easy popsicles

My kiddos love their desserts as much as anyone else but in trying to make sure they eat minimal sugar I don’t want to deprive them of all the things their friends eat a lot of.  So we try to make something equally delicious, just more wholesome.

One of our favorites have become watermelon popsicles!  Usually when we buy a whole watermelon I can barely find enough space in the fridge to store it, so this also helps me reduce waste, double win!

You’ll need:

  • Watermelon
  • Lime(s)

Cut up your watermelon and put it in the blender.  Depending on your love of lime add the juice of 1 or 2 limes and blend.  Put in popsicle molds.  THAT IS IT!

We love these Zoku molds and ended up with two sets because one is ADORABLE and the other is perfectly sized for really little ones.  The kiddo doesn’t end up covered in melted popsicle because it is just a great size for him.  These molds are SO easy to get the frozen popsicle out of too.  I’m a huge fan and happy I got them.  We also will put leftover smoothies in there for a quick easy “dessert”.  Its a win for me and a win for the kids!

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so you’ve found a tick…

Ugh.

We found an embedded tick on my little.  blarg.  It is pretty common and we have this amazing modern medicine now so everything is pretty treatable.  I say this but I may have spazzed a little.

First we removed the gross bugger with tweezers.  I’ve heard too many conflicting things about all the other ways and just went with old faithful.  I put the creature, which was about the size of a sesame seed, into a ziploc bag and washed my hands.  Cleaned the spot on my little.  Called the pediatrician who is AMAZING (thank God for doctors and people who have devoted themselves to taking care of others!)!

I looked into my essential oil books and applied some lavender and tea tree oil on the site. Then decided I should crowd source from friends on what to do next.  There’s allllll sorts of information, antibiotics, tests, no tests, rashes, has to be embedded for x amount of time, only needs to be embedded for a minute, etc.  And I knew I wasn’t the first one to deal with this.  I’m really really happy I did and friends because I got all sorts of information and it was all pretty amazing. It was varied which I appreciate because it lets you explore your options for what gives you peace of mind.  So, I’m writing this because some of the things were so incredibly wonderfully helpful that I hope someone else can find it useful.

  1. First, save the tick.  Put it in a ziploc bag.  Wash your hands and maybe throw something like neosporin or essential oils or alcohol on the site. Take a picture of the creature.  Then put that ziploc bag in ANOTHER ziploc bag and put that in the freezer.
  2. Call your doctor to verify correct steps and precautions because things change all the time and I’m writing this blog right now in 2018.
  3. Submit the picture of the gross thing to www.tickencounter.org/tickspotters. They will respond in a couple days with what type of tick it is, how long they think it was embedded for, and the probability of it having an infection and the likelihood of you getting said infection.  ALL FROM A PICTURE!  And they sent us our report on a Sunday, so they are clearly working everyday to try to help give people some knowledge.  They also explain how they are able to tell, which is helpful.
  4. Take the frozen tick and put it in a padded envelope and mail it to www.tickreport.com.  Well don’t mail it to the website, but go to that site and follow their instructions.  You pay $50 and they’ll test the tick to see if it has any infections.  They’re amazing too.
    • They answer the phone and talk down freaked out moms (not me of course, I’m always super chill).
    • They will text you when your tick (something I never wanted as my own) arrives to them and just keep you in the general loop.
    • Your report is updated real-time so you can click on a link and see where they are with it.
    • You get results within 3 business days.
    • They apparently have all the ticks they’ve ever tested and keep them indefinitely in case you ever need to do more tests.

All of that is insane to me, and I’m so thankful that there are people out there devoted to this because it helps us evaluate further steps.  We are still in the waiting process for that report, but I wanted to share this because having outlined steps might help someone else.

What we do from here – antibiotics, blood testing, or nothing – will all depend on the report + doctor recommendations + mama taking care of her baby.  But these are first steps and some useful links.  I hope you are reading this for fun and not because you’ve just found a tick on your precious baby, but alas, here are steps to take if you need them.

homemade granola

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I love making homemade Instant Pot yogurt (I use this recipe from This Old Gal but don’t strain it because I’m lazy.  She also has a great cold start option but I prefer to use my grassfed milk so heating is required).  But don’t love having yogurt for breakfast with just honey and fruit.  Seems like too much sugar and not quite filling enough.  So I decided I’d add some granola but the store bought stuff has a lot of sugar and is pricey – we like it heavy on the granola, not just a dash.  I found a good recipe by Alton Brown but made a few changes, mainly the sugar.

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We are now obsessed with our granola and I love that I can add more protein or change stuff up as I need to.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips or flakes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 Tbs maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pour oats, almonds, pecans, coconut flakes, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.  Mix it up and then pour melted coconut oil and maple syrup and mix some more. (Raisins get added after the baking).

