Friday, September 12, 2014

Chocolate zucchini cake, eat clean

Yes. I am a fan of all things containing chocolate and zucchini. Here's another clean eating recipe containing them both!

My in laws were in town last night and we were having an awesome clean grilled dinner, and I had a zucchini that was getting pretty old. I figured it wouldn't be that good grilled, so I decided to whip up a dessert with it. Enter this thrown together from several online ideas...


Triple Chocolate zucchini cake
Clean eating

1/2 cup softened butter, grassfed preferred
1/2 - 1 cup honey or agave (vary it depending on your sweetness preference, and I used a combination of the two), local preferred for honey
3 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, organic preferred
Dash vanilla if you want
2 cups whole wheat flour (I used half white whole wheat and red whole wheat)
1/2 tsp baking powder, aluminum free
1/2 tsp baking soda
Several dashes of salt
1/4 cup Dutch Cocoa
1/4 cup cocoa powder
A few dashes of ginger
1 medium zucchini, grated
1/3 - 1/2 cup milk depending on how dry the batter looks, grassfed preferred or almond/coconut milk
10 oz dark chocolate chips or enjoy life chips

Combine butter and honey with mixer. Add applesauce, vanilla and eggs; mix well. In another bowl preferably, mix dry ingredients together then add to wet and combine. Add zucchini and whip with mixer, this helps the batter be more wet from the moisture being pressed out of zucchini from fast mixing (my kitchen aid is a champ!) and cake batter like. Add the milk to get adequate moisture. I used 1/3 cup, but you'll just have to see what yours is like because the zucchini you have may be more or less moist than mine was. You want the batter to resemble a mix between regular and Greek yogurt-like consistency. Kind of firm but kind of runny. Definitely not soupy and definitely not bread battery.

Bake in preheated 350 oven about 20-25 minutes until set. At that point put the chocolate chips on top and put back into turned off oven for a few minutes until they melt. Remove and carefully spread chocolate evenly. It's nice to serve about 10 minutes later because then it's kind of like a lava cake but you can let the chocolate harden and serve it later on. Refridgerate leftovers. Can also mix in chocolate chips into to batter for an over the top treat!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Clean eating BBQ sauce

  • Cook 12 oz clean bacon (nitrate free) and save 3 pieces (you can eat the rest!) and remove about 2 spoonfuls of the grease (leave the rest)
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 1 6 - 7 oz jar (or can) of tomato paste 
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (the cleaner the better)
  • .66 cup water 
  • .75 Tsp salt Salt
  • .75 Tsp pepper
Instructions

After the bacon has been cooked and you've removed the two spoonfuls of grease, use the remaining grease to sautee the garlic and onion. 
Then add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.
Turn the heat off and carefully use an immersion blender to make it smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender. Let the mixture cool and use a regular blender to combine into smooth sauce.

Keeps up to 2 weeks in the fridge. feel free to add some heat via hot sauce or peppers!


    Monday, August 25, 2014

    potty win bed fail

    So it took about a week, but J to use the potty!! I don't know how, because it seemed like we were in for a long training period (As with G), but I think we started young enough there wasn't a battle for control. That first week was stressful for sure...but 8/17 he woke up and just had it under control!! I'm so glad. Nap and nights are a different story. And he may get those if we pushed it, but since he doesn't wake up dry in the morning and rarely does at nap time, I figure we'd be in for many nights of changing sheets and after doing it for forever with G, I just want to wait on it for a while. My husband agrees.

    Then there is the climbing out of bed incident that just happened. UGH! I didn't think we were there yet.
    One major reason for not wanting to sleep-time train him was we wanted to keep him in a crib longer since we know he won't stay in his bed like G did. He's way to adventurous. So we thought we'd bide our time for a while, then rip the band-aid off and do both undies-while-sleeping and staying-in-your-bed training at once.

    Guess it's not gonna happen because he popped his little cute head into my room today during nap time!! I instantly felt my heart drop....like, "are you kidding me!?" He looked shocked about it too, so I didn't scold him or anything, just told him to stay in his bed and go to sleep.
    I should have just went with my gut and started it this past weekend, as he had started throwing huge fits about wearing a diaper to bed. I just really didn't want to lose sleep. Mom fail.

    I'll keep you posted.

    In other news his vocalizing is really improving, I'd give him another two weeks before true words come and I'm SO excited for it.

    In more other news, we're busy as ever with work, playing, cooking, housekeeping, and attempts at being social...so forgive the lack of creative writing of this post!

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    Stuff on my mind.....potty, food, and Babies.

