Friday, January 31, 2014

Enjoy your Weekend

The perfect breakfast above. I make it almost every morning with variations. But basically it is one farm fresh egg cracked into a pan, break the yolk and spread it around a little, dash of salt and pepper, sprinkle of shredded cheese, corn tortilla on top (before everything is cooked so you have to move fast) flip it over, sneak a pad of butter under the tort and top as necessary. Today we went with homemade red chili, but yesterday I used blue cheese and lettuce, sometimes avocado :) yum. One of my favorite blogs ohdeardrea does a recurring post about things on toast, maybe I should starting doing things on eggs? Maybe I should learn to take better pictures? hahaha

Oh well on to the weekend, we actually have absolutely nothing planed this weekend!!! Only one volleyball game but Kiddo is with her dad, so all we have to do is show up! We are hoping to accomplish some of our to do items. The long debate about moving and selling the house vs. not selling continues; but either way we have somethings to fix up around here and hopefully we will get off our lazy butts and do some of it.

Linky time

Ask better questions of your spouse, friends and loved ones. I know my son never answers me when I say, "How was your day?" but he always has an answer for "What did you have for snack?"

A beautiful look at dying and how to say goodbye

A cute guest blog post by my friend Jenny about Juice Plus+ and the benefits she has see as a registered dietitian.

Do you know how much protein is in coconut flour!

Just some facts about the State of the Union Address

I hate some of the pop ups this site has but this is a good look at what being a working mom is about and some even better advice!

The most awesome timeline of food every!

 I have a disco ball tucked away in my basement and I am tempted to bring it out now! Oh and a chalk board :)

And if you missed it, the Best Wine and Cheese party!

Enjoy the weekend with some healthy eats!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Juice Plus Wine and Wellness Party

*Quick side note: we have had no internet/cable since Saturday :( which made bloggin very difficult. I think my Facebook status sums it up best...

Ok back to what I actually wanted to talk about:
Well I had Juice Plus+ party number two this weekend...and this time I gave the whole presentation! Boy was I nervous! It is a lot of information to get across with out being too preachy/know it all. Thank goodness it was just family and friends. So they laughed hysterically when I said areola cherry instead of acerola cherry, oops. Yeah I did that.
I am getting more comfortable with the information but still feel like I need to learn all the facts because some really great questions came up. How do they get all the fruits and veggies in four little capsules? Do I still need to take my multivitamin? My kids hate dairy, is there enough calcium or should they continue their supplements? Do your kids really like these gummies? I have seven people in my house how can I afford this?
All of these are such great questions and while I was able to answer most of them I had to look up some information so here are my answers:
A pic to break this up a bit. "Going to catholic school is better than the youtube video for pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows" Yes my kiddo is awesome!

Answers to all your questions, well some:

  • How do they get all the fruits and veggies in four little capsules? 
    • watch this video, it is really cool! 
    • This link also takes you thru the process
  • Do I still need to take my multivitamin? 
    • This is a personal choice, JP+ has all the whole food nutrients that you need. But if you are deficient in a certain mineral you may want to consult with your physician first. I know that our family was taking multivitamins just to supplement the nutrition we were missing and now that we take JP+ we have stopped taking the multivitamins.
    • Also read this about how multivitamins can be bad for your health
  • My kids hate dairy, is there enough calcium or should they continue their supplements? 
    • Again look above for your answer.
    • I looked thru all the research I could on the JP+ site and it doesn't specifically say anything about calcium but it does mention that eating enough of the right kids of fruits and veggies helps your body with the absorption of the correct amount of nutrients. Also it has dark leafy greens (broccoli, kale, cabbage) which have plenty of calcium. 
  • Do your kids really like these gummies? 
    • yum yes, my bubbie is addicted to them. My kiddo the older girl took a little time to get used to them and mister has just started on the gummies and is quickly learning to bring me the package.
    • The first time you present them I would always offer the green garden gummies first as they are not as sweet as the red orchard. Also I never presented them as vitamins or healthy food, we just call them gummies like they are a treat!
  • I have seven people in my house how can I afford this?
    • Start small, try just the capsules for you and sign up one of the kids on the Children's Health Study so they can get theirs free. So two adults, and three kids to pay for but two kids free...still alot but...
    • Then honestly, I would become a distributor as you get a great discount and when you fall in love with the product you will be able to share all the health with your friends and family and potentially make some great money on the side!
    • Think about it folks $1.50/day for fresh fruits and veggies! I spend that on one apple a day which is not my recommended 7-13 servings. 
Well that is just a start to some of the answers. I hope that was helpful? Now lets move on to my second favorite part of these parties...the food! This was wine and wellness party so...


