Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Why I don't want to be gluten free

In November I landed in Urgent Care twice in two weeks due to pretty severe stomach pain. Since then I have done some testing and through it all they can tell me what I don't have. I also have bouts of pain in my hands and feet (to the point I cannot walk) that seem to have some correlation with what I eat/drink but I have no proof. Again, they can't tell me what is wrong with me...but they know what it isn't. 

So, I did some reseach and decided to do a little experimenting on my own. I've been pretty much gluten free since Novemeber 2013 (I do cheat here and there) and my stomach pain is completely gone and hand/foot problem seems to be under control. 

For the most part I try to stay away from gluten, mostly because this forces me to eat healthier and has made most fast food completely off limits. I really think the good that comes from being "gluten free" has less to do with skipping the bread and more to do with staying away from processed foods (unless you are celiac...which is a whole 'nother story). 

I really dislike admitting I'm gluten free. Immediately I sound like someone who has jumped aboard some fad to lose weight (this decision had nothing to do with weight and everything to do with pain). Then I'm offered many "gluten free" alternatives. The funny thing about those is that most breads/cookies/cakes have an ingredient list longer than my arm and I have no doubt in 5 years we will discover they are harmful! I'm not looking to replace processed foods with more processed foods. 

So I've decided I'm "gluten selective" I try to focus on foods naturally gluten free (oatmeal, corn tortillas, lean meats, beans, brown rice fruits and veggies) and when I want to indulge in cake or cookies, I will make it small and make sure it is made with high quality ingredients instead of chemicals and junk! 

I'm thrilled with how good I feel and how much I don't miss bread. And some weight loss has been a perk of course!! 

If you are thinking about going gluten free please continue to read labels and think about what you are putting in your body. A gluten free label does NOT make it healthy!!!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Freshly Picked, Not Just For Babies!

I'm a total geek...I admit this!

Not so much computer nerd geek...but female entrepreneur geek. I LOVE learning about women who have followed their passion, create beauty and just plain kick butt in the business world! I think one of my favorite shows is Shark Tank and it WOULD be a dream to be on the show if I wasn't certain one of the sharks (ok, more than one) would probably make me cry! ;)

I was impressed by Susan even before she appeared on 'Shark Tank' but it was because of the show that I learned more about her story. Not only has she created a kick ass business selling amazing quality, adorable moccasins...she did it with only $200 in her pocket! You can read more about Susan here...she really is an inspiration!

Although I think her moccs are insanely cute, I assumed they weren't for me because I thought they were just for pre-walkers...boy was I wrong!!!

Little Miss P in her Freshly Picked Moccs

These shoes are so freaking cute and they make them all the way up to size 10. I will tattle on myself, I didn't measure Miss P and I ordered the wrong size...however with the way she has been growing lately, it will probably be a couple weeks and they will fit just fine! So don't be like me...Freshly Picked has an awesome sizing chart that you can print out...USE IT!!!

Little Miss P and I were lounging on the couch this afternoon when we heard a knock at the door. As soon as she spotted the box, she asked if it was for her (ok, I MIGHT have a shopping addiction). I squealed when I saw it was indeed for her...then SHE squealed when I opened it up and unveiled her new shoes. This girl is already on her way to a MAJOR shoe addiction...and has good taste!! Immediately she wanted to put them on...and now I can't get them off her! 

We love FP

I am planning a fun giveaway in August that will include a pair of Freshly Picked Moccs, a Hat by A Little Knitty and a few other goodies for your little one this fall!! Stay Tuned!

UPDATE: My daughter is potty training...and today we had an accident. She came running around the corner of the house screaming "TAKE OFF MY SHOES BEFORE THEY GET PLOPS IN THEM" (yes, my kid calls her poop "plops"...long story!)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Potty Training Just Got Real

So, this week I finally took the leap...the REAL potty training. Up until now it was something like this...

1. Put daughter in underwear
2. Daughter pees on floor, carpet, couch
3. I get frustrated and put her in diapers

This was getting both of us no where. So I finally manned up (womaned up??) and got rid of EVERY diaper in the house...EVERY one. This was super scary, for me. So here are a few things I've learned in the last few days.

1. If I have an inkling that my little brown eyed beauty is about to pee/poop...I should trust that feeling.

2. I have never in my life been so excited to see someone poop.

3. When selecting shoes for the day, pick ones that are easily rinsed and collect urine.

4. Just because you've potty trained a child, doesn't make it any easier...or make you feel any less like a first time parent.

