Insanely Yummy #21DSD Chocolate Energizing Shake

8
Aug
2016

Insanely Yummy #21DSD Chocolate Energizing Shake

Oh my word – I can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe with you all sooner! I apologize now, because once you begin to add this to your daily routine, you will see why I love it so much.

I recently completed my second round of the popular 21 Day Sugar Detox program and this shake was part of my success. The thought of eliminating the sugar from my diet seemed impossible, but I have done it without losing my mind.

I like chocolate and I need quick and easy food. This powerful breakfast shake has become an integral part of my most productive days.

Insanely Yummy #21DSD Chocolate Energizing Shake Recipe

  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 cup almond milk (be sure to get a brand that does not have carrageenan)
  • 1 scoop unsweetened protein powder (I use this)
  • 2 Tablespoons organic cacao powder (I use this)
  • 1 teaspoon organic maca powder (I use this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic cinnamon (I use this)
  • 1/3 cup organic pumpkin puree (I use this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla flavoring (I use this)
  • 1 green tipped banana

Add all of the ingredients to your blender. Turn it on for 30 seconds and ENJOY!

Insanely Yummy #21DSD Chocolate Energizing Shake Recipe

It may take your taste buds a bit to get use to this less sweet version of a shake, but it is so satisfying and packed full of food our body can really use. Sometimes I use 1/2 cup of brewed coffee that has been cooled too. Feel free to change it up a bit to meet your taste – just NO SUGAR!

A Couple Notes About the Ingredients

I recently discovered maca powder. Check it out. Maca powder has been shown to support healthy hormone levels, enhance vitality, and sustain natural energy levels. It also promotes a radiant complexion and glowing skin. It is packed full of minerals, fatty acids, and plant sterols which offer a wide range of benefits for your body. I have noticed a difference on the days I do not start my day with a shake. I definitely have seen an increase in energy, focus, and motivation!

Pumpkin puree is a great source of fiber, rich in iron, and a great source of Vitamin A which in turn is great for your eyes. It is a low calorie source of a great punch for the body.

I have lost five pounds in my second round of the #21DSD. My taste buds have changed. My body has changed. I have more energy and less inflammation. I wake up feeling ready for the day. I especially love knowing I am reducing the risk of illness from the food I choose to eat. I dare you to do any research about what sugar does to your body and how it is hidden in everything. I am thankful to have education and knowledge. That is power for helping us be the best we can be!

Now, go enjoy this fabulous shake recipe and comment when you have. You will want to share it with everyone! Have you done a round of the #21DSD before? Did you have a favorite recipe?

Our Exciting New Beachy Life

4
Aug
2016

Our Exciting New Beachy Life

I have hinted around at our upcoming move and today I’ll share with you all the details.  

Several years ago, my husband and I fell in love with a coastal community on the coast of Washington State, about three hours from where we currently live. I prayed and we set plans into action to save money in order to purchase our own slice of heaven in this little town called Seabrook.

Over a period of several years, we were blessed to purchase land and build a small beach house, with a longterm goal of moving to Seabrook full-time and building a main house on our property.

Earlier this summer, we felt we were being led to put plans into motion to make that happen now. And just like God does when you are following His lead, doors opened, plans easily came, and we are leaving our home in Seattle to live in Seabrook for a year to determine if it truly is what our heart has thought it would be.

We sold our home in less than a day, for over listing price, from a family who is allowing us to stay in the home for FREE as we had desired. We found a home to rent in Seabrook from a delightful couple and have enrolled our youngest into a Montessori school a two-minute walk from our home.

Why Are We Moving?

We get this question a lot and I am sure many of you are wondering too. My husband and I feel without a doubt we are venturing into a new season – with less clutter, more living intentionally, and surrounding ourselves with a very small community.

We desire a slower pace, more walks outside on the beach with our dogs, cozy raining days inside, dinner with new friends, and less traffic – much less traffic!

Seabrook Beach Walk

I have a vision for a quality of life that will be a shift for us – we have paid off debt which has freed us to make this move. We buckled down in areas to reduce our spending and also managed what we had well. I know God blesses that – He sees.

Our Future

I am fortunate because I can work from anywhere. I have freedom as a blogger and as a Young Living team leader. I can do it anywhere! My husband does travel, but the goal there is to reduce his time away – that is the ultimate goal.

We want to be sure this desire is really one that can fit our family. We will rent for a year and then decide if we want to settle permanently – if not, then we will be seeking guidance and leading to know where we will move next.  

We are selling about 80% of our stuff – um, I am nearing 50 and have accumulated a lot of stuff as a blended family with four kids! This alone is extremely exhilarating to me – to reduce and have less. I will share next week what I have been using to help me through this process {read between the lines – STRESS AWAY!}. Getting rid of stuff is emotional, tiring, scary, and freeing all at the same time!

