Monday, October 6, 2014

Whole 30: Week 3 Recap and Week 4 Menu

I had ever intention of blogging last week...... but it obviously never happened. Just one of those weeks where the days flew by and I felt like I had tons to do. But, it is a new week and hopefully not a crazy one!

One of our favorite recipes from last week was Salmon with Coconut Cream Sauce. It was delicious! I am always looking for new ways to cook salmon, so I am glad to have tried this one and that we all liked it. Plus, it was very simple. :)

I have also discovered that I love sweet potatoes! Of course I already knew they were yummy, but for some reason I never thought to buy them. But since starting this challenge we have eaten them several times a week, in all kinds of forms. Fries, hash browns, in meat dishes, with eggs for breakfast. So good! And Costco carries a 10lb bag so I think we're set for a little while! 

As we enter week 4 I am surprised at how fast this has flown by! This first week felt like forever and I was wondering how in the world I was going to do this for 30 days! But now we're on Day 22, only 8 days left! I am feeling great! More energy, my skin feels awesome, I feel full after a meal but not bloated, and I am pretty sure I lost an inch or 2 off my waist. It's truly amazing how eating clean and healthy can make you feel (and look!) so good. I always knew food played a major part in losing/gaining weight, but never quite realized how much. We normally ate pretty well, but I feel like I have learned so much more about what foods affect my body, for good or not. 

Alright, Week 4 Menu.

Breakfast: Apple Bumpkin Bake (seriously, love this too!)
Lunch: Leftover Roasted Throw Together
Dinner: Bacon Wrapped Chicken & Citrus Glazed Carrots

Breakfast: Probably Apple Bumpkin Bake again. :)
Lunch: Leftover Butternut Squash Lasagne
Dinner: Bunless Caribou Burgers & Sweet Potato Coins

Breakfast: Eggs or Apple Bumpkin Bake
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Curry Chicken

Breakfast: Eggs and meat
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Sausage Gumbo

Breakfast: Eggs
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Dinner w/ friends. :)

Breakfast: More Eggs
Lunch: Shrimp & Avocado Salad
Dinner: Salmon Cakes & Tropical Cabbage Salad

Breakfast: Eggs w/ sweet potato hash browns
Lunch: Spicy Coconut Shrimp
Dinner: Caribou Shish Kabobs

I am really excited for the shrimp and avocado salad. Two of my favorite things!
Have you tried any good Whole30 or Paleo recipes lately? Let me know! I am always looking for new and yummy recipes. 

It's a good thing I like leftovers! :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Whole 30: Week 1 Recap & Week 2 Menu

We survived the 1st week!

Okay, okay, it really wasn't that bad. :) 

It was definitely interesting to see how our bodies dealt with the change. Not that we were junky eaters in the first place, but we definitely liked our dairy and grains. :) And who knew that there is sugar in pretty much everything, including bacon?!?! 

Day 2 was rough. I woke up and thought I was coming down with the flu. At 5am I woke up all sweaty and my stomach feeling off, so I got up, drank some water, ate a handful of almonds, took my fuzzy socks off and layer back down, without any blankets. Finally fell back asleep, but when I woke up for the second time my stomach still wasn't feeling to well. At first I thought I was just hungry so I ate my yummy Apple Bumbkin Breakfast Bake (recipe on my pinterest board, Whole 30, if you're interested!) and then laid on the couch. After a little while I took some ibuprofen and put doTerra's flu bomb oil on my feet. A few hours later I started to feel better and was even able to go to work, but I could still tell that my stomach just felt "off", something wasn't right. And then it finally hit me that it probably had something to do with Whole 30! I went to their website and found this helpful post! Whew! What I was experiencing was normal! Eli also didn't feel the greatest this day, and said he felt very lethargic. 

But now that we are on Day 9 and my body has finally adjusted, I am feeling great! Eli told me the other day that he felt more energetic in the mornings. It is still a struggle to resist my cravings for sweets, but I have discovered that apples and almond butter hit the spot in those moments. And homemade cinnamon applesauce. :) 

We enjoyed all the meals from the 1st week, some more than others, but nothing was gross. I think our favorites were the sausage and cabbage delight, pan fried salmon, and the baked butternut squash. All the side dishes were delicious! I loved finding new ways to cook them, because sometimes salad and cut, raw veggies get boring. 

Alright, Week 2's Menu.

Breakfast: Eggs w/ leftover meat
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Poblano Stuffed Peppers & Cauliflower Rice (was suppose to be sunday's dinner, but we ended up eating lunch at my parent's so we pushed sunday's lunch to dinner, and dinner to monday night dinner!)

