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Monday, November 30, 2015

Week #2- Holiday Fit Challenge with Preggercise

Short and sweet today, go get your weekly workouts for the Holiday Fit Challenge with Preggercise here.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Silver white winters that melt into spring...

...these are a few of my favorite things, continues. Day 1 is here, Day 2 is here, Day 3 is here and Day 4 is here if you missed them.

Today is Black Friday and I'm sure many of you are out shopping. I'm glad you are because it is SO not my style. I don't love to shop in general and really don't like crowds (or grumpy people in them ;) ) so I prefer to hang here at the house.

I taught spin this morning and took the girls to the park. Now it is nap time for the girls and I'm finally getting to eat lunch before I go back to some housework. 

Let it be known that college football is on right now, that means it will be on 2 days in a row. awesome.

Anyway, back to Day 5 of my Favorite things!

So, today being that we are in full fledged ick season I am going to share my favorite Hand Sanitizer. I just read this article about Antibiotic Resistance (here). It was talking about how we have superbugs that are virtually untreatable because they are antibiotic resistant because we use antibiotics so often. Scary stuff. I don't want to think about a world where we can't treat someone with antibiotics, because even though I like to go the natural route, there is definitely a time and a place for antibiotics!

My favorite is Thieves Hand Sanitizer! You can buy it ($5 for one or in a 3 pack, but a little goes a long way). I make mine, because it is super easy and affordable and I already have Thieves oil in the house anyway! I also make Homemade Thieves foaming hand soap too! If you want the recipe I am happy to share ;)

I know that everyone wants to keep the ick away and this is my favorite way to do it, bonus, it smells like Christmas.

Enjoy your Black Friday everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Brown paper packages tied up with string.....

.....these are a few of my favorite things, continues .Day 1 is here, Day 2 is here  and Day 3 is here if you missed them.

Today I'm going to give you a 2 for 1 because, well, I'm kind of a lip balm junkie. And I can't choose one favorite!

Up first Vaseline Lip Therapy in Rosy- I LOVE this stuff. It has a nice pinky hue when you put it on and is thick so a little goes a long way. I love that it is an easy way to dress up my lips quickly and it smells awesome. Like ROSES (hence the name ;) ), who doesn't like to smell like roses? Something else awesome? It is less than $2, I pick mine up at Target, but it can be found at pretty much any drugstore, this makes a great stocking stuffer for your favorite lip balm junky!

Up next is my other favorite lip balm. Young Living Grapefruit Lip Balm. I love it's fresh, invigorating smell and its light silky smooth feel. I keep one of these in my purse at all times! Coming in at $4.25 it is another great stocking stuffer idea, or you can get a trio (including
 Cinnamint and Lavender, which I also love) for $11.50 and split them up for multiple people. 

There you have it, confessions of a lip balm junkie and what she keeps with her at all times! Have a great day and enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Healthy and Whole30 "dessert"

So we are coming up on that time of year where there are yummy treats all over the place. On top of that we are a little more stressed and are probably sleeping a little less, which is a recipe for disaster for our bodies.

While doing the Whole30 in October, I realized that when I am tired I crave sugar. We typically are good about getting to sleep at a decent hour, but I still have an infant who wakes up 1x a night and well, we have life too. So, yeah at night sometimes I am tired.

I found that making this "dessert", yeah I'm using that term loosely, was really helpful. It was satisfying and just slightly sweet.

The original recipe from ( here ) has a non Whole30 option, but I never made that. I did adjust the recipe slightly and never made it into cookie dough balls, I just ate it straight from the bowl!

Healthy Cookie Dough
2 handfuls Raw Cashews (or Almonds, if that is your thing)
1 Ripe Banana
1/2 Can Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin Pie Spice  ( to taste)
1 Handful Coconut chips (unsweetened, shredded or desiccated also works)
2-3 Tbsp Coconut Milk (add more if needed to process)

Put all ingredients in a food processor, process until it turns into a "cookie dough" or "thick pudding" consistency. It isn't going to be completely smooth, but that is ok!

Then grab a spoon and enjoy! This is one serving but I couldn't eat all of it, because it is super filling.

This is a great way to enjoy a treat, without killing your diet. Remember, enjoy the holidays with your friends and family, enjoy your treats in moderation and stick to your healthy diet the rest of the time. Life is to be enjoyed!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Stay in Shape this Holiday season!

Ok, we all know that this time of year is a little hard time-wise and motivation wise to keep our workouts going.

What if it was only about 30 min a day and someone told you what to do?
What if it was Free?

Would you do it then, you should!

