Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

This sure was an eventful Christmas Eve day in the kitchen. I am just sitting down relaxing since 0700 this morning, 20 hours ago.

I am rather tired, but I do want to elaborate on a few things possibly tomorrow. I am just hoping the girls don't wake up too early in the morning. I have been burning the candle on both ends and am now coming down with bronchitis.

Hope you enjoy your Christmas Day. 

Good night to all and to all a good night.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Vegan Sugar?

Did you know there was vegan sugar? I just discovered that today. I am not a vegan, but it was cheaper than the organic pure cane sugar I've been buying. Who would have thought this since cane and beets are plants?

There was an associate at Whole Foods that I asked why this was vegan. I was really surprised by the answer. When sugar is made, bone char is used. According to Whole Foods' website, "Not all sugar is created equal. Our vegan cane sugar is made without the process of bone char making it 100% suitable for vegetarians and vegans."

I am glad I know now that sure is processed with cow bones. After doing a little research, it seems that there is a charcoal filtering process making sugar and this is where the cow bones come in. The bone char (charred cow bones) is then used as the charcoal filter.

I guess this won't really make a difference, but it is a surprising discovery. 

Cooking Marathon

Let the cooking marathon begin! I am officially on the wire for getting all my cooking deadlines completed. I got up at 06:00 this morning and got my kitchen all sparkly clean. Then the cooking began.

Is is now 09:53 and I only have a champagne vinaigrettewhole wheat honey pound cake and chocolate chip cookies (I used maple syrup instead of sugar) completed. This isn't very good. My internet connection was out for a few hours and I had no access to my recipes. We are so dependent on technology. One little foul-up like an internet connection out and we are disabled.

Finally the internet is now working. I have the carrot souffle in progress and will tackle another dish soon. I thought the girls would be excited about helping, but hey have no interest. They are officially on winter break and in TV mode (they watch little to no television during the school week, therefore this is all they want to do).

Well, off to cooking! Happy day to you and yours.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wind Blown

Happy Winter! Today sure is a blustery cold winter day. I am not complaining, it is just that we are not used to cold winter days like this. Even though it is only 43℉, that cool north wind blowing feels like it is about 30℉.

Yesterday the weather wreaked havoc in our area from the wind. There was an 18-wheeler carrying part of a mobile home that literally got wind swept right off the truck bed causing the shut down of I-10 in Slidell. In addition, there were many other incidences wind related like electricity outages, trees down, fences down, and other miscellaneous events.

My favorite movie-like event happened to me. I went shopping around 2:30 when the wind was in full force. As I was walking from one shop to the next, the wind literally picked me up. I was trying to hold on to a nearby car, but the wind got me. It was a true feat just to walk from point A to point B. It was CRAZY!

Stay warm!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Feeling a Little Green

I was about to get to bed and I hear crying. When I get in there CG is covered in vomit.  If there is one thing I can't stand, it is vomit. It was the most vile thing.

Despite my thought of the bodily fluid in question, I got my little sweet pea cleaned up, hair washed, teeth brushed, and changed. Then she decided she wants her hair blow dried. At this point it is 12:30 and I was getting her bed ready. I hear crying again and all over my sofa this time.

Oh goodness! I just don't understand what's going on with her. No one else in the house is sick. She's been feeling fine except those few moments when she was upchucking. Well, I got the air mattress ready for her in my room.

One o'clock and she's going at it again. I feel so sad for my little one. We are going for clean up number three now.

The night is getting longer and longer and the morning is getting closer and closer.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Eve Menu

Here's my menu for Christmas Eve dinner. I feel like I need to add a few more veggies or sides, but for the most part this is it. Do you think this is enough for 40-50 people? Today will be my shopping day and am feeling overwhelmed. I have done this before and not sure why I'm feeling so anxious. I wonder if it's because I am going the whole food organic route this time.

Assorted Nuts/Fruit/Cheese Tray
Pesto Cream Cheese Bake
Holiday Shrimp
Nutty Date Ball

Red and White Salad with a Champagne Vinaigrette
Artichoke Oregano Antipasto

Carrot Souffle
Hot Buttered Cauliflower Puree
Wild Rice Casserole

Main Course
Roasted Turkey Breast
Slow Cooked Pork Loin
Baked Chicken or Roasted Beef

Pecan Pie
Apple or Pear Tarts
Lemon Basil Sorbet

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Shout Out

Is there anybody out there? Just wondering if anyone reads my blog. Just curious, you know.

Do me a favor. In the comments section, let me know if anyone is there. Leave a comment...anything, say hello, where you are reading from, if my blog really sucks. I just want to know if anyone is there on the other end. Feel free to leave a comment anonymous, just leave something.

Send me a shout out!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Can you say overwhelmed! That is how I am feeling right now. I have six days to plan and prepare a meal for about 50 people on Christmas Eve, prepare one dish for Christmas Day, get everything ready for Christmas, decorate and sanitize our house, and pack for a ski trip. Oh and work throughout the week, too.

I planned on going grocery shopping on Sunday, but it never happened. I mostly know what I'm cooking, but I don't have my list together. I just have to do it and get it done. I thought to let everyone bring something, but I want to be able to eat, too. I have been getting stomach aches and nausea when eating out regardless where it is. So, I thought I would save myself a few tummy aches and add a bit more stress to my life.

I just need to remember to think good happy thoughts when I am getting stressed out preparing everything from scratch and unprocessed.

I may not be around much in the next few weeks because of all the holiday excitement. Have yourself a great holiday and stay safe!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Power of Food

Food is a powerful source of fuel. This fuel can be good or bad. I have been, for the most part, processed-free since October 1, 2012. I have been able to see a clear difference in my overall wellbeing, mood, less fatigued, and just out right feel better.

Now this is the part where I show you how profound the effect food has on our bodies.  The past two weeks I've been in situations of fasting or eating what everyone else is eating. My mother cooked a "special" dinner for us to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. Then a few days later we went out to dinner at a restaurant. Therefore, I ate what was available. Actually we dined out 3 times in 2 weeks + my mom's dinner.

