Southern Sayin' Of The Month

I live for the light of a full moon. -me

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Just A Thought

I've read several things lately that really stirred a response in me. There's no need to be too specific, but they were all about motherhood. And what it means to be a good mother. I guess these feelings are amplified around the holidays when there is so much going on and people feel the pressure to begin new traditions, continue old traditions, attend functions, etc.

Here's what I think. There are 24 hours in the day. Everyone has 24 hours. You can choose what you want to do with those 24 hours.

You want to decorate every room in your house in preparation for the holidays? Great! Do it!
You have no interest in decorating anything...well, maybe just the Christmas tree? Perfect! Do it!

You want to pick up a treat from the bakery or supermarket? Excellent! They're delicious!
You want to bake brownies and cookies and cakes and candies. Awesome! Please share!

You want to go spend a few hours in the gym or take a nap.
Put on makeup or not.
Cook a homemade dinner or grab takeout.
Buy a new outfit for yourself or the latest toy for your child.

These are all okay. There is no right choice among them.

We all have 24 hours. Choose what "you" want to do with it. Don't judge what others do with theirs...let's celebrate each other. Being a mother doesn't mean being a martyr. Find the balance that works for you and your family.

One of my favorite coffee mugs says it best, "Do what you love. Love what you do."

Friday, December 13, 2013

Samuel Turns One!

Our sweet, cuddly little Sam has grown leaps and bounds this past year and is now a smiley, gentle, fun loving one year old!

We celebrated twice...once with our family at Thanksgiving and then again with family and friends the day before his birthday.

A few fun facts about our little Sam-A-Do:

Started walking on Thanksgiving Day, November 28th.

Will smile anytime, anywhere, at anyone!

Loves to follow his big brother around.

Here are a few pictures of his birthday celebration.
Not sure about what to do with his cake...luckily, Lilly-Belle knew just what to do!
Homemade Sprinkle Cake

His Birthday Tablecloth that everyone signed

Sam's Birthday Chalkboard

We had fun celebrating such a wonderfully sweet little boy! Happy Birthday my love!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bee Free Treats!

In the midst of Whole 30, the company Bee Free contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying some of their Gluten Free and Paleo Friendly products.

Of course I would! I had to wait until I finished the Whole 30 challenge, but I was so excited when my samples arrived in the mail. I ripped into the box as soon as we got inside and that was probably my first mistake. The kids saw me, saw what was inside, and immediately demanded a cookie! So I had to share my!

The first one we tried was Snickerdoodle and it was delicious. Soft and chewy with a wonderful buttery flavor. Thank goodness Bee Free sent three!

After I fed the kids a cookie, I went through and pulled out the chocolate ones and hid them. I know...I'm greedy like that. I had two different kinds to try: Chocolate Krinkle and Chocolate Berry Bliss. After trying these I was sold!

The Chocolate Berry Bliss is almost like eating a candy bar...but without the guilt!

And I don't even know what to say about the Chocolate Krinkle except that I ate them all except for half of one which I begrudgingly shared with Nick. These were my absolute favorite and I will be ordering more!

The kids ate all of the Vegan Cowboy Cookies, but I did get a bite so I would be able to review it as well. It is like a chocolate chip/oatmeal cookie. Definitely the way to go if you like a classic chocolate chip cookie.

Last, but not least was this little gem. The package wasn't marked and I didn't see it on the website, so I'm guessing it is a sample product but I would highly suggest that Bee Free begin offering them to their customers. It was so good!

Thank you to Bee Free for the samples and for making paleo friendly products that are a delicious and healthy option! Visit them here to order some yourself!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sam at 9 Months

This little guy is 9 months old! He's hit so many milestones that he's more of a big guy than a little guy now!

Weight: 17 lbs 3oz 
Length:  27.5  inches

Sleep: Still naps twice a day and wakes once at night to eat. (Broken record here. Maybe one day I'll get to type that he sleeps through the night.)
Awake: Sam learned to crawl and pull-up all in one week. He really started crawling on August 20th and just two days later he pulled up in his crib for the first time! Loves to play with balls, the magnets on the fridge, and enjoys pulling the magazines off of the ottoman.

Eating: We're still nursing, but he has gotten much better about taking a bottle for Nick. Eats a mixture of baby food and table food. Some of his favorites are pieces of sweet potato, carrots, cheese, and chicken. He has mastered the "pincher grasp" which makes self feeding much easier.
Other fun facts: Sam is usually a quiet baby around other people, but is a little chatterbox when it is just us. He likes to say "bababa" and "dadada" "mamama" yet! He has two teeth now and boy does he know how to use them! It's really entertaining to watch him get a bite of something.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

After the 30 Days

Well, Whole 30 is done. Finished. Complete!  Nick and I completely transformed our diet by cutting out sugars, alcohol, dairy, legumes and grains for 30 days. Transforming our diet changed our bodies from the inside out, but it also changed our minds.