Head on over here to the Preggercise Blog for the 2nd Annual Holiday Fit Challenge. Lindsey is a personal trainer and is doing this for free. Bonus: There will be Prizes! You don't have to be pregnant, have a kid, or even want to have kids to join in.

So here is the link again go check it out.

Make time for yourself! You will feel better, your clothes will fit better and you can still eat some of those yummy holiday treats (in moderation, of course).

Like her page on FB to get all of the workout updates into your feed, so you don't miss any Preggercise FB

I'm also going to be posting a yummy, healthy, Whole30 (paleo too) dessert this week for when you need something sweet but don't want to cheat.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


is it just me, or do you just have a time where you keep trying to do something and it just is NOT going right and all you can say is ‪#‎seriously‬? That was me last night trying to go to bed.
I filled up my diffuser for bed.
Then I turned on the baby monitor. Which by the way, I hate, loathe, whatever, it makes me want to kick it across the room. It has to be in JUST the PERFECT spot, or it beeps incessantly (hence me wanting to punt it, far, far away).
So in my attempt to silence the never ending beeping, I pick it up to move it (it was plugged into the same outlet as the diffuser) and the cord was next to the diffuser and spills the diffuser on the floor. Strike 1. I turn off the ridiculous monitor and go refill the diffuser. Note red arrow where spill #1 occurred.
Bring it back and start over, turn on the diffuser, go to turn on baby monitor, beeping begins, as I'm moving it, I spill it AGAIN, seriously? Strike 2. Note yellow arrow where spill #2 occurred.
Now, I get a little smarter and plug the monitor in next to the closet. Refill the diffuser AGAIN (the 3rd time, 3rd times a charm right?). Turn on diffuser on the only dry part of the carpet (blue arrow).
Turn on baby monitor that I have somehow managed to not throw through a window and the only place that it won't beep like someone sending an SOS over and over again is IN our closet. because that make sense, right? (black arrow)
If you made it through all that, you deserve a cookie, or a turn punting my baby monitor. ;)

just #reallife here people.

What is your #seriously moment?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Raindrops on roses ....

.....these are a few of my favorite things, continues! Day 1 is here and Day 2 is here if you missed them.

We all know how much I love to clean ( a reminder, here )....

about this much.....
I have a feeling it isn't JUST at my house.

But, I digress. That cleaning chart that I made up and referenced above, it has been working out relaly well, I'm still sticking to it (which let me tell you is much longer than any other chart I have tried before) and the house is staying more clean which makes everyone happier.

A few years ago after quite a bit of sickness in our families (lots of cancer :( ) my husband and I decided to do things more naturally at home. That has happened in a lot of different ways. One of them is cleaning products.

My favorite, natural cleaner is what we are spotlighting today. I use it on Mirrors, windows, bathrooms, floors, kitchen, you name it, I use it there! It is natural, so I am comfortable with our whole family being around it *Hannah loves to help clean, so I'm good with her using it* and BONUS: It smells like CHRISTMAS! I mean, if you have to clean, at least it can smell good right? And it doesn't smell good from a bunch of fake, gross stuff.

So, here it is. Thieves Cleaner (concentrate). My 14 oz Cleaner bottle lasts me approximately 3-4 months. I usually use 2 capfuls per bottle which is a little stronger dilution because, that is what I have found works on a majority of my surfaces.

That means 1 bottle of cleaner makes up 7 of those spray bottles!

I use this cleaner every day in our house, I use it to wipe down our kitchen (even the stuck on stuff on our stove), in our stove, our appliances, the table, I mop with it, to clean our sink etc.

I also use it in our Bathrooms to wipe everything down and I even use it on the Mirrors with my Norwex cloth for streak-free cleaning. Not gonna lie, I was hesitant to try it on the mirrors, because I like them to look bright and hate for there to be any residue left over, but there isn't!

So this favorite product of mine makes cleaning a little bit easier and a whole lot healthier in our house. Feel free to ask me any questions you have about it!

Friday, November 13, 2015

These are a few of my favorite things: Day 2

Continuing on with my favorite things, that would be great to give as gifts for this Holiday season!

Today: LuLaRoe leggings!

They aren't called "buttah" leggings for nothing, these are so soft and have a yoga waistband (so they are super comfortable) and come in really awesome patterns. For $20 a pieces they are a great stocking stuffer or gift for a friend who is fashion forward (or who wants to be comfortable and stylish because sometimes it is looked down upon to wear sweats everywhere ;) ).

LLR only produces 1,000 pieces in each fabric choice, so you know that not everyone is going to have the same pair ;)

They are a fun way to show off your personality and who doesn't love comfortable clothing!

