Sunday, April 23, 2017

Do Gooder

In a world where being cynical, critical, and even hateful is glorified, we must be do-gooders.

But more importantly,

We must raise do-gooders... Strong, compassionate, loving do-gooders.

We must raise our children to stand up for the little guys.

We must raise them to not be bullies but also not be pushovers.

We must teach them to listen... by listening to them.

We must teach them to speak up... by letting them be honest with us, even when it's not easy to hear.

We must teach them to spread sincere compliments like sprinkles... by truly complimenting them.

We must teach them to be helpers... by helping them when they need it, by taking them to places where they can help, charity events, churches, homeless shelters, etc

We must teach them to be encouragers... by not only encouraging them, but also others you encounter.

We must teach them to not measure their worth by what others think... by not comparing them or ourselves to classmates/co-workers/people/celebrities/etc around us.

We must teach them to take initiative... by showing them that they have the power to do things, they are smart enough, strong enough, bold enough...

We must raise them to be confident in who they are... by demonstrating confidence.

We have to teach them to get involved, to make a difference... by helping them choose something they are passionate about and getting them out there working towards it.

It's cool to find fault in every little thing, to not ever admit you like something. Is it because we are afraid to be embarrassed? Are we afraid to be vulnerable? Are we afraid of what others may think? Let's love more - openly, let's speak more kind words - to everyone, let's like what we like and not worry what anyone else thinks - ever. Our littles learn not only by doing, but also by what they see. What do they see in you?

None of are perfect, certainly not me, but we have to start somewhere. We have to start making changes where we can because, until we do, nothing will change.

Be a do-gooder... Raise a do-gooder... Make a generation of do-gooders.

to the moon and back,

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 9

Here's my quick day 9 update on our 21 Day Sugar Detox journey.

It's going so much better than I had expected. I think I had built it up in my mind as completely unattainable for me and that's really not the case at all. I mean, I am only doing the least restrictive level, so maybe that's why.

Here are a few answers to questions that I'm sure you are all wondering about:

How easy is it? It does take prep time, I'm not going to lie. The first week took a LOT of prep, but this week I'm more comfortable with it, so I can wing it a little more. However, lunches still need to be planned out because there are no "convenience" stops for food unless you just pick up veggies at a 7-Eleven. Dinners are home cooked, if we eat out, its based on what we can eat. Ruby Tuesday and their "garden bar" has been fantastic so far.

What do I miss the most? In short... coffee creamer... That has been the hardest to give up, but I'm starting to get used to the taste of coffee with half and half. I mean, sure, a donut would be nice, but really, there's nothing I'm dying to have. Believe it or not, I don't feel like I'm depriving myself. I'll let you know if that changes.

Do I notice any changes? Yes, first off, I have so much more energy. It's crazy. I can actually work a full day and still come home an get stuff done around the house, cook dinner and play with the kids without feeling like I need a nap. There have been days lately that I can't function without a nap of some sort, but now I don't feel like it. I actually feel like getting off the couch and doing something. That reason alone makes it worth it for me.

I haven't weighed myself, so not sure about that. I'm going to wait until the end.

I will say, the end of day 2 until about day 6 or so, I didn't feel well, but it came in waves.

What's the cost? It's slightly more expensive than normal groceries if you buy the food to make their recipes, however, you could totally make your own food (basic proteins and veggies and approved grains) and probably not spend anything additional to your grocery budget. I like it because the whole family eats it. I'm not making a bunch of different meals for everyone. Or purchasing premade food for my self and then still buying normal groceries for everyone else. Or buying shakes and supplements and then still purchasing food.

What did you eat today?

  • Breakfast-Ham Egg & Cheese Sandwich (on the drop biscuits), coffee with half and half
  • Snacks-green apple, trail mix (homemade), hard boiled eggs, babybel cheese
  • Lunch-Ham & cheese roll ups, avocado with lime & sunflower seeds, mixed raw veggies
  • Dinner-Pork & pinto bean tacos with lettuce shells (onions, tomatoes, sour cream, avocado)

Have a question that I didn't answer here? Ask it in the comments and I'll answer it next time!

to the moon and back,

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Goldfish's Hero

Save me!!
The other day I was cleaning a rental move-out with Ms G. When we got there, the renter walked us through the house and pointed out the things she wanted cleaned. We all chit chatted for a little bit making small talk and then the renter said she needed to get going. However, as she was walking out, she said, "Oh, there's a fish tank in the back room with a goldfish in it. Don't worry about it, we've just resigned to the fact that he's going to die."