The outcome is very moody and irritable. Since I went processed-free, my mood has been even keel without any outbursts. That's not the case right now. Since last Saturday I have been so irritable and moody. At first I thought maybe it was hormonal, but this has not been an issue over the last 3 months. I am really convinced it is the food. My kids are bearing the brunt of the situation because they are setting me off for the most random and tedious things. I truly need to apologize to them for my voice raising. They noticed something is just not right with me, too.

Some of the foods I ate which I normally wouldn't are white processed flour, white processed sugar, processed cornmeal, bread, and several other items which I know are GMO. Don't think I am nuts. I know these foods are affecting me in such a way.

My big challenge is the role of hostess for my in-laws on Christmas Eve. They want to bring junk food and I would prefer to cook everything for 50 people. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Merry Early Christmas to Me

Today was the day I finally got around to addressing envelopes for my Christmas cards. It was going great. It even gave me a chance to update my hardcover address book. I felt shameful at one point because I didn't even have my parents' address updated. They've been at their current address for at least  seven years.

In addition, it was a bit sad because there were so many names there that were no longer with us. I still couldn't allow myself to erase those gone from my book.

As I was about to stuff the first envelope, I showed the card to my friend. She looked at it and said, "Doesn't your last name have an 'i' in it?" Well, yes it does. Why was she asking me that? She brought the card close to me and said, "Look!" I misspelled my last name. What the heck! I could not believe I did that.

I ordered the cards from Shutterfly. They looked awesome except for my mistake. In a state of panic, I called Shutterfly. I gave the customer service rep my order number and she noticed it. I told her I misspelled my last name. She immediately said, "Oh, I see you left out the 'i.'" She rambled a few things, but my brain was still in panic mode.

I was expecting to hear her say I would get a discount if I wanted to reprint them, but no.  She offered me a credit for the same amount of cards plus free two day shipping. How awesome is that? She graciously offered me free card reprints and free shipping for a mistake I made.

Shutterfly, you are awesome! I have been using you for many years and will continue.  Your customer service team members rock. I only wish I could remember the young lady that helped me today around 1:55 PM CST. I have many praises for her.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside

This morning we had a blast of winter. The temperature was down to 41℉. It was a big change from our 70 degree weather. My girls thought it would snow. They really want snow badly. Matter of fact, it was four years ago today that it snowed last.

Here's a picture from our snowfall on December 11, 2008. Yes, can you believe that? Snow in Louisiana.

I doubt we will get snow this week, but it sure is nice to get a taste of winter, finally. Stay warm and bundled up!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Headache Help

Do you have any headache remedies? Since my Complex Migraine episode on November 27 post, I've been getting migraines and bad headaches almost daily. I've been given Fioricet, but I don't really like taking it. Lucky for me I am not getting the neurological or stroke like symptoms or even the aura with these migraines, but I am still getting rather intense head and eye pain. It was so bad last night I went to bed at 8:00 PM.

I am not too pleased to have to take a barbiturate daily, but I don't really know of any other means to rid this. I've been going to see my chiropractor, but kind of feel it is making things worse. Since I started seeing him, if I turn my neck a certain way I hear and feel a click and that's when this intense pain appears. Maybe I'm just over analyzing this.

I stopped in Whole Foods and was recommended Butterbur. I purchased it, but haven't taken it yet. I was waiting to hear more about it. I am just doing a bit of research on it now. If you know anything about Butterbur or any other migraine treatment, please let me know. These damn things can be disabling.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Passionate about Heart Health

Have I ever told you how much I love my job and love what I do? Yes, I really do. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a teacher. When I finally got to college I realized how much teachers made and looked into other career options. That's when I decided to look into nursing.

For the first eleven or so years, I mainly worked in cardiac type units such as telemetry, CCU, ICU, and heart transplant. Within the last 8 years or so I decided I needed to scale back my working hours and not be in such high stress areas. Therefore I moved into the echo/stress lab running cardiac stress tests, helping out in the cardiology offices and my newest job as cardiac rehab nurse clinician.This is where my job comes full circle because I am clearly doing what I initially set out to do and love....educate.

Even though I am a nurse, I am the educator I always wanted to be. I spend my working days educating people about taking care of their health and hearts. We discuss diet, exercise, risk factors for heart disease, and what they can do in order to have a healthy lifestyle change.

Monday when I went to work, I had 15 patients that had heart attacks. This number is too high. I might see that many of heart attacks in a week, but in one day....I am slightly in shock by our culture. I try really hard to educate this population as to what one can do to try and reverse or change risk factors for heart disease.  The patients keep getting younger and younger.

Personally, I feel the food we eat is killing us. It is not uncommon to see a patient with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, diabetic, and a smoker. To have one or even two of these I can accept, but to have all of these is unacceptable.

People, we need to wake up and listen to our bodies! Take a better look at your food. Read the labels. What are you actually eating? How much are you eating? Are you eating to live or living to eat?

I think one of the reasons I am so passionate about writing this topic today is because I lost one of my work colleagues last night. She was in her forties and had a massive heart attack. I am just crushed that I saw her one day walking and talking and the next day she is dead. She has children and grandchildren.

My job proves to me over and over again that if you eat well, exercise, take time for yourself and minimize stress you can avoid the risk factors for heart disease and end up a statistic.

I would like to challenge everyone I know and who reads this to eat well and healthily, exercise daily if possible, do not smoke or chew tobacco, take time for yourself everyday to meditate or just have quiet time, go to the doctor to have your blood work checked, and get a baseline EKG and possibly an echocardiogram.

My personal journey with food has been a great adventure and has taught me many great lessons. I have eliminated about 98% of all processed foods. I no longer use cows milk. I have increased the amount of fruits and vegetables daily. My total cholesterol in September was 179 and the result from last week was 136. I think eliminating the processed junk is a major contributor. In addition, I have minimized the acidic producing foods and try to go with the more alkaline producing foods to eliminate inflammation.