If you would like to get some for yourself, or a friend. Head on over to my friend Amiee's LuLaRoe group and check out what she has!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

An Ode to my 3.5 year old Hannah

Oh Hannah, how I love you. You keep me on my toes. You have big emotions (much like your mama) and love and care in big ways but also have a bit of a short fuse, especially with your sister.

She is a foodie and has a super sniffer, the other night Clayton had to go in and chat with her after she had gone to bed and while he was talking to her, she interrupted and said "were you drinking beer"? LOL. She can also tell what is cooking before I tell her what it is.

She happens to be a better hostess than I am most of the time, if she knows someone is coming over for a meal, she will color each one of them a picture, get out chairs to add to our table, get out their silverware and ask for plates and fill up waters for them. While they are here she will make sure they are never without water (and company). She loves sitting around a table with lots of people with food, but who doesn't!

This one pretty much always has a skirt, dress, or crown on (or more than one), I can't tell you how many times we have been at a store and people ask "is it her birthday", nope, she just likes to wear dress up dresses most days of the week. Plus, crowns are cool.

And the dancing, oh the dancing. Turn on some music and she turns into a ballerina, twirling and holding her skirt up to do it. We sing a hymn before dinner each night and the other night, she let go of our hands and started twirling while we were singing. She always has a song in her heart. Currently she loves to sing the Sophia the first theme song.

She loves being a big sister and smothers (almost literally) Piper with hugs and kisses all day long. This morning Piper was fussing so I asked her to go talk to her for a minute while I did something. Hannah went over and gave her a kiss and talked to her but Piper didn't stop crying. So Hannah told me "Mama, Piper needs milk, I kissed her and talked to her and she didn't stop crying, I'm worried she needs milk". She is going to make a fabulous Mama some day.

We have our fair shares of "No!" "I don't want to" and "Lucy isn't being nice to me" but over all she has a sweet disposition and is super caring. Clayton's back was bothering him the other week and so during dinner she brought a pillow over to him to put behind his back to help him feel better, it's caring things like these that make me so excited to see what she is going to be like as she grows up, but, I'm in no hurry for that to happen.

Love you 3.5 year old Hannah.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

These are a few of my favorite things: Day 1

I thought it would be fun over the next few weeks (with Christmas coming up) to share some of my favorite products! They will be a wide range of products, but they will all be some of my favorites.

Today is, Primal Pit Paste ! I love this stuff, I have been using it for over 2 years. I love that it is all natural, has no aluminum and it works and smells amazing.

I love the Lemonade and Orange Creamsicle Kids scents (but they are the regular strength), today I just ordered Coconut Lime to try. My husband's favorite is Thyme and Lemongrass. You can get it in a stick if that is better for you (I have one of these for travel) for application or you can get it in a pot.

When it is in the jar, you can apply 1 of 2 ways. The first way is with your finger (which they encourage especially for women because you are aware of any new "lumps" that might pop up which would be a reason to follow up with your doctor since it could be a sign of a more serious issue.

The second way is with a little applicator stick, which I always ask for during the checkout process and I use that for easy application and no need to wash my hands after ;).

They have other great natural products, I love their Orange Creamsicle Pucker Paste too! They also have body whip, Po Po powder, body sprays and tough teeth powder.

Best thing is, TODAY they are doing a BOGO (buy one get one free) offer for Veteran's Day, so head on over and pick some up and come back and let me know how you like it!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sometimes we just need a little schedule...

Things I am: Wife, Mom, Daughter, Foodie, Hippy-ish, Naturally minded

Things I am not: Lover of cleaning.

Yep, cleaning. It is not my favorite job. I would rather cook than clean any day of the week. That being said, I don't like to live in a pigsty and everyone is happier when the house is clean.

Cleaning is even worse when it is done on a large amounts....with everyone around.

I mean that is real life right? Or at least it is in my house.

The other week a friend of the family posted a cleaning schedule that she found online. This one, unlike other ones actually seemed do-able! 1 thing a day, with bigger projects in throughout the month to keep everything running smoothly.

I took it and made it my own, changed a few things because some didn't apply (like we don't have a garage) and added some things.
So far, it has been going really well, I don't feel like any day has "too much" to do, I can do it while (usually) 2 kids are napping so I don't feel like someone is throwing one thing on the floor while  I'm cleaning another one up and the house is cleaner than ever because I don't feel overwhelmed.

Bonus: It features a "catch up day" on Saturday, so if the week was particularly busy, we can do it on the weekend. Another bonus, since most of it is done during the week, we can do more fun family things, like the park and college football on Saturday instead of cleaning all day!

