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Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Simple Steps Towards Mom Self-Care plus a Quick Vegetable Dip Recipe

Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

I’ve been mom-wired for as long as I can remember. I wanted to play with dolls all day every day from the time I was very little. I dreamed about nursing babies instead of being a princess. I loved to make food for my siblings and their friends and would even clean up after them. I was always willing to help around the house. I would just sit in the kitchen and watch my mom bake because it fascinated me.

All Grown Up

I can’t say a whole lot has changed since then. I now have three kids of my own. I still love to cook for them and take care of them. It’s fun to dress them in cute clothes and do fun activities with them.

My writing is much the same. It focuses on feeding kids nourishing food and working through picky eating and allergies. All of my recipes have to be kid-approved. I even wrote two books about feeding kids (check them out here)!

Where’s Mom?

You may have noticed that one thing has been left out of all of this…myself. Yes, I am just like so many other moms. I put myself at the bottom of my to-do list.

As I write this post I’m starting day seven of my husband being out of town. With a house and farm to care for, three kids to feed and tend to, lots of activities and home schooling I bet you can imagine how much time is left to think about myself (next to none).Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Mom Life Rocks!

I don’t say any of this to take pity on myself. It’s actually quite the opposite! I love my life. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But sometimes (ok, almost all the time) I forget that mom needs care too.

Over the last few months I have finally made it my goal to really focus on my health and making nourishing food a priority (i.e. sardines, liver and spinach for breakfast!!). It has been amazing to see my health continue to improve (even after 2 1/2 years of breastfeeding on a very restricted diet that left me worn out and depleted). I actually feel better now than I ever have. It’s a good thing since my life requires a lot of energy!

Body Shape Roller Coaster

Along with the  health changes have come changes in my body shape. For a while now I’ve been in a constant state of exhaustion and adrenal fatigue. This leads to skinny legs and booty with weight in the belly. Plus you lose muscle. For this once fit and active woman it was strange…but eventually became my normal. My husband and I even joked that I seemed to loose more booty and gain more belly with each child (now I know that is from being so run down)!

But as my health has been reversing back to balanced hormones and fully rested my weight is shifting back to the places it should be. I have a figure again! And now my clothes don’t fit (especially pants!).Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

What’s the Problem?

Yet one thing I still never do for myself is buy new clothes. Although it sounds trivial, when you’re wearing old yoga pants and ten year old t-shirts with holes in the armpits every day, it really doesn’t make you feel so great about how you look. It impacts your self esteem. And your kids notice. But it’s about all I have that fits.

You can imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to partner with Stonyfield Yogurt and prAna again. I’ve worked with them in the past to help me figure out my style and learn to embrace bold. This time I combined both my love of simplicity and my need for bold colors with this royal blue dress. It fits perfectly with prAna’s celebration of #TheWholeYou. This dress is ALL me.

From the moment I pulled it out of the box I knew it would be one of my favorite pieces of clothing. Sometimes I get caught up in budgets and kids’ needs and forget that I have needs to. I am always willing to go without. I forget that a few simple pieces of clothing that actually fit and make me feel good can make a world of difference in my attitude and my confidence.Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

It’s Your Turn!

I want to encourage you to do something today to take care of yourself. Whether it be taking a walk alone, meeting a friend for coffee and having uninterrupted adult conversations, finishing that book that’s been half read for months, taking a yoga class, going on a date with your spouse or buying a new outfit that really makes you feel good.

Moms often forget that they have needs too. I don’t know about you, but I need a reminder once in a while (or maybe all the time) to not always put myself last. A happy, healthy mom is better able to care for her family and help create a happy, healthy home.Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Need some inspiration to get you started?

I’ve got TWO ways to take mom off the bottom of the to-do list today.

First, check out prAna and buy yourself something nice. Seriously, their clothes are AMAZING. So comfortable and good quality. If you’re like me that is so important since I don’t buy new clothes often. It has to last. 

PrAna is offering my readers 15% off using coupon code WHOLES17JTB through the end of May. I might just have to order a few more things myself since none of my clothes fit anymore!Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Second I’ve got a yummy treat for you (though you can share if you want – my kids sure love it…there I go again, handing over my food to my kids). I LOVE vegetables. I always have. But I like raw veggies even more with dip. You can make this super simple dip in about sixty seconds. Jazz up your veggies with something delicious and do your body a favor with nourishing foods. It’s a win-win.

