Thursday, September 10, 2015

4/52


“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.” 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

HOMESCHOOL FIELD TRIP // Onondaga & Meramec Caverns.

A few weeks ago we took the little ones on a super secret homeschool field trip. We have been learning about different land-formations in our science class and wanted to plan a little weekend getaway so the kids could experience how amazing the earth is first hand. Caves had been a popular topic though the week and Missouri is a cave state so we took full advantage and headed down to the Meramec River for a weekend of learning and outdoor adventures. The kids had no idea where we were heading and that made for a car ride full of very imaginative guesses! When we finally arrived and our destination was revealed they were so excited to start exploring. We took two cave tours, panned for crystals and minerals, explored a few state parks, and enjoyed a night in a hotel room. I think the kids were more excited about our hotel stay than learning about cave formations but at least they had fun! When we came home we set up a cave corner that the little ones filled with cave drawings, dioramas, a grow your own stalactite experiment, and a bunch of cave vocabulary sight words! It was fun bringing a little cave atmosphere to our home classroom and making our lesson very hands-on.  All in all, it was such a great experience and I'm excited to see where our next homeschool field trip takes us!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

3/52

 “A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.” 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Beauty Review // Evan Healy Skin Care Kit

If you are a regular here you'll know that I'm a huge fan of all natural beauty products. I've talked before about my love for Evan Healy hydosouls and how refreshing and replenishing they are for the skin. The other day while stocking up on all my essentials at Whole Foods I decided to pick up their Ayurvedic skin care kit to try. I've had my eye on it for awhile and I loved the idea of getting a bunch of smaller products to test out before really splurging on the real deal. This kit retails for $35.95 and contains up to 21 days of product. I think it could probably be used longer if it is not your everyday routine. I decided to use the entire kit one night before bed, they include instructions on how to get the most from your kit and how to use each product. Each item has a distinct smell, some delicious and others that may take some getting used to. The Cleansing milk for example has a lovely fresh smell but the Tulsi Holy Basil Hydrosoul (a personal favorite of mine) has a very smokey fragrance that might not be for everyone. I also really love the Lemongrass Facial Polish but my husband did mention that I smelled like Indian food and he wanted to eat my face, so that could be a plus or minus depending on your personal preference. All in all, I would buy every single product in this kit over and over again. The next day I woke up with a fresh face still and my skin felt supple and ready for a quick cleanse.
I was very happy with this purchase and I am obsessed with how my skin feels and smells after using the products in this kit. It comes with a Rose Cleansing Milk, Tulsi Facial Tonic Hydrosoul, Argan Intensive Serum, Neem Immortelle Purifying Serum, and a Lemongrass Facial Polish. These products cleanse, exfoliate, replenish and moisturize almost any skin type and the ingredients used to create these products are natural and organic. They don't test on animals, they don't use parabens or GMOs, and they source their ingredients from family farms, tribal villages, and women's co-ops which all help to give back to the communities that really need it. That's they type of company I like to give my moolah to!
Have you ever tried Evan Healy products? What is your experience with them?

Friday, June 26, 2015

DIY // Bath Tea

Bath teas are nourishing to the skin, they detox the body, and their aromatherapy benefits are endless! Nothing is better after a long day than relaxing in a warm tub full of yummy bath tea. You can add so many different ingredients to make a custom and unique tea for every mood! They make wonderful gifts for all the women you know and they are perfect for pampering yourself!
I wanted my bath tea to be moisturizing and energizing so I used rolled oats and citrus peel, boy does it smell great! I try to use this tea once a week for a little me time and for its detoxing properties. So whip up this yummy bath tea, light some candles, run a warm bath, and enjoy!

WHAT YOU"LL NEED //
1 cup rolled oats, finely ground
1/4 cup dried white sage
1/4 teaspoon fresh mint
1 cup lavender buds
1/2 cup dried green tea
10 drops Orange essential oil
2 ml Vitamin E oil
Dried peel from one medium size lemon and orange
Bowl for mixing
Small cotton or linen satchels for storage

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl, mixing gently to incorporate the vitamin e oil and the essential oil. Scoop into linen or cotton satchels or store in a mason jar! That's it! Super simple and very customize-able. To give it more relaxing properties use lavender oil instead of orange or add Epsom salts for sore muscles and extra stress relief!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Beets Three Ways // My love for beets continued.