I don't like to preach, but I tend to see a lot of repeat offenders. Stop eating the crap, eat smaller portions, quit smoking, drink water with lemon, exercise, and take your probiotics daily. Remember we have to eat to live, not live to eat.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

My girls wanted pancakes today, but only yummy pancakes. I've been searching hi and low looking for the perfect recipe and I finally came up with one. Actually it is a variation of several recipes.

Here's my take on Greek Yogurt Pancakes:

3/4 cup Greek yogurt (plain or any flavor) = ~6 ounces
1 egg
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon almond milk (or any liquid; omit if using all purpose white flour)

Mix yogurt and egg until smooth and creamy. Add flour and baking soda and mix well. Add almond milk and stir. Pour onto hot griddle. Flip when bubbling. Remove from griddle when cooked.

This makes approximately 12 slightly larger silver dollar size pancakes or 8 moderate size pancakes.

Today we used strawberry Greek yogurt which gave it a sweet taste drizzled with pure maple syrup. To add your own twist, you could use vanilla in the batter or a sprinkling of pure cane sugar or honey. Personally, I like mine plain without syrup.

These were certainly a hit with my family. I made two batches and they were just about gone before I was finished making them. I had to scoop pancakes off their plates in order to get this picture. They were perfectly moist without being floury or cake-like.  It is always a great feeling of accomplishment when there is nothing left!

I believe this will be our new go-to pancake recipe. Next time I will certainly double it instead of having to make two batches. The great thing is that they are full of protein.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

10 Year Wedding Anniversary

November 30 we celebrated ten years of marriage. That is a decade! Part of me thinks the time has gone so quickly and part of me thinks it passed appropriately. 
We have three beautiful girls to show for the past 10 years. Reflecting back, we sure have experienced a lot of life together. We have had many firsts, wonderful travels, sadly several family losses, hurricane evacuations and renovations, many highs and a few lows, and all in all a great life. 

I planned on posting pictures from our wedding with both of us, but I don't have any. So, it is just me posing. I want to give credit to the photographer, but can't think of the name. If I do, I will certainly put their name up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Oh What a Day!

Today started off as a not-so-good day. The most bizarre thing happened today with my vision. At about 0700 this morning my vision changed. My left eye lost peripheral vision. There was this weird prism-like light moving up and down supper fast where I would normally see peripherally. My vision was starting to decrease in other parts of my left eye.

But, it is now 0715 and time to head off to school. I was able to get my two oldest daughters to school without problem. As I am sitting in carpool line, my left hand starts to go numb. I am thinking this is fine and I'll shake it out. The next thought was there is no way I can get CG to school having these strange feelings, can't see and now numb. I decide to drive myself to the emergency room which is about 5 minutes from where we were.

As I am driving to the hospital, the left side of my face, teeth, lips, and tongue go numb. I am really freaking out at this point because I have my 4 year old with me. Somehow I made it to the ER. I whisk her out the car and run into the building. As I approach the reception area, I collapsed. The whole left side of my body is weak and numb. I got scooped up in a wheelchair and a "stroke code" is called. STROKE? I am only 42 years old. How can I be having a stroke? IV started, CT scan completed, meds given.

During this time I was having a headache...extreme headache. Finally the results are in. No stroke! They feel like it was a migraine with stroke like symptoms. I never knew there was such a thing. Next, I had an MRI and am still waiting to get those results.

As of now, I am headache-free, no numbness or weakness; everything is back to normal! I just have to wait until tomorrow to go home.

The official diagnosis was "complex migraine." I learned that this is an official disorder. Migraines that start with an aura of vision changes, nausea (which I have been having), and stroke like symptoms such as numbness, weakness, and speech impairment are classic signs of this type of migraine. I am due to see a migraine neurology specialist, but I think my first visit will be with my chiropractor/Chinese medicine doctor.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Good and The Bad

Happy Thanksgiving! Our family has plenty to be thankful for today.

My middle daughter had a first yesterday. We are so excited for her. She learned to ride a two wheel bike all by herself yesterday! She has a few bumps and bruises to show for it, but is very proud to show you.

In addition to MM's great accomplishment, we celebrated our thanks with both of our families yesterday. It is always so nice to be with all of the extended family. You see movies and hear horrible stories regarding family turmoil on Thanksgiving. I am just happy to say that doesn't happen with our family.

The sad news is that my husband's brother died at 2:00 PM on Thanksgiving. He was very sick and it was a matter of time when he would pass. FG went to visit him about two weeks ago with the anticipation he would let go while he was there, but he was holding strong.

Needless to say, FG left at 4:30 this morning to get back home to be with his mother and bury his brother. His mother is crushed. This is the second son she is burying in about 3 years. It was not an option for the rest of us to go with him. We are sending his family love and support from home.

May you rest in peace Cayetano.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Being Green

I saw this on Facebook and it really struck home. It is from the page Things That Make You Go Hmm. The little clip really says a lot. All the talk about recycling and being green, we've been doing this for years, but now it has a name to it.

We only have one television and people think we are nuts because of this. At work, I walk the stairs. I have great memories wrapping our school books in the beginning of the school year with brown paper bags; Oh Schwegmann's Supermarket how I miss thee. So many things from the past we did that are so old school, but we were being green.

Being Green

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have th
is green thing back in my earlier days."
The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f or future generations."
She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truely recycled.
But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.
But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.
We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person.

Autumn Craft

The girls and I made these cute owls out of toilet paper rolls and cupcake papers. When I was posting I was thinking they were turkeys, but obviously they are owls.
Hoo Hoo

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pompous Grocery Shoppers

I've been following a few blogs and Facebook pages lately and got rather irritated. The basis of all these sites is to eat well. Don't get me wrong, it's not the owners of the sites I'm bothered with, it's the people commenting.

What I feel is that the ones making these horrible comments must be ones who don't have to work, are very rich and don't care how much their grocery bill costs, money is no object, make 6 digit incomes, and don't really know what happens in the world outside of theirs. The truth is that the majority of people are not in that category. People of all incomes want to eat well and do what they can to provide as healthy a meal as possible to their families.