Used this link to create my cheese and pairings. I was lucky to run into a friend that used to own a wine shop and they helped me to pick out a red cabernet, Irony

Pecans, fig spread, dried blue berries and rice crackers for my gluten free friends and some random hummus and sliced apples. 

Blue cheese, salami, mahon, a kind of parm, dark chocolate, brie, grapes and gouda.

The salami pared awesome with the mahon or the parm! Also the fig with the blue cheese was incredible. 

One of my guests brought this perfect bouquet to add to the table. Sunshiny on a cold snowy day!

I tried to be creative in my offerings and I think it was a hit. I have a random assortment of plates and cheese knives so it doesn't look as clean as some people's offerings. I think that the little name tags for everything really helped and brought the look all together. It was just the right amount of everything (too much so yummy leftovers). 

My friend stayed way late after and we drank the rest of the wine and ate too much of the cheese. It was great :) I am trying to convince her to join my team. It was a great little informational party and everyone walked away with a sample for their kids to try and some even dived right in and signed up. I feel honored to have friends and family that trust that I am not trying to sell them a crap product but the Juice Plus + really has helped our family to get and stay healthy. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Enjoy Your Weekend

This week has been a long hard one. Snow delays, canceled school, bitter COLD, husband out of town, stir crazy kids and an over worked momma. I chose the over worked part, taking on more than I can handle is usually something I excel at. I prefer to be busy, feel rushed; but this week got the better of me. I have fallen into a bit of a funk :( My weekly menus have been lack luster (dutch baby fail, to be explained later)
and the kids have disliked just about everything I have put on the table.

Cooking is usually my savior for a bad mood but these kids just haven't been into eating my cooking. And it's not like I have been making some crazy fancy meals of sole, bok choy and snails. Heck I made sloppy joes the other night and my bubbie about broke down crying he didn't want to eat it. Maybe we are all in a funk, winter blues?
This weekend is going to be busy so I better save my family from the funk. Maybe a dance party is in order tonight? A batch of homemade cookies? Extra Juice Plus? Something, anything to get everyone happy and harmonious again.

Well maybe some Links will move things along?

This is a great look at how money isn't necessarily everything. I needed this week too as part of my funk could be due to our dwindling accounts. Lots of BIG bills all came at once and somehow I was just not prepared.

If you've been thinking about cutting out processed foods, here are ten reasons why you should!

This made me laugh so hard. Especially since I can be such a contradiction when it comes to eating healthy...see example below (skyline with arugula!)

Is it just my kiddo or does everyone hate soggy cereal? She literally fills a bowl with cereal a glass with milk and then puts a bite in her mouth and then takes a drink! I am thinking she needs one of these

The cast iron is the workhorse in our house. I cook just about everything on it! Don't forget to season it.

I am not perfect, are you?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Enjoy Your Weekend

This week has been the longest week ever and yet some how went by super fast. Kiddo has been bogged down with homework and the tests in fifth grade keep getting harder. In fact she had to make her first "cheat sheet" card this week. I so remember doing these in high school and writing so small, to fit as much as you could on the card and then maybe using it once or twice during the test. Those teachers are sneaky in their secret ways to get you to study. Well with volleyball, soccer, tutoring, homework and studying the kids have all been up later then usual. The hubs and I were joking that we miss them going to bed early as that 8-10 hour was OUR time; now it is filled with THEIR time. Even thru all the hustle and bustle of life, we at least have JP+ to nourish our bodies.

