Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Kid's Valentine ♥ Healthier Snacks for Sugar-Filled Holidays


Let's face it, as moms we give in around candy-themed holidays.  Grandparents and well-meaning friends alike run to the opportunity to share sweets during Holidays such as Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas.
If your child is like mine, a little sugar goes a looong way, especially when these evil candies have dyes in them which makes my 4 year old boy almost intolerable (anyone else?!)  Not to mention all the studies linking several dyes to ADHD, ADD and hyperactivity in children.

However, I get the appeal and don't want the kids missing out on the fun.  I had my share of sugar-filled candies and heart-sprinkles cupcakes as a kid so what's a mom to do?



I find that children are attracted to designs and colors and just love a good theme!  The prettier the food display, the more like they are to get excited and enjoy it so I came up with a couple healthy options to not be the Grinch who stole Valentine's day.



1. Make fruit pretty by decorating the plate into shapes to get kids excited about fruits + veggies.

2. Use cookie cutters to cut fruit, bread and other snacks.

3. Instead of using syrups or food coloring, try using natural food dyes to make things like strawberry milk or smoothies.  Swap the dyes + syrups with beets, strawberries, raspberries and other whole foods.

healthy snack ideas Valentine's

Heart-shaped Toast with Rasberry Jam


I buy Organic Sprouted bread from Aldi's and my kids love it.  Not to mention it is way cheaper than other organic sprouted bread at under $3!  The kids are fine with organic jam and although they have sugar, it's at least not loaded with dyes and extra loads of refined sugar.

Heart-shaped fruit salad


I use a simple cookie cutter for the shapes.. I found a super cute + cheap set on Amazon

Heart-shaped protien pancakes


TIP: can make in advance and freeze so you have an easy grab + go breakfast always

I love to add a little protein to pancakes with almond butter to sneak it in for the kids.  My go-to healthy pancake recipe is as follows:


Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ cups dairy or non-dairy milk 
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
  1. Place the rolled oats in a blender until the oats reach a fine, powdery consistency.
  1. Add the almond purpose flour, coconut sugar, ground cinnamon, salt and baking powder and combine.
  1. Add the milk, egg, butter and vanilla extract and pulse until combined.
  1. If the batter is to thick, add more milk (1 tablespoon at a time) and pulse until it reaches the right consistency.
  1. Lightly grease a non stick skillet with melted butter or coconut oil.
  1. Heat the skillet over medium heat until hot.
  1. Drop 1/8 cup of batter for each pancake onto the hot skillet.
  1. Cook until  bubbles begin to form on the top.
  1. Carefully flip the pancakes and cook on the other side 60- 90 seconds or until cooked through.
  1. Serve warm with fresh berries.





Ever After,
Jamie

Monday, January 20, 2020

A Dose of Real Life: An Open Letter to My Daughter


I'm not a size 0 and that's OK.  Truth is, the only time I was ever a size 0 was in High school and I was doing extreme dieting to the point where my mom made me watch a Lifetime movie about a girl who dies from Anorexia.  It worked.

Now that I have a daughter, I want to pass on the unconditional love that my mom always reinforced in me.  My mom taught me healthy eating habits at a young age so that it wasn't about being skinny, but about being healthy.



A simple yet powerful message for my daughter:

Dear Savannah,


Whether you are a size zero and naturally skinny (like Daddy) or have always been a little curvy (like Mommy), I want you to know that God made you just the way you are in his image. (Genesis 1:27)  Your innate body type was designed for you and all you have to do is nourish your body with amazing food and exercise to be the best version of you.  My hope for you is that you don't start dieting at 12 because you have natural hips forming or you don't feel inadequate because your body isn't developing yet.  My hope is that you look at food as fuel and medicine rather than obsess over diets and calorie-counting.  I hope you never spend a dime on plastic surgery or on diet pills (Do you know how many pairs of shoes you can do with that money?!)  I hope you look in the mirror and always see yourself the way I see you.

I hope you never find your worth in the size of your jeans, the size of your bra, or the size of your waist- but only the size of you heart. 


You do not need bigger boobs.

You do not need to starve yourself.

You do not need to waist train to look like a Kardashian.

You do not need to gain weight to look more "feminine."

 I hope you use your beauty for good and and radiate your light to others with confidence.  You will always be beautiful and you will always be "you" and there is never a competition with others.  How amazing it will be if you and your friends lift each other up and support one another while strengthening each other's self-worth.  

After you have a baby, I hope you smile at your stretch marks and go easy on yourself.  Your body is a beautiful, miracle-maker and how blessed you are to have experienced the most amazing gift a mother could ever ask for.  I hope you look at your body as a strong, beautiful miracle that not only carried around children but continues to carry on the strength to rock your babies to sleep, give them horsey-back rides, and push them high on a swing-set.

I hope you don't loathe the changes of your body after breastfeeding.  Know that your body has nourished your babies with the most amazing gift you can ever give them.  Isn't your body simply amazing that it can create and sustain life on it's own?!  

I hope you spend way more time laughing, hugging, and traveling than you do looking in the mirror.  I hope you always know you are beautiful, you are strong and most of all, you are so LOVED. 

Love, 
Mom







Ever After,
Jamie

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Grandparents Gift Guide



If you're like me, you enjoy GIVING gifts much more than getting gifts.  I love trying to find something special for everyone in my life and grandparents play such an important role in our lives.
I often find it hard to come up with things that grandparents actually need besides playing with their grand kids or lots of love.

 I've put together a gift guide that has it all.. from the trendy wine-drinking Glam-ma to the incredibly crafty and loves-to-cook Nana.



All are very fair price-points (BONUS) and have really good reviews on Amazon and it doesn't hurt that 2-day shipping is free as well as returns to make it easy for you and your gift recipient.


1.  For the BASEBALL-going Grandma- the ultimate Fan needs this: BASEBALL PURSE

2.  For the traveling Grandparents.. Luggage for Under $25?!:  HIS + HERS Carry On

3.  Ever since I got a lightweight vacuum, I realized definitely was missing out before.. A lightweight vacuum is an absolute necessity for the household (and only $30!).

4.  For the Grandpa that loves to fish and loves backyard games, definitely invest in this fishing accessory as well as an awesome corn-hole set.

5.  Does Grandma like to visit vineyards?  This portable picnic table is a must-have for picnics and day-tripping to vineyards as well as an adorable wine tumbler to bring along.

6.  For the corporate man, this executive organizer for cell phone, watch, etc is super convenient and who doesn't love new dress socks?

For the entire gift guide + more ideas for holiday gift-giving, visit here.

Ever After,
Jamie