Saturday, November 21, 2009
Tonight I went to a recipe exchange at a friends house. There were just 5 of us and it was really nice. The only problem is ... I ate way too much. My commitment for not eating sugar expired on the 17th. My plan is to enjoy the treats of the season in moderation, gain nothing back, and hop back on the wagon in January.
Right now Im remembering why I started the "eat no sugar and eat nothing after 8" thing. I feel horrible. bloated and yucky and sick. The food was fab though :) I just ate way too much! But I refuse to get down about it and go back to my old ways. I will take this as a reminder and remember what a blessing self-control is and how much better I feel when I eat healthy! It really is so worth it.
I made toffee - with chocolate and crushed candy canes. So delicious. I was happy to leave it there. I hope they eat it all!
*sigh* Life group is here tomorrow which I LOVE but I really am not a fan of working late Sat night getting everything cleaned. The kids and Steve helped a lot today so its mostly the dishes and some tidying. Im just extremely unmotivated.
ive been having photo sessions GALORE lately. I Love it so much. Had a great session this morning with a family of 5 - took over 400 pictures! Im anxious to get editing but I have some other session to finish up too. and those stinkin' dishes. Oh they are the thorn in my side!!!!
Hoping the sun peeks out tomorrow so I can go photography my friend Anda's baby. She is about 9 days old now? things keep coming up so we havent been able to plan a session yet. but Im dying to get my camera on her :)
enough blabbing. MUST. WASH. DISHES. (boooooo)
token picture. another one from my maternity session
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I got to know Patrice when I was her doula for the birth of her second child. it was a VERY fast delivery ... quite a bonding experience :) She did my maternity pictures when I was pregnant with Noah and in that time my love of photography was sparked. She's been a great encouragement and mentor to me all this time and Im very blessed that she was willing to get some pictures of us!
Ill probably be using one for our Christmas cards so those will be a secret ;) but Ill share some of the others when I get them! It was COLD (really cold!) and windy but we all stuck in there. We were ice cubes by the time we got back though :)
I shot my first maternity session last Friday and it was great! It was POURING by the time I got to the location but we didnt cancel...just prayed. And it ended up clearing almost the entire hour. It rained all the way home though. He is good! The lighting was great- perfectly even so it ended up being a great thing.
I am taking picture of a friends brand new baby tomorrow...excited about that!
Since every post is better with a picture. Here is a sneak peek for Ms Sarah
Friday, November 13, 2009
Two recent posts that are great:
Real Food on a Budget
12 Steps to a Real Food Diet
Here is a summary of her steps and where we are on this journey
1. Use real butter instead of margarine.
We don't have a source for affordable real butter (no Trader Joe's in TX). I have Costco's unsalted butter right now - which obviously is not organic or grass-fed. But since I cook mostly dairy-free, I don't use it often. I keep it around for myself for toast or whatever. 99% of the time I use Coconut Oil when I cook.
2. Limit beverage choices to filtered water.
This is all we drink besides raw milk. We have a reverse osmosis filter in our house which makes the water taste so clean and delicious. I add flavored stevia to mine and it helps me drink so much more water. Lemon juice is great too and a natural diuretic.
3. Eliminate white flour and white sugar. Throw out the refined!
I don't use any refined sugar anymore. I do use 1-2 cups of white flour when I make bread since I don't have any dough enhancers. Helps it to rise, be lighter, etc. But that's 1-2 cups out of 11 for 4 loaves. Still healthier than store-bought bread, even with the white flour ;) As my confidence builds in bread making I plan to cut it out
4. Use brown rice and brown rice pastas instead of white.
We eat brown rice once a week or so. We use whole wheat pasta though. I only buy brown rice for Abram because he is mostly wheat-free. Brown rice pasta is too expensive to buy for everyone. Its good though! (organic whole wheat pasta is $1.59 for a pound at Central Market - thats the best price ive found anywhere!)
5. Buy grass-fed and pastured beef, chicken and eggs.
We buy local pastured eggs ($2/dozen and we eat about 4 dozen a week) and organic chicken from Costco. To afford the chicken I use less now and cook the whole chicken myself instead of buying a big bag of frozen chicken breasts. I usually mix the shredded chicken with beans to stretch it for two meals. I use the stock for homemade soup once a week as well. I buy grass-fed, pastured ground beef when I can for $5.25 for 1.5lbs which is really affordable compared to other sources! Again, I use less than before and make it go further with beans or in a soup, chili, etc.
