Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sans the dairy... and the sugar... and homemade coconut milk coffee creamer

Since my daughter Ada began eating solid foods (she's 3 now), I became ACUTELY aware of what I was putting into my own mouth. I felt like a hypocrite making whole fruits and veggies into beautiful purees for her and then shoving Reese's PB cups and Chick-Fil-A down my own mouth....I still love me some Chick Fil A.... :/

 I felt a strong urgency to learn more about my food and how it effected my body.

I always knew I wanted to make Ada's food, so that I could control the ingredients and sugar levels. And I did, but the older she gets, the battle for what she eats grows increasingly more difficult.

Ada and I have both been experiencing some minor health related struggles. Constipation and acne, respectively. (Sorry baby, I hope you're friends don't read this when you're 16), but these issues, though nothing too severe have been enough for me to really take more drastic measures in our eating habits. It was enough for this mama to watch helplessly as her child struggled to pass a tiny rabbit pellet sized poo.

Some of my own personal health struggles have been around cystic acne. It started in college. I've tried medication (that worked... but ew.), monthly facials, special face washes, creams and potions and every month the zits would return, especially around that oh so special time of month (sorry dudes).

I began doing some of my own research about using food to heal the body. I have always felt deep in my heart that natural foods were the way God intended us to eat, so why wouldn't those same natural foods help my body heal itself. I recommend watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead by the way... And while healthy eating isn't a blanket statement for fixing all health issues I do believe it is the place to start.

I started doing some research among some of my other favorite bloggers who are more experienced in nutrition (Linda Wagner, The Wellness Mama, and Pumps and Iron). What I found was cutting dairy and sugar were just the things that Ada and I both needed to help us.

So far removing sugar (sweets and processed foods, where sugar hides) has been fairly easy to cut out. The DAIRY on the other hand! People, that means cheese! And cream in my coffee! GONE!

BUT so far so good. I have cheated on a few things, but for the most part I have drastically removed dairy and refined sugars from our diets and I think it's working. Ada and I are both taking a probiotic and drinking significantly more water. Which is an added bonus.

(There's coconut milk in that coffee! Starbucks has it now! Iced coffee with no sugar and coconut milk! Yum.)

We have also increased the number of green juices we drink during the week too. I like it as a substitute for coffee in the morning.

When I do want coffee I use a home made coconut milk 'creamer' recipe.

My skin seems less bumpy. I am eager to see if I break out in any large cyst like zits in the next few weeks. And, Ada is, well, using the potty more frequently :)

I love food. It's seriously amazing.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fairy Gardens and Hand Painted Up-cycled Pots

For Ada's birthday she received the cutest Fairy Garden Kit. Do a quick search on Pinterest or Etsy and you'll find oodles of adorable miniature gardens intended to attract fairies. The kits include anything from small shells, sticks, tiny sparkly objects, moss, rocks, mini houses, flower pots and on and on.

This project actually came out of making the fairy garden itself. I have an old charcoal grill (see below) that I painted years ago and use as a flower planter. This year I thought it would be the perfect thing to let Ada play around in and put her fairy garden in. 

I bought flowers and little succulents to make a mini garden inside the grill. The flower pots that the succulents came in were just TOO cute to toss. And that's when the idea struck me to paint them and reuse them in the fairy garden. 

So, we set off to get our supplies, clean up the pots and get started.

We used acrylic paints. I added detail to the floral designs with a sharpie pen.

This was another SUPER easy and kid friendly project. Ada loves the chance to paint, especially on non-traditional items. Basically anything other than a piece of paper.

They are SO cute!

Here we are getting the garden started. I filled the grill with potting soil and created a separate garden in an old metal container we used to put in our bathroom. I just poked holes in the bottom so the water could drain out. We planted succulents in that pot.

We laid sticks and moss down in and around the flowers on top of the dirt.

Creeping petunias and inpatients - in Ada's favorite colors... 

You could use the pots to plant more fowers or to hold tiny treasures for the fairies.