    Hi, me again!
    I'm so stressed on from potty training already and it's only day three. I don't regret starting, I just wish I was stronger. I did pretty well keeping my cool the first two days, but today (With my hubby back at work, and he is clearly my rock) I just lost it. I screamed so loud at J, I just feel terrible. UGh. Pick up the pieces and move forward....
    He has to figure it out for himself and I have to be there to guide him...but when he pees two feet from the potty and then runs through it, slips and falls on the wood floor I feel sooooooooo angry... Not with my 20 month old kid....just with the fact of the matter.
    As in.... why can't I do this for him? Please nature, just let me take the lead on this one.
    If not that, Why can't he learn instantly? If he knows how to hold it, why can't he figure out how to let it go when he's on the potty and not next to it. Why did we have to do the most ridiculous things until nearly 11 pm last night just to get the kid to poop......he was holding it and I just wish I could explain to him how to relax and let it go..... UGH. control. he needs it, I wish I had it, it just sucks.
    I have prayed so hard for patience and understanding. I have prayed for God to please just give me a break on this one...but I'm pretty sure God laughs and says, "listen lady, I've given you a break on nearly every other aspect of your life, you have it SO GOOD, this is your cross, bare it with grace."
    OK! Thanks God. Easier said than done and you know it! There is a reason for everything. And I am a sinner. I was doing good, but now I'm human and I screamed at my baby. I feel horrible. Sometimes, though, a momma lion roars at her cubs, and ya know what? It's necessary.... but I guess they pee and poop where ever they damn well please. Thanks for nothing domestication.
    For all of you out there saying, "oh just wait....he's not ready" .... go back and ready my potty training stuff with G. Same story. My kids are so similar. Thus, we carry on. I made the mistake of trying "kind of" with G and then it took 3 months for her to figure it out when we finally did go through with official potty training, so I'm not making that rookie mistake here. We set a date, knew he was ready enough, and are going through with it, my frustration and patience be damned. And if it takes 3 months anyway, well then I'll have a potty trained 23 month old and be diaper free for the first time in almost 4 years.... I'll take it. This is my blog and I'm ranting about it for a second, sorry.

    Onto other things. I wanted to share a few links about food I found interesting. These are things we already do in our house, but maybe you don't know them so check them out. Eat clean is the bomb.
    soy is bad for you. 
    don't give your kid soy formula for the love of all things holy.
    politically correct food myths
     nutrition food myths
    I like this cat, I need to do more of these.

    thanks to my husband's aunt who posted this article that led me to the website that the stuff above comes from.

    And for my final thought, I have been in baby fever mode for a few months now. And I know two moms with kids with CDPX1 are expecting babies! And both of them are having healthy girls. How blessed and wonderful for them!! On one hand, it kind of makes me not want to press my luck since our girl came first, but then it also kind of makes me want to believe a healthy next kid would happen!

    My husband and I are just a big ball of nerves and uncertainty when it comes to 'do we or don't we?' because what happens if we get a blood test done and it comes back positive for CDPX1 (or anything thing else for that matter because Lord knows there's a million things that could go 'wrong' when a baby is created).........we'd feel so terrible for choosing to conceive knowing the bad that could come from it.
    But then it makes it seem like we are playing God by being too scared of the potentially bad outcome rather than trusting God to make good of whatever happens.
    Ugh. It sucks sometimes, being an intelligent being with life experience.
    I mean, look at the animals in nature....just reproducing without a fear in the world because it's all they know.... and if it goes wrong.....well.....that's the circle of life.
    And look at the newly married couples so excited to have a baby or promiscuous teens having unplanned babies or the older couples trying desperately to conceive using whatever means necessary...........they just want the baby but haven't been slapped with reality (And I pray they never are) that SO many things have to go "just right" for that baby to turn out "normal."
    So many pregnancies end in miscarriage because the cells just didn't match up. The body just couldn't do it. Something went wrong. 
    So many kids are, through no fault of anyone, born different from what society tells us is 'typical.' And then there are the young kids diagnosed with cancer or diabetes or a disease no one has heard of.... and no one saw it coming.
    Taking on the role of parent is one I really think too many people take lightly because they don't WANT to think about it. It's easier to think of all the happy things, because the bad things may never happen...and I definitely think that's the better thing to do. Don't plan for bad until bad happens, generally speaking, because life is too short.
    But then there's little ole me. With a crappy X chromosome. So I DO have to think about it. Because that's the responsible thing to do.
    How do I grapple with this? I'm sure most people would say.... you have a boy and a girl, be happy, call it quits, move on with your life. And I think that's good advice, but man I feel a huge tug in my heart for another baby. So then adopt you say.... Are you going to give me the thousands of dollars it takes? Are you going to help me get my milk back? Plus, that's kind of like taking an even bigger risk, because God love them, many kids needing adopting often have a condition that may cost a lot of money to treat or may be life long. Does that mean they are any less deserving of love? Certainly not, I'm simply stating it's a decision to be weighed as heavily as the should we conceive our own kid or not.
    I guess I also hate being pregnant too, and I hate what it did to my stomach (And am still dealing with all of that mess) so if I AM going to go through it again, I'd rather just not fix it now because it'd happen again... And since I am in physical therapy now trying to fix it, I am trying to decide if I should quit PT and plan to have another baby in the future (not right now or anything, next year or the year after) or if we are just done-done, and get on with the story.... because how long does adoption take anyway? Or maybe we are just full at a family of 4.... I just don't always feel that way.
    ....but man potty training is a good natural birth control (speaking of, NFP is going much better this time around, thank you very much. Props to my handy Kindara app).
    love to you all.

