Archives for posts with tag: food

So I have a recipe blog to post! Sorry for the double post today. I don’t do that too often. This just couldn’t wait!

I made a rather tasty sandwich for lunch. I have been having soup for lunch a lot lately. I was just kind of sick of it. But I don’t like to buy lunch meat because of the nitrates and sodium content. Sometimes I grill myself chicken breast but I just wasn’t feeling up to it. Jack also has been on a nap strike this week. So he was already up and whiny. He also barely slept a wink last night. He was up early as well. So with that being said and barely an hour long nap, I needed to think quick. I was also feeling particularly lazy and flat out exhausted.

Last week I made Cilantro Lime White Bean Hummus I found on Two Girls on the Go’s blog. I made zero changes. It is a perfectly tasty healthy recipe. I knew I had the ingredients to quick whip up another batch! So I did.

The recipe is:

1 (15 oz) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1 tsp. lime zest

1 Tbsp lime juice

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

 Combine beans, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice and garlic in your food processor and blend until mixed. With the processor on, stream in olive oil until desired consistency is reached (about 3 to 4 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with pita chips or bread.

I ate it last week with some cholesterol and salt free tortilla chips. It is yummy with bread as well.

So for lunch I decided to make it a sandwich. I had no idea how it would be. I was just grasping at straws and hoping it turned out yummy.

Here is what I did:

Made the hummus! mmmm

Spread some on two pieces of whole grain all natural Italian bread.

Cut up some English cucumber, arranged it on one piece of bread.

Cut up a radish did the same

Added a few pieces of spinach

Cut up a couple slices of tomato and placed it on the bread too! (do you see where I am going here? 😉 haha)

And then I had a sandwich! It was delightful! I nearly inhaled it. I stopped myself after eating one half to take a photo of the other half.

I was literally chewing the last bite of the first half as I snapped it.

It was dairy free and tasty. I loved it. I am going to make it again. I tried serving it to Jack but we all know how he has been feeling about food he doesn’t recognize. He was missing out. I even offered it to him as a dip with some carrots. No thanks momma just carrots please. (He doesn’t ask that nice in real life, just in my head)

I love how simple and easy this is to whip up. If you need a tasty healthy lunch or snack this is your answer! Enjoy!!!

I know a lot of my posts have been about toddler things lately. Not as many fitness ones. I promise I am still working out regularly. Still going to my Barre class. The one thing that has changed is I haven’t gone for a run in 2 weeks! YIKES! Part of that is the stomach issues I have been battling. Part is I have been enjoying the break from it. I was really pushing myself for a while with my runs. I was ready to try Wednesday and Thursday but it has been nonstop rain around here. Wednesday my hubby wanted to workout when he got home so I worked out in the morning. The elliptical has been my friend lately.

Anyway. Back to toddlerhood. Trust me, running around after a 27lb almost 16 month old is a workout too. Also, he is a huge momma’s boy, which means I am constantly picking him up and holding him. The child knows how to walk and enjoys running but he really loves snuggles with his momma.

I have been having some fun with lunches. I enjoy making shapes and scenes and creatures for him.

This one is a little older. I had spelled out Jack and he ate the C before I got the photo.

A little face. Don’t worry, he is welcomed to have more food if he is still hungry after this small amount 🙂

Apple/grape cars. Held together with peanut butter

Jack is obsessed with cars and vehicles in general. So I thought this would be fun for him to have cars to eat. I use all natural peanut butter. No added sugar, salt, or anything. Just roasted peanuts. It is YUMMY!

Two lanes of cars, driving past a forest

That was my intention with this scene. He thought the green apples were a bit tart so I switched to red delicious apples. Looking back I should have used cheese for the lane markers! Next time!

Teddy bear

These were teddy bear cheese sandwiches. Whole grain crackers with cheese in between. I used a small circle cookie cutter to make a perfect circle of cheese. The rest was just decorated with fruits. Jackson promptly took apart the bear and devoured the cheese! He also was a big fan of the strawberries. The previous day he had been all about grapes.

He is becoming more and more picky. Mostly he doesn’t like to try new things, especially if the texture feels weird in his hands. So I have been trying to have fun and make lunch time silly. When he saw the bear he got a huge smile. That made me happy.

