July 21, 2013

4 months and counting...

Well it has only been 4 short months (what?!) since my last post.  First, I hope you still find the archives intersting, because there is a lot of hard learned information in there. Secondly, I hate blogs that just fizzle out, and I don't want to be that blogger! So I'm officially taking a break from the blogging world. It has helped me keep my sanity during crazy mothering...years, and given me a place a grow in my knowledge of grace and health, as well as fill a craving to write! But we are moving into a little different place in our family life and I need to put my attentions in other places for awhile. I'll be back to share those joys with you in the future, but until then...PLEASE, kick off your shoes....and stay awhile. =)
And to keep up with more day to day stuff check out the links to the right, twitter, facebook and youtube.

March 27, 2013

We Snack (mostly) Raw Wednesdays: On The Go!

Some of my favorite on the go snacks are of course fruits!  I almost always grab an apple on Sundays when we are at the church for 6 hours.  I also love the fresh, ready to go baby carrots. But here are a few other ideas:

Lara Bars.  I love these simple, raw bars!  They have mini versions as well, and SO many flavors. I don't think any bar has more than 5 ingredients, and they are yummy!

Smoothie (if you have a few minutes to prep first).  There are so many options of healthy, tasty, even dessert-y smoothies.  I love a green smoothie in the morning, check out this recipe.  I also love a little Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie when I'm craving something sweet.  Play around with your favorite ingredients and see what you can come up with!  Here are some recipes to get you started.

Think Thin. (not even close to raw) These are some of mine and my hubby's favorite protein bars.  They are ToneItUp approved with no sugar, 20 grams of protein and lots of flavor options.  My favorites are Chunky or Creamy Peanut Butter (they taste so much like a Reese's), and I love the Fudge Brownie as well.
Luna Bar. (also not raw) I think these make great mid-morning snacks or pre-workout energy boosts. I like that these are geared towards women's needs, but LOVE that they taste De-Liscious!!! =)  The Chocolate Dipped Coconut is my all time favorite!

Easy to Grab Fruits and Veggies of course.  I like pairing them with little Peanut Butter Packets or Hummus Packs.

I have fallen in love with these little Guacamole Packets too. Fill up on the healthy stuff!! I hope you find some of these easy, healthy and tasty too!

March 23, 2013

100 Miles in 6 Weeks!

I did it! Starting on January 2nd of this year, I took on the Love Your Body Challenge (I posted about it here).  Part of the challenge was to run, walk, jog, bike or crawl 100 miles in 6 weeks (ending on Valentines Day).  Between sickness and travel I barely made it, with jogging the final 2 miles ON Valentines Day, but it was a huge accomplishment for me since I hadn't seriously got back into running since getting pregnant two years ago.  Something else pretty cool: I was one of the 10 runners up, to the top 3 winners, out of 400 entrants!!!  I don't think I've ever really won anything this big before, but especially not in fitness! =) It was so exciting and encouraging to be recognized for working hard and reaching personal goals.  Plus I won a little prize package from ToneItUp that's pretty cool too! =) What are your fitness goals this year?  If you don't have any, I'd encourage you to pick a few to get started with, like "drink half my body weight in ounces of water daily" or "walk 1-2 miles every day." Wherever you are in your journey to healthy living, having goals is critical! =) 

March 22, 2013

Walgreens Challenge Week 8

So my previous Walgreens post, I spent all my Registered Rewards on a Rebate, which means I have no money to put towards any new items for a few weeks.  I did get a toothpaste deal, where I paid $.50 for a tube of Crest and got back $3 in RR.  Then I used those on some medicine for my baby after she had an allergic reaction to something. =(  So we are kinda back at square one here.  I am still logging my walks so I can get more points, they add up slowly.  I am deciding if I want to keep at it after my rebate comes in or not.  I may have finished this year long challenge in 2 months.  Haha.  Live and learn.  It was still fun though. =)

March 21, 2013

SSMT Verses 5 & 6

I hope you guys are taking on the Scripture Memory challenge!  1 Verse every 2 weeks, we can do it!! I missed posting my 5th verse, so I'm doubling up here.  If you are interested in joining, check out the details here. =)

Verse 5:
"Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." - Colossians 3:12 (NLT)

Verse 6: 
"[She] will have no fear of bad news; [her] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord." - Psalm 112:7 (NIV), emphasis mine.

Four Weeks In the Making...

Well this post was four weeks in the making (or maybe that's just how long it's taken for me to sit down at my computer!).  And what a full four weeks this has been! The first notable event was the girls (my three oldest and their friend) being flower girls in a very special wedding!  We spent all day a few Saturdays ago getting pampered at home, a pre-wedding workout, a bath and manicures.  Then we somehow had run out of time and were rushing to get everyone dressed, hair up and out the door in time for pictures. It was a beautiful day, some of my favorite moments:

All of you brides-to-be, check out a free app called WedPics.  Our friends used this, and everyone with a smart phone could upload all their pictures, wherever they were.  It was awesome seeing everyone's perspective and experiences of the very special event.  