Links to pass the time...

Bubbie is my number one picky eater but I am whittling him down with consistency; this is dinner, eat it and like it or starve.

Sometimes I think it would cool to be a vegan, then I remember bacon.

Nutrition and growth go hand in hand.

Brought tears to my eyes, I remember this feeling when I first had kiddo almost 11 years ago...

Why do kids cover their eyes when hiding?

And parenting advice from my two favorite ladies, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Variation on the Green Chili Stew, add avocado :)

Maybe have a date night this weekend, even if it's snuggled up on the couch!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


 My husband brought it to my attention that when you read my blog that maybe you would think we are a super granola/hippie family that only drinks from glasses, never uses the microwave, recycles everything even our pee, and basically live off of sticks and berries. Reality check...that is no where near the case.

We buy processed food, we have thrown away cardboard, my kids eat candy and stay up too late some nights, I buy premade items and I give into the chicken nugget craving. We are not the perfect family in any way shape or form. I don't think any family is. We are all just trying to make little changes in our life for the better.

I know that eating fruits and veggies is good for us, so I do my best to serve good food around the house. But my husband and I both work 8-5 and neither of us is making millions so time and money is tight. We have to make accommodations where we can, shortcuts. The is sort of where the whole Juice Plus+ kick came from, it was an easy way to bridge the gap between what we SHOULD eat and what we DID eat. It also became a catalyst for me to start researching more about what we were putting into our bodies and learning about all the trendy words I was hearing in the news; GMOs, processed, antioxidants, blah, blah, blah OMG everything is killing us! For at least 24hrs I was sure that I was giving my whole family cancer because I made boxed mac & cheese for dinner and they ate hot dogs.

After the hubs talked me down off the mountain of worry, I went back to my favorite virtue; temperance. "Everything in moderation is good for you" So no that is not a direct quote from Mr. Ben Franklin but I like to think it was what he was getting at. It's ok that we are not perfect, it's ok that we eat badly sometimes...we just can't do it ALL the time. We needed to make changes and as you will read here we are slowly but surely doing that. Adding more variety to the fruits and vegetables we do eat and trying to cut out all the so called bad stuff and try some so called good/health stuff.

So I apologize for the long post and I hope the random pictures help make up for it, but I just wanted you to be aware that we eat like crap some days and I will contradict myself a hundred times before this blog is over. We are working on being better over here and I hope you are too, but it takes time.

Here's to pretending I am healthier then I really am and maybe it becoming a reality ;) 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Green Chili Stew on Our Last Christmas

So we finally got to celebrate Christmas this past weekend and it was lovely! Like so much fun, laughing crying, opening presents, trashing the house, spilling wine, tons of dishes, smiles and hearts warmed enough for the whole year, FUN. It makes me think that my brothers and I don't get together often enough. I know we all get busy with our own lives and then our children's lives but my brothers live close enough that we should make more of a point to get together, at least once a month.

We exchanged gifts for the kids and we always do a name drawing for the adults. My one sister in law gets me every year (hard when there is only six of us) and always makes me cry with her gift. See above the plate she had made for me. She had my mother write out her secret oatmeal cookie recipe and then had it put on a big cookie plate. It is awesome! My mom has such distinctive handwriting that I knew it right away and started blubbering like a baby while everyone laughed at me for crying. I have turned into such a cry baby since bubbie (my 1st boy).

Oh well but onto the menu: Green Chili Stew, left over tamales, Mac & Cheese (Stouffers
brought by my SIL) and a Salad (brought by my other SIL). Now a side note on the stew, my brother recently had a bought with thyroid cancer. So he is on a low iodine diet which did influence parts of this recipe, but everyone said that it was my best batch yet!

