Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A shot of pulp, keeps the doctor away

How do you get in your vitamins and minerals in daily?

Well, this was perfect timing, I suppose. We’re not only working through the sudden loss of Karl’s (my husband) dad, but also struggling to keep all the back-to-school bugs away. Life keeps going, doesn’t it?
They're heeerrrreee! I received an email from Pete this past week saying he enjoyed my blog and my passion for living out a healthy lifestyle and was curious if I'd be up for trying his new product Pulp Story Juice. 


A super nice company @PulpStoryJuice in California came across my blog and shared in an email that they produce a cool new health product and thought I might be interested in trying.

They figured with my passion for health I might be up for giving their shots….well, a shot. I was thinking maybe one or two. I wasn’t thinking I’d get a whole cooler worth! SWEET!!!
My first @pulpstory juice this morning! Gave it a go first thing. HUGE fan of the taste. Excited to have a little shot of this before my workout every morning for the next month. 


They earned my respect and grabbed my attention right away. Pulp Story Juice was paying attention! They know I like eating clean and minimally processed foods, and these juice shots are straight from the source and then cold pressed to extract all vitamins, minerals, and flavors without adding oxidizing heat. Nothing strange added to it.

I've been doubling these up with my Shakeology to keep my immune system strong since I keep getting sprayed with sneezes and coughs. So far, I’ve stayed in the clear and I gave both boys the pineapple flavored ones to split knowing how well pineapple helps with their coughing at night. Two thumbs up from them.

I'm ALWAYS open to trying products that are as natural as can be. Pete, the developer, found a Turmeric manufacturer that processes the spice in a unique way, harnessing its full medicinal properties in the form of a healthy juice shot. 
Some of us like it spicy :) 


And since Turmeric is such an incredible natural healer and with me having inflammation in my optic nerve, he generously shared his products benefits with me. Just in case you have been under a rock, Curcumin is one of the most active and bioavailable compounds in turmeric root, indicated for treating depression, anxiety and dementia. For instance, though the mechanisms aren’t clear, studies increasingly point to turmeric’s role in preventing and reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s. (Mishra S and Palanivelu K. The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer's disease: An overview.)


I started to incorporate a different flavor right after my workouts in the morning and felt like I was starting the day off in such a healthy, positive way. It was harder to make bad choices, ya know? Why ruin a good thing?
Cherry Poppins might have been my fave! Especially enjoyed out of a nice glass


Though the days have been tough over here, I do have peace of mind knowing I’m pouring something healthy into body – something it needs during this season of life.

I did end up getting a cold, but I was able to bounce back quicker than I ever have before. With the combination of self-care (yoga, meditation, Epsom salt baths), a healthy diet and proper rest, our bodies respond well.

What are some trips and tricks that work for you when it comes to preventative care?Have you guys heard of Pulp Story Juice yet?? Who would be willing to try? 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Facts of Life

Words to Live By

Wanted to share a post I read that I bet you guys can relate to just as much as I can.

"As we grow older, and hence wiser, we slowly realize that wearing a $300 or a $30.00 watch - - they both tell the same time.
Whether we carry a $300 or a $30.00 wallet/handbag - - the amount of money inside is the same.
Whether we drink a bottle of $300 or $10 wine - - the hangover is the same.
Whether the house we live in is 300 or 3000 sq. ft. - - loneliness is the same.

You will realize, your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world. Therefore, I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sung songs with, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven and earth - That is true happiness!!

FIVE UNDENIABLE FACTS OF LIFE:
1. Don't educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be Happy. So when they grow up they will know the value of things not the price.
2: Best awarded words: "Eat your food as your medicines. Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food."
3: The One who loves you will never leave you because even if there are 100 reasons to give up he or she will find one reason to hold on.
4: There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only a few really understand it.
5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, You have to manage!
6: If you just want to Walk Fast, Walk Alone! But if you want to Walk Far, Walk Together!

