February 18, 2013

Paleo bites the past few days....

I've posted this before - but is seriously bears reposting. This soup is so good .......seriously people. Go make it RIGHT NOW! My kids love it too!

Kirsty Alley’s Green Soup
With Allie’s notes

Notes: This makes a LARGE pot or two medium pots full. So for us it’s about 3 dinners and a few lunches.

- Chop all veggies (except spinach) and set aside before starting! This could take a bit.

8 shallots
2 bunches asparagus
2 bunches spinach (add at end)
3 heads broccoli
4 cartons chicken broth (I use Better than Bullion)
8 leeks (white part only)
salt (I use RealSalt brand sea salt)
pepper (I like white pepper)
olive oil (I like to use butter too)
2 cloves garlic

1) In a very large pot put ½ cup olive oil (or butter or coconut oil or a combo).

2) Add shallots & sweat them until clear (about 5 minutes).

3) Add leaks & garlic and sweat until clear (about 5-7 minutes more). Add extra oil/butter if it gets dry.

4) Add asparagus and broccoli and a tablespoon of salt.

5)Add 4 cups of broth (1 carton). Let simmer for 5 minutes.

6) Add 3 more cartons (or 12 more cups) broth or bullion.

7) Add about ¾ tablespoon (to taste) pepper.

8) Cover and bring to a boil.

9) Turn off flame and add the spinach and recover. Leave it for about 5-10 minutes.

10) Puree well with an immersion blender (or in batches in the blender).

11) Return to a boil. Viola!


If you are freezing the leftovers (this makes 3 dinners and a few lunches for us) wait until the soup is completely cooled before putting in Ziploc bags and freezing.

February 16, 2013

It pays to be #3

Toddler Resume:
- Can pour whole carton of dish soap in bathtub for you - 
 - Can finger paint with toothpaste on bathroom walls - 
- Can smoosh a bag of pretzels into carpet in .37 seconds - 

For hire immediately, please return upon 5th birthday, if potty trained.

Alls I can say, little man, is it pays to be the third child in a house of 4 in many ways. I like to consider myself a patient person who is understanding of the toddler phase. But you sure do push my outer limits. Luckily.....ever so luckily - daddy is also very patient and we inspire patience in each other. 
Every fiber of patience was needed to survive the morning. I can laugh now.

And luckily you are stinkin cute.

On another note...it's sour grass season. And somebody is super excited about it.

On our walks you say "Ooooooo sour gas?!" to every yellow flower. Love it. 
Love you.

February 14, 2013

Switching to Paleo

I finally became sick and tired of being tired. At night that is. I would be SO exhausted at night around 7pm that I would sometimes go to bed with the kids. And still not feel rested in the mornings. And I finally got sick and tired of the tire of fat around my midsection. It is/was annoying beyond words and I declare war!!!

I had heard about the Paleo diet from a few friends and there was just something about it that kept drawing me in. The ONE other time I have been successful at losing weight quickly (post William) I had basically done the Paleo diet unknowingly. So it was a natural next step I knew my body already liked. 

Paleo in a nutshell:

NO grains
NO sugar (except raw honey)
NO dairy (except butter)
NO legumes

The common response (even from me) is: WHAT do you EAT?!
I'd like to steal a good line from one of my favorite Paleo cookbooks:
"Take a deep breath and think of every kind of meat, seafood, vegetable, and fruit you can. Now think of fat sources like coconuts and avocados and olives and nuts and seeds. Visualize your list. Looks great, right? That's a lot of delicious food. And that is what makes up the paleo diet." - Well Fed, by Melissa Joulwan

And that is what I am doing; while having 5 other non-Paleo people living with me.
I am one motivated person. ;)

I have lost 9 lbs and gone down 2 pants sizes. It's ALL worth it.
And the food is amazing. Come, journey with me through a few yummies....
Just discovered these babies. Amazingly sweet, crunchy and just plain perfection. A rad way for me to not feel deprived while others are eating chips. This totally helps those moments where I miss the crunch of grain products (tortilla chips, cereal, toast)

guacamole - I miss having real corn chips - but it's worth it.

pumpkin pie, better than the normal stuff - I swear! No one in my house likes pumpkin. What? How did 1/2 that pie vanish?!!! No I didn't. I swear. Stop saying that!

sautéed shrimp, mushrooms, onions. yum

Beet, cucumber, apple, lemon "juice" At first I wasn't too keen....now I am obsessed with it.