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

    I'm happy with me

    So I have to tell you, the inspiration from this blog comes from many ideas that have been floating around my head.

    I'm quite busy now, and this blog gets pushed to the back burner because most other things in my life take precedent. I am not trying to offend any uber blogger, I just can't take the time to sit down and type up grammatically perfected and creatively crafted blogs. But I currently have something on my mind I need to record outside of a facebook status.

    If you've read this blog for a while or thoroughly then you know about my past with eating disorder, disordered eating, excessive exercise, unhappiness with body image, struggle to overcome all that, and then also the tough emotions that came with learning to be "just" a stay at home mom.

    Thankfully, I kept plugging away at all the anxieties and insecurities. I suppose it's probably something most new moms go through--the uncertainty of finding your way as a new mom. And it's definitely common for many of those moms to take to the blogosphere to find support and information. I was totally one of those moms. In the moment, I thought I was confident and comfortable, but definitely looking back I was not nearly the mom or woman that I am now. Which is a mature thing to be able to say... No one could have done anything about my anxieties or issues, it's something I think nearly every woman has to work through on her own and at her own pace... so if what I write here can help one person tweak her thinking a tiny bit, then it's worth it. Someone at sometime said something that pushed me down the right path.

    Ok enough sentimental jibberish.

    Recently online there was an article about how J. Crew released XXXS sizing for women, and most commenters were disgusted by it. They "discussed" what it means for the body image of girls growing up knowing such a thing exists as "extra extra extra small." Some people commented, though, that there are medical conditions that exist affecting people who need such small adult clothing and that people shouldn't call them anorexic or 'disgusting' because that's unfair. I can see both sides; but I think the population of women who legitimately are that small, without having an eating disorder, is a tiny percent of Americans. The percent of girls who will hear of a size XXXS and try to achieve that size unhealthily has got to be much larger. But I'm not trying to marginalize those women with a condition, I just think it's a similar situation as little people who need their clothes altered or buy specifically from clothing companies who offer entire lines of clothes for their sizes.

    Numbers on a scale and sizes on pants are not at all an indicator of health. They are simply a way to measure a person. Unfortunately many, many people have a desire to reach the lowest weight or lowest size. I think the biggest measure of health is happiness, because life is such a fickle thing that you could be a size 2 and get hit by a car tomorrow...or you could be a man size 48 and live to be 70. If you are happy with yourself and your quality of life is average or greater; who cares what size you are? Quality of life can be defined as that life is easier if you an averaged size person because transportation seats (bus, train, plane, car) are not made with obese people in mind. Life is easier if you aren't having to give yourself insulin shots, or life is easier if you aren't in and out of hospitals for anemia or dehydration etc.... I think everyone reading this can agree that being 'normal' is nice. And not having to work hard to be 'normal' is even nicer. But 'normal' is varied by person. So with that said...here is my humble attempt at how to get you to achieve your best self.
    recent dinner of BLT-E salad
    Clean up your eating. Just DO IT. Quit buying crap, because then you won't eat crap. At first I was a little worried that eating clean would lead me more to disordered eating because of cutting out entire groups of food. But the truth is, eating clean doesn't cut out any types of food, it just means you have to make them yourself or buy the more expensive versions with less crap in them. Mac and cheese isn't cut out, peanut butter isn't cut out, bread isn't cut out, dessert isn't cut out.... it's just a different version. So this actually doesn't lead to disordered eating because you can eat anything you want! :-) Yeah it takes some work, but it really comes down to commitment and determination. Don't quit. If you have to use those "shake" diets to get you started (think Herbalife, Shakeology), so be it, but it's my personal opinion those aren't the best things for you because it's not a whole-food product. It's processed and not the way humans were meant to eat... I mean... consuming your calories in liquid form? Not for me... but do whatever you have to do to get on the clean eating train but don't let them be a crutch for you for forever because A) expensive and B) I think you'd be happier figuring out a way to enjoy whole foods through chewing and a meal experience. It's more mentally satisfying. I know there are studies and claims saying they help you lose weight, and I'm sure that's true... but go for the lifestyle change that's long term and not a quick fix or unsustainable the second you quit the diet.