SIX BEST DOCTORS IN THE WORLD:
1. Sunlight
2. Rest
3. Exercise
4. Diet
5. Self Confidence and
6. Friends
Maintain them in all stages of Life and enjoy a healthy life. The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for."

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Morning Devotional - Spending Time with God

When do you spend time with God each day?


If you're anything like me, I'm sure you're feeling pressed for time. Maybe there are not enough hours in your day. Maybe you can barely workout or even get a few hours of sleep a night because you're trying to fit everything in. You might be running around with a scowl on your face because you're so focused on getting everything done. Maybe, just maybe, you're even missing out on the amazing things going on right in front of you just so you get everything done.



Stop for a second. Why are you doing this to yourself?

I remember shortly after our second son was born, I was stretched beyond thin. Not only did both my grandparents pass away within 6 months of each other, my other grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer, and then so was my mom, and I was working full-time, nursing, pumping, juggling a couple jobs, caring for two boys, managing a household and trying to be a great wife. To say I was tired was an understatement. I might have a slight problem asking for help.

But I'm also learning that we go through seasons and I was in a tough one. All of a sudden, Nathan started to sleep through the night and we gained an extra hour with daylight savings ending. I used that hour for me. I headed to the basement. I sat in silence, meditated and had conversations with God. I felt the overwhelm start to trickle away day by day. I became stronger and more at peace and started to own every day with grace and zest. I changed.

The more you have to do. And the busier you are. The more you really need to spend time with God. If you give God your time, He will give it back to you. And wouldn't having more time in your day be wonderful?

Remember, God is in charge of time. He knows how much you need to accomplish the things you really need to do. He can protect and help you manage it if you will spend time with Him first. Stop trying to "fit" God into your schedule. Make a decision to put him first. Then work the rest of your schedule around him.

Life does not have to overwhelm you or catch you off guard. Prepare yourself for the challenges you will face each day by trusting Him with your time.

When can you find time for God today? 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Spirits and Orbs? Is there such a thing?

Is it really just a glare in the photo or is someone with us?

Have you ever looked at your photos closely? 

Ever notice an orb in them before?

What is an orb? In photography, an orb is a typically circular artifact on an image, created as a result of flash photography illuminating a mote of dust or other particle. Orbs are especially common with modern compact and ultra-compact digital cameras.

Most people know I love the sun. I love it's warmth. How it feels on my face. The brightness. It brings hope in my heart and so much promise for the day. So when my husband Karl came across the photo I took of the sunshine coming through the trees and leaves in a post I put up on Facebook, he said..."WHAT IS THAT??" And pointed to the green orb.
The moments I was thinking of Jim and felt such warmth and beauty


On Saturday, Karl, his mom, myself and the boys went out to the land. This is where his dad loved to be and hunt in his earlier days at the cabin. So after walking about at the cabin and being reminded in every corner that Jim was not coming back, we grabbed a couple beers, off-roaded in my late father-in-law's truck through an overgrown field and set out on a walk through the woods. 

It was beautiful and peaceful, but sad at the same time. Especially when my mother in law stopped and said how much Jim would love to be there. I could feel her heart ache. Mine did too. We stood in silence for a while. The sun was at the perfect angle and its light was cascading through the leaves and branches trying to cut through any darkness it could find. I remember feeling Jim there, but I have been feeling him everywhere lately. So I do what I do best when I feel moved by something and I snapped a photo. 

That is the photo Karl looked at. He told me there was something wrong with my phone and there was some junk on it. I showed him other photos. No orbs. We decided it must be the sunshine and reflection. So he asked to see another photo I took of the sun. There was the green orb. And another. The green orb. And so one. And then he asked to see a sun photo before his dad died. I showed him. No orb. I showed him another and another. No green orb. 