Creamy Almond milk........almost tastes like ice cream. So easy to make. For the record I was not an almond milk person before this.

watermelon and whipped coconut cream....heaven.

Bacon wrapped eggs (my new obsession) and sautted zucchini
easiest thing in the world to cook for a crowd.

baby greens, steamed beets, pine nuts, blueberries, peas

chicken breast, carrots, peas, celebry, broth + 4.5 hrs in crock pot = easiest dinner ever.

bacon wrapped eggs over baby greens, red cabbage and sliced tomatoes

"chocolate" treats that the Valentine Heart brought. :) 

BBQ ribs (dad's recipe), roasted brussel sprouts &veges. heaven divine. Those ribs give me heart palpitations they are so good.

zucchini noodles that are so good I want to weep. 
(picture from Well Fed cookbook)

coconut flour pancakes. I had been missing pancakes, a lot. Uuuummm syrup.....
 now I don't have to

Key lime dessert (using avocado!) 
Huge thanks to my mother in law for this recipe!
Did you just shutter because I said avocado and dessert in the same sentence? I did too, for 3 weeks. Then I got over it and made this, and well......licked the inside of the blender. Turns out avocado in desserts is just this amazing, creamy medium for making amazing things and there is no avocado taste at all. Who knew?!

It's been quite the journey - and will continue to be I am sure. This is going to be a slow but complete lifestyle change. My goal is to slowly make my whole house Paleo or minimally gluten free. It feels right.

I am finally making a permanent health change that I am so proud of.

Valentine's Day

My cup runneth over today. For many reasons.

1) I love Vday.

2) I made cute as heck Valentine's for L & C, was quite happy with them.

3) I sent out cute Valentine's to friends and family. Yay for having energy at night!

4) I realized newly how supportive my husband is toward all my life goals. "Supportive" doesn't quite explain his enthusiasm for whatever it is I choose to take on, be it homeschooling, having a gaggle of children, working or not working, my expensive hobbies: photography & scrapbooking, etc. I just madly (re)fell in love with him today.

5) He picked me flowers from the neighborhood and brought me caramels. Too bad I can't eat them! :)

6) My babies were so sweet today. *Sigh*

I feel lucky. I needed this day. I've had a lot of rushed, hairy, scary, crazy, overwhelmed days over the past 6 months so today was just right.

This shot is just too precious for words. 

I decided to do a little V Day photoshoot. I was given this adorable ruffle shirt by Becca, of Becca's Bows. And it just screamed photoshoot to me.

This face reminds me of this pictures of Isabella! So cute!

Sweet girl. xo

My boys....I love you guys so much!

Sweet baby girl, you are wearing your sissie's outfit! Yes, I am a baby clothes hoarder. Charlotte, you made on cookies at WISH and LOVED it.
The Valentine Heart was here! Looks like it left awesome prezzies once again! ;)
(It only took on late night shopping trip to Target and batch of Paleo chocolate treats to pull it off, no biggie.)

My cup runneth over today my loves. Runneth over.....

February 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Charlotte

My darling girl - you turned 8. This was an emotional year for me because I feel it's starts you officially toward your tween years. 8 is definitely not a "little" kid anymore. 
You have turned a huge corner maturity-wise as well. You wanted an Ipod for your birthday. Every year previous it has been all about the toys but this year you requested a teeny tiny party, and to use the $ we would normally spend on a party and put it toward an Ipod. We were able to due better! Since I had just upgraded my phone, I was able to exchange my old phone for a brand new iPhone 4 and gift it to you for the same cost as an Ipod would have been. Of course there is no phone capabilities or video games on it, but lots of music, Pandora and a camera. You are in heaven.

And while you are old enough for an Ipod - am relieved you still wanted dolls. These are called Lalaloopsie dolls and now you are the proud owner of 12 thanks to the spoiling of your relatives.

You donut cake request

Willsie could NOT wait to help you blow out your candles :)

We love you!!!!