Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hell just froze over, and there's cake!

It's working! It's actually working!!! We are teaching our kids better eating habits! Here's how I know it's working.  Last wee it was #1's birthday and we had some left over cake from his party, so I decided that each of the kids could have a piece after dinner. #1 got to pick what he wanted for dinner since it was his birthday so we had Macaroni and cheese (homemade, with whole wheat pasta), hot dogs (pastured beef with no nitrates) and broccoli.  Yes, my son asked fro broccoli on his birthday.  That was the beginning of a very exciting meal for me! He knew that dinner included vegetables so he picked his favorite one, but my kids have always liked broccoli so that alone wasn't particularly shocking.

The next big surprise came when I put dinner on the table.  I had a big tray of raw veggies and I put it on the table with dinner. I told the kids they could have whatever they wanted. The next thing I know they were FIGHTING over carrots! It was wonderful! I have never been so happy to see my kids fight in my life!  And the proverbial "icing on the cake" was when I served dessert.  #1, #3, and #4 didn't even finish their piece. They said they were full and asked to be excused.  That was it. It was amazing! #2 is a hard core sugar addict and gulped his down, plus any icing his siblings left, behind, but I can't fix everything in a day and truly, the child is so skinny, I figured the calories wouldn't kill him this one time!

Unfortunately I am ALSO addicted to cake.  So after they went to bed hubby and I devoured the remaining cake.  The amount we ate was quite disgusting.  I like the cake and hubby likes the icing so I dug little tunnels and ate all the cake while hubs scraped the icing off the top. That was team work at its best! I know, I know, not my best move eating massive amounts of cake but at least it's gone and we can all move on with our lives.  I LOVE cake, can't get enough of it.  Cake and pizza are my weaknesses for sure.

The good news is, the next day we were right back to eating the way we are supposed to.  I think its really important to keep a clear head and realize that there are going to be days when we don't make the best choices and eat things that we know aren't good for us but if we stay focused and continue to eat a whole food diet MOST of the time, it will still have a tremendous positive impact on our lives.

In honor of eating crap once in a while...

Thanks for reading! Please leave me a comment below or on my facebook page

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I am ____

I follow a blog called you know it happens at your house too. Today she gave her followers a challenge and I am passing it on to you.  It is a writing exercise, for 5 minutes you are to write about yourself.  No editing or proof reading. Just write whatever comes to mind.  I will be sharing mine with you know it happens at your house too and I would love it if you shared your free write with me but that is not a necessary part of the exercise. The important part is that you write it down so that you can look at it later. This is meant to help us see the good in ourselves which is something many of us struggle with every day so here I go...

I am Heather.
I am a mother first and foremost.  I spend my days growing four beautiful children who each have unique strengths and weaknesses and present me with four different challenges.
I am a homemaker, which most of the time feels the same as housekeeper, but its so much more.  I make our house a home, not just keep it clean.
I am a wife, I work to be a good wife and meet the needs of our relationship.
I am creative. Although I don't often find the time, I love to make and build things, and when I do find the time, I am good at it.
I am caring, I want to take care of others, especially those in need and I like to feel needed.
I am young, sometimes I forget this about myself because,
I have an old soul.
I am busy. ALWAYS, ALWAYS BUSY.  And thats how I like it. A side effect of being busy is that,
I am: tired, overwhelmed, stressed and cranky.  But as soon as I am not busy it is my instinct to fill any open time.
I have the life that I have always wanted.  I was born the be a wife and mother spend my days trying to do my job to the best of my ability.
I am happy.

Thats it! That was five minutes! well, actually 6 because I forgot to watch the clock! Please share your 5 minutes.  This is definitely an exercise worth doing! It will instantly make your day brighter! You can share your writing below, put a link to your blog or share it on my facebook page

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

my love/hate relationship with birthdays

Yesterday was #1's seventh birthday and I am feeling super sentimental. See, I have this love-hate relationship with birthdays.  On one hand, I love throwing big parties for the kids, baking a beautiful cake, and watching them open their presents.  On the other hand, I live in reality.  It never quite goes the way I thought it would in my mind. Birthdays just sneak up in me, especially #1's birthday.  Every year its like we are having a good old time relaxing and enjoying summer, then things get super crazy with back to school and all of the sudden BAM! Its the end of September and I have to put together a birthday! How does that happen? And there just aren't enough hours in the day to do all of the things I pinned on pinterest!  I can't just buy favors and a cake and call it a day! I have high hopes of making EVERYTHING from scratch even if it is three times as much money and takes me hours to complete.

Family birthday celebration yesterday

This year I thought I was being super smart.  I offered #1 a Nintendo DS instead of a birthday party this year.  For those of you who don’t know, a DS is the latest version of what we used to call the Game Boy and is the most sought after possession of most young boys these days. 

