friday, friday.

Hello, Friday.

Even thought this was a short week it has felt like an extra long week to me. Probably because our house is still fighting a random cold/congestion that has settled into my chest and my youngest’s chest. Not fun. Finally today we went to her doctor just to make sure it wasn’t something more than a little cold that would work itself out and thankfully it’s not.  We need the rain.  We need it for more reasons then the obvious ones. We need to it to wash all these colds and bugs and viruses away. Does it work like that? I feel like it should.

I wanted to share my top 5 favorites this week:  these are things that have gotten me through this week, made me life a little easier, a little healthier, and just a little funner. Maybe you’ll think the same.

1.  Tone It Up: I live 45 minutes from a decent gym with child-care so it’s just not something that’s practical, affordable, or even convenient at this point. That said, I really enjoy working out and feel so much better when I’m doing it consistently.  Not having easy gym access means I have to get creative with working out at home.  I use videos (Insanity, P90X, Chalean Extreme all great options), the treadmill in our garage, or just the old fashioned way running or cycling outside.   Lately I have been following the Tone It Up weekly schedule and have been loving it! They post great workouts that I am able to save to my Kindle App on my ipad and can workout while catching up on my favorite t.v. shows (talk about a win, win situation!) I love their nutrition plan and the community of women are all super supportive and positive.  If you are needing some fitness inspiration check them out. I’m proud to say I’m a “Tone it Up Girl”!

2.  Pioneer Woman Applesauce Pancakes: These saved my life this week for breakfasts. I made a batch of these on Monday since were were all home together and everybody was feeling better.  Not only were they delicious but it made a HUGE batch and I was able to store them in the fridge and have an easy, fast breakfast for the girls’ breakfasts all week.  Nothing easier than being able to heat up a few pancakes in the microwave, drizzle with honey, slice a banana and have breakfast done.

 

3.  This goes along with #2 and making life easier.  This week I prepped a bunch of quinoa and cooked a bunch of chicken for healthy lunches and even a dinner this week.  Why don’t I do this more? It made lunches so fast and simple by just throwing the quinoa, chicken and whatever veggies I had on hand (frozen corn, carrots, & kale) in a pan heating up till warm and then drizzling with a little Lucero Lime Olive Oil and Blueberry Balsamic Vinegar. So good and so good for you! It makes it much easier for me to eat healthy when I know I have food ready in the fridge and when I know it’s not going to take very long to put it together. I tend to let myself get so hungry I can eat whatever is in sight, so to have fast, healthy options are important for me.  I need to do more of this and want to make this a habit as I know life is only going to get busier as my oldest is starting Kindergarten in the fall. Do you prep meals/snacks? I would love some suggestions!

4.  I found this idea for “Ways to Play” with printables for each month on Pinterest. I love this and it’s an easy place to look for something fun to do when we are home and needing to kill some time.  Yesterday we did the snow painting with flour/salt/water on cardboard  — my oldest was really into it; my youngest not so much.  I don’t naturally come up with cool parenting ideas like this so Pinterest is a life-saver for me.

5.  And lastly, I saw this video go across Facebook today and had to watch it a few times and laughed out loud. Watch it. You won’t regret it.

Now, it’s time to go catch up on Parenthood and get today’s workout done! Happy Friday!

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and then we got sick.

“Mommy my tummy hurts.” aren’t words you like to hear.  Usually the culprit is hunger, potty, or just pretend but Tuesday night my oldest wasn’t joking, wasn’t hungry, and didn’t need to go potty.  I don’t do well with throw up: it makes me gag and I hate cleaning it up.  That said, I’d rather clean my kids puke up than someone else’s any day.

So that was our Tuesday evening.

We had a slumber party in our living room with the garbage can and she was up a few more times.  To see this little body dry heaving when nothing else was left to come up made my heart sad.  It’s so hard seeing your children sick and uncomfortable.  Yet through it all this little girl was kind, sweet and still smiling; I have so much to learn from her.

I had forgotten what it was like to be up multiple times a night again; not sure I’m signing up for baby #3 anytime soon.

So Wednesday there was a lot of this:

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Thankful the girls love The Sound of Music as much as I do. If we had to watch another “Buddies” movie I might lose it.

And this:

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And this:

 

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You Tubing “Learn to Knit” to re-teach myself.

 And, since there was no more throwing up since the early Tuesday morning session we were slowing eating real food again.  Yay!

Today there’s been more of the same: movies, toys, books, and the below activity we did.  My oldest seems to be on the up and up and  my youngest is running around the house like a caged tiger . . . that’s always fun.   So far she seems to have escaped the yuckies but I feel like I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop.  How can she not get it?

