Friday, August 7, 2015

Easy Gluten-Free Ramen

I am all about healthy, easy meals and this is one that I made up the other day and everyone in the family enjoyed it.  I typically cook, organic, non-gmo and gluten free but you can make this with wheat noodles or whatever ingredients you prefer. This should take about 30 minutes to prepare and cook.

Chicken and Vegetable Ramen Noodles

2 Tbl. oil (olive or coconut are my favorites)
4 Tbl. Braggs liquid aminos (you can also use soy sauce)
1 small red onion, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 Tbl. ginger, minced (I love ginger but not everyone does so make to taste preference)
1 Tbl. Turmeric
3 Tsp. real salt
1 C carrot, diced or julienne
1 C peas (I used organic frozen)
4 C Chicken or Vegetable broth -- I did not have any premade so  I used this one
2 C chicken, cook and cut into bite size pieces (I used an organic rotisserie I bought at the store for this but you could use 2 chicken breasts as well).
2 Ramen "cakes" - cook per instructions - purchase here

Ok now for the fun part!! Let's get cooking....

To start you are going to get 2 medium pots. The first one is going to be for your broth and the second one is going to be for your noodles. Grab pot 1 and put it on the stove, turn to med/high heat. Add oil and the chopped onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and toss. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes until it all starts to get slightly golden brown. Add the turmeric, sea salt and carrot and toss to coat. Add the Braggs and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes until carrots are softened but not cooked through. Add the cooked chicken and peas and the broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15-20 minutes.

While this is cooking grab pot 2 and put enough water to cook the ramen cakes - usually about 3-4 cups. Bring to a boil. Carefully place the ramen "cakes" into the pot and cook to instructions. The ones I used took 4 minutes total. Once cooked through remove from heat and toss into a colander and rinse with cold water.

Now that it's all cooked grab a big soup bowl, add the cooked Ramen noodles and ladle the chicken and vegetable broth on top.  Careful it's hot! Serve and enjoy!!!

side note: If you have any leftover make sure to store the noodles separate from the broth; the noodles will absorb all the liquid if left in.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

I am not the Mother I thought I was going to be.

Before becoming a mother, I would fantasize and dream about having my own children. I would imagine them sweet, calm, and clean; even in my dreams, I would be holding and kissing them. I would see us playing outside, laughing and snuggled under a canopy of stars, whispering our dreams and secrets to one another. In those fantasies of Motherhood I was calm and effervescent, managing my children with ease and grace--everything seemed like a magical whirlwind of love and joy.

As magical as Motherhood is, and can be, this is not the real reality. While there are moments of love and laughter,  running through fields of grass with smiles as big as the sky on their faces, that is not what our life is like all the time.

As much as I like to think of myself as an awesome, put together Mother the reality is I struggle....a lot. I've read the books, researched the articles, and listened to the podcasts--but NOTHING prepared me for what it's really like. You spend almost 10 months imagining this baby, and then the day happens where you go into labor and you spend so much energy and love getting that baby Earthside. They come out, and they look at you and that's it; your life is changed forever. You will never be the same. You are now responsible for keeping this child ALIVE, and for teaching them how to navigate through this world.

There are times where I feel like I'm making it all up; at the end of the day when they are asleep in their beds I think,  "we did it! We survived another day!" There are moments when both my kids are screaming or crying, when I have no idea what to do or how to help them other than try to keep myself calm. Some days I succeed and others end with me on the floor, feeling like a failure, while they are crying and upset. There are times where the flight-or-flight sense desire to run away can become so great and so strong, and I HATE myself in those moments for feeling resentful towards my children. I remind myself that they are little kids and they are still learning. I often feel frustrated with myself, wondering why I get angry and upset. Why do I have to struggle? Why does it seem like it's easier for all the other Mom's out there in their beautiful clothes, perfect make up and clean homes?

Then I remember, their life is not perfect either. Those Mothers also have days when their children are screaming, and kicking, and flailing, and acting like a crazy person. Their house will get messy, their dishes will pile up, and they will struggle too. The reality is that we are all struggling, and we are doing the best we can. Often, as women and as Mothers, we try to "put on a show" of what our lives should be...we need to stop doing that, and start getting real with one another. I think if we were more honest about how hard it can be to parent so many Mothers would stop feeling like failures.

