Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Introducing….my Morning “Cookie”

I’ve decided today is the day to show you guys my (almost) daily breakfast meal.  I used to have scrambled eggs and veggies every day (and I still eat that occasionally), but the thought of my morning cookie perks me right up when I come downstairs with my early-morning-loving child. :)

This was inspired by my friend Lindsay, who found a recipe for a mock cookie dough created to help people with their addiction to the stuff. (haha)  I was craving something sweet one day (but not looking for something super sweet), so I called her and asked for that recipe.  I modified it a lot and I eat the combo below almost every day. 

I use the word “cookie” jokingly because even though it tastes sweet to me, this “concoction”, as Lindsay calls it, is so healthy and nutrient-rich that it keeps me full for hours – seriously! 

Here’s how I make it:

About a tablespoon of organic millet seed (for crunch, iron, protein, carbs):

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About a tablespoon of flaxseed (omega-3s) and a few shakes of cinnamon (tons of health benefits – google it!):

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About 1/2 a cup of oatmeal (fiber, carbs, and protein) and a large tablespoon of 100 % all-natural, *no sugar* peanut butter (protein and creaminess):

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And a swizzle (?) of honey on top – for sweetness only. :) (I used to add a few chocolate chips but I weaned myself off of them.)

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Add a glass of organic milk (yeah for no hormones) and you have my daily meal that makes me excited for the morning. :)

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Is it low-carb?  No. 
Is it low-fat?  No. 
Did God make all the ingredients?  Yes. :)

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I am definitely not afraid of fats anymore after Somersizing and reading all my “clean” books, and I’m not afraid of carbs if they’re in their natural, unrefined state.  I can eat this every morning for breakfast and still maintain my weight if I follow Level 2 Somersizing for the rest of the day. 

Enjoy – maybe it will be your new favorite thing, too! ;)


Linked to these foodie parties:
Tasty Tuesday @ Beauty and Bedlam
Tuesdays at the Table @ All the Small Stuff
Tempt my Tummy Tuesday @ Blessed With Grace

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Miscellany Monday {2}

1. I may or may not have changed my mind about my feelings toward summer since my last Miscellany Monday post. It is so. dang. hot! And I sweat like a man (thanks for those genes, Dad), so it really isn’t pretty. I am really trying to live in the moment and remember how much I longed for summer to be here. But it’s so hard not to get excited about my favorite season coming up, especially when Target has already had back-to-school signs up for a while and schools here won’t start for another 6 or 7 weeks! Craaaazy.

2. Chris and I watched the movie 2012 last night, rented from the library. I really like John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Danny Glover. But that movie was so horrible! I was laughing at how ridiculous it was – and it was sooo long! We were about 2 and half hours in and I told Chris that I had to stay up just to see how the stupid thing ended – I had too much invested in the movie! haha Do yourself a favor – don’t ever rent it.

3. So, one of the many reasons I’m excited to live back in CT is that we will be “close” to Trader Joe’s (about an hour away). However, it just dawned on me yesterday that Chipotle is on the same road! Blissssssss!

*image courtesy of http://seattlest.com*

If you haven’t had Chipotle, you haven’t lived. I’m just sayin’. There are going to be a lot of road-trips to Warwick, RI, in my future. :)

4. Last thing - my sister has a summer job catering this summer and I just had to share this: she worked a wedding this weekend (in CT) for the daughter of the guy who invented motion sensor lights. The champagne for the toasts? $37,000 (Don Perignon). The tip for the wait-staff? $100 each – for all 67 of them. Oh, and the cost of the wedding itself?

A cool $2 million.

Pick yourself up off the floor now. :)

Happy Monday!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Quick But Important – Please Read!

I keep meaning to say this, but I keep forgetting – hence why it’s getting its own post! 

My favorite part about blogging is all of the women I’ve gotten a chance to “meet” through the internet.  As a SAHM without cable, the internet is kinda my outlet in many ways.  I absolutely love the fact that so many of you are willing to comment on my posts and give feedback on what I’ve written – it really means a lot to me!  I honestly try to visit or respond to every one of you. 

But real life is that I have a husband, a toddler (!), and a life outside the internet.  I know that it’s hard not be a little offended sometimes if you write a nice comment to someone and they don’t ever respond (it’s happened to me plenty of times!). 

Basically the point of this post is that I’m asking you not to be offended if I don’t respond to your comment or get a chance to come visit your blog after you’ve visited mine!  I would hate for someone to think I’m “blowing them off” when really their comment just gets caught up in the mix of life and I forget. 