Place silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread out oat mixture.  Place in oven.  It will need about an hour in the oven, but needs to be mixed every 15 minutes.  After an hour (or when it reaches color of choice), remove and mix in raisins.

I’m not sure how long it’ll store for as it doesn’t make it long here.  I know it has a week, but it will likely last longer.

If you want to skip raisins, you’ll probably need to up the sugar/maple a little. And change it up to your needs.

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How cute is my granola jar??  It was gifted to me in my local Buy Nothing group on Facebook.  It’s an amazing group aimed at reducing landfill waste and getting to know your own community.  I highly recommend finding one in your area!

Blog Goals

So, as I embark on my wellness journey I started this blog because I think so many of us mamas WANT to take care of ourselves, but man is it hard.  It is hard to make the time, hard to get in a routine, hard to make changes and the craziest part is feeling guilty for spending the time on yourself.  I feel guilty spending more time in the kitchen prepping my own meals while i’m happy to do it for my family.  I feel guilty making the kids watch me workout or making them sit in the stroller while I run.  It’s crazy making!

The craziest part is that I do it FOR them.  I want to be here.  I want to watch them grow.  I want to be here when they have their babies.  I want to be healthy so I can be a better version of myself for THEM.  So the guilt is ridiculous really, but alas.

I wanted to have this space where I share the parts of this journey, both successes and failures.  As I choose to spend time on some things other things will have to drop, its just what it is.  I want to show that while I may have the homemade dinner situation down, that might mean that my basement is a wreck!  The internet tends to have just the shiniest pieces of everyone’s lives which leaves people feeling woefully inadequate.  I don’t want to do that.  I want people to feel like maybe they too can make the changes they want.  Or maybe that they are already doing a great job even if it doesn’t always feel that way.  Motherhood has been full of acceptance for me (I know I’m lucky) and I want this space to be that for others.  I’m thankful for all the women in my life that have given me strength and reassurance and I want to share that.

I want to continue to share nutrition, workout, oily goodness, health, home, dog, kid ideas.  All the life stuff.  And I hope that you all know that I do NOT consider myself to “have all the answers”.  When I make posts on healthy lunch ideas for kids it is NOT me judging anyone for how they feed their children. (My kids had noodles cooked in broth and sprinkled with parm today for lunch, so yeah, not a veggie in sight). We eat healthy, but cookies are delicious.  I hope I can capture the balance we try to have.  I want to maximize my life, but I also want to enjoy it.  And I want to share ideas, but not judgement.

I in no way shape or form want anyone to find guilt in my posts.  I start my posts, and sometimes I just stop because I’m afraid a mom will read something and feel like she is not enough.  I DO NOT WANT THAT!!  We are all doing our best.  More than our best.  We finish the day depleted, and please don’t ever feel that by reading anything here that you are not enough.  YOU ARE ENOUGH.  Not only enough, but exactly right.  Come take an idea away, and leave what doesn’t work for you. Or what you just can’t possibly fit!

little lunches – quesadillas

Quesadillas are delicious. Cheesy, carby goodness. That’s not totally how we roll though. I try to maximize the nutrients and whole foods I get into my little ones and it needs to be obtainable and easy enough that it’s our norm. I also like to have our basic staples that my kids love because I hate fighting them on stuff.

So quesadillas are totally part of our regular rotation but I stuff them FULL of veggies. I try to fill them with the veggies my kids fight me on the most but also need the most. Because they seem to devour them no matter what. I also just found tortillas that are three ingredients.

Looking at ingredients is sooooo important. It’s amazing how most of what’s in our grocery stores is full of sugar and chemicals just to improve flavor while keeping things cheap. One thing I highly recommend is looking at the label of every single thing you bring into your house!!! It starts to open your eyes.

So what are some of our favorite things to shove in the tortilla? Onion, peppers, ham or turkey, spinach, and kale. Whatever we have in the fridge goes in. I chop it up pretty small which I find helps them to just eat it and not reject something that is in there. The little one will remove big pieces of peppers but if chopped small he eats them fine. The big one will pull out the spinach, but doesn’t blink if it’s chopped. Then I add the yummy cheese as my glue. 🙂

We serve them alone, with salsa, with guac – depends on if the kiddos are hungry or need the extra protein.

I’ve tried to come up with easy rotation items that I can change based on what they need such as: adding more veggies if we are fighting off some germs. More protein if they just aren’t getting enough elsewhere. More carby if their bellies seem a little off.

I do that with their buses too. Tummy isn’t good – add a bunch of crackers. They’ve eaten terribly – fill it with meats and veggies and fruits. Too mush sugar lately – skip the fruit.

This lunch doesn’t fail in our house. It’s easy, yummy, but also packed with goodness so I feel good about it too!