A lot of us do this to stay healthy, it's the right thing to do, have food allergies or intolerances, doctor prescribed, and choice we make. I know there are many other reasons we do this, but I am sick and tired of people belittling others because they can't purchase organic foods 100% of the time, they shop at Walmart, or they buy organic foods from the Big companies that voted against Prop 37.

I don't agree with Walmart's practices, but I do shop there because it is more cost effective for my family. I try to avoid the Big company products when possible. I try to shop at Whole Foods when I can afford shelling out $150 on a bag and a half of groceries.

When I grocery shop it takes me forever. My family quit shopping with me because I have to read every single label. I can get good stuff at Walmart with a bit of reading and perseverance. Our Walmart even has a gluten-free section. Contrary to what people believe, Whole Foods and other health food store chains sell GMO laden foods. I put down many items at Whole Foods because of the ingredients, so don't go all pompous on us Walmart shoppers when you can get the same thing at Whole Foods.

True, I cannot get everything I need at Walmart, but don't discount the fact that they do offer healthier options that can also be found at Whole Foods. In addition, not every city has a Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, or other "health food" grocer.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day of Cooking

I am officially exhausted! Today I baked until my little heart was content. I started with Deliciously Organic's Pecan Pie without Corn Syrup. Next I was on to brownies, cranberry sauce, cupcakes, sweet potatoes, and a baked chicken.

I ate throughout the day on all my creations. They all tasted rather lovely. Well, the only thing I did not taste was the pecan pie. I wanted to wait 24 hours for it to set before cutting into it. Although the recipe calls for a grain free crust, I used another recipe. I tried 100 Days of Real Food's pie crust. It's pecan pie for breakfast in the morning.

Next in the line up was brownies. I got this recipe from King Arthur Flour. The name of the recipe is kind of silly, but to the point..."Tasting is believing whole grain brownies." What more convincing do you need than that? I will attest that they were quite yummy. I had more than my share for the day.

Homemade cranberry sauce is always a staple on our dinner table for the holidays. My family now reminds me to make it because they have grown to love it. I remember the first year I made it. There was so much left over. Last year, there was maybe a tablespoon or so left. That sure does make me feel good. My daughter will eat it from the ramekin with a spoon like it is peanut butter. No recipe for this one, I wing it every year.

My favorite of the day was and is the cupcake. I used my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook I got from my wedding many years ago and modified it with whole wheat pastry flour and unrefined cane sugar. I still cannot get over how good these cupcakes are. Here's their recipe for a citrus yellow cake but I omitted the lemon and of course made revisions. Right now they are not frosted. I'm not sure if I will. We are having a Disney Junior Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess movie premiere party. Maybe I will whip up something Sunday and let the kids frost their own.

Last was the chicken and sweet potatoes. It was good, but after all the snacking on our goodies, our appetites just weren't where they should have been.

You know what I think made my day of cooking really fun and great? The girls helped me. I didn't ask for their help; they just offered. Usually when I ask, they just don't want to do anything, but something was different today. I bet having the girls in the kitchen offering their services helped me get my cooking mojo back. We had FUN! Cooking has become fun again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bug be Gone

I've been taking care of sick kids the last week. In addition, I've been feeling nauseated for about a week. Don't ask because I am not pregnant.

My oldest came home from school Friday with an upset stomach. She was pale, not very talkative (major cue for me that something is wrong), and listless. She claims she threw up a few times since she got home from school, but I didn't witness it. I contacted one of our friends (whose son is in my daughter's class) who said her son came home with a sick tummy, too. I wonder what's going on at their school to have two with the same illness, same classroom, on the same day. Hmmm. I gave her probiotics and she came around by morning.

My youngest had been feeling warm for a few days, but not quite a fever. Thursday night while she was sleeping I did hear her cough a few times. I sent her to school on Friday and let the teacher know my concerns.

When I picked her up from school she had 103℉. Her right cheek was red, her palms were hot, and she was listless. Next thing you know she starts coughing the weirdest cough. It is hard to describe but very high pitch. I called her primary doctor and she thought maybe it was croup. Then I hear her wheezing. I called the doctor back and the usual was said, "just keep an eye on her." As a parent I feel like I need to do something other that watch her. As a nurse I feel like she needs to be seen by a physician.

Then I decided to bring her to the after hours pediatric urgent care center. The whole time we waited, she was wheezing and coughing. Once the nurse took us back to the exam room, she commented on how audible the wheezing was without a stethoscope. Now you know I am not imagining this. The best part is the doctor comes in and assesses CG and she isn't coughing or wheezing any longer. Her temp went down and appears to be all normal.

How does that happen when you bring your car to the mechanic for a problem and it stops when you bring it in? That is the same concept here. CG quit wheezing and coughing. The nurse was chuckling over this, too. I don't get it. The best news was that she was negative for RSV. She got a diagnosis of unknown respiratory virus.

Whatever is affecting her little system keeps attacking. I have been giving her alkaline water, but I should probably give her probiotics, too. Six days later and she still has a temperature between 101-102℉, still not eating, and not her perky little self. I am giving her nebulizer treatments twice a day. I just hope whatever this is it goes away.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Proof is in the Pudding

When my oldest daughter was young she was so busy. Some would say she was hyperactive others would say spirited. I didn't agree with either of these assessments made. Something just didn't seem right. Then I have baby number two and the same people told me the same things about my second daughter.

Many thoughts went through my head like:
1. Am I a bad mom?
2. How did I get such a busy and bad kid when I was so quiet and good as a child?
3. How can this child get into so much mischief?
4. And many other thoughts and questions.

So, I read many books on "spirited" children and they didn't really say much. I took matters into my own hands and I started experimenting with foods. What I learned was that there certainly was a link between the foods my daughter ate and her behavior.

