Sunday, October 14, 2012

I Haven't Posted in Forever!

Between a packed full summer to the busy first month with two kids, I completely forgot I even had a blog. haha. I'm back now and back to posting. :)

Matthew was born at home in the water on September 13th. Having a homebirth was such a great experience and I will definitely do it again. I'm glad I did the hospital birth with Elliott so now I am able to compare the two- how was pre and post partum care was with both, what the birth was like with both, and hospital stay vs. being in my own home in my own bed. 

Life with two kids is busy! It's taken a month, but I feel like we are finally getting in a good routine. It helps that Elliott is so sweet and loving to his brother and wanting to help out any way he can. I find that I actually do better getting out the door on time because I allow myself more time to get ready knowing that I have two kids to tend to and pack for. 

The other exciting highlight on our month was that we found a new replacement dog blanket for Elliott! YAY! His first one was a baby shower gift from a friend out of town so when he got attached to it and couldn't sleep without it, we couldn't find it anywhere. The problem was, it smelled awful. Two years of sucking on this thing, dragging it around, bringing it everywhere. 

Zach finally found one on ebay and we quickly bought it. The new one was so clean, nice and fluffy! 

I'm glad a friend suggested I not throw out his old one because even though he still calls the new one his doggy, he's not able to fall asleep with it. We keep his old, stinky one hidden during the day, but he still needs it at night to fall asleep. 

Our anniversary was on Wednesday. Three years! 

I'm so happy and thankful to be married to the love of my life. He is my everything! Zach surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of red roses and some awesome gifts. He ended up having the day off which was nice. :) After the kids went to bed, we ordered in sushi, watched a movie, and enjoyed a quiet evening together at home. 

Elliott is officially in a toddler bed now. He's still learning how to sleep in it though. LOL

I've been doing cloth diapering for about 2 weeks now. It's definitely easier practicing and learning on an infant than a toddler since they just lay there and you can move things around or readjust things without them getting impatient or trying to roll over/get up. I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of it now and realizing it's not that hard! 

Finally, I thought I'd leave you all with a recipe. 'Tis the season for all things pumpkin. Even though we're eating dairy and gluten free over here, we still had to figure out a good pumpkin bread! Should I admit that we ate almost the whole loaf- besides two pieces- in one night? ;) Anyway, here is a delicious and healthy recipe for pumpkin bread: 

5 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (make sure it's just pumpkin listed on the ingredients)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tblsp cinnamon
1/4-1/2 cup honey

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix everything together with a hand mixer until smooth. Pour into greased loaf pan. Make sure it is well greased because it tends to stick to the bottom. Bake 13-18 minutes. Best when served warm with butter. :) 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quick Apple Dessert

I've been loving this snack the past couple days and thought I would pass it along. Perfect for a sweet tooth and actually a healthy dessert!

Fried Apples
1 apple
1 tblsp coconut oil
Maple syrup or honey (optional)

Heat the oil in the skillet. Core the apple and cut into thin slices. Fry in the coconut oil and sprinkle the cinnamon and stevia generously on both sides.

How long you fry it is up to you. I like my soft...almost to an applesauce. Or you could do it for just a couple minutes on each side so they are still crunchy. Then serve up on a plate and lightly drizzle honey or maple syrup over them.

Monday, July 9, 2012


I bet just about everyone has this item in their house. And if you were like me, you don't realize ALL the things you can use it for. I buy this by the gallons now and always seem to be needing to pick up more! It is a cheap, non toxic cleaner for deodorizing, degreasing, and general cleaning. If you don't like the smell (like Zach doesn't), just add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil. Here's a short list to the endless possibilities of uses for vinegar.

-An easy way to make an all purpose cleaner is to pour equal parts of vinegar and water into a water bottle. That's all I use to clean our counters, furniture, and bathrooms.

-Pour it down your drains, like the garbage disposable, to kill odors. It also has been working great to pour down bathtubs drains to keep bugs from crawling up!

-Use as a fruit wash to kill germs and pesticides.

-Wipe away mildew with pouring a little bit of straight vinegar on a cleaning cloth. Or if the mildew is on your shower curtain, just pour the vinegar right onto it.

-Erases ballpoint pin marks or crayons.

-Great for disinfecting cutting boards (especially if you have wood ones like mine).

-Removing carpet stains (great for pet accidents).

-I've been putting 1/2 cup in every load in the dishwasher. Look at the difference in one wash! I haven't tried it yet, but you could also put 1/2 cup in your washer to clean it out instead of bleach.

-Removes mineral deposits from shower heads.

-Whitens grout on your tile.

-Softens cuticles and callouses. Soak your hands or feet in vinegar.

-Spraying along the doorway keeps ants out.