#1 has been asking for a DS for two years, so I thought this was a done deal! But he picked the party.  In fact, not only did he pick the party, but he wanted to have it at Chuck E Cheese for the second year in a row.  At first, I really didn’t want to have the party there again, but the more I thought about it, its not REALLY any more expensive to have the party there than it is to have it at home.  By the time I buy cake, decorations, favors, and of course food, it would be at least as much as having the party somewhere else because god knows I can’t have a birthday party with out putting out a huge spread of food that is pleasing to both parents and children.  And this doesn’t even account for the hours that I would have to spend cleaning, shopping and cooking.  Chuck E Cheese was looking better by the minute because they would do EVERYTHING for me! I would just have to accept the chaos and general yucky feeling I get every time I walk in the place.

Now, last year when we had the party we invited a few family friends and wound up with about 10 kids total, which seemed totally reasonable to me, especially since 3 of them were mine. This year #1 desperately wanted to invite his whole class and I am a sucker.  In the end we wound up with twenty kids total, most of which I have never met before and it turns out that first grade is the age where it becomes acceptable to drop your kids off at birthday parties and leave.  This was news to me! So now we had twenty children, some without parents, most of whom I have never met before and #1 is not at all interested in playing the gracious host, in fact if I asked him today I am pretty sure he could not tell me half of the kids who were at the party.  He wants to go play video games and shoot things.  He didn’t want to have his birthday party at Chuck E Cheese to dance with the big mouse or get a cool medal.  He suffered through the embarrassment so that he had unlimited time and coins to sink submarines with complete strangers. So instead of getting the video game system that he could play any time he wants, he chose to have a party so that he could play a video game for 2 hours in a mad house on a Sunday afternoon.  That makes sense.  Maybe I should rethink letting the 7 year old make decisions?  I think next year we will be having a small family party at home!

Regardless of how silly the whole event is, he did seem to have a good time.  Here he is , being tortured and sung to at chuck e cheese. 

He actually looked like he was having fun there!

I bought "sparkler" candles which turned out to be trick candles. Oops!

And this is where I begin to reminisce, because it seems like such a short time ago that we were here celebrating his 6th birthday and now he is 7.  I am super emotional about #1’s birthday this year because to me, 7 years old is when kids go from little to big.  He is a big kid now and that makes me just a little sad.  I know he’s just one day older than he was yesterday but we are moving in to a new phase.  I think this is especially shocking for me because most parents that have a seven year old have been parenting for at least seven years.  I have had three and a half and I feel like he is just growing up so fast.  On the positive side, his growth this last year has been tremendous.  He has gone from a shy, skittish kindergartener who had trouble staying in his seat in school and argued A LOT, to a much more independent first grader who likes to talk to the girls in his class and gets 100% every week on his spelling tests.  Each of our kids are challenging in their own way and #1 has always tried to push the limits.  He is smart and good with words.  He can pull an adult in to a debate before they even know what hit them, but he is starting to use his verbal skills for good as he is learning to read and write.  He is a great big brother, always looking out for his brothers and sister and loves to help when he can. He loves to chat and these days we have some really great conversations.  He has grown so much and come so far in the three and a half years that I have had the privilege to call him my son.  In honor of #1’s birthday, here are a few pictures from the last couple years.  I love you my big boy and I am looking forward to many more years of growth. I can’t wait to see what comes next. 

Last year at Chuck E Cheese. #1 turned 6, #2 is to the right.

January 2011, #1 was 5.  #2 and #3 are behind him.

Thanks for reading my sappy story today! If you made it all this way please leave me a comment! I love to get feedback! You can comment below or on my facebook page!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

funny but true...

The sad part is, I did both of these things today!

vegetables are not scary!!

Ok, don't freak out! I know, I know, kale seems like a scary green vegetable...but its pretty awesome! You just have figure out how you like it, and its amazing for you! On top of having almost no fat, just one cup contains all of the following:

Nutrients in
1.00 cup cooked (130.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value

vitamin K1327.6%

vitamin A354.1%

vitamin C88.8%






vitamin B69%




vitamin E5.5%

omega-3 fats5.4%

vitamin B25.2%


vitamin B14.6%



vitamin B33.2%

Calories (36)2%

So now you know how good it is for you, but how do you get your family to eat it? And for that matter, how am I going to get you to eat it!? I have some awesome recipes for you! Last week I posted whole food "hamburger helper" and I have a couple other tricks up my sleeve.  If you don't like cooked kale, try it raw!  I know it sounds gross, hubby was a little reluctant at first too, but once you try it with this dressing, you will want to eat it all the time. I would say this is sort of like a vegan version of a ceased salad.

raw kale salad


1/2 bunch raw kale, washed, de-stemmed, and dried
1 Tbs tahini
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs Tamari (you could use soy sauce)
2 Tbs nutritional yeast *(see note below)
1 tsp minced garlic
sesame seeds to taste


Break kale in to bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Puree all ingredients except kale and sesame seeds.  Pour dressing over kale and toss until kale is evenly coated.  Refrigerate for at least one our (you don't have to do this but it makes the kale less potent and tough).  Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving. 