    #gymselfie

    Live an active life. Notice I didn't say 'exercise.' It's my opinion again that exercise is simply a means to an end. It helps release beta endorphins, but so does sex. It helps build and strengthen muscle, but so does chopping a load of wood. It helps burn calories but so does walking everywhere you go. See what I'm getting at? As long as you are active on a daily basis, you'll be happier, stronger, and fitter. I love working out, but it's not possible for me to do it every day anymore, especially when my husband travels. I just keep an active life by playing with my kids outside, walking to the park, cleaning the house, baking all of our meals from scratch. I USE my body to live my life and that's what matters. You should try it. Don't work so hard at your job that you don't leave time for yourself!

    I know this is maybe a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to some of you... but I am just so happy that I've reached a place in my life where I care more about making my body work for ME and not me working for my body. If I have pudgy love handles so be it, I can do a lot of s*#t and I am proud of that. I am satisfied with the quality of food going into my body, so I am happy with my body. If I don't eat crap, and don't live like crap, I am happy with me! I literally could sing it from the roof tops. I have no desire to reach a size 0 or XXXS. If I naturally get there, fine (but we all know that's not my natural body size). I have no desire to reach 130 lbs, if I naturally get there (won't happen either) fine. I'm not going to restrict calories (or even count them), I'm not going to kill my body to reach a crazy ideal. I'm going to eat good food, be active, and be happy. Life's too short-- plus I'm a Christian and this life isn't the end!!

    FL!


    Reach out if you want moral support :-)


    Saturday, July 05, 2014

    What's a brain?

    My conversations with G before bed are always fun, but tonight was spectacular and worth remembering for sure. We talked about various things and then she asked what we were doing tomorrow (...which she always does. She likes to know what's coming up. She is a future planner and is very detailed oriented.) I told her the run down and then she asked if the next day was Tuesday. I said no, the next day is Monday. She said, "oh? What are we doing on Monday?"

    I told her the main this is taking J to the ear doctor. Of course she asked why and so I said, "to make sure he is hearing well and that his ears don't hurt or anything." She asked, "why?" To which I said that his ears are a little different and we just have to check them sometimes. She asked if her ears were different and I said, not really, they're pretty regular. Then she mentioned how sometime lady bugs are different (last night I told her a story about a lady bug who was black with red spots instead of red with black spots)...to which I said, "yes that's right sometimes they are!"

    Then she asked who J's ear doctor is... And I told her his name. She then said, "oh one time we took J to the nosey doctor and that's dr XXXX too!" I was so floored at this point because it's been months since we went to the ENT and she remembered his name that she heard like once! So then I said, "yup! It's the same doctor for his nosey and his ears. You're so smart! You have a big brain, huh!?"

    Then she asked what a brain is..... Yeah, been waiting for that one! Haha

    So I told her that brains are like computers for people. That they tell us what to do...whenever we have thoughts that's our brain and they are inside our head (I pointed to show her). I also gave examples of things brains do, like tell our body to move in certain ways, or have thoughts about our friends... I mean it's tough to explain to a 3 year old but I did my best.

    She seemed appeased with the answer and then asked if I had a brain, if J had a brain, if daddy has a brain...and I said yes to all of them.... THEN she asked if daniel tiger has a brain (lol!!). I said, "sure! But only the daniel tiger on the tv show, not your daniel here (in her bed), he's just squishy so he doesn't have a brain" then she said, "just a squishy brain!!" And burst into giggles.


    Oh man, I love this girl so much!!!! Our nightly conversations are the best <3

    Just wanted to record for posterity and maybe someone else might find it amusing! 


