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!

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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!

moms & littles & coffee

On some magical mornings, I get to go to a local coffee shop with some mama friends.  That means the littlest one and I, and some other mamas with their littles that are the same age, go and have coffee, some baked goodness, and sit and talk.

I’ve thought about what past me might’ve thought. “Must be nice”, as I dash off to work.  I remember pulling into our amazing neighborhood after work with all the moms and their kids outside.  Kids are playing, moms are chatting, occasionally they even had a beverage in hand. “Must be nice”.

Well now I’m lucky enough to be on that side.  I am blessed to be able to stay home with my babes and experience all those “must be nice” moments.  But let me tell you, it is HARD HARD work.  So when you see a group of moms in those moments, this is what it is:

It is a meeting.  A brainstorm.  A gathering of the minds.  Figuring out how to best raise these kids.  How to make them into good, kind, strong adults.  We strategize and discuss best practices.  It doesn’t look like that I’m sure.  But that’s what it is.

And I am so lucky to be able to understand that and live it.  Because I don’t know that I could’ve, had I not lived through it. Taking the time to talk with my village makes me a better mama.

Build your village mamas! Take that time you need. And if you are new to mamahood, the lonely parts can be the hardest. If you see a village – ask to join, or if you are really lucky they’ll see you and know and ask you. But know that whatever it is that you are going through, good or hard or bad or pretty or ugly, there are people who get you! You are loved and understood. As I see it, we are all in this together! ❤️💙

whipped body butter

This body butter is to blame for my love of oils.  After months and months and months of skin issues with my little we were on the verge of getting prescription steroid lotions and I decided I’d make the time to make body butter at home using my Young Living Oils.  It was my last shot and I didn’t think it would help, but what did I have to lose?

So off to researching a million recipes for homemade whipped body butters online.  I love me some Wellness Mama and The Prairie Homestead but I ended up making a mix of things I found online.

And guys…it. is. magic.  At least for us it has been such a magical transformation!!  I love this stuff so much and it really is easy to make.  The hard part is making myself actually do it, but really it takes maybe 5-10 minutes of active time.  If you are experiencing the need for some moisture in your skin due to whatever, I really recommend it!

Kick the junky petroleum based crap out of your house and give this a try!  You have nothing to lose and a healthy body butter to gain!  Covering your skin, your largest organ with the junk that is on the shelves is no good, take control of where your dollars are going and add some goodness while also hopefully finding a fix!

Whipped Body Butter

Ingredients:

1/2 c. Shea Butter
1/4 c. Cocoa Butter
1/4 c. Coconut Oil
1/8-1/4 c. Grapeseed Oil
1/8 c. Beeswax Pellets

Essential Oils I like for my kiddos:

2-4 drops Tea Tree
2-4 drops Lavender
2 drops Cedarwood
2 drops Frankincense
2 drops Roman Chamomile

Note: The grapeseed oil can be replaced with any liquid oil of your choosing (almond, jojoba).  The beeswax pellets will make the body butter less greasy feeling.

To melt the ingredients you can use a double broiler or just grab a mason jar and put it in a pot of water, no need to go buy lots of new stuff!

  1. Over low heat melt beeswax pellets first.
  2. Once those are melted add shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil.
  3. Once everything is melted and stirred together, let it cool.
  4. Once cool, add essential oils stir it up and put it in a mixing bowl and then in the fridge to set.
  5. Once it has cooled completely, whip it up with a mixer!  That’s it!

img_0915Go and research what the different essential oils are good for and pick and choose your preferences.  I don’t use a lot of drops because my body butter is for my littles and a little goes a long way with amazing Young Living Oils.  And please, don’t put junky oils in your amazing body butter, you’ve done all that work, get the health benefits you’re seeking by using actual quality stuff!

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You can use all sorts of essential oils too!  If you want a post workout or cooling lotion use some peppermint or panaway.  If you want sleepy time lotion lavender and cedarwood are awesome options.  Seriously the combos are endless!

If you are interested in getting into essential oils, hit me up!  It can be overwhelming but it is so worth it and I’d love to hold your hand through it.  There’s a contact link up above to send me a message.