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We did this last year when they were sick and N. remembered and asked to do it again. So simple but so much fun!

Today we also  ventured out to the grocery store to get ingredients to make Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Noodle Soup, including homemade noodles.  I mean, why not? I’m home all day and aside from the random sore throat I got last night, I feel fine.

  My oldest still has the sick smell: do you know that smell? I remember my Mom telling us we, “smelled sick” when we had colds and I never understood it; after having kids I get it (that could be said about so many areas of life now). I can’t describe the smell but it is so obvious now and a fast way to know they aren’t feeling well.

So, here we will stay until that sick smells is gone and big sister seems to get back to 100%.

 

watermelon granita.

When I was looking through Pioneer Woman’s new cookbook I saw her recipe for Watermelon Granita and knew I had to try it – it only had 3 ingredients: watermelon, lime juice and sugar so I knew I could make a Paleo version very easily and I did.

What a beautifully simple, fresh dessert on a hot summer night. This was perfect timing for me because I had a lot of left over watermelon from the 4th and this was a great way to use it. In her cookbook she also suggests trying honeydew or cantaloupe which would both be equally delicious I’m sure – or even adding cold wine or vodka over the top — an adult slushie — yum!!

Watermelon Granita:

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

  • 8 cups of diced watermelon
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Honey (optional) I didn’t add any but you could add honey if you wanted to make it a little sweeter.

1. Dice 8 cups of watermelon (about 1/2 of a large melon).

2. Juice 2 limes and add juice to blender or food processor.

3. Fill blender/food processor as full as you can with diced watermelon and puree.

4. Pour pureed melon into 13 x 9 baking dish and puree remainder.

5. Add to dish and stir to combine.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer and let sit 2-3 hours before scraping with a fork.

7. Remove pan from freezer and gently scrape the top layer with a spoon or fork. Once you reach the less frozen middle, cover the pan again and return to the freezer for another couple hours.

8. Freeze and scrape until the entire pan has been frozen and scraped.

9. Yum!!

This was seriously delicious. Light, refreshing and totally guilt free! This will be happening again before summer’s over for sure!

paleo chicken salad a la pioneer woman.

I came home with a Costco rostissire chicken yesterday (probably not the most perfect Paleo item but so easy, cheap, and yummy I had to get one). After the hubby came home and wanted to do a fishing night with the girls at the creek I thought how yummy chicken salad sounded to either take with us or have when we got home  and from there this recipe was born.

The only other time I have made chicken salad was from Pioneer Woman’s cookbook, before we were eating Paleo, but I figuered I could modify it to make it fit – and it was actually way easier than I would’ve thought. Homemade mayo and a little honey instead of sugar was all it took to make this work for us. It was gobbled up by everyone in our house and will make this again for sure. In PW’s recipe she uses half and half mixed with mayonnaise and plain yogurt or sour cream to make the creamy base for the dressing. I just used more mayonnaise and heavy whipping cream to replace that. I am ok with heavy whipping cream – it is the only dairy that I use and the few tablespoons in my coffee in the morning are heaven. If you don’t use any dairy then I’m sure you could leave it out or even just use a little water to thin out the mayonnaise.

I am new to making my own mayonnaise but have been pleasantly surprised how easy it is. I used the version from Everyday Paleo and have learned that using olive oil as opposed to extra-virgin olive oil makes the flavor much milder and the oil flavor is not as strong which in my opinion, makes a much better mayonise.

Try this recipe – you won’t regret it. I ate it on top of a butter lettuce and a red leaf lettuce salad mix – yum! It would be really good in a lettuce wrap too.Image

Paleo Chicken Salad

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs. honey (or to taste)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken
  • 2-3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced (I didn’t have this so I used a small white onion)
  • 2-3 cups red/green grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup silvered/sliced almonds, lightly toasted in a small skillet till golden brown
  • A small handful of fresh dill, minced (I used dried but highly recommend the fresh!)

1. Stir together the mayonnaise and whipping cream. Add the lemon juice, honey, salt & pepper. Taste and decide if you want to add more of anything.

2. Put chicken, celery, onion, and grapes into a bowl.

3. Pour some of the dressing over the top and then add the almonds and fresh dill.

4.  Taste and see if it needs more dressing.

5. Yum!!

Everyday Paleo’s Mayonaise

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • Pinch of cayanne pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup olive oil

1.  In a food processor, blend the egg, vinegar, mustard, cayenne pepper, and sea salt for 5 seconds.

2. Continue blending and slowly add the olive oil.  Once the olive oil is added, continue blending while you again count to five, turn off the blender or food processor, and the mayo is ready.

This would be a perfect addition to any 4th of July BBQ for Paleo/Non Paleo friends!

Happy 4th of July!