    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    Day in the life of mom

    Alarm at 425 am, up and ready & out the door by 4:46
    5 am, workout, today was lower body circuits. Rocked it.
    6:05-6:45 am, home, shower, throw on the toddler-mom summer uniform of athletic shorts and a collegiate t shirt, eat a post work out first-breakfast (Greek yogurt, honey, PB, apple), kiss hubby good bye (the benefit to early morning workout is I'm actually awake enough to tell him have a good day).
    Close to 7 am I consider (A) folding the laundry sitting in baskets next to my bed or (B)starting the cleaning I've got scheduled for the evening but I'm pretty spent and so I make the rare decision to (C) lay down on the bed for a while.
    7:40 am, little miss enters my room to say "I need to go potty!" She used to just get up and go, but now it warrants an announcement I guess, so we traipse downstairs because she likes going down there better. I start a load of laundry.
    7:50 am, she (thankfully) doesn't ask about watching a show, so we decide to do some "school pages" (I bought her preschool reading, preschool math, and preschool sequence & patterns workbooks and the first two are completed & we're wrapping up the s/p one now)
    8:25 am, I think J is awake (didn't grab the monitor, I was just hearing thumps through the ceiling) so we head up to get him, but it turns out he's not (we had a late night and busy weekend so I guess he's catching up, too bad he's not my only kid so I could actually enjoy the late sleeping ha!)
    8:30-8:50 am, instead of returning downstairs I start folding the clothes in my room & G asks what she can do now, I tell her she can play, look at books, or help me. She's not keen on any of it and whines a good amount so I dump out the whites and tell her to comb through it to find her underwear. She's great at helping so that goes over well. Then she gets antsy and so we chat and sing songs while I finish. J is still a sleeping toddler, so we decide I'll make breakfast and G can watch a show
    8:50 - 9:30 am, laundry switch, swiffer floor, empty dishwasher, make breakfast. G watches end of dinosaur train and start of sesame street. 
    9:30 am, G turns off TV with no fight (huzzah!) and we go get mister-man up. His diaper is super smelly (taco salad the night before eeeek). He hates diaper changes these days so :-( to that
    9:40 am Breakfast is whole wheat grassfed buttermilk pancakes and blueberries on the side. The kids have agave on top of theirs and mine are plain. I don't always make a fancy breakfast like that but it's grocery store day and somehow we are all out of dry and hot cereal and there aren't any weekend leftovers and I only have 2 eggs. Whew.
    9:50 am, the treasurer from my mom group drops by to get a check I forgot to give her yesterday, my bad!
    10:05 am, kids are down and playing while I clean up. It's good for them to have unorganized self moderated play. At least this is what I tell myself while I slave away in the kitchen because I'm too type A. Don't bother telling me to save the mess for later, ain't happenin' sister. Although I did leave a few hand-wash dishes in the sink, mostly because I was washing my dryer mat.
    10:15 am, told the kids we were gonna get ready and go do a craft at the library...G pitched a fit because she didn't want to go. Are you kidding me??? She loves crafts and loves the library. Ugh #lifewithagirl I roll with it because, hey, it's not something we HAVE to do and I'm not gonna fight her to go do something fun. We do have to grocery shop though.
    10:20 am, we facetimed with Grandma to talk about visiting and since we hadn't in a while. It went okay. Of course G was shy at first and J was a little ham who then got mad when I wouldn't let him hold the phone.... We chatted about 10 minutes and then got ready for the store.
    10:50 am, head out the door....this is a process, almost every time. Need to potty? Where's our socks? Do we have snacks and drinks packed? Why are you both crying? Ugh, Ugh, Ugh! Why do we even both leaving the house? Because the fridge is bare...so here we go!
    11 am; I was in the mood for paradise by cold play so I turned it on and got this sweet conversation from G; 
    Me; jamming out.
    G; What's this song called
    Me; Paradise
    G; What is paradise
    Me; Paradise is a beeeaaaautiful place
    G; oh yeah! Like you also skate on ice! Right mom?
    11:05 am, we drive past the library and wouldn't you know G pipes up "I do want to do a craft!" "I DO want to go the library!" I think about saying, too bad, you shouldn't have said no at home....but I really wanted to go myself, so I give her a hard time about not making that decision at home and how we don't have our return books or our library card so it's going to be more difficult but we will definitely go and to the craft because it's something fun to do and next time let's make that decision at home.
    11:10 - 11:50 am, decorate a Styrofoam cup with crayons and googly eyes, shovel in potting soil and plant a sunflower seed with each kid. Check out a few books and play a bit.
    11:50 am head out to the grocery store. J hates his car seat now (it's really time to move him up to the big boy seat) and so getting into the car is never my favorite thing.
    noon, arrive at the grocery store just as it's feeding time at the zoo. Oh well. I salvage the trip preemptively by utilizing the race car carts that have two seats and steering wheels. My kids have never got to sit in these (hello germs!) but I make the exception today after Clorox wiping it down (I used 5, in case you were wondering how many it took). They are so stoked! I also hand them their snacks and drinks and we mosey inside.