I will continue to share our adventures in toddler lunchtime. I am not sure what I will create today, but I will create something! I have a set of 101 cookie cutters, the creativity is endless.


I have mentioned before I am somewhat of a crafty lady. I am probably down playing that a bit. If you ever saw my crafting area you would probably poop your pants. I have a lot of supplies. A LOT. I love to scrapbook, make cards, and I recently started making decorations for parties. That started with Jack’s party really. I have been scrapping and cardmaking since high school (so a long time har har har)

Yesterday we celebrated my best friend, her hubby, and their unborn baby boy. It was their baby shower! I am so excited for them and I love that little nugget to pieces already.

I made a few things to help celebrate their day.


I made 10 of these rain clouds. They really turned out super cute. I used my Cricut to make the rain drops. Those are white poofs from the party store and I used fishing line to hang the drops.


This was one of my favorite decorations. I am a little obsessed with banners this year. I really loved how the stripes and dark blue complimented one another. I was seriously in love as soon as the triangles were cut. Maybe I will have to make some to just hang in Jack’s room! haha Again I used my Cricut. Threaded it with some double faced white satin ribbon and voila!

Cupcake toppers

While I fancy myself something of a baker/chef as well as a fitness freak and crafty gal, I did not make these beautifully iced cupcakes. I made the umbrella and pinwheel toppers. I am also obsessed with pinwheels this year. Used the Cricut to cut them. Then I used glue dots to adhere the toothpicks to the back. I added a little gem to each one for a little dimension and pop.

Rattle cake pops

rattle cake pops

As I just mentioned I fancy myself a bit of a baker. Especially things like these, cake pops and cuppycakes! I have made cake pops a few times for parties and get togethers. Usually I stand them upright in a box with some flower foam and cover that in a colorful shred. This time I wanted to try something different and it really worked out well. I used glue dots again for the little poof balls on the top and double faced baby blue satin ribbon for the sticks. The cake was a blueish color as well. It wasn’t a striking blue. I learned my lesson with the last batch I made for a party. I did blue velvet. I make it from scratch. No boxed cake mix here. Well if you use the correct amount of food coloring in order to wash out the coco every person who takes a bite will have a blue mouth. Since I knew this would happen this time around I couldn’t in good conscious bring mouth dying cake pops to the baby shower! So they weren’t quite the blue inside I liked. It did look like a blue-brown which is the nursery colors. So there ya go!

The frosting is a cream cheese frosting. Mixed with white chips to help made it a harder shell. Light blue sprinkles. I wrapped some of the satin ribbon around the handle of my stand and then tied a big bow with the white satin ribbon. Just a small detail, but the details can really make things pop.

Fruit kebobs

I also brought some fruit kebobs with a Greek yogurt dip. My dear friend and momma to be, Jen, is much like me. I knew she would LOVE fruit kebobs and I was right. I didn’t try the dip (I am lactose intolerant and I have been making a huge effort to skip as much dairy as I can lately. I have been feeling better mostly from it) But the dip is Greek yogurt and honey. I was told it was really great! I did eat a few of the kebobs and I can tell you THOSE were great! I will definitely be making these instead of fruit salad from now on.

Dessert table

Here is the dessert table. It wasn’t quite done. In that box behind the cake pops is a beautiful canoli cake! A canoli with little canolis inside of it. I cannot take credit for all of the beautiful things on this table. Jen’s mom and sister also worked so hard to make this such a beautiful day. They did an amazing job!!! Also, ignore my Venti Passion tea lemonade (unsweetened lol). It is summer time, Starbucks iced teas are a staple in our family in the summer! mmmmm

Poopy diaper game mmmmm

I also brought a game with. The poopy diaper game. I played this at a shower in March and thought it was the funniest thing ever. You melt chocolate bars and put them in diapers. People have to guess what each diaper has. I made 6. I think 6 is a good number for this game. I used Milky way, Reese’s Peanut butter cups, Almond Joy, Rasinetes, York Peppermint Patty, and Snickers. Some of them looked like legitimate poop. Some people were really grossed out but some people really found it funny. My husband was one of the former. He couldn’t stand them on our counter yesterday morning. HA! I just think it is a welcomed changed from actual poopy diapers 😉 It was silly and fun and I recommend it. Super easy to make. I thought Jack’s diapers were too big at this point. He is in a size 4. They are huge. So I went and bought a pack of size 1. Only had to use the 6, so I gave the rest to the Momma to be. That I think is a double bonus for this game. You can NEVER have too many diapers. Lesson 1 I learned. That and wipes!