So there you have it – my adventure right now. I am so excited to take you along on the journey. This space here is about motherhood, the adventures and challenges we all face – I am sure there is someone else who has made a huge move before and can offer suggestions to me.

So lay them on me. Please comment with any guidance you may have to offer – I am all ears!

Can’t wait to bring you along on our beach life adventure!

Seabrook Beach

7 Year Blogging Anniversary!

1
Aug
2016

7 Year Blogging Anniversary!

You would think I would know the date in my head – like the birth dates of my children – but alas, I do not! However, Facebook reminded me yesterday when it gave me a memory in my feed – seven years ago, on July 31, 2009, I had announced that my blog was open for business.

WOW!

I have written 1,018 blog posts, created over six products for busy moms which target huge struggles for moms – including my Free Weekly Household Planner which has been downloaded over 25,000 times just in 2016.  

I’ve recorded over 96 podcast episodes relating to concerns moms have on Blog Talk Radio and also available on iTunes. I have personally coached over 200 moms and helped them overcome challenges in their home, shared my journey with depression, overcome and learned to live well with an auto-immune disorder, shared about adoption, foster-care and blending a family, and tried my best to encourage you as a mom. Our blog sponsors six Compassion girls through your generous contributions when you use my Amazon affiliate link, and I’ve grown an amazing community of over 4,000 Confident Essential Oil users who are empowered to care for their family’s health and wellness. 

God is amazing – and it is only through HIM that any of this would have happened.

You see, I am no expert and I am journeying through this life – imperfect, a huge mess and often times just barely making it by. However, I do know that my mess can help encourage someone else, so that is what led me to begin sharing.

You are all part of my extended community and I am so grateful. I am touched that you will venture over to this space every so often, read what I wrote, and then leave a comment. At times, we bloggers feel alone, like we are talking to a wall – but when someone leaves a comment or emails with words of how they’ve been touched, it makes it all so worth it!

Our family is venturing into a new season – we are moving. I will share more on that next week, but know I am not going anywhere. I plan to keep sharing my life in the hopes I can help others. I feel strongly that motherhood is a gift. We have a calling on our life to nurture our families and I pray that I can continue to make improvements on that each and every day.

Also, if you are a new reader here and have not picked up a copy of my Confident Mom Back 2 School Survival Guide Complete with Printables, hop over and do so. It is only $8 and is filled with great information to get you organized, back on track, and it’s chock full of printables you can use in your home too. I know many of you started back to school today – yikes. Thank goodness we still have a month to go here in the Seattle area!

Thanks for stopping by. I so appreciate you all!

Mommy Burnout: A Real Reality

25
Jul
2016

Mommy Burnout: A Real Reality

I thought the day was starting out like all others, but shortly after I was up last Friday morning, my reality began to disintegrate. I read this article written by blogging friend Kelly Richards over at Mrs. Disciple and it resonated with me. I felt like summer break was eating me alive this year, and I have only one child at home that I am responsible to supervise. {By the way, if you don’t follow Kelly’s blog, do it today – it will refresh you, inspire you, and give you hope!}

I read the article and my heart sank. I was tired – well, actually beat down exhausted. I sat back with another warm cup of coffee and read through some of God’s word and was met with:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:2-5

Oh my, it spoke to me as I was feeling weary. I was trying to manage on my own strength, yet once again. I needed to ask Him for His strength and to show me His plan for my day.

I had been in a three week period of travel – which can be good, exciting, and fun, but for me as an introvert, it can put me in overdrive and exhaust my soul. I was spending some days as a single parent while my husband was gone working out of town, which is not unusual (I experience this weekly) – but the combination of travel, caring for my family on my own, managing my household, two homebased businesses, going through a second round of the 21 Day Sugar Detox, and having recently sold our home and starting the process of selling a majority of our personal belongings had my head spinning, my heart aching, and honestly, I was on overload with nothing left to give.

I had yelled at my son the day before and we cried. I didn’t want a repeat of that day, and I knew my patience had not been magically restored. I needed rest.

I posted this on my personal Facebook page Friday morning, in desperation of sharing that I was struggling to get some prayer but also to be genuine and honest with those in my influence to show that we all end up burned out when we don’t take care of ourselves.

My Mommy Burnout

I felt relieved sharing. I was encouraged by so many wonderful words, and also the comments by other moms who were experiencing the same thing. It’s community – if we don’t share all aspects of our life, we can easily be seen as perfect or fake. I never want to be seen as either.

So what did I do to bring a turn around? Here are a few simple things I did that I hope can encourage you when Mom Burnout arrives, because it will. We all are guilty of burning the candle at both ends, allowing our to-do list to run our days, over-committing, and losing our patience. But mama, there is hope and restoration.

Get in the Word

I spent the morning reading my Bible, catching up on some devotional material, and journaling. I rarely set the time aside to do more than 15-30 minutes, so this filled a hole in my soul.