We just finished Spring Break, and tackled Potty Training!!!  Yes, if you've been reading awhile, you know I potty trained over the summer, but we never got 100% finished, and then back pedaled a bit.  So I stayed firm and finished over spring break.  Yay!  And my little 2 year old is doing so well!  So many wonderful goals were met in the past few weeks, like getting my baby sleeping through the night (Yes Lord!), potty training, making spring break fun for the girls, and getting all our teeth cleaned (oh my, what a learning experience...never take all four of your kids at the same time, by yourself...I had to call in reinforcements). 

I also played guitar again! Wow, I know.  It had been two years since I'd literally even picked one up. DJ and I decided to have me start playing one Sunday out of the month with our worship team.  It was definitely a little awkward getting used to it again, and my poor fingers were hurting, but I'm so happy that I have a reason to force myself to get back at it.

God also made it really clear that I need to be vocal coaching. What?!...I had NEVER in my life thought about it really, but in 3 weeks I had 4 different people ask me if I would help them.  So, I spent another 4 weeks hesitating (which I am sadly really good at...but working on!) and then decided I would really love to do it!  So, I don't know where that is going to lead, but it's pretty exciting for sure!!!

I have been trying to make some time to sit and write, and especially to write creatively, I don't know when THAT will happen again, but at least I can sit in a little cafe, staring at a grey sky and type away to catch you up with what's been going on. It only took 4 weeks! Heehee.  This also goes week 4 on having NO dryer.  The lovely people who are supposed to be fixing it are still waiting for the new part (don't buy Samsung), and though they told us 2 weeks at most, they really have no control over the situation. So I have been using all my friends dryers...thank you guys!

And last little bit of news I can think of, DJ and I are going to be taking on the P90X challenge starting in April!! I'm really excited, you know from all my previous workout posts, I love a tough physical challenge and especially a little competition!

I have a few posts to catch you up on some other areas, I'll try to get those done soon!!!  =)  Thanks for your patience dear friends.  

February 21, 2013

Walgreens Challenge Week 7

Week 7 already!  I was pretty disappointment with last week, and this wasn't as exciting as I'd hoped, unfortunately I've found that my Walgreens sells out of the good deal items VERY fast =(.  But I HAD to use my $4 Register Rewards that was expiring on Monday.  So I got this Natural Dentist Mouthwash.  

It was priced at $4.99, so I paid $1.07 after tax and RR, and I filled out this form for a $5 Mail in Rebate.  So it's free, but I have to wait a long time to get that money back.  So with 1,300 points shy of my $5 reward, I'm not sure what next week will look like.  But that's part of the Walgreens Challenge Fun! =) What Did You Get?

February 20, 2013

We Snack (mostly) Raw Wednesdays: Apple Crisp

Winter is almost behind us!  Only one month and we will be into spring!!! I can actually feel the buzz in the air, the chirping birds and warm sun... it's getting so close! So to pay my respects to the lovely but fleeting autumn and winter months, here is one of my favorite recipes:

Raw Apple Crisp (link to Whole Foods, my version is below)

3 Apples
1 Pear
1 cup of Chopped, Mixed Nuts (I use Walnuts and Almonds usually)
1/4 cup Raisins (optional)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 cup Orange Juice (optional)
1/2 cup Protein Powder (I use Perfect Fit RAW Brown Rice Protein), also optional

Blueberries are also a great addition.  Mix it up and make it a delicious Fruit Crisp!

Chop fruit, nuts and mix with raisins and spices (and protein powder).  Coat and combine.  Add any liquid and mix thoroughly.  Enjoy!!!

February 18, 2013

Warrior Chicks

You know you have really enjoyed a book when all the pages pretty much look like this:

I am trying to read one book a month this year.  I started with this awesome book by Holly Wagner, Warrior Chicks.  It was phenomenal. I finished, did the "homework" in the back and keep it out where I can see it everyday.  There are things still to be unpacked, treasures to uncover...but I find myself thinking about different aspects daily!!  Two of my favorite chapters spoke about the armor of God (in a way I'd never heard about it before) and "Staying Your Post."  UGH! I think about that chapter daily...it's such a challenge before me...and I love it! 

I highly recommend this book for every woman out there, no matter what your stage in life, you will love this read. 

