Tag Archives: happy life

Blessings in Disguise

Summer is winding down.  (Already! Can you believe it?)  School supplies are already piled up on the shelves in the stores.  Fall fashion has already started filling the innards of the magazines at the supermarket checkout line.  People are already talking about trading in their bikinis for skinny jeans and what they are doing for Labor Day.

sum

It’s truly mind-blowing how fast time goes.  My daughter, my baby girl, will be going into first grade and my son will be attending preschool.  It’s hard to fathom, that in less than a month, we will be flying overseas and spending the next three years of our lives there.

As I reflect back on the past few months, I can attest to the fact that this summer has been especially crazy for us – moving out of our house, our house that we brought our third child home to, a house on a street where the neighbors were absolutely wonderful to living out of suitcases while visiting family for several months as we prepare to move to Europe.

Yes, this is stressful.  Moving is always stressful.  It’s hard on the family as a whole, the kids and the marriage.  I told my husband, “I’m surprised more couples don’t get divorced after they PCS.”

On top of getting ready to move to another country and not having a place of our own, my husband is away at school for the summer.  And do you know what the kids like to do when he is gone?

I bet you can guess – they like to act exponentially more crazy.  I’ve got a 5 year old who is going on 16, a 3 year old who throws impressive tantrums, and a 6 month old who is totally chill (Thank God!)

But, despite all of this, you want to know something funny?  As I watch my three year old screaming and kicking, as I watch my 5 year old give me sass and roll her eyes…I think…I’m going to miss this.  I’m going to miss them being this little.  One day they are going to grow up and they won’t be fighting over who gets to sit on my lap.

When I feel like tearing my hair out because I can’t take the whining for one more minute, I try to remind myself (when I can remember, that is) that this is only temporary.  That it could be SO much worse.  That we are SO lucky to have healthy, beautiful kids.  That there are so many people out there who have lost their children and they would do anything to hear that whining.  That there are so many people out there who have very sick children and they would give anything to hear their kids bickering upstairs instead of having to sit in their hospital room faced with the unknown.

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I am LUCKY.  So VERY lucky and I am grateful for it.  Everyday, I thank God for my children, for the blessing that they are.  It’s not lost on me.

Yes, I’m human.  I get frustrated.  I lose my temper.  BUT I know that every fight, every eye roll, every tantrum is a BLESSING.  I know that despite the daily stressors that come with having little kids, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I Would Walk 10,000 Miles

Do you have a Fitbit?  Do you have trouble getting your 10,000 steps in?

I know I do!

Some days are better than others but I wanted to share with you some tricks and tips to log those steps in and burn a few extra calories along the way!

walk

Even if you don’t have a Fitbit, these are GREAT tricks to gettin’ your body moving!!

  1.  Do some exercises during commercial breaks (this is my favorite one!)
  2. Use half of your lunch break to go for a walk
  3. Use a treadmill desk (It’s a desk with a treadmill underneath so you can keep moving all day- so cool!)
  4. Park further away.  Yes, I know we all like to circle the parking lot, looking for the closest spot BUT what if you skip all that extra time behind the wheel, park at the back of the parking lot and get in some extra steps?!?
  5. Choose the stairs (rather than the elevator or escalator)
  6. Skip the shortcut – take the longer way.  I know it’s hard to do in a world where we want everything NOW, but take a few extra minutes and go around
  7. Play with your kids – you can get in a lot of extra calorie burning moves by playing hide and seek or tag (plus it’s healthy for them too and it’s good for your relationship!)
  8. Take extra trips – Do you have a lot of groceries to unload?  Good!  Take fewer bags at a time!
  9. Walk with a friend – instead of meeting for coffee, meet for a walk (or better yet, walk to a coffee shop and take it to go)
  10. Take a walk after a meal – helps with digestion and it’s a nice, relaxing way to end the day.  In fact, bring your kids with you!  It’s a great way to spend some quality time together

There are so many benefits to walking and so many more reasons to do it than just to get your 10,000 steps in – although it is nice to have that sense of accomplishment!

Here are some other reasons why it’s important to include walking in your daily routine:

walk-1

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles.
  • Improve your mood.
  • Improve your balance and coordination.
  • Reduce the risk of depression.
  • Improve sleep patterns
  • Releases endorphins

Weekly Recipe Round (10) Up

weekly menu 10

Here are your weekly recipes! I know you’re excited…I’m excited!

The theme this week? HEALTHY and TASTY recipes from around the world!

Have you ever been to around the world potluck? They are SO much fun! I hosted one for a FRG (Family Readiness Group for all you non-military related readers out there) event a couple of years ago and it was quite a success! But phew (I’m wiping my brow just thinking about it) those events are A LOT of work! My husband was in command and he had around 100 soldiers that he was in charge of. And at least half of those soldiers had families – wives and kids – and I was in charge of planning events and disseminating information to these families. We spent two years (and I say “we” because it truly is a team effort) in command. Two years of people calling at odd hours of the night, two years of planning events, leading meetings and incredibly late nights for my husband. It was stressful, to say the least, but we got through it and I got to plan events and get-togethers…like this around the world potluck…so…back to that…

People brought all kinds of things – from homemade tamales (which take F.O.R.E.V.E.R to make, but are delicious) and enchiladas to Lumpias and spaghetti…there was a TON of variety which keeps it exciting (hence why I said I’m excited about this week’s recipes…but really, who am I kidding…I’m always excited about the weekly recipes).