I try my best and now that I’ve added the e-mail function to my comments (I get an e-mail when a comment is left, so I can directly e-mail the commenter with a response), it is SO much easier for me to keep up! (A lot of you don’t have an e-mail attached to your blog, though, which means I can’t reply this way – you should really take a few seconds to do it!)

So, thanks for reading, and please know I appreciate every single one of you for following, reading, and commenting!  :)

Have a great rest of your weekend!

P.S. My friend and sponsor Darlene is hosting a scrapbooking giveaway on her blog!  Just thought I’d give a heads-up to any of you scrappers out there! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Luke’s 1st Birthday {Food and Jungle/Summer Decor}

I figured I would break this up into two posts so it didn’t become visual overload! For Luke’s first birthday I did a jungle theme which kinda morphed into a summer/jungle theme because I had such a hard time finding jungle items that I liked. Here’s a glimpse into some of the food and decorations I did for the party:

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I took a basic $1 yard-sale photo board and hot-glued ribbon in the party luke's first b-day 086colors on top of the existing white ribbon. I popped the “buttons” off to glue the ribbon and then hot-glued them right back. Desserts were cupcakes, animal crackers in a cookie jar, m&ms, nuts, watermelon, s’mores and monkey bread (which turned out amazing thanks to Sarah’s recipe – thanks!).

I couldn’t find a cupcake stand I liked, so I just wrapped two boxes in luke's first b-day 083birthday paper and made my own! The cupcakes were topped with brown sprinkles and some of them had animals on top. I took jungle animal stickers from Michaels, stuck them to cardstock, then hot-glued it to a toothpick and stuck them in.

I made a separate “smash cake” for Luke – my first foray into cake-decorating! I am no professional but it was fun and easy to make this monkey cake, thanks to Parenting.com.

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Some food pictures – we had sweet and sour meatballs, pasta salad, buffalo chicken wing dip, chips and salsa, seven-layer Mexican dip, hotdogs for the kids, Italian pinwheels, and veggies and dip.

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Gotta love a party in the garage! :)

On the tables, I placed an orange placemat topped with a mason jar and pinwheels. I wanted to put sand in the jars, but that was too expensive so I just poured in sugar! I made the pinwheels using a tutorial from Amanda’s site and I really like how them came out. I also put my baby food jars around the base of the mason jars.

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(One of the candles had blown out but you get the idea!)

Of course I had to personalize my chalkboard in honor of the birthday boy:

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I also made this easy banner (I got the original idea here – super cute!). I just cut out a dollar-store banner, used the letters as templates, and mod-podged fun scrapbook paper over the top. I used tiny clothespins to affix it to the twine. I am keeping this from year to year and plan on hanging it up each birthday that he has (I figure I can get maybe 8 years out of it before he thinks it’s way too lame. :)

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Last but not least, here are the kids’ goodie bags. I used wooden animals from Michael’s, hot-glued them to treat bags, and personalized them with each kid’s name.

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There you have it! I’ll probably do one more quick post actually showing the birthday boy :), but I figured some of you are like me and would enjoy seeing how someone else did a party. :)

Oh, and I forgot to add that my budget for the entire party was originally $100, but it ended up being $150 - still not too bad for food and drinks and decor for 35 people!

To see how I did the invites and tea lights, click here.

Linked to:

Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Sunday Showcase @ Under the Table and Dreaming
Tot Tuesday @ My Delicious Ambiguity

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In Defense of Food {2}

Some of you are just as interested in this clean eating stuff as I am, and others of you probably couldn’t care less.  Those that fall in the latter category will probably just want to skip this post (or you probably didn’t even click the title, which means you’re not reading this anyway which means I’m typing for nothing…. ;).

Anyway, I promised a second post on this wonderful book, and I’m finally delivering.  Since then I have also read Food Rules (another by Michael Pollan), Real Food: What to Eat and Why (by Nina Planck),and What to Eat (by Marion Nestle).  I would love to tell you all what I learned from those, but I may or may not have the time to type posts on all of them.  Regardless, I think it is good for my mommy-brain to read these books and take notes on them.  Keeps on my little neurons hopping up there! 

However, I’m finding it hard to take my notes about all of this in-depth stuff and re-write it into a blog post that won’t overwhelm everyone.  So I’m going to write what I learned (MAJORLY CONDENSED) and then I’ll just list my favorite quotes from the book at the end.  Okay?


