Monday, February 10, 2014

Chocolate for Breakfast! What kind of Mother am I???

How many "Hats" do you try to fit on your head in a day?  If you are anything like me, it's a pretty high number.

House Cleaner

The list could go on for days..... But you get the point!

By the way, I found this picture HERE.  I would recommend you click on it and read it because she has a lot of great points to make on this same topic!

On my best days, I feel like this lady! But on my worst days, the hats are laying on the floor around me in a chaotic mess, and I tripping over them constantly!

And what do we do when our hats get so high we can't fit through the door???

What is it that makes us feel like we have to be superwoman?  I don't know when it even started for me.  I feel like it was engrained in me even before I became a wife or a mother. For as far back as I remember, I have compared myself to those around me.
But why?? 

I really can't answer that...  I wish I could, because then maybe I could finally kick this nasty habit that keeps me from enjoying so much of life.

I often hear things like "If it weren't for Pinterest..." or "Social Media is just a place for people to try and make themselves look good". But I think the issue is far deeper than that!  If it was social media's fault, then generations past would have never dealt with this. And I can assure you that at some point in your grandmother's life, she looked at her friends' children or her friends' house and felt some form of envy at not being able to manage everything as well.

With each year that passes, we try to fit more things into our lives.  Many of us work full time jobs, are going to school, or own businesses.  Many of our husbands work overtime. We shuffle our kids from soccer to gymnastics to sleepovers. And we can't figure out why we aren't able to have a homemade dinner sitting on the table in our spotless dining room every single night.

There is one day in particular that I realized just how much of a mess I was! It was a few years ago and I had just started working a new job. I was putting in 50-60 hours per week and was always rushing.  I was driving my daughter to school. We were rushing around that morning (like usual) and I was afraid I was going to be late for work, again! But we made it out the door in time and I was on track to be at work on time! We were about 1/2 mile from school when she said "Mom, you never fed me breakfast and I'm really hungry!"  There were no stores or restaurants close to us, so I looked through my purse in hopes of finding a granola bar. But no such luck... I had a half eaten bag of Hershey's Nuggets in my purse... That's all!! (I wasn't doing very well at managing life at the time - so I gorged on chocolate and caffeine while I was at work!)  I gave her a few Hershey's nuggets to eat in the car and sent her off to school (She was going to a private school for preschool and there was no breakfast served there). 
All day long, it was all I could think about at work! I was a failure! I couldn't even remember to feed my child breakfast, so I gave my almost 3 year old chocolate nuggets!! 
SERIOUSLY?? What is wrong with me????
I don't remember any details about my work day because I spent all day trying not to cry! I had to be the absolute worst mom ever! None of my friends would ever feed their children chocolate for breakfast!
I got home that night and wanted to curl in a ball and cry! But something happened that changed my outlook!  I picked up that sweet little girl after work and on the way home I told her I was sorry for forgetting breakfast! She looked up at me with a huge smile and said "I don't mind! You can forget breakfast more often if you want!"  I realized that I hadn't ruined her! She thought it was cool and it made for a good memory!  And I learned something from it!  I learned to slow down and stop worrying about being a few minutes late, and I learned that if I have to feed her chocolate for breakfast every once in a while, it won't kill her!  I was still a great Mommy in her eyes!!!

I hope you realize after reading my story that I can't remember a single thing I did right that day, instead I focused on the one thing I totally screwed up. 

And I'm sure I missed out on some great things that day by wallowing in my self pity! When we start to feel weighed down by the one thing we didn't do as well as we would have liked, we forget the things we TOTALLY ROCKED AT, and sometimes we even miss out on many other fabulous things!!  

If you look back at your day, I'm sure you can come up with at least a few things that you did that you didn't totally suck at:

  • You totally blew your boss away with your latest project!
  • You saved $50 at the grocery store by being a super savvy coupon lady!
  • Your kids went to school with matching outfits, winter coats, lunch, and their homework!
  • You made it to work on time, despite oversleeping by a few minutes!
  • Your whole family had clean underwear this morning!      (Hey - somedays thats a HUGE win!)
  • You remembered it was your best friends birthday and sent her a text telling her how much you appreciate her!
  • You were able to pay your mortgage this month!
  • You put on your jeans this morning and didn't look like the overstuffed bear your daughter won at the carnival! (Talk about a HUGE win!!)
  • You had enough milk in the house for your kids to eat breakfast before school (SCORE!!)
  • You remembered at the last minute that it was your turn to take snack to soccer practice! You were able to run through Walmart like a crazy person and still get there before a mob of hungry 8 year olds attacked you!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

But after all that, you didn't have time to make dinner, so you grabbed some take out and your kids shoveled in their faces in front of the tv at 8:00pm!