I'm sharing it with you and I hope it can help someone else!
Please note: Laundry is not included on here because I do approximately 52421 loads a week between the 5 of us and cloth diapers. So, you can add that if you like, that's a daily chore here, but I didn't want it staring me in the face ;)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Exercise of the Week - October 26

It is another new week which means another new exercise for you to try out.

So, we all know that pushups are really great for us. Engaging many muscles in our body. Strengthening our abs (if we are doing them right), legs are tight. Shoulders, chest, triceps are all working.

This week we are going to do Negative Pushups.
The Eccentric phase (lowering) of an exercise is where we make the most strength gains! Many peop

Your muscles work much harder on the eccentric phase. Think of this, if you walked up several flights of stairs all day, but took the elevator down, your legs would be tired, yes. But, if you took the elevator up and walked DOWN the stairs all day, your legs would be much MORE tired.
Many people do not know this. So, if you want to improve your pushups, negative pushups are the way to go.

Here is how it should be done. Start in a pushup position (on toes or on knees depending on level). Then SLOWLY lower for 6 counts (one thousand one, one thousand two.....) and do 6 reps. You will lower yourself all the way to the ground, SLOWLY, with your arms at a 45* angle.

You can either push back up within the pushup position. Or you can go onto hands and knees and bring yourself to the starting position. I am not as concerned about the concentric contraction, here, so much as the eccentric contraction.

So 6 reps of a 6 count lower. See if you can do 2-3 sets and don't be surprised if it is a little harder to brush your hair  the next day ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The easiest, best beef roast, ever!

Some days the crockpot is your best friend. Today is that day in my house. I taught Spin this morning, my parents are in town (yay!) and tonight both girls have Dance which means a late night for us.

So in the Crockpot goes my Favorite beef roast recipe

Beef Roast (3ish lbs)
1 Jar Sliced Pepperoncini
Salt and Garlic

Yep, that's it. How easy is that.

Put your Roast in the bottom of the crock pot, pour the whole jar of Pepperoncini's on top (including the juice), toss a little salt and garlic on top. Cook on low for 8 or on high for 4. Shred and make beef tacos or Beef sandwiches. So easy and very flavorful. And it isn't spicy at all for those of you who have sensitive taste buds!

Serve with some blanched broccoli or a salad to keep it short and sweet in the kitchen. Easy on time/effort but full of flavor.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

DIY Face Cleanser/Moisturizer in one

Hey everyone! I had a crafty weekend on Saturday with some girl friends. We made natural Hand Sanitizer, CinnaMint Lip balms, Homemade Healing Salve and this homemade Face Cleanser/Moisturizer.

I have used it a few times since then and I really like it. It leaves my skin feeling moisturized without feeling greasy! In the morning my face doesn't already have that oily shine like it usually does after I wash my face at night. Plus the smell from the Geranium oil (YL) is amazing!

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Exercise of the Week- October 19th

Sick of doing the same old exercises?

At the beginning of each week I'm going to try to give you an exercise to try. It may not be "innovative" but it might be something you forgot about using at the gym (or at home).

Today we are going to do Single Leg Squats to a Box (or chair, if you are at home)

This is a really great single leg exercise and is great for your glutes. If you have ever taken a class of mine, you know that Glute activation is something I stress. Because, as a society we sit a LOT and therefor have "glute amnesia". Nope, not making that up, Dr. Stuart McGill explains "Gluteal Amnesia" in this way: "People with troubled backs, generally walk, sit, stand and lift using mechanics that increase the back loads They tend to have more motion in their back and less motion in their hips. A common aberrant motor pattern known as gluteal amnesia".

Essentially, because we sit (in a glute lengthened position) so much, our backs and hamstrings start to take over the work because we fail to activate our glutes when standing up/moving around, which puts more and more pressure on our lower backs. 

So back to the exercise, this is really great for our glutes because this is a slow and controlled movement, did you hear that, slow AND controlled.
 Place your foot slightly in front of the box/chair, you want to keep your knee over your ankle. On the way down you are squeezing your glutes as you slowly lower to the box. You don't rest on the box, you only touch the box (while keeping your glute activated) and then you stand up by, yep, you guessed it, Squeezing your glutes! You should return to standing by squeezing your glutes and come into a fully upright position before beginning your next repetition.

Your arms are there for counter balance, start with them by your sides (don't follow the picture here) when you are standing, then as you sit you will bring your arms up in front of you to allow your hips to move back (and activate your glutes) and giving you a good counterbalance.

Aim for a set of 6 reps on each leg. Perform 2-3 sets. If this is a new exercise for you start with a box or chair that will cause you to be slightly above 90* when you are touching the chair/box. Then you can lower it down until you are at 90* or below as long as you can stay tight and controlled through the whole movement.