 Green Chili Ingredients:

  • 2 whole pork tenderloin cubed
  • 2 cups Hatch Green chili diced (this is a special New Mexican chile but I have seen people sub out roasted plablanos mixed with jalapenos)
  • 1 whole white onion, diced
  • 2 baking potatoes, diced and skins removed (this is part of the low iodine diet)
  • 2 tbls Olive Oil
  • 3 tbls flour
  • 3 tbls ground coriander
  • 2 tbls dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt and more to taste (look for the no iodine added)
  • 1 tbls whole coriander
  • Water or chicken stock to cover

Cube your meat, then cover with the flour, coriander, oregano and a tsp or so of salt. 

Resulting in this delicious meat, weird look. 
PS I do mine in a plastic bag. It's easier to clean and well, fun to shake up a bag of meat. Allows me to let the kids help too. Set this aside while you dice up the large onion. 

Here is a great tutorial on how to dice an onion! Take a minute and explore this site too if you need a brush up on anything cooking or just want to know how to break down a whole chicken. 
Throw the diced onions in the pot with the olive oil and just start to bring the temp up. Maybe 2-5 minutes. Then add your meat just to brown it, not cook it thru. Add your green chilies. Now I had to clean mine and dice them, but some companies have them pre diced and pre cleaned. Once all this is combined give it a good stir and add your water or chicken stock. I couldn't use chicken stock because of the iodine in the salt they use so I added two 32 oz containers of water (it will cook down a bunch, I would use less chicken stock like one box and then add water as needed). Also add your whole coriander now. You should end up with a big pot of this...

Bring it to a boil and then let this simmer for about two hours. Give her a taste and see if she needs more salt, water (I would not add more stock if I started with stock, watch your salt in take). Add your diced potatoes now and let this cook for one more hour. The longer this bad boy cooks the better it gets, but we usually go about three hours at the least.

Now please do not judge me on the above picture, or judge this delicious stew on it either. This is a horrible pic, well most of my pictures are. I use my iPhone and all the wrong angles. But mostly this time I totally forgot to take a picture and this small leftover bowl was all the was left at the end of the evening when I was cleaning up. I had to wrangle it out of my husbands hands before he heated it up for his midnight snack just so I could take this terrible picture. 

Just believe me, you will never be the same after this green chili stew!

linked up:
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The Pin Junkie
Serenity Now Blog

Friday, January 10, 2014

Enjoy Your Weekend

This weekend we are supposed to finally have my brothers and their families over for christmas dinner. We had to postpone exchanging gifts since my one brother spent the holidays in Orlando with his niece that is doing a Disney Internship. We are all very proud of her since it is a hard program to get in to and then you have to be gone for six months! She was amazing and had a great time, I am very excited to see her when she gets back.

I plan to make green chili stew (recipe to follow) and heat up some of the traditional favorites that they missed at christmas time. I guess I should make a batch of christmas cookies too and a cake for my niece sine it will be her 14th birthday. Ok wow this weekend just got busy! That's not even including the kiddo's volleyball games and hopefully looking at some homes? Whew I hope it doesn't fly by too fast.

How about some links to start your weekend?

I always try to let Bubba the four year old help with the cooking since he loves it so but I am always concerned of him making a mess or that maybe he can't do as much as I think he can. But then you read this and realize that you are completely underestimating your children. Another reason to love montessori!

My husband and I tend to do a lot of above, maybe we should get divorced? haha and not the way you are thinking!

Whole Foods is getting rid of Chobani yogurt, but maybe this is a good thing?

And hear the real story behind this picture that has taken the internet by storm! #TeamGrownAssMan

This made me laugh, I can never tell if a recipe is going in the win or lose pile but it's nice to have rules to think about.

I've always wondered what it's like to work in a kitchen? I think being a chef would be just the coolest, hardest, most fun job ever!