February 16, 2013

Walgreens Challenge: Week 6

I'm pretty bummed! I went to Walgreens Thursday with my coupons and list of deals, ready to pay $2 out of pocket (plus $4 RR) and get $6 in RR back!!  Pretty cool.  But NONE of the items I was looking for were in stock =(.  I guess everyone else had the same bright ideas.  I'm so bummed.  I still walked out with 2 free Good and Natural bars (had 2 free coupons) and a red lipstick for Valentine's Day.  But all my grand scheming was for nothing. 
So now I HAVE to use my $4 Register Rewards by Monday 18th before they expire, hopefully next weeks sales are in stock for me!
Anyone else find any good deals?? Wanna jump in the challenge? Check it out HERE

February 15, 2013

Honest Company

I got all of this in the mail a week or so ago, and just paid shipping (around $6)!  Go here for more info, but be aware of the fact that you will have to call and cancel membership if you don't want to pay the monthly membership fee. I called the same day so I wouldn't forget, even though I am loving the products, I'd like to look into it and see if we can add their fees into our budget, and if it would work for us.  Their products are truly HONEST. =) Very clean and smell good, no harsh chemicals in their diapers...good company.  And they didn't give me trouble when I asked to cancel. Check it out, it would make the cutest baby shower gift too.

SSMT Verse 4!

I have been chewing over all my verses so far, and they have been my life saver at moments!  This is one of my favorite things to do, memorize Scripture!  It keeps your heart and head focused and it's amazing how God's Word can come alive when you think about it all day long. =)

My next verse is Proverbs 14:26 (NLT):
"Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children."
I like this verse, never really has it stuck out at my before.  But I am really excited to dig into it a little deeper.  =)  What are you memorizing??

February 14, 2013

Throwback Thursday: LOVE Your Enemies

Originally posted on February 21, 2011

Love your enemies, yes!  No, I'm not talking about cupcakes and chocolate.  But wouldn't it be nice if that was what the Bible meant!  Most of us don't have real "enemies" these days.  Typically we just have those few "difficult personalities" (and "diet thwarting sweets") to deal with, whether in the family, workplace, or church.  The best thing to do whenever we are trying to change our old thought patterns, go against our nature and become more like Christ is to stand on His word.  So please take 2 minutes and read the next 5 verses, and let them really sink into your heart today:
"You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer,for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that.If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you. " - Matthew 5:43-48 (The Message, emphasis added).
"Live out your God-created identity."  Don't let ANYTHING get in your way of that, not even a stubborn personality.  "Live generously and graciously toward others..."and how do we do that?  "...the way God lives toward you."
Think about (or study) the way God thinks of you, I know that He loves you so much He sent His ONLY Son to die for you, so you could be with Him for eternity (John 3:16).  I know that His thoughts about you are so numerous, you could count every star in the sky, every grain of sand on the earth, and He still thinks about you more (Psalm 139:17-18).  Even before you were born, He knew you, He formed you (Psalm 139:13-16).  He thinks you're good (Genesis 1:27, 31).
Whew!  That's a lot to live up to, and not easy to do, but I believe if we are just willing to try, slowly we will become more like Christ.  And hey, it may even get easier to love our enemies with practice (chocolates and all)! =)
Love you ladies (and you male readers too)! Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you again and again!

February 13, 2013

We Snack (mostly) Raw Wednesdays: Valentines Day!

I am so excited for Valentine's Day. I must say, it's a lot of fun with four little princesses to spoil. One thing I am trying to do is limit the sugar and candy. So I am making dairy free chocolate pops for the girls and the rest of their goodies will be cute stickers, jewelry, dress up stuff and things like that. Here is what I made for them (and I know, these are not raw at all, but keep reading for some Raw Vday Recipe ideas).

Heart-Shaped Chocolate Pops
Favorite Chocolate (we used Enjoy Life, dairy free chips)
1 tsp of Coconut Oil
a few drops of Vanilla Extract
Lollipop molds and sticks (bought these very cheap at Hobby Lobby)
Toppings (shredded coconut, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, crushed pretzels, etc.)

Melt chocolate with extract and oil, pour into molds (following directions). Place stick into melted chocolate, sprinkle with your choice of toppings and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes (again following directions on the molds).  Gently remove and I stored in the fridge.  I have to make a few batches for all my girls to get hearts, I may make a few extra to store for treats later.  It always makes me happy when my dairy-egg allergic chocolate lovers get to have a fun treat that won't make their eczema flair up. =)

Alternative Options!!!

I found some GREAT recipes on Whole Foods Blog here, and one of my favorites is Banana NiceCream (picture above).  I love the idea of adding coconut milk (canned) to this recipe, cannot wait to try it! Below is a favorite from a while back that I haven't tried yet, but looks so cute, and RAW!