Breakfast: Eggs w/ leftover stuffed pepper's
Lunch: Cauliflower Rice w/ left over stuffing :)
Dinner: Macadamia Encrusted Halibut w/ Salad

Breakfast: Eggs
Lunch: Leftovers or Sweet Potato & Egg Salad
Dinner: Comfort Food (steak and veggies dish)

Breakfast: Eggs, again...
Lunch: Leftovers or Sausage & Cabbage Delight
Dinner: Carne Asada Lettuce Tacos

Lunch: probably leftovers
Dinner: Avocado BLT Egg Salad

Breakfast: and more eggs. Can you see a theme here?
Lunch: BBQ at Church after Impact Eagle River
Dinner: Whatever leftovers sound good

Breakfast: Sweet Potato Hash
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Sweet Beef Scramble

Monday, September 15, 2014

Whole 30:Week 1 Menu

As mentioned in my previous post, we are doing the Whole 30 Challenge this month. I am halfway through the first day and doing well! Haha. 

I wanted to post the menu here so that everyone can see how easy and yummy these recipes sound! Seriously, I am pretty excited to try them. And I was able to find almost everything at Fred Meyer's. The items I wasn't able to find were due to the store rearranging everything and I spent literally an hour in the store, walking in circles looking for 3 items or an employee in that section. I'll be so glad in a few weeks when I have re-memorized the layout. But, back to the Whole 30 Menu. 

I found this blog (whole family through the Whole 30 website. It was one of their recommendations for recipes and said they were 100% compliant with Whole 30 and they have a 30 day menu already planned out! How handy is that? One thing I was worried about going into this challenge was finding recipes, but now I don't have to worry about that. I also followed a gal on Pinterest who had a Whole 30 board and have started my own board with recipes I want to try. 

Now the menu.....


Breakfast: Apple Bumbkin Breakfast Bake
Lunch: Chicken Salad on a bed of lettuce & spinach
Dinner: Meatloaf Cake w/ Lemon-herb Asparagus


Breakfast: Meatloaf & eggs OR leftover Apple Bake
Lunch: Chicken Salad
Dinner: Dinner w/ Emma & Mick (who are also doing Whole 30)


Breakfast: Eggs or Apple Bake
Lunch: Chicken Salad
Dinner: Cilantro Caribou Burgers w/ Sauteed Carrots


Breakfast: Eggs w/ diced Caribou Burger
Lunch: Chicken Salad OR Sausage & Cabbage Delight
Dinner: Crockpot Pulled Pork w/ Baked Butternut Squash


Breakfast: Pulled Pork & Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Chicken Salad OR Sausage & Cabbage Delight
Dinner: Herb Crusted Salmon & Sauteed Kale


Breakfast: Eggs w/ Salmon
Lunch: Chicken Salad OR Sausage & Cabbage Delight
Dinner: Any Leftovers


Breakfast: Eggs w/ Sweet Potato Hash
Lunch: Crispy Chicken Legs
Dinner: Stuffed Poblano Peppers w/ Cauliflower Rice

So it looks like we'll be going through a lot of eggs! Maybe we do need chickens....

I made a big batch of the chicken salad yesterday and am planning on eating that for lunch until it's gone. Same thing with the Apple Bumbkin Bake for breakfast.

And, my mom gave me a big bag of local grown apples (from her friend) and some rhubarb so I made rhubarb applesauce (no sugar!) and I figure that it will be a good, healthy snack. 

Normally, I don't like meatloaf but I am looking forward to trying a new recipe. I'll let you know what we think. :)

Whole 30 Challenge!

What is Whole 30 you ask? 

I am hesitant to call it a diet, it's more of a life style. It's pretty close to a paleo diet, but a few more restrictions. You can go here to learn more about it. 

My favorite quote, and the reason why I am doing this challenge, is, 

"Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff.
So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you? Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health."
A reset button, just what I need! Lately I have had no energy, my skin (and hair!) is a mess, I always seem to be fighting a cold, and I cannot seem to get rid of a little bit of fat hanging around my midsection. I am hoping that by following Whole 30 for a month I can fix some of these issues, and learn some tips to eat and cook healthy meals for my family. 
Now that my reasons are stated, I would like to ask you to encourage me in this goal! Ask me how my week is going, what my favorite recipe is so far, or any questions you have about this Whole 30 thing. 
I was pretty nervous at first. No sugar (real or artificial), no alcohol in any form, no grains, no legumes, no processed food, and no dairy. How in the world do you survive without bread? without yogurt? without hummus? But I thankfully found a family blog that has a menu all planned out and the meals all look delicious! We already tested the Chicken Salad (made with homemade mayo) and it was great! 
My goal is to blog at least once a week (hopefully more) and give you an update on how it's going. Already today, Day 1, I found myself throwing a handful of Baby L's cereal in my mouth before I remembered I wasn't suppose to eat grains! Don't worry, I spit it out right away! 
I will post our menu for the week later today. I am really excited, these recipes all sound yummy and look easy to make. 
Thanks for reading, and please, remember to leave some encouragement! I have a terrible sweet tooth so this could be difficult. :/

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reading, reading, reading.

