Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Reflection

It's been 32 years since I entered this crazy, beautiful, awful, breathtaking world.
32 years.
Guess what? I embrace that! Oh, how I welcome these days of wisdom and experience.
Over the last few years, I've begun to notice my true self, the one that I can really love, begin to emerge. What an enlightening experience!
Of course, that doesn't mean that everything is perfect, all of the time. Quite the opposite, in fact. But I have learned to find the beauty in the chaos.
Parts of me are still incomplete, I suppose that will always be the case. There are some things I'd do differently if I could do them over. There are still some things that I long for, that I will likely never get.  And there are some things that I'd change, even now, if I could. But life is going to happen regardless of what changes I'd like to see, so I better make each moment count.
This morning I was enjoying my coffee on the back patio in peace while the children slept. I was lost in thought, and the beauty of my garden. I love how a garden is like life... it can be overgrown with weeds, yet you can always find something to nurture you amidst the weeds. Just push those weeds aside (or better yet, pull them!) and you will find the nourishment you need.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Days that are Overrated

Days that are overrated:
1) Valentines Day
2) Mother's Day
3) Anniversary's

Basically any day that has the potential to backfire and leave you with hurt feelings; Sucks.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Happy Place: The First Day of Summer Vacation

Peaceful. Easy. Relaxed.
Those are some ways to describe my feelings this morning, as I quietly sit, sipping my coffee, without having to get little people ready and rushed out the door. It's different than a weekend. More special somehow.
I revel in the knowledge that today is the first day of Summer Vacation. 
Little Man is in the other room, quietly occupying himself. Little Lady ate her daily banana and is playing on the floor, while Little Boy is taking advantage of sleeping in late.
And I'm just quietly sipping my coffee. Enjoying it. Delighting in the fact that I have time to sit and enjoy it.
For two blissful months, there will be no rushing out the door. There will be no homework to do, spelling tests to study for, projects to work on, or due dates to remember. There will be no assemblies to attend, no snacks or lunches to pack, and far less laundry to tend to.
Everyone says "by the end of summer, you'll be ready to send them back to school!". But no, not me. I love having my children home. I cherish it. (That's not to say there aren't times when they don't drive me completely bonkers. But that's mommyhood. Summer Vacation, or not.) I can't get enough morning or evening snuggles. Not enough jammie days. Not enough planning adventures with them. I drink in every moment.
I have these 3 little rays of sunshine, and they're all mine for the next 2 months, and I'm all theirs!

This is my happy place, and 2 months isn't nearly enough.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Adding on, or Starting Fresh?

I haven't posted anything on this blog since August.
Aside from this blog post, I only posted 24 times in 2013. I totally fizzled out on this blog... several reasons why I suppose, some of them I know and discussing it doesn't matter, and other reasons are more of a "life happens" kind of thing. Busy schedule, with less time on the computer, and some personal changing and evolving within myself. Which is a good thing!
However, every now and again I think back to this blog and contemplate leaving it up and ignoring it/doing nothing, or picking it up again, or totally deleting it.
Giving it some thought, I don't think I'll delete it. This is MY space, and I will just let it grow and evolve with me in whatever path I'm on. That makes me happy.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Slim Fast Sexy Summer VoxBox Slim-Fast Strawberries ’N’ Cream Shake

I recently received the Slim Fast Strawberries & Cream shake from Influenster as part of the #SlimFastSexySummer VoxBox.
Availability, and ease of use are good points of product. Slim Fast is a major name and can be found everywhere from your local grocer, drugstore to your quick stop convenience store. Product use and guidelines are simple and easy to adhere to.
Included in my VoxBox were recipe cards to make Slim-Fast "Mocktails". I made the "Berry Sexy Vanilla Sunrise Mocktail" but used my Strawberries & Cream shake as the base instead of the Vanilla.

You can find some fun recipes for your Slim-Fast shakes here.

I made a collage to share with you the items from my box.

Here's the nitty~gritty on my Slim-Fast review:
Ingredients that are chemical laden and full of GMO's are major turn-offs for me. There is nothing about Slim-Fast that is a part of MY healthy diet. I do understand that it fits into the lifestyle of some people, and that's okay. It's just not right for me.
I would love to see a big name like Slim-Fast embrace a healthier way of life, including use of non-GMO ingredients, and attention to dietary restrictions such as dairy/casein free and gluten free. 