*this is not the yeast you use to make bread! Who knew there was more than one kind! I just discovered nutritional yeast and it is pretty cool! It makes things taste sort of cheesy without using cheese! It is a deactivated yeast that is grown on sugar cane juice and beet molasses in a carefully controlled environment. It is harvested, washed and dried before packaging.    Nutritional Yeast is a good source of B vitamins and some nutritional yeasts are fortified with B12. Containing 18 amino acids, it is also a complete protein. There are an amazing 8 grams of protein in one and a half tablespoons. Nutritional yeast is produced specifically for the nutritional benefits that it provides. It also provides a great taste. Cheesy and nutty, it brings a depth of flavor to raw food recipes. It is not raw as it has to be pasturized to kill the yeast. But it is a healthy, nutritious, supplement

We bough Bragg's nutritional yeast but I am sure there are others out there. Here is a picture because one of the most frustrating problems i have encountered in cooking is not being able to find new ingredients because I don't know what I am looking for! So here you go...

Still not convince that Kale is for you? Here are a couple other suggestions for kale recipes! 

Kale Chips - can't wait to try this one!

braised Kale - even Emril likes kale!!!

Oh and if all else fails, just remember this, my pickiest eater (#2) loves kale and he is only 5! That might be because I told him it would turn him in to hulk...but thats a story for another time! It won't kill you to try a new vegetable! I have to say I was really shocked to find the variety of veggies available right at my own grocery store when I actually looked!  Those of you who know me well will be SHOCKED to hear that I was the type that always bought the same produce when I went to the store.  But it turns out those huge cases full of green foods are more than just decoration! 

Yup! This stuff is edible! And its actually pretty good once you figure out how to prepare it! Remember, you have to try things 15 times before you decide you don't like it! 

recipe - raw kale salad


1/2 bunch raw kale, washed, de-stemmed, and dried
1 Tbs tahini
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs Tamari
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp minced garlic
sesame seeds to taste


Break kale in to bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Puree all ingredients except kale and sesame seeds.  Pour dressing over kale and toss until kale is evenly coated.  refrigerate for at least one our.  sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Recipes for success

In our mission to improve our diet we have started eating A LOT more vegetable than we ever had in the past.  We have started eating vegetables that I had never even heard of before last month, and if you have kids, you know that getting them to try new foods can be REALLY tough.  #1 doesn't like carrots, potatoes (yes potatoes! What kid doesn't like potatoes!?), or tomatoes.  #2 doesn't like tomatoes, celery, peppers, cucumbers and especially onions! #3 doesn't like peppers, onions, carrots, potatoes, cabbage or anything leafy and green.  And #4 doesn't like anything her brothers say they don't like during any given meal. In general they don't like anything spicy or anything that looks like onions or peppers, and this is the short list.

 I've done a bit of research on how to get the kids to eat better. A few weeks ago, while surfing the internet, I found an article that said in order to get a child to like a new food you need to expose them to  eat it 15-20 times and in different dishes.  15-20 TIMES?!?!  Thats a lot of dinners!! How am I ever going to get them to eat Zucchini 15 times?? ...or kale, or mushrooms, onions, turnips, beets, you name the vegetable and one of my kids thinks they don't like it. But today we had success! In fact, it was the second time this week that we had success, so I thought it was only fair that I shared the recipes with you.

Our dinner tonight was awesome! Three out of four children ate it and LIKED IT! They cleared their plates! Believe me, that is a huge success.  Maybe they liked it because I was an hour late putting dinner on the table and they were starving because I got wrapped up in a craft project but I am going to assume that they actually liked the food, especially since I really enjoyed it too! It has kale, swiss chard, tomatoes, and onions! I did #3 pick out the onions but I would still call it a huge success.  I don't really have a name for it but I am going to call it whole food hamburger helper.

Our other success was a carrot dish.  Carrots are one of the few vegetables that #2 has always liked.  Unfortunately, #1, #3 and #4 don't like carrots, and honestly, neither do I. So we turned it in to a dish that could have qualified as dessert.  We will definitely be having this again, probably next week! My four kids ate 2 POUNDS of carrots for dinner! It was amazing.  The few bites that I got were delicious! I highly recommend carrot soufflĂ©!

So I guess if at first you don't succeed, try try again.  I keep thinking about what I read.  Kids have to try something 15-20 times.  Maybe the reality is, it takes parents 15-20 times of making a food to find one that tastes good!

I hope you enjoy the recipes!

I would love your feed back! Please feel free to comment below or on my facebook page.