I absolutely love to read. Without a doubt my most favorite way to relax! Especially when it's a good book. :)

These past 6 months or so I have been trying to read new authors and genres. I've gotten suggestions from friends, my boss, and Pinterest. Some were good, some not so good, and others okay, but not very memorable. 

Below are the ones I've enjoyed the most!

Monuments Men by Robert Edsel.

I discovered this treasure via Pinterest in this Buzzfeed article. It is the story of a group of men who go to Europe during WWII to help save national monuments  and artifacts only to discover that the Nazis are stealing every single item of value. Their mission is to save and restore these stolen treasures. Now, I love history so this was right up my alley. It was a bit difficult to read at times cause it's very historically correct so there are a lot of dates, places and people to keep track of. The movie adaption came out in February and it did a decent job at telling the story, but if you want to know more details, read the book!

Divergent Series by Veronica Roth.

Also found this book in the above article. And absolutely loved it! Like, couldn't put it down, cried at the end, loved it! I have not seen the movie, though, so can't give you any comparisons there. I was a little leery of reading it at first cause it seemed to be a knock-off of The Hunger Games, but I was wrong. While it has similar settings, along with a strong female lead, to Hunger Games, the characters and storyline are very different. I won't tell you any more cause I don't want to spoil it for you!

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.

A friend of mine is doing a online book club and this was the first book she picked to read and review/discuss on her blog (her review). It's the story of a lady who struggles with her past and behaviors which affects her present life. The story is told through emails, letters, notes, and journal entries. Very interesting and kept me guessing on how it would resolve until the end. 

Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton.

I was bored one day, at my parent's and looking for a book to read. Came across this one on the shelf and thought I would give it a try. It is actually a whole series (about 12 books so far). What I love about this series is how light hearted and fun it is, plus it inspires me to knit more! And it's a mystery, which is my favorite genre. The main character, Kelly, ends up in Colorado after the death of her only living relative. She ends up getting involved in solving mysteries and a local knitting group who become her new "family". As I said, it's a fun, light hearted read. Perfect for lazy summer days! 

The Circle Series by Ted Dekker.

I actually read this series a few years ago but had forgotten quite a bit, plus I discovered that I never read the 4th book, Green. The storyline is a bit complicated to explain so I'll just give you a few details. It follows the journey of Thomas, who one day wakes up in a dream world that is as realistic as his real life. He then discovers that the two realities are connected. The author, Ted Dekker, is a christian novelist who writes fiction stories dealing with spiritual warfare. In this series, stuff that is spiritual in the real world becomes physical in the alternate world, i.e. sin is a physical disease and the only way to be healed is to die by drowning in the savior's blood. I know, sounds kinda morbid, but it's really not. You have to read his descriptions of it to understand better! Highly recommend it!

Mark of a Lion Series by Francine Rivers.

So, so good! Could not put it down! This series is the story of 3 people in Ancient Rome, a christian Jewish girl, a roman man, and a german gladiator. I love how it follows their struggles and quests to find God. It all starts with Hadassah, a jewish christian sold into slavery after the fall of Jerusalem. She ends up in a household where she meets Marcus, a rich, proud roman. Her faith makes a huge impact on his life. She also briefly meets Atretes, the german gladiator. The 3rd book deals with his struggle and walk towards faith in God. It shows how 1 person's faith makes an impact on those you come in contact with. 


Which of these books have you read? What did you think?

I'm always looking for new recommendations so tell me what you've been reading!

Emily R's Wedding

I had the great pleasure to do the flowers for a local gal's wedding back in June. This was the first time I had ever done a wedding outside of working at Oopsie Daisy so I was a bit nervous, but everything turned out beautiful! The bride was so easy to work with and had chosen beautiful, bright colors for her wedding. Once we met and sat down to discuss her flowers I knew how fun this wedding would be! Yellows, greens, pinks, oranges, blues, and whites. So summery and cheerful! 

Congrats again to the beautiful bride and groom! 

I have been keeping my eye out on the photographer's blog for the professional wedding photos, but haven't seen them posted yet. But when they do, I'll post the link here so you can see better pictures of the flowers. 

