Clean Living Buying Club! Veggies, Community, Health! 

I recently got the opportunity to take part in a new veggie buying collective organized by a lovely lady named Maria.  Maria has organized an awesome program so local families can pool their funds and buy organic, locally grown produce at a great price.  

 The veggie buying club is a fantastic  way for local community members to access fresh, healthy, organic produce while supporting local farms and keeping dollars in our own community and nearby communities. 

 I am excited to take part in this as it embraces supporting local farms, and eating healthy! Plus it brings together community members! All great things in my eyes.   

 The club currently offers two boxes, a 5 pound harvest and a 15 pound harvest box. Both boxes contain an assortment of veggies and herbs that will change with the growing seasons!  They also offer a juicing box. 

This weeks farmer and harvest boxes contained kale, chard, carrots, beets, a variety of potatoes, leeks, herbs, garlic and the option of wheatgrass add ons.  

 We have already eaten the white potatoes, carrots, and rainbow chard, All of which have been delicious, fresh and flavourful. 

Maria is in the process of getting more farms and local products involved! Hopefully soon the collective will have one stop access to local eggs, honey, seeds, etc.

I am throughly impressed that Maria has give up her own time and energy to bring something so amazing to her community. 

If you’re interested in taking part in the collective or just looking for more information check out The Clean Living Team website. 

A Fresh Start… 

As the first day of January in this brand new year winds down I thought I’d share my day and my thoughts with you! 

As some of you know I am taking part in Epicure’s new healthy living program Good food real results. Today was my kick off day! While I can’t share specific recipes and program material, I can show you what I’m eating these days!! I’ve decided that sharing my food and blogging more both things I want to do to help keep myself on track! 

My meals today have been healthy and delicious! Full of clean, whole ingredients.  

    
   
I’ve never been one to jump on the resolution bandwagon or get into that “New year, new me” mentality. However this year the things in my life just line up as January being a starting point. I don’t want to call these things I’m taking part in “resolutions”,  I see them more as goals, opportunites and experiences! 

One of my goals is more family time. We send lots of time together in general but I mean uninterrupted family time! No phones, no tv, no internet! Today my little family ventured to the duck pond to feed the ducks and go for a walk! Afterwards we had a quick visit with Grandpa and Grandma. Jacob was a big fan of both.  

    
 
Muffin didn’t come on our like family outing because she has an ear infection. Her and I did venture out for a walk this morning and discovered a little fairy garden in our neighborhood.  I love seeing thoughtful little things people do to make others smile.

 

The rest of my day has been pretty quiet. We took down the Christmas decorations, did some planning for the week and enjoyed the sunshine.

I hope everyone enjoyed the first day of the year. 

2015 The Year That Changed Everything! 

I’m not really sure where the year went. They say as you age time goes by faster. I must be 102 for how fast 2015 passed me bye! 

2015 changed my life forever! It was the year I was blessed with having my amazing son. He is the light of my life, my whole world, my everything.  

2015 taught me that I have to stand up for myself, love myself, and be prepared to walk away from those willing to hurt me. 

2015 reminded me family isn’t defined by bloodlines or marriage.

2015 proved to me that even the darkest cloud has a silver lining.

2015 provided me the opportunity to take risks and to be brave enough to say “why not”. 

2015 solidified that I can do anything I put my mind to, even if the task is excruciating! 

2015 was the year that really opened my eyes. I became a mother, a 1/2 marathoner!  I felt emotions I never dreamed of. I learned what it feels like to love something more than life itself. To be willing to give up everything to protect something else. I let go of my belief in keeping the peace and doing things I don’t want to just to appease others. I trusted myself more than I ever have. I trusted my ability and my strength. 

I’m ready to take on 2016 with my little man by my side!! Let’s do this!!   

‘Twas The Week Before Christmas…

I know we are all busy this week! Busy seems to be a common thread that ties us all together in the chaos.  

I made sure to take time this week for a few important (to me) moments.  A few little things that remind me of what this season is all about. Giving, sharing, and enjoying the simple things! 

This week I made a point of supporting local businesses and home based business as much as possible!  While I shop local as much as possible all year long this week I treated myself to beautiful handmade bracelet by a local artisan, Eva. I bought our cases of Christmas wine from The GrapeVine in Abbotsford. We bought our gorgeous Christmas tree from an Aldergrove family farm. We got our eggs from a nearby farm and made sure to recommend local options to friends and family seeking advice on their purchases. If we all made a point of trying to support home based business, local farmers and our local communities amazing things could happen!  

 
This week I was also fourtune enough to get to spend an evening with some of my amazing girlfriends. We had a fun little cookie swap at my house! We all baked a different kind of cookie and gathered for some snacks, some mulled Apple cider and some much needed relaxing together!  It’s tough to get a group together these days but in the last few months I’ve really found my groove of organizing little events. That paired with my friends being extremely supportive of my Epicure adventure I’ve been very blessed with their presence.  

