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Too long to wait expectantly

Oh my! It has been over a month since my last blog post! I do thank all my readers for being so patient with me. Seeing that having my children home all day and schooling them takes up a good portion of my time that I would otherwise have allotted to work, I am behind on keeping this blog up-to-date.

Since my last post in September, What I have been up to, I have successfully completed the Dr. Sears’ L.E.A.N Expectation training. I am now certified to teach these workshops! For now, I will be offering these workshops via video calls as we have several months of travel planned. We will be returning in March of 2018 and I would like to offer some physical workshops for those in the Middle Tennessee area.

I am excited about this certification since it goes hand-in-hand with my past midwifery work. I am so happy to be able to be involved again working in the pregnancy and post-partum arena!

At the end of September and into the first part of October, the girls and I drove to Lafayette, Louisiana to visit my mother and grandfather. It was so lovely to visit and catch up. A funny thing to note, I didn’t eat much cajun food while there. I did eat a yummy beignet, which I bemoaned the next day as I’m not used to all that sugar, wheat and gluten! We celebrated my mother’s birthday while there and I made a flourless chocolate cake, which was a big hit.

Then back up to Tennessee to drive to Kentucky for a wedding of one of my sister’s. She is expecting her third child in April and I have the honor of attending her birth. We will be parking our RV next to her home as it is almost a 3 hour drive from our home base in Columbia, TN. I am so ecstatic to attend a birth and no less, a new niece or nephew.

After her wedding, we traveled up to Louisville, KY so that Brent could visit some cafes in the area and also my in-laws were taking care of our girls while we went on a cruise.

So, haha, in October, I turned 40! Many say this is a huge land mark in a person’s life. I’m not so sure if I felt it as much as turning 39 last year. For me, 39 was a time of reflection for me. It was the year we decided to fulltime in an RV and I got my first tattoo(one to remember and honor my daughter, Ansley, who died three days after birth).

Back to the cruise now! Brent booked this cruise for my birthday present and he also knew it was something I had always wanted to do. We took a shorter cruise as it was our first, three nights/four days to the Bahamas. Another couple went with us and we all enjoyed the cruise and each other while celebrating my birthday. This was October 19th to the 23rd. We also stayed in Miami, Florida for a day before and after the cruise. We had some amazing Cuban food while there at a restaurant called, Havana 1957. We strolled along the beach front and also enjoyed sight-seeing. We toured Vizcaya, which was lovely, especially if you enjoy antiques and architecture. http://vizcaya.org/

Unfortunately, I did pick up some virus while on the cruise ship. I believe it was due to eating sugar(which lowers the immune system). The desserts offered at the restaurants on the ship were hard to pass up! I don’t regularly eat processed sugar so I am sure my body was having a hard time handling it! So, I spent almost two weeks recovering from this. Now, I am feeling better and will be able to get in the flow of things.

Brent and I also took time to do a “family re-set” plan with Mama Says Namaste. I would highly recommend this to all! It really helped us prioritize what each other means to us and what our family means to us. Go here to read more about her coaching packages:   https://www.mamasaysnamaste.com/coaching/

In December, we leave for Florida to stay at a campsite for the month in Orlando. We will be taking the girls to Disney for their Christmas present. From there, we will drive to San Antonio, TX to explore the area and surrounding it. Then we head to Phoenix, Arizona for a month. We will need to return by the beginning of March to await for sister’s birth. On our way back, we will stay in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which my mother and her family lived for many years when she was a child.

I hope that I will not keep you wonderful readers waiting as long as I did this time!

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10 Comforting Hot Drinks for the Winter

Two weeks into November here in Middle Tennessee area and we are experiencing some chilly weather. Especially today when it’s rainy and dreary, I crave a warm drink to sip on while I type at my laptop or read to myself or my children.

Soon, we will be in a warmer climate, but I still enjoy a comforting, warm drink.

Here are 10 comforting hot drinks for you to enjoy too!

  1. https://draxe.com/recipe/turmeric-tea-recipe/

Oh, try out this ghee:

Vanilla Bean Grass-Fed Ghee Butter by 4th & Heart, 9 Ounce, Pasture Raised, Non-GMO, Lactose Free, Certified Paleo(this is an affiliate link) for the ghee in the tumeric tea recipe above!

