Monday, August 31, 2009

What's In My Water? Part 2

(read "What's In My Water? Part 1" here)

At this point, I knew for sure that we had to purchase a new water filtration system and continued my research to find the best choice. The prices I was looking at seemed high, so I decided to add up what I was already spending on my faucet mount filter and my pitcher filter:

My PUR pitcher cost about $10 for a filter replacement that lasts for 40 gallons. This equals 25 cents a gallon. Brita was costing me $20 for a replacement that filters 100 gallons at 20 cents per gallon. Over a year I guessed that we bought about 6 pitcher filters and 3 faucet filters totaling $120 ($10 x 6 + $20 x 3) This puts our kitchen water usage at 540 gallons a year - although I do tend to use the filters for a while after they are done before I get around to replacing them, so I'm sure we use more than 540 gallons a year. However, for my purposes, $120 was a good guess at what we were spending on water filtration each year.

Knowing what I was currently spending was helpful, but at the same time, I had discovered that there were contaminants in my water and I can't really put a price on that. Drinking clean water seemed like one of the most basic things I could do for my and my family's health. At some point I discovered the Berkey Water Filtration systems. I had researched and looked at many different systems and read all about how they filter and what they filter out. Over time I became convinced that Berkey was the system that removed the most contaminants.

The Black Berkey Elements (the parts inside of the Berkey that filter the water) are actually so powerful that they can remove food coloring from water, in fact that is one of the ways they tell you to test your system to see if its working properly. The Berkey Water Filtration system is used by UNICEF, the Red Cross, and missionaries worldwide to purify water - even raw untreated water. This system can be used in emergency situations to purify water, including chlorinated water from your swimming pool. Here is a list of contaminants removed and links to data from lab testing that was done. Black Berkey elements were tested with more than 10,000 times the concentration of pathogens per liter than is required by standard testing protocol. The test results showed absolutely no pathogens in the water, even when examined by microscope. The Berkey water systems are actually called water "purification" systems rather than "filtration" systems because of how powerful they are.

There were other filtration systems that I looked at, but many of them were made of plastic and could therefore be leaching harmful chemicals into the clean water. We liked that the Berkey system was available in stainless steel. Another bonus is that they do not need water pressure or electricity to operate, so having a Berkey system in my home meant that I would be prepared for an emergency situation as long as I could find water to pour into it.

Cost was a consideration, although it wasn't my big deciding factor. I was pleased to discover that Berkey was one of the more cost effective systems available. The initial price wasn't too high and the filters last for such a long time, that brought the cost down even further. Using the two filtration elements that come standard with a Berkey, the system can purify 6,000 gallons of water. Even if I used the high estimate of one gallon of water per person per day, that only gets me to 1,460 gallons of that used in a year. (365 days a year x 4 people in our household) Other systems I looked at were more expensive initially and required filter replacement at $100 each at least once a year. Brita and PUR were costing me 20 and 25 cents per gallon. Berkey comes in at 5 cents per gallon when you include the price of purchasing the system and only 1.6 cents per gallon if you're only figuring the cost of replacement filters.

This bring me to the end of part 2. Keep in mind that I'm not trying to sell you a Berkey water system, just sharing the research I did on the topic. In part 3 I will be sharing my review of the Berkey system in my own home as well as a discount code from Big Berkey Water Filters. If you're interested in reading more in the meantime, here are some great links:

Berkey Blog - tons of great articles on water contamination and further info on the Berkey

Muffin Tin Monday - Animals (Circus)

Muffin Tin Monday's theme for today was "circus". Because we haven't been to a circus and I don't think my girls really know what one is, I decided to just do animals instead. We had lots of fun with this one! My girls have started asking when Muffin Tin Monday is, and even have been playing with a tiny muffin tin they have in their play kitchen, pretending its Muffin Tin Monday. They were so excited when I told them that yes, it was finally Monday and we were having a special lunch!

We had - ducks (Meijer organic "goldfish"), animal cookies, water, a bear with frozen blueberries (bears like to eat blueberries you know!), cheese animals, and chicken nugget pieces on toothpics. I make the pics myself by putting a sticker on a toothpick with paper on the back and then cutting it out. Lucy said the pics were her favorite part. Both girls ate all of their lunch plus more cheese and nuggets too. :)

I'm having fun with this and the girls are already looking forward to next week. If you haven't done so already, you have one more day left to enter the Le Creuset silicone baking cup giveaway. I'll close it tomorrow and choose a winner. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fundana Sale!