6. Use healthy fats in your cooking.
Just like her we use coconut oil, olive oil and butter. None of the other processed oils (you really should read her post, its great!) So far Ive used the refined coconut oil because I dont like the taste of coconut. but I think next time I may try the unrefined because its so much more healthy.
7. Find a raw milk source.
we drink 2 gallons a week. We pay a total of $64 a month. This is the first thing to go when times are lean. then I buy organic milk from Central Market and cut back how much everyone drinks.
8. Learn how to make kefir and yogurt.
I used to make water kefir. not there yet though. and ive never made my own yogurt. some day Id like to try though, with the raw milk. the kids would love it!
9. Pick one product on your grocery list that you can begin making from scratch.
I now cook my own beans (vs. canned), whole wheat bread and whole wheat tortillas. (both recipes are from her site)
10. Buy organic or spray free vegetables and fruits – and eat lots!
This is one area we really cant afford. Organic apples we can buy at Costco for a super cheap price (10lbs for about $8) but otherwise its usually not an option. I do buy organic FROZEN veggies like corn, broccoli and green beans. These are very affordable at Costco. I need to get to the local farmers markets and talk to them!
11. Buy wild fish.
We rarely eat fish but when we do, I look for wild. Costco carries wild canned salmon and the kids love it.
12. Begin soaking your grains.Just now learning to incorporate this one. I made some bread from soaked flour recently and it was good. I always soak my beans but I'm trying to be organized enough to remember for other things.
I made 4 loaves of bread today (soooooo good!). They are delicious! and I figure they cost about $5 total? A quality loaf of WW bread with no preservatives is at least $4 a loaf! I was buying Orowheats 100% WW bread at the outlet for $1.69 each but it had soybean oil (boo) and other things Id prefer to us not eat. So this is healthier and less expensive too! and the kids just rave and rave over it. If you have a mixer, it really isnt any work at all.
Mixing in the Bosch mixer
Ive found that we SAVE money by eating healthier. It just takes more planning and more work on my part. But its worth it! I hope this post encourages someone in one or two steps they can take to make their food healthier. Its worth it for the overall health of your family.
totally unrelated but here is Abram and the neighbors cat. this cat appears whenever we are outside with all the kids. he must be a glutton for punishment. Abram just adores him - chases him screaching "kitty!!!" and lays on him, etc. The cat comes back though. He even comes and visits on our window sill sometimes :)
And this is the view from my kitchen...... The other morning it was a little foggy and the light was hitting it so beautifully over the playset. This is totally unedited.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I want to keep going. The thinner I get, the better I feel. I havent been this weight since before I got pregnant with Noah (probably before I started teaching - I ate a lot because I was nervous!). Im not "skinny" compared to others but it sure feels awesome!
Ive started to do some simple pilates and just focus on using my "core"/abs in whatever Im doing. I can totally tell the difference already!
Im nervous about the upcoming holidays. I do great at home because 1) I dont have any sugar here and 2) if I eat any I have to pay Leslie $100 ;) But our deal is up on Nov 17th. Im really praying for the grace to make good, self-controlled decisions. I want to enjoy the holidays but not feel horrible afterwards.
I think not eating after 8 is something I want to stick with, I feel so much better in the mornings! The treats I make for our family I plan to still make the healthy ways ... but I do also plan to enjoy some other treats too! :)
It really is true that "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels" :) Most of all I want to honor God with self control. Its not something Ive had the discipline to do before, especially in private or on bad days (just being painfully honest). But Ive always dieted for myself and/or out of guilt. I want to learn to choose carefully because I know its right and I know it pleases the Lord! And the things that are good for us and that please Him ALWAYS benefit us in the end too!
(and no im not pregnant yet !!!!)
Friday, November 6, 2009
they were the sweetest. things. EVER. seriously.