All those great vitamins in vegetables need fat for absorption. So Stonyfield full fat Greek yogurt makes the perfect base. Add some seasoning and you’ve got a great snack or addition to your lunch.Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

60 Second Veggie Dip
Serves 4
A quick and nutritious veggie dip using Greek yogurt.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Stonyfield whole milk Greek yogurt
  2. 1/8 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  3. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  4. 1/4 tsp. onion salt
  5. 3/4 tsp. dried dill weed
  6. (optional: 1/2 tsp. desiccated liver)
  7. (optional: 1/4 tsp. turmeric)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients. Add more garlic or onion if desired.
  2. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Notes
  1. You can substitute sour cream for the yogurt
  2. This is great as a vegetable dip, chip dip or topping for tacos or nachos.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

What are you doing today for some mom self-care? I’d love to hear how you make time for yourself! I have a lot to learn.

Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is in a few days…any mom would love some prAna clothing (hint, hint)! Use the coupon code WHOLES17JTB for 15% off!!

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and prAna on this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment but all opinions are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Parfait and a Trip to the Zoo!

Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

My kids are true animal lovers. Just one more reason we moved to the country to start our own farm a few months ago!! But it’s not just farm animals. They are fascinated by just about any animal.

Science In Action

This is our first year homeschooling…and we chose to study land animals for science. They really, truly love animals! So when I heard that Stonyfield Yogurt was promoting World Penguin Day and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) program I knew we had to see what it was all about.Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

We took a trip to our local zoo (John Ball Zoo) to see the penguins up close. I’ve been going to JBZ ever since I was little. Whenever I visited my grandparents they took us to the zoo, and we each got a balloon. It is one of the best (and only) memories I have of my grandparents (I was very little). But I cherish those memories. And I love that I get to take my own kids to John Ball now!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

As luck would have it when we walked into the zoo they were just about to feed the penguins. So we hurried right over and got to see penguins swimming all over and enjoying fish. My kids thought it was great.

The fun didn’t end there. We spent the rest of the morning exploring tigers, bongos, spider monkeys, goats, chickens, chimpanzees and more. My animal-loving kids could have stayed all day. They really had fun on the new funicular. And, of course, we took a snack break and enjoyed some Stonyfield yogurt!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Fun

We can’t wait to go back to the zoo again this summer when we have more time to explore and more animals are active. But leaving the zoo didn’t put an end to our celebration of World Penguin Day.

At home we went on a waddle walk to see just how hard it would be to walk miles and miles like penguins do. The kids were out of breath after waddling across the yard. I don’t know how the penguins do it!

Later that day we watched some videos about penguins and learned about Emperor Penguins by watching Planet Earth. The kids were glued to the tv, fascinated by how the male penguins care for the eggs and wait for the females to return with food.Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

A Special Yogurt Treat

In honor of all of our Penguin Day fun we decided to make a special snack – a penguin parfait! This fun treat is easy to make and reminds us to do our part in keeping wildlife safe. I combined Stonyfield yogurt with tummy calming activated charcoal to create a black and white parfait you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch or a snack.

Yogurt has a great balance of sodium to potassium which is great for your heart! This parfait also contains a nice mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Activated charcoal is my go-to supplement for settling tummies after an illness or an allergic reaction. I sometimes give it to my kids to help with gentle detox as well. It’s great for tummy maintenance once in a while. So this parfait is more than just a delicious treat. It’s filled with nutrition too.

I encourage you to help your kids explore and discover God’s beautiful creation. Take a trip to your local zoo and learn about the animals and how you can help protect them (don’t forget you can earn FREE zoo tickets when you buy Stonyfield yogurt!). Then enjoy a penguin parfait!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Parfait
Serves 2
A simple yogurt parfait to celebrate World Penguin Day.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup full fat plain creamy or greek-style yogurt
  2. 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  3. 1 capsule activated charcoal (260 mg)
  4. 1 medium-size ripe banana, halved and sliced
  5. 2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine the yogurt, honey and charcoal. Mix until charcoal is fully distributed.
  2. Divide the yogurt between two cups.
  3. Top the yogurt with a layer of banana slices and 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips per cup.
Notes
  1. You can replace the yogurt + honey with two YoKids yogurt in your favorite flavor.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt on this post. I was compensated for my time but all opinions expressed are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

We're celebrating something special today - World Penguin Day! We're taking a waddle walk and heading to the zoo to check out some penguins in person.

World Penguin Day is Here!