  1. https://wellnessmama.com/25946/apple-cider-recipe/

Yes, I do drink bone broth warm and so does my oldest daughter.

  1. http://www.raisinggenerationnourished.com/?s=instant+pot+bone+broth

This one is perfect for holiday time when we are exposed to extra germs and sweets:

  1. http://www.healthhomeandhappiness.com/ginger-tea-for-gaps-and-sore-throats.html

A classic with a twist:

  1. http://nourishedkitchen.com/mexican-hot-chocolate/

I love a good Chai Tea and this one is perfect to make up extra to give out as gifts!

  1. https://www.mommypotamus.com/masala-chai-tea-recipe/

I’m all about a homemade pumpkin-spiced latte!

  1. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-pumpkin-spice-latte-even-better-than-starbucks-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-96277

My little sister got me into these:

  1. http://thebusybaker.ca/earl-grey-vanilla-tea-latte-london-fog/

A little night-time drink:

  1. https://minimalistbaker.com/chili-cinnamon-bourbon-hot-toddy/

Yummy Matcha green tea latte!

  1. https://rootandrevel.com/matcha-green-tea-latte-recipe-vegan/

 

What I have been up to

Hello all you lovely readers!

I have been in Kentucky for the past month, staying on a small farm in our RV. It was an enjoyable time there and we had many fun-filled, educational days. If you’re ever in the Louisville, KY area, check out Hillerich Family Farm for some delicious fresh vegetables(their Canary melons are to die for)! https://beechmontky.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/get-to-know-your-farmer-the-hillerich-family/

My three daughters enjoyed gathering and cleaning chicken eggs to sell at the farm stand which they earned some money for doing, picking vegetables from the gardens and going to the farmer’s market to see first-hand the selling of what they helped pick. They experimented with making different vegetable dishes with kale, various colors of beets and melon. At one of the farmer’s market, they saw quails and the vendor had quail eggs to buy. My 8 year old was excited to use the quail eggs as she had seen these videos on You Tube with tiny cooking. She made a tiny cake, which she cooked over a candle flame.

Quial eggs

For schooling, we experimented with different types of slime and gloop recipes. http://www.learning4kids.net/2012/05/02/how-to-make-gloop/  I used tapioca starch as that’s what I had on hand.

The one slime recipe that they prefer is one we made at a little library in a tiny town in north Georgia in June while we camped there. It was on a rainy day and perfect for getting out of the cramped RV space. This one is the same recipe you may try out: http://www.ssww.com/blog/how-to-make-slime-a-safer-recipe-for-kids/

Today we will be trying out floam(yes, still trying out these sensory things!). http://parentingchaos.com/diy-floam/ I’ll let you know how it turns out.

I also purchased an online cooking course for the children. It has been great so far. Here is what I bought: https://kidscookrealfood.com/open/, if you’d like to check it out for your children. There’s beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses. I like that she incorporates a true lesson into each video. My girls have had fun cooking and learning new skills. Check out my IG page for pictures of them showing off their skills.

It was a fun month in Kentucky visiting with family and friends. It’s always sad to leave, but knowing we are able to come back to visit anytime, is great!

We are back in Tennessee now where we have a “base camp”(which is full-hookups) set up on my parent’s property. This has been nice to have so we don’t have to continuously book out RV campsites. It’s nice to visit friends and family around here too!

It does always take us a week or so to get back in the groove it seems. I started off using an online program for the girls for their schooling at home called, https://allinonehomeschool.com/, but I have been recently looking into Charlotte Mason. This is our first full year of schooling at home, so it is kind of a trial run on what works and what doesn’t for our family. We so far have been incorporating unschooling and some structured schooling. With different learning styles in both older girls, I am trying to see how best to “teach” them.

If you school at home, what have you found to work best for your family?

I am also in the midst of a six week health coach training through Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. I will be done in two weeks! Check it out, if you want to learn more: https://www.drsearswellnessinstitute.org/health-coach-certification/

Well folks, that’s all for today and I will be writing more, especially after I’m done with this training. Thanks for reading and I am thankful for all my readers!