Best friends and soon we with both be momma’s to little boys!

She is seriously the most beautiful pregnant woman I have ever seen! She looks fantastic. She is all belly. I am so blessed to have her in my life. I am also so excited that we are going to be momma’s to little boys! Oh the adventures we will have together. Especially once they are old enough to play together! Jack loves babies so I know he is going to be stoked to meet his new friend.

I had such a lovely day celebrating 3 of the most wonderful people in the world! Congrats you two! That little boy is so loved already!!!!

Over the weekend I battled something nasty. My first ever bout with food poisoning. I went out to dinner Friday night to celebrate my future sister in law’s graduation from college. I enjoyed a few fish dishes. Seared Ahi Tuna as an appetizer and a grilled Cobia curry dish for my main meal. Carrot cake for dessert.

I am going to guess it was the Tuna. Who knows though. The very thought of sushi/sashimi, fish, or carrot cake makes me ill.

I went to bed shortly after 12. Happy as a clam. Did some reading until my eyes got heavy. I had my tea. Was looking forward to the next day. We were maybe going to get some wakeboarding in. I had barre in the morning. AND we had a date night planned.

I woke up shortly before 2 am with the most awful pain in my stomach. I had never felt that before. I was really confused. I am not a puker. I didn’t throw up once when preggo. As as matter of fact, until Saturday morning, I hadn’t thrown up since 2005. That was from too much champagne. I had been exposed to stomach viruses since then. Both of my boys have had a couple. But I managed to stay immune.

Then right around 2am on the dot all hell broke loose. I threw up. And it was a lot. I even woke up Jason. He came into the bathroom to check on me. He is a heavy sleeper and not one to jump out of bed (I have learned this through being parents together. haha I tend to hear Jack well before him) I didn’t even know how to throw up, if that makes sense. It had been so long I thought I was going to choke on it and die right there! I was thankful when Jason walked into the bathroom. I knew at least if I choked he could save me.

I won’t get into all the details because well that is unnecessary. We all know what food poisoning does to a person. I basically didn’t feel well again until yesterday. And I was still really tired yesterday.

I hadn’t worked out since Friday morning! That is insane for me. Yesterday I did some pilates in the late afternoon. I just wanted to do something. Not too vigorous but I knew I would feel better. Tonight I have barre. Tomorrow I MAY try to go for a run. But we will see how I am feeling. So far today I feel great.

We had an appointment for Jack’s 1st haircut on Sunday. I sucked it up and still took him. I had already rescheduled once and I figured we just needed to go. He did so awesome! He didn’t cry or scream or make her stop! We were so proud of our big boy. He looks like a little man.

buzz buzz

does it look good? tell me it looks good!

my little angel!

He looks SO much older with this haircut. I was hesitant to do it. But Jason really really wanted to get it cut. It was driving him nuts. It was kind of long in the back. When she asked us what we wanted I even let go of the reigns and said this is your show, go ahead and tell her. I thought he was going to look like a baby after the trim, since his hair was gone. NOPE I was way off. He looks so much more grown up with his clean cut. Sigh but then again he is growing up. Pushing 16 months and bright as ever. He is barely a baby anymore. He is definitely a toddler. But will always be my little baby.

I have been making an effort to eat more “clean” lately. The past few months really. I have been working on eliminating as much processed junk as possible. I wouldn’t say we were the household that ingested the most processed junk. I have been a healthy eater for many years. But you know in today’s world you are so inundated with processed things it can be hard to unconsciously not eat any processed products.

So I have made conscious effort to do so. It is still not perfect. But I am getting there. I know not everything below is necessarily “processed” really but I think that you can control what is in your food better if you make some small adjustments. Like calorie and sodium counts.

