Things That Make Me Say Yeay + It Feels Gooooood to Be Bloggin Again

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fresh eggs from my Dad and Step-Mom's farm.  Maybe it's all in my head but they taste so much better than anything I have ever purchased from a store.

Banana Chia Seed muffins that I made this week for the boys.  A-freaking-mazing... I just have to carve out a little time to write up a post with the recipe.

Ian preparing the trout he caught in Mammoth for our annual fish fry.

French fries and pool side Bloody Mary's from our recent trip to Nashville.  We stayed at the Opryland Hotel and Resort and brought along my sister and it was a blast.  She has since gone back to her home in Germany and I miss her so much!

A fuzzy but very real picture that I posted to my Instagram of the three of us at the Opryland Hotel last week.  Both boys were wanting to go in different directions to see different things :)

Have a great weekend and a happy Labor Day!

Max's First Day of Pre-K!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yesterday was a happy and sad day all in one.  Max, my oldest boy started Pre-Kindergarten!  I was basically an emotional wreck but he couldn't have been more excited and happy when I dropped him off.  For those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning you probably remember reading about Max as a baby and now just like that he is four and starting school.  He is such a little ray of sunshine and even though there is a part of me that wants to be selfish and keep him all to myself for just a little bit longer I know this is just what he needs.  He is a social beetle (ha) and I can't wait to hear about all the friends and stories he has every day when I pick him up.

The Secrets of Living to 90: According To My Grandpa

Monday, August 11, 2014

Over the weekend it was my birthday (oh hey shotout to me), but since we celebrated last weekend we headed down to Redondo Beach to celebrate something even better than turning 29...

My Grandpa, whom I call Poppy turned 90!  Now you may think the average 90 year old is forgetful, hunched over and barely able to move but if you took one look at my Grandpa you would not believe your eyes or ears (because he is freaking funny).  He skips around (literally), remembers everyone's names, brings up specific things we talked about last time we got together, still cares about what he wears and is the picture of health.

I asked him if I could do a little interview with him for my blog on what his secrets are for staying so young and he was more than happy to share.  He even told me that he would love to do another interview for a different topic soon ;) Love him.

How to live to 90 and still be young according to my Grandpa:
  • Use the computer only in small doses. "The computer is dangerous and I have seen so many young people become unproductive and over consumed with it.  It takes away your energy from more important things." -- I mean wow!  He is pretty right on about that. 
  • Always do what you love.  "I have played the trumpet and been in a band ever since I can remember.  I practice for 1 hour every day.  I believe this not only keeps my lungs exercised and young but it also keeps my mind sharp." 
  • Eat only a little bit of meat but eat lots of fruits and vegetables.  "I can't even remember the last time I had a steak but I do know that I feel my best when I eat meat in small doses." 
  • Do not sit down in one place for too long.  "Don't be afraid to travel and to try new things." 
  • Exercise daily. "I think this really is the most important of them all.  I walk outside 4-5 days a week and lift small amounts of weight almost daily."

And there you have it! He is living proof that what he is practicing is working.

See Also: The Secrets of A Long and Happy Marriage According To My Grandparents 

The Health Benefits of Cactus Leaf + A Low Carb Belly Busting Cactus Smoothie

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

You may or may not have noticed that some organic grocery stores have started carrying cactus leaf in the vegetable section.  If you have spotted it, there is a high chance that you didn't even give it a second thought because you have no idea what you are supposed to do with it and you are probably unaware of all the incredible health benefits it contains.

I recently heard about this amazing superfood from my sister and I could not be more excited to be adding it into my diet.

Health Benefits of Cactus Leaf:
  • Helps lower blood sugar by by decreasing sugar absorption in the stomach and the intestines. As a type 1 diabetic I have seen a significant difference in blood sugar levels on days where I have a cactus smoothie compared to days when I do not. 
  • Fights cancer cells.  The June 2009 issue of "Plant Foods for Human Nutrition" reports that when tested against colon, liver, breast and prostate cancer, cactus pears compounds inhibited the growth of cells in all four cancers without affecting the healthy cells of the body." (source)
  • Helps ease hangovers.  I mean that's awesome right?! 
  • Helps with digestive issues and urinary tract infections. 
  • Helps curb hunger, has been known to aid in weight loss and keeps you full in between meals.  I cup of cactus leaf has only 14 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrate so you do not need to worry about adding about adding extra calories or carbs when you throw it in your smoothie. 
How to Prepare a Cactus Leaf: 
  1. Pick out a cactus leaf that is light green in color, firm and free from any wrinkles. Most specialty health food stores that carry cactus leaf will already have them de-spined but just in case some of the small pricklers have not been removed it is best to wear thick dishwasher gloves until it has been throughly cleaned and prepared. 
  2. Take a vegetable peeler or knife and scoop out the "eyes" of the cactus.  This is the little white parts where the pricklers were. 
  3. Use the vegetable peeler to then peel around the outer edges of the cactus. 
  4. Slice it up and you are ready to throw it in your smoothie. 
The Health Benefits of Cactus Leaf + A Detox Cactus Smoothie Recipe

Low Carb Belly Busting Cactus Smoothie (adapted from here) :
  • 1 1/4 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup of chopped and de-spined cactus leaf
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 2 cups of spinach 
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1 tbs of roasted flax or chia seeds
  • 4-5 drops of vanilla stevia 0r 1 date 
Blend everything together and enjoy! 

