Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spending Freeze

Our life is a little bit crazy right now.  My husband is changing jobs and that means we will be without a solid paycheck for a little over a month... a challenge was issued that I needed to not spend unless necessary and try to limit my driving to save on fuel and the chance of some dumbass sliding into me in the snow!  If you know me at all you know the following... My stress relief consists of the following... letting Ally (my car) air our her twin turbos on back country roads and mindlessly wandering around TJ Max and Target... I CANNOT avoid the Target clearance sections (seriously it is a problem)... I have fears about not having enough money and so I "squirrel away" certain household items (the clearance section helps fuel my hoarding collecting)... I am also not afraid of hard work or a challenge and I am very competitive in some ways (mostly with myself).

I have not given up on my new monthly goals and Care is still my word for this month, it has just taken on some new meanings for me... I need to care for my family in the best ways I possibly can for the next little bit... I need to care enough about all of our health and nutrition to make sure that they have good healthy meals and a clean living environment.  I need to care about our financial health and NOT BUY TARGET CLEARANCE ITEMS, this means I need to use up what I have hoarded. 

I am trying to follow the example of fellow blogger Jen of Balancing Beauty and Bedlam who talks about her annual month long no spend kitchen challenge.  To do this I have done the following:

1.  Cleaned out and organized my pantry and freezer
2.  Taken an inventory of what is there and what meals I can easily make with what I have
3.  Set aside a set amount of money to do one final shop before the spending freeze (I don't have a deep freeze so my meat stash was not up to the task of carrying us through)
4.  Set aside a set amount of cash for purchasing dairy, fruits and veggies during this time
5.  Composed a list of things I can do for stress relief instead of going on drives and shopping... this is really important because I NEED to break this horrible clearance habit... just because a lipstick only cost me a $1.67 doesn't mean that I needed it or that it doesn't make a little nick in my bank account.

Pantry Cleaning and Organization... I told you I have a problem

Today is Day One... I have spent the last week preparing for this.

This is a big change for my husband and involves a family business, needless to say there are hurt feelings and heartache happening... if you could send positive thoughts and prayers our way we would truly appreciate them.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Slap Yo' Mama Good Cookies

PB&J Bars
Just stopping in with a recipe this morning... but this is no run of the mill recipe this one is my own personal twist on lactation cookies and it is slap yo' mama delicious... my picky husband begs me to make these* weekly and our dogs will go to great lengths to get ahold of these mouthwatering bars!

Peanut Butter and Oat Lactation Bars
1 1/4 cups Unbleached flour
1 cups Whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups Old fashion oats
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking soda
3/4 tsp Baking powder
2 rounded tbsp. Brewer's Yeast (I buy the "debittered" at Vitamin Cottage)
1/3 cup Flaxseed meal
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp. warm water
3/4 cup Coconut oil (I use refined as it doesn't taste like coconut)
2 firmly packed cups Brown Sugar
3/4 cups Peanut butter
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
- Grease a 9x13 pan (or use parchment paper to line it)
- Mix flaxseed meal and water together in a small bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes
- Combine flours, oats, baking soda, salt, baking powder and brewer's yeast in a large bowl
- Combine coconut oil and brown sugar in the bowl of a mixer and cream together, when they are well combined at in peanut butter, egg, vanilla and flax seed mixture
- Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet and only mix until combined
- The batter will be super thick, dump into the pan and press out flat with your hand
Bake for 25-35 minutes until it is lightly browned (baking time varies depending upon what you add in)
Let cool in pan and then cut into bars!
Enjoy 3 or more per day to boost milk production if breastfeeding!