Here is what I have been doing successfully:

  • Making my own whole grain bread crumbs
  • Making my own salad dressings. I have made 3 myself. A balsamic one, cilantro-lime vinaigrette, and french dressing.
  • Making my own chicken nuggets. They are amazing and delicious! Even my hubby loves them.
  • Making my own cake batter, instead of just buying the box.
  • Making my own taco, chili, and all other seasonings. Instead of buying those handy little packets. It is so easy to just do it yourself. My spice cabinet is bursting at the seams with all different spices I throw together to make delicious concoctions.
  • I have been using fresh fruits for juices instead of buying a container of it to mix in recipes.
  • Made my own granola. Was supposed to be bars but it ended up breaking and turned into regular granola.
  • I never ever buy frozen or boxed meals! I never even put it in my cart. I have been making a huge effort to cook most nights. We do order pizza from time to time. Sometimes I make my own pizza. But we do love love love pizza in this house and a good pizza from a good restaurant often hits the spot. Hey, ya gotta live a little!
  • Made my own frozen dark chocolate covered bananas.
  • I have been paying a great deal of attention to nutrition labels. I have been doing that for years but I scrutinize it even more now. It is a good thing my little man is patient eating his blueberries at the grocery store! Reduced fat, low fat, etc is not always better for you! Sometimes the sodium and sugar skyrockets. Pay attention to that. Some fat is good for you. Like with everything moderation is key. Read the back, not the front!
  • Buy an all natural whole grain bread. Made at a Chicago bakery. There are just a handful of ingredients in it. I can name and pronounce them all. I know what they are. No preservatives in it!
  • Use all natural peanut butter and jelly.
  • I keep my eyes open for all things that are truly natural and where I can pronounce the ingredients.

I think that is a majority of what I have been doing as of late. There may be more I am forgetting but you get the idea. It is a lifestyle change in many ways. Sometimes it requires a bit more work, but I love to cook and really I feel better knowing where my food comes from. Knowing what is really in it. I am going to continue to find different ways to add to that list.

I think I will continue to blog and I will share recipes and things I find or come up with that have been taste approved. I truly love to share healthy and tasty food options with everyone I know.

Have you ever had one of those days where you just had no desire to work out? I had one of those yesterday. I mean I wanted to workout because I always want to get one in. But when it came down to actually doing it I struggled. I tried a dvd and I found it boring and repetitive. I turned it off halfway through. It was annoying me and it just wasn’t fun! So then I tried to do some pilates and I got through about 3/4 of that workout. I probably did about 20 minutes total of workout. It wasn’t my best effort though. I finally just stopped and decided to shower.

I didn’t go for a run because it was dreary out and rainy. I could have but then Jackson woke up late and only because I went and got him up. We had to be at a hotel at 12 to look at the room there for his birthday party.

I don’t think I will be working out this morning. I definitely won’t be going for a run. We have something being delivered between 8-11 so I need to get in the shower soon and at least be showered before 8. If not, I possibly cannot take on until after 11! yikes!

We may go for a run later in the day. If I am feeling more motivated. It seems that there was an ultimate reason. The lovely monthly gift has returned. This is the first time since I got pregnant! April 2010 was the last time. I was a little shocked this  morning when I woke up. I guess my laziness yesterday is well explained. Well I was only lazy with exercise. I did an incredible amount of stuff.

It was international talk like a pirate day. So Jack and I dressed up like pirates. We watched one of his favorite shows Jake and the Neverland pirates. It was a lot of fun!

Cap'n Jack

A couple of silly pirates

Then we went to the hotel to look at the room. I like it a lot. I think we are going to use it.

After that we went right to the grocery store. Did you know there is a shortage of canned pumpkin? It has been this way since 2 weeks before Christmas last year! I learned this while looking for some for a new pasta recipe. I spoke to the manager and he filled me in. Just a little piece of info in case you’re a big pumpkin recipe family this fall!

I reorganized and cleaned out our pantry. That was much needed and well over due! It looks so nice now.

I spent 2 hours cooking/preparing food for Jackson. It took that long because I had to keep stopping to do things with him. He wanted me to hold him or this or that. I kept telling him “I promise momma isn’t just sitting around doing nothing, I am making you lots of yummy food!” I  made some chicken for him for the first time. He was not a happy camper when he ate it. It was no cheese experience!