Since this is something that can be done at home, no excuses, do it now!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Slow your roll and gratitude.

Today I had the immense privilege to doula for a friend, to help welcome their sweet son into the world. To shed happy tears when he was placed on her chest and to listen to his sweet little newborn cries. To watch two happy parents with their love swelling for one another and for their new baby. To hear them whisper how much they already love him and how they will take care of him. What an honor to be a part of such special first moments.

I was thinking about how newborn cries fade into cooing.... that fade into belly laughs....that fade into babbling....that all of the sudden turn into words and sentences and much, much more.

Piper just turned 5 months old the other day, I feel like I was just holding her to my chest when she was born and listening to her sweet little newborn cry. But, those sweet little cries are in the past now, only in my memory and when I hear another little newborn cry it transports me back there.

Now, we have full on belly laughs (which are SO FUN) and babbling and her learning how to make different sounds with her mouth. All of the exploring and changing she is doing is so fun. But, sometimes I just want to snuggle her and tell her not to get any bigger. Can I do that?

Can't I keep her small for a little longer?

 I think Clayton asked Hannah if she would not get any bigger a while ago, but yet, she gets bigger and older every single day.

Since I know she is only going to continue to get bigger it makes me treasure nursing her to sleep at nap and then laying next to her watching her sleep. Enjoying her open, relaxed hands and her completely content face.

I can make a complete fool out of myself to make her laugh, to hear and enjoy those joyful sounds and her big toothless grin. To let her grab my face and give me big slobbery kisses. To blow raspberries on her belly and get more laughs. To watch Lucy and Hannah do their own special things to make their sister laugh. It's all such a joy to experience in the moment.

Let's be clear, all of the moments aren't unicorns and rainbows. But after reading 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp I am reminded that counting these little blessings in life are what brings contentment and joy in our life. To see these things for what they are, little things that later we realize were the big things is to help us to enjoy life to the fullest. To not always be looking to the next "best" thing. I am as guilty of it as the next, to be thinking about what the future holds, instead of enjoying the moment God has placed me in now. The good ones, the hard ones, the funny ones, the sad ones and the snuggly ones. They are all moments to be treasured.

Take a moment today to write down 5 things that happen today that are little blessings. Ones that you may not have thought of as being a "blessing" but that if you were to look back on it, it would bring a tear to your eye or a smile to your heart.

Like me calling Piper Stinky McStinkerton when she needed a diaper change and the smile and laugh that came after that. Dirty diaper, a blessing? Ha, well maybe not so much, but that moment was! It is all dependent on the view in which you are looking at the situation. Do all dirty diapers illicit this response in me? Well no, of course not. But sometimes when I slow down and look around, there are so many things to be thankful for, that normally I just pass by.

So here's to counting more blessings every day and enjoying the joy and contentment that come from practicing seeing these moments.

So here are my 5 things today.
1. Lying next to a sleeping, content, Piper
2. The moment a mom holds her newborn baby.
3. Newborn baby cries.
4. Piper's Belly laugh when I kiss her
5. Lucy and Hannah loving each other with genuine words of praise.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sauces: Day 3

Ok, so we have covered Mayo (Link), Ranch Dressing (link  ) and now today Chimichurri sauce!
We used this on Turkey Meatballs the other night, yummy and fresh and bright!

Chimichurri Sauce
½ cup Peas (cooked from frozen fine)
½ cup cilantro leaves (torn from 1 bunch, some stems ok)
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

2 drops Young Living Lime oil or Zest of 1 lime

Get out your Food processor for this one. Place your peas/Cilantro and spices in first, then add your oil and vinegar. Pulse 10-15 times, then turn it on for 30 seconds or so. You want it to be incorporated but not completely smooth.

Use with Chicken/Turkey/Steak or over your veggies!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sauces: Part 2

Ok, yesterday homemade mayo, today homemade Ranch....tomorrow The World, or maybe a day off. Back with another awesome sauce on Monday ;)

Basic Ranch:
2/3 cup avocado oil or light olive oil 
1 room temperature egg (IMPORTANT)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp dried herbs or handful chopped fresh herbs (I use Dill, Cilantro and Parsley)
2 Tbsp full fat canned coconut milk or coconut cream

Put all ingredients in a 16oz Wide mouth ball jar, starting with herbs and working up the list. Use your immersion blender and blend it all together. After you have made it into a dressing add the 2Tbsp of Coconut milk. 

Ta-da- Serve on your salad or as a dipping sauce!

Friday, October 9, 2015

I have been missing out!

Ok ya'll, we are in the thick of the Whole30 over here! Day 12 over here, I am actually feeling really good, my clothes are fitting better, and I feel more calm. All good things!

