For those of you who don’t know

There’s a really good reason I haven’t been writing that much lately. That reason is morning sickness. Okay so that isn’t the only reason but it was huge contributing factor. We found out that we are expecting and our new little baby will make it’s arrival in November.

I’ve heard women say that every pregnancy is different and I don’t think they were lying. With my first pregnancy I only had a little nausea the first trimester that was it. The first trimester of this pregnancy I was either nauseous or throwing up. I’m 17 weeks right now and  thank goodness the sickness has slacked off a great deal. Another new symptom I’ve had this time is the sensitivity to smell. I had my eyebrows waxed the other day and the beautician had on a really sweet smelling lotion. It instantly made me nauseous and I had to ask her to wash her hands.

Aside from all the symptoms I’m excited but I’m also nervous. Not about the diaper changes or the midnight feedings or even being completely sleep deprived. I’m worried about how much our lives are going to change. Everyone tries to tell you how much your life will change when you have your first baby but of course most of us are know-it-all perfect parents, so we don’t listen. Then we are quickly humbled when the baby arrives. I think there is beauty in that.

This time I’m not a know-it-all unexperienced parent. I definitely know more now then I did before my first. But I also know that this baby could be entirely different from his brother and that’s the thing I’m worried about. I know that sounds silly because there are no two people on this planet that are exactly the same but it’s still a valid fear.

What’s it going to be like having two kids? I don’t know but I’m certain it will be a humbling adventure.

23 and Me

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Over the last couple of days I’ve had a few of my friends and family members ask me about information on the ancestry DNA test I took from 23andMe.com last year. So today I figured I’d talk to y’all about it and the experience I had.

  Why I chose 23andMe.com over Ancestry.com?

I chose 23andMe over Ancestry DNA for a few reasons. I didn’t care about tracing my family tree. The only thing I wanted to know was my ethnic make up. Lastly, it was the cheaper test at the time. (They run specials at certain times of the year, I bought mine in December for about $100)

  How it works?

You order the kit online and within a 3-5 days you receive it. Inside there will a test tube that you’ll spit into it and register it online. Then you’ll return it back to them and in 8-12 weeks they’ll send you the results. Not only will you receive your ethnic make up but you’ll also get information on medical conditions you could be prone to. In addition to all of that you can chose to connect with relatives. (I recently found a second cousin, I didn’t even know existed)

I would recommend this for anyone who wants to know more about their genetic make up or ancestry. It’s really neat and interesting.

 

 

Easter Egg Bath Bomb.

I’m the type of person that believes sometimes after a stressful day, all you need is a relaxing bath and glass of wine to make you feel better. Most people enjoy a good bubble bath but I prefer a nice bath bomb. Something that eases my sore muscles and takes me to my happy place. I’m going to show you how to make your very own Bath Bomb with a little holiday twist. That you can make for yourself or give as a gift. Today I’m going to show you how to make Easter Egg Bath Bombs.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Cup of Baking Soda

1/2 Cup of Citric Acid

1/2 Cup of Epson Salt

1/3 Cup of Corn Starch

1 Tablespoon of Melted Coconut Oil

1 Teaspoon of Water

Essential Oil(s)

Food Coloring

Plastic Eggs

Plastic Wrap

 

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In a large bowl combine the baking soda, citric acid, epson salt, and corn starch. Stir until fully mixed.

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Then in a small bowl mix together the melted coconut oil, water, and essential oil(s). (You’ll add as little or as much essential oil as you’d like. The more you add, the stronger the scent. I used 1/2 teaspoon of Lemon Essential Oil by Young Living.)Next pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until it’s completely combine.  (There will be a little a reaction but don’t worry that’s normal)

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Divide the mixture up into 4 or 5 different bowls. Make sure to cover each of them with plastic wrap immediately. ( The mixture tends to dry out quickly, if you don’t.) Using one bowl at a time add 7 drops of food coloring and mix well with a fork. Then recover and set aside.