Last one, I challenge myself to take at least one of these recipes and make it delicious!

Make sure to take a pause this weekend and enjoy it!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

30 Minute Pause

I am not a stay at home mom, not even close. In fact I joke that I would probably become an alcoholic if I was. This is not to say that being a stay at home mom is not an awesome decision for some people, or even being a stay at home dad at that! It's just not the right one for me. Soooo anyway where I am going with this is, I work full time. Which is a whole other box of frustration.

It is hard to work all day and then really only have from 530 till bedtime as quality time with your kids. Have to make the most/best of those 10,800 seconds. My kids vary a bit in ages so some are able to help more then others and some have things to do like homework so they can't be bothered to help (10, 4, 1yrs old) all of this can either make for a perfect tornado of ciaos. They can be very good at entertaining themselves though some nights. Giving mommy a brief hiatus from the shift of the stress at work to the stress of home life. My down time (if you can call it that) is cooking dinner; probably why they behave since they always seem to be STARVING. Side note: why do kids always use this exaggerated word, pick up four bites of food and then say they are SOOO full? hmmm

This night daddy wasn't going to be home so I just whipped together some healthy choices that I knew the kids would eat. Pickiness is prevalent at our house.

First I took the days frustrations out on three boneless skinless Amish chicken breasts. Smashed them up real good/thin! I like to do my bashing in a plastic bag is I can, so there are no guts splattering. 

Today we marinaded the chicken in Garlic Expressions; this is not organic and I am usually weary of products that say they are "100% natural" as this is not FDA controlled and pretty much anyone can use it. But that being said the ingredients are minimal mostly local and the only additive is xantham. Which if you read the article is the least of the bad, so the shiniest turd in the turd bucket. And it tastes yummy.

If you are wondering, yes I can make my own dressing and do often, but read above that working mom part we have to find the shortcuts where we can. 

Next I threw those bad boys on our indoor grilling pan for about 7 minutes the first side and 5 the second, at a low to medium heat. We cook with gas which can heat up very fast and burn if you aren't careful, just make sure the chicken is cooked through. While I was grilling the chicken I sliced up some green apples to the side and put on a pan of doctored up canned green beans (shame me if you would like, it was all I had on hand). I heat up a small fry pan with a pad of butter, put about a teaspoons of dried thyme and one pressed garlic clove. Let that heat up just to bring out the flavor then threw the drained can (squeezed of excess liquid) of green beans in the pan to "fry" till heated threw and finished them with a squeeze of lime. 

Tada! A delicious fast kid friendly meal; lightly seasoned grilled chicken, green beans and apple slices. 

The verdict was split, they ate what was on their plates and didn't complain so I will mark one on the win side. We really prefer fresh or frozen green beans but again this is what I had. My Kiddo (oldest 10yr daughter) actually liked the green beans and well everyone loved the chicken. Even if they don't eat all their vegetables at least I know they got their Juice Plus+ chewables, at least :)

Was this a fancy amazing meal...heck nah! Weekly meal planning is ideal but sometimes you have to go with the flow and this is what was on hand and quick to cook, less than 30 minutes. Being able to calm myself and prepare a healthy meal for my family is my happy place. (except when they hate what I cook but that will come later) This also allowed us plenty of time after to have a dance party. Where my bubba (4 yr old boy) proceeds to strip his shirt off like a Chippendale and the mister (1 yr old boy) bounced the night away. Maybe that is my happier place? 

Do you have any fast meals that work in your schedule?

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Pat Yourself on the Back Every Once in Awhile

So my first Juice Plus+ party was a raging success! Thanks in big part to my husbands family for showing up completely last minute.