    12 - 1 pm, stick mostly to our list but still manage to spend $180. I hate how much healthy food costs. I did buy like 8 packs of Sargento cheese though because it was on sale. Also got; peaches, pears, cherry tomatoes, lemons, grapes, cherries, two packs of power greens, radishes, butternut squash, egg plant, bell peppers, cucumber, pineapple, Italian sausage, regular sausage, omega 3 brown eggs, almond milk, grassfed cottage cheese, 7 yogurt cups for the kids, tub of grassfed Greek yogurt for us, pita chips (splurge this week), nitrate free ham, several boxes of annie's homegrown snacks for the kids to take to grandma's house, 2 things of honey, 'clean' strained tomatoes jar & 'clean' pasta sauce in case I don't get enough homemade sauce out of that, oats, 5-grain cereal (bob's brand), blue-pom wheat-fuls (MOMS brand) cereal for the kids, non concentrate OJ (2 plus calcium/D and 1 plain), nitrate free bacon... I think that's it. Of course we had our occasional hiccups of behavior, but overall it was pretty good thanks to the 'lets-be-real' cookie from the bakery I let the kids scarf down because they were teetering on the edge of fighting. Mostly I hated the trip because of how expensive it is. I really wish we lived in the country so I could get into gardening. I have to say though, we'd probably spend the same amount on food even if we weren't eating clean, just because we never eat out and I never did like to buy pure crap. I did earn 10 cents off per gallon of gas too.
    1:20 pm, get home and unload the groceries.
    1:30 pm, G is used to getting to watch a show while I make lunch...that became a habit after her preschool camp two weeks ago, soooo yup. Another 20 minutes of screen time here. Grand total of an hour, so I'm fine with that. J doesn't really care about TV, he ends up flipping through some books and then bugging me for bites. G actually takes his cue and looks at her new library books too instead of really watching the TV. Win.
    2 pm, lunch is a homemade wheat bun turkey, cheese, spinach sandwich for G, with veggies & fruit and a few organic corn chips. I have a salad with (leftover) grassfed beef sauteed with carrots/onion/garlic/homemade taco seasoning plus cucumber chips, radish, bell pepper, salsa, a slice of pepper jack cheese and some organic corn chips. J has a combination of our two lunches cut up smaller. For dessert we split 2 graham crackers and milk. G has to go potty in the middle of lunch because she's gotten into that annoying habit, but better that than blowing up.
    2:40 pm, kids play / fight while I clean up (don't worry, I do have G help me a little bit by carrying things over)
    3 pm, switch a load of laundry and corral the kids upstairs to get ready for naps. I usually aim for earlier than this but the morning was long.
    3:35 pm, both kids are in their beds after reading books, telling stories, drinking water and such....J cries for a while before zonking out (I think it's because it's the first time since Friday that I put him down) and G never goes to sleep.
    4:30 pm, after an hour of 'quiet time, I get G up. We read a few books, change some laundry, pick up toys, and start dusting
    6 pm, check to see if my husband has called to say he's coming home...no dice. G and I keep plugging away on our cleaning/playing. He finally gets home around 6:25 pm.
    6:25 pm, get J up from his nap since he was still zonked out. I don't usually ask my husband to make dinner, but since it's just grilling and I want to finish my cleaning, he obliges me. He gives the kids a snack of yogurt while prepping dinner and I clean upstairs. Dust, vaccuum, , toilets, sinks, organize...thankfully I'm jamming out to some tunes and it's enjoyable :-)
    6:45 pm, the kids head outside with my husband. I'm sure it's a hassle, but he's sweet like that ;-)
    7:30 pm, I'm done and we start to plate dinner. I change J's diaper and he's actually cooperative! Hooray.
    7:45 pm, Dinner is grilled butterfly pork chops, grilled zucchini/squash/carrots/mushrooms, grilled sweet potato, and grilled butternut squash
    8:20 pm, done with dinner, and yes G had to got potty during dinner again.
    8:25 - 8:45 pm, I played with the kids a bit and my husband cleaned up outside. Then we both start cleaning up the kitchen because many hands make light work and the kids play.
    8:45 - 9:10 pm, family dance party to josh turner. It's super fun. My husband and I dance together to part of a song, despite the kids whining at our feet. I tell him, sometimes you just have to have ear muffs. We dance with them all the other times, we deserved a minute of solo dance LOL
    9:15 - 9:30 pm, get ready for bed, which is all together. My hubby takes care of J and I help G. Then we come together to read books and say prayers. The cutest thing happens while I'm reading the book "What Brothers/Sisters Do Best." J is holding G's cup and offering her a drink (Water) and G picks up J's cup and offers him a drink...so they are sitting there giving each drinks. It was really precious, especially because they were giggling and smiling at each other. Life is good! My husband puts J to bed and I stay with G for a little bit. We chat about the day and our plans for the next day. One of my favorite parts of the day is when she says, "Mom will you stay with me for a little bit." and I say, "of course baby." I lay my head next to hers on the pillow and we snuggle up. It is so sweet and peaceful.
    9:45 -10:15 pm my husband makes his lunch (I used to do this for him and then I just kind of handed the task over in exchange for me doing other stuff) and I pack up for my job the next day. After I'm done I stay in the kitchen with him for a minute and grab a few bites of the munchies he's eating...had told myself I wasn't going to snack after dinner anymore but his pretzels look so delish. so I have a handful and don't feel bad about it at all.
    10:30 pm, after getting ready for bed myself, I lay in bed for far too long typing up this blog and I still don't finish so at 11:15 pm I save it and go to sleep.
    apparently my hubby came to bed around midnight after watching two of his deadwood shows.
    We used to go to bed at the same time but since I've been getting up early to work out, I try to go to sleep at a decent hour.