I have to remind myself that this is just a season in my life, when I wake up and the dishes are piled up, and the laundry is falling out of all the baskets, and the kids are demanding food, but "not on that plate, on my other plate!" "Not the Woody cup,  the Spiderman one!" When I go to change my littles diaper and now, even after 2 years of this daily routine, he is screaming so loud I think it probably sounds like I'm torturing him and am forced to sit on him to get the job done; I remind myself that before I know it, my children will be grown up, out of the house, and all the noise and screaming will come to and end, and I will be left with the memories of what their childhood once was. Will I remember the piles of laundry or the sleepless night? Will I remember how many days in a row I cried from sheer exhaustion? Or will I remember the hugs and kisses and the "hold me tight"?

I'm not sure what the future holds but I do know that while today it feels hard that it's still ok. It's supposed to be hard. I may not be the perfect Mother, I may not even come close to the idea I once had in my head of the kind of Mother I would be, but I am EXACTLY the Mother my boys need and they are exactly the children I need as well. As much as I teach them, they will teach me. It's a huge responsibility to be a parent. We are raising our future here. It's a heavy load to carry, but we've got this. We can handle it. We are in this together, so let us be kinder to one another, help each other out, and to remember that we all have our struggles.

I believe that in all aspects of life communication is key. I believe that remaining silent about the daily struggles we have as parents only burdens each of us more. Being open and honest about not only our victories but also our griefs will create a more human connection between each of us and be a reminder that we should not put so much pressure on ourselves or our children; the focus shouldn't be about right vs. wrong, perfect vs. imperfect, happy vs. unhappy. The focus should be on truth and honesty.

The truth is life can be hard, there are good days and bad and that is okay and NORMAL. We all are human and imperfect. We need to lift one another up and support each other in this daily crusade that is Parenthood.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Switching our household to a Gluten-Free diet has been an amazing transition for my family. When we first started the transition just two years ago there were not nearly as many gluten-free choices in the grocery stores as there are today. I am so thankful for all the amazing gluten-free products out there that make my life so much easier!!

One of our favorite foods to eat is pizza. We LOVE pizza!! So, when I was shopping at Sprouts I was very excited to find this Bob's Redmill GF Pizza Crust.

Let's be honest gluten-free dough is usually not nearly as delicious and savory as "regular" dough. This dough is great because it does not taste like or have the consistency of cardboard as so many gluten-free options do.  Not only is this dough fluffy and delicious but on the back of the packaging there is also a gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe!!!

I took a picture after baking so the bag has flour all over it. 
I decided to give the cinnamon rolls a try; I made some slight changes to their original recipe and am very please with how they turned out. So please in fact that I ate three rolls in one sitting! So good!!!!



  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter (melted) - I did half butter/half coconut oil. 
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar - I used this kind. 
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon



Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Step 2

Add 1 Tbsp of the sugar to the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast packet on top of water and let sit 5 minutes. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure to blend in completely.

Step 3

Add the yeast mixture to the butter/egg mixture and blend. Add in the pizza crust mix; blend two minutes. The mixture will be slightly sticky. Heavily dust a 2-foot long sheet of wax paper with flour. Spread batter over the length of the wax paper, about 19 inches. Using warm water, wet your hands and press the batter outward to fill the sheet. Remember to keep your hands wet or you will get covered in batter. Once the batter evenly covers the wax paper you can brush melted butter or coconut oil over the batter from edge to edge.


Step 1

Combine the cinnamon and sugar and then sprinkle mixture over the batter from edge to edge. Pick up the short end of the wax paper and begin carefully rolling the batter over itself. Cut the roll into 1 1/2 inch pieces and gently place the disks into the 8 x 8 inch greased pan. It is okay to crowd them.

Step 2

Let the rolls rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven, cool until the butter/oil stops bubbling then flip out onto a plate. Makes 8-10 cinnamon rolls.