We’re celebrating something special today – World Penguin Day! We’re taking a waddle walk and heading to the zoo to check out some penguins in person.

We're celebrating something special today - World Penguin Day! We're taking a waddle walk and heading to the zoo to check out some penguins in person.

Have you heard of World Penguin Day? It’s today!

Learn Something New.

As a home schooling family it’s exciting to learn about unique events like World Penguin Day and to take the time to learn what it’s about. Studying penguins is on our agenda for today (and you’ll hear about our trip to the zoo to see the penguins soon!). My toddler will be so excited. She loves penguins.

April 25 is approximately when penguins migrate north. Maybe I’ll take my kids for a waddle walk north and see how long it takes us to go just a few steps!

Good Stewards.

I also want my kids to understand how important it is to support conservation efforts for majestic animals like penguins, part of God’s beautiful creation.

I’m thankful there are good companies like Stonyfield Yogurt helping these efforts.

Stonyfield YoKids is sponsoring the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) program; together on a mission to help save endangered species. As part of a year-long effort, Stonyfield will not only be contributing funds to field work but aiming to drive kids and their families to see animals and conservation projects first hand at zoos, aquariums, and on the ground where research is happening.

We're celebrating something special today - World Penguin Day! We're taking a waddle walk and heading to the zoo to check out some penguins in person.

Get in on the Action!

You can tune in LIVE to a fun event where you get to meet endangered African Penguins at the Mystic Aquarium. Tune in HERE.

This year the African penguin will be featured on Stonyfield YoKids packages in addition to a special offer to get FREE tickets to your local zoo!

If you need another fun activity to help celebrate World Penguin Day with your kids check out these funny videos of kids answering the question, “Can a cow save a penguin?”

Get outside for a waddle walk and do your part to take care of God’s good creation. Show the penguins some love. How will you help support the penguins?

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt on this post. I was compensated for my time but all opinions expressed are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

What Grade Would You Give Your Food? I give mine a B!

When it comes to our food, quality matters! That’s why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

I like to be a good steward with my finances. I look for the best deals when I shop for food and health and beauty products. But that’s not the only factor to consider.

Quality Matters

I could buy a grocery cart full of really cheap food…and pay for it with my health. Instead I look for the best quality that fits within my budget.

My decisions about what to feed my family and what to use on our bodies and in our home are not just about organic vs. non-organic. They go deeper. I love to support companies that are using their business as a force for good. That means they are having a positive impact socially and environmentally.

If you’re like me you don’t have time to research every company to see how they do business.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

Do They Make the Grade?

That’s why it’s so nice to have the B Corp certification. You can simply look at the product package to see if you are supporting a quality company.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

Certified B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.

Who’s in this great group? There are many B Corp certified companies (you can find a list here). I recently got the chance to try a few. They include:

  • Stonyfield Yogurt (we LOVE their whole milk grass-fed yogurt)
  • Pukka (tulsi tea is great for women)
  • Preserve (all of my kids wanted this toothbrush…but I told them mama gets it)
  • Purely Elizabeth (granola is one of my absolute favorite foods…this one is amazing)
  • King Arthur (as an avid gluten free baker this gluten free blend comes in handy)
  • Method (the kitchen is where I spend most of my day…which means my kids do too…and we have plenty of opportunties to wash hands!)
  • Pete and Gerry’s (I could eat eggs every single day. They are a nutrient powerhouse. But for me quality is so important when it comes to eggs since we use a lot of raw yolks.)

When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.
I’ve been a fan of Stonyfield for many years (and my kids sure love trying all their products!! They fought over our yogurt). I love knowing we are getting organic dairy.

Some of these companies are new to me. It’s always fun to be introduced to new companies and products that are high quality and making the world a better place.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

My Favorite

Of all the products my favorite was the Pukka tulsi tea. I’m working hard right now to balance my hormones and supercharge my diet to replenish nutrients after breastfeeding for 2 1/2 years (!!). Just days before receiving this package a friend suggested trying tulsi tea. You can imagine my great delight to find some on my doorstep!!

I’ve been combining the Pukka tulsi tea with a few other herbs like hibiscus, red raspberry leaf and nettles to really give myself a boost and support my hormones. This tea gets both an A+ and a B from me!When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

Are you using your dollars to support companies that meet a high standard in addition to delivering quality food? It is important not only for our bodies but also for our children’s futures.

The next time you go shopping make sure your food makes the grade. Make sure it scores a B!