    So there you have it...this really was a typical day in the life of me :-)
    now you know why I never really post any more! love to you all 

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    Helper tiger and picnic

    (Should have posted last week, lame blogger!) 
    Our summer has been going along swimmingly aside from some stress, a cr repair, and a sinus infection bug that went through the house.
    I'm going to try to post more here...so lately we've been....
    Picnicking (mostly I pack our picnic but yesterday we had coupons and went against clean eating for a convienient and yummy chik fil a dinner)

    Trying to fish as a family. Pretty challenging with young ones and a terrible fisher wife. Nice memories though.

    Working. I have been doing a lot of happy family work and the kids usually come with me to small things. 

    Reading. Summer reading program is in full swing and j is even growing in his attention span. He loves Pete the cat and llama llama! 

    Cooking. Clean eating has been a year habit now, and it's awesome. Ie definitely gotten into a grove with the cooking and meal planning. It's just expensive. Anyone that tells you they eat clean and well on a cheap budget is crazy. There's no going back though. I can't let myself but anything with crap in it. It's shocking how well I shop the perimeter, except at target, yo'. I've been feeling generally great about myself and it's really only if we are traveling and I've not been eating well or if I've not been able to work out that my body image gets out of wack.

    And then there's my helper tiger!
    Check out her folding skills, to the left of my trifold are her half folded small towels. Love her!!




    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    Just a quick post!

    G told me today that the snack at preschool camp was "boonneeessss!" Like dog bonesssss! And I asked what they tasted like, to which she said, "like bones, like that dog I made that project with at the new "muu-nee-um"! Which translates to Scooby snacks! Lol ( we went to the children's museum a few weeks ago and in the art room there was a Scooby doo project)
    Aside, muneeum and furnanure are my favorite words she says... Behind "I love you"

    She recently told me that no one else is married but her aunt d and r. They just got married this past week, and it's G's belief that if we didn't go to your wedding, you're not really married!

    She did great at YMCA soccer and has been exceeding my expectations at her gymnastics classes (no more parent tot, yay!) we also enrolled her in that preschool camp for a week for some socialization and for me and j to get some alone play. It's been great! We've also been hitting the library once a week and park play dates lots!

    J was evaluated for speech delay today and it went really well. He's like super off the charts for receptive and non verbal communication, he just doesn't have words. Which is really similar to G, if you recall, but his craniofacial team was concerned so he's gonna get speech therapy. Should be something to do, and hopefully fun, at least.

    He's such a little ham and there's been too much development for me to really catch this blog up on.
    He has all but the 2 yr molars. He weaned fully on 5/29 (I got him down to just bed time, then about 2.5 wks later he decided he was done all on his own, kinda sad but at least it was "easy" ish). He hates diaper changes and has gone a lot on his potty, though not lately, so I need to just buck up and train him. He's 18 months on Monday so I'll write more about him then!

    I've been doing an intense boot camp style workout. I think it's kinda working on toning my flab up but I mostly just need a tummy tuck for the skin hanging around... We go on a trip in a few weeks but a two piece is never in my future. Still working for the organic baby food company part time. We are all still eating 90% clean and loving it. I can never go back now.