Not gonna lie, Tuesday night I doula'd (did I just make up a word? was a doula....) for a friend, Wednesday night when it was bedtime I REALLY wanted some dessert. Some serious cravings. Part of Whole30 is to identify triggers, well I could tell that me being tired definitely made my sweet tooth come out. Good to know going forward.

What this post is really about is SAUCES and how awesome homemade sauces are. Seriously, I have been missing out. Homemade mayo- amazing. Homemade ranch- does not even compare to store bought, Chimmichurri....Red Pepper sauce, yep all amazing.

So, I'm going to share some of my favorite Whole30 approved sauces over the next few days!

Today we are going to go with Basic Mayo

It Starts With Food Basic Mayo:
 1-1/4 cup of light olive oil
 1 egg (room temp, this is important!)
 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/2 to 1 lemon, juiced 

Use an immersion blender (if you don't have one, get one, for real). Add all ingredients to a wide mouth 16oz ball jar. Make SURE your egg is room temp, to do it quickly place in warm water for a few minutes. Put your immersion blender in the bottom, turn on and in about 30 seconds you have delicious home made mayo!

If you want to change it up, add some garlic or onion powder, cilantro, jalepeno...there are a ton of options!

Tomorrow, come back for Ranch dressing!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

DIY Pumpkin Spice Creamer (and Whole30 friendly) husband says that I like a little coffee with my cream and sugar. He may or may not (may) be right. One of the most challenging things for when I start my Whole30 next week will likely be my coffee. So in the weeks leading up to it, I've switched to coconut milk for my creamer and have been reducing the sugar in it.

Then I found this little recipe. So I whipped up some this morning.

I did make some changes, because, well we all know how good I am about following recipes (I'm not).

1 Can Coconut milk (Whole30 Compliant)
about 1/2 can Pumpkin Puree
2 drops YL Cinnamon Bark EO*
1 drop YL Clove EO*
1 drop YL Ginger EO*
1 drop Nutmeg EO*

--I left out the Vanilla extract because that has alcohol in it, therefore rendering it NOT Whole30 compliant, if you aren't doing Whole30 I'm sure it would be a great addition

I mixed in my stand mixer and added to my morning coffee. It's like a pumpkin spice coffee but with no sweetener but lots of flavor! So if you are looking for a way to "slay the sugar" dragon and make your coffee a little more like coffee, here is a great way to do it.


*I personally use Young Living oils because of their purity and Seed to Seal process, please do not ingest any oils unless they are listed as a dietary supplement or are on the GRAS list from the FDA,  but the choice is yours. This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thinking about the Very Last Time

 I don't know about you, but there are some days that I wish I didn't have to change a stinky diaper, or fix something that Hannah can't quite do for the seemingly zillionth time. To wish that they were a little older and self sufficient, if I'm being honest, sometimes I want that.

But, other times I don't, other times, I enjoy helping Piper fall asleep by nursing her and laying next to her in bed and looking at her beautiful, peaceful face as she sleeps and I suddenly want time to stop, so that I can enjoy these sweet moments.

Sometimes, I don't want Hannah to get any bigger, or to lose that little girl voice that she has, and I definitely don't want her to lose the way that her lips take such care to form words, flaring out from her mouth more than they need to, but it is so cute.

Other times, I don't want Lucy to get any bigger because she is already so grown up, now that I have sent her off to Kindergarten I realize that I miss those times when she was smaller. I wish that I had spent more time enjoying her when she was little and not wishing her to grow up a little more and be more independent.

So, for now, I'll remind my sometimes tired mommy self to enjoy Lucy learning to read and helping her with her homework. I'll teach Hannah how to learn to control her big emotions (which some are good, like how much she cares) and enjoy that she wears a princess dress 6 out of 7 days a week usually and that even when she's in pajamas she has a crown on her head. I'll try to enjoy the middle of the night wakeups with Piper, because I know she won't be little long and right now she is so dependent on me. And,

It is ok sometimes to wish for the next stage, but I want to remember to enjoy and be content in the stage that I'm in. Because sending Lucy off to Kindergarten made me realize just how short those times are. It made me sad that I won't have as many of those times with Lucy anymore because she is in school all day.

Does that mean I succeed at this all the time, heck no. But, I'm glad that I am more aware.

I'm leaving you with a poem that talks about the last times, because it really struck me and I hope it hits you right in the feels too.

But first, some pictures, to remind me just how special my sweet girls are. Poem is below the pictures.