Want to learn more? Find out about B Corp certification here.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt for this post. I have been compensated for my time but all opinions are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Spice Cake

Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Sometimes you just need chocolate. Am I right?

And sometimes you need dark chocolate…with a twist.Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Something New

I recently got to try the new Stonyfield double cream yogurt and some fun spices from Simply Organic. I paired these unlikely sidekicks in a unique dark chocolate spice cake.

The cake is very mildly sweet with a hint of spice. But plenty of chocolate!Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Kid-Friendly

My kids couldn’t get enough. I thought they would be hesitant to try chocolate with cumin added. Boy, was I wrong. They could hardly wait for me to take pictures before they tried it.

And of course they all wanted to help make the cake. My toddler did a lot of sampling.

I also added some mini chocolate chips (this is the brand we love because it is allergen free) to provide another burst of chocolate and some texture.Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Change It Up

We enjoyed it plain as a light dessert. Dark chocolate spice cake would also be very good topped with a simple butter cream or homemade ice cream (vanilla, chocolate or salted dark chocolate would all be great choices!).Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Yogurt and Spice and Everything Nice

I’m so glad we got to try the double cream yogurt from Stonyfield. It is just what it says…double the cream (you know I’m always in favor of more healthy fat!). It’s like yogurt and sour cream had a baby…super creamy and mildly tangy. The perfect combination.

On the down side now regular yogurt (even though we buy full fat) doesn’t seem as creamy.Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

I’ve been using Simply Organic spices for quite some time now. But I’m pretty boring. I stick the same basic herbs and spices. So I was excited to see some unique blends like adobo and garam masala. Looks like I’ll be doing more experimenting!Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Allergy Friendly

If you’re looking for a chocolate-y treat that won’t give you sugar overload try my gluten free dark chocolate spice cake. It is loaded with healthy fat and real ingredients but free of gluten, nuts and eggs.

Have you ever mixed chocolate and spice? What combination would you try?Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Spice Cake
Serves 12
A mildly sweet dark chocolate cake that combines cocoa, cumin and cinnamon for a unique twist.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup white rice flour
  2. 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  3. 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp. cumin
  6. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  7. 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  8. 2 tsp. grassfed gelatin
  9. 1/4 cup cold water
  10. 1/4 cup hot water
  11. 1/2 cup Stonyfield Double Cream Yogurt
  12. 2 Tbsp. honey
  13. 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8" baking dish.
  2. Combine the gelatin and 1/4 cup cold water. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, cumin, salt and baking powder.
  4. Add the 1/4 cup hot water to the gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve.
  5. Add the gelatin water, yogurt and honey to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 min.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. Serve plain or topped with ice cream, butter cream or vanilla yogurt.
  2. For extra flavor mix whole raspberries into the batter before baking.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
 I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and Simply Organic spices on this post. I have not been paid to provide positive comments.Do you ever mix savory and sweet? This dark chocolate spice cake combines dark cocoa with cumin and cinnamon for a unique yet satisfying flavor.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

I Never Thought It Would End Like This

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Wow!

Sometimes that’s all I can say. Wow!

When I look back on this past year I’m completely amazed and astounded.

I started the year feeling very uncertain. About the only thing that was certain was that God had some big changes in store. I didn’t know what or when or how. I just knew something was coming. And that God’s only requirement of me was that I be fearless and follow his leading (I wrote about it in my New Year’s goals last year!).

So I did.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Personal Development.

Here we are at the end of 2016. And what a year God had planned for us! I never thought it would end like this. Here’s a look back.

In February I started working as a virtual assistant for Kitchen Stewardship. It has been a great experience, and I have learned so much!

In March I self-published my very first book! Even in the midst of daily feeding struggles with my youngest God gave me the energy and insight to put our story and experience to paper. I love using it to help others.

You can check out my book “Why Won’t My Child Eat?!” here.

The House Hunt Begins.

We also put an offer on a house in March. But after inspections we backed out. Back to the drawing board.

In April we put an offer on another house. We were outbid. A few days later we put an offer on yet another house. This time things went smoothly. We just had to wait for closing.

After a couple months of waiting we finally got a closing date…only to be informed that the sellers had backed out. With our basement filling with boxes we were back to square one again.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Homeschooling!!

The summer brought some pretty big changes as well. We decided to take a leap of faith and start homeschooling our oldest. God laid it on our hearts that it is what she needs. We kicked off the school year mid-August and have loved it!  She also started working with a functional neurologist during the summer.

