pregnancy, but I didn’t forget to get Taco Bell and then pick up a chocolate cake from the grocery store.

Here are those sons today:

I am so thankful our bodies can handle our stupidity and ignorance for at least a season.tongue-out

You can do a quick google search and have millions of articles at your fingertips on the subject of folic acid and MTFHR (No, not a swear word), so I am not going to go into great depth here. My goal is just to bring this into your sphere of awareness so as you can make an informed decision on your health needs. If you are in your child-bearing years, this is an issue you will particularly want to take note of – and an aging adult.

So here is what I would consider the basics of the folic acid/folate matter:

Folate is one of the B-vitamins and is needed to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, convert carbohydrates into energy, and produce DNA and RNA. Its name is derived from the Latin word “folium,” which means leaf. In fact, leafy vegetables are among the best dietary sources of folate.

Adequate folate intake is extremely important during periods of rapid growth such as pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence. It is also beneficial in treating mood disorders. It has also shown to be effective to improve cognitive function, memory and help alleiviate depression in aging adults.

Folic acid, is a synthetic form of vitamin B9, also known as pteroylmonoglutamic acid. It is what is used in most vitamins, and many processed foods. The problem is that many of us (estimated 1 in 4) have a MTHFR variant which causes us NOT to be able convert folic acid to methylfolate. MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. It is an enzyme that activates and regulates folate metabolism in the body. This genetic variant can lead to a possible folate deficiency in the body. In addition, unmetabolized folic acid has also been linked to poor immune function and a variety of other health conditions.

So yes, folate/B9 is important to have in your diet! BUT you want to consider the source of where you are getting it from.

So for optimal health the best recommendation, as always, is to try to eat adequate (note: NOT excessive) amounts of foods that contain naturally occurring folate.

Folate is naturally present in:

  • Beef liver
  • Vegetables (especially asparagus, brussels sprouts, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and mustard greens)
  • Fruits and fruit juices (especially oranges and orange juice)
  • Nuts, beans, and peas (such as peanuts, black-eyed peas, and kidney beans
Because most of us don’t know if we have a MTHFR mutation variant, it may be best to avoid vitamin supplements that contain folic acid and look for ones that contain Folate or L-Methylfolate/L-5MTHF.
Here is the mulitivitamin I use. When purchasing any muli-vitamin, or stand alone supplement,  look for folate as L-5-MTHF.

Killer Bread with a Prison History

Killer Bread with a Prison History

Although I don’t have any problems with gluten or gut issues, I generally do not eat much bread. However, when I do eat it, it is generally of the low-carb, whole grain variety.

When visiting my family in Madison, WI, I would stop by the local Trader Joe’s and pick up a half a dozen loaves of their low carb bread and stick them in my freezer – and that would last me a long time! However, Trader Joe’s no longer makes that low carb bread, thus I’ve been looking for something to replace it.

A few weeks ago, I was in Fresh Thyme Market picking up a package of absolutely decadent gluten-free mini brownie muffins (see review of those, here) for one of my gluten-free friends. While there, I saw a display of “Dave’s Killer Bread”, and thought I’d give it a try. In an effort to keep the calorie and carbs down low, I bought the thin sliced loaves. I am so glad I did. I love this bread! Oh my, it has so much flavor – especially the Good Seed variety.

I don’t eat much bread, so I am not familiar with many different brands, but I am sharing this here because I thought the conception of this product was so intriguing.

One day, I happened to actually read the whole package and found out why it’s called Dave’s Killer bread. Here is what is printed on the side of the bag:

If you go to their website , or click on the pictures below, you can read the stories of many of their employess, and how their lives have been changed by the fact that they were given a second chance.

They also sell a bagels in a varitey of flavors:

I have found this bread at Fresh Thyme Market on Coldwater Road, Walmart, Meijer and Kroger. So if you are looking for a great tasting bread, and would like to help people get a second chance, consider adding Dave’s Killer bread products to your shopping cart!

Fudgy Grain-Free Yum!

Fudgy Grain-Free Yum!

I know there are lots of recipes out there for grain-free and sugar-free muffins that would be “healthier” than these muffins. These would definitely not fit into a “low-carb” category food! BUT, if you, or your kids, have issues with grains, and carbs are not a problem, or in my case, buying a gift for a gluten-free friend on her birthday, these are a REALLY scrumptious treat! They are so incredibly fudgy!
I actually put these right in the freezer after purshasing. For whatever reason, I think they are the absolute best after you pull one out and after a minute or so, you bite in to what taste like a massive piece of fudge!
You can check out all the Flax 4 Life products here. They are cheaper to buy on line, however then you have shipping charges.  I have only found these at Fresh Thyme Market and Earth Fare. However, they are often sold out, so I always call ahead! And I just picked up a stash before posting this to make sure I had plenty in the freezer! smile