Oh, uh, ok, you know, just ignore the fish on death row in the back room.

We went about our morning, cleaning when I finally made my way into the back room and saw the fish tank. The water was a murky green that was no longer transparent. I yelled to Ms G, "I feel bad for this fish. It's either going to suffocate or starve to death."

She continued to clean whatever she was working on, but a few minutes later, being the animal lover she is, she walked in to check out the fish. She peaked around the corner and said, "This poor fish! I don't want to see it die!"

Me "Well, what are we supposed to do? It's not our fish."

Her "I don't know, do you think I could catch it?"

Me "And do what with it?"

Her "Take it home? Maybe? I don't know, I don't want a fish, but I can't let it die. Do you think the pet store will take it?"

Me ".... I don't know"

Her "What could I put it in? A garbage bag? Do you have a bowl or something? I could go to the pet store when we are done and get a fish bowl."

Me (thinking about the random items floating around my car) "I don't have a bowl, but maybe a bag would work, like they do at the fair?"

Her "I don't know, don't they pump special air into those bags before they seal them?"

Ok, this sounded like a ridiculous question to me, initially, but she said it with such sincerity, that I began to question everything. I mean, what do I know, maybe they do have special fish air...

Me "Um, I don't think that's a thing. I think they just don't squeeze out all the air."

We bantered back and forth for far too long about this doomed goldfish. Finally, Ms G proclaimed "I'm gonna save it." She grabbed a cup and armed with her gloved hand, she approached the tank. he immediately became grossed out by the water, but as any good hero would do, she didn't let it deter her from saving the fair goldfish in distress. After about 15 minutes of "fishing" with a cup in green water while her glove filled up multiple times, she actually caught the thing!

She found a bowl in her own can and dumped the fish in. We continued cleaning, but then I had a thought, what if the owner was joking and comes home and her fish is missing? Is kidnapping a fish illegal? Would I be an accessory? I decided to text the owner. I asked her if she minded if Ms. G took the fish. Her response? "Not at all! She'd be doing me a favor! In fact, tell her she can take the whole tank, the other fish that is in it and every thing that comes with it. There's even a 55 gallon tank of the side of the house she can have (a bit of an overkill for one tiny goldfish, but hey, whatever)."

I told Ms G and we nearly died laughing, here she "fished" in nasty water for 15 minutes and braved the chunk of slime that landed on her arm, only to find out that she could have just taken the tank. She said "What am I going to do with a tank? I don't even want the stupid fish, I just don't want it to die!" I explained to her, that with the big tank, she was less likely to spill that water all over her car.

So we dumped most of the water out of the tank. I dumped goldie back in and we loaded the tank in her truck. Both fish then needed to survive for 3 more hours hanging out in a trunk, in the heat of the day, in Florida.

I checked in with Ms G the next day to see if they survived. She said they did and she gave them to her mom. She then said "Goldie keeps trying to eat all of my moms fish so I don't think he appreciated our heroic efforts." You're still a hero in my eyes, Ms. G!

to the moon and back,

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Billy Ray

Do you see this beautiful boy here and his gorgeous, blonde locks? Isn't he amazing and perfect? So innocent... Ethereal.... Ok, I'm biased, but come on!

I love his hair. It's messy, curly, soft and wild like him. I have had so many people say things like "His hair is so great, but when are you going to cut it?" "Doesn't he need a trim?" "Does SHE get along with her brother?"

She? My precious baby boy, who is almost always dressed in blue to bring out his eyes, has been mistaken for a girl. More than once. I didn't want to cut it, but even Junior kept fussing with it, pushing it out of his eyes.

I don't do milestones. I am the sappiest person ever and it seems like it's even worse since having Junior. I mean, shoot, I've been known to cry at commercials.

So, I succumbed to peer pressure and here we are, the first haircut milestone. While I was getting Moose's hair cut, I asked the lady doing his, if she could just trim up a little around Junior's face and the top. She said "I could, but So-and-so is better with curls, let him do it. HEY, SO-AND-SO, she'd like you to cut her boys hair."

And just like that, before I could process what was going on, I was sitting in the barber chair with Junior on my lap and the guy coming at us with scissors. I kept saying, "just a little off the top." "I just want it out of his eyes." "Don't cut too much."

But Junior was on my lap, and I couldn't really see what was going on. As he was finishing up, he said, "oh this is great, he's going to look just like that country singer." I didn't know what he meant at the time, nor when we got to the car because of the way it was combed. However, after Junior messed it up some, I saw it... Billy Ray Cyrus. My sweet little boy was sporting a mullet. I cried. He's a toddler, there's no need for him to have business in the front and a party in the back.

