Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter (and throw back)

Happy Easter everyone! Enjoy this throw back of Mackynzie's first Easter. Nom- those baby rolls!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Food and Health and My Take

 I don't know what it is about blogging about food that I don't particularly like... I think maybe it's because it's time consuming. I do love to share certain recipes etc, but I don't know that I could commit to talking about food daily. (but who knows, right?)

 Throughout this journey to a healthy life, food is always such a heavy weight. There are a million questions, opinions and answers. It can feel incredibly overwhelming, and leave you guiltily reaching for less than ideal foods. Then there are those cravings. Those horrid cravings that make you feel like a beast. The good news though? It really doesn't need to be like anything mentioned above. At all. In fact, if you let it, food can be a wonderful experience and make you feel like a new person at the same time.

  I have done a lot of trial and error when it comes to food. I have eaten a diet that would be considered healthy based on the standard western diet.I have eaten a very unhealthy diet. I have been Paleo. I have been vegan. Vegan and gluten free. Now, I am moving (and almost there full throttle again.) back to a Paleo diet.

 I have poured so much worry and stress over what I put into our bodies. I have cried and had moments of 'does it really matter anyway? Can't I just close my eyes and do what's easy?'. The bottom Line I have come to is this:  Food matters. It is crucial that we care what we put into our bodies. Food is not made the same as it was years ago, and just because it looks or says its healthy, doesn't mean it is. The work we put into our food pays off-big time, and it really doesn't need to feel like work. It can be easy. Anyone can eat healthy, and everyone can reap the benefits.

 After being sick and tired of  stressing and wondering about food, I sat down with a pen and a notebook and wrote. I asked myself questions like: What do I want from the food I eat? What is important to me when it comes to food? What do I want to accomplish with the food I eat?

My answer to those questions was this: I want to eat for my body. I want to listen to what it tells me. I want to eat good food when I am hungry and stop when I am full. I want to eat in a way that keeps me fit and strong (Physically, mentally and immune wise.). I also want to indulge now and then, but not make a habit of it (and not want to either.). I want to eat food that nourishes me, fills me up, makes me feel good, maintains a healthy body shape, satisfies me and tastes good, and be simple and relatively care-free. I want to eat food that is very healthy, while still being practical to my lifestyle (aka easy.). I want to eat minimal grains and minimal dairy. And finally, that I eat to sustain MY metabolism and body needs.

 That's quite a list, isn't it? When you really look at it though, it's very simple. Best of all, its very easy to accomplish.

The most important thing to focus on is what works for you. Not what you feel like doing- don't use 'what works for you' as an excuse to hide under. My body's needs are my own. They are not the same as my husband's, or my daughter's, or of that gorgeous woman with the six pack abs. I may need a little more of this, and a little less of that. And if you listen to your body (Your taste buds and cravings tell you a lot!) you can figure it out with no problem.  Just to throw out an example, I need to have a higher calorie intake because I am nursing (same goes for if you were thinking about/trying to conceive or already preg.). I also need to eat for the work outs and exercises that I do ( Also the body type I have/am aiming for.)

For my personal needs (and through all the research I have done) the paleo diet is the best choice for me. These are my personal beliefs on food that I wrote down with my list:
   Food is to nourish and fill you. It's not for fun, and it's not something to do (but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy what you do eat, or cooking it.). Eat plenty/as many as you want  of vegetables and fruits (with the veggies outweighing.). My body needs a high protein diet, but I dont care for red meats and want/choose to eat them sparingly. If I want to eat grains- do it- but choose sprouted/soaked 'healthy' grains and do it sparingly. My body needs carbohydrates (complex mostly.) so I need to do my best to get them from sources of foods that are grain free. I need to use my knowledge about food as a guideline, not a rule or source of fear. Stressing about food will get me nowhere that I want to be.

 My biggest advice? Educate yourself about what you are eating. Do what's right for your body (not your BFF's). For the love of god, don't calorie count. And forget about the scale. If you want to keep track of progress, use measurements and before/after photos. It will get you much farther and keep you on your course for the long haul. Move your body. Find something(s) you love and do them. A lot. Be active and learn to love the sweat and burn (I practically get a lady boner just thinking about it.). You choose what you will look and feel like. No one else, so be good to yourself and choose well. (And just because people look buff doing/eating certain things, doesn't mean you will or need to.)

 Create good habits, drink water, get 6-8 hours of sleep, and enjoy the ride. Feel it and love it. You really do only live once, so make it what you want it (it all starts with your health baby!). Be confident and work (and play) hard. It is SO incredibly worth it. And since I've already said it anyway...