 

 

 

 

Why Some Women Experience Cravings During Pregnancy

It is unknown for sure why some women experience cravings during pregnancy. It is most likely due to shifts in hormones. Some women may even crave non-food items such as, dirt, clay, ice, laundry starch, or coffee grounds, which is called pica. These cravings should be discussed with the pregnant woman’s care provider.

 

 

craving chocolate pregnancy

 

It has been noted that cravings are particularly prevalent in eating and weight-related issues. Interestingly, food cravings are seen most commonly in North Americans.

 

Cravings in pregnancy are seen mostly in the first trimester of pregnancy and taper off toward the second trimester. Along with cravings, food and smell aversions may happen at this time.

 

Some hypothesis for why some women crave certain items during pregnancy may point to a biological nature of preserving the well-being of the fetus by which a women’s olfactory sensation and taste sensations are heightened during this time to prevent ingesting any toxic substances. Another is that she may be deficient in certain vitamins or minerals, such as commonly seen in the second trimester of iron deficiencies and craving sweets or chocolate. One last reason may be that the woman craves the pharmacologically active ingredients in certain foods.

 

Bringing awareness to a woman’s attitude and behavior toward her eating habits is the best way to help combat food cravings, at least for now, the studies suggest.

 

http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/cravings-during-pregnancy.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/

 

 

10 great blogs to read on the regular & podcasts to keep your brain stimulated on the daily

Workplace in my office with coffee

 

I wanted to share some blogs I enjoy reading and some podcasts I enjoy listening to.

The podcasts have been nice for me lately as I am able to listen to them while driving or doing housework.

What are some of your blogs or podcasts that you read/listen to on the regular?

Blogs:

 

Minimalism

http://nourishingminimalism.com/

http://www.thistinybluehouse.com/

https://www.becomingminimalist.com/

Health and Wellness

http://www.healthhomeandhappiness.com

Pregnancy

Natural. Healthy. Happy.

Spinning Babies: Comfort in pregnancy and birth

Life/family coach

New-Main

http://www.daniellelaporte.com/

 Podcasts:

http://www.danielvitalis.com/rewild-yourself-podcast/

Podcasts

http://budgetsandcents.com/

http://www.cohesivehome.com/podcast/

Home

 

The easiest, yummiest, Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa Meal to Make

best instant pot mexican quinoaI have joined the Instant Pot community since becoming a full time RV family. In the RV, there’s a stove, oven, and a microwave/convection oven. So why would I need something else to cook with you may ask? For one, I am not a big microwave fan and I have never cooked anything in a microwave/convection combo oven before, but I have used a pressure cooker and slow cooker for many years and feel comfortable with those. Also, the oven and stove run off a LP tank and we have to have it filled. That means taking the 37 foot RV to somewhere to fill the tank which is not too bad, but still a bit of a hassle.

So, enter the Instant Pot.

The Instant Pot has saved me space in that I am able to use it for sauteing, pressure cooking, rice cooker, and slow cooking so far(there are several other functions, such as yogurt function, that I have yet to try, but want to!). It does not create much, if any, moisture when cooking, which is great in an RV.

So, on to my yummy, easy, mexican quinoa recipe I made! I was trying to use what I had already in my pantry and refrigeration, so this is how I came up with this dish.

Mexican Quinoa Instant Pot Dinner

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

1 onion, diced

1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced(I had mini colored bell peppers on hand and used about 6)

1 tomato, diced(or use 1 can diced tomatoes Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes, Diced, 14.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12))

1,4 oz can diced green chilis ( Ortega Diced Green Chiles, Mild, 4 Ounce (Pack of 12))

1 can black beans( Westbrae Natural Organic Black Beans, 15 Ounce Cans (Pack of 12))

1 can corn(Green Valley Organics Whole Kernel Supersweet Corn, 15 Ounce (Pack of 12)

1 cup quinoa(White Quinoa, 4lbs, USDA Organic by Anthony’s – Gluten Free & Non GMO)

1 1/2 cups water or broth(Frontier Broth Powder, Vegetable Flavored, 16 Ounce Bag), you’ll add this to the blended mixture to make up to 2 cups worth combined.

