Meal Plan

Over a year ago I decided to get tested for food allergies or intolerance’s after completing an elimination diet. I narrowed it down to a few items but wasn’t quite sure. I had my blood drawn and tested. The results were startling to say the least, I had MORE food intolerance’s than I knew about; wheat, eggs, animal milk, Parmesan cheese, which is my absolute favorite, etc. My food issues are not life threatening but over time my skin breaks out in rashes and my stomach is constantly upset. Once I knew what I needed to stay away from I had to figure out how to make meals and snacks that would work for me. We basically went with a paleo diet.

Unfortunately, I have fallen back into bad habits and terrible eating. Like I said none of the allergies are life threatening but my skin and stomach take the brunt of it. I am making a change TODAY. The biggest issue is not prepping my breakfast and lunch. Dinner is usually my focus but over time it has become apparent that breakfast and lunch are an after thought.

Sunday is usually my prep day. I struggle the most with…BREAKFAST! Heading out to work  or running out to the gym. On the menu is chia pudding, like this one,  and overnight gluten free oats. I found most of the recipes on pintrest. I have a pile of mason jars and loaded them all up, enough for a week.

Chia pudding with berry and nuts. It looks really gross but I have to say it is extremely delicious and filling.

INGREDIENTS
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • Fresh berries for topping

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a glass and shake to combine. Refrigerate overnight. Stir quickly in the morning, top with berries, and enjoy! I mixed the berries and slivered almonds with a tablespoon of maple syrup, stir and placed the mixture on top. ( Most bags of chia seeds have the instructions but I have found they can ask for a tad too much liquid so trial and error.)

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For lunch, in the past I have loaded mason jars up. However, I do not have enough space in my fridge right now so I made a run to Costco and bought a whole bunch of their pre-made salads and a rotisserie chicken. Lunch is done!  Also, I can make a quick chicken quesadila for Hudson’s lunch. WINNER!

I hope you try the chia pudding, it is so good and oh so good for you.

 

 

Montana is Love

This past weekend we spent the day at my in-laws. We celebrated Easter, birthdays, and anniversaries. It was the best visit so far. Hudson played non-stop, running all over the property, digging in dirt, chasing the dogs. He was in heaven which meant I was able to enjoy adult conversation and a hot plate of food. It was mama’s heaven!

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We haven’t visited the in-laws in a long time. They usually come to our house so Hudson can run amuck in his area. Also, it can take up to an hour to travel their direction. Have you ever tried to travel with a toddler….even for a short period of time? YIPES!  I would love to know any tricks to make travel easier because we have an upcoming trip that is a tad longer.  Suggestions welcomed.

 

Saturday Sit-Down

Hi friends. I cannot believe it has been 2 months since my last post. Blog host fail….sheesh! We are finally into a new groove. Husby is back in town working, his schedule has definitely taken some time to get use to. But we are loving that he is home very night for dinner and bedtime.

I also have taken the plunge into home childcare…..let me tell you that has been the hardest adjustment for Hudson and I. He is not use to sharing his mama or toys all the time. I know he will get it but HOLY COW, it sure has been tough. We will have to see where its all at in a month or two.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and I will be posting soon about meal planning sooner rather than later.

 

Not so”Quiet” Time Transition

Hudson gave up naps before his 3rd birthday…let me tell you it stunk. I cried the second I realized he was truly DONE with naps. My husband looked at me like I was crazy. His helpful words…..”Well he wasn’t going to nap forever….you knew that, RIGHT?”  Thanks. Super helpful.

All the stay-at-home-moms out there (working mamas too) know how sacred nap time is. But he was ready to be done so I had to go with it. The first few days were a struggle. He was a blubbering mess by 5pm, I mean could not hold it together at all….. the dog walked by him…meltdown……The pillow fell over….meltdown. It was ROUGH. But after a week or two……maybe three….I can’t remember. We introduced quiet time, he spends a little time in his room with a quiet project and once in awhile I let him watch a movie. No sleep but a tiny rest.

The first few days he only lasted maybe 30 minutes but now he will do a full 2 hours. I put together quiet boxes organized by the day and each one contains a project or puzzle, cars, and a book.

BUSY BOX ITEMS:

Craft project: We are big fans of Crayola magic markers. The ones that only mark the special paper so he cant destroy his room.