Easy Meals

Since it was just my son and I, meal preparation was simple for the day and I tool advantage of it. I blended one of his favorite smoothies up and he had that for breakfast. It took three minutes and he was happy! We had leftovers for lunch and I threw in some chicken breast in the Instant Pot for dinner. It didn’t matter that they were frozen solid – that is the beauty of the Instant Pot!

Declare a Jammie Day

Yep, I didn’t get out of my pajamas and neither did my son. It was glorious and refreshing. I snuggled in my bed all day and my son snuggled on the sofa and watched an overload of Winnie the Pooh, Veggie Tales, and Tarzan. I watched HGTV, read, texted some friends, used a lot of essential oils to support my rocky emotions, and just plain had no agenda. It was perfect.

Be Honest

I shared with friends how I was struggling, but I shared with my son – I was having a rough mommy day and you know what it helped each of us. I told him I needed to rest, I could really use his cooperation, and that tomorrow would be a new day. It is amazing how when we are honest and vulnerable, especially with our kids, how it can be transformational.

And you know what? God brought a new day and new energy to my worn out body the next morning!

So how’s your summer going?  

Are you surviving?  

Are you on the verge?  

Don’t wait until you are completely worn out – please, set aside your own day to “reset” and “restore”. I can see how it works much better to be proactive than wait until you are forced to do it.

I will be evaluating my expectations during this transitional season. I am not Super-Mom and I never want to be mistaken for one. Please know, you are not alone when you struggle and feel like a failure. It’s when we fail that we truly see how much we need a Savior to help restore and redeem our life.

Sanity Saving Family Road Trip Tips

5
Jul
2016

Sanity Saving Family Road Trip Tips

We just returned from an amazing road trip through Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Salt Lake City to the Young Living Convention and we could not have done it without a few goodies that we took along for the ride.

I’ve taken road trips before – but this one was by far one of the better ones, and I attribute it to the supplies which helped keep us sane!

I do have to share this amazing photo in the Grand Tetons. We stopped at Jackson Lake Lodge for lunch and were met with this amazing view!

View at Jackson Lake Lodge

Okay, now for the road trip tips!

Have a Car Bucket

This may seem old hat for some, but we needed a “throw-up bucket” for our trip because my son’s tummy can get a bit queasy. We were thankful we didn’t need it for any of the tummy queasiness, but it worked fabulously for a trash can. We could easily toss things in, empty it out, even rinsing it if things spilled. A true lifesaver!

Activities

Melissa & Doug Activity BookI am still the old fashioned mom who rarely lets her child watch endless movies on the road. Our guy was limited to one movie a day, so that left a lot of time to listen to music, chat, or do activities. Here were a few that kept him busy and happy (which is a big bonus) – Hidden Pictures Discovery Activity ZoneMelissa & Doug Water WOW Coloring Book – Animals, and National Geographic Kids Cool Animals Sticker Book.

Diffuser

I love my essential oils, and diffusing some Stress Away in the car is divine for everyone! I purchased two of these mini diffusers and they worked like a charm and I loved the compact size. They were easy to have out of the way and no spills!

Cooler

Coleman 40 Quart PowerChill(TM) Thermoelectric CoolerWe normally take a portable cooler in the car and have ice in it, but this time we decided to purchase an electric cooler and it was SO MUCH BETTER! We purchased this Coleman 40 Quart PowerChill(TM) Thermoelectric Cooler after my husband did some research and it was one of the best investments. We even were able to use this in our hotel room as well because it has dual adaptors for car outlets and electrical outlets. This saved us money because we were easily able to keep snack items cold and accessible.

Easy Packing

I purchased some new packing accessories before our trip and they were great. I needed a new toiletry bag that kept items upright and also completely closed, but was roomy enough for all my items. I found this Travel Toiletry Organizing Bag met my needs great. I loved that it had wonderful ratings. I used it throughout my trip and am really happy with it. In the months to come we will be doing more traveling and I will need to have a sturdy and durable toiletry bag.

I also purchased some Shacke Pak – 4 Set Packing Cubes on the advice of a friend and these were Shacke Pak - 4 Set Packing Cubes - Travel Organizers with Laundry Bagthe bomb! I loved that I could pack clothes I wouldn’t be needing for the first part of my trip inside the larger cubes and have them set aside in my suitcase. I didn’t have to weed through clothes, it was easy to be organized, and it kept my clothes neat and tidy. I used several smaller cubes for my son’s underwear and socks, which always seem to end up everywhere in his suitcase, so it was a relief when this system worked like magic.

Road trips can often times put FEAR into us moms – but let me just say, these tips were so great! We managed a 10-day road trip and we all still really liked each other at the end of it!

Here we are at Yellowstone, one of my favorite places in the park – the Grand Canyon area.

Us at Yellowstone
Do you have any road trips planned this summer?

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