But guess what? You don’t have to go to a FRG event or even leave your house to eat food from around the world…because I am going to bring them right to your computer screen (or phone or ipad or whatever device you are currently using) right now…

Taco Spaghetti

taco sphagetti squash

Source: Me (as in I made it up)

Ingredients

1 TBSP fat of choice

1 lb lean ground beef or turkey

½ onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 medium spaghetti squash, cooked (I poke holes in mine and cook it in the microwave)

1 can rotel

For the Taco Seasoning

1 TBSP chili powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp oregano

2 tsp cumin powder

Directions

  1. Heat fat of choice in skillet
  2. Add diced onions and diced bell pepper. Sauté until soft
  3. Add meat and cook through. Add the seasoning and can of Rotel. Add water as needed (if there is not enough liquid from Rotel).
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Scoop out the spaghetti squash and mix it in the skillet.
  6. Heat through.
  7. Eat and Enjoy!

Tip: You can serve this with toppings like green onions, jalapeños, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese.

Another tip: Serve it with a side salad of tomatoes, black beans and avocado

 

Pad Thai Chicken with Zoodles

pad thai zoodles

Source: My March online accountability group

For people following the 21 Day Fix àContainer counts: 1 red, 1¼ green, 1 orange, 2 tsp

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces

4 tsp coconut oil, divided

2 eggs, beaten

3 stalks green onion, cut into 2
lengths

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

½ cup matchstick cut carrots

2 large zucchini, cut into noodle spirals

Himalayan salt

Dash of crushed red pepper

1 lime

1 tbsp honey

4 tbsp coconut Aminos (this is like soy sauce)

¼ cup chopped peanuts

Cilantro

Directions:

  1. Make a quick Pad Thai sauce by mixing 1 tbsp lime

juice, honey, coconut Aminos and crushed red pepper.

Set aside.

2. Season the chicken breasts with Himalayan

salt, and cook in 1 tsp of the coconut oil over med heat.

When finished, remove from pan and wipe pan clean

with a paper towel.

3. Using another tsp of coconut oil,

cook scrambled eggs in pan. Remove when finished and

set aside with the chicken.

4. Again – wipe the pan clean

with a paper towel. Using the remaining 2 tsp of coconut

oil, cook the green onion, garlic and ginger for a minute

until fragrant.

5. Add carrots to the pan and stir fry for

another few mins before adding chicken and egg back

to the pan.

6. Add zoodles and cook for a minute or until

they begin to soften

7. Add Pad Thai Sauce and cook for an

additional 2 mins

8. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.

9. Divide into 2 plates and top with freshly squeezed lime

juice, chopped peanuts and cilantro. Serve with additional

lime wedges.

Tip: You could use shrimp or tofu instead of chicken if desired!

21 Day Fix Spinach Ricotta Lasagna Roll-Ups

lasagna rolls

Source: http://www.erinrosefitness.com/ricotta-spinach-lasagna-roll-ups/

Servings: 2 – Each serving is 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 2 Green and 1 Blue (make extras to have left overs during the week or freeze them!)

Ingredients:

4 pieces of Whole Grain Lasagna Noodles (Yellow Container)

2 Red Containers (aka 1 ½ cups total) of 2% Ricotta Cheese (if you’re prego like me make sure you buy pasteurized ricotta!)

2 Green Containers (aka 2 Cups total) of spaghetti Sauce (make sure it has no sugar added or make your own)

2 Green Containers (2 cups total) of Spinach chopped (fresh or frozen, I used fresh)

2 Blue Containers (2/3 cups total) of Mozzarella Cheese (or you can do a mix of ¾ mozzarella and ¼ parmesan)

Instructions:

  1. Boil your Lasagna Noodles according to package directions. Once finished cooking, drain and then lay out on a piece of aluminum foil or wax paper.
  2. While your noodles are boiling, prepare the filling. Mix together the Ricotta Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese and Spinach in a bowl.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  4. Spread a small amount of spaghetti sauce in bottom of pan
  5. Once noodles are finished spread the cheese mixture onto the noodles evenly and roll them up.
  6. Place them in the prepared casserole dish and pour the sauce over the rolled noodles making sure to cover all surfaces.
  7. Cover the dish in foil and bake for 30 minutes or until warmed through.
  8. Eat and Enjoy!

Tip: Serve it with a side salad!