Puzzle: I found a couple match puzzles in the 1$ section at Target. Only two or three pieces is all. Before letting him play with the puzzles I showed him how to put them together. He is very proud when he puts them all together!

Book: I rounded up books that we already had lying around the house. But since they are tucked away in bins for quiet time only he only sees them once in awhile.

Cars: Hudson is obsessed with cars…we have entirely too many. I gathered about 4 cars for each bin. No need to by any new ones…I used ones we already had at home but he only gets them during quiet time so they seem special.

I would suggest you put together items your kiddo loves, dolls, instruments, etc.

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He plays…not so quietly, ( My husband suggests we call it “Alone time,” rather than quiet time….I tend to agree) in his room with the items from the bin. The busy boxes are like a present each day. Soon I will have to rotate new toys in but right now he is happy to open the bins. Plus, he actually plays with the toys in them, I would call that a win.

The transition from naps to quiet time has been a difficult one for me…Hudson has taken it in stride.  But I have adjusted. I really enjoy the earlier, easier bed time. The busy boxes have definitely helped stretch the time closer to 2 hours. Hang in their Mama it is a tough one but it does get better….it won’t be like this for long.

 

 

Struggles Lately

Lately, I have been struggling to think of blog topics, keep my house in order or happily play with H. Most days I can barely get a meal together, which is definitely out of character for me. Usually I have everything figured out and in order but lately nothing is working out.

January has brought a huge transition for our family. My husband who has been working out of town for almost 3 years is now taking a job locally. Which is great but comes with financial changes for us. I am trying to figure out the best option for us. Do I go back to work……kill me now….or babysit a couple of kids or start a home based business. It has been a real struggle deciding what is best.

On top of all that, Hudson has been going through some sort of change. He is crying one second, laughing the next but has become very….physical…slapping, pinching, and hitting. I have tried all the discipline possible with no real change. I think some of it is that our life is different now. Dad is home, we don’t go-go so much. I am not sure…I know its most likely a phase but sheesh…..any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I cannot figure out  how to get everything done in a day. I am usually on top of everything but lately it seems I am chasing my tail, never really getting ahead. I have a normal routine, it just feels like there is never enough time.

I know everything will get back to normal but right now I am feeling overwhelmed and discombobulated. This post was not intended to be a pitty party. I am very blessed and happy just needed to vent.

We will get back to our new normal.  I need to remember to give myself a break…a pass on perfection…..The same goes for all the other mamas out there. It’s okay to not feel like enough but you have to remember you are! The life you have was made just for you…struggles and all.

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Now to end on some cuteness!!!

 

 

December Wrap-Up

We have been offline for a few weeks. I have to say it has been peaceful.  Now, it’s time to get back into a routine. Christmas is put away, which always makes our house looks bare, but I want to share our December with you.

Husby’s birthday is the first week of December but he was at work for most of December so he could be home through both holidays. It was a long and fast three weeks with him gone, stay at home mama’s you know what I mean. Hudson and I watched as many Christmas movies as he would sit still for and read piles of Christmas books snuggled up by our fire. It was blissful!

We went on our annual trip to Coeur d’ Alene for the Journey to the Northpole. This year we took my dad along for the trip. We had so much fun! H loved seeing Santa and hearing his name on the Nice List. The hotel sent Elves to our room with cookies and milk after seeing Santa. The whole experience was magical.

A fun highlight was our Polar Express Pajama party. We had friends over to watch Hudson’s favorite Christmas movie and sip hot chocolate….coffee for all the mama’s or a mimosa…….maybe two. We piled pillows and blankets in our living room and everyone wore their comfy jammies. It was so much fun and easy to throw together.

20151213_13310320151213_13311120151213_13315620151213_133143-1The big day was eventful, Hudson finally got the big firetruck he has been asking for. We had to visit it every time we went to the store. Thankfully, it was sold out quickly, I was able to tell Hudson Santa must have gotten them all for other kids.

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We had a great December I hope yours was as memorable as ours!

 

 

Hudson Turns 3

Hudson will be three on Black Friday. WHAT?! It has gone by so fast. He has grown into a funny, silly, smart, kind little man, mixed with a whole lot of stubbornness and attitude. Which I have been told will be a good trait to have as an adult but as a three year old works all of my mama patience. But truth be told he makes me laugh EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

Hudson is super busy so this year we decided to forgo the ultra themed at home for a celebration at a gymnastics gym. It was great they decorated and had a room set up for all of his party guests. The easiest party ever! On top of the ease of simply showing up, he had so much fun and did not stop moving until cupcakes.