Caryl of Imports Unlimited is excited that so many of you are interested in her Fundanas and getting outside in nature with your children. She has decided to offer a special sale on my blog! Until the end of October, you can order as many Fundanas as you'd like for only $5.25 each. That is 25% off the regular price, and there is no shipping fee! In order to get this special, you'll have to email Caryl directly at You will need to mention my blog and prepay by check or call in your credit card number, email her for more details about that. This special will not work on their website and therefore cannot be done through paypal. Also, this is for US addresses only.

You can read my review of our Fundanas here. We are definitely planning to order more of these, my girls have really enjoyed them. These would also make great Christmas or birthday gifts, so I'm planning to stock up. The giveaway for a Fundana is still open until Sept 15th - leave a comment on my review post if you'd like to enter that. Thanks Caryl!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What's In My Water? Part 1

Sometime this spring I started wondering "What's in my water?" and it sent me on a research mission. I already knew that we had lead in our water from old pipes - the water runs slightly orange every morning and very orange if we've been gone for a couple days. We had a Brita filter on the kitchen faucet and a PUR water pitcher in the refrigerator for this reason, but I started to wonder about the bigger water filtration systems and what was different about them.

I started by looking at the Brita and PUR websites and what contaminants their filters remove from the water. Brita simply states that "The Brita Faucet Filter removes microbiological cryptosporidium and giardia. It also reduces lead, TTHM, VOCs, lindane (pesticide), 2, 4-D, alachlor, atrazine (herbicide), chlorine (taste and odor) and sediment." PUR provides a more extensive PDF file comparing the different filtration options they offer and what contaminants each removes.

I then looked at other filters - Multi-Pure was one that first caught my attention. The list of contaminants that their filters remove was much longer than Brita or PUR's. You can see the performance data sheet here. Here is some technical data about the contaminants removed by Berkey water filters, another brand I was looking at. As you can see, there are some gaps when you start comparing lists - Brita and PUR just don't remove as much. I wasn't thrilled that there were all of these potential contaminants that could be floating around in my water because my filters weren't strong enough.

I also learned that how the water is filtered can make a difference. One website I was reading called water pitchers and faucet mount pitchers "feel good filters" because the loose carbon particles inside of them can become ineffective. The water creates a path through the carbon particles and therefore doesn't get filtered effectively anymore. The rate of flow through a filter can also affect what is filtered out. Water that is forced through a filter (like a faucet mount filter) at high rates of speed just doesn't get filtered as effectively. Filtration in something like a Berkey water system is designed in such a way that the water is in contact with the filtration media for long periods of time in order to be most efficient at capturing contaminants.

Looking at the different types of water filters, there are a few options that I knew wouldn't work. Reverse osmosis and distillation both remove beneficial minerals from the water and can be wasteful in the amount of water they use or cost a lot in electricity. Bottled water has been found to be no different than tap water and even less regulated (see the EWG research on this here). I've already said that I was unhappy with my faucet mount and pitcher filters.

I also began to wonder if I was making all of this up. I could look at lists of contaminants and choose the most effective filter available... but were all of these contaminants theoretical or was it really something to be worried about? I get a brochure from my water company every year that talks about how clean my water is and explains testing that occurs and that they have not had any violations of standards for clean water.

I eventually came across the Environmental Working Group's National Tap Water Quality Database. According to the EWG report, although a water company may be fully compliant with EPA standards, there were still 141 contaminants with no enforceable safety limits found in our drinking water. Furthermore, I can look up my water company and see a report of exactly what contaminants are in MY drinking water. Its definitely shocking to look at a list of industrial pollutants, water treatment byproducts, and unregulated chemicals that I've been drinking. The EWG Tap Water Database allows you to search by city for your water company and look at the report, click on contaminants, and learn about their health hazards. Comparing the list of what was in my water with the list of what Brita and PUR remove, it was clear that those filters were not doing the job I needed them to do.