I find it easier to make meal choices now and I no longer feel like I want to indulge in a sweet treat or drink simply because "I deserve it." What I deserve is a healthy body and the paleo dietary lifestyle has given me that.

Have I "cheated" since we finished on Tuesday? You bet...I got a big chocolate shake (one of the things I craved a lot). It was delicious while I drank it, but afterward I thought, "That wasn't really worth it." I understand now why a friend said to cheat big. Plan a meal, eat it, and then go right back to paleo.The way she explained it was that eating one healthy meal a week doesn't make you healthy, so eating one cheat meal a week doesn't make you unhealthy.  Tonight Nick and I are going out to Cheesecake Factory for a belated birthday meal...that meal will be worth it! Then we're back to paleo tomorrow. :)

Now that I have my eating habits in a healthy place, I'm ready to add an exercise plan. I exercised a bit through Whole 30, but my focus was on what I ate. After all, you can't out exercise a bad diet...abs are made in the kitchen!
I've also loved the interest from friends in the Whole 30/paleo lifestyle. I have one friend who is halfway through her own Whole30 and several others that have asked for more information. Let's make clean eating the new norm!
It's been a great journey, but I'm not finished. These are habits that can last a lifetime!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oh Pinterest!

Seriously, what did we even do before Pinterest? I guess we bought a hundred magazines for inspiration, but I still don't think it compares to the collection of ideas, items, and inspiration that is Pinterest. Here are a few things I've pinned lately:

For my love of the moon!

Because it's true.

...and pumpkin spice lattes (I know they're not paleo!)

Eating Paleo:
A new breakfast recipe I can't wait to try: carrot raisin cake

Need to know

Gettin' my snack on!

Buy me:
Marley Lilly does it again!

90s kid!

Even though it's sold out right now :(

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Another year begins...

This guy started Second Grade yesterday.
He wants to work at Subway or be a soccer player when he grows up!

 I feel so thankful that I can send him to school without worry in my heart. I know he is loved, protected, and nourished by the education he receives. We have been blessed with some of the most wonderful teachers, and I can tell how much he loves them and school by the excitement on his face when he gets into the car in the afternoon.

Yesterday was about
-meeting new friends and seeing old ones too
-doing place value in math
-having a cupcake for a classmate's birthday

This morning he was excited because today is...Enrichment Day! It's going to be a great year!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Being A Stay At Home Mom

These are a few things I need to remember for myself, but that others also need to know.

-Not every day is full of sunshine, craft projects, and trips to get icecream. Some days are, but many days are not.

-Some days are full of endless laundry and dishes, whiny children, dragging all three babes with you on every errand, parking lot nursing sessions, cleaning up disaster area bedrooms, interrupted naptimes, and if we're talking about yesterday then it also means helping the refrigerator repairman do his job with a baby on your hip, two inquisitive children and one crazy dog looking on.

-Some days are frustrating because your "clients" are often unreasonable. Let's just say it was a long day at the office yesterday.

-Thankfully I have great co-workers. Like a Mama who will meet me in the Walmart parking lot to sit with the children so I can run in alone turning a usual 30 minute trip into a 5 minute one. Or a cute husband who plays Fifa Soccer with the Monkey because that's just one thing Mommy can't do.

At the end of the day it is so worth it. When one falls asleep in your arms as you nurse him, one calls out for you during a thunderstorm and wraps her little arms around your neck for comfort, and one lets you tickle his back because he's having a hard time falling asleep (in anticipation of the tooth fairy's second visit this week).

Being a stay at home mom is hard work. But it is the job that I am most passionate about and feel most grateful to have!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Every Little Moment

I cherish every moment with this little guy. There are so many thing I love about him that my heart is full.

 The bow of his lips. The way his cheeks remind me of a full moon. How he digs his toes into me while he eats. The way his body curves into mine so perfectly. Sometimes I wish I could keep him little, but I know that's not possible so I'll just cherish every little moment.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Going Into The Homestretch

Today is Day 22 of the Whole 30 Challenge. I can say, without a doubt, that this is the best I have ever felt. Here are just a few of the benefits of eating a paleo/primal diet: Wake up rested, no migraines, clearer skin, flat belly/no bloat, and a lot more energy!

It has made such a difference to Nick and I that we are transitioning the kids to a semi-paleo diet. By semi-paleo I mean that we are not eliminating dairy and some grains from their diet. They will still have organic milk, yogurt, cheese, oats, and whole wheat bread. Processed foods are out! Colson is completely on board...Lilly-Belle is still asking for her Kraft mac and cheese. :)  I will share another time how we are making the transition fun.

We've also been thinking about what will happen on August 28th. Our Whole 30 ends on the 27th....what's next? Our plan is to maintain an 85/15 or 90/10 paleo diet. I think we could definitely do 90% paleo, 10% non-paleo. One of the main things we miss are sweets. On Whole 30 you can't even make compliant "treats" because you are breaking the emotional association with food. But once Whole 30 is complete, we can make paleo desserts when we want a sweet. Of course, there's always that 10% when we break bad and eat a cheesecake, milkshake, etc.