Here's the fine print:
I need to 
let everyone know that I received Slim-Fast for complimentary testing purposes from Influenster!  I was not paid or compensated in any way for my reviews.
This post was created in connection with my appointment as a SlimFast Ambassador.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Lunch Meal Planning, Delicious Lunch Idea & Recipe Link

I almost always plan my dinners for the week ahead. It makes it so much easier to grocery shop, and to keep from eating out when we already know what the plan is. 

This week, I took my meal planning one step further than I usually do, and planned out my lunches for the week. Lunchtime is the most challenging meal for me. I never know what to make, and end up overeating, eating something junky, or just kind of grazing a little bit. I'm hoping this will help me feel less "lost" at lunchtime everyday. I'm trying to keep my meals pretty "clean" too, and organic when I can.

Day one of a planned lunch was great! I made a Clean Eating Quinoa Avocado Salad that was to die for. SO GOOD! I used a recipe from The Gracious Pantry (which is one of my new favorite blogs), with just a few tiny tweaks. I didn't have any limes, so I used lemon. And I inadvertently used too much garlic powder. But, it was one of the best things to hit my palate in quite a while, really. It was simply bursting with flavor.

 This recipe is a "clean recipe", so it's dairy free, and it also happens to be gluten free. Perfect! The whole thing took less than 20 minutes to prepare. I highly recommend it! So, go ahead and head over to The Gracious Pantry for the full recipe!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Celebration of Life: Cancer Free

2 years ago my mom was recovering from brain surgery, and we were waiting for the results of the biopsy (which later revealed that she had a rare form of Lymphoma).
That was the beginning of a very challenging journey.

Today, she is almost a year and a half in remission, and attending the Celebration of Life at UCLA Medical Center!!!
Here's to many more Celebrations mom, I love you!!

Better Late Than Never

Have you read this yet?  (
Yes, of course you have. Because I've seen it floating around the internet for months and months now, but never read it. So today, finally, I became the last woman on Earth to read this little bit of hilarity.

After reading this blog post, I'd have to say that The Bloggess is quite a role model.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Busy Weeknight Dinner: Semi-Clean Eating

Weeknight Little League games call for quick, easy dinners.

Last week I mentioned that we are eating cleaner in this household, and that my daughter and I are Dairy Free/Gluten Free. So that does present some challenges on the "quick easy meals" situation. No take out for us!

Last night it was GF spaghetti. I make it with Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta, which is so much better for you than a rice based pasta. In fact, for those of you on Weight Watchers, it happens to be a Power Food. Yes, that's right, a pasta that is a Power Food!

Tonight we'll be enjoying a pot of pinto's with bacon & onion accompanied by some GF cornbread muffins on the side. Yum! 
Dinner's on the stove already and making my mouth water.

What are some of your favorite "quick & easty" healthy meals?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

How to Cut Fast Food From Your Diet

Ok, so I'll be the first to admit that the allure of the oh-so-convenient Drive-Thru has been a contributing factor to my growing waistline and shrinking pocketbook for years now.  With a busy schedule and hungry kids, it's just too easy to swing by one of these fast "food" joints to grab a meal. Sometimes multiple times in one day if it's a hectic day. Can you relate?

Recently, I have made some dietary changes for my daughter and myself. And I don't just mean, "we're on a diet".  These changes have kept us out of virtually every drive through there is (because there's nothing on the menu that we can order at almost all of them). They don't even tempt me anymore!

Back in December, my daughter and I made a change to our diets. After considering the developmental delays of my daughter, and doing some research (GoDairyFree.Org is a great starting place and resource. , I eliminated all dairy (and casein) from our diets. I blogged about the experience here.
Dairy Free was much easier than I had anticipated it would be. For the most part, we have not had any problems with that.
After we survived December and January without dairy, the time had come to eliminate gluten from our diet. (Why? Obviously, that was a slightly bigger challenge than going Dairy Free was. It was a major diet overhaul. Still a work in progress. But I am happy to say that we are doing well with it.
But I'm not just substituting all of our old favorites with junky alternatives. I am incorporating as much "whole food", "clean eating", and organic foods into our lives as I can. And those boxes of processed foods? No more! It's a work in progress, but every day it gets a bit easier.
As for those fast food joints? Now I just drive by instead of drive through.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Long Lost Blogger