Around the time of my research on this topic, I became pregnant with our third child. Being pregnant and having two little ones at home just made this issue all the more important to me. If a toxin is going to affect someone, its going to be the littlest people - my kids, and the tiny person growing inside of me. I'll end part one now and post again later this week with more about which filtration system we chose, cost comparisons I did, and lots more information.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Healthy Pregnancy

Its hard to believe, but I'm already to the half-way mark of this pregnancy. Today is officially twenty weeks! I'm feeling great, over most of the first trimester nausea, and am really working on maintaining a healthy pregnancy. I absolutely love having a midwife this time around and her overall focus on nutrition and health. After my last appointment I decided to type up a little reminder note for myself of all of the things I need to be doing daily to stay healthy. I laminated them on top of some cute paper and stuck them in places where I will see them constantly.

Here is what I included:

- prenatal vitamins: I take Rainbow Light prenatals. My one complaint is that they are huge and get stuck in my throat or feel scratchy going down. I chose them because they are all natural and are made from whole foods (as opposed to synthetic vitamins). I did just see on their website that they have a prenatal petite that looks like its three smaller pills, I'll have to check into that.

- DHA pills: I am taking Nordic Naturals DHA upon my midwife's recommendation. She said that these aren't fishy tasting and are a great high quality. I'll admit that I've only started taking them recently, but they didn't taste fishy to me. The pills are also small enough for me to swallow without a problem. (I was pleasantly surprised, I thought they'd be huge.) I've read a bit about fish oil helping with mood swings especially after the baby arrives, so I'm interested to see if these make a difference.

- Red Raspberry Leaf tea: I'm drinking one cup per day of this tea, infused for two hours. I don't like tea in general, but I add lemon and honey to this and drink it cold so its not too bad. Red Raspberry Leaf tea has many nutrients in it that are wonderful for pregnancy. Its been called the pregnancy tea for many generations. Helping to stop bleeding after birth, organizing contractions and making them effective, promoting muscle tone and healthy organs, and imparting calcium and magnesium are just a few of the benefits.

- drink plenty of water: My midwife reminded me to keep drinking water all throughout the day in order to stay hydrated and healthy. Dehydration can lead to early contractions and even nausea. I am constantly pouring myself a glass of water!

- eat lots of fruits and veggies: I'm loving being pregnant in the summer when we have so many fresh fruits and veggies available at the farmers' market here. The girls and I love snacking on fresh fruit and we have plenty of veggies to eat as well, thanks to our CSA. If I haven't had enough fruit on a given day, a good way to get some in is to make a quick smoothie with fruit from the freezer.

- yoga/ exercise: After watching several yoga, pilates, and exercise dvds I finally found one that I like. It has a workout that is easy to follow, but still gives a good stretch. The voice-over on the dvd tells you when to switch positions in a timely manner and I also like how the instructor tells you the benefits of certain stretches (this helps with digestion, this tones a certain muscle, etc). I also like that the dvd has a gentle relaxation section so that if I don't manage to fit in my yoga time during the day, I can still do it after the girls are in bed without waking myself up too much.

- Kegel exercises: With our second daughter, we took Bradley method courses and they really emphasized doing Kegel exercises throughout your pregnancy. I need to remember to do these and prepare my muscles for giving birth.

Note: none of the products mentioned in this post are for official product review, I'm just sharing what works for me. Thanks for stopping by!

(I did make too many of my little reminder cards, so if anyone wants one, leave a comment and I'll choose a winner in a week - Sept 2 at midnight.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - People and Faces

With being out of town this past week, I wasn't sure if we were going to participate in Muffin Tin Monday today or not. However, when I went to the grocery store this afternoon, I completely hit the jackpot on MTM supplies in the clearance section!! I couldn't resist using some of my new muffin cups for dinner tonight. We had waffles, syrup, blueberries, and strawberries (which we used to make faces on our waffles). The girls loved their special dinner and ate it all up.

I used this recipe for blender waffles - its actually a fairly healthy recipe since it uses whole grains (we used rolled oats) and it tastes delicious. Since this was a last minute meal I didn't leave the grains to soak overnight this time and it still worked just fine. I do cut the salt to 1/2 tsp just because we think its too salty otherwise.

And just because I know you'll be as excited about this as I am... all of these were $2.49 a package! I got two or three of each and hid them away in the basement for future fun lunch surprises.