It's no secret, I'm a lover of the beet. I talked recently about incorporating beets in the little one's diet in my Operation Veggie series and now we are going to talk about incorporating them into the grown up's diet too! A lot of adults are turned off by beets but they are an amazing super food full of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and are wonderful for fertility thanks to their high levels of vitamin B!
Recently I picked up some Purple and Golden beets from my local organic produce section and decided to try something new! I wanted to see if I could make every part of the beet count, while making something yummy that I could share with my beet loathing husband. 

My first thought was a beet hummus (pictured above). I had seen it all over Pinterest so I decided to use my golden beets instead of the purple for something different. I was so impressed by the results and the husband and little ones were so pleased and weren't turned off by the beet flavor at all! First success! 

GOLDEN BEET HUMMUS // 
2 medium golden beets
2 Cups cooked chickpeas
3 cloves Garlic
⅓ Cup Olive Oil
¾ Teaspoon Sea Salt
½ Meyer Lemon, juiced
½  Teaspoon Cumin
½  Teaspoon Turmeric
¾ Teaspoon Tahini

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and trim your beets and then wrap them in foil and roast them for around an hour. Do not toss your beet greens! Keep them for later, we will be using them!
After beets are done roasting let them completely cool and then remove their skin and cube them.
Add your beets, garlic, olive oil, salt, cumin, turmeric, chickpeas, and tahini to your food processor. For the smoothest hummus is suggest taking the extra time to take the skin off of all the chickpeas. The difference is life changing. Puree the mixture and then add in your lemon juice! You can adjust the consistency of the hummus by adding more or less lemon juice. I garnished my hummus with a little drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of chipotle chili powder, and a few little pieces of beet and beet green.

The next way I utilized my beets were to roast them and use them as a side with dinner. This side is a great way to add some color to your plate and the flavors are so delicious! My husband ate them all, even though at first he was a little frightened that I had given him a pile of beets, not hidden in something. I personally could eat these every day, the glaze is amazing.

ROASTED BEETS WITH A BALSAMIC GLAZE // 
3 medium-sized golden beets, tops removed
3 medium-sized red beets, tops removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

BALSAMIC GLAZE//
½  cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

As with before, keep those beet greens for later!
Preheat your over to 350 degrees F. Remove the skins from your beets and cube them up. Toss your beets in a light drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper and then place them on a foil covered baking sheet. Roast them for around an hour or until your beets are soft when poked with a fork. Let beets cool a little. While your beets are cooling combine your vinegar, and honey or maple syrup to a sauce pan and heat it on medium high until it reaches a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer and let the glaze become a little thick. Drizzle this mixture over your beets and then serve!

Now for those beet greens! A lot of people add them to salads or sautee them with swiss chard or spinach but I like to make pesto with them! I love their earthy flavor paired with the nuttiness of almonds and the tang of  little lemon juice. I used this pesto to top some spaghetti squash and it was a big hit with everyone!

BEET GREEN PESTO // 

Beet greens - from about 6 beets
 
½ cup light packed fresh basil leaves

1 clove garlic
½ cup sliced unsalted almonds
½ cup olive oil (more or less depending on taste and texture)
A squeeze of lemon juice
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper


Blanch beet greens and then squeeze out all excess water. Add greens, basil, garlic, and almonds to food processor and combine until mixture is fine. Then drizzle in olive oil and lemon juice until you reach the desired consistency. Add fresh ground pepper and salt to taste and then pulse once more to combine! Serve with your favorite pastas, veggies, or proteins.


I hope that these great recipes inspire you to eat your veggies and utilize every part for optimal nutritional benefits! Let me know if you try any one these yummy treats and tag me on social media if you share your efforts! Enjoy!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Floral Mandala.

It's been a long time since I've shared any of my paintings here on the blog. I recently finished this floral mandala created with watercolors. I used leaves, petals, and flowers to build the mandala and I am really pleased with the finished result. I stopped painting for a long time and just recently decided it was time to pick up the brush again. Boy, has it been therapeutic! I almost get into a meditative state when I paint and it helps me to clear my mind and just be. Hopefully I can keep my creative juices flowing and share a few more pieces with you guys! Until then, enjoy!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Inspiration for vibrant living.