I hate it and can't wait for it to grow out. I trimmed up some around the back myself to make it less mullet-like. That helped a little, but the guy cut one side so short that it's hard to hide it. If I comb it and try to "style" it, it's a little better, but seriously? He's 19 months, he immediately rubs his head on the sofa or car seat and messes it up again. I'm traumatized and not sure if I'll ever cut it again. I'm also not posting an after picture. Sad face...

Detox update: Today went well. I have had a dull headache all day and around 2:00, I crashed hard and had to lay down for a little bit. The food is still great. I made Sweet & Hot Ginger Chicken with broccoli bacon salad, coconut lime quinoa and even drop biscuits. They say that through day 5ish is the worst, so we'll see!

to the moon and back,

Monday, February 27, 2017

And so it begins

My dinner was better than yours.
Let the days of no sugar commence.

Today my hubby and I began our sugar detox. So far so good. I figured that I would write a little something every day about it because I'm sure it will be fascinating. But really, I'm doing this for two reasons; 1. To keep me accountable. If I have to report to my millions of fans, then surely I can't cheat. 2. So maybe I can inspire someone or assuage someones fears of trying.

I'm going to be honest about it all. No "sugar" coating, this is a sugar detox after all. (bu dum ching)

Now, not every blog I write for the next 21 days is going to be be detox centric, some may just have a blurb if theres not much to report. I still plan on being my hilariously, sarcastic self, for the most part.

Here's what my food looked like today (this is riveting stuff here, folks):

  • Breakfast
    • Coffee with half & half (missed my flavored creamer)
    • 2 Mini egg quiches (pretty good, but I made it a tad too salty and hubby didn't like the "squish" of the tomatoes)
    • Babybell cheese (I'm doing the version that allows full fat dairy)
  • Snack
    • Homemade trail mix (walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas, almonds)
  • Lunch
    • Tuna salad made with homemade mayo in lettuce cups
  • Snack
    • Green apple
    • More trail mix (my go-to, cause its convenient)
  • Dinner
    • Shephard's Pie (pictured above) with cauliflower mash (recipe from detox book) DELISH!
    • Brussel sprouts, asparagus, onions, mushrooms sauteed in bacon fat & coconut oil with balsamic vinegar (pictured below) So good!
    • Coffee with half & half (still miss my flavored creamer, but it's better than nothing)

I did drink a few seltzer waters today, but water is clearly where I am lacking. Why can't I hydrate with coffee?? I swear, I am probably perpetually dehydrated. It's sad really, but honestly, I don't drink a lot in general. It's not just water, it's anything really. I may drink a coke zero or two and obviously coffee, but that's really it. Definitely need to work on that.

Anyway, like I said, so far so good. I do have a headache as I write this, but I'm also a mom, business owner, wife, homemaker... so really that could be a number of things.

to the moon and back,

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Carrot Pumpkin Muffins or are they?

These are not the muffins, just a prep pic.
Today consisted of more prep. Now I don't want to scare you away from trying this detox because it seems like too much work. I'm putting this much time in so I have no excuses because I tend to be the queen of excuses when it comes to quitting. I prepared mini bacon (yes, bacon!) tomato spinach quiches, homemade mayonaise (second attempt), tuna salad and carrot pumpkin muffins.

Yes, you heard me right, carrot pumpkin muffins! I'm on a "diet" that allows carrot pumpkin muffins! I quickly envisioned this glorious carrot cake/pumpkin muffin hybrid, moist and decadent but probably "lightened up" with applesauce or something of the like. I mean, not only can I have bacon, I'm encouraged to have it on this diet, so a delicious muffin didn't seem far fetched. I thought "man, this will be a great pick-me-up when I'm craving something a little sweet after a few days. Ok, let's be honest, I'll be craving something about 8:45 tomorrow am.

I figure, I better make up some of these so as not to be tempted by the tasty treats I drive by on a daily basis. I quickly start gathering up the ingredients (I'm totally a gatherer, not a hunter). I make it about 4 ingredients in and low and behold, what do my wandering eyes come upon? 1 Banana mashed....

Ummm... excuse me? In what universe does a BANANA ever belong in either (pronounced eye-ther in this sentence) a scrumptious pumpkin muffin or a cinnamony carrot cake? A banana is the devils fruit. There are no two ways about it and anyone who likes them isn't right in the head. Mind you, I'm including my entire family in that sweeping generalization.