A (rainy) Palm Springs Getaway

Monday, August 4, 2014

Over the weekend Ian and I took a mini little vacation to Palm Springs to celebrate my birthday, which is not until next weekend but hey you gotta get away when you can.  We packed for perfectly sunny weather like you would expect when going to Palm Springs...

On the way up there we basically got trapped in a flash flood (ha!) and the rain was so intense you could not even see the car in front of you.  Helllllooo panic attacks! So basically there was no sun in sight for the remainder of our trip but even with the rainy weather it was one of the best getaways I have ever had with my husband.  We stayed at The Parker, which I must say is one of the raddest hotels ever.  We swam in the rain, met some really fun people and enjoyed every minute with just the two of us.

Here are a few pictures...

Outfit Deets: Dress & Sandals

On our last morning we had the most delicious Bloody Mary's, French Pressed coffee and breakfast at Ace Hotel, which is another super fun spot in Palm Springs. 

Such a stud muffin right?  He will be so irritated if he finds out I put a giant picture of just him up on the blog but I don't care...I love it! You know you will now have that song in your head all day, sorry! 

Have a great Monday! 

A Pirate Party for Max! + A Few Other Things You May or May Not Care About

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Over the weekend we had Max's pirate themed 4th birthday party.  Parties usually completely stress me out but surprisingly this party was stress free and so much fun!  So much went into it and the semi-sad part is I forgot to take pictures of all the food and other shenanigans that occurred that day.  So you may be wondering if all the kids at the party starved and I promise you they did not.  They had shipwreck sandwiches, dead man's fingers (mini hotdogs), parrot legs (chicken drumsticks) and more.

The main backdrop for the food and appetizer table was a pirate sail, which I made out of a drop cloth from Lowes.  I had a pirate flag (purchased from Amazon) sewn onto the middle.  My awesome neighbor is a bathing suit designer who actually did the sewing...thank you Ashley!

My sister Nat is the best.  She ran all around town helping me find little goodies for the party weeks and days before.

Max's Papa and Grandma got him a legit pirate steering wheel along with a pirate bell and flag to attach to his outside fort.  He was in heaven.

Party throwing is no joke, but I must say when it is all said and done I don't regret a thing.  Okay maybe I regret buying so many gold beaded pirate necklaces but other than that... nothin.

And now for the things you may or may not care about.  A heads up because sometimes I read things and I think...."No and I don't careeeeeeee."  And if you know what movie that line is from, virtual high five :)

1. About 3 months ago I wrote this really long post about how I was quitting Instagram.  It was deep (not that deep).  I did in fact quit that part was accurate but I recently decided that I miss sharing quick little snips here and there since blogging is becoming less frequent at the moment.  So....I am that super annoying person who says they quit a social media thing and then they are back.  Total hypocrite I know but hey I am a human and humans can change their minds.  My new account can be found here.

2. I'm in a blog funk.  I do not feel creative and I think the best medicine is a little break.  Forceful blogging just does not work for me.  So if you still want to follow along with life updates see #1.  I will be back soon!

Max is 4!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Yesterday was Max's 4th birthday!  At four years old Max is one awesome little dude who continues to blow me away on a daily basis.  I am so proud to call him mine and the person he is turning into makes me one proud momma.

This weekend we are throwing Max a giant pirate themed birthday party so yesterday we celebrated with a perfectly low key (well kinda low-key) family day doing whatever the birthday boy felt like...which included donuts for breakfast (I mean it's only your birthday once a year), scooter rides to the park, lunch at his favorite spot, a movie date, backyard swimming and then cake and story telling around the fire pit.  Couldn't have been a better day.

Here are a few pictures...

Every single morning Max and Ronin take out alllllll the blankets from the closet and make forts so the birthday boy was beyond excited when he woke up to an actual real teepee.

Since Max and Ian's birthdays are only a day apart I made a birthday cake for both of them.  This year Ian requested a homemade German chocolate cake with strawberries in the middle and a homemade buttercream frosting.  I thought guys were simple but he got all fancy on me this year.  Ian requested that I make a real deal cake with real sugar, real flour and good old fashioned butter.  Max thought this seemed like a good idea too haha.  My best friend, who is the baking queen gave me her secret recipe and this turned out freaking incredible if I do say so myself.

This is usually the reaction I get from Max when I ask him to take a picture with me.  I am just tryin to document the memories buddy :)

...not much better but funny to look at as I flipped through my iPhone pictures in search of a good one and they only progressively got worse ha!

Max in true form making dragon noises after we watched the movie "How to Train Your Dragon 2," which was a seriously great kid movie!

Have a wonderful weekend!
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