Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hippie Mommas Unite: A New Favorite Website

Before I had kids, I Never EVER thought I would be interested in doing things the natural way.

I am sad to say I definitely had a stigma about "those Moms."

You know those 'Hippie Moms' that wear Birkenstocks and have hairy legs and always smell like patchouli and breastfeed their babies au' natural in the open... you know what I mean.

Before I had kids I ignorantly associated any interest in natural health with people who fit this description.

And now, after having kids and seeing the world differently (and hopefully growing up and becoming less judgemental), I am here to report that I am now on the Hippie Mama path myself :0)

Okay, don't get your knickers in a knot... I am still far from Hippie. I'm still shave my legs, and I haven't been breaking out the incense. I still enjoy junk food (working on that one), and I love my beauty products. But I am becoming more and more interested and passionate about natural living and homeopathic medicine.

My trip down the Au' Natural Path is a different story for a different time, but the driving force leading me in this direction had been Bennett's eczema and numerous pediatricians' lack of desire to do anything to heal it. This lit a fire under me to find true healing for our son, not just "live with it" or slather on dangerous steroid creams.

Also, a word of warning: once you start investigating the products you are using and how harmful they can be, your eyes are opened, and it's hard to look at your counter top cleaner or Cheetos or sunscreen or (sniff) lipstick the same way ever again. So consider yourself warned. If you head down the au' natural path, you might not like what you find there.

Hey... wouldn't that be an awesome movie line? I can just picture myself in a dingy old saloon saying it to a cowboy-clad Jeff Bridges.

But I digress.

Here is the awesome website that has helped me to make sense of ALL the information out there. I REALLY appreciate Dr. Mercola and all the insights he provides. If you, like me, are a newbie to natural medicine, there is a wealth of knowledge here to get you started.

Here are a few of my favorite articles as of late:
  • On exercise and how to maximize your cardio time safely
  • On sunscreen and the importance of natural sunlight!
  • On skincare and how toxic most of your products are (even my Trader Joe's ones... sniff!)
  • On microwaves and how dangerous they are (I told you, you might just not want to know these things...)
  • A new perspective on taking fish oil

These are just a few of the great articles that have been really interesting and informative to me. Hope they are helpful to you as well!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Discovering Greatness: Some Fantastical New Recipes

Just thought I'd do a quick post-a-roo of a few new recipes I've tried lately.

First there was this recipe for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Come. To. Mama.

(P.S. - I just used regular chocolate chips instead of the variety o' chips she uses.)

Then when my lovely In-Laws were here last weekend, I made this fab-oooo Apple Coffee Cake. It will knock your socks right off. Unless of course you aren't wearing socks, in which case, you will just exclaim, "Oh my, this is delicious!"

Finally I made these AMAZING Hawaiian Turkey Burgers, using this homemade Teriyaki sauce. And all I can say is, Alooooha! It made me do a little hula.

And while we're contemplating the greatness of these turkey burgers, can I just give a quick shout out to my FAVORITE recipe blog, Our Best Bites? I have never made anything from their site that didn't come out completely delicious. Some of my favorites are Spicy Honey Chicken, Baked Potato Soup, Tortellini Sausage Soup, Coconut Chicken Fingers, Mint Brownies, and Candy Corn Cupcakes just to name a few.

That's all for now. Just a few stellar recipes to add to your collection.

Have I mentioned that my collection takes up most of my hard drive and an entire large kitchen cupboard?

I need recipe-hoarding intervention. Please someone help me before it's too late.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Every time my baby turns two... I die a little.

Mallory turned two last weekend.

And it made me happy and sad all at one.

Happy to be nearing the end of the difficulties of the infant stage... happy that God has blessed Mallie Gal with another wonderful year of life.

And sad that it's going so fast. Sad that she's no longer a baby.

Little Miss is definitely a toddler now. A little lady, a pretty princess, a genu-ine heart-stealer.


And now, in acrostical fashion, I will tell you a bit about my favorite little girl in the whole wide world.

Maybe in a little bit? -- This is her favorite phrase right now... especially when I tell her no.

Animated -- She is a precocious little charmer! Already quite dramatic.

Language -- Our Chatty Mallie is quite the talented little talker.

Loving -- She often lays down on my shoulder and still loves to be rocked and cuddled.

Outgoing -- She makes friends everywhere she goes and is always saying "hi!" to everyone.