We put a bid on a fourth house in August. But our offer was declined.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

The Farm.

In early September we finally found the dream house God had planned for us (did you know  you can try as you may to be in control but God’s plans and timing always win?). Our offer was accepted right away, and the whole process went smoothly.

Bye Bye Allergies?

In September we also received a huge surprise when after 6 months of carrying around an epi-pen and months and months of stomach aches all of my son’s allergy tests turned up negative. Not a single reaction! Since then the stomach aches have vanished, and we have slowly been introducing more and more foods. And so far he is tolerating all of them! Even foods he has had to avoid for years.

Not to be outdone, my toddler has been adding foods to her diet as well!! It’s a slower process for her. But we are so thankful for an expanded diet, including dairy in small amounts! She is now sleeping well, eating well and growing well. God is so good.

For me the new foods mean I can cook one meal for the entire family again a lot of the time. What a blessing.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Crazy Christmas.

The year may have started with uncertainty and a large amount of faith. But it is ending with gratitude and joy beyond measure.

December 10 we moved into our dream farm in a snow storm. It certainly is not the ideal time of year to move. And the weather was not in our favor. We are so thankful friends and family live near by to help us!

The following Monday I started homeschooling my son.

A week later we had all of my husband’s family here for Christmas. Then we celebrated as a family and with my extended family.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Gratitude.

When I think about it all that comes to mind is I never thought it would end like this. This year has been filled with ups and downs. But we are ending the year so grateful and full of joy.

I’m rounding out the year with Christmas baking with my kids. We were just a *tiny bit* busy before Christmas unpacking. It has been so nice to finally have a week to relax and reflect on the year coming to a close.

We’ve loved using some new gadgets like the set of knives my daughter got for Christmas. And the cool Silpat and Levoon measuring spoons I received in conjunction with Stonyfield. All three of my kids had to take turns trying the measuring spoons with a little leveler built right in!

Giving.

I’m also ending the year with thoughts of giving. I have been so richly blessed this year. I was given the opportunity from Stonyfield Yogurt to Pay It Forward to someone in need.

My husband and I decided to add to the Stonyfield gift card so we could buy a farm for someone else!

As a family we decided to purchase a farm team through WorldRenew. It includes a goat, a duck, a sheep, a chicken, a pig and a calf. We pray this will give hope and a brighter future to a family in need.

Something For You.

There are two more great things I don’t want you to miss as you end the year.

  1. Starting today the Kids Cook Real Food course is available again! Try it first with the knife skills lessons. If your kids are anything like mine they’ll be hooked!

Grab your knife skills videos here!

2. Today and tomorrow only the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is back!! If you are interested in getting your health back on track in the new year this is the way to do it. So many resources all in one place. Plus tons of physical bonuses too.

Grab your UHLB here!

As an extra bonus you’ll be able to snag another bundle about essential oils! Check it out.

Finally, I leave you with some pictures from the farm and our first Christmas here.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

What’s Next?

I don’t know what God has planned for us next year. But I do know I will start it fearlessly!! Following God’s plans brings blessings beyond measure.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.

I hope you take the time to reflect on your year and all you have to be thankful for. I never thought it would end like this. But I’m so glad it did.

I started the year with dreams and fears. But I certainly never thought it would end like this!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

*This post is sponsored by Stonyfield Yogurt and Unreal Candy. I was compensated for my time commitment but I was not paid to publish positive reviews. All opinions expressed are my own.*

My oldest has been begging me to make frozen yogurt for about a year now. The only reason I haven’t obliged is because three out of five of us can’t eat it. And I have so many other things to make from scratch to keep us fed.

I don’t often take the time to make a special treat for just one child.

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

The Right Time.

But when we got some Unreal candy to try I decided it was the perfect time for both – frozen yogurt as a special treat just for my daughter (well…my husband has been getting plenty of it too).

This is an easy, healthy version of traditional moose tracks ice cream.

I used Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt combined with some of our fresh raw milk cream as the base. Pastured egg yolks added extra creaminess. And a healthy dose of maple syrup and vanilla for a sweet flavor. Don’t forget the unrefined sea salt to really bring out the sweetness.

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Then comes the star of the show – bits of Unreal dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I also added some mini chocolate chips for extra chocolate (because you can never have too much!).

There is no cooking involved. You can have the frozen yogurt in the mixer (this is the one I use) in about five minutes. I actually let my eight-year old make it herself!