Here are a few more things we've been eating.

Eggs with Garlic Mushrooms and Cinnamon Apples cooked in Coconut Oil

Egg with Bacon and Avocado and Grapes

Bacon Wrapped Apple Egg Muffins
Recipe: For 4 muffins: Spray 4 muffin tins with cooking spray, line each with a strip of bacon. Mix up 4 eggs and 1/4 tsp of sea salt. Divide egg evenly between tins. Chop 1/2 an apple (granny smith or golden delicious are good) and divide among tins. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 min.

Grilled Chicken over Balsamic Zucchini and Onions with Broccoli Slaw

Picnic Food: Turkey Rolls, Carrot Sticks, Cantaloupe, Spinach salad, and paleo chocolate pudding for the kids.

Spinach Salad with Shredded Chicken, Broccoli Slaw and Blueberries

Califlower Crust pizza with tomato sauce and mixed veggies

Grilled Split Chicken Breast, baked sweet potato, zucchini chips, and mushrooms and onions.
I'm so happy to share our Whole 30 journey! *Another friend and her husband are starting their Whole 30 today! This makes me happy too. :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Paleo Pizza

The other night I decided to make a paleo pizza. I hit up Pinterest (where else?) in search of one that was compliant with Whole 30. The Lucky Penny had a recipe for a cauliflower crust and then I used Trader Joes Tomato Sauce. We topped it with mushrooms, onions, and zucchini that I cooked in a bit of olive oil, s&p, and garlic. You could really top it with anything...I'm thinking of adding chicken next time.

It was delicious! I didn't miss the cheese. I didn't miss the sickeningly full feeling I usually have after eating pizza. I enjoyed everything about it!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What I'm Learning from Whole 30

These are my Top 3 Tips that I've learned in my first two weeks of  Whole 30.

Tip #1: Never (never ever!) leave the house without a snack. You will probably get hungry. And the food that is most readily available when you're out and about is junk. It's much easier to leave the house with a healthy snack than to have to seek out a grocery store or be restricted to eating cashews (just about the only thing you can find in a convenience store). Here are a few things I take:
* A piece of fruit of container of berries: apple, banana, blueberries, strawberries
* Nuts
* Baby Carrot Sticks
* Lara Bars
* Plantain Chips ( I get Nature's Harvest brand from Walmart)

Tip #2: Cinnamon is your friend (and so is every other spice). Season your food. Some people think that eating a paleo diet is bland and boring. And I'm sure it can be, but if you season your food you will never think that.
I like my coffee, sprinkled on apples, on a baked sweet potato, and on roasted carrots. Cinnamon is my friend.

Tip #3: Just go and buy. Go to the grocery store and buy.
Buy meat.
Buy vegetables.
Buy fruits.
Buy nuts and eggs.

I had a friend ask me if I planned out all of my meals and I said, "No." Maybe some people do, but that would be overwhelming for me and seem like a lot of work. And with any dietary or lifestyle change, the less difficult it is, the more willing you will be to try it (and stick with it).

So, I just go to the grocery and buy from the categories above. Then I mix and match meats and veggies for dinner.  It's easy. A lot easier than making a lasagna or casserole.

Making this change has been wonderful, and I'm happy that I've inspired a few of my friends to change the way they eat and one is even starting her own Whole 30 challenge!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

More Of What I'm Eating

Nick and I are two weeks into the Whole30 Challenge! I will admit that there have been some challenging I want to take an icecream sundae to the face kind of challenging, but I eat some fruit and I feel better.

Here's a bit more of what we've been eating.
Whole 30 grocery haul for this week:
About 3lb of Chicken, Grass fed burger patties, Tuna, Cashews, 3 dozen Eggs, Spinach, Broccoli Slaw, Cauliflower, Carrots, Zucchini, Butternut Squash, Onions, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, Mushrooms,  Cantaloupe, Bananas, Apples, Peaches, and Blueberries.

Other things we've eaten but didn't purchase for the upcoming week include Applegate Bacon and Hotdogs, Dates, Plantain Chips, Squash, Cucumbers, Grapefruit, Grapes, Plums, Nectarines, Coconut,  Peppers, Asparagus, and more. I don't buy it when people say they get bored on this diet. There's plenty of variety!

Eggs with bacon and grapefruit

Eggs, grapes and sweet potato hashbrowns. Coffee with Coconut milk!

Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Mango Salsa and Cucumbers in Blueberry Lemon Verbena infused vinegar

Chicken Salad: Shredded Chicken, Apple, Grapes, Cashews, Paleo Mayo, Tarragon, and S&P

Hotdog, Plum and Cucumbers with Balsamic Dressing

Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad with Squash and Peppers

Sweet Potato Burger Sliders, Broccoli and Cucumbers

BBQ Chicken, Roasted Carrots and Squash
Here's to two more weeks!
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