** I used Organic products for everything I could and recommend you do the same. 
** I also did the filling a little different. I used room temperature butter mixed with room temperature coconut oil and added the cinnamon and brown sugar to that and made a "rub" and rubbed it onto the spread out batter. I also doubled the recommended filling mixture because I like a lot of cinnamon filling in my rolls. 
** When the rolls came out of the oven I drizzled local, organic honey over the top of them. Enjoy!!! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Face of Depression

Ever since I was young I have dealt with depression. I was a highly energetic child, with many friends and endless love to give yet I was sad, often. When I was by myself or even in groups of people I felt very alone. Life always seemed so much easier for everyone else. I never knew what or when I would be thrown into the “darkness” of my mind and heart. It would sneak up on me and suck me in. So many times in my life I felt like I was drowning in my sadness and didn’t know how to get out. I was told at a young age that depression and being bi-polar ran in my family so I always had a name for what I was dealing with. I always had the ability to discuss it with my Mother which, looking back now, I think was a huge saving grace I had to fighting this disease of the brain.

You never know who is hurting, just because you have a smile on your face and are "functioning" doesn't mean you aren't suffering greatly inside. Depression can be in a 12 year old girl or a 60 year old man. You never know what is truly going on with someone. So be kind to those you meet, go out of your way to help a neighbor, give a compliment to a stranger on the street, make eye contact and smile. It only takes a small act of kindness to change a persons day. If I hadn't been given so much love and support in my life and felt safe to discuss my depression who knows where I would be today. And if you are struggling with depression know that you aren't alone. There are people that care. 

Click here for the National Suicide prevention lifeline.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's not about perfection....

One of the hardest parts about being a Mother is not comparing yourself to other Mother's. It's near impossible, we are all guilty of it at one time or another. I do it all the freaking time and I NEED to STOP!!! My children are happy and healthy. Every day is not perfect in my house by any means. My floors get dirty. I have piles of laundry that never seem to end. I find food in random places. There are toys spread across my house; little trails of where my children have been...I get frustrated at myself on a regular basis for not being able to "keep up" with everything that I have to do. Lately, I have been thinking to myself where did I get this idea that everything needs to be in order and perfect? Who am I trying to impress?

I have no idea. Everyone, myself...

I think it's social medias fault because you have "insight" into other peoples lives in a way we never did before. For instance; I'll see a picture of a friend and her house is clean and you think, damn I'm failing. I'll see a picture of a Mother all dressed up with lipstick on taking her kids to the park or the store as I'm drinking my third cup of tea in the same leggings I've had on for two days and I can't even remember the last time I brushed or washed my hair (for days it's been in a messy bun that now looks like a nest). I read these blog posts about how blessed these women feel being at home and their snuggled up next to a fire with their children while they play the banjo and paint and I look over and  here's my kid in time out for the 5th time in the past hour for smacking his brother in the face or screaming at me, and I think where did I go wrong? Then I realize...I haven't. This is a glimpse into these peoples lives it is not the whole picture. If you are a Mother and you say your kid never yells or you never get upset with them you are full of it!! Yes, raising children is one of the most rewarding and magical experiences you can have for sure. You love your children more than you can even explain; it's beyond love. But they can also drive you nuts. You can lose yourself in trying to manage it all. The house, the husband (partner), the job or lack there of, the dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, butt wiping, the screaming, crying, diaper changing, nursing, the napping or lack there of, the constant battle to get ready for bed, sweeping the floor for the 3rd time that day because you don't have a dog that eats all the food off the floor that your child throws. It's exhausting trying to keep up with it all.

I had a panic attack a few weeks ago because I was running myself so thin making sure everything was being taken care of. No more. The house can be messy if that means I have some time to relax and actually enjoy my children. Lochlan is going to be four soon. Lenix is going to be one in less than a month and then they'll be 7 and 10 and not want to snuggle with me as much. I need to enjoy this time with them being children without being frustrated that my house is a mess or I didn't have time to look picture perfect that day.

I, actually, am an amazing Mother. I am. I cook for my children every day, I make sure they drink enough water, I give them hugs, I tell them I love them, I take them to the park when I can, I read to them everyday, I keep them ALIVE!

I am enough.

You are enough too. STOP feeling less than. If you love your kids and let them know you love them and are doing the best you can then you are doing great!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Investing in Me

Being a Mother is a beyond a full-time job. We are "on-call" 24/7. There are days I don't sit down all day long and there are nights I sleep in 45 minute intervals. I don't think most Dad's really understand how much a Mother does. Even when I'm sitting I'm making breast milk which is using up energy. Most days I have to remind myself to eat and drink enough water and I'm lucky if I can have a moment of peace in the bathroom by myself.