SO WHAT!!!!!

If you were able to do even one of these things today, you are AMAZING and worthy of some SERIOUS PRAISE!!!  And even if it was a horrible, rotten, no good kind of day and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING went right, I bet you did at least one thing right yesterday!

It's amazing to me that as soon as one thing doesn't go our way, we completely forget all of the things we ROCK AT!!!

And sometimes, we get so focused on our careers, our family, and our housework, that we completely forget about ourselves. I've had more than one occasion where I walk by a mirror and realize that I forgot to brush my hair, I only put eyeliner on one side of my face, or I forgot to zip my pants (I hate when that one happens!!) 

But regardless of how we feel, we have families who love us and most importantly, we have a FATHER who loves us unconditionally! He is just waiting for us to reach out and acknowledge that we can't do it all! That we are a complete mess without Him!  And when we let Him take some of the burden, we realize just how wonderful we are! We stop thinking about the few things we messed up today and we begin to see ourselves through His eyes!!

I saw this video a few months ago and it will never get old!  I think every woman in this world should be required to sit down and watch it! We should be forced to realize that we are all of these things!!

This video was made by Jon Jorgenson. You can check out more at

So remember my sweet friend that you are a TREASURE, you are a DAUGHTER OF THE KING, and you are AWESOME!!!

Let's make a difference and help spread the word to all of your tired, defeated girlfriends!!  Let's change the way we view ourselves forever!!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Homemade Goodness for my Princess

Being healthy is about so much more than nutrition. Yet so many of us tend to ignore the truth that is right in front of us.  We rely on packaged foods that tell us they are "low fat", "low carb", or "made from whole grains". We rely on them because they are quick, easy, and don't require us to think very much. I don't claim to be perfect by any means. I can be caught purchasing packaged foods more often than I would like to admit.

But I think it's important to try to remove it from our lives as much a possible.  Not all of us are able to grow a full garden in our back yards to feed our family and lets face it, organic food is very expensive. 

Like I said, I am definitely not able to say that I eat 100% clean. But I try each day to eat a little cleaner than I did the day before!  And I hope to start a very small garden this year (in my 20' x 40' back yard). It's a lifestyle change and it requires time to master.

My daughter LOVES fruit snacks with a passion.... and I HATE feeding her a bag of chemicals and artificial sugar!  So when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for homemade fruit snacks, I just had to try it.  They were surprisingly easy! And they turned out wonderful!!! 

I found the recipe HERE, so I definitely can't take any credit for the recipe!

Here are the steps to make it:

First, I diced up 6 strawberries (about 2/3 cup). You can use any type of fruit. I just used what I had on hand for my first batch. But I plan on making them again with a variety of fruits.

My sweet girl was very excited to help make her fruit snacks, so she juiced the lemons herself!  (You can also use fresh orange juice, but Miah loves sour things, so we decided to use lemons).

I love when she gets to be a part of making her own food!  (I'm trying to teach her the value of cooking your own meals instead of going the cheap, easy route.)

Next, I mixed the strawberries and lemon juice and boiled them on the stove (stirring often) until the strawberries were tender.

Then I added 2 Tbsp of Agave to the mixture and continued to mix together until most of the fruit had dissolved.

Next, I pureed them in my blender until it was well mixed.

Then let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to cool down.
I added the gelatin next.  Make sure to add it very slowly and whisk it to make sure there are no clumps.  I used all 4 envelopes from the package.

In the original recipe, she mentions using gelatin from grass-fed cows. I just used what I had on hand this time, but I definitely plan on looking into it for next time!
I poured it into a pan (This one is a 7" x 11" baking dish") and put it in the fridge for about 45 minutes.
** This picture turned out orange for some reason, but it was actually more red!
Once it was cooled completely, I cut it into tiny pieces.
(I forgot and started to take some out before I remembered to take the picture. Sorry!)
You can store them however you would like, but I used these condiment cups so Miah would have an idea of portion control!  Lets face it, we could all use some help with portion control!

I can't wait to try them with all different flavors! Hopefully you have as much success with them at your house!