On my journey to living a more vibrant, meaningful, holistic life I've gobbled up inspiration from all corners of the web. I've found motivation and tips from wonderful Instagram accounts, YouTube channels, and blogs who focus on everything from yoga and meditation to healthy eats and essential oil tricks. These corners of the web have been invaluable on my journey and have given me all the tools I need to keep on this path that is so near and dear to my heart. I cannot explain how much my life has changed since I started taking hold of my own journey and finding new ways to live more mindfully. Every single day I learn, grow, and find out more about myself.
I see a lot of interest in holistic living popping up everywhere from my Internet friends to my friends and neighbors here in the Midwest and the shift is so exciting to me. Starting down a holistic path can be so overwhelming and confusing for someone who is beginning to change their habits or lifestyle. It can be so hard to abandon the thought processes of the past and embark on a new journey on your own so I decided to compile a list of all my favorite sources to help anyone out there sorting through the muck. I hope this can help those already on a holistic path or motivate those who haven't to take the leap! Hop on over and check out these amazing places and spaces around the web and become inspired!

YouTube Channels //
The Kitchy Kitchen
HealthNutNutrition
Joyous Health
Holistic Habits
EcoholicBeauty
Meghan Livingstone
YogaWithAdriene

Instagram //
Real Food Whole Life
Yoga_Girl
CleanAsABean
MamaWattersEssentials
Minimalist Baker
Natural Nomad
Ecobeautyvivi
OrtegaEssentials
SpiritualMovement
aipxwhole30
TRIBE de MAMA
the_wholesome_bowl

Blogs //
Free + Native
The Wellness Wonderland
The First Mess
Mind Body Green
Oh, Ladycakes
DesignLoveFest
LoveUrBelly
HealthBloggersCommunity
Wellness Mama
The Well-Oiled Life
Headspace Daily 
EarthSprout
Ram Dass
This Rawsome Vegan Life
The Simple Veganista
Rachel Brathen Blog

Photos shared from: // The First Mess // The Minimalist Baker // It's Me, Charlotte! // Free + Native

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June, I'm so glad you're here!

Goodness gracious, it's been a little while. The month of May was a crazy busy one for us and now that it's over I can finally breathe again! I always miss this space when I take a break but I know that it's best never to cram too much into my already busy life so the break was much needed.
Today I just wanted to update you all on what I have planned for this space in the next month or so! I've been focusing on better food and the importance of gut health so I'll be sharing my journey into lacto-fermenting veggies like radish as well as great tips on how to incorporate more veggies into your little one's diet with my Operation Veggie Series. Health and wellness are super important to me so I'll be sharing a list of my favorite bloggers, You-tubers, and Instagramers that help me keep my mind and body on track and inspire me to keep chugging along on this holistic journey.
I've also been keeping a motherhood journal and I would love to share it here in hopes that other mothers can relate and connect here in a safe place. I've been documenting life with my littles, the struggles and beautiful moments of motherhood, life post miscarriage, and our journey to conceive again after loss. I love to be honest and raw about navigating through this difficult time and I've gotten an amazing response from women who felt like they had to travel this long road alone. I'm hoping that my motherhood journal can spark a positive conversation and help us all to connect and support each other when we need it most.
I'll also be keeping up with my Childhood Project, updating you on my doula journey, sharing some great tips on living essentially and my favorite ways to use essential oils, and sharing all my favorite real life moments in between.
There are a lot of great things to come here and I hope that you all join me and follow along on this crazy ride! Have a topic you would like to see discussed here on my blog? Leave a comment and let me know!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

2/52

 “A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.” 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Operation Veggie // BEETS