 
Giving…I try my hardest all year to share. I try to share my time, my love, anything I can to help others. I believe a little giving goes a long way. Many people think giving has to be monetary but it doesn’t. It can be time, support, kind words, advice, anything.  Every Christmas we try to help somewhere, some how. This week a local need in our own neighborhood was brought to my attention and we made our choice to give our Christmas giving to that cause. It’s not a secret this year has been a tough one for my little family given my health issue and Kevin’s injury so it really made me happy to be able to do something for someone else. I’m not going into detail because I don’t want praise. It’s simply  a reminder to myself that even when things are tough I am truly blessed. 

 I think this week I really made a point of being present, being hopeful, and embracing things. 

I love this time of year but this year feels different. It feels like the first time ❤️

Quitting… 

We all have a thousand things to do this time of year! Lets face it, we have a thousand things to do at all times during the year.  Life can be overwhelming at times and for me yesterday was one of those times. 

Yesterday I made the decision to quit Weight Watchers. I am both saddened and relieved by this. I am saddened for a few reasons, mainly because I will miss the weekly visits with my meeting friends. I’ve made some strong friendship connections since joining in June. I know I will still see those friends, just not as frequently. I am also saddened because by quiting im losing my built in accountability of a weekly weigh in.  Back in 2011 (before my Lupus got bad) I had amazing success with Weight watchers. I lost over 50 pounds in a year with the program! Of course my life was very different then and I had amazing support from a friend, freedom/ability to workout when I wanted, much less responsibility, etc. This time around my success has been much slower. I’ve lost 15 pounds since June 1st. I realize my illness and my new Mom life are both factors in my slow loosing and I accept that. I make a point of eating healthy and doing what I can when I can, that to me in itself is a success! Not all victories are revealed by the number on the scale or the size of my pants!!

You might be wondering why I quit given I just told you all about my success!  I quit because I can’t get behind the new program released this week.  The changes are substantial and I can’t wrap my head around a program that says I can have a beer for less points than a glass of milk!  I can eat heavily processed/ chemical laden brand name potato crisps for less points than a 1/4 avocado.  In my opinion the points values of many foods no longer represents their nutrition!  I can’t force myself to follow a program that doesn’t give me enough daily points to have oatmeal with milk, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter for breakfast. A green salad with 4 oz of grilled chicken, 1/4 of an avocado, & 1 tablespoon dressing for lunch, and a high fibre wrap with 4 oz lean protein, 1 oz of cheese, veggies and salsa for dinner. Plus one serving of Greek yogurt and berries for a snack!  That’s three healthy meals and one snack and according to the new program I wouldn’t have enough points for that. 

When a program starts to cause more stress than health benifits it’s time to throw in the towel.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing in the towel on healthy eating! I’m just throwing in the towel on paying $60 a month to be stressed out when making healthy choices!! 

  

Gingerbread Cupcakes 

I love this time of year! Christmas time is so magical! This year even more so for me thanks to Jacob! Im looking forward to all things Christmas. Next week one of my best friends is hosting a Christmas party and requested I bring gingerbread cupcakes. Not wanting to disappoint I did my research, combined and tweaked some recipes and came up with these moist, delicious cupcakes featuring Epicure’s gingerbread spice! 

  
INGREDIENTS 

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 molasses 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/3 cups white flour
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons Epicure Gingerbread spice 

*Allow milk, butter, and egg to come to room temperature before beginning  

 

METHOD 

Cream butter and sugar together in mixer.  Add in egg, milk and vanilla.  

 

Add in molasses. Mixture will look chunky.  

 In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and Epicure gingerbread spice.

With mixer running at low speed add dry ingredient mixture to wet. Once added mix throughly on med/high speed for 30 seconds. Use a spatula to scrape down sides and mix for another 10 seconds.  

 Fill 12 paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full.

 
Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven – 350 degrees.  

 Allow to cool on wire rack before frosting. 

I frosted mine with cream cheese frosting and used a tiny fresh baked gingerbread man to decorate! 

 I hope you enjoy these as much as my friends do! ❤️🎄❤️

  

We Choose Huggies! 

I was recently given the opportunity to review Huggies little movers diapers. Influenster sent Jacob a complentary package of little movers diapers for testing and review purposes. It’s safe to say they are now our go to diapers! 

 When Jacob was born we tried Huggies but found they didn’t work well for him as he constantly wet through the sides! As the months passed and Jacob’s little body shape changed the brand of diapers we were using no longer kept him dry!  We were happy to give Huggies another try and quickly learned the Little movers line was exactly what we were looking for!! 

I’m happy with these diapers as they lock away wetness and keep Jacob dry during his constant crawling & furnature walking adventures!  They also work well at night. 

I also appreciate the fact these diapers are unscented and are very gentle on my little ones delicate skin! Jacob never gets redness or diaper rash with Huggies little movers! To me that is a huge factor when making my diaper choice! I also like the fact I can buy these diapers in a huge box at Costco and save a bit of money. 

I highly recommend giving these diapers a try if you have a little mover on your hands!!  Thanks Influenster for giving us that chance to share our opinion on Huggies little movers!