Basically the short story is, only two good friends were going to be able to make my first party :( huge disappointment; I just chose an inconvenient date. But low and behold the hubs family stepped up to the plate to be my guinea pigs while I practiced my speech. It was perfect, easy, and comfortable as I am still learning all the information about JP+. They had great feed back of how I can improve and what information to stress and what to glaze over. I feel proud to be able to call them my family. I need to practice more for sure, but it was nice to know that I wasn't too salesy. The information that I had to share on healthy living was something everyone wanted to hear. I was helping just by sharing my knowledge even if they don't choose to sign up for JP+ at least now they know.

The menu went off with almost no hitches. The apple cinnamon roll ups went thru many different stages in my head of how to prepare and the final result while delicious turned my house into a smokey mess. I thought about just rolling an apple slice up in dough, making mini hand pies and well here is what I did...
Cut up two honeycrisp apples (because that is what I had on hand) and roasted them in half a stick of butter, juice from a whole lemon, a dash of salt, a good covering of cinnamon and three heaping tablespoons of brown sugar.

Made a double batch of my easy peasy pie crust. I rolled mine out pretty thin and I think next time I would keep it thicker; you could easily sub out store bought pie crust. Lay out the crust and spread out the other half of that stick of butter (make sure it is super soft and rub the pie crust down with it), lay out the apples, another covering of cinnamon and a sprinkle of  white sugar. Roll them up nice and tight!

Slice about an inch thick and lay out on a baking sheet. Side note, use a sheet with sides to contain the delicious juice/caramel that is about to pour out of these rolls. Mine spilled out all over the oven and made a huge mess :(

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or just watch until they are golden brown. Verdict: Phenomenal!!!

Also made some ham and chive, crustless quiches, easy!

It was a great spread and wonderful company. I even made a sale or three :) all in all a very successful first party. I was so happy to share my love of healthy eating with people I love! 

Remember healthy living starts at home. When you cook at home you know what you are putting in your body.

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Enjoy Your Weekend

I am having my very first Juice Plus+ Healthy Living Party this weekend. Just a small brunch for some close friends...didn't want to invite too many people till I feel completely comfortable with this "sales" person-ish thing.

I am so very nervous. I do not want to be a sales person but I do want to share something that I think has been a real benefit to our family, but how to do so with out coming off pushy? will take some getting used to but tomorrow is just the start!

Here is the menu I have planed for tomorrow:

  • Mini Juice Plus+ Complete Protein Pancakes 
    • Basically I use this recipe and trade half the cup of flour for Protein mix
    • the kids gobble them up
  • Mini Ham & Cheese Quiches
    • throw chopped up ham, chives and shredded cheese in a muffin tin and fill with beaten eggs
  • Parfait Shots
    • Mini shot glasses filled with greek yogurt, topped with whirlybird granola and a touch of honey.
  • Cinnamon apple roll ups
    • don't quite know how I am doing these yet but I have an idea so I will let you know!
  • Fruit Plate, mimosas and coffee
I hope you take the time to do something fun this weekend. Enjoy an outdoor activity indoors with the kids or take the kids somewhere local to play indoors. If you are into sewing kids clothing here is my favorite link for that! And don't forget to check on my New Year's Resolutions.

GOOD LUCK out there folks!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Eating to my Health

What did you eat for new years eve... do you have anything you traditionally eat?

For our family it is not New Years Eve instead it is MY birthday and for my birthday I like seafood!!!

My oldest always treats me with a delicious breakfast in bed, yummy Pillsbury grands cinnabon buns! (no they aren't homemade and filled with processed junk but my baby made them for me and some sweet scented Rainbow Loom bracelets)

For dessert I took my first crack and red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing...wait it gets better.

Perfectly seared scallops that even Gordon Ramsey couldn't yell at.

Grilled Oysters; shucked, parm/reggiano mix, fresh parsley and garlic butter. Get a good flame and they are perfect. 

This was a special surprise. We have a regular meat guy at Findlay market from Mackie Meats that we surprised with tamales and he surprised us with crab legs! This will be a new regular.

 Did you eat anything yummy? Create any new traditions? Maybe for breakfast next year I need to teach the oldest about the perfect waffle...?