a busy mama's diary to inspire

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Don't forget the teachers! (aka: heros)

Hey all! I can't believe we are already coming to an end of the school year! This month has been pure crazy for us as we moved back to our Hugo home, and squeezed in 3 trips! I am so grateful to be settled and enjoying this beautiful weather. As I think about summer approaching I can't help but think about teachers and the much deserved break they get. Teachers, you rock. You are amazing every day and we are just so darn grateful. THANK YOU!!!
I love coming up with small little tokens of gratitude for our teachers throughout the year. This one turned out so cute.
all you need:
shredded gift bag paper
paper (which I stamped "thank you" or teacher's names would be cute!)
Starbucks cup, lid and longer straw
Starbucks gift card
a treat...I used Annie B's caramels which are AMAZING!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Whole 30 club

Hey friends! By now, you may have heard a thing or two about the (dreaded?) Whole 30 eating plan. It's basically signing yourself up for misery....at first. NO cream in my coffee, no dairy at all. No grains (no Skinny pop!), alcohol or added sugars of any kind...even artificial sweeteners are out. Meat and veggies/fruits are in. My husband wanted to do this. Me? Not so much. I sort of pride myself on eating healthy and taking care of my body. He ordered the book, and it didn't take long for me to be intrigued. But this would OBVIOUSLY be easier to do together. I conceded....I DO kinda love a challenge. The truth is we both needed a little extra motivation. So, I'm here to tell you how we made it out alive...and HAPPY.  We learned SOOO much about food...sugar is in EVERYTHING! It's truly eye-opening. Although this was hard at first to adapt to this way of eating, we both started seeing and feeling some amazing things. We felt lighter, (we did lose weight) and had more energy and positivity, we just feel GOOD. If this is something you have been considering, I definitely recommend. The idea is to slowly add some foods back in to see what foods may trigger various issues to your body. We did not do this, as it was our anniversary the day after we finished the thirty days. DO NOT do what we did. We indulged in sushi, (free) cake, and ice cream....14 years of marriage felt treat-worthy ;) WE WERE SICK. Our bodies were not happy about all that sugar. We didn't sleep. Gross.
So, the things we have learned going forward are simple, yet profound. We CAN pass on treats, because we know we will feel ill. We have developed the mentality that fueling our bodies with healthy foods, will just feel amazing in the long run. We CAN do this and you can too. It's not to say we won't enjoy a treat on the weekend or a glass of wine or beer on date nights, but feeling good about what we put into our bodies is more than important. We are achieving goals, and that's important to share with each other too.
Here are some random tricks and tips that worked for us:

EGGS! lots of eggs...make them in many forms.
eating olives helped my desire for a piece of chocolate..who knew?!
vary your salad ingredients so you don't get tired of them
raspberries make a great night time snack
The recipe for the perfect burger:

ENCOURAGE each other!!
These sauces SAVED me...so DELICIOUS! (Whole Foods or Fresh Thyme):

 POTATOES!! olive oil + salt + pepper

Eating healthy doesn't mean eating less.

I'm all for doing things that are kind to our bodies. Our earthly bodies should be cared for daily. It doesn't mean perfect eating days every day. It means choosing foods you love that will fuel you to be your best self. It means loving yourself every day. It means balance. It means believing you CAN. Don't do it alone. Find your people who will encourage you on your journey, and maybe do it with you. You are worthy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

♥ Day-of-love snack ♥

Happy Valentine's Day! Each year I try and find a new lil snack/treat to give to the kids after school. This year, I'm hoping I don't eat it all before they get home! It's so simple and I think you will love it too! :)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

How to Hygge

So this is a concept I first heard about last winter. I remember seeing an article on Facebook about Hygee, (pronounced hue-gah) and I though it lovely. The idea originated from the Danish. It is the concept of staying cozy and content through the long winter days. I realized a lot of these concepts are already in place in my life, but I wanted to have this idea in the forefront of my mind heading into winter this year. It is a perspective that I can honestly say has changed me. I actually DO love winter. I love the changing of seasons, running outside, freshly fallen snow... but it sure can get long sometimes.  This idea is simply "creating cozy" with the ones you love. It comes in many forms (wherever you are!), and I hope this might help you through these long months as well. These are some things that I find to be the sweetest, simple, cozy treasures of life: candles, cozy lighting, fuzzy blankets, warm soups and chili, hot-out-of-the-oven cornbread, more candles, tea & coffee, mouth-watering treats, and reading a great book fire-side. (and more candles! I'm obsessed--especially with Volcano Capri Blue!) As I get older, I realize more and more that these simple gifts are what I look forward to. Happy Cozy-ing up with your loved ones & friends :) And remember, spring, in all it's glory, will be here soon!
*Check out Pinterest for more tips and ticks on creating cozy!



Sunday, December 4, 2016

Advent "calendar"


Last year our beloved little slippers-on- a-string Christmas countdown broke. I was on the hunt for just the right thing this year. At Sweet Home (where I sell my creations) one of the gals was selling this old 7up crate, and I thought it would make the sweetest little countdown, and also not take up a lot of wall space! You can find these crates at my shop or also antique stores. The other materials were all purchased at Target. I bought these little drawstring bags for each day of the month and filled them with things like: candy canes, Christmas chocolates, love notes, coins, gum and stickers etc. I rolled them up as small as I could and shoved them in the boxes ;) The number stickers were in the dollar section and I just put them on a gift tag and taped them to the box with washi tape. Easy peasy! (I've also seen cute countdown stickers at Hobby Lobby!) I decided that the 25th bag will be hiding in the tree on Christmas morning :) Hope this inspires you to start a new tradition as well. Merriest Christmas, friends. Enjoy this most wonderful time of the year ♥

Banana bread

Another family favorite. My kids squeal when I have fresh, warm banana bread just waiting to be buttered and set before their hungry little faces!
Here's my recipe:
(*I double this to make 2 loaves)
1.5 cups gluten free (or all purpose) flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cooking oil
Grease 2 loaf pans. In medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/8 tsp salt. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture. Set aside.
In another bowl combine the egg, bananas, sugar and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir just till moistened.
Spoon batter into pan(s) I like to sprinkle the top with a cinnamon & sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool on rack.

Monday, November 21, 2016

my favorite chili

It's finally getting chilly outside, so that also means chili season! I make this A LOT because the whole crew loves it. Cheers! To cozy days and warm, full tummies! :)
(I'll post my favorite white chicken chili soon!)
Recipe for my favorite:
1 lb beef
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
3 teaspoons chili powder (I use extra!)
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
Put all in a crockpot, stir and cook for 6-8 hours on low setting.
I serve with a salad and cornbread with honey butter!