From the moment you hold your baby in your arms you will never be the same
You might long for the person you were before 
When you had freedom and time
And nothing in particular to worry about
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before
And days will run into days that are exactly the same
Full of feedings and burping
Nappy changes and crying
Whining and fighting
Naps or a lack of naps
It might seem like a never-ending cycle

But don’t forget….
There is a last time for everything
There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down 
And never pick them up that way again
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone
They will hold your hand to cross the road 
Then never reach for it again
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus” and do all the actions
Then never sing them that song again
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate 
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time 
Until there are no more times. And even then, it will take you a while to realise.

So while you are living in these times, remember there are only so many of them and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.
-Author Unknown

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Piper is 4 months old!

How is it possible that my baby is getting so big? No, really, she isn't little.

We had her 4 month checkup yesterday and she was 16 lbs 8 oz (89%) and 26.5 inches (96%), she is a big kid.

She is also, so so sweet. She is smiley, happy, talkative and so peaceful. She is such a Joy that God has given us and we are trying to soak in all of her sweet baby stage ;)

Here is her 4 month picture!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Go ahead and give that jealousy monster a swift kick in the rear...

Today I went to a new gym, because ours is closed for 2 weeks for renovations. So, I didn't teach spin like normal, I got to lift which is one of my favorite things to do, but I just don't have as much time for.

While I was there, in walks a fit, 20 something (and well I haven't been a 20 something for a few years now....) and instantly the jealous monster reared it's ugly head in my heart. I remember when I used to look like that, when I spent way more time in the gym, when my muscles were more defined, before I had three kids....

But, thankfully today I was able to slay that jealousy monster, and put it in it's place quickly. Today, I won, not the negative self talk that can easily occur in my head. Because I remembered what amazing things my body has done. It has been pregnant with 4 babies and carried 3 of them to term. It has given birth to 3 beautiful, healthy (praise God) girls. It has nursed those 3 girls, it has carried them on my hip, my back, my front. It has allowed me to play with them, to pick them up and toss them, to swim with them, to dance with them, to jump with them, to play soccer with them, to kiss them, to hug them, to build block towers with them, to learn letters and numbers with them, to color with them, to teach them to cook....well you get the point.

This body of mine has done amazing things, it may not look the same as it did before I got pregnant 6 years ago, but it has done spectacular things for me. It's not something to compare to someone else, it is something to celebrate.

It's ok that my left bicep is bigger than my right, because I carry Piper with that arm.
It's ok that I have a little pooch below my belly from being pregnant with my girls.
It's ok that my muscles aren't as defined as I was working in a collegiate weight room and had all the time in the world to spend lifting.

It's ok.

I don't have to compare myself to my former self or to anyone else. Because there is a season for everything.

This season is about caring for my little ones and enjoying them, and appreciating my body for what it has done. Sometimes it's about celebrating that with a Butterbeer coffee from starbucks and taking a selfie with Hannah to remind myself that it is ok that my body doesn't look the same as it did 6 years ago. To take time to realize that my life is so full and God has given me so many good gifts, with my children, husband and life in general. To choose not to compare. To choose joy.

Whatever stage your body is in (whether you have had kids, or you have not), take some time to appreciate it today, to talk positively about it, instead of negatively, think on the things that it HAS accomplished, what it HAS done. Also, if you have little girls like I do, be especially aware about positive self talk, because there are little ears listening. The last thing I want is for them to feel negatively about their bodies, I want them to appreciate their bodies and to love how they have been made.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Recipe: Creamy Polenta with Chicken and Broccoli

Disclaimer: awesome photographer I am not.

Today I'm sharing this yummy Creamy Polenta recipe with you. Polenta is something new that I have started making over the last 6 months, I thought it was something that was really hard to make, but with this recipe it isn't at all!

This is the recipe that I use, I don't even adapt it! And anyone that knows me, knows that is a big deal because I usually adapt most recipes. Ok, well I guess I did adapt it because I added a little Garlic Powder and Italian seasoning, but other than that NOTHING ;)

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 cup cornmeal (medium grind)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring the milk, 2 cups of the water, and a very large pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add cornmeal in a slow and steady stream, constantly whisking to prevent lumps.
  2. Polenta should be at a bare simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture gets too thick (mine did), add water, ½ cup at a time. I ended up doing this twice.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in butter and olive oil, and then stir in cheddar cheese. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Serve immediately.

I used Cheddar Jack because that's what I had on hand and I had to add about 3/4 cup of water during the cooking process, we really enjoyed this polenta served along some basic pan fried chicken and broccoli, it was a nice well rounded "man meal" as my husband calls it, because it was all served in one bowl.