Really REALLY cute... Seriously, her cuteness is dangerous and epic.

Yeeees! Yaaaaay! -- She is prone to darling exclamations of excitement!

Chompers -- Her gigantic front teeth have bitten straight through my heart. I LOVE them!
Laugh -- She has an infectious, silly-dilly little laugh.

All Girl -- We are very into baby dolls, princesses, sparkly shoes and pink over here nowadays.

I do it! -- Mallie Gal is developing a very independent spirit, wanting to do everything herself.

Relational -- Always seeking out someone to be with, Mallie is such a social butterfly.

Eat! -- Our girl's favorite pass-time. She can out-eat everyone in our family!

Well, there you have it. Just a few of the things that make my girl so special.

I love you, Mallie girl. You bless me every day with your smiles, giggles and all-around happiness. I am so blessed to be your Mama.

Friday, March 11, 2011

32 Things: Happy (Belated) Birthday to the McPreacher

On Tuesday, the McPreacher turned 32.

We just had a simple celebration, but the McPreacher likes things simple, so it was perfect.

I surprised him by inviting two of his best friends, Brady and Alden to come to dinner. They hid in the garage with silly string and accosted Neil when he went out to get me some "sour cream" I needed out of the fridge. "Sour cream" is in quotes because there really was no sour cream. I am stealth, yo.

After scaring the blazes out of McPreachy, they came inside and we enjoyed a birthday dinner of steak, garlic mashed potatoes (best, recipe ever!), Caesar salad and bread. It was a simple, man-pleasing meal, and the men were mighty pleased.

They we enjoyed birthday cake and just being together. The cake Mcpreachy chose from the birthday cake book this year was called "Ambrosia Cake." It basically a coconut cake with an orange/pineapple filling. He chose it because he LOVES ambrosia salad, and though there was not much of an ambros-esque quality to the cake, it was still delicious.

So, without further ado, I would like to present 32 things I love about my husband in honor of his 32nd Birthday:
  1. I love that he is *slightly* nerdy. It warms my heart and makes my pulse race. There is nothing foxier than a hot, nerdy man. Come to Mama, professor.

  2. I love how dependable and trustworthy he is. My husband is a man you can always count on.

  3. I love that he makes decisions based on what is right rather than how he feels. That makes one of us. :0)

  4. He is slow to speak and quick to listen.

  5. He is the wisest person I know. I value his advice more that anyone else's.

  6. He is so easy going about stuff around the house, and that is such a blessing to a Mama of young kids. He is totally fine with eating cereal for dinner and doesn't care if our house gets messy.

  7. He never whines or complains.

  8. He makes me laugh.

  9. He loves me for who I am, and doesn't expect me to be someone else. He even humors me during my frequent song and dance routines!

  10. He always puts our family first, despite the demands of being a pastor.

  11. Given the choice between tasks and playing with the kids, he almost always chooses playtime. I admire and envy this quality. :0)

  12. He is so wise with our money and provides so well for our family.

  13. He is easy to please and appreciates simplicity.

  14. He is a deep-thinker and helps me to look at things more critically.

  15. He is amazing with directions. He can instinctively and immediately figure his way around a new place.

  16. He has an amazing work ethic.

  17. He is gifted at saying things that are hard to hear with honesty and graciousness.

  18. He is an amazing teacher. I feel blessed to have him as my pastor.

  19. He is a man of honor and integrity.

  20. He is an AMAZING father and is intentional about his role as a parent.

  21. He has great taste in music.

  22. He over-researches everything, and I think it is so cute... er... manly.

  23. He is such an affectionate, romantic husband. He never ceases to make me feel loved and special.

  24. He makes great Swedish pancakes. :0)
  25. He respects and empowers me as a mother.

  26. He seeks my advice and takes my opinions seriously.

  27. He's a great gift-giver! He always picks out thoughtful, creative gifts.

  28. He is fiercely loyal. Do not mess with someone he loves.

  29. He is passionate, and that passion drives everything he does.

  30. Even though logic is most important to him, he often humors my need for doing it the 'fun and pretty' way instead of the logical way.

  31. He is a visionary, and I am inspired and motivated by his dreams, goals and big-picture perspective.

  32. He is a godly man, and I am SOOOOOOOOO blessed to be married to him.

I love you, husband o' mine. Like I always say, I'd be lost without you.

Happy Birthday!