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He was excited for presents and cupcakes!

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate Hudson turning 3.

Pumpkin Party

This is a little late but I still wanted to share. We have started a family tradition, a Pumpkin Carving Party! It has proven to be so much fun. It is a very easy party to plan since it’s casual. Dinner, snacks, and all the tools needed for carving and B.Y.O.P, bring your own pumpkin.Since we had little ones coming  markers, stickers, and paint were provided so they could decorate a pumpkin too.

He lined them up himself

He lined them up himself

I usually serve a bowl of warm apple cider, snacks, and a main course that is  make your own so everyone is happy, like tacos or chili. People can make it the way they prefer spicy, mild, this or that.This year we opted for chili because it was  cold outside, delicious, and affordable to make a large amount. The chili recipe is my favorite from Rachael Ray, Espresso Black Bean Chili, its very meaty and has tons of flavor. (You have to try it.)  For the chili I set out all the mix-ins so everyone could choose what they wanted; pickled jalapenos, sour cream, tortilla chips, cheese, etc.

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For Drinks I had warm apple cider, a single signature drink, Apple Cider Sangria, and a fun drink for the kiddos. I ended up making mango juice mixed with plain pellagrino, bubbly juice. All of which are set up to self serve so I don’t have to spend the night playing bartender.  I also made the doughnut recipes from a previous post, the apple cider doughnuts and pumpkin spice latte. We had other sweet treats, a veggie tray, and bags of chips.

Once everyone filled up on dinner, snacks, and drinks we got started with the carving. Most of the little kids opted to paint and use stickers so the adults could carve. We rolled out a painters drop cloth so when the carving or painting was done we could just roll everything up and toss it into the trash. It worked perfectly!

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I hope you try to plan a fun carving party!

Apple Cider Donuts

I mentioned these little lovlies in a previous post. But after measuring all the ingredients and reading all the steps I had to find a different recipe….wait for dough to rise over night….um no mama needs her donuts today! I should have read all the instructions before measuring but my sous chef and I were so excited to get started. It took a little research to find donuts that I could bake. FINALLY! We found the one, it is as follows.

DONUTS

  • 1 and 1/4 cups  apple cider
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons  unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

TOPPING

  • 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 60g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider

Directions:

  1. Simmer apple cider over low-medium heat in a small saucepan on the stove for 15-20 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, spices, and/or orange slices for flavor if desired. In this step you are reducing the apple cider for a stronger flavor. You will need 1/2 cup from this reduced cider. Allow it to cool in the refrigerator as you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a mini muffin pan or donut pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  3. Toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until smooth. Whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of concentrated apple cider.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and very gently mix together with a whisk. Whisk until all ingredients are *just combined.* Some small lumps may remain, but not many.

Pour the batter into the mini muffin pan, filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake 9-10 minutes.

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It may seem like a lot but once we got started it was easy! The recipe wanted us to dip the donuts in a butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. The problem is the donuts didn’t have a strong apple cider flavor so I opted to make a different topping. I mixed melted butter and powered sugar until it was a glaze consistency, its all about trial and error. I added a splash of apple cider until it had good flavor. Then I dipped the donuts in the glaze, it was delicious! The only recommendation I have is put the glaze on the day you plan on eating them. Any sooner at the donuts get very soggy.

Make ahead tip: Prepared donuts freeze well up to 2-3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up in the microwave if desired.

Enjoy Lovies!

I will be posting about the pumpkin spice donut results soon. The apple cider donuts will be making there debut for our pumpkin carving party in a few days!

Punkin Palooza

We made our first trip to the pumpkin patch this week. I say first because no doubt we will be going back to collect more beauties for our carving party in a couple weeks. We always go to a local family owned farm in town. First off, their prices are the best. Second, the owner is the sweetest old man. Third, buy local.

Benson’s farm has been our family favorite from fresh apples to giant zucchini. Upon arrival Hudson spotted two deer grabbing a quick snack from the apple trees out front.

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We had the place to ourselves which for a rambunctious toddler is perfection. He could not load the pumpkins fast enough. Going from pile to pile saying ” we need this one, and this one, and this one!” I was all for it, I love watching his enthusiasm for holidays. Mr. Man preferred the little ones, or as he called them “The tiny baby pumpkins.”

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Happy Fall Y’all!