Step out of your comfort zone and try this yummy side dish,  you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Piper's Birth Story

Piper's Birth Story
On Thursday, May 14th at 40 weeks and 2 days, I woke up and went about my day. I had been having prodromal labor for 3 days leading up to this but nothing had turned into labor. This is the first pregnancy that I had gone overdue. At about 9am I started to have some contractions again, but these were in my back more (I’ve always had back labor in all of my births and in my miscarriage, it is just where I experience labor). But, I didn’t want to get my hopes up as they were still only about 30 seconds long. So the girls and I headed out to the gym, where I kicked and ran in the pool, I threw up at the end of my workout and decided to head out. I was still having contractions every 3-5 minutes but they were still light and only 30 seconds long so I still didn’t know if this would stop or pick up. The girls and I went to the Library/Park and they played for a while and I read a book. We headed home at 11:45 and I put a tv show on for them. I hopped in the shower because I figured if things were going to stop a hot shower would do it. So a little after noon I took a shower and things did not slow down. I started to have to sway my hips and lean over on something and at that point I knew today would be the day.
After I got out of the shower, I started to prep lunch for the girls and then laid down and timed a few contractions, they were coming every 2-3 minutes and lasting 45sec to a minute so I called Jude my Midwife and told her that I thought today would be the day, she heard me talk through a contraction and said she would be right over. I e-mailed Clayton at work and told him to come home ASAP and I called my Mother-In law to come pick up the girls (but she had an appointment at 1 so I knew she wouldn’t be there for a while. The girls ate lunch and I put them down for their naps/quiet time until my Mother-In law could get them. Jude arrived at 1:45 pm and we started setting things up (including my diffuser with Valor *my brave oil* ) and I was pacing the room in between contractions and swaying my hips leaned over the bed during contractions. Clayton arrived at around 2, he helped Jude finish getting everything set up and I would call him when I would have a contraction and he would come squeeze my hips to help me work through the back labor. I could only stand or lean over and sway, nothing else felt good, I attempted to squat but I realized quickly, that it was a no.

My contractions started to get stronger/longer and I was feeling my back pain very low and starting to feel pressure on my cervix. I had one contraction that felt like it rolled right into the next one where I think she was descending through my pelvis quite a bit.

Then I was working through a strong contraction when my water broke at 2:38 and I felt much more pressure. I then got into the birth tub sort of on my hands and knees. I relaxed for a minute before the contraction started. Jude told me to blow through the next one so that she could finish setting things up, but when the contraction started she was coming no matter what. I put my hand on her head so I wouldn't push too hard/fast, but her head came out all in one long contraction. Jude said there was a cord so she tried to reach it but she couldn't because Piper’s shoulder was stuck (Lucy’s birth was the same way). Jude told me we need to get out of the water, we have a stuck baby, so I stood up got out and did what she asked me to (just like Lucy’s birth) I got on hands and knees and pushed, then went into a runners lunge, then she had me lie on my back and pull my knees way back and push, she put her hands on either side of her shoulders and then she came out at 2:45. She was stuck for about 3 minutes (Lucy was also stuck for 3). Piper was alert on my chest with her eyes open but it took her a few seconds of rubbing to get her to breathe. She was just fine and healthy as can be, her apgars were 7 and 10. I am very thankful that I have such a good and experienced midwife who has successfully used the gaskin maneuver to help my 2 shoulder dystocia babies.
I pushed the Placenta out about 3 minutes later and I got up and went into my room to lie down on the bed. Piper and I snuggled while my midwives cleaned everything up. While I had been pushing my Mother In law arrived and was hanging out with Lucy in her room. Hannah woke up shortly after that from her nap. Clayton went in and asked them to wait a few minutes before they came out and my mother in law was shocked that she was already here. Jude checked me and thankfully I didn’t tear even with how fast everything went down. Piper Jane was 8lbs9oz and 21.5 inches long.
My Midwife now believes that I have a slightly android (more masculine) shaped pelvis and because of that is why 2 of my 3 babies have had their shoulders get hung up on my pubic bone. Hannah’s birth had no problem.  Again, I am super thankful that I have such a great midwife who calmly and correctly handled the situation. I was really hoping for a waterbirth this time but obviously that was not the way it was supposed to be.
I love all things birth and my desire is to be a midwife in the future, I am so thankful for Jude, who is such an excellent midwife even when birth doesn't go exactly how you planned. Shoulder Dystocia can be a scary thing, but in most cases is resolved without issue, which has been the case for me both times.

If you are in AZ (in the phoenix area) check Jude out if you are interested in a Home birth or Birth Center birth

Here is our first Family picture about 30 min after Piper was born.

And one of our first pictures of Piper and she was sucking her thumb :::swoon:::

I will share Lucy and Hannah's birth stories over the next few weeks as well. This is obviously the Crunchy side of this #HappyHippyishMama ;)