1/2 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend, 2.9 oz

1 teaspoon cumin(McCormick Gourmet Organic Cumin Ground, 1.5 oz)

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste(Redmond Real Salt, Ancient Fine Sea Salt, Unrefined Mineral Salt, 26 Ounce Pouch (2 Pack))

Method:

Saute the onion and bell pepper for a few minutes on the saute function in 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter. Add in the garlic, stir for one minute, add in tomato and saute for five minutes. Scrape the saute mixture into a blender. Add the green chilis to the blender along with the cumin, chile lime seasoning and salt and pepper. Let cool in blender while sauteing the sweet potatoes. Put sweet potato pieces into the Instant Pot on the saute function, adding oil as needed.   Saute for five minutes, or until slightly brown. Turn off Instant pot and add the quinoa(make sure to rinse the quinoa in a sieve first). Blend the mixture in the blender until smooth. Taste to see if more seasoning is needed. Put in enough water or broth to make 2 cups of liquid and pour into Instant pot and stir gently. Put the lid on the IP(instant pot) and press the rice button.

Serve with avocado, cilantro, fresh lime, sour cream, and cheese, if so desired.

*this post contains affiliate links that cost you nothing when clicked, but may help pay for this blog if they are clicked upon. 🙂

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Checking in on Progress(food journal)

How did you do with your food journal these past few weeks? If you didn’t get a chance to read about food journaling, check it out here, Why you need a food journal(free pdf!).

This is a good time to go over each day and analyze your intake. Is it what you thought it would be? Are there times you saw that you didn’t eat as healthy as you should’ve? What was going on when you ate that way? Were you tired, stressed, bored?

Did you eat enough during the day? How was your water intake?

I would encourage you to try this activity again, this time really thinking about how you are feeling before, during and after eating. It is a good time to make sure you’re eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Many times, we don’t realize that some days, we had not eaten any vegetables at all.

If you feel that you need help with your daily eating habits, please reach out to me so that we can get you on the right track. We will most likely never have a day where we ate perfectly healthy.

For instance, today, my nine year old daughter wanted to make chocolate chip cookies. Then she wanted me to first try the cookie dough and then a cookie. I did eat a small spoonful of cookie dough and one of her cookies. They were delicious! It made her so happy to see me enjoying what she made. Never feel that you have failed eating healthy just because you ate a cookie or six(been there)! It is part of life to enjoy what we eat, but also be cognizant of eating healthy overall.

 

food journal diet weightloss

Why you need a food journal(free pdf!)

Have you ever wondered if a food journal might help you with your health and wellness journey? Do you have unexplained symptoms such as headaches, bloating, fatigue, or nausea? Do you feel like you have been dieting and watching what you eat, but still are not losing the weight? If any of these apply to you, a food journal will most definitely help you! By writing down what you eat and drink everyday for a couple weeks, along with how you feel after eating, you will many times, pinpoint where you are struggling diet-wise or find foods that cause those unexplained symptoms. When I was practicing midwifery, I would always give my clients a handout to chart their food and water intake for the first month and bring it back to me at their next prenatal visit. Many times, the women would be amazed at what they ate, what their diet was lacking, or even discover they were not eating enough. It is also a great way to make sure you are drinking enough water. Many of us go about each day dehydrated. It’s amazing how much better our bodies work when hydrated properly.

I have a free printable Food Journal page for you to give it a try. This is just one easy method. If you like this printable, you may print multiples and hole punch them to put in a 3 ring binder to keep it all together so as to see your progress. Or, you could get a notepad, small notebook, jot it into the notes section on your device as well, whatever is easiest for you!

I will write more in another blog post about using your food journal to help you reach or maintain your health and wellness goals. Happy food journal-ling!

 

Our very first week of fulltiming

On Saturday, March 25th, my husband and I picked up our new home on wheels, a 37 foot Fleetwood Bounder.  Then the very next day, we packed it up(sort of), and headed up to Kentucky where my husband, Brent, was getting back surgery. It was a whirlwind and I was searching through boxes marked “RV” trying to find a few essential for our stay in Kentucky. We were planning to only stay a week and then head down to Louisiana to visit family, but after Brent’s surgery this past wednesday, the doctor advised that we sit tight for at least a couple of weeks.

