Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Five More Days.

It is so hard for me to believe that my little type-A personality baby is going to be two years old in just five days.

Exactly two years ago today, I was scheduling a pedicure for the following day, packing my bags and walking, walking, walking. I remember it all clearly, and can't believe that it was so long ago. Seems like it was just yesterday.

He is amazing, just like his brother. Smart, funny, active and sociable! Everywhere we go, he's raising his hand waving and saying, "hi!" to everyone in his sight. He gets quite confused when the occasional passerby doesn't say "hi" back. I guess I've just learned that some people just don't get kids, like kids or want to be around kids. Others get so ecstatic when he waves, complimenting me on my friendly little boy and proceed to carry on a conversation with him. It's quite refreshing.

He's come around so well... he's sleeping better, eating better and is just, well, happy. No complaints from me. If he's grumpy, it usually means it is because he's tired, hungry or thirsty! Such a difference from the first year of his little life.

On the other branch of the tree... Joey has five days of school left. It's silly that he has to go back for two days AFTER the Memorial Weekend Holiday, but whatever. Once he's done he'll be an official Freshman. Crazy. I remember him turning two and running around with his "gee-kee" (pacifier). Time flies... and I'm enjoying every minute of it. Blessed, thankful and overcoming life's obstacles.

The boys are healthy, Paul and I are healthy and we are enjoying life. That is how it should be. For everyone.

I hear so many people complain daily about this or that, and don't get me wrong, I was there. I get it. But... there is happier, healthier life. Why wouldn't you want to live that way? Things I ponder... Hoping I can help inspire others to want to live happier and healthier!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Was feeling a little crafty

Friends and family that know me well, know that I don't do a lot of crafts. I wish I did, but I don't. I don't have that creative eye or mind for making gifts, doing projects or making art to hang around my house.

While browsing Pinterest one day, I came across a pin that I thought would be fun to make for an upcoming graduation party we planned on attending. THAT is my kind of crafting. Seeing someone else's project and adding my own touch to it, making it my own. I guess you could say they inspire me!! 

Here is what I managed to put together, using the basic idea of a "Liquor Bouquet". 

After searching my whole house for my hot glue gun, I ran out to Target to purchase this one for $3.99. It worked perfectly! 

The bouquet can be easily customized, with mini wine bottles, more alcohol or even some little tasty treats too! Candy, cookies... 

I chose to only do a few different liquors, as we had gotten the graduate another gift as well. It seemed to be the perfect amount! 

I had a great helper who was supervising me from the couch. I was quite impressed that he didn't want to play with the hot glue gun! 

Once I got all of the liquor attached to the wooden dowels, I just placed them into the foam and arranged them like I would flowers. 

I used paper strips to cover the foam, it worked perfectly! I pressed them down in to the foam so they wouldn't just flop out.

I was quite pleased with how it turned out! The graduate and his parents both loved it as well! I could have easily added some little graduation caps or diploma scrolls, but I honestly ran out of time. (Yes, I was procrastinating)

Let me know what you think! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mom's Lemonade

When my mom was visiting last month, she brought so many lemons I didn't know what to do with them!

My oldest son is always asking for Lemonade and since I won't buy that Countrytime crap (even though it tastes amazing) I opted to make our own lemonade with fresh home grown lemons.

Since it is already well into the ninety degree range here, it is a perfectly refreshing drink to have in the afternoon, after working or playing outside. Poured over ice, it quenches thirst and gives you the satisfaction of a sweet dessert. 

It is SO simple and easy to make and can be modified if you like it a little more sour or sweet.  The first time I made it, I followed my mom's recipe and used sugar. Of course it tasted great but I wanted to change it up a bit and use Agave nectar to keep it on the healthier side. It really depends on your taste for sugary drinks.*  

You can also juice all of the lemons and portion them out into freezer bags so you always have the lemon juice ready to go for mixing! Just take the bag out, let it thaw and mix up a new batch of lemonade! So simple and takes less than five minutes to mix it up. 

There is really so much you can do with the lemonade; another thing I was going to do was pour the lemonade into popsicle molds so we have homemade lemonade pops! It's so simple and tastes great!


1 C Fresh Lemon Juice, 5-6 lemons 
5-6 C Water
2/3 C Agave Nectar (or  1 C white granulated sugar~ which ever you prefer)


For me, I cut all of the lemons in half, they fit in to my hand juicer easier that way. They can be juiced which ever way you want, and whatever works easiest for you. Mix lemon juice and water and stir in agave nectar. I started with a small amount of agave until it was sweet enough for my boys to drink. (You can always substitute part granulated sugar part agave as well). I like to slice another lemon to throw into the juice, it not only looks nice but still adds a little more lemon flavor to the drink. 

*The conversion for sugar to agave is 1 C sugar = 2/3 C Agave.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mood Booster Workout

It is so easy to forget to take care of your body. Whether you are trying to lose weight, maintain weight or just stay active it's easy to fall off course and lose momentum.