5. "Let it go" makes an AMAZING potty training song....seriously, try it out...
     Let it go, let it go don't hold it in anymore Let it go, let it go wipe your butt and slam the lid...

Things are improving on the potty training front (only ONE accident today) and I just might survive this...maybe.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Homemade Chili Mac

I was raised on Hamburger Helper...I actually liked it! But as I got older I figured out the convenience was great...but there was better tasting meals out there. I have also learned it's not any harder to make a version that is healthier, cheaper and more filling!! So...it took some tweaks but I finally found an easy version that my son goes back for THIRDS and thanks me for the yummy dinner...that is super awesome!!

Homemade Chili Mac

1 lb ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can red beans
1 can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp cumin (or to taste)
1.5 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1.5 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I use gluten free)

Brown ground beef, add seasoning then cans of bean, tomatoes and sauce. Over medium heat add uncooked noodles and then turn down the heat and cover and cook for 30 min or until noodles are cooked through (gluten free seems to take a bit longer) we top with shredded cheese and pica de gallo! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Giveaway

Guess what? We are giving away a prize that will make you the coolest person at your next baby shower!!

How do you win?? 

Go to our Rafflecopter giveaway and enter the contest by liking these amazing shops...even if you don't win the big prize, you will get to follow some AMAZING talent!!

What will you win?? 

Over $200 worth of pretty stinkin' cute stuff...

GORGEOUS Deluxe Handmade Diaper Bag from 'Personality, Ink
Bee Hat & Nest from 'Rebel Skein
$10 towards baby t-shirt from 'Monkey Bug
You are my sun and moon Wall Hanging from 'Jumping Jack Boutique
Binky from 'Binky Babies
Fishy Teething Necklace from 'Imagineif
Knit hat (with removable bow...in case it's for a boy!) from 'A Little Knitty
Knit Diaper Cover from 'Sweet Pea Knits
$30 Etsy Gift Certificate from 'Garden of Arden' 'Sweet Besitos Creations' and 'Lovey Lake'   

Make sure you like all the business pages AND share on Instagram for entry into a second MYSTERY prize worth $100. Search #UBSGG14 to find out more!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have heard the testimony of many who swear by homemade laundry detergent, read multiple blogs about it and even pinned a pin or two on the subject. In theory it sounded great, but I was a little intimidated (Fels whatnow???) and thought it would be hard/messy. One week at MOPS our craft activity was to make laundry soap...they did all the hard work (like find washing soda...is that near diet coke???) and I finally witnessed the insanely easy process and got to use it and find out my clothes were just as happy!!

So, this week the batch I made at MOPS ran out and I was faced with a choice...buy detergent or man up and go buy the ingredients...

I found myself in the detergent aisle...a little lost as they do their best to hide the 3 items I needed! I'm fairly certain the big detergent companies pay to put these items in awful locations...BUT I PREVAILED!!!!

So here is the lowdown. You don't have to be a hippy/tree hugger to make this stuff...you just need a few minutes and want to save a little money! :)

Bar of soap - 4.5 oz or about 1/3 of a 14oz bar (different sites listed different soaps but I picked zote, but you can use others) 

Then you need a cup of washing soda 

And a cup of borax

That's it!!

I shred up the bar with a cheese grater then added the cup of each powder and threw it all in my Ninja blender to really make everyone friendly!

Put all of that in a jar with a tablespoon tucked inside and when it is clothes washing time, I start the water and throw in two tablespoons of the little concoction and we are in business!!!!

I haven't done the math yet...but it's much cheaper than Tide!

Now, if I could find a way to save money on toilet paper...I hate paying for something I just flush but cannot get on board with any toilet paper alternative! ;)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Banana Cookies

The other day my friend came over to borrow a 1/2 cup of almond milk to make some cookies. As payment for my amazing feat of kindness (really, it was no problem) she paid me back in cookies!!!

Best. Payment. Ever.

These cookies are so perfect for me because they are naturally gluten free AND weight watchers friendly. This is VERY hard to find in a dessert!

I put the bananas, applesauce, almond milk, vanilla and cinnamon in the Ninja blender and gave it a spin... then folded in the oats and raisins and spooned out onto the baking sheet.

I'm pretty sure these would even be allowed if you were doing Weight Watchers "Simple Start" as long as you used fat free soy milk and no raisins!!

They are insanely yummy...you must try them! I would offer you some of the ones I made today...but they will be gone as soon as the kids go to bed! :)