Just my every day sunshine pics...no orbs included and when Jim was still here



Some people believe that orbs are more than dust particles or drops of moisture on the lens--they are proof of guardian angels, captured on camera.  When these "spirit orbs" or "angel orbs" appear near a single person or a group of people in a photo, it's a sign that they are blessed with the goodness, positive energy, and protection of angels.  When orbs appear in a particular location, it's also a sign that angels are hovering nearby and the location is particularly blessed.

Green

In spiritual practice, green is associated with the heart. It is also associated with nature. Green orbs are sometimes thought to be an indication of the presence of a human spirit, as opposed to one that was never on Earth in human form. Likewise, green orbs may represent love or oneness with nature.
I don't know. Could be a dust particle or refraction of light on my phone lens. Or maybe...just maybe...Jim is with us. 

What do you think?? Am I totally losing my mind over here?


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Welcome to Kindergarten

Jackson enters Kindergarten

I can’t even believe this day is here. Wasn’t I just blogging about my sweet baby boy and how I wanted to hide in the Kohl’s Department store clothes racks because I was so exhausted and shocked by motherhood and all the responsibilities?

Where did that life go???

Time truly does fly. And motherhood definitely changed me in more ways than I could ever imagine.

Here we are.... Kindergarten.


There were nerves leading up to the big day, and I think both boys sensed it. They seem to read me like a book. And speaking of books, I was doing my best to get as many library books into Jackson’s hands as I could that talked about starting school. I also would share stories of how much I loved it as a little girl and talked up how much fun he’d have making friends. We would pray about it every night and I’d let Jackson know that Jesus would be in his heart the entire time. There was no need to worry about anything!

Jackson still wasn’t so sure. It took a LONG time for him to warm up to the idea of going to school. He really enjoyed his routine; especially have Monday’s with grandma and Fridays with Mom and Nathan.


I’m still not sure how this is going to fall into place, but I know it will. It obviously did for me and I’m not sure what benefit holding him back another year would do. He is ready. He knows it. I know it. But change is HARD. What tugs at my heart the most is not being there after school is out. I wish he could hop on the bus, ride it home and get home around 3. Instead he has to wait until I come and get him at school after 5. I’m working my booty off to make this happen in the little pockets of time I have right now and also extending grace and forgiveness to myself over and over again. I have to trust that for some reason God wants it to be this way and perhaps when the timing is right, everything will fall into place.

Our morning started a bit crazy and we figured we’d have all kinds of extra time. We heard the bus would be late, but it was a minute EARLY!!! There were nerves. No hugs and I couldn’t even figure out how to run my video camera on my phone. I film myself every morning working out, you think I was an expert, but EVERYTHING slowed down. I watched my baby get on the bus, wave and drive away. He looked so small, yet so big.


Karl and I walked inside. He grabbed a Kleenex. Our eyes met. I couldn’t keep it in and we grabbed each other, hugged and sobbed our eyes out. Nathan was confused and latched on to Karl’s leg. There weren’t any words. It’s like we both just knew. Time is out of our control and we just let our little guy go…to achieve great things and there wasn’t more we could do.

I drove Nathan to our in-home daycare. The ride was different. Quiet. Jackson wasn’t asking questions. A pit grew in my stomach. Change. The leaves were turning colors. More change. Nathan started to whine and ask…”Where is Jackson?” Change. Change. Change.

Drop off went exceptionally well. Maybe because Nathan also had new shoes like Jackson. He had a Batman backpack he picked out with a folder and notebook just like brother. He too was going to start school. Pre-School. No wonder people have more than 2 kids. Time truly goes fast and they are so much fun to watch turn into amazing human beings.


I stared at the clock while at work. I checked in to see how Nathan was doing since he had been acting out SO MUCH at home. TERRIBLE tantrums and meltdowns. Spitting, kicking, biting, pinching, SCREAMING. It was horrible. I almost ran away once because I didn’t feel fit to be his mom anymore. It’s been tough. But like I said before, I think the boys could sense the change I was feeling coming our way.

