Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gifts for New Moms

When the topic of gift-giving comes up, they say it's the thought that counts. So when people give gifts like clearance throws or a gift card to a random place, it annoys me. If you can't bother taking five minutes to really think about what that person may enjoy, don't take the $10 out of your wallet. Truth hurts sometimes, sorry, not sorry.

Disclaimer: I don't need one. None of these are affiliate links. These are legitimately my favorite things that I have used or appreciated as gifts.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

How I Embraced Dietary Change

Over time, I've had my fair share of dietary eliminations. If there's one thing that I have figured out and had to accept, it's this: You will never find a replacement for your favorite foods. You just have to learn to love new things.

Initially, as a vegetarian, I discovered that meat substitutes are not delicious. I don't care what you say, you're lying. They're gross. And on the rare occasion that you do find a delicious replacement, that chick'n patty probably has more chemicals and body damaging components to it than just eating the dang bird does. I missed meat. And considering how sick I was getting from malnutrition, I realized I didn't really need a substitute... I just needed the real thing.

When my doc took me off of dairy, gluten AND sugar (at the same time! jerk!), I had to figure that mess out. 

There were really only two major things I was seriously upset about giving up. Vanilla coffee creamer and sourdough toast (*sob). So I tried to figure out replacements

Trial and error x 285. ANY combination of vanilla syrup (homemade or not) + ANY milk replacement is just not the same flavor or consistency. Coconut milk, coconut cream, almond milk, rice milk, cashew milk, hemp milk. BLECK.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Seven Non-Candy Easter-Egg Fillers

I try not to spoil my boys too badly. Generally we try to make sure each child only gets one gift for Christmas (from Santa, anyway), and one gift for their birthdays. In order to both stick to tradition and try and eliminate the vast amount of sugar we don't need to consume on every commercialized holiday, I had to get a little more creative.

Here are some easter egg-stuffing ideas for you and your tiny people:

POP-ITS noise makers - I don't know about you, but my kids love these things. These are obviously for children older than three. These things are awesome candy replacements in Christmas stockings, as well!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Step Back, Love What We've Got.

Happy New Year, friends!

I hope your holidays were as wonderful as ours were. We took the kids on an old-fashioned train, saw Santa multiple times, got to snuggle with my squishy, chubby, gorgeous baby niece, played with firecrackers, saw my out-of-this-world grandparents, my hilarious cousins, my in-laws, my dad, and my aunt and uncle. I even was able to socialize with some lovely ladies for an evening! Whaaaat?!

Not only that, but our town has seen its first snowman-yielding snow in over two years, so my boys' Christmas wish is 100% granted. Two snowmen and hours of sledding later, I have some happy, happy boys.

Back in the kitchen, I made about 247 batches of tamales (one of which I lovingly shared with you on Facebook!), roughly four dozen cookies, and have a chocolate & peanut butter pie chilling in fridge at the moment.

These past two weeks, I have been busting my butt to keep the house clean, cooking and baking like my life depended on it, traveling to and from far-away lands, and whipping up ideas to keep the kids entertained. Yet here I sit, with four more days left of freedom from work, and I feel like nothing has really been accomplished. I haven't finished a single book. I haven't edited any photos for the blog- much less written anything! I haven't made a single batch of soap. I haven't sat with the kids to paint a single finger painting!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Natural Medicine Cabinet

As my experience in the natural world deepens, my cabinet contents have shrunk. We used to have numerous over-the-counter medicines and toiletries - antacids, pain killers, anti-fungals, anti-itch creams, cleansers, lotions, and potions that I used for a while, didn't like, but still kept. At this point, my teensy home is seeing less and less clutter because of my newish-found ability to concoct natural products at home.

I've had some time off of work recently, so naturally the first thing I do is wake up at 6:00 AM and organize the linen closet (totally normal, right?). Our sole bathroom is exceptionally little, so even though we utilize the medicine cabinet in the bathroom with our immediate needs (toothpaste, deodorant, face cleanser), the linen closet not only houses our linens, but the overflow of toiletries.

I organized my little heart out. Alongside the flannel sheets, towels, and extra blankets, there was a beautifully organized, crunchy little collection of essential oils, homemade salves, and spray and dropper bottles full of homemade potions. Happy girl. Here's what you'll find in there:

Monday, September 1, 2014

Maters & Eggs

Happy September, you guyssss!! September makes me happy for a couple of reasons:

1. Growing up, it meant school started. I loved school when I was growing up, and I love working at one, now. Everything. The environment, the excitement, the colors, the energy, and the kids. Ohhh the kids crack me up. Love, love, love my job.

2. September is when my oldest kid was born. YOU GUYS, he's going to be EIGHT! #imanoldlady

3. September = autumn. Autumn = sweaters. I'm so excited to wear sweaters and not sweat profusely at work. I just. love. sweaters.

4. I saved the best for last. Well, not really, my kid's the best, but the thing I'm actually excited about (certainly not that my sweet, squishy, giggly little baby is almost as tall as I am because you guys,  that is NOT COOL...). You guys. Comfort food is officially IN SEASON!

I love cooking comforting food like my chicken soup and chili, and now I have a new one for ya  - this is definitely one of those warm-your-belly types of recipes, good for chilly autumn days (even though "chilly" to Arizonans is like, 70 degrees). Its a little spicy, but totally avoidable if you're not into spice (just omit the peppers).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Next Stop on the Tour of DIY Blogland

So there's a tour of Blogland, didja hear?

I get to answer some questions and then get excited to share one of my favorite DIY blogs!

So here's the deal: Gina from Ladygoats is one of those people that just touches things and they turn to gold. She brought sexy back with a bookshelf, you guys. One time, she text e-mailed me plans she drew out on a hotel memo pad to build a faux fireplace... whilst on vacation. She cracks me up. I love this girl - she is truly talented, and reminds us that we all have an inner Rosie the Riveter - why ask your husband to build your toddler a big kid bed when you can dang well do it yourself?! The fact that she featured me as someone she considers worth reading in the DIY Blogland Tour is quite the honor! <3

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chiles Rellenos

It means "stuffed peppers" in Spanish. Like everything, there are variations up the wazoo, because of taste preference, spiciness preference, regional traditions, and straight-up lack of or overabundance of know-how. I pretty much don't care at all about any other variation because.... well, this shiz is amazing, and ya don't fix what's not brok(en).

The recipe is cheese, encompassed in a vegetable, egged, fried, put into a delicious heart-attack sauce.... and accompanied by tortillas. Its a caloric nightmare, high in fat (at least its good stuff), and absolutely smothered in dairy. Healthy in any way? I'm not even going to try to justify it. There's some coconut oil in there, and some full-fat dairy... and veggies, but other than that, this isn't a good dish to eat on a regular basis. But is it delicious? You bet your buttons it is.

As always, this is a ridiculously time consuming recipe with way too many steps, but the outcome is delicious and technically vegetarian AND gluten free!

You're going to need a mixing bowl for whipping egg whites, a small bowl to hold egg yolks, a pan for roasting your peppers (every time I write "peppers," I first type "chiles," then have to delete it), a pan to make and contain your sauce, a pan to fry the peppers in, and a cooling rack for the chiles to rest on. Its a long list. And you're going to have a lot of dishes. This is also a doing-5-things-at-once recipe, so novice cooks, beware.

(Photography compliments of my phone - my four year-old decided my DSLR needed to be the catch of the day when he went "fishing" with his belt - when he saw that saw what he was doing, he straight up dropped it. Children are not expensive because of food and clothing. Episodes like this are why children are expensive. Woosah...)

They're smaller than store-bought Poblanos,
but I GREW these sexy peppers.