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Unreal moose tracks frozen yogurt maintains a little tang from the yogurt. But it is nicely balanced with the sweetness of the maple syrup and candy.

It makes the perfect treat any time of year!

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

More To Love.

Unreal candy has some other great options besides the peanut butter cups. I think my favorite is the basic – candy coated chocolates. But these aren’t colored with dyes that will make my kids go crazy. They are colored with foods like cabbage and beets!

If you’re craving something sweet and a bit indulgent but want to skip the processed junk food, make a batch of Unreal moose tracks frozen yogurt. Use peanut butter cups, almond butter cups or whatever candy you like.

What is your favorite flavor of frozen yogurt?
 In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt
Serves 10
A creamy frozen yogurt filled with peanut butter cups and bits of chocolate.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups plain, whole milk yogurt
  2. 1/2 cup whole milk
  3. 1/2 cup cream
  4. 3/4 cups maple syrup and/or organic cane sugar
  5. 2 pastured egg yolks (optional)
  6. 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  7. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  8. 5 - 8 Unreal dark chocolate peanut butter cups, cut into pieces
  9. 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Combine the yogurt, milk, cream, syrup, yolks, vanilla and sea salt in a blender.
  2. Blend on high for 30 seconds to mix well.
  3. Process in an ice cream mixer according to manufacturer's directions (this takes about 20 minutes using my Kitchen Aid attachment).
  4. Transfer the frozen yogurt to a freezer-safe container.
  5. Gently fold in the candy and chocolate chips.
  6. Cover and freeze until firm.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

Apple Crisp Steel Cut Oatmeal

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

I am working with Bob’s Redmill and Stonyfield for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. But all opinions are my own.

I love the start of fall. The leaves are changing colors. There is a crispness to the air. And some of my absolute favorite produce is in season – squash, pumpkin, pears and apples!

There are so many ways to use apples, including canning homemade applesauce and turning them into sweet, cinnamony apple crisp (with homemade vanilla ice cream of course!)

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar. The perfect healthy breakfast.

Dessert For Breakfast

I don’t always have time to bake apple crisp. But I do always have time to make apple crisp steel cut oatmeal.

Soak the oats in whole milk plain yogurt a day ahead to make them easier to digest. Then add freshly diced apples, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a bit of coconut sugar for a sweet breakfast treat. The coconut sugar adds a great maple flavor that pairs beautifully with the apples and cinnamon.

Don’t forget to top your oatmeal with your favorite granola (ours is kettle corn granola!) for that crunchy apple crisp topping.

Steel Cut Versus Rolled

Even if you are not a big oatmeal fan you have to give this a try. I grew up hating oatmeal. I wanted to like it so badly. But I couldn’t handle the texture.

Then I tried steel cut oats. What a world of difference! Once you try them you won’t want to go back to the rolled variety. Steel cut oats keep their texture and don’t get mushy.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

All around apple crisp steel cut oatmeal is a great breakfast. It does take about fifteen minutes to cook. So if you are pressed for time on weekdays you can save it for a weekend treat. Or just cook a big batch at the start of the week and reheat it on the stove or in the oven for a quick breakfast.

Make It Your Own

My husband loves to eat his oatmeal with fresh, raw milk on top. My daughter likes a dollop of vanilla yogurt on hers. It’s almost as good as apple crisp with ice cream!

Are you in need of a delicious fall breakfast that the kids will love?

Grab some Bob’s Redmill steel cut oats and coconut sugar and Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt. Then hit up your local orchard for your favorite variety of apple. You’re already half way to an amazing breakfast.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

Apple Crisp Steel Cut Oatmeal
Yields 4
A hot breakfast of steel cut oats, sweet apples and coconut sugar.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup steel cut oats
  2. 1 cup warm water
  3. 1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  4. 1 3/4 cups water
  5. 1/2 cup coconut sguar
  6. 1/2 cup peeled and diced apples
  7. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  8. pinch unrefined sea salt
  9. Optional toppings: milk, yogurt, granola, raisins, dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the oats, 1 cup water and yogurt. Let sit 7 - 24 hours at room temperature.
  2. When ready to cook, combine the oat mixture, 1 3/4 cups water, coconut sugar, apples, cinnamon and salt in a medium sauce pan.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook on low, stirring frequently, until the oats and apples are cooked, 15 - 20 minutes.
  4. Serve warm, plain or topped with milk or yogurt and granola.
Notes
  1. You can prepare the oatmeal in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat on the stove or in the oven with extra water added.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Creamy Zucchini Egg Muffins

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that includes plenty of protein, healthy fat AND vegetables? Creamy zucchini egg muffins combine nutrient dense eggs with creamy whole milk yogurt and fresh summer veggies to create a simple and delicious start to the day.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

I am working with Stonyfield, Le Creuset and Kitchen IQ on this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been paid to provide positive feedback.