I even emailed Jackson’s teacher… How was he? I refreshed my email maybe a 50 times. OK…100 or so. FINALLY, she wrote back that he was doing great and taking everything in stride. DUH! I knew he would be fine….

FINALLY I was FREE from work and flew to daycare to get Nathan. He was a total charmer. Handled the day great and was counting leaves when I whisked him up. He had a project waiting for me and couldn’t wait to share. “I got messy, mom. My hands.”


Then…on our drive to get Jackson, Nathan and I had a full on conversation. Nathan talks!?!? He can speak in full sentences?? When did this happen?? Oh yeah, Jackson does ALL the talking usually. And they are always together. Nathan looked thrilled that he was able to talk to me and I was listening. Maybe this adjustment is a GOOD thing for all of us?

We both ran in to get Jackson. Nathan was so excited to see his brother waving through the window of the cafeteria. I couldn’t get a hold of Jackson fast enough. As I buckled him in, he told me he really liked school a lot and wasn’t so sure about the after school stuff though. I felt relief and pride. Maybe things would be OK?

“Mom. Nobody got sent to the principal today from our class. Especially me.” Jackson smiled.
Whew. That’s a good day.


He loved playing outside (went out 3 times and played with our neighbor during one of the breaks), thought it was funny he got breakfast in the morning, is really interested in using the IPAD to order is hot lunch and made one friend who sits next to him. Most importantly, his teacher is NICE.

Here’s to an AWESOME first year!

How did your first days go this year? 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Healthy Stuffed Italian Stuffed Shells

And 21 Day Fix Approved!

21 Day Fix Stuffed Italian Shells

This version of the stuffed shells  replaces a lot of the mozzarella cheese that typical recipes contain with ricotta cheese in the filling.  It’s still yummy and satisfying and a great recipe the whole family will love!

Ingredients

  • 25 Jumbo Shells (whole wheat if you can find them!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Cook shells until el dante and set aside
  2. Heat oil over skillet and add garlic and saute for a few min.  Add ground meat and onions and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until meat is no longer pink. Set aside to cool.
  3. Mix ricotta cheese, spinach and eggs in bowl.
  4. Once meat mixture is cooled, add to ricotta mixture.
  5. Pour 1/2 cup of pasta sauce in bottom of 9×13 dish.
  6. Stuff 25 pasta shells with roughly 2 tablespoons of mixture and place in baking dish. Pour remaining 1 1/2 cups of sauce over the shells and top with mozzarella cheese.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in oven at 400 for 30-35 minutes.
**21 Day Fix Containers (per 5 shells): 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 0.5 Purple, 0.5 Green, 1 Blue ***
Like this recipe? Share it! Or find more recipes like this one on my LIKE page. If you're interested in receiving you FREE copy of my 5-Day Clean Eating Plan or if you want to participate in my next FREE Clean Eating bootcamp, apply here!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kid-Approved Dinner with Hidden Veggies

If they can't see them...

Ground Chicken Meatloaf Muffins with Hidden Veggies

I wasn't sure I'd be able to sneak these past my two boys (4 and 2) but I did! I stuffed the meatloaf muffins with carrots and zucchini leftover from the garden. You can use any leftover veggies you have around the house!
Ground Chicken Meatloaf Muffins with hidden veggies


Ingredients:

1 pound ground chicken
1/3 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg or 2
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
A couple of handfuls of Ninja'd carrots and zucchini

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, but only use about ¼ of the tomato sauce in the meat mixture.

Press the meat into the muffin cups (you should be able to get eight to 10 out of this amount of meat).

Top with a dollop of tomato sauce on each one.
Cook for 30-35 minutes.

Serve two per person.

Nutritional Info: The calorie count is about 110 per muffin. (Pretty good if you ask me!)

ENJOY and let me know what you think!! If you want more recipes like this one, be sure to LIKE my page. If you're interested in receiving you FREE copy of my 5-Day Clean Eating Plan or if you want to participate in my next FREE Clean Eating bootcamp, apply here!