There are so many sub topics and what-not about this sort of thing. This is just a basic cover of it. I hope this helps someone find a bit of clarity, relief and/or motivation.


If This is something that is super interesting, I don't mind sharing more at all. Just let me know and I can answer questions etc. I know I have gotten lots of questions about this in the past, so now that I'm on top of answering things, feel free!

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Pets

Mackynzie had been asking to have a fish for a little while, so last week we decided to go for it. She now has two little fish and a frog (soon to be two frogs as we are getting another.).

She named the fish Hat and Nonono, and the frog is Azoo. 

 We always said we wouldn't get fish since they can be a pain in the butt, but this little one had us rethinking things in no time. It's a small easy to clean tank, and frogs are super cool to watch so she had us sold. She loves them so much and is doing a fantastic job of feeding them when they need to be fed, and singing and talking to them. We let her pick them out herself and she is such a proud little fishy-froggy mama.

 They make for an incredibly relaxing thing to watch with a warm cup of tea when you need a moment of peace. The frog is kind of hilarious and it's a better learning experience for Mackynzie than we could have imagined. We love the little guys. 

Do any of your little ones have pets that they are responsible for?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lovely Friday

  Ah, Friday, how we love you so. In a few hours, Cody will be home and our weekend will begin. I miss that man so much during the week. We are doing our best to keep occupied today until he is home.

A few Friday things:

 >This spring is bringing so many new babies! It's very pleasant to say the least. Congratulations to everyone out there who is being blessed with a bundle.

> Did we talk about Mango's? Oh, right we did... you really have no idea. 

> Since love is so, well, lovely, I'm going to share some with you. This is the most beautiful engagement video I have ever seen. I was crying and laughing the whole time... True love right here ladies and gents.


That was the best thing, right? Well, Isaac and Amy did another video and it is just as beautiful. I'm really jealous of how perfectly he captures his life.

I am not to thank for finding these beautiful videos though. I started following another blogger and am loving her space. You can check out Bridget Hunt's blog here. It's worth it. 

> Cody and I are continuing along with our little video project, so if there is anything your interested in us chatting about, let me know. There will be a new video up next week

I'm off to eat french fries and play animal adventures with my little.

Have a very happy weekend everyone!


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013"

She Plays with her animals every. single. day. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring is Here (?)

 The weather has been so in between here lately. Right now, cold. It's not winter anymore, but it's not spring yet. Why hello limbo... 

  On days that it's warm we head outside to get out of the house. We walk, we play, we collect things like rocks and sticks, and we trudge through snow to reach the swings. 

  We can't wait until we can play in the grass and spend the day biking and exploring. Between flu season and all our sick friends, and them or us not being home, we have been spending a lot of time with it just being us. It's been nice, but we are ready for some more interactions again!


^There is a park in all that snow...

Spring is officially (technically) here now, so we are eagerly awaiting our warmly predicted Easter.

Happy First day of spring everyone!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

5 Things

 1.  Slow it down. I have been finding myself caught up in long term stuff aka not living in the now. This week I am taking a step back and connecting with what`s happening right now. That means catching up with friends, cuddling on the couch with good shows, good food, projects I have been wanting/meaning to do, reading, playing, stepping away from social media and lots more.

2. Mango's. I have been eating so many mango's. Thank goodness there are only benefits from this insane craving... Cody ran to the store for sea salt chocolate and mango's last night-it was 8:45pm. We piled on the couch with a sleeping baby between us, accompanied by snoring dogs. We ate entirely too much of that chocolate and I ate mango and we watched a favorite show. It really is the simple things.

3. Music. I used to listen to music all the time. Always on, always in my head. Then I went through a (long) phase during a tough time in my life and I just stopped. No more music ever. Couldn't stand it because I was connecting events with songs. (big fat bleh.) Then I  -finally- snapped out of it and music and I are lovely friends again. I probably have Cody to thank for that (thanks hun!) but anyways, there is usually something playing between the three of us in this house. Just for fun, you can check out my current playlist here (I suggest hitting shuffle.).

4. Work it. I started my own version of a 'shred'. Maybe I should call it a 'tone'? Tightening my paleo reins and doing zumba 5 days a week in the morning, and yoga every day. Im only 3 days in, but why the heck did I stop doing this?! This used to be the norm. Feeling good, and I imagine by the end of the week I will be feeling extra good. It can really suck to get going with exercise, but its just so worth it. I am such a better me when I work out, and getting it over with in the morning is the key (for me) because you can forget about it before breakfast! Want my unsolicited advice? Of course you do. Just MOVE.  Do something, anything, just move. It's going to get you farther than sitting, and the time will pass anyway.