From the time she was 2 until now, she is 8, I have watched closely at what she eats. I never went crazy and eliminated extreme amounts of food, but minimizing candy, sugar and milk seemed to make a big difference. I remember being at my sister's house in Pennsylvania for a hurricane evacuation. SG acquired some red licorice and went nuts. She was about 16 months when I saw this crazy side of her. She started hitting her head on the sofa, running back and forth in the room, laying down hitting her legs on the ground, and other very peculiar behaviors. At this point I just thought it was the sugar. I never really associated it with artificial food dyes.

Over the last 2 years she's had these crazy episodes where she gets crazy fits, sits on the ground and hits her head with her fists all while rocking back and forth. Her mood just goes blank and her eyes seem hollow. It is as though my child was snatched by some crazy creature. This happened again this week. Since we went processed and dye free last month it just hit me. It is red dye. We kept a few candies from Halloween. Sunday she started acting like the body snatchers got her. I happened to see a wrapper for Swedish Fish in the trash can. I asked her if she ate them and she did. I am convinced it is the red dye that her body is reacting to.

It has taken 2 days for it to clear her system. She knows I don't like her and her sisters eating food with dyes and I think this week she realized why. She seemed so scared like her body was making her act crazy and couldn't control it...Powerless.

This is proof to me that artificial food dyes are dangerous. They are out for our family. It is obvious what harm it does to my child.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cooking Queen

I was a baking and cooking queen this weekend. Cooking used to be a great passion of mine then I had kids. The joy of cooking stayed outside when I walked in my house. I think part of the frustration of not liking to cook any longer is the kids have such minimal palates. They only like certain things and aren't willing to try as many new things as I would hope.

Although I love my kids and get excited when they want to help around the house, I cannot stand it when they want to help cook. Yes, they help me all the time in the kitchen, but it doesn't mean I like it. I do a lot of smiling. Maybe when they get a bit older I will enjoy them cooking with me. A cooking task that takes me 10 minutes will now take 30-60 minutes with their assistance.

My advantage this weekend was that no one was home. I was in cooking heaven. I made granola, tomato bisque, pumpkin muffins, and whole wheat honey bread. When everyone arrived home the kitchen was smelling some good and I got to feed hungry little tummies with my homebaked yummy goodness! It was a great feeling because that joy of cooking is slowly coming back.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween Loot

Here's a picture of most of the candy my girls received on Halloween. This is crazy! I weighed it and it comes to 12 pounds and 1.2 ounces. Can you believe this? It seemed to make more sense to me when I separated it. I was able to get a better handle on how much was really there.

Of all the "treats" we received, there was only one healthy snack. It was one lonesome Clementine orange with a Jack-o-Lantern face painted. In addition, we received a few "Little Hug Fruit Barrels" drinks (which really aren't fruit drinks) and a Halloween hand sanitizer.

The girls had fun collecting all the treats, but today is the day we are doing the candy trade in. I mentioned it to them and they decided to go with it and pick a few pieces for later.

A Candy Corn Witch, a Devil, and a Spider Witch


Saturday, November 3, 2012


Today was certainly an unusual day. I spent seven hours in a computer class for work. My parents took the kids to the country for the weekend and my husband is out of town. I came home to a quiet and clean house. I expected to clean, but instead I've watched television since 5 o'clock this afternoon. It is 10:00 PM and I am still watching.

The worst part is that I've been watching Christmas movies all that time. Can you believe Christmas movies this soon? It isn't even Thanksgiving. We are just 3 days past Halloween and the Hallmark Channel is playing Christmas movie marathons. But look at me, I'm the succor. I'm the one on my 4th Christmas movie of the evening.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Deja Vu

Hurricane Sandy sure has done a number on the East Coast. This is very familiar to me since I live in Southeast Louisiana. Listening to the news reports just seems like yesterday when we were hit with Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005.

There was a reporter calling into a news show stating how in the Rockaway area where he was reporting from, there was no help. It seems this was the area hit the hardest. People don't have food, water, resources to clean up, or any assistance. He even stated he saw National Guardsmen hanging out a few miles down the road just waiting for orders.

Lessons we learned in New Orleans is that your community is your family. Don't wait on the government to step in because you might be waiting a long time. The spirit of community just overwhelms you in situations like this. You meet neighbors, strangers who become good friends, and a sense of ownership and belonging.

Natural disasters are terrible things, but it really brings people together. Thank goodness to the many faith based groups that come in to offer their expertise and assistance. Sometimes talking with a complete stranger and them saying a prayer with you is just what you need.

New York and New Orleans have a reciprocal relationship when it comes to times of need. We were there for them during 9/11. They were here for Katrina. And I bet you we will be up there to help out with Sandy's aftermath. I could almost guarantee the Gumbo Crew will be up there soon cooking up some gumbo for anyone needing something to eat.

I know I will be helping out, but I don't know exactly how just yet. I might send money, provide clothes, send toiletries, or fly up there to help rebuild. I do know when a hurricane leaves its wrath people come together. And we will come together and help rebuild the New York and New Jersey areas even better.

Our house was flooded by Katrina with about 4 feet of water. My parents' house was flooded with about 20 feet of water for about 10 weeks. We got through it so will you!

31 Days of Unprocessed Food

It has been 31 days that I have been eating, for the most part, unprocessed food. It was very somewhat challenging at the beginning, but got easier as time passed. I got through it and plan to keep it up.

What I thought would be the most challenging day for my children and me wasn't so much after all. We got right through Halloween without too many obstacles. For me, I thought I would go crazy with the candy loot. But to my surprise, I wasn't really interested. I even went out to buy some UNREAL candies. I don't even want the better option candy. I was sitting next to the buckets full of candy and the smell of the sugar was grossing me out.

My eldest daughter ate a few pieces and said "let's get rid of this junk." What? Am I hearing that correctly? My two younger girls normally would eat and eat candy on Halloween literally until they fell asleep. This year, not a chance. They ate some, but didn't have the usual interest. This is a high five moment for me. This makes me feel good. Although they are not eating 100% unprocessed, they have not been eating food dyes and junk food. Some words and phrases I heard were, "too sugary," "too sweet," "yuck oh," "that has dye in it," "did you read what's in it?," "can you believe people eat this stuff?" They can taste the difference. They now know and can taste the difference in food that is good or bad for you!