Ada's fairy garden kit was filled with all kinds of little mini trinkets, all in some shade of blue.

The garden is supposed to welcome fairies to live and visit and to provide them with trinkets to make their own contraptions. Watch a Tinker Bell movie if this makes no sense to you.

Just love those little succulents.

It's been fun to collect found objects at parks, around the house or at Hobby Lobby to add to the garden. I like challenging Ada to think creatively about what would be fun to add.

Plopped the garden right under our Weeping Cherry tree.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Work. Lately.

Sorry I haven't posted in a few weeks! God has really be changing me and teaching me over the last month or so.

My heart has been bursting to share all about it, but I wasn't sure how it all fit in here for several reasons. Here are my excuses and my reason for deciding to over come the excuse.

EXCUSE 1: I want to be personal, but there's a fine line to being super personal? Right? Yes? No.

EXCUSE ANTIDOTE: Who cares!? This is MY blog any way...

EXCUSE 2: I felt  feel silly. Stupid. Flippant. Flighty. Uncommitted. Lost. Directionally challenged.

EXCUSE ANTIDOTE: WHO CARES!? This is MY blog anyway.... AND what's the point in sharing  about life if we don't expose the messy, unorganized, unplanned, uncommitted versions of ourselves.

EXCUSE 3: No pictures.

EXCUSE ANTIDOTE: Get pictures. Get outside your world and find something worthy of photographing! Even if they have nothing to do with your blog post...

Ok onto the good stuff.

So in a nut shell God continues to use my 'day job' - working in Corporate America (a place I thought I'd never be) to guide me, teach me and lead me to Him and HIS plan for my life.

I've been real nostalgic recently because my 10 year college reunion was last weekend.

You see for the past 10 years I have been wandering in the wilderness career wise. I'm not any closer to finding my 'dream job' than when I was 22 with a freshly printed diploma. Or am I?

Over the course of these 10 years I have thought about doing all of these things on more than one occasion, some of them I have done and/or tried: art teacher, stay at home mom, nail tech, Jazzercise instructor, motivational speaker, career counselor, personal coach/trainer, artist, photographer, nutritionist, blogger, communications professional, digital marketing professional, branding professional, camp counselor, retail merchandiser, going back to school, not going back to school, working for the zoo and probably 100 other things... ask my husband if you don't believe me.

All of this has led to a lot of unhappiness in my life. Constantly striving to push one of these avenues hoping to make it big.

And I may still do some of these things, but what I'm learning most right now is that it really isn't up to me to find the ONE thing. My dream job - if that even exists.

God continues to ask me stay where I'm at. To be a leader and light among the community of co-workers that I so dearly love here in 'corp-landia' (corporate land).

I always thought the 'job' was the enemy. I have been wrong. I didn't need a new job, a new boss or a new company. I just needed to let go of the walls that I put up separating my work, from the rest of my life.

The truth is, that all of  the fore mentioned things are ME and I'm finding more and more that it's ok that I have so many passions and interests. Rather than thinking I have to find the ONE thing that is my 'thing', I'm learning to embrace that all of it is who God made me to be.

I am finally at a place where I feel like my life is whole, rather than 100 different sections of it. Like my work life being over here and my personal life being over there and my dreams and aspirations are over here, hobbies there etc etc.

Being the control freak that I am, I think I have always tried to neatly compartmentalize each section, but God has been revealing to me ways in which they all ebb and flow. Learning to let go of the walls between everything, has allowed God to make my life and my spirit whole - something I had be striving to do on my own A LOT over the past few years.

All this to say that my little space here on the world wide web (my friends that work in social media, say I shouldn't use that term any more...) might start to look a little different. I want to highlight ALL the parts of my life that I am passionate about. Not just my artsy fartsy side.

More to come. And I apologize if this makes NO sense to you, but I just needed to get it out of my heart. I hope that it will encourage others to maybe a little more ok with their own life A.D.D!

We really don't have to have it all figured out.

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