5. Spring prep. We get busy with warmer weather, there is just so much more to do! I'm starting to play with a loose plan in my head. I'm really excited for our summer adventures, biking everywhere, more library trips, zoo, picnics, play groups at the park... All of it. Okay, maybe not the bugs..

 I hope you all are having a really good week!


In case you don't want to hit the link- here you go:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Paleo Banana Walnut Bread

 I started Paleo baking again. The good thing about paleo baking is that once you get the hang of it, everything follows similar principals, so unlike regular baking you can create your own recipes. 

 The verdict? This was good. It's mild and sweet and has good consistency and shape. However, I personally don't love coconut flour in my baking. I don't know, it's a texture thing for me. I am going to start baking with almond flour, because I feel like It would have a closer texture to what I am looking for. Despite all this, it was good, so go HERE for the recipe. (To spare me from having to re right it) I used walnuts instead and 3 bananas.

 Happy Saturday everyone!

Do you like coconut flour??

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Yummy chia seed pudding recipe with a step-by-step tutorial from an adorable little girl. This is Really good and satisfies a sweet tooth perfectly.


*1 full can ( 11/2 cups) full fat coconut milk (shake it well)
*4 tbsp pure maple syrup or raw honey (keep in mind that honey doesn't mix well as is, it clumps, so if you're going to use it, heat it a bit.)
*1 tbsp vanilla extract
* 2 tbsp cocoa powder
*1/3 cup chia seeds.

*Berries for topping
*keep this 'vanilla' by skipping the cocoa


 Mix together coconut milk, syrup, vanilla and cocoa powder. pour in chia seeds and mix well. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours if you wish to eat it soon, otherwise, chill in the fridge (covered tightly) for a few hours/overnight, but be sure to eat it within 24 hours.

This picture doesn't do it justice, so you will have to forgive me (it was late when it was ready.). It's creamy and perfectly chocolate. Make it, you won't regret it!

**note: this is not a smooth putting. More like a rice/tapioca consistency

I would totally tweak this to make into a moose like or freezer cake too. Om nom-wheels turning....


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Spring is blowing kisses our way.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Scrappy Crafts

 With the warm weather, has come inspiration to get my craft on again. Thank goodness. I'm really into buntings/garlands right now, so I have a couple in progress. This is one I made last week using left over fabric scraps. Easy peasy.

 I'm planning to craft lots over the next couple months before we move, so that our new place can feel homey and cozy right away.

 (It just so happens that a lovely lady over at In The Fun Lane is doing a 'scrap week' featuring  tons of cute crafts using all those crafts we can never throw out. Friday she will be having a linky party and I'm excited to see all the inspiration!)


The Married Life: 1

Cody and I have decided to do a little project together. This is the intro video, done on the fly and unedited, so forgive the um's and awkward pauses.  We plan to cover a variety of topics and sub topics with this, but most of all, we are excited for something fun to do together on the blog!

Few things:

*Cody is actually really expressive (he's not actually mad or anything haha), i'm sure you will see that in the future, we just did this spontaneously because we finally had a minute. ;)

*if you could only see my full outfit (mom wardrobe alert!)

*we will get more comfortable with this, the first video is always the hardest/weirdest haha.

* We are cheesy and nerdy with our words, so you are fully warned ;)


Monday, March 11, 2013

Bits + Pieces

1. Bouncing pig tales are the best
2. My new addiction. Funny, since I used to hate the stuff
3. We got in some good snuggles this weekend
4. A lot of things were dipped in chocolate this weekend. Fingers included
5. Solving breakfast mysteries
6. Paleo banana bread and chocolate dipped frozen bananas
7. I could also eat mango's all day. Not even kidding
8. We finally had a lounge day this weekend. She soaked it up
9. I always wonder what she dreams of

Thursday, March 7, 2013


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013"

 Watching signing time is about the only time she will sit still...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Simple Smile

 Days really are so much brighter when we decide to share love. I like to start each day, before my feet hit the floor in the morning, saying something along the lines of:

"Today, I choose love. With an open heart, I allow wonderful things to flow into me and my life. Love is the foundation of my soul. When I give, I receive  Today, I will do my absolute best to see the love that is in every situation. I choose to give love to every person I meet." (inspiration from 'yoga girl' aka the beautiful Rachel Brathen.)

Today, Mackynzie and I headed out early to go to the mall. We went with a girlfriend of mine briefly  then parted ways until we met up for lunch. The mall was slow and sleepy and having nothing in particular to buy, we made several laps around it. Not to mention the fact that we got their really early and only the coffee shops where open. We walked for about 30 minutes until everything opened up. We grabbed warm drinks, and paced the mall, stopping to look at mannequins and play at the play area. We stopped in some stores, did some window shopping, and picked up some craft supplies. That's not what made today a wonderful day, though.