Is your zucchini starting to pile up in the fridge like mine? I’m always looking for new ways to use it.

I love making chocolate zucchini cupcakes, zucchini crackers, soaked gluten free zucchini bread and especially zucchini cake! Our whole family enjoys it grilled, roasted and sauteed. I try to freeze some as well.

Yet no matter how diligent you are it seems there is still more. I’ve got a fun, kid-friendly recipe that will get your kids to eat zucchini for breakfast!

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Eat Your Veggies…I Mean Eggs!

In my house the zucchini is not the hard part…it’s the eggs. Three of us can’t even eat eggs. My oldest can (lucky girl!). But she has always struggled eating eggs. She picks at them, holds them in her mouth, complains about the texture.

But I did not hear a single complaint about these creamy zucchini egg muffins. In fact, she told me she really liked them!

There are two secret ingredients.

  1. Whole milk plain yogurt – it really adds a rich creaminess to the eggs.
  2. Cane sugar – I know what you’re thinking. Add sugar to eggs? Don’t worry, it’s only 1/2 tsp. But it really does something to the flavor.

A little back story on the sugar in eggs. When I was little and had the chicken pox I didn’t have much of an appetite. The only thing I would eat was the scrambled eggs my big sister made (multiple times a day for me). There was something different about them. We called them “oops eggs” because she didn’t make them right. But I loved them. We figured out later that she added a touch of sugar to them!

She was probably only about twelve years old. So she did a great job taking care of her little sis!

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

The final component of these eggs is the vegetable. Sauteed zucchini and onion really boost the flavor of the egg muffins. When you put the yogurt, sugar, sauteed veggies and eggs together you create a flavorful, healthy breakfast (or lunch or dinner) any kid will love.

New Kitchen Tools Are Fun!

One thing I loved about making creamy zucchini egg muffins was using my new cutting boards and measuring spoons from Kitchen IQ. The cutting boards come in four colors. Can I just say that as a mom of kids with different allergies that is so cool?! Everyone has a color. No cross contamination. It’s great!

I love the bright colors…and so does my toddler. She frequently grabs the cutting boards off the shelf just to play with them.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Even more than the cutting boards I love the measuring spoons. It is so easy to level them. And they nest together for easy storage. Who knew that measuring spoons could make such a great toddler toy too? My one year old loves trying to stack them over and over. She also loves to help me cook and bake with them.

Is your zucchini still going strong?

Give creamy zucchini egg muffins a try. You just might be adding sugar to your eggs more often.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Creamy Zucchini Egg Muffins
Yields 6
A high protein, veggie-packed egg muffin perfect for busy mornings.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 pastured eggs
  2. 4 Tbsp. Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt
  3. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar
  5. optional: any additional herbs and spices
  6. 1 cup diced zucchini
  7. 1/4 cup diced onion
  8. 1 Tbsp. butter, olive oil, tallow or coconut oil
  9. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Sautee the zucchini and onion in 1 Tbsp. fat of choice (about 10 minutes). Season with salt. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat the oven to 400*F. Grease a muffin pan.
  3. In a medium size bowl combine the eggs, yogurt, salt, sugar and seasonings. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the cooled vegetables.
  5. Divide the egg mixture into 6 greased muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool 3 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. You can bake these in advance and eat cold, room temperature or warmed.
  2. You can freeze these muffins for up to a year. Thaw and heat to serve.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

Learning To Embrace BOLD {With A Giveaway!}

Sometimes your true nature gets lost in the shuffle of daily life. After a career, marriage and three kids I’m finally learning to embrace bold again.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I am working with Stonyfield and prAna for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment but have not been paid to post positive reviews. All opinions are my own.

When I was younger everything about the way I dressed was bold.

I wore my big brother’s blue suspender’s with comfy shorts (that my mom made) and my favorite t-shirt (with a roller coaster on it…one of my favorite things!).

My big sister cringed at the outfits I created. It was like tom boy meets athlete meets comfort queen.