Then I started our dinner. My healthy take on Chicken Cordon Bleu, with sweet corn, and baked sweet potatoes.

In between starting our dinner and finishing his food we sat on the couch and cuddled. It felt great. He watched the end of a show of his while I rested my body and eyes. Then when that was over we just goofed around together. Playing with his monitor, my camera, the remote, a paper plate, and one of his little play balls. The things kids love to play with!

So while my exercise was ehhh at best the rest of my day was very productive.

Yesterday I made my very first two batches of baby food! I am in love with this process. It was so easy. I think it took at most 30 minutes of my time and now I have enough food for many days.

I decided to purchase the Baby Bullet system. I liked it because of how organized it is. For me, anything with feeding my son has to be organized. I track the times on the Baby Connect application on my iPhone and iPad he eats and for how long every single time I nurse him. I have been doing this day in and day out for 18 weeks! I ordered the Medela Breastmilk Labeling and Storage System for when I do actually pump. I even ordered extra labeling lids. I am obsessed with keeping it organized. If you know me, I tend to be more of a person who works best in chaos. I scrapbook, for example, and the only thing I keep entirely organized are my brads. When I work, it is like a tornado came through. So for me to be utterly obsessed with organizing things is definitely a new trait I have developed as a mom. A good trait though. This photo shows the dial that you turn to make what day of the month you created the food on. You should not keep food longer than 30 days in the freezer and 3 days in the refrigerator. These cups can be refrigerated or frozen.

So when I was doing research the Baby Bullet just stuck out to me. I had received a baby food blender as a gift at my shower. This led me to go back and forth on what I should do. I HAD something to blend food already. Should I spend money on this system? What do I do with the extra blender now? Is this wasteful? I really wanted to make my own rice cereal as well as fruit and veggie purees. The Baby Bullet comes with a milling blade, the other blender I have does not. The system comes with all of this organizational stuff. I still had to purchase several more things for the blender I already had. They had a system too, but it all came separate. I decided to go with the Bullet. I am still not sure what I am going to do with my extra blender. I searched to see if I still had the receipt but I did not find it. I could have gotten store credit at least.

Now that I have taken the plunge, I do not plan to go back. I had a BLAST making Jack’s food yesterday. I had started him on a rice cereal that I bought. Against my original wishes. I found an organic one with the fewest ingredients possible. When we were ready to start him I hadn’t received the Baby Bullet yet. The recipes I found online for rice cereal seemed like rice cereal was complicated. That it didn’t store well. The recipe book in the Baby Bullet was the opposite. It made it seem easy peazy lemon squeezy! Yesterday I bought whole grain brown rice and milled and made my own baby rice cereal. I cannot emphasize enough how simple this was. We will see tonight how well it stored overnight.

I filled up enough jars for the next 3 days and then I froze the rest of the rice cereal. I may not use all of the rice cereal but it is no big deal if I don’t.

Since it had been 4 days since he was introduced to rice I also pureed some banana for him. I couldn’t wait to introduce some fruits to him. The bananas were like nothing. I measure out the water, 1/4 cup, and one banana. Placed it in the blender and voila! We had banana puree. Not all fruits/veggies can be done raw. But banana and avocado can.

It was interesting to see his face. He hasn’t big a huge fan of this new texture in his mouth overall. So he made his stink face at first, but then realized it was a little sweet this time and his expression was just priceless. Kind of like, huh, this is different…not terrible, still weird, but a bit better! I decided to taste it. After all it was just brown rice and banana and water. It was actually kind of good. To me it seemed like a banana applesauce texture. It was sweet and not awful! The bowl is a photo of the mixture together. He made some usual stink faces, but he wasn’t all miserable. I got some smiles out of him. He swallowed a lot, but still spit some out. It is an adventure. I am enjoying teaching him how to eat. He has to learn, just like I am learning how to make all of his food.

I never considered myself someone obsessed with all-natural things. But here I am, breastfeeding my son. The thought of putting formula in his body makes ME gag, and I am not the one who has to ingest it. The thought of processed baby food gives me the same reaction. I cannot explain why I am so against giving him these things. When I was formula fed and given jarred baby food. I am fine. A smart healthy girl! I also was never obsessed with organization, as I previously stated. Now I find myself consumed by both of these things when it comes to Jackson. An organized hippie, if you will. And I wouldn’t change a darn thing!