When it all comes down to it, the reason we’ve gotten to this point, food-wise, all comes down to politics.  (Shocker, right?)  Back in the ‘70’s, the government made the mistake of trying to tell people what *foods* to eat less of in order to stay healthy.  This threw food lobbyists into a tizzy fit, which made politicians sweat, which lead to George McGovern (a senator who, as the chair for the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, helped to issue Dietary Goals for the United States) to make the statement/decision that the government should “Speak no more of food, only nutrients.” (24)

Way back in 1938, when more food was starting to become processed, a law was passed so that companies selling fake food were required to label their food as “imitation” if the food wasn’t a real item. That law, too, was thrown out in 1973 after pressure from the food industry. 

This has led to the ridiculousness that currently occurs when you see foods like potato chips or chocolate toddler formula or white bread touting health claims because they are stripped of everything natural, caked with chemicals, and then topped with some healthy additives.

And, not surprisingly, the Western diet has come with a whole host of Western diseases that other cultures (who eat traditional, real foods) simply don’t have.  Our diet causes obesity, heart disease, bad teeth, inflammation, and type 2 diabetes – diseases still not found in many traditional or tribal cultures around the world. 

Moving away from traditional fats, especially, and moving toward fats like soybean and vegetable oils (they’re in everything – seriously!) has led to a deficiency in our bodies of omega-3s and in increase in omega-6s.  Omega-6s lead to inflammation (read: heart disease, etc.), which, while conveniently keeping pharmaceuticals in business, is essentially killing us. 

The goal is to go back to traditionally-recognized foods, start enjoying food more (rather than scarfing it down in the car), and start reclaiming our health. 

It was a great book that I totally recommend – but if you don’t have time to read it, check out Food Rules.  Much shorter (you can read it in an hour), less history, more practical tips. 


Lastly, some selected quotes (I just copied and pasted these from Word so some of my notes are mixed in):

Dr. Weston Price found that “the human animal is adapted to, and apparently can thrive on, an extraordinary range of different diets, but the Western diet, however you define it, does not seem to be one of them.” 100

We have a serious deficiency in the nutrient Omega-3; it is surpassed by Omega-6, which is found in things like seed oils. Moving from things like butter to margarine “markedly increased omega-3s at the cost of omega-3s. Thus without even realizing what we were doing, we dramatically altered the ratio of these two essential fats in our diet and our bodies, with the result that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the typical American today stands at more than 10 to 1.” 127

“Joseph Hibbeln, the researcher at the National Institutes of Health who conducted population studies correlating omega-3 consumption with everything from stroke to suicide, says that the billions we spend on anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen is money spent to undo the effects of too much omega-6 in the diet.” (Omega-6s lead to inflammation; whole leaves/seeds argument.) 131

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” 148

“Don’t eat anything incapable of rotting.” 149

“Avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable, c)more than five in number, or that include d)high-fructose corn syrup.” 150

“Avoid food products that make health claims.” 154

“Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.” 157

“Get out of the supermarket whenever possible.” 157

“You are what you eat eats too.” 167


If you’re not asleep on your computer desk, congratulations!  This officially earns the title of my longest post EVER. Hope it helps at least one of you. ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thrifty Finds - 7/12/10

I had some great finds recently at Volunteers of America and our local Salvation Army (which is usually pretty crappy, so I was excited!).

From Volunteers of America’s 50% off day (their pricing is SO weird):

5 milk glass bowls -- $.15 each

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Twine-looking photo frame (for my beachy bathroom) - $.45

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Cool vintage Pyrex bowl – $.96

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4 orange placemats for Luke’s party -- $.45 each

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2 Kerr canning jars (I also used these for the party; you’ll see them in the party post!) – $.30 each

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AE hoodie – $2.50

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Tommy Hilfiger wedges - $1.46 (There’s some black marks but they’re covered by my feet when I wear them - I am in love with these!)

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Wire basket (used this to caddy supplies at the party) – $.60

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From Salvation Army:

Cute plate – 99 cents (another instance where knowing French would have helped – I was going to display this in my kitchen until I realized “le bain” means “the bathroom!” lol)

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Chunky whitewashed frame (I just popped in one of my favorite paintings) – 99 cents

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Glass canister – 99 cents

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I love thrifting! :)

Linked to:

Today’s Thrifty Treasures @ Southern Hospitality
Thrifty Thursday @ Tales from Bloggeritaville
Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blogs I Love {Southern Women Edition}

This is an extremely busy week for me, between Luke’s party on Friday night and all the preparations for that, family of some kind here all day on Thursday, and trying in the midst of all of that to keep working on the house. 