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Open the plastic egg and alternate layers of the colored mixture on each side of the egg. Make sure to gently pack the mixture into eggs but be sure not to over pack it. When both sides of the egg are filled, close the plastic egg. Leave the in mold for 2 hours. Then using a wooden spoon tap the outside of the egg to loosen any mixture that may be stuck to the sides. Then slowly remove the bath bomb from the plastic egg.

Place the Easter Egg Bath Bombs either on plate, a towel or even in a cardboard/foam egg crate to dry over night. Once they are dry turn on some music, pour yourself a glass of wine, and drop one of the eggs in a warm bath. Enjoy or better yet Relax!!

 

 

 

 

Vegetable Frittata Muffins

I’ve been making  Vegetable Frittata Muffins since my son was able to eat solid food. It was my mission to make him love fruits and vegetables. The great thing about these is that they taste great, it’s healthy, and ridiculously easy to make. Today I’m going to show you how to make Vegetable Frittata Muffins.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

6 Eggs

1 Cup of Broccoli chopped

1/2 Cup of Bell Pepper Chopped

1/2 Cup of Tomatoes Chopped

1- 1/2 Cup of Any kind Cheese (I used Mild Cheddar)

Salt

Pepper

First pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.Then you’ll want to chop up your veggies. Next grab the cheese and shred it. (Tip: Block cheese is always cheaper then pre-shredded cheese) Also feel free to add any veggies you want. Experiment.

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Once that’s finished crack your eggs open and place in a large bowl. Using a fork, whisk the eggs.

Then add the veggies and cheese. Then salt and pepper to taste.  Stir well.

Grab a muffin pan and spray it with cooking oil. Then spoon the egg mixture in the muffin pan cups about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 20-22 minutes. Then Enjoy!!

DIY All Purpose Cleaner

So I’m always looking for ways to save a money. I thought why not make my own All Purpose Cleaner and save my little family a few dollars. I knew I wanted something that was powerful but also safe to use around my son. Today I’m going to share with you, my All Purpose Recipe.

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Here’s What You’ll Need:

1 Empty Spray Bottle

1 Lemon

1 Cup of Vinegar

1 1/2 Cup of Water

1 Tablespoon of Baking Soda

1 Funnel

1 Permanent Marker

IMG_0522Using the funnel pour the vinegar into the spray bottle and add the water.

IMG_0523Next add the tablespoon of Baking Soda. (Make sure the funnel is dry. Otherwise the baking soda to stick to the sides and the funnel may become clogged.)

IMG_0529Take the lemon and cut it in half. Then squeeze the juice from both halves into to the bottle. Swirl the bottle around a little and reattach the sprayer.

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Take your permanent maker and label the outside of the bottle. There you have it ladies and gentleman your very own All Purpose Cleaner that works wonderfully. Enjoy!!

Helpful Tip:

If you’re not a fan of the smell vinegar, you can always exclude it and add an extra cup of water with a few drops of natural soap.

Also if you want you can use an essential oil instead of the lemon.

What the Whole30 did for me.

IMG_6025To fully explain what the Whole 30 did for me, I’ve got to talk about my journey.  Like a lot of people, I’ve always struggled with my weight. In 2010, I spent a semester in Chicago. While there I decided to become a Pescatarian (a person who maintains a vegetarian diet with the addition of fish, eggs, and dairy products.)  I worked out 7 days a week, and counted my calories religiously. I lost 45 lbs by doing this. The only down side is that I became obsessed. I would count calories in gum, and beat myself up for going a couple of calories over my 1,500 limit for the day. I worked out constantly, even when I was ill. I never stopped, and it wasn’t healthy.