If you're visiting for the first time from Michelle's Muffin Tin Monday links, be sure and check out my review and giveaway for Le Creuset baking cups. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Vacation/ Coming Up...

I'm leaving on Saturday for a vacation to go see family, so you won't see any new posts this week. I've already got several things lined up for when I get back though - more posts and a review on nature studies items, lots of info and a review on a water purification system that we've chosen (and a discount code if you happen to want to purchase one), reviews, giveaways, and a discount code for cloth training pants, and lots more. While you're here, be sure to enter the Le Creuset baking cup giveaway and the Fundana giveaway, those are both still open.

I want to say a big "thank you" to all of my readers who make this blog a success. I enjoy blogging and hope that sharing my research on various topics is helpful to you. Mothering and caring for my family is something that I take seriously (and enjoy!). Hopefully you benefit in some way from the things that I share. I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fundana Review and Giveaway

What's a Fundana? A wonderful nature studies tool that we have discovered! Fundanas are games (either bingo or scavenger hunt style) printed on cotton bandanas designed to teach kids about the environment around them in a fun way. They are washable, easy to carry, reusable, and so much fun. We played with the Knee High to Senses Fundana today.

Each of the squares on the Fundana contains a fun activity related to the five senses. "find something smooth", "scratch and sniff a leaf", "smell a flower"...

"make a face like you just tasted something hot"...

...and more! When we completed an activity, we found wood chips or rocks to place on the squares. The activities were all fun, simple things that both of the girls (age 4 and 2) could do. The Fundanas come in either "Knee High"for kids age 3-6 or regular for kids age 7-adult. We also have the Winter Ecology Bingo Fundana and I don't think that it will be too hard for the girls to do even though its not a "Knee High" version. There are many different options to choose from - bugs, trees, birds, stars, beach, etc. I love that they fold up small so that we can take them along on trips to the beach, cottage, or elsewhere. They are also fairly inexpensive.

Our homeschool curriculum (My Father's World) encourages nature studies and we plan to use our Fundanas regularly to help us enjoy being outside and give us fun activities to do together. I haven't used our Winter Fundana yet obviously, but I'm thrilled to have something to help us study nature in the winter. It has kids searching for colors in nature, various plants, animal shelters, and just plain enjoying winter fun (make a snow sculpture, etc).

Caryl has this to say about her Fundanas: "I think getting kids out to understand and interact with nature is ESSENTIAL to becoming thoughtful, caring, responsible adults along with it being alot of fun..." I agree!

Imports Unlimited offers free shipping within the US to retail customers who order off of their website. They are also giving away a Fundana to one reader of my blog. To enter, visit their website and leave a comment on this post letting me know which Fundana you would choose. Please be sure to include your email address (or have email enabled on your blogger profile). The giveaway will remain open until September 15th at midnight. If you're interested in nature studies, stay tuned, I have a couple more posts coming up about the topic. Thanks for stopping by!

**Thanks for all of the interest. This giveaway is now closed. chose comment #10 and she has been contacted. If you are interested in purchasing a Fundana, check out this post for a great sale!**

Monday, August 10, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - Planes, Trains, Automobiles

Muffin Tin Monday's theme today was Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I had fun making this lunch for my girls and they both enjoyed it. Our tins included "car" spelled with alphabet pretzels, cantaloupe, a cookie, hot dog slices, and cheese shaped like a car. We talked about how everything in our tins started with "C" - car, cantaloupe, cookie, circles (hot dogs), and cheese. The hot dogs were "wheels" and "steering wheels". We rarely have hot dogs, but I happened to find nitrate free, antibiotic free, healthy hot dogs at the store recently. The cantaloupe was supposed to be round like wheels too, but it didn't quite work. So, thats our Muffin Tin Monday. :) Thanks for stopping by. While you're here, check out the Le Creuset silicone baking cups giveaway I have going on.

More On Silicone

In my post on silicone muffin baking cups, I stated that Le Creuset baking cups are 100% silicone with no added plastics. In my reading about silicone, I came across a few comments that made me wonder if companies marketing silicone products were adding plastics to their products. Reviewers on amazon complained of a smell when cooking with silicone and others suggested that it could be the "other" plastics burning or melting. I suppose this is all speculation, but I thought it would be good to clarify with the companies I was interested in before using silicone.