Lately I've been talking to a lot of my mommy friends lately and they all have the same dilemma, "How can I get my child to like veggies?" 
Toddlers and young children can be really picky eaters! They love really simple flavors and textures and their diets end up becoming bland and let's face it not very nutritious. Goldfish crackers and ketchup can only sustain them for so long. As mothers we always want to see our kids at their best and we know that veggies provide so many amazing benefits that will have our little one's brain and body working in tip-top shape. Introducing new foods, especially when they're green and leafy or brown and spongy can be difficult but with a little consistency and delicious kid friendly recipes we can make it happen! Right mommas?
Welcome to Operation Veggie! I've asked a group of moms what veggies their kids think are icky and I'm going to use the top picks to create toddler and kid friendly foods, snacks, and sweet treats! I'll be having my little ones taste test everything and I'll share the results here! 
I love using vegetables in different and unique ways, so if nothing else OP VEG will get you and your family to try something new or to tackle a veggie that you've been a little afraid of!
If you try any of the recipes featured let me know how they go over with the little ones! Good luck!
Our first vegetable is the beet! I know a lot of adults are even turned off by beets so I really loved this challenge! Beets have a beautiful vibrant color which benefits us in two ways! The purplish color of the beet is produced by phytonutrients called betalains; this pigment has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying properties that protect cells from damage. Beets are also full of potassium, folates, and fiber and help protect against heart disease and even cancer! These guys are a must have in every one's diet! Plus, the color is also what makes the beet so fun! It's the perfect all natural way to color food red/pink/purple!
My kids love home made apple sauce, it's a staple in our house and it's so easy to make! I decided beets would be the perfect addition to my regular apple sauce recipe and boy was I right! I marketed it to the little ones as pink/red apple sauce and they thought the color was so fun! My kids saw the beets before hand so they knew what they were getting but if you have extra picky ones you might want to sneak them in under the radar! The amount of beet you add determines the color of your apple sauce so if you're going for a light pink about half a beet or less should do. We used an entire beet for a deeper reddish/purple.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED//
Six organic medium sized apples
1/2-1 whole organic beet
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove
1 tbs organic cane sugar
pinch of ground ginger
1/2 cup water

Peel, core, and roughly chop apples and peel and chop the beet. Place all of your ingredients into a medium sauce pan over medium/low heat. Let the mixture simmer for 35-40 minutes stirring occasionally.
Once beets and apples are soft remove from heat and add it to your food processor or blender. You can make it as chunky or smooth as you'd like! I stored my apple sauce in mason jars and popped them in the fridge to cool. Now I have plenty to add to lunches and snack time! I added a little sliced apple as garnish and the kids loved dipping the pieces in their colorful sauce!
All in all this recipe was a success for my little ones. They loved the taste of their new apple sauce and the color was so fun! Marli is already asking if I can make more so we don't run out! I have a feeling this is a new staple for us, even I can't stop myself from eating it!
If you try out this yummy beet applesauce be sure to tag me on Instagram, or leave a comment for me here!
Have a veggie your kid despises that you want to make "kid friendly"? Leave it in the comments and I may feature it on Operation Veggie!
Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Weekly Wear // Cinco De Mayo

Cinco De Mayo is today so I hope you're all celebrating with tacos and margaritas! I've been in love with this Charlotte Olympia taco clutch for some time and was waiting for the perfect occasion to use it in a weekly wear post, what better time than now! I loved adding pops of emerald and orange to accent the "toppings" on that fabulous clutch. Pair it with a statement necklace and a beautiful but simple dress and you're ready for a date night out or a dinner party with friends!

1. White Lace Dress
2. Tassel Necklace
3. Karen Walker Sunglasses
4. Aromi Orange Vegan Lipstick
5. Gold Stacking Bangles
6. Emerald Leather Sandals
7. Charlotte Olympia Taco Clutch
8. Gold Hammered Studs

Monday, May 4, 2015

May The Fourth Be With You...

Happy Star Wars Day!

"There are many realities in the universe, some of them quite harsh. One reality that is inescapable is that there is nothing more valuable than a friend. More than food, more than shelter, and more than weaponry, an ally can save your life." 
- Qui-Gon Jinn

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Little Bits No. 4

1. We started a brand new history curriculum this week! You can find it here.
2. This week marks one year since Peggy Sue joined our family! 
3. Little hands and little sprouts in the garden. 
4. New digs in the back yard thanks to one pretty great aunt! 
5. My crew.
6. Our Earth Day treats paid off! We now have three beautiful eggs waiting to hatch!
7. Tree talk.
8. Wonton taco night, that's how we celebrate an early Cinco De Mayo!

Make sure you like my Facebook page for updates and more!