Since I will probably be MIA for the next few days and the weekend since my family will be here, I thought I’d leave you with three of my most favorite blogs in the meantime. These women all happen to be Southern women who love Jesus, and their blogs are three of my absolute favorites.

You know how you’ll be perfectly content with your life and then you watch Paula Deen and you think, “That’s it, I’m just gonna stop worrying about food and start eating fried chicken and sour cream coffee cakes all day and start talking with a Southern drawl –look how happy she is!”  Okay, so maybe not everyone thinks like that, but these women will make even the most die-hard New England girl almost wish she was Southern!
So, here they are:

1.  Katie from Harrington House


I have read every blog post Katie ever wrote (possibly twice).  She blogs about her family and her house and occasional recipes.  I am definitely not Southern, and my house is anything but country style, but Katie makes you want to start saying “Honey” and “mercy” and start drinking sweet tea from old-fashioned glasses and stir it with real monogrammed silver spoons.  She is *fabulous* and has a great since of humor. 

2.  Edie from Life in Grace

I alluded to Edie before when I asked what color to paint my antique chair.  Edie is a Southern woman with a bit of funk. If Katie makes you want to buy antiques, Edie will make you want to paint everything in your house a vibrant color – like oh, I don’t know…turquoise!  She is a doctor-turned-homeschooling-mom and she has a great sense of style. 

3.  Kelly from Kelly’s Korner. 

I was apparently living under a rock for a while because I remember seeing those “Praying for Harper” buttons everywhere last year but I only started reading Kelly’s blog last fall.  When you read Kelly, you’ll want to wear dresses every day and buy fabulous jewelry and want an adorable little girl to put bows and monogrammed outfits on (what is it with those Southern women and monograms, anyway? ;).  Kelly has a great testimony for Jesus with all that the Lord took her through with their daughter.  She also has a food blog that I’ve gotten some great Southern recipes from!

Well, those are three of my favorite Southern bloggers!  Do you read any (or all) of the three?  Any to add to the favorites list? I feel slightly creepy to have posted their pictures on my blog but I just wanted to give you an idea of what I was talking about! (All pictures are from their respective blogs.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Frenchy Little Footstool

I can say about 6 things in French – one of those phrases being, “I can’t speak French.”

In high school I took Spanish because I could never get all those nasally sounds to come out of my mouth the right way. (Although it did come in handy on my Mexican honeymoon and a mission trip to the Dominican Republic!)

All the cool kids at my high school took French, just in case anyone was wondering.

In college, as a choral music education major, I had to sing a number of French pieces for juries and recitals. I always dreaded the French pieces. It’s just not my language of choice or ability. It made me sweat. A lot.

However, just because I can’t speak the language doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the way it looks and sounds! So this is a quick post to show you how I very cheaply and very amateurly married my fabulous Waverly fabric that I got for $.08:

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With a yard-sale footstool that cost me $1…..

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To bring me this:

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Isn’t she lovely? I didn’t take a lot of pictures because a) the first part is self-explanatory and b) the second part was too hard to hold a camera with one hand while still crafting.

So I will tell you that a) I painted it with leftover ceiling/trim paint (Valspar’s Swiss Coffee), sanded it with my sanding block to make it look aged, then b) just cut fabric and tucked and hot-glued and tucked some more until I got it to look the way I wanted. I have no idea how to upholster and probably wouldn’t have the patience for it even if I did. There was just a lot of trial and error and pulling and tugging at the fabric. :)

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It is not perfect but I try to remember what The Nester says about it not having to be perfect to be beautiful. There is one flaw on the stool and I considered showing you but then Chris said he couldn’t see it until I showed him so I decided to get over my need to always point out the imperfections in what I make and not show everyone.

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I am in love with this thing.

She’s short, squat, cute and French. I feel like I should call her Claudette or something.

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For a short girl like me, this saves my hubs a lot of calls into the kitchen to get me things off the top shelves. She’s a worker, my little footstool.

J’aime Claudette! :)

Linked to:
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous
Weekend Showcase @ Tatertots and Jello
Sunday Showcase @ Under the Table and Dreaming
Make it Yours Day @ My Backyard Eden
Penny Pinching Party @ The Thrifty Home
Show Us What You're Workin' With @ Me and My Bucket