Le Creuset states right on their packaging that they use 100% FDA approved premium grade silicone. Wilton responded to emails of mine and said that they too use 100% silicone with no other additives. Good to know.

My personal opinion on silicone at the moment is that I wouldn't trust just any store brand silicone product. I also don't completely trust silicone for baking, I've read some concerns about the silicone oil (the oily feel to silicone that makes it non-stick) leaching out into the food, but on the other hand most things I read say that silicone is very inert and will not leach or react. I do love the muffin tin liners, but don't see a need to use other silicone pans for baking in. Silicone spatulas and kitchen utensil type items are great too though. Soothies silicone pacifiers are also the only kind I'll let my babies use because of other pacifiers being made of toxic plastics. Everything in its place I guess.

Anyway, just a bit of my opinion there. I also wanted to clarify that I had emailed Wilton and their silicone is 100% silicone as well, since in my recent post I brought up the question.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Snack Pack Tutorial

These little snack packs are easy to make and a great "green" replacement for plastic baggies. My girls each have one and love to carry around their snacks. We use these often to carry snacks in the diaper bag when we run errands. I made one in just a few minutes the other day and took pictures for a tutorial. Unfortunately there just weren't very many pictures because its pretty easy to do. I designed this snack pack without a seam in the bottom so that it doesn't collect as many crumbs inside.

Start with two pieces of material about 14 x 5 inches each. Sew them right sides together, leaving an opening for turning. (The size doesn't matter exactly, this one turned out a bit too big I think.)

Turn the pack right side out and top stitch over the whole thing, stitching the opening shut as well. You will have a 14 x 5 inch rectangle.

Using a piece of velcro that is about 3/4" by 1 1/2", sew one side of the velcro near the top - centered, about 1 inch down from the top seam. I use a small zig zag stitch with one side of the stitch being on the velcro and the other side being on the material. This holds the velcro securely in place and keeps it from having any scratchy edges that stick up.

Fold 6 inches of your material over, shaping it into the snack pack. Place the other side of your velcro about 1 inch down from the seam and close the pouch being sure that the two pieces are going to match up. Unfold the material and sew that second piece of velcro on. You will be sewing the velcro on the opposite side of the material this time.

Take a piece of ribbon about 10 or 11 inches long and seal the ends over a flame so that they won't fray inside the pouch. (Hold the ribbon over a candle until the ends melt slightly and are sealed.) Fold your snack pack back up so that the velcro matches and the sides are lined up. Fold your ribbon in half and stick it into one of the sides. Sew each side of the pack shut, catching the ribbon in one side.

You're finished! The snack pack is washable, you can turn it inside out and fasten the velcro before throwing it in the wash (or just shake out the crumbs and reuse). Snacks will go stale if left in the snack pack for long periods of time so be sure and empty it out at the end of the day. Let me know if you attempt this and have any questions.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Muffin Tin Mondays and a Giveaway!

We've been on the hunt for muffin tins and supplies ever since our first Muffin Tin Monday meal. The girls really enjoyed it and I've been looking forward to participating again. Today's theme is Party/ Celebrate which is perfect because Julia's 2nd birthday was yesterday. We didn't get a chance to make her cupcakes so we did that today instead. I had planned to make them with her yesterday after nap, but Daddy decided we should take a trip out to the beach. The girls had an absolute blast at the beach and were more than happy to make cupcakes with me today instead.

Now, making muffins is NOT what Muffin Tin Mondays are about! But... seeing as its a party theme and I had some new silicone muffin cups to review for my blog, I figured this would work. I also thought all you MTMers might want to enter the giveaway.

I had never tried silicone bakeware of any kind before and was skeptical. However, in looking for a safe toxin free muffin tin, I didn't have many choices. All of the muffin tins I could find at the store were non-stick, meaning they include Teflon. I hate Teflon. (The fumes from cooking with non-stick cookware are known to kill small birds.) I also hate how it scratches off and I just can't see letting my kids eat off of it. I was unable to find a stainless steel muffin tin locally. (There is this one on amazon, but it would cost me $25 to get two of them.) In all of my research on plastics, I haven't come across any negatives about silicone. I decided to try the silicone baking cups and use those on top of our non stick muffin tins since I trust the silicone more than the Teflon.

