A little behind, but week 4 of my 52 Weeks of Gratitude challenge is a family member, I picked my son, who was 4 months old this week!! Ah, he's so big it's adorable. I wrote all of my favorite things about him on my chalk wall at home. I am so glad to have a boy, and to watch him grow. I've always wanted the mommy/son relationship. I'm so so grateful for him even though it is hectic having my kids so young and close together. It will be great to see them play and grow up together.
Monday, January 18, 2016
Week 3 of the 52 week Gratitude Challenge is Family.
I'm so incredibly thankful for my tiny family. My kids bring me so much joy. Its amazing how much you can stress out over your children, and yet, your heart is more full than you ever could've imagined.
My little girl is approaching toddlerdom, or as we mom's joke, terdle-dom. But somehow even then she is my absolute favorite. I could be happy if she stayed this age forever. I miss her when she goes down for naps. I love hearing her little feet waddle into my room in the morning, I love watching her run "zo zah!" (so fast) to the potty. She has this potty training thing down pretty good. She is now running to the bathroom by herself and shutting the door. Privacy is important for a girl !! Haha...she will shove the door in your face and shout, No! If you try to peek. I guess she wants to copy how mom and dad use the potty. Today, she even took her jewelry in with her. Beats me.
I adore my little man. He is only 4 months and he is HUGE. It kills my back and spine injury to carry/nurse him, but I love holding him super close. He is a mama's boy. I so melt when he smiles. He is also starting to giggle which is the best! He definitely still has colic, and the screaming wears on me as his mother, but it makes those happy times so much sweeter. I see in his eyes an absolute pure love. Those eyes follow me around the room, and stare unblinkingly up at me when I'm feeding him. He's such a handsome little King.
I'm so grateful for my husband who is such an awesome dad. He is my best friend. We have a very good relationship and genuinely enjoy one another's company. We always work it out, one way or another. We don't want to be that couple that throws in the towel because life isn't easy. We both have firm understandings of our Heavenly Father, His plan for us, and how we will teach our children of Him. I'm so so so blessed.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
I like to cook, and I find it very therapeutic. I'm also a health nut and prefer, when possible, to shop organic. I eat little meat and dairy, but I'm not a total vegan. I love my lifestyle, but it isn't cheap. Having done some research, I learned that it costs one person roughly $8 a day to eat "regular" or unhealthy. It costs roughly $35 a person a day to eat HEALTHY. That number scares most people into eating junk. Sadly, they don't realize that what they put into their bodies has long-term side affects.
Making the change to eat well is a sacrifice you have to make, but it isn't difficult once you adjust your budget. Cut back on coffee, eating out, tanning, whatever stuff you spend pocket change on. For me, it has been a lovely effort and I really enjoy the results.
Tonight, I made two extremely yummy dishes. A meal and a dessert, from ingredients I had lying around. Most of you have these items in your kitchen too. So if you wana give them a try, here ya go:
Dinner: Chicken Apple Quinoa Sautee
Dessert: Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes (vegan/paleo friendly)
Both combined are nearly fat free, besides olive oil and the lean fats in chicken, and the pumpkin puree. Seriously, it doesn't get better than this!!
For dinner, I started sauteeing garlic in 2 tbsp of olive oil. I used about 4 cloves. I added half cup of chopped red onions and 2 granny apples chopped. I cut up 5 chicken tenders and added them, along with lots of thyme, hint of cinnamon, black pepper, and salt. (yeah, sorry, I don't measure....) then I added about 1 cup chicken stock and sprinkled quinoa on top. I happen to know about how much would soak up the chicken stock without burning the pan. I then cut up 2 97% fat free hot dogs and tossed them in. Te he...yum.
While that was simmering, I blended 2 bananas with 1 can 100% pumpkin puree. Add about 2 tsp vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie seasonings. (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger) sweeten with 2 TBS maple syrup and a packet of stevia. Full up muffin tins and bake at 350 for 20 min. Create whipped topping by using full fat coconut milk. (chill the can, scoop the fatty milk off the top of water separation and whip with beaters) Voila.
Hope you try them out and LOVE them 😊 IF YOU DO, leave your comments below and send me a recipe fav of your own!!
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Word from the wise, slow down.
You'll agree with me. One day.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
52 weeks of Gratitude.
This week, week 2, the topic is spouse or significant other.
I have so many things to write about my husband I don't think I could contain it to one blog post. I'll sum up my favorite points for everyone's sake.
1. He is always there for me, it doesn't matter how grumpy I am. He will come put his arms around me and ask what he can do for me.
2. He is always trying to be a better man. He admits his weaknesses and openly discusses them with me and sets goals on how to grow.
3. We grow together. I hear, so often, that couples "grow apart". Its a crock of $h!t. No offense....you don't grow apart on accident, and it takes really real significant effort to grow together. We are good at that. At talking, communicating love languages and being honest, dedicated, available.
I am so lucky to have the husband I do, and the best father for my children.
Monday, January 4, 2016
I was contemplating this New Year, 2016, and a couple of my resolutions and I was pleased to discover none of them had anything to do with beauty. The physical kind.