Blah... there go my dreams.

But I made them anyway. Blah.... Hubby and Moose liked them and Junior SCARFED them down. So, I guess it's a win.

I'm pretty sure I'll resort to trying to gag down one later this week.

It starts tomorrow...

to the moon and back,

Saturday, February 25, 2017

This thing called parenting

Moose is almost 7 & 1/2 and Junior is 19 months. Now I know that in the grand scheme of things, that's not very old but to me, it is and it just keeps flying by.

The thing about parenting is, it sucks. And I don't mean it sucks in the sense of "oh my gosh, I hate being a parent", though I guess there are those out there who think that. I mean that it sucks in the sense that you nurture and grow this amazing being for 9 moths where you are solely responsible for everything, and then boom it's born and the end goal is for him or her to move out and be independent. As much as I know that the boys can't live with me forever, part of me would be ok if they did.... I know, cheesy... I'm "that" mom, super sappy, cry about first hair cuts, mom.

But they are my boys! I'm not one of those parents who wish away the time or any of the stages. For example, Junior has been a handful the last few days because he teething. Do I kind of want to strangle him? Maybe. Do I just want him to stop whining? Pretty much! But do I wish he was past this phase? Definitely not. I hear you sighing out there thinking "yea, right, Jen. Whatever." Bu I am serious. If I wish this phase away, no matter how unbearable the day may be, then he's one phase closer to the "moving out" phase and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I'll never be ready for that.

My oldest has a crush (don't tell him I told you) and my youngest had his first hair cut today (he may or may not have a toddler mullet, but pick on him and you'll meet mama bear, real quick. This may be the topic for a blog post all by itself) and I just want to know where the pause button is. Thankfully, my oldest still snuggles with me and tells me things like "mama, you are the best mana ever, I would never trade you!"

21 Day update: More prep work today. I made up a cabbage and bok Choy slaw with a sesame dressing. It was good, but I think it will be better after it sits overnight. I also made homemade beef jerky which turned out great! Lastly, I made some apple streusel egg muffins. The hubby and Moose loved them. I'm sure Junior will love them, he eats pretty much everything. Looking forward to starting Monday, but afraid of failing. I do all the cooking and prep so I feel like if we fail, it will be my fault. I so want this to work.

to the moon and back,

Friday, February 24, 2017

21 Days...

Here we are, in the throws of 2017 and I don't think I have actually written anything since 2015. Loser, I know... I bet you're wondering why?? No? Well I'll tell ya anyway. Life. That's why. Something we have all succumbed to, so I know its not a good excuse. But, alas, here we are.

This year, I'm trying to focus on getting healthier "mind, body & spirit". After doing some yoga in January and some acupuncture, Chinese medicine and chiropractic, the next phase starts Monday.

The hubby and I are starting the 21 Day Sugar Detox. The thing is, I've felt really crappy for a while and I know it's because I've been eating like crap, or at least that's a good place to start. You are what you eat and the junk I have been "fueling" my body with, well, is just junk.... I've been tired, moody, sore, irritable, foggy headed. I don't sleep well and never feel rested. (I would like to insert here that I'm not looking for a quick fix or a magic pill or supplements, I won't stick to those and it's really not in the grocery budget since I also have to feed a family.) There's a laundry list of other symptoms but I'll stop there because I'm sure you're bored.

That's where the detox comes in. The hubby and I are ready to make a change for ourselves and the kiddos. They already eat way healthier than us, however, I see our bad habits creeping in and that scares me. Their health is in our hands and that's a heavy weight to bear.

Anyway, tonight I started prepping so we are ready to go on Monday. I made up some of the dressings from the cookbook.
Avo-goddess (pictured), Sesame Ginger Dressing and Balsamic Vinaigrette

I also attempted to make their homemade mayo. I say attempted, because I'm pretty sure I'll end up tossing it. The recipe called for "macadamia nut oil or any nut oil" so I thought, hmm.... cocoanut is a "nut" right? I'm pretty sure it is not. I also added sesame oil, because a seed is similar to a nut, right? Probably not, but, alas, here we are... Runny mayonnaise and all. Here's to hoping it sets up in the fridge.

I did cook the mustard glazed chicken thigh's tonight and they were delish, we will definitely do those again. All the boys, big and little, ate them up.

I'm going to try to keep you posted on our progress throughout, like how we are feeling, if we are losing weight, how the food tastes, if we have killed each other...

to the moon and back,