    My husband has been doing great at his job, and recently built himself a work bench in the garage from scratch (including running electricity and installing outlets). Super proud of the man I married.

    We've had a few date nights and have been keeping busy with social activities or kid things (plus my job!)

    Much love to you all!







    Sunday, May 11, 2014

    Mom's Brunch Recipes, Clean Eating Chocolate Zucchini Muffins,Strawberry Shortbread Trifle, Egg Sausage Strata

    I had a few moms over for a brunch today and wanted to share the recipes I made!

    Eat Clean Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

    3 eggs, set out of fridge when you begin
    3/4 cup grassfed butter (regular is fine, but not as clean), softened a bit
    1.75 cups white whole wheat flour (still a whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour is made from white wheat, versus red wheat the traditional whole wheat flour is made from)
    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use half dutch cocoa and half regular, the dutch results in a richer color and better flavor)
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1.25 teaspoon baking soda
    3/4 teaspoon aluminium free baking powder (regular will do, but not 'clean')
    2/3 to 3/4 cup (depending on preferred sweetness) honey or agave nectar
    1.5 teaspoon vanilla
    2 medium zucchini, grated (I used the shredder disk & my food processor)
    3/4 cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60 % dark chocolate are the best! but you can also use semi sweet)

    In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, soda, and powder. In a large bowl (stand mixer preferred), blend the softened butter and honey until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add the zucchini and whip away (I let mine go for quite a while to, as I like to call it, pulverize the zucchini so it doesn't stick out as noticeably in the baked muffin.) Add the dry ingredient mixture and combine until everything is moist. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tins, or use baking cups of some sort. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Will make ~24

    Nearly Clean Strawberry Shortbread Trifle

    So this takes some work because I make everything from scratch, but it's totally worth it! You can also sub in a store bought angel food or pound cake and store bought whip cream for ease, but the homemade way allows you to control ingredients and tastes better :-) But I understand being pressed for time or not that handy in the kitchen.

    First I make the shortbread biscuits. 

    2 cups white whole wheat flour plus extra for dusting/patting
    1 tablespoon aluminum free baking powder
    several dashes of salt
    1/2 cup grassfed butter (or regular will do)
    2 tbsp honey
    1 egg
    3/4 cup grassfed milk or almond milk

    Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and then use a pastry cutter to cut in 1 stick of butter. Continue cutting until the butter is well distributed and finely incorporated, will take several minutes of cutting (you can also do this in a food processor and pulse, it's easier that way but I hate cleaning my food processor and I have a pastry cutter so I use it)
    Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and put the egg, honey, and milk. Whisk the wet ingredients within that well and then incorporate the flour mixture with the wet until a ball comes together. You will have to add some more flour, probably, so that the dough isn't too wet. You want it to be tacky but not too sticky. You can roll the dough out and cut if you want, but since these biscuits will be getting torn up for the trifle, I don't care if they look sloppy, so I just roll them in to balls and pat down into 2.5" (ish) circles. Bake at 450 degree for about 9-10 minutes or until done. Let cool before trying to break into bite size pieces for the trifle. The biscuits and the strawberries can be done the day before you want to assemble your trifle.

    You will also need to clean two pounds of strawberries and cut off the tops. 

    Cut them into bite size pieces and let sit, covered, in the fridge for a while to naturally "juice".

    Right before assembling the trifle, I make some whipped cream. 

    I use grassfed cream and *gasp* unclean powdered sugar. It's processed, but it's better than the crap you buy in the store, so deal with it or try to make whipped cream with maple syrup?

    To assemble the trifle, layer the cut up biscuits on the bottom, then strawberries, and then whip cream, I repeated this twice. I topped it with three whole strawberries for presentation :-)


    Clean Eating Egg Sausage Strata


    This is basically a Taste of Home Recipe but I make it clean by making the bread from scratch and hand shredding my cheese...in addition to choosing better for you sausage and bacon and free range eggs. When I make this strata, I make a whole loaf of bread (typically whole wheat in my bread machine--tip, add vital wheat gluten to keep whole wheat bread from being a brick!) and then make two stratas because each strata takes half of a 2 lb bread machine loaf, and this recipe is really easy to double even if you're using store bought bread. You can prepare the stratas and then freeze one for later and let one refrigerate overnight to eat the next morning. This is an amazing brunch recipe and awesome for crowds. It's very easy to make, if you don't do it clean. Because making it clean takes longer, I usually make the bread the day before I want to prepare the stratas, which is a day before you want to eat it because it has to set overnight. You can also add mushrooms, spinach, etc... very customizable!
    Recipe is found here; http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cheese-sausage-strata