-Use as a fabric softener. Pour it in your Downy ball, or whatever fabric softener you're currently using, and wash normally.

-For a microwave with really tough stains, microwave a bowl with vinegar for a minute. Everything wipes off so easy after that.

-And I hear it's good for applying on painful sunburns...that it takes the pain away instantly. I haven't had a sunburn yet to try that one. ;)

I know there are soooo many more uses, but these are the ones I personally have used it for and know it works fantastic!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Finger Painting

Today we decided to do something fun and different. Searching my Pintrest boards, I found a non toxic homemade recipe and was so excited to give it a try.

It's just 2 tblsp of sugar, 1/3 cup of flour, and 2 cups of water. Heat it slowly in a saucepan until it's thick and add food coloring!

I taped newspaper to the table and excitedly called Elliott in the room to come finger paint. I didn't think about the fact that he hates food on his hands or face, hates being muddy and hates even the tiniest bit of dirt in his shoes. So what did he think about finger painting?

When I told him we were all done, he finally gave me one good picture.

Oh well, it was fun getting to make the finger paint and hopefully I'll have a kid somewhere down the road that will actually like getting messy. ;)

Monday, June 25, 2012

At Home Workout

This workout will be anywhere from 30- 45 minutes depending on how many/how long of breaks you take. This is a sample of one of the workouts we do at the class I teach at the park on Fridays- which is a lower body day!

Start with a 5-10 minute warm up of ballistic exercises to warm up your body and muscles. This will prevent injury. For example, do jumping jacks, do some sprints, or jump rope. Then do some quick, light stretching like touching your toes, split squatsshoulder stretch, biceps/chest stretch, and standing hamstring stretch, just to name a few.

We'll start the workout with a tabata workout. It's a high intensity 4 minute workout. Do not take breaks during these four minutes to get the full benefits of a Tabata workout. It is 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. It's only four minutes, you can do it. ;) You get the benefits however of doing a 60 minute cardio workout!

Burpees with a jump knee tuck- 20 seconds

10 seconds rest
Jumping lunges (alternating legs)- 20 seconds
10 seconds rest
Mountain Climbers- 20 seconds
10 seconds rest
Squat jumps- 20 seconds
10 seconds
(Then we'll repeat that)

Burpees with a jump knee tuck- 20 seconds
10 seconds rest
Jumping lunges (alternating legs)- 20 seconds

10 seconds rest
Mountain Climbers- 20 seconds
10 seconds rest
Squat jumps- 20 seconds
10 seconds rest and you are DONE!

Now on to the rest of our workout:

180 degree jump squats- 20 each way, 40 total. If you're not able to jump, just quickly step back and forth.
Reverse lunge with kick- 20 each leg
Wide (or Plie) squat jump- 25 total
Repeat this (try not to take a break until you have repeated it. Then take a water break)

4 direction hops for 1 minute total, 30 seconds on each leg (I can't find a good picture to demonstrate. Just hop on one foot making a cross on the ground. Hop forward, back, left and right, repeat.)
Squat to lateral leg lifts- 20 total, alternating legs
Step ups- 20 total, alternating legs. Find anything to step up on. A park bench, a fire place, a chair, even your couch.
Repeat and then take a water break.

Plank jacks for 1 minute
Plank leg lifts- 25 each leg

Bridge lifts- 25

Repeat and then quickly grab some water and we'll move on to abs.

Mason twist (you can do this without an exercise ball)- 25 each side, 50 total
Crunches with holding your legs at 90 degrees- 25
V-Ups- 25 
(That totals 100 reps for ab work!)

Finally, do some cool down, static stretching. 

Challenge. Change.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Iced Cafe Mocha

My last couple prenatal visits have shown that my body is way too acidic. Meaning that I eat more acid containing foods than alkaline. Acid foods are foods like pork or beef, peanut butter, cocoa powder, most cheeses, deli meats, ketchup, eggs, corn tortillas, and butter. The best alkaline foods are your leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens or vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, and cucumbers. Lemons, olive oil, grapefruit, berries, raw honey, coconut oil, and cinnamon are all examples of foods that help balance out the acidity in your body. Most people, and me since being pregnant, eat a diet that consists of mostly acidic foods. It's best to pair an acidic food with an alkaline food. Like chicken and asparagus. Or peanut butter on celery.

That being said, I am not a huge coffee drinker, but after I knew I shouldn't have it...guess what I started craving all the time. ;)

Then I stumbled upon this!

It's a tea that comes in different coffee flavors. You can make it two ways. The first looks like coffee grounds and you just run it through your coffee maker like you would make a cup of coffee. The other way comes as tea bags and you just brew it like you would a cup a tea...but it tastes like coffee!