Instead of keeping the candy (we won't eat) in the house, we learned that one of the local toy stores, Learning Express is having a buy back candy program. For each pound of candy you turn in, you get one Boo Buck up to 5 pounds. They each are hoping they will have 5 pounds of candy. It was quite ironic because we received a catalog in the mail this week from Learning Express Toys.

Well, back to my 31 days. I did loose some weight which I had not intended and my calcium level dropped but was corrected. Now looking at the up side, I feel much better. I don't feel sluggish. I have more mental clarity. I have more energy. I don't get cravings for junk any longer. My pH level has become more neutral therefore less aches and pains. I am enjoying the art of cooking once again and actually cooking. I am eating more fruits and veggies. I have learned to tolerate green drinks; still not a huge fan of them (I just can't get over drinking that color green). The skin on my face doesn't seem so splotchy. I have been an advocate for eating real food and educated many. But, I think the best part of this month is the progress with my kids. They can actually taste the difference between foods that are good for you and those that are not.

Thank you to Andrew Wilder from Eating Rules and allowing the public to participate in his October Unprocessed 2012 Challenge. You have taught me a lot!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


What happened to manners? I grew up with typical parents and learned manners. It was imbedded in us to have good manners, to be polite, treat others like you would want to be treated, and to just be kind to others.

I remember taking a class in high school and they taught proper telephone etiquette, how to introduce others by using their names, shake hands with a firm grip, formal letter writing, and so many other valuable pearls of wisdom. At the time I thought it was rather silly, but I learned some really great life lessons in this class that I still use daily.

I still write hand written notes on stationary. When I write, it is so much more heartfelt than writing a text or an email. I know when I receive a personal note in the mail I am thrilled, but it doesn't happen too often.

I try to instill these traits in my girls, but it is so difficult when we live in 2012. This has become a society of no manners, no morals, no values, and people just don't care. One of the main reasons I believe in manners is that it teaches respect of self and others.

Please, thank you, a smile, a nice gesture, holding the door open for someone, returning the grocery store basket to the basket corral, letting someone in your driving lane, are all things I do routinely and am laughed at for. Why? It is kind. It is thoughtful. It is good manners. Is being kind, thoughtful, and good mannered a bad thing? Heck no!

I try to lead by example when it comes to my children and this is one area where I somewhat shine. Granted my kids aren't the best mannered kids, but they do have manners. Here's a funny example: my eldest daughter used to be friends with a classmate, but over time the classmate's true colors have shined. SG says she isn't really friends with her any longer because she doesn't have manners. Looking for my reason I asked why and was told, "she's mean, she takes things without asking, she uses mean words, she lies, and ..." the list goes on. That makes me feel good like I have taught SG something.

Another thing I have taught the girls since they could scribble is to write thank you notes. No, they don't particularly like to, but they do it. When birthdays and holidays come around they now ask me for the note cards so they can write. My hope is that they will find joy in it as opposed to being a chore. When they see the flip side and receive a thank you note or other piece of correspondence they are thrilled.

So, go out and be kind and use your manners. Remember that what comes around goes around. All those manners, good words, and kindness will be returned to you!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Piano 101

My two oldest daughters currently take piano lessons. They don't excel too much because their lives are so busy and not much time for practice. Secretly, I want to take piano lessons, too. When they are not home, I go through their books and learn as much as I can.

Today I decided I would look for some free and easy Christmas carol sheet music online. I scored! I found several pieces we like. The funny thing is that I really don't know the notes too well, but I know the solfège and the note number.

I just found myself running to find a pencil so I could write the note number and solfège over each note. I am sure one day I will learn what each note truly is. In the meantime, I am off to learn some Christmas carols on piano!

Take Your Calcium

Lately I have been feeling so tired. Not just any tired, but falling asleep at 8:00 in the evening and waking up 9 hours later feeling exhausted. It doesn't matter what amount of sleep I get I still feel like a Mac truck hit me. I have been doing the normal things like checking my blood pressure which is in normal limits, drinking enough fluid, and eating well. So, I find myself baffled as to why I still have no energy.

Then it hits me this morning. I have ALL the red flags of Hypocalcemia (low blood calcium).
1. extremely dry skin, flaky, almost psoriasis-like
2. extremely tired, fatigued
3. brittle nails with ridges
4. palpitations
5. sharp chest pain
6. numb finger tips
7. muscle spasms in my face (tetany) by left side of my mouth
8. shortness of breath (talking and walking)
9. dizziness, especially when getting up from seating or lying position
10. muscle spasms and cramps to feet and lower legs
11. dementia or what we like to call CRS (can't remember sh*t)

Now I am determining what course of action I need to take. Do I just taking adequate amounts of calcium through supplements and food rich in calcium or do I call the doctor and get my blood level checked?

I think I am going to start off by taking supplements I have now and then call the doctor to check my level. It didn't get like this overnight so I know it won't be corrected overnight either. My extreme dry skin should have been a warning sign.

I am off to eat some calcium and get my blood drawn.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 23 of the October Unprocessed Food 2012 Challenge

Today is day 23 of the October Unprocessed Food Challenge 2012. It has been going well except for the weight loss I had. I had no intention of loosing weight, but I did. I started off at about 128 pounds (5' 8") and went as low as 119 pounds. Somehow I was able to regain it back and am at a more stable 124 pounds.

It seems your body uses what it needs. Not eating all that other stuff has made me feel much better. I just have to remember to stay hydrated. We had a catered party at our house on Saturday, October 13 and I think I gained back everything I lost by default from eating what was available at the party. That was my cheat day.