We'll start with the boutonnieres and corsages. 
For the Groomsmen: 2 yellow spray roses with little bit of seeded eucalyptus, leather, and blue ribbon loop. 

For the mothers: a single Circus rose (2 toned orange & yellow) with some greenery and blue bow.

And for the groom: a single Tenga Venga (hot pink) rose with a single yellow spray rose, some greenery, and a blue ribbon loop.

The blue ribbon matched the bridesmaid's dresses.

The Bridesmaid's Bouquets: Sunflowers, pink carnations, Circus roses, Kermit buttons, green spider mums, white monte, bluperum, seeded eucalyptus, and plumosa wrapped with blue ribbon.

The Bride's Bouquet: A bigger version of the bridesmaids bouquets. 

 I love, LOVE the lace wrapped around the bride's bouquet! So simply elegant and made her's different from the bridesmaids. 

So there it is! I had fun doing it and that's what counts right?! :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review of 2013

This is a few weeks late but I kinda needed some time to think over the past year and truly see how our lives have changed.

My sister told me about how she and her husband wrote down stuff that happened over the year and put it in a jar, and then opened it and read everything on New Years Day. To remember all the little miracles, funny sayings, and big decisions. I think we are going to do that this year.

The biggest change was adding a 4th to our little family. She was a surprise, but we worked through the few weeks of doubt (of being ready for a 2nd child) and then were excited, especially once we found out it was a girl! 

The second big change was buying a house (see this post). We're now settled and starting to make a list of things we want to add/remodel. Inside and outside! I'm excited to see how things will look in a year or two. 

Now on to our personal updates…

Baby L

She started out a pretty fussy baby, which was really difficult for us cause Easy A had been so smiley and well, easy (get it?). We went through a phase of not sleeping unless she was being held/in bed with me. We also think she might have a dairy sensitivity, which would account for some of her fussiness. Fast forward a few months and she is a much happier baby! Smiles, cooing, blowing bubbles. She learned how to roll over at 3 months and now is unstoppable! Scoots her way around and recently has started trying to get on her hands and knees at the same time (she is now 5 months old). Oh dear… 
We started giving her some rice cereal, which she loves but is not so good at actually eating. She is getting the hang of it though. 

Easy A

Turned 2 in September. Where did the time go? A year ago he was barely talking (mostly said mom, dad, monkey and more) but then his vocabulary exploded over the summer and now he's talking full sentences. Every once and a while I have to guess at what he's talking about, but we usually understand him. He LOVES lego mini figures, Bob The Builder, Ninja Turtles and cars. And watching movies, although most of the times he gets distracted halfway through. He's starting to get into the "Terrible 2s" but overall he is a good kid. My main issue with him is getting him to eat. I swear, if he could live off of milk and juice, he would! He's actually gotten a little bit better over the past few weeks but we still have to bargain with him sometimes. 


He is still working with Xerox as a contractor (that's a whole other story) but is hopefully getting a job as an apprentice electrician with a friend who just started his own company this past fall! He is still doing ebay, but has switched to selling mainly electronics (games, gaming systems, controllers, etc). They are a lot easier to test, clean and sell. At least compared to legos. That keeps him pretty busy, but he enjoys it! He really loves owning our own place and having a yard (me too). He has all kinds of plans and stuff he wants to buy now for the house. :) 


I had a baby. That's probably the most significant thing that happened to me last year. :) I also quit working so now I am able to be a stay at home mom. It was a hard decision at first cause I really enjoy my job and co-workers, but I know it was the right one for our family. And I still go and help out over the holidays, so I'm not completely gone! The biggest change for me past year was struggling through Postpartum Depression (ppd). It didn't help having a fussy baby too. I have been doing better now that I am taking vitamins to help control the hormones and after talking to some close friends and family about it. 

Now I know there was more that happened last year but, well, that would be a very long post. These are just some highlights that I wanted to share. Hopefully next year I will have a whole jar full of memories to share with you!

Friday, January 10, 2014


You might remember me posting about making Easy A (my friend came up with that nickname:) his First Christmas Ornament

I had bought a 6 pack of the clear ornaments with the intention of having enough ornaments for all our children.

I wanted Baby L's to be girly. When I found glass beads in soft pinks, pearls, golds, blues and greens, I knew exactly how I wanted it to look. All I needed was some gold Puffy Paint and we were set!

(Sorry if the picture quality isn't the greatest, Eli bought me a new lens for Christmas and I'm still figuring it out.)

I love how classy and feminine it turned out! Since I used glass beads I only filled it up halfway because I didn't want it to be too heavy. But it still turned out cute!

I also realized my writing skills with Puffy Paint need some help...