Hello Blogosphere! I'm here, for reals, it's really me.
Remember me? I used to post 3-6 times a week and then I sort went off the grid.
Here's what happened to me. (Sort of, but on a substantially smaller scale).
In any case, I can recall the moment that the magic started to fizzle out for me. And from there, it went fast. So I decided to step back over the holidays to enjoy time with my family. And then, for the most part, I didn't miss blogging. I did a little bit at first, but that didn't last long. It wasn't long before this little blog of mine was kind of just a memory.
Fast forward a few months, and I think I'm ready to ease back into it. But differently. I'm just going to go where my creative juices lead me. I wont be "trying" for anything aside from a personal creative outlet.


Friday, March 15, 2013

A quick note

I've been MIA from the 'Blogosphere' for a little while now. 
Today I went into my Google dashboard and discover that Google is getting rid of Google Reader in July.
This is a bummer for me, as it's how I follow/read my favorite blogs, and it's how many of my readers follow my blog.
If you are following me via Google Friend Connect, may I please ask you to follow me here at Bloglovin'?

I went into my Bloglovin' account and found that it was VERY easy to import all of the blogs that I'm following via GFC to my Bloglovin' account, so now I can still follow along with all of my favorite bloggers! Give it a try sometime soon, before you lose all of your favorites :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tomorrow is Dr. Seuss's Birthday!! Check out how we celebrate.

March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday! Dr. Seuss has always been a man that I admire for his fun writing and humor. How could anyone not admire a man that created so much inspiration in children and instilled a love of reading in them?
Dr. Seuss's birthday is also recognized as Read Across America Day. Many elementary schools participate in this as a week long event. It's so much fun for the kids, and again, it really reinforces the importance of reading for pleasure.
While I'm still deciding what to do tomorrow, here is how we celebrated last year:
I started the day by making Green Eggs and Ham for my kiddos.

My boys spent the afternoon at their grandmother's house, so I became inspired and decided to surprise them by  throwing a mini birthday party for Dr. Seuss!!
While they were gone, I got busy making our celebration dinner (as colorful as I could, just like a Dr. Seuss book!) and cupcakes. I printed out Seuss games, coloring pages and activities.
When they got home, we read Seuss books and watched Horton Hears a Who. Then we had our little birthday party. Here is what we ended up with.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

At Odds

I'm at odds with this blog right now. Not a writers block. Not a lack of things to share. Just... whatever. I'm taking a break.
When I return, I feel sure that it will be less frequently. Thought I'd say hi though, just because.
See ya later alligators!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dairy Free Mac & "Cheese"

Ah, Monday, we meet again. All of last week I was planning on posting this recipe and I just never got around to it. It seemed that this blog and myself were at odds last week. On that note, my kitchen stayed relatively clean and my laundry backlog is less than usual.
Recently I posted about how my daughter and I have started the journey into a dairy free lifestyle. You can read about that here if you missed it.
One of the struggles of having a two year old that is dairy free is that two year olds love cheese. Seriously. Tot-friendly foods like grilled cheese, quesadilla's and macaroni & cheese really cannot cease to exist in the life of a two year old. So what's a mama to do? Well, make those tot-friendly foods of course!
I decided to make some Mac & "Cheese" for my Little Lady, and didn't feel like getting caught up for hours browsing recipes on the internet, so I just made my own version. I mostly eyeballed it as I went, but the following recipe worked well for me.

1 c. Elbow Noodles
1 Tb. Earth Balance Butter Substitute (I used the whipped spread, but there are several variations of Earth Balance that would all probably work equally as well.)
1/4 c. Almond Breeze Original
3/4 c. Daiya Cheddar Shreds

In pot, bring water to boil. (No set amount, I just eyeballed this. Dash of salt if desired.)
Add 1 cup  elbow noodles to the boiling water.
Once noodles are soft, drain the water.
Add 1 Tb. of  Earth Balance spread and 1/4 cup almond milk. Stir.
Add 3/4 cup of Daiya cheese shreds. Stir until mixed well. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve and Enjoy!!!
Photograph your happy tot.
 Do you have a favorite Dairy Free recipe?
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