 With my little mantra dancing along with me, I let love flow out of me. I met the gaze of every person I passed, and smiled a warm, genuine smile at each one. I didn't have to force it at all ( A welcomed feeling, as I had been unsure.). I felt a lovely connection with each person who met my gaze. The most beautiful thing happened  As we walked and smiled, people smiled back. There were faces that lifted out of sleepy hazes, warm morning greetings, frowns turned upside down, and even some shocked expressions turned grins.

 Mackynzie alternated walking and sitting in the wrap on my back, and our love-filled day continued. I don't want to forget this. Every single person has so much love to give, sometimes they just need a reassuring nudge. Even the grumpy and serious faced people's brows smoothed and their eyes brightened. I was making a difference, and in doing so, I was receiving so much happiness!

 The wrap always stirs many kind and curious comments, and even pleasant conversation. such was the case today. I had a lovely chat with a lady working a kiosk. She asked me questions about it, and we talked like old friends. She shared about her small son at home, and about her and her husband's business. After several minutes, we separated, wishing each other beautiful days.

Moments later, we passed a man in a phone kiosk who had commented earlier that he loved our wrap. He was a younger man, with a beautiful smile and warm eyes. He glanced our way and smiled. Telling us again that he loved our wrap, shaking his head with his grin. I stopped then and stood by his kiosk to thank him. He then told me that he was from Africa, and that it was very common to see mothers wearing their children in wraps. He told me how nice it was for him to see it. He also shared his faint memories of his mother wearing him, and how he felt it makes the child-mother bond stronger. His grin grew as he said how much he loved his mother and how close they were. I couldn't help the happiness welling inside me as I listened to this man. I thanked him for his story and wished him a beautiful day. I walked away with an enormous smile on my face.

 It truly is the little things. We choose how we live our life. we choose our happiness. You don't need anything special; sharing love is not a super power. It's a gift every person has with them at all times.

Today's experience was food for my soul. I vow to do my very best to practice this every single day. Th reward is just too great not to!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Little House Tour

**I am having a really hard time with this video. Please let me know if it's too hard to watch. I have no idea why it uploaded so poorly.**

Literally... I promised a peek into where we are living right now, so here it is; in all its awkward glory. I actually did this yesterday but it took forever to upload, so know that the references to the days activities are from yesterday. Today there is no zoo, because we are in the middle of a snow storm. Winter always feels the need to have the last word.

*So sorry about the focus of this video. I will figure it out.
*There is an awkward encounter with my father in law who came in for a drink. pay no mind.
*anything else I may have missed ;)


I talk about why we moved etc here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mom Therapy

 I am a crazy ball of restless energy today. Mackynzie is asleep on the couch as I type this and the house is silent apart from the comforting hum of the fan.

 Cleaning is a fantastic anxiety reliever. How I am only just discovering this, I have no idea, but I am so glad the light bulb went off. Mackynzie did not want to go to bed last night, so bedtime happened when two tired parents climbed into bed, turned off all the lights and told her we were going to sleep. It worked, she slept, but it was not an ideal night. With that being said she, of course, woke in a foul little mood. It wasn't that bad, but very noticeable. I kept my cool, and with a cup of green tea in hand, started buzzing around the kitchen, mad at the day-old mess. Before I knew it, the kitchen was clean and I had moved to the bathroom. I was frustrated that the upstairs bathroom is just never clean enough. I scrubbed with lightning speed, checking on Mackynzie in between jobs, who was happily watching a show and munching eggs. I left the bathroom only to decide that the floors were grossing me out since it's shedding time, and thought it would only take a second anyway. I put the vacuum away, loaded my arms with everything that needed to be downstairs, and sat on the floor to color with Mackynzie. It was there that I allowed my self to relax my shoulders and breathe. I felt so much lighter and my mind was much more clear. Mackynzie seemed to be in better spirits, as she peeled crayons and chatted with me about the coloring page.

 I have done a lot of cleaning in my life, but very few times have I put my anxieties and frustrations into my work. Today I vowed to do it every time. I wasn't particularly frustrated or anxious, but I have days where I over think and over analyze and it can get out of hand. I figure if I put anything negative or worrisome into whatever I am cleaning, then wash that crap away, I'm going to be a pretty mellow mama in no time!

  It is an incredibly beautiful day today. Our first double digit of the year and we are going to soak it up as soon as this little one wakes up. We even went out in T-shirts yesterday to play on the steps. The taste of spring is in the air and boy, did I miss it's sweetness.