I have learned to eat my veggies and even to tolerate green drinks. Still not a fan of the green drink, more so because the color than the taste, but I am drinking them occasionally. My cravings for sweets has gone away completely. I usually suffer with chronic back pain which has been minimal to nonexistent. What I figure is that the foods I am eating now are more alkaline which shifts my pH level to a more normal level. It is great being in that normal pH range. Obviously there is less internal inflammation.

This past weekend we went out of town which was rather challenging. I did bring some unprocessed food, but it wasn't enough. I succumbed to a Mexican restaurant and sandwiches. I am now paying for it. I am not sure what I am reacting to, but it is either the PB&J sandwich or turkey cold cut sandwich on honey wheat or anything from the Mexican restaurant. My legs from hips to my ankles have broken out in a rash and chicken-like raised bumpy skin. This used to happen to me often, but since becoming more conscious of what I eat, I am more mindful and thought I had an idea of what causes it.

I have had allergy testing and no foods come up. All of the standards like nuts, wheat and dairy are negative. Therefore they tell me I am imagining this and I have folliculitis. This food challenge has proven to me that I have not had folliculitis since I was a kid. My thought is that it is either the bread or cheese (dairy) that I react to.

Eight more days to go! This should be rather easy to maintain beyond the challenge permitting I cook most everything. The girls have been enjoying this month since I have been cooking and baking more often.

The kids have adapted fairly well, although they are not 100% unprocessed, yet. My oldest gets why I am doing this and the two younger ones just tolerate it. We live in a society that eats horribly. They are always tempted by their school peers. Their school lunches are much different from their peers. I could go on for hours about the lunches that the school provides, but I won't. I am just happy to say my kids think it tastes bad and want me to send lunch each day.

Waking up to Biscuits

I had this really great idea I would wake up early this morning and make biscuits. I followed a recipe from my Kitchen Aid mixer cookbook. I substituted whole wheat flour for all purpose flour. With my experience baking with whole wheat flour, things tend to be drier than usual so I added a wee bit more almond milk and honey.

The out come is still dry (yet not as dry as usual). What can I do to make my whole wheat creations less dry? Any help would be appreciated. The recipe called for it to bake for 12-15 minutes. I set my timer for 12 minutes which was way too long. As you can see from the picture below, they were cooked a few minutes too long.

I just hope the kids like them!

The kids LOVED these biscuits. I thought they were way too dry but they loved them. Maybe they liked them so much because I used Halloween shapes.

The next day I used a Better Homes and Gardens recipe for drop biscuits. These were so much better and moist. My kids had them for breakfast, snack, and dinner. They could not get enough of them. Lucky for me I made a large batch to accommodate all the biscuit needs. MM asked, "so, what's your secret ingredient to make these the best?" I love it when the kids are this passionate about something they eat (especially when it is not candy or junk food).

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Little Garden

So, here it is...my little garden. 

I am so thrilled that everything is still alive. I planted the lettuce and parsley on October 2 and it has been 20 days. That is rather impressive to me that there is that much lettuce already grown. The parsley just started to sprout a couple of days ago. Maybe I do have a green thumb after all.

If I continue to have success, I will certainly consider planting more (especially herbs).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pop-tarts, Whole Food Style

My kids LOVE Poptarts. The only problem is that they are not the healthiest snack item. In addition, there are so many ingredients and things inside my kids can't even pronounce. This is when I went on a hunt for toaster pastry recipes.

Granted they are not very pretty, but they sure were good. There is certainly lots of room for improvement, but it is certainly a good starting point. 

Here's what is inside the Kellogg's Pop-Tarts:

Now, here's what's in mine:
  • 2 ¼ cup whole-wheat flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold, unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • ½ cup water plus ice
  • 1 egg beaten with a splash of water
  • 7 – 8 tablespoons jam or jelly (I used all fruit spread)
That's it and nothing more!
I adapted the recipe from 100 Days of Real Food. Give it a try. I think you will like it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Little Gardening

I decided to plant a few things this autumn and can't wait to post the pictures. I wanted to wait a few days before taking after pictures. It is so surprising how quickly they have sprouted.

The girls and I planted seeds for two types of lettuce, parsley, and coffee. It is a start. We hope to plant some herbs in the near future and other vegetables. Since this is so new to me, I am still trying to figure out what I can and cannot plant this time of year in the south.

Lucky for me there is the LSU AgCenter. They have been such a great resource. They were at New Orleans City Park's Fall Garden Show. There was so much to see and learn. Probably the only reason I am growing lettuce and parsley is because they offered free seeds. So, thank you LSU AgCenter for those seeds!

Pictures will be posted hopefully in the next week or so.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 9 of the October Unprocessed Food 2012 Challenge

Here I am at the end of Day 9 of the October Unprocessed 2012 Challenge. So far so good. Some days are a breeze and others are not such a breeze. Breakfast seems to be the most difficult meal for me to prepare. We have been a cereal family when it comes to breakfast. This is going to be the hardest thing to wean from my kids. They LOVE cereal. They eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time.

I was eating grits the first 2 days for breakfast, but got tired of it really fast. I thought to make oatmeal, but I never have the time in the morning. Therefore my go to breakfast has been an apple. It probably isn't enough, but I am getting something healthy in my body.

I have noticed little to no food cravings. Sweet cravings is what I used to always have, but not anymore. I have been snacking on almonds and carrots when I get an urge to nibble on something during that 3:00 P.M. crash time.

I have been eating more salads and just about daily. I even starting eating spinach! To eats greens is one thing, but to drink them is another. I have been looking into juicing, but there is something about drinking greens I just can't get past. I bought 2 different store bought green drinks. I drank them but had (what felt like) a crazy I can't believe I am drinking this stuff look on my face. Maybe with time I will get over my fear of drinking greens, but in the meantime I will try to drink juice that has another hue.

My kids are finally getting what I am doing; maybe not 100%, but I think they are getting it. I have been sleeping better. So much better that I don't want to wake up. I have not slept this well in ages... like before kids 8 years ago.