When I returned home me, and my now husband had just started dating. Life happened, and I slowly started gaining my weight back. After being together for 3 years, we found out that we were expecting. I walked 3 miles every day until the weight from carrying my son caused me to pull a muscle in my stomach, and the pain would no longer allow it. I remember sitting in my OBGYN’s office, crying, and telling her that I was worried about gaining weight. She looked at me, and said “Brandy, you’re having a baby, you’re going to gain weight. It’s inevitable. Just be mindful of what you eat.”  I took that as an “okay I can give into every craving that I have.” I ended up gaining 70 lbs during my pregnancy.

After my son was born I instantly dropped 24 lbs. Then I had the Mirena (an IUD) put in, which was the worst decision I have ever made. I could write an entire blog about all the side effects I suffered from, and why no woman should ever get it.  One of those side effects was not being able to lose weight. I would work out, and go days without eating, and still lose nothing. There were times that I would restrict myself to a miserable amount of calories, and still the scale wouldn’t move. I know that these aren’t healthy measures of losing weight, but I was desperate. After suffering the side effects of the Mirena for 8 months I had it removed, and instantly dropped 5 lbs.

I tried going back to being that Pescatarian that counted calories, and working out like before but I was exhausted. The little bit of energy that I did have was dedicated to caring for my son. I tried other things too, like just counting my calories (the correct way), a beach body program, plexus slim, diet pills, and spark. (To name a few.) I’m not saying these things won’t work for you, they just didn’t work for me. I know several people who have been successful with these programs and products, I however, did not have the same results.

It wasn’t until I saw pictures from my sons second birthday party that I realized how big I had gotten. That’s when I had an honest conversation with myself. I wasn’t happy with how I looked or how I felt. Then I thought about the possibility of my son having to grow up without me because I wasn’t taking care of myself. I thought about my husband having to be a single dad. It shattered my heart. I knew I’d have to do something about it, something unlike anything I had ever done before. So, I started doing some research. I kept coming across these words “Clean Eating,” “80/20,” and “Paleo.” But what the hell does that even mean. I think some health gurus forget that not all of us are well versed in health, and fitness terminology. So I did a little more digging and found a reference to The Whole 30 Challenge Book. I started looking a little deeper, and liked what I was finding. Then I went to Amazon to read the negative reviews because that’s how I decide if something is worth buying or not. The negative reviews were mostly about petty things like “It took too long to ship” “Too long to be a diet book”  and  “Too big of a commitment”. So I bought it. It is a pretty lengthy book, however that’s because it’s teaching you about how to certain foods can affect your body, how to cook, and that overall health and well-being out weighs the number on the scale. Also it is a big commitment, but isn’t anything worth doing a big commitment?

I did my first challenge in July, and the first 10 days were so difficult that I almost quit on several occasions. However, once I made it past the “carb flu”, I felt wonderful and I had a ton of energy. Then came the ultimate obstacle; taking my son to a birthday party. There was homemade ice cream. Ice cream is my absolute favorite when it comes to desserts, and it was homemade which made it that much harder to resist. I stood my ground and was able to say no to the ice cream; I never would have been able to do that before the Whole 30. I was so proud of myself. As the challenge went on, I noticed that my skin was clearing up, that I looked less bloated, my sugar cravings were almost entirely gone, and I had a new-found confidence. I finished the challenge in August. Day 31 rolled around, and I stepped on the scale to find that I was down 17 lbs! But in all honestly, the weight loss was just an added bonus. I did all of this without having to count calories, measure my food, or starve myself.

This program taught me that there is no such thing as bad food. There is only food that makes you more healthy, and food that makes you less healthy. For the first time in my life I’m not crippled with regret and guilt because I have a brownie, or a cookie. I have a healthy relationship with food, and that’s a great feeling.

I’m currently on my second round of The Whole 30 Challenge, day 15 to be exact. I wanted to do one before the holidays, and I have plans to do another in January. So, if you’re looking for something that really works, teaches you how to make better choices, kills your cravings, and gives you a new outlook on life. I recommend giving The Whole 30 Challenge a chance.

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