So here is to my newest adventure. I have conquered breastfeeding. I was determined to do that while pregnant. I was also determined to make my own baby food. I have achieved my first goal and I am onto goal number two. I do not plan to fail. We are off to a great start. I cannot fully explain the joy I get from doing these things for him. He doesn’t understand yet, and likely wont until he is an adult and looks back on these times. That is fine. Being a mom is all about selfless acts. You may never be thanked for them verbally. I do get a perfect little face buried in my neck when I hold him to my shoulder, I do get “big boy smiles” when I ask for them, I do get a baby who just wants to be held by me and me alone sometimes, I do get big blue eyes that look up at me after a feeding and then a silly grin spread across a precious little face. And a million other affectionate acts. THOSE are all the thanks I need for the billion little things I do day in and day out.

I came across this WebMD blog post today. It is about Greek Yogurt. I LOVE the stuff. I have fully eliminated sour cream from our diet and I have substituted it with plain non fat Greek yogurt.

So reading this blog about how some Greek yogurt is not as “healthy” as it appears to be caught my attention. She explains that she grabbed it on the go only to later realize it actually had saturated fat in it. This company jumped on the healthy Greek yogurt bandwagon, but really it wasn’t as healthy as many are.

Her point overall was excellent, READ THE NUTRITION LABEL. I spend a great deal of time reading labels and comparing items when I grocery shop. I have been doing this for a couple years. Companies can get away with certain branding on their packaging. Just because something claims to be a certain way, does not mean that it is good for you!

If I want to shop correctly, I cannot go with my hubby, because I DO spend so much time reading and comparing. He gets a tad impatient with me. However, I have noticed at home, that he now does that too if I switch something up. He even compared a strawberry Greek yogurt to the regular strawberry yogurt I used to buy for him. So at least I am rubbing off on him at home.

If something claims to be Low fat, light, reduced, etc I suggest reading the nutrition label and comparing it with its supposed unhealthy regular counterpart. Sometimes the light option will overall be a better choice. Sometimes the sodium amount skyrockets to give that reduced or light product some more flavor, so that it doesn’t totally suck. You have to consider what is important to you and your diet (by diet I mean eating lifestyle, not a “diet” program) Personally I prefer to eat a lower sodium diet. I also eat a lot of fiber. So for me two important elements are the sodium and fiber contents in products I consume. We are supposed to consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. Most Americans consume much more than that. Many tasty foods have more than that in one serving! So paying attention to the label can be helpful.

Look for:

  • The serving size.
  • How many servings are in a package.
  • Calories per serving. The former point is important because even a small package of cookies can have “100 calories” but if there are 7 servings in the package and you eat the whole thing, you are consuming 700 calories. A little extreme of an example, but you get my point.
  • Calories from fat. Not all fats are unhealthy. Remember that. Trans fats are no good for you. But Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats have health benefits.
  • Sodium per serving.
  • Cholesterol per serving.
  • Sugar per serving.
  • The amount of nutrients in the product. Such as, fiber, vitamins, calcium, iron etc. The higher these amounts, the more nutritious the product is.
  • Ingredients, listed from most abundant to the least in the product. For example, a product can claim to be “whole grain” but there are degrees of whole grain. If you want to get the best benefits from whole grain, the first ingredient listed should be a whole grain flour, grain, etc. If the first ingredient is a refined flour product and there is a whole grain listed a few ingredients in, it really isn’t the most beneficial whole grain product. I think I will do another post on this some other time, a bit more in-depth.

An example from the FDA:

This was actually one of my favorite topics in my Nutrition class. It is such an easy thing to pick up and pay attention to. A very small step in a healthy lifestyle. It is one of the easiest ways to watch what you are eating. I wish that more people were aware of this very easy action. This is just a simple overview. I felt like sharing how important I think reading the nutrition label is. I wish more people were aware of how easy it is to integrate this healthy habit into their life. The FDA site I linked to offers a much more in depth explanation. They break it down well and I think it is easy to understand.

Happy healthy reading!