Yummy add-ins
PB&J Bars - Follow the recipe above but divide the dough in half and pat only half of it into the bottom of the pan.  Next spread 1 1/2 cups of your favorite jam over the dough (if you heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds it is easy to spread)  then crumble the rest of the dough over the top without pressing down.  This variation takes the longest to bake! *These are the ones my family begs me for!
Chocolate Chip - simply sprinkle onto the batter before you press it into the pan... my favorite are the mini dairy free variety from Whole Foods, they just seem more chocolaty to me.
Dark Chocolate & Pecans - 1 cup of dark chocolate chips & 1/2 cup chopped pecans sprinkled onto the batter before you press it into the pan
Cranberry & White Chocolate - 1 cup of craisins & 1 cup of white chocolate chips (add in pecans too if you enjoy them)

NOTE TO HUSBANDS:  These will NOT make you lactate... they are just healthy and the combo of flax, oats and brewers yeast boosts the milk production of breastfeeding mamas!  The flax is awesome for your heart health with Omega-3s and brewer's yeast contains B vitamins and protein.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Choices, New Blog

Yeah, yeah, I know this blog title is really close to my old one but I have had so much trouble connecting it with my new accounts that I decided to take that as a sign that I should start over... clean slate and all that. 

Speaking of clean slates.. this is a whole new year!!! I am truly excited about this.  I'm not sure why it is making me so giddy, I have never felt this way about a new year before but this time around seems different, special in a way.  It may be that I'm older, it may be that I don't care any more what others think, it may be because the whole year is just wide open... there is no specific date that I am waiting for like last year and the arrival of my sweet Little Bean... so the year seems like a beautiful blank canvas stretching out before me!

Each new year, for many years now, I have chosen a word for my year... the One Little Word concept that is so popular with creative types like myself... for the past few weeks I have been mulling over what my word was going to be this year.  I just couldn't settle on one that encompassed all I want to accomplish/ hold myself accountable to do, then I was inspired by my friend Arleigh (who is always inspiring me or teaching me new things, I am really very fortunate to count her as one of my dearest friends).  Arleigh does not set goals for the whole year, she sets goals for each month.  This got me to thinking and I decided that I wanted to pick a word for each month.  I would choose it before the month began and write down what exactly that meant word was to encompass for the month.  I have even chosen my first few words!  Then yesterday morning it dawned on me that my word to encompass my whole year was Choose... for me this means the following:

I will choose what I want for myself.  This means that no one else's bad mood, anger, or rudeness is going to dictate what I do or how I approach my day.  I will choose not to live to please others but live to make my life the best it can be... even if that means pissing people off sometimes.

I will choose how I want to approach each new situation.  This means that if I feel afraid I will remind myself that I get the choice of how this effects me and that I will not let the fear stop me from making the right choice for me.

I will choose how I respond to others.  This means that I will not sheepishly sit by and give others the power to dictate my mood with their mood... I will say what I feel and I will own who I am.  I will respond to others with honesty and choose kindness, fairness, and empathy and compassion if I want to... If the situation dictates that I want to choose anger, blunt honesty and brute force then I will do that to!  No matter what I will own my response.

Basically, I will choose to live consciously and take full accountability for all outcomes from my choices!

Okay, so that is my OLW... my MOWL for January is going to be Care.  This means that I will take care of things that I tend to neglect the most... number one being myself and number two being my home. 

In regards to self care I will choose to take the time to care for my insides with healthy nutritious meals and proper hydration, regular self massage to promote better healing for my abdomen, and allow myself to rest when my body cries out for it.  I will choose to take care of my external self with regular exercise, grooming and beautification (I do love to do my makeup and really any style goes with my SAHM yoga pants).  I will choose take care of my mental and emotional self by allowing myself to feel, write, release, and create.

When it comes to caring for my home I am going to establish a regular weekly cleaning routine and try choose to stick to it.  Try really hard Choose to not just write it down and feel good about it for a week before I realize that I haven't done most of it... but try choose to follow it daily by making myself accountable here on the blog by posting it for all the world to see and then blogging about how I am choosing to do it and any new tips or tricks I have discovered... I already have a few homemade things to share in this regard.

Okay, that's it for now... I am choosing to go do what I said I would do! I will leave you with my new favorite quote from the infinitely wise Todd Chrisley (totally my new favorite show) "Stand up and speak your mind. If you piss the world off, they will get over it. At least they will know where you stand."