In the past, I've always had some physical goal. Lose weight. Gain weight (muscle). Learn how to do my makeup. Buy cute clothes that flatter your figure. You get the idea. I'm a die hard fitness geek, I'm a Chegan. A cheating vegan. I like my wardrobe and face creams and curling irons. The truth is, I'm like every woman who has lived with body insecurities most of her life. The silly thing is, I have always been in the best shape of my life the year before. Hahaa....so as I'm getting older, I am learning to appreciate what I have, while I have it, instead of thinking, "Man I wish I was skinnier...." Only to look back and realize, "Wow I was skinny!" Or, "I wish I didn't have these wrinkles!" and then realize a year later, "I'm only getting wrinkly-er!"
I've become a little annoyed with this concept of being ageless. What is wrong with looking 30? 40? 70? What is right with being 50, and simply looking like a plastic version of your 50 year old self instead of a 20 year old you?
I remember what it was like wanting to stay in my prime longer. I remember distinctly when I woke up no longer there. I also remember when it didn't matter.
The way to discover what level you are is to ask yourself this question: How Pretty Did You Feel Today?
A level one will have a response similar to this : I did not feel pretty. I thought about it all day, every time I looked in the mirror. I thought about ways to look prettier, but none of them worked. I went to bed feeling very unpretty.
A level two will have A response similar to this: I felt sort of pretty. I thought about it a couple of times. I felt okay, unless I compared myself to someone else. I changed something about my appearance, and then I felt prettier. I went to bed knowing how to make myself look prettier tomorrow.
A level three will have a response similar to this: I did not think about it once today.
I'm proud to report I am between level two and three, closer to three. I wake up most days and go throughout my day without a care for how "pretty" I am. Not to brag, but I know where I stand on the pretty-0-meter, and frankly I just don't care. If you know me, you know I take great pride in my body by exercising. You also know I make a hobby of fashion, and I dress cutsie and trendy because it makes me happy. But if you've known me for many years, you've probably seen a huge transition in me, from what was once a girl who would not leave the house without makeup, who could not be seen in flats, and who took an hour to get ready, and STILL felt ugly everywhere she went, into a girl who mostly wears yoga pants, looooves her hobby of replacing all those fun heels into flats, rocks the natural curly wavy messy hair on a daily basis, and goes makeup free 90% of the time, and STILL feels confident. Yep, I sometimes go to bed not even wondering at all how pretty I was that day.
Of course, I still believe in being put together. I brush my teeth and find ways to be an attractive spouse, don't get me wrong. However, that large, spacious, superficial hole in my self-esteem has been magnificently reduced over the last two years and I feel SO FREE !!! I love not letting that stupid, stupid pressure from the world to look or be a certain way govern how good I feel. I can feel happy and confident and beauty in being me, just me, the motherly me that I am. Insert a small spiritual bit, cause I do that...I don't think my Heavenly Father and Mother care if I'm a super model (no offense) I've just met so many people the world would call "poor looking" and they were such content people. On the contrary I've met many "blessed looking" people who were wildly unhappy. No part of my divine destiny includes being "pretty" as you may call it. I am no better a daughter of God than any other girl, pretty or not. It will not lessen my value as a mother to be "unpretty" . It is only good for me to learn to give up arrogance and conceit, finding happiness within, and then radiating that confidence in other aspects of my life instead of surface deep attributes. I understand how the Adversary has been working to destroy the happiness of humankind, and train the focus of success and triumph in such artificial appearances.
Disclosure as a conclusion: I in no way mean to offend women by this. We all have different opinions on the matter of beauty and I withhold my judgments. This is a personal endeavor, one that has brought me contentment. I enjoy being pretty in smaller ways, in that I'm happy with who I am, with aging, and with being the best ME. I wish more girls could find contentment with their beauty, in whatever way possible. The world is a different place, with strong women. I think a strong woman is the ultimate super hero. She who is confident and brave can conquer anything. Besides, there are so many talents and heavenly qualities beyond physical prettiness. I envy the woman who thinks not of her looks, is still beautiful, and helps bring other women into this realm. Being absorbed in looks was a weakness of mine for many years and I no longer let it consume me. That is my feat. And it has left plenty of room on my resolutions list for this new, fabulous year!!
My 2016 New Years Resolutions will be posted soon! Share yours with me!
So, this is my goal. To complete this 52 week Gratitude Challenge.
Hopefully I can gut it out, lol.
#1. Why start this challenge?
Answer: because I have a real gratitude problem.
I let my stresses overwhelm me and affect my mood when, in reality, I live a more blessed life than 95% of the world. I need to count my blessings. I used to think having a bad hair day, running out of gas, and having a fight with my man were seriously bad day worthy. Now, it is a crying baby, surviving a week on 5 hours of sleep, and chronic spinal pain. Still, when I forget how lucky and fortunate I am, I lead a fairly grumpy life.
Are we worried about our food being cold, or are we grateful we have food? Do we moan and complain about the weather, or are we grateful we don't have many natural disasters? Are we cranky because we are tired since our children keep us up all night, or are we grateful we can bear children?
I'm totally guilty of this, but how many of us count our problems instead of our blessings? I kinda get disgusted with myself when I realise how blessed I really am and that I have little if no reason to complain. I want to try following the scriptures more and have a grateful heart. There are promises to those who show gratitude to their Lord, and one of them is a joyful heart. I need that. A joyful heart. Starting last year, I made a resolution to be more positive. That change did wonders for my demeanor. Now it's time to add gratitude to my divine attributes. One thing at a time, right ? Join me if you like and leave your responses below!!