With all that being said I LOVE being a Mom. I really do. It is so hard but nothing compares to the feeling of being able to help nurture and grow your child. When people come up to me and tell me my son Lochlan is so polite because he says "excuse me" I know it's because I raised him to be that way. When people tell me how happy my son Lenix is, I know it's because I give him all of his needs and love him immensely so he has no reason to be a fussy baby. I dedicate everything to my children but I'm starting to realize that it can't be that way everyday. I still need to invest time in myself. I still need to nourish my own needs and desires.

Being a stay-at-home Mom is incredible and I am so lucky and blessed to be able to do it and I take it very seriously but I have to learn to set time aside for myself. I discovered how important this was a few weeks ago when I had a very serious panic attack. I really thought I was having a heart attack and was seconds from going to the hospital. I couldn't breathe, my face and limbs all went numb. I was scared. What was even scarier was that I was home alone with the kids and had no car. I locked us in a room and called my mother-in-law who is a nurse and told her I thought I was having a heart attack. She immediately said, "I think you're having a panic attack. Go to a quiet place and breathe into a bag." Luckily, a friend of mine had just left so I was able to call her and she came back to my house within 15 minutes and my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law showed up within the hour. It took me several hours to calm down and a few days to feel "normal" again. I realized in those moments as I was breathing into a brown bag that I needed to take some time for myself. I try to control and take care of everything all the time. I have to have the house clean, dishes done, laundry done, food made, kids dressed; I worry about my parents, my siblings, my friends; I have to take care of David and all of his needs. I take care of everyone else but me. I am good about eating right but I don't exercise other than some daily stretching and walking to the park, I don't write in my journal anymore. I haven't written on this blog in a very long time. I haven't painted since before I was pregnant with Lenix. It's honestly been years since I have invested in ME.

I decided to make a promise to myself, a commitment to give myself 30 minutes a day for
ME. Whether it means to write, read, paint, walk, exercise, meditate, cook....whatever I WANT to do I do it and I choose to not feel guilty that I'm not accomplishing my daily Mommy/housewife tasks.

Honestly, it's been hard to even give myself 30 minutes. It doesn't seem like much but before I realize it the day is almost over and I've been taking care of everything and everyone else. I am trying to be more mindful though of how I go through out my day and not allow myself to become so stressed out by all the little things that need to get done. It's okay if the house is messy and I choose to lay down and snuggle my children. It's okay if I paint while my son watches a movie and the baby is asleep. It's actually fun to exercise around my son because he always laughs and says, "What are you doing?" and then more often than not he will try it too. It's okay that I can't fix or even always help my friends and family.

I'm not perfect and that's okay.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

I posted a picture of this on Instagram the other day and had several people ask me for the recipe so here it is....

Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

1/2 C Quinoa
1 Tbl. Olive Oil
1 C Black Beans
1 C Garbanzo Beans 
1/2 Large Red Bell Pepper - chopped
1/2 Med. Yellow Onion - diced
1/2 C sunflower seeds
1 Avocado - chopped
1 bunch of Cilantro - chopped
1-2 Tbl. Mexican Seasoning 
1 Tbl. water
Salsa (optional)
Sour Cream (optional)
1 Package Butter Head Lettuce

1. Cook Quinoa according to package and set aside

2. Put oil in skillet and set to med-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until soft (about 5 min.) Add seasoning and water, then toss in garbanzo beans. Cook for additional 3-5 minutes until warm. Turn stove off.

3. In medium size mixing bowl add the cooked quinoa, onion mixture, rinsed black beans, sunflower seeds, and cilantro. Toss until fully mixed together.

4. Pull individual leaves off lettuce and rinse.

5. Serve - fill lettuce wraps to desired amount with quinoa mixture and top with salsa, sour cream, avocado and additional cilantro if desired.

Side Note: I put the leftovers in the fridge and had them the following day as a cold Quinoa salad. It was delicious!!! There are so many variations you can do to this recipe. You could add kidney beans, jalapeno, corn, etc. Have fun with your food. Eat your colors and enjoy!!!