First Caleb brought me his blanket so I could be "comfortable". So thoughtful. Then Jayna said "im cold" (such a girl - hint hint Caleb!) and he helped her put her blanket on (really I did, but he was super sweet and willing to). So the blanket adjusting went on until everyone was snuggled up and ready. They were sitting in her toddler bed and I was sitting infront of it.
At some point Jayna got up and got her zebra and brought it to Caleb (the zebra is a favorite - major act of love). Caleb started to say, "its ok ill get my own toy" but I gave him "the look" that told him to be kind and he gently said, "thank you Jayna, you are very sweet". so precious.
randomly once when I was reading she said in the dreamiest voice, "I love you Caleb". He started telling her how he was going to buy her something really special for her birthday. Then he's like, "do you like fossils" ... LOL. Im sure she'll be thrilled Caleb ;)
Anyways we have our sweet moments and they make it all worth it ...they just pass so quickly. but they warmed my heart. My words are inadequate to capture their tenderness towards eachother, the sweet girly way Jayna covers her mouth and giggles at funny parts of the story or the way Caleb cares for her ..... *Sigh*
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
check out this A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. maternity shot. Wow!!!! Ive seen this kind of work one time before and it just blows me away. beautiful!! (seriously, you have to look) Pinkle Toes Photography Any willing models due next summer? ;)
Ive have an exciting story about what God did in October - you know part of the story but it just gets better and better! Im going to type it all up when I have more energy ;) woohoo!
Im excited about thanksgiving this year. The last few years we've just stayed home. Ive tried to make it festive and fun for the kids but Im always very down and lonely and homesick. I hate cooking all the food myself and miss the fellowship of other women. But this year we are going to be with my friend Carmen's family! Ive gotten to know some of them over the last year as Carmen and I have gotten closer. I met her mom when I was her doula for the birth of her first son :) They do a huge family gathering with crafts, rides on the tractor (mower :)), etc. Im really excited to have somewhere fun to go and get to be with friends and in a family environment! I know it will be fun for the kids.
pictures make everything better
*CLICK TO SEE IT LARGE*
I'll either use the money for more cloth diapers for Abram or to help us go to World Mandate in January. Either one is a worthy cause ;)
I do love it but it will be awhile before I use it again (if Im blessed enough to use it again!)
Thinking of selling it for around $80 - let me know if you're interested
(the new versions are $130 new)
This is Chloe. Bark-a-holic. She's useless as a guard dog too.
But we still love her
Pretty flower from out front.
I wish the pictures didnt load up to blogger with such low quality :(
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Steves always worked late on Halloween so Id be home with small children, lights off, waiting for the trick-or-treaters to be done. I dont feel comfortable opening the door to strangers, all by myself, with 4 young children around me. Plus we dont let them eat candy and we dont have money for costumes (at $30 a pop who has $120 laying around for one night?! and y'all know I dont have time to make costumes!). When we do have candy from birthday parties I usually let them have one piece a day for a few days and then the excitment wears off and the candy disappears. This year I really didnt feel like dealing with all that - them asking constantly, etc.
BUT this year Steve was off by 5:30 and was actually home with us! Last minute we got together some dress-up stuff we had around the house and we also decided to go to Chipotle (burritos). If you dress up like a burrito, taco or bowl you get a free burrito! The total for our dinners was $38 - which is why we dont often go there all together. But it was F-R-E-E. That is my kind of deal! :) And chipotle is my FAVORITE. Yum. healthy food, and to-die-for guacamole - I just love it.
So they got to dress up and have full, happy tummies too :). There were a ton of TCU college kids there, passing around the foil so they could be burritos. It was funny to watch and made it a lot of fun. It also made us feel really old since their shirts said things like "class of '12" which is 11 years after we graduated college. EEK! how did that happen?
So anyways. It was a fun night. Noah really wanted to trick-or-treat. I dont think that will happen but maybe next year we might hand candy out. I still think its weird to hand out candy when I wouldnt feed it to my own kids.Id love to do something to share Jesus but I also would never just give kids a track with no candy - lame. So we'll have to think and pray on how we can be a light on that dark night!
Here are some pictures :)
If you know Caleb, you know this is actually what he normally wears LOL
No pictures of us at chipotle yet. I did save Calebs taco costume - Ill try to get one of him in it!