Le Creuset makes silicone baking cups that are 100% silicone with no added plastics in them. They offered to send me two of the six cup packages for review. (and two more for giveaway... more about that later...) I received a package of bright blue and one of bright yellow. When I opened the package the baking cups seemed rather thin and flimsy. I tried to tear one of them and it held up; there is a bit of stretch to them so they don't rip. They did fit in the muffin tin nicely, even better than paper baking cups that end up flying all over the place as I'm trying to pour batter into them. We mixed up our cupcake batter and poured it into the cups. Here are my two helpers...

Like I said, I had never baked with silicone before, but I was pleased with how the cupcakes turned out. The baking cups peeled right off, even better than paper liners do. I tried one while it was still warm and it came out of the baking cup perfectly. They also washed up easily, much easier than my muffin tin does.

I normally try not to use the paper liners because I hate peeling them off of muffins, they always make a mess. There's also the paper waste of it all that I don't like. I usually end up trying to pry my muffins out of the pan and then of course have the yucky pan to clean up afterwards. I'm totally hooked now. No wasteful liners, no yucky pan to clean, no cooking spray, no broken muffins. The cupcakes also cooked nice and evenly with perfectly rounded tops- I'm not sure if that had to do with the silicone or not. I had planned to just use these for Muffin Tin Mondays, serving fun lunches to my girls in them, but I'm going to have to buy some more since I loved them for baking with so much. You actually don't even need to use a muffin tin, just place the cups on a cookie sheet and bake. They are oven, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe (although I'd think they would fly around the dishwasher and not come clean all the way).

Would you like some silicone baking cups of your own? Le Creuset is offering two of their six baking cup sets for giveaway. I'll choose two winners and each will receive one set. If you'd like to enter, please leave a comment and include your email address (or be sure that email is enabled on your blogger profile page). For an extra entry subscribe to my blog in one way or another and let me know that you did or already do in a separate post. This giveaway will close on September 1st at midnight.

We thoroughly enjoyed our cupcakes and will be back to celebrate Muffin Tin Mondays with an actual muffin tin lunch next time!

*Giveaway is now closed. Two winners have been contacted, thanks for your interest.*

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Meal For A Friend

One of my friends just had a sweet new baby boy and I signed up through our church to take her a meal today. I haven't actually prepared meals to take to other people very often so I had to do a bit of thinking. I ended up taking chicken salad, banana bread, chopped veggies and dip, and some apples. I wanted something that wasn't extremely common. Other people were taking the family meals this week too and I wasn't sure what they had already eaten, but I didn't want to make anything too strange that they might not like it. Here are a few of my thoughts on taking meals to new moms (or families with illness, etc):

-Check with the family about what food allergies or preferences they may have.

-Make a well balanced meal. Add a vegetable (even a bag of frozen veggies they can heat up), bread of some sort, and maybe a dessert. Healthy foods are best for helping new moms or sick persons recover!

-Include cooking directions if the food needs to be heated. (temperature, time, and other details)

-Including the recipe written out on a card can be helpful if the family likes the meal and wants to prepare it again themselves sometime. It also lets them know what is in the meal in case of any allergies.

-Try to package the food in containers that you will not need to have returned to you.

-Let the family know what time you plan to drop by.

-Deliver the meal in time for it to be heated. If you're bringing a frozen dish, deliver it the day before the family plans to eat it or have it already thawed. Let them know if it can be frozen for later use.

- Go for it! I wasn't sure what I was doing, but we've had meals brought to us by others and it was so touching and made us feel very cared for.

And just in case you're interested, here's the Chicken Salad recipe from my mother-in-law:

2 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 box sea shell macaroni (cooked and drained)
1 small can crushed pineapple (with juice)
1 cup chopped celery
1/4-1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup grapes (cut in half)
Mix all together and chill.

1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip
1 Tbs yellow mustard
2 Tbs pickle juice (or vinegar)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Mix well and toss with chicken salad. Chill 2-3 hours.

How about you? Have you prepared a meal for anyone lately? Do you have other tips to share? What's your favorite meal to bring someone?