Here is a quick workout that I like to do if my day is too busy to get to the gym or to a bootcamp class. It elevates my heart rate, helps burn a few calories and boosts my mood. Anytime I engage in any physical activity, I feel better. 

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins and these endorphins trigger positive feelings in your body. Why wouldn't you want that? 

So, if you are feeling down, depressed, low energy, try this quick little workout to boost your mood!! It doesn't take very long, and it always works for me! 

Items Needed: 
Positive Attitude 
A little bit of space for burpees (yes, I said burpees)


20 pushups (Try to do them from your toes, as many as you can, then go to your knees if you need to.
          Gradually you will be able to do more from your toes, I promise! It's all about progress!)
20 sit-ups (Actual sit-ups, not crunches!!)  
5 Burpees**
20 Squats

REPEAT! (You can repeat for as little as 15 minutes or as long as 40, however much time you have!)

**Burpees~ if you are not familiar with how to do a burpee, it's just a few simple steps! 
1) From standing position, drop down to a squat position and place hands on the ground in front of you
2) Kick your feet back, leaving you in a plank/pushup position 
3)*optional* pushup at this point
4) Return your feet to squat position 
5) Jump up from the squat position, hands reaching high, jump as high as you can

Motivation is what gets you started...

     Habit is what keeps you going. 

~Jim Ryun 


Thursday, May 2, 2013


Today was challenging, to say the least.

It started like most days do lately. Husband rolls out of bed to get ready for work and toddler starts yelling, "mama! mama!" from his room.

I roll over and the clock says 5:45.

The sun is up and I can hear the dog stirring in the family room in his crate. I roll out of bed and grumble and groan. Stretch my stiff, getting old body, get dressed and head to the "awake" side of the house.

Each day starts the same. But each day doesn't always go the same. Today pretty much fell apart. I let my emotions get the best of me more than once. Does it mean it's the end of the world? No way. Will I get a good nights sleep tonight and wake up refreshed tomorrow? Absolutely.

I had a lot of self talk today, mostly negative. I didn't get to work out, it's Thursday and I can't go to bootcamp on Thursdays so of course I didn't make the time to work out at home. My mood goes downhill fast, I'm snapping at the dog, toddler and myself.  I realize what is happening but on days when the dog pees in the house (on the carpet for the first time in 4 months), toddler doesn't nap and I eat a handful of chocolate covered blueberries, I have a hard time remaining positive.

And now, as I sit here and reflect on my day, I realize how blessed I am.

I have two beautiful sons who call me Mom and a loving, patient husband who stands beside me through everything. I have a beautiful home, I am lucky enough to be a stay-at-home-mom and I am physically able to walk, run, bend, stretch, and use both of my hands. So what if my dog had an accident in the house? He's a dog. So, my toddler didn't take a nap "as scheduled", big deal, tomorrow is a new day. I ate crappy? Meh, no one can be perfect and that stomach ache I have will go away.

Challenging. That is exactly what today was and I learned so much about my emotional limits and I also learned that it's ok to have a bad day once in a while. I can't wait to wake up and be blessed with another beautiful day tomorrow.

Take the good with the bad, we all have days in which we feel defeated. Take a step back, a deep breath of fresh air and laugh at all things challenging.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Protein & Oats Pancakes

I have a sweet tooth, I admit.

Especially when it comes to breakfast. French toast, pancakes, waffles, crepes... if it's sweet? I love it.

Over the last year as I've slowly been making changes to my diet, breakfast has been one of the harder ones. On a regular basis, I make plain old fashioned rolled oats with either blueberries, flax and honey or whatever other berry I have in my fridge. When I get tired of oats, I make eggs. When I get tired of eggs, I ask my children, "Hey!? Do you boys want pancakes??" And of course their answer is... "yes".

I've been seeing friends post photos of their "Protein Pancakes" and just haven't been brave enough to try them. It's hard enough for me to choke down my protein shake sometimes, let alone think of making a pancake out of it.

So, today, I finally did... grabbed some eggs, old fashioned rolled oats, protein powder and almond milk. I adapted this recipe from a friends recipe that used 4 eggs and oats, changing the measurements slightly.

(I didn't realize I'd need the almond milk until I had blended the first three ingredients together)

I thought about mixing in a bowl, but I didn't really want "chunky" pancakes, so I threw all of the ingredients in my Ninja single serve blender cup.

I blended everything and then added almond milk since the consistency was a little thick and poured on to my pan. 

I was very impressed with how similar this recipe was to actual pancakes! It bubbled just the same and was easily flipped to cook both sides. 

And just like that, I had pancakes! They were a little dense, so maybe next time I will add a little more almond milk? I was still able to eat them both and satisfy my sweet tooth. I topped them with Earth Balance Coconut Spread and All Natural Maple Syrup. 


Protein & Oats Pancakes

1 Egg
2 Egg Whites
1/4 C Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/4 C Almond Milk
1 Scoop of Life's Basics Plant Protein Powder, Vanilla 
Cinnamon (lightly sprinkled on top while cooking) 

Blend all ingredients, pour onto pan and cook until lightly brown.