Raw Cookie Sandwich check out this link for the recipe!  Prep time is 10 minutes! And the ingredients aren't crazy, hard to find or pronounce items either. ;)  Let me know if you try any of these!!!

February 12, 2013

Walgreens Challenge Week 5

So I skipped week 4 because we were in Colorado, but I snagged these Energy Sheets for free! =) Used my previous register rewards and got $4 more in RR for next week (which is this week).  Can't wait to show you the deals I get this week, they should be really good.  Any of you taking on the Challenge??

February 11, 2013

Travels and Tissues

Dj and I were so excited to head out to Colorado 2 weeks ago for a songwriting workshop of sorts with Jared Anderson. We both went on a ten day social media fast just beforehand so I didn't get to post anything while we were there, which was actually really freeing. We enjoyed two days of traveling there and relaxing. We got to see some beautiful sights and eat some delicious foods too. But it was more exciting hanging out with some really cool people and getting to cowrite some songs! It was an awesome unforgettable week.
As soon as we drove home Dj got bronchitis, a sinus infection and the flu. My youngest baby girl and I also got sinus infections. So we spent all of last week with tissues, tea and Lysol. Ew. It was quite a long few days. But everyone is healthy again and that makes for one very happy mamma. That's a little bit of life that's been going on around here the past few weeks. =)

February 1, 2013

SSMT Verse 3!

Siesta Scripture Memory Team, we are on verse 3! Be sure to check in on Living Proof Ministry Blog (Beth Moore's Blog) Here. This is my verse: 
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” - James 1:19 (NIV)
Check out my previous verse here and more about SSMT here.  

For accountability I'm posting my previous verses below from memory:
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." - Psalm 19:14 (NLT) 
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." - 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
What is your next verse?  Post in the comments below, and your previous ones for accountability if you'd like!

January 30, 2013

We Snack (mostly) Raw Wednesdays: Popsicles

Homemade Popsicles are one of the best treats at our house!  These aren't just for summer, and they're not full of sugary, artificial flavors either!  We enjoyed these Chocolate Pops (from Tone It Up's Nutrition Plan, which I can't post) this summer and many others throughout the year, here are our top 3 favorites:

Chocolate Pops (Alternative) (by Choosing Raw
This recipe is actually for a Raw Chocolate Pudding, but I think it would make a perfect base for a creamy Chocolate Popsicle! 

1 Pitted Avocado (I know what you're thinking, but trust me...it's good)
6-10 Dates
1/2 tsp Vanilla
4 Tbsp (raw) Cocoa
1/2 cup Water
Blend all together in a food processor and pour into molds, or eat out of the bowl as pudding!
(Check out the link for the full instructions)

Green Monster Popsicles
This is an easy way to make two-meals in one.  Some mornings I like to make the girls smoothies for breakfast or morning snack, especially when the seasons are changing or we need an immunity boost.  When I do I like to make just a little extra (about one servings worth) and pour into the molds.  They love these too!

Kale or Spinach
Mixed Berries
Touch of Honey
Any extra goodies I have: Flax Seed, Chia Seed, Cinnamon, Shredded Coconut, Organic Greek Yogurt...
Blend with water or juice and pour!

Fruity Tooty Pops
One of the easiest ways to make Popsicles: throw a few chunks of fresh or frozen fruit in the molds and cover with juice or fruity flavored coconut water. Freeze and eat.  I have also thrown some almost-to-ripe strawberries in a blender with a little of my leftover Guava Coconut Water and made a slush, then frozen in the molds.  The girls loved all these!

January 29, 2013

Rock My Run, Free Running Mixes!

I signed up for a free Rock My Run membership a few months ago, I got 1 free credit and 1 free download when I signed up and another free credit each month afterwards, 2 so far!  So I used the first one on a christian running mix, plus I received a free download for signing up.  I saved the other credits and used them together on another christian mix.  I love the options, they have a bunch of filters you can use to get the right genres, speeds, etc. But I like their clean lyric options best and I especially love using my run time as a time to engage my spirit as well, so I am always looking for motivating, encouraging tunes!  Let me know if you try it out which mixes you like! 

Also, Pandora is a great free resource for music.  Has anyone found a good, encouraging workout or running station?? I am still trying to find something good. =)

January 28, 2013

Grocery Price Points!

When I first got married I was always trying to figure out what was REALLY a good deal!  I didn't know what the average price range was for most items, so I didn't know when a good sale was sitting right in front of me!  I posted earlier on the the ways I Save $$ On Groceries and More... but this was an awesome resource Hip2Save just put out.  I just had to share it with you!

Here are Hip2Save's average Price Points on most groceries.  She mentions that these may vary due to region, but it's a great place to start!

Here are her items to stock up on or keep an eye out for good sales, during different months of the year.
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