Another tip: You can easily add chicken breast to this or ground turkey meat and/or beef to this recipe

Crockpot Paleo Irish Stew (in honor of St. Patrick’s Day of course)

irish stew

Source: http://blog.paleohacks.com/quick-easy-crockpot-beef-stew/

Ingredients

2 pounds pastured stewing beef

  • 2 cups of beef or chicken stock (or 1 cup stock and 1 cup wine or beer)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3-5 small potatoes, cubed (optional)
  • 1 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced (adjust according to your taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon each dried rosemary, basil, and oregano
  • 1/8 cup arrowroot powder (if you want to thicken your stew)

 

Stew Cooking Directions

1.Place meat into crockpot.

2.Add liquids then all other ingredients except for arrowroot powder on top.

3.Cover and cook on low for eight hours.

  1. Easy peasy, right?

Directions to Thicken

  • Just before you’re ready to eat, use a ladle to spoon out most of the liquid into a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Stir a small amount of the liquid into a small bowl and sprinkle in the arrowroot flour, whisking as you add it. Make sure there are no lumps.
  • Slowly pour the arrowroot mixture into the boiling liquid in the pot and remove from heat as you whisk continuously.
  • Do not reheat as this will break the bonds of the thickener.
  • If it’s not thick enough, use water and some more arrowroot powder in your small bowl, whisk to mix, then slowly add into the gravy.
  • Pour thickened gravy back into slow cooker and stir gently.

Tip: Serve this on its own or with a green salad.

Another tip: Serve it with some Paleo Irish Soda Bread à recipe found here

https://elanaspantry.com/irish-soda-bread/

Do you like these recipes?!? Have you liked other ones that I’ve shared with you? You do?

Well, GREAT! Share them with others on your personal social media pages! And I love to hear from you so leave comments too!

 

 

Across the Bridge

“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away. Or eat it away. Or starve it away. Or walk it away. Or punch it away. Or even therapy it away. It’s just there. You have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it. And love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge built by your own desire to heal.” – Cheryl Strayed

WOW.

sad girl
This is real, y’all! This is raw. This is life.
Life is not perfect. Life is not easy. Life is going to throw all kinds of crap your way and then sit back and watch you struggle to make a choice as to what to do with it…Did you catch that? A CHOICE…you have a choice. You can CHOOSE to either let the crap hit you in the head and knock you down OR you can choose to stand up and fight.
I’m going to share something with you. It’s not something I like to share openly because truth be told, even though this happened several, several years ago, it still hurts when I really stop and think about it. I hurt for the girl I used to be. I feel sad for what I let happen to me instead of CHOOSING to make something happen.
I didn’t have many friends growing up. I got picked on a lot. I was ALWAYS the last or second to last person to be picked for the kickball team during P.E. I was not athletic. I was not cute. I had buck teeth. I was scrawny and I had big, round glasses.
I didn’t feel good about myself. I didn’t like how I looked or who I was. And people knew it. How? I don’t know, but people pick up on that crap in a heartbeat and attack every chance they get.
I think 6th grade was my nerdiest year. It was also my worst year. I had one friend, maybe two.

sad girl 2
At lunch, my friend and I would sit at the furthest table in the back of the cafeteria, as if we wanted to blend into the white, plaster wall. She also had thick glasses, thicker than mine and was incredibly scrawny and as you can guess, not athletic in the least. When she missed school because she was sick or on a trip, I didn’t have anyone to sit with in the cafeteria.
I’m sure you can remember what a school cafeteria is like – a swarm of kids, all of those judging eyes, the popular kids sitting at a few tables in the middle, the rest of the kids scattered about the cafeteria, desperately trying to fit in.
On the days that I didn’t have anyone to sit with, I chose to slink to the bathroom, sit on a toilet seat (so gross) and either eat my sandwich or cry or sometimes, if I was really hungry, I would cry and eat my sandwich. What can I say? I’ve always been a multi-tasker…

I didn’t tell anyone about this. No one knew. Not my family, not my mom, not my dad…no one. The humiliation was too deep. At home I could pretend that everything was fine. And then I could get into my bed at night and cry myself to sleep.

Thankfully, I am not that girl anymore. But it wasn’t a short ride. It was a long, bumpy, arduous and scary road. Sometimes I got lost along the way. Sometimes I thought I was taking a shortcut but I would end up right back where I started. Sometimes I gave up and had to begin again when I finally got up off my knees.

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I am still riding along that road, trying to find my way, but the difference now is I know who I am, where I’m going and who I want to be when I get to the other side of that bridge where my happiest and best dreams are.

I am telling you this because I am proof that you can CHOOSE what to do with your life and how to live it. You can CHOOSE how to handle the hard stuff. You can CHOOSE to take care of yourself, to eat right and exercise, to take care of your mental and emotional health or you can CHOOSE to make excuses. It’s up to you.

Here are some resources to help you:

Articles:
http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/overcoming-adversity.html

5 Tips on Overcoming Adversity

Book – Daring Greatly by Brene Brown – find it here:
http://www.amazon.com/Daring-Greatly-Courage-Vulnerable-Transforms/dp/1592408419
Book – 52 Ways to Live a Kickass Life by Andrea Owen – find it here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1440564779/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1440564779&linkCode=as2&tag=yokiasli-20
Website:
http://yourkickasslife.com/

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