Here is a recipe for a delicious, 200 calorie, healthier alternative to a regular iced cafe mocha.

Brew 10-12 oz of Teeccino. Put in freezer to let it cool down. Add 1/3 cup coconut milk*, dash or two of cinnamon, 2 tbsp of cocoa powder, and 10-15 drops of Stevia. Add some ice and I always find that it tastes yummier if you pour it into a pretty cup. haha.
*You could substitute with almond milk for a lower calorie drink, but then it wouldn't be as creamy.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs

I have been baking like crazy lately. My sweet tooth is back and I'm trying to satisfy it with somewhat healthier dessert options. ;) The problem with trying to bake healthier- using honey instead of sugar, making things gluten free, etc, is that you get a lot of failed attempts before hitting the jackpot. You can't just follow the recipes exactly how they're written like with "normal" baking. But I thought I'd share with you how to make Reeses Peanut Butter Cups...they are so easy and a hit the first time!!!

1/4 cup of peanut butter (I've been getting the kind from the co-op where the machine has roasted peanuts and you flip the switch and it literally grounds it up right there. Nothing else added to it)

1/4 cup powdered sugar (I didn't have any "good" kind of powdered sugar at home so I used the regular...but you certainly can make your own or buy an unrefined one)
2 tblsp cocoa powder
2 tblsp coconut oil (Zach thought it tasted a little too coconut-y so next time I will try using 1 tblsp coconut oil and 1 tblsp melted butter)
2 tblsp raw honey...from the farmer's market :)

Mix the first three ingredients and shape into Reeses eggs. Now I shaped them to be the same size as if I had bought them at the store. But that only made 5 Reeses eggs. The recipe says to make 6-9 eggs and if you did that, each egg only equals about 55 calories. So it's your call if you want to make them bite sized and as a low calorie sweet treat, or the regular size to satisfy a Reeses egg craving. ;)

Freeze the dough until they are firm. I just did about 15 minutes. While they are in the freezer, mix the rest of the ingredients together. Dip each one into the chocolate and put back into the freezer. Isn't my little helper pretty cute?

Because we had extra chocolate, I cut up a banana and topped with chia seeds for Elliott. Plus, I didn't want to have to share. lol

Because of the coconut oil, they should harden pretty quickly. Then eat and enjoy!! You can store them in the freezer, but you might want to let them thaw a bit before eating them.

I wasn't able to get a good picture because of my cheap camera and poor lighting when they were done, but here's a picture from the blog I got the recipe from! (Mine were darker than hers because I had the special dark cocoa powder.)

peanut butter eggs

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Summer Workshop

(Didn't Zach do such an awesome job for the flyer??? ^_^)

For those of you in Las Cruces, come join us for the two workshop dates to learn about herbs- what they do and how to make a couple tinctures- and what natural living means. How to avoid chemicals in your household and body products? Make your own! We will learn how to make things like sunscreen, toothpaste, natural stain removers and household cleaners. Everyone will be taking home everything we make in class plus instructions on how to make it again yourself. I hope you can make it!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We've Moved!

Phew! It's been a busy week with us moving from the apartment we've been in since we've been married into a house. And I have to say, I am loving all this space....closets, 2 car garage, backyard, three patios, and so much wall space for pictures and decorations! (I've been going crazy on Pintrest.) Even though we had a month to move everything over, I was just too excited to have a house to stay in the apartment any longer and we got it all done in a day. Once those 14 stairs to get to our apartment were starting to get annoying, I just reminded myself of the fantastic workout I was getting basically going up a stair stepper all day long and it gave me the motivation to finish it up. HAHA!

Elliott had a little bit of a hard time adjusting at first. He would get scared if left in any room by himself and didn't sleep too well the first couple of nights. He's a lot better now. He'll venture into other rooms to play by himself now, but always comes back periodically to check on me and see what I'm doing. He loves having a backyard. Every morning he wakes up and grabs his shoes and asks to go outside. The backyard is all fenced in and just rocks and dead grass so it's been so nice that I can let him go outside without having to watch him or worry about it. Here he is doing "the honey badger" on our bed. :)

I am so thankful and we are so blessed to have found this wonderful house to rent in the exact area we were looking to move to and that the rent was lowered to just what was in our price range. God is so good!

I am also sharing a recipe that we used quite a bit while our dishes were still in boxes and wanted a quick and easy clean up dinner.

Foil Fish
Frozen fish fillets (any kind- salmon, tilapia, cod, etc)
Spices (whatever you have, whatever sounds good)
Any vegetables in your fridge (we had a lot of carrots, zucchini, squash, and broccoli)

Basically you just throw it all together in a square piece of foil and wrap it up like this.

Bake at 400 degrees for 11-15 minutes. So easy and tastes delicious!