We’ve been parked in a friend’s driveway(they live on a nice piece of land) and are hooked up to power and water for the past week due to nearby campsites not being open until the first of April. Now we are stuck here for a bit due to me having never driven this huge rig and Brent unable to drive.

The children have enjoyed the past week staying in our new home. My seven year old says we’ve made it all “nice and cozy.” The three year old comments most every morning, “We slept in the RV!”

We had to get a foam mattress topper for the master bed as the mattress that came in it is not the most comfortable one. Later on, we want to replace the mattress and put the foam topper on top of the bunk that lowers over the front seats as that one is extremely thin.

Iliana, the nine year old, sleeps in the drop down bunk, Emme, the seven year old, sleeps in the top bunk and Avery, the three year old, is on the bottom bunk.

The only thing with being parked in someone’s driveway, is that we aren’t truly getting to experience living in the RV fulltime. The family tends to gravitate toward the house. Which I know the kids like it since there’s “new to them” toys in there. I know we will soon enough get to experience this new life.

Also, I haven’t had a chance to cook a full meal in the RV yet. I have only used the microwave in it. The other meals have been at our friend’s, family or restaurants. Some of the reason is due to Brent not able to do much of anything but rest.

It has been a challenge finding where to put everything inside of the RV. I have to get creative on where to store items. While we are parked, the front dash makes a great storage shelf, haha! I am also utilizing the storage bays underneath the RV. That is where some “extra” items are and also my broom and dustpan.

Yesterday, I had a major fail being a newbie owner of an RV. I needed to empty the grey tank, which is all the sink and shower waste. The black tank is the one that collects the toilet waste. When trying to connect the hose to the drain on the RV, I unscrewed the cap, only to have a flood of the most foul liquid ever splash out and onto me! The black tank valve was for some reason, open! I will never, ever forget to check that valve now that I know what will happen if it’s not pushed in! As a mom and a midwife, I have had plenty of nasty stuff splashed in me, but this, by far, was the worst.

In a nutshell, this is some highlights of our first week fulltiming in an RV. I am sure there will be more to learn and I will continue to keep you updated on what’s happening in our mobile lives!

 

*as you can see in the photo, we have a lot of stuff stored on the dash of the rv, but I have been able to organize that space more since this picture was taken.

 

Dreaming of small spaces and slight panic over said small spaces

Hello all! I have been MIA for the last few weeks due to selling our sticks and bricks home, packing it all up and heading out to Tennessee to visit family. We also purchased our new home on wheels this past weekend, but won’t get possession of it until the end of this week due to my husband’s travel schedule. We will also need to install a towing apparatus to the car to tow it behind the RV before bringing it off the lot.

I am so excited to get our RV to start getting our things organized in it. Like most RVs, it is tight on space so I know I will need to go through the boxes I had originally labeled “rv” when packing. As we walked through the RV this past Friday, I truly realized how little of space it had to store items. I know I will need to parr down my pots and pans. I already packed up my pressure cooker and slow cooker, in hopes of getting an Instapot, since it will narrow down my items as it has many functions in one pot.

I am happy that there’s a full-sized refrigerator in it and a tiny pantry area next to it. We also have a convection oven/microwave and a small oven with burners.

The children’s clothing is another concern for me to find space to keep them. There’s two small drawers under the bunk beds and then one of the bathrooms has quite a bit of cabinets, so I’m hoping to fit three little girls’ clothing in those two areas, wish me luck!

We have been staying at my parent’s place and enjoying catching up with family this past week and a half. My youngest is turning three in two days, but we celebrated her birthday this yesterday as her father had to travel this week and would miss her real birthday.

We got her a bike and she loves it. Our plan is for my husband and I to get bicycles so that we are able to bike together as a family. I know it will be slow going with a three year old, so I might wnd up getting a seat on mine for her to ride along.

In a couple weeks my husband, Brent, will be under-going surgery for his ruptured disc in hopes that he will be finally free of pain and enjoy being more active again.

We do miss the friends we made in Kentucky and the family that is still there, but we will be back up there for his surgery, so hopefully we will be able to say “hello” to some. I am sure we will make our way up that way often a we travel about.

We are all excited to start this new journey. Here is a picture of my seven year old who drew our RV today.