The only down side of eating whole, real, unprocessed food is that I am loosing weight. I am 5'8" and am down to 125 pounds. I think it is on the slimmer side of what I should be. I am more comfortable in the 127-129 range. I know you are going to think, but that is only 2 pounds, but it is actually 5 pounds over the last 6 weeks since I have been more mindful of my food. I am having to pin and belt my pants which is rather frustrating. I am figuring I am just not eating enough or my body is adjusting to eating and using what it needs.

My next goal with eating well is to start exercising. I just wish I could find the time.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fight Like a Girl

I just want to send a shout out to my mother and all of the other breast cancer survivors. Hopefully we will have a cure soon. Until then, fight the fight and be strong. We are here to support you!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Oh Cereal, How I Miss Thee

I miss my morning cereal...Quaker Oat Squares, Frosted Mini Wheat. I haven't found the right unprocessed food to fill your void. I had plain grits most mornings but not sure that is acceptable. Today I had grapes, but I sure do miss my cereal.

I have no problem figuring out what to eat for lunch or dinner, but breakfast I am clueless. I need some unprocessed breakfast divine intervention.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What are you Eating?

We are not eating food, we are eating food-like products. Have you read the ingredients of your food today? Most of us just read calories and fat grams. We forget to look at what we actually put in our mouths. There are so many artificial ingredients in everyday foods we eat. Can you pronounce what's on the label? Is it something you can get out the garden? Does it have 5 ingredients or less? Just a thought about what we eat.

I have become more and more passionate about this topic. I feel like we as Americans need to wake up when it comes to food. Do you really know what you are eating? I read most every single food label I purchase. It is troublesome knowing that there are so many chemically engineered products in our food. What percentage of our food is truly natural whole food?

I am on day three of eating unprocessed foods. It is going well, but I had a few cravings on day one. It is just incredible to me that some of the everyday things such as taco seasoning has so much other stuff. I did allow an exception which is bread. It is something I don't eat much of and am not willing to bake it at this point. There is a bread bakery uptown which I may check out Thursday.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

October Unprocessed 2012 Challenge

I just made the commitment to take the October Unprocessed 2012 Challenge. I am hoping it won't be that much of a challenge since I do this most days. I guess what makes it so much of a challenge is that it is a true commitment I am making to myself and the whole blogosphere.

One fix I will have to make is for breakfast. Mornings are so crazy around here it is so easy to grab a processed granola bar and go. My other morning go to is cereal. I need to come up with some quick and easy breakfast recipes.

Tonight I got the dry ingredients together for quinoa pancakes. For each cup of the dry mix I put together, I need to add some almond milk, vanilla, and cooked quinoa. Sunday morning will be the true taste test with the kids. Their favorite pancake mix is Krusteaz. I hope mine can compare.

Please join me and take the challenge, too.

October Unprocessed 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Real Food

I have always kept a keen eye on what my family eats. I used to do organic, but it gets so costly with a family of five. I do when I can. My latest move is to eliminate processed foods. This is the slightest change that I feel has made the most impact on all of our lives.

Within the last few months I had one doctor say you need to eat a Paleo diet and the other said it should definitely be an alkaline diet. I bought books on both and was overwhelmed. This was so confusing to me. I don't eat beef and pork which are the bulk of eating Paleo. So, by default I thought to follow the alkaline way of eating.

I could never seem to get through the alkaline book and truly follow it. Therefore my pH is still lower than I would like. One of the simplest things I have done to implement an alkaline state is to add lemon to my water. With the other stuff, my family is always dueling (well, not literally) over what's for dinner. I decided just to cut out all processed foods. My general rule is if the earth or I didn't make it then you can't have it. For the most part, everyone is eating their dinner. This didn't happen before.

We are eating more whole foods. I still don't have it down to perfection, but I am on the beginning of that journey. I would really love to cut out bread completely. The girls do like sandwiches for lunch, but I just can't get myself to make my own bread. One day!

A really great resource is 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake. She is such an inspiration. For the last six weeks I have been making most of our meals from scratch. It doesn't seem to take that much more time than using processed or prepared foods (although I never used many processed foods when cooking previously). Meal planning sure does help in this process.

Some of the changes I noticed for me was better skin, less moody, no discomfort during menstruation, eczema is gone, unintentionally lost weight eating well, no snacking, no food cravings, better sleep, and just overall feel better. Improvements in my girls are less moody and irritable, no food cravings (especially for sugar), better concentration, asking for fruit, better behaved and attitude. My husband claims no changes with him yet he lost 6 pounds without dieting.

I think there is something to eating real whole food!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

I know it is "Wordless" Wednesday, but I felt I needed to explain. This is camel racing at the New Orleans Fairgrounds. Yes, most people go to see horse racing, but in New Orleans we go to see camel and ostrich racing. Only in New Orleans!

I'm Back, Time Permitting

Wow, it sure has been some time since my last post. But then again, who actually reads my blog? I was going to say my mother, but I'm not sure she even knows I have a blog. For reasons obvious (well, at least to me), life has been super crazy.

Our three girls (now 8, 6, and 4) are so busy. They have a greater social life than their parents. Between their numerous activities to birthday parties to summer camps, I am exhausted. In order to spend more time with them, I vowed I would ween off FaceBook and limit my internet time. This would be the main reason I have not posted.

I am learning to plan life a bit more efficiently these days. One of my greatest accomplishments is learning to plan a weekly menu. This task might take a few hours but, can save me tons of money and time each week. Yes, I fall off the wagon now and then, but for the most part it is a lifesaver.

In addition, I try to plan the night before. I always talked about doing some of these things, but now that I do them, it helps alleviate stress and chaos. For instance, I get all school bags and uniforms ready the night before. I also get everything set up for lunch that can be on the counter before going to bed. Another quick trick is to turn the dishwasher on before bedtime and unload it as soon as I wake up. We never knew if dishes were clean or dirty.

I am hoping with a few of my new time saving tips I will have more time to take care of myself. Hmm, here's an idea! If I start having more time for myself maybe I will post what I am able to do with my free (efficiently made) time.

Happy reading and I hope to post more often!