In junior high I had a favorite outfit that consisted of bright kelly green jeans and a green and white striped shirt (from the GAP no less! It really was in style).

In high school you’d find me in bright orange tanks with matching wedge flip-flops or red soccer jerseys with matching warm-up pants.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

You might think I was outgoing and outspoken. But, no. I was not confident in myself at all. I was quiet as a mouse and very insecure. But I knew what I liked. Without realizing it I was dressing for my energy type to a tee.

Once I started working full time and then having kids my style faded. At work I wore basic tan or black dress pants with a button down or sweater most days. At home I switched over to yoga pants, nursing tanks and old t-shirts. About the farthest thing from bold you can find. Lots of black and gray.

Bold but not brash.

A few months ago I heard about Dressing Your Truth and decided to check it out. These days I’m completely lost when it comes to my own style. I have none. And I don’t even know how to shop for myself anymore (my husband usually shops for me). I figured it couldn’t hurt to see what it was about (no I am not an affiliate…I haven’t even taken the course. It was just really cool to watch the videos and be reminded of my true nature).

It actually surprised me to realize I am a Type 4. The reason I was surprised is because Type 4 is BOLD. Me? Bold? Are you kidding?

I’m quiet, reserved, introverted. My clothing makes me fade into the background.

But the more I thought about it the more I realized I really am bold! I just haven’t been letting that boldness come through for many years now.

I am smart and strong-willed.

I am structured and organized.

I am determined and dependable.

But I don’t always let that show.

Time to get it back.

About the same time I was given the opportunity to try some new clothes from prAna. I was going to do my usual boring pants or top in a plain color. But I decided to be bold and go with yellow patterned pants.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I have never in my life worn pants like this! To be honest I was a little nervous to wear them for the first time. To my great delight instead of feeling self-conscious I felt confident. A great feeling I haven’t had in a while.

Feeling happy.

Then just a few weeks ago I ordered a new pair of boots. I’ve needed new boots for about three years now. I wear my winter boots almost year round for everything from grocery shopping in deep snow to walking through mud at the milk farm. They finally gave out and started letting water in. I never spend money on myself, so this was a splurge (even though I used birthday money that was intended to update my wardrobe!!)

I decided to get some all-purpose farm/rain/winter boots. Instead of getting black or gray I went with bright green.

Can I tell you how happy they made me feel?! I call them my happy boots. And I wear them even when I have no reason at all to be wearing boots. Just because. I think they make other people happy too. I’ve gotten lots of compliments. I love that instead of fading into the background I’m able to be bold. I love that my boots get me noticed. They are true to my nature…true to my youthful spirit of bold, fun expression through my clothing.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

What I’m craving.

I’ve been craving some direction in my style for quite some time now. This summer I’m finally getting it! I’m on the hunt for a new wardrobe that shows my boldness.

Want to know what else I crave? Yogurt. I haven’t eaten any in almost two years now. Yogurt is one of my favorite foods. Especially for breakfast on hot summer days.

When my little one with allergies is weaned I look forward to trying all of the Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek Yogurt flavors (my husband and daughter sure love them!). Though to be honest I’m sure I’ll go for vanilla first. I am really craving that!! It’s always been my favorite.

This summer I'm learning to embrace BOLD...again. Plus a giveaway!

I’m loving my new prAna pants. They are so fun. The only down side is that as my daughter gets older and nurses less my weight starts to go back up (a good thing for my health, not so great for my wardrobe). So the pants are tighter than I had hoped (they were the right size when I ordered them, but not by the time I got them). It’s a good thing they are stretchy! An added bonus.

But that is part of the process – accepting myself, accepting my body as it changes and still being true to myself and my bold personality.

I have yet to figure out a bold hair style. I’ve pretty much always had long straight hair. All suggestions are welcome.

In the mean time I’m ready to satisfy my summer craving for bright colors. No more hiding. You don’t have to be outgoing or loud to be bold. I am embracing my quiet boldness.

It’s your turn!

prAna and Stonyfield want to help you embrace your style and satisfy your summer cravings too!

One lucky reader gets a pear of the same Kara jeans I got, in your color of choice.

Are you a Type 4 that wants something bold? Or are you a type that needs a softer, more subtle color? Does your style reflect your personality and true nature? I’d love to hear!

What are you craving this summer? A new wardrobe? Delicious food